Still Catching Up...

I wish I could devote more time to blogging these days, but the best I can do is to post when I can.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Look who found something yummy...

Believe it or not, this one was Daddy's fault. He fell asleep last night before finishing his dessert. The Dandilion was the lucky one to find the leftovers. Okay, so maybe if I hadn't been blogging, I would have caught him before he got all over himself & the quilt.

Pumped Up

I am officially relieved of swing pushing duties. After a day at the park with a couple of friends, who were proficient at pumping their legs to swing, the Tumbleweed is now able to pump too.

Whoo-hoo! Now I don't have to hear "Mommy, push me!" from across the playground while I am chasing the Dandilion. That is a particularly good thing now that he wants to do this...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Comfort Book

Tonight's bedtime was a bit of a challenge. Things started off well - the Dandilion was in his jammies with a fresh diaper and teeth brushed when I put him in his crib. This is never popular, but it has to be done. It usually takes a few minutes before he finds a "sweet spot" to sit and listen to a story. Tonight he wouldn't sit down. He was looking for his "Moon Book" (Goodnight Moon). Usually we find it under a blanket, sometimes on the floor, and on rare occasion (when the afternoon nap has gone horribly wrong) between the crib & the wall. But we always find it, and we always read it. Tonight it was nowhere. So I read a different book. He cried the whole time. I recited Goodnight Moon from memory. I don't think he heard one word of it. With him still yelling, I turned on his white noise and hit the light switch and left the room. I figured he would eventually calm himself down.

I was wrong. Through the crying I could make sense of a few words --- "moon", "get it", "mommy down" --- so it was obvious that I had better find it, or I would be heading to Barnes & Noble to get a new copy if I wanted any sleep. About a half hour later, I found it in the Tumbleweed's room. Finally. He calmed down as soon as he saw it. I read his precious book and he settled right down, clutching it, and said "nite, Mommy. I yu yoo"

All was right in his world again.


Here is another cute thing that I noticed him doing today...

For the past couple of months, if he falls down I say "Are you okay?" and he has replied "I okay". Today he changed his response. His new answer is "I fine". So cute.


Since I am recording things, I should also add that the Dandilion still calls several kinds of animals "Cow". Donkey, sheep, goat, horse, zebra - all a "cow" to him. (though he will repeat their names if you say them first). And if you ask, "What does a cow say?"... the answer: "move"

He has a similar naming structure for people... all men are "Daddy", all women are "mommy", kids are "kid" and all kids his size or smaller are "baby". He does do pretty well with people he knows though... every night at dinner he goes around the table pointing..."Daddy, Mommy, Dawa, Camin".

Still Cute.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sunshine Hooray!

The sun is up this morning and the temperature is rising, looks like a great day! Which "sun" song are you humming today?

"Sunny Days" - Sesame Street

"Zip-a-dee Do Dah" - Disney's 'Song of the South'

"Sunshine Day" - the Brady Bunch

"Walkin' on Sunshine" - Katrina & the Waves

"It's a Sunny Day" - The Backyardigans

I suppose if I had an iPod, this would be my playlist for spring. Enjoy the day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Warning Truck

Every Thursday morning around 7:30 I hear the rumble of the garbage truck coming up the street and panic because the trash is not out yet. Then I take a deep breath and remember that that is the other trash company and I still have at least 2 hours to gather the trash and recycling and put it out. Phew. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. I am glad we have a warning truck!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Adventures in Cooking

It has been a while since I put some actual thought into dinner. A few nights ago, I was in search of a new pork chop recipe to use some of the pork chops from the freezer. I wasn't very successful (I made tacos instead), but I did find a couple of pork recipes that sounded good but required a pork roast (which I didn't have).

I committed to memory that I should by a pork roast the next time it went on sale... which just so happened to be this week. So after spotting it in the sale paper, I looked up the rest of the ingredients for one of the recipes and put them on the grocery list. So, tonight we had...

"Pork Spagettini" from Everyday with Rachael Ray, March 2008.

I suppose with my own modifications it should really be called "Pork Linguini" because that's what I used (I also didn't add the mushrooms). It was quite an economical dinner as well - here's a little cost analysis...

