Saturday, March 27, 2010

Quick Funny

Preston just ran into the bathroom and hurridly sat down to use the potty. He must have been holding it a bit too long because when he had finished he let out a huge sigh of relief. He then informed me,

"Mommy, that's my favorite thing to do!"

Maybe I'd better sign him up for youth sports or something so he can learn some new hobbies.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Do you have a winning recipe?

Do you have a great recipe that uses a Ragú® sauce? You can submit your recipe for a chance to win a trip to New York and a $5,000 college scholarship!

Ragú® is teaming up with actress and mom Molly Ringwald to promote the Recipe for a Good Start Contest Visit to submit your recipe for a good start in life and your original Ragú® recipe that has the family running to the dinner table! Three first prize winners will be awarded a family trip to New York City where they will compete in a nationally televised Ragú® Recipe Challenge for the chance to win the ultimate prize of a $5,000 college scholarship. Recipes have to be submitted by March 31, so hurry!

I'm headed out there now to enter my recipe (Cheesy Tomato Basil Pasta... good stuff!).

Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a Ragú® family package in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place.


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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Quick Funny

The kids were watching Aladdin on Disney channel. Haley came out to give me an update:

"Mom! There was a prince and he was riding in the market and he saw Aladdin and he kicked him! He kicked him and knocked him over into a puddle of red juice!"

{hands on hips, disapproving frown}

"Mom, that was NOT good manners!"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Our anniversary was yesterday and we had a lovely snowstorm dump a foot of snow on us. We were thinking through it, and this is the third time (in 9 years) that we've gotten pretty significant snow on our anniversary causing problems with our plans. But luckily it was not as much snow as the year we ended up snowed in for days following a blizzard the day before our anniversary!

Since the day before yesterday it was 70 degrees, the roads were really warm. Most of the snow was melting as it hit the roads. We went ahead as planned and took the kids to the museum for the afternoon because the roads were pretty clear. We had a really nice time. By the time we headed home, the roads were really quite bad, though. We knew we wouldn't be able to make the 40 minute drive back downtown to go to the fancy restaurant where we had reservations. =(

But since we already had a babysitter lined up, we didn't want to waste the evening. So we went to a local place, since the roads in our neighborhood weren't too bad. It's really good food and we like it a lot... as evidence that we go there fairly often, one of the waitresses came over and asked us where the kids were! =)

So it was nice to have an evening out on our own anyway. We thought about going to a movie after, but there was nothing good playing. So we went to Target (woo! big exciting anniversary event!) and bought the first season of Glee on DVD because I've recently become obsessed with it.

Aaron wasn't much interested but for my sake agreed to watch with me. So we went home and the whole family snuggled up on the couch to watch several episodes. And for the record, Aaron agreed that it was a good show and was interested enough to discuss plot points with me as we were getting ready for bed.

Still hoping we can manage to get to the fancy restaurant at some point, but it was a wonderful anniversary anyway! Happy anniversary to my incredible husband. It's been a great 9 years and I'm looking forward to many, many more!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is Today the Warm Before the Storm?

We've watched the weather the last couple of nights and that's the phrase that the weatherman kept using.

"Enjoy these spring-like temperatures, folks, because this is the warm before the storm!"

So much hype about how this is going to be such a big storm. A possibility of 5-10 inches they claim. And:

"I don't want to use the b-word here just yet - but I think we just may see some blizzard-like conditions!"

Everything is said with big exclamation marks! They're positively giddy at the idea this could be a big storm! They kept talking it up on the radio this morning, too:

"You want to be sure you've stocked up on essentials at home! If this storm is as big as they think it will be, you could be snowed in for days!"

Hmmm... maybe. I did go through a quick mental check of the contents of my pantry and freezer, but I don't see running to the store to stock up. It seems like every time they hype up an incoming storm like this it fizzles out to practically nothing.

It's not that we CAN'T get big storms like this in March. In 2003 we had a March blizzard and we really were snowed in for days. I really only remember this because we were snowed in and didn't get to go out to celebrate our anniversary. But more often than not, the big storms they predict don't materialize... and then we get nailed with a big storm by surprise when they thought it wouldn't amount to much.

Then again... maybe all this cynicism about the weather predictions is just because I don't want to be snowed in for another anniversary! =)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hooray for Spring!

I just love it when the weather is nice enough to play outside. On Saturday we went to the library in the morning, then went to the park and ate lunch outside. Then the kids spent an hour or so playing on the playground before we went to the store and then home to do a few things around the house.

They played on the front porch for a while - while that probably doesn't sound like a lot of fun to you, we actually have a decent size porch. I put a baby gate across the front entrance so they can't take off to the street or anything and they can play there for big chunks of time. There's a table for snacks or playing with play-dough. There are chalkboards to draw on. It's apparently endless fun for them. =)
(Yes, that is chalk drawings all over the side of my house behind Preston. Apparently two chalkboards on the porch are not enough and they feel the need to draw on every other part of the porch as well. Oh well, it's only chalk. It washes off!)

