Friday, December 17, 2010

Katie has "preferences" when it comes to pizza. Jake too, I guess.

It's kind of sad when your kid is old enough to have a preference about her pizza toppings and the preference doesn't include mushrooms or pineapple... which happen to be your* favorites.  Your two favorite  toppings that you usually only order when you don't have to pay a million dollars extra for them... (Plug for Papa Johns... we've been milking this deal for all it's worth!)

* And by "your" I mean "mine."

Soo, I placed my usual order a few weeks ago; pepperoni, pineapple, mushroom, extra cheese.  Yum, right?

Pizza arrived, we're seated and ready to dig in, Katie takes her first bite and... her face scrunches up. 

I thought she bit her lip or something, but no.  She got a bite of pineapple.  She informs me that she does not like pineapple.

I removed all pineapple from her pizza before she would continue to eat. 

Next bite, again with the face scrunch.  She asks what "those dark things are".  I inform her that those are yummy mushrooms (in my excited, happy mommy voice). 

She informs me that she does not like mushroom. 

I inform her that there is no way I can remove the mushroom... the teeny, tiny baby pieces of mushroom.  So she ate it but she didn't like it.

I ordered pizza again a couple of weeks ago.  Again with my faves.  But I ordered half mushroom, half pineapple thinking that she could eat from the mushroom half. 

Forgetting that both were on her "ick" list because she did eat the mushrooms last time.  I distinctly remembered that she hated the pineapple (because I spent time picking each piece off), but really?  Mushrooms?  They're so small I could hardly taste them!  Luckily, they were so small she could barely see them.  She ate the pizza and I sighed a sigh of relief.

Now, last night (and yes, I know we order pizza a lot but it's good for two meals... when we order on Friday night, we eat leftovers for lunch on Saturday afternoon) I ordered from a different place (John wanted a change) and went to pick it up. 

(We've had it delivered before from this place but it occurred to me last night that they're located less than 5 minutes away so I could save on the delivery fee and tip by getting in the car in the freezing cold and picking it up.  Money saved is money spent on our next pizza order.  Duh.)

I pulled into the parking lot and saw a Chinese restaurant just two doors down and it was as if my legs wouldn't listen to my brain. 

I was telling myself "pick up pizza... must. pick. up. pizza." but my legs must have wanted some cream cheese won tons.  Which I purchased.  And debated opening the bag for a taste, as I walked the long stretch of sidewalk to the pizza place two doors down.  I didn't open them (I waited till I was in the car because I knew that once I started eating, I wouldn't want to stop eating and it would have been way too hard to juggle the open bag plus the pizza). 

So, I paid for the pizza and headed for the car.  Enjoyed a won ton (or two) and the peace and quiet in the car, sighed a deep breath, and headed home.

I was super excited because I had gotten half mushroom and half pineapple (half and half because at this place, extra toppings were not free).  When I opened the box I was surprised to see huge mushrooms the size of the peperoni slices.  I did not expect that.  I hoped I could fly these under the Katie "radar" like last time.  And I tried.  And Katie took a bite and asked what those dark things were. 

She did not like them.  She would not eat them.

She did like daddy's pizza.  Thin crust with pepperoni and ... onions.

But the drama is not over... oh no.  Jake took a bite of his pizza... a piece with delicious pineapple. 

And he promptly spit it into his hand.  Then dropped it on the floor. 


The pineapple strikes again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oh, Noisy Night

Katie is playing with daddy and Jake. Daddy is supposed to chase Katie and Jake but when Katie comes by me she's "safe". And she's safe when she goes next to the Christmas tree with the picture of Jesus, too. And pretty much wherever else she decides is "safe".

Running is accompanied by screaming and giggling. It' not quiet.

Then when she's ready to run again, she says, "are you ready Freddy?" Then daddy says, "ready" and then they run around the house.

Last time around, she shared a poem with us. It went a little something like this,

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I had a dream
I went to the zoo

Now they're done running and Katie wants us to "oooooohhh" at the tree.

The kids are getting a little wound up (understatement) but they're having fun.

Now Katie and daddy are playing the "I'm going to repeat everything you say" game. The password to stop playing is "706". Katie picked that one out. And she changed the password... now it's our address. Ummm, maybe because she forgot the first password.

Okay, gotta go. Jake's pushing a book into my face. He's being a little rough and he's probably going to start throwing it any minute.

(I'm typing this on my cell, so try to ignore the typos. Also, I've had a few interruptions so the "flow" might be a little choppy...)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordful Wednesday Post - Smile!

A few smiley moments...

Katie burried under stuffed animals. 

She's got plenty of stuffed animals so we just let these visit her in the cart...  and anyway, they weren't in our budget* so we didn't buy them.

 *The budget thing is probably the best idea I've come up with.  Katie gets it, and she makes me stick with it.  That's why I no longer share my shopping list with her.  You know, just in case something jumps into my cart and beggs to be taken with us... It's hard to hear your 4 year old tell you in a sing-song teacher voice, "Mommyyyyy, we didn't budget for that." It's a bummer when I hear that and see her stern look which is coincedentally kind of similar to mine.  I know I've got to put it away to set a good example.  Ugh.

Here's Jake playing with Paigey's toys... he loved the Little People set.

Katie had a great time at Lego Land and Jake?  He made a bit of a mess with the legos that are out for kids to play with and then tried to pull them out of the color specific cubbies built into a huge wall that are *not* out for kids to play with.  (I know it was a kid-friendly space but the color arrangement in the cubbies was so... perfect... I didn't think he should be allowed within 5 feet of the wall.  But he had fun anyway.)

Jake.  Playing with my pots and pans.  He loves to do this still, to this day!  And sometimes he'll put them away.  (Sometimes he'll bring them to the living room too, and that's okay.  I usually only need one.)

Jake in Texas.  Just around the time he was learning to walk.  So sweet... and a little wobbly!  He tried to run away but just had to stop and look to see if I would follow him.

Oh, the guy in the background on roller skates totally took a tumble a little after this picture was taken.  Super funny, or so I hear.  I was too busy trying to catch Jake to watch the action.

I am participating in the Invisalign Teen Bright Smiles Holiday Photo Contest with Dumb Mom.  Because she told me to, and because I might win something.  Plus, I like sharing old pictures of the kids being cute!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Legos are fun... when I'm not stepping on them in my living room.

