Monday, June 29, 2009

Can you milk me, Focker?

I took the kiddos to the Jersey Barnyard this weekend and it was a fabulous time. Hot, but fabulous. We had the whole place to ourselves as we must have been the only ones foolish cool enough to go there. We had a little hayride down to the barns...

No A/C on this ride... just an umbrella and a hot breeze!
It got a little bit, er, smelly along the way.
Once we made it to the barn, the girls were able to see where the cows are milked, twice a day, at 4am and 4pm. They were pretty fascinated by the whole process.

You know you're a mom when you can identify with the cows on this part - I kept thinking "Man, I could've one of those when I was pumping!" Except for the whole four-teat part. Big Sis tried her hand at milking - yowzers. Let's just say she was good at squeezing but not at milking... no worries though. No animals were harmed in this process!After the grand dairy tour, we ventured back to see some of the other animals on the farm.

We took turns at feeding the baby calves, and the girls were lucky enough to have Grandpa Frerich turn up to feed all of the calves, so they got to help him place the bottles in all of the calves' bins. See, it pays to be the only cool people on the farm!
After all of the excitement, it was time for the pièce de résistance... a little bit of Blue Bell, the best ice cream in the country. The pink in their cheeks was matched only by the color of their strawberry ice cream.Life ain't nothing but a funny, funny riddle... thank God we're country kids!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Delores

We came by to see you today,
but you were not there.
Your eyes were closed,
your breathing low,
as if you hadn't a care.

The strong woman I remember,
the one I know well,
is trapped inside,
undignified,
by this weakening shell.

I wish you could've met my girls,
remembered who we are.
But you were sleeping,
my sister weeping,
for though close, you seemed so far.

This isn't how I'll remember you
when I think of you someday.
But one who was strong
and brought us along
as you toiled the day away.

Your peanut brittle, maple cookies
and, oh, your famous sweet rice.
And I'll never let
anyone forget
how you served fresh milk with ice.

I know your body's tired
and your soul is far away.
No doubt we'll cry,
but we'll get by,
knowing you'll be you again someday.

So goodbye for now Delores,
don't mind the tears we wept.
We couldn't bear
that you were there,
knowing the real you has already left.

Quotable Sunday - 6.28.09

It's that time again - time to join Toni at a Daily Dose for Quotable Sunday!

Since it's so hot, I thought I'd do an edition dedicated to quotes on heat...

"One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat." - Woodrow T Wilson

"It ain't the heat, it's the humility." - Yogi Berra

"Some people change their ways when they see the light, others when they feel the heat." - Caroline Schoeder

and...

"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." - Harry S Truman


Have a great Sunday - and stay cool!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lazy Daisy


I've been a lazy blogger as of late - just too dang tired to get on the laptop after working all day and chasing my chicas all evening. Not to mention it's hotter than friggin Africa here - ugh.

These gorgeous flowers are gracing my kitchen table right now and are making me smile - I'd forgotten just how much I love daisies.

Then again - I did put one permanently on my foot.

Hot, Hot, Hot

It has been dreadfully hot the past couple of weeks here - yesterday the weatherman actually said - "It's going to be 102 today, but it'll feel like 114." Yikes.
It has not been this hot or dry in a long time, so I am worried about what this summer will bring. My plants are succumbing to the Texas sun, we're already on stage 2 water restrictions... please Lord, send us some rain!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ecostore Giveaway Winner!!

The winner of the Ecostore giveaway is...

Aunt TT!!

The random number generator pick was comment 1:

Aunt TT said...
I would like to try all the pet products as well as the toilet cleaner and citrus spray!
June 9, 2009 7:33 AM

Congratulations!!!

Etsy Eye Candy - 6.23.09

Being a knitter, although on hiatus as of late, I love seeing the lovely handknits others create, especially when they can be appreciated by kiddos. I just love this little guy:

This is the Cuptopus water bottle kozy from Etsy seller Handamade. It would make for some happy little girls in my backseat and a water bottle that doesn't sweat!

Makes me want to pick up those needles...

Monday, June 22, 2009

What makes a kid smart?

Dh and I were at his parents' yesterday for Father's Day, and around all of the nephews. (That's right - no nieces - ours are the only girls!) Anyway, my youngest nephew, who turns three next month, was impressing us all with his reading/number and letter recognition and memory skills. No doubt, the boy's got brains.

