Tuesday, December 29, 2009

bah humbug: part deux

such good comments. thanks ladies and fellow. i have continued to think about this as the christmas season has gone on. i don't think there can be any one, big answer. every family has to do what works for them. i think the key though is to really put thought into it so that the things that we choose to do as a family have meaning and then weed out the things that aren't important-the extra STUFF of it all. really, i think this is the key with all parts of life. so often we get caught up in the things/stuff we should do/need, when really, it just adds more stress to our lives. conscious simplicity-that's my goal for my family.

the santa comments were interesting. on the flip side of what you said michelle, i know someone who, once they found out santa/easter bunny/tooth fairy(the triad) weren't real, started to question whether God and guardian angels where real. something to think about, or at least think about how much emphasis we put on those things. i think i will stick to doing st. nick's day. i always wished we did that as a kid and think it's fun to use shoes as a gift receptacle. and maybe put unwrapped candy in them to see if my boys would still eat it ; ) (who am i kidding-they totally would!!)

even though i think we'll go along with the idea of the triad, we won't really play it up. maybe just read stories about them and then when they ask, just reference the story. no big shenanigans to draw it out. that way when our kids find out, it won't be a big deal. we'll just tell them that we did it because we love them and wanted something special for them. and then keep doing it even after they know to reaffirm that love through the effort. it wasn't a big deal for me when i found out, but then again, i was five. i like to think my figuring it out is a sign of great intelligence. or suspicion of everything and paranoia.

we honestly haven't given the boys christmas presents ever because we haven't been home and i give all my good present ideas to other family members who want to get them gifts. but i think next year we'll change that because ben will be old enough. i think it would be cool to do our little family celebration of the feast of the Holy Family or wait until the Epiphany, because that is, after all, when baby J got his presents. (waiting all the way till january to open presents for us probably isn't very realistic. we are notorious impatient, early present openers. i intentionally waited until two days before christmas to get tim's present so i wouldn't give it early.)

i like the simplicity of the three gift idea. my cousin gives her boys each three presents: a book, a clothing item, and a toy-easy shopping for her and reasonable expectations for them. my sister has simplified further with one gift per child. granted, that's from their parents. they still get plenty of toys from other family members. if we do in fact get to celebrate our little Family Day on the feast of the Holy Family (and i think we will!) it would be nice to get gifts that would bring us closer together as a family-art supplies, family movies, board games, sports equipment, etc.

oh, i really like how this is taking shape! we WILL win back the holiday season! as always, thanks for your wonderful comments and ideas.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

bah humbug

*** i tried. i really, really tried to write a post about my feeling about christmas. below lies the ramblings of what i just couldn't completely draw out of my brain and vocalize. i have weird feelings about christmas. if you dare read below, you will see that. (or you will just see that i'm weird and be amazed that i've ever put together a coherent post considering how swirly my brain is.) because i want my time of trying to vocalize all this to not be a waste, and to make this productive, this is what i do know about christmas-time next year.

-we are going to celebrate a real advent. we are really going to prepare our hearts and minds. (ha. that will be interesting. "gosh darn it ben and max! you guys better shape up and prepare your hearts, or else...!!!)
-we are going to simplify gift-giving even more than our pretty pared down list.
-i will put my foot down and limit our holiday appearances.
-we fill focus our time and energy on family time and leisure. i'm sure tim can help me with the leisure part.

so read the rest if you want. but it might give you a headache.

i've been wanting to post, but it seems almost sacrilegious to not post about christmas when it's christmas time, and i really don't have a lot to say about christmas, or at least not things that wouldn't earn me dirty looks.

don't get me wrong, i think Christ's birth was a totally awesome thing for which i'm very thankful, and i enjoy how the holiday brings out the best in many people, but i really dislike what christmas from a consumer standpoint has come to mean. i really dislike the expectations, the stuff, and the hectic hustle of it all.

i know most of my feeling are my own fault, but they are still my feelings.

i miss the anticipation of christmas. as a kid my mom always did a wonderful job of decorating the house. (she still does and my boys LOVE looking at her decorations.) i don't decorate much because i 1.) don't want to spend money on decorations, 2.) don't like unpacking, repacking, and finding storage space for decorations, 3.) i'm lazy. each year i get a little better about it, but it's been a slow transformation. it's weird but a lil festivity around the house really makes a big difference.

but the real anticipation that i miss is advent. as a kid, advent was like lent-lite. we gave things up to prepare our hearts for Christ's coming. or at least that was the idea. really, i just gave things up, and then cheated, because that's what we were supposed to do. but it still meant something. and when christmas finally came, it was exciting.

yah know, what? as i write this, i keep trying to put my finger on why i feel so grinchy. i keep thinking about what christmas was like when i was a kid and how it's different. yes, as a kid there was a lot of anticipation before christmas and it seemed like it took FOR.EVER. for christmas to come, but really, deep down, christmas hasn't changed that much for me since i was a kid, because even as a kid, i was a brat about christmas. it was mostly all about the presents. i would hoard my stuff away, get annoyed when santa came for my little brother and not for the rest of us (what da heck, santa?!), and calculate who all i would get things from.

as a mother, i so desperately don't want that for my boys. but christmas has so much built into it that i don't even know how to break away. look at easter-the celebration of Christ's resurrection. easter is wonderful and joyous and i don't have to stress out for a month about what to get everyone, make all the appropriate easter stuff, and then haul my family around town until they are cranky, i'm beyond cranky, and we're all exhausted.

but like i said, i just don't know how to break away from it ALL. how do i not make a big deal out of santa, and yet not ruin it for family members who choose to. we didn't do anything santa-y. ben likes santa stories, but we've left it at that-stories. but all of my nephew's on tim's side still believe. and oh course, that's the first thing they talk about. fortunately, i don't think we ruined it for them. although, while i was talking on the phone to a friend about all this, ben, while playing with cars on the floor, said, "santa's not real". when i asked him more about this, he said, "santa's not real. he's at the north pole." i think i'm going to leave it at that for now. i will neither confirm nor deny anything.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

gross, but i couldn't resist.

