Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Who are the people in your neighborhood?

Because nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a generic holiday greeting draped between two crass mudflaps.

Off color, yes. But I can't help but chuckle every time I see it - which is almost every night.

More quaint Christmas updates on the way...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just thinkin'

I was drying my hair just now (yes, it's 11:00 a.m... slow morning) and just got to thinking.

I was looking out the window, and let me tell you, it's beautiful outside. Sure, the temperature is hovering around zero, but everything is clean and white and sparkly. With all of the bare trees, the evergreens really pop. I wish we had more of them.

That made me think about pinecones. It would be fun to do that craft where you smear peanut butter all over them and cover them in birdseed for the birds. We have a ton of little finches and robins around here. They're all fat and fluffed up for winter - so cute! But back to the craft, with Addie being allergic to peanuts, it's out.

Which made me wonder... do animals have peanut allergies? What if birds or squirrels did? Yikes! What would happen? Would they break out in hives?

If bees are allergic to something, do THEY break out in hives? Do they? Oh, the irony!

Which made me think that it would be funny if weiner dogs were allergic to hot dogs. I have no idea why I thought that.

But I really have no idea what made me think of this next thing.

I imagined a weiner dog getting on a treadmill to work out. But, the treadmill is too short. So, it gets another treadmill and butts it right up to the other one so now it's longer. The only problem is, they don't move in the same direction, but the silly little weiner dog doesn't understand that... YET. So it gets on the newly invented mega treadmill and turns it on (don't ask me how... surely it's arms are not long enough). Oh no! The weiner dog buckles upward as the treadmills start moving.

Now that I think about it, that might make for a delightful children's book. I'll have to develop the story line a bit further.

And then my hair was dry.

The end.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cheap entertainment

After yesterday's post, I feel that I need to clarify that I'm not anti-cat. Not at all! I'm just anti-cat-bottoms-on-dish-towels. No. In fact, I like cats. I had one when I was little. Her name was Sugar and she was so pretty. She let us dress her up in doll clothes.

My sister has a cat named CC. She's pretty much the devil and hisses at me every chance she gets, but she's soft and I love to pet her even though I'm scared to death of her when she lets me.

There's a website out there that makes me laugh... and ironically, it's about cats. Now, although I like cats, I wouldn't consider myself a cat person, but I really get a kick out of that website.

Which is why I thought it was hilarious when Emma came up with a new game to play with Brody.

We like to call it, "Stuff on My Baby Brother."

It started innocently enough... she let him play with her baby doll.

And then her blanket...

And then Ariel...

And then a roll of toilet paper...

And then a Strawberry Shortcake figurine...

And then a basket of Christmas books, the top of Strawberry Shortcake's house, and a few more figurines...

And then a Little People camper...

And then her backpack...

And then a Christmas stocking...

And then a Little People car...

And then a bracelet on his head... (but it kept slipping off)...

(A close-up of poor, sweet, tolerant Brody)

And then the Little People farm and Strawberry Shortcake figurine house...

And then the Little People minivan...

And a DVD.

I made her stop when she started dragging the coffee table over near Brody.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ketchup Time, Volume 2

And we're back, with an exciting episode of Ketchup Time. (Volume 1 was waaay back in February in case you want to read it. Riveting stuff.)

Speaking of ketchup, does anyone really spell it "catsup?" I certainly don't. And if you do, do you pronounce it CAT-SUP? Because that's just kind of weird. I don't generally like to think of cats and ketchup together, and when I see it spelled that way, I do. And I also immediately switch the syllables and in my mind, I say, " 'sup, Cat?", as in, "What is happening, feline?" But the weird thing is, I don't have a cat, and wouldn't talk to it like that if I did.

And speaking of cats... a friend told me yesterday that she was staying at a friend's house a few weeks ago. Her friend owns a sick cat who gets to drink milk up on the counter. (Eww #1.) It sits on the dish towel for "padding" while it does this. (Eww #2.) And then she watched the friend dry the dishes later with the very same towel. (Eww #3.)

Okay, enough of that. My mind works in mysterious ways, and I don't really expect that anyone followed that or thought it was interesting. Just typing out loud.

I gasped out loud (GOL?) when I saw that my last post was November 20th. Yowza! Life has been fun and full, although a drag at times with sick kids and a sick hubby. I cringe when the first person gets sick, because you know those germs are just recycled until about April when it seems like everyone in the family is healthy again, all at the same time. 'Tis the season!

So get out your fries (or in my girls' case - APPLES - eww!)... it's Ketchup Time!

Emma's birthday party was super fun. We had 8 little girls here for Emma's 5th birthday party tea. We made fancy hats and fans and sipped tea like proper ladies. All of the little girls looked soooo cute!

Emma's friend Olivia...

Of course every little girl needs a feather boa!