I can't deny, it does make us a tad jealous that our daughter is not at the same level, and makes us doubt whether she's in the right place for pre-school. But then, we realize... our daughter is smart, just not in the same way. I mean, who said smart has to mean book-smart anyway?

(Here's the part where I brag unabashedly...) Big Sis knows just about every animal, reptile, insect, amphibian, etc. and can tell you almost anything about them. Her favorite books are a Nature encyclopedia and the Audobon Society's book of wildlife. She draws pictures and colors/paints like none other her age (ahem, or mine, for that matter). She makes up amazing bedtime stories with her crazy imagination, and she can match any pitch perfectly when prompted.

My kid's smart.

No, she can't read, and she hasn't mastered writing. She can't speak Spanish or name all fifty states.

But she is an artist, an entymologist, a vocalist, and an author in her own right.

I've seen parents fight over whose child is the brightest, and I don't quite understand why. There are so many different types of brilliance among our children. Yes, for some, it will be reading/writing/arithmetic. For others, it will be science. For some it will be music, dance, or maybe sports. These different types of smart shape the adults our children will become... just as they shaped us.

And that's a brilliant thing.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quotable Sunday - 6.21.09

Once again, I'm joining Toni over at A Daily Dose for Quotable Sunday. It is, of course, Father's Day, so accordingly, my quotes pertain to dads.



"From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
Someday you might know what I'm going through
When a miracle smiles up at you
I loved her first" - I Loved Her First by Heartland



"There's two things I know for sure
She was sent here from heaven
And she's daddy's little girl
As I drop to my knees by her bed at night
She talks to Jesus and I close my eyes
And I thank God for all of the joy in my life
Oh but most of all
For butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer
Stickin' little white flowers all up in her hair
Walk beside the pony daddy it's my first ride
I know the cake looks funny daddy but I sure tried
Oh with all that I've done wrong
I must have done something right
To deserve a hug every mornin'
And butterfly kisses at night" - Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle

"Daddy's hands weren't always gentle
but I've come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy's hands." - Daddy's Hands by Holly Dunn

"There goes my life
There goes my future, my everything,
I love you Daddy, goodnight
There goes my life." - There Goes my Life by Kenny Chesney


Happy Father's Day!

Growing Up and Letting Go

As my children get older, I become astoundingly aware of how quickly it all happens. It seems like just yesterday I was coming home from the hospital with my first, full of anxiety and worry and excitement. I remember quietly laying my babies down in their cribs, then tiptoeing away, in hopes I wouldn't wake them. *sigh* My babies.


Two days ago, I came home from work and my baby girl's room looked like this:


No crib... no toddler bed. Just a big girl bed, ready for a tiny little person. I wept.

It's funny. Even though I've been watching my baby grow over the past two years into this funny little kid, it didn't really hit me until I had to let go of the baby bed. Wow. She's a little girl now.

I thought she' d be upset that her little bed wasn't in her room anymore, but she proved me wrong. She came in to give her nightly kisses and squeezes, gave me a kiss, turned around and said "big girl bed!"

And with that, she went to bed as a big girl, forever my baby.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Etsy Eye Candy - 6.16.09

This cute little wall decal is just what I've been looking for to decorate my kiddo's bathroom. I found the perfect shower curtain at Pottery Barn but now it's out of stock, so I'll have to rely on my applique skills to recreate it - and then place this little hooter on the wall. Easy peasy!

This is from Etsy seller LeentheGraphicsQueen.

Seven


Yesterday was my seventh wedding anniversary... wow.


I can't even believe we've been married that long, since I remember my wedding day so vividly. The dress, the veil, the perfect sparkly shoes... the light blue toenails with rhinestones that spelled out "I do". *sigh* It's one of those days that you can't ever recreate but you wish you could relive over and over again.


That day was just the beginning of forever for my husband and I; the beginning of our family. And though seven years have passed, two children have arrived, and life has been hectic, there is no one else I'd rather have at my side doing this thing called life.


Here's to seven years... and the many to follow. Love you baby.



"All seven and we'll watch them fall

They stand in the way of love

And we will smoke them all

With an intellect and a savoir-faire

No one in the whole universe

Will ever compare

I am yours now and you are mine

And together we'll love through

All space and time" - Prince

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ecostore Giveaway!

