Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Since I Said I Would

I really hate having my picture taken, but since I told you that I'd post a picture of myself in my new glasses, I guess I'd better. I tried to do the slightly squinty-eyed fierceness that Tyra says should be done, but then I was afraid of looking mean and started to laugh at myself a bit. It seems that maybe my modeling career is over before it ever really began.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Softball Farmers Ferrying Animals

For the first few days of our vacation, we made a visit to my cousin, Herbie. I have been meaning to visit him and his family for years, and am glad we finally were able to do so. We had a blast, and the kids are already pressing me to tell them when we will be able to return.

We did a lot of fun things in just a few days:
  • Rophone temporarily joined Herbie's softball team to save them from having to forfeit their interfaith league game.
  • We went to the farmer's market where we ate lunch, listened to live music and visited the Sound (it's so nice to see a few women with unshaven legs again--man, I missed the Northwest!)
  • We took a ride on a ferry (check back later for photos!)
  • We visited Lattin's Country Cider Mill and Farm where we saw animals and ate their fresh apple fritters.
We packed more fun activities into 2 days than Rophone and I usually have the motivation to do with our kids in a year, so I'd say it is a good start to the vacation (especially for them--I'm finding that I may be getting old). 

Here's Herbie (he's a dentist, you know, but I don't think he's worked on any Abominable Snowmen--I will post a picture of his wife, Cat, later):

Here is the Divine Miss M (2)--she can be just a bit of a drama queen (love it!):

Posy (6), doing her thing:

Tally (8), thinking maybe I'm a bit odd, I'm sure (she's most likely right!):

Ducky (10), pitifully outnumbered by girls (sorry!):

Big, in pure heaven:

Ginger, at the Sound, just after eating a sno-cone the size of her head (admittedly, her head is a little pea-like in size, but it was still huge for a sno-cone!)

Headache, Pen?

Big has fine taste in girls (he likes them older apparently). Here he is taking the Divine Miss M for a ride:

Bud is having a complete blast on his first vacation as a "big boy":

Wood chip, anyone? Everything at my sister Martha's house is gourmet, you know!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just in Case

We leave tomorrow on our long awaited family vacation! Yay! I will do my best to post while I'm gone (at least once or twice--otherwise you'll experience a picture overload on my return). 

I was helping Bud decide what to pack today and told him I thought we'd better take this one shirt of his that he doesn't like "just in case" (I was thinking, just in case we didn't get a chance to do laundry, but Bud had other ideas).

Bud doesn't like the shirt because it's a little hard to get over his noggin, but he finally relented and agreed to take it saying, "You're right, Mom, we should take the shirt...just in case my head gets smaller while we're there". Gotta love Bud!  

Ever Elusive Sleep

I seem to always be tired. Sometimes I begin to wonder if there is something wrong with me. Admittedly, I am not the best sleeper in general, but it is a night like I had last night that reminds me of why I might feel a bit pooped.

Big is getting his molars and hasn't been sleeping well. So, when he awakened at 2 am with his mouth hurting, I ended up having to nurse him to get him to want to go back to sleep. Twenty minutes gone (not counting the minutes of moaning I listened to before actually going into his room). 

Then, at about 4:15 am Bud started calling out. I sent Rophone in to see what he needed, but apparently only Mom would do. So, I went in and asked Bud what he needed and he replied, "I want lunch!" I forgot that he hadn't eaten a good dinner (usually when this occurs I offer a snack before bed), and I could tell his hungry tummy wasn't going to allow him to fall back asleep. I wasn't about to take him into the bright kitchen and wake him up even more, so I fed him a yogurt in the dark (making most of it into his mouth, I think). Another 20 minutes gone (this is not counting the amount of time it took me to fall back asleep due to Rophone's snoring).

At least, I thought, the boys will probably sleep in because of the lack of sleep we shared, right? Noooo! Bud awakened at 6 am, although went back to sleep when we explained that it was not yet morning, thank goodness (not technically a lie, is it? I think morning should start when I want to be awake, not when they think I should be!). When Big woke up at 7am, I tried to explain the same thing to him, but no go. He looked at me like I was crazy.

