The Negotiator

A few times lately, I’ve told Caroline that she could nurse until I count to ten. That worked a few times. The other night, I said, “OK. I’ll count to ten.” She replied, “No. Five minutes.” Yesterday when I agreed to nurse for ten, she countered, “Um, sixteen.”

Mixing Multi-Generationally

I love my church! BC (Before Caroline) John and I participated in a dinner group with people from our church. Ten or so people would gather once a month, rotating homes, to visit over dinner. John and I (and the few other young couples who joined in on the fun with us) were by far the youngsters. We were the 30-somethings dining amongst the hexagenarians and septagenarians. But it was such fun! We learned so much and truly looked forward to those evenings. We both love our grandmothers, but we don’t live as close to them as ideal. This gave us a chance to visit with folks with wisdom and experience. People with true stories to share. Tonight I organized a women’s social for the ladies at our church. I say organized, but all I did was call La Madeleine and reserve and room, and then advertise that I’d be there for a few hours this evening. I put in the bulletin that we’d start at 5:30. Knowing Austin-time, I arrived right at 5:30 to set up, thinking I’d be sitting in a room alone for 20 minutes or so. There were ladies already lined up! We quickly filled up the little room there, so we’ll have to change venues for the next gathering. I enjoyed visiting with women my own age who are also in the midst of raising toddlers and preschoolers. I appreciated talking to moms of teens, hearing what their lives are like and gleening bits of wisdom from their experiences. I especially loved talking to these phenomenal, educated women from THE GREATEST GENERATION. These are women who went to college when women “didn’t” go to college. Women who had careers in their twenties when women “didn’t” do that. Women who took time off to raise their kids (but had those kids close together in age because they had waited *so* long to start their families.) Women who have led lives they are proud to have led — with early careers they loved, who raised kids they now adore, who have active lives even now. I have my “mommy” mentors that I look up to, of course. Some of these ladies are my “womanhood” mentors.

Indecision 2008

The only time I ocassionally pine for cable is when I miss my old Daily Show at bedtime routine. With the primaries in full swing, I miss it even more lately. Luckily, Comedy Central gives me most of the good stuff (at my convenience) online. I’ve added a link to their INDECISION 2008 web site on my sidebar. I’ll be checking it out regularly.

WFMW: Organizing Shower Stuff

In our master bathroom, we have a separate tub and shower. The shower has a little shelf in it that collects sundry bath products — shampoo and conditioner, shaving cream, razors, soaps, scrubs, etc. I hated taking all of that out every time I cleaned the shower and then putting it all back in. My solution: I bought a plastic dishrack that sits in the shower. I keep the items in it and just take it out when I clean the shower. Every other week or so, I clean it, too. Much easier than taking out all those individual items. It works for me!

For more Works for Me Wednesday ideas, visit Rocks in My Dryer.


Living with a two-year old is sometimes like a scene from the movie Poltergeist. Remember the scene where the mom is in the kitchen and turns around for a second and then all the chairs on on top of the table?

Something similar happens with doors, too. I can walk down the hallway and all the doors are open; I return a moment later, and all the doors are closed.

What the World Eats

Time has a fascinating photo essay of What The World Eats on their site. It showcases the weekly diet of families around the world (and how much they spend) who are featured in the book Hungry Planet.

It is really interesting to look in other people’s houses and see what they eat. I’d say our weeklies would include apples, bananas, and a couple other seasonal fruits; carrots, lettuce and/or other greens, cucumbers, peppers, onions, and a seasonal veggie or two; tofu (every other week); several meats (I do plan meals around meats, so I usually buy some kind of pork, chicken, ground beef, some kind of seafood, and some other kind of beef; canned beans (usually black beans but other varieties, too) and hotdogs (for the tot!); wheat bread; pasta and sauce; peanut butter and jelly; yogurt, eggs, milk; Cheerios, Veggie Booty, Bunny Grahams; frozen veggies (I buy frozen asparagus, frozen brocoli, and frozen green beans, but not every week); frozen pizza or fish sticks or frozen HEB hamburgers (that’s a new one for me since that meal deal a month or so ago). And wine and mommy’s diet cokes plus some kind of treat (chocolate chips for cookies, ice cream, etc).

I’m really curious and would love to see what your family eats most weeks.

To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn

Today is my little sister’s 31st birthday. Happy Birthday, Mary!

It is also the first anniversary of the death of John’s Aunt Yibbit and the eve of her birthday. In a couple of days, we’ll celebrate many more birthdays (including mine, the fifth anniversary of my 29th birthday!) and anniversaries in the Bindel family, and we just wrapped up celebrating my daughter’s. We’re also approaching the first Father’s Day since John’s father’s death. We will be in Wichita Falls for this date, both to be with his siblings on Father’s Day and to celebrate some birthdays.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about the joys of being in such a big family. There is so much joy! So many celebrations — births, weddings, good news. Somebody is always expecting a new baby in the Bindel family. 🙂 We have just set up a yahoo group for the Bindels — with a family of about 100 living descendants of John and Irene, you need such a thing! When I look at the calendar of birthdays and anniversaries, I am overwhelmed. June is a busy month for celebrations!

But when you love so many people, you have a lot of loss and saddness, too. In a way, I can’t believe it’s been year without Yibbit. But it also seems like so long ago since we got that early morning phone call from Tony. So much has happened — like losing Tony. We Bindels have had quite a year. Is that so unusual in this family? Maybe not. Since last June, we’ve added five babies, lost two loved ones, graduated the youngest cousin from high school. It’s been quite a year. A year of living. A year of celebration. And with that comes some sadness, some mourning.

I’m thankful to be a part of such a big family, where we can experience life. To everything, turn, turn, turn.

Ecclesiastes 3:
1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
2 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

Stickers — good, cheap fun?

My two-year-old loves stickers! She wears them on her shirts, on her pants, on her bare legs — she even put some on the bottom of her feet the other day. Our HEB has stopped giving out balloons — the much anticipated prize of her one-year-old grocery shopping days. No problem, though, as they are giving out stickers now. Plus, Caroline now enjoys getting a Buddy Buck to put in the machine to get….an “egg” with a sticker inside. Now, I know the more mature shoppers try to get the higher-numbered stickers to collect points that can be redeemed for prizes. I watched some school-aged boys scheming to get the 50-point sticker they could see today. Caroline, though, is happy to play with her egg for a few minutes, until she coaxes it open. Then she can be entertained by peeling the sticker and putting it on her body somewhere. As she naps this moment, she has a the number three stuck to her shirt.

Unfortunatly, the sticker love is not always as cheap as free stickers at HEB. Caroline was playing (too quietly) in the office the other day while I was piddling in the kitchen. I heard her footsteps running excitedly down the hall as she ran to show me “STICKERS!” Those stickers would be the 100-roll of postage stamps I had just bought. Luckily, she had only peeled off one, that was stuck to her shirt. I confiscated the roll and put that one stamp back on the rool (and put the stamps out of toddler reach.)

Two is Fun!

My darling daughter turned two last week. I tend to get nostalgic around birthdays, hers at least, so I’ve been thinking back on the past year and the past two years lately. I am amazed at how much she grew and changed and learned this past year. Sure, the first year is full of changes. That was expected. But that was nothing compared to the second year.

She started walking.
She started running and skipping and spinning.
She started signing.
She started talking.
In sentences.
She drinks from real cups.
She feeds herself.
She asserts her indepedence.

She’s a girl! But, she’s still my baby. And she’ll always be. I’m eager to see what she’ll become over this next year.