Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Cookie for a Cookie


Tonight was "Kids Eat Free" night at our local Paradise Bakery & Cafe, so we wrangled the kids into the car and headed out for some gourmet sandwiches and salad.

My favorite part about eating at Paradise Bakery is that your meal comes with a chocolate chip cookie.  A warm, gooey, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. These cookies are, in the immortal words of Dora's backpack, "delicioso."

But, since we strive to be good parents, the kids only get their cookies if they first eat their grilled cheese sandwich and side of yogurt.  Which I always secretly hope they won't do, because yay, more cookies for me.  But tonight, all the kids earned their cookie privileges.  I was quite disappointed, so I pulled out all my tricks to see if they'd hand them over voluntarily.  My tricks may or may not have involved me telling them there were nuts in the cookies.  And that the chocolate chips were really raisins.

Don't judge me.  They are really good cookies.

But unluckily for me, the kids didn't fall for it.  Apparently nuts and raisins aren't the deterrent they used to be.

So I begrudgingly passed out the cookies.  As Owen happily munched away on his, he all of a sudden looked thoughtful.  He then broke off a piece and said "I shah wih Ay-an."  (Translation:  I share with Aidan).

Aidan looked dumbstruck.  Was Owen offering him cookie?  He looked at us, as if to make sure.  We nodded and Aidan took the piece.

So I said to Owen, "Owen, you are such a good boy!  How nice of you to share your cookie with your brother!" 

And just like clockwork, the sound of praise made Aidan decide that he wanted to share part of his cookie, too.  So he broke off a piece and handed it to Owen.

A much bigger piece than what Owen had just passed to him.

It was then that I realized Owen is an evil genius.  He smirked at me across the table as he munched on his cookie and a half, while Aidan looked befuddled that the sharing game had ended so abrubtly.

Well played, Owen.  Well played.  When it comes to the art of cookie manipulation, it appears that the student has become the teacher.  Note to self:  Must work on cookie swiping skills prior to girl scout cookie season.  Nobody messes with my peanut butter patties.  Nobody.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Write Stuff

So, this weekend, I asked Owen if he wanted to learn how to write his name.

And guess what?

He already knew how.


I have no idea where he learned it. He's only 3 and a half. He doesn't go to preschool yet. He watches too much tv. All he eats is pasta and applesauce.  These are not prime brain-building conditions.

For pete's sake, he can barely pronounce his own name. But apparently he can write it.

I made him rewrite it forty million times because I didn't believe it.  Craziness.  I wonder what else he can do that I don't know about. Drive a car? Perform surgery? Read Tolstoy?

Also worth noting:  I finally got him to poop on the potty and pee standing up last weekend.   But this name writing thing is much more exciting. Plus, it provides for more blog-appropriate pictures.

(You're welcome, Owen.  Now get to work writing that novel...mama needs some new shoes!)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Maintaining a Spotless Blog


And now for something completely different, a couple of blog-keeping issues:

1.  I keep seeing blog after blog in my reader moving to Wordpress.  What's the dealio?  Does blogger have cooties?  Help a busy lawyer/mama/wife who barely has time to blog let only figure out where she should be blogging understand what the heck is the deal.

2.  Although it doesn't really matter because I just bought my own custom domain on blogger, so I'm not going anywhere anyway.  I'm just curious.  For those of you who are so inclined, please feel free to update my web address on your blog rolls to

3.  Speaking of blog rolls, mine got a little whacked out when I bought the domain.   I tried to update it the other day but am not sure if I got everybody back on there.  So, tell you what - if I don't have you on there and you've linked to me on your blog, please let me know so I don't feel like a moocher and can give you some linky love back. 

4.  See what I did up there with the post title?  It's a play on both losing the "blogspot" in my URL, while doubling as a joke about blog housekeeping.   Heh.  I just felt too clever not to point it out. 

5.  The picture above doesn't have anything to do with this post.  I just liked it and couldn't think of anything to blog about with it. Although now that I'm thinking about it, the boys are getting fingerprints all over that thing.  And it looks like it could use a good dose of Windex.  So I guess it goes with the housekeeping theme after all.  Plus, it's round.  Like a spot.  Oh my word, I'm a genius and I didn't even know it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Skip-scat, Skoodle-dee-doo

The other night, I was sitting alone in our family room when a thunderstorm rolled in.  I counted to three and then there she was. 

"Mommy, I'm scared."

My little Ashley Belle - bravest of the brave, unless thunder is involved.

"Honey, it's late.  Go back to bed."

A weep and a whimper later, I folded.  "Okay, you can snuggle up on the couch with me.  But you can't talk.  You have to close your eyes and go to sleep."  She nodded solemnly.

