Monday, May 31, 2010

I see a lizard looking at me

Isn't he adorable? Mike found him living in our corn out in the garden yesterday. I went out to check on him this morning and he was still in the corn. Different plant, but still corn. I love seeing him there knowing he's eating all the nasty little buggers that would do harm to our plants. I even enjoy seeing the spiders that have taken up residence in our garden. To them I offer a truce. You will be allowed to live as long as you don't come in our house. Thank you.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kids say the darndest things

My niece, Katie, turned 14 on Sunday. I can't believe she's that old. I still remember the day she was born. My parents called me to tell me that my sister was at the hospital ready to pop. I lived about forty five minutes away. I remember driving to the hospital when I started to feel very sick to my stomach. I was having the worst stomach ache of my life. I seriously thought I would have to pull over to the side of the road to die. But then I thought that if I could at least make it to the hospital maybe some doctor there could save me. So I drove on.

As I was pulling into the parking lot I saw my mom come out to meet me. I was doubled over in pain. As soon as I got to her, she told me that Katie had already arrived and that she and my sister were doing well. My stomach pains immediately left. To this day, I think I was having sympathy labor pains for my sister. It was either that or the Taco Bell I had for lunch that day. Just kidding. I don't remember what I had for lunch that day. Probably cookies.

Katie has always been one of my favorite people. (As is her brother Tom, but it's not his birthday now.) When I was still a single person and she was about four or five we had many a serious conversation about my future. She was very concerned that I was not going to get married. In fact, the three top questions that Katie always asked me whenever I saw her were:

1.) How come you're not married?
2.) How come you don't have kids?
3.) What is that thing in your belly button?

It was a little hard on my self esteem. But I had to remember that she was little and was just genuinely concerned about my welfare. Except for the belly button question. That was just being nosy.

I also remember several nights staying up late with her talking and talking to me. Since I was single, whenever my family got together at Christmas I always got put in a bed with either Katie or Tom. Tom snored. Katie talked. I love them. I will never forget our discussions about life not being fair for the youngest person of the family. By that time, my sister's family had moved from a cute little "farm house" with lots of land, horses and cows to a beautiful house with "only" a few acres of land. Katie felt rooked. All she wanted to do was move back to the farm but no one would listen to her. Tell me about it. When I was a kid we moved from a very small town in the Texas panhandle to a larger city. I did NOT want to go. I actually wanted to stay with my friends and see my family in the summers. When that didn't pan out I asked my parents if we could keep our house in the small town as a "summer house." Didn't work either. Off to the city we went. So, Katie, it doesn't get easier. You have to shout if you want to be heard.

There is nothing like having a niece and nephew you enjoy in life. I love watching them grow up. It seems like yesterday when Katie sent me this email but it was actually in 2004! She would have been seven or eight. It cracks me up.

Der Kim have you have a grat time in california ? but I wish you can cum
over to my haws and you haft to see the grbels thay yoosly make ther haws a
reke and we haft to clen awt ther kage and we had to give them all off ther
hay so we dont have no more hay so we haft to by sumore at petsmorke and one
time I fawlnd for dog,s and one or to cat,s idontno cus Idont remimber if
that is true cus that was a wek agow so I do not no.

I hop tedy is arit
by katie kyle

(after spell check)
Dear Kim have you had a great time in California ? but I wish you can come
over to my house and you have to see the gerbils they usually make their
house a wreck and we have to clean out their cage and we had to give them
all off their hay so we don't have no more hay so we have to buy some more
at Pets Mart and one time I found four dogs and one or to cats I don't know
because I Don't remember if that is true because that was a week ago so I do
not no.

I hope Teddy is alright,

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Brownie goodness

Have you seen one of these? It's a brownie pan that makes only brownies with edges. My father in law sent it to me for my birthday. I love it! I'm an edge girl. I love the soft gooeyness of the middle part of the brownie but I also love to follow it up with a harder, crustier edge. What about you? Let's take a poll. Are you an edge person or strictly a middle of the pan brownie person?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

In gardening news...

Our little garden is growing! It's so exciting. Every day we all go out and see if we can find something new sprouting up. Besides weeds. Weeds are the bain of my existence right now. Here's how things look.

Hola jalapeno pepper. Como estas? Isn't he cute?

Mmm.mmm. Tomatoes. You'll be so good on some white bread with a little mayo, salt, pepper and tobasco sauce. Looking forward to it.

Now for the basil. See how it's all sad looking and riddled with holes?

It's not supposed to look like that. We have an infestation of some sort of black, irridescent looking little hopping bug all over the basil. They are eating it alive. I sprayed some organic stuff my dad bought me on the plants hoping that would solve the problem. It didn't. Those bugs actually looked me in the eyes and laughed while they kept on munching. So now, we're pulling out the big guns. It's still organic but I'm hoping it will be a good incentive for those little guys to leave our garden. Also, I had to pick a green catepillar off of my lettuce today. He didn't want to leave. I actually heard a ripping noise as I was prying his many feet off of the leaf. Then, I swear he attached himself to my finger and tried to eat that. I'm really not ready to talk about it yet. I'm also not ready to discuss how I flung him over the fence. I didn't smush him though because "eewww!"

