Sunday, December 18, 2011

That DVD Mommie Tried to Veto, but She Got to See it Anyhow

Isn't it funny how kids can seem absolutely unimpressed and totally unaffected by something or someone, and then, much later on, even after months and months have passed, sumthin' happens and you find out that not only were they paying close attention, their feelings about the matter/person are quite strong.

Friday, December 02, 2011

"I Want to Eat My Pumpkin!"

Here are some things we've heard from our Jellybean over the last couple months:

It's the night before Halloween and we've finished carving our pumpkins:
"I want to eat my pumpkin!," she squeals as she grabs hers from the kitchen table.
"What?" we ask, kind of confused, "You want to eat it?"
"Yes," she says emphatically, like we're sooo slow, while shaking her little jack o' lantern held in her hands. "Let's make our punkins into pumpkin PIE," spoken with heh-heh-heavy emphasis on the word 'pie'.

We're in the middle of dinner and she's not interested in eating, stalling in any way she can:
"I have a secret to tell," she whispers to us. "Oh really?" we both say. Whispering now, leaning forward over the kitchen table, she says, "Yes, speesh spweesh calla fragelistic spweesh splah kaboom" (or something very much like that)" -and we all laugh. My honey-man tells her he has a secret for her too, and she's all excited and she hunkers down, so serious, so eager to hear the secret he has to tell her...
He leans toward her: "Eeeat youur peezzah," he whispers, followed by an enormously wide-eyed smile on his face. She giggles, puts her chin down towards her chest, maintaining eye contact with her daddy, and quietly shakes her head, no. She then whispers to him that she has a secret for him, her eyes big, all serious, but she cracks a little smile as she whispers: "Drink your wine!"

Her big brother, the angel boy-O, had left LV that afternoon to return to UT for the rest of his Thanksgiving holiday break, and we were driving home as she was coming to terms with the fact that he wouldn't be home once we got there: "Mommie, I hurt all over." Hearing this, I slowed my driving immediately, thinking she was ill, and I asked her if she needed me to stop and help her.  She began to quietly whimper and I could see in my 'spy on the kids in back'-mirror that her eyes were welling up with big fat tears, "No mommie, I'll be okay. I just want my big brother."

Talkin' Christmas tree lights:  I favor white tree lights, while my honey-man, he likes colored tree lights, so every other Christmas, we take turns.  This year it's my turn to have white lights on our tree. Neither of us said anything about this to Jellybean.  Well, we had bought our tree last Saturday and my honey-man put up its lights late the following Sunday night while our Jellybean was fast asleep.  The next morning, coming downstairs for the first time of that morning, she sees the tree all lit up and her face falls into a look of confusion... "Where are all the colors?"  And my honey-man whips around and points at me, "Ha!"

I'm looking for my wallet and can't find it anywhere:  Jellybean knows I'm looking for my wallet, and I've explained we cannot leave until we find it.  She's been watching me very closely, following me around, even trying to help me look for it, and she realizing that I'm getting a bit panicked...  "Mommie, are you upset?" Me - "Yes, sweets, I'm getting frustrated because I'm looking everywhere and I still can't find my wallet, and I cannot leave for work until I find it."  She smiles at me, mischieviously, "Mommie, I know where you're wallet is..."  - - - the short of what follows this admission is that she tells me with great enthusiasm that she threw it in the trash, and then looks at me all coy, when I don't respond well to this idea.  I calmly ask her if she really did throw it in the trash (I do not believe her), and she confirms, emphatically, "Yes, yes I did." I ask her if she's really telling me the truth, and she tilts her head to the side, squints her eyes and instead asks me if I think it's funny. I tell her, "No, it's not funny at all. If you threw my wallet in the trash, mommie would be super upset." She thinks about this for a couple seconds, shrugs her shoulders, and walks over to me and takes my head, "I'm sorry, mommie. I didn't throw your wallet in the trash. I just want you to relax mommie and laugh. Let's help you find your wallet. We'll find it, mommie, don't worry." (She's totally spoon feeding me my own approach to her own lil' moments of panic.)
Later, after giving up on the wallet search, we're in the car and I find my wallet, fallen underneath the middle console - - "I'm so happy for you mommie!", she beams.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Must Write this Recipe Down: Sinful Potato Soup

My honey-man's number one complaint about my cooking would be this:  I'm always making up my own recipes - - and I never write them down.  After tonight's dinner, it was demanded that I write this one up and pronto.

SINFUL POTATO SOUP:  Makes enough for 4-6 people.  To be prepared the day/night before you intend to eat it, so that the stock and seasonings are well infused into the potatoes... Note the actual ingredients have been bolded to help identify the needed items for one's shopping list.

4-5 large Shepody potatoes = you need 8 cups, thinly diced = also amounts to about 2 lbs.

The Specifics on the Dicing: Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 3/4"-thick, fry-like long pieces, about 12-16 per potato... Keep these long pieces all stacked atop each other and then cut them together crosswise into 1/8"-thick, thinly diced pieces . . . think small Scrabble pieces!  But be careful with your knife!
The Specifics on Shepody Potatoes: Larger and more elongated potatoes are easiest to cut/dice the aforementioned way.  In terms of potato quality, the potatoes for this recipe need a sturdy yet thin skin, and they also need a texture that will retain some firmness when cooked in liquid... Red potatoes lose their skins too easily, while the skins of Russets and Idahoans are too thick/rough. Furthermore, Reds, Russets and Idahoans, they are all too grainy, too starchy in texture, better for baking or for potato salads. A 'white' potato is best for this soup. If one can't find Shepody potatoes, Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn can substitute, but their smaller, rounder shape make them more difficult to dice like mini-Scrabble pieces.  For the total cooking geek (that would be me): Try this LINK re: Shepody potatoes.

As you're dicing up the potatoes, keep the diced potatoes barely submerged in 3-4 cups of cold water plus 1 teas. either Rice vinegar or White distilled vinegar to both prevent browning and to help the potatoes retain their shape during the cooking. The vinegar is a trick I learned via Cooks Illustrated. Once done with the dicing, throw the potatoes along with their water into a 5-6 quart stock pot on medium heat. Keep in mind that later on you'll need to be able to cover this pot with a lid and store it overnight in your refrigerator.

Immediately add 32oz of chicken stock - I use salt free, free range organic stock; I swear good stock makes all the difference!
As you prepare the rest of the following ingredients, allow the potatoes and stock to reach a gentle rolling simmer - - but do NOT bring it to a full boil!  Reduce the heat once the mix begins to boil. Hard boiling bursts the starch cells of the potatoes, resulting in a mushy, grainy soup texture -- another lesson learned via Cooks Illustrated.

3 small/regular shallots or 2 large shallots, finely minced = aim between 1/4 cup n' a 1/3 cup
Note: Shallots provide a nuttier flavor than onions and they nearly dissolve into the soup.
1/2 teas. white pepper
1 teas. freshly ground/cracked pepper (rainbow mix with green, red, white and black is best)
1/4 teas. red pepper flakes
1 teas. kosher salt (or to taste)

Place all the above ingredients into the pot with the potatoes and stock on medium-low heat for a gentle, rolling simmer, stirring maybe 2 or 3 times over the duration. The pot should be left uncovered, allowing the liquid to reduce.  I must repeat:  DO NOT BOIL! 

From the beginning of the cook time, to end when you'll turn off the heat, the potatoes should simmer for about 40 minutes, give or take, just until tender - - but NOT long enough for them to fall apart if stabbed with a fork. You can easily do other things about the kitchen while the stuff simmers. There's no need to watch over the pot.

Let the pot cool to a slightly warm temp - - cool enough that placing it in your refrigerator won't devastate the temperature of your fridge. So yeah, once significantly cooler, cover the pot and keep overnight in the fridge.  NOTE of REASSURANCE:  Don't worry if it doesn't smell all too great just yet.  It will be amazing once fully created!  I promise!

