Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fire Restaurant Therapy

A few weeks ago we splurged and took the girls out to eat at a local Japanese restaurant, Massaki, where they cook the food in front of you on a large grill. The chef tosses knives, juggles eggs, and even has flames shoot off the grill five feet high. It's an entertaining show. We thought the kids would enjoy it. Well . . . S liked it, Marina was indifferent, and K was terrified. She was fine with everything but the fire. He only did it twice, but that was two times too many for her. She was crying so hard I had to take her out twice to try to calm her down. Fortunately, the place was almost empty. She ate one shrimp, one bite of rice, and spent the last half of the meal cowering under the table sobbing. I felt kind of bad about it, but we weren't about to leave and waste all that money!

Ever since then, she talks about it a lot, as in, "I don't want to go to the fire restaurant anymore." No worries. We won't be doing that again anytime soon.

Well, right now she's got her toy food and dishes out, and is playing restaurant. She says she is a cooker-man, and is pretending to make fire. I pretended to be a crying child, much to my daughters' amusement.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Biggest Criers

Just watched The Biggest Loser. I've never seen so much crying from a bunch of men. These guys were sobbing like babies. Pretty impressive, really, especially considering that it's all in front of cameras. I wonder how much flak these guys are going to get when they're back home with their buddies.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Wild Monkey

I took S to the doctor this afternoon. As visits go, it was average. I've had much worse. Had to wait half an hour - most of it in the examining room (the worst place to wait). S and K's behavior was decent. But M is at the worst age! She was dying to get down and crawl around, and so the whole trip was a wrestling match between her and me. It was like holding a wild monkey. I'm not that paranoid about dirt and germs - I don't mind kids crawling outside if they're in old clothes. But I'm not too keen on examining room floors at 4:30 in the afternoon. Who knows how many gross things have been spilt, leaked, or dropped on them in the course of the day? Plus, I didn't have her in old clothes, because I always feel like I have to make an impression of motherly competence on the doctor.

I know when I take her back for her one year check up I'll have to give and let her explore; today was about all I could take. She kept head butting me in the chest. Hard. In case you don't know how that works: baby leans forward, bending at the waist, and then quickly slams her head back on you.

I've seen parents holding babies and toddlers older than M is, who are content to just sit on their parents' laps. It just amazes me. Once I saw my friend Missy hold her little boy, who was over one year at the time, on her lap for over an hour. He hardly even tried to get down. I could hardly believe it. None of mine have been that way.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Starting Young

As the missionaries were leaving our house this evening, K opens her arms wide, and says, "Hugs and kisses!"

Friday, February 22, 2008

Stinky Gas

No, not that kind. I'm talking about gasoline. I've heard some people actually like the smell, and I know some "headed-for-a-life-of-underachievement" adolescents like to sniff it, but I detest the smell of the stuff.
Last night, I went to get gas (in the aforementioned snow "storm") and stepped in a puddle of gasoline someone had spilled. Then without thinking, I grabbed the pump handle, which was also covered. I had to throw my glove away, and suffered with smelly shoes the rest of the evening. Next month, I wouldn't be surprised if the people we visit teach won't let me come back! I'm sad about the gloves; they only cost $1, but I really liked them.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Southern Drivers

Why are people so darn afraid to drive in a little bit of snow? This evening I went out visiting teaching, and my dear friend (who shall remain nameless) was very uneasy because it had begun snowing/sleeting. Just a little dusting. It wasn't sticking to the roads. And if snow does start to stick to the roads, it usually takes at least a few hours before it becomes impassable, and you're stuck and forced to eat the crumbs in the carseats to survive. At least that's the way it is in Virginia. I'm well aware that there are parts of the country where conditions can become bad quickly. But this is Virginia. It's been years since we've even had a decent 12 inch snow. But an awful lot of people around here, who are old enough to have had some snow driving experience, are convinced that they will slide right off the road as soon as snow sticks.

I was born and raised in Virginia, and in a part of the state that gets less snow than here, but my parents are Northerners. I guess they imparted their "don't let a little snow stop life" attitude to me. So people, listen up: If there is some snow on the roads, don't panic. Just drive a more slowly and allow plenty of braking room. (Ice is a different story, however, so learn to tell the difference between the two.) Think of the millions of people who live farther north, and still go on with work and school even when it snows! If they can do it, so can we!

