Tuesday, March 31, 2009


It’s official. I am ‘vamped out’. Yep. I just don’t get the fascination with vampires these days.

Okay, I admit, I DID read the ‘Twilight’ books to see what all the hype was about. And yes, I did read all four, even though the last one was completely brutal… I just had to see how the series ended. Will she or won’t she? Immortal or mortal? I must know! A friend pointed out to me that I could have just Googled a synopsis of the last book and saved myself the headache. ;)

And then, of course, I saw the Twilight movie that was all the rage, with that cute little Robert Pattinson (who I loved so much as Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter movie.) This was another big reason why I read the book… you all know by now my own personal ‘rules’ about seeing a movie that is based on a book. Gotta read it first.

And incidentally, I liked the movie more than I liked the book. Wowza… you almost NEVER hear that. It was just so much more straightforward than the book. I didn’t have to read every 4th paragraph about how dazzlingly beautiful Edward is… ‘with his cold, marble skin and intensely piercing bronze eyes…’ Anyway, you get the idea.

Someone suggested that I read the series by Charlaine Harris, so I gave it a whirl. I read the first in the Sookie Stackhouse series. And it was… okay (definitely a lot… um, more adult… ahem… than the Twilight series. ;) An easy, peasy, lemon squeezy kind of read. Which was definitely up my alley on the drive to New Orleans… nothing too deep or involved when I have to turn around and yell at the kids every few minutes:

1) Stop that bickering!
2) Guys, if you can’t agree on a movie…
3) Seriously, if you don’t stop touching each other…
4) Can’t you just ‘hold it’ for 5 more minutes?
5) Hey, where did you get that cookie?!

So on the drive back home, I wanted another easy read. I thought, “Just a good old murder mystery will do the trick.” No fangs… no creatures of the night… no beautiful immortals with an aversion to the sun. So I picked up a promising-looking little book at a Target before we headed home. It promised murder. It promised intrigue. It promised…

Frickin’ vampires?! Seriously? It said NOTHING about vampires on the back of the book jacket… and yet here was another author jumping on the ‘undead’ bandwagon.

But wait just one second… maybe I’m overlooking something. I’m not QUITE finished writing my novel yet.

(thinking… thinking…)

Yes… there’s still time to turn my main characters into wing-flapping, blood-sucking vampires! Yeah, that could be just the ticket to getting my book published. And, the bonus? If I can’t figure out how to end the story…well, I can always just write an extremely sunny day into the conclusion. ;)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Um... what week is it, anyway?!

More Project 365 layouts from the last couple of weeks... which were VERY busy weeks!

I must say, as the year progresses, I am loving this album more and more. It is just so easy to stay caught up, and it is a real snapshot of what our daily life is like around here.

Yeah, yeah... it's not all birthday parties and trips to the park and pool... and sunshine and rainbows... lalala! (using my singsong voice)

So Jen, thank you for cluing me in to the fact that if you click on the picture, it actually enlarges it. For this reason, I am just posting the pictures of the layouts and not the journaling. If you're dying to read the journaling, click away, my friends!

Week of March 9-15 & Week of March 16- 22 (Spring break week)

Have a lovely week :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oh, Hail No!

Yesterday afternoon, I was chitty-chatting with my pal, Jen on the phone, completely oblivious to the fact that we were under a thunderstorm watch. (I was also completely oblivious to the fact that my spaghetti was boiling over, but that’s another story.) When Phil got home, he flipped on the weather channel, and sure enough, this was about what the radar looked like…

We ended up getting marble sized and quarter sized hail… and LOTS of it. Some areas got absolutely nothing, while a few miles from us received golf-ball sized hail (while sitting in 5 o’clock traffic, no less!) dented cars and shattered windshields.

We ALSO ended up in the pantry… again.

To give you a little background, last May, we had one of those terrible Texas thunderstorms that can just come up out of the blue, and a tornado was spotted a few miles from our neighborhood. Our weatherman (you all know the fabulous Jim Spencer, right?!) was telling everyone that lived in the area to take cover in an interior room with no windows. It was seriously scary…

Well, for us, our large, walk-in pantry is about as ‘interior without windows’ as you can get on our first floor. Even our bathroom has an exterior door with panels of glass (I like to call it the ‘peek-a-boo potty’).

