Thursday, June 26, 2008

Never Fear

The Unsinkable Kristen Chapman is neither dead, nor possessing incapacitated fingers. She is merely taking a bit of a summer break and spending time doing all those things you know she loves so dearly like catching up on laundry and preventing Tot from eating too much grass while pretending to be a horse. When she is finally finished with the never ending laundry piles of doom mopping up the ten inches of grime on the kitchen floor reading Come To My House for the 257th time aloud ( patiently and with much inflection) she will delight you once again with tales of her heroic actions in parenting and beyond.

Or, you know, tell you all how desperately I miss you but that I am really quite terrified the house will physically collapse around me from the sheer volume of clutter I have let escape from my clutches. But I'm working on it. Let you know how it goes.

BBS. TTYL. LYLAS.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Seriously.

My daughter just peed on an entire loaf of bread. Please don't ask.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Away For The Day


Sorry, I know I've been pretty awesome about daily posts, but today's is a phone in because the kids and I are having some summertime. We've been playing with play-doh, playing dominoes (sort of), playing in the pool (Tot and I were mermaids, Little David was a seahorse and the dogs were DogMonsters), eating some Mac n Cheese, drinking some Lemonade, and we're about to nap and then do it all again.

Don't you just love summer?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Finally!

I am sure you were all waiting on pins and needles, but I am here to tell you the wait is over! I have finally, finally, finished Spring Cleaning Tot's Room. And yes, it has taken since April. We started with this:


And now we have this:



Tot's room has been a thorn in my side since she was born. I have never been able to pick a "theme" and complete it. Instead, I buy a bedspread or curtains or something and plan to creatively base the rest of the room around it. The problem comes when six months later I realize that I am in no way creative and I have to start all over because Tot has "decorated" or "cut up" or "demolished" whatever piece I had decided to base the room around anyways.

This time, however, I gave myself a deadline and used the phrase "Just Do It" as my mantra. I looked online for a few weeks for a bed set I liked and then picked one. Then I waited for the economic stimulus check to come in and bought all of the bedding, curtains, paint and paint supplies. Then I scheduled a night for Tot to spend at her grandparents and away I painted! And I have to say, doing it all in one fell swoop is a heck of a lot easier and more fun than doing it in tiny bits and feeling like the thing will never get finished (ala my kids bathroom that stayed half painted for almost 6 months).

Tot is very pleased with her new digs and told me I was her best mom ever and, as of 5 minutes ago, has not destroyed anything in there. Which is nice.

(Oh, and do remind me to show you her closet. It's organized. Seriously! I can actually find stuff in there!)

Monday, June 16, 2008

You Look Good In Green, Unsinkable!

Okay, so, I will willingly become a social pariah and admit that as far as issues that I care about go, the environment is kind of low on my list. Not that I don't care, it's more that other things are just a little more pressing in my day to day life. I care that global warming is happening, I just am more immediately concerned with how hot I'm getting while I do laundry at 3pm. I don't like it when people litter and pollute, but I am currently picking up all the litter my kids have scattered around our yard and don't have time to do the road as well. And I'm certainly not a fan of dumping pig silos into lakes, but I am also not a fan of cleaning up what smells like a pig silo in a diaper and I've done enough of that today. It just seems that while the world and the politicians and Hollywood drone on and on about how bad the environment is, I'm thinking that I'll try not to keep harming it, but I'm a little busy to be too much help, thankyouverymuchandholdtheguilt.

However, while I hate to overtax myself in the race to help the environment, I do love to read about people with much higher moral standards than myself. And so I found myself the other day reading a great blog and was issued a quite embarrassing challenge.

Use Less Plastic.

