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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One of those moments...

...when you really can't help but laugh out loud at something your kid says!

Boo: Mom, Baby smells funny.
Me: Is she poopy?
Boo: I don't think so.
Me: Does she smell like she has a wet diaper?
Boo: No, she smells like the geysers at Yellowstone.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What Shall We Give?

I loved this video from Mormon Messages. (And once again proved that my mascara is NOT waterproof.) President Monson expresses it far better than me.



Merry Christmas!
May God bless you and yours.

The Twelve Pains of Christmas

Totally stole this from my sister but hey, it's a good one.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dear Neighbors...

Please accept this small token (of my sanity) as a gesture of goodwill (and calories) during this, a special (and fattening) Christmas season. Merry Christmas!



Sincerely,
The Cows

P.S.
If you didn't get one, you need to a) move closer, b) give me more chocolate throughout the year, or c) not let your dog poop on my lawn.

P.P.S.
And Heather? I ate yours. It was delicious.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Punish?

I have a problem and have no idea on how to proceed.

You know da Boo, right? She wears glasses.


They're adorable glasses, suit her personality. Because she insists on growing up, she typically gets a new pair of glasses every year when her prescription is updated. Now, if Boo were more like her brother, her glasses wouldn't last as long. We'd be headed to the eye doctor every other week to get something fixed on them or straightened back out or reattached. He snapped the arm off his glasses just last week, actually. He is not careful with them, wears his glasses while wrestling or falls asleep and ends up rolling over them, mangling them terribly.

The typical punishment for leaving your glasses on is no screens for the next day (no tv, computer, or video games). This was instituted mainly for the Boy, because his glasses would fall off, getting lost in his bed and twisted in weird ways, requiring yet another visit to our trusty optician.

But da Boo is much more careful...until recently.

See, da Boo gets a lot from her father, like her need for glasses, her eye color, and her soft blonde hair. But from me she gets a voracious love of reading. She loves reading so much, that lately, she's been falling asleep with her face planted in a book, glasses still in place. Nearly every night for about a month, when I go in to check on the kiddos before I head to bed, I have to take the glasses off her face.

Normally, I wouldn't punish her because really? I frequently fall asleep while reading. However, I don't wear glasses. I know she would be devastated if anything happened to her lovely glasses. So what do I do to protect them but keep her love of reading intact?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Space, the Final Frontier

The Co-ed left on Thursday and already, I feel the loss. If you haven't met the Co-ed in person then you probably don't get just how fun she is to be around. She's like the little sister I never had. (And I really like reliving my college days vicariously through her.)

It's not just the Co-ed's company I'm going to miss. In exchange for weekly dinners, free laundry facilities, and the occasional raiding of our refrigerator when her's was empty, the Co-ed would babysit for us. One such event, the Co-ed was subjected relentlessly to the mediocrity that is programing created specifically for children. The kids had borrowed a movie from a friend and were currently watching it non-stop. It was called "Space Buddies." Remember that show a while back called "Air Bud," about the dog that played basketball? These are his puppies. They have "bud" in their name: Rosebud, Buddha, Budderball, and Mudbud. Then there's B-dawg, who must be the black sheep of the group, with his mad turn-table skills and obvious collar bling. The story was about as bad as any talking animal movie you've ever seen. By the end of the evening, the Co-ed's brain was leaking out her ear.

(If you want a taste of the awesomeness, go here, but don't stay too long or your IQ may suffer.)

We almost got her the latest installment, "Snow Buddies," for Christmas. I got her a leopard-print Snuggie instead. Only slightly less evil. (Kristina P. would be so proud.)

Telling you all that was simply backstory for what I'm about to tell you.

The Man is a outer space fanatic. The space program fascinates him. If he had been born thirty years earlier, he would have worked for them. He loves the movies, tv specials, and special five-disc series made about the space program. As I type, he is watching "Apollo 13" for around the 53rd time. Not in a row, of course. He shows more restraint then the kids.

Whenever he watches tv, the kids migrate toward it and want to watch, too. It just so happened that they arrived close to the launch sequence. Both kids stared in wide-eyed silence as the shuttle lifted off in a blaze of glory.

I waited for their response.

The Boy was still silent, fascinated.

The Boo frowned.

"That wasn't like 'Space Buddies' at all!"

Indeed not, Boo. Indeed not.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not your typical bedtime story

I have to tell you something that happened a couple weeks ago. Whenever I think about it, I still have a reaction so it must be blog-worthy, right? Our bedroom has two windows, both on my side of the bed. Sometimes the outside lighting gives our room a bit of a glow and can make normal objects take on a completely different look.

So the other night, the Man and I were talking in bed. (And don't worry, there's nothing that's gonna make you run away from the monitor...sometimes the only chance we have to talk is after the kids are in bed, the computers are off, and we're trying to sleep.)

We're talking and I'm warming my cold feet on his legs, as usual. Then, for some reason, we both roll over to face my side of the bed at the same time...and see this:

And we both nearly leap out of bed, screaming.

Then I come to my senses, having seen this outline numerous times before in my role as chaser-awayer of bad dreams. I attempt to calm the Man down.

"It's okay! It's just da Boo!"

But the damage had been done. Along with her freaking us out, we managed to scare the snot out of Boo, who just wanted to ask if I could help her get to sleep. She's crying, I'm trying not to laugh too hard, and the Man is pretty much hysterical.

