Friday, May 30, 2008

the truth is out there

the past few weeks i have noticed about 5 extra pounds around my mid-section...
this seems to be connected with some new found knowledge...
it is REALLY easy to use your debit card at chick-fil-a...

coincidence? conspiracy, i say.
trust no one.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

the grass is always greener?

our next door neighbor travels. he is young, single, working, etc... translation - he does not pull weeds.

i love to pull weeds, hey, i like to live on the edge.

so each day when i'm outside with the kids my eyes drift over to our neighbor's landscaping. i could just pull a few each day, and soon the flower beds would be clear...

i sneak over, and find the craziest looking weeds EVER! they are huge and spiky and i swear they lean toward you if you get too close. i go inside and get a paper towel to yank them out with - yes i am bored. i wrap the towel around the weed and grab. the spiky things pierce every finger - they don't bend!

so - i looked them up - of course! they are thistles. supposed to get them by the root or use weed killer. must think of a plan b.

when mm asked me what i did yesterday - oh, yes he did! - apparently it wasn't obvious. i didn't share this info as i am a little worried he might have me committed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

back in the groove

almost everything is unpacked from our weekend trip to buffalo. the laundry is finished and the suitcases are put away. we are back in the groove of normal life. bummer.



a top 10 of "out of the groove" things i got used to on my visit...

10. adults outnumbering kids - only by one, but still!
9. holding my newest nephew z - ALMOST making me think about another baby...
8. my father-in-law fixing my coffee AND bringing it to me - that never gets old!
7. the fenced-in backyard - makes counting kids easier.
6. opening the fridge and seeing food - weird.
5. m, g, & k playing with their cousins - triplets can be very entertaining!
4. different toys and books - always good.
3. tekla - the adopted greyhound - ALMOST making me think about a dog...
2. late night talks with adults other than my hubby.
1. thanking my lucky stars i got so blessed in the in-law department.
0. bonus - mm got lousha with the whoopie cushion - classic.

it was a wonderful weekend. food, fun, and i even found a way to sneak off to the jcrew outlet for a little retail therapy...

** weekly green update - got rid of all plastic plates and cups. except for a few sippys that i plan to discard when i find some siggs for the kids. got new dishwashing liquid and hand soap. also toilet cleaner - but again we are using what we have first. found some dryer balls, mostly because k is allergic to dryer sheets, but still a green thing to do. they are kind of noisy. my mom ordered us a low-flow shower head. i'll let you know how that goes. **

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

what did you say?

the kids are playing with mm's walkie-talkies...

the conversation is going something like this -

"what are you doing?"
"what did you say?"
"what?"
"i can't hear you."
"what?"
"what are you doing now?"
"what did you say?"
"whhhhhaaaaaaaaat?"

good times.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

17-year itch

video

papa sent us this video of the cicadas in his yard. i thought it was pretty cool. the kids really enjoyed it too.

i was reading a little about cicadas - almost 5 billion will emerge in southern ohio alone - very near my parents' house in wv. their strategy is to come out in such huge numbers that their predators get tired of eating them!

protein-rich and carb-free, some people stir-fry them - they taste like asparagus!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

odds and ends

found in my purse...

a pair of m's underwear
small packets of tabasco sauce

i don't think these things would ever be on the list for that baby shower game. but they should be. that's what's really in a mom's purse, people!

pre-kids i could never understand that game. now, three kids later, i could kick some serious butt!

stripe-ee three

this morning we let stripe-ee three go home to his family.

stripe-ee one was found last summer in my geraniums. we fed him more leaves and flowers from the same pot until he turned into a cocoon.

stripe-ee two came to us last week by way of mm's car. he ate oranges (we think) until g decided he probably missed his mommy. mama's boy, much?

stripe-ee three used to live at gymnastics. now he lives here. best of luck to him finding something to eat. he was looking a little, dehydrated, would be a nice way of saying it. maybe he can find something in our weed-filled flower beds.

i did a little research. stripe-ees are tent caterpillars. they are considered pests. not in our house. they are honored pets. the article said to pay particular attention on where you find them so you'll know what to feed them.

anyone have any ideas on the proper food for stripe-ees? the geraniums only worked once, and none of them like our purple plum or cleveland pear leaves...

p.s. sorry for the crazy spelling, our gifted children come up with these gems all the time, gray-ee, spot-ee, brown-ee, pink-ee, you get the idea...

