Monday, June 30, 2008

To Do List Update

I posted a To Do list several days ago and thought I'd share how I'm coming with it.

  1. Sell our appliances on Craig's List. They are still listed, but not yet sold... I may need to lower the price.
  2. Finish unpacking boxes. Ha! Yeah right. After our sale last weekend I have even more boxes. I did get the bathroom cabinets and Charlotte's diapers organized though.
  3. Get ready for big indoor sale at old house. Done. And over with too. It went really well and I met my earnings goal. I still have a lot of stuff left though and need to donate it.
  4. Create a loose daily routine. Still working on this one. I am trying to figure out what works best for Charlotte.
  5. Spend more time with God on a daily basis. I have been reading 1 Corinthians since last week.
  6. Pare down the # of blogs in my Google Reader. I'm down to 62, but 2 of those are mine!
  7. Work on preparing healthy meals for our family. I salvaged some of my favorite Weight Watchers cook books during my yard sale prep and am working on not having the bad stuff in the house in the first place.
  8. Carve out time for physical activity so I can lose my baby weight. Bruce told me it was okay to skip cleaning the house if it meant I was going to spend time exercising.

There are probably another 8 things I need to be doing right now, but really they are all just along the same lines as what I've already listed.

I've e-mailed with a couple of friends recently about what to do at home alone all day with a baby (who is nearly 1 year old!), and they've given me some good ideas. Do any of you have any ideas to share? Games? Free outings? Anything?!

Life In Pictures

This is a fun meme (rhymes with dream) I found sometime recently while browsing blog land. I'll be honest and let you know that I have no idea where I found it, so I can not give credit to anyone. If you started this meme or know who did, then feel free to leave a comment so you can have proper credit.

It works like this:

  1. Go to Photobucket.
  2. Type your one-word answer to the following questions into the search box.
  3. Select a picture from the first page of results to display as your answer.

What are you doing today?

Teaching

Where do you work?

image

What is your favorite movie?

The School Of Rock

Who is your favorite band/artists?

third day

What is your favorite tv show?

image

Where do you live?

image

What did you do last night?

bed

What is your relationship status?

married

What do you drive?

focus

What is your current mood?

image

What kind of pet(s) do you have?

goldfish

What is your name?

image

Describe yourself?

mommy

What is your favorite candy?

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

Who do you look like?

marshmallow

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Links to Share - Part 2

Here are 4 more links that I found useful or interesting recently.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Links to Share - Part 1

I have really cut down my blog reader (from almost 90 blogs to 68 so far), but still have lots of great posts to share with my friends and family. I'm splitting it up into 2 posts though because the list got too long.

  • 12 Sins We Blame on Others: I've been guilty of 5 most recently.
  • Cheap Summer Movies: I think I know what I might be doing on Wednesdays this summer!
  • Roasting Green Chilies: This is a basic kitchen technique beautifully illustrated in photos, with some with and charm thrown in.
  • Marquerites Anyone? These look like the perfect movie night snack! I might drop some mini-chocolate chips on them too. Because what goes better with peanut butter than chocolate?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Charlotte Meets Alivia

My friend Dawn and her husband Larry recently adopted Alivia from Taiwan. I finally had a chance to take Charlotte in to meet Alivia this week and here are the videos from the occasion. They played well together though I did have to keep an eye on Charlotte to make sure she played nice.

As a side note, I think Alivia is the second most adorable baby in the world and is about 6 weeks younger than Charlotte. She has such a sweet, even temperament too... nothing like Charlotte!

Warning: Make sure you stop the videos that come after the one of the babies. There might be some curse words and the content is kind of sketchy. I have NO idea why Crackle is showing those videos after Dawn's baby videos.

From Crackle: Jun 25 2008 - VID00018

From Crackle: Jun 25 2008 - VID00020

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What kind of bug is this??

I found it alive on my stairs last night. I suffocated it by placing a glass over it. (Bruce taught me that.)

100_6348

click to enlarge image

EDIT - I sent an e-mail the the BugMan at whatsthatbug.com. Hopefully he can help!