Dear bugs in my garden,

I'm sick of you. I wanted to make a tomato and basil omelette for breakfast but you ate all my basil. It's like living with a really inconsiderate roommate. I didn't want to hurt you, but you have forced my hand. I'm about to go all Jack Bauer on you. (Have you seen 24 lately? He has gone CRAZY!)

My faithful husband will be making a little present for you when he gets home from work today. Just a warning. It's called Lethal Weapon. It has stuff like onion, garlic and cayenne pepper in it. It is meant to hurt you. Your little mandibles will be on FIRE. Not to mention the fact that your breath will be so bad that all of the other bugs will make fun of you. You can avoid certain defeat by vacating the premises within 24 hours. All my love, LM

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I had a dream

Sometimes in the midst of being a mostly stay at home mommy I start feeling like there is something else I need to be doing. I have to remind myself that I wanted to be a wife and mommy for at least ten years before it ever happened and I should be content with my current situation. Still, there are days when I wonder if I'm doing what God has called me to do in this life.

The only time in life I've ever been sure I was living my calling was working for the Ocean Institute in California. Being on the water almost every day was where I was supposed to be. It made me happy. My kids make me happy too. But they also frustrate me. Dolphins only frustrated me when they refused to appear for a whale watching cruise. I guess what I'm trying to say is sometimes I think "is this all there is now? Changing diapers, cleaning peanut butter off of everything, chasing munchkins around all day?" I used to be fairly creative. Now my creativity is channeled into things like figuring out how to get Jake to eat rice when God has told him he doesn't have to.

There are a few goals I have set for my life. Numbers one and two I can check off. They were having a job "doing" marine biology in some way, shape or form and being a mommy. Number three is the writing (and publishing) of a book. Number four is going in a submersible to the bottom of the ocean. I decided to concentrate on number three for now. The other night I was reading Jake a bedtime story. When it was over he wanted another one. So I told him I would tell him a story instead. And I made up a story about a popcorn tree and a boy named Simon.

The next day I actually sat down and wrote out a little rough draft. I got about halfway through before somebody woke up from their nap. I thought it was a pretty good idea. Before finishing the story, I decided to do a google search to see if there is already a book about an imaginary popcorn tree out there. Guess what? There is. It's called Amelia and the Popcorn Tree. I didn't get to read the entire book but the summary sounded vaguely familiar. I swear I've never even heard of this book before! What are the odds? Back to the old drawing board I guess. Although I'm really curious to see what happens to my Simon and his popcorn tree.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Message from God

Jake and I had the best discussion about rain this morning. He was talking and talking about how God makes the rain and sends it to us to make everything grow. It made my mommy heart so proud to hear him talk about God all on his own. We even got to talk about how he shouldn't be scared during the rain because God doesn't create it to scare us. Then he started talking about Jonah and the whale which of course led us to our typical morning conversation about Sea World and all the animals that live there.

Apparently, Jake has been spending quite a bit of time thinking about God lately. Talking to Him even. The other night at dinner Mike and I were trying to get him to eat his rice. He just looked at us and said "God said I don't have to eat my rice." So there you have it. From God's lips to Jake's ears. How can I argue with that?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day festivities

Sunday at church we had a special family dedication service. It was extra special because our family participated. Mike and I have been going to parenting classes at church for a few weeks and it all culminated with the dedication on Mother's Day. My parents even came down for the service! It was so nice to spend Mother's Day with my mama.

During the classes each family came up with their own special family covenant in which we put down in writing the things we would like our kids to remember growing up. I loved this! Now, when Jake hits his sister I can say "mister, you better go look at number two on the family covenant where it clearly states we are to treat others the way we want to be treated! and while you're at it, go ahead and look at number three where it says to be kind in every situation!" I can't wait to use this thing. Seriously, the class was really good and gave us some very useful tools to use in raising our kids and becoming the family we would like to be.

So the service was just supposed to be a celebration of families committed to raising up their kids believing in God and with common moral values. They called us all up on stage and then the pastor prayed over each family. I was a little nervous about this part. I hoped we would be the first family to go because I wasn't hopeful that our children could be still and quiet while waiting for other families to be blessed.

The first thing I did to prepare for the service was to dye my hair purple. It wasn't supposed to be purple. It was supposed to be light red. The girl on the box had light red hair but my turned out purple. Think pomegranite. Nice. Also, I went shopping to find a nice dress for the occasion but nice dresses are no longer made. So I bought a new shirt to go with some black pants I have. I figured pants would be better than a dress anyway in case I had to chase one of our kids down up on stage. Good call. Emma thought she was the star of a broadway show Sunday morning. She wanted to run all over the stage showing off her pretty new dress. I was on my knees trying to restrain her while they dedicated the first two families. Later, I realized that the new shirt I bought probably allowed me to flash the entire church congregation while I was down on my knees. So, that's good. Nothing says wholesome family dedication like some ladies boobs hanging out.