We didn't get much sleep that night...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One Year Ago

It's not fair. In fact, it is down-right tragic. Why does it have to go like this?

First, I get this:


Then, just one short year later, I have this:


Where did my little infant go? What happened to the tiny lump that slept most of the time? Who is this strange person who keeps pulling herself up on the furniture and puts everything in her mouth? How did my baby get so big?


Cleaning and scrubbing can wait until tomorrow,
For babies grow quickly, we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.



Happy Birthday, Baby!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Linky Links

I shouldn't be posting with the mood I'm in, so instead, I'm just going to send you over to one of my favorite film critics.

Eric Snider went to BYU with me and although we didn't have any classes together (he was a year ahead of me), I did gaze adoringly at him across the newsroom floor on many occasions. This guy has some serious talent! His column titled "Snide Remarks" was the highlight of the Daily Universe, with only the Police Beat giving it any competition (remember...I wrote for the the newspaper so I can make comments like these and know what I'm talking about). Anyway, he now does movie reviews, which you can subscribe to by email or read on his site. I do both. Because I'm dedicated (and have too much time now that NaNoWriMo is over).

Here are two of my favorite movie reviews:
Twilight
New Moon

Enjoy!

Monday, November 30, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009

Can't post...all my words are used up...

Maybe this video will help explain what I've done for the past SIX Novembers (because I'm crazy).







Oh, and one more thing:





Because along with being crazy?
I am awesome.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quality Father/Son Time

The other weekend, the Man was all alone with the Boy. Boo went on a special outing for her birthday and I was at a write-in (NaNo-speak for a bunch of us sitting around with our laptops, listening to each other type while we eat cookies). So the whole afternoon, the Man and the Boy could spend some quality time together. Their planning session went something like this:

The Man: Okay, Boy, you and I get to play together today!
Boy: Woot!
The Man: So what do you want to do?
Boy: ...
The Man: We could go shopping. We need to get Mommy a Christmas present.
Boy: ...
The Man: It could be fun, going to the store. You might get a treat.
Boy: ...
The Man: Or we could play Lego Sta-
Boy: LEGO STAR WARS!
The Man: Yeah, we could play that.
Boy: Okay, let's play Lego Star Wars.
The Man: Are you sure you don't want to-
Boy: No, I wanna play Lego Star Wars.
The Man: Oooookay...

And they did. For three hours.

The Boy is mildly obsessed with Lego Star Wars currently. And since I've been writing instead of giving him attention, he gets to play it pretty much all day long (I can kiss that "Mother of the Year" award goodbye). When he comes down for breakfast in the morning, he tells me all about his Lego Star Wars dreams. If his grandparents or relatives talk to him, he updates them - in minute detail - on his latest achievements.

We might have a problem.

What is your child's current addiction?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bad Hair Day?

Wanna see a recent picture of Baby?


I finally got around to putting her super-soft hair in pigtails! Be careful when you hold her...those little poofs of cuteness will tickle your nose and make you sneeze if you're not careful. Baby's not so sure she likes her new beauty routine in the mornings. I lock her into her highchair and then go to work with the comb. This is usually Baby's cue to start vigorously shaking her head. Yeah, it's funny for about five seconds...

Once I'm finished, she doesn't seem to mind them. She doesn't try to pull them out but she'd rather you didn't attempt to straighten those piggies out after her nap, either. Does NOT make her happy. And while I love seeing her like this, it has it's drawbacks. For instance, should I be in a hurry the next morning and don't get around to making pigtails, Baby's hair looks like this*:


Did you just reel back in horror, too? Combine that hair with her cackle/laugh and her penchant for growling at people, and she starts taking after someone else...


Doesn't help that she's got those razor-sharp baby fingernails!

*Sorry for the blurry picture...it was taken with the Man's phone.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: LOL Cats

(Okay, so most of my words are going heavily into my NaNoWriMo attempt...but you know I can't be entirely wordless. And besides, this photo has a caption. From the ever-entertaining LOL Cats.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fashion for Dummies

I do not know what to do with clothes. Oh, sure, I usually know how to dress myself: snap, buckle, and zip (although side zippers get tricky...). But when it comes to putting outfits together, I am completely clueless. Mostly, I get whatever the mannequin is wearing so I can be certain it goes together. It helps to make sure the mannequin is female and age-appropriate. You don't want to see me in a mini skirt.

And shoes? I am completely lost on what shoes are best. Black boots go with everything, right? When in doubt, I wear my mary janes (which are also black). Last time I counted, I owned 12 pairs of shoes - including my summer sandals and that one ugly pair of crocs. Definitely not a shoe addict.

So this is where I need your help, my beloved Internet!

Let's pretend I just bought this dress (if you are my husband; don't worry, I got it on sale!):


And this cute shrug:


I'm thinking Christmas parties and family photos.

But what does do I wear with this? I have some black boots (picture taken from the Payless site...not exactly like mine but the heels are close enough):



Those might not be so great...what about these two (both from Payless)?



A little on the edgy side for me and I'd probably never wear them with anything else. See? I told you I was clueless. I just didn't get the "shoe gene" on my extra X chromosome. And I'm not sure I want to go entirely in silver. What are the kids going to wear that would be good with this? I don't want us to end up looking like we're dressed in foil, expecting an alien invasion. If I knew how to do it, I be wringing my hands in agitation...

