Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A little of this and a little of that...and a Hallmark card

Okay, so only two of you weighed in on topic ideas, (thanks Betsy and Kaci!), which means you'll be subjected to the random musings of my mind tomorrow. Hopefully I don't drive all Leah's readers away over the next few days!

1. Betsy wanted to know what happened with my cats and the vet trip I mentioned yesterday. The short version is that I tricked Zoe into the bathroom where I hid the cat carriers, struggled briefly with her, and managed to get her in the crate with only minor abrasions on my hand. Sid heard the commotion, couldn't get into the bedroom to hide, and didn't know what to do with himself, so he started scratching at the bathroom door...to get in.

Sometimes? I think he's the dumbest cat on the face of the planet.

He's probably the sweetest cat on the planet, though, so that counts for something, right?

Anyway, I opened the door and let Sid in. Once the door shut behind him, and he heard Zoe yowling in her crate, he realized something was not quite right, and struggled briefly. And in vain, might I add, as I got him in the new crate and didn't even get any more scratches. It happened so quickly I don't think his little pea brain even had a chance to process what was happening to him until it was too late and the door snapped shut.

Ha! I outsmarted my cats again - though that may not be much to brag about considering their limited intelligence. Zoe is not as dumb as Sid, but she would do anything for a treat.

I think the cats had the last laugh, though, because the visit was expensive.

I am seriously considering making them get paper routes to help pay for it.

If you want to know how the rest of my day went, I wrote about it on my blog yesterday.

2. Kaci asked for a Hallmark card. Most of you probably don't read my blog and have no idea that I have several unfortunate addictions. My most serious addictions are to reality television, infomercials, clear plastic boxes and Hallmark cards.

If I have an occasion to purchase a card, I can't physically limit myself to one - I typically end up with four or five at a time. Then, since I love the cards so much, I have a hard time giving them to the people I intended them for. I finally stumbled across the brilliant idea of scanning them and sharing them on my blog.

Some cards are universally funny, and some are funny just to me (my husband, J, is the way I gauge the funny quotient - if he laughs, it's good, but if he rolls his eyes, it's probably funny just to me), but I love them all equally.

If you want to see the entire collection, you can visit my blog. I have 11 posts in the Hallmark card category, and there are about three more scheduled so far. But, because Kaci asked, I'll share a card here that I haven't shared yet. A preview, if you will.

3. In the comments section yesterday, Leah's Auntie wanted to know if Leah and Emily were in my wedding, and if my husband is really seven feet tall. Well, Auntie, here's some photographic proof to answer both questions:

The short (ha! I'm so punny!) answer to both of your questions, Auntie, is: YES! Leah and EG both got gussied up and joined J and I on our wedding day, and J really is seven feet tall.

EG was barely walking and totally stole the show. And, you can see that J has his legs spread so that he looks a little shorter, but he's still freaky tall. For points of reference, I'm 5'6", and my father-in-law (the Best Man to the right of J in the picture) is about 6'6" tall.

This next picture shows his freaky height a little more clearly. He's standing next to his baby sister, C, and she is 5'10" tall. The doors at his parent's house are abnormally tall, too. As you can surmise, there are some really tall people in the Hocking family, so when they built their house, they took poor J's head into consideration (among other things) and raised as many door frames and ceilings as possible. It's one of the few places in this world he doesn't have to duck to get through most of the doors.

Though J is really tall, you quickly forget just how tall until other people point it out again. Unfortunately those people are usually literally pointing at him and talking about him as if being tall makes him deaf, too. He's pretty great about it, though.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Never fear!!

Leah is not intentionally leaving you, her faithful blog readers, hanging. She and her family went on an impromptu vacation to a lake cabin - jealous much?

She asked me if I would guest blog for her for the beginning of the week - actually, truth be told, she informed me in no uncertain terms (though kindly) that I would be guest blogging for her - so here I am!

This is Kristina again, from Confusaled.

