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

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Birthday Bash

Tonight, we had the official Birthday Party for the Co-ed, complete with presents and a cake. Now, before you run to look at the cake, let me explain: the Co-ed is a very healthy person. She is majoring in dietetics and eats healthy stuff all the time. I have seen her turn up her nose at steak - yes! steak! - in favor of vegetables and salad. Some days, I wonder how we manage to get along. For her birthday she wanted a decorated cake, something fun and silly. You know, my specialty. So I thought about it, wondered about it, bounced ideas off anyone willing to listen...and then finally came up with what I thought was perfect. Keep in mind all the things I just told you about the Co-ed...Okay, now you can go look at her cake.

In grand Birthday tradition, the Birthday Girl got to select whatever she wanted for dinner (she chose pizza) and then was presented with a mound of gifts to open. Well, really, there were only six presents...but still...


Here is the Co-ed opening her gifts...and there is the Boy, throwing a tantrum because there are no presents for him. Yes, it was proud-mothering moment for me. He did cheer up when I explained that his birthday was next.

Happy, healthy Birthday, Co-ed!

Now...anyone have any ideas for an easy party for 3-year-olds?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Shopping!

I just enjoyed a Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs so my blood sugar is a little high and happy. And after reading Brillig's post, I decided we all needed new shoes.

We were out shopping today because shopping is lots of fun when you aren't really shopping for yourself and you don't actually spend money. While strolling along, I see an elderly couple finishing their shopping. I take a moment to observe them. They are rather frail looking, probably well into their 80s. Both of them had the motorized carts with the baskets on the front to aid in shopping. The man takes a moment to carefully readjust his wife's purse, as it had began to fall over in her little basket. She smiles back at him. It was a sweet moment.

And all I could think was "Do they ever race each other in those things?"

Our shopping objective today was shoes. The Boy needs sandals because the pair from last year don't seem to fit anymore. Seriously, what is up with kids and their constant growing? Don't they realize just how expensive it is to keep them clothed and shod? So inconsiderate.

My Momma wanted to look for some shoes as well and I really needed to replace my black flats. I wear these flats almost daily and frankly, they looked like it. The toes were so scuffed and faded that they looked closer to white than black. The side seam had split because I cannot walk like a normal person and I guess it got tired of holding my foot in. But the worst part was the soles. Whatever glue the manufacturer used had completely given up and the now-free soles stuck to the bottom of my feet. When I take my shoes off, I'd have to also peel off the soles and tuck them back inside. Ew.

So here's the run-down on what we got:
  • The Boy got camouflage crocs. I just hope he can find them. (Get it? Find them...because they're camouflage! Oh, I am just too funny sometimes!)
  • Da Boo got pink crocs because a salesperson told me they were on sale and I told her she could have them. She was deliriously happy, hugged the box the whole rest of the time, named the shoes and started a college fund for them. At the register, they rang up as not on sale. There was no way I was going to take those shoes away from her without her screaming bloody murder. And people tell me girls are easier...
  • Momma got some funky dark blue crocs. These were to replace some that got a hole in them just before she left.
  • I got new black shoes where the soles don't stick to my feet. Guess I broke the record of everyone getting crocs (I did try some on...does that count?) and also, my new shoes are not flats. But still...what is it about a new pair of shoes? They just make you feel so good! So chic! You wonder how you ever felt happy without them! Okay, maybe that's going a little far...


Me and my fabulous new shoes will be going out to dinner tonight to celebrate the Co-ed's birthday! Happy Birthday, Co-ed! You are so much fun to be around and I am thankful that you chose to move out here for school (I'm not just saying that because of the free babysitting). Thanks for humoring me and letting me hang out with you. Oh, and thanks for the fashion advice because without you, I'm hopeless. Hope you have the best birthday! We love you!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cheater, Cheater

Well, folks, there will not be a FHE post this week. Try to cope with the consuming feelings of loss and hopelessness as best you can. I recommend eating a large bowl of Neapolitan ice cream with crushed Fritos while watching Talk Soup.

