A native Iowa Citian who returned to raise my family here, I find myself *far* more opinionated when it comes to everything from the restaurants to the city council. Here is my $.02.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hot Date

My two year old son and I had a hot date at the Coral Ridge Mall today. Shopping for new shoes, a little illegal food and some good old fashion rough house at the play area otherwise known as the “germ pit.”

As we walked back through the mall, he stopped on a dime in front of the Victoria’s Secret display window and stood there for five seconds. I know the precise length because it was a *pause* plus me counting to three out loud. Slack jawed, arms hanging, he was in awe. In fact, I haven’t seen him that still and quiet at the same time since…Well I am not sure ever since he was born a mere two years ago.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Who Would Float?

My Favorite Things


Oh how I love my favorite things. Not in a Julie Andrews singing to the crisp mountain air sense, but in an OHMYGOD I feel a million times better when I have a house full of these things way.

Eight o'Clock Coffee
On the bottom shelf at our grocery store. It's the cheapest and the best. Seriously. Great way to start the day. And it costs pennies per cup.

T.N. Dickinson's All Natural Astringent For Face and Body
Cheap toner that seriously cleans up a girls complexion. It's miracle water in a bottle. It is a little on the stinky side, but that dissipates quickly and the results are worth it. Gentle enough to use once or twice a day.

Eucerin Extra Protective Moisture Lotion
Perfect moisturizer. SPF 30 and blocks UVA and UVB rays. UVA are the ones that cause fine lines and wrinkles. Love it.

Philosophy Amazing Grace Shampoo, Bath, & Shower Gel
Ridiculously good smelling. A friend of mine had her nose attached to my arm last week as she kept telling me how good I smelled. It's easy for travel because it's an all-in-one dealio.

Mrs. Meyer's Countertop Spray Lemon Verbena
Good for the Earth. Safe for humans. Smells extraordinary. Cleans well too.

Aveda Shampure Shampoo and Conditioner
More of an addiction for me than anything else. They make a great candle in the same aroma.

White Rain Ocean Mist Shampoo
Last time I bought a big bottle of this I paid about $.86. It smells so good and it cleanses my hair well. I was using it as back up when Shampure was out but I am a believer now.

Schick Intuition
On my sister's recommendation, I tried this. AH-mazing. As my friend Pickle put it, there are more days I shave than not. My husband is thankful. It is quick and easy. You don't need to lather up with soap, just shave.

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
Perfect for any weather and goes through the wash machine like a champ.

Burt's Bees Buttermilk Lotion
Smells divine and is watery enough to not leave you sticky. Sold for babies but I use it on me too.

Burt's Bees Apricot Baby Oil
Great bath oil for dry winter months, perfect massage oil for feet or back, mix with lotion for an extra moisture sheen look and yummy smell.

Burt's Bees Diaper Ointment
Not for me, for my kids. And I find myself wondering off and on what that awesome smell is. Oh yeah, it's their tushies.

Joe's Jeans Honey Style
Hugs the curves of a real woman and wash well. Spendy but any jean that isn't a mom jean that fits a post prego figure in the first three months is priceless. The extra stretch in the fabric is good for those of us who flucuate between sizes depending on how busy we are to eat more responsibly.

American Apparel Cotton Canvas LA-Z Girl Bag
Love it. Perfect for beach, traveling or carrying a tired 2 year old around. I kid I kid. It is the perfect bag and American Apparel is a socially responsible company.

Brickyard Pottery PopOver Pots
These are handmade by the owners of the store in Cumberland, Wisconsin. The day I bought mine, we knocked at the door to find the owner with a steaming cup of coffee still in his bath robe. They opened the store to us and I was in heaven. The PopOver pots make the best popovers ever.

Where have I been?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Check Please!

Tonight, my husband sat staring into my laptop intently.

"What are you doing?"

"Looking up ways to get a toddler to stay in bed, other than duct taping him down."

This gives you a glimpse into what we have been dealing with the past few nights and currently as I type this.

A friend of mine sent me this site www.wecandeliva.com earlier today. I am seriously contemplating having them deliver a pony keg and two iced mugs.

And maybe a roll of duct tape.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bobs Your Uncle

Bobs Your Uncle
Two locations
2208 N Dodge Street
351-7400

First word that comes to mind: Gluttony

Rating (Out of possible 5): 4.93 (.07 is being deducted because they forgot our dinner salads last order.)