Super fun day yesterday. I left work early to go with John for a "consultation"... you know... to make sure that we don't grow into a family of SIX in a couple of years, instead of the family of five we'll become in June... ahem.

So, I was pretty much giddy that I was just an observer and that I wasn't the one being poked and prodded... or listening to crying at one of the kids' appointments (shots=crying and the fear of shots also?=crying) and John may have thought I was a little too happy/excited but really? I needed this. I'm calling us even for my pregnancies, labors, and deliveries. John? Well, he was kind of quiet during the consult.

No pictures from our appointment (John would have objected) but do I have some from our trip to the Mall of America.

Mom needed to pick something up from the good ol' MOA (where we've been like twice in the past 10 years - both of those times were in the same week when family was visiting from Texas) and she invited me and the kiddos to come!

We ate dinner at Ruby Tuesday, did some looking around in the American Girl store (Katie was loving it) and I bought two (maternity) tops and a pair of pants (such a strange phrase... they don't sell'em as a two pack) on clearance.

Something that made my night? Oh sure, I'll share!

I was getting a belly band (to keep my pants up because the rubber bands thru the belt loop were prone to unexpected breakage... just ask me how I know this...) and I mom asked the lady if the size 0 was right. She said "oh sure. That's the regular one size fits all." And then she said...

"And your definately NOT a plus size."

I couldn't believe it. It made my week! And I wasn't even wearing my skinny jeans! (And by skinny I mean that I feel skinny when I wear them... not the skinny that cuts off circulation in your legs if you're larger around than a toothpick.)

Then we went home. And I'm still basking in the compliment glow. <happy sigh>

And that's my excitement.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And baby makes three... *gulp*



Threeeee kids...

We're still trying to wrap our minds around that news even after the ultrasound where we saw the baby's heartbeat.  Even after nausea became my (unwanted) pal.  Even after waking up at least 3 times each night for a bathroom break.  Even after noticing my pants getting just a little bit tighter....

      Even after thinking we were perfectly happy with
                  one boy
                              one girl.

Yep, we're still trying to wrap our minds around having a baby.

We're excited though.  I mean, after we got over the whole "wow" factor (where we repeated that one word every time we thought about the baby), after we processed the whole thing and the shock wore off and it really hit us that we were going to be parents again... we were more excited.

And here I thought I had put away my wistful* thoughts of going through pregnancy again, of feeling the little flutters, of waiting to see how this new little person would grow up, and my dreams of being able to snuggle with a tiny baby (who can't push mommy away because he or she is too busy playin') but now, with this news, they're back in full force. 

*Sure, I was thinking more in a "wouldn't it be nice but nope, we're good where we are" way but what's that old saying?

Oh, and in case you're wondering... things I'm not looking forward to would include (but aren't limited to) sleepless nights, baby vomit, buying formula, and changing 50 diapers in a day.

So I'm due in June.  With number 3. 

Here's an ultrasound pic showing the baby at about 8 weeks.

And this one will be our last. 

(Really.  I know we said that after Jake, but this time it's absolutely, definitely, positively FOR SURE.)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Help! I'm cooking!

What's up with this "cooking" thing?!

Normal weekend breakfasts at our house usually involve cereal (with OR without milk, depending on who's eating it) and toast. Yogurt too sometimes. And if we're feeling fancy I'll whip up some scrambled eggs and sausage and we'll have breakfast burritos but that's pretty much it.

Well, this morning you know what sounded "fun"?

Making those cinnamon muffins... the kind you roll in butter and cinnamon sugar right before you eat 8 of them and never want to see them again (until the next time). And as if *that* craziness wasn't enough, I had a hankerin' for egg bake.

I was officially in cooking mode. I called grandma for a recipe for the egg bake and started in on the whole process (even exceeding my usual 4 ingredient limit by TWO).

I was thrilled beyond words when both recipes turned out the way they were supposed to (and a little shocked, but I played it cool) and when it was all done, it was delicious. I didn't burn any of it and both kids ate it which is pretty much the hardest test of any food I prepare.

I've started down a dark path though.

After my successful success today I got a hankerin' for something else.

Banana cream pie.

Made with actual ingredients.

So I went to the grocery store and picked up a banana cream pudding mix and a graham cracker crust. Till I saw the Oreo's and thought that Oreo's would be a much tastier crust than plain old graham crackers. So tonight I crushed cookies and made the crust. I'm waiting till tomorrow to mix up the pudding because even though I'm not hungry, I might be able to convince myself to taste for quality control purposes. So that's on tomorrow's agenda.

Along with eating the rest of the cinnamon muffins and egg bake. Yum!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chocolate Milk and Personal Space Don't Mix

After a full night consisting of refereeing fights, folding laundry, pulling Jake off of the side table many times, taking toys away as consequence for not picking up said toys, and just generally trying to deal with two kids who are sweet as sugar and then turn into Dr. Jekyll without a moments notice, all I wanted was a pedicure, facial, and shopping spree at Target to buy something just for myself.

But, since that's not in the budget... *sigh*...

I decided to settle for a mug of chocolate milk.

Chocolate milk *is* in our budget and not too much for me to ask for after making it through the evening as a good mommy (meaning I was super patient, didn't raise my voice too much, and no one got sent to time out, even though they deserved it, ahem, *KATIE*), right?

So I wandered into the kitchen (because the second I start walking anywhere with purpose, both kids are on me like butter on popcorn. Somehow they know I want to accomplish something and they need to be there to watch. And Katie will ask for help to go potty or for a drink of water, or for me to find lambie or bunny or another toy she could totally see if she would just go to her bedroom door and open her peepers... and Jake will suddenly need to be held and read to and will want to show me Chuck the Dump Truck for the 30th time that day.  But wandering just says that mommy is going to go to a different room and she's going to do something super boring and why don't we just play here till she comes back?) and pulled out a heavy mug. I mixed up a perfect concoction of milk and Ovaltine (which, incidentally smells a little off... it's a little reminiscent of the smell of kitty litter but it's hasn't gone bad... it's smelled odd from the start. Not yummy in powder form so I've stopped smelling it before I mix up my chocolate milk.)

I got everything mixed up and walked into the living room. The kids were still playing nicely about 8 feet away. So far so good!

But then... as I sat down... Katie looked over. And focused in And Jake noticed she was looking. And so he looked. And then both of them came over to where I was getting settled in on the couch and they stood right in front of me, all up in my personal space (even though after becoming a mommy that seemed to shrink to almost non-existent proportions), and Katie asked me what I was drinking. Like 20 times.

