Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Like Mother, Like Daughter (or "At least she wasn't in Mexico")

A long time ago, almost in the dark ages, I was a kid.  And way back when I was a kid, about 15 years old, I got to go on a missions trip to Mexico.

(The people I met there were wonderful and I still remember the names of the two girls I hung out with... Donya and Cynthia.)

It was an awesome trip and on our last day we had clothing distribution planned.  A friend and I got thirsty and decided to walk down the street to a little cart to buy a bottle of coke.  We had to stay there to drink it so we could return the bottle and it was a nice day so we weren't in a rush.

When we were done, we wandered back to where the semi truck, tables, clothing, bus, and our entire group of people had been... You know, before they PACKED UP AND LEFT US.

Yes, it's true.  And I was worried for about 15 seconds (okay, maybe a little longer than 15 seconds... after all, we had a tight schedule.  We were finishing our clothing distribution then piling into the bus to head home... like, back to the states) but pretty quickly after we realized that the huge semi truck carrying all of the clothing we were giving away that day was gone and we didn't know where we were or what to do, well, at about that time some girls we had seen playing outside earlier invited us to their house for sodas and a meal.

Oh, and to braid hair.

And since we didn't want to sit out on the street waiting... waiting for someone to realize we weren't there, get back in the bus, come back to the little town we were in, and find us hungry, thirsty, and with un-coiffed hair, we decided sodas, food, and hair braiding was a pretty good idea.

We were having a great time sitting and talking (luckily the girl I was with knew some Spanish so we weren't totally out of it) when we saw a man running past the window at full speed.  It was our youth pastor.  He was in a big hurry.  He was pretty worried about finding us.  And while he was happy to to see us safe and sound...

He wasn't impressed with our braids.

But we reunited with our group and made it home.  Whew, right?

Well, Grandpa picked Katie up from school today and learned that "a kid" (Katie's words) got time-out for not telling the teacher that "a kid" was leaving the classroom with a friend.

After a little discussion with Katie's teacher, Grandpa found out that my daughter was the "a kid" who had gotten time-out and she got to share her time out with her partner-in-crime friend.

Because apparently, the girls decided to take a walk.  Without telling the teacher.  Which caused just a little panic.

Katie said they went out to the lockers in the hallway.  I asked her why she didn't ask her teacher if she could go outside and Katie said, "Because teacher could have said no... or yes."

So we had a little talk about the dangers of wandering off.  Our talk *might* have included a tiny comment about strangers stealing her away.

But she went to sleep just fine.

And she woke up about20 minutes later (10 minutes into my 20 minute workout video) because she had a bad dream.  A dream that two strangers were holding her hands and the were going to take her to their planet.  Poor kid.  Daddy got her water and sat with her while I finished gasping for air the last 10 minutes of my 30 Day Shred workout.

I got her calmed down by singing Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children, and Oh How I Love Jesus.  (I've sung these to her since her baby days and it's really calming but when I try to sing to Jake, he get's mad.  Unless I sing "Fall Into Me" by Sugarland.  That song he likes.  Sometimes.)

Katie has always been inquisitive (Ugh.  Google has come to the rescue more times with her questions than at any other time in my life).  She asked me "Mommy, do dreams ever come true?"  And I didn't know how to respond so I told her that if she has a dream about being a wonderful person, or learning how to read, or learning to draw well, that those dreams can come true by practicing to read, write, and be kind.

Then she asked me, "Mommy?  If I have a dream about being a princess?  Will that dream come true?"

And I told her that there were real princesses so I guess it could.  (Yes.  Total diversionary tactic.)  And her eyes got big and she said, "There are real princesses?"  And now we're going to Google "princess" tomorrow after school.

Maybe I should pre-Google, just in case something... unwanted... comes up.

Okay.  Google to the rescue again.  I think we're safe.  It was harder than I thought to get to real princesses (till I googled "princesses real." duh).  I think this will be our "go to" link.

