Sunday, June 29, 2008


It was close to naptime for Cakes. She had been playing in the front yard with Aunt Tracy and Bean, but she got irritated with them and ambled over to the garden where I was picking weeds. She insisted on sitting in my lap in the 90 degree weather, and then started getting annoyed when I reached around her to pull the weeds. That led to stomping on the carrots, which brought about a "don't do that," from me, and the screaming began.

Big Daddy, upon hearing the ruckus in the back yard, came out with a camera to document my increasing frustration, and finally the trip back to the house for a bath and a nap.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Okay, so being new to blogging, I've never done a "meme" before. To be honest, I'm not even sure how to pronounce the word (I'm going with the French pronunciation and saying "mem," by the way, because my mother is a high school French teacher). So, here's the deal ...

Jessie from Muthering Heights tagged me with this Meme. Essentially, participants tag the authors of blogs they love to read! The rules are to tag bloggers who make your day, make you laugh and smile, and/or leave uplifting comments on your blog. You then include a link to this post, and ask each person you tag to do the same!

So, everyone who is listed is officially tagged (sorry if anyone I inadvertently leave out ....):

Ree - My friend Kimmy introduced me to your blog, because she's basically you. She's also my husband in female form, but that really has nothing to do with this meme. Anyway, I never miss your posts, because you make me laugh out loud and your chocolate cake recipe has become a semi-weekly staple in my household.

Jessie - Your interest in badgers and the way you separate small pieces of candy makes me feel a great, crazy kinship with you. Plus, we each have two little girls who are close in age to each other. And we aggressively showcase our gardens (such as they are) on the web. And, it's hard to find fellow vegetarians here in the South, so it's nice to meet ones on the web who occasionally post quick, easy, and yummy recipes (hint, hint, post more quick, easy, and yummy recipes!).

Kellan - Any woman who is 5'2" and then gains 95 pounds while pregnant with identical twins is an instant hero of mine. Plus, your blog makes me laugh out loud on a regular basis. And, you always make me feel appreciated for stopping by.

Linda - I think you're very brave for leaving everything and heading out to a new place to start a new life. I love reading the everyday happenings on your ranch, and I have learned more about horses from you than I ever knew (or cared to know ... i.e. cleaning of the sheaths, aack!).

Natasha - You're another one of my crazy blog buddies who likes to organize their candies. I love those posts on your son (sleeping on the floor, grabbing his ... er, boys in the middle of the cabin kitchen ....). Your blog was one of the first I added to my blog roll!

Kathryn - I found you on the Pioneer Woman. Just the very name of your blog got me interested in reading it. You make me laugh out loud every time (and you make me simultaneously want boys and thank God that I don't have any boys).

"June Cleaver" - I was hooked the first time I saw your delightful illustrations!!! You have another one of those laugh-out-loud-until-I-lose-control-of-my-saliva-and-drool blogs.

Tanya - You inspired me to blog in the first place. And, now I get to talk to you on the phone every day and read your blog that takes forever to download on my computer.

Wright - Haikus and photos of baby's feet. What more could you want in a blog?

Julia - I floss every day, too!!! Another laugh out loud blog that makes me snort in the middle of the night while trying to avoid waking my sleeping cherubs.

Kara - Snakes and tornadoes and a house full of girls. Sounds familiar ...

Holly - When I saw your Mother's Day photo, I called Tanya to make her go look at it! Too funny!

Okay, everybody! Tag, you're it!!!


I don't usually like to think about my girls growing up. I get a little lump in my throat every time I have to pack away clothes that are too small.

But, then there are days like this when my cherubs being a little bigger definitely has it's advantages ....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


... So, here are some more pictures of our humble gardens. There's Big Daddy, surveying the watering of the corn garden with his enormous, industrial-strength, tripod sprinkler. Big Daddy used to water our little, suburban, .2-acre lawn with this. "If a little bit's good, a whole lot more's better."

And, neighbor Doug saunters over to assist Big Daddy in the watering surveillance.

Check out the size of our squash and cucumber plants! They're doing the best out of all the veggies, I think.

Here is one of several yellow squashes (or, is "squash" one of those words that is both plural and singular - like "deer" and "fish"?).

