Thursday, July 29, 2004

Samuel and Sally in our hotel room, modeling the monkeys that Sally got from the zoo. On the one hand, I'm ashamed to say we bought her stuffed animals, since I'm strongly against any more stuffed animals entering our house. On the other hand, she wanted them all day long, and we waited until right before we left to get them. She wore them all night, slept with them, wore them the next day (their hands velcro around your neck), and hasn't really put them down for the entire week. So I'm glad they have brought such happiness to her life.

Isn't this a cute pic? We just finished breakfast. You'd never guess that Samuel only slept about six hours the night before.

The petting zoo, full of goats. I think this is the pregnant one.

Here we are on the upper level of the bus at the zoo. Don't you love Samuel's hat? :)

Here are the baby ducks we saw at the zoo. Sally fed them some popcorn - the mama duck actually ate right out of her hand!

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I think I might learn to FLY.

Yesterday I discovered the FLY lady.  She's an online coach to help you gain control of your house.  She's got some great ideas!  Do any of you out there FLY?  I think I might try.  I've already made my bed, dressed to the shoes, and just finished scrubbing my kitchen sink.  Yeah!  I also found this Homemakers Creed that I think is just great:

"I am accountable for creating a climate of love, peace, joy, beauty, abundance, health, and order in my home. I am raising responsible citizens of the United States of America. What do you do?" 
~ From SHEs In Touch (Sidetracked Home Executives)

I feel so empowered, so validated as a SAHM.  Thank you, FLY lady!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

What's the bloblem?

We seem to have a bloblem (that's blog problem, for you non-bloggers) with the right margin of the homepage here.  If you click on any of the other pages, the right margin is just fine.  Here on the home page, yikes.  Hopefully this will fix itself, because I'm pretty new to the blog world.  I type and post.  I'm not so good at the html and formatting stuff.  I'm still happy that I figured out to do the photos all by myself!  So please bear with me while this problem gets sorted out.  Thanks!!!

Quote for the Day

When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.

Monday, July 26, 2004

San Diego Zoo

Hi Bloggers!  Betcha you were wondering what happened to me!  Thursday night, our computer suffered a minor meltdown.  It's not fully restored yet, but my wonderful husband set up a computer for our daughter yesterday, so here I am!  We went to the San Diego Zoo on Friday and had a wonderful time.  Highlights were the baby ducks, the three elephants, the baby giraffe, and the pregnant goat at the petting zoo.  We spent a night at a hotel, which was great because Sally and I swam twice, and the restaurant was really good.  It was bad because Samuel is not a traveler.  Sure, he can handle the zoo - had a blast.  He's also great in a restaurant - for a one year old.  But the car - after about 30 minutes, he's had enough.  And he lets us know.  And if he's not in his bed in his room, he's not happy and he's not going to sleep all night.  And all you mom's out there know, if the baby doesn't sleep, Mom doesn't sleep.  Yep, good thing the breakfast buffet had great coffee and banana chocolate chip muffins.  After two cups and a muffin and a quick swim with Sally, I was better.  Course, I had a big nap that afternoon, and fell into bed at 9:00 pm!  Zoo pictures to come later :)

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Sally and Samuel at the mall. We went there for a playdate, to see the puppies, throw pennies in the fountain, and have lunch.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Our Bug Friend.

Our Bug Friend

We have a nice bug that has been hanging out in our rosebush.  He's a nice big green bug.  He likes the open roses, but we've seen him on the stems, too.  He's the exact same shade of green as the stems, which is why he likes to live there.  We say hi to him every day.  It's become one of our little rituals, along with hanging Samuel's little blanket on the side of the crib (he hands it to me, then stands up and holds his arms out for me to pick him up) and closing all the bedroom doors (to keep Samuel out).  The funny thing is, I find myself looking for our little bug friend even when the kids are staying with Dad.  I'll be going out to the car with a lightness in my step because I am by myself for a few errands, and I'll stop by the rosebush and look for him.  I've even started to touch his feelers and say, "Hi there, buddy."  What's this all about?  He's a bug!  I normally hate bugs!  Must be a summer thing - the late bedtimes, the lazy mornings, the bug friends.

Monday, July 19, 2004

That's one big beanbag. July, 2004. (, if you were wondering.)

