Thursday, September 27, 2012

Birthday Cake

Today was/is my hubby's birthday.

In the middle of the day I let him know about a special birthday surprise.

Okay, so I had nothing to do with it, but it was pretty cool that Google had a birthday cake on the front page on his birthday.

I also surprised him with a home made carrot cake. It was no small feat of working mom magic to get off from work, shop for ingredients (if I bought them during the normal weekly grocery trip he would have know = no surprise), shredded carrots, melted chocolate.... cake and frosting from scratch. Unfortunately he picked today to come home from work early, so I assembled the cake in a rush so it would be ready when he walked in the door.

He opened the presents and turned back to the cake to find it looking like this.

Warm cake + warm frosting = disaster.

I knew this. I put the cake together anyway. I thought that maybe. Just maybe the universe would be nice to me today... But no such luck.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mo Juice

We go through some juice boxes. Lunches, trips in the car, the park. They are on our grocery list every week. I really don't mind because every re-usable bottle we've tried leaks. At least after a week or two. Plus, I buy the sneaky ones with vegetable juice, so they've become a crutch for getting veggies in both my kids.

But this morning, we ran out.

"Mo Juice?" is the phrase Little Man uses. And, we all joke about it.

So, as hubby was making lunches he asked where they back up stash of juice was. He had looked in the fridge, in the pantry and in the garage. (Yea. He makes lunches. I know you are jealous!)

This is how it went.

Hubby: I know you have more. But, I can't find them.
Me: In the car.
Him: (giving me the you are crazy look) ok.

Then I heard the back of the car open.

Him: I don't see them.
Me: In the front.


Me: On the floor. On the passenger side.

More car doors.

Him: (more looks)
Me: They were in the garage, but the box was open. The kids thought that meant they could get into them. They can both open them now, so I put them in the car.
Him: (the you are crazy look)
Me: Plus, I always have them. I don't have to count out juice boxes each day. They are there.


Me: I think I'm just going to keep a box in there.
Him: (walking away)
Me: It does. Right next to the box of fruit snacks and the granola.

So now, I'm really curious about this. What do other moms keep in their cars. I can't be the only one driving around with a snack bar. Let me know. I love comments.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ready to Read

Reading is a part of the daily routine at our house. We finish dinner, pay for a few minutes, then the kids take baths and read before drifting off to sleep.

When Big Girl was a toddler we would read for 30 or 45 minutes a night. Snuggled up together with a pile of board books. It was a really special time for us to spend together that I will never forget. As she has gotten older and learned to read on her own, I am so glad that we spent the time together with books early on.

I recently learned about a new initiative called Every Child Ready to Read (ECR2R) that helps parents (and other folks around little ones) help children prepare for reading.

ECR2R focuses on five simple skills – talking, singing, reading, writing and playing are familiar and easy for parents to integrate into everyday life, with the use of books and literature. Demonstrations and research have shown that by using these simple practices, children develop early literacy skills that will make them successful readers.

In our area, as well as many others nationwide, librarians incorporate these skills into library programs for young children. And - they are teaching parents how to incorporate them into routines at home.

At the story time we recently attended they talked for just a moment about how songs help kids learn by repeating. The librarian said its as easy as repeating a song about letters that we were getting ready to sing throughout the day.

Here is Wake County, libraries are now offering more than 150 weekly programs for young children, more than doubling the number of programs previously provided. To find out about children's programs, you can call or visit your local library. If you are in the Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, etc. area you can visit to find a story time that works for you - they even have them in the evenings and on Saturdays!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Peeking, Peaking, Pea King...

Second grade has been a challenge. Not just for Big Girl, but also for us as parents. The first quarter was full of transitions, and finally - as we start fall break - its beginning to be less bumpy. One of the ways I know we are making progress is homework. The last week or so there has been less grumbling about it, and less help has been needed.

That was until last night when the assignment was to play charades with the vocabulary words. Not so much help in the traditional way, but the whole family got involved.

This weeks vocabulary words centered around skiing and synonyms for words associated with it.

- ski
- skiing
- slope
- peak

You get the idea.

So, she handed out the cards with the vocabulary words. Everyone got two - including Little Man who was very excited to participate.

She acted out her words. Ski. Slope.

Little Man acted out his words with my help. Climbing. Cold.

I acted out my words. Peak. Skiing.

Then it was my husbands turn. Peaking. He hid his face. Peek-a-boo. Got it.

Next word. He put a toy on his head. "King!" he gave the thumbs up. Then he went into the bathroom and shuts the door. We heard him going to the bathroom. "Peeing," BG yelled. "Put them together," he tells her through the door.

Even before she said it she started to giggle. "Pee King!"

Ummm. Not exactly what I'm thinking the teacher had in mind.

