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

Friday, March 27, 2009

Reason #427 Why I Love My Husband

Because he makes Baby smile.

And? Happy Birthday to the Co-ed!
Go over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday, too.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gettin' Crafty!

Remember how I went all crazy and joined some swaps? I realized that I never posted what I got for April Shower's Craft Swap. The idea behind the swap was to gather up some of your crafting supplies that you don't use anymore and send them on to someone else, hoping that they would get good use out of them. I sent a big bunch of different papers I've had for ages, some crafty patterns, a wooden box left over from another project, craft scissors and probably some other things I forgot about. My partner was Maggie, who is a Stampin' Up lady, so I was pretty excited and she certainly did not fail me.

LOOK at all those stamps! Awesome. Along with the bajillion stamps, she sent lots of paper, sponges, that fabulous Michaels book, lots of ribbon, a punch, tiny little flowers, and a cute little owl favor.

Anyone else know of another good swap going on? I love getting cool packages in the mail!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nion? Niger? Nanda?

Sometimes, I have a hard time falling asleep. Other nights, I pass out from exhaustion as soon as all the kids are asleep. On the nights I can't sleep, my mind starts racing in a hundred different directions, thinking of things I need to do tomorrow, didn't do today, did fifteen years ago and still feel like a dork, etc.

After I've beat myself up over embarrassing incidents from my dating years, I try to keep my mind on happier things (like Baby) or I play little games. One of my favorite games is to choose a topic and go through the alphabet. When I was pregnant, it was usually baby names. I've done flowers/plants, TV shows, famous people, and other stuff I can't remember.

So the other night, I can't sleep. After reliving some idiotic things I did in youth group, I decide to name animals, starting with aardvark. Everything is going fine...until I get to the letter N. Can't be are hard as X. It's a common enough letter; surely finding an animal won't be too hard, right?


Can't think of one and it's starting to drive me nuts. I even woke up the Man and asked him to name an animal that begins with the letter N. And just to show me how strong his mental capabilities are, he says one while half asleep and really not interested. His choice? Nightcrawler. Okay, that works. I finish the rest of the alphabet and try to sleep.

But I still can't.

Nightcrawlers aren't really animals...maybe I can think of something better. I try to remember that scene in Phenomenon, where John Travolta undergoes all that intelligence testing and the tester asks him to name animals alphabetically. Can't remember what he chose, though. And then I start thinking about an episode of Dora the Explorer - of all things! - where they help an aardvark track down his animal buddies, all of whom are missing from their respective letters in the alphabet. (I don't want to ruin the ending for anyone who hasn't seen it but they're all hiding in the Z!) That one was a nightingale. Okay, that's a little better. Birds are a better choice than worms.

Finally, I fall asleep.

Just don't tell Dora that her show actually helped me.

Can you think of an animal that begins with the letter N?

**EDIT: I just looked it up on YouTube, that endless font of useless and forgotten knowledge. John Travolta's character named Newfoundland, which is a breed of dog...a very, very large dog.
So even his genius character had problems naming an animal. I don't feel so dimwitted now.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wanna Win Some Cool Stuff?

Since I can't handle my own contest, I am pointing you in the direction of another site that has some pretty spiffy stuff to give away.

Mormon Mommy Blogs is giving away a whole load of great things! You can win a photo shoot, conversation starters, canned food storage, books for the kiddos, books for you, flower headbands for baby, music for kids, or an Amazon gift card.

See? Way better than winning my toe jam.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

He Loves Me! He Really Loves Me!

I sent the Man to the store to get a some things for dinner tomorrow...

He came back with this:

(But he still won't watch it with me.)

(And he won't let me call him Edward...)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Foto Friday: My Sister's Keeper

This week brought us a visit from a punk leprechaun, among other things. It could have been worse. At least our little green guy didn't carry an explosive device.

Maybe it's because I just booked our Caribbean cruise (feel free to envy me) to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and we are so not taking the kids...but this week, it seems like the kids are enjoying having their little sister around.

