Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Conversations with a Three Year Old: Garbage

Me: "Hayden, please pick up those raisins that you dropped on the floor and put them in the trash."

Hayden: "Okay!"

Me: "Where are the raisins?"

Hayden: "I put them in the trash can in my mouth."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

Today we made an offer on a house we really wanted.....and within hours we got rejected and they picked somebody else. I thought i wasn't going to care if that happened, but it turns out i took so many pictures of this ugly old house trying to decide if we could fix it, that i somehow got emotionally attached. So instead of talking about how bummed I am, I'm going to show you some pictures of the Easter egg hunt we went to at our church on Saturday.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Conversations with a Three Year Old: Meals

The Owl in the back is Hayden, the one in front is me, and no Karaoke during nap time is NOT MY THING.

Not only were we trying to accomplish nap time today while getting a new roof put on our house, but we were also interrupted by various things at 15 minute intervals for the first hour....i.e..bathroom, doorbell, doorbell, pounding...etc. ect. This conversation took place after we settled down again for the fourth attempt at a nap:

Hayden: "Mommy, can i have some breakfast?"

Me: "No, we just ate lunch."

Hayden: "I don't want lunch, I want breakfast."

Me: "You can have a snack after you take your nap."

Hayden: "OKAY!!!!!!!"

Me: After that I believe I admitted an audible growl, but i can't be sure.

He then spent the next 30 minutes poking my face, kicking the wall, and singing until Mariah finally woke up and miraculously he fell asleep.

Photo courtesy of Lolcats

Saturday, March 27, 2010

House for Sale.....Again.

We've finally bit the bullet and are trying to put our house up for sale again. It's been more than a year since our first attempt, and I have to admit I'm dreading it and have been for the entire year. In some ways it'll be nice to get this step of our lives over with so I can stop feeling like it's hanging around my neck with imminent strangleage (sound it out, and yes, i made that word up - take that spell check) about to take place.

Last year Mariah was a cranky baby, we had a realtor we weren't sure about, and a mortgage broker we were REALLY not sure about, and even a home inspector that we thought was pulling our leg a little. So, you can imagine when you put all those together along with the idea of purchasing a new home things might get a little hairy. Well they did. They got VERY VERY hairy, so we called it quits, took our house back off the market and then spent the next 12 months contemplating moving to Pennsylvania in order to be closer to family. There are several reasons why that didn't work out, but I'll save that for another post.

This year is different. We LOVE our Realtor, we TRUST our mortgage lender, and we've already dragged our feet so long that nobody could possibly be in this for quick money....i mean we're talking a year, that's a long time to wait for a commission.....sorry David. Next week we'll be putting our house on the market. We've already found a Money Pit that we can't pass up and are going to try and put on offer on. I'm not sure what it is about fixer uppers that attract me, but for some reason my heart falls hard for the orange painted trim, the early 90's decor, and the crusty paint covered rugs.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Conversations with a Three Year Old: Safety Gear

The past few weeks Hayden has discovered that Mommy and Daddy have names. He tentatively calls me "Kari" from time to time, and asks me where "Helmut" is. I have to admit that while I laugh it off, I also find it very disturbing. Something about having my 3 year old son calling me "Kari" feels really weird.

After dinner we decided to go for a walk and let Hayden ride his bike to burn off some of his "bad" energy (trust me, it was REALLY BAD).

Helmut: "Hayden, please take your bike out of the garage."

Hayden: picking up is bike helmet, "Daddy, you have to help me put on this helmut first."

Helmet, helmut....same diff.

Confession: Poultry

Confession: Every time the chickens fall asleep in the pen outside I think they're dead.....every time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Diet Log: The Day After Day 5

In case you're wondering what happened after I left you last night, I'm going to tell you. I finished typing my last few sentences about guilt and despair and was poised to lay in bed counting my extra rolls until sleep descended upon me when Helmut came in and literally pulled my leg until I got out of bed and went to work out with him in our garage.

Two and a half years ago we set up our garage as a home gym. We were ready to get fit, at home, in the luxury of our own garage...never mind that the temperature in there is 100+ degrees in the summer. Week 1 went stupendously, I was down a few pounds and feeling GREAT, week 2 I found out I was pregnant with Mariah. Week two day 2 was probably the last time we used that home gym. I spent the next 9 months laying on the couch in between outings with Hayden and after that, labor, back injury, and lots of sissy whining.....which brings us to last week.....

