Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Look at this...

Do you see this cute baby?  He wants to meet his aunt.  My own sweet babies, my superman Dad, and I are heading out to see him starting tomorrow, so there will be a short hiatus in posting.  I plan on being back a week from Thursday, so be on the lookout for a new post then.  Thanks so much to everyone who is a regular reader of my blogs...it means a lot to me to have people appreciate my odd sense of humor!

On another, more important note...my oldest baby is six today.  I'm still in shock.  Sure, she's started in school and she's in ballet and she likes to write and try to read and can make her own bed and fold her own clothes and brush her own teeth and clear the table, but she's not really ready to be six...I'm sure of it!
She has a thing for getting her picture taken with flowers.
Happy birthday to you, my sweet flower princess girl!  May life always be as magical and full of excitement as it is today!

Monday, October 24, 2011


I think for Halloween this year, I'll just try to turn on the vacuum.  That's terrifying enough to get my kids screaming and jumping up on furniture.  Practical, too.  My floors always need a good cleaning.

****Editor's Note: Getting me to scream and jump on furniture isn't hard, either.  All it takes is one small mouse.

"The Turnip Lantern" by William Henry Hunt

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Last limerick, I promise...

There once were a few readers dear,
Who did not think this blog was queer.
They got terribly sick
Reading each limerick
every week for what seemed like a year!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Mystery of the Blue Train

I finished another book this week.  It was an Agatha Christie--The Mystery of the Blue Train.
Doesn't it look exciting?  It was.  Poirot mysteries are one of those things I return to on a regular basis when I've overwhelmed myself with too much non-fiction reading.  I've read many of them in my time, but I have to say, I can still never guess who did it!  It's part exciting and part shocking.  I am honing my skills, however, to be able to identify who the killer is not...I was able to successfully eliminate two of the candidates fairly quickly, but was still horrified when I discovered the real killer plus accomplice.  Seriously?  That's what makes her mysteries so timeless!

For those of you who have never read an Agatha Christie novel, you definitely should.  They're easy to read, and very suspenseful without being dark or dwelling on evil too much.  It's all a very civilized type of villiany.  The real charm, however, lies in the sub-plots of the stories.  This one had a paid companion, just turned rich, who stumbled into love.  The books always have a good share of good virtues also.  For every dastardly villian, there is usually a loyal and kind character as well.

And now, for the most important bit...if you're reading an Agatha Christie for the first time, start with an Hercule Poirot novel.  I sometimes wish I knew him in real life...although he would be entirely horrified at the state of my housekeeping.  He's intelligent, tries to be modest, a neat freak, Belgian (not French), and has a magnificent mustache.  He's everything a private investigator should be.  Miss Marple is pretty good, too, but in more of a Cranford meets crime sort of way.  I enjoy her adventures, but I LOVE Poirot's.  You'll probably find copies of Agatha Christie novels in any used book store or library...try one out and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What can $100 do for you?

I had a recent makeover of sorts.  For me it was a real game-changer.  I got my hair cut...the same way I always do, then the next week, I had an eye exam.  My hubby got me contact lenses again after a five year-baby stage hiatus. (If your eyes freak out during pregnancy, you'll know why I didn't bother for a while.) 

Then the next day, I looked in the mirror and had a startling recollection...I have a really interesting eye color.  Is that completely pathetic, or what?  I had forgotten all about one of my most unique and attractive features!

To make a long story short, that $100 made me mentally go from this...

(No, I don't usually have an axe handy when watching the children)
To this...

Yes, that is a chocolate cake! 
In other words, it got things back to where they should be.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Word of the Week

Here's a fun one.  It adds a little gusto to an every day problem for many of us.

Paunch: noun. stomach, pot belly

Where to start, where to start...there are so many pleasant alternatives when you're thinking up sentences about a pot belly...  How about this...

Grandma Jessie was tired of the backhanded insults; when the boy bagging groceries snickered at her bladder leakage supplies, she punched him right in the paunch.


The speedy toddler stumbled through the room, fat cheeks jiggling with every step, paunch bared to the world, dismantling all sense of order the mother had so strategically worked to achieve.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hurricane Season is Here...

Yes, I know those of you on the coastlines are hunkering down to survive a few months of suddenly horrifying weather.  In our family, we have reached the season of hunkering down as well...but not because of Mother Nature.  Our baby is almost sixteen months old.  Those of you who have had children know what I mean when I call her Hurricane Allison.

The MoonPie girl can successfully whirl through any room in the house leaving it in shambles in a mere matter of minutes.  She loves to unwind toilet paper and splash in the toilet.  She unloads and tries to eat the trash.  She pulls dirty dishes out of the dishwasher and throws them on the floor.  She loves to eat crayons and color on furniture.  She basically leaves us in a perpetual state of terror from the moment we release her from her bed to the time she returns.