We had planned a gardening FHE, where we would talk planting and then head outside for some hands-on experience. The Man was supposed to get the gardens ready. He didn't exactly get home in a timely manner and then the physical labor proved to be too much for my computer genius.

Instead, we ate more coconut cake (I guess it's okay now that I've had some rest...my mom likes it and that means a lot) and played the Wii. My mother, who is a most excellent chef (you have to say that like you are Bill and Ted), was not having the best of luck on Cooking Mama.

Speaking of the Wii, I must say, it is a fun little game thinger. I like that you can't really stay immobile while playing, that it makes you move. And of course, if you are da Boo, you can't play any games unless you are hopping. I knew my daughter was devious and skilled at manipulation (just watch how fast she turns off the tears when I offer chocolate) but I had no idea she was a cheater. Just look for yourself:


That's Laser Hockey she's playing. It's in two-player mode. She's holding both remotes!

Monday, March 24, 2008

And now for the low points...

Alternate titles: The Airheaded Adventures of Me, How to Ruin a Perfectly Lovely Holiday

Up to this point, Easter was rather nice. Egg hunts, breakfast and adult interaction at the church. Family fun, decorated eggs and much laughter at home. Even Sunday morning was great! I woke the kids up, they ran downstairs, passed their Easter baskets and headed straight for the oven to get the Resurrection Cookies, because Christ's resurrection is the true meaning of Easter, not marshmallowy treats. And those cookies turned out better than last year. When they finally noticed the Easter baskets, they were both ecstatic over what they contained. They each got a basketful of sugar and a movie. Easter Bunny even brought me a movie. That's one smart bunny.


The Co-ed spent the night so I followed their Easter tradition and hid her basket. That was kinda fun...I might have to start doing that. So we have breakfast, get ready for church and out the door we go! We were only a few minutes late, which is pretty good for us. Sacrament was lovely (especially since I was listening instead of talking). Then comes Sunday School. I am sitting between the Co-ed and the Man (which is a nice change!) when, after 20 minutes, I happen to look around the room. I see a friend and remember that she was recently released from the Primary and can now sit with her husband.

PRIMARY!!!

I was supposed to substitute for da Boo's class today! I made a horrible noise and immediately jumped up and ran from the room. I checked in with the Primary. One of the moms was sitting with da Boo's class but was not teaching. Fortunately, the Primary President knows I am an gigantic airhead. Unfortunately, I had about 15 minutes to get a lesson together. I headed to the library to look through the manual. There's a special lesson for Easter and it had a handout for the kids. Of course, the copier was broken. So home I went! While making copies, I scanned the lesson and tried to calm down. I couldn't focus because I felt like such an idiot. This isn't the first time this has happened...and sadly, I'm sure it's not the last. I decided that instead of stammering my way through the lesson, I would do something else. I gathered up my supplies and copies. I raced back to church. The Co-ed and the Man had corralled da Boo's class. The Man escaped as quickly as possible but the Co-ed stayed with me (ain't she sweet?).

My brilliant plan was to teach them the Resurrection Cookies lesson. I had all the ingredients with me (except I forgot the eggs but oh well!) and went through it just like I had with the kids. One girl nearly threw up after tasting the salt but it went well enough. We did a few things from the lesson manual and then I gave them each a cookie at the end. All seemed well...for now...

Home again, I tried to relax and regain my strength after the whirlwind. It was then that I remembered I was supposed to say the prayer in Relief Society...dang it!

After falling into an exhausted and depressed sleep, I slept too long (of course). While Aunt Denise brought the traditional ham and the Co-ed made a fruit salad, I was supposed to make rolls, funeral potatoes and dessert (it's me, after all). After watching a cooking show on tv, I decided to make coconut cake and had purchased all the ingredients. But once again, this is me, people. I can't do something the easy way...so I tried a new recipe that took twice as long as I thought and had to make it fancier than expected by coloring the coconut. It turned out interesting. Cute enough on the cake plate but had an odd flavor, more like shortbread than like the cake I expected. Disappointing, after all that work. And if fell apart when I tried to cut it. But at least it was pretty, right? Right??