*update - stripe-ee four was rescued from the park earlier this morning.*

Monday, May 19, 2008

eat this!

one of my friends had this book at her house when i went there for a silpada (love it!) party. i had a hard time putting it down. since then i've talked about it non-stop. the last time mm took the kids to the mall to play he bought me a copy. sweet!

it is a fun book. i was surprised that we do already eat some of the "good" stuff... sun chips, lite syrup, hummus, goldfish, AND guinness!

the kids have been running around shouting, "eat this, not that!"

*some things i'm going to look for on the next grocery trip - luna tea cakes, simply jif, dried goji berries, and hellman's with canola.*

update - tuesday - it's only fair i tell you the "bad" stuff we eat too, namely, yo crunch yogurt, pop tarts, pringles, quaker granola bars, and cheez-its.

a long way to go

this morning m's school hosted "muffins with mom" - moms come and eat breakfast with their kids. (not unlike "donuts with dad")

i look forward to it because the younger kids get to see inside the school, and we get to walk m down to her classroom before we leave. we had a very nice morning.

i was pretty proud of myself because i managed to get up AND shower. there is a reason i am called pajama mom. half of my town probably wouldn't recognize me without my hello kitty pajama pants on. but that is a post for another day.

we are all dressed and on time. everyone's hair is brushed. a rare feat. standing in line i notice the woman in front of me. mostly her shoes. i always notice shoes. they were awesome grey nike shox running shoes. she is also wearing a black sweatsuit. how come some women manage to look "dressed up" and they are wearing sweats?

so we all sit down. my family eats chocolate muffins, chocolate milk, and coco puffs. no lie. i look over at the more-put-together-than-me-mom. she is eating two hard-boiled eggs, no yolks, and a container of peppers, green, yellow, and red. she even brought her own tea - green, no doubt.

man, i have a long way to go...

gabby's boutique

this is what we called gabriel brothers in college. "where did you get that super long pair of socks with the holes?" "gabby's, 25 cents for a 10-pack!"

-the towels with rips? gabby's!
-the leopard print mini-skirt? gabby's!
-all things (sorry mm) buffalo bills? gabby's!

i stopped in for the first time in about a year, in fact, the last time i was there i bought the liners for my window boxes, ($2!) and that's why i stopped in saturday.

no liners, but i saw many other things, mainly, crocs, purses, bamboo cutting boards, and swim trunks.

alas, i had g with me, so i must go back. soon. i figure i'm doing my part to save all that stuff from the landfill, right?

gabby's is the new green!

**weekly green update - we switched our toothpaste. mm and i switched deodorants. i now smell like lavender and mm smells unscented, cool! i also bought new shampoo, but we are going to finish what we have before we start with that. m and i picked out new lip gloss. i looked at moisturizer and facial scrub, will get that next time. baby steps. this week's goal - get rid of plastic cups.**

Friday, May 16, 2008

parenting

after a year, i've let my parenting magazine subscription expire...

this is because - I'M TOO BUSY PARENTING TO READ PARENTING!

no doubt i have missed some vital information that i'll probably need later. or now.

earlier this week - the calls started, i'm sure to "remind" me that my subscription has expired. i know this because the caller i.d. says "parenting" - strange marketing move.

should i -

a) pick up the phone and politely tell them that i am no longer interested, thank you very much?

b) never answer and see how many times they call before they give up? (this option has yet to work with the tribune review)

c) pick up the phone and scream, "you are calling me in the morning, at naptime, at dinnertime, i still have 10 issues from last year i haven't even read yet, because i'm busy trying to be a parent!"?

i guess it's not the phone person's fault that i am a lame mom. but as long as i don't answer, they still have a job, right?

*update - i accidentally picked up the phone thinking it was mm calling, so i talked to them! it was a pretty good offer, 77% off of the cover price, but i was strong. problem solved. maybe we will have a ring-free nap today.*

Thursday, May 15, 2008

groundhog day

today feels like yesterday and all the days before... it's rainy and cloudy, again.

and i'm not learning anything from my past experiences. i still asked the open-ended morning question...

