Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring has Sprung

Folks have been asking for here's more of Sadie!

While the photography is not particularly stunning in these recent shots, you get an idea of our life. We've been busy- going to the zoo, birthday parties, the Lindsey Museum, gmas, etc... The Bay has been a bit rainy...but the clear days have been warm and gorgeous. We've been trying to take advantage of the sunny weather, whenever possible.

This post is dedicated to Claire, Mark's sister! She's past her due date and a new little cousin (gender unknown) will be born any day now! Who hoo! We're so excited for her and her hubby, excited for Sadie to have another cousin (more=better!), and we're thrilled to be auntie and uncle to a newborn all over again! I'll update you all when the wee one is born.

Enjoy the photos!

XOXO, Rebecca

Friday, February 25, 2011

Scooby Doo, Where Are You?


Kindle you have been wonderful, but really, The Hangman's Daughter? Overall, it was pretty bad. And now I am spending precious minutes commenting on this poor novel with the hope that you too will not squander your life away.

When you have a Kindle, or probably any other e-reader, you can view the top rated downloads and instantly (but, of course!) read reviews. This book was #1 for Kindle downloads, only $3.99, and it had gotten one rave review after another.  After reading most of the book, I checked the reviews again, and the negative comments had multiplied. I came across a review that said the plot reminded him of Scooby-Doo-- The evil guy is after those pesky kids. That put the nail on the head.

The general gist of the book: A hangman from a long line of hangmen in a small Bavarian town has to execute someone he knows is innocent. In order to make peace with his conscience, he tries to find out who is guilty. The crime? Murdering small children and practicing witchcraft.

The plot plods on and on. The characters are 2-dimensional. The writing is unsophisticated- it felt like a middle school novel. But i did finish it (what if it got better?).

In the end I decided 2 things:

  1. The book was translated, and it could have been well written in German. If the writing was elevated, it would have made the book a lot better. So it may be the fault of the translation.
  2. It was a mostly true story about the author's family (which I didn't find out until after i finished it)...this makes it a lot more interesting in hindsight.
Sorry Germany, you'll have to wait a bit more for your Steig Larrson...but it may happen some day. On Goodreads I gave it 2/5 stars. I did finish it.

Now on to a (hopefully) better novel- Cutting the Stone. It's probably a good sign that this one didn't turn up on Kindle's most downloaded list.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Life in Waiting

Life has been true to form lately- rushed and hectic a lot of the time, and other time completely dragging. Life- what is with you?? I don't want to drone on and on about life's woes...because overall things are really great (wonderful husband, baby, family, job)...BUT...

Since September of last year we have been on the eternal journey of trying to sell our house. And all this trying to sell, has been quite trying (I know that was a lame-o pun). At first I was very idealistic and positive....but I'm so over it now (after 6 months of instability). I want to be in a house I'm going to be in for 20 years. I want to have the time and capacity to have friends over. I want to plant veggies for summer. I want to think about having other kids. I want Sadie to be able to play in the backyard. I don't want all my kitchen gear in storage (boo!). I want to leave my house a mess sometimes!! I want clutter and knick knacks suffocating my living space. Most days I feel like it's never going to happen.

I know I need to be patient, and I know this is of our own doing, our choice (and apparently at a really bad time for the market)- but it still feels therapeutic to complain. I was talking to my students about whining today. And one student said, "Adults don't like it when kids do that."  Ha! So true, so true. But it is so necessary sometimes.

So we'll see what happens. While we may be in the same small place with a couple babies for years to come, the upside is we do love our house and current 'hood, but just wish it had a little more space, and a yard to frolic in. I just need to remember to take my own advice not to whine, and that the grass is NOT usually greener (but sometimes it is!).

xoxo, Rebecca

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hold The Butter Part 2

I appreciate all your comments on the first post in this series. I feel like your ideas and reassurance quelled much of my anxiety about Sadie's diet. In  general, she eats pretty healthy. She loves her fair share of carbs (don't all toddlers?), she's still not a fan of green veggies, and I'm sure she's getting juice and the occasional preservative laden cookie at daycare- but I'm a little less stressed about it now.

I brought the issue up with her doctor, and she laughed. She said not to worry, that a cookie every day from daycare is no big deal. Really? She even suggest I lighten my load and have Sadie's daycare family give food to Sadie, instead of me providing the food. Ha! I love Dr. Tenney. She always knows how to put my slight anxieties at bay. It helps that she has 3 young children of her own, I think it makes her a lot more understanding, and helps to put issues like this in perspective.

Well, even though I have a hard time getting Sadie to eat veggies, she's discovered the joy of strawberries. She also says "nana" now for banana, so that's pretty dang cute.

Now I'm off to enjoy some Oreo cookies my mom bought for me...haha, no wonder why my daughter likes cookies- it runs in the family...

XOXO, Rebecca

Monday, February 14, 2011

Who doesn't like Gwen?

We are going to give it one last go at putting our house on the market. So all this weekend (and the last weekend, and the weekend before that...) we were getting our house ready to sell. It hits the market manana.

All that to say is that Mark and I were washing floors and scrubbing tile when the Grammys were on last night. The Grammys seem like the most watchable awards show to me- it's actually entertaining. I don't really follow new music closely, but I was interested on what went down last night. I was able to get the jist of the Grammys last night via MySpace music and the NY Times. Ce Lo Green's performance was so odd and yet, so much fun. I love that Gwen P comes in with her 13" heels. She's rocking Glee and now the Grammys- I love that woman. I guess Cold Play dude is rubbing off on her in all their marital bliss.

