Thursday, October 28, 2010

Incognito

It's red ribbon week at school this week. Today was dress like a spy day. Here is Savannah's attire for the day:

Secret Agent Teensie!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh crap...

Yesterday, while driving to work and brainstorming ways to afford all of the kids upcoming activities and still be able to purchase them something for Christmas, my car "binged" at me. I looked down at the dashboard to see the check engine light lit up. And then the car started violently chugging and lurching.

Crap! Crap! Double crap!

I was located somewhere near the middle of nowhere and not within walking distance of anything. I figured my options were to flag down the next trucker or to chug and lurch my way to town. I chose option 3, call dad.

He recommended I chug and lurch my way to our mechanics, if possible.
So, I did. All the while praising my car for each successful intersection we made it through.
"You can do it, little car. You can do it."

Once I arrived at the mechanics, I sat in the car for a minute rehearsing my performance to accurately describe what my car's problem was. I'm not sure why a car problem can only be accurate conveyed through a game of charades coupled with some Grammy worthy sound effects, but that's the way it is.
I left my keys with the mechanic, prayed for an inexpensive repair, and hopped into my dad's truck to be transported to work.

At the end of my work day, my dad was kind enough to pick me up and help me figure out how in the world I was going to get the kids picked up from school clear back in Arlington.

Well, surprise, surprise. My car repair was not only going to relatively inexpensive, but it was already done! Hooray.

Then, my dad told me that the mechanic wanted to know if I was single.
What?
That's right. He thought I was really good lookin'. And wanted to know if I was available. And thought the best thing to do was ask my dad about me. Keep in mind that my mechanic is about the same age as my dad.

I was laughing about this with my sister later when she asked me, "Well, is he good looking?"
"Not really."
"Well, is he rich?"
"I don't think so."

Hmmm.
He could, however, save me a lot of money in car repairs. This may require further contemplation.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Threat Level Raised to Orange!

I have 2 dogs. Boris and Fillmore. Both are complete idiots. Boris is a Great Dane and Fillmore is a Pommerat (aka Mutt).

Today, while I was peacefully reading a book, it seems our house was suddenly under attack. Fillmore raised the alert. We are currently at threat level orange!


Squirrel attack!


Well, maybe not attack as much as squirrels are foraging around in our trees and yard for delicious nuts. And, if they can torment Fillmore during this process, all the better. And he hates those vermin skulking around his yard. And the squirrels love to flick their tails in his direction, just to taunt him.


Squirrels do have an evil streak. I think that's why I like them. They get quite irritated with us if we come out of the house forcing them to abandon their ground activities and flee to the trees. We often find ourselves being pelted with whatever the squirrels can get their little squirrel hands on to chuck in our direction. And, cussing us out, I'm sure. There is definitely a lot of unfriendly squirrel talk going on.


Anyway, Fillmore has a deep deep hatred for the squirrels and this is how my moronic dog lets us know that squirrel danger is upon us:


video

You can see at the end how concerned Boris is with this potential threat.

Donations Welcome

I'm looking into contacting my bank to see if they offer a low interest loan for parent's of middle schoolers. Mine is bleeding me dry.

Myles has outgrown every piece of clothing from last year including his winter coat. And, to make matters worse, he has decided that Target is not the coolest place to find his winter wardrobe and is demanding name brand clothing. (I knew this day was coming, I have just been trying to delay it as long as possible.)

He wanted to play fall baseball this year and even though it was a HUGE expense, I decided to let him do it. Of course, he loved it. Now, he's planning to play basketball this season and his first team meeting is on Monday. Guess what? He has to have basketball shoes and dress clothes.

This past weekend he was invited to go to a lock-in with a friend of his. That was $35. He had planned to attend the first middle school dance yesterday. Another $5. (He ended up not going. So, quite a hefty savings I got there.) But, he did attend every single home football game and required refreshments from the concession stand, so savings cancelled out.

Now, next weekend, he has been invited to go to a Kansas City Chiefs game with a friend of his. That is going to be super fun for him and I couldn't deny him the opportunity, but more expense.

