Monday, April 28, 2008


It seems that a disclaimer is required in order for some people to truly enjoy my blog. Here it is:

This is a personal blog. As a result, it contains personal stories that may or may not be of interest to anyone except me. The opinions in this blog are mine, and may not be shared by my husband, children or (possibly) 99% of the people in this world. Yes, my husband reads the entries that are about him and thinks they are funny, largely because there are quite a few entries about me that are funny as well. Neither of us is perfect and I'm an equal opportunity fun-poker. Please be advised that if you do something funny around me, I'm likely to poke fun at you. I'll probably laugh right at you, too. Sorry. If you do something silly, I can't help it and you should just laugh along with me. Laughter is good for the soul, after all. If we didn't laugh at ourselves and the world, how would we recognize sadness?

No animals were harmed in the creation of this blog. This blog is 100% non-fat, and contains 0% of the US RDA of riboflavin and other essential vitamins and minerals. I don't even know what riboflavin is, so if you're expecting some riboflavin, this blog is not for you. No, I cannot add riboflavin.

If you do not enjoy knitting, don't read the posts about my knitting. They will most assuredly bore you. If you're only here to see pictures of the kids, feel free not to read anything else. Pictures are worth 1000 words after all. Also, since I don't have a hit counter set up, I can't tell if anyone is even reading my blog at all...and yet, I continue to post. Go figure! Leave a comment if you like, but please understand that no one is making you do it. Comments, whether negative or positive are highly appreciated, but I reserve the right to ignore them if I like.

You are the master of your own destiny. You can skip anything on this blog that doesn't appeal to you by using the scroll buttons on your computer. You can also linger and reread older posts by availing yourself of the handy archives and tag lists at the right side of the screen. This blog is all about you, except, of course, the parts that are all about me.

If you took any portion of this entry to be dead serious, you might not want to read any further. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

When Papa Is In Charge

This has been a very long week. Monday: hours spent dealing with the neighbor's (pretty serious) family problems. Tuesday hours spent waiting to see if those problems would be resolved without incident, to no avail. Wednesday: dentist appointment, ballet class, ballet photograph, and, in between, more hours spent waiting to see if the neighbor's problems were resolved without incident (they finally were). Thursday: Jack woke up early and really cranky and Lily refused to get dressed in outdoor clothing until 4 pm. Friday: hours spent organizing the office, shredding bank statements going back to 2000, organizing all of my knitting supplies, cleaning the living room, family room and kitchen, doing all of the laundry and running out to Wal-Mart for a few things. (Normally, I wouldn't have so many duties on a Friday, but a lot fell by the wayside this week).

No, I did not clean under the couch, but I had reason to move it out to look for Jack's binky and there was remarkably little debris under there! It's like the gods of the Undercouch are giving me a break after the last horror show.

Anyway, enough griping about my week. Now I'm going to gripe about when my husband is in charge of the kids.

Fact the first: Never let a 2 year old and 4 year old play in the garage unattended. This is what will occur, I promise you:

Jack found a paint roller loaded with Killz, which Jim had rolled up in a plastic bag and stored in the garage. Much painting fun then ensued. We tried scrubbing, but the paint dried too quickly.

Fact the Second: If you are dead set on getting out the wading pool in the middle of April, don't let said kids play around it unattended. This is what will occur:

They removed most of the sand from their sand table, and made mud in the driveway.

Someone threw giant rocks in the pool and ripped a hole in the bottom.

Lily took a bucket of bird seeds and threw them on the porch stairs, in the driveway and all over the back yard before Jim caught her.

Fact the Third: If said children are allowed to play in the pool, they will get very, very cold. Several neighbors will also comment on how early you are letting your children wade in a pool in their swimsuits. I'm just waiting for CPCS to show up to investigate the incident.