*as warned in the title, this post is a bit gross. but i'm warning you again, so no one can complain.

ben has been supplementing his diet with.....boogers. yes, as much as we tell him not to and offer him tissues to use instead, he believes in recycling. if anyone has a good remedy for this problem, i'm open to suggestions.

but tonight the following dialogue occurred and made me laugh:

while holding max i went to unbuckle ben's car seat, but first told him to stop picking his nose. noticing he had only stopped because he had found what he wanted and was en route to his mouth with it, i had no choice but to intercept it with my own bare finger and flip it off. because it was dark and he couldn't see what i had done when i turned around, ben dejectedly asked, head bowed, "did you let max eat my big booger?" like i had just stolen his candy and given it to the baby. i gagged a bit for max's sake and informed him that it was in the grass. i think my exact words were, "ugh! gross! (like a thirteen year old) NO, i did not let max eat your booger." for some reason, that made him feel better.

ahhhh, life with boys.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

the tale of a craft

ben and i made this wreath yesterday. toilet paper rolls painted with some leftover paint from another project. it was supposed to be a fun little easy, mindless project. supposed to be. so before you think, "oh mary, you're so creative and do such fun projects with your kids"( which is what smug internal dialogue mary told me when i came up with this idea), let me tell you what really happened.

while ben and max played with play-doh, i got the supplies out. hoping max would stay content with eating/playing with the play-doh, i called ben over. but of course, as soon as ben started painting, max lost it, wanting to paint too. not wanting to deal with a baby using acrylic paint, i tried to distract him with a paint brush and his own, very hard paper towel roll. he threw the paint brush down and hit me in the eye with the paper towel roll. max literally screamed the whole time ben painted the tp rolls that i would hold on my fingers. the first roll i helped him paint (annoyed that he wasn't painting the whole roll completely), after which i realized, i liked how it looked half painted/ben style much better. so with max screaming we persevered. ben got tired of painting them, so towards the end, i fake ben-style painted the last few rolls. but only after i cleaned off the table, where he had painted it after managing to push back the four layers of protective newspaper i had put down.

after letting the rolls dry (and calming max down) i strung them on to the jute twine, fully expecting them to make a perfect wreath circle, which i could then hang up and be done. instead, because the twine was just that-twine, it instead formed a pathetic, droopy oval. really, really annoyed and contemplating throwing the rolls into the wood burning stove, i went and found a wire hanger that i untwisted and made into a circle. after several wimpy attempts at twisting the hanger back together and unsuccessfully searching for ben's plastic pliers to aid me, i taped the ends of the hanger together with electrical tape. of course i had to unwind and re tape it three times because it still wasn't "circling" right. i finally just gave up/settled and called it good enough. i them hung it up and went to get ready for mass. a few minutes later while i was getting ready, ben was talking to me from the bottom of the stairs. when i came around the corner to hear him better, he was swinging my precious wreath around. although i didn't threaten to break his arms if he touched it again, i didn't exactly handle the moment with grace.

lessons i learned from this little easy, mindless project:

1. projects are never as simple as i think they are going to be. especially with the boys around. if it's something that i really care about the outcome, don't do it with the boys, or at least not with max around. maybe i should just stick to reading crafty blogs and be content.

2. don't be so dang smug internal dialogue mary. otherwise, real mary has to learn the humbling lessons that quiet you. when i'm tired and my brain is fried, i shouldn't try to pass the time with a multiple step art project. that's the time for some pbs and a mommy time-out.

3. learned from amykarol- if you don't like the final result of your project, leave it alone for a little while and when you come back to it, you'll be less critical of it/actually like the outcome.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


happy thanksgiving. we all have so very much to be thankful for. this blog has really helped me be a more grateful person. it has also reinforced for me that i am surrounded by many wonderful people.

hope you all have/had a wonderful thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

cracker, cuties, and anything else that falls out of my brain.

***edit: if you make the crackers, only bake them for about 10 minutes, or at least keep an eye on them. 15 minutes, as the recipe says, would be charred in my oven.

(the context of this: i wrote this post a week ago. so if it doesn't make sense, it is last week's fault. four attempts later i was finally able to post. yes, i wasted a lot of time on this post. it made me quite sour about blogging to be honest.)

glad to hear i'm not the only one still afraid of monsters. honestly it's not really monsters so much as cougars, aliens, cows, and the creature from "the village". let's just say m. night shyamalan is NOT my friend. cougars are mean and unlike most other creatures that try to get away from people, cougars have been known to stalk and kill hikers, cyclist, and me going to my car at night if given the chance. i know it's mean and they were here first, but i'm glad they have been pushed out of my lil spot of kansas and hope they stay out. as i child i was afraid aliens were going to come at night and steal my organs like the llamas on "unsolved mysteries". i hated my brothers for watching that terrible show. and cows, well, i obviously don't even have to explain that one. who isn't afraid of cows.

now that we've thoroughly discussed my weird fears, we can move on to crackers. erika had asked if i had a good cracker recipe, and because she once upon a time gave me an awesome bread recipe that has endeared me to my whole family for my usefulness in the bread making arena, i will share the cracker recipe. i some how found it here, although i don't know how because i don't read that blog. maybe i linked in from moneysavingmom, but i found the recipe long before i started reading moneysavingmom. apparently it was providence. not to imply that the recipe is so mindblowingly delicious, but it does the job of satisfying me and my littles. i'm pretty sure commercial crackers (and chips for that matter) have cocaine in them, thus making it possible to eat way, way, WAY too many in a sitting without realizing it. i hate the food industry. but i'll stop myself from that rant.

obviously i am not a food blogger, nor do i have any desire to be one. food is really hard to take pictures of and whenever i try, i gain more respect for the people who do it so well and artistically. but because i am a very visual learner, i took these to show a bit of the process. i like pics for new recipes because then i know i'm not screwing it up.

ingredients all mixed up in my circa 1980 cuisinart. i used evoo and white whole wheat flour on this occasion.

crumbles all mushed together and ready to roll out. oh rolling pin (that you can barely see), how i love you.

baked and broken up. i score mine before baking them so they break more evenly when done. i also mush the sea salt into the "dough" before baking so that it doesn't flake off.

now that crackers are out of the way, let's move on to the cuties.

here's the little giraffe we hauled around with us on halloween. his costume was too big, which made him extra cute.

he's in there somewhere.

here he and his cousin (the boy with the most kissable chubby cheeks) are trying to figure out why they are dressed so foolishly.

ben was a firefighter, which didn't seem like much of a costume since he wears his firefighter boots every day and the rest of the costume around the house quite a bit. still, pretty dang cute in my book. (am i biased? most definitely!!)

we had fun at tim's uncle's, who lives in college hill. if you've never been to college hill on halloween, you must go at least once in your lifetime. it's quite the experience.

to complete the randomness of this post, i will round it out with some coloring-therapy.

ben really likes watercolors lately. i had to accept that they would be destroyed and the colors would get all mixed together and the case would be a soggy mess. (i remember very clearly in kindergarten seeing other kids color-blended, soggy watercolor sets and thinking they needed to more careful. i liked to keep my colors true. )

he quickly tires of my picture taking.

on this particular day, i was really enjoying crayons.

don't be jealous of my skillz. i was, after all, a coloring contest grand champion. art, even if you're not good, is good for the soul. kids are really good about reminding us of the simple things.

well, i think that's all folks. good night and good day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

must peel bottom off couch.

i need to get up. really i do. i need to clean my kitchen. i'll admit, sometimes i'm lazy and wait till the morning to do it, but honestly, i've noticed it really sets a pooey tone for the day when i do. a clean table greeting me as i stumble down the stairs perks me up a little. and a clean kitchen as max starts the shakey dances makes them a little more tolerable. dirty kitchen equals very grouchy momma. so why am i still here writing about it instead of doing it? let's not go there.

my camera is once again unavailable. maybe by next halloween i can post pics of the boys. max was a very cute drunken giraffe.

to avoid the kitchen a bit longer, i will share a few things you might have overheard at our house recently.

