Friday, September 28, 2007

Would you like a little cheese with your art?

Lauren has always loved to draw and create little masterpieces. I remember one day when she was about four, she drew pictures of the cast from Fairly Oddparents and it was pretty darn good I must say! Better than I could have done that's for sure.

A few weeks ago, she brought home a nice 11 X 14 abstract watercolor creation she made in art class. She felt inclined to show us how she did it and explained all of the different mediums you can use to create art. Watercolors. Oil. Acrylic. Clay. Plaster. Toothpaste. Cheese.

So, she spent a good two hours making another mixed media creation that was three parts watercolor/glitter, two parts Kirkland brand shredded cheddar cheese and one part Aquafresh toothpaste.

Then thankfully, she hung it next to my husband's side of the bed. She had us walk into the room with our eyes closed as she unveiled her masterpiece. I remember my husband said, "Oh WOW! That's great! I see you used watercolors to make pretty circles and stars.....and is that.....cheese?"

Lauren exclaimed, "YES! And toothpaste too!"

The cheese was glued to the center of the paper and underlined with toothpaste for further emphasis. You'll notice the cheese isn't there anymore. A couple of days later, Lauren noticed it was missing. She asked, "HEY! What happened to the cheese?"

I said, "I don't know. Maybe it was the food source for that really lucky scorpion that stung me the other day?"

Well, I thought it was funny but she didn't seem to get it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Anyone in the market for a two year old?

Two year old.

For sale or lease.
Payment plans available to those who qualify.

Dresses himself.

Adapts well to his surroundings.

Self cleaning.

Great with kids.

Good climber and can find secret hiding places.

A real Prince Charming.

No returns or exchanges. Leasing terms valid only on a sixteen year contract. A two year old is not recommended for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. Nursing moms should consult a psychiatrist prior to taking on a child of this age. Some side-effects may include gray hairs, broken DVD players, daily viewing of Shrek, snaking of toilets or excessive use of the word "no". A two year old may occasionally incite a sleeping baby or refrain from naps. If you or anyone you know has experienced one or more of these symptoms, take the child to a grandparent's house immediately. If a grandparent is not available, while not ideal, the use of Benadryl can and may be used as an alternate approach.

Assessing the potential risks and damage must be reviewed prior to attempting to potty train a two year old and should only be initiated when Spot-Shot and "rewards" are readily available. The use of ear plugs are recommended to ease discomfort in the event of an occasional outburst. If such an outburst occurs in public, it is advised to disavow any claim of said child. For best results, offer only brownies and chocolate milk for breakfast and lunch. A two year old may display erratic and irrational behavior at any time.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Shameless Snapshots!

Here is the new dining room! It's D.O.N.E.!!! I think it turned out great! I kept my buddy Mel ( Hi Mel! ) up way past her bed time but she helped me out the other night with the picture frame squares.

Here's the view into the kitchen:
Here's the view from the kitchen looking in:

Here's the view from the entry:

Here's the view from the back wall through the entry and into the living room:

Here's the living room window. I still need to paint the trim but after that, this room will be done too!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My life as a Mastercard commerical

14 cup Cuisinart to make yummy salsa............... $160.00

Large quart Kitchen Aide you bought the first year you were married and used to make scrumptious rolls............................ $200.00

A drawer full of misc. other gadgets used to mix mouthwatering smoothies and create simple crockpot dinners.............................$100.00

Having a nice double oven for those times you need to make a double batch of cookies but forget that you even used the bottom oven and two days later when you turn it on again to make MORE cookies, you discover the ones still in there from 2 days prior....burned to a crisp........priceless.

This happened to me twice this week. This was the second time around. The first time were peanut butter cookies which met a similar fate except they were a little heavier on the charcoal side. I even had the thought "I should take a picture and blog about it" at the time but was too ashamed and felt really dumb that I even did it in the first place. When it happened again, I just couldn't resist. Darn waste of a perfectly good bag of M & M's too.

Showing off my 6 month old!

He's pretty cute and all.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Some family pictures

The world's cutest and bestest babysitter came over to take a picture of our family for her upcoming Evening of Excellence night.

( Note to self: Sitting further up on the couch than your husband is not a flattering position )

And why is it that they smile better when a sibling is taking the picture then if I do? These last few were taken by Lauren and Jack.

And this last one? Don't ask. I just really don't know...........

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Wanna see some more pictures?