I want it on the record that I did object to the swimsuits and pool. I was told in a tone that brooked no argument that: (a) 65-70 degree weather is warm enough to swim in a pool; (b) it is an old wives' tale that children can get sick from being wet and cold; (c) it is also an old wives' tale that being wet and cold can lower a child's immunity and make him more susceptible to catching a cold; and (d) if the kids feel cold, they will tell him and get out.

I also want it on the record that when I took Jack in to get changed into dry clothes for his nap, he said "I get chilly outside with Papa." That accounted for his blue lips and uncontrollable shivering. Here's a picture of the kids later today -- please note that Lily is wearing a WINTER jacket.

During this time period, Jim also let our 8 and 10 year old neighbors come into the house with Lily to play Wii unattended. I have no problem with him letting the neighbors play at our house, or play Wii if he's with them, but I do have a problem when a toddler and young kids are allowed to roam my house at will with no supervision. Even the best behaved kids can get into trouble at that age.

I know I should have stepped in and supervised the kids, but I worked so hard yesterday, I asked for and was allowed some time off from kid watching. I should have known it was too good to be true.

In between all of the mischief and naughtiness, the three of them did get some home improvement work done. We have three new bird feeders:

Jim made this one!

We bought this one last weekend. Can anyone explain why all of the red coloring disappeared from the feeder?

Jim made this one, too!

Jim removed a portion of the vinyl siding and the wood looks pretty good. It turns out we have some nice cedar shingle under the vinyl. We are thinking about removing all of the siding and having the house painted this summer.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Very Little Under The Couch This Week!

Imagine how amazed I was when I pulled out the couch and saw this:

That, to me, is a normal amount of stuff that would accumulate under a couch in the space of two weeks. I thought maybe the amount of outdoor play this week was making a big difference...

...until I saw this:

Apparently, someone has stopped throwing things behind and under the couch and has started throwing them behind the chair.! I did notice that Jack's toy bin was a little low this week, but I foolishly thought Jim had pared it down by taking some stuff down to the playroom. The little pile of stuff behind the chair reminds me of a squirrel's secret store of nuts. Which would make sense, since I sometimes believe Jack is a little nuts.

I'm pretty sure it's Jack, but the thought did cross my mind that Lily might be tossing his toys down there to annoy him. I'm going to have to keep my eyes open and see who the culprit is!

Minor Technical Difficulties

In other words, I've been Jacked! I have a nice, long draft post saved. It is waiting for some lovely photos of our yard and garden. Sadly, I have been looking for the cord for my camera for the last few days. I cannot download photos without it. I have been storing it in my odds and ends basket by the couch in a plastic bag to keep it coiled up. Jack pulled everything out of the basket on Thursday of last week. I noticed on Friday that the cord was missing!

Is it under the couch? I pulled it out to look and, amazingly, there is not too much under there this week. Basically, I have no idea where it is. Jack seems to have "disappeared" it! There will be no more photos until I either find it or get another cord to replace it.

Another Knitting Lesson Learned

Subtitle: I cannot read and I am an idiot. Oh yeah, and swatching is GOOD.

I've been working on a beautiful sock ever since I filed my taxes last week. The pattern is Pomatomus (named after a fish for the scale-like lace pattern) and the sock yarn is Classic Elite Alpaca Sox in the Garden colorway. I've provided the Classic Elite link, but the picture does not do this beautiful yarn justice. It has deep to medium greens, medium to light blue and pale pink shades, and the colors remind me of Monet's water lily paintings.

I'm enjoying the pattern and the beautiful yarn and it's been a real pleasure to work on the sock. I have only a few inches left on the first sock, and I've carefully worked out how to reverse the pattern on the second sock to make them more symmetrical (don't ask! I should never read blog comments on Ravelry). My only concern has been the fit. The Alpaca Sox yarn has a bit of nylon in it and is pretty stretchy. The Pomatomus pattern is basically a twisted rib variation, and is pretty stretchy. I've tried the sock on a couple of times and the leg is pretty slouchy.

