Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bargain Hunter

I love a bargain. I love a sale. I am a sucker for a garage sale. Basically...I'm cheap and proud of it!

I just recently found two cow humidifiers at our local Goodwill for only $8.00 each! Brand new!! This is such a score. I've wanted one of these cute cool-air humidifiers for a couple of years now but have never been willing to fork over the $40 when I could get an ugly one for $20. See? Cheap.

Last year I found a Kirkland pre-light Christmas tree (regular $200) for only $40 at our down-the-street Salvation Army. It could not have been more than a couple of years old. Still in the box. Excellent condition. I was thrilled! The middle section is problematic but we dealt with it. That same trip I got Brody a full drum set for only $50 - regular $150-$200. I could go on and on. Very little makes me

I am an every-dayer on Craig's List. Sometimes twice a day. Both of our computers came from Craig and plenty of kid stuff. In a small town, Craig and his list are the best!

My girlfriend Julie A. (who still doesn't have a blog of her own for me to point you to) just sent me a link for Rest assured, no one is stealing babies. It's a 'deal of the day' site and even tho I just signed up 10 minutes ago - I'm literally giddy in anticipation of my first deal opportunity! If you like a deal, check 'em out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mia Taggie!

Look at this adorable gift from Summer! She made one for Brody when he was a little Bubba too. Summer's sewing skills are enviable! She's super creative and a perfectionist so you can always expect greatness. Now that she has two kids in school I'm hoping to see more fabulous creations from her! Oh, and she sent the chicest little paci holder. Mia SweetPea-ya has all the fashionable accessories now. Go Mia...Go Mia...

Thanks, Zoomie. I love you!
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pinocchio Lies!

Ok. WHAT is up with these classic Disney movies? They are so freaky and scary! I remember Kevin and I were very nervous about showing Brody Bambi earlier this year because we both remembered how sad it was. After watching it, we both thought it was rather tame. I mean, after watching Simba's Daddy get trampled by wild wildebeest (p.s. funny word) in The Lion King, Bambi was, well, almost boring. And definitely that King deer his Daddy...why doesn't Bambi's mom tell him...does this mean that Bambi's little girlfriend was also fathered by the King? I don't know. It weirds me out.

But NOTHING prepared me for Pinocchio. We checked it out at the library (yea library!!) and I thought, "Oh, this'll be fun. A lesson on not telling lies." I'll tell you what...the Howdee-Do-Dee Yippy Skippy Happy Wooden-Boy-Turns-Real Boy flick is the true liar here, my friends. THANKFULLY, I decided to watch it with him just in case. Could this movie be more inappropriate for kids? Maybe only if they added a sex scene.

First there is the issue of all the smoking and drinking by & around children. Then the kidnapping. Then the issue of the bad man who is stealing "stupid" (the forbidden word) little boys. Then the issue of said 'stupid little boys' turning in JACKASSES. Which they insist on saying not once (maybe it'll slip past him) but twice ('Mommy? What's a jackass?" "They said donkey, silly."). Thank you very much, Mr. Disney.

Needless to say, I got more lesson opportunities than I bargained for out of the little Jiminy Cricket flick. I felt like I was talking throughout the entire film!

"Don't drink"
"Smoking kills"
"Never go with strangers"
"Don' lie"
"That boy is naughty. His mommy should spank him for acting that way"
"Stay away from whales!"
"Don't ever wear over-all shorts. They're sissy"

How did I not remember these details? This simple fact is what puts my mind to rest. It can't be too damaging if I didn't remember the horrors it contained. Can it?

Brody called me an idiot the other day - which is Disney's most favorite word. Especially in the oldies. Cruella can't finish a sentence w/o peppering it with an 'idiot' or two. Jeez! I'm not sure what word is more appropriate but idiot seems harsh. Am I over the top here? Does the rest of America not care if their kids run around calling people (teachers, friends, friends mothers, stray dogs and cats) idiots?

When he called me 'idiot' I asked him what he said? He said idiot again. Understand, he said it as tho he was saying 'you with the hair on your head'. It wasn't hateful. There was no malice. He was just...trying it on for size. So I asked him to look me in the eyes. "You will never call Mommy that name again. You will never call anyone that name again. It's ugly and mean and not ok to say. Do you understand me?". "Uh-huh" he stammered. Obviously taken aback by my seriousness. "Yes, ma'am?" I hammered. "Yes, ma'am." Kiss and hugs and life goes on.