On the subject of martial bliss, it's Mark and my 7th anniversary tonight, and he's back with dinner. So ta ta to you! Enjoy the entertained!

Cee Lo Green Grammy Performance 2011
Uploaded by PopulerMuziginRenkleri. - Watch more music videos, in HD!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Craft Success!!

So my friend Mary was so wonderfully kind to show me the basics of sewing a couple weeks back!

First off, she has an awesome sewing room with bookcases, drawers, cups, and more drawers filled with sewing goodness- pom poms, ribbons, fabric, buttons, etc.. She gets much of her fabric vintage from local thrift she has some pretty interesting fabrics. It may be inappropriate to have a dedicated crafting room if you just crafted every so often, but Mary crochets, sews, or creates almost nightly after she puts her boys to bed. I love that! She's inspired me to let my creative juices flow more often- it's good for the soul!

After she helped me pick out some coordinating fabric from her room of fabric galore- we went to it. In the course of (just) 2 hours, here are some of the things I learned about sewing(you can tell I didn't have much knowledge to start with):
  • how to thread a needle in a machine
  • how to accurately measure and cut your fabric
  • about the right tools to use
  • how to guide the fabric as you're sewing
  • how to start and stop properly (reverse sew, lift the needle, etc)
  • how and when to pin (I never knew why those pins belonged in sewing kits!! ha!)
  • how to improvise! We made the case too small- whoops! So, Mary had an idea to add ribbon to the side to give us some room. It worked!
AND in addition to learning all of that (and much more), I walked away with a finished Kindle cover. I can't wait to try my next project, any ideas? It will need to be fairly simple.

WOW! This took only 2 hours to make! Sewing is magic! 

XOXO, Rebecca

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hold the Butter

Preface: Mom, I love you. And you raised me so wonderfully- really and truly.

Part 1:
I want to be healthy, BUT. In addition to loving fruits and vegetables: I like my meat and potatoes. I like sugar and cream in my coffee. I really like cheese. I like treats (a lot and especially chocolate treats). I like seconds and secret eating (TM Peter Lendway). I like sweet cereals (perish the thought!!). And, even though I try to exercise, I'm not a fan of sweat (and really, do I have time to go to the gym?).

Part 2:
I envy my husband at times. He eats like I do...but he has this amazing metabolism, so you would never know that he's more of a sweet fiend than I am. I know that he was programmed differently as a child. If he and a friend wanted sodas after school, his mom would make them run a lap around the block. This is why he doesn't mind exercise, being fit was expected in his family (and still is to this day). Whereas my parents didn't exercise. My brother played sports. I roller skated and rode bikes from time to time. But we didn't exercise. Oh, and on top it, us Ruffs like to eat and find joy in creating food deliciousness!

Part 3:
I really want Sadie to want to eat and live healthfully. But I get so worried she's going to turn out like me- not so into the gym or into wheat over white (even though I know I should be). We're trying to limit her sugar intake, staying away from processed foods, and feeding her a ton of fruits and veggies. But I feel like all of my good intentions are going to go to the wayside, because she is going to know my heart of hearts. Do as I say, not as I do, isn't a very good parenting strategy. And it's started already- she's rejecting green veggies for cheese and meat, she's been drinking juice and having cookies at day care (aghh!!), and she wants everything I'm eating.  

The End:
So, how do I go forward? I know I should change my habits...but it's hard when they've been in the making for 32 years. How do you get your kid to like being a healthy person and enjoy eating well? What do you do as a parent to form healthy habits? What did your parents do for you? I feelo a bit lost, and like her food intake is spiralling downward, which is definitely making me go into a tizzy.

XOXO, Rebecca

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Life as a Mom: Where did all the crazy go?

It is so nice that I am able to work 60% time (I may go up to 80% next school year....I'm mulling it over). Working part time means I get home at 12:45ish and I have the afternoon to---- well, it usually gets swallowed whole by dishes, redirecting Sadie, making food, eating it, doing school work, emailing, etc... I never feel like I get anything done. But today- I was successful. It's only 3:30pm and dinner is ready (Chili) and simmering on the stove for later tonight. Yeah for me!

The recipe I used comes from I use it as a reference because it includes the kitchen sink, so I won't forget to add anything that I think belongs in good Chili. But I can't believe that it calls for 3 pounds of meat AND Bacon Bits- pretty ridiculous!!

All that meat got me to college I was an RA. I went to a small liberal arts college, Biola, so our dorms are really the center of the campus' social life. I really wanted to name my all-girls floor "The Carnivores" (!!)- that's a lot more ridiculous than 3lbs. of meat in a chili recipe. I suppose I wanted to defy the girly stereotypes. I know that I was uber enthusiastic about the idea (surprise, surprise!), but it quickly got vetoed, because all of my floormates thought I was crazy. And I was. Adulthood has settled me down a whole heck of a lot.

My friend's parents still call me Crazy Becky, because they remember what I used to be like. All through high school and college I just did- and didn't think about it for very long. Life was grand, life was about me, and life was fun, fun, fun: I think that's why I was so impassioned and inhibited. As an adult I feel like I've worn the craziness out, and it's been replaced by a very measured and intentional attitude about life. Overall all I think it's a better way to be. I know that I am now a lot more about others, and less about my needs (I think I honestly used to think of myself as the center of it all- so selfish!). But...sometimes I miss the crazy.

So, as I go about my afternoon as the good you have any answers? How do you get the crazy back and still be a responsible and caring adult? 
XOXO, Rebecca