Friday, January 30, 2009

Getting the Job Done

I don't vacuum as often as I should. This video might give insight into the reason why I hate this task. (this video is loud & the audio part is not necessary)

Sometimes I am convinced that Stella's goal is to make my life more difficult, but since she is always grinning ear to ear....it's difficult to be upset with her. I'm glad one of us has a good time with this chore. Don't get me started on other tasks such as emptying the dishwasher, making the beds, folding clothes, & picking up toys.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Who Wants A Heart Attack?

Peter & I both love bacon, but this recipe for Bacon Explosion is nothing less than disgusting. I was so grossed out that I had to share it. I used small pictures because the large pictures were just so unappetizing.

1.) 2 lbs Bacon & 2 lbs Italian Sausage


2.) Make bacon lattice & season it


3.) Add Italian Sausage


4.) Add more fried bacon & sauce


5.) Roll it up


6.) Season & grill


7.) Add BBQ sauce & enjoy


Who would eat such a thing?
I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Love Lists

  • I love to make lists.
  • I make lists for everything....to the point of being counterproductive.
  • I hate messy lists.
  • I write things on my list that I've already accomplished so I can cross it out.
  • I always use check marks, dashes, or numbers for itemization...these dots annoy me.
  • Peter always uses a cross for list itemization & it so bugs me...no idea why.
  • I will make sub-lists within my lists.
  • I always make a grocery list & almost always forget it.
  • I hate lists on unlined paper.
  • I cross off items with 1 simple line through the word(s) so I can still read it.
  • I am still VERY forgetful, despite my list-making skills.
  • I like lists in consistent handwriting.
  • I just made a list about lists....I have no life.
  • Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    Rach's GI Health

    I have had a few people ask me about my gastrointestinal (GI) health & I realized that it has been awhile since I've posted an update. I have very little to report, which is a VERY good thing. A quick recap....my GI problems were broken down into two separate non-related issues.



    1. Colon
    Ulcerative colitis: bad inflammation & ulcers throughout my entire colon & random ulcers in my pharynx.

    I seem to have the colitis problem under control with medication.....10 largish pills a day. I will be on this medication for an undetermined amount of time....but most likely years.

    2. Liver:
    Liver inflammation, high liver enzymes, & lots of bile duct problems.

    I was getting my liver enzymes measured every month.....called a hepatic function panel. This "panel" evaluates 3 enzymes. I measure normal on 2 of them & high on only 1....the alkaline phosphatase. To give a reference, normal numbers range between 30-140. My latest January numbers were 650's. When I was in the hospital with bile duct problems, they were between 800-900.

    Doctor's Orders
    My GI doctor does not seem too concerned with the elevated alk/phos levels as I am not experiencing any immediate pain or discomfort. He would like me to get them measured again in April 2009. I will not argue & enjoy the time away from my GI doctor.

    My Diet
    I have gained a solid 8 pounds back from my rapid weight loss. I am happy to report that I can eat again, but I try to avoid too much dairy, red meat, & super high fat food.

    Monday, January 26, 2009

    Daaaaarling!!!

    Stella came to Jasmine's tea party for the last few minutes. She had so much fun with the jewelry & hats. She is usually drawn to "boy" toys like cars, plastic swords, balls & building blocks. But I guess she is a girly girl after all. Not much more to explain, I just wanted to post the pictures.

    Tea Time!

    Preschool has allowed Sofia a chance to meet new friends this year. Jasmine, a new school friend, invited both Fia & me to a dress-up tea party to celebrate her 3rd birthday. Jasmine's party included activities with glitter, tons of play jewelry, butterfly-shaped peanut butter & jelly, pink lemonade, and authentic Korean gift bags. Sofia was ecstatic for an occasion to wear her Cinderella dress again.

    The Girls (all from Preschool)
    Addison, Sofia, Isabella, Jasmine
    Craft Time! Glitter photo frames & teacup picturesThe Tea Party Menu
    Butterfly Shaped Peanut Butter & Jelly, Pretzel Sticks, Pink Lemonade, & Homemade Butterfly Cookies

    Saturday, January 24, 2009

    Rachel's Declaration

    I love office supplies. I love almost all paper products. I always prefer to browse the journal/stationary section at Barnes & Noble....rather than actual books with information that might enhance my intellectual knowledge. I even enjoy August because I find myself curiously rummaging through random "Back to School" supplies.

    I have, however, a love/hate relationship with Post-it notes. They were invented by a guy named Art Fry whose idea came after attending a seminar on a "low-tack" reusable pressure sensitive adhesive. His purpose was to create sticky bookmarks for his hymnal....a great idea. While they are a wonderful invention that come in a variety of super fun colors, shapes, & sizes....they have also become the bane of my office supply obsession.

    Aside from bookmark usage, I believe Post-it notes should be used for jotting down insignificant information that is handy for short term use. If you have important information, then write it somewhere safe....not on a mildly sticky 2 x 2 piece of paper.

    Discarding old Post-it notes is just as important. I have a serious problem with Post-it clutter.....ugh....when they seem to linger & grow like a contagious disease all over your computer & work area....these pictures make me tense.