Don't forget - the Ecostore giveaway ends tomorrow... don't miss your chance at a $25 gift certificate!!
Click on giveaways and follow the posting rules to enter!

Good luck!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Toon of a Kind

I'm sitting at my breakfast table, enjoying a cup of coffee as my dh and Big Sis sit on the couch, watching cartoons. This scene is not an unusual one for a Saturday morning with my kiddos, but I find it interesting that there is such a difference between the cartoons I pick versus my dh.

When it's my choice... I am usually tuned in to Dora, Diego, the Backyardigans, Ni Hao KaiLan, or the Charlie and Lola. Sweet cartoons with no violence, silly songs, and usually some sort of learning experience. *sigh*

Today - it's not my choice, and Big Sis is snuggled up on the couch, just the same, watching Wolverine. It's not unusual to seem them watch Batman, Ben 10, or Spongebob. (I won't comment on the Spongebob.) The funny thing about today? They're both so into the show, laughing at the same parts, staring intently to see what will happen next.

Guess we'll chalk this one up for Team Daddy.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Etsy Eye Candy - 6.12.09

My anniversary is on Monday so I'm feeling a little lovey today... this vase is meant for a wedding gift, but would be a cool anniversary gift as well, don't you think?

This is from Etsy seller MaidofClay, who handcarves the names and date into the vase.

This is one of those *gasp* items. Gorgeous.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Etsy Eye Candy - 6.11.09

I have been searching for a great picture to hang in my breakfast nook - for two years already! I think this one is gorgeous and would go great with my Harvest Gold walls...


It is from talented Etsy seller LUIZAVIZOLI.

Does Dad Rock?

If he does, send him a free Father's Day E-card from Got Free Cards. There are some great animated options for Father's Day like:

And once Father's Day is gone... there are options for other free holiday e-cards as well! Let's see... I've got an anniversary and dh's birthday coming up. I better get lookin'!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Target Fast

After balancing my checkbook last week, I discovered that quite a few of those "great deals" I find at Target add up to quite a bit of cash... The dollar bin is particularly evil, since really, not everything in there is a dollar and it's easy to grab a little of all the things you really don't need.

Thus, I have decided to end this love affair with the red bullseye for 60 days.

That's right. No Target until August for me.

And who knows? Maybe at that point, I won't miss it as much...

Who am I kidding?? Is it August yet?!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Adios IUD - Hello Big V

I know I've mentioned before, but last year I decided to have an IUD placed (Mirena, to be exact) rather than mess with birth control pills that caused breakthrough bleeding. Well... although it's fulfilled its primary role, I've spent the past year feeling bloated all the time, moody, fatigued, with sore boobs on top of it, so I decided to say goodbye to my Mirena.

It went buh-bye today and I've started back on BCP until dh gets the Big V. You know what I'm talking 'bout.

And get this... the doc he's looking at doing the procedure is aptly named: Peter Ruff.

Now that's funny, I don't care who ya are.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Etsy Eye Candy - 6.9.09

I am just in love with this etsy seller: thebrickkiln. It's a shame I didn't find them sooner as their Father's Day dishes are adorable, but no worries. I found something else to swoon over...

Ecostore USA Review and Giveaway!!

Going green appears to be the slogan of the decade, as millions of people, and parents, attempt to reduce the mark they leave behind on this earth. I am no different, and am warming up to the trend, trying to decrease the amount of toxic chemicals I use in my household by switching to eco-friendly products. So when I was contacted by Ecostore to review some of their products, I jumped at the chance.
"No Nasty Chemicals™ is the foundation of the entire product line and philosophy
of ecostore. All of our products are made from plant- and mineral-based ingredients, free of toxic chemicals that bring people closer to nature with non-toxic, environmentally safe solutions that also help to reduce our carbon footprint. "
I chose to try out the Citrus Spray Cleaner and Toilet Cleaner.


The Citrus Spray Cleaner has a pleasant scent that wasn't as strong as most of my usual cleansers. It worked great on my biggest area of mess - the kitchen - I used it on my granite counters, in my sink, and on the stuck-on grime on the highchair. (What is that stuff?) I was left with a sparkling clean kitchen that didn't make me cough in the process!

The Toilet Cleaner was a great find as I have a septic system, and have to be careful with the products I flush down my toilets. It took care of the ring around the toilet as well as the drips that come along with kids and a husband! I have to admit, I do love the smell of toilet freshly cleaned with bleach... but I may just be convinced to leave that habit behind.

