Monday, November 24, 2014

Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?

Why is it that the color of candy that I like the best is always the one that is represented the least? My life is HARD. If we're talking little-kid candy (you know, the only kind worth eating), I almost always prefer the reds and the pinks. But the other day when Chuck surprised me with a bag of flavored Tootsie Rolls, I was shocked (SHOCKED I tell you) at the lack of representation by my favorites.

For proof, I give you this simulated graph (and no, it being simulated does NOT take away from its validity). Notice the dearth of pinks. Tragedy.


P.S. Maybe some of you out there actually like the lime runts? Or the yellow and green Skittles? Maybe you'd be interested in a trade? All my green and yellow candies for your red and pinks?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Planning

This is our second year having a friend Thanksgiving, but our very first as hosts. (Not that family aren't friends, but you know.) At first I was nervous about hosting. I mean, doesn't the host provide the turkey? I've never done that before (you know, like I've never mowed a lawn). But then I invoked the power of the "People dumber than I have done this," and all was well. That's when the fun began: all that planning! Who was coming, what would we cook, where would everyone sit, where would the food go, what crafts MUST be made...so many lists and diagrams and I LOVE IT ALL. It's the most excited about Thanksgiving I've been in a long time.

P.S. I haven't seen the usual glut of Thanksgiving posts on Facebook this year. Here's one for you: I am extremely thankful to not live in Buffalo right now. I can't get over those pictures of all that snow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Where Did We Go?

Remember when I watched some friends' kids back in June just because I wanted time away from my own kids at some future date? Well, that future date was earlier this week. Through some miracle of scheduling, Chuck and I were able to get out of town Saturday at 5. By some anti-miracle, I forgot my camera.

What did we do? We got dinner locally, and then drove to Cacapon State Park in West Virginia. We stayed in the lodge there and just had a nice night. We woke up and took a run together. (Remember that we're running the Christmas Story Run in just over two weeks? Chuck's training for it, and let's just say that I got to run at our race pace.) After breakfast we headed to nearby Berkeley Springs. We walked around town, shopping at antique stores and boutiques. It was awesome. Then we headed to our next destination, Bedford Springs (with a stop at Everett, PA on the way). This hotel was so fancy, we couldn't even park our own car. Whoa. That evening we enjoyed the room, had dinner, and then swam in the indoor pool.

Monday morning the weather was terrible (wet and cold). I ran inside, and then Chuck and I stayed in our warm, dry room until almost noon. It. Was. Amazing. We grabbed lunch and then, because the weather was still pretty bad, we took a driving tour of covered bridges. By then the rain was gone, so we went back to town for some shopping. After that, we played two games of bowling. Sweet. Then back to the hotel for dinner. And a false fire alarm at 11 p.m.

Tuesday morning was still cold, but snowy! I could run outside! We hung out in the room for a bit and then went back to town for lunch. After that we headed home with one stop at some outlets. Man, I really HATE clothes shopping. We were early enough to drop off our stuff at home, unpack, and get Bruno before we picked up the kids, almost exactly 72 hours later. I wish I could say that I was thrilled to see the kids and cuddled them all evening, whilst they obeyed everything I asked them to do. But no. I was tired. They were tired. It wasn't the worst night we've had, but not the best.

But getting away is always worth it. Always. I can't wait for the day when Rhett and Ollie are old enough to watch themselves. Let's hope that we raise boys responsible enough for that. And if not, I'm sure Natalie won't mind taking my boys again, right?!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Being an Adult is Lame

I'm sure I've discussed this before, but man, sometimes (most of the time), being an adult is soooo lame. And one of the biggest, most-overrated parts of being an adult is homeownership. Don't get me wrong; I'm not about to sell my house an move into a rental. But sometimes (most of the time), I just wish we had never bought a house. I feel like Chuck and I end up making bad choices when it comes to repairs. Putting in the window well caused floods when we get tons of rain, the porch has bits of paint that are chipped already, the refaced cabinets are peeling in one spot. UGH. And the latest: our basement shower. I'm still pretty worked up over the whole thing, but let's just say that I won't be purchasing any more home improvement Groupons/Livingsocials/whatever. However, I will say that the shower looks better. Too bad I'm afraid to actually use it.

