Saturday, August 30, 2008

something worth blogging about

This morning I was lamenting the fact that I couldn't remember just one of the multitudes of ideas I have during the day of what I could blog about.   Just as I had almost given up, my dear son came through for me.  I should have known - having children will give me no shortage of blogging topics.
As I was lazily hopping around on the internet, Little Man came bounding downstairs just so excited about something.  He was holding his right hand out and saying "spar-qui, spar-qui."  Spar-Qui?  Spar....qui ....  OH!  Sparkly!  Wait, he's saying "sparkly" and holding out his...
Oh no!
Is that....?
This is too funny!
Little Man has fingernail polish on!  Light pink and sparkly.
"Monkey!!!  Did you paint your brother's nails???"
"No, I didn't do it" came her innocent reply.
"My do it" says her little brother.
I could not stop laughing.  And what made it even better is that he actually did a decent job with his LEFT hand!  (He usually colors and "writes" with his right).
Trey was not amused.  Which made me laugh even more.  I mean, come on - he's 2 and 1/2 years old and wants to do everything big sister does.  Even if it is painting fingernails.  Needless to say, we cleaned off the polish right after I took a picture.  This is kharma in action because I remember Trey and I laughing about another friend's son who, at about the same age as Little Man, would run around the house in his sister's dress-up clothes at Thanksgiving dinner.  
This is the nail polish he got out of Monkey's room.  Mawmaw, if you'll notice, this is part of the birthday present you gave Monkey.  I bet you didn't realize that Little Man might be wearing it, too!
I was so focused on getting pictures to post for the blog, I didn't take a full shot of him holding out his hand, so proud of his work.  I wish now that I had, for future prom dates and wedding slide show, because that would be just too much fun.
I've been laughing about it all day long... 

Question of the day

What happens to the white when snow melts?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

she did it!

Last month I posted that Monkey auditioned for and got a solo in a performance our church's summer children's choir was producing.  Last night was the big night.  Our church served a fellowship dinner and after the dinner, the children did their show.
Sure, there were a few technical difficulties and sometime lines were cued by the director, but the singing was wonderful.  Monkey's song had two solos in it; hers was the second one.  After the first girl finished, Monkey went to stand by the mike, but she had to wait for some spoken parts to be finished.  I'm guessing she stood at the front of the stage for about 2-3 minutes before she actually started singing.
She did so well!  There's no way I could have done what she did and we're so proud of her.  Actually, all the children did great!  We're all very proud of how they all did.  It was very enjoyable and funny and I think they all had a great time.  They even earned a standing ovation!  (but then,  I think most of the audience had children or knew children performing, so of course they had a standing ovation!)
A note to the grandparents- we did take pictures and video tape the whole thing.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ahoy, matey!

After a long and arduous debate, we are now boat owners.  Dave Ramsey would not be proud.  For those Total Money Makeover purists - yes, we deviated from the path just long enough to get a boat.  However, it was a really good deal on a well-taken-care-of used boat and I'm already envisioning lots of family time out on the lake.  And we'll be right back on the path tomorrow.
And I can't wait to have a girls' night out on it!
We have friends that have a boat, so I completely blame them for my desire to have one.  I was happy to be a boatless family until last summer when we went out with them on theirs.  Yes, while Trey is definitely on board (get it?  ha-ha) with it, this was driven a lot by me.  We've had other "play" vehicles before - a Harley-Davidson and a Miata - but those were mainly Trey's.  We weren't able to enjoy them together without having to plan for babysitting.  And he was able to use them more than I, simply because I usually have the kids with me.  Oh, and I don't know how to ride a motorcycle on my own.  At least with the boat, we'll all be able to go out as a family and have fun!  (or on a girls' night)
I don't have a picture of the actual boat, but here's a shot from the Sea Ray website.  We're finally getting lots of rain (thanks to Faye, I believe) but I'm hoping that by the weekend, we'll be able to actually use our new toy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

school shooting

A friend told me about a school shooting that happened yesterday.  Seems like a really interesting coincidence that I just wrote yesterday about what you say when your hand is on the door.  What do you tell your children when you send them off to school?
I'm still digesting this information about the school shooting, but my first thoughts are how sad, how terribly sad it is to lose a child and to be the parent of a child who shoots and kills another.  I just can't imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes.
Hug your little ones today...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

