Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm sure you've all been waiting breathlessly for the pictures of our neighborhood pond once we finished cleaning it out. I'm a little late with the pics because my parents came to visit over the weekend on a spur of the moment kind of thing and I chose not to blog while they were here. Family trumps Blog. Anyways, this was after we pulled out four bags of trash (mainly plastic bottles and Starbucks cups). We couldn't reach the stuff in the way back.

Jake loves to pick up rocks and acorns at the park, and he especially loves to find snails in the pond and hold them up to get a better look at them. Then he gently places (throws) them back in the water where they live to crawl another day. I promise that no snails have been injured in the making of this blog post. I'm sure a few of them are dizzy and disoriented when Jake gets through with them, but not hurt.

Sadly, I took Jake over to the pond this afternoon and it's back to being almost completely trashed again. So, it looks like this might become a weekly project. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hashbrown Quiche

Here you go ladies! It's really good. Courtesy of Paula Dean.

3 cups, shredded frozen hash browns, thawed and drained
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup diced cooked ham (I used bacon instead)
1/2 cup diced green onions
1 cup shredded Cheddar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible. In a 9-inch pie plate, toss the hash browns with the melted butter into the plate. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. When the hash brown crust is ready pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Parlez-vous Fancy?

Well, I wanted today's post to show pictures of the completion of our Earth Day project. We did finish (as much as we could) yesterday, but for some reason Blogger won't let me post pictures right now. So, instead I will captivate and entertain you with stories from the week.

Yesterday, in an attempt to get Jake to eat eggs I decided to make a quiche. This was my first attempt and I was quite pleased that something so pretty and fancy looking was so easy to make. In addition to the eggs, there was bacon, cheese, and green onions. And Jake ate every stinkin' bite of it. So, let's see, that's protein, dairy and vegetables in one meal. I couldn't have been more proud. Because you see, he ate something other than a graham cracker! And since there were leftovers, he got to have quiche for supper last night and breakfast this morning. Because when I find something he likes I'm gonna make sure he gets all of it he can stand. Plus, then I don't have to come up with something new. I'm pretty sure I'm in the running for mother of the year.

Lately, I've been feeling like our dog Brady is a little bit jealous of the time we spend with Jake. Or maybe it's just the lack of time we spend with him now. So, Tuesday morning Jake and I took Brady out in the backyard to spend some quality time with him. We were playing ball. I'm not sure if what happened next was due to excitment or gratitude or if it was Brady's way of saying "hey, too little, too late." But this is what he did. He runs over to me with his tennis ball in his mouth and drops it at my feet and at the same exact time he threw up all over my feet. My bare feet. It was delightful and made me want to spend even more quality time with the dog. Or maybe send him to the puppy farm.

On an unrelated note, we noticed that our cat Zoe stopped using her litter box. For the most part she was just going outside. But she had two "accidents" in the house and pooped on the living room floor. This was totally out of character for her and so I started wondering if this was her way of acting out because we were spending too much time with Jake and Brady and not enough time with her. Just as we were about to look into reservations for her at the kitty farm, I discovered that she actually wasn't able to get into her litter box. It'a a covered box and the door was jammed so she couldn't push it open. Problem solved and Zoe lives to see another day at our house.

Whew! That's all I can think of. Hopefully, I'll be able to post pictures again soon so I don't have to bore you with any more stories. Peace out.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day Project

Mike and I decided to take Jake over to our neighborhood park for a little clean up job to teach him about community service and taking care of our world. Nothing like a little civics lesson to start the day for a toddler. We have a nice little pond in our park that we've noticed had tons of litter in it and we just wanted to pick up a bit and make it look nice. So, by the time Jake woke up from his nap and we had lunch and got out to the pond it was around 1:30pm. Which in Texas time is really hot thirty. It was about a thousand degrees outside. And we had wisely dressed our boy in little denim overalls. Because nothing lets your skin breathe like denim. So, anyway, after about fifteen minutes of Mike raking stuff out of the pond and me and Jake bagging it up we noticed that his little cheeks were really red. And we decided to call it quits for the day. We're planning on going back Thursday morning to finish the job. We'll just have to start out while it's still cool outside. So, let's say around 5am.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Earth Day

Saturday after Mike got off work I made, I mean asked, him to go to the local Earth Day Festival here in town. I was pretty excited because I'm a fan of the Earth Day, I enjoy festivals, and I just needed to get out of the house. The advertisement for this event claimed that it would be a great family affair and there would be lots for the children to do. Clearly this was a win/win situation for us.