The Little Dipper

I've observed over the last several weeks that Charlotte really prefers to feed herself. She will tolerate you giving her the first 4-6 bites and then an occasional one every now and again, but if she can put the food in her mouth herself everyone is happier at the dinner table.

I bought her some dipping tools to use for self-feeding a while ago and have never really given them to her to use. Tonight though, I needed some help in giving her the applesauce since she wouldn't let me give it to her and I wouldn't let her use her fingers. So out came the little dipper. It turns out, Charlotte was a pro at using it. I showed her a couple of times and she got the hang of it super fast. It does appear she is going to be a lefty. G-ma should like that!

"Watch me put the dipper in the cup."

little dipper 003

"Now I'm going to put it in my mouth."

little dipper 002

"Ahhhhh... yummy!"

little dipper 001

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Joy Barker

You may recall that our friend Darryl Barker was involved in a deadly motorcycle accident about 4 months ago. His wife has an amazing testimony and has begun sharing it with others in large group settings. I hope you will visit her Caring Bridge page to catch up on how God has moved in her life.

My Survey

I just found out someone signed up for MySurvey using my affiliate link. Thanks whoever you are!

In case you missed it... here is my post about it. You can click the link to join now if you like.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My New Goals

I know goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. and the following items don't really fit the criteria... so let's call this my Goal/To Do list.
  1. Sell our appliances on Craig's List.
  2. Finish unpacking boxes.
  3. Get ready for big indoor sale at old house.
  4. Create a loose daily routine.
  5. Spend more time with God on a daily basis.
  6. Pare down the # of blogs in my Google Reader.
  7. Work on preparing healthy meals for our family.
  8. Carve out time for physical activity so I can lose my baby weight.
There are plenty more things I need to add to this list, but I'm going to stick with these and see how things go.

Do you have any ideas or suggestions for how I can accomplish any of these tasks? What did you do in a similar circumstance?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Big Move

It all happened so fast. One day in April we decided the SabinDome was not to be. So, we listed it with AI Domes and had a potential buyer within the week. We are hoping to close the deal in July if all goes well.

Then, after pondering our life without a dome, we began dreaming of a life with only one income. That dream was a lot bigger. It required more faith. And a smaller mortgage. So... we set about finding a less expensive place to live and tenants for the house we had been in for almost 5 years.

And this is where the fast part came. We found a new place and moved last week. I've lived in our new town in central FL for only 5 days. Instead of having an acre to take care of, we now have 1300+ sf of town home to call our own. No more lawn work! I've spent my last 3 weekends packing up some of our belongings and dreaming about our fresh start. It is amazing how much stuff one can accumulate in 5 years time.

Honestly, I am grateful for an opportunity to start over again and try to live the life I know God wants for me. We purposefully chose to move to a town home community so that Charlotte and I would have neighbors. I want to meet these neighbors and invite them over for simple meals. I've given up my fancy china and hope that a warm smile and a meal prepared with joy will be enough to help them see God's love.

I have a gazillion thoughts swirling around my head right now about the changes in our life. I hardly know how to share it all coherently. I'll try to get it out in bits and pieces over the next few weeks.

Bear with me... I have a lot on my plate right now and I need time to sort it all out. Praise God that I get to spend more time with my baby!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Land's End

I recently had an opportunity to provide feedback to Land's End on Back-To-School wear for children and be entered in a drawing for one of 5 $100 Land's End gift cards. They have asked me to extend the same opportunity to my blog readers. If you are interested in this less than 5-minutes survey (it took me about 2), then click here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day Bruce

This is my husband's first Father's Day. We won't be at church today for me to get pictures of lots of great dads and it took me a long time to figure out what Charlotte and I could get her daddy for Father's Day.

I don't have a picture of it, and as a matter of fact, Bruce hasn't even received it yet. (I'm writing this on Saturday and scheduling it to post tomorrow morning.) I'll try to remember to post pictures later on Sunday.

Also, (I'm just full of excuses!) Bruce and I have to finish packing up our house because we are moving. I know... big news... I haven't had time to blog about that part of my life recently. Maybe I'll catch you up after we are settled into our new place. So... my blog might be a little quiet for the next week or so.

