Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Medieval Fair

Saturday after completing my 18 mile training run we decided to head to the medieval fair.  My legs were tired and I was kind of dehydrated, but the following day would be rainy so it was our only opportunity to get out.

When Paul and I lived in Houston we used to go to the Renaissance Festival.  It was AWESOME.
This?  This little medieval fair?
Well, kind of a let down.
But at least we got out of the house.
There were lots of little tents with wares.

You could buy all sorts of little trinkets (we only looked but didn't buy).

After all, we just don't have much use for swords around the house.  Even when the boys are having big tantrums over who gets to sit in the Fisher Price Learning Chair.

We also watched some games.
This guy was trying to hoist a big heavy bag over the pole with a pitchfork.
He missed by quite a bit!

Course the kids playing games were the cutest.
You know this'll be Cort and Reid in a few years...

And Pierce posed in the stocks.
Other than watching a magician for a few moments, that was pretty much it.
Still, nice to get out for an afternoon.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Out with the Old, in with the New

I am Asics most loyal fan.  I will not stray from my dear, dear Asics Gel Nimbus model running shoes.
Prior to discovering this shoe I endured such indignities as blistering, plantar faschiatis, and other painful ailments.
And then I found the Asics Gel Nimbus.
Pricy?  Sure.
But so worth the money.
Once, only once, many years ago, I strayed.
I tried a different pair.
And they lasted 100 miles less. 
My Asics?  They carry me through 500 miles, every single time.
I know, because I track the mileage on my shoes.  Towards the end of 500, I can feel more aches in my joints, and I know it's time for a new pair.
This pair right here?
They've carried me through rain and mud.  Over crickets, spiders, and once a black snake.  They've crushed blades of grass and rocks and pounded on sizzling hot summer pavement.
They've caught my clumsy trips and stumbles.
And they've raced.  Distances of 5K, 10 miles, and a half marathon.
Good shoes.
Thank you dear Asics.
And now, it is time to retire.
But never fear.  My new pair is here!

Behold, the running shoes destined for the NYC marathon!!
Now that's some new shoe excitement!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

And You Thought a Wet Cat was Pathetic!

Seriously, there is nothing so sad as a wet chicken.
Poor Elvis!
She doesn't seem to mind the rain, though. 
She could find shelter, but she doesn't bother.
I guess it's like a nice bath to her.
We had a scare the other week when we thought Elvis was missing.  This was immediately following Natasha's catastrophe of getting stuck in the wood pile for 2 days (she's fine).
We didn't know what was going on!
Then Elvis turned up in the coop, right where she was supposed to be.
But this is odd, because she normally never sleeps in the coop.
Paul says all of the chickens are acting weird.
I think they're just inherently weird by nature.
I mean look at this mess:
They certainly keep things interesting!

WV Treasures does a weekly link up for unusual animal pictures.  This week I'm linking up to Tuesday's Show and Tail for the first time.  Go check out her blog HERE!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Healthier Muffin Tin Monday

Muffin Tin Monday didn't have a theme this week.  So we actually just used an everyday dinner for ours.
A glass of water, wild rice pilaf with extra mushrooms for Pierce, a skewer of avocado and carrots, a kiwi, and italian seasoned baked catfish.

It went over pretty well.  Except Pierce picked all the mushrooms out to eat from the rice and wouldn't touch the rice itself.  Oh well.

An extra special thanks to Muffin Tin Mom this week....I won her Nintendo DSi giveaway!  It was put on by the Game Stop and you can imagine how psyched and surprised I was to win.  If you haven't checked out her blog, you definitely should.  She has tons of ideas for kids (it's not just about muffin tins!)
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Piercasso or a Chia Pet?

Pierce has been going to preschool and he seems to be having a wonderful time.  In fact, he's practically gleeful and shoving me out the door during drop off.

Anyhow, this week he came home with some really fabulous artwork.
He even wrote his own name on it, not Diego (hello, progress!).

So okay, this could be a self-portrait.
Because sometimes Pierce has some seriously crazy hair when he gets up in the morning.
It could also be a chia pet.  You know, one of the ones where grass grows on the head of a funny face.
What do you think?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Persnickety Persimmon

The other day I was reading my friend, Greenmama's blog (click HERE to visit) and she had a recipe for persimmon bread up.  Huh.  We have persimmons too.  But I've never done anythign with them, other than eat one off the tree.

