What the Wednesday

Did anyone else go about their entire day yesterday in complete ignorance that it was Wednesday?

Good heavens! Even the name of my blog post yesterday was "Ten Things Tuesday".

And not a single soul mentioned my little blunder. Either that makes you all very kind...Or that means no one is reading this stuff anyway.

So...It is Thursday then today, right? Does it happen to be Thursday where you live too?

Not that I have anything brilliant to say whether it is Wednesday or Thursday.

Today I think I am going to try to pull Fun Mommy out of the closet and give her a chance to show off her stuff as we attempt a few Halloween crafts, carving pumpkins, and baking sugar cookies. When wet paint, pumpkin goo, powdered sugar, and three little ones are involved Fun Mommy often gets roughly elbowed aside by Zero Patience Mommy. Let us hope Fun Mommy has the chops to take on a Wednesday Thursday like today.

What's your THURSDAY looking like?


Ten Things Tuesday

Because a list-making girl like me just couldn't resist.

1. Thank you so much to iamwoman at the Rowdy Stroudy's for the lavender parcel! My car never smelled better!

2. I don't miss Arizona. Not one little bit. I especially didn't miss it as I saw the big fluffy flakes of snow descending yesterday. But I forget Arizona was "home" to my children for two plus years. And when you're only four, that's half your life! They are rather confused about this cold weather business when to me it feels so familiar and soothing to the soul. Dee keeps asking me what the "dust" (frost) on our car is each morning as we go to school. Jeigh dashed out the front door yesterday to catch a snowflake. She made sure to grab her coat, but stopped short when her bare feet made contact with the icy cold. Poor little Arizona-born-and-raised Elle sees this new weather as uninvited and hostile. She shuffles around wrapped up tight in her thick winter coat like a little old lady. Her facial expression is a hilarious mixture of disgust and disbelief. I imagine her blood will thicken up soon enough.

3. Joe has four whole days in a row off this week! I can't wait to have a husband again! This one day off here, one day off there business is for the birds. And what perfect timing for a four day off stretch: Halloween! Now to wrangle him into helping me organize our storage unit...

4. Parent Teacher Conferences are this week. Jeigh's was on Monday and Dee's was today. I wonder...Do the teachers just tell all the parents the same thing?

5. Potty training is going great. If by "great" you mean Elle won't ever tell you when she has to go potty and still has a daily number two accident in her underwear and had one serious number two accident in the middle of Walmart yesterday resulting in her underwear, pants, and socks all being discarded in the public restroom followed by a hasty and red-faced bare-bottom-wrapped-in-sister's-jacket exit out of the store....then yep, it's going great.

6. I have wracked my brain all month trying to figure out what the heck I can do to blow the competition out of the apple-bobbin'-filled water for Sami's Symfully Sweet Saturday candy corn competition. The best I have done is kept my candy jar consistently stocked with a never ending supply of candy corn. I had my gestational diabetes blood test yesterday. Think I'll pass? I have my doubts. But, you should head over to Sami's blog and enter your coolest candy corn creations in her contest! Tell her Evelyn the Candy Corn Comatose Victim sent you.

7. We discovered this last week that Jeigh is terrified of vomit. Dee had a nasty allergy and asthma cough that caused him to almost throw up several times. Anytime he coughed she would absolutely fall apart with hysteria, shaking and crying.

8. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is only about 200 pages, but it is taking me FOR-EV-ER to get through it. I have already re-checked it out from the library once and it is currently late, but I WILL FINISH IT!

So far my favorite line is: (in regards to the death of a close loved one) "These are the reflections of the first days; but when the lapse of time prove the reality of the evil, then the actual bitterness of grief commences. Yet from whom has not that rude hand rent away some dear connection? And why should I describe a sorrow which all have felt, and must feel? The time at length arrives when grief is rather an indulgence than a necessity and the smile that plays upon the lips, although it may be deemed a sacrilege, is not banished."

And: (speaking of becoming obsessed with a pursuit or activity) "A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility. I do not think that the pursuit of knowledge is an exception to this rule. If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken you affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind."