All of this is coupled with Savannah's elementary school needs like Cheer Night, food drive, classroom parties and activities. And she needed a Halloween costume.

She had initially decided to be an iPod, which was going to be such an easy costume to make, but about 2 weeks ago, she changed her mind and wanted to be a devil. A store bought devil. (Crap)

But, while out searching for her costume, she found this rocker girl costume and liked it even better.



But it cost $35 and was made out of the crappiest costume material available. I thought, we could definitely make this for less than $35. (Of course, I forgot that my free time available for such a project was microscopic.) So, when Savannah's friend's mom sent me a message on Thursday asking if Savannah would like to spend the night at their house on Saturday and then go to the trick or treat event at the zoo on Sunday, I nearly had a panic attack. My main problem was that I couldn't find a jean skirt anywhere in the entire city that would make her costume any less expensive. Plus we were going to be cutting slits in it.
Crap.
Crap.
Crap.

Until I stumbled upon a website with step by step instructions on how to turn a pair of jeans into a jean skirt. It only took me two tries to get it looking right, but I did it. And it really didn't take much time at all.

Then, we hand dyed some gauze, sewed it onto the front of a black tshirt, and cut out the spooky face. We found an old stocking cap, cut it up and stitched it back up with purple stitches. And Voila. A zombie rocker.
And, she's even got the zombie walk mastered.


She has black hairspray and face paint to be added for the full zombie effect, but I'll post the completed look on Halloween.

As for the Middle School Parenting loan, I'll let you know if I find anything out. Or, if you'd like to make a donation to my cause, I can send you my paypal information. :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Book Signing

The kids and I were able to meet Patricia Polacco today. She was doing a signing at the Bookworm. The kids both did really neat projects on Patricia Polacco when they were in second grade and I was so excited to see that she was coming to town. Here we are:

She even brought the Keeping Quilt with her! I guess she takes the Meteor to the schools she visits for the kids to see as well. Very neat. She is going to be doing another presentation at the Omaha Public Library on Monday. I think Savannah will take her poster she made as her second grade project in to show to Patricia.

Then, we'll be going to see a presentation by Gordon Korman on Tuesday at the Omaha Community Playhouse. He happens to be the author of some of my favorite childhood books, the Bruno and Boots books.

David Sedaris is coming on the 25th, too. So many authors! Yay! I'm going to be broke!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Would You Rather...

Have you ever played the game Would You Rather...? Well, if you haven't you should. It's very fun. My kids love it. We had a blast playing it this past weekend.

Savannah pulled a challenge card and had to choose a challenge to do. She chose to let someone write Goof on her face and sit that way for the next several turns. Since having your face written upon with lipstick is so fun, all future challenge cards were modified to contain a similar challenge. Here are the glorious results:
(Just an FYI, it's a bit labor intensive to remove this much lipstick from your face.)

This past weekend, we also purchased our first ever loaf of Pretzel Bread. I had never heard of pretzel bread before but since we make homemade pretzels all the time, we decided this was something we had to try. And it was really good. So, we made some. It was super delicious and I may have to make it daily. I'll have to post the recipe later because blogger isn't letting me paste it in and typing it out is not an option. But here is a picture of the results:

I've also gotten a little crafting done recently. Here are a couple of wreaths that I made this week. I'm a little fixated on candy corn. Can you tell?

Now are you craving some candy corn?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Guess what I found...

While Savannah was in her dance class, Myles and I went around the corner to kill some time in the Dollar General store. While walking around in there, I spotted these...

I picked these two up for my nieces. And, once Savannah got out of her class she decided she needed one too. Yipee! That meant I wouldn't have to go back and get one for myself. Savannah let me color a page in hers that very night. I momentarily travelled back in time to when I was 8 years old on a Saturday morning watching the Smurfs, coloring, and enjoying a delicious bowl of cap'n crunch cereal. Ahh, the good old days.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Ball Comes to an End

Summer started out filled with baseball. Myles loves it. As long as his team wins. His dreams of being drafted by the major leagues before he even enters high school are very vivid. But really he loves the game. He has become one of those guys that can spout off the answer to any baseball trivia question out there. And he's only 12. I've tried to stump him. Can't do it.

