Sunday, February 28, 2010

You can never have too much toilet paper.

Skylar is entering the overly-emotional-hyper-sensitive-almost-two-years-old stage and will dissolve into a puddle of tears at a moments notice if something isn't the way she thinks it should be. She doesn't throw too many temper tantrums, but she is really bothered by the weirdest things. Like birds looking at her (especially Bernice, my Aunt Kim's cockatiel. Bernice is NOT okay).

Tonight we were reading the book "I Love You This Much" and something about the way the mommy bear and baby bear were playing bothered her and she burst into tears and cried "Noooooo!" Last week she was watching a veggie tale and when Jr Asparagus' daddy hugged him her lip started quivering and she started crying for "dada-poo-poo". That's what she calls Micah, which he totally deserves since he announces it every time he goes the bathroom and now "dada" and "poo-poo" are synonymous in her little mind.

So this evening we took a family trip to Food Lion because Micah needed more toilet paper. Technically, we all needed toilet paper, but someone in the family holds it especially dear to his heart and it might be "dada poo poo". Running low on TP is the equivalent of a national crises in our family. Anyway, they have these little carts for kids to push around which seems like a cute idea, but I always rush past them so Skylar doesn't notice because I know exactly what will happen if she gets a crack at one.

Skylar has her daddy wrapped around her little finger. He let her have a little cart because she wanted it and he doesn't like to see her cry. It started out cute.......But I knew that in her little mind she was suddenly at the children's museum in the play grocery store where she can empty all the shelves into her cart. She kept grabbing things and putting them into her cart and we kept taking them out and then she would throw a huge fit. It was so fun. What a great idea Food Lion!

She put two lemon cakes, a jar of mayonnaise, some fatback and a frozen pizza in her cart. The kid has great taste.
Thankfully once we got the toilet paper it took up most of the space and she was satisfied with that.

Too bad I can never go back to Food Lion with Skylar again because she will ALWAYS remember this and now that she's had a taste of adulthood the racecar cart just won't be good enough anymore. The best part was when we got home and Skylar was incredibly possessive of her toilet paper that she pushed around and she put onto the counter and she helped carry to the car. Therefore it was hers and she wanted to tear it into tiny pieces and make confetti out of it.

So there was another giant fit when dada-poo-poo took it away and this time he didn't care about the tears because nothing stands between a man and his two-ply.

Friday, February 26, 2010

May the best aunt win.

My youngest sister Bekah is coming down from Clemson for the weekend so she put the following video message on my facebook wall for Skylar. (You'll have to scroll down to the bottom and pause the music to hear it).

Watch out Nicole, Skylar watched this 6 times in a row. You're in danger of losing your "favorite aunt on the Austin side" status. (In case you were wondering Kristy, you've got the Rue side in the bag. Not that you were concerned.)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Guess who I caught putting on mascara?
Thankfully she knew exactly what she was doing and didn't poke her eye out, because "blindness by mascara wand" would have made me Mom of the Year.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Aloha from SC.

Skylar and I just got back from our imaginary vacation to Hawaii. Can't you tell by our imaginary tans? At least the matching dresses are real, courtesy of my parents who actually did go to Hawaii and sent us a box of goodies.I tried to get her to do a little dance with me, but all she wanted to do was take her dress off. She really thought it was a skirt and hated to have it pulled up to her armpits.

Thanks mom and dad!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Some messy kid fun.

Otherwise known as my Rainy Day Arsenal.

Not that you need a rainy day to have some good home made fun. We just happen to have a whole lot of them. At least 3 days of rain a week since we've been here.

I accumulated these little time-fillers during the 10 years I got paid to take care of other peoples kids. Unless your child is squeamish with textures, they will love this. And if you're squeamish about making a huge mess I totally might just have to get over that. It'll be fun.

See? Fun.....
(And even more fun if you wear a bathing suit while you play. It's Skylar's favorite item of clothing these days. A bathing suits with or without an apron and tutu to be exact).

First up......

Clean Mud
1 roll of toilet paper
1 bar of soap
1 quart of water

Take the roll of toilet paper and let your kids tear it up into little pieces. Then get a bar of soap and grate it into little bits with a cheese grater on top of the toilet paper. Start adding a little water and stirring it all up. The toilet paper will start to dissolve and get kind of fluffy and moldable. If it gets a little runny, you've added too much water. Better get another roll of toilet paper......

Koolaid Play-doh

2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of salt
1 package of koolaid
3 T oil
1 cup of very hot water

Mix together all the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients, and knead it all together. The koolaid smells fruity and dyes it a fun color. Just know that it might smell good enough to eat....and dye the hands a little bit.

Faux Clay

1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp oil
1/4 cup salt
food coloring

Mix up the dry ingredient, add the wet ingredients, knead it all together and go to town.


Liquid cornstarch (comes in the big blue bottle in the laundry section)
Elmer's glue (you'll want to get the big old jug of it)
Food coloring

Use equal parts liquid cornstarch and glue. Go ahead and add a few drops of food coloring to the liquid cornstarch and then add the glue to evenly distribute the color. It's going to take a lot of stirring. It'll start out stringy and then come together to form a nice rubbery consistency. I love this stuff!!!

