Thursday, March 30, 2006

Three Things Thursday

(1) Why did it take so long for people to realize that pink and brown go great together? It seems like everything is in pink and browns these days! I guess pink and brown is the new pink and black.

(2) I've started watching the Barefoot Contessa. I don't know why it took me so long. She's great. Although, she always seems to wear the same shirt, in different colors. Why does this bother me? (new link for her on the side, if you've never heard of her. she has a cooking show, a line of cookbooks, and is now coming out with a line of food products.)

(3) I am waiting for my friend to come over. We are going to ignore our kids and play cribbage. :)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Divide and Conquer

I awoke this morning not to the two alarms that I set every night, not to a warm hug from my husband or my kids. No, I awoke to the sound of children fighting in the bathroom. At 6:05 am.

After peace was restored and coffee and smoothies were made, I got a shower and got dressed. Again, more fighting sounds. This time, she was helping him with his jacket, but he didn't want to be helped. NOO! Let me help you! NOO! STOP IT! YOU STOP IT! AHHHH! AHHHH!

I sent the participants into their corners and finished getting ready. Then I called them in for The Talk. You know the one: This must stop or your daddy and I will go crazy. We will send you until your rooms for longer and longer periods to preserve our sanity. Yadda yadda yadda.

On the way to school, I spoke with Sally. I attempted to appeal to her reason. You are older, therefore much much smarter. Use your smartness to your advantage. Out-think your brother. Some things, like your plastic gold coin (!!! $#@%*!!!), are not worth fighting about. Better to wait until I am awake and have had some coffee and ask me to help you get your coin back from your mean little brother who has taken it from you. Then he gets in trouble and you do not. See? He doesn't want to get in trouble alone, so he'll try and get you to fight with him so you both get in trouble. Don't let him play you like that!

She seemed to buy it.

After I dropped her off at school, it was Samuel's turn. I walked half way home, then stopped to have a chat with him. Something along the lines of Your sister loves you and Please let her help you and You need to use your words and not scream at six o'##$%&*clock in the morning. (Ok, not that last part.)

But alas, he was already asleep. At 8:00 am.

It's going to be a long day.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Art Not For The Kids

And just when I thought I had more reasons to hate Jessica Simpson more than Britney Spears, I find this news flash: some artist has created a nude statue of BritBrit giving birth, but it actually looks like she's doing something else, and this statue is actually called, are you ready for this?, Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston. (click link with caution!)

So. Many. Things. Wrong. Don't. Know. Where. To. Start.

But I'll start here: can you imagine this poor kid when his little elementary school friends get their hands on a picture of this?

And, after teaching in a public high school, I thought nothing could shock me anymore. Boy, I hate to be wrong.

Comments welcome.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Spiderman Pullups

Friday night. 5:00 pm. Samuel did a #2 in the potty. Very first time he's ever done that. There was clapping and celebration in the bathroom. Then we went out and bought the reward - a package of Spiderman Pullups. Now I am trying to take him to the bathroom with me, and encouraging him to keep his pullups dry.

It's a slow process. We'll be in this stage awhile.

Reminds me of Sally at this age. Some genius decided to put pictures of a cat playing with balls on the girls pullups - the pictures of the balls fade away when the girl pees in the pullup. Sally took one look and sadly announced, "Oh no, my balls are gone!" I wrote to the company and got a free package of pullups.

Samuel has spiders on his pullups. The incredible hulk ones have stars that fade. We are telling him that the spiders and the stars do not like peepee, and they go away when there is peepee in the pullup.