This was the scene on Sunday. It was only Baby's second trip to church since our pediatrician forbid us taking her out in public until the weather warmed up. Boo was singing songs to her while I was getting dinner ready. It was very sweet so I had to take a picture. And if you have a Bumbo chair, don't you just love it? Baby likes sitting in it almost as much as her swing. Oh, and did you notice how they have matching socks? My cute sister-in-law sent them adorable crochet bead socks in matching colors for big sister and little sister.

And here is another reason why it's not safe for me to shower...I put Baby on her little floor gym (I know, I know...easy access for a three-year-old) and asked the Boy to talk to her so she wouldn't be lonely (she's very much a people-person - must get that from me). When I came out of my room, this is what I found. Hey, at least she was happy and having fun, not covered in marker or hidden under a pile of toys.

Boo had an "Art Night" at her school, with different crafty activities in various classrooms. Her first choice? The computer lab. So it's not just her toes that she gets from her father. She didn't want to use the paint program and draw pictures. She wanted to type.

I asked her want she was doing. Her answer? "Posting on my blog."

Maybe I do this too much...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tricksy Leprechauns!

The morning started early. The kids were anxious to see if they had caught a leprechaun in their special trap.

Look! The trap was sprung! Surely there was a leprechaun inside!

But wait...what's that coming out of the top? It looks like...a rope. A gold rope, no less.

NO LEPRECHAUN! But he did leave behind some of his loot. If the leprechaun escaped, then that means he will play tricks on the kids. Suddenly things start falling into place. That explains why Boo had the Boy's favorite stuffed chicken in her bed and he had her new Webkinz. It was the leprechaun!

He even defaced the kids' signs. What a punk!

Hey, we aren't that bad looking a family! What? You say the leprechaun was responsible? Huh. How 'bout that.

Okay, who bought the skim milk? Oh, wait...another trick! The little booger!

The kids were finding all sorts of messes that the leprechaun was responsible for but really, those were the work of a kindergartner and preschooler.

As for me, I am blaming my bad hair day on that little green punk.

Monday, March 16, 2009

FHE: The Leprechaun Trap

Ever since I got my March edition of Family Fun magazine, da Boo has been plotting to capture a Leprechaun. So for Family Home Evening tonight, we built a trap.

Opening Song: I Am A Child Of God.

Opening Prayer: Daddy.

Lesson: I wanted to make sure the kids knew what they were getting into with this latest plan. Didn't they know that leprechauns are notoriously tricky? They're very fast and therefore, impossible to catch in a foot race. You have to trap them. And it has to be a good trap, otherwise, they'll get annoyed that you attempted to catch them and then play tricks on you for revenge. But the kids didn't seem concerned about the wrath of six-inch beings. They were determined to get leprechaun gold.

Luckily, we know the little green men's flaws:
  1. They love gold and sparkly things. Even shoes (as leprechauns are cobblers by trade).
  2. They love to break the rules.
  3. They love to climb on things.
  4. Green is their favorite color.
With these facts in mind and with the help of Family Fun, we built our trap.

We used an empty oatmeal container, wrapped in green paper to get their attention. On top, we glued gems leftover from Boo's Valentine's box. Perfect bait. Next, we glued rocks up one side, making a mini rock climbing wall. And then to taunt them further, we posted signs forbidding them access to this delightful adventure to a sparkly prize.

It is perfect!

Golly, I sure hope that an unsuspecting leprechaun doesn't escape from their clever trap and play tricks on them tomorrow...

Closing Song: Twinkle Little Star (and all is right with the world again!)

Closing Prayer: The Boy.

Treats: Cupcakes. Always around when I've had a cake or two over the weekend.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Product Review: Cold Stone Sweet Treat Cupcakes

A friend told me about Cold Stone's new cupcakes. I went to Cold Stone that night to get some. Yes, I love Cold Stone ice cream but I love cupcakes so blending the two seemed perfect. It was a Friday night and the place was packed so we opted for the ready-made cupcakes in the freezer case. They seemed a little pricey at $9.99 for six but I pretty sure they were going to be worth every calorie-saturated penny.

They look pretty, don't they? Starting on the left, we have the Double Chocolate Devotion, then Cake Batter Redux, and finally, Sweet Cream.

Fortunately, the Co-ed was present to help me in my taste test. You may remember her talented taste buds also helped with another review of cupcakes.

