Thursday, May 29, 2008


Liam woke up to a really cool Spiderman bike this morning and he had a look of pure shock and joy when he noticed it sitting in the kitchen. I loved it. He hopped right on and started trying to ride it in the kitchen. I loved the feeling of surprising him with something he worked so hard for! Here are a few shots of him riding off "to town" as he called it - the neighborhood park as I call it. You can see how cool he feels in the pictures...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tomorrow is BIKE DAY!

Liam worked really hard cleaning up today and didn't get any time outs so tomorrow is BIKE DAY!! He only had two boxes left to stamp and he was really cute about helping me clean up. After he finished putting away every last train, we ran to the table to stamp the last two boxes! Liam and I started screaming for joy and Finn started laughing and shreaking from his high chair. It was great. I took these pictures of Liam right after that. After I took the shots he leaned forward and hugged me and said, "I love you, Mama." It totally made me cry. I am very proud of Liam and he gets his awesome Spiderman bike tomorrow morning thanks to his daddy being willing to put it together after a long day of work! More pictures to follow!

** Please note his awesome "Indiana Jones" hat. He loves it and just HAD to wear it this afternoon.

I Got Tagged

Got tagged by a my friend, Jodie.

Five things on my to-do list today
1. Sign Liam up for swimming lessons
2. Do laundry, fold laundry, put away laundry
3. Work on Women of Purpose stuff
4. Clean up the house
5. Shower!!

Snacks I enjoy
1. Chips and guacamole
2. Peanut M&M's
3. Anything with a little chocolate
4. Salt and Pepper Kettle Chips with cottage cheese dip
5. Anything sweet unfortunately

Things I would do if I were a millionaire
1. Buy a little bigger house and pay it off
2. Take people out to lunch at nicer restaurants and order wine (I know I'm getting crazy)
3. Have a staff (chef, personal trainer, housecleaner, assistant...)
4. Travel
5. Figure out ways to give it away

Places I have lived
1. McMinnville, OR
2. Azusa, CA
3. South Pasadena, CA
4. Old Hickory, TN (outside of Nashville)

Bad habits I have
1. Stress eating
2. Blogging instead of cleaning up the house
3. Rarely shaving my legs
4. Procrastinating
5. Folding laundry but NOT putting it away

Jobs I have held
1. Flagger (you know - the person driving the oversize load pickup in front of the giant piece of equipment - my CB name was "Clutch")
2. Barista
3. Personal Assistant
4. Nanny
5. HR Manager at a day spa

I now tag... Amy, Sadie, Carlee, Angel! Get to work!

After My Last Blog...

I googled Fiber One Bars to see if anyone might be having the same problems... Here is what I found. They are so hilarious that I felt that I needed to post them. These are comments from another blog about the bars...

Has anyone experienced excess bloating and gas after eating the bars? I did not know if the large amount of fiber would cause these side effects. I love the taste ! Just don’t care for the aftermath. Also have I mentioned how much I love this site, thanks for all your hard work you put into it, Roni.

Cyndy — my sister and I noticed this, too. The bars are great, but in my honest opinion, they are not worth the aftermath… definitely waaay too much fiber!

Love the taste and they keep me very full. Unfortunately, they cause so much gas that my wife and I refer to them as Fart Bars. Some of this gas is very painful. My wife who is not prone to gas, even on her regular (extreme) high fiber diet, has excessive and uncomfortable gas. Be careful, especially if you have one before work!

I agree with the gas problem with these bars. I just about ran the family out of the house. It was truly embarrasing!! The bars are delicious but make sure you are alone after eating one.

I agree with these being SO yummy, but the description of these being “Fart Bars” is so true! I didn’t get the pain or bloating, but oh my was I gassy. They are so worth it, so I think I’ll just stick to them on the weekends and evenings.

Apparently these "fart bars" have a reputation! Lisa commented that I should only eat half of one but I do NOT have the self control to eat only half a bar and I have have had the same nasty gas with just one bar! I commend your self control!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Will Miss You Fiber One Bars

I think that my small group of readers know this ... but Jesse and I have been on the South Beach Diet for a month now. (Jesse's lost 17 lbs. and I've lost 15 lbs. - we've both gone down a size - yeah!) I am always looking for new foods to try. I am especially in need of a good bar of some sort that I can grab and go. I am still nursing and get really hungry at random times. One of my sister-in-laws suggested the Fiber One Bar and said that it is super high in fiber (of course) and super delish and that they are totally diet friendly. I finally found them and decided to try them.