Only, not so much. There were several vendors set up with some posters promoting their organizations and stuff and there was some guy singing and playing guitar. But, that was about it. What did they have for the kids to do you ask? Well, they had some old boxes piled up for the kiddos to crawl through. WOW! That kept Jake busy for about three minutes. And they had face painting but we didn't subject him to that. I was just a little disappointed. Earth Day should be such a much greater event! I kept thinking of all of the organizations that should have been involved, but weren't. And of all the cool things they could have done or had there to promote conservation and entertain at the same time. So, please, Earth Day Festival coordinators, if you need some ideas next year, call me. Otherwise, we'll just take Jake to McDonald's for lunch and give him the empty happy meal sack and a straw to play with later. And of course, we'll be recycling both of those items!

Monday, April 21, 2008


I just felt the need to document Jake's first skinned knee. Yesterday, he learned what happens when bare skin meets cement. I was sad for him, but he took it like a trooper.

It didn't take a kiss from Mama to make it all better by the way. It took a Winnie the Pooh book and some music from the local pop station. He really enjoys music. You should see him dance!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oops, he did it again...

These are the pumpkin cheesecake muffins I made this afternoon. After I made them, Jake and I went to the park for an hour. When we came home, there were only six and a half muffins left in the pan. Because eating six muffins would just be too much. After eating five and a half muffins the culprit decided that he just could NOT eat another bite. And there was Brady, laying on the floor all bloated, trying to act like he hadn't done anything wrong. Seriously, you would think I would have learned my lesson by now. The dog is as big as a horse and can reach anything on the counters if he wants it bad enough. And he loves freshly baked goods. I'm still not sure how he takes muffins out of the tin without pulling the pan onto the floor, but apparently he has his ways. The sad thing is that we're always talking about how dumb Brady is, but I feel like the dummy today.

I was so looking forward to freezing half of those muffins so we would have them to eat for breakfast next week. I guess Brady is just trying to teach me to live in the moment and not worry about tomorrow or next week's breakfast.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It was worse than the bird outside our window

This is Clappers. Affectionately known as Mr. Crab around our house. Grandpa Flinn gave him to Jake when he was born and the two have been inseparable at nap and nighttime since he was a few weeks old. It's been very cute. Mr. Crab has always had a noise maker inside him that makes a clapping sound whenever you push on his front claw. Sometimes at night we hear him go off and think it is the funniest thing that Jake presses on that claw while he sleeps.

A slight problem arose with Mr. Crab when Jake started crawling and walking. Because then he could go to his crib and pull out the crab and carry him around the house. Which isn't a big deal, except it means that Mr. Crab gets pretty dirty. So, I started running him through the washing machine. And his little noise maker broke. Which was kind of sad, but we got over it. I'd much rather have a clean crab than a noisy one.

So, anyways, on Thursday I noticed that Mr. Crab needed another bath. He had strawberry juice, mustard and peanut butter on his little body. So, into the washing machine he went. And he came out clapping. He'd been healed! My dad thinks the water in the machine must have reminded him of the ocean so he started talking again. Well, he hasn't shut up since. Mr. Crab has been clapping himself silly for forty eight straight hours. 48! He kept me up half the night on Thursday and he kept Mike up last night. Jake WILL NOT sleep without him, so we couldn't just take him away and bury him somewhere. I still don't know how Jake got any sleep, but everytime I went to check on him he was sound asleep with a clapping crab underneath his body.

So, this morning Mike put him in the dryer (the crab that is). We thought maybe his insides needed to dry out to stop the mad clapping. Didn't work. He just sat in the dryer for thirty minutes clapping his little claws off. Really, it was driving us both crazy. After a few consultations, we decided to take drastic measures. And Mike performed open exo-skeleton surgery. He carefully opened a seam, cut a few wires and removed the offensive noise maker. Then he sewed Crab back up. And now there is a peaceful silence about our house that hasn't been around for two days. I think I'll go take a nap.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fallen Idol

America, you have really let me down. I can't believe Michael Johns was voted off of American Idol last night. I know his last performance ended on a screechy note, but have you forgotten all of his other performances? Or did you just think he would get all of the votes he needed so you decided to vote for Christy Lee Cooke instead?