car line

We have a busy school.  There are almost 1000 children at our school and we're only K-2nd grade.  In the mornings, parents volunteer to open car doors to make things move more smoothly and quickly.  This is a pretty interesting thing if you like to people watch.
I saw a man today drinking coffee out of a Disney mug.  I know it was Disney because it had Cinderella on it.  
I saw really clean cars (on the inside, I mean).
I saw cars like mine that weren't really clean.
I will say this:  when school is in and I'm using the car line to drop off/pick up Monkey, I tend to clean out my car more often.  I can't have total strangers looking at the mess in my car!  I mean, really!  What would they think?
I hear lots of "I love you"'s and "have a good day"'s and occasionally "make good choices."  Which leads me to something I heard at church on Sunday.  Last week, we had a visiting pastor who was also a master storyteller; Rev. Charles Maynard.  Let me digress for a minute.  Storytelling is a lost art.  We, as a society, are so driven to get it done and done fast, we don't take the time to listen to or even tell a good story.  He told a great story about a magic life-saving stick on Sunday.  If our church posts a podcast of it, I'll link to it later, somehow.
OK, back on point.  He opened with the statement that the most important things we say, we say with our hands on the door.  As we're leaving.  Think about it.  What do you say to a loved one as you're leaving the house or getting off the phone?  What final message do you want them to get?  He said that often, when he's visiting people, the most important things they have to say to him as a pastor/friend come after he says something like "I need to be going soon..." 
With our children, the thing that comes to mind most often and easiest is "I love you."  I want them to know I love them.  But what about when sending them to school?  "Make good choices," "Be a good boy/girl," "Have a good day" - those all come to mind and I heard varying degrees of all those, and more.  But a few parents didn't say anything.  Nothing.  Nothing to bid their child a good day.  Maybe they said it before I opened the door.  I'd like to think that's the case instead of the alternative - telling them nothing.
But it doesn't just apply to the drop-off line.  What about at home or at work?  Is someone you know leaving to fight in Iraq or heading off to college?  What about a close friend who is moving away?  Or are you moving away?
What do you say when your hand is on the door?

bygone era...

I was channel surfing (I do that a lot) last night because the Olympics just wasn't holding my attention.  I'm guessing I just wasn't watching the right event.  Anyway, I found something on TV that I haven't seen in a long, long time.
wait for it...
Mork and Mindy!  What a classic TV show.  I LOVE Robin Williams.  I used to watch Mork and Mindy when I was a kid.  I even had my own Mork suspenders.  As I sat there and watched, I wondered how many antics that Williams did on the show were written in and how many were just him making it up as he goes along.  I kept watching the other actors to see if they'd crack up.  I saw a few "almosts" but no actual cracking up, like on Saturday Night Live for example. 
So then, today, instead of doing anything remotely productive, like housework or whatever, I watched you tube videos of Mork and Mindy.
Nanu nanu

Monday, August 18, 2008

Question of the day

What is your "guilty pleasure" TV show, the one you love to watch but can't admit to anyone that you do?
For me it's Gene Simmons' Family Jewels....  love that show!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


It's a simple question.  People have been asking it forever.  Scientists like asking it.  It's led to all sorts of discoveries.  "Why is the sky blue?"  "Why did the apple fall from the tree?"
Theologists like it.  "Why am I here?" is a good lead-in for many faith-based discussions.  "Why did that (insert sad event here) have to happen?" is another.
Archeologists like to ask it when they find odd tools or symbols.  "Why did they use flint instead of bone?" 
Animal behaviorists like to answer "why is my cat not using the litter box?"
"Why" is in good company.  It is friends with "Who," "What," "Where," and "How."  One can learn a lot asking "why?"  Sometimes the answer leads to other questions - another "why" perhaps, or maybe a "how?"
I never really thought about "why" that much.  I used to laugh when I would hear about children asking hard to answer "why" questions.  I thought - "Ha, I'll know exactly what to say.  I'm smart."  Heh-heh.  Yeah.
Little Man hasn't asked those hard "why" questions, like "why is the sky blue" or "why does the sun move across the sky?"  No.  He just asks "why?"
Don't hit your sister.
Because it hurts.
Because you're hitting her.
I dunno, why are you hitting your sister?
It's time for bed.
Because it's night time.
Because it's dark outside.
Because it's night time.
Because the day is done.
because it's time to go to sleep.
because you're tired and had a busy day.
because your mommy is trying to get you exhausted by the end of the day so you'll go straight to sleep without getting out of your bed over and over so mommy can have some quiet time before she goes to sleep because she's tired from chasing you all day.
because you need to go to sleep.
because... because... because I said so.
Mommy's leaving the room now.
because mommy can't take it any more.
because you keep asking "why?"
I don't know why you keep asking "why"
I think Little Man is going to be a very curious learner.

