Saturday, September 13, 2008

Starting Early

Today, there was an annual festival in my hometown. I took the kiddo to see the parade, and we wandered a bit to see all the booths. We talked about getting her face painted. My dad told her she should get a monkey, because she was one. Mikaela, of course, thought this was hysterical. An hour later, when we made our way to that particular booth, guess what she asked for? That's right. A Monkey!
So, after face-painting, we were on to the mini-makeover booth. Hair styles, fingernail polish, and kiddy makeup. Mikaela was in HEAVEN. As we're standing in line, waiting our turn, this woman walks up, admires the kids, and then makes a comment about how they're 'starting them younger and younger.'

Which got me thinking...are we? Certainly my daughter started this younger than *I* did, but then, I was a tomboy for a long time.

My kid loves that girly girl stuff. I don't know why, she just does. From the first time she saw me use nail polish or lipgloss, she's been addicted. She'll put it on and grin real big, asking, "Am I bootiful?'. Of course, she also asks if she's bootiful with spaghetti sauce covering her from ear to ear.

But anyway, the lady got me wondering...how much faster do kids grow up today?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dancing Walrus

video

This was emailed to me by a friend. It can also be found on YouTube.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Yearbook Yourself

http://yearbookyourself.com/
Try out your pic in different decades. Here's a few of mine.

Two-Third's Year Revolution

Ok, see. I'm terrible at keeping promises to myself. New Year's Resolutions last about 2 hours for me.

So, here it is September. (sigh. bye bye, swimming pools...water games...long days...). Anyway, today, I decided to make a new promise, not only to myself, but to Sam and Mikaela, as well.

I promise to not eat out more than once each week.

Egads. That means I'm responsible for ensuring 20 meals a week!

Well. It's really pretty easy to pour cereal or make instant oatmeal.

But. I'm on a mission to find AFFORDABLE, yet HEALTHY meals. Mac and cheese with hot dogs, while a classic, just doesn't seem to fit both conditions.

The canned food will help.

So, I'll keep you updated. And, should you happen to see me in a drive-thru...stop me.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bia's Blankets




I just wanted to point y'all in their direction. Handmade, crocheted blankets made by my best friend in the world. You pick color, pattern, border. It's a fledgling company, and I'm sure there's so much more to come!








Thursday, August 28, 2008

Caylee

I have, with closed eyes and faithful heart, been praying for Caylee Anthony. For weeks. I have not followed closely the news stories, because, to be quite honest, they make me want to put on my *1* pair of stillettos, tramp down to Fla., and stomp on her mother. Hard.

But anyway. I am, like most of America, now forced to admit that Caylee is probably with God at this point. It infuriates me. She reminds me very much of my daughter. Again, the stillettos pop into my mind.

I just wanted you to be aware that there are options. There are safe-haven laws for newborns. In Nebraska, this goes all the way up to age 19. There's adoption (which, reportedly, Casey Anthony wanted, until her mother dissuaded her from that path. Stupid woman. Caylee could've been with people who wanted and adored her.) There's help to be had.

Perhaps Casey was suffering from some undiagnosed, untreated form of PPD or PPP. THERE WAS HELP. Grandmother is an RN, surely she would've recognized the signs?

Anyway. I just wanted to put this out there. If you, or someone you know, is faced with an unwanted pregnancy or overwhelming parenthood, there are options. No life should end like Caylee's.

And Caylee, whether you are on earth or in heaven, sleep well, baby girl.

HOW?

See, my child is the normal, inquisitive preschooler.
Except, she had to make this stage different.
Instead of why, she asks HOW.
incessantly.

Me: Mikaela, put on your shoes.
M: How?
Me: Because we're leaving.
M:How?
Me:To go to the ....(insert proper noun here).
M:How?
Me:In the car.
M:How?
Me: Oh, for heaven's sake....
M: Whaaaat? Whaaat did you say Mommy? Grandma is in heaven. Can we go see her?
Me: No, we can't go see her until we die. Then we'll see her, but a long long time from now.
M:How?

That Feeling You Get

You know the one I'm talking about, moms. Yeah, you do. Come on, now. Think reallllly hard. Somewhere, in the darkest recesses of your mind, you remember.



I'm talking about that feeling you get when you leave the salon with a really great haircut. You know, that feeling that makes you forget that the last time you spent doing the same thing uninterrupted for 3 hours you were in labor. That feeling that makes you overlook the baby pudge left on your belly and the spilled skittles in your purse. That feeling that when your stylist pulls the wax off your brows, she's pulling a little bit of the humdrum out with them, and it almost makes it worth the pain.



I live for these feelings. They don't happen very often, because we all know that they're very quickly followed by the guilt that comes from spending three hours away from your child and a lot of money on your hair. (wonder how many outfits/diapers/movies/toys/etc I could've bought with that $87?)



I'm taking back that feeling. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't again let more than 6 weeks go by between haircuts. I hate having to wait so long that neither the stylist nor I can remember exactly what that great cut looked like. No, I probably won't be able to pay to have the foils every time. But that's OK. Just having someone else take care of me for a while makes it all worth it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Memory

The car door slams, and the gravel crunches underfoot as I begin to pound down the lane. the car behind me, mahogany, shiny in the sunlight, urges me on in a mock race. I don't know, yet, that Mam's slippered foot won't touch the gas on the way down. I am still blissfully unaware of her benevolent cheating in our customary game.

