Sunday, October 31, 2010

We're Not Clean, We Just Like Water

Someone asked me recently what my obsession was with giving my kids baths.  I guess I tweet about this, or add the bath numbers into our daily numbers and such.  Here's the reality:  my boys would both rather be in the water than about anywhere else.  Lincoln lunges and dives for the kitchen sink or bathtub, and Sawyer has literally requested a kitchen sink bath and, upon getting out, gotten into the big bathtub less than five minutes later.

I love that they love the water, so I encourage and let them enjoy those bath times.  Today Saw took two baths and one shower and Linc had three baths.  Linc really needed them after eating prunes (which you'll know if you follow me on Twitter!) so his were both fun and for cleaning purposes.  Here are a few goofy pictures of a joint bath.

A Very Derby Halloween

In direct contrast to Fall Family Fun Fest, I went out to a derby party last night, held by Mistilla the Killah.  Costumes were mandatory, as was an invitation and carved pumpkin.  It was intense!  I am not a huge party-goer, so this was like one of the biggest parties I've ever been to, and the one most resembling that party from Sixteen Candles, though it wasn't that close.   Here are some photos.  And in case you're wondering, there was a carnival theme.  I went as something out of a Tim Burton movie, and of course, did not take a great pic of my "wings" made out of an umbrella, so I just look kind of dead.  I did like my wings though. Despite the fact that I stabbed nearly everyone at the party with them, just by walking.
Misty's Halloween wonderland!  I told you--this was a SERIOUS party. (Thanks, Bomb--I stole your photo!)
The only photo I've seen where you can see my "wings."  I think Heidi was untangling them from my fishnet arms? (Thanks, Bomb.  Stole this one too.)
Booty and Mr. Booty were Ozzy and Dumptruck, two well known derby personalities.  You can google them if you want to see the real ones, but Booty was scarily close. 

Domo arigato...

Robot costumes are not made for practicality. 
Arr!  I'm being eaten by my parrot!

I carved this.  It is not, as Rob thought, Apu from the Simpsons.  It's the Houston Roller Derby logo, somewhat lopsided.

Chicken was our bench coach this season, and her boyfriend dressed as her.   Love it.

My face, I think, says it all. 
The grand hostess herself!

The Wild Things are definitely HERE.  Also:  note the real ax in the foreground...

Family Fall Fest Fun

Here are a few photos from the Fall Festival at our church yesterday.  It really was a blast and the kids had fun too.  It wasn't over the top with candy and there were lots of activities for them to enjoy.  I liked watching Linc squirm in his passed-down skunk outfit.

A skunk and a venom.

Spiderman likes jumping.

Skunks like watching.

I love how Saw is jumping right in front of this woman, who was presumably trying to take a picture of some kid she actually knew.  Not Sawyer.

LOVE this.


I shall never wear these sunglasses again.

Linker Dinker Stinker--an apt name for today.

Two out of three boys!

The boys loved this duck thing.

I didn't happen to capture the part where Sawyer fully climbed INTO this.  

Nacho cheese face.  Lincoln was drooling over all the food Saw was eating.

Heart Melty Moment

I am not what you might call a softie. I cry once a year (maybe), am not into sappy things, and don't tend to get over-emotional about things (at least compared to the average girl). However. Yesterday I had this conversation with Sawyer that got me all choked up.

He went to watch me skate in the friends and family bout for Houston Roller Derby, and really seemed to love watching me skate. When I came home right afterward to nurse Linc, Saw was still up and ran to me as I came in the door and gave me a huge hug. So I knew that he seemed to really approve of me as a skater.

As we're driving by the rink yesterday where the Friends and Family bout was held, here's what went down.

Saw: Mommy, that's where you rollerskate!
Me: That's right! You got to see me rollerskate. Did you like that?
Saw: Yes.
Me: Good. I'm glad.
Saw: Mommy, I'm so proud of you.

AWWWWW. I promise I'm not making this up--he really said that, verbatim. Even better, I don't think that's a common phrase we use around here (though we are very proud of our kids!). It made me happy as a mom, and made me happy to be in derby. Despite the time it takes to be involved, it makes my kid happy to watch. He's proud of me.

Still choked up about it. :)

Photo of the (Yester)Day

These are a few photos of the boys from the Fall Festival at church. Neither is the perfect picture with both boys smiling at the camera, but I have lower expectations, so LOVE these anyway. :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

How the Goonies Have Changed

The Goonies was one of the first movies I actually really remember seeing in the theater with my dad.  I still love it. One of my favorites.  (And I can categorically say that if you ever get a chance to see the part with the octopus which was cut out--yet mentioned in the movie--DON'T.  Just.  Don't.)  If you've ever wondered what the cast looks like now and what they're up to, HERE you go.