BEFORE




AFTER (as if I needed to say it)




We think (hope) most of our problems in that shower are due to the humidity. There's a fan in the room, but it doesn't do enough. So we bought a small dehumidifier and hope that will help. Also, because that shower is super tiny and we have a standard shower curtain (which therefore is always really folded), I'm going to cut it in half so the moisture doesn't just hang out in all the creases. And then hopefully we won't have to do this again in five years.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Funny-to-Me Things My Kids Say

Poor Rhett was sooo excited to try on his suit and just couldn't imagine why the sleeves came to his elbows! Poor growing boy.
Rhett, in tears: Mom...what's happening with my suit???

I don't even remember what I did to deserve this...
Ollie: When you turn into a nice mom, then we can have balloons and new balls.
I guess I probably didn't give him balloons or new balls.

Looking at picture of me when I was seven...
Ollie: Why do you look different? I mean, why do you have a different face?

Clearly not understanding how it works...
Ollie: What if on your first birthday you turned 65?

Clearly not understanding how it works, part two...
Ollie: When I turn two, I will get the slide back.

After getting a whiff of a very smelly diaper...
Me: Ugh, Ollie you stink!
Ollie: That's right. I'm just like a skunk!

Heard from the bedroom during quiet time...
Ollie: I'm not a ka-nig-it!
You know, like "knight" but not?


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Breakfast is Served (again)

Last year we let Rhett and Ollie eat as much of the Halloween candy as they wanted on the day after Halloween. After that it was gone. We decided to do the same thing this year because we loved that they didn't know there was candy still in the house. (Because c'mon, like I would actually get rid of it, right?)

Why it was a BIG mistake: These boys are getting bigger! Bigger means a higher candy threshold. And wow, I was really impressed (in a bad way) at how much they could really eat. Or, in Ollie's case, how many things he could sample and then leave all over the table. (Gee, sound like someone last year? At least the boy is consistent.) The only real food ingested was some leftover pizza at lunch. For dinner Rhett had a main course of Starbursts, a side dish of Reese's peanut butter cup, and dessert of Kit Kat. Sounds like all the food groups! Ollie was less formal. "Oh, I want that. Now I want that. And NOW I want that." Sometimes it all went into his mouth at the same time, sometimes it was, as previously mentioned, just left on the table.

But why we'll do it again: After three later-nights and one day of total candy craziness, the boys were tired. And seeing as though Sunday marked the end of daylight saving time, it was perfect timing. The boys slept until...wait for it...6:40 a.m. EASTERN STANDARD TIME. This is 7:40 a.m. body time, people. It's nothing short of a miracle.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween

Last Monday we had a gorgeous day to carve pumpkins. Too bad the adult's pumpkin had already rotted on the inside before we even started! Oh well. Stupid $5 Sam's Club XL pumpkin. And then before we knew it, it was Halloween! Rhett has wanted to be a saber tooth tiger for months, and once I saw this, I thought I could do it. So I did. The shirt is a bit tight, but that's okay. The whole thing is made out fleece (except for the white sherpa), so he was plenty warm. And bless Ollie because I hit the homemade-costume jackpot with him: he wanted to be a green ghost. Done. We trunk-or-treated on Thursday night and then went around the neighborhood Friday night. I should mention that Friday was a no-school day for Rhett. We watched some Halloween shows, went to a playgroup potluck, did some quiet time, played potato stamps, and got ready for trick-or-treating. It was a pretty good day.











And yes, maybe Chuck and I got into the spirit as well. And no, we're not Velma and Shaggy, rather Daria and Trent. Check out "Daria" on Amazon. You won't be disappointed. Promise.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Non-Halloween Post on Halloween

How can I post about Halloween until it's actually happened? So I can't. I won't. But I will talk about my cell phone.

On Wednesday I was at Target. I was talking to a friend when I pulled out my phone to send a quick text because I was meeting another friend. When Friend A saw my phone she said, "What century is this?! What is that?!" She was, of course, referring to my ancient cell phone. Which isn't actually all that ancient, but the fact that it's not a smartphone makes it appear so. She then asked if she needs to buy me an iPhone (to which I should have answered YES).

But the fact is that I don't want a smartphone. Two days a week I sit at a computer. The other days, when I'm home, my computer is always on and I can check email or look up something quickly if I need to. But if I'm out doing something with the boys, why do I need it? I survived this long without having the world at my fingertips, I'm pretty sure I can keep it up a few more years (or decades). And I still have a regular cell phone. If I absolutely need something, I can call Chuck or my sister and have them look it up for me. See? Maybe my dumbphone isn't so dumb after all.