I'll be back later today to update Leah's blog, but first I have to get my cats to the vet.

Actually, I need to get showered and dressed, and then run all the way across town to get a new cat carrier because we left the old one out in the sun to deodorize naturally after the cat peed in it last time we took him to the vet...five months ago. Needless to say, it's going to be far easier and more sanitary to just go get a new one. Then I need to get home, and get the cats corralled and shoved into the crates which is no easy feat.

They are wise to my tricks now. Treats don't work anymore. Last time I took Zoe to the vet, I had to trick her into the bathroom where I had hidden the cat carrier in the shower. Let's just say that wasn't fun, shall we? Sid fights less, but hides more. And pity my poor, pathetic soul if they see the carriers before I get the bedroom doors shut. When J - my seven foot tall husband with a seven foot arm span - is not home, there's really no way for me to get the cats out from under the bed. They just scoot around under there, holding their bellys and laughing at me. It's more like derisive sneering, actually.

It's just plain rude.

So, wish me luck, and in the meantime tell me this: what would you like me to write about for the next few days?

I'll check the comments when I get home, and will do my best to cover requested topics. If no one comments, I'll just have to subject you all to whatever pops into my head.

And that could be scary.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's a miracle!

Jared asked to write a letter to the neighbor girl for her birthday. Jared, who is barely willing (entirely ABLE, but barely WILLING) to write just his name, asked to write a letter. He dictated what it should say and we told him letter by letter what to write, and he wrote it. I had to scan it and keep a copy, because this was a first! (how cute is this??)

This is big news, people!!

PS He's also started sounding out small words he sees here and there, so we've started working on the list of 100 words Emily got in Kindergarten by making flashcards and introducing 10 at a time. He's almost got 20 words under his belt now (as in, he can read them without having to sound out each letter and then blending them into a word), but can sound out many more words. I can't wait until he starts writing things down phonetically! He's just turning into such a big boy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How does he do that?

Jared has this ability to fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Tuesday night, I was tucking the boys in and Jared commented that his blue blanket wasn't at the end of his bed (fleece blanket with silky edging I made for him as a baby, which isn't the most prized of lovies any longer, hence it's place at the END of his bed, but he likes knowing it's down there). I told him I'd go find it and bring it back to him. I walked to the other end of our house, found it on the couch, stopped for a quick glass of water, then headed into his room with the blanket. He was sound asleep already. Last night, I tucked the kids into their beds, came out sat down at the computer. I'd BARELY sat down when Connor came out of his room saying he had to go potty (yet again!). I helped him use the bathroom and wash his hands and put him back in bed and looked up into the top bunk to say goodnight to Jared again, but he was OUT. And so it goes, night after night. He's asleep within a minute or two of laying down. How does he do that???

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You've lost that lovin' feeling

We were somewhat recently out with some friends, celebrating our friend Kevin's birthday. We went to a local dueling piano bar, and on your birthday (should your friends so kindly announce the event to the pianists), they call you up on stage and try to embarrass you. They didn't really embarrass Kevin, but the song was HILARIOUS! At one point, this girl got called up and they asked for some male volunteers. No one was volunteering and our table was right in front, so our three guys got called up as volunteers.

They were told to sing "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" (or whatever it's proper title may be) to the girl, while she sat on the piano. For any of you who may not have the pleasure of knowing my husband personally, you might not know that he's rather at home as the center of attention when singing is involved, even more so if it's in a bar of some kind and he has a roudy/accepting audience. Needless to say, he wasted no time getting into it that night, and the crowd wasted no time supporting his efforts!
fun events

fun events

fun events

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rockstars galore!

