Saturday, December 6, 2008

my 101st post! and more Very Special News

1. My Sis and Todd-in-law bought me my own domain name so that my blog will look more professional. Why does it need to look more professional?

2. Because as of Saturday, December 13th, I am a newspaper columnist! You can find my column every Saturday in the Augusta Gazette.

So change your bookmarks to this: erinslittlecorner.com. See you there!

Friday, December 5, 2008

all I want for Christmas...

edit: I TOTALLY DID NOT WRITE THIS. I thought I had put that disclaimer on here but I forgot, and then this posted before I remembered to do it and then you guys saw it and Angie and Jessica gave me credit...Anyway, thanks for thinking I could have written this, but it wasn't me! I'd love to be this hilarious.

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor has, and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:
  • I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.
  • I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.
  • If you're hauling big ticket items this year, I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.
  • On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.
  • I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.
  • If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.
  • If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely.
  • It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,
A MOM

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas is coming

Tuesday night my friend commented on a message board that Christmas Eve was three weeks from Wednesday. I kind of panicked because I do not have one Christmas project fully completed. A lot of gifts are planned in my brain but they are not in my hands or in my home. So I went to bed making a list and panicking.

Wednesday morning while G was at preschool I planned on Little Missy watching "Sleeping Beauty" while I finished the Christmas cards. The same Christmas cards I started a week and a half before Thanksgiving, the Christmas cards I told my friend Jessi I had begun early as a smidgen of smug crossed my face, the Christmas cards that have not been touched for weeks. So I put in "Sleeping Beauty," played with Little Missy and then let her sit on my lap while we both watched the movie.

After preschool I tried again. I drove the kids to McDonald's, bought us lunch so I could save time in not making food and directly starting on the cards. And I put them in front of the TV. SO HELP ME, you will SIT and watch a movie and not bother me while I am making the cards to send to our friends and family to tell them how much we love them and how happy and perfect we are. But of course they didn't leave me alone. They sat in the dining room and talked to me and played on the floor while I finished the cards. But I finished them. And I can cross off one item from my list.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

more potty talk

Little Missy is very nearly potty-trained! Hubby and I are so excited to stop paying for diapers. And we're proud of our little girl being a big girl, of course.

About six weeks ago Little Missy was lying on the floor as I changed her diaper. She looks up at me and says "I want to go potty in the toilet."

"You do??"

"Mm!" She nodded, all wide-eyed and positive.

So after we picked up G from preschool the three of us headed to Wal-Mart where she picked out her own undies (Tinkerbell and princesses) and G picked out some additional ones for himself (Batman, I think). We came home, Little Missy sat on the toilet, I sat on the floor in front of her and G sat on my lap. And we sat there for 20 minutes. Finally she peed! And G and I clapped and stood on our feet and told her what a big girl she was. She nodded, all wide-eyed and positive and quietly happy for herself. And she put on her first pair of undies. Every 15 minutes I would take her to the potty to try again. She would happily sit on the toilet for 15 minutes each time, get up having not peed in the toilet, and promptly pee in the kitchen or the hallway. The next morning the same thing. So I put away the undies and brought back the diapers.

Last week, on Thanksgiving, she told her Daddy and me that she wanted to wear undies. John Rosemond says that when your child is ready you have to jump on it or else she might not be ready again for a long time. So Hubby and I let her wear undies to her Auntie's house. Where she peed on the floor shortly after arriving. Thanks for understanding, Sis and Todd-in-Law! And the diapers came out once again.

Monday morning, after her bath, she told me she wanted to potty on the toilet. I took her in and SHE DID! Promptly. She finally understands the idea of holding it and releasing it at the appropriate time. She's had a few accidents, but a few accidents in three days compared to lots of doing it correctly in the same time period, I consider the process nearly finished.

So my advice for potty training is to wait and wait and wait until your child has given up on you and is practically walking into the bathroom, pulling down their diaper and sitting on the toilet with a "Yeah,-I've-got-this,-Mom" look. With G, I looked at him one day and realized "Holy cow! You are going to be THREE IN A MONTH!" So I took him out, bought him undies, M&M's for a reward, and told him that he was no longer wearing diapers. He only had one accident. I'm telling you, sometimes my procrastination pays off. It certainly made potty-training easy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Twitter

My friend Angela sent me a link this morning to join her on Twitter. Todd-in-law was interviewed by Anita Cochran and on KSN last night. Watch it here.

This Twitter thing is taking over.

Monday, November 24, 2008

just to annoy my neighbors, (and Monica)...

... I hung my Christmas wreath on the front door and put my Christmas trees in the black planters in front of my steps. A full five days before Thanksgiving. Last week when I told Monica that I wanted to put up my Christmas tree before Hubby came home she rolled her eyes. "Um, NO. Too early."

But my Christmas decorations are up! All of them that I could carry up myself from the basement. My new stockings hang in front of the fireplace, our sparkly branches rest on the mantle, and shatter-proof ornaments are kept around my home. And the Christmas music has already been played.

Yay for Christmas!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

girl is crazy

Seriously?

