Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summertime... Day #1

Things I have heard myself say so far today:

1. No, it does not have his germs in it. See how it fizzes? It’s Sprite, and that fizziness means its getting rid of the germs.

2. Why don’t we all read a nice book? No?

3. We’ll go to the pool tomorrow.

4. I’d sooner take a hammer to it than listen to you nag about the Wii all summer long!

5. We’ll go to the pool in the morning.

6. No, not this morning… tomorrow.


8. Time to turn off the T.V.

9. Tell Nema and G-Dad thank you for lunch. And for the ice cream.

10. Well, no wonder you feel sick to your stomach… you ate a ton of lunch, and then topped it off with a dipped cone at Dairy Queen. (Um, yeah… thanks, Nema & G-Dad! ;)

11. We’ll swim TOMORROW.

12. Yes, tomorrow morning.

13. Seriously, do NOT ask about the Wii again.

14. How soon until school starts?!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Wait is Over!

This year’s ‘last day of school cake’ was made under special circumstances. ‘Special Circumstances' happens to be code for ‘my oven is broken all to hell and I’ve been waiting for almost 3 weeks for the warranty company to decide if they will be

1. replacing the unit.

2. replacing the thermostat … or

3. agreeing with me that it’s too frickin’ hot to cook anyway, so we’ll just re-visit the issue come November.

It’s just easier to say ‘special circumstances’.

Oh, and I’ll just say, you don’t realize how often you use your oven until you DO NOT HAVE AN OVEN. And then? Well then, it’s every damn day. Microwaved frozen pizza is just not cutting it.

So, with that in mind, I needed to make a cake that didn’t actually require any baking. I considered going and buying a sheet cake and decorating it myself. I considered borrowing a friend’s oven.

I considered just skipping the entire thing this ‘last day of school’. Imagine how well that idea went over around here.

Ice cream sandwich cake to the rescue!

Have you ever made one of these? Super simple, super yummy, and super high-calorie (hey… I sweated enough at the park today to earn it ;)

Step 1: Layer 4 ice cream sandwiches on a sheet of aluminum foil. And use BlueBell ice cream sandwiches. Trying to get by with anything else is positively ‘un-Texan’… seriously.

Step 2: Top with a layer of Cool Whip mixed with hot fudge and crushed Oreos. (And don’t ask me how many Weight Watcher’s points value that is.)

Step 3: Layer another 4 sandwiches, top with another layer of the Cool Whip mixture. Top with 4 more sandwiches….

Step 4: Frost the entire thing with plain Cool Whip (or in our case, Cool Whip tinted blue... and in our case, missing some Cool Whip in spots. Whatevs.)

Step 5: Cover with foil and freeze for at least 4 hours. Cut into slices and serve.

Since I was unable to have it out of the freezer very long to get all cutesy and adorable with my mad skillz, I had to get creative with cardstock and toothpicks.

It’s not my finest effort, but what can I say? In the end, it was made with love for a tradition, with relief that the year is over, and under duress of a non-working appliance.

And the kids?? Well, the kids loved it, thought it was cool, and can’t wait to chow down on it… and those are some pretty ‘special circumstances’ too.

Happy Last Day of School, everyone!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just in case you weren't sure what to stock up on for summer...

From guest blogger, Josie
Reprinted from her article published in the 4th grade school newspaper...

"Say Hello to the new trend of the month:


by Josie (a.k.a, Josie BIEBER)

New symbols on T-shirts include Justin Bieber, flowers, peace signs, and PUPPIES!!!! Black is the new pink. Arepostale is a fave t-shirt company 2 look 4.

Show some spirit with team roster tees (ex. Longhorns, Cornhuskers, Buffaloes, and Aggies)! Girls can wear them too, but let's add some glam with a sequined headband and some beaded bracelets. POOF!!! YOu're the star of the show!! Very eye-catching!

If you have BIEBER FEVER, t-shirts supoorting him rock. Bieber necklaces are sooo C-U-T-E to wear 2 the mall, girlz-nite out, and SCHOOL!!! Alright, enough about him, back 2 business.

Dangle earrings r awesome!! Mood rings can make u look cute too. 4 example, I wear mine on my thumb.