On the East side of Iowa City, the choices for good food delivery are slim pickins. Besides the obvious pizza joints, there is one Chinese place (check back next week for review) that will bring you a meal.

Needless to say, we were ecstatic at the thought of Bobs Your Uncle opening it's East side location. We had made the trek across town many times to enjoy the Chicken, Sausage & Shrimp Creole Pasta. (It's heaven in a bowl.) Plus, hello happy hour! We need a good watering hole. The Hilltop just doesn't cut it.

As far as delivery goes, we were skeptical. How could these dishes be any good delivered to your door? Would they be nearly as good? The answer is a big HELL YEAH.

The other night, on a long journey home with two tired kids, we drove by Bobs and decided to order delivery. (I am a big advocate for signage containing phone numbers so you can easily order on the go.) Information gave me the digits and we called from our cell. Within minutes of arriving home & unpacking kids, we had a nice hot meal waiting for us.

Ever since checking out the new online menu, I had been having a hankering for the Buffalo Chicken Burrito.

Buffalo Chicken Burrito $13.95
Spicy chicken pieces wrapped in a flour tortilla with Sal's twice-baked potatoes, bits of celery and carrots, and buffalo sauce, garnished with a few fried onions. Served with a side salad.

It was so tasty. The flour tortilla tasted like homemade bread and it arrived non-soggy. Amazing for how saucy this little sucker is. We got sides of veggies that were crisp and steamy when we opened up the packaging. While inhaling the food, we discussed how some places "just do it right" with take out or delivery. It's all about the food packaging. These meals are big enough to split between two adults, but delicious enough to polish off and spend the remainder of the evening in a recliner, in a food coma. It hurts so good.

Great beer selection. I recommend a black & tan. (Bass & Guiness.)

The bonus is this is a locally owned establishment. I am a firm believer in supportingg locally owned. Especially when it's a business that does it right. It makes the cost factor easier to swallow. Literally.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Funny Pages

Tonight my two year old little boy came up to me and said "Cooper have nice solid poop Mommy." While trying to keep a straight I am very proud of you potty training face, I hear my husband laughing so hard he can't breathe in the other room.

Last night he walked around with a favorite toy while hiccuping. I asked him "What do you have?" referring to his toy. He replied, "The hiccups!"

Day before yesterday he accompanied me to the bathroom to change his little sisters pants while having lunch at a restaurant. While I was changing her, she tooted. I said, "Oops, baby tooted." Cooper knows that toot means fart. As we walked back across the lunch crowd to our table, Cooper repeated over and over in his very loud inside voice "OOPS! Mommy farted!"

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sandwiches

I love sandwiches.

There is something about them that fills the void. Hot or cold. So why does it seem like a good, I mean really good, (cure a hangover type good) sandwich is so hard to find in Iowa City? If I had more time, experience in the food industry and some money, I would open a little sandwich shop. It would be called Tin Whistle. I would have tee shirts that read "I Tin Whistle."

Let me get started on my dissection of the sandwich shops I have frequented in the area.

Subway
Various locations

First word that comes to mind: Bleh. Another one: WHY? Yet another: Inedible.

Rating (Out of possible 5): -34

Bread that is leathery like a dog's raw hide (and about as flavorful) are the basis and bulk of Subway's sangys. Let's talk about that damn triangle wedge out of the top. It doesn't constitute easy eating if you ask me. The meat is almost clear, the tomatoes are clear and the cheese is all processed. I am convinced that if they didn't pay such big bucks on movie placement marketing, they would be out of business. If I had to choose a favorite menu item, it would be the gritty pre packaged chocolate chip cookies.


Milios (Formerly known as Big Mikes)
Various locations

First word that comes to mind: Almost.

Rating (Out of possible 5): 4 1/2 (The 1/2 is for speedy delivery.)

The bread makes these sandwiches. The meats are good and the cheeses are not processed, ding ding ding! For some reason, the insides always slide out of my sandwich and I find myself gnawing on the side of it like a rabid squirrel. The #4 sans sprouts is my favorite.