He definitely loves the time spent with his friends in the dugout. Loves the snacks from the concession stand. Loves regaling us with his stories of wrongful calls by the umps and glorious plays made in the outfield.

I love how much joy he gets from the sport.

Unfortunately, what I seem to get from the sport is an unfortunate tan. I spent several days following his season opener two summers ago begging my family to take me to the burn unit at the hospital after receiving the worst sunburn of my life. And it left me with a beautiful tan line across the lower portion of my thighs that wouldn't fade until the following spring. Burn scar. I have learned to wear a hat because fine blonde hair doesn't protect the scalp from the sun. And it's extremely painful to blow dry your hair with a sunburned scalp. This year I felt like I'd gained some knowledge in the baseball season sunburn department, but still was left with those unfortunate burns on the small strips that didn't receive quite enough sunscreen.

I'm basically a red hot mess from May through July. And, this year Myles decided he wanted to play fall ball. I sat out in the cool fall air this past Sunday. The weather was really beautiful. Myles had a double header. Since I was prepared for the day to be cool, I wore long sleeves.

Guess what? Back of the hand sunburn.

The sun hates me.

The feeling is becoming mutual.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rummaging Around

It is time for the annual rummage sale that happens at the fairgrounds in my little town. Yipee!! I loves me a rummage sale. I have gone every year that we have lived here and have always found something fabulous. This year, just like last year, my sister came up to rummage with me. Some of our great finds included Taylor Swift and Twilight tshirts for our daughters, some awesome jammies for the kids, and my personal favorite... Snowpants! I found Myles these awesome jammie pants
They are covered in Cheeseburgers! He loves them. And on our second trip down there, Myles found me this fabulous shirt


Wicked! Yay! And in my size. I credited him with the Rummage Sale Find of the Day.

I also picked up these super cute jar glasses for only ten cents a piece and I found 8 of them!



But really the most fun of the rummage sale is when my sister and I search through the table of tshirts looking for tshirts for ourselves. We have picked up YMCA tshirts, Zios Pizzaria tshirts, and tshirts from locations we have never visited. These awesome shirts generally bring us mocking and ridicule whenever we wear them, but love them we do.
Our general rummage sale strategy is to pick up everything we see that we may be interested in, haul all that crap around with us and then weed through it before we pay, putting back 75% of the crap we've been carrying around. This strategy results in excessive sweating while shopping, and sore arm muscles for days after the sale. But that's our plan and we're sticking to it.

So, during our weeding out process this year, I hold up a purple sweater that I was hanging onto for myself. "Do you think this is cute, or too teenager-y?" I ask Stacey. Her hesitation gave me my answer. I turned the sweater back around to look at it again because I thought it was cute. That's when I noticed the tag. it was from Justice for Girls. So that sweater wasn't even teenager-y, it was elementary school-y. My fashion sense may need some updating.

Then, I had picked up a tshirt that had a lion drawn on it. I grabbed it because it was really soft and the lion was kind of neat looking. But, it had a saying on the front. And I couldn't tell for sure what it said.


"What does this say?" I asked Stacey.
"Howard Forever?" she said.
"No, I think it's N-O-W-A-N-D, not Howard," I said.
"Oh, well I don't know what that means," she said to me. "No Wand Forever? I'm not sure."
Hmmm. Is this some brand name? A designer's name? Nowand Forever? No wand Forever. The lion reminded me of Narnia, so maybe it had something to do with that. Wand brings Harry Potter to mind. But, whatever. I'll google it at home before I leave the house wearing it to prevent questioning that I can't answer.
Fast forward to later in the day. I have shown the kids their loot, and thrown everything into the washer. While transferring everything to the dryer, I remember the No Wand Forever shirt and decide to solve this mystery. Onto Google I go. For all you non-morons out there (I, sadly, fall into the complete moron category) , Google will correct your spelling when you misspell something you are searching for. That's when I learned that No Wand Forever was actually Now And Forever. Ha ha. Neither me nor my sister could figure that out.
Total double blonde moment. We are blondes Now and Forever!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Doggie Doo Doo

