Thursday, January 22, 2009

Snagged By Her Sister

So the legend goes, one day we were waiting at the end of the driveway for the bus, when with a monster sneeze, out of my mouth flew the biggest, greenest snag I'd ever seen and landed right on Aubrey's leg--a good three feet away! Much to my surprise, Aubrey remained calm and wiped the phlegm from her shin and that was the end of that tale. Today, a new sister snag saga; this one was not so peaceful....

While playing together on the family room floor, Abby let out a graceful sneeze, which produced remnants of her recently eaten breakfast. I would have never known there was an issue, but Tiny, the snag recipient, came limping over to me holding up her pant leg repeating, "She got me." Tiny was repulsed. So repulsed, in fact, that she refused to carry the bundled discharge to the receptacle.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Clay Nation

This week the girls and I took on the project of making clay. It was a two-fold project: making the recipe, then painting our cooked creations.

I put half of the ingredients in each of the girls' bowls for them mix, then roll out with a rolling pin. Each chose her own cookie cutters, then we baked them, and let them dry over night, painting them the next day. The clay can be used to form desired shapes, but since my girls are not quite ready for a project on that level we opted to do cut-outs.

Here is the recipe for making clay....
1 cup salt
2 cups flour (more if rolling out)
1/2 cup water (add more when mixing if mix is too crumbled)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Mix together. Shape into desired shapes or ornaments, or roll and cut out with cookie cutters. Place on baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 2-4 hours until dry. Shapes can be painted and sealed with a clear shellac, spray plastic or clear nail polish after drying process.
We are planning on gluing magnets on the back of ours and giving them as gifts. The possibilities are endless!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sick of It

In New England instead of something being 'really far', it would naturally be referred to as 'wicked fahh'. It's part of the language we learned to adapt to when we lived in Boston. In Ohio, the terminology isn't so much regional as much as it is a distortion of definition. With the recent snowfall and cold snap, I've acquainted myself with some of their usage through the local news: 1 inch of snow=Atrocious, 3 inches=Treacherous, and below zero temperatures=Bone-Biting. Their definitions=Abysmal! I'm not saying a negative reading on the thermometer isn't cold, but seven below is not bone-biting unless you're in the elements without proper apparel. It has gotten cold here, darn cold. So cold in fact, that for the first time in years I had to arm myself with a scarf over my face when I went out to shovel the driveway. I forgot that when your mouth is warmed by the covering of your scarf, it throws your breath right up into your also covered nose; when you're doing this first thing it the morning it's definitely an appetite killer. Lesson no. 1 of '09: Next time I head out with my scarf I'll also be arming myself with a mint.

In 2008 I experimented with a change in occupation. I came close to earning my professional house painter's certificate, worked as an electrician, dabbled in plumbing, and did enough in the medical care profession that I believe I may be qualified to practice medicine in Third World countries. When we came down with Rotavirus a week before Thanksgiving, we had no way of knowing that it would stick with us until just before Christmas. Fortunately, we were well enough to travel back to Minnesota for the holidays, but of course all of that socializing bought us all down with colds. As if that wasn't enough, Abby lost it in the car on the way back to Ohio, and spent about half of the trip through Iowa, and almost all of the trip through Illinois puking. We made it back to Ohio, miraculously; it's one adventure I'd rather never repeat. But as luck would have it we weren't finished yet, and now we're struggling to overcome a respiratory flu. We've been sick with just about everything floating around the Midwest this Winter. Sick of it doesn't even begin to express my sediments. Lesson no. 2: Never travel without a puke bucket.

Thankfully, our girls are quite the little troopers. They trudge on with their fun and their lives of play and development. Abby turned four last week.... four going on fourteen. Her ability to express herself through language has grown by leaps and bounds. And like many fourteen year-olds, she now likes to spend time alone in her room. It's fairly innocent, playing with her Lizzie elephant and listening to music. But I must admit, it breaks my heart just a little to know my little girl is slipping away. She is quite proud that she has completed all of our prerequisites for starting preschool in the Fall. Most importantly, she is a full-time toilet user. Her only setback may be that she also needs to know how to follow the rules, a fine example of Abby the fourteen year-old.

Lauren too, is motivated to go to preschool and has joined the ranks of those in toilet training. There is a down-side to this. Our Tiny is so small that she needs her diaper just to hold up most of her pants. There is also the occasional clean-up scenario that all parents of potty trainers dread. This isn't my favorite stage, though I know it's a big one, and quite important. Besides the obvious payoff of no longer having to buy diapers, my favorite element to potty training is the cute little naked butt that flashes around the house. No judging. If you've potty trained a tot, you know just what I'm talking about.

Not much has changed with my Geoff. Another disappointing season with the Vikings. Same old, same old at the Air Force Base, at least for now. At this point I think he'd give just about anything to be back on his feet and taking his little ladies out on their Daddy Dates. But for now, that will have to wait. For now, the girls, with all that they were showered with at Christmas, are still playing with their cars. How two little girls can be so entertained by organizing Match Box cars into rows and grids is beyond me. But they like it, and they must be learning something....

I hope each of you had a great Christmas, and are off to a happy, healthy, and warm-as-possible start to 2009!

Friday, January 16, 2009

How Do You Measure Naughty?

I feel like I've been hit by a truck! My sinuses are so swollen to capacity and I can't seem to kick this respiratory flu. So today I took it easy.... boy was that the wrong thing to do. It inspired a whole lot of naughty in my little gals that brought out a creative side I'd rather not have seen. Or cleaned up.

So how do you measure naughty? You assess the crime scene, apprehend the perpetrators, assign a sentence, and after you've cleaned up everything the dog didn't get to, you pour it into a measure cup. It comes out to about two cups worth.

