Saturday, March 28, 2009

Not the Top Chef

After a LONG battle over dinner the other night, Garth told Sydney that she had 10 more minutes to eat her food or dinner was over and she would have to be hungry. In 10 minutes, no bites had been taken so he excused her from the table.
She walks over to the couch, peers over the back at her Dad and says, "You guys make the lamest dinners."
I try really hard, I do! But it's hard to satisfy a customer who thinks the only dinner that isn't lame is plain pasta with Parmesan cheese. What can I do?

Blisters and Basketball

The cause. . .

The effect. . .

Carter plays basketball for hours in our unfinished basement. His blisters got really bad because he would go down and play in bare feet. I appreciate that he can keep himself busy down there. In fact, you can see my Nordic Track in the background and he will play while I exercise. (Sydney usually rides circles on her tricycle.) Having this blister disease is such a bummer. Obviously I want him to be active, exercise, and get some energy out but sometimes I want to tell him "No more basketball" when his feet look like that.

Basketball is his latest obsession. As you can see, Garth coached his YMCA team this year. The season just ended and I think they both had a lot of fun. The boys made new friends and learned some new skills.

With March Madness upon us, Carter will ask me if he can turn on "some college hoops" in the middle of the day. If I tell him there isn't any on, he'll tell me that's okay, he can just watch some ESPN because they'll talk about college hoops. Wow, he sounds just like someone else in this house!


For book club this month, we read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I thought it was pretty good (other than the fact that she is a bit condescending to those of us who don't live/eat like her). So after reading it and listening to the discussion, I am wondering if I am the only non-organic mother out there. I feel like my grocery bill is high enough without paying for organic baby food, meat, produce, etc. I even saw an ad in a magazine about baby onesies made from totally organic cotton. Yikes, they were so expensive! I am going to try not to feel like a bad person because I buy bananas from Ecuador in the middle of the winter, I buy the cheapest baby food regardless of brand, and I have to admit that it really doesn't matter that much to me if the cow lived a happy life full of roaming freely and grazing about before ending up on my table.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Want My Phosphate Back!

Until several months ago, I didn't even know I loved phosphate. Apparently, our dishwashing liquid is full of it and it is damaging our precious Spokane River (they say it contributes to insane amounts of algae in the river). I have a very good dishwasher; the kind where you can put a plate with caked on leftovers from a day ago and it comes out clean. A couple of months ago, I ran out of my bulk dishwashing soap from Costco and had to go buy some of the new phosphate free, river friendly soap. This is what my dishes have looked like ever since. Everything has this terrible film/stain/I don't know what on it now. You can't see through my glasses and my black utensils are practically white. I am so tired of my dishes looking dirtier after going through the dishwasher. I love the river. I spend my whole summer there but somethings got to give here. Call me a complainer or. . .GASP. . . not green but I want my phosphate back. Perhaps next year when the rest of the state has to comply with this ordeal, some blessed company will come out with a phosphate free product that actually washes your dishes. In the mean time, my mom is heading to see my brother who lives outside the restricted area and has strict instructions to bring me home some soap that works!

Girl's Night

Wednesday night I got to have a little girl's night at my house. My cousin Amber was in town from Utah and really doesn't get to visit much so I had all the girl cousins who live in Spokane come over for some appetizers, girl talk, and Shade shopping (Amber's mom was a Shade personal shopper but they don't do that anymore so she let us buy her inventory for really cheap.) Also in attendance but not in the picture was my mom and my Aunt Nancy. Thanks Amber for being the catalyst for such a fun night. We really should do this more often!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fancy, Fabulous, and FOUR

I think all mom's of little girls should check out the new(ish) Fancy Nancy books. I totally love them. Not only are they full of great vocabulary and cute stories but the illustrations are like artwork on every page. Sydney is a big fan so naturally she had a Fancy Nancy Birthday party!

She had lots of "fancy" to choose from but this is the outfit she insisted on. She wanted her hair curly and "on top" like Nancy's so I did my best.

All the girls feeling fancy.

They each bedazzled their own tiara. The funny thing is Sydney would not put hers on for a picture. In the past week she has worn it for about 30 seconds total. But she loved the project.

In one of the Fancy Nancy books, she and her family go out for parfaits (Nancy says that's fancy for ice cream). I read them that book then we made our own pafaits. They got to choose their ice cream and top it with a number of sugary goodies. Most of them had more fun making than eating their parfaits. After desert, we painted toe nails and the girls danced in the living room til their moms came. It was a lot of fun and girl parties are WAY more mellow than boy parties.