About 30 minutes before you want to serve your soup, place the pot on medium heat, still covered so as to help speed the re-heat, stirring maybe once or twice until it reaches a strong simmer - - we still don't want any uber bubbling boil here! Did I mention NO BOILING?! Once a steady simmer is reached, reduce the heat for a gently rolling simmer for about 10-15 minutes and then turn off the heat. Let it cool for about 5 minutes.

Next, you'll want to mash about 1 cup's worth of the potatoes somehow... either strain out some with a slotted spoon and mash 'em with a fork and return them to the pot, OR do what I do:  I have a long handled potato masher and I simply stick it down into the pot for 2-3 smashes into the pot's bottom. 

This last part requires a whisk: First dump in 1/2 c. real sour cream - - the full fat, tangy kind; this is no time for wimpy 'lite' sour cream people! Quickly whisk-mix it in and allow it to bring down the temperature of the pot.
Next, throw in an entire 8 oz. block, plus 4 oz. more, of cream cheese. Oh yes! And whisk, whisk, whisk until all the cream cheese has melted.  It may look a bit chunky/curdled at first, but keep whisking it and will smooth out as you continue to whisk at it. Shouldn't take more than 5 minutes, give or take.

Serve with a lil' Tabasco sprinkled on top each serving, or with some cheese shreds, or some freshly ground pepper.  Buttered, toasted sourdough bread is fabulous -more like essential- for dipping!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

From October 13th: Understanding Paternal Parentage

Yesterday, my lil' Jellybean squeals in the car while on our way home, "My Grandpa Billy is my great-grandpa and he's Popa's daddy! And I love him! And my Popa, he is MY Popa! And Popa is YOUR daddy, and Popa, he's MY grandpa! And I LOVE HIM!"
She's two and a half. 
P.S. Is 'parentage' a word?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

For the Love of Kitty-Kats ~ #21

"No matter how much the cats fights, there always seem to be plenty of kittens."

- Abraham Lincoln

Monday, November 14, 2011

For the Love of Kitty-Kats ~ #20

"One cat just leads to another."

- Ernest Hemmingway

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Me & Taxes

Back in 2008, soon after Obama's election as President, I wrote this post.  Well, here's a kind of repeat of that same post with a few minor modifications, focusing more upon the issue of taxation:

First of all, before I say anything more, I must say that I do recognize there are A LOT of different perspectives out there, each with their own legitimate and personal issues at stake, and I also recognize many of those perspective out there, they do not pertain to me.

Because of those in my family who came before me, foremost, and the efforts of my own parents with their combined educations and cultural and familial backgrounds, their places of employment and their earning power, we could always afford to live in places with good neighborhoods, where I always had access to a backyard and plenty of playmates to run around with, and I always had a parent at home with me during my school years. And because we always lived in good neighborhoods with a mother at home, I had no problems achieving a solid education via the public schools I attended in Salt Lake City, UT, Billings, MT, and Cedar Rapids, IA. Nor did I ever have any problems seeking and attaining a higher education, including a masters degree.

Not ever was I denied proper health care as a child. As an adult, I have never been unable to seek and attain proper health care, always able to afford it, having always reaped the benefits of fantastic health insurance programs via the places of my employment. Overall, I have never been unable to receive the care I need, whether it be medical or therapeutic or even psychological in nature.

I have also never been denied public services of any kind based upon either my ethnicity or my socioeconomic status, nor because I simply did not know what was available to me.

I have never been unable to feed myself. I have always enjoyed clean drinking water and clean bathing water and proper sewage treatment. I have always lived with a roof over my head, cool in the summers and warm in the winters, with more than enough clothing to cover my backside however way I want to cover it.

I have never had to give up a child out of wedlock or for any other reason, nor have I ever had to raise a child by myself.

I have never been a victim of violent public crime.

This list could go on and on and on... My point thus far is this: I count myself to be a very fortunate person in this world; ALL of my basic needs in life, they have all been met.

Moreover, I have more than enough in my life, so much so, I can actually acquire things I WANT, beyond basic need... I call these things the 'Luxuries in Life,' such as the following: Cars, cell phones, TVs, DVDs, mp3s and CDs, music players, make-up and nail polish, smelly bubble bath and scented body scrubs, books to read, paints to paint crafty things, knitting supplies, a hefty, an impressive heavy duty sewing machine, THIRTEEN different pairs of black shoes [flat mary janes, Dansko clogs, flat sandals, 2 pairs of wedge heel Sofft sandals, sling back high heels, 2 different pairs of dress wedge heels, zip-up ankle boots, lace-up boots, and a pair of winter-weather Goretex boots], trips out of state, ski trips to Keystone, airfare to anywhere, multiple hand bags and multiple purses [I can't even attempt to count those], a gazillion jackets and coats [paisley ski coat, plus an extra red ski coat, black pea coat, red pea coat, blue raincoat, orange windbreaker, denim jacket, khaki jacket, red trench, woolen tweed trench, light cotton gray hoodie, dark gray sweatshirt hoodie, woolen Irish hooded cardigan, blue pullover fleece, red fleece vest, pink fleece vest, black quilted ski vest, wine-colored blazer, etc. etc.], new light fixtures to match our living room lamps, a 6-cushion couch that has a queen size hide-a-bed, matching wool-woven couch pillows, a Kitchen Aid mixing machine, a blender, a food processor, a mini-food processor, a waffle iron, a heart-shaped waffle iron, a potato ricer, a lime squeezer, a nutmeg grater... you get the point? This list, it too, could go on and on and on... And none of the aforementioned items are in any way essential to life. They are all WANTS; none of them are truly needs. 

Have I earned these aforementioned luxuries? Well, I can afford them, yes... and so, does that mean I've earned them? I've worked hard to be able to afford these things. Mind you, many have been given to me as well, and my honey-man and I, we have bought some things together... so I certainly haven't acquired all these things all on my own, and I wouldn't have any of them without certain basics having come first. But I DO gots allll the basics: the basics of life are not an issue for me, see? And do we make more than $100K a year? Hell no.

So, about the issue of proposing tax hikes for those making however-much, $$$,$$$+ or more a year? and whether or not that would be fair?  Are you kidding me?  This is a question when the majority of U.S. citizens carry the greatest tax burden, so disproportionately? Simply put, my issue is there are more people out there who are living 'without' than with.  Not just people who are struggling to make ends meet, but people who are truly suffering; there are millions of people who's needs are not being met. And with all the wealth in the world, how can this be?

SEMI-RELATED TANGENT: When I was an active Mormon, I paid 10% of my income as a tithe to the LDS Church, no questions asked. I used to think of it as my way of helping out, doing my part to better society and my fellowmen and fellow church members. And now? Although no longer active in the LDS church, I still think I should be helping out, especially when my own needs are met well beyond need. Now, taxes, they have always been a part of how I contribute to the 'general effort,' so they're a given; I have no other choice and I don't have control over how my tax dollars are spent, although I never had control over how the LDS Church spent my tithing money either. Am I getting off point? My point: I don't mind paying taxes = It's how I contribute. I do more than that to 'contribute' though, directly dolling out a couple thousand $ a year to charities I choose, plus the volunteer time I give to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the American Cancer Society. But the tax money? I can't mind the taxes when my own needs are met.

I have tried to imagine what my life would be like if we made $$$,$$$ a year... and man, the excess is truly hard to imagine, although I'm certain we'd find ways to spend it, especially if and when we add to our family. It's easy to spend money when you have it. It's hard to say how we would feel about a higher tax rate if we made over $$$,$$$, even though that amount would place us in a totally different tax bracket, levels above where we are now. I think we honestly couldn't mind it though --the higher tax rate, I mean-- and that's because fundamentally, speaking of myself and my honey-man, we believe that people are meant to take care of each other, and we should help take care of others, and that means EVERYONE who's in need whether they're working hard for their daily bread or living off the system, even if it means taking more away from what I've worked so hard to earn for myself.  That's fine with me because I already have more than enough.