Hmmm. I wonder why? Let's see, the pattern calls for US 5 needles. Doesn't that sound big for a sock? It did to me. Of course, consistent with my solemn oath after the sad demise of the Bunny Mitten, I have been swatching all of my projects. Size 5 needles gave me a gauge that was about 3x larger than called for. I swatched on 4s and was still above gauge. I swatched on 3s and got pretty close to gauge, so that's what I'm knitting with.

I knit pretty tight on DPNs, so I was kind of surprised to go down needle sizes. I usually go up. Hmmm. I wonder why?

Last night, I went to my local knitting group. As I was basking in the love for my sock and the yarn, there was some inquiry into the size needle I was using. Apparently, it looked larger than usual to some people. I agreed. It's normal to see 1s and 2s for socks in sock weight yarn. I pulled out the pattern and read it. "It says "5 US." I said. No one could believe it. They asked "Did you check the site for errata?" I did. "Haven't people complained that the sock runs too small?" Mine isn't small -- if anything it will be a bit large.

Later that night, Paulette, who I've now appointed my knitting guru, sent me an e-mail gently advising me that the pattern calls for US size 2 needles. She was so curious about the odd needle size that she looked up the pattern on Knitty when she got home.

This is what the pattern read: 1 set of 5 US #2/2.75mm double-point needles.

I must have read the pattern ten times and I saw "1 set of No. 5 US DPNs" Sadly, what it actually says is "1 set of five No. 2 US DPNs." No wonder the gauge was so off! And, true to form, I had to go up a needle size to get gauge. Unfortunately, as I've gone along on the sock, I think my gauge has gotten looser. Now I'm worried there will not be enough yarn for the second sock!

I've been struggling back and forth all morning -- frog it and start with smaller needles to get a better fit? Live with the slightly slouchy fit, since I'm halfway through the project? I think I'm going to live with what I have -- I don't have the intestinal fortitude to frog that entire pretty sock.

I will say this again -- Gauge is Good! I am so glad I swatched for this project. I don't even want to think about how crazy these socks would have looked on No. 5s!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Told Them I Couldn't Cook!

As most of you know, I do not cook. Over the almost 17 years of our marriage, Jim has done the majority of the cooking. Why? He likes to cook, he's good at it and it relaxes him.

From time to time, Jim tries to teach me to cook. His lessons consist of him telling me to do something and then criticizing my "technique." For example, he especially dislikes the way I use a whisk. I don't have the appropriate wrist action. He inevitably ends up taking everything away from me and doing it himself "the right way." Needless to say, after about 10 of these lessons, I learned to say "no, thanks!" when he offers to teach me to cook.

I like baking. Baking relaxes me. I like the way you combine a bunch of ingredients into one bowl, mix them together, put them in some type of baking implement and throw them into the oven. No fuss, no muss. The oven does all of the hard work -- I'm only responsible for getting the ingredients mixed and into the oven. I don't even have to pay attention to the oven because it has a timer that automatically lets me know when the baking is done! Cooking, on the other hand, requires one to do a lot of preparation, often in several different bowls and containers, and then hover over everything while you cook it on the stove. There may be continual stirring, or the adding of various ingredients at certain times, and the changing of heat levels. In cooking, the cook controls everything and must attend.

This rather lengthy treatise on cooking/baking is just a lead in to What Happened to Me Yesterday.

You see, we had about a pound of fish left over from my last trip to the fish market. Jim froze it and we agreed that it would be used to make a fish chowder. I adore fish chowder, especially my mom's version.

When my mom was in town a couple of weeks ago, I asked her to help me make chowder. I bought the ingredients, but somehow we never got around to making the chowder. So, on Monday I suggested that this would be a good week to make the chowder and Jim agreed.

