Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quote of the Week

"Never underestimate a child's ability to get into more trouble."

~Martin Mull~

You'd think I'd have learned that by now, but Connor just keeps finding new ways to surprise me. The other day, Dan found him up on the counter, having gotten into the candy container in the cupboard, stuffing his face full of chocolate. When asked how he'd gotten up there in the first place, Connor showed Dan how he used the 1/2 depth of the drawer fronts (drawers closed) as toe holds and climbed up the four drawers to get onto the counter. Emily and Jared never even looked at those drawer fronts twice, let alone come up with the idea that the drawer fronts could make a good ladder, and then tested and perfected the idea. How do you "toddler-proof" that? LOL

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pink, Pink, You Stink

This isn't Connor's eye, but it's a pretty good representation of what BOTH of his eyes look like right now. UGH!

The pink started up partway through yesterday and got significantly worse by bedtime, but looks quite a bit better today. We'll see how things go as the day progresses. Em's had it twice and they say the most common form is viral, which isn't even treatable, so I don't know that we'll bother with the doctor, but it looks like we'll for sure be sticking close to home for awhile!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pumpkin Pancakes

We are testing out a recipe I found online this morning. Dan's eating the first batch and has given his approval. The kids are just getting ready to get started (Dan started first so he could head outside to do yardwork)


2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk *see notes at bottom
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar


In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.


I ended up adding at least an additional 1/2 cup of milk. The batter turned out REALLY THICK and the pancakes weren't cooking properly in the middle, so I used the extra milk to thin the batter a bit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Rinna!

My cousin's birthday is actually tomorrow, but I figure there's probably better blog traffic for wishing her a Happy Birthday TODAY!

We celebrated her birthday with her last Saturday by having a luncheon at our Aunt's house. This is the card that I made, to go along with the bottle of Juicy perfume that my mom, my cousin-in-law/friend Jessica, and myself gave her as a gift.

(I made it somewhat camo in honor of her boyfriend, who is over in Iraq right now)
card making

Again, I apologize that it's blurry. Em's camera and I do frequent battles and I took no less than 15 pictures trying to get one that wasn't blurry. At least you can see it well enough to get the point...

Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY RINNA (tomorrow)! I hope you have a fabulous day. We ♥ you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

As Emily sees it

The camera's been found (YIPEE!), and it was right in the van in a little cubby that I specifically suggested Dan look when he was helping Emily search. Clearly my suggestion fell on deaf ears. I got up early this morning to get a good jump on a BUSY day, and just felt this burning need to check that cubby for myself, and there was the camera. I love being right. HA HA HA!

So, without further ado, "As Emily sees it":


Emily insisted that I have my hand on my hip, but I was preparing dinner and had been handling raw meat, so kept my fingers facing outward. I look like a dork, but had to share the picture, because it cracked me up when I saw it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

This and that

I was going to do an "As Emily sees it" post, but I can't find her camera ANYWHERE, so therefore can't post any pictures from it. HUFF PUFF SIGH!!

Instead, I thought I would ramble on for a bit, and see where it takes me! ha!

SOMETHING FUNNY I HEARD THIS WEEK: (Jared to Emily) "Emily, remember when we were just little kids?"

SOMETHING I'M DREADING: The fancy work dinner at a seafood place I have to attend with Dan and the four other guys and their spouses from his office (he works for a large company, but most of the guys are in the field; this dinner is JUST for the office people, and the company party will be later in December). I don't do fancy restaurants, I don't really eat seafood, I'm terribly shy... This dinner is a BIG deal and I'm petrified of the entire thing.

SOMETHING I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO: Seeing "baby mouse" Emily in The Nutcracker in a few weeks. She's been working really hard, and she and I are both sooooo excited for the event!

SOMETHING I THOUGHT I'D NEVER SAY: That my dad was right about the two tattoos I got. It's not so much that I regret getting them, but they don't mean much to me anymore. If I had the chance to go back in time and get them again, I probably wouldn't. That's not saying I wouldn't get a tattoo at all, but I think I'd at least hold off on the lower back one, as that's the one my tastes have changed the most about.