9. I am craving caramel apples, but am too lazy to make a big mess of my kitchen to make one or two...dozen.

10. Is it too early to listen to Christmas music? What am I saying?! It's never too early for Christmas music!


"Tis a gift to be simple..."

...'tis a gift to be free." (Shaker song lyrics)

(Image from Google Images)

Our internet service has been down and out for the past three days. At first I was rather put out by its absence.

How am I supposed to get my writing work done? How do I keep an ever-watchful eye on my dwindling bank account? How do I stay up-to-date on all my favorite blogs and videos and gossip and news?

What caught me very much by surprise was all the free time I suddenly had. And how simple and focused and productive I became.

I transformed my scary hole of an office into a crafting and food storage sanctuary.
I took my girls on a long trip to the library.
I stayed triumphantly on top of my housework.
I baked cookies.
I planned out a few projects.
I shut off my auto-pilot mommy and focused in visually and mentally on my children's faces instead of the computer screen.

I laid on my bed for an entire hour with nothing to do but stare out the window and think. I can't remember how long it has been since I have done that. It was absolutely refreshing.

What surprised me even more was how much more calm and at peace and satisfied I felt.

Sadly, the internet service started working again today.

As soon as I realized it was on again, a cold and clutching and claustrophobic sense of chaos and panic and much-too-much took grip.

As convenient and wonderful as the internet and technology can be...I think I would just like to shut down my laptop, hide it away in a deep dark closet, and pretend it doesn't exist for a little while longer.

Life is so much simpler and more satisfying without having the world at your fingertips every waking second.

Besides, it is snowing today. Big fluffy snowflakes of pure cold deliciousness. That is something my little family hasn't seen from the warmth of their own home in two long years of Arizona living.

I think today I am much too busy to go surfing or browsing or networking.

I have my hands full with gazing out my window at the winter wonderland that is falling into place while sipping on hot chocolate and talking AND listening to my children.

And that makes me very very happy.


The Name Game

Today Jeigh asked me if we could name the baby "Hiccup".

I like it.

Any other suggestions if the baby comes out not looking so much like a "Hiccup"?

Before you so willingly offer up your best baby names, here are the stipulations:

1. We need a name of the female persuasion as we are fairly certain she will appreciate not being named something like "Gordon" or "Hogan" when she starts high school.

2. A name that fits in with her siblings would be most...fitting. In case you were wondering "Dee", "Jeigh", and "Elle", and even "Joe" are simply code names I use to stave off perverts and weirdos. For the sake of finding the perfect name for number four, I am going to hope those kinds of people aren't reading this today and reveal my children's true names.

"Dee" is Deacon
"Jeigh" is Eliza Jane
"Elle" is Lydia

See how my code names are a phonetic play on their initials? I know, I know. My cleverness astounds even me.

So, we have good, old-fashioned, religious, southern, pioneer stock like names around these parts. And we'd like to keep it that way.

3. I am not fond of popular names. I want to avoid my child becoming Emma P. so as not to be confused with Emma T. The farther down the list of the Top 100 Most Popular names it is, the better. On the other hand, I am not fond of "weird", far-out names either. Picky, picky. But I am sure there is a nice middle ground around there somewhere.

4. This baby will have two older sisters whose names end in "a". It could be fun to stick with that, but certainly not necessary. Those two sisters also both have "l" sounds at the beginning of their names as we often call Eliza, "Liza". These similar name sounds make for lots of tongue-twisting trouble when we start calling for our children.

Bottom line: Names ending in "a" = good. Names starting with "l" sounds = not good.

5. Before we settle on anything, you can count on me looking up the name meaning. I have a thing for name meanings. I love knowing that my name means "the mother of all living". Fancy, no? My husband kind of got the bum-end of the deal where his name means "hills of clay". Poor guy. But don't feel too bad for him; he doesn't seem to lose any sleep over it.

So, there are my stipulations for our baby girl's name. Think I am making this far too complicated?

Maybe we should just go with "Hiccup".


hint hint

I deactivated my Face book account today.

