Friday, July 30, 2010

Free Willy!

Be still my mama heart. They are just as excited about whales as I am!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Quit

I surrender. As of today, the children have defeated me. My only hope is that tomorrow is another day. You ever see those mommies out there who make everything look easy and fun? Well, I am not one of those mamas. And frankly, those mamas don't have my children. If they did, they would not be out in public with nicely done hair and makeup wearing cute little outfits with no wrinkles or stains on them. They would not be singing songs they made up to their children while laughing and smiling the whole time either.

I love my kids. I don't want anyone else's children. But sometimes, some days, they win. Like today, for example. Every morning I load both kids into our mammoth jogging stroller, provide each one of them with a separate snack (because they CANNOT share anymore), grab the mammoth sized dog and we go for a walk. This morning I think it took me 45 minutes to get them out the door and into the stroller. Emma did not want me to change her diaper. That probably took a good ten minutes. She's incredibly fast and wily. Then, she did not want to get dressed. That took another ten minutes. Usually I'm in a full body sweat by the time I get Emma changed in the morning. I finally got her ready to go and then I looked at Jake who was dressed but shoeless. I told him to go find his shoes so we could go. He said "okay Mama!" Five minutes later I found him in his room playing with his toys. I reminded him that he was supposed to be looking for his shoes. He said, "oh, okay Mama!" He walked out of his room, into the living room and found Mr. Crab sitting on the couch. After a heart wrenching reunion where he proclaimed his love for Crabby over and over again I gently reminded him to look for his shoes already. By this time I had found one of the shoes so we just needed one more. Five minutes later, Jake comes running over to me saying "I FOUND IT MOMMY!" I said, "no, Jake. That's Shamu. You're looking for a shoe." Finally, we had everyone ready and headed out for the walk. Just in time for the rain to start. I thought about turning around and going back into the house. And then I thought it just took forever to get out here so we are walking no matter what! And we did.

Later, we needed to go to Target because Emma was almost out of diapers. I started trying to get them out the door at 10:35am. We actually made it into the car at 11:18. Seriously. Once again, Emma did not want her diaper changed. She does this little game I like to call 'Limp as a Noodle, Stiff as a Board.' If you try to pick her up to take her somewhere against her will she will arch her back, throw back her head and kick you as hard as she can. Then, when you get her in check and start to pull her up to your own body she goes completely limp which causes you to almost drop her on the ground. Sometimes she goes limp first. Sometimes she's stiff first. She likes to mix it up just to keep you on your toes. This is especially fun when you're trying to get her in her car seat.

I finally got her ready to go when I looked over and saw Jake making this awful face. I asked him what was up and he said "P-U, I pooped!" That was an understatement. Remember he's in underwear now too. Needless to say, that pair of underwear had to be destroyed. By the time we rolled down the driveway I realized it was almost their lunch time. We had a little impromptu lunch at Chick Fil A before going to Target.

Jake spent most of lunch underneath the table doing who knows what. When he wasn't under the table he was turning around bothering the people in the booth behind us so I actually preferred him to be under the table. Emma was good until her nuggets were gone and then she decided to flip out and dip her plastic cow toy she got in ketchup and hurl it across the restaurant. I will forever be haunted by images of red ketchup flying through the air. When lunch was over, I rewarded their behavior by letting them play at the play scape. Ten minutes later I told them it was time to leave to go to Target. Jake complied. Emma did not. She took off up to the top of the play scape and sat down. I said "Emma! It's time to go now. Come down." She said "Nuh-uh." We did that for about five minutes with the other two moms in there kind of laughing about the whole thing. I eventually had to climb up to the top of the play scape and haul her down.

On the way to Target I had to have a little prayer time. And the Lord blessed me. The children were pretty good through Target and Emma is now taking a nap. Jake has come out of his room twice so far but I'm still hopeful that he will nap too. Just in case, I have made a small white flag out of one of Mike's t-shirts that I plan on hanging outside our bedroom door to let them know that they win.


This actually all took place yesterday. I just didn't want to post it on Wordless Wednesday because it had so many words. As of today, Little Mama is back in charge.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Potty Training 101

After two lame, failed attempts at potty training I think we finally found the method that works for us. Yes, I'm happy to say that the little Mister is officially potty trained. At least when it comes to peeing. We're still working on the other thing. Apparently, that's a whole different can of worms. I'm hoping we're successful with everything before the boy enters Kindergarden.

