Observations Of An Amateur Housewife

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Here's Looking at YOU Kid"

So I was going through my canned goods cupboard yesterday, and way in the back I see these 2 eyes looking at me over the top of a can! The only animals we currently own are goldfish and water snails, so I knew it was not a family pet. It freaked me out a little, but I decided to be a big girl and get whatever it was, out.  I gingerly moved the can and found...a POTATO, with a root/eye that had sprouted 7 inches tall and had 2 round  horns sprouting from the top, just like two beady eyes! Scared me to death! lololol I thought maybe I should save it and plant it or something, but potato eyes have always given me the willies, so I threw it away. 

I should have taken a picture though. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011


Well folks, this blog probably looks kind of awkward right now, because I just moved over here from Wordpress. No big important reason really, except that Wordpress has such *boring* backgrounds, and I wanted a pretty blog! So there you see the depth of my vanity.

I couldn't figure out the import/export stuff, so I just copied and pasted all my previous posts from Wordpress over to here. That's why the dates are all off. Anyway, just thought I'd update my loyal fans! (hi mom!)

Picnik-y Spring

March 2011

Yesterday was gorgeous. We don’t see too many warm AND sunny days ’round these here parts. Did you know that it is either raining or snowing 1 out of 3 days in this city?! It’s true. Might as well live in the rainforest. Not too many people know about this particular rainforest, but it's very, very REAL. 
Clouds and I don’t get along very well. I mean, I like a cozy, rainy day just as much as the next person. Good book, hot chocolate, cozy spot on the couch, all that nice stuff. Every couple weeks or so, that would be nice. But when you get one, MAYBE two sunny days out of every week, it starts to wear on your nerves.  A lot.  Last summer we had a “drought”. It only rained once a week. Everyone was praying for rain. Crazy. lol
But I didn’t start this post to complain about the weather. I do more than enough of that. :) As I was saying, yesterday was gorgeous! Sunny, springy, warm! The kids and I didn’t get anything done all afternoon (except for getting the van cleaned out, which it needed desperately). We just played outside and took pictures, and while they were “napping” I had fun editing them on Picnik, my favorite toy. I love that thing! And it’s free, gotta love that!
It’s dark and cloudy again today, but Happy Almost Spring everyone!

Searching for Caterpillars

Hooray for Spring!

Pastrami A +, Pickles F-

Pastrami A +, Pickles F- March 2011

Well I’m not a foodie or a chef, I don’t even watch those crazy cook-off shows, (although I do think Cupcake Wars is kind of fun to watch). But I was so proud of myself today that I had to post a picture.  I am finally getting past the morning sickness phase of this pregnancy and feeling like a real person again! So for lunch today I actually prepared food to eat, instead of rummaging like a zombie through the freezer for pizza pockets and corn dogs to heat in the microwave. Adam has been talking about pastrami a lot lately, (pregnancy sympathy cravings???)  so I got some at the deli on our last grocery trip. Did you know turkey pastrami is only 3.99 a pound?! How did I not know that? We have been missing out on all of this pastrami goodness because I didn’t even know there was such a thing as TURKEY pastrami. Like I said, I’m no foodie, but I think it tastes the same. And I’m guessing it’s better for you since it’s made from a bird instead of a…cow? pig? Something like that.
Anyway, yay me. Big pat on my back. For making it through my first 11 weeks of pregnancy without anyone in the house getting food poisoning or starving. And to celebrate, here is a picture of what made Adam very happy today when he came home for lunch.
 Not too shabby, even if it is made with basic wheat bread and served on a paper plate. Hey, I may be up to making a sandwich, but I don’t want to waste my energy on dishes if I don’t have to! :)
 The only thing missing was pickles, which I actually got out, but was very bummed to discover out that the brand I bought was NOT good! Yes, I am a stereotypical pregnant lady with pickles this time around, and Mt. Olive Baby Dill Pickles did not make the cut!They taste like, well, olives! They don’t even smell like pickles. They did not even CRUNCH. Not good.
I guess I will just go back to Great Value baby dills, they taste great. (I just really wanted the little tiny pickles, and Mt. Olive were the only ones I could find.) ANYWAY, have a great day everyone!