The code words I needed to type in to confirm deactivation were:

enticing place

Ironic much?


The Little Mother That Could

All morning I have been struggling to come up with anything to post here today. I finally conceded that it would be a no blog post kind of day. No big deal. I just didn't have the energy or mentality to think of anything creative or original or productive or humorous. Not because of a bad mood...just a too-tired mood.

I picked up Jeigh from preschool and before we left, my girls each checked out a book from the preschool library (basically a book shelf crammed with old discarded books). When I saw the book that Elle had picked, my heart cheered a bit.

The book was obviously aged and I loved that it was. This was a book my mother read to me when I was little. I remembered the pictures and the words so vividly as it was one she read to us often. It had been burned into my memories. I had just forgotten it had been stashed away in my memory until I saw the book in my two-year-old's hands.

We left the school and needing to be busy for the forty minutes in between pick up time for Jeigh and pick up time for Dee, we drove to a convenience store. With the way I had been feeling all morning, I felt the need for a little liquid courage to get through the rest of the day. Liquid courage meaning a tall, cold, fountain Dr. Pepper.

We drove back to the school and waited for the last bell of the day, sipping on our fountain drinks, hoping the caffeine would do the trick to shake me from my sluggish funk. I looked on the dash and saw the book. What a perfect time to sneak some of our reading minutes in. So I opened the cover and began to read.

As I read the words that were so familiar to my mind, I began to think this book could be just the trick for teaching my children that they can do hard things. Like picking up their backpacks and coats off the floor or eating onions or staying away from the tempting soap dispenser. Hard things like that.

But as I read the words I think I can-I think I can-I think I can my voice started to quiver and the words blurred as my eyes filled with tears. I hadn't remembered this book being a sad story...

I realized quite suddenly and with some shock it was me who needed the lesson. So many days, like today I feel...exhaustion. Most days, especially with pregnancy, I feel physically exhausted. Many days it's mental exhaustion that gets me. A lot of days I feel emotionally exhausted or spiritually exhausted. I find myself thinking and even verbalizing I can't do this!

I just can't. It's too much. I'm too tired. I can't do it right so why even try? What is the point?

I feel overwhelmed and under-qualified. I get bogged down with anger or sadness or despair. And my load might as well be a train that needs to be pulled over a hill.

As childish and simple as it sounds, I realized I need to be like the Little Blue Engine and hitch myself to my load.

She tugged and pulled and pulled and tugged and slowly, slowly, slowly they started off...

Puff, puff, chug, chug, went the Little Blue Engine.

"I think I can-I think I can-I think I can-I think I can-I think I can-I think I can-I think I can-I think I can-I think I can."

Up, up, up. Faster and faster and faster and faster the little engine climbed until I last they reached the top of the mountains.

I can do hard things.

Even when I don't think I can.

I can mother these three, almost four children like no one else can. I can tackle that project (or two) I have been putting off. I can forgive others for heart breaks they have caused. I can approach each day with purpose and passion.

I can push and pull and tug and I may go slowly, slowly, slowly at first but at least I am trying and moving forward.

Who knew a long forgotten children's book could put more pep in my step than 20 oz of caffeine?

Now, how to not forget this revelation I had today... Think Jeigh's preschool teacher would mind if I hung onto this book, just so I have a daily reminder???


Yet Another Piece of Evidence that Blogging is...

the best!


Look what I found in my mailbox today...

My bloggy friend, Myya, mentioned awhile ago how much she loved these cool little pre-measured spices and recipe cards from McCormick. Always on the lookout for an easier and new way to approach dinner, I've kept my eye out for them every time I go to the grocery store...to no avail.

I nonchalantly mentioned to her the other day that I had finally found some, just not the one she had raved about. I had no angle in telling her that. I mostly wanted her to know that I paid attention to the things she talked about.

Guess what? She pays attention too. Thank you so much Myya! And a homemade card to boot?! Your thoughtfulness made my day!

Unfortunately, Chicken Marsala according to McCormick will have to wait until another night since I didn't check the mail until after my huge grocery shopping trip today.