No, explosive diarrhea is not cute. It is stinky and gets all over your husband's aunt's bedspread when you are visiting for Thanksgiving. Women like this who proclaim that everything is so cute, implying that everything is roses, freaks out new moms who are stressed and tired and not yet able to laugh at the public explosion of their child's diarrhea.

Ms. Alba, just admit that you're tired. No one is going to think less of you.

Friday, November 21, 2008

poop

I remember watching "Regis and Kathie Lee" back in the day and being offended for 3 year-old Cody when Kathie Lee would talk about his poops. Right then, the summer before my sophomore year of high school (I'm guessing) I vowed to never talk about my children's poops on national television. That vow morphed to the blog world since this is my outlet and I won't be on national television anytime soon. And one day, many years from now when my children are older and not so self-absorbed (I'm giving it 20 years) they might want to read about their childhood. And I wouldn't want them to be embarrassed. Well, in my youth and blissful ignorance I made lots of vows regarding the children who wouldn't be in my life for another ten years -- no making them eat their vegetables, no spit-cleaning their faces, never letting them sleep in my bed.

I changed my mind on all of them.

Little Missy has started hiding from me when she does her business. One time I noticed her tell-tale face of "The poo is coming" as she ran behind the chair for some privacy. She must have decided she'd be bored back there during those long 30 seconds so she ran out, grabbed a truck, and ran back to her spot, all with a quick "Don't look at me, Mommy."

A few days later the same look crossed her face and she ran behind the couch.

"What are you doin', Little Missy?" I asked.

"Don't look at me, Mommy!"

G walked into the room, saw his sister, and walked behind the couch from the other end.

"Whatcha doin', Little Missy?"

"G," I began, "leave her alone for a little bit."

Little Missy didn't hear me and quickly responded to her brother: "I poopin', G."

Now she poops in the other room, then nonchalantly comes into the room with us and asks sweetly "You smell stankies, Mommy?" "G, you smell stankies?" I think this is the 2 year-old version of internally worrying that those around you smelled your fart. Only, she has no internal dialogue and asking out loud is admitting that "Whoever smelt it, dealt it."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

logic

me: "G, don't do that. That's a bad idea"

G: innocently "What's a bad idea, Mommy?"

me: "SITTING ON YOUR SISTER'S HEAD. That's a bad idea."

braggin' on my kid

G got his progress report from school the other day. And I am going to transcribe it for you because I love it and I am so proud of him, and it's my blog, and the grandparents will love it.

So.

There are six areas the teachers comment on:

  • Listens Carefully
  • Stays on Task
  • Follows Directions
  • Treats Others With Respect
  • Follows Class Rules
  • Does His/Her Best Work

There are three "grades:"

  • Needs Improvement
  • Satisfactory
  • Outstanding


Little G received an "Outstanding" in each class. He makes me so proud. But then his teachers' comments made me tear up:

"G is very well mannered and plays well with other children. He listens well. Knows his letters, colors, etc. He is an excellent role model for our class." (I added the boldface.)

I read him the comments from his teachers and scooped the little stinker in my arms. The same boy who grabs toys from his sister, argues with me over which route is quickest to get us from Peel's Beauty Supply in Wichita to our home in Augusta, gets mad when I give him crew socks instead of his "big" socks, this boy is a sweetie-pie for others. At least he knows how to behave around others.

Which is most important because I want to keep up appearances.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

hubby is coming home!

...In three days!

How much weight can I lose in three days? Like, if I were to go all-out: fasting, honey & ginger whatever, laxatives ... how much weight? Because nothing says "love" like coming home to a wife who has dealt with her sadness by eating her feelings.

Lots of her feelings.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

discipline?

Hubby and I made a decision a long time ago to not turn our children into little robots. You know, the kids whose parents enforce rules to the extreme and the children march through their lives scared of stepping out of line. We dreamed of raising well-behaved children who retained their spunk but knew when and where that spunk was appropriate.

Said spunk is not always appropriate while grocery shopping.

As a fellow mother at my church put it, when those automatic doors slide open, something snaps in their brains and they lose sense of who they are and how they're expected to behave. I go crazy when the automatic doors slide open at Forever 21, but I do not go crazy while entering Dillons. DILLONS. As a child when I went to the grocery store with my mom I got a free cookie from the Albertson's bakery. My kids don't get free cookies. They don't get anything they ask for: no coffee cake, no Kool-Aid, no cans of tuna. Well, I did acquiesce on the can of tuna, but that can is sitting in our pantry since neither Hubby nor I eat the stuff. Anyway, why are they so excited to be in the land of No-You-Can't-Have-It?

My top guess is because they get to run somewhere other than our living room-dining room-kitchen-hallway loop. They get to run up and down and up and down many aisles. We go in the middle of the day, when few shoppers or other moms are there, and for the most part their running doesn't bother me. They know to stay where I can see them.