SOMETHING I'M PROUD OF: Emily's school conference was last week and her teacher had nothing but fantastic things to say about my little girl. She's reading at a 2nd grade level, has exceptional behavior in class, is friendly with everyone, extremely helpful... Her teacher says she has zero concerns about anything acedemically or otherwise. Way to go Emily!

SOMETHING I'M EMBARRASSED TO ADMIT: I was jealous of Emily and extremely hurt when she was only a few days old. Her daddy came home from work while I was busy washing dishes, and he greeted me with his usual "Hi sweetie pie!" I turned away from the sink to return his greeting, only to discover him face to face with Emily; he wasn't talking to me at all! She's still his sweetie pie, and I couldn't be more pleased NOW, but THEN...

SOMETHING I PLAN TO EAT THIS WEEK: home-made cream of potato soup, topped with crumbled bacon and grated cheese. YUM YUM YUM!!!

SOMETHING ELSE I PLAN TO EAT: My favorite meal of all time...THANKSGIVING DINNER, of course! And lucky me, I actually get to eat it twice this week, because we celebrated with my family yesterday, and will celebrate with Dan's family Thursday. Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, pumpkin pie, ETC!!!!

SOMETHING I'M PONDERING: At what point does it go from motherly to creepy if I'm going into my children's bedrooms and checking on them before heading off to bed myself? I've honestly tried just heading to bed without straightening their blankets, kissing their foreheads, making sure lovies are still accounted for, etc, and I CAN'T GET TO SLEEP until I've done it. I assume I'm still in the safe zone since my eldest is only 6.5, but it some point it must turn creepy. Any ideas? LOL

SOMETHING I PLAN TO PURCHASE SOON: has Christmas ornaments for sale; each one is based on a patient's drawing, and proceeds go towards research and patient care. They're entirely affordable, and I think they're CUTE! Check them out HERE.

Okay, that's enough from me for now!

PS Kristina is hosting a contest with a pretty fantastic prize, so head on over HERE and play!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Story

In case you were wondering how two of my children managed to acquire large bruising injuries in the same night, here's the story:

I was at a Romanian wedding reception, OKAY!?!? And the kids were hanging out near our table, which was near a railing for the ramp up to the tables, and Emily had already been told several times to stop flipping on the bar, and it's not my fault Connor thought he was a few inches shorter than he really is as he tried to run under it. AND, Dan was off helping to steal the bride--which, I might add, is a tradition at Romanian wedding receptions. AND I'd been hauled off to the dance floor by a Romanian woman, who found it VERY ODD that I would be hovering over my children rather than dancing...

I knew we were attending a Romanian wedding reception (one of Dan's co-worker's reception), and I knew the bulk of the guests would be Romanian (pretty much everyone but my family of five, and one other man, but he was recently married to one of the Romanian woman so I'm not sure he counts! LOL), but I honestly, NOT ONCE, even thought about what was in store for us that night, or how VERY VERY DIFFERENT this reception would be from anything we've attended in the past.

We were warned by another of Dan's co-workers (who is also Romanian) that people traditionally don't show up on time, and that we should arrive at least an hour late. Dan and I both felt it would be rather rude to show up an entire hour late, but aren't we glad we listened, because there weren't many people there when we arrived (an hour late). We'd also been told it would be nice to buy a bouquet of flowers to give the bride when we arrived. Thank goodness for helpful Paul, because how silly would we have felt showing up on time, and flowerless??? The stack of flowers in one corner of the room was rather impressive, and I would say the number of guests doubled (at least) within a half hour of our own arrival.

At this point, the food was brought out, and I will be honest that I steered clear of most of it, being entirely unsure of WHAT it even was. For the most part, it was bread slices and an assortment of meats and things (mostly deli meats I'd never seen before, and some gray-ish stuff that looked a bit like tuna, though Dan assures me it definately wasn't...LOL). I had some bread and some salami-ish meat (I say "ish" because it wasn't like any salami I've eaten before, but it was good and very similar). There was also some thin strips of breaded chicken (if it wasn't chicken, I don't want to know what it was), which was good.

