Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cupcakes. Again.

Yeah, I have a lot of pictures of my last venture. But I don't have time to do that right now. Christmas is in 3 days, people! THREE DAYS!!!!

I'm posting to ask for suggestions or help or whatever. Today I delivered a big tray of cupcakes to the girl who cuts my hair. Cause I love her. Cause she's been doing my hair for 15 years. Cause....I don't know. Why not? Anyway, the woman in her chair when I came in freaked. She immediately asked for 'my card' and wanted to line up an order for her New Year's Day party. This lady was serious, you gize. She wants 150 mini cupcakes, divided into 4 different flavors. Here's my prob. What the heck do I call myself? I'd like to get Standsmom or Stands in there somewhere since it's my blog and stuff. I just thought it would be adorable if I could put a little card or something on the box when I deliver: "Handbaked by ___________" Or something like that. You know?

So let it fly you creative people! Tell me what you think.

Thanks!!!!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy ? Christmas-time

It's been hard to get into the swing of things this Christmas. Maybe it's been the warm spring-like winter we're experiencing. At least today we finally have 1/8" of snow on the ground.

I've gone through the motions. Put up the decorations. Listened to Christmas music. Watched a few Christmas movies. I've been cranking out Christmas cupcakes (blog post to come...). But still - - - nothing.

I haven't been able to put my finger on it. Perhaps it's in my head? But today, Honey left for work and I stayed in bed longer to read. After a while, when I heard my bedroom door open, I just assumed it was one of the kids. So, I clicked my phone off and decided to pretend I was still asleep. It was Honey bringing me some fresh Starbucks hot chocolate. And in a brief flash, I felt it. That Christmas thing. The one that feels like magic? I don't know if it was something he said, or something about his surprise delivery? It's not completely abnormal for him to come back with hot chocolate like that. But I'm relieved now. That feeling really still does exist, I just have to find it now and get it to stay.

In the meantime, I have 48 more cupcakes to bake and deliver. I have a lot of wrapping to do. I have to plan all of the food, purchase, prepare, bake, etc. for our family. Oh man...and do I need groceries. I've got to get that over with. The longer I wait, the crazier it's going to get at the grocery store. I can't wait to finally hit the point where we can just lay around in our jammies.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cakes Cakes Cakes

Very photo intensive post. Sorry.


Jungle Cake/Cupcakes

These pictures are pretty bad. I usually get photography help from Landee or from my Honey. But I didn't have them around on this day.








Olivia Cake/Cupcakes

Photo credit goes to Landee. She is amazing.

















Hunger Games / Blood and Roses


















Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Checking Out

Sometimes I go to the store for something specific and I can't find it. Or, lots of times. So then, I either skip it and decide I'll look somewhere else, or if I'm too tired to do driving around or if I'm pressed for time and I can't go anywhere else, I'll substitute it with something else. This happened today. I was at Costco. One of the most important things on my list was strawberries. I need red strawberries for Sassy's bday party. We are having lots of red food in honor of her favorite (and most appropriately so) characters. Olivia the Pig. Aaaaanyway....as my luck would have it, there weren't any strawberries. So, I settled for raspberries. Oh well. If I have a chance to run to a different store, I'll check for them again. If not, I've got the raspberries.

This description is getting far longer than I wanted it to be.

My point is that whenever I find myself in this situation and I go to the checkout, the cashier inevitably asks, "Did you find everything you were looking for today?" How do you handle this question? Today I smiled and said, "Yes I did. Thank you." (liar) Why do I do that? What happens when you admit that you didn't find everything you were looking for? What if I were to say, "Well, I really wanted some strawberries." What are they gonna say? That they don't have any? Duh. I already know that. Other items, non-perishable items, are often answered with, "We could call another store." Or, "Would you like us to ....(fill in the blank - order it for you, put your name on a list and call you when it comes in, etc.) I dislike every one of those answers. I just don't like holding up the line. I don't like being stuck in the checkout any longer than absolutely necessary.

And so, I lie. With a smile. "Yes I did. Thank you." But think to myself at the exact same time...'Nope. You were out of strawberries.' ::grumble::

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rules

  • Rule Number 1: Do not buy Halloween candy that you want to eat.
  • Rule Number 2: After Halloween candy has been purchased, DO NOT OPEN. Especially if you broke Rule Number 1.
  • Rule Number 3: Enlist someone to hide the candy. This Rule is critical if you first, broke Rule Number 1 and then broke Rule Number 2.
I curse you mini Twix. CURSE you!!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Break

Fall break is crap. At this time last week, I thought I was going to love it. Sleeping in a little. No arguments over packing lunches or doing homework. No running around or being busy. Nope. Not so much.

Sleeping in is something I wish for, but rarely get to do. My children have this really awesome way of stomping around on the floor in the kitchen right below my bedroom when they wake up at 6 am. I have asked them a million times to stay on the carpet and quietly watch TV. They are entirely incapable. It's like sleep wipes out their brains and they forget everything I said the night before. The same way they still don't know what they're supposed to do every morning. ::envision the open mouth and the look of utter surprise:: "What? You want me to brush my teeth?"

Sure, over fall break we don't argue about packing lunches or doing homework. Just about how they have to cooperate with the things I have to get done. Which leads me to the 'no running around or being busy' thing.

The boys may be on fall break, but Sassy is not. She still has to be chauffeured to school and dance and gymnastics. I was going to keep her home for a few days this upcoming week so we could ALL be on fall break together. I may still be crazy enough to do one or two days. But after tonight, I feel like they all need to be quarantined to their own sections of the house and denied any access to each other. It's like this fast moving bipolar thing they have going on. One minute they're playing outside together like their the best of friends, laughing their heads off. The next minute, they're fighting and crying and insisting they just can't take 'so and so' anymore. Sassy tried to tattle on the boys by telling me that they were fighting. Apparently Link was saying really mean things to George. I asked her what things and she just shook her head and said she would tell me later (all accompanied with a little grin). I asked her why she started telling me then, and she said she just didn't want me to know. Which again led to the 'why are you talking to me about this if you're not really going to tell me anything?' Of course the little scamp is making stuff up. I think she just wanted to get me off my bed and away from my book. Besides, at that moment the boys were still getting along. It was 10 minutes later that everything suddenly escalated into a big argument, Wii controllers flying across the room, 10 yr old stomping off down the stairs and Honey saying, 'What's going on up there??'

Fine. I'll quit trying to read and be the referee. Now, I'm just sitting here dreading another week of fall break that really isn't a break. It's just.....the same old stuff. And that makes me wonder why I'm always running to catch something I can't ever catch. It's gonna cycle around again, right? When my kids are all in college or on missions or married? Maybe letting those things go is like letting go of a helium balloon. You never really want to, but there is some relief in watching it disappear into the sky. Except maybe I'll actually get it back. Doesn't seem very likely.

My Kitchen's Gonna Be Busy

I have some stuff coming up. A special dessert for a family this Wednesday. Four small white fondant cakes due this weekend. A Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake for a friend's birthday that I want to drop off next Sunday. Thirty-six or fourty-something cakeball cones for my nephew's baptism in two weeks. Maybe something fun for Halloween. At least thirty-six cupcakes for my son's football team end-of-the season get-together. And, ready for this one? One hundred cupcakes for our YW in Excellence on November 16. Somewhere along the way, I need to get one or two more nice cupcake pans/tins...what do you call them? Not to mention the things I may want to bake for Thanksgiving. We will be in NJ this year, but I know my husband will also want to have something here at home. He likes to have those leftovers in the fridge.

