Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy anniversary... us!

You didn't forget, did you? Well, that's okay, I didn't get you a present either, so we're good. But I do think the first anniversary of The Little Stuff of Life is worth noting.

And I thought I should update you on some things I mentioned in the very first post:

I made it through the first year of allergy shots the doctor sort of recommended.

I've learned a lot about baby stuff.

I've read some good books and gotten suggestions for more good books to read.

My business has grown - adding the Fam Fare line and many other new designs and products.

The Hubs and I have taken some very fabulous trips.

You have contributed a lot too. Maybe more than you know.

Thank you for all the support, encouragement and the many wonderful comments - insights, suggestions, reactions, opinions. (Keep those comin'! Comments are my candy.)

And a big huge thanks to the Hubs for loving me, cheering me on and putting up with my nonsense.

Happy blogiversary everyone!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lego mania

We did go to the new Lego Store...

but since there was a serious line...

we did not go in the store. The good news is that adding to the giant R2D2 did not require entering the store. Ergo, no waiting in line.

In fact, it was in another part of the mall altogether - next to Victoria's Secret oddly enough.

But I digress. Since we couldn't just pop into the Lego store, after the Lego-builder-guy put the Hubs' brick in place...

we went shopping for work clothes for the Hubs.

Not quite as fun, but there was no line to get in.

Photos by me.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Lego store

If you're in the Phoenix area and you're into building 8-foot R2D2 creations, then you should stop by the new Lego store at Chandler Mall this weekend and help with the construction effort. Sounds like fun stuff!

Thanks to Mike for letting us know! :)


Photo by the Hubs.

Nothing to sneeze at

Where have I been all week, right?

Well, Monday was my annual visit with the allergy doctor, who I apparently misquoted in my first post. He said he recommends waiting on starting allergy shots rather than waiting on starting a family.

But, really? Continue feeling miserable in order to get pregnant and feel more miserable then start treatment once I have an infant to bring with me every! single! week!...OR...wait on the baby, start feeling better sooner, and blog about baby stuff? No regrets.

Anyway, the allergies are a lot better. I'm still getting shots, but I'm at the point where pregnancy would not interfere with that. Which has given the Hubs and I a lot to think about. (i.e. that slew of questions Monday)

Speaking of kids, the waiting room at the allergy clinic had coloring books...sponsored by Nasonex. So in case you had any doubt that marketing of pharmaceuticals was out of control or that marketing to kids was out of control, look no further than Buzzy the Bee's Activity Book.

Ok, well, the Hubs is home now and making us tuna sandwiches, so I guess the rest of this week will have to wait.

PS The Hubs came up with that sneeze title. :) And made me a sandwich. I took the photos though, so....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hold on to caution or throw it to the wind?

I tend to be vague when people ask the Hubs and I when we want to have kids.

I'm worried something will go wrong and then I'll have to deal with all these people. What if we have trouble conceiving? What if I miscarry? Does it hurt less if I avoid painful questions?

The preemptive strategy has always been: don't let them know if/when we'll be trying, much less if I get pregnant. Don't say a word until the first trimester's over. But maybe that's not the way to go.

It seems like my friends belong to the let-everyone-know-ASAP school. And it seems to have worked for them.

I'm trying to be more open. To not fear potential disappointment so very much. Should I be a little less cautious about the if and when? Or is it better to stay mysterious?


Photo by the Hubs or me. (Don't remember.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

The rest of the story

I need to 'fess up.

Today I'm not going to play group. (That's not what I'm confessing.) I'm going to be helping my family with a project. (That's not it either. I'll get there!)

I know that being transparent is an important part of blogging. It's also a big challenge for me. Probably true for a lot of my family. We're not generally announce-it-all-to-the-world people.

Which brings me to my confession. When I started this blog almost a year ago, I already knew my grandma had pancreatic cancer, but I've never written about it here directly. I wasn't sure my family would be okay with me blogging about what we were going through.

But if you read between the lines, there are hints of it.

One of my first posts on this blog was about eating when you need to but don't want to, because I had a friend going through morning sickness - and a Grandma going through chemo.

