Monday, February 27, 2012

breaking wind

The husband is psychic.

The other day I was dancing around the interwebs and saw this funny picture:

And I thought to myself, "hey, I never did see the last Twilight movie."  Since it's a part 1, I wasn't in a hurry, and I honestly have no idea when it came out.  Life has been... scattered... for the last while.   I've actually seen the last 3 with the husband in the theater - I think because he secretly adores Twilight.  Or doesn't trust me.  When I read the books I tried biting him and he would have none of it.  Pssshhhh.

So I've been thinking to myself that when he goes out of town again, I'll rent it.  So he doesn't have suffer through it.  Because I'm thoughtful like that.  And then Saturday night he comes home from the grocery store with a redbox copy of Breaking Dawn.  OOOOOOoooooo, he IS psychic.

Anywho, we survived it although he did say any, many snarky things.  That were entirely deserved.  When it was over, he had two very good observations:

1.  The Cullens are filthy rich, right?  So if they were trapped in their house because the werewolves were all around and couldn't get out to hunt, why didn't they have a cow delivered?

2.  Or an armored tank?

He's a problem solver.  Also, my observation is incredibly pathetic, but I'll be honest.  I've had 2 kids and I hate exercising, so watching cute actresses prance around in bikinis makes me feel a little insecure.  It's my own fault, I could do a sit-up, but I'm too exhausted from following the Dude around all day.  Which does not tone my midsection as much as it should.  Anywho, it helped that she started out cute and then spent the rest of the movie looking like a crack addict.  Very considerate of her.

And now I'm off.  I'm going to have 7 kids over here for a bit while some friends attend and help out at a funeral.  In theory it sounds like a lovely idea.  If they yell, I'm going to stuff cookies in their mouths to stop the noise.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

365 days 37-41 and a half. also, some bread.

I put on the timer to show what I'd done all day, and WG photobombed me.  That about covers the day too.

Why, is that a super awesome activity behind me that I masterminded?? And was my day SO hectic that this picture was the best I could do?? Why yes.  (also, aside to Atomic Mom - the dress code is up to the discretion of the leaders.  And since the girls were in charge and wanted to dress up like candy-themed whatevers, we went with casual.  I was within an inch of wearing my red and white striped tights before I realized I had absolutely nothing to go with them.)

Holy snap. How did that happen?

Domestic leanings are strong today. I'm going all Dr. Frankenstein on an old red shirt and a bunch of stretch lace fabric I found at the local thrift store. It's now a skirt. That may or may not make my butt look enormous. We'll see if I ever actually wear it in public.
Toddler asleep, everyone else at Home Depot.. nothing to do but snuggle up on the only patch of sunlight in the house. AAAAHHHHHH.
Hey, you get a two-fer today!  I own at least 40 shoes, but only wear these.  Where does a girl find a new pair of shoes these fabulous? 

Seriously.  I almost exclusively wear these.  It's cold and I have to wear socks, so cute flats are out.  And since I never wear matching socks (today is a verrryyyy rare exception) I HAVE to wear tennies that cover my fashion faux-pas.  And though I have 2 other pairs of Converse wanna-bes, they aren't slip-on like these, or as fabulously nonchalant.  Ugh.  I love them so.  

Do you have an idea where I could get totally comfy, slippy-on-y shoes like these??  I've researched and I thought Simple shoes might be the ticket, but seeing as I spent like $5 on these, the $40+ price tag just seems unjustifiable.  Oh, and they're going out of business.  BLARG.

Also, I have a few thank yous.  Oh, thank you for complimenting my bread!  I feel like a dough-y rock star.  The recipe I have is one the hubs gave me and I'm pretty sure it's the recipe for Papa John's pizza dough. In fact, we use it for pizza dough weekly, we just omit the second rise and roll it into a pizza pan.  I usually roll it out french-y bread-y style, but this time I tried the loaf pan and it worked.  So cool.  Anywho, since Jenna asked me to e.mail it to her and somehow blogging is actually easier than e.mail, here it is:

The Dough Recipe Husband Told Me to Use.

1 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon Yeast
2 Tablespoons Sugar

let sit 5 mins

1 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Turn on the mixer and slowly add enough flour to keep from sticking to the bowl.  When it gets to the right consistency, put the dough hook on the mixer at let it go for a few minutes.

slather with oil so dough doesn't dry out.  

cover and let rise for 2 hrs in a warm-ish place

punch down and roll out.

roll into loaf shape, slather with a touch of oil so it doesn't dry out.

Let raise an hour or so

bake at 400 until brown.  (if putting in a loaf pan, go with 375)

So no, Jane, it's not a grain mix of whatever, although the husband has managed to modify this by adding oatmeal and stuff.  And I learned the hard way to not add sugar AND honey.  Together they make the yeast go bonkers.  This is just plain french-y bread.  Oh, and as we speak, he's got a loaf rising that he made - but before he added the flour, he threw in some sliced up sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil.  Because he loves me.  I'll totally get a picture for you guys, it's incredible.

