Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blast from the Past

I think I'm going to start a new series on random things I find or remember. There are some hilarious stories from my past I think about every so often, and Paul gets tired of me re-telling them, I think.

For today, here's a picture I found. It's in really bad shape, because it was in my car for several years, and then I think it's hung on the fridge since then. It's the first picture of Paul and I together when we were "together". May of 2003:

We look so young. Funny how much responsibilities age you. (I was 20 and he was 22.)

His goatee is very short in this picture, not that most of you would notice this. Just a week or two before this, he had shaved it all off. He accidentally buzzed it while he was shaving, and in trying to fix it, made it worse, so he just shaved it off. It was the first time in 4 years that I'd seen him without a goatee. Consequently, he hated how he looked without it, and the only time since then that he's been without it is when he was required to shave it during a rebuild at work where they had to wear face masks. I like how he looks either way. :)

And looking at this really makes me want to get my hair cut short again. I just can't decide.... There are so many advantages to both ways of wearing it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

All in a Day's Work

All of a sudden yesterday, Jacob decided he needed to start potty training. I was in the bathroom with Nathan, and Jake wandered in; I asked him if he wanted to go potty (being silly), and he said yeah. So I sat him down - AND HE WENT! Thinking it was a fluke, I asked him again an hour later, and he went again - this time standing up! He's been very interested in everyone going to the bathroom the last week, so I know something's going on in his head. I think he just wants to be a big guy like his brother. So I decided to go with it. I think he's a little young, but I'd rather start training him now, than wait until I think he's ready, and then have him not be interested, or have it be a power struggle where he refuses to try later on.
Here's today's progress:
One sticker for each time he went - it may have been just a dribble, but it counts! He really, really wants to potty standing up, like Nathan and Daddy do, so we're experimenting with that. The problem is, he doesn't quite have the "relax and release" perfected, and pushes when he pees - well, this morning, he was pushing out pee while standing up....And pushed out some poop, too - onto my foot! Oh well. Tonight, his last potty before bed, he did with no pushing, so I'd call that progress.
We do the pantsless method for potty training - it worked for Nathan, and so we're going to do it again. And for all day without a diaper, he only had one accident (and that was on the linoleum). If he had a diaper on (for nap and when Paul's mom was here watching them during band practice), he still goes in it.
We'll see how it goes. I'm not saying He's potty trained and it's only been a day! But this is how it started with Nathan, so..... We'll see.

Monday, March 28, 2011

This is Spring?

As much as I did not want to wake up and find the inch (plus) of snow this morning, I will admit - it did make things pretty. I snapped a few pics of my daffodils, since you don't normally see this combination of snow and beautiful flowers.

7 Years

Last Sunday (the 20th) was our 7-year anniversary. In some ways, I can't believe it's been that long! In others, I can't believe it's only been 7 years!

Paul was scheduled to work nights all weekend. I asked him a couple weeks beforehand if he'd taken it off, because I remembered discussing it back in January. He told me no, and he doubted he'd be able to get it off in such short notice. Not a big deal - this is our 7th anniversary, and I'm pretty sure he's had to work 5 of the seven, so whatever.

But then the week beforehand, he asked his parents if they would watch the boys Sunday after church. Even though he would be asleep, and had to leave for work at 5:30. But he said it was so we could have some "alone time" before he left. I was like, Really - shouldn't we save the free babysitting for when we'll have more than an hour to spend together? But again - whatever. Then I happened to see him looking at the website for a fancy restaurant one night.

I started getting suspicious.

But Sunday came, and he still hadn't said anything. I wasn't disappointed, but I still thought he might be planning something. But really, I wouldn't have been surprised if he didn't do anything. And wouldn't have been disappointed either.

And then I came home from church, and found this note on a chair right in front of the door:

Written on a reservation confirmation for Chateau Avalon. I got the biggest, stupidest grin on my face. Seriously cheesy. And I couldn't make myself stop smiling. Apparently Paul was quite pleased with himself, because when I went in to kiss him (he was asleep, supposedly), he started smirking as soon as he heard me walk in the room.

Even though we've been to Chateau Avalon before, I think this was my favorite time. I think it's because it was a complete surprise. Like I said, I suspected he was up to something, but I just figured he was going to take the night off, then take me out to dinner. I have an amazing husband! (And an amazingly sneaky one!)

Paul confessed that he wanted this to be a do-over of our trip to Omaha, since that trip didn't end up being anything like we expected when we planned it. This trip more than made up for what we experienced there.
Paul had picked out the Roman Dynasty room. We had seen this room when we toured the hotel years ago. I really liked it! (Of course I did.... Duh!) Paul got me the romance package, which included a rose-petal strewn bed, a bottle of champange (which was not very tasty - I don't get people's fascination with champange!), and bubble bath for the tub.