So...What do you think? Please send links, pictures, or samples. :) Um, but keep in mind that along with no shoe gene, I also didn't get the "spend huge amounts on apparel" gene so I can't stomach spending $80 on a pair of shoes. I know, I know...I should go into some sort of conditioning camp for the fashion-deficient.

And if you are fashion-enabled and can make an awesome outfit from anything, would you please come with me to find clothes for the kids that go with this dress? I'm serious about this! We haven't had a family picture since the Boy was born and family members are starting to think Baby doesn't really exist, as they have no photographic proof of our improved family unit. I really need help! I'll buy you lunch! I might even bring cupcakes...Anyone? Anyone?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Proof

Remember how awhile ago I told you about Baby's unusual laugh? How she's practicing for her life of crime by getting the maniacal cackle down?

Well, we finally got it on camera! (And then I finally figured out how to upload it...)



And yes, her daddy is her favorite person. I, on the other hand, am chopped liver.

**For those of you having problems...the video should be working now! Sorry. Just learnin' this stuff!

(If you have the time and inclination, please help with a cake conundrum!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tiny Party

Something you may have noticed about Boo: she is tiny. I mean really, really little. She is often mistaken for the Boy's twin because - despite the 2 1/2 year age difference - they're the same size. So when we were discussing themes for her birthday party (last November, no less), I told her about a Tiny Party I'd seen in a Martha Stewart magazine (because, let's face it, when it comes to parties, Martha and her minions are far better at it than I am). Boo was pretty excited and wanted to plan it right then...with 11 months before it would happen.

Finally, her birthday arrived. So we had a Tiny Party. Small party, huge fun!

As the kids arrived, we played musical chairs with small chairs. Not that creative but hey, I needed something for them to do while I finished setting up. Next, came hats. I ordered the party kit (because, once again, she's better at it), so I set the kids to decorating their own tiny hats with stickers.


And here's a party tip for ya: when ordering supplies for your party, keep in mind that the birthday child counts as one, too. Not enough hats for Boo. She didn't seem to mind when I presented her with an awesome hot pink crown.

After hats, we had a couple games. First, there was the Mini Ring Toss.


I used lollipop sticks wrapped in ribbon and stuck in a Styrofoam circle. The rings are bracelets. We had to keep moving the line closer because, despite years of party game practice, the rings weren't landing around the pegs. After the ring toss, we had a miniature bowling set. We kept it inside the lid of a large box, so the pins didn't scatter all over the room, but also to give them a hard surface to roll the ball. That went over big and even though they had to wait a long time, they still wanted to keep playing. While they played, I began setting the table...and it took me far too long. I had to create a new game for them so I went with an old grade school favorite: Small and Smaller. The kids sit in a circle on the floor. The first one names an object (usually a pretty big one, like a house). The next kid has to name another object that is smaller than the previous one, and so on and so on, until they can't think of anything smaller. Then, the game starts over with another large object but you cannot repeat any objects from the previous rounds. This games lasted about two rounds and then they were done.

Luckily, I was ready by then.


I really ought to take a class in table setting or food styling...it looked much cuter at the party. Visit The Cake Cow for better pictures of the cake. Along with cupcakes*, the guests got scoops of ice cream (made with my melon-baller), root beer floats in their little cups, Mini Oreos, Mini M&Ms, and Baby Goldfish. I just loved the tiny forks that came with the party package!

After cake and ice cream, we realized we forgot one more game: Mini Pin-the-Candle-on-the-Cupcake. I made this using leftover stickers from a previous birthday. There were just barely enough candles for each child, including the Boy.


And I'm proud to say that da Boo cheated. Takes after me, she does! (That isn't Boo pictured...that's one of her friends who would never, ever, ever cheat. Ever.)

And what do you do after tiny games? Open tiny presents!


When it was time for the guests to go home, they got a pretty spiffy goody bag.


Using Marth's boxes, I filled them with all the fun miniature items I could gather. There's a magnifying glass, mini maze, tiny art set, small bubble kit, tiny deck of Uno cards, little cup, miniature Reese's peanut butter cups, and Hershey's Miniatures. Of course. Tucked inside the coordinating tiny tote (seriously, how does she come up with the cuteness??) is their own mini bowling set.

And then I took a nap for nine hours.

* I will admit that I had grand plans for the cakes. Grand, I tell you! I intended to make each guest their own miniature cake because how adorable would that be? But when it came time to make the cakes, I had just finished putting together and executing a party for 300 people. I was beyond exhausted. Mini cupcakes seemed an acceptable substitution...but I'm still kicking myself for copping out.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Grumbly Randomness

I've been grumpy lately (just ask my family). It's never a good idea to post on your blog when you're feeling grumpy, unless, of course, you intend to offend scores of readers in the process. Not like I have scores of readers but you get the idea.

Here are a couple open letters that I didn't post:
  • Letter to the kids who thought it would be cool to toss around a football in the church. And not in the gym! In the RELIEF SOCIETY ROOM!!
  • Letter to whoever wrote the lyrics and music to the latest song that's burning a hole in my head. I don't even like the singer!
  • Letter to the makers of my hyper-defective smoke alarm that insists on declaring the house ablaze whenever I use my oven.
Let's all agree that my deleting these posts was for the best.