And now I'm off to bed.  Grandma is getting Katie to school tomorrow because I'm starting work early so hopefully she'll remember the drop off routine...

What?! I won an awesome prize? Well, I don't usually buy lottery tickets... maybe now would be the time to start?

Do you ever see a drawing or contest and think, "Wow, it would be so awesome to win THAT!!!"?

Well, me too.  And I'll usually enter the drawing for a car, or a grill, or a soda can cozy and never hear another word.

But the other day I entered a contest on Parenting by Dummies (a very funny blog that I read pretty faithfully) and actually WON.

That doesn't happen to me every day so I was pretty shocked.  And I'll bet it was my witty comment or scintillating personality that really turned the tide in my direction...

Or maybe it was a random number generator.

But whatev.  I'm still a winner, even if my wit didn't play a part.

So a big, HUGE Thanks goes out to Dumb Mom.  Thanks for "upping the awesome" in my day!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dinner How-To's for Lazy Mommies - Easy Chicken Bake

So I have an awesome recipe for Easy Chicken Bake that I modified from one my Grandma served one night.

You might wonder why I modified the recipe if grandma's was so good.  Well, my grandma is a wonderful hostess and cook, as a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever had a bad meal at her house.  And she always thinks of the whole meal, not just the main course (for example, my grandma thinks of dessert *before* guests arrive) AND everything is served hot, not warm from setting out on the counter for 20 minutes while the buns bake.  Basically, she figures out the big picture and then makes it happen.

I think about dinner while on my way home from work.  I've been getting better and trying to plan ahead, but some days I'm way too tired so we end up with something thrown together.

So I modified grandma's recipe... and cut it down to 4 ingredients.  Chicken breast, a can of Cream of Celery soup, a box of Stovetop, and some water to mush it all together.  (It tastes better than it sounds here.)

If you want to try it...

Cut up the chicken into pieces, however big you want, and dump them into a baking pan/dish.
Dump the Stovetop onto the chicken pieces.
Dump the soup onto the chicken pieces and the Stovetop stuffing.
Now mix it up with a soup can of water.

Bake it in the over till it's cooked through.  I usually worry about germs so ours might go in for an hour at 350 to start, but I'll check it and put it in longer just to be sure.

This is a hit!  Everyone (including John) likes this one.

And it fits my criteria:  I can put it together in about 10 minutes with one kid wrapped around my leg and the other kid interrupting my train of thought with a question a second.

And by luck (or poor planning... whatever) I realized there's an EASIER way to do this meal.

I know.  Shocking, right?

But true.  And all you need is cream of celery soup, a can of chicken, a can of biscuits, and water.

Get the biscuits into the oven to bake first.  Then, mix the can of cream of celery soup and most of the can of chicken (I wasn't sure it was going to work the first time I did it and that was our last can of chicken so I was leaving my options open by setting some aside, the second and third time I made this, I set some aside to add to the finished dish because it improved on the appearance) into a bowl.  Next, add enough water so it's more creamy, less "soupy", and microwave till hot.  To serve, open a biscuit and pour the soup over it.  And if you want to get really fancy, add a slice of jellied cranberries on top.
Now, it's not as good as the original Easy Chicken Bake but everyone liked it so it's been added to our emergency meal list.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Katie's Making FRIENDS!

I picked Katie up from school on Thursday and found her outside playing with a little boy named Ben.

On Tuesday afternoon pickup, when we were washing up in the sink before heading home, a little girl named Nora followed us over and stood nearby while Katie washed her hands.

I tried to play it cool... I didn't squeel or oooh or ahhh over these kids or anything lame like that, but I will admit that inside I was doing a little dance. 

My Katie has friends!

Not that she hasn't friends before (she's got an adorably sweet cousin and a boy friend we set up play dates with every so often)... but it seemed like she talked about her invisible friends more than her *real* friends.  So this was so exciting for her mommy to see.

