Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wrapping paper

Bumbos are hard to wrap. And unfortunately, the midget at the receiving end of this Bumbo has no appreciation for something as meaningless as wrapping.

You will have to pretend you appreciate it. You do, right?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Finals Week

It's like I'm cramming for tests. I've been holed up in our mini computer room for the last four days in an attempt to finish up my Christmas and wedding projects. My baby is crying from his swing, I have three loads of laundry waiting to be folded, and a mountain range of dishes spanning my kitchen counter.

I'm almost done. Almost. Done.

When I'm not feeling crazy, I'm feeling stoked. Because this guy is coming home from his mission to Pennsylvania TOMORROW:

(He is the one not snorting gingerbread frosting.)


In other news, I have eaten sixteen hundred calories of English toffee today. It's easy to do, friends. So. easy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Carlsbad has its downfalls...

...things like a teen pregnancy rate so high that the high school has a student daycare. drug problems. a 48% dropout rate.

But stuff like this is why I like living here.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dinner Wars Part 2 and a series of unfortunate events.

Last night I began devising a strategy to end the dinner wars forever. Phase one of the strategy was simple: get people excited about dinner. And for this, my friends, I had a fail-proof plan.

My daughters are crazy about Fancy Nancy. My mother sent them a Fancy Nancy book on CD, and they both have it memorized. On seeing this doll for the first time at Walmart, Claire giddily yelled, "MOM! LOOK! IT'S FANCY NANCY AT THE MUSEUM BY JANE O'CONNOR!!"

I kid you not.

So I prepared a Fancy Nancy theme dinner. I wanted the dinner to be just healthier than their favorites (I know, setting the bar crazy high here), but wanted the food to be familiar enough that they could still be excited. I settled on a simple menu: cucumber sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, a green salad, and hot chocolate. Weird. But edible.

I was cutting the sandwiches into tiny, crustless little squares when I noticed silence. I searched for Claire, ultimately finding this:

I was bummed. But not too bummed. I thought I would let her sleep a while and then wake her to get dressed up for our fancy dinner.

I shortly learned that she would not be woken up. From the previous picture you may recognize that the item she is resting so comfortably on is a ROCKING recliner. It probably swayed with her every heartbeat.

At some point, it must have swayed too much, because I arrived back to check on her and found her like this:

... Still asleep. Brad tried to wake her up. So did Grace. No luck. Eventually I succumbed to the realization that our dinner would be short one serious Fancy Nancy fan. I reluctantly told Grace that we couldn't wait for Claire and that it was time for her to get Fancy like Nancy.

She was, as I'm sure you can imagine, completely elated. She requested my expert advice on her attire, and then scuttled off to the bathroom to apply some glittery make up.

Brad was helping me set the table when we heard a sharp piercing scream. We found Grace, cradling her head on the floor of the bathroom tile. She had fallen off the vanity, hit her head on the toilet, and was nursing this:

Usually Grace is not allowed out of the house with make-up on. But considering the circumstances, we carried her to the car anyway along with our two other children (Claire still sleeping) and drove to the ER.

Thankfully, Friday night is one of the least busy nights in the ER, because as it was we waited for an hour.

Here is Grace waiting for her stitches. Look at that outfit.

This girl is brave. Picture four pricks of lidocaine and three stitches, each of which she seems able to feel completely. Envision no screaming. The kid had silent tears streaming through her blush and eyeshadow and was squeezing my hand and clenching every other part of her body in intense rigidity. She. Was. A. Champ.

I promised her ice cream. We held hands and walked around the parking lot waiting for daddy to return from a poorly timed run to Subway. When he came, Claire and Weston still asleep, we stopped at McDonalds for a chocolate shake for Grace. As we pulled away from the place, Claire decided to wake up. Great timing.

After Grace shared her shake with Claire and Brad finished his sub, we got home and sat down to eat our Fancy meal.

It was 8:00. No one was very hungry (except maybe me). And almost nothing got eaten.

Oh well.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Always on the road.

I love me some good road trip pics. Unfortunately, these are nothing like good road trip pics. I took most of them from a moving car and with a new lens that doesn't auto-focus. Good excuses, yes?

I love this trip between Dallas and Carlsbad. We could take an interstate to get there, but it's more direct to take the highways. We pass through towns that appear completely abandoned and make you wonder why someone would move there in the first place.

This time, we took a quick little drive through Anson, Texas. It's one of the bigger towns on the route. It's also one of the cuter ones. It's named for the last president of the Republic of Texas, Anson Jones.

Also, all along this highway are cotton fields. Have you ever actually seen a cotton field? I hadn't until we moved here. It was so strange to see cotton actually growing--on a plant--that I stopped my car and picked up some stragglers that had been left behind by harvesters. It is weird to pick a cotton ball from a bush.

When the cotton is harvested by these giant trucks, a lot of the cotton flies in the air. It looks like it's snowing. And then those machines squish the cotton into the most delightfully humongous cubes of fluff. I imagine they would be fun to jump on. Or sleep on.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dinner Wars.

I live in a house of ridiculously picky eaters. If it were just the kids, I might not have dinner anxiety. But oh. Do I ever have dinner anxiety. Unless I want to engage in dinner warfare, the meal must be one of the following:
  • Chicken. Dry. Fried on the stove in a very small amount of olive oil. No sauce of any kind whatsoever.
  • Spaghetti. Sauce must be separated from the noodles. The sauce must not include onions. Not even pureed ones.
  • Hot dogs. With Ketchup for the girls. Strictly WITHOUT for Brad.
  • Pancakes.
  • Cereal.
  • Top Ramen.
  • Casseroles are absolutely not permitted.
Great list, right? Very healthy. Wide variety.

The list stinks. I need healthier food! But I can't figure out how to do it. Just tonight, when we had baked Eggplant Parmesan, Grace cried over her "yucky food" so much that she was sent to her room THREE TIMES. And then she fell asleep. Without eating.

Do any of you have any brilliant suggestions? 

I'm listening. With eager, hopeful, willing ears.