Monday, August 31, 2009

Odds and Ends and Cuppy Cakes

This is a beautiful chocolate cupcake made by someone in a pink bathing suit that is not Jace. I wish I had been able to post the pic of her mixing it. She mixed the batter with her hands. And I have to eat this. Why? Because it is my motherly duty. While smiling and saying, "oh this is so good, why there's hardly any rocks/sticks/toys in it."

I went to the bank drive-thru and saw this in the front parking lot. A fire engine...Oh no! Don't let my money burn up! I've gotten pretty good at trying to always have the camera ready and recognize interesting picture taking moments.

Here you see Rowan vacuuming. Jace is helping her by holding the cord. He says, "she's like a Roomba. You never know which direction she's going to go but the floor ends up completely clean." She really likes to help out around the house. You can also see that she has a purple bathing suit when the pink one is dirty. A friend suggested that she doesn't really have any other clothes and that I am probably selling them on Ebay.

Next post will be another look at the garden...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Bane of Strollers

This is another sore spot, if not just irritating. The whole commercial industry of strollers. Have you taken a look around lately? These things are everywhere. And they go against all sense of practicality. I am talking about these behemouth SUV strollers. And if you read the link then you will have seen that the rise of these occurred in the early 2000's.

What irritates me is that mothers think they need these. And grandmothers aren't much help either. "Dear, anyone who's anyone has one and my grandbaby needs this padded room(?) to be wheeled around in." Besides the fact that Grandma and Grandpa put together couldn't pick up one of these. I picked out this doozy of a stroller to look at. If you look closely you'll see that it has an aluminum frame and still has a shipping weight of 45 pounds. (I don't even think a grocery cart weighs this much) Who needs to go to the gym anymore?

But have you thought about what these monsters do to your back and posture? Let's think about trying to take a crane out of your crackerjack size trunk. There's no way you could do the recommended squat with a straight back and let your legs do all the work. You will probably need to drive an SUV or minivan that you can simply slide the stroller out and legs/wheels automatically open, like when a paramedic slides a stretcher out the back door of the ambulance.

Now you are probably thinking, "she's right, I might as well throw the LazyBoy in the car and wheel baby around in that." No, I'm just of the opinion that less is more. Now I don't mean to the other extreme and not have a stroller at all. But let's pick a sensible realistic stroller. I'm talking about the umbrella stroller. Simple, lightweight (9.6lbs) and could fit in a Smart Car. You'll discover that this stroller will be one of your best friends. (besides the dishwasher organizer) When they are little babies you'll probably carry them or let them ride in Grandma's SUV stroller, so don't worry about their little head flopping around. Once they are too heavy to carry then they will be fine to put in the umbrella stroller. The fancy ones even have a sun visor and storage basket underneath. Even if you can't afford a fancy one the most inexpensive one will serve its' purpose. Those little holes they put in plastic bags called handles will slide right onto the handle of an umbrella stroller. You will also become quite ninjaesque at opening and closing it and whipping it in and out of the car. Marvel at how fast you will be on your way while your friend is still reading the directions of how to open her SUV stroller.

All I'm saying is be a real world mom. Not a zombie consumerist.

Bits and Pieces

Sometimes there are many different things to talk about and no one to tell you to be quiet. Here we have 3 pics all sort of related. The first is our lovely garden. You don't see anything in it. I know. It's our Garden of Angst. We are in the planning stages of putting "something" together for fall. This recently has involved us standing and staring at it saying things like, "hmm" "yep." We have learned that to have any kind of garden we will have to have raised gardens and dirt brought in. Jace had some idea of hauling rocks from around the land to make these but I suggested we just build some boxes out of wood and get the dirt and maybe get something done. There's a multitude of problems with trying to garden out here. The scorching sun, the drought, and the extreme wind on certain days, just to name a few.

The next pic is just the sun setting in my front yard after it rained, again. I think we are in the late afternoon summer shower season. And yes, we are in a drought. I have heard it's the worst in recorded history, since the late 1800's. (True) And yes I can hear you "oohing and ahhing" over my spectacular landscaping. Would that be a "Yard of the Month" sign over there? not even close.