Someday, he'll be really mad at me that I'm writing about this on the internet.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Favorite Fotos Friday

I found these fun pastel sprinkles and wanted to make something with them. I decided on sugar cookies. Posted by Picasa

Thanks to my friend Stephenee, who suggested dipping the dough in the sprinkles, then placing it on the cookie sheet. It worked great! Posted by Picasa

Here's what they should look like before and after you flatten them with a glass dipped in sugar. Posted by Picasa

Yum. Posted by Picasa

Sugar Cookies

This is my mom's famous sugar cookie recipe. You do not roll them out - you form small balls and smush them into circles with a glass dipped in sugar. Tasty! The dough is very sticky and your hands are a mess, so get your glass and sugar and pans all ready before you start. They are done when the edges start to turn light light brown. Don't let the cookies set too long on the pan or they will harden and break when you remove them. Also, this recipe makes about 6 dozen cookies, so be prepaired! I make half a batch, or make a whole batch and give some away. My mom likes to put them in ziplock bags and store them in the freezer.

Sugar Cookies (no rolling pin)

1 cup butter
1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond (I usually omit this)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups flour (add a little more if the dough is very sticky, but it's supposed to be sticky!)

Mix all ingredients. Roll into small balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Three Things Thursday

(1) I have stopped doing the Grocery Game. After several months of shopping this way, I realize this: I am not disciplined enough to continue. I have about ten tubes of toothpaste in my linen closet, all costing me under $1. I will continue to buy them at such a deal. I found that I cannot turn down good deals, so I was buying things that I didn't really need. Also, it takes time to do the coupons. I am now going to try and shop at Sam's Club whenever possible, and now that it is starting to warm up, buy more fresh produce at the farmers market. We'll see.

(2) I still do the FlyLady thing, but nothing gets you to clean out your sink like a two year old who loves to do dishes. My kitchen is now super duper clean. I have to keep it this way or lose my sanity. I'm feeling a little psycho about my kitchen, to tell you the truth. I got the cleaning bug so bad on Monday that I threw away the day's mail!

(3) After years of trying to make an omlette, only to make scrambled eggs instead, I have finally made an omlette. It was a beautiful thing. Tasty, too. I think I am going to tackle pie crust next. My mom makes the best pie crust in the world, and my sister can make pie crust just like my mom. Somehow, I missed the pie crust gene. No matter - I can practice, right? I'll let you know.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Conversations with Samuel

(during a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches)
Me: "Do you want a napkin?"
Samuel: "No, I fine."
Me: "Please, let me get you a napkin."
Samuel: "I fine. I using my tongue."
Me: "I see . . . ."


(during dinner last night)
Samuel: "Mommy, you get gum you go potty?"
Me: "Yes. If you go in the potty, you can have some gum."
Samuel: "Oh." (long pause) "I need go peepee in potty."
Me: "Okay!" (someone cue the Halleluia Chorus, please!)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Support the Family!

Need some sports equipment? Want a great deal? Try my sister and brother-in-law's website, Ace Quality. They now have a great selection of Camelbak hydration backpacks and waistpacks. Go check them out. Their products are great and they take paypal. A backpack makes a great gift for the graduate, too - from high school or college. (Yes, this is planning early, but when those announcements start coming in the mail in six to eight weeks, you'll remember this great idea!)

Monday, March 20, 2006

SAHM Syndrome

As I was reading my friend's post on her recent thoughts on motherhood, it struck me anew that every mom feels this way from time to time, and every mom is shamed by her selfish feelings and need to be freed of her children. Also, that the Stay At Home Moms feel this more frequently simply because they have no outside postivie reinforcement of their worth to society. In a job, you have a boss, you have your co-workers, you have your paycheck . . . so many things to let you know that you are doing a great job. As a mommy, you have your kids. Who usually just ask for more, more, more, and rarely stand back and say, You are the best mom ever! (Unless you prompt them by saying, "Who's the best?" and they are trained to say, "MOMMY!" and then you give them candy.)

I was reminded of something our pastor said in a sermon a few months ago. He was telling us how another pastor would get ready to give a message, and he had a battlecry that went something like this: Why stoop to be a king when you are called to be a preacher! So, in this spirit, I give you my new battlecry:

Why stoop to find a "real" job when you are called to be a MOM!*

*DISCLAIMER: This statement is in no way meant to offend those wonderful, fearsome creatures who are moms and work outside the home. I respect you and don't know how you find the energy to do it all. This is meant to encourage and empower moms who do not work outside the home. Please don't send me hate mail or put nasty comments on my blog. Thank you.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Conversations with Samuel

Samuel: "Me have choc-wate milk?"
Me: "No."
Samuel: "But it match my choc-wate donut!"
Me: (how can I argue with that???) "No!"