On Tuesday morning, I called my mom and added all of the ingredients I needed for the chowder to my weekly grocery list. Then Jim said that I should start the chowder before he got home. He said he thought that would be easiest. I told him that I didn't think I would be able to make an edible chowder. Seriously, I knew there was the delicate cooking of a milk product involved, and that's just a recipe for disaster with me. Jim insisted that chowder was simple and I would be able to do it. "Just call your mom and ask her how she makes it!"

After the shopping was done, I called my mom. This is the recipe she gave me, based on the notes I took during our conversation:

Mom's Fish Chowder

Dice some potatoes and cook them separately. Cut up 1/2 of an onion and saute it in olive oil with 4-5 pieces of bacon cut up into small pieces. When you are done sauteing, make a roux (I have no idea how to spell that) with 2 tablespoons of flour and a cup of cold water. Add that into the bacon and onions and stir. Use low heat. When it thickens, add the potatoes, the fish and slowly add the milk and heavy cream so they don't curdle. Voila! Fish chowder! Easy peasy.

Right away, I had some questions.

Me: Do I saute in the frying pan?

Mom: No, I do mine in my Dutch oven.

Me: Do we have a Dutch oven?

Mom: Yes, the one I gave you.

Me: What does it look like?

Mom: The big metal pot with two handles.

This initial exchange should have warned my mother that I was already swimming beyond my depth with this recipe. Did she try and stop me? No.

I started the chowder at 4:45, figuring I would have plenty of time to get the ingredients together by 5:45, which is when I usually go to pick up the kids from school. I called my mom again:

Me: How big do you cut up the potatoes?

Mom: I dice mine.

Me: Like into little cubes?

Mom: Yes.

Me: Do I boil them in water or saute them?

Mom: Boil them, of course! (talking like I'm stupid, which I am about cooking).

Me: Okay. How long?

Mom: Geez, Wendy! You know how long! Boil them until they are soft.

Me: Okay.

I hung up and called Jim.

Me: Jim, how long do I boil potatoes?

Jim: How big are the pieces?

Me: I'm cubing them into little cubes.

Jim: I figure about 15 minutes. Test them to see if they are soft enough.

Me: Okay!

I hung up and began peeling the potatoes. Once they were peeled, I started to dice them. The first potato I cut flew off the counter and onto the floor. The second piece I cut did the same thing. I tried three different knives before I found one that seemed sharp enough to work. I put the potatoes in our big saucepan and started them to boil. So far, so good.

The next step was the onions and bacon. I decided to put in a whole oinion, because when I cut up half an onion it looked too small. While cutting the onion, my eyes started to sting. I reached up to wipe my eye with the back of the hand holding the knife and flung half an onion and a few small pieces stuck to the knife onto the floor.

My next step was to put the onions into the Dutch Oven (or the "big pot" as it is known to me) to saute them. I sprinkled in a bit of olive oil and turned the burner on medium. The oil started to smoke and sizzle almost immediately, so I threw in the onions and turned the heat down a bit. I let the onions saute while I went to cut up the bacon.

Now, please understand that I picked out some thinly cut, inexpensive bacon to use in this recipe. I grabbed what I thought was the package of bacon out of the fridge and pulled out a big, thick slab of bacon. It did not look like what I purchased, but I thought maybe I picked up the wrong thing. Again, I had to try out a couple of different knives to find one sharp enough to cut the bacon. Note to Jim: We need to sharpen all of our knives. It was slippery and difficult to cut, so my "small" pieces were kind of largish and thick. (I later realized that I was using the extra thick hickory bacon Jim bought, and not the run-of-the-mill cheap bacon I bought).

I checked on the onions. Somewhere in the recesses of my brain, I remembered that onions would look clear when they were done. I saw that the onions had been sauteing for 15 minutes with no apparent change, so I thought I should add more olive oil. I poured a generous helping in and then put in the bacon.

At first it smelled really good and I was excited. By this time, the potatoes were done and they looked fine. I had the frozen fish thawing in the microwave, and about 30 minutes left before I had to leave for the kids. Oddly, however, the bacon was not really getting crispy like it should, and was instead a series of pasty white blobs that looked disconcertingly like larvae. Also, the onions still weren't clear. I decided to put in another call to my mom.

