"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lesson Learned

When the Man and I were first married and still in college, we went to a regional conference for newlyweds. It was held in university's basketball auditorium, which is huge. The conference was pretty full but we managed to find seats way up the cement steps in what would have been the cheap seats, if it were a game night.

There was a couple seated behind us and just to the side enough that I could see them out of the corner of my eye. The husband was playing with his wedding band. He wasn't just twisting it, he was flipping it around on his fingertip, using centrifugal force to keep it going. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to keep it on his finger. Within moments, we heard the distinct sound of metal clinking down the cement stairs. Uh oh...the wife was absolutely livid and soundly chastised him for being so careless. She was threatening to not replace the ring when we noticed a movement in the seats well below us. Slowly, row by row, a man's wedding band was handed up. You can be sure that his ring stayed firmly on his finger for the rest of the conference.

So why am I telling you this funny story? Because apparently, the Man doesn't like to learn from the mistakes of others. Last week, he was headed down into the basement and, while stomping down the stairs, twirled his wedding ring around his fingertip. And guess what? It went flying off, clunked down the dark stairway and then disappeared into the cardboard abyss that is our basement.

Uh oh.

Understandably, he was hesitant to tell me what had happened. But actually, I wasn't upset. It wasn't like he'd lost it in a public place; we knew where it was just not the specific location. Also, I wasn't entirely heartbroken because, well, I am an impulsive person and tend to make big decisions without much thought. So inscribed inside his wedding ring, instead of the usual initials or wedding date or "PUT ME BACK ON!", I put a rather odd phrase. In French, no less. Yeah. Kinda weird, as neither of us speak French or have been to France. So him losing his ring was really more like getting a re-do with the inscription thing.

In the following days, whenever he went downstairs, he would search another area, looking for his white gold band. Saturday, he disappeared into the basement again. I thought he was getting things ready to finish off the never-ending project of painting the living room (another post when I've had more chocolate). Nope. He was looking for his ring. And he found it. It wasn't where he thought it was, lost among the storage. It never made it that far. Our basement is unfinished so the stairs are just plain wood with a little gap to the side for carpet. The ring had fallen into that gap, which happened to not be entirely up to code and was partially open to the interior of the wall. He tried to dig it out but ended up nudging it the wrong way and plunk! The ring fell inside the wall. When he tried to explain this to me, ninety minutes later, covered in sweat, drywall dust, and insulation fibers, I didn't quite understand, so he took me downstairs and showed me what it took to get his ring out of the wall:

Wow! He really wanted that ring back! He must love me more than that tiny storage space underneath the stairs. So after he cleaned it well, the Man placed his ring firmly back on his finger. And there it stays.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Product Review: Dream Dinners

Ever have those nights when you just don't know what to cook? When you're tired of the same ol' same old and would rather not put that on your table again? How about the long days when you're in no mood to chop, blend, simmer and stir for an hour before you have something edible?
I first heard about Dream Dinners more than two years ago and really wanted to try it. What they do is solve the dinner dilemma for you; the meal is ready and waiting in your freezer! The Man finally gave in to my begging and agreed to try it for one month, a total of 12 dinners (3 servings each).

Here's how it works:
  1. Browse their monthly menu. You'll probably have a hard time narrowing down your list. Minimum order is 36 servings and you can package them in either 3 or 6 serving sizes.
  2. Schedule your visit and place your order.
  3. Show up for your appointment.
  4. Put on an apron.
  5. Have some fun!
Since it was my first visit, one of the owners walked me through the basics.

Pretty cool set-up, don't you think?

You get an assigned space in their huge freezer to keep your dinners cool while you work. I was Shelf #7. They gave me my order confirmation as a guide, reminding me which dinners I had ordered and how much of each (got two sets of the same thing for those evenings when we have company). Then, I was shown the stations.

Each one has a recipe and ingredients for a specific meal. This one was for a chicken stir fry.