Moving on....I don't know if it's the fall weather. I don't know if it's my self-imposed cutting out of sugar, processed foods, soda and the like - for 30 days. But I want to bake. I want to cook. I want to buy food and make food and give food away because I don't want to eat it. Of course I WANT to eat it. But I don't want to, because my rear end doesn't need it. Nor does my middle section. (I've recently come to the conclusion that I gain weight in my stomach like my paternal grandmother AND my hips like my maternal grandmother. Double whammy!)

Do you want some food? Do you want me to make you a dessert and just drop it off on a random day? I would LOVE to! These are the things I have written down to try sometime in the near future. These are only the things I saw this morning on The Pioneer Woman.

  • Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta
  • The Bread
  • Tres Leches Cake
  • Cinnamon Bread
  • Bacon Onion Cheddar Biscuits
  • PW Dinner Rolls
  • The Pie That'll Make You Cry
  • Strawberry Shortcake Cake
This really is a short list. Notice the number of bread items? I have an unnatural fear of making bread. It makes me nervous. It freaks me out. And I can go years between attempts before I feel the urge to dig in and try again. The Bread is simple. It doesn't require me to actually make the bread. It's simply instructions on what to do with an already made loaf of french bread. Easy. Biscuits are easy. Mix and drop. No biggie. But homemade cinnamon bread and dinner rolls? I can already feel that knot in my stomach forming. Landee can make some tasty rolls. She ties them in a knot even. I've heard (only heard) about her orange rolls. This makes me feel like I might just have a chance. Maybe it's possible. Maybe I should beg her to teach me. Maybe I should just beg her to make them for me instead. Rest assured, my blogging readers (however few you may be) I will post my attempts and the results, regardless of how they turn out. Disasters teach us all a lesson, right?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Public Rudity

When I have to go to the grocery store at night, I just want to quietly get the few things I need and get out. Self-checkouts are perfect for that. Tonight, I was surprised by the witchiness of the woman using the check-out next to me. She had to get some help from the lady and simultaneously asked her for a can of Skoal. Actually, the way she asked for it was complicated, like how people order their coffee. I guess chew isn't that simple anymore. Anyway, the checkout lady, just doing her job, asked her who she was buying it for. She said it was for her husband. Then very abruptly said, "Why?" The lady explained to her they just have to ask incase people are buying it for minors. The customer lady says, "I would never do that to my kids! I am just not the kind of person who would DO that!"

Here's what I would like to ask Miss Rude: Is this the first time you've ever bought chew for your totally hawt husband (with black things in his teeth, nasty breath and probably at high risk for throat cancer)? If it's not the first time, why are you being so nasty to the poor sales lady who's just doing what the law says she has to do? So annoying. Maybe she was grouchy because the fact that she's buying that nastiness for her hubby makes her really mad. Amen to that sister. Gross with a capital G. Gross.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Will I Ever Learn?

I'm a few days into another stint of getting off sugar, unnecessary fat, processed foods and soda. I've done this several times now. Every time it's the same. I get a massive headache that lasts for 4 or 5 days, I feel like I have no energy, and I get grouchy. Why do those nasty foods do that to me? What are these food people doing to us? It amazes me that just cutting out that nastiness can make me feel so crappy. If I sit really still and concentrate on the pain in my head, it's almost like I can see the little ripples and waves all over the surface of my brain. Although last night and today, it's permeating my eyes too. I could hardly stand to watch TV last night. This morning my son wanted me to look at the clouds outside and I couldn't stand to lift my eyes to all of that light. As it is, I'm squinting here at the computer.

But srsly, am I ever going to learn? How do I manage to conveniently 'forget' after a detox? Is it my fault that some of that darn food tastes so yummy? And Diet Coke with lime is like heaven at 2:00 in the afternoon.

On the flipside, the rest of my body seems to be breathing a sigh of relief. Fresh veggies and fruit and lean proteins are making my system much happier. While giving up sugar for a while always feels like I lost my best friend, I know my body appreciates it. I can't stand to store up any of that stuff anymore anyway.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sounds

I love the sound of my wind chimes. They hang right outside my back door off the kitchen. It's a rare day here that there isn't at least a little breeze blowing. I'd love to have one of those chimes that's like 4 ft long. You know, the ones that have deeper tones? I love the sound of birds too. The Goldfinches are one of my favorites. I also love the sound of chickadees, robins, blue jays, flickers and hawks. Now that the kids are back in school and there are a few moments here and there when they are all gone, I rather enjoy the sound of my house entirely empty and quiet. No television or anything. Just the chimes outside, the clock ticking and the sound of my dog snoring in her big cushiony dog bed. Sometimes I just sit on the couch and listen to the nothing. Speaking of my snoring dog...wow. She's like an old man, the noises she makes sometimes. I don't know how such snoring can come out of a 15 lb dog, but it's rather amusing at times. I can say that I don't ever find it annoying. Even if I hear her in the middle of the night. I don't know why. It just never bugs me.

A good strong belly laugh from any of my kids is one of my favorite sounds too. George's is my favorite. I know I shouldn't pick favorites, but his true laugh is just a super joyful sound. There isn't another word for it. Link used to make him laugh when he was a little squirt and he'd lay his head back and just laugh and laugh. I also love to hear my daughter singing. She sings and sings and sings. Sometimes nonsense. Sometimes primary/school songs blended into each other. The pretending she does with her dolls or toys 'talking' to each other is pretty nice too.

"Can you come over to play?" "I'll have to ask my mom...hold on." "Mom!!! Can I go to my friend's house to play?" That sort of stuff.

I know there are a million other things I love to hear. One of my besties has a pretty awesome laugh. My husband was laughing himself to tears last night and that was cool. An entirely different sound than when he's just chuckling over something. The ding-ding of a text on my phone? Love that. The sound of me picking up the phone on a 1-800 call and immediately hanging up. Necessary and very satisfying. What sorts of things do you like listening to?

Right now, I have to leave the quiet of my peaceful house and head off to help someone with a cake.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Coconut Cake


Today's cake adventure began a couple of weeks ago. I sat down with Honey to watch some tv after the kids had gone to bed and one of my favorite Food Network guys was on. He was doing a whole show on coconut and coconut cake. I loved it! So, I decided this weekend to dig in and give it a try.

Part One:
The Coconut. I have spent the better part of my day piercing, draining, baking, cracking, peeling, grating, boiling, soaking, and more draining two whole coconuts to create; a pile of freshly grated coconut, a 1/2 cup each of homemade coconut cream and coconut milk and a liquid measuring cup full of coconut water (the liquid I drained from the inside of the coconut to begin with). Apparently you can also soak some of this coconut in vodka for 5-7 days to create your own extract, but I cheated on that one element and bought some at the store. After completing all of that, I began the cake. Fluffy unsalted butter, sugar, the homemade coconut milk and cream, cake flour, etc. mixed accordingly and then folded in with some stiff egg whites. It is now in the oven in the pans that I oiled and lined with parchment. Which I then oiled again and dusted with flour. My sink is over flowing with mixing bowls, whisks, spatulas, measuring spoons and measuring cups. My counter and mixer are dusted with flour. My arm is tired from hand grating coconut and whisking egg whites. This better be the best darn coconut cake on the planet. And despite his aversion to the texture of coconut, Honey better have a bite or two. I already know of a couple of people who will be hand delivered a large piece. You know it's for my own good that I can't keep the entire cake in my own house. I will most certainly be without sufficient self-control to avoid eating. it. all.