For a couple years now, I've been trying really hard to dwell daily upon how grateful I am -or should be- for all that we have, and all the good fortune of my family and friends, and to also be grateful for those things that I don't want that I don't have. I'm hopeful that such continued focus will further lighten my load.

oh yeah, and this global economy and the state of our nation? I'd like to be hopeful, but I think that until powerful higher ups quit trying to line their coffers at the expense of others, the gap between the poor man and the rich man will further widen, and our people as a majority will suffer more and more.

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #19

Happy is the home with at least one cat.

-Italian Proverb

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #18

"The smallest feline is a masterpiece."

-Leonardo DaVinci

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eat Your Veggies!

I've smothered 'them' in cheese, I've hid them in flaky pastry, and I've dipped 'em in every dip imaginable and in every delectable cream sauce there is. Nonetheless, our Jellybean, who used to love broccoli and peas and carrots and sweet potatoes as a baby, alas, she will not eat her veggies... She's sick tonight, waking every 30-40 minutes, so I'm up, researching "toddlers eating veggies" - - somehow I don't think this is gonna cut it:

Monday, October 17, 2011

18 Months Old: Part I of II

This post was left in my 'DRAFTS', untouched since October 1st, 2010. Yeah.  Although it was never finished and it's a little over a year since it'd been written, it's initial subject should still be dealt with, even a year + later...

It's time to get something out of the way officially... before I continue gushing about just how cute my 18 month old daughter is!

Over the past few months, I've come to realize many of our out of state family and friends who follow my blogging have mistakenly come to believe 'baby sweet potato girl' or the simplified 'sweet potato' is the active nickname we use at home for our lil' girlie, when we do not, not at all. So, from now on, I'll refer to her as my "Jellybean," capitalized to give it proper noun status.

EXPLANATION FOR THIS CHANGE AND THE HISTORY INVOLVED: First of all, I don't want family to feel embarrassed if and when they refer to our girlie using 'sweet potato' and we respong looking utterly perplexed. Secondly, our 'baby sweet potato girl' is no longer a baby. She has become a fledgling toddler, amping up her new found running skills and talking up a storm, adding new words to her spoken vocabulary, all on a daily basis. Originally "baby sweet potato girl" came from a sonogram appointment, during which we were told our babe inutero was about the size of a sweet potato.  This size reference stuck as a nickname, but only here in the blogosphere has it been used beyond the mere 2-3 weeks our babe was of sweet potato size. At home, our 'baby sweet potato' is instead known by a variety of nicknames, like Punky, Boo-Boo, Sweets, and most frequently, with the greatest adoration, "Juli-bean," spoken much like 'jellybean' but with the 'J' pronounced as it would be if speaking with a French accent... spoken like the French word "jous" and the 's' is silent there, those strange Frenchies and their silent word-ending consonants.

Back to now, October 17, 2011: After writing the above explanation (that was written over a year ago - - oh, did I mention that part already?), I never continued with the rest of the post, which was meant to go on and on and on about how awesome my lil' babe was at 18 months of age.  She is now 2 n' a 1/2 yrs old, and she's only gotten unbelievably more awesome over the past year. I could go on and on and on, as to how unbelievably awesome she is. Have I ever mentioned how awesome my lil' Jellybean is?

Her Latest Top Ten - Keep in Mind, She's only 2 n' a Half Years Old

My toddler's latest Top Ten List, her most favorite song(s) listed first:

1) Firework by Katy Perry TIED NECK N' NECK with the cover of Sing by Pink Martini - - If you ask her for her favorite song, just one, she'll tell you both 'Firework' and 'Sing,' every time.
2) Bad Romance by Lady GaGa - - Both my honey-man and I, we cannot believe how much she enjoys this song.
3) Here It Goes Again by OkGo TIED NECK N' NECK with Always on My Mind by The Pet Shop Boys
It should be noted that the first time she heard 'Here It Goes Again,' she interrupted the song about 30 seconds into it, yelling at me from her car sear, very frustrated, telling me that "They're singing too much! Too many words, momma! I don't know what he's saying momma! What's he saying!?!"
4) Hot n' Cold by Katy Perry - - She calls this Katy's Elmo song, having seen on YouTube Katy Perry's Sesame Street spoof of Hot n' Cold with Elmo. 
5) Rolling in the Deep by Adele - - For now, this one barely has an edge over Adele's Rumor Has It...
6) Rumor Has It by Adele - - Lots of head banging and sing-along for this one. 
7) Monster by Lady GaGa - - To ask for this one, she says, "Momma, I want 'That Boy is a Monster' please?"
8) Victor Vito by Laurie Berkner
9) Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
10) Twinkle Little Star by Jewel

NOTE:  "Mayor John" is no longer listed amongst her top ten.

A New Kind of Tired

ANOTHER unpublished post from 2010 - I missed the original date before re-opening the draft:

Now that our lil' sweet potato has joined the toddlers group, she just goes, goes, goes, all day long! They do have an afternoon nap time - - yesterday she napped for nearly TWO WHOLE HOURS = crappy napper, no more! On the way home,c come the end of her day at school though, for the past week now, she has been an utterly exhausted, whiny little thing! Honestly, after dinner and a bath, she's been ready for bed by 6:15pm or sooner, and this has been the case every night since she began her 'Stars' class last week. No joke!

Our very own Lil' Gandhi

Another post left unpublished, written March 4th, 2010, rediscovered tonight:

Our baby sweet potato is trying to learn how best to assert herself...

At about 6 months of age, a relatively long time ago for the life of a about-to-be-one-year old, our lil' sweet potato learned that if screaming to get what she wants or doesn't want will not work --and it doesn't-- she'd have to try out other options in an effort to get her way: Sickeningly sweet politeness; batting her eyelashes; smiling all demure-like; patting my cheek; patting my hand; offering me kisses and hugs (BRIBES!); asking the question a gazillion times over and over, hoping the answer will change; stomping her feet; stomping one foot; slapping her hand(s) on the kitchen table; tossing something at us (that SoOOOooO did NOT work); pointing her lil' pointer finger menacingly at us (which only elicited giggles from her parents); rolling her eyes dismissively (I have no idea where she got that from); and asking again 2 minutes later, or again an hour later, or the next day; etc. etc.

Most recently, for the last couple days, she's decided that to procure her desired results, she'll exercise her right to peaceful protest: She won't eat.

I know she's been sick for the last week, but what I'm talking about here, her not eating? - - this kind of resistance effort on her part, it is something else entirely different that dealing with a picky eater. She'll eat a Cheerio off the floor, but not one offered to her from either me or her daddy. She'll try over and over and over to drink her bath tubby water, but not a sip of water from an offered drinking cup. She wants to watch a 'Signing Times' DVD, "Now please, mommie," while we're in the middle of breakfast or dinner, and she'll just sit there, saying and signing that she's all done, ready to watch her show now, saying and signing "please."  And we refuse to negotiate. And so she has sat, not eating.

We'll see how long she can wait it out. My bet is that she'll be trying something new by tomorrow morning, seeing as her lil' hunger strikes haven't yet worked to her advantage.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Everyday I'm Shufflin'

I just love, love, love this video's concept, and I think these guys, in all their ridiculousness, are totally hilarious. It's great comic relief - - I'm sorry, but I just love this! And I cannot wait to set on the couch with laptop ready, video in queue, to share this with our angel boy-O when he's next in town. He's gunna die for this!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 71

Because my honey-man 'loses' things all the time, to discover later on that had it been a snake, it would have bit him square on the a**!

The latest -and he ain't EVER gonna live this one down...