"God, please put tape over my mom's mouth so she can't talk to me anymore." i did not find that funny. i can tell when ben knows all too well he did something wrong because he goes to his room without hesitation when told. i thought about putting tape over my mouth when i went to release him from timeout and mumbling to him the rest of the night, but i didn't want him to think he had that kind of power.

ben has been talking about monsters a lot lately. i don't know where the idea came from, and he is not really afraid, but he will say things like, "i don't want to go in the bathroom. the light is off. there's monsters in there." and when i ask where, and he points to the bathtub, and i pull back the shower curtain and prove how smart i am and point out there are no monsters, he says, "oh, yah." i don't make a big deal out of it, because i was terrified of A LOT of things as a kid. i still really don't like the dark, but have to be brave way more than i would like. so as i was loading the boys into their car seats the other night in the dark at the ripe ol late hour of six o'clock, ben's talk of monsters wasn't appreciated. reassuring myself as much as him, i kept casually saying, "ben, monster's aren't real. they're only in silly stories." to which he finally said, "what about that one on the porch?" be brave mary. be brave. i don't think he picked up on racing heartbeat as i reminded him yet again that monsters aren't real. but i did have to look over my shoulder. and walk calmly to my door and then slam the door very quickly and shiver a bit from the adrenaline dump. i really don't like having to be brave. i much prefer to whine and have other people do brave things for me.

speaking of whining, i may have taught max to whine like a rainicorn. a what? watch this. it's algebraic! really, my version isn't quite like the rainicorn, but more my memory of the rainicorn from a year ago. watching it again, i realize i need to work on my impression. occasionally, when i'm being obnoxiously whiny, i bring out my inner rainicorn. and now max does it. it was a proud moment when i realized what he was doing.

(contrary to the title of this post, i have actually moved from sitting to laying. not looking good for you kitchen.)

(( i love you all (in a non-weird way) for the comments you leave. you are my sunshine. not my only sunshine, but still.))

(((i'm trying my best to attract the attention of the parenthesis police. maybe if i'm in jail, i won't be responsible for my kitchen.)))

((((((((as i reread this i found a grammatical mistake that is now escaping me. very annoying. and you're thinking, "you only found one?! i found 8 million." well, good for you. maybe the grammar police can take me to their jail. the parenthesis police are worthless.)))))))))))))))(((((()))))))))))

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

mad max.

i used to have a sweet baby named max. and then i had a happy toddler named max. he was so happy to be upright and able to chase ben. he would, for the most part, just follow us around and dig in whatever he could reach. a couple of weeks ago he really started communicating by pointing to what he wanted and grunting or chirping or squealing. and then the fits started. he will start by pointing and squealing, then he starts the shakey dance, which is him bouncing up and down and hyperventilating. if he still hasn't gotten what he wants, he will start to scream and cry, and either crumble onto the floor or continue with the shakey dance while crying.

and he's not just crying because i didn't snap his onesie. this particular "session" lasted for about fifteen minutes and i really couldn't figure out what he wanted. he would even briefly stop, walk into ben's room, then come back to his room and resume fit. when i would offer to hold him, he would reel backwards. i think i finally got him to stop by just picking him up, holding on tight while he threw himself backwards, and carrying him around for awhile. (so maybe it was about his shirt. maybe if he'd hold still for more than a nanosecond while i'm changing him, he wouldn't be so unkempt.)

you know, maybe the whole fit really was about me taking pics of him in such a disheveled state. "mom, i'm so embarrassed. my shirt's on inside out and untucked. what will everyone think?!"

oh wait...the fit began long before the camera came out.

right now i'm on the stress-induced diet of mothering known as the "i want whatever you have" diet. anything i try ("try" being the key word) to eat, max wants. even if it is exactly what he has on his tray. water is the same. he apparently doesn't like sippy cups anymore but he spills an unlidded cup as soon as i look away or get distracted. and they are not accidental spills. he doesn't want to eat in his chair-it seems he would ideally take all his meals to-go.

(alright, i have to admit, i started this post this morning, after max had just stole my muffin, and i was about to LOSE. IT. big time. but now the day has passed, we all survived, and i'm nearly too tired to continue my livid rant. and in writing it, it is almost amusing.)

but without ranting, i can honestly say that max has become very challenging. he gets really bored because he's thoroughly explored his upright world so it's not new and interesting anymore, but he's not coordinated enough/have enough attention span to do anything more complex. and it fills me with a certain sense of-dare i say-dread. because i remember this stage all to well with ben. and it lasted a very long time in which we were both very frustrated. i feel a little better equipped this go round, but still a bit frazzled. okay, a lot frazzled. any suggestions for entertaining the beastly babe?

oh goodness gracious. i sometimes fantasize about a mellow, docile child. but that child would have to be adopted.

i love my intense boys. really i do. last friday tim had to work late and both of my boys ended up on my lap, eating my dinner, before the "meal" was over. at first i was annoyed. but then i was thankful. yes, they are a handful, or in that case, lap/arm full. but i'm thankful that they are what my life is full of. screaming shakey dances and all.

(see mom, i've stopped picking on ben. now i've moved on to max.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


i'm not setting a precedent here. i will not normally blog this often. i'm thinking once a week is my goal. but i really had a bee in my bonnet about the whole health thing and had to get it out.

health. how's that for broad.

this is pretty weighty in comparison to aldis and matthew the checker. but it is on my mind a lot and i'm starting to get pretty peeved. because we are self-employed we have a private insurance policy. we pay out the wazoo for coverage that we never use. i've honestly thought about dropping our policy and if something really huge happens, commit to making payments for the rest of our lives.
(insert the paragraph break that the formatting won't let me......HERE!)
are we healthy by disposition or is it because i make a conscious effort to try to maintain our health? (tim is excluded from any of this. he crumbles quite a few times during the winter because he propels his body with sugar, fast food, and energy drinks. and then crashes and enjoys his magic nyquil. he is a big boy and try as i might, i can't control him. ) yes, the boys get colds and ben has gotten sick a few times, but never anything major. ben has honestly been to the doctor once when he was sick and it was so i could get him tested for whooping cough, which he didn't have. and the doctor's advice-just let it run it's course and give him cough medicine. instead i put a vaporizer in his room and did an herbal chest rub several times a day. would it be easier to drug our kids and be done with it? probably, but i don't think that's right for so many reasons. (max has never actually been to the doctor. we did his well baby checks with our midwife and other than runny noses and a bit of a cough here recently, he's been very healthy.)(and in rereading this, i have to say, ben has only been to an MD once when sick. i have taken him to our awesome chiropractors who do natural stuff several times (which is way more effective-oh the stories i could tell.)

don't get me wrong-i think what most people consider to be conventional medicine has it's place. i'm very thankful that an infection or fever won't likely kill one of my babies. but our society has sooooooooo lost sight of prevention that it sometimes makes me downright angry. and our culture's abuse of medicines is in some cases creating nasty bugs that even our magic medicines can't kill.

