Thursday, August 28, 2008

In A New York Minute. . .


My little brother brought this shirt home for Sophia when she was only three weeks old. It's been Sassy's P.J.'s for over a year. Today I realized, it fit! I wanted to snap a picture or two. She decided she needed props. The snow globes are "Daddy" and "Uncle Kelly" (No plug here Kelly--she uses them as an audience for her singing!) You should see her moves, she uses the jump rope as a mic and lets loose. Broadway here we come!?

Daddy's Home

Daddy wanted to take Sophia on a date. 
As we walked in the door she knew EXACTLY where she was! 
CHUCKY CHEESE!  She'd never been there before--only seen the commercial on PBS.  
Any question about how susceptible we are to TV? 
Needless to say she had a great time!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Curly Girl Photo Booth

TA DA! Here's the proof. I only got a trim, nothing drastic. 
I have my 10 year high school reunion this weekend so I didn't want to do anything crazy. 

But I'll admit in the past I would've been tempted to straighten my hair. Don't ask me why, maybe in an attempt to fit in, or perhaps to have a little control over . . .something. 

Now I guess you could say Sophia's become a inspiration.  That gorgeous little head of crazy curls fits her vivacious personality. I want tobe like her.  I also want her to embrace every bit of joy and life she been blessed with and that starts with the curls.

All the other trouble I've been getting into well, you're all invited to come and see for yourself. I'll try to get a couple more after pictures posted, but for now there's plenty more to be done. 
Tonight, I switched the light fixture out in the bathroom, that's a whole 'nother story.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Funny how life works.  Every time I get a haircut (couple times a year) Nate happens to be out of town.  Oh did I mention he isn't the biggest fan of surprises either. Thankfully, I'm not very theatrical when it comes to my hair. Love the curls, honestly I'd rather jump out of an airplane than do something drastic to my hair.  'Course that doesn't mean I stay out of trouble while the mister's away. That's half the fun of having a traveling man--the projects I can get done while he's gone.  I'll be the first to admit it.  My name is Sarah Kay and I'm an HGTV addict.  

Monday, August 25, 2008

Like Mother. . .Like Daughter

My little girl gave me the sweetest gift yesterday.  While I was loading the car, I called to Sophia--distractedly, to pick up her doodle-pad laying on the sidewalk.  But of course it didn't come out like that. I ended up saying "Sophia, can you pick up your.  .  .  thing?"
Without missing a beat she dutifully ran to her toy saying:
"Oh!   My thing!"  Sigh .  .  . she gets me!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Warning: Mommy Rant!

Can I tell you how much I DISLIKE this little guy. For those of you who don't watch PBS he's Caillou a bald 4 year old with and incredibly whiney voice!  He NEVER gets corrected or punished but he often has an AWFUL attitude!  His father's ALWAYS at home (he never works?)  His parents NEVER loose their temper, raise their voice, or get frustrated. They ALWAYS ask for their children's help, and drop everything to take their children and their friends places?   Talk about a false reality! The worst part is that after Sophia watches him--she thinks the world revolves around her. Out goes the please & thank you in comes the pouting. (oh yeah did I mention Caillou pouts too!)   I work very hard to include my daughter, never raise my voice and come up with fun things to do--but it's much easier with a polite child then a self-indulged one.    If you're going to have a false reality why don't we have a perfect, unrealistic version of a child instead of parents?  Please!

 Sophia & I have found a show we can both watch: John & Kate Plus 8!  They have 6 three year olds (yes I said six) and so she's fascinated by it all.   These parents understand kids will be kids, but they are far more disciplined with 8 then I am with one. I guess you'd have to be.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Moment's Wonder

Photography is not my art, and my simple camera hardly does her justice.  But after this afternoon's delight I begin to understand the obsession to capture these moments of innocence

Sophia's Magic Castle

Nana's weeping willow is Sophia's favorite place in the whole world

My adorable sweet princess. . .her favorite place to run.
This is as close to heaven as any little girl could dream of. . .

What do you do with your John Deere

She maybe be Chadian by birth but she's Iowan by practicality. . .

Sweet Sophia

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Monday, August 18, 2008

How Did You Know?

