Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ingrained Nonification

Ingrained Nonification: noun. A fact, set of numbers, or other very important item that is so ingrained in your head that you could recite it in your sleep, and yet very inexplicably and suddenly forget it.

Picture it. Target. The year: 2009, a mere three days before Christmas. I was having a lovely evening with the Boys and Husband. We went out to a very uncrowded but fantastic Asian restaurant that served both Chinese and Japanese food. I tried sushi, the raw kind, for the first time (I think). Viking Toddler and Philosopher Child pretty much ate a whole bowl of those fried noodle things. Lovely evening.

We popped off to Target afterwards because we needed a few things. We got our items, got in line, and while Husband was entertaining the Boys and generally just looking about about 3 feet away from me I swiped my card and punched in my pin.

Click. Something inside says I've just done something wrong. The machine asked me to put the pin in again.

Click. Something says that still wasn't right. It wasn't. The machine asked for my pin again. If machines could talk, it would probably say, "Please enter your pin again. The CORRECT one this time, if please."

Click. A third time. Pin still not right. I stood there, dumbfounded, and realized that I have no idea what my pin is. I have completely forgotten that little number that I've used without thinking hundreds of times.

Husband stepped in and swiped his card. Good thing he was there.

And I'm still not sure what my pin is.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eclectic Christmas Tree

Eclectic Christmas Tree: noun. A Christmas tree on which the ornaments don't go together in any way.

I'm sitting here tonight looking at our unlit Christmas tree. In case you are wondering, it's unlit because the outlet is being used so that we can watch a movie. I'll plug it back in tomorrow. Two outlets on one wall, or even anywhere near each other, are unheard of at our house. But, as usual, I digress.

This brings me to my point. Who out there has a Christmas tree where the ornaments actually match each other? You know how you go in the department stores and you see the spectacular (and over-achieving) trees with ornaments that coordinate perfectly? Does your tree look like that? I don't mean you have a set of ornaments, I mean more like you only have that one set, or that set is balanced by another brilliantly matched set. Not judging, really. No, really, not judging. Just curious.

Me? Somehow I don't think the plush yellow duck that reads "baby's first Christmas" match the silver "unbreakable"* balls or the ceramic blue teardrop-shaped ornament. But that's my tree.

*Unbreakable, huh? We'll see about that. My kids don't back down from a challenge.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Letter Drop Part IV

Letter Drop:
verb. The act of mispronouncing a word by young children due to missing letters.

OK, this isn't quite a letter drop, but a letter add. But I'm feeling too lazy to make a new definition. Also too lazy to link back to parts I, II, and III. It's been a long day.

Anyway, Philosopher Child came up to me this evening and said, "Mommy, will you make some slushie?"

"I don't think I have the right things to make slushies," I said.

"Slushie is a type of food," he added.

"It's more of a drink."

"No," he said, "It's made from raw fish."

"...Not slushie. It's sushi."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Jaws TV

Jaws TV: noun. A show or number of shows that you only thought were safe for your kids to watch. How foolish.

Christmas time is nearing, is it not? It must be, since I'm constantly yelling at Viking Toddler to get away from the Christmas tree and continually setting our wooden nativity upright again after there have been small children near it. And, of course, musing about how much I hate our tree skirt. But that's a little thing in the grand scheme of life. At least we have a house to put a Christmas tree in, and that is truly a blessing.

But I digress. As usual. I'm told that I do that. "Meander" I think is a term that has been applied to my stories by loving family members. *Cough-Younger Sister-cough*

But again, I digress. Anyway, we've been watching A Christmas Story lately. You know, the one with Ralphie and all of the "You'll shoot your eye out," and "Only I didn't say fudge." A perfectly safe family movie. You can now imagine Jaws music.

I was standing in the kitchen when Viking Toddler ran up to me and start to hit my legs with closed fists. I was confused, but told him no hitting and sent him out. Generally, that's all it takes. He went off to play, and a short while later asked to watch A Christmas Story. No problem. I put it on for him, and then everything clicked. At the point when Ralphie is beating the tar out of the neighborhood bully, Viking Toddler again ran up to me and began hitting my lges (the only thing he can reach) with closed fists. Ah ha!

Now we utilize the fast-forward button. Liberally.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

So, we went to Disney World...

And my children didn't know who most of the characters were. Unlike our parents before us, we don't have a trove of Disney movies, but not because we are anti-happy-little-animated-characters. We just happen not to have any.

But, rather from detracting from the experience, Philosopher Child and Viking Toddler had the unique ability to see things as they were. They could ride the rides and see the shows without any previous knowledge (and a little confusion) of any of it.

The result? They had a fabulous time. Really. They had a spectacular time on the Dumbo ride, despite having no idea who Dumbo is. Same with Goofy's Barnstormer. And the tea cup ride (Mad Hatter's Tea Party? Mad Hatter's Mad Tea Party? The Mad Tea Party?), although Philosopher Child was a bit amused (and no doubt baffled) by the giant door mouse popping up from a tea pot in the center.

Now, I suppose you'd like a word and a definition. We haven't had one for a while, have we? Well, here you go:

Random Fear: noun. A seemingly random thing that a young child is frightened of.

Viking Toddler was (perhaps still is) freaked out by bugs. I mean, really, really freaked out. I showed him a rolly polly once and he screamed that it was going to get me and generally wigged out that I had picked it up. But he rode the Barnstormer (which scared me!) four times and loved it. Huh.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And that's why he's called, "Philosopher Child"

In case you weren't getting the idea of why I call him that, here's a couple of real head scratchers he's said in the past few days.

"Does God eat breakfast every day?"

"Was I always real?"

"Did God make our house?" After all, He did make everything, so... Um...

"He has pointed teeth, so he's a vampire." No amount of reasoning would cause him to let go of this one. I tried.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Or for those who don't do Halloween, Happy Harvest! Or, Happy Fall!

Did you know their are not one, but two vampires at Philosopher Child's school? He told me so. It's true...or so I've heard. See what happened is there are these two kindergarteners...

Kindergartener Richard* claims that kindergartener Peter* turned him into a vampire. It must be true, because one of them has pointy teeth, says Philosopher Child.

Husband and I have told him over and over that they're not vampires. Made no effect. So finally I said, "But he comes out in the daytime. He can't be a vampire."

"No," said Philosopher Child. "He can because he goes to school."

Well, there you go. If you are a vampire and want to be out in the daytime, you must be enrolled in school.

*Names have been changed to protect the questionably innocent.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Murphy's Law of Child Discipline

Murphy's Law of Child Discipline: noun. The universal law that states, "No matter how many children were perpetrating a breaking of the rules, yours will be the one that gets caught."

Philosopher Child is pretty mild mannered, all things considered. He has is snotty days like everyone else, but is mostly, well, a philosopher child. Imagine my surprise, then, when his teacher came up to me after school yesterday wanting to talk to me about a bit of trouble he had caused.

Apparently, Philosopher Child had made an obscene gesture, which I had never seen him do.* I was a bit upset, but of course I know that part of growing up is learning what is and is not socially appropriate, and this was squarely in the "not" category.

After a talk with Philosopher Child, he understood that what he did was wrong, and said he wouldn't do it again. And then...more info. This wasn't something he just up and did. He saw two other children doing it, and he simply mimicked it.

Oh, joy! I was right in thinking this didn't sound like him.

Oh, crap. Of course he's the one that got caught.

In the end, the teacher was polite and respectful and didn't fly off the deep end and demand therapy or anything like that. In fact, she, too thought this was out of character for him. In her view, what's done is done and it probably won't happen again.

*...never seen him do with one exception: he once was playing with his fingers and stuck both his middle fingers up, but of course had no idea that it meant anything at all.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Holiday Time Warp Part II

Holiday Time Warp: noun. The strange yet common situation of losing several weeks or months of time upon walking into a store.

Part I here

It's that time again, kids! Again comes the weird twilight time when people are planning place settings for Thanksgiving and thinking about Christmas gifts while trying to finish up Halloween costumes.

At the very beginning of this month, I walked into a home improvement store (was it Lowes or Home Depot?) with Husband and the little monkeys. To my left was a large Christmas display. To my right, it was Halloween. I pointed this out to husband and commented on how it was October on one side of the aisle, and December on the other.

Here's the sad thing: I want to be able to say take it one thing at a time! Do Halloween, and THEN Thanksgiving, and THEN Christmas, but the sad truth is...I'm already dropping Husband less than subtle hints about a particular item I would like to see under the tree with my name on it. Hard to complain about this time warp thing when I'm part of the problem.

I guess I should finish the kids' Halloween costumes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Silly Scary Story for Your Silly Scary Monsters

Halloween is just around the corner. Some of us parents take our kids Trick-or-Treating, some plan some sort of group activity, and some ignore the day all together. No matter what you do, I think you'll enjoy telling this little tale to your monsters. I'll be honest, this tale must have been around for some time. I heard it as a child. I told other children. A quick Google search tells me that there are many different versions of this story. Here is the one I heard, as I remember it.