According to the description, these are made in a Belgian chocolate cup with a layer of cake covered with fudge sauce, the ice cream flavor of choice, frosting and then the signature item (cookie, sprinkles, or chocolate curls). Since they were multi-leveled, we began by cutting one down the middle.

This one was the Cake Batter Redux. The Co-ed and I were both a little disappointed at the amount of ice cream. We thought there would be more. The dark level on the bottom is supposed to be red velvet cake but really, it was mostly the fudge that goes on top. Hardly any cake in any of the three flavors and certainly not like they are pictured on the marketing. Then again, what food item really looks as good as the commercials, right?

On the plus side, the chocolate cups were really tasty and not so thick that you'd have problems breaking them. The Co-ed thought their flavor overpowered the taste of the ice cream. I say she's a wimp. The frosting tasted more like whipped cream on all three flavors, which wasn't a bad thing.

Still, ten bucks for six little cups? Way too pricey, in my opinion. Stick to getting the Love It size to split with your sweetie.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Foto Friday #27

Wow, have I really put up 26 Foto Fridays? Doesn't seem like that many...maybe because not all of them were posted on an actual Friday.

Monday, Boo didn't have school. Rather than declare another pajama day so we could lounge around eating ice cream, we gathered some friends and headed to the aquarium. This is not a large facility. In fact, it is housed in what used to be a grocery store. Yes, it's small but they do have a shark tank and three different kinds of jellyfish so we love it.

Doesn't look posed at all, does it? I really ought to cut them some slack. I was making the kids look at the camera when all they could think about was the sting ray pool, where they'd get to dip their hands in water, splashing each other when they thought I wasn't looking and then jerking their hands out as soon as a sting ray came anywhere near them. Good times.

One of my favorite things about this place is a station where they have creatures you can touch. Sure, feeling the strange animals is fun but there's also a staffer there who answers questions from the kids and then gives unusual trivia about other sea creatures. I'd tell you about the pom pom crab but you probably wouldn't care.

Baby slept virtually the entire time, waking up only long enough to give me the stink eye because her lunch was late. What does it say about my mother abilities when my three-month-old gives me dirty looks? Instead of at the aquarium, I did a mini photo shoot with her in another exotic locale: my kitchen.

She can't quite laugh but it's rather entertaining to watch her try.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Unsupervised Child

Dear Dora the Explorer's Parents,

Are you freakin' nuts? How can you possibly send your five-year-old child out into the wilderness with only a backpack - that shows bulimic tendencies - and a monkey? And seriously, has the monkey had all his shots? (Might want to check into that, as attached as he is to your daughter...) Don't you know it's dangerous out there? Forget about pedophiles and on-coming traffic! Your neighborhood has trolls, weird wizards, goo-spouting geysers, and not-so-nice witches. Not to mention the kleptomanic fox that keeps showing up. You should look into setting her up with a tazer gun or at least some decent pepper spray.

And while you're at it, you might want to get her hearing tested. Maybe you don't notice but that kid shouts everything. I'm not sure her eyes are that great, either. I mean, she can't even tell where all the pieces of the ladder are when they're laying right there in front of her! And if she really knows all the answers about what to do and where to go, then why does she keep asking my kids for help? Hey, my kids can't even dress themselves without something on backwards and she expects them to find a way past spiders, snakes, and crazed turkeys. That's not exactly careful planning, now is it? I suggest replacing the ridiculously vague dancing map with a state-of-the-art GPS navigation system. Then she'll have a calm voice to guide her around all the obstacles, along with a handy estimation of her arrival time. I tell ya, those things are genius!

A soggy-brained parent whose IQ might have been higher before watching this show

You might want to discourage her friendship with that squirrel fellow. I'm not saying he's doing anything illegal but he always seems to show up with some fancy new ride just when she's looking for one...you know what I'm saying?

Monday, March 9, 2009

FHE: Threats and Rewards

I am the meanest mom ever. See, instead of letting da Boo and the Boy run around in their pajamas all day on Saturdays, I make them get dressed. But here's where I'm really just horrible: I expect them to clean up! Seriously! Haven't I heard of a child's rights?