Now, I'm no cook.  We know this.  But bread is working for me.  Around 1pm I throw stuff in the mixer, around 3pm I roll it out and at 4pm I throw it in the oven before dinner.  You HAVE to know this is easy if I'm able to do it.

Oh, and Gabby says if you put some melted butter on the top when it comes out of the oven, it makes the crust nice and soft.  Totally trying that.  Anywho, have a loverly day!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


So this Young Women's prez gig is starting to make me realize I kind of overdo things.  Some things.  Cleanliness, not so much.  But party decor, yes.  I actually find that very surprising about myself.  But I survived our New Beginnings last night!  I blogged it over here.  Because if you don't blog it, it didn't happen.

You know what else is surprising to me?  The things I'm starting to get good at just to avoid extra trips to the store.  Because I'd rather get really decent at making bread that have to stop into the Viking Mart with my adorable but VERY 2 year old Dude.

Who would have ever predicted that??  Not moi.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

365 days 33-36

Now what?

Nothing could be finer than this snuggling on you on a Saturday afternoon.
I've had a gift card to Ta-jay for a long time, but I'd never been able to find something that was Gift Card Worthy.  Something wild and fabulous and not practical and not something I'd be able to justify from my own funds.  But these puppies?  Totally GCW.
On the way out of his bath he paused to read the a Dr. Seuss book on the floor. Who could have resisted snapping this picture??

Monday, February 20, 2012

behold the power of baked goods

The Dude has entered that dreaded phase where he doesn't go down for naps easily, but still very very very much needs them.  One side effect of this is the process of getting him sleepy gets me super sleepy too.  When WonderGirl hit this point, I had the option of napping too (on non-teaching days of course), but now nap time is violin time and piano time and quick-let's-read-every-book-and-do-every-project-that-the-Dude-would-probably-destroy time.
So when I crawled into bed and WG climbed on top of me today, I had to start thinking solutions.  Cookies.  "Please, I'm so tired," I moaned.  "Maybe cookies would wake me up."
She hopped down and right back with a plate of cookies and carrots to revive us.
It totally worked.  Is there anything cookies cannot do? 

Friday, February 17, 2012

maybe a salad

When mom came, she insisted on getting Subway for lunch almost every day. For someone who loves food someone ELSE made/compiled, it was a treat.  It wasn't until near the end of the trip that she admitted it was all a plot to get vegetables into me.  She says we don't eat enough good stuff, which is true. I hate getting food the kids might not eat and then I don't eat it fast enough and then it goes bad... blarg.  But we also don't eat junk either.  It's a weird mix.  On her last day here, she actually took me to Costco (not a short drive from here in the boonies) and spent an unearthly amount on food.  Industrial sized bags of flax seed AND bacon, among others.

So my lunch today:  sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, sweet peppers, bacon and Catalina dressing.

I love my mommy!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


...chirp chirp....

You still here??  Awesome!!  Honestly, I was so wrapped up in my mom this past week I barely touched the intrawebs.  Being happy is far too over-rated if it interferes with my cool online persona.

But alas.... she is gone.  ARG.  Life is still all skewumpas but what a marvelous thing it was to have my mom here to dote on the kids and love on me.  The Dude is all kinds of lost without her.  I have no idea where she gets her energy, but she managed to keep up with him and tickle, squeeze and rough house with him to his heart's content.  She knew exactly what he needed and boy howdy was he a happy camper.  

And she read to WonderGirl, told her secrets and danced with her, helped me think straight and go on adventures... we were all in heaven.  

I'm going to be a bit rusty with this interwebs thing, so bear with me, but for now I'll post all of my 365 pics from the last week. Try to contain yourselves.

I'm squishing your head!
On my way to pick mom up from the airport!!!! Totally worth the 4 hour round trip.

Happy homemaker, aerial edition.
Date night! It was a spontaneous decision, spurred by the generous offer from my mom to watch the kids. This was the first time I actually got dolled up in weeks and it HAD to be documented. I snapped this on the way out of the house, not realizing my backdrop included a laundry basket and shampoo bottle. So I spiffied em up in Picnik with mustaches!
Temple bound!
Holding on.
Last minute shot in the entryway mirror.  Wazzup.
Playing footsie with mom while reading Dinotopia. I declare it a mahvelous way to spend Valentine's Day.