But you see, that wasn't the embarrassing part. The other participants were speaking of regret that they hadn't already switched their baby's bottles to glass (that's an option?!) and they were talking about eradicating plastic from the kitchen for good (how???) and I sat there and thought, "Well, I guess I could start using those recycled bags for all my groceries instead of plastic ones. But I only have those two. I guess I could get a few more. But would that look weird at Kroger? I mean, I don't see anyone else doing that. Maybe it's a bit much. I would probably look like Greenzo on 30 Rock. I wouldn't want everyone to think I'm one of those people who drive Priuses and look at truck drivers with scorn (not that there's anything wrong with Priuses...or Prii...or whatever). Maybe I could start using our recycling container for something other than a holder for regular trash in the gargae until one of us bites the bullet and takes it the 15 feet outside to the big trash cans. I guess I could start putting our plastics in there. But yucko I hate touching old plastic. Especially old plastic with stuff inside. And breaking down cardboard is kind of a pain. Hmmm...maybe I should just back out of this."

That
my friends was the embarrassing part.

It was the fact that I am so utterly lazy and worried about other people's opinions that I can even bother to take my own bags to the grocery store (bags that are stronger and hold more stuff and look way cuter) or put some trash in a plastic bucket and take the other stuff to the regular bin. And not because it's supah cool to do it, but because it is common sense. I mean, really, do you buy a new suitcase every time you travel? Nope. Do you really enjoy seeing landfills? Nope. So it just makes sense to do what you can, when you can, and not to be a wiener about it.

And so, I will be joining the Use Less Plastic Challenge and focusing a little more of the precious brain space I have left (the rest is filled with the lyrics to "Ridin' The Range" by the Backyardigans and the exact sound my kids make when they have eaten a breadstick too fast and are about to spew it out) on not worrying about what my fellow Kroger patrons think when I bust out my own bags, and with trying to remember to not just toss the milk jugs in the symmetrically stacked trash pile, but to rinse them and put them in the recycling container.

Oh, I do look good in green.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Smart Habit Saturday

Okay, so. This week we actually did pretty bad on school time. Last week, we attacked the Letter E with hithertofore unknown vigor and polish. Tot is now a total master at the Letter E. In fact, this week she pointed them out everywhere. On the road signs, in books, on shirts, everywhere. I was pretty impressed with myself (because you know it's all about me) and my mad crazy teaching skillz. And then I stopped.

You see, we had a week. You know the kind, where everything goes wrong, pets get sick, kids get cranky, and someone actually dies. And so, school was put on the back burner. I guess technically we had school, it was just more of the life lesson kind than the scheduled Letter F time. Tot learned about sick pets and that vets are doctors for animals. She learned that Mommy cries when she cuts or burns herself on accident once a day for four days straight, and she learned about death and heaven, the former of which I felt completely unprepared to talk about.

My great, great grandmother passed away last Friday. While not unexpected, it was still very hard to know we wouldn't get to hear her say "Well, I declare!" again and equally hard to explain to Tot why we would not be visiting her anymore. She really enjoyed our visits, and while they haven't been as frequent lately, Tot definitely didn't understand why she wouldn't be there from now on. I tried to explain that while Tot is only three, Grandmother (what we call her) was almost 95 and that her body was very tired and that she just wanted to go to heaven. Tot knows all about heaven and so she thought that was pretty understandable. She asked if Grandmother would see Jesus and I told her yes. She asked about her husband (which was unusual since he passed many, many years ago) and asked if he was already there. I told her yes, and she seemed pleased.

When she saw my Mom's family crying, she asked why everyone was so sad. I said that while it's awesome that she gets to go to Heaven, we will still miss her here. I told her that Grandmother was Nana's (my mom) Nana. That might have been a misstep (like it was my first) and she got a little freaked out that it was Nana that had died and started to cry a whole lot. I quickly backed up and said that it wasn't Nana and she calmed down. But then that opened up the whole younger people die too can of worms and I was complete up a creek on that one. I went with the total truth route, and said that sometimes young people die, but that it wasn't something to be scared of because if you believe in God and obey his Word then you'll be in Heaven and it will be the best thing ever. I told her that dying wasn't anything to be scared of and that it wasn't a sad thing.

It's hard to be so frank with a child and you always think that you're giving them too much information. I guess I just didn't want her to grow up terrified of death and thinking it was this horrible, scary thing, you know? It happens to everyone at some point, and while I won't pretend to be immune to the sadness, I would like Tot to have a better acceptance of it than I do. What better way than to get there together?

