Monday, August 30, 2010

Not my child.....

Does this look like the face of a terrorist? The answer is yes.

When I picked Skylar up at the YMCA nursery this morning they were waiting for me at the door. I've always gotten glowing reports from every nursery she's ever been in, how sweet, how complaint, how (incessantly) talkative and friendly.

But not today. Today she had to be separated from the other children because she hit everyone who came near her.


So I asked her if she hit her friends and she said without a tinge of remorse "I hurt everybody. Everybody super sad". When I asked her why she said "Toys are mine!!!". Then followed it 2 seconds later with "I want a treat!"

Whaaaaat??? Who IS this child.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mom tip

Don't you just love when a mom friend tells you something totally ordinary that they do and you think "Oh my gosh, that's the best idea ever, why didn't I think of that?" Yeah, me too.

A mom in our playgroup mentioned freezing Gogurt. I know they advertise that it can be frozen for lunchboxes, but until she said that it didn't click in my brain that it could be a popsicle substitute. I had never considered buying it, in fact I always skip over it because I just assumed since it's marketed to kids it has lots of sugar. But when she said that it got me thinking....I let Skylar have a popsicle almost everyday in the summer and those are full of sugar. So why not just give her yogurt instead (even if it is sugary) and throw a little nutritional value in there while I'm at it. Duh.

Then Gogurt was $1.25 a box at the commissary, so there you go. When she asks for a treat now I'm happy to oblige......

Plus it's fun to watch her get brain freeze every.single.time. She screams like a banshee for a couple of seconds and then dives right back in. I tell her to slow down, but you can't reason with a two year old.

I also just want to say that I think tiny little toddler skinny jeans are my new favorite. I bought these at the Gap outlet last winter and couldn't wait to put them on her......

And Skylar's favorite things right now are her "baby jaguar" (leopard print) shoes. She has a huge crush on Diego and he has a baby jaguar, so pretending to be a jaguar, wearing jaguar on her feet, climbing trees like a's all a vain attempt to win Diego's love. In Skylar's words "Diego's a nice boy mama". Good thing he's not real.

(And as for my blogging paranoia, I think I'm going to leave things as they are for now and just see how I feel after Micah's gone).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blog Security

So does anyone out there ever get concerned with the possible risks of putting your life on the internet? Lately I've worried that I might be compromising my family's safety.

I mean, I don't think the majority of the world cares about my silly blog, and I've always operated under the assumption that friends and family were the only ones interested, and maybe the occasional passer-by. But lately I've started to wonder if that's a little naive. What if blogging actually makes me a target for some pervert or something? Or worse, Skylar. It wouldn't be that hard to track us down if you really wanted to.

Do any of my blogging friends ever worry about attracting someone crazy?

It's been an on-going discussion in our house for the last year or so. The alternative is to make it an invite-only blog, but that's pretty inconvenient for everyone. Or of course to stop blogging altogether.

I just don't know......

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The condensed version.

I took 500 pictures of our New York/Kansas trip. Here are 45 of them........
Concert at Trophy Point and watching the plebes march back from Beast:

Playing in the Creek behind my parents house, swimming at Delafield Pond, and NYC:

Horses, and bull frogs, and tractor rides!

Bill's BBQ, fun with Krandy, and what's left of Gayle's poor bird house after target practice.....

A little quality time with the Riley's!

Lots of fun memories, ten extra pounds, and now back to regular life.......

Monday, August 23, 2010


Our nice neighbor brought us over a grocery bag of tomatoes from her garden. They were ripe and ready to eat, but there were a lot of them. I'm not really a tomato person, don't like them in salads--I'll eat them because their good for me, but I won't enjoy it. So I had to think of a way to use them up.
My grandmother makes yummy cheese and tomato sandwiches so I made some for lunch in her honor and ohmygoodness they were some good tomatoes. The ones in the store don't even compare. Sometimes the simplest food is the best.
I ate these sandwiches for lunch twice, then I made the rest into tomato sauce. I've made fresh tomato sauce several times when I've made pasta, and decided the end result wasn't really worth the effort.

But as it turns out, when you use really good tomatoes, you get a really good sauce. (Which I guess is kind of a no-brainer now that I think about it). In fact, I wish I could make my own sauce all the time. I might have to grow my own tomatoes next year.
I didn't use a recipe, I just kept it simple.