For over a month my honey-man's e-reader had been MIA... and for the last month +, he had repeatedly implied I was at fault for its disappearance, and at one point, he flat out accused me, that I must have stashed it somewhere.  Quite dismissively, often laughing at him, I repeatedly told him that the last I'd seen it was when I'd handed it right to him, telling him to put it somewhere safe... it had been sitting on the kitchen counter.

Over the last few weeks, some of the suggestions I'd offered him as to its possible whereabouts...
Bedside table?
Office desk drawers?
Upstairs desk drawers?
Your car?
Downstairs bathroom magazine rack?
Book bag?

So he calls me yesterday - - "What's the most outrageous place where I could find my Kindle?"

Me: Top drawer of your desk?
"Worse," he says.
Me: Beneath your keyboard? 
"Worse than that," he says. "Think on my person everyday."
Me: What!?!
"Yeah. How about inside my backpack all this time."

I laughed so hard that all my staff came to check and see if I was okay.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Pho, Pho, Pho

I've rediscovered pho! Mmmm... spicy pho! For a second lunch in a row now, my sinuses are wide open, perfectly clear!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 70

Because he told me my from-scratch blueberry muffins 'kick ass.'

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Twain Rings Twoo" or "I Love What He Has to Say-Say" or Sumthin' like that

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."

-Mark Twain

Friday, September 09, 2011

The Night Before Last

Lying belly-down on the front room couch, spoken softly and sweetly, but as if she's dying, pleading with me, my lil' Pipsqueak tries the following:

Pipsqueak: "Momma?"

Me (upbeat): Yes, punky? Whassup?

Pipsqueak: "Mahhhmma?" -short pause to see if I'm looking at her, which I am- "Momma, I neeeed a pohhpsicle."

Me (still upbeat, smiling at her with a look of amusement): Ohhh really? you think you neeeed a popsicle?

Pipsqueak (still dying, still lying on the couch): "Oh yeeessss, Momma, I neeeed a popsicle right nooow -long pause- please?"

It should be noted that her 'please' was spoken in the most cheery tone imaginable, paired with the cutest flash of uber toothy grin she could produce... lil' stinker!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Love & Friendship

Love is blind, and friendship closes its eyes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Retelling of Our Day

After getting my lil' pee wee home today, after only her 2nd day spent in a new class group --she's utterly exhausted from all the excitement of being in a new class-- We'd had dinner, had a shower, gotten our PJs on, brushed teeth, and read 6 books together, and then it was lights out, at which time, we rocked together in her bedroom's rocking chair, recounting the day's events while I tickled her back and her right arm. At some point in my retelling of her day, my mind began to drift towards my own bed, and I think I may have let myself ramble off topic, but not for long, as she turned right 'round to me, looking puzzled, and she asked me, "Mommie, what are you talking about?"

Good to know she's paying attention.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Owen's Kitty Heaven

Owen, getting in touch with his fairy princess side. He loves to hang out in our girlie's dress-up bin!

Monday, August 22, 2011

So Many Unknowns

It's funny how as I get older, from one year to the next, from month to month even, I realize more and more how little I know, yet we all THINK we know. SO much of my life is a total unknown. I can try -pretend- I know what we're going to be doing or planning and what's gunna happen -what the outcome will be- but I have almost ZERO control over my future.

There are so many variables I ignore, variables that define my life and my limits. And then there are the limits I create for myself, in my mind's eye, painting myself into a box, failing to look beyond what I think has to be this way or that. I'm babbling, kinda --

Anyhow, I've been trying to STOP pretending I know so much about where we've been and where we're going. I can hope and strive and make goals and make plans, but so little of it is in my control. I'm trying to be more aware of all that I'm afraid of and let go of those things that I have no control over.

Preventative measures have been my forte for years, but I'm discovering more and more that I waste so much time preparing for what might happen, trying to control what might happen. Too much time, too many resources, far too much focus and WAY TOO MUCH OF MY ENERGY is spent thinking about what could happen, with my trying to control those outcomes.

I'm rambling a bit here, I know.

I guess I needed to get it out there, that I'm trying to let go, to enjoy and to live more in the here and now, to accept those things that will happen that I can or cannot plan for, to accept there's so much I cannot control. I can't fret my life away anymore. And I cannot focus so much upon all that's wrong with the world - -because there's a great deal of good going on as well, and I'm a part of the good stuff going on. No, I'm not curing cancer, but I'm doing good.

All my screw-ups to date, they've made me who I am. In no way am I perfect and there's a TON of room for improvements, yes, but generally speaking, I'm a happy person and I do like myself (most of the time). As my honey-man told me just last night, each day is a chance to do my best, despite yesterday.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 69

Because he spent the whole of the weekend getting reacquainted with me --our first weekend spent together in 5 weeks' time.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Only this Size in Ootah

Found this sitting in 'Drafts,' sent via Blackberry, from our July 4th weekend:

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, June 17, 2011

Post-Tonsillectomy: What I Did & Didn't Do

Clearly, I did NOT blog... More on this soon.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #17

A cat is a lion in a jungle of small bushes.

-Indian Proverb

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Long Awaited Tonsillectomy

Wednesday of this week, I'll be getting my long awaited (for 20 years now) tonsillectomy! woo-hoo! Yuppers, indeedy, so by Friday or so, stuck at home, I should be getting real caught up with my blogging! Full report (or not, depending upon the level of grossness) later! Wish me luck!!

Nearly Two

This was to be shared on March 7th of this year, but we were caught up in other things soon after it was taken. It should still be shared, I think:

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Human Differences

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

Yup, They're Still Cute

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, June 03, 2011

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #16

"The smallest feline is a masterpiece."

- Leonardo Da Vinci

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #15

Who doesn't relish the scent of a fragrant blossom?

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, June 02, 2011

'Slipper Genie' Mopping Shoesies

I have the adult, non-animal face adorned, but also hot pink version of these 'Slipper Genie' cleaning shoes, and my daughter has coveted them since she first laid eyes on them... but see, these below are now what my lil' sweet potato has as her own 'mopping shoesies' with which she can help mommie clean our kitchen tile floors! She loves to help me mop -it's hysterically cute- but she always slipped on the wet floor, until now! With her very own pair of 'Kids Slipper Genie', she's a slip-free mopping professional.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Breakfast of Champions!

Hummus n' crackers, Breakfast of Champions!

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Her Favoritest Fluffy Lil' Friends

Over the last year, some definite favorite stuffed animals and/or dollies have become apparent and remained favorites, now that my lil' Juli-bean is two years old. I find it interesting to see 'who' she's most attached to and would like to make note of her faves now, to see someday down the road which of them survey on her list of favorites.

Going in rank order, beginning with her #1 favorite:

1. 'Merry' - This is her little brunette, red-dressed Carters doll, given to her for her first Christmas in 2009 as her first babydoll. Parts of Merry's darling ensemble are red and white candy striped tights and little brown mary jane shoes. "Merry Christmas" is embroidered in green thread on the front of Merry's dress. Merry is entirely soft with felt-like plush skin and her red dress is a fine red velour, which my daughter tickles between with her fingers in her sleep. There's also white furry trim at the cuffs and hem of Merry's dress, and she wears a red velour cap with the white furry trim sewn around its brim as well. My lil' babe dearly adores her 'Merry' and wants to take her in the car on the way to school, and she wants to sleep with her nightly. She shows Merry all the donuts in Krispy Kreme's display case, among other things for which she holds great enthusiasm. Whenever we travel, Merry goes along. I recently decided buying a 2nd, back-up 'Merry' was well overdue, so yesterday I found and bought one on eBay, already shipped out this morning.