But then the giggling starts. I am overjoyed that my children enjoy eachother. But sometimes the giggling and the squealing and the running gets to be a little much. Then the hugging starts, and that's when it gets really embarrassing. Little Missy hugs G, G laughs, so Little Missy hugs him tighter and they fall to the floor. Read that again: two siblings are hugging and laughing so much that they fall to the floor. Then they stay on the floor in a little ball of arms and coats and hands as I'm sternly whispering, "THAT IS ENOUGH. GET OFF THE FLOOR." We're not weirdoes, for Pete's sake. And all this time I am hoping against hope that I will not run into anyone I know. Usually I love running into friends, but someone overhearing my hissing and fruitless struggles to get my children in line would make my face turn red.

So the rhetorical question is this: How do we find the balance between raising robots and raising weirdoes?

Monday, November 10, 2008

tagged again

My friend Erin tagged me a few weeks ago and I still haven't completed it. Then Todd-in-law tagged me this morning so I figure I should probably "do this thing," as G would say. Here it goes:

OFFICIAL RULES:

-Link to the person who tagged you.
-Post the rules on your blog.
-Write 6 random things about yourself.
-Tag 6-ish people at the end of your post.
-Let each person know he/she has been tagged.
-Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. Right now I am mighty cold. This morning we woke up to the furnace loud and angry in the basement, bellowing and threatening to blow up. So I turned it off, gave it a rest, and when we came home from our morning errands I turned it back on. That time a small whimper came from the beast; still alive but no longer blowing warm air through the vents. McCune Heating & Cooling has me on their standby list. Before they get here we will be snuggling under blankets and probably drinking hot chocolate.

2. Over the weekend I went to a ladies' retreat with my church. Lots of testimonies, praying and reading and trying to better understand our individual relationships with the Lord. I sat in a room with 50 women from age 22 to 70-something, inspired by all the stories completely unique to them. Each flawed woman, made perfect by Him, daily trying to walk better in the light and knowledge He gives. What I love about the Lord is that even with 6 billion people on earth right now He gives me the attention of an only child.

3. Every day after preschool G has a new song that he sings around the house. His teachers have a song for everything: putting away books after reading time, walking down the stairs and holding the rail, finding out what the weather is for the day. And G is coming out of his shell more and more every time he goes. My previously shy little boy is getting quite comfortable around others and letting all of us see his spunk. Most of the time that's a good thing.

4. I miss Hubby. But in this time my family and friends have surrounded me and helped me to not feel so lonely. They invite me over for dinner, plan activities for me, come over and sit at my house for hours to keep me company, let me spend the night at their house. When Hubby is home my eyes can easily become focused solely on him and the children, but during this time I am again reminded over and over how much love surrounds me. Thank you everyone. They all are a living example of this verse: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1: 3&4

5. This morning Little Missy and I went to Goodwill to look for clothes for me. I wanted to call my sister while I was there to see what Lucky would say about a jacket I was trying on, but she can't really talk at work, so I grudgingly put it back. But I did find a shrunken jacket, a shirtdress, and two shirts that are pushing my comfort zone in their respective cuts but they are solid colors and that makes them easier to wear. Hey, this is a random post.

6. What the crap is this girl wearing? Mischa is falling into a depression and we are all watching and laughing (I'm trying not to laugh, but seriously).

Here are my friends who will be so happy I tagged them:

1. Amanda

2. Ang

3. Jessi (if she ever decides to post again)

4. Angela

5. Niki

6. Christa

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

easy delicious-ness


from kraftfoods.com:

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

What you need:
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1 can (21 oz.) apple pie filling
6 boneless pork loin chops (1-1/2 lb.), 3/4 inch thick
Make It:
HEAT oven to 375ºF. Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package.
SPREAD pie filling onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with chops and stuffing. Cover with foil.
BAKE 30 min.; uncover. Bake 10 min. or until chops are cooked through (160ºF).

while the cat's away

My mom suggested that while Hubby is gone I should make the dinners that he doesn't like to eat. Problem is that I'm not much of a cook so Hubby is always kind when I actually do cook and he doesn't complain too much. Although one time he did say "If my father ever knew how much chicken I eat ... " Because we do eat chicken for most of our dinners, and Hubby grew up on red meat. While he's gone we'll still be eating chicken most every night. Although tonight I cooked pork chops that I was planning to cook while he was here, but then he left suddenly, and now I have an amazing and delicious meal in my fridge. So much of it that I'll have to eat it for all my meals tomorrow.

I decided that I would watch "Law&Order" after the kids went to bed. Hubby HATES L&O, smirks when I watch it, totally ruins the experience for me. So tonight I was going to watch it. But of course the kids were riled up after their nap (they never nap anymore) and church and they didn't go to sleep until 9:55. Boo.

Tomorrow night I'm watching "Lars and the Real Girl." That's not really a movie Hubby is against watching, but it was the only movie I really wanted as #1 on my queue from Netflix. I'm really trying to not watch the rest of season 2 of "Battlestar Galactica." And I'm also trying not to read ahead on Television Without Pity as to the rest of BG. Because it is an awesome show and we've been watching it almost every night and now Hubby is gone and I can't watch it for two weeks.

