Thursday, September 30, 2010

Book Deals

If you are the kind of person who thinks Wal-Mart is evil, you may want to stop reading now and go about your day. 

If you're more apt to think a deal is a deal, carry on.

I'm not much of a Wal-Mart shopper.  As I've made clear time and time again, Target is my supplier of choice.  Wal-Mart makes me anxious and depressed.  BUT, last night when I was searching the Internet for my next book club pick (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) I remembered a little tidbit from some marketing?/econ?/business? book I worked on last year.  I don't remember the details exactly, just something about Amazon and Wal-Mart being in an book online pricing war.  I don't even remember who won.  But that doesn't matter.  My evening went something like this:

* Checked local used bookstore inventory online (no luck)
* Checked library availability including all interlibrary loan options (no luck.  wth?  popular book!)
* Checked and (bingo.  started the order process on Amazon--almost always the cheaper of the two) but then...
*Remembered to check (score! cheaper and only $1.97 for shipping.) I even had the option to have it delivered to the store for free, but I decided it was worth the extra couple bucks to avoid driving 20 minutes to the nearest store with two young kids in tow.

I did some more checking, and a number of the books I'm interested in are less expensive at (hardcovers, no less).

Of course they don't have quite the selection as the other two big book retailers, but I'm definitely adding to my book-buying search list.  I have a book addiction, and I need a cheap fix.

P.S. I am very sad our local bookstore closed last year.  R.I.P. River City Books!  I would have loved to have given you my business.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Namaste: 10 Reasons I Love Yoga

Last Thursday a friend of mine invited me to join her for a beginning yoga class.  It was a first for both of us.  Is it too soon to say I'm head over heels in love with yoga?  I went back tonight, and I'm already looking forward to next week.  I mean, really, is there anything better designed for a young, frazzled mother?  Let's consider:
  1. I get to be away from my dirty house, needy kids, and annoying dogs for an hour and a half.
  2. My biggest focus for that period of time is my breathing.  When was the last time I stopped to breath even for a few minutes?
  3. I get to be in a warm, dimly lit, beautiful room that I'm not responsible for cleaning.
  4. My husband thinks yoga is going to make me all sorts of fit, strong, and flexible, so he's supportive.  I'm just letting him think that, even though my beginning yoga class really is about 80% breathing.
  5. I get to relax and stretch.
  6. I don't have to rush.  In fact doing things slowly is sort of the point.  Again, this is the opposite of everything else in my day.
  7. No one there needs me.  No one there even knows who I am.  I dig.
  8. I'm feeling some tiny semblance of being an individual (that thing I was before I was a wife and a mom), and that's probably a good thing.
  9. When I tell someone I'm doing yoga they often react in a way that makes me think they're impressed.  Seriously!  People will be impressed that you spend time alone breathing, relaxing, and stretching, so there's no guilt!  I love not feeling guilty.
  10. Finally, there are probably some really great health benefits, but really, that's just a bonus at this point.
So I implore you, if you are feeling stress, on edge, grumpy, pulled in a million directions, check out a yoga class.  Beginning classes are easy.  Breath in, breath out, repeat.

P.S. My husband actually said he'd watch the girls so I could do yoga two nights a week.  Just to illustrate how much I love yoga, I'm as equally tempted to take a second class as I am to pretend I'm taking a second class and take my book to the coffee shop.  It really is a toss-up. 

P.P.S. Shhhhh.  That's coffee shop info is between you and me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Yesterday my two-year-old daughter came over and said something that distinctly sounded like "Momma, I want a tattoo.” Now she's never asked about tattoos before, she's never pointed them out or commented on them, and she's never even had a fake tattoo, so I really didn't think that's what she actually had said. I clarified:

"You want a tattoo?"
"When I oooolder."
"Where did you hear about a tattoo?"
"Thank you! That's a great idea!"

And she walked away.

What just happened here? I have a feeling this is just a tiny glimpse into her impending adolescence. Clearly she's already mastered the art of talking in circles around me. I cringe at the thought of what is to come. Someday when she's 18 (hopefully she waits until she's 18), she'll be proudly showing of that new ink and wondering why I look dumbfounded. And she'll say, "Mom! We talked about this. Remember?” And she will remember.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Good Morning, Angels!

I'm a person who desperately needs structure, accountability, a little artificial stress to get things done.  I marvel at how much more I'm able to accomplish in a day when I have a million things to dohow much faster I can clean when I get a phone call that someone is stopping over is a few hours.  Give me a day with nothing planned, no deadlines, and it seems like I can't get anything accomplished.  Shhhhh.  Please don't let my husband in on this little secret.  He's called me out on in before, but I deny, deny, deny.  Suddenly I'm having flashbacks to my college days, staying up late, waking up early and typing away.  I'm pretty sure I never finished a paper before 5a.m. on it's due date.  And I was an English major; there were a lot of papers.