So, here's what worked for us. My friend Katha sent me some info by a self proclaimed queen of potty training. Basically, it's how to potty train your child in three days. It was all good, sound advice. We spent three days at home with Jake wearing only his underwear and a t-shirt. We got rid of the diapers and told him he would no longer be wearing them because he is such a big boy.

I stayed glued to his hip for the next two days. I was supposed to be near him at all times so I could catch him right as he was going and whisk him off to the bathroom. By the end of the second day I was completely frustrated. I couldn't even catch him peeing! He went so little that by the time I noticed he was wet or he told me he was wet, he was all done. Nonetheless, we still went and sat on the potty every time for a minute. We were instructed to always be positive and to tell him a million times a day to let us know if he needed to go potty. Also, there was no sitting him on the potty for a few minutes just to try. We only put him there when he was actually going or had just finished going.

By the morning of the third day, I was ready to quit. I was tired of doing laundry and cleaning up messes. It just didn't seem to be sinking in with Jake. But, miracle of miracles on the third night around 7pm, he looked at me and said "Mama! I need to go tee tee!" We made it to the potty in time for him to go. We were all so excited. We ended up giving him a new Lightning McQueen car for his effort. Of course, that set a precedent of giving him "surprises" every time he goes potty. The kid is covered in tattoos and has eaten his weight in candy by now. I don't care. I'm delighted that he can do this!

Any ideas on pooping in the potty? We've told him that if he starts doing that he gets to go see Toy Story 3 with us. That's a pretty big incentive but it doesn't seem to be working. I could use some help here.

I also made him a little potty training chart. He loves to put stickers up everyday when he goes. I'm so proud of him! He hasn't had a single pee related accident in a week now during the day. Night time is also a different beast. So far he's had three nights out of nine with no wet bed. Here'a a picture of the chart. He really likes it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Disclaimer: Following is a picture of a big,hairy spider. Laura S., I think you should stop reading now. Seriously, Laura, step away from the blog.

Mike found this guy in our backyard two days ago. Could it be? Monster, is that really you? I'm not sure because he looks a little bit bigger than I remember him. But, I suppose he could have been eating really well since he moved out of the garage. And he did wave two of those legs at me when I took his picture. I'm gonna say it's Monster. I'm so happy! My monster came home.

Friday, July 23, 2010

More of the same...

Today, we're just hanging out at home. Too much excitement this week. Although, we are going to try Craigo's Pizza for the first time tonight. Reviews, anyone?

Yesterday, however, we continued with our week of fun by taking the kids to The Triangle in Austin. A couple weeks ago I bought a coupon for a place there called SnapKitchen and I wanted to go get our food. They make healthy, fresh food and package it up for you so all you have to do is heat it up in the microwave. We had some ginger salmon last night that was really good. But before we went there we stopped at WhichWich for sandwiches and then headed over to Yogurt Planet for dessert. Emma loved her cheese pizza sandwich. Jake was much too busy goofing off to eat though.

I've had so many people tell me how good Yogurt Planet is and they weren't lying. The kids decided to put m&m's and gummy worms on their yogurt. Mike and I are more sophisticated and had strawberries and cookie dough on ours. Look how happy Jake and Emma were with their purchase!

Jake trying to climb into a fountain.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Breeze Makes me Feel Fine!

We have been having more fun this week! Yesterday, my friend Katha brought her adorable boys over and we headed out to our neighborhood pool. The kids had the most fun playing in the little splash park! Emma tried to give me multiple coronaries by jumping off the side of the pool and making me chase her all over the place. Jake, praise God, was pretty content to doggy paddle by himself and play with his "best friend" "L". It is very hard to watch both kids by yourself. You pretty much have to one on one them at the pool. Katha had her hands full too but the morning was a success. We finished off the playdate with a little Sonic for lunch courtesy of my sweet friend. I haven't had to scavenge for food in three days because of everyone's kindness!

Anyway, here are the boys.

And the babies. Don't you just want to squish baby "M"'s thighs and kiss his belly?

And Katha with Miss Em.

And I tried to get an action shot at the splash pad.

Have we discussed my abilities as a photographer? I believe we have. I've decided that as soon as I publish a book and ride to the bottom of the ocean in some cool submersible I want to be a photographer. Looks like I have a ways to go, huh?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Just realized I posted this on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. Silly me. I can't get it right all the time!