Look at all the little lovelies!

I love this picture of Emma's friend, K. (So cute, Deann!)

Trying hard to get that pinky up! I hit thrift shops before the party and bought tea cups for all the girls to keep as party favors, along with their hats, fans and boas. So fun!

Such pretty little girls!

We also played musical chairs and had a sugar cube relay (which didn't work out as well as I'd hoped...) and read a story about a girl who had a tea party. It was a sweet morning. I'd been a little apprehensive about one thing, which turned out wonderfully; on the invitation we requested no gifts. We figured, it's a busy time of year, a bad time for many people financially, and mostly, we wanted Emma to recognize that a birthday celebration doesn't necessarily mean we get more "stuff." We weren't sure how she'd respond, but being that this was her first birthday party with friends, she didn't have any expectations. Instead, her friends all brought her hand-made cards. She absolutely LOVED them. Before the end of the day, she had me read each of them to her again at least five times, and they were by her side the rest of the weekend. I'm sure new toys would've been forgotten in no time, but these cards are TREASURES to her. We may have stumbled across a new birthday tradition...

- - -

Thanksgiving was a fun night, even though it seems my girls were on fast-forward all evening. My goodness. They were SO wound up. I don't suppose the cinnamon rolls for breakfast, snacks for lunch, the pumpkin pie, and pilgrim hat craft project with Grandma had anything to do with it...

The adult table...

The "kid" table... which has outgrown the adult table and is WAY more fun, anyway.

Emma insisted on eating the turkey leg. Classy.

Aunt Amy and Kenzie with Brody and Addie (who would NOT smile).

My mom had a fun Thanksgiving craft for the girls to do. We made pilgrim hats with cookies, a dab of frosting, a Rolo or Reece's Peanut Butter Cup and an orange Tic-Tac. They were so fun and easy and so cute! The girls loved making them... even if we all paid for the sugar high all. night. long. Even Kenzie ate more than her share!

- - -

The girls LOVED playing in the first real snowfall of the season... November 29th! Can you believe it?! Colorado's weather has been unreal this fall.

- - -

Other highlights of the last couple of weeks:
  • The house is decorated for Christmas... almost. I still have the outside to do. We WILL have lights on the outside of the house this year, whether Gary does them or not. Possibly more to come on this... stay tuned.
  • I let the girls put all the ornaments on the tree this year. It's fun to see a tree with ornaments only on the bottom third.
  • My MOPS group had our Christmas brunch this week, and we all wore "festive" sweaters. The gaudier, the better. Mine jingled. I bought it at Savers for $5 and was certain it was the ugliest thing ever. I cringed when my girls oohed and ahhed over it... but I confess: I've grown to like it. Somehow sequined reindeer with jangly bell collars don't seem so bad when you're a mom. There. I said it.
  • I read the Twilight series and went to see the movie... more on that later.
  • We started some "marble jars" for the girls to help reward good behavior (although it goes both ways). Jury's still out about whether it's working or not.
  • Grammy (Gary's mom) was visiting for the last week and we had a fun time. We didn't do a lot, but it's always fun to have her around.
And of course, Brody's been growing and growing. He's just so fun. He's smiley and happy and giggly and just cute as can be. And he's never short on a little lovin' from his older sisters.

"Look mom! I'm making Brody smile!"

Because Brody likes this position...

...and KNOWS when I sit down (seriously... how do they know?!), my computer time comes in short spurts. But I have lots of blog posts rolling around in my head, and exponentially more to catch up in my Reader. I've said it before, but have never had the guts: I might have to mark them all as read and start over. It's too overwhelming! There is one blog I subscribe to that posts at least 10 times a day! WHO DOES THAT?! I need to simplify. The bad part is, I save some of my favorites to read until last, so those numbers are mounting like crazy. Kelly, Joanne, Meredith... I'm far into the double digits of unread posts with you guys. Someday I'll resurface in your comments... someday.

Okay. I'm done. The Ketchup bottle is empty. Funny post coming tomorrow. I promise it will make you laugh.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Checking In

I'm wandering around my house this morning with Brody wrapped tightly against my chest in a Moby Wrap, trying to lull him to sleep after a long, very long night.

He seemed a little droopy yesterday, and last night began that barking seal cough that makes every mom a little weary and nervous. After a call to the doctor's office who put us through to Children's Hospital, we determined that he has croup. We sat in a steamy shower for about 15 minutes to warm his chest and open up his breathing. Glasses plus a steamy shower equals one freaked out baby! He kept staring at me with huge eyes, wondering what kind of foggy-eyed kind of alien was trying to take care of him. He calmed down as soon as I took my glasses off, but then I had to hold him an inch from my face to see him.

