It started innocently enough.
I have never truly been a Christmas person. Even when I was little- I always resented the moods of shoppers crowding the aisles, and the hubub of visitors invading our tiny home.
And sometimes, the disappointment.
But now that we are three, we have agreed to have Christmas traditions of a different sort. We agreed to not do a tree, or lights. Or presents for everyone, and we agreed that we would stay here in our sweet town for Christmas and avoid my batty, crazy family.
But then we took some photos of the babe in sweet Christmas form, and today we mailed $20 worth of Christmas cards to friends and family. Most of whom will not look at the shiny piece of paper again after Christmas.
And we bought a wreath for the door, because it was our one festive agreement.
And then, decorations to fill a bowl on the table.
And now, my living room is filled with stacks of presents for all the tykes in my family. My mother guilted me into visiting for Christmas so we will be hitting the road for an (at least) eight hour car trip with the Cuppycake on Tuesday.
And then, today, while picking up those crazy expensive photo cards from Walgreens, we decided their $10 Christmas tree was a steal. And to go with it, we HAD to have ornaments. Lights. Garland. A skirt. And at AC Moore, with my dear, we found they too were having a sale, and bought MORE ornaments, cookie cutters, and wrapping paper.

It is all too familiar, and all to invasive. I would SO rather not get started on this....but how does one avoid it?


An update and some fo-toes

Well finally the debacle that was this semester is over. Some of it was awful, but some truly wonderful things happened too. I began classes this year with a four week old babe. And since those of you who have babies know what that did to me, I will leave it at this: I was in serious pain, and I have never felt more depressed in my life than those days when I had to walk out the door and leave my 'Plink' (Cuppycake) behind, screaming because, well, sometimes that's what babies do when they are unhappy.
But by now, I have acclimated to scurrying off to class, though I still don't enjoy it, it doesn't make me want to find a window to leap from.

Exams are over. The holidays are arriving!
Oh yes, exams.
I screwed up a little bit of the fondness one of my professors had for me this year by missing his final exam. To my credit, he rescheduled it (against University policy anyway) without the approval of the Provost's office, and then did not announce the changes via email, or on our course website.
I got to make it up, and it didn't cost my GPA too much because I somehow made a B in the class, so it wasn't that big of a deal in the end. Another professor lost all of my assignments for the year, which was a bummer. We figured it out though.
And Pappa Starbucks and I have not found jobs yet, but we did apply for, research for, plan and interview for (and yes, we got selected!!) a really incredible scholarship that is sending us, all expenses paid, to Ireland in the Spring.
And we're entering our very. last. semester (HALLELUJAH!!) in January.
Today, we are frumping around and fighting as much as we want to, and maybe finally cleaning a little bit, or searching for a few rampant Christmas decorations. I'm making many of the presents this year for nieces, nephews, etc. and there behind me and inspiring me is this book I wanted so long, and two sweet baby dolls are getting their own diaper bags, cloth diapers, rattles, and finger puppets as well as teeny blankets. 'Dorable!

Should be fun, because around here, we usually define "fun" as plucking each other's eyebrows.




I am still feeling vague and still navigating this last week of exams, but here's something I stumbled on today and thought was definitely worth reading. Enjoy!

Happiness Is 'Infectious' In Network Of Friends: Collective -- Not Just Individual -- Phenomenon

ScienceDaily (Dec. 5, 2008) —
If you're happy and you know it, thank your friends—and their friends. And while you're at it, their friends' friends. But if you're sad, hold the blame. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Diego have found that "happiness" is not the result solely of a cloistered journey filled with individually tailored self-help techniques. Happiness is also a collective phenomenon that spreads through social networks like an emotional contagion.

In a study that looked at the happiness of nearly 5000 individuals over a period of twenty years, researchers found that when an individual becomes happy, the network effect can be measured up to three degrees. One person's happiness triggers a chain reaction that benefits not only their friends, but their friends' friends, and their friends' friends' friends. The effect lasts for up to one year.

The flip side, interestingly, is not the case: Sadness does not spread through social networks as robustly as happiness. Happiness appears to love company more so than misery.