Holy Crap! They are amazing! They taste way too good to be true. I double checked the nutritional info and they don't seem to be horrible for me. They have little chocolate chips (or at least they look like them) and totally satisfy my sweet tooth. I start having one (let's be truthful - sometimes two) a day. I quickly decided to see if they had them at Costco. They did! I bought a box of 30 and convinced myself that you really never know when you are going to need one and I figure that I should have a HUGE box on hand just in case.

A few days after starting to eat them regularly I noticed that "things" were a changing in my digestive system. I did not plan on spelling it out but by things I mean - horribly nasty gas. Yes, I admit it. Yes, I realize that this info might be too much for some of you. It smelled horrible and I couldn't stop! I started to go through the things that I was eating and decided it was just from all of the fruits and veggies I had been eating. It did not slow down. My son Liam started making regular comments about the odor and my poor husband was constantly being warned to stand back and not breathe through his nose.

I slowly started to suspect that it could be my dear Fiber One bars but kept eating them anyway. Then, this weekend, my husband said, "Man, I am like farting every minute. Seriously." And it was true...he was. I then reluctantly asked him the question that I feared would seal my Fiber One bar's fate... "Did you happen to have one of my Fiber One bars today?" Yes. Yes, he did.

So, I have been off the bars for 12 hours now and seem to be nasty gas free. How sad. I really loved you Fiber One Bars...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Croup is Crap!

Yes, I realize that this isn't the catchiest title ever but I'm serious. My baby Finn woke up on Wednesday morning with a nasty cough that I thought sounded like the croup. For those of you that do not have children, the croup cough typically sounds like a barking seal. Lovely. After a visit to the doctor and a dose of steroids I found out that I was unfortunately correct. I thought that we had seen the worst of it at that point. I was wrong. He now has the worst, green snot all over his face, cough all over his mother, drool all over everything, cold. He is still hacking too. It doesn't sound quite as bad as it did but it is still there. He is waking up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours at night sobbing and the only thing that calms him down (especially after I suck out his nose) is me nursing him. He is SO grumpy all day and only wants his father to hold him. I am tired and obviously a little whiny. I can't wait for this to be over!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

DO SOMETHING!! This little girl is 3 years old!!

This picture was just on the homepage with an article about the 120,000 kids that WILL DIE by the end of the month if they do not have food. Here is what CNN wrote:

"The rangy 3-year-old weighs less than 10 pounds, or 4 kilograms. Her long limbs, weak and folded like a praying mantis, cannot carry even her slight weight. She cannot speak. She doesn't want to eat. Health officials say she is permanently stunted.

Bizunesh -- whose name, sadly, means "plentiful" -- is one of untold numbers of children hit by this year's double blow of a countrywide drought and skyrocketing global food prices that has brought famine, once again, to Ethiopia.

"She should be bigger than this," said her mother Zewdunesh Feltam, rocking the listless child. "Before there was maize, different kinds of food. But now there is nothing ... I beg for milk from my neighbors."

The U.N. children's agency said in a statement Tuesday an estimated 126,000 Ethiopian children urgently need food and medical care because of severe malnutrition -- and called the crisis "the worst since the major humanitarian crisis of 2003."

The U.N. World Food Program estimates that 2.7 million Ethiopians will need emergency food aid because of late rains -- nearly double the number who needed help last year. An additional 5 million of Ethiopia's 80 million people receive aid each year because they never have enough food, whether harvests are good or not."

This girl's picture immediately made me sick to my stomach and I started crying. It shocked me into remembering and recognizing that kids on the other side of the world are starving to death while I throw out left overs and splurge on a coffee. This little girl is the same age as my son and her mother is being forced to beg and watch her baby die. I tried to imagine myself in a similar situation and couldn't bear it. I hope that this pictures gets a similar response out of you.

The next step that I made was to go onto the UN's World Food Programe site to see how I can donate. They desperately need donations. I know that times are tight for a lot of people (ourselves included) but we are RICH! It only takes $15 US to feed 10 kids for a week. I just went on and made a donation and I want you to do it as well. Let yourself be disturbed into action. We cannot sit by and close our eyes to this. Please help.

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Boys Are a Little Happier When It's Sunny... and so am I

The warm weekend was just what we all needed (except my husband had a run in with the stomach flu) and we feel refreshed from all of the Vitamin D we've soaked up! Liam has been outside almost non-stop and Finn has enjoyed a little time in the baby pool at our neighbor's house. It is a little cooler today but that didn't stop us from enjoying the warm weather!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

No Thumb at All...