now, i don't think i have all the answers, and i'm constantly learning and trying to be better and do better, but i try. i try to keep my little boys away from sweets and teach them the difference between growing foods and treats. we try to keep them well rested and not run then ragged. and when they're under the weather, i really try to watch it-go to bed early, give them supplements, be especially mindful of what they eat. so many people wait till their kids are full blown sick before they even take notice. one of my teachers in massage school often talked about the different states of the body. our culture considers a person to be either sick or healthy. he stressed the idea of wellness vs. illness. just because the fever has broken or antibiotics have been started, the body is still more in the illness realm and needs time and nurturing to return to wellness.

so this isn't a total rant and to keep myself accountable (and in an overall effort to be more organized), this is what i'm going to try this winter.

with breakfast, which is usually home made granola, oats and plain yogurt with cinnamon, or eggs and toast with a glass of raw whole milk, i think i'll try a shot glass of water with a splash of elderberry concentrate and silvershield. (ben loves anything in a special glass. my sister taught me that bit of magic.) they also get their vitamins at breakfast and i'll actually remember to take mine.

lunch i'll be honest is usually peanut butter/honey sandwiches and apples. but at least it's whole wheat bread and natural peanut butter. so really it's not bad.

afternoon snack-this is the one i'm bad about. our mornings have a pretty normal structure, but afternoons since ben cut out his nap have been a bit chaotic. i forget about snack and then it's usually 4 o'clock, ben's hungry, i'm tired, and i just give him chips and milk-he's happy and quiet and i'm off the hook. then he doesn't want to eat dinner and blah, blah--afternoons can be our downfall. sooo-i'm going to offer home made crackers and cheese or nuts. and a glass of milk. if i've made some banana bread or muffins, great, but if not, at least i'll have something on hand.

and for dinner, my goal is to ALWAYS have a veggie, which is something i've gotten really bad about because tim and ben won't eat them. ben won't even put them in his mouth, making the one bite rule difficult. it really frustrates me because as a baby and toddler, he was an awesome eater. but i must, must, MUST keep offering them. and no milk, because ben will totally just fill up on milk if allowed to. which, honestly isn't a bad thing. (jako milk really deserves it's own post.) so maybe the milk as a bribe to eat the dinner.

i'm also thinking about adding tea in there some where because i think it can be both healthful and relaxing, but not sure where.
sorry to anyone who is still reading. i get overwhelmed by meal planning and shopping because i try to offer way too much variety. but my boys don't like variety and it makes me work harder. so now i can visually see that really, i just need to keep those staples on hand, toss in a little variety when the mood strikes me, and we'll all be happy. and life will be simpler. and that is a good thing.

and just to lighten things up/redeem this post/enforce my need for crutch children, this is what my guys were doing while i wrote this.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


this one goes out to a certain special nursing mama. i hope it entertains you. and it has nothing to do with squid.

ben helped clear the table. when i went into the kitchen to finish cleaning up (hence all the crumbs) this fella greeted me. it made me smile.

today me and the boys went grocery shopping. i tend to avoid shopping for way too long, and then do a really big shop. it's not a good habit. i avoid shopping for a lot of reasons but today i was really motivated for some reason. we started at aldi (which i prefer to call aldis) and since we were out of pretty much everything, i didn't even bother to make a list. ben, being his charming self, always brings an added element to shopping. once, when he was close to max's age, a woman told him, "you are the ambassador of happiness!" because he would catch someone's eye and then smile his biggest, most cheerful smile until they smiled back.

max's added element is that he wants to eat. he's figured out how tasty chips are, thanks to daddy, and was determined to get the can of pringles. he would start begging and grabbing before he even finished the chip he had in hand. and yes, i feed my kids while we shop. by the time we checked out, bagged up, and loaded out, i felt like i had gone to an aerobics class.

on the way home we stopped at dillon's (which for a really long time i thought was dillions. i don't know why.) we got a coveted race car cart so ben was thrilled. i got really excited in an uber-nerdy way because kroger now has a white whole wheat flour for something like $2.45 instead of the king arthur which is almost twice that. i don't really understand this magic, but am looking forward to working with it. never did i think i would see the day when i got excited about flour. honestly, in the first year of our marriage, i don't think i went through a single bag of flour.

other than the flour, this is what really made my day: as i loaded my many bags of flour onto the check out belt i took note of the checker. i always analyse the checkers at stores. instead of the dillons polo, he had a white oxford on, black rimmed glasses, and some flair. nothing all that odd. he just didn't seem like the normal checker type. something about him struck me as different, like he really belonged at borders or starbucks or something. i noticed that one of his flairs was for air force one-available on videocassette today. or in 1996. so i mused that i liked his flair and he told me how he'd found it at an antique store. i told him it reminded me of how tim used to try to pack on as much flair to his walmart smock as possible. (smock-what a lame word.) then, i noticed, taped to the check writing stand, there was a piece of paper that read, "for what movie did joan crawford win her first oscar? flip over for answer." i asked if he wrote it, and he said he does them to get through the day. i, of course, had to check the answer-"mildred pierce" by the way, which he highly recommended. i told him that he had totally made my day with his quirky flair and trivia and he said i made his day, cause most people roll their eyes and give him weird looks. me and matthew the dillons checker built quite the relationship in our short interaction.

yah, it was a lot more amusing in person. written out, it's pretty weak. but i tried.

after dinner, ben pushed max around in this box for awhile. max loved it, although the pics really don't do it justice.

these pics reaffirm what all good parents already know-a good box is better than any toy you can buy. give your kids a sibling and a new box every once in a while, and you're set. it's the simple things.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

ummm...(shy) hello.

so it's been awhile. my excuse-the camera was broken. i'm really not interesting enough to go several posts without pictures. i use my children as a crutch. two cute crutches. my smarter--than-me three year old pointed out to me that i could use the camera on my phone. but it's hard to catch my very active boys on my slow phone camera. and i would then have to figure out how to download those pics.

i enjoying writing, but it takes more brain power than i've been able to muster lately. and, unless i have something worthwhile to write about, other than red shoes and word scrambles, i kinda feel like i'm wasting your time. but isn't that exactly what we turn to the Internet for-to waste time? i know i sure do. so, do i write mindless sillies that entertain myself and maybe you, or do i just not write anything at all? to be, or not to be? bacon or sausage? life's great mysteries.

until i get all that figured out, i think i'll just keep reinforcing this kind of good behavior by taking pictures.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

my babies.

i have been thinking about a lot of things, a lot lately. (got that.) which usually means i write nothing, or maybe some obnoxious piece about word verifications. but my boys and my life as a parent is up there at the top of the list. max's birthday came and went, and ben didn't really get a birthday shout out around here either. my mom read my blog a couple of weeks ago and said i need to be nicer to ben. although she has seen her fair share of his nightmare fits and rude sneers, she still loves him oh so much. they have a bond that melts my heart. he notices when she changes the seasonal decorations at her house and gets sincerely excited. he says things like, "i'm grammie's sweetheart" and asks to go to her house nearly every morning. he compliments her jewelery and her painted toenails and she buys movies and toys from garage sales so he (along with his cousins) have new things to play with at her house. so when she said i needed to be nice, i knew she was biased, but i also thought, maybe i whine too much.