We worked on the faux pillars today and got this far:

This is on the living room archway:

This is from in the living room looking through the entry and into the dining room. The one on the left hasn't been painted yet. The one on the right is done:

This is the dining room archway:

And my very proud accomplishment.... I put trim on the bar thank you very much!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What kind of acid trip.....

from the 1970s were the producers of this show on when they thought up this little number???

It's everything that I can't stand in a children's tv show all rolled into one.

It's teletubbies meets really bad Japanese animation meets Fat Albert meets mind-numbingly repetitive songs.

And so you know how I REALLY feel......I would rather poke out my right eye while gnawing on my left arm than watch this show.

Just trying to save one mom's sanity at a time by sparing them from wasting thirty minutes of their life they will never get back

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering September 11, 2001

I realized that I never wrote on my blog about what I was doing on September 11, 2001. So, I thought I'd share my thoughts and experience today.

It was a day whose video scenes and still picture images will be forever etched into my mind.

9/9/2001 My husband and I had just returned to Tampa from a one week cruise to the Caribbean and had planned to rent a car and drive to Orlando for a couple of days at DisneyWorld. We stood outside where we were supposed to pick up the shuttle to the car lot for a good hour before we got word that there had been a bomb threat at the Alamo location and no buses were allowed to go in or out until it was cleared up. We ended up waiting about three hours before we could get our car. We were pretty upset since we had little time to spend at DisneyWorld to begin with and this delay caused us to have even less time. It wasn't until a few months later when we learned that several of the hijackers lived and went to flights schools around the area and that one had flown within a day or so of the attacks from Florida. We can't help but think that whatever it was that happened at the car rental location that day might have been some precursor to the events of 9/11.

9/10/2001 Our American Airlines flight arrived around 11pm and we had decided to wait until the morning to go and pick up Lauren from my parent's house. Little did we know that just five short hours later, a living nightmare was about to begin.

9/11/2001 We were awakened by my husband's brother at about 6am asking if we had seen the news. We turned on the television in our room and I watched in horror as the first twin tower burned. At first, I thought a small plane had crashed into the building on accident. It wasn't two minutes later that I watched as the second plane crashed into the second tower. I stood speechless and numb. I decided to get ready and go pick up Lauren and right as I was about to leave, I had heard that another plane had crashed into the Pentagon. I kept thinking, "What's going on!?" We were at war and our enemy is using our own planes to kill us! It was unthinkable. Completely incomprehensible. By the time I pulled up to my parent's house, there was word that another plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. I was sick. I wanted to throw up.

I went across the street to get our mail that our neighbor had picked up for us. She opened the door with a blank stare as she told me her husband had just returned from a business trip to New York City and worked in a building right next to the towers.

She reminded me that I needed to check and make sure a former co-worker of mine who left to become a flight attendant for American Airlines was OK. I called the hot line number where you can give the name and they would let you know if they were listed as being on one of the flights or not. She wasn't. Thank heavens.

Another former co-worker's cousin on the other hand, wasn't as lucky. She worked at Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc at the World Trade Center. The last time I talked to my co-worker just a couple of months later, they still hadn't found her body. I don't know if they ever did.

Sadly, that was the anguish and torment that over 3000 other families were going through as well.

I sat glued to the television the rest of the day and for probably the next week. I watched the "lucky" ones tell about how they just happened to be late for work that day or decided to take their child to school first. They told of the remorse and guilt they felt for still being alive while their co-workers and friends perished. I was terrified every morning to wake up because I didn't want to hear of more attacks. After a week, I finally had to just turn the TV off. I was getting too anxious and paranoid. My fear lasted months as I was scared to go to places where I knew lots of people would be like a movie theater or mall. I thought they might be a target for terrorists. Lame, I know but it was real and I internalized it way too much. I still have a major fear of flying. Our house was in the flight path for planes landing at the Phoenix airport. When planes were grounded I remember thinking how quiet it was without hearing the planes overhead every once in a while. Then at night, I'd lay in bed and hear the sounds of the military jets as they circled the skies. Very eerie.

Since that day, I have never forgotten the immense feeling of unity and patriotism our nation experienced over the next few months. I remember seeing car after car after car with a symbol of our great Country proudly displayed. Yellow ribbons that adorned bumpers and flags that were sacredly flown day in and day out. The Anthems which were written proclaiming that we will be strong, we will not falter, we will prevail.

How I wish that we could still feel that sense of unity today. How sad that it has been just six short years since the worst attack our Nation has seen and we have forgotten those feelings of shock and resolve that we felt on that day.