Anyway... I want to talk about Bruce. Bruce is a wonderful daddy. He loves his daughter and is happy and glad to let her know it frequently. Hearing him say, "I love you," to our daughter makes my heart swell with pride in how precious she is to him. Just as we are precious to our Heavenly Father. I wanted to find a special verse for him, and am cheating a little by sharing these I found at Christianity.About.com.

Bruce is a man of integrity. He stands for the truth and will not back down from it.
1 Chronicles 29:17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity ... (NIV)

Bruce is rarely discouraged. He leans on God. Joshua 1:9 ...Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (NIV)

Bruce's heart is definitely turned towards not just Charlotte, but unborn children, and orphans. Malachi 4:6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers... (NIV)

Bruce demonstrates compassion in the most literal sense. He is not afraid to stand up for children, including standing up for what he believes is best for Charlotte. Psalm 103:13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; (NIV)
Bruce is a discerning man who always researches what is best, not relying on hearsay or rumor. Proverbs 17:24 A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth. (NIV)

Bruce doesn't generally lose his temper. I can't remember the last time he said a cross word to anyone, even when I thought they deserved it. Proverbs 17:27 A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. (NIV)

Bruce is going to learn this one, and I know his heart is in it. Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (NIV)

Bruce, let me end by saying I love you and I love the father you are becoming to our sweet Charlotte. I can't wait to see what other children the Lord brings us!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

312th Post

Somewhere along the way, I wrote more than 300 posts about my life and my ideas. I have no idea how it happened or how I keep finding things I want to share with the world.

I am so grateful for blogging. It has helped me share Charlotte with her grandparents, aunt and uncle. It has kept a faithful record of what I was like as a new mom. It serves as a reminder of the issues that are important to me. Blogging has also improved my writing skills and my thinking. I could go on and on about the benefits I have received from my own blogging and the blogs of others.

I was never one to keep a journal but for some reason I can keep up this blog. Thanks for reading along with me and encouraging me... even if it is with personal e-mails and phone calls and not comments. :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Charlotte's First Time in the Pool

I don't have the ability to edit these videos, so please ignore my thighs. :)



At first, she isn't too sure what we are doing to her. But she does warm up to it pretty quickly.



G-ma bought Charlotte a cool pool lounger that we have dubbed "Hippo." The reason should be obvious. :) I had a lot of fun watching Charlotte figure out how to splash herself and kick her legs. She especially enjoyed "swimming" in the lanes of the pool and giggled like a little water bug. I think we will be spending a lot of time at the pool this summer!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Chair Lift

Bruce and I had fun leaving Charlotte with Grumpy and G-ma this afternoon while we took a chair lift ride up to the top of the mountain we have been staying on.
If you aren't scared of heights and want to pretend like you rode along with us, take a look at my video below.

Charlotte's First Hike

Well, it wasn't really a hike, just a stroll through a natural arboretum. But she liked it.




Tuesday, June 10, 2008

America's Hidden History

I recently received a copy of America's Hidden History, by Kenneth C Davis. The publisher sent it to me in exchange for sharing my thoughts with you, my lovely readers.

While I have reviewed books before (here and here), this is the first time I've reviewed a history book. However, I love reading biographies and thought this would be an interesting and exciting book to add to my reading list.

I'll start off by telling you that I REALLY wanted to like this book. I mean, isn't it reasonable to want to like something you get for free? Unfortunately, I found it very difficult to read. Before I jump into examples, let me just give you an idea of what the book is about.

Davis is attempting to tell the little known stories of some of the men and women who founded the United States of America. He tells the story of famous and not so famous individuals who were present at the birth of this nation.

He writes that Queen Isabella of Spain is the one who suggested Columbus take pigs to the New World. And of a young George Washington sinking a hatchet into an enemies head. Interesting tidbits to be sure.

Each chapter begins with a time line of the major events of the descriptions to follow. I did find these time lines helpful as I tried to read the chapters. They provided an anchor point when the author began to obfuscate.