Guess what I was doing at 4:20am this morning? Cleaning up doggie diarrhea. From a Great Dane. It wasn't pretty. I woke up to his crying and howling and eventual insistant barking.
"Damn it, Boris," I sleepily croaked. He never wakes me up this early whining like this so obviously something is up. And upon reaching the hallway we keep him penned up in, SOMETHING WAS UP. Thankfully, the smell was too overpowering, but the entire hallway and most of the lower portions of Boris were not pretty. So, outside he went.
While he ran loose outside (we have no fence and I wasn't going to touch him to hook him to his rope, and in his current state, he wasn't going anywhere anyway), I cleaned up the hallway and threw yet another load of poopy blankets into the washer. (We've already been dealing with this problem for the past 24 hours). So, I did some quick online research and cooked up some white rice for Boris to eat. As a thank you for this homemade delight at 4:45am, he promptly pooped all over the back porch. So he went back outside and I put my cleaning gloves back on.
I'm not sure what state the house will be in when I return to it this afternoon. I may have to just leave it and move on.
Reason #1 not to choose a Great Dane for a pet: intestinal maladies are the things of nightmares. A sick elephant could not produce a greater disaster. Also, that cute face over to the right...
well, it's a whole lot less cute at 4:30am when it's covered in poop.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I am in Love...

It's true. I am completely head over heels in love. With a salsa.

I took the kids to the Omaha Farmers Market this past weekend. It was a trip that could have easily been a major mistake since the Omaha Farmers Market is held in a black top parking lot and I think the temperature was close to 88 degrees at 8am and there was about 900% humidity. But, we haven't been to the farmers market all summer, so we were going.

We got there and quickly found ourselves in a crowd of very sweaty people and we were quickly beginning to blend in. The kids were looking forward to the samples. (I was too.) We started off our quick tour of the market at a cheese vendors booth sampling several different varieties of cheese before moving on to the next table that was grilling meat. I sampled some breads and picked up a delicious sourdough baguette, most of which was quickly transported into my belly over the next 48 hours. I also bought a dozen peaches which will be made into pies. I even grabbed myself a cute little bunch of wildflowers.

Then we moved on to Erick's Enchiladas. They had enchilada samples out that the kids quickly grabbed up. I went for the salsa they had sitting out. They had green and red. I sampled the green. They have their own homemade fried flour tortilla chips used for dipping. Once that chip and salsa hit my tongue, the heavens opened up. My eyes may have rolled up into my head and I may have audibly moaned. So so yummy.

I usually won't buy any salsas from the farmer's markets because I like to make my own and I'm a tad picky about my salsas. Not too chunky, just enough spice, just enough salt. But, I've never made a green salsa before. So, this purchase was necessary. I, then, spent the rest of the weekend frying up pieces of flour tortillas to eat my salsa with. And, as an extra bonus, no one else in my house thinks the salsa is all that fantastic. IT'S ALL MINE!!!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Before They Croaked

The kids and I went out to a balloon glow last weekend. We parked the car on the side of the road and got out to walk the block and a half to the balloons. But, once Savannah got out of the car, she spotted something very exciting. Toads! They were everywhere! She squatted right down and started scooping them up. We chased toads for the entire walk up to the balloons where I spotted a lemonade stand selling bottles of water. So we chugged the water and Savannah was then allowed to scoop up "a couple" of new short-term pets.

We went home with 5 toads and 2 frogs. She made up a little home for them and named them all (after the Twilight characters, by the way. Bella and Edward were the frogs because they are special.)

Unfortunately for me, I forgot that last summers' pet toads were a problem because I ended up having to buy crickets to feed them. And buying bugs is not high on my list of enjoyable expenses. And a bag full of live crickets on the passenger seat of my car does not improve my driving skills. I did end up buying crickets for these toads once, but was luckily able to talk Savannah into freeing the toads yesterday. This picture shows her happy face before we liberated them.


