Saturday, January 31, 2009

Respect The Blog

Where do I begin. I don't have a degree in writing. And I don't consider myself a terrbly good writer. But what I write here is mine. I expect others to respect my space. I expect that others will not lift my content, my stories, my life from this place.
That is exactly what happened to a woman I call a friend. Don Mills Diva tells her story here and here. Kelly is calling not just mommy bloggers but all bloggers everywhere to unite with a common cause. Protecting our content.
So it is with pride that my blog will wear this badge.

DMD does a far better job explaining than I. Please head over and read her thoughts on the subject.

Friday, January 30, 2009

It Worked

Do you remember my letter? I think it may be working. There is still precious little hair on top. But it would appear that the back has decided to take up the slack. This, of course, gives poor Anna even more of a mullet. But I don't care because finally, finally after nineteen month of life I can do this. Pigtails do NOT make her look like a boy. Oh happy day!
I think it is going to take some getting used to though.
You want one more look don't you? I won't disappoint.
On a side note. There are a few of you, Gina, who watch my videos over and over. I want to make your viewing as easy as possible. So I have added a new tag in my archives. It's called, surprizingly enough, videos. I know I missed a few. And hope to search them out today.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cat Abuse

Tux knows when Daisy has this look in her eye it is bad for cats.

It is only a matter of time before this happens.
It is the only fun Daisy gets to have in her life. Existence with little kids isn't easy.
The cat totally deserves it too. We don't call him the worlds most irritating cat for nothing. He earned it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

These Pictures Disturb Me

That's the oven.

This is a reenactment of true events. Do not try at home.

They look innocent don't they?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

If This Doesn't Make You Smile

You are a curmudgeon.
video
And if that didn't make you feel good, you can rest assured in the fact that you now know your house is cleaner than mine.

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's Not About the Kids Today

Like I said the other day, it has been very chilly here. Freeze your face off cold. But one of the upsides to it being so very cold is the snow just sparkles. Cold does something to snow that 30 degrees could never accomplish. So the other day I took my little camera and trudged into the frozen tundra to try and capture it.
I have always found winter slightly depressing. We are stuck in the house. Trapped together with very little outdoor time. I love all green things from vegetables to maples. I really miss that come winter. But mornings like this make me value the winter. The sun, snow and cold give the trees a slight pink hue.
This tree is a little blah in the summer. It is gnarly. It is in the way when we mow. The leaves are kind of ugly. It just isn't much to look at. But give it a little snow and a bright morning and it just comes alive. Every single branch screams Look at me. It is stunning.
My Mom calls this a Hydrangea tree. So I am assuming that is what it is. She's never wrong you know. Just ask her. Anyway this is my neighbors tree. It grow over their fence into our yard. I love it. In the fall it is one of the last things blooming. It just comes alive with these gigantic white blooms. It really is something. Even now I enjoy it. It seems to be a little defiant. Even with the cold, ice, and wind it hangs on to those last couple flowers. The flowers themselves have a delicate quality that I enjoy.
So that was my walk in the great outdoors on a very cold morning. After I snapped the last picture I came in the house with a cold face and frozen fingers but it was worth it.
Today we are going to see the upper 30s. I may wear shorts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snowy Days

It has been bitter here for the last couple of weeks. We have had days where we haven't even seen 0 degrees. Right now it is -10. It's cold. When it is cold like this I have a tendency to just hole up in the house under a blanket. I have no need and no wish to be outside. But the little people around here disagree. And when the pleading reaches heights where I can no longer stand it we go out. Yesterday the outdoor temperature reached a balmy 15 and sunny. So we bundled the kids up in every single piece of clothing they own and went outside.
Anna tried to freeze herself from the inside out. She ate as much snow as she could pick up with her little gloved mitten. And more with her bare hand when she thought I wasn't looking.
These pictures really don't do justice to the amount of snow we have. Mark crawled everywhere he went because every time he stood up he sunk in up to his nipples. I was seriously afraid we were going to lose the little one and find her in the spring still eating snow.

They had a great time out there. It took almost as long to get them dressed and undressed as we spent out there.

Next time we go out I have serious snowman plans.

The last picture I grabbed from Google Images. The others were taken by yours truly.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Interview With Dlyn

Kate over at Cronicle of a Country Girl started a really neat project. She invited bloggers to interview each other by asking 5 questions.
I asked my Mom over at Dlynz to interview me. So here we go.

1. Since I know you so well, it is hard to think of questions. Oh wait! I have one - who is the best Mom in the world?
Well I love Sean's Mom. She always made me feel so welcome in her home back when I was a ruffian in the Air Force. And Jason's Mom is pretty special too. She sends me wonderful hand made soaps and lotions.(I wonder if she is trying to tell me something.) And she treats me like one of her own. Oh, were you expecting something different?

