Sunday, February 28, 2010

I don't really have anything to say today. I just wanted to post some pics I took yesterday. As most of you know, yesterday was a relatively nice day. It was still kind of chilly but it wasn't bone cold and the sun was out in full force. We spent most of the afternoon outdoors. Paul worked in the yard a good bit, I attempted to lay in the hammock and listen to my I-pod and the girls played in the backyard, either bubbles, sidewalk chalk, or digging in the dirt. They love to dig, Elliott especially. We have plans to build one of those really big, park like sand boxes that you can actually get in and really play in. We keep waiting for warmer weather though. Now I hear this week is going to be pretty cold, maybe even snow flurries on Tuesday. UUGGGHH! Enough already! I know I shouldn't complain. At least we aren't being literally dumped on like the north east.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from our small and short weather reprieve.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What do you think my kids would do if I served nothing but peanut butter and honey every night for an entire week. The same menu; peanut butter and honey, apple slices and maybe some chips, the same chips. Do you think I might hear less fussing about what's for dinner than I do now? I do get really frustrated with the discontent over meals. Dinner at our house, 7 out of 10 times is not a family bonding experience. It's "eat 3 more bites", "taste it right now or I'm getting the spanking spoon", "stop crying and eat!", "if you don't finish your food, there will be no dessert", "don't tell me you are hungry later", no, that is not a good bite".... you get the point.
I do have to give credit to my oldest daughter. She will eat most everything she's given even if she doesn't love it. That doesn't mean she won't occasionally voice her displeasure though. Our 2 youngest are a different story. They both frequently will say "I don't like it" before they even know what it is. There are times, like tonight, where I have to fight back urges to pick up their plates and throw them across the room while yelling, "NO FOOD FOR YOU!!"
Maybe I'll try serving the same meal, one they like, every night for a week. Can I make some sort of lesson out of that? Should I just not feed them at all for a week? Can I get away with that?
I was all ready to post this cute, sweet post about our experience with Kristin's class pet, but I had to vent a bit first. I'll try to post something sweet tomorrow. Right now, I'm going to sit here and not do anything kid related and drink my glass of cheap wine.
I don't have a pic for this post. If I did, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be flattering to anyone in it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My kids so desperately want a pet. As most of you know, we tried the fish thing. Twice. And failed. Twice. We've even tried a cat. About a year ago, a coworker of my husband's gave us 2 little kittens that she had rescued. They were the cutest little things. They reminded me of all those cute, kitty posters I used to have hung all over my bedroom as a young teen and (I am ashamed to say) in my college dorm room. I used to think those kittens were just so darn cute that I couldn't stand it!

Sadly though, after about a week of having these 2 kittens (named Squeaks and Myna), we realized that Grace seemed to be allergic to cats. That really stunk, because as pets go, cats are among the easiest to maintain. I am still holding out hope that her allergy might have been a fluke or an allergy to something else, not the cats, so that one day we might be able to get them a cat and not have to do the dog thing. (like my run on sentence?)

This past weekend, we were the proud and temporary keepers of Kristin's class pet, a guinea pig named, Marshmallow. It was snowing outside- a rarity in these parts- but all 3 girls would rather lay on the floor, staring at the cage, just hoping that poor little Marshmallow would come out of her hut. To her credit, she did venture out more and more the longer we had her. The girls just loved that thing, especially Elliott, our 2 year old. To watch her hold Marshmallow was like watching a new mother holding her new born baby for the first time. Eventually, as I'm sure most pets are in households full of girls, Marshmallow was subjected to being treated like a doll. They got out the doll brush and brushed her hair and I'm sure they would have loved to put doll clothes on her and push her around in the stroller but I kept having flashbacks of our last two pets (Louis and Wilbert fish) watching them as they struggled to hold on to an already bleak existence and then finally losing the battle. I decided since Marshmallow was only on loan, that we should probably try to not traumatize the thing to death. There had already been the hourly fights on who was going to get to hold her next or feed her a carrot (or in Elliott's case, shove a carrot in her face). No one fought over who was going to get to clean out her cage next. I won that battle every time. Or did I lose? Either way, I was the one shoveling poop at least once a day. For such a little creature, that thing sure could poop like a champ!

Alas, Marshmallow is back at school now. Poor Elliott woke up the morning of her return running around the house saying she needed to check on Marshmallow. She was distraught when she discovered she was too late. Marshmallow was gone.

Kristin, my planner, always thinking ahead, thinks after Marshmallow dies, their teacher should name the next one, Chocolate. Evidently Marshmallow is guinea pig #2 for this year. The first one, named Smores, died before Christmas, so Kristin, thought it only appropriate to name the next one, Chocolate (in keeping with the smores, marshmallow theme in case you didn't pick up on that). What does that say about Kristin that she's already planning past Marshmallows death? A good planner? Creative thinker? A morbid kid? I'm going with the first 2.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I love my kids. I love that they want to be around me, but....can they not be so close that I literally trip over them as I walk through the house? One day I am going to set up the video camera so you can see that I am not exaggerating when I say that they follow me everywhere. My 2 youngest are the worst. They are on my heals as I walk from the kitchen, into the laundry room (which is not a big space. why even follow me in there?), back to the kitchen, the sunroom, the eating area, the kitchen. (I spend a lot of time in the kitchen). In our house, all of these areas are connected mostly in one big space. Even if they can't see me, they can hear me, so why do they need to be on top of me?

