Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kitty Love

As we never had kitties growing up, I'm not a big fan of them or having any pets really. It's not that I don't like them. I just have enough to take care of and clean up after right now. Sure the kids ask for one at least once a week. And, of course they promise to feed it and take care of it.

But, I haven't fallen for their promises. I told them if they can go a week without leaving their undies on the floor, I would get them a pet. So far, I've been safe and I'm not worried that they'll follow through on it.

I've been steadfastedly holding to this position for a while.

But I may have to change my mind after meeting my friends kitties. They are so chill.

I love his little face. Morris the cat, anyone? Garfield? Seriously. Look at his little smirk. You just know that he runs the show there.

The kitties owners got little fingernail covers for their nails so they didn't have to declaw them. Who knew those even existed? Too funny.

My friend Celena was also taking pictures of Laura's two kitties. And they were taking it all in stride like they were kitty models or something. The cameras didn't bother them a bit.

And, although Rowdy Carnes doesn't live in the same house as the two kitties above, he's still pretty chill himself.

Photographing these kitties was fun. Maybe I found a new avenue to photograph.

If I could have a cat as chill as these kitties, I'd get one. But, with my luck, I'd end up with a stand-offish kitty like my parents kitties. But, there's still hope for the kids to have a kitty. Maybe. Or maybe not.

But, these kitties rocked. Totally!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The First Snow Day

A snow day can elicit so many reactions from so many people. The kids are super excited because they get to stay out of school, get hot chocolate on demand and get to play in the snow.

To me, it's a big ol' groan because I know by the end of the day they will be stir crazy and will be terrorizing each other and destroying my house in the process. Not to mention the amount of clothes that they go through while playing outside is enough to fill a washing machine. Twice.

They inevitibly take off, and usually lose, their hats and gloves while playing regardless of how many times I tell them to put them back on. Nevermind that it's freezing outside and they're making snowballs with their barehands. They're stupid children what can I say? (And I mean that in the most loving way possible, so no hate comments, m'kay?)

Note something missing on Owen? Yep. He lost his glasses in the snow. That's no surprise though. What is surprising is that he actually found them this time.

They did love playing in the snow. And then 20 minutes later, they came in, stripped off the twenty layers of clothes (including 5 pairs of underwear) and had hot chocolate. It was a pretty perfect snow day actually. :)

But if you listen closely, you may hear a big sigh of relief from the moms in my neighborhood this morning because the kids go back to school today. We don't even care that it's two hours late. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Guess You Need To Specify

Ken and I went to Charlotte, NC this weekend to celebrate two friends' birthdays. On the way back to reality, we stopped by Bojangles to get biscuits as we always do since we can't get them in Virginia.

I handed Ken his sandwich (because I guess he's not as southern as me and didn't have to have a biscuit), which he unwrapped and took a bite of. He started giggling and handed it to me and asked if I could help him deal with it.

Then we got to really giggling. What was the worker who fixed the sandwich thinking?

Did they giggle as they did it, telling their co-worker to check out the stalk of lettuce on the sandwich or were they irritated and said to himself "f' it" and just sent it out?

I guess the moral to the story is to specify that you wish to have a piece of lettuce on your sandwich rather than a stalk .

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Where's My Head?

When the boys got home yesterday at 4:00, I had to get them organized and get them right back out the door to get Owen to tennis at 4:30. This is no easy feat considering all they want to do is raid the fridge and watch toonies.

Owen, get out of the fridge!

Owen, get dressed!

Shane, get something to do while Owen's at tennis!

Shane go pee! Owen go pee!

Owen, get out of the fridge!

Owen, get dressed!

And, so forth and so on until we finally head out the door at 4:20 or so.

At this point, I remind both of them to get their coats. It's 20 degrees outside after all.

I go to get into the car and realized I had forgotten my purse and I handed Shane the sales flyers that I intended to read while he was in class and let the seat up to buckle Owen's seatbelt. I intended to go back and get my purse after buckeling Owen up.

I again asked Shane where he saw my purse. He said it was on the counter.

As I am getting ready to buckle Owen's seat belt, I looked down and saw my purse.

It was in my hand. I swear I'd lose my head if it weren't attached.

Now, stop laughing because I know that you've done something stupid like that before. Sunglasses on the head anyone? Anyone?

So we raced to the tennis center. We get in there and realize that Owen has a week break and doesn't really have tennis.

Haha. Another blonde moment or two.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just An Update

What's been going on?