The Purple Gorilla

Once there was a man [I'll call him Steve, but you can call him whatever you want. The name just makes the telling easier. You can use "I" here if you prefer. Anyway...] Steve was driving along the road one evening, when his car broke down. He looked up and noticed it was about to storm, and so set out to find a place where he could spend the night.

[When I first heard this story, it was long before the cell phones were common.]

Steve walked through several fields, and jumped a few fences, and after a while, he came to a large house. He knocked on the door, and a man answered.

"Hi," said Steve. "My car broke down. I was wondering if I can spend the night here?"

"Sure," said the man in the house. "But I must ask you not to touch my purple gorilla."

Confused, Steve said, "What's a purple gorilla?"

"I'll show you," said the man.

The man took Steve down a flight of stairs into the basement. They passed through a regular wooden door. Then a thick wooden door. Then a thin metal door. Then a thick metal door. On the other side of the thick metal door was a huge cage, and in that cage was a massive purple gorilla.

"What happens if I touch the purple gorilla?" Steve asked.

"Just don't touch the purple gorilla," replied the man.

That night, as Steve was lying in bed, he just kept thinking about the purple gorilla. Finally, curiosity got the best of him. He crept down to the basement, and went through the regular wooden door. Then the thick wooden door. Then the thin metal door. Then the thick metal door. And finally to the gorilla. He reached out a hand and touched the gorilla. The gorilla flew into a rage and tore out of his cage.

Steve ran out all the doors, out of the house, across the fields, over the fences, back to his car and locked himself in. But the purple gorilla was right behind him! The purple gorilla reached out and ripped the top of the car off. He reached in towards Steve, laid his hand on him, and yelled--


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Crafty Dare

Crafty Dare: noun. A craft, recipe, or any from scratch project that makes most people cringe.

Yesterday I made a pumpkin pie. From an actual, honest-to-goodness pumpkin, not from a can. I have never done this before. My friends were applying some lovely adjectives to this activity, using words like "brave" and "daring." Hmm...

I'll tell you something. When someone looks at something I'm planning on doing and says, "Wow!" or, "That's brave of you!", or, "I wish I could..." it makes me really wish it works out. Deep down, I really want to know that I am clever enough to figure it out and make it work.

So, about that pie. The one from scratch. It was yummy. :) This the part where you say, "Wow!" and I say, "Aw, it wasn't that hard," and act like it wasn't.

But honestly, it wasn't that hard. Time consuming, sure, but not that hard. I ended up making the pumpkin puree one day, and the pie the next. I did get a little worried when at 40 minutes, when the recipe said the pie would be done, the pie was still mostly raw. I started watching the clock, fidgeting, and thinking about the time when I would have to leave to go get Philosopher Child from school. I checked out the window to see if any of my neighbors were home that could babysit my oven while I was out.

In the end, it worked out. It was finally done after baking for over an hour, and I was able to pick up Philosopher Child on time.

Oh, and this didn't happen this time.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mommy Day Part III

Part I here. Part II here.

Mommy Day:
noun. A day when being a mommy is exhausting and frustrating.

Yesterday was quite a day. We were off to school later than we should have been, but then had to take a detour due to a loose rotweiller (we were walking). On our detour, we discovered another loose dog. Philosopher Child looked at me innocently and said, "Mommy, why does this keep happening?" Ugh.

Got home with Viking Toddler. A short time later, argued with Husband over the phone about something stupid, though this argument was my fault due to a less than stellar mood. See first paragraph above.

In the afternoon, I received some very bad news from a very good friend of mine.

Come evening, Viking Toddler had diarrhea when he just happened to not be wearing a cover over his cloth diaper. It was 2 1/2 hours of cleaning the floor, the toys, sheets, and the furniture that was in his path. And his brother. Yes, he somehow got his brother. And I'm still not done cleaning the toys.

You know when you have one of those days when you just want to go to bed?

Cute end of summer apron giveaway

I know, I know. Two giveaway posts with no stories about the horrors activities of the boys. But coming up next post which will be posted later today. I promise.

So, click here to enter the giveaway from the apron team at TAG. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another FABULOUS apron giveaway!!!

Oh, my goodness. The ladies over at TAG have the giveaway of giveways this week. A fantasticly lovely red and white apron with...are you ready for this?...a matching headband. Head on over to this post and check it out!

On second thought, don't. It's mine. I saw it first. ;)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Adorable Refresher II

Adorable Refresher: noun. A certain thing a child does or says that is so cute, you remember right then and there how much you love them.

Read part I here.

It was a year ago almost to the day when Philosopher Child (then having the name of Monkey Son #1) came to me and told me that he wanted to marry me, and then, realizing that I was spoken for, said he wanted to find someone like me to marry.

First off, young girls of the world--cringe! Whichever of you my son marries, he will be comparing you to me! *Insert evil laugh here.* OK, but seriously, I'd probably be an OK mother-in-law. But I digress.

Recently Philosopher Child came to me and said, "I have two girlfriends. But I don't know which of them I'm going to marry."

I looked at my 5-year-old with the most joyful disbelief. I grabbed his hand, and dragged him down the hall to Husband. I laughingly told Philosopher Child to repeat what he just said. And he did. Husband and I thought it was a hoot!

And the real kicker? I doesn't know either of the girls' names.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Patient Anger

Patient Anger: noun. The anger you feel even when you are trying hard to give someone the benefit of the doubt.

First off, a thousand apologies for leaving my blog for so long. Truth is, I didn't really leave for that long, and I actually finished this post a while ago and thought I had posted it. But I only saved it. My bad. Now on with our story.

Philosopher Child's classroom is about as far away from the school entrance as you can get. So, like so many other parents of kindergarteners, I walk him to class. On one such day, I had just dropped him off to class, barely on time, and was on my way out of the school while pushing Viking Toddler in the stroller.

When the final bell rings, a few adults close the gate across school's main entrance. The final bell was ringing as I was hurrying to the gate. A woman there was yelling for the kids on the other side to hurry up and get in, then started closing the gate. I called for her to wait. She saw me, but closed the gate anyway, and merely pointed me to another exit.

Part of me wants to think, well, the gate open/closing times are probably very controlled and she had to close it immediately. And then part of me thinks, come on. I'm a few feet from the gate, pushing a toddler in a stroller that's more obstinate than he is, and you, instead of waiting a few seconds, decide to make life just a little harder. Really?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Don't you love apron giveaways?

OK, to be honest, I'd love them a little more if I won them. But this one particularly interests me because if you win, you get to choose which apron you want! Woot woot!

Interested? Hop on over to this post on The Apron Godesses blog and enter!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Viking Irony

Viking Irony: noun. Any irony perpetrated by Viking Toddler.

OK, so this is me specific. But feel free to remove the "viking" from the front of the word and add your own child's name. Feel better? Feel included?

Good. Moving on.

This was Philosopher Child's first week of school, although kindergarten didn't start until Thursday, so he's really only gone two days. Anyway, at the end of the first day, he was playing in the living room with Viking Toddler. I suppose his recent school activity gave him a boost of confidence, since he yelled out, "I'm stronger than any baby!"

Viking Toddler's answer to this was to immediately run at and latch on to Philosopher Child and take him down. Grabbed him around the waist (which is shoulder height on Viking Toddler) and tackled him to the floor. Keep in mind, Viking Toddler is just over half the size of Philosopher Child.

OK, so I know that Viking Toddler probably didn't tackle his brother because of what he said, especially because I doubt he knows what the word "stronger" means. It was just funny that he decided to play football without the football part at that moment.

And then he tried to do it again moments later. Who's Mommy's little viking? Now play nice with your brother.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Eduguilt: noun. Guilt felt over any aspect of a child's education.

Today is Philosopher Child's first day of school. He was dressed before we even got up, even if we had to remind him that he was missing a few things.

We made it a family activity to take him to school this morning, which is a mere few blocks from our house, and though he was excited to go to school, he complained the whole way that his backpack was too heavy. To be fair, he did have one of those insulated lunch pails and a full 32oz bottle of water in it. He is unaccustomed to wearing a backpack that isn't empty or in the shape of Cookie Monster. Still, he was very happy with his Cubs backpack even if it was heavy.

He didn't cry when the teacher told all the parents that it was time to go and the children were in good hands. He gave a happy wave, thrilled to be sitting in a seat just his size at a table that had his name written out in happy letters. He was surrounded by what he calls his kids, or his friends that he can't remember the names of. You've never seen a more content child.

And the guilt begins.

Am I doing the right thing by sending him to public school? I already saw in his kindergarten testing that he is more likely to maintain he can't do something if he finds it mundane. Maybe I should have done homeschool. After all, he is starting to read already, and in kindergarten they will first learn what letters look like. His an independent learner. Am I doing the right thing for him?