My friends said, "What the heck is a persimmon?" when I told them I was making the bread.

Well, it's a frumpy little fruit.
And they aren't really ripe until they fall to the ground.
Ugly little things.  Tiny.

They have a taste similar to apricots or plums.  They have a pit.  Or two.  Or none.  It just depends.

The bread recipe calls for a cup of pulp.  So I smushed and removed pits for a bit to get my pulp.

And then I stole a few from the hubby's homemade wine-to-be stash to top off my cup of pulp.
Shhhhh.  Don't tell him.

The recipe is:
3 tbsp softened butter
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 cup persimmon pulp
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of cloves
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Bake at 350* for 45-50 minutes.

Now I got my goodies mixed up and it looked a little dry.  Nothing worse than a dry quick bread.  So I took the liberty of adding in 1/2 cup of applesauce.

And then, since I'm counting calories, I did the nutritional analysis using the Livestrong website.
171 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3.8 grams of protein per slice.

Finished product:
I guess it's a bit reminiscent of a less spicy pumpkin bread, if pumpkin bread had an apricotiness to it.
I know it sounds weird, but it's really very tasty!
Thanks, Greenmama, for the idea and the recipe (she said the recipe came from Laurel's Kitchen Breads Cookbook).

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Restaurant - Memory Lane Friday

Memory Lane Friday is a weekly blog carnival where you can blog about your memories and link up.  More importantly, it's a time for me to preserve my memories for my family.  This week's theme is a restaurant.

I sure had a tough time with this one.  I really love food!  And I've eaten so many wonderful places.  Brennan's in New Orleans, The Crazy Crab in Hilton Head, Buzzard Billy's in Waco, Chuy's in Houston, and so many more that I know I'm forgetting.  Not to mention the national chains I adore - Macaroni Grill, P.F. Chang's, Silver Diner, Carabba's.  Mmmmmm.  And then there are restaurants that stick in my memory, yet the names of them are long lost.  Like the little barbecue stand Paul and I ate at on the side of the road coming back from the dinosaur footprint river in Texas - sawdust covering the pavement and the best bbq ever.  Oh dear, I'm just overwhelmed with all the choices!

So I decided on Blue Heaven.  Not because it's the best food I ever had (although it is tremendously good).  I picked it because I love the atmosphere of the place.  And the history of it. 

You go through the gates into a back courtyard, full of tropical trees and rustic benches.  Blue Heaven is in Key West, and used to be a spot where Hemingway watched boxing matches.  Today, they often have live music, and chickens and cats lounge about the place on dirt floors.  The menu includes vegetarian, Caribbean, and American cuisine.  Oh, and Mimosas.  Mustn't forget those.

I've been there twice with my family.  It is such a treat to sit down in the middle of January and enjoy warm weather, tropical breezes, and some really wonderful food.  Of course, key lime pie for dessert is a must.  Hopefully one day I'll get to take the boys there, so they can experience Blue Heaven for themselves.

Want to participate in Memory Lane Friday?
Here's the link.

And come back next week!  The topic is "New Shoes". 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Four Letter D Word

I'm fortunate in that I like to run, because in general my body keeps me at a healthy weight.  I don't have to think about it a lot.  While I was breastfeeding the twins, my body was hanging out at a higher weight than usual - about 9 pounds higher.  Some people say they get really skinny while breastfeeding, but not me!  I don't think it's good for your baby(ies) to diet while breastfeeding.  So I just let my weight do it's thing, even though I wasn't happy with the pooch that was my belly (it seemed that all 9 pounds was centralized in the belly, and my clothes really weren't fitting correctly as a result).  Certainly, I was still in a healthy weight range for my height, but it was not a weight I was happy about.  Now that the twins are weaned, and it's time to get to business.

I put myself on a diet.  That's right, the four letter D word.  I don't normally have to diet.  I eat healthy, for the most part.  And I don't have that much to lose.  So I gave myself the generous 1800-2200 calorie range and decided to just focus on healthy foods, and counting calories.  I realize that this seems like a lot of calories for a 'diet', but since I'm running 35+ miles a week right now, and I'm 5'8, this is a fitting target range for me.  And coming from someone who is used to munch, munch, munching throughout the day, it takes a great deal of willpower for me to stick to the plan.  In fact, I have to write down what I eat, otherwise I would definitely "accidentally" cheat.