She's still doing well in school and every morning at drop off we have our goodbye routine.  (There's no "mixin' it up" when it comes to the goodbye routine.  Just ask Katie.)  The goodbye routine goes like this: I walk down the stairs to the cafeteria and wait on the landing (if I'm off by a step, she tells me so that I can fix it).  Katie gets to the bottom step and I give her a huge hug.  By then, her teacher is there to greet her and off she goes, without a backward glance.

I'm really happy that she starts her school day so happily.  It would be terrible if she started to get upset because I was leaving her for the day... and she would miss me so horribly while I was gone... and nothing at her school, no friends, no fun, would help her to ease the pain of not having me near her.  Yep.  That would be terrible.  So it's good that she doesn't miss me at all and doesn't even say "good bye" when she walks away with her teacher. 

Yep, it's good that she couldn't care less that her mommy cries a silent tear every morning loves school so much that I don't have to worry about leaving her.

She's probably too busy thinking of her fun-filled, action-packed day ahead. 

There have been a lot of fun-filled, action-packed days over the past month and a half.  She's gone to a cave (and panned for gems), the theater, the Falls, Underwater Adventures, a wave pool, and played in a "wet n wild" park event with fire hoses and pools.  She's learning about gardening and taking a dance class (and next month she starts her class learning about dogs).  She's made new friends (!!!).  Whew.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

And we were going to get her from school early tomorrow so we could make a family trip to the Farmer's Market (Thursday) but decided that since we didn't have the strollers (grandma and grandpa brought them to the lake in anticipation of our fun weekend... which we didn't have) and we're all getting over some icky sickness, we would go next week. 

Maybe that will give me time to look for a kid leash for Jacob.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bad Storms

I took Katie to Target tonight to buy her lunch bag for school (I've got to pack her lunch starting Tuesday unless we want to pay $3.25 PER DAY (!!!!) to buy her lunch, which I so don't want to do... pay that is.) and after we found the perfect bag and picked out a cute ladybug ice pack, we spent a lot of time in the shoe section trying on heels (or tall shoes as Katie calls them).

We also had to buy band-aids.  Katie had a pack of 10 and somehow 6 of them managed to become attached to her arms and legs.  Now 4 of the 6 are attached to the floor and couch.  Surprisingly, there were no visible injuries after the removal of the band-aids.  So anyway, now she's got Dora band-aids and there are 26 in that pack and if I hide it really well, maybe we won't run out in the next 2 days.

And on the way out of the Target parking lot, Katie said "Mommy, I really miss Target" with a wistful tone.  All I could think was that I do too...

Then I heard the *tornado* sirens.  And we kind of hurried home because *tornado* sirens aren't a good thing.

I saw a bunch of people on the street watching the storm and staring at the sky in the area right near our house and as I got closer, the lightening got worse.  Then it was drizzling but nothing too bad, just not great.

We got home and into the house and John didn't think the storm was serious enough for us to go downstairs (big relief since Jake was sleeping) so I was putting clothes away in the bedroom when he told me that we should go down.  Like NOW.

So I took the kids, the diaper stuff, and my phone (you know, the important stuff...) and we headed downstairs.

By the time we got settled and turned on the news Katie was getting worried.  She was nervous about the "bad storm" going on and she kept asking if her toys would be okay upstairs and if our house would be okay upstairs.  It was pretty much the topic for the 40 minutes we were down there.  I read a book, stopped Jake from getting into the TV hutch, reassured Katie, stopped Jake from standing on one of the chairs, reassured Katie, asked John to bring down Lambie... and Big Bear (the only huge, child-sized bear we have and Katie worriedly asks "Do you think daddy knows who big bear is?"), cuddled Katie, folded a load of towels, changed Jake's diaper, reassured Katie, called Grandma and Grandpa to say hi, and finally, packed everything back up to bring upstairs once John gave the all clear.

