Sunday, July 27, 2008


I have a cute little story to share from church this morning. It seems there were a few doughnuts left over from this morning's fellowship hour at church, and someone was kind enough to send them up to the nursery, presumably for the staff, but perhaps for snacktime, too. My little man and his baby sister were in the nursery during the 11:00 service, so they were each set to benefit in a tasty way from someone's generosity. As the snack was being served, Mister J told the nursery workers that Miss M could NOT have a doughnut because "she can't have nuts, she has a allergy." Cute, eh? Doughnuts. DoughNUTS. Must have nuts in it, right? He was so insistent, in fact, that Miss M did not get one - she had goldfish while everyone else ate a doughnut (poor thing!). The nursery staff recounted the morning's events when we picked the kids up, just to be sure they weren't about to cause Miss M to have an allergic reaction over a doughnut. Apparently, Mister J was very insistent!

While quite humorous, of course, I am also charmed, once again, by my sweet boy watching out for his little sister. For all the times I wonder if he's really listening to me, let this be a reminder that as long as he's remembering the truly important things, perhaps I can take it a little easier the rest of the time.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Two things!

Well, I still haven't remembered what I forgot, but I do have two little nuggets of wisdom-gained-through-experience for you tonight....

Nugget #1:
Miss M doesn't like to have her hair washed, and I can't (for whatever reason) get her to look up at the ceiling when I rinse her hair. So I tried this trick a while back when we were visiting my Mom, and Miss M thought it was pretty fun. I washed her hair "beauty shop" style! I knelt by the side of the tub, held her "football-style" cradling her head in one hand (over the tub, of course), and used the other to wash her hair. I used a plastic cup to pour the water over her head, and it stayed out of her ears and eyes. I've refined it a bit since then, sitting on the kids' stepstool or side of the tub and letting Miss M lay across my lap - she's quite a bit to long for the football hold, but when you are improvising.... Either way - it's much better than pouring water over the head of a screaming 2-year-old who is flailing about and trying to climb out of the tub because she hates having her hair washed!

Nugget #2:
We've all heard how kids are supposed to use fluoride-free toothpaste until they learn to spit it back out, but how do you teach a kid to spit out that sugary-sweet toddler gel? To a kid, it must be like liquid candy, because I have found my kids sucking it from the tube when I thought they were napping (we now store it out of reach in another room....). Did you ever notice that those baby and toddler gels don't make any bubbles? Besides the sugary taste, those gels also contain simethicone. You remember simethicone - it's the main ingredient in the drops you give babies when they are gassy. Well, the simethicone keeps the toddler gel from making bubbles, so what's there to spit out, really? Quite a while back, I found a children's fluoride-free toothpaste without simethicone made by Tom's of Maine. Once we switched to this toothpaste, I explained to J that he needed to spit the bubbles out - viola! The next time we went shopping for toothpaste, we picked out one containing fluoride. That was about the easiest transition ever - J thought it was cool to have bubbly toothpaste like Mom and Dad! The kids both like the flavor of this toothpaste - also a plus - and for some reason they don't actually try to suck this kind from the tube (yet another plus!). I've tried it a couple of times with Miss M, but she's not quite ready to spit the bubbles. No worries, though, since it's safe for her to swallow. I also like it because I'm using an all-natural product. Best of all - the dentist was glad to find out that J was using a fluoride toothpaste earlier than most kids his age - I must admit I was quite proud of that!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Totally bloggable, but....

I don't think my Mom-nesia will ever end. I came up with a great tip I wanted to share today (I was even thinking of submitting it to if it wasn't already out there), and before I could get online, I forgot what I wanted to post. Granted, it's been at least six hours since the idea popped into my head. Dinner has been served and cleaned up, children have run amok and been brought back under control, children were later put to bed, ice cream was made and eaten, work was finished (thank goodness for work-from-home, flex hours), emails were read, and more. No wonder I forgot!

I shouldn't really be surprised by forgetting. It happens a lot. I know I haven't surprised any of you. I like to think I can be Martha in the kitchen and the craft room, and I am pretty good with a hammer and a drill, but remembering the day-to-day stuff just isn't working for me right now. There are many times I've thought of something bloggable while driving between points A and B, or I've been trying to go to sleep at night and a post pops into my head fully-formed. Problem is, I can never remember it long enough to actually get it on the blog.