And now for my personal favorite.....

Cornstarch Goopedy Goo

A box of cornstarch

Optional: a drop of extract (vanilla, lemon, mint, whatev) to cover the slightly funky cornstarchy smell

Dump out the cornstarch and start adding water while stirring it up. This will get really hard to do, so you may as well just use your hands and forget about the spoon. You want to keep adding water until it is the desired consistency: when you can make a ball in your hand that melts into a liquid before your very eyes. Magical. Don't forget to let your kids play with it too.

We made the goo today, and it was really cute to watch Skylar ball it up and then wait for the balls to melt in her hands.
When she concentrates really hard she either forgets to swallow and starts drooling (it's special) or does what I call the "Rue lip" where she sticks her bottom lip out.
Micah, his dad, his sister...they all do the Rue lip when they're focused on something. Skylar actually was born with her lip sticking out this way. Kristy was my witness. (Poor Kristy). I guess it took a lot of concentration to get through the birth canal....and I should probably just go ahead and end this post now.

Have fun making a mess with your kids! Or by yourself.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Because more is more.

I think I'm starting to hate toys.

Until this past Christmas, Skylar didn't have many toys. Most of them were gifts and they all fit into one basket in the living room. I intentionally tried to minimize all of the colored, talking, beeping, honking, music playing plastic that I knew she would only play with for 5 seconds. Instead she played with Tupperware, kitchen spoons, pots, containers of water, Christmas bows....whatever I had around the house.

Then Christmas rolled around and Micah and I got her an adorable kitchen set that I think I love more than she does. (Yes, it is from the pottery barn but we bought got it on Craig's list for a steal and I am not above buying my child used toys for christmas. Especially not hand-me downs from rich kids whose parents don't mind paying a premium for fake appliances that cost as much as real ones).
Our extended family generously accessorized it with pots, pans, crates of cutting food, a baking set, three aprons, a mixer, and more utensils than most people have in a real kitchen. Then there was the iron and ironing board, broom, vacuum with detachable dustbuster, and on and on. Everything a domestic goddess in training could ever need. Skylar is incredibly spoiled by her grandparents, aunts, and uncles on both sides of the family. (Thank goodness Hannah came along to share the spotlight!!)

So now her room looks like this on a good day:
And I have a new hobby that includes velcroing together crates of cutting fruit. I've tried hiding her most annoying toys under the bed, but she always finds them. I realized the other day as I was putting together 8 wooden puzzles for the 99th time that this was only her second Christmas. It's going to get worse with each passing year. Much worse.

So I need a system. Something like a bookshelf with bins that are labeled that I can just throw toys in. I think a trip to IKEA might be in order. After all, the cure for too much stuff is always to buy stuff to hold the stuff right? Yikes.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Skylar woke up from her nap to find that a balloon bouquet had been delivered for her, sent by Granbabe and Granstud, along with a teddy bear and a giant lollipop. She was a little sleepy and confused..... But it didn't take her long to realize that the lollipop was something tasty that she had to start eating immediately.
She and daddy laid in bed and shared it. He was pretty excited....for her, of course.
It was delicious. Probably the best post-nap snack she's ever had.
She was so happy it made her want to do a little zumba dance.
And the balloons were pretty great too! Thanks Granbabe and Granstud!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ladies who lunch.

Shortly after we moved here a Chipotle opened 5 miles from our house. The only Chipotle in the area. Micah came home from work one day positively glowing with excitement and said "GUESS WHAT"! Before I could even wonder he announced "I JUST DROVE BY A CHIPOTLE AND IT'S OPENING IN ONE WEEK!". And then the heaven's opened up and a choir of angels sang. We decided this was no coincidence--we took it as a direct sign from God that we were meant to be in Columbia. (Up until that moment we weren't sure).

All this to say, Skylar and I had a lunch date with Aunt Kim and Nana yesterday, and we knew exactly where we wanted to go.

While Aunt Kim and Nana tried their first burritos I took a picture, because it's kind of a big moment:
They ate them like old pros, even Skylar was impressed by their burrito aptitude. The first time I ate one I took it out of the foil and the whole thing fell apart in my lap.

We realized while we were sitting there that we represented four generations! We are loving our time close to family that we don't usually get to see. And the burritos are icing on the cake:)

Monday, February 8, 2010

The cake mix cookie.

Did ya'll have a good super bowl? (Did I just say ya'll? Why yes, yes I did. When in Rome.....)

We went over to our new friend Kate's house for a get-together and ate an obscene amount of food. I don't remember a second of the game, but I had a great time talking. Skylar had fun with her new friend, Athena, a quirky 6 year old with spiral curls that Skylar can't get enough of (that is until Athena locked her in a kennel and wouldn't let her out...but they were able to get past that and their friendship is stronger than ever now).

