Monday, January 31, 2011

Iowa Visitor

Lois came to visit! Cat-sitting? Done. Puzzling? Done. Planting? Done. Thanks for the fun few weeks!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Paris pics

Yay! Back to Paris for a weekend of fun and relaxation. Our hotel this time was in a more industrial area, the Bercy part of the city. This cute little village of shops was just steps from our hotel, and everyone spoke French to us first!

Um yeah, we totally found a fish store!

Day 2 we went to the Champs D'Elysses and saw the Arc de Triomphe...

And we also took an open air bus tour.

which was FREEZING!!! But you can't really see anything from down below, so we braved it.

A quick stop at a local market - where your average antique price was >300 euros...

and we took the bus home.

Jeff was amazed by the parking jobs we saw everywhere. Just an example:

We also spent Day 3 entirely at the Louvre. But forgot our camera. So here are the highlights:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rules for travelling

1. Don't eat at the hotel unless it's discounted. A lot.
2. If you are stressed or not having a good time or your partner is
irritating you, have a glass of wine.
3. Wear your best shoes (but NOT tennis shoes or sneakers for pete's
sake). Cobblestone is killer.
4. Drink free water every single time it's available.
5. Use the bathroom at every opportunity to avoid paying / going in
the street / not knowing how to ask for it.
6. Get all your cash changed right away and/or ONE ATM trip to avoid
multiple fees and currency charges.
7. Having a plan is kind of overrated.

PS Par-ee is wonderful...MWAH XOXOXO

Sent from my mobile device

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Paris TAKE 2!

Well, we made it to Paris! I am so excited...I love this city. We don't have much planned for the weekend. We figured it's just like eating out and going shopping in Atlanta, two very normal activities.

Except it's not. Oui, je t'aime! Stay tuned :)

Sent from my mobile device

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Parks and Recreation

Welcome back, Amy Poehler! The real question - who watched tonight? WE DID!!!

Please vote on your best looking Parks and Rec dude...
1) Rob Lowe
2) Aziz Ansari
3) Adam Scott

No matter who you choose, we ALL win.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Club

Tonight I joined a book club! Our first reading was Chelsea Handler's "Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea". I know, not super intellectual but it at least drummed up some interest.

Next month - the Great Gatsby. I've never read it, can you believe it?

Not on our book club list yet, but a MUST READ on my list (I may pick it up for our upcoming trip) is Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. (You can read the extremely controversial excerpt here and a little more about the bigger picture here.)

Contrasting this with Mayim Bialik's OUTRAGEOUS blog this week (posted below) and you couldn't have 2 different mothering philosophies. Wow. What do you all think?

From Mayim Bialik:
I don’t like labels. In my 35 years, I have been labeled: short (until I no longer was), flat-chested (until I no longer was), “Blossom,” (OK, I am still labeled that even though I technically no longer am), and now: “Attachment Parent.”

I know what you’re thinking: AP parents are self-righteous, privileged, over-psychoanalyzed martyrs who (especially if they are celebrities) pretend to have the time, energy, patience and abundant love to be with their kids all the time without giving them any limits, boundaries or sense of independence.

Did I cover it all?

I am here to say that labels mean nothing. And to prove this to you, I am going to tell you about myself; no labels needed. I have been married for seven years to my college sweetheart. We had our first son in 2005, and I nursed him on demand around the clock for 26 months – no pacifiers, no bottles, no solids until 12 months. Son No. 2 was born in 2008 at home, unassisted until pushing. He is still nursing strong and on demand, day and night, at almost 2½.

This is not some fandangled new Hollywood trend. We parent the way people have parented for hundreds of thousands of years. So hang on to your hats and prepare for a view into my household.

Birth. I believe that natural childbirth is a right and a privilege. Countries where midwifery is the main form of obstetrics, and natural birth and homebirth are viewed as the norm, boast the lowest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. Natural birth is not something to “try for” and feel bad you couldn’t do. Our country needs to step up to the plate in educating women about the benefits of natural birth, and we need to help women actually do it – not just hear about it.

We bed-share. Co-sleeping means sleeping close to your child. Bed-sharing means we all sleep on the same surface. We have two futon mattresses on the floor, since it’s the safest way to sleep for babies (there’s nowhere for them to fall if they are already on the floor!). It’s usually me and the little guy on one mattress and my husband and our 5-year-old on the other, although the 5-year-old bounces around throughout the night. Sometimes we all cuddle together when we wake up; it is something we never imagined we’d do until we had our first son, and it is intimate, fun, safe and beautiful.