we love the zoo

As stated previously, we went to the zoo yesterday.  We love the zoo.  It's just the right size for kids to run around and get thoroughly exhausted without getting lost.  I took the stroller so I could have a "cart" for the lunch and the camera bag and Little Man's Diego backpack and my purse.  No, I don't travel light - why do you ask?  Anyway, Little Man's little tush never went in the stroller until it was time to leave - and then I had to strap him in kicking and screaming.
First we saw bears.  This is the first time I've been there and have actually seen movement from within the confines.  
This is usually all we get.
Then we went to see the rhino's.  I learned something yesterday I never knew.  White rhinos are only called that because the name was misunderstood.  They were actually called, by the dutch if I remember right, Wide nose rhinos.  Well, "wide" sounded like "white" and that's what it became.  The Black rhinos were named that just so there'd be a differentiation from the other rhinos.  Huh.  Who knew?  I also found out their heads weigh 1000 pounds and the male is 38 years old and the females are 41?  Or 42?  
These are red pandas.  They're just about the cutest things ever! 
And when cute things have babies, it's even cuter!  This little guy could barely walk.  I wanted to take him home with me.
Our posse of children.  What you don't see here is Little Man trying to actually climb OVER the fence.  Just like Monkey....  Oh, the little girl in brown is a good friend of Monkey's.  She started kindergarten this year and her class met yesterday.  They don't get started every day until the second week of school or something.  If Monkey knew she was at the zoo while we were, we'd never hear the end of it! 
The zoo now has a butterfly house.  Naturally, I loved it.  There weren't as many butterflies as I'm sure there were in the spring, but it was still pretty cool.  One even landed on me! 
This one looks like a dead leaf when his wings are closed.  Pretty cool, huh?   
We have three elephants at our zoo.  Again, Little Man tried to climb the fence.  Maybe he should be called Monkey... 
Everyone is fascinated by a leggy bird. 
Here's lookin' at you kid...  One of two lion cubs.  They're still young, less than 2 years old, but they weren't very active.  At least this one was awake.  The other was sound asleep. 
This is our old silverback.  He was eating a snack... 
There were two inside their house.  This one was posing for the kids... 
Our chimps have a baby.  It's hard to tell, but the one in the middle is holding the baby.  We were guessing she was either feeding the baby or the baby was sleeping.  The mommy was grooming the baby and the chimp on the right was playing with the baby's feet. 
 It was really neat to watch them as a family unit.  The one on the left kept checking on the little one, like in the above picture.  The one on the right just couldn't stop playing with the baby's feet. 
Our white tiger.  We do actually have a nice enclosure for it.  It has trees, a small waterfall, lots of nice places to lay down.  Yet, it's laying here.  On the concrete.  By the door.  Our husky used to do this in Oklahoma, so I'm guessing there's a draft of a/c coming from under the door. 
We have our very own meer cat manor. 
This camel followed Little Man all along the fence.  And when I told Little Man to say hi to the camel, he turned around and waved to an older man sitting on the bench nearby.  The lady who was with him thought it was very funny... 
A very large tortoise... 
The petting zoo.  If you're wondering why the goat is sitting so still.... 
... he was getting his beauty sleep.
Little Man creating his own zen garden...
Oh, to be a kid again.... 

