Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Dave!

Dave took Luke and Jack camping on Thursday, and the plan was for me to meet them after work on Friday. Well, first the campsite was closed, then they could only get one night at another campsite, then they got 2 more nights in another spot, so they had to pack up and move, and then it rained and then the wind blew the rain shelter/tarp into bits. Then I got there and convinced them to go home. Good thing, since Jack threw up all day yesterday.

While Dave stayed home with the sickie, I took The One Who Can Not Keep A Secret birthday present shopping. I asked The One Who Can Not Keep A Secret what he wanted to get his dad for his birthday and he said, "A wii game, or a remote control car, or light saber, maybe..." I asked him exactly whose birthday we were shopping for and he said, "I KEEP ASKING DADDDY WHAT HE WANTS AND HE KEEPS TELLING ME I DON'T HAVE TO BUY HIM ANYTHING!" Sheesh, Ok. SO TOWCKAS and I went to Best Buy because I have been meaning to go there for the last 14 months since the light on the refridgerator starting telling me to replace the filter. I figured we could get a filter and shop for games for the wii. Long story short, we got Wii Little League, and thus began the longest 17 hours of secret keeping that TOWCKAS has had to endure since last year. Oh wait, last year he only had to keep the secret as he helped me carry the present down the hallway. So over the course of those 17 hours there were lots of,
"I can't wait until tomorrow."
"You want to open your present in the morning, right?"
"I can't wait to play with your present tomorrow Daddy." Etc.

Then, last night during dinner, Dave said, "After dinner, do you want to play Mario Cart Wii or play baseball in the front yard?"

TOWCKAS's response? "Wii Baseball!!!!"

Fortunately Dave was walking out of the room, so when we was out of earshot I said, "Sssshhhhh! Or you don't get to pick out any more presents!"

TOWCKAS's response? "What!? I said, we should play baseball!"

Dave likes a pink cake with chocolate icing, so this year, instead of the pink (strawberry? cherry?) cake from the box, I made a triple layer strawberry cake with chocolate ganache icing. It was really good. The batter seemed really pink from the strawberries, but I guess I should have added food coloring too. Mmm. So good. It calls for 8 egg whites, and I used a trick I learned from the cupcake class, where you separate the yolk from the white one at a time in a little bowl and then dump the recently seperated egg into the bowl with the rest, so you don't waste a lot of eggs by getting yolk in the main egg bowl on the 7th or 8th egg. However, I forgot to add in the last egg white , so I imagine that this cake would have turned out 1/8 again as tall if I hadn't made that mistake.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Date Night

Last week, we had one of Luke's friends over after camp, and this week, Luke and Jack went to his house. Dave and I had a date! Yea! And then, when I was putting Luke to bed, we had this conversation:

Luke: What do you do when you are invited to someone's house and they have a brother. Do you need to play with them?
Me: Are you talking about you and Jack at your friend's house?
Luke: No! No, not like that!
Me: OK, what are you talking about?
Luke: Like, um, if you had a friend, with a brother, or a sister, or like, a twin brother, and you are at their house, and you like the sister, but do you have to play with them?
Me: Well, if the sibling wants to play with you, then you would be a polite guest and play with them. But I can imagine times where you'd just want to play with your friend and then maybe the parent could arrange for that. Are you talking about (Insert a million examples and a million "No" answers.)
Luke: Long convoluted example that makes no sense, but in which he insisted that the example sibling was at least 4 years old.
Me: Are you talking about you and Jack?
Luke: Yes. I don't want him coming on my play dates.

Poor Luke. I had to explain that it wasn't really a play date for him as much as a date for mommy and daddy.

In other news, Luke lost another tooth. This one didn't seem that loose, but Luke took a kazoo from Jack and put it in his mouth, and when Jack yanked the kazoo out of Luke's mouth, the tooth came with it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mission Complete! What Ten Ho!