Following the instructions is pretty easy, even if you don't do a lot of cooking (or aren't especially good at it, like me). And all the ingredients and chopped, minced, mixed and ready for you! I loved that part. No cutting onions or attempting to not chop off a fingertip while dicing carrots.

And it looks pretty cool as you're getting things together.

Don't forget all the components! Some meals have separate bags for the marinade, veggies and the meat.

Once you're done putting it together, bag it up at the counter. They have labels for all the dinners you've ordered with cooking instructions printed on them. No searching for the directions when you're trying to feed your family.

Put the bag in your shelf space and move on to the next dinner! I was working by myself but some people worked in pairs. One customer even had two kids helping her out.

Since you make the dinners yourself, you can customize it to your family's preferences. Love garlic? Add as much as you want! Can't stand green peppers but crave the red ones? No problem. Have never tasted a caper and frankly, never want to? Leave them out. (But really, they're not that bad...taste kinda like olives.) Several of the dinners come with sides, like rice or pasta. Or Dream Dinners has some prepared sides ready to take home with you. I picked up mashed potatoes with gorgonzola. Mmmmm....cheesy...

Here are a couple of tips:
  • If you're not sure what you will like, stick to the recipe. Unless you really hate artichoke hearts, trust that their choices are going to work. Next time around, you can change it.
  • Pay attention to the serving size! The 3 serving recipe is on one side of the paper and the 6 serving is on the other. Don't get those mixed up or you'll end up with waaaaay too much chili powder for the amount of chicken you're using.
  • Look at the measuring utensils before using them. Your recipe might say 1 tbsp but it's a half tbsp measure. OR you might be measuring 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice but accidentally read it on the ounces side, thereby doubling the amount unintentionally. And I gotta tell ya...too much lemon juice really changes the flavor and your husband might not be that excited about it. Not that I know, or anything...okay, so maybe I did that but just once!
  • If you make a mess (like dropping a measuring cup in the dijon mustard or splattering the soy sauce) or you make a mistake, flag down one of the ladies in the black aprons. They can bring you a new measuring cup, give advice on fixing a mistake, or help you start over.
  • Bring a large cooler with you to bring all your dinners home. I brought one that was not that big, thinking it would be fine. However, I couldn't fit all my meals inside so I had to bring the rest home in bags.
The twelve dinners took me just about two hours. But I talk a lot and was one of the last ones to finish in my session. And they had freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and some other samples in case you got the munchies. What pregnant woman is going to turn down cookies?

Not quite ready to devote that much of your grocery budget? Ask about an open house. I went to one before scheduling my session. Not only do you get practice by putting together a free dinner but they offer lots of different samples of their other dishes so you get a better idea of what they taste like. Also, you can split the 36 servings with a friend, divide the order between you and still meet the minimum.

Also? If you don't have the time to go in and put together your dinners (or you have a big, pregnant belly that keeps getting in the way whenever you reach for the oregano), they offer a completion service. They'll put together your dinners for you for $25; all you have to do is stop in and pick them up.

Danielle and Jean at the Orem location were super sweet and very helpful. They make you feel more like your cooking with friends than in a business. And for someone as culinary inept as myself, that really helped.

Don't have a Dream Dinners close by? Other similar businesses are My Girlfriend's Kitchen and Dinner Date.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Foto Friday #3

On July 24th, Utah celebrates Pioneer Day, commemorating the arrival of the first pioneers in the Salt Lake valley. It's a state holiday so the Man usually gets the day off work, too.

We spent the morning watching the Days of '47 parade. The kids and I came to the conclusion that unless you are there in person, parades aren't much fun. After that, we set out to find as many fun things to do as possible. The kids played and stuff; I made brownies.

After dinner, it was time for the fireworks! This is our family's favorite part of July.

Da Boo gets some pointers on throwing snaps instead of just stomping on them. She also got to be my sidekick as we set off several packs of glow worms.