I hear people saying we don't need this war.

I say there's some things worth fighting for.

What about our freedom and this piece of ground?

We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down.

Now they say we don't realize the mess we're getting in.

Before you start your preaching let me ask you this my friend.

Have you forgotten how it felt that day?

To see your homeland under fire

And her people blown away?

Have you forgotten when those towers fell?

We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell.

And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden.

Have you forgotten?

They took all the footage off my T.V.

Said it's too disturbing for you and me

It'll just breed anger that's what the experts say

If it was up to me I'd show it everyday.

Some say this country's just out looking for a fight.

Well after 9/11 man, I'd have to say that's right.

Have you forgotten how it felt that day?

To see your homeland under fire

And her people blown away?

Have you forgotten when those towers fell?

We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell.

And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden.

Have you forgotten?

Now I've been there with the soldiers

Who've gone away to war.

And you can bet that they remember

Just what they're fightin' for.

Have you forgotten all the people killed?

Some went down like heroes in that Pennsylvania field.

Have you forgotten about our Pentagon?

And all the loved ones that we lost and those left to carry on.?

Don't you tell me not to worry about Bin Laden.

Have you forgotten?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lauren's new "secret"

Lauren came home and told me she was in a "secret" club at school. Curious, I asked who else is in your club? Does your club have a name? When does your club meet? Are there dues involved? Secret handshakes or hand jive? Will I need to supply yet another snack?

She mentioned three of her friends are in this "secret" club and that they meet during recess.

Then she went on to tell me the other "secret" things they do in this "secret" club.

Evidently, they have computers in this "secret" club complete with passwords so that they can email people. She couldn't remember who exactly they email just that they can if they wanted to. She asked me if I had computers in my secret clubs when I was her age. When I told her that the first IBM TRS80 computer didn't come out until I was about 10, she just stood there expressionless and said, "HUH?" Probably the same way I reacted when I asked my parents what an 8-track was back when I was about her age.

There is also a special rock "key" that they rotate around as to who is allowed the honor of taking the key home.

She hesitated a little, but decided she would share her "secret" password with me. After all, we were family and I suppose it would be okay to share her "secret" password with us. She started out with

"Girls love....." ( UH OH! You know that feeling you get when you first see that a cop is about to pull you over? Where your heart drops to your stomach and starts pounding and then all of the blood rushes to your head and you start to feel flushed? And don't tell me you don't know what I'm talking about because you've never been pulled over by a cop before! )

"Cutie" ( NOOOOOooooo! Please don't say "Boys" please don't say "Boys"! You're far too young to start noticing boys!!!! )

"Cutie" ( At this point, time was practically standing still as I was hanging on to her every word..... )

"Cutie" ( It's a little sketchy but I think my eyes were probably closed and I was saying a little prayer )


PHEW! You have NO idea how relieved I was to hear that.

And whatever happened to a simple password like "Lauren2000" or "Lauren7"? I'm pretty sure that "Girlslovecutiecutiecutieanimals" wouldn't even fit if it were a "real" password. And even if it did, she'd still probably need a number somewhere in there anyways.

Of course, I started laughing and she kept asking what was so funny. I wasn't about to tell her the real reason since that would just open a whole can of worms that I didn't want to deal with right now since in my eyes, she's still sweet and innocent and I'd like to keep it that way for a little while longer.

So, her "secret" club has computers and they email each other and play some kind of computer game on it as well.

So much for "Hopscotch" or "tag"?

Edited to add:
I think I started typing this a couple of days too soon. Lauren mentioned to me yesterday that there are four boys who have a crush on her. This is NOT supposed to happen until she's like what? 20? Of course, my two year old isn't supposed to learn how to crawl out of his crib either but figured that one out this week too. Just a big old week of firsts around this place!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Gripes away!

I'm just having one of those &%$@! days.

1. Hey you. Yes you. Lady with the teenage kids and can't remember what it was like having a two year old, who keeps turning around during church and giving me the "why can't you keep your child quiet" look every five minutes. Why do you think we are sitting in the very last row to begin with? I'm doing my best but my boy has neither learned to use his "quiet" voice yet nor taken his afternoon nap and wrestling him and a five month old at the same time isn't all that easy. Instead, maybe you or your teenage daughters might offer to help take one of them next time.

