Sunday, February 28, 2010
Originally, I purchased three bags of sweethearts PURELY as decoration for my mantle. The decorative nature of these candies lasted for .0001 seconds, at which time I realized that I am unable to resist the super-human powers of compressed sugar.
The glass jars containing the devil's voo-doo magic candy were filled at least 3 times before Valentines Day. Yes, I am now convinced that God is going to need to use diabetes as a tool for curing me of my sugar addiction.
Anyway. For the past couple of weeks, I have noticed that my mouth kind of hurts. Achy-like, all the time. As this occasionally happens due to hormonal surges, it wasn't overly alarming. Yes, I am not kidding, but one of the first signs that I am pregnant or ovulating is gum sensitivity and bleeding.
No, I am NOT pregnant. Despite the rumors my husband likes to spread. He thinks it's funny when people come up to me after hearing that false truth (which he starts). I think it makes me panic and instantly dedicate myself to losing 10 pounds. Which begins, coincidentally, by eating large amounts of SWEETHEARTS.
But this mouth pain lasted for a few weeks. And as I was beginning to get nervous about receding gum lines and general mouth disease, I ran out of Sweethearts.
And miraculously, my mouth healed.
It appears that while the candy was rotting my teeth, it was also stabbing and scrubbing and puncturing my gums with all kinds of gusto. And as I haven't gone more than 8 hours (while sleeping) without popping these mini-daggers in my cake hole, it also seems that there was no time to heal the open wounds in my mouth. Until, I ran out of edible razor blades.
It turns out that God was using mouth sores to cure my sugar addiction.
Didn't see that one coming.
As witnessed by the fact that I paid money to strap blades on to the feet of my four children. And then I set them a float upon a sea of ice.
Until they all went whoosh and boom. Think classic Curious-George-banana-peel-biff. Within 10 seconds. It was SO funny (to me, not so to them).
Did I mention I was by myself?
It took almost two hours to strap each child to their sharp knives. Slight exaggeration. However, it became quite obvious that I would be lucky if Big J didn't break his ankle simply by WALKING to the rink. Think intoxicated frat boy without ankles. As if his legs connected to his feet with only a layer of wobbly skin. And then put that drunk-no-ankles-boy in heels made of knives.
It was SO funny. And very, very scary.
So, the ice rink near us provides large buckets for beginning skaters...when you turn the buckets upside down, they have a nice, flat surface to lean upon. It looks like this:
I would like you to notice that the children are positioned so that they are looking straight down. They circled the ice rink with reckless abandon, with absolutely no ability to see the people/obstacles before them. SO Funny. Very, very dangerous.
Once we got the feel for it, I would skate ahead, and turn around to yell little bits of encouragement to my kiddies. Go Little J! Great job! Lookin' good G! You've got it L! That's it Big J! And then I would get the hell out of the way, because those kids had ZERO control over their bodies OR the sharp knives attached to their feet. I felt like a mama duck, guiding her babies with encouraging quacks! While simultaneously worrying that her young may accidentally filet her....
Here is an action shot of Little J and his bucket:
Also, when you factor in the height of my children and the angle at which they had to lean on these buckets, they were somewhat forced to skate the ENTIRE time, upon their toe-picks. I can't believe that to be an effective way to skate with any kind of speed or coordination.
I do believe, however, that we single-handedly provided job security for the Zamboni driver, with those kind of ice-chipping shenanigans. And, I think I may have spoken too soon when I stated that little kid bowling is the funniest thing EVER.
Little kid ice skating rules.
Friday, February 26, 2010
This week, I picked up some new, fun, cheap wines. And I almost passed this little baby up, because I had seen it before, and the name didn't instantly pop out at me.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Let me preface this by saying that I usually BUY the cookies that comprise the top and bottom of the sandwich. Our grocery store sells small sized cookies in containers of 20-30...perfect for little sandwiches. Even if you buy the cookies and the ice cream (do any of you MAKE your own ice cream? Impressive.), it will still look homemade, which is a bonus.
However, I had left over dough that was going to be thrown out (or, I was going to consume 25 cookies, all on my own). Either case, not ideal.
So start with cookies. I did yesterday's batch in two sizes, but QUICKLY realized that the normal sized cookie made a large ice cream sandwich. As I only own one size of round cookie cutter, I made the smaller sizes using the top of a baby bottle.