Me: The onions and bacon aren't cooking. The bacon is just in big, floppy blobs!

Mom: How long have they been in the pan?

Me: About 30 minutes. Do you think I might have too much olive oil?

Mom: How much did you put in?

Me: About 1/2 cup.

Mom: That's way too much! You only need enough to coat the bottom of the pan until the bacon starts to melt. Take a few tablespoons out. (I followed her advice and took out about 5 tablespoons).

Me: Uh-oh, a black residue is forming on the bottom of the pan!

Mom: How high is the heat?

Me: It's on medium!

Mom: I don't know, that should be fine.

Me: It's getting worse -- it's a big burned mess.

Mom: Well, throw it out and try it again.

Me: (thinking to myself, not bloody likely!)

I got off the phone with my mom, shed a few tears and called Jim.

Me: (crying) I think my chowder is inedible. The onions and bacon are a black, smelly mess. Why did you think I could do something this complicated???

This is what my end result looked like:

When Jim got home, he assured me that the onions were just carmelized and that they smelled good. It was a sweet gesture, but I know he was lying. He admitted to me today that he and my mom had discussed the incident and agreed that a recipe involving a bunch of different techniques, like sauteing and a roux, was probably beyond my limited cooking capabilities.

The fish went back into the freezer and we mashed up the potatoes, which were perfectly boiled, by the way.

The 2 olives are STILL in the refrigerator, for those of you who might be wondering. I'm going to see how long they stay in there until Jim either (a) makes them into a sandwich (right) or (b) throws them away.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Now for the Cute and Funny

I like to balance out my posts with a good one about the kids after I bore you non-knitters with my knitting stuff, so here are some cute shots of Lily modeling the new sweater her Grandma Deeds made for her. One photo also features the matching purse (somewhat stretched out by the pounds of change she poured in there from her piggy bank). Also, it's hard to see, but she insisted on posing with two of her Barbies in a couple of the photos.

That was the cute, in case you couldn't tell.

This is the funny -- here are a few things that the kids said this week that I found amusing:

Lily, talking about how God filled up the rivers and ponds: "He must have used his mother's garden hose!"

Jack's stock response when asked about school: "I play with friends, I play with fun mag-a-nets, I play outside, I have 'nack, I play with fiahfucks." Translation: mag-a-nets = magnets, 'nack = snack and fiahfucks = firetrucks.

Jack, talking about an upcoming trip to North Carolina: "I go walk with Papa to the rainmoo. Papa show me the rainmoo." Rainmoo = windmill. Of course, Jim isn't going to North Carolina, and the "rainmoo" is actually at the home of Jack's other grandparents! He's a little confused. I doubt he remembers the last time he visited North Carolina, but he sure remembers the "rainmoo" in California!

Lily, explaining why she doesn't cry when I drop her at school now: "I don't have to cry if I don't want to." Too bad she didn't feel this way for the last six months.

Finally, time to make fun of myself a bit. Remember that one time that I complained about Jim? And his scraping of cream cheese and two olives? Remember how annoyed I was? Well, I guess I believe in karma because yesterday Jim had good reason to be annoyed with me. He called me at about 8:30 (shortly after he left the house) and asked me to put the steak tips in to marinade. The catch? I was supposed to look on the internet to find a recipe and make the marinade myself.

As some of you may be aware, I am not a good cook. In fact, I can barely make macaroni and cheese from a box. Baking? Love it. Cooking, on the other hand, usually leads to me setting something on fire. Anyway...I was not thrilled about having to find a recipe and put together a marinade, but I agreed to do it and hung up.

