Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What's for dinner?

Tonight we went out to dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Eliza Claire
split dinner with Grandma. They had a dish Eliza Claire had not had
before. After dinner Michael asked her how she liked it.

M: Did you like what you had for dinner?

EC: Yes.

M: Do you know what they were called?

EC: yes, Special!

Eliza Claire and Grandma had shared the night's special - chicken and
green chile flautas. I'm guessing flautas will forever be known as
specials around Mayhem Mania.


Friday, February 12, 2010

A Cici and a Grandma

Driving home from school, we were talking about the number of letters each family member had in their name. Ruby was thrilled to learn that her full name had more letters than Eliza Claire's but devastated when she learned that Charlotte had the longest name in the family. I told her that when she got married she might have a longer last name and end up with a longer name than Charlotte. Yes, I'm assuming she will get married, take her spouse's last name or hyphenate. No, I should not make all those assumptions, but they are three and we have plenty of time to get into all of those scenarios.

During this conversation

Eliza Claire: I'm gonna be close by.

Me: Do you mean when you grow up you are going to live close to Mommy?

EC: Yes!

Me: Oh, I'm so glad, Mommy would be really sad if you lived way far away. If you are close by I'll get to see you often. But if you did decide to live far away I would come visit you lots.

Ruby: Then you would be the Cici! I'm going to live way far away so you can be the Cici!

Me: So Eliza Claire does that mean I'm going to be the Grandma for your family?

EC: Yep.

So there you have it. Why does it not surprise me that Ruby plans to live far away and Eliza Claire close by?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Moment to Savor

Tonight after dinner, all four kids were playing and laughing in Rehm's room. I looked at Micheal and said, "I just love it when they all..." I was going to finish that sentence with something like "have fun together," "get along," etc. but didn't get to finish my sentiment because Rehm loudly declared, "everybody shoot Charlotte!" At that point I just slumped in defeat.

I hope at some point Rehm decides to like his sister and quits finding every possible opportunity to make sure she knows how much he doesn't like her. I know a lot of it is just for show and just because he thinks he is supposed to not like her but it sure gets old.

It is amazing just how fleeting those "savorable" moments are.


PS Just to clarify, the twins had gotten some penguin happy meal toy that shot little plastic arrows today. That is what they were shooting their sister with.

Sweet Sisters

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Random Conversations with the Children

Driving to choir:

Rehm: Mommy, I really feel bad!

Me: So, what is hurting you?

Rehm: My feelings.


Also driving to choir. I had asked the kids to play the quiet game
because they had all been a bit on the whiney side for the last hour.
After declaring Eliza Claire the winner, Ruby starts crying.

Ruby: Mommy, I wanted to win the game! I never win!

Me: Well Ruby, you said you didn't want to play the game and you can
not win if you don't play.

Ruby: I want to play a different game! I want to play the talking game!

Ah, a girl who knows her strenghts and weaknesses.


In the car going to the grocery store Ruby was making up songs all of
which referred to Eliza Claire as "Little Girl." Last time I checked
they were the same age...


Even people you love sometimes let you down

When going to Sunday school this week, the kids stopped and commented on the mural* in the entry of the Children's floor. Charlotte commented on the horses and kept walking, Eliza Claire commented on the crocodiles to which Ruby responded that "they could be lizards" and skipped off. Eliza Claire paused and looked at the mural for a few more seconds and then is a very disappointed and slightly disgusted tone sighed to herself, "Ruuubby" then shook her head and walked into Sunday school.


*This part of the mural is only one of six sections. The mural was originally part of our old children's building that was torn down to make room for our new Fellowship and Education Building. Prior to tearing down the building, they cut out sections of the mural and preserved them. Seeing just this one small part is a bit out of context, thus the explanation.

A little out of date

I was looking through the list of blogging ideas I keep on my phone and noticed a note about a Rubyism I never posted at Christmas.

She wanted to know when Mary and Joseph would get to Buffalo. To start with I thought she was asking if they were riding a buffalo and told her they were riding a donkey. When she explained that she wasn't talking about what they were riding but where the were going, I asked her if she meant Bethlehem. I think her response was something along the lines of, "whatever!"

Buffalo, Bethlehem, I can see how you would get those two confused...

I just love the three year old stage, well except for the stubbornness and fit pitching...

How Did She Manage This?

Someone ran into the door knob yesterday. The bruise actually looks
worse in person. Could someone please explain to me how you run into a
door knob?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Best Nightlight/ Flashlight Ever

Santa was nice enough to bring these cute lady bug nightlight/flashlights for Ruby and Eliza Claire.

The leaf has a cord that plugs into the wall. The bug sits on the leaf. There is a light sensor on the system and it only lights up when the room is dark. When the bug is taken off the leaf it becomes a very bright flashlight. The flashlight will work for four hours before it needs to be recharged.

I was so tired of finding flashlights laying on the floor turned on, changing batteries in flashlights, and changing light bulbs in traditional nightlights. Now I don't have to. The girls almost always know exactly where their flashlights are, they always have a nightlight and their flashlights always work.

