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Helpful hints: tick removal

11 Jul

Our back yard has a ton of trees, and our dog spends a lot of time out there… which means that despite the flea & tick medication she takes, she still brings in the occasional hitchhiker.  I used to HATE removing ticks, especially since half the time I wasn’t sure if I’d managed to get the gross, tiny head out.


Johnsons baby oilI found a way to suffocate the little nasties!  If I put three or four drops of baby oil on the tick, wait thirty seconds, add another two or three drops, and wait another thirty seconds or so, the tick is so easy to pull out that I can do it with my fingers and some tissue paper.  The longer it’s been in there, the more oil and time you’ll need… but it’s so easy to do.  I imagine it would work just as well on people, and it even smells good!

So there you go… something actually useful!


More from me:

My no good, really bad food day

Top five wine vacations




28 Jun

If you have a moment, please take some time to go and vote for my Mamavation application!  You can see my application video here, and you can “vote” for me by heading to Twitter and tweeting this: Hey @bookieboo! I want @SkinnySushi to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! As always, your support means SO much to me.

I’m super busy this week and feeling distracted, so here’s my post in bullets…

ASL alphabetsource

  • we saw some friends this weekend and one of them mentioned that the daycare where his five month old son is going will have him fully versed in sign language by one year old.  Evi is almost fourteen months and knows four signs. I might suck.
  • those same friends did not mention the fact that I am MUCH thinner than when they saw me last.  I continue to be puzzled by people’s reluctance to mention that you might look skinnier.
  • our second car is STILL not fixed.  Every time they fix something, they find some new problem.  Let this be a lesson to those of you who want to save money by buying a car at auction.  This one has been useless since DECEMBER and, as such, I have been housebound for as long.
  • What is the world coming to?  Italy, France, and the US are out of the World Cup?  We bought Evi an Italia tee shirt this weekend anyway, and she looks mighty cute in it.  I wanted one too, but I’m waiting for clearance sales.  I am cheap.
  • I may also suck as a wife.  I got excited for Fathers Day and (with Evi’s help) made Aaron a card.  I got him a copy of a book he wanted but since the book won’t be released until September, I also got him a three month subscription to a sci-fi book site where he can download books to his Kindle.  It was a great day, I made him breakfast and brownies.  And then I got to thinking… and decided I was irritated that I didn’t get a present on Mothers Day.  It’s not about getting “stuff” but… I was bugged.  When I said something to Aaron a few days later, he apologized and said that he’d tried to make sure I had a break on Mother’s Day and didn’t have to do anything in terms of cooking, cleaning, or child rearing.  And you know what?  He DID do that.  I so suck.  Upon further discussion, we realized it’s just a difference in how we acknowledge occasions.  I’m a present-giver, so for me it’s harder not to get a gift.  He’s an action guy, so he doesn’t mind no gifts if he gets something else, like a day off.  We’ve both agreed to do two things… #1 – work harder to acknowledge each other in ways that are meaningful to the receiver, and #2 – make sure we’re paying attention to the ways the other person might be acknowledging us in their way.


More from me:

Mamavation Monday: motivation (includes a video blog!)

Beach and Picnic Wines



22 Jun

If you have a moment, please take some time to go and vote for my Mamavation application!  You can see my application video here, and you can “vote” for me by heading to Twitter and tweeting this: Hey @bookieboo! I want @SkinnySushi to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! As always, your support means SO much to me.

To do listsource

I have to be honest… between raising my daughter, being a wife and daughter and sister and girl, maintaining my fitness, writing articles, running four blogs, and still trying to keep the house in some kind of order…

Well, I’m having a hard time.  I’m having trouble with prioritizing and time management.  I have a running to-do list that I keep going all the time and update as I finish things, but the problem is that a lot of the things I have to do need doing every day, so they don’t get put on the list because it would irritate me to cross them off and add them back every day.  And if you’re a list maker too, you know it’s ridiculous to consider adding them to the list and then not crossing them off.  Just typing that made me kittery.

So how do you do it?  Whether you work, stay home, raise kids, herd goats… how do you get it all done in a day?  I’m especially interested in tips from people who have a non-traditional work schedule/environment (i.e. you work from home or Starbucks or you’re home during the day and work at night…) because I feel like it’s harder to maintain order at home, but I know you all probably have some ideas and I’d love to hear them all!

I’ve thought about trying to schedule my day, but life with a one year old is extremely difficult to schedule.  She is *generally* asleep at the same time every day, which is usually when I blog/Facebook/Twitter… so I try to get as much done during those times as I can…

So tell me how you do it, super people.  Tell me how you get through your day and make sure that at least the most important things get done.  Tell me how you manage to get through the week without letting the same things (ahem… laundry) go by the wayside over and over until you’re crushed by a mountain of your own sweaty workout clothes.

I’m up for anything, so tell me what works for you!


More from me:

Product review: Breyers Smooth & Dreamy Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches

Top summer wines


Tantrum tamer

10 Jun

Oh my gosh, y’all.  Don’t talk about religion on the internet, or you’ll be forced to read (and perhaps respond to) hundreds of comments in which people say the exact same thing over and over again.  As a good friend pointed out, there is very little progress to be made when a religious person and a non-religious person argue, as the two thought/logic processes work quite differently.