    Rachel's Declaration:

    Rachel Sheldon shall not be held responsible for any & all information written on Post-it paper. In addition, any random post-it notes lingering on her workspace, counter tops, automobiles, or general living area shall be considered dispensable information & subsequently discarded. Furthermore, this declaration should excuse her from future arguments about lost phone numbers, addresses, important names, emails, etc. Whew! I feel so much better.

    Wednesday, January 21, 2009

    Over vs Under

    Do you put your toilet paper on so the paper hangs under or over? I always prefer over and will sometimes go so far as to change toilet paper in others' bathrooms. I am sure most of you are not as psychotic as me & don't even notice. My mother-in-law is one of the normal people who does not sacrifice any of her attention to such useless details, but somehow manages to have the paper hang under in every bathroom of her house.....and she has 3....houses. Yes, I am anal retentive....or maybe not & you'll start to notice this very stupid & insignificant detail. No, not so much? Hmmm....this post is such a waste of time.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    The Greatest Day of Her Life

    Peter and I believe in infant baptism. Both of our children were baptized as soon as the church schedule would allow. Exactly 1 year ago Stella was baptized at St. Mark Lutheran Church. We decided that we will recognize & honor Fia & Stella's baptism anniversary as it is the greatest day of their lives. I can't believe 1 year has already passed. We praise God for blessing our life with our sweet baby Stella!

    Just a few pictures from her big day 1 year ago

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Taking Pictures

    I love games. Fia and I play games almost everyday. Some of our favorites include Chutes & Ladders, Trouble, & Go Fish. I will admit that occasionally I allow her a win....but as I think it's important to learn about losing....she only wins about 50% of the time. The other day we played memory. She absolutely destroyed me! It's not like she got lucky either. She knew exactly where each piece was after only seeing it once. It was embarrassing.

    Perhaps she has a photographic memory like my sister-in-law Lesley. Lesley always nonchalantly explains "oh, I just take pictures in my head." Of course, so simple....why didn't I think to use such easy methods of information retention. Well Lesley....not everyone can just take pictures. It's not like setting your clothes out the night before to save time. After this game of memory, I think that Fia may be one of the select few who posses this coveted ability to simply take mental pictures. I'm so jealous.

    This is our game. Fia's matches are lined on the right....yes, curving around the table. My pathetic nine matches are on the left.

    Final Tally: Mom (10 matches), Fia (the rest)

    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    Pound It Out

    Fist bumps are a regular in our family. We tend to favor them over high fives. It all began with a simple fist bump. Our friends have aided in making Fia's fist bumps a little cooler. I believe our friend Jer taught her to explode it.....pshhhhh. And then our friend Dan (she calls him Dapper Dan...from the song in Annie) taught her to rain it down. Then I obnoxiously added more motions....then it just got out of control.


    For those following along:
    - Pound it out
    - Explode it.....pssshhhhh
    - Rain it down
    - Stomp it out
    - Plant the seeds
    - Let it grow

    For the record: If you wish to mock me, go for it....it's valid. Apparently, I love to take stupid things way over the line & into "that's-just-annoying" territory. I could argue that I'm teaching Fia regrowth cycles....or not, I'm such nerd.

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    New Job & Smiles

    Peter started his new job this past Monday. He is working at Campus West as a leasing manager/consultant. They are located in Allendale by GVSU and have over 200 units to manage. I am very happy for him because this job fits perfectly with his real estate management interests. He is finally doing something that he enjoys....a true blessing. Although, I will really miss having him available during the day.


    This picture was taken last Sunday before he shaved his beard. Peter's facial hair is red....there is actually some blond too....a genetic trait from his Grandpa Rusty. The color doesn't even fade from brown to red on his sideburns....nope, a straight line of color change....so weird.

    Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    The Exception

    I'm not impressed with many of the men in Hollywood these days.....men like Matthew McConaughey who have grossly chiseled muscles and less body hair than me. I am drawn to a more rugged man and find handy men very attractive. There is, however, one exception to my general rules of attraction.....David Beckham. I think I excuse his prettiness with his athleticism. Whatever the reason, I always give his pictures an extra few seconds of my time.
    Okay, even if you are male...can you deny his good looks?

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    The List Begins

    It recently occurred to me that there are a lot of commercials that I can't stand. They taunt me like an itch in the center of my back that I can never reach. I guess what baffles me most is that in order for any product or service to make it all the way to air time...the original idea has to pass several different committees of people that collectively agree it's a great idea and then give it a thumbs up for funding.

    So I decided that I will start a list of horrible ideas that made it all the way to commercial stardom. I begin my list with the useless Charmin Bears. First of all, bears don't use toilet paper....and the whole concept just seems very contrary to society's latest "green" environment obsession. Second of all, why on earth would cartoon bears wiping their butts convince me to switch to Charmin? This cub has bits of toilet paper stuck to his rear....should this be a cute souvenir of poor wiping and remnants of his last bathroom break? Am I supposed to giggle and say "Oh, look at that cute bear sitting on a tree branch wiping his butt." It only makes me think....do bears perch themselves on high tree branches to have bowel movements? Just a terrible idea on so many levels.

