Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Duck Soup

Friday Gracie had tea with her friend Duck. Here is the result:

Great Job!
But usually you pour it from the pitcher to the cup...

Or the pan.  And it's easier if the pitcher handle
is on the top when you pour...

Oh. Right. Let's do this correctly. Feel free to
pour the water out directly onto the table.
Now onto the cup...

Um, sweetie? The cup.
The CUP... right there next to you?

Yes! By jove, you've got it! A spot of tea!

Uh oh. Well, more than a spot.

More like a fountain.
It's full... you can stop now.

Back to the pot I see. Er, rather almost to the pot.
It really helps if you open your eyes.

One for me, one for you...

Finally! The reward for all that hard work!
How is it?

Ew. Really?

That bad?

Oh goodness.

Yes, let's just serve that one to Duck, shall we?
Looks like you had to drag him to the
table to sample your cooking.
(He thought we were having Duck Soup...)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bathroom SASS

Another SASS post, brought to you by today's sponsors, the letter "P" and the number "2":

If you're wondering if a mom, her mom purse, her two year old and an infant in a car seat can all fit into a regular size bathroom stall, the answer is yes.

The toddler has to step all the way in and stand beside the toilet, and for some reason (known only to God and two year olds) has to put both hands on the toilet seat while waiting for Mom. Mom then has to step in, hang purse on hook (please, please let there be a hook) and then lift the car seat to an almost vertical position to get the door to close. Once toddler has touched the toilet roll holder, tampon trash can and mommy's hair, the entire process is repeated in reverse to get all of us out.

But yes, it can be done.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Another Week Gone...

Last night my husband came home and found tufts of hair all over the house.

Gracie was in the bathroom playing with the water faucet, and I was on the couch "feeding" Mark. (Which is to say I was trying to nurse him while he was looking around the room wondering what the heck we were sitting on the couch for.) The tufts of hair were mine. I had been pulling it out all week...

Daddy took one look at me and decided I needed a night off. Boy was he right! This week has been a tough one for me. I took advantage this time (unlike last time) and had my nails done, shopped at Target, and went to McDonald's for some quality internet time. (More on the McDonald's thing later... if I can manage to re-live it via a post.)

The kids did well this week, although a visit to Papa and DeeDee's house helped to undo most of the discipline training I'd worked on last week. I never got away with what my dad and mom let my daughter do. Whatever happened to the two people that raised me?

Speaking of those two people, I must take a moment to say Happy Anniversary to the two most influential people in my life...

Congratulations on 37 years mom and dad!

There were actually two visits to Papa and DeeDee's this week. The first was on Saturday when daddy went to mow the grass on our property next door.

Gracie helped Daddy steer the tractor:
Gracie did most of the mowing, and daddy took the credit.
And she also had fun with the new chicks that had hatched:
Here sweetie, pet the new chick!

Gentle! Gentle!

Um, yes. There is a chick in there somewhere.
I guess we need to stop calling them
Chicken Nuggets.

The above was submitted as part of the:

Then later, Gracie stayed overnight with DeeDee and Papa, so mommy got some one on one time with Mark.

First, just for fun, she took pictures of his new bibs
(so he wouldn't have to wear the pink hand me downs from Gracie):
Uh, mom? This isn't a fashion show is it?

C'mon! You know I have a reputation to uphold!

Oh yeah. That's better...
Yes ladies, you read that right!

 And mommy managed to sort through all the clothes that had been given to the kids.
(Without help from Gracie, who just LOVES helping with laundry.
Thanks to everyone who donates to us - we sure do use what you've given!)

Mommy HATES sorting clothes, but she sure loves
the end result!

Then when we picked up Gracie, they both played on the swing set:

Grace is a pro, even on the "big" swing!

But Mark had never been on a swing before...

Uh, folks? I'm not so sure about this....

Are you sure this is right?

People!?! Are you listening???

We did have a good time this week, despite some serious issues mommy was having with bald spots from where she pulled her hair out. Now that her nails are done, you don't notice the bad hair quite so much...

If you're having a hard time keeping it together with your little ones this week, you're not alone. And if you aren't having a hard time... then offer to take someone else's kids for a few hours!
(Mine are available from ten to two, M-F. Kidding. Sort of.)

*No children were harmed in the making of this post. Yes, sometimes mommy grabs the camera instead of her children - but hey, how else are we supposed to capture all the "real" moments?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Okay, so this last weekend we changed our internet service. I was so excited! We were going to finally have broadband service and.... (drumroll please!) wireless internet at the house! We made sure the wireless was up and running before canceling our old service. It worked beautifully, and I could even check e-mail using my iPod Touch. I was in heaven.