Dream House or Dream Home

Dream House/Dream Home April 2010

It’s fun to dream…if I could put together the perfect “dream house” for our family, it would probably look something like this.
It would have a family friendly and serene kitchen:(minus the birdhouse…indoor birdhouses aren’t really my style).
The open floor plan would be spacious–but not too big–with a warm, rich color palette:
Lily’s room would be picture perfect:
And Jackson’s room would probably be something along these lines:
The master bedroom and bath would be an oasis of peace and relaxation:                                  
And the ceilings would be oh so wonderfully high!
While we’re dreaming how about an outdoor living area?
Okay, back to reality. In reality, our house looks nothing like this.  In reality, I have purple countertops, a yellow bathtub, and popcorn-textured ceilings that I can practically touch if I stand on my tiptoes. In reality, my house is–beautiful.
Beautiful because it is filled with the people I love most in the world. Beautiful because it is decorated with my son’s toy cars on the floor, and my daughter’s fingerprints on the mirror. And because our dreams are here.
Every family has dreams. For us, our greatest dreams revolve around each other and where God wants us to be. We are so amazingly blessed. We don’t deserve to be taken care of, to have a roof over our heads, beds to sleep in, shelter from the heat and cold. And yet, here we are surrounded by all of these things and more, simply because God has provided them for us.
Sure, a “dream house” would be nice. But if I had to choose, a dream home is even better. And that’s really what I’ve got.

My Corner of Perfect

February 2010

In the corner of the United States, on the corner of Bridge Vista and Selah Loop, there is a yellow house with a star on
top. A little gate with a trellis over it welcomes family and friends, and invites them to step into a place where life slows down and becomes a little less complicated. Several years have passed since I visited, but I go back there just about every day.
My grandparents’ house holds many memories for me. Neither big nor small, it’s the perfect size. Inside, there is a kitchen, dining room, living room, two bedrooms, a fireplace, a woodstove, and an attic. Outside, past the surrounding porch and patio, you will find a cherry tree, an apple tree, a peach tree, a walnut tree, numerous flower beds and a vegetable garden.
My dad and his sister grew up there. At the age of 18, he married my mom in that house. Later, when my mom’s illness put her in the hospital for months at a time, my family moved in and my grandparents took care of us while my dad worked. Years later, Adam & I had our wedding reception under the walnut tree.
As a kid, I could often be found in that walnut tree, reading a book. I  loved everything about that house, especially the yard. I would spend  hours wandering around outside, playing with kittens or baby chicks  under the porch, walking barefoot in the garden, or exploring the fruit  cellar. I remember drying my hair in the sunshine on hot summer  mornings, watching Grandpa mow the lawn or Grandma water her  flowers. I hope I get to see Lily and Jackson running in that yard.
I loved the yard best, but the attic was a close second. It was my dad’s  room when he was a boy, and when we moved in it became mine. Dozens and dozens of beautiful porcelain dolls lived there, as well as all the various knickknacks and collectibles Grandma had acquired over the years. I loved exploring through old dressers and trunks, daydreaming in the window at the top of the stairs, and sleeping under heavy old quilts on the white brass bed.
Biscuits and gravy on cold mornings, summer evenings on the patio, Mariners games on the radio, yard-saling with Grandma, fresh cherries from the tree, Grandpa in his wood-working shop, tulips and daffodils in the spring, ivy and roses and pansies all summer, fresh sweet corn every August, sunflowers as high as the roof, the smell of fresh-cut grass every Saturday, home-canned grape juice, birthdays and Christmas and beans and cornbread…it’s always been that way, at least as long as I can remember.
Now, grandma’s memory is fading. Dementia. She’s not very old, only in her sixties. Grandpa just had another surgery to remove cancer. It scares me a little, to think that things might change. I know everything else changes, and people get older or move away, and nothing stays the same– and that’s okay. I’m used to that. But not them. Not that place. That can’t change.
I guess it is rather childish of me to hope it will always be there, unchanging, waiting for me forever. But I hope it does. I don’t know what I would do without it—the only thing in my childhood that never changed, never got sick, never moved away. I have a great life where I’m at, and I don’t wish for my childhood back, or anything silly like that. I just want it to stay right where it is, where I can always go back–to my little corner of perfect.
Yesterday’s slipping,
Slipping away.
Time’s swiftly running,
Leaving Today–
Racing ahead of
Those golden days,
Forgetting about
My little place
Where the sun shines warm
On sweet green grass,
Where pansies nod, and
Wink as you pass.

Come back, Yesterday.
Today, stand still.
Wait just a minute,
Time, stay until
A lock be set ‘round
My little place
To stay for all time—
The same, always.