So, in short (which is what I had thought this blog would be, but apparently I got a little wordy and sentimental), we didn't have school at home this week, but we most certainly learned a lot.

Aside: On a funnier note, she also learned that it is inappropriate to call out at a funeral that you can smell pancakes.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm Not Even Lying.

This will be short.

Go here.

Then check it every day.

I promise you, in about a week, those darn pictures will be the funniest thing you see all day. You'll be ashamed to laugh so hard at something so dumb, but you'll keep going back day after day. Then you'll start emailing them to your friends. Then you'll blog about them.

I swear I'm just a babystep away from getting a tshirt. Save me.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Apparently Some People Can Do This.

It's time for a confession.

Rarely, if ever, do I put the toilet paper on the toilet paper roll holder. It's not like I don't have the time, I mean, I'm in there as much as the next person, but I just don't ever do it. Instead, I leave the contraption totally bare and leave the roll on the counter or on the shelf. Dave doesn't seem to mind and thinks that I'm just trying to be efficient. Tot, on the other hand, disagrees.

You wouldn't think that a 3 1/2 year old would have definite opinions on toilet paper, but you'd be wrong. Tot is quite particular in this area. It's odd because she is obviously not particular in any other area of her life, she is the queen of Do Whatever Sounds Fun No Matter How Awkward And Messy. And so it was with much trepidation that I began potty training and teaching Tot the basic skills of cleaning up after herself and being a Big Girl figuring that we were in for a world of messy and gross things.

Apparently, I shouldn't have worried. The other week I brought Tot into the bathroom for a visit and noticed that we were out of toilet paper. And so I got a roll out of the cabinet and stuck it on the counter and proceeded to assist Tot out of her jeans (that I know I shouldn't bother with because of all buttons, but they are so cute that I'll do some extra work) and onto the potty. And while sitting there, she looks at me and says "Ugh, Mommy! You forgot to put the toilet paper back!" "Um, my bad." "Ugh, it's fine. I'll do it." And she does. Unlike other skills, which take Tot much longer than most kids to acquire, putting the toilet paper on the roll was done with the greatest of ease. We finished our business and she moved on.

But it was later that I noticed that whenever I left the roll out, it would magically put itself back on. Time after time this happened and I started to get a little weirded out. At first I thought I just had magic toilet paper, but while that is a cool thought, it's probably not an accurate representation of what was going on. I asked Dave if he was doing it, and he said no, he obviously didn't care about the lone roll in our bathroom - why would he worry about the one in the kids room? I agreed, and then it hit me.

Tot! Tot is the one doing this! She's been going to the bathroom on her own more often and while there it must bug the bejippers out of her and she puts it on the roll! HOW WEIRD! I mean, isn't this supposed to be a newly wed issue? Do you know of any other children that have definite toilet paper preferences? But it obviously bothers her so much that no matter how many times I leave the thing off, she puts it right back on.

Is this the same kid that regularly puts yogurt in her hair and eats off the floor?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Almost Heaven....West Virgina

I'm sitting here at my computer looking at Weather Bug (Which, by the way, does not make my computer run any slower. My computer is already slow. Weather Bug just adds to the general malaise.) and all I can think about is that if it's this hot, I should be somewhere else.

It's actually not that hot, it's only 92 out and I can expect it to be regularly in the triple digits before summer is over. That's just Texas and honestly you get used to it. But instead of just going with the stuffy flow, I'm sitting here dreaming about moving.

And where do I want to move? Out. I just want to move out. Out where I don't have to get on a major interstate to get across town, out where I don't have to deal with bumper to bumper traffic to get to a friends house, out where there are trees older than 15 years old and out where Crapemyrtles aren't the only form of floral stimuli. I would like to see some giant trees, some pine trees, some trees that change color in the fall. I would like to see some hills, heck, even some mountains. And I would like to look out of my window and not see my five neighbors (we have a wide back yard).