The music was getting going, and a few of the women were starting to dance. SEVERAL people made suggestions that we put the kids in the upper room (visible from the dance floor and seating area we were in) and leave them be, but Connor's only 2.5 and not really a kid full of any sort of "healthy" fear, so between the two of us, we "hovered" over the kids pretty good. UNTIL Dan was offered some Palinca, which is moonshine made from fermented plums and is REALLY strong stuff. At that point, Dan was doing a fabulous job socializing with the men and I was on my own with the kid-hovering job.

Around 10pm, I was feeling ready to head home; it was already 2 hours past the kids' bedtimes,and we had a long drive home, still. One of the women (helpful Paul's wife, Carina) saw that we were preparing to leave, and informed us that it would be rather rude to leave before the cake was brought out. When I asked when that might be, we were told that it's generally brought out around MIDNIGHT, sometimes closer to 1am. Of course, we didn't want to be rude, but MIDNIGHT, with three small kids, and a LONG drive home??? It was right then and there that I realized things were VERY different from an American wedding reception, and felt the need to ask further questions:

Why is the cake brought out so many hours into the reception?
In Romania, a traditional wedding reception would last until 6-8am the following day. Which also explains why people aren't worried about showing up on time, because they'll still have PLENTY of time to celebrate with the happy couple. The cake is brought out late to give everyone time to arrive and to eat several meals.

Because the receptions last so long, new meals are brought out every few hours to make sure the guests are well-fed and having a good time. (FYI, two meals were served while we were there; the second being some sort of roast, mashed potatoes, and cabbage rolls. We were still full from the first meal, not having any clue there'd be a second one, so we didn't eat any of the second one).

The kids were having a BLAST, and short of being rude, it seemed best to just make the best of it, stick around, and enjoy ourselves. Carina pulled me out onto the dance floor, and any of you who know me personally, know that I am NOT a dancer, that I am extremely self-conscious being in any sort of setting where I'm being spot-lighted in any way/shape/form. I was honestly near tears from pure embarrassment of not having a clue what to do with my body. Not too long after that, the more organized dancing started up.

My computer is still "sick" (as reported by Kaci Thursday) and isn't currently allowing me any volume capabilities, so I have NO CLUE what the audio portion of this video is like; I'm just going for the VISUAL here, and there was a lot of this sort of dancing happening that night (and so you can see how I could be momentarily distracted from my mothering duties!) (PS mostly it was the women doing the dances, with the occasional man joining in from time to time)

As part of a group, where everyone was doing the same thing, it was far easier to let loose and go with the flow, and I ended up really enjoying myself. Emily was fascinated by the "circle dancing" and came running every time one got started (which was rather often, to be truthful!).

Around 11pm, Dan was asked to be a part of the group that kidnaps the bride. WHAT?!?! I can see your reaction was similar to ours. The guys adding Dan to their group thought that we were quite the funny pair to have never heard of that tradition (Dan and I, at this point, were still trying to decide if they were pulling our legs). But surely enough, they grabbed the bride and took off with her, and about 15 minutes later, they sent Dan in to negotiate for her safe return. It was pretty funny!!

The bride was returned, bottles of wine were given to her kidnappers, and the night continued.

sometime around 12:30am, the cake was brought out, served, and eaten. Thank you's and good bye's were said, pictures were posed for, more thank you's, more good bye's, and somewhere around 1am we were making our way out to the car (we were the second family to leave, and no one else was showing any signs of leaving, despite the fact that they couldn't find a place they could affordably rent out until 6-8am)

Somewhere mixed into all the fun/excitement were wounded children, who were promptly soothed and cuddled by doting parents, who were never out of visual contact with them for more than a few minutes at a time. And although we kept our kids out WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too late, they had a fabulous time, and I'm glad they got to experience something so different. Emily happily shared her version of things for her sharing time at school, which I think I will prompt her to write down in her journal.