She made it three seconds.


"Zip it."

Another two seconds passed.

"But mommy?"


Four more seconds.

"But momm-"

"Nada. Zip. Zip it."

"Okay, but mo-"

"Zippity zip.  Zip zip zip it.  Zip."


"Bzzzzz.  Bzz bzz."

"Okay, bu-"

"Shh to the bzz.  Shush it."


"Shash it.  Shush it. Shush shush shushity shush it."

Exasperated (or else just really tired), she finally gave up.  But I could have gone on for hours.  If this whole mommy thing doesn't work out, maybe I could have a second career in scatting.  Watch out, Louis Armstrong, here I come.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day


Yes, Owen.  I agree.  Your daddy is awesome.

Happy Father's Day, Scotty.  (I don't know who's luckier, the kids or me.  I love you. )

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fun at the Henry Doorly Zoo

On Sunday, my little family and I went to the zoo.

I must digress here and let it be known that the reason we did so much stuff over the weekend is because my brother-in-law Shawn and his wife Paola (and their two darling baby girls) were in town visiting.  Normally, we are lazy bones.  But having company motivated us to get out and about and experience some of the finer things Omaha has to offer.

So, as I was saying, on Sunday we went to the zoo.  Omaha's zoo is awesome.  Truly.  I think we spent about 4 hours there and barely saw half of it.  Plus, Shawn almost got peed on by a monkey.  True story.

Our first stop was the "Skyfari", which flies you over the heart of the zoo.  Scott went with the boys while I followed right behind with Ashley.


I spent the time being alternatively terrified that (i) Scott would lose his grip on the boys and they'd slide out; (ii) I would lose my grip on Ashley and she'd slide out; (iii) I'd lose my grip on my flip flops, camera and/or backpack and they'd slide out.

It was tense.

But look, we flew right over a giraffe!!  That's cool.


Ashley was duly impressed.


Once we exited the Skyfari, we headed over to the elephants.  There was one right at the edge of the enclosure, which was awesome.


Although Ashley didn't even notice because she was too busy freaking out about a bug crawling on the railing.  "Ashley, there's an elephant!"  "Mommy, there's a bug!"  "I know, but Ashley, there's an elephant!"  "But Mommy, there's a bug!"  "Elephant!"  "Bug!"  "Elephant!" "Bug!"  And so on and so forth.

We reached an impasse and moved on to the new exhibit - "Madagascar."  It's basically an open exhibit with vines and branches stretching over the walkways so the monkeys can climb anywhere they want and cross right over your head.  It's a pretty cool little exhibit.  Unless you almost get peed on.


Luckily Shawn was quick and dodged the pee just in the nick of time.  They should really put a sign up about that.  "WARNING:  MONKEYS HAVE BLADDERS AND THEY'RE NOT AFRAID TO USE THEM."    They did have Purell available for you to use as you exited, but that's not gonna help someone who just got hit with a head full of monkey pee, just sayin'.

So next, we headed off to the gorilla house.  I have to say, this was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had at the zoo.  The gorillas were pretty active that day, so lots of people were crowding around the viewer windows.  My crew and I headed to the very end to take a little breather from the crowds.  So I was sitting there all by my lonesome in this little viewer window, when a silver back gorilla came RIGHT OVER.  At first, he just stood there.


And then he came and sat NEXT to me right outside the window.  People, there is no zoom on my camera.  This giant gorilla was literally like six inches from my face.

Close Up of Gorilla

I only took a couple pictures because I'm telling you, he and I had this thing going on.  We just stared at each other for what felt like forever.  I think maybe he had a crush on me.  It was like King Kong revisited at the Henry Doorly Zoo.  Too bad I'm already taken, because I thought he was kinda cute, too.

Oh well.

Then we went to the aquarium.  Not much happened there, except for this cool picture I took of jelly fish.


Then we went and got some ice cream! Hooray!


Aidan was pleased.

We rounded out our day at the desert dome.  It was hot hot hot in there.  And there were lots of snakes.  And bats.  Ashley kept her eyes closed throughout the whole thing.  But I made her open them for a mommy with kids shot.


Anyway, we had a blast.  I can't wait to go back and check out the other half of the zoo soon.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Off to the Fair

On Saturday, my little family and I went to "Taste of Omaha."  Basically, it's a little outdoors event held on Omaha's riverfront where you buy tickets and then walk around tasting food from various restaurant booths that have been set up in the area. 

Or, if you're like us, you buy tickets and then go "Holy crap, it's hot out" and then go eat inside an air-conditioned restaurant instead.

It's never too hot for cuddles.

After lunch, we went back to Taste of Omaha and tried to figure out something to use our tickets on.  We settled on carnival rides and smoothies. 

