Friday, August 31, 2012

The Incident

I read this the other day: Top 9 Things Your Child Can Actually Cut with Safety Scissors.  I remember thinking, "haha, those things are so dull, right?"  My favorite was:

#9 Paper. Well, technically toilet paper. And you need to cut on the perforated line.

I discovered yesterday that there's one other thing that can be cut with safety scissors.

I was making dinner.  Actually, it was nearly 5pm and I was fighting some sweet potato hash browns in a cast iron pan.  I was losing.  There was a 1/2 inch layer of stuck potato mash on the bottom of the pan, with a sparse layer of greasy, uncooked shreds on top.  I had just broken out the chisel and hammer and was working on unsticking that dang pan, when Cam came downstairs after taking a shower after work, and said, "hey, what's Jubee doing?"

If you have kids and/or husbands, you know that's not a good sign.

I said, "I dunno, I'm trying to make dinner.  What is Jubee doing?"

And he said, "this," and put this on the counter next to where I was working:

Do you know what that is?  I'll give you a clue, it starts with "B" and ends with "angs."

FYI...that's marker on her face.  Because that's how she rolls, she's a walking craft nightmare.

It's too bad you can't clearly see her new bald spot about two inches above that weird gap in her bangs. She cut an anti-mohawk, all short going down the middle and long everywhere else.

The long and the short of all this is, those dang hashbrowns were abandoned as I rushed her to the hair cutting place to see if we could salvage the situation.  We couldn't and we didn't, but we did get a pizza on the way home for dinner.  

So, even though I may have to buy a new cast iron skillet and Jubee looks like she's been spending an inordinate amount of time at Walmart, I guess it all worked out.

Friday, August 24, 2012


I have a secret to tell you guys.  A super, duper secret-y secret, so don't tell anyone, okay?  I think I'm hilarious.  That's right, I often sit at the computer and laugh out loud at stuff that I wrote.  Does that make me a humor narcissist?  I dunno, maybe.  But it happens, more often than I'd like to admit, that I am taken by surprise at something particularly silly or witty that I write, and snort coffee into my sinus cavities.  Which is painful, by the way.

I also have to admit that this blogging thing is not my forum, I do much better in one-liners.  If I have to explain the background of something funny, it loses it's inherent funniness.  There are people who can do backstory effectively, but I'm simply not one of them.  Thus, I tend to be a little funnier on Facebook than I am on here.  Just how it is.

I also tend to post fuzzy pictures of my dinner.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pre-K Intro to Film

Turner Movie Classics was having a Katharine Hepburn marathon a few days ago, and I recorded quite a few movies.

Last night they played an assortment of Gene Kelly movies, so, again, I recorded a few.

I'm thinking this weekend might be a great time to introduce the kids to film...I mean, they watch movies, but rarely anything, you know, not cartoon.  I'm not sure how much they'll be able to sit through, but here's what I'm thinking:

There's a leopard, and a lot of people (mostly Cary Grant) jumping up and down quite a bit, plus it's hilarious, so I'm thinking we might have about a half hour before they lose interest.  I love films like this, but in this age of attention deficit disorders and sex comedies and "action" movies, it's an acquired I hope my kids to acquire sooner rather than later.

Just to recap, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant in a Howard Hawks film...that's a great way to start a early and enduring love of film.  If I play my cards right, we may get to sit through half of "It's a Wonderful Life" as a family come December.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Leaning Over the Edge of Reason

This morning, I was cleaning the breakfast dishes in the kitchen while the kids played upstairs. Jubee comes downstairs and tells me she's poopy and needs to be "wiped up."  I told her, "if you're old enough to tell me you need a change, you're old enough to go on the potty, blah blah blah."  It was actually a fairly long lecture, until I realized there was bright green poo all over her feet.  

Oh, and her legs.  

And her hands.  

And in foot prints, coming down the stairs and across the living room. 

Oh, and a huge pile of diarrhea on top of a whole bunch of books upstairs.  

So, into the bath we went, and it was AWFUL.  While I cleaning Jubee to try and contain the mess, Sammy was "helping" by taking a whole container of baby wipes and smearing the poo into the stairs.

I'm fairly certain that there is at least one permanent green stain on the carpet.  Ugh.

I'm also fairly certain that this whole thing is the direct result of some dietary changes we have implemented recently, which means we're going to have to give it up.  Which is frustrating, because I've spent quite a bit of time and food money revamping our diet and weekly menus.

