Monday, March 29, 2010

Saving the Best For Last

I'm one of those.

I believe in saving the best for last.

When I was younger, I would always eat the yucky green beans first and get them out of the way. This way I was saving the best stuff for last. By contrast, Susan would eat all of the good parts of the meal first and put off eating the yucky stuff til last.

And then mom, being the ole meany that she was, would make Susan finish them. Even after Susan begged off being full. My mean-old-mom didn't care and would make her sit there until those stupid green beans turned cold and petrified. It was a stand off. A battle of the wills.

Mom usually won and Susan would still have to eat them. Nothing better than cold green beans. I guess she never learned because I clearly remember this happening so it couldn't have been just one occasion that is seared into my mind.

Even as an adult, I like to eat my non-favorite things first and save the best for last. And even then, I save the best of the best for last.

If I'm eating a piece of pizza, I'll save the last bite with the most cheese and pepperoni for last.

If I'm eating Mac and Cheese, the crusty part gets saved for last.

You get the picture.

And always happens that at this particular point in the meal or snack that my children discover the last bite of awesomeness sitting on my plate and ask for it.

And my answer is always "NO!" I have worked hard for that last bite...eating all of my broccoli in order to get it...and I'm not giving it up.

They learned the hard way not to try and steal it either.

Stabby Stabby. The fork can be used as a weapon, you know!

They can choke down their stupid broccoli the same as me and save their best bite for last.

But instead they chose to go the same route that their Aunt Susan chose long ago.

So sorry boys. I'm going to enjoy the best bite of my dinner while you sit there and stare at that cold icky stalk of broccoli.

And at me. Enjoying my last bite of dinner goodness.

And if you're reading this thinking that I am the most awful person ever because I don't share my best bite of food, know that I'm teaching them a valuable lesson.

If you want to reap the rewards of hard work, you have to put in the effort. Eat your broccoli while it's warm and "edible" and you will be rewarded with the best bite at the end.

Put off the not so tasty parts of your meal, you will still have to eat your broccoli. Only now it's cold and petrified and you've gained nothing.

Owen seems to have a firm grasp of this concept. He always eats his salad and veggies first. Additionally, he always saves his money and only spends it on things that he *really* wants. He has restraint. Shane continues to try and play the system and continues to get burned.

Hopefully he will learn the saving the best for last motto before he's adult.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Artist

Every year our county puts on an arts festival where the schools can showcase their students' best artwork. I love to go to the artshow and it blows my mind at some of the talent of these kids. Especially the high schoolers. What I wouldn't give to have a fourth of their talent!

This year, Shane had one of his paintings selected to represent his school. I love the contrasting colors and the amount of detail that he put into the piece. It really is quite good. It's definitely going to be framed! It was one of only a few that were selected from the fifth grade.

The festival is also a chance for the music teachers to have their students perform. Shane participates in the Super Singers at his elementary school and I was able to videotape one of their songs for the grandparents who don't live here so they aren't able to see the kids performances in person.

Obviously I am a better photographer than videographer! But Shane is obviously a good artist and we're super proud of him! :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stupid Oven

Stupid oven.

We have the absolute worst luck when it comes to ovens. Seriously. We have a huge black cloud hanging over our oven area. Just like the cloud that use to follow Ramona Quimby. A big ol' huge black cloud.

When we first moved in, we had a brand new oven and it broke within the first month we were here. We proceeded to fight with that oven, and the subsequent one that we had to purchase to replace it, for the next several years.

I finally got fed up last November and replaced it with a brand new shiny expensive oven. We made sure that we looked at the reviews on the new oven. Ken talked to some friends who had the same one and they were happy with it. It all checked out.

So we bought it and have been happy with it for the last few months. I mean what's not to be happy? We had an oven that actually turned on when you started it!

So you can imagine my disgust when I looked to see what time it was this weekend and the control panel on it was dead. Deader than a door knob. Dead.

Did I also mention that one of the gas burners stopped working?

Well, crap.

So we scheduled maintenance for this Monday and I reworked my to-do list to wait around for the repair guy.

He got here and I proceeded to tell him what was going on. First, he asked about the gas burner and I told him that it stopped working about a week ago and I didn't know if what was going on with that had anything to do with the oven.

He fiddled with the gas cap and adjusted it ever so slightly.

Then he turned the knob and it lit up.

With an absolute straight face (and I don't know how he didn't just crack up), he explained to me that the gas will not work if the dohickey-whatever-he-called-it isn't sitting properly on it.

At this point, I looked at him and said that I really wasn't blond.