both of my boys are amazing gifts. i tell them often that i'm thankful to God for blessing me with such wonderful boys. i'm pretty certain they know how fiercely i love them, even when we've had really, REALLY, really bad days. and honestly, the more i pray for grace, the less we have bad days. a change in my attitude has helped too. instead of writing off the day as "bad", i've tried to classify bad moments as just that, and hope for the day to be redeemed. tough days-yes. challenging-you betcha. but bad-not so much anymore. (and honestly, in my three years, i can only think of a handful of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. maybe i was being a little dramatic. not that i ever do that.) but most days ARE full and exhausting.

ben really is a great little guy and i marvel at him often. he is simply, very intense. he is incredibly verbal, which is awesome but, well, exhausting. i so love how inquisitive he is, but it wears me out. if i tell him "i don't know" to a question, he repeatedly demands, "just tell me Momma." like i really do know the answer and am just not telling him. don't worry kiddo-i will try to wow you with my brilliance any chance i get, but sometimes, i really just don't know. and he asks "how" about everything. "how" actually equals "why". "how are you not letting me watch another movie?" i'm proud that we've taught him and he understands his own emotions well enough to express them, but sometimes, i really don't want to hear about how he's frustrated that i won't let him have any more chips or watch a movie. no momma wants to hear that their precious is sad, even if he's "sad" because i told him not to push his brother. and if i had a counter for how many times a day i hear, "hey mom...", it would read approximately 8 billion. (if i don't answer the "hey mom"s, he follows with, "do you hear me? do you hear my voice? do you hear me?" with ben, ignore is not an option.

i realize, many of my frustrations with number uno stem from my own lack of patience. yes, he is impulsive, because yes, he is a three year old BOY. but i'm also thankful that God has given him such a strong, healthy body. or my frustration comes from my own lack of self control. maybe i'm crabby and tired because i stayed up too late when i should have gone to bed. but i also need to recognize my own needs and work to make our world a good place for all of us. these littles teach us so much. which leads me to max. (sorry, i should have warned you, get comfortable. i am not a brief person.)

before max was born, a dear friend told me about how she dreamt baby gweasy (max's utero name, long story.) would bring balance to our lives. she couldn't really describe how that huge and abstract feeling-balance, was conveyed in the dream. she just felt it. because she's perceptive like that. yep, she's a wicked cool gal. and it is so true. again, it is hard to verbalize, but it is very true. her words gave me great hope (and maybe a little disbelief) because when i got pregnant with max i was a little concerned. i already felt very in over my head with ben and just didn't know how we could wrangle another little fireball.

and it's not like max has been a walk in the proverbial park. he has his moments, good and bad. but i can't obsess over the bad moments like i did with ben because i have another kid to take care of. and it will pass. and life will go on. and i don't get as consumed by ben's bad moments for the same reasons. sometimes, you just have to shut the door for a little while and walk away. and it really will pass. my mom used to always tell me that with ben. "this too will pass, mary." but i didn't have any perspective. really?! will this child ever sleep through the night. will these tantrums ever end?! (well, i'm actually not entirely convinced on those two issues. bad examples.) but with max, i can look back and see that yes, those really hard moments passed and we survived and life is actually better in the grand scheme. with maxie, i actually savor the good moments more because i know just how quickly they too will pass. and i get it with ben too.

the balance is oh so good. not the kind of "balance" you would normally think of, because i'm sure plenty of outsiders would think "chaos" was a better description of our life with two boys. but it's MY balance. the chaos helps erase any pride or dillusions of perfect children or parents.

and the balance was totally a gift. because we didn't think we were ready for another kiddo. you see, max was a bit of a surprise. with ben, we had only ourselves to blame. because we were diligently using natural family planning, we knew where we were in my cycle, and we really wanted a babe, especially after losing our first baby in an early miscarriage. we thought we were ready. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! (i don't know if we could have ever really been ready for mr. benedict.) with max, we were being half-bottomed about our nfp use, and while we were receptive to a new life, it really wasn't the plan, and we, by our half-bottomed guesstimate, thought we were in the safe zone.

but God, knowing what was truly best for our family, took our little bit of cooperation and gifted us a sweet little max. (who i was convinced was a girl. oy.) don't get me wrong-we were still excited. after losing one little soul, we knew all too well that babes really are a gift and not a priviledge. but it was a very tired, we're still raising this first baby, kind of excitement. is that common for the second kid? i mean, you know what you're in for the second time around. maybe i'm just a wimp.

my little max (and ben is his own ways) has deepened my trust in the big G man in the sky so much. like a good Father, He wants what is best for us, but He won't force it on us. we have to ask for His guidance and be open to His gifts. although i could have never imagined how intensely hard parenthood could be, i could have also never imagined how deeply and truly good it could be.

the moral of this story is: yes, Mom. i really do love (and even like) ben. and max. and tim, just for good measure. (my mom likes my three guys more than she likes me. )

oh, and: Trust.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

hurts me brain.

you know those "word verification" things that you have to type to leave comments on some blogs, or for placing orders, or other "we don't want this to get hacked" things on the interwebs? the things that look like hallucinations? they cause me GREAT stress. if you had to verify 911 calls that way, i would be dead. (okay, that implies i've used 911 for an actual emergency other than, the kid i'm babysitting set off the house alarm and i was wondering if you have a universal off switch for those. the sheriff did NOT like that.)

so like i said, great stress. i feel like i'm back in school doing the sight and hearing tests. i hold my breath and hope i can get it. when i mentioned this to tim one time, he looked at me like i was extra special. am i the only one that has this problem. not that i would be surprised if i was the only one with this problem.

yep, that's it. that's all i had to say. i just tricked you into reading all that. sucka.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


(this post is dedicated to you, joel-the best twin God could have ever given me. and max-because in one way or another, you have consumed a lot of this month.)

september has been a very busy month. busy with what? i wasn't sure about that myself until i looked back at my pictures for the month. in chronological order...

lots and lots of rain, which has made our yard a friendly place for these horrid little fungi to pop up. they look like nerf darts, but smell terrible. i can stand in the yard and smell them without even being able to see them. weird.

lots and lots of outside time, in spite of the fungi. because we know all to well that winter will soon close in around us and we have to try to store up as much sunshine as possible for our little solar-powered bodies.

moving rooms around. my poor husband bears the burden of moving the furniture around way too often because i get tired of being home all the time and need change. i don't really like change in my life, but i LOVE moving furniture. (and by "i" love moving furniture, i really mean, i love saying "hey tim...." and watching him cringe and his eyes twitch as he waits for what will come next.)
this time was legit. max needed to be out of our room for many reasons, but neither him nor ben sleep well enough to be put together. so we moved our room instead to give the boys their owns rooms. tim doesn't like asking other people (like the many very strong family members who live very close) to help, so he does it by himself. to move our king sized mattress upstairs he harnessed all his rage (hence the glowing eyes) then sandwiched himself inside. he amazes me.
moving the rooms led to a lot of exhaustion and i'm still working on getting everyone, and everything settled. bleh. it's definitely gotten the moving bug out of my system. (another fact: although i like to move furniture, the idea of moving to a new house terrifies me. that's why we bought this one. we didn't want to move, so we bought the house we were renting. not really, but kinda. )

and then MAX TURNED ONE!!! YAY!!! yep, we officially survived a whole year with sir maximus mittens. (i know, a pretty badass nickname. he's gonna love it when he's older.)