We walked up to a nearby grassy area near a creek that was full of bugs and Savannah let them go.


They seemed very happy and Savannah seemed happy about their future in their new home. They are likely going to grow into giant bullfrogs with all the bugs they will have available to them!

Summer surprises!

We've had some unexpected guests this summer. It's been pretty exciting. We came home about a month ago and discovered this on our porch:

We had to take this shot through the front door because we were afraid to scare him off. He was watching us the whole time, though. Eventually, he did fly up into the tree in our yard.

We went out onto our front porch to watch him and he continued to watch us. We were calling him Hedwig. There were two of them living in our trees for a couple of weeks, but they have now moved on.

Then, thanks to all the rain we've been having this summer, we have a big crop of mushrooms popping up all over our yard. They started out looking like enlarged golf balls all over the yard, but if I could keep the kids from kicking them over, they opened up into HUGE mushrooms.


I think these giant mushrooms are really cool, so I took my camera outside to snap these pictures of them. (Before the kids kick them to smithereens.) But, while I was taking these pictures, I discovered something rather surprising. It seems that the mushrooms might also be the homes to some rather surprising guests. See if you can pick them out in the pictures.



Apparently it is very rare to spot these elusive creatures, so we feel very fortunate to have been able to snap these pictures of them. We are still looking for Gargamel's castle, but are quite certain it's nearby.
La la la la la la. La la la la la. La la la la la la. La la la la la.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives: Grinder's

This is an episode of Diners Drive-ins and Dives featuring Grinders, where Stacey and I ate lunch on our way to see Chelsea Handler. So so yummy. We had a pizza, which was delicious. And I cannot wait to go back. It's definitely added to my list of definite stops in KC.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

24 Hours and Counting

Until my sister and I will be hanging with Chelsea Handler. We are going to travel down to Kansas City where Chelsea is doing a book signing and performance. I cannot wait.

Unfortunately for me, the universe is slightly less excited about my upcoming mini vacation.

Yesterday, I realized that the squeaking in my brakes may have grown into a full fledged grinding. Not good when said car is transporting us to our next celebrity event. Thankfully, my brother-in-law is going to look at them for me. (He's also watching all four kids this weekend and might be running for father / brother-in-law of the year.)

Today I woke up after a mere 4 1/2 hours of sleep to realize that Savannah has a field trip today. These ususally require a "sack lunch". The only sack lunch I could provide today would have consisted of the ribs I made for dinner last night and forgot to put into the fridge. I figured the chance of food poisoning was too great to risk and was forced to get the kids up early so we could run to the grocery store before school. They were less than thrilled to be woken up and told to "HURRY UP!"

I raced down to the kitchen to let the dogs out only to discover that the new container of vanilla ice cream that I had pulled out of the fridge last night to soften up had been forgotten and allowed to melt and seep all over the counter and underneath the microwave. CRAP!!

One entire roll of paper towels later, we were out the door. All 3 of us had a frown deeply etched on our faces.

After eating a doughnut, my mood improved. The universe may be trying to bring me down, but I will not be broken! Screw you universe! I am still super excited about the trip to see Chelsea Handler and will be posting updates, so stay tuned!! And if things continue to go this badly, I will be taking a bottle of Belvedere vodka with me (for Chelsea to sign and for self medication if necessary).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Introducing....

Peanut, the newest member of our family. He's a very cute little gray and white gerbil.

Savannah got him for her birthday last week. It was a very exciting day. We returned to our house on a Thursday night, after buying Peanut and all of the equipment he requires, only to realize that we were all starving. I had a manic mommy moment when I realized I had to cook a quick dinner, assemble a gerbil cage that was entirely too complicated, and put out 2 dogs that had been cooped up all day and had vomited all over the hallway they are penned up in. Oh, Joy!

