Friday, December 31, 2010

2010, over and out

So, that's that. 2010 is like, so yesterday (almost). Which is really okay, because I don't know that we could have packed any more action into one year, anyway. We had a baby and we moved and we sold a house and we bought a house and lost a cat and gained a cat and flew here and there and everywhere. And somewhere in the midst of all that go, go, go: our bigger little shed his baby skin once and for all and emerged a big boy who speaks and knows colors and can work my new iPhone better than I can, and our littler little zoomed from newbornhood to this girly little thing who stands and claps and talks and charms our socks off every ten minutes or so by doing the CUTEST THING EVER. And all that growing? It happened overnight, I swear it did.

Now, we move into 2011. And by "move into" I mean we sleep through the big year-turning moment ('cause we're old and sitterless and wouldn't have anywhere to go even if we DID have a sitter nor would we even want to go anywhere because the roads will be shiny icy deathtraps) and we'll wake up far earlier than we'd like and find that 2011 is already underway. And we'll pour Cheerios and spoon yogurt and watch some Sesame in our pajamas. 'Cause again, we're old. But you know what? I'd take Sesame with the warm and snuggly pajama-clad littles over waking up hungover with mascara crusted eyelids any old day, no doubt about it.

Happy new year, my friends. Wishing you a 2011 full of awesomeness.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


So the new Splendid Littles line at Target? Oh, em, gee. Trust me, you want some for your littles. Since we're spending one extra day in the land where places like Super Target exist outside of my dreams, I had to check it out. And then I had to hyperventilate beside the rack and buy one of EVERYTHING. I mean, it's Splendid! Sure it's not Splendid Splendid, but it's close enough and it's soft and cozy, and it's like $18 for a dress instead of $70.

And Vivi? She likey.
(As if I needed another reason to spend half my days longing for a Super Target. Le sigh.)

So about that extra day. Right about now, we were supposed to be boarding a plane bound for the northwoods. Except since we arrived in Cali, Vivi's been a little off. Cranky and boogery and just not our happy smiley baby girl. And when she started rubbing at her ears a few days ago, we decided it was time for a visit to the walk in clinic. Where we were told she had a double ear infection and that flying was a terrible idea until she'd been on her baby z-pack for a couple of days (unless we wanted our baby in terrible pain, anyway). Big shout out to Delta Airlines for being (shockingly!) accommodating in rebooking us at no charge at all.

And our Christmas? Fan. Freaking. Tastic. Because it's criminal not to slap up a post full'o Christmas pictures and rave on about all the amazing gifts and yummy food, I'll do that soon. For now, I'm off to enjoy the sunshine and 60 degree temps before returning to the great white north (and my kitties and pup who I'm beginning to miss quite a lot). To close, I give you Santa 2010. No screaming, no smiling, just a stoic ($20, ten second) visit with the jolly old guy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

merry pre-christmas

Over the weekend, we had our little family pre-Christmas before jetting off for the real Christmas celebration in sunny (er ... soggy?) SoCal.

Seriously? Best little pre-Christmas ever. Just me, J, and two very excited littles. The bigger little was excited because there was a TANTA on his shirt and he finally got to rip apart those gifts under the tree (after a month of torturous waiting). The littler little was just excited because WE were all excited, and that's how she rolls.

great grandma and great grandpa J scored big time with this rocket toy:

as did A's Godparents with this gerbil Z-thing he's hugging:

And now, we're all packed up and ready to go (and the house alarm is set and the Rottweiler hungry, would-be-burglar people). Snow and freezing drizzle here, torrential rains and flooding there ... it may take a Christmas miracle to get us to grandmother's (and grandfather's) house tomorrow. Wish us luck! And merry pre-Christmas to you, my friends. xoxo.

Friday, December 17, 2010

anderson bob huge pants

This.... what happens when your mommy doesn't pack spare pants for the gym day care and your diaper springs a leak. You get sent home in Sponge Bob Square Pants pajama bottoms four sizes too big. And you go straight home, not to the store as planned, because seriously? That's just all kinds of faux pas. Mama doesn't do PJ pants in public (for those not in PJ pant covering snow suits, I mean). Or character pants. Or pants so big you're walking like a skater boy with your hiney hanging out.

Sorry A. Not even you can pull that look off.

Monday, December 13, 2010

glass: it's what's for breakfast

Post 7:00am, an ice-cold Diet Dew, and some Matt Lauer while the kids eat breakfast without getting any on the ceiling, that's how I like to start my Monday.

