Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another First For Zoey

Well, we did it. 

Last weekend, amid all the craziness of getting ready for a sale, Zoey's birthday and a crazy September, we decided to have a family date night. For this night, we decided to go bowling.

Now, last time we took Zoey bowling, she didn't really participate:

She just stayed with Grandma Suzie and was very happy to do her own thing. Actually, if I recall, she wasn't very happy at all.

Well, we knew we were taking a chance with her. You never know with Zoey!

I'll tell you more (including the score!) in a few days, but for now, I'll leave you with this photo to tell you how it Zoey's second trip went:

Curious? Stay tuned!

(P.S. I can say that Zoey's first "real" bowling trip was a hoot though!)

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Attempted Heart-Attack

This evening I'm focused on consignment sale stuff. That means I get everything ready for the big drop-off tomorrow and start looking at what the kids need for the next year.

As I'm working away on the computer for this sale, the computer rings. My parents have been working on a landscape project, so I figure it would be an update. I WALK over from the computer to the phone in the kitchen.

It's what...a 20 foot walk? At most? It's probably not even that.

About 2 feet from the island, I hear a big POP. I look up and watch as our kitchen lighting fixture breaks off and swings down in front of me. 

Now, I will admit I screamed.

I screamed when it first broke.
I screamed when it swung.
And I screamed when it finally broke off just a millisecond later. 

Here is the aftermath: 

It may look a little dark, but hey - I can't exactly just turn on a light to make it brighter or anything.

Moral of the story: we are now in the market for a new kitchen light, and I can honestly say I think we're going to avoid the florescent bulb this time around.

And yes, I do blame the house for attempting to give me a heart-attack!

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Friday, August 27, 2010


Okay, I have a job for you. I want you to fill in the blank:

Once I was so tired that I _________________

A few years ago, I thought I had the jack-pot of exhaustion stories. You know, the sort of exhaustion you can really only experience as a parent. Or, I should say, as a parent of kids under the age of 5. I have no experience with kids older than that at this point in my life, so who knows? Maybe it gets better?

Anyway, a few years ago I was putting on my shoes in the spring/summer to go to work. I prefer to leave the shoes off until the very last minute, and honestly I was leaving a bit late. It was still pretty dark outside, and I know that turning on the hall light, which is needed to find shoes, tends to wake up Jack.

I didn't give it a second thought as I threw my shoes on and headed out the door.

In hindsight, I SHOULD have given it a second thought.

Being the first one at work in my part of the building, I was obligated to unlock and then relock the front door. Same old, same old. As I walked to the front door, I fumbled with my keys and managed to get them into the lock. As I did this, I looked down and realized that my shoes were mismatched.

One was a blue sandal.
The other? A brown leather version.

Two very different cuts.
Two very different colors.
Two very different sandal heights.

Anyway, today I beat that. I wasn't even that tired...or so I thought.

Sure - the cat now thinks that when my alarm first goes off that I need to wake up and pet him.

Sure - a skunk sprayed outside our window at 1:00 waking me up and forcing an immediate closure of all the opened windows in the house.

Sure - the kids have been incredibly deaf the last few days, which makes for one heck of a complicated evening.

But that doesn't excuse what happened this morning.

I was getting dressed, as usual. I REALLY needed a coffee stop this morning, so I needed to leave the house about 10-15 minutes early to ensure that I could get my coffee and get to work on time.

I actually grabbed my clothes, put them on as I was walking down the hallway and then grabbed my lunch. I was off. Just like every work day, I hopped into my car and went on my merry way.

Now, it takes me about 10-15 minutes to get to work, depending on traffic. I go by three entrance ramps. By the second entrance ramp, I had a sudden moment of panic:

Had I forgotten to put on a shirt this morning?

Yes, you heard me correctly. I was seriously concerned that I had walked out the door in just my underwear.

It's like that famed nightmare of going to class or work naked, only I was fully awake. I wasn't dreaming at all. I was conscious and aware of what was around me, but I was have a moment of pure terror.

Even though I glanced down several times to confirm that yes, I was in fact wearing a shirt, I still questioned myself for the next several minutes.

I'm pretty impressed with it, actually. It's not every day you enter into this realm of exhaustion and/or stress.