And then there was this coffee meeting for new parents. I've already been to 4 meetings at the school dealing with everything from registration to how lunch works to where he stands from an academic point of view. Husband and I opted not to go, but oh, did I feel guilty about skipping out! What if I'm missing something important in the meeting? Or maybe it's just a meet and greet.

I'm looking at the option of homeschooling in case he doesn't do so well in this environment. I've talked to a few people close to me about the subject. Of the three close women I've spoken to, one said I'm right to have my concerns. Two basically said I'm probably concerned over nothing. In any case, our first action would be to talk with the teacher if any problems come up. She seems very open and reasonable. Homeschooling is a last resort for us (not that homeschooling is a bad thing at all!), but two of the close people that I talked to seem to be concerned that I am about to yank him out of school before it's even started.

I'm a mommy. I'm allowed to be concerned. That's my view.

But I'm also not irrational.

Monday, August 3, 2009

They're doing it again!

Yes, dear friends, it is that time of the week again. The wonderful gals over at The Apron Goddesses (TAG) are giving away a super funky fantastic apron. It's a lovely little retro-inspired number. If you love aprons (I do!), pop on over and read how you can enter to win.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I could not come up with a word for this...

...but I had to share it.

The other night, Husband wandered into the bathroom, wondering to himself whether or not he should shave. As he was wondering, he broke out into a Shakespearean fit and started reciting a parody of Hamlet's soliloquy (the infamous "To be or not to be..." speech).

Philosopher Child wandered in and asked about what he was saying. I heard Husband tell him that he was talking about Hamlet, who was wondering about life. I know, not quite true, but let's not tell a 5-year-old that it was about a guy wondering if he should kill himself, OK?

Anyway, Philosopher Child came running to me.

"Do you know about a person named Hamlet?" he asked.

"Yes, I do," I replied.

"Yeah, he wanted to know about life."

Oh, my. Too funny not to share.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Prayers for Stellan

Many of you out in the blogosphere know about baby Stellan and his family. If you don't, let me tell you he's had a long and hard battle with heart problems. In the past few days, he's gotten worse. For those of you who pray, prayers for his recovery, strength and comfort for his family, and wisdom for his care givers would be greatly appreciated.

You can see his story here: http://www.mycharmingkids.net/

Thank you.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Lacktivity: noun. A normal and common activity that you realize you've never done.

Get ready for a shock. I'm shocked with myself, honestly.

Viking Toddler's birthday is next week. He'll be a whopping 2-years-old. And birthday, of course, means birthday cake. I usually make baked goods from scratch, but for some reason I do birthday cakes from a box. Go figure.

So, as the time as is approaching, I brought up the idea (half jokingly) that we should make cupcakes instead of a full birthday cake.

And then it hit me.

I have never made cupcakes.


My oldest child is 5, and I have never, ever made cupcakes. How does that happen? It's like a few months ago when a dropped a raw egg as I was taking it out of the fridge. Of course it hit the floor and made a mess but I wasn't upset that I dropped the egg. I was, however, curious as to how it was that I had managed never to drop an egg before.

Shouldn't I, for some reason, at some point in my life, have had a need to make cupcakes?

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm going with it

I've decided to go with the new names I've picked out. From now on, Monkey Son #1 will be Philosopher Child, and Monkey Son #2 will be Viking Toddler. Pardon me if I sometimes forget and use the Monkey names in a fit of mindless creativity.

Did I mention that yesterday Viking Toddler stole a large toy pirate ship from his brother? Oh, yeah. That pretty much solidified it. That, and he loves the ocean.

Have you ever seen Lyle the Kindly Viking? It's a VeggieTales episode in which a group of vikings go off raiding and pillaging and whatnot. After Lyle receives his share of the loot, he sneaks off to return his share to the monks that the vikings had just robbed.

In my view, Philosopher Child is the one sneaking off to return his share to the monks. Viking Toddler is the one demanding a flat screen TV from them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm contemplating a change...

From the time I started this blog, I've referred to my boys as Monkey Son #1 and Monkey Son #2. I call them both monkey at home, especially when they are being, well, monkeys. The problem with this is approach is, for one, I'm worried that this may be confusing to readers. And for another, I end up getting them confused. At times I type the wrong number for one of them, totally confusing the story.

So, here's my proposition, and I think it fits.

Change Monkey Son #1 to Philosopher Child. Too hippyish? I came up with this because he is always trying to figure out the ways of the world and asking really deep and hard to answer questions, like, "Did God build our house?" He is also really into explaining to me the way he thinks things should work.

Change Monkey Son #2 to Viking Toddler. This little guy has some true characteristics of his Danish heritage, from the red hair to his athletic ability. He also plots how to raid his brother's playthings and take back the plunder for himself. I have to credit husband for the name, as I once heard him refer to our little one as "Viking Baby."

So what do you all think? Good change or keep things the way they are?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Preschool Manners Part II

Click here for part one.

Preschool Manners: noun. Actions that would be considered rude by an adult, but seem harmless, even honest, to preschoolers.

Monkey Son #1 came up to me the other day to hug me. I was standing upright, and his head only comes to my middle. When he hugged me, he laid his head on my stomach.

"Mommy!" he said. "Your belly is squishy!"

Nice. Thanks.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Grocery Hopping

Grocery Hopping: verb. Grocery shopping with small children as you hop from aisle to aisle trying to keep the kids entertained and within reach.

We get pretty regular thunderstorms this time of year. There must have been a 2-for-1 special in the sky today, because we got hit, then hit again. But between hit 1 and hit 2, we needed to go grocery shopping. So we got everyone in the car (grocery shopping is family experience with us), and headed out, watching the dark clouds making progress towards us.

We got to the store and tried to do a mad dash to get out before the next storm wallops us. Husband and I were both grabbing what we needed and tossing it in the cart, splitting up to different aisles, meeting back up again a short time later with armfuls of necessities.

Husband went to select meat with Monkey Son #2 strapped in the cart, and I took Monkey Son #1 down the way to get fruit. He started begging for berries. Oh, look, blueberries are on sale! Here ya go. Monkey Son #1 clutched the precious perforated plastic container of blueberries while yelling about the blueberries across the produce section to Husband, who had just passed us with Monkey Son #2.

(With me so far?)

I told Monkey Son #1 to quiet down while I grabbed the rest of what we needed in the produce section, and met Husband and Monkey Son #2 again at the head of the aisle. Monkey Son #1, still ridiculously excited about the blueberries

threw them

not gently laid

threw them

into the cart. The package is not sealed by any sort of sticker and it burst open and suddenly it was raining blueberries. All over the cart and the raw meat and the floor.

We scrambled to pick them up and get them back into the container. Husband directed me to customer service, and told me to tell them what happened, that we'd pay for them, and we didn't want them.

At customer service, the man and woman (not a couple) in front of me and the employee were merrily talking about their children and their children's hair color. After some time of this chatter, it was my turn.

"Two boys," I said, taking up the conversation where the previous people had left it. "One is blond, one is a redhead. The blond one threw these into the cart and it opened and spilled blueberries everywhere."

In the end, I ended up paying for them (although I think she was ready to give me a refund damage receipt so I could get another package, but remember the storm? We're in a hurry here).

And when we got back, Monkey Son #1 looked at us and said, "Did we get blueberries?"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Apronize: verb. Working to improve your housekeeping ability.

Housekeeping skills are something I have been learning in my adulthood. Why it has taken almost 10 years into my adulthood to grasp it in its vaguest sense is rather complicated, and I won't dive into it. But if you know me personally, you probably know why.

Here's a guilty secret: I sometimes watch Martha Stewart's show, as much as I don't want to. Sometimes. And only a few minutes at a time. It's something that I hate about myself. Most of the show either bores me or I don't think it really applies to me. But occasionally I get some gleam of interest or tip that I can use. Swirling the icing on cakes to hide my hideously not smooth icing job is one of them. So, every few days for a few minutes, I tune in. And I watch. And I hope for something that's going to help with my underdeveloped housekeepingness, or perhaps my need for craftiness that's not going to cost a ton. (Ooh..."Housekeepingness." Spell check says it's not a word. I'll have to add it to the Mom-tionary.)

Speaking of Martha, apparently she's doing a week long tribute to cupcakes. During one of these select times when I get a few select minutes of watching in, I saw that she made some cupcakes and gave a few ladies in the audience one each. A short time later, she turned to them and asked if they had eaten them. They responded that they had, to which the dear hostess replied, a little surprised, "All of it?"

Do you want to laugh? I do. Being shocked that someone ate a whole cupcake. That's funny.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Another fantastic apron giveaway!

I dig aprons. Have you picked up on that? In fact, I just finished making two of my very own.

The lovely ladies over at The Apron Goddesses are giving away another fantastic apron. You can check it out here. I don't really like half-aprons because I'm just too messy for them to serve a purpose, but for this one, I'll make an exception. Hurry up and enter! Today is the last day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Momare: noun. A dream that shows even when asleep, a mom is still a mom.