For example, in telling the story of how Anne Hutchinson's house burned down, Davis stops to explain how New Amsterdam was renamed and then how the Bronx got its name. These details are completely irrelevant to the story at hand.

Then, in a later chapter, while Davis tries to describe George Washington's older brother, he interrupts his own story with details about the "three-water rum" of the British navy.

These are just 2 examples of the many times Davis goes off-topic in order to add more historical detail to his book. In the end, they just made this a very difficult book for the average person to read. This makes it hard to get into the biography of the "first pilgrims, fighting women, and forgotten founders." I, and many other casual readers of biography, don't have time to wade through all of the unnecessary details Davis includes.

Even though this is a Smithsonian book, published by Collins, I don't think you need to rush right out and buy it. However, if you want a copy, I'll be happy to give mine away. Just leave a comment below telling me that you are interested. I'll draw a winner after this giveaway ends on Sunday, June 15th.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Bubble Fun

Charlotte loves bubbles! And now, I have video evidence to prove it.

(Oh and these should make up for the lack of pictures on her 10-month post. I don't have internet access on my own computer this week.)


Bubbles 3 from Jennifer S on Vimeo.

Yummy Yogurt & Bananas

This is my first full week having Charlotte full-time. I now have the privilege of feeding her all three of her daily meals, instead of letting daycare do it.

I have been trying to figure out how I would add dairy to her diet and kept looking longingly at the YoBaby yogurt by Stonyfield Farms. I really didn't want to spend the money on it ($3.69 for a 6 pack) and asked some other mommas (blogging and real life) what they did. And yep, they all said to get the YoBaby.

So last night I bit the bullet and bought it. This morning Charlotte had her first vanilla yogurt and we all agreed that she LOVED it! She had nursed about 30-minutes earlier and only ate half of the 4 oz container, which I am totally fine with. Then, she had some bananas.

Bananas are slippery little suckers too! When she couldn't keep them in her hands, she would just lean over and suck them off of the table. I tried to get video of that, but once the camera came out she became quite accomplished at picking up the bananas.


Yummy Bananas from Jennifer S on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Father's Day Giveaway from Kailani

Kailani is being very generous this week with lots of Father's Day giveaways! The one I am the most excited about is her giveaway for a 30 GB Zune Digital Player.

It appears this giveaway is sponsored by Best Buy, which is pretty cool if you ask me. Does Best Buy want to give me something to give away?! :)

If you don't read her blog, head over and get yourself entered!

10 Months Old

Charlotte is 10 months old today! The last 10 months have flown by and I can hardly believe that there are only 2 months left until she makes it to a year old. I marvel constantly at how much she is growing and changing.

Her new favorite toy is a ball. She can bounce it and throw it to you repeatedly with sufficient encouragement. She makes several adorable noises, including da-da-da-da-da and mmmmmm. I don't think she's really had her first word yet though she sure is talkative.

Oh, and she LOVES to say "uh-oh." When she says it, everyone within ear shot just melts. She usually says it after someone says it to her first and she is fairly consistent with it.

Charlotte, I love you so much and pray for you daily to grow up to become a woman of God, desiring to give him the glory for your life.

This afternoon, I read about another life that we can praise God for. If you haven't heard this story, I strongly encourage you to click over and marvel at the beauty of life and the lengths that modern medicine is taking us to understand how precious it truly is.

At the risk of upsetting my dad, I would just like to add, that stories like this prove to me how ridiculous it is to have arbitrary rules about when life begins and when it is okay to have an abortion. Some day, when medicine shows us what our hearts already know, we will all see that life begins at conception and deserves equal protection.

My Survey

I've been a member of MySurvey.com for several years now. I don't even remember my first surveys but know my membership has been very easy to keep up. I receive about 1-3 surveys a week and most don't take very long at all. Sometimes, I receive surveys for other members of my household too.

For each survey I take, I earn points that can be exchanged for cash, gifts, entries into contests, or charitable donations. I've cashed in a few times for entries but nothing else so far. I actually have enough points to get about $130.

Recently, I noticed an addition to their site of an affiliate program. Since I have a widely-popular blog, I thought I'd take advantage of my audience to introduce you to MySurvey.