The distant buzz of the baler sings in my ears, and I know that Pap is just over the hill. Rays of sunlight ricochet off the aluminum-covered corn, challenging me to hold their gaze. The birds won't win this year.

I slow, tired, and stoop with my elbows on my knees. I've startled the cat, and she sulks out from under the gate, her wet paws telling the tale of her latest attempt at the minnows in the pond. She's lost in the irises, the sea of colors releasing the heady scent that assails my nostrils.

I climb the porch, my gaze on the new blooms on the cherry tree. My mouth puckers in anticipation of the tart fruit. I rest on the big rock that doubles as stepping stone. Here, just here, I am peaceful. I am at rest.

It's not home, not physically. This is where the oldest part of my soul belongs.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Encourage Walking...FIX THE SIDEWALKS!

This morning, I had to take the car in for new brakes. I had no ride home, so I popped Mikaela in the stroller and away we went. I was APALLED at the condition Stanford's sidewalks are in. The irony of it is that they spent soo much money 4 years ago updating main street. Which is all well and good, but aside from the drug store and the courthouse, and the churches, there's very little need to actually walk there. So, there are fantastic sidewalks that stay fantastic because it's 'historic Main Street'. They're very rarely used.

I enjoyed the walk. Mikaela likes being outside, and she's very friendly. She wanted to walk up to every house to 'meet the girls who live here.'
Unfortunately, she was very thirsty by the time we got home. She had juice with her, but every time she'd start to take a drink, we'd hit a crack or grass patch and it would spill all over her. That's when we actually had sidewalk to use. AND-the thing that bothers me most-the intersections don't have a break in the curb. Do you know how awkward and time consuming it is to lift a stroller up onto a curb like that? I'm paranoid that, on our way back to pick up the car, a distracted driver is going to come too close for comfort.

It seems to me, with gas prices and obesity rates, that places would start doing what they can to encourage their citizens to be more active. They should start with the sidewalks.

I feel like I'm in a time warp.

Yeah, I know. It's starting to be 'hip' to be organic, close to the earth. My SIL and I have started doing some canning. She, because she thinks the world's going to go crazy this winter and the grocery stores will be empty. Me, because I like the taste of fresh food in the winter, and it won't taste like aluminum.

Anyway. In the last two weeks, we've bought:
  • 6 boxes of tomatoes. This ended up being around 55 quarts canned, and 6 jelly jars of tomato jam (don't knock it til you've tried it!)
  • 2 bushels of apples. That's a lot of freakin' apple butter.
  • A bushel of green beans. Snap, snap, string, repeat...
  • 2 bags of peaches. Peach butter is...pretty similar to apple butter.
  • 10 dozen ears of corn. 10 dozen. That's 120 ears of corn. To shuck, silk, cut, and cream. It only made 11 quarts. And, that stuff gets in your eyes. It burns. Oi, does it burn.
  • 4 quart boxes of new potatos.


Word to the wise, here: Canning involves boiling water. Boiling water may cause second degree burns through two layers of clothing. I'm sorry, nephew-in-law.

I've also discovered something about my child: she enjoys raw corn. Immensely. I considered, briefly, placing a fence around the corn as I prepared it. I'm pretty sure she ran off with a few ears, though.

So, should the shelves go bare, rest assured that there will be food in the house of Scharbrough. Anybody have any good recipes for tomatoes, green beans, new potatoes, and apple butter? Hmm?

OH! And, thanks to Misty, I've learned how to crochet. I told you, I feel like I'm connecting with the past.

Just call me half-pint.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This one just makes ME smile.








We've all seen hideous cakes, but these come from 'professional' bakeries. Here's just one of the many.




Make a Child Smile

Check out this website. If you have kids, it's a great way to teach them about letter writing, compassion, and empathy. It's also a great way for you to realize how thankful you should be for your healthy child(ren).

www.makeachildsmile.org

Today, I'm MAD.

And I don't mean angry. I mean, that gut-twisting, eye-glinting, heart-hardening mad that reddens my face and sends my voice slipping into the mountain twang passed down through my Mama's blood.

It takes a lot, for me, to get a good mad going. This one's about 4 months overdue.

See, I am a teacher. Was a teacher. Never really wanted to be anything else. Spent lots of time and money to lay my hands on that degree. Had something to prove, too, what with getting married and having a baby and still graduating in 4 years. And now, I'm not. No, I am, but not in the way I'd like to be.

It's a bad time for teachers. Budgets getting cut, schools overcrowded. Almost makes me wonder why I long so much to be a part of it. But, I do, and I'm not. And I'm mad about it.

Not that there probably wasn't something I could've done to prevent this, but at the moment I'm having a damn hard time coming up with it.

To put it mildly, me being out of a job puts the whole rest of my life on hold. I can't have a sibling for Mikaela. I can't make the minor improvements necessary to sell this postage-stamp-sized home and move into one we love. I can't continue my Master's Degree.

Finally, though, I've discovered that teaching my daughter is every bit as rewarding and enriching as teaching the classrooms I've had. Too bad, though, because I can't homeschool her forever. Somehow, those student loans have to be paid.

Is the idea of having a job you love, despite the drawbacks and stress, a myth? It hasn't been for me, until now. And now, I can't find anything that gives that same feeling of accomplishment.

And I'm mad.