I'm thrilled to report that it's been working splendidly.  I'm down 5 pounds, and only have 4 more to go!  And already my running feels so much lighter, and my joints recover from my long runs much faster.  My hope is that I can get down to my prepregnancy weight (which also happens to be my happy marathon weight - the weight at which I feel strong for marathons, yet light enough that I don't carry a lot extra into the race) by Halloween.  Why by Halloween?  Because if my weight is stable in the happy zone by then, I can indulge in some of those Reeses miniature cups that I love so dearly.  Without guilt.
Bring it on.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Basil by the ton, plus a friend or foe question

Supposedly fall is coming, but it doesn't feel like fall lately.  Temps on Sunday hit 90*.  Our neighbor, Joe, invited us over to pick up some veggies from the last of his garden.
We grabbed those tiny orange tomatoes (I'm completely addicted - they are so fabulous roasted), some potatoes, some green peppers and hot peppers, and a whole bunch of basil.

The double bob sure looked funny loaded down w/ the twins and the basil.

On the walk back (it's 1/2 mile walk), I discovered this guy in the stream next to the road:
I guess he doesn't think he needs to be holing up for the winter yet.
Friend or foe?
I'm not very good with snake identification.
Especially with youngins like this guy.
He sure was mello as I took his picture several times.
I know they have a lot of copperheads on that side of the road, but his head didn't look that pointy to me.
At any rate, I think we both were happy to just admire one another from a healthy distance.

After we got home, I got out the food processor.
Tossed in fresh basil, fresh parmesan, olive oil and garlic.
Alas, I had no pine nuts, but I still whipped up a delicious pesto:

The rest of the basil we froze, and it will be fun to enjoy fresh during the wintry months.

Also, the winner of the Halloween Giveaway is Tiggeriffic.  Congrats, Tiggeriffic!  And huge thanks to all who entered.  I loved reading about all the favorite Halloween costumes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Guilty Pleasures Blog Swap

I do love blog swaps.  And this time I really lucked out with a wonderful swap partner.  Since 'meeting' her, she has been a great commenter on my blog, and an excellent emailer.  It's just too bad she lives all the way on the other side of the U.S.!  Check out her blog HERE because you will be dazzled by all the wonderful pictures she takes of her 3 girls.

So look how cute she wrapped up the package:

All the goodies had notes on them too.

Here's the loot:
An O magazine, a construction pad plus tons of stickers and foam shapes for the boys, shaving gel from Avon (which I have never tried!), two wonderfully scented candles, some Bath and Body Works sleep spray, a Firecracker - which is spicy chocolate (so excited to try this!), Reeses cups (she read this is my weakness, lol), nail polish, and a Starbucks gift card.  The gift card is just in time too.  Because I adore Pumpkin Lattes at Starbucks but am too cheap to treat myself to them. 

Thanks so much, Myya!
And thanks to Mamarazzi, who hosted the whole thing.  Her blog, Our Dandelion Wishes, can be found HERE.  I have to say, she knows how to host a very organized swap!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Shapes

If you haven't had a chance to enter my Halloween giveaway yet, be sure to do so, as it ends tomorrow.  You can find it HERE.

It's Muffin Tin Monday, and today's theme is shapes.

We did rectangle kiwi, cheese cubes, circle of bread w/ jam (as we just read Bread and Jam for Francis) and triangular baby corn.
Pierce ate everything on his plate.  Then he asked for a second lunch.
Growth spurt much?

Want to join in Muffin Tin Monday?
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Chickens are Spoiled

Every afternoon Pierce likes to have a snack of popcorn.  I used to do microwave popcorn, until I noticed that it gave me headaches every time I ate it.  So for a while I didn't eat popcorn.
Then Paul's parents got us this Whirleypop.
We've had it for a while.
It just takes a minute or two longer than microwave - it's actually really quick.
The only thing I don't like, in fact, is just that it takes up a lot of space (we have a small kitchen).

Half cup of popcorn kernals, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and a couple of minutes later you have perfectly fluffy popcorn.
Pierce puts various flavor seasonings on his.
And never eats more than two bowls.
And even if I eat two bowls, we still have a lot left over.

So, what to do with all those leftovers?
Turns out the ladies (and Crockett) just love popcorn.
In fact, the chickens have gotten a little spoiled.
Now, every day around 2:30 they come wait under the porch for their popcorn.
And I confess.
I may have just possibly made them popcorn one day when Pierce wasn't even home.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

First Ever Attempt at Bento!

