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Friday, April 30, 2010

Books Read in April

I really hate to admit this, but it was another one book month. I'm getting frustrated with my inability to read anything substantial. Still, one is better than none, so here it is. The one book.

Sizzle by Julie Garwood

I enjoyed it, but then I enjoy most of her books. There's something to be said about books that shy away from the man/man conflict and focus more on the man/circumstance scenario. Having characters that click from the beginning is nice, especially when hot sex is involved.

And, because I am so frustrated with my one book status, I have decided to go ahead and list the children's book(s) I read to Short Person. I did read them. Yeah, maybe they aren't 500 page books, but they do have pages.

Dear Dumb Diary Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jim Benton
A Taste of Honey by Nancy Wallace

There was one more, but for the life of me, I can't remember it. Here's to better luck in May!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Photo 161 - An Owl Bedroom

Short Person has recently decided she'd like to change her room decor into something a little more age appropriate. Since she's no longer three, but now a whoppin' six-years-old, she wants something more grown up.

Originally, she wanted the LittleMissMatched from JC Penney (the green striped with hearts on the reverse), but Mommy being the meanie that she is told her no. Sorry, but I can't handle the noise of the comforter. Just couldn't do it. So, on a recent shopping excursion to Target we took a zoom through the bedding aisles for little girls and found a room both of us love.

I told Short Person that Mommy and Daddy would redo her room as a "Welcome to 1st Grade" gift, but that it came with a condition-- she has to be sleeping in her bed at least three nights a week. She agreed.

But so far, it is not going well. I think LJS is letting her sleep in there because he does not want to paint again. LOL... Although, now that I think about it, the most he has to do is a green stripe where her wallpaper border sits now. But, he's really tired of painting, poor guy.

Two more images that show the detail of the owl and the color a little better.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Photo 160 - Franklin, The Painted Plate, and a Father's Day Gift

This weekend was another lazy weekend. Well, lazy is pushing it since we did a lot of different things. I think by lazy I mean that we were able to have fun doing things like painting and playing. We went to the Painted Plate and got to work on LJS's Father's Day Present, which is shown in the picture.

Since it is no surprise to anyone (probably) that it sometimes takes me weeks to get these blog posts on here, I'll tell you the little story of bringing it home. It takes about a week to glaze and fire the item once we're done painting it. So, one week later, I arrived home after picking it up and doing some grocery shopping. Short Person wanted to take the bag in the house, but I was worried that she'd leave it hanging around and LJS would find it much sooner than the intended "gifting" date.

So, I warned her about this and let her know that she'd need to take it into my office and hide it so that Daddy wouldn't see it. At that moment, the man in question strolled up to the car. Short Person gasped, rolled the bag down a little further, and scooted out of the front seat. Looked up at her Dad and said, "Don't worry, Dad! I'm just taking in some groceries. It's just groceries. That's all... just groceries. I'm taking them into the house, cause, like, you know (insert small chuckle) that's what you do with, er, groceries!" And then she scuttled her butt into the house.

LJS and I were laughing as we watched her move away. "You have to admit," he said, "that was pretty good."

I'm fairly certain he now knows we painted something for him.

Anyway, back to the present. We also had Franklin. Here's his journal entry for today.

Dear Class,

This weekend, I got to visit Megan's house. Megan was really happy to see me and on Friday we played and played until it was time to go to bed. On Saturday, we had to get up early to go to Megan's swimming class. I got to sit with her mommy while we watched Meg learn how to swim! When we got done we went to Target to look around. We got to have a pretzel snack. It was a big pretzel that was almost as big as me!

When we got done, Megan and her mom decided to go to the Painted Plate to work on painting a mug. That was a lot of fun. They had so many different colors to paint with it was awesome.

Since Meg's Daddy had to work, her mom said it was a "freebie" day, so next we went got to go play at Safari Sam's! Megan took me on the Jungle Gym and it was so much fun! I screamed when I went down the slide. By the time we got done, I was beat. I fell asleep in the car on the way home.