And here's me, STILL (one week later) kicking myself for not having my camera with me that night!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Bruised Bunch

Here's the story, of a little baby, who was running and smacked into a bar. And his poor eye, got very swollen, the bruise spread pretty far...

Here's the story, of his older sister, who was flipping and fell down to the floor. And her bruised bum, is very tender, I can't say any more...

(can't show that picture, sorry!)

You would think my children must be very clutsy
That they were both injured, hours after lunch
And you wonder, about my inattentiveness
and how I'd let my kids become The Bruised Bunch

The Bruised Bunch, The Bruised Bunch

How I'd let my kids become The Bruised Bunch!!!!

(and I'll tell that story TOMORROW, so make you come back, ya hear???)

PS, quick shout out to my BFF Kaci, who so graciously stepped in to guest blog for me when my computer was refusing to cooperate. I'm dying to test out a peppermint mocha now (thanks a lot Kaci! LOL)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hello Lover!!

Hi Low it's Kaci , poor poor Leah's computer is sick and not letting her blog! AS IF Leah's computer. We should all name Leah's about Bert? Anyone apposed to Bert? Alright Bert it is. Feel better Bert.
Anyways, I love love love this time of year, wanna know why? Cause Starbucks changes there cups to cute festive cups...take a look.
Ain't it cute? Don't cha just wanna go out and buy gifts and wrap em', then wear cute scraf and big snow boots, and big fluffy jackets, and and and....okay I'll stop. Now take a look at this goodness...
This drink is called Heaven in a Cup or Peppermint White Mocha, same thing. HAHA! Leah I know loves White Mocha's she told me it's true! So Leah and Bert here's to you...Happy Starbucks Red Cup Day, feel better!
You Call It Starbucks, I Call It Love!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I've been unable to get a good handle on my allergies so far this fall/winter, and as a result, my defenses have been really low, and I've been catching every cold in sight. I'm in the middle of my 5th cold in about two months. I was well for FOUR DAYS before catching this latest one. Dan and the kids have been totally cold free, so it's just ME, again and again. And even when I'm well, I still have the runny nose, itchy eyes, itchy throat, and a cough from allergies; then when I have a cold, I add in sinus headaches, a worse cough, and serious irritability. Today, I have a million "chores" to do, and a million "I'd like to do's", but I have just enough energy to sit here and whine instead. ha!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

home-made card

I haven't been as busy making cards the last 6 months or so. Life has been extremely busy! I did make three in August and two in October, but of course, I didn't think to take a picture of a single one of them.

I made this one for our neighbor, Lily's, 8th birthday this past weekend (sorry it's a little blurry; Em's camera and I butt head rather often with this issue):
card making

Monday, November 17, 2008



Saturday, November 15, 2008

Startin' young

The boys and I met up with my cousin, Mirinda, yesterday for lunch at Subway. The boys were a little shy of Mir at first, but once we had our food, Connor seemed pretty content to sit next to Mir and started in on his lunch. After he had eaten a huge amount of food, he started being more mobile in his seat, and more talkative and whatnot. Mir was saying something to me at one point, and Connor was sitting next to her, peering at her rather intently, like he was truly following along with the conversation and giving her his undivided attention. He stood up and leaned around to be more in line with her face (so he was bracing himself against the table and leaning to be more in front of her, while his feet were on the seat next to her). Suddenly, he leaned way down and peeked right down the front of her shirt! He very casually straightened up and sat back down as if nothing happened and Mir and I had a good laugh. Mir looked over at him and said, "we're related you know. And I'm way too old for you." Connor stared at her and then said, "Mmm hmmm" in agreeance. I've NEVER seen him lean in and take a peek down someone's shirt before. Though in his defense, it was a low-cut shirt and he's certainly never seen ME in one like that before! It was pretty funny!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My new favorite book!!

Emily made this book for me. I LOVE IT!!