This is what's for dinner at our house tonight:

Summer Sausage Supper is so simple and scrumptious so stop slouching and saute some for supper so you can slowly slurp it, silly.

(Well, I'm sure that's enough alliteration for several blogs. And not very good alliteration if truth be told.)

This easy recipe is a favorite of my husband's. He is a sausage lover. I am not. Yet, we can agree this is a delicious meal. There you have it. Ssssssss...

Summer Sausage Supper
(taken from Cooking for Two magazine and doubled)
Makes 4 servings

1 lb smoked sausage, sliced
2/3 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 TBSP olive oil
1 and 1/2 cup V8 juice
3 cups hot cooked rice

In a large skillet, saute the sausage, green peppers, onion, garlic, oregano and basil in oil until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Add V8 juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 7-8 minutes or until thickened.

Serve with rice. (I bet noodles would be yummy too).

P.S. While we are on the subject of dinner...I tried a broccoli cheese soup mix from Bear Creek Country Kitchens brand the other day that is more than quite decent. And SUPER easy! I steamed up several crowns of fresh broccoli and added them in once the soup was done. This obviously balances out the calorie content from the cheese part of the soup. Obviously.

I have yet to master the art of cheese soup. Mine always ends up super gritty. Hardly palatable. But this product takes all the work and worry out of it for me. I'm not getting compensated for telling you how great this product is...I just thought I'd share a dinner tip I found. Try it and let me know what you think. (By the way, we tried the Wild Rice version and weren't very impressed. Stick with the broccoli cheese.)

And if anyone out there can school me on how to make edible cheese soup...I'm all ears!

Happy Dinner!


Pretty Darn Precious Potty Training Post

We are in the midst of potty training at our house this week.

Don't worry! I won't be posting any "specimens" today. Looks like I am a little stuck on a tangent though, don't you think? Sorry about that. I'll try to up my classiness in the next several posts.

Anyway! Potty training. Don't you just loathe abhor fear love potty training? Me too. I would much rather go through labor and delivery again than potty train. At least that pain has an end, usually under 24 hours, and there are drugs available if it gets to be too much. There are no drugs for potty training. Heaven helps us.

Really I can't complain too much. Elle is training like a champ. Can you hear "Eye of the Tiger" playing in the background too? She may be the easiest yet, so I will count my blessings and pray that the yellow tide does not turn on us, as potty training so often does.

In relation to potty training, I was looking back through my Face book memories the other day and found this little gem.

This is Elle's big sister Jeigh at the very same age doing the very same thing, potty training, just two short years ago, even the very same time of year. Daddy Joe was entertaining her in attempt to keep her on the potty. This is the resulting memory. We like to call it Jeigh's Snowman of God Potty Song.

(Normally I don't condone posting pictures or videos of my children in "compromising" situations, but this is just too cute not to share and short of seeing the toilet behind her, nobody would know what she is doing besides singing her cute little two year old heart out).



Pop Culture, Fashion, Parenting, and Aging According to Preschoolers

Yesterday morning I noticed a nasty little scratch on four year old Jeigh's forehead. When I questioned her on how she did it, with a sigh, she wistfully said, "I don't know, but it sure looks like Harry Potter, huh?"

... ... ...

Two Dollar Super Hero

The best two dollars I ever spent was on my recent thrift store adventure on a simple dark grey T-shirt emblazoned with the bright yellow and black Batman logo. Not really a fan of Caped Crusader wear myself, I bought it for my five year old Dee who immediately fell in love. Who knew what magical powers two dollars could conjure up for one five year old boy? The first day he wore it to school, this was his report on how his day had gone:

(With MUCH enthusiasm) "I showed all my buddies my Batman shirt!! They LOVED it! But my feet got tired from having to show so many people, so I didn't show everybody."

... ... ...

Pop it Like it's Hot

Dee is trying to convince his dad and me that this is the "cool way" to wear your collared shirts.

Dee: Hey Mom! Look at me! I'm an umpire!

Me: You mean 'vampire'?

Dee: Yea! I'm cool.

... ... ...

