Sunday, June 29, 2008
Since this is Super WM they are equipped with a eye place, a hair place, a nail place, a photo place, and McD's. First EE and I went and tried on glasses at the eye place. Just getting her prepared for when her genetically defected eyes go bad on her. Mine happened around 6th grade and dh wasn't until high school, so maybe we have a few years. She liked the glasses that made her look like Harry Potter while I liked something a little trendier from the Hannah Montana line (for her anyway). I didn't find any I was super jazzed about for me.
Next we went through the clothes. They actually had some cute t-shirts in her size that looked like what you might buy at The Children's Place for a whopping $4. Every one I showed her and said, "Isn't this cute?" she said, "Nah, not really." Okay, no new shirts for you! Same with the shoes. "Mom, I don't need any shoes." What a blow! Is this really my child?! First she turns down clothes and then shoes? Hopefully its just a phase.
We continued to wander around WM aimlessly for another 45 min. I offered her a snack, so she wanted one of those $1 containers of Oreos. The first one I grabbed the container was all smashed, so I grabbed another one. Totally empty. Nice. How PWT can you get? Eat all of a $1 worth of Oreos while you are visiting SWM and leave the empty container. Do you feel better about yourself for saving that $1? EE got a nice lesson on how that is stealing. We eat many things while we are shopping, but we always pay for them.
After a good hour and a half of mother/daughter shopping time were finally able to go get our vehicle and get back home. Hopefully I didn't run into any screws on the way there.
Our Trip to SWM
One lemon: 62 cents
Grab-n-Go container of Oreos: $1
Honey Nut Cheerio Snack Mix: $1.89
Two new tires: $ 245
Bonding with my daughter: priceless
Friday, June 27, 2008
So I'm a "matchy-matchy" kind of gal. Trying to find a matching tire to what I have on there is proving to be next to impossible. No one has them in stock in about a 300 mile radius. I have found one place that could get one here by Monday afternoon, which isn't too bad. Other places were next Thursday or beyond. And of course its not a cheap tire. Grrr.
I'm waiting to hear back from dh to see how to proceede. We can always get one mismatch, that would work. We're thinking about getting two off-brand tires and replacing the two that I have screwed. The one that was patched tends to leak air and I'm topping it off every three weeks or so.
In the grand scheme of things is this really a huge deal? No, of course not. Was it a pain in my ass to call 50 different tire places looking for an ever elusive tire? Yes. Do we really need to spend that $170 for a tire right now? No. Oh well, such is my life.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Chicken Bow-Tie Pasta Salad
from Summer 2007 Kraft Food & Family with my own modifications
2 c. farfalle (bow-tie pasta, or as my girls call it--butterflies), uncooked
2 c. fresh broccoli florets (when I made it we were out of broccoli at the moment, darn it) ;)
1 pkg. (6 oz) Oscar Mayer Grilled Chicken Breast Strips (I grilled my own boneless/skinnless chicken breasts and used those)
1 c. halved cherry tomatoes or roma tomato, cut into chunks
1/2 c. Kraft Light Zesty Italian Reduced Fat Dressing (I used the Kraft Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette dressing--MUCH BETTER imho, its why I liked this dish so much)
1/2 c. Kraft Natrual 2% Milk Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese Crumbles (do find the crumbles instead of regular shredded cheese)
1/4 c. sliced ripe olives
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
Cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the cooking water for the last 2 min of the pasta cooking time; drain.
Toss chicken, tomatoes, dressing, cheese crumbles and olives in large bowl. Add pasta mixture; mix lightly.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate several hours until chilled.
I have a habit of trying new recipes and they don't come out quite as I had envisioned. This one was better than expected. Like I mentioned above, I really liked the dressing I used and have since used it in a couple other dishes. This recipe is low cal (350 cal in a 2c. serving) and packs the protein (24 g). If you use the Oscar Mayer chicken breasts strips, there is no "cooking" involved other than boiling the pasta.