1 lb boneless pork loin roast - $2.99/lb (I divided a 2lb roast in two and froze the other half)
1 can chicken broth - $.50 (from the pantry - bought on sale at 2 for $1)
2/3 box of linguini (box was $1)
1 bunch of scallions - $.66
1/3 lb snow peas - $.93

plus a little soy sauce, vegetable oil & garlic that we already had

...for a total of about $6 for the four of us, and there is enough left over for a lunch (it serves 4, but combined the Tumbleweed & the Dandilion eat about 1 serving).

It was well liked, not to hard to make and cost effective... I guess I should plan ahead for dinner more often. Well, it is great when it works out, but tomorrow I will probably be back to normal... that is, thinking about what to make for dinner when I need to already be cooking it. At least my "inner chef" comes out once in a while, right?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Assistant Mom

Today was "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" at our house. You are probably thinking... "But you are a 'Stay-at-home Mom', isn't that just like any other day?" Well, the answer is no, not quite. Today the Tumbleweed got to be my assistant, and helped me while I did "Mommy things". When I first asked if she wanted to do this (7:00 this morning) she said "Sure. Let's do Scrapbooking" Unfortunately for her, that was not the first thing on my list for today. I wish it could have been.

She did a little more thinking and decided that Mommy does laundry. So that's where we started --- she sorted the kids laundry into lights & darks. She did that quite well - she might get to keep that job.

While she was sorting laundry, I was trying to think of other things she could help with. Since I knew we needed to get to the grocery store today, I decided to let her cut coupons. I was a little nervous that she would cut off the expiration dates or bar codes, but she didn't. She even did really well at picking which items we usually use and only missed 2 restaurant coupons.

After the coupons were all clipped, she got to make a grocery list. She took this very seriously, and at first I though it was going to take me 8 sheets of paper and the rest of the day to accomplish this task. Fortunately she was also excited about going to the store, so I was able to convince her to go get dressed & make her bed after 6 items.

Her next task was to get the Dandilion ready to go. This was a bit of a challenge (as it always is) but she did manage to get one of his socks on before he ran away. Then we switched the laundry before heading out to do errands.

We headed to CVS first, and then to the grocery store. She proudly carried her list through the store and made sure we got all of the things on her list. She is very good at identifying what is on sale, so she was very excited when I helped her read the sale sign on the bread "Buy One, Get Two Free!" (insert math lesson here). Later she had her usual conversation with the "payer" (what she calls the check-out person) as we unloaded the groceries and watched them get rung up.

When we got home, she switched the laundry one more time, but was a little reluctant to help put the groceries away. She did a few of her favorite things...

and then declared that she "just wants to be a kid for a while"... and that's OK with me. While I enjoyed the help, it will probably be a lot faster to fold laundry by myself.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's a Surprise

This weekend we tackled some of our many yard work projects. The main focus of the weekend was raking the yard to remove leaves, dead grass, moss and about a million ice storm sticks so we could put down grass seed in yet another attempt to have a pretty & even lawn this summer. Mother Nature gave us a nice deadline with some rain arriving around dinnertime yesterday, so we frantically worked during the Dandilions' naptime and managed to get it done. Now it is a waiting game to see if the grass grows.

Today I finished cleaning out my garden bed around the deck. This proved to be quite a challenge, as it had gotten quite overgrown by the end of the summer. Under the layer of leaves, I found some of the plants that returned from last year - 2 Strawberry plants, tiger lilies, columbine, and lilies. I also found some other new growth, but I can't tell what it is and if I planted it - or is it a weed I should be pulling?

So here is a little quiz. If you know what any of the these things are please comment - it would really help me out!

Plant or weed?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Growing Strong

As I harvested some lettuce from our window sill for dinner, I realized that I haven't updated the progress of our indoor garden since January.

It is pretty neat to have our own little vegetable garden in the house and through some amazing miracle (ie - the technology that is the AeroGarden) I haven't killed the plants! I really like being able to take just what we need for taco toppings one night and make a salad for the main course at dinner another night. We haven't had to buy lettuce in 3 months!

Here it is right before the dinner harvest...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Absent-minded Mom

Do you have things you always forget? Since you always forget, do you have a plan in place to deal with it?

I was just thinking about that today as I drove down the street... I forgot to put deodorant on. And I was on my way to the gym. But, you see, this is something I forget frequently, so I have extra deodorant in the glove box of my car and in my purse. They come in handy at least once a week. Sometimes I wonder why I keep it in the bathroom!