I think I need another nap...

Showing Off My Kids...again


Saturday evening, I bit the bullet and we dyed Easter eggs. I am a terrible mother. This is the first time I have allowed my kids to dye eggs. Really, I decided to do it because I have such fond memories of this activity as a kid (waxing sentimental, remember?), da Boo is old enough to handle it, the Co-ed was coming over and wanted to do something with the kids, and because there would be enough adults there to contain the kids so I would get to dye some eggs, too.


The Man was ordered to pay close attention to the Boy at all times.


The Co-ed went all crazy and used crayons to decorate her eggs before she dyed them. This completely blew da Boo's mind. Also, the kit came with a white crayon so I had fun with that one. Da Boo colored four eggs, the Boy had three, the Co-ed got two ('cuz she took so long coloring them), and I made three (two with color suggestions from the kids, showing them how you can use different colors on eggs).


We had no major spills or sobbing fits, so I'd say it was a success.


After we cleaned up, I made Resurrection Cookies with the kids. We did this last year and I was really surprised just how much da Boo remembered. Of course, the Boy just heard the word "cookies" and he was fascinated. In the middle, there is a 15-minute gap, while you beat the ingredients to stiff peaks. Last year, I lost their interest here. So this year, I got a little bit smarter and had them get all ready for bed while I mixed. Worked much better so I think this will be the rule from now on. Something else that was better...I used a bigger cookie sheet. Last year, I had to really pile on the cookies because there wasn't enough room. As a result, the cookies didn't turn out quite like they are supposed to, not very hollow inside. This year, bigger cookies sheet, more room, smaller cookies, excellent results!

Easter Fun

Saturday morning, the kids and I headed up to the local chapel for the traditional breakfast and egg hunt. This year, they separated the age groups, which I thought was a great idea. I'd rather taking pictures of my kids happily collecting eggs instead of tearfully picking themselves up after yet another bigger kid knocks them down in all the excitement.

Breakfast was served. Pancakes, sliced strawberries, whipped cream, fruit, and sweet rolls. Just as I was getting the kids their pancakes, someone set down two boxes of donuts. Score! There was also Clarabelle, the Easter cow (apparently, no bunny costumes were available). The kids were pleased to see a relative.


Finally, it was time for the eggs! First, the little kids.


They had taken the eggs for the youngest group and basically left them in piles. Also a good idea! Because really? Most kids the Boy's age don't really understand the concept of hunting for eggs. They just pick up whatever they happen across, even if it's not an egg...

Then the middle group.


Da Boo was on the lower end of this group but she held her own and made me proud. She got a little upset when an older friend tried to help her find eggs. She's a whooping five now...she can find her own eggs, dang it! After this group, they unleashed the older kids as a sort of clean-up crew, finding the eggs that had been missed by the younger crowd. Afterwards, there were fun games, like an egg relay, egg toss and seeing how many peeps you could stuff in your mouth at once. No, I didn't play them. But when we headed home, the record was 13 peeps.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My Memoir

I was tagged by Rachel, the Pink Basement Dweller.

Here are the rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible, so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4. Tag five more blogs with links
5. Remember to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!


My life in 6 words:
I write, bake, hide from kids.

(Sorry it's not a great image...I tried finding the original but had no luck.)

Here are the people that I have tagged:
Amanda (because she couldn't do the last tag, has to do this one!),
Kristie (because even though she said she posted the last tag, I never saw it and while I'm not exactly calling her a liar...I think her pants might be a little on fire),
Jo at Tangled Me ('cuz I think she would have an interesting one),
Brillig from T'was Brillig ('cuz she needs to post more so I have something to read),
Summer at MacFamily (for making me cry with her blog post about the professor with cancer).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Co-ed's New Wheels

With her mother visiting, the Co-ed has been out shopping quite a bit. Of course, her birthday is coming up so her mom wanted to get her something special. My mother-in-law decided to get her darling daughter a new mode of transportation for going to school, to work and home again. The Co-ed is the baby of the family. And the baby is always spoiled, especially if it's a girl. Check out the Co-ed's new wheels:


I totally dig the helmet.