Hair Peace

Jeigh is learning to fix her own hair. She informed me that this is "Beautiful!"

Apparently middle-aged men aren't the only ones who dig the comb-over.

... ... ...

What Stay-at-Home Moms Really Do

I was sitting at the dinner table with my three children while we dived into the spaghetti and homemade bread sticks I had just spent the last half hour or so slaving over. (Okay. Well maybe not slaving, but it certainly was more involved and invested in than running out to McDonald's and dishing out Happy Meals to my little brood.)

Joe being the working dad he is was at (where else?) work. The kids had particularly noticed his absence at the dinner table and began to make some assumptions about his whereabouts and how the world works in general.

Dee: Daddies work. All daddies work a lot.

Jeigh: Yea. Daddies are always gone at work. They work hard.

Me (just out of curiosity): Oh yeah? So what do mommies do?

Jeigh: They don’t work. They never work.

Dee (laughing): Yeah. They just love to eat!

Thanks Dee. Thanks a lot.

... ... ...

Caution: Men at Breakfast

Who knew breakfast could be so hazardous?

... ... ...

Age is Just a Hair Color

Dee: Hey Mom? Me and Jeigh are young, aren't we?

Me: Yep, you are.

Dee: Mom are you young?

Me: Nope. I'm old.

Dee: No, you're not. You don't have white hair.

Me: Dee, you don't have to have white hair to be old.

Dee: Well, okay, then you're not super old...Yet.


What the HCG is in There?!

What better way to follow-up a post on number two than with a post guest-starring number one?

I kid. I kid.

No really. I've got a kid in this bloated belly of mine that causes me to dash to the bathroom with number one urges all the time and after a lousy ultrasound experience I am dying to know what-the-hCG is in there. Boy? Girl? Parasitic alien larva??


Since I couldn't rely on my doctor to stick around long enough to do his job tell me what gender my baby was, I had to take maternal matters into my own hands. What a perfect opportunity to test out a few gender prediction tests and old wives' tales, eh? I pulled out my dusty rusty high school chemistry and biology skills and set to it.

Here are the results of my embryonic experiments (includes photographic evidence and field notes):

The "Intelligender" Gender Prediction Test
This "patent pending" at home urine test claims to be able to predict your baby's gender accurately. I read reviews on this product awhile ago and they seemed to be less than satisfying, but I just couldn't resist after watching THIS clip from The Doctors.

The price tag was steep enough that I am embarrassed to admit how much I spent on it. $39.95 Desperate times call for desperate measures, people. (Please excuse the pictures of human waste. All in the name of science, my dear Watson.)

Gender according to the Intelligender Gender Prediction Test: GIRL

The Draino Test
My friend Myya clued me in on this one. The idea is to mix urine with Draino and observe the color change. I found the official instructions HERE and I found the discrediting information HERE on Snopes.com. Forget the critics. All frontiers must be explored.

Gender according to the Draino Test: GIRL

The Chinese Calender Prediction Test
I have heard numerous people swear by this test. Go HERE to find the directions. Warning: You must have a college degree to decipher the results of this test as it requires you to configure your Chinese age and Chinese Lunar Conception Month. It's all Greek Chinese to me.

Gender according to the Chinese Calender: GIRL

The Older Sibling's Hairline Test
My friend Brittany told me about this Native American gender prediction test. You observe the hairline of the immediate older sibling of the baby. If the hairline is a V line, the baby will be the opposite gender than the older sibling. If the hairline is a straight line, the baby will be the same gender. Elle is the older sibling in this case. See what a willing participant she is in our research?

Brittany said we needed to look very closely as this test can be easily botched. It was difficult with a squirming, uncooperative toddler, but in my observations I concluded Elle has a V hairline.

Gender according to Older Sibling's Hairline Test: BOY

The Older Sibling's Clinginess Test
An old wives' tale claims that the clinginess of the older sibling during the pregnancy can predict the gender of the next baby. If the older sibling is more clingy than usual, the baby is of the opposite gender than the older sibling. If the older sibling is more independent, the baby is the same gender as the older sibling.

