Friday, October 31, 2008

C: 6 Months

Happy half birthday, munchkin.

You decided that you would celebrate by suddenly being able to sit up for long periods of time.  Seriously, from one day to the next, you went from wobbling all over the place to "yup, I'm so TOTALLY a pro at this."  You'll be ready to compete in the sit portion of the baby olympics in no time.

(Um, they totally have those... I can't decide if I'm really disturbed by the yelling and cheering or really disturbed because they're racing BABIES!)

Anyway, I'm not putting you in the baby olympics, don't worry.  There's probably more than enough out there for me to embarrass you with without having to purposely seek out chances.

You've definitely entered into the "MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY" phase of life.  I generally don't mind because half the time, I'm around anyway.  You've been known to throw a complete fit and when everyone is convinced you're tired or hungry, I'll come get you and instantly, you'll stop.  Your Daddy just shakes his head when this happens.  He knows you have me wrapped all up with you.

Hey, I don't know that I'd be so secretly in love with how you do this if you didn't also decide this was the time to start reaching out for me.  Next to a baby grin, having a little one put their hands out for you to pick them up or hold them is seriously one of the most awesome baby things in the world.

You took your first plane trip and vacation ever and was probably the best traveler out of the four of us.  You ate, snoozed, and smiled at everyone.  That's a good day in your life.

While we were there, for the first time since you were very, very small, you fell asleep with your head on my shoulder.  I would have dissolved into a gooey Mom-puddle on the floor, but I think that would have woken you up.

Since the trip, we started solids and you're sort of apathetic about the whole experience.  More often than not, you like to shower me with whatever you're eating by starting to talk when you have food in your mouth.  Note: "Bababababa" does a really good job in helping you spray your food.

Your sleep habits are SLOWLY changing.  I'm at a crossroads with you right now...  We're still waking up a bit during the night and most times, you're not hungry.  Many would say to let you cry it out, but you get so darn amped up and hyper that I just don't think that's what needs to happen.  Yet.  We'll reevaluate in a few weeks.  It's funny, since I began considering what I would need to do to get you to sleep on your own through the night, you've slowly been starting to fall asleep on your own and settling yourself in the middle of the night without me having to go in there.  I think you're just on your Own Program.  So long as it continues on the upswing, I'll go at your pace.

You're still tormenting your sister whenever you get a chance.  She doesn't really mind, though she makes a pretense of being all mad.  Well, at least I know she loves the pieces out of you.  If I'd let her, she'd carry you all over the place and pretend you were her personal doll.  Except, since her dolls tend to have mysterious accidents in their strollers or end up head first in a drawer, I'm not too inclined to let her... yet.

You're very cheerful and don't really fuss at all unless you're tired or hungry.  Well, or if you see Mommy and you're being held by someone else.

I'm sure you've figured this out, but I'm pretty powerless when I hear you get upset.  Please try really hard not to use that against me?

You're super close to crawling.  You've got two arms ready and one leg underneath of you.  Get the other leg up and you'll be on all fours.  It seems that you've paused in your pursuit for the traditional crawling, mainly because you've found other methods of movement that get you right where you want to go, (which is often where Bean or I DON'T want you to go).

I give you a few weeks and I'm guessing you'll be off like a rocket. 

Look out world, this one's a firecracker.

Love always, even in the middle night,


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quirky Quirks

I think this quite possibly is my first meme ever, at least on this blog. 

Anyway, Kate at The Accidental Traveler tagged me on this one and hey, I'm quirky enough to number far more than 7 items, so I figured this would be a good filler until I can get C's update posted.  So here I go!

Seven Quirky Things About Myself
1. I chew on the inside seam of the collar of all t-shirts.  This one drives Shaun NUTS.  He hates, hates, HATES this.  Probably because I tend to wear his t-shirts and eventually, they get holes in the collar.  I don't know why I do this. 

2.  I talk to myself.  A lot.  And I always have.  Now I blame it on the kids, saying that I'm talking to them for the benefit of their speech development, but that's one big hairy lie.  I've always done it.  And I've been known to chat it up with myself in the middle of the grocery store SANS kids. 

3. I love medical shows on TV.  The gorier, the better.  I have a latent desire to be a doctor, so that's probably where it comes from.  But it makes me laugh when Shaun has to leave the room because it gets too gross and I'm absolutely entranced. 

4.  Despite totally having the stomach for blood and guts and all sorts of medical gore, I can't even begin to describe how skeeved out I get at the grossness that collects in the sink drain.  Moving to a house that doesn't have a garbage disposal is a serious problem.  I've been known to scrub down the entire kitchen, but leave the nasties in the sink for Shaun to deal with.  Scrub a toilet?  Fine.  Get the goo out of the sink catch?  Find someone else.  

5.   I can generally tell the time within a few minutes without looking at a watch.  I haven't put this to the test since C was born, which is probably a good thing since there are days when I don't even remember my own name. 

6.  I like corn in/on everything.  Salsa, tacos, tuna, pizza, soup, etc.  You name it and as long as it isn't sweet, I like it with corn.  (Ok, cornbread is sweet...  mmmm, cornbread).

7.  I have a really hard time either starting a thought at the beginning or finishing a thought at the end.  But only out loud.  It makes sense to me.  But apparently, starting to speak in the middle of a sentence and ending before it's finished doesn't make a whole lot of sense to most people.  Why ever not?

Ok, that's that!  I tag Jess @ Lily of the Palms,  AmyB @ Remember to Play, and Maya at Springtree Road

Sick Day

I'm feeling rather under the weather today so C's 6 month update will have to wait until later.