Part Two:
The Cake. With nervousness and anticipation, I check on the cakes with 5 minutes left on the timer. This is important, you gize. Sometimes they're done sooner and I know that my ovens usually bake things a little faster. And my top and bottom ovens don't bake the same as each other. Homemade from scratch cakes are a lot harder to create and the results are hard to predict. I've tried things before that didn't work out, I think because of my elevation. Anyway, after checking, the cakes are done 5 minutes early. They aren't perfect and smooth on top like a box mix. The one from the bottom oven has sunk down a little bit in the middle. But I'm reserving judgment. Once each layer is split and stacked with frosting and stuff, it won't really matter what it looked like when it came out of the oven. Right? Right. The cakes, after cooling, are dense and sort of heavy. The recipe says to cut each layer in half, then giving your finished cake 4 thin layers, but I am too afraid to try. So I just sliced off the crisp top of each layer and brushed them with coconut water. The pieces I've removed taste AWESOME.

Part Three:
The Frosting. Egg whites, sugar, coconut water, salt...in a stainless bowl, sitting on top of a pot of simmering water, with an extension cord attached to my hand mixer so it will reach my cooktop. After 7 minutes of beating and an addition of coconut and vanilla extracts, I have a beautiful bowl of marshmallowy, white and fluffy fantastic frosting. Oh. my. gosh. I never thought in a million years I'd be able to make a successful batch of 7 min Frosting.

Part Four:
Assembly. Since I'm wimping out and refusing to try a 4 layer cake, assembly was easy. The cake layers are moist. A blob of frosting on the cake plate, first layer down. Frosted and lightly sprinkled with my fresh coconut. Second layer on, the entire thing frosted and sprinkled with more coconut. This made a huge mess because I was tossing it, but the cake looks fantastic. Now it has to sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick..........


Part Five:
The Final Test - Eating. As I mentioned above, the cake is pretty dense. With all of the frosting and coconut and coconut flavor, it's also quite rich. I rather enjoyed it. Honey did have a couple of bites and thought it tasted very good. My neighbor said it was too good. My kids didn't like it. Why would I do that much work for one cake? Well, why not? Why not try the hard recipe, go to all of the effort once to do it just like the recipe and see what happens? I learned how to disassemble a coconut. I learned how to make successful 7 min frosting. I learned that if I make this cake again, it won't be for a long time and it will only be for grown ups. This is not a kid cake. I offer a huge thank you to Alton Brown for this fantastic cake adventure today. Now, I'm tired. And full.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Cake Event

So I promised pictures. Here is the picture of the cake/cupcakes she asked me to make.


I know right? The cutest ever. The quality of the photos I have is crappy. But...whatdyado? I would have asked my super awesome really good at taking photos Landee to help me out, but she already had her hands full with soccer games/football games/and normal Saturday madness. Next one tho? Please? Anyway .......

The full tower. What you don't see are the cheerios I used underneath the hippos and elephant to elevate the cupcake a little forward. Looked much better.

The zebra. I waited until absolute last to make this little guy. He terrified me. He took nearly and hour to complete. And see that stripe behind him with the zebra stripes on it? That took quite a long time too. I picked off teensy little pieces of brown fondant, rolled them in my hand and then pressed them onto the strip before using a little knife to cut the top and bottoms off to make them level. I'm sad to say that I used two different frostings too. You can tell the difference in the photo. One is a decorator frosting, less shiny. The other is a yummy frosting from the store that I colored and piped on.


The happy parents who threw the most awesome 1st birthday party any little girl has ever had. Hooray! She said everyone loved the cupcakes. It was by no means a perfect execution. But I think for what she paid me, it turned out pretty darn good.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Cake Adventure

This Saturday I will be delivering the first cake I've evereverever been paid to make. Needless to say I'm super nervous and super excited and absolutely desperate that it all happen without incident. I want to show you pics of what I've been asked to make, but I'm going to wait until I can post a pic of the original followed by a pic of my attempt. It involves a combination of cupcakes, a small cake, fondant, frosting, tricky color copying and zoo animals. Namely two hippos, a giraffe, a zebra, a monkey and an elephant. When I agreed to do it I was really nervous that I was so absolutely in over my head. I promised that I wouldn't give her a ridiculous attempt; that it would be as close to perfect as I can get it. This is where I have to give credit to Cake Wrecks. If you haven't checked this website out - do! Not only is she very very funny, the pictures of the professional cakes that bakeries send out are unbelievable. Based on the stuff that I see on her site, I'm almost convinced I could have a successful cake business. I don't want to get thrown into something overwhelming or too time consuming. But I hope that once a month or every couple of months I'll get an opportunity to make something for someone. There's a chance I will be making some roses and butterflies for a friend next month. Hooray!! And I'm responsible for the treats at our upcoming YW in Excellence in November.

A little sidenote? Today I started the baking. I added a box of instant pudding to the cake mix along with an extra egg. I also followed the high altitude instructions, adding two tablespoons of flour, and extra tablespoon of water and an extra tablespoon of oil. It took forever to bake, but came out gorgeous. And then I realized that I'd used the required 1 1/3 cups water but duplicated that measurement for the oil. There was only supposed to be 1/3 cup of oil. I put in 1 1/3 cups, plus one tablespoon!!! What in the world??

What happened? Oh my heavens! What a mistake - producing the most moist cake ever. Ever. I can't wait to frost and eat one of the extra cupcakes.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fall

I love fall. Absolutely adore fall. My two favorite seasons are fall and spring. Probably because they are transitional, and because their temperatures are so comfortable. Not too hot, not too cold. A happy somewhere in between 60 and 75 is the best. Probably also because I was born in the fall. And because fall represented the beginning of a new school year, spring the long-anticipated end of the school year.

Aaaaaanyway.....I decorate a lot easier for fall. The decor items sitting around for every day are pretty lame. But you give me some pumpkins and some fall leaves and I'm in heaven. My house is already painted in a lot of fall-ish colors (ferduh). I have a chocolate wall, taupe, dark green and a warm cranberry red. Fall colors are awesome. Browns, greens, warm oranges, eggplant. Other things I love? Cinnamon, caramel apples, chili, tomato curry soup - suede, scarves and sweaters. You're smiling just a little bit now, aren't you? Nevermind if it's because you think I'm weird. In fact, fall has such an effect on me that you'd be shocked to know I was actually scrubbing off individual fake raspberries/blackberries with an old tooth brush because they were really dusty. I love the way they look with my fall stuff. I put them on the back of my piano in an old brick red pitcher, next to some gorgeous orange pumpkins. Sassy dropped my green porcelain pear this morning and it broke into about 50 pieces. I was grouchy about that. I loved that pretty little pear. Hmmph. I suppose I better scoooch on over to the 'hobby' place and have a looksie. You know....just in case.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dragonfly

Dragonflies are awesome. Did you know they begin their life under-water? They can live underwater anywhere from 1-3 years before they ever emerge and begin to fly? I just think that's very, very cool. Plus they're fun to watch. Plus they eat bugs like mosquitoes.