The Boy loved making "big circles" with his sparklers. Earlier in the month, our local grocery store had big tubes of glow sticks on sale for way cheap, I picked up some and then dished them out when we had a break in the fireworks. From their reaction, you would have thought I gave the kids a new pony carrying ridden by a circus clown while pulling a wagon full of hot fudge sundaes. I always know something is a hit when they insist on taking it to bed with them.

I guess fireworks are loud. Who'da thunk it. But even when the festivities were over and it was waaaaay past bedtime, the kids were begging for more. Me? I went to bed shortly after the kids did...too much excitement, I guess. Or maybe I was just crashing from all that homemade ice cream...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pass It On!

Quite awhile ago, my friend had a craft Pay It Forward on her blog. The rules are the first three people to comment get a craft from the blog owner but then those three must do the same on their blogs and offer a craft to their first three comments. Easy enough, right?

She gave me this really cute frame. I'm not sure what I will make but lately, I've been playing with making jewelry and have gotten decent enough to where my creations aren't always crooked...or maybe I'll just bring cupcakes. :)

Any first three comments get a craft from me! After you see that you are in the first three, please email my duckduckcow gmail account with your address (unless, of course, you're my neighbor or related to me in some manner...) so I have somewhere to send the craft. When you've posted the Pay It Forward on your site, let know and I'll link to it!

Good Luck!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Pet Peeve Resolved

There's a meme going around about pet peeves. Luckily, I haven't been tagged (don't get any ideas, people). The problem is, I have far too many pet peeves. You know how people always say "Don't sweat the petty things," right? Well, getting irate over small issues is one of my favorite things to do with my spare time.

One of my pet peeves: automatic car washes.

"What?" you are probably thinking. "Those are water-powered blessings from heaven...how can you possibly not like automatic car washes?"

Simple: I can't drive. Anyone who drives with me knows this to be true, especially the Man. I have a hard enough time keeping my vehicle in my own lane, much less trying to navigate up to those little metal ramp things that trigger the car wash. I'm forever being told to Move Forward, Stop, Backup, Move Forward, Stop, Backup. I think I've even managed to break them before, since the car wash never started and all the lights on the little sign started flashing...oops! But never again, folks.

I had my oil changed recently and as part of the service, you get a free car wash afterwards. I love Grease Monkey. They also leave mints and a little carnation on your dashboard. So cute! Anyway, I dread the car wash but the kids know it's coming and look forward to it. Can't disappoint them, right? So I grudgingly aim my van toward the car wash entrance. But as I enter, it is as if they have set little blue magical fairies to light my path. There is no evil ramp daring me to squeeze my tire onto it...instead, the area is lined with blue reflector lights. All you have to do is stop when the Stop light flashes to let the show begin.

Did you hear me, people? NO RAMP! No need to sweat bullets and condemn my drivers ed instructors for never teaching me this skill! No more tears when I am backing up for the fourth time, while other cars are waiting patiently for their turn! No more dreading getting the car washed! So, my friends, if you, too, fear the hostile ramp lurking in car washes, then patronize Grease Monkey, where you can sip beverages, munch popcorn, and watch as they change your oil. Then enjoy the stress-free car wash. It's almost as good as a trip to a spa.

Oh, and tell them I sent you.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

SOS: With Friends Like These...

I'm pretty lucky when it comes to friends. I have some that I know I can call at 6 a.m. to come sit with my kids while I rush to the emergency room. I have some that bring me treats for no good reason. And I have some that I can show my true dorkitude to and they'll still hang out with me. But I wasn't always this lucky. Junior high was rough (who doesn't have a hard time, though?) and the "best friend" I had as I start high school morphed into the Wicked Witch. I'm taking a break from the dating stories to tell you a little bit about this friend.