2. 'Chuckie' - this is a darling pale mauvish-pink piggy made by JellyCat, made out of a material that can only best described as super thick, matte chenille-like corduroy. One of my honey-man's brothers from Montreal, he was here for some business in March, and brought him along as a gift. Although a relatively new addition to her brood of stuffed friends, Chuckie is a clear favorite right now, insisting sometimes over Merry, that Chuckie sleep with her in her crib. She often likes to take him along wherever we go, and she'll hold him up, atop her shoulders - - like she does on her mommie and/or daddy's shoulders, she says. I'm gunna have to find a picture of this! Done. It's absolutely precious. Like Merry, she loves to show Chuckie everything.

3. 'Bun-bun' - this is what we call her 'buddy blanket' bunny made by Bunnies By the Bay - - and we bought her a 2nd one of these as her back up over a year ago. One is kept in my car at all times and the second one is kept in her crib at all times -- TO BE CONTINUED

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 68

Because we haven't seen a movie in a theater in ages (as he's been working too many nights for several months now, and our available and free babysitters have been scarce), he's been insisting nearly every day for nearly 3 weeks now that I go see a movie with my uncle, even offering to come home from work so he can to watch our lil' girlie so I'd be able to go. Last Thursday, we'd finally made plans for last night to go see Thor, but my uncle had a change in plans kinda last minute.

So my honey-man, he just sent me a text offering again to come home and watch the girlie so that I can go see a movie for tonight.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 67

Because he will never completely dry himself off after he showers -only his face- as he tells me, he just likes to "air dry", and this always cracks me up because it so seems like something some absented-minded teenage boy would do. And if he puts on a night shirt, it'll stick to his still-wet skin. In fact, this whole scenario, it's exactly like Bill Cosby's adolescent son as described in his "Bill Cosby Himself" feature.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #14

"The cat loves fish but hates wet feet."

- Proverb

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #13

"Dreams are necessary to life."

- Anais Nin

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We are a Baby Gate Free Home! - - for now at least

This past Monday, we took the baby gate down from the top of our stairs and who freakin' knew - - we took it down and our girlie went up and down the stairs, two different trips, without assistance nor an escort, and without a single utterance of protest! She did it with great enthusiasm and confidence.

BACKGROUND INFO: A couple weekends ago, I had gone upstairs without her, cheerfully calling to her to come follow mommie, but she remained downstairs. In fact, she threw herself on the floor and she began to cry. Calling for her from upstairs, I encouraged her to come on up, that she could do it, but I could hear she wasn't convinced, still crying. I kept calling for her, maybe for a minute or more, but her crying only intensified. I came halfway down the stairs to see what was going on and to ask her, "Ahhh, what's the matter punky? Why are you so upset?" I found her clutching one of her polar bears, a lil' heap on the floor, absolutely in tears, sobbing, and refusing to come even near the stairs, begging me for help. This was something new and shocking - - this was NOT how my lil' chica had dealt before with my going upstairs without her, asking her to follow me: She used to simply follow me.

Over the past couple months she began asking to be carried up or down the stairs, and over the last month it got to the point where she would always ask -more like demand- that she be carried, and she would almost panic when forced to negotiate the stairs without immediate, direct assistance from one of us. Not without over-the-top encouragement would she even attempt the stairs, and more often than not, she wouldn't approach the stairs to go either up or down them unless one of us was right there with her to go the way alongside her.

I'd been curious as to where her new reluctance to use the stairs was coming from, but after the aforementioned weekend, I became worried and downright concerned as to what the heck had changed for her. For the past two weeks I began to suspect she didn't want to deal with the baby that gate at the top of the stairs, fearing it as an obstacle that throws her balance off, not wanting to risk a fall.

The fact that she went up and down the stairs and up and down again, all on her own each time, in the first ten minutes after the gate was removed, um, yeah, I think it's safe to assume the gate had indeed been the problem.

Earlier tonight, aiming to retrieve a favorite book of hers that she'd left in her room, she headed up the stairs all on her own, and once she got to the point on the stairs where she would have to turn and continue to move further up and out of my sight, she called down to me. With a brilliant and sparkling smile, wide-eyed and focused on my face, she nodded her head assuredly, telling me she'd be right back.

How Time Passes: It's Complicated

The past couple months have been a blur. And although we have a number of different things going on, I see two things most prominently in my mind reviewing this year to date - my aunt's face, heartbroken and conflicted, and my two-year old daughter, wide-eyed and smiling with pure and earnest interest spread across her darling full and rosey cheeked face. And these two things in my mind's eye are in juxtaposition to one another, and they remind me of the on-going duality of life which is this in my book:

Life sucks - - It's ugly and excruciatingly painful, brutally cruel and violently atrocious, totally unfair and unforgiving, unfeeling and wholly dismissive. And yet, Life can offer the most beautiful and pure moments, and the most splendid and blissfully simple joys.

It's complicated (nodding my head).

Before leaving for work this morning, while scrambling around the house to get us all out the door for work on time and the sweet potato's timely delivery to preschool, I had a lovely lil' brief texting convo with the angel boy-O's mommie, Wendy - - she has her hands full right now with life-changing events underway, as do we, and we were exchanging comments on the details of our latest news, and she wrote: "Oh wow. I don't know whether to say yay or boo," to which I responded, "lol exactly!" And then she wrote: "Well, I do believe that things will work out in the best way possible."

And then she wrote, "Ask [insert my honey-man's name] to tell you the 'How do you know this is a bad thing?' story from Japan." "Still something I kind of live by."

I wrote back to her: "omg LOL I have heard that story sOooooOOooooo many times!"

Wendy's reply: "HA! Glad to hear it's still out there."

Me: "oh yes, like alllll the time."

Wendy: "I have to say, I remind myself of that story when I feel like I'm getting screwed and it really puts things into perspective. We are living proof of the truth of that philosophy right now..."

Me: "Totally, amen sister wife"

Okay, so I just googled this: "Chinese Taoist farmer story about how do you know it's good or bad" -No, really, that's what I typed, really! Anyhow, I found several versions of the Taoist/Chinese farmer story, although the central message is the same across them all. I've included further below the most prominent four versions I found, the first being the closest to my honey-man's version, although my honey-man does note Mongolian nomads and Mongolian invaders specifically, and his version has a herd of horses returning to the village with the first horse, and the villagers tell the farmer he and his family will be rich. Furthermore, as with the first version here, the farmer in my honey-man's version always counters the assumption something is either good or bad, which is exactly what my honey-man often does whenever I'm facing something and attempting to determine it to be either 'good' or 'bad' - - which can sometimes be infuriating when in the moment (lol), as it can either totally dampen a happy celebration, or take away from one's need to complain/be mad, but yet, more often than not --grudgingly at times-- I have to admit he's been right to challenge the assumption!

Version 1:

This farmer had only one horse, and one day the horse ran away. The neighbors came to console him over his terrible loss. The farmer said, "What makes you think it is so terrible?"

A month later, the horse came home--this time bringing with her two beautiful wild horses. The neighbors became excited at the farmer's good fortune. Such lovely strong horses! The farmer said, "What makes you think this is good fortune?"

The farmer's son was thrown from one of the wild horses and broke his leg. All the neighbors were very distressed. Such bad luck! The farmer said, "What makes you think it is bad?"

A war came, and every able-bodied man was conscripted and sent into battle. Only the farmer's son, because he had a broken leg, remained. The neighbors congratulated the farmer. "What makes you think this is good?" said the farmer.

As told by Executive editor, Elise Hancock, in the Johns Hopkins Magazine, November 1993, page 2, in section entitled Editor's Note.

Version 2:

A man named Sei Weng owned a beautiful mare which was praised far and wide. One day this beautiful horse disappeared. The people of his village offered sympathy to Sei Weng for his great misfortune. Sei Weng said simply, "That's the way it is."

A few days later the lost mare returned, followed by a beautiful wild stallion. The village congratulated Sei Weng for his good fortune. He said, "That's the way it is."