Do you remember that part on You've Got Mail when she says in one of her emails to Joe that she saw a butterfly on the subway? She watched it get on and then get off and suspected it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat - 'which will end up to be a mistake, as all hats are.' Love that movie.

Today I saw a dragonfly as I was sitting in my car at an intersection. The cars began to drive through and in the right-hand lane, directly in front of me, he flew right across the street as if he were following traffic. All the way across in a straight line. It made me smile.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mom in a Poem

Tomorrow is my birthday. Tonight my 10 yr old Link gave me a birthday poem.

"Mom makes awesome food,
She loves me, George and Sassy!
She has a boy in football
She has a girl in ballet
And another boy who just isn't interested.

YOU ARE THE BEST MOM EVER!"

Electronics

How much time a day do I spend on some sort of electronic device? My husband says my iPhone is always 'glued' to me. That doesn't mean I'm always looking at it. I do pat my right back pocket about 5 million times a day, just to be sure it's still in there. I feel disconnected if I have to leave it in my purse or my car. I check my email often. Facebook. Reader. Various games. I have reminders on my phone for gymnastics, ballet, piano, football practices 1, 2, and 3, football games on Saturdays, YW activities, scouts, and preschool. Among those regularly occurring events I have interspersed irregular activities, like the dentist and stuff. Let me tell you, I would miss or be late for most of those if I didn't have my phone dinging at me an hour beforehand and showing me why I have to get ready. But then there is my iPad, which for now is used mostly for reading, gaming, facebook and recreational purposes. I haven't entirely slid over to using it for documentation, blogging, and whatever else. My husband's iPad has become indispensable for him at work. He's discovered how to integrate it in amazing ways. Moving on, I have an iPod and a shuffle. We have three cordless phones and one stationary. Two computers, one laptop, a small camera, a bigger camera (the cameras I don't use very often simply because I don't know how) a printer/fax/scanner combo, several tvs and what else? A few cordless keyboards, a couple of cordless mouses, a couple of external hard drives. I even have a digital thermometer for cooking.

I was just wondering how often I find myself searching the house for a charger. How much time do I spend monitoring my devices, keeping and eye on their charge, cleaning the screen, updating, downloading, rebooting, syncing. Or perhaps even searching for a cordless phone because my cell needs to charge and I have to make a call. Or because the person I want to make contact with doesn't text (grrrrrrrrr) and I have to actually call them on the phone. Or because I need to talk on the phone while I'm doing something else, but my iPhone is too skinny and slippery to hold it between my shoulder and my ear. I have experienced the slip and fall on that deal - right into the toilet. A very sad day. I have a thought about something and automatically gravitate toward the computer/iPad/iPhone to look it up on Google. I can find nearly everything I need to know right there. Google it. CeeCee Wilkes would have saved herself a lot of heartache if she'd been able to just Google a couple of things before she got in the mess she did. I might have saved myself a few messes too, if I could have Googled in high school. Can you imagine?

Things are easier, and so much more complicated. Either way, I would never give up all of my devices for less complicated. I like having so much access to information and groovy new things. I love the App store, iTunes, Amazon Kindle books, iBooks, Google images, blogspot, weatherbug, my scriptures app, my banking app, TEXTING!!!!!YAY!, Words with Friends, Facetime, my calculator, Convertbot, the Chipotle app (oh yeah), Shazam, Flixster, and even....yes even clicking my phone on in the middle of the night and using it as a flashlight while I walk up the stairs in the dark or search for chapstick in the middle of the night. I'll admit I've even propped my phone under my chin to shed light on a book I'm reading in the middle of the night. It works. It doesn't wake up my husband and I can get in a good few chapters on the nights when I can't sleep.

So maybe my phone is almost always glued to me. If you call and I don't answer, it's probably because I'm in the middle of something. Rarely because I didn't have my phone nearby. How much time on my electronics. A lot. A lot of time.

Finally!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

UV protected windows???

What hides under the couch

Wwwwater.

I have issues with water. First because if I'm not thinking about it I can go entire days without a single sip. I'm one of those people who walks around borderline dehydrated, self-imposed of course, most of the time. ::considering my headaches...hmmmmmmmm:: Diet Coke with lime is fantastic, but I do realize that it's not a sufficient source of hydration. Hard to believe for how often it makes me have to go. ::winky guy::

Aaaanyway - my purpose for a post on water is because me and honey were having a discussion about water and he was picking on me. I like to have a big drink after I brush my teeth at night before I go to bed. But I'm particular about which water I will do that with. For instance, there is a stark difference between kitchen water and bathroom water. Bathroom water tastes funny. So when we were headed to bed and I had forgotten to bring up a glass of water from downstairs, he was trying to convince me that the water in our bathroom is perfectly fine. No. No it's not.

Where did this all start, I wonder. I used to hate drinking water from the bathroom in the teeny little paper cups when I was a kid. It tasted different and I knew it wasn't my imagination. So bathroom water became designated for teeth brushing and washing only.

There was a time when I was about 19, living in some cruddy apartment in capitol hill Denver...a time that helped me develop my massive allergy to cockroaches (mull that over for a few minutes and get back to me). The water would come out of the tap cloudy. I would try to tell myself - it's just bubbles. Lots and lots of teeny tiny bubbles. But when the water was still cloudy after sitting in the glass for some time, I'd be left to face the truth. Not bubbles. Gross. That's what it was. Gross. And so I promptly began drinking bottled water. I'd buy it in this 5 gallon jug thingy with a built in pour spout and just stick it in the fridge. Then, when I wanted a drink - I would get it from there. Not the stinky, cloudy, gross tap. Ew. Oh and a side note to bottled water; it all tastes different from each other too. Unsurprisingly, there are some I will drink and some I won't. This makes trips to my in-laws a little more difficult because I cannot drink their tap water or the bottled water they buy. So, Honey is very accommodating and will taking me to the Wawa to get the stuff I like. Isn't he sweet?

And so my water discrimination lives on. I am pleased to say that there is a built-in filter to the water spout in the fridge. And it comes out really cold. If I were dying, or whatever, I could - with a lot of psychological effort - drink out of the kitchen tap. I have neighbors who do it all the time. They're not dead. I think they might even like it. But from the bathroom? I couldn't. Ok I could if the world were coming to an end and I looked like one of those dehydrated doods on I Shouldn't Be Alive. I could drink bathroom water then. But here in my extraordinarily blessed life, I am just picky enough that when I want a drink of water it needs to come from the right place.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mother Goose

You've seen them before, right? The mother goose with her fluffy little babies waddling along behind her. She must be headed somewhere. Or is it just an exercise in following? Cause really, what do geese have to do? Eat, fly, migrate, make more geese. What's my point, you ask? Just that sometimes when I'm herding my kids through a parking lot I feel like a mama goose. I have these smaller versions of people tagging along behind me. Today, we barely missed a car backing out of a parking spot who wasn't paying attention. And what do we have to do? Making dinner, running around, football-preschool-teacher meetings-school pictures, and...no. Not making any more. This little gaggle is plenty for me.

Friday, September 3, 2010

T is for Toilet Paper

Awww man. Out again? Every time I need to come in here and use the bathroom, the stupid roll is empty and nobody ever replaces it. Dang it! There aren't any extra rolls in the basket either? There were three whole rolls here a couple of days ago! Who is using all of this toilet paper anyway???