Also, with my mother-in-law visiting, I haven't had to cook hardly at all with the Man out of town. Does re-heating my restaurant leftovers for lunch the next day count as cooking? I'm gonna say yes.

Edit: I have a new cake posted!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

FHE: I Am Sorry

The Man and da Boo switched teaching responsibilities last week so she got her chance this week, while the Man is out of town. We had Aunt Denise and Grandma here to help us.

Opening Song: Grandma suggested one that the kids didn't know. Once There Was A Snowman was her second choice.

Opening Prayer: Aunt Denise.

Lesson: Da Boo and I looked through my FHE binder and she picked one based purely on the pictures I had...kinda like judging a book by it's cover. She chose "I can say I'm sorry." I coached her on sharing the story that went with the pictures and she told the story pretty much by herself. I originally got the pictures from here, here and here. I colored them, wrote a few lines from the story on the back of each picture and have used them several times. It's an easy enough story for the kids to follow. And they can relate to it. I am kinda paraphrasing here...find the full story here.

Matt and Travis are playing with Matt's toys. Travis really, really likes Matt's toys and wishes they were his. He decides to take the toys without asking and hides them in his pocket. But later on, when he's playing with the toys at home, Travis isn't having much fun. He feels bad inside. His mother asks him what is wrong and he admits he took the toys without asking. She tells him that what he did was wrong and he needs to find a way to make it right again. Travis wants to give the toys back but he doesn't want his friend to be mad at him. Travis' mom says that even if Matt is angry, Travis still needs to do the right thing. Travis takes the toys back, tells Matt he is sorry and promises not to do it again. Matt is glad to have his toys back and forgives Travis for taking them. Travis feels happy again. Saying he was sorry helped take away those bad feelings he had about what he did.

After she told the story, I said that there is a story in the Scriptures where someone does wrong and must say he is sorry for what he did. But I am constantly surprised at what she already knows. My 'teaching moment' went something like this:

Me: There was a man who a little bit naughty and did some not-so-nice things. His name was Alma the Younger.
Boo: Didn't he try to destroy the Church?
Me: Ummm...yes.
Boo: And he saw an angel.
Me: ...yes...
Boo: But then he was a nice guy.
Me: Yes, and that's the story. The end.

We talked a little more about how Alma had to tell the people he was sorry for the things he said and did, he tried to make things right again. She already knew this and just nodded encouragingly to me the whole time. Punk.

Closing Song: Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam.

Closing Prayer: Da Boo insisted she get to bless the treats.

Treats: Now, from the beginning of FHE, the Boy was in Time Out. I have a rule: if you're not going to be reverent and listen to the prayer, then you go to time out until it's over. So he was sitting in the corner, pouting. Several times, I tried to get him to come back and join us, but he'd rather stick his nose back in the corner and keep on whining. Then, just before the closing prayer, I revealed our treat for the evening: Cold Stone ice cream. Almost immediately, he was seated quietly in his chair, smiling and happy, arms folded and ready for the prayer. I did a double-take. Apparently I not only underestimate the teachings of the Primary, but also the happiness-altering powers of ice cream.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My Hands Are Not Bananas

Here is a little YouTube gem that the Co-ed forced me to watch. And now it is stuck in my head...which is particularly vexing, seeing as how I really don't like bananas...



Kinda makes me crave chili, though.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I Miss My Mom

Do you have those days when you miss your mother? If your mom lives close by, then you probably don't have the chance to miss her, but my mom lives 2,000 miles away. We don't get to see each other as often as I'd like. Maybe it's because I'm looking forward to seeing her at the end of the month or maybe it's because I haven't been feeling so hot the past few days or because the Man's mom is visiting...or maybe it's just that I haven't seen her since last summer. I miss my mom.