It's not that I don't like Texas, I mean, I really do. I love getting caught up in the state fanfare and the over sized pride at all things Texan. It's fun to be a part of a consciousness so big and loud that the whole country knows who you are, but sometimes I just want some quiet. I think I want to move to a meeker state. I would like to have a little scenery and some places to take my kids where there aren't fifteen jillion other people. I would like to not be in walking distance of a Target, a Starbucks, a Chili's, a Home Depot, two other national grocery store chains and a myriad of various and sundry independent shops that sell gourmet popcorn and embroidery.

And so, I sit here at my computer and gaze at a map of the US and try to think where I would move to if I could, in fact, move. Making it realistic is half of the fun, so I try to keep in mind how easily we could visit family and how expensive plane tickets and real estate are there. Dave's job has made our options a lot larger since he now works from home and only needs high speed internet and access to an airport to work. I suppose we could actually just move somewhere else in Texas, but that doesn't sound quite as adventurous and it would still be hot.

Colorado was first up, since Dave has family there and there are mountains there. I get on realtor.com and search the 3 - 4 bedroom homes in random towns and find that, shocker, Colorado is expensive. Apparently, when anyone else wants to get out of the Big City they, too, first think of Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. And so, with a sad farewell to Frisco and Crested Butte (insert butt joke here), I moved on.

My next thought was Utah since it's beautiful and in the same mountain range, but the pluses end there as I am not Morman and we are looking for a place with lots of church options. Also, we know no one that currently lives there (with the exception of some terribly awesome bloggers, whom I don't actually know), only people that used to live there. So long, Soldier Summit.

I reluctantly decided that maybe I should look at the Appalachian Mountains because while they aren't as visually impressive as the Rockies, we have a ton of friends and family scattered all over that region and visiting wouldn't be too hard. I looked at Georgia (still too hot), I looked at North Carolina (been there, done that), I looked at Virginia and Kentucky and Tennessee....and then it hit me. West Virgina!!

West Virgina is situated quite nicely between most of our friends and family, while still offering us a degree of autonomy and newness. There are many mature trees there, I've heard, and if we pick the right spot we can get ourselves a view of the mountains. They have recreations of civil war battles, which just lights up my little history major's heart, and they have actual seasons. They even have a John Denver song. There are churches there, there are airports there (ish), and there is high speed internet. Property is nowhere near as expensive as it is in Colorado, and Dave's boss is just a stone's throw from there (i.e. Virgina). I've even found us a house in our price range that I can currently schedule a viewing for anytime this week.

And so, I have decided that we are moving to West Virginia. I have informed Dave and he has rolled his eyes and acquiesced.

***
Author's Note: Don't worry Mom, we aren't actually moving to West Virginia. I am highly aware of everyone who would beat us if we attempted to leave the state for no other reason than to find Mature Trees and a Starbucks not in walking distance.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Fun Times


So, this past Friday was our last group fun time with our friends, the Spicers, boo. They are leaving for Indiana in a very few days and while that super sucks, we had such a blast with them Friday night. Diana organized the event, and we left the kiddo's with various sitters and had a grownups only night on the town. We went to eat at Uno's in downtown Fort Worth and ate some mighty fun deep dish pizza and then went to see an improv show, Four Day Weekend. We followed the general hilarity ("They eat a lot of that in Mansfield") with some delicious Marble Slab and many, many laughs.

I guess we wish them well in their new home and state and blah blah blah, but we really just want them to stay here :). At least I have family in Indiana and we'll get to visit them more often than if they'd moved anywhere else, right?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tot Speak

I know! Two posts in one day? Crazy. But this was too too funny to pass up.

****

In Tot's room, right before nap time, Tot is undressing to put on her nap time diaper.

T: Oh no. My underwears have skidders.

UK: (snickering) Man, Tot, that's too bad.

T: It's okay. Sometimes underwears have poop skidders. Sometimes diapers, too.

UK: (snickering) Oh yeah?