One Of Those Days June 2009

I round the corner of the kitchen counter bar, and I feel a slimy squish under my foot–the banana that I JUST cut up for Jackson is now ground into the carpet. Nice. “Na-na! Na-na!” Jackson is asking for more banana. Why, so he can throw more on the cheerio-covered floor? No way, Bud! My patience is thinning rapidly. I’ve been trying to get the floor swept and vacuumed for the last hour with no luck and now I have to clean up gross banana first.
 On my right, the kitchen is full of incompletes–a cold, half-gone mug of coffee, a sink with one side empty and one piled up, the fridge hanging open because I ran over to stop Jackson from crawling on the counter, the mirror on the wall reflecting my damp and now frizzy hair hanging in my eyes, and a freshly-swept pile of dirt and food spreading itself back out across the floor.0219091940
 On my left, the living room is in chaos–slipcovers hanging off the furniture; books all over the floor; toy kitchen and all its contents knocked over; dvds piled up all around and on on top of the entertainment center (I hate that!); a cup of water, given to Lily only minutes before, is now on its side in a big soggy spot; the vacuum waiting patiently in the middle of everything. My 900 sq. foot apartment is caving in on me! And all I see outside are more blasted clouds, clouds, clouds!
That was at 9:00 this morning , and it has been “one of those days”.
 At moments like these, it is difficult to see the joy of motherhood. Now, here is the spot where I am supposed to start writing about all the blessings and miracles and rainbows that make it all so worthwhile. And it is worthwhile. And there are blessings, and miracles, and rainbows even. We all know it’s worth it. But sometimes, you just have a bad morning. Sometimes, you just DON’T want to hear someone say, “Enjoy it while you can, the years go too fast!”  
 How many times do we just feel like running out the door screaming, and then hear this little voice of guilt inside saying, “You’re such a bad mom! Other moms appreciate their precious little cherubs, why don’t you?” And you don’t really want to share it with anyone, either. It’s like once you become a mother, you join this club where the club members feel this strange compulsion to show each other what an orderly, sunny life they live. Not in a mean or judgmental way, but in a way where nobody wants to admit that their house gets messy, or that their kids throw food on the floor and and try to kill each other, or that sometimes you just wonder, “Why on EARTH did God think I was cut out for this job???!!!”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               As I cleaned the grilled cheese out of my son’s hair this afternoon0609091320b, and watched my daughter purposely pour an entire bottle of water out on the floor, I thought, “I should be laughing at this. A good mom would laugh, or take a picture, or something.” So I took a picture. But it wasn’t funny!  It probably will be later, but it wasn’t then0609091320.
So on days like this, instead of feeling guilty and unworthy of motherhood, how about we all leave the “Super-Mom Club”, and join the “I’m-not-perfect-but-I-try-hard” support group? Because we’re not perfect moms. Nobody is or ever was. Sometimes being a mom stinks (literally, lol). And I really think it’s okay to admit that.

Selfish Tolerance

Selfish Tolerance May 2009

A popular response I have seen lately to the Carrie Prejean/Miss USA controversy is the idea that: “I may not agree with homosexual lifestyles, but it isn’t hurting me, so why should I be concerned about how other people ‘choose to love’?” Another one is, “I thought you Christians were supposed to love everybody, so why are you so hateful and judgemental towards gays?”
I wish that those ignorant enough to believe “homosexuality doesn’t hurt anyone” would consider these statistics:
50% of homosexuals had their first same-sex experience with an adult by the age of 14 (SIGMA Project 1992).
The average homosexual has 50 partners per year, and 79% of the time with strangers. (USA Today 1984)
The average life span of an American male is 74 years, but the average life span of the homosexual male is 41 years, and 44 years for lesbians (CRM 1996).
91% of American AIDS cases have been traced to homosexual sex, intravenous drug use, or some combination of the two (Journal of the American Medical Assoc.).

My last thought on this: you say “it doesn’t hurt me, so it doesn’t bother me.” What a SELFISH philosophy. Just because something doesn’t hurt you directly, doesn’t mean you should ignore it. If you caught your 8 year old daughter smoking a cigarette outside, would you say, “well, it doesn’t hurt me, so why should I interfere in her life”? Not if you’re worth anything as a parent. Why not? Because it’s hurting HER, shortening HER life, and possibly causing health problems for any children she may have in the future.
Yes, we are supposed to love our fellow man. That means getting over OURSELVES, and helping them to turn away from their harmful, damaging lifestyles–not ignoring them, or allowing them to continue in the name of “tolerance”. Yeah, they may hate us for it. But true love is doing what you know is right for the other person, even if they despise you or persecute you for it. It is NOT turning a blind eye or giving them whatever they want.
Enough said.