Mike vs. Jimmy
I am going to conserve my energy and tell you that Jimmy Johns is the exact same. Milio's is owned by Mike Liautaud (leo-toe) and JJ's is owned by Jimmy John Liautaud. Jimmy John's has something Mike's does not...The Gargantuan. The holy mother load. A heart attack on bread. It's every meat, cheese and every topping they have piled on and smooched closed.


Quiznos
Various locations
Save your breathe and don't go to Court/Scott Blvd location

First word that comes to mind: So-so.

Rating (Out of possible 5): 2

The food is decent but at this particular location, they can't seem to get it right. This might be due to the fact that every time I have gone in there, there are high school boys working. They are usually in the seating area eating and make me wait a good two minutes before coming up, while looking horridly annoyed, to take my order. Kidz meals are supposed to come with "Kidz sub, Kidz drink, Kidz snack & a surprise!" We got the sub. Nice going. They stuck me with a thirsty, toy & cookie deprived two year old. That was a fun car ride home.


Blimpies
Various locations
(I prefer 2221 Rochester Avenue)

First word that comes to mind: Delish.

Rating (Out of possible 5): 4

I am a Blimpie fan. Great bread. Fresh sliced meat. This particular location has an exceptional staff who always offer you the best deal with a smile. Some people argue that they slice their meat with the same blade as the cheese. If you are a strict vegetarian, I see your point. If not, shut the hell up and eat.


Hungry Hobo
517 South Riverside
Iowa City, IA 52246
Also, in Coralville on 1st Avenue.

First word that comes to mind: Elementary.

Rating (Out of possible 5): 3

Good sandwiches. Hard to screw up. They are the most basic sandwiches sans all the bells and whistles. We are talking meat, cheese, lettuce, mayo, and bun. Of course there are options but they aren't too fancy. Refreshing. They don't hide the flavor of the meat under obnoxious sauces like some other AH HEM sangy shops. Also, good baked potatoes! Try the chili cheese...It might kill you but it would be a sweet way to go.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mom Would Be Proud

In the words of my older (sometimes wiser) sister, I am becoming more like my mom everyday.

I did three things on Friday that I normally never do.

1.) I shopped at WalMart. WalMart is the devil. I don't believe in their corporate policies, despise their destruction of small town America and loathe the way they treat their employees. This being said, I am fiercely trying to stick to a budget. Okay, I saved A LOT of money. I even sort of got my jollies out of the whole saving money thing. Also, I had a cranky baby in tow, needed to go to the grocery store and Target. Super Target was out due to timing issues. (Can I just tell you that I got a three piece overalls outfit for my baby girl for $5? Yup. $5. And it's quite cute.)

2.) I cleaned with bleach. Bleach and I don't work well together. Must be because my mom used to bleach our whites. I never liked the way my clothes felt after being soaked in pure chemical solution. Especially underwear, the elastic would give out and that is never fun. Usually I clean with Meyers Lemon Verbena countertops spray. It's natural and doesn't kill our earth. Plus it smells damn good. I also have an affection for Melaleuca's EcoSense products although I am no longer a member. A nasty case of the flu bug and a sink that wouldn't scrub clean prompted me to pull out the bottle of bleach that I had stashed in case of an emergency. The smell was a bit much but my tubs, sinks, etc. have never sparkled so bright! My hands still stink but I can live with that. It brings me great joy to have a sparkling clean kitchen sink. I even keep walking into my kitchen just to see it again and again. Odd but true.

3.) I threw away 5 items that should have been recycled. You must see my recycling pile to understand why I couldn't bring myself to heap anything else on top of it. Oddly enough, when I told my brother I had done something "Crazy!" he said "What like throw away a plastic bottle?" Jesus, am I that predictable?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Guilt

guilt (glt) noun
The fact of being responsible for the commission of an offense.

That should read: What a mother feels every moment of every minute of every day.

I am working on this one.

I feel guilty when I take a shower. Even though my 12 week old is perched blissfully unaware of my absence 10 feet from me in a swing, I take the baby monitor into the bathroom with me just in case she were to moan, fart or attempt to open a checking account while I am washing up. The sad thing...This is my second child.

As parents' we live in constant fear of screwing up our children.

Uh oh, the baby is falling asleep on my shoulder, quick wake her up and then lay her down in her crib so that she can learn to fall asleep on her own. She cries. Don't put the nuk in her mouth, she will want it until she goes to kindergarten and have dental problems her entire life. Was that a fart I heard? The early rumblings of an oncoming poop? Should I stand here and listen closely to her tummy because she *might* shat in her diaper and how horrible of a mother would I be to let my kid nap in a dirty diaper?