The third pic is Rowan in her uniform (pink bathing suit) on the steps with her parasol in the rain. Yes, I let her play in the rain when it is 90+ degrees outside. No, she won't get pneumonia doing this. She doesn't stay still long enough for the germs to attach to her body.

Tomorrow I am thinking of putting together my feelings about strollers...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

For Your Health

After reading the Craftiness blog today, I found this equally stunning approach to healthy eating. Enjoy!

On the Topic of Boiling

First, here is today's photo.We're standing on the front porch during a rainshower. There was a cow in the front yard at first. I didn't get a pic because we went outside to see rain and didn't have the camera. Who thinks "I'm gonna see a cow in my front yard when I go outside."

On the topic of boiling. This is probably where launching a blog really started. The scenario is 4 or 5 people sitting around talking. The conversation always turns to kids because that's something almost all of us have in common and it's a lot easier to talk about your kids instead of the debate on national healthcare. We have one pregnant first time mother that we are all giving our motherly advice to when the only nonparent speaks up. This is a tricky situation. Tricky as in one misstep and you're going to have a lot of angry mothers telling you who and what for.

But against all warning glances the nonparent says, "I'm so glad they have those dvd players for the car so the kids will be quiet. You really need to have one of those." *Sounds of crickets* A nonparent, in the real world, is not allowed to say "you need" or "the best way to do this" about anything parenting. A nonparent can say "my mother used to do this with me" or "I read somewhere, etc." Otherwise it's a little like looking at a job applicant with a fake resume, and you know it's a fake resume.

The real topic we had been talking about was the reality of boiling bottles and nipples. I think this is an outdated practice. I have 3 reasons why I didn't boil. (I'm never going to get the Stepford Wife of the Year award)

The first is this was the only way to clean bottles and nipples in the caveman days. This was the purpose in the old movie clips of why they needed some boiling water. Actually, you can still find videos on how to boil/sterilize bottles and nipples. But we are usually so busy these days, who has time to watch boiling water? And there are some alternative ways of doing things.

We have dishwashers. Remember in the old days they didn't. And there is this great invention, the dishwasher combo basket. I used one of these and it is one of the best inventions of modern man. Throw all the baby stuff in the basket and fuhgetaboutit. Run the dishwasher, run your errands, come home and voila! You're up to your elbows in clean bottle stuff. I also put pacifiers in it. (Did she say pacifier? She gave her kid a pacifier! OMG)

Lastly there is bleach. Bleach kills germs and sterilizes. But you have to have the right ratio, and for anyone that cannot count higher than 3 this would be an iffy technique. I used this method every once in awhile but mostly stuck with the dishwasher method.

So for all new mothers out there, there is hope. No longer do we have to be June Cleaver (or live with her technology) to keep our babies well. Happy Mommying and see you soon!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What do you do after a hard day at preschool? Why throw on your bathing suit, stand inches from the t.v. and pick your nose of course! This is Rowan, otherwise known as Bean. She is a preschool warrior majoring in recess with a minor in snack time. What is of even more note in the picture is how clean the house is.

First Entry

This is how it all started...Two of my best friends have twisted my arm into doing this. Basically they have blogs and I felt left out so now I'm starting one. I'm a complete amateur and we'll just have to learn how to do this together.
I spent most of the day trying to come up with a name. I didn't want something I would hate tomorrow or next week. So I finally called upon the wisdom of one of said best friends, "I need a name for this blog." She came back with Julie's Rants and bits of Wisdom. She's implying that I rant. I don't know where she gets this. But she did say that sometimes I do have some witty remarks and maybe some interesting tips. I have decided that I will go with Julie's Rants simply because the 'bits of wisdom' might be too long for people to remember, including me. Maybe I should just call it 'old fuddy duddies bits of senility.'
Now you're wondering what this blog might be about. I'm guessing it will be all about me. Not that I'm all that interesting, but people seem to like reading my view of different happenings in life. There are several different things going on in my life which I will blog my view. The one area I will NOT blog about is my job. I would like to keep it. Almost everything else is up for grabs.