For now, five things I'm currently thankful for:

1. The homemade chicken noodle soup I made without having much of an earthly idea as to how actually turned out rather deliciously.

2. The girls are both currently healthy and went down for a nap AT THE SAME TIME.

3. Nice neigbors who haul my goofy dog back home when she escapes. Again.

4. A delicious down comforter that I'm about to crawl under.

5 The ice cream I'm going to eat when I wake up. :)

Not a bad day after all.

Back later tonight or tomorrow, hopefully feeling less like a dead sock.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

WFMW: Our Current Top 5 Toddler/Parent Activities

So, what do the munchkin and I do to keep ourselves busy as of late?  As a mom of a toddler, I'm often caught wracking my brain to try to figure something out to do at certain points in the day.  This only gets worse when we're home bound, either by a napping sibling or some dreary rotten weather.

Anyway, here are five things that we do often to keep ourselves sane:

1.  I-Spy - I wasn't sure if Bean was going to be too young for this, but one day, in desperation, I tried this one out to get some peace in the car.  BINGO.  She loves it.  "I spy with my little eye something... pink!"  And off we go.  She loves it because it's simple, easy to remember, and we can play it anywhere.  I love it because it reinforces color skills, teaches her to notice the details, and helps her develop perseverance when she's wrong the first time.  Oh, and it keeps her quiet(ish) when we're somewhere without something to play with.

2.  Horsey - (I'm partially putting this one in here to amuse you all with the mental image).  This one's simple.  She holds on to the back of my shirt and I gallop through the house while neighing.  She loves it because she finds it hilarious, I love it because I will pick up items that go in various rooms and deliver them, all the while getting a fair amount of exercise.   So go ahead, get your giggles while you laugh at how ridiculous this must look.

3.  Hide and Seek - Bean's a little young to really understand what it means to actually hide.  Either she'll hide in the open where I can see her or she'll make so much noise that I can't help but know where she is.  But I can hide.  And how.  Bean is of that fun toddler age where she loves to be scared.  So I run off into another room and hide behind the door or in a closet and as she gets near, I pop out and say "RAR!" and she squeals and runs away.  Very quickly, she's back saying, "DO IT AGAIN!"  I don't know quite why she loves being fightened, but it's a lot of fun for both of us.  She loves it because she gets an adrenaline rush.  I love it because she's taking chances and learning about anticipation.

4.  Cooking - Bean LOVES helping me in the kitchen.  I sometimes find it too overwhelming to have her help with actual meals, so we generally reserve this as an activity for something other than dinner or lunch.  Sometimes we make cookies or sometimes we do a snack such as a cut up banana and a scoop of some peanut butter.  She's getting to where she can crack an egg, pour a measuring cup of liquid, and cut items with a butter knife.  She loves it because she's getting to help and often, the finished product means a yummy snack for her.  I love it because it teaches her to follow instructions, be patient, and learn how hard work can yield a great end result.

5.  Crazy Singing - Toddlers don't give a hoot whether we sound good when we sing.  Bean and I take turns making up songs about whatever strikes our fancy.  (More often than not, she instructs me what to sing about:  "Mommy, sing about broccoli and cheese and... and... a moo cow!"  And that's what I'll do.  It doesn't much matter if the song rhymes or even makes a whole lot of sense.  She loves it because she's getting to hear music, the songs are about her favorite things, and she has control over the outcome.  I love it because it's teaching her to be creative, to learn new words, and to use music to tell stories.

So there you have it... five ways to entertain a toddler on a housebound day.  I know you all have plenty more that you do with your kids, so share away in the comments!  Especially if you can share something that'll help me get away from having to be "horsey" again this week :)

For more tips, visit Rocks in My Dryer.

Also, please visit my giveaway!  Ends tonight at 11:59pm!  :)

Why I Do So Much Laundry: A Revelation

My sister came to stay this weekend and was absolutely shocked at how many loads of laundry I ended up doing. 

"Where on earth does this all come from?!"

Where indeed.

Let's take a walk through an average day, shall we?

7:30am Wake time.  Change toddler out of jammies.  Notice that they're rather damp.  Realize that randomly, she has had another accident.  Strip her bed.  Throw linens and pj's down the laundry chute. 

8:00am C wakes up.  Walk into the room to realize that she too has had an accident.  Hers is far bigger and far messier.  Strip baby, bed, and consider tearing up the carpet.  Throw dirty things down laundry chute. 

8:12am  Realize that in the midst of the poo-gone-awry, you've been marked.  Change out of pj's.  Throw dirty items down the laundry chute. 

8:15am  Nurse C.  Put her up on your shoulder for a burp and promptly get a spit-up shower.   Consider going without clothes to save effort.  Realize that your husband's thermostat fanaticism prevents that.  Too cold.  Throw dirty clothes down the chute.  Again.  

8:23am Breakfast.  Cringe as toddler decides to drink milk from the bowl and spills it down the front of her and into her lap.  Meander into her room for a change of clothes.  Toss first outfit down the steps to the basement.

9:50am  Change C's diaper again.  Cloth diaper.  Dirty one down the chute.  Thankfully no poo.

10:00am C's down for a nap, so begin to do breakfast dishes.  Jump when Bean drops large book onto kitchen floor.  Splash dirty water on shirt.  Briefly consider letting it air dry.  Change mind when you realize little pieces of cereal are sticking to your shirt.  Change.  Again. 

11:15am  C's up from nap.  Dirty diaper down the chute.  Repeat diaper changes approximately 8 times more today. 