I am sure Uncle John, my loving and caring brother, will be happy to read that the batteries in the Tonka Ambulance that he purchases for Luke about 4 years ago are still going strong. It has a siren, flashing lights, a little song about Tonka and a little saying that goes like this, "Mission Complete, Let's Head Home." Or, if you are Luke, you might insist that it says, "Mission Complete, What Ten Ho." And now Jack has discovered the truck, and he likes to play that song that goes, "It's Tonka, to the rescue, we're coming through for you!" while he does a little dance. I took about 10 videos over 2 days but I could never quite capture the perfect dance. Part of the problem was that Luke was thwarting my attempts by making the truck play the other noises instead of the song. Over and over. This all took place about a month ago, but I'm just blogging about it now for several reasons. Number one reason is laziness. You wouldn't believe the ideas I have filed away, with no time to write them all down. Then yesterday, we saw a real rescue vehicle, which was very exciting. Also, I was just hearing that my biggest blog fans, Rose and Anthony, like videos the best, and since my camera is broken I decided to see what I could find in my archives. So here you go:

Sometimes it turns out that the first take is the best one:

And here is Luke pressing all the wrong buttons for me:

Friday, June 19, 2009

5x5 Challenge

Posting here has been light lately, but not for any of the usual reasons: work, laziness, kids not being funny enough, addiction to new TV series, etc. I have been working on another blog, the purpose of which is to raise money to cover some of the leukemia treatment costs for William, the cute little boy above.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yes Ma'am

Luke is a very busy boy this summer. His camp packs more fun into a week then I could probably provide all summer. And in addition to a daily (awesome) field trip, he also has two swimming lessons a week and a soccer practice and a game. And we bike to camp almost every day, and that bike ride is 1.5 miles straight up hill. It's serious. The first time we did it, I allocated 20 minutes for the 1.5 miles up hill and 20 minutes for the 6 miles downhill to work. I was sad when we got to camp 35 minutes later after much crying and gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair. (But I made it to work in 18 minutes!) The next day I brought a water bottle and a fruit twist for Luke to eat if we got to the top with out any complaining. We got there in 20 minutes with no stopping. Since then, I have forgotten the snack twice and we have had some complaining here and there.

Here is an excerpt from our conversation on the way there yesterday:
Luke: (After going really fast for a while) I need to stop and push my bike.
Me: Well, what you need to do is focus on pacing yourself. Pacing yourself means regulating the speed at which you are traveling, so you find a speed that you can keep up for a long period of
Megan: You know, when I am talking, and you already know what I am saying, a polite way to respond is "Yes Ma'am." That way you communicate to me that you know what I am saying, and you get me to stop talking. But you do in a way that makes me think you are polite and then we are both happy.
Luke: (Silence)
**Time Passes**
Luke: This hill is really hard.
Me: When I have a bike ride that I do a lot that I find challenging, I like to break it up into sections in my mind. Then I can feel a sense of accomplishment after each section. For instance, I'd break this ride into 4 sections, one for each hill. The first section would start at our house and end
Luke: Yes Ma'am.

And then, interestingly, we had this conversation at dinner tonight:

Luke: Why do people get divorced?
Me: Some people are much happier when they live apart.
Luke: But you and Daddy aren't going to get divorced?
Me: No
Dave: No, I would never be able to find anything if I couldn't ask your mother where it is.
Me: Daddy and I love each other very much and we
Luke: Yes Ma'am.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Smore Baking

Last week on our way to camp at Buffalo Creek, I said, "I wonder if I should make my own graham crackers from scratch and then make my own marshmallows and then maybe pre-melt the chocolate onto the graham crackers and have a gourmet camping dessert. Does that sound really good, or like the dumbest thing you have every heard?"

See, I had just read a recipe for graham crackers that sounded like fun to try. And I have always loved Martha's idea of premelting the chocolate. Hmmm. Maybe, I thought, I'll go for the happy medium and just pre-melt the chocolate on some grocery store crackers and call it good. But happy mediums are not my specialty. I can't find the middle ground between making marshmallows from scratch on one end and eating oreos for breakfast because I forgot to pack anything else. And then Franz had to go on and on about how he was going to bake a key lime pie for the next camping trip that would be nothing short of legendary, and my old competitive baking instincts kicked in. When we got home from camping on Sunday night, there was this marshmallow recipe just staring up at me and I knew what had to be done. And it was fun. Messy, but fun. The graham crackers were a real hassle, and to my disappointment they are delicious. If they had just been sort of blah I would never feel the urge to make them again.

So, now that the hail has stopped, Iwe need to pack the car for this weekend. Right now I have pulled pork in the crock pot and spaghetti sauce on the stove, and I had planned to bake bread at the campsite until I found out that we were out of yeast. I predict our next trip will involve a hot dog wrapped in a piece of bread. Unless I find that happy medium.

Locks of Love

I got 10 inches of hair cut off yesterday to donate to Locks of Love. My hair looked really, really cute yesterday. Today it looks pretty cute, but a little mashed down from sleeping on it. Tomorrow... well, we'll see how it looks tomorrow.