As I lay sleeping last night, I dreamed there was a plate of cookies on the table. The cookies were meant for someone specific. Then I dreamed that someone who they were not meant for was reaching for the cookies. (Was it a child or a short adult? Not sure.) Anyway, in the dream I reached out and slapped the person's hand to get them away from the cookies.

Meanwhile, back in reality, I really had reached out in my sleep just as I did in the dream. Oh, yes, I reached out... and slapped Husband squarely on the forehead.

The contact woke both of us up. I woke up apologizing (though I wasn't awake enough to know why), and he woke up yelling incomprehensibly. Then we both woke up enough to laugh about it, and I told him to leave the cookies alone next time.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th!

Good morning, everyone, and Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone has a fantastic day and has the day off of work.

We've been trying to figure out what to do with our day, but unfortunately what we can do is limited by crowds and some insane mosquitoes. Just walking outside right now is an invitation for the local insect population and their three hundred closest friends to make you a three course meal.

That being said, so far we're spending the morning by watching 1776. If you've never seen it, it's quite good. A sort of musical comedy/drama about how the Declaration of Independence came about, following rather snotty John Adams, lovelorn but brilliant Thomas Jefferson, and the ever (in)sane Ben Franklin.

And now to figure out whether we'll go see fireworks, go to the zoo, go to the beach, or do nothing at all.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Poo-Poo Padoo Part III

Poo-Poo Padoo: noun. Any sort of catastrophe involving poop.

Part I
Part II

We've been testing the waters of potty training with Monkey Son #2 over the past few months. One of his favorite books is now Once Upon a Potty by Alona Frankel. At one point, the character Joshua, who is trying to learn how to use the potty, has an accident on the floor. All of the sudden, that part stuck out to Monkey Son #2, and he started saying "Poopy uh floor!" (Translation: Poopy goes on the floor!)

One of the first times he said it, he went over by the toy box, then came back. Again he said, "Poopy uh floor!"


I looked behind him and saw, yes. Poopy uh floor.

So here's how our conversations go now.

"Where does poopy go?"

"Uh floor!"

"No, poopy goes on the potty. OK?"


"Where does poopy go?"

"Uh floor!"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Whynot Gadget part II

I don't quite know what to say about this. Whynot Gadget seemed to be the closest to my existing categories. As in...why not put pancake batter in a whipped cream style can?

That's right. Pancake batter in a can.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day!

I hope all of you remember to thank the special men in your life today, whether they are your actual father, father figure, father of your children, or eventually-will-be father of your children.

I want to thank Husband for being a wonderful husband to me and an excellent father to our children. The original version of this post had a big list of all the things I appreciate about him, but I didn't want to embarrass him.

Instead, I'll simply say thank you, Husband. I love you. Happy Fathers Day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Dosaster: noun. A domestic disaster.

So...the plumber came today. A very friendly man who certainly seemed to know his business. I explained to him the two problems. Every time I run our washing machine, it backs up into the kitchen sink. And every time I run either the washing machine or dishwasher, water leaks through the wall on the outside of the house.

"They may or may not be related," I stammered. I really hoped that a good snaking out of the pipes would fix the whole thing, despite the laws of physics or common sense.

He had been wearing a smile since he came in, but now his smile changed slightly. It was that sad, sympathetic smile a person gets when they are thinking, "Ma'am, you are not going to like what I am about to tell you."

And I didn't like what he had to tell me. He knew exactly what the problems were and what it took to fix them, but they were, in fact, two separate problems that were unrelated despite them being in the same area.

To fix the washing machine water backing up into the sink: $20. Not bad.

But to fix that leaky pipe, which involves opening up a cinder block wall: $680.


Well, it has to be done. And once it is done, I won't have to worry about it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mommy Day Part II

Mommy Day: noun. A day when being a mommy is exhausting and frustrating.

Part I here.

Random tantrums. Fighting over toys. Hitting, kicking, and screaming. Plumbing going haywire. Messes even bigger and more spectacular than normal. Throwing objects.

That about sums it up.

And then they want to give hugs and kisses and that somehow makes it better.

But thankfully, bedtime is coming, and the plumber will be coming out in the morning to give us an estimate. We'll start fresh tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Can it possibly be two posts in one day? Yes, yes it is.

The ladies over at The Apron Goddesses are giving away a fantastically cute and retro-y apron. Stop on over and take a look. It is super cute.

You can find this adorable article over at The Apron Goddesses by clicking here.


Momfense: noun. An action or word that makes a mom feel offended or that she needs to go on the defensive.

The other day a friend and I were idly chatting. I think I had mentioned something about Husband's job or degree when she said, "But you have your degree, too, right?"

I told her that yes, I did. (I have a bachelor's in English).

"I never understood why someone would spend that much money on education just to stay home," she replied.

Whoa. Back up a second. What did she just say to me? What is that supposed to mean?

I stammered something about staying home wasn't my original plan (it wasn't) and I may go back to work when the kids are in school (may or may not).

What I wish I had said was I don't think education is a waste of money and I am doing what is best for me and my family. That's how I really feel.

What is so curious is why I felt I had to defend my position at all. I wasn't angry as much I was mildly offended by the remark. To me, it was as if she was telling me that I had done a foolish thing by going to college if my plan was to be a stay-at-home mother. Sorry. Even if that had been the plan, I wouldn't trade my Shakespeare and poetry classes for the world.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Whynot Gadget

Whynot Gadget: noun. An item, gadget, or tool that has a function or feature that seems unnecessary or downright silly.

There is no way I couldn't blog about this. No way. It's just too silly.

I recently received some samples of the Gillette Venus Malibu razor. First I must say that it does a pretty decent job. Pretty much done in 1-2 passes. A little expensive at about $9 for a set of three (they are disposables), but decent. Cushioned, pivoting head and three blades. Nice.

And a scented handle.

Hang on. I'll give you a second.

OK, are you with me? Scented handle.

Some of you out there are saying, "Oh, neat!" But if you are like me, whose insanely logical engineer husband has rubbed off on them, you are saying, "Wait, what? What for?"

I just thought a scented handle was kind of silly. Is it going to leave a scent on your skin? No? Then what is it for?

So here's what I picture: Walking in to a room full of people who came up with the idea of the razor and asking them why they made that handle scented. I suspect I'd get one of two answers. One being, "To make it more appealing to women within the demographic of x and y," and the other simply being, "Why not?"

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Note from Kristina

So, here's something I've been thinking about for some time. I refer to my boys as Monkey Son #1 and Monkey Son #2. Is this hard to follow as you read? Should I change their nicknames so that they are completely different?

What do you think?

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Momic/Dadic: noun. Moms (momic) and dads (dadic) that act as doctors, nurses, and/or medics when their child is sick or hurt.

So I promised to say more about Monkey Son #1's ambulance ride. Here's what happened.

Around 10:30pm about a week and a half ago, Monkey Son #1 woke up coughing pretty hard. I went to check on him and found that he was barely breathing. He was struggling and whispering that he couldn't breath. Husband and I brought him out of his room and gave him something to drink, but it didn't help. We dressed him and Husband put him in the car to go to the emergency room while I stayed with Monkey Son #2.

A few moments later, Husband pulled into the driveway again, opened his door, but did not get out. He was calling 9-1-1. Monkey's breathing, he decided, was too bad and he didn't have the time to drive him to the hospital.

A few minutes later, I was trying to stay out of the way of 4 paramedics. They gave Monkey Son #1 some sort of breathing treatment and took him away in the ambulance. He thought that was the coolest thing.

A very helpful neighbor came to offer her assistance. Her teen daughter stayed with Monkey Son #2 and the neighbor came with me to the hospital. I let her go shortly after. They wouldn't let her in the room, anyway.

More breathing treatments at the hospital. At one point Monkey Son #1 looked over at us with a breathing mask on and said, "Look! I'm Star Wars!" He also pretended to be a fighter pilot. And pretended to be a fighter jet.

In the end, he was diagnosed with a sudden case of croup and given a prescription for an inhaler, liquid steroid, and a need for a cool mist humidifier.

And then I became the momic. It was incredibly hard to get him to take his medicine. I was up early the next morning making the bathroom as humid as possible so he could breath in the moist air when he woke up hacking because we hadn't gotten the humidifier yet (it was only 6:30am and we hadn't been relased from the hospital until 3 am). Checking temperatures. Monitoring medicines. Monitoring food intake. Monitoring liquid intake. Watching for signs of getting better or worse.

He's now all better. Now if only Monkey Son #2 could get over his cold.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One of my favorite businesses in the whold wide world...

...is having a fantastic giveaway!

Heather over at Mom4life.com ( a mom-owned and ran company specializing in pregnancy, baby, parenting, and especially-for-mommy items) is having a great giveaway this month. It's easy and free to enter and you can find out the details by going here.