I know I am not the only mom getting lost in the obsession that every detail of my parenting shapes the human being that will one day choose what nursing home I will be placed in. We all do it.

Why do we beat ourselves up over the small stuff? I hear myself telling friends to not worry yet I expect the police to come knock on my door if they find out I put my baby girl on her tummy to nap. We feel the need to constantly defend our actions. (She was on the couch and I was right next to her watching her breathing patterns the entire time.) The only logical explanation I can come up with is modem society has unrealistic expectations of mothers. Too many theories, advice columns and books to define what "the right way to do things" is. What's right for you baby, might not be right for mine. Kappesh?

In the end, it's not about the small stuff.

When my kids grow up, I know they won't remember the mistakes we made. (Unless they read my blog.) They are loved beyond explanation. That alone is a great way to start.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Those Moms...

For some women, giving birth to a child (or adopting) reverts them back to their catty high school attitudes, complete with criteria to associate the "cools" from the "not cools." The "haves" from the "have nots."

Re-read that first sentence. It's the truth. They don't teach you this stuff in those pre-baby classes. They should. They should also teach you self defense. Wax on. Wax off.

Baby carriers, child development, strollers, car seats, accessories, cameras, diapers, baby clothes, shoes, music classes, pre schools, feeding choices, weight, husbands, work status and pretty much every other detail of our lives, are picked apart by women who feel it's their duty to tell you what you are doing wrong. In the most condescending way possible.

Just today I had a run in with one of these mothers. I knew what was coming as I caught her eyes sizing me up as I loaded my daughter into a baby carrier, while balancing my little boy's tippy cup, a diaper bag and a half chewed piece of banana bread in the other hand. She started at my face, smiled and then as she turned her head...Slowly panned down my body taking in every detail. You know the look. The "I'm pretending not to check you out while I turn this way" trick.

Two minutes and 17 seconds later she walked up behind me and the pecking began.

The baby was loaded so I guess I was fair game. "What brand of carrier is that?" My response was something to the effect of "The ultimate baby wrap, something my sister got second hand and shipped up to me from Texas." Horror overtook her face. Was it the fact that it wasn't a trendy brand or the fact it was second hand? I couldn't tell. I didn't give a $hit. I was still balancing the tippy, banana bread and now my two year old was now screaming.

The questions continued, first about my car seat. Was it the new model? Apparently the new model holds up to 30 lbs. Whoopdeedo. Where did I get it? Was it expensive? She might as well asked to see my bank statement.

Nice camera, does it take good pictures? Could she hold it? It's a camera, not a puppy.

I continued to be peppered with questions and unsolicited information about her gear (including her new baby Bjorn Active carrier that is so much better for her lower back pain) until I simply walked away.

According to this mom, I should be en route to get myself one of these carriers straight away. In reality, I was on my way to the car to drive far far from this psycho as fast as I could.

Thank God I have good friends who don't judge me for what I may or may not do with my body fluids, wipe my kids' asses with and buy first, second or third hand.

Wax on. Wax off.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Athena Brown


On a cold November night in 1999, a little Bassett hound came into our lives. We would like to think we rescued her from a stinky life on a pig farm outside Rice Lake, WI. She was 7 weeks old and cuter than any animal should ever be allowed to be. Matt gave her the name Athena.

For the next year she was "little sister" to our dog Poet. Then she was an only child. Five years passed of Saturday's at the dog park, afternoons at the dog bakery, dog day care during the week and plenty of tummy rubs in between. We spent lazy nights on the couch with Athena snuggled in the crook of our knees. We took hikes just long enough to wear her out, sometimes with our misjudgment ending in us carrying her the last leg of the trip. Life was full of Greenies and sunny spots.

Enter human child #1. Athena adjusted well with changes and almost two years passed. They were best of friends. Snuggling in bed in the mornings and chasing butterflies together in the summer. Enter human child #2. Uh-oh.

Attempts to help Athena acclimate to our new family situation fell short. We spent a few months worth of car payments at the vet only to find out that our little diva didn't like us. She loved us, fiercely, but she didn't like us any more. We had done an about face on routines. Ignored her pleas for attention to deal with her human counterparts. Plain and simple; we were last week's stale poo.