It is for similar reasons that I wear my keys on a lanyard. In college, I wore a lanyard because most people did. After college I got away from it, but after forgetting my keys and locking myself out of the apartment while doing laundry a few times I went back to it. I find it quite handy to have my keys accessible with minimal juggling these days, since I usually have a squirmy toddler in my arms. I practically panic when I don't see my keys around my neck, even if I just put them in my purse.

Now if I could just stop forgetting things! Oh well, it is probably only going to get worse...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Seeing Green

With Earth Day approaching, "Going Green" seems to be on everyone's mind. There are eco-friendly options in every area of our lives, but breaking old habits in favor of new ones can sometimes be difficult especially if you don't know where to start!

I have been very fortunate to have met lots of people during my life, past & present, who have been able to give me tips in a variety of different areas of life. From composting to recycling to joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture or "crop sharing") we try to do our part for the earth.

Today the MOMS Club had a great speaker about "Green Cleaning". Leslie Reichert, “green” cleaning coach, gave us a lot of simple and inexpensive ways to clean around the house. All this time I had been debating about buying things like "Green Works" at the grocery store, and it is as simple as using things like vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and salt! She also showed us some great choths & sponges from Europe that do the jobs of hundreds of paper towels. And then pointed out that these mixtures & products are safe for the kids to use - so they can help with the cleaning! I highly recommend checking out her blog (she is having a Spring Cleaning Giveaway!) and her store, if you are local.

I have to say, I am excited to try some of the tips... hmmm... excited about cleaning? Is that possible?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Peter Cottontail

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin' down the bunny trail...

This year there seems to be a little confusion regarding the Easter Bunny's duties. Today Grandma asked the Tumbleweed, via video chat, if the Easter Bunny was going to hide anything tonight. "No, Grandma" she answered "He doesn't hide anything, he puts stuff in our baskets, silly!" We went around in circles, and she is positive that the Easter Bunny doesn't hide anything. I am curious to see her reaction in the morning - I am guessing she will think the bunny stole her basket.

Anyway, last night I sent the Tumbleweed & the Eagle off to go swimming at the Y while the Dandilion and I went to Target & Michael's to do some last minute shopping. I never wait until two days before a holiday to shop! I have no idea where the time went, but somehow I got totally behind and now that the Tumbleweed is too old for me to shop while she is around, it has been practically impossible to make up the lost time. And, as I expected, going shopping on Good Friday is not the way to catch up. Instead it took much longer - crowded aisles, picked over selection, lots of indecision, and long check out lines. Oh well, next year I will be motivated not to put off my shopping!

So what will be in the eggs this year?

For the Dandilion: raisins, bunny snacks, Cars®, socks, Wow Wow Wubbsy toys, band-aids, stickers, crayons

For the Tumbleweed: ponytail holders, sidewalk chalk, socks, underwear, stickers, paper clips, Kelly Doll, Wow Wow Wubbsy toys, gummy bears, flower seeds

For the Eagle: a coach's whistle, Tylenol, individual sugar-free Propel packets

I better get hoppin! I still have some toys to pick up before the bunny gets here!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mini Me

The Tumbleweed had her first soccer practice last night. This year she is playing on the Maroon team and the Eagle is one of her coaches. Overall, the kids did really well last night. The Tumbleweed still loves to play goalie best. She is pretty good at running with the ball, but is personally offended if someone kicks the ball away from her (though she will do that to someone else when she is playing defense). If we can convince her to run after the kids who "stole her ball" it will be a successful season!

When I first heard that we were the Maroon team this year, it reminded me of my childhood. Now I never played soccer, but my gymnastics team colors from 1982-1989 were maroon & white. And being the sentimental person ("packrat") that I am, I still have an old team jacket (OK maybe more than one).

Here is the Tumbleweed at soccer practice...

Here are my younger sister & I when we got our jackets (either '84 or '85)...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Leaf Pitcher

Well, for those of you who do not live in New England - baseball season has begun. Here in Red Sox Nation you can't miss it. Opening Day was rained out, the rescheduled game was an afternoon game, so tonight is the first night of many for watching baseball on TV.

Since I refuse to be engulfed in the off-season speculation, the Eagle was giving me the rundown of the 2009 team as we watched the beginning of the game.... Who is injured, who is returning, who isn't, who is new, etc.

Midway through the discussion we heard this...

Tumbleweed: "Excuse me, Daddy. What's a leaf pitcher?"

The quick-witted response...

Eagle: "He's the guy that comes in when your starter is done and picks up the leaves"

Her response to that...

Tumbleweed: "Silly Daddy. There are no leaves on the field"

Only comeback left...

