Monday, May 31, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday and Little J.P.

Today is Muffin Tin Monday.  Themes have stopped for the summer, so muffin tins are whatever you make of them for a while.  I did a brunch tin for Pierce.  Blueberry muffin, mandarin oranges, sunflower shaped toast with marmalade, and some sausage.  It was a big hit. 

If you'd like to do MTM, click the button:
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

For those of you who read about the little Boston Terrier I found, her name was Gracie Lou and she was reunited with her family on Saturday night!  We were thrilled to find them.  Gracie Lou had been missing for 2 weeks and had travelled 15 miles.  That's really something for such a little dog.  She must've encountered others on her journey, and I wonder why she picked us as her 'home away from home'?  Did she somehow know we'd make every effort to try to reunite her with her family?  Poor Pierce, he was kind of sad to see her go.

And now, we have named another chicken.  My neighbor, J.P., doesn't like this chicken one bit.  When she took care of the chickens while we were camping, this chicken never wanted to be caught.  J.P. chased this chicken all over the place while my horses apparently stood by the fence and laughed at her.  And so, we've named the chicken Little J.P., seeing as they have such a connection now and all.  Incidentally, Horace should be the first to lay, and she should start in the next 2 weeks!  The others should be laying by July.  I'm so excited to start gathering our own eggs.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wanted: Band Member

Wanted:  Band Member
Must be willing to practice days, but not in the hours of 9-10:30 and or 2:00-4:00 (naptime).

Must have black Bob Marley shirt for band attire.
Prefer avid jaw harpist, but other instruments will be considered.

Must be between the ages of 6 and 24 months.
Must be willing to show brotherly love.

Must be flexible about which instrument you play, in case other band member decides to steal it.
Girls need not apply.
BYOP (Bring your own Gerber Puffs).

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Seriously Folks, I was ONLY Joking!

Statement from Thursday's blog post:  I love animals and I'm a total sucker softie for strays. I've been behaving for a while now on pet adoptions, but if a kitten showed up on my doorstep I'd take it in. I wouldn't be able to resist. Now, who wants my address?

And then, Thursday night, look who showed up on our doorstep.  GAHHHHHH!  Look at that sweet face!

Sweet, timid, shy, loving.  Covered in ticks.  Poor baby.

So okay, you've had your fun.  Now come get your dog. 
And hurry.
Pierce has been calling her "Little Dog".
And we're definitely not in the market for another dog.

The Pre-First Blog Award

Turns out I had a blog award before the Versatile Blogger award and didn't even know it!  And the sad part is, I actually read the post about it but just didn't register my name on there.  Mombrain strikes again!  Anyhow, special thanks to Mary from The Englar Fam for this award!  Mary and I met through a fun blog exchange, and she's a very positive person so check her out.

Rules are simple.  Write about 10 things you love, then pass on the award to 10 people.

Ten things I love in no particular order:
1.  The high after finishing a marathon.  Mental heaven, let me tell you.  Otherwise, no one would do it.
2.  Snuggles from my boys.  They each have their distinct personalities, and show love in their own ways, but all 3 of them know how to give a sweet snuggle.
3.  Lost.  I've only seen through the end of season 5, SO DON'T SPOIL IT FOR ME!  Once the last season comes out on dvd, I'm really looking forward to watching an episode per night w/ Paul after the boys are in bed.
4.  Our cabin.  Even though it's always filthy and I never want to devote time to cleaning have enough time to clean.
5.  Books.  Libraries.  All things dealing with books.  My 'Got Books?' shirt.
6.  The beach.  I love the ocean.  Not the crowded beach, but when it's just me and the ocean. Love, love, love it!
7.  Mornings where I wake up having slept really hard.  It just feels great to get a really deep sleep in.
8.  My family.  They rock.  'Nuff said.
9.  Roasted veggies.  It doesn't matter which ones.  Asparagus, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, onions, squash, zucchini, turnips, kale, eggplant - drizzled in olive oil and roasted at 400* for 20 minutes.  Can't get enough!
10.  Just one more?  I have lists and lists in my head of things I love.  I guess it would be those nights where we have a family dinner and then get enticed outside by balmy weather to take a walk up the mountain.  The boys have so much fun and I enjoy the extra quality time with Paul.  Evenings like that leave me so content with life.