The pages are all random sizes so the scanner was getting a little confused, but I did my best to get a good representation to show off to you all!




She said she meant to write: a mommy helps you get better when you are sick. (and she drew a picture of herself under a blanket, and you can see the work blanket, AND, even better, you can see her feet poking up under the blanket! LOL)


Twilight shmilight, I've got THIS book!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fun with hair

I stumbled across a blog dedicated to different hair-styles for little girls a month or two ago, and have since become rather obsessed with hunting out "hair blogs" and trying new hair-styles on Emily. The problem is that Emily is a BEAST in the mornings and nearly impossible to wake up, so I tend to wait until the last possible second, then throw clothes on her, throw food in her, and haul her off to the bus stop, at which point she's human again and pleasant. Doesn't leave much time for doing fun things with her hair, though. There have been a few moments here and there we've had enough time to play.

This one I whipped out one afternoon after school. It would be a good one to do with damp hair, or with a little bit of gel because it was pretty "fuzzy" immediately after it was done (as seen in the picture), but it was REALLY "fuzzy" within about an hour.

This one, I attempted Tuesday, since there wasn't any school due to the holiday. I hair-sprayed it a bit, but it was still pretty "fuzzy" by the end of the day (it's also a little off-center, but still got MAJOR comments at the mall that day!). I also want to try this as two "braids" down both sides of her head, both twisting towards the center

This one we did Wednesday, and I did do a little bit of gel before doing the braids, to keep them looking nice throughout the day, and they REALLY held up well! I used a curling iron to QUICKLY curl the ends down, because otherwise they were just flopping around all crazy. Next time, I'd take the two little side braids (the ones that X in the back) and start them up a little higher so that they X at more of an angle.

The picture doesn't really do justice to that last one very well. It was SUPER cute, and the flipped up ends bounced all around and she had a lot of fun with them. I need to hurry up and get new elastics though. We're about out and I'm anxious to keep testing out some new ideas! (she mostly just wears a headband because that all she leaves time for, so I wasn't in a huge hurry to get more elastics previously!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nutcracker Mouse

Emily got her mouse costume at the end of class Monday. From the picture they posted in the studio, I wasn't overly excited about it, but seeing it on her and the other girls, it's actually PRETTY DARN CUTE (the tummy, the tulle around the neck and sleeves, and across the bottom are light pink--the camera flash kind of washed them out a bit in the pictures)!


She's been practicing really hard, with Saturday half-cast rehearsals for the month of November, on top of her usual Monday dance class. In December, She'll have one more Saturday half-cast rehearsal, then a few days later the full-cast dress rehearsal, then she performs in both shows. She and her fellow mice have gotten quite good at their dance routine and are having a blast! There is a viewing window into the studio and I'm constantly seeing smiling, giggling girls through it. Em's so excited to go each and every time. I plan to take a little video of her portion of The Nutcracker a the dress rehearsal so I can share it with you all.

PS She did her own hair that day, and woke me up that morning to let me know she was already dressed, her teeth were brushed, and her hair was done. Pretty creative of her, eh?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I guest blogged!

Cattigan was supposed to let me know what day she was going to publish my post so I could be sure to announce that I was guest blogging, but apparently she was too busy enjoying her time in New York (the nerve!) with her good friend and it slipped her mind. (she's totally forgiven! LOL)

However, the post showed up Sunday and I poured my little heart out and got zero comments, so please, pretty please, head over here and give me some love!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Fighter Fighters

J-man's preschool class went to one of the fire stations in our area for a field trip last week. The kids had such a good time! They got to take turns sitting in the driver seat, got to peek inside all the outer compartments of the firetruck, got to sit inside an ambulance, and got red plastic fire fighter hats at the end of the event. Jared talked about the "fighter fighters" for the rest of the afternoon!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Another milestone met

Connor is now officially in the lower bunk of the bunk beds, and Jared is in the top bunk. All three of my kids are in "big kid" beds now. The toddler bed is going to my cousin for her son, as soon as she gets a chance to drive down here to pick it up. It's been almost two weeks, but it still feels weird to walk into the room to check on the boys, and to see little Connor in this huge bed (huge compared to HIM!). And short of climbing up the ladder and onto the upper bunk, I can't kiss Jared's forehead as he sleeps any longer when I check on him. (I'll also briefly mention that putting clean sheets on that upper bunk is a real pain in the bum!!!).