The thing about having a baby this age, though, is that she's so cute and cheerful about it all.  You can't really be angry...what a mystery it is!  She's exhausting, but when she toddles over with her fat cheeks smiling, holding out a dirty diaper she just fished out of the trash like it is some great treasure she found just for you, you can't be mad.  God really knew what He was doing making them cute.

This stage will pass.  In a few months, she'll remember all the no-nos.  I can't say I'll miss the messes...we have plenty as it is, but it's still a precious time.  Each child has their own special biggest mess they made during Hurricane season...it's fun to think of when it's over!

Friday, October 14, 2011


Unsuspecting was I
and without a care,
When I was affronted
by my Tupperware.

Blithely smiling, cleaning
post-dinner rubble,
Collecting clean dishes,
Unaware of the trouble.

The trouble which lay
all hidden and stored
In that spacious and handy
corner cupboard.

I, with great care drying
my plasticware tall,
When opened, it gushed forth,
and upon me did fall.

The river of plastic pooled
up round my feet.
I shoved each back in...
till next time we meet!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just because it was cute...School Update #2

We were reviewing our letters yesterday during school.  We reviewed what capital B looks like, then moved on to little b.  Cara said...

"Mom, it looks like you before Allie was born!  It has a big, fat belly, too!"

...At least she didn't say it looked like me now!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Gentlemen of Baseball

Okay, I've done some posting on some of the more erratic players in baseball history, and now as promised, I'll cover some of the guys who were actually nice and worthy of being a boy's role model.  It may surprise those of you who are a little sports-biased (I at times fall into this category myself, I must admit!), but there are actually quite a few who were great guys!  Here are three more players which I consider note-worthy:

Christy Mathewson:

He was actually called "the Christian Gentleman" by players and press alike because of his courtesy and public stand for God and country.  He was an amazing pitcher...one of the first in the hall of fame...who wouldn't pitch a game on Sunday, in honor of his beliefs.  He enlisted in WWI, along with the less-than-Christian-non-gentleman Ty Cobb, and inhaled poisonous gas.  This ended his pitching career and ultimately took his life, but he never regretted it.  He was one of the first five inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Lou Gehrig:

I have to say, through the Ken Burns series, Lou Gehrig was one of my personal favorites, although he was largely overshadowed by his flamboyant teammate, Babe Ruth.  He was just as talented as Ruth, but was completely opposite him in character.  He was a quiet, modest, family man.  He never sought the lime-light.  He spent years in the shadow of Ruth, being largely overlooked, yet always kept a kind and gentlemanly attitude toward him.  It's actually he, and not Ruth who holds the grand slam record!  Even when he had to leave the game of baseball at the age of 36 due to what would eventually be called 'Lou Gehrig's Disease', he bravely faced a devastating illness without complaint, instead being grateful for the time he had lived and played.  He is a great example of how to win and keep a humble attitude.

Ted Williams:

I suppose I ought to include a Red Sox player since I've had a Yankee. :)  Seriously, Ted Williams is a good role model for a young man.  He was an absolutely amazing hitter,  and much of his skill was acquired through hard work and observation.  He really studied and worked hard to become great...it didn't just happen naturally for him!  Some people even consider him the greatest hitter who ever lived.  His stats, though, may not seem as impressive as you'd expect from an all-time great.  There's a reason.  He took years away from his career (stats) to serve in the military in both WWII and the Korean war.  How many sports players these day can you think of who wouldn't be too self-serving to step away from their sport while at their prime to serve their country?  I think it was amazing...what a great example.

I've really enjoyed learning some of the ins and outs of baseball, courtesy of Ken Burns.  I understand why Brooklyn Dodgers fans are bitter, I know about the Red Sox curse, I know how to calculate a batting average, but most of all, I enjoyed the stories.  The game of baseball is an avenue to learn about some very interesting lives.  They say truth is stranger than fiction...who would have thought I'd have enjoyed the Baseball documentary so much?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Word of the Week, Toddler Terms

I'm afraid I'll forget these some day, as they are quickly disappearing from the vocabularies of my five- and four- year olds.  If you're ever around my kids for any length of time, you'll spot a few of these!

mowlawner: lawn mower

rockamole: guacamole

dit dew: Allie baby speak for "love you"

and theng, and theng...: and then (this one can go on forever...until she remembers the next part of the run-on sentence!)

busketti: spaghetti

dinner: Scott speak for every snack and meal

I wanember: I remember

wish-wee: Cara's word for lotion (don't ask why!)

wah-ner: to really imitate Scott, you have to speak kind of nasal, at the top of your lungs.  This means 'water' or any other drink.

