Category Archives: preschooler

Don’t Bother with Curiosity. I’ll Do it Myself.

You know, I’ve met a lot of cats in my life. I’m an animal person, and while I’m really a dog person at heart, I love cats too. We have two cats, Cleo and Itty Bitty (not her real name, but it might as well be). Our cats are stupid. I’m not saying it just to be mean, either. I’ve met other people’s cats, and they seem perfectly smart. Sometimes I’m even impressed with what they figure out, and then I go home and there are my two dimwit feline furballs staring up at me.

What do your cats do, you ask? Well, for starters, Cleo licks. She licks us, sure, but she also licks everything else. Upholstery, windows, carpet, random children’s toys, fireplace bricks. Yes, I said bricks. In addition to her licking, she also howls. Constantly. She howls when she’s happy. She howls when she’s hungry. She howls when she’s scared. She howls when she wants to play. She howls whenever any mood of any sort strikes her. And she doesn’t have one of those cute little “mew” sounds. Nope. She has a full-blown, hear-it-around-the-world RROWWW which resounds through the house and lodges itself in my spinal cord. Lovely creature.

Now, Itty Bitty is a little smarter. She’s got the cute factor going for her since she’s so little and has a rather dainty meow. However, her main foolishness is that she lets Jewel catch her. She knows Jewel will chase her and pick her up, and that it will be highly unpleasant for her. Yet, almost every time, she will allow it. I used to wonder how many times she would allow herself to be hanged from her middle and toted around like a poor, hapless stuffed animal, but I stopped asking myself when no change seemed forthcoming.

I love our cats; I really do. They’re soft and sweet, and they’re nice and warm during the winter. They also seem genuinely pleased to spend time with us, which seems to be a hit-or-miss quality in cats. And, of course, they are endlessly entertaining. I just figured our two fancy felines could stand to gain a few brain cells. I think I’ll go listen to their conversation and give them a little attention. They probably deserve it, since they have to live with such a grumpy gus as me.

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Filed under cats, family life, marriage, preschooler

Fuddrucker Stew

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. Oh well! =)

Okay, most of you know now that I’m in the last month of pregnancy for kiddo number two, and I was thinking the other day about how much more annoying people are when you’re pregnant. Is most of it hormonal? Probably, but I still maintain that people find out you’re pregnant and lose their brains immediately. Oh, and if you have a newborn, you’ve also got a giant target painted on you.

For example, when Jewel came along and was about a month old, my dearest husband and I headed down with our brand new bundle of joy to visit our folks. We (my husband, myself, my child, and my parents) headed out to dinner as proud new parents and grandparents. We assumed we would have a normal, lovely family dinner. We all forgot about that giant NEW MOM target painted on my shirt. No sooner had we sat down with our food than a Fuddrucker’s employee came up to chat.

She cooed and oohed over Jewel adequately, and we swelled with pride. Then our food came. Did she leave? No. Instead, she began to tell us a story about how her child was crying inconsolably the first day home from the hospital and how she realized that all the baby wanted was some of the beef stew that had just been cooked. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, she fed her child beef stew at three days old.

So, between the stupid parenting stories, the unabashed belly touching (Hello, people, personal space!), and the repeated ridiculous comments like, “Wow, somebody pointed their finger at you, and now you’re pregnant,” (Really? What am I, five?) I could just do without this whole stage of pregnancy. Personally, I’m praying this kid comes just a little bit early. I know this whole irritation is probably my hormones having a field day, but hey… I’m entitled to my grumpiness at this uncomfortable stage.

Take this as a lesson. When you encounter an enormously pregnant woman, whatever foolishness pops into your head, please keep it there. Harsh? Maybe, but there’s another lesson here. Really pregnant women are grumpy.

Well, now that I’ve vented, I feel better. I think I’ll have some low fat ice cream. =)

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Filed under Fuddrucker's, marriage, pregnancy, pregnant, preschooler

It’s a Nerd! It’s a Brain! It’s… My Husband!