How about you - do you have an exhaustion story to share?  

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Late-Summer Picnic

Well, it finally happened. The excessive summer heat has switched off (for now) and today we hit a high of 80. That's more than 20 degrees COOLER than we were just a few weeks ago.

Needless to say, we loved it and had a picnic outside.

Jack FINALLY gave me a normal, happy face when I asked for it! It's a shame the mosquito thought it was picture time too. 

Aww- Zoey's always one to smile when I ask her to! 

Now, that's not how you eat. 

See? Take a note from your sister on how to eat - though it's funny to see her FINALLY wanting to eat! 

Yeah, yeah. It's hilarious. 

Caught ya! 

Yum. Peanut Butter cup. 

Kisses for everyone! 

I think it's a kiss. Or a hug. Your choice! 

Most likely she's watching Jack run around the yard at this point. 

See? Her hair is super curly and super crazy. I love it though! 



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Things You Don't Want Your 5-Year Old To Say

Yes, I realize he isn't 5.


It's about a month away, so I figured I'm safe.

Anyway, this weekend I put on my superwoman cape and decided to take on


Painting Jack's room was #2 on the list. Now, I always thought that painting a room was easy peasy. What's there to it? I mean, after all, it's just a little primer. A little paint. Viola! Yer done.

Pssh. It's never that simple, and it started with cleaning up Jack's room to get READY for the prep work. You heard it correctly. I'm talking about the prep's prep.

To prep the room for prepping, we had to:

1) Clean the floor
2) Vacuum said floor
3) Move everything to the middle of the room

As I was started to move the bed, Jack said very causally, "Mommy, there's poop in that corner."


For realz?

Was it his? Zoey's? The cat's? How long had it been there? Why haven't we smelled?

Oh and of course, Why the heck is there poop in the corner?!

Needless to say, it turned out not to be a big deal. It could have passed as a small ball of chocolate, honestly. It didn't even smell. Most likely Zoey was the culprit.

Now that I have you grossed out, I'll leave you with this:

I never, EVER want to hear "There's poop in that corner" ever again in my life. It's the best way to give me a heart attack.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Yum. Chicken.

Quick, tell me what kind of chicken this is:

Do you think it's breaded with...corn flakes? Flour? Corn meal? Bread crumbs?


Would you guess...Captain Crunch cereal? 

Yup. This Captain Crunch cereal.

Before you totally count it out, let me tell you - it's not a sweet chicken and was once featured on Planet Hollywood's menu. Yes, THE Planet Hollywood.

Side note:  So, have you ever heard of a little place called the Hard Rock Cafe? Well, we went there once (Aspen?) and while purchasing a watch there, I told them that we had one near my hometown. Yeah - it turned out I was thinking about the ROAD KILL CAFE. Not the same.

ANYWAY...back to the case at hand...

This is REALLY a good recipe and if you make the creole sauce, it's ... oh my gosh...delicious. 

So check it out - it's not only a 30 minute meal, but it's yummy! 

Planet Hollywood’s Captain Crunch Chicken

2 cups Captain Crunch Cereal
1 ½ cup Corn flakes
1 tsp Onion powder
1 egg
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1 cup flour
2 pounds Chicken breast cut in 1-oz. tenders
Vegetable oil for frying

Coarsely grind or crush the two cereals and set aside. Beat the egg with milk and set aside. Stir together the flour, onion and garlic powders and black pepper. Set this aside also. Dip the chicken pieces into the seasoned flour. Move around to coat well, then shake off the excess flour. Dip into the egg wash, coating well, then dip into the cereal mixture, coating well. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet to 325˚. Drop coated chicken tenders carefully into the hot oil and cook until golden brown and fully cooked, 3 to 5 minutes depending on size. Drain and serve immediately with Creole mustard sauce.

Don't like frying? Fear not - you can also bake it at 350 for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your tenders. 

Planet Hollywood Creole Mustard Sauce

¼ cup Creole style mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
½ tsp cider vinegar
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp horseradish
1 tsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp finely chopped celery
1 tsp water
1 tsp finely chopped onion
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp green onions -- sliced in ¼" pieces
1 Tbsp crushed garlic packed in oil
1 tsp chopped green bell pepper -- (fine)

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. If can’t find Creole style mustard, use spicy brown mustard.