Here I go again... trying to pretend that I am a gardener. It is really wonderful out today and I felt like this was a good time to do some of my "improvisational gardening."I love the feel of being in a beautiful garden. I love fresh flowers and would love to be able to go outside to cut my own. But I am a crappy gardener. I always start out with great intentions but things seem to go wrong. I have even bought cute gardening gear for myself in hopes that it will motivate me to go get some work done. Here is a small list naming why I seem to kill things:

1) I forget to water the plants - especially on really hot days.
2) I buy the wrong plants for my backyard.
3) I plant them in the wrong spots.
4) I rarely fertilize.
5) I get lazy.
6) I tell people that my soil is bad but I think that I am just clueless.
7) I never cut my roses back in before winter - or ever.
8) I have kids.
9) I can't seem to motivate my husband to do all the work for me.
10) I would love to say that I am super busy and rarely home. While I do have my hands full, I could probably still make it out there.

I just went to Home Depot today and bought some plants for my containers. I seem to have better luck with soil that fertilizes for me and there isn't the weed problem. Plus, the flowers are just so pretty from my kitchen. I am also planting a pot for a little herb garden. I am thinking that maybe I should try a container garden since so much of the work is done for me there. Who knows. Who cares. Are you still reading this? This is a pretty boring and random blog.

Well, here is a picture of a couple of containers I did today. Nothing amazing but I think that they will grow up to be pretty. Maybe I will figure out how to garden when my boys are grown... or maybe I will be able to hire a gardener by then!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Last of the Hawaii Pics... I Swear

Ok... You are probably sick of looking at pictures but I am still kind of wishing that we were there. The weather was a little bit nicer here in Seattle but the ocean was amazing.

This was the view out our window...

A peak into little Finny's personality...

Another look at Finn...

Happy at last...

Liam loving on Baby Cousin Landon... Liam insists that we call him "Lando"...

My boys looking out at the water. Yes, I did make my very white husband where a t-shirt while he snorkled...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Help Out Cocoa Farmers and my friend Amy!

I have been blogging a little bit about where a majority of our chocolate comes from... An estimated 12,000 children have been trafficked into the Ivory Coast to work on small cocoa farms and nearly 75% of the United States chocolate comes from the Ivory Coast. This rocked me. It also rocked a friend of mine. She has decided to take action. Please take a few minutes to read Amy's blog entry that she is letting me copy onto my blog. You can help Amy make a difference for the Cocoa Farmers on the Ivory Coast. Read on, be inspired, and take a step to help these people.


13 May 2008

The Kingdom Project

4060My church has decided to do a little project/experiment in radical generosity. They have given 12 people $100 each with the instructions to multiply it and use it for good. I am one of the 12 and given my recent emotional outbreak over child slaves in the cocoa industry, I’m going to use my $100 to start raising awareness and funds for the people suffering in Cote d’Ivoire.

We are going to sell cups of fair trade coffee at Farmer’s Markets while educating people about human-trafficking and the cocoa industry. We also will pass out “Chocolate Guides" listing traffic-free chocolate and non-traffic-free chocolate that people can keep in their wallets. I’m hoping to also have some samples of traffic-free chocolate for people to taste.

Then I’m planning to throw a chocolate party using only fair-trade chocolate and we will take up a collection from people who would like to support the cause.

If you would like to help or donate, let me know. We need all the help we can get. In the mean time, only buy fair-trade chocolate and check out these links for more information:

14 May 2008

Boots for Cocoa Farmers!

Well, I came across an awesome organization called Project Hope & Fairness. They do all kinds of good work helping African cocoa farmers, but there was one thing they did that really inspired me. Apparently, Green Mamba snakes are venomous snakes that live in the cocoa fields. In Decembegreenmambar, a team went and distributed rubber boots to the cocoa farmers. Read the story here. The village was so touched they asked if more boots could be bought for the neighboring villages.

The boots cost $10, which seems like nothing to us, but to them it is 13% of their annual salary. I’m not joking. A cocoa farmer makes roughly $77 a year. Buying a pair of boots themselves to protect their life is simply out of the question.

So, guess what? A team is going in August and if we raise the money, they will buy and deliver the boots! They will purchase them in Accra and Abidjan and take them in t heir van to 10 villages. The goal is to provide each village with 40 boots. Think we can do it?! I do! (I know…I’m totally on fire for this project, it’s ridiculous) :)

It gets better. While I was researching traffic-free chocolate a few days ago, I came across the name Tom Neuhaus. He owns a company called Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates, and I thought he was remarkable because he travels to Africa each year to visit the cocoa fields and really cares about the people. (not to mention his chocolate company is one of the best for ethically traded chocolate) The articles I read about him basically turned him into a celebrity in my eyes. When Ernie, from Project Hope & Fairness replied to me about the boots, I couldn’t believe it when he told me Tom Neuhaus was the guy that gets boots for the African farmers! I was star struck. He cc’d him and Tom wrote directly to me! As if he already doesn’t do enough, he is donating chocolate for us to use in our efforts and giving us an awesome deal to purchase chocolate to sell! Thank you so much, Tom! You’re awesome!