Parenting Question of the Day:  Is it okay to trust a scary-looking carnival ride-operator when deciding whether to let your 4-year old daughter go on a roller coaster by herself? 

Answer:  If your daughter isn't scared of the carnival man, she can probably handle the roller coaster. 

I'm not scared.  I'm just...concentrating.

It's a good thing we didn't try to feed the kids lunch with the amount of tickets we bought.  Even the smoothies were astronomically high-ticketed!  Apparently inflation is hitting the tasting industry hard.

Aidan, sipping away at his college education fund.

After the smoothies, we only had enough tickets left for a little train ride.  Ashley was seriously the cutest.  She was first in line and wanted to sit in the front engine, but decided she needed to get the boys situated in the middle cars first.  She was actually trying to buckle Aidan in all by herself before the carnival man took over.  

 The boys all set to choo-choo.

By the time she was ready to find her own seat, all that was left was the caboose.  But my little Ashley rode that caboose in style.

Ashley, chillaxin' in the caboose.

By the way, we also advertised a home security business the whole time we were down there.  Give my kid a feather and they'll hawk your product, no problemo.  But they might sleep on the job.  They are only 3, after all.

Owen, violating child labor laws.

Anyway, we had a blast.  I summer.  Even though it's really hot.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mary Grace Jewellery Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the Mary Grace Jewellery giveaway is...

Lucky Commenter #3 - Jenny!!!

Congrats Jenny!  I'm sure you will look smashing wearing your new ring and earrings!

And thanks to everyone else for reading and entering.  :-)

Another Reason to Love Having a Twin


They make really good pillows.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Babes in Alaska

Owen, wishing for a little potty.

So, potty training the boys is going quite well, actually.  I would say that for the most part, we are done with diapers.  They're still in pull-ups at night, but that's okay with me.  For now.

Now, our main concern is convincing Owen to let go of his little potty and move to the big potty.

Porcelain Intimidation. 

(We don't have to worry about Aidan - he's been using the big potty for awhile now.  Yes, he gets naked to use it, but let's deal with one issue at a time here, people.) 

Now, I know I could just let Owen continue to use the little potty until he feels "ready" to transition to the big potty.  But let me tell you something about "readiness."  Readiness is all fine and dandy when you're a parent to one child - maybe two.  But once you have that third kid, concerns with readiness go flying out the window.  I need this boy to use the big potty, stat. Mainly because I'm tired of having to come home every two hours for a potty break or else cart the little potty around with us wherever we go.  But also because one of the best things about finally having all your kids potty trained is not having to carry around a giganto diaper bag with you anymore.  And Owen's little potty:

definitely does not fit in my cute little Vera Bradley backpack.

So, in the interest of moving things along, we had a little talk with Owen about using the "big potty" starting tomorrow.  This was met with an insistent "No, I no wan use bih poddy.  I use lil poddy."

So Scott and I pulled out the big guns - the "Baby in Alaska."

Have I ever talked about the Baby in Alaska here on the blog?  No?  Well, you're in for a parenting treat.

Generally, Scott and I bring up the Baby in Alaska whenever one of the kids needs to kick a baby habit.  For example, Ashley was a binkie junkie, and needed to kick that habit hard.  So we invented the Baby in Alaska, who just happened to be in dire need of binkies at the moment.  We generated great sympathy from Ashley for the Baby in Alaska by totally overacting about how much that baby NEEDED those binkies.  Then, once we convinced her to send them to the baby in need, the Baby in Alaska sent her back a big-kid present as a thank-you gift.  In that case, it was a basketball hoop.  Thanks, Baby in Alaska!

(I have no idea why the baby is from Alaska. Who the heck knows where we come up with this stuff).

So tonight, we told Owen all about the Baby in Alaska.  And how the Baby in Alaska NEEDED a little potty.  And how if Owen sent the Baby in Alaska his little potty, she might send him back a present, too.

And he seemed pleased with the idea.  Knowing how attached Owen is to the little potty, I was surprised by how easy it was to convince him to give it up.  Granted, the Baby in Alaska is a genius parenting move, but Owen is a pretty stubborn little boy.

So I decided to clarify.

"So Owen, we'll send your little potty to the Baby in Alaska tomorrow, right?"

"Yup," said Owen.

"And the Baby in Alaska will send you a present back."

"Yup," said Owen.

"What do you want the Baby in Alaska to send you?"

And do you know what he said???????

"Anonna lil poddy."

Well, crap.  (Pun totally intended).