Thursday, August 14, 2008


photo by wallyg
This is a picture of me.  
Not really, it's a picture of Picasso's girlfriend, Jolie.  See her?  She's holding a mandoline?  Promise, she's in there.  This is how I feel like I look on any given day of the week.  Trey would say I bring this on myself, and he's partly right.  You see, I like to do things.  I like to stay active.  I look forward to the days that I have something specific to do, like drive to a lake to look at a boat, or go to the zoo, or even meeting some friends for lunch or volunteering at Monkey's school.  Simple things, big things, doesn't matter as long as it's not housework.
The problem lies in that I end up feeling like I'm overwhelmed and pulled in several different directions.  The housework, for example.  If I miss even one day, it piles up and I start to feel overwhelmed.  I think I've mentioned that I don't like to clean.  But I do like the peace I have when it is clean.  Catch 22.  
I read a post last night about slowing down.  It spoke to me on many different levels, but how does one who likes to be active go about slowing down?  I've lost my quiet mornings due to having the puppy to take care of, so what about my quiet evenings?  Bedtime used to be easy.  7:30.  That's it.  Now I'm fighting the "get back in bed" battle every night and by the time they're asleep, I'm whipped and there's nothing left in me for relaxing.  Little Man doesn't nap anymore, not really, so I've lost that mid-day quiet time.  Oh, I know!  I'll put him in front of the TV!  That'll give me quiet!  But then I have guilt for being that mom who uses the TV as a babysitter.
I have to say, this post originally started out as one big pity-party about how busy I am and how badly I manage my time.  I deleted most of that even though it was all true.  Why?  Well, you don't need to read a pity-party - that's no fun.  But also because after this morning's trip to the zoo, I realized that it's all just "stuff" and I shouldn't sweat the small stuff and that it's all small stuff.  Sure, I still have a to-do list a mile long.  I'll probably spend more time worrying and trying to figure out everything that I have to do than actually getting it done (because I have poor time management skills), but that's me. 
Today, I found quiet time sitting in the shade watching Little Man play while we were eating lunch or watching him dig in the sand.  I found quiet time strolling along talking to my friends while the horde of children we brought with us stormed on ahead.  I found time to stop and read a little while sitting in the parking lot of Monkey's school, waiting to pick her up.
Disjointed?  Sure, I still feel disjointed.  The above is still a pretty good self-portrait, but you know?  It's me.  That's how I roll.  I like to stay busy, but I have to find those quiet moments, somehow.  That's when you start to see the girl in the painting playing the mandolin.

Question of the day

In a climate controlled house, how long does it take for a lost sippy cup of milk to go sour?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Rumor has it that I like to cook.  Trey would like to refute that, and so would I actually, but secretly, I do.  Sometimes.  When it's unhealthy.  Or when I don't have to clean up.  Actually, I have a fantasy kitchen in my head and it's big and open with a great prep-island with either stone or marble surface.  Marble is good for pastries and I have a great homemade apple pie recipe complete with homemade crust.  I'm also considering baking my own bread some this winter.  I hear it's cheaper and I bet it's healthier since I don't have any high fructose corn syrup in my pantry.  Can you believe they put that in bread?  but I digress....
Some of the blogs that I read have cooking sections.  One of my favorites is over on The Pioneer Woman's website.  You should check it out.  She also takes great pictures.  Anyway, in honor of her, I'm posting a recipe that people have started requesting from me.  Tomorrow morning is our first PTA Board of Managers' meeting and I'm among those bringing food.  Imagine that!   So here's my recipe for fruit trifle.  It's a great light summer recipe.
  The cast of characters.  Fresh blueberries and strawberries, store baked angel food cake (I've used pound cake, too), 2 cups milk, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla pudding and whipped topping.  Oh, I used to sell Pampered Chef, so you'll see I use almost all their stuff.  I have a well-stocked kitchen.
Cut the angel food cake into smaller squares.  The easiest way is to start by cutting it in half this way...
Then slice it this way... 
Then start slicing the sections into cubes.
Start layering your trifle with the cake squares.
This is me mixing the pudding too early.  That's what happens when you get caught up in taking cool pictures of pouring milk into a bowl.
I added 1 cup of the condensed milk in replace of 1 cup of milk (still total of 3 cups with the instant pudding).  There are two different ways you can do this.  Let it set and layer it with the fruit or wait until the very end and pour it over all the layers letting it set around the fruit and cake.  That's what I wanted to do, but instead, I'm making individual layers because I mixed it too soon.
mix well...
start adding your fruit.  Frozen blueberries will work, too, if you can't find fresh. 
I have this really neat tool to slice my strawberries.  
it's fast and easy...
and it makes perfect slices.  But you can use a paring knife, too. 
So, we've started with cake, added blueberries and strawberries. 
add some of the custard and spread it around on top of the fruit.  If you're waiting until the end like I suggested before, then skip this and start layering cake again. 
more layering...
Final layers.  This is when you would pour the mixed, but not set, pudding if you were doing it that way.  
Top it off with whipped topping and viola!  Trifle!  Stick it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight and you're all done!! 
Let me know if you like this idea of me adding cooking recipes.  I can't promise great pictures or delicious recipes, but it could be fun.