Anyway, we got dedicated. The pastor typically holds one of the kids while he's praying for you. He reached out to Jake first because I think he could tell that Emma was a pistol. Jake shook his head violently back and forth and said "Nuh-Uh!". So Pastor Ryan held out his hands to Emma and I tried to pawn her off on him. She immediately forgot she was the star of a one baby show and started crying. So Mike and I held our kids for the prayer. Here are some pictures. It was kind of dark in there but you get the point.

Here's Emma in her new dress. Jake looked handsome too. I just didn't get a picture of him.

We had a lovely Mother's Day with my parents. My sister and niece came over in the afternoon to help us celebrate my mama's birthday which was the next day. Here is my mom and I getting ready to eat her birthday cake. She said this was the first birthday cake she had ever had in her entire life. We all felt so bad! I know she always made us birthday cakes but apparently none of us ever thought of baking her one. We suck. She should have had a family covenant in the house with the words "someone better make me a cake every year on my birthday!" written down on it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Super exciting bed news

We decided it was time to upgrade Jake to a big boy bed. He was super excited. He didn't really need a bigger bed but our family needed a bigger bed so that no one has to sleep on the floor when guests stay overnight. And since we don't have a guest room, we'll be turning Jake's room into a guest room for our overnight visitors. Hope everyone likes Lightning McQueen. I think he's classic.

Anyway, the crib my dad built Jake when he was born is one that converts from a crib to a toddler bed and then to a full size bed. So we just needed to buy the mattress and box spring. They arrived yesterday afternoon and Mike began the process of turning the toddler bed into a real bed. Emma helped.

Jake was busy watching a movie and summoning us to him whenever he needed a snack or a drink. He thinks he's the King or something.

This is the finished product. It's really a beautiful bed. Too bad our kids' bedrooms are so darn small. The bed is now definately the focal point of the room. Jake came running into the room when it was finished and was very excited and even grateful to his serfs for providing him with this bed fit for a king. He looks so cute and so very small in it.

The next step in growing Jake up? Big boy underwear. We are going to get this kid potty trained this summer if it kills us. Aren't these the cutest underwear you've ever seen? They're so small it looks like our cat could wear them! Hard to believe someone small enough to fit into these little things needs such a big bed to sleep in.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Adventures at Sea World

We took the kids to Sea World in San Antonio on Friday. It was a fun but exhausting day. And we were only there for four hours. How do people stay at theme parks all day long?! The weather started off misty and cloudy but the sun came out after a couple hours. I wish the sun had stayed hidden. It just got so hot and the humidity factor was approximately 3000% so by two o'clock we were ready to bid Shamu adieu. Our main objective this trip was to see Shamu. Let's not get into all of my personal feelings about how orcas shouldn't be in captivity. And let's surely not get into my mixed feelings about supporting orcas in captivity by paying money to go see them. It's complicated. Let's just talk about how much the little boy wanted to see the Shamu show. And let's hope that someday the love of orcas we're fostering in him right now will be the catalyst to him being the person that changes things in the future. Anyway.

He loved Shamu. Emma was a little freaked by how loud the show was. But everytime I looked at Jake I saw his little eyes shining so bright and this big smile on his face. It could have been from the popcorn he was shoveling into his face at the time, but I think it was the whales. And they really are amazing. I got goosebumps being that close to them and felt a little teary eyed at the end of the show. Although seeing them in the wild? Major goosebumps. But we're landlocked now and must go to really big glass tanks to see anything oceanic. I will say they have a four month old baby right now that is adorable.

We knew Jake loved the dolphin exhibit too. But we had no idea Emma would be so excited about it. She oohed and aahed the whole time we were there. Squealing even. It was a very exciting day for both the kids. Here they are at the end of the day as we're leaving the park.

Here's one of the orca's:

Who is that crazy-eyed woman holding my daughter? She must be having conflicting emotions about being at a Shamu show or something. Let's hope she doesn't bust out her "Free Willy!" sign.

And Jake holding his very tired little sister.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I've been trying to get the perfect picture of Jake and Emma to use for a gift for my mom for Mother's Day. After several frustrating, failed attempts at trying to get them to sit still beside each other and smile beautifically I thought I would just try to get a decent picture of them. Not gonna happen. Jake tries, but he doesn't look into the camera anymore. He's always looking down or off to the side. And Emma? Emma can't sit still for five seconds. She actually can't even be bothered to get her diaper changed anymore. I remember this stage with Jake and I repeat, "who wouldn't want to get their dirty diaper changed?!" I realize it requires you lying still on your back for 45 seconds but come on. It's so worth the effort!

Anyway, my hat is off to children's photographers. You have a hard job. I'm thinking maybe my mom's present will have to be a picture of them asleep.