Even if the prizes don't interest you, take a look around her site anyway. She's got some fantastic products that are all mom-invented, great customer service, and fast shipping. And I'm not just saying that to get an entry in the contest. :) I've actually bought items from her before.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Guest Entry: Men-gineering

After a couple of bad health weeks, I'm back. The worst of it was when Monkey Son #1 got to take his first ambulance ride late at night. But more on that in the next post.

Momma Brenda sent this fabulous word and entry in for the Mom-tionary.

"Men-gineering n.—The engineering attempts by who we can only assume is a team of men in an attempt to improve the operations of gadgets and machines women use every day."

"I know that there are several examples of this but the one that prompted me to post this is my oven. For some reason it is designed to turn off when the timer goes off! Now there is no woman in her right mind who would engineer an oven to do such a goofy thing. I mean how many recipes call for baking for 30 min at 350 covered and remove cover and top w/ cheese and continue to bake for 15 min? Or how about baking cookies?! Who wants to turn the oven back on every time a pan of cookies is done?!"

Thanks, Brenda! We all sympathize, I'm sure! Even Husband thought that was a stupid design, and he is an engineer. Sadly, he doesn't design ovens.

Anybody else out there have any men-gineering mishaps? I know I have.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Letter Drop Part III

You can find part I here and part II here.

Letter Drop:
verb. The act of mispronouncing a word by young children due to missing letters.

Things are looking up a bit. Husband and I are in better moods, but it looks like I might have to go back to the doctor in a few weeks depending on whether I am completely better. But no worries. Whatever is going on doesn't affect my typing fingers. :)

So, I was helping Monkey Son #1 put together a puzzle that was slightly out of his ability. While we were working on it, he asked, "What's a present?"

"A present is something you give someone," I replied.

"No, what's a present."

"It's something you give someone," I said again.

He got a little frustrated and repeated the word over and over. I thought, does he mean "present" as in the here and now? I was really confused over what he was asking.

Finally, he said. "Present. Like Present Barak Obama."


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Weak Week

Weak Week: noun. A week where everything just seems to be going wrong.

This is my third attempt to write this post. I have had a very, very, bad week. I've cried a lot and spent an inordinate amount of my time completely stressed out.

While trying to spare you any yucky/TMI details, I can say this. I'm super angry that though my symptoms could have indicated anything from ectopic pregnancy to cancer, my doctor's office didn't want to let me have an appointment. They even went so far as to say they thought I was about to start my period. Let's say I was not amused. I had to convince them that what I was feeling wasn't normal. Even then, they wouldn't see me until the next day, despite the fact that if I *had* been ectopic, I could have died by then.

After I had gotten the sought-after appointment, Husband suggested I call the nurse advice line for our health insurance to see if what I was experiencing was really, really serious or pretty normal. The nurse I spoke to said that my symptoms could not wait another day, and that I needed to be seen within 3-4 hours. Armed with this information, I called around to several more offices, who all told me that they were booked solid and there was nothing they could do for me unless I wanted to wait a few days or a week. Even explaining my symptoms and what the nurse had said, no one was willing to budge. They all seemed interested in what was going on with me, just not willing to do anything about it.

Finally, one office suggested I go to our local medical center/lab/clinic, since they take walk-ins. I did, and a few hours later, I had the results of some tests that only told me what the problem was probably not. The most vital piece of information that I got was that whatever was going on, it could wait until my regular doctor was able to give me a more thorough exam the next day.

So the next day the doctor declared it to probably be some sort of infection and gave me a prescription for antibiotics and a strong dose of ibuprofen.

So there we are. Husband and I were a lot less stressed after finding out the probable cause to the pains I had. But the next day, both Monkeys came down with nasty colds, particularly Monkey Son #2. They spent their morning fighting and yelling at me. My bed looks so good.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Neggessive: adjective. Description of a person who is unnecessarily or illogically possessive about something or someone. I.e., "He is neggessive about his pencils."

When we went to Monkey Son #1's school orientation, one of the teachers told us that some parents write their child's name on every one of his crayons because children get possessive of them. Neggessive enough for you? No? OK, how about this:

This morning I took the recycling bin out to the street. A few hours later, as I was decluttering, I found some useless flyers in a stack of papers I was sorting. Trying to be a little more environmentally friendly, I decided to take my lazy self outside and down the drive to deposit them in the recycling bin since the truck had not yet come to pick them up. As I was about to put the flyers in, I noticed how neat the stack of papers I put in earlier looked. And then I realized that stack of papers wasn't mine. In fact, they weren't loose papers at all, but a stack of about 10-15 magazines, many that I had never heard of. I was confused at best.

I asked Husband if he had brought them home from work and put them in the recycling bin, but he said no. Besides, I realized I would have noticed them when I took the bin to the street this morning. But being confused and curious as we were, he advised I go back out and look at the address on the magazines. I did so, but found that most had no address label, and the ones that did, the label had been ripped off.

Here's the neggissiveness of it all. Though I would rather someone put the magazines in a recyling container than the trash, I (and Husband, too) felt somehow...violated. It's a strange thing to explain, since it really doesn't matter. I feel irritated about the whole thing but don't know why.

A Note from Kristina

I never really liked the look of 3-columned blogs. I prefer the 2-column approach. But...it seems my right side is getting longer and longer and more jumbled. What do you all think? Switch to 3-column or remain at 2?

Monday, April 27, 2009


Cutoops: noun. Any erroneous activity (purposeful or otherwise) that results from a child's first pair of scissors.

Oh, my monkey is growing up! A week ago, we took the Monkeys to the local elementary school for a little presentation on how to register and what the curriculum is like. Part way through, all the up-and-coming kindergarteners went to one of the classrooms for story, craft, and snack, while we were left doing the boring parts, i.e., the paperwork.

So all went well, and Monkey Son #1 did beautiful. He received a little gift bag with a pair of scissors, crayons, a note pad, and a little cardboard fish that you lace. He was excited and I was so proud, until we got home.

Monkey Son #1 has never been allowed to use scissors for a variety of reasons. This was his first pair. In the next couple of days, he cut his swimsuit, his shoe laces, tons of paper, and the pièce de résistance...was going after the TV. When I stopped him and told him not to cut the TV, he actually turned around and asked why.

OK, Monkey, once again, SCISSORS ARE FOR PAPER ONLY.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Panic Wave

Panic Wave: noun. A particular type of panic that gets worse and worse as the minutes tick by, whether by new information or simply an increase in awareness or emotion.

It started off as a good morning. We were going to have fried polenta with syrup for breakfast, which is a rare treat. I started the prep and Husband went off to work. Now, he likes to listen to his scanner (a habit I hate), and about two minutes later, he opened the door again and announced that a school bus had been hit by a train, three students killed, three cars derailed, and they can't find the driver of the school bus. *Feeling a little panicked? Keep reading. It ends well.* Husband left again, and I went into the next room to say a quick prayer for the families of the children who died and those who may be injured.

Husband came back a few moments later. This time he said the bus wasn't hit by a train, but the train exploded, and the explosion hit the bus. Oh, yeah, that's so much better. [Note my sarcasm.] I became nasueous, so I decided to forget the polenta and just give the kids cereal and skip breakfast myself.

Well, we were thinking about the possibility of evacuating. Husband had already decided he wasn't going to work until he knew whether or not we had to leave our home. Who knows what was on the train, so I decided to be ready in case we had to leave. As I was working on it, Husband heard over the scanner that there was a plume of smoke that was drifting, and there was going to have to be evacuations. Fortunately, not for us. It was blowing the other direction. Husband, ever the curious one, decided to climb up on our (low) roof to see this smoke. A minute later he came back down, in a much less panicked mood.

"It's a drill!" he said. "There's no smoke."

"And is no smoke why you think it's a drill?" I asked. Just the fact that he can't see it doesn't comfort me.

"No," he said. "Apparently people have been calling and they announced it!"

Well, that was fun. And I went to go make the polenta.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Preschool Personify

Preschool Personify: verb. Personification (granting human qualities to) by a preschooler.

A few days ago was Monkey Son #1's birthday. He is now a whopping 5 years old! He had been asking to have a picnic for the longest time and I just hadn't done it, although all he wanted was to eat lunch in the yard. His birthday, I decided, would be the perfect day.

But then came a really big, really nasty line of storms. There goes the picnic. Oh, look, isn't the radar decorated in pretty colors today! Oh, and some tornado warnings. Nice.

Monkey Son #1 started asking about tornadoes. He thought that you could shoot a tornado, and then it would be dead. End of story. I explained to him that tornadoes are made of wind and dust and such, so you really can't kill it. He indicated that he understood.

Later, he decided that police would be able to shoot the tornado when it comes near, and that would be that. I again told him that tornadoes are made of wind, and are therefore not alive. You can't kill something that is not alive.