And look at the size of this zucchini! Can you believe I didn't even notice it until today?

I will have to show you our tomatoes and beans when I'm finished weeding them. It's a bit embarrassing to show you how woefully neglectful I've been of the weeds.

Oh, and that Ichiban eggplant? Grilled with balsamic vinegar and EVOO - thanks Mama Changa!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Okay, so it's just one Ichiban eggplant, and it's about the size of a banana.

But the rest of the plants are coming along wonderfully! When it's not so stinkin' hot 'n' humid outside, I'll take some more photos. (Lots of apostrophes ...)

And so, the question of the day: What do I prepare for my family with my lone Ichiban?

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Well, church was a bust today. Big Daddy had to leave early for church today, because he is playing drums at all three services. He took his twin sister, Tracy, with him, and was out of the house by 5:45 a.m. The plan was that I was going to meet him at church for the third service, and we could all caravan home together.

Has anyone ever noticed that people without children don't understand that getting them riled up 30 minutes before bedtime is not a good idea? Poor Bean has been extremely sleep deprived for the past two days, despite my best efforts to pry her free from the enthusiastic grips of the nonparental couple temporarily living in our house and force her into bed. She even fell asleep in the car yesterday afternoon (and that child has not voluntarily taken a nap since she was 15 months old - come to think of it, even when she was 15 months old, her naps weren't all that voluntary). So, the fact that we should be leaving for church in 10 minutes is not enough incentive for me to rouse her from her slumber.

At 9:30 a.m., I was still optimistic that Bean would wake up, so I got Cakes into a dress (short aside here: As you know, I don't like to wear dresses, but my girls love to wear them; so, while I go to church in jeans and a t-shirt, my girls love to be all frilly) and put her mop of hair in a matching bow to keep her from looking like Cousin Itt. Then, I gave her some blocks to play with, because she would have to try really hard to get dirty playing with blocks in the middle of the living room floor. Or so I thought.

Shortly after I gave Cakes the blocks, she walked over to me and announced, "Poopy!" I obligingly removed the offending diaper and went into her room to get a fresh one. By the time I came back, there was another poopy on the floor next to my frilly, squatting child. I picked it up with a wipe and went to stand Cakes up so that I could wipe her tush. But, when I stood her up, I revealed a third poopy that was hidden by her crinoline-poofed dress. That third poopy had been stepped on, and was smeared into the carpet and onto my cherub.

The heck with it. I'm giving her some Play-doh!

Friday, June 20, 2008


That's what I was going to write about today. It was a pretty uneventful morning. On the 30-minute ride to the grocery store, I passed a chicken in the road that had been run over. I was going to wax philosophic about always being surprised just when I thought I was used to life in the country. I mean, how often do you see chicken road kill? But, that all changed on the 30-minute ride home from the grocery store.

Cakes was unhappy that she was being put into her car seat after I loaded the groceries into the trunk. But, I figured, it was her naptime, after all. She had done this before - screamed for about 10 minutes and then fallen fast asleep. So, I wasn't too concerned, even as the screams and demands to be let out of the car seat intensified.

Then I heard it - those horrible gagging coughs that can only mean one thing. Bean, who had been relatively calm throughout the whole tantrum, began screaming in a panicked voice, "Cakes throw up! Cakes throw up!" At this point, I still wasn't too concerned. It's pretty normal for one or both of my drama queens to get worked up during a tantrum and choke up a little phlegm. I pulled off to the side of the country road and grabbed a wipe so I could clean up the little bit of phlegm. But, I was going to need a lot more than one wipe.

Now, let me qualify that I am not one to call in times of crisis. That being said, I have never seen so much vomit come out of such a little person. It was everywhere. So, I began hurriedly pulling out wipes and cleaning the slime off of her. Meanwhile, Cakes kept screaming, and then started throwing up again, rubbing it all over her face and hair while it pooled beside her legs in the car seat. That got Bean screaming again, and I started frantically screaming, "Don't throw up! Don't throw up!" (Very soothing for an already worked-up child, I know).

