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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mommy is Crying


Morghan cut her hair. All by herself. Everyone's talking about it in my kindergarten class. Morghan is so cool. Her hair looks so cute, too.

I told Mommy about it. She didn't seem to think it was all that cool. She said something about her "poor mother", but I don't know what Morghan's mother's financial situation has to do with anything.

Morghan's hair looks so cute. I think I'll do it, too!

Ok.

Mommy is still sleeping. There are the scissors. Carpe diem.








Daddy just noticed my hair at breakfast. Yeah! I'm so proud of myself. I worked very, very hard at this. It took me a long time to do. I had to reach all the way around to the back. I wanted to do a really, really thorough job. And this chunk out of the front? That was no easy task, that was a lot of hai-- why are Mommy's eyes so big? Why is she touching my hair all over and why is her mouth hanging open, but no sound is coming out.

Daddy is giving his "disappointing...bad choice...blah, blah" speech. Why can't Mommy talk?

I burst into tears, Mommy looks so sad. Why are they talking in Spanish? Wait, what? What do the 80's have to do with anything? 80 what?

Mommy fixes my hair in two pigtails. "Strategically," she says. Whatever that means.

"Well?" she says to me when we're done.

I hang my head and whisper sadly, "I thought that this would be an easy plan. But I did it. And it was not so easy."

She takes me to get my hair cut. I end up with a bob with heavy bangs. I LOVE IT!!! WAHOO! I'M A ROCK STAR!! I LOOK SO CUTE!!! Mommy's mouth makes a thin, straight line. Her smile looks funny. When I ask her, "Doesn't this look cute?" she says, "If you like it, that's all that matters."




Then she says that next time I can just ask to get it cut. I don't have to go to all this trouble. Then she says something about needing a spa day. Then I learn what a pinkie swear is.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My (Little) Valentines

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Roughin' It

In lieu of Pizza Party Friday/Family Movie Night, we decided to mix things up a bit. Not that putting on one of J's ties and punching "movie tickets" (J's old business cards) wasn't fun, but in an attempt to be Northwesterners, we opted for "Family Camping Night" instead.



We chowed on tin foil dinners by campfire.



J was first in line for smores.



We cuddled in the tent (as it was Girlie's two-kid princess tent, we took turns--the real tent is yet unpacked) and sang songs like "Home on the Range", which, might I mention, is the Kansas State Song, and "99 Bottles of Root Beer on the Wall", which was clearly J's pick. J also told spooky stories ("...it was dark and stormy night, and I had to go shopping...at the GROCERY STORE!!")



The boys were the last ones standing (probably due to a few too many episodes of "Man vs. Wild"--also the reason that we now refer to mac and cheese as 'grubworms' and milk as 'bug juice'). Girlie and I retreated to our beds.

Next step: move this party to the BACK YARD.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Peer Pressure Got to Me

She sighed. Another friend requesting pictures of her new house. She rubbed her temples and thought of the craziness that was her house right now. While, yes, she was indeed thrilled with her new house, it was not quite the home that everyone was imagining. There were varying states of disarray and 'unpackedness' throughout the place.

"Sheesh. I haven't been here three weeks yet! I hope everyone understands that. Managing three kids, school stuff, life stuff (licensing, vehicle registration, setting up utilities, trying to sort out all the stuff that should have been sorted through/gotten rid of in St. Louis)...I'm busy!! I still have boxes everywhere, pictures are not all hung, no window treatments, chaos reigns supreme here!" she thought.

"Maybe I can just hold off on pictures until everything is the way I want it. They would understand."

But the truth was, they wouldn't understand. Because it would be years from now that she would be sending pictures of a house that was, finally, just the way she wanted. She pursed her lips. Did she dare just take pictures of the chaotic house, just to get people off her back? Was she that daring?

She took a big breath, and clicked "publish post."

The Peer Pressure Got to Me

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How to Hang a Picture Collage

1. Gather all the pictures you want in the collage. It looks best to have some common denominator (all black and white, all color, same color frames, etc.).

2. Trace each picture onto paper (paper grocery bags work well for most sizes) and cut them out. Write on the front of the paper what the picture is (i.e.: ballet Girlie).