Ingredient #2: Ice Cream. As implied by the name, ice cream sandwich. Yes, I was only making 12 sandwiches, but I say, go big or go home. Hence, I might have been better off just eating the 25 cookies and calling it a day. Now, I will consume this vat of ice cream.
You want your cookie to be pretty solid, as it has to be able to handle a lot of pressure/pushing of the ice cream upon it. A fragile cookie will result in breakage, which will be sad and frustrating. And, coincidentally, will also result in the consumption of 25 cookies, at one time (if you're like me, and you tend to eat the non-functional pieces). If will power is not an issue for you, disregard this advice.
I put a solid scoop of ice cream on each big cookie. No need to make it pretty, but don't pile it all the way to the edges, or you will have spillage when you push it all together. Once you add the second/top cookie, you'll smoosh it to even out the ice cream lump. Also, it will help if the ice cream is more on the soft side, for easy smooshing.
For prettiness, add sprinkles. Or M&Ms. Or whatever makes you happy. I love spam, but would not recommend it here.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
It's such a true picture of my standards for success. Which mostly hinge on totally insignificant things.
And my six week love affair with Sweethearts is about to come to a heartbreaking end. Unless, of course, someone happens to know where I might get my hands on a bag (or 2 or 50) of large sweethearts. So this is what it's like to kick an unhealthy addiction.
Truth be told, I am all kinds of restless. And that manifests itself in a general frustration with every insignificant thing in my life.
Have you ever struggled with purpose? Wanting more, but not knowing what MORE is? I know most of you reading this are moms. Did you always want to be a mom? And now that you're there, does it fulfill you?
I always thought I would be a mother. Not out of burning desire, per se, but because that's what girls do. They get married and they pop children out (that part is NOT a fairy tale, more a bloody comedy). Thankfully, I was raised at at time where the choices available to me also included college (which I LOVED, did you know that) and career (which I HATED, passionately). But then came the kids I was supposed to have, which sent me into all kinds of uncontrolled chaos and new identities. Everything changed.
Do you miss where you came from?
What I really wanted, was to marry the love of my life. Which I did, when I was 23. And two years later, we were having a baby. Recently, I am so thankful that we started our family when we did. Not because I had more energy or wisdom (please, refrain from laughter), but because most of my choices up until that point were pretty unfulfilling, aside from my choice in a husband. I wasn't giving anything up, I wasn't trying to balance two lifestyles, I was simply following the plan. And if that "plan" had to fight against a real desire for anything else, I am 100% certain my children would have suffered. I'm not sure I would have adequately chosen or balanced the vomit and the NICU and the tantrums and the discipline with any other option that was *slightly* more glamorous.
I did not choose my family by default, in the absence of other options. I truly believe that God removed the distractions that would have easily pulled me away from them. I embrace my role as mom, I love it and struggle with it, and desire to be better for them. To do this job WELL. I understand THIS as my purpose--to raise them with conviction and faith, to change the world through them (no pressure). I am happy in that. I am challenged by seeing God's bigger picture through them.
But what if there's more? Lately, I am struggling with "more". Since having my children, I've never been enticed by more, as we've had quite our share of tragedy and struggle, and that has kept me on my toes, learning to be a nurse and a neonatologist and a variety of therapists. It has been challenging on all levels--emotional, physical, spiritual, occupational, parental. And it has been COMPLETELY fulfilling to see your miracle babies thrive, and to appreciate in your healthy children the things most parents don't see apart from tragedy.
Only now, I feel with CERTAINTY, that I am being called to more. But I am fighting it. I am confident this is God's plan--that it's been his plan for me, my ENTIRE life. But I am totally unconfident in my ability to do it. Which is ridiculous, as he is the God who inspires and equips me. But I am use to the praise and affirmation of men (and women). God's confidence is "great" and all, but I live in a world of human beings and I need their feedback. Wow.
Up until this point, I always saw my life as a series of events. I processed everything that way. Particularly once I became a Christian and really tried to decipher God's plan for my life, I would pick things apart to understand what he was teaching me, where he was leading. I would look back at struggle and find the purpose in it. I wrote in a post a couple of weeks ago, that I could see God as I looked back and analyzed...but rarely recognized him in the moment he was working.
Well. Prayers answered. I know specifically why I was created. SPECIFICALLY. Every single ounce of my being was created for this, I am certain. Revealed within the month that I have prayed to know him intimately. And I'm not sure I'm ready to pick up what he's throwing down.