Katie was still worried and she insisted we watch the news.  I tried to change the channel but she kept asking "Where is the news?" so I didn't try again till the storm had really calmed down.  That meant she heard the words "tornado, hail, trees down, tornado, tornado, tornado!" and I didn't think she understood all of this stuff but I think the weatherman repeating everything 500 times might have helped the phrases stick.  She didn't want me to change the channel downstairs either.

Now she's sitting next to me because she's scared to go to bed by herself.  Tonight I'll give her a break.  I've been making her go to bed at 8:30 or so but tonight she's had a bit of a scare and it's nice to sit here snuggled up with her.

She just said "I love you mama."  Awww.

Now she's asked "Can I lean on you?" and I said of "Of course" (because she's not really into cuddling with mommy much anymore, she's too busy keeping toys away from Jacob).

I'm really surprised she didn't also ask me for a popsicle.  She's been loving those today and has eaten many more than one kid should eat.  But her throat is sore and it makes her feel better so I've been letting it go.

Now the kids are in bed and I'm getting sleepy.  We've had a busy evening and it's hopefully going to be much MUCH calmer tomorrow!

Disappointment Served With a Side of Snot

Soooo, why am I disappointed?

This weekend I was supposed to go to the lake with the kids.  It's the town celebration and I was looking forward to going to the craft fair and shopping and just having fun.  The kids are at an age where they're great to take to stuff like this (and once I find one of those kid leashes, Jake's wandering ways will worry me less) and I don't know if I have more fun at the event or just watching as they experience the event!  

Probably watching them.

But Friday afternoon at work I got a voice mail from John saying that the kids were sick.  I asked how they were feeling and he said that Katie actually *admitted* that she wasn't feeling good.  This is not normal for her.  Usually she'll exclaim over and over that "I not sick!" while her nose is all stuffy and her voice sounds scratchy.  "She's got a runny nose and she's hot," he told me.  He also said that he felt her forehead to see if she was warm and Katie told him that it wasn't her head that was hot, it was her neck.  

So I decided to wait till I got home so I could see for myself how they were doing.  After a quick stop at Target for popsicles and bread.  And, well, Target also happens to have other stuff that magically ended up in my cart!  Totally necessary stuff like the 30-Day Shred video (so mine could go back to the library before fines bankrupt us), a bottle of shower gel (I had a coupon), grapes, apples, steak, potato (yum, yum, yum, and yum) and I think that's it.  Oh, and the popsicles and bread I had gone in for.

I got home and saw the kids and decided we would not be going up north to spend lots of time outside in the extra hot heat.  Runny/stuffy noses, glazed eyes, irritability.  All things that would make this weekend less than fun.  Also?  When I told her to get her jammies, she picked out winter jammies because she was cold.  Meanwhile, I'm sitting there sweating from the heat.  So, yep. Sick.  That ruled out the lake.  And the fun we were going to have.

Not that we aren't having an awesome time here.  At home.  We already ate breakfast, picked up toys, and the kids are having a nap (I know... what!?!?  Katie NEVER naps.  I guess getting up at 5 a.m. can be a little tiring.  I wouldn't know.  I bribed her with her shows and unlimited popsicles for a couple of hours more sleep for mommy.  And it worked.  I love 4 years old).

So, I hear Jake talking to himself in his crib now.  Strange... he's yelling "Ow, ow, ow" so I better get him.  I think it's time to wake Katie up too... we've got to keep up this 8:30 p.m. bedtime I've been enforcing!


On another note... I just realized that my dryer sheets come in packs of 276.  I've got three packs.  I could do a load of laundry a day and not need to buy dryer sheets for 2 years.  I don't know how I ended up with so many...  

Oh wait.  I remember now.

Costco.  The same place that sells enough chocolate chips in a bag to make 500 cookies.

Thanks Costco.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Katie Goes From 4 (year old) to 12 (year old) in Six Seconds. And back again.

Katie and I went to Target today.