Honestly, I can't wait to see what kind of music he'll put out once he gets the chance to record something now. I kept waiting for him to sing something by Train this season because for some reason, he just really reminds me of the lead singer for that group. He just has IT. That charisma thing. I'll miss it so. For those of you who are out of the AI loop, Michael made it to the final eight contestants based on his distinctive voice and oh so good looks. He's from Australia, has dark hair, sparkly eyes and dimples. Hmm, sound familiar? It seems I have a type when it comes to rock stars. Anyways, I was sad to see him go. Rock on Rick, I mean Michael.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Yesterday, Amy sent me this link (click on the link ya'll and read the entire story!) to another blog where the writer was talking about a recent trip she took to Palm Springs. Who do you think was on the same plane she was on? That's right, Rick Springfield. And she didn't even know it was him! Her friend had to tell her. She was not deserving of being on the same plane with his greatness. When, when is my Rick Springfield plane going to get here? Have I told you how much I love him and his music? Have I told you how long I've loved him and his music? There are a few things in life I've wanted to do before I die. I've managed to get married, have a baby, see lots of dolphins and whales and eat more chocolate than should be allowed. The one thing I haven't been able to do is meet Rick Springfield and his fanny pack. I promise I'm not bothered by the fact that he was wearing a fanny pack. Please, any ideas?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Um, when did I get old and cranky?

It really seems like only yesterday that I was in high school, talking on the phone all night or cruising the streets of Amarillo with my friends listening to eighties music. I remember back then sometimes overhearing older adults talking about our generation. And it wasn't always good. I just kept thinking, don't they remember when they were our age? Why are they so judgemental?

Well, it seems I've become one of those "older adults" now. How did that happen? Jake and I were at the neighborhood park this afternoon when three truckfuls of teenage boys pulled up and disembarked right there at the playground. I was thinking "who do these punks think they are?" The playground is clearly for young kids and I felt they were invading our turf. And as they were gathered around a picnic table talking really loud to each other, I just knew they were up to no good. I didn't even give them the benefit of the doubt. Because, clearly anyone who wears their pants below their butt is up to no good. Or just stupid. And I don't have patience for either. Then, when a couple of them took off to go walk in the woods behind the park, I immediately thought "oh, they're off to go smoke weed now." Never mind that when I was younger, if there had been woods around, my friends and I would have totally been in there. Not smoking weed, but just fooling around. So, why did I jump to this particular conclusion? It was a little odd that they were sporting sweatshirts and jeans in the near ninety degree weather today. But, they could have just been cold blooded.

It almost makes me want to start some sort of neighborhood program where the kids can come to my house after school every day so I can get to know them better and not be so judgemental towards them. I could bake cookies. Help them with their homework. We could relate to each other on a personal level. Maybe write some rap. And, it would keep them out of the park away from the little kids, away from trouble, and away from the weed.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Field Trip

Friday we took Jake to the local nature and science center. We all just loved it. They have several rescued and rehabilitated animals, snakes, turtles, fish and lots of birds. Jake liked watching the coyote and bobcat and he especially loved digging in the dino pit for dinosaur fossils. Almost as much as his daddy. Of course, his daddy was just digging really deep holes to put Jake in, but whatever. Looks like we might have a future paleontologist on our hands.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mike's best friend Steve from Kansas City and his friend Sandra came to visit us a few days ago. We're trying to convince them to move down here and rumor has it that they are both considering it! Mike arranged for a babysitter Friday night and the four of us went out for sushi and then downtown where we played shuffleboard for a few hours. I didn't even know I liked shuffleboard, but it was a lot of fun! On Saturday, Steve and Sandra kicked us out of the house and said they wanted to babysit Jake. I think we left skid marks on the driveway, we left so fast! We went to a movie (Bank Job), looked around a bookstore and then headed out to dinner at a really good restaurant. It was much needed couple time. Thanks again guys!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Song Bird

I love Spring. And it has hit with full force here in central Texas. The bluebonnets are out which means we'll have to find a good spot to sit Jake in and take a few pictures this year. I don't know who started the baby in the bluebonnets trend around here, but it seems like the thing to do.

Jake and I sat outside yesterday and watched tons of birds and squirrels running around. It's been really cloudy here, so the animals are loving a break from the heat. Unfortunately, we have a bird living in a tree outside our bedroom window who is a little confused ever since daylight savings time hit. He starts singing around ten o'clock at night and doesn't stop until the sun comes up. He's got a beautiful little voice but it's not something I want to hear at 3:45 am. What to do?

When I worked in California doing camping trips to Catalina Island there was this parrot who had escaped from somewhere and taken up residence at one of the campgrounds on the island. Sometimes he would wake up a little too early and start making noise which was inconvenient but at the time I didn't think it was a big deal since we only had to deal with him every so often. Well, someone got fed up with his early morning vocalizations and they caught him and hung him from a tree. Which pretty much shut him up. I'm not saying this is something I could ever do to our little bird friend, but I'm starting to understand the impulse to do so. Maybe someone should show him this blog and see if that changes his tune.