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Don’t try this at home

By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, September 4, 2007

It rained on Grand Mesa over Labor Day weekend. And you know what that means ... no, not wet campers ... mushrooms. We are lucky enough to have some great friends who know tons about all things food. They even know enough about mushrooms that we can tag along on their 'shroom hunting expeditions. on%20the%20mesa.jpg (Yes, that is Margaret in the foreground throwing rocks at me — delightful child, she is.) Because we're better eaters than we are knowers of food, Bill and I would never attempt to hunt mushrooms on our own — and neither should you, unless you are well versed in the bijillion varieties of mushrooms. Many are poisonous and can kill you — dead — very quickly or at the least, make you wish you were dead. Armed with a very good mushroom book, we tromped around the damp ground searching for porcini mushrooms. I'd never been hunting before so I had to keep asking, "Is this one?" Only to be told "No — and don't even touch that one" over and over again. There we saw so many varieties of mushrooms all over the floor of the mesa. mushrooms%202.jpg They are so beautiful and bizarre. So many different color, textures, shapes and sizes. mushrooms%203.jpg mushrooms.jpg I have no idea what any of these are called because mushrooms are notoriously difficult to identify. And there were just too many to look up. We never found any edible porcinis but we were lucky enough to find a patch of chanterelles. chanterelles.jpg In the mushroom book, chanterelles were listed as "edible, choice" — which is a very good thing. On the Internet, you can buy fresh chanterelles for $24 a pound. So we were pleased with our find. But even if we didn't find any edible mushrooms, just spending an afternoon taking a close look at the floral on the mesa is a great way to spend a day. 8 comments

Star Struck

By Robin Dearing
Monday, September 3, 2007

Living in Nashville is an interesting blend of modern country and longtime legends. I’ve sat behind Jo Dee Messina at church, seen Amy Grant at a corner sandwich shop, spotted LeAnn Rimes after yoga class, walked by Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn fame at Target, seen Billy Ray Cyrus perform Achey Breaky Heart live (way before the Hannah Montana days), smiled at Keith Urban at the airport and seen country legend Vern Gosden get into it with a Home Depot employee. During one of my biggest brushes with country music greatness, however, I totally blew it. It was in the early 1990s and I was working part-time in the children’s section of a mall department store. A woman with blazing big red hair was pushing her little boy in a stroller. It took me only a few seconds to realize she was the one, the only, Reba. Now this was back in my days when I was more into Depeche Mode than the Dixie Chicks. I was pretty sure this woman was Reba. She just had to be. She set a package of toddler socks on the counter and I looked at her and said, somewhat timidly, "I don’t want to embarrass you, but are you Reba McEntire?" She looked at me and without skipping a beat responded, "Why yes I am … and why would that embarrass me?" Score one for me for social awkwardness and score one for her for a comeback worthy of a country music diva. I should have asked for her autograph. 4 comments

What Women Want

By {screen_name}
Saturday, September 1, 2007

If you're reading this blog - we want to talk to you! One of the really fun and interesting parts of my job is to take a look at new products that our readers would be interested in reading! In our quest to deliver fresh, fun and useful information, The Daily Sentinel is considering new options and we want your opinions, input and feedback. We will be hosting some focus group sessions to see what you think about some new projects geared towards women and the Western Colorado lifestyle. The focus groups will take place mid-September and last less than two hours. If you are asked to join, all you have to do is show up and be ready to talk - you can do that, right? Participants must be female, over the age of 18 and a resident of Western Colorado. If you'd like to join us, please send an e-mail to focusgroup@gjds.com Include your name, age, and a little about your hobbies, interests and leisure activities. Please reply by September 9. Thank you! And feel free to invite your friends and other female family members to join us! 0 comments

Jonas Alexander is beautiful and I love him so much

By Robin Dearing
Friday, August 31, 2007

Jonas%202.jpg I wasn't worried about having enough love for two babies but I was totally unprepared for how much love I would find within myself for him. I had prepared for the worst case scenario, months of sleepless nights, cold dinners and newborn ailments. Jonas hasn't given me any of those things. He slid right into his place as baby brother as if he has been here all along. He sleeps in his bassinet. He barely makes a peep when his diaper is soiled. He stares wide eyed at the busy household around him. He sleeps through the vacuum cleaner noise and the screaming of his toddler brother. I wake up at night to see his little face sleeping contently as he rests his cheek on his boob pillow. Did I mention that he sleeps? It's just miraculous to me after having endured newborn hell just last year. From that very first night in the hospital I could tell that he was a good baby. He laid beside me quietly and dozed off. It was so unexpected that I kept having to poke him to make sure he was OK. His personality seems to be very mellow and observant. I think he has a sense of humor as he smiles at just right moments. Jonas%203.jpg He coos in his sleep and it makes me smile. It's the cutest dang thing. He grunts and stretches dramatically when waking up. These are things that I'll bet never go away and are unique just to him. Looking at him reminds me how truly blessed I am. He has the whole world in front of him. I'm determined to make sure that his time under my roof is joyous. I love new baby Jonas not just because he is a good baby but for the experiences we'll share throughout the rest of our lives. I just can't wait for each and every one. Proudly, I am his mother and I love him more everyday. May God let me borrow him for a long time. 5 comments