Let's call her Cathy. Cathy was cute, skinny, and smart. However - and I am being completely unbiased here - I was cuter and smarter. She didn't like that I made better grades, took AP and was in the Honor Society. Cathy didn't like it when I hung out with my friends from church or anyone else besides her. She also didn't like that I nearly always had a boyfriend or several targets for flirting. In fact, she would frequently develop a crush on the same guys, then it became a race to see who would win him. One time, my crush was older and had already graduated from high school. I would go to see him frequently and of course, she would go with me. He and I started dating, did the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing, etc. Then we kinda lost interest around the same time. That's when she made her move. I could say she stole my boyfriend but I didn't really care by then, it was on to the next guy.

She had a serious boyfriend when we were sophomores. I thought he was a jerk and didn't like hanging out with them. Then one afternoon, right before Christmas, he calls me and confesses that he is in love with me, not Cathy, that the only reason he stays with her is so he can see me. I didn't buy it. Seconds after I hung up, Cathy calls me. She insists that I have something I need to tell her. Wha...? It's obvious she had totally set up the phone call from her boyfriend and listened to the whole thing. When I confronted her about it, she said she did it to see if she could trust me. Yeah, that sure builds trust.

Also another trust-building step? Take your "best friend" to your church's youth group so they can gather around and tell her just how wrong her religion is compared to theirs. That's lots of fun, I tell ya, especially when I'm already feeling a little insecure about my personal faith. And she wondered why I would never go back...

But the final straw came with my cancer diagnosis. We discovered the tumor two days into the new school year, on a Thursday. On the following Tuesday, I was wheeled in for surgery. Since it happened so quickly, I only had a chance to tell a few people what was happening. So Cathy took it upon herself to report the news to others. Only she changed the story. I wasn't in the hospital, I was at home. I didn't have a tumor, I had a cold. Even when friends who knew the truth asked her about it, she told them I was lying to them, that it really was a cold. Then she had the audacity to come visit me in the hospital. I was so mad at her that I hardly spoke. Finally, I faked a muscles spasm so the nurse would come in and shoo her out.

After that, Cathy and I never willingly hung out together. We were both on the school drama and debate teams, which did a lot together, but we would coolly ignore each other. I sometimes wonder what happened to her, where she went in life and how many other friends she drove crazy...but then again, I don't really care.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Foto Friday #2

Last week, I vowed to brag about my kids more. This week is no exception.

They finished the first round of swimming lessons last week. Here are some highlights:

"Look, Mom! I can go in the pool without screaming in fear of my life and clinging to you like a bad pair of underwear!" His teacher is just on the edge of this picture, ready to help out, but I liked that she let him do it by himself for a little bit.

Here's a rare sea creature: a purple Floating Boo. It's rare because the amount of giggling it does gives away it's hiding place. This is something I've been trying to teach da Boo every time we get in a swimming pool. I'm glad she's finally gotten the hang of it. Next step: float longer by not giggling so much.

And the last one:

Here are my Rock Stars in Training. They aren't playing the game, just being silly, making up a song and playing with the instruments. I find it interesting that neither of them choose to play with the drums...I thought percussion was in their blood!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We're Going On A Trip

I've had this little ditty running through my head for the past few says. Doesn't help that da Boo knows all the words and will spontaneously burst out singing it. Bright and early tomorrow morning (ideally), we head out for the last road trip of the summer. We're going off of the tricks and tips from our last trip (although I keep forgetting to get a book on tape...maybe for the return trip). This one isn't too bad, only eight hours. Yeah, eight hours. In the car. With two kids. Now, that's what I call a vacation, folks.

So you won't miss me too much, I am using the magic of Blogger to post even when I'm not at the computer. Now, I can choose the date and time I want something posted. Pretty spiffy, eh? There will even be a new Soap Opera Sunday, this one about a friend who was more of an enemy. See, all my other good dating stories? Well, their spouses or family members read my blog and it might be a little awkward to post those. Even if I change the names, there will be people who know who I'm talking about. So I'm taking a break from the dating drama...for now.

In the mean time...

Where would you go on your dream vacation?