Okay, 10 blogs I love in no particular order (once again, hard to pick just one, and I guess there is going to be some repetition here):
1.  Wendiwinn at Wendiwinn - She Likes Stuff.  She's hilarious!  And is Elvis's godmother.
2.  Hayley at Gone with the Twins.  She was my first follower and I just adore her sarcastic sense of humor.  Plus, she takes the most amazing pictures.
3.  Andrea at Good Girl Gone Redneck.  We met in a blog exchange and share our love of books and donations of hair.
4.  Dory at The Labay Family.  She has the cutest boy/girl twins and she makes some of the coolest cookies I have ever seen on her cookie blog.
5.  Warren at My Home Among the Hills.  Pretty sure he doesn't do the whole blog award thing.  But I'm still nominating him because I've been reading his blog for years now, and he always comes up with the coolest, most unusual ideas.  Plus, he has an amusing style of writing and a bell licking habit.
6.  Paige at Foreigners Among Us.  She doesn't follow my blog, but I enjoy reading hers, mostly because of the crisp, funny, light descriptions she does of her kids.  And awesome pictures.  And, sometimes, a deep dose of reality.  It's a capturing combination.
7.  Meredith at Frogs, Snails, and Hokie Bird Tails.  She's my sister in law and I love keeping up with her, my brother, and my adorable nephew.  She's fairly new to blogging, so go say hi!
8.  Stephanie at Ordinary Life Magic.  I doubt she does blog awards either.  But I love her blog.  She has this way with words and pictures and kids and crafts .... well, go check her out and you'll see exactly what I mean.
9.  MamaK at Frog Creek.  She and her kids are always finding adventures and fun.
10.  Helene at I'm Living Proof that God has a sense of humor.  She has 2 sets of twins and lives to tell about it - in a funny bone tickling way.

Go pay these 10 a visit and tell'em I sent you!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Memory Lane Friday - This One Time at Camp

Memory Lane Friday is a time to reflect on memories to preserve them for your family.  This week's theme is 'This One Time at Camp'. 

I went to several different types of camps, but my favorite was a church camp I attended the first week of August every year in Bethany Beach, Delaware. For whatever reason, it was simply called "Conference". All summer long I looked forward to camp with great anticipation. Only high school students attended. Each day consisted of chores, meals, reflections, talks in your individual groups, and plenty of free time. My friend Melissa and I would baste in baby oil (shaking my head is shame here) and hit the beach. Of course, there were also plenty of shops to frequent and such delicacies on the boardwalk as boardwalk fries, ice cream, and snow cones.  The food at camp itself was less than desirable, which is why I had to buy so much boardwalk food.                                         Example A: 

Food so bad that I turned it into artwork rather than eat it.

One of the highlights of the week was the shaving cream fight.  Well armed with 2 cans of shaving cream, we'd don our swimsuits and have at it.  Here, the start of the fight:

After everyone was well coated in shaving cream and had designed mohawks out of shaving cream hair, we'd run down main street, down the boardwalk, and into the ocean:
One year a couple of the guys got in trouble for hugging random people along the way that they saw on the streets.  As you might imagine, 'random people' didn't care so much to be hugged by a stranger covered in shaving cream.  Believe it or not, there's a facebook group devoted to the shaving cream fight.  And it has well over 100 members!

The final night was full of skits:
I don't remember many of the skits (although I have oodles of pictures from them).  One year a girl sang one of The Little Mermaid songs PERFECTLY and impressed us all.  Another time some guys did Blue Moon in acapella (Elvis would've been proud).  And once a group did this nasty skit where they chewed up food and spit it into each others mouths (so gross). 
At the end of the last night was a giant 'hug circle' which lasted well over an hour and gave every one a chance to say nice things to new friends and in some circumstances, exchange a kiss or two (ahem).

Want to participate in Memory Lane Friday?  Grab the code below the button and copy/paste it into your blog. 

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Come back next week for the topic of "A Favorite Movie".  Is there a movie you watched over and over again as a kid?  That you knew every line to?  Be ready to share!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

This Blog Has Been Taken Over

Muah ha ha ha ha ha ha.  Cluck.

It's about time I got my own blog.

I had a power breakfast of worms and a tick.  Then I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill.  And now I'm ready to take over the world.  Or at least this blog.

Wise men say only fools rush in.  Which is why I was biding my time on the blog takeover.  Plus, I had to find a typewriter to peck on.  Because it's impossible to write script with my blue suede shoes.

And now, for the best part.  A picture of yours truly.  For my dearest.  Baby, I'm gonna stick like glue.  Stick, because I'm stuck on you.

Baby don't be cruel.  To a heart that's true.

Well, I gotta shake, rattle and roll.  I have 9 hens to herd around you know.  They're lost without me.
Stand by me, folks.  I'll be back.

My First Blog Award

So there are a lot of blog awards floating around out there, but I've never before been a recipient. They seem like a fun way to recognize others, meet people, and have a blog topic for the day. So special thanks to VandyJ at The Testosterone Three and Me. Like me, she has a house full of boys. 

So the rules of the award are this:
1.  Thank the person who gave you the award
2.  Tell seven things about yourself
3.  Pass the award on to 15 other bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!(in no particular order)
4.  Let them know you have awarded them the prize.