"We've found that your emotional state may depend on the emotional experiences of people you don't even know, who are two to three degrees removed from you," says Harvard Medical School professor Nicholas Christakis, who, along with James Fowler from the University of California, San Diego co-authored this study. "And the effect isn't just fleeting."

For over two years now, Christakis and Fowler have been mining data from the Framingham Heart Study (an ongoing cardiovascular study begun in 1948), reconstructing the social fabric in which individuals are enmeshed and analyzing the relationship between social networks and health. The researchers uncovered a treasure trove of data from archived, handwritten administrative tracking sheets dating back to 1971. All family changes for each study participant, such as birth, marriage, death, and divorce, were recorded. In addition, participants had also listed contact information for their closest friends, coworkers, and neighbors. Coincidentally, many of these friends were also study participants. Focusing on 4,739 individuals, Christakis and Fowler observed over 50,000 social and family ties and analyzed the spread of happiness throughout this group.

Using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Index (a standard metric) that study participants completed, the researchers found that when an individual becomes happy, a friend living within a mile experiences a 25 percent increased chance of becoming happy. A co-resident spouse experiences an 8 percent increased chance, siblings living within one mile have a 14 percent increased chance, and for next door neighbors, 34 percent.

But the real surprise came with indirect relationships. Again, while an individual becoming happy increases his friend's chances, a friend of that friend experiences a nearly 10 percent chance of increased happiness, and a friend of *that* friend has a 5.6 percent increased chance—a three-degree cascade.

"We've found that while all people are roughly six degrees separated from each other, our ability to influence others appears to stretch to only three degrees," says Christakis. "It's the difference between the structure and function of social networks."

These effects are limited by both time and space. The closer a friend lives to you, the stronger the emotional contagion. But as distance increases, the effect dissipates. This explains why next door neighbors have an effect, but not neighbors who live around the block. In addition, the happiness effect appears to wear off after roughly one year. "So the spread of happiness is constrained by time and geography," observes Christakis, who is also a professor of sociology in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. "It can't just happen at any time, any place."

They also found that, contrary to what your parents taught you, popularity *does* lead to happiness. People in the center of their network clusters are the most likely people to become happy, odds that increase to the extent that the people surrounding them also have lots of friends. However, becoming happy does not help migrate a person from the network fringe to the center. Happiness spreads through the network without altering its structure.

"Imagine an aerial view of a backyard party," Fowler explains. "You'll see people in clusters at the center, and others on the outskirts. The happiest people tend to be the ones in the center. But someone on the fringe who suddenly becomes happy, say through a particular exchange, doesn't suddenly move into the center of the group. He simply stays where he is—only now he has a far more satisfying sense of well-being. Happiness works not by changing where you're located in the network; it simply spreads through the network."

Fowler also points out that these findings give us an interesting perspective for this holiday season, which arrives smack in the middle of some pretty gloomy economic times. Examination of this dataset shows that having $5,000 extra increased a person's chances of becoming happier by about 2 percent. But that the same data also show, as Fowler notes, that "Someone you don't know and have never met—the friend of a friend of a friend—can have a greater influence than hundreds of bills in your pocket."

This is the third major network analysis by Christakis and Fowler that shows how our health is affected by our social context. The two previous studies, both published in the New England Journal of Medicine, described the social network effects in obesity and smoking cessation.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging, a Pioneer Grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a contract from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to the Framingham Heart Study.

Harvard Medical School (2008, December 5). Happiness Is 'Infectious' In Network Of Friends: Collective -- Not Just Individual -- Phenomenon. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 11, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2008/12/081205094506.htm


And now, an open letter to my OTHER professor

You, kind sir, should put aside your prejudices of young married students and young parents for three seconds, because right now, you're trying to fail me, which could easily destroy not only my entire college career, and my mission to get a job in this dashed economy, but also you're challenging the future of MY DAUGHTER.
I understand that you have no children of your own, and if you did, you wouldn't have had them while you were still in college.

And yes, I screwed up a lot of things this semester. I don't know how many times I went to class late. Or with spit up all the way down my pants. No, really. And I cut my foot 8 weeks ago, and you know what? It still looks like I did it yesterday. And there were about, well, there was that one time I wrote my paper and turned it in literally at the very.last.minute.
But this just sucks.