    What is most frustrating is that we actually use Charmin Ultra Strong Toilet Paper....but I can assure you that it is NOT because of the stupid mascots. I have proactively tried switching brands because of these bears, but as toilet paper is a product to which I place extra high value....I have been forced to surrender myself to Charmin's senseless bears.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009

    Best Idea Ever

    I always struggle with gifts for my children because I'm not a huge fan of toys that make noise, light up, or waste our precious space. So then....what to get Stella for her birthday....wait a tick....yes, I've got it. We decided that the gift from Peter's parents would be this indoor climber thing....the perfect outlet to her monkey tendencies. The size is, quite obviously, massive...but we feel the sacrifice is well worth it. Both girls LOVE playing on it.

    Daddy can't put it together fast enough.


    This is her face after she slides down and is running back to the blue steps.

    Fia is also enjoying Stella's gift....this is actually a picture of Stella tormenting her sister...but both are laughing.

    Cake Face

    Stella is finally feeling better so last night we celebrated her 1st birthday...mostly for the purpose of her gorging on cake & of course....smashing it in her face. As predicted, she happily and easily accomplished these tasks without objection.

    I wanted to make cupcakes, but didn't have the liners....so I was forced to make this terribly ugly cake....only I would care about this irrelevant detail.

    Shove it in!! Love those big brown eyes

    I typically refrain from giving her any object with sharp edges as she has proved herself to be dangerous....so she was ecstatic to have a fork. Please take note of the frosting in her hair.....and no, I have not given her a bath yet.

    Again, the happiest baby alive

    I wish every child reacted this way when they receive clothing.

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009

    Behind The Badge

    For those of you who are not cool enough to immediately recognize the badge to the left.....DC United is one of the teams in MLS (Major League Soccer). Peter's cousin, Kyle Sheldon, works for DC United and to his dismay has seen our support for the Chicago Fire and decided this was a problem. Just before Christmas a surprise package arrived at our doorstep. Kyle outfitted our entire family with DC United gear...awesome. I hope this does not crush Peter's dream of Fia being his little Fire fan....but as she is only 3 1/2, owning her own jersey has had quite an effect....definitely grounds for a team loyalty switch.

    Kissing the badge baby! (www.behindthebadge.com)

    Our DC United family. Yes I put a ridiculous white bow on Stella's almost bald head because otherwise she really looked like a boy. And yes, Peter's facial hair is red while the hair on his head is brown....a genetic trait & shout out to Grandpa Rusty!

    This is only a few seconds, but I'm glad I caught it. Sorry Peter, but this is awesome.


    Thanks again Kyle for helping make our family a little cooler.

    Tuesday, January 6, 2009

    She's Baaaaack!

    Stella is finally feeling better. I know this because the days of cuddling are gone. She has no desire for me to snuggle her or sit contently on my lap. The other day I allowed her to tear down our chintzy Christmas chain decorations and it was easily the most excited that I have seen her. Perhaps it was because I was allowing her to completely destroy something. Whatever the reason, the two-dimpled smile has returned and I couldn't be happier.

    Sunday, January 4, 2009

    Pet Peeve #17

    The other day I was in the grocery store and there was a very cute little girl in front of us in the checkout line. I thought maybe she was about 2 or 3 so I asked "How old is your little girl?" The response was "Oh, about 27 1/2 months."

    This response irritated me for a couple reasons. First, she shouldn't use the word "about" when she clearly had an exact answer for me. Second, this response forced me to do mental math to get an answer "Okay....so there are 12 months in a year....27 months.....that makes 2 years plus 3 months." This answer is only appropriate for following one of those books that gives detailed month-by-month information for the first 5 years of your child's life....if such a pathetic book exists.

    Once your baby is a year....then answers given by rounding 1/2 years is close enough. Stella is 1 year old and will soon graduate into the "just over a year old" category. Similarly, Fia is 3 1/2 and will remain this age until she is about 1 month away from 4 years old....and then she will be "almost 4" or "nearly 4".

    The same rules need be applied for new babies. Once your baby is over 8 weeks, then give your answer to this question in months because 42 weeks is useless information to me.

    I think after my kids are 5, then I will eliminate the 1/2 year usage and only give round years. Perhaps I'll still use words such as nearly, almost, and barely.

    Summary:
    1. Don't force people to do all sorts of math to get an answer to a simple question.
    2. Don't assume people people are that interested in the exact age of your child because most times they just want a general answer.

    Meet Me Under The Kissy-toe

    Fia is always making us laugh. I meant to post this earlier....but our family got sick.

    We had all our Christmas decorations out this year and made our place look like a Pre-school. My favorite decoration is the mistletoe because it gives me an excuse to get extra kisses. Fia loved to stand under it and yell out to me "Mom.....I'm standing under the kissy-toe and I'm waiting for you!!"


    I have two sister-in-laws that are pregnant and Fia likes to talk about when she is going to have a baby in her tummy. A couple weeks ago she said "But mommy......I can't have a baby in my belly because I don't have big hips like you!" Awesome....glad you noticed....thank you Fia.
     

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