Plus, there's the thing about the cost. Sure, you can get the phones cheap, but man, those monthly plans are monsters (at least for the iPhones). I spend about $15 a month on my dumbphone. Could we afford a smartphone for me? Sure. But that money has to come from somewhere, and choosing between my retirement or a smartphone is an easy choice. Kidding! Of course I'd take money from the boys' college educations. I'm not going to rob my retirement.

I think the only embarrassing thing about this situation is that both of my parents have iPhones (even if the only thing they do with them is make calls). To balance that, my sister doesn't even have a cell phone. I know; we're a weird family.



P.S. If I was any good at Photoshop, I'd put my face in there instead of Zach's.

P.P.S.
Annie is on Amazon Instant video. I totally forgot that Daddy Warbucks' name is Oliver! "I'll call you Ollie, my hot tamale." This is going to be used a lot in our house from now on.

P.P.P.S. To get in the Halloween spirit, Chuck and I watched a couple "Tales From the Crypt" this week. I love that show.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Do As I Do

A couple of weeks ago, I read some advice given to a parent who was struggling with little-kid-hood. (Sound like someone's blog you read?) The columnist's advice was to basically mold these little individuals into beings that are just like you in hopes of them some day growing up to be people you want to be around. So take them to places you want to go, do things that you want to do. I've been mulling this over ever since.

First, what do I want to do? It's been so long, right? I like to camp, hike, run, read, hang out with Chuck, go to craft fairs, and chat with friends. Guess what? I already do these things with my kids. (Well, maybe not run, but I used to when they didn't fight in the double stroller. And when we had a double stroller.) But we camp with them, we hike with them, I sometimes-for-five-minutes read my book in front of them, I drop them off at places so I can hang out with Chuck (so maybe that one doesn't count), and I take them to playgroups so I can chat with friends. I should be happy, no?

Problem is, they're still kinda cramping my style. I mean, I want to go backpacking, not just car camping. I want to hike eight miles, not just one. I want to read without being interrupted. I want to go on a date with Chuck without paying $50 for a babysitter. I want to go to lunch with friends and not be at a playground.

But (there's always that big butt). BUT. I know, I really do. It's just not the time for that. It's the time for car camping so that one day they'll really love it and will have endurance and strength for backpacking. It's the time for small hikes with treats at the end so that one day they'll love all-day hikes with me. It's the time for me to run alone just for alone time. It's time for me to show them that I love reading so that some day they'll hide in their room for hours reading (and leave me alone--ha). It's the time for me to develop friendships at the park so that when all our kids are in school, we can go to lunch together and eat stuff our kids would never touch.

It's okay. I'm okay. This dude is definitely okay. (The other dude was at school.)





P.S. I'll tell you what I don't want to do. Go to BounceU. Go to "truck touching" events. Go to Disneyworld.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Scary Stuff

Have a little bit of time on your hands this weekend? To get you in the mood for Halloween, I bring you...some LINKS. Ooooh, scary.

First some real, spooky stories. Full disclosure: some bad language exists in these stories.

And if you don't have time for that, surely you have time for a one-minute horror flick?

Finally, want to guess my costume? It involves black boots, a green blazer, and some round glasses. Who am I?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween of Yesteryear

I think the next time Emily and I are together, we should definitely try to recreate this picture. Because it would be awesome.



P.S. How yesteryear? Maybe 30 or 31 yesteryears or so.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Camping Wonderland

We visited our eight state park, Elk Neck, this weekend. (And don't ask why it's called that; I haven't a clue.) We got up there fairly early on Friday, hiked (without complaint), jumped in leaves, played with cousins, ate dinner (with complaint), and then asked to be put to bed. Pretty good day! Saturday we ate breakfast (with complaint), hiked (without complaint), and went up a lighthouse (and screamed about goblins). Our campsite came with two little frog ponds en suite, so that was exciting. However, the camp store here left much to be desired, especially when compared to Pokomoke. But it was a pretty cool little park.










We left Elk Neck and headed to Dutch Wonderland, an amusement park for kids. Rhett went on nearly every ride and Ollie nearly all of the rides Rhett did. The boys had a spectacular time and we closed the place down. It was a long day for everyone, and sadly only half of us were allowed to fall asleep in the car. When do I get my computer-driven car?






P.S. Can I just say, I'm done with this one night of camping thing. We have to do better. Two nights from here on out. I so wish we had done better at taking advantage of this with late church. Sigh.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mom and Ollie Preschool

A couple of weeks ago, I started doing a "Mom and Ollie" preschool. Why? A couple of reasons: (1) it was something to do and (2) I did a "Joy School" thing with Rhett when he was three and would feel like I was getting lazy with Ollie if I didn't. We only do it once a week and it usually only takes about an hour, so it's perfect. My sister found this cute little e-book, and I've been using it.

