Monday, June 30, 2008

"Not Us"

This morning, I opted for a rather unconventional breakfast; I gave the children "puffcorn" ( As the children were licking the salty, buttery badness off their chubby little digits, I commented to the wee ones -- ever so modestly -- that not everyone gets puffcorn for breakfast, and they evidently have the best mother in the world.

My angelic almost 8-year-old daughter piped up from living room couch with an indignant, "No, we don't."

"Oh yeah?" I responded. "So who does?"

"I don't know," my daughter said with utter confidence and maybe a hint of disdain, "but not us."
Alrighty then... I love you too!

A Mighty Heart

Last weekend I watched the movie "A Mighty Heart" with the best next door neighbors ever. It was my turn to choose a movie from NetFlix and Hubby decided he couldn't possibly stomach the drama-based-on-real-life tragic death of journalist Daniel Pearl. Our fabulous neighbors humored me and sat through my bewildered questions (movie seriously needed subtitles!) about what the heck was going on, as well as my hysterical sobbing at the end. Hello! We all knew that Daniel Pearl was going to die and not be found alive (it was all over the news in 2002), but just the same, I couldn't handle the thought of having my husband kidnapped and then horrifically killed (by beheading!!!) while I was pregnant with our first child. Putting myself in Mrs. Pearl's shoes was too much. I am still haunted by the film. Angelina Jolie did a fabulous job of portraying Mariane Pearl (Daniel's wife). I really, really liked her in this role... and she's not usually my favorite.

Now, Hubby's movie choice has arrived. I do not think I will be able to force myself to sit through Eddie Murphy's "Norbit". Seriously... I think the comedy will just be too awful. I should log-in to our NetFlix account and take over the next several movie choices. I think I will... Husband is in Canada on business.

Serves him right for ditching me with the precious children again -- who I love more than life itself. But G's favorite phrase is "ALL BY MYSELF" at the top of her lungs and is usually quickly followed by D's adamant "NO!" E is hell bent on becoming an evil "tween" (not quite a teenager, but not quite a small child either) before she needs to and I am about over the edge. In the mean time, H just turned 4 and it can be challenging to be an only child 75% of the time and then come into our loving, albeit hectic, free-for-all.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dry Heat

While in Vegas, Husband was so kind that he surprised me with tickets to see Carrot Top (comedian) at the Luxor. At one point, CT was talking about the heat in Vegas. He was making fun of folks who say, "But the heat in Vegas isn't that bad. It's a DRY heat." CT then said the best line ever... "Why don't you crank your oven to 450 degrees and then stick your head in there. That's a dry heat so it shouldn't be that bad!"

I have never understood the "dry heat" concept. Isn't it still hot enough to cook an egg on the sidewalk?! (The high temps while I was in Vegas on June 13-16 were between 105-110 degrees.) Granted, it's nice that your skin can breathe and not drown in the moisture already in the air, but to me -- it all boils down to the fact that it's just plain uncomfortable when it gets that hot! Humid heat, dry heat, or otherwise.

No Excuse

Alrighty then...just took almost three weeks off from blogging. How terrible of me. I missed my ranting and captive audience! I guess it's futile to share how busy life is and try to use that as an excuse. Truth be told, we ARE busy but I have been just plain lazy and tired for no apparent good reason.

Just wanted to check in and say hi -- we are all still alive and well. I will post more soon with some pictures of our recent events. (Las Vegas vacation, H's 4th birthday party, misc happenings around the craziest house on the West side...)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

By The Way...

Last Thursday, I posted a homemade ice cream in a bag recipe with the high hopes of trying it out with the children over the weekend. I never quite got around to that ambitious plan. And somehow I don't think I will get to it this weekend either. I will be jetting off for a long weekend in Vegas with my fabulous husband on Fri. Can't wait!!! Guess the ice cream plans will just need to wait a bit longer...

Magic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Tonight, Nanny, Molly, and I took E and G to see the play "Magic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle" at The Children's Theater Company in Minneapolis. We actually have season tickets and this was our final show of the year. It is awesome to watch E and now slowly G too, fall in love with live theater productions. Their beautiful, innocent little faces mirror the feelings of the drama unfolding on the stage in front of us. It's such a joy to see them bask in the production before them. I love their passion and excitement. I hope they continue to keep those feelings -- passion and excitement for life -- in the forefront of their mind as they navigate life.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Baby of Mine

The other night, I wandered over to my seven year old around bedtime. She was laying on the couch, ready for bedtime stories. As she was settling onto the couch, I lay down next to her. We chatted for a few minutes, my mommy heart full of adoration at the sweet moment with my precious daughter. My mind wandered to the days when she was a newborn, just over nine pounds. In those days, she would lay next to me, curled into a tiny little peanut, and burrow tightly up against me. But now she is getting so very tall and takes up almost as much space as I do. (Well, not exactly, but you get the picture.)

I thought about these things with a sigh. I reached over and brushed my fingers across her hair, moving it out of her face...

And then she tooted. I mean, TOO-TED! The kind of earth-rattling honk that almost lifted both of us off the davenport!

We laughed together until our sides hurt, snorting and tossing each other a high five.

I loved that little baby, but oh, how I love the young woman she is becoming. Love just keeps growing exponentially.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


A random thing I have learned from being a parent: You can wash a clean diaper (Luvs are my brand of choice) in the washing machine, and 50% of the time, it will not explode! It shows you just how truly absorbent a diaper can be! We should be leaving these things on much longer, ladies!

How do I know this? Well, I have now washed a clean diaper 2 times and only once did it explode -- leaving millions of tiny crystal particles all over EVERYTHING. (What the hell are in those things anyway? They look like that silica packet that comes with shoes that you are not supposed to eat.) I noticed the wash was a little noisy, but thought nothing of it until it was done and there sitting at the top of the load was a clean, full, 5 pound diaper. Now, now... stop laughing! No, I did not weigh it but it was AT LEAST 3 pounds!