No offense to Dave's phone, but the phone camera is not as good as my old camera that fell in the sand and was never the same again. But here is the after picture:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Using Your Words

When Luke started to talk he could say his L's but for some reason, he had trouble with "Luke". In fact, I think his Grandmom was really surprised one time when he said, "I'm Nuke!" I think there is a fine line with new talkers regarding when to correct and when to just use proper pronounciation yourself and hope they learn from example. But on the day I decided to work on changing Nuke to Luke, we had this conversation:

Me: Luke, repeat after me, OK?
Me: La la la la la.
Luke: La la la la la.
Me: La la la la Luke.
Luke: La la la la Mommy.

He has a sense of humor, that one.

The other one... he is in a very impatient phase. He just goes from zero to shrieking in 2 seconds, so I had to trot out that so very new millennium expression, "Use your words."

Me: Use your words, Jack.
Me: Do you want some more, Jack?
Jack: More, Jack!

We have been calling Luke "Bubba" since Jack was born and Luke decided this week that he doesn't like it anymore. Which is too bad, because every morning after Jack has seen me and Dave, he calls out a cute little, "Bubba.. Buuuuuuuhbaaaaaaaa" until Luke makes an appearance. So this morning, Dave said, "Jack. Say La la la la Luke."
And a video would be more appropriate for showing Jack's reply, but if you couldn't tell by the declining qualities of my photos since our return from Mexico, my camera is broken.
So imagine Jack saying the following with his tongue sticking way out of his mouth:

La la la la Uke.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie!

Luke hates chicken pot pie, but Dave and I love it. Mmm. Chicken pot pie. Whenever we grill a beer butt chicken, I take all the leftovers, and mix them in with chicken gravy and frozen vegetables, and freeze the whole thing for later in an 8x8 pan. Then I take half of this chicken pot pie topping and put it on top of my defrosted pan of leftovers. Mmmm. Chicken pot pie. It's so good. Well, the last time it wasn't so good because I kind of tried to improvise the gravy out of chicken stock and chicken. And not much else. And it was sort of yucky. But that is just one time. One tiny little mistake. And really, I have made delicious versions on many, many occasions. And Luke has hated them all. We pretty much always threaten to send him to bed without dinner every time I make it because of his attitude. The rule is, no complaining about my meals unless I say, "How did you like it?" He knows the rules.

So when I got home from work today, Luke was sulking in the back yard because he hates chicken pot pie. Then he came into the kitchen.

Luke: What's for dinner?
Me: Chicken Pot Pie.
Luke: I HATE chicken pot pie!
Dave: Do you want to go to your room without any dinner?

And that is when I pulled an awesome parenting trick out of my hat, and asked him to help me make the pie crust. He chopped butter, he pulsed the food processor, he rolled out the dough, he brushed it with egg wash and he cut the little slits in it.

And then, at dinner, he ate every last bite.

And yet...

I couldn't help but be annoyed by his many comments along these lines:
-Wow - this is the best chicken pot pie I have ever had.
-It's weird, because this time, I am eating the whole thing and I have never done that before.
-I wonder what is just so different about this chicken pot pie that makes it so delicious.

OK, I get it! Your pie crust is awesome. Don't eat so much, I want leftovers.

Friday, June 5, 2009

If That Doesn't Work, Try Throwing Me Down The Stairs

At least a year or so ago, Luke's friends saw an America's Funniest Home Videos episode about different ways to get that loose tooth out of your mouth, and they have been dying for a chance to try some of them out. And that is how Luke came to have one end of a string tied around his tooth and the other end tied to a hippity hop.

From May2009

Dave and I both find loose teeth to be sort of disgusting, so we had to leave all the string tying to our good friend.

From May2009

The plan was to throw the hippity hop down the stairs to the basement. It didn't work, but between you and me, I think Luke was pushing the string off his tooth with his tongue at the last second. I came to that conclusion because in the video, you can hear, "You are pushing the string off your tooth with your tongue!" I'd share the video, but it's just the back of everyone's head as they crowd around to see the spectacle.

After a few tries, Luke said, "Hold onto the ball and throw me down the stairs." That's when I decided to stop the madness.

This all took place about 2 weeks ago, and I am happy to report that the tooth is finally out. This morning I noticed that the tooth appeared to be about 1/4 inch taller than the rest of Luke's teeth. I think it was just resting on his gums because when he wiggled it with his tongue it just came out. Finally!

