Monday, April 30, 2007


For a little under 3 weeks this year only, we have a 1 year old, a 2 year old and a 3 year old. And believe me, I've been telling anyone and everyone within earshot. It's fun to watch people's wheels spinning trying to do the math to see if that is "possible". What a laugher!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Not dinner-time conversation

Who: Liam
Where: Bathroom (toilet area)
When: 4:44am
What: In-between pukes
"Oh mommy, I'm really not happy about this".

Who: Elli
Where: Bathroom (sink area)
When: 1:17am
What: After a big puke
"Ohhhhh Mommy! Look! There's my carrots!"

I laughed both times...who laughs at their puking kids? This honest mum, I guess.

Monday, April 23, 2007


All ladies have to wear skirts while we are on the Mully Children's Family campus in June. Then we will leave all our clothes (underwear included) at MCF.

The only skirts I own are wool or denim for fall/winter--way too hot for Africa. I shopped some thrift stores, asked friends and family for light-weight knee-length skirts to take, but came up empty.

So, I went to (shudder) Wal-Mart, got $2.98 worth of fabric off clearance, and am sewing the 3 skirts I will take, wear, then leave. That is less than $1 per skirt!

Here is the first of my labours of love to leave at MCF.

I am a self-taught rogue sewer and don't use patterns--or if I do I make my own. But I am totally enjoying creating and improvising, using math and problem-solving. I think I'll add some pockets to this one and try a different shape/tactic on skirt #2.

OK men, this is an official challenge

For all my peeps and any glurkers (guy+lurker) of this blog, this one's for you.

~According to the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs: 'While women represent 40 percent of the world population, they perform nearly two-thirds of all working hours, receive only one-tenth of the world income and own less than 1 percent of world property.' The 'Report of the World Conference for the United Nations Decade for Women' agrees: When housework is accounted for, 'women around the world end up working twice as many hours as men.'
  • A recent study shows that if housework done by married women were paid, family income would rise by 60 percent.

  • Husbands of full-time homemakers help out for an hour and fifteen minutes a day while husbands of women with full-time jobs help less than half as long--thirty-six minutes.

  • Ninety percent of wives and 85 percent of husbands in the US say the woman does "all or most" of the household chores.

  • Married American men do only 10 percent more domestic work than they did twenty years ago.

  • The work week of American women is twenty-one hours longer than that of men; economist Heidi Hartmann demonstrates that "men actually demand eight hours more service per week than they contribute.
After feeling thoroughly sickened, I was totally thankful that my own situation does not at all reflect these numbers. Dan does way more than the average American man's share of household chores--not as many as I'd like him to, but I never even complete my own gargantuan lists.

So any dudes or glurkers out there reading this--I challenge you to be atypical. Prove the numbers wrong. Please.

My digits

I went to a "real" doctor for the first time in about 5 years.

A few weeks after my appointment and blood work, I got a note in the mail.

"Cholesterol Level:
Triglycerides: III
HDL: 43
LDL: 148
Total: 213

Dear Jennifer,

Your labwork is all good except that your cholesterol is borderline high--likely due to genetics! I recommend trying to get some aerobic exercise 30 minutes 3x a week and cutting down fat in your diet. We should recheck next year and keep a close eye on it. Sincerely, Dr. HB"

Well, let's see. Except for the occasional pat of butter or chocolate bender, there really isn't a whole lot of fat in my diet.

I really think that chasing a 1, 2, & 3 year old around every single day puts me in the "aerobic activity for 30 min or more" like 7x per week.

Plus, does checking your bloodwork once/year count as "keeping a close eye" on something?

Anyway, I think I'll go gnaw on a carrot while doing sit ups and folding laundry after I'm done doing jumping jacks while changing a diaper and drinking 30 oz of water.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Pot Pourri

  • For the first time in years, I love putting on pants. Any pants. Doesn't matter what pants I choose, they FIT!