I'm not crazy yet (most days), but if this keeps up it might not take me too long!     

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fabulous Friends

We had a fantastic time with some fabulous friends yesterday. We manage to see them just about once a year for a few hours (one of these needs to be upped, I think--either more than just once a year, or for more than a few hours). My friend, Bert VeeBman, has known me since just after my high school graduation. He is married to Grammargirl, and they have a 12 year old boy, Marty. 

What good folks! They agreed to sit in the shade while the kids played in the water (I didn't know it was 97 degrees, sorry!), and then we got pizza and played games for a while until they had to head out. We had a great time, so let's do it again soon!

Bert VeeBman, hanging out in the shade:

Bert's wife, Grammargirl:

Marty was great with Big:

Big exclaiming at something exciting, "Ooooh!":

Definitely having a good time:

Bud, proud after sticking his head in the water:

Ginger, the belly flop princess:

Pen, revealed:

Here's Rophone, enjoying the adult interaction (well, we acted like adults most of the time!):

We had a great time! Thanks! We'll make it to your neck of the woods one of these days, I promise!


My trip to heaven in a wheelbarrow hit a little bump last week. On thursday, our lovely water heater decided to spring a leak. The flood that ensued spread out into Ginger's room on one side, and through the wall the other way to dampen (okay, soak) the carpet outside the girls bathroom. Nice!

The good part (yes, there is a good part!) in all of this is that the landlord responded quickly and we had a new water heater installed the next day (and, since we're renters, there was no money out of our pocket--see? Good!). 

The bad part, is that the moistening of the carpet padding and the surrounding wall seems to have released the old tobacco smells that had been disguised by paint and carpet. So, all attempts to dry the flooded area have resulted in a nasty cigarette smoke/must smell being spread throughout the downstairs! Once again, nice! 

So, I have to decide how to best take care of the problem, without making all of our downstairs belongings stink to high heaven. Those of you who are aware of what a sensitive nose I have must know what a dilemma I am facing. Which is worse...stale cigarette smoke or increasing mustiness? Both so nice! I feel such guilt at sending Ginger back in there to sleep, but it will have to happen one of these days.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Professor Big

I found Big reading books like this yesterday. Apparently he feels that I'm not the only one who needs new glasses, so he borrowed some from Mr. Potato Head (as you can see from the stress points on the glasses, he's not my first child to do so). What a smarty pants! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No Collagen Needed

Right now, Big is in the real clumsy stage that all new walkers go through. He has more confidence than skill at this point (what starts out as a nice leisurely walk often ends up as a less than controlled run--straight at the fireplace hearth! EEk!). It doesn't help that his obsession with balls makes them impossible to keep picked up and out of the way. They are often the cause of his drunken (looking) meanderings.

Yesterday, Big biffed it on the hardwood, leaving his mouth a bloody mess. The inside of his lip looks like hamburger, and he shredded the little thingie that attaches his upper lip to his gum (I'm sure it has a name!). The result is that his normally quite thin upper lip looks like it has been subject to some rather poorly done collagen injections. Poor kid!

The picture just doesn't do the lip justice. It is bigger than it looks, and is much purpler than it appears here:

He kept sucking on his lip, like fat-lipped boys do, to try to soothe it and, I'm sure, because it felt so weird. 

In other health news, the neurosurgeon has determined that there is nothing further that needs to be done for Bud's spine right now, so just repeat x-rays in 6 months!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Memory Game

The Memory Game is one of the best games ever. Rophone and I love playing it with our kids, especially when they are young
The memory game you will be playing today, however, if you so choose, is to share a memory you have of the two of us together--whether recent or from long ago. I shared a memory with a friend of mine, and therefore have obligated myself to play the game. I mean, why not? The only request that I have, if you don't mind, is that the memory of me be a kind one. I have recently gone to hell in a handbasket, and am now trying to make the journey to heaven in a wheelbarrow instead. I hear it's nice this time of year.