The eagle has landed and I am keeping him caged with a chain that is practically strangling him? Make sense? Yes, I know, I am being cryptic. But saying it out loud (which I have done just a couple of times), opens me up to the encouragement of men that I so rely upon. And yet, it also invites the criticism and judgement I am unprepared for. So give me 24 hours, and maybe I'll clue you in. Maybe.
Your prayers for confidence will greatly affect my desire to spill the beans. FYI.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Big J HATES this rubbery, stretchy, soft-spikey ball. If you were to send him one as a gift, it would be the equivalent of presenting him with a severed head.
I am not kidding.
Sometime, maybe 3 or 4 months ago, Big J awoke with a SCREAM. Not an I-peed-the-bed-scream or an I-have-a-fever-scream, but an I-am-going-to-die-a-torturous-death scream.
When we responded (okay, when Mike responded...I was a few minutes slower), Big J was breathing HARD. He was still frantic. And he was searching for the wee-wee ball that had come to kill him in his sleep.
It didn't really make sense to us, at that point. As there had never been a conversation had in our home that referenced the terrifying nature of a rubber ball that went by the name of wee-wee. But weeks later, when we happened to find this thing hanging around in a random corner of our playroom, Big J went ball-istic. And all the pieces fit together.
Some random nightmare altered Big J's relationship with rubber, spikey, ball-shaped toys. Forever.
Since then, we have attempted to reintroduce Big J to the quiet, sweet nature of wee-wee. He no longer screams in fear, but nervously watches to make sure he knows where it is at all times. He will not touch it. He won't even walk within 5 feet of it.
So for L, gut-wrenching terror is equal to humans in costume. For Big J, it is a wee-wee ball.
Just a small glimpse into the irrational fears of five-year-olds.
Friday, February 19, 2010
And then our girl was born, and as best we could, we tried to keep that lifestyle. As I was pretty crazy and hormonal for the seven years that followed this blessed event, outings out of the home were somewhat of a conundrum. I loved being outside of the prison I call home....but I was all sweaty and nervous with the thought of the baby CRYING. In public. The horror.
Mike and I figured G out pretty quick (she was a great baby), and outings became easy and predictable. I spent EVERY moment that she was awake out of the house. Once, I decided to stay home between naps, and almost died. Seriously.
And so we ate out and road tripped and went to friends houses and resumed life. And I was SO self-righteous in my ability to introduce my child to the world. I could handle it! I was awesome! And G was learning all kinds of good habits, as it pertains to public behavior!
Which of course, was total crap. Because I was REALLY selfish with my time and my lifestyle, and she was just along for the ride. And I could argue that learning to tolerate shopping at Target is a necessary life skill, but really, at the core of it all, I was so content to keep living my life without having to crawl and read and snuggle and clean up after her, all the time.
That stage of new parenting was so raw, and I was so defensive about my choices, that I probably could have argued that clubbing baby seals was a beneficial way for infants to relate to society, if that's how I chose to spend my days with her. Instead I justified putting myself first, under the guise of her best interests.
G was way too easy on me. Had she thrown a good tantrum, or vomited a hot dog during a shopping trip to the Gap, I would have stayed home until she reached school age.
And then came three more children. Thirteen weeks on bedrest. Two sick kids who lived in a hospital for 6 months and were massive pukers. For a while they were connected to oxygen tanks and nuclear bomb alarms (heart rate alarms, but the sound was VERY similar). Then I was pregnant again and in the hospital on bed rest. All of it just leading me to desire simplicity.
My point being, that today I realized we now like staying home. The kids know their space, they have their favorite toys that never get old. They can ACTUALLY play board games! They are beginning to play imaginary games together where they flee scary witches in the shelter of their bunk beds (still the BEST investment we ever made). It's becoming harder to leave home, than to stay.
It also didn't happen with bitterness or regret or disappointment. Somewhere along the line, I chose this. Willingly. And I really don't miss that old me.
Here's our day at home:
Thursday, February 18, 2010
By 5 p.m., I'm kind of exhausted, I'm hungry and I am creating new fat sculptures with my skin. And that makes me kind of grumpy. And then I have to explain why "uh-lot" of dots (translation: a lot of dots) is not a proper example of a short u sound.