  • A phone call I swore to Dan didn't upset me did cause me to eat an entire 1/2 lb slice of Kilwin's fudge. This is what Heather calls "emotional eating". I did it. I knew I did it. I chose to do it rather than wade through the emotions because I didn't have the time or space to muck it out, so I ate. Man, that was good fudge.

  • I think I have way too many things on my plate. That is a good thing and a bad thing. Dan and the kids suffer when I'm so busy, but I thrive and feel more "me" and alive when I have things to do. It's a tricky balance I am trying to establish and maintain.

  • I didn't buy a bagel the other day because I didn't have any "blow money" left and didn't want to have to erase and rewrite the entire month's budget for a $1.79 purchase. It's working!

  • There's a lot on my heart and mind these days, I feel like I'm walking around with 17 different radio stations blaring at various decibel levels inside my head all at the same time. If you say something to me and I don't hear you or look kinda lost, forgive me and write it down for me.

  • I cannot wait for dinner tonight. I think these stuffed pork chops are my "signature dish"--an adaptation of my mom's recipe (because I most often cook by sight, smell, and taste rather than being bound by the confines of a recipe)--family favorites taste better because of the nostalgia they release in your brain.

  • I think it's getting nice enough out to put the Jeep up for sale. Gulp. It's gotta be done.

  • My brother asked me for a birthday suggestion for his "special friend". For one of the first times in my life, when asked for advice, I found myself completely flummoxed. How to put myself into the mindset of a 24 year old, single and newly-dating girl has me totally short-circuited-- I can't even make up something. Huh?

  • After my shower today, I was brushing my hair and wondering--"is it toxic for me to wear a flea collar in Africa? Am I going to come home with a head full of bugs and have to cut off all my hair"? Then I thought--"how vain? Who cares about hair when there are 900 kids whose parents didn't want them--if you have to shave your head because you were hugging kids who desperately need some love, attention, and parental affection, then you know you did a good job". This trip is rocking my world and I haven't even gone on it yet--yikes.

  • I have a sore throat. I hate getting sick. I always try to mentally expel sickness from my body, but at not willing to be mentally tough enough to force litres of water down my throat.

  • Enough posting for now. It's a sunny beautiful day outside and I need some vitamin D.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"You're going to lose your flower"

I thought I had a good ten to twelve years before I'd hear myself saying this. And I never imagined I'd be saying it to my son.

Liam and Elli both "wished" they could have a flower in their rooms for naptime. So, I took a stem for each from the arrangement in the kitchen and put them in plastic cups high on a dresser in each bedroom.

Elli's flower is untouched--she's still in a crib.

However, Liam's story is quite different. I explained the rules--the flower was only for looking at--no touching, no moving, no messing with it, nothing or he would "lose his flower". With Liam's promises to only look and not touch in tow, I headed for the shower.

I was just about clean when I heard the kitchen trash can lid snap open. I knew exactly what was going on. I leaped like a gazelle that had stepped on burning coals out of the shower, grabbed the first towel my hand hit (I think it was Dan's, thankfully not Greg's...) and my glasses--as my super powers are severely crippled without them. I ran dripping and towel-clad down the hallway and into Liam's room. Before yelling at his failure to keep his word and obey, I took in a thoughtful breath and said "this is your chance to tell the truth--what happened?".

Unfortunately, a bit of a lie ensued. Liam claims he was lying on his bed looking at the flower when it simply tipped over and fell onto the floor.

Thankfully, I read a lot mystery books and realized that the dresser moved about a foot from the wall, flower stem broken in three places, and handful of red flowers clutched behind Liam's back told a very different story.

So Liam lost his flower, his "Ada blue bear" for naptime, my trust, and most sadly a chance to make a right choice. But I'm seeing progress. There's more truth than fabrication in his stories. He's getting there and I'm championing every little bit of progress no matter how disappointed I am of the bad choices, it's the hints of good ones that I'm straining to see and praise to the heavens no matter how many times he lets me down.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

LOST makes me think deeply

Last night, on LOST (something along the lines of)

"You don't choose who you love, Kate."

I was thinking a lot about this quote while driving today, and I don't think it's true.
What do you think?