I believe the pictorial evidence below illustrates Elle's current level of clinginess.

Gender according to the Older Sibling's Clinginess Test: BOY

The Previous Pregnancy Past Test
Some say to figure out the gender of your current baby you only have to look so far as your own past. Are you carrying this baby similar to how you carried your previous babies? When I was pregnant with Dee, everyone commented on how huge I was (just what every pregnant lady wants to hear). With both girls, all I heard was how small I was, how you couldn't even tell I was pregnant. (So what you're saying is...I'm fat. Umm...thanks.) In this case, this pregnancy resembles my girls' pregnancies more than it does my son's.

Gender according to Previous Pregnancy Past: GIRL

The Daddy's Instinct Test
So far, Joe has guessed what each of our children's genders were before we ever saw the ultrasound pictures. He just knows.

Gender according to Daddy's Instinct: GIRL

The Mother's Instinct Test
So far, I have been wrong about each of our children. Every single time. Apparently my mother's instinct compass got discombobulated somewhere along the way. If you want to know what the gender is, ask me, listen to what I say I am absolutely sure it is...and think the exact opposite.

Gender according to Mommy's Instinct: I say BOY. So better make that GIRL.

To summarize my official and unquestionable scientific research:

Out of 8 gender prediction tests, tales, and 'tuitions, 6 gender prediction tests predict GIRL and 2 predict BOY

In short, the previously detailed research leads us to the conclusion that a baby girl is in our near future.

P.S. I had another ultrasound today...It's a GIRL! Make of that what you will Intelligender.


Passing On the Morning Baton and Who is the Poop Pro?

As a newlywed, I worked nights in the emergency department of our city's hospital. I loved my job! I loved my coworkers! One particular coworker was incredibly kind and generous to me and everybody else. I just couldn't understand how she did it all: worked full-time nights, went to school, mothered three little girls, and still managed to be among the living.

I asked her one day how she did it. She mentioned that her oldest was five and perfectly capable of taking care of herself while her tired mom was catching up on an hour or two of sleep. Not having any experience with children of my own yet and knowing this lady was anything but a deadbeat mom, I figured five must be the magical age a child could start taking care of themselves in such things as serving food for themselves and getting ready for the day.

Then I had a five year old...


But this morning when my five year old Dee walked into my bedroom at 6:51 am asking to be fed and dressed I was compelled to conduct a little experiment. I had been up multiple times through the night with his two younger sisters and in no mood to leap from my warm bed to wait on him.

I also keep remembering (with a slight sense of horror) that in a very short three months there may be another little sister (or brother) here wreaking havoc on my night time peace and morning mentality. It was high-time to see if my co-worker friend was onto something.

"Dee, you do it."


"You're a big boy. You go find your clothes and get dressed. Then eat breakfast and brush your teeth."

"Are you sure, Mom?"

"Positive. Now go and do."

Sounding a little unsure: "Well oooookay, Mom."

I laid in bed, refusing to open my eyes, but certainly not about to fall asleep again. Let's see listen how this goes.

In fifteen seconds he was back. "Mom, I can't find my pants."

"Then go eat breakfast first." I heard him wander back to the kitchen.

"Mom, I can't find a bowl."

"They are in the dishwasher, Dee."


In a few seconds I heard the clothes dryer opening. "They're not here, Mom".

"That's the clothes dryer, Dee! Check the dishwasher where the dishes usually are."

"Found one!"

Pretty soon I heard the glass tap of one bowl on the table immediately followed by the metallic tap of a spoon. Then a second glass tap and a second metallic tap. Then a third. And a fourth. Knowing full well a mess was in the making, I chose to snuggle down deeper in my blankets and leave the boy to his own devices. Besides if I hover we may never know if he can truly do this.

Soon the sound of cereal and milk could be heard. So, the boy can feed himself. Interesting.

In minutes he was back in search of pants. Knowing I had just washed every last piece of clothing in our house the day before, I informed him there was a clean dry pair in the dryer. You know, the dryer... where we keep bowls.