Instead? A 6am wake up. Then J manages to get his car approximately 2.4 feet down the unplowed driveway before it wedges into a snowbank, so of course that means he takes my SUV, leaving me transportationally challenged (and that pile of "MUST GET TO POST OFFICE YESTERDAY" Christmas packages still unsent). Then baby V's yogurt breakfast ended up all over my sweatshirt. Then, THEN, Anderson decided to take a big old bite out of Christmas. A red Christmas tree light, to be exact. In his mouth. Shattered. Tiny shards of red Christmas tree light in his teeth, on his chin, and most worrisome, maybe in his throat on the way to his poor unsuspecting tummy. So this Monday morning at 8:30am, you'd have found the four of us at the ER. Poked and prodded and screaming with terror (A), nap deprived and fussing (V), missing a work meeting (J), and wearing a yogurt speckled sweatshirt feeling like the worst mother ever for letting the incident happen (me). Thank GOD, the x-rays came up clear, and the doctor deemed it "highly unlikely" that a single piece of Christmas tree light glass remains inside Mister A. But that naughty list? Kind of a sure thing at this point. (Unless there's a special list for two year olds, then I'd guess he's hanging in there with the rest of 'em.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

10 months

We've hit double digits. And what's even more unnerving than knowing my sweet baby daughter is TEN WHOLE MONTHS OLD is knowing from experience how fast the next two months will go. And how then, when those two months are gone, it's bye-bye baby. Hello toddler. Before I know it she'll be stealing my mascara and taking phone calls from boys. Excuse me while I go sob/console myself with Christmas cookies.

Um, how much do we love her Christmas outfit? Thanks to the Mimi for that one.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Last week in the mail (what is it with me and MAIL lately?), amid the bills and credit solicitations was a package from one of my very favorite great aunts. The one I admired as a little girl because she wore pretty dresses and lived in an exotic land called Florida. Where Mickey Mouse lives, yall! She and her husband and my grandparents took my sister and I on our very first Disney trip, and you'd think a 6th grader's most lasting memory of her very first trip to Disney World would involve a castle or a scrapbook full of character signatures, right? Those are all special memories of that trip, too, but what stands out most in my mind happened before we even made it to the kingdom of magic. I remember that as we left for Disney World that morning, we stopped at a red light, and there beside us on the curb was a man in dirty clothes holding a sign. This wasn't exactly something I saw, like, EVER back home in Bismarck, North Dakota, so I was paying verrrrrry close attention to this stranger on the street. And from my seat in the way back of the van, I watched my great aunt and uncle roll down the window and pass a box of donuts into the hands of this hungry, homeless man. And I took note in that 6th grade head of mine. Kindness can be as simple as a box of donuts handed over to someone who needs them a whole lot more than you do.

So anyway, this kind and thoughtful great aunt sent a package for the kids last week. And in there with the toy tractors and gorgeous little white dress was this photo with a note attached ....

Isn't that just about the nicest thing you could hope to get in the mail? A simple, sweet reminder that you're loved? By people who wordlessly taught you a kindness lesson early on, then remind you 20-some years later that kindness can also be taking the time to write a little note and send an old picture in this day where nobody really writes anything on paper anymore because it's all emails and blogs and facebooking and such?

So though I doubt they're blog readers, thank you, Aunt Mary Ann and Uncle Jim, for kindness past and present.

(You love my 80s mullet. You know you do.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


The Mister and the mail lady are both creeping dangerously near the top of the naughty list today, I'm afraid.

The Mister? He's got a cold. We've all got colds, with the exception of J, who doesn't spend his days (gladly) accepting kisses from little boogery faces, so he hasn't caught this. (Yet.) My (admittedly mild) cold is making me tired and cranky, Vivi's cold is making her temperamental and sleepless, and A's cold is making him NAUGHTY. To start with, he threw Cheesus in the toilet this morning. While it was ... um .... in use (if you know what I'm sayin', because GOD FORBID I try to use the restroom with the door closed). So Cheesus needed a good Cloroxing, because it's not like you can just flush Cheesus, right? Then, while we made a mad dash through the store for Kleenex and Little Noses saline spray and all the fixins for a big pot of chicken soup, he managed to rip open a container of yogurt and smear it all over his hands, face, and pants before I even noticed. (He was sitting in the main part of the cart, so in my defense, I had V blocking my view.) (And yeah, I know, toddler + yogurt container + obstructed view = rookie mistake.) So that little stunt drew some sideways glaces and tsk tsks from the old birds at the store. And now, he's spent exactly one hour and forty two minutes in his crib not napping. First, he spent some time laughing. Then jumping. Then there was screaming, so I went to investigate, and (obviously) found him pantless. Put pants back on. More screaming and some dry coughing, so I delivered a sippy cup. Left. Quiet for awhile, until that %&^%$#@ mail lady decided to HONK HER HORN all the way up our driveway to let me know she was headed to the front door with a package. Who DOES that? I hereby strike the mail lady from my thankful list, because that just wasn't cool. So then there was more screaming, and this time, I found him soaking wet. Sippy cup lid was intact, so he'd apparently done the old spit trick all over his pants and shirt, which indicates a very deliberate soaking job was taking place up there. I peeled off the wet clothes, got him into dry clothes, told him sternly that it was naptime NOW .... and in protest, he kicked at the wall as hard as he could for a few minutes, then conked out. But that kicking? Yeah, you guessed it, it woke his sister.