Pierce started preschool this week.  One of the things I was excited about was packing his lunches.  Pierce's lunches have to be kosher, so he can have dairy products but no meats.  I wanted to make them extra fun, so I've been ordering tons of bento supplies from Japan through Ebay.  I'm still waiting on a few things to arrive.

Then, something really cool happened; I got lucky.  Because I won this awesome bento goodie giveaway over at A Pocket Full of Buttons.  Go check her out HERE.

Can't wait to put these things to good use.

So for Pierce's first bento lunch, I picked the piggy bento box that we ordered from Japan.  It's a double tiered bento.

In the top tier, he had a ghosty egg on a bed of lettuce, and grapes with a cheese heart.

The bottom tier had fluffernutter roll ups with an elephant pick, yellow cherry tomatoes with another cheese heart, cucumbers, and a dog full of ranch dressing for dipping his veggies.
On the side Pierce had some go-gurt (which grosses me out but he loves it) and a Roarin' Waters Capri Sun.

The teachers told me first thing when I walked in to pick him up that they were very impressed with his lunch.  Meanwhile, Pierce himself was ignoring his lunch but trying to steal the Ritz crackers off the kid beside him.  Oh well, I tried, right?  ;-)

Friday, September 17, 2010

My College Roommate Horror Story, Memory Lane Friday

Memory Lane Friday is a weekly blog about your memories, to preserve them for your family.  This week's topic has no theme, so you can blog about any memory of your choosing and link up.  Next week's topic is 'A Restaurant'. 

When I left for a college halfway across the U.S. from my home on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., I wasn't sure what to expect. Texas was another culture in so many ways. But I loved the idea that I would be adventuring off to a far away place for school. I had been matched up with two roommates. That's right, I was in a dreaded triple. If there's one thing college architects should NEVER do, it's design dorm rooms that sleep 3.

Here is a picture of my bed with my desk to the right:

My roommate Mary had the bunk above me, and my roommate Meredith had the bed across from me.  The room was actually fairly large.

Things started off fairly well.  Mary rode horses and was from a different state as well, so we had that in common.  Meredith was from Texas but was fairly vivacious and agreeable.  At first we all got along just fine, going to pick out matching comforters and buying snacks together.

Then things with Mary started getting kind of strange.  She had brought a gliding rocking chair from home, and started spending all of her time rocking, rocking, rocking.  She even started sleeping in the rocker.  All day long, she taped the soaps, and then at night she watched them all in her rocker.  This meant that Meredith and I frequently had to watch the soaps twice.  We weren't thrilled.

Mary refused to get out of her rocker for anything.  She ate in the rocker, and soon the floor became littered with dirty pots and pans surrounding the rocker.  We would walk in to find her talking to her shrink from home for long hours, instucting us to leave and not return until a designated time, after her counseling session was over.  She began making strange comments, "I was watching you in your sleep last night".

Meredith and I became increasingly disturbed by her behavior.  Twice we met with the Resident Advisor, but both times Mary had played the innocent, claiming that it was US against HER and that she was trying so hard to be our friends.  She adamently refused to switch rooms, even though we begged her.  She said that both of us would have to move out; that there was no way she would vacate.

Then one day, Meredith and I found two knives underneath Mary's mattress.  I'm not sure why we were snooping, as we really had no right to.  All I can say to justify this is that we were totally creeped out by the things going on.  Since it seemed that the dorm advisors were unwilling to take any action, we decided to take things into our own hands, by trying to get Mary to leave. 

I don't feel proud of being a "mean girl".  With maturity, I have realized that Mary had some mental health issues that were affecting her.  At the time, though, I just wanted to feel peaceful in my dorm room.  We did silly girl things.  We put Orajel on her toothbrush, stinky sleeping herbs on her pillow, and tape over the batteries to her remote so she couldn't tape her shows.  We reversed the motor on her fan so it would suck in rather than blow out.  And we probably did a couple of other silly pranks too that I've forgotten.  Obviously, we confiscated the knives and turned them in to the dorm mother.

Our plan, while not very nice, did work.  Mary moved out promptly, and we enjoyed the rest of our freshman year in peace.  While Meredith and I were never really best friends, we had a mutual respect for one another and had a pleasant year together before going our separate ways.

If you'd like to blog about a memory of your own, link up your blog below.  And don't forget to visit the other bloggers!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Halloween GIVEAWAY!