This is the internal dialog I had with myself this afternoon. Does anyone, and I mean anyone, run to the bathroom the very first time they feel the need? Or do you wait until your body has already told you 500 times? Which means that when I finally decide to go, it's time. It. Is. Time. I love that empty roll with the little shreds of paper hanging off. I love that my powder room has a toilet and a pedestal sink and NO where to store anything. So, I've resorted to a little basket nearby for storing toilet paper and how on earth is it that we go through approximately 1 roll of paper per day? How? I don't really have to have a family meeting to discuss toilet paper usage, do I? There are 5 people in our family. One of which, I'm pretty sure, uses little to none. One who makes a wad about the size of a baseball every time. Another that I can hear - through the door - pulling paper off the roll. "thududududududud." "Thududududududududud." "Thudududududududud." Holy crap, I'm thinking. What kind of a mess are you cleaning up in there anyway??? Nevermind. Those two are probably the bulk of our TP users and I probably just answered my own question.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oh yeah....the Blog!!

I have a blog!?!? Uh...hi! Been a while, huh? So sorry.

Why is re-entry always so hard? I just spent 3 nights away. By myself. All alone. And 10 minutes after I got home, Honey left for his FFL draft and I was left with the chaos. And why is it chaos? Does it have to be? I'm bringing my stuff in and unpacking and letting the kids run around outside. I'm taking a shower and telling the boys to start getting ready for bed when one of them mentions their homework. WHA???? You haven't done your homework??? I got home at 6:30. Nobody told me they didn't do their homework and I'm letting them screw around. You must understand that after a certain period of time, my boys' brains cease functioning in the evening and I won't be able to get any decent homework out of them.

Honey was awesome while I was gone and shampooed some of the carpets. They look fantastic! On the flipside, the loft looks like Sassy threw a slumber party for all of her dolls and every blanket she could find. And can I just say - after my politically correct disclaimer that yes. Board games are an awesome way to spend time with your kids. To teach them things and stuff. Right? Yes. I agree. But despite all of that garbage - I. hate. board. games. Hate them! My kids are constantly getting them out of the closet, scattering the pieces, breaking the boxes, losing parts and never putting them away. Sassy's room is not only littered with the usual nonsense, but it also has the Operation game scattered from one end to the other. I hate board games. If it weren't for the fact that they are supposed to be so awesome, I'd get rid of all of them. Heave ho and goodbye. They're like....making real, from scratch, cookies with your kids. How often does that happen??

I don't mean to sound so snooty. I did spend almost the entire weekend alone. I adore being alone. I went to bed when I felt like it, which ranged anywhere from 9:30 to 2:30. I slept until my body decided to wake up. I took a nap in the afternoon. I ate when my body decided it was hungry. Breakfast was at 11. Dinner at 9:00. I took a ton of snacks with me and hardly ate any of them. I know - weird, right? I had some sewing to do, which I loved. I left it in the same place the entire weekend and nobody moved it or messed around with it or silently implied that it might be in the way. I watched 8 freaking movies. Yes. 8. What's that? Oh, sure. Here they are:

Pride and Prejudice
Date Night
Remember Me
Under the Tuscan Sun
Julie and Julia
Sense and Sensibility
You've Got Mail
The Holiday

By far, my favorite of the weekend was Julie and Julia. LOVED it! Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Under the Tuscan Sun and You've Got Mail are the ones I watch everytime I'm at the cabin alone. I adore those movies. The one I need to buy and donate to the cabin is French Kiss. I really like that one too. All I'm going to say about Remember Me is WHY????? Why was that movie made? Landee will occasionally point out that there are some stories or things that have NO point. What is the purpose of that movie? It ticked me off. After the end, I couldn't figure out why I'd spend and hour and a half leading up to it to be lead off the edge of a cliff. What the heck just happened??

It was rather quiet at the cabin, I must say. It helps that there isn't any phone, no cell service, no internet and no cable. The animals were scarce. Until the last day, of course. Then there were squirrels and chipmunks everywhere, birds and a deer and a big huge young male moose. He not only spent a long time grazing and licking the salt block, but squatted and pee'd the longest pee I've ever seen in my life. This may have had an impact on me because it was at 9:00 this morning and he was right next to the bathroom and I had to wait until he left so I could use the bathroom. And he stood there and pee'd. Do you think I want some big 'ol moose charging me? No sir. I just patiently waited until he was finally gone.

You'd be proud of me. This time I actually walked to the bathroom (which is an outhouse about 30 ft from the cabin) by myself after dark. Even at 1:00 in the morning. I may or may not have spent a great deal of time on the porch scanning the woods with my flashlight before I finally felt reassured, sort of, that I'd make it there and back safely. And I promise it wasn't like the SpongeBob when he has to take the trash out at night and runs with it over his head screaming the entire way. It wasn't like that. Outwardly. I even went out there after dark twice. Two whole times.

I got to see two of my sisters and my parents. Brief but nice. I think I'll be doing this alone weekend again next summer. Next time I'll take some pictures. I didn't take a single one. Nothing. "Just noooo more 3 by 5's......" Do you know that song?? I'll give you a brownie button if you can tell me who sings it.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm a Nature Lover

This is a Tree Swallow.
About 6 years ago, my Dad made me a bird house out of old fence wood from my grandpa's farm. Then about 4 years ago we had a pair of these gorgeous Tree Swallows move in, have their babies and move out. They've come back every year since. I love watching them. They spend several days in and out just checking the place out. Then they start going back and forth with dry grass and feathers they find other places. It takes them about two weeks to get all of that done.

I can always tell when they have eggs in the nest because they start switching places in the house. One comes in and the other leaves to go eat. They trade places like this for about two more weeks. The baby birds hatch and the parents spend all day bringing them bugs. Once in a while, I get a chance to peek in and there are 4 babies this year.

This is what we saw going on about 3 days ago.

That little guy kept sticking his little head up. His eyes weren't open yet and his little neck seemed kinda wobbly. Link and I parked our camp chairs in the grass and just watched him. Funny, but he reminds me of the little bird from the book Are You My Mother (one of my absolute favorites). Remember that??



Today, I took a few more pictures. It's so dang hot and the house just sits in the sun all afternoon. I don't know how those little birds don't cook to death in there.



Their eyes are open now and they sit and watch the sky for one of their parents to come back.


With bugs.

And then the mama posed for me a second. Actually, I think she was checking me out, trying to decide if she needed to be worried or not.



I don't think she was.


Isn't she cute?? The dad is a little more shy and doesn't hang around long. But she will go in and feed them and mess around for a little while before she leaves. This whole process seems so quick. One of these days, very early in the morning, these little birds will just fly off and then the house will be empty. We've never seen them leave. Only woken up to find the place deserted. Amazing they can hop out for the first time and just be able to fly.

I Loved It



I loved it. I LOVED it.

I. Loved. It.

I didn't expect to feel the same way after this movie that I did after New Moon.
But I do.
And I have to see it again.

Anyone??

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Vacay

Today starts the planning for our only summer vacation. It seems odd to me that we are only going on one family trip this summer. Usually there's at least another. But we've decided to postpone our visit to NJ until October. I guess cause Honey has been gone so much. I might walk out the door when he gets home from India and be gone for a couple of days. Ummmm....no. Can't do that. Anyway - the main purpose for this post was to share with you the hard work and dedication that comes with our trip to the cabin in WY. Here is some stuff about the last time we were there.

