Thursday, March 29, 2012


Sophia is super ADD when it comes to activities. She moves from one puzzle to another to blocks to books to magnets all in the space of two minutes. "I want to color" precipitates a 3-minute coloring session after getting out multiple coloring books and all of her crayons and colored pencils.

But wait!


Today I decided to attempt to ward off the Snuggler's post-nap doldrums by making a batch of playdough for her to play with. And finally! Today we have discovered an activity that can occupy my daughter for longer than two minutes. Homemade playdough! I hesitated to let her play with playdough before, as she finds it necessary to put everything in her mouth. But homemade playdough is very salty, so how much would she really eat? Plus, she is getting much better at obeying my "Don't eat that!!!" orders.


Now there has been over an hour straight of playdough fun in the Libby house, and I see no sign of it ending anytime soon. Sophia has made multiple birthday cakes (and sung Happy Birthday to Jude and me many times), cut up "apples" and put the slices in a bowl, "eaten" food off of chopsticks (good pretending, Sophia!), pressed her face into it to see her nose imprint, and cut out a billion stars, flowers, and circles with her cookie cutters. Oh, and she made boogers and put them in her nose. Pretty sure that was my favorite. And she has played for over an hour! During peak post-nap crabby time!


This does not happen, people. So I am going to share the recipe with you, in order that you too can have an hour of happy playtime. This is the top-secret Munsell recipe I am giving you here. (Which I think my mom got from a friend, so much for the "top-secret Munsell" part.) Use it wisely and well!



1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon oil
food color
wax or parchment paper

Mix the dry ingredients, then add the oil and water. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until dough starts to pull away from pan wall. Turn out onto paper and knead in color, several drops at a time. (Sophia's is pink at her request, of course.) Store in an airtight container, it will keep for a LONG time!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Running . . . again . . .

I would love to write that in the midst of training for next weekend's half marathon, I have been enjoying blissful, joyful runs that are the best part of my day.


I can't write that. It's a BIG FAT LIE.

I am glad that I can run. Happy to be getting more fit. Proud of myself for training for a half marathon and running it 8 months after pushing out a 9 pound, 6 ounce baby. Super happy to have a running buddy after 8 long solo years. Pleased that I seem to be regaining bladder control during my runs after pushing out said baby. (TMI? Don't read my blog. Sometimes I am all about TMI. Just read the poop posts.)

But enjoying the process? Not so very much.

Running is a means to an end right now. It's all about getting some semblance of post-baby fitness and maintaining my sanity, with a little goal-achieving thrown in. It is not because I am blissfully happy to be pounding the pavement at 6:30 in the morning. Just ask my running buddy!

So why do it?

Because I know that six months from now I will be happy I did. I will (theoretically) be getting more sleep and thus hopefully feeling a bit more human without chugging a million cups of coffee. I will have run my half marathon and a bunch of 5Ks this summer, and of course the Beach to Beacon 10K. I hope that I will be back to a place where I enjoy running.

Of course, there are the occasional bright spots in this "blah" running time. My first seven mile run this training cycle was on one of the first spring-like days, and I felt GREAT. I ran the last five miles faster than I had run my shorter tempo days and loved it. I had a glimpse of runner's high, and that keeps me going.

This past weekend's long run was another bright spot. Kristin and I had to do our longest pre-race run, ten miles! I haven't run ten miles in one go since training for my marathon in 2005, so I wasn't sure how it would go. I have in my head that I would like to run the half in less than two hours, which translates to a 9:10 per mile pace. I won't be devastated if that doesn't happen, but it would be nice.

I carb-loaded Friday and tried to get sleep Thursday and Friday nights. (Ha! Thanks for nothing, Jude!) Then Saturday came. Kristin and I ran the first mile together, and then split up. I was pleased to find out that my first mile was just under 9 minutes. I could do this!

Then I got to two miles and already felt tired. Not good. Time for a gel, glad I brought two! From there on I was praying to make it. To keep running, keep on my time goal, to have fun and enjoy it. I got to mile four at about 33 minutes, and was greeted by John and Sophia cheering, taking pictures, and holding my water for me. What a pick-me-up!


They cheered for us at a couple more spots along the way, and picked up my mom (we were running to my parent's house) so she could cheer with them. It has been so long since I ran a race, I forgot how very much spectators push me along. Thank God they were there, cheering us on!


An hour and 27 minutes after starting, I had finished my 10 miles. I was three minutes under my goal, and had my confidence boosted going into the race.

