Thursday, April 30, 2009

Funpack Cereal Fight

I was on the cereal aisle when my eyes caught sight of the fun pack cereals. You know the ones...6 or 8 little boxes of all the best sugary cereals shrink wrapped together. And in a moment of nostalgia and apparent lack of judgment I grabbed it and tossed it in the cart.

What a fun and rare surprise for the girls, I thought.

They don't yet know the delights of these little boxes of pure sugar disguised as breakfast food. That Corn Pops used to be called Sugar Pops in gramma's day. That Cocoa Krispies will leave you with a delightful bowl of chocolate milk to drink. That Frosted Flakes are best eaten quickly before they turn soggy...that goes for Honey Smacks as well. Fruit Loops aren't as healthy as they sound...and although they leave your milk pink, it doesn't taste like Strawberry Quik.

Oh the wonders to discover.

Even in their clueless state, they knew mommy's surprise was something special. The packaging of these little gems is a little more enticing than Target brand cheerios I guess.

A fight ensued, and only a good mommy blogger would grab her cell phone for a picture instead of breaking up the fight.

Lily stands confident.

A clear winner.

Though winner and loser shared the spoils.

It was the most quiet breakfast in months. I'm not sure they breathed between bites and slurps. ..the slurping of the milk straight from the bowl. (Jade did this too when she ate her second box with milk.)

I have no clue from where or from whom that skill was learned. But, mmm...that chocolate milk was good.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A House of Sheets Brings Rest

I honestly can't remember the last time my 4 1/2 year old took a nap. At least a non-carseat induced nap. Let's just say it was many, many moons ago.

So, as usual it was just Jade and I going up the stairs for nap time. I got Jade, Pooh and Tigger tucked in for a rest and paused to make a couple of phone calls before heading back down to play some games with Lily. As I went back down the stairs I was secretly hoping that just 1 or 2 rounds of The Ladybug Game would suit her fancy when I heard a strange sound.

A snoring sort of sound.

It was coming from a sheet tent the girls had made just before lunch. The first one they've made together as sisters.

I peeked in and there was Lily. All curled up against the couch with a pillow and blanket, just sawing away. On the cold hard floor.

Had I tried to entice her to her soft mattress, or even a carpeted floor for that matter, an afternoon nap would not have ensued.

But lo and behold in the tent house on the cold floor of the den my little girl slept. For two and a half hours I could have heard a pin drop. And for that time she seemed little need of midday rest. And I enjoyed the quiet and the peeking at her and listening to the hum of her breath.

And thought of how I see the making of many, let me repeat...many, sheet houses in our future. May they all bring rest.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Coffee: Whole Bean vs. Ground

I have and addiction that I need to confess. I promise I am not a coffee snob. I do not care what brand of coffee it is, even the cheap stuff works for me, but my one request is that it is whole bean. I like it to grind it fresh right before it is brewed. There really is a difference, folks.

It all started when we were looking for the house we currently live in. Our old one had sold and the new one wasn't found just we moved in with my dad and Kim for nearly two months while we continued house hunting. Their house is where I grew accustomed to the whirling sound of the coffee grinder each morning...and where my addiction to fresh ground coffee...actually coffee in general was started.

When we found our house, they surprised us with an awesome Cuisinart Grind and Brew Coffee Maker as a housewarming gift. Hence, the addiction continued.

I buy a couple of bags of whole bean coffee at a time. Running out is not an option. I didn't realize though until this weekend that I need to give the bag a good squeeze before tossing it in cart. You know, just to make sure it actually is whole bean...

On Friday morning, I opened up a new bag and alas it was ground. What?!? I reread the label thinking for sure we had just picked up the wrong kind. Nope. It clearly stated whole bean. What!?!

Apparently someone opened it up and ground it in the store's grinder and then put it back on the shelf. Where it sat for who knows how long and not even in a vacuum sealed bag.

The nerve.

So, I ran to the pantry and checked all drawers and shelves hoping that indeed another bag of coffee would be found. And, as with any addiction I can imagine, I had gone through them faster than I had thought. No good coffee. Anywhere.

Deep breath.

I weighed my options. Get both the girls and myself out of our PJs to make a run through the Starbucks drive-thru, not bothering to get everyone dressed and still go through the drive-thru, or just brew the dern pot of coffee.

Laziness (and the thought of getting pulled over while in pajamas) prevailed and I hoped that an extra shot of sugar free Vanilla Caramel Coffeemate would do the trick.

What a waste of good creamer.

I'm not sure what is worse, opening and grinding coffee only to put it right back on the shelf, or making one pot from said bag and then returning it to the store.