12:00pm  Lunch for Bean.  She manages to keep herself clean.  Cheer silently.  Then sob as you realize she grabbed your sleeve with jelly covered hands.

1:00pm  Bean down for a nap.  She can't make laundry while she's asleep.  Quietly say prayers of thanks.

2:00pm  C down for a nap.  Attempt to do laundry.  Get sidetracked by the possibility of a shower.  Change clothes.  Again.

5:00pm  Shaun's home.  Goes to cut the lawn.  Changes to work clothes.

5:30pm  C's cereal dinner.  Grin as she paints her clothes with it.  Not getting a change this time, kiddo.

6:30pm  Shaun changes from dirty work clothes to pj's. 

7:00pm  C to bed.  Toss her cereal covered garments down the chute. 

8:00pm  Bean to bed.  Glance over clothes to see if they could be salvaged for the next day.  Spot jelly stains, marker streaks, and dirt.  Wonder how the kid ended up with dirt when we were inside all day.  Resignedly throw clothes down chute. 

8:02pm  Change into PJ pants.  Head down to the laundry room to survey the damage.  Pile threatens to eat me, so I run away. 

Wash, rinse, repeat. 

I don't wonder anymore. 

Monday, October 27, 2008


The other day, the girls were happily playing on the living room floor, and I was on the couch sorting through some school papers.  Bean had a farm set across the room and C was rolling around at my feet. 

A few minutes passed and I noticed that the room got very silent except for a strange squawking sound.  I glanced up to see that Bean had completely pulled a very confused C into her lap. 

"Bean, what on earth are you doing?"  I cautiously walked over and sat down to assist if I happened to need to catch the little one. 

"Mommy!  I want to hold C in my lap!  You should take a picture.  We are cute!" 

That cracked me up.  I managed to get the two of them off the floor and into a chair.  The following pictures were the result of the impromptu sister photo session:

That's a lot of love, there.  A little tough love, if you ask me and C.
But C wasn't complaining too much and Bean was being ridiculously cute, so I let the mauling picture session continue...
Bean decided to try her Daddy's patented "Tickle Poke" to see if she could get C to laugh...

C was not amused.  

But C loves her sister.  And she'll love having photographic evidence of the torture she endured when she was a baby at the hands of her older sister.  Hey, the youngest needs something in her pocket!

That's One Way to Do It...

When Bean and I picked my sister up for the weekend at my parents' house, they gave us some apples that my grandparents had gotten from a local apple festival.

Bean got wind of the fact that we had a pile of apples in a box in the front seat and immediately began chirping about wanting to eat one.

We told her no since they hadn't been washed and offered to let her hold one until we got back to the house to wash it.

Happily, she agreed and sat in silence for awhile with her apple wrapped up in her blanket.  (What can I say, she mothers EVERYTHING!)

Then, we heard her giggle and call out from the back again,

"If I lick the apple, that will wash it!"

And then?  Amanda and I both turned around to see her licking the apple from the bottom to the stem.  

Well...  could have been worse.  At least it wasn't the soles of her feet.  :)

Pillsbury Savorings Review and Giveaway

Oh man, I had an adventure trying to prepare this one.

Took my sister to the store with me.  Walked all over the place looking for said Pillsbury Savorings.

She chased me around while brandishing random items of produce.

Had to decide between Mozarella and Pepperoni, Cheese and Spinach, and Buffalo Chicken.

Decided that I couldn't decide and got Cheese and Spinach AND Buffalo Chicken. 

Brought the frozen snacks home.

While preparing the first batch, somehow managed to burn the living daylights out of both the snack and my fingers.  (Only I can simultaneously ruin a dish and injure myself). 

Finally got a chance to test them out on Shaun, my sister and myself.


We thought they were all rather tasty.  They're little puff pastries filled with either buffalo chicken, spinach and cheese, or, the one we didn't try, the pepperoni and mozzarella. 

Hands down, our favorite was the buffalo chicken.  According to Shaun, they tasted like buffalo chicken.  That's what you get when you ask the guy who tends to be light on the details.

My sister and I agreed that they were a good level of spice while maintaining a good flavor. 

We all liked the spinach and cheese as well, though they weren't the favorites.

Shaun actually made a perfect comment when comparing the two, "The buffalo ones are good for a pre-dinner snack...  the spinach ones taste like something I'd eat for breakfast... like a mini quiche!"

There you have it.  Tasty, and really a nice thing to have on hand for those times when you're supposed to bring an appetizer somewhere and you know you can't cook.  Go ahead, claim you made them... we won't tell.

Anyway, I have a great prize pack to offer to one lucky reader!  A coupon for a free box of Pillsbury Savorings and some pretty wine accessories (and if you don't drink wine, use it for your sparkling cider :)

 Comment on this post with your favorite appetizer by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, October 29th and I'll use the handy dandy random number generator to pick a winner and contact you sometime on Thursday.  One comment per person, please.  But, if you post about this giveaway on your blog, comment again with a link to your blog and I'll add another entry for you to win.

Please be sure to leave your email address either in the comment or have it accessible so that I can contact you if you win.  Good luck!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Call for Civility

OK, I've had it.  H-A-D HAD it.

This election is driving me crazy.

Well, that's not the precise truth.  It's not the election, it's some of the people who are fired up about said election.

When on earth did it become OK to act like a complete jerk in the name of supporting your political candidate?  Oh, never?  Someone should pass the word around.  Because plenty of people have forgotten this.

I don't give a rip-roaring monkey's patootie who you're voting for.  It can be Obama.  It can be McCain.  It can be a write in vote for John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt.  (Because since his name is my name too, he's the true people's person).  Voting for someone does NOT give you permission to trash the other candidate.