I know it sounds like a short u, G. But really it's an "a" that is all twisted up in American dialects.
Olympic update: It has been decided (by Mike and I, the Olympic peanut gallery) that double luge is officially the most awkward sport in the entire Olympic games.
One day 'til the weekend. Finish strong, friends.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Insert idle finger tapping. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
I'm thinking about Easter, and I have no plans for elaborate outfit sewing, BUT in the absence of an ongoing project or holiday celebration, I'm feeling pressure to take on something big. Which I am kind of dreading, as all of the projects I have taken on in 2010 have been one-nighters and that has worked out well for me and my short attention span. Oh, and my need for instant gratification. Sounds like a recipe for cocaine addiction.
However. G has been asking for a superhero cape, and I was thinking of creating a couple of THESE (link here) for the girls, because they are really into drawing and journaling and such. A couple of webkinz and a crap load of candy that I will secretly eat and store in my ass/thigh region, and I think we can call it a day on Easter for the girls.
There is also the Olympics. Meh. I'm thinking I'm kind of luke warm on the Winter Olympics, but then they go and combine sharp shooting and cross country skiing, and I am sucked in by the sheer, random genius of it all. The appeal is so strong, in fact, that I am researching the ages at which it becomes appropriate to strap fire arms AND skis to children. Or perhaps, I should just pioneer a new sport and combine mogul skiing with target shooting. That would be bad assssss and it would take a big set of *something* just to be a spectator in that event.
Wait. I am watching women's downhill skiing, and am being reminded that sprinting on snow and ice up the ante for disaster. This based on the 55 head injuries I just witnessed on primetime television.
Hold up. Now I am watching Lindsey Vonn after winning the gold medal. And I'm pretty sure she just simultaneously bawled her eyes out and said "shit" on national television. The bi-polar natue of that combination is simply awesome.
Also. I am starting to see all kinds of hype about this Shaun White guy. Blah, blah, blah. I see his flowing red hair and it both frightens and confuses me, in that I have a little tomato-top myself and I just have no idea what I will do with myself if our family portraits from ages 14-22 include this child with a hair-do anything similar to Shaun White's locks of love. Wait. Little J has ZERO curl or wave to his hair, which means that his "do" is more likely to look LIKE THIS (click the freakin' link) if he were to grow it out.
Over my dead body.
Anyway, I was able to get over my deer-in-headlights-stare that happens everytime I see Shaun White's hair, and I actually caught an interview with him. And that guy is freaking cool. And funny (which leads me to believe that perhaps the hair is part of his comedy schtick?)! I see why Red Bull built him his own half pipe that is accessible only by helicopter. I guess he's kind of a big deal.
Quick note. I just noticed that the snowboarders listen to music as they compete, which leads me to wonder what my Olympic song choice would be? I think I'm going with Hanging Tough by New Kids on the Block. Classic.
WAIT! I just caught sight of a Japanese guy with dread locks! NOOOOO! Officially, Shaun White does not have the most ridiculous hair at the Winter Olympics.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
However! My healthy parenting habits will win them over! It's not something I share very often (because honestly, it's kind of embarrassing), but I have a hard time convincing my children to eat junk food. After several years of trying, I still can't get G to drink soda.
I know, I know. Cry me a river. But HONESTLY! I have a hard time believing they are actually MY offspring in the absence of a deep and soul-wrenching love for bad and unhealthy foods. It's a level we are failing to bond on. And it saddens me.
At the core I know it is not a dislike for lard and sugar and preservatives and such...but rather, a disinterest in eating in general, combined with a heavy resistance to any kind of change. All foods take at least 20 introductions before it can even be considered tolerable. But still. McDonalds should not take 2 years of persuasion.
This weekend when Mike made homemade donuts, he mixed up a combo of sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg to coat the donuts. And he might have been a little over-zealous in his mixing, as we had a large amount left over. Being ever thrifty, he saved it and found THE PERFECT use.
Apple slices. Dipped in the sugary combo. Holy crap, it's like crunchy apple pie. Which is AWESOME, because my major beef with apple pie is the mushiness. I think the key is in the nutmeg? But Mike doesn't measure anything, so I can't even begin to tell you how much of each to combine...just know that your base will be largely white sugar and powdered sugar with a small dosing of nutmeg and cinnamon. I have seen grown men try to eat raw cinnamon alone, and let's just say, you are going to want to stay away from anything resembling that.