their was ample celebrating and we still have one party to go. we love you maxey baby.

we were also visited by an alien. a cute, shaggy alien who spent the night with his brothers at our house. in addition to my own two, it seems like there's always a couple extra boys around here, just for good measure. makes a gal feel safe. or crazy. mostly crazy.

more enjoying sunshine. and destruction.

and lots of wildflowers from our walks. the boys love to pick flowers for me. jackie, one of my beautiful sisters, always has seasonal fresh flowers around their home and it's such a simple, happy thing. it's a good reminder to slow down and enjoy all the beauty around us.
i guess that's about it. it always amazes me how looooonnng and short a month can seem all at the same time. so long when tim's working late for the third night that week. but so short when it's all said and done.
i am blessed.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

long days

some days i feel like this. so spent that i think my arms could fall off if i have to do one. more. thing. (her arms, though, in fact, were smashed off by an irritated boy named damien, er, ben. i did not handle that moment with grace. )

yesterday was one of THOSE days. i will neither confirm nor deny that i locked ben outside in the rain for a brief moment. on purpose. a dear friend called me today and she was having one of THOSE days. (although i don't think any children were locked out of her house.) my day would have been another one of THOSE days, but i sought refuge at my parent's house. twice. when tim called and reminded me he had to work late, i called my mom, begged, and loaded up the boys again.

hope all is bright and sunny in your neck of the woods. i'm off to pray for grace. and patience. and a whole bunch of other virtues i lack.

**i tried to post this last night but the formatting was being weird. then max woke up, and decided he didn't want to sleep....for most of the night. amazingly, even after only getting about 5 hours of interrupted sleep, we had a great day today. ben was a total doll. sweet, helpful, a good listener. praise the Lord for answered prayers.

***can someone please tell me why i occasionally can't get paragraph breaks. i'm getting hulk angry over here. like right now. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. (i now have bulging muscles and am green.) oh. now it's working. please excuse me while i go decompress.

Monday, September 7, 2009

giving tree??

i know my next post was supposed to be "deals" but this caught my attention. i was reading this post over here and i thought it would be interesting to get your opinions. reading through the comments on the post, most people agreed how they loved the book. am i a heartless person? i have never really cared for the giving tree. i have always thought the boy was selfish and ungrateful. the only way i almost appreciate the story is if i think of the tree as God and His love for us. on a parent/child level, i think the book is unhealthy. i think too many parents allow themselves to be completely consumed by their children in a really unbalanced way.

also in the comments, several people mentioned the book love you forever. although this book is kind of cute, it mostly just creeps me out. the refrain of the book is something like, "i'll like you for always, i'll love you forever. as long as i'm living, my baby you'll be." (don't quote me-we don't own the book.) you have to read it to really understand. but i think parents are too attached to their children in our society. my aunt, who teaches love and logic, calls these parents "helicopter parents" because they are always hovering over their children, "protecting" them from anything and everything that could happen to them. (reading the comments on amazon for these two books is VERY interesting.)

really, the proper order of things should be God, spouse, then children. right? and although i will be the first to admit that sometimes i put my boys before my spouse, as i rule, i really shouldn't. i think that's where so many of the fissures that slowly erode families begins. i've known many parents who turn away from the Church because it won't condone the behavior of their wayward adult children.

i don't think my parents were perfect, but even as a teen i appreciated my parent's clear message-basically, we'll always love you but there are some things we will not tolerate. and most especially, that if i turned away from God and his Truth, than i would be turning away from them. it was my decision to make. and although i know their hearts would have ached, i knew they were serious. maybe it was because they had eight kids, so a few of us were dispensable ; ) but really i knew it was because they truly understood the role and gift that children are. it was a very good thing knowing that by no means did the world revolve around us. we were entitled to nothing. and maybe that sounds harsh, but it really actually made me feel more loved, because i knew it was a real love.

hmmm. that turned into a bit more than i had planned for. how about these to lighten things up...

he commits to the requested emotion so well.

morning sun and bed head.

getting ready for the garage sale. i put $.25 on this critter and still couldn't get rid of him.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

an ode to humidity (and other things)

humidity, how i hate thee.

the only good thing about this 200% humidity that we're having is it makes max's hair soo cute and curly in the back. if ben's were still long it would be doing the same thing. i seriously felt like i was living in the rainforest at the zoo today.

(insert pic of max's cute curls. use your imagination.)

on the other things front....

i can't find the charger for the camera so i hope y'alls have good imaginations if you're going to be reading round these parts. (it's important to add the "S" to y'all to heighten the effect. otherwise it might seem like i actually like the word(s?) y'all.)

sawesome is fitting into our family well. she is making me do all kinds of things i said i would never do and i haven't even wanted to take her back to the shelter for making me do these things. (that really does say quite a lot because i have honestly wanted to return my boys at times. but then the whole dilema of where to return them comes into play. "ahhhh, uterus, can i get a refund on this one. he's a bit much for me." and i'm yet to find God's drop box......

with sawesome, it's very interesting to me that i handle her much better than tim. (if i do say so.) or is it that she knows he will love her unconditionally so she can totally misbehave, whereas she knows that if she misbehaves with me, well, let's just say i'm not as forgiving. when she sliced my leg from mid-thigh to mid-calf i didn't go within her reach for days and gave her the "you know exactly why i'm mad at you" look.

on top of being really sweet and patient, what the shelter didn't tell us was she's part sled dog. she easily pulls ben and max in the double stroller if i let her. today she pulled ben, max, and the kid i watch after school-i'm guessing a good 75ish pounds. at first i was having a hard time keeping up with her because, although impressive, i really don't like her pulling that much weight by her collar and try to give her some slack. and we were going downhill. but when i get her a harness, i will have no guilt and might even hop on the stroller myself.

the end of the walk is always the kicker. she is tired and not as pully, we are walking into the sun, and there is a hill right before our driveway. today, it was made much more challenging because there was a dead squirrel that she really really REALLY!!! wanted and just couldn't forget about. so at that point i'm pushing the 3 kids with her trying to pull us in the Other direction. i just had to laugh.

