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Archive for March, 2010

Passions and My Blogging Voice Mar 30

When I came up with the name for my blog and chose the design, I had originally wanted a place where all the fanciful things in my head could have a home and possibly make other people happy as well. I’ve noticed that I’ve had more realistic experiences and posts as those subjects have been at the forefront of my mind. This leads me to wonder what my blogging voice is, and how I fit into the blogging world.

As another blogger mentioned, I have to determine what I have been blogging about, what I want to be blogging about, and what I feel like I should be blogging about. The change I’ve already noticed from creation to now (I think) stems from indecision about what might be important not just to me but to the masses and the fact that I am not an expert on anything. Many people who blog are experts in their own right, and I don’t feel that I have a place in that category yet. I have managed to lose quite a bit of weight since my husband and I made our “resolutions” on Jan 4. I will be talking about that throughout the coming year, but the detailed info will not be here, but on another blog that my husband and I are working on together about the way we eat and how we’ve managed to accomplish the weight loss that we have.

Supposedly the answer to the blogging question comes from another question. What am I passionate about? I am passionate about my daughter, my husband, and all things that make us happy. Vacations for all, any new experience for my daughter, World of Warcraft for me, and if we’re happy, my husband is happy. He’s always telling me the work is worth it as long as he comes home to happy girls. Since I do not wish to blog about Warcraft, that leaves vacations and experiences. These are generally fantastic topics to blog about, but my husband’s work and school schedule does not allow us as much family time for vacations as we would like. Everything is new to my daughter, but my introverted ways often keep us from activities that the rest of the world finds interesting.

This brings me back to my original “question.” I have been blogging about things that are on my mind. They’ve mostly been mom issues with a color daydream and a vacation making their appearance. I want to blog about things that make people smile and help others know that they are not the only person out there with any particular problem. I feel like I should blog about things I am “expert” at, but there are already enough Warcraft and general food blogs in the world, and a more specific food blog is in the works elsewhere. There’s no need to remake the wheel unless it’s going to be how I do it.

All I’ve learned is that no matter what I named my blog, I seem to be writing about things I’m passionate about, and for now, that’s good enough for me.

What are you passionate about? How did you find your blogging voice?

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Gotta Love Disney Mar 23

Although Disney is, in general, a family friendly resort, I was surprised by HOW friendly it really is.

When my husband and I pulled up to the gate at Disney’s Yacht Club resort and said we were here to check in, the guard replied something along the lines of, “Yessir, here’s your parking permit. Happy Anniversary and enjoy your stay with us.”

That’s right, because it was a note on our reservation information, EVERYONE at Disney knew it was our anniversary. We were greeted at the door with a hello and our Happy Anniversary pins. Yep, we could advertise even more than the Disney system does that it was our anniversary, if we chose to. We didn’t, but it was still nice to receive them. We were escorted to check-in, given a huge packet of hotel and theme park information, and pins that actually said Happy 5th Anniversary. We also asked for and received a First Visit pin for our daughter.

We took our bags to our room and let Aly run around for a bit. While there are cords visible, they were bundled against the wall out of obvious sight and the outlets are all hidden behind furniture. There were plastic liners for the trash cans on top of the dresser, so no suffocation hazard. The only odd thing within reach was the hair dryer and that’s easy enough to move. I was relieved I didn’t have to follow my daughter around, but she could explore on her own. There was also enough space to set up a play yard or portable crib without rearranging the furniture (as we had to do at the last non-Disney hotel we took her to). Since she wasn’t staying with us, this wasn’t a big deal, but another thing pleasantly noted.

We’ll skip ahead a bit to our time at Epcot. While there were a couple tight spots, I could fit my limousine of a stroller through all the shops. Strollers are generally not allowed into the restaurants or attractions, but you can get pretty close to the ride before you have to either put it in stroller parking or fold it up.

The kid meals are awesome. While not perfectly appropriate for my 14 month old, her lunch was a sourdough dinner roll with turkey, cheese, a tomato slice and lettuce leaf served with unsweetened applesauce and grapes. There are also several options of water, juice and milk in addition to soda. She got milk and I ate the grapes for breakfast the next morning. Her dinner sandwich (because we forgot to make reservations for dinner) was a small hamburger roll with ham, cheese, a tomato slice and lettuce leaf served with unsweetened applesauce and carrots. The carrots eventually got tossed, but isn’t that an awesomely healthy combination?? There are so many sweet treats available around Disney I’m glad that they’re not lumped into their meals too.