Monday, August 11, 2008

oh yeah...

And this is what happens when you leave a 2 year old to his own devices while you're updating photos on your blog.
Yes, that is from a sharpie that I keep in the drawer, not those nice washable crayolas.
Just so you know, Soft Scrub with bleach and a green scrubby pad cleaned it up nicely.  Darn, I was hoping for new kitchen countertops.  Maybe I should stick to working on my blog at night after they go to sleep.

overloaded camera

I hooked up my camera last night to the computer to upload all the pictures from Friday and Saturday and apparently I haven't done that in a while because I had 247 pictures to import.  You remember that digital camera commercial with the kid in a perpetual cannonball?  Yeah, I'm his mom.  I thought I'd share just a few with you.
Trey got the kids those bubble guns a few weeks ago.  It was a "blizzard of bubbles" according to Monkey.  Little Man kept wanting to trade with Monkey because he thought hers worked better.  She was just better at using whichever one she had.
The puppy was tearing it up one evening after the kids went to bed.  It was pretty cute.
 At least we thought the kids were in bed.  Check out Monkey's monkey pajamas.
It's hard work tearing up a fuzzy giraffe-print squeaky bone, isn't it?
Playdog centerfold, here we come.
Friday was a perfect day for playing outside.  A different park near where we live has fishing docks by the play area.  The kids loved running up and down.   
You can't really tell in this picture, but there's a log house for children to climb on in the center, next to the tree.  Monkey and her friend are sitting on top talking about whatever it is six-year-olds talk about.
Monkey felt the need to rescue Little Man from the geese.  I don't think she realized it was the geese that needed rescuing.
Beautiful day.  I could have laid in the grass all afternoon...  until Little Man went head first into the water that is (he didn't, but it could very easily have happened).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

quick updates...