Some time later, Sei Weng's only son, while riding the stallion, fell off and broke his leg. The village people once again expressed their sympathy at Sei Weng's misfortune. Sei Weng again said, "That's the way it is."

Soon thereafter, war broke out and all the young men of the village except Sei Weng's lame son were drafted and were killed in battle. The village people were amazed as Sei Weng's good luck. His son was the only young man left alive in the village. But Sei Weng kept his same attitude: despite all the turmoil, gains and losses, he gave the same reply, "That's the way it is."

As told by Chin-Ning Chu, in "The Asian Mind Game: unlocking the hidden agenda of the Asian business culture -- a westerner's survival manual," New York:Macmillan Publishing Company, page 182. (1991)

Version 3:

A man who lived on the northern frontier of China was skilled in interpreting events. One day, for no reason, his horse ran away to the nomads across the border. Everyone tried to console him, but his father said, "What makes you so sure this isn't a blessing?" Some months later his horse returned, bringing a splendid nomad stallion. Everyone congratulated him, but his father said, "What makes you so sure this isn't a disaster?" Their household was richer by a fine horse, which his son loved to ride. One day he fell and broke his hip. Everyone tried to console him, but his father said, "What makes you so sure this isn't a blessing?"

A year later the nomads came in force across the border, and every able-bodied man took his bow and went into battle. The Chinese frontiersmen lost nine of every ten men. Only because the son was lame did the father and son survive to take care of each other. Truly, blessing turns to disaster, and disaster to blessing: the changes have no end, nor can the mystery be fathomed.

The Lost Horse,
Chinese Folktale.

As told by Ellen J. Langer, in" The Power of Mindful Learning," Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley, page 99-100. (1997).

Version 4:

Huainanzi - Daoist Farmer

近塞上之人有善術者,馬無故亡而入胡,人皆弔之。其父曰:「此何遽不為福乎!」居數月,其馬將胡駿馬而歸,人皆賀之。其父曰:「此何遽不能為禍乎!」家富 良馬,其子好騎,墮而折其髀,人皆弔之。其父曰:「此何遽不為福乎!」居一年,胡人大入塞,丁壯者引弦而戰,近塞之人,死者十九,此獨以跛之故,父子相 保。故福之為禍,禍之為福,化不可極,深不可測也。

Translation (see above link for annotations and comment):

Among the people who lived close to the border, there was a man who led a righteous life. Without reason, his horse escaped, and fled into barbarian territory. Everyone pitied him, but the old man said : "what makes you think this is not a good thing?"

Several months later, his horse returned, accompanied by a superb barbarian stallion. Everyone congratulated him. But the old man said: "what makes you think this is cannot be a bad thing?"

The family was richer from a good horse, his son enjoyed riding it. He fell and broke his hip. Everyone pitied him, but the old man said: "what makes you think this is not a good thing!"

One year later, a large party of barbarians entered the border. All the valid men drew their bows and went to battle. From the people living around the border, nine out of ten died. But just because he was lame, the old man and his son were both spared.

P.S. Thanks, Wendy ~ I needed that. I hope everything goes without a hitch this week.
Love you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 67

Because I think he has entirely forgotten how to change out his own bath towel for a new one, and I wonder sometimes if it weren't for me, how long would he continue to use the same bath towel, week after week. And every time he sees he has a new bath towel on his towel rack, and a new hand towel as well, he always thanks me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Her Top Ten, Plus One or Two or Three or More

Here's a listing of our lil' sweet potato's Top Ten favorite songs, using the one to two words she'll say to refer to such songs/artists, and each is paired with either the actual song title she either wants me to sing or what she wants to be played. DISCLAIMER: Although all this doesn't truly qualify as a list limited to a mere ten top songs, whatever, its my blog post:

Popular = Refers to the song's actual title, which is from Broadway's Wicked. For over 3 months' time it was her #1 request whenever we were in the car and she wanted me to always sing along to it (and still does). She'll contribute one or two lyrics to the sing along effort, here and there, always timing her "popular"s and the one "pop-u-LAR" perfectly. I think the record for the most times we've played "Popular" on consecutive repeat during any one drive is 10 times and this happened just last month -and it could have gone on longer, but my honey-man gave me a desperately pleading look come replay #10, so I then gave her a "last time" warning... and she cried. But daddy was happy!

Cuppycake = a song that's no more than a minute long, sung by a little girl, Amy Castle, and it's sickenly sweet and toohtahlee adorable to the Nth degree, given to us on a mix CD for xmas '09. She likes to both listen to it and to have me sing it - - sometimes she does NOT want me to sing it though. I can't compare to the original, honestly. I've been singing and playing this one for her for over a year, but only in the last couple months has she put in requests for it by name. Link HERE and lyrics must be shared:

You're my Honeybunch, Sugarplum
Pumpy-umpy-umpkin, You're my Sweetie Pie
You're my Cuppycake, Gumdrop
Snoogums-Boogums, You're the Apple of my Eye
And I love you so and I want you to know
That I'll always be right here
And I love to sing sweet songs to you
Because you are so dear

Florence = referring to Florence + The Machine and this is currently her #1 request in the car, but it could be any 'Florence' song from Lungs, although her favorites are 'Dog Days are Over,' 'My Boy Builds Coffins', 'Cosmic Love,' and 'You've Got the Love' and the only one she refers to using anything more than 'Florence', is 'Rabbit Heart' -which she asks for as "Raise Up"- - So yeah, she basically likes the entire album, so I count it as one of Top Ten, as she refers to all of it as 'Florence.' SIDE NOTE: Her father isn't all that fond of 'Florence' tho, so I take great joy in the fact that our lil' sweet potato requests 'Florence' all on her own without any need of suggestion [<--- read as 'coercion' there] from mommie. Oh, and one time when 'Kiss with a Fist' was playing, she spoke up sllooowly and quietly from the backseat, "uhhh ohhh" and then declared, "She's mad!"

Mayer John = much like 'Florence' this is how she refers to anything by John Mayer, but "Gravity" is her favorite 'Mayer John' song due to the remarkable and miraculous calming effect it has upon her when she's fuzzy, as well as his entire Continuum album. We've kept this CD in the car for over a year because of its healing powers over her.

Jiggle = this is for Woodie Guthrie's "Little Sack of Sugar" - to be sung by either mommie (me) or Elizabeth Mitchell's cover which we alllll love at our house. The lyrics are darling so I must share ~
Jiggle, jiggle, jiggle, jiggle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle
Little sack of sugar I could eat you up

Jiggle, jiggle, jiggle, jiggle, pickle, pickle, pickle, pickle
Little sack of sugar I could eat you up

Hey, hey, hey, little sack of sugar
Ho! Ho! Ho! Little sack of sweet

Hee, hee, hee, my pretty little angel
So pretty, pretty, pretty I could eat your feet

Hey, hey, hey, little honey-bunny
Ho! Ho! Ho! Little turtle dove

Hee, hee, hee, little sack of 'taters
So pretty, pretty, pretty I could eat your toes


Hey, hey, hey, my tootsie wootsie
Rangle, tangle, dangle and a honey and a tree

Ho! Ho! Ho! My butterfly-flitters
So pretty, pretty, pretty I could eat your nose

Chorus (begin quietly and then pick up in volume and speed)

Goo goo google and a coo and a cuddle
Kick your foot like a bicycle pedal
Pretty little hoe down and a one eyed frog (hold long on the 'frog')
So pretty pretty pretty I could gobble you whole (hold on the 'whole')

Chorus x 2

MacDonald = ONLY the funk version of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" by Rufus Thomas or a family sing along.