3. Then, lay the picture face down, and paper face down on top of it. Use your fingers to feel where the hanging hardware is, and use a nail to puncture the paper. (You're trying to put a hole in the paper exactly where you want the nail to go).



4. Tape the "paper pictures" to the wall in the arrangement you want. Try to maintain an even space around the pictures. If you're hanging a single picture, or gallery style in a line, remember not to hang them too high. The center should be approximately eye level, roughly 5 feet (it also depends on how high your wall is). Remember not to put tape over the "nail holes".



5. Get the arrangement exactly the way you want it. If you are having trouble, leave the paper on the wall and look at it the next day. Then, nail the paper to the wall using the holes in the paper as your guide.



6. Leaving the nails in the wall, remove the paper and hang the real picture. Yay! You're done!




If this was helpful/interesting, leave a comment to let me know. Otherwise, I certainly won't put "boring" stuff like this on my blog anymore.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Since massive weight gain and stretch marks aren't enough

Nature opted to dole out crazy skin, swollen feet and bleeding gums to pregnant women too. But long after the contractions are forgotten, the most lasting of all these effects (for me) is this: insane hair. Other mommy friends of mine concur--about 3 to 4 months after giving birth (or "giving light", as is the sweet literal Spanish translation), all of my hair falls out. Fortunately, I have enough for about five people in the first place, so the natural thinning is welcome...at first. Then comes the period where it is coming out in droves, like the hairs are having some sick contest to see who can flee my scalp the fastest. But, even annoying as it is, worse is the actual baldness I get--like a receding hairline on a guy. I have actual bald patches by my temples--if I pull my hair back in just the wrong type of ponytail my hairline is comical.

Still worse is the phase I am in now: growing back. The first time this happened, I was in the car with J, who mildly asked, "Um, did you try to cut bangs?" I flipped the mirror down and, to my horror, saw spiky little hairs surrounding my face. That's where I am now, except that the halo of spiky hair doesn't take me by surprise anymore. The unexpected part this time is that half of it is coming in white, which I am going to attribute to an unnamed second child of mine. There's nothing I can do. These are my mortifying options:

1--Try unsuccessfully to comb it back into the rest of my hair. It either refuses to lay down (think of the spiky tufts coming off my head like weird horns), or kind of makes it look 80's style wavy, almost feathered. That's just bad.

2--Do my makeup really crazy and try to pass it off as edgy, here in the birthplace of grunge. Except that the three kids and minivan give me away.

3--Just make a joke of it, and head butt people with my spikes, laughing the whole time.

I'll probably just ignore it, and hope that it goes away. Which it will. In about two years.

The worst part may be that I am not surrounded by friends and neighbors who already love me. I am meeting people for the first time. First impressions, people, first impressions. Like a horrific accident, they're not going to be able to rip their eyes from the 'freaky hair on that otherwise normal looking girl.'

So, to make myself feel better about the whole hair situation, I think I'll get it cut. What do you think?

Option 1

Option 2



Great, except I could probably do this to my hair now. It would just require fixing it every day. Which presents a problem.

Option 3

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sleep? Sleep? I don't need no stinkin' sleep.

It's been very hard to come by lately. Very elusive. If it hadn't been for last night when J took the kids in our room and I retreated to Sammy's bed, I'm not sure that I would remember what it was like at all.

My kids are a little sick with a cough that, though pretty harmless, is quite deafening when I'm listening to it in stereo during story time. Also, Little Red (who still needs a new nickname, as the red hair is gone) is teething, but it only seems to really bother him at night.

A couple nights ago, I went to bed at 11:00, which is a fairly respectable bedtime nowadays. I am a girl with a lot to unpack, so I've been staying up until all hours of the night.

About an hour into sleep: fussy baby. Go, comfort. Back to bed.

An hour later: Girlie has devastatingly sore throat that is magically cured by a sip of water. Check all the kids. Back to bed.

Then: Some child of mine called out some question or request. Can't remember what it was. Only know that maybe I answered it correctly, maybe not. Anyway, the voice eventually stopped.

Later (because I stopped looking at the clock): Fussy baby. Smack my leg on the corner of our footboard (leaving a nasty bruise) as I stumble over the literal mountain of to-fold laundry that has accumulated at the foot of my bed. Almost swear. Get to little guy, smear on some Orajel, kisses, check kids, back to bed.

