Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chicken Soup for the Soul

I think I have every one of those chicken soup for the soul books. I certainly have books one, two, three and four.  I also have chicken soup for the pet lover's soul.  I even bought myself Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul, and didn't figure it out until halfway through what Golden** meant.  I think that one is one of my favorites though.

We got to have Devin's parents here for a few days last week, and as I watched them with the girls it seems to me that grandparents are chocolate chip cookies for the soul.

 And they are great for helping with yard work.

**Apparently a Golden soul is a soul that occupies a body that has lived on this earth for 65 years or longer.  (According to the chicken soup people.)

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I love what spring says to me.

And just in case you aren't sure what it is saying, I will translate for you.

 Don't give up.

 It's never too late.

 It will be ok.

 You can do it!

 Don't worry.

 Life is good.

Try, try again.

 Peace, be still.

I hope you had a nice Easter.  If you want some good Easter reading, these are my favorite two things to read at Easter.  Favorite One. Favorite Two.  Enjoy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Free Mani/Pedi!

From time to time we all need a quick pick me-up.  A little personal renovation.  Some color to brighten our lives.  Are you in need of a free pedicure and manicure? If so, you have come to the right place! I am here to offer you a free manicure and pedicure!  I can only give away a limited amount of  manicures and pedicures for free (one), so don't delay!  There are two ways to win this incredible offer:

1. You can call this toll-free number: 1-800-Hallie (please don't call this number. It is not a real number, and if it is it probably does not deal in manicures and pedicures.)
2. You can leave a comment right here on this very blog and Hallie will choose one winner for her free manicure/pedicure.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I get to pick my own color? It is highly unlikely that you will be allowed to pick your own color.  The stylist is stubborn, and independent.  It will be easiest on all involved if you let her choose the color. Thank you for your cooperation.
Do I have to be local to win the free manicure and pedicure? Absolutely not! Hallie is willing to have you travel here to Lincoln NE, where she will even give you a place to sleep if you can't make the return trip the same day.
Will I look like an extra for a horror movie when she is done? If the comments from my husband can be trusted, yes, you will look like an extra from a horror movie.

Good luck, I hope you win the free manicure!!!  The offer for this FREE manicure/pedicure closes on April 25, 2011 at the stroke of seven (Hallie is in bed by eight, you know).  We'll let you know who the winner is the following day.  Thank you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I looked out my window and what did I see?

Popcorn popping!

I truly never understood the reference in this song until this spring. (I don't know how I missed it last year, given that every house on our street has one of these trees in their front yard, but I'll blame it on the boxes I was unpacking.)

That's my friend Megan driving down the street. 
Hi Megan!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


To be quite honest, I don't mind if my girls grow up to be princesses, or cowgirls. I like both kinds of head-wear.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I decided yesterday that women spend at least 90% of their lives waiting.  (The algorithm used to come to this statistic is more an equation of emotional, rather than mathematical origin.)

As children we wait for the things that all children do:

We wait for summertime to come so we can go swimming.
We wait for winter to come so we can go sledding, and Christmas!
We wait for Halloween so we can go trick or treating.
We wait for the Fourth of July so we can watch the fireworks.

But as women we really set ourselves apart in the waiting department when we grow up.
We wait for someone to ask us out on our first date.
We wait for someone to ask us out again.
We wait for someone to ask us to marry them.
We wait nine months (or much, much, much, much longer) to have children.
We wait for husbands to come home from work.
We wait at our doctor's appointments, and those of our children.
We wait while our children try to figure out how to make a number two on the potty.
We wait for the bread to rise.
We wait for the water to boil.
We wait for the flowers in our yard to bloom.
We wait for the mail to come.

We wait and we wait and we wait.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bruises and a Picture

But don't worry, it's not a picture of the bruises.

We were at the library, oh, a month and a half ago?  First thing we always do is return the stack of books that we have read, in preparation for taking home another stack of books.  There are always a handful of Clifford books, the odd assortment of books for me, and maybe a Clifford DVD or two.  Hallie likes to help.  I put the books on the little shelf next to the drop box, lift her up high so she can reach, and then she slowly, one by one, drops each book into the box.

Hanna wanders all around the library, touching people, touching  books, eating things off the floor, and all I can do is watch while Hallie takes her sweet time.  I think the librarians pretty much all know me by this point, and the children's librarian in particular loves Hanna, and it is a mutual thing. But I keep a close eye on her just in case she does something that I would have to respond to.

So my attention is always divided between making sure Hallie is continuing on with her job (she is easily distracted) and making sure that Hanna isn't getting too deep into anyone's personal space (she is easily lured into personal spaces).  On this particularly fine afternoon, I was wearing flip flops and Hallie lost her grip on one 300 or more paged hardcover book.  There is a law of gravity that dictates that heavy books when dropped by toddlers hovering just above their mother's feet that the book will land on its corner, on the delicate bone structure of the upper foot.

And, not one to defy the laws of gravity, this book did just that. I'm not sure what I yelled, I don't think it was coherent, but I can tell you that it was vaguely reminiscent of what I yelled just as Hallie was born into this world.  Every single person in the library turned to stare at me in time to see me drop Hallie** and try not to cry.

Ever since, whenever I wear flip flops my left foot really hurts, and it took me a long time to connect it to the book dropping incident. A month and a half later the flip flops still hurt, and I'm wondering when this will heal.

On Saturday we went to a home improvement store, and Hanna was perched safely high up on the cart seat.  She was playing with a small can of PVC pipe cement. Anything handy to keep them happy at the store on Saturday morning, know what I mean?  I really should know better than to wear sandals by now, but crashing down onto my right foot was, you got it, the heavy can of PVC pipe cement.  And for whatever reason it doesn't hurt when I wear flip flops, but tennis shoes are unbearable.

