Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The South is strange to me for a lot of reasons. Why are people so friendly? Why can't I find a Jewish deli anywhere? Why is there only one Dunkin' Donuts within 500 miles of my house?

But, there's a strange phenomenon that my mother and I have noticed as we drive to town on cold mornings. At first, we thought there was garbage wrapped around the base of dead plants. But, it seemed improbable that the garbage would go on for miles. A couple of hours later, we drove home and saw that it was all gone.

Closer inspection several days later showed that these clusters were balls of very delicate ice that formed around the base of the dead plants. Here's my question: What the heck? I've Googled like crazy and can't find an explanation. So, I'm giving a $5 Starbucks gift card to the first person who can explain the science to me behind these ice balls.

Monday, December 14, 2009


After accidentally killing my beloved Malik, I had no desire to get another dog. Big Daddy said he wanted a dog, but I knew that the idea of a dog was much more appealing to him than actually having a dog in the house.

Then, this guy showed up.

And wouldn't leave.

And then Big Daddy started loving on him when he was outside. And then the cherubs named him "Piggy Pudding." And then we let him sleep on the back porch on a particularly cold night. And we gave him some food and water. And now we have a dog (renamed "Harley," because "Harley" is a manlier name than "Piggy Pudding").

Says Bean, "Mom? I'm glad that Harley's here. It's nice when everyone has dogs."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


The girls had a great time decorating the tree (and undecorating and redecorating the tree and undecorating the tree ...). We try to keep the breakable ornaments out of their reach, but we still suffer ornament casualties every time they redecorate. My bike-riding Kermit the Frog ornament has been beheaded several times, and I just finished cleaning up the innards of a snowglobe ornament.

The cherubs also enjoy the pre-lit garland. They don it like feather boas and prance around the house like princesses.

I think Christmas with my own little angels is even better than Christmas when I was a kid!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


While the cherubs are still young, the adults in the family will spell things that we don't want the girls to understand. This code works until the kids learn how to spell. Then, we'll have to learn a foreign language.

The girls have caught on to this secret language, even though they don't understand it. We were spelling to each other the other night at dinner about Christmas presents and such. I guess the girls were paying attention more than I thought, because after dinner, Bean came up to me and said, "Hey, Mom. I need my P-A-S-Y."

I said, "What do you need?"

Bean said, "You know, my L-I-F-D."


Monday, November 30, 2009


We're busily decorating for Christmas. We have a plastic Nativity scene for the girls once they decide they've had enough ornament hanging. Apparently, this Nativity scene was quite inspirational to Bean. She proceeded to tell us her version of the Christmas story:

"Once upon a time, Baby Jesus got stuck in the mud. Then, a creature came and took him, and he didn’t go home. So, Zerena came with all the people, and they started to sing. There was no room in the house, but they made some room. All the people came to get the room. The angels came and said, 'We need to ring the bell.' And the angel landed in the night, and took a bath. The end."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


My friend Tanya over at In the Dailies has a weekly blog carnival about the little things that make us love being moms. One of the greatest joys of being a mom, as far as I'm concerned, is baby giggles.

Peanut laughs so hard at a little noise or a game of Peek-a-Boo. The joy just bubbles out of her. Having kids is such a great reminder to enjoy the simple things in life!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Bean and Cakes woke up pretty early this morning and were prowling the house for who knows how long until they came into my room to wake me up and tell me about their amazing new discovery:

Yes, that's a dead bird at the bottom of the steps.

So, my question is, how did it get here? And, how do I get rid of it? And, how do I keep my kids from touching it while I figure out if I can actually bring myself to pick it up and take it out to the trash? They've intricately woven this dead bird into one of their imaginative storylines.

Aaah, country life ...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


My mother was an English teacher, so I often look at the world through Shakespeare-colored glasses. Something that happened over the weekend reminded me of Hamlet. I don't want to get into the whole, complicated story of Hamlet and all its interpretations. There is one speech in the story, however, that I would like to highlight.

Hamlet was upset with his mother for murdering his father and carrying on with his uncle. So, he was going on a tirade about all the things that made him angry and/or irritated about women. At one point in the speech, he highlighted women's general predisposition to "nickname God's creatures." At the risk of sounding sexist, that is so true. You don't see men doing it, but women do have a tendency to nickname God's creatures. As illustrated by my cherubs:

This time of year, we tend to get swarmed with migrating ladybug-type insects. They look like ladybugs to me, but I've been told that they're not. Anyway, they got into Grampy's hobby room. So, Grampy got out the trusty ol' Raid and killed them. Later, the girls happened upon the pile of dead ladybugs. For some reason, Bean decided to name one "Shirley." (I can only imagine that "Shirley" came from the fact that we are currently reading the second book in the Anne of Green Gables series). So, Bean was marching around the house, talking about Shirley the Ladybug, when Cakes chimed in, "Shirley and all her dead friends!"