And 15 times, I told her it was a mommy beverage.  By the 16th time I was still telling her it was a mommy beverage but had to stop the impulse to protectively hunch over my mug because that would have lowered it enough for one of the kids to get a hand around it and take it from me.

That wasn't informational enough for Katie and she kept asking. I stuck to my guns and continued to tell her that it was a beverage for mom and that it was mine to drink. (Insert scene from Lord of the Rings... Gollum and "precious" wouldn't be a stretch when considering my behaviour. I'm not proud of it looking back, but it was seemed perfectly normal last night.)

So then, after one more question from Katie:

Katie: Yes, but what IS it?

I finally just gave up on the hope that they would get bored and give up, and told her it was chocolate milk.

And got this:

Katie: Can I have some?
Me: In a bit.
Katie: But I'm really thirsty.
Me: Just let me drink mine really quick.
Katie: But I'm reeeeeeaalllllllyyyyy thirsty.
Me: One second honey... I just want to finish mine and then I'll give you some...
Katie (starting to look a little unhappy): But mommy, I am so thirsty and I really want something to drink!
Me:  Here.  Just drink mine.  (My "moment" was lost.)
Katie: But that's a mommy beverage and I can't drink that!
Me: Yes, it's yours. Take it.
Katie: Oh, but mommy, that's a mommy beverage! That's not for me!
Me: Take it. I'm not making you your own so if you want it, drink it.
Katie (with an angelic smile): Okay mommy!

Then I put Jake to bed, cuddled with Katie, held the mug for her in between drinks, and decided that I wish someone would invent a glass that would look like it was filled with water no matter what was inside. That way, I could sit down with a glass of chocolate milk without both kids wandering over to see what I've got before I even get settled, and wanting it.

Later that night, after I put Katie in bed and she was playing Make a Mess on my cell phone, I wandered into the kitchen and whipped up another batch of chocolate milk.  And drank it down before anyone could interrupt me again.  It was very good.  Because it was alllll mine.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kids are weird. And noisy. And silly.

Last night we're just hanging around the house after dinner, eating our mini ice cream bars (100 calories and pretty good if on the very small side). 

Katie got her own and finished half of it before she decided to put it away for later.  (Who's kid is this again? Oh yeah, she was supposed to clean toys up after our dessert... she's pretty smart.  If she doesn't finish dessert, it's not time to clean up, right?)  I shared with Jake.  Which meant that I mostly tried to keep him from taking bites that would choke a large animal.  We were down to the last two smallish bites and I had my hand situated so he wouldn't push the whole bite into his mouth.  Well, he pushed and he pulled and I stayed firm.  There was no way I was letting him eat that whole piece especially since I wanted one more little taste! because it was too big.

Then he drooled.  On my pants leg.  And I let go of the ice cream bar.  Because cold, chocolaty drool is gross.

Before I could reach for a wipey to clean off my pants (gross), the bite was down and gone.  And Jake was smiling. 

Tricky kid.

Oh, and Katie has a thing for chapstick.  She neeeeeeeds it because her lip hurts (it's chapped under her bottom lip) and when she applies chapstick, she usually applies just a bit too much.  Last night was one of those times.  I had just gotten over being out-drooled by the boy when I looked over and saw that the lower part of Katie's face, nose down to chin, was very shiny.  Very shiny.  Like, glowing shiny when the light hit her face just right.  I figured out it was the chapstick and I laughed so hard I was tearing up and holding my sides.  And since chapstick is so long lasting, I kept laughing for the next hour or so before it wore off.

We blamed the laughter on Jake being so funny earlier (the ice cream incident) because we didn't want her to 1) do it again, and again, and again because it made us laugh the first time or 2) feel bad because we were laughing at her.

Good times.

Oh, and Katie told lots of jokes last night.  There was a reoccuring theme... "You know what's funny mommy?  Glasses (and after glasses, just substitute whatever else you might see laying around the house)... in WATER!"  then lots of laughter from her, and from me because she was so cute (even if her jokes could use a little work).  She listed a lot of funny things... in WATER.  Strange?  Um, yes.  But she cracked up so much over it that I couldn't help but laugh.

Our night.  In a nutshell.

And I've spared you the story of Katie's excessive crying because she left Mr. Bear at the lake this weekend and was so saaaaaaad that he wasn't here.  And her crying because I made her stay in her room after bedtime.  Oh, and I won't mention the 9:30 p.m. request for more pizza because she was staaaaaarving.  Or the 10 minutes we spent downstairs after she found the bin of toys and decided she neeeeeeded all of the soft toys to cuddle and could choose one, which resulted in... yes, you guessed it, more tears when she could only choose one soft toy.  And finally, some more crying about Mr. Bear before she finally fell asleep... with all of the soft toys (the 10 she already had in her room) set around her in bed.

And finally silence.  (Finally!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Katie made crumbs last night.

Grandpa gave Katie a cookie last night.  It's one of those red, white, and green ones from the panaderia.  John came over and asked what it was and Katie told him it was "pan dulce" and yes, she pronounced it correctly!  It was cute so we had to ask her to say it a few times.

She sat at the kitchen table to eat her cookie and then told me she was making pieces for my party (I'm doing one of those food parties on Wed night*).  I "um hm'd" her because I was busy mixing and making the official party food and wasn't paying a ton of attention other than to think "awww, how cute!"

* If you are a member of my family who lives nearby, I meant to invite you, I just didn't do it early enough and then by the time I remembered to do it, I felt like it was too late.  So I didn't send an invite.  An invite I wish I had sent. 

Well, about 10 minutes later, she had progressed to making crumbs.  (I should have figured that where there are cookie pieces, there will be cookie crumbs.)  And was she ever successful.  That one cookie produced way too many green, red, and white crumbs and left a coating all over her shirt, skirt, table, chair, floor... everywhere.  They were kind of pretty at first glance.  Less so when I remembered that someone would need to clean them up.  And even less so when Katie announced, "Mom, you were right. I have to go potty."  (This is in response to my inquiry before the whole crumb party began.) 