After front porch play, they decided they wanted to ride their scooters for a while. I took them down to the sidewalk across the street and let them ride for a bit, but I just don't especially like them to ride their bikes that close to the road. Haley I trust not to shoot out in front of a car - the boys, not so much! (I know, it's not like there's that much traffic in our cul-de-sac, but still...)

So we loaded the bikes in the car and went to the skate park down the road. It was empty so my kids had a blast riding their scooters around the large space, playing on the ramps, and just generally goofing around.

And when the sun went down and it was time to call an end to all the fun, they were all so tired from their busy day that bedtime came early! That's a win for Mom. =)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oh We Like Sheep

In my scripture-reading blog, I generally try and find something that was personally meaningful to me as I read that morning. It may be an overall concept from the chapter, it may be a single verse or line that really struck me. And what feels important to me today may not be what feels as important the next time I read it. But I generally try really hard to find something meaningful each day when I read.

All this is a prelude to saying that I didn't find something deep and profound today. Instead, I had a fun memory and just wanted to share it. I was reading Mosiah 14 and came to verse 6:

All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.

Once I read verse six, all I could think of was the memory of the time I went to a performance of Handel's Messiah. It was called "Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah." It's The Messiah redone in a gospel style. It's actually incredible and I enjoyed it so much I went again the following year.

But there was one passage... the one where they sing the line "All we, like sheep, have gone astray." And they sing that line over and over. Many times. And every time I heard them singing, "Oh we like sheep." Even though I knew what the line actually was, all I could hear was, "Oh we like sheep."

To this day, any time I hear that section in The Messiah, I think of, "Oh we like sheep." Probably inappropriate that I tend to laugh out loud during The Messiah! =)

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Love Daylight Savings Time!

Ah, finally back to Daylight Savings Time! I just love having that extra daylight at the end of the day. I'm thrilled that they shortened the amount of time we spend on standard time so we can spend more time on DST. I would be just as happy if they did away with standard time and left us on DST always.

Yes, I now go to work in the dark again. But I was doing that in the winter anyway, so it's not much of a change to go back to that. And truthfully, I kind of prefer it. It's easier to take a nap on the bus to work. People are quieter. The dark is conducive to napping. And there are enough streetlights on the route from bus stop to office building that I can (mostly) walk in the light once I'm off the bus.

But most importantly, now I have those extra daylight hours to spend with my kids at night! When we're on standard time, I pick up the kids at 6:00 and it's already dark or almost dark. We go straight home. The kids play in the playroom or at the computer for a bit, but it seems like almost immediately it's time for dinner and bedtime and I've hardly interacted with the kids at all. I know that's my own fault. But once we're home, it's so easy to send them off to play while I throw in a load of laundry or do something on the computer or even take a few minutes on the couch with a book.

Now that we're back to DST, the kids and I have plans for any evening with good weather. I pick them up from daycare and we head to the park. It's not always the same park - we like to switch it up and visit various playgrounds. We go have fun at the park for 30-60 minutes before heading home for a quick dinner and bedtime. I love it and so do they!

So hooray for Daylight Savings Time! I'm so glad it's here again. =)

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Have a Strange Bus Driver

This is what greeted me when I got on the bus this morning. I catch the bus at the very first stop, so it usually pulls in and sits there for 5 minutes or so before beginning the route. Today, the bus driver thought it would be funny to pull in and then put on this lovely mask and see how people reacted.

I have to admit I did a bit of a double-take, but I'm glad to say that I did not scream, jump backwards, and almost fall off the bus like the lady who got on after me!

Though it did occur to me later that I was maybe a bit too trusting to just go ahead and get on the bus with this guy. After all, until he took off the mask, what proof did I have that he was actually one of the usual drivers and not some random weirdo? =)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Would Like to Introduce the Concept of Sweatpants

To the gentleman who jogs past me every morning on my walk to work in his Richard Simmons-esque incredibly short shorts:

Perhaps you have noticed that it is, in fact, winter. It was 29 degrees when you jogged past me this morning in your very short shorts. On other days so far this winter, it was actually much colder. The day that it was 3 degrees above zero and I saw you in your tiny shorts sticks in my mind particularly.

I do commend your dedication to exercise. Not everyone is willing to go out every day in spite of the weather. (Not even everyone in your own household, as evidenced by the dog that you have to drag unwillingly along as you run.)

However, might I suggest that you might be more comfortable if you were to switch from the itty-bitty shorts to a nice pair of sweatpants? You are obviously aware that it's cold out. You are wearing a thick coat, hat, scarf and gloves. However, I can't imagine that they do a great job of keeping you warm when half of your body is fully exposed to the elements. And while it may be that you are just naturally pale, your legs certainly LOOK as if they are white with cold.

There, isn't that better? I'm just saying...


Cold Just Looking At You

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Have Yet Another Blog

Because apparently I have decided I don't have enough on my plate, I've started yet another blog. (I already have this one and my scripture reading blog, and occasionally manage to contribute to a recipe swap blog.)

Now I've started another because of a story I heard on the radio a week or so ago. They were talking about a woman on Facebook who planned to take a picture of herself every day so she could watch how she changed over the course of a year. That sounded fascinating!