It was fairly late (around 11, maybe?), and after waking up the kids, and grabbing their sleeping bags and pillows, all five of us took cover, huddled in our pantry. We were a pretty tight fit, though. Especially when you consider that my husband is no small dude, we had a few pillows in there with us, and um…well,…all of my scrapbooks. And for those of you that know me well, that’s no small number of books. Like around 34. (and I know that sometimes I do exaggerate a bit for the purposes of my blog, but I truly have between 30 and 40 scrapbooks… it’s a serious problem. ;)

So there we sat in the pantry that night last May, and I had all my scrapbooks on the shelves around us. I wasn’t taking any chances. And I know for a fact that I wasn’t the only one that wanted to gather everything they loved around them for safekeeping. I have a good friend that made sure she took her daughter’s baby teeth with her… I won’t ‘out’ her on my blog by telling you her name. (Heeey there, HB! ;)

So last night, we weren't taking any chances, either. Thank the Lord that both nights, we escaped without serious damage. I know that all too often, that is not the case for many people. Especially if you’re at a Sonic Drive-In, according to my son.

When Davis heard that there were tornadoes in Mississippi yesterday, he pondered aloud… “I bet there was a squished Sonic.”

Me: “A what?”

Davis: “You know… a Sonic. That got squished. I was watching ‘StormChasers’ this one time with Daddy and I saw it on there. It was a Sonic.”

Me: “And it was squished?”

Davis: “Yup. Actually, I saw TWO!” (Hmm… I’m betting that he watched the same episode twice.)

So, yes, we feel very fortunate that we didn’t get any damage. I'm so grateful that Phil made it home before the storm hit. I’m thankful that we keep our garage clean so we can park both vehicles in there to avoid hail dents and dings.
And we’re sending good thoughts to our friends who DID have damage to their cars or homes.

AND… I’m thinking that I’ll be double-checking the sky for clouds the next time I pick up a Route 44 Cherry Lime-Ade.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Health Schmealth...

Let me just preface by saying… I think P.E. is great for kids. I’m hearing more and more about the high levels of obesity in kids these days, and I say, more power to the P.E. teachers! They have a tough job of it…

P.E. (or ‘Wellness’ as it’s called at my kids’ school) is much more these days than a few scooter board races across the cafeteria (loooooved those when I was a kid!) or dodgeball or a game of ‘Red Rover’, both of which are no longer played at elementary schools…something about ‘balls to the head’ or some such thing. I couldn’t tell exactly… the hearing in my left ear is a little bad, due to an unfortunate dodgeball incident in the 4th grade. Wusses.

Anyway, physical education these days is all about personal wellness, nutrition and healthy lifestyles. That’s awesome. No, really. I just sometimes wish my kids’ wellness teachers weren’t so dang good at their jobs.

This morning, for instance, we were in a rush (okay, not just this morning, I admit… you people know me too well.) So instead of cereal or pancakes or breakfast tacos for breakfast (my 3 kids are breakfast taco junkies), it was a ‘grab and go’ breakfast. A banana and a granola bar.

Davis: Mom, I didn’t want this! (… already hitting a whining level that is intolerable for 7:15 a.m.)

Me: Eat it… it’s a granola bar. It’s healthy.

Davis (eyes narrowing in suspicion): There are chocolate chips in it.

Me: Well, um, they’re low calorie chocolate chips. Just eat it, we’re late!

Davis: The whole thing is covered in chocolate. I need to check the side of the box for sugar grams.

Me (hiding the box behind my back)…

Um, seriously?!!

Now, don’t get me wrong… I truly appreciate the hard working teachers that give it their best, trying to teach my kids all about ‘Go’ foods, ‘Slow’ foods, and ‘Whoa’ foods, teaching them to read labels, and to check for fat and sugar grams. Really, I do.

But when Josie came home from kindergarten and hid the salt shaker because her wellness teacher had told her that salt is bad for you… I was a teensy bit irritated, I admit. I reassured Josie that we only cook with it, and don’t add it to our food after it is cooked, at which point, she retrieved the salt for me. At which point, I made myself a margarita. With salt.

