Friday, January 30, 2009

"I want a new mother. "

An actual conversation and situation that occurred in my home yesterday.

The Middle Apple looks up at me from her school desk and asks, "Can I have a cookie?"

"Not until you have finished your math page, honey." I replied.

Middle Apple, putting her head down on her desk with a pout, says, "I want a new mother. One that will give me cookies."

I quietly crossed the room, open up the front door and say to her, "Okay. Well, I love you. I hope you find a really nice new mother."

The Middle Apple drops her pencil, puts on her shoes and heads out the front door. I wave at her and blow her a kiss. I close the glass storm door and stand there watching her. She waves back and heads down the sidewalk. I watch her closely.

Exactly 2 minutes later, she returns with her head down low. She knocks on the door. I open it slowly and say, "Back so soon?"

She looks up at me with an angry look on her face and states very matter-of-factly, "I am not allowed to cross the street by myself."

I have a very very hard time keeping a straight face. The Middle Apple flings off her shoes and plops back down to her schoolwork.

"So, you aren't going to go find a new mother, huh?"

"No. I'm not. "

"Okay. That's good. Because I sure would miss you. Alot," I tell her honestly.

"Can I have a cookie now?"The Middle Apple asks.

"Just as soon as you finish your math page, honey."

"Fine." she says, with a slump.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ant Invasion....

Last August, when I was ordering The Middle Apple's homeschool curriculum, I was dismayed that the package came with an Ant Farm. I could have opted out, but realized that if I went ahead and ordered the package deal, WITH the ant farm, I was saving money. So I went ahead and ordered it..knowing in my heart the ant farm would NEVER be set up in my home.

For my first 2 summers in NC, I raged a war against the ants. They would enter our home, snack on cookies and crackers and dinner snackage that my kids dropped on the floor (Hey, they were 2 and 3 years old!) I would put out ant traps and spread Terro in the corners to keep them at bay. To no avail. The 3rd summer, I won the battle. We hired a guy to treat the perimeter of our house for termites. I never saw another ant in the house again after that day....and peace reigned in our lives. Best $1000 dollars I ever spent in my life.

While unpacking boxes after the move to LA, I came across the ant farm. I quickly shoved it back into the box, but I was not quick enough. The Middle spotted it and asked about it. I told her about it...trying in vain to make it sound boring...disgusting even, but she sounded like having ants for pets was the most excitement that we have had since we got here. So I ordered the ants with a heavy heart.

Last weekend, the ants arrived by mail. With much fear and trembling, I refrigerated the little beasts so that they would be sleeping long enough for me to put them in the antfarm. The heat from my hands woke those little buggers up quickly so I had to move fast to keep from being bit. Totally gave me the heebie jeebies.

But now that we have been studying them for a few days, they are actually pretty darn interesting. While not as exciting as watching an episode of LOST, I have spent quite a bit of time watching the little ants hard at work building their tunnel. So have the kidlets....just staring at them for hours! So I have been scurrying around like a little ant coming up with projects to go along with our study on ants. Stephenie suggested we do a little experiment. We set out a plate of food (OH MY GOSH! I FED ANTS! WHAT HAS GOTTEN INTO ME!!!!) outside next to an anthill and see what types of foods ants would prefer. We made out predictions. I thought the ants would prefer the sticky sweet honey, the girls voted for the candy and the applesauce.

We were all surprised that the ants decided that their favorite food was the food that was portable and easy to take back to the nest. They went for the crackers the most, and used teamwork to haul large hunks of crackers back to the nest. So cool! We couldn't figure out why they liked the peanutbutter so much...maybe they just liked the smell?

We have learned quite a bit since the little creepy crawly critters arrived. I am glad that I invited them. But I assure you, these little ants will not be overstaying their welcome at our house.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Something that I never thought that I would ever say....

Thinking out loud today....

"Gosh, I wish my kid would just drop out of school so she can stay home and goof off all day. "

I laugh at the thought....a First Grade Dropout.

Homeschooling has it's advantages. The Big Apple is starting to feel jealousy over the Middle and Little Apples and all of the playdates and field trips that they get to go on when the homeschool work is over. Ya think she will ask to drop out of school?

Thursday, January 22, 2009


The people who know me best know about my problem. It's a huge problem, and a debilitating one. There might be a name for my disability, I am not sure what, but for now, I must simple call it this.....I am directionally challenged.