Two runs out of many since November. Two that are really memorable among the drudgery and make all the effort worth it. Two that make me motivated to stick with it, keep plugging along and look forward to reaping the rewards of my hard work.

Sometimes I get discouraged (Hello! Today's three miler sucked!) But I'm going to keep going, because I know what's coming.


Post-10 Miler Goofiness!







Thursday, March 22, 2012


I guess a small part of me must have realized what a gargantuan job painting the kitchen would be. And that is why it took me (almost) three years of home ownership to work up the guts to tackle it. I suppose I am glad it took me that long, because now I finally have a picture in my mind of how I want the whole house to mesh together . . . and it is going to require re-painting the living room and dining room so that will be coming up later! Along with new curtains . . . that is going to be a BIG sewing project with six huge windows in those two rooms!

At any rate, after using up a gallon and a quarter hand painting (no roller!) all of the wood in my kitchen, including the huge corner pantry unit and all the cabinets (ok, I rolled the cabinets), I am finally done. And now I have a kitchen that makes me happy when I walk in the door!




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sophia, Jude and I went to Walmart a few days ago and on the way thru produce spotted the big bin of flowers. I usually walk right by, but that day we just had to stop. The tulips were calling my name . . . but you know what? When you let your two year old choose the flowers she is going to go right by the classy white tulips and get the brightest many colored arrangement she can find.

Took me a few days of looking at the very garish colors clashing away with my new kitchen, but I finally figured out that if I split them up I would get more bang for my buck and they just might even look good.

So now we have flowers in the . . .


living room . . .


kitchen . . .


and kitchen.

Bathroom too, but who needs to see the pink bathroom carnation? I thought not.

BTW, I did not dye the water. That's just the crazy color they dyed the daisies.

Happy early spring!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Feeding fun

Many of you know the ridiculous efforts we had to go thru when Sophia was labelled "Failure to Thrive" . . . mandatory Haagen Dazs ice cream, lots of peanut butter, etc.

A year and a half later and we are now having feeding adventures with Jude. The fun never stops around here!

Mid-January I noticed that Jude, normally a fast eater anyway, was breastfeeding (both sides!) in 3 minutes flat. Hmm. Seemed a little fast to me. So I had him weighed before and after one of these little feeds at my breastfeeding support group, and it turned out he was only taking in 3 ounces. Hmm again. Should be more like 8 ounces at his age.

So that's when the lactation consultant recommended that I start pumping 4-5 times a day . . . or whenever he took in just a short feed. The goal was to increase what was immediately available, so that even if Jude continued being lazy, he would get more.

FYI, pumping five times a day is way time consuming. And add to all this that Jude had also decided that he didn't want to eat anywhere but in my room with the white noise machine on.

That first week the only time I left the house was to get the mail. So that's when I started re-painting the kitchen, because if you are going to be stuck at home 24/7, might as well get something done that has been on the to-do list for a while.

Fast-forward a few weeks, we finally decided to start Jude on solids. He was sliding down the growth charts, so his pediatrician said it was time. I had been hesitant to start him with all of the allergy/asthma issues in our family (hello, Sophia!), but at least we made it to seven months. And hey, I have a nice stash of breastmilk in the freezer to mix up his cereal!






I am trying to make sure I make one new puree every couple days to stash in the freezer,
and so far he loves them all . . . applesauce, apricot, banana, sweet potato, pear, cauliflower, and tonight's new one will be carrot. Time to ease into some real (green) vegetables next!

We're still dealing with fast eating and supply issues, but when Jude was weighed last week at the doctor's office, he had gained six ounces in two weeks and leveled off on the growth charts. The boy does like his solids!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Green Goodness

John and I have been attempting to get a little more green into our diet (and any green at all into the Snuggler's!), and it seems that the key for us is smoothies. Smoothies with lots of spinach.

I know, for those of you who may not have tried this fad (and it has been the "in" dietary fad for a while now), it sounds gross. I thought that too . . . then I tried it and now I'm a convert! And what better time to try a green smoothie than March 1st, with St. Paddy's Day around the corner? So pick yourself up a bag of spinach, pull out the blender, and drink up!

This recipe is courtesy of my sister Kristin, and I don't know where she got it, but it's a winner for sure . . .

Green Goodness Smoothie

1 banana (frozen is best)
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
3/4 cup milk (any variety thereof, cow's/rice/soy)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I use Greek or regular)
2 cups spinach

Blend away, and bottoms up!
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