Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Drinking Beer While I'm Pregnant...

I was talking to a friend at Story Time yesterday, and, since she is pregnant with her fourth child, I decided to make the poor soul listen to my complaints of nausea. She was very patient with my whining, and then calmly suggested that I go to Trader Joe's and buy some beer.

Ginger beer, that is.

Which, it turns out, is not alcoholic in the least, all natural, and contains an amazing amount of ginger. I said, "Oh, yeah, I was going to try some Verners" and my friend patiently explained that Verners doesn't actually contain any real ginger...just the flavor. But this Jamaican Ginger Beer is chuck-full of the tummy-soothing stuff, plus other natural, good-for-you ingredients.

So I made a special trip and bought a four-pack. My friend has also mentioned they had ginger chews, so I grabbed a good sized bag for only 1.49. Old Trader Joe's actually surprised me in it's pricing. I often lament to myself that I would like to feed my family organic food, but am not a billionaire. However, I bought Organic Vanilla yogurt, and it was exactly the same price per ounce as good old Dannon. Huh.

Anyways, I found the Ginger Beer, the Ginger Chews, and you know I was about to reach for the Ginger Chips, when I had to say, "Whoa, Girl. Let's not go ginger-crazy."

This morning I woke up, as nauseous as ever. I had a piece of peanut butter toast with a Ginger Beer chaser, and felt like a new woman. I'll tell you what, I'd recommend the stuff to anyone. It'd be a good idea just to pick some up to have at your house for the next time someone gets a stomach ache. Just sayin' :).

I do hope that none of the neighbors saw me walking around the house at 9:00am with a beer bottle. Don't believe the rumors, if you hear any!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Smoothie Heaven

I made this smoothie for breakfast this morning, and, let me tell you, it was wonderful.

Madalyn and I shared it.

And I was a little sad, to be honest, that I had filled her cup up quite so full after I tasted it...there wasn't enough left for me! :) So, if your planning on sharing, I suggest doubling the recipe. Otherwise, you may find yourself feeling selfish and jealous way too early in your day!

Go ahead, stick a couple cut-up bananas in the'll thank yourself in the morning!

NOTE: I substituted the plain yogurt for vanilla yogurt. I've been forbidden from buying plain yogurt by my dear hubby for this simple reason: I use a half cup or a cup of it for some recipe, and then promptly let the rest spoil in the fridge. Every time. On the other hand, we all love vanilla yogurt. There you have it :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Not Me Monday Number 2!

It's that time again...NOT ME MONDAY! Check out this great tradition over at My Charming Kids! Enjoy!

This week my body did not say, "Hey, I'm pregnant! I should start acting like it!" I was not greeted by voracious nausea each and every morning that stuck around until 5pm each evening. As a result, Madalyn did not set a weekly record for "most Dora watched" as her mommy did not lay on the couch and attempt not to puke.

So, truly, there is NOT much to report :)!

We did not go to the pumpkin patch on Saturday with the little girl I babysit for, E., and Dan's brother and his wife, Miyuki. It did not feel more like hunting for a Christmas tree than a pumpkin as we were not absolutely freezing! We did not still manage to have fun, get pumpkins, drink hot cider, pet freezing cold animals in the freezing cold petting zoo, and go on a, you guessed it, freezing cold hayride!

Back at E's house later that night, I certainly did not eat in the upwards of 6-7 small dill pickles. I did not, in my determination, reach into the pickle jar with my bare fingers. I mean, it wasn't my house, not my pickle jar, WHY would I do something like that?? I'm sure I used a fork to fish that last one out, like a civilized adult.

We were not invited to go to "Playhouse Disney On Ice" with our friends AGAIN, right after the privilege of going to "Disney on Ice" just a few weeks ago. We did not again enjoy an amazing suite and feel oh, so spoiled. And, I assure you, I did not sit with Madalyn in the suite seating for ten minutes before the show started, watching the "pre-show" entertainment before I realized, "Hey, there's no ice." Yep, turns out it was just "Playhouse Disney" and I did not make up the "On Ice" part in my own mind. Yikes. Sometimes I worry about me.
Alas, now it is Sunday night, at twenty to ten, and Madalyn is not still awake in her bed, singing "Meeshka, Mooshka, Mickey Mouse!" and "Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog." Love it.

When Dan and I were visiting Frank and Andi last weekend, we did not find the very umbrella that matches the very rain boats and rain coat my Mom bought for Maddy a year ago. We did not buy M said umbrella, since she has been begging me for one in her best starving-orphan voice for quite some time. She did not have a chance to test it out this afternoon, and Dan did not take THE CUTEST PICTURE EVER. I'm sorry if you think you have a cuter simply don't ;)! O-kay, you do, but just humor me here...