My mother is amazing. If you knew me when I was a teenager (and a lot of you did), then you know how difficult I made her job. I still do not know how she did it all and having kids myself, I really don't know! But every time I miss my mom, I think of my favorite Mom memory...

I was a kid. We lived in Colorado. With seven kids, there wasn't a lot of extra money. However, my mom always seemed to find enough cash for the occasionally DQ Blizzard for us to share or maybe even lunch out. The ideal lunch spot was The Hamburger Stand. It was an A-framed building that was mainly a drive-thru. They were a popular place because they offered hamburgers for 29 cents. And when you have seven kids, that's doable.

One afternoon, we piled in the huge maroon van and headed out for lunch. It was special treat and we were very excited, hopping all over the place (weren't there seatbelt laws then?) and just generally being crazy. After placing our order, my mom pulled up to pay at the window. It was about this time that we noticed the car behind us. Inside, were two young men. They wore white shirts, neckties and black name badges. Now, it Utah, it's not a big deal to see missionaries because there are so many wards and therefore, several sets of elders (and sisters), but in Colorado, it was very rare. We went wild! My brother and I leapt over the backseat and proceeded to wave like crazy out the window. They probably thought we were nuts (and they wouldn't be far off).

Mom: What did the car behind us order?
Window Lady: Just two 29 cent burgers.
Mom: I'd like to pay for their lunch but let's change their order to two combos with the larger burgers. Sprite to drink.
Window Lady: You want to...what?
Mom: I'd like to pay for their lunch but let's make it a better one.
Window Lady: Okay...?

We squealed and giggled! As we slowly pulled away, we saw the looks on the elders' faces as Window Lady tried to hand them a much larger bag of food. We couldn't hear the conversation, but I imagine they frantically tried to explain that this was the wrong order, that they couldn't pay for this much food. But the Window Lady insisted, even pointing toward our departing van as she explained.

Every now and then, when I'm in a drive-thru, sometimes I pay for the car behind me. I usually do it if the car has a woman driver, especially if it's a young mother with a carload of kids, who look like they are driving her crazy as they strain against their carseats.

Yep. I miss my mom.

What is your favorite Mom Memory?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

And then I freaked out...

After watching all my visitors for a while, I've come to accept that people I don't actually know read my blog. What's really interesting is when they not only read it, but they comment and then link to me from their blog. Now, that's just cool! Makes me feel like I get to sit with the cool kids at lunch or something. Then there's stuff that not so cool...

A little while ago I had a stalker. I refer to this person as a stalker because 1) he/she sent me unsigned email 2) he/she seemed to know things about me and 3) he/she "warned" me that I reveal too much personal information on my blog, making it possible for people to find me. Yeah...kinda awkward. So, stalker, if you plan on showing up at my house, just be warned that I am rarely dressed before noon. And if you come really early, would you mind getting the kids their breakfast? Cereal is in the corner cabinet. But you probably already knew that.

Then the other night, the doorbell rang. I tried not to groan too much as I went to the door, thinking I really needed rehang my "No Solicitors" sign. Turns out it was a member of the bishopric. He tells me he reads my blog.

I think I might have gone a little pale...

He assures me that's not why he's here. Oh, that's a relief. Then he asks us to speak in sacrament for Easter Sunday. Not a relief, afterall. But, oh shucks, the Man will be working that weekend and most likely won't be home in time (yeah, don't get me started on that rant...). So we won't be speaking. At least, not yet.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

FHE: Fishing for Help

It was the Boy's turn to teach the lesson, which means one of the parents gets to do it. I was feeling a little burned out (admit it, it's happened to you, too) and of course, the Man hasn't delivered on that dinner he owes me, AND he hadn't spent much quality time with the kids, having just returned from a business trip. So I made him teach the lesson. I helped him a little (by opening my FHE book and handing him the lesson...).

Opening Song: Give Said The Little Stream (we just pretended not to hear the Boy when he made his usual suggestion...)

Opening Prayer: The Boy.