Also, as I am not much of a fan of anything that tastes or implies "healthy", this is a great trick on my taste palate. It should taste sweet, so as to disguise any suggestion that this is even slightly good for you.
Monday, February 15, 2010
We are wrapping up a four-day-weekend here, which included a visit from some dear college friends (I mentioned it in yesterday's post). Between the four of us, we have eight children--all ages 7 and under.
And whenever we wrap up a weekend with college friends, I am ALWAYS overwhelmed with feelings of nostalgia and perspective and gratefulness. And maybe a little sadness, if that's the right word, that the chapter of life, in which we saw these friends daily, now only exists in occasional weekend trips.
Much of this stems from the fact that I LOVED college. Every year there got better, the friendships deeper. I am incredibly thankful to our alma mater for that--it was a small school with a dominant Greek presence. Just about everyone was in a sorority or fraternity, and I say that not in the ignorant sense of "that's-my-world-and-I-don't-exist-outside-of-frat-life", but really that about 80% of students at DePauw were members of a fraternity or sorority. Top that off with the fact that everyone lived in Greek houses. I pledged a house when I was 6 weeks into my freshman year and I was far, FAR, away from home. And I committed to being a part of a group of girls, based on the brand of warm-fuzzies they were selling and the brownies they peddled and the frantic, hyper-screaming cheers they yelled every time we walked up to the door for a rush party.
Yes, it was all kind of a ridiculous start to some amazing relationships. But I suppose that the strangeness of it all was a great way to bond total strangers. And it really was a total crap shoot that placed me with 100 girls who were so incredibly different from me. Girls that I would never have been friends with, if it meant finding any kind of obvious common ground.
Please do not hear me say that sororities breed perfect, smiling friendships. Quite the opposite. I lived with the same girls for 3 years, and MANY times I wanted to rip my hair out. Or scream and cry in hurt and frustration. There were MULTIPLE announcements at every house meeting where threats were yelled for others to PICK THEIR HAIR BALLS out of the shower drain. It was all kinds of realness.
But we lived together in a shoe box. Which meant, at the end of the day, we all needed to get over the petty, annoying and insecure tendencies we had (or saw in others). And we did get over it. And then we watched 90210 three times a day. And that is my first (and one of my only) experiences in female friendships that grew and suffered and forgave and grew some more. I firmly believe that strong friendships are imperfect friendships--because we are all imperfect people, and aren't our best friends the ones who will NEVER leave us, in spite of our faults?
It was so much easier in college, because we lived together. We made up, or we were miserable. But today, as an adult, it's sometimes so much easier to walk away than to make the effort. It is humbling to apologize, and tiring to continue the act of what we believe others need us to be.
Being friends is EFFORT. Good relationships don't happen without work. I love being around people, and yet sometimes, I am tired. Sometimes I want to sit on my couch. Sometimes I don't want to pack 30 bags and four children for a 2 day trip. But I suck it up and do it, because I have never regretted the time that I have put into my favorite relationships.
And I am always SO thankful that those friends put the same kind of effort into us. And as this is the third Valentine's Day weekend we have spent with Darren and Jennie, I find it particularly appropriate that Darren was the one who officially introduced me to Mike, 13+ years ago. At 1 a.m., on a teeter-totter, at a moment when I was all kinds of crazy and obnoxious (translation: intoxicated). Yes, even my greatest relationship had a remarkably ridiculous beginning.
What a great weekend, and an awesome reminder of friendships that go beyond circumstances and convenience and location. We love you guys!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
We have two of these--one of each on our double front doors. Mike calls them his Double D's.
Let's talk about homemade donuts. Which are really flaky biscuits, fried in a pot of oil. And for the record, I really hate those pop cans.
Fresh flowers from Uncle Darren.
Hope you are having a LOVE-ly Valentine's Day, blog-world!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
And so, I take these days VERY seriously.
She is my first, and so I am thankful that I have (only recently) realized the opportunity in front of me. I have spent a great majority of the past 7 years teaching her things that are SO RIDICULOUS, it's not even funny. Like how to eat without lifting her hands from her high chair (wha?). Or how to say thank you in sign language. Or how to write her letters with proper stroke sequence.
Up until this point, I have raised a GREAT rule follower. She's so good at it, she's afraid to take risks.