"what do you want for breakfast?"

k does the "pretend" thinking, "ummm, chips?"
"no."
"ummm, cookies?"
"no."
g pipes in, "how about fruit snacks?"
"no!"

just like yesterday!

we had waffles, (you guessed it, like yesterday) with butter and syrup, which makes me wonder if we should have just had cookies. probably more nutritious.

now i'm looking at the pile of laundry, that i swear i did yesterday, and the downstairs, where all of the toys are back out on the floor, again.

and in a couple of hours, the tribune review will start their daily calls during nap time...

anyone else ever feel like it's groundhog day?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

friendly advice

don't put a pull-up in the washing machine. ever.

freakedly freaked

where to start...

i picked up this book at sam's club, when mm and i were there on our date night. grandmother put the kids to bed and we leisurely walked up and down every aisle. sad - but true, this is our idea of a great date.

yesterday i sat down and started reading. i'm not sure what i expected, a nice fluffy book? maybe that sophie would tell me to start composting, (check) recycling, (check) and to stop driving my suv. (no check) i'm green, i have a masters in resource economics, ya'll. not to brag, but my thesis is about composting, no lie.

i am blown away. mostly because i am not anywhere near as green as i thought. i suppose i've been hiding under the "ignorance is bliss" umbrella. more than that - there are too many things i have read (so far) that literally make me sick to my stomach. not only because i'm surrounding myself with these products, but because i'm putting them on/near my kids!

i'm not a complete nut, (yet) so i think i'll just give an update every so often, on what we are doing to rid our house of these products. yes - we - mm is easy. mention lead or toxins of any kind and he is immediately on board.

**while i'm writing this k is begging for corn chips, and since i haven't read the food chapter yet, i guess i'll give her some. told you - ignorance is bliss, maybe i'll eat some too.**

weekly update #1 - last night while our darlings were taking their baths, i innocently picked up the baby wash. "it's called grins and giggles," mm said, "how bad could it be?" the front says gentle and mild. also tear free and hypoallergenic. i've been buying this stuff for almost 7 years now. we are always proud when we have a double coupon and get it for mere cents!

i turn it over - "something to smile about," it says, "vitamins and natural ingredients."

i get my new book, start comparing the "red alert" and "orange alert" lists to the back of the bottle. "red alert" means throw it away immediately. "orange alert" means use it up and don't buy it again. certainly this baby wash would not have anything in it that would be on the "chuck it" list.

the ingredient list is full of un-pronounce-able chemicals. one i can pronounce - fragrance - is on the "red alert" list. this term is used to mask hundreds of ingredients, that can cause reproductive and developmental harm...

to be fair - as far as i can tell - there are only two ingredients on the "orange alert" list. i'm not so good at this yet, but i vow to learn this stuff. one of them is a proven skin irritant the other causes brain, liver, and kidney malfunctions! all three of my kids use this on their hair and bodies, then sit in the tub and play! aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

ok - enough - i'll write more when i have calmed down. plus if i keep writing, i'll tell you about the shampoo i used this morning, the soap, the lotion, and the worst - the deodorant i've been using for more than 20 years!

i think this might be the "push" i've been needing.

freakedly freaked,
pajama mom

Monday, May 12, 2008

all hail mother's day

my mother's day started early. thursday i picked out flowers for the window boxes out front. i got first pick for once, instead of waiting until sunday and getting whatever's left over.

saturday the moms' group went to shadyside to a crepe place for breakfast. only a couple of the moms could go so we took our daughters with us. m dressed up in her easter dress. we ordered a chocolate crepe and a nutella/banana crepe. yummy! m got hot chocolate because it is freezing in pittsburgh for some reason. it was a nice morning, i was surprised at the number of people in line for crepes before the restaurant even opened! that's how you know you aren't going to be disappointed!

then we stopped at the pittsburgh glass factory. will have to go back there for a moms' night. for $25 you can make your own glass flower. they also had soap dishes which would be a great conversation piece. you can bring in your own food, then make something to take home.

sunday i got to sleep in. i got a nice card and some tea. then we went to our favorite mexican restaurant, el campesino's. you thought i was going to say moe's, didn't ya? that is our second favorite.

we walked around the furniture store, then went to lowe's and got some new outside lights for our house. long overdue.