Santa found these at Lowes, the hardware store, not the grocery store. They were approximately $15. According to the package there is also a rocket version for the boys out there - our Lowes did not have the rocket.

Far, Far Away

Ruby and Eliza Claire were discussing what to take for Show and Tell this week. Eliza Claire decided to take her ki-TAR (guitar) and Ruby decided to take her merlion.

Ruby: I'm going to take my merlion that Daddy brought me!

Me: That is a great idea. Do you remember where Daddy got your merlion?

Ruby: Ummm

Me: He got it when he went somewhere way far away...

Eliza Claire: I know! He got it at Home Depot!

Me: No, it was a bit further away than that.

Ruby: I know, it was Toys R Us!

After I stopped laughing I reminded them that it came from Singapore (or Soon-a-pork as Charlotte still calls it). I guess I shouldn't expect them to know that since they were under a year old when Michael took that trip.

This is the small merlion, for some reason Michael doesn't have any pictures of the large one, even though he climbed up it.

In case you are wondering a merlion is half lion and half fish. It appears that is was created solely as a tourist attraction. Obviously it worked as I now have two stuffed ones in my house.


Monday, February 08, 2010

Scarring my Children for Life?

It is hard to see in this picture, but each of the numbers on this clock is a different color.

One night recently Eliza Claire came into my room at 1:22 am sobbing. Her problem, her clock had fallen off her night stand and "broken" and now she didn't know what time it was. She "needed" to know what time it was! I had to get up dig the clock out from under the nightstand, pop the battery cover back on, and set it where she could see it again. Then she was happy to go back to sleep.

So why is a three year old so obsessed with time? Well, because her parents are very schedule and rule oriented. Eliza Claire is not allowed to leave her room in the morning until there is a green seven. If she can't see her clock, she doesn't know when there is a green seven. If she doesn't know when there is a green seven she can not leave her room. This is a problem as Eliza Claire does not want to be in her room forever.

A day or two after this happened I heard her talking about the time again and was once more reminded of how unusual it is to have a time conscious three year old.

I truly hope I am not scarring her for life, hopefully she will just always be a punctual individual.

PS. Target carries this clock the numbers are red, green, red and yellow. This is the perfect clock for young children as they don't have to remember which number is the hour number, they just have to be able to recognize the color and one number, for us the green seven. A yellow seven does not work, only a green one.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Kindle Review

Michael surprised me at Christmas with a Kindle. It really was not even on my radar screen. I love to read, but typically get all my books from the library so it had not occurred to me to want a Kindle. Having said that it was a very pleasant surprise. One that I have already grown to love.

The Kindle does not come with any kind of case, nor is it back lit. So the very first thing I did was spend several hours looking at my cover and light choices to go with it. Yes, I really did spend hours. I tend to totally over think decisions like this. It used to drive my mother crazy and now drives my husband crazy. I like to know I've explored all my options and made a very educated choice. I ended up ordering a leather M-Edge cover and an M-Edge light. I went with this brand because they make a pocket on several of their covers that their light slips into so that it is stored in the cover and doesn't have to be kept up with separately. I felt that I should order a nice sedate brown or black leather case but in the end my love for chartreuse won and I have to say I have not regretted that decision at all.


Notice the book light down the spine of the case

Light up and on

So far I have read four books on the Kindle. The first was an 800+ page novel. The next two were free Kindle books. There seem to be a couple of new free books each week. Then I bought another book last week. I figure if I only pay for about half the books and don't by new releases, my reading habit won't be too expensive.

I traveled for work while reading the first book and was so glad to be carrying the Kindle than the mammoth book. It was very handy to have the book light for reading in the hotel room as I was sharing it with my co-workers. I even found that I liked not having to worry about the sound of turning pages keeping others awake. It also led to me meeting one of the members of the band Go Fish, something that would not have happened without my Kindle handy.

I like the size and convenience of the Kindle. It fits in my purse and weighs a little over a pound (with cover and book light). It doesn't matter if I have 1 book or 20 with me it weighs the same. I don't have to worry about having the right book with me when I leave the house because I have them all available. If I forget my Kindle, I can read any of my Kindle books on my Kindle app for my Iphone. I don't like reading on the Iphone as much as the Kindle but in a pinch it works. I like that anytime, anywhere I am about one minute away from a new book. The Kindle wirelessly connects to amazon for quick and easy browsing and purchasing of books.

I have always been an avid reader, easily reading a book or more a week when I have them available. For the last few years my biggest barrier to reading is finding time to go to the library to get books. Taking four children through the adult stacks with me doesn't work very well as keeping them library quiet is near impossible. Going without them and before the library closes also proves difficult. So having books available has gotten more difficult. This has led to buying books at Sam's or where ever I might be that I could quickly grab one while running other errands. Of course, my choices have been more limited and I have reverted to paying for books. If I'm going to pay for books having the Kindle makes more sense as I can buy what I want at anytime without having impatient children in tow. I never have to be without a book. That makes me a very happy person.

I wish the Kindle was back lit as that would negate the need for a book light. Having an Iphone I keep trying to make the Kindle a touch screen, sadly it is not. The selection of books for the kindle is pretty good. I have found a couple of authors who have series I want to read that only some of the series is available for the Kindle. This is a bit frustrating when I've read the first book in the series, on the Kindle, and the next one available is book three of four.