Darn it if I can't find a single picture of the front of the cabin. It's mind-boggling. I've been there a million times.

So I asked my mom. She says the cabin was built in 1943. I believe her dad and her grandpa built it together. We went there a lot when I was a kid. I loved it when all of a sudden in the summer, my mom would say - let's just go to the cabin this weekend. And we'd pack up and leave in the evening and get there just before dark.

The cabin has a lot of niceties, but it's still rustic. For instance, it has carpet and electricity. Running water, a tv, and heat. The rustic comes from; no cable, no internet, no phone. The water runs, but it comes from the creek behind the cabin and you can't drink it. Giardia. The toilet is an outhouse about 20 feet from the cabin. Wait!! Before you make some face over the outhouse, I'll just tell you it is the cleanest, best smelling outhouse EVER. Seriously. In fact, I'm just gonna get a picture of the thing for you this year and I'll be posting that later. ::grin::

We share this cabin between three families. They branch from my mom and her two sisters. Collectively there were 12 grandchildren and we are all grown up and mostly married with children. So my mom keeps the calendar and we have to call her and schedule our time to stay. The rule is that you only get to take up one weekend per visit. We usually leave here on a weekend and come home at the end of the week, but this year, we're leaving on a Monday and coming home on a Monday.

Geez...how am I talking so much? I haven't even told you what I have to do for this trip yet. My mom lives only 45 minutes from the cabin, so it's not too much trouble for her to take care of laundry and get it back to the cabin. However, she doesn't want to do it for everyone who stays there. Can you blame her?? So, we take our own towels and sheets. Aside from a few staples in the cupboards, the kitchen is always kept bare. Nobody wants stinky old yucky stuff in the fridge or ants in the kitchen. So, I have to pack every single food item, including water. Then, I have to plan and pack for myself and the three kids. Honey takes care of any camping supplies we decide to take up, the ATV and his clothes.

Every year I get out a sheet of paper and I write down the days we're going to be there. I plan three meals per day. Then I have to break down every meal into ingredients and build my grocery list from that. For example, if we're going to have Landee's awesomefantasticamazing German Pancakes for breakfast, I would mix up the dry ingredients at home and put them in a ziploc bag, then I have to make sure I have the eggs, milk, butter and syrup. So, like camping. Except that we drive 8 1/2 hours to get there. We generally only get to go once a year. Probably good though because it's SO much work.


Remember that Spongebob Episode where he's supposed to write an essay about what not to do at a stop light? And he spends ALL night coming up with other things to do so he won't have to work on it?? I guess that's what I'm doing right now. I need three more dinner ideas and I'm drawing a total blank. I guess I thought if I did this, they would come it me in the process. Not so lucky. Dang!

P.S. I hope you all are planning on going to the movie Tuesday night. Whoooohoooooo! Eclipse better be good. It just better.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Titanium

I’m getting old. Yes. I am. I’m still 5 years younger than Honey. (sorry Honey) And still not in my 40’s. I shouldn’t be complaining, I know.

I’ve always had 20/20 vision. Always been kind of happy about that. All of a sudden this year I learn that I need bifocals. Bifocals????? I foolishly went for two different pairs of glasses instead and now I regret it. I should have just swallowed my pride and accepted my fate. Now I have to wait until the insurance swings back around before I can get a new set of frames.
The other thing that tells me I’m old is my shoulder. Although, to be fair to myself, it’s my shoulder that’s old. I broke it when I was twelve. Flew off the front of my bike racing down a hill, landed on my face, slid for who knows how far, rolled over and snapped the ball of my shoulder in half. Also messed up my growth plate, so if you spend a few seconds and really look at me, you’ll see that clearly my left arm is shorter than my right. Plus, the bone healed kind of rotated a little off and…well – it’s lame. I remember my grandfather telling me at the time that it would never be the same. He was very, very right.

It actually seemed like not a big deal until the year I turned 30. All of a sudden, it was like something snapped and I was in pain all the time. I lost about 75% of my mobility. My regular dr sent me to physical therapy.

(I learned some interesting things there, btw. For instance, she thought I was a swimmer because my shoulders are broad, but I’m not. And the reason is because my ligaments are naturally really loose, and my muscles have to make up for that. Thus, bigger muscles in my shoulders to essentially hold my arms together. Groovy, huh?)


Anyway, after several weeks of therapy and getting worse instead of better, I went to an orthopedic surgeon and had an MRI. Apparently, I had several bone spurs, a torn labrum (the thing that professional pitchers tear) and very little cartilage left in my shoulder. The ball of my shoulder is shaped more like an egg, instead of being nice and round. He shaved off the bone spurs, repaired the tear and tried to fix it up as best he could. He gave me 8-10 years before needing a full shoulder (ball and socket) replacement, but said I’d be very lucky to make it to 8. Titanium body parts! Awesome!!! He also told me it would take several years for me to completely heal and recover from that surgery. He was right. I spent approximately 7? weeks in physical therapy, which was just voluntary torture. After that, I did stuff on my own at home and over about 4 years I noticed very slow and gradual improvements. I went from >25% mobility to about 80%. I can finally lift my left arm up above my head and get something off the shelf (as long as it only weighs a few ounces) and I don’t have to use my right arm to help it back down afterwards.

Anyway, everything seemed pretty stable, but a few months ago, I noticed it starting to kind of hurt. Sometimes for a couple of days. Sometimes for a full week. More recently, I’ll be totally fine and reach for something and get a big zing. Today, I folded a towel and tossed it up to hang it over the top of the shower door and ‘wham’. It really stinks. And now, I’m very sore. It hurts to just sit here and type. Dang it!!!

I’ve read about shoulder replacements. We want to wait as long as possible because they’re only good for about 10 years. But if we wait too long, and I lose a bunch of mobility before the surgery, I won’t restore that mobility afterwards. They do a large incision across the front of the shoulder, cut off the bone partway down and drill into it to place in a new top with a ball. I don’t really know how they replace the socket. I’m not very excited to find out. The fun part is that I’ll get to carry some cool thing when I go to airports so they don’t freak out when I set off all of the alarms going through security. The part I dread is the pain. Pain from the surgery. Pain through recovery. More than anything I dread physical therapy. It’s bad you guys. Bad! Plus I have fun memories from the first surgery, like waking up partway through and hearing him working. I even asked him questions about what he was doing. They very quietly shuffled around and knocked me out again. When I got home, I was very sick to my stomach and couldn’t keep anything down. So, I had no pain meds in my system. The block they’d put on my shoulder started wearing off and it felt like a combination of superduperbad pins and needles combined with a really intense burning pain all the way down my arm. I felt like all I could see was red and orange and red. I think I even told Honey several times that it was all red. Pain like a 25 on a scale of 1-10. The pain only made my nausea worse. Eventually, I was able to take something, and after too many hours I finally got it mostly under control.