Truly = this is actually something she only knows by my own lil' version in which I've inserted her name, however the original song, an old parlor song, "I Love You Truly" may be better known from ole' Perry Como. It was something both my mum and my Grams sang to me as a child. Lyrics please? Well, there posted on Wikipedia (which I linked above), but okay (I'm such a nerd):
I love you truly, truly dear,
Life with its sorrow, life with its tear
Fades into dreams when I feel you are near
For I love you truly, truly dear.
Ah! Love, 'tis something to feel your kind hand
Ah! Yes, 'tis something by your side to stand;
Gone is the sorrow, gone doubt and fear,
For you love me truly, truly dear.
I should note that I do not sing the lyrics of the second verse in any way - - instead, I sing this:
I love you truly, truly I do
You are my angel, my baby, that's you
You are my sweetest flower, my (insert her name which refers to a flower)
I love you truly, truly I do
Hush = as in "Hush, Little Baby" and for this one, we have some of our own additions, like buying a pony and some hay, and if it doesn't let you ride, momma's gunna buy you a car to drive, and if that car don't start, then we go into the horse and cart.

Lullaby = Brahm's Lullaby, better known by some as "Lullaby and Goodnight. This one, like "I Love You Truly," but worse, I have my own lyrics, only borrowing the tune and the "lullaby and goodnight" repeat.Harp = this refers to a song from Putumayo's Celtic Dreamland compilation CD called "The Dove's Return" by Áine Minogue that involves a great deal of absolutely gorgeous and quintessential Irish harp playing, and she loves it come bedtime while we rock in her chair together a bit before I lay her down for bed. I tend to play it when I'm sick and can't sing.

Sunshine = "You are My Sunshine," of course, but sung in the style of Elizabeth Mitchell.

And the one song she asks for by it's entire name, and she asks for it every night as her last song, is "Rockabye Baby".

P.S. Doh! I almost totally forgot, because it's been a while since this last had a strong listening streak, but it should be mentioned... She LOVES Jason Mraz - - anything by Mraz is golden for her! So much for 'top ten' although I was already pushing it in terms of defining any of this to a mere ten. She loves so much music.

The Things She Says

"What'r you doing?" -either wearing a happy, wide-eyed, look of intrigue with eyebrows raised or a look of pure puzzlement, brow furrowed, and can be asked of anyone she meets

"You sad?" - look of great concern and sympathy, bottom lip protruding a little

"You mad?" -look of great concern with a furrowed brow - - unless she's the reason for the upset, in which case she totally hams it up with a squinty-eyed, heart-melting smile

"Mommie, you sick? (little pause for hugs and pats) You better now? -initially a look of grave, grave concern drenched in profoundly heartfelt sympathy, followed by immediate hugs offered and little wiggling pat-pat fingers on one's neck and shoulders, after which she a big hopeful smile lights up her face.

"No, I don't like that" -frowning with disgust and shaking her head 'no', her chin tucked down into her neck and nose wrinkled, and this response could all happen in regards to either food or clothing

"I taller now!" -spoken first thing in the morning when we come in to claim her from her crib

"Let's go to Yogurtland! We got to Yogurtland now!" -squealing with excitement, hands in the air

"Let's go to Canes! Canes for chicken and french fries?" -trying hard to be suggestive and persuasive with a very hopeful expression, eyebrows raised and little head tilted sideways

"Mommie, I put my shoes in my shoe basket. Lowlypop now, mommie! - - please?" - initially very demanding tone but throws in the way charming kiss-butt smile at the end along with the sugary sweetly spoken 'please'

"Where's my baby Merry? She lost?" -very concerned for her favorite baby doll's welfare, and she will not STOP until we locate Merry

"I don't eat Play-Dough" - shaking her head 'no' with an enormous and mischievous smile and playdough in her teeth

"Look! My artwork, mommie! Look at it!" -smiling and repeatedly and proudly pointing out whatever art piece she's made

"I'm your daughter" - spoken with the most darling full-cheeked smile, usually followed with some kisses and/or hugs and/or cheek to cheek cuddles

"I'm my brother's sissy! I love him!" -spoken with pride and sheer glee

"Noooo, no go home now! Go to TJs mommie please?" -spoken initially with panic, with a quick switch to her most hopeful and persuasive tone she can muster

"Let's go people!" -spoken at near-shouting level and really wide-eyed with a little hand grasping at the front door handle when we're all about to leave home to go somewhere

"No, I'm an ice cream girl" -spoken sometimes in response to being told she's a good girl

And there are so so soooo many more - -

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #12

"A cat pours his body on the floor like water. It is restful just to see him."

- William Lyon Phelps

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

It's Been a While

I haven't written much of substance in a while. Granted, this is my self-proclaimed outlet of silliness. Nonetheless, sometimes I manage to write something good, something to be remembered. For months and months now, I've neglected to write much of the day to day, week to week, month to month details of my life that keep me going, that keep me believing.

For the month of March, I had hoped to revive my blogging and to make a big time effort to chronicle a number of my lil' sweet potato's accomplishments. Of course, I absolutely delight daily in my darling daughter, who is now TWO years old, but I've failed to detail so many delightful toddler tidbits for months now. And there are a gazillion other things to write about, to be grateful for as well, but over the last 3 weeks since my cousin was murdered, it's been hard to feel much is blog-worthy.

However, if anything, more now than before, I should sense greater meaning in the simple stuff, even the somewhat mundane, and write about whatever and whenever I get a chance. I guess I have been a bit too busy to write, but I've found hours to check into Facebook and Emmett's 'In Memory' group. I dunno.

Blogging, albeit silly stuff, it facilitates my personal effort to cherish all that I have and to enjoy it all to the fullest --as Emmett would want me to and he would expect no less of me... he was such an insistent and stubborn ass with the heart of a lion!

I hope with the April month I'll take more time to observe and note, to reflect and share.

It's just been so hard to think past all the disbelief that he's gone now. The pain can be paralyzing. My heart aches most for those hardest hit by this loss: His wife and 5 lil' children and his estranged parents. My dear aunt - - I want to help and don't know how, as none of it brings him back, and that's all she wants. It is absolutely heartbreaking.

Monday, March 21, 2011

For the Love of Kitty Kats n' My Cousin, Emmett ~ #11

After returning to my office from a week of away for funeral services, mourning the truly tragic murder of my cousin on Friday, March 11th, I saw this and immediately thought of Emmett. Just not sure if the two kitties represents him as the big daddy cat with an infinite focus upon his 5 precious littles of his own, or does it represent him and his own mother...? And in the latter case, which kitty represents whom? Is the big kitty his momma or is the big kitty actually Emmett, touching noses with his little petite momma? Either view would be appropriate in so many ways. And note that this calendar card is actually from March 11th...

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Friday, March 11, 2011

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #10

"Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet."

- Colette

Thursday, March 10, 2011

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #9

"A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere."

- Groucho Marx

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Like Glue

Today I feel stuck - and no, I won't elaborate on that.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 66

Because after the anger has passed or the tears have dried, he shares with me the belief that there isn't much in our lives that is ever that bad. We are always reminding each other how fortunate we are, that we shouldn't complain (even when we can).

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


(inhaling deeply) There is sooo much to be thankful for in my life.
While lunching with some lovely friends today, I found myself talking about my mum for a moment. Twelve years might seem like a mere drop in the bucket compared to the total years spent across one's entire lifetime.

I am so very grateful for those first 12 years of my life spent with my mum. She will always be an enormous part of who I am today and forever.

Now I'm off to claim my lil' babe from her preschool, ready to eat her darling neck as my dinner appetizer.

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #8

"We must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose."

- Indira Gandhi

Monday, February 14, 2011

Otis Found Enjoying Some Alone Time

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For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #7

"...with affection beaming in one eye, and calculation shining out of the other."