Then: "Mommy, I had a potty accident." Mumble instructions, make bed on floor beside me. Put Pull-ups on mental to-buy list.

4:00 a.m.: What is that yelling??? Oh, Sam Sam is yelling... Why is he yelling??? He's in Girlie's room, yelling at her for taking something off his bed. In his dream. Try to explain that she is sleeping, and he was just dreaming. Doesn't work. He doesn't believe me. He saw her. And he is mad.

5:35 a.m.: Red wants milk. Now.

And the day begins.

So last night, J took the boys in our room and I crawled into Sammy's bed for a night of (drumroll, please)...sleep. Apparently his bed is command central. In it I found:

A stuffed monkey.
A bear from the hospital.
Flounder (from Little Mermaid, not from Puget Sound)
A sand pail.
A digital camera.
A box of J's old business cards.
101 Dalmations. (the book, not that many spotted canines)
A nightlight cover.
Safety goggles (just in case).

I relocated all the 'stuff' onto the floor, for which I was later, and disbelievingly reprimanded (evidently it is 'not appwopwiate to put some people's stuff on da floor and sleep in their beds without asking').

And I slept.

Say you have an extra 3 hours one day...

You could, in theory, make some cinnamon rolls. And you could, in theory, try out my new favorite cinnamon roll recipe. I'm no recipe hog. I believe everyone should eat yummy food.

I'm by no means claiming that I came up with it, but I have added a few tips that have made these my very favorite cinnamon rolls ever. I didn't make up the title, either.

Ultimate Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: about 2.5 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 packages (about 3-1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast

  • 1/4 cup warm water

  • 1/2 cup shortening

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup milk (I used evaporated milk to make it even yummier)

  • 1 egg

  • 4 to 5 cups sifted flour

  • melted butter (I used real butter)

  • brown sugar

  • cinnamon

  • raisins (optional)

  • ---

  • Vanilla Frosting (or, try the Cream Cheese Frosting recipe that I included below)

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • milk or cream (2 to 4 tablespoons)

Preparation:

Pour the warm water in a shallow bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top, let dissolve 10 min. (I found this method to work best)

Scald (just barely boil) milk; pour over the shortening. Add sugar and salt and cool to tepid. Add the dissolved yeast and beaten egg. Add 4 cups flour adding one at a time beating after each addition.

Dough should be soft yet firm enough to handle. Knead on floured board until elastic and smooth. Avoid too much flour. Turn dough into well oiled bowl. Let rise for 1-1/2 hours.

Press dough down and divide into workable size. (Another area that needs clarification: I've found it best to divide the dough in two. Then, with each ball, roll into 1/2" thick rectangle) Roll dough out into a rectangle. Cover with melted butter. Layer with a generous layer of brown sugar. Sprinkle on cinnamon as desired. If you like raisins, layer on a layer of raisins. Roll up jellyroll fashion.

Using a scissors or a piece of string, cut off slices about 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick. (I used dental floss to slice each half into 8 slices) Place slices in an 8 or 9 inch round greased cake pan. Place one slice in the middle and other slices around it. Press rolls down to even out and fill pan. Let rise until rolls fill the pan generously...about another hour. (So, use two round cake pans. Using a 9X13 pan left the middle ones dough-y, for me)

Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 15 - 20 minutes. If rolls get too brown, cover with a piece of tine foil until the end of baking. Do not over bake rolls.

Remove immediately from pan by inverting onto a plate and then tip over onto another plate to right the rolls.

For the Frosting:
In a medium bowl, place sugar, butter and vanilla. Then stir in enough milk or cream to reach a thick, hardly-able to stir consistency.

Spread over warm rolls as soon as they are placed on a plate to let the frosting melt and run into the rolls.

Or, try my favorite

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream together:

3 oz cream cheese

1/4 c butter

Add:

1 c powdered sugar

1/2 T milk

1/4 t vanilla

pinch of salt

Then:

Continue adding powdered sugar and teaspoons of milk until frosting reaches desired consistency.

Finally, try not to eat the entire pan yourself. At least not at one sitting.