That night, Sydney helped me make pizzas and she opened her presents from us. She was a big fan of her apple capris from Gymboree (clearance for $4). In that picture she is singing "apple bottom jeans, with the fur" Don't ask how she knows that ghetto song. She also got her own Leapster. No more fighting with Carter over his.
Garth and I are relieved that the "birth week" is over. We sure like to spread out the fun and this time it was spread over 8 days! We are ready for a break. So we are heading back to Canada for Spring Break in a week or two.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Kindermusik Sculpture

I am afraid I am teaching my kids to procrastinate. In Sydney's Kindermusik class, they have a family activity you are supposed to do during the week at home. I'll admit that we often don't do it at all. Ocasionally, we have to bring in evidence of our family activity. Each time, we are frantically doing the craft the night before or the morning of class. This is our most recent assignment. They were supposed to make a sculpture. It could be of anything they wanted with any material they wanted. I forgot about it til the night before. . . big surprise. This is what we came up with. It is her "tin foil ballerina." Luckily, I don't think she understood that we should have done it sooner and spent more time on it. She was quite proud to show it to everyone in class.

Ducks are Different

My mom used to say that all the time and I thought of that saying the other day when I was dusting our bedroom. Garth and I are extremely compatible but we are different in a lot of ways. For example, on my night stand is one book. It will be there for anywhere from a week to three weeks but then will be replaced by another. This is what Garth's night stand looks like. When we moved to this house almost three years ago, there was only the golfing book that his boss gave him. Over the past three years he has added books but not finished any. I am a late bloomer to reading. I only started to appreciate it when I was done with college and was no longer forced to read. Now, I really enjoy it. Garth has started all these books but for some reason they just don't keep his interest for long. Here is a recent exception. I just finished the book "Freakonomics" and loved it! Garth read the first chapter before I started reading it and when I finished he asked how much time he had before I had to return it to the library. He is actually going to finish it in time and I highly recommend it to anyone, reader or not.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Jordan is Engaged!

My baby brother Jordan is getting married! I am so excited for him. He is marrying Kailee (you know, the beautiful girl from a previous post.) I won't share all the intimate details of his proposal but it involved a decoy present (waterski gloves), a fancy dinner, and a song he composed. What a romantic! Jordan and Kailee will get married in the Columbia River Temple at the end of June (unfortunately 2 days after I am scheduled to have my baby)
Congratulations, we love you guys!

I Spoke Too Soon

Just when I said I could "feel" spring coming, this is the view out my front door this morning. . .

What? You can't see anything but snow? Yeah, me neither. It is dumping snow right now. No more grass, plants or streets as far as I can see. I really thought this was over.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Note to Husbands

When your crazy, hormonal, pregnant wife is stressing all week about a talk in church, tell her it's the best talk she's ever given. It is the best compliment she'll get all day.
When she tries a new recipe for dinner (lettuce wraps for a steak & potatoes man) tell her its fabulous and she did a great job. It makes the job worthwhile.
When she invites her parents over for dinner without a meal planned, go ahead and make your amazing BBQ ribs, then set the table, make awesome brownies from scratch, oh then clean it all up. It is the best gift you could give.
When you see a chance to be without kids for a while (even if it was initially for a funeral), take her shopping and to a stellar dinner at Clinks. She'll feel like a princess.
I am a lucky wife!

Almost Spring

I can feel it. . .it's almost spring. The sun occasionally shines, we started spring cleaning (when the sun shines in a room and I can see cobwebs, something must be done), and the canal is no longer dry.
Friday at 2:30 I looked outside and it was beautiful and sunny so I told the kids we were going out for a walk/bike ride. I had to retrieve the running stroller from the basement, raise bike seats, pump up 7 tires, go back into the house for warmer coats and gloves. Finally we were off just after 3:00. Apparently, Sydney doesn't know how to pedal unless she is going downhill (Garth says she's just lazy). Derek we discovered hates the sun in his face. But Carter did great! As long as I could keep him from going too far ahead of us. By 3:20 we were all back in the house reading books by the fire. It was a nice try and since I am a glutton for punishment, I'm sure we'll do it again soon!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What's Your Emergency?

Derek has a new obsession with phones. He'll put the phone up to his ear and say "hello." Of course, he is only satisfied with the phone if it makes noise when you push buttons. We have enough toy phones that he should be satisfied but occasionally he gets a hold of a real one. The other day I caught him holding the real phone and I realized it was on so I quickly took it from him, turned it off, and put it on the charger. Two seconds later, I got a call asking me what my emergency was. It was the 9-1-1 operator responding to a hang-up call. Oops!