Before I was a mom, I would wear Post-Its around to help me remember things (this was when I worked in an office, and the strange looks I'd get from others would remind me that I was wearing a Post-It). Alternatively, I'd write notes on the back of my hand. Can't have the kids pick up that habit - there are only so many times you can say "Mommy had an accident with a pen" before the kiddos figure you out....

I never imagined I could blog about my lack of topic. If I should happen to remember what I was originally hoping to post, I'll make myself a note - if I can find a Post-It.
(Haha - get it? If I can find a Post-It, then I'll be able to post it - definitely tired mommy humor....)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Shakin' Things Up!

Every mom knows that kids who play hard take great naps. That's exactly what I had in mind today when we made ice cream! Yes, you read that right - we made ice cream. The twist - and the reason your kids will nap well afterwards - is that instead of using an ice cream churn, we shook it up. It didn't take long - but you will me amazed how much energy it takes to shake your soon-to-be ice cream for 5 minutes!

Here are the kids, hard at work - before they let me take over:

And, here are the kids tasting the final product:

I learned a couple of lessons during the process:

1 - Be prepared to do some (no, a LOT) of the shaking yourself (but you won't earn a nap....)
2 - Dig out the mittens from last winter before you get started.
3 - Homemade beats store bought - especially since this was so easy!

The recipe? Did you want the recipe? Oh, okay.....
(By the way, I got the recipe from - I watched the video first, and you can get a printable version of the recipe, too).

For the ice cream, you'll need:
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small (quart-sized) zipper bag

For the "shaker" bag, you'll need:
1/2 cup kosher or rock salt (we used kosher)
ice cubes
2 large (gallon-sized) zipper bag

Prep time: less than 5 minutes; Shaking Time: 5 minutes; Yield: 2 servings

Pour the sugar, half-and-half, and vanilla extract into the small bag and zip closed (squeeze out most of the air, but not all of it). Double-bag the large bags, and put the small bag with the ice cream ingredients inside. When you are ready to start shaking, add the ice (I filled it a little more than 1/2 way) and the salt. Close the bags and shake for about 5 minutes, until the ice cream is a little thicker than soft serve.

We did not add any toppings to the ice cream - I'm a big believer in trying it "as-is" the first time. You shouldn't get any complaints - it was fantastic!

I doubled the recipe to make four servings. I did not increase the portions within the small bag - I made two "shakers" and then shook each recipe-worth of ice cream individually (it is possible to do all of the shaking yourself....). By the way, I highly recommend double-bagging, and I also suggest using store-brand bags. I used name-brand bags, which got torn, so in any case you probably won't be able to use them twice.

We will be making this ice cream again, and I will update this post if we come up with any good variations on the original recipe. Hope you will try it - it's great fun, and a great way to cool off on a HOT summer day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Big Words

Ok, so we haven't exactly taken away the paci yet. Miss M has passed her 2nd birthday, I know the dentist will be unhappy with me when we go again in August, but I just can't do it yet. We have cut it back to naptime and bedtime, and I'll eventually cross that next milestone. In the meantime, Miss M has gone from asking for her "paci" to sometimes calling it her "paci-fower" - which, in Maggie-speak, means "paci-flower." Cute, eh?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Convo with the hubby

Sometimes, I'm just tired. Even with afternoon naps the past two days, I'm still feeling the effects of "vacation" - hence this exchange from last evening. I hope you see the humor in it that I did at the time (and, well, still do!).

Husband: Hey, can you help me take out the trash?

Wife (me): Um, I just put the kids to bed (by myself).

Husband: You helped make the trash.

Wife: Yep. And you helped make the kids....

Needless to say, I didn't get up off the couch.

Enjoy - at our expense ;)

Saturday, July 19, 2008


There are times that I want to just say no - flat out no - to some of my kids' experiments. But, I am always reminded by my husband (or his voice in my head) that as long as the kids aren't hurting themselves, what's the harm? Obviously, he's not the Type A of the family.