Progression of a Pear on a Picnic

Progression of a Pear on a Picnic 

May 2009

He spots it.
He eyes it.
He tastes it.
He goes for it.
He eats.
And eats.
And eats.
He eats the entire thing.


On American Politics

On American Politics November 12, 2008

I have been playing with the idea of starting a blog, and tonight seemed like the perfect night to start. While reading an article about the current political situation, I was infuriated by a woman who called conservatives “air-headed Neo-Nazis” ,who will only vote for a president because he is Republican! She also said that Obama is a hero who wants to make our air cleaner for our poor children by bankrupting the coal industry. Well, I tried to ignore it, but inevitably wrote a rant in response.
Barbara, you will probably never see this. (At least, I’m kind of hoping you don’t.) But this blog is dedicated to you.
Dear Barbara:
I am not a “Neo-Nazi”. I am a right wing conservative Republican. My vote goes to McCain. Why? Not because he is a Republican. Not because I agree with all of his politics. Not because I am racist or rich. (I am actually part of the “lower class” Obama wants to “help.”)

My vote goes to McCain because I believe that AGE is not a deciding factor in leadership. Anyone who believes someone is too old to make decisions based solely on their age, is, in fact, a “Neo-Nazi”.
My vote goes to McCain because I believe that it is wrong to take things from people who have rightfully earned them, and give them to someone who not only has not worked for those things, but has no respect for them. Anyone who believes that is okay, has, in my opinion, the values of a “Neo-Nazi”.
Obama wants Americans to believe he is some kind of modern-day Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to feed the poor. What he really is, is a wannabe dictator, wanting to to turn America into a country of weak peasants, ready to obey his every wish in return for a scrap of bread.
My vote goes to McCain because any man who thinks it is perfectly fine and moral to tear a newborn baby to pieces for the sake of convenience, or science, is, in my opinion, a Neo-Nazi.
But mostly, my vote goes to McCain because I am a Christian mother. That’s right, I vote out of fear. Is it wrong to vote out of fear, as the left is Print Shutterfly 100declaring so loudly? I fear for my children. Fear that they will be forced to grow up in a country of “CHANGE” and false “HOPE”. Fear that they will be taken away from me because I haven’t put them in a public school to be brainwashed. Fear that they will not be permitted to pray out loud, talk about Jesus, or stand up for their beliefs or else they will be viewed as intolerant haters. Fear that they will not be able to grow up at all, because of the hatred of the “tolerant” left.
Change? What is so wrong with America that it needs to be changed? America is beautiful! In America, we are free! Free to run around outside on a beautiful sunny day, without worrying about bombs and explosions and terror. Free to worship in whatever church we choose, in whatever way we choose, in whatever religion we choose! Free to have a dream, work hard, make it come true, and share it, if we wish! Free to say what we want, write what we want, go where we want, wear what we want, work where we want, eat where we want, LIVE HOW WE WANT!
If you don’t like America, if you don’t like the way it’s run, if you don’t like the rich being rich, the poor being poor,the middle class being average, and everyone having the ability to be happy no matter their financial status, if you don’t like waking up every morning with the absolute privilege of being an American, if you don’t like being FREE, then leave! Please, just leave. Take your socialist, every-one-needs-to-think-like-me-or-go-to-prison ideas, and move to Russia, or China, or Cuba, and leave the rest of us here in our beautiful, opinionated, sometimes smoggy, FREE country.
Why am I voting for McCain? Because people who vote for Obama, are people like you, Barbara.
Maybe I’m just an idealistic American mom who lives in a dream world. But it sure is a nice place to live.