On the way back from the Milwaukee airport, this time sans mom.  Those are not happy tears.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


OMIGOODNESSMYMOMISONHERWAYTOWISCONSINRIGHTNOW.  I can't express how MUCH I need my mom right now.  I need her to help me organize, love my children and tell me everything will be okay.  I need her to remind me what I've lived through before and how my current crisis is nothing new.  I need her to ruin my pictures as evidenced by the above photo.  I need her to play with the kids and give me insight and inspiration.  I need her energy and excitement.  I need to see my kids go berserk for her attention.  I even need her inappropriate jokes.

I'm sure your mom is nothing short of fabulous as well.  So you get what I mean.  

Also, in an attempt to remind myself that motherhood for me has been and always will be a chaotic mess, I looked up some evidence in old blog entries of the insanity WonderGirl wrought.  This one from September 2008 makes me feel slightly better. 

Why on EARTH does WonderToddler run away from me  in public?  Like today at the pool -  running away from me constantly, when all the other kids were content to play in one place.  She kept getting out of the pool, tried to jump in the deep end and smashed her face on the concrete a few times.  It wasn’t until she got covered in some ants and nasty bites that she stayed with me and listened.  The other kids didn’t do that… are they better kids than my kid, or are their parents just better parents than I am?  I must’ve looked like a horrific mom, shrieking and yelling like that.When she went down for a nap a few minutes ago, I held on a little longer before putting her in bed and hugged her close, apologizing for not being the best of mommies today and snapping every time I had to chase her down.  She squeezed my neck tight and said “I love you Mommy.”I may be a crummy mom, but at least she makes me want to try harder.
Ahhhhhhh.  I can't wait to run away from MY mom in public!!  T-minus 4-ish hours!!  The 5 hour round trip to the Milwaukee airport doesn't even phase me.  MOMMY TIME!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

why he rocks

I just got done putting the Dude down for a nap and thought to myself that after my long rant about parenting that boy, I should focus on all his positives today.  Because he is really quite fabulous.

  • He sleeps.  He really does nap like a champ, and for that I know I'm incredibly blessed.  He gathers his "yellow" (paci) and all the burp cloths he can find and waddles with them to his room, climbs up on my lap and begs me to read to him.  At night, he turns the light off and requests song after song before he asks me to recite "Goodnight Moon" and finishes with "all done!  Night night!  Love you too!"  No matter how rough our day was, he always closes with that.  *melt*
  • We used to call WG a gratifying child because she is so fun-loving, she appreciates any effort made to love on her.  The Dude is if anything an even more gratifying child because if you smile at him, touch his ear or hop with him, he collapses in a fit of giggles and pure joy.   As tiring as he is, he does try hard to make it worth my while.
  • If there's a cookie he can smell somewhere we're all screwed, but for the most part if I can get excited enough about something else it's not too hard to get him on board.  Especially if tickling is involved.  
  • He does have the smarts, and for that I'm thankful.  I'm really a dunce and my kiddos have to be given an extra measure of brains to compensate.  So he's not as verbal as WG was at this age, but boy howdy can this kid count.  So we're good.
  • Oh, and he's a musician.  I've never met a child that was more moved by music - he feels it, he anticipates cadences, recalls modulations (and their accompanying choreography) and dances like a pro.  It's inside him.  Once he gets started on violin and piano, I'm going to let him have a go at the drums.  It's gonna be epic!
  • When he was born, husband made the observation that it seemed the Dude was genuinely just excited to be here on Earth.  This simple statement describes the Dude perfectly.  He is SO excited by life.  He is so thrilled at every new thing he gets to encounter.  He lives his life in exclamation points and italics.

To me, the Dude is living proof that there is a higher being, and that He loves me.  Despite all my flaws and failures, I get to live with this won't-sit-still-for-storytime-or almost-anything-else kid every day.  And that deserves alllllll the exclamation points.  !!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

365 days 19-23

I like this shirt, but I am slightly worried it makes me look like Jon Gosselin.


This joint is jumping. Just a typical Friday afternoon Goat Rodeo dance party.


Self explanatory.


Sunday is over. How is the day of rest also the busiest and most stressful?


Time to rock!
Okay, so this 365 thing was all about getting better at photography and documenting my year and all that, but I'm quickly running out of ideas and my pictures are actually getting worse.  It's also tricky that the one stipulation of the 365 thing is that I have to be in every shot, and I generally have only one day a week that I don't look homeless.  Hardly photo-ready.  It's a challenge.  Any bright ideas?

may i please have a clue?

The Dude. I just don't know what to do about him.  It REALLY doesn't help that my previous experience with a toddler was WonderGirl who had the verbal level of a 10 year old by this point.  I go back in my brain - desperately trying to remember what I did with her to get that - but I'm coming up with nothing.  It's so frustrating to have this brainy kid that I had almost nothing to do with her rocket speed development, and then a wonderful sweet boy who ambles along at comfortable speed and learns things whenever it happens to be convenient.  WHAT DO I DO WITH THAT??