This giveaway is now closed.
So I realize I just recently did a giveaway to celebrate 100 followers.  And while I don't consider myself to be in the giveaway business, I didn't want to miss out on all the fun at the Multiples and More Blog's end of the summer blog carnival (button on my sidebar, if you want to go check it out).  So, yes, I'm doing another giveaway.  I hope you don't mind ;-)

What do I love about fall?
Besides our loaded apple trees, painted leaf mountains, and chilly morning runs?
Well, Halloween of course!
Seems like people seem to either love it or hate it.
I'm in the love it camp.

The goodies:
floating candy corn candles
a hardback Haunted House book with 'lift the flaps' action (my son adores these books)
an Igor carry along 'make your own evil monster' coloring kit

How fun is this stuff?

To enter please leave me a comment and tell me about your favorite Halloween costume.  Easy, huh?  If your email is not attached to your blogger profile, please leave your email address so I have a way to contact you.
You do not have to be a blogger to enter.
I will be willing to ship internationally.  Hopefully it would get there by Halloween (lol).
Giveaway ends on Tuesday, September 21st, at noon.  Winner announced the following day.  Winner to be chosen by
Good luck!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blog for a Cure Party

Just wanted to let you know that Lani over at Who Knew? Reviews is hosting a huge blog for a cure party.  She's fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and is planning to race one of their half marathons.  She's putting up tons of great giveaways through Friday, and she has such fun stuff that you are sure to find something you love.  The only rule is that you donate $1 and then you can enter every single giveaway (so far there are about 18 up).   Please go check it out - it's for such a great cause!

On Weaning the Twins, Sniff

The twins turned 13 months last week.  It's hard to believe how quickly the time seems to go lately.  With 13 months came a very big milestone.
I finally weaned the twins.
It was hard.
Much harder on me than on them, I think.  Pierce weaned himself, so I didn't have to go through this with him.  Part of the reluctance on my part was that breastfeeding was something we fought so hard to make happen.  You can read about it HERE.
And part of it was that these are my last babies, and so it was sad letting go.

After our initial struggle, I feel fortunate to have had such a successful run of it with them.  I was lucky.  Truly.
So over the past month or so, we've been gradually dropping feedings, one a week.
Until, sadly, they were all eliminated.
The twins are still getting some of the good stuff from the deep freezer.  We have about enough to get them through another month or two if we feed from the supply twice a day.
They haven't faired to well with whole milk (stomach issues), so for now we're also feeding them vanilla soy milk.  Cort, who has a sweet tooth, took right to it.  Reid isn't so sure.  Hopefully it'll grow on him.

I know some people might ask why push weaning at all?  It was just time for us.  The twins were more distracted and restless during feedings, and I knew that the amount of solids they eat on a daily basis is sufficient for them.  Physically, feeding two boys was really taking a toll on me.  As my running distances grow longer, my body was not recovering well at all, and I was having significant deep joint pain.  The production of milk really has a toll on a mom, particularly in duplicate.  Happily, just a couple of days after weaning I went for a 15 mile run, and felt so much lighter and faster.  My body recovered without any of the pain I had grown used to, and even though it was an increase in distance, it was the best run I've had in the past 2 years. 
And so, although it doesn't necessarily make it any less hurtful, I think it was the right decision.
As for the twins, well, you can see from the pictures that they are none the worse for it ;-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nothing Rosie about Roseola

Last week Reid had a fever of 102* one day.  He seemed mostly okay (other than an episode of diarrhea), so I wasn't terribly concerned.  I put him to bed with some ibuprofin.  He woke up at a rather early hour screaming.  When I went to check on him, his fever was 104.3*!  Now that's cause for concern!  He had no other symptoms, besides the fever and slightly swollen eyelids.
Last time we had a spiked fever like this with no symptoms it was Pierce, and he had pneumonia.  So I was certainly worried as Paul took Reid to the pediatrician (I was teaching class that morning).
The pediatrician diagnosed Reid with roseola.
Apparently, it strikes babies between 6-18 months and is highly contagious.
Hallmark symptoms are a high fever, swollen eyelids, sometimes diarrhea, and finally a rash.
The fever lasted for several days, during which Reid was fussy but okay.
This weekend the fever broke, and the rash set in:

A little hard to see in the picture; the rash is only on his belly and back.