You changed the time for our final exam, and scheduled it for reading day. Guess what? Thats against University policy,and even worse, It is NOT listed in the syllabus. It is NOT listed online. And yes, I know we "talked about the exam extensively in class" because well, hell-o, I am a note taker for your course.

If what you want is for me to learn a lesson, great! I'm enlightened. New mothers make mistakes. You don't have to tell me that, I am constantly questioning myself as it is.

I had to go to your class and leave my baby screaming, because she doesn't take a bottle and that means I left her hungry. For hours, to sit in your class and discuss religious movements with a bunch of kids who, quite frankly, were probably freaked out by my gnarled hair and that smell, of baby poo, and who didn't want to be in a group with me anyway.
Add to that how FRICKING hungry I always was, like that one time when I ate all of the snack when it got to me instead of passing it. Sorry, I like calories a lot.

The point here is, I really, truly made a tremendous effort on my hormonal, depressed part, just to show up. And then, you would be showing a movie, and guess what? I really felt like that was a waste of my time. So a couple of times I didn't do the reading. And sometimes, I left early if my husband called and said babe, the baby is a mess. Please come feed her. You know that saying "if a baby is hungry enough, he/she will take a bottle"?
It's crap.
I wonder if you, or your hot-headed TA know what it feels like to have a tiny, helpless person need to eat, and you be the only way they can- ah, of course not.

And well, shit. Today, evidently, I missed. that. final. exam.

Actually, it IS your fault. You should have said "Hey! I changed the date of the final!" which would have been enough. But yeah, I screwed up. And now, well, what the heck am I supposed to do? I don't want to be a complete ass. But I do deserve to take that final.

And if I struggle in the future, it's not because I missed a couple of classes. It's not because I am a bad student, because, sir, I busted my ass this semester, I started classes 4 weeks after having a baby. I haven't had one minute to breathe since then, and you know what? I am still not recovered from her. But I did work hard, and you know it, and you should let me take my final exam, because failing me is pretty over the top.


your least favorite student.,



The baby is loving every minute I let her listen to this. It's sweet, but I have no idea what they're saying....
To be honest,I really like it too. I'm studying for a grueling round of finals, and this song is very primally relaxing. Also, the geometry of the video is stunning.


Wow, I am loving this new means of avoiding what I really should be working on...


An open letter to my professor

Dear professor

This assignment really changed the way that I have understood this subject. I feel rather silly telling you this, but this is quite possibly the most ‘impactful’ project I have ever done.
That being said, it made me absolutely, completely, overwhelmingly angry. You can blame it on my hormones because it’s very likely that they contributed, but there is more to it than that. At the beginning of the project, I was truly excited. I chose a photo based on aesthetics really, because I saw a photo of a young woman holding a young child. I identified with her, I liked her even. I didn’t grapple with her station, I didn’t think “they’re all slaves, so it doesn’t matter”- I thought “this woman is beautiful! She is holding a little baby! She must have been happy!”
Ultimately, I am displeased with my project. I didn’t reach any grand conclusions, any ‘epiphanic’ realizations. I learned more than I have ever learned doing a single project before, but I felt that anything I learned, and any great research I came across was completely dimmed by the life of this woman.
I was wrong when I first looked at her. The life of this woman was likely anything but happy. The reason this woman looks so unhappy, sitting and holding a tiny white child is probably because her dignity was constantly stepped upon, and just holding another woman’s child will never be enough to erase that. No matter how pretty the baby is.
However: this project was good for me on many, many levels. I will never approach slavery the same way as I did before, as a time line. In my research, I read story after story of women who had to put a tiny white child before their own: and while it is good perhaps to put others before yourself, to sacrifice for the good of others, this should never extend into the realm of motherhood, which I believe is sacred.
I suppose the project changed the lens through which I view slavery: one of the first pieces of literature I read when I began researching told me that ‘domestic slaves were treated better than other slaves, and they had special privileges.’ So I thought I was on the track to learn about a sort of chasm within slavery that wasn’t really ‘slavery’- you know, where you get to sit and play with a baby all day, one that wasn’t brutal, and wasn’t an instrument of abuse.
I was surprised, then, when most of the rest of my research contradicted this, and I was faced with an image that contradicted that- and then I got angry. I want to reach back through the decades and rectify it. But I cannot, and I am left wondering if there was something in the water. “They must have ‘drunk the Kool-Aid’” I think.
It’s simple, easy to dismiss it that way. To assume that it is because there is something wrong with people that racism exists today, and that there was deeply something ‘wrong’ with people who owned slaves, who regularly beat their slaves to keep them “accustomed to being whipped.” It’s not this easily dismissed from my mind though, and the dh has been truly frustrated with me for the energy I’ve put into thinking about this. After all, I have three projects and two more paper due this week, and I’m always late to my classes because the baby nurses and nurses and nurses, and I can’t just bring her to class. But if I put this down now, and step away from it, I won’t ever be able to completely understand it. I must push through the uncomfortable things I’ve read and read some more.
I am still angry, but I am going to continue reading. I didn’t reach any understanding that I could neatly put away and say “now I understand it,” and I will probably always be uncomfortable with it, but because I feel like it is important, not just for me as a person, but for me as a mother, and a daughter/wife/sister, to challenge the way I feel about this.
I’m probably still wrong, but I wanted to thank you for this project. I am fairly certain my research revealed the same old ideas, and you will be unimpressed. But know that this changed my understanding, and I'm sitting here thinking "you set me up for this!"- Thank you.