I chose to tackle the insanely complicated gerbil cage assembly first, figuring that once the gerbil was safely housed in his actual cage I would feel better about cooking food nearby. He was patiently awaiting his new home while hunkering down in a small cardboard pet box. Maybe patiently is the wrong word since he was frantically scratching at the box and I was certain he was about to gnaw his way to freedom at any moment. I was quite certain that Savannah's birthday would not end happily if her new gerbil ended up on a glue trap in the basement.

45 minutes later, I could not figure out how to get one of the last two pieces on the cage. There was this small piece that just wouldn't fit in it's place. So I forced it. And broke it. Dang! Peanut now lives in a home that is partially held together by duct tape. Much like everything else in our house. Savannah wasn't pleased about my breaking the cage, but so far Peanut hasn't escaped and the duct tape is holding strong.

Savannah then set to loading up the cage with bedding, filling the food bowl and water bottle, and placing the chewing sticks. Finally Peanut has his home.

I was then able to cook dinner and feed our hungry bellies. And clean up a very nasty hallway. Two activities that go great together.

Savannah spent the rest of the night playing with her gerbil. She had her hand in that cage for a couple of hours petting Peanut. She was desperate to hold him. We had been warned that the gerbil hadn't been handled much yet and was very young. So, biting was likely.

"Mom, Peanut's bites don't even hurt!" Savannah came running to tell me. "He just nibbles a little bit.
Great, I thought. But, he hasn't really bitten her if she thinks it doesn't hurt. A short while later, she came to me with blood dripping down her hand. "MOM!!! Peanut bit me." He had bitten her and he bit her hard. We washed off her hand and had to sit on the couch for a little while because the sight of "so much" of her own blood made her nauseous. "He is NOT coming to show and tell." She told me.

By the time bedtime had rolled around Peanut had been mostly forgiven and allowed to move into Savannah's room. He has been living in there happily now for almost a week. We still have not successfully picked him up and are using a special rubberized glove to try to pet him with (for finger protection). He has amused us all by running like a lunatic in his exercise wheel. Unfortunately his favorite time to exercise is around 3am. This has forced Savannah to abandon her own room a couple of nights because of the huge racket he was making.
All in all, Peanut has been an exciting addition to our family. Savannah has been reading to him every day after school this week. He's the perfect captive audience.
I'm still determined to get a good picture of him. So far he's been incredibly camera shy.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Oh what a week!

This has been a very eventful week in our house. Savannah celebrated her 9th birthday on Thursday. I'm not sure how 9 years have flown by so quickly. She was just my little tiny baby a minute ago, I swear. But, nevertheless, she is officially 9 years old now. And what a cute 9 year old she is.

She wanted to take my homemade pretzels in to her classroom for her special birthday treat, and being the world's greatest mother, I could not deny her the birthday pretzels. Unfortunately, this meant that I would have to get up extra early on a work/school day and make pretzels. I figured that giving myself an entire extra hour for pretzel making would be plenty of time. Turns out it takes 3 hours from beginning to end to make a double batch of homemade pretzels. I was ready for a nap before we even got out the door. But, the pretzels were delicious and all of her classmates were treated to my awesome pretzels.

Then, on Friday, Savannah had her day at the farm field trip. I took the day off to go with her. We travelled all the way down to the Washington County Fairgrounds (this included a 2.5 minute bus ride to transport the kids the 4 block distance). Once there we were treated to a lesson in how a cow's stomach works. We learned about the 4 compartments and ruminant nutrition and how cow's diets are studied (for fattening them up, most likely) and then the class was served some all beef hot dogs. Savannah, who had been suppressing her gag reflex for the entire lesson in cow digestion, chose to pass on the hot dogs.

We were also shown some cute little pigs. They were completely adorable. And after all the kids were done saying "aaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwww", they were asked about what kinds of delicious meats come from pigs. There were shouts of "BACON" and "RIBS" and "PORK CHOPS", all the while they were putting their hands through the bars to touch the cute little piggies. After our little lesson in all the products that contain some kind of pork by-product, the class was treated to some ham. Once again, Savannah passed. I was well on my way to becoming a vegetarian.

This little field trip had ruined all of my delusions about my meat being delivered to the meat case at the grocery store by magic meat fairies. And all those cute cows and piggies live long happy lives out in those fields I pass by every day.