Monday, July 14, 2008

FHE: Inside the Lines

We've had a problem with sharing lately. Usually, the kids are pretty good about taking turns or letting the other play with their toys but they've caught of case of the MINE's and I have had it with the yelling. We were short on time for FHE tonight so I used a quick story from the Friend. We'll have to explore this topic in depth more later. And if you have any ideas, please share them! (After all, we are trying to encourage sharing around here...)

Opening Song: Do I really need to tell you? Twinkle Little Star.

Opening Prayer: Daddy.

Lesson: I asked the kids if they liked to color (of course!), what their favorite colors were, what pictures they liked to color, etc. Once I got them thinking about coloring and crayons, I read the story Inside the Lines from the February 1993 issue of the Friend. It's about a little boy named David who enjoys coloring, but is asked to share his crayons with his baby sister. He doesn't want to share so he gives his sister the brown crayon because he doesn't use it very often. Then David needs to color a horse brown. He tries grabbing the crayon back, but this makes his sister cry. He feels bad about making his little sister cry, so he offers to share all of his crayons. She sets down the brown crayon and uses the purple one. David can now finish his picture and his sister is happy, too.

Before each decision David made, I asked the kids what they would do. David doesn't want to share his crayons, but what should he do? David needs the brown crayon so what should he do? His little sister is crying. What can he do?

Boo seemed particularly horrified when David tried to snatch the crayon back instead of asking nicely, as she had suggested. The Boy said he should give his sister a hug when she was crying. He also wanted to know if he could have the green crayon. So at least they were paying attention enough to understand what was going on, that sharing was the point of the story. It was a quick lesson and I hope to go over this again.

Closing Song: Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree (it was Boo's turn to pick...I suggested Choose the Right).

Closing Prayer: Boo.

Treat: Homemade ice cream! We originally made this for the Fourth of July and it must have made a LOT because we've been eating it almost every night and still have plenty left.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Are You A Bookworm?

Suddenly, I find myself with an utter abundance of time. Well, not really. I just decided that housework is not all that fun to do when it's too hot and you're pregnant. (I really hope the Man doesn't read that...) And the potty training is going fairly well (FINALLY!). His only accidents happen when he doesn't get his shorts off quickly enough.

So...I'm not hanging out in the bathroom, or the laundry room, or the kitchen. AND I just finished my book. I have another book to read but we are headed out of town next weekend and I am saving it for the car trip. Also? Kinda feel like I am stuck in a sci-fi rut. All my books lately are science fiction or fantasy. Might need to branch out a little...and I totally would if I didn't find most non-fiction boring. Also, I don't like most of the books that Oprah deems "worthy." And no Nora Roberts. But other than that...

Tell me, ladies, what book should I read?
(I might make this a poll once I get a few responses.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Foto Friday Begins!

Despite the title of Mommy Blogger, I haven't been posting too much about my kids lately (and honestly, the potty training rants really don't count, do they?). So I am going to attempt to remedy the situation by posting pictures of the kids every Friday.

Ready for this week's installment?

The Co-ed was teaching da Boo how to play the piano. With the Co-ed gone for the summer, da Boo is stuck with only three songs in her repertoire. Still, it's cute to listen to her play.

And really, this photo needs no caption. The shirt says it all.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Product Review: Soapnuts

A little while back, I won a free sample of Soapnuts from It's a Slow Learning Curve.

What exactly are Soapnuts? The short answer is an organic substitute for laundry detergent. According to the Laundry Tree website, "Soapnuts are the fruit of a tree (Sapindus Mukorossi), found primarily in India, Indonesia, and Nepal. They are harvested, de-seeded, and then dried in the sun." They get their cleaning power from saponin, which has been used as a natural cleanser for centuries.

The Soapnuts arrived in a little canvas bag. There were eight inside. I kept out half and put the remaining four back inside the little bag, as the instructions dictate, and then gathered up some laundry. The first load was dark clothes washed on cold. Soapnuts work best in warm water but I like putting things to the test.