So, our little boy is getting bigger. More than ever we have to protect his little ears & little eyes. Pinocchio, the little freak, is going straight back to the library with a big thumbs-down from me!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Favorite Season

I do love Fall.

I especially love Fall in Santa Barbara.

But this is not the season I'm referring to.

It's TV Season, people. And I'm so excited!!!!!

I'm astounded that some people don't know what TV Season is? These are the same people that don't really understand syndication. You will only see new episodes of Desperate Housewives on ABC. Period. Sometimes you'll see DH on a station like Lifetime but rest assured - they are reruns. And when you find The Office on back to back at 11PM - these are always w/o exception reruns. Ok? Same page? Ok. TV Season is when all our favorite shows come back to us with brand new episodes. Ooooh, I love it!

Prison Break has already started and I'm embarrassed to say that both new episodes are still sitting in my DVR unwatched. I don't know? There is something about a second baby, for me, that has made me need 'down time' so much less. Or maybe it's that my 'down time' is different than it used to be? Used to, for every single nap and after Brody was down for the night - I'd head directly to the couch, grab my computer (because I can't just sit there - have to multi-task) and turn on the TV to catch up on all my recorded shows. I have many. I do. Now, when Mia and Brody are both down...I don't know what I'm doing but it's not watching recorded TV. Sometimes I'll play The View (which I do have a commitment to) but it's usually background noise and I end up fast forwarding thru most. Where was I? What is my point?

There are several shows I'm especially looking forward to this year:


LOST of course

Eli Stone

Amazing Race (love it!)

Ghost Whisperer


Prison Break

The Office


The following will make the DVR list but are not as heavily anticipated:

Desperate Housewives

Brothers & Sisters

Boston Legal

Pushing Daisies

Cold Case


Shows (new and returning) I'll check out and decide to keep/toss:

90210 (hello? I just have to...)

The Fringe (can't pass up a J.J. Abrams creation)

Kath and Kim

Lipstick Jungle

and Cashmere Mafia


My Own Worst Enemy (it's Christian Slater, come on)

Now I'll ask for a time of silence for the show I am most sad to see is not returning in this 2008 line up:


It was good. And really, really funny and I'm very bummed. We laughed out loud at least once every single episode. Even Cara! And she knows funny. If you didn't catch it and don't believe me that it was that funny and have too much time on your can check it out here. Oh, Marmaduke. You will be missed. Farewell.

Therefore, at the top of my New Shows to Watch list is Do Not Disturb which is not only directed by Jason Batement but the stars of the show are Niecy Nash and Jerry O'Connell. As you know, I'm a big Niecy fan and I consider Jason and Jerry two of the funniest on TV.

What shows are you excited about?

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Green Baby Is Not A Goblin

Ok. I made the leap. Several months ago I posted that my girlfriend Julie was going to use cloth diapers with her newborn baby girl who is a week younger than Mia. That prompted me to research the options and found the G Diapers website. I was fascinated but too hesitant to commit. Now that Mia is a little older we decided to give the G Diapers a try.

I'd read mixed reviews on the G Diapers and noticed that the complainers were all the people going from the classic cloth diapers to the G Diapers (which describe themselves as a "hybrid") but those going from disposables to G Diapers seemed to be very pleased. Also, according to their website 50 million disposable diapers enter the landfill every day, where they sit for up to 500 years. That is just more than I can handle. Especially considering that we were in the practice of wrapping poop diapers in plastic grocery bags!!! There is also a freaky great video that shows the decomposition of a leading chlorine-free diaper, a disposable diaper and a G Diaper insert. You've got to see it to believe it. It's an investment, I know. But I feel like if I can cut down my impact on the ever growing poop filled landfills (you flush poop G Diapers down the toilet and can flush, toss or compost the pee-pee ones!!) then I can rest a bit easier. Besides, I also read that some people use cloth diapers as inserts in the pants. I could always try that. Plus, I've got a sleeve of disposables left. I'll let you know how it goes!