Anyway, I recently rediscovered an old recipe. A couple of weeks ago I made dinner to take over to a family who had just had their sixth child and my plan was to make a brownie mix I had in the pantry. An hour before I was supposed to take the food over, I found out that the brownie mix I thought I had did not in fact exist. I only had a cake mix. I didn't have a can of frosting or enough butter to make my own frosting or enough time to bake a cake and let it cool so I could even frost it for that matter......

Then I remembered my old friend the cake mix cookie and the day was saved (because you know I couldn't have taken dinner without including a dessert, it's just not a "love meal" without the sugar.)

So in case you've never met my chocolatey friends, allow me to introduce you.......

Never have five ingredients tasted so good. Granted, if you are opposed to preservatives and gratuitous amounts of sugar, than this recipe is not for you. I laugh in the face of sugar. And you can't beat the convenience.

Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

1 pkg. chocolate cake mix
1/2 c. rolled oats
1 c. (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in large bowl and blend well. On ungreased cookie sheet, drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough 2" apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

If your one of my high-altitude friends, you'll probably have to add 1/4 cup of flour, although I'm not really sure because I never made them when we lived in Colorado. Toss in some dried cherries to make them even better.

Happy eating!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Napkin Dress Part Two.

I tried another kind of napkin dress yesterday, and I think I like it even better than the first one. It's a little more involved because it has elastic around the top, but still only requires very basic sewing skills (which is good since that's all I've got). I used a great tutorial that I found here.

As it turns out the hard part was getting Skylar to model for me. She wouldn't stand still so I could get a picture. I guess my "dress Skylar up like a human doll and take pictures for fun" days are over now. Bummer.

Anyway, even with my uncooperative model, I can hardly stand the cuteness. Summer come quickly!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Welcome Hannah!

The newest member of Team Foxworth, Hannah Laura, arrived today in the wee hours of the morning. She weighed in at 7 lbs 14 oz, and is 19.5 inches long. I think she looks just like Jenn (although it's a little hard to tell in the text message picture with a giant hand partially obscuring her tiny face) and she has Russell's red hair. So cute!! Baby and Mama are doing well! The name "Hannah" is a family name, and "Laura" is after Jennifer's dear friend Laura Walker who was killed in Afghanistan while they were deployed together. We can't wait to meet little Hannah in person and we're so excited for Jenn and Russell!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The great TV debate.

To have a TV or not have a TV? That has been our question lately.

Let me start off by saying I don't think TV is bad. Obviously having a TV in your home is a personal choice and a matter of conviction, and I know there are many people out there with very strong opinions against it. I'm not one of them. Having said that, I don't think TV is all that good either.

We recently took a 10 week hiatus from the TV. It wasn't something we planned, it just sort of happened. It got packed up in November, and when our stuff was delivered sometime mid-December, we had them put it straight into the garage. Ironically, we have free cable here--it's included with rent--and yet we didn't feel compelled to use it.

By January, we realized we really didn't miss it much, although I did kind of feel like I lived in a bubble. I didn't even know about the earthquake in Haiti until almost 2 days later. I've always hated TV as background noise, I prefer the quiet. But we did miss watching the news. And Top Chef. And HGTV. And my dear friends the Duggars. And on and on....I get sucked in.

All that time without a TV sort of helped us gain some perspective, and we came up with a few guidelines for our family. We will only ever have ONE in the house (did you know the average American home has more televisions than people living in it?) so that everyone has to watch it together and be in agreement about what we are watching. Secondly, if we have cable (and we may not after our next move) we will also have a DVR so that we can choose ahead of time the shows we want to watch and fast forward through commercials. Except for the rare occasion, we will not eat dinner in front of the TV (this used to end up happening once or twice a week and Micah hates it) so that we can have a family dinner with conversation.

Ultimately, we don't want our television watching to outweigh the other more important things in our lives. I guess it's really about stewardship of our time. In a sermon a couple of weeks ago the pastor said that the average parent spends 6 hours a week shopping and only 40 minutes a week playing with their child. I haven't researched it, but I'm sure the average American also spends way more than 6 hours a week watching TV. It makes me sad to think of all the time wasted on things that don't matter, when our children need us so much. Not that there aren't plenty of other ways to waste time without a TV. (I finally got sucked in and read the whole Twilight series in the last 2 weeks--mostly when Skylar was sleeping so I'm a bit sleep deprived myself--but I finished it last night so normal life can resume again. Not the best use of my time.)

We also don't want the TV to be a major influence in Skylar's life. As it is now, she watches a veggie tale every morning after breakfast so that I can get ready in peace. But looking at her face in this picture, I swear I can see her brain rotting before my very eyes.... The dvd player has been my babysitter even in the absence of a TV, and there are days when she wears me out and I plop her down to watch a second one in the afternoon just to make.the.whining.stop. I feel slightly guilty about it, but I AM only human after all:)

So anyway, a TV is back in the house as of yesterday and we're going to make a conscious effort to minimize it's presence. If not, I guess we'll ditch it again when we move in 4 months:)


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