(insert pic of max "holding" sawesome's leash. i hold it at the back of the stroller, but because she walks in front of us, max likes to grab her leash and hold it as we walk. totally precious.)

let's see, do i have any other cute pics i want to share. ha! oh, i crack myself up.

stay tuned. next post to be titled "deals". it was interesting to see your comments about coupons. i had a very interesting day last saturday deal hunting and i have to figure out how to properly bring it to life without the much needed voices, scowls, and sass.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

coupons and hair cut

i LOVE a deal. it's a family thing. in some families it's valued to be ambitious about money, make a bunch of it, and then show it off. in my family, thrift is the name of the game. one dear uncle will occasionally awe me with his most recent side-of-the-road findings. and he finds some good stuff. all i ever see is single shoes.

this summer i 've really enjoyed garage sailing. (no it's not sale-ing. for me it's sailing.) i've scored some great treasures, even with two little boys in tow. maybe i'll chronicle them here sometime, but not tonight.

our whole house is furnished almost completely with second hand furniture, mostly free. (that has more to do with generous family and friends, good timing, and God's small blessings, than my own thriftiness.)

so in seek of more cheap thrills and because garage sailing season is winding down, i have become intrigued with the idea of couponing. i don't know that i can completely get into it, but enjoy the ease and possibilities that this site offers: http://www.moneysavingmom.com/. today i went to target in pursuit of some free thrills and did okay.

for these four items, i paid $2.20 with tax. the bread alone would have been $2.49. not that i would have bought it for that much, but it is a fun treat-blueberry strudel (or strussel?). according to the receipt i saved $4.50. yikes. groceries can be so expensive. i often think i'd rather eat beans and rice and spend my grocery money on fun things instead. oh what a dark day that would be for my dear husband who 1.)doesn't like beans and 2.) doesn't like rice.

so we'll see how couponing goes. i might just have to use craigslist in place of garage sailing, although part of what i love about garage sales (it's not sails, of course) is the walking and the summer weather. we'll see.

in other news, i cut my own hair last night. which means, i went and had my awesome stylist fix my hair tonight. i say stylist because she does too great of a job to be called my hair gal. the idea of me having a stylist is quite hilarious though. because, since i love a deal, before going to said hair cutter, i had rarely paid more than $7 for a haircut in the last five years. but she is worth it and i love knowing that all my money goes directly to her instead of to a corporation or to pay a rental for a booth. and her little boy is soooo cute. it's quite the entertainment i get in addition to my cut.

i don't have a before pic. it looked like i had grown puppy dog ears in the form of hair. it was not a good look and in a rather annoyed mood last night, i decided i could fix it. then realized i couldn't. it really wasn't that bad. and if i had enlisted tim's help, it just might have worked. but we weren't friends last night and i was more than happy to have a good reason to go have my hair cut.

this is the after.

that's what happens when i try to take my own pic.

tim said i try too hard. i say, i don't generally like pictures of myself. so at least if it's weird, it's obvious. instead of it trying to look nice and turning out weird. (it's also a family thing. i have pictures of many generations making odd faces.) plus he didn't give me many chances. he was busy.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

i am a blessed woman.

warning: this post is much more sentimental than other posts. caution: if you read this, you might realize i'm slightly more substantial than my random, frivolous posts would imply. READER BE WARNED.

it's true. i am so very blessed. i have been absent from this space because i've actually been socializing with real people and doing real things. (not all the time. i've also wasted my fare share of time online, but been too soggy-brained to write.)

i am blessed to live really close to my arnold family. if i really, really needed them, i would have at least two brothers, a couple of sisters, and maybe even a strapping, handsome nephew at my side at a moments notice. i can literally look out my back door (like i am right now) and see my beloved oldest brother's (and godfather-a role we take VERY seriously in our family) house. inside it are some of those wonderful nephews and one of the loveliest sisters. they are the best neighbors i could ask for.

arnold can be a strange breed of people at times, but i really do have the best family in the world-for me.

i am blessed to be part of the woodburn family. so welcoming and fun loving. i feel so blessed when friends muse (or vent) about their in-laws. heck, sometimes i like tim's parents more than i like him. i don't like to call tim's mom my mother-in-law because that so often has an unpleasant association. so i call her tim's mom. (not to her face obviously.)

i am blessed to have a man who is a fantastic daddy. upstairs, wrangling max and building yegos with ben. the dialogue i am listening to has my heart a practically explodin'. (i'm just trying to not think about the fact that max has eight lego helmets in his mouth. fortunately he doesn't swallow, just packs and hoards.)(cancel that. they came down, and he only had one very small wooden bead in his mouth.)

i am blessed to have a man who knows that i need some quiet alone time, and makes me have it, even when i don't know-or won't admit, that i need it.

i am blessed to have two incredibly hard, intense, beautiful little boys. they bring me so much joy and fill me with such awe and wonder. i marvel at God's creation through them.

i am blessed to have good friends who share pretty much all my important beliefs. because i need that sense of understanding and agreement.

i'm also blessed to have just a couple, maybe even just one, who doesn't agree with me. and it makes me crazy. but i love him. and it's good for me. until he comes around, finds the truth, and oh what a world it will be then.

these blessings are so above and beyond...true gifts from the Creator.

but some of them have also been conscious decisions and have resulted from hard work. tim and i chose to raise our family close to our own families and in the Diocese of Wichita. we opened ourselves to His will and have been gifted our boys as a result. my ancestors and my parents worked VERY hard to give me this family and to preserve the Faith. and marriage...oh marriage. i know i can get an amen to how much work it is. and sometimes it is so not fun and romantic and not what our world tells us it should be. but when it is the sacred, the sacrament, what it is truly meant to be, it is so good.

so there it is. this is meant to balance all of my whining. and my whining about whining. don't say i didn't warn you. my time is up. and no pics, because i just can't find the time to upload, position, and write.

Monday, August 3, 2009

and the winner is....

monica. yes, monica, you are the official winner of my "i'm trying to buy your love" drawing. if you could send me your real live postal address and then check your mail in 6-8 weeks, you will find a surprise. to everyone else, hang in there. maybe someday you to can be as lucky as monica.

no pictures tonight. i'm tired and going to bed. i just tried to conquer the toy takeover that has become of our house, but i don't feel like i made much progress. ugh, tooo much STUFF. every time i get our house cleaned out, more STUFF seeps in to clutter my world. my fantasy these days is to live in a clutter free house for one whole magical day. (okay, if i'm fantasizing it would also involve a cook, a maid, quiet children....oh i better just stop thinking.) the crazy thing about the toy takeover is that we don't buy the boys toys.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

okay so....

so i feel bad. i had no intention of leading all you (because sooo many people read this. but those that do are important.) dear readers on that something big and beautiful was going to happen around here. i'm not a tease. really, i'm not. i'm so not a tease that for every holiday, the day i buy tim's present and try to tease him about it, i usually give it to him. in the four years of our marriage and even when dating, i don't think we have EVER made it to the actual holiday without already giving the present. by december 15th, 2007 i had already received my christmas, anniversary, and birthday presents. this is probably indicative of many other things, but i state this to prove that i don't like to tease or be teased.

so when i first mentioned that i was going to do something different blog-wise, i really thought i was going to---like the next day. but it wasn't all dependant on me. it also involved another person. that was the idea-me and another person, who shall remain anonymous, were going to do a blog together. i was excited, they were excited, and i let that excitement get ahead of me. well, we did a test run, but their enthusiasm faded, or maybe the timing isn't right, so i don't think it's going to happen. i know this is a lengthy explanation and not really that big of a deal, but i thought i owed it to you....because i'm sure it was hard for you to continue on with life with so much suspense built up. to make it up to you, anyone who leaves a comment by next monday will be entered to win a prize. don't ask what it is. but you'll love it. and it will make you forgive me and return me to favorable status.

in other news and to explain my absence....meet sawesome. (as in awesome, with an "s".)