On the way there, she was using the French pronunciation n: Tar-jjjjay (and if this is an indication of her language skills, it looks like someone is halfway to a translator if I, um, I mean if someone ever goes to France) and it was adorable.

We did some shopping and spent about 10 minutes converting the convertible sofa* they had sitting on an end-cap.

*As an aside, it was really cool.  I wish I had $179 (plus tax) sitting around gathering dust because I would have taken one home.  Even though we have no place to put it.  And it wouldn't go with our living room.  And it would probably break with the strain of two active kids climbing all over it.  *sigh*


As we walked by the girl clothes section, Katie turned and wandered in.  It was like her eyes were suddenly seeing the multitude of options out there where before there were only three; shorts, dress, pants.  No exciting patterns, no new fabrics, just the same three clothing options in many shades of pink and purple filling her closet.

For so long, her usual outfit has consisted of knit pants, long sleeve knit shirt during the colder months and sundresses and knit shorts in the cooler months.  Today, she explored the world of options.

I did not like it.

But she was glowing with big girl pride.

She wanted to try on sandals, pink pants (and not in a knit fabric!), a cute patterned jacket, two sundresses with cap sleeves, and two sundresses that were more like what mommy she was used to.  And - this is the cutest thing - every time she tried something new on, she did a "happy dance" to celebrate how cute she looked.  And she did look cute in every.single.thing.

Like this ensemble:

Which made what I had to do especially hard.

I had to limit her purchases.  I had to tell my sweet daughter that, even though she looks adorable in every single one of the outfits she tried on, we could not purchase all of them.  It was tough but she's grown up hearing "We didn't budget for that this time" so in the hopes that it wouldn't fail me now, I pulled it out and fired away.

As I spoke the words, I closed my eyes a little expecting a full blown tantrum (she's never actually shopped for her own clothes before so I was thinking she might get attached to everything and have a really tough time with the reality of having to leave some stuff behind because "we didn't budget for it this time") but she absolutely surprised me with her maturity.

There were no tears, no shouts, no "mean mommy" name calling.  Just acceptance.

What a relief.

I was having a little bit of a tough time accepting that she's grown into her own person... until 3 outfits into her trying on session, she looks at me and says "Mommy, I have to go potty."  And I said "Are you sure?  You just went less than an hour ago and you haven't even had anything to drink..."  But she did.  And like, right now.  So I whipped off the Target outfit and threw on her dress and shorts and shoes, dumped everything into the cart, and told the attendant we would be back as we rushed down the aisle.  Made it just in time.  *Whew!*

Katie finally finished going potty (after we had a conversation like the mom and daughter I overheard talking in the Famous Dave's bathroom here) and we were ready to leave the happiest place on earth Target.

I bought her a Snickers bar at the checkout (she usually asks for something so we treated ourselves - I made her share with me) and paid for the pink shorts, two dresses, and a few things from the dollar section (they had a 75% discount on all of the "black dots" and I think I spent about $3 from that section but I couldn't resist the lure of a good deal on stuff I didn't realize was missing from my life till I saw it there at 75% off) and headed to the grocery store.  We were just about to turn onto the street in front of the store when Katie AGAIN told me she had to go potty.  Arg.  And again I asked her "Are you sure you have to go potty again?  You just went!" but she was sure.  So we visited their bathroom too.  Not as nice as the ones at Target but hey, what do you expect.

Then we got our ice cream and headed home to John and Jacob.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

John and I Get Out of the House... and a little Bathroom Humor

If you'll remember, a few weeks back I posted about my date with John to Feed My Starving Children.

Well, tonight we went to Famous Dave's for dinner.  Mom watched the kids so it was actually a date-date.

We were catapulted back to our single days (except for the coupon I had for our dinner thanks to "liking" Famous Dave's on Facebook, because pre-kid a coupon was never something we considered... now with Katie in pre-school it's a little more important to save where we can) and enjoyed talking without having to refill a juice glass or pick something up off of the floor or help with a potty break mid-meal.