BONUS: I bot our G Diapers on For 10% off your first order use the coupon code: CHRY3121

I also bought a bottle of California Baby®Non-Burning & Calming™Diaper Area Wash (only $7.95 from versus $11.50 from California Baby's website). We're going to try using this instead of baby wipes. The point is to avoid alcohol and fragrance. I just read this article on which recommended holding baby under a running faucet at every baby change. Uh...I'm not really about all that. I can't really figure out the mechanics, am not down for the poop-in-the-sink scenario, plus then there's the whole wasting water issue. My girl Julie uses Booty Cubes which she loves.

At Mia's 4 month check-up, the doctor noticed that she has a vaginal adhesion. "Nothing to be concerned about", she said. "Just glob on the Vaseline and it should take care of itself." Vaseline is 100% petroleum jelly which is thought to be a carinogen because of the way it is manufactured. It coats the skin like plastic so it cannot breath. I don't want that on Mia's arm skin much less up her...area! That lead me to Alba's Un-Petroleum Multipurpose Jelly. I had to go to 4 local stores before finally finding it at Lazy Acres Market (our local Whole Foods-like store). While there I also found a ton of other great non-toxic baby products like this Rainbow Kids hand sanitizer.

Presently, I'm not as concerned with what I put on my skin but I'm highly concerned about what I put on their skin.

And as Christians, if we're not concerned about protecting 'our' planet - which we all know is not and never will be ours - then we are nothing short of hypocritical. In his book Serve God, Save the Planet, Dr. J Matthew Sleeth says,
As all those who consider themselves people of faith grow in their understanding that God holds us accountable for care of his creation, we will begin to see positive changes on an unprecedented scale.”
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Good Reads

[1] My girlfriend Heather Richter has started a blog and since I'm a HUGE fan of Miss Heather, I thought I'd do a little advertising. I was blessed to meet Heather a few years ago thru our home group. She and I 'clicked' immediately which I think is more about her than me. I'm pretty sure she's good at 'clicking' if you know what I mean. Well, I realized very quickly that pretty much everything she says is like this golden nugget of wisdom. Mother of 4. Living the life of a missionary. Wonderful loving wife. Full-out lover of Jesus. I contemplated purchasing a small voice recording device and covertly taping all our convos but then she up and left me. Sort of. God answered their prayers to move to Ohio (from Santa Barbara to Ohio...I know. But they were literally over joyed!) to actively work & serve through Athletes in Action.

Point. Heather has finally started her own blog! Before they left I was begging her to blog or create a women's newsletter or something. She's the kind of person you want to be best friends with and the sort of quite leader who speaks loudest thru her actions. I encourage everyone to bookmark her blog Moments of Clarity for some good reads.

[2] Guess what? There is at least one other Mia Sturm in this world! Not only that but she lives in California. Not only that but her Mommy and Daddy are believers! Their faith has been such a beautiful example of how we, as Christians, should be every day. Unlike most of us, the Bakersfield Sturms have a big reason to lean on the person of God and rest in His peace. Little Mia was born with pretty serious conditions that they were completely unaware of and totally unprepared for. I spent one night reading every post from the past 10 months and am truly encouraged by them. "God is so good!". What might make weaker people (faithless people) break has made this family so strong. They're beautiful and I hope we can meet one day and introduce our little Mia's to each other! Check them out at Snooky Great for regular prayer request and updates.

[3] So after reading about Kristy's obsession with Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series, I decided to check them out. I bought it the night before we left for our Phx/Denver/Phx trip and ended up reading the first three on that trip! Then, was excited to find the fourth book on the 7-Day read shelf at our local library {btw, I adore the library. We go at least once a week. One of my favorite "by myself activity treats" is to spend time in the library w/the kids. If you haven't been in a while I suggest you do!}! Gobbled it up in 8 days (goodbye $.50). I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who needs a break from reality. Note: it involves vampires. If that trips you out, I understand but's a fun read. Youth fiction. Warning: Since all 4 books are already published you can read them in rapid-fire. The problem with this is that after doing so, I became totally invested. I find myself actually missing the characters.

Anyway, thanks again, Kristy! Whatcha readen now?

[4] I recently subscribed to Christian Stay at Home Moms {CHSAHM} changing the world one diaper at a time. It's a really fun site with a topics from Activities for Kids to Product Reviews. I especially like the Mom Blog directory. There are a lot of directories out there but this one is specifically for Christian moms.

