Saturday, February 27, 2010

A conversation with our new football junkie...

As he sorts through his football trading cards….

Davis: Know who my favorite player is?

Me: Who?

Davis: Terrell Owens. Because he has the most receiving touchdowns in the league.

Phil: Terrell Owens is a jerk.

Davis: Why?!

Me (with a look of admonishment to my husband): Well, ‘jerk’ is kind of harsh. He *is* a good football player, but sometimes he makes poor choices.

Davis (with renewed enthusiasm): Now he really IS my favorite player!

Phil: What?? Why?

Davis: Because we both like football and… well... I know all about making bad choices.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Football fever...

My boy has football on the brain.

I guess we should have seen it coming. We *do* live in Texas, and it’s not exactly like we are adverse to football around here. In fact, in the Linson household, we love college football, and I do mean LOVE (all in caps, of course).

Well to be perfectly honest, we love Texas Longhorn football. And we watch other teams play, with a running discourse on the effect that their outcomes will have on our beloved Horns. I mean, I’m just sayin’.

Davis has really started taking an interest in football in the last year, and you can find him sitting next to his daddy on the couch on any given Saturday in the fall. He asks endless questions about yardage and downs and penalties. He collects football cards, and pores over the players’ stats. He asks random strangers who their favorite teams are. He is a little football sponge.

Which I think is perfectly precious, until… until he starts asking us to sign him up to play football.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve met my son, or seen him lately. But while I (and his pediatrician) fully expect him at some point to be as tall as his dad, he hasn’t hit that growth spurt quite yet. So yeah, he’s about in the 15th percentile.

My boy is skiiiiiinny. I mean, we DO feed him. And he eats. Boy, can that kid eat. (Just ask anyone that has had him over for an afternoon playdate or a sleepover, and then had to make a run to H.E.B.)

But he still has the metabolism of a spider monkey on crack.

So I’m not exactly in my comfort zone, thinking about my precious baby boy, out on a football field. I would be a basket case, watching him (even decked out in helmet and pads) playing against kids that are twice his size. The first time I saw someone take him out, I’d have to go all ‘Momma Bear’ on their little ass.

Right now, football is not in the cards. Just the thought of my little guy taking shots out on the field is more than I can fathom. Just to get through one game, I’d have to take a few shots of my own.

From a bottle of tequila.

And they kind of frown on that at school sponsored events.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow day? Snow day!!

No kidding. EVERY time I've looked outside today, I've seen this...

It has been snowing all day around here. Yes, here. In Austin, Texas. Shocking, I know.

Usually it will 'snow' for about half an hour, and then it's done, and everything melts within the hour. We are more infamous for ice, sleet or hail storms... but this? This was unexpected.

And I have to admit... today I was one of *those* moms. The ones that pick their kids up two and a half hours early from school (where I'm almost certain they were missing valuable instruction that they simply will NOT be able to make up ;) so that they could play in the snow. Today Mommy got to be the hero.

When I picked them up, they were curious. They were incredulous. And then? Well, then they were ecstatic.

They made miniature snowmen, full of twigs and sticks. (That's what we call a 'Texas snowman', friends.)

They tried to catch snowflakes on their tongues...

Aaaaand... they kamikazed their snowmen off of the swingset. Well, at least Davis did.

It was a fun day, full of snow, mud, hot chocolate, wet mittens, snowflake kisses, Mommy taking pictures and video, wet shoes and jeans, extra loads of laundry, snowball fights, and hot showers for everyone afterwards.

They made their mark today...

...but I think that today made it's own impression in their memories.
Happy Snow Day, everyone! :)

Monday, February 22, 2010


So, I'm back.

What? You mean you didn't know I'd been missing?!!

Well, I went to the Mile High City, and I had a great time. I'll have to tell you all about it, but for now, I'll just mention that this weekend, it was the land of ice and perpetually falling snow. And it was COLD.

I remember why I love Texas winters.

Phil told me it was 74 degrees and beautiful here in Austin while I was gone. He said he even took the kids fishing.

I think he might be lying because when I got home last night, it was cold. And snow is in the forecast.

I remember why I hate Texas winters.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

That's one BIG puddle.

This evening, Libby read a book to me before she went to bed.

She doesn't necessarily know all the words, but she is able to sound out most of them.

For those that she's unable to sound out, she'll look at the picture, and try to figure it out, using context clues. (which happens to be a very good strategy for reading) For example, she didn't know that M-O-U-S-E spelled 'mouse'.

Me: What's the first sound?

Libby: "Mmm.."

Me: Good... what could that say?