Here's something sad already...they've already eliminated a lot of these from their speaking since I first wrote this post.  Sniff, sniff...I should have written more down at the time, but I was probably chasing a child.  Being a mom and blogger isn't for wimps.  In fact, at times it's an aerobic activity.

What are some of your favorite toddler terms?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stages of Diaper Bagging...

The longer I've been a Mom, the more I realize that you can generally monitor the age of a baby simply by observing the diaper bag his mother uses.  Here are my very unscientific findings:

Stage I:  Enormabag
     This stage is reserved for the very small baby.  Especially first time Moms tend to want on hand several outfits, about a jumbo pack of diapers, a wide array of bottles, burp cloths, and just about every cream and lotion ever labeled for infant use.  This stage lasts for about 5-6 months for first-time Moms and 2-3 months for professionals.

Stage II: Multi-pocket Big Bag
     As a newborn progresses, the need for all the gadgets starts to diminish.  At this age, Mom is fascinated with many pockets to quickly organize the still somewhat abundant baby storage receptacle she carries.  If the Mom has other children, this is compounded as the family is feeling more up to going places with a baby that is a little farther into the infant years.  When you have other children, you need pockets for little boy cars, snacks for the toddlers who are jealous seeing baby eat, potty training outfits and/or diaper products, and sometimes also miscellaneous stuff for your husband.  This stage lasts until the baby is 9 months for new Moms and until 5 months for returners.

Stage III: Big Bag with Purse
     This is the stage where your baby gets so heavy, you're getting tired of lugging things around.  Moms shove only a moderate amount of baby gear into the bag (no pockets necessary...it's always a mess anyway).  You strategically leave enough room on top of the baby things to stuff your purse in on top, thus creating one less thing to keep track of.  Amazingly, you can get everything you need for an eight hour period in one large bag!  This is where the ages begin to vary according to the mother's muscle tone and ability to remember where things are.  Returning Moms are stronger, but have shorter memories than newbies!

Stage IV: Large Purse
     This is the stage where I currently am with my daughter.  Moms reach this stage whenever their pride/tolerance level tires of looking like a pack mule all the time.  You gradually enter this stage, dipping in an outing at a time, then progresses to full time.  The trick to this stage is to have a purse large enough to hold everything you need normally, as well as 2 diapers, a ziploc bag of wipes and a small snack. 

Stage V:  Stray Diaper
     By the time a Mom gets to this stage, her baby only needs to be changed a few times a day.  Mom also is laid back enough to assume there will be wipes or something you can use as wipes around most anywhere you go.  Baby is usually on full table food at this stage...you don't usually see stray baby food jars laying around.  Stray diaper quite often stays in the glove box of my car, sometimes in my purse, or I simply let baby hold it until we get to the church nursery or wherever we are going.  Here's a note...Moms stay in this stage until potty training begins, at which time they revert back to Stage II or III temporarily and retrace the journey through to stray diaper.  At the end of potty training, it's more of a stray underwear/pullup thing, but after that, you're home free...until you have another baby, that is.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty

by Ogden Nash

Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.

Miranda in Miranda's sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star,
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda is a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who makes the years to whirl
Adorned as he adorned you.

Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What's a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then--
How old is Spring, Miranda?

****Editor's Note: You know, Andy was just calling me 'loveliness made woman' the other day.  This poem is to officially wrap up my birthday week  Turning 31 wasn't nearly this traumatic, but I could relate and laugh over this one...especially the first two stanzas.  Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Having enough faith to rejoice...

I ran across two verses in my devotions that seemed to really jump out at me lately.  It's found in Psalm 5:

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them:  let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Hmmm...you see, I've been praying that the Lord would help my family out in a few difficult decisions we have brewing.  I worked through the fear that often comes with a life-changing decision, I worked through the impatience of the extended waiting that came up, and yet I was still not quite satisfied.

I knew God would take care of us.

I knew God was in control.

I knew God would give us an answer in His good time.

These verses showed me what I was missing...yes, God wants me to trust.  Yes, God wants me to know He'll  'defend' me, but He wanted me to learn something else.  He wants me to know how to rejoice in Him...even when things are still hard and uncertain.  He wants me to know He's in control, and be joyful.  

No, our problems aren't resolved. Yes, we still have enemies and hardness--sometimes on a daily basis--but I know that I can rejoice because I have a God who loves me.  Through the easy times and the hard times, He'll solve my problems, and give me joy along the way.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Do you want to see a lovely painting?  Sure you do...it'll brighten your day.  Take your mind away from the laundry and dishes and small creatures yelling your name and look at this...

