Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The morning commute

We are so lucky to live here. I absolutely LOVE Lincoln, NE. We have made great family memories here, and even though the weather can turn inclement on a dime, there's not much that we don't like about Lincoln.
One of those things is traffic. There is no traffic. At least, not like the traffic I grew up dealing with. Concord at 6:30-8:30am? HORRIFIC.
Lincoln? None. Nein. Zilch. Zero.

So, taking Drue to the bus stop on the way to dropping James off at school is not a problem.

Yesterday morning, we were in the car driving to the bus stop. As we were driving, I was making a mental list of the order of things to be done. And you know how sometimes in your distraction you mumble things aloud? That's what I was doing.
"Mom, what are you doing?", comes from the back seat.
"I'm just talking to myself", I answer.
"Can I talk to myself?", he asks so sweetly and innocently.
"Of course you can."
"Okay. Good morning, James. 
Hi. How are you?
Good! Did you finnish your homework?
Yes! Did you eat your breakfast?
Yes! It was good. Are you ready to go to school?
Okay. Let's go!
Mom, I'm all done!"

(At this point I'm struggling to keep my laughter in silent mode so I could listen to this personal little exchange)

He's so sweet. And also quite literal!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


We have only 2 kinds of mornings in my house: The ones that include me yelling, and the ones that don't.

I'll let you guess how often that second option happens.

Sometimes I'm yelling in a controlled way, more like speaking in large type. This is not the more common way I seem to communicate with my offspring.

Why is it that children do not ever seem to hear what you are saying until it's being said about 40 decibels louder than a jackhammer?

This morning, James woke up Oliver in some way that really made Oliver mad. MAD, mad.
So, imagine my glee when I was awakened to a shrill, impressively loud shriek being emitted from the floor on my side of the bed. (Why is it never on D's side?! Just answer me that.)
I immediately felt the urge to yell.
But I didn't.
Don't laugh. I honestly struggled with the thought of picking up both of my children by the scruff of their necks, hauling them to their room and depositing them in their beds for the mother of all time-outs.
But I didn't.
Instead, I calmly asked what happened. Score one for personal restraint.

But the fun didn't end there. Oh, no.
It truly seemed that every 5 minutes or so I would say the same phrase: "James, don't touch your brother".
"James, don't touch your brother."
"James! don't touch your brother."
"James. do. not. touch. your. bro-ther."

This can't be unique. I'm not that special.
I may just need a little assurance that
a. I am sane
b. my children are normal. Or as my sister-in-law says: It's age-appropriate crap-behavior.
c. I'm not permanently scarring my kids.

Now, if you'll excuse me, apparently, I need to go play trains. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Here's why I wanted a frying pan for a present from my husband. Really, it could have come from anyone, but since D is the one who will be benefiting from my amazing culinary skills, I think he saw the need and strove to fill it. What a good husband.

Back to why I wanted a frying pan.
And not just any frying pan.
A Lodge Logic 12" cast iron pre-seasoned frying pan.

When I went to visit my parents in January, I did a bit of cooking.
"Bit" may be an understatement.
I did a WHOLE LOT of cooking.
But, why would I want to travel, 'literally' (said like Chris from Parks and Recreation) 1,800 miles in one direction.... to COOK?
Two words: no kids.
It was awesome. I got to cook and no one was fighting/hitting/playing-under-foot/talking incessantly etc...etc...etc...
Have you children? Do you cook? Then you know what I'm saying. It's almost impossible to do what you need to make GOOD food.

But it was wonderful. Sans kiddos I made:
2 full size Texas Sheet Cakes
Chili (Rick Bayless is my hero)
Chicken Tikka Masala (Pioneer Woman is my heroine)
Biscuits/eggs/fried potatoes/ Jimmy Dean Sausage (that I hauled all the way up from the states!- guess what you CAN'T get in Canada?) (Also, my Dad is my Hero)
Carrot Cake (Betty is the woman on this one) with the most amazing Mascarpone/Cream Cheese/Heavy Whipping Cream frosting. The calorie count on the frosting alone has to be over 1,000 calories!!!
3 pans of cinnamon rolls (and again, my Dad is the one to listen to. You were right dad. Don't be stingy with the brown sugar. Nor the butter. Nor the pecans. You know what- just be generous with everything)
And doubled my favorite Julia Child roast chicken recipe, plus sauce and asparagus.

Granted, the asparagus turned out significantly over-done. So, no score on that.
But everything else was, if I say so myself, GOOD.
So, take that naysayers from my youth. I CAN cook.

But while I was making all this food, I was introduced to the cast iron skillet.
Oh. my.
Lovely, easy to cook with, perfectly done everything, great sear, great flavor...
I could go on.
Perhaps I should write a sonnet:

Oh Skillet of my heart you cook so well
You brown and sear the beef, the chicken too
When hot and oil'd thy flavors blend to swell
The hearts of those who eat of food from you.

I could go on. There ARE another 10 lines of rhymed iambic pentameter for this particular work.
Should I publish? Just think of it- a whole tome of sonnets about cookware.
I'm thinking Pulitzer. You're probably thinking "round file".