I am one of "those" moms who cooks almost every night. I usually have a week or two's worth of meals planned out and grocery shop for what I am making although I usually always 1. forget something I need and 2. buy so much other crap it off-sets the whole meal planning idea. At one point I had even made a spreadsheet listing out all the possible meal ideas and then I would date when I made them last so we wouldn't repeat too often. The initial idea was great, I just didn't use it for long. I still refer to the list, though. In the summer we do a lot of grilling--burgers, chicken breasts, pork in various forms (chops, ribs, etc), and steaks. Yum. In the fall I start breaking out the soup recipes and winter is great for the crock pot. None of my meals are fancy and my idea of a side dish is heating up a can of green beans.
I do get a lot of my recipes from Kraft Food & Family. Heck, they even go so far as planning out a week's worth of meals for you and giving you the grocery list. I usually don't go that far because I cannot eat that many processed products in a week and I like a little more variety. Don't get me wrong, I like the majority of their recipes but I don't feel the need to make 101 meals from mac & cheese.
If you want anymore recipes, just let me know--I love to swap recipes!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
On Sunday the girls were both blowing bubbles and as soon as I realized how adorable they looked and ran inside to grab my camera, they decided they were done. These pictures were snapped with the bribe of a Starburst jelly bean if they would re-inact their previous fun. ;)
Do you see our poor lawn in the background? It looks horrible. Just a week or so ago, it was lush and green and neighbors commented on how nice it looked. Now that we haven't gotten any rain in two weeks, it is dying. The roots aren't deep enough to use any moisture deep in the ground--they sodded the yard in November of last year. Of course now I am complaining that there isn't enough rain when the rest of the state is probably hoping it doesn't rain for a good long time!
This poor girl has inherited my hair.
She will hate me for it later in life, just as I blame my mom for what I got (which she got from her mom). Its straggly, it won't grow, and isn't like many girls with "cute" hair at this age. Oh well, at least she herself is cute even if her hair isn't.
Friday, June 20, 2008
- Playdates. I love that we are in a neighborhood that has lots of kids. Monday we went to the park with our group for a couple hours. Tuesday a neighbor called for EE's to come over and play in the sprinkler. Wednesday we met EE's preschool friends at a park. Thursday we played over at a neighbors and had a picnic lunch. Today we'll put up our sprinkler. Man, the girls have been getting lots of outside time which is great!
- Shopping. Dh's birthday was yesterday so I had to finish up some things. Monday we traveled to the "Big City" and hit a few stores but didn't really ever find what I wanted. Tuesday was a haircut for me and shopping at the mall. Wednesday was Target, WalMart and Lowe's. Thursday we didn't go shopping (gasp!). Today was Target yet again.
- Baking. I decided to go with giant cupcakes for dh's birthday. He is sort of a traditionalist, so I figured he would want some sort of cake-type goodie and ice cream. This is how they turned out. Have I mentioned before that dh loves golf? Maybe a time or two. We went with a whole golf theme for him this year.
And here is the birthday boy:
Now I have about 1.5 months until the next birthday:
Other random things:
- EE is still determined to be a boy. Today she informed me that she will only wear short sleeved shirts and doesn't like tank tops. That doesn't go over well with Mom since there are 13 tank tops hanging in her closet. Maybe she will change her mind when it is 95 degrees out and the heat index is 110 later this summer. I just need to convince her that boys wear tank tops, too.
- We found out who EE's teacher is for next year. I don't know much about any of the individual teachers, but she got Mrs. Jordan. I was kind of hoping for Mrs. Tickle, purely based on her name. Isn't that a great name for a kindergarten teacher? EE isn't in class with any of the neighborhood kids which is sort of amazing considering there are at least 5 others that we know of. She also isn't in class with any of the college coaches or AD's kids (which means we lucked out and didn't get into the same class as ANB!)
- Dh had been suffering from chest pains about a week ago. They were constant and quite painful; on more than one occasion he was ready to go to the ER or call an ambulance. He finally went to the Dr. He is like most men and I can count on two fingers how many times he has gone in on his own for other things in the 15 years I've known him. After he's seen the bills for this last visit, I will be hard pressed to get him to ever go again. $1K later all he was told is "Its possibly heartburn/reflux. Try OTC Prolosec for two week" Nice.
- I'm finally losing some weight. I've been trying for oh, say the past 5 years and haven't been too successful. I'm just about down to where I was when I got pg 3.5 years ago.
- The house is clean, the kids are in bed, and I'm about to get on the treadmill. Apparently this whole losing weight thing involves exercise. Who knew?