This painting is called "The End of Dinner" by Jules Alexandre Grun.  Isn't it lovely?  Perhaps some day after the kids are all married off and chasing my grandchildren, I'll throw elegant dinner parties like this one.  I LOVE the lighting of this!  Not to mention the lace and flowers and stylish updos.  <<Sigh>>

Actually, what charms me most is the tone of formal, yet comfortable conversation.  I can almost hear the men chuckling and the ladies chit-chatting and admiring the china.  Some of them probably do useful things like painting china in their spare time.  What a happy thought...if I lived in another time, I'd probably be able to  paint roses on china...or violets...I love delicate teacups.  They're not too well adapted for all the bulls who live in my china closet, though!

Here's a secret...I love thinking of china and flowers and elegant dresses, but when it really comes down to it, I'd rather be here in my pajamas with my ugly mugs watching the ones I love tearing around the house, playing and giggling...but don't tell anyone.

What do you think of  the lovely conversation piece?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Word of the Week a la Linda

Here is a word suggestion from my bloggy friend Linda, at Encouragement From the Hill.

  kerfuffle: as a noun...commotion; disorder; agitation
                           as a verb...to put into disorder or disarray; ruffle or disarrange

For some reason, this word reminds me of Anne of Green Gables.  Does Rachel Lynde say this a lot?  Or am I just dreaming?  At any rate, this word should be easy enough for me to use in a sentence, since my life is quite often in a kerfuffle!  Here goes:

Despite their positive affirmations of cleanliness, when the children brought their beaming mother into their room, she was greeted with a large kerfuffle of toys, books, and (most shocking of all) soiled garments from wall to wall. (yes, I am writing from experience...quite consistent experience, actually).

The naughty boy could think of no better vengeance upon the prima donna than to sneak up behind her and kerfuffle her hair and garment immediately before she walked on stage for her solo.

Oooh...I think I like the verb usage best.  I'm going to try to kerfuffle your minds with more random posting tomorrow!

Monday, October 3, 2011

I'm Officially Older!

Yesterday was my thirty-first birthday, so I'm officially entrenched in the middle ages now.  I'm trying to decide when exactly you become officially twenty-nine forever. Hmmm...maybe whenever I have to start dying my hair...

Anyway, I thought I'd post a quick run-down of my birthday highlights, just so I'll remember everything in the years to come.  Sorry to those of you who really don't care!

My hubby started off my day with a groggy rendition of "Happy Birthday" right before my shower. My babies belted it out for me shortly after my shower. We had the normal Sunday morning eating/dressing/cleaning rush before church, where during the main service, my hubby had the whole church sing to me, too.  There are definite perks to being the song leader!

My family treated me to a sit down Sunday meal out after church...a pretty rare treat for us.  Now the babies eat a ton, so it's pretty pricey and also logistically difficult...I spent the first ten minutes there shuttling people back and forth to the bathroom.  We went to Quaker Steak and Lube, which was really yummy...we got loaded fries as an appetizer which was horrible for us, but so so SO yummy!  Then we went home where we heartlessly put all the kids down for a nap while we enjoyed an afternoon of laying around, watching TV, and reading the newspaper...it was lovely!  So lovely, in fact, that we overshot the timing a little and had to scramble to get back to church almost on time.  After a quick choir practice, I joined Andy with the teens where we played frisbee golf.  I was the comic relief for the group.  My first attempt went the opposite way I intended and got stuck behind a fence guarding the AC units...RATS!  The teens kindly didn't exclude me in the team picking.  Thanks for not picking me last on my birthday...you guys are the best!

We went to pick up the babies from Olympians where we got to watch Scott and Cara playing football with the big kids.  Scott didn't realize that it wasn't tackle football. :)  He also should have been penalized for a few late hits, but luckily he's the smallest kid out there, so they had mercy on him because he's just cute.

We went home, put the kiddos to bed, reheated our leftovers and enjoyed the quiet of the evening before bed time.  I didn't have to cook anything the whole day!  I didn't do any dishes the whole day!  It was wonderful!

The older I get, the more birthdays are about taking a break and being appreciated for what I do every day, and less about what I get...although I'm perfectly thrilled with the immersion blender Andy got me.  If you read my cooking blog you already know about that!  Some people would be pretty bummed out to have their birthday on a Sunday, but I was excited.  Even though it's one of our busier days, I was happy because I get to spend almost all day with Andy, which is a novelty I don't get on the weekdays.  What's better than spending your birthday with the one who loves and appreciates you best?  Thanks to all who made my day special!

Now I have to go start on dishes and laundry...sigh...maybe it wasn't such a great idea to do nothing all day!