Gosh, I’m excited. I’m old. My dr told me my shoulder is like 80, even though the rest of my body is in it’s mid-thirties. So, before long, I’ll have a titanium shoulder to match my bifocals and who knows what after that! Maybe cataracts. Maybe arthritis. How did this happen? My brain still thinks I’m like 25.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fun at the Pool

George isn’t the best swimmer. He can dog paddle and stuff, but he still needs a lesson or two. We keep an extra eye on him. Yesterday we decided to try out a different pool. George wanted to go off the diving board, but was too afraid to do it without his noodle. He waited in line, got up there, and the lifeguard told him no. I was close enough to watch, but far enough away that I couldn’t hear anything. I saw George pull out some fast tears and wipe at his eyes. He said something to the lifeguard about not wanting to go without it. Then, like something snapped, he spun around, tossed the noodle off the end of the diving board and ran off the end into the water before anyone could say anything to him. Honey went over to get after George and apologize to the lifeguard.

George then moved to the slide. He’d already been down it about 10 times. Luckily, the pool depth at the bottom was shallow enough for him. However, I looked up to see him stomping away from the slide. He’s crying, wiping his eyes, lifting his swim shirt to wipe his face off. And best of all, he’s muttering to himself. I’m thinking, ‘Oh great. Now what?’

Me: “What’s the problem now?”
George: (still crying) “They won’t let me go off the diving board and they won’t let me go down the slide!”
Me: “They won’t let you go down the slide?? Why??
George: “Because of my shirt.”
Me: “Well then…take your shirt off.”
George: (crying immediately ceases and he looks at me with wide eyes) “Won’t chlorine kill you?”
Me: (trying not to laugh) “George……….it’s all over your arms and your legs. It’s not going to kill you.”
George: “But won’t it burn me?”
Me: “No, George. It won’t.”
George: (bursting into a fresh set of tears) “Link is always lying to me!!!!”
Me: (realizing in it’s pure form, chlorine probably would burn you) “If it were sitting here all by itself and you touched it or something, it probably would hurt your skin. But they take a teeny bit of chlorine and put it in all of this water and it won’t hurt you. Okay?”
George: “Okay.”
Me: “Take off your dang shirt and go down the slide.”

George bravely peeled the shirt off and went down the slide. At the bottom, he stood up, shot both fists into the air in a big ‘y’ and yelled, “Woooohooooooooooo!!!!”

How did I not know that every time we went to the pool, my kid thought the chlorine was going to kill him? He never acted afraid. I guess he thought his swim shirt would save him. The liberation on his face after that slide though, was fantastic.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"You Owe Me BIG......"

We just came off Memorial Day Weekend. All I can think is that it's lame we still have 4 days of school after that. Lame. Honey was gone to NJ for the weekend. I was basically on vacation. We neglected the dishes, we played lot's of Wii, ate Sonic outside in the sunshine for lunch, played in the street with the neighbors, stayed up way too late. We had a swarm of honey bees move into the backyard. The boys got a rash all over their faces and Link got sick in the middle of the night and stayed home from school yesterday. So you can imagine how thrilled I was this morning, as I'm getting ready to run to the airport to pick up Honey, when the phone rings and it's Link from the school.

"Mom. I forgot my invention."
"What??"
"I forgot my invention."
"When is it due?"
"Today."
"What?? ::long pause:: When is the convention?"
"In about 10 minutes. At 8:40."
"What??? Where is it?"
"I think it's under my bed."


This is where I cut away from our lame conversation to tell you that now I'm walking up the stairs holding the phone, to look under Link's bed.

"It's not even put together Link. There are a couple of things here, but I don't see the pulley or anything. Where is that?"
"I don't know."
"What do you want me to do?"
"I don't know. ::very long pause:: I guess I'll have to tell Mr. C that I don't have it."


:: major mom-failed guilt ::

So we hang up and I start digging around in the lego box. After a lot of searching, I finally have his invention put back together, functional and by 9:00 we're headed out the door.

Link's invention is a ramp that runs along the stairs to our back yard with a little cart on it. The cart is attached to a pulley. The point of the cart is so our dogs can go up and down without having to use the stairs because they're old and their little extra long old lady backs can't handle it as well as they used to.

Anyway, I ran his little contraption over to the school and while all the other kids are in the classroom showing off their conventions, Link is sitting in the hall alone, retaking some math test. I gave him his invention and said one thing.

"You owe me Big!"

How does this happen? Where do you draw the line? He had two or three weeks to work on this thing. Is it my fault because I forgot about it and forgot to remind him? Is it his fault because he forgot about it and his mom never reminded him? Is it his Dad's fault because he's the engineer in the family and I was really really really hoping he would entirely take care of it? Sadly, I see Link's interest in getting good grades the way I was when I was his age. I went to school because I had to. I did the work cause they told me to. I didn't care less what the work looked like, or what my grades were. I just did not care. Heaven help me if he's exactly like that. Heaven help his father, because his father was NEVER like that.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Things I Love and Don't about Summer

Things I Love
  • Longer days
  • Heat during the day and cool refreshing breezes at night (not humid here in CO you guys...perfect)
  • Thunderstorms
  • Fresh air and open windows - the sound of crickets and my wind chimes when I'm falling asleep
  • The smells of flowers, plants and barbecues in the air
  • Digging in the dirt, planting flowers, and watching them grow
  • Hanging out with neighbors outside
  • Kids outside most of the day and constantly busy playing
  • Popsicles and ice cream
  • Plenty of Vitamin D
  • Staying up later, sleeping later
  • Not having to worry about the kids' school
  • Summer trips
  • Birds - like the Tree Swallows nesting in my bird house, the Goldfinches that come and go and the Pinyon Jay I saw this morning
  • Fun insects - like lady bugs, cool non-threatening spiders, butterflies, dragonflies...
Things I Don't
  • Too hot to play outside or to leave the windows open. And - the air conditioner cranking way up in the evening when I don't want to be cooled off anymore. Dumb.
  • Buying, thinking about and applying sunscreen.
  • Bees. Especially the huge swarm that's moved into a crevice in my deck right outside my back door.
  • Lack of schedule or structure because there's no school
  • Packing for and cleaning up after summer trips
  • Not so fun insects - like bees, yucky spiders, earwigs and slugs
  • Kids super dirty every single night when it's time for bed
  • Going to the pool
  • Honey doesn't get a summer break from work
  • Doggy allergies - I mean, the allergic reactions my dogs suffer from various unknowns outside - fine one minute, covered in big itchy bumps the next. OR, my poor little dog that's limping right now because her foot got stung by one of those stinkin' bees

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Persuasive Letter

"Dear Mom and Dad

I would love a better life because I deserve it. If you give me a better life I will do what you say. We need to take care of some friends. We need to get rid of those friends. If we do that I will get a lot of thinking space. Keep an eye on George. Pleas look for George brining his DSI to bead. If we do that I will be ready and energized in the morning. Allowance should be higher. Could it be at least $10 for chores and babysitting? If we do that you wont have to spend a lot of money on toys for me. Cell phone calling Link's name. Could I pleas have an AT&T back flip? If I get one you can hear more problems more faster. I need some alone time. I would love one hour to my self. If we do that you will not have to deal with a lot of fights. I need a new room to sleep in. Could I sleep in the guest room? I have better sleep in the guest room than my room. Anyone who has a better life I want to join them to.