The next day, we got to go meet Megan's Nana and see the movie "The Tooth Fairy". I really liked it. The movie was about a man who didn't have any dreams and didn't know how to say "what if", but he learned. I think it is very important to have dreams for the future. Do you have dreams?

When we got back home, Megan's mom said Meg needed to clean her room. That wasn't much fun, but it was great to have everything put back where it belongs.

It was a great weekend, but I need to go to sleep now. See you in the morning!

Love Franklin

Friday, April 23, 2010

Photo 159 - A Sunny Day

A friend of mine who lives in Colorado Springs was sending me photos of snowfall they had received this morning. So, I battled back and sent him some sun.

This is a photo out the back door of my office.

And a beautiful sunny sky...

Later this same day, we went to visit another friend of mine who gifted Short Person with three gently used Build-a-Bears. They've already stolen a place into her heart.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Photo 158 - PJ's and Storytime

Our local library started a once-a-month night-time story hour that I could actually bring Short Person to. Usually, they take place during the day when I'm at work and Shortie's in school, so being able to go is a treat. Plus, one of Short Person's friends from school was there, so she was really happy about that.

Each month has a theme. I forget what today's theme was, which is sad considering I was just there, but I was reading so I should be excused. I only had half of half an ear on the action.

Short Person had fun though and that's what matters.

Shortie's the tall brunette in purple pj's.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Photo 157 - Kids Safety Fair

This was an unexpected surprise day. After swimming lessons, we walked out to find that the YMCA was being decorated for an event free to the public. It was kids safety fair and there were a lot of different booths for kids to visit, free activities, free food, and lots and lots of give-a-ways. After some debating with Short Person, she decided she wanted to participate. So, we put our swimming stuff in the car and went back to visit the booths.

There were dogs from Search and Rescue. Piggy Banks you could decorate. Computer games you could play. A fire engine to tour. Tennis to play. Wheels to spin and win prizes. The dreaded PGE "Learn About Electricity" demonstration, where I got to learn about Shortie's fear of being zapped. Even a free t-shirt that the kids got to color with permanent markers. And much, much more.

At the end, I had more than I could carry comfortably. Luckily, they gave us a bigger bag on the way out-- and a pair of $40.00 warm up pants from Nike!! Wow.

This one was being run by Home Depot. Each child could make a miniature planter, which came complete with seeds.

Face Painting. Another favorite.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Photo 156 - Springtime Performance

Short Person had a school spring performance today. It was a little bit of a surprise to us since we didn't realize that there would be another one after Christmas. We had a lot of fun watching her though.

I took video and was going to post it, but apparently there's a size limit on both Blogspot and YouTube. Naturally, the video exceeds it. But, with luck I'll figure something out and get it posted.

We sat in the balcony because there were kids standing up the entire time in front. This is okay if you have kids in the older age group because they get to be on the risers. Not so much for the Kindergarteners who are assigned the low rung and are a good foot shorter.

The songs were real "involved", meaning there were lots of dance moves and bouncing around. Some of the Kinders got excited and were going crazy. This would be my daughter trying to calm them down =)

I am very grateful to and for Short Person's babysitter. Twice now, Shortie has had functions where getting our hair done and being able to wear makeup and jewelry add to the specialness of the night-- and both times I've had to work. Sam has been wonderful both times and spent however long it took doing both for us.

Short Person was very happy when she discovered her hair was still curly even after the performance.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Photo 155 - A Silver Tooth Grin

Short Person was not happy to discover that we had another day of getting caps. We're mirrored now.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Photo 154 - Chicken Curr...YIKES!

Ever since Short Person's babysitter mentioned the words "Chicken Curry" two-weeks ago, I've been craving it. My mom used to make it for special occasions when we had a lot of people to serve. It's a scrumptious chicken sauce, over rice, topped with things like peanuts, coconut, hard-boiled eggs, etc. I haven't had it in YEARS, but I remembered that I had asked my mom to give me the recipe and somewhere I still had it.

