Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cabin in the Woods

Step One:  Get your glue sticks and foam stickers and tongue depressors.

Step two:  add some paint.

Step three:  Add a roof.  And a foamy stickered mom and foamy dad and foamy self and foamy pets.

Make sure foamy dog is up in the foamy tree.
Because that's how foamy dogs roll.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The 3 Wolf Moon Shirt - My Life is Now Complete

I hope that by now you've read the Amazon 3 Wolf Moon shirt reviews.  They've been around for a good while.  But in case you haven't, you can read all about this AMAZING shirt here on Amazon .   Since I first read about the 3 Wolf Moon shirt, I've had a longing.  I've felt as if something was missing in my life, but I couldn't put my finger on it.  Sometimes, I would just stare into space with a sense of emptiness.  That is, until yesterday.

When the UPS man walked up our muddy driveway (which due to melting snow is currently unpassable without four wheel drive) with a huge box I felt an eerie tingling.  The box was from my high school friend, Ginger (Thanks, Ginger!!).  I knew she was sending a bunch of clothes for the twins, and was excited about that.  But that didn't explain my shivering.  Then I opened the box.  There, right on top, was the 3 Wolf Moon shirt. 

I paced back and forth.  I knew that once I put this shirt on, my life would never be the same.  It was a point of no return of sorts.  There's life before the 3 Moon Shirt and then there is life after.  And unless you've actually worn the 3 Moon Shirt you won't understand.  Sadly.  So here I am, the moment the wolves settled across my skin.
The rest of the night is a blur.  I ran up and down our mountain several times, racing the deer.  I'm proud to report that I won those races.  The deer have nothing on the 3 Wolf Moon shirt.  Thanks to my heightened sense of hearing, I heard the crackling of a fire about a 100 miles away, so I ran there and helped put the fire out.  I saved 4 kittens and their mother.  I also shoveled the snow off our 10 acre horse pasture, because the horses were kind of low on grass.  For some reason, the horses kept snorting at me in the 3 Moon Wolf shirt, but I was so busy it didn't upset me too much.  I finally went to bed around 4 am, and woke up at 5 refreshed and ready to feed the twins.  I'm a little hairier this morning (particularly my arms, which have become downright furry), but otherwise I feel great. 

Don't delay!  Place your order for the 3 Wolf Moon shirt TODAY!  Your life will never be the same!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Memory Lane Friday - A Sporting Event

Just before my senior year of high school, I sold my horse Chico.  For years my entire life had revolved around the barn and horse shows.  A combination of factors led to the decision (my trainer moved away and I didn't like the new one; the knowledge that I couldn't take Chico to college with me, etc.) but it was absolutely one of the saddest days of my life.  Watching the horse trailer drive off with his white tail dangling out the back made my heart bleed.  You might say a heart can't bleed, but I felt it.  Mine did that day. 

Suddenly, I had all sorts of free time.  And I desperately needed something to fill it, to keep busy.  I had two friends - Ginger and Lisa - who ran cross country.  I decided to give it a shot.  Previously, the only running I had ever done was the obligatory mile each year during the Presidential Fitness Test (the majority of which I sadly failed...especially the chin hang deal).  Cross country season started before school.  I remember those early summer morning practices, the heat, the dew on the grass, the smell of sun and sweat.  We ran on the track and through pastures and down roads.  Mostly, I ran with the slackers.  A group of females out running for fun, for chat, and for slurpees at the 7-11 down the road.  Well, for slurpees that is until we got busted by our coach sitting at a picnic table beside the 7-11 while enjoying our Cola flavored slush and trading stories. 

Our coach, Mr. Dulin, was young and enthusiastic.  He was just cute enough that most of the girls had a mild crush on him.  He was creative and would often shake up our routines to make the practices more exciting.  Once, he had practice in a very hilly neighborhood and he drove his little red sports car along-side, honking once to signal walk, twice to run, and three times to sprint.  That was a tough workout.  And so, as the summer ended I found myself becoming stronger.  I didn't get so sore anymore.  I was a little faster.  And I could run a few miles without stopping - in spite of the slurpee habit I'd developed. 

With the end of summer and the start of fitness, it came time for the first race.  Being 18 years ago, I'm not positive about location, but I believe it was in Rappahannock.  What I mainly remember was the stories.  The stories from my friends who had raced it before.  Because they kept talking about The Hill.  The whole bus ride there was full of warnings about The Hill.  How to pace The Hill.  Where it fell in the 3.1 mile race.  I started to get a little bit nervous.  In fact, I hadn't wanted my parents to come.  What if I failed?  What if I didn't finish or even worse - what if I finished LAST?  I didn't want them to see that! 