_____________

And I'm a crazy person for the sixth year in a row. Heck, most of you already know that, right? I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month for the sixth straight year. I'm working on the last third of the book I did in 2008 and then I rewriting another book I started in March. The first one is a twisted tale of werewolves and demon possession. The second is a light-hearted, fluffy LDS romance. And I tell ya, it is not even possible to work on both of them in the same day. I wrote one chapter for the werewolves, had nothing left in me, so I switched over to the cuteness of my LDS character. I then wrote possibly the darkest chapter in that entire book. And? I'm not quite where I need to be with word count! ARRRRGGGGG!!!!

_____________

This past weekend I nearly killed myself, quite literally. I had another ward activity on Friday night (for which I only got one negative comment - and that was from someone who won the cook off!). Then Saturday, I had Boo's 7th birthday party. I wish I had been in a better mood for the festivities...but Boo and her friends had a fantastic time so it was very much worth it. Well, except for the part when one of the moms, knowing I'm a cake decorator, asked to see the cake. I was rather embarrassed to show her how I had completely coped out. Hey, you try decorating nine cakes after investing your entire heart and soul (and the other half of your brain) into an event for 300 people.

_____________

So with all the insanity lately, I think I deserve something nice and relaxing...like this:


Annette from The Lion's Tale is giving one away AND I WANT IT!! It's a massaging footrest from Accent Furniture. So don't go over there and read her blog. Don't comment to enter to win. And don't fall in love with her clever, witty wordiness. I'm telling ya...just don't do it!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lucky #7

This is da Boo's Birthday Week. She got to pick the menu (and I had to limit her to only two nights of pizza). She gets to pick her clothes (oh boy...). And she gets to pick a restaurant for her birthday dinner. For the past five years, she's demanded the International House of Pancakes. This year, her tastes have greatly matured. For her seventh birthday celebration, Boo chose Sakura, a Japanese grill where dinner is prepared in front of you. The deciding factor, I think, was the flames.


She's so excited to finally be seven. When I asked if she felt any older, she said she's felt like she's been seven for a whole year already. Oh, the days when you couldn't wait to be another year older...


Here she is trying her first taste of sushi. This is crystal shrimp and she loves shrimp. Consequently, she liked the sushi. Her father's daughter, after all. And the waiter made her some "cheater chopsticks," so now she thinks she's an expert at those.


And here is the Boy and the Co-ed. You'll notice the Boy's choice for the evening's meal. (And if you tell him there's no chocolate milk on the menu, be prepared for tears.) Why does the Co-ed look so sad? Because she was pelted with food the whole dinner! First the chef flung her vegetables on her plate a little too hard. Then he smacked her pretty good in the face for multiple pieces of shrimp (those are supposed to be caught in your mouth, silly Co-ed). THEN the Boy knocked over his drink...right into her lap.

We have yet to get Boo her birthday present. She can't decide if she wants more Littlest Pet Shops (she's not quite to the 100 mark) or an Easy Bake Oven. Hrmmm...maybe she is my kid.

Happy Birthday, Boo!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Obligatory Halloween Post

Wanna see our costumes this year? Of course you do!


Boo was the only rag doll at her school and loved every minute of it. The Boy was one of many law-enforcement specialists at his preschool (because G.I. Joe and superheroes fight crime, too). He also picked his costume because it came with the most stuff. Baby carried on the family tradition of wearing the pumpkin costume that I made for Boo's first Halloween. She wasn't very happy about this poofy orange outfit, but really liked wearing the hat.

And for only the second time since we've been married, I managed to convince the Man to dress up for a party. There was no getting him into a long wig or Birkenstocks but hey, I'll take what I can get at this point. I tried wearing the white face make-up but it did NOT look good, so I opted for powder that was too pale for my complexion instead. Can you guess how we go together?


Hrmmmm...think about it. A hippie and a mime (which was ironic because there is no way to get me to shut up so I wasn't a very good mime). What does a hippie say? And what adjective describes a mime? Think about it...

Thanks for Tolerating Me

Dear Neighbors,

Thank you for inviting our family to your Halloween party. We were really excited to get the invitation, as we don't get out much. And I was super stoked when you asked me to bring a dessert! So I put my whole heart and half my brain into making you something special. I really hoped you enjoyed it and that those gagging noises are the way you express happiness.

Sincerely,
Your new favorite neighbor

(The details on the heart are a little muted...I left it in hot water just a little too long...)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Mothering Moment...that dissolved into fits of giggles and snorting

I am not allowed to give details about the drama/stress/agony that's been saturating our humble family but I will say this...

It's a lot harder than you think to explain kidney stones to kids.

And when you've got a stone right there in your collection cup, it's even harder to do it with a straight face.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mmmmm...Cake!

(This is an old post that I never published...oops!)

In grand birthday tradition, my kids decorated my birthday cake the Sunday before my birthday. Aunt Denise always bakes me a chocolate cake using the recipe on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa Powder can (so I don't have to go without or break down and bake it myself). Then she brings over frosting and decorations. The kids go wild! Every year, it gets more and more elaborate. This year was by far the most decorated...


Don't they look pleased? As rightly they should! I don't think they left any portion of the cake uncovered by frosting or doused with sprinkles.

Boo even wrote "Happy Birthday Mom" which you can just barely see through all the sprinkles...Here is Baby's contribution:


She had to do it twice because the Boy covered up her first effort with his sprinkles. She didn't seem to mind! Unfortunately, I was recovering from a touch of food poisoning and just couldn't eat birthday cake. By my actual birthday, I had recovered enough to enjoy it. And I gotta say...inch-thick frosting topped with another half-inch of sprinkles sure does cheer up a person!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween is FUN!