Random thoughts

Yesterday was just a fun day. The kids and I met Amy and her boy at the local Y to go swimming. I love our neighborhood pool but the pool at the Y is even more little kid friendly and Jake and Emma had the best time. We stayed for two and a half hours which just never happens. My sweet friend even brought us all lunch to eat while we were there. I was so grateful because frankly, we are just about out of food. And I am refusing to go to the store until pay day unless it's for milk or chocolate.

The kids were worn out when we got home and both took good naps. Then, Cheryl and Alan got in touch with us to say they were going to be in the area and asked to take us out to dinner! We always love seeing them. So thank you to our friends and family for feeding us yesterday. I hope to return the favor soon!

On another note, my friend Mel is working with some kids at a summer camp. They have started a blog of all of their adventures and she asked me to post the link to it for people to read. She's hoping if people leave comments for the kids it will motivate them to keep up with the blog. So, if you have a minute can you check it out? And leave a comment for them?! All they need is some positive reinforcement. Here's the link.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shoulder Shred

Back in May, I injured my right shoulder doing my Thirty Day Shred workout video. Darn that Jillian Michaels. I always knew she would be the death of me. I was doing a part that involved lots of pushups and planks and the next day my shoulder was just really sore. I also noticed that I couldn't move my shoulder the way I should. I decided to let it rest. I stopped doing the workout video and started walking instead. After about seven weeks, the shoulder still hurt and now so did my neck. So finally, I went to my doctor. She had me do a few exercises for her and then gladly informed me that I wouldn't need surgery or even an x-ray! She then referred me to another doctor who specializes in Airrosti. That has something to do with soft tissue. She told me he would work on me until I had tears in my eyes. I was all "well great! let's do this!." He's a chiropractor but only works on the soft tissue around your muscles rather than the spine. Basically, he spent thirty minutes pressing on my neck, shoulder and arm really hard with his thumbs. Then he did a really cool tape job that makes me look like some kind of athlete or something. I love the tape! I also heart Dr. Askey. I have at least two more treatments to go but he pretty much guarantees a full recovery in three weeks. I wonder if I can still wear the tape when my shoulder is all healed up.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Spider Love

This is Monster. He lives in our garage. Six months ago if I had seen a spider of this size he would have died just as fast as I could scream "Mike! Come get this spider!" However, it seems I've becomed more enlightened in my fortieth year. I really feel like Monster means us no harm. So, he's allowed to stay.

In fact, a few days ago when the pest control people came over to spray the house and yard because we found yet another scorpion inside, I asked the guy to leave the garage alone. When he looked at me like I was a crazy person I patiently explained to him that I have a pet spider who lives in the garage named Monster and I would really like to protect him from harsh chemicals that will cause him to die. Oddly enough, the guy kept looking at me like I was crazy. He then asked me what kind of spider it was and I said the big, brown kind. Then he began a ten minute dissertation on how the only spider he likes is the Charlotte's web spider who makes zigzags in her web. And I was all, "Oh, yeah, I have one of those on a tomato plant in the garden. Please don't get anywhere near her either." Really, I just wanted to send the scorpions a message. Apparently, insecticide is indiscriminate.

The day after he sprayed I saw Monster in the garage looking alive as ever. But, I think the kids may have scared him out into the flower bed right beside the garage. Sadly, I have not seen him since. I miss my Monster. I'm hoping he made it off our property alive. I did see a Monster Jr. in the garage yesterday. Maybe we can become friends too. Maybe the garage just wasn't big enough for two monsters.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What not to Wear

It has just been one of those days...I wish I could hide under a lampshade!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just a day in the life

I started off today by dropping a brand new jar of applesauce on the floor. Of course, it was a glass jar and it broke all over the place. Meanwhile, Emma was in her highchair flipping out because I couldn't get her any applesauce and Jake was trying to drive his truck through the entire mess. I found myself in a lengthy discussion with the three year old about how crawling through broken glass is really not a good idea. I seriously wonder sometimes why no one thinks I know what I'm talking about around here.