My sister is all about the organic so I knew she would be proud of me for trying out these little things.

Results from the first load: Pretty good! Clothes were as clean as normal (and I have little kids, so that is saying something). There was no scent and I kinda like scents so I made sure to use a fabric softener sheet in the dryer.

The instructions say the nuts are good for a few loads so I tossed the little bag back in the washer. Next load, I tested them in warm water but this time with whites.

Results from the second load: Not so good. The clothes didn't smell clean. In fact, they smelled just like they did when I put them in the wash. They didn't look clean. I took out the nuts and rewashed the load with regular detergent. Disappointing, but not entirely unexpected. Whites are hard to get clean.

I gave the Soapnuts one last chance. Warm water with lighter-colored clothes.

Results from the third load: Not bad! I was a little worried that they were reaching the end of their cleaning abilities but these clothes came out looking fine. I used a stain treatment on a couple shirts (because I have a Boy) and the stains came out like normal.

So, to sum up, Soapnuts are a great mild detergent. I wouldn't recommend them for heavily soiled, large or white loads but for normal, every day laundry, they work just fine.

If you'd like to try Soapnuts for yourself or want more information, visit the Laundry Tree.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

FHE: Conquering the Potty

Well, last night wasn't an official FHE. We didn't have an opening prayer or song. Instead, we celebrated a certain milestone in the Boy's development: using the potty.

Despite the agony I suffered the first week, this last week was not too bad. Sure, there were accidents but there wasn't any more swearing (at least not from me). And progress was made! He now prefers to wear underwear - and to keep them dry. He'll go to the potty all by himself, without being guided and without my suggesting that he do so. Now, if we can get him to put his underwear back on after being in the bathroom instead of holding them until he searches the house for me...

At the very beginning, when I was listing the different prizes he could win for his training successes, I offered to take him and his sister to Chuck E. Cheese when he used the potty for the solid stuff. I still cringe when thinking about our last trip to that establishment but since he loved it, it was good motivator. He had success on the Fourth of July but we delayed his reward, due to previous plans, until Monday night. Unfortunately, he got distracted once he got out of bed on Monday, didn't make it to the potty in time, and ended up pooping in his pull-ups. He was the one that suggested that maybe he couldn't go to Chuck E. Cheese and I went with it. However, he had success later in the day and then asked so very sweetly if maybe his reward might be reinstated. I had to agree. He deserved something after making so much progress.

Aunt Denise joined us because misery loves company to share in the children's joy. I had the Man serve as a ringer, gave him tokens with instructions to win copious amounts of tickets for his offspring. And boy, did he! I tell ya, skeet ball must be in that man's blood. After the cardboard pizza and loud games, the kids got to pick their prizes. Da Boo got another lizard, just like the one she got last time (hopefully it will last longer than a day) and the Boy got suckers - seven of them. At least he knows what he wants.

I suppose our closing song could be Chuck's birthday song, as it blared over the speakers at regular intervals. The kids were worn out by the time we left and went to bed with only the perfunctory objections. Then it was peace...sweet, sweet peace for the adults. And leftover birthday cake with homemade ice cream.

New things I am doing this week to "upgrade" the Boy's skills:
  • We're going to try standing up. I'll use Trix (because we don't currently have Froot Loops) for him to "aim" at in the potty.
  • He no longer gets a reward for each success. But whenever he gets re-dressed all by himself, he gets a tootsie roll. As funny as it is for him to fall asleep on the floor, half naked...
  • Poops on the potty still get special treatment (usually a Popsicle) since he is still working on this one.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

SOS: Being the Rebound Date

Ever dated someone who was on the rebound from a long-term, serious relationship? You spend a lot of time listening to stories about their former romance and maybe you get compared to the person every now and then. It pretty much sucks.

So here I was, on a date with a guy I'd had a crush on from the first moment I met him - when he and his ex were still together. At least, I thought it was a date. It turned out to be something else entirely.