Libby: Mouse! Mouse jumps in a puddle.

I'm not sure if you can tell, but this is a book about 'Mouse'. Mouse has a bad habit of jumping in puddles, and getting his clothes all wet. I think Mouse has met Davis. Anyway... it's incredibly repetitive (which is perfect for early readers, albeit insanely... um... repetitive for the listener). Don't worry, I have not included a picture of EVERY page. I skipped Mouse getting his knickers wet. ;)

Libby: Mouse got (gets) his uh... pants... wet.
(The 'p' sound plus the picture... it's all clicking with her. She's getting excited... she's reading!)

Libby: Mouse jumps in a... buh... is that an 'L'?

Me: No, it's an i. (making the short 'i' sound for her)

Libby: BIG! Mouse jumps in a big puddle!

Me: Yes!

And sometimes? Well, sometimes you have to just *try* to sound it out, even if you know what is going on in the picture. If not, it can really change the outcome of a story.

Libby: Mouse drowns.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What is the most beautiful sound in the world?

Lately the most beautiful sound in the world to me has been this:

"Huh…aw...puh.. Hop! Hop!
Hop on my log.
Who hops on my log?

Tuh…tuh… tap! Tap!
Tap on my log.
Who taps on my log?"

That, my friends, is the sound of my preschooler sounding out words… and READING!! I wasn’t sure when it would actually happen. Remember… she *is* kid #3. And she hasn’t exactly had the benefit of a lot of uninterrupted one-on-one time to do flashcards, practice her letters, and be drilled on sight words.

Josie was definitely our ‘early reader’, and progressed very quickly from sounding out words to being able to read entire books. I can still remember picking her up from her preschool class when she was just barely four. She would be perched on the teacher’s stool at the front of the room, balancing a book on her knees, reading to the class, while her teacher packed up everyone’s backpack at the end of the day. She always reported that as the ‘best part’ of her day.

But I guess the things that Libby has missed out on, she has made up for with a big brother and big sister that are able and *usually* willing to read to her. Now she’s returning the favor. And they are being sweet enough to sit and listen to her. In fact, I think they think it’s pretty amazing, too.

Hopefully their good reading habits will rub off on her. I already notice that she has the same knack for reading with expression that Josie has. Never has a kid read, “Who has the hat? The hen has the hat!” with such fervor.

One more big milestone for our family… one more sign that we no longer have babies around here (…and we won’t. I don’t think I could get *that* nostalgic!)

Me: Libby, I can’t believe you just read that to me! You’re getting so big. You’ll go to kindergarten next year, you’re learning to read, you already know how to swim… once you learn how to ride your bike without training wheels, I guess you’ll just be grown-up.

Libby: Well, I still need to learn to button my pants.

Good to know I’m still needed for a few things. ;)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Up in the air...

For the last two days, I have been scouring the weather reports and the allergy forecasts to try to figure out what the *$%#* is in the air.

Mold? Low…
Cedar? Low…

Annoying mystery allergen that is causing me to sneeze so hard that I practically tinkle in my panties every dang time? Extremely high…

My nose is red and raw, my bedroom floor is littered with Kleenex, and I am sleeping terribly because I can’t breathe. When I mentioned this to Phil…

…”Well, you *must* have been sleeping last night because you were snoring.”

Me (rather defensively, I guess): I COULDN’T BREATHE!

The daytime Sudafed makes me jittery, but Benadryl makes me a drooling, incoherent mess, unable to drive a car, make a bed, or make dinner.
Actually that doesn’t sound too bad. I will expect someone to slip me a Mickey… er… a ‘Benny’ tonight.

I *swear* that I never had allergies as a kid, growing up in our great state. It wasn't until I became an adult, moved away and then CAME BACK... that the allergies were here to welcome me with open arms.

Cedar: Welcome home. (and for some reason, Cedar has a french accent. I've never quite figured out why.) We've never had the chance to be properly introduced, but from now on... you will be mine.

Me (in a cocky, condescending tone I would later regret): Oh, I've never had allergies, and I grew up in Central Texas. Cedar, I think you must have the wrong person.

(**This was an actual conversation. And for the record, Mountain Cedar sounds like Jake Gyllenhaal from 'Brokeback Mountain'. And Mold? Well, she's Cruella DeVille. Either that, or I've taken too much Sudafed again.)

My only consolation? Even if I can't figure out what is in the air... on Thursday, *I* will be in the air. I am leaving for Colorado. On a plane. Leaving these allergies on Texas turf.

Hasta la vista, you nasty little spores. We'll meet again at ABIA (um... Austin Bergstom International Airport, people!) on Sunday for our not so happy reunion.