Of course, I have no desire to take (let alone look at!) pictures of myself every day all year. But it just so happened that only a few minutes before hearing this story I had been thinking about the fact that I don't take enough pictures of the kids. I want to have pictures to remember all the things they do and what they're like at each age, but I often just forget to pull out the camera.

So I am interested in seeing how my kids change over the course of a year. I resolved to try and take a picture a day of each of my kids. I'll post them to the new blog (Love 365) and watch to see how they change over 365 days.

Of course, real challenge is going to be remembering to take the pictures every single day!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I Got a $70 Haircut

And it was fan-freaking-tastic! I have frankly never understood why people would pay so much for a haircut. I usually consider it a splurge if I go to the place in Brighton that charges around $30 for a haircut instead of the usual $15 at Great Clips.

But I had a gift card for the Brown Palace Spa - a very posh place in downtown Denver. It was about to expire and I certainly didn't want it to go to waste. And I'd badly needed a haircut for about the last six months. So I decided that I would use my gift card for a hair cut at the spa and salon... even though the $70 cost at the Brown Palace Spa is certainly more than I've ever paid for a haircut.

It was wonderful. They pampered me thoroughly and it was great. I was so relaxed by the time I was done. The stylist even decided that she should straighten my hair before cutting so she could be really sure to get everything evened out (hard to tell with curls). I've never seen my hair this straight! I love it. I can't stop running my fingers through it.

Of course, my darling husband told me it looked "odd." And he could maybe "get used to it." So he's not as thrilled by it as I am. Then again, he's not the one who has tried and tried and tried to straighten this hair for many years. But Preston told me I looked like a "rock star mommy," so I guess he liked it a little better.

Oh well, "odd" or "rock star," it won't last long. A few days at most before I have to give in and wash my hair and all of this beautiful straight hair will revert to its usual curls. Hopefully I like the haircut just as much when it's curly! Because although I love the look when it's straight, I know that I'm not going to go to the time or trouble to try and straighten it myself on a regular basis. For one thing, I just don't have the time every morning to do that. For another, I don't have the right tools. And finally, I just don't have the 3-4 extra arms that I think I would need to do a decent job of it!

So while the new look won't last for long, I'll enjoy it for a few days. And I'll enjoy the memories of the nice evening at the spa for quite a bit longer. And for future reference, I will be accepting Brown Palace gift certificates for any and all gift-giving occasions. ;)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Quick Funny from Preston

While at dinner with my brother-in-law Tim last night, Tim took off his baseball cap. Preston took one look and exclaimed: "You don't have any hair on your head, just like Grandpa!"

Ha ha ha. Good thing Tim had a good sense of humor. =)
(And Grandpa too, when he reads this.)

I Am Not Too Hot... Not Too Cold

Aaahhhh... just right! That's how I can describe the temperature in my house this morning. And it's been months since I could say that. Ever since the thermostat went on the blink, we've been constantly playing with it, adjusting it, jury-rigging it and trying to keep the temperature somewhere near pleasant. But all too often, it was either too hot or too cold. (In fact, Aaron called me just yesterday to mention that he'd had to turn on the cooler, because the furnace had decided to heat the house to a balmy 82 degrees.)

But now... it's just right. This would be thanks to Tim. Tim is my brother-in-law. Back on Monday, I saw on my nephew's Facebook page that his dad was out of town for the week. When I asked where his dad had gone, I learned he was in Denver for some training. Well, since we pretty much never have family come to town, I knew I would have to take advantage and connect with Tim while he was here.

Several days later, I actually remembered to do so.

At any rate, we got in touch and I graciously invited Tim to make a very long drive (from the DTC to Brighton area, for you Denverites) to come visit us. (Yes, I am aware that it would have been more gracious for us to go to him, especially since he doesn't know the area. But it was a school night and I needed to get the kids to bed somewhere close to normal bedtime. And Tim was kind enough to agree.)

In the course of conversation on the way to dinner, it came up that our thermostat was on the blink but I had been too chicken to try to replace it because I was afraid I would just make things even worse. As I was saying this, I had a sudden brainstorm: Tim is handy. Tim, in fact, used to work as an electrician. Tim could probably fix our thermostat!

I immediately offered to buy Tim's dinner if he would replace the thermostat for us. (Actually, I had planned to buy Tim's dinner anyway. After all, he did make the long drive up to see us. But that's beside the point.) And after dinner, Tim quickly and easily replaced the broken thermostat. It works perfectly. And now we are not too hot... not too cold. Thank you, Tim!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Haley Doesn't Like Options

I guess I didn't realize how often I do it, but I often present options to my kids. As in (a couple of recent examples):

"You can clean your room and earn the 50 cents that you wanted, or you can not clean your room and not get the 50 cents, or you can throw a fit about it and go to time out. Those are your options."


"You can eat your dinner and go play for a while before bedtime or you can decide not to eat and you can go to bed right now. Those are your options."

It normally works pretty well, which is why I keep doing it, I suppose. But the other night I presented a couple of options to Haley and she responded with, "I HATE it when you give me my options!" and stomped away.

Hmmmm.... I don't remember offering that as an option! =)