Within about 15 minutes I completely forgot about the conversation. I'd like to blame my heart medication or lack of sleep. One or both of them probably contributed to my forgetfulness. If I'm being brutally honest, however, I suspect there was some element of a subconscious passive-aggressive desire to forget about it! Either way, I did not give the matter a second thought until Jim arrived at home and told me he was going out to start the grill. I didn't even remember it when he mentioned the grill! Then he asked "Did you remember to marinate the steak tips?"

Oops. He seemed a little annoyed and he said with a sigh, "I suppose I can try to marinate them while the grill is getting ready." He did and they tasted great.

Later, as I was telling my mom about the incident, she told me you can marinate steak tips in Caesar dressing. Umm, that would have been easy, even for me! I mentioned it to Jim and he said with a tone of annoyance "I know, that's what I ended up marinating them in." Good to know. Perhaps he should have mentioned that option to me instead of suggesting that I hunt down a recipe and make marinade from scratch.

So, seeing it from Jim's perspective, he probably has even more reason to rant about me than I have about him. Although, I would like to mention that those two olives? They're still in the fridge and no one has made a sandwich out of them to date.

I'm a Block Head!

Seriously. I have been knitting for, what, 35 years and I never really blocked my projects! Well, that's not technically true. I have (sort of) steam blocked a few things in the past. It's all a part of my instant gratification attitude towards my knitting. You know, the one with the little voice that whispers in my ear "Why swatch? It'll be just fine without."

Well, that's all going to change from now on. Now that I have plenty of time to spend on making more complex projects with nice yarn, I'm willing to take a little more time on them. I've always said that when I knit, I'm more about the journey than the destination. Being on Ravelry, and featuring some of my projects on my blog for friends and family to see, however, has made me a little more conscious of how my projects end up. I'm still mostly about the journey, but I want the destination to be a nice place, you know?

So, on to my adventure with blocking. First, I read up on the process at a few different places. I got the best advice from Eunny Jang's blog (while you're there, check out her Print O' the Wave stole, which is currently on my needles). Then I read a couple of threads on Ravelry to figure out the best way to pin my project. A lot of people block on a guest bed or a carpeted floor. With the kids running about, I didn't think either of those options would work, so I ended up buy a cardboard presentation board from Joann Fabrics. It's the kind of thing a kid would use to show their project at a science fair, if you know what I mean. It was very inexpensive, it folds up, and it will be easy to stick pins into. Also, I can move it to a safe place when the kids are around.

I used a few binder clips to hold two plastic bags over the cardboard. For my current project, the Stag Bag, I didn't need a lot of surface area, so I used the cardboard folded up. The binder clips not only help the plastic stay in place, but they keep the board folded!

I used the enamel soaking/rinsing basin for my wool dyeing to soak the bag. Because I'm a dweeb, I documented it here:

Here are some shots of the bag pinned on the blocking board:

Isn't it pretty? My stranded color work looks so much better after blocking. There are still a few loose stitches in the graphic that make the stag picture look uneven, but I'm hoping to tighten them up a bit after the piece dries. I'm inordinately proud of this project, to the point that I made Jim come over and love on the bag for a bit. Yes, I actually forced him to compliment me on it for several minutes.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Just a Few Jackisms

As a preliminary matter, today was a much better day than yesterday. Jim is indeed still alive. He claims that he was planning to use the TWO olives in a sandwich. Right.

Anyway, it was beautiful outside today and the kids had a lot of fun playing outdoors. We had popcorn for a snack, and I noticed Jack continues to refer to it as "Cockcorn." I thought it might be time for a list of the latest Jackisms.

A Peeter: Computer.

A zeeyum: Museum.

Book Man: Butcher (man).

Gwapes: Grapes.

Cop-too: Helicopter. See also Heh-cockter.

Cockcorn: Popcorn. A favorite snack.

Dig-ooh: Digger, one of Jack's favorite construction vehicles.

Heh-cockter: Helicopter. See also Cop-too.

Hi, Doo doo: Jack's way of saying "hey, dude." It morphed from his initial "hi, dude!"