Well, let's see.

Tennis lessons for Shane.

Tennis lessons for Owen.

Tennis lessons for Kim.

Braving the crowds at the inauguration for Ken. He said that he'd rather deal with three million people than two kids cooped up for four days off of school!

Entertaining said kids for four days.

Grocery shopping.

Cleaning the house. ('s a stretch but we'll go with it.)

Working for Ken.

Some working for Kim.

Taking Owen to the doctor. And then staying home with him (and cancelling all other plans) when he's officially sick.

Staying home with Shane when he has *ahem* tummy issues. See above notation about cancelling all activities.

And getting ready to go to Charlotte for my friends Celena and Scott's birthday. How she is 40, I'm really not sure!

So, when I get back, I promise to lay off the tennis (since I'm not officially addicted) and get back to posting pictures and other items that the grandparents are clamoring for.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hide and Go Seek - Reality TV Style

I hate reality TV.

There. I said it. I would rather stick a fork in my eye than watch one. Okay. Maybe that's an exaggeration. A very slight one though.

The only exception is nature shows. They're old school reality TV and I love them. Shark Week on the Discovery Channel is awesome! Meerkat Manor? Love it. The Discovery Channel is my favorite.

So I was super excited when Ken ordered Planet Earth in high definition for his Blue Ray. (Hehe. I sound like I know what I'm talking about, don't I?) Broken down for people like me, it makes the show more life like.

We decided to watch one with the kids on Africa the other day. We went into Ken's man cave, got a bowl of pop corn and settled in to watch all about the migration of the animals and the monsoons.

It was awesome until it came time for the predator/prey section. Oops. I had forgotten about the predator/prey/kill parts of nature shows. Oh well. We were watching it and had already gone too far down the road.

I mean, it's not like it's CNN where people are killing each other. It's nature. It's educational.

One segment was about a pack of wild dogs that were chasing a pack of gazelles (I think.) It was incredible how the dogs had a plan of action and executed it perfectly.

And then the dogs split the pack of gazelles up and one of the dogs isolated a gazelle and started chasing it. The kids started yelling "go little gazelle, go." But the dog was too fast. And it took the gazelle down.

Shane said he was sad for the gazelle.

Owen said "Oh well. That's what you call hide and go kill."

Tee-hee. Hide and go kill. But, he was right. The dogs hid from the pack and then split up and went seeking to kill the weakest one of the pack. And they succeeded.

Where does he come up with this stuff? Seriously.

Did I mention that the "hide and go kill" section was right after the section on a bird's mating ritual? Oops. I forgot about that part of the nature series too. lol.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

For The Grandparents - A Slice of Shane's Life

Shane was picked to "perform" with Bill Wellington, a folklorist musician who incorporates children into his performances. He performed two assemblies at the kids school during the day and then did a show at the PTA meeting later that night.

Since the grandparents live far away and don't get to participate in the every day things, I thought I'd videotape Shane's "performance" so they could watch it.

Mr. Wellington also had the children write "Roses Are Red" poems which he picked a few to read out loud. My friend's daughter had hers read. Too bad she wasn't there but I recorded it for her mom.

Hope you enjoyed seeing a part of Shane's every day life. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's That You Say?

As a parent of a smaller child, you never know what's going to come out of their mouth. Or when it's going to come out. But you can be sure that it's usually at the most inappropriate time or place.

At that point, you have two options. 1) Beg off that you have to go to the restroom and then scamper off as quickly as possible ignoring the child. or 2) Tell them to stop and risk them questioning you (in the loudest, highest voice possible of course!) as to why you should stop.

And with Owen, you know that if you choose option 2, that he is going to protest. Loudly.

And, at tennis today, Owen pulled a good one. Yes, folks. That's right. Because that's the way he rolls.

During tennis, I told him that he needs to focus and stop playing with the other boys. One boy in particular. I'm not sure how Owen always finds the "one" kid but he does. You know - the kid who throws balls at the instructor and makes a gun out of the racket.

But Owen was trying to be good. He really was. But like a moth drawn to a light, Owen is drawn to "those" kids.

So I reminded him again when he was on break (out of earshot of the other parents of course!) About 10 minutes later, he came over to the courtside and yelled "I'm trying mom but these kids are BAD and they are distracting me!" And he goes further into detail with what they are doing. Not him. But them.

In front of the other parents. And the bad kid's mom. Meh.