So, let me take this opportunity to say, “Good job, P.E. teachers! I appreciate your hard work. I appreciate your effort. I appreciate you helping my kids to work toward a healthy lifestyle…

And I’d appreciate if you’d stop telling them your ‘opinions’ about Diet Coke. Thank you very much.” ;)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break wrap-up...

This morning I woke up with a smile. Not just your run-of-the-mill, ordinary smile. Oh no, my friends… this morning’s smile was a “Thank God that Spring Break is finally over, and it’s the kids’ first day back at school!” smile.

Don’t get me wrong… we had a great Spring Break. We had a blast. We took loads of pictures. We started off the first weekend of our break with packed suitcases, with excitement, and looking forward to spending time together as a family. But by yesterday afternoon, we’d had about nine days of almost uninterrupted ‘togetherness’. That was plenty. ;)

We left last Saturday for New Orleans, and didn’t get home until Wednesday. While we were there, we went to a crawfish boil, hosted by my sister-in-law’s family. Davis was in heaven and had a great time playing with the live crawfish beforehand (and I had a fun time snapping pictures of him), and then had no problem eating his new little friends after they were boiled (he is soooo his daddy’s boy!) It took the girls a little longer to warm up to the idea of picking up a ‘mudbug’, but even they worked up the nerve, being mindful of the pinchy little claws. However, they had to draw the line somewhere, and both stuck to eating fried chicken.

Afterwards, we went to a great St. Patrick’s day parade in Metairie, saw dozens of cool parade floats, caught hundreds of strands of beads (no exaggeration), a ton of stuffed animals, and enough heads of cabbage to make cabbage soup for a year (gee…don’t you want to come over for dinner?!)

We, of course, ate waaay too much while we were there (just about impossible not to whilst in New Orleans), but had a great time introducing the kids to some of our favorite eating spots. It took a little convincing, but I think they discovered that there was other food out in the world, other than pizza and Tex-Mex. ;) They tried out shrimp, fried oysters, crab, super delish po-boys from Mother’s, and their new favorite food… beignets with powdered sugar at Café Du Monde. ;)

And then once we got home, we spent the rest of the week playing at the park, going to the movies, hanging out outside, making a trip to San Antonio for Josie’s twirling competition…and yes, listening to the kids bicker in the van. A lot.

All in all, it was a fun spring break. We spent almost the entire week together, just the five of us. It was a good break from school and work and scouts and lessons and homework and all the ‘busy-ness’ of our everyday lives. But, like all vacations and breaks, it was time for it be over, and to get back on our schedule. Back to normal.

So maybe this morning’s smile was also a ‘What a great week of reconnecting with my family!’ smile. Well… maybe a little.

But for now? Well, now it’s time for ME to reconnect…with my nice, quiet house. ;-)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hoop it up!

This may not be the right time to say this… but… I am not a big basketball fan.

My apologies to all the hoops fans out there, but I’m just not. I have never played it. I do not like to watch it on T.V. I do not really like to go to basketball games, either. I have been to a few UT basketball games, and enjoyed them marginally (a cute halftime show can make up a lot of ground.) I don’t know the terminology. I don’t understand why many of the basketball players look like scary thugs that I would not want to encounter on a city street.

And there are just so MANY of these games. I find myself asking, “Didn’t those teams already play each other at least FIVE times this season?” I honestly would rather get a bikini wax than watch a basketball game.

In high school, I didn’t much care for getting decked out in my cheerleading uniform and cheering at basketball games either. Wow, nothing quite like cheering in a hot, stinky high school gymnasium. I spent many games looking up at the scoreboard, wondering… “Is it over YET?”

So it’s funny, then, that I should marry an Indiana boy. A boy who grew up in the shadow of all things ‘basketball’. My husband loves college hoops. He loves watching the games, checking the scores, filling out his brackets for the tournament… ah, March Madness.

I try to act interested. He knows it’s an act. I try to be disappointed for Phil when IU or Texas loses. But really the only thing I like about college basketball can be summed up in three little words… “One Shining Moment”.

If you are a hoops fan, or if your spouse is a bona fide basketball junkie, like mine is… you know exactly what that is. And it is my FAVORITE part of the tournament. And it’s honestly not just because it means that the tournament has (finally) come to an end. I’m just a sentimental goofball.