Wearing t-shirts that call a particular candidate an awful, vile name?  NOT COOL.

Expressing hope that a particular candidate will be assassinated?  UM, HELLO, PEOPLE?  AWFUL!

Attacking a candidate's family members because you can?  Since when has that been ok?

It's perfectly ok to disagree with a candidate.  It's expected.

And that's why we're given the opportunity and privilege to vote.

After all, since when did nasty mud slinging and insult throwing change your mind about a candidate you support?  "You can't vote for Jim Slim because he's an ignorant racist pig!"

Right, because that would change my mind.

You believe he's racist?  Show me areas why.  Show me something.  Do some research and come TALK to me.  In a civilized way.

And I'll take that into consideration when I make my decision.

I still don't have to agree with you.  I do hope you'll respect that.

Whatever happened to civilized discussion?  Just because I don't agree with you shouldn't make you angry.  It's America.  We have the freedom to chose.  And we should have the common decency to respect other people's views.

There's nothing wrong with offering up your side of things.  But can we please start doing it in a way that doesn't make me want to scream at the sheer crassness of the conversation?  Insult for insult isn't going to get anyone, anywhere.

Do your research.  Make your decision.  And if you want to discuss, discuss civilly.  And VOTE!

Why is this all coming to the forefront now for me?

Because as a mother and a teacher, it's absolutely painful for me to watch the example we're setting for our children.  All of this nonsense is not showing them how to educate themselves to make a good decision for when they vote.  It's showing them that it's OK to slander a fellow man for something they believe.  That it's OK to be nasty in the name of politics.  It's showing them how to make a mockery of the golden rule:  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

No matter which candidate ends up elected, our country is headed to hell in a hand-basket if we allow our children to be raised thinking they can act this way.  As much as certain outcomes and certain candidates make me severely uneasy in this election, the idea that there are countless children out there who are being exposed to such incredible hatred for a person in their own households makes me absolutely sick.

So do me some favors:  1.  VOTE.  Please.  2.  Show some class.  If you can't bear a candidate, fine.  But please show some civility about how you express it.  and 3.  Talk to your kids about this.  The older they are, the more this is important.  

Oh, and 4.  Please vote John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt in 2008!  (Because you can't make mud for slinging if there isn't any dirt)

(I'm kidding on 4, of course... but wouldn't it be fun to have a President Jingleheimerschmidt in office?)

Must Be Her Daddy's Genes...

Because she doesn't look a whit like me.

But I think her Daddy's pretty cute, so it's OK.
However, if her mischievous streak mirrors his, we're all in trouble. 
Because we all know the mischief comes from him.  Obviously. 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Whatcho Talkin' Bout WILLIS?


I made a deal with myself.  I said, "Self?  If you put away all the laundry, you can go blog."

And then I answered, "How about... no?"

And here I am.  Not putting laundry away.  I think I need to work on my threatening tone.  Maybe that'll scare me into getting something done.

Seriously though... what on earth is my issue lately?  I have a ridiculous amount of stuff to do.  There's laundry to put away, dishes to put away, toys to put away (sense a theme?), floors to vacuum and mop, a bathroom to clean, lesson planning to do, meals to make...  and the list goes on. 

Even if I wasn't blogging, there's a strong possibility that I'd be burrowed far beneath my down comforter trying to take a nap.

Of course, when you know you have that much to do, sleep doesn't come easy with that overflow of guilt.

So...  here I am. 

I need some suggestions!  How on earth can I make it easier to manage my little household with my two small people, two canines, and rather tall husband?  What tips or pointers do y'all have to make this go more smoothly? 

Let me know.  I'm running out of underwear so that laundry situation is going to become rather dire in a day or two.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

WFMW: Taking Great Photos of Kids

OK, part of me feels kind of ridiculous posting on this being that I'm nothing more than an amateur photographer at best.  But alas, there are things that I've learned that I feel are easy enough for the most technophobic among us.

1.  Capture the kids on their turf, in their element.  Kids are far more likely to let loose with a genuine smile if they're having a good time.

 2.  If you're planning a photo shoot, remember that simple backgrounds are always the best.  You want to see the kids, not the random scenery.  The best background is a background that complements, but isn't overtly noticed.

 3.  Don't be afraid of taking pictures when they're not looking at the camera or not smiling.  Sometimes, these are the pictures that really capture the funny parts of your kid's personality.

4.  TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES.  You can always, always, always delete later.  You'll kick yourself for missing a moment if you're busy deleting pictures while you're in the process.

 5.  Get down on eye level with them.  It's much less awkward looking than shooting from above.

 6.  End with something fun!  Let the kids make silly faces or run around or throw things in the air.  And then let them see the pic if it's digital.  Keep them excited about the process and they're more likely to be ok with doing it again.  

 Those are the six things that are probably the most basic of tips.  I'll post a more in depth version later.   If you've got some tips, I'd love to hear them!!

For more WFMW tips, visit Rocks in My Dryer

Don't forget to visit my giveaway!  Ends tonight at 11:59pm!


Some funnies from today:

Right before dinner today, Bean comes snuggling up to me and says,

"Mommy, I love you."

"Oh kiddo, I love you too."

Then, without missing a beat, she says,

"I love you to get me some food." 


Later in the evening, I was teasing her a little, calling her all sorts of funny names.  After a few minutes, she stopped me,

"Mommy,  I am not a pumpkin pie or a snickerdoodle.  But I am cute!"

She makes me laugh. 