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Father's Day started off in church with EE singing a few songs from vacation bible school we had the week before. This was from Amazing Grace, complete with actions for "I once was blind".
I had packed a picnic lunch and of course when we left church it was raining big, fat, slow raindrops. We headed off to our picnic destination anyway, hoping the blue skies we saw were an indication that the rain would end soon. It did. I snapped a few pictures of us walking to our picnic destination, and this was my favorite:
We ate our lunch under the campanile on the Iowa State campus. EE loves to go on campus and we promised her a picnic there one day--no better opportunity than Father's Day. Here is what the campanile looks like:
As we were eating under there, dh mentioned to EE, "You don't know how much this spot played into your actual existence here today." You see, we made many a trip to the campanile at midnight during our college days to "kiss under the campanile". It is a tradition I've mentioned before. The story is if you kiss a virgin under the campanile at midnight, a brick will fall off the campanile. Notice in the picture above there are no missing bricks. Hmmmm. Anyway, we were engaged under the campanile in 1996 at midnight on July 4th. We took wedding pictures there a year later. Now we are taking pictures with our two girls:
While we were picnicing, a newly married couple came to take some pictures. They said they were married on Saturday but another wedding couple was taking pictures there, so they didn't get a chance. We had to share our story of being engaged there 12 years ago. It was fun to see the traditions carrying on.
Across from the campanile is our student union. Outside of the Union is a fountain, so the girls made their wishes on pennies and got to dip their toes in.
Of course we had to pose with Dad there, too.
It is also dh's birthday this week, so we have lots of celebrating to do. I'm trying to decide if I make a dessert for him (chocolate cupcakes) or one that I like too (peanut butter pie. Yum). Any input?
Two pictures came to mind when I saw the title. The first is of some snap dragons I have growing at my house. I bought these from the neighbor girl as a fund raiser for the local school. When I got them, they were 6 tiny green plants and I planted them in a container and put them on the back patio. All my other flowers I planted have blossomed and proliferated, and I've only Miracle Grow'ed them once. These particular snap dragons have grown, and grown, and grown. They've only now just started to bloom. These things are ginormous (love that word)--I've never seen snap dragons get so big. They have withstood 50+ mile an hour winds on more than once occasion, sideways rain, and at least 10+" of precipitation.
One particular bloom has gone a little wonky. It makes a 90 degree turn out of the container, grows parallel to the ground, then makes a third 90 degree turn straight up. Imperfect, yet beautiful.
The second picture I love is one of LC. This is probably either right after her surgery or the day after surgery. She on the whole is imperfect (speaking in terms of how messed up her internal organs were), yet beautiful. Her scar is now faint, but I hope she wears it with pride.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
My sister will claim that I am his favorite. Dad's don't have favorites, or at least ours doesn't. He helps us all out in different ways and has always been there when we've needed him.
I've always looked up to his intelligence--growing up I used to think my Dad was the smartest person ever. It annoyed the heck out of me when I was doing homework and asked him for help he would tell me to "look it up" as in "Dad, how to you spell arachnophobia?" "Look it up" "How am I supposed to look it up if I don't know how to spell it?" "Figure it out". All I know is you don't want to get into a trivia contest with him. If you can have him on your team--go for it. He can pull out random facts about lots of subjects which is pretty impressive.
My Dad also has the patience of a saint. I've never really heard him raise his voice or yell in all my 33 years. He does get mad, but he is the "fewer words mean more" type of guy. With three girls like us, he had to have a lot of patience. All of us probably called him at least once (or twice) to get us out of ditches once we learned how to drive. When I was in college, I "accidentally" ran over a cement parking slab (it was covered in snow, I had no idea it was there) and tore the brake lines in my car. He called insurance for me, told me where to take the car, and came down to help me out. All he said was "Well, I bet you won't do that again, will you?" Nope, Dad--I always look to see what I may be driving over now.
Speaking of driving, my Dad is a little obsessed with cars. My sisters and I always had a car provided for us. They were never brand new, but they were decent cars that (usually) ran well. In high school I had a cool Red Chevy Beretta for awhile. I also drove a Buick Regal, a Grand Prix (the one I ripped the brakes out of), a Buick Century, and a Chevy Lumina--all bargained for by dad. The best car I ever got to call "mine" was a Ford Mustang 5.0 red convertible with white leather interior. You can't tell me that made a few kids in HS jealous; mostly the boys. That was a sweet car.