That song makes me cry every damn year. I love to watch the short video montage of the tournament highlights, the victories, the spectacular shots, and the cutting down of the nets, all set to one unbelievably cheesy song. This, I know, is a little strange coming from someone who is not a big basketball fan.

Maybe it’s the late hour of the victory, and the fact that I’m usually tired. Maybe it’s just those young kids having an experience that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. But I love it, for whatever reason, and I wait for it, every year, on the night of the NCAA championship game. Regardless of who wins and who loses, I will watch the video, listen to the song, and get teary-eyed. And for one shining moment, I will be a fan. ;)

Friday, March 20, 2009

What a woozle...

I promised the 'Woozle' story later, so here it is. Well it's not so much a story... it's more of an anecdote. Perhaps a cautionary tale. Because now we have a new word for our language o' Linson.

A few months ago, my 3 were big into calling each other 'loser'. Real nice, huh?

"Last one up the stairs is a loser!"
"Last one finished is a loser!"
"Awww, you lost this game of Candyland. Don't be sad... you're just a loser!"

Of course, it was pronounced... "LOOOOO-ZZERRRR", and was followed by shrieking and a general melee to not be the LOOOOO-ZZERRR.

I was fed up. With the word, the usage, and the tears which resulted from being the unfortunate loser.

So in frustration, I banned the word, 'loser' from our our house. Drastic measures, maybe, for a word that is not typically considered a curse... you know, like the dreaded "S" word (which is... gulp... 'stupid'!)

Admit it, though... you've probably done it, too. There is some word or phrase in your home that sends you over the edge. That particular word that makes you cringe, and makes you think that if you hear it ONE MORE TIME, everyone will be banished to their rooms until it is time for them to head off to college. And for me, it was 'loser'.

No problem, right? Until one day I heard Davis call Libby a loser again.

Me: "Davis, what is the rule?! You know I don't like that word!"

Davis: "I didn't say 'loser'!"

Me: "I heard you..."

Davis (thinking hard... you can tell because his eyes look up to the left.): "Mom, I didn't say 'loser', I called her a... um... a woozle."

Me: "A woozle?"

Davis: "Yeah. That's not a bad word!"

Me: "And a woozle is...?"

Josie (piping in. Funny how she picks this moment for solidarity): "Yeah, a woozle, you can imagine, is something like a weasel."

Um, thank you, Professor Invent-a-Word. So even though the spirit of the thing is the same as saying, 'loser', I felt a little silly telling the kids that they couldn't call each other a woozle.

Can't you just picture it? We'll be at the park,and Libby will stomp over in tears, reporting that her brother called her the 'W' word. All those stay at home mommies will be spinning through their 'naughty word Rolodex' for the 'W' word, wondering what the hell is going on in the Linson house, and what the heck I'm teaching these kids.

Because sometimes, when it comes to controlling what comes out of my kids' mouths, turns out I can be a total woozle.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bluebonnet ballad...

What is it about bluebonnets that compels me, as a mother, to automatically dress my kids in coordinated outfits, load them up in the van, and troop them out into a grassy field to squint up into the sun, at least once a year?

I have grown up living in Texas, seeing those lush, blue hillsides with a sprinkling of red, and I have always loved this time of year when the first bluebonnets start to pop up in the medians and by the sides of the road. In fact, the first house where we lived in Salado had a field behind it that was unbelievably thick with bluebonnets. It stretched back behind the house until it reached a line of trees at the back of the property. I can remember thinking it was beautiful, and I've always been a bit sentimental about our lovely state flower, but it wasn't until I moved away from Texas (and became a mom) that I became a bonafide bluebonnet nut job. A real bluebonnet head case (not to be confused with a Bluebell junkie.)

When I came home for a visit in the spring of 2001 to see my newborn triplet nieces and nephew, Josie was about seven months old. And it just happened to coincide with a really good bluebonnet year. **Sidenote: Now I've never figured out the formula for what makes a better season for bluebonnets. Lots of rain the year before? Drier conditions? A hot summer? Whatever the case may be, it seems like we all just wait around until March, keeping our fingers crossed that 'they'll be pretty this year'.

Anyway, until that spring, never did I think that a field of the blue beauties would bring a tear to my eye. But sure enough, the minute I saw them, I couldn't get my sweet little baby out in those bumblebee infested flowers fast enough.