Here is a great article about their trip last year. A man by the name of Stan Thompson joined them on the trip, but sadly passed away a month later. This story is truly inspiring.

So, if you’d like to buy a pair of boots for a cocoa farmer, view my profile and email me. We’ll also be taking donations at the Issaquah Farmer’s Market on May 24th. Tell all your friends too. If we all help out a little, we’ll reach our goal in no time.

Some Great Hawaii Pics

This one is a very telling picture of the Butterworth family...

I just love how incredibly wind blown we all are in this one. Look at the baby's hair too. Pretty awesome family shot!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pictures for a Purpose

How many times can I post the same thing? It turns out that I can do it as much as I want or until all of the time slots for Pictures for a Purpose are taken! So, here we go again! You had better sign up soon! You can't deny that these pictures are adorable... don't you want adorable pictures like this with your children looking back at you?

Your child's smile could help save a life...

Eastside Women of Purpose is launching their 1st Annual Pictures for a Purpose fundraiser! We have five super talented photographers lined up to photograph our kiddos on Saturday, June 28th from 9am to 6pm. To coolest part is that every photographer is donating their entire day and all profits to Eastside Women of Purpose! Everything we make will go towards programs that help protect children at risk from being trafficked in SE Asia.

Experts estimate 5.7 million children are trapped in forced or bonded labor. About one
million of these children are exploited in the sex trade each year. (Source: UNICEF) Many
times, unwitting parents hand over their children to slavers under false pretenses, such as
promises of schooling.

You can help. Take advantage of this opportunity to secure a lasting memory of your child. All proceeds will be used to pay for desperately needed educational and training resources used
by World Concern to combat child trafficking throughout SE Asia.

Your $30 sitting fee goes directly to this cause. Pick the photos you like from our easy-to-use
website—flexible a la carte pricing lets you pick the photos and sizes you really want. The site will even change the picture to black and white or sepia tone for you! There is
no obligation to buy. Again, all of the proceeds from this event will go towards this project.

We have just started selling these photo sessions at OCC (across from the info booth) or by finding an Eastside Women of Purpose member. If you live in the Seattle area and would like to participate but have absolutely no idea where OCC is, feel free to comment on this posting or visit to schedule an appointment!

Finn is Crawling!!

I don't have a picture of it yet, but Finn started crawling tonight while we were at our neighbor's house! I will video it in the morning! He has been standing up everywhere and climbing stairs (two so far) and he has fallen a ton. But it doesn't really seem to phase him... He is really tough. I am also really tired today and realized that it is not just because he was up every two hours last night! He is into everything and I spent my day following him and redirecting him (to no avail). He has even tried putting his fingers in the outlets. I also found a renegade penny in his mouth this afternoon and then felt very inspired to clean up and vacuum. Liam was not like this... I am in serious trouble!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Battle of the Babies - Finn 10 mo. (right side) & Landon 10 mo. (left side)

We had a GREAT time in Hawaii...

We loved Kauai and had a hard time wanting to come home. It was SO relaxing, the weather was perfect, we felt no obligation to be tourists as we had all been there before, we didn't have internet access in our room, the boys slept well (for the most part), I had a chance to read, we were in a corner room with a view of the ocean and the pool, it was 80 degrees, I could go on and on...

We all flew out last Saturday and met up with my parents and my brother, Sister-in-law, and nephew. We felt so blessed to be there. My parents took care of our trip and they used their time shares so that we all had our own individual suites. We had help with our kids and yes, we had many Tai Chi Smoothies by the pool. (No they are not on the South Beach diet but they were oh so delish).

Jesse and I started relaxing right away and Liam wanted to be in the pool 24 hours a day. I was eventually brave enough (and tired of my insecurities) to get up out of my pool lounger and go in the pool with Liam. It was really fun and it made me realize how my body image issues affect my kids. How dumb of me to avoid the pool so that strangers wouldn't see my awesome figure.

My sister in law took a majority of the pics and hasn't had a chance to get them out to me yet but here is a cute shot that I have of my dad, Liam and Finny in the pool... I miss you Kauai...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I must admit that I am TOTALLY excited!

Amy Grant is coming to OCC end of October and I am a little giddy! I LOVE Amy Grant. It was the first concert that I went to as a child and I have to admit that I still occasionally listen to her oldies but goodies. I will totally be in the audience singing along... I totally thought that this picture was the coolest and I still love that jacket. She's totally hardcore.