He kept on and on and getting louder and more animated as he went so I asked him to come over and talk to me. At this point, he had to be corrected but I could not slam the other kids. So...I told him that he has no control over other kids but he does have control over himself and he needed to work it out.

But, I really wanted to agree with him and tell him that I totally agreed that the boy was a brat but I took the adult road instead.

But, of course, as he's walking away, he yells again that they were bad.

Heh. I know. Owen calling some other kid bad. That's irony in it's finest really. you go mom and dad. Another payback in your win column!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Comics Imitate Real Life :)

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know already that I love comic strips. Zits, Baby Blues and For Better or Worse seem to be my favorite right now. I think that it's because I can identify with them.

The Sunday funnies this week was no exception. Every mom can relate to the mom in For Better or Worse in this strip.

Then my mom sent me an email from her crackberry and said that the dad in Zits strip on Sunday was sooooo my dad. I'll have to agree with her on that one.

Click on the strips to fully enjoy!

Happy Monday! :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

More Saturday Morning Memories

Oh how I loved Sesame Street. They had the BEST short clips. They made learning fun and I can still sing them to this day. This is one of my all time favorites - The Alligator King.

Looking at it now as an adult, I am giggling at the fourth son who tried to give him 7 lemon drops to make him happy - and the lemons were done in a smiley face. A little subtle humor for the parents?


Friday, January 9, 2009

The Adventures of Owen and His Glasses

Owen has had glasses since he was 4. I wasn't shocked when he went for his first eye exam and the doctor asked him to read the 20/20 line and Owen told him that he saw a bunch of dots instead of the jeep that was on the screen.

Ugh. Sorry for the genetics, Owen.

But, in a way, I guess it's good that he got them that early because the kids have always seen him with glasses on.

Well, except for that period of three weeks right after he got his first pair of glasses when he lost them playing in the back yard. I bribed the neighborhood kids with a $20 reward for whichever kid found them.

They found them the day after I broke down and ordered him a new pair of glasses. Figures.

He probably wouldn't have lost them if he hadn't have stretched them out as far as one could take them without breaking them. They ended up looking like those paper 3-D glasses that you get in movie theaters. He had them so stretched out that they could fit on Ken's big D^%$eler head. (No offense meant, dear.) :)

He must have missed his glasses though because check out what he wishes for in preschool.

I think that he's accepted his glasses now because everything he draws has glasses on them. When he turns in papers, he makes the "O" in Owen a face. With glasses of course.

I think that this is just the beginning of our adventures with Owen and his glasses. His glasses will be my payback for all of those retainers that I lost as a teenager.

So, there you go mom and dad. Another "aaaaahhhhh" moment for you!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Edward Scissorhands Part II.

Shane has been steadfastly refusing to get his hair cut. He hasn't had a haircut since July. He was looking like a throwback to the 1970's.

If you think I'm joking or exaggerating, I'm not. Exhibits one and two:

I've been laying off of him even though I can't stand the hair in his face but whatever. It's just hair and it's not worth fighting over.

So the other day he decided that he'd had enough and wanted to get it cut. Well not cut. Just trimmed.

Great. Owen wanted to get his hair cut too. But unlike Shane who wanted his hair long, Owen wanted a mohawk.

Again. Ugh but whatever. It's just hair.

So we get to the barber shop and the boys sat down in two chairs. When Owen said he wanted a mohawk, you would have thought that he was at a beauty parlor. It blew their minds and that was a warning sign that I should have listened to.

Then I told them that Shane wanted very little cut off of his hair. At that point, they switched kids. Um. Yeah. Not a good sign.

So, Owen goes first. I asked them to not shave his sides. Then I see the lady take her comb and start to part the back of his hair in a true mohawk style. No. No. No. Just leave the back like a little boys hair cut and let the top be a spike.

At this point, I'm sticking close to Owen because the other lady is occupied in a struggle trimming Shane's long hair. Owen needed more supervision but the first shave that she took off of his sides was waaaaaay too short. Much shorter than I told her to cut it.

But now the damage is done. Just finish it. Don't cut the back anymore. It'll grow back I tell myself. And he likes it so I guess that's what matters. I guess.

So I turn my attention back to Shane. The woman is still struggling with his hair and asks the woman who cut Owen's hair to finish it up. Seriously? Ugh. I told her not to cut anymore off the length and to just shape up his bangs.