Samuel: "I fwippin pancakes."
Me: "Ooh, I love pancakes. Can I have some?"
Samuel: (whispering) "I just tending."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Three Things Thursday: Making Playdough

My boy. He's so much fun right now. We made playdough yesterday, and I let him add the ingredients (after I measured them out), stir, and wash the dishes. He had a great time. Posted by Picasa

(1) Cleaning up

Samuel washing dishes. I'm telling you, he's going to be quite a catch! Posted by Picasa

(2) Kneading

Samuel kneaded the playdough until it was soft and smooth. Posted by Picasa

(3) The Recipe

Homemade Playdough

In a medium saucepan, combine:

1/2 cup salt
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp. cream of tartar
1 Tbsp. oil
1 cup water
food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)

Stir well. Heat gently, stirring all the time. When the dough has reached a good consistency, remove from heat and let cool. (Usually takes 2-3 minutes of cooking on low.) When the dough has cooled, knead until smooth. You can add more flour if your dough is too sticky. Store in a ziplock bag.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


"I mean, normal for us."

Things are getting back to normal around here. Breakfast, get dressed, walk Sally to school. Back home, more breakfast (Samuel is a great eater in the morning), email and blogging for me, NickJr shows for Samuel, then clean the kitchen and laundry. I think we might make some homemade playdough today. Nothing's better than homemade playdough when you are two and a half, don't you agree?

I've been blessed with really really nice people in my life. Sally got several emails about her arm, dozens of phone calls, a dozen chocolate strawberries from Grandma and Grandpa (yum - she shared them with all of us, except Samuel, who made the mistake of telling us that he would only eat the chocolate off, so I gave him some chocolate chips and saved the strawberries for those of us who truly appreciate such a great gift), and some flowers from an adopted Grandma. Thank you, thank you!

But it's not just the people I know, our family and friends. There are really nice people living all around me, and they are frequently really nice to me. Whenever I go anywhere with either one of my kids, people talk to us. All women love Samuel, especially the older ladies. He's the ladies man, that's for sure. But even when I'm driving, I usually have a kind driver stop and wave me out during traffic, or give me a wave when I let someone in. This kindess, this courtesy, is so life-giving. It feels like a drink of fresh, clean, cold water. Lesson for the day: it doesn't cost anything to be kind, but it makes such a difference to people. Be kind whenever you can. Kindness never reflects poorly on you.

And enjoy this post, because you know a raving rant on the stupidness of humanity is always right around the corner with me.

(By the way, the opening quote is from one of the greatest movies EVER. Anyone?)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The whole wall in my bedroom. I'm happy with the result. Posted by Picasa

The pictures in my bedroom. Thank you for your advice, those of you who put in your two cents. In the end, I decided to go with the traditional orientation of the center print. I like it. Posted by Picasa

Sally showing off her pink cast. She went back to school the same day! What a trooper she is! Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 13, 2006


I'm happy to report that Sally got her cast this morning with no problems. The doctor showed me on the x-rays from Thursday that one of the growth plate bones in her wrist had shifted out of place; he told me he may have to set her wrist, which would cause alot of pain. Thankfully, another x-ray showed that this growth plate had shifted back into place. So he put on a cast - pink! - and she's all set for four weeks.

No surgery. No pins sticking out of her skin. No pain (well, a little uncomfortable for her during the x-rays, but nothing compared to what I was expecting when he was talking about pushing her bone back into place).