So, there we were, three screaming females parked on the side of the road in the middle of the country. I finally got Cakes stripped down and wiped up enough to attempt the ride home. Let me tell you, it wasn't a fun 20 minutes. But, Bean sang soothing songs to Cakes and I put the pedal to the metal. An hour later, we're all bathed and eating popcorn, and I'm blogging to put off going outside to hose down the car seat.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I mentioned my childhood camp in an earlier post. I loved working at Camp Sankanac. I like to think it was a prelude to parenting. We chased around extremely energetic kids, cajoling them to take naps and eat their vegetables all week long.

On the weekends, groups of teenaged camp counselors would invade the home of a counselor's parents and veg out, eat all the food in the house, and try to catch up on sleep and adult conversation. Then, on Sunday, we put on our matching outfits and headed back for another exhausting, fun-filled week.

That would be me on the right, with my oh-so-stylin' 80's poodle perm ....

For more flashback fun, check out We Are That Family.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


After hours of nature-filled laboring, I present to you our latest garden update.

But first, I would like everyone to take note of Cakes' delightful and creative ensemble. As a base, we have a red-checked capri set, adorned with embroidered ladybugs. Layered on top is a turquoise-checked button up shirt with embroidered flowers. And yes, who can forget the big girl panties worn on the outside of the pants?

Now, on to the veggies. First, we have cucumber blossoms.

Next, we have two tiny Roma tomatoes.

Then, our very first (and hopefully not only) Ichiban eggplant.

And finally, our semi-pitiful corn garden (the one that nearly swallowed me whole while I was thinning).

Fresh veggies by the 4th of July, maybe? I hope so!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Have I mentioned I'm from the suburbs? This doesn't mean that I'm anti-nature or anything. I like to look at nature. Sometimes I even like to sit outside and surround myself with nature. But, I'm not a big fan of actually getting nature on me. That, coupled with the fact that gardening is a near-impossible task with two very "helpful" toddlers uprooting corn stalks and eating peppermint leaves that are covered in dirt and bugs, has made for quite the weedy garden.

So, I took advantage of Big Daddy's twin being here today, and I left the cherubs in the house to go weed. I get most of my gardening advice from Plantea, and that wonderful website told me that the most efficient and effective weeding strategy is to slowly pull all weeds out by hand. This means that the dormant weeds underground aren't brought to the surface of the soil to sprout, and it also means that my fingers are covered in blisters and poo-dirt.

Eventually, the cherubs noticed that I wasn't in the house, and they wandered out in search of me. My cherubs are not suburban chicks, so they have no objection to coating themselves in nature from head to foot, and ingesting handfuls of nature (such as dirt, sweet basil leaves, peppermint leaves, and onion grass). It's too bad I didn't have my camera handy when Cakes was enthusiastically licking poo-dirt off of the handheld rake thingy (no idea what it's called, but you probably can figure out what I'm talking about).

So, here I sit, with nature under my fingernails, blisters on my fingers, and a semi-weedy garden.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


It's so true to life, isn't it? I mean, some people don't like the show, they think all the characters are obnoxious (well, they are all a little obnoxious), they think the humor is irritating. But, no one can deny that this satirical look at four friends in NYC has at least one episode that everyone can relate to (I hate ending a sentence in a preposition, but I'm doing so to avoid sounding pretentious).

Who remembers the episode where George tried to break up with his girlfriend? She absolutely refused to let him break up with her; she kept saying they could work it out. When Jerry asked how the break-up went, George said, "Apparently, I was unable to break up beyond a reasonable doubt." He even tried cheating on her, but that just resulted in him being trapped in a relationship with both of them.

Well, Big Daddy and I made the mistake of hiring some friends for a business dealing. Two months after the original deal, we decided that it wasn't working and we wanted to go another direction. Apparently, though, we are unable to fire them beyond a reasonable doubt. They are flat out refusing to be fired and, unfortunately, refusing to sign the necessary papers to complete the firing process. What the hey? Who does that? We even went out and hired someone else to replace them, and they still are digging their heels in. They keep saying, "If you weren't our friends, we would just let you fire us." Huh?!

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Another of my little quirks is my compulsive quest for trivial knowledge. One of the reasons I read Muthering Heights on a regular basis is because the author stayed up late one night learning everything she could about badgers. LOVE IT! My English teacher mother often gets phone calls near the middle of the night requesting definitions or origins of words like "clinchpoop" and "popinjay."