And I wish I could just back it up and focus a little differently--because the time on my influence is ticking. Not that I won't still have an impact, but very soon, my opinions are going to be doing some serious battle with peer pressure. And magazines. And TV. And every other message out there that is infinitely cooler than a mom who barely showers.
I've lived believing that love is what you "do" and not what you "teach". That she would learn by example. But really, my example for her has been that love and praise is very tied to good behavior. I didn't intend that...but when my children have refused to poop in the potty, praising their strong will was not on the top of my list, if you get my drift. It's SO EASY to fall into patterns of teaching right and wrong--because that is what you do with infants and toddlers.
You don't touch electrical sockets. You don't color on the walls. You do eat peas. You do say thank you. They need to learn to exist within the safe boundaries of the world, no doubt. It is our job to teach our children to function, to teach behaviors that allow them to sustain life.
Somewhere between the ages of 18 months and 7 years old, my oldest girl was also learning how to process her relationships. How to accept her twin brother and sister. And the little red-head surprise that followed 16 months later. She started school and learned to make new friends. She was forming the basis for ALL the relationships she'll have in her life.
And I just accepted that as part of growing up. I watched her, I had friends over, I encouraged her to meet new friends. But until recently, I didn't talk so much about HOW to be a friend. HOW to encourage. HOW to love more than one friend at a time. HOW to include others.
You would think these are lessons she learns as she grows, and they are. But WOW! What a gift it would be to actually be able to teach her some of the things that she will learn painfully as a pre-teen.
You would also think she learns a lot of this by example. Which would be AWESOME, if the example that I set up until now wasn't one of behavior-based praise. I fear I have taught her to expect more from friends than they will ever be capable of giving. Because we are all flawed, no? And how we handle the world when it falls short of our expectations is the key, I am coming to believe.
All this to say, that this is the BIG beef I have with our preschool's choice to not celebrate Valentine's Day. Or to rename it something different. Because love at this age is so pure and innocent and EASY! It's acceptable, at these ages, to love unconditionally. They enjoy and look forward to passing out notes and candy to their friends--and I am all for it! I wish and I hope that my 12-year-olds will tell their friends how much they love and appreciate them, and practice forgiveness on a regular basis. But I highly doubt it, if they aren't in the practice of learning it now. Kids don't get more transparent as they grow...instead they hide and suppress and put on all kinds of suave and insincere personas.
At the root of it all is my desire to raise my kids to LOVE. And it's SO much harder than I ever realized, considering that I cherish and adore these little monsters with every ounce of my being, and yet do a pretty CRAPPY job of showing them how nothing could change the depth of that kind of heart-breaking, unending love. Because there are days when I am pretty sure they think they are one milk spill away from eating in a plastic cage.
So today, I led the Valentine's party in G's class. Yes, it was scary. Yes, I had all kinds of second thoughts about it. But it was a GREAT way to see G in action. And she wanted me there! She loved it! She loved me unconditionally, in front of her friends, and those days are definitely numbered. But I'll be damned if I don't get over myself, and my desire to enjoy my free Thursday afternoons and my fear of speaking in front of 7-year-olds, to get to experience that kind of acceptance from my daughter and her friends. Who all participated SO nicely and kindly. They are so much older than I give them credit for. Which is all kinds of wonderful and amazing and scary and sad for me...all at the same time.
And so. I will leave you with one more Valentine's craft, felt flowers in pots--meant to be gifted to mom and dad. A token of the love of a seven-year-old.
And now you have a small glimpse into ALL of the issues surrounding my love of Valentine's Day! Here's hoping you have a great weekend full of all kinds of wonderful, little-kid LOVE (because really, there is NOTHING like it).
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Lest you think I am complaining, I am not. I am on a mission from God to save Valentine's Day, and I take my job very, very seriously. We will talk some more about how I am giving the finger to "friendship day" (God DID NOT tell me to give anyone the finger, let me be clear), but I am not going to follow a policy that I am pretty sure everyone (teachers included) thinks is kind of ridiculous. For the record, I am totally okay with my children showing love to their friends and feel no need to rename the holiday for no good reason.
But for tonight, I'll just leave you with our teacher valentines. Which I thought of at 1 p.m. this afternoon. Wasn't really planning on teacher gifts, but then I realized that these ladies probably weren't so into stickers and lollipops. Hmm.