That's all for now! But I will post the recipe for the pork chops and then you can all comment about how much you love me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

my Hubby is gone!

Hubby is in Seattle, climbing the work ladder by fixing other Spirit employees' mistakes before the planes are handed off to Boeing. Yesterday afternoon Hubby was thinking about volunteering for the job, this morning he talked to his supervisor, and at 2:55 he was on a plane to Seattle. My Hubby is gone for TWO WEEKS. I still haven't wrapped my mind around how long that really is -- how many baths and bedtimes I'll deal with alone, how many cups of milk I'll pour, how many fights I'll mediate and try to resolve. But on the flip side I'll receive all the smiles, all the hugs, watch the rays of sunshine as they run through our home. So it will be difficult for each of us.

Monday, November 3, 2008

best friends

Hubby has been home quite a bit lately due to the Boeing strike (which is now officially over, but his 3-day workweeks are not). So he has been spending quite a bit of time with the kiddos ...

... reading ...


... playing with Stomp Rockets outside ...

... so much time, in fact, that G is no longer content for his chair to be around the corner from Daddy's, but must have it THISCLOSE to Daddy's when they eat their lunch.

lots and lots o' parties

The Saturday before his actual birthday we had a birthday party for G's friends and families. Tuesday night we went to Chuck E. Cheese with Auntie Leelee and Uncle Todd. Wednesday morning we had birthday treats in preschool, then Wednesday evening we ate dinner at the McDonald's in El Dorado because it has a playplace. Four parties for a four year old!

The Thomas-themed food table at party #1:


Surrounded by friends and family:


Our neighborhood block party happened to be at the exact same time and they brought in a fire truck. So we all walked down and took a look:


At Chuck E. Cheese:




G got to have his sister with him for his snack-time on his birthday:

With his birthday crown:

Friday, October 31, 2008

maybe I should start posting again

This past week I've been angry with Blogspot, sitting in a corner and sticking out my tongue at it, angry that it won't let me post my pictures of sweet McG's birthday party. But I had to check my blog everyday so that I could access my friend's blogs, and the frustration would get to me. So today, I'm working my way slowly back to posting. Maybe in a few days I'll try again with the pictures.

Our plans for the day: play nice and make-up. As in make-up for the very bad day we had yesterday. McG has been a little obstinant ever since he turned four. I blame myself and Hubby for this: we were all "You're such a big boy!" over and over and over again that he started believing us. And in his mind big boys don't have to listen to their parents. So yesterday was a bad day, filled with lots of quiet and stern talkings, time-outs and even a spanking. Yikes. So today I'm taking the kids to Exploration Place so that we can all remember that we love eachother. Even after bad days.

Then my parents are here tonight! Right now I'm trying to decide if I force the kids down for a nap so that they'll last past their 7 o'clock bedtime, the time we'll invariably be out to dinner. The downside is that then they'll be up very late. Or try to force them to be kind through dinner even without a nap so that we can put them to bed when we get home and have a glass of wine with my parents and sister and bro-in-law. It's a tough call.

Peace out! Have a nice weekend in this beautiful weather and I'll talk to you peeps later.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

grrr

Have any of you other bloggers been having trouble with Blogger? I have been trying off and on since Tuesday to post pictures of McG's birthday party but Blogger keeps freezing up on me. So I'm here, thinking of you all and wanting to show you all what's been going on, but it hasn't been working. So I'm giving myself a day or two and then I'll try again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

a birthday cake

The night before his birthday party, McG, Little Missy and I mixed the cake batter and poured it into ice cream cones before baking. I told them we'd decorate them with frosting and sprinkles the next morning after they woke up. The next morning I came downstairs and found them ready to go. They'd pulled up a chair and a stool to stand on and were patiently waiting at the counter:



So I pulled out the ice cream cone cakes and frosted them. They added the sprinkles:


They're good little helpers!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

superfoods


McG (like G's new name? Feel free to comment or add suggestions) is a wonderful eater. He eats everything we put in front of him and if he sees something unknown on our plate it's "What's that? Can I try it?"

Little Missy is a terrible eater. Her diet consists of oatmeal, fruit, cheerios, raisins, chicken nuggets, yogurt and milk. Of course, she also loves chips and sugar, so we try to limit having those items in the house. Hubby and I go through periods where we will force her to try something new -- replete with numerous trips during dinner to her step / time-out, lots of screaming and tears on her part, near yelling on our part -- then during other periods we'll fix her anything she wants just so the rest of us can eat in peace and harmony.

The other night we were at McDonald's when she had to eat her apple slices. She loves apples. So Hubby suggested she dip her apple slices in the caramel as a treat. "No," as she shook her head.

"But it tastes like candy," Hubby reasoned with her.

She vigorously shook her head. The girl didn't buy it, because of, you know, all the times we've told her something tastes like candy only to give her bleach to drink.

"Really, Little Missy, it's YUMMY. Try it!" McG tried to help out from across the table.

We left McDonald's without her ever having tried the yumminess, but McG dipped his finger in the caramel and licked as much of it as he could after his apples were gone.