Have a happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We're Moving To Kalamazoo...Not Really...But Maybe...

I watched an amazing story on the news tonight. The City of Kalamazoo, Michigan, is offering an amazing incentive for the students in their college education. You can check out the specifics here, but basically if you have a child who starts in the district in kindergarten, his or her tuition will be paid in full upon graduation, assuming he or she makes the grades to warrant college acceptance.

Amazing. The theory behind the incentive is that education produces jobs which in turn stimulate the economy. The program is funded by anonymous donors who "want neither the praise nor the blame for the program." I thought that was well said and admirable.

The news cast mentioned that so far the only down-side of the program has been that some students were simply not prepared for college and did not succeed in their first couple years. Apparently the district is now taking steps to help all graduating kids be "college-ready." I'm not sure specifically what that means.

But I'm told I can find out at the 6:45 am news cast. Looks like I'll be googling it when I make my way to the computer at 10:00 am! :)

So, anyways, I might just check out what it would take to move to Kalamazoo...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mexican...It's What's For Dinner...

*Sigh*. What to make for dinner when I desperately need to go grocery shopping:

Chicken Pizziola? No mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.

Chicken and Dumplings? Multiple things I don't have.

Macaroni and Cheese, homemade? No milk or Colby jack cheese.

Pancakes? Um, no milk or eggs.

Joy of Cooking Instant Skillet Dinner? Ugghh. Maybe.


USE CODE: SAVOR for 60% off

Casa Real - $10 Gift Certificate


Discount Applied:


We're having Mexican tonight! ;)

The Anatomy of a Story Time

10:25: We arrive. Although, I should back up. At home, at around 10:20, I am putting on Madalyn's shoes and coat, thinking, "I should talk to her about proper story time behavior again." I'll do it in the car. I forget.

So, 10:25: we arrive. I remember to talk about story time behavior as we walk in. Madalyn doesn't hear me, though, because she is saying "DA! DA!" and other syllables to see if her voice echoes in the breezeway. She is constantly checking for echo-edge lately.

Maddy says a rather loud and boisterous "HI FISHIES!!" as we walk by the fish tank. I start thinking "this may not end well." She heads over to the children's section and straight for the toys. Fine. The story room isn't open yet.

10:30: The door opens. All the moms instruct our children to put away the puzzles and blocks. "Madalyn, put away the puzzle. See? It's time for story time!! We can come back and do puzzles afterwards-and-also-get-a-movie-if-you're-good-please-put-that-puzzle-away-right-now-(crying, refusing)-do-you-want-to-just-go-home??"
I get the puzzle out of her hands. I take her into the room, hoping she will get distracted. More tears. Utterly refusing. I finally pick her up and head out. The sweet teacher whispers, "Feel free to bring her back in after she calms down" I say, "Thanks, I will, we're just going to have a little chat."

10:35: Back to the breezeway, the only place I can feel o-kay about her wailing without disturbing anyone. We chat. I reiterate the high points of behaving in story time: we get to sing songs, do a project at the end, play with puzzles afterwards, and pick out a movie. On the flip side, if we continue crying, we'll just go home. We walk to the bathroom to get a tissue to dry her tears. On the way back through, we see our friends arrive. "Oh look, Maddy! It's H.! Don't you want to go to story time with H?" Maddy doesn't hear me because she is detouring back towards the puzzles. I manage to reroute her.

10:40: We're back in story time. Madalyn doesn't want to sit in the circle on a carpet square, but opts for the hard tile outside the circle. Fine. It's still touch and go here, and I don't know if we're going to last. Then the teacher turns on Raffi's "We're Going To The Zoo." Madalyn's eyes light up. Sensing my opportunity, I ask her if she wants to go stand in the circle with the other children. "Yep!" she says as she bounds into the middle.

10:41: Some children are standing. Most are still sitting on their carpet squares or in their mother's laps. Madalyn is dancing and jumping with her whole body and heart around the center of the circle while loudly singing,





At least, that's what it appears she is doing as I peak between my fingers as my hands cover my reddened face. How could my child go from crying to being the center of attention in less than a minute? The other mothers are giving me gentle smiles and saying, "Wow! Look at her go! Hey, it's o-kay!"

10:45: Raffi has finished his catchy zoo tune, and it is time for the part of story time I dread the most: the actual story time. It is a constant struggle to get Madalyn to sit quietly for this portion, especially since she is usually so ramped up from Raffi. I notice my hands are sweating. Madalyn politely sits down with the other children. Moms say things like "Honey, go sit down by Madalyn" to their children because you know that every mom and child in the class knows Madalyn's name. She sits for a good portion with minimal squirming, standing, and finding a new spot and then sitting again. I begin to relax.