the crazy thing about the day was - it hailed! ice everywhere! i'm telling you, pittsburgh has the weirdest weather.

today i bought a new mailbox. so my mother's day presents just keep on coming! sweet!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

kennywood's open

friday was kennywood day. since we have lived here for almost 14 years now, it doesn't surprise us anymore that there is no school for kennywood day. yes, i said that correctly, no school on kennywood day. each school district takes a turn, sells discounted tickets, and the whole town shuts down for kennywood. it is an acceptable excuse to get out of work that day too.

we decided to go after work. the kids were excited all day, i used that to my advantage. we cleaned rooms and changed sheets. we vacuumed and dusted, all in the name of kennywood.

when mm got home we headed over. we got there at dinnertime, of course. first stop - food. kennywood is famous for their food, some people go just to eat. potato patch fries are a must. and corn dogs. we also heard the gyros are awesome, but we didn't find those until we were headed out for home.

we ate, it rained, just a little. then the big kids (with the biggest kid) ran to the jackrabbit roller coaster. and k and i walked to the kiddie rides. i wasn't sure if she would get on the rides by herself. she did. jumped right on. rode the motorcycles, the helicopters, the elephants, etc.

it was a great night. i felt like a kid myself riding the racers roller coaster with m. although, i think i might have whiplash. as it got darker, the light-sabers came out. that made g's evening. best $5 spent all night. m picked out a giant pencil and k wanted COT-CANDY.

we saw lots of people we knew from school and the neighborhood, i'm starting to see why it is such an important day in pittsburgh.

p.s. if you are from pittsburgh, you should have laughed at the title of this post. around here "kennywood's open" means your zipper is undone. - after 14 years i can smile at that one too.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

do you know this woman?

i recently attended the preschool mother's day brunch. 'tis the season! it's funny how excited i get about my little potted marigold - and the all important button bracelet.

this year g's class filled out a form about the important "women" in their lives...

g's answers...
age - 26
favorite color - pink
favorite food - salad
favorite tv show - the news

does anyone know this woman? i'd seriously like to meet her. so does mm...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

crow for dinner

he fixed it! just to prove that he is semi-handy after all.

the ladies at gymnastics helped - you know who you are.

apparently there is a reset button on the bottom of the disposal. and a little tool that you can use to unclog the blades. of course we kept that little thing, because we keep everything. i'm serious, we have all of our manuals in a binder. the little tool was in the binder pocket.

so he did just what the gym moms said, and everything is right with the world.

crow for dinner.

engineer?

my hubby is an engineer. when i met him i thought, "hey an engineer, he can fix stuff, like my dad." wrong. he is an electrical engineer, which he once told me means he's not an electrician... (?)

this morning i heard the garbage disposal clank. i heard the switch flip a few times. silence. after a while i investigate.

the conversation went JUST like this... kidding.

"what happened, darling?"
"i thought i heard some money drop in the sink, so i turned on the disposal."
"why, sweetie?"
"so i wouldn't have to stick my hand in there."
"what, dear?"
"i didn't want to get my hands all mucky if there wasn't any money in there."
"so you heard the money fall in, but turned on the disposal anyway, love of my life?"
"yes."

wtf?

after he sticks his hand in the sink a few times, he decides to leave for work. on the way out he comes up with a solution. "you should stick your hand in there, it is smaller..."

no luck, but i will keep you posted on this one, folks.

going for the gold

she did it. m did a kip. the last "trick" needed to move up to the next level at gymnastics...

why aren't i using exclamation points? why am i not more enthusiastic? why didn't i jump around screaming like the other moms when their girls made their first kips?

while i am VERY excited, and even more excited for m, moving to the next level means...

more $$$!!! and not just a little more - almost double what we are paying now! it is already difficult to write that check, i can't even imagine more! (there are your exclamation points, people!) of course she has yet to be officially "invited" to move up, the "buzz" around the gym is that she is probably getting an invitation.

initially, we thought, great, she can DO this. she can get a scholarship and flip her way through harvard or where ever her heart desires. then - we starting adding it up. if we saved the monthly fee, invested it, she could pay for harvard. (in cash, probably!)

so - what's a parent to do? get a job?

anyone want to hire me? i want to work part-time, with lots of vacation, from home, i want time off if someone is sick, or has a party at school, or if i just feel like sleeping in... i want lots of money, lots of bonuses, and lots of free stuff. let me know if you are interested...