We were going to try a new restaurant - they have lots up in the area - but we ended up going to our ol' standby: Outback Steakhouse.... A Bloomin' Onion always wins. And it ended up being free! (The Bloomin' Onion, that is - not the entire meal.) They had a special that if you eat at the bar, you get a free Bloomin' Onion. We were fine with that - it was actually probably better, because Paul would have tried to watch the game anyways, and this way, he didn't have to stare off across the room the whole time, or rubber-neck trying to watch a tv that's behind him.

We didn't go to see a movie, because honestly, nothing out looks any good. We enjoyed the hot tub and discussed the possibilty of getting one of those installed in our house. Oh my goodness. I love those tubs! Paul had our chocolate-covered strawberries (part of the romance package)delivered shortly after, and we ate them in bed while watching a movie. So relaxing!

After sleeping in ridiculously late the next morning and enjoying the completely delicious breakfast delivered to our room, we finally took off some time after 11, and went through Lawrence on the way home. I had several little stops to make, which would be infintessimally (is that a word?) easier if I didn't have the boys with me. (A 5-minute stop takes 20 at least, when you have to deal with car seats, shopping carts, and keeping little hands off the merchandise!) Paul wasn't thrilled about having to go to Hobby Lobby (he asked how much longer as soon as we walked in), but - the things you do for love, eh?

We ended our time in Lawrence by going car-shopping. We know we're going to have to buy a new car when we have our next child. We may be able to get by with all three in the back seat of my car for a while, but we're going to have to downsize some car seats to the "economy-sized" ones. And no, we are not preggo! We are just trying to plan ahead and know what we want when it comes time to get it.

We went to Crown Toyota, because Paul and I have always been impressed with the staff there (that's where he bought his first truck). We told the sales staff we were not buying today, and we wanted to just look on our own, and they left us alone. We perused their selection, and I hate to say.... I liked the minivan best. Grr. We had kind of thought we would like a crossover, because I do not want a minvan, and Paul does not want an SUV (and neither do I after looking at their gas mileage!) But after looking at the crossovers (the Toyota version, plus a Chevy and Saturn version they also had on the lot), the back row of seating is meant to be occasional, not every-day, and if we have 4 kids, we'd need the back row every day! And when you are using the back row in a crossover, you lose most of your cargo space. The van can seat 8, and still have a good amount of cargo space (for my once-a-month shopping). And it could even fit 8 adults, for shorter trips. But..... I am SO not a minivan mommy! However, I'd rather give up my reputation to get something that will really be what our family needs, rather than something that looks stylish. I'll just have to take a year or two, while we're saving up, to get used to the idea. (We are not buying new! I figure by the time we need it, we'll hopefully have enough saved up by making "car payments" to our savings account that we can afford a 1 or 2-year-old used one.)

Anyhow. That's how we old-marrieds celebrated our 7th Anniversary.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

That Springtime Itch

Things I'm dying to be able to do outside:
  1. Hang clothes on the line. (Need to build the clothesline first, though - we had to tear it down last fall when we replaced the cellar door.)
  2. Weed the flower beds, without getting muddy. (There's a fine line between too wet, and perfect moisture for weed pulling.)
  3. Till the garden. (It's still a sink hole.)
  4. Order seeds! (Gotta wait for the next paycheck.)
  5. Walk in the morning. (Except for the last few mornings, it's still pretty chilly in the morning - and windy, too.)
  6. See my petunias in my flower boxes in bloom.
  7. Let the boys run around outside half clothed. (Sounds kinda pervy....)
  8. Let Jacob run around half clothed, naked on the bottom - so we can start potty training!!!

Funny story, witnessed by my in-laws:

Doug and Janice were watching the boys while Paul and I were at praise team practice. They went outside to play, and after an hour or more, Nathan had to potty. We have designated "okay to potty here" areas outside - a certain tree, and "the green rock" (a moss-covered brick behind the shed). So Nathan goes to the green rock, and starts doing his business, and Jacob walks up to him, pulls up his shirt, and starts trying to undo his pants. He looked back and forth between Nathan and Grandpa, as if to say, "You guys need to help me do this!" I wish I could have seen it! He's starting to show occasional signs of readiness, but I'm not sure I'm up for the fight of trying to potty train him just yet, especially when he still doesn't talk!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I am NOT that interesting!

I went to check my stats at, which I don't do often... The site is basically a site where you can stalk people that are stalking you. Okay, so maybe not stalk, but at least you can see how many people are visiting, where they're from, and what they're reading. I clicked on the World Map option. Holy cow! Why are all these people landing on my blog? I am NOT that interesting. (This is of the last 100 visitors.)

Can I Be Real Honest?

Okay, so I'm going to be real honest here.
The scarf trend that's currently "in" - it bugs the crap outta me.
It's not the scarves themselves - most are gorgeous, and I'd buy one (or several) if I was the type of person to accessorize. It's not that people wear scarves with t-shirts. Whatever, really. It's how they wear the scarves that drives me crazy. Seriously, people - if you want to wear a scarf, wear it like a scarf, not like a freaking noose.
I mean - REALLY? Could you make it sound any more like you're trying to hang yourself?
But apparently all these women that I see that wear it this way have not Google-d "scarf" and seen that there are only 3 pictures out of the thousand or so images that come up that actually show anyone wearing a scarf like this. All the other pictures show the scarf fashionably draped around their neck like, well....a scarf.
Maybe this only bugs me because, as a mother, if I see my kid walking around with something around his neck like that, I freak out. So it's only natural that to see a full-grown adult walk around willingly with something around their neck like that, it makes me twitch.
Anyways. I'm glad I got that off my chest.