Later that night, during bath time, I walked into the bathroom to find her drinking the bathwater. Because, as you know, drinking the tepid water of your own filth is much yummier than caramel.

D-D-D-Dora!

Little Missy loves her Dora the Explorer Candyland game. I do not love it. So I hid it in our hall closet. But like the smart and observant daughter I hoped she would be, Little Missy found it when I was putting away towels.

"D-D-D-Dora! My Dora Splora game! Can we play it? Can we play it?"


"Sure! When Daddy gets home!" I wasn't going to struggle with two toddlers playing this game all on my own.

But at least I got some cute pictures of the kids. Good thing there's not audio for these pictures, or else you might have heard some frustration coming from the adult side of the game table. With these pictures you are spared the gritted teeth and you get to see the happy parts. What cuties.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fredonia Part One, or Homecoming 2008

Two weekends ago we went to Fredonia's Homecoming. Homecoming in Fredonia is very little about the high school students but most everything about the town. There's a parade, carnival, craft fair--and that is all on Saturday. During the week there is stuff like the Homecoming Queen competition (to which I would definitely go if I lived there and not Augusta) and things that have to do with iron tools. I'm not sure of the specifics but it sounds super fun.

Here we are waiting for the parade to begin:


Now it's G's turn to hang out on Daddy's shoulders.
Little Missy and G on the carousel:
G and Little Missy on the helicopter:


But here is the best part of the day, and the best thing that has happened to G in the past two years: a train ride. All G talks about is trains. He tells his friends over and over that he is going to be a train driver when he grows up; he has explained to his daddy and me that he will drive his train through Augusta and pick us up and we can sleep in the coach car when we get tired...you get the point. The last time he rode a train was when Thomas came to OKC two years ago and we went with Nana and Grandpa and Leelee. G can still tell us the specifics of that day: Uncle Todd was not there, Daddy and Little Missy and Grandpa only rode the first time while G, Nana, Auntie Leelee and I all rode a second time. The boy was not quite two and he remembers all this. So getting to ride a train again was huge.

As we waited in line to board:
Little Missy sure loves her hat and purse:
He punches tickets just like they do on "The Polar Express":
Soaking it all in:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

cleaning

Hubby and I cleaned out our basement today. Edit: Hubby and I started cleaning it out and he finished it, but who needs to know that I escaped upstairs to read books to G and hide from the boxes and spiders.

Anyway.

Last year I got a giftcard from the Gap for Christmas from my in-laws and with that free money I decided to buy some expensive jeans. Most of my jeans come from Bitten and are $15 at the most, so I bought some $60 jeans (on-trend with cute back pockets) that I would never splurge on with my own money. And I bought a supercute silver shirt. I got home and have worn that silver shirt quite a few times but have never worn those jeans because I lost them. Lost. Them. I went throught the bag of clothes that I've been thinking about giving to Goodwill (notice that I've had that bag of clothes since last December and it is now October), gone through the corners of my car's trunk, emptied my drawers. They haven't been anywhere.

Last night I was sitting on the couch, looking at the knees of my jeans, noticing how they're almost worn through and will soon have holes, and again I wanted the expensive jeans with the cute pockets to replace this pair of jeans with the cute pockets (Sassy Engineer, you know the jeans of which I speak). And again I was frustrated that I lost a really cute pair of jeans without ever taking off the tags.

So today, before I excused myself upstairs, I found a Gap bag WITH THE JEANS.

Good things come to those who clean.

Monday, October 13, 2008

picture


self-expression

Hubby thinks it is hi-larious to let Little Missy pick out her own clothes. But he doesn't just let her pick out her entire outfit, he kind of pushes it along to craziness by picking out the first article of clothing and letting her go from there.

Last week she ended up wearing this:



...with her purple flowered & ruffled jeans, bracelets, her tulip ring and the ugliest Princess shoes ever. The Princess shoes are partly my fault because she picked them out after the four of us had been at Target for way too long, trying to find shoes that I liked and were actually in her size, with G and Little Missy laughing and running in circles and touching every shoe they could and some that were out of their reach when I capitulated: "Yes, she can have the ugly Princess shoes and I will buy her some better ones another time." Well, I'm not going to buy her any more shoes, no matter how ugly they are, until she outgrows them, so I try to limit her wearing them to appropriate times when they won't stand out. Although I'm not sure which of her shoes would have looked better with this ensemble, but the Princess shoes make me cringe.

When I found out what she had worn outside of the house Hubby smiled "But the people in the store (library? I can't remember the particulars because my horror was clouding my hearing) thought she was so cute."

HONEY. They have to say something when their eyes are grabbed by the little neon mess walking around.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

read this stuff

My friend Niki has a blog and her husband has a blog. Check both of them out, specifically the post "A Somewhat Serious Post About the 'Right' to Health Care" (hers) and "I'm sorry but I need that pen back" (his). Very interesting reading as we make our decision for whom to vote in November!

http://theunconventionaldoctorswife.blogspot.com/
http://unconventionaldoctor.blogspot.com/

more kids?