About three days ago, I located the recipe and added the item to our menus for the month. I purchased the supplies and got up early to begin the process of making it. Since it has to cook on low heat for about five hours, scheduling is important. My thought was that I'd get up and put it in the Crockpot before work and come home to reduce the heat to warm at lunch.

Unfortunately, the recipe was written prior to the invention of Crockpots and there are apparently a few variables between stove-top low and Crockpot low. When I got home, the mixture was boiling. BOILING!! Do you know what happens to milk when it is boiled for five hours?!?! Yeah, me either. But, I found out.

It curdles.

As if that weren't bad enough, I had to call LJS and tell him that he was right and that I did find "some way to ruin dinner". I'm embarrassed to say I was choking back tears when I did it, a testament to how badly I wanted dinner to turn out.

And even if those two things weren't bad enough, I managed to ruin dinner again three hours later when I attempted to take the chicken meant for the curry and turn it into chicken tacos.

I am jinxed. I am so not meant to cook.

And yet, as soon as I have a day where I can stay home and make sure my stove-top low heat does not boil the curry sauce, I am trying again.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Photo 153 - Mother in Law What?!

I love Cost Plus for many reasons and the oddities found there is just one of them. Short Person and I were taking a walk through to look for the curry powder I had heard they carried at a very reasonable price when we came upon this little item.

I have no idea how it got its name. Or why a mother-in-law's tongue would be striped. One more weird thing that added humor to a given day.

Now, if I could just find some of those chocolate-covered bugs. I'm dying to see how Short Person reacts to them!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Photo 152 - A Casserole Shower

A friend of mine was having a baby shower with a theme today. I was unable to attend because I still had the cold I'd managed to contract on Easter, but I wasn't going to let it stop me from giving her a gift.

The fact that it was a casserole themed party, was another matter altogether.

You've seen my past explorations into the world of cooking and viewed the results. So, it goes without saying that there wasn't going to be any way that I was going to be able to throw together a casserole that "freezes beautifully". At least, not without some sort of poisoning involved. And, since vomiting or spending hours on the potty are not things a new mommy wants to do, I had to get creative.

And creative I got. I figured that even if I couldn't cook, I could still manage to throw together a meal or two or three.

Using the wonderfully marvelous coupons in this year's Entertainment book, I went and purchased a few gift certificates and put them together with some "completers" and then wrapped them up to at least look like casseroles.

My husband was impressed as I walked out the door. I just wish I could have stayed to see if they were well received. Although, I know my hasty instructions not to freeze them must have raised a few eyebrows.

Included were:
1. Subs and Chips - A gift certificate to Subway with three snack bags of Doritos.

2. Burritos and Spanish Rice - A gift certificate to Taco Del Mar and a coupon for a buy 1 get 1 mucho burrito and a box of Rice-a-Roni Spanish Rice

3. Pizza and Salad - A gift certificate to Papa Murphy's (with a coupon), $5.00 gift certificate to Albertson's with a shopping list for salad mix and a tomato, and a bottle of Ranch Dressing.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Photo 151 - Easter Day

This blog really ought to be titled "The Day the Easter Bunny FORGOT to Arrive!", but that seemed a little dramatic. And since I somehow managed to get that basket out there in a manner that made Short Person none the wiser, it would be, perhaps, a little misnamed.

Our story begins with this, LJS and I were both sick. The kind of sick that makes you just want to stay in bed all day long. The kind of sick that makes you fall asleep on the couch watching television while waiting for your daughter to fall asleep so that you could carry the Easter basket out into the living room and then carry yourself to bed. The kind of sick that makes you fall asleep on the couch and then NOT WAKE UP until the next morning when you hear a little tearful voice say, "Mom! The Easter Bunny didn't come!" followed by sniffles and heartbroken crying. We were both that kind of sick.