First, I poached the tomatoes in almost boiling water for a couple of minutes until the skins started to crack. Then I cooled them and the skin just peeled right off.

I put all my skinned tomatoes (about 4 lbs?) in a pot on medium heat and added:
-1 big splash of olive oil
-3 minced garlic cloves
-some kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
-lots of Italian seasonings, whatever I could find (dried rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, etc)
-a little onion powder
-a couple splashes of red wine (this actually made a huge difference in the flavor)

It simmered for an hour, and I occasionally used a potato masher to squish it up. When it had cooked down and thickened up a little bit I pureed it, and served it over pasta (not homemade this time) with some fresh ground turkey meatballs and Parmesan. Totally worth the effort.
We're also trying to enjoy the last of the summer fruit while we can. It already feels like fall around here. Anything is good on angel food cake, but this is probably my favorite:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hoochie Barbie.

We've been on vacation for the last 10 days. One of those days was spent in NYC. We decided we had to take Skylar to FAO Schwartz, mostly because it's air conditioned and Central Park is not. (100 degrees in the city is no joke people).

Of all the things she saw in The Toy Store of all Toy Stores, she was the most intrigued by the Barbie Runway. I think she could have watched it go around all day.
I know there is a lot of debate out there regarding Barbie and her influence on young girl's body image, and to be honest I haven't given it too much thought. I will say that I spent many hours playing with Barbies and her ridiculous body proportions haven't affected my self-esteem in anyway. In fact, I've pretty much always thought Barbie was harmless.

That is until I saw the new Barbies. Lord have mercy.

Behold, the next generation. Are they strippers? hookers? and WHY?

What happened to Veterinarian Barbie? Doctor Barbie? Fully clothed Barbie? This is how Micah feels about Barbie...........

Seeing the Hoochie Barbies definitely made me realize I am out of touch with what is being marketed to young girls these days. Yikes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rude awakening.

The other morning I woke up at 6:00 because Sabot wanted fed--and nobody gets to sleep when Sabot wants fed.

Skylar was also wailing from her bed that she wanted a Chai. She asks for an iced Chai latte every morning when the sun comes up and then goes back to sleep for a couple more hours. If she doesn't get the chai, she doesn't go back to sleep. I'm pretty sure I single handedly keep Tazo in business (although she thinks Ovaltine is Chai too, which is what she usually gets). And yes, I know she and Suri Cruise could be BFF's.


So there I was in the dark garage scooping dog food from the bottom of the bin where we keep it when something jumped up on my arm and then fell back into the bin. Surprisingly I didn't scream, I was that out of it.

When I turned on the light, this is what I found staring up at me:
Had it been a snake I would have had a heart attack and died on the spot, but since it was just a fat nasty mouse I took a picture. And then put the lid back on the bin and waited for Micah to do something with him. He released it outside, which means it's probably back in our garage happily munching away on Royal Canine Large Breed.

If that thing is the size of a rat next time I run into it, we may have a problem.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The farmer's market.

We have a couple of local farmer's markets in town. Skylar loves to go for two reasons: she gets to pick out a butterfly or flower cookie from the Amish vendor, and there is always a salmonella infested reptile she can pet. (Followed by lots of hand case you were concerned).We usually take whoever is in town visiting that week.....
We basically eat our way through.....starting with kettle corn, finishing with fudge, with some goodies in between. We sometimes feel a little sick by the end.
Except for the creepy singing puppet who performs every week, the farmer's market is filled with good things.....
It's just one more reason why I love summer.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Window pane frame.

All the credit for this idea goes to my sister-in-law Margaret. When she and Thomas got married a couple of years ago, she had this hanging in a tree at their reception and I loved it. In fact, I took a picture for inspiration..... I started looking for a window, and almost bought one at a flea market in Colorado Springs with Nicole last year. Luckily I waited, because my parents have a whole slew of them laying around in the barn behind their house. A little windex, some spray adhesive, and now it's hanging over our kitchen table and makes me happy everyday.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Calling all gardeners.

Can anybody with a knowledge of plants help me out? What ARE these things growing in my yard?
They start out green and then turn orange, and when you open it up there appears to be a cherry tomato inside. It's like something from a sci-fi movie.
After pondering for days I decided they might be Tomatillos, but from what I've seen on-line tomatillos are only green and much bigger than this. I actually tried tasting one (probably not a recommended investigation tactic) and it was kind of sour.

Anybody know?