Just beware if you are a HV Wal*Mart shopper...I am returning this dern bag of coffee. And although you better believe I'm going to tell them the whole story, I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up back on the shelf.

Give your next bag of beans a squeeze. That's all I'm sayin'.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It did seem to be a little too quiet....

but I thought to myself, the girls must have wandered upstairs...and they are playing so well...I think I'll just finish loading this dishwasher real quick.

I guess the sound of running water drowned out the noise of books crashing to the floor. Every book within their reach had been removed from the bookshelves in our room.

See Lily's feet hiding behind the chair? (That is a chair...completely covered with clothes. Clean clothes on hangars no less. We reorganized our closet and now it takes too long to sort them out to the right there they lay...getting wrinkled. Actually, I can't figure out my husband's system on his side, so those are waiting for him. Sigh.) Anyway, back to subject...Lily quickly hid to let her sister take the fall.

But then she came out to ask if I saw the bridge she made...very proud of it. Nope, I had missed it somehow...oh, there it is. That explains the quiet arranging of books. And Daddy had those all ordered into quite a system too. Second sigh.

Shame on me. I really do know better than to let it get quiet for more than say...30 seconds. After all, it was just recently that Lily had gone quiet and I discovered her busy in the bathroom.

Do you like my make-up, Mama?

Oh my.

I'm all about teachable moments, but discussing the woes of base lines with your four year old just seems a little odd.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Free Info and Ice Cream

Don't you just hate it when you learn something new that you wish you had learned forever ago...or at least much earlier than you learned it? Maybe something that once you found out about it, you felt like you were the only one who had been kept in the dark for way too long?

Well, I recently felt that way about two things that I've come to know. And although I'm pretty sure I was indeed the last person on planet Earth to find out about them, I thought I'd share them for WFMW (Works for me Wednesday), just in case I could help another unfortunate soul out. I can hear Ursula singing now...Poor Unfortunate Souls...just for you Little Mermaid fans.

The first one is free 4-1-1...I couldn't believe I was still paying some ridiculous amount to get directory assistance from my cell or land line when apparently all my friends were getting their info for free. All you have to do is call seriously is a free call...with a live operator if you need it. Sure, you'll have to listen to an advertisement, so don't call it if you're needing directions to the ER or something, but in most cases it works great. And, hello, it's FREE.

The other little freebie is even tastier. We're huge Chick-Fil-A fans here...or Chick-n-Play fans, as my daughter calls it...but not huge fans of their kids meal toys. Probably just because they are usually geared towards kids older than the age of my children. I used to just toss them with the tray...awful, I know. Then I went to Chick-Fil-A with an obviously way more savvy customer who magically turned her kids meal books into ice cream cones! You just march up to the counter when your kids are done eating and ask to exchange the prizes for ice cream cones. And all this time I had just been thinking, "Man, I can't believe all these moms buy their kids ice cream cones on a regular basis". Now Lily and Jade each have one...and mommy gets an extra 10 minutes of adult chat time.

Lily and Emma (the daughter of the savvy mom) wait patiently for their cones.

I cringed as Jerry brought the girls home from there the other night. They had ice cream cones in hand but when I went to clean out the diaper bag I found their unopened Chick-Fil-A books.

Don't think I won't be turning them in on our next visit. Mama needs some ice cream.

For other WFMW tips, visit We Are THAT Family.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

8 Things and an Award

My sweet, funny, and sassy blog friend, Jennifer @ Love, Laughter and Lyrics tagged me for a little meme. She is a mommy of two kiddos...each about a year younger than my two, so it is fun to read her blog and remember what 12 months ago looked like for us. Just be sure to chew and completely swallow anything you might be consuming before reading her page...she is the kind of funny that might just send things spewing. And that just isn't fun...for you or your monitor.

I'm trying to keep that little rule in mind for myself when we hopefully meet in real life one day. We were both disappointed to realize that she recently visited just a few minutes from where I live...and we didn't meet up. Ugh. Next time, next time, friend!

8 things I'm looking forward to...

1. The self tanner that I just put on my legs not only tanning them, but sculpting muscles into them and removing any hint of cellulite just in time for swimsuit season. Now that would really be worth the 8 bucks.

2. The wedding shower we're throwing in two weeks for some very dear friends. We hope to bless their socks off.

3. Our tenth anniversary trip this summer...and hopefully a trip to WI and MI to see both of my grandmothers and extended family. Jerry, are you taking notes?

4. Lily actually learning how to swim. 14 weeks into swim lessons here and well...the girl still can't swim. I'm finding it comical at the moment...but not always.