Emily got invited to a birthday party for our neighbor girl, and it was held at Justice for Girls. Each girl was treated to a rockstar make-over (ratted, hairsprayed and glittered, BIG hair, along with make-up, gem stickers for their cheeks, arm socks, and a bag of GOODIES--which the girls got to pick out from the display stand and, GO FIGURE, my kid stocked up on lip gloss and eye shadow...LOL), then got to participate in several rounds of charades, a couple rounds of a dance/freeze deal (dance until the music stops, then freeze, and you're out if they see you move), and THEN got do be a part of a faux runway show to show off their new do's and make-up. SERIOUSLY ADORABLE and the kids had a BLAST!! I wasn't convinced I'd ever be able to drag Emily out of that place!!

Here she is showing off her stuff.
Emily,fun events

I wish you could see better how BIG her hair was in back. I washed it three times to make sure I got all the hairspray and glitter out, and then I used three times too much conditioner and brushed out all the ratted tangles while the conditioner was still in her hair. It actually went very smoothly, and the effort was well worth how much fun she had!

Here are a few more of the girls with Emily:
Emily,fun events

You can plainly see that Emily's not having any fun at all, nor is she getting into it, even the teeniest little bit. HA HA HA!!!!!!!! That child was EATING IT UP! Especially during the charades portion. I expected her to sort of hang back a bit, not generally being the kid in the center of the crowd, and she really didn't know many of the other party-goers very well (she's a year older), but she was hamming it up and going all-out with her acting. It was something to see, and there was me, without a video camera!

For anyone who is interested, the rockstar themed party at Justice is $25/kid with a five kid minimum, so your party can get expensive really fast, but you more than get your $25 worth each kid. The gifted six goodies Emily picked from the display stand were price tagged on average of $3 each, so that's $18-ish dollars right there, then the arm socks,the fake microphone, the hair-do and make-over, and games that were played... The party was a HUGE hit with the little girls, mine especially!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Quote of the Week

Jared (out of the blue, to Dan and I): When my wife dies, I'm going to take care of my kids by myself.

Dan: When your wife dies???

Jared: Yeah, when my wife dies. I'm not kidding, I'm going to take care of my kids all by myself.

Leah: How many kids are you going to have?

Jared: (holds up ten fingers)

Leah: Will you try to find a new wife?

Jared: No! I don't need any help.

Leah: Who will sleep in bed next to you at night?

Jared: I'll just sell the two people bed and buy a one people bed.

Dan: Who will take care of your kids while you're at work?

Jared: I'll drive them to the daycare.

Leah: Where are you going to work?

Jared: (whispers to Dan...) Where do you work again? I'll work with you.

In true Jared fashion, he was spouting out answers to our questions without any pause for thought, and was very animated in his facial expressions and body movements. Where does he come up with this stuff???

Friday, March 20, 2009

From the inside out

Emily insisted on wearing last years' too-short leggings for THIS year, along with the socks I'd purchased for her for this year (assuming she'd be in jeans...), and a lime green bow in her hair (the princess insisted on a ribbon and lime green was all I had!). There wasn't any risk of HER getting pinched on St Patrick's Day!

Then to make things fun for the kids, I made them a green breakfast. Look appetizing? (they loved it!). My kids were green from the inside out!

The only thing I can add in response to that last picture is: What goes IN must come OUT, and seeing this picture perfectly explains Connor's bathroom experience the following day... *grin*

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy #30 Danny!

My husband is 30 years old today and we have a special present and a surprise DQ cake (his favorite!) ready to give him tonight when he gets home.

His dad called last night and said he's feeling very sentimental about Dan turning 30 and has been thinking a lot about Dan's childhood, so I thought I would post a pic from back then!

Wasn't he adorable???

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Friendly reminder from myself and some of my friends... DON'T FORGET TO WEAR GREEN!!

PS Also, Happy 19th Birthday to "Auntie" Monica, and Happy 6th Birthday to neighbor Sydney!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Jump Jump!