I just remembered I have one of these in my freezer:

If you're planning on calling me or dropping by, wait until this hits my brain, in about 20 minutes.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting Out of the House

If you were one of the very few people who read my blog post from Friday, you probably extrapolated that I needed to get out of the house this weekend.  So, we did.

We took the kids to the playground:

Afterwards, we went for a bike ride.  I would've taken a picture, but I discovered it's hard to ride a bike and take pictures at the same time.  

Jubee rode in Cam's bike carrier for 3 miles while Sammy rode his bike, and then Sammy rode in the bike carrier with Jubee for another 4 miles.  All that to say, we were pretty dang tired by the time we were done.

Oh yeah, so this funny thing happened...Sammy accidentally rode off the road, and he and his bike rolled 10 feet down a rather steep embankment.  He'd probably have gotten hurt, except there was so much 3-foot tall grass to break his fall.  He thought it was really fun, it took a few minutes to convince him that he shouldn't "do it again."

After naptime, we drove to Fort Collins.  The kids watched Wall-E on the way.

We went to eat at this local pub, it was awesome!  They make root beer milk, the kids loved it!

We colored.  By "we" I mean "Jubee."

And we got chocolate ice cream mustaches.  By "we" I mean "Sam."

And we went walking downtown Fort Collins.  Yes, that is Sam's underwear pulled up so high you can see it above his shorts.  I fixed it shortly after taking this picture.  Ehem.

Anyway, it was a great day!  I'm fairly certain we couldn't have had more fun packed into one day.

Friday, August 17, 2012


It is Friday Morning.  Friday:

Do you hear that?  It's a chorus of angels, pretty sure, singing "Hallelujah."

The old prime time TV block on ABC, TGIF, used to get a lot of flack in the Christian community for using "The Lord's Name in vain," but I'm pretty sure it wasn't in vain.   I think it was (and is) a real, legitimate sentiment.  I know I feel it, and I'm not ashamed to say, "Thank God it's Friday!"  That's just basic gratitude, my friend, to the Author of Time and Space, specifically in this case, the time and space taken up by weekends.  Not that one shouldn't be grateful all the time, obviously, but it is much easier when one's heart beats with the cadence of "the weekend's almost here, the weekend's almost here."

But I digress.

I've been up for about two hours already, and have been reading about the relative health benefits of bacon and which cooking oils are best to use while I drink my coffee and the kids watch Bambi.

I wonder if they make venison bacon.  I'd imagine there's not enough fat on a deer belly, but it's worth looking into.

Venison tallow?

Anyway.  I need a plan, a plan for making a perfect weekend.  First and foremost, I need a plan of something to do with the kiddos today while Cam is at work, but then a plan for something to do when he's home.

Did I ever tell you that I'm not a huge fan of August.  I never have been.  Something about my birthday month being over, Christmas still so far away, and school either starting or about to start, August was always the most depressing month to me.  But, we are officially over halfway through this August, and good riddance, I say.  Soon it will be September, the month Fall, my favorite season, begins, the month of birthdays for some of my favorite people.

Well, between being over the hump of August and being nearly finished with this week, I feel like I should be ecstatic, but really I just feel bored.  You know that quote, "only boring people get bored?"  I tend to think that's the sort of saying that's sort of true, some of the time, but pretty applicable to my current situation.  I need something to do.

I suppose the long and the short of all this is: August is boring.  But what should I expect from the only month without a "US Federal Holiday or Special Occasion?"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

On This Day...

Yesterday, Cam was looking at old baby pictures of the kiddos.  I warned him how dangerous that was, but he didn't listen.  And since I'm easily influenced (by people looking at baby photos anyway), I joined in.  Mostly, we were just struck by how different the kids have gotten in the last few years, and I thought I'd share that with you.

This is newborn Sam (with my Daddy):

This is Sam in August 2008.  I think, even at just 8 months old, he looked pretty "Sammy," except for those chubby-wubby cheeks.  So cute.

This is Sam in August 2009, during his "cranky" phase, when Cam was deployed.  I didn't get any good pictures of him from this month.

This is Sam in August 2010.  I love sleeping baby/toddler pictures.

This is Sam in August 2011, after Mommy discovered Instagram, much to her friend's and family's chagrin.  I love his longer hair.

And this was Sam a couple of days ago.  He's so big!

This is newborn Jubee, right after we brought her home from the hospital.  It's amazing to me how much she's changed, more so than Sam.

This is Jubee in August 2009, eating her first banana.  Oh, happy day!

This is Jubee in August 2010, so stinkin' pretty!  She finally got that blond hair in, haha.

This is Jubee in August 2011.  I didn't have any non-blurry pictures from this month of her.  Haha.