We knew it and difficult as it was, we knew we couldn't change it. Anyone who has ever spent more than 6 years raising an animal, knows what a painful decision it was to decide to find a new family for Athena to adopt as her own. We decided out of state would be best so we wouldn't be tempted to steal her back in a weak moment. Putting out an APB with some dog loving friends did the trick. Within hours we had four families lined up. After a brutally honest email, we had one. They were our favorite from the beginning. A mom, dad, 16 year old daughter, one dog named Codi, one fat cat named Max, a fenced in back yard and lots of sunny spots. After 18 emails back and forth it was decided, Athena Brown was becoming Athena Brown-Voight of Long Lake, MN.

A week later, we packed the car and her life and headed to MN. We broke ourselves in slowly to the thought of letting her go. We visited old friends and drank too much wine for three days before meeting her new family.

The Voights exceeded our expectations. Gentle spirits, a wonderful home and lots of love in their hearts to give Athena the life she deserves. We spent a couple hours answering their questions and convincing ourselves we had made the right decision. We drove away with broken hearts and only memories of how her scruff feels when you massage it with your hands. The sound of her arooooing along to a song. The smell of her fur on a rainy day. We cried. We cried when we got home and Cooper searched the house for her, calling her name.

Goodbye to our first born. We will love you and miss you more than you can ever imagine. We wish you a life full of lazy days in sunny spots, perpetual tummy rubs and the knowledge that we loved you enough to know that you needed more than we could provide. We hope to see you again. We will always love you.

Arooooo,
Your first family

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Find Me (my sanity)

If you are a parent or have ever road tripped with a two year old you can appreciate this.

On a long drive home from Saint Paul, MN I had a marathon session of hide-n-seek with my two year old. Yes we were both belted into our seats.

Anyone who has ever played this game before knows that once a blanket is draped oh-so-delicately over your head, bare feet sticking straight out the front, you are (in fact) invisible to the mommy peering awkwardly around the front seat.

It was nice to get the occasional giggle as a hint or better yet "where's Cooper?" " UNDER THE BLANKET MOM!"

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Say a prayer and pass me a beer

Something completely ironic struck me so funny the other day, I almost had the water I was drinking shoot out my nose.

A young girl was wearing a "Jesus" tee with a big tiger face on it. Not that the tiger is significant, just that it was interesting to me why a tiger would be on an otherwise religious tee shirt. Grrowl. Praise ye holy on high. Enough mockery, I shall continue before a lightning bolt springs forth from the sky and warns me of my sins. Eeek.

Anyway, this gal was obviously trying to get the point across that she was holy. I get it. Amen.

But it just so happens that it was this past Friday. The very first Friday of lent. The very same first Friday that Catholics are to not eat meat. Well this sassy pants Jesus lovin' lady was mowing on a hot dog. When I say mowing, I mean mowing on that hopeless piece of meat like it was the last supper. Sorry for that absolutely horrible pun.

Not sure why it struck me as funny. Anyone who knows me knows that I try not to be judgmental but GOOD LORD.

Then I got to thinking, maybe she was Jesus in disguise. Sent to earth to remind me that I too should not have eaten meat as I sat digesting my Milios #4 turkey sandwich (hold the sprouts.) Could it be a sign from heaven? What could it mean?

Then I snapped back into reality and realized that I was sitting in a Target cafe over analyzing life and needed a beer. Three hours as I polished off my second brew, I thanked God that I had the wisdom to know when I needed a drink.

Amen.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Reduce Reuse Recycle

A good friend of mine recently pointed out to me that I am a wee bit of a hippy. True. My husband and I are avid recylcers and use mostly natural cleaning products...Except in my toilets because Lord knows only bleach kills that funk. In my defense, I love my modern conveniences, do shave, don't use drugs and out grew my tie dye phase in college.

Recycling is a passion of ours. It wasn't of mine the first 23 years of my life. I fought Matt tooth and nail on this issue. It was far easier to throw stuff away and be done with it. (I do occasionally have a relapse. Sometimes I just get mad at the 65 lbs. of recycling from two weeks of collecting on my back deck and throw away a milk jug. That is rebellion at it's finest. Even then I feel guilty. Please God of the Landfill, forgive me. I hath thrown recyclable materials into the heap. Sometimes I even dig it back out. Pathetic, I can't believe I am even admitting to it.)