More than once I have called my Dad in a panic and he has been there for me. After my freshman year in college I was a nanny and the first family I went to be with wasn't going to work out. I called my Dad frantically, only to learn later that I had been dialing an extra number and calling Peru instead. Oops. The phone company had called and asked if someone with their calling card number would be trying to call Peru. Once I did get a hold of my dad, he picked me up at the bus station once I got into town in the middle of the night.
When we were moving from MN to IA, EE was about 6 months old. The day the packers were supposed to come, my knee was in horrible pain for some reason. John was already in IA and I had no one to call. Super Dad to the rescue! He drove the two hours so he could help we watch EE while I went to the Dr. and he also helped out with packing.
When we had LC and found out about her birth defect unexpectedly, our entire family was there for us when we needed them. My mom was already at our house watching EE and John's family came soon after they heard the news. We found out late in the morning on a Saturday that LC was going to go into surgery later that day. My Dad drove 4 hours to the hospital to be with us, took us out for supper, then had to leave again. But he really wanted to be there and I will always remember that.
There are many other times when I've called on my parents in times of need (kidney stone--they came for a day and ended up staying 4 because I had to have surgery), in times of trouble (remember this incident?), and just because (he'll come down to see the girls any chance he can). Thanks for always being there. You are awesome, Dad.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
And while I enjoy spending time with my daughter, we've had enough sleepovers now in the past month due to loud thunder and howling winds at 2 or 3 am every other night. We'd like to sleep in our own beds. How about some nice, dry, storm-free weather? That might be nice for a change. You know, so people can actually do things outside on the grass instead of playing on concrete all the time.
Drying out the golf courses may make dh happy as well. Could you cut him a break? It is Father's Day coming up after all, and his birthday a few days later. He would enjoy a round of golf on Sunday, but both of his "home" golf courses are closed due to flooding. Another course I was going to buy him a round at was hit by a tornado. Do you have something against golf and/or Boy Scouts?
While we are on the subject of devastating winds. . .usually big trees are pretty in the summer and provide a lot of shade, but when they go through three floors and all the windows on one side of my friend's house, that's not such a good thing. I don't think she wanted free air conditioning, glass in the carpet, and bark and branches to decorate her house.
And then there is my parents house. They would like a chance to dry out their basement. They are getting up there in years, and they don't need to be vacuuming up water every other day.
And for my sister? I know she could use a day off from work, but didn't want to spend it chasing her "busy" two-year old red-headed tornado (her words, not mine) all day because her work and daycare have no electricity.
I think I speak for the whole state of Iowa--Rain, Rain, Go Away!!
Monday, June 9, 2008
EE to DH yesterday afternoon: "Dad, come in my room and make a baby!"
Important things to know when reading this quote:
1. EE does not know the facts of life just yet. She has no idea what mom and dad do to make a baby.
2. The baby mentioned above happens to be a flat, two dimentional baby which you make faces on with magnet pieces.
3. We do not condone that kind of behavior around here. Even between mom and dad. Most of the time, anyway.
Dh did make a baby. It had a nice tatoo and buttons for "oobies". Obviously his child and not mine. The stuffed bunny that sits beside the baby had a pacifier and a band-aid over its "privates". What a nice example for the little ones, my dh--so creative.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
As nice as it is to live in a neighborhood with tons of kids, I don't want to be obliged to play with the
I'm hoping there will be benefits to EE playing with ANB. See, their dad is on the football coaching staff for the college here (remember, we are big fans) and I'm hoping for some sort of compensations for being friends with ANB. A few free tickets would be fine, or even free merchandise. Not much to ask for
Saturday, June 7, 2008
1. For a snack, I love to melt together chocolate chips and a few marshmallows. Stir, and enjoy. You may also add a little peanut butter to the mix. Also great to use for dipping sugar wafers. You may say I have a bit of a sweet tooth.
2. I love anything coffee flavored. One of my favorite restaurants has a sundae called "Coffee Mallow". Coffee and vanilla ice cream topped with coffee flavored syrup and marshmallow cream. Yum.