It's letter-based, so every week we do a new letter. During our "school" sessions it doesn't seem like he's learning much, but I know he's at least recognizing letters because he points them out the rest of the week. When asked what letter we learned Wednesday (M), he consistently responds, "Marshmallows!" Close.

His favorite part of school, by far, is the sensory bin. I accidentally dumped a bucket of wheat. Smooth, right? Rather than throw it out, I had the idea of using it for this. And honestly, even I like playing in this.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Game Changer

I can't believe I left this one off the list. The time has come, friends: we are now a no-nap household. At least for the kids. We adults still need it sometimes.

How did this happen? The same way it does for everyone, I guess. You send kids to nap; they just stay in their room and play. No nap taken. Repeat for two weeks. Accept fate.

How am I doing? How do you think I'm doing? I'm terrified. Naps have been my saving grace as a mother. I can only get through so much of the day being pawed at, whined to, and bossed around, before I just need silence. And I'm not talking the silence that comes from quiet time. No. I need dead-to-the-world silence, the kind that only comes from naps (or really big trouble-making...I prefer the former). If the boys are just in quiet time, there's the large chance they'll get out and come bother me. And let's be honest: I have two little boys. Quiet time is never actually quiet. But oh how I crave quiet.

Gone is the, "I'll just take a nap when Ollie naps." Gone is the, "I'll do the grocery shopping during nap time." Gone is the, "I can't wait for nap time to finish off the cookies so nobody sees." Gone. All gone.

So, what to do? What can I do, you know? Accept it. Realize that maybe there are good things.
1. No need to pack our day into a two-three hour chunk in the morning and a similar chunk in the afternoon, separated by a nap. We can do full-day activities.
1.5 Related to (1), a new freedom. We won't be rushing to get to places or rushing home.
3. No need to worry about a missed nap when camping or otherwise traveling. (Speaking of, last chance for any locals to join us this weekend. Email me for details.)
4. Finally, we're that much closer to not having little kids. And we all know how I feel about little kids...

I'll still institute a quiet time. Ollie's never seen a lot of the quiet activities we have, so everyday he'll get to pick out a couple to take to his room. But hopefully he'll learn to stay there and let me get my (cough, cough) work done. Worse things have happened, right?

P.S. Next game changer on the list: Potty training Ollie! This is scheduled to happen over Thanksgiving. Consider it an early Christmas present to ourselves. We hope.

P.P.S. I guess they were cold.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The New Bet

I don't know how it is in your house, but if there are treats in mine, they're about the only thing I can think of. I know how pathetic that sounds. I do. But raising kids is hard and I don't drink alcohol, so sweets it is. I love them. Chuck, on the other hand, loves and craves soda. As quickly as it's in the house, it's out of the house. We both go through our vices with lightning speed.

So I thought of this bet: Who can go without their respective vice the longest? Chuck, of course, is certain he'll win. Me, I'm not so sure. I know how often he stops in at Safeway for that Mountain Dew, even though he doesn't know I know. And he probably doesn't know how often I take a break at work to get a 25-cent box of Hot Tamales from the hot dog vendor. So don't tell him.

But we can't figure out what the winner gets. I wanted a night in a hotel. I don't even care where; Gaithersburg would be fine. (And locals, you know how exotic Gaithersburg is.) But to sleep in a bed all by myself and to wake up when my body wants me to wake up sounds amazing. But I'm still not sure. And Chuck, well, anything that boy wants is at least $400, so it's hard to please him. Ideas? What would you want?



P.S. I've been sick all week and am so over it. Please let this be my one and done for the winter. Because birthing babies + a serious cough = well, nothing good; am I right mamas?

P.P.S. Has anyone else watched "Flight of the Conchords" on Amazon? I must find others with whom I can laugh over this show.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Feel Free to Copy This Idea

I don't know about you, but most of the women I associate with now, I didn't know when they got married. Which means I know very little about their special day. My friend Natalie and I set out to fix this. Last Friday we hosted a "bridal party." We invited a bunch of women and had them email me pictures from their wedding. We ate and chatted and then sat down to watch a slideshow of all of our pictures. It was a blast. It was so much fun to see these ladies (and their husbands) on their wedding days. And I was only slightly chuckling at how I looked. I think I should do this again in about 10 years so I'll be fully rolling on the floor.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pumpkin Day

Remember when Pumpkin Day came around and I made shirts for the boys and we ate only things made from pumpkin? Yeah, it's evolving out of that. Thankfully the boys' pumpkin shirts from previous years still fit, and we get good enough treats to not miss the pumpkin. Besides, I don't think pumpkin soup is all that good, and it's the only savory pumpkin thing I can think to make.