[5] Important. If you use iGoogle (or have a Gmail account) I want to recommend Google's Reader application. Kristy posted about it last year some time and I jumped on board that band wagon immediately! Reader lets you 'watch' all your fav blogs. When someone posts, they show up in Reader where you can read the post or click to the actual blog (if you want to comment). I used to spend several minutes checking each of my regular blogs in excited anticipation...only to see they still hadn't posted anything. Such a let down! Now, I click my Reader tab and can see in an instant who has new posts! Such a good thing. Google: Google Reader

[6] Just completed Gorgeously Green (thank you, public library). I've wanted to read this for a while but never wanted to fork over $17 to own it! "green" is checking out books at the library?! Anyway, the trouble with reading this book is that now I'm equipped with all this knowledge and thereby compelled to act...and, unfortunately for those who don't care, also compelled to share. Ugh! Stay tuned for my life updates.

[7] Last point on the reading tip. I'm starting Jane Eyre tonight. Tired of my favorite books being from the Teen Fiction section. Thought I'd try out a classic. If you wanna blog-book club with me, leave a comment!

Happy Readings, my homies.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Mia Letter: 5 Months


You are so precious.

When your Bubba was your age, I found myself constantly wishing for more. Always having to remind myself , "He's going to get bigger soon so you better enjoy THIS moment in time." My love, you are growing too fast. You just came home and now you're like this big 5 month old girl. Like...really big. 17lbs big. Ok, you're huge.

I love every single fold, Baby Girl. Every dimple. Every last bit of chub on your little Dough-Girl body.
This month has been such a blast. You have developed so much! You learned to roll over front-to-back on August 15th and then from back-to-front on the 17th! We were at Mor Mor and Papa's house is Phoenix so you got to really show off for the masses. We were very proud. We traveled with Daddy's family to Denver again in August for GG's memorial service. It was a Johnson Family Reunion! You were a perfect angel on the plane to Denver - your Mor Mor held you the entire way so let's just say, this was Mommy's favorite flight so far! What a treat.

After Denver we spent the week at Mor Mor & Papa's house and got to play with your cousins Malena & Briella and Nicole & Gregory! We had so much fun swimming, rolling-around, playing and watching the Olympics on Papa's big, huge TV. It was a great week. We're all looking forward to the holidays when we'll all be together again.

You were terrific on the 7 hour drive home. It was amazing. Unfortunately, we came home to a house full of fleas. Bowen Road (our cat) became flea-infested and so did our beautiful little home. We spent two nights back home but not IN our home. True to form, you were a champ. Much more so than your Mommy and Daddy who were VERY unhappy. Terminex came, fleas gone, life is good.

You get a little 'off' when we travel but usually w/in a couple of days you're back to your brilliant sleep schedule. You're pretty consistently sleeping from 7-7:30PM to 6AM and then till about 7:30-8AM. Nap comes about two hours later. It's so funny that Bubba's naps were always a source of frustration for me when he was your age. I do get stressed sometimes when you don't sleep well but most of the time I just pick you up and go about our day till you get to the point that you might sleep again.

Oh my goodness, you love to laugh. Even in the midst of unhappy (or fake unhappy) cries you will stop abruptly to smile at someone. You flirt with just about anyone who makes eye contact with you. It's absolutely precious and I want to eat the flesh of your cheeks right of your chubby face! And blow bubbles with it. It's that good. People are always remarking on how happy you are. "What a happy baby!". You are, Sweetie. Such a happy baby. Thank you for your wide, up & down smiles and throaty chuckles. We even love your 20-second-at-a-time-ear-piercing-throat-shredding bird squawks. So great!

Other milestones this month include: finding your toes...once. For the most part, you're not super flexible. I think it's cuz there's too much belly. You make a cute breathless grunt every time we bend your toes toward your face. Don't think it's comfortable for you. Um, you fake cough, which is hysterical (to us). You have really mastered the art of reaching & grabbing which we all know is a very important cognotive skill. We couldn't be more proud.

Finally, you had your 4 month check up last week (9/4/08). So, almost 5 months, actually. You were amazing. You didn't make a peep (besides cute cooing) the whole time until the shots. 6 shots, to be clear. The tears dried up immediately. You're amazing. Anyway, here are your stats:
Height: 25" {50%}
Weight: 17.4lb {90%}

Head Circumference: 16.5" {55%}

Love you, Piggy!

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