Reflections on motherhood

By Robin Dearing
Thursday, August 30, 2007

I think the one broad underlying theme of all my writings here, is that parenting is hard (this is usually accompanied by a lot of whine and foot stomping). Making the right choices for my child and for myself and the rest of the family is scary. What if I make a wrong decision? What if my choices screw up my kid but good? What if she grows up to be a crook or worse, a Republican? (Just kidding, Lynn!) I worry about stuff all the time. Is she being short-changed because I'm a working mom? Do we spend enough time with her? Do we spend too much time with her? Do we push her too hard/not hard enough? I don't think I'll ever be comfortable with that aspect of parenting, but there is so much about being a mom that I love. I've taken the advice to savor my child as she's growing up and enjoy every period in her life. I loved having an infant with her littleness and her dependence. I savored her babyhood, as she reached milestones on a daily basis. It was fun to play with Margaret as a toddler who found infinite joy in most everything. Then she was a preschooler learning new things all time, running and playing by herself and with her friends, but always coming back to mom. Now she's a school-ager and I can honestly say that I love this period the most. She's so much fun to be around. She independent and capable of doing so much for herself, yet she's great company. I love walking over to the pool with her on nights that Bill teaches late. I love the way she curls her long legs up into her chair and watches the Disney Channel. I love that she wants to play games with me and chatter about her day at school. I love seeing her little face in the morning and kissing her goodnight. I'm lucky to have a job that I enjoy coming to every morning, but I'm even luckier that I have a daughter that I can't wait to get home to every night. 4 comments

What Women Want

By {screen_name}
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

If you’re reading this blog - we want to talk to you! One of the really fun and interesting parts of my job is to take a look at new products that our readers would be interested in reading! In our quest to deliver fresh, fun and useful information, The Daily Sentinel is considering new options and we want your opinions, input and feedback. We will be hosting some focus group sessions to see what you think about some new projects geared towards women and the Western Colorado lifestyle. The focus groups will take place mid-September and last less than two hours. If you are asked to join, all you have to do is show up and be ready to talk - you can do that, right? Participants must be female, over the age of 18 and a resident of Western Colorado. If you’d like to join us, please send an e-mail to focusgroup@gjds.com Include your name, age, and a little about your hobbies, interests and leisure activities. Please reply by September 9. Thank you! And feel free to invite your friends and other female family members to join us! 3 comments

The Best Gifts For a Growing Family

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Monday, August 27, 2007

I love getting and giving onesies and wipes and diapers in anticipation of a new baby. I just can't tell you what a great feeling it is to fold and refold all the new baby's clothes. I like to open the closet and relax in the security of 10 packs of diapers and smell the fresh bottles of shampoo and baby lotion. Believe me...having stuff stockpiled is such a comfort when facing the daunting challenge of bringing home a brand new baby. But, there are a few gifts I received that I never knew would be so useful in those first few weeks as a new mom. If you're ever at a loss for a baby shower gift...give food. Bring over the homemade lasagna and the enchiladas or give the grocery store gift card with the link to online shopping. When we came home with Soren a particularly generous friend rang our bell, handed the hubby a little pile of papers and ran away. The papers were take-out menus to area restaurants like Chilis and Applebees with gift cards attached. It was awesome to not have to rely on delivery pizza every night. This time my friends filled my freezer with meals from Supper Solutions. I've been standing out in the garage opening the freezer and relaxing in it's coldness while gazing at my Bistro Greek Pitas and Citrus Tuna steaks. I don't know if it's good or not because that food is strictly off-limits until this new baby arrives, but I hear it's pretty great and I'm looking forward to it. The other stand-out gift was one that came a few months into new mommyhood. It was a gift just for me...a pedicure and a haircut from Mesa Mall. A few months into the new baby's life, I woke up and realized that I had neglected myself pretty badly. New babies leave little time for primping in front of the mirror but at some point a working mom has to clean herself up for her big debut at the office. A little "me" time was much appreciated. I feel very lucky to have such generous people in my life and hope to pay it forward whenever I can. 3 comments

Been There, Done That

By Robin Dearing
Friday, August 24, 2007

I had a rookie mom question last week about parking at my daughter's elementary school at the frenzied hour of 3 o'clock, so I called my neighbor, whose daughter is a first grader. I didn't call the school office because Lord knows with 700 students they have enough nervous, first-time mamas to deal with. My neighbor was my BTDT (Been There, Done That) Mama for the day. I learned early on that the BTDT Mamas were my best source for helpful advice. Despite the small library of pregnancy and parenting reference books I collected when I was pregnant with Miss C, and that collected dust when I was pregnant with my second daughter, the best information I got was from the BTDT Mamas. They could tell me in 10.2 seconds what I needed to know, while the equivalent knowledge gleaned from a book would have taken me 10.2 minutes. We all know real mamas don't have that kind of time! They didn't bother to impress me with fancy medical terms or parenting lingo. They didn't sugar coat things. And I was all the more grateful for their advice. Perhaps, like me, your BTDT team includes your mother, your mother-in-law, your best friend and your sister-in-law. I'm thankful for their advice and insight. Because despite the litany of parenting Web sites and message boards available today, nothing can replace the advice of a mom who's BTDT. Do you have a BTDT Mama (or mamas) that you turn to for advice? Read more from Blonde Mom Jamie here, here and here! 3 comments