It's been a busy weekend for all of us.  We had another marathon birthday party day yesterday.  The first one was, of course, Monkey's.  It was at the home of the cheesy big rat.  Just so you readers know, 10:30 on a Saturday morning is a great time to start a birthday party at Chuck's.  Sure, there were other children around, but no where near as many as there were when we left at 12:30.  We were even able to let Little Man wander around "playing" the different games without having to hover over him.  
After lunch, we had "quiet time" in front of the TV, then some coloring for about an hour or so before we had to leave for the next party.  Little Man isn't napping so much any more.  Can't imagine why with the new bed and all!  The second party was at the same bounce house that we went to before, only this time, Little Man had a huge time!  He didn't go down the big slide, though.  He either hung out on top and watched the other kids, or slid down the steps on his tummy.  It was funny to watch him at the top, though.  I could see him, laying on his tummy, talking to one of the assistants up there, and pointing to the children as they came up to slide down, but I have no idea what he was saying.  Probably something like:  "see that one?  She's cute." or "those crazy kids are going down backwards.  Don't they know they should follow the directions from the video they watched?  Someone's gonna get hurt, but it won't be me because I'm not going down that slide - uh-uh, no way."  Ok, probably not, but it sure looked like he was saying something important.
Then earlier today we had yet another birthday party to go to.  This one was at the mall, at Build-a-Bear.  Monkey was so excited about building a Hannah Montana bear (I'm already Hannah Montana'd out).  So we dropped her off for the party and Little Man and I decided to take a stroll around the mall.
I've been on the hunt for a new bag for a little while, now.  But I'm very particular about what I want.  It's one of those "I'll know it when I see it" things.  So we started looking to see what the mall had.  First, we try Belk's because it was right there.  Did you know bags were expensive?  I'm apparently too used to shopping at Tarjay because I couldn't believe some of the prices out there!!  And the styles... no thanks.  I'm more of a long single strap, messenger bag, type person, and there just aren't any of those smaller than a small backpack out there.  All the other bags are the kind that go right under your arm, barely beneath the shoulder.  I hope I'm not offending anyone, but who seriously pays $80-$150 for a purse?  Seriously!  So, I move on to another store.
Dillard's didn't have much more to offer.  Oh, there were a few nice bags, and I did find an unusual one that I really liked, but it was - are you ready for this? - $178!!  For that price, it should come with a wallet stuffed with money, don't you agree?
Wilson's didn't have any styles I liked.
So we wandered some more.  Little Man, for once, was behaving in the stroller.  I think it was because of all the ....  interesting .... people hanging out at the mall on the last day before school starts.  Let's just say I'm not looking forward to those pre-teen years.
Then as we headed toward JC Penney's, I saw Spencer gifts had some messenger bags.  Hmmm.  They might even have some cool ones for those moms that aren't yet ready to get the "old woman" bag, like my grandma used to have.  Note to self, when you're 36 years young, pushing a stroller, you don't really belong in Spencer gifts.  I didn't even make it 6 feet into the store without feeling that "why are YOU here" vibe.  And the look I got from someone leaving the store, who had to step around the stroller, was indescribable.  No, really!  I couldn't even begin to guess what was going through that goth-girl's mind.  Oh, and by the way, for all those goth-readers out there, I was goth, too, back in the day.  All black, oversized clothes that I could hide in, hanging out with the skater-punks, listening to Danzig and The Cure, Suicidal Tendencies and early Metallica and Megadeth (then I got into the big-hair bands, but that's a whole other post).  Rejecting the "norms" everyone tried to push on me.  My mom went to see The Clash for crying out loud!  I was old school, man!  Don't give me that look!
But I digress...
Needless to say, it was an interesting experience, hanging out at the mall.  Enough that I don't want to do it again, any time soon....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Frugal Friday

This hasn't been a very productive day, but it's been somewhat frugal.  Monkey wanted to invite a friend over for a playdate this afternoon as part of her special day.  So we had a picnic at the park and instead of hitting a drive-thru (which is much more convenient), I made lunch for us all and took it with us.  The kids didn't know any different, they were too busy running and playing.  It also cost nothing, so that was good, too!  You don't have to spend money for kids to have fun, sometimes hanging out with another friend on a log house is all one needs.
Another frugal thing I did this week was mend a pair of shorts.  I had a pair of linen shorts that had a seam start to come apart.  Instead of just tossing the shorts, I took ten minutes to mend them together.  I don't know how to use a sewing machine so I had to hand-stitch them.  It was very simple and I didn't have to toss the shorts or pay for someone to fix it for me.  Another good free thing.
I'd love to learn how to use a sewing machine.  Not that I have time to, mind you, but it would be a good skill to have.  My dad knows how.  I remember as a child he used to get those Frost Line kits.  I don't even know if they still sell them.  He made parkas for mom and himself and I remember he made me a bookbag/backpack for school.  I still have the parka he made for mom.  He also made a down mummy sleeping bag.  I still use it.   I remember seeing bags of down feathers in our dining room while he was making it.  I was forbidden to go in the room for fear of busting a few bags open and having feathers go all over the place.
OK, I have to digress for a minute.  I have the Olympics on right now and they were playing (in the background) China Cat Sunflower by The Grateful Dead.  Something just ain't right about watching Chinese history with a Tom Brokaw voiceover and The Dead playing in the background.
What can/did you do that was frugal this week?