I met Eric at church. And yes, that's his real name. I just "googled" him and didn't find anything about him so I feel perfectly safe in thinking that he'll never read this. And even if it does, maybe it will give some insight. And then, maybe not. See, Eric was not exactly vain but pretty confident. He was more than just good looking and he knew it. Blond, muscular and funny. Fortunately for me, he was also kinda short so that limited the number of admirers. We started as friends. Isn't that how it always starts?

When he tearfully told me about the break-up, I silently cheered. Maybe now was my shot! And sure enough, before the conversation was over, we had plans for the weekend. Yes!

Not sure why, but I drove that evening. All during dinner, he told me about his former relationship: how they met, how they had weathered the rough times before, and, of course, how much she had changed lately. I feigned interest. He had his arm wrapped around me, how could I not be interested in his every word? Besides, we were friends and friends were supposed to be supportive. And have I mentioned the muscles? Yowzah!

After dinner he suggested we just drive around for a while. Okay. Soon, he was directing me through a residential neighborhood. Before we made it two streets in, he jumped in the back seat and covered himself with my windshield visor. What...? Sure enough, I was directed to drive very, very slowly past a certain house. Her house. No one was home. This lead to plenty of speculation as where she might be as we left the neighborhood. We pulled into a parking lot and read each other questions out of my most useful dating tool at that time: The Book of Questions. He answered every one for himself and then what he thought she would say. Bo-o-oring.

Then? Just when the blush had completely faded from my crush...he asked if we could drive by her house again before I dropped him off at home. Sure! Why not? Might as well go out with a bang, right?

While Eric and I continued to hang out regularly, it never went anywhere. Besides, he was more like eye candy to me than a potential boyfriend after that. Maybe another time I'll tell you about when we went to the same college, had a class together. I took a stand in that class during a controversial topic. He sunk down in his chair. Or maybe I'll just tell you about the time I was on the rebound and the poor, poor boy I got involved with...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fourth of July!

Well, my house is starting to smell normal. He's even gotten the hang of all forms of...elimination? In a moment of weakness/stress/duress/madness, I promised the Boy that the first time he used the potty for the solid stuff, we would celebrate by going to Chuck E. Cheese, a place he talks about all the time since our first trip. So, looks like we're headed there Monday night. That's like the good news and the bad news.

For the Fourth, we headed to Downtown Provo for the parade. It's pretty much a tradition and the kids are getting to the age where they really enjoy it. In fact, this is what they looked like for the duration:

Here's da Boo's favorite things about the Fourth of July:

I let her get her face painted on two different days (once again, the bestest Mommy evah). Both times she requested a unicorn. It was a first for both of the face painters. She was more than pleased with the results. And we all already know how obsessed she is with horses so her parade favorite was a no-brainer.

For the Boy, slightly different tastes:

Those of you who were with us in South Dakota may remember the constant streams of "gummy guys" (aka: army guys said by an overly-excited 3-year-old) so he was ecstatic to see more of them. Also, he loved the cannon that they set off to signal the end of the parade, although it made him jump about a foot every time. And? He used a port-a-potty while there! Even I would rather hold it instead of use one of those but he thought it was a new adventure or he just really, really had to go.

My favorites?

I've always loved bag pipes. In fact, when I die and you come to my funeral, there had better be a bag piper playing Amazing Grace or I expect you to give the Man heck about that, okay? And the fireworks are just too fun. We've gotten the big box from the local grocery store for years. Usually, we'll split it up between the Fourth and Pioneer Day. In the flames you can see the carcasses of our previous festivities.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to see much of the local fireworks display, as they moved it blocks away. Seems that the high school football was rather sensitive about explosives being launched from their new football field. Oh, come on! Those craters and burn circles would just add character! Might even intimidate the other team, send them wonder what plays are used that cause flames.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

FHE: I Love to See the Temple

After a long hiatus, I finally got around to doing a Family Home Evening post! Actually, we delayed FHE for a night, having it on Tuesday instead of the usual Monday because...well, Monday evening, I was crying and emotional so the Man put the kids to bed instead of having a lesson. Tonight? Much better! Da Boo brought home a temple-themed activity from church on Sunday so I used that and the recent Friend as my inspiration.