He then proceeds to ask me what's going on with the oven. I said that I didn't know but I had flipped the breaker thinking that there may have been a power surge and Ken had unplugged it and replugged it back in.

He said that he was just going to unplug it and replug it again. So he did.

And it came on.

And I felt like an idiot. A big ol' blond idiot.

I then told him that I had lied. I really was born a blond.

Stupid oven.

Oh wait. Maybe it wasn't the oven this time.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Comics Imitating Real Life...Again

I love, love, love comic strips!

Somehow the illustrators figure out a way to communicate a real life situation that occurs in the majority of households on a daily basis in a funny way.

And I love the comic strip Baby Blues. It's just awesome! It's the one strip that our whole family loves. Shane use to be addicted to reading them and would buy the books and read them from cover to cover.

Giggling the whole way and yelling for me to come and read one of them.

So, what do you think about this particular strip? (Click on it to enlarge.)

Ken and I both giggled. Well, I giggled and then sighed. He giggled and said how cute he was. :p

Friday, March 19, 2010

A New Way Of Constructing A Sentence

Being able to write is important. It's important to me that the boys both come out of elementary school being able to construct a good sentence, paragraph and write a well thought-out paper with a beginning, middle and ending.

I realized when Shane was in third grade that he was struggling with writing after watching him sit for hours trying to write five sentences. So I met with the school reading resource teacher and asked her to work with Shane to help him through the hump. She pegged his learning style and personality the first time she met him and within three or four sessions, she had him straightened out.

He writes beautifully now.

So now we have Owen. Little Owen who struggles to write period. HiS WorDS aRe WritTen with No RhYmE or ReaSon as to wHen hE CapiTaliZes LetTeRs. He struggles with puncuation marks with his sentences frequently being run on and they run together.

This is a direct result of his vision problems and he's playing catch up still.

His writing is much improved. It's actually legible now. It looks like real writing. And he is getting much better with using capitalizations correctly. The spacing isn't an issue as much now either. Heusetoneverputspacesbetweenwordsaswell but thats not a problem anymore.

However, he recently got his interim and there was a note on there that he needed to work on capitalizations and when to use them and needed to work on punctuation.

I spoke with his teacher yesterday and she said that she spoke with him about it. She said that he was confused about when to start and stop a sentence and what he had decided was that a sentence should be seven words long.

So he would count seven words and then put a period.

Well, nothing like applying a mathematics formula to writing a sentence!

It's certainly an interesting way to construct a sentence. Never really thought about doing it that way!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mr. Yuck Mouth

So, one of my lovely boy children decided to not brush his teeth this weekend. At all. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

I figured it out because he spent the night with a friend on Friday night and when I told him to brush his teeth on Sunday night before bed, he said that his tooth brush was in his bag.

From Friday night. :-|

So I *thought* that he went and got it and brushed his teeth. I guess that's what I get for thinking because on Monday morning, I went to check and see if their tooth brushes were wet and his was missing.

I asked him where it was and he said he couldn't find it so he brushed his teeth with his finger. His dirty finger that he didn't even wash before he did it. :-|

So I went and found his toothbrush (which was right where I told him it would be by the way) and gave it to him to go back upstairs and brush his teeth. I guess I should have escorted him back up there and watched him do it because I found his toothbrush, still in it's plastic bag, on the stairs when I was cleaning up during the day. :-|

Yuck. Yuck. Double Yuck!

As you can imagine, I was mad. Really mad. But I had about an hour to figure out a justified punishment. I thought about taking his sweets away from him for a week (that would show him!).

But ultimately I decided to make him brush his teeth for two minutes for every brushing he missed. After he lied again when he got home and said that he did brush his teeth (your finger brushing doesn't count, son!), I showed him the bag and told him that he had to brush for 12 minutes in the kitchen where I could watch him do it.

I made him go and get the toothpaste (the equivalent of picking your own switch) and for the next 12 minutes, he had to brush his teeth.

And listen to me lecture him about why he should brush.

That was probably the worst part for him. At least I hope it was. If it wasn't, it wasn't because I didn't try.

And then I made him tell Ken when he got home. And then we lectured him again.

It reminds me of a PSA that use to play when I was little. Mr. Yuck Mouth. You know the song. And now you have an ear worm and I'm sorry for that.

Hopefully the perpetrator will brush his teeth from now on when he's suppose to.

Yuck. Yuck and Double Yuck!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Owen Being Owen

Owen loves to play outside by himself. He will entertain himself for hours with just a football and his imagination. He would rather be outside playing (even if it's by himself) than inside. Any day.