Lesson: The Man talked about how he has been gone for a while and hasn't been able to help Mommy keep the house clean. He asked the kids how they have been helping and, not surprisingly, they couldn't think of too many ways they had helped, other than giving me hugs and kisses - which are great, don't get me wrong, but learn to make your beds already! Then the Man explained that he is going to be gone again (sob!) for even longer so the kids really need to help Mommy. Also, both Grandmas will be coming here this month so we need to keep the house looking nice.


To illustrate his point (and to keep the Boy from wandering away), we played a fishing game. Many moons ago, when I was a Sunbeams teacher, I had these paper fish with paperclips on their noses. They were used in nearly every lesson because the kids loved them. I would tape different scenarios/choices/etc. to the undersides, the kids would use a stick with a magnet on a string to fish them up, and then we would talk about what was written on the "caught" fish. Same concept tonight. On their bellies, the fish had things like "Make my bed," "Set forks on the table for dinner," and "Put away my toys." Easy stuff, right? Kinda like a previous lesson, so hopefully the concepts would get a little more ingrained. The kids had fun fishing. After he caught the "Put plate and cup on counter" fish, it took only a little coaching to get the Boy to take his dinner plate and cup to the counter.

Closing Song: Popcorn Popping.

Closing Prayer: Da Boo offered and being a nice brother, the Boy tried to help her remember what to say next. I almost had to put myself in time out for giggling during the prayer.

Treats:
Da Boo and I made cookies. Unfortunately, we were out of milk (anyone else thinking of that first Got Milk? commercial?) so we had them with hot chocolate. We're all about stocking up on sugar just before bed.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Corrupting the Innocent


Meet Fred and Ginger. Aren't they pretty? Would a male fish take offense at being called pretty? I'll have to ask Fred next time I see him.

Now, what, you may be wondering, do fish have to do with corruption and such? We already have fish and unless I am setting these fighting fish loose on my guppies, then this just doesn't make sense. Patience, dear Internet, and all will be explained.

Saturday, I took the kids to the pet store to get a couple new fish. It's also cheap entertainment for close to an hour. The Co-ed decided to join us (might also have to do with mentioning getting Krispy Kreme). So we have a great time, listening to the birds, watching the bunnies' noses wiggle, flinching at the sight of all those rats and ooohing over the hamsters. Eventually, we meander over to the fish. Da Boo had her new fish picked out immediately: a bright orange one to match her remaining bright yellow fish. The Boy really wanted one of the feeder goldfish. I was able to talk him into a little tetra instead.

As we are wandering around and peeking into cages, the Co-ed fills me in on her weekly happenings. The Co-ed's birthday is coming up. I have my Birthday Week and Aunt Denise celebrates her birthday for the entire month, so she took both of those ideas and came up with her own. The Co-ed made a list of things she'd like to do to celebrate her birthday. The list includes things like "watch 7 new movies" and "do something spontaneous." Fun stuff!

Just about the time we get our fish into little bags, the Co-ed, who was perusing the fish selections as well, decides she really wants to get a fish! Completely spontaneous! Now, there's some background information you need to know about the Man's family: they are anti-pet. Always have been. It was almost a deal-breaker for me, but I married him anyway, thinking I could change him. Oh so foolish. So the Co-ed never had a pet. Never. Not a cat or a goldfish and probably not even a dust bunny. And yet, here are Fred and Ginger, the Co-ed's very first pets!

Congratulations on your new pets, Co-ed! (I hope they don't die the first week...)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Widow Week

Alternate titles: "My Husband's Ridiculously Overzealous Work Ethic," "How to Eat Your Weight in Chocolate," "The Best Hiding Places for Mommies Who Don't Want To Be Found."


I love my husband. He is a great man, a fabulous father, looks amazing in slacks and is hopelessly in love with me. He's perfect! But...yes, there's a 'but'...he has an overdeveloped sense of responsibility as it applies to his profession. I won't go into details because then I will start to rant and rage and possibly swear but let's just say that there have been quite a few changes at the offices lately. As a result of those changes, my husband hasn't been home much. All last week, he was sneaking home some time around midnight and then leaving again when the sun came up. And this week, he's not even here to keep my feet warm at night.