So, guess where my dearest husband is at this very moment. If you guessed that he’s at a midnight showing of Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, then you’re absolutely right! Okay, so you didn’t guess it, but that’s okay. Why would he be there, you may ask? Because he’s a nerd. He’s always been a nerd. He’ll always be a nerd. Yes, I knew he was a nerd long before I married him, and that’s okay with me. I’m quite fond of my Lego-loving, Star-Wars-quoting, History-teaching, Super Trekkie, in fact.

I’ve been married to my delightfully nerdy husband for almost seven years now (our anniversary is in a couple weeks), and I’ve been attached to him for about thirteen. That’s quite a chunk of my life considering I haven’t yet reached my thirtieth birthday. So, what have I learned about my heavenly hubby so far? To start, he is classically white. And I do mean white. I like to joke that his glowing white legs guided my way to him when the power went out one stormy evening, but it’s really not a joke. It’s a true story.

After his overwhelming whiteness, there’s his corny jokes. Upon seeing a passing hearse (empty, I hope), his comment was, “If the hearse has done this before, doesn’t that make it a re-hearse?” Feel free to groan and roll your eyes. I do. Frequently. Then there are the Star Wars quotes. So many Star Wars quotes! And who knew that lines from Star Wars could apply to so many situations? Apparently, I didn’t.

Even though my nearest and dearest revels in his extreme nerdy-ness, and he has more Legos than 10 or 15 entire families should have combined, I wouldn’t be without him. My nerd is the best husband, life partner, and father to our daughter (soon to be daughters) I could ask for. I am so blessed to have him in my life, and I think I’ll start telling him so more often.

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Filed under family, marriage, nerd, preschooler

Sale Me Away

This weekend was our big garage sale. *gasp* On a holiday weekend? Of course! That’s the best time, since nobody else is foolish enough to have their garage sale on a holiday weekend. That, and it’s right after the first of the month, so people still have money. Of course, every time we have a garage sale, I always say how horrible it is and how I will never ever ever do it again and how I’ll just be heading to Goodwill or Mission Arlington next time I need to get rid of junk. And then what do I do? I convince myself, in the end, to go through the trouble all over again. The results from that decision this time? Some were good, some bad.

On the good front, we sold out of almost everything on Friday, so we didn’t have to open at all on Saturday. The extra sleep on Saturday was really nice. Plus, the weather wasn’t too bad on Friday. It was cool and cloudy, and a little bit sticky, but much better than the usual garage sale forecast of baking sun and shrivelingly hot temperatures. There’s nothing quite like being held hostage by your junk at a small table in the abject heat all day, idly dripping sweat down unmentionable places.

On the bad front, we got mauled on Friday. We had people showing up at least half an hour early, and it was crazy for a good two hours. There were people everywhere, and nobody put stuff back where it was supposed to go, and everybody wanted to buy stuff in the garage that wasn’t for sale. Oh, and then there was the fact that everybody wanted to ask questions at the same time, test out things with plugs at the same time, and pay for their junk—I mean treasures, at the same time. The only other bad thing was the weather. While it was nice and cloudy and cool, it also rained on us at the end and forced us to close early.

So, how do I feel after this, unusually good, garage sale? I am never ever ever doing this again. Next time I’ll just head straight to Mission Arlington.

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Filed under family life, garage sale, marriage, preschooler


I’m psyching myself up. Why? Well, I’m going to make another blender full of green smoothie. It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve made any, and up until a couple weeks ago, I was making them almost daily. They really do make me feel really good and full of energy. What happened the last time that made me reticent to try again? My blender exploded. Everywhere.

Okay, so it didn’t explode. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but still, it did vomit profusely all over the counter and the cabinets (and me). Now, green smoothies are delicious and super healthy, but somehow, when you’re scrubbing pre-masticated spinach, greens, and fruit off of every surface imaginable in your kitchen (and sweetened with honey… nice and sticky), that fantastic smoothie seems just a little less satisfying. Oh, and I really loved hearing, “Mommy, you made a big mess!”

Ever since the spewage incident, I’ve been finding little dried splatters of vaguely greenish brown material in strikingly strange places (and it’s REALLY hard to get it off when it’s dry), so here’s a tip for those of you who are considering starting this wonderfully healthy habit: if your fancy high-speed blender is struggling to blend together so much frozen fruit, don’t open up that little cap in the top to add more liquid. Take the time to stop the blender, add liquid, stir it up a little bit, and then try again. It’s a surefire way to keep your blender happy and nausea-free.