At this point in the mess, I couldn't just tell her to go like I usually do.  This required a plan and speed.  A plan because by now, Katie was covered in crumbs and I did not want to spread them around the whole house.  And speed because by the time she acknowledges she's gotta go, she's really gotta go.  So we worked it out pretty well.  I didn't see any crumbs on my newly cleaned bathroom floor and I think we contained the mess to the kitchen.  Whew.

And then, after Katie was done with her hand washing and had found a suitable pair of shoes to wear (some cute purple boots in case you were curious), she was ready to sweep the floor.  Because part of making a mess is cleaning it up.  She swept, she wiped, she picked up.  By the time she was done, the crumbs were mostly gone.  I did a final sweep while she danced around the kitchen in her "slippery shoes" and then we were finished.

It took me about an hour and a half (it felt like FOREVER) to make 6 dips and two bread things, deal with the potty break, AND clean up the kitchen. 

The food is ready and it looks pretty good, when I'm able to forget that mayo is the base for many of the mixes (for some reason this grosses me out).

One of the breads (a cranberry oat mix) smelled so good I wanted to take a little, teeny, tiny piece of it right then and there.  But I didn't.  Because I have a feeling that by the time I got home from work the next day, the tiny square I took would have multiplied into half of the pan being gone.  Can't wait for tonight so I can try the stuff.

Katie is also excited.  She's got Cubbies (even though I'm debating keeping her home so she can tell me when Jake does something "dangerous" and so she can play with Donovan and Marshall while their mom hangs out) so I told her that when she's done she can help me hostess.  She's very excited to ask people what they want to drink.  She's in charge of the water and I have a feeling that a lot of people are going to be very thirsty for water once she gets home.

So, tonight should be fun. 

I wish this morning had been fun... or at least go as planned.  I wanted to get to work early today so I could leave early and get a jump start on last minute stuff I need to do (like vacuuming.  That could only be done a day in advance if the room was declared off limits and had an invisible barrier so no one could enter.  That's just not possible so vacuuming tonight is on the schedule).  Well, of course I hit snooze on my 6 a.m. wake up call (aka cell phone alarm) and of course my alarm didn't go off again.  So my eyes pop open and I have the too rested feeling that only comes from oversleeping.  My cell phone confirmed it.  It was 20 minutes later than I get up to be on time to work.  Ugh.  So anyway, I won't be leaving work early.

But maybe Katie can learn vacuuming 101 this evening.  She is 4 and a half now... and she loves Cinderella.  Oh!  I think she's even got a Cinderella dress up dress in her closet... By golly, I think I've got a plan!

Meanwhile, at work today we're having a potluck.  I've eaten my way through about 6 of those tiny wieners wrapped in bacon and lovingly surrounded by brown sugar, one brat (that word always looks weird when it's written out), one spring roll (homemade so I couldn't turn it down), a special K bar, two little cream puffs, bread and dip, slice of fruit pizza, chips and homemade salsa (and some cheese).  I think that's it.  And now I feel a bit sick.

I planned to do the 30 Day Shred this afternoon over lunch but that might make me actually be sick so I'm going to stick with the elliptical instead.

Maybe Katie will be a teacher?

I got home from work on Monday night feeling a little tired, as usual, but excited to be home, also as usual.

I sat down to see how the day went and learned (from Daddy... Katie is denying everything) that she had pushed her brother and talked to Daddy in a less than nice way.  I did the usual "it's nice to be nice/don't talk mean or people will be sad and DON'T HIT YOUR BROTHER!" talk for the 50th time this month and then Katie started to talk about how she wanted to run around the house but couldn't because Jake was asleep.  I don't know where this came from... I wonder if she was trying to deflect the heat.

Well, this went on and on and let me tell you, she knows how to work a room.

She complained (in her sad voice) about how she couldn't run and she needed to run because she needed to get excercise and that mommy gets to excercise and why can't she.  Add in a little whine just on the verge of angry and you'll probably get a good idea of how she sounded.  It went on for awhile.  So long that I *thought* she was done so I turned to ask John something.

Katie saw that and I guess she decided to use it as a "teaching moment" or whatever it is a 4 (and a half) year old would call it.

Katie looked at me and at her daddy and explained that she was not done telling us something.  Then she said, "When someone is talking, you shouldn't do what?"  Then she gave us a hint... "Ta... ta... ta..."

I jumped in with "Talk?" and got a figurative gold star when Katie turned to me and said, "Yes!  That's right.  When someone is talking, you shouldn't talk."

Well, we chatted a bit more which really means that Katie talked and we listened (and chuckled a little over her comments... behind our hands of course so she wouldn't see us laughing).

We laughed harder when we noticed that Jake had walked over to stand next to her.  And he started to say, "Shhhhh.  Shhhhh.  SSssshhhhhhhh." over and over.  Katie would move away and Jake would follow.  She moved three times before he was distracted (I think he wanted to play with his truck).  He only "shushed" us that one time but it was fu-nny!  Back to laughing behind our hands.

Then I talked to John again and Katie said, "I was talking!  When someone is talking, you should what? Llll lll llll..."

Daddy jumped in with "Listen?" and he got the gold this time.

Katie beamed at us and said, "That's right!  When someone is talking, you should listen."

Here's what I think is funny; when KATIE is talking, everyone should listen.  And if anyone else is talking, well, Katie is going to say something more inportant and more interesting anyway so everyone else should just "SSShhhhh".  We're working on this.  Mostly I'm telling her that I'm talking and she needs to wait her turn.  And then reminding her that it's not her turn yet.... and that it's still not her turn.

We'll probably be working on this for a long time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hair Stylist? Mommy? Which one will she choose?!

So in my travels through the land of Google reader, I came across a post by Parenting by Dummies where I could enter to win a cute kids top just for answering one simple question.  So I started to think about how I would answer this one simple question and I realized that it was harder than it seemed.

The question? 

What super smart profession do I dream of my kid becoming one day.

It was hard to think of Katie (I thought of her first just because she's oldest) being old enough to work because that would mean she was old enough to drive and old enough to pierce her ears and old enough to vote and old enough to go out on a DATE!  And old enough to move out and have her own apartment! Her.own.APARTMENT!

(Insert heavy breathing and crazy eyes HERE.)


This was tough. 

But now I was determined to think, and think hard, of a suitable profession for my baby girl . 

Now, this wasn't hard because Katie isn't super smart and able to do whatever she puts her mind to, because she is super smart and there are so many possibilities... it was hard because I want her to have a job that is so totally awesome she loves going to work every day.  (Making oodles of money and never being too busy to come hang with mommy would just be added bonuses.  Unfortunately, I don't know if a job like this even exists.)