With eyes still clenched shut, I hear him wander back in claiming he was dressed (looks like he can dress himself too...who knew?) and wanting me to help him get his boots on.

"Go brush your teeth first". Teeth brushed. Add brushing teeth on the list of things Mommy no longer has to supervise.

Since he had brushed his own teeth I felt certain his face was in a state of disarray. No peeking yet. "Go get a washcloth and wash off your face".

"Okay Mommy...{water running}...All done!" Well that was easy.

Then he was back at my side, boots in hand. If I could have figured out a way to tie them with my eyes shut, I may have done it. Instead I opened them to see how my big five year old had done.

He looked good! And happy!

I sneaked a glance at the clock. And all done in twenty minutes?! That's got to be a record! All ready and no "Come on Dee! You need to hurry. Dee! You are going to be late! Hurry up!"

Looks like my friend was right: Five year olds are capable of taking care of themselves!

Just not the rest of the house...

Extra points to Dee for putting his bowl "in" the sink after breakfast.

And bonus points for feeding his sisters too!

Let's not forget Mommy! Extra points to Mommy for letting go and not hovering! And bonus points for having enough time to take a shower before school!

*** *** ***

Lest you thought I forgot... Are you wondering who won the diaper game? Who is The Poop Pro??

No one guessed Milky Way MIDNIGHT (the only kind of Milky Way worth human consumption...in my humble opinion), but I won't hold that against you. Many of you came close. But only one person got all four.

The person who performed with the most particular poop prowess was...Lisa from The Thomas Tribe! With two kids and one on the way, I imagine she's changed a few diapers...or eaten a few chocolate bars. Either way, CONGRATS TO LISA! Your prize will be in the mail shortly.

Thanks everybody for the "poop" play! Now, who's hungry? Maybe Dee could make my lunch too...


"How Do You Replace a Mother?"

(Image found in Google Images)

Do you remember when I mentioned not too long ago that Joe's cousin's wife passed away very unexpectedly?

An autopsy was done and even though all the test results are back, there is no obvious reason why a perfectly healthy, happy 31 year old mother of two would pass away so suddenly.

I hardly knew Zoe, but I sure can't stop thinking about her and even more about the little ones and husband she left behind. I have so many thoughts and emotions circling around this brain of mine, but Joe's cousin, Lori Conger said it better than I ever could on her blog today.

Can I just direct you over THERE today?

I hope you take the time to read it. It's not just about the tragic loss of this woman, but how invaluable each and every mother is. Beautifully written. Thank you, Lori.


Because Sometimes Poop is Just Dang Funny.

Being a mom, you just kind of have to have a sense of humor about poop.

Because really there is nothing funny about the never-ending messy diapers, the explosions, the smell, finding nasty brown messes in mysterious and well-hidden (or almost as bad: not-so-well-hidden locations). But if you don't laugh, you cry...or puke, right?

But maybe poop can be funny. Just look at what it takes to keep a bunch of Scouts interested at day camp.

Or how about my favorite baby shower game?

Have you ever played this game at a baby shower? The game involves passing around diapers full of "poop" and guessing what's really in the diaper. Have you ever watched a room full of "ladies" examining and sniffing "poopy" diapers? Now, you can't tell me that that's not funny.

Can you guess what the "poop" is here? No smelling or touching allowed! (Hint: All four "specimens" are fairly common candy bars). How about we make a little contest out of it, eh? Whoever can guess all the diapers right, gets a prize in the mail from me. And no, I won't leave it in a flaming paper sack on your doorstep in the middle of the night. Just leave your answers in a comment below. If there are more than one people with particular poop prowess, I'll pick with the help of random.org.

Are you game?

And speaking of baby showers, my sister Erin and her husband Kip came up with this hilarious little baby shower favor for our little sister's recent baby shower.

Here's the how to:

You will need one washcloth, one diaper pin, and a handful of tootsie rolls.

Fold the washcloth in half to make a triangle.

Fold up bottom.

Fold in both sides, overlapping over bottom and each other.

Pin bottom and sides with one diaper pin.