I did crack up a little when I went to the ladies room.  There was a mom with her daughter in one of the stalls and I could have recited the lines with her, I use them so often with Katie!

Mom: Are you done?
Kid: No.  Not yet.
Mom, after a slight pause: Are you done yet?
Kid: No... almost done.
Mom, after another pause (and me silently laughing to myself in the stall): Are you finished honey?  Are you going anymore?
Kid: Yes, all done.
Mom: *heavy exhale*
Kid: Wait, not done yet.
Mom: *sigh*

This is totally how every potty break with Katie seems to go!  It was hilarious to be on the outside of the conversation and I felt a certain... kinship with the woman.  Especially after they came to the sinks and the mom hoisted the kid up, her little legs flailing about behind mom and little soapy hands reaching to the sink.  (You know, the classic airplane pose.)  Unfortunately the sink, one of the automatic ones, refused to go on.  And the mom seemed to be about ready to start laughing (not the ha ha laugh but the laugh that I've laughed many times before when the situation just seems too ridiculous for words and if you don't laugh you're going to start to cry big "poor me" tears) hysterically.  I could just imagine me and Katie in this same situation.  Soapy hands, kid in place, the end of the bathroom visit in sight... and the sink won't work.  So I hurried up so they could use my sink and I chuckled all the way to my table.

Ahhh, good times.

Anyway... For some strange reason, the minute I walk into Famous Dave's I begin to think that it's perfectly logical, nay, necessary to order a whole half a cow for dinner (along with the cornbread muffin, corn on the cob section, cinnamon apples, and fries... yep.  AND fries).  When the food comes I'm always a little bit in awe of the size of the thing.  John and I usually share but today... today we had a COUPON!

So I did what any sane person would do.  I ordered the half slab of ribs.  Justified by telling myself that I can bring leftovers home with me.  Still thinking that I would totally scarf this meal down because I hadn't eaten much that day and I was soooo due for a good meal.  And did I say I had a coupon?  That just makes the meal (well, any purchase really) that much better.

The food was great.  Our time together was great.  The silence in the car was awesome... but it was still good to get home and see the kids.  The kids who had a great time with Grandma.

Probably just as much fun with her as they did with me yesterday when we... organized toys.

Yep.  You heard me right.

I know they are probably going to end up all over the house again soon, but for now they're in order and not underfoot.  While we were organizing, I sat down in front of the bins we bought for Katie but left in Jake's room once she moved into her own room.  (After all, the pink, green, and blue bins match Jake's hand-me-down pink room.  With the pink curtains.  And the flower decals on the wall.  And the pink Hello Kitty lamp. *ahem*  The only concession we made with the change in ownership was to move the butterflies out and put them up in Katie's room.  We've got to paint that soon... I'm thinking blue would be a great color.)

As soon as I sat down, Jake came over to me and sat down just in front of me.  Close enought that I couldn't move my legs.  Then Katie came over and sat down on my legs.  Not conducive for cleaning.  But we still made progress (and when I say "made progress" I mean that I actually found a place for 90% of the stuff.  The rest of it we just shoved into two of the bins but it's still progress).

Then it was bedtime.  Thank goodness.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Love, Mommy

Hi Jakey.

What a big boy you've grown up to be.  You're 17 months old now and climbing on everything like crazy!

Luckily you seem to have forgotten your favorite form of exercise (climbing to the top of the couch and banging your hands on the mirror hanging above the couch).  Whew!  Mommy was worried she had given birth to a little monkey instead of a sweet baby boy!

And you're sleeping so well these days too!  To bed by 9 and awake by 8:30.  It's awesome.  One of the biggest challenges to motherhood (lack of sleep) has been *lowering voice to a whisper* conquered!

You do have your moments though.  When you are not happy with the injustice of bedtime, or not being allowed to touch mommy's phone (we're working on trust issues after Jake used my last cell phone as a chew toy), your tough boy side comes out, but we don't see this side of you often.  It's good to see some other faces from you every once in awhile, as long as you return to your usual, smiling self eventually!