2. This is for all of you who don't know what to do at a four way stop especially when it involves a school crosswalk. And as if one lane of traffic in each direction was bad enough, try adding an additional lane plus a turn lane each way. Those lanes were officially added recently probably because people were just making up the imaginary lanes anyways, but now it's "official". If two cars arrive at the stop at the same time, the driver to the right has the right of way. Or in the case of the four way stop that I frequent when I take my child to/from school, it's biggest construction truck goes first, followed by a driver talking on their cell phone not paying the least bit of attention as to who was at the stop first, then after they have gone, it's the cars that are turning right into the parent pick up lane who can turn whenever they want because the stop sign doesn't apply to them. Then it's basically just a "free-for-all" for everyone me who is left sitting at the stop flailing my arms around at everyone saying, "Oh no. Please. You go first. Be my guest. I'll just sit here while those ten other cars turn right and block me from crossing."

3. No, Pediatrician's office. Contrary to what you are being told, we do NOT have a deductible for well checks. Have you SEEN what we've paid for previous six well check visits we've done this year? Do you not see that we only pay the $15.00 copay and the rest is covered by our insurance? I do not owe you an additional $500.00 which not only bugs me that you can't "fix" your error, but it shows me just how much my Doctor is getting paid for my having to wait an hour beyond my scheduled appointment time with four kids right before lunchtime while he spends all of 15 minutes with my child which half of that time was spent by me changing two poopy diapers. And then has the nerve to reprimand one of them because they are scooting around on his rolling stool in the 40 square foot exam room.

4. Yes! I just LOVE paying almost $3.00/gallon for milk. All in the name of growing corn to make ethanol in order to save the planet from its catastrophic deterioration of the ozone layer that will save the Polar bears in the "melting" arctic rather than feeding the cow that produces the milk I need to sustain my family of six.

5. Hey whiny five month old.....Chill out! I know this might come as a shock to you but you really don't need to be held every waking minute of the day. You should be old enough by now to learn to entertain yourself long enough for me to use the bathroom or fold a load of laundry. Let me introduce you to Mr. Pacifier. It's just a phase.....It's just a phase......It's just a phase......

6. Yo neighbor kid. What's up with coming over and picking out all of the marshmallows from my box of Lucky Charms? That's MY job.

7. Kids.....filling a big tupperware container with water and Honey Combs then freezing it into a big block of ice is NOT a yummy "treat".

8. This next one is a "shout out" to our former renters who decided to break their two year lease after nine months. And for the nosy neighbor I have affectionately nicknamed "Gladys" across the street who convinced them they were paying too much rent for our size of house. Interesting that we never got a reference call from your current landlord. Now I realize why. How is it possible for two adults and a dog to do more damage to our house in nine months than a family of five could do in five years? How does one back in their truck creating a hole from their tow hitch in the garage? How were you able to knock out and break an outlet like that? How did the bedroom windowpane get a crack in it from the inside? Did you really need to pull off ALL of the towel holders in the bathroom and the back door knob? I appreciate the fact that you tried to fix the RV gate that you somehow managed to break, but I think the scrap wood "bandaid" you used looks a shall I say it? Redneckish? Thanks for trying to clean the carpet where your "most well-trained" dog left his presents but we could have done without the bleach stains that were left behind causing us to have to replace more carpet than we really wanted to. Although the stains go very nicely with the red wine stains you left us as well. What was that? A whole bottle you poured onto the family room carpet? Silly me. And to think I was worried people would notice the small pee-stain my potty-training two year old left on the dining room rug. Thank you though for making me realize that there is a reason why people have to rent.

9. Nope. It doesn't bug me at ALL that my scale hasn't budged in the last two weeks. Those chocolate chip cookies were totally worth it.

Monday, September 03, 2007

What we did over Labor Day Weekend.

Some updated pictures of our remodeling project:
The family room:

The office/computer nook behind the family room:

Kitchen eating area:

And....the kitchen whose counters are a mess but this is so you can see what the cabinets look like with the new floors......

These are how we framed around the doors. We put new trim on the right and left sides and put a header on the top.

This is the living room. We still need to frame the window. We're making faux pillars to frame in our arches going into the living room and dining room as well as an arch in the family room.

So what we have accomplished the last few weeks?

Put in the new floors thanks to a friend of ours. Tiled the bathrooms. Framed a window. Framed around the doors. Painted. Started faux pillars. Set up bookcases and desk for computer area. Put on new baseboards.

Is that ALL? It is nice to see it all come together.