I finally got the mess cleaned up with constant running commentary from Jake who was supervising my work. I got Emma out of her chair and distracted from the fact that she was not currently eating applesauce. Then Jake came over to tell me he had found something. I thought maybe he was talking about more glass so I followed him. What he found was a scorpion. I nudged it to see if it was still alive and it went into full on soldier mode trying to kill me with its tail. So I ran to get something to scoop it up with and saw Emma going straight for the scorpion to pick it up! I yelled at her to stop and thank God, she did. Finally! Someone listened to something I said!

Needless to say, it is nap time and Mama is exhausted. The floor is cleaned up (relatively speaking), the scorpion sits in a glass on the kitchen counter, the kids are in their rooms and I am happily enjoying some peace and quiet waiting for the next adventure/misadventure to strike.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Things in my garden

We've actually been enjoying some cooler weather around here lately. We've had some much needed rain which has been good for our little garden unless you're a tomato. Apparently, too much moisture makes tomatoes burst open. We've had many visitors to our tomato plants this summer as well. My dad warned me that we might get some dreaded horn worms on the plants because they love tomatoes. He told me I would know it if they were there because of all the droppings they leave behind. I was all, "ew, catepillar poop? I would NEVER have that in my garden. I'm much too attentive to our plants needs."

Well, the day after we got back home from a trip to my parents house, I found this in the garden.

As soon as I saw all of the little, black circles dotting the garden I thought "LORD! Is that catepillar poop?"

Then I found these guys.

Horn worms. Disgusting. They look like small, green fetal puppies. My dad told me to smush them, but I can't smush something that big. There might be noises involved. Or fluids I'm not comfortable with. So, instead I brought them inside to show them to the kids. Then we kept them in a bowl for a couple days and tried to feed them. Then I asked Mike to relocate them to another part of the neighborhood.

This girl also lives on one of the tomato plants. I've always been scared of spiders but I let her stay because she's eating pesky flies. She has grown leaps and bounds since I first saw her out there.

I know my photographic skills are amazing. It's because I'm awesome.

Finally, we are being invaded by grasshoppers. So far, we are letting them live their lives in peace. I'm not sure what to do about them. They are also pooping all over the place. At first when I saw these guys I was all "Oh! How cute, that one is giving that other one a piggy back ride!"

But the more I think about it, the more certain I am that something altogether different was going on. I'm not sure the grasshoppers can stay. I don't think that's acceptable behavior to have in a garden frequented by small children. But how do I get rid of grasshoppers without spraying chemicals on them? I certainly can't smush them. Imagine the crunchy sound that would make!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Food, friends, fireworks and finding things

We celebrated the Fourth of July with our good friends, the Reiters. They came over, we grilled hamburgers, I made a festive dessert, the guys took the kids swimming and then we shot off our mini arsenal of fireworks. It wasn't much but it was something.

Actually, our neighbors had way better fireworks so we got to enjoy some good stuff. They had the great big expensive boxes with pictures of bombs and stuff on them. I think I experienced a little bit of fireworks envy. We had some fountains, sparklers and little chickens that pooped fireballs until their heads fell off.

Here's a picture of Leslie and I enjoying ourselves. Check out the cool sky in the background.

And here are some of Mike and Jake and myself. Poor Emma had to go to bed before the fireworks started. I couldn't believe she slept through the entire thing!

Jake was very excited about the idea of fireworks. He changed his mind a little bit once we got started. I think they were just too loud. He didn't want to go inside but he did want the comfort of his good friend Mr. Crab. Too bad we couldn't find him anywhere. We seriously had three people scour the entire house looking for that little guy. We finally found him at the end of the night just as we were putting Jake to bed. Turns out Emma had thrown him in the trashcan. We really have to watch that girl.

The next day, I decided to post some pictures of the Fourth on this blog. Except I could not find our camera anywhere! I looked outside where I knew I had it last. Then I looked in the trashcan to see if Emma had gotten a hold of it. Nothing. Finally, when Mike got home from work we both started looking. I began to think about the last place I remembered having it and that was in my hand while I was picking up discarded fireworks and throwing them away the night before. So I busted a move over to our big trashcan in the garage. Mike was already there pulling our poor little camera from the bottom of the can. Seems as though I just decided to throw everything away. It's a good thing I wasn't holding one of the kids at the time. Meanwhile, Mike was just looking at me with that look he sometimes gets that says "Wow! You are old and crazy." And I'm thinking, "Wow! Now I know where Emma gets it from!"