Anyway, I was reading a news story online about one of Charles Manson's hippie chicks' possible release from prison because she is terminally ill and has only about 6 months to live. It's called a "compassionate release," and is very rare. The inmate must have family willing to shoulder the financial, physical, etc., burdens of caring for a terminally ill individual. The statistics are that, out of the 60 requests for compassionate release made last year, only 10 were granted (another compulsively obtained piece of trivia).

The point is, the article described Manson's murderous little clan as an "ersatz hippie family." "Ersatz"? What the hey is "ersatz"? So, since I know you are all waiting with bated breath, the meaning of "ersatz" is:

An imitation or substitution, usually inferior (of German origin).

Let's all use that word tomorrow and impress someone!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Big Daddy's twin sister (Tracy) and her husband (Matthew) are moving near us from out of state. They will be living in our house for about three weeks while they find work and a place to live.

A short aside - the fact that Big Daddy is a fraternal twin has me panicked. I do not want to give birth to more than one child at a time. First of all, being pregnant with twins has to be like having a circus in your uterus. Second, it's hard enough pushing one kid out. Third, I already haven't had a full eight hours of sleep since I was in my second trimester with Bean. How much more sleep deprivation can a person survive? That being said ...

Aunt Tracy does not have children; so, she has taken it upon herself to spoil mine. The upside is that the cherubs are worn out before energetic Aunt Tracy is. The downside is that my children are showered with such parent-reviled things as Play-Doh and stickers. Here is the result of two sheets of stickers in the hands of my cherubs (and the reason why I don't give my cherubs stickers):

And, Mr. David (here doing estimates with Big Daddy) was not immune.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


That's how I like to refer to myself. Other people have said I'm weird, or that I have a lot of rules, or that I'm like a senior citizen. But, delightfully quirky sounds so much better, doesn't it? It's almost Meg Ryan-ish.

Anyway, since nothing of particular import has happened lately, I thought I'd let loose a stream of my slightly OCD quirks:

1. When eating Skittles, I separate them all by color. Then, starting with purple, I eat them two at a time. Then I move on to orange, green, yellow, and finally red (which is my favorite). The purple ones taste vaguely like Dimetapp, so I eat them first to get them out of the way. Now, if I end up with an uneven number of one color, I usually give the lone Skittle to my ancient Cocker Spaniel. Like I said, I like to eat them in pairs (an attorney I used to work for witnessed me eating Skittles and proclaimed me to be "all kinds of crazy").

2. I like circles. I don't really like squares much, and triangles are terrible.

3. Although I like to eat my Skittles in pairs, I prefer groupings of five when it comes to home decor. I will settle for groups of three, but I find groups of five more aesthetically pleasing.

4. I tend toward the cluttered end of the spectrum, much to Big Daddy's chagrin. On my list of priorities, picking up clutter is more towards the bottom, with caring for my kids right at the very top. However, as far as my books and DVD's are concerned, I am so organized it is almost debilitating. I have my books separated by genre, and then organized on the shelves alphabetically by author. My DVD's are all on the shelves in alphabetical order by movie title (and if I have movies in a series, I must own the entire series, with the exception of The Godfather III and Spiderman 3, which are HORRIBLE movies!). But I have a huge spreadsheet for my DVD's which separates all movies by genre, director, star(s), year made, and plot synopsis. Why am I so anal in this particular area? No idea.

5. I have a hard time eating with someone who allows small amounts of food to collect on the underside of the neck of their eating utensil.

Bean is a girl after my own heart. She needs her food cut in a particular shape in order to eat it. If the shape deviates from what Bean finds acceptable, the food (in her estimation) is only good enough to throw to the dog. She's as delightfully quirky as I am!

Monday, June 9, 2008


And, my personal favorite ...

On a totally unrelated note, can you guess my least favorite household chore?

Sunday, June 8, 2008


I mentioned in a previous post that the world is Big Daddy's drum kit, and also his urinal. Given the choice between a toilet, or sharing streams with nature, my husband will always choose to go outside. Why? I don't know. I can only assume it's got something to do with testosterone. I will only pee outside if I'm 500 miles from the nearest rest area and am pretty sure my bladder is about to explode.