Roseola is a funny virus, in that it takes 1-2 weeks to incubate.  So I guess next week sometime there's a very high chance we'll be going through the same deal with Cort.
Bummer. least they don't have to take antibiotics with it. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Love Charlotte's Web (Muffin Tin Monday)

Today's theme for Muffin Tin Monday is 'Movies'.  Well, I guess you could take that a couple of ways.  But I decided to pick a movie.  Technically, we like the book better than the movie, but we also have the old cartoon and modern remake of this classic.
I love Charlotte's Web.
So we had slop trough celery (with pb, raisins, and peaches), Annie's bunny mac+cheese, Wilbur the hard boiled egg (first time using my food writer markers), pig in the corn, sliced grapes, and Charlotte (spider non-edible) in her web on a graham cracker.
This went over very well, although there was some conflict over Wilbur.
Pierce said, "I want to eat my egg, but I don't want to eat WILBUR!"
Then he asked me to make him a spare - so he'd have one to play with and one to eat.
I finally did manage to talk him into eating Wilbur (and without creating a spare).
Is it just me, or does Wilbur look exactly like a weeble wobble?

Want to join in on MTM?
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Someone is a Little Broody - and it's NOT me!

Foghorn has been sitting on a golf ball for 2 weeks now.  She's broody.
When chickens get broody, they sit on the nest most of the time.  They stop socializing.  They just kind of hunker down, ready to hatch a baby.
In this case, Foghorn is also not laying any new eggs.  When I try to check, she makes funny aggressive noises.  I check anyhow, and so far she hasn't pecked me.
Now I'll tell you, I am the first to admit that I know virtually nothing about golf. 
But I'm pretty sure that ball isn't going to hatch.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lowlights and Highlights, All in a Mom's Grocery Trip with 3 Boys

So one of my least favorite things to do with all 3 kids is take them to the grocery store.  I usually try to slip in on my own at some point when my mom or husband is watching the boys.  On the rare occassion I take all 3, what results is typically mayhem and meltdowns.  So it was with dread that I ventured at grocery store trip this week with all three.  I did a lot of prep work with Pierce about being a good listener and such when we got there.  Meanwhile, Reid was feeling grumpy and sad, the result of a fever (which we found out later is from roseola - so yay for me spreading contagious gunk - oops!).  Cort was in an unusually chipper mood.

So we got to Kroger and I saw the race car double carts.  I couldn't find plain double carts.  So race car it was.  The race cars are just great for bored kids, but they are a nightmare for the parent. They are completely oversized, clunky, hard to steer, and the one I grabbed had a loud wheel.  Fabulous, right?  Here is what one looks like:

Pierce was totally into driving the race car, Reid sat next to him, and I carried Cort in the Bjorn.  Things were going well in our first stop, the veggies.  I loaded the bottom of the cart with wonderful colors from kale, turnips, acorn squash, summer squash, button mushrooms, grapes, and bananas.  Then we headed into the natural foods aisle.  Unfortunately, there was a man stocking the goods, and there was no way I could make it through with my monster race car cart.  So I slowly started backing away (no way could you just turn one of these carts away) and there was a woman standing right behind me.  I almost ran into her.  Immediately I apologized, but she let me have it.  Admonishing me, she said that I was lucky I hadn't completely knocked her over and thrown out her bad hip.  She went on and on.  Then she said "YOU stay right there.  Don't YOU move until I can get my cart safely away from YOU and YOUR KIDS".  Meekly, I did as she said, while she stomped off with her "bad" hip.

Gosh I felt bad the rest of the trip.  Nothing like a verbal lashing from a complete stranger to make you feel miserable.  And of course, to make matters worse, I continued to have difficulty steering the cart around corners, and it felt like I was always in someone's way.  Suddenly, I just knew that every single person in the store was giving me a dirty look.

I tried not to let on, though, that I felt so overwhelmed and disturbed.  I continued to pick our groceries, letting Pierce choose a lunch box for preschool and making my way through the store.  All three boys did just great, except for Reid, who had to cry a few times because he felt so bad.  Pierce took over the mothering role for me, patting his brother on the back and hugging him from his side.

We finally finished and made it to the checkout.  Pierce was sad he couldn't reach the checkout to help me load up groceries (the cart was just too huge) but he made up for it by being so sweet to Reid.  And I was still stuck on that horrible lady.  Running the whole thing over and over in my head, while putting goods on the belt and chatting with Pierce.