There. I said it. If you don't know what directionally challenged means, I will tell it to you more simply. I get lost. Alot. I can get lost trying to get out of a paper bag. I usually don't know which direction north is, unless it is either sunrise or sunset.

To give you a little bit of background history, I was never good at reading maps in school. I waited until I had graduated from college to get my drivers license because I get lost all the time. While my husband and I were dating, I memorized one single route to visit him at his apartment, and the rest of the time, was content to let him drive to where ever we were going. When we moved to NC, I didn't bother to start exploring the more major towns surrounding our house until my friend from MN came to visit 9 months after we had arrived, simply because I was afraid of getting lost. I was happy to be housebound, until I was so lonely I about lost my mind!

Today, something very liberating happened. And maybe it might not mean that much to any of you, but to me, it's huge. Today, I drove my kids to Houma to go to a dance class. All by myself. Do I get a gold star?

I stood in the driveway this afternoon, having an absolute panic attack about having to take the kids into the big town by myself for the first time, but also knowing that if I didn't get in the van and start driving, that I was going to be late or not even go at all. I was close to tears when my brain froze up and told myself that I didn't even know how to get to the highway. Of course I knew how to get to the silly highway, it was the panic attack that was lying to me. I even knew how to get to the class, my friend Steph had taken me there in her van yesterday, driven me by the exact place where the class was being held, and even showed me an alternative route. But for some reason, all that information in my brain was gone. My husband had even painstakenly writing out driving instructions on how to get there. In my panicked state, standing in the driveway, none of those directions made a lick of sense.

But then something happened. I took a deep breath, gathered my wits, and got in the van. I closed the van door and backed down the driveway. I made it to the highway. I managed to take the correct direction on the highway, and drove to Houma. I took the turns that I needed to make and arrived at my destination without screaming my head off at my kids. And, I knew how to get home when the dance class was over.

I feel so liberated. I know how to get somewhere. And it didn't take me 9 months to do either. Nope. I am a liberated woman now. I know how to get somewhere. I have places to go, people to see, things to do. I really like this feeling.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dear Tooth Fairy,

Dear Tooth Fairy,
Did you hear me calling you? My Mama made me stand outside and scream as loud as I could "Tooth Fairy! I LOST A TOOTH!" over and over again. Mama and Daddy stayed inside the house and laughed really hard. Here is a picture of me screaming for you to come to our house.
I had a nice time making that tooth fairy pillow with Mama too. The blue fabric was from the curtains from my nursery when I was a baby. The fairy pocket, I picked it out because you are the tooth fairy, and I thought that it was pretty.
But Tooth Fairy, I have to ask you. Did you have to leave SO MUCH pixie dust when you came to visit me? My Mama is going to be vacuuming glitter for days! And there is just tons of it in my bed! Did you stop to take a rest in my bed?
See you for tooth #2, Mrs. Tooth Fairy, it's already loose.
The Big Apple
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Friday, January 16, 2009

10 years ago today....

Ten years ago today, I took my father's arm, and slowly walked down the aisle at my church, wearing a beautiful gown, towards my future. My lover, my friend, my husband.

The last ten years have been a blur. A delightfully warm stew pot full of laughter, friends, warm welcomes, departures, babies, deaths, jobs, celebrations, children, dreams, hope, struggle, tears, and blessings.

What a fantastic adventure. I look forward to the next 10 years. And 10 after that, and 10 after that, and...

I love you Eben. Thank you for being mine.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I wish I could just freeze time....

I came home from a full day of fun at the Children's Museum in New Orleans with some fellow homeschoolers, to find this. The Big Apple, no longer with a loose tooth. The tooth had finally fallen out, and I wasn't home to witness it.

I remember that day, six short years ago...when that first tooth finally came to the surface of her gum. I remember the fussiness, the drooling, the endless chewing on cold wet washcloths. And I remember that first snaggle tooth grin, when you could actually see the tooth well enough when she smiled. It feels like just yesterday.

Today, The Big Apple is quite excited, with the tooth fairy coming to visit and all. But for me, it's bittersweet. My little girl...not so little any more, has lost her first tooth. In it's place, will grow her first adult tooth.

I wish I could just freeze time. This moment in time, where my beautiful little girl can just remain a little girl, and not have to grow up.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This should really be a NOT ME post....or otherwise titled "Stumbling Through Life"

This really should be a NOT ME post, but since it's not Monday, I can't do that. But I did want to clue you in on just how my week has been so far....And it's only half over.