Halloween is my favorite holiday! I have almost as many spooky decorations as I do Christmas decorations. The kids' costumes are fun to plan/plot/beg. Even I get into the act (but the Man is a stick in the mud). And I love cold, drizzly autumn mornings, which is a good thing since that's what we're getting for the entire week! Now, if only my kids hadn't jammed the only working umbrella in the house...

So I'm not trying to be like Be Different...Act Normal - because I'm not nearly that cool - but I have to share some of my Halloween favorites!

First of all, tomorrow night for FHE, we're carving pumpkins. I think I want this one:


Adorable! Found it here. (picture by Paula Hible)

And then, Friday night we're going to a party and I'm so taking these:


I bookmarked there at Gourmet Mom On-the-Go clear back in August. Much, much better than the real tarantula that we saw while camping a little while ago.


He wasn't as cute and I'm betting not as tasty.

What do you have planned for this Halloween?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Let me make the mistakes so you can learn from them, okay?

I'm about to admit the extent of my geekhood...

I have an alter ego on Facebook.

Yep. Made up a name, personality, even a work history, and got her a Facebook page. Why would I do this, you might ask? Because I needed more people in my mafia and various game neighborhoods. And because I am a total geek.

So here comes the learning experience...
A lot of the Facebook games give you a certain about of energy, experience, whatever. Once you've used it up, you have to wait for it to regenerate. And waiting is boring. Game designers understand, that so they offer bonuses in the form of points, coins, bucks, or some other currency. But in order to get these, you have to pay for them. With real money. They accept most credit cards. Heck, I can even charge it to my cell phone account. Or you can earn those precious points by taking "surveys" and sign up for offers to where they ask for all kinds of personal and financial information. Not gonna do that!

But my alter ego? She doesn't have a social security number; no bank account to plunder. So I figured, why not? Let's see if this works.

I took a short survey on education. It asked all the basic information, but wanted an address and phone number. So I let my imagination rent some space in my house. Just when I was starting to taste those bonus points, our Internet filter blocked the last page. No points. Crud.

That happened at around 11 a.m. on a week day.

At 3 p.m. that same afternoon, I got a phone call from what was obviously a telemarketer. And guess who they wanted? That's right...my fictional character. I was flabbergasted!

But hey, she wasn't home.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Mothering Moment?

So...I'm sick. Still. This has been dragging out for nearly three weeks! I went to the doctor for the second time today and now have two new prescriptions, both of which make it hazardous to operate heavy machinery. There goes my guest appearance at the rendering plant!

I left church early on Sunday because I thought that the other members of the congregation would much rather hear the speakers as opposed to my constant coughing. When my loving family returned home at the usual time, I may or may not have been passed out in bed, with more than one medication in my system, humidifier cranked up to "Tropical Rain Forest during Monsoon Season", and pillows over my head. This is what happened:

Kids: (much noise and adulation over church being over for another week)
The Man: Hey, you need to be quiet! Mom is asleep upstairs!
Kids: (blinking in disbelief) Mom is in bed? But she hasn't made our lunch yet...

At least they miss me when I'm gone, right?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Angels by Comparison

I used to not like the tv show "Supernanny." It bugged me how the first portion of the show consisted of kids being horrible, parents being worthless, and Jo making faces at the camera. That probably had a lot to do with my ineptitude as a parent. Having no clue how to handle behavioral issues myself, I couldn't sit there and judge these others who were just as clueless.

But now, I've got it down. This week, anyway. Tomorrow might be completely different.

The other night, I was channel-surfing and came across reruns of "Supernanny." Eventually, the kids came and joined me on the couch. They stared in wide-eyed horror as a four-year-old girl threw the biggest tantrum they'd ever seen, completely with spitting, screaming, and flailing about on the floor. Boo turned to me and asked in a very worried voice "We're better kids than that, right?"

The Boy quickly chimed in with "We don't do that, right, Mom?"

I snuggled them both a little closer and assured them that yes, they were very good kids and did not behave like that.

Then after a moment, I added "But now you know what you look like when you throw your fits."

And ever since then, they have really been on their best behavior! I think I might have to insitute a weekly Supernanny session to keep this going...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Perks of the Job

Being a mom is not always fun. I get pooped on, peed on, puked on, and punched. I hear whining, complaining, naughty words, and very little by way of encouragement. But every now and then...something happens that makes it all worth while.

The circus was in town!

Before we headed into the arena, the kids know that you have to have a buddy so they immediately grabbed the hand of their favorite adult. And no, it wasn't me.


It was this nice young man who happens to be friends with the Co-ed and doesn't yet have a blogging nickname, whom they kids had literally just met about a minute before. Do you like their wizard hats and bags of gold-encrusted cotton candy? Well, it doesn't actually contain gold. It's just priced like it does.


Everyone was ready for a good time!

Baby loved all the music and lights. She was going nuts! And who wouldn't? It's the circus, people! Although I'd only been once before as a teenager, I love the circus. The animal acts are my favorite but I love a good death-defying feat of daring, too. The clowns were funny and the ringmaster was a magician so that was pretty cool. (I promise I had pictures of the others acts but they didn't come out very well...)


What did the kids think?

Awesome. Completely awesome. Can we come again tomorrow night?