I finally came up with the (kind of serious) answer along the lines of Katie working where I work (because I would love to see her every day and then we can carpool every day and have lunch together and meet for our breaks and send emails with smiley faces all. day. long.) but she's got her own ideas.  She either wants to be a mommy or a hair stylist.

I think right now hair stylist is winning, but only because I'm pointing out all of the things mommies have to do (and hoping it stops her from wanting children until she's 30 because taking care of kids is hard... and they pull hair and pinch... and I'm talking about you *Jacob*). 

Things like
- never finishing your own meal because someone spills or throws food or falls out of their booster seat... or squirts vinegar water in their eye (but eating off of the kids half full plates while doing dishes),
- having to forget about a peaceful shower (unless you get up before the kids to take it),
- making dinner while kids play underfoot (when they haven't had any interest in the kitchen ALL evening),
- hiding markers and pens so the really smart kids with long arm reach can't get to them (then forgetting where you hid the only sharpie),
- scanning the room before leaving for anything the kids can get into (this is tough... things you don't consider dangerous can be very dangerous when there's a 2 year old around... lamps, picture frames on high shelves, TV remotes are some examples),
- making sure the box of granola bars are not left on the floor in the pantry (because some kids like to smoosh them, and then they're just granola.  With little tiny chocolate chips.),
- collecting cooking utensils from wherever the kids were playing with them and having to wash them before using them to make dinner (the spatula and spoons being among the favorites and I still don't know where my flat spoon is)...

And oh, there's more, but I'll stop here.

So what I'm saying is that having kids is hard.

There are also some pretty great moments mixed in with the vomit, spills, icky diapers, and mutinous glares (Katie, that one was all you). 

Great moments like getting surprise hugs, two shadows following me around just to see what I'm doing (usually not exciting since I'm usually putting something away or picking something up), seeing their exitement when they see something they think is really cool... and of course, hearing "Mommy, I'm glad you're home today and not at work" or "Mommy, I love you" is pretty great too.

They show me* pretty rocks, a bird flying above our house, a funny cloud in the sky, a picture they think is neat... an endless list of things that it seems I've lost the ability to see on my own.

And oh, there's more, but I'll stop here.

*There are still some things the kids don't show me... like where our kitchen remote is hidden.  That's been missing for about 4 months now.  I think it's gone for good.  We've gotten used to getting up to change the channel... because there aren't any remotes we can program for the tv we have in the kitchen.  And we've tried, oh we've tried to find one. 

Just the other day, Jake came to sit next to me on the couch.  He didn't throw a book at me to read, he just wanted to sit next to me and snuggle up close.  Katie came over too and sat on the other side of me.  And snuggled up close.  This totally makes up for the marker on our back door, the 500th cup of spilled milk, the pinching, the missing remote ... well, all of the other stuff that's not so fun (see above for the almost comprehensive list... here's a hint: it starts with "vomit").

So I guess it's okay that Katie has this on her list of jobs... the pay isn't too great and the benefits are way more than I could have imagined.  Hugs and smiles and kids who think I'm the best. mommy. ever.

But I'm going to keep pointing out all of the things mommies do... I wonder if cleaning the bathroom would be too much for a 4 year old...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Two weekends ago we got to go to the lake.

So, mostly I write my posts with an actual reader in mind so I try to break up paragraphs, include some pictures, spruce things up a bit.  You know, so heads don't explode from the boredom. 

Aaaand sometimes I post stuff so I don't forget. 

This is one of those "not forgetting" posts. 

Which just means that if you're looking for something super funny and witty, you may not find it here today.  (But check back because the kids have been in fine form and have so kindly given me tons to share.)

Sooo, I apologize in advance but will tell you that it's still not going to be a long as my Texas post from February.  (I'm not linking back to this because you'll never get through the whole thing and also, I'm already tired from writing this all out.  And yes, it's about a week late in the posting.)

Here's my recap of our weekend at the lake:
1. Played outside (well, the kids did this mostly with Grandma and Grandpa.  I'm not known as an "outdoor" person.  Just like we're not "pet people" yet whenever Katie brings up the topic.)

2. Ate rueben sandwiches cooked in the fire and decided they were surprisingly tasty.  Gooey and hot and really greasy.  And doesn't that always equal GOOD?

3. Made homemade (from a box) pizza with hot dogs and peperoni as toppings.  (I remember mom making these when I was a kid, usually on Sunday nights.  Mom and Dad would set up the table in the living room and we would sit and eat and watch the Disney movie.  I loved that.)

4. Went for a walk into town and looked in a couple of the shops (didn't spend any money, even though I wanted to).  The kids got to ride in the wagon.  Me and Mom took turns pulling the wagon.  It was hard.

5. Made Ghiardelli brownies with red hots (I love red hots... or Cinnamon Imperials for you fancy pants people) .

6. Saw "The Switch".

7. Listened to the kids play together.

8. Listened to the kids fight over toys.

9. Listened to Katie cry and carry on because her princess blanket wasn't spread out properly. (It had WRINKLES, people!  This is a travesty for Katie.)

10. Went to Walmart (3 times).

11. Got my hair cut (at Walmart, which I swore I would NEVER do again after the great hair debacle of early 2010, also noted in my Texas post, but decided to give it one last shot and ended up with a great cut!).

12. Laughed a lot.

13. Got a horrible headache and didn't feel great.

14. Took a nap.  Katie came in to see what I was doing.  I had her precious Pprincess blanket over me and somehow I could sense that she was about to demand the return of the blanket.  I told her mommy didn't feel good so I'm resting.  Right away she morphed from demanding 4 year old into super sweet "mommy".  She felt my forehead and said "Oh, you're a little warm" and then started to tuck the blanket around my arms and my feet.  Then she said that I needed to take a nap and she would see how I felt later.  She was about to walk out of the room but stopped and came back to give me a kiss on the cheek.  I fell back to sleep marvelling at how Jekyll and Hyde her attitude can be... and glad that she took pity on mommy and was feeling more Jekyll than Hyde.

15. Ate almond crusted stuffed chicken breast with rice for dinner on Sunday.  The recipe exceeds my 4 ingredient limit (by about 15 ingredients) and it probably took at hour just for the preparation (this didn't even include COOKING TIME!) but it was really good and I would definitely eat it again.  But only as long as I don't have to make it.  (See #3 above.  That was my contribution.)