I embarrassed myself completely doing these things:

1) Monday, I picked up my friend to go to the Walmart to go shopping. When we got there, I discovered that my wallet was missing from my diaper bag. I panicked. We drove to my house where I frantically started searching the house and the van. Then I started making phone calls to the places where I had been earlier, and looking up bank account information, just in case someone had my card. My husband reaches into my diaper bag, digs around a little and pulls out my wallet. It had been there all along. Doh!

2) Tuesday, I lost my cell phone at the library. Actually it wasn't at the library, it was in the floor of my van where I couldn't see it.

3) While I was at the library, I purchased a massive amount of books from their discard pile. When I carried them out to my car, I bent down and attempted to balance my stack of books and unlock the van door. The books toppled over and the majority of them slid underneath my van. Guess who had to LAY DOWN IN THE PARKING LOT to get them out from under? Yep. Me.

4) Wednesday, I went back to the Walmart to buy some diapers. Totally slipped my mind all 3 times that I have been at the store this week to buy the baby something to cover her bottom with. But anyway, while I was there, I found a book that I had been looking for for sometime and I am on the waiting list for at the library. Feeling the need to treat myself generously, I threw the book in my cart with great satisfaction. I found some freetime this afternoon and figured I could cozy up and read a few pages of it. I sat down with my coffee and the title, only to discover that IT WAS IN SPANISH! ugh. I can read a bit of spanish, but not quite enough to enjoy a 500 page novel.

So....any ideas about what can possibly happen to me the rest of this week? Anyone?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For you, Mama.....

Nothing beats Cheerios. Nothing. It's baby's first finger food, of course!

The Little Apple has been feasting on Cheerios for a few months now. Actually, Cheerios is more like her appitizer. I throw some on her little tray while I prepare the rest of her meal. She munches and cruches happily away.

As I was fixing dinner a few days ago, I glanced over at her, and she is making those cute baby babble noises to catch my attention. She is also reaching out as far as her little pink high chair will let her, and in her hand was her little offering of a Cheerio. Her face was bright and sweet...that toothless smile grinning at me seemed to say "I saved this last one for you, Mama."

Of course, I crossed the room to her, opened my mouth wide, and allowed her to feed me her very last crunchy treat. I smacked my lips and dramatically chewed that tiny piece of cereal as my sweet baby girl laughed and laughed.

It's the tiny moments like these, that make the long sleepless nights with a fever sick baby worth it. These little sweet moments totally overshadow the dirty diapers, endless piles of laundry, and baby toys that I trip over as I make my way to the coffee pot in the morning.

I love being a mom.
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Tale of Two Kitchens.....

At the risk of sounding like a spoiled brat, I must blog some more about my kitchen. On Christmas day, I dedicated my post on the joys of my oven. The lovely oven.

So, maybe I am a bit spoiled. But I do think I deserve to whine just a tiny bit. Will you allow me to do that, just for a wee minute? Thank you.

So, here is my kitchen that I just left in NC.....(please cue up the heavenly angel choir singing an alleluia chorus)
Yes, probably the most beautiful kitchen I will ever have the honor of cooking in. The most thoughtfully layed out, solidly made (yeah, look at those solid oak cabinets!), and spacious kitchen I will ever own. *sigh* I loved this kitchen.

And then there is this kitchen. (please cue up the polka music!)Oh wait. I like polka reminds me so much of our years in Minnesota.....Well, cue the cheesy music anyhow.... *sigh of discontent*

There is not much counter space to prep on. There is so-so storage space. No sprayer on the sink. The dishwasher was installed as an afterthought in the bar area, and you cannot unload it in the cabinets nearby when it is open. Ugh. Then there is this:
It's location....those cabinets in the corner? You can't open them unless the dishwasher is open. Don't get me started on how it sounds when you turn it on....kind of like a cross between herd of dying camels and the Indy 500. Love that!

Today took the cake though. I made a beautiful batch of chili and put it in the crockpot to cook all day. Yum. I took off to meet a friend for a playdate (Thanks Stephenie! We had a really great time!) expecting to return to a aroma filled house and a dinner ready for the table.

Instead, when I returned home in the afternoon, I found a stone cold crockpot. And a faulty electrical outlet. And an uncooked dinner. I felt almost as bad as Ralphie from A Christmas Story when the Bumpasses' dogs ran off with the Christmas Turkey.

I miss my old kitchen. *whine*