Today's the day

Today's the day, that special day.  Six years ago today, Monkey entered our lives.  Only we didn't call her "Monkey" then because we didn't know she'd be one.  We called her Little Bit, because she was just a little bit of a baby.
We had no idea what we were doing - but then who does when they're first-time parents?  Watching her grow and change has been an amazing journey.  Some great, some not so great, but I wouldn't change a thing.  Not ever.  It was just yesterday that she just started walking, the day before that she started talking and the day before that she started crawling.
Now she's a big 6 year old - 6 YEARS - and starting first grade.  Now she's into Hannah Montana and really excited about getting nail polish and lip gloss (I thought I had a few years before this!).  Now she's not my little bit any more, she's my big girl.  I look at her and sometimes forget that she can do things on her own.  That's she's big enough to refill the soap bottle in the bathroom without making a huge mess.  There are still things we need to work on, like riding a bike without training wheels, but she's reading like a champ and writes beautifully (for a 6 year old).  
Last night, in celebration of her birthday, after she went to sleep, I decorated her room with crepe paper streamers.  I don't remember who I got the idea from, but I think it was a dear friend back in Oklahoma.  Presents from Grandma and Mawmaw and Pawpaw arrived this week, but I saved them for Monkey to open today.  The card from Granddaddy and Nanny she opened when it arrived and was very excited for the money.  We'll be going shopping today, I'm sure.
This morning, she got up early and opened presents (kinda like Christmas for her, I suppose).  She got all Hannah Montana stuff from Grandma and Mawmaw and Pawpaw.  Very exciting!  From mommy and daddy she got a Webkinz and a small messenger bag she can color and decorate herself.  We had chocolate chip pancakes shaped like stars (and bears for little brother).  I have no idea what we'll do today, but I told Monkey she didn't have to do her chores on her birthday.  No one should have to work on their birthday.
I'll continue with my Frugal Friday later on today, since it is Friday and I do have something to add...
I also want to say that I realize that by posting a blog, there's always a chance new people (other than family and friends) might stumble across my blog and read it.  Welcome!!  I hope I don't bore you with tales of our family.  I hope you enjoy what you read and that you come back for more.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


This has been a transitional week for us.  The countdown is on for school to start on Monday - YAY!!  (Never in my life did I ever think I would look forward to school - needless to say, I support year-round schools!!)  So, to honor that, we've been stricter about bedtimes this week, and waking Monkey up at 6:30.  Still not early enough for when school starts, but I'm hoping it'll help with the transition (key word for today).
My schedule is starting to get busy with the Moms and More group - T-23 days and counting, the PTA and puppy classes start the same day as school starts.  Little Man starts preschool on the 26th of this month - again, YAY!!
I'm on the PTA Executive Board and we had our one/only Exec Board meeting last night where we discuss everything the PTA does/will do over the course of the next nine months.  It was a long meeting.  Our first official PTA meeting is in about a week and a half, so I have things I need to do to get that together.
Oh, have I mentioned that Monkey has a birthday this week?  She turns 6 on Friday and her party is Sat at Chuck E Cheese - one of my mostest favoritest places to be.  So there's cake to be ordered, goody-bags to put together (I really want to know who started THAT tradition!!), presents to buy.  And, she has another party to go to for someone else Sat afternoon AND Sun afternoon.  Boy are we going to be busy this weekend!
But I digress....  Transitions.  We've discussed the school transition.  I've also taken down the baby gate that was bolted at the top of the stairs.  Transitions.  We're working a little harder on potty training and started letting Little Man wear undies (more on that later).  Transitions.  I also converted Little Man's crib to his toddler bed this afternoon.  Transitions.  It's going to be a hard few weeks in our home.
How did this latest transition occur?  I was checking on Little Man for his nap, of which he was having nothing.  As I opened the door, I saw Little Man perched - literally PERCHED on the corner of his crib rails, against the wall.  I'm not quite sure what he was after, but the image that flashed through my mind was of an owl, scouting for dinner.  In Little Man's case, he was probably scouting for HotWheels.
Bedtime is gonna suck around here....

Question of the day

Is there anything more mind-numbing than watching 7 and 8 year olds play Monopoly?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hannah has come home