After a restless night of whimpering and coughing, he seems a little better this morning (albeit VERY CRANKY), but I'm waiting to hear back from the doctor to find out if we should bring him in. Add to that poor Emma who woke up twice in the night with bad dreams... I'm one tired mama today!

So with Brody attached to me, I'm cleaning the house and getting ready for Emma's birthday party this weekend. I have rooms to clean, goodie bags to assemble, tables to set, signs to make... and I'm praying that I'll get it all done without a late night on Friday (especially since I already have plans to go out Friday night... more on that later).

I think I'll crank the music, make hot chocolate for the girls and I and work to accomplish everything on my list. At least there's no tempting weather out there today to lure me away from my work!

Hope everyone out there is having a great day!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not Blogworthy

Something funny happened to me last night when a friend was having dinner with our family.

I don't think it's blogworthy, but he swears it is. I feel like I might as well be blogging about how I drank a glass of water or tied my shoes this morning. Except that if I tied my shoes this morning, that would mean I was wearing my tennis shoes, which might mean that I was going to work out, which would mean there really might be something to blog about since the thought of working out paralyzes me with fear.

But anyway.

We were chatting at the table after dinner when I commented that my lap seemed warm. I chalked it up to these crazy post-baby hot flashes I've been having, but when I looked down and lifted Brody up, it was quite clear what was causing the unseasonably warm temperatures. Brody had had a blowout.

If you're a seasoned mom who did not envision a car on the side of the road, skip this next part, (mostly) compliments of dictionary.com.


1. a sudden bursting or rupture of an automobile tire.
2. a sudden or violent escape of air, steam, or the like.
3. a hollow formed in a region of shifting sands or light soil by the action of the wind.
4. an uncontrollable escape of oil, gas, or water from a well.
5. Aeronautics.
6. Slang. a lavish party or entertainment.
7. the result of too much poo and not enough diaper, often spilling out of the diaper, through the baby's clothes, and anything the baby's clothes might be touching. Like his mother's lap.

While it turns out that #2 is fitting, and #6 is surprisingly accurate according to the reaction Brody's blowout received, #7 is the correct definition. I held Brody up to discover that he had pooped his pants and mine.

I didn't think twice about finishing up my last few bites of dinner before changing us. Our friend LV, however, was howling with laughter, amazed that something like this could happen and that I'd casually finish dinner before cleaning us up. I think he was ready to have another helping of the Mexican Chicken Casserole until I compared the color of the cheese to the aforementioned blowout. Sorry 'bout that, LV.

Anyway, I didn't think it was all that blogworthy.

Until today when it happened again, and I just had to laugh. And I'm sorry for posting this picture, but seriously. Why do all the blowouts happen when Brody is wearing something light-colored? He has yet to have a blowout while wearing jeans or brown pants or navy blue pants.

And really, how could it NOT be blogworthy when I get these cute little grins while I'm changing us? It's impossible to not look forward to the next blowout when it results in this adorable little face!

Okay, that part isn't true. I'll probably not look forward to blowouts ever. But I might think of you, LV. Just like I think of you when I puke because when you lived with us I was pregnant with Emma and I had horrible morning sickness and you would laugh at me whenever I'd go throw up because you imagined that I was yelling at the toilet. Go ahead, tell me how honored you feel!

See, I knew it wasn't blogworthy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Turn it down and add some sugar

The other day, the kids and I walked down the street to the park on the corner. A woman was walking her little dog and of course, the girls rushed over to see it. They were down low with the dog, ooohing and ahhing and getting all sorts of wet kisses. I soon found myself bent over, speaking in a high-pitched voice to the dog too.

"Oooohhh! Wook at those widdle ears! Oh, you are the softest widdle guy, aren't you? Boodooboodooboodoo! Ah-Boodooboodooboodoo!!" Why we do turn into blubbering mushpiles when we talk to puppies and babies?

Anyway, in the midst of all the silly puppy talk, I felt my heart sink to my stomach. I realized that I was treating this dog much kinder than I'd been treating my own kids lately. I listened to my tone of voice - as silly as it sounded - and realized that it was much sweeter than the gruff, impatient utterances they'd probably gotten used to.

And I wanted to cry.

In my mind, I want to be the mom with the patient, sing-song voice who never loses her temper, and always talks sweetly to her kids. But I'm not. In fact, I'm a yeller. And I'm impatient. And I say things I later regret. Throwing an occasional "honey" or "sweetie" into demands or reprimands that I'm yelling does not justify my tone.

Now, before you let your imaginations run wild and imagine me yelling all sorts of profanities at my children, I'll stop you. There are things I'd never dream of saying to my kids, or anyone for that matter. I never, ever have told them to "shut up." There are words that are off limits, like "stupid" and "hate." I don't put them down or verbally abuse them. I just don't honor them or encourage them with the words I say or how I say them.