Eagle: "That's because the leaf pitcher did his job"

How would you have answered?

Welcome back baseball...and for anyone who didn't get it, she was referring to the "relief pitcher", a position which apparently the Red Sox are deep at this season.

Dinner Notes

Tidbits from tonight's dinner...

~The Dandilion saw the vegetables on the table right away and asked for "veb-a-bles". Which of course he got.

~The Tumbleweed dropped her fork on the floor, but didn't care and just went on using her hands as if that was acceptable. She didn't appreciate being corrected, and pointed out that the Dandilion was using his hands for the same food. Miss Smarty Pants did not earn points for this argument.

~The Dandilion didn't drop his fork at all. Usually he drops at least one, and unless he intentionally throws it, he gets another one to practice with (he actually does pretty well with a fork - not so good at spoons though)

~The Dandilion ate four helpings of vegetables. He is very cute when he says "veb-a-bles, peeeez". We had his favorite mix - carrots, edamame, sugar snap peas & black beans. He likes all of them. The Tumbleweed will only eat the sugar snap peas & carrots.

~The Tumbleweed washed her hands after dinner and then decided to wash the bathroom sink for me. She was so proud to show me the "sparkling" (wet) counters. It was the thought that counts :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lady in Pink

As one of my mom-friends found out recently, I have the Backyardigans "Born to Play" CD in my car. We listen to it every day. We start it over when it gets to the end. And I listen to it when I carpool on Mom's Night Out.

The Backyardigans have been quite popular around here for a while. When the Tumbleweed was 2 1/2, she loved to watch her "Backyard Friends" and there was a week when her favorite thing to say was "Great Caesar's Ghost!" Now that she is 4, she asks for "Chichen-itza Pizza" for dinner. And everyday when we get in the car the Dandilion says "digans. Go, go, go!" (That is - "Mommy, put it on track #5")

So... the Backyardigans it is. I have to applaud them for creating a show that encourages imaginative play and incorporates a different style of music in each episode. Lady in Pink....Racing Day.... Nobody's Bigger than a Giant....W-I-O-WA....To the Top of Dragon Mountain....Everything is Boinga.... I know them all!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Playground Time

Ahhh... the playground. To be perfectly honest, it is one of my least favorite places. I know, it is supposed to be fun. Well, I know it is fun for the kids, but it isn't much fun for me. Since I am only one person, and have two kids, the playground is the ultimate test of trust, patience, endurance, boundary setting, and letting go.

We took our first trip of the year today. It was gorgeous out. Both kids were very excited, although I imagine that in the beginning the Dandilion was excited because the Tumbleweed was, since he wasn't really big enough for the playground last year.

The Tumbleweed immediately dashed for the highest slide. The Dandilion just moved his little legs as fast as he could to the first thing he saw. It was then that I realized how hard this was going to be. Already I could not see both kids at the same time. What was I thinking?!? Why don't mothers really have eyes in the back of their heads?

I did manage to last nearly 30 minutes before we called it a day. Everyone survived. I am sure we'll go back. By the end of the summer it'll be a piece of cake. After today, I want a piece of cake as a reward.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I'm Shedding!

My latest read is "When Organizing Isn't Enough, SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life" by Julie Morgenstern. It had been cluttering my bookshelf for more than a year, but finally I have gotten down to the business of reading it and putting it to the test. Now I have a new personal theme and I am looking at all of the areas of my life and analyzing how they fit into it before deciding to keep something or get rid of it.

The first objective is obvious - clean out your stuff! While this is a difficult and time consuming process, it is very rewarding. I am by no means finished "shedding" the physical clutter, but I have tackled the kids clothes, books, craft supplies, and made some major improvements in the basement/storage. The next major hurdle - all things paper (mail, filing, kids art, etc).

The second area I am tackling is my "Schedule Clutter". Now, if you know me, you know that I like a full schedule of activities. I suppose that this is because I thrive on schedule, and without one, I am the queen of wasting time. I spent a lot of time looking at the "time wasters" in my schedule, and think that I have really come up with some great changes.

The final area to tackle is "Habit Clutter". The idea here is to shed the habits that are weighing you down or holding you back. For me this has been difficult. It is very easy to fall back into old habits. I have found the best way to get rid of bad habits is to replace them with new habits. Let's hope they stick!

I still have lots more to tackle, but I am pleased with the progress so far. I highly recommend reading this book!