And what did Baby think?


Well, we'll ask her later.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

They Hate Me

Dear birthday gods,

Why? Why must you try everything in your power to destroy my birthday? You know how much I look forward to this! You know how I plan and anticipate and still, you try to take it from me. Last year, it was the poop. The year before that, it was the abandonment. But this year, you seem to have pulled out all the stops. I thought it was particularly harsh how you gave me a stomach virus on the eve of my birthday week, cleverly disguising it as possible food poisoning so I wouldn't seek an immediately cure. As if giving me my child's chest cold wasn't enough...combining nausea with a bad cough? Not cool. But now my bathroom is a lot cleaner.

Wasn't it enough that I wussed out on getting the one gift that I really wanted? Or the fact that my son ate most of my birthday chocolate? I suppose that last one was my fault, really. After all, I did give him the chocoholic gene.

Even the weather! You know how I love waking up to a cold, drizzly morning and yet you managed to delay that just one day, so I didn't get to enjoy it on the one morning I get to sleep in. Oh, and thanks for sending in all my family members one by one to take that from me. Just can't sleep when there are cute little ones waiting to give me a birthday hug.

And must you plot with the evil network gods to take my husband away from me at this time every year? Seriously? But even that couldn't make my birthday week go away. I still had plans! I still had friends, family, and a ready supply of babysitters! My birthday was celebrated each and every day, even the day I went to the doctor for that pesky virus. He gave me a rather lovely gift in the form of a prescription.

You had one ace up your sleeve, though. And I'd really like to know how you convinced Mother Nature to give me an early monthly gift. That was just wrong.

Sincerely,
The one who says it's my birthday and I'll wear pajama pants all week if I want

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Picky Picky


I have a dilemma so I come to you, my wise and glorious Internet, for help.

The Boy is a picky eater.

And I mean a really picky eater. His diet consists of cold cereal, peanut butter sandwiches, chicken nuggets, and fruit. He'll eat corn on the cob but not regular corn. Cool new fruits like kiwi don't faze him but the kid balks at pizza! PIZZA! An American staple!

Earlier this year for Mother's Day, his preschool teachers helped him fill out a card for me, listing things like my age (7) and weight (70) and the color of my eyes (he got that one!). When asked for my favorite food, he immediately replied "Yucky food." Anything not within his pre-approved selections is deemed "yucky food." He'll even ask me if something new if yucky or yummy but doesn't trust my answer. Watching his sisters down everything placed in front of them isn't convincing either. We've already determined that Baby eats more things than the Boy.

The hardest part of about trying to get him to eat different foods is the fact that when he gets hungry, he gets grumpy (just like his mommy). I think it has to do with low blood sugar. Gentle encouragement sends him into a screaming fit. Threats cause him to completely shutdown. Feeding him a piece of cheese or a small bunch of grapes a little before dinner or giving him a larger snack both result in declarations of "I'm not hungry."

I tried the whole "just eat one tiny bite" and he ended up screaming and running from the room. When I tried being consistent with that idea, he wouldn't come to the table at all. He refuses to try anything new that isn't a dessert item and makes us all miserable if we try to force the issue. And I just don't know what else to do! I am at my wits' end, people!

What suggestions do you have for getting a picky eater to just try a new food?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Presence of Presents

Today is my birthday.

HOORAY!
Everyone get up and dance!
Woot!

Okay, that was fun. Now sit back down.

So, today is my birthday. And because of all the chaos and turmoil that we've had around here lately (which I still can't blog about...), the Man hasn't been able to plan anything for my birthday.

"No worries," I told him. "I already know what I want, so I'll just go get it."
He'd be off the hook and I'd be utterly pleased with my present. But he didn't go for it.
"It's not a puppy," I promised.
Still a no go.
"I won't spend more than $75."
Nope.

And why, you may ask? Because my husband knows me and he knows I want a pet. Birds. Zebra finches, to be specific. For the past year, I've promised myself that this year, I would get birds. This year, I'd been patient long enough and it was time he considered what I wanted instead of what was comfortable for him. This year, I would ask for forgiveness instead of permission. But now that it's time, I just can't do it. I can't willing do something that I know is going to upset the Man.

And I still really want those birds...

What is one birthday present that you really wanted but never got?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Holed Up

Sorry for the delay in posting. We've had a whole heap of "fun" around here that the Man doesn't want me to post about (but call me later and we'll chat!). I finally got all of the new cake pictures up, so run and take a look! Then come back and tell me which one is your favorite because I could really use some positive vibes...

The Cake Cow

Friday, September 18, 2009

Finally, I Have A Green Thumb!

Why, yes, I am making some rather colorful cakes this weekend...why do you ask?


Kinda looks like I have a smiley face on my palm there. And the fingertip that's blue? On the other side, the entire nail is blue, too.

And I really ought to be finishing up the second cake instead of blogging...

Take a peek at The Cake Cow on Sunday to see the new cakes from the weekend!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Toofs

I recently created a new label for my posts: Milestones. Some of my readers are just here for the updates on the kiddos. They don't want to hear about my failed diet or my current whining. Just the kids. Yesterday's post on the Boy's first dentist visit falls into the Milestones category. So does today's posts.

Baby is teething. Normally, she doesn't cry much at all. Lately, she's been more prone to whining and easily upset. Something is different. Sure enough, the tell-tale red bump appeared on her lower gum. It took nearly two weeks but a tooth sprouted! But before I was able to get a good picture of it...another one came through right next to it, like a ninja tooth.