Breast milk. It is a scientific fact that human breast milk is the best food, comfort and nourishment for human babies. Although there are rare cases when women’s bodies cannot produce enough milk, the human body is made to create and sustain a supply of milk to keep her baby alive. With the proper education, support and resources, almost all women should be able to build a strong milk supply and successfully breast-feed, barring rare genetic conditions.

If the baby fits…wear it! I wore my children in slings almost exclusively instead of using strollers. I tried a lot of slings until I found the one that fit my body and my lifestyle. I could go anywhere with my babies in a sling, nurse them and let them nap, instead of running home or driving them in a car to get them to sleep. Wearing our children facilitated nursing on demand and encouraged the emotional and physiological comfort that being close encourages. Our children were calm, content and secure when held close to my body and my husband’s.

We practice gentle discipline. That means we don’t hit our children or punish them. We have a lot of boundaries and expectations of our children, and we are by no means permissive parents. We do not use timeouts, we do not bargain (“If you clean your room, I’ll give you a cookie”) and we do not force manners on our children (“Say thank you!” and “Say please!” have never escaped my lips). Our children are not perfect, nor are they robots. They are both even-tempered children by nature, but they have plenty of opportunity to “act out” and “flip out” and “make mama wonder why she ever thought she was qualified to be a parent.” We have had great success with gentle discipline and our children are, by all accounts, full of empathy, aware of boundaries, and pleasant to take to public places.

I don’t need to use labels to tell you who I am and how I choose to raise my kids. I do not judge anyone, because that’s not what my job on this earth is. My job is to do my best for my kids: to be the best mama I can be to them.

The sisterhood and community of mothering and parenting has been lost because of how we have spread out geographically from our families of origin. The Internet has connected us in a way we never imagined, and in this way, I get to share with you what works for our little perfectly imperfect family. It may not work for you and your family, but I hope that it might let you see that some of us are doing our best in our own way; not because we think we’re better, but simply because it’s best for us.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vitamins and Viactiv

I really feel like I don't get enough fruits and vegetables in my diet. Also, I don't really drink milk, although I do eat cheese and greek yogurt almost daily. (One bothers my digestion, the other 2 don't!)

To combat any sort of things that might be missing, I have been taking a multivitamin. Specifically, the Women's One-A-Day which I have been taking at night with my other asthma and allergy pills.

I did just read on the bottle this last time that there contains only 50% of the daily calcium recommended in the pill. OOPS - I thought I was good all this time (see also, 2 broken teeth in the past 3 years).

So, I picked up some Viactiv Chocolate Chews and keep them in my desk drawer at work - to eat with lunch.

Not the best dessert, but this way I am 1) taking a supplement with food, 2) getting the 100% recommended calcium every day, and 3) having a sweet thing for only 20 calories after the meal.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Planning for 2011

I know New Year's Resolutions are kind of a joke. But. Planning for the future is not - companies do it every year. So we figured, why not the Hartmans?

So, we sat down today to put together some big picture goals, and then projects and plans to achieve them.

Our high level categories: Financial, Health, Personal, Day-to-Day.

We have several items under each. A few highlights - to save a set amount of money, per pay period, to install a big purchase in Fall 2011 (like another HVAC or new flooring), work out at least 4x per week, and institute Family Dinner Night - at the table with each other, no tv or other distractions.

What are some of yours? Or what 'would' yours be if you did an awesome planning session?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day part deux

Things to do when you are "ICED IN" in Georgia:

Check work email constantly

Make a few phone calls based on work emails

Bake and decorate snowman and mitten cut-out cookies

Make crock pot lasagna

Clean out the spice cupboard

Dust furniture

Crochet a new blanket project


Work out on the elliptical

Paint your fingernails

Shower twice as long as normal (it's cold)

Drink way more coffee than normal (again, it's cold)

Watch DIY and HGTV constantly in the background

Play with your pets

***What would YOU do?***

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day

Yippee, snow day in Atlanta! After 2-6" in the city (depending on where you were), plus freezing was advised not to go into work today.
The view out my kitchen window - you can see our bird feeder went from full to empty in a matter of about 6 hours.

Not many tire tracks on the street - it is slick!

No front porch rocking today :)

And of course, no snow day would be complete without having the crock pot out and cooking up some goodness.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Yay! I got a new dishwasher...complete with a hot installer.
Look at that thing - it's a relic from like, 1992. Also, the heating element tried to kill us one night by burning the house down. No love lost here!
WAHOO!!!! Look at that puppy!!! (Also notice the dishes waiting to be loaded. Hey, as everyone who knows me knows...I don't do dishes! (I'll dry and put away though).)