Not again

Apparently, we may get yet another ice storm tomorrow. For some reason this winter weather has been happening on Fridays a lot, which means S misses her dance class. She's missed two already, and she gets so disappointed. Hubby and I aren't thrilled, partly because we don't like to see her sad, but partly because we paid an arm and a leg for these classes! We want our money's worth!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sisterly Love

My two oldest daughters are only 3 and 5, and they have already had their first fight over clothing! It was partly my fault. Back before Christmas, their grandmother gave me some clothes to give the girls for Christmas. One of the items was a fancy looking skirt. I thought it would fit K, so I wrapped it up for her. I was wrong; too large. She wore it once, and it kept falling down. So yesterday before church, S needs something to wear, and I pulled out K's skirt and asked her if S could wear it. That was my mistake - I should have never had such a crazy idea involving love and sharing. K had a fit, shrieking that it was hers. S, wanting to wear it, starts wailing because K doesn't want her to. In the end, I got K to give in, and everyone was mostly happy.

Even though I have five sisters, I never had to share clothing, since we were so rich my parents bought us more clothes than we could wear. Oh wait, that was just my fantasy. Really, my next youngest sister is six years younger than me, so I was out of the house before she caught up to me in size.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Baby Blue Jean Blues

Grumble! Once again, I have a child who is changing sizes mid-winter. And of course, the stores have all switched to spring clothing. In February. She needs long sleeves and pants! And the size that I need is 12 months, and apparently that is more scarce than say, 3T or 3 months. Like at Target, they have infant clothing that goes from 0-9 mths, and then they have toddler clothing that goes from 24 mths - 5T. There's not much in that mystery land of 12-18 months. Why not?! So I am having great difficulty finding anything for her to wear. At Target last week, I literally saw a father put two pairs of 12 m pants in his cart. The last two in the store! Wal-mart has two tables of boys winter clothes marked down to $1, but nothing for girls in 12 months. If only I had had the foresight last month to get her some stuff when I caught the fabulous Jan. clearance sale at Old Navy. But she's a slow grower, and I didn't think ahead . . .

So last night, after a hospital visit, J and I rushed in to Old Navy in Charlottesville before they closed. They did have a few winter things left, and even a few spring things in long sleeve. The prices weren't quite what I would have liked, but beggars can't be choosers. And now back to the title of this post - they mostly had just shirts. I found one pair of sweats that don't match that well with the shirts, and there were racks and racks of adorable baby blue jeans. WARNING to new parents: blue jeans might look fetching on the rack, but they are usually a poor choice for babies. Fat, chubby babies need soft, elastic waist, easy-on, leggings or stretchy pants. Jeans end up looking funny, are hard to get on, and are stiff and uncomfortable. But I bought a pair anyway, out of desperation. Tried them on this morning, and I could barely get them over her fat roly-poly thighs. Then I could hardly get them snapped. The length was just right, so going a size up wouldn't work. Back to the store they go.

Maybe we'll have an early spring.

Valentine Cake

No need for a heart pan. Instead of baking two round layers, bake one round and square cake. Cut the round in half, and place the halves on the sides of the square, and you have a heart shape. I had to trim it up a bit, but that meant there were scraps for snacking.
The pink sugar kind of hides the lettering, but it gave my little helper K something to do.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Matching Food

Here's what I fixed the girls for lunch today:
leftover pork loin roast
buttered whole wheat bread (homemade)
apple slices
fresh blueberries

Not a bad spread in my opinion, even if it is a little different. It covers the food groups. And I rarely buy blueberries, so that was a treat. But S informed me that "it doesn't match" and would only eat the fruit!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentines and Lollipops

At story time today, the libarian asked the children what Valentine's Day was all about. "Lollipops!" shouts out my three year old. Ah, the simple life of a child.

During all of my single years, I think that I was dating someone only once on Valentine's Day, and by that point I was dying to break up with him. Unfortunately, I didn't realize this until I was getting ready to go out with him for the evening, and I noticed that I was dreading seeing him! I didn't have the heart (haha) to dump him on V-day - how cruel would that be. So I suffered through the date. We went to a lovely, expensive, little French restaurant in Georgetown. It would have been so wonderful if I had just been with someone else! How terrible of me to say that, I know. I really don't miss those single years of disappointment much.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I'm so special.

I must be a very important person. Cindy McCain called me twice last night (different topics each time), and John McCain called me today. Of course, I had already cast my vote for him by the time he called, but still it was kind of him to think of me.

Voting for a Boat

Today was Virginia's Primary, and so I bundled up the girls and we walked to our polling station (local church) to do our civic duty. Just like last time, after I'm done, and we're leaving, K wants to know where the boat is. "Next week, let's go to see a boat on water," she says in such a sweet, polite voice. I had explained before we even left the house that there would be no boat, but I guess she didn't believe me. S had the same disappointment when she was three years old too. But now she's old enough to start to understand what it's all about - not boats, but picking the person you think will do the best job. It's cool to see her start to see things outside of her own little world.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Let's Have Some More Meetings!