Many thanks to Ecostore for allowing me to review these awesome products and - for one of you lucky peops - giving away a $25 gift certificate to Ecostore!!

That's right -you get the chance to win a gift certificate and try out some of Ecostore's products for your home, pets, body, hair, and baby!!

So how can you enter??

Go to Ecostore's site and peruse their products, then come back here and comment on which product you'd most like to try. This is mandatory for entry! For extra entries, you can tweet about this contest or write a blog post about it. Make sure you come back to comment with the link!

Contest ends June 15, 2009 - the winner will be chosen by a random number generator. Good luck!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Quotable Sunday - 6.7.09

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.-- Maya Angelou

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Etsy Eye Candy - 6.5.09

Both of my girls have special little "silky pillows" that are well-loved and well-worn. This sweet little owl pillow from Etsy seller emmiscottageetsy just might be the perfect replacement...

Type A Mom

I've been the Housekeeping Editor over at Type A Mom for a little while now and am loving the chance to write. You can check out my articles here.

For Sanity, Press One

If you've ever had to call your insurance company, you probably know how frustrating it is to actually get to talk to a real, live human being. Yesterday morning was no different for me. As I was taking the girls to school, I decided to multitask and call my insurance to find a provider. The girls were chillin' in the backseat, looking out at the cows and goats, and listening to some music, so I went ahead and dialed up Humana.

(Automated voice): Thank you for calling Humana. Are you a member or provider?

Me: Member.

(Automated voice): Alright, you're a member. What can I help you with today? (Followed by a menu of choices)

Me: Benefits.

At this point, my oldest decided it was funny that mommy was saying one-word answers, so she starts copying me.

Big Sis: Benfiss.

(Automated voice): Okay. Are you wanting to verify benefits, find a provider, hear claims status? State your choice.

Me: Find a provider.

Big Sis: Fine a povider.

(Automated voice): You want to verify benefits - let's get started. (Gives menu of choices).

Me (frustrated): No, find a provider.

Big Sis: Povider!! POVIDER!

(Automated voice): I'm sorry, I did not understand. (Repeats menu)

Me: Nooo, find a provider.

Big Sis: NOOO! Povider! Mommy!!! I want to get out now - I want to get ouuuuuuttt!

(Automated voice): I'm sorry, I did not understand. Please repeat your choice.

Me: K... please be quiet. Mommy's on the phone.

(Automated voice): I'm sorry, I did not understand. Please repeat your choice.

Big Sis: Mommeeeeee - I want out now!

Me: K... wait. Mommy's on the phone. (to phone) Find a Pro. Vi. Deeerrrr.

(Automated voice): Okay, find a provider. Is this correct?

Big Sis: Mo-ooo-mmeeee! I want out! Can we get out?!

Me: (to Big Sis) NOO!!!

(Automated voice): Okay. Thank you for calling Humana. Are you a member or provider?

Me: Aaaaaaaaaccccckkkk! I JUST WANT AN OPERATOR!!!!

Me: I want ouuuuuuuttt!

(Automated voice): Okay. Let me find you someone to help you.

After this, I was connected to an operator who found me a provider and who found it amusing that my daughter was screaming "Let me out!" in the background. I was off the phone in the next 15 seconds.

Note to self: Next time, just ask for an operator rather than talking to the Operator in a Box.

And don't talk to a voice-activated system with the kiddos around.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - 6.3.09

I know, it's so wrong. But so cute.

Daily Etsy Eye Candy - 6.3.09

I love this little nest with the name stones to represent a family. This is from Etsy seller sjengraving.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I Toot!

Why is it that toddlers think toots are so funny?

video

And why is that adults find them just as funny?! I guess our senses of humor never really grow up, do they?

For the record, this is not the only time Lil Sis did this, nor the only time we found it amusing...

Stay tuned...

I'm trying to figure out how to embed a video in a post so you don't have to click on a link to watch... if you know how, let me know!

As my girls get older and keep saying and doing funnier things, video is becoming more prominent over here - so stay tuned for the fun!

Daily Etsy Eye Candy - 6.2.09

I found this little cupcake purse and could picture my girls each carrying one, hiding all their little treasures... rocks, lipstick, bugs. You know my girls...
This is from Etsy seller arkitektonika.