Sign-up doesn't take very long and you can start earning reward points with your first survey. Click the banner below to get started!



Disclosure: Not a sponsored post, though I will earn 150 points for each household that signs up.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

It's the little things

This morning, the three of us were in bed when daddy quietly slipped out to get his day started. He doesn't know I noticed, but he slid his pillow sideways to block Charlotte in case she decided to roll over. That was sweet.

He is such a good daddy, even when he has to share his bed with a little baby in order to make his wife happy.

Don't forget to take the co-sleeping survey if you haven't already.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

New Carrier

I love it when I can find a good buy!

It is even better when it comes just at the right time. Our family will be going on vacation soon and plan on hiking while we are away. I really like my Baby Bjorn, but it can be hard on my shoulders after a long time so I wanted something different for hiking, and something that might look cool enough that Bruce wouldn't mind wearing it.

And here it is! After looking on-line for frame carriers well-suited to hiking and deciding not to spend $75+, I found this Evenflo Trailtech carrier for $4.99 at my local thrift store. It has all of the necessary straps and just needed a little cleaning before I could put sweet Charlotte in it for her first piggy-back ride.

Momma is happy and baby definitely looks happy! What about you? Have you found any awesome thrift store or yard sale deals lately to make you happy?

13 Father's Day Ideas

I spent so much of my blogging time in May sharing great Mother's Day ideas that I knew it would only be fair to share some noteworthy Father's Day ideas with you. In the interest of full disclosure, I am hoping that my husband, a new father, will hint around and let me know which ones he thinks are the coolest!

  1. Birth Keychain - Isn't this precious? And definitely something every father could use. The price is too high, but maybe you could find something similar at Things Remembered? ($99)

  2. My Dad, My Hero - Something like this, maybe? Definitely cheaper and you can include a photo of your children while still having something personalized. ($20)

  3. Shaving Gift Set - Does your man drown in estrogen at your house? If so, why not get him something that is exceedingly manly? ($88)

  4. New Wallet - Are you married to a George Costanza? Then this will help your husband find a little balance in his life. ($33)

  5. Baby Carrier - For the attached daddy, why not give him his own super-cool carrier? This cool skull and cross-bones fabric will help his street cred with other men too! (Prices vary by retailer, design, and style.)

  6. Proud Daddy - Keep it simple with a t-shirt that let's Dad tell the world how proud he is! ($12)

  7. Fishing Kit - This isn't your ordinary fishing kit though... it is actually a donation to World Vision to help fathers provide food for their families through fishing supplies. ($40)

  8. Train a Farmer - Is your man the 'salt of the earth' type? Then this might be the gift for him! Help a farmer father in a third world country learns the skills he needs to provide for his family long-term. ($35)

  9. Education - Every God-loving dad wants his kids to learn about God through the Bible. Now, your dad can help other dads teacht their kids through a gift of Bibles. ($36)

  10. Ice Cream - If your man is like mine, then this will definitely be a hit! 4 different flavors for 3 months! I scream, you scream! ($150)

  11. Branding Iron - For the grillin', meat-lovin' dad, why not let him personalize his grilling experience with a custom branding iron? Bruce has one and loves to bust it out when he grills steaks. ($40)

  12. My Husband Rocks - Can I buy myself a t-shirt for Father's Day if it proclaims how awesome my husband is? I only wish they made one that said, "My Baby's Daddy Rocks!" ($18)

  13. Coupon Book - How about something homemade? I know when I made something similar for our anniversary several years ago Bruce really liked it, and actually used the coupons! (cost varies based on materials)



Do you have any other Father's Day gift ideas? I am all eyes!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Good-bye Daycare

"Hi. I'm done with daycare for the year and thought I'd give you a little tour so we would always remember what it was like. Follow me."

daycare 009

"This is Janet Wooten. She loves me and all of the babies at the Methodist Daycare.We have a lot of fun playing with bubbles and hide and seek."

daycare 004

"Every morning we say hello to this little oak tree. I love to touch the rough bark on the tree and shake the leaves."