According to my friend, if you leave a memory of me on my comments, then I can assume you are playing the game. If you just want to leave a memory you have of me, but would rather not have me reciprocate, that's okay, too. I think we can make up our own rules! 

*Edited to add--if you decide to play, you're supposed to post the rules of the game on your blog. You know, this is one of those taggie things (where you tag yourself?).

Losing Readership

I feel like I am losing readership--perhaps my posts are too mundane. Any hot topics you wish to have me muse about? Better watch out, or I'll post about my four-bend pinkie! 

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ice Cream

Tonight, for FHE treat, we enjoyed some ice cream cones. We had to avoid them for a while because Bud would "fake lick" them and we'd have a big mess as his cone melted. Now, he does much better--some of the ice cream actually makes it in his belly! Big thinks ice cream is only okay, so he didn't have any. I'll have to take some pictures of him later (like there's any doubt of that!)

Here's Bud actually eating his cone:

Ginger was doing great with her cone....

...until the ice cream manners she inherited from Rophone made their appearance (he used to do the same thing with his cone, apparently):

Pen eats her ice cream really fast, just like her Grandma P. Here she is eyeing Rophone's cone, hoping for more:

Laughing at the only joke I know (from Sesame Street-- "Why did the cookie go to the doctor?" --"He was feeling CRUMBY!"). Now it's funny because it's the only one I tell.

I should have taken pictures of Big downing the fries--he really attacks them with gusto. At least I got him to eat some plum and garden veggies before he went crazy on them. He seems to have Rophone's junk food genes.

I picked out my new specs today (with Auntie Art's help--thanks!). I hope they get here before we leave on vacation! I'll let Rophone take a picture of me when they arrive so you can all see the new me (I know it's hard to wait, but just reign yourselves in!).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chewy Sugar Cookies

I know the picture is no better than the first time I posted it....

Chewy Sugar Cookies

I am taking the easy way out on this one. Just click here and it will take you directly to the recipe and save me some typing. If they remove the recipe from the website, let me know and I'll type.

A quick note--I roll the balls of dough in sprinkles (like when making Snickerdoodles), therefore I don't use additional buttermilk when I slightly flatten them. The sugar acts as a sufficient barrier to keep the dough from sticking to the bottom of the cup.

These are my current favorite (when I'm actually in the mood for something like this), so make them!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

A few of you have let me know that, indeed, you would appreciate the recipes for my cookies. So, here we go with the first one. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
recipe originally obtained from allrecipes.com

1 Cup butter, softened
   3/4 Cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 Cup white sugar    
        3/4 Cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butters and sugars until smooth.

2 eggs                       
1 t. vanilla extract     

Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.

2 1/3 Cup flour        
  1/3 Cup cocoa powder*
1 t. baking soda        

Combine the dry ingredients and stir into the butter mixture.

               1 Cup (heaping) chocolate chips**
            1 Cup (heaping) Reeses Pieces**

Mix in chocolate chips and Reeses Pieces. Bake for 8-10 minutes***. Let cool for 1-2 minutes before removing from tray, or the cookies will fall apart.

A few quick notes on this recipe:

*The last time I made these, I used a combination of regular cocoa powder and dutch processed dark cocoa powder and it was fantastic!   

**Originally, the recipe called for 1 C of both chocolate chips and peanut butter chips, AND 10 Reeses Peanut Butter Cups chunked and added!  I thought this was complete overkill, so I eliminated the Peanut Butter Cups, heaping the cups of the others instead. I also changed the peanut butter chips to Reeses Pieces for a little different texture because I like it better. Add the Peanut Butter Cups if you like, but be warned, this cookie is very rich even without them!

***The cook time on these will vary, obviously, based on your oven. These are meant to be a soft cookie, so you can adjust cooking time to make them as crunchy (or not) as you like. We think they are best eaten frozen!