If That Doesn't TW==

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Reverse Reverse Dummening

This post was supposed to be about how I've gotten so much smarter since I quit nursing. When I started to write it last week, it went like this:
Day 12 – I think the brain cells are starting to regenerate.
Thought process number 1: Hmm, what dessert should I make for the barbecue? A cake? Cupcakes? Cookies? What kind of cookies? If I said to Dave, “What kind of cookies should I make?” He would say, “Chocolate with peanut butter filling.” But what’s the point of that when I can’t eat… OMG! I quit nursing! I can eat peanut butter again! This story would make a lot more sense to a lot more people if I wasn’t the only mom on the face of the earth that had been told not to eat peanut butter while nursing. So, yeah, it’s been 18 months. (And you know what? Totally worth it, because Jack already has allergies, and I prefer not to have to deal with a peanut butter allergy if I can help it.) Anyway!!! It only took a week of not nursing for me to re-grow enough brain cells to remember that I can eat peanut butter. As for the dessert, I settled on cupcakes. And my cupcakes turned out like this:

Instead of like this.

So I think things are getting a little better every day.
But that was last week. Last week, I hadn't been to the grocery store 3 times in a 24 hour period. My most recent trip was to pick up my wallet and cell phone. The manager said, "Had you already canceled all your cards?" "Ummm. No, I didn't know my wallet was missing until you called me. From my phone."

It looks like it may take the dummening a little longer to recede than I had originally thought. Or else, it reversed briefly, only to strike again. On the bright side, the transition into full on dementia should be pretty smooth.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

According to Luke, Alexander didn't have anything to complain about because at least he didn't end up in the emergency room. But the way I see it, if you fall out of a tree and end up the E.R., but it turns out you just have a (Pause because Jack is throwing up. And... I'm back.) bruise and a flesh wound, then hey, it's a good day. Well, that's what I was going to say before I cleaned up a bunch of vomit.

What happened? Luke fell out of an apple tree and landed on a stump or something. I had my back to the tree, so I didn't see it, and that seemed to make the nurse think I was a terrible mother. Luke wished Aunt Beth was a nurse at the hospital and I did too! He got the wind knocked out of him when he fell and he was pretty scared and upset, and he said it hurt to breathe. So off we went. X-Rays showed that everything was fine. I had imagined canceling the whole summer of camp and swimming lessons and soccer and just laying around healing, but instead they said to take it easy for a few days, and no tree climbing for 6-7 days at least. Totally doable!

As for Jack, I think we'll have to see how the rest of the night goes! Wish us luck!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Still Milking It

So, this may be my last post ever about nursing. I mean, I have 14 posts with the label of lactation attached, and there are probably more that I just forgot to label. But it has been a few weeks now, and while Jack did try to nurse today and threw a fit when I gave him a sippy of milk, I am still just going to call it and say he's weaned. It's offical. I am sure he was going to throw a fit anyway, because he was one hangry little boy. (Those of you who get hangry know what I mean right away. Thanks to my sister for sharing the term with me! Hungry+Angry=Hangry.)

I was worried that the time would fly by and I would forget what it was like to nurse my little Jack, but after a year and a half, I think we are both ready to move on. I have one more story to share that, depending on your perspective, is either adorable or disgusting, and then I retire the topic. I'm mostly writing it down for me, so I don't forget.

In Mexico, Jack went a whole 24 hours without nursing and I thought, "Oh, that was easy!" And then the next day he wanted to nurse first thing in the morning, so we did. And he nursed for a little while and then he paused and looked up at me and said, "Num!"

Monday, June 1, 2009

Last Day of Kindergarten

So many boring details about my life so little time to post. Consider yourself spared!

I did shed a tear or two on Luke's last day of kindergarten. It seems like the first day was just yesterday! I put him in the same shirt for the last day of school, but we had to go with a different pair of shorts, because he actually grew out of a pair of shorts for the first time ever.

Speaking of how Luke never grows out of shorts, I put Jack in a pair of 18 months shorts and I thought to myself, "Hmm. I think Luke wore these until he was four. For some reason I don't see that happening with Jack."

And then, as I was digging through the unfolded clean clothes pile for shorts for Luke, I decided to play a joke on Luke and I handed him a pair of Jack's pants (size 12 months) to wear instead. He didn't notice. I had to tell him.

I wish I could link to a picture of him wearing these pants 5 years ago, but they aren't really that cute, so the only picture I have is on a Christmas ornament that the daycare made.