Ahhh, vacations.

Oh, then I was sick on Monday.  The outside time spent walking in town and cooking my reuben over the fire probably did me in.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordful Wednesday

Here's my Wordful Wednesday...

Jake stayed home with me one afternoon while John and Katie went to visit grandma Mary Lou.  I think Jake liked the peace and quiet.  He played on all three of the kid bikes and on the scooter without once being elbowed aside by his big sister.

We also tried going for a walk but only got around the corner before he decided he liked the toys in one of the yards and that he wanted to play with them right then.  I had to carry him back (after I chased him down).  He landed a few good hits on my lip while he was thrashing about, but I managed to keep him in my arms and get him home without too much damage to my face... although it was just a teensey bit embarrassing.

Ahh, Katie.  Katie got a new ceiling fan the other day.  Grandpa, Grandma, mommy, and Jake went with to help choose one that wouldn't be too pink or too frilly (I thought I should go so I could veto anything that would fit either of these two categories.  I wanted to keep things neutral.).

Well, what do you see in that picture?  Flowers and hearts?  Check.  Pastel pink background?  Check.  Next time maybe I'll just stay home.

Katie's job was to screw together the fan blade and the part that fits the blade into the fan.  And also to make funny faces at the camera.  A+ for Katie. 

I remember watching my dad do work like this when I was younger.  I haven't given much thought to it but it's so fun to see her "helping" grandpa with stuff, and she really was a help!  She handed grandpa the pliers and screwdrivers, and she really did put together fan blades... at least three of the four!  Jake was also there, but he was more interested in climbing the ladder.  See?

Ahh, and this is what happens when Jake has something Katie considers HERS.  I thought this was a chase to win custody of the Woody doll... but now I think this was the chase to get her chapstick that Jake had picked up off of the floor and carried away.  Woody was causing problems earlier when both kids were still in play clothes and not jammies. 

Ah, Woody.  Too bad we can't clone you, or find another one of you for really cheap.  Then there would be no discussion over who you belonged to, which would lead to more peace and quiet.  That would be nice.

So that's it.  My first Wordful Wednesday.  I'm linking up on Parenting by Dummies here.  Maybe.  If I can figure this whole "linking" thing out.  That's why this is my first Wordful Wednesday... or first anything that requires me to figure out how to link.  Maybe I should ask Katie how it works... she's pretty smart ofr a 4 year old.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm a Disney Princess (without the gown. Or woodland creatures. Or pretty jewelry. So, I'm a Disney Princess mostly in attitude which really just isn't as much fun).

I went downstairs for just a few minutes last night to move laundry into the dryer and when I turned the corner to head up the stairs, I saw Katie waiting for me.  She looked a little upset.  Aaaand, that's an understatement because she had big tears and a heartbroken expression on her face.

I didn't know what was wrong so I went to pick her up and cuddle her.  She can be a little... intense... sometimes so I just thought it was a mood.  Until she told me, between sobs, that she was "running in the living room" and she "knocked over daddy's laptop".  Daddy was already in bed and doesn't know this happened.  (Hi Daddy!)

I looked, and sure enough, the laptop was on the floor with the hinged side in the air.  It was open when it fell and luckily didn't break apart upon impact. 

I didn't freak out over this very expensive potential paperweight and I'm very proud of that.  Um, if it had been my laptop I might have shed a few tears... maybe let loose with a "NNNNNnnnnnooooooooo!" but I didn't want to scare Katie.  And it wasn't mine.  So I kept it together.  I felt like a Disney princess with all of the tra la la-ing and oh, let's just put this back on the table, no need to cry, everything will be fine.  Not sure which princess though... maybe Lily Tomlin in 9-to-5.  (Minus the animated woodland creatures... I don't know if I like those.)

So, after the initial shock, my calm, positive attitude helped to calm her down a little and after I got the laptop back on the table without it breaking into two large pieces, Katie ran to me and wanted me to hold her.  This doesn't happen a lot these days.  She's usually very independant and very much "I can do it myself" or "I don't want to sit with you, I want to play" (and this: "in my room, with the door shut so Jake can't get in here and mess up my stuff because, even though I want to keep all of *his* toys in here, I'll scream if he so much as breathes on my stuff" is implied even if it's not verbally stated).

We cuddled and she cried and I told her that it looked fine, just be careful when running in the living room.  Which, I just don't get anyway.  I mean, daddy's laptop is in the far end of the living room, the only thing near it is his chair and the TV cabinet.  And the kids don't usually play over there because, well, it's not too exciting.

And after taking half a second to consider that statement, I've got to take it back.  Jake *loves* to play over there when daddy isn't in his chair and he's forgotten to close his laptop (the laptop that's now minus a few keys because Jake has plucked them off.  Don't ask me how... it's a mystery of tiny fingered dexterity) but Katie usually ignores it. 

I guess maybe curiousity got her.  Daddy has a pretty cool screen saver and I can see her being interested in it and trying to get closer look at it... and then trying to turn the screen for an even better look, and then getting mad that the laptop isn't moving, and then giving it a really hard jerk because she really wants to see that screen, and then realizing that maybe it was too hard when the laptop falls to the floor.  That's another way this might have played out.

Anyway, I haven't gotten any calls today asking what might have happened to the laptop last night so I think this little mishap ended without the destruction that usually follows when one of the kids drops something.

Happy day... because I really don't want to share.  (I like my keyboard keys right where they are... thank you very much.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mommy loves you BOTH the SAME... Do you hear me, Katie?!

Jake and Katie.

These kids can be the worst of enemies at times (these times are not fun... there's usually some hair pulling, loud screeching, yelling for mommy, pushing and shoving... not to mention the resulting tears from pushes and shoves) and then, as if a switch has been flipped, they're the best of friends. 

Running around the house together, laughing, doing silly things to entertain each other, sharing... SHARING!  I wish I could find that switch, turn it to "friends"... and break it so it can never be flipped again.

Want to know why?

Here's why...

The other day, Jake was playing in the bathroom sink when Katie ran down the hall past the door yelling, "I'm going to wear THIS!" and waving her jammies around.  Jake saw her, we ALL heard her, and he laughed. 

He laughed harder and harder each time she did it (and she did it about 20 times). 