And if you don't want to read about it, there are a couple new cakes posted.

Opening Song: Twinkle Little Star. Surprise, surprise.

Opening Prayer: The Man.

Lesson: We talked for a moment about temples and what da Boo learned in Sunday School. I tell ya, she gets more than you think she does, especially because she is not the best at sitting still and paying attention.

Using the Friend, the kids piled on top of me (of course) and we read Just Like Mommy. I thought it would be fun because it uses simple pictures in place of common words. Even the Boy was able to get these, although there was an almost heated debate as to whether or not the temple was another castle. I showed him the drawbridge on the castle and then pointed out that there was no drawbridge on the temple. So for future reference...if you see a structure and don't know if it's a castle or a temple, look for a drawbridge.

Closing Song: I Love to See the Temple.

Closing Prayer: Me.

Activity #1: It's been nice in the evenings, so the Man took the kids to the park. I was invited but really, the draw of a few minutes of peace and quiet (and the possibility of maybe using the bathroom by myself) was too much of a draw. Still, I eventually grabbed the camera and joined them.

Treats: Earlier in the day, to celebrate the success of a topic I promised not to mention, we baked chocolate chip cookies. Mmmmm...nothing like warm cookies and milk!

Activity #2: For Father's Day, the Man got Rock Band. The kids have been dying to play it more so we let them have at it tonight. I love how da Boo got so into it, that her tongue is sticking out as she concentrates. (And after the kids went to bed, we played a little more...hehehehehe...)

An Update

Well, I'm still not thinking coherently...could be because everywhere I go, even outside my house, I smell pee.

Saturday went very well! In fact, the Boy did not have a single pee accident. Let's not talk about what else comes out because he has plenty of those accidents. But hey! All day Saturday, he was fine using the potty, even seemed surprised when he discovered that this "using the potty" thing was pretty easy.

Sunday...The Boy and I stayed home from church because I wasn't feeling so hot and I didn't want to subject his wonderful nursery leaders to this kind of torture. The day was going well, just the two of us. Then he peed on me. All down my back. At first, I was in denial that my back was suddenly getting very warm but that ended once he made his announcement: "Momma, I peed." Maybe he thought I wouldn't notice unless he said something.

Yesterday, we had another break-through: using a different potty. We were at the library. We usually go to the library once a week and on last our weekly trip, he had an accident within minutes of arriving. We left. Yesterday, we went back because I had two books on hold that were about to expire if I didn't pick them up. Sure enough, we weren't there very long before the Boy starts holding himself and jumping. When he does this and I ask if he needs to go potty, he usually says no. You ain't foolin' anyone, kid. So we went to the bathroom. He was terrified at first, but still tried. And what do you know? He did have to go! I tell ya, that Momma-lady? She sometimes knows her stuff! To celebrate that momentous occasion, I took the kids to lunch at Arctic Circle. Yes, their food isn't that good and yes, it wreaks havoc on my system to go but hey! Their play place is the best for littler kids and they give out the free mini cones.

Two things I am changing for this weeks' round of training:
  1. Now, when he has an accident, he has to wear plain white underwear. No superheros or cartoon characters. Plain white for half the day. If he stays dry, he can change back into his fancy ones.
  2. When he has a pooping accident, instead of using wipes and such to clean him off, he will be placed in a cold shower.
Both of these tactics were what made the difference for da Boo. Once she couldn't wear Dora any more, she was much more motivated to try. Same goes for the shower...knowing what would happen if she messed her panties was strong motivation for keeping them clean. Wish me luck! (I need it...I'm running low on chocolate...)

And I promise, my next post with not mention potty training or accidents at all! :)

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