Chomp on this thought before you toss another bottle into the trash. "It is important to remember that recycling recovers valuable raw materials. If we make aluminum cans from recycled cans, then we don't have to disturb the environment by mining and smelting the mineral bauxite which is used in the manufacture of aluminum. Recycling reduces pollution and saves energy." www.recycle.com

Matt always says "I want to leave this world a better place for my children." Sweet huh?

So after being named a hippy, I realized just how much we recycle. It would be more if we still had our compost bin but Oh. My. God. The wretched smell that seeped forth from that beauty could kill anything that came within 30 feet on a hot summer day. I said NO MORE. I am still shocked I won. Although Matt reads this blog and I can just tell you what I will probably now get for Valentine's day or Mother's day this year.

What do you recycle you ask?
Everything. Even Styrofoam is recyclable but our city doesn't do it because of the cost.

  • yogurt containers
  • milk gallons
  • boxes - food boxes (pasta, cereal, crackers, etc.) Kleenex, diapers, wipes, tooth paste refills, Swiffer refills, markers, paper, soap, etc.
  • shampoo bottles
  • insides tubes of paper towel and toilet paper rolls
  • clothing tags once you have taken off the annoying clear plastic connector
  • paperboard most often found on the back of a plastic covered toy
  • plastic bags
  • paper bags *although Hy Vee sells these canvas reusable bags that we use when we don't forget about them*
  • glass jars and bottles
  • aluminum cans
  • newspapers
  • pop, beer, wine and water bottles
  • mail - envelopes, magazines, catalogs *anything that does not have personal information on it, that stuff goes to the shredder*

I admit, I had to peek at my back deck to see what all was looming out there. Time to send hubby to the recycling center.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Got Kids?

I am the last person who should be shelling out advice, especially on parenting. My 2 year old didn't sleep through the night until he was 15 months old. We have a perpetual heap of dirty laundry and it's been a week since our dinner table has seen anything green on it besides boogers (inadvertently.)

Here are things I would do right the first time...

Buy a super comfy rocker that reclines. Major bonus if the company can have it made in a fabric that repels moisture for those projectile vomits, poops, leaky bottles, etc. I stress the reclining portion. It may cost more, but will save you in chiropractic bills from the crank neck you will get from passing out in the chair with your snuggly baby on your chest from 1-3 am. Then again from 3:14 to 5:36 am. Then again from 6:11 until the alarm goes off.

Take a minute to think, whatever hour of the day, you are not alone. There are millions of parents all over the world in the exact same position feeling like they too, are the creator of the world's only baby-not-sleep-a-lot-omous.

Invest in gas drops. You can use them the day you get home from the hospital. Every two hours. For as long as you need. Our new babe screams her brains out at night along with red faced grunts. Gas-a-roni. Most nights we do a pre-emptive strike and give them to her an hour before bed time. Doesn't always work but at least we get a head start. NOTE: It takes an entire bottle to relieve adult gas pains. Not recommended. This comes from experience. (Desperate times call for desperate measures.)

Learn to smile and say "Thank you." If you choose to breastfeed or not to breastfeed, be prepared to have every person you meet tell you what to do with your bodily fluids. Technically, I think this is illegal in most states. Or should be.

Expect less. Ask for more. Take up offers for dinners, house cleaning, laundry helpers and baby holders. Even if you just take a shower, it makes a world of difference. We adored those generous souls who brought us dinners. It was probably the biggest help and lifted our spirits after those very tiring first few weeks. If you don't live close to family and close friends, stock your freezer. I found my husband devouring casseroles. He won't eat my casseroles to save his life but when other people do such a nice thing, everything seems to taste delicious.

If you need them, take your pain meds. If a doctor writes you a prescription, take it. I was goofier than a drunk at Sunday school but I felt great. There is an overinflated need to be super heros this day in age and I think those women are just nutty. Isn't there an old saying "ignorance is bliss?" End of discussion. Pass me my Percocet please.

Burp often. Babies need burped after crying just as they do after being fed.

Change diapers often. Better safe than sorry. A little butt cream at night is a good preventive action against diaper rash. The Target brand is more than a dollar cheaper, doesn't stink and works the same. Same goes for gas drops mentioned above and pretty much every other product except diapers and wipes.