Up to this point, I had certainly had my picture taken in the bluebonnets when I was a kid, and even as a teen. But as I got older, I'd always be amused when I would see entire families dressed in their Sunday best, perched on the hillside next to a highway overpass, snapping pictures as exhaust fumes from the speeding cars wafted up around them. I just didn't 'get' it.

But now that I'm a mom, I'm officially on the hunt for good bluebonnet patches every year to snap pictures of my kids. Some years are better than others, and I'm not shy about asking people where the best bluebonnets can be found. Some people are a bit coy about their 'top secret' bluebonnet photography studios, though. Go ahead, ask them where they took those pictures and just see if they don't become a little shifty-eyed and try to change the subject. Persist and you might hear, "Oh that? It was, um, just a little back road we were on one day, and we found this pretty patch of flowers. I just happened to have my camera with me." Gee, and THAT'S why all five kids and your dog are wearing matching outfits and bows? Hmmm...what a coincidence.

So, this season, the hunt is on. And while I've still not put my kids on the side of the Interstate for bluebonnet pictures, don't put anything past me. But if you DO see us on the side of the road, do me a favor? Just don't honk. I'm trying to get a picture, here. Jeez...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ask a stupid question...

Thought this was cute... It was on Facebook, and I stole it for my blog ;)

I asked Davis (age 6) these questions about me, and got some funny responses:

1. What is something mommy always says to you? Um... clean my room. (no, I don't tell him to clean MY room!)

2. What makes mommy happy? Whenever I give you a kiss. (true!)

3. What makes mommy sad? Whenever I say, 'I don't like you.' (in truth, this doesn't bother me THAT much, but I'll let him think that...)

4. How does your mommy make you laugh? By tickling me

5. What was your mommy like as a child? Happy

6. How old is your mommy? How old are you? 64? No really, tell me the answer, so I'll be right! (and believe me, that is sooo wrong, on more than one level!)

7. How tall is your mommy? About 20 inches... I mean 30!

8. What is her favorite thing to do? You really like to love me. (Dang, this kid is self-centered! ;)

9. What does your mommy do when you're not around? She makes dinner.

10. If your mommy becomes famous, what will it be for? To be president.

11. What is your mommy really good at? Cooking. I really like your pasta. What's for dinner? (can you tell he was starting to get hungry at this point?!)

12. What is your mommy not very good at? Playing basketball. (he then goes on to cite examples of my basketball 'suckage'... niiiiice...)

13. What does your mommy do for her job? You make money! (Um, no.)

14. What is your mommy's favorite food? Brussel sprouts. You hork those things down. (I swear to the heavens, my child actually SAID that! And no, I don't hork them down... but I do love them!)

15. What makes you proud of your mommy? She's a wonderful mommy (awwwww!)

16. If your mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be? Jerry (from Tom and Jerry)

17. What do you and your mommy do together? We hug each other

18. How are you and your mommy the same? We both have blue eyes. You have blue eyes, don't you? (nope!)

19. How are you and your mommy different? We like different things. Like, I don't like brussel sprouts and YOU like brussel sprouts. (Okay, dude, we GET that I like brussel sprouts!)

20. How do you know your mommy loves you? You always kiss me and hug me.

21. Where is your mommy's favorite place to go? That's easy. Archiver's! (depends on the day, buddy!)

Sooooo, I thought I'd ask Libby the same questions, just knowing I'd get some hilarious responses from her as well. We made it through 3 questions before she ran out of the room, shouting, "I don't want to!" But for the record, here are her three answers.

1. What is something mommy always says to you? I love you, Elizabeth Caroline!

2. What makes mommy happy? That I do stuff you need me to do.

3. What makes mommy sad? Whenever I say, 'You are a woozle'.

And on that note, I'll have to give you the 'woozle' story some other time. ;)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Boyfriend

No, you didn’t misread the title. I have a boyfriend.

He’s been part of my life for the last 9 years. I love him, and even though I love my husband dearly, my boyfriend is the one I want to snuggle with at night.

Phil absolutely hates my boyfriend, and wishes that I would get rid of him for good. Oh yes, Phil knows all about my boyfriend. In fact, he was the one who first introduced us. My guess is that he seriously regrets that day.