By the time we got there, my stomach was a wreck of nerves.  I remember taking immodium and praying I wouldn't have to make an embarrassing pit stop (because truly, what is worse than that for a high schooler?)  Mr. Dulin gave us our pep talk and we stretched and did some warm up strides.  And before I knew it, we were off!  I don't remember much about the race.  Certainly I wasn't fast.  I never have been a very fast runner.  But I have some perseverence I think.  I got to the hill.  All along the side teens were trudging their way up it at a walk.  The hill towered above me massively, a dirt path rising up in the air.  And I made up my mind then and there that I would.not.walk.  I ran that hill.  It wasn't fast.  It wasn't fun.  My lungs hurt.  My calves ached.  But I made it up.  I finished the race without walking.  I wasn't first and I wasn't last and that was just fine by me. 

There would be many more cross country races that year, but the first is the one I remember most.  Well, that and the slurpees and the cute boys on the bus rides!

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And be sure to come back next week - topic is "A Crazy Weather Event"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Boy and His Sheep

Mmmmmmm.  I just love my sheep.

Cort better stay away from MY sheep.

Sometimes I like to lick my sheep.

And sometimes I just give him hugs and kisses.

Every baby needs his own sheep.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fighting the Inner Hoarder

I blogged a couple of weeks ago about finding 17 phone books and something like 16 water bottles when cleaning out the kitchen.  I was trying to make space for Pierce's art supplies, which had gotten out of control in my pantry.  One thing led to another and I am happy to report that things are slightly reorganized in a much happier fashion.

What started out as art supply overload:

Turned into Pierce's own little cubby cabinet:

Note that I was able to put those 6 koozies I found to good use by using them to corral markers and pens.

And then I tackled a couple of other things.  Even Paul got involved by a impromptu building project.  So what started out as this:

Became this:

Thanks, Paul!

I also had tons of little baking odds and ends floating around the pantry in a messy unorganized fashion:

But a few tupperwares roped them in:

The nice thing about this is that they are organized in such a way that I can just grab the correct box when cooking and have all the supplies I need.

Ah, I feel so much better!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Can Tuesday be Better than Monday? Please??

Yesterday was one.of.those.days.  I don't know if Cort is teething or if he's not feeling well or if he's just being his surly-self.  But whatever was wrong, he spent 90% of the day crying.  And I spent the day repeating over and over in my mind "Mommy WILL NOT run away, Mommy WILL NOT run away, Mommy WILL NOT run away".  It just -- whew, it really gets to me when the crying will.not.stop

So I worked really hard all day to entertain the royal Cort and keep him happy.  Well, if not happy, at a minimum complacent.  Well, okay, if not complacent, at least not crying for a whole 5 minutes at a time.  The twins worked on their learning table:

They embraced their inner Picasso:

Pierce even gave Cort some hugs and kisses:

But we couldn't get Cort to smile. 

Good thing Reid smiled big enough for both of them.
And good thing Cort is still cute.
Even when surly.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Orange

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Today's theme is orange. 
Pierce had orange slices, orange Apple Jacks cereal, carrots, homemade cheese and chicken enchilada, spanish rice, and one orange gummy vitamin (which orange kitten supervised to make sure he took).

For those of you who are wondering, Horace and Juliet continue to do very well.  We plan to call today to talk to the company about how many chicks we lost.  Maybe they'll replace some.
Pierce asked to hold Horace (who seems to be everyone's favorite) last night.  Here is the chicken 'coop' in our living room.  Yup, nothing says redneck like having chickens in your living room ;-)

The light is red for a reason.  If a chick gets hurt and is bleeding, other chicks might peck at it.  But if they are under a red light, they can't see the blood and will leave it alone.  Fortunately, neither Horace or Juliet is hurt.  But the red light is for good measure. 
In the middle of the night our house glows red.  Nice.

We taught Pierce to be very gentle by petting Horace with just one finger.

Pierce did very well with being gentle.  We've always had lots of animals.  So he's learned early on.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Finally, A Day Fit to be Out In

Yesterday was the first day in ages (and I do mean ages) that had weather decent enough to go play in.  The high was around 50*.  We headed in to town and started the day with a run on the greenway.  Unfortunately, my IT band (the muscle that runs along the outside of the thigh) was acting up and I was only able to do 3 miles.  I was bummed.  Also, I have got to pump up the tires in the double bob!  They are practically flat and it doesn't make pushing the twins any easier.

After the run we drove up the mountain to the zoo.  Due to the weather, this was the first day the zoo had been open in about 3 weeks.  I didn't think anyone would be there, but there were a few other families wandering around.  We started with the Discovery Center.

They have tons of hands on activities just perfect for preschoolers.

Pierce enjoyed making animal tracks in the sand.

Then we walked around the zoo.  It's a small zoo.  Most of the animals were out, however, some things (like the Zoo Choo) were not open.