Beanbag heaven. (Isn't that Raiders one a shame?) Sally has a small plastic toy hamster in her mouth (I don't know why). July, 2004.


Samuel is now officially a walker.  He can stand up by himself, and he can walk five or six steps without falling.  In a few weeks, we'll move him up to the next nursery level at church - from "Diaper Depot" to "Toddler Tracks" - for the steady walkers.  He's making more noises - I can't really say he's talking, but he thinks he is.  He says "DaDa" (of course) and "MaMa", and a word that sounds like "BobBob", but means SpongeBob (we haven't entirely corrupted him - I swear!).  Yesterday, I heard him say "cookie".  Nobody else heard, though, but I know what I heard.  He also talks on the play phone - "Hi Da!" - then hands it to me.  He eats everything.  He still loves fish crackers, but now his favorite is bananas.  He also really likes yogurt - I put them in the freezer.  Great for teething.  And speaking of teeth, his fourth one on the bottom is finally coming in.  He's still pushing the furniture around, and breaking out of the gate.  I've now decided it's not a containment system, but a determent system.  In other words, it only slows him down a little bit.  Last night, I was putting his pj's on, and I was singing a song.  He tried to sing along with me, bobbing his little head with the tune.  He's such a cutie.

Quote for the Day

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
~ William James

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Doesn't Taste Like A Mistake!

Here is a recipe that my mom makes all the time.  In fact, if you were to drop in on her unannounced, I'd bet you dollars to donuts that she'd have a batch in her freezer, ready to pop in the microwave any time.  Men especially love these, because they are mostly meat and cheese.  Great for football days!  I had quite a time finding the party rye loaves, though.  They are not in the bread isle, but in the deli area by the cheeses.  Also, I ran out of garlic powder, so I used onion powder, and they turned out great.  I read something online about someone putting pizza sauce in the meat mixture, which sounds pretty yummy to me.  Enjoy!
Polish Mistakes
1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. pork sausage
1 lb. Velveeta
1 Tbsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
3-4 loaves party rye
Brown the meats separately and drain well.  Mix meats and add cheese and other ingredients, melting over low heat (or in microwave).  Stir occasionally.  Spread on rye bread.  Bake at 325 for 4-5 minutes.  Can be frozen before baking and stored in freezer bags.  Bake for 8 minutes if frozen.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Stuart, Sally, and Samuel sitting on The Rock. ~ June, 2004

The Rock

We went to visit some of Stuart's family a few weeks ago, and he introduced Sally and Samuel to The Rock. The Rock is, as you would guess, a very large rock next to his aunt and uncle's house. As a child, Stuart spent many hours playing on the rock with his cousins. Even as an adult, the rock is very big - to a child, it must seem enormous. Sally was quite taken with it. I had to take a few pics, as it seemed a significant moment - showing your children a place that evoked such strong memories of childhood. It's like the smell of playdough, or the tang of vinegar when you color eggs before Easter. It's the feeling you get when you open a box of crayons - the big box with 64 colors - and you see all those perfectly formed crayons, full of possibility. It's when, at the end of August, all the school supplies go on sale, and suddenly you are eight or ten again, and your mom is buying your school supplies for the first day of school. The taste of bologna on Wonder bread. Coke from a glass bottle. Ahh, childhood.