Woe is the dog

When Pappa Starbucks and I were just "us," we had plenty of time for, well, you know, doing things. Before I ever moved in with Pappa Starbucks, my dog Oreo did. I was in a dorm, and he was in this really great apartment, and Oreo was living outside at my brothers house, so. I sent him off to live here with Pappa Starbucks (then known as The Stud), and he needed SOOOO much attention. First of all, he was suddenly living INSIDE!! And on top of that, we battled worms, and fleas, and ticks, and leash behavior, and yet for some reason, he thought it was great.

This was a fairly nice apartment (that we obviously can't afford, NOW), with a pool, and two dog parks on the property. He went to the dog park for AT LEAST an hour every day. There was no car seat or stroller in the back of our car, and we bought treats weekly and fed him the best food. I even made his food, because, you know, he was my baby.
We went to Petsmart for fun.
The piles of laundry on the bed? Yes, we let him snuggle in them, because he got a bath every Thursday (despite the fact that he had a very nice comfy dog bed too).
But today, I am sitting here looking at a very different dog. We still love him, I think, but the treat jar hasn't been opened all week (just because I don't think to give him treats, not because I'm mean), and he has had TWO baths in as many months. Actually, I think that's still impressive.
As for exercise, though I know it is very important, well, it's also a pain to do right now. And so he gets very little of it. I've made him treats, believe it or not, since she was born. They were supposed to be cookies though, so that may not really count.
Because our car has a humongous and wonderful stroller, a diaper bag, a car seat, and well, US in it when we go somewhere, the dog park is just not worth hauling ourselves away to.
Three days before Little Berry was born, someone (I had never even met before) offered to come and take The Dog to the park after she was born, you know, with their dog too- and I thought I'm not letting you take off with my sweet puppy!! I don't even KNOW you!!
Well, I just dumped out the contents of my purse looking for their number. In the best possible way, of course.


How to add sleeves to a onesie or other small tyke's shirt (and make it look layered)