So I grabbed the camera the other day and decided to try and capture the animal in his wild habitat. It's not very long but I certainly did what I intended to do. You'll see what I mean. :)

(But no, before you ask, I didn't capture him peeing outside. I'm sure he did but I just didn't capture it this time.)

Yum. Nothing better than eating dirty snow. :p

And now you also know why I do laundry every stinking day. :-|

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kitty Litter Cake

I've got a wacked sense of humor but I *really* think that I outdid myself this time. I attended a tennis social and our team name was the "Alley Cats" and we had to decorate our table according to our theme.

But because I've got absolutely no sense of originality, I did what anybody in my position would do. I let my fingers do the walking, new school style, and hit up Google, looking for anything that had to do with cats and party favors.

As soon as I started looking, I knew that I found the *perfect* dessert to make for this very serious event. I give you....Kitty Litter Cake.

Yep. Kitty Little Cake!

Yes. I know. Such a perfect dessert that was oh-so-right for the occasion, don't you think? I love that one of my friends put the kitty cat hanging off of the box. Classy.

Now I realize that it's all in the presentation and this is very, very realistic looking so here's how I made it just so you know that it really is a dessert.

First, the ingredients.

Next, bake a white cake and a German Chocolate Cake, crumble them up and mix them together. Note that I had to use two bowls because it was too much.

Next make vanilla pudding and mix with the cake crumbles. You just want to mix enough to clump it together (like kitty litter, right?!). You don't want it moist (sorry, Kirsten for using "that" word!).

Then use a food processor to chop up vanilla sandwich cookies.

Put aside about 1/4 cup of them and add green food coloring to it. It makes it more, um, authentic looking. :p

Heat up your poop, I mean tootsie rolls, in the microwave for about 10 seconds (about 6 at a time) and form them to look like...well...poop. Then layer them into the cake.

You'll want to use a small kitty litter pan and liner and scoop as your pan to make it authentic! I wish I didn't have to say this....but please buy a new kitty litter pan and scoop. Please. ;)

Add the cookie crumbles as you're going along (mostly on top) and be sure to put the green ones on top. Your cake should end up looking something like this. more thing. Be sure to hang a tootsie roll off of the side of the litter box. And before you ask, yes, I was giggling the entire time I was making it. :p

Enjoy the cake (it's really good if you can get past the look of it!) and, more importantly, the looks of the people as they find it.

I told you that I'm a little warped.

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Wasn't Me"

Everyone has chores that they hate. Most have at least one chore that they just despise doing.

Okay. I have way more than just one that I despise doing! But for the sake of keeping this post short and to the point, I'll choose one that I really hate.


And it just won't go away.

It's like the gift that keeps on giving.

It's not so much the washing, drying and folding that bother me. Because, let's face it, I'm anal and I like clothes folded in such a way that they won't have more wrinkles on them when I pull them out of the drawer than when they went into the washer to begin with.

What I hate about it is putting them away.

I especially hate having to get the kids to put their clothes away and not just pick off the pile on their dresser until the clothes are depleted....eliminating the need to put them away.

Like I said, I hate putting them away so sometimes (and by "sometimes," I mean "nearly every time") they will sit in the basket for a while until I get around to putting them away. It's not just the kids who employ this stall tactic.

Usually I put them away at the point after I've picked through the basket myself enough that it is depleted enough to make it seem like it's not such a monumental task.

But when "I" do this, I keep the clothes folded nicely and the basket is still orderly.

My children, apparently do not.

But the interesting thing about this is that no one apparently did this.

The closest thing that the kids can figure out is that some kid named "wasn't me" snuck into the house and did this without anyone seeing them. :p

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Night and Day

Night and day.

Day and night.

One is Owen. The other is Shane.

For two kids that came from the same parents, raised in the same house, they are as different as two individuals who were raised by different parents in different households. Sometimes things happen that completely reinforce the fact that they have two very distinct personalities.

Their school is having enrichment classes this month. They are classes that are taught by volunteers in the community for a few days in the month. The kids get to choose their class and have to select four options.

Shane's four options were French, in case he ever traveled to France; Mythology, in case he ever studied in in school; How it Works, because it would help with his math and engineering and Sign Language so he could speak with deaf people.

Owen chose Backyard Fun, Karate, Gymnastics and Basketball. All chosen for the purpose of playing sports and getting his energy out.

Two completely different children. Shane wanted nothing to do with the sports classes and Owen wanted nothing to do with the learning classes. Nothing.

Just random thoughts and things that make you go "hum."