In August, I started taking care of Grandma while my parents were at work. We would both sit on her bed and watch daytime t.v. and chat about whatever. Sometimes, while she napped, I'd type up a post or work on my shop.

Her nausea persisted. Thanks to Mom, I learned how to sneak extra nutrition into food. (I didn't want Grandma to see me photographing her lunch, so I snuck those photos too!)

Sometime in the fall she started going in and out of the hospital a lot. I would pass these statues - of mother and baby animals - on the way in to where my mother would be sitting holding her mother's hand or helping her eat or speaking with her doctor.

And it was a conversation inside the hospital with Aunty that prompted me to research Rh factor.

In December, Grandma went from the hospital to a Hospice facility then back to her apartment attached to my parents' home.

I typed my New Year's Eve post a few days early. Grandma did not see another New Year. She passed away on December 30, 2007.

I photographed everything in her apartment at my parents' house - knickknacks on shelves, clothes in her closet, lamp on her nightstand - all these things which were so very her.

I shared some of the thoughts I had been contemplating for weeks. But I still didn't feel like blogging about our loss. I guess sometimes it helps to share and other times there's solace remaining quiet.

But here it is now. On the day that I join Mom, Aunty and my cousin L to sort through the last of Grandma's things. And, today, it feels good to share.


Hey, guess what?! Just got some fabulous news. Angela (whose shower I attended in May, remember the crazy weekend of craziness?) was born yesterday - 6/19! And she already owns a pacifier pod. ;)


Photos by me. Except the second one, which I think Dad took.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Top Toys

Wondertime listed their 13 favorite toys of all time. Oh, the nostalgia within these pages! My brother and I had all of them.

These are the classics. The kind of toys that can get dropped, beaten up, chewed on and still encourage creative play.

Especially with all the toy safety issues of late, there's definitely something to be said for tried and true!

Photos: Mr Potatohead by silverbelly. CCL. Mid-1970's Lincoln Log Cabin by Patrick Q. CCL.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Whatcha gonna do with all that junk?

This is very exciting news.

Did you know you might be able to actually do something about the junk text messages that come in on your phone? (Other than thinking angry, angry thoughts...)

I just read that on Lifehacker, which got it from a New York Times post. I guess there's several things you can try to block or at least filter unwanted text messages.

Haven't done that yet. (Getting close to bedtime.) But, believe me, I will. I will.

Spam, you are going DOWN!

Once I get some sleep.

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Oh yes, that is my very high tech cell phone with actual Spam texts I received.

Cake you don't eat

I've seen diaper cakes before. You know, where they stack/arrange a bunch of diapers and other baby stuff to look like a cake. Usually they look something like this...

Well, this company is offering cakes made with gDiapers. I haven't seen that before. They come with basic gDiaper stuff, and you can get them with baby bath stuff from Burt's Bees. (They spelled it wrong, though. Bad sign?)

I still haven't met anyone who uses gDiapers. But it wouldn't surprise me if they were have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too kinda people. Not that that's all bad. I'm just sayin'...when you expect your child's diapers to be both eco-friendly and able to be tossed into the garbage....well...

Myself? I think I'm an eat-my-cake-and-wonder-why-my-jeans-don't-fit kind of person.

Takes all kinds, right?

Photos: 1) by ciboulette. CCL. 2) by rshannonsmith. CCL.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

What I almost got...

A lot more gift options opened up for our nephew James's birthday this year. Now that he, the youngest of his siblings, just turned three, the possibilities seem endless. All those ages-3-and-up toys are no longer verboten.

In the end, I went with simplicity: this adorable little red wagon filled with sidewalk chalk.

I figure that after he uses up all the chalk (with the help of some older siblings I'm sure), he can still cart stuff around in the wagon. As we know, boys like things with wheels.

What I almost got - the thing that drew me to the chalk section in the first place - were these giant stamps that you wear on your feet, so you can make animal stamps in your driveway. How fun is that, right?!

(Pretend there's a picture here. I seriously cannot find one. I'll try to sneak one next time I'm at Target.)