So seven things about myself:
1.  My favorite guilty indulgence is those highly addictive mini Reese cups.  They have to be the minis.  I once ate bag after bag of them for like 2 weeks until I had such bad stomachaches I had to stop.  I call that the Reese Cup Diet and am working on a patent now.
2.  After I had the twins my belly button turned completely black for 5 months.  It was the weirdest thing.
3.  I love neuropsychology, and never get sick of learning about the brain.  I even subscribe to Neurology Now (blush).
4.  Pierce is a total daddy's boy.  So I'm secretly (well, not so secret anymore, is it?) holding out hope that at least one of the twins will be a mommy's boy.
5.  If I could go on vacation tomorrow - to anywhere on earth - I'd head to Arizona.  I'm jonesing for a big dose of canyons and deserts, in an American Southwest kinda way.
6.  I love animals and I'm a total sucker softie for strays.  I've been behaving for a while now on pet adoptions, but if a kitten showed up on my doorstep I'd take it in.  I wouldn't be able to resist.  Now, who wants my address?
7.  My first job out of college was working for Children's Protective Services in Houston, doing investigations (talk about stress).  After that I did college admissions for a while, and then a stint in juvenile probation.  I'm an Idealist (even the Myers-Briggs says so - specifically I am an INFP - the Healer).  What does this mean?  It means that I think I can make a difference in the world.  Not in big ways.  But in little ways, person by person, I can help in some way. 

Okay, so I find myself hard pressed to find 15 (fairly new to me) people to pass this on to.  That's a lot!  And definitely some of these people are not new to me, but I thought they might have fun participating. Plus, I was desperate to try to hit fifteen.  Type A much?  Here goes:
1.  Sonya at Under the Desert Sky
2.  Mere at Frogs and Snails and Hokie Bird Tails
3.  Jeremi at Ella and Zoe
4.  Mary at The Englar Fam
5.  Lisa at The Nanny Diaries
6.  Maria at Living, Learning, Loving
7.  Shannon at Green Grass and Grey Skies
8.  Mysticiris at Inside My Head
9.  Nicole at My Mad World
10.  Salina at The Robbins Zoo
11.  RunMonkeyMama at Two Little Monkeys
12.  Mama Goose at News From the Gaggle
13.  Twin Mom Michelle at Not According to Plan
14.  Hayley at Gone With the Twins
15.  Lauren at Helen (and Huck!) of Niles

Love all your blogs! 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why are owls so popular? Notes from the Wolery.

Lately it seems like I'm seeing owls everywhere!  They are in artwork, on purses, on websites and t-shirts.  What is it about owls that has made them the rage?  Is it because of Harry Potter's snowy owl, Hedwig?  Or is there some other underlying reason for their popularity?

Owls have long been of interest to humans.  In fact, they can even be found in Egyptian heiroglyphics.  Poets have for ages loved to write of the owl - including Shakespeare, Keats, Browning, Tennyson, and of course, Lear's Owl and the Pussycat.  Thoreau wrote in Walden "I rejoice that there are owls.  Let them do the idiotic and maniacal hooting for men."

And of course, aside from Harry Potter, owls have been popular in media for a while.  Remember the tootsie roll pop owl?  Or how about the Great Owl in the Secret of Nimh (one of my absolute favorite childhood movies).   And let us not forget Winnie the Pooh and his friend, Owl, who writes his name "WOL" and lives in the Wolery. 

Honestly, I think owls are just popular because they're such cool birds.  While popular myth has it that they can rotate their head 180*, technically it's 135*.  In either direction.  And they also have binocular vision.  Hello, how handy would that be while they're trying to watch after their fighting little owlets?

Some species of owls actually have special feathers that enable them to fly silently.  That makes them like the James Bond of birds.  In addition, the dull color of their feathers can make them virtually invisible a lot of the time.  Imagine the stealth! 

As if that isn't enough, they have that wonderful hoot sound.  This is actually a territorial noise for them.  Plus, they have those adorable little owly ear tufts.  When I see pictures of those ear tufts, I just want to pet them.  Totally cute.  But of course, they are wild and mysterious, and best left without people treating them as pets.  So I will continue to appreciate them from afar, and listen to the occasional hooting we hear in the evenings.  Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll stumble on an owl pellet one day.  It would make for a seriously cool science experiment for me and Pierce.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Deep thoughts on the relationships between twins

Our local video store is going out of business, so yesterday I ran in to see what movies I could pick up in the documentary section for cheap.  There were so many, and I had the hardest time narrowing down my choices.  I ended up with 7 movies, and when I checked out the guy said, "I just knew someone was going to come along and clean out the documentary section soon".  That would be me.  Yeah, somebody get me a 'nerd' t-shirt. 

So last night Paul and I watched one of the documentaries, Red Without Blue.  I first heard about this film when reading Abigal Pogrebin's book One and the Same, a wonderful book on the relationships between twins.  So I was excited to find a copy of the documentary.

When I watched it, though, it broke my heart.  In so many ways.  The story line is about the relationship between two identical twins, but one (Claire) is transgender.  It was painful to watch because they love each other so much and are so close, yet are both hurting and struggling to find their own identities that are separate from their twinship.  At one point Mark says to Claire, "I do remember just feeling like you were kind of cutting this cord we had.  This twinship.  This identical identity". 

I think that in some ways this struggle to separate the identities is unique to identical twins, rather than fraternal.  