Monday, July 12, 2004

No Cute Stories

I've been thinking all day what cute story I could tell, but there are none coming up to the surface. I've been fighting the Room War and the Electricity War. The Room War is against Sally. I admit it - I have standards that I expect a four year old to meet. I don't think they are unreasonable: dirty clothes in the hamper, books on the shelf, shoes in the shoe cubbies, everything else shoved in a box or drawer. I have concluded that the problem is too many things. So, today we took everything that is toy related out of her room. Only things that have a place will go back. I have three boxes of "stuff" in the living room, and several ziplocks: one with magnet letters and numbers, one with marbles and bouncy balls that are dubbed "choke-ables", one with pom-poms and jiggly eyes that have fallen off things (Sally has a real thing for items that I consider trash), one with halves of plastic eggs leftover from easter, one with fabric loops for the potholder loom, one with crayons, . . . you get the idea. I am considering going through the rest of the stuff after she is asleep. Honestly, she wouldn't miss it. And can you believe this: we found three matchbox cars! How they magically appeared among the dolls and barbie shoes and marbles is beyond me. The Electricity War is against Samuel. That kid is wearing me out. He loves anything with a cord. I just pulled the phone plug from our old answering machine out of his mouth. He also likes to unplug stuff and try to plug it in again. Cripes! And, since our floors are new, I've diligently put felt pads and super sliders under table legs, chair legs, etc. Now, he can push all of our furniture around by himself. He's also figured out how to manuever the gate. Now the only rooms we can safely shut have doors. He can't reach the handles. Yet. But never fear - I've already installed the child safety locking device on the doorknobs. I'm trying my darndest to stay one step ahead of this kid, but he is a challenge. I don't know how teaching 150 teenagers math was an easier day than keeping my two (two!) kids clean and fed, but it was.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

The best way to travel - asleep. Too bad we are in a store parking lot ten minutes from our house!

Here is Sally and Grandma Tina watching TV. Are they too cute? It's like Tina and MiniTina!

Friday, July 09, 2004

Here is Samuel celebrating his first birthday with the traditional cupcake everywhere. He smelled like frosting the next day. Yum!

We Don't Have Any Chickens

Almost two years ago, Sally and I had this conversation while I was making lunch.
"Mommy, I really like our chicken."
"Honey, we are having peanut butter and jelly for lunch."
"No, the chicken. I like our chicken."
"We don't have any chickens."
"The chicken."
"What chicken?"
"Mom." (sigh, eyeroll) "That's the bathroom." (gestures to bathroom) "That's the chicken." (gestures to kitchen)
"Ah, the KITCHEN."
"Yeah, the chicken!"
"Eat your sandwich."
Now that she's a little older, she can say both words, and she thinks this story is pretty funny. We even still joke about it - "Where are you?" "I'm in the chicken!" or "What's for dinner?" "Kitchen and rice!"

Another funny story along the same lines . . .
When I was in high school, my mom ran a daycare in our home. She had 5-6 kids under the age of four. One day, I was helping her out by giving little two-year old Kelly a snack.
"Kelly, what would you like for a snack?
"Oh, a cracker?"
"No. Tracket."
"Hmm. Apple?"
"No. Tracket."
(long pause) "Cookie?"
"No. Tracket."
(longer pause) "Cracker?"
"Graham Cracker?"
(by this time, I'm in the pantry, rattling off anything I've seen her eat)
"No. Tracket."
"Traaaaa-cket." (she said this really slowly, like I was younger than her and hopelessly dim)
"Yes! Tracket pudding!"
(banging my head against the wall)
My parents and I still call it "tracket" pudding, and they love to say it very slowly, like I am still too dim to figure out what they mean. Then we all have a good laugh.

Thursday, July 08, 2004


It finally happened. Yesterday, Sally and Samuel played hide and seek. He's one, so this game consists of Sally hiding, Samuel finding her, everyone giggling, and Sally running into the next room, Samuel hot on her heels, crawling as fast as he can. This is the first time they played together longer than five minutes. It was so great. I got things done. I could hear them laughing together, and I was in a different part of the house. They played together without me. As I type this, they are playing in a sort of house/firetruck/fort Sally made in the hallway. Everyone's door is closed except Samuels, and his room is toddler-proofed. They are very happy without me, which makes me very happy indeed. I know, soon enough, I'll be hearing the squeals of "MOM! He's in my stuff again!" and "Mom! She hit me!" and "Mom! He unrolled all the toilet paper!" Oh, wait. That last one was yesterday.

House Update

See our pretty new floors? The before pic is showing a lovely mix of vinyl tile and concrete slab, which was previously covered with carpet and ceramic tile. The after is much better. And yes, you see black couches - we have decided to go with a wood/black/chrome look, which my lovely husband is secretly SO HAPPY about because it is Raiders colors. (well, not the wood) He has wasted no time in ordering up a Raiders beanbag. I'm sure I'll be posting more pics so you can share in his happiness. (Samuel's room is next on my project agenda, and it will be blue and white, NOT silver and black.)

Before . . .


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Want your own quotes?