When Hubby and I were engaged we both knew we wanted four kids. I always thought big families seemed like so much fun, he is from a family of four brothers who are all still close friends, so four was the only option for us. And we were going to have them close together.

So we had our first little blessing--G. He was a beautiful, easy, eventually very happy baby. Right on time and according to plan Little Missy entered the family. G loved his sister, no sibling rivalry, Little Missy was another beautiful, easy, very happy baby. But we were busy. Having two children does not double your work, it quadruples it. As Hubby said, the first six months were easy because she was sleeping all the time. But then she began staying awake more and more during the day and demanding more and more of our attention, then she started crawling and walking and one day we looked at eachother and realized that we had no time to ourselves. NONE. Quietly, mostly to ourselves and in small little jokes to eachother, Hubby and I both started questioning whether we wanted to double the number of our children.

Coming to terms with the fact that I was only able to handle two children -- only capable of being a loving, calm, not-constantly-screaming mother to only two children -- was difficult to come to terms with. I remember walking into church one morning behind a gorgeously put-together pregnant mom with her three adorably put-together children and her handsome husband, all quietly and peacefully walking into the building together like it was no big deal. I'm not sure if all four of us had bathed that morning. I looked at that mom and wondered why she was able to keep it all together with three and one-on-the-way when I was barely keeping it together with two.

Now I am comfortable with the knowledge that I am not built that way. I want to be an excellent mother, capable of calmly handling all my children's requests and needs, giving them lots of individual attention, all while having plenty of time alone and with my husband. The sad part is that when I have an amazing husband like I do, asking him to be okay with the fact that, at least right now, we cannot have any more, is not a fun conversation. At the end of working 10 hours a day, after not having a day off in weeks, he walks in the door, gives me a kiss and immediately plays with the kids. He takes them outside, roughhouses inside, reads them books, gives them baths, puts them to bed. Hubby would be an excellent father to many more children, and he is an excellent husband for understanding that his wife wouldn't be an excellent mother to many more.

We are both okay with this. Our family is beginning to feel complete, we're enjoying their personalities and how they interact with eachother, we're loving their growing independence. So of course now is the time G is beginning to ask questions. A few months back we were walking down the stairs when he asks me why some mommies and daddies have lots of kids. As the answer was coming out of my mouth I KNEW to shut it, wait until I had come up with a better answer, but "Well, I guess it's because they have lots of love to give so they want lots of kids" comes spilling out of my mouth. I held my breath, hoping he wouldn't process what I just said, but then I saw it register.

"So are you and Daddy going to have more kids?"

"No." And then I redirected his attention to food. I'm not eloquent on the spot.

Last night he asked me if any more babies were going to grow in my tummy. I looked at Hubby. "WHAAAAAAT?" I mouthed to him. Hubby whispers across the room that G had asked him if we were going to have any more babies. I look at it as he loves his sister sooo much that he wants another sibling to play with. And I'm hoping he stops asking questions.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

prAying mantis should be spelled with an "e"

Monday afternoon was gorgeous and cool so the kids and I played outside until the mosquitoes came out and started eating us for dinner. We reluctantly picked up toys and went inside. My phone and iced tea were still outside, as well as Little Missy's beloved stroller, so I ran to get them when I caught something out of the corner of my eye. I looked at the handle of the baby stroller and saw a praying mantis chasing me. CHASING ME. It was following me.

No, I am not paranoid.

I was so taken aback that I stood at my front door and watched it. And it watched me. This strange little bug cocked it's triangle-shaped head and sized me up as I stood quietly, not able to believe that A BUG WAS FRONTIN. As we stood there, two females watching each other, it stood up straighter and flexed its forelegs. What, pray tell, did this wisp of a bug think it was going to do to me? I WILL SQUASH YOU, CRAZY CANNIBALISTIC BUG. Sheesh. So I did the only appropriate thing I blogger could do: I ran inside and grabbed my camera.

Apparently by the time I grabbed my camera I bored her Majesty the Mantis and she paid me no attention. I wish I could have snapped the picture when she was staring me down. The girl was crazy.



When Hubby got home I told him the whole crazy experience, much as I am telling you my friends, all excited and not really believing that a bug had contemplated attacking me. He already knew that praying mantises are all-too-ready to attack. Yes, the females are whack and eat their baby daddies, but I had no idea they would come after us human folk. I mean, a brown recluse spider will play dead and try to fade into my shower curtain when I find it in the morning, but a praying mantis will chase me when I walk by.

From Wikipedia: Most mantises are ambush predators, waiting for prey to stray too near. The mantis then lashes out at remarkable speed. Some ground and bark species, however, pursue their prey rather quickly.

And apparently they live around my house.

Monday, September 29, 2008

camping

Hubby is down to three-day workweeks (we shake our hands in anger at the Boeing machinists for messing up Spirit's schedule and pay) and so we have been taking advantage of all this time off: first we went to Fredonia to see his parents, then to Austin to see my parents, and this past weekend Hubby took little G camping.