daycare 007

"Braden is my first friend every morning. His mommy drops him off as the same time my mommy drops me off. Braden always likes to give a toy and pretend to share his breakfast with me."

daycare 002

"Elyssa might be my best friend at daycare. She makes me laugh like a giggle-bug. One day she put a blanket on her head and kept pulling it off to entertain me. She also likes to make faces at me."

daycare 010

"Here is where Mommy signs me in and out each day. I try to hold the pen and help her but she doesn't seem to need it."

daycare 005

"I'm going to miss my friends at daycare, but know Mommy and I will have a ton of new fun at home this summer!"

daycare 016

cypress gardens 025

School's Out for Summer

Oh my! Am I ever glad this school year is over? You bet! It has been so hard trying to suck in all the Charlotte I can while having to be away from her 8+ hours a day. We are looking forward to a great summer and finding lots of new places to explore.

As hard as it was to have to go to work, there were several bright spots. One of the biggest was my student's success on the FL Writes+ test. This is a big deal for 8th graders in FL and the results are calculated as part of our school's grade. My students beat the county with an average essay score of 4.2. A 3.5 is considered on grade level. I couldn't be more thrilled for their success. I also had the privilege to work with 3 students who earned a 6, which is the highest possible score.

It also helped each day knowing that I was working with other teachers and administrators who cared. We had a lot of students who were difficult, to be nice about it. And even though we all had our moments of frustration, we worked together to do the best we could for these students.

During my last class of the year, I was having a moment of difficulty with some students who wouldn't sit and listen to my 2-3 minute talk to wish them good luck in high school and a safe summer. I had given them quite a bit of time to chat with and say good-bye to their friends and just wanted to do that with them myself. A group of 5 or 6 of them couldn't sit still and listen. They got up from their seats, interrupted me with stupid questions, and kept talking to one another. At that point, I gave up and talked individually with the students who cared.

And then, I had a student from another class period pop-in for a visit. She handed me a gift and said it was a thank you for my help this year. I opened it up and was thrilled to find a Vera Bradley Yellow Bird Folio. It is beautiful and I can't wait to use it! Thanks for making my day!

Freepeats Orlando

Angie, founder of BabyCheapskate.com, started another online venture for moms called Freepeats. At Freepeats, you can find "gently-used baby, kid, and maternity items like clothing, high chairs, bouncers, swings, bikes, and toys for free from other parents who have finished with them. It's also a way to get rid of baby cast offs without having to load up the car (and the kids) and take them to the thrift store."

I have been following this community closely and waiting for it to "open" in a city near me. Well, finally, this week I got my wish! Freepeats Orlando is open and ready for business.

Angie is offering a free life-time membership to everyone who joins the Freepeats Orlando group before July 16th! That means you have 11 more days to grab your Orlando membership before the cost becomes $4.95 for life. Yep! Pretty cheap isn't it? Freepeats is also open in several other major cities, with more planned to come online soon.

I've joined up and as soon as my move is complete plan to list some things of Charlotte's that I don't think we'll use with another baby. I can't wait to start finding things for her to use.

(Another non-sponsored post... just sharing something I love with you!)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

What kind of mother am I?

My husband is certified to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. He defines it as a "personality assessment that classifies people into one of 16 types... based on the work of Carl Jung." I've taken it a couple of times in my life and consistently test as an ESTJ.

Recently, I found a new blog, A Mother's Musings, written by a cool baby-wearing mama named Steph. While browsing her recent posts, I found one about type and motherhood. Here is what it says about my type as a mother:

ESTJ (Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)
“We’re the mothers you like to carpool with. Not only are we on time, we organize the driving schedule for everyone.”

  • Organized and comfortable being in charge, the ESTJ mother knows “how to” get things done, make things happen, and accomplish much on behalf of her children. Whether she is encouraging them to get involved in organized activities or talking with them about their personal concerns, children of the ESTJ mother learn “how to” succeed in life.
  • Upbeat and matter-of-fact, the ESTJ mother is intent on her children having the best. She puts her skills and talents to work to this end, from planning trips that supplement their studies to raising funds for new playground equipment. She is happiest when her efforts produce concrete results — children who try out for teams, participate in academic competitions, or are leaders among their peers.
  • The ESTJ mother runs a tight household. She is apt to have predictable expectations, consistent routines, standard procedures, and well-defined boundaries, all of which help her children feel protected and secure.