God is so good to us!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Update on Sally

Nothing new - after several hours waiting for authorization to see an Orthopedic Pediatric Surgeon, we got an appointment - for Monday morning. Grrrr. (Please pray that they will be able to set and cast her wrist without surgery, and without those horrible pins that poke out of the skin.) She is in great spirits and has less pain than yesterday. She is thrilled that she doesn't have to write anything for six weeks, and she got a batch of notes from her classmates who have all volunteered to help her with her work. Darling, sweet kids. Sweet teacher, too, who stopped by the house with all of the cards and to see Sally. You rock, Mrs.K!

So I got all dressed up today, for the long day at the doctor's office. Instead, I waited by the phone, cleaned the carpet, and made meals for the kids. And I'm even wearing jewerly! Figures - yesterday, for the marathon e.r. trip, I had on sweats and my hair in a ponytail and no makeup!

I'll leave you with two random thoughts:

~ The Pride & Prejudice movie website is great. I leave it open for the music.

~ Evil, thy name is Spider Solitare.

Have a great weekend, everyone. I'll let you know Monday what the doctor says about the wrist. Thank you to everyone who has sent ecards, notes, and prayers our way.

Samuel's tongue tattoos got everywhere EXCEPT his tongue! Posted by Picasa

Sally resting after her trip to the emergency room. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Those Monkey Bars

Sally's school called this morning - she fell off the monkey bars. After three hours in the emergency room, we know she broke her wrist. She has a splint now, and when the swelling goes down (which has already happened) she'll get a cast. Since it's an interior bone fracture, I'm not sure if they will have to do anything to set it. From the x-ray, it looks like a clean break. Also, nothing poking out of the skin, thank God.

Plenty to be thankful for, as it turns out. Thankful for her teacher and the great ladies in the school office, who knew right away that it was broken and wrapped it up in ice packs and a magazine with tape. Thankful for my friend, Stephenee, who was shopping nearby and took Samuel for the day for me. Thankful for the kind souls in the e.r., who took the time to comfort Sally. (Thank you, security guard, for the wheelchair. Thank you, bandana lady, for the kleenex. Thank you, wife of the man with the smashed hand, who gave Sally her packet of little cookies. Thank you, e.r. nurse, who gave Sally a stuffed teddy bear. Thank you, mom of man with gall stones, who came over and chatted with Sally and told her all would be well. Your kindness was a blessing to me.) Thankful for insurance, western medicine, and Tylenol with codene in liquid form.

I'll keep you posted on her recovery.

Three Things Thursday

(1) My local grocery store plays the best music. I don't know if it is a radio station, or a cd, or a web station, but it's great. I frequently sing while I shop.
(2) My local dry cleaners is run (probably owned) by a very nice asian couple. When I hadn't seen the woman in a few days, I asked about her. I found out that she was hit by a car while walking on the street that I walk on to take Sally to school, and is still in the hospital. She's going to be ok, but recovery could take up to six months. I also realized that I don't know her name. This bothers me quite a bit.
(3) My local Home Depot carries more than a dozen different kinds of ready-mix concrete.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

To Do List

Dry Cleaners ~ drop off clothes
Library ~ return dvd's
Grocery ~ bread etc
Home Depot ~ large bag of ready mix cement
Craft Store ~ stepping stone molds

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


We are all back to being healthy again. Samuel's bout with the flu turned out to be only a fever, which was low and lasted 24 hours. Not so bad. We had a nice weekend, too.

I'm off to do some laundry. My dryer is acting up. It's only a matter of time before I'm off to Sears to order a new one. We got this set used several (more than seven) years ago, and the washer conked out in October 2004 (check out the archives for the weekend of puking in the car on the eve of the delivery of our new washer!). Last week I unplugged it and cleaned out the lint hose in the back, thinking that maybe there was a problem there. Nope.

Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Signs of Spring

Everyone has spring on their minds; everyone has their signs. Most everyone looks to the weather, looking for less rain (and snow) and more sun. Some people look to the calendar, and wait for March 19, the official first day of spring. Others plant their summer gardens. Others do the spring cleaning.

For me, my sign of spring is the books.