Nine months old and two teeth. And a future career in yoga.

Now when she tries to eat my toes, it tickles. But once she gets teeth on the top, it's gonna hurt.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another First ( but wouldn't that make it a second?)

When it comes to questions about parenting, there are too many answers. Have you ever asked someone how long they nursed their child? It's mind-boggling how many different replies you will get, ranging from "I never breast-fed" to "I'm still nursing and little Judy will be sixteen in March." Same thing happened when, as a fairly new mom, I asked at what age parents took their kids to the dentist. Some will tell you that they need to go as soon as they have teeth (is that really practical?) and others will say they have a sixth grader who hasn't been yet. After asking, my dentist* - who I love and adore more than should be expected - he suggested they come before starting kindergarten. Boo had her first appointment nearly two years ago.

It was the Boy's turn.

He came with us for Boo's recent check-up so he knew what to expect, where to sit, how wide to open his mouth, etc. He was ready! Just like his sister, the Boy was allowed to bring a small toy to hold during the cleaning. He asked to bring the mee mee.


We arrive early and I'm waiting for the hygienist to go through the same introduction to the tools of the trade that da Boo got. Nope. This girl is all business. She starts right in on him. No worries; my kid is a champ.

Then she tries to take x-rays. You know, when they stick that plastic tab in your mouth, making it pinch you while they run out of the room to press a button? Yeah, that one. Hey, it hurts when they make me do it so I wasn't surprised when the Boy whimpers and then spits out the x-ray thinger. Even da Boo hasn't had them taken because her mouth is so small. But the hygienist is determined and tries to put it back in. He gives it one more try - same results.

Note to self: the mee mee is too easily used to block access to the Boy's mouth...do not allow on future trips.

I suggest that she might want to skip it this time, that perhaps his mouth is a little too small. From her reaction, I might have suggested that flossing is a big scam created by the toothpaste industry just to get us to buy more products. But the mee mee isn't budging from around the Boy's mouth. Plus, it was in need of a washing so she was probably afraid to touch it. After I promise the Boy that he doesn't have to try again, the mee mee is lowered and work can resume.


And guess what? NO cavities! We celebrated by having ice cream at Sonic. And then flossing.


* As mentioned in a previous post, my dentist works with his identical twin brother, also a dentist. When the Boy's dentist was looking over his teeth, the other brother walked in...it nearly blew my mind, seeing both of them - looking like exactly the same person but in two different locations. I don't know why I feel the need to mention it...seriously weird, though.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Yoga Master

Okay, we all know that Baby is a bit special...odd, even. But we love her anyway, quirks and all. Despite my usual over-share of information regarding this little person, there are a couple things I haven't told you.

Most babies have an adorable, infectious laugh that makes everyone in the room smile. Baby doesn't laugh like that. She cackles.

No, really, she does!

I've tried to record her but she's not very cooperative. (Probably knows I use it against her when she's a teenager.) And still, making her laugh never ceases to make me laugh, too. But if she ever turns to a life of crime, she's already got the required super-villain laugh down.

And one more thing...Baby seems to be some sort of yoga prodigy. See, she really likes to look at you upside-down but it's not easy for a non-crawling baby to be upside-down without someone holding her. Baby has found a way around that.


I think it's her super soft and slippery hair that makes this possible. It's rather distracting seeing her like this. She arches her back and cackles at ya. I can't get anything done around here.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

How To Make Movie Night Awkward

Last night we invited over the kids' best buddies for a movie night. They got to wear their pajamas and have dinner while sitting in the living room, watching a movie. It was going to be awesome.

Boo was particularly excited and kept reminding J that he was coming over on Friday night. Every morning, she wanted a countdown of the remaining days and then hours leading up to this wonderful occasion. She and the Boy were actually happy when I told them it was time to clean up the living room before their friends arrived.

The movie? Milo & Otis.


I got this movie earlier in the week while at Target. It starred a pug and I am crazy about pugs. And it was five bucks. Perfect!

I probably should have screened it before letting the kids watch...oh sure, the kitten and puppy get into all sorts of misadventures but it's a fun little romp - that is, until they fall in love. Not with each other, of course. Milo meets a pretty white kitten and Otis rescues a precocious pug with a fancy french name. Still...not so bad. Until the babies arrive.

That's right. Babies. They show the cat and dog giving birth. There's blood. There's gore. There's some really not cute little animals. Ewww.

Shortly after the births, the following conversation takes place:

J: This is weird.
Boo: Yeah. How did they get there?
Me: What?
Boo: How did the babies get there, Mom?
Me: Hey, who wants some CHOCOLATE?!?!

I was chased into the kitchen by screaming children who were now completely distracted from having "the talk."

This movie ranks right up there with Thomas and the Magic Railroad.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Warning to Others

Alternate Titles: "oh chee momma...," "Losing 10 Pounds the Really Painful Way," or "All I Needed to Know About Dieting I Learned in the Bathroom."

So...yesterday...

Would you be disappointed if I told you I didn't make it the full 48 hours? I had no choice, really. It was either make the deadline and possibly die or eat something and live to serve as a warning to others.