3. Ranch dressing with anything. I've even been known to dip pb & j sandwiches into ranch dressing. I was skinny in high school because all I ate for lunch was saltine crackers in ranch dressing. My blood pressure was probably through the roof in those days.
4. I use ketchup instead of salsa on my tacos. Salsa has lots of small, chunky vegetables which are evil. Ketchup is basically the same thing, minus the evilness.
5. This isn't something that I do eat, its something that I don't. I've never eaten a salad in my life. Lettuce would be in that category of "vegetables I don't like" so I don't eat it. I will make dh salads all the time and think they look yummy with all the cheese and croutons and pretty, colorful veggies, but not a bite will cross my lips.
So can you top those? I'm supposed to tag 5 people, but I don't know that many. Jenn and Jes, consider yourself tagged (although I know Jenn is heading off on vacation so she'll never do it). ;)
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
One of the first times I went to the walking group, I found out one of them is pregnant. Not unusual, right? Then came dinner last month where another one announced her pregnancy. Congrats! Then playgroup, another one. Now I just found out another one. What the heck is in the water, girls? There are now more pregnant than not, and one is due any day (if she hasn't already delivered).
We're supposed to go out to supper tomorrow night. Maybe I should request to sit at a different table or something. Pregnancy is contagious, right? Like if I drink the same water or breathe the air they are breathing? Geesh, this is a little crazy. I didn't know the initiation into the group was to have a baby--I may have to re-think this whole friend thing.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
To her defense, I remember going through this phase in life. My dad had all girls, so I was sure he really wanted a boy. I tried to come close--I had (and still have) short hair, and remember a time or two running around outside without a shirt on as well (like boys do, you know). I tried to be the "athletic" one and while I did play more sports than either of my sisters, I still sucked at them. EE has more athletic ability at 5 than I ever had--I'm hoping that continues. Alas, I am very much a girl and have only girls myself.
I'm trying to appease EE a little bit. I bought her "boy cut" underwear and she is loving them--enough to dig a pair out of the dirty laundry because all of them had been worn. I bought her the "boxer-style" night pull-ups and she is wearing those to bed and taking her shirt off when she sleeps so she can be "just like Dad." I try not to laugh everyday when she comes out dressing like what she thinks a boy looks like. Hopefully I don't catch her standing up in the bathroom "just like a boy" someday. There are some things that girls can't do.
Monday, June 2, 2008
We had checked out Season One of the Muppet Show from the library a week or so ago, so we've been doing this non-stop at our house. I'm so glad my girls can experience a little bit of my childhood! To this day I think I am one of only a few people who can claim they had Muppet Show wallpaper in their playroom. True story.
So the forecast for today was sunny, about 75 degrees, with rain moving in late tonight with possibility of severe storms (great). The plan was to walk to the park--a good mile+ hike--play, and walk back home. I would get exercise, the girls would get to play, it is a win-win situation, right? Sounds like a perfect Monday to me.
Yeah, doesn't work well in the rain. Did they once mention rain as a possibility for today? Um, no, not until it was actually happening. And right now its not just raining, its thundering and coming down hard. I guess my exercise will be the treadmill and the girls can continue to drive me crazy by "playing".
Friday's flood waters went down pretty quickly. All the roads were back open on Saturday and you could even get into Super WalMart without your motor boat. This town is so brilliant--their development plans involve building large, multi-million dollar projects on flood plains. Super WalMart is just one example, the other example is the new pool they are putting in. Even though there isn't anything built yet, it was full of water on Friday. Brilliant. And then they won't let development happen on the north side of town where we live because even though its within city limits, its considered a different school district. The city doesn't want any of their precious tax money going somewhere else. There were plans for a grocery store, bank, gas station/car wash and Dr office less than a mile from our house which would've been awesome. The town balked and now at most we will get a grocery store and a gas station--still better than nothing. The sad thing is our neighborhood park is intrinsically tied to this development so they can't start building it until they figure out what else is going in. The equipment has already been purchased and is sitting in storage. Again, how freaking brilliant is that? We actually saw that as a selling point when we moved--a park within walking distance of the house. Hopefully we will be here long enough to see it happen.
Okay, enough political rambling and complaining about the weather. I sound like a 75 year old man or something!