Just me... Frenchie, Jake, and Cruella.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Oh no, he didn't...

I had this conversation with my husband last night…

Him: Honey, you have *got* to stop expanding.

Me: Um… excuuuuuse me?

Him: Every time I look, you've taken up more space.

Me (with a murderous glare): You had *better* be talking about my scrapping area.

Fortunately for his own health, he was…

I guess I won't show him my long-term plans to overtake the other 3 walls.

(Thanks, Mom, for my embellishment center... I love it :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Viciously delicious

That pretty much sums it up.

I made homemade Oreo truffles for the kids’ teachers for Valentine’s day, and they are killers. The truffles… not the teachers. Even though, I’m sure at some point they’ve probably been tempted.

Start with Oreos… (this picture was after I had taken all the cookies out of the package and then thrown the package into the trash. It was *then* that I decided I should dig it back out in order to take a picture of it. You know, to document the process. Because I thought maybe you didn’t know what Oreo packaging looked like.)

Crush them into smithereens. This is best achieved by putting the cookies in a gallon zip-loc bag, and banging them with a rolling pin, in time to John Mellencamp’s ‘Crumbling Down’. (Um… ‘crumbling’? Say what you will about my opinion meaning nothin’, but I think it’s the obvious choice.;)

Then add a package of softened cream cheese. Choose your own musical accompaniment for this step.

Smmmmoooosh all that together. Sneak a bite to make sure that… um… to make sure… that… hey! Look over there!

After that, roll them into little balls about the size of… well, truffles. Do I have to explain EVERYTHING to you?!

Chill them on wax paper in the refrigerator for about ½ hour, and then dip in melted semi-sweet chocolate. You are actually supposed to save and crush up about 9 cookies to have as sprinkles on top of the finished truffles, but when kids and/ or husbands hear that packaging being ripped open, there is no such thing as 9 extra cookies. As a result, my truffles are cookie crumb-less.

Put those little nuggets of awesome back in the fridge for about an hour to get them good and chilled. And then…put them in adorable little candy boxes to give as gifts…

…or just snarf ‘em down like a deranged Cookie Monster.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mad about Mad Libs...

What’s not to love about Mad Libs? They’re absolutely delightful. Hysterically funny, at times, even. PLUS… they help kids learn the parts of speech. Bonus awesomeness, right there, my friends.

If you don’t know what a Mad Lib is, I’m sorry that you had a deprived childhood. They are the bomb. They sell them in little booklets, and you & a partner have to fill in the blanks in the story with the part of speech that is specified. Sometimes, it will ask you for something more specific than just ‘noun’ or ‘verb’ like… ‘name of a person in the room’ or ‘animal’ or ‘a large number’.

Anyway, your partner gives you the word, you write it in the blank (in pencil, if you don’t want to waste your whole book. Jeez… I thought EVERYONE knew that ;) and then you read aloud to the assembled group. And hilarity ensues.

Trust me.

Josie and Davis love them, even though they use the words ‘poop’ and ‘pee’ a little too often for my taste. Sometimes, they’ll tear them out of the book, and hang them on the refrigerator for the amusement of the general populace. Or whoever happens to be passing through the kitchen. Which means… usually me.

This is the one that is currently on the fridge, entitled, ‘Abracadabra’… (italic words are the ones *they* selected):

"I’ve always wanted to be a magician like The Great Avocado. So I decided to put on a magic show for everyone in Austin. The audience gasped as I pulled a guinea pig out of a hat, made a gigantic Josie disappear into short air, pulled 1,000 feet of worm out of my shoes, and sawed my pet Chihuahua in half. My magic act was so disgusting that I got a swimming ovation after I ran from a locked Six Flags with my feet tied behind my back. Finally it was time for the soft finale—I was going to turn someone into a duck. I brought Aimee up onstage and waved my wand."

And this is where it got dicey. And *I* got a little worried.

The story asked for an ‘exclamation’ to fill in the blank for the magic word. And my children had selected a very interesting word.

Nope… not ‘WOWZA!’ or ‘SHUT UP!’… or even ‘POOPY PANTS!’ (that’s a favorite.)

No… the word they had chosen was… ‘Takila!’. Yeah, it’s spelled phonetically, and no, your ears are not deceiving you.

The best exclamation that my kids could come up with was, ‘TEQUILA?!!’

Oh… (exclamation). That is not an (adjective) sign for when (name of someone in the room) goes to (a name of a university).

I’ll leave you to fill in the blanks. In pencil. ;)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Put on your bandit hat.