5. Getting Jade potty trained. Guess I actually need to start that in order for it to happen, huh?

6. Seeing our friends, Phil and Rachelle, become parents and meet their precious adopted twin boys.

7. My husband's reduced work ours during the summer months. Hallelujah!

8. Getting multiple extra keys made for my van and hiding them in various places so I don't have to fess up to seriously losing them every ten days or so.

8 things I did yesterday:

1. Went to work out with the hubby. I love gazing across the weight room and seeing him pump that iron. I was proud that I only annoyed him once to have him show me how to work a new machine.

2. Pretended that Jade was not waking up after only napping for 45 minutes. Please Lord. Please. Seriously. A 45 minute nap on a Saturday afternoon? That should be a crime. She did 3 hours today though...that's my girl.

3. Ate the best Mexican food ever. Soft fried corn tortillas...which, from what I could tell, just meant that they were soaked in oil...not crispy. Anyways, they were filled with beef fajita meat, onions and cilantro and then drizzled with lime juice. Mas taquitos mexicanos...y pronto por favor!

4. Managed to not cook one meal. The ENTIRE day. Therefore no dishes were dirtied. In fact, neither was the floor, the table nor the counter tops. I'm liking this plan.

5. However, I did have this unusual urge to stay on top of the laundry. Any time something was taken off or dirtied I was rounding it up, getting it washed, dried and put away. That might give you a hint of how behind I had gotten on laundry over the past few weeks. It scared me silly.

6. We went on a hunt for cheap patio furniture. Of course the last place we hauled ourselves and two little ones into during the rainy weather was the place with the best deal. So let me save you stops into Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart, Yard Art Patio, and Big Lots. Garden Ridge is the answer, friends. Although those other locations might have some good scratch and dent sales going on after our visits with Lily and Jade.

7. Researched dimensions for King size beds. Was shocked to learn that Kings are 16 inches wider, but no longer than a queen. A California King is 4 inches longer, but not as wide as a normal King. Isn't that strange? Not that Jerry and I are growing longer...probably just wider, but it just doesn't make sense to me.

8. Started reading a new book to Lily. It's actually an old English classic from the turn of the century, The Wind in the Willows. I was mortified that twice in the first chapter alone I had to skip over the word a*s*s. And it wasn't referring to a donkey. I realize that language changes over time, but seriously? Did people just walk around saying that all the time? The funny thing is that it was given to Lily by an retired librarian in the of the most proper women I've known in a long time. I'm just trying to envision her reading it aloud to a group of kids and fumbling for a word to replace it with like I had to last night.

8 things I wish I could do:

1. Dance without feeling like an idiot.

2. Mix the perfect Margarita.

3. Finish reading all the books that I've started.

4. See both of my grandfathers one last time.

5. Take a photography class to learn how to use my fancy camera with multiple lenses that I don't own and probably never will.

6. Make my mom's life easier.

7. Add 3 more hours to my day.

8. Go to bed on time!

8 shows I enjoy...

1. Sesame Street
2. Caillou
3. Jay Jay the Jet Plane
4. Martha Speaks
5. Sid the Science Kid
6. Clifford the Big Red Dog
7. Word Girl
8. Super Why

Did I mention that we are too cheap to have cable? Thank goodness for PBS! And no, Mom, the girls are not in front of the TV all day...just most of the day. Totally kidding. I seriously do try to monitor how much TV they watch...but it sure comes in handy at times that is why I am listing them as shows I enjoy.

I don't watch TV at night. AT ALL. Crazy, I know. I used to be a huge Grey's Anatomy fan, and then they took that show in a direction that I just didn't feel comfortable soaking in each Thursday night. Blogging and Facebook more than fill the void.

8 friends I tag:


Jennifer had also passed along this cute little blog award to me a while back...and I'm passing it along to these fine ladies as well. It is the Great Attitude award...boy I must have her fooled. She has the guidelines written in this post. Love you gals!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rainy Day Fun

This morning was a rare one. Rare in the fact that we didn't have preschool, swim lessons, Bible-study, a play-date or some other activity to run off to. Of course we could have ran off to the gym, but, know. It was raining, so I was happy to just sit and much as is possible with two little ones of course.

But even before breakfast Lily approached me with her paint box in little girl had a plan. I tried to put it off until Jade was napping, but barely managed to put it off until after breakfast. Letting me get away with just some water colors or possibly some pre-printed "paint with water" type books (where can those be found anymore?), was not in her plans. No, instead she was already mixing colors with the washable tempera paints before my coffee even had a chance to get cold.

Why not throw in some finger paints while we're at it...oh boy!