No this isn't a comment on my intuitive abilities.  It's a thank you to the GREATEST COUSIN EVER!   I'm always touched when anyone in my family checks out my blog.   But my cousins creative talent & taste makes me ever so thrilled that he's a regular reader.  (Yes I know he probably wants see pictures of his little cousin but this is my moment people.)   You've probably seen his work on the Super Bowl, he's the guy who gets you watching shows like Lost, Alias, Monk even Psych (if you've never watched any of these shows I'm not sure we can be friends.)   Kelly modestly claims he has the best job in the world, because he gets to watch TV all the time, but see some of his work and you'll consider him gifted too!

Imagine my surprise when I began to unpack a box from Kelly this weekend.  I couldn't stop laughing.  It was a Psych care package!  The best medicine for my short-term status as single parent while Nate travels!  Sophia fell in love with a squishy pineapple.  It's  been showing up in the oddest places.  She's like a squirrel tucking it into her shoe's, her tooth brush drawer, her baby stroller, even frying it up and serving it to me with a cup of pretend tea.  I'm just as bad though proudly wearing my pineapple shirt to the gym!  (If you're wondering what's with all the pineapples you're obviously not a fan!)  Since Nate & I now share the home office (thank heaven for laptops) that's where I've stashed the other goodies making us look very creative & in the know! This is one of the rare times I wish I worked in a real office so I could brag!    Thanks Kelly for making my month!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sophia's New Career!

This week G.G. and Grandpa officially moved to town.  My grandparents Harlan & Ethel, are in their early 80's and just recently made the move from North Dakota to Iowa (how brave are they?)  I'm so proud of them, they have such a great attitude.  Sophia's great grandma G.G. (get it--well I don't think she does, but Sophia loves it!)  commented that they love their new place, but they've never had a hard time sleeping in strange places.  "I guess we sleep around!" Wink.  

Mom & Sophia are tag-teaming G.G.  Mom's her massage-therapist and now Sophia's her trainer!  Mom's wanted to get G.G. in the pool to strengthen legs & hips.  But you know any daughter doesn't have the pull grand kids do, or great-grand-kids in this case!   The whole family "visited" the pool area in their gorgeous 55+ community.  (I'm serious people it's GORGEOUS!  In their 1 bedroom they're kitchen is bigger than mine! And they get 2 meals a day at this great restaurant! Someone else cleans, they have a movie theatre, gym and a pool! I'm trying to get into the apartment next door!)  

Here comes the sneaky part.  When they left without getting in the water Sophia was obviously upset.  This was all according to plan I guess.  When G.G. saw how much "simming" meant to Sophia she couldn't say no.   

You know how mom got me to be complicit in this arrangement--babysitting.  I will do anything for babysitting. . .I'm easy I know.  Sophia & my mom teaming up that's scary! Because Sophia is an intense trainer.  She has a never say die attitude and she wants to make sure EVERYONE comes along.  "Mommy come on! Get it!  Get up!  Play me Mommy!  Swing me Mommy!" Oh yeah, she's been my trainer for quite some time. The other day after I pushed her in a stroller for 2 miles to the park and then she wouldn't let me sit down.  Do you think Nate's in on it?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Overheard. . . .

While doing dishes:"Mommy, yeah pretzels?"  
"I don't think that's a pretzel baby, I think that's a dried up tomato"
"Oh.  .  . yucky 'mato!"

Saturday morning. . . "Mommy let's talk!"
"Um, ohkay Sophia. What do you want to talk about?"

In the car. . ."Mommy, you holding daddies hand?"
"Yes baby, daddy & I are holding hands because we love eachother."
"Oh. . .great!"

A typical day. . . "Mommy, time for yunch?"
"Yes, baby, what would you like to eat?"
"I want sandwich, and applesauce, and milk and. . .chips!"  

"Mommy, I need to go seep!"  This is typically a response we get when Sophia's scared (Curious George can scare her if George gets into too much trouble.)  Or when she wants her pacifier.  She can only have it at bedtime.  So I make her go lie down and tell her she can come down when she's ready.  Five minutes later.  .  ."Here go mommy!" Proudly come down the stairs pacifier in hand.

7am Saturday morning. "DADDYEEE--GET UP!"

Everyday Angel

In my opinion, Sophia & the lady in the bookstore were both angels this afternoon. Both made my day especially with Nate's increased travel schedule, Sophia's great behavior has been a gift from God.  Have any of you ever tried to shop in a book store with a two year old?   I remember being annoyed at mother's who would shop being so oblivious about their children.    It's been a sensitive spot for me. 