2. Do you miss the military very much? What do you miss the most?
I do miss the military. But the thing I miss the most is probably the camaraderie. I worked with several really great groups of people all with one common goal. I loved the excitement of the travel. It was fun to pack up everything I needed to my job and go off to a foreign place to live for a few months.

3. I know you are enjoying being back in Upstate NY, but what was the best thing about living in Virginia?
We made wonderful friends down there. I think that is the hardest thing about leaving anyplace. That is why I am so much enjoying Facebook. I have reconnected with a lot of people from my past life.

4. What is the best book you have read in the past 12 months?
Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follet. Awesome Book. The best part is I have his next novel, World Without End, tickling my senses right here on my desk. I am actually putting off starting it because I don't want to finish too quickly. Yes, his books are that good.

5. Describe a perfect day.
My perfect day is simple. The kids play together without fighting. My perfect day is warm and we go outside. We would maybe squeeze a walk in the morning. We would probably go to the park for a big romp on the playground. Everyone takes a fabulous nap. After nap time the little people and Jason join me for a cup of tea. We have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.
I think my perfect day would be kind of boring to some people. But I don't think so.
Thanks for the interview Dlyn. That was fun.
Here are the directions straight from Kate's site.

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

That was really fun. Who else wants to play?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Stuff Horror Movies Are Made Of

I am new to life in a two story house. The house I grew up in was a single story. We have rented a number of houses over the years. All one levels. Our first dive into home ownership was a ranch. So I don't know how common this is. I just find it interesting. And a little terrifying.
This closet is on the under side of our stairs in the dining room.
This door is in the closet. It so happens to match our kitchen cabinets. Only much smaller. That fact will become important in a minute.

The door opens into the scariest place in the house. Just look in there.
Need a closer look. Can you not see a half man half other worldly beast crawling out of there. Or worse a little girl with dead eyes. Even Jason is afraid little girls in horror movies. OK forget about all the scary movies you've seen for a moment. Look in there. Do you see all those cob webs. Fluffy kittens didn't makes those.

Here's hoping our stairs never need to be examined from the under side. Jason won't fit. And you know who is NOT going in there.

Being Together

Just a few of my favorite pictures from this week.
The kids are doing a new thing. They gravitate toward each other through out the day. It is usually after I have yelled at one of them. The other day I yelled at Anna for doing something she shouldn't have. (Juggling knives or something. I can't remember.) She went and gave Mark a hug. They both looked at me accusingly. I laughed.
But really it thrills me beyond words that they are leaning on each other for support. I hope they are always the closest friend the other has. That is how it should be. And if I can help facilitate that by yelling at them, I am willing to do that.


Happy Hump Day!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Gross Stuff

Story #1
The other day Anna was sitting next to Daisy absentmindedly petting her. Daisy happened to be licking her butt at the time. Finally the slurping sound got to me. So I told her to stop. She sat up, noticed Anna, and licked her mouth. Yep, Daisy tongue went from her own butt hole to Anna's mouth. I can't really blame Daisy. I am sure Anna's mouth tasted better.
Story #2
Mark and Anna were playing together last night. They were having a fine time. The playing was a little rough. But they were both having fun so I left it alone. Then Mark hit his nose on the top of Anna's head. He turned around and ran to me saying Mommy, my nose is *sneeze*..... That boy blew bloody snot all over me. It was so gross.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dear Tonka,

Are you out of your mind? Whose genius idea was it to manufacture this truck.
video Now the truck itself isn't so bad. But it makes this unholy noise. What parent is going to let their kid play with this and still keep their sanity. Do you, Tonka, want to be responsible for the unhappiness of kids and parents. Apparently that is exactly what you want inflicting the world with this product. For shame.
I am not above welding a screwdriver to "fix" one of the kids toys. In fact I do it all the time. Do you know what I found in there. A DRUM!!!
The drum is beaten/flicked by the sprocket on the tire axle. (Are you proud of me? I used big technical car terms. Go Me!)
Tonka, I realize this may have been a decision made by one of the lowly engineers in your toy design department. Maybe he/she was having a bad day. Maybe this person doesn't have children. Maybe they had a bad childhood themselves and are just trying to make other people as miserable as they are. No excuse. Some one should have caught this and stopped at some point during production before it got to my Christmas Tree.
You know the worst part. This wasn't even going to be a gift for Mark originally. It was for a kid at my family's Christmas party. That's right. I almost had to walk in there with the toy every parent hates and give to my cousin's kid. Luckily we had a blizzard. So we didn't go. (He probably got a perfectly normal toy.) Do you know what the parents of that kid would have done to me. I wouldn't have made it out alive. You are lucky Tonka. A blizzard saved you from having a murder on your hands. That was a close one.
I will give you one guess to tell me where this is going. Go ahead. Guess.