How did a clean diaper end up in the wash you ask? I choose to blame my mischievous children. Our laundry baskets are all over the house. One basket in particular seems to be very tempting to the children... the basket that sits in front of the washing machine in the kitchen seems to call to the children in a language I do not understand. I often find mystery surprises in the basket -- sometimes before the wash, and other, not-so-fortunate times after the wash.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Learn the Hard Way

This is your chance to share with the internet, all of your "lessons-learned-the-hard-way".

Here is my random assortment of things that just don't work for me:

Waxing. Technically speaking, this did work for me. I mean in the sense that the hair in question was indeed removed. However, it was not removed before I screamed in pain and nearly threw the waxing-girl across the room. My eyebrows are a bit scary, but I don't know how often I can make myself do that...

Yelling at my child that she should stop yelling so much. Ahem.

Thinking anything is safe in my mini-van parked directly in front of my home under a very bright street lamp. Anything... stolen items over the years include digital camera (Husband's fault!), purse, quarters in the center console, a NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK tape, half drank can of Diet Pepsi, etc. In case I haven't mentioned it before -- Don't park in front of my house over night. JUST DON'T DO IT!

Magic Erasers. I know some people swear by these, but I don't like how they get all slimy and soapy right in your hand. Give me a washcloth and cleaner any day.

Going to the big box store without a well thought out shopping list. I still do this sometimes and unfortunately it never works out well. I always end up with entirely too many Little Debbies in my cart and not enough cans of green beans or diapers or toilet paper or... you get the idea.

Garage sales. I have never found that garage sales make as much money as the work they seem to be to put together. I'd usually rather just donate the items to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. And a charity gets some benefit as well.

So, what doesn't work for you? What have you learned thru hard life experience?


For the record, LOVE the smell of coffee but can't stand the taste. Diet Pepsi is my first drug of choice.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Egocentric Americans and Offbase Media Coverage

Now I understand that between advocacy and adoption Angelina Jolie has helped many children. Perhaps she is a naturally good or loving mother. Heck, she's probably a great mom. But when Time magazine reports that a local rights group in Malawi objected to Madonna's attempt to adopt one of their country's orphans and even went as far as saying that the millions Madonna strove to raise for Malawi orphans, "doesn't change the fact that," Madonna is "no Angelina Jolie." I pause. There are so many important stories in the news right now that are more vital to obliterating Americans egocentric obsessions -- not to mention the awful sensationalism the general media outlets exploit -- but this story just bugs me. Isn't it good that Madonna raised millions for orphans, no matter what country they are in? If you want to share your thoughts on the topic, I'm open.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

I saw this recipe for Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag on Family Fun a while ago and I've been meaning to do it with the kids. Maybe this weekend I can drag myself to the store and get the ingredients! (We all know that's not going to happen, but let me dream a bit.)

2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup salt (The bigger the granules, the better. Kosher or rock salt works best, but table salt is fine.)
Ice cubes (enough to fill each gallon-size bag about half full)
1 pint-size ziplock bag
1 gallon-size ziplock bag

1. Combine the sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.

2. Place the salt and ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it's done.

3. Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, add mix-ins, and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Easy cleanup too! Serves 1.

Note: One of the commenters on Family Fun said she adjusted the recipe for her pre-k class: My class (18) each had their own bag and I used 1/2 C. whole milk, 1 tbsp. sugar, 1/4 tsp. vanilla each bag.

If you have tried this, let me know what you think!

What Hedonism Sounds Like

One of my favorite places to be is E's school on the last day of the year to hear the final dismissal bell.

THAT is the sound of happiness -- children streaking up and down the halls without a care in the world, giggling, smiles exploding from there innocent faces.

Remember the feeling?! Three months of sleeping late, swimming, popsicles, lazy hours running amok -- all stretched out before you. Back in the days when three months was still a long time...

I am missing that sound today, because I am working... but I remember.

1. the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the highest good.
2. devotion to pleasure as a way of life.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


The children were biking and scootering recently and I like some of the pictures, but I am too lazy to paste them into my blog. If you'd like to see them, you can view them at Enjoy their cuteness.

MOM! Dandelions are Flowers too...

Why do all children love dandelions? Is it because we, as parents, actually allow them to pick dandelions -- which they view as flowers -- but we do not let them near any of our "real flowers"?

Recently I almost brought E to tears when I mentioned to her father that I wanted to spray the yard with weed killer to rid ourselves of the dreaded yellow things. Note to self -- Do NOT ever, never, under any circumstances, make that kind of sacrilegious comment in front of my children again. I thought they would bludgeon me to within an inch of my life...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Buried Alive

One of G's and D's favorite games is to bury the other one under a mountain of stuffed animals. The act of burying one another under the fluffy, cuddly, odd looking stuffed creatures that fill their bedroom seems to produce great fits of giggles -- much to my delight. Well, at least it does until one or the other gets frustrated and busts out, which generally includes a well placed fist to the other child's head. Oh! The joys of parenthood!
Did I happen to mention that G is an exhibitonist and it seems to be IMPOSSIBLE to keep clothes of any sort on her. Any ideas about how to keep her clothes on, short of duct tape? (Which I have sconsidered recently since she strips everyehere!!!)

Helmets are a Must

Over the weekend, Auntie Katie tried her motorcycle helmet on G and D. It was so heavy, the children looked like bobble head dolls. They could barely hold their heads up. It was impossible not to cackle at theie expense...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sock Hop

Yesterday we hosted a 1950's themed "Sock Hop" for E's Brownie Troop, as a year end event. We had a blast. More details and pictures will follow this evening...