Thankfully, the idea worked. It had great potential to be a waste. May I present, the candle:
Next: One roll of pink grosgrain ribbon (it wrapped all 9 candles).
So I used the embroidery machine to put a 1 inch letter on the ribbon. Then I wrapped it around the candle and glue-gunned it in place. That was my only concern--whether it would actually stay put on the candle...it did.
Wish me luck as I handle G's 1st grade Valentine's party tomorrow! Seven year olds (in a pack of 19) are SCAAAARY.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
But now I am back! And it snowed PLUS there was no snow day, no school missed! Bliss!
Before I forget, I am going to give you a quick pictorial run-down of last week's Valentine's party/craft making extravaganza. With 25 kids, mostly four and under, it was sort of a free for all...but nothing that a few wet wipes couldn't cure.
Project #1: Decorating treat bags with foam stamps and paint. Self explanatory.
Project #2: Making lollipop cookies. I pre-made regular sugar cookie dough, and used some food coloring to create shades of pink and green (Filth Wizardry did it at Christmas with candy cane shaped cookies...her gift of genius ideas keep on givin'). When you take the cookies out of the oven, you add a lollipop stick, and the cookie will cool (and solidify) around it. This was my take on cookie decorating WITHOUT the mess of icing! My thought was that the kids would wrap their cookies up in cellophane bags and gift them to someone special...yeah, that didn't happen. Cookies were eaten. Children were happy. I call it a success.
Happy Valentine's Week. Or Friendship Week (as it is called at Big J, L & Little J's school). I'm still not over it.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
It is OBVIOUS that I have missed my calling in scientific discovery, diagnostic medicine and sports theorizing.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Our discussions have unearthed old childhood memories, where I remembered that I had a cousin who owned a couple of chinchillas. I could regale you with all kinds of tales as to WHY I know these rodents on a very familiar basis, but let me boil it down into a weird nutshell, in that my parents were "playing the Hawaii school system" and I pretended to live at the home of this particular cousin for 2 years, while in the 7th and 8th grades. I didn't ACTUALLY live there. But I pretended to, and part of this farce included me catching the school bus there everyday after school.
Where I hung with the chinchilla.
Here is where I will tell you that chinchillas are temperamental. They are cute, and I was fascinated with them...as they are NOT your everyday pet. But they bathe in special dust! And they do not handle change very well. They hate to be too hot. Or too cold.
And this is where we had our epiphany. That my husband is indeed, a direct descendant of the chinchilla.
Not following? Perhaps, you should revisit THIS BLOG POST, where I describe the genetic abnormality that causes my husband to severely react to any change in his daily routine. Including, but not limited to, changes in CLIMATE that cause ILLNESS.
As my children have inherited strange side effects to change, I have hypothesized all kinds of craziness. But now, I am quite sure that someone in Mike's genetic ancestry has in fact, mated with a chinchilla.
Oh my god.
Somebody please tell me what kind of animal this is. Because I need to have it. And feed it. I have a suspicion that this particular breed stores all of it's fat reserves in it's cheeks, and that is endlessly fascinating for me.
Particularly since we have a dog that hoards calories in it's ass. Please, someone who knows me and my dog--vouch for this fact in the comments section. I'm thinking the bizarre fat reserves of animals *might* be an obsession of mine.
Mike believes this creature to be a mouse. I'm skeptical, as I don't recall mice having the fullness of face/squatty little body of this critter. Also, how in the hell would this thing be able to fit its head through those cute little mouse doors you see in cartoons? I don't buy it.
Look again, go ahead. It's a face with feet! I mean, if it could just fatten it's ears up a tad, it would be circular, and that is odd!
But then again, I suppose that I do like oddities of the animal persuasion.
FYI, this picture comes from this AMAZING site--click here for the link. This furry creature that I will affectionately refer to as "fat head" gets my vote. Be warned, however--these pictures will make you want to place baby animals in compromising positions that include a variety of dishes and cups.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Red sparkly shoes. Check.
In the meantime, I seduced the boys with promises of an ice cream dinner--the fairy tales of young male children. Only, once we arrived at the soda shop, their hearts were SET on chicken fingers and no amount of bribery could sway them. I may have mentioned before...my children, (particularly the oldest male) are not good with change. Including a meal that consists of frozen, fatty dairy.
They do LOVE ice cream. But only as a chaser to chicken fingers, it seems.
Mentally noted: Young male dream dates include servings of poultry.