So, Savannah and I made ourselves feel better by spending the evening shopping for some cute new outfits, and bringing home some delicious broccoli beef, sesame chicken, and szechuan pork all provided by the meat fairies. We managed to gobble it all up.

Saturday was spent at the baseball complex. Myles had baseball pictures followed by a game. I had concession stand duty. This was Myles's first game of the season. He played second base and right field. And his team kicked some butt. These boys have endured some tough seasons in the past and have struggled to keep their spirits up. This year, their opening game was a shut out. 15 to nothing!! I had to watch as much of it as I could from the concession stand window, but Savannah and Papaw were taking some excellent pictures.
It was a great start to the season! All the boys came out of the dugout with smiles on their faces.
Tomorrow will be Savannah's birthday party with the family. And I'll be introducing everyone to our newest family member, Peanut. So, stay tuned. Another week of craziness is about to begin...

Monday, April 26, 2010

DUCK!!

I was outside with the kids the other day working on their baseball skills. Myles's baseball season is about to start and Savannah's class has been playing baseball in gym class. So, they wanted to show me how awesome they are. Myles is in the 6th grade now and is probably stronger than me. And, athletically speaking, I'm not so talented. We have a very strict wiffle ball policy at our house to hopefully eliminate the need to constantly replace windows on our house as well as the neighbors' houses. And since I have been operating under the delusion that wiffle balls will not break our windows and playing with the kids would not result in my death or disfiguration.

A few years ago, I had gone up to the baseball fields with Myles to pitch to him and give him a chance to practice his batting. That's when I learned that pitching is not my forte. I hit him with more pitches than he hit. So, when pitching to him in the front yard, I was fully prepared to suck at pitching again. However, when standing closer to Myles and throwing a wiffle ball, my accuracy was greatly improved. However, he has studied all of his major league heroes swings and tries to hit the ball 4 blocks down the road each time. I am completely convinced that I have an 11 year old Barry Bonds on my hands.

I pitched the very first pitch to him and he hit it. A mere nano second passed before I heard the whistle of the ball flying centimeters from my ear.

"MYLES!" I hollered at him. "Do not try to kill me!"

He just laughed and got ready for the next pitch. I threw the ball, and WHAP! The ball came flying directly back at me and smacked into my chest. HARD! I'm pretty sure there is still a wiffle ball imprint there. And let me tell you those suckers hurt. And I'd be lying if I told you that this particular wiffle ball line drive didn't bring tears to my eyes. But, I choked them back, ignored his laughter and suppressed my desire to hit him with the next pitch.


Savannah stepped up offering to pitch to him, but I was afraid she might end up decapitated.


"DO NOT HIT HER PITCHES AS HARD AS YOU CAN!" I warned him. Then I walked over to the front porch to sit down and try to regain a normal heart rhythm.


Savannah pitched the ball and, having learned from watching me, immediately hit the deck.



We continued on in this manner for a while. Pitch. Hit the deck. And repeat. I think it was an excellent method since Savannah never got hit.

Then, Savannah decided it was her turn to hit. This was going to be more my speed, I figured. I was wrong again. Once again I threw the ball and once again the ball came flying at the speed of light back at me, this time hitting me on the side of the head smashing my glasses into my nose.

"SAVANNAH!" I hollered again. "Are you guys trying to kill me?" Both of the kids were giggling again.

"I'll pitch to her, Mom," Myles said, regaining his composure.


I went over to the front porch to sit down and tend to my new concussion. I'm heading out to Scheels tomorrow to buy my self some protective gear. I'm thinking the full catcher's pads and helmet should do the trick. Otherwise, this will be my new look:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What a Day!

I bought myself some very pretty flowers yesterday. So spring-y, so pretty. And today, I decided to take them to work with me to brighten up my desk. Of course I had already put them in water and dumped in the special packet of flower-keep-em-alive magic powder, so the water was coming along too. I drove with my pretty flowers safely tucked between my legs and drove carefully so as not to arrive to work looking as though I have a bladder control problem. Unfortunately, I had bigger problems awaiting me.