I was having lunch with a good friend from church when we got on the subject of blood type characteristics. After that discussion I went home and researched the Blood Type Diet. What I found was many many unhappy participants who said it was a joke, and had been dis-proven as a myth, blah blah blah, so when I found the actual official website I was ready to laugh my way through the blood type descriptions and scoff at anyone gullible enough to actually trust that kind of blather. DUN DUN DUN. Then I proceeded to read an incredibly accurate description of myself, so specific at times it was scary. It was in fact so accurate that upon reading it I was certain that my mother and myself must share a blood type....that is, type O. The next day I texted my parents who confirmed my suspicions.

One of the more important and constructive things I took out of it was that when I feel like I'm getting grouchy, to go exercise......which finally brings me to yesterday. We went to the garage, cleaned out the chicken's box, rigged up some special lighting for them, then I got on the elliptical trainer and did 1 full minute of intense cardio before realizing it was 11pm and I was exhausted, so I came back inside and went to bed. Anticlimactic i know, but at least i didn't cheat on my diet!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Diet Log: Day 5 Doldrums

Yes, you read that title correctly. I'm back on the diet "horse." After taking a 6 month break....let's call it a break, I've finally gotten really REALLY sick of my waistline again. I tried starting up the diet about 6 weeks ago, and was doing so well I was just getting ready to blog about my triumphant 5 lb weight loss when we got invited over to a friends house for dinner. That doesn't sound terribly threatening....and indeed it wasn't until the hostess asked me to bring some Brie. Brrriiiieeeeee. Say that out loud in a breathy, sultry sort of voice. It's not as if I've never had brie before. In fact I'd had it several times and quite liked it each time. I guess I had never built up the temerity to buy it myself, and here someone was asking me to buy it and giving me an excuse to go looking for it. So i went to the grocery store and hunted until i found it, bought it, took it to the party, and enjoyed it on my crusty french bread along with some pretty spectacular Beef Bourguignon.

I happened to buy a whole extra cheese, so after the party the hostess handed me the extra cheese and I took it home and stuck it in the fridge. That was the beginning of a very indulgent 6 week love affair with brie. I'm not going to say how many wedges or different types of brie i tried in that time, because frankly it's embarrassing. Let's just say I'm trying to keep my grubby mitts away from the specialty cheese section until the last 10 lbs of weight are lost. Oh yeah, i gained back that whole 5 lbs in two weeks and added 2 more lbs before I finally realized that Brie slathered on french bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is not diet friendly.

Today is day 5 back on the diet and I've definitely hit the 5th day slump. Day's 1 and 2 I was patting myself on the back as the pounds were flying off, day 3 I figured the scale needed a break, day 4 I was not excited about the stop in weight loss, but not depressed. Then I hit day 5. Day 5 seems to be a real deal breaker for me EVERY SINGLE TIME. Three days of an unrelenting scale have put a frown on my face and a small chip on my shoulder. I hate it when the scale is mean, and let's face it, it's the scales fault. It has NOTHING to do with my chocolate obsession. I'm supposed to be exercising right now, to try and budge the scale, but I've decided to write this instead to make myself feel really really ridiculous in front of people just in case I am tempted to cheat tonight....which I always am on Day 5. So there you go. If you don't get anymore diet updates for a while it's because I've cheated and I'm really embarrassed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


17 Months old, enjoying the park....and savoring the dirt.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Rice and Beans Eating #FAIL

I've put off writing this post for a while because I feel like a Rice and Beans participant failure. I was so excited about the possibilities this month was going to bring to our family, the solidarity, the fasting from the world, the fasting from all foods in the "junk" category. I never thought I'd be a push-over-giver-upper. I began preparing our family for a month of just rice, beans, and assorted vegetables in January. We don't normally eat beans, not because we don't like them, simply because I didn't know how to make them. So in January I got some bean making advice and started making them for dinner twice a week.

The first time I made them Hayden ardently declared his dislike and refused to eat any of them. At first I thought he was being spoiled and would eventually grow to love them.....given time....and hopefully before the two months was up. I was grossly mistaken. Not only does he still not love them, he can barely stomach them. That makes two whole foods that my 3 year old can't stand, Beans and BRUSSEL SPROUTS. Who knew beans could even be grouped in the same category as brussel sprouts?! I mean, that's like comparing them to cabbage juice....which really just tastes like broccoli. Gah, some vegetables are rank. I digress.

We've gone from spoon feeding him the beans, to threatening him with imminent discipline, to watching him gag, and finally a grand ending about 2 weeks ago where he threw up after dinner. That's when I threw in the towel. Instead of solidarity we were getting stress, complaints, confusion, and finally barf.

I haven't completely given up. Mariah LOVES beans, and Helmut also seems to like them, so I'm still making them two or three times a week. I'm already looking forward to next year and thinking of how I can do things differently in between now and then to smooth the transition for the kids.