Oh, you've noticed everything in the past tense??? Yes, at this moment I am sitting at McDonald's, typing up a post so my devoted readers (yes, both of you) will not be disappointed by my skipping a Wednesday post.

Our internet service went down unexpectedly yesterday. They do not know when it will be back up, but they are "aware of the problem" and will be working on it. Hmph.

Luckily, I was honored to have received a blog award from a new friend, and I had been working on the post to announce it. It happens to include links to some of my favorite bloggers. Since I don't have much to offer in the way of a post today, I would encourage you to get your daily dose by visiting one (or all) of these fabulous sites.

(NOTE: Please excuse any typos, incoherent thoughts or incomplete sentences in this post. I was hyped up on chocolate sauce, whipped cream and caffeinated coffee from McDonald's, sitting in a booth near the playplace and only had one hour during which my husband graciously allowed me to vacate the house without small children so I could get my internet fix.)

A Little Blogger Love...

I am honored to have received the "One Lovely Blog Award" from Crystal, over at My Life as Mom and Wife. She passed it on along with the following rules:

The rules for accepting and spreading the blogging love are as follows:

1. Grab the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

 2. Pay it forward to 5 other bloggers that you have newly discovered. (Okay, it's supposed to be fifteen, but I'm new to this blogging stuff, and I don't have fifteen yet... so I'm giving you the best of the best! I'm such a cheater...)

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they’ve been chosen.

Here are five bloggers that I admire, that post regularly, and that I truly enjoy reading. The links below will take you to one of my favorite posts of theirs, but click on the header/banner at the top of the blog to read more. And if you really like what you read, follow their blog so you won't miss any of the fun!

  1. uno, dos, Tracey is the first blog I read regularly. It is written by my friend Tracey, whose writing is so great, she made me want to write too. If you can make a bath towel interesting, and have me laughing at giraffes, then yes, I want to be just like you.
  2. Jennifer V. Davis was the second blog I ran across, as I was searching for potty training tips. Anyone who uses the phrase "vast amounts of urine" in a blog is someone I can definitely relate to! Her post, "The Morning I Knew My Husband Really Loves Me", inspired my post "Covered in Love". Her blog also gave me the final push I needed to start my own blog.
  3. I discovered Fruit of the Carolyn along the way, and Carolyn has a wonderful way of writing about her life that makes me want to chuck it all and go live on a farm with five kids. Okay, maybe four kids.
  4. Pull Ups and Pedicures appears to be a fairly new blog, but the name alone made me want to read it. And the post I've linked to made me an instant fan. Sometimes, you really do just have to laugh.
  5. One of my first followers from the outside blogger world was Jill at Meet the Dubiens. Her pictures are just amazing, and she always has great ideas for the little ones! I've admired her butterfly craft for her daughter's room, and her fun food ideas are just great.
Many thanks again to Crystal for thinking of me. I hope to live up to the compliment!

Monday, September 20, 2010

What is a SAHM?

A Seasoned Chef
Today I ate cold macaroni and cheese for lunch.

I ate it straight from the pot.

With the serving spoon.

While standing at the stove.

And it was 2:15 in the afternoon.

I'm trying to tone down the glamour here, lest all the working moms read this and decide that they too want to stay home with their kids so they can participate in this kind of excitement.

I assure you, when I was a working mom, I never got to do any of the fun stuff I do now that I'm a SAHM. I thought that SAHM stood for Stay At Home Mom. Now I'm not so sure.

SAHM: Sometimes Allowed Hot Meals.

The Perfect Hostess
You know how SAHMs always offer you a "refreshment" when you come to visit? It's not because they are concerned about your parched palate. SAHMs ask people to have a seat and offer them a drink in the hopes visitors will get up to use the bathroom and quarters will fall out of their pockets.

It's the only way we get paid.

If you've read my prior post "The Cleanest House", you may have noticed I have slipcovers on the couches. This makes it easier for SAHMs to get paid. Last time I checked the couches, I only found three crayons and the missing nose to Mrs. Potato Head. Very disappointing.

SAHM: Searching About, Hoping for Money.

Midnight Mommy
If you are a Stay At Home Mom, there is a good chance that a man in your life works outside the home to bring in enough money to cover the expenses that your couch hunting skills don't. This means that when a child is sick, teething, wetting the bed, sleepwalking, or up in the middle of the night for any reason, you are the Go-To-Girl.