You can only hope I don't see any of you in a dark alley late at night.
Sincerely,
A Mad Mama

Monday, January 5, 2009

More Toys

You couldn't sleep last night, right? You just couldn't wait to come and see what Anna got for Christmas. Come on. I know it's true.
OK so maybe not. I would hate to be responsible for you not getting your rest anyway.
Anna got a whole slew of pink things this year. I think those of the Grandmother persuasion are concerned about her not having any girly things to play with. Boy did they ever fix her wagon. It's like my house puked Pepto.
She received this little dollhouse from my parents. She loves it.
I love all the pieces designed for interactive play. It even has a toilet. I give you one guess to tell me the first thing Mark did with the Dad. Boys!Anna especially like the way the baby tastes. 9 times out of 10 this is where the baby is.
It amazes me how much she already knows about stereotypical gender roles. She almost always puts the Mom in the kitchen.
Did you notice Anna is still sporting a pretty good mullet. I guess my letter went completely unheeded.Just saying.
Mark is not above a bit of doll house play himself.
This was a close one. The only reason the doll house won is because I can take pictures of it. She also really enjoys the stroller/baby doll combo given to her this year. But whenever she is playing with it she is racing around the house at full speed. Don't know where she learned that from. I certainly never race my children around with out care for their safety; just because it's fun. Much.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Toys

It is no secret that I really don't like the TV. In fact I can probably count on one hand the number of time the kids have sat in front the television for any length of time in their entire lives. I just don't like what it does to them when they stare at the blue tube. Vacant eyes, slack mouths, drool. It's not pretty.
I will tell you what I do like. I like, no love, toys. I love toys that have to be truly played with to be fun. Legos come to mind and are a huge favorite around here. We have collected about five sets over the years. (Craigslist baby. You don't have spend a fortune on them.) We love our puzzles too. We play with then endlessly. The big floor puzzles are the best.
Mark has a new obsession. He loves trains. We live not far from a train track. And every day we hear the train rumble through. We hear the whistle when it gets to the center of town. For me it has become something that I really don't notice any more. It's there but I don't really hear it. This is not the case with Mark. He listens for it. And when he hears, he announces it for the world to hear. LOUD!
So we knew we wanted to get him a train set for Christmas this year. I toyed with the idea of a remote control one. But I knew he would have more fun with a simpler version.
Oh how I love being right. He plays with this thing for hours.Taking it apart and putting it back together. Running the train back and forth over the track. He loves it. (You don't know how glad I am that I cut that kids nails yesterday.) I love the chunky pieces. Perfect for little hands.
He hasn't quite mastered the circle yet.

Godzilla Baby occasionally makes an appearance. But we can deal with it. She's cute.


Tomorrow, Anna's favorite toy this year. I know you are pins and needles.

Spicy Chicken Vegetable Soup

Are you feeling like me? A month and a half of over eating and under exercising has you feeling slow and lethargic. Well I have the thing for that. This soup is so hearty and packed with veggies you won't miss the fat. And if you are missing the fat you can just add a little sour cream. It is so good we have it about twice a month at our house.

Spicy Chicken Vegetable Soup
1 qt Homemade Chicken Stock (you can use store bought but why?)
1 28 Oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 Cup diced onion and diced celery
3 Cloves of garlic
1 Cup each broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, potato
1 1/2 Cup raw kale
1/2 c Each frozen green beans and corn
2 T Cumin
1 T Smoked Paprika
1 T Chipotle chili powder (more if you dare)
3/4 lb Chicken breast meat cut small
Salt and pepper to taste
In your largest stock pot sweat the onion and celery until soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Poor in chicken stock and tomatoes. Add spices. Start adding veggies hardest first. Potatoes and carrots. Give them about a ten minute head start then add broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and corn. Let all of this simmer until vegetation is nearly done. Add kale and cook for another five minutes. Five minutes before dinner add chicken. Be careful not to over cook it.
I like to serve this with a dollop of sour cream and saltines. It is also very nice with a squeeze of lemon. I am not above adding a couple of shots of hot sauce at the table either. The sky is the limit with this soup.

My kids love this soup. They are a little weird though. Both of them could live on vegetables and be perfectly happy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years To Me

New Years Day is a pretty low key holiday here in Diaperville. Like most holidays, it centers around food. We have homemade Reubens for dinner. These Reubens feature lots of sauerkraut and my own thousand island dressing. Everyone knows that eating cabbage on New Years Day will bring loads of good luck in the new year. Yes, that is the only reason we eat Reubens; the good luck. We don't even really like them. Kidding, they are the best. And I look forward to them all year. I guess I could make them a little more often but then they wouldn't be as special on the first day of the year.

So will you do on the first day in 2009? Do you have any special tradition to commemorate this special day?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!