Each park also has a baby care station, which has been added within the last couple years. Epcot’s is located near the Odyssey restaurant, which neither my husband nor I has ever seen serve food. There’s a small store that sells baby food, medicine, bottles, cups, plates, diapers, and clothes. The selection is not extensive, but does supply any emergency needs. For other Similac users, only Enfamil formula is available. There is also a room with four padded changing tables and a hand washing sink and another room with a small couch, table, chairs, toys and a TV showing cartoons all day. A great place for overwhelmed kids to relax and recharge. I also noticed that every bathroom also had diapers for sale in the feminine supply vending machine. $1.50 buys you a diaper, wipes, changing table cover, Boudreaux’s butt paste, hand sanitizer… There might have been more, but I can’t remember. It’s pricey if you forgot all your diapers for the trip, but great at the end of the day when you’re one short.

We didn’t take Aly on any rides because she can’t be trusted to sit still, and it’s no fun for us or anyone else in our vehicle if she’s squirming and we’re yelling throughout the ride. If your child can be trusted to sit, I believe that Spaceship Earth, Journey Into Imagination with Figment, Living with the Land and the Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico are all acceptable places for very young children. Innoventions is a great place to let young kids run around and explore too, and it has an open area and several comfy couches to recharge your batteries on. I had also read that the The Seas with Nemo and Friends show/ride and the Maelstrom ride in Norway were good. I disagree with Maelstrom because it can be a little rough and there is a small drop. I won’t take Aly on that until she’s old enough to ride other kiddie rides. We didn’t see Nemo for ourselves, but the commercial currently shown on TV makes it look like it’s appropriate for all ages.

While we didn’t take our daughter to Animal Kingdom, I was surprised at how friendly it would be to her and anyone else her age. There is a ton of interesting scenery. There are special birds and trees everywhere and a couple walking tours of wildlife. If she could be trusted to sit, the Kilimanjaro Safari is also acceptable for her, as well as the train and attractions at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Lee and I agree that Animal Kingdom is kind of like a zoo on steroids. Camp Minnie Mickey is also located in this park and is supposed to offer playgrounds and kiddie slides, but I can’t confirm this because we didn’t go there.

I would not take Aly to the Magic Kingdom any time in the near future, although she would greatly enjoy the train, the parade and ToonTown. I love this park, but it is SO packed that she wouldn’t be able to see anything but colored walls and people’s knees from her vantage point in the stroller. That does not seem like an exciting time to me, so I will not be fighting the crowd with my stroller for another couple years.

Have you had a fantastic vacation? Or a great experience traveling with a small child? If you haven’t recently, where do you dream of going and doing?

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Colors of the Rainbow Mar 14

At the end of last week I was spending a lot of time thinking about color and how it affects life. When I was younger, I used to hate the bright, warm colors of red, orange, and yellow, and quite often had no use for brown or black either. They were too bright, almost overwhelming. They stood out, and I wanted to blend in (which is very hard to do when you have red hair). I’ve always been a big fan of the cool colors of blue, green and purple. They’re relaxed and mellow, and not intimidating in any way. But I’ve come to realize that now, depending on the situation, I love all colors.

I was watching Rachael Ray (as I do quite frequently) and fell in love with another piece of her cookware when she made tamale bowls in a bright orange bowl. Since my husband and I have started buying smaller casserole dishes meant to serve one person instead of an entire family, I thought, “Maybe I’ll order those!” Then came the question of color. What color do I order? Nearly all of her stuff comes in orange or blue, and often red and yellow as well. I debated for far too long over why I shouldn’t order the orange, because it fell into my old pattern of not liking orange and I already own another set of her dishes in blue.

This got me thinking, what colors don’t I like now, because apparently I have a new appreciation for orange? Then came the realization that each color has its place somewhere in my life.