10:47: Madalyn abruptly stands next to the teacher and faces the group. She begins reciting the "Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?" being read in a much more animated voice than the teacher. My friend A. says, "Wow! Do you have this book at home?" No, no we don't. We have "Brown Bear" and Maddy's simply picked up the pattern of the story. I whisper for her to sit down.

10:49: Madalyn takes a good hard look at the children. This story is losing them, she decides. She then takes the initiative to launch back into "GOING TO THE ZOO, ZOO, ZOO..." complete with galloping dance. I pull her aside. A few two-year old followers begin singing it again as well. I think, not for the first time, that I will one day be getting notes home from school.

10:51: Mercifully, it is finally time for the project, the part of story time that makes it all worthwhile. As soon as the teacher picks up the pieces of cardboard we use as "desks," Maddy is in my lap, politely waiting. A completed construction paper panda is displayed; that is our finished example. Paper, glue, and googly eyes are passed out. Madalyn is now a model student. She is every week during this time. She pastes and sticks with utter concentration. You'd hardly recognize her as the child whom most mothers were secretly prescribing Ritalin to in their minds just 10 minutes prior.

11:00: Our panda is completed and class is done. We put away our supplies and head pack to the puzzles. As with the project, Madalyn sits and sorts through the puzzles longer than any other child; we are the last to leave. I remind her about the videos, and we pick out two.

Next week, we'll do it all over again. Oh, and tomorrow is Gym and Swim. Keep me in your prayers.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Not Me!" Monday...

Hi Friends! I have decided to be a part of "Not Me Monday," started by the hilarious MckMama at My Charming Kids. As she said, it does the soul good to be brutally honest behind the shroud of "not me"! I hope you enjoy this post, and you can hop over to her site to see what else moms would NEVER do this past week!

I did not skip our library storytime on Tuesday for no particular reason at all. Sure, it may have been raining. Sure my stomach was feeling a little funny. But, truth be untold, I did not skip out of pure laziness! Nope, not me!

I did not take Madalyn on fast-food lunch dates two consecutive days this past week (Wednesday and Thursday), once with my mom and once with Rebekah. I would never subject her to unhealthy fare in such abundance! (Of course, if I DID do such a thing, I'm sure I would have opted for the apple slices and not chocolate milk with the Happy Meal. Oh, how I love the way Mickey D's does not give me a way out of Mom-Guilt!)

And, for good measure, on the way out of the McDonalds we did not go to with Rebekah on Thursday, Madalyn did not drop her cookie in the parking lot, and I most certainly DID NOT pick it up, blow it off, and give it back to her. That would be totally disgusting. Who knows where that parking lot has been???!!!

I did not fill out Madalyn's first book order, given to us by our teacher-friend Meeghan. I did not relish the task of picking out each and every book, memories of bringing home my own book orders as a child flooding my mind. I did not imagine the smell of new books and scrutinize the order to see if it mentioned how long the books would take to come in! I did not remember how my heart would skip a beat as I saw the brown Scholastic box sitting on my teacher's desk after lunch. :)

After all, I was not picking out books for Madalyn, and it had nothing to do with my "school-days" nostalgia.

Dan and I did not announce that our family is growing...and not just by Bubbles, our new beta fish. Madalyn did not vehemently insist that Baby Carney is in "MY TUMMY!! NOT MAMA'S TUMMY! MADA-WYN'S TUMMY!" while smacking her belly repeatedly for emphasis. I did not finally say, "O-kay, the baby's in Madalyn's tummy" in a world-weary voice to avoid a complete meltdown. She did not eventually concede that the baby is, in fact, in Mama's tummy afterall (who knew?). We are all not crazy excited and of course, are not, in the least, a little crazy apprehensive. We are not trusting God fully, knowing firsthand (ie: Madalyn) that He provides for that which He gives.

Dan and I did not enjoy a weekend away at Frank & Andi's house while my parents watched Madalyn. I'm sure we did not spend a good chunk of time telling each other cute Madalyn stories and secretly missing our little girl. I mean, come on, it's our weekend away, right? I did not have a dream that our new baby is a boy. I did not consult the oh-so-reliable Chinese calendar online, which confirmed ever-so-accurately that the baby is a girl.

So I'm glad I got that ironed out. :)

I did not enjoy my first "Not Me Monday" post and will not be looking for new things I would never do this week!

Happy Monday!