Monday, November 16, 2009


Although I wish I were, I'm not really the kind of mom that has a regularly scheduled craft time with the kids. For one thing, I'm not very crafty. I mean, I knit and cross stitch and stuff, but it's always with patterns. I don't come up with my own ideas, I don't scrapbook, I don't sew, etc. And, although I tend to be a bit cluttered, I'm not a big fan of making messy things. That's why my kids don't often help me cook. My poor nerves can't handle flour, sugar, eggs, and other ingredients being tossed about the kitchen by happy, energetic children.

With homeschooling, I'm trying to focus on doing a seasonal craft once a week. So, armed with craft books my husband found on one of his jobs repairing an abandoned, water-damaged preschool, I began my journey into Craft Land. The first thing I noticed was that most of these crafts required construction paper and tempera paint. So, I went to the store and got construction paper and tempera paint. The cherubs were excited, so I let them each paint two pictures when we got the paint home from the store. Then, I put the paint on top of the refrigerator (safely out of reach of grabby little hands) and put my paint-drenched cherubs in the tub.

This morning, I walked into the kitchen to find Bean standing on a chair and pulling the paint down from the top of the fridge. So, I relented. The girls love painting.

And I'm just cringing inside and drawing water for a post-painting bath ....

Monday, November 9, 2009


... with turkey pancakes. Gobble, gobble!

Anyone have ideas for Thanksgiving crafts for homeschooling?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


On a typical Sunday, Big Daddy's sisters and their husbands come to our house after church for a family dinner. Then, they amuse my children while I try to get some things done or just relax for a couple of hours. This week, Big Daddy got some fancy bakeware, and Aunts Kimmy and Tracy decided it would be fun to bake a Bert and Ernie cake with Bean and Cakes.

Here is the cake pan (a rather ambitious undertaking, but I wasn't doing the baking this time):

The first problem arose when the cake did not come cleanly out of the baking pan. So, Big Daddy and Aunt Kimmy carefully scraped the Muppet faces out of the pan and put it together like a jigsaw puzzle. After it cooled, Aunt Kimmy and the girls began to decorate, using up all the leftover icing in the house. They had to get a bit creative, seeing as we did not have enough of any one color to get a true Bert and Ernie rendition.

Aunt Kimmy did Bert, the girls did Ernie. The result? I like to think of it as "Sesame Street Meets The Exorcist."

And this proves that I am not the only pitiful excuse for a baker in the family!

Monday, November 2, 2009


I have a month-by-month frame for each of the cherubs for their first year of life. It's been nice, because it forces me to take lots of pictures of each of them. My little brother is always joking that there are no pictures of him as a kid because he's the third. I don't want to give poor Cakes and Peanut to have the same complaint.

I have noticed that the more kids I have, the harder it is to get a monthly picture of the youngest for a frame. Every time I prop up Peanut and break out the camera, Bean or Cakes (or both) show up smiling and yelling "cheese" and mauling Peanut with love and affection. Like Cakes did for Peanut's month three photo.

And like Bean did for Peanut's month four photo.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Cakes, the fashionista of the family, decided that Peanut needed to be a princess today.

In the process, I was able to capture Peanut in her latest phase of development, shrieking happily at the top of her lungs.

It's too bad I didn't get it on video, so you could get the full, ear-piercing effect. I'll have to add that to my to-do list.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


It's the tail end of tornado season. I must say, I've gotten to where I can handle it a bit better than when I first moved here. I remember hiding under the table, surrounded by cushions, yelling for my husband to get off the front porch and hide, already! Now, while my neighbor was cowering in her garage in terror, I sent Big Daddy and the cherubs out to take a few pictures and enjoy the breeze while Peanut and I watched from the porch.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I feel like I'm so busy all the time that I barely have time to breathe; then, I look around and feel like absolutely nothing has been accomplished. What am I so busy doing? Not writing my blog, that's for certain. Or cleaning and winterizing my slightly greening pool. And the laundry pile is huge, the living room is messy, and I forgot to take my kids to pre-school choir at church last night (and I'm one of the teachers! Yikes!).

Bean just walked by with a doll shoved up her shirt saying, "Hey, Mom! Look! I have a baby in my belly!" I actually caught Bean and Cakes trying to breastfeed each other the other day ... I guess maybe I'm spending most of my time nursing Peanut?

Speaking of Peanut, we've entered a delightful new phase in her development. She has discovered her voice, and spends 90% of the day (and night) gleefully emitting blood-curdling screams at the top of her lungs. I'm hoping that she will soon discover something quiet, like her feet.