Sawyer's Prayer for Today

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for Mommy.  And her glasses and her eyes.  Help her to go to sleep.


Still Time: FREE Photo Book!

I am still giving away a free photo book, and if you want a chance (or chances) to win, please head over to my REVIEW BLOG to see the official rules.  This is a great giveaway for the holiday!  I always give at least one photo book away to family.

Polar Food Opposites

I've said before that Linc and Sawyer are SO different with regards to things like sleep and food.  This morning is a prime example.  Lincoln nursed when he first woke up, then ate half a banana and like four ounces of peas.  Then he nursed again.  (All within two hours.)  Sawyer drank milk when he got up (he's a total milk fiend like his dad), part of a cereal-type bar and then played in the egg casserole, ham, and yogurt that I got for him when he asked for "lunch."  I made him take two bites before letting him go outside to play, and those two bites were tiny and a huge battle.

I find personalities fascinating, and am ever amused by the things that are distinct about my boys.  I like to not think of it as one being better than the other (though I have to say Linc's eating worries me less than Saw's nibbling), but just kind of sit back and see the vastly unique ways God can knit people together even from the womb.

Afternoon Art

It's been a long time since Sawyer painted and the weather was LOVELY today, nice and cool/warm, no humidity, fall sun.  So I got out the paints and a roll of paper (thanks, Peter!) and let him have at it.  I love watching him explore.  I try really hard to give helpful advice about HOW to paint, but then let him figure things out himself.  Like how he can make different shapes or lines or whatevers depending on how he holds the brush.  Today I taught him a little about how NOT to mix colors and washing the brush off between, say, red and green.  He picked that up well, and also was really, really clean and careful for a good twenty minutes.  Then, not so much.  It's hard to restrain myself when he does something I really, really like and then just puts a giant handprint over it, or overworks it and the thing I loved disappears.  I think My Kid Could Paint That scarred me...
Before the mess really began.

I loved this!  I'm pretty sure it was gone by the end though.  I think I might have to start saving pieces I really like before he changes them.  Then again, that feels kind of like cheating somehow. 

Getting the hands in it now!

Linc didn't get to paint, but had fun being outside and eating stuff. 

And now:  the mess.  It's so great though to watch him explore and wonder and think about the paint on his hands. 

He learned about washing off today too, and mostly did pretty well.  This did require a large bath.  (His fourth of the day.)

The finished products!  Sorry about the bright sunspot.  I think I may take pieces of this I really like and cut them out, then matte and frame them.  I think it's neat to hang kid art not just on the fridge!

Dogs Before Kids

No, no, no--I don't mean that your dogss should come ahead of your children in terms of need.  (Usually.)  I mean that it's a GREAT idea to have dogs before kids.  Maybe cats too, but most especially, I think, dogs.  Let me explain.

Pets Are Great Prep for Kids.   They destroy your house.  They pee and poop in the floor.  They cry through the night (at least puppies often do when they're little).  They require a lot of attention.   And in the same way as children will (but on a smaller scale), dogs require you to be more responsible.  You have to think about who's going to watch them when you're out of town, or if you feel like going out for the day.  You have to learn to discipline them.  Well, hopefully you do.  No one likes the dog that jumps up and knocks people down or bites their ankles when they come to visit.  I would venture to say that the majority of things that you have to do with kids, you will also do to some degree with a dog.  Probably cats too.  Fish?  Not as much.

You Won't Want to Get a Pet AFTER You Have Kids.  When there are already a bunch of little people in the house who are peeing and pooping and destroying things and taking every ounce of love and care you have with their cuteness and neediness, you will not be thinking about a dog.  And when your kids get old enough to want a dog (or maybe even cat), you are more likely to think NO WAY am I taking care of one more living creature!  This leads to lots of begging by children (which I can say as one of those children who begged) and then when you cave, all those promises to feed and take care of the pet are forgotten and it's Mom and Dad who are taking care of Junior's puppy.  If you want one, the time is definitely before.  Adding a kid when you have a dog is waaay different than adding a puppy when you have a baby.

Pets Can Help with the Kids.  I don't mean babysit.  (Usually.)  But it's great to have kids around animals from a young age to help acclimate them and to teach kids how to treat living things with respect.  It can also teach them responsibility when they're old enough to help.  Tex and Sawyer are just moving into a playing phase, and it's wonderful to watch Sawyer try to command Tex to Sit and Come and Drop It.  Adorable.  I foresee lots of fun in the future for both.   Dogs are also FABULOUS for cleaning up after kids.  Tex means I vacuum less.  Also?  When Sawyer eats peanut butter using his whole body, Tex is our go-to guy.