-Charles Dickens

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Yes, Way: Blooms in February

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

All Too Small

This post was written November 20, 2010, and was totally forgotten until now:

These 'size 5' shoesies didn't last very long - - all worn for no more than 2 months' time before she grew out of them - -well, except for the jelly sandals, which she used all summer until mid-November. Those jellies worked great as lil' swim shoes, made by Trumpette Too. Aren't those lil' red ones with the white hearts to die for? Those were her round-the-house slipper shoes, worn inside only for no-shoes-on households like ours. The suede brown and teal pair were her favorites, enough so that I bought her another pair of them in a size 6, which she's wearing now. The darling pink, orange and yellow pair, she called them her 'candy corn' shoes -clever girl, eh? Before she had to stop wearing those, we had paired her 'candy corn' shoes with the outfit she wore the day of Halloween! She had a darling pair of white Keds (not shown), that she wore only a couple weeks, too tight for the top of her foot.

At the beginning of last summer (2009), she wore a size 3 and by July's end, she was into a size 4, wearing a size 5 by mid to late September. It's not that her foot is growing quickly in length though - - Ohhh nooo, we have a different issue when it comes to kids quickly 'growing out' of shoes... If we go by her footsie length, she should be in a size 5, but the top of her foot, due to her tall arch, is SUPER WAY TALL for a baby's footsie --plus she's got kinda meaty, chubby feetsies. Makes it nearly impossible to find her shoes that fit! Stride Rites won't do, nor will any Sketcher. Both Keds and Keens are totally out. I can't even find her something that will fit her from either Target's Circo line or Kohl's Sonoma line. I really have to search to find styles that have a far-forward cut for the top of the shoe with a long, height accommodating ankle strap. So far Pediped and See Kai Run are the only brands I've found that make shoes that will fit my daughter's feet. And even then, sometime the cut doesn't work: Her candy corn shoes were made by See Kai Run, and the leather toe portion was cut too high towards the strap placed across the top of her foot at the ankle, smooshing the top of her foot, so that the top of her foot looked like a lil' pillow = she wore that pair for barely a month! oh, and have I mentioned yet that the majority of shoes made by either Pediped and See Kai Run, they sell for a hefty price? Infant Pedipeds usually run $32 each, with their Flex styles costing $42 or more. See Kai Run sells for $38, $40-ish. Whether we can afford these prices or not, it's ridiculous to spend $40 on a shoe that will be worn for less than 2 months at best, so I scope out eBay for retired, last season pairs that were never worn, still new and sold in the box. Even still, it's hard to find her even those.

K, why am I writing about all this? I may have mentioned this before, but my daughter really LOVES shoes and has since she was teeny tiny, hording the shoes of others, carrying them around, trying to wear everyone's shoes, etc. When it comes to her love of shoes, my honey-man often states he feels like he's living in an episode of Sex & the City. Well, now it's gotten to be a bigger issue with the holiday season here [DISCLAIMER: Mind you, this is allll relative, I know, I know.], unable to find her a basic black pair of mary janes that would fit her feet for Santa pictures and family holiday pictures and everything else black shoes can satisfy as a classic shoe color. In short, we failed - - although I wound up getting a pair of navy, last-season See Kai Runs and polished them with black shoe polish. But that's not the main point of this post anyhow - - I'm writing to share the results of a tried experiment:

At some point we thought we'd found the end all be all of shoes that would fit my daughter's feet no matter the style: Crocs

My honey-man is NOT a Crocs guy, very prejudiced against the brand. Nonetheless, I'd bought her a like-new hot pink pair off of eBay sometime mid-summer and they have fit her perfectly, 'cept we found out they're a nameless knock off, not 'real' Crocs. I thought this wouldn't matter until I bought her a pair of real Crocs in the next size up for her growing feet. IMPORTANT NOTE: Her faux Crocs are truly her most favorite pair of shoes because they fit her feet sooo comfortably.

So I ordered a pair of 6/7 sized Crocs this month, polar fleeced lined for the cooler weather. Remarkably, they did not fit the top of her foot, so they were promptly returned. Out of curiosity, I decided to order the next size up, to see if an 8/9 size would at least fit the top of her foot - - This is what those looked like out of the box = very cute, especially for Crocs! ~

This is how they're 8/9 sizing compared to her lil' footsie
And here they are on her feet = total clodhoppers, total clown-like look on her, plus she had nearly FOUR inches of extra room in the toe!?
Needless to say, they were returned as well. Crocs don't work for her either.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Oh Ray

Whenever I find myself in a brooding, uber contemplative, semi-moody, self-examining mood -not exactly in the dumps and not at all climbing high- I almost always crave me some Ray LaMontagne, and he helps me slowly, gently rise out of it and on, onto better things.

Friday, February 04, 2011

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #6

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"Baby Gate #1 sah Goner" or "Favoring the Left Side"

Last night we took down the baby gate set up at the bottom of our stairs - - Coming down the stairs this morning, physical memory had me still swinging my right hip slightly right as I walked 'through' the space where the gate had once been. Wonder how long it will take for that physical memory to die out and come to a stop... The downstairs gate had been up for the last 18 months.

When pregnant, I was to sleep on my left side, even though my preferred sleeping position had been my back or stomach - - Our lil' sweet potato girlie was born nearly 2 years old and I wind up sleeping on my left side more often than not.

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Thursday, February 03, 2011

She Says this is Her Uncle Loren

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Leg Warmers

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On Top of Spaghetti

One night I sang "On Top of Spaghetti" to my lil' sweet potato - - and before I could even continue the rest of the verses to even convince her the meatball would be found and grow into a tree, she burst into big, fat, rolling tears to hear I'd lost my meatball!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #5

"The more people I meet, the more I like my cat."

Monday, January 17, 2011

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #4

Direct eye contact and a firm grip are essential elements of good table manners.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 65

Because 25 minutes ago, we turned on the TV for the first time in over a week and the show that was already on was 'Minute to Win It,' which we've seen maybe once before, ever, and he cheered and clapped his hands for each contestant's successful win.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 64

I came home yesterday to find this lovely hand drawn (with crayons, no less) sign affixed over our front door bell. This is his 2nd week in the role of Mr. Mom, staying home to care for our lil' sweet potato while her school is closed for program and teacher development. He clearly has come to value uninterrupted nap times.

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Friday, January 07, 2011

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #3

"All inquiries carry with them some element of risk." -Carl Sagan

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #2

"There is nothing that gives more assurance than a mask." -Colette

For the Love of Kitty Kats ~ #1

If this kitty's eyes were more chartreuse, I'd swear this was our Owen! This pic was taken from a cat calendar from Workman Publishing that my honey-man gives me every chrimpus for my office. This is a fave pulled from last year's calendar and it reads:

"If you give me that leftover tuna, I'll love you forever."

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 63

Because he's been playing Mr. Mom this week, since we got home from our vacay, staying home each day with the lil' girlie until I can get off of work in the afternoon (2-ish) to come home and take over.

We have no daycare right now, as her school's been closed for program and teacher development since December 17th. It won't reopen until the 18th of January, this month. This happened the winter of 2009-2010 as well; this is the only shortfall of her school - - although I secretly love taking the time off to stay home and play with her, so I can't complain too much.

First! ~ Number 4

Last weekend while driving on our way home from Utah, our lil' critter sang her ABCs all on her own without any prompting and she only missed the 'E, F, G' part - - it sounds like a string of 'E's, as she altogether skips F. Although her 'L, M, N, O, P' part sounds more like "Elmo peed", we gave her full credit for that portion of her recitation.

First! ~ Number 3

Entirely on her own, unprompted by anyone or anything, our sweet potato girlie counted from one to ten.

First! ~ Number 2

We had stuffed baked potatoes for dinner... stuffed with meatballs!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Must - go - to - bed.... now.

P.S. I haven't been to bed yet, referring to the night of the 4th, as in bedtime for the 4th, and today's the 5th. Yup, I've been up since yesterday morning's 5:50 AM.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

First! ~ Number 1

I scraped this morning's unusual frost from my windshield using a credit card.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

'My Under My Blankey Now'

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