My boyfriend doesn’t do much. He lays around a lot, and occasionally I throw him in the washing machine.

That’s right, my friends. My ‘boyfriend’ is a body pillow that I sleep with every night. Phil bought it for me when I was pregnant with Josie, and shortly thereafter, gave it the nickname of ‘your boyfriend’ because I became so attached to it. In my defense…all you girls know how hard it is to get comfortable when you’re pregnant, and that our multitude of pillows becomes our very best friend. Otherwise, how the hell are we supposed to NOT roll onto our backs in the middle of the night? (And if it’s your first pregnancy, God forbid you wake up in the middle of the night, lying on your back. You become convinced that you’ve done irreparable damage to your little snookums by depriving them of oxygen for an indeterminate length of time.)

Anyway, as many husbands will do during the FIRST pregnancy, my husband busted his butt trying to keep me happy during my trimesters: making runs to the Dairy Queen around the corner for M&M Blizzards, painting the nursery (and installing chair rail…wow), giving up drinking any alcohol for 9 months (awww, so sweet!), and buying me a luxuriously comfy, fluffy, body pillow to help me get comfortable at night. Just a friendly FYI for any mommies that only have one child right now… in subsequent pregnancies, you get the leftover half of a milkshake, ‘stick-on’ decals for the nursery walls, and the chance to watch your hubby drink a delicious, ice cold beer with his barbecue.

Fast forward to present day… I still have my pillow. It’s my woobie (don’t mind the reference to the awesome 80’s movie, ‘Mr. Mom’). I have a hard time sleeping without it. I even take it on vacation with me.

It has seen me through 3 pregnancies, been a comfy spot for nursing my babies in the middle of the night, been through hundreds of washes, and is definitely less than luxurious now. Heck, it’s not even fluffy anymore. Phil swears that it takes up more than its fair share of the bed, and that one day my ‘boyfriend’ is just going to mysteriously disappear.

It will be a real shame the day I have to start hiding my boyfriend from my husband. ;)

Monday, March 9, 2009


Two weeks of Project 365 to update... time for me to 'ketchup'!

Week of February 23- March 1

Monday: Davis and his pal, Ben, on the monkey bars at school. I was there taking pictures for the yearbook, and I got some cute shots of the first graders on the playground.

Tuesday: Libby's checkup and cleaning at the dentist... NO cavities, and Dr. Kupec even said that he didn't think the nighttime thumb-sucking was a problem. What?! Okay, doc, whatever you say...

Wednesday: Check out those beds. They're all made. Just had to take a picture for posterity's sake! I could look at that picture all damn day. Seriously.

Thursday: Davis's checkup and cleaning at the dentist (it was a slow 'news week', alright?) He chatted up the hygienist all about his love of giraffes. A six year old's version of flirting.

Friday: Dinner and drinks with my pals, Shanita and Shanda at Trudy's. Good times... ;)

Saturday: The now famous 'Dork face' picture ;)

Sunday: My mom gave a necklace to Libby on Friday (the legendary diamond "L" necklace that my mom once told Libby she would give to her, and Libby asks about EVERY time my mom comes down to spend the day). I purposefully put it as today's picture because Libby has NOT stopped asking to wear it. And she's not hesitant to ask anyone that will listen, "Did you see my 'L' necklace?"

Week of March 2-8

Monday: After school snack... Ants on a log. The kids love making their own snacks (and a gi-normous mess to go with it!) But if you can zoom in... Libby just has celery and 'ants'. No peanut butter for her, of course.

Tuesday: Libby and her pal, Grant, swinging in the backyard. Grant is a little more daring...

Wednesday: Sometimes when it gets too quiet upstairs, I get a little nervous. On this particular day, the kids were just playing quietly in their own rooms. Really?!! Yep. Had to capture the moment... ;)

Thursday: I had another picture all planned out for today. It was Western day at preschool, so I'd taken a picture of Libby in her boots and hat, and was going to use it as my 'Thursday' pic. That is, until she got a comb tangled in her hair. (I am seriously the WORST mother EVER!)