Prop up "diaper" and fill with unwrapped tootsie rolls. You could leave the candy wrapped too, but unwrapping them makes it so much more visually...appealing?

See! Poop can be funny!

Speaking of poop, looks like Elle could use some "attention", if you know what I mean.

{sigh} You know how a joke can get really old? Yeah.


A Monday Happy List

Why is that Mondays get such a bad wrap? They can't help that they have to follow up the weekend. This Monday has been pretty kind to me and mine in our neck of the woods. This is what I am happy about today:

:) Kissing and loving on my new little nephew over the weekend. There is just a small piece of heaven that comes tagging along with a newborn. It is wonderful! Thanks for sharing him with us, Camille and Tyler! We kind of like him.

:) Three kids that slept most of the four and a half hour drive home last night, giving Joe and me a chance to catch up on our "spousal communication". It was almost as good as a date night!

:) Fall decided to show up today! What a lovely, gray, murky, rainy day. Soup and bread are in order! Now if I could only learn how to make a decent homemade cheese soup...

:) Waking up this morning to a sleeping toddler head tucked firmly into my arm pit.

:) What great teachers Dee and Jeigh have! I'm not too fond of the house we have, but I sure am glad it is in the school district it is.

:) Being busy all morning. We got a late start and it was a little hectic, but it is always good to be busy doing good things.

:) Sipping on a mug of hot chocolate.

:) Thinking about new prospects and trailer-free days.

:) Remembering it's officially candy corn season! (And trying to figure out a project for Sami's October Symfully Sweet Saturday. Any bright ideas??)

:) A lunch of tuna fish sandwich (cut in triangles of course), chips, and a big fat dill pickle. YUM!

:) Hearing Elle's vocabulary exploding. I love all the little unprovoked "Thank you, Mommy"s and other new phrases!

:) Watching Dee and Jeigh cuddled up on the couch "reading" a book together, but doing more giggling than actual reading.

:) Thinking about this blogger's great idea: Queen for the Day? Awesome! I know a few ladies who totally deserve this.

:) Knowing my husband is going to be super happy when he walks in the door tonight to the smell and sight of Monkey Bread.

Want the recipe?

Monkey Bread

2 cups very warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP salt
1 TBSP yeast
3 cups flour
2 beaten eggs
3 more cups flour
4 TBSP oil
1 cube margarine

Mix warm water, sugar, salt, and yeast and let set until bubbly, then add eggs and 3 cups flour. Stir; do not beat. Add oil and 3 more cups flour. Stir again. It will be sticky. Cover and let rise until double. (I have just recently figured out that putting my pans in a warm place AND waiting an adequate amount of time makes a world of difference!). Roll out on floured surface. Cut in circles (I use one of my kitchen glasses to do this). Melt one cube margarine and pour into two Bundt pans. Stand circles up in Bundt pans (see picture below).

Let dough rise to top of pan (it may not reach top and that's okay). Bake both pans together at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Turn upside-down on a plate to serve. (Recipe from my great-grandmother Jennie Champneys and aunt Jane Miles)

P.S. I have no idea why it's called Monkey Bread. All I know is it's delicious! That and kids, husbands, and missionaries scarf it down.

What is making you smile today???



Abortion Survivor

I am not a political person.

I catch myself rolling my eyes whenever I hear political "discussions" at get-togethers and parties. To me those "discussions" often seem a lot like a few people who have watched a couple of episodes of Glenn Beck or Fox news and feel that they are now fully informed on "the issues", feeling free to "impress" their opinion on whoever is willing to listen or at least stand by blinking and breathing whilst they spout a lot of fluff.

I am not a political person.

You won't see me taking a political stand on my blog. You won't hear me ranting about "the issues".


I watched this video last night. And I wanted to share it with someone. I may not be able to tell you exactly what is going on overseas or how "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" works or how the taxes affect the socioeconomic classes.


I KNOW abortion is wrong.

And I love how this woman says it. Not in a "fluffy" way. But in a small, quiet, calm, but FIRM and reverberating voice.

And I couldn't help it.

I kind of sort of maybe wanted to be a political person for once.


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