Looks Like We'll Need to Speak in Code Now

This afternoon, Bean was eating a post-nap snack, (these are so totally necessary to prevent meltdowns of the most awful degree).

Anyway, before her nap, we had all discussed a possible trip to the park once she woke up.  However, time was getting short and Shaun looked at me and said,

"Are we still going to try the P-A-R-K?" 

Before I could reply, Bean anwered,

"No, I would like to go to the playground AND the park."

Um, excuse me?  Who taught her to spell?  Anyone?

"Bean, what does P-A-R-K spell?"

She grinned at me,


Whether she really knows how to spell some words or she figured it out by context, who knows.  But it's still pretty cool. 

Check out my giveaway here!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Apparently, I'm Tasty

C has entered an interesting phase.  She's starting to... gnaw on me?

I don't really know what else to call it. 

I'll be holding my sweet baby girl and all the sudden she'll go all sorts of ravenous on me and try to eat parts of my face.

No, I'm not exaggerating. 

She'll be standing on my knees, grinning and cooing.  Then she'll reach both hands up and grab my cheeks.  And then her mouth opens and she dive bombs, gnawing on whatever part of my head that she can get her mouth on. 

It really cracks me up. 

But my chin is actually bruised.  (That's her favorite gnaw zone).

Is this normal?  Or is it like baby kisses gone extreme? 

Hey!  Check out my review and giveaway here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Yoplait Kids Review and GIVEAWAY!

We're fans of yogurt in this house.  (Ok, Bean and I are...  Shaun doesn't care much for it and C doesn't know what the heck it is).  Anyway, we were given the opportunity to try out and review Yoplait Kids Yogurt.  We chose the Yoplait Kids Yogurt Drinks in the mixed berry flavor.

Bean's verdict?  "Mommy...  my yogurt drink is gone.  I want another one!  Please?"

I think that's a positive review if I've ever heard one.

Granted, not everything that's a hit with the kid is necessarily a hit with me.  We're trying to cut down on artificial colors and flavors and I approached this review with some reservation, knowing that the vast majority of kids' food out there is hyper-colored for visual appeal.

However, I was pleasantly surprised when I read the ingredients.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  The yogurts are colored with grape juice and beet juice.  No artificial flavors.  In fact, the yogurt even has sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup (which, despite recent ad campaigns trying to convince me that HFCS is the exact same as sugar, is incredibly important to me).

Bonus:  In addition to plenty of healthy probiotics, the yogurts also have 16mg of DHA (10% of the Daily Value), a healthy fatty acid that helps the brain to develop.

Bean's not a picky eater at all and I have little problem getting her to eat a well rounded diet.  We also try to limit the sugar in our household, so the majority of Bean's yogurt consumption is of the plain variety.   However, these are great for after dinner treats or occassional snacks.  If your kid is a picky eater, this is a great way to get some calcium, probiotics, and DHA into your kid.  (Who I can imagine will be more than willing to oblige).

My one misgiving with the product is the absolute flagrant branding with television characters.  We have the box with Diego on it.  I just don't understand why everything has to be associated with television and movie characters when it comes to kids?

No, wait, I do understand.  I just wish it was different.

Aside from that, I do love the product and I'm sure I'll occasionally buy them for Bean in the future.

Now, for sticking with me through that, here's your chance to try them on your own!

I have three prize packs to give away.  Each pack contains a coupon for a free pack of Yoplait yogurt, a nicely insulated lunch cooler, and a pack of Brain Quest cards for the 2-3 year old set.

(We love the Brain Quest cards and they totally passed the time on the airplane on our recent trip)

Comment on this post with your kids' (or YOUR!) favorite snack food by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, October 23rd and I'll pick three winners and contact you sometime on Thursday.  One comment per person, please.  But, if you post about this giveaway on your blog, comment again with a link to your blog and I'll add another entry for you to win.

Please be sure to leave your email address either in the comment or have it accessible so that I can contact you if you win.  Good luck!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Taking A Toddler to Pee on an Airplane - An Instructional Manual

Step 1:   Toddler squeals that she has to use the bathroom right as you begin your decent into your destination.  This is despite having been warned of the dire danger of even thinking about unbuckling your seat belts before the plane has come to a complete stop at the gate.

Step 2:  Ask toddler if she can hold it. 

Step 3:  See toddler look at you as if you're insane and begin to gear up for a whine.  Realize that you're asking for trouble.  Sigh and throw a furtive glance around for the flight attendants.  Quickly unbuckle the toddler and yourself and head army-style to the nearest restroom.

Step 4:  Attempt to wedge both of you into the closet sized room and close the door.

Step 5:  Realize this is impossible.

Step 6:  Hoist toddler onto the sink and reach behind you to close the door.

Step 7:  Briefly consider letting toddler pee in the sink.  (No, I DID NOT, I DIDN'T!)

Step 8:  Wedge your body against the wall and the sink, and hoist your foot up against the back wall so that you can help hold the toddler over the germ infested toilet.

Step 9:  Stumble as the plane hits sudden turbulence and hope toddler hasn't peed on your shoe.

Step 10:   As you try to blink with your head against the paper towel dispenser, as toddler if she's done.

Step 11:  Try not to keel over as she tells you she has other "business" to attend to.

Step 12:  Help toddler finish and realize that you're going to have to lift her over your head to get to the sink.

Step 13:  Nearly fall into the toilet as the plane hits more turbulence.

Step 14.  Calm toddler when she freaks out about the massive sucking sound coming from the toilet as it flushes.

Step 15:  Hold toddler under one arm, push water button with the other, and dispense soap with your toe. 