Now pumpkin day is the day where we go to the pumpkin "patch." Why the quotes? The place we've gone two years in a row has so many other ridiculous activities to keep us busy pretty much all day; I'm not going to complain. Except about the apple cider donuts. I wish they had been warm. Otherwise, perfect day.



Whoops. Didn't notice Ollie's snaps were undone. Sorry Ollie!


Using those skills he learned at the family reunion.


I love this picture so much.


We did pick pumpkins from the vine, but I couldn't resist the solid orange.


My littles and I.


We went earlier in the season than we've ever gone. We were rewarded with GORGEOUS pumpkins everywhere. Seriously.


Kinda fun having a kid big enough to take pictures of us. Kinda fun having clean, blow-dried hair on a non-Sunday. Kinda not fun brushing it after a day filled with wind.


And at the end of the day, I think they were tired.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Family Mottos for the Taking

I've talked about our family motto before, but it turns out that one motto just isn't enough. I still have my original motto, "Dumber people than I have done this" and it works in so many situations. (Dumber people than I have taken their boys camping with no other adults. Dumber people than I have made their own pie crusts. You get it. Maybe I should make the opposite a new motto, one absolving me of so many duties: Smarter People Than I Have Done This...So I Don't Have To.)

There's also this motto that I'm trying to infuse: "They're doing the best that they can." Although my first instinct when I see people doing things I don't like is to judge them, I'm trying to be better at not. Repeating this statement multiple times has been helping. See also: cheesecakes.

But here's another one we've been using around our house lately: "Different families, different choices." My boys are frequently comparing themselves to others. "Why can't we get ice cream like Bert? Why can't we go to bed at 8:30 like Ernie?" I find that our response is usually some version of "Well, they actually sleep past 5:45 in the morning, so they can stay up later." But really, what it all boils down to is that different families make different choices. We respect their right to make them and our boys must respect our right to make decisions for them. Except for clothing choices. Pretty obvious that our boys have that choice. I didn't get a picture of Rhett in his first outfit of the day...red polo and red shorts. Wow. But I did get this beauty: Rhett trying to dress like a vampire.



Monday, September 29, 2014

Coolest D.C. Happening...According to Me

Saturday Rhett and I went downtown to Crafty Bastards. What is Crafty Bastards, if not something with a hilarious name? It is "an exhibition and sale of handmade alternative arts and crafts from independent artists." And seriously people, it's my favorite event in D.C. Which explains why I haven't been in years. Actually, it doesn't explain it. My kids explain why I haven't gone. But this year I figured Rhett was big enough to not complain and whine the entire time and Chuck and Ollie were happy to stay home.

So what did we see? (I didn't take any pictures and I'm afraid of copyright, so it's just a bunch of links. Sorry.)

This cool jewelry. I know, I know; it's just jewelry, but this is fun wood jewelry.

This food jewelry. I mean, donut earrings?! California roll earrings?! Poptart necklace?!

This handwoven jewelry. (I think that's it for the jewelry.)

These scarves. I mean, have you ever seen a knitted salad scarf? A pizza scarf? A bacon and eggs scarf? No, no you hadn't until now. Probably.

These cutting boards. Again, cutting boards at a craft fair? So done. But what's not done is Super Mario cutting boards (unfortunately, not pictured).

These stuffed animals and dolls. The tattooed dolls were the coolest, although the fancy pugs did get our attention.

These stuffed animals and faux taxidermy. C'mon, how cool is that narwhal?

One more jewelry. I bought something here (from her sale basket because DANG). I love all the little things she puts in there! Mine necklace has grass.

These bicycle clocks. Pretty cool, no?

These patches. And I thought my mom patches were cool. No, no they're not. ALERT: Some of these are NOT kid-friendly. I whisked Rhett away quickly now that he can read.

These hilarious posters. I love the original posters, but these? Totally surprised and delighted me. Make sure you read the small print on them.

And these. The best of the show, in my opinion. They were gorgeous. Meticulous, interesting, beautifully-colored. If you clicked on nothing else, click on this one. Do it. You will not regret it.