Friday, July 11, 2008

Bud's Back

Just to let you know, the pediatric orthopedist finally called with the results of Bud's MRI.  He says there is a little fluid in his spine at the center of the curve, but he doesn't think it's enough to cause a problem. He is having Bud visit a pediatric neurosurgeon, however, just to make sure he's right. This may mean a repeat MRI if the neurosurgeon deems it necessary.

It looks like Bud will probably have to have x-rays every 6 months for a while to monitor the progress of his spine as he grows, at the very least. I'll let you know what I learn from the neurosurgeon after that appointment takes place.  

Thursday, July 10, 2008

In a Handbasket

Many aspects of my life have gone to hell in a handbasket lately. In case you're thinking of going there on vacation or something, I thought that I'd post just to warn you that it's quite a bumpy ride and is not a trip worth taking. If you have a choice, I'd go to Hawaii instead.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Girls, Girls, Girls!

I know you probably got sooo excited upon reading the title of my post, hoping to read something fantastic about Motley Crue and their fabulous hair. Instead, you are lucky enough to get to read about me and my girls and our new, cute haircuts! This morning, Rophone took the boys to the park while Pen, Ginger and I went to The Hair God to get our hairs cut. The girls have never been with me before, so they were super excited.

Ginger got several inches cut off, and now sports a cute shoulder-length 'do:


Pen decided to donate her hair to Locks of Love (way to go, Pen!):

Everyone decided that they needed to take a picture of me. Apparently they think it's not done enough, so here are some pictures of my new cut. 

Pen shot the first one:

Ginger was going for a more artistic framing:

This is Bud's first attempt:

Much better the second time:

Rophone got in on the act:

No more pictures of me for quite a while, I think. We had a great time together, and the girls want to do something again soon. Pen is voting for pedicures, and says we might as well get manicures while we're at it. My daughters might turn me into a girl yet! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I went to the eye doctor today for a long overdue exam and, well, it looks like I am joining the ranks of the bespectacled. I don't have to wear them all of the time, only when I feel like I need them, apparently.

The doctor was very nice. My favorite part of the appointment was when he said, "Now, you don't need to wear these glasses all of the time, but they can be your friend." So, welcome, friend! 

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Little Relief

I had to post just a few more photos from the family reunion--of the older folks this time. We were all hot and definitely tired, so we all ran through the sprinklers for a little relief. I took a quick turn and can tell you they felt great!

Grandpa Fish revving up the engine:

I think we'll end with a picture of the whole gang:

Family Reunion

We just returned from my family reunion. I'd love to say that I had a fantastic time.... It seems that I have a few things to work on (like I didn't know that!), including a hump on my back, apparently. 

I decided that the most important thing to accomplish this reunion was to make sure that the kids had a good time. Pen, Ginger and Bud voted (Big abstained due to sleep) and unanimously agreed that they had a blast. So, mission accomplished. Here are just shy of a gazillion photos (I snapped many gazillions) of the kids enjoying themselves.

Ginger, watching her cousins:

The Wizard, walking the curb:

Ginger and The Genealogist (The Genealogist (6), the child of my brother Rib and his wife Aunt Jazz Hands, is a complete whiz at familial relationships):

Captain Tornado (younger brother of The Genealogist), waiting for help with the monkey bars:

Miss Pea, caught unawares, therefore no unicorn horn needed:

Pen, in the pool (a real life saver since the house we were staying in was not air conditioned):

Bud, cooling off:

More of The Genealogist:

Cindy Lou, eating grass again (maybe something's lacking in her diet?):

Newton--or is that Jeff Spicoli from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"?: 

George (younger brother of The Genealogist and Captain Tornado), enjoying the water:

The lack of sleep finally caught up with Big and he developed a temporary fear of the water:

This is a photo of my niece, Belle. I can't believe she just turned 16! She is the older sister of Rico, Rib II and Miss Pea

I think that, overall, all of the kids had a great time. Hopefully they developed some great "cousins" memories like the ones that I have.