But I talked myself out of it. I was worried that they would be too big for his little feet. Or that he'd get bored with it after walking down the sidewalk a couple times. (Not really a multi-functional toy.) Then I realized you fill the foot things with a (potentially messy) colored chalk powder. And that's what sealed the deal.

My sister-in-law and I have a good relationship. I try to keep it that way by not buying her kids anything that will drive her crazy.

So we went with the sticks of chalk. In a cute little wagon. But I can't say I didn't have some second (and 3rd, 4th...) thoughts about that.

As it turns out, though, James was really only into things that shoot.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'll take my tomato well done, thanks

Have any good recipes with cooked tomatoes?

There's the Chakchouka I told you about. (Yeah, Chanelle, we still have to figure out when you can come over for some of that.)

And it seems like these black bean quesadillas were pretty good.

We can also add the cacciatore(-ish) concoction my awesome hubby cooked up tonight to the list. He was off today, and when I came home, dinner was done! He cooked up some tomatoes and onions with some leftover pesto chicken, oh and some wine...and I'm not sure what else.... Anyway, it tasted great on top of the sesame paysanne baguette I picked up from Wildflower on the way home.

He also cut up the rest of the tomatoes and labeled the bag, so we wouldn't get mixed up and eat them raw. I love him.


The photos are by me. Bet you could've guessed that.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Not exactly a wealth of information

make school make senseWell, that's what I get for linking to a list of articles before I've had a chance to browse through them. There are a few interesting stories and a smattering of good information about autism. On the whole, however, they are not well written or as informative as I had hoped. (Sigh.)

I would recommend "Young man strives for independence." It talks about the challenges a 19-year-old faced growing up with autism, and, now, entering the workforce and trying to prepare to be on out his own.

Visual Metaphor for Autistic PerceptionOther than that, I'm sure there are better sources for information on autism out there.

P.S. Actually I found some interesting info in the captions of these photos.


Photos: 1) by Norma Desmond. Creative Commons License. 2) by Transguyjay. Creative Commons License.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Boys & Trucks

Ever wonder what the deal is with little boys and trucks - garbage trucks, fire trucks, construction vehicles, tractors? (I know, they don't necessarily outgrow it either.)

I was reading Wondertime while I was waiting to get my allergy shot this morning. This article just might be onto something about what it is that makes wheeled vehicles so universally appealing to boys from toddlerhood on. (If you're short on time, skip to the end.)

P.S. They also have truck printables.

Photos: 1) by makelessnoise. Creative Commons License. 2) by me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Autism info

Ok, so I know this is normally my day to be "wordless". But I think this merits breaking the silence. After writing yesterday's post on autism/MMR vaccines, I randomly heard about a local radio station doing an fundraiser for autism.

I don't normally even listen to KTAR. I flipped over there, planning to use them for one of their every-10-minutes traffic reports and then ditch them, and that's when I heard about their autism awareness event, which I think is still going on.

This page of their site has their fundraising details and a ton of links to autism-related articles, which look really interesting. Let's check it out and discuss!

Photo by LiveU4. Creative Commons License.


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Photo by the Hubs. | More WW participants.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Wish I could tell you

This weekend Mom gave me an article from, which says that "Several recent studies have further put to rest the notion that the childhood MMR (measles-mumps- rubella) vaccine causes autism."

The MMR vaccine used to (and in other countries still may) include thimerosal, which contains mercury. People were concerned that was a factor in causing autism. (Injecting mercury-filled substances into kids sounds pretty risky to me.)

However. They have not found a link between thimerosal and autism. Autism cases in the U.S. have continued to climb - not decrease - despite the fact that thimerosal is no longer used in the MMR vaccines.

What is causing autism? Sure wish I knew. Wish someone did.


Photo by foreversouls. Creative Commons License.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Juicy tidbits

Yay for fruit juice! Kids like it, adults like it, and it doesn't need added sugar to be delicious!

Different juices provide different nutrients - and some provide more bang for your (nutritional) buck. This handy dandy list from RealSimple breaks it all down.

P.S. Speaking of juice and...bucks...I bought a 64-ounce carton of Trader Joe's orange juice the other day, and it was only $1.99. Seemed like a pretty good deal, so I thought I'd share.

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Photo by me.