Don't forget to enter my Mary Grace Jewellery giveaway here!  You have until Noon CST on June 11th (this Friday) to enter!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bet Your Bottom Dollar


Today was one of those days.  One of those days where you want to just chuck it all and fly to Paris.  Or at least chuck it all for a couple hours and go shopping at Old Navy.

So you lay down on the couch drained of energy while your husband mercifully takes the children outside to play.  And you lay there, quietly.  Wondering how today got away from you.  And wondering how the children can make you so tired.  And cranky.  And thinking that maybe you're not doing such a good job at this mothering thing after all.

But then your littlest son runs in the door and brings you a flower.  And your daughter asks to take your picture with your cell phone.  And you don't know where your middle son is, but he's probably being cute somewhere, too.

And you smile, in spite of it all.  And think...

Thank goodness for tomorrows.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Colors, All the Beautiful Colors. And Frogs.

So, I decided to de-purple.  Not completely, but just a bit.

And in other news, did I mention that Scott is going to be painting our house in the upcoming weeks?  He has indicated that de-painting a house is not as easy as de-purpling a blog, so I better be pretty committed to the color I've chosen.

I've decided to go with "Steamed Milk" from Sherwin Williams:

(Although if my steamed milk looked like that, I would probably throw it out.  Beautiful color for a house, but not too appetizing for a beverage, I must say.)

I feel pretty confident in the color, since I've been stalking a house in the neighborhood for awhile now that I love the color of.  We even introduced ourselves to the owners, looking for paint chips or clues as to what color it might be.  When they didn't remember, they graciously allowed us to hold millions of Sherwin-Williams paint chips up against the back of their house to see if we could find a match.  We all agreed "Steamed Milk" was the closest.

These lovely homeowners also introduced us to their new pet frogs.  I can't remember exactly how we moved from paint chips to pet frogs, but they were friendly folks so we just went with it.

Anyway, the kids loved the frogs so we got some of our own:


That is "Rosie" right in front, and the little shadow frog in the corner is "Carys".  Spelling is approximate, as names were picked out by Miss Ashley who can only tell me how to spell her own name at the moment.  Basically, the picture represents what the frogs do all day - suspend themselves in the water and make us worry that we've killed them.  Either that or give each other "piggy-back rides".  Don't ask.

Anyway, back to the painting of the house. 

Here's hoping that the paint color is not only perfect, but that Scott does not maim or kill himself while doing the painting.  He's sworn never to die and leave me alone with these 3 children, and I'm planning on holding him to it. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Color Purple

So, as some of you may have noticed, things look a little different around here.  I redid my blog design, added some new pages and made a fancy little button.  I am quite impressed with myself as I did it all by myself over the weekend.

Except I am concerned about the purply purple-ness of it all. 

At home on my laptop, the background showed up as a lovely lavender periwinkle-ish blue.  Like the color of the sky just after the sun has dipped below the horizon. 

On my work desktop, it is straight up PURPLE.

Not that there's anything wrong with purple.  I love a good purple.  But is it too purple?

To help you out, I have provided you with several examples of things that I consider "too purple":

It didn't help that when I walked downstairs on Monday morning wearing a cute purple skirt and tee-shirt, Scott looked at me and said "You look purple."  He did immediately clarify that he meant to say I looked great. But since then, I've been wondering about my blog.  Will people who ordinarily would have said "This blog is great" now first think "This blog is purple"?  People besides my husband, who we've already established is in the purple camp?

Maybe I'm being punished for my cavalier attitude towards purple-donned children back in this post.

Oh well.  Maybe it will grow on me, maybe it won't.  What do you all think? 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm Bringing Bouncy Back

This weekend, Ashley and I snuggled together on the couch.  Pretty soon, she looked up at me and said, "Mommy, your belly is bouncy."

Not having a clever response to that, I said "Huh."  She then grabbed a plastic Little People figurine and pretended to make him jump up and down on my belly.  Like it was a trampoline.

"Mommy, your belly is really bouncy."

The Little Person bounced harder and higher.

"Mommy, does that hurt?"

I thought about it.

"Well, physically, no.  Psychologically?  Little bit."

She ignored me and yanked up her shirt.  "Mommy, is my belly bouncy?"

I said "No, your belly is definitely not bouncy."  And feeling a little defensive, I added "And mine is only bouncy because I had babies."

Her face lit up.  "Will I have a bouncy belly some day when I'm a mommy??"

I said "Maybe.  I only got the bouncy belly after I had twins, though."

She sat back and smiled.  "Mommy, I'm going to have twins when I'm a mommy so I can have a bouncy belly, too."

And here I was, thinking I needed to start doing pilates or the shredder or crunching or whatever the cool kids are doing these days.  Instead, I'm bringing bouncy back, baby.

Pass me another brownie, please.