Eventually he left the bathroom to follow her down the hall and she would gently walk him back to the bathroom and say, "Jakey, you stay here." (so she wouldn't run him over) and she would continue running and yelling, and he would continue to laugh.  Eventually this lead to them running around our house in circles with one or two "accidental" pushes when Jake got into Katie's way.  But they were getting along.

No bribes or threats could have accomplished this.

(Not that I've tried, or anything... Really.)

It was just nice to see them getting along and happy.  And it was especially nice after I overheard this comment from Katie to Jake...

"She loves me better than you." where "she" = mommy. 

Um, yeah.  Usually I let them get through whatever they're doing without my intervention (unless Jake has his hand in her hair and is in the process of pulling hair out, or they're about to come to fisticuffs, then I intervene)  but in this case, I had to tell her (in my most serious mommy tone with my most serious mommy face) that I love them both the same and that Jake is my favorite boy* in the whole world and Katie is my favorite girl*... but I could swear that when she smiled at me, her smile was saying, "Suuuuure mommy.  I know you have to say that... he's your kid too of course.  But I know the truth!"  Something tells me she won't be convinced.

*So lucky to have one of each. How do you parents of two girls/two boys handle this?

Here's also why...

And some oldies I couldn't resist posting again...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jake's 18 month well check went... well. And he had lots of fun playing with the stirrups.

Jake had his 18 month baby well check this week.  He's healthy and growing well which we kind of suspected... the kid is crazy busy and not tiny.

As a matter of fact, he weighs in at 27 lbs and his head circumference is 19 inches and a bit.  The nurse took his height measurement when he was standing up... usually they lay him down on the paper.  I think the paper might be a better way to go because when she compared this measurement to his previous measurement, something wasn't quite right. Unless Jake really did shrink two inches since his last doctor visit... Anything is possible.

So weight and measurement was the easy part.  Trying to entertain a toddler while waiting in the room was not so easy.  Luckily they baby-proofed pretty well.  My only complaint?  There were two chairs in the room.  I sat in one and Jake?  Well, he enjoyed climbing up onto the other chair over and over.  But, aside from the chair, and the stirrups that swung out from the table (he thought those were pretty fun AND they made a satisfying CLANG as he pushed them from side to side), the room was pretty much baby-proofed.

Katie came with us too (it was easier to let her come with than to spend precious time explaining *why* she couldn't go and running out of the house while hoping that this time the doorknob guard that is supposed to prevent little hands from opening the door would actually work).  It turned out to be a good thing because after Jake tired of the stirrups and forgot about the chair, the kids played together nicely while we waited for what seemed like an hour (but was really probably only 20 minute) between the doctor and the nurse. So the appointment was a success. 

Shots? Check. 

Tired baby who needed a long nap when we got home? Check.  

Oh, and one last thing...

Pee pee trouble because of some adhesions the nice doctor had to "break"? Check. 

Oh, yeah.  I won't go into more detail because it's a little lot gross AND something that is more common than I thought in infants.  And it's something the doctor didn't warn us about when Jake was circumcised*.  

Sorry Jake.  I'm sure that if this blog is still around when you're a teen and some of my more personal posts, like this one, get into the wrong hands, there may be a little potential for embarrassment but hopefully I've written enough stuff about your sister so it will be in her best interest not to mention some of this to anyone.

My poor baby.  It's sad (but a little bit cute)... the way he's been holding his diaper, looking at me with a scrunched up face, and saying "Ouch." when he "goes".

And based on that potty time routine (hold, scrunched up face, ouch), I'm going to assume that separating the adhesion area at every diaper change, and the resulting discomfort, is just minorly less fun for Jake than for me.  

Monday, August 30, 2010

If I had a million dollars... I would probably spend it all on preschool, shoes, and diapers

Preschool.  Katie loves it.  Mommy loves it.  Our budget?  Does not love it.  We've decided not to send Katie back for the *actual* school year that starts next week, but I still hope that we'll be able to send her next summer (the summer before kindergarten starts).

Oh, something EXCITING that happened last Saturday...

John was getting ready to go to a powwow up north and I saw a red car pull into our driveway.  Now, we do have friends... just not many of them.  And none of them drive a red car.

And Katie, being the smarty she is, remembered that it was a red car that crashed into the back of her Grandpa's car the week before and thought that whoever it was had come back.  She was worried that they were going to hit one of our other cars.  We reassured her that they probably would not return to our house and park in our driveway just to hit another one of our cars.

Turns out that I was right.  (Katie was relieved.)

It was actually one of our old neighbors (who used to live kittycorner across the street from us when I was a kid) who had seen our car parked next to the garage for awhile and wondered if we were looking to sell it. 

Our answer? 

Yes, yes, YES!  (That car has been sitting there for probably 6 months, if not longer, because we need to put a tire on it and the tires for our car are very spendy.)

How did he happen to spot our car and wonder about its availability?  Well, apparently he drives through the area every once in awhile (I kind of think it's to check out his lawn*) and spotted it just sitting there.

*I wonder if there was a condition written into the house sale that the new owner must maintain the lawn to the standards of the previous owner!  If so, he doesn't have anything to worry about.  The new owner edges, eliminates weeds, spray paints the grass so it's always a vibrant green (Just kidding.  I've never actually seen him do this.  I just wouldn't be too surprised if he did), and he takes out any leaves that dare to land on his yard.  In the fall.  When there are bucketfuls of leaves yet to drop off of the trees, this guy is out there ready to defend his lawn from the invasion.)

So now I've got to figure out which payment is for which car.  This normally wouldn't be a problem.  Just pull out the statement and check it out, right!  Oh, if only.  But no.  We bought two cars on that fateful day; two cars of the same make, model, and year.  So, I've got to track down the payment invoice, pull out the title (that has the matching bank name), and search for the teeny tiny color description, and THEN call to see what the payoff total is.  Ugh.  Which is why I haven't done it yet.

But I will.  This week for sure.

Because I saw Frank drive by our house again on Sunday and I have a feeling he's a persistent guy.  And an early* riser. 

*Early = before 11:00 a.m..  I mean, we're up and everything but we're still in cozy jammy mode.

And if he stops by early (like he did the last time), I don't want to have to make a mad dash to the bedroom to change out of my jammies and into real clothes...

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm a Winner! (But I still don't have the mad skillz of a photographer. Oh well.)