Emily and her group of friends at school have been REALLY into jump roping at recess lately. The only jump rope we have at home is a flimsy, light-weight one made out of ROPE (imagine that! ha ha), and it's difficult to jump with. Dan promised her this weekend that he'd take her out and find her a plastic one that had some more weight and would hold it's shape better. They found just what they needed at Target, and the new jump rope even has flashing handles! Emily is ALLLLLLLLL about her new jump rope and has been jumping up a storm. I'm convinced she's going to wear a hole through the floor in the kitchen from all the jumping she's been doing this weekend!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009


I was digging through a memory card full of pictures from Christmas (it's a card that doesn't end up being compatible with our computer, so I have to hook up the camera with an adapter cord, and it takes FOREVER to sort through pictures, BLAH BLAH BLAH, and we didn't realize the card wasn't compatible until after I'd already taken a zillion pics on it...) SO ANYWAY, I was digging through what was on the card and came across this picture, which I'd had every intention of using in a blog post forever ago, but set the memory card aside and forgot all about it...

My mom, the avid snowman collector, was gifted this coffee mug, and it's just the cutest thing ever! As you drink your coffee, you slowly reveal a little snowman holding a present sticking up from the bottom of the mug. We all had a good laugh over the barest hint of his little face peeking out of the coffee... LOL

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The End

The cheer season has come to an end for Emily. I can't believe how quickly it went! She had a FANTASTIC time and has already expressed GREAT interest in doing it again next year. They had a big finale deal Saturday night, which Dan and I had to miss because of Jared's preschool auction, but her friend Julia's parents videotaped it and said they will make a disk for us. In addition to the finale set up by the people running the program, Emily's cheer coach put together a pizza party for the girls and handed out trophies! The girls were THRILLED! (you totally can't tell by Em's expression in this picture either, can you!?!)


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

At Jared's gymnastics class yesterday, Connor and I were in the viewing area and Connor walked up to one of the other moms and just stood there staring at her. She said hello to him and he looked at her for a moment longer and then announced, "My dad touches my bottom!" She was very understandably taken aback, and I just about fell off the bleacher seat I was sitting on. Before I could even react in Dan's defense, Connor continued on with, "I poop in the toilet like big boy. My dad wipe my bottom. I not old enough to wipe my bottom."

Dan sure has "good" luck with his children's unfortunate choice of words... Remember this story? I guess it's Jared's turn next!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Prayer of the Selfish Child

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray thee Lord my soul to keep
And if I die before I wake
I pray thee Lord my toys to break
So none of the other kids can use em
~Shel Silverstein~

Connor wasn't willing to let ANYONE be involved in his play with the Little People. To be fair, he'd hauled it all out and had been happily playing in his own little world for over an hour and I can't say I'm always very keen on being interrupted when I'm in the middle of something either!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Connor, you're my best friend, 'cause we're brothers."


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tooth rearrangment

Friday evening, the back of Connor's head rearranged Jared's front teeth in a freak bounce house accident. Jared's left front tooth overlaps his right one fairly significantly, but after contact was made with the back of Connor's head, the tooth was pushed back BEHIND the tooth it normally overlaps. It wasn't a pretty sight, and Jared was understandably upset and hurting. I was able to pull the tooth forward again while we were waiting for Em's friend to get picked up (called the playdate to an end a half hour early so we could get to Prompt Care), and canceled Jared's playdate with the neighbor boy that was scheduled for any minute at that point. The doctor checked for fractures to the mandible, and checked for damage to the gumline and teeth, and said that everything looked good. Both front teeth were pretty darn wiggly (not to the point of being dangly, but definately LOOSE) so Jared's on a soft food diet for two days, at which point I'm to gently check his teeth. He can't use them for biting until they've firmed up again, but I can't check them too frequently or they won't firm up! We'll test them later today. Once I pulled the one tooth forward into it's original posistion, he relaxed and calmed down again because the pressue on the teeth was gone. He never did require any pain management. TOUGH KID!! There's a risk that the tooth (or both teeth) could die, but the doctor said that everything look really good and nothing was very swollen and the bleeding hadn't been very bad, so he was pretty confident they'd be fine. I HOPE SO!!! I guess we'll see

Friday, March 6, 2009

What my children say about me...