As you may or may not know, I have quite the extensive surgical history. One of those events involved the removal of my gall bladder. And people without gall bladders should not attempt an all-liquid diet. The end results are something very much like that time I decided to test my mother's warning that eating too many died apricots would be a bad thing. I spent the better part of my day yesterday in the bathroom. At one point, the Boy strolled in to talk to me. I don't remember the conversation but I'm sure my responses were more easily understood in Klingon.

Also? I have issues with my blood sugar. When it gets low, I get a headache. At the time of that last post, my head was hurting. But not an hour after, my head was throbbing. There were flashes of light and stabbing pain, which, I'm told, are very bad things when it comes to your head. And I kinda need my head in working order so I can remember how to properly make chocolate milk.

Then the nausea set in. I didn't want to take any pills for my headache because I was convinced it would just come back up, bringing with it all that juice. The end result would be eerily similar to liquefied orange jello with little bits of marshmallow.

I was in the bathroom, head clutched between my hands, trash can handy, and I was thinking that maybe Weight Watchers wasn't such a bad idea, even if they do make you eat vegetables. Surely public display of fatness was the better option.

So I ate a little food, took some pain-killers, dumped the rest of the juice down the drain, and cracked open a Diet Pepsi. It took a couple hours for things to settle back down to normal but I managed to pull through.

And I lost five pounds.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Will Power

I am considering going on a diet.

I know, I know...most of you are shocked because I obviously don't need to lose weight, right? Hey, the Michelin Man has got it going ON and so do I, right? But that little punk Wii Fit gasps every time I step on and it would be nice to be able to fit into some of my older clothes. And I'd really like to not be mistaken for a pregnant woman by complete strangers.

This diet is one of those "change your lifestyle" ones where they give you a long list of everything you can no longer eat and then a few items that are still allowed. The problem is the diet takes some money to get started. Before I spend all that cash, I wanted to give myself a test to see if I really could resist my favorite guilty pleasures (ie: everything in my pantry).

Back in my youthful days, I tried this "Hollywood 48-hour Diet," where you drink juice for two days, shedding pounds with every sip. While I didn't got the boasted 10 pounds, I still lost a few. However, I could never go the full 48 hours! I got too hungry, couldn't fight a craving for something chewy, or simply forgot and ate something (like half a pan of brownies). So this was my test: go the full 48 hours. No cheating. (And we all know how much I love to cheat...)

I started drinking the juice Sunday night. No worries. I like the taste. In between sips of juice, I'd have some water. That's it. NO CHEATING. It wasn't until Boo got home from school on Monday that I nearly had to lock myself in my room to keep from snacking (but that really wouldn't have helped as I have a chocolate stash in there). I desperately wanted something to chew! Give me nachos! I need one of those cheese biscuits that we had for dinner! A tootsie roll! ANYTHING! It was agony but I survived. I did make one mistake, though. When I was making the Boy a peanut butter sandwich, I licked the knife when I was done because I always do. Habits - especially those involving food - are hard to break.

Now, with 40 hours down and 8 to go...I think I might be done. I don't know if I can handle it anymore. I'm starving. I have a headache. All the hidden goodies are screaming my name (shoot, even the forgotten leftovers stuffed in the back of the fridge are beginning to sound appealing). Instead of diving head-first into the kids' collection of fruit snacks, I'm blogging.

So close...so close...

What do you do to resist the cravings?

Monday, August 31, 2009

And Knowing Is Half The Battle

While the Co-ed was staying with us before school started, we decided one night that we would run away and see a movie. Our local theater is nearly deserted on the weekdays. Along with nine other people, we saw "G.I. Joe." It was almost a date, but the Man didn't open the car door for me so he doesn't get credit.



Here are some random thoughts/reactions to the movie:
  • This movie would have been completely ruined for me if they didn't work in certain phrases like "and knowing is half the battle," "Go Joe!", "real American heroes," and kung-fu grip. It had 'em all!
  • Why do all really bad guys have creepy voices? Seriously. Name one really, truly bad guy that doesn't have a voice that makes your skin crawl...
  • Why is it that if a woman is young, attractive, aloof, yet skilled in all manner of bad-assery, she must fall in love with one of the male leads? Can't she be happy with the fact that she can tell him where to go in six different languages if he gets fresh? Yet romance is practically a given. "Uh oh. She's slightly hostile toward him and yet she looks hot while saving his butt from the bad guys...they are totally hooking up."
  • Did the actor that played Snake Eyes get less money because he didn't have any lines? The guy doesn't even grunt!
  • Didn't Scarlet have a Southern accent?
  • When someone asks "You and what army?" and then you actually have an army to back you up, it's just not as cool as it sounds.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What is this?

I've noticed these objects all around town...attached to fences or poles like this one. But what are they? What do they do?


Since I don't know what they are, I let my anxiety go all wacko over their potential purposes. No, really...it's fun! For instance, they could be detection devices, that record passersby identity by reading the microchip that we were all implanted with when we thought we were getting a vaccine (thank you X-Files!). Or maybe they are detection devices but they're looking for people listening to bad music...that's why your favorite song goes fuzzy on the radio...they're trying to protect you from yourself. Or perhaps it's not a detector, but a beacon, letting the circling alien mother ships know they have successfully assimilated themselves into our world and are awaiting further instructions. But it could be nothing at all like that. In fact, this could very well be just like a geocache, but instead of using multi-million-dollar satellites to find tupperware hidden in the woods, you get points for placing these in the most random locations.

And if you don't know what it is, take a guess!

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