For a Moment.....

I just got the checkbook balanced..... For the first time since November. It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. Why do I wait so long to do that? I've determined to do it several times, but then decided to wait for the next statement (which arrives anywhere between the 1st and the 15th), and by the time we finally get it, I don't have time/gumption/brain power.
The boys are amusing themselves by destroying the house - they currently are playing with sidewalk chalk in the kitchen/dining room..... and I just don't care. My triumphant spirit over tackling the checkbook (and having all my mistakes be in our favor) overpowers the twitch I get from seeing what they're doing to the room I just cleaned yesterday.
I think it's finally Spring. Tomorrow is the first official day, and this year the calendar actually matches up with what's going on outside. My crocus are blooming, and my hyacinth and daffodils are budded, waiting for the next day of sunshine.
......And my brief moment of freedom has ended. Hitting occurred, followed by screaming (the I'm-hungry-and-today-I-need-an-early-nap kind). And in the midst of it all, a crack of lightening and a rumble of thunder from the spring shower that just started. So I need to shut down the computer anyways.
It was lovely while it lasted.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pardon the Deluge of Blogs

I thought each of the below deserved their own post, so pardon the deluge after so long of nothing. I think of these things, but don't get around to it.
I wanted to do a "real" post today, but Paul is expecting me outside shortly to tend the boys while he gets his pyromanical fix. (He's burning brush piles - and I think secretly hoping that the pasture will accidentally catch fire as well.)
Let me summarize what we've been up to. Paul sick two weeks ago. Boys sick last week. Me sick this week. Even though I had two days of misery, I don't think it was the same thing as Paul and the boys had - mine was pretty much all in my head (heh) and really only miserable for two days. It acts a lot like allergies/sinus stuff.
Despite the picture of the front room in the last post, I have been doing better about the house, sticking to my assignment list of different rooms on different days of the week. Maybe I'll get to the front room again next Wednesday, it's "assigned" day.
We have got some major spring fever around here. The boys are fighting all the time, and I find myself getting short with them. Yesterday and today we've been able to kick them outside and make them run it off, so maybe spring will be here soon.....
Well, I'd better scram. I've had some food victories recently, and will blog about those soon (with photos!).

Why It Is Completely Pointless to Attempt to Clean House While Children Are Awake

What you can't see very well is the bag of crayons scattered all over the floor between the piano bench and the book shelves.

I needed to do some filing, and in the 15 minutes it took me to do that, this is what they did to the room where the file cabinet is.
When I started the task, the room was clean and organized, except for the pile of music on the piano bench (half of the pile in the picture).
And people wonder why my house is always a mess.
And the bad thing was, they did this on Wednesday, and I haven't even bothered to clean it up. And they haven't bothered coming back in this room that they just HAD to play in while I was in there - even though the living room (where the TV and all their toys are) is like 10 feet away and if full view of me.

Spring Fever

You know it's been a long winter, when your sick son gets up from watching TV and comes and finds you, wearing this outfit and with the single request: "Mommy, I need to go outside."

The sun was shining, and even though it was windy, it was [slightly] above freezing that day, so I obliged for a little while. Ten minutes of playing in the sandpile, and he was ready to come in.


"Mommy, why are they naked?"

[Nathan, seeing the KU cheerleaders during a game on TV. Try explaining that one to a 3-year-old!]

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Time to Embarrass the Husband: Jumbo Size!

While I was fixing supper the other night, I asked Paul to get a can of olives out of the cupboard and get them in a bowl for the meal. He pointed out that he was using the last can, and that next time I should get the jumbo olives. I told him I like to get the medium-sized ones, because it seems like you're getting more for your money, and besides, I didn't like the texture of the jumbo ones (they tend to be mushy).
"Oh, I like the jumbo ones." He said in a very suggestive voice, with "that look" in his eyes, as he reached over and inappropriately groped a certain area of my body.
Unfortunately for him, his mouth worked faster than his brain, and apparently his hand did to, because the body part he grabbed while referring to "jumbo" was my backside.
As soon as he realized his slip-up, he got a mortified look on his face and apologized over and over. I thought it was hilarious, and about fell over from laughing. I think it was his acute embarrassment I found most amusing.
This has been two weeks ago, and he's still apologizing for it. Maybe there's some way I could use this to my advantage......

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Note to Self:

Caffeine in the afternoon is always a bad idea. Always. "Afternoon" literally means "any time after noon." And that's when you shouldn't drink caffeine. Or else you will be awake until 2:30 in the morning, asking yourself just why you needed that caffeine so badly in the first place.

Sub-note to note to self:
This is Note to Self #346 regarding this exact same thing. Get a clue.