SAHM: Sleep About Half as Much.

Always There
Don't get me wrong - I love being a Stay At Home Mom. I saw Mark roll over for the first time. I saw Gracie draw her first circle as we colored together. I saw her dance with delight as she discovered the water hose this summer. I see my kids discovering, learning, and growing every day...

SAHM: Sees All the Happy Moments.

Or is that Seize All the Happy Moments?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Junk Mail SASS

I got this in the mail yesterday, and I have to wonder what the marketing conversation was that took place when they decided on this ad:

JimBob: "I know! Let's offer free toilet paper!"

Carl: "Well, I don't know... I still like the free bait with every beer purchased."

JimBob: "Carl, we all know that Edgar buys the beer for whole group, so we won't get any extra customers that way. Everybody could use some toilet paper."

Carl: "I suppose you're right. How many should we give 'em?"

JimBob: "I was thinking an entire package - six rolls."

Carl: "Six rolls! JimBob, we're not made of money! I say we open the packages and just give 'em two each."

JimBob: "I dunno Carl, if we don't offer them enough incentive, they might just keep usin' the old phone book tear outs. How 'bout we compromise and offer four..."

Another Week Gone...

This week we didn't do a whole lot, which was probably good, because there seemed to be quite a bit of this going on:

I'm still having trouble remembering which day it is. Camping and coming home in the middle of the week has really thrown me off. You would think that since I stay home every day, it wouldn't really matter what day of the week it is, but it does.

The only thing I really got pictures of was the birthday party for Gracie's friend on Saturday. Olivia turned one, and we went to a BBQ and swim party to celebrate.

Hey Olivia, you think we could break through and
go swimming without anyone noticing?
Within moments of her arrival,
Gracie had made a new best friend.
(Thankfully, Micaela loved it!)

Did you see that? Yeah. Why are all the fun spots gated?

Gracie's thinking... "How am I going to get
that kitten away from that girl???"

We also celebrated Papa's birthday this week and went to the park. Other than that, it was just a quiet week at home:

Mark caught up on his reading.

Gracie practiced her peek-a-boo skills.

On a personal note, today is turning out to be a FABULOUS day for mommy! I got eight hours of uninterrupted sleep last night. The kids slept in this morning (after Mark ate at 6am). I took a shower, made coffee and got on the computer before they even woke up. The scale said I broke through the next ten pounds, and I now weigh 1*9.5! (You didn't really think I was going to put how much I weigh up for the whole world to see did you?) And finally....

I am NOT pregnant. Yay! Turns out all the crazy hormone stuff I've been feeling (and not sharing on the blog) must be from Mark eating less from me and more from a spoon. And my total exhaustion is because I can count on one hand the number of times I've had a full night's sleep this year. And I am constantly wanting to eat chocolate because... well, that one must be hereditary.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a fabulous day too!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Don't Miss This

Reflecting on Grace's second birthday reminds me how quickly time really goes by. Her brother hit some milestones recently: he's teething, and eating solid food for the first time. Sometimes it seems Gracie accomplished those same milestones just weeks ago...

The day before Grace was born.
I was 41 weeks...

When I was pregnant with Grace, I tried to enjoy my pregnancy as much as I could. I loved to feel her move in my belly. Feeling your baby move is an experience women only get to enjoy for a few months out of their entire lives. I loved the idea that only she and I knew when she was awake, or when she had the hiccups. It was like a secret club, and I was the leader.

Despite the fatigue and unavoidable aches and pains that come with pregnancy, I had a really good experience. I still felt pretty much like myself, I was just able to see the bottom of my belly button for the first time.

I did tend to cry more easily. A lot of jokes are made about pregnant women suddenly bursting into tears while watching commercials. (My favorite is still the LifeSavers commercial with the son and father watching the sun go down.) I had my tearful t.v. moment just four months into my pregnancy with Grace. It wasn't a sappy Hallmark commercial, or even a family drama. It was... um, Celebrity Apprentice.

This was 2008, when Trace Adkins was up against Piers Morgan as a finalist. Trace sang "You're Gonna Miss This" on the finale. I was fine (okay, maybe a little teary) through most of the song, until the part about the plumber and his "babies". When Trace sang that line, I lost it. Burst into tears while my astonished husband looked on. I couldn't help it. My daughter was only four months in utero, and I was already imagining her thirty years old and on her own.