Monday, May 5, 2008

sometimes

although his birthday isn't technically until july, g had his birthday snack today at school. we called it his "almost" birthday. of course he was smart enough to inquire about the "almost" birthday presents...

the kid is definitely ready for kindergarten.

if you know me well, you probably know i'm not so much of what you could call a culinary expert. i am learning, though, and starting to enjoy being in the kitchen. having lots of gadgets helps.

last night i made these dirt cups for g's party. they were so simple and they turned out great. g's teacher said they were a big hit. one of g's friends said "this is the best snack i have ever had!"

paired with the yoda napkins - i think i did pretty good.

sometimes this mom stuff is a breeze...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

bet you can't guess where we went saturday

one of my old college friends came in from florida to her hometown of clarksburg, wv. the great thing about being old friends is that she probably won't mind too much that i just called her old...

so we packed up the family and drove 2 hours to the scottish festival in bridgeport, wv. mostly to see my friend and her family. but when we got there we were amazed at the size of the festival. the world highland games were held there this year. all of the athletes were flinging giant cannonball things - and tossing giant poles - etc. they even had trading cards of the different professional contestants. highland dancers, bagpipe bands, celtic music, and tons of great food.

the kids got to try their hands at tossing heavy objects, what kid wouldn't love that? they all got little passports to be stamped by the different clans represented at the festival and were rewarded with a little lochness monster. there was a puppet show (put together by my friend's sister) and a booth with wooden swords and shields that g loved. crafts for m, including a crown and a kilt-wearing puppet!

http://www.scots-westvirginia.org/scottish_heritage_society-ScottishCelticFestival.htm

we all had a really great time! sometimes it is surprising how much fun it is to try something new.

Friday, May 2, 2008

turn, turn, turn

our beloved zima passed away yesterday.

my neighbor offered to watch the kids while i took her to the vet. the doctor was so nice, i felt really grateful that he knew just what to say. then i brought her home to let molson say goodbye.

we had decided to just tell the kids that she went to heaven. and leave it at that. however, she looked so peaceful and fluffy and beautiful, we changed our minds and let them have one last goodbye. we wrapped her in my favorite sabres t-shirt (the one with the holes from being washed so many times) and mm dug a hole in our flower bed. we said our goodbyes and the kids put many dandelions on the spot. they cried a lot more than i thought they would, which was not fun.

i did remarkably well for someone who doesn't like to make grown-up decisions or deal with grown-up issues. don't get me wrong, i cried my eyes out, but by the time i picked up the kids i was better.

ssh - don't tell - i think i caught mm a little misty-eyed himself.

zima was with us for almost 13 years, a first anniversary present, and while lately i've been excited to get some "new things" - towels, sheets, dishes, etc. she was one "thing" i really didn't want to ever have to let go. it's strange, i would describe myself as someone who welcomes change, but now i am not so sure...

on a lighter note, my resilient kids are already asking for a kitten...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

memories

it's been a week since my mom left here after a 5 day visit. i have to say i got pretty spoiled. staying in bed a little longer in the mornings, having someone to run errands with, it was nice.

while she was here she offered to order a beach tote for my birthday. i immediately went to llbean.com and ordered the largest one with a zip top - hey, she offered!

beware! the extra large tote is indeed EXTRA large. seriously, i can fit in it. or all three kids... it will be great as a towel tote and also to freak my in-laws out when we come to visit for the weekend. i think i could fit a month's worth of clothes in it!

some other highlights of the trip, call it a top ten list if you will...

10. red lobster take-out, coconut shrimp!
9. going to the zoo with no lunch packed, $20 later, we all have corndogs.
8. k yelling, "welcome to moe's!" a lot.
7. usually known as grandmother, k decides she likes "binda" better.
6. finally getting out for a date, walking around sam's club by ourselves!
5. watching m at gymnastics.
4. grandmother punching out g in wii boxing. classic.
3. getting to send yet more "rummage" home to wv.
2. relaxing and watching lots of hgtv.
1. watching the magic wear off after a couple of days, and how she loves them anyway...

we are already packing for camp grandmother and papa as soon as school is out.