Step 16:  Realize that no one is getting clean and decide to head towards the hand sanitizer in the overhead bin.

Step 17:  Briefly attempt to assemble yourself in the mirror before giving up completely. 

Step 18:  Fiddle with the latch on the bathroom door.  Get completely frustrated that it won't open.

Step 19:  Rest head on bathroom door in exasperation and fall outwards when the door mysteriously opens. 

Step 20:  Gather last shreds of your dignity and the toddler and head back to your seat.  Ignore dirty looks from flight attendants as you strap into your seat belts 2 minutes before the plane actually hits the ground. 

5 Minutes for Parenting - A Dose of Humor

So, I submitted a funny parenting story to 5 Minutes of Parenting and it's going to be submitted today in their "A Dose of Humor" section.  So fun!

Anyway, some of y'all have read the story already when it was published on here originally, but I encourage you to stop by and check out some of the other writers.

For those of you who stopped by from 5 Minutes for Parenting, have a look around!  hopefully you'll find some more chuckles to brighten your day.  Here's a good place to start.

Happy Saturday!

(I'll have the link to my story directly when I get home later today)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Homeward Bound

We're packing up to head back home tomorrow morning. 

Ever wished the world would shrink enough so that everyone you love could be in the same place? 

(Well, not the exact same place...  that'd be a little uncomfortable).

But yeah, it's like that.

Anyway, we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming come tomorrow.  Or maybe Sunday.  Well, hopefully soon.

Have a great weekend :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ah, Texas

In the last post, Julie questioned whether I was poking fun at Texas and how flat it is here. 

No, not at all.  I really do think it's rather pretty here.  And there's absolutely nothing like watching a thunderstorm roll over the plains.  It's very different from home, but I like it.  (Though I do have to admit that I truly wondered at how on earth squirrels lived here in Texas...  all in the same one tree?)

But this?  This I have to poke fun at:

Only in Texas are Vitamin Waters considered "new age" 
I know they say "Don't mess with Texas."  I'm not messing...  just poking fun :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

As Good A Reason As Any...

Still posting from my phone, slightly twitchy from three days with no internet access.

(No, I don't count molassass slow connections from my cell phone as internet... that's just torture).

Anyway, we're back on the road again, heading to friends' houses and to one of Shaun's grandmoms.

That's literal... I'm in the car with Shaun, rolling over the flatlands of TX.

Bean is utterly fascinated with the scenery. The particular road we're traveling on runs parallel to a train track so she's getting her fill of wide-eyed looks at trains.

She's also back there playing our "I Love You From...." game where we pick landmarks and say things like,

"I love you all the way from this car all the way to that big tree."

Generally, the locations are pretty benign. But today, she said this one:

"Mommy, I love you all the way to... GUACAMOLE!"

I don't know where she spotted it, but I'm hungry and I want some.

(and yes, that's a lot of love)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Travel Thoughts

Blogging from my phone in the midst of Denver's airport.. not as complicated as I imagined. Which means my blog is even more accessible than before. Dangerous.

So far, my thoughts:

1. Either people here are very friendly or my I have spinach in my teeth. Everyone smiles at you. I LOVE it! (unless I have spinach in my teeth and no one is telling me... then I might reconsider).

2. A few minutes ago, airport authority paged M.C. Hammer because he hadn't checked in at the gate. Apparently, keeping "hammer time" makes you late for your flight.

3. Not telling me that we have a 3 hour layover with two hungry, tired kids is probably wise if you want me to sleep the night before.

4. Colorado mountains are breathtaking. Even through a fingerprint stained airport window.

5. People will not only buy overpriced airport fast food, they will growl at anyone who gets in their way. Travel induced hunger is a force to be reckoned with.

6. I really hate peanuts.

ok, off to find some semblance of substantial grub.

next stop, Amarillo!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

WFMW: Toddler Travel Tips

As I frantically finish stuffing things in bags to prepare for our departure to Texas tomorrow, I figured that I should take a break.

OK, or I'm just procrastinating more. 

Anyway, as I was packing, I figured that one thing I tried to gather as much information about as humanly possible was a list of tried and true tips for entertaining toddlers on an airplane.

Without further ado, here's my top 5 toddler travel tips:

1.  Never underestimate the power of pipe cleaners.  For a few bucks, you can entertain your toddler for much longer than I would have ever guessed.  The pipe cleaners can be bent into all sorts of shapes.  Our favorite?  Wearable art.  Added bonus?  You'll seriously entertain your fellow travelers.

2.  A small metal can with a removable lid, such as one of those International Coffee containers, partially full of loose change.  This is something most toddlers wouldn't be allowed to play with unsupervised.  But on a plane, they're (hopefully) never out of your sight.  Cut a small slit in the plastic lid and let your kiddo go to town dropping the coins through the slot. 

3. The barf bag and a pile of tiny stickers.  This one is pretty self explanatory.  If you kid is dexterous enough to peel the stickers herself, all the better.  Otherwise, keep handing the kid small stickers and let them go to town.  Then they have a bag to store all their art work. And it'll only make you slightly queasy to think of it's intended purpose.

4.  Boxes in boxes in bags in boxes - Get a few of those small cardboard jewelry boxes and nest them together, perhaps even within a small cloth bag.  Kids seem to like this activity.  Also good are old film canisters with something inside to shake.  Bonus if the containers or boxes have a snack.

5.  Washable markers - I have heard, (this has yet to be confirmed, though by tomorrow night it will be), that you can allow your child to write on the airplane tray with washable markers and it will come right off with a wipe.  I'm going to surreptitiously test this one out on my own before letting her have at it.  I'll let y'all know.