Emily (6.75 years), Jared (4.75 years), Connor (2.75 years)
**the kids were interviewed separately**

1. What is something mom always says to you?
E: I love you
J: I love you
C: *refuses to answer* (consider this his answer clear down the list)

2. What makes mom happy?
E: hugs
J: giving her kisses

3. What makes mom sad?
E: when she and daddy get in fights (she makes it sound like it happens a lot!)
J: when I'm not home and I'm at school

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
E: tickling me
J: tickles me

5. What was your mom like as a child?
E: I don't know! funny, maybe?
J: she was little and then went to college

6. How old is your mom?
E: 30
J: 20 (don't I wish!)C:

7. How tall is your mom?
E: I don't know! 30 inches? 8 feet? how should I know!?!
J: 20ft tall

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
E: read?
J: well...laugh! and she watches TV when I sleep.

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
E: cry? I think she misses me
J: knit and make cards

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
E: I don't know! movie star?
J: famous book writer (??? I was barely done reading him the question when he said that answer!)

11. What is your mom really good at?
E: reading? taking showers?
J: knitting

12. What is your mom not very good at?
E: hammering nails into the wall
J: gymnastics

13. What does your mom do for a job?
E: being a mommy
J: make presents and I help her (????)

14.What is your mom's favorite food?
E: I have no idea
J: tacos (that would be his SISTER'S favorite food)

15.What makes you proud of your mom?
E: hmmm...cooking and helping me sometimes
J: that I'm her little boy

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
E: porky pig (she's not getting any dessert tonight for that answer!! ha!)
J: Leonardo the Ninja Turtle

17. What do you and your mom do together?
E: girly things, and we paint, read, give kisses
J: read

18. How are you and your mom the same?
E: we both get lots and lots and lots of bruises
J: we have the same sharp fingernails and the same sharp teeth

19. How are you and your mom different?
E: I have brown eyes and she has greenish bluish eyes
J: We don't have the same tallness or the same age

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
E: she kisses me and gives me hugs!
J: because she has the biggest heart. I love my mommy!

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
E: that's a hard one. she kisses him and he's her husband.
J: that they got married and I was still just a wish

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
E: *shrugs shoulders* the ocean?
J: meetings and the beach (he got the beach part correct!)

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Multi-tasking at it's most fun

Connor was toting around one of Emily's baby dolls, who he claimed was very "sweepy" (sleepy) and she needed him, while at the same time riding on a bouncy ball, wearing a cowboy hat and yelling, "Yee HAWWWWWWWW! Yee HAWWWWWWWWW!", without dropping the doll or breaking his rhythm of jumping.

And look at his sweet little face!!! He's not having a lick of fun, poor thing... LOL!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thomas LIVE, the UNfairytale

Once upon there was a little boy named Connor who LOVED Thomas the Tank Engine. When he began pooping consistently in the toilet (can I hear a little "HELL YEAH!" here, thanks), he chose a Thomas backpack as his prize. When he played with his Geo Track train set, he referred to all the trains as Thomas. ETC ETC ETC. Because his mommy loved him very much, and wanted certain things in life to be fair for all three of her children, she started researching upcoming children's shows in their area. Connor's older siblings had been to see The Wiggles when they were toddler/preschool aged, and while the mommy knew The Wiggles were no longer touring (DARN IT!), she knew there must be SOMETHING out there Connor might enjoy.

A few minutes of searching and a phone call to Connor's daddy resulted in the purchase of five tickets to see Thomas LIVE. The mommy told Connor he would be going to see Thomas on stage and Connor threw his hands into the air and yelled for joy and some in-depth Thomas conversations around the home began. And then Connor began telling cashiers and cheer coaches (etc) about getting to see Thomas on stage soon, and the mommy was very pleased and excited about HIS excitement and enthusiasm.