Overall, this seems fairly accurate, though as the mother of an infant it is hard to tell how my own experience will pan out. The second bullet, about Charlotte having the best is definitely true... but not in a "it's the most expensive so it must be the best" sort of way. I define best more along the lines of breastfeeding, lots of quality time, and teaching her to grow up as God's child.

If you know your Myers-Briggs Type, you can click over here and read about yourself. My EdD husband reminded me that the MBTI is copy-written so you can't take it online, but there is a similar version of the test here if you don't know what your type is.

Where's Charlotte?!

Charlotte has found a new spot to play. When she takes off with her special knee-toe crawl, this is where we find her headed.

random 005

At least she knows how to get down herself!


Untitled from Jennifer S on Vimeo.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Reach for It

"There is something under the couch and I want it."

reaching 001

"I will have it!"

reaching 002

"Almost there..."

reaching 003

"Got it!"

reaching 006

Drink More Water

We are always being told that we should drink more water. it helps you lose weight. it aids digestion. I've even read beauty advice that swears water is the best kept secret of the stars. They say you can't have healthy skin if you don't say hydrated. And you know what? In my experience, it's true!

I am a die-hard Dr. Pepper fan but have not had a single one in the past week, instead opting for water. And you know what, my skin feels better and I feel better. The water was just one change I made this past week (I also started taking my multi-vitamin again) and I can really tell the difference.

One thing that has made drinking so much water easier, besides will power, is adding some flavor to it. I love fruity flavors and a couple of times I added something called True Lemon. I had received them as a free sample a while back and decided to give it a try. One packet was enough to give a touch of flavor to a large glass of water. You can get your own free sample here.

In a completely random twist to my planned water post, I received an e-mail from True Lemon Friday letting me know they would send me even more free samples if I posted something on my blog about their product. So, don't mind my plug - it isn't entirely shameless since you can get your own free sample too!

Oh... and a funny True Lemon story... last Christmas a friend was over and fixed herself a cup of coffee (hey, that's FL hospitality, good friends can help themselves) and added her cream and sugar. After a few sips, she asked me if I thought the hazelnut creamer tasted funny. "No," I said, "and I've already used half of the bottle." She insisted it tasted lemon-y and I just wrote that off to her getting a little long in the tooth. Because hazelnut and lemon taste NOTHING alike! The long and short of it is... when she went to add her Splenda, she accidentally added a tube of True Lemon that was stored in the same cup! Sure made for an interesting cup of coffee.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Happy 10th Anniversary!

Sunday, May 25th (yes, I know a whole week ago), Bruce and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. If for no other reason than posterity, I want to share with you how we celebrated.

Bruce's gift to me was tickets to see a musical theatre version of Alice in Wonderland. It was written by a 16-year old and presented at the Orlando Fringe Festival. We had a great time even though it was held in an outdoor theatre. Charlotte even went with us and sat rapt with attention almost the entire time. She clapped when the audience clapped and seemed to really enjoy herself.

After dinner, my mom met us in Altamonte Springs to pick up Charlotte while Bruce 100_6057and I dined at Seasons 52. This is one of my all-time favorite restaurants and I was glad we had a chance to go back. I didn't take my camera in so there are no pictures, but their presentation is never lacking. Our meal and our mini-indulgence desert was delicious.

Since it was so late we ended up staying overnight in Sanford instead of going home. By the time we got Charlotte to bed, she was exhausted. She got a whole double bed to herself!

My gift to Bruce was a custom illustration from Rick at Organized Doodles. I am glad to report that Bruce L-O-V-E-D it and it is now hanging on our bedroom wall until we find a more permanent place for it. Rick posted the story of our illustration and here is the link. (If you ever need a custom caricature I highly recommend you contact Rick through his blog. He is a delight to work with!)

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