Unfortunately, we weren't both in trouble for not getting the basket out into the living room. I was, and LJS's footsteps as he took himself to the bathroom and whispered "You forgot the basket!?" sounded like loud thunder in my head. A head that was desperately scrambling for a way out of this mess.

I tried to comfort Short Person. "Honey, I'm sure he didn't forget. It's probably just somewhere we haven't looked yet. Let me get my contacts on and we'll take a look together." My contacts had clouded over from drying themselves under my eyelids all night, so I used the brief respite to think, think, think. In the background, LJS was also still grumbling at me.

"I can't believe you forgot, Woman." He groused.

"Just... take her in the bedroom and comfort her. I'll figure something out." I replied.

He took Shortie into our bedroom and talked to her and asked if she'd looked in various places, while I scrambled into the office to grab the basket and run into the kitchen to hide it. Looking furiously for the one place she hadn't yet looked. I found it on her desk chair, pulling it out a little bit and slipping it in so that it would be partially hidden and hard for her to find, and then hustled back into our bedroom to join the "where didn't you look" discussion.

"Okay, Honey, I have my contacts in now. Let's go take a look."

We all got out of bed and searched room by room, not finding anything. Short Person was on the verge of tears again when we finally halted in the dining room and I looked at her desk. "Ah... I know where it is."


"Look at your desk." I replied.

Short Person looked and her eyes finally settled on the basket. Joyful, she speculated, "I wonder why he put it there."

I looked around our house, which hadn't seen clean in a day or two and replied, "He probably couldn't find any other clean surface."

And we all headed back to the bedroom to see what the Bunny had brought her. Crisis averted.

Dying Easter Eggs, our only Easter activity for the day-- other than cooking the Ham dinner. We may have been sick, but we were still going to eat Easter dinner!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Photo 150 - Swimming Lessons and a Mixed Up Egg Hunt

About a month and a half ago, I realized that Short Person was going to turn six and disqualify herself from the swimming class (I believed) she really needed before moving on to regular swim lessons. The class is designed to get children accustomed to being in the water and following the instructions of a coach/teacher. It is also necessary, in order to move on, for Short Person to be comfortable getting her face wet and going under water. It is limited to four, so assuring her a spot was somewhat fought with peril, but that's a different story and not a very interesting one since they were nice and let me take the last spot (WHEW!)

Since one of her friends, who is a couple years younger, was going to be taking the class, I seized the opportunity to get Shortie in there with her for a little strength-in-numbers. The last opportunity we would have since the class is only for three- to five-year-olds. And, since we have a boat, knowing how to swim is mandatory in our house. It was pretty much now or a big fight later when she joined the big kids-- minus the coddling.

They practice putting their face under water, arm strokes, walking the pool, and learning to float. This is Short Person floating with some help from her instructor.

Today, it also happened to be the day before Easter. More commonly known as Easter Egg Hunt day. Typically, we go to the park a few blocks from our house, but since we had swim lessons, there was no way we were going to be able to zoom back and make it in time. At least not without serious risk of a speeding ticket-- or worse.

I had heard about an Easter Egg Hunt that was going to take place at Sleighbells. I thought they'd probably hide the eggs amongst the Christmas Trees, but the weather today was too unpredictable. So, they hid them in the store. There's nothing weirder that hunting Easter Eggs in a Halloween room while listening to Christmas music!

After finding her allotment of eggs, Short Person took them into the big room they had set up for pictures with the Easter Bunny, prize entries, and face painting! She makes a cute little bunny doesn't she?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Photo 149 - A Day Out With Shortie

One of Short Person's birthday gifts was a gift card to Starbucks. We decided to go and enjoy part of it with some Hot Cocoa and donuts before going to The Painted Plate to decorate some plaster.

She enjoyed the donut a lot!