It’s beautiful weather in these parts. Saturday dawned clear and beautiful, we had expected rain and the skies were clear, which made me oh so happy. Cuppycake has all these precious onesies that she hasn’t outgrown yet, but that have no sleeves. Unfortunately, the weather is really too cool for her to be wearing short sleeve onesies, and putting a sweater on her to go to the car is a pain. Especially when it’s cool enough to wear a long-sleeve shirt and a hat but too warm for a sweater. So. Pappa Starbucks has been bugging me to go buy some onesies for her that have sleeves, just so we can put her in jeans and a onesie again, or snuggly leggings and a onesie- but oh no. I’m too cheap way too creative for that, so I dug out the sewing machine and put sleeves on her Eensie. Teensie. Onesies.
It was really much much easier than I expected, although I really haven’t finished them all yet since our professors are in that phase where they assign six papers a week and 800 pages of reading per class period, so we’re struggling to keep our assignment level caught up enough that we can actually use the dinner table for, well, dinner.
Here’s how to put sleeves on a onesie, or other shirt. The sizes I added them to are 3-6 months, and although I don’t have measurements for other sizes, all you need to do is:
Measure the length of you child’s arm from where their current sleeve ends to their wrist. I used short sleeve onesies, and for 3-6 months, this length was 6 ½ inches long,and don't forget I used the seam at the bottom for the cuff and 5 1/2 inches wide .

The fabric I chose was some of my old (maternity) tee shirts in plain colors that I knew would correspond with her pant selection so that there wouldn’t be too much ‘funkyness’ in her closet. I've tried it with several fabrics, and old tee shirts are by far the softest, but you could use anything.

Next, pin your sleeve together, wrong side out, like I did, and sew along the top. This will be the bottom of the sleeve once you’re done. I sewed my sleeves twice, just because cuppycake LOVES to chew on them. And I didn’t want to have to regret putting them on there later. Once you’ve made a sleeve, turn it right side out, and then comes the hard part. I’m not a big pin user, but. These onesies are tiny, and if you don’t pin these sleeves to the onesie, then the chances are that you will mess up you’re going to get really frustrated.

Yes, my camera stinks, and the flash is totally killing this photo. But. What you need to do is make sure that the seam of your sleeve is lined up with the seam of the smaller sleeve: both are on the bottom. You are going to pin, pin, pin like crazy because these guys ares so very small.

I always sew from the outside, and I either chose a thread that matches the onesie, or that contrasts with cuteness. I've done one black onesie with black sleeves and black thread and it was SO easy. On all the others, I've used white thread and very tiny stitches so it will hold well, and it has worked great.

This way, I can follow the seam that's already on the onesie sleeve: because I want it to look layered. If you want to make the sleeve look like a continuation, that's a whole different post.
And then, you sew. I sew from the outside of the onesie to make sure I am following the pre-existing seam. You can sew from the inside if you want. The nice thing about these onesies is that theY are forgiving! I've made a few mistakes, but in general, they just look all the cuter for it.

Have fun!!


Eat that yogurt!

I've considered myself to be selectively active in causes that matter to me. And cancer, not just breast cancer, has always scared the bejeesus out of me made me want to be involved. While I was pregnant with Cuppycake, I took a summer course here with a young lady I also went to high school with back when. She had been ill for a while, when they finally realized she had stage 2 liver cancer. She was 21, and she's still getting treated. It's grueling for me to see her going through this, and I admit I probably treat her a bit fragilely, but this post is both my reminder to you all to go get that mammogram, and to save those lids.
Now, I've always saved my yoplait lids.
BUT I have not. ever. sent. them. in.
I actually have an envelope full of them, that I thought I would save up and send from last November, but it turns out, they don't take old ones. I thought they were all the same, but a quick google search says I am WRONG. Basically, only the lids from this period are acceptable, and if they have large tears they won't count. Another very interesting thing I learned is that there are teams (((TEAMS!! YAY!))) for collecting these, and there's probably one in your area. My University actually sponsors a drop box for the lids, which actually makes me much more likely to take them in, because for some reason, eating yogurt is way more fun on campus. I know that many colleges, (as well as cancer hospitals, grocery stores, and dental offices) have one of these boxes.
And because my friend is going through chemotherapy treatments, I wanted to do something special for her as well, even though it's a different type of cancer. I made several of these "warms" to keep her cozy in those otherwise dreary hospital rooms.

Coming soon:my first tutorial, if blogger doesn't eat my photos!