Anyway, this is Big Daddy's Life Lesson (and he is ever long-suffering to let me share this with the World Wide Web). It happened before I met him, when he was in his mid-20's. One evening, he was walking through a commercial section of town (lots of shops and restaurants, etc.), when he felt the sudden urge to go. Now, it being a commercial section of town, there were many porcelain options at his disposal. But, Big Daddy opted to go behind a store, behind a dumpster, behind a fence, to the edge of the woods behind a row of stores to do his business.

Unbeknownst to my darling husband, however, was that fact that a police officer saw him meander behind the row of stores, and probably suspected that he was up to no good. As such, the police officer followed my husband. I seem to recall a Seinfeld episode touching on this very subject .... So, the cop sneaks up behind him, then let's out a loud and sharp, "What are you doing there?"

Long story short, Big Daddy received a citation and had to go to court, where the ticketing officer and the judge had a few laughs at his expense.

Did Big Daddy learn his lesson? Well, now he just pees in our back yard.

Saturday, June 7, 2008



Big Daddy is a drummer. He's been drumming since he was 3. He's drummed professionally, he's drummed casually, he's drummed for fun, he's drummed for money. When he's not at his drums, the world is his drum (it's also his urinal, but that's another story).

It only seems natural that our cherubs are interested in drums. When I was pregnant with Bean, we found a teeny, tiny drum kit at a yard sale for $3. We had it set up near her crib, and we used to hear her banging on her snare drum over the monitor when she would wake up in the middle of the night. But, the set was pretty, well, worth just $3, and we ended up throwing it out shortly after Bean's first birthday.

A couple of days ago, an old client of Big Daddy's called us up and told us she had a kid's starter drum kit in her garage that she needed to get rid of, and asked us if we wanted it. It's set up in the girls' room now. And I get some quiet time, relatively speaking ....

Friday, June 6, 2008


I occasionally stop by the We Are THAT Family blog to check out the latest antics of "the Big Twin" and her family. A few days ago, the blog author posted a question about raising daughters to be modest.

I try to keep my girls modest. I don't want them to think that their self-worth comes from their looks or their bodies, etc. But, I must say that my girls LOVE being naked! I've pretty much gotten control of them running outside naked (which Bean did a few weeks ago so she could pee on the lawn - a very proud moment in any mother's life). But, it's pretty hard to keep them clothed when they're in the house. That being said ....

Last night, I left a fully clothed Bean in the living room with her father while I put Cakes to bed. About 30 minutes later, I walked back into the living room. Bean was wearing Dora roller skates, Dora kneepads, Dora elbow pads, a Dora bike helmet, and nothing else. When I questioned Big Daddy about this, he said, "One minute she was dressed, the next minute she looked like that."

Thursday, June 5, 2008


First a little explanation for those of you who, like me, did not know this chore existed: When you plant corn, you put two kernels in each hole. Once the plants reach a certain height, you pluck out the corn plant that is the smaller and weaker of the two. I guess it's just a little assurance that you'll get at least one corn stalk from each place you plant. I do the thinning for Big Daddy, because he finds it extremely painful to pluck up plants that he has loved and nurtured.

Corn grows best in clay (says the all-knowing Internet). Since clay is abundant here in the South, we picked a particularly clay-y area to plant our corn. Thinking it would be easier to thin the corn if the ground were wet and soft (as opposed to hard and dry), I put the sprinklers on for 20 minutes before beginning the thinning process.

That was a mistake.

Here are my footprints in the clay:

Here are the flip-flops (yes, I garden in flip-flops; I do everything in flip-flops) that were wrenched from my feet by the suction of the clay (apparently clay is a distant relative of quicksand):

And here are my feet after I finished the thinning barefoot and digging out my dismal flip-flops (I even got married in flip-flops):

It's like Bigfoot! I had to peel the clay off with the help of a strong-spraying hose.

By the way, those little feet next to mine belong to Cakes. Note the shoes are on the wrong feet. She was very proud of putting on her own shoes. What you don't see in the picture is Bean, very proud of putting on her own pants, which were backwards. And yes, I let them in public like that. Like I said before, I like to encourage creativity and freedom of expression. I also like to encourage self-reliance and pride in accomplishments.