For years now, Saturday morning has been Clean Up Day. After breakfast, the kids get dressed and then clean up their rooms. Next, they head back downstairs to pick up the toys that have found their way into the living room. Once that meets criteria, it's back upstairs to the toy room and putting away the toys that are strewn around. Normally, they are done before lunch and I reward their efforts by putting chocolate chips in their peanut butter sandwiches (one of my fondest childhood memories). Lately, our time table has gone downhill. Instead of getting to work and finishing things up with a few distractions here and there, the kids are dragging out Clean Up Day, whining and throwing tantrums and generally making everyone unhappy (except for Baby...she's always happy). It was time to reiterate the rules and lay down some consequences.

Opening Song: Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree

Opening Prayer: Boo

Lesson: The Man got to take the lead on this one. He asked the kids about the previous Clean Up Day, where they took several hours to complete their tasks because there was constant crying and complaining instead of staying focused. Now, when they actually put things away, the rooms were getting done quickly. It took them so long that when I had them stop for lunch, chocolate chips were not in their sandwiches. The kids looked appropriately guilty and repentant here.

Now for some guidelines.
  • Clean Up Day should only take two hours. That's it. Boo will wear her watch and we will set a timer for the Boy.
  • Once two hours ends, either the Man or I will inspect the rooms.
  • If they aren't done, all screens are turned off for the rest of the day. Currently, the Boy is addicted to playing Mario Kart on the Wii while da Boo loves to play Virtual Villagers on my computer. We hope this will be good motivation for them.
  • If the screens are to remain off, but Mom and Dad want to watch a show (or read blogs), then the kids have to leave the room. That pretty much leaves their room as the only option.
  • However, if the kids have finished picking up, then we will get to do something fun as a family, such as a geocaching outing or another destination of their choosing.
Now for the good news: The Man and I have talked about how much fun the kids had when we went to a local water park last summer. We decided it would be fun to get season passes this year and go regularly. So now, the "something fun as a family" is extended to include heading to this water park. The kids were very excited about this prospect! I hope they remember it when Saturday morning rolls around again...

Closing Song: Once There Was A Snowman (and a small part of me cried because the Boy didn't pick Twinkle Little Star)

Closing Prayer: The Man.

Treats: Cupcakes. But not just any cupcakes. I'll be posting a product review on these babies...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Funny

The only pictures I took this week were of my fabulous swap package. So instead of Foto Friday, I'm sharing a funny. It's so rare that I have anything funny on my blog...

A friend sent me this cartoon a little while ago and I've been dying to share it.

Go check out 9th Ward Cartoons! (The 3rd Ward is pretty good, too.) If you're not LDS, a lot of the humor may be lost on you but there's some universal ones. Let me know which one was your favorite!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Please, Mr Postman

A while ago, I mentioned that I signed up to do a swap. I love swaps! Here's how they work:
  1. Usually, there's a theme. Mamarazzi chose favorite things. Tausha did one with items starting with the first letter of your first name. Some are holiday oriented. A theme makes it easier to get some cool items together.
  2. Then you swap names and addresses. You won't always be getting a package from the same person you send one to; depends on the host.
  3. Assemble your package! You can individually wrap each item, include a detailed explanation of why each item is in there or just ship the thing and hope it arrives safely.
  4. Packages are shipped by a certain date.
  5. Blog about what you get when it arrives.
Guess what? I got my package! It came from arbee all the way down in Texas. Before the swap, we found out we had some things in common from each other's blogs, so I knew it was going to be great. This is what I got:

What can I say? This woman is a pro at these swaps! She included a card and an explanation for each item (sorry I didn't do that to explain my randomness...).

See that adorable apron in the back? It's reversible! Boo has already asked if she can wear it. I said No.

Okay, so this is what she sent: Adorable apron, nail polish, Bath & Body Works shower gel, pouf, reusable tote bag, FruitBu snacks, bluebonnet seeds, Stride gum, Sour Patch candies, Nivea lip balm, baking soda, Sharpie pens, and a Zero candy bar. Not pictured are some Dove chocolates which I may have been consuming rapidly...

My partner totally topped me.

And now I am hooked...I just signed up for another swap! This time, the theme is craft supplies and it's hosted by April.

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