yep. we got a dog. i'm not really an animal person, but my guys are. i really like her though. she's a great dog and a very good fit for our family. i can honestly say she's already enriched our lives. she's also made me do things i swore i would never do, and in the first day of having her no less.
she likes to chew things. like the trees i had trimmed.
she's also peace loving, destroying these weapons in an effort to make our yard a safer place.

and oh does she like to dig. but apparently doesn't like for other people to dig, thus the need to destroy these sand box toys.

she's also gone through two leashes in one week. between her and max, it's a dangerous place around here.

i now have the all-american life. two kids. a dog. heck, we even have a bit of white fence by our front gate, although not picket. the rest is just gravy.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

ready for my audition.

so, we may need to forget that i ever said anything about changing this blog. maybe. i know, i'm obnoxious.

in other news, this is how we've been entertaining ourselves lately. we tell ben repeatedly that he is only supposed to draw on paper. not on max, not on himself, not on the walls of our home, furniture, etc. and then we go and do this. our parenting style can be summed up as "mixed messages".

it was actually one of my sweetie nephews that helped me with this project. tim is innocent. i don't know if i even told him about this.

ben was patient. for the most part. he got tired of it after awhile and then we had to bribe him to finish the project. ahh, bribery. what would i do without you? it is AMAZING what can be accomplished with a few teddy grahams! ben calls them piggies. cute.

what a pose.

i love this little crazy.

that's about all i have to say.

Friday, July 17, 2009

important breaking news

i found SANTA!!!! or at least ben's playmobil wiseman that he calls santa. and in his defense, it was probably not him who misplaced it (she said sheepishly). i may have thrown it in a bag with a bunch of other random toys as i was cleaning up and then thrown said bag upstairs to be forgotten. i can only hope that you have the same luck finding farmer, monica. and oh erin, i hadn't even thought about puzzles. yikes!

right now i'm typing on our old beastie computer. tim takes the laptop to work and i decided to do some computing because.....the clouds parted and God's golden rays shone down upon me. which means, both of my boys are sleeping at the same time. yes, it's a beautiful and glorious thing. and i using this time wisely. no. moving on.

so typing on the computer, i feel like a 1990s era hacker. the sound the keys makes is so very odd and my fingers are a bit fatigued from the stiff keyboard. i'm very particular about the sound of typing. i love the sound laptop keys make. i guess i just like the sound of typing in general. there that's my confession for the day.

no pics today. beastie does not like pictures.

if i were a good mother i would brag that max has started pulling himself up on things, like us, by our ears. or share some recent ben insanity. but i won't. because this is about me gosh darn it.

in other news, this might be the end of practical strawberry. what, you say? gasp. a life cut so short. well, as i teased before i'm working on something else and i think it's just about ready. or maybe i'll just keeping dragging this out to see how much attention i can get. hmmmm.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

just keep waiting. just keep waiting.

i goofed a bit and forgot to make a crucial step that would allow me to move forward with the aforementioned "bigger better blog" so i'll have to entertain you with some random blathering. but just to tease you a bit more, just think...my brilliant commentary, plus someone else as equally entertaining and neurotic...and it's not tim. at least not yet.

in the mean time, go to playmobil and enjoy the visual feast and childish lust that will surely ensue. there are about a million things there that i want. we have tim's firetruck from when he was a wee lad and a dear friend gave ben the nativity set for christmas. i'm so protective of the pieces that it's a bit ridiculous, but ben honestly can't be trusted with something so awesome. i'm still mourning one of the wisemen that ben calls santa and get very frustrated when he flippantly states, "we'll find him someday."

i was always a bit of a toy hoarder.

rolling. not newsworthy, or new for that matter. just cute.

Monday, July 6, 2009

since i've been gone...

okay, i'm back. please excuse my absence-i was really busy being lazy. i've been oh so tired lately because my dear boys don't value sleep in the same way that i do. and i knew that if i blogged, i would go to bed way later than i should.

so instead i wasted time do other things, like reading magazines. oh how i love magazines. working at my dad's office was a dream job in that i basically got to read magazines all day long. whatever came in the door, i read-national geographic, parents, time...even the occasional field and stream or ebony. oh how my teen heart fluttered when seventeen found it's way in. and since my dad thought most of them were trash, which they were, he would throw them away. and then i would have to rescue them from the trash, making sure they hadn't landed on anything to terrible. i still remember on one particularly slow afternoon learning how to properly call a turkey and breastfeed with ease. and boy did that knowledge come in handy.

(that was quite the digression i just took you poor fools along on. )

the other reason i have been absent is because i've been scheming an even bigger, better blog. how is this possible? well, you'll just have to wait and see. you're dying from the suspense aren't you.

oh how i love this power. and the picture at top has nothing to do with anything, so don't try to figure it out.

Friday, June 26, 2009

and the awards go to......

i'm very tired tonight. it has been a long week with this creature.
and too much staying up late for me. i will be in bed by 10:07. if i type it, it has to be true.

this being the first lonely friday night of this beastie's existence (and the first night i'm not typing with the background noise of zombie moans and guns firing-not that that has anything to do with this) i shall make this an evening of awards. put on your ball gowns girls.

the first award of the evening goes to michelle, for being my very first follower. for reasons far to neurotic, i refuse to keep a blogroll, and instead have a blog stuffed favorites section. michelle-i will love you forever.

the second award goes to .....monica. for saying Gid bless, and then correcting yourself. that made me giggle. God is the only word you will see me capitalize on this blog. but if for some reason i find myself typing the word "gid" (maybe in place of "get"all hill billy style) i will forever capitalize Gid as well. okay, not really. i don't think i could remember to do that. i have a hard enough time remembering tim's birthday.

the third award goes to ..... monica again. because she offered a solution to smelly fishy clothes, thus fulfilling part of my lazy fantasy that involves other people solving my problems. (this girl is going to be tough competition folks. better bring your gloves to this blog.)

and the final award of the evening goes to ..........erin!! because she was the first person to leave me a comment. ever. i think tim may have tried, using my name, or maybe i tried using my name, but i'm going to give erin credit.

thank you. thank you to everyone. maybe next week there will be prizes involved in the awards ceremony. i love how thepioneerwoman does prizes. these prizes will not be mixers or $500 dollar cowboy boots though. but, if you happen to be lucky enough to win one, will treasure it none the less.

shoot. it's already 10:11 and i haven't given you the picture of the day. well, without further delay. (ben's picture doesn't count for some reason.)

my sweet husband bribed me with cuties so that he could go out with previous-post mentioned boys. and i don't mean ben and max. although he did take them to dillons and drove them around in the coveted race car cart for an hour. he's good people. i had actually already given him "permission" to go, so these where really just him being sweet. please ignore the mess of toys in the background. if i could do it all night, surely you can overlook them for a few seconds.

****question to other blogger users. is there any way to get email notification of comments. heaven forbid i miss one on an old post. seriously folks, they're my candy. i hear typepad can do this. typepad seems oh so wonderful with the ability to reply directly to comments, but it also has a fee. and i'm cheap. so blogger it is.