Boys love dogs.  Dogs love trucks.
Don't judge us. I know you're judging.  But look at that happy boy face!
Tex, we know things aren't the same since we had kids.  But you still get to sleep in our bed sometimes, still get to take long walks, and are love more than most dogs I know.  I still think of you as our first kid. Love you, buddy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Friday Five

Hello and welcome to the crazy of Halloween falling on a weekend!  Have you seen people dressed in weird yet?  Somehow before tomorrow night, I need to make myself wings from coffee filters and disassembled umbrellas.  Good thing I don't need them to actually fly.  Here are my links today!

I found The Run-a-Muck through an old high school friend, Mary.  The writing is what keeps me going back, and I love the raw, fresh perspective as much as the way it's packaged.   Also?  I'm into visual packages.  Blogs that look icky I do not read, no matter how nice and helpful and good.  I heart the watercolor thing going on a the top, so always love clicking here.

Food and Friends
One of my bestest friends, Jenna, just started a blog this week called the Gleeful Gourmand.  She is a writer and lover of food, so I'm excited to have a new blog to read.  Head over to her site to read about food in Vegas and how this blog came to be.  Hopefully she'll be sharing some recipes soon (hint, hint, Jenna!).

We're having a yard sale (apparently, they are only called garage sales here in Texas, but I am holding fast to my VA roots!) in a few weeks, so I'm all about the de-clutter.  This vlog from Money Saving Mom both inspires me, makes me feel sort of guilty, and, weirdly, makes me want to go bury my face in the rows and rows of shirts in my closet.  (Thanks, Kelly, for telling me about this!)

I don't know how you feel about Halloween, but if you want to see a neat and sometimes funny and sometimes scary (the black and white photo of the clown in the field scares the poo out of me) look at Halloween through the past decades, go look at My Parents Loved Halloween.

Think you could write a novel in three days? I know I couldn't.  But here is some really kind of intense advice on how to do it.  (I would go ahead and suggest that you think of yourself as a writer to begin with...this might not work out so well if you don't like to write or don't write well.)  Even if you're not planning to write that quickly,  author Michael Moorcock's advice might be good to get your work moving.

Got links?  Leave them in the comments!

A Note to New Parents

When you get to the feeding of solid foods, please know that BANANAS STAIN.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Linc's Big Moves

This photo shows evidence of two things going on with Linc:  the introduction of green peas and the new skill of waving.

Peas are pretty okay, though his faces were terrible.  He kept going back for more, so I will count this as a win.  As for waving, he is starting to be more intentional, but mostly he will have his arm in the air and then his hand starts flapping.  He stares at it like, "what are you doing?" and then gets really excited when I wave back.  It's super cute.  He did it once or twice in response to my waving, so I'll go ahead and say that he is tentatively beginning to wave.

He also is starting to really bloom in terms of personality.  He's always HAD a personality, don't get me wrong, but part of that is his chill-ness.  He's very content and happy to just kind of be. That's still true, but he is really showing his desires more and working to try and get what he wants.

Example:  he loves to stand and so now he tries to stand at any chance.  Like when I'm trying to get him into a new outfit, he will grab onto something like my shirt or arm and pull himself up to standing.  Quite strong and impressive, but not so helpful with the whole getting dressed thing.  Or if there is a toy that he wants, he is getting more vocal about wanting it (read: shouting) or actually propelling himself to get it.

He took his first crawl last night.  When you talk about "first step," people know what you mean, but no one really talks about a first crawl.  It sounds weird.  By this, I mean that he got up on hands and knees as he's been doing, but was actually able to get the whole body into it and push from one knee so that he moved forward.  Once.  Then it was back to rocking or pushing backwards with his hands.  He's almost there!

It's a fun time for him and he's definitely starting to have more of an intentional vocalizing or mobilizing toward whatever it is that he wants: food, toys, standing, etc.  He's still my happy and content boy, but is really beginning to engage in his world a bit more.  Here you can see a few happy moments, pea face, and a surprise wave.

Getting Started the Southern Way

As I was looking around to make sure I knew about Catalinas, I found that Southern Savers has a newly designed site and a really slick new presentation for coupon basics.  It's really, really fab!  If you have ever wanted to get started with coupons, or have a lovely visual aid to give you an overview, you MUST check this post out.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I am running a photo book giveaway from Mix Book over at my REVIEW BLOG.  Definitely stop over to find out how you can enter.  If you follow this blog, all you need to do is comment over there and that's an entry.  Comment again to say you'd fill the whole photo book with pictures of Betty White (or the photos of your choice):  that's another entry.  Everyone needs a little more FREE!

