Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Updates

This month has actually flown by, and I don't usually say that about February. (Doesn't February always feel like the longest month ever? And it's the shortest. But the grayest. So maybe it makes sense.)
Anyway, I thought I'd just quickly do a child-by-child update.
Last week, I was working in the kitchen one afternoon and when I looked up at the clock, I was horrified to see that it was after 3:00 and Olivia still had not gotten off the bus. Just as I had reached the decision to go into panic mode, in she walked, with a very pleased smile on her face.
"I made a snow bug," she informed me.
"Oh good," I said, returning to my counter-wiping.
"Come see it," she said.
"I will later, " I shrugged, in my usual I'm-a-busy-mom tone. I was expecting a snowball-sized bug on the porch. Or a hand-sized bug on the driveway. I was honestly surprised when I actually paid attention to what she was saying (ahem. . . two hours later), and found this in the front yard. (He's actually bigger than he looks.)She explained by saying, "First, I was trying to walk around like a penguin with a snowball egg on my feet, but then I decided I could turn my snowball into a snowman." Indeed. "And then I couldn't make a hat out of snow, so I gave him antlers [antennae]."
Can you see how his eyes are little snowballs?
Last week, we had a few friends over for a meeting. The kids headed upstairs, and as we ladies chatted it up, I heard Naomi's first scream for the morning. As she can really be referred to as "the girl who cried wolf", I ignored her, figuring she couldn't get the closet open or something. When she came down the stairs, looking sheepish, at first I didn't notice this:

But then she confessed that she had gotten stuck under the crib, with her hair caught in the springs (is there anyone who hasn't had this happen? Ouch!), and when her screaming didn't lead to rescue, she asked her friend to go get some scissors. He was delighted to oblige, and when he returned, she cut herself free. I thought, at first, that we were going to be living with "Alfalfette" for a couple months, but it lays down nicely after a good spray with the squirt bottle. I think it's her best haircut yet.

She talks! And gestures! And (not coincidentally) the tantrums have reduced themselves considerably. I remember why I start liking my kids again right around the time they turn 18 months. (Mom, that was a little joke. I always love my kids. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Because I might be a celebrity someday. . .

. . . I would like to use today's post to showcase my skills as a celebrity endorser. (I think there's actually a word for that, but I can't remember it right now.) Now, as I have not heretofore demonstrated my knack for endorsement, I am not actually being paid by any of these companies to be their shill, but just you wait. I can almost hear the money rolling in now.

First, I would like to endorse Suave Rosemary & Mint Shampoo. (I tried to find a link and/or photo for you all, but . . . sorry.) This stuff makes me feel like I have a mini Aveda salon in my personal shower--all at Suave prices. The smell is seriously amazing. Considering that my hair is quite short, my shampoo standards consist of 1)cleans my hair and 2) smells good. Requirement #1 is filled competently, and I have no complaints. Requirement #2 surpasses any expectations I had. Try it.

Second, I would like to endorse this recipe for Yogurt Parmesan Chicken (posted on the Anderson Ladies Recipe blog, which I also endorse. I'm telling you, my brothers all married excellent cooks. Everything I've tried from that blog is deeee-licious.) I got this recipe at a church recipe swap from Stacy Andrew, but apparently it originates with Nadine Bailey. It's easy and delicious. It feeds the missionaries beautifully, my kids love it (they'll even eat the sauce, and that's saying something), and it's one of those meals that feels almost fancy. (Maybe it's because I always put the lime sauce on the table in one of my wedding china cream jugs. That's probably it.)

I also am putting in a ringing endorsement for the sunshine we've seen today. I recognize that I'm starved for sunshine in the winter, but I don't think I realize how starved I am until we get a day where the sky is blue and the sun shines down and streams through the windows and I can't tear myself away from the couch in the living room, which gets the perfect bright patch, right in the middle. (Whew! That was a long sentence.) Even sitting in front of the computer, I'm getting warmed across the shoulders. I love it. And I'm drinking it in, because I know it's going to be gone tomorrow.

Also, I'm talking about Girl Scout Thin Mints, but do those really need a celebrity endorsement? I mean, they've already got all those cute little girls going door-to-door.

Oh--and really this should have been first, Neo-Citran. This is some sort of Canadian wonder-drug (thank you, Kelly Galbraith!), and it's fantastic. It's the reason I can smell that Yogurt Chicken and those delicious Thin Mints. It's also responsible for the wonderful two nights of sleep I've had recently. I was beginning to think my silly little head-cold was never going away, but this stuff--this stuff showed it the door. Next trip any of you take over the border, pick me up a year's supply of it, okay? (What I don't endorse: the taste. Yuck. And I also don't endorse using it more than an hour before bedtime, unless you love the idea of your children running amok with no conscious parental supervision.)