Jan Fwandich: Jam sandwich, Jack's lunch preference.

Manana: Banana.

More-tayto: Tornado. Said as Jack spins wildly in a circle, chanting "More-tayto, More-tayto, More-tayto!" Not to be confused with Tayto or MyTayto (see below).

MyTayto: Matteo, a little boy in Jack's preschool class.

Panpake: Pancake, Jack's favorite breakfast. Often paired with the word "house" thusly "Panpake House" to indicate he would like to go to IHOP.

PIE-at Booties: Pirate Booty, a favorite snack food.

RAD-doo: Used interchangeably to mean radio or radiator.

Stick Toes: French Toast Sticks, another preferred breakfast. A bastardized form of "French Stick Toast," which is what Lily calls them.

Tayto: Mr. Potato Head.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Just So I Don't Kill Him

I try very hard to make this blog about me and the kids, with the occasional funny story about Jim. I think I've followed that rule pretty successfully up until now. Today, I am going to rant just a bit.

It has not been a fun morning in our household. The kids are peevish from lack of sleep (all four of us were in one bed last night). I'm peevish from lack of sleep. As a result, when the kids wanted to play in Lily's room, I was happy to let them go. And then...silence. I am angry with myself for not checking out the cause of the silence immediately, because I should know better. Sadly, I continued to update my blog widgets and peruse patterns on Ravelry. After about 10 minutes, however, I thought it behooved me to check on them.

They were not in Lily's bedroom. They had decided it would be more fun to play upstairs in my room and Jack's room. I called up the stairs and asked what they were doing. Lily said "We'll be right down, Mom. C'mon, Jack."

Those words sent chills down my spine. I practically sprang from the first floor to the second in a single bound. The upstairs was messy. The kids had pulled out a lot of Jack's stuffed animals and a few of Lily's, and they were lying around the room like casualties on a battle field. All of the pillows were on the floor, and there were several long pieces of what looked like accordian pleated plastic wrap lying around. Annoying, but a mess is easy to clean.

And then, there was the smell. A fruity smell. I asked Lily what the smell was and she said "We just washed our hands with some soap."

Me: "What soap?"

Lily: "I'll go put it away."

Me: "What soap are you talking about?"

Lily: "The shampoo soap you bought yesterday." She ran off and came back with the bottle of shampoo, now more than a quarter empty. I lectured her and told both kids to pick up the mess and get downstairs. I went down and put the shampoo in the cabinet. Where it belongs. Where the kids can't reach it. Where Jim failed to store it last night after bath time.

And...I noticed the brand new bottle of Mr. Bubble Bubble Bath was missing. Again, I sprang like a gazelle up the stairs and looked wildly around. I noticed nothing unusual, so I begin to interrogate the kids.

Me: "Where is the bubble bath? Did you take that, too?"

Lily: "I decided to hide it."

Me: "Where?"

Lily: "I'm a very curious child." Giggle, giggle, giggle.

Me: "Where. Is. The. Bubble. Bath."

Lily: "I used some to wash my stuffed animals."

Me: "Did you use it all? Where is it?"

Lily: "There's a little left."


Lily: "Here it is." She had hidden it in the drawer under Jack's crib. It was partially open and lying in a cardboard box.

The cardboard box was drenched with soap. Upon closer inspection, there were several animals and pillows drenched with soap as well. The bubble bath? That I bought yesterday and we used once last night? Empty. Because Jim failed to put it in the cabinet, where it belongs and where the kids can't reach it.

Now, I know I share the blame, because I should have immediately looked for the kids when everything went silent. Silence = Very Bad. But I have more, oh so much more to rant about.

I was annoyed by the shampoo/bubble bath lollapalooza, but, mindful of my own contribution, I managed to remain calm. I hauled the kids downstairs so that I could keep them under constant surveillance, and went into the kitchen to make some breakfast for myself. I opened the refrigerator and grabbed some bagels and then looked for the cream cheese.