It's not only what I sometimes say, it's the way I say things, that makes me sick to my stomach. And I'm afraid they're going to remember me as a drill sergeant, always telling them what to do. "Clean your room NOW! What's taking you so long? HURRY UP!! Can't you hear me!?!???!?!" (And of course they can hear me, given the fact that I'm usually YELLING these words.)

I talk to my children in tones I wouldn't dream of using on Gary. I'd be ashamed. I'd want to crawl in a hole if my friends heard how I talk to them.

When they do something great, I want to say, "Great job, Emma!" with sincere enthusiasm and joy, instead of my monotone, "Good job, Em." She deserves better than that.

When they do something naughty, I want the patience to breathe deeply and say, "Addie! Pouring water all over the table on purpose is naughty. Please clean it up now." Instead, I find myself too often yelling, "Addie! You are so naughty! Clean it up NOW!!! You make me so mad!" I get choked up even typing that, knowing that's too often the script (and it's sometimes accompanied by an aggravated, guttural, "Arrrggghhh!" - you know the one!).

It kills me to think of all the opportunities I've missed to encourage and edify my kids. I want to meet their enthusiasm with my own enthusiasm. I want to meet their anger with gentle correction and patience.

Addie was throwing a fit the other morning about what to wear. (Starts early, doesn't it?!) After vetoing the fifth outfit I put on her, I started yelling at her, proclaiming that we were going to be late, why couldn't she just make up her mind, doesn't she know I'M in charge... blah, blah, blah! I cringe thinking about what a monster I am sometimes. Emma was sitting there with us and quietly crawled over to my ear and whispered, "Mommy, sometimes you're really hard on Addie. Maybe you should just take a break." Wow. It's amazing what God can say through a five-year-old.

So, I've really been praying about the way I use my voice and my words with my kids. I feel great relief when I hear Emma and Addie playing house with each other, speaking so sweetly to one another and calling each other "sweetie pie" and "cutie bug." I know they're listening to the good stuff. But they're taking in all the bad stuff too.

I've specifically been praying for patience and gentleness with my kids. I don't want to get worked up over every little thing. I have three little hearts to nurture, and I need the tenderness to do it. I've been thinking about Psalm 103:8 which says, "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love." There are days I could peg myself as the complete opposite of that. My yelling and harsh tones and anger bring nothing good to my home. Certainly not the peace and love my family deserves. It also doesn't not bring about the righteous life God desires for me (James 1:19-20). And really, the neighbors don't need to hear it. It's coincidence that a few neighbors have recently put their homes up for sale, right?

When we were little, my parents tape recorded my sisters and I fighting. We laugh now, but when they played it back for us years ago, it was embarrassing. And who am I kidding? It still is. I don't need to tape record myself yelling at my kids or speaking to them in tones I wouldn't use on a dog. I hear myself. And it makes me sick.

I was just trying to figure out how to end this and am sitting here quietly while the girls are watching a show together in the other room. Without prompting and for no reason, Addie just said, "I love you, Emma" in the most sincere, lovable voice you can imagine. So there you have it. I think I'll go hug them and whisper in their ears how much I love them. It won't make up for all the yelling, but it's a start.

Update: I went into the other room as I soon as I posted this to find that Addie had used scissors to cut lines in her shirt. Okay. Breathe... don't yell... breathe...!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Farewell, Fall.

I love fall. I love fall so much that when it starts, I'm already sad because I know it will end too soon. And even though fall is officially still here for another six weeks or so, fall is quickly being replaced by chillier winds and bare trees. I think there are only a few more days to squeeze out of the fall I know and love, before winter is escorted in for the next few months.

Yesterday I saw the last leaf fall from a tree on my way to pick up Emma from preschool. THE last leaf, perched at the very top of a tree. I happened to be looking at it as I stopped at a stop sign, and as I watched it... whoosh! It floated away. It sounds silly, but I felt strangely honored that God would let me watch it. There was no one else around; it was like our little secret.

Gary had yesterday off from work and raked up all of the leaves in our yard, which I was thankful for, but also a little sad that the evidence of such a beautiful fall was being discarded. *sigh* I guess fall can't last forever, and if it did, I wouldn't appreciate it so much!

Anyway, I'm feeling a little glum today (that's a shout-out to you, Mer) knowing all of our fall fun is over. All of the pumpkin carving, pumpkin patching, pile of leaves jumping, autumn trail walking, apple cider drinking, crazy Halloweening, fall picture taking is pretty much over for another year. I look forward to Thanksgiving as our last fall "hurrah" but until then... here is a pictorial tribute to Fall 2008! (And unbelievably, this is just a TINY fraction of the pictures I took in the last month. Truly. I am out of space on my hard drive.)

A bonus Fall Haiku for all of you troopers who made it to the end!

I love, love, love fall.
I love, love, love, love, love fall.
I really love fall.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...