Really, and then there's the sensory component - which is so slight it's almost even more frustrating.  He thrives on activity and play - he's not hyper sensitive about anything so he just lives life as a joyful linebacker.  So when he throws a 2 year old tantrum, it really makes him feel better to destroy everything around him.  But when you try to explain it to others, it sounds like I'm talking voodoo, trying to make up a reason for why my son is just a naughty, rough boy.  Which honestly, it feels like it sometimes.  Because the opposite side of the spectrum is that he is so cuddly and playful the rest of the time, it seems like I just have a wild child I can't control - since of course, I can't because HELLO, have you tried to live with a 2 year old?  Not those cute shy ones who sit on their parent's laps at story time, but the psychotic ones who are desperately trying to get OUT of your vice grip so they can steal the book from the librarian.  And for the record, WG was just as bad, except then she'd try to either read the book to the group (at 2, people) OR escape with the book and flush it down the toilet.  Yeah, that happened.

By the way, do YOU have one of those cute shy 2 year olds that sits in your lap for library story time??  Enjoy it, please.  You have it good.  GOOD, I tell you.

I tell myself it's okay, because WG was nuts and now she's this overachieving sweetheart.  Mostly.  Who absorbs information like a crack addict absorbs crack.  Or whatever crack addicts do.  Did you know a group of jellyfish is called a smack?  I do, now.  Also, she can name a country of the world for every letter in the alphabet, except for W and X since there aren't any.  Husband and I couldn't find one for O and she did - Oman, of course.  Silly parents.

But he's so different, I don't know how things will turn out.  His entire purpose in life is to acquire cookies.  All day every day, "MayIpleasehavecookie?"  And if you give him one - even a healthy one - he has to have more.  And more.  And MORE.  He's so obsessive about things that if he actually gets something good - like juice, I have to detox him because for the next 2 weeks he'll be running around the house like a junkie begging for juice overandoverandoverandover.  It's kind of scary, except when I'm laughing because it's nicer than crying.  He's going to be addicted to something - I don't know what.  Maybe I should just give in with the cookies and later he'll just ignore the marijuanas and cranks and such.

It'll be okay, right?  I have more to say, but right now he's sitting on my head giggling and yelling, "MAYIPLEASEHAVETICKLE?!?!?!"  So I gotta do that.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Mom sends me lots of interesting e.mails, but most of the time I check them on my phone and can't see all the pictures or video.  I'm glad I opened this one up though - it's from Ken Burns' Civil War, footage shot in 1913 of Civil War veterans reuniting at Gettysburg.  The sight of these old men laughing and hugging their former enemies makes me misty.  That war was so brutal, so terrible, and yet they meet each other as brothers.

It makes me think of the reunion we'll have when we each return home to our Father in Heaven.  The battles - emotional, political, physical - will all seem meaningless, I think, when we see that we have been siblings all along, playing an elaborate dress-up experiment on Earth.  I do wish we could all have that kind of clarity a bit sooner, though.  Especially teenagers who flirt with passive aggressiveness as a means to establish their dominance over their peers.  Don't you wish you could go back and hug teenage you and tell them that boy-howdy life is going to get so much more complicated - but so, so much better?

I'm so very glad to be a thirty-something.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

365 days 17-18


If he's going to be sick and crabtastic, at least he makes it worth it by also being adorable.


Overwhelmed, terrified, exhausted, slightly relieved and completely livid. I'm trying to convey all that, but I think it's safe to say I didn't miss my calling as a model.
This 365 thing is saving my blogging and sanity so far this year.  If there are aspects of my life I cannot discuss right now, at least I can say SOMEthing.  Tonight I'm in knots about working with the youth at church.  When I was a teen, I had my own troubles in that sector.  I know I handled things back then - and it was awful.  I have no idea how to handle things from the opposite side of things, especially because I'm so emotional about it.  And let's be honest - everything.   I can't have a calm rational conversation about most things, and I predict that if I do try to address things, it will be a disaster.  blalarhrhhhhghggggg.
In other news, I have been trying to change my hair - like cute braids, buns, whatever, and they all looked wrong.  I thought  the wrong was all my hair, but I realized it was my face.  So now I need a new face.  Dagnabit.
Now, so as to not be a total downer, I got sleep last night!  Except for at 11pm when I was awakened by WonderGirl sobbing loudly.  When I got to her bed and asked her what was wrong, she told me it was because she missed me.  I kissed her and tucked her back in.  Crawling back into my own bed I didn't feel as exhausted as I could have been.  I mean, I mean the world to one of the coolest little girls there is.  That's kind of cool :)

HEAR YE. I need to document the fact that I ran 3 miles and didn't feel like death.  So just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, I did...