Bold, warm colors belong on my plate at dinner. Food should be bold and exciting, even if it’s something as simple as macaroni and cheese. If your meal is monotone, serve it on a bright dish, like a red square plate. If your food is colorful, buy some good white dishes to display your meal.

Cool colors represent me and my personality. I am usually a laid back person. I go with the flow and try not to worry about anything that I can’t solve on my own. I wear a lot of blues, greens, and purples, with a lil yellow and brown thrown in for variation. I also consider myself down to earth, so the yellow and brown make even more sense to me when thought of in that context.

Earth tones remind me of the Earth, and so I like my steady, supporting things to be in earth tones. My husband, one of my most dependable rocks in this world, looks best in shades of green and brown. My house, which I consider my safe zone, is painted in cream and brown with a red accent. My bedroom is decorated in blue and brown, which represents my most comfortable color combination.

How does color affect your life?

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Yep, That’s My Life! Mar 12

I meant to post this last night, but by the end of the day I didn’t feel like doing anything but going to bed. So here it is now, and you just might see a second post from me later today, although I said I wouldn’t write two posts in any given day! 😉

My morning started off quiet, as it normally does. Just a lil FB checking before the babe woke up and I presented her with her morning bottle of milk. Since she continued to play happily by herself, I did some blog reading and played around with a few things on my own site. Everything was still going smoothly, and she didn’t seem ready to eat, so I said, “Hey! Let’s give her a bath now!”

Oh, if only I’d known.

I got her bathed and diapered with minimal issue and then she started to seem hungry. So I made her usual morning oatmeal and plopped her in her high chair to be fed. She refused to eat anything that she didn’t pick up and put in her mouth. After several frustrating moments, I gave up and let the kid at her oatmeal and started straightening up the kitchen. I turned around a few minutes later and found she had oatmeal all over the top half of her little body. /facepalm I should have known better than to let her eat sticky spoon food with her fingers, especially AFTER she’d already had a bath, but hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time! And, if I’d been smart, I would have just thrown her back in the tub and hosed her down rather than spending 10 minutes with washcloth and paper towels scrubbing off the oatmeal. Again, seemed like a good idea at the time.

Shortly after this debacle, she ran off to play on her own again and I continued to attempt to straighten the kitchen. I check on her and find her standing at the gate to the entrance of the kitchen brandishing a drumstick as if it were a samurai sword, or perhaps a lightsaber, and giggling. I was torn. There were several things wrong with this picture, but it was funny enough I went to grab the camera and try to capture it. Didn’t work out very well, but I sure tried before I pried the drumstick from her grasp and replaced it in the game drawer with the other Rock Band paraphernalia.

I gave up on the kitchen shortly thereafter and resumed my computer activities since she was feeling so independent today. It only took about 15 minutes before she’s standing next to my bar stool, patting me on the knee, “Mama! Mama!” So I hopped down and gave her a hug and laid on the floor so she could tackle me. We then curled up and watched a DVR’d episode of Rachael Ray I hadn’t had a chance to watch yet and before I knew it, she was asleep laying across my lap. It’s one of those moments that proves the frustration is worth it. 🙂

Have you had any moments lately that proved all the frustration was worth it?

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Registered Dietitian Day Mar 10

While I was customizing my blog, I found out that today is Registered Dietitian Day! This is a big thing for me, as I would like to go back to school to become an RD. My work in pharmacy over the last 5-ish years, my love of food and mine and my husband’s weight loss plan has really got me interested in WHY we eat the things we do and why we shouldn’t eat some of them as well. Vitamins and minerals are so important to how our bodies function and most people don’t get enough of them. Americans also tend to eat way too many processed foods that don’t actually contain the vitamins and minerals that the same food made from scratch at home might have. I also used to always wonder at the supplement choices that pharmacy customers made. Why extra CoQ-10 for heart health? When do you NEED B-complex as opposed to thinking it will help cheer you up?

I’m glad there’s a day to celebrate the nutritionists of the world striving to make us healthy.

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Welcome! Mar 10

Welcome to my blog! This is my place to ramble about whatever crosses my mind, whether a dream or something going on in reality. I’m open to hearing other’s opinions on any topic I write about and appreciate constructive criticism. Enjoy!

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