I hope your day is filled with sprinkles, and that they all come on a cupcake.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Little Surprises

Last night as Geoff and Lauren were assisting Abby in her evening bowel movement, Geoff was taken aback when Lauren flushed the fecal collection stating, "Goodbye poopie. You go to the sewer, okay?" This was no surprise to me, since my little ones, full of questions ask just where does that poop and potty go.... so I tell them: at our house it goes to the sewer because we are hooked up to the city sewer system, but at Grandma & Papa's it goes in the septic tank because they live out in the country. Of course they have no idea what the difference is between a sewer and a septic tank, but they are boosting their vocabulary and expanding their base. After all, isn't that why I'm staying home with them, to teach them these things?!

I was surprised, however, today in the doctor's office. No, not by the ear infections that both were diagnosed with, even though we just went in for a four-year well visit for Abby. Though I must admit that on top of the rotavirus, the colds, the vomiting in the car on the way back to Ohio, and now the respiratory flu, that they have yet another ailment I do ponder: when will it end? As we were waiting for the doctor, I was occupying the girls by asking them questions. When I had asked all of the questions I could think of that they knew the answers to I started to challenge them. Finally, I asked Abby how many fingers she had. She looked down at her hands, and one by one counted off each of her fingers until she came up with an answer, "Ten," she smiled. I have never seen her do that one before. Today I was proud!

Can't wait to see what they come up with tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


When Abby announced last year that her body was talking after passing gas, I knew the wheels were turning and this was just the beginning of her creative verbal expulsion. I just didn't know more would be coming so soon. Here are a few of her other Abbyisms:

A few days ago as we were lunching on vegetable soup she took notice of the alphabets moving around her spoon in her cup and proclaimed, "The alphabets are dancing."

Yesterday as she was playing with her helium balloon she was pulling on the string making the balloon and it's string bounce around the family room and lifting the weight well off the floor. Then she noted to me, "My balloon is dancing, Mama." Can you tell she loves to dance?!

In the last few days she has noticed that in Finding Nemo, Nemo does indeed have a mother and inquired what has happened to her. I responded by simply stating, "Nemo's mother passed away." This answer seemed to satisfy her and she didn't press further. Last night as we were leaving the restaurant on her birthday, with balloons in tow the girls were loaded into the car. When Geoff went to take Lauren's balloon so she could get into her seat, the balloon, not securely attached to the ribbon, floated up into the sky. As Lauren began to get upset, Abby tried to calm her nerves by saying, "Your balloon passed away, Tiny." I was going to tell her that the balloon was on it's way to another child's birthday celebration tomorrow, but I liked Abby's answer better. Maybe I should just let her do the talking.

Oh her mind!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bringing in '09 with a B#r!‏

Was three weeks of vomiting and diarrhea (a word I struggle to spell and hoped not to have to ever type again) this holiday season not enough to fill our quota well into the new millennium? At least into 2012? Apparently not.

We arrived in Minnesota on December 18th four healthy people and one scar-free dog. We made a successful surprise, as we showed up unbeknownst to Mom (and Dad) at Mom's 25th Anniversary at Jostens. So a few snow storms kept us from seeing Santa and shopping in the Cities. That had to be the worst that could happen. It wasn't. Whatever Lizzie did to aggravate Mom & Dad's dog, Raven, must have been severe because Raven left Lizzie with a chunk taken out of her head. Seriously, it was time to say goodbye to 2008! In addition, the four of us suffered almost the entire two weeks with sore throats, in my case I lost my voice, and chest and nasal congestion struck us all. But we're not done yet.

I was ready to give 2008 a kick in the ass on New Years Eve when I spilled three, yes three beverages at the hockey game that night. I'll save you the details of the rest of our time in Minnesota, but it was nice and fairly low-key. With threats of storms Thursday and Saturday, we decided Friday was our day to depart the Land of 10,000 Lakes and return to Ohio. The trip was fine until we arrived in Cedar Rapids and that's when it happened: Abby puked. All over! Family stomach viruses always tend to bring out the best, then the worst in Geoff and I. There is a sense of team work, then eventually a meltdown as Geoff could no longer listen to "Goodbye To You" play over and over again. But in the end, when both girls pass out, its a peaceful time to talk and spend "quality time" together. In this case our quality time was laced with the smells of barf and nasty dog farts coming from the back seat. Aside from mechanical failure or a head-on collision, it couldn't have been much worse. In fact, this was the worst ride of my life. This trip would certainly have made for great reality TV. Time after time we found ourselves in parking lots, me wiping Abby down, Geoff scrambling through the dirty clothes bag to find something suitable for her to suit up in. Yes, we had clean clothes, but of course those were sealed in a space bag at the very back of the trunk! And what one girl has the other must receive.... Lauren spent mile after mile insisting she, too, be suited up in dirty jammies. In the end the barfing was contained to the borders of Iowa and Illinois, and we made it home in 12 hours anyways (no stop for meals, just clean up & gas).

The girls and I found ourselves camped out on the family room floor last night and thus far have been without incident. Thus far. The girls are feasting on buttered noodles for the now, possibly the only food left in the house, and a great one for unsettled tummies. It is my first meal in over 24 hours. Lucky us.

So here's hoping you're off to a better start in 2009, and here's hoping ours gets & stays healty!


{About Me}

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Fairborn, Ohio, United States
I'm a teacher by trade, writer at heart & mom in every sense of my being. I never considered writing as a profession, but after I got married and began moving around the country, I began sharing my adventures, misadventures & updates through a sort of e-mail newsletter. I found a true passion in unconventional story-telling that has followed me into motherhood.