And this is Jubee about a week ago.  She still has a love/hate relationship with food, mostly hate.

Just to recap:

Cam disagrees, but actually, all these baby pictures make me NOT want another one.  We had a very long "baby" phase with both kids, and a very long "cranky" phase.  It took me over 4.5 years to get just one outta diapers, and they are both finally starting to communicate clearly.  In fact, I can honestly say, I enjoy the kids more now than ever before.  I love their jokes and their personalities and their silly faces. I love that they can finally tell me what's the matter when they are upset.  I love that they can pick out their own clothes and sometimes pick up their own toys.  

On the other hand, they were dang cute....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Conversation with Jubilee

Jubee: Mom! Happy birfday to you!

Me: Oh, thanks.  I mean, it's not my birthday, but thanks anyway.

Jubee:  Mom!  Happy birfday!  Come on!

Me: Okay, just let me finish my chapter.

Jubee:  Mom!  Come on!

Me: Okay, okay.

Jubee (leading me into the living room): See!  Surprise!  Happy birfday!

Me: Your animals want to throw me a birthday party?

Jubee:  Yup!  Present!  Happy birfday!

Me:  Thanks, Jubee.

Jubee:  Cake, Mom?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Things To Look Forward To

As many of you know, at least I've mentioned before, I tend to gravitate towards natural cheerfulness.  That doesn't mean I'm always happy or anything, I simply am often happy and really small or silly things make me happy.  My personality allows me to see the positives easily, in fact, much more easily than the negatives.

Sometimes, though, I do get down, and this last week was a down sort of week for me.  I think it was a combination of fighting off a cold, being stuck indoors most of the week with sick kids, and being the first full week in two months with no friends or family around.  I have had a really hard time seeing the positives.

So, as an exercise in cheerfulness, I'm going to share with you a list things I have to look forward to the rest of the year.  My hope is that this snaps me out of my funk, but we'll see.

Soccer starts next week.  At the very least, I'll get some cute pictures out of it.  We're also going to the Open House at the dance school and probably signing Jubee up for ballet classes.

We're going to see the in-laws over Labor Day weekend.  I love my in-laws, they are super fun.

My sister and niece are coming to visit the first week of October, probably.  We're gonna party like it's 1999.  Well, maybe not, I think in 1999 I still referred to Katie as "Princess Lipgloss," and we generally got along like 13-year-old and 17-year-old sisters, in other words, not well.  So, instead, we'll party like it's 2012.  Only without the Mayan Apocalypse.  We'll probably go get our first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.  That's probably more fun than the Mayan Apocalypse anyway.

By that time, it's officially Autumn.  Autumn is probably my favorite season and I'm really looking forward to Fall/Winter here in Laramie.  Hey, I like to be snowed in, at least until about mid-January, and then I get a little bored with it.  I also love pumpkin-y, spicy flavors, so the kids and I are going to do a lot of baking, a lot of playing in the snow, and a lot of crafts.  I'm going to cook lots of stews and soups and curries, and experiment with egg nog recipes.

We are tentatively planning on visiting the in-laws for Thanksgiving, or making them come visit us, depending on how much time Cam gets off work.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, like I said, I'm generally cheerful, and thanksgiving just makes sense.  Food makes sense, too.  I think that no matter what "diet" a person is on, feasting is important.  We Americans tend to overeat all the time, and then feel guilty during feasting days, but I find it much easier to maintain some semblance of self-control when I have a feast to look forward I'm looking forward to it RIGHT NOW.  Haha.

And then there's December...the month of Christmas.  I already have a Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar in my closet, waiting.  I'm going to watch ABC Family and Hallmark Channel original holiday movies until my brain turns to magical elf glitter and comes out of my ears, and it's going to be awesome.

I have family coming to visit over Christmas, weather permitting.  That's going to be fun, and I get to spend Nov/Dec Christmas shopping!  I love presents, especially picking out the perfect one for each person.  I think I needed to start saving six months ago.  Uh oh. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Light at the End of The Tunnel

As many of you know, potty-training has been a HUGE struggle in our house.  I blame it mostly on the frequent moves; as soon as we got close to having some interest, we would have to move and it was back to diapers.  Anyway, that's my excuse for having a 3-and-a-half and 4-and-a-half year old still in pullups.

Blue Steel

Well, no more.  As of this last week, we can officially call Sammy "potty trained!"  It was like a switch flipped, and he was suddenly and voluntarily going on his own.  He's gone a week with no accidents (save one), in "big boy undies."