Well, it has finally happened.  Hannah Montana has come home.  She is officially my little Monkey's new favorite thing.  OK, maybe it's not so new.  It's been brewing for quite a while.  We'll watch Hannah Montana at night, sometimes, during the last half-hour before bed.  
What's funny is that even our son is singing (at the top of his lungs in Wally World, mind you) "It's the BEST of both worlds!"  Yeah, that's my boy!
I was shopping for school supplies this weekend and Monkey wanted a Hannah Montana backpack.  I tried to explain to her that her current Disney Princess backpack is just fine, it'll get her through one more grade and I'll get her a new one for 2nd grade.  Or, she could use her own allowance to buy her bag.
That worked.  Not only did she buy herself a backpack, she bought an old-style tin Hannah Montana lunch box and a Hannah Montana wallet for her money.  Assuming I can get Blogger to work with me, I'll upload the picture I took of her purchase.  No, it's not really a big thing, but it's cute knowing that Monkey is out buying her own stuff.  No, wait, that means she's growing up.  No, that can't happen.  Not yet.
Did I mention she lost another tooth?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

just an update

Just a quick update.  Monkey has survived the Yellow-Jacket Stinging Incident.  So well, in fact, by dinner-time she had completely forgotten about it, except to tell Trey when he got home (and I even had to remind her, then).
Final verdict:  I like using baking soda on bee stings.  It works.  There wasn't even a dot where the stinger went in and all swelling was gone within a couple of hours.  Also, I'm thankful to know she isn't allergic!
Now, on to birthday party planning, back to school planning, puppy classes (yes, we still have the puppy) and the regular day-to-day life of a socially driven mom who loves to "do things" instead of stay home and clean.  Who wouldn't, right?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Home remedies for bee stings

(Just a note - for some reason I'm having issues with the thingy that I type my blog in, sorry if it's hard to read for some reason...)
How many of you know a home remedy for bee stings?  Or several?  Well, guess what?  There are a LOT of home remedies for bee stings.  I remember as a child I got stung once and Daddy chewed up some tobacco from a cigarette to take the poison out. I also remember thinking that it didn't help much.
Well, Monkey got stung by a bee today. On her finger. She wasn't happy about it. Actually, she screamed. I thought it was her normal "I have a bug on me" scream, 
because those are usually the loudest, shrillest screams.  The kind that when it happens in our yard, I expect the neighbors to come running to see what's
going on. Anyway, I heard her scream so I look to see what bug had the audacity to land on her arm, when in fact it was a yellow-jacket on her finger, hanging by his stinger.
Apparently bee stings are on the same "screaming" level as an innocent flying bug that just happens to land on her arm. Only this time, there were great big tears. Luckily (or unluckily, since this
was probably why the bee was there in the first place) she was holding a cup with a snowcone inside. I scraped out the stinger and held her cup next to the finger to keep the cold on it.
As we were heading home, I called a friend and asked her what to do with a sting. I haven't had to deal with this as an adult so the only cure I remember is tobacco and since I don't smoke, 
I didn't have any tobacco to chew up. She said she remembered her mom using baking soda and something - either water or vinegar.
Well, since the fizzing of combining baking soda and vinegar on her finger would completely FREAK her out, I went with baking soda and water as soon as we got home. She's watching TV
now, completely distracted. So I took the time to do a little research on home remedies for stings.
Let's see, there's:
raw onion
baking soda with vinegar and meat tenderizer
baking soda and water
the insides of a tomato
aloe and/or lavender (I'm guessing the lavender is to calm the patient??)
egg yolk
ammonia (aka urine)
a penny or a nickel placed on the sting
raw bacon wrapped around the sting (I guess cooked would be too tempting to eat)
plantain leaves plus a whole host of different herbal/holistic choices.
then there's all the different remedies you can find at the store.
At our house, the baking soda and water seemed to work pretty well, so we may stick to that. Or we might go with the toothpaste. If nothing else, the idea of putting toothpaste on a boo-boo
will distract them enough to keep tears at bay.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Frugal Friday

Has it already been a week?  
Is it really time for more frugal tips?
I'm not sure I can keep this up.  I couldn't make the Wed Week in Review work.  I admire those blogs that I've been reading  that has weekly regulars like this.  Things like Works For Me Wednesday, Favorite Ingredient Friday,  Super Savings Saturday, and I think I saw somewhere else that someone had a Frugal Friday, but I don't remember where it was.
It's tax-free weekend this weekend, that's frugal, isn't it?  I only spent $10 on school supplies for Monkey and a backpack for Little Man (he starts preschool this fall).  
Ok, sorry, that's all I have.  I didn't have a chance to surf the 'net looking for neat, frugal ideas with the house work, tax free shopping and grocery shopping I did this evening.  Now it's time to go veg in front of the TV.