" want his bangs cut?" Seriously? I hate it when you go to a barber or hair dresser and they ask if you want your bangs cut or they spend 1/2 hour on the back of your hair and then ask you if you want the bangs cut.

No. Please don't cut the bangs. That's only the part that everyone sees. But, hey...the back will look good.

/end hijack and back to the scheduled hair debacle.

So, anyway, I tell her to shape up his bangs and reiterate that the back is fine. He wants the hair cut over his ear so she does it.

Sweet. He's rocking a mullet at this point. But it's long in the back like he wanted it. She had to put his hair in pins because it's so long. He didn't even notice because he was watching a toonie. lol

I think that she's got it all under control and go back to whatever it was that I was doing. She spins him around and I notice how short the back of his hair is. It's not short but it's certainly shorter than he wanted.

So, she finishes up with him and I'm glad to get out of there with at least some hair on those boys heads.

And then I get into the car and get a good look at Shane's bangs.

And I'm pretty sure that Edward Scissorhands has just cut their hair. He was somehow able to morph into Asian ladies but it was him all right.

And then I'm wondering how in the heck she missed that one long piece near his ear.

This look says it all.

You know I thought it would be some cute pictures of the before and after of Shane finally getting his hair cut. But this is what I got instead.

Edward Scissorhands Part II.

Thank God they're clueless boys.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ringing In A Healthier New Year

It's that time of year.

The time of year to make New Years resolutions.

And *probably* break them the next day. And by *probably*, I mean...that's what I usually do. :p

And inevitibly one of those resolutions is to eat healthier.

But, since my kids and husband are a pain in the biscuits to feed because they have all of these rules about what they will and won't eat, I have had to devise a multi-strategic war plan to defeat them.

Here's the plan:

1. I trick them.

That's right. I trick them and add good foods into their meals and they don't even know it. If they weren't so dog gone picky, I wouldn't be forced to do battle in this manner.

Baby Foods

Organic baby food to be exact.

Baby food?! Yes. Baby food. I put it into foods that I'm cooking to add more veggies and fruits to their meal in addition to their salads or veggies that they're eating. I only add enough so that the flavor isn't compromised. Too much. ;) Missy Lapine of The Sneaky Chef fame has a few cookbooks out that advocate for this and it's brilliant. I just don't happen to have her ability to make the food smooth enough for the kids not to notice. So using baby food is better for me.

Flax Seed , Wheat Germ and Oats

I add ground flaxseed, oats and wheat germ to many of the meals that I make - especially ground meat, cookies and breads. Added in the right amount, you can't even tell.

Other Miscellaneous Tricks:

* I mash ripe bananas into the pancake mix. Sure it adds a flavor of banana but it's yummy. Shane saw me do it yesterday (damnit) but instead of lying to him (because he's just too smart to buy anything other than what I was really doing), I told him the truth.

Yep. Just looked him right in the eye as I was mashing the banana and told him exactly what I was doing. He screwed up his little nose a bit but then said "oh...okay" and turned around and left. I also put a few mini chocolate chips in the batter so maybe he ate it because of those but he said they were good. :)

* I use applesauce instead of oil in most recipes.

* I use organic and natural peanut butter. It took a while for the boys to take to it but they have finally accepted it.

2. I have added foods and drinks that are healthy into their diet without tricking them.

That's right. It's a brilliant move. I didn't make a big deal about it. Just gave it to them.

So, here are some items that you may or may not know about that will help you in your war too.

V-8 Juice

It's not your mother's V-8 juice though. It's vegetable juice with fruit juice added to it and the kids love it. There are all kinds of flavors. Their favorite is the orange/carrot juice.

McCain Sweet Potato Fries

These are the best tasting sweet potato fries that I have found. There are other brands but these seem to cook most realistically to "real fries." Owen and I love them. Shane and Ken shove them around on their plates, pretending to eat them and wishing that we had a dog to feed them to. Oh well. I'll keep making them. Eventually they will learn to like them too.

Other Miscellaneous Items:

* Whole Wheat Breads, Ritz Whole Wheat Crackers, Cookies and Snyders Whole Wheat Pretzels.

* Unsweetened applesauce - you can't even tell the difference.

* Capris Sun Juice boxes with no extra added sugar.

Most items come in whole wheat versions these days. Many have reduced sugar or no added sugar. These are just a few of them. If you are at war and have discovered any products or uses of other foods to help in your battle, please let me know!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my friends and family. 2008 was great but 2009 is going to be even better. Here's to health, friendship and family.