Several of my Quotes of the Day are from an organization called It's a free service, and they email you a different thought each day. I've enjoyed them quite a bit, since I'm an email junkie and I find myself checking my inbox several times a day.

Quote for the Day

The experience of life nearly always works towards the confirmation of faith - it is the total significance of life that it reveals God to man; and life only can do this; neither thought, nor demonstration, nor miracle, but only life, weaving its threads of daily toil and trial and joy into a pattern on which, at last, is inscribed the name of God.
- Theodore Munger

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

I finally have an hour to myself, so I decided to figure out how to put some photos here. Thank You, God - I got it on my first try! So you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! ("Is one of us supposed to be a dog in this scenario? Me? I'm the dog? I'm the dog!") So now, in addition to having to read cutsie stories about my kids, now you will be force fed cutsie pics of them, too. A big THANK YOU to my wonderful husband for my lovely birthday present - a digital camera that holds more pics than I know what to do with. Hey - now I know what to do with them! Enjoy :) (Bonus points for whoever gets the source of the quote first.)

This is one of my favorite pics of Sally and Samuel - May, 2004.

Here's Stuart and me and Samuel at Disneyland - March, 2004.

Here's a picture of me and Sally at Disneyland - March, 2004.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

A Book Review

I love quotes almost as much as I love books, so part of my blog has to be dedicated to sharing quotes and books that I love. This is one that my fellow blog buddy gave to me (Thanks, Sherry!): A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel. This is a delightful book - Ms. Kimmel's memoirs - and I laughed out loud. I then passed it around to my friends, who all loved it. My one friend tried not to finish it, because she loved it so much that she didn't want it to end. My favorite part is the story where young Zippy throws up some hastily chewed carrots and then stares at it. A close second is the part where a young Zippy gives two stoned hippies haircuts for some pocket money. And if you like this book, you must also read this one: Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas. (Thank you, Stephenee, for loaning me this book!) Also a laugh out loud choice. The best here is Firoozeh's Uncle's exercise equipment - the Body Shaper - that thing that attaches to a door handle and you attach it to your arms and legs. Did all families have someone who bought that thing? Mine did!!! Ok, turn off your computer and go read a book. That's an order!

Quote for the Day

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.
~ Isak Dinesen

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Peace With God

Last Thursday, our wonderful daughter, Sally, did a wonderful, wonderful thing. We were having lunch, not talking about anything in particular, when she looks at me and tells me, "Mom, I love believing in God." Wow! Such a profound thought from a young soul! But there's more - she went on to say, "I want to be at peace with God all the days of my life." WOW! It was one of those moments where time stopped for me, and I wanted to remember everything about those few minutes of conversation. In my heart, this will always be the day that Sally became a Christian. It felt like God had handed me a very small, very beautiful box that contained a rare and priceless gift, one that I got to see but could never own. But, oh, the joy that comes from seeing such a gift!

A Tribute To My MIL

Blessings at last - the floor is finished! Life can return to (somewhat) normal; the kids and I can move out of my bedroom (where we have been cooped up for a week); I took down the tent that graced the backyard (thanks, joy and dre, for the tent - it's wonderful); I can finally clean my room. In the midst of the craziness, I received a wonderful package from my mother-in-law - a big chocolate chip cookie with a smiley face on it. I was craving cookies, but even more than that, I've always secretly wanted a big cookie. Well, not really secretly, because I always tell my husband that I want a big cookie for my birthday. (I once had this great dream about eating a big cookie, that is now legend because when my husband woke me up, I tried to get back into the dream, and with my eyes closed I said, "Sssh, I'm eating a big cookie . . . " Which, of course, I wasn't, which he thought was hysterical, and now he LOVES to tell this story. In fact, most of our friends have heard it at least twice.) This was the first big cookie I have received. It was great. I have the greatest mother-in-law a girl could ever hope for, but would never dare to hope for because she would think her expectations are too high. She always sends me flowers and other thoughtful gifts. She gives great advice. She is fun to be with. I think she thinks I am really good enough to be married to her son, which I've heard almost never happens. (Now that I have my own son, I am starting to understand that one.) So listen up, you fellow bloggers, and you people I don't know but who are reading this out in blog land - my mother-in-law rules! She's the best! Thanks for the cookie!!!