While, driving down Maple Street in way west Omaha, a turkey darted out in front of me, roadrunner style, and I slowed to let him scoot across. But, since turkeys are not the brightest of big fat delicious birds, it decided that it should attempt flight. That put it in a direct collision course with my windshield.
So, I think I killed me my first turkey. Weapon of choice = PT Cruiser. Some kids play PT Cruiser Bruiser. I play PT Cruiser KILLER.
So, it smashed into my windshield shattering it and sending tiny bits of glass all over the car. I'm not sure of the outcome for the turkey, but I don't imagine he walked away. Neither did my windshield. So, I pulled into a nearby parking lot and called my mom.
(At what age do we stop calling our mother's in an emergency? Probably never. At least for me. And, luckily she still comes to my rescue every single time. Thanks Mama.)

So, I got out, brushed off most of the glass on my clothes. Dumped the glass out of my shoes. And started swearing. A lot. There was a police officer sitting on the side of the road nearby. He didn't bother to come see if I was ok. I guess the stream of foul language flowing from my mouth left him with no worries about my well-being.
Anyhow, I drove myself to work, feeling the stares of all my fellow drivers. "Holy crap! Look at her car! There's a feather sticking out of her windshield!" I would rather get attention for being so cute and driving such a cute car, not the pitying and questioning glances I was getting. Once at work, I could feel every tiny piece of glass that I had missed in my shoes. Step. Stab. Step. Stab.

On the bright side, with all of that glass all over me, I sparkle like Edward Cullen. Maybe I'll be mistaken for a vampire today. I always suspected that Edward and I were destined to be together.

(By the way, I learned this week that Anne Bancroft was 35 years old when she played Mrs. Robinson. I am 35 years old. I could be Mrs. Robinson.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Minute To Win It

Have you seen the show? We love it. It has some really great, fun games. The kids have been challenging themselves after watching the contestants play the games. This past Wednesday, we were watching the show and the contestant was playing "Don't Blow the Joker". She tried 3 different times, but failed. The way you play is by putting a deck of cards on top of a bottle. The bottom card of the deck needs to be the joker, face up. Then you have to blow the cards off of the top of the bottle, leaving only the joker. After watching the contestant fail the challenge, we pulled out a deck of cards and a plastic bottle and gave it a try. Myles did it on his very first try. Oh, if only he had been on the show he'd have just won $100,000!

So, we took a video of Myles and Savannah doing the challenge side by side and posted it on YouTube. Here is the video:



After posting it last night, I received an email from someone who works for the show. They want to use the video on the show! Myles and Savannah are about to become famous!! We are now going to be attempting all of the challenges and posting videos. I'm recommending that they do a kids show.
video

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Alegria and Peeps

Yesterday Stacey and I went to see the Cirque Du Soliel's Alegria. (Or Circus O Lay, as Savannah calls it.) It was so cool. I'm honestly considering running away to join the circus. I have to work on my bendiness and my trapeze abilities. Circus O Lay here I come!

The bummer of the day was that absolutely NO photographs were allowed. And I had bought new batteries and everything. The security lady warned us that if we were caught taking pictures our cameras would be confiscated. DANG! So we only got pictures of ourselves outside by the trailers.


Then, this morning, I finally finished (ok, started and finished) my peeps banner for Easter. It's only going to be able to be displayed for a week, but it turned out really cute. You can find the tutorial here.

A Cartoonist in the House

Last week the kids had "Arts Alive" week at school. The school had several different art activities planned throughout the week, including bringing in a cartoonist one day. The kids were able to learn about cartooning from the artist and came home with little practice drawings. This inspired Savannah to learn more and she, once again, turned to Youtube to find out more. (She's done this with many things that have interested her at school. She can tell me many obscure details about Amelia Earhart and Anne Frank thanks to her internet research. It's impressive for a third grader.)
Anyway, after learning some techniques from Youtube, here are some of her drawings.


I still can't draw this well. Maybe she'll give me some lessons. :)