The boys are THRILLED with the new arrangements. Connor went straight to bed without a fuss, and I can count on one hand the number of times that's happened since moving him out of the crib into the toddler bed (nearly a year ago).


Jared navigates the ladder very well, even in the middle of the night, and Connor's only fallen out once (tough kid didn't even cry, and in the teeny bit of time it took me to jump out of bed to investigate the giant thud I'd heard, he'd already climbed back into bed on his own!).

Friday, November 7, 2008

I won!

Here's a little background...

First, this happened, where Megryansmom decided that although she didn't get 100 comments on her blog on her birthday, she'd hold the contest anyway. A girl named Jenni won.

Then, this happened. Jenni graciously and hilariously accepted her prize.

Then, if you actually read the entire first link, you'll notice Megryansmom mentioned that five more people would win a prize. She mentions here that I was one of the five (well, six) winners. WOO HOO! (the prize was influenced by the comments made by Jenni in her post)

And if Jenni could survive the ordeal, I figured I was pretty safe as well. My prize arrived yesterday in the mail.

And if you read Jenni's post, this will make total sense:

You see, it pays to enter contests from time to time!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Replacement Windows

Here's the joke my mom emailed me yesterday:

Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with an expensive
double-pane energy efficient kind.

Today, I got a call from the contractor who installed them. He was
complaining that the work had been completed a whole year ago, and I
still hadn't paid for them.

Well, hellloooo,...........just because I'm blonde doesn't mean that
I am automatically stupid.

So, I told him exactly what his fast-talking sales guy had told me
last year; that in ONE YEAR these windows would pay for themselves!

Helllooooo? It's been a year! I told him.

There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally
just hung up. He never called back. Guess I won that stupid argument.

I bet he felt like an idiot

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Future NFL star

It's pretty much the general consensus with anyone who knows Connor that he's got football in his future, more than likely. He's broad, fearless, and loves to tackle. Just a few days ago, Jared was standing in front of me, minding his own business, completely unaware that wild-child Connor had put his sights on him from across the room. Before anyone knew what was going on, Connor charged out of nowhere, grabbed Jared from the side and down they went. But before Jared could even muster a sound of protest (and believe me, it was coming), Connor squeezed a little tighter and said, "Hug Jared. Love you Jared."

And so maybe he's a bit of a lover afterall?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Same song, second verse

More Halloween fun! (first verse HERE)

Dan and I attended a Halloween party over the weekend. There's ONE whopping picture that includes me that ended up on my camera (though I know there are several on other people's cameras...). This is my friend Lacy and I.

And Dan has been a gorilla for Halloween since the year 2001, but every year, he tries to change things up a bit. This year, we hit up the clearance rack in the nighty section at Walmart, and filled up some water balloons:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cooking disaster

I've been through the recipe a zillion times (and then some) and can't even come close to figuring out what when wrong here:

That started out as 13 spoonfulls of cookie dough on a cookie sheet, which baked down into one pan-sized bubbling puddle of sludge, which I scraped off onto the plate after the suggested 10 minutes baking time. Not enough flour, you might suggest? You'd be wrong, because after viewing THAT disasterous mess, I added a full cup of flour and tried again, with the same results. Added a second full cup of flour, with less disasterous results (they didn't all combine together, but they were very flat, very bubbly puddles of sludge still). At that point, I decided ENOUGH was ENOUGH and tossed out the entire rest of the DOUBLE BATCH of cookie and dough and started over (with much better results).

I know that recipe by heart, and have NEVER had anything like that happen before.

That's an hour and a half of my life I'll never back either! ha!