This weekend, we went to see the movie, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Haven’t seen it? Well, you should. It’s a stop-motion animated movie based on the children’s book by Roald Dahl, and I’m not sure how ‘loosely based’ because I’ve actually never read this particular book. But the movie has the wry, sometimes dark humor that is classic Roald Dahl.

While it is definitely not your typical ‘cutesy’ animated movie, I was laughing out loud at Mr. and Mrs. Fox (voiced by George Clooney and Meryl Streep), and some of their ‘quotable quotes’.

My favorites? From Mr. Fox… “I don’t like living underground. It makes me feel poor.” And from Mrs. Fox… “Excuse me? Am I being flirted with by a psychotic rat?” (Because face it ladies, haven’t we all been there at some point in our lives?!)

Unexpected dialogue from very earnest characters who just happen to be foxes, badgers, moles, ferrets, and assorted other… um… vermin, and situations you wouldn’t necessarily expect in a kid’s movie. It was ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ for the preschool set.

And I liked it. Mostly because I absolutely love animated movies. I think it was the reason I had children. (okay… maybe *one* of the reasons.)

But I have to admit…when I watch an animated movie, I can’t just sit and enjoy the movie until I ferret out (no pun intended) which actors are lending their voices to the script.

So I’ve discovered that I do this really endearing thing throughout the course of the movie…

Me (whispering): Whose voice is that?

My long-suffering husband: What?

Me: The mole… whose voice is that?!

My long-suffering husband: I don’t know.

Me: Is it John Goodman?

My LSH: I don’t know.

Me: It sounds a little bit like him. Or am I thinking about John Candy?

My LSH: I don’t know.

Me: Which John is which? Is it John Candy or John Goodman?

My LSH: (*sigh) John Candy is dead.

Me: Oh… well, I think it *must* be John Goodman, then.

My LSH: (Silence.)


Me: What about the rabbit? Whose voice is that? Is that Sandra Bullock?

Charming, I know.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I *am* still here...

... just the teensiest bit unmotivated for some reason.

I blame the cold.

And the rain.

And the DVR. Damn you, DVR. ;)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

And the thunder rolls...

An inauspicious beginning to my day…

Cue the thunder.

And the rain.

And the cold.

Dropping the kids off at school is always a comedy of errors, especially if I attempt to get into the car-rider lane, which pulls up right next to the doors of the school. As opposed, of course, to just dropping them off on the closest street corner to the school that just *happens* to be on my way to refill my Diet Coke cup at Jack in the Box. Like you’ve never done that. Whatevs.

But that doesn’t even come close to dropping the kids off at school in this kind of ‘crap-tastic’ weather. (Why, yes, that *is* my new favorite word, and it is applicable in all sorts of situations… ‘This casserole tastes craptastic.’ ‘The shirt she was wearing was totally craptastic.’ ‘*$%#!... she heard that comment I made about her shirt. That’s just… well, you know.’)

Anyway, I pulled up to the school, the victorious leader of a long line of cars, all waiting to drop off their precious cargo… and I bid farewell to my beautiful children until the afternoon. They must have felt the love as I shouted at them to “Quick!! Get out! Come on… there’s a ton of cars behind me!”

I looked around frantically, hoping that no one that I know saw me with my wonky hair, and my grubby exercise gear that I hadn’t bothered changing out of. I looked back in my rearview mirror at the line of cars, all of which were sitting in the torrential rainstorm, waiting for those dang Linsons to get their act together and GET OUT OF THE VAN!!

Nothin’ doin’.

Evidently, someone had been messing with the child-lock feature on my sliding door.

Which means that it will not open from the inside. Which is a damn skippy invention if you happen to have little ones that mess around with the door handle while you are driving. It does NOT happen to be a good invention at 7:45 in the a.m. (damn… was that the tardy bell?!) in the pouring rain.

Just to double check it, I threw the van in park, unbuckled my seat belt and leaned way over into the back to try to open the door, myself. Since you know... I’m not a child and the lock should just instinctively KNOW that, and open for me. Mmmhmmm. So, yeah.

“Okay, quick! You’ll just have to get out on my side and walk around. Come on, you won’t get that wet. I love you! Have a great day!”

And that’s when I sit back in the driver’s seat and realize that the male crossing guard who was helping out by directing traffic, has been standing next to my driver’s side window the entire time.

And…that my spandex-clad butt has been up in the air, practically plastered against my window as I’ve been on my knees in the front seat, leaning over and frantically trying to open the door in the back.

I can only hope he was already half-blinded by the pouring rain. Because if not, he probably is now. ;)