All I have to say is YUM! 

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Loose Ends

If you haven't already heard, Zoey's 3rd birthday is coming up soon.

Third birthday.


It feels like just a few months ago I was looking like this:

Yup. A Baby bump picture taken almost 1 week before Zoey was born.

Anyway, back to reality.

Because some of you may not know Zoey's weirdness as well as we do.
Or because some of you may just want some idea... here's a quick list of gift ideas for Zoey (complete with pictures).

So...ta da! Enjoy. Have fun. Chances are...okay, the list WILL still be accurate around Christmas. I don't think I can kid myself into thinking that she'll all of a sudden STOP liking princesses by Christmas!

(in case you didn't catch it, you can download the file (no viruses!) by clicking on the downward facing arrow. Or by e-mailing me. Or asking for it.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bovine Security

I love the mind of a nearly three-year old.

Background: Zoey loves animals. You've seen her kiss and cuddle worms, frogs, bugs (check back tomorrow for more on that), etc. This love extends to plastic animals too. Now, this evening I was busy cleaning or getting laundry together. Basically, I wasn't paying attention to her. She's old enough that usually it doesn't matter.

When Trav came home, he opened the door for a snack.

"Honey," he said. "When did we order some Bovine Security?"

"What?" I said.

"Did you really not want me to touch the Wheat Things tonight?"

Lo and behold, look at what we found:

Our very own security personnel! 

And yes...upon closer inspection...

...we really do have  Wheat-Thins-Guarding plastic cow in our pantry, thanks to Zoey. 

If you want to have any of our Wheat Thins, you have now been warned. 

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Darn You, Pixar!

Have you ever seen the movie "Toy Story" or any of the squeals?

We do. In case you forgot....
We saw TS3 in the theatre. 

It's a huge deal considering we don't get out much as a family. 

We guzzied ourselves up! 


My point, you ask?

Well, in the FIRST MOVIE, near the end, there's a scene where Buzz sees his commercial on TV, has the realization that he is, in fact, a toy, and attempts to fly from the second story hallway to an open window high on a wall in front of him.

Let's just say, it doesn't go as planned:

That's right - SPLAT. On the ground. An arm lost.

As you can imagine, for a toy, that's a huge deal!

Now, generally, I would look at this and think nothing of it. Probably if you saw the movie, you didn't give a second thought to the scene. It was just one aspect of the movie that lead up to the stunning climax and conclusion.

Well, Jack proved that Pixar didn't think it through.

That's right - tonight while I was making dinner (and while I was cleaning up dinner), he proceeded to throw one of our many Buzz dolls (hmmm...action figures?) down the stairs.


Because he wanted to see his arm pop off.

Thanks Pixar. Thanks a lot. I have a hunch that Zoey's going to catch one in a few days, and we're going to have to tell everyone to ignore the flying Buzz dolls.

And unlike the Buzz in the movie, our Buzz most likely will be forced to remain broken.

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Unscripted Motherhood - Part 1

When I was younger, I assumed motherhood would be different. COMPLETELY different.

{1. Breakfast}

In my dream world, mornings began with the light flooding the rooms, gently waking the household. My kids would run into the bedroom and smother us with kisses, before we all moved to the kitchen for a wonderful and healthy homemade breakfast. Our pajamas all matched (of course) and we all wore cute, wittle slippers that were in coordinating colors (once again, of course). I'm sure somewhere in there the Folgers commercial theme song would behind to play.

In the real world, mornings are chaotic. One or both of the kids wakes up at 7:30, announcing that they are headed to the kitchen for Dora and cheerios. If there's a bad mood, look out. There's going to be screaming and a lot of it! There is no bounding into Mommy & Daddy's room to smother us with kisses. No, instead it's to pry us out of our warm cocoon and lead us to the kitchen. Pajamas seldom match, in fact we're thrilled if they fit!

{2. Grocery Shopping}

In my dream world, grocery shopping with my little angels involves peacefully pushing the cart as they take in the world around them with a great deal of awe and wonder. Of course, they offer to help me place things into the cart and GENTLY put items in the cart beside them as they sit. Tantrums? Oh no, not my angels! Tantrums are for kids who weren't raised in such a fine, upstanding and supportive household! When the time comes to check out, I know that my list has been completely fulfilled, my decisions made wisely and the kids giggle joyfully as they ride the mechanical horse.