So much for a restful nap time. Sigh.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

swiftenhaal, cheesus, etc.

All right. So first, I need to get something off my chest. UsWeekly? Do you SERIOUSLY expect me to believe that this whole "GyllenSwift" or "Swiftenhaal" or whatever we're calling this fauxmance is an actual RELATIONSHIP and not some publicist's scheme to get these two (who just HAPPEN to have a new movie and a new album coming out) onto the cover of UsWeekly over and over again? I mean, for real? I may not be some fancypants LA publicist like my baby sister is, but I'm also not so dumb that I'm going to buy that a guy who dated the likes of (my idol) Reese Witherspoon would have any interest in some tween queen like Taylor-freaking-Swift. So UsWeekly, do me a favor: more about Princess Kate (sorry, Catherine) or Jessica Simpson's current pant size or hell, even those dopey Kardashians and less about fake PRomances. Thanks! Love and smooches and such!

So otherwise, my lack of blog updates can be blamed on what everyone's lack of everything can be blamed on in the month of December ... the ho-ho-holidays! I'm loving all the merrymaking this year more than ever. Mostly because I've got two littles who are all wide-eyed at the sight of the lit up Frasier Fur (and one who likes to run around yelling "TANTA! TANTA! TOYYYYSSSSS!") But also because this whole Christmas thing is just so much more Christmassy in the (sporadically) snowy north. Yes, even if our actual Christmas will be more beachy than snowy ... still, the preparations are all that much cozier when there are snow flakes flying about outside our window and cold winter winds howling as we drift off to sleep. And frigid overnight temperatures leading to frozen pipes and spending a gazillion dollars on a new garage heater. STILL! It's magical, I tell you.

Also magical? Mister's learning the reason for the season: Jesus ("Cheesus"). He and the baby Cheesus from his Little People Nativity set are BFFs these days. So much so that no mealtime is complete without Cheesus beside him on the tray. Kind of melts my heart, because even if it is just fun and games for a 2 year old, a mama likes her boy keeping Jesus close to his heart. Cheesus is a big fan of bananas, did you know?

We've also got the Advent tree up and underway, a fun yearly tradition for the kids and their Mimi.

A couple more holiday related pictures to close, and close I must, because I hear V staring her nearly-awake "mmmmm, mmmmm, maaaaaa" chant.

Yes, Bug, Santa does love you.
No comment on the "best" part.

Miss V partaking in the stringing of the lights.

...for all of 10 minutes, before she threw a screaming, shivering fit.
So we watched from inside.

Stocking hanging.
SO much more fun now that I've got a real mantle!

That's the biggest tree they had at Menards.
Next year, we're chopping our own, and it's going to be HUGE.
(By we, I mean J.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Remember when I posted about those chicken tacos? We've got a batch simmering in my trusty crock-pot as we speak. As we ... type. Or read. Or whatever. We're having chicken tacos! And with my chicken tacos, I always love a big side of yummy salsa, don't you? In Austin, I had more salsa options than I knew what to do with. The salsa selection at the grocery store down there? About as big as the cheese (and bratwurst and beer) section at the grocery store up here. But the salsa selection here? Pathetic. Pace? Are you JOKING? THAT'S NOT SALSA. That's, like, chunky ketchup. Gag.

So, I dug up an old recipe I'd relied on to fulfill my salsa needs when we last inhabited the salsa-challenged northern region, ran it through the food processor, and proceeded to eat about 300 tortilla chips "testing it out". While not fancy, it's certainly better than chunky ketchup. So I thought I'd share. Try it sometime. Your chicken tacos will thank you.

You need:
14.5 oz can of Rotel
14.5 oz can of tomatoes (I use diced)
1 tbs + 1 tsp jalepeno
1/4 cup diced onions
3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp sugar
(*You can play around with the sugar, I like an extra dash or two for sweetness. I have also tried it with a brown sugar to make it a little more Red Pepper-like. Mmm. Red Pepper.)

Very simple directions:
Run the onion and jalepeno through the food processor. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Process for a few seconds. Chill for awhile for best results. Eat with 300 tortilla chips. Promise yourself you'll do an extra half hour on the treadmill tomorrow. Maybe.