Mamma Pie

I have this extraordinary connection with cuppycake. She’s beautiful, and truly, truly, the life as a momma is good. But.
There’s a darker side, one where I question myself constantly, and fear for her and myself whenever we are apart. I call home, and she is always crying: my happy, bouncy baby, is always screaming when I’m gone. I question her father’s ability to care for her most basic needs, because when she is crying for food, he is trying to put her to sleep. And it’s not just once or twice, I truly believe he just accepts it, and lets her cry.
Which breaks.my.heart.
I’m petrified that something will happen to me and she will have no mamma. I don’t have enough milk stored up for her to last one day on breast-milk because I threw it all out- when her thrush got diagnosed. Even the good stuff, the colostrum from early days (and nights).
I got an IUD at my 6 week check up,and I had to take this little survey to see how I was feeling emotionally, and my midwife kept telling me that if I felt ‘more hormonal’ then to let them know. How do I know if I am ‘more hormonal’ if I am blinded by my own hormonal visions? And I don’t even know how hormonal new moms are, but I do know that when she cries, it tears my heart into little shreds and fills me with panic. But when I am with her, she rarely fusses, much less full-out cries. So when I call, and she is crying, and I can’t reach out and comfort her, or we’re in the car and she gets fussy, I just feel completely miserable, and am truly anxious to be with her to comfort her. I feel like I am standing on a glass panel and it's continuously breaking from under me.
My motherly nature is so much stronger than my energy to be back at school, I really can't focus on doing well, and I am so disappointed that her pappa keeps pushing me to spend time away from her. He says it’s good for me, I just feel so desperately lonesome for my daughter.
Oh, I miss my cuppycake.


One for airplanes

For this post, I wish I had a video to go with. But alas, I do not.
Pappa Starbucks and I have been trying to get back to each other and figure out where we stand in this whole new baby thing. Between in-law’s, school, work, friends, and mentoring, we’ve really let our ‘us’ fade away a little. So tonight, we were kidding around and he tried to kiss me hello when I mentioned that no, really, I haven’t brushed my teeth today, and he was all but you went out? And then I reminded him there was a pack of gum in the car, duh, I wasn't totally unprepared. Some days, it is really that bad. But bad isn’t really the word I am looking for, it’s good. It’s been a wonderful day. I have a paper due tomorrow, dinner to fix for his mother and sister (and a vegan dinner at that, anyone got any tips? I’m tired of making vegetable stir fry : ) ), and a bazillion other things to do, and I just didn’t get around to brushing my teeth. Somewhere in there, we had one of those awkward pauses where we both kind of think...huh...do I really know you(all while I also tried to steal his ice cream with a fork)?
And I was all ambitious and tried to make that cricket noise...you know, the one that they put in cartoons, and it came out sounding like a squashed cow. So we commenced to think of ideal situations to use this hideous noise, and here are our top three NOT in order:
1) In class. Professor says something like “yeah, you know that’s what McCain thinks...” (insert freakish noise here, which is way better for awkward silences than the real thing we think by the way)
2) In the OB’s office, you know what I mean.
3) Tomorrow night at dinner. The whole time.
And so now I have a talent to try to learn and a jammed up noise to keep making because it’s funny, and we are one one closer to being our normal old selves again.