The long awaited birth story

By Robin Dearing
Thursday, August 23, 2007

Apparently everyone loves a good birth story ... I wouldn't have ever guessed this but I watched some cable while lazing around the hospital and they have hours and hours of birth stories on Discovery Health. It's weird to be lying in bed holding a new baby and watching other people give birth on TV. Sorry folks, there'll be no video here but I'll share a condensed version of my most recent delivery events for your voyeuristic pleasure. I don't know when labor started because it felt like it started days and days before. I was hot and grumpy with intermittent pains. I had a fitfully sleepless night because every so often I'd wake up with stabbing stomach pain. I kept telling myself that if I was indeed going into labor that I had better just try to get some sleep. In the morning I wasn't really sure if I was in labor or not so I took a few Tylenol and went to work because I'm a dedicated employee. I had time to introduce myself to the new gal then started watching the clock as each pain gripped my abdomen. My head really wasn't into it that day what with someone stabbing my innards so I went home after just a couple of hours. And, I totally felt guilty for leaving the new girl to swim on her own and knowing that my leaving just ruined my cubbymate's whole week!!! I'm so so sorry Tammy. At home I tried to rest. I ate something. I paced the house. I told all callers that I would be unavailable as I was in labor. The contractions came at strange intervals, 45 minutes apart, 20 minutes, 3 minutes, then back to 30 minutes. My water never broke and progress was pretty slow. I realized we needed some oatmeal and some yogurt so I forced the family to go to Vitamin Cottage with me. I figured it was a safe place to pass some time as nobody will talk to or offer to help us there anyway. We shopped, stopping occasionally to feign interest in the potato chips while we waited for a pain to pass. We bumped into some friends and compared shopping notes while I tried to grin and bear labor politely. I was determined to stay home as long as possible. By 5 p.m. the pains brought tears to my eyes. I had a smoothie while sitting in the bathtub. I can't remember if my family ate dinner because I was busy being crippled over whatever chair or table that was available. Still the pains were unpredictable. By 9 p.m. they were 5 minutes apart but hurt like hell. I could no longer stay home, or walk, or do anything but cry on my hubby's shoulder. I was less than stoic. A nurse sauntered into the deliver room to check my progress. She looked at me surprised and announced, "You are at a 7 or 8 ... we have to get ready for this baby now." And a crowd of nurses came into the room pushing various stainless steel trays of sharp things. "Can I have an epidural NOW?" I breathed out. "We'll try," she said. Oh MY GOD ... she did not just say the word "try." I thought to myself as total panic set in. "Tell him (the anesthesiologist) to run," I said in all seriousness although everyone in the room except me laughed. It's already taken me three days to write this entry and Jonas just let out a little warning squeak. So to make a long story short, I did get an epidural and within minutes of doing so he was born. I'm sparing the weak of the really gruesome details. You can watch TV for that. There was some scary stuff with the cord, Jonas needing oxygen and an Apgar of only 5 or 6. But, after only an hour of arriving at the hospital, I was holding my beautiful healthy and really alert baby boy and enjoying some honey nut Cheerios. It just doesn't get any better than that unless you're Robin and you can push sans drugs. All in all I think I weathered it like a champ and I'm pretty proud of the trophy I got at the end. Jonas.jpg A note from Robin: We here at The Daily Sentinel were treated to some very special visitors yesterday. Richie brought in baby Jonas for everyone to ooh and ahh over. He's the sweetest little nut — really strong and calm and as cute as can be. Lynn got to enjoy him the most as he seemed to be really comfortable with her. So thanks to the Ashcraft family for giving us yet another adorable little boy to dote on! Jonas%20and%20Lynn.jpg 12 comments

Pre-Dawn Awakenings

By {screen_name}
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I wrote once before about how occasionally, just before I am fully awake in the morning, thoughts will drift through my semi-conscious mind. They are like waking-dreams and I’ve learned that there are important messages in them. Yesterday morning I awoke to my internal voice talking to me about my perspective on my life. So it’s the first day of school. How do you feel about that? Hmmm, mixed feelings, but glad it’s a new beginning. A rough summer really left me doubting my abilities as a parent. Am I doing enough? Too much? Am I brave enough to get us through it? You’re doing the best you know how. It’s not all up to you anyway. There is another party involved who is responsible for himself you know. Yeah, good point. And really, things in my life are pretty darn good. How so? I have a smart, handsome son, a man who adores me, friends and family who support me, my health, a great new house, and a job to pay for it all. Yeah, so what are you b i t c hing about? I’m not really. Not right now anyway. I think maybe you need more peace of mind, and heart. And you know how to get it. More gratitude? And . . . ? Less attitude? Uh, huh! Alright, alright. I got it. Can I get up now? Yes, but remember what we said. Geez, and Alex thinks I nag him a lot. 5 comments
Page 135 of 171




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