I'm still not sure he believes me.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

I'd just like to take a moment to wish everyone a happy Easter. For the Christian moms (and dads? Do I have any dad readers?) you of course know that Easter is the day we celebrate God raising Christ from the dead.

Now, here's the fun: explaining really complicated ideas of Christianity to a 4-year-old (that would be Monkey Son #1). He gets that Christmas is when we celebrate Jesus's* birthday. On Good Friday I explained to him that it is the day when we celebrate Jesus's death, and how later God made Jesus alive again. The why, though, I think still escapes him.

Today I told him that it is Easter.

"And what's Easter?" I asked.

"It's when Jesus died," he told me. OK, close. Let's see if we can follow that up.

"And?" I asked.

"And God made him alive again!"

That's my boy. Mommy's so proud of you.

Happy Easter, everyone!

*Yes, it is 's, not s'. It is always 's if the noun is singular, even if it ends with s. Just in case you were wondering. Spell check was arguing with me.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Homophonity (Homophone-ity): verb. To confuse two homophones.

Quick English lesson for those of you who have forgotten: Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings and sometimes spellings.

Moving on.

This afternoon, Monkey Son #1 and I were dyeing Easter eggs. At one point he asked me to kill one of the eggs.


"You mean you want me to dye it. Not kill it."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Don't Have Time for This Activity Part II

I win. :) At least, I think I did.

As expected, they called again today. I pushed the number for "not available." At that point the automated system identified itself and gave the reference number to the account. When I called back, it took me twice to navigate the automated system. Eventually I got to a rep, and found out two things:

1. Their automated system doesn't seem to be able to pronounce names. The machine said they were looking for"Tracielle," but they were actually looking for "Tracey." OK, still not me. My name is Kristina, in case you missed it.

2. I may have prepared for nothing. They did not ask for my social security number or any other identification. I merely gave the rep my name and said the person they are looking for is not at my number. Simple enough.

Really, I feel kind of bad that I thought I was really going to have to fight with them to remove my number. That doesn't seem to be the case. Unless, of course, they call again tomorrow, but I don't see why they would.

I Don't Have Time for This Activity Part I

I Don't Have Time for This Activity: noun. Any activity that is ridiculous, frustrating, and that you really don't have time for as a parent.

So, a few days ago I received a call on my cell phone. It was one of those automated dealies and I hung up without listening to the message. It is my experience that automessages=salespeople. The next day I received a call from the same number. I listened to the message this time, and found that it was a message for a specific person that I didn't know. The options were to accept that I am this person, that the person needs a minute to come to the phone, or that the person was unavailable. Well...none of the above. I hung up.

So I wondered to myself, who is calling me? I made friends with Google and found that they are a debt collections agency. Great. I've heard really nasty stories about collections agencies that won't believe you aren't who they think you are and will accuse you of all sorts of things.

So, I am prepared for battle. The Google guru revealed to me that this company isn't the easiest to deal with. I wrote out what I want to say (politely, of course) if they call for a 3rd day in a row. I will tell them that I am not this person. If they want my ssn# or dob, I won't give it. I say this because others who have dealt with this company have said they want that information to verify who you are. Sorry, no dice here. Not giving that to a stranger over the phone.

In short, I've researched what I am supposed to do, and am prepared if they want to argue. Bring it on, baby.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sudden Nastalgia

Sudden Nastalgia: noun. The feeling of nastalgia a parent gets when their child does something that reminds them of something else.

Yesterday, Monkey Son #1 received a toy laptop as a gift. It has little educational games programed into it. Very cute.

So this morning, Monkey Son #1 held up a Transformer toy and tried to do a robot voice.

"I-am-a-friendly-robot. I-want-you-to-play-a-game-on-[Monkey]'s-computer."

I just kept thinking, "Hello, Dr. Falken. Would you like to play a game?"

If you're initial response to that question is to ask, "How about a nice game of chess?" I will laugh hysterically with you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Poo-Poo Padoo part II

Poo-Poo Padoo: noun. Any sort of catastrophe involving poop.

For part one, click here.

Ah, the joys of potty training. Monkey Son #2 has started showing signs of readiness, particularly an awareness of when he has messed or wet his diaper.

One way I'm trying to potty train him is to let him run around diaperless. It hasn't worked so far, but I'm still hopeful.

Anyway, during one of these diaper-free times, Husband was sitting on the couch and I went back to the bedroom for a minute. I came back out and went about my business, but then I stopped.

"Something smells like poopy," I said. I looked down at Monkey Son #2, thinking that maybe he had been passing gas. And then I saw the big brown pile of yuckiness.

At least I didn't find it by stepping in it this time. Eww.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Screamer

The Screamer: noun. The child among a larger group that typically screams hysterically when left in the care of another, regardless of how long or short they are in that care.

Before I had children, I worked for a summer at a daycare. There were always those couple of children that would scream and cry hysterically when their parents dropped them off and then went off to work. They were the most miserable children to deal with until they calmed down. They were the screamers.

Where Husband and I work out, there is a child center. Gym membership comes with free use of the child center, and we do make use of it. While Monkey Son #1 goes in happily and loves playing with all the new toys, Monkey Son #2 screams his ever-loving head off, sometimes grabbing my legs as he does. Oh, no! We have that child. The one caregivers dread.

On the upside, when we return to pick up the Monkeys a short time later, we find Monkey Son #2 stopped crying quite a while before, and now does not want to go home. He wants to play with the toys.

The other day, his hysterics started early. We were just pulling into the parking lot when he cried. I turned around and said sweetly to him that he was going to go play with the kids and the toys, and we would be back for him in a little while. He calmed down. He even smiled. He didn't cry again and seemed perfectly happy when we dropped him off.

Until the ninja.

As we started the ritual of dropping off the diaper bag and signing in the Monkeys, a boy of about 7 (maybe younger) jumped in front of Monkey Son #2, yelling and doing quasi-karate. Of course, he didn't make contact with Monkey, but was just noisy.

And then came the screaming.

A note from Kristina

The Apron Goddesses blog is giving away an apron book. I'm going to share this with you because I really dig aprons. :)

Click here to enter the book give away.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's a party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

I'm a little late for this, getting in just under the wire, but I'm participating in 5 Minutes for Mom's Ultimate Blog Party!

This is my first blog party. For those of you who don't know, this is a way to get exposure for your blog, win and/or donate prizes, and get to know others. So here it is, my party post! I'm using it to tell a little about me and the Mom-tionary.

My name is Kristina, and I'm a stay-at-home mom to two little crazy monkey boys who keep me going and going. Recently my mother-in-law said, "I forget how busy they are!" Oh, yes. Busy is a good and polite word for it.

Anyway, I earned a Bachelors in English in hopes of becoming a professional writer some day. Seeing a book I wrote on the shelves of the nearest bookstore is still a hope that I have. In the meantime, the Mom-tionary is my oh-so-convenient and fun creative outlet.

The point of the Mom-tionary is to make up words and phrases to describe situations that we see as parents and caregivers that the English language just doesn't cover yet.

I look forward to reading about other participators in the Ultimate Blog Party!

(And remember, I love comments.)

As per the rules, here my top three prizes with hyperlinks, and then the rest of my picks:

Top 3: USC 58 Retro Apron
132 (no USC in front) Complete Potty Training Starter Kit from Baby Signs
14 (no USC in front) Products by Andrea Hatfield, Scentsy Consultant

And the rest: 51, 103, 37, 19, 21, 22, 20, 118, and USC 15.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So Mommy

So Mommy: adjective. Phrase describing any act that was done as a result of being a parent.

Did you get all that? Let me try again. When you do something that you would not have done if you weren't a parent, that's sooo mommy.

I've done some really strange things because my mommy brain was not in the correct gear, like trying to give Husband a sippy cup, not realizing I walked past the child it was supposed to go to.

So here is my recent so mommy moment: Husband asked if I could make him a peanut butter sandwich. At the end of his request, he added, "Crust on, please."

It's sad that he said that. I think I actually have taken his crusts off before out of habit.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I don't have a word for it yet

OK, I'm cheating. I don't have a word for this yet, but I need to share it with you so I don't forget. And it is too hilarious to not share right away.

I just saw a commercial for Disney brand eggs.

I'll give you a moment.

OK? You with me? DISNEY EGGS. Now laugh.

I feel, after a day or two, that I should add that these aren't like Easter eggs. I mean eggs eggs. Like cooking eggs. With little Disney characters stamped on the shell.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Potty Problem

Potty Problem: noun. A situation when a child has to go to the bathroom, but can't get to one.

So, I'm back home and back to blogging. I was away attending a wedding, but didn't want to announce to the world that I would not be home.

A funny thing happened on our flight out. Well, funny in hindsight, anyway. The captain kept the seatbelt sign on almost the whole flight. Occasionally, he would remind the flight attendants that they needed to be strapped in, though I'm not sure why. The flight was almost perfectly smooth.