Hubby's family has land from his grandparents that is pretty much open prairieland. Beautiful prairieland with hills and ponds and amazing sunsets. A gorgeous place to camp and play drums and commune with nature and eat raw fish with your hands. Or whatever it is boys do when they camp.

Here is G setting up the tent:



Set-up complete:



Saying hi to the cows:

He caught a fish! And this time he's not scared of it!


Not like he was a year ago when he wouldn't touch the fish but we couldn't keep his sister from it.


Then they cooked some dinner:


A happy end to the day:


While the boys were away doing their guy-things, Little Missy and I baked a cake and watched a Barbie princess movie. I felt slightly guilty at the events I planned for the two of us. Even though Hubby and I chuckled at his sister-in-law (Hi Ang! We love you! Don't be mad at us for what you next read!) for contemplating not giving her daughter a vacuum cleaner she'd received from her uncle for her first birthday because of the gender stereotypes, I really don't want my daughter to feel pigeon-holed into only enjoying overtly-girly things. But Little Missy genuinely loves dresses and baby-dolls and princesses. So I'll let her Daddy make her a tomboy and I'll balance her out with tiaras. And I would have polished her nails but we'd already done that the day before.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

we be crafty, part 2

Hi friends! It's been a long time.


Today we did our second official craft project: paper berries. First we went on a scavenger hunt to find sticks:



Luckily, my neighbor Bikini Girl never cleans out her yard so we found most of our sticks in her wood pile:



Next we used a fancy hole-punch to cut out circles from pretty craft paper:



Then we put glue on the circles before putting them on the sticks:




They turned out very well! Thank you, Jennifer Jones at howaboutorange.com, for the fantastic idea.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

my buddy and me

Hubby and I deliberately had our children close in age because we wanted them to be good friends and playmates. Now that they are both mobile and out of the parallel-play stage I am realizing just how much they do play together. They also fight--there are 5 or 6 times a day when they outright scream at eachother--but the rest of the day they follow eachother from room to room, play trains together, color together, sit on the couch and watch cartoons together. The cutest part of the day is when one of them wakes up first in the morning and asks where the other one is. I also love listening to the conversations between the two of them when they don't know Hubby and I can hear.

Preschool has been quite an adjustment for Little Missy. She is so sad to not be able to go into preschool with her beloved G and she cries everytime we leave. Yesterday when we were standing in line to pick him up she asked me "Can I hold him?" which is her goofy way of asking if she can give him a hug. So first thing, she gave him a hug. And he patiently obliged.

One of my prayers for them is that Hubby and I know how to foster their relationship and encourage it. Soon enough they will be in school with their own friends, but my hope is that they remain best friends with eachother while building new and important friendships. Because right now they are so dang cute.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

poor little man

Today we were at a playdate. The moms were upstairs dreaming up ways to redo a room and the kids were downstairs playing. G comes into the mommy room and tells me that one of his friends used the word "stupid" in reference to something he was doing. The mother of said child immediately went and took care of the situation, but little G was so sad. I think this was the first time he had his feelings hurt by one of his friends and I think it surprised him. The poor little guy got close enough for me to hug him and stroke his hair. He even got tears in his eyes. That is hard for a mom to see.

He's always been so strong, so indifferent to how other people acted toward him. I know it was because of his age but I really wanted it to be because he was so confident with a devil-may-care attitude. He's in preschool now and I won't be able to comfort him every time. But I will be here every time he's finished a day at preschool and I can comfort him then.

Monday, September 8, 2008

this is what's up with me

1. We brought home the weather from Seattle. And I have been loving the not-too-sunny days and the wonderfully cool weather. But today the not-too-sunny day has turned downright cloudy and it's started affecting my mood. Which has lead me to writing #2.

2. I wish everyone thought the way I think. All the "free exchange of ideas" and blah blah blah--I'm done with it. In college I enjoyed sitting around with friends and with our different opinions on life, but then one evening I got into a shouting match with a good friend. Ridiculous. I realized then that we would never see eye-to-eye, no matter how well we laid out our arguments, and so I rarely get into discussions with people who don't believe the same things I do. Really, it's because I think I'm right and I don't want to get annoyed with the other person and strain a relationship. So now I just wish everyone were logical and correct in their thinking the way that I am.

3. Our water was out, but now it's back on. But we still have an advisory to boil our water and that is a pain. So this morning the kids and I went to Target and loaded up on food that doesn't need preparation: sandwich stuff, grated cheese, tortillas ... My menu for the week has been thwarted by Augusta's water main break.

4. And I've been thinking a lot about Max. G is almost four, Max is four. So I read the comments on Max's blog and I am so encouraged by all the people who do not know this little guy but are still praying for him and his family. All my friends and family who are praying for him, too. I am surrounded by His love, manifesting itself in my husband, my children, my family and my friends, and on days when I'm a little blue I feel frustrated that I let the little things in life weigh me down when I am witnessing so many of His promises. But I know that He is beside me, holding my hand.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

little Max

The summer after my freshman year of college I lived in Tomball, Texas, so that I could work in inner-city Houston at the Impact Church of Christ. Charlie and Mollie Middlebrook, as well as their son Daniel, opened their home and their lives to me, and ten years later they still hold a special place in my heart.