Which brings me to...Pampers. Swaddlers are the best, then to Cruisers. You won't ruin clothes with those projectile poops. Babies stay dry. Little boys won't pee up their armpits. They are all around the best diaper and well worth the few extra pennies. Coupons make them the same price as the other brands. Clip. Clip. Clip.

Don't let your family or society make you feel guilty about any choice you make. From baptism to sleep issues. The only person I listen to is my pediatrician and always my instincts. Your doc will know when it's right to start cereal, that your bigger/smaller than average baby is healthy as can be and overall what works best for your wee one. Babies are clumped into categories, neglecting the fact that they are individuals. Tiny individuals. Tiny individuals who love to pee and poo with the diaper off, but that pee and poo might be coming from a future president of the United States.

Baby acne, cradle cap, crossed eyes and other weirdo things that happen to almost every baby can't be avoided. Relax. It bothers you more than it bothers them.

While writing this I was interrupted by the gassy baby mentioned above 14 times. Not that I mind, it means I got to kiss her goodnight 14 more times tonight. What could be better than that?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Things To Do When You Are Up Late With Kiddos...

Watch programs you have dvr'd since late December and still have not watched. It's amazing how much time is saved using this technique.

Ponder the amazing ability of a dog to sleep on a comforter that was vomited on and think it's the best thing to happen since the random hump from the neighbor pooch last week.

Bribe husband for foot rub. Attempted bribe. When asked what it would take, his response "It's too big to wrap my mind around right now." Alright fine. Wait ten minutes and repeat shortly after reminding him that I recently gave birth to the second of two beautiful children. *Note: This did not work. My feet did not get rubbed.

Calculate every 14 minutes how much sleep you could get before you are again woke up by a someone less than two feet tall.

Document random thoughts that pop into your head due to either sleep deprivation or dehydration. Items include: The East side of Iowa City needs a car wash that does the inside and the outside of the car. Could a human survive on breast milk for a lifetime? How is it possible that no word in the English language rhymes with orange?

Crave things. I crave the oddest things when I am up late. Right now it's a big glass of strawberry milk. Disgusting under "normal" circumstances but sleep deprivation does odd things to me.

Glue things to things. Tonight I have glued Swarovski crystals to nuks and felt to twine. I was feeling crafty.

Remember your psychotic dreams caused by lack of sleep that lead to unconscious night rantings to your spouse. Last night I woke my husband up asking where my other babies were, apparently I thought we had triplets. I came too when I was trying to explain it to him and admitted I was delusional before passing out again.

Fall asleep at the computer...Wake up ten minutes later mad as hell for no reason giving husband dirty look for not rubbing feet and stomp up to bed. Realize that sheets are still in the dryer. Flop onto bed blaming husband for sheet incident and sleep for 8 minutes before being awoken by husband who wants to make bed. Ask him to rub feet and begin to cry when he says no due to the late hour.

Wonder why you didn't go to bed 5 hours ago.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Goodbye 2005

What a year!

I am thankful for the following in 2005:
  • My husband for giving me a beautiful baby girl
  • Kevin and Britney for the endless entertainment
  • Two seasons of the Apprentice
  • One Martha Stewart Apprentice, prison time and a pretty flan for dessert. Thanks Martha.
  • Good people for support following hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados and last years tsunami
  • MTV for your trashy shows to keep me entertained while Matt traveled
  • Tony's grill for a year of tasty Sunday morning breakfasts
  • The guy who invented slippers with headlights that turn around corners as you do
  • C-sections
  • Blogs
  • Fast food joints offering apple slices and fruit as sides
  • Tom Cruise's media train wreck, that while quite sad, was oh-so-fun to watch
  • Rachel Ray; for your 30 minute meals, new mag, endless media appearances and $40 a day
  • Good vets who don't call you a bad owner even after your dog eats an entire diaper, 1 lb. chocolate bar and endless ziploc bags of toddler treats
  • Those same vets who give a 5% discount to us, friends and frequent visitors
  • Scoops; for picking up that same dogs poo out of our yard once a week. Best $6 a week we have ever spent
  • DVR
  • Cherry cordial Hershey Kisses
  • Babies; new baby girl of my own, new nephew and lots of friends who welcomed chubby little legs into the world this year
  • Price declines on things we love; IPODs, cell phones, tvs, dvd players (cheap cheap!)
  • Quality Consignment...Like my new part time job. I get paid for having good hand me downs.