My husband was reminding me last night as I was complaining about this that one day it won't be like this and then I'll be complaining about that. I know he's probably right. Although, I am still holding out hope that our family will always be close and will never experience typical teenage/parental relationships filled with noncommunication and brooding.

I want them to be independent but don't want them to not want me. Does that make sense? Can I have my cake and eat it too? My kids have been described as little ducklings following their mother, all in a row. I feel like a mother duck. How long do ducklings stay with their moms? Once they've left, do baby ducks ever come back to visit the mommy duck?

Grace told me recently that when she grows up, she's going to go to the same church as me and live in the same neighborhood as me. That sounds good to me. That sounds like a good level of separation. I remember my husband's youngest sister (who is 14 years his junior) saying at one point, that she and her husband were going to live in her room in her parents' house and that once she had kids, they were going to live there too and that her mom was going to take care of her kids. Granted that she was probably about 13 at the time, but still. Love you Ker! :)

My kids see how we don't live near either of our parents. Mine live in FL and my husband's in AL. I am glad that they can recognize that separation and don't want it for our family. The older my husband and I have gotten, the more important it is to us to be near family. Our life is here now though, and our family's are no where near each other. I do hope family is always as important to our kids as it is to their little selves now.

All that said, I'd still like to be able to freely walk around my own, normal sized house. It's not like we live in a mansion with multiple wings where it's easy and possible to get lost or loose me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

To Eat or Not To Eat

I was reading a magazine the other day that had all these "loose weight" tips plastered all over the front. I thumbed through the magazine to find the article about said "tips" and did not walk away feeling encouraged in the slightest. In the article is a list of "goodies" you can eat and still not gain weight! *gagging self with finger* Did you know you can have 3 Hersey's kisses or 1 Russell Stover chocolate , 1 chocolate dipped strawberry or a whopping 12 sweet tarts and only sacrifice 77 calories (or less)? Say what!?? Who wants only 1 chocolate or only 3 Hershey kisses? Why would you go to all the trouble to make or buy chocolate dipped strawberries if you can only have 1? The tagline on this article is "indulge without guilt this Valentine's Day." Again, Say What?? Indulge? If 12 sweet tarts or 1 Godiva chocolate truffle heart is your idea of indulging, then I say you probably don't need to be worrying about losing weight in the first place. I don't know about you, but MY idea of indulging is eating a BOX of Russel Stover chocolates, or maybe a handful of chocolate dipped strawberries and forget the sweet tarts. Give me something fried with a choice of 3 different dipping sauces. Those things may be more than 77 calories, but I'm pretty sure I'd be a lot happier than the person with their 10 hot tamales. Don't get me wrong. I'm all about trying to eat healthy and would even love to loose a few pounds, but that article just made me sad. I'm not saying it would be a good idea to eat a whole box of chocolates everyday or fried food with an array of dipping sauces, but come on, if you are going to indulge, then indulge. Don't insult me by pretending that 1 strawberry is an indulgence. I'm not 2.

Let me now take this opportunity to plug my friend Alison's company called the Body, Beauty and Bravery Project. I'm not sure if I'm contradicting myself by putting this information on here given my above rant about eating and indulging or if I'm backing myself up. Either way, I thought it was appropriate to include. Her mission is "to enlighten and inspire women and girls to embrace their God-given beauty from the inside out. The main "bravery" address and beauty curriculum encourages positive self-esteem, a healthy body image, and increases media savvy." Her ultimate vision is "to see women as equal to men and worthy of dignity, and not to be treated as objects always needing to lose a couple pounds." You can find more information at

disclaimer: I am ignoring all the thoughts that pop up about indulgence and how we as a society have way too much and are spoiled. I am well aware that any of those treats listed above may very well be considered an indulgence to many people. I am pretty sure however, that those people aren't reading the same article.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Another one bites the dust

Yep. You guessed it. Wilbert died. Wilbert was our second Beta Fish for those of you who have not read my previous post on the matter. Kristin got the first one for her birthday. Louis. He lasted an astounding 7 days. Wilbert did manage to outlive Louis by about 2 weeks, but alas, he too met his watery grave this past Sunday afternoon. I think our problem with fish comes when we clean the bowl. After we lost poor Louis, I did some reading and found out that Betas do not like cold water but prefer almost warm. I was careful to make sure the water was not too cold the first time I changed his water. My husband, however was not in the know. He thought he was being helpful and changed Wilbert's water while I was away. I'm pretty sure he used pretty cold water. Wilbert may have been on his way out anyway. We had noticed that he had not been eating with his usual vigor the last few days. The cold water must have pushed him over the edge.

People a lot of times, get a fish as a pet thinking they are easier to care for than a dog or a cat. I'm not sure that's true. Fish are finicky. And if they don't like what you do or the way you do it, they just die! A dog or cat would at least have the decency to just nip you or something to let you know what ever you just did he/she did not appreciate and you need to do it differently next time. A such courtesy. They just die. How rude!

I think we are done with fish for the time being. Thank goodness.