These two were the only pictures I took, and I'm positive I have the rights to display them. Rhett loved the blow-up deer and wondered if it was for sale (it wasn't). Rhett did not love the popsicle when he got a bite with a slowly-dissolving gummy bear. I loved my frozen chocolate-covered banana. I did not love the hipster food truck prices. Oh, and so many vendors loved (and commented on) Rhett's t-shirt. One even asked if I made Rhett's backpack and told me she loved the Ed Emberley fabric. Yep, I was proud. Which was okay since the whole rest of the day I was humbled by all the talent.



Friday, September 26, 2014

Mothers and Sons Washout

Um yeah. So we had ten gorgeous days in a row and then, on the night that I want to take my boys camping, we get a rainstorm (complete with flood watch). And although I may inadvertently go camping in the rain, I don't advertently go camping in the rain. Because the rain wasn't scheduled to start until the nighttime, we invited friends over to "play camping." We set up a tent and made s'mores. Then we went to sleep in our own beds. It was kind of the best of both worlds.





P.S. Yes, I made up the word "advertently."....Ooooh, maybe I didn't! Blogger doesn't recognize it, but Google does. I'll go with the latter.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mothers and Sons Campout

With today being a half-day and tomorrow a school holiday, it just screamed camping trip. It also screamed, "But Chuck can't be there!" So I screamed back even louder, "Hey, I can do this on my own, right?" And by "on my own" I meant, of course, "with friends." So as long as the weather is good, Rhett, Ollie, and I (along with friends) are going camping this afternoon. Wish us luck!

P.S. Ever notice how there are Fathers-and-Sons, Mother-Daughter, even Daddy-Daughter events, but no Mothers-and-Sons? I did. Maybe this will become a special tradition...as long as we live in a place where Jewish holidays are also school holidays, that is.

P.P.S. Seriously, weather? Seriously?

P.P.P.S. Thank goodness friends have their stuff together enough to plan a trip to the fire station; we all know I don't.

Monday, September 22, 2014

One of These Things

These are the new bushes we put in a couple of months ago. Can you see that one of them is not like the other? Do you know how much I stress over whether or not these plants are okay? Being a homeowner is hard, I tell you. Being as cute as Ollie, not so hard, however.

Friday, September 19, 2014

World War Dinner

Someday we won't fight at dinner. Someday my boys will eat everything. Someday I'll enjoy cooking and feeding all of my boys. Sadly, that day is not today, or yesterday, or tomorrow. Unless I'm feeding them pizza, noodles with red sauce (but nothing else...looking at you, baked ziti), or burgers, dinnertime is a fight. And c'mon, I'm not feeding them crazy, out-there meals. In fact, everything I serve is basically the same thing with a twist. But when my boys won't even eat quesadillas, there is no hope.

A couple of weeks ago at a particularly hard dinner, I lost it. Completely. After I found it again, we came up with a new rule: within reason, whatever they don't finish at dinner becomes dinner the next night. If they don't eat it the next night, then they get it the night after that. No, they don't need to "clean their plate," but taking two bites and saying, "I'm full" is unacceptable from boys who can eat three slices of pizza. We make sure they understand that it's going to get grosser and grosser each night that it's not eaten. They also know that if the next night's dinner is pizza, they won't get any until they eat tonight's dinner. Point is, they need to learn to eat food that they don't love. They also need to learn to respect my role as food provider.

Don't they know how hard it is to plan a menu that's (1) not boring, (2) not filled with junk, and (3) hopefully edible? Don't they know how hard it is is grocery shop within a certain budget? Don't know they know how much it hurts when, before even trying it, they declare dinner "Gross?" No, they don't. They're kids. But someday, someday, they'll know. And I'll sit back and laugh. Just like my mom is laughing at me now.

P.S. I know mommy battles over mealtimes are not new nor novel. I know. I might as well write about our struggles at bedtime, right? Except that right now, we're actually doing okay with bedtime. So there.

P.S.S. Due to our recent "clean the house" efforts, I'm on the lookout for a mop. Anyone have one that actually CLEANS, unlike the Swiffer I bought?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

We Made Stuff

These pants for made for a friend's soon-to-be-born baby boy. Tutorial from Made by Rae, found here.


The baby daddy is a ping pong player (in fact, this is part of his job or something), so of course I had to make a personalized onesie.


Rhett LOVES to create things with paper and tape. This was one of his latest creations: the campground at Assateague. He nearly throws a fit every time I have to put these creations in the recycling. But I have to, right? I mean, some of these things are BIG.


And Ollie made a chocolate face.