The fashion isn't about matching anymore. Show your style and don't ever b afraid 2 express yourself!!"

---Did everyone get that? Here's a recap...Black is the new pink, get yourself a Justin Bieber t-shirt or necklace, and if you have a mood ring, you too can be C-U-T-E!!

Like, duh! ;)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I will never run a marathon.

I have never run a marathon.

I don't intend to, either.

But these last few months has felt a little like a really, reeealllyy long race. It started off really well, and then I was just plugging along, trying to do all the right things, and here lately, I've been struggling a little bit, tired of the race, and ready to just get to the finish line, already.

This is how I imagine it must be for a marathoner. Unless, of course, *I* happened to be the one running the marathon, and then it would involve a lot of throwing up, crying, and swearing that my shoes are tied too tightly, and the sun is in my eyes, and that I have to stop and go potty, and THAT'S the reason I'm throwing up and crying... after, um, only a mile and a half. ;)

I know I could never run 26.2 miles, but today I relished in the journey that I HAVE been on. And when I went to my Weight Watcher's meeting today, and stepped on the scale, I saw that my grand total of weight I've lost is 26.2 pounds. Coincidence? Irony? I don't know, but I felt like it was a victory in a different way.

So, 26.2 pounds. And I know, compared to some people that is not a whole lot. For me, it's huge. Sometimes its been hard, and sometimes its been boring, and sometimes? Well, sometimes, its just a giant pain in the @$$.

But it's proving to be worth it. Because not only do I not instantly despise every picture that someone takes of me, but I feel better. And I'm healthier. And as the child of a father that died at 41 years of age due to a massive heart attack... getting healthy should be my number one priority.

And not just looking good in my jeans. But I won't say that it's not a huge bonus.

I want to be around for a long time for my kids and my husband, and get to experience, as a parent, all the things that my Dad had to miss.

Because life *is* a marathon... not a sprint. And I can do it, even when the sun is shining in my eyes, and my shoes are too tight, and I just want to stop and cry.

I will never run a marathon.

But today I felt like I'd come pretty close. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Do you want fries with that?

Yesterday my boy brought me a special surprise. Something he had made in art class, and I have to say I was pretty impressed.

A take-out box, complete with hand rolled paper chopsticks, and lettered on the sides (with Japanese characters? Chinese? My apologies right now for being such a philistine that I don’t know the difference.)

And when you open the box…


Made from strips of construction paper, and tied with string.

Isn’t that just the coolest? I wonder what gave him the idea? I wonder why, of all things, he selected that particular food to hand-craft?

I wonder….

...if his art teacher has figured out that we don’t actually eat much sushi around here? ;)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

As the worm turns...

This morning I went to wake up my children for school, and in my best effort to not appear to growl at them in my just-awoken state, I sing-songed, “Get out of beeeeed!!!”

And just like that, I was screwed for the rest of the day.

Not because they grumbled and growled (they come by it honestly) about not wanting to get up. That’s an everyday occurrence. And not because being in their bedrooms enlightens me as to how much they need to pick up the Legos, American Girl doll clothes, and Barbies (another everyday occurrence.)

I’m screwed because now I have the theme song for "PeeWee’s Playhouse" stuck in my head.

The second I sang out, “Get out of beeeeed,” the song jumped, unbidden, unwanted, into my brain, and I’ve been unable to shake it loose since.

And I’m not in the habit of watching "PeeWee’s Playhouse" (anymore), so while I can’t seem to stop replaying the song in my head, it’s just bits and pieces on a loop, with lots of muffled la-las for the words I have no hope of remembering.

“Get out of beeeed…there’ll be no more nappin’! (Wake u-up!)
It’s a la la la la la where anything can happen!
It’s a la la la la la
It’s gonna be that kind of morning.
For getting wacky…
For blah blah blah blah
Getting cuckooooooo


So, I’ve been struck with the dreaded ‘earworm’.

It has always surprised me that this phenomenon has a name, and a downright creepy one, at that.

From the Discovery Health Website…

“Why do songs get inextricably stuck in our heads? Experts say the culprits are earworms (or "ohrwurms," as they're called in Germany). No, they're not parasites that crawl into your ear and lay musical eggs in your brain, but they are parasitic in the sense that they get lodged in your head and cause a sort of "cognitive itch" or "brain itch" -- a need for the brain to fill in the gaps in a song's rhythm.”