This is a long post but I find that I'm a pretty wordy poster.  Just ask my mom... she stood for about 5 minutes tonight listening to me tell a story that would have been about a minute long if I had just gotten to the point.  Which I never seem to be able to do.  This post is evidence to that fact.

So, remember this post?  Where I won some excellent gift cards?

Well, a few days ago I got an email from Chocomize for my custom chocolate bars (I can't wait to use this!) so I knew it wouldn't be long and was waiting in eager anticipation.  Because on Thursday I came home and found an envelope from Dumb Mom... my giftcards had arrived!  Along with this card...

This cute, creative card with a really nice note inside!  I was just thrilled to have won the contest... I didn't expect to get a card *thanking me* for reading her blog, and for entering the contest too!  And I know, from reading her blog, that these are her actual kids.  Which means that she probably took this picture herself.  And had it made into a card.  And, well, I was impressed.

Katie and Jake don't usually cooperate when I want to take a nice picture of them together like the one above, and my photog skills aren't very advanced so I can't even make them look like they are sitting nicely so this kind of snapshot will probably have to wait till they are older... or until Jake is old enough to bribe (even if Katie is in a diva mood and doesn't want to be photographed, she will usually cooperate if I promise her a few extra minutes of extra play time before bed... or a marshmallow).

But I do have these pics... (and when Katie is older, like say in her teens, I'm sure it will be fun for me to pull them out and reminisce about these younger years... and wish for them back.)

Katie was playing with cans.  Please don't ask me why.  I don't know.  I unloaded groceries and they were on the table... and then they were hers.
 Katie was playing with these and wanted me to play with her, so I did.  Although let me tell you... it's tough to play when your "person" is a can of soup.  So the name I chose for my can of soup was... wait for it... it's so out there you won't believe it... Soupy!

And when Katie asked what the cans second name was (because don't cans have two names?), I picked Cassandra*.  Katie liked the name so much, she started to use it too and her can was dubbed Cassandra Soupy.

This is kind of my "go to" name.  In my stories, if Katie doesn't want the character to have the name Katie, I use Cassandra.

Oh, and yes, she's wearing her Halloween princess costume.  And crown.  And probably her "tall shoes" too.

Jake loves to climb on Katie's bed.  He climbs up onto the foot board, then onto the bed, then he slides off and does it again.  And again... and again (sorry, couldn't resist).  
 This is how *my* pics turn out... a gifted photographer I am not.

Jake gives hugs.  First he hugs, then he hangs on to you while he goes limp.  Katie usually ends up falling down. Yep.  It's funny.

Got home from work one day and Katie came out to see me... wearing *my* "tall shoes".  I wore these to work one day last week and wore flip-flops home... and Katie grilled me on the where-abouts of my tall shoes.  I have to hide my shoes from my 4-year-old.

Jake likes to color.

He likes to color and I like triangle shaped crayons.  They don't roll onto the floor and under the table.  Whew!  (There's still no special crayon that won't color on the floor though.  Wish they would get going on inventing that one.)

Grammy was watching a video on my phone.  The kids were sitting with her so sweetly.

Till I took the phone so I could get a picture.

More coloring.  Notice the location of all of the crayons?

Yep.  Katie still has a problem with that one word... the really tough one to pronounce.  Oh, yeah.  SHARING.
She also told me to stop taking pictures... she was too busy working.

Jake.  Just watching TV.  Oh, and John's legs.

Me and Katie stopped at this house on our walk the other day.  I love these flowers.  But not enough to grow them in my yard.  Although with the big hit that was the summer garden, maybe I'm ready for these next year.

THIS is another example of what happens when I try to get them to sit still for a picture.
Oh, Katie got dressed in a purple and yellow flowered shirt and matching purple pants.  This was a complete outfit.  But she must have thought it needed a little extra... something... because she decided to add this denim dress and her yellow "tall shoes".  She's already got her own style and it's looking better than her mommy's.  Sad but true.
Awww.  Another hug!
Katie is giving Daisy a kiss goodnight.  Daisy is a electric keyboard nestled lovingly on the pillow and snuggled under Katie's princess blanket.  Jake is the blur in the foreground.
Reading with Jake.

Katie doing "exercises"... that's why her arms are blurry.  She was moving them around.

Jake really likes to read.  He'll come over with a book and you better take it because he's going to either drop it on your lap or wave it around near your face just before he climbs up for a story.  And setting it aside while he gets comfortable is better than getting tapped in the face with the edge of a book while he settles himself.  Voice of experience here.

That's all for now.  I'm going to call it a day.  And it's been a pretty good day...  No one got time out, no one got hurt (although Jake did get his leg stuck between the wall and the top rail of Katie's headboard... and I can not figure out what he was doing to get stuck that way) everyone liked the dinner I made, and both kids were asleep by 9:30.  In my book, that's a pretty good day.

I'm posting this later in the week and today was still a good day (even if it wasn't the good day I posted about above).  No one got time out, John made steaks for dinner (and cleaned up), Katie and Jake played outside a bit before bed (and Jake only got a little hurt after falling off of the scooter John was pushing him around on), and I did my workout early.  

We had a good evening after "Mean Mommy" put in an appearance to put away toys (and when I put them away, they go away for awhile, usually after I ask someone to pick them up a few times and get no response) but once Katie was reminded that she didn't do it when asked, she got over it.  It didn't hurt that we started scavenging in the kitchen and spotted cucumber slices on our salads just begging to be eaten!  

Katie had fun playing with grandpa and grandma for awhile tonight and I was glad it worked out since our schedules are pretty opposite all week and she thinks her grandma and grandpa are extra fun.  

This week we've got two play-dates at Donavan's (one is during a Pampered Chef party and I'm hoping the kids behave themselves!), Jake has a well-check appointment, and it's Katie's last week of summer pre-school and they're fitting in two field trips instead of one.  Busy busy busy.

Oh, and Jake apparently does know the word "mama" but chooses not to use it but tonight he was a little tired and as I picked him up to put him to bed, he clung to me and put his head on my shoulder and said "mama" and no one heard it but me... let me tell you, it was the sweetest moment of my evening.  I'll have to try coaxing it out of him more often... maybe Costco sells marshmallows in bulk?  I had better check because as bribes* for Katie and Jake, I might be needing more.

*Okay, so the kids don't get marshmallows that often.  They're mostly for me and have replaced chocolate chips as my "food drug of choice".