Monkey Son #1 announced that he had to go potty. The seatbelt light was still on, but I thought it would be OK. Like I said, the flight was smooth, and when I looked at the bathroom behind us, I could see one of the flight attendants standing casually in the galley area. Must be OK to get up, I decided, and took Monkey Son #1 the the back of the plane.

There was a second flight attendant in the back of the plane that I didn't see, and when I got to the bathroom, she looked at me and told me in a voice that was both friendly and rude that the fasten seatbelt light was still on, and essentially, I should be in my seat. I said OK and took Monkey Son #1 back, having not visited the bathroom.

A short time later, someone in the cockpit or one of the attendants made the announcement over the speaker that the seatbelt light was still on, and the captain would turn it off when it was smooth enough. I was floored. The ride couldn't possibly get any smoother. What exactly was he looking for?

Poor Monkey Son #1 spent a lot of time just staring at the seatbelt light, waiting for it to turn off. It never did.

Monday, March 2, 2009

2 Week Break

Hello, everyone! Starting tomorrow, I will not be blogging for 2 weeks. If you know me personally, you know why this is. And no, it has nothing to do with Lent, in case you were wondering.

Enjoy your pre-spring, and I will be blogging again in 2 weeks.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Widget

I've added a label widget to the sidebar. Over the past several days, I've been redoing the labels of the posts to make them more compact and easier to navigate. Originally, the number of labels was huge. Now with this widget, you can see the list of labels and find exactly what you want to read about.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Guilty Innocence

Guilty Innocence: noun. Having the form of being innocent with some guilt attached.

OK, I really struggled with that definition. I would think that innocence is an adjective, but the dictionary says it's a noun. So we'll call it that. But what I mean by "guilty innocence" is knowing you are doing the right thing, even though there is some guilt involved.

Husband just finished our taxes and presented me with the paper to sign. Next to the place for my signature was the infamous "occupation" box. I hesitated. What do I write there? Is it domestic engineer? Housewife? Stay-at-home mom? I eventually settled on housewife and let that be the end of it.

You know, I don't really like the term "domestic engineer." There's something wrong about it, I think. I was reading Wikipedia one day, and came across this statement: "The euphemistic term 'domestic engineer' has gone out of favor, being seen by some as satirical, as if to give a sense of mock dignity to a role held in low esteem by the speaker." (Full article here.) Maybe that's it. It seems almost silly. Note, though, that I don't care if other people use the term. I just personally don't. (Remember 300 Roses when I said I don't care if other people make it? It's the same kind of thing.)

Which, in a round-about way that you should be used to by now, brings me to my point. I'm happy to stay home with my kids. Really. But when people ask if I work, it is almost painful to say no. I could say yes, being that I do actually work regardless of the fact that I don't get a paycheck, but somehow I don't think that kind of smart alec answer is going to get me anywhere.

So, after some reflection, I've come up with what I think is the reason why I feel a slight pang of guilt when I have to say that I don't have a "real" job. It's the fear that in the eyes of the asker I'm somehow not right. Like I might be lazy or just not living up to my potential. That realization is somehow freeing.

So now, I say it loud (or as loud as I can get on the internet): I'm a housewife. I'm a stay-at-home mom. I feel my job is very important and I am doing the best thing for my family!

Did you notice the italics on "my"? That's because I want you to notice that me staying at home is the best solution for my family, but is not necessarily for others. I recognize that there are a lot of factors that need to be considered in order for a parent to make that kind of big decision.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Domestic Glitch Part 2

Click here for part I.

Domestic Glitch:
noun. An instance when a person tries their hardest to run a smooth household, but something still goes wrong.

A few weeks ago, Husband had to go away for a few days on business. I decided to use that time to try out some new recipes.

Husband is usually the one who cooks. He took over that responsibility while I was pregnant with Monkey Son #2 (or somewhere there abouts). He's fantastic at it, really, but sometimes I feel like I'm not doing my full job by letting him do the cooking, even if he is better at it than I am.

One problem I have with cooking is raw meat skeeves me out. I hate it. The look, the feel...yuck! I feel like I can never quite get my hands clean enough after handling it. Don't get me wrong. On nights when Husband doesn't want to cook, I do cook for him and I have no problem doing that. But I don't enjoy it. Every time we watch a cooking show where they are patting the meat as they tell you about it, I cringe. The other day we watched The Sandlot, and Small's step-father put a frozen steak on Small's black eye...I was squirming.

So, that's why I don't like cooking. But I, as usual, digress. What I want to tell you about is the butternut squash soup I made while Husband was away. It was fantastic and no raw meat involved. It was so good, I made another batch the day Husband came home. He wasn't interested in it, but I gave him a bite later, and his reaction was terrible. He pulled back, made a face, and shuddered like it was the worst thing he had ever had. Oh, dear.

I didn't know he didn't like squash.

"OK, well, I won't make it anymore, then," I said.

"No, no, no. You can still make it for you," he replied.

But I won't be making it. It takes an hour or so for all the pre-roasting and slicing and washing and prepping to make this soup. I'm not going through all that just for me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Non-Momma Commentary

Non-Momma Commentary: noun. A comment made by a non-mother that ends up being insulting, whether or not it was well intended.

I want to tell you about this article, uh, column I guess, that my sister sent me. You can find it here.

Go ahead and read it. It's short. I'll wait.

OK, you done? Good. Now lets discuss.

Are you insulted a little bit by the question? I guess the thing that bothered me the most is this: Is this the way non-moms view us SAHMs? Do they really think we sit around and eat bon-bons and watch soap operas while our children run wild and we just hope they don't kill themselves? Really?

I agree with what the columnist said (although I probably would have been a bit less snarky about it): When you are a parent, everything you do takes longer than it would a childless person. Shopping, dishes, library trips.

And as for "What do they do all day?" Well, my friends, the other day I was watching an episode of "Little House on the Prairie" on one of the Christian channels. Often, a man name Michael Guido comes on during the commercials and gives a quick little story that illustrates important life points. One day he told a rather amusing story that goes something like this:

A man asked his wife, "What do you do all day?" Some time later, he came home and was surprised by the state of his house. When he asked his wife what happened, she replied, "Now you know what I do all day, because I didn't do it."

Sadly, it's easier to see what a SAHM hasn't done than what she has.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Magic Baby

Magic Baby: noun. Any child that does something that makes the parents wonder how he/she did it.

I gave Monkey Son #2 a few potato chips today. I know, I know. It's the evil junk food. But it is one of our few junk food vices, so be patient with me. It's not like I give my children tons of potato chips every day. Monkey Son #1 gets them rarely, and Monkey Son #2 even rarer than that.

At any rate, today I gave both of them some chips. Afterwards, Monkey Son #1 ran off to play, and I took Monkey Son #2 out of his high chair. A few minutes later, Monkey Son #2 walked by with another chip.

Wait. Where did he get that? I thought he must have had it in his hand when I took him out of his high chair. Only a few minutes later, he had another one.

I looked at the counter. The chip container was still there, closed, and out of reach. So...where was he getting these chips? Was there a secret pile somewhere? Did I spill some? I seriously had no idea how he was magically coming up with extra Doritos.

Something made me look toward the living room. There, at the end of the couch, was a plate with chips on it. As I watched, Monkey Son #2 went over to the plate and took one. I really must talk to Monkey Son #1 about leaving plates of food everywhere.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Furry Malfunction

Furry Malfunction: noun. Any problem dealing with pets (including hairless ones, in case you are wondering).


The little buggers are tough, aren't they? Come on, admit it. Sometimes animals just get fleas, no matter how clean your house is. Let me tell you about our battle with fleas as of late...

We adopted a beautiful (and protective) female purebred Pembroke Welsh Corgi from a local Corgi rescue group. Beautiful dog, very loving, and not one of the nipping Corgis (as herding dogs, some do nip as a way of "herding" children). When we got her, her "foster mom" that she had been staying with warned us to get heartworm and flea medication. We knew heartworm meds were important, but we didn't think fleas would be a problem. Until, of course, she got them.

In the pet section of our local Target, we found some "natural" powder meant to kill fleas. We put it on her, did the trick, no more fleas. Problem solved.

Or was it? Fast forward several months (possibly a year or so?) A flea infestation on her little tender belly and up onto her back. I blame the neighborhood wandering cats, but that's neither here nor there. Anyway, I break out the powder again. Not only did the powder not work, I'm pretty sure the fleas made an obscene gesture at me. I'd heard that Dawn dish washing liquid does wonders if you really get it lathered. I tried it, it killed most of them...but not all and they sprung right back, the little buggers. Next, we tried some over-the-counter drop stuff for about $15. No dice. We decide to go back and get the more expensive drops and see how that went, expecting to pay about $30. No, it was over $60, I think. We opted, instead, for some flea shampoo.