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Filed under family, green smoothie, marriage, preschooler

Just Call Me Switzerland: I’m in Neutral

As you might know from my last post (if you actually bother to read this stuff), my family and I went down to visit all of our folks this weekend. While we were happy to visit, and we haven’t been down in a while, the real purpose behind the trip was to acquire another vehicle. We’ve been a one car family for several months now, and it’s been alright, but a little inconvenient at times. So, what kind of vehicle did we bring back? We brought back an old, standard transmission, Ford Ranger.

This is a car with personality. Does it have air conditioning? Yes. Does the air conditioning work? No. It has some other quirks as well that come with a long and happy automotive life. No biggie. The real issue is the standard transmission. I have never driven anything but automatic, and neither has my hubby, although he had an unfortunate (and very brief) experience with a U-Haul truck a couple of years ago. May I just say that I would have paid good money to see him lurch his way home in that gigantic truck, going 25 on the freeway the whole way, but I digress.

Part of the deal of us taking the Ranger (from my in-laws) is that my father-in-law teach us both how to drive it. I feel for him, really. Of course, he regularly puts his life in God’s hands as a driver’s ed teacher anyway, so I guess we were in good company. And despite the lurching, dying, grinding, jerking, and peeling out (and the panic… can’t forget the panic), we did okay. My father-in-law has the true heart of a teacher, and for that I am truly grateful.

So, my dearest husband drove our new acquisition the six hours back home, and while every time we stopped for gas/food/potty break, he either killed it or peeled it out, he did a pretty good job for a beginner. Did I laugh heartily? Of course! Will he laugh at me when it’s my turn? Of course! If only he hadn’t locked the keys in it the minute we got back. *sigh* I guess it’s time to check out the subversive lock-picking skills of our neighbors.

The bottom line is this: we’re just happy to have another car that works, even if we have to kill it a few times on our way.

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Filed under family, marriage, preschooler, standard transmission

This Omnivore’s Dilemma

As I sit here watching my charming child chow down on fried balls of corn, which are radioactive orange, freeze-dried and reconstituted, and then coated in a “cheese-like” powder, I feel a little guilty about giving my child “food” instead of wholesome, real food. Then, I rationalize and tell myself that she doesn’t get these things very often, so it’s more like a treat than nutrition. I know her body won’t see it the same way, but it’s nice to make myself think it anyway.

Between my gall bladder, my second pregnancy, and Jewel’s asthma and her allergies to milk and soy, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what we eat here in America. The media (and all the fat people such as myself) bemoan fast food and obesity related illness, but then we proceed to turn off our brains and stuff our faces with all sorts of mystery “foods.” When did food start coming from factories instead of farms? And when did factories become acceptable sources of food? When did it become okay to have one real ingredient in a “food” and have the rest come from a lab somewhere? When we can’t even pronounce what’s in a food, then that ought to be a red flag, but we look at the pretty picture on the label, and it looks so good, so we ignore the adverse engineering and fill our bods with pseudo-food that is loaded with fat, sugar and salt. It’s food that completely lacks real nourishment and saps our energy and health. Sad, really.

As a way to get maximum nutrients with minimum time (and fat), I’ve started making green smoothies. I don’t know if you’ve ever had one, but they’re pretty fantastic. That is, if you upgrade your blender (the $15 Walmart version won’t work… believe me… it gets ugly). The main idea is blending greens and fruit together to make a tasty smoothie packed with super nutrition. I know it sounds disgusting, and I have to admit it does look pretty disgusting too (who doesn’t like gloopy brown food?), but it tastes really great, especially since we add local honey to ours to help with our allergies. I feel really good when I drink the smoothies, and I can tell a definite difference when I don’t. Even Jewel likes them, and she loves helping put the frozen fruit into the blender. The challenge is keeping her from eating it all before she puts it in.

I guess that’s all for my soap box today, and I’ll try to keep things on the lighter end from now on. Oh, and I think I’ll give Jewel a peach with her lunch. Maybe it’ll make up for the cheese balls just a little bit.

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Filed under family, green smoothie, marriage, nutrition, preschooler, toddler