T: Yeah. But diapers protect us from poop skidders. And bugs. Can I sleep with my socks on? They keep me safe from skidders.

UK: Well how bout that.


****

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for a lot.


1. I am thankful that my kids have cheap taste. They have spent all morning fighting over a balloon.

2. I am thankful that Dave's dad let me borrow his cell phone while Dave was out of town since mine is livin' the sewer life at Ikea. Yes, that's right. It fell out of my pants on the pull up and into the toilet. As I rushed to retrieve it, the automatic flusher stole it away in a wave of suprisingly strong suction. Tot just looked and said "oh no". That is so not Strong.

3. I am thankful that my sacrifice of wearing not flip-flops but hot tennis shoes in the Texas heat has resulted in my Troll Foot not being so Trolly. Oh wait. Have I not blogged about that? My bad.

4. I am thankful for the books my Dad and his wife, Tamara, sent Little David for his birthday. The kids have barely even looked at the TV in the past three days, instead pouring into the Dr. Suess Early Readers. I have a feeling we're going to be rocking the Summer Reading Club.

5. I am thankful that my Tot is hilarious. While learning to write the letter "e" Tot looked up at me and said "Mommy, this letter is a bit twicky to write."

6. I am thankful that my camera should be fixed any day now. We've already missed a birthday party and some major cuteness. I'm not sure the world will recover from the absence.

7. I am thankful that I am a bread making beast. Although, to be fair, that is really less being thankful than totally bragging, huh? If it makes it any better, all of my bread turns out dense and flat (but still totally yummy). Any tips?

8. I am thankful that we're going to Lake Tyler at the end of this month for a family reunion. I LOVE Dave's family and we always have a great time there swimming and watching me fall all over the zip line.

9. I am thankful that Dave and I were able to join a superfly gym that has a pool and a bunch of fun classes for not too many dollars. Hopefully I will now be able to replenish the energy that I spend chasing the kiddos all day.

10. I am thankful for my pajamas. I don't plan to leave them today. Well, except to go to the gym I guess.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Happy Birthday, Little David!!!



My tiny, itsy bitsy, 6 lb. baby boy is now a giant 36 lb. two year old. I can not believe it.

Happy Birthday, Bubba!!!!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Smart Habit Saturday...Er...Sunday.

Man, I am all over the place this week! Tuesday Favorites on Thursday, No Thankful Thursday at all, Smart Habit Saturday on Sunday, mass hysteria, dogs and cats living together. Whew!

To be fair, Dave was on a business trip for most of the time (not something I wanted to announce to the internets, even though I am sure 99% of you are perfectly sane people who have no plans to stalk me, it's that other percent of you I'm keeping my eye on :) ) and I was visiting my Mom and Tim a little south of here. Anyways, all that to say that I was sorely neglectful of you, my reader friends, and not to worry, I won't let you down again anytime soon. Bur for real, that post on aprons was worth the wait, eh?

So, today is Sunday and I just realized that it's June now. And what does that mean? A NEW habit!! I'm still doing um, okay, on the whole load of laundry a day thing. I actually did pretty great this week. And we're doing our Family Bible Time more days than not, now, so I'm glad these habits are sticking. Therefore, I need to choose something else to work on. I think that the month of June's new habit will be.........drum roll please.....

Tot's "School" Time! (cheer cheer cheer!)

Since the Tot is now getting a little older, she is a lot more interested in all things learning. One of her favorite games to play is "Pretend School". We have this little plastic briefcase thing that we keep all her coloring books and things in and she loves to pull it out and call me "Teacher Mommy" and pretend that she's in school. I was thinking on this last month and thought that I should really harness that joy and pound it into submission while teaching her useful skills. No, no, just kidding. What I really thought about was how many times she wanted to play school and I put her off so that I could do laundry or something or other. So, this month, I will be making time each day to sit with her and play school. I have a little pre-school workbook that we'll be working our way through and hopefully she'll retain some of her joy while learning all her letters and sounds and things.

I have to tell you, the temptation to go buy her a tiny little desk is huge (huge!).