But back to the point of this whole post ... I will be thinning the remainder of the corn pre-sprinkler.


Cakes is my second, my baby. Being the second of three children myself, I am well acquainted with Middle Child Syndrome. So, I try to give her extra attention whenever possible.

Typically, she will wake up before Bean, so we have some alone time. She loves to help out with chores around the house. She tried to help us clean our poor, algae-stricken pool ...

She helped me so much on the computer that I had to break out her Fisher Price Fun 2 Learn Laughtop (best gift ever, thank you Tanya!) ...

She patiently unfolds and piles on the living room floor each of the three loads of laundry I do daily ...

She also likes to help cook, sweep the floors, and diaper our ancient Cocker Spaniel (who really doesn't take too kindly to being diapered).

But, as frustrating as it is to have every task take three or four times as long as it should take, to have to re-do most chores the correct way, I will always choose toddler help over quick and efficient by myself.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


So, while my dad was here, he fulfilled one of his "grandfather dreams," which was to be the first one to teach my girls how to fly a kite. So, my mom and I went out and bought two identical Sesame Street kites (identical to avoid any cherub rivalry), and brought them home to Grampy and the girls. There wasn't much wind on that particular day, and the kites didn't really fly without a lot of adult intervention, but the girls had a great time and couldn't wait to fly their kites again.

Bean was especially excited to fly her kite, having recently gotten the book Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?, which is about Elmo reading books and flying kites. The plot seemed innocuous enough: Elmo flew the kite on a windy day, and the kite lifted him high into the sky. When he landed, he began an adventure to find his way back to Sesame Street.

Anyway, today is pretty blustery, so I figured we should try to fly kites while Big Daddy and Mr. David worked on a bid. The kites flew without any running or cajoling of the strings. I put the first kite into Cakes' hands. She instantly let go and the kite blew across the yard. I put the second kite into Bean's hands. She was fine for about three minutes, after which she began screaming hysterically and begging me to take the kite away from her. Apparently, that Elmo book had the unintended effect of making Bean think she was going to blow away with the kite. So, while Cakes chased her kite across the field, Bean shrieked in terror, and I pulled the kite in as quickly as possible, saying over and over, "Stop screaming! Don't panic!" The whole kiting adventure lasted about 7 minutes.

I finally got the kites collected. When everything was safely in the hands of Mommy, Bean smiled a huge smile and exclaimed, "I'm going to go tell Daddy I fly a kite!!!!"

Monday, June 2, 2008


Let's get one thing clear. Mommy is not a princess. I don't like to do my hair, wear make-up, wear dresses, wear shoes that are not flip-flops .... I do like to bathe every day, but that doesn't always happen with two toddlers constantly craving my attention or trying to kill each other when my back is turned. Somehow, though, I ended up with two very girly little girls. They opt for dresses when given the choice between dresses or pants/shorts. I don't even own any dresses! Okay, I own some maternity dresses, but that is only for convenience when I'm huge and have an 8 pound kid punching my bladder. Given the choice, I will always choose pants - jeans to be exact.

At any rate, I've had to learn to do some girly things with my cherubs. So has my husband.

When my husband and his afro are not available for hairdos, I am the one that gets my hair done. After this particular hairdo, Bean declared me to be a princess. So, here is our self-portrait (note, no make-up, hair not done, etc.).

Check out my forehead. Here's a true story for you:

Big Daddy and I honeymooned in Chicago (Big Daddy loves jazz, and I'm not a big fan of sand and/or tropical locations). We spent one day at the Navy Pier. There was a German guy there doing caricatures and singing opera. So, we got in line to have our caricature done. We waited patiently, chuckling at the cartoon portrait of the couple in front of us. Suddenly, the German guy whirled around and said to us in a thick, German accent, "Please let me draw you! You are a cartoonist's dream!" (Just what everyone wants to hear). He looked at Big Daddy and said, "Zat nose!" Then, he looked at me and said, "And zat forehead! You could put another face on it!" Yeah. I've got a big forehead. And that has nothing to do with the title of my post, but there it is.

And that reminds me of when Bean got her first Barbie for Christmas one year. She unwrapped it, gasped in delight, held it up, and said, "Look! It's Mommy!" Gotta love kids, don't ya?