I feel a tremendous amount of guilt about this whole process. I know if we didn't have any other food available to us Hayden would probably learn to like his beans....or at least appreciate their value.

In spite of quitting early I have taken a few lessons out of this challenge. I do think I use food as a crutch, and a comfort more than I realized I did. I often let my daily menu dictate my mood, and happiness factor. I constantly "reward" myself with edible treats and make up for daily losses in sanity with coffees, chocolates, or CHEESE (did I tell you about my recent love affair with Brie?) All practices that I hadn't realized that I was developing and hope to curb quickly. I don't think their is anything wrong with treating oneself once in a while...just maybe not as often or as extravagantly.

Picture courtesy of Lahash. For more info on what Rice and Beans month is click here. For more info on the people behind Rice and Beans click here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Life with Chicks.....and by Chicks, I mean baby birds.

Did I mention we got some chickens? Just in case I forgot, here are a few pictures of the six new additions to our household. They are currently taking up a few feet of our garage space, but will soon be taking up residence in the backyard.

Reasons for getting chickens:

1. Eggs

2. Pest Control....apparently they love to eat fire ants and other "pestilence."

3. I always wanted to have some chickens....I would probably also get a cow if I had experience milking one.....and while were at it lets throw in a pony, heck our back yard is pretty big.

4. Bug Allergy help - You all know how Mariah has a freakish bug bite allergy, where if left untreated the bites grow to the size of an oreo cookie, followed by insomnia and a wicked diaper rash. Last summer after a few of these instances we came across Apis Mellifica (a homeopathic treatment sold at health food stores), and our lives have been much less stressful. While this stuff works almost instantly on the bug bites I consider it a band-aid. I'm hoping that by eating the eggs of the chickens that are eating our bugs, she will be able to build up some kind of immunity.....if not, well then we'll just have plentiful free range organic eggs.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How to Make a Latte in 4 Minutes Flat

While we were on vacation my younger brother introduced me to this puppy. The Bialetti Mukka Express. It's a stove top cappuccino maker that also happens to be able to produce a decent latte. As soon as we came home I looked it up and took off to my local Williams-Sonoma to buy one. I'm convinced it will save me money in the long run, and if not at least I'll be able to drink my latte without having to drive somewhere to get it.

Since we're on the subject of Lattes I would like to send some negativity in the general direction of Starbucks. Starbucks, if you're reading this, for heavens sakes please make the bottle tops of your bottled lattes smaller. What the heck are you trying to pull using a humongous bottle top??? The only thing it accomplishes is to make me look like a moron while drinking. I either have to open my mouth uncomfortably wide to keep it from spilling, or take little sips while the top rim dribbles coffee on my nose. I have seriously avoided buying said lattes for that reason. Also: your coffee is too bitter. Roasted to burntfection.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Friends with Kids

Christina and I with our arms full of babies...and more to come (on Christina's end that is:)

Going Riding

Waiting for Grandma to get the horse ready.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Vacation Rants

Our mish mash winter clothing compiled of hand-me-downs and that crazy coat i bought 9 years ago in Austria.

Last night we returned from spending two weeks with my family up in Pennsylvania. That means two 4 hour airplane rides, 2 rides of 3 hours in the car, and 2 times we made it through airport security. Having just spent two weeks daily consuming my body weight in chocolate and whoopie pies, my thoughts are a little sugared out and uninspired. All this is due to change this week though as we embark on our Rice and Beans diet, and quit the sugar, caffeine, and whatever else completes our being for the remainder of the month of March.

That stated, let's talk airport security. Is it really necessary for my babies to remove their jackets and shoes to go through the beepy door? I mean, are we worried that they might be armed? or maybe hiding a switchblade in their shoes? Seriously, last time I allowed my toddler to carry a concealed weapon in his jacket I SPECIFICALLY told him he wasn't allowed to take it on an airplane. I'm all for safety, but i think we might be overdoing it.

Hayden, his Uncle Cody, and Maya watching a movie.

As for the plane rides, Hayden angelically watched movies, ate snacks and played educational iphone games (really really in he now knows all of his letters), and Mariah treated both flight's passengers to random scream fests, a few tantrums, a horrendous display of baby savagery where she scratched, kicked and bit me, and ended both flights with a shrug and some cute smiles.....Did I mention how she also covered every available surface with cracker crumbs, sticky goo, and toasted pumpkin seeds?......Sorry stewardesses. At least this trip didn't involve any explosive poops.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I have lots to say about our vacation, and more pictures than I know what to do with, but I'm so exhausted right now I'm not completely sure if I'm typing this update in my twitter account, facebook status or the actual blog. I hope it's the blog, because it would make a much too lengthy - TMI - status update.

More to come after I've had some sleep.