We spent most of the weekend celebrating Sam's achievement, though it was more for Jubee's sake than Sam's.  We thought if she saw what a big deal it was, she'd be more inclined to try it.

We went to the playground:

Yes, Jubee IS wearing soccer pads.  Soccer starts in a couple of weeks, so we got their gear, and she really wanted to wear them that day.

We went to the wading pool:

We took Sam to the video game store and let him pick out a couple of new (to him) Wii games:

We watercolored:

And we ate banana splits for dinner on Saturday (for real):

Unfortunately, it wasn't a very good weekend anyway, everyone had a cold.  So, we just laid around most of the time.  Oh well, it seemed fun on paper.

Friday, August 10, 2012

An (Unexpectedly) Awesome Morning Outing

The kids and I had, as the title suggests, an awesome morning out.  It was even more awesome because it was an outing I had been dreading, indeed, putting off for days rather than drag sick kids on errands.  But, out we went, and I'm super duper glad.

First, we went to the cable company to exchange some equipment.  Sammy kept saying, "I 'ungry, mom."  I was like, whatever, you just ate before we left, kid.

Next, we went to Safeway for flour.  Sammy said, "yay, it's house of food!"  Yes, that is a building where they keep food...but nothing prepared I'm going to feed my kids for lunch.  He started crying as we walked out, this is the conversation we had:

Sam:  Mommy, mah tummy 'urts, I 'ungry (Mommy, my tummy hurts, I'm hungry).
Me:  Sam, you just ate breakfast, you can't be hungry.
Sam:  NO!  Loob-lee ATE mah jelly bu'er bread, I 'ungry (No, Jubilee ate my jelly butter bread, I'm hungry)!
Me:  Jubilee, did you eat Sammy's breakfast?
Jubilee: Okay! (her blanket affermative)
Me:  Why did you eat his breakfast?
Jubilee:  Eyez 'UNGRY, mom (I was hungry, mom).

Point in fact, it was actually a croissant with chocolate peanut butter and a banana they ate for breakfast, not jelly butter bread.  I'm not sure why he calls any sort of bread with anything at all on it "jelly butter bread," but he does.

Anyway, we were already downtown, and I really wanted to go to the hippie health food store to see if they knew where to get a scoby for my kombucha locally, so I told Sammy we'd eat as soon as we finished. By this point, my lack of food was making my tummy hurt, too, so I was sympathetic, but I wanted to get stuff DONE and get home before they melted down.  The guy at the store said he they didn't have any scobys (scobies? scobi?) and he didn't know where to get one, but to try the vegetarian restaurant a few doors down.  So, down we walked.

The vegetarian restaurant didn't have any kombucha, or scobys, or any idea what I was talking about...but they did have a falafel pita sandwich lunch special, so we stayed for lunch.  We had so much fun, we sat in a booth and chatted about legos and Mickey Mouse and whatnot, and my sandwich was yummy.  The kids got PB&J, but since that's all they wanted anyway, they were happy.

They were really good, perfect really, though Sam was starting to get a bit sleepy:

After lunch, we walked outside, and a train was going by.  We had to sit on the closest bench and watch it until it was past.  It was very, very exciting.

We stopped at a local coffee shop, because Mommy was wearing down (oddly, before the kids did).  They had homemade marshmallows there for $0.75, so I got a couple for the kids.  I tried to get a picture of those marshmallows, they were so pretty, but this is the closest I got:

So, I have this thing with iced coffee.  If it's good, well-roasted, fresh beans, and cold pressed, it's the most amazing stuff in the world, but if it's not, it's pretty gross.  I asked the lady behind the counter if their iced coffee was cold pressed.  She looked confused and said, "um, we have toddy coffee, it's like, soaked in cold water."  I said that was fine, I'll take one.  I'm being totally honest, it was the best coffee I've ever had.  I usually put a little simple syrup in my iced coffee, just to combat the bitterness of brewed and then chilled iced coffee, but I totally didn't have to in this case.  I'm sure their beans are also phenomenal, but I really want to get a Toddy System now.   The depth of flavor was just magical, I mean a strong dark chocolate undertone and not a hint of bitterness.  Ah-mazing.

Anyway, the kids did super well, we skipped and jumped down the sidewalk.

We jumped off every chair and park bench we could find.  Well, they did anyway.

I've decided we need to have an outing like this more often.  We try and schedule all of our "fun" stuff to do with Cam, which is good, but it also leaves us with 10 hours a day 5 days a week with nothing to do besides the playground.  This was perfect, he won't be jealous or upset he missed the train or eating meatless food, and we had a really good time.