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Simply Must Learn To Make These...

Right now I am praying for divine wisdom and knowledge, because I simply must learn how to make these hair clippies for Madalyn. Sure, I could buy them where I found them, but what fun would that be?

O-kay, more correctly, it would be quite fun, but I'm pretty sure this month's budget didn't make allowance for hair clippies.

Although I better just check with Dan to make sure. He could have thrown in 20 bucks for Madalyn's hair needs without my knowledge. I did buy the generic Target spray-in detangler for $1.14, so I'd still be good.

Anyways, just feast your eyes on these. Now I'm going to dig out some ribbon and a glue gun. Wish me luck!

I'm ecspecially loving the Big Bad Wolf and Little Red. Madalyn loves that story. Of course, I couldn't actually show them to her, or tell her I was putting them in her hair, or they'd never stay in. She'd want to play with them instead. But I could have the satisfaction of knowing her favorite story was playing out in her tresses. Maybe I'd just take a picture and show her later :).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hop, Heel, Toe...

So it's been awhile since I've posted. Just thought I'd state the obvious :). There has been a lot going on in the Carney household: Maddy made her latest horseback riding venture during Metamora's Horse Festival, we attended Disney on Ice, thanks to a very generous offer from Meeghan (Madalyn, who barely took her eyes off the ice, thanks you most of all for her first real show!), etc.

I've had a bit of a blank on what to post. But felt compelled to post something lest you think I've abandoned this blog. So, how about some cute Maddy moments? Those are always good, right? Just humor me and say "right"!

*Madalyn calls my high heels "hop-heel-toes". I have no idea where she got this from, but she is very consistent in her use of the term. As in, "Mama, are you going to wear these hop-heel-toes to church?" I love it. I actually think it is an accurate description of what it feels like to wear high heels.

*Every week, Madalyn brings a paper home from her two-year old class at church stating what they learned, a suggested activity, and things to read throughout the week. Two weeks ago, they learned about obedience. Maddy literally came home saying "The Bible tells us to obey!" Much to my delight, now when I want her to listen, all I have to say is, "Maddy, what does the Bible tell us?" And she will say "Obey, obey, obey" nodding her head up and down while she does what I've asked.

O-kay. Maybe it doesn't always work that way. She is two. But still, I want to hug her teachers at church and cry tears of joy.

*This week, Madalyn learned about how God wants us to help others. She came home with a picture of David playing the harp for King Saul. I asked her who was in the picture and she said, "Noah, the Jungle King." Again, I couldn't make this stuff up. Apparently, the story of David didn't quite stick.

*Today Madalyn and I went for a walk. It's the first time we've walked a significant distance, just the two of us, no stroller or bike, no distractions. It was such a beautiful afternoon. We talked about how the trees drop their leaves in the fall, and found some beautiful ones. We collected pine needles, sprigs of lavender, and a dandelion as well. It was one of those moments where I felt truly present, and soaked up every second I could spend walking very slowly with my daughter. Everything looked so beautiful, vibrant, and warm.

Then I realized why. I got these great new sunglasses from Target, and they make everything look bright and vivid. When I took them off, nothing looked quite as beautiful. I highly recommend getting yourself a pair...they will make you feel much more cheerful :).

*So I've mentioned a bit about church. It's been a long, I mean looonnnnggg, time since Dan and I have felt at home in a church. I am so thankful to say that we now do. To add to how awesome of a blessing that in itself is, a few weeks ago the service opened with a string quartet playing Coldplay's "Yellow." I'll tell you what, it was amazing. What encourages me further is the upcoming series entitled "Confessions of a Sinful Church." If that wasn't engaging enough, here are the upcoming messages:

October 19: "We're Sorry for Being Self-Righteous Hypocrites"

October 26: "We're Sorry for Judging You"

November 2: "We're Sorry for Being Too Political"

November 9: "We're Sorry for Despising Homosexuality"

November 16: "We're Sorry for Caring Only About Converting You"

November 23: "We're Not Sorry for Following Jesus"

Right? I know. I'm interested too. Reminds me of an amazing chapter in Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz called "Confession." If you haven't read that book, you should go buy it today and read it immediately. Here's a quote out of it that summarizes a depth of where Dan and I have come from in regards to church and how it feels to be on the other side:
"So here is a step-by-step formula for how you, too, can go to church without getting angry:
*Pray that God will show you a church filled with people who share your interests and values.
*Go to the church God shows you.
*Don't hold grudges against any other churches. God loves those churches almost as much as He loves yours."
Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

More to come. In the mean time, get yourself some rose-colored glasses and go take a walk. You'll be glad you did.