And always, BRING SNACKS!  You never can be completely sure how long you'll be on the plane on in the airport.  Sometimes snacks can be the difference between a complete meltdown and a contented kiddo.  Something to remember:  It's completely OK to go through security with juice boxes or other SEALED drinks for your kids.  If you have the kid, they'll wave it through.   Those Horizon shelf stable single serving milk containers or the Silk individual boxes are great for this.  (And they're delicious)

Those are some things we've had up our sleeve on past trips...  Definitely leave any other suggestions you have in the comments!  I still have a toddler and a baby who will soon be one, so the more tips, the better. 

For more Works For Me Wednesday ideas, check out Rocks In My Dryer.

More Sibling Um, Love...

I caught this lovely moment with my cell phone a couple of days ago. 

"Mommy, C's not being nice to me!"

Um, maybe because you're LAYING on her.  And pinning her down.

I'm just sayin'

Monday, October 6, 2008

First Fight?

Aside from occasionally wishing that I would pay more attention to her and less to C, Bean has always been a fan of her baby sister. 

But the winds of change are a blowin'

C is only getting better with her rolling techniques and now can aim for something and actually get there.  I'll see her flip to her belly, pop her head up and catch something in her sights and within 30 seconds, she's usually arrived at her intended destination. 

Two days ago, I put C on her blanket in the living room and surrounded her with toys. 

Bean was across the room singing the alphabet song and doing a letter puzzle.

(You can see where this is going, no?)

I was in the kitchen for all of 15 seconds when I suddenly heard Bean squeal,

"Eeeeeaaaah!!!   C!  We do NOT lay on our puzzles!"

There was silence for a second, then,


I was hiding in the kitchen trying SO hard not to laugh at that point and then,

"MOOOOOOOOOOMMMMY!!  Make her get off my puzzle!  C!  GET OFF GET OFF!"

I had to come around the corner for fear that Bean, normally quite the pacifist, would suddenly become violent. 

When I entered the room, Bean had both hands on C's body, ready to shove her away.

C lay across the puzzle board and somehow managed to cover most of the pieces to boot. 

And she was grinning from ear to ear. 

The more Bean yelled, the bigger C's grin got.   

I swear, she already KNOWS how to push her sister's buttons. 

I think things are about to get interesting around here. 

It Keeps Me Going

Last night was INSANE.  Between both girls, I ended up waking at least once every hour to attend to one or the other of them.

I'm guessing this is just a preemptive warm-up to having two kids sick at the same time.

At least there was no vomit.

Anyway, Bean's coughing was ridiculous and kept waking her up, which in turn frustrated her to no end, which in turn made her scream.  Literally.

Instead of jumping out of bed like my pants were on fire, I figured that if I pulled her in between us, she'd be easier to calm down and the screaming?  It would stop.

Fortunately, I was right.

She calmed right down and settled onto the pillow in the middle of the bed. Then she rolled towards Shaun, patted him on the back and said,

"He's my best Daddy."

And then she closed her eyes and fell asleep.

Heck, for that kind of sweetness, I'll let her put her limbs in my ribs snuggle between us anytime she wants.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just a Thought...

You know in the beginning of football games on TV when the announcer is introducing the players and they flash their name and pictures up? 

The "pictures" are actually short video clips.  The guys stay so still. 

But every once and awhile they blink or sniff or something.  (And it ALWAYS startles me)

I really wonder if that's where J.K. Rowling got the idea for her wizard pictures. 


Tacit Simplicity - 1.0

Trying something new... a few pictures without words once a week or so.  Absolutely need to continue to practice with the camera and really?  Sometimes pictures say it better than I could. 


Saturday, October 4, 2008


The Bean is quickly grasping her father and my sense of humor.  And it's a quirky one.

Today we were playing in the basement where she was putting her Schleich animals into a small plastic suitcase.

After they were stuffed in there and the case was closed, I said,

"Let's go upstairs...  Bring your suitcase."

Not missing a beat, she replied,

"No, Mommy, it's a zoo-case."

I'm so proud I think I could burst.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Some Things I Know

1.  It's Friday.  That's generally a good thing.

2.  I'm feeling incredibly overwhelmed with the insane amount of things I need to accomplish in the next 48 hours.

4.  Coke Zero is much better than the gag fest I thought it would be.

5.  I will drink anything with caffeine when desperate. 

6.  I'm a big softy at 5:30 in the morning and will let anyone crawl into bed and snuggle with me.  The toddler sensed that about me.  She's remarkably intuitive. 

7.  When your husband won't let you turn on the heat, having a 3 foot tall snuggle buddy really has its perks.

8.  I have so much to do and yet I'm procrastinating.  This is standard operating procedure for my life.

10.  I forgot number 9.  I don't care.  And now I'm walking away. 

More legit updates soon, including Bean's first mini-golf trip, random photo shoots from the day to day, how my face has bruises from a small person, and a collection of Beanisms.  Stay tuned. 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'm Not Ready, I'm Not Ready!

Oh man, I'm in trouble.

This morning, I went into the kitchen to put some cups in the dishwasher.  Bean was playing with her Polly Pockets in the corner.  (I rue the day those tiny things were invented...  best review ever, right here).  C was happily playing on her blanket with a few toys.

When I came back, less than 3 minutes later, this is what I saw:

The pink thing is C (looking like a doll).  The white thing is the blanket that she was playing on before I left the room.  I had to quickly take the picture with my camera phone for fear she'd be down the block before I found the regular camera.