Again, most were killed, but not all. And I really don't like things that advise that I should wear gloves while handling and call the poison control center if I get it on my skin. I really didn't want to use that shampoo again. I told Husband, again, that we may have to just get the more expensive treatments. I caught his attention when I told him we had spent almost the amount of the expensive treatments on things that did not work. A quick thought confirmed that this was true.

Eventually, he gave in. After reading several reviews, I opted to buy Advantage, which comes in drops that you put down the dog's back. I put it on her yesterday, and I have only seen her scratch twice last night. This morning there doesn't seem to be any problem at all, which fits with the product description (may take 12 hours to fully work).

I hated that we had no carpet when we moved in. Now, I don't mind so much...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Night Confusion

Night Confusion: noun. The state of mind of a child that wakes up only partially.

Have your children ever woken up crying but not been able to tell you why, only to drop off into a deep sleep moments later? Or maybe they try to talk to you but make no sense? At our house, this happens often.

A few days ago Monkey Son #1 woke up crying, saying he didn't want any of something, but I couldn't understand what the something was. I kept asking him to repeat it, but it made no sense to me. Finally, I just said, "OK, you don't have to have any." Then he grabbed his feet and said, "Can I borrow this?"

Another instance was when he was about 3. He woke up and said, "It wasn't a dragon. It was a sheep. Sheep say 'Baaaa!'" That was probably the most entertaining one.

As little sense as half-awake children make to us, I'm sure the world makes as little sense to them. When my brother was young, my parents had a smoke detector that talked and said, "Low battery," when the battery needed to be replaced. One night the smoke detector did in fact need a new battery. My brother went to go tell my parents, who did not hear the alert. Only...my brother didn't understand what the smoke detector was saying.

"Mom! The smoke detector keeps calling me a blueberry!"

Say it out loud. You'll get it.

See also: Sleep Action

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Guest Entry: Hanitizer

Hanitizer: noun. Short for hand sanitizer.

Thanks to Kristin for this great word!

My friend Kristin and I took our families on a zoo trip. Picture it: birds that land on you. Deer you can feed. Children that are falling and their hands are landing in the ickiest places on the walkway possible. Giraffes that are not shy and have really big tongues. (Seriously. They suck these weird giraffe crackers right out of your hand. It is the most awesome and strangest thing.)

She was smart enough to be packin' hanitizer. I was not. Thankfully, she shared.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sweet Sneak

Sweet Sneak: noun. Child who sneaks junkfood.
-verb. The act of sneaking junkfood.

So, this morning Monkey Son #1 woke us up. When Husband and I pulled ourselves out of bed, Husband was very upset with him, but I wasn't sure why waking us up deserved such a stern talking to.

"Did you hear what I said, Mommy?" Husband called.

"Yes. What did he do?"

"Did you want pie?" Husband said. For a moment I thought he was asking if I wanted pie for breakfast. Then I looked down to the counter where the day before had been a beautiful pumpkin pie. We were able to salvage the untouched side.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Knowiquestion: noun. A question a child asks, although they really already know the answer.

OK, to be honest, I don't know if Monkey Son #1 really knew the answers to the questions he asked me, but it seems like he should have. We've talked about this subject enough.

I was sitting at the computer, I think actually doing something involving the Mom-tionary, when Monkey Son #1 came running up to me and announced that he has seen Chicago (the place, not the movie, for those of you who briefly wondered).

"Yes," I replied. It's true, we have.

"What is Chicago?" he asked.

Wait, if you don't know what it is, then how do you know that you've seen it? Oh, never mind. "It's a city."

"Where is it?"

"In Illinois." Now, I know we've talked about Illinois enough, for it is the magical land that contains the ever important Grandma and Grandpa, 3 doting aunts and a soon-to-be uncle.

"What's Illinois?"

What, really? "It's a state."

Maybe he thought I was having too much computer time, but his questions lately have been so frequent that I've occasionally answered "Why?" questions with a "It just is."

Really, Monkey, I don't know why the wardrobe in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is magic. I didn't know yesterday. I don't know today. And I won't know tomorrow. It just is.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's been rumored, and now it is confirmed...

...that I really do rock. Thanks to Nicolle at The Pink Chandelier for granting me this cute little award. And of course, awards come with rules. This one is that I must pass it on to ten or so other blogs that I love. Well...I don't have that many that I read regularly that I think would be interested in this kind of thing, but I'll do what I can. After all, I would hate to be stripped of my crown, uh, award.

So here's who I am granting the award to and why:

A Year of CrockPotting (very cool recipes)

Banana Peel (because stories about her kids are adaorable)

Utah Desert Runner (so cute)

Banned from Baby Showers (so many reasons!)

Winners can now take that little picture and put it on their own blog.

Thanks to all my readers. *Imagine I am holding a dozen roses, decked out in a ghastly shimmering dress that is way too long and earrings that hang down to my shoulders, while bowing and blowing kisses*

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hardware Hunt Part 2

We were able to go back to the sewing store today. About $13 later, we have a new bobbin case! Hooray! I was so afraid they were going to tell me to come back later, in, you know, that tone they use. You know the one. The "you're an idiot for even asking" tone.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Phibia: noun. A childhood or long ago fear that you tell yourself you are over, until the ugly truth comes out.

I was never a huge fan of spiders. When I moved to my current home, I became even less of a fan. But, as I became more used to my surroundings and the "natural" wildlife, I started to get over my fears. I learned that when I could point to a spider and say, "green orchard spider," or "wolf spider," I wasn't so afraid.

Until recently.

On Christmas Eve, awestruck Monkey Son #1 pointed out a spider about the size of my palm in the house. I moved a little closer so I could get a look at its markings and be sure that it was nothing venomous. As I did, it lifted it's body up off the wall and ran like Willy Mays Hayes. I jumped back and lost track of it as it ran to hide in the dining room.

I poked at various objects with a broom, to see if I could coax it out of hiding, but it was nowhere to be found. I spent the rest of the day freaked out. However, I did find out that it is a huntsman spider and is pretty harmless. Except, of course, for the fact that it was large enough to eat one of my children.

Later that night, I spotted the thing in the corner of the ceiling. Husband decided that we would catch it and take it outside, but also told me that it was not the size of my hand (notice I used "size of my palm" in my earlier description. I think that is a little more accurate). He grabbed some plastic containers and told me to watch it so I would know where it went if it escaped him. But...well...as soon as the thing moved I screamed and ran out of the room like a little girl. A few moments later, Husband emerged with his prey in a little container. As he and the boys admired it, I was jumping up and down, shaking my hands and screaming, "Take it outside!"

In case you don't know what a huntsman spider is, here is an example. This is not my video, but very much like what I saw.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hardware Hunt

Hardware Hunt: noun. The hunt for a simple but apparently elusive item, especially but not limited to a piece of hardware.

My ancient and secondhand sewing machine kept getting jammed over and over and over and I didn't know why. It had worked fine for weeks. I was yelling and banging my hands on the table like a toddler. Monkey Son #1 wanted to know what was wrong, i.e., why his mother had gone crazy.

Husband came home and announced the problem was a screw missing from the bobbin case. No problem. We can find a screw at the hardware store, and if not just get a whole bobbin case.

So, the guy at the hardware store put up a valiant effort, but couldn't find that particular size and type of screw. Husband was sure, though, that they had it. But we went home for the day.

So today, we went to a sewing store that boasted of sewing machine repairs and thought that surely, they would have the part. We were told that yes, they have parts, but the tech wasn't in at the moment, which meant that he would not be in at all, and we should come back some time during the week and try to find him then. Great.

We took a trip to the secondhand store we had bought our first machine from. Last time, they had several sewing machines. Maybe we could buy another for cheap and take its bobbin case. Today, though, no sewing machines at all.

Back to the hardware store, as Husband was still sure that they must have that screw. But they didn't.

We plan to go back to the sewing store on Monday, but if that doesn't work, we will just have to order a new bobbin case. In the meantime, my project is on hold, which makes me one cranky momma.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Storiquestion Time

Storiquestion Time: noun. A situation that begins as story time, but results in endless questions.

I've been having a hard time getting the Monkey Boys to just go to bed. They're up and down and running around and crying and laughing and begging for just one more snack.

For crying out loud.

So, I've heard that one thing you can do for this is really get into a routine, and that will help the kids settle down. I try to plan bedtime for around 7, so around 6:30 they get their teeth brushed and we head to their room for story time before lights out.

Tonight we were reading a condensed version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardobe (one of those ones with pictures from the movie). On the first page I pause to explain to him why the Pevensie children are leaving, but then we have to stop because Monkey Son #1 wants to know why London is being bombed.

"Are they bad guys? Why are they doing that? I saw a soldier at the Y and he had a son..."

And then the wardrobe.

"There's a wardrobe! It's a magic wardrobe. It has doors like that. Is it a magic wardrobe? Why is it a magic wardrobe?"

You get the idea. Eventually, the questions lessened, but did not stop. You'll be proud to know we did in fact make it through the whole book.