Thanks for the house comments yesterday.  I think owning IS the better thing for us right now, but I so wish someone would just come and paint our house, you know?  🙂

Evi is now thirteen months (technically thirteen months and one week) old now, and the time is just flying by.  She’s SO cool.  She’s fast and smart and funny.  And she’s throwing some serious tantrums.

Calvin's tantrumsource

Ninety percent of the time, she’s the best child on the planet.  The other ten percent… she’s a little scary.  I was SO not expecting tantrums this early, but several mom friends have assured me that this is totally normal, and that there will be an end to it.  Thanks to some really good advice from Zoot, we’ve actually found some fantastic ways to deal with it already.  She’s not quite old enough yet to understand the idea of calming down, but we do try to breathe deeply and tell her to do the same.  Hopefully with repetition she’ll start to understand.  We’re also teaching her more signs (she signs hungry and thirsty really well) so that she has some more communication options.  And finally, when all else fails, Zoot suggested acting like a maniac to reset her teeny, furious brain.  And?  It works like a charm!  When she has a meltdown that won’t be stopped any other way, laughing like a crazy woman, dancing like a loon, or doing something else wild and unexpected seems to totally tilt her out of the “I’m upset… because I’m upset” cycle and returns her to her normal, happy state.  So thanks Zoot, you’re a sanity saver.


More from me:

What If Wednesday


My house owns me…

9 Jun

Rent or Ownsource

I love our house.  It’s beautiful, more than big enough for our needs, and the layout gives us a lot of options.  I feel really lucky to have a home that keeps us safe and happy.

And yet…  home ownership is SO MUCH WORK.  There is always something that needs doing, and since our house was a foreclosure it started out in worse shape than some.  We’ve already painted a few rooms, added window treatments in a few places (all were stripped by the previous owners), and obviously filled the place with out furniture.  Aaron has done tons of work outside to get the lawn (front and back) in working order.

But there is still so much to do, and there is always more.  The gutters need replacing, most of the house still needs painting (which is impossible with a toddler), there are still lots of window treatments to be put up, the floors in the kitchen and two ugly-carpeted rooms are in dire need of replacing, the cabinets need updating, the kitchen appliances need replacing, several windows need new screens, and the backyard needs landscaping… and that’s just the bare minimum so that we could get a decent price for it if we ever wanted to sell.  To make it our dream house… well it would need a much longer list.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it.  I know renting means it’s not yours and you have to put up with rent hikes and management changes that can be irritating.  We rented for a long time and we had some issues there too… but I sort of miss having someone else mow the lawn and fix the broken showerhead.  Is that insane?

Honestly, if it were up to me I think I’d rent forever.  Alas, it’s important to Aaron to own, and it certainly has tax benefits and a certain sense of security… so I guess I’ll just go back to making the to-do list and remembering how very lucky I am to have a house to complain about in the first place.

Do you rent or own?  What do you like or hate about your situation?


More from me:

weight loss & vegetables

Natural wines: organic & biodynamic

Talking about religion on the internet is scary, so brace yourself… Raising a churchless child



2 Jun

Evi’s got a random fever today, so we’re spending the day cuddled up on the couch with lots of Pedialyte, fruit, and baby-friendly tv.  It would be a lovely, quiet day except that a crew has come out to cut down a tree right in front of our house!

First off, I’m not entirely sure that isn’t our tree.  I’m also not sad to see it go, but don’t you think they ought to have contacted us about it?  It’s just weird, and all the noise from cutting and chipping the tree is making it difficult for a very sick baby to sleep… not to mention the incessant barking since the dog can see the workmen right out the window.



More from me:

Shred/Couch to 5K progress

Thirty and Ten

2 Mar

Evi is ten months old today.  I can’t believe it.

I turn thirty tomorrow.  I CAN believe that, though it’s not particularly frightening.

What’s weird is to think of where I was last year at this time.  I was writing about pregnancy brain and I spent all my time in bed.  I also looked like this:

Weird, huh?  We were living in a rented house, waiting on pins and needles to see how the pregnancy would progress, and dreaming of warm weather in the middle of an ice storm.  Now we’re living in a house we own, watching our amazing daughter grow strong and healthy, and enjoying the hints of spring that are beginning to appear.

I may not have everything I want.  I may not have everything I thought I would have at this point in my life.  But when I look around at what I DO have, I am happy.  My life is good, my body is stronger and healthier by the day.  My daughter is thriving, my marriage is beautiful, my friends are amazing.

Evi is enjoying ten months.  She has three teeth coming in at once right now, and she’s pulling up on everything she can get her hands on.  I don’t think she will ever crawl officially.  She has an army crawl and roll combination down so that she moves super fast, and now that she’s discovered standing she is determined to walk.  She will walk holding my hands, but when she pulls up she’s not sure how to do it on her own yet.  It’s coming though.

I’m off to post about fat acceptance, exercise routines, and a new recipe for pizza on Skinny Sushi!