Monday, August 9, 2010


I am a sorbet-aholic.

Ice cream--no big deal.

Sherbet--if there's nothing better.

If I had my way it would be all sorbet all the time. Especially Hagen Daz Lemon sorbet.

I'm always looking for a new flavor so when I saw these in the freezer section at Target I did a happy dance and loaded up! And is (was! like there's any left, ha!) sooooo good.

The Blood die for......
I got gelato for my non-sorbet loving husband. He and Skylar loved the Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato. It's like eating the inside of a Ferrero Rocher, except frozen. She had crazy eyes by the end. (I completely understand baby girl, I get those same crazy eyes for a Creme Brulee......)
She licked that bowl clean. It was a proud moment for me. She has many chocolate-loving years ahead of her, and I plan to be there every step of the way.

The next time you're at Target, look for these and treat yourself. Sharing with the kids is totally optional. I was feeling generous that day, but next time I'll wait until she's asleep!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Chalkboard project.

Last weekend I finally got around to a project I've been wanting to do for a long time--making a chalkboard for the kitchen wall.I've had this giant 3 x 4 foot frame since last winter just waiting for me to do something with it. (Once again, 90% off aisle at Hobby Lobby--it was just $16--I hit the jackpot that day.) I toyed around with several ideas, but as soon as we bought this house I knew it would be a chalkboard.

All you need is a can of chalkboard paint from Lowes or Home Depot. You can paint it directly on the wall, or make a hanging chalkboard like I did that can be easily removed. (It'd also be fun to paint the top of a kids table in a play room, or the top of a coffee table, or a closet door......there are lots of fun ideas out there). I wanted to go with a traditional black board, but you can actually make your own chalkboard paint in any color you want. Martha is a genius.

I started out by painting my frame with leftover white paint. Then I went to home depot and had them cut a piece of wood the right size for my frame. (You can either use plywood and sand it down or something non-porous like Masonite that doesn't require sanding and is lighter).

I also wanted mine to be magnetic, so I first painted my surface with 4 coats of magnetic paint (also from the local hardware store) and then covered it with one coat of chalkboard paint. The magnetic paint is a bit pricey, so if you're on a budget you may want to skip this step. Honestly, it isn't very magnetic anyway, just enough to hold a picture or list.

Then I attached my painted chalkboard inside the frame with a staple gun, flipped it over and screamed "NOOOOOOOO" when I realized all 50 staples had gone completely through the frame thereby ensuring that any child that came near it would need a tetanus shot. Not only was it a weapon of mass destruction, it was ugly.

So I pulled all the staples out, caulked all the holes in the wood, repainted my frame and then distressed it to look there were supposed to be chunks of wood missing everywhere from those dang staples. Then I reattached it using a combination of super glue and thumb tacks. Whatever.

I bought a magnetic basket in the school supply aisle at Target to hold my chalk, but it was too heavy to stick to my board so I attached it to the wall nearby instead.
The top of the board is for adult things like messages and lists, and the bottom is for Skylar to play on. (She goes and gets a stool so that she can reach more of the chalkboard:)

It not only fills a big empty wall, but it also keeps Skylar busy in the kitchen which is always helpful for me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The week in pictures.

Here is some of what we've been up to this past week with family in town.......

Fun fact: ducks don't eat kettle corn. Why they prefer stale bread over kettle corn, I cannot understand.

My brother Josh came to visit! Cute, right? (Eat your heart out girls.....)
He's single. And he loves kids. And he wears plaid shorts. And he's going to kill me when he reads this.

Papa got doughnuts for Skylar for breakfast. Donuts + gazing adoringly at Uncle Josh = best breakfast EVER.

I let Skylar stay up until 10 pm this night to see her daddy. The whole family watched Diego (Skylar's current fave).

Jack watches it too. He doesn't like Diego. He does like Ni Hao Kai Lan though (maybe since she's from his homeland?)

Skylar hosted her first playdate this week at our house. Sadly, all the little girls her age couldn't make it. But she still had a great time not sharing her toys with the babies and boys that came.

Then beloved Aunt Bekah came to town with her friend Jason. Oh happy day!
Aunt B helped her "climb a tree like Diego".
And showed her the joy that is the Slip n' Slide.....
This is Jason, a true southern boy (I think he even wears searsuckers)......
Skylar stood at the end of the slide clapping and offering her support.
If only summer could last forever.....


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