The mommy knew that Connor's sister was probably too old to enjoy the show, but felt bad excluding her from a full-day event, and so purchased her a ticket. The mommy wondered if Connor's brother was borderline too old, but decided because he would happily sit and watch the DVD's with Connor, it would be safe to purchase a ticket for him as well. The mommy knew that Connor's Daddy would HAPPILY avoid going, but if the rest of the family was going, it might as well be a family event.

Slightly over $100 later (thanks to all the stupid fees they tack on like crazy at the end!), the big day finally arrived and the family trucked off in the rain to see Thomas LIVE. Connor yelled and clapped and seemed thoroughly into the show. For about the first ten minutes, that is. Then he wanted to know when he could TOUCH Thomas. (you can't). And then he wanted to know when he could HUG Thomas. (you can't). Then he wanted to know WHY he couldn't. (because it would interrupt the show). Then he wanted to know WHY. WHY? WHY? WHY? (JUST BECAUSE, OKAY!).

After Connor finally got the idea he would be unable to get anywhere near Thomas, the thrill of the day was gone and he was done. Connor's sister was clearly bored, and Connor's brother was being a punk and obsessing over the fact his daddy told him NO COTTON CANDY AND DON'T ASK AGAIN.

The mommy and daddy agreed that in a much smaller setting, the Thomas LIVE show would have been cute enough for little kids, but it was a small stage "play" type show, in a large venue, and a person felt very detached from it all. The mommy was very frustrated with the amount of money spent for a giant disaster of an outing, and was sad that Connor's first concert-type outing was a serious bust (and because she is pretty sure Connor's Daddy will never allow the purchase of tickets to any type of kid show EVER AGAIN).

To make matters worse, Connor's Daddy decided that because of the show being a bust, maybe they SHOULD buy some cotton candy. The mommy went out with her debit card and found an ATM and proceeded to attempt to withdraw some cash, only to find that the darn thing had expired the day before, and for whatever reason, the bank hadn't sent a new one. No cotton candy. No happy kids. No good times.

The outing was filled with confusion and delay (and if you've ever seen Thomas, you'll see the humor in that last line!) and Connor and his family were happy to return home.


PS The mommy also thought she might possibly prefer ripping her ears off to having to listen to the little boy who sat directly behind her doing a loud, repetitive, high-pitched CHOO CHOO CHOO CHOO CHOO CHOO CHOOOOOOOOOOOO sound through 95% of the show...

Monday, March 2, 2009

At the speed of light

If I thought Connor was fast before, his prior speed was NOTHING compared to how quickly he moved at the mall Friday when the automatic flushing toilet flushed while he was still sitting down!!! He had JUST sat down, when suddenly the toilet flushed. His eyes went a bit wild, and I think he might have flown a bit off the toilet before scaling up my body at the speed of light, all the while shrieking, "Help me, Mama!" It was a bit heartbreaking and a bit hilarious at the same time. Thankfully, he was easy to calm down and easy to coax back onto the toilet, but wouldn't you know it... When he was done on the toilet, we couldn't get that thing to flush to save our lives!! ha!

In relating the story to Dan, I remembered a similar situation with Emily when she about Connor's age, except her reaction was to fly off the toilet, burst into hysterical sobbing tears, and it was WEEKS (months?) before I could talk her onto another public toilet again. I finally got her onto a NON-automatic flushing version at the library and she kept asking me, "This one won't flush by itself?" and I kept repeating, "Nope, we have to tell it to flush when we're done." (meaning that the flushing of the toilet was in OUR control). She took her sweet time getting onto the seat, did her business, then jumped off at the speed of light when she was done and yelled, "FLUSH, TOILET!" (she was TELLING IT to flush!). It was pretty funny!

And either Jared escaped any automatic flushing toilet scares, or I'm a bad mommy and don't recall any. For my own peace of mind, we'll say he escaped any scares!