That is why today I am excited for the launch of the fall Good Morning Girls challenge.  Finding daily quiet time with God has been a challenge for me for the last several years, and I'm looking for a little peer pressure to help turn that around.  Good Morning Girls is essentially a group of women (you ask your family, friends, co-workers, whoever) who agree to e-mail, Facebook, tweet, text (whatever works) each other after their daily quiet time.  You say "good morning" and just let the group know what spoke to you that morning (or more likely for me kids' nap time or evening) during your quiet time.  It's a great way to encourage one another and let peer pressure work it's magic.  I've assembled a group of 5 amazing ladies, and I'm looking forward to seeing the many ways God will bless us over the next few months.  If you want to join our group, let me know.  Or if you want to find a somewhat anonymous group, check out the Good Morning Girls message board.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Birds and the Bees. Or in Our House: The Dogs and the Dogs.

I have a two-year-old unneutered male hunting dog named Mac.  He's got a lot of puppy left in him.  I also have an ancient neutered male house dog named Caesar.  He's six months beyond the average life expectancy for his breed.  I L-O-V-E love Caesar.  I tolerate Mac.  The other day Mac was clearly taking his sexual frustrations out on Caesar in plain view of my two-year-old daughter.  Unfortunately this is not an unusual sight in our house.  In fact, I've hear my daughter say "Mac, quit humping Caesar" more times than I care to admit.  The other day, however, she got a little more descriptive and thoughtfully said, "Momma, Mac is itching his privates on Caesar.  He REALLY itchy!"  Well I certainly couldn't disagree with that.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pretty for under $5

So you know when you have to make a run to Target to get toilet paper, diapers, dog food, and deodorant and as you're walking down those beautiful clean aisles full of all of that new stuff—not your ratty old stuff—and you really want to buy pretty much everything you walk by (those dishes are adorable! Such a cute top! Maybe I should try that laundry detergent! Surely this is the shampoo that will finally make my hair shiny and beautiful and straight and thicker on the top and thinner in the back and six inches longer!), and you've been stuck inside the house with your two little ones for three days straight, and darn it you should buy something because you deserve it. After all, you've bribed your toddler with finger paints if she stays in the cart and makes it through the store without crying, shouldn't you get yourself a little something, too? You could get a book—that's a relatively guilt-free purchase in my opinion—but you've already got eight books at home waiting to be read and two more books shipping out from Barnes and Noble online tomorrow. Then you remember fondly watching old episodes of Veronica Mars over the weekend (LOVE that show) and admiring her shiny berry-colored lips and decide to drop a few dollars on a new lip gloss. You haven't opened a fashion magazine since before the elastic-waist pants of your first pregnancy and, frankly, you just don't have time and energy to pay attention to beauty ads, so you blindly pick a lip gloss based on color alone. Color and price. $7.99 is not okay, but $4.44 is certainly reasonable. You grab Maybelline's Shine Sensational in Cranberry Crave and you are not disappointed. It's shiny, it's sheerish with just enough color, it's not sticky, it smells nice and tastes nice, it lasts a long time, and you just made yourself feel a little pretty.  For $4.44 I would say that's a steal.

Yes, I get the irony in buying myself a reward for not spending loads of money on a bunch of other unnecessary stuff. And yes, I'm perfectly okay with that. What about you? What do you like to reward yourself with on your Target/Wal-Mart/grocery store trips?

This is not a paid advertisement, and unfortunately no one gave me any free stuff.  I just got lucky and found something I liked and wanted to tell you about it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Habaneros and Ice Cream: Not a Recipe

I've taken a little break from blogging and I think I'm ready to start up again.  A sure sign is that I've written two or three blog posts in my head while drifting off to sleep each night.  I'm feeling the urge to blog about non-cleaning/clutter related topics.  That said, as a work-at-home/stay-at-home mom my life is pretty much my kids 24/7.  So you'll probably be hearing a lot about them in the coming posts.  I hope you don't mind. 

Image Source: Jose Ibarra

Just some words of advice for you today.  If your husband insists on doing something with the bushels (that may be a slight exaggeration) of habanero peppers from the garden, and he preps them and chops them, and lays them out on a cookie sheet in the freezer overnight, do not forget about this when you ask you not yet 2-1/2-year-old daughter to put something away in the freezer for you.  She will be immediately drawn to the beautiful orange candy-like bits and promptly put one in her mouth.  And it will take you a minute to realize exactly what has happened. As she has surely swallowed said HABANERO pepper there will be no proof of exactly what happened.  She will start coughing and looking confused, like she knows something's not right.  And she will grab at her mouth and look very sad.  And she inevitably will rub her eye before you've remembered to wash her hands.  And she will tell you her eye hurts and her mouth hurts.  And you will call poison control.  And they will be lovely and reassuring.  And then your daughter will voluntarily go take a nap on the couch for an hour-and-a-half (which she NEVER does).  And you will worry and worry and worry.  And because the habanero pepper eating takes place just as dinner is ready to be served, you will wake her up from her nap at 7:30p.m. and take her to Culver's for ice cream.  Just to make sure she's really okay.  If she refuses the ice cream or it doesn't boost her mood, you will then take her to the emergency room.  But she does eat it, and it does make her feel better.  And it helps ease your guilt just a little.  And in the end, it is a good excuse to go get ice cream.