After the game she sat down to write about it for her journal for the day. She didn't want to share, so I'm pretty sure the pee king made it. However, I forgot to go back downstairs after she was in bed to peak...

Can't wait to hear back from the teacher on this one!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Brownies to School

The kids that carry baked goods into school always get the smiles. The teachers. The parents. When you can tell its homemade it makes people HAPPY.

So, when the opportunity came up to help with a luncheon at school I quickly signed up from brownies. Besides making people happy and for a luncheon brownies have the added bonus that I can send them something in the morning and not have to worry about setup or getting dishes back. True working mom perfection.

The night before the luncheon I stayed up late baking two pans of brownies. Let them cool and in the morning carefully wrapped them up. Paper plates in Ziploc bags. Two of them. Placed carefully on the counter ready to go to school.

Ready to go to school.

Enter my wonderful caring and loving daughter.

Not my super coordinated, carefully listening daughter with perfect balance. Because on this day, she had a one track mind: Brownies to School.

I said time to get in the car and before I could mention the brownies she took one plate, placed it on top of the other plate, and topped them off with a lunchbox. Then scooped up the pile and headed to the car.

My beautiful brownies were now mushed.

As we drove to school we talked about how they may look a little nicer for the teachers if they weren't quite so flat. She recognized that this was important and said she wouldn't put them on top of each other again.

That lasted until we got to school.

She hopped out of the car, piled the plates back up and proudly walked into school. Big grin on her face. Beaming with pride she headed to the school.

Thank goodness for the smile on her face, because she didn't make it 50 yards before tripping on the curb. She was just beaming with the flat brownies in her hands. Didn't see the curb. Same curb. Same spot as its been the last two years.

I don't know the last time I was so glad to be at her side, because I jumped in front of her and saved her a serious face plant. But my child. My child didn't even realize it. She said, "Mom! Why did you jump in front of me?"

It was all I could do to get out of the way and let her keep walking. Amidst the giggles of a few sympathetic moms I couldn't even think of what to say. So, we just exchanged a look and a smile.

Then. I looked back. To see the brownies on the ground. Upside down. Darn crack in the sidewalk. As I picked those things up and told her I would hold them until we got to the door, all I could think was, "Thank goodness I put these brownies in a plastic zipper bag." "Thank the freakin' goodness!"

When we went in the door I reminded her that the brownies needed to go to the teachers lounge. Since it had been "that" kind of morning I had her repeat it back, "teachers lounge."

At that point I had to go into the office to sign in. I was honestly kind of glad to let her go. She had to be safe. She was in the school and she said she knew where she was going.

Fast forward 10 minutes as I was chatting in the hall I saw her carrying the brownies into the classroom. All I could do was giggle. (I'm laughing right now just thinking back to it!) But I stifled the giggles as I watched the brownies fall back to the floor. Once again, plate in the air food on the ground.

The teacher I was talking to really didn't help. Although she meant well, she said, "oh. she is so sweet. you know we will eat brownies no matter how they look. They are home made girl and we are teachers!"

I couldn't take it anymore. I had to turn around. When I collected myself, she was actually handing one tray of brownies to each of her teachers.

They saw me around the corner and waved me over. I explained that they were for the luncheon and they both laughed. So, I graciously took them back and headed to the teachers lounge.

My wonderful caring and loving daughter - bless her heart - didn't have a clue.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jewlery Project

The last few years I've really enjoyed collecting more jewelry, but a traditional jewelry box really isn't my thing.

So, I combined a few ideas from Pintrest with a few ideas of my own and came up with this.

I know. The picture is on its side. I tried to change it, but the computer is acting up!

For the earring holder I used a insert/refill grill shelf from Lowe's. The frame came from a thrift store for about $2 and I painted it. The bracelets are on a paper towel holder. Also from Lowe's.

My next challenge is necklaces? Have you tried something creative and had it work out? Please share!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Oops Poops

Its a real phrase. And. Its becoming a common one at our house. Oops Poops.

There are all kinds of uses.

You break a plate. Opps Poops.

You leave something where a toddler can reach it. Oops Poops.

Its classic really. Right up there with "Crud Muffins" and "Gosh Darn." We're gonna make it famous. And - it all started with a turd floating in the tub.

The other night Little Man was all clean and splashing around in the bathtub. When all of a sudden he stood up. He isn't a kid that stands up in the tub. We have to pull him out screaming when the water is cold.He is also a toddler that loves to crawl and get into trouble.

So, when he stood up I said, "Sit down please while I get your towel."

He sat and I reached for the towel.

In the split second that I looked away he was up again, and as our eyes met he uttered the now famous words, "Oops Poops."