Friday: Another Friday night, another mania at the scrapbook store. Love being the hostess, don't love being there until midnight. But just thought I'd take a 'self-portrait' at my home away from home ;)

Saturday: Josie's twirling team... they performed at the community center festival, and did a great job! She was super proud of herself :), and I think it will give the girls some confidence for their competition in two weeks. (it definitely made me breathe a little easier, since I hadn't really seen them perform it before, without being led by their coach)

Sunday: Spring fever means flip flop fever around here. And no self respecting lady wears open toed shoes without a pedicure... so I painted the girls' toes. We even topped off their cutie toes with little stickers. Ready for spring! (oh, AND I just checked the weather, and a cold front's headed our way this week.... oh well!)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

As a consequence...

Being a mom forces you to be creative.

Some moms are creative in a lot of different aspects… they can be creative on a budget, making gifts and goodies for teachers, family and friends. Other moms are creative with their menus, trying out new recipes on their families.

Me, on the other hand… I try to be creative with my consequences for the kids. You may remember my strawberry solution from a few weeks ago? http://planetlinson.blogspot.com/2009/02/pilfering-produce.html

But trust me, I’m not always clever (or evil) in my punishments… the consequences in our house have run the gamut:
Time-Out? Check.
‘Naughty stool’? Done it.
Spankings? Been there, swatted that.
Losing privileges? Yep.
In the course of disciplining three kids, we’ve tried a variety of different tactics, with varying degrees of success.

My darling husband is a huge proponent of the ‘Lost Toy’ disciplining philosophy… which basically means, if you can’t follow the rules, you will lose a particular toy for a few days. Usually the favored toy of the moment. And the toy will be swooped up, deposited on the top shelf of our closet… where it will collect dust for an indeterminate period. Because honestly, with my kids, usually once something is gone, the whole ‘outta sight… outta mind’ mindset takes over. They completely forget about the toy they’ve lost.

If your kids are anything like mine, they have WAAAAAY too many toys. (and please don’t give me that crap about how YOU don’t over-indulge YOUR kids… yours might have fewer toys than your neighbor’s kid, but compared to kids in other parts of the world, kids in our country are unbelievably over-indulged. Okay… climbing down off my soapbox now ;) Anyway, once one toy is gone, my kids will just play with something else, and forget that they ever lost the original toy in the first place.

So what’s a parent to do? Well, this morning, our disciplining techniques were put to the test…

This morning, we found an empty box of Girl Scout Cookies in the pantry. Who ate the cookies? All signs pointed to our sweet angel child, Libby. Well, all signs, AND an older sister and brother pointed to Libby. We asked her about the cookies, and oh so innocently, and looking at us ever so angelically, she said, “No, Mommy, it wasn’t me!” (insert batting eyelashes here)

We persisted in the interrogation… and she still denied having eaten the last few cookies in the box (no, it wasn’t a whole box… she would have been bouncing off the walls… clear proof) The cookies, themselves, were not a big deal… in fact, it was more like, ‘Who finished the cookies and then didn’t throw away the empty box?’

We didn’t care that she’d eaten the cookies, we cared that she fibbed about it. And persisted in fibbing, until Phil threatened to take away her Leapster video game. At that point, she caved, and admitted that she’d eaten the cookies. That’s how they always get them in those true crime shows, too… Leapster video games.

Phil told her to go upstairs and get her Leapster. (Insert sobbing and fit throwing here…) She finally calmed down when I told her that I wasn’t taking her Leapster away from her. Trust me, I know what you’re thinking right now… ‘WHAAAAT?!!’ Imagine my husband’s face when I said that, too. ;)

Nope, I didn’t take her Leapster video game away for eating the cookies. I didn’t take her Leapster away for fibbing about it. I didn’t take her Leapster away at all.

I DID, however, meet her downstairs with a screwdriver to remove the batteries from the Leapster. She got to keep her game… heck, she can even sleep with it in bed with her every night if she wants to! She will NOT be playing it, though. And maybe seeing it on a daily basis will be a visual reminder that she needs to tell us the truth when we ask her something. (well, hopefully)

In the meantime, I’ve got a zip-loc bag of batteries gathering dust on my shelf. ;)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My boy...

I am the mother of a boy.

I have become well-versed in all things Lego. I have stepped on action figures, Hot Wheels, military vehicles, and building blocks in the middle of the night. And I have sworn out loud. Loudly.