Boys, Playing

We had a long day, but it was a fun day.  Long and fun. This morning seems like 10 years ago.
I sent Saw out on the back patio with some bowls of water and paintbrushes.  This was a genius idea and he painted for like an hour.

Meanwhile, Linc ate.  And ate and ate and ate...

For a brief interlude, they played together!  It was super cute, though I had to keep telling Saw things like, "don't sit on his head" and "please stop knocking him over."

Hey! My foot made it in this picture!  I need some new shoes.

Catalina: Sheep and Steinbeck

When I hear of Catalinas, I think of Buster from Arrested Development and also John Steinbeck.  When I first saw them mentioned on coupon sites, I was confused.  I ignored.  But then one day I was getting my receipt and happened to notice that the little machine that printed out that annoying $19.99 Oil Change at Jiffy Lube! coupon had a word on it:  Catalina.

There it was!

I'll confess:  I figured it out, but still have not really shopped intentionally with Catalinas until this week. There is a McCormick deal running right now where if you buy three of their spices you get a $3 Catalina (or Cat) coupon for your next purchase.  On a couponing site, this will look like $3 cat OYNO (off your next order).  McCormick spice grinders were on sale for $1 until last night at Kroger, so I bought three in one transaction and three in another.  That's six spice grinders for FREE!  Well, "free" as in I paid out of pocket, but got the money back.

From what I understand, this Catalina is a marketing company, and until recently, these have been kind of hard to figure out or find ahead of time.  Or you had to scour the aisles, coupon forums, or try it out.  I found a really great resource over at Southern Savers with a national coupon database for Catalinas right now!  Go check it out for some extra good deals!

Sometimes Mommy Wets the Bed

Well, my guessing game was pretty lame, since pretty much everyone in the comments guessed something about peeing my pants.  My REAL question becomes:  did you guess that because it seemed logical in general, or logical for ME??  I might start getting worried if it's the latter.

In any case, I woke up around 6am from some intense dream with a very odd feeling like something was wrong.  Did I just dream I was peeing, or did I pee in my pants?  Um, a little of both.

The dream was something about me reading a magazine while sitting on the toilet, and I can actually now remember the sort of battle I had with my body as my dream was telling me it was time to pee and my body was saying No!  We're in a bed!  Thankfully I woke up almost immediately, but my plan to roll off to Bible study in my yoga pants was thwarted.

Funny enough, this is the second time in my adult life this has happened.  Amber B, if you're reading this, when I first moved to Texas at 22, I was house-sitting and had a dream you and I were talking in the bathroom and I peed in the bed in real life.  If this is a pattern, it's only once every ten years, so I think I'm okay.

Surely I'm not the only person to do this...right???

Guess What I Did?

No, really.  Guess what I did that should be something only my kids do.  I'll tell you the answer later.

Red and Green Breakfast Casserole

This is my adaptation of a recipe from the Bakers and their Red Cloud cookbook.  They call it the Christmas morning casserole, and I referred to mine as red and green, which is a nod to theirs and also to the jalapenos and tomatoes I used.  I'll put the exact recipe down (because I know some of you are exact) and make notes of what I did differently.

***It's one of those that soaks overnight, so make sure you prepare it the night before and cook in the morning!***

Red and Green/Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole

14-15 sliced sandwich bread (I used 4-5)
1 pound chopped ham (I used some sausage I had in the fridge)
1 cup grated sharp cheese
1 cup grated Monterey cheese (I used mozzarella because it's what I had)
2 cans green chilies (I used diced jarred jalapenos, probably a handful)
1 c diced tomatoes (my addition)
1 cup crushed cornflakes, or enough to cover (I left this out)
1/4 c melted butter (I left this out)
7 eggs
1/2 T dry mustard (I was out so seasoned with Tony Chacheres)
1 t salt
3 c milk

Cut the bread into slices (their recipe) or cubes and layer in the bottom of a greased pan.  Put meat, cheese and chilies/jalapenos/tomatoes on top, then cover with remaining bread. (I put more cheese and stuff on top of this bread layer.) Beat eggs, seasonings, and milk.  Pour over the casserole and let sit overnight in the fridge.  Before baking, you can cover with the cornflakes and drizzle with butter.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.  Serves 12.

I made two pans of this and planned to give one away, but they were small and we are totally going to finish them both!

After assembly, just before the fridge.

After baking!  I probably didn't get quite enough milk and eggs since I split into two pans, so some of the bread cubes were crouton-y.



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