Quick tangent:  I've always been amazed by Sophia, she does her best when she's been prepped and included for a situation.  When she was a baby I knew it was good to talk to infants but seriously what do you say--so I began a habit of explaining her day, what we were going to do, she'd smile and coo.  Now she'll ask questions, chirp encouragement, but the best part is that she does her best to do everything we discuss.  

After entertaining herself for over a half an hour while mommy shopped.  (This girl likes to be scared--she found a book that had skeletons on it and desperately wanted to read it-she didn't make it through it.)   She'd read about four books in no particular order, played a little piano, and gotten about 14 drinks of water from the fountain before laying down on the floor in the religious aisle and counted little saints.   Next thing we knew this smiling maternal woman was hovering over us (I was on my knees looking at a book.)
"I have to thank you, you've given me hope for the next generation of parents.  You're daughter has been marvelous.  No crying, no arguing, no whining. It's so refreshing."  

What'd I tell you? Angels. . . both of them.  

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Best Breakfast in Town

Monday mornings mean an early flight for Nate & a tearful goodbye for Sophia.  "I want to go too!" Is a common refrain in our house especially at the mere mention of airplanes.  This morning my incredible husband invited us to join him for breakfast.  It wasn't the first time we've eaten at the airport. Last week we had lunch with Nate while he waited for a delayed flight.  I guess we made an impression because the waitress recognized us and gushed over Sophia.   It was a wonderful family moment.  Sophia practiced her colors over a bowl of Fruit Loops while Nate & I sipped coffee and marveled at articulate she's gotten.  Sophia & Nate LOVE airplanes. So the view couldn't be better.  But it was the company, the added moments with daddy, that made Sophia's day.  At the last minute before he walked through security a familiar refrain lilted across the airport. "Daddy whe-R U?" Followed by lotz of blown kisses.  This time it was a much easier to say goodbye.  Especially when there's an escalator ride!

Organic Or Bust

God answer's prayers in unusual ways, this I've known.  But I'll admit I didn't expect this when I began to pray about my health.  Now that my beautiful little girl is reaching two and a half, I can't blame all my poor health on motherhood.  There is a reason that Fibromyalgia is linked with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ever since I heard the term, I've believed that CFS would be a fate worse than death)   It really culminated when I was only functioning between 11am-3pm the rest of the time was an exhausted fog.  Even with the improvements that anti-depressants gave me it wasn't enough. There had to be a better way. At the moment I'm so thankful to have a light at the end of the tunnel.  I'm in the process of some radical lifestyle changes and have been rewarded with more energy, and better able to process daily problems.  I'll keep you posted as I go organic, or natural or whatever you want to call it.  I call it hope.

Here is a list of some of the more common symptoms of Fibromyalgia syndrome.

• Widespread Pain  • Morning Stiffness

• Chronic abdominal bloating • TMJ (Temperomandibular Joint Syndrome)

• Sleep disorders     • Skin complaints

• Depression • Muscle Twitches, Tingling and Weakness

• Myofascial Pain • Urinary and Pelvic Problems

• Cold Symptoms • Chest symptoms

• Chronic Headaches- disabling at times

• Memory loss • Nausea

• Dizziness • Chronic digestive problems

• Chronic anxiety • Chronic memory loss

• Chronic insomnia • Chronic muscle fatigue

• Chronic bedridden weakness and exhaustion

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"I have found a paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."
~Mother Teresa

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Ndjerareou's go green!

This is my new favorite recipe:
2 cup oats
3/4 cups walnuts (chopped)
1 cup peanuts (chopped)
1 cup almonds (chopped)
1 cup cashews (chopped)
2/3 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 Tbsp butter
2  tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
8 oz dried  fruit

Set oven to 400 degree. Place nuts in a pan and roast. Stirring regularly so not to burn. Mix butter, honey, vanilla, salt, over medium heat.   Combine nuts, fruit & oats, stir in mix and press into pan.  Set aside.

I chose this recipe because I really have problems baking.  I rarely get it right, this time was no different.  For a different twist on a granola bar, omit oats!  Just as good!

Ndjerareou's go organic!

 What do you do when you have leftover Kashi cereal?  Somehow I brought the wrong one home.  (I know-you're not surprised I have Kashi leftover's.)  Can you believe they actually put this on the box: A mix of crunchy fiber twigs, crispy soy protein grahams, and Sesame Puffs. 
I'm sure it's great for you but how do get people to eat it?   This is how:
Homemade Kashi Granola Bars
1 cup agave nectar or honey
1 cup Jiffy Natural Peanut butter (this is my new favorite! No stir!)
2 cups Cereal
1 cup dried fruit or chocolate chips

Mix honey and peanut butter on a stove top till warm. Mix fruit with cereal. Then pour over cereal and stir.  Press into pan and set aside.  Cut into strips and wrap in tin foil.  