We found a very funny mirror.

And Pierce liked the tiger statue.

Looking out over downtown Roanoke.
Beautiful day!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

And Then There Were Two

Well, the chicken update isn't the greatest.  We have two chicks left.  They seem to be doing very well, but so did the others before they died.  It's a little hard for me to know how to best help Pierce understand what is happening.  At 3 1/2, he seems so innocent.  Yet death is a part of life, so I am not hiding it from him.  He's sad over the ones that have died.  I hope these last two make it.  Paul is going to go buy some medicated food this morning, in case they've had some disease that has been wiping them out.  I didn't want to do medicated feed (even though everyone says that is the best way to go) because it just seems wrong to do medication just for the sake of it.  But maybe they truly need it.  Such a learning process. 

Introducing Horace:

And Juliet:

Can you guess where the names came from?  :-)

The temperature is stable in their home, they have food and water, and we'll add some medicated food later today for good measure.  We aren't handling them except to change the box in hopes they will get strong.  Hopefully they will persevere. 
And we did find some friends who are going to give us some eggs to try incubating later this spring.
Hopefully we'll be a little more successful at incubating!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Memory Lane Friday - The Family Pet

Today is the second Memory Lane Friday and the topic is a memory of a pet growing up.  I had many to choose from.  Our beloved pug, Butch.  A pet frog I raised from a tadpole named Gilly.  A pony named Shorty.  But I didn't choose any of those.  Instead, I picked the one pet that I felt was truly mine growing up. 

When I was about 12, I was riding bikes with my friend Nicole.  We were riding down the back alleys that ran behind houses and I found an old bird cage that someone had thrown out with the trash.  Ever the rummager, I took it back to the house and cleaned it up.  My Dad had told me stories of his pet parakeet, Tuffy, and I loved the name.  So when I got my own parakeet I named him Tuffy, Jr.

Tuffy was cool.  He would hang out on my shoulder or perch on my finger for hours.  His best trick was his equestrian talent. 
Growing up, my life centered around horses and riding, so one of my favorite toys was the Playmobil horse show set.  I had a Jeep and trailer, horses with blankets, and lots of jumps.  I couldn't find a picture of the exact set, since this was some 20 years ago, but this will give you an idea.

I would set up all the little jumps in a row, and Tuffy would go jump jump jump right over all of them.  Tuffy could also say a few phrases, like "Pretty Bird".  He turned out to be a really great pet for a preteen.

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Then leave some comments for the other participants.  That's all!  Next week's topic is 'A Sporting Event'.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Turns out the Chicken Came First

So Paul was gracious enough to decide we could finally manage some chickens.  He diligently read the chicken book and then we went to Tractor Supply Company to stock up on supplies. 
Turns out there are a lot of choices.  Pierce was less than enthusiastic.

But Reid seemed happy enough.

Then we went online and I ordered 25 eggs, plus one mystery egg.  I ordered 15 layers and 10 fryers, with the understanding that I wasn't butchering, plucking, or prepping in any way the fryers.  I'll cook them, once they are ready.  Paul really wanted the fryers.  So they are his deal.
We had our incubator set up and ready to go. 
Yesterday I got the call from the post office that they were there! 
So I headed over and as soon as I walked in and heard PEEP PEEP PEEP PEEP I knew.
We got chicks.
Not eggs.

Here is the box they came in.

Peeking in the box:

Well, we weren't set up for chicks at all.  In fact, I didn't even know what to do for them.  Quite a few were already dead on arrival.  And the others looked kind of rough.
I put them in the incubator so they could get warm.

But there wasn't much air circulating and I think I got them too warm because then they were panting and fighting over the water dish.
When Paul got home, he devised a better set up for them in a big box with a heat lamp. 
But we lost some more during the night.
And our remaining chicks are just nine.
I feel so bad. 
My heart breaks just thinking about it.
Please don't call PETA on me.
I hope we can save the remaining nine.
Here are the goodies Paul got me on our $5 Valentine's budget:

Hopefully by some miracle I'll get to use them this summer.

Think about stopping by tomorrow to join in on Memory Lane Friday!  The theme this week is a family pet you had growing up.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Cortster

Here, Reid demonstrates the appropriate way to sit in a bouncy seat. 

And here, Cort demonstrates how NOT to sit in a bouncy seat.
Note that he is strapped in.  He's just strong and wily enough to flip over.

And would you believe he fell asleep like that?

Crazy kid.  Guess it's time to retire the bouncys.  At least that's just one less baby containment device in my baby-device-infested living room. 
And this weekend...Cort flung himself OUT OF THE BUMBO!  Luckily, Paul was right there to intervene when Cort flopped onto the dining room table. 
And I ask myself, for the thousandth time,
I am in so much trouble!