My only goal in painting with them is for the actual painting time to last as long as the set up and clean up...nothing like making a huge mess for just five minutes of fun. They did great today.

Ready to paint...a first for Jade.

I can't believe I tried to put it off as usual as a "mommy and Lily" activity during her nap. Jade enjoyed it so much and was very neat about it. I put some paint on the stamps and she very gingerly and slowly put them on and lifted them straight back up. I couldn't believe it. Whose kid is this?

This was her free paint...

Then Lily made her hand print with the finger paints. I love capturing the size of their hands like this and even did it recently with Lily's feet I just assumed Jade would think this was a fun idea. NOT the case. Oh the shrill screams of torture as I wet her hand with the paint. She did not want to get dirty. Again, whose kid is this?

But, as you can see, I continued with the torture so I could record the size of her chubby 21 month old hands next to those of her sister.

Lily made quite a few creations on her own...the last of which you see here.

I am sure it doesn't need any explanation, ahem, but just for the record, she described it to me as a lizard with nine legs and a tail...and then she promptly added three eyes when I asked where it's head was. Which all seemed kind of scary to me until she asked if I noticed the bus he was sitting on.

Great. At least it isn't some sort of creature she's seen in the house recently. We have some strange geckos living in these parts. But nine legs and three eyes...that might just send me over the edge.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm guessing CPS doesn't read my blog...

otherwise I should be getting some sort of reprimand here shortly. As if my toddler's reprimand wasn't bad enough.

"Mommy! Buckle. No buckle."


"Hang on, Jade!" I dart across a busy intersection before pulling over to strap her in.

It's always good when your kids start they can remind you of your basic parental duties. After missing swim lessons earlier this week due to not being able to find my keys, and now this, I'm not very hopeful of any "mommy of the year" nominations. Geez.

My little cell phone camera comes in handy in these I can remind myself of what an idiot I am.

Speaking of is time for a new cell phone. I was shocked to learn that the photos on my phone are not saved on my SIM card. 204 photos without a home. It is driving me crazy. When I asked the tech savvy guy at the store how to get them off of there he muttered something about a data cable. Huh? Blank stare. It "could" have come with the phone? Sure, I know right where that is. Or he suggested that I e-mail them all to myself...yeah, right. On our plan, multi-media messages are $.35 a pop. I'm guessing Jerry isn't going to think that transferring these 204 pics is worth $70.

So what have I done? Nothing. I'm just stewing over it while my new "free" phone awaits me. And I keep taking more pictures of course.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Old friends are best because... can trust them on their Starbucks recommendation and actually like it...first Chai Latte ever...yummy! don't just know them, but their whole family as well...and you can feel really old when their little brother grows up and gets married! have so much to talk to them about that the conversations don't end til 2AM and then just start back up again at 7AM...I am still tired! can scream out loud and even grab onto them in a scary movie and it isn't embarrassing...TAKEN...go see it! can joke about missing a good night kiss and it is actually funny...parents waiting up for us when we got in...great to feel thirteen again!

I had the joy of getting to hug Rachelle's neck this weekend when she came to OK City for a few days. She is such a dear friend, so I jumped at the chance to see her when she was just a three hour drive trying to make it to the east coast.

She was in town for a shower...twin boys from China are heading her way in the next few months. Head over to With One Step to see a few more pics from the shower and tell her CONGRATS! Quite an amazing story of God's faithfulness in their lives...and lots of trust and patience on their exciting for them!

Love ya, Rachelle!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter in Pictures

So, at one point all of these pics were arranged randomly, yet cutely, in a manner that didn't cause headaches or blurred vision. Then I hit post and they ended up on top of one another. And I'm just too tired to fix apologies.

It has just been one of those days. I wish I was laughing at some other mother who had both kids, plus herself, fed, dressed, and packed up early on a Monday morning to get to swim lessons ON TIME, but then couldn't find her keys. This mother looked everywhere...including the car, two purses, upstairs, downstairs, the diaper bag, the car again, the purses again...ugh. Then an hour later, after getting her daughter out of her swimsuit and explaining for the 100th time why they were NOT going to swim lessons after all, she checked her purse on more time and there were the freakin' KEYS.

Unfortunately that would be THIS MOTHER. *sigh*

So anyway, you are looking at a real mess of pictures. Basically two egg hunts (a third one wasn't photographed) at a community park and the other at my Dad and Kim's house.

Yes, the parents played a relay game of carrying an egg on the spoon...the girls won both times. And the little girl with Lily towards the end is Mia...Lily's best neighbor buddy who is just 4 days younger. That's all folks!

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