When I opened it, this is what I found:

That's right, there is barely enough cream cheese to cover half a bagel, never mind two entire halves. Someone had replaced a near-empty container of cream cheese in the refrigerator. Up high. On a shelf that our children cannot reach. I know it wasn't me.

I was also treated to this lovely vision after I moved the cream cheese container:

Doesn't it just make you crave a banana? And right next to that, I noticed a second container. I opened it and this is what I saw:

Yes. Jim made pizza two nights ago and decided he Just. Couldn't. slice up the last TWO olives and put them on the pizza. I guess he figured it was more important to save those two olives by shoving them into the back of the refrigerator in their container. Since neither of us drink martinis, I am not certain what he believed we would do with these two olives. Maybe they would be serve as an amuse bouche? A little midnight snack?

The little seed of annoyance sprouted into a small sapling of rage. That is when I decided to write about it in order to avoid pelting Jim with the two olives and rotting banana when he walked in the door. Mission barely accomplished.

Epilogue: While I was writing this post, Lily took her brother into the kitchen with her where she told me she was getting a drink. In fact, she removed the bubble bath container from the trash, squirted the last few drops into Jim's partially filled orange juice glass from this morning, added a dash of water and gave it to Jack with a straw in it. He, of course, took a big sip. Apparently, bubble bath doesn't taste so good, and makes you drool and gag bubbles. He had his revenge, though. Lily let him go with her to water her lettuce seedling later on and he threw the little pot to the ground, where it broke into a million pieces and splattered dirt everywhere.

I can't believe it's only 2:27 pm.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My Kids, Let Me Show You Them

Jack, eating an apple in his pajamas and winter hat.

Jack, reading Curious George, his current favorite, tied with Richard Scarry's book about vehicles. He has hot cocoa around his mouth.

Jack, so pleased to be sitting with Papa!

How could the child that put together this highly coordinated outfit (black tights, pink skirt and white t-shirt all match colors in the fleece top) put together the outfit below?

I personally enjoy the way the pattern on the tights clashes with the pattern on the skirt.

My pretty, cocoa-smeared girl!

Eeeeek! What's Under My Couch This Week?

My mom commented to me the other day that I hadn't posted about what was under my couch in several weeks. Four, to be exact. This is what I found today:

Unbelievable. The list is so overwhelming I almost don't want to post it. Here it is:

Magnetic pen
Fire truck ladder
4 children's books
2 magnetic fish
2 small firetrucks
Frog pull toy
1 glass
3 sippy cups (empty, thank goodness!)
21 items belonging to the Littlest Pet Shop
Word Bus game board
Jewelry box drawer
1 pair of socks, 2 other, non-matching socks
Pajama top
1 of Jack's navy blue crocs
1 of Jack's brown shoes
Yellow plastic ball
Orange rubber ball
Plastic bread roll
Spinner ball from a baby toy
2 accessories for Mr. Potato Head
Jesus action figure
Small plush dog
2 pair sunglasses
Toy drill
2 construction vehicles
Jack's hard hat
Jack's "guy"
Small magnetic drawing board
Scotch tape
10 Lite Brite bulbs
2 non-matching Polly Pocket shoes
2 Hot Wheels
Wooden box lid
Plastic screw
Large Lego piece
3 coloring/activity books
Toy spoon
Gold Mardi Gras beads
Kitchen magnet
Magnetic doll's outfit
Plastic Tepee from Lincoln Logs
Metal tin
Cat ears
3 hair elastics
Plastic dinosaur
Multicolored rubber ball
2 pencils
Polly Pocket "Belle" doll
Ratchet tool
Plastic Mickey Mouse straw
Ambulance stamper
3 Caribou game cards
Baby teething ring
1 Crayon
1 pen
Plastic shade pull
Nail clippers

This is what it looked like when I was finished:

In other news, I found $2.18 in house change today. I'm saving up to buy some yarn!