I got to go to a Relief Society Board meeting after church today! Yes, that's right, I was excited to go. I've been looking forward to it ever since I received notice of it a few weeks ago. Why? Well, by staying at church, I got to miss that whole take three tired, cranky, hungry children home from church thing. I hate that hour after church. Everyone's shrieking for food (myself included) and usually I don't have the foresight to have anything decent prepared ahead. Coats, shoes, and tights are strewn everywhere. The kitchen is still a mess from breakfast. The baby is always desperate to be nursed. It's all a real joy. For the past few years, Jeryl has had monthly after-church meetings, and sometimes been in the choir, and so I have had to do it all by myself.

But not today! My husband had to take the kids home by himself this time, while I got to stay and have a lunch meeting. I must say that I ate better than my family did, for there really was nothing much to eat (other than our food storage, of course). But Jeryl did really well. When I got home, everyone had been fed, and he had even done all of the dishes, which I usually don't get done so quickly.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

How come I keep losing my links and stuff on the side? Very annoying.

Friday, February 08, 2008

On Time

Ever since sandal weather ended and coat and socks and shoes weather began, we have been late to S's Friday morning dance class. It starts at 10:00. I don't know what I'm going to do when she has to be at school by 8:00 next year, but I'll worry about that later. It's harder to get there by 10:00 than it is to get to church by 9:00. It's not like we sleep late either. And I'm normally a punctual person. Maybe it's because that extra hour gives me a false sense of security, and I start doing other things I don't do on Sunday mornings, like check my email . . . . The cold weather gear really does slow things down, too. That's what I hate most about winter.

Anyway, I hate rushing in late, and S even said recently that she didn't want to be the last one there anymore! Ouch. So this morning, I told myself that we had to leave the house at 9:30 (it's about 3 miles away). So we left at 9:45, and arrived early. S was confused! She could see the 9:30 class in progress on the waiting room tvs, and kept trying to go in with them. She had totally forgotten what it was like to not be late.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I'm melting . . .

At the park today, it looked like it was about to rain, and since we walked, I told the girls we were leaving so as not to be caught in a downpour. K became very alarmed that it might rain on her, and walked the entire way home trying to protect her head with her hand.

It didn't rain after all. I wonder what she would have done when she found out that one hand won't keep you dry.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

West Virginia McCain Supporters

Today, WV delegates at the Republican convention saw that Romney was poised to win. Huckabee was second and McCain was third. So McCain supporters struck a backroom deal and all voted for Huckabee, and thus propelled him into first place, costing Romney a win.

I am disgusted!! To vote for someone you don't support just to keep someone else from winning shows a complete lack of integrity. How can people be so low? If Romney loses the nomination over these delegates, I'm just gonna be sick. I can hardly imagine how he would feel about it.
I'm frustrated that I don't get to vote today! Why doesn't Virginia get with the rest of the pack? The race outcomes will likely be decided by this evening, without many Americans having had a say. I would like to have more than two candidates to choose from on Election Day.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Did you really mean to say that?

Question: Is it ever a good idea to say to your eight-months-pregnant wife, "You know, your butt has gotten bigger."

Is it unreasonable to expect your wife to understand that you were paying her a compliment, because you like what pregnancy has done to her?

Well, gentle readers, it has been over five years since that ill-considered remark was made, and the matter is still under discussion. The husband now says he understands that it was a mistake to have said it, but still tries to defend himself. The wife should have known that her behind was so small before, and that there was no way that it could get too big. The wife thinks that her husband was insane to say something like that, and thinks that she showed remarkable restraint in only shedding a few tears about it.

Friday, February 01, 2008

This is Serious!

Oreo quality has been compromised! They have taken out the transfats!!!

First, let me just say that I am actually quite opposed to transfats, and have been for years, even before it was the trendy. I haven't bought Crisco or margarine in years.

******power outage that lasted all afternoon**********

Secondly, I am a dessert snob. If I'm gonna eat high calorie food, it had better be good, and I don't think that 98 percent of what's sold in the store is good. Homemade-from-scratch is so much better! Not that I won't eat store stuff if it's around - I'm weak. But I try to save my calories for the good stuff.

But, Oreos, they're the other 2 percent! How delicious! How scrumptious! What melt-in-your-mouth goodness! There's some indefinable tastiness that makes me say every time I eat them, "WHAT makes these so good?!" I know it's the hydrogenated fat, but who cares? It's worth it! Definitely the best sweet you can buy at the grocery store (not counting ice cream - I am only counting desserts that you chew). I can eat a whole package in . . . a very short period of time. I pretty much have had to stop buying them very often, because I have no self-control.

But yesterday my husband bought a package on his way home from work. It's probably been months since we've had any. After supper (can't believe I waited that long), I bit in, and disappointment followed. That special something was gone. I mean, they were good, but nothing special. I grabbed the package, read the label, and sure enough, the hydrogenated oils are gone! Not even the trace kind that most manufacturers put in, and still round down to "zero transfats" on the label. And they're just not the same.