I am used to the business trips. Sometimes, they are even fun. I get to eat what I want, when I want. I wear yoga pants all day or not bother to fix my hair beyond a ponytail. I get to hold the remote control. I don't have to keep on the dishes. It's kinda nice. But it gets a little boring, especially once the kids are asleep and I've eaten all the Haagen Daas. I prepare as best I can for these moments.

When the Man goes off on business trips, I reorganize the Netflix queue. All the chick flicks get top priority. I make a special trip to the grocery store to get little treats and the fixins for dinners I want. I try not to go overboard...don't want to spend the whole time on a sugar high only to crash the minute he gets home.

This is what I've done to hang on this time:
  • Currently, my favorite treats are Sweet's Orange Sticks (the dark chocolate ones). They were on sale but I limited myself to just one box.
  • We have watched Barbie the Island Princess and Hairspray virtually non-stop (I'm hoping this doesn't permanently scar the Boy).
  • Last night, I took the kids out for dinner at Arctic Circle. Their food might not be that great but they have the best play place for my kids. They declared me the best Mommy ever!
  • I intentionally scheduled a Girls' Lunch Out because I knew I would need the adult interaction (even though I had to pay a babysitter, it was soooooo worth it).
  • This afternoon, we're going to get new fish (we're down to three but one of those doesn't count because it's just an algae eater and hides whenever you try to watch it).
  • Tomorrow, I am baking their favorite cake. And we will eat it while it's still warm, served with vanilla ice cream, possibly before dinner.
Also, I like to make sure the Man misses me, too. So when I pack for his trips, I make sure to slip in a special little reminder of me...like a red lacy bra.

I am surviving his absence. But my feet are cold.

What do you do to entertain yourself when your husband is away?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Some things are worth it...

Quote from my Chocolate Calendar today:

"An average candy bar contains around 250 calories.
You can burn that much by just taking the stairs.
To the 14th floor.
Twice."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Idioms for Idiots

In keeping with my last post, I shall attempt to teach you a "life lesson." Everyone comfy? Here we go.

There's a famous idiom that says "It's like riding a bike; you never forget how."
Au contraire, mon frère...(except that I don't think there are boys who actually read my blog so that should really be Au contraire, ma soeur...but I digress...)

In this instance, I prefer the snarky remark "It's as easy as falling off a bike." The experience was a lot like this clip here: Sounds like a fun idea until things start going terribly wrong and before you know it, you are desperately trying to escape evil clones. Well, except for the clones part. No clones, evil or otherwise. But still...

Last week, we had a couple of rather lovely days. I was hyper moody and the kids were just hyper so I kicked them out of the house. Well, not really. I went with them. We took their bikes up to the path that loops around our neighborhood. During the end of the summer, the kids loved riding bikes. Da Boo was fairly decent on her two-wheeler with trainers and the Boy was just getting the concept of pedaling on his trike.

We hit the first snag when da Boo's bike helmet wouldn't go on her head. Hrmmm...you mean, heads can grow that much in one season? Oh well, we'll just squeeze it on a little harder...oops! Now she's crying. Dang it! Threaten her. Threats always work. Tell her that if she can't stop crying then we are going back in the house this minute. There...that worked. Now, let's get on the bikes.

Great. The Boy just walked right through all that deer poop. Oh well. The pedals should scrap it off his shoes, right?

Okay, on the bikes! Now, pedal! I said, Pedal! Wait...why is no one moving? Are you...are you crying again? Why? You don't remember how to pedal? Are you joking? Seriously, are you faking it? No? Oh. Ummm....well, put your feet on the pedals. No need to get snappy, young lady. You said you forgot how to pedal and I'm just trying to help. Now push forward and down. Are your pushing? Push harder. Harder. Are you even trying?

At this point I must remember that the vinyl fence that runs along this path throws all noises back towards the houses and my neighbors can probably hear every word. Deep breaths while I try to not raise my voice. The Boy decides it's easier to push his trike with his feet ala Fred Flintstone and he's off toward the park. Maybe it's time for another threat...