(Or she'd be eating Polly Pocket shoes like it was her job).

Bean didn't crawl until 10.5 months.  I don't think Bean did a whole lot of moving at all before then.  C is like, what, 2 days over 5 months?

I give her a month before she starts training for the Boston Marathon. 

Two Days

 For two full days, we looked for the dog.  We walked through the neighborhoods calling "Amore!  Amore!"

We took Indi with us in hopes that she could sniff Amore out.

We bought sharpies and posterboard and put up countless signs.

We knocked on doors and stopped people on the street.

We slept fitfully and started awake, thinking we were hearing her bark outside the door.

We left the porch door open despite the clear possibility we'd have wildlife other than a dog on our porch in the morning.

We called vet offices and crossed our fingers that she wasn't hurt.

We left messages with the Humane Society branches in 4 counties.

We called Animal Control to see if they had recovered her body.

Shaun walked down each busy road, poking in the bushes.

Nothing.  For two whole days.  Nothing.

We started to lose hope.

"I don't think she's coming back..."

"Me neither."

We kept busy to push the sadness out of our minds.

Then, last night, right around 9:15, Shaun got a call from a lady who asked about the dog and then said that she had picked her up and took her to a friend's kennel. 

I was lying in bed, and he burst through the door, "SHE'S OK!"

Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.

An hour and a half later, I was greeted by the cold wet nose of a dog that I didn't know I'd miss as much as I did.

And never was I happier to see her.

Better yet, this morning, Bean walked into my room and when the dogs stood up to greet her, she said,

"A-more-yay is home!  You found her! Now Indi is not sad.  No one is sad!  A-more-yay!  You're home!"

Yup, A-more-yay is home.

Thanks everyone for your kind wishes and words.  We're happy to have her back.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008



Things are kind of sad in our household this week.  Monday night, after going to the park for an hour and a half with the kids, we returned to find that one of our dogs, Amore, was missing.  She apparently hopped the fence as she'd done a handful of times before.

But this time, she hasn't come back. 

This is the dog that learned how to jump and open the front door in our old house.  On the few occassions where I forgot to lock the deadbolt, I'd return home to find her sitting on the front porch with the door wide open, wagging her tail. 

She'd go explore and come back.

But so far this time?  She hasn't come back. 

And though we are still holding out hope to get a phone call that someone has her or to hear her bark outside the door and be greeted by her full body wagging, we can't help but worry that something's happened to her.

And that really sucks.

She's been part of the household since way before Shaun and I were even engaged.  Shaun dragged me to the humane society to "look" for dogs.  And somehow, she ended up in our car, headed to a new home.   And though her galloping insanity sometimes drives me nuts, I sure love that dog.  Loyal, sweet and smart.  She's my protector pup.  (Because Indi, our other dog, is kind of worthless as a guard dog...   a giant snuggle pillow, sure...  guard dog to ward off the boogeyman?  Not so much.  She's likely to be found hiding under the bed with me).  She's been Indi's best friend and Shaun's loyal four legged companion.  She lets Bean cover her with blankets and toys and make believe she's a baby.  She's ridiculously persistant when she wants a little rub behind the ears.  She's a good dog, through and through. 

We're sad and worried, but we're not giving up yet.

Hey Amore, you crazy mutt?  Come home.  We miss you. 


WFMW: Top 5 Kitchen Organization Tips

I'm not an organized person.

There, I said it. 

But I want to be an organized person.  I'm working towards being an organized person.  I'm an organized-person-in-training.  That sounds far better. 

Anyway, in my quest towards organization, I have discovered a few things that work in keeping the kitchen streamlined. 

Because really, who likes spending hours keeping the kitchen clean?

If you do, don't answer that. 

Without further ado, here's my top five ways to keep from losing your mind while keeping your kitchen organized and clean.

1.  Keep your fridge clean - The night before the trash is supposed to go to the curb, take a bag and open the fridge, removing any spoiled food that might be in there.  You'll then know what you need to shop for at the store.  After the first few times, this becomes routine.  Wiping the fridge out is a whole lot easier when you're not wrestling with three jars of salsa from 2001.

2.  Get rid of those wacky kitchen tools that you only use once a year - Do you really use that Zestomatic 2000?  Or if you do, could you find another tool that could serve the same purpose and possibly take up less space?  The more multi-tasking your tools can do, the less clutter you have rolling about the room.

3.  Have a cabinet purge meal once a week - Before you head off to go grocery shopping, take stock of those odd ingredients hanging out in your closet and try to finagle a meal out of them.  You'll have fun trying a bit of creative cooking, your family might try something new, and hey, it might actually be tasty.  (I make no guarantees).  This prevents food from expiring, which saves money.  It also allows you to always know what's in your cabinets.

4. Run the dishwasher every night - Seems a bit counterintuative in this green culture and yes, if you only have one cup, this isn't the tip you should follow.  But if your dishwasher is halfway full or more, run the load.  You can unload in the morning which allows you to keep dishes from accumulating in the sink.  Because in our house, dishes that accumulate definitely don't always get done at night, (who has the energy?) and then the food crusties in the bottom of the sink start to grow legs and mouths and it just gets scary.

5.  Throw out or recycle mismatched tupperware/gladware - Because the amount of time you'll save from not having to search for matching lids and containers just might allow you to clean the kitchen, clean the living room, paint your toenails, watch a movie, eat some chocolate, and take a 45 minute nap.  And that's just in one day.

Those tips work for me.  For more Works-For-Me-Wednesday ideas, visit Rocks in My Dryer
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...