But since I have returned from my Great White North adventure, I have been jones-ing for a cast iron skillet. It's the pan of choice. I may never have to buy another frying pan. Ever.
All-Clad can eat my shorts.
Cast iron just stole my heart.

Valentine's present

In the immortal words of Flynn Rider:
Frying Pans! Who knew, right?!

Happy V-day to me! Thanks lovey. It's perfect. And it will always fit.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nap time

No longer exists.

I'm devastated.

No more afternoon naps for me.

I'm going to bed tonight at 9.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I just checked out this website: www.Sproost.com to take their personal style quiz.
They say I'm a 'Cottage Chic' gal. I guess that's true. I like light neutrals, a few fun-color pieces, and cozy spaces. At least, that's what they say I like.


I have no personal interior decorating style.

No, no. It's true.

Here's my problem: I like it all.
Southwest? Great colors, patterns, textures.
Mod? Clean lines, bright, spacious.
Victorian? Beautiful attention to detail, woods, and lush fabrics.

Paintings? I love 'em all. Except for the boring ones. You know the kind. The ones you find at Hobby Lobby. ugh.

Photos? Fantastic! Except, again, for the self-indulgent, pointless ones. Paris at midnight overlooking a bridge on the Seine, focused toward the Eiffel Tower? Pu-lease.
Give me Ansel Adams. Or other EXCELLENT work.

What color is my couch? Stone.
How about my furniture? Brown wood. Mismatched too.
What is framed? A family picture. And a quartet of other pictures starring my family.
Well, what colors are your frames? Brown and beige. It's true.

I have no personal style.

I wish I were one of those people who can decorate with eclectic pieces and make it work. My sister is like that- but then, she's always been able to collage well. Do you remember when we had that assignment in the 5th grade to create a collage of ourselves? Your collage was in the shape of a peace sign and you had shoved all the pictures you could onto it and it looked fantastic! Mine was a square, and the pictures were ordered side to side in neat lines and spaces. Bo-ring and dull. And your room was always full of things that were interesting to you- odd signs, vintage suitcases as coffee tables, that TV tray you decoupaged a million pictures of David Duchovny onto- it was all brilliant, always laced with the same color: green.

I need a place to start. A color. An idea. A direction.


Otherwise, I dread the day when my house turns into a mishmash of half-finnished pinterest projects. Or worse, toll painting. (shudder)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Kissy face

In my family, we kiss.
It's a perfectly normal and appropriate way to say from one person to another, "I love you, respect you and want to show my appreciation for all the wonderful things you are to me".
As children, we would all kiss our parents after each family prayer, my parents would kiss after every meal-time prayer, we children would all kiss our parents hello and goodbye. We still do this.
My Mom is the BEST kisser. She kisses everyone! I love it. Now, to be clear, she's not kissing everyone on the lips, because that's inappropriate. And the Simpson's are all about appropriate-ness. And if you buy that, I have a pig with wings I'd like to sell to you
But in all honesty, we love to kiss.

Yesterday, I realized the power of kissing.

My kindergartener was waiting for me to pick him up from school yesterday. As I drove up to the available spot, he was escorted to the car by the Vice Principal. As a side note, the Principal, the Vice and I are all well-aquainted by now:)
As I'm getting James loaded into the car, the Vice tells me, "I just wanted to let you know we had a little kissing incident today."
"What?!", I said.
 Yelled is more what I did.
"Yes", he explained, "James kissed another little boy on the lips in class today. But we had a little chat about not kissing our friends and I think things are all okay."
Imagine my surprise.

So, in the car, I asked James about it. He said that he did, indeed, kiss another little boy ("his name is Sam, mom") on the lips.
When I asked him WHY he would do such a thing, he said simply, "He was pretending to be Star Of The Week, but he's not, so I kissed him."

What do you say to that?!!!

I chuckled and clarified that he kissed this little boy (poor guy!) in self-defense. How often do you think of kissing as a tool for defense? I can just see the Karate Kid getting his a** kicked just after kissing the Cobra Kai dude for a winning point. Geez.

But would you rather have a kiss or a punch in the face?
Kissing just seems more peaceful.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


What my five-year-old said

Yesterday, after a long day of teaching lessons both gymnastic in nature and musical, I arrived home with my children in tow to get ready for a night of more lessons. ('look, more lembas bread'. I'm such a nerd)
As I was removing James from the car and moving to get Oliver, he said:
"Mommy, do you have a baby in your tummy?"
Stunned, I looked down as he came over to my side, looking at my abdomen with a sweet, soft look on his face.
"No, James. Mommy does not have a baby in her tummy."
Determined that I am not telling the truth, J continues to look at my tummy and then pats it. Gently.
"Yes you do."
"Does it look like I have a baby in my tummy?"
"Yes. You have a baby in your tummy."

It's no longer a question. It's a statement of fact.

To be clear, I am not pregnant.

But my five-year-old certainly thinks I am.

Back to the ol' drawing board. I might need more core work.