Jake, I love to watch you explore and learn about the things around you.  You're so ready to laugh or ready to smile or ready to run to me for a hug.  I just think you're the sweetest baby boy in the whole world.  The other day when you were bouncing on mommy's tummy, I got the biggest kick out of your laughter.  It was contagious!  And even though your bouncing was a little uncomfortable for mommy, I encouraged you to keep bouncing so I could hear you laugh.

You're so sweet and I'm so grateful for your big personality.  There's nothing I would change... um... but, well...

There is one teeney-tiny thing I would like you to do for mommy... or, not do as it happens.

When mommy picks you up to take you to your bed or just to carry you from point a to point b... would you mind *not* pinching mommy in the arm, or any other area?  It kind of hurts when you do it... and it especially hurts when you choose the *less* toned part of my arm to pinch.  Your sister never pinched when she was your age... she just tried to ruin our eardrums with her shrill cries.  Could you give that a try one of these times?  *sigh*

Also, going limp like a noodle is another one of those "not helpful" things you seem to do when you're frustrated.  That's a little more preferable to the pinching, but still not very fun to work with.

That said, your still my favorite boy in the whole world and I still love you to pieces.

Love, Mommy

Oh, and please tell Katie that she'll be seeing her own letter soon enough.  Mommy has a few things I would like to tell her... not the least of these things is a big "I love you".  But there are some recent developments that we really need to discuss.

That's all sweet boy.  Carry on with whatever you were doing.  (Unless you happened to be playing with daddy's computer, or pulling all of my pots and pans out of the cupboard, or doing any of the other things you're doing in the pictures below.  Then stop what you were doing and go do something else.)

Daddy's computer is not a toy.

Yes, that's the fan remote.  And yes, it does turn on the lights.  And turn them off.  And on. And off... as many times as you push the button.

And the floor vent cover should stay on the floor...

And Mommy's pots are for cooking (just because I don't use them every night doesn't mean that I don't need to keep them tidy).

This is dangerous.  Please don't attempt this in the future because you could fall.

Do you remember Mommy telling you this?  And do you remember your response?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 3rd of July!

A day in pictures (with lots of words thrown in because I just can't help myself!)...

We left a little later than I expected... Jake slept till 8:30 and I woke up close to 9 listening to him talking in his crib.  So I woke up late.  We lost time from there.  I got ready, John loaded up, Jake had his bottle, I had to vacuume the living room (granola bars should not be eaten in the living room), then we finally got going.

We were trying to get to the lake in time for breakfast but that didn't work and we missed out on some biscuits and gravy.  And we left so late that we had to stop for gas and lunch.  I was resting my eyes and didn't see the exit John took, but once I heard him say "What is this", I looked and saw that he had taken the one exit (that I know about) where you have to drive for about 10 minutes to get to the town.

So we had a little detour.  Got gas and ate at 5 Guys.  It was really good!  There was also a little shop across the parking lot that John thought I would like, so he stayed with Jake while I went to look.  And he was right.  It was a cute purse boutique.  (I could have just said "store" but the prices were "boutiquey".)  And I wanted probably 90% of the stuff there.  I held firm and didn't buy a thing.  I may have drooled a little, but I kept my wallet safely inside my $10 Walmart purse.

We finally arrived at the lake, just in time for everyone to have lunch.  Katie was in her swimsuit from playing in the little pool.

She was sweet to share it with Jake.  Here's a pic of her with her hand over the sprinkler part of the pool.

Shortly after this picture Katie took her hand off of the sprinkler and it splashed in Jake's face.  But he didn't cry.  He didn't move either which was kind of funny, but at least it didn't upset him.

He liked the sprinkler too... he played in it while Katie was swimming in the lake.  Oh, and he had lots of fun throwing in rocks.  Daddy helped him clean them up and put them into the little watering can (the same one I couldn't find on Friday evening when I wanted to water my plants!  Mystery solved!)