And the article goes on to mention that unfortunately, there's no tried and true way to get songs out of your head once they're stuck in there. They can stick in your brain for anywhere from a few minutes to several days. But here were some suggestions that they offered up if you (or I!) were on the verge of insanity:

1. Sing another song, or play another melody on an instrument. (Guess I could use my fourth-grader’s spit-filled recorder.)

2. Switch to an activity that keeps you busy, such as working out, or doing housework. (‘Discovery Health sponsored by Clorox’...No thanks!)

3. Listen to the song all the way through.

(I did finally do this… went to YouTube and watched the show’s opening credits. And I saw all my old friends… Chairy, Pterry, Jambi, and Clocky!

Um… not that I used to WATCH it, or anything.
Uh, I mean it was always on in the background on, uh, Saturday mornings. I didn’t WATCH it…I was a teenager, after all, with, uh, WAY more important things to do than watch a Saturday morning cartoon. Geez. ;)

4. Turn on the radio or a CD to get your brain tuned in to another song.

5. Picture the earworm as a real creature crawling out of your head, and imagine stomping on it. (Um… ick?)

6. Share the song with a friend. (Soooo… you’re welcome.)

Discovery Health was kind enough to reassure me that nothing is inherently wrong with me. It is perfectly natural to have a catchy jingle stuck in your head.

And the fact that it’s been over twenty years since that show has even been on television, and probably equally as long since I’ve heard the theme song??

Just a b*tch of a brain itch, I guess.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday's Woes

Okay, not really ‘woes’… whines?

Let’s be honest, I guess I’m whining. Because this is something that I’m hating right now.


More specifically, technology that is geared toward children. And the fact that sometimes it seems that I am the only mother on the planet that cringes and finds it reprehensible for a child to sit through dinner at a restaurant, with nary a glance at anyone else at the table,as they are far too busy playing with all of the games on their iPod Touch. I guess they come by it honestly, though, because their parents are usually doing the very same thing with their iPhones.

Call me old-fashioned… call me cheap… call me whatever you will, but I am sick and tired of kids being little adults with all their gadgets and gizmos, and cell phones and texting. We are raising a world of people who don’t know how to interact with other people without a screen between them and can’t relate to the proper way to carry on a conversation.

These kids are growing up way too fast anyway, and I get all 'in my day...' every time I see kids at the park, texting with their friends (who happen to be standing right next to them), or every time one of my children has come home from a playdate saying that “So-and-so just wanted to play Xbox, and only wanted to play games that were rated ‘M’, so I came home.” Darn little ‘So-and-So’ and his permissive parents. ;)

I’m not saying we need to un-plug completely, people (trust me, I love my computer, too, and I’m pushing for a new Smartphone… I NEED one!) But can we maybe just un-plug a *little* bit? On occasion?

And sit at a dinner table with our family. And maybe make eye contact every now and then. Or play a game. Or have a conversation.

I’m not, by any means, saying that I’m doing this mommyhood mixed with technology thing the exact right way. I don’t know the right way. I’m not ‘anti-technology’ or ‘anti-progress’. We have a Wii… my kids have DS’s (the ‘really, really old kind’ they will grumble. ;) We have a computer and a couple of T.V.’s.

We also have a dinnertime that is uninterrupted by television or computer. We have a computer in our kitchen that my children must ask permission to use. I have a pre-teen daughter that writes her music requests down so that I can screen her selections before putting them on her iPod. We have limited game time, and the current rule in our house is... 'Only people with college degrees have cell phones'. Hey it works for us. ;)

All I’m saying is that it’s awfully hard sometimes to swim against the current. The current that pushes for the NEXT BIG THING, and the new piece of “fabulous technology that will keep you connected like never before!!”

I know this isn’t anything new, as a parent. It's only the arena that's new. Parents for generations have struggled with the right things to do for their kids, teaching them that while it’s easier to go along with the crowd, it’s not always the right thing to do. I get that.

Trust me, it gets very tiring to be the mom that “usually says ‘no’, occasionally says ‘maybe’, and rarely says ‘yes’”.

And I can only hope that my children will be the better for it.