Little Max Middlebrook, the grandson of Charlie and Mollie, is sick in Seattle, Washington. You can read his story here: maxmiddlebrook.blogspot.com. Please visit his site and keep him and his family in your prayers.

love,
Erin

Monday, September 1, 2008

she's just so cute


Seattle

disclaimer: Friends, I took a lot of pictures over two-and-a-half days. 281 to be exact. I filtered through them as best I could and put them on this here blog for you to see. However, I understand if only the most die-hard readers stay through to the end. With "die-hard" I mean Nana and Grandpa, and Grandma. If anyone else makes it through to the end. . .well, you probably have a lot of time on your hands. And I love you.

Day One:

Wednesday afternoon we drove to Kansas City and stayed overnight with my dear friend Amy and her husband Dave. Amy and Dave recently moved to a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood and it hit me: my friends are living in their grown-up houses now. When did this happen? We've all reached the stage where we've moved out of our starter homes, filled with hand-me-downs and college remnants, to our real homes, filled with furniture that we've chosen and actually like. It's a strange transition.

I was so happy to see Amy and Dave and my friend Gina, who sweetly came over for a little bit, and the chance to chat and laugh. The kids were soooo excited to sleep on the floor at Amy's house. G loved sleeping underneath a train blanket and Little Missy slept underneath a KU blanket. That hurt a little bit, but what are you going to do?






Day Two:

We drove to the airport and barely made it on time. But we made it on board and we were on our way!

The moving sidewalks in Denver were a big hit.




Loading up on sugar made the flight go faster.




And then we arrived in Seattle. Hooray! Amanda cooked a delicious meal of stromboli, then we went to cousin Gabe's soccer practice. On the airplane I wore a comfy dress that doesn't wrinkle. Pretty smart dressing, right? Well I should have changed to go to Gabe's soccer practice. Let me refer you to stuffwhitepeoplelike.com #87: Outdoor Performance Clothes. Little Missy and I looked a little strange because we were wearing dresses and sweaters outside, not North Face with capri pants. See Amanda? She's now a native.




The three younger kids played on the playground while Gabe practiced soccer with his team.



Then we headed down to the beach to look for some shells and to take pictures.



Day Three:

We rode on a ferry! Once on Whidbey Island the kids played in the sand:

Gabe found a femur while beachcombing:



Then we headed to the mountains. There aren't many places where you can be on the beach in the morning and the mountains for lunch. It was a beautiful spot with a rushing stream of clear water.


Then we headed further into the mountains and let the kids run around at a ski resort. G is not in these pictures because, as I said in a previous post, he tires of me taking so many pictures. Little Missy is not tired of them, and Gabe and Grady are used to their mom taking lots of pictures, so they are good sports about it. They know that we moms need to put cute pictures on our blogs.

Day Four:


We wanted to ride the train into Seattle but we didn't make it in time. Here are the kids on the way into the train station:





Our main purpose was to go to downtown Seattle to see the Space Needle and the Market. There was a massive amount of people down there for Bumpershoot (swpl #s 7, 18, 33, 41, 97). After making it through all the people trying a little too hard to be cool we got to the Monorail:


The kids on the Monorail looking at the Space Needle:




Then we got to the market (where they throw fish! Like on the Real World!). See: stuffwhitepeoplelike #s 5 & 6. The Market is STRESS-FUL. Lots and lots and lots of people, pushing against each other, all while trying to hold on to two little ones and stay with our family. This picture is before the stress.
Once in the market we headed to a cafe for some food (swpl #63). I heard some giggling behind me and caught the cousins being cute. I had barely taken the picture when Grady smacked his brother on the head. Brothers. What are you gonna do?

Little Missy decided to clean the table before we ate our lunch. Or rather, before everyone but her ate their lunch. But it was nice of her to clean the table for us.

Here's a picture for my friend Jessica: the first Starbucks. Also, stuffwhitepeoplelike #1.
At the market we bought blueberries (which Little Missy loved. I mean, it's okay she doesn't eat a whole lot of foods, right? She eats blueberries [superfood], bananas [superfood], oatmeal [superfood], and milk [not quite superfood, but pretty darn healthy.)
Then we watched some masked men armed with a camera harass the Scientologists.
Then we headed home to rest for a little bit before heading out with Hubby and Shawn's high school friend Nate. We ate more yummy seafood down by the beach we had been at our first night.

Day Five:

The flight home. So sad. Not necessarily the flight was sad, but leaving our family who are our dear friends.

Finally we landed in KC, loaded up the car and headed for home. Hubby and I got to talking and missed our exit BY 27 MILES. We took a 54 mile detour. Not what you want to happen when you're anxious for home. But the kids fell asleep, Hubby read his book while I listened to my music. It was nice to be in our beds.

Today we woke up late and it was so sad not to be in Seattle. It is a big place up there but we had a great time with our family. SAGG, we'll see you soon!!!