More tears ensue as does more deep breathing. Finally, through clenched teeth, I tell her to turn her bike around. She melts into full-on sobs before I can explain that by turning around she will be going downhill, which is actually easier. Amidst her pitiful wails, she does as instructed and slowly starts to move, gathering speed. Gathering more speed...doing a little too much gathering, at which point she starts to freak out and I have to grab the back of her bike to slow her down before she attempts leaping from it to escape her impending doom. Okay, let's try that again...

By the end of the second trip down the slight downgrade, she magically remembers how to pedal and resumes doing such. We continue our trip to the park. The Boy is already halfway there at his slow rate. After a little while playing, the wind has picked up and we decide to head home to have a snack. Most of the way home was at a slight downhill angle and therefore, there were no tears from any of us. By the time we are in sight of the house, I have selected which chocolate-covered item I will immediately consume to congratulate myself on not losing it over the non-pedaling debacle. It's only when I am slowing da Boo's bike as she heads down a bump that I observe the Boy. He is pedaling! At least someone was listening to my instructions!


I think next time we'll practice slowing the bikes by backpedaling. But I'm gonna need more chocolate.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

FHE: Prayer for Beginners

It was da Boo's turn to do the lesson tonight. She usually tries to come up with something after Primary at church on Sunday. But this week, she was more rowdy than usual and didn't actually pay attention (if her teacher is reading this...I am really sorry! I had her practice being reverent after church!). So that's why five minutes before we usually have FHE, she and I were flipping through my old Sunbeams' lessons, trying to find something easy enough that she could get the message across with minimal assistance. The Boy is almost to the point that he can say prayers on his own but forgets what to say next and get distracted. We chose a lesson on how to say a prayer.

Opening Song: I Am A Child Of God (shocking, I know! And the Boy didn't even cry when we didn't sing his song.)

Opening Prayer: The Boy. He volunteered.

Lesson: Da Boo had four papers with pictures on them that helped illustrate the four parts of a prayer...Opening, Thanks, Ask, and Closing.

Opening - a big red heart and a person that looks like it could be Heavenly Father. "Dear Heavenly Father..."
Thanks - a Thanksgiving turkey and small pictures of things we have been blessed with, like food, family, parents, house, etc.
Ask - two hands outstretched, with small pictures of things we might ask for in our prayers, like sicknesses, blessing on food, missionaries, etc.
Closing - A picture of Jesus Christ, so we remember to pray in His name.

Da Boo did a good job. The Boy listened fairly well until towards the end and then we lost him completely. He was having so much more fun flipping himself over the arm of the couch instead of telling us what was in the picture (although he did learn turkey...).

Closing Song: Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam.

Closing Prayer: We had the Boy say it again, using the pictures are prompts. He remembered to give thanks for turkeys.

Treats: Deluxe Fudge Grahams. I bought them on impulse at the grocery store over the weekend. Must have been needing some sort of comfort food. These cookies remind me of my childhood. We had them when we went camping a lot. I miss camping.

Now, tell me, what did you do for FHE this week?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Perfect Logic


Currently, the Boy does not have self-esteem issues. At nearly three years old, he regularly announces things that love him. And these aren't obvious, such as his dear Aunts. Oh no. Everything loves him. Our neighbors. Strangers in other cars on the road. The fish. Peanut butter sandwiches. His socks...and the list goes on.

The other day I was getting him ready for bed. That night, I let him wear his new jammies that have a monkey on the front. He adores anything with a monkey on it so he was very excited.

Boy: Monkey loves me.
Me: That's because you are a monkey.
Boy: I not monkey. I Boy.
Me: Yes, you are a monkey! What does a monkey eat?
Boy: 'Nanas.
Me: And do you eat bananas?
Boy: Yes.
Me: What sound does a monkey make?
Boy: Ooo ooo ahh ahh.
Me: See? You sound like a monkey!

The look on his face went from stark disbelief to bewildered to calm acceptance.

He spent the rest of the night trying to climb all over his crib.

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