What do you endorse?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nacho Libre

Olivia's school had a Family Movie Day on Saturday.  For $1.00 per person, everyone could come to a neighborhood church, have all-you-can-eat popcorn and all-you-can-drink lemonade, and watch "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", which we had never seen.  I was hoping John would be home in time to go with us, but planned on venturing alone, since that hope is usually vain.
I was planning on the popcorn and lemonade being enough to pacify the ferocious Annabel.  She is at the capricious age where excursions in public are dicey, but food is always welcome.  And it worked, for the 15 minutes before the movie started and the first 20 minutes (which is actually a miracle).  Then she tipped over Mimi's lemonade and became more interested in dumping out the popcorn onto Olivia's blanket then actually eating the popcorn herself.
So she and I removed ourselves to the hall.  I am no stranger to wandering the halls of a church with a wild child, and we worked quite a rhythm of peek-a-boo and high-fives.  But then she became determined to run only on the hard entryway tile, and after her third fall (and subsequent sobs), I decided we would brave the movie room again.
And it worked.  The popcorn and drinks were again a novelty.  She recognized her jacket, and wanted it back on.  Then she recognized her sister's coat and wanted that on as well.  She wandered around, patting our various neighbors on the head and smiling in their faces, happy as a clam in her two coats.  Then I think she got hot.  So she wanted Olivia's coat off.  Then her own jacket off.  Then, in the spirit of continuing what's working, she wanted her dress off.
I had some concerns about this (obviously).  This particular dress snaps all the way down the front, and she always refers to it as a "dat" (jacket), so I could see her reasoning, but I don't usually let my kids strip in public.
Her yelps, however, were drawing attention, and I decided to cave, figuring that it was dark and she's a baby. So, she removed her dress.  This is a recreation of what she was wearing underneath.

Leg warmers--check!
Favorite shoes--check!
Round little tummy--check!
Grimace--check!  (My brothers call this face "chompers").

Does she not look like a mini Nacho Libre?  I feel like she should be talking about stretchy pants.

For the rest of the movie, I waged epic battle with Nacho.  She desperately wanted Olivia's friend's pillow and Naomi's lemonade, and just as desperately, although unconsciously, a long afternoon nap. 

I lost.  She came out of Family Movie Day looking fresh as a wrestling daisy, after being re-robed.  I came out pale, sweating, and exhausted.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wacky Wednesday

At preschool today was Wacky Wednesday.  One little girl in Mimi's class was talking about how she was going to be the most beautiful on Wednesday because she was going to wear her Ariel dress.  Of course, that put Mimi in a tizzy because she doesn't ever want to miss out on any opportunity to be "beautiful".  I could have just let her wear one of our dress-ups, but I decided to push for something different because:
1)  Mimi really does need to learn that not everything is about "beautiful."  There are so few opportunities to really just be silly that it seems a shame to miss one.
2)  I AM SICK OF PRINCESSES!  (Maybe that should be #1?)

So, with some help (but no arguments, I'm proud to say), Naomi arrived at this ensemble.  It is comprised of so many of her favorite things.
Leggings (pants that actually stay on her mini-bum)
Boots ("These are kind of wacky because they're BROWN, Mom."  But not so wacky that they aren't worn every single waking moment.)
Pink shirt (self-explanatory)
Swimsuit (She tries to convince me three or four times a week that a swimsuit is easily substituted for other pieces of clothing, like a shirt, or underwear, or pajamas.  Her argument is always rejected, so her triumph is complete today.)

We had concerns about the hair.  It needed to be "wacky", but not "ugly."  We went through almost every design on Hair Today this morning before she decided on this option.  I thought at first that maybe it wouldn't be crazy enough for her teachers to notice that she has wacky hair (that could be cause for tears, with this child), but since she usually orders "Rapunzel" (one long braid), "Little Red Riding Hood" (two long braids), or "Belle" (one half-back ponytail) when I do her hair in the morning, this should be different enough.  And if it's not--oh well.

Hope you all have a great Wacky Wednesday.  Tune in tomorrow for the epic tale of Mini Nacho.  (Seen above in the pink pajamas.)

Edited to add:  I just actually looked at the pictures I took earlier, and I was horrified to discover that my youngest child looks just like an orphan.  Much more orphan-y than those orphans from the Bolivia orphanage, actually.  Let me just say that she did eventually get dressed today.  And her hair was combed and her nose wiped.  Wiped a million times honestly, but it probably looks just that snotty right now, 'cause a mom just can't compete with the mucus production of a toddler.)