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Love at first bite!

The first thing Sophia grabs as we enter the grocery store is a can of Pringles.  She holds on to them for dear life & they sustain her through the tempting aisles.  It would be an understatement to say she loves chips!  At lunch time today she looked loving at the can of Pringles & said: 
"Hello chips, my name is Sophia."

I wonder if there's a mustached man in her future?

Adventures in home improvement


My incredibly intelligent husband realized that he couldn't leave me home alone with my old NASTY carpet!  So two weeks before he started his new job, he removed every piece of molding tore out the carpet painted and brought 14 boxes of hardwood home.  I'll admit I was incredibly nervous!  But I've watched HOURS of HGTV so let's go for it.  Let me tell you the secret to marital bliss: knowing  your limits.  At the 11th hour (seriously at the very last minute) Nate decided we needed professional help!  (No comment from the peanut gallery) It was totally a God thing that we found Jeff, our floor guy.

Something Old, Something New,

Some of my favorite pieces made this remodel even more personal for me!

Borrowed china (thanks mom for 'lending' these to me)
Hand-me-down-lace table cloth.  
I heard the term 'ECO-COUTURE' recently, what do you think?

Garage sale rug: Thank you Susan!

This beautiful hand-made piece of Rosemaling, created for our wedding by a dear friend. Mrs. Awes. I've never had a place to put it b/c I've never had a place for blue (sad but true)
Leftover bits from Paris, a street print and left over wine corks make my bulletin board looks sexy!

Something Borrowed, Something Blue


Even before the floor was finished I started to obsess about a dining table.  My great IKEA table had served our family well but it only sat 4.  I get a little obsessive about room renovations--it's a coping mechanism. My husband is used to seeing me zone out as I visualize different ideas. So when Jana offered me her husband's old table for free (A last hold out from the His or Hers negotiations), I knew it was a God thing.  Nate & I had both been wanting a bench with a table but had decided the budget couldn't support a new table at the moment.  So when I brought home this great farm table from an Jana's husband's Irish Catholic family of 11 kids, it already had all the character of great family and friends breaking bread and sharing laughter.  It was a great omen.  I think it showed me that no matter how much money a person has--there is a powerful joy in sharing & finding things with life & character.   Best of all I've had people over consistently since we put it all back together.  I was able to have Sophia, both my parents, & my grandparents all sit around the table! It's been great!  

Monday, August 04, 2008

Thou Shalt Not. . . .

Covet thy neighbors. . . Iphone?   
Today I officially took possession of my husband's toy, I mean phone.   I'm feeling a little guilty.  For months now I've seen his buddies eyes light up with a strange green fascination whenever they see this sleek little machine.  It seems to have some hypnotic magic power that I'd love to bottle and sell at the cosmetics counter!   

We'll see if this device actually makes life easier as I update my phonebook & change numbers.  It should be interesting since Nate took my phone # & I took his #.   His new job requires him to join the rank & file Blackberry toting business men of the world.  

Back in the day I never wanted to carry a cell phone.  If I wanted to be found--I'd go home.  But then I saw the StarTac, remember the first micro-mini cell phone?   It became my goal!  I'd know I was successful when I had a phone the size of a lighter!  When my first job gave me a flip-phone, I was hot-stuff!    Seriously, I can't even place this phone into my reality!   I sync my Macbook, ICalendar, ITunes, to my Iphone. When people ask to see pictures of Sophia, I push a button and have a pocket sized slide show of her life. The touchscreen internet features are fascinating. I've unwittingly become a Mac geek overnight!   Where's my Jetson robot & flying car!

Instead, I'm still hanging on by a thread of motherhood sanity!  Example--I've already tried to destroy my husband's coveted conversation piece. I left it on top of the car!  We didn't realize it till we got home.  Nate saw it wedged into the car's roof!  

I'm even a little concerned about using it in public. I'm not sure what type of attention I'll get. . . remember the population of Cedar Rapids is overwhelmingly made up of engineers,  IT people, and tech guys (Rockwell Collins being our largest employer). Around here, you're far more likely to get ogled because of the hardware your carrying than anything you're wearing! I'll keep you posted!


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