Sincerely,
Link"

Ooooooooookay............Want the Momdisclaimerexplanation? No really. You do want it. Trust me.
I guess this was an exercise they did for class. They were supposed to write a Persuasion Letter. Wow. He just laid it all out there didn't he?
  • I guess the first thing he needs is a better life - and then he'll do what I say?? If I had only known it was that easy.
  • I do NOT understand the friend thing. I asked him about it and his response made no sense. Just disregard.
  • The most helpful tip in the entire letter was that George is sneaking his DSI to bed. This is news to me. I'm gonna put the cabosh on that immediately.
  • Allowance should be higher? Very interesting. Especially since as parents, we are pitiful enough to not even have an established allowance. He should have said that allowance should exist. And why he's telling me that I won't have to spend a lot of money on toys is interesting too. I already don't. So, what's the need for changing now?
  • I read the "Cell phone calling Link's name." to him and asked him what that meant. He said that somewhere there is a back flip phone in an AT&T store calling his name. Ahhhh. Ok. He also claims it would be way easier for him to just text me on a Saturday morning than to walk up the stairs to knock on my bedroom door. How can you argue with that air-tight logic?
  • "I need some alone time." Hello?? I need some alone time. And what are these fights he speaks of? There's some normal sibling bickering that goes on, but there certainly aren't a lot of fights.
  • A new room, eh? A new room??? This is what I told him. We started in the room with George and he said he couldn't sleep so we moved him to the guest room and before long he couldn't sleep in there either. So we moved him back to the room with George, but before long, he couldn't sleep again, so we moved him back into the guest room and ... you guesssed it ... before long he couldn't sleep in there again. SO we moved him back to the room with George and now he's asking AGAIN to be moved? Sorry bubba. We just redecorated, painted, new bed, new bedding,. All new. No boys. NO boys will be sleeping in there and boogering up a new room. Tooooooo bad.
Tell me, y'all. What are your thoughts?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

Yesterday morning around 3 am, Sassy crawled into bed with me. At first I just moved over, too tired to care very much.
(But my bed and my sleeping time are very, very precious and I do not allow my children to just mozy in and out of my bedroom in the middle of the night. If Sassy shows up after 5:30 or so, I let her stay because she will go back to sleep. If I try to put her back to bed that early in the morning, she won't go back to sleep and be a tired disaster the rest of the day. But yesterday she showed up at 3:00 and that just will not do.)
I laid there wishing Honey would remove her from the bed for me, but he was breathing slow and steady and had no idea she was even there. Then I remembered it was Mother's Day and felt a little pang of dread. "Here we go." I thought. The one day I wish I could just not have to worry about it. So I crawled out of bed and carried Sassy back to her room. I managed to get back to sleep and before I knew it, Honey was kissing me good morning. He wished me a Happy Mother's Day and told me to stay in bed. No problem! A little bit later, he came into the room with homemade waffles, orange juice, bacon and sausage. I ate my breakfast in bed alone, and started watching Notting Hill on the iPad. It was lovely.

Finally, Honey told me that the kids were dying for me to come downstairs. The kids all had their homemade cards waiting. Sassy's was the handprints with the cute little poem that always makes me cry.

"Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls.
But everyday I'm growing up
And soon I'll be so tall
That all those little handprints
Will be so hard to recall.
So here's a special handprint
Just so that you can say
This is how my fingers looked
When I placed them here today."

::Collective 'Awwwwwwwww.'::
I gave Sassy a hug and told her that the first time I saw her, she looked at me and stuck her little bottom lip out and started to cry - and I could immediately see her sweet little dimples.


George gave me a big card that says:

"HAPPY
MOTH-
er's daY!"
from: COlin
to: mom

My Mom is Special because:
S-weet
P-erfect Personality
E-nergetic
C-ool
I-n a sweet home
A- fine temper
L-inked to me
I do not NOT know why he said perfect personality or energetic. I can only guess that he saw someone else write those words and copied.
I half-laughed when I read 'A fine temper.' But 'Linked to me' made me melt a little. SO cute.
Inside there were paper flowers with things listed that he'll do for me.

I'll go to your favorite resturaunt with the family
I'll do the dishes
I'll make the house peace and quiet (except he wrote the peace sign instead of the word)
I'll seprate the dishes.

I hugged George and told him that when he was a baby I couldn't stop kissing his little lips because they were so pudgy and soft.


Link drew me a picture of some flowers and wrote me a poem.

Mom is awsome for my life.
Mom makes my day marvoles.
Mom made my life posebile.
Mom makes me better at reading.
Mom makes me shine on Mothers Day.
Happy mothers DAY!

My favorite was that when I hugged Link, he really hugged me back tight and didn't try to get away. I told him when he was teeny, he had a patch of dark brown hair on top of his head that stuck straight up and that I LOVED it!


Honey gave me two dozen roses and a pretty card. We got ourselves ready for church and I went running in like a crazy person because I was sub-ing on the organ and got there a little later than I should have. Only had to play 2 1/2 hymns for prelude though. The primary kids sang two little Mother's Day songs, which is always adorable. Especially because my kids were all trying to make eye contact with me and grinning. In Relief Society we got cheesecake. Yum! After church, I had a big diet coke with lime and some popcorn. I laid down to read, but fell asleep and woke up to Brian grilling filets and a plate of fresh watermelon.

Honey told me he felt bad that he didn't get me more for Mother's Day this year, but the man just took me on a fab vacation and got me some very nice things on our trip - so I wasn't disappointed or even concerned about that. My kids were sweet. This was the first year I remember them really 'feeling' Mother's Day, instead of just going through motions because someone told them they should. I think that made all the difference in the world for Mother's Day this year. Mother's Day doesn't have to be perfect. Just the fact that everyone made the effort was so great. I love my kids and I love my husband for making me a mom. He says I had something to do with that too. I agreed. (duh)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Had a 'Moment' with Sassy (She's 4)



The Setting: Sassy's just gotten out of the tub, I'm drying her off and combing out her hair.

The Conversation:

Sassy: "You know what I want to be for our family?"
Me: "What?"
Sassy: "A sister!"
Me: "You are a sister already."
Sassy: "No! A BIG sister. Like Sophie has? Like Sophie has a big sister."
Me: (grinning and shaking my head. [in the other room, Honey says "Uh oh!"]) "Did you hear that?"
Honey: "Yes" (voice is low and apprehensive)
Sassy: "So I'm gonna grow that. Okay?"
Me: "And how are you going to do that?"
Sassy: "I'm going to sleep everyday. I'm gonna eat food everyday and sleep and that will make her appear."
Me: (grabbing a pencil) "Wait...how are you going to do that?"
Sassy: "I'm going to sleep everyday and eat food everyday and let my tummy get big and that will grow a sister." pause "Cause I want one." pause "In the future."
Me: (laughing a little and writing furiously so I can recap on my blog for you.) "So. Let me tell you something about that."
Sassy: "What?"
Me: "You can't grow a baby in your tummy until your big like mommy and you have a husband."
Sassy: "When I'm big like you? But you'll have to live in a different family."
Me: "Yes. I'll live in a different house. But you can't have a baby in your tummy unless you have a husband who can be the daddy."
Sassy: (shrugs, hands down at her sides and turned outwards, head tilted sideways and with a little eye roll...)

"If I find a husband."




Isn't this the cutiest cute thing you've ever heard in your whole life??

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cottonelle Use #3

When your Polly Pocket is grubby,


When your Snow White is tired,


And your Lemon Meringue is sleepy,


And because Strawberry Shortcake can't do anything without Lemon Meringue.


Ariel isn't used to being on legs for so long,


and Cinderella needs a nap.


And this poor Polly is stuck doing what everyone else has to do.


Cottonelle Wipes. Not just for bums. Not just for for the bathroom.