Then it was time for Jake to investigate the fun time Katie was having in the lake... A quick look back and then full speed ahead!

Here's Daddy, Jake, Grandpa, and Katie in the lake...

Jake loved the water.  He settled into his little inner tube and hung on.

Here we are after a little clean up.

A quiet (for about 3 minutes) time for reading:

And finally...

Oh, and yes, I mean 3rd of July.  I didn't take many pics today (the 4th) but I'll post them sometime soon.  It's strange that yesterday felt more like a holiday than today did!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Another garden update so soon?

I had to show everyone that my garden is actually going to produce some produce... and I am so excited!

John usually waters for me in the afternoons so I've kind of been slacking letting the plants "breathe" in the evenings and since I'm not an "outside" person, I don't usually check on the progress beyond taking a quick phone pic to share here.  So, imagine my surprise when I looked - really looked - at these plants.

And I saw tiny little baby cucumbers!  I don't know what I expected them to look like.  I mean, I had never grown something like this before (and when I say "like this", I mean something that actually flourished) so this whole flower-equals-actual-food amazes me! 

And now, without further ado, here are pictures of the cucumber and pepper plants that yours truly planted...  and I threw in pics of some other stuff that John can take the credit for, since he planted them or something like that.

My cucumbers!

My peppers!  

I was getting worried about the growth, or lack of growth.  Looking at these now, well, I don't think I need to worry about them growing, I need to worry about them growing too much!

Just some pretty flowers around the yard.  (We didn't plant these... my mom did this some years ago, so I guess I can only take credit for keeping them alive by not doing anything with them.  No, really.  I've never touched these plants.  I don't remember them looking so pretty in past years though so maybe the veggie plants agree with them.)

I always catch my breath when I open the curtains in Katie's room and see these in the yard.

Just some pretty shrubs on the side of the deck.

Now back to John's stuff...

Pumpkin plants (John put in two of these back in May while I was sitting on the deck drinking my water and blogging about him planting our stuff.  Oh, and ranting about the SyFy channel not having anything on that is actually representative of SyFy.  That was annoying.):

I think I assumed that pumpkins produced one pumpkin per plant.  I'm starting to rethink that.  

Tomato plant (John planted 3 and they are all doing great):

Oh, here are the grapes that were already here... but a couple of years ago John put up a trellis for them that runs along the whole section of fencing.  It's nice because our kitchen window looks out into the back yard and right into the patio of the neighbor in back of us.  Who likes to sit on his patio.  A whole lot.  All summer. The grapes block the view *just enough* and they are also edible.  Bonus, and bonus!

I didn't take pictures of the strawberry plant or the watermelon plants.  They just weren't that exciting.  We don't think the watermelon will "take" (we planted it right next to the fence with our grapes and the grapes are growing really well so maybe they are sucking all of the nutrients from the soil.  Bummer.  I would rather have had a crop of watermelon than pumpkins) and the strawberry plant was looking good (green) but no flowers.

But I'm still having a great time with this whole gardening thing (or at least my pseudo-garden experience!).

I've decided that I'm going to get out there every day, every couple of days, whenever I have a free minute to check on progress and I'm so glad that I was inspired tonight while the kids were out with Grandma and Grandpa and the house was quiet. 

I moved the slide and pool onto the deck so John didn't have to (you're welcome hon!), then I weeded a little (okay, a lot) and watered my plants all the while enjoying the sun and beautiful weather.  

What a nice evening.

Then the kids came home tired out from dinner, shopping, and the park and the rest of the evening was full of bath time, jammies, playing, and finally peace and quiet.  Now I'm tired.

And on that note, I'm off to bed.


Before I go, I have to ask...


Does anyone want a couple (pounds) of tomatoes/peppers/cucumbers?  I have this funny feeling that we might be a little overstocked come July...