So thanks babies. Now flip flops and my sneakers are no longer options.  How long will this go on?  Shouldn't bruises heal eventually?

**I didn't really drop Hallie, but she was not put down as gently as she has become accustomed to, that's for certain.

And, as promised, a picture.
Grandpa and Bubbles waiting patiently for lunch.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Back when I wrote my post about BRAGGing, I was working on a baby blanket for my little nephew.  I must admit that I have little knowledge and less experience with sewing in general, so most of my success at sewing in the past should be attributed to enthusiasm, a never-quit attitude, and having many people in my life who do know how to sew.  AND just so you know that I am not dealing in false modesty here, last week I tried to make a surprise pair of pajama bottoms for Devin. What I got was yoga pants for me. Incredibly ugly yoga pants.  It's not good.

That said, I wanted to make this blanket for my nephew and I thought it would be so simple. It was just one panel of fabric, that I would sew onto a length of brown fabric, bring the brown over the top to bind, and then quilt it somehow. I wasn't too worried about the details of the quilting part, in my typical gung-ho fashion I just went ahead and did the part I knew how to do and thought I'd figure out the other details later. By which I mean I'd show it to someone who knows how to do these kinds of things and have them give me suggestions for how to finish it.

So that's what I did. I sewed it up all nice and tight and then just had to figure out a way to quilt it.  The top was mostly green and blue with jungle animals in the middle, and the bottom was brown. I didn't want to quilt it in squares or anything like that because of the animals, and I am not confident about free hand quilting on my machine.  And that's how I ended up quilting it with invisible thread by hand.  And that's why when it was done it was so hard to give it away.  Have you ever made something by hand that you are ridiculously happy with, and then had to give it away? 

If you don't know I love you by now little sis, there's nothing more I can do for you.
 I put my initials and the year on, so that when it is displayed in a museum 100 years from now I will be famous.  This is how I plan to live forever.
The animals on that blanket match the animals on this blanket. Am I too much, or am I too much?

Saturday, April 9, 2011


A 16 year old girl that I know has a list of 100 things that she wants to do before she dies.  She has shared a few of the goals on her list with me, and it appears to be a truly fantastic and thorough list.

1. Sing with Justin Bieber
2. Organize a fundraiser.
3. Go skydiving.
4. Attend a movie premiere.

That's all I remember. But I started thinking what I would put on a list, if I were to make a list of things I want to do before I die. So, here goes. I don't think I'll ever get to 100 of them, but here are 10:

1. Write in this blog until dementia or paralysis sets in, or blogs become extinct, whichever comes first.
2. Bake cookies for Hallie and Hanna to have warm when they come home from school at least once a week.
3. Go to Hawaii with Devin.
4. Go on a mission with Devin.
5. Maintain an environment in my home that is welcoming, accepting, and comfortable.
6. Sew Hallie and/or Hanna an Easter dress.
7. If the Easter dress goes well, sew more.
8. Take Devin to the Amazon, and Hotel do Fraje? Frade? How was that place spelled?
9. Run a half-marathon.
10. Trippin' 06... in '16.

Do you have a list? Any suggestions for my list?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blood and What I've Learned

This is where Hallie drew on the wall with a ball point pen:

 This is where Hallie drew on the wall with a crayon:

 This is where Hanna drew on the wall with a dry erase marker:

This is the wall where I first noticed the blood:

 And this is the floor where there was more blood:

And somehow she got more blood all over the fireplace:

And blood all over the bench:
What's that you say? There's no blood in these pictures? Oh, you are so clever.

When Hallie drew on the wall with the ink pen, I thought I should really call my mother and ask her how to get it out. When Hallie drew on the wall with crayon I thought again that I should talk with my mother.  When Hanna drew with the dry erase marker I shrugged my shoulders and added it to my list.  But when I saw the blood**, I leaped for the phone, and called my mother.  "MOM! How do you get blood stains off of a wall?"

And, trusting that the people who read my blog have no intent to ever do bodily harm to another being and will not use the following knowledge to clean up their mess, I will tell you what I have learned, about children, the universe, and myself.

1. That little fingers with small injuries can bleed a lot.
2. That while she got blood all over four different types of surfaces, she somehow managed to avoid getting any on the carpet, even though she went halfway up the carpeted stairs, and all the way across a carpeted room - bleeding the entire time.  I believe in miracles.
3. That cleaning my walls is only a priority if the mess involves blood.
4. That Hallie is always one toddler-proofing step ahead of me in height and cleverness.
4. That if the blood is fresh, it is no sweat to clean it up. Just a little hydrogen peroxide, one paper towel, and you are good to go.
5. That it is impossible to keep a bandaid on a toddler.  I put one around her little cut, another on top of that, and then a third around her two fingers.  She sucked them all off.  At least by then the bleeding had stopped.
6. That moms are the best creatures ever.  And by that I mean my mom, not myself.  Although it occurs to me now that I will someday be "that mom" for my daughters.  I better study up.

**First of course I checked to see where all the blood was coming from. When I discovered nothing but a tiny cut on her index finger, I washed it off, cleaned it up, put the aforementioned trio of bandaids on and THEN called my mother.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Walkin' On Sunshine

Or on air, as the case may be.

Do you remember the first pair of shoes that you really fell in love with?  The first shoes that I remember forming an emotional bond with were my Airwalks, in ninth grade. That's right.  My brother had a pair, and so I had to have a pair.  Call me Cool, cuz I so was. Not.

Anyway, you never forget that first love.

This baby knows how to rock her Airwalks.  I guess she got that from her Uncle Pete.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Close Ups

When my babies go for their close ups, they want it to be close.up.

 I mean, how about that milk 'stache, eh?