Happy New Year to all! May your year be filled with joy, laughter, love, peace and health.




Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Where's the Iowa beef?

Well I think I found it.

Late this fall at the IC Farmer's Market I came across Heritage Point Farm Quality Beef. Mr. Jay Dee Coffland was among the most friendly vendors selling his high quality meat with a smile.

It was recommended to me by a good friend of mine who swears that it is the best. I thought I would give it a go being that it was sold frozen and I love to stock my freezer. We are not big beef eaters so this was a true test.

Plus, it's 90% lean for all you health conscious meat eaters.

Browning the first pound for sloppy joes (yes, we really do make kid food still as grown ups) was the test. It was awesome. Smelled fresh, looked fresh, tasted fresh. We have made burgers, meat sauce for pasta, poor man's sloppy joes, meatballs and meatloaf so far and all have been excellent due to the quality of the meat.

It is nice that you are buying from a locally based farm and getting good old Iowa meat. Moooo.

Here is the info you might need if you are curious enough to give it a go yourself:

Heritage Point Farm
Jay Dee & Carol Coffland
319.849.1689

Cuts of Meat:
Rib-Eye Steaks
3/4# - 1" thick boneless steaks from the front of the loin. Some considered to be the juiciest and most flavorful steak grilled or broiled. Sold in packages of 2 steaks. $9.00/lb.

T-Bone
3/4# - 1" thick steaks are the favorite of many! These steaks are the bone in version of the New York Strips and Beef Filet in one steak. Sold in packages of 2 steaks. $8.00/lb.

Sirloin
3/4# - 1" thick bone- in steak from the front portion of the rump. Sold in packages of 1 (1.5 to 2 lbs.) $6.50/lb.

Tenderized Round Steak
Mechanically tenderized from the leanest part of the beef. Sold in packages of 1. Call for price.

Minute Steaks
Tenderized single serving round steaks that are very lean. Sold in packages of 2. $4.00 /lb.

Rump Roast
Lean boneless roast cut from the most tender portion of the hind quarter. Sold in 4-6 lb. roasts. $4.90/lb.

Sirloin Tip Roast
Flavorful tender boneless roast from the rear leg. Solid is 4-6 lb. roasts. $5.50/lb.

Club Steak
Wonderful cut of rib steak - juicy and flavorful. Sold in packages of 2. Call for price.

Beef Burger
90% lean and so flavorful. Sold is 1 lb. packages or 1/4 lb. patties. $3.20/lb.

Beef Brats $4.20/lb.
Philly Meat $4.00/lb.

Other cuts available include: Chuck Roast, Arm Roast, Short Ribs and Soup Bones. Halves and Quarters cut the way you like it.

Happy meat eating.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Meteorological Preoccupation

I am happily married, 9.5 months pregnant, the mother of a 21 month old, and a 6 year old Bassett. I stay at home with my son and am the owner of a successful business, have lots of friends and a wonderful close family.

So why is it that I am totally and completely obsessed (read: Not scary obsessed, more to make Matt giggle incessantly) with KCRG Meteorologist Josh Baynes? I think he is one of the sweetest people I have never met. Does this possibly stem from my growing up watching Denny Frary on KCRG every night with my parents? I met him once at an awards banquet in the late 80's...Did you know he was blonde then, not grey? I still have a soft spot for Good Ol' Denny. But right here and now it's Josh.

For all of you who have the honor to watch the TV 9 newscast, you can probably concur. I have grown quite fond of the sing songy sweet banter that Josh entertains us with. Who else could make Iowa weather fun. I love a man who asks a question, just to then answer it. It somehow makes you think he is very intelligent.

The highlight of my Sunday night (besides Family Guy) is when Josh takes me for a ride on the Weather roller coaster! If you haven't joined in the fun you must, I insist that all present buckle in and put their arms up and scream with the awesome sound effects.

You probably think I am kidding. I am not.

If you log on to KCRG and read Josh's profile you will begin to love him too. I asked Matt for an autographed picture of Josh for Christmas. He thinks I am a nut. But you know what? I am okay with that.