It was very clear, but he hasn't been very good at telling us when his diaper is dirty, so why would he get it right now, so at first I wasn't sure what he said.. but he said it again. Clear as day, "Oops Poops!"

As he said it the second time I looked in the tub and sure enough there were five turds floating around.

They hadn't been there 30 seconds earlier, but sure enough. There were "poops." And it was certainly an, "oops."

Oops poops.

Famous words. I'm sure you'll find a use for it to.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


We've had several turtles in our yard this summer. I think we were on sighting four or five since school got out.


Seriously. I took pictures of turtles y'all. BG and I thought we could look at the pictures and tell them apart.

No suck luck. She was sure they were different.

100 percent sure.

I was not sure. So. We started tracking them. By painting them with nail polish.

We have "Blue."

And we have "Pink" (not pictured).

So far, we've seen Blue three times. Pink may have moved on, or if he/she is smart to another part of the yard - far from the swing set.

We've got white nail polish sitting on the counter ready for the next one.

We also started learning about turtles. You know. By googling. Because isn't that how kids learn stuff in the 21st century?!?

Here are BG's fav facts:
- turtles eat fruit veggies and meat
- turtles shells aren't hard until they are 7
- turtles live to be 30 years old or more
- turtles go back to their home, even if they are picked up and moved

They are around enough that LM has learned to say "tu-tull," and can spot them out the sun room window and call for us to let him out to torment the poor animals go see them.

We hope to see more turtles in the future.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Easy Wreath

My crafty side is making a comeback folks.

Its gonna be better than the NKOTB tour in 1998. With the album now going for $0.01 on Amazon, I'm feelin' that my odds are good.

Yea. That was a bad joke. Don't ask how I knew how much The Block was selling for - without googling it for this post. Just don't.

The thing is. My crafty side is pretty awesome.

I like having fresh eucalyptus around. Its smells fresh and clean. We have a family friend that has some in their yard, so every once in awhile we have fresh eucalyptus.

Enter creativity.

After the kids were in bed a few nights ago, I pulled out the fresh eucalyptus, chip clips, wire and wire cutters and decided I would try to make a wreath.

I cut the wire into several pieces that were about four inches long. Then used chip clips to bend the eucalyptus into a circle and hold it up to the door.

When it was adjusted to a size that I liked with the chip clips, I used the wire to pull the scraggly branches together. Some of the wires were fairly loose with the ends just barley coming together while others were pulled tight.

Once everything was snugly in place. I took the chip clips off and returned them to the pantry.

Went to the front door and placed it on the wreath hook.

Tried and tried to get this picture the right way. It didn't work, so you'll just need to turn your computer. Or your head.
If you don't have wire, you could easily straighten out large paperclips and use them. The project took about ten minutes and was even easier than I expected.

Next time, I'll get Big Girl to help. Its be easy for her to assist and possibly do it on her own at 7.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Getting It All In

After two kids and a major lack of motivation, I'm trying to get myself psyched up to work out. Again. Back in the day I was in shape. I was cuter. I was (for a bit) even skinny. Amazingly, that was between kids!

Now. Well. Ummmm. Not so much.

I've been doing Pilates for about five years. My friend/instructor Lori is amazing. Her place is cute and smells good. Not like sweaty socks and slimy men like most places.

Ahhhh. I wanna be there now!
The greatest thing is scheduling. For years. (Yea. I know.) I've been going at 5:30 the same evening every week. Every week. For more than a year now with two of the same girls in my class.

More recently, I've added another class. Mornings. Early mornings. 6 a.m.

Go ahead. Make fun.

Its my hour for me.

Its pretty quiet. Peaceful. No traffic getting there.

There is also yoga. All with the great neighborhood feel right in the middle of Five Points.

Vive. Fantastic!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Potty Training

We have started potty training Little Man.

Wait. Let me get this right.

I've attempted to potty train Little Man. More accurately, he's having a great time getting me to run around after him whenever he mentions anything potty related.

The last few days it has gone like this....

Sitting on the couch spending time with both kids. He walks up grabs his junk and says, "poo."
I say, "do you need to go potty?" He laughs, turns his face bright red and poops his pants.

Making dinner. He says, "momma. momma. momma. momma." (you get the idea). I says, "yes?" He pulls up his shirt to show his belly. I say, "yes, belly!" He runs to the bathroom yelling, "poooo." When I get in there he is trying to lift the lid to the toilet and pull off his pants (neither of which he can do on his own - even when just doing one of them) at the same time. I put him on the potty. Nothing. We wait. And wait. Dinner burns. We wait. I take him off the potty. Put a diaper on him. Pick him up and his pants are warm. He looks at me and laughs.

I think we have a clown on our hands.

Do you have any tips for potty training the funny one? I feel an uphill battle coming on!