How to Potty-train a Princess

October 2008
I read this book on how to potty train your child in a day. The book is centered around the idea of a “Potty Party” in which an entire day is devoted to nothing but the potty. The morning is spent training a favorite doll or stuffed animal to use the potty, and the afternoon is spent training the child. At the end of the day, if your child has successfully used the potty consistently, there is a reward, such as cake and ice cream, or a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, or whatever your child would be excited about.
You pick a theme for the party, such as “Teddy Bear Picnic” or “Princess” or “Super Heroes”, (there are several more theme ideas), and then use that theme to make a huge deal out of the whole process. The book has great ideas on decorations, snacks, drinks, rewards, and games.
Two Weeks Before the BIG DAY — Getting Ready
I fully do not expect to potty train Lily in a day, but I’m going to try it. I think it will speed things up a bit, but I’m not expecting miracles! I also don’t think it’s necessary to go to such an extent in potty training. However, we have tried potty training Lily in the past, but with the new baby, a hectic summer schedule, and the big move to Ohio, potty training pretty much “went to pot”. Haha, sorry I couldn’t resist.
Since Lily had already been introduced to the idea of “The Potty”, (unsuccessfully), I thought we needed to kick off the new round of training with a big splash–really make it a big deal to get her interested again! Besides that, it just sounded fun.
She has really gotten into the princess thing lately, so I chose that theme. For the past several weeks I have really hyped her up on how big girls like Princess Cinderella use the potty, and how “Someday, maybe you’ll get to be a big girl like Princess Cinderella and use the potty, too!” We’ve watched potty training videos, read potty training books, and watched Cinderella movies. (I even hinted that Cinderella’s throne was her “Big Girl Chair”. I didn’t EXACTLY SAY that’s where she went potty! I just kind of threw it out there and let her draw her own conclusions. Terrible, I know.)
I did several things to prepare for the party. While she was sleeping, I decorated her potty chair with glitter and princess stickers to make it really special.
The night before the big day, I took lavender and blue tulle and hung it over the potty chair in the bathroom, to make it look like a Princess throne! I also put a tiara and princess sceptre next to the potty, along with bubbles, books, stickers, and a big sticker chart.
Then I turned the bathroom into a castle, by coloring a huge picture of a castle and sticking it to the bathroom door. As you can see by the picture, you do not have to be an artist to do this. :)dscn28182The last thing I did was make “big girl undies” for “Bear”, Lily’s teddy bear. I didn’t feel like sewing them, ugh.  And I didn’t want to tape them shut, like the book suggested, because I thought that would be too much like a diaper. So I cut some scrap fabric into a diaper shape and just tied the sides together. Super-easy! I made about 8 pairs, andput them all in a gift bag. Took about 10 minutes.dscn28034
When Lily woke up the next morning, I gave her a surprise–big girl undies for Bear! “Bear gets to learn to be a big girl princess today! Yaaay!”  (All the energy can get pretty exhausting. :P ).
We devoted the entire day to training Bear to use the potty. Of course, every time Bear got a treat, Lily ate it, so you can imagine Lily, every 5 minutes…”Oh! Mommy! Bear has to go poo-poo again!”
I used a syringe bulb, hidden up my sleeve, to make the bear go pee-pee, and smushed tootsie rolls to make her go poo-poo. Lily was so excited to put her on the “throne” and teach her how to go potty.
Every time Bear tried, Bear got a sticker on the chart. Every time Bear actually went, Bear got a sticker and a treat. One m&m for pee-pee, and 2 m&m’s for poo-poo.

Bear Went in the Potty! (a tootsie roll)
Bear Went in the Potty! (a tootsie roll)
By the end of the day, Bear was a full-fledged, potty trained Princess! Mommy and Daddy and Jackson were all very, very proud of Bear! Before Lily went to bed, I told her that maybe the next day, she could learn to be a big girl princess too.
The next morning, it started all over again, except this time the gift bag was full of undies for Lily! She was extremely excited about the whole idea.
Princess Lily
Princess Lily
I loaded her up all morning with lots of apple juice and water, and took her to the potty every 20 minutes. Every time she tried to go potty, she got a little sticker on her chart. Every time she actually went, she got a big Princess sticker on the chart. Once she gets her whole chart filled up with stickers, we get to go pick out a new toy at the store.
We are half way through the day, and the results are: 2 wet accidents and 6 times going in the potty! The last 5 times that she went in the potty, I didn’t even have to take her to the potty. She ran in there herself screaming, “Mommy, I have to go pee-pee! Quick, quick!” If things go as well this afternoon, then we will have a cake and ice cream party tonight!
So I think it’s working. Like I said, I’m not expecting miracles, but I really think this potty party has given us a BIG headstart.
More than that, it’s been a really fun way for Lily and Mommy to make some memories together.

Princess Treats
Princess Treats
(Update: Today is the second day, and today Lily has gone in the potty 7 times! She has had one accident, but she was pretty upset about it, and she is consistently telling me when she needs to go! I’m THRILLED, and Lily is pretty proud of herself, too.)