Oh one other really great thing about the Kindle is the battery life. If you turn off the wireless, the battery will last me for 3+ weeks on a single charge of reading at least an hour each day.

Overall, I'm really glad to have the Kindle. It is not something I would have ever bought for myself but I do enjoy it. It was the perfect gift for me given my love of reading and one I'll use for years to come.


Friday, February 05, 2010

Popcorn in a Paper Bag

Did you know that you can make microwave popcorn in a paper bag? I stumbled upon this Alton Brown recipe several months ago but had not tried it. Last week for the elementary mid week programming we were doing a snack involving popcorn so we decided to assemble microwave popcorn with the kids. They thought it was a very novel concept. Oh, we left the oil and jalapeno seasoning out of theirs.

I did a couple of test batches at home. It works great but you really need to take it out when there are two seconds between pops. If you don't use oil, the salt doesn't stick so it is pretty bland. I found a few sprays of butter flavored pam and shaking the popped corn in the bag did the trick. The staples did just fine in the microwave and did not make any sparks.

I would like to try using some different flavored oil or adding some seasoning like ranch dressing mix or Parmesan cheese to the bag prior to popping. This is definitely a cheaper and healthier way to make microwave popcorn and the possibilities are endless.

All I ask is that to show your gratitude for my money saving tip, you forget all about it when it is time for the boy scouts to sell popcorn in the fall. I know a scout who would be very sad if I was the reason he wasn't getting any popcorn sales.


Microwave Pop Corn
1/4 cup popping corn
1/4 teaspoon of popcorn salt or kosher salt
1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil or flavored oil or popcorn oil, you get the idea - clarified butter would also work

Put all ingredients in a brown paper lunch sack. Fold over twice and staple twice. Shake bag to distributed seasonings and oil. Place on top of a couple of paper towels in the microwave. Microwave for 2-3 minutes until there are two seconds between pops. Shake bag again and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Someone decided to cut her hair a few weeks ago. I finally got around
to evening it out. She looks awfully cute!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Phineas and Isabella

I just found this post. I wrote it the first week of December, about two weeks after bring the cats home.

Phineas and Isabella are doing great! Everyone is adjusting to each other and it seems to be going well. We are sporting fewer scratches theses days. They are hissing at Howdy less and are venturing out of the master bedroom with much more frequency. In fact, we are finally letting them roam the whole house even when we aren't home and with the dog in. That is huge progress.

They look a lot alike. It takes more than a glance to know who is who. The day we picked them up from the shelter, the person there got confused and told us that Ryka was the male and Asicis was the female. We knew that Ryka had the white hind leg and that Asicis had the darker stripes. So we put a collar on what we thought was the male and off we went. Ryka with the white hind leg became Phineas and Asicis with the darker stripes became Isabella. A week later, when reviewing their paperwork to take to the vet, I realized that the shelter lady had them backwards. So then it switched and Phineas had darker stripes and Isabella had the white hind leg. We were all so confused by this point that all of the children just started calling them both "Cat!" And honestly, I was really still not 100 percent sure who was actually who.

I was embarrassed to ask the vet to tell me which cat was which gender. I grew up on a farm, I felt I should be able to figure this out for myself! However, after the vet tech said she hated trying to determine gender on a cat and I watched what she had to do to determine it, I no longer felt stupid at all. The good news is we were right! And now everyone is starting to be able to tell the cats apart with some confidence.

They are really sweet cats, for the most part. Phineas is more outgoing and Isabella is a bit skittish. They both like to sleep between Michael and I in the bed. Isabella is determined to get on the kitchen counter and try to eat anything she can find there. This morning she got a good squirt of water in the face for her efforts. She hid for 30 minutes. Isabella is a mouser, she loves all the little mouse toys throughout the house and loves to play fetch with them. Isabella also snores! Luckily it is a cute snore and not a loud annoying snore.

Phineas is more likely to try to scratch the furniture and drink out of the bathroom sink while I try to wash my face. Phineas is a birder and attacks anything with feathers on it.

Both cats are determined to drink out of the water glass I leave by my bed - I've resorted to covering it with a rubbermaid container so they can't get into it. Unfortunately they have learned how to flip the rubbermaid off and then proceed to knock the cup on the floor, making a big mess. I've now resorted to a cup with a lid and the straw and I have now found teeth marks on the straw! Crazy cats!

Charlotte can not see one of the cats without immediately needing to pick it up. It does not matter what the cat happens to be doing at the moment, if she sees it she is going to carry it around until it scratches its way free. Charlotte then wants sympathy for all of the scratches she incurs, unfortunately her mother has none.

It is good to have cats in the house again. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed them.


Monday, February 01, 2010

Eliza Claire on being a Grown Up

Eliza Claire informed me this morning that she is going to have six babies when she is a Mommy. When she drops all six off at school, she will go to work for a little bit. Then she stopped and sighed and said “But I have to marry a boy before I can do all of that!”

At least she understands the proper order of things...