Money baby,money

A few weeks ago, Pappa Starbucks and I were talking about making our lives more user-friendly. We examined our budget, because we’ve been striving hard to manage our money better. And we found some large ways to cut our costs. First, we decided that much of what we do is destructive to our lives instead of constructive.
For example, we both need to eat healthier and take better care of ourselves so that in the long term, we get sick less, and will miss less school or work, and so the baby stays healthier. This means eating better, keeping our home cleaner (getting rid of and collecting less stuff). There are things that we need still and we cannot afford (for example, I need a new post-baby wardrobe for winter), but also, there are things we buy that we do not need (i.e. more pacifiers for the baby).
We also have started eating many more meals at home, and packing food to eat when we leave. He has started drinking more coffee in our kitchen, and much less in his car and at the local *$.The baby needed some hats, and so I made them from old onesies she outgrew instead of dropping $10 for three at Target.
As students, we’re still learning how to manage our money at all, but as new parents, there are a million things we never considered we would need to watch. It’s easy to get caught up in consumerism as new parents: for example, we recently went on a spree of spending, despite the economy’s bad shape. However, it was on a micro level, and our tab only came to about $200. We got the top things we’d been wanting as new parents, and I don’t regret any of them- we thought, and thought about each purchase and resisted a long time. But now that we have them, they DO help us enjoy being new parents more than having that extra $200 sitting in the bank. The purchases?
A car mirror for traveling so Pappa could see the baby when I’m not in the car to soothe her , a Bumbo seat AND tray, even though she’s just 2 months old (we bought that in blue, too, just in case someday we have a boy..). Then there's the Peanut Shell sling for me, something I had wanted since before I had her, and I wish I had got sooner. This isn't a product recommendation, but I will tell you...it was WELL worth it.
The only thing I would have done differently, is, silly me- shopped for these items second hand (like, for example, maybe on Ebay, if I weren't a dim wit). Since they’re all lightweight, I could have probably got them at great prices and shipped cheaply. We did search for coupons online first though!
The other change we are in the process of making is reducing our dependence on plastic grocery bags. I’d like to say it’s all because I’m environmentally conscious, but I really just hate having all those plastic bags taking up space in my kitchen. Currently, we use them for doggy poo...which sucks when they are a bit holy.
The other bit of wisdom we have learned is to earn our credit card points. I never had credit cars before, but now I am learning to use those cards in my advantage. (HOWEVER, we make sure to never, ever, under any circumstance even so much as think about carrying a balance. It's scares me so much to think about getting into debt that I wont use the card if I know we can't go straight home and pay for the item). This means store cards and other kinds, as well as those points’ cards stores give you, which often come with being put on a coupon list as well. Most mailing lists I loathe, but free coupons are always nice if they’re for something I will use. And for the rest, I’ve started sending them to a sister in law, who in turn sends me her unused baby coupons. It’s a win-win for all, except the cat: no one seems to have one, and you’d be surprised how many cat coupons we get each week. Maybe we should start looking for a kitten : )


Baby generator

When I was pregnant with Cuppycake, I always wondered what she would look like. Part of me was horrified and convinced that she would look awful (no, really- I think it’s easy when you’re pregnant to believe you will think your baby is ugly),
And I was also convinced she might not resemble me at all.
I searched high and low for a baby generator- where I could mesh two photos of Pappa Starbucks and myself and find out what she would look like.

I never found one while I was expecting.
And then I forgot about it, simply because, well,she’s beautiful?
And anyway,I can’t imagine feeling any other way than what I do about her!! However, VW (yes, the same people who gave us the jetta and the rabbit) just came out with one. It’s pretty fun, and very cute, and it reminded me of my earlier searches on Google, half frantic, typing “baby maker” or “baby generator” and plowing through the results. This one is fun, though, even if it is to promote a car. It’s called the RoutanBabymaker3000.
Try it. It’s fun, and it will make you grin. I like that it allows you to adjust how much of each parent it adds, and try different photos.


This post is for you, "pappa starbucks"

My question is this...how are you going to find time to read my blog, what with all the election drama?
I mean, seriously. We all saw that debate last night, and I am sure you have the transcripts playing on your Mac right now, but what I don't get is why you enjoy it so much, over and over and over.
You listen to the NPR rundown of the debate. Then you turn on Hardball. And then, after that skit is over.... you watch the Daily Show.
With all that time you spend watching the same debate clips, over and over....and over...you could have really, I don't know, maybe have learned how to do advanced rocket engine science?
Just kidding.
But seriously, I am intrigued by your constant pursuit for political information, and yet you claim you can't stand being right in the middle of it. Most Americans, right now, either LOVE Sarah Palin and her "hand-licking bandits,"
or they don't. And you, despite LOVING politics, and despite being amazingly smart when it comes to economics, you haven't decided who you're voting for yet.

And while politics are a very edgy subject with most Americans, you like to dive right in, and show what you know. You came home every day last week telling me about the Mortgage crisis, and the bail out, and the way that Wall-Street works, and why we should KEEP OUR MONEY IN THE BANKS even though banks are failing, left and right.
Because, despite how aggravating you are, and the fact that you think MY breastfeeding OUR DAUGHTER is embarrassing, I am honestly, quite amazed with how dang smart you really are when it comes to all of this.

Love you,

Mamma Pie