The chorus of this song goes through my head often as I watch my kids. I sing it when I am doing something typical and repetitive, like washing sippy cups for the thousandth time, or putting another onesie on the baby because he spit up on the one I changed just ten minutes ago.  The ups and downs of parenting can be challenging, but often it's the mundane that has me dreaming of a permanent vacation. There always seems to be a never ending supply of household chores and needy children.

My secret club has disbanded. Gracie and I no longer share the secret of hiccups, and Mark no longer kicks my ribs to let me know he's about to start a party. These memories remind me that they won't be little forever; the attitude I choose during the tough times can make all the difference. So I try to cherish. I savor the moments I can, and have an attitude of "This Too Shall  Pass" when changing yet another diaper. After just two years, I'm already looking back with nostalgia and I know: someday I'm going to miss this.

If you're in a location where you can use your sound, you can listen to Trace Adkins "You're Gonna Miss This" by clicking here:

If you're unable to play the song, here's the third line and the chorus that sent me over the edge...

Five years later there's a plumber, workin' on the water heater,
Dogs barkin', phones ringin', one kid's cryin', one kids screamin',
And she keeps apologizing, he says "They don't bother me.
I've got two babies of my own, one's thirty-six, one's twenty-three."

It's hard to believe, but

You're gonna miss this, You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days, Hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times, So take a good look around
You may not know it now, But you're gonna miss this

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

For My Fellow Bloggers

I've only been at this blogging thing a couple of months, and already I've met some fun people and read some great posts! One of Gracie's favorite things to do is Hop, Hop, Hop! (Thank you Elmo...)

So when I saw this on another blog, I had to join. It just looked like too much fun! If you enjoy reading blogs, there is a lot of variety already popping up on this one. My favorite so far is "Always Room for Pie"... she is a riot! I have sent a request to my "Guest Blogger" friend, so hopefully you'll be seeing her post here soon.
Here is the info on how to have a hopping good time!


Welcome to our first Friends You Love Blog Hop!
This month is about building friendships and making our existing friendships stronger...
We challenge you to dig into your "followers" list and find a follower you don't know well and reach out to them and ask them to do a guest post on YOUR blog. Link up with your guest post and have your new friend (guest poster) link up as well!
We will be running this blog hop every Monday this month, so spread the word, spread the love, and darn it, go make some new friends!

Links to the blog hop can be found at the bottom of the page... so please join in!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Cleanest House

"If you've come to see me, come anytime.
If you've come to see my house, make an appointment."

Once upon a time, in a city far, far away, I lived in a three bedroom house with just my Prince Charming and I.

And the house was kept clean. (Well, mostly.)

Then, a stork brought a little bundle of joy, and our two income household was able to afford a housekeeper once a month so I could play with my Munchkin instead of clean the toilets.

And the house was kept clean. (Well, sort of.)

Then, the stork brought another bundle of joy, the Prince moved his family to a new house, and the housekeeper and second income went away.

And the house was kept... well, like this:

Okay. So it's not always like this. But this was 10 am on a Tuesday morning, and I swear, the house had been picked up the night before. Before you get eye strain trying to figure out exactly what is going on in the poorly lit picture above, let me enlighten you:

Just that morning, Auntie Ginger had left after her visit. (This is how I know the house had been picked up the night before... we had company for goodness sakes!). The green blob on the couch are sheets from Auntie Ginger's bed. They hadn't quite made it to the laundry in the garage.

The mess on the coffee table is Gracie's stuffed animal "Duck", and the crayons and coloring pad Auntie and Grace used to color together.

The multi-colored blobs on the floor are from the new toy that Auntie got Mark, and Gracie hijacked and opened that morning. (The box from the toy is the white blob on the floor by the coffee table.)

The shoes are Prince Charming's. He did not place them there - his littlest princess did. After all, her fascination with shoes began at a very early age. These shoes have lots of velcro that are noisy and easy to open. And so, they take their place in the middle of the walkway to the living room.

The clothing in front of the couch is the freshly washed load that was brought in just minutes prior to the picture being taken, and had been thrown from the couch onto the floor by the little girl in the picture who is trying to look innocent, but is actually the cause of all this disaster.

(No, she has no pants on... just a diaper. But that is another story, and not relevant to this post, since she somehow managed not to throw the pants into the middle of the living room too - not that anyone would have noticed if she had.)

Finally, the purple Tinkerbell chair and large round bouncer are used to corral the young royals when needed. They are sometimes moved to other rooms, but alas, they do indeed tend to live in this one.

Just three hours later, the royals were napping in their beds, and I worked to get the room back into shape. When finished, it looked like this:

And the house was kept clean. (Well, sometimes.)