Friday, October 2, 2009


As my readers know, I'm a homeschooler. I started homeschooling Bean this year for Pre-K. I felt that I was kind of short-changing her on math, since I wasn't following any particular curriculum and was just working with her on counting, basic addition and subtraction, etc. Not being much of a math person myself (I am a math idiot), I thought it would be best if I got a curriculum to guide me through the murky waters of Kindergarten Mathematics.

I researched several different math curriculums (Singapore Math, A Beka Book, etc.) and consulted my crazy-about-math, asks-for-math-textbooks-for-Christmas, ex-high-school-math-teacher sister-in-law. And so, I settled on Saxon Math Homeschool. And I love it!

The teacher's book is scripted, so even a math moron like yours truly can easily teach the lesson with minimal effort. The curriculum requires the manipulatives kit, but that kit contains all the manipulatives needed for Kindergarten through third grade! And each lesson involves manipulatives, which is perfect for my little hands-on learner. I think math is her favorite subject now! The lessons are not too long, are age appropriate, and provide plenty of time to explore the manipulatives while still teaching basic math concepts and applying them to real life.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


We all went to Aunt LeeAnn's house for haircuts. It was a momentous occasion, because it was Cakes' very first haircut.

She did very well, although she looked pretty intense throughout the procedure.

After the girls got their hair cut, they went to play with Aunt LeeAnn's youngest daughter while I got my hair cut, colored, and styled. We heard my cherubs telling Aunt LeeAnn's little muffin about decorating. I laughed, explaining that "decorating" at my house meant the kids were coloring on the walls, and I joked with Aunt LeeAnn that I should buy stock in Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.

After my hair was done, I went upstairs to collect my girls. And was mortified to see this.

And this.

And this.

And this.

And this.

And now, all playdates must be prefaced with, "And DO NOT color on the walls!"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Ah, sweet little Cakes.

The baby of the family for almost three years.

Well, that sweet little princess bit her big sister in the face.

Just in time for soccer pictures. A nice, big bitemark under her left eye is preserved for posterity. Nice.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Bean and Cakes are in the stage of wanting to put on lavish productions all the time. I'm definitely getting my money's worth on those recital costumes!

Grampy, in MacGyver-like fashion, rigged a curtain using string, a throw blanket, and chip clips.

And now we enjoy front row seats at the best shows in town!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Cakes discovered the computer. Now we can't get her off.
Her website of choice is Nick Jr., and she spends a lot of time developing her fine motor skills by playing the games. At least it keeps her occupied while I'm homeschooling Bean ...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I've never done a Works for Me Wednesday before. But, I found a product that really works for me, and I just had to share it.

As my regular readers know, I have a 12-week-old little girl, and I breastfeed her. As my readers also know, I'm pretty well-endowed. So, when I'm nursing, I wear a size 36-K nursing bra. Yes, it's enormous. And it's really hard to get the support I need, even from a great nursing bra, when I'm so ... um ... blessed.

I kept seeing commercials for Strap Perfect, and I often wondered if it would give me support without making me look even more ... um ... blessed. So, I went out to the grocery store and got a box of six Strap Perfects for $10. First, let me say that they are not nearly as easy to put on as the commercial suggests (especially for someone so ... um ... blessed), and I even broke one trying to figure out how to attach it to my heavy load. But, once they were on - WOW! What a difference!

Here is a before shot (you'll have to excuse the self-portrait; I was home alone at the time):

And here is the after shot:

I can't speak for the advertised purpose of Strap Perfect, which is to provide versatility in strap location without buying all different kinds of bras; but, as you can see, there was a significant amount of lift and support. Nothing is as wonderful as my minimizer bras for lift and support, but they don't make nursing bras. Strap Perfect is as good as it gets for ... um ... blessed women who need a nursing bra. I no longer feel like I'm carrying around two canteloupes in tube socks. I love this product!

For more Works for Me Wednesday, check out We Are THAT Family.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Cakes and Bean had a great time at Cakes' birthday party.

There was plenty of sugar shock to go around.

Cakes was excited with the gifts she received. When she unwrapped the Ken doll that Bean had given to her, she announced, "Finally! A Barbie of my very own!"

After cake, presents, and play time, it was into the bath to wash off all the chocolate crumbs and yellow icing. I went into my bedroom to nurse Peanut, while Big Daddy got the girls all pj'ed up and then relaxed on the couch to talk on the phone. He was still on the couch when I emerged from the bedroom. And the girls were here:

This is what was left of Wubbzy:

I'm not sure of those marks are from their fingers or their tongues. Honestly, it could be either.