That's when a sweet lady behind me in line spoke up. 
"You know, I've never seen a mother with 3 kids as calm and attentive to her children as you are in the grocery store.  I can tell you are a really great mom"
My heart warmed straight out of my chest.
And then I burst into tears, lol.
I told her that moms never get compliments like that and it had absolutely made my day.
I don't know if she truly knows how much her kind words meant to me right then and there, but I know they will be positive fuel for grocery trips in the future.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Memory Lane Friday - A Time You Were Sick

It's Memory Lane Friday again.  This is a chance to write about your memories, to preserve them for your family.  All are welcome to link up.  This week's topic is 'A Time You Were Sick'.

Unfortunately, I was sick a lot as a kid.  I remember ear infections so painful that I couldn't stop sobbing, my tears dripping down the sides of the red hot water bottle.  In many of my childhood pictures I wasn't smiling - probably because I was always sick.  My ears were infected so much that they developed scar tissue that affected my hearing, and I recall a brief stint with speech therapy as a result.  So it's no surprise then, that at the age of 5, I had my tonsils out and tubes put in my ears.

Now keep in mind that this was 30 years ago, so I'm sure my memories have blurred and distorted with time.  My mother could probably straighten out a few details, if she wanted.  But here's how I remember it.

I went to the hospital with my comfort object, a baby that cried like a real baby.  The doctor claimed that he thought it was a real baby when he heard it in the waiting room. 

I remember the gas, being pushed over my face, sickening sweet, a black rubber mask.  I tried to fight it, and the nurses kept telling me to relax.

I remember itching after getting home.  Which they thought was a reaction.  But which turned out to be chicken pox.

I remember our dog, Ginger, a golden retriever, chewing up one of my favorite toys.  Or maybe she peed on it?  I was really upset.

And then, in the midst of this perfect storm, my mom came into the bedroom carrying some gently cooked buttered noodles, all my raw throat could handle at the time.  Alas, she dropped the noodles.  They splattered all across the floor.  And then I watched, alarmed, as she sunk down and burst into tears.  She must've been so overwhelmed.  And I'm not sure, but the timing might have been right for her to have been just barely pregnant with my younger brother.

Shortly after that, she whisked me down the road to our neighbor's house.  I think we just needed to get out.  So here's a picture of me playing with my friend Adam's smurfs, while he was at school.  I still wasn't able to talk, but I could smile.

Needless to say, I recovered!  And good riddance to those tonsils - I never have missed them a bit.

If you want to grab my button and link up, the button for Memory Lane Friday is in the sidebar.

Next week has no theme, so be brainstorming for a memory to write about!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Letter to My Mom

Dear Mom,

I know you're super busy and stuff with the twins, but there's something we need to talk about.  I really need to get it off my chest, and hello, I may only be 3 but my feelings matter too.

It's just that it REALLY bothers me how you introduced me to all those people at my preschool Open House as Pierce.  SO EMBARASSING.  Please Mom, please just STOP DOING THAT.  It was the first time meeting my new friends and teachers, and I really needed to make an impression.  How can I do that when you won't use my real name?

This is why I had to spend the entire time trying to do damage control, instead of getting to play with toys.  I had to try to run ahead of you to introduce myself first.  I think I covered most of the room with my proper introductions:  "Hi!  I'm Diego!  That's spelled D-I-E-G-O"  But then you'd come along and try to undo things and bring up that P name again.  I AM NOT PIERCE.  Don't you get it? 

Does anyone out there know at what age I can legally change my name?  Because the P name is ridiculous.

And another thing.  From now on please don't use that P kid's pictures on the blog.  I have taken the time to provide you with the image I'd like you to use from here on out.  It captures my good side:
Your First Born,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Look What the Mail Brought In

Look what the mail brought in.
Last week we went to the Transportation Museum.  I know I've blogged about it before (as we make fairly frequent trips) so I tried to focus on different pictures this time.
It's a nice place to hit early morning, before it gets too hot, and we can follow it up by meeting Daddy for lunch.

Everyone enjoys all the model trains, and they have tons of them running all over the place.  I love how they have the little windows at kid's eye level.

The playground is perfect for any aspiring driver.

Course Pierce always has to drive the race car too.  Even though he totally bonked his head on it last time and cried for 20 minutes.  Bygones.

Pierce, running up the ramp with downtown Roanoke in the background.