As we sat down to dinner this evening, after a looong ride home from the beach, there wasn't much to choose from - soup, sandwiches, watermelon, grapes, milk. We had stopped by Costco on the way home for a few essentials, but otherwise, the cupboards were bare. I offered my son a soybutter and jelly sandwich, some soup and crackers, or a grilled cheese. He decided that none of these was what he wanted. Instead, he asked for a soybutter and cheese sandwich. ICK! As I began to explain to him why it wasn't a good choice, I got "the look" from my husband. So, with as straight a face as I could muster, I made the soybutter and cheese sandwich as requested (cheese on top, cut into dinosaurs) and put it on the table. My son ate the whole thing, even the crust. I wonder if he did that because it was actually good, or just to prove a 4-year-old point of some kind....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sun Fun 2008

We came to the beach for a wedding on Saturday night- the first one we've attended as a family. The kids thought it was super fun since it was ON the beach! You wouldn't believe the number of bathing-suited onlookers! We made the trip into a week-long vacation, hanging out with lots of Grandma R's family - cousins, aunts, uncles, and 4 dogs!

Among the pictures from the evening of the wedding, Grandpa R snapped a few shots of us - here's a family photo that you might see again sometime!

Plus, Grandpa H and MeMaw rode down on their motorcycles to visit the kids on Sunday (well, us too!) and played with the kids in the sand. Check out Grandpa in his motorcyle gear! They had great weather for the ride, and we had a beautiful day for some fun on the shore!

Of course, no beach trip would be complete without some sandcastle building! Here's MeMaw helping the kiddos out with their first creation of the week -

And here, you see Mommy and Daddy getting in on the action - reliving their childhood, perhaps?

Beach fun isn't all about building - sometimes, it's about digging (or walking on the pier, or flying a kite, or eating a sno-cone, or playing in the water). Check out the "pool" that Mommy and Daddy made for the kiddos! They played in one that some kids had vacated, and really enjoyed it, so we made one for them the next day. I did not realize how much digging was involved....

Thanks to JD for the shovels, and the above photo, plus these two of my cuties:

Thanks to Margaret and Roger for the great "excuse" to vacation at the beach (Best Wishes!!!!), to Aunt L and Uncle D for having us for the week (and feeding us!!! and for the sno-cones!!!). I - not being a "beach person" - am so surprised by how much fun I had, and how much I'm looking forward to our next vacation at the beach!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Busy, busy summer

Wow - I'm in blogging withdrawal! It's been a whole week since my last post, but we have been SO busy! Last weekend, we went down to SC for a family reunion. This week, we have been at church every morning - I've been helping with Extreme Makeover: Nursery Edition and the kids have been hanging out with the youth volunteers. I felt like they deserved some extra-special kid time for being such troupers while I helped out with painting prep and other Makeover-related tasks, so Tuesday afternoon we pulled out the water hose, kiddie pool, and yard sprinkler for loads of backyard fun. Daddy was able to join us for a while after he finished up with work. In the end, we were all soaked - but smiling! As much as I'd love to have a picture to put up with this post, I was having too much fun to run inside for the camera. I'm trying to remember that living in the moment is just as important as capturing it on camera - and sometimes even more so. Now that I know how much fun it can be, we'll be pulling that pool out again - and perhaps next time I'll get a few snapshots to share!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pretty Colors

(Mermaids, seaweed, and starfish, oh my!)

One more Mommy Milestone down - I painted with the kids! As many of you know, I am summer camp this year, so I've got all kinds of arts and craft supplies for the kids. You might also know how fearful I am of the mess-making potential of paints and markers (my kids can be sneaky and fast). For this art session, we used card stock, tempera paint, and stamps to make some jungle and ocean pictures, and we even mixed the colors to make some new ones! J especially liked seeing the new colors we made.

We have had quite a busy summer so far, so we haven't had art time as much as I'd like, but I anticipate more time once things slow down later on in the month. The kids had a great time with this project, and so did I, so we will certainly break out the paints again soon.

(I didn't get the best smile here, but he really was having a good time)