I started noticing it about ten years ago, but it has probably been my habit for longer than that. For some reason, I start reading like a mad woman during spring. And it's not just reading. I go to the library and check out way too many books (six last week); I browse book isles and book stores and buy books (Pride & Prejudice on Saturday - my copy had gone missing, and I must have a copy of that on the shelf); I borrow and hoard them. I pull out old favorites and re-read my favorite scenes. And, worst (or best!) of all, I read three or four books at the same time.

It's like the holidays deprive me of reading, almost as if I'm in reading hibernation, and I wake up starving for literature.

By my bed, in addition to three of the library books, the copy of A Million Little Pieces that I borrowed from my dad and am keeping until we discuss it in my bookclub, and the Pride & Prejudice that I bought on Saturday, I also have a collection of Henry James's works. I promised my friend I'd read Daisy Miller about five months ago and never did. I also have my copy of the formidable Anna Karenina, a novel that I have started several times but never finished. (How can I never finish Anna Karenina? It's a shame.)

I love books.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Favorite Foto Friday

Samuel waiting for the Bug's Life show at California Adventure. Unfortunately, they had technical problems and we didn't get to see it. Posted by Picasa

Health: Fever!

I spoke too soon. Samuel woke up at 5 am (!!!) with a fever. Thank you to the Lord - he is not throwing up. Also, he's in great spirits, as you can tell from this conversation we just had:

Samuel: "Mommy, me want movie."
Me: "You can watch a movie, honey. Go pick one out."
Samuel: (looks at me confused) "It's spin round round, and you go up down. Member?"
Me: "Is this a movie?"
Samuel: "It up and down, and you push the buttons and it's spinner."
Me: (totally confused now) "Can you show me?"

Samuel leads me to the kitchen, and points first to the refrigerator, but no, it's not there, it's in the cupboard next to the frige, up high, in there . . .

Me: "The blender?"
Samuel: "Yeah, me want MOOOVIE! Me push button?"
I climbed UP to get the blender, then climbed DOWN and then I made him a smoothie.

Just for fun: My smoothie recipe is this: frozen fruit, milk, and powdered sugar. I add fruit until I get the smooth, thick consistancy of a thick milkshake. Yum. Today I added frozen yogurt, too. Sometimes I'll add vanilla. In the summer, I'll make it with frozen fruit and sprite or 7-up. It helps if you peel the banana and break it in 2-3 pieces before freezing. Also, those bagged frozen fruits work great.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Health: Normal!

We are back to normal! Sally is at school today, feeling fine. Samuel thankfully never got sick. I've been feeling achy and having headaches for the past two days, but I think it's just the sleep deprivation. I'll be ok. I'm so glad that flu season is almost over.

Three Things Thursday

~Three Things From Three Years Ago~
(1) Three years ago today, I was five months pregnant with Samuel.
(2) Three years ago today, I was visiting my parents in Arizona.
(3) Three years ago today, I had no idea that I was entering into the most stressful six months of my life. We moved, we had Samuel - three weeks early, and Stuart was in and out of the hospital with an illness that went undiagnosed. Oh - and I had gall stones and my gallbladder removed.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Tea Party

Sally: "Stop! Stop playing with my tea set!"
Samuel: "Me want to play with em!"
Sally: "Noooooo!"
Samuel: "Eeehhhhh!"
Me: "Sally, why can't Samuel play with your tea set?"
Sally: "He's going to use real water and get them all wet!"
Samuel: "No I not. I tending."
Sally: "OK"
Me: to Samuel "You aren't going to use real water?"
Samuel: "No. I fine. I using tend water."

Round Two:
Sally: "Samuel, bring the crackers back!"
Samuel: "No, they for my family!"
Sally: "I am your family."
Samuel: "No you not."
Sally: "Yes, actually I am."
Samuel: "No, but you want to be? It's wike my team. You want to be my team?"
Sally: "I just want some crackers."

Writing this down, it's all cutesy. Living through it, well, that's another story.