Being the mother of a girl who is born first, in no way prepares one to have a boy. Seriously.

My girl does not argue about doing her homework. My boy, on the other hand, will try to bargain with me regarding his homework. “Instead of writing my spelling words THREE times, how about I write them one time, but VERY neatly?” I usually agree to this compromise… it’s easier than arguing and he gets a 100 on his test every week, anyway. Plus, getting the rare chance to look at his neat handwriting is a huge bonus.

My girl doesn’t get in trouble at school. Last week my son brought his folder home with the following note: ‘Davis was playing with his pencil today in class, and pretending to use it as a weapon.’ And in parentheses: ‘(Star Wars, I think)’.

My girl doesn’t pee outside. Yes, you read that correctly. Just last week, when the kids were walking home from school, another mother that is a friend of mine alerted me to the fact that not only had Davis peed on the way home from school, but he was announcing proudly to anyone that would listen: “I peed in public!” Ugh. Trust me, we had a LOOONG conversation after that one. (and no, Andy, you DON’T owe the kid anything because he got ratted out! Haha ;)

My boy throws rocks. Not AT anyone (well, not usually), but just for the sheer joy of throwing rocks. Unless it’s a really cool rock. Then it makes its way to his pocket, into the laundry hamper, and inevitably into my washing machine. We have the cleanest rocks ever.

He searches for sticks that he can use as a gun or a light saber or a sword. I have to laugh when I think back to how I didn’t want him to have toys that were pretend weapons. Oh, how naïve I was. When you become the mother of a boy, you realize that EVERYTHING becomes a ‘weapon’. An innocent looking plastic shovel? Well, it’s a ‘gun’. An empty paper towel tube? A sword, of course. And evidently a pencil will serve nicely as a light saber, in a pinch.

He builds ‘constraptions’ (which I guess are a mix of ‘construction’ and ‘contraptions’). Want to catch a groundhog? Davis will build you a trap. (In all fairness, it WAS groundhog day, that stupid Punxatawney Phil had been on television all day… and the trap was sweeeet, I must say.)

He fights with his sisters, and makes messes, and doesn’t wash his hands until I finally just have to yell.

Being the mother of a boy can be exhausting and even gross, at times… “Hey Mom, pull my finger!” It is also hilarious, and challenging, and frustrating, and comical.

And pretty darn awesome. :)

Monday, March 2, 2009


Having lunch with all three kids. No easy or quiet proposition. But on occasion, pretty hilarious.

On the kids’ restaurant ‘to-do’ list: color the parrot on the coloring/ activity sheet. Eat some tortilla chips and salsa. Get halfway through the wordsearch on the activity page before you spill your milk on it. Cry over spilled milk. Listen to your parents sigh. Eat more tortilla chips. Look over the back of the booth to see what the kids behind you are eating. Ask your parents if YOU can have ice cream, too! Listen to your parents say ‘no’. Settle for tortilla chips.

And at this point, we’ve only just sat down (seriously), and the waiter that took our order has officially gone on break, mid ‘tea pour’… we’ve got some time to kill.

The five of us are sitting there chatting, talking about school, scouts, etc., eating the bits of tortilla chips that are at the bottom of the chip basket (where IS that waiter, anyway?!), and Philip takes the opportunity to make a really silly face in response to something one of the kids said (and if you need hard evidence that my husband can make some seriously silly faces, refer to Project 365 blog:http://planetlinson.blogspot.com/2009/02/more-project-365-losing-track-of-week.html).

At this point, Josie asks him, in all seriousness, like she is conducting an interview or perhaps doing research for her 2nd grade thesis… “Hey, Daddy? Where’d you LEARN that dork-face?”

I just about shot tea out of my nose at that one. Where did you learn that dork-face?!! Um, hello?!! He learned it at Dork-Face College.

So, you know me… I couldn’t resist a photo op of the kids goofing around for the camera in typical ‘Dork-Face’ style. Hence the proliferation of ‘Dork-Face’ pictures currently on my camera from lunch that afternoon, and now the one that is gracing my blog (aren’t you so glad I learned how to add pictures to my blog?!) And just like that, we have a new term that will forever be part of our family’s language legacy. ;)

So if I call you a 'Dork-Face', it's out of love.