In the real world, grocery shopping with the kids can be a nightmare. On a good day, there will be no screaming. Both kids will hold on to the side of the cart while I push, usually breaking free to point out the item featuring some animated character. If I find even 75% of what's on my list AND avoid any unnecessary items, it's a good day. If the item is glass, I usually hold my breath and pray it doesn't break somewhere between the cart and my pantry. On a bad day, I don't even bother taking them. One tantrum in Target later and I've learned that when Zoey (or Jack for that matter) is in a bad mood, it's not worth taking them out. If it's an emergency item (i.e. wipes, milk or diapers), then we'll make an effort. If it's for anything else, I'll go by myself later that night when my husband gets home. Yes, I've shopped at 11:00 pm before. And you know what? I LIKED IT.

{3. Evenings}

In my dream world, evenings would progress happily from a four-course, homemade meal to a family game or perhaps walk around the block. In the winter, we would light a fire in the fire place and roast marshmallows while watching a nice, "wholesome" Disney movie (are Disney movies called "wholesome" anymore?). We would leave the area as spotless and as stain-free as when we arrived. Perhaps on warmer evenings we would all chase each other through the sprinklers, laughing gleefully as the water drenched each of us.

In the real world, evenings can be chaotic. The sofa pillows are constantly on the floor, books usually tossed about the living room and the kids generally chase each other around the house until dinner time. Dinner time is generally loud and fast, rarely lasting more than 20 minutes. Usually the food is home-made, though sometimes we cheat and reheat a frozen pizza or the like. In the warmer months when everyone is together, we will head outside for some sort of activity, which usually ends after 15 minutes due to an excessive amount of bug activity. In the winter we usually avoid a fire in the fire place (sucks the heat out of the house) and s'mores, because it's always a massive chocolaty mess resulting in a massive load of laundry the next day as we try to avoid staining the couch. Movies are limited to what we have, which is devoted to Veggie Tales, Looney Tunes and random old-time Disney princess movies.

{To be continued...when I feel like it.}

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime

For the last few weeks, it's been hot. 

I mean...triple-digit hot. 

It's been so hot that 97 degrees felt cool. 

Well, Sunday we actually dropped to the 80s for the first time in nearly a month and were actually able to go outside and enjoy the sprinkler! Yeah - it was actually too hot to play in the sprinkler. Go figure! 
The kids LOVED it! 

Zoey actually even interacted with the sprinkler this time. 


Well, he always had fun.

Here comes the tickle monster! 

Jack loved everything about the water. 

Isn't that just a face of pure joy?

Now, after they were done, we introduced them to the water-in-the-face act.
They loved it! 

Well, except Zoey. But is that really surprising? 

She preferred the slow trickle hose. 

Kissy, Kissy Jack! 

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A New Era

For the longest time, Zoey wouldn't let me touch her hair. Putting anything in it? Yeah-right.

This was a struggle:

We lost the bow shortly after this photo. She promptly threw it to the ground in a fit of rage. 

And then of course, we fought over this:
Oy. Keeping pigtails in was a headache. 

But now?
She asked for the bow. She'll let us do her hair. 

But here's the real kicker - she's "doing" my hair right now. 

And I love it. 

If Jack had hair and it was normal to put bows in his hair, I would so be on it too. Unfortunately, his hair "evolution" is more like...long-short-long-short. 

Oh well. I'll take it either way! 

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Growing Up

September for us means many things...

...football season
...the Hillsboro Arts & Crafts Fair

And most of all, the birthdays of both the kiddos. This year we're celebrating Jack's 5th and Zoey's 3rd birthdays.

As usual, if we want to take birthday photos, we have to do it in August. Since we have used JCP in the past, we always have had to get the photos taken fairly early in August to allow for the development time. Well, this year we decided to go BACK to Portrait Innovations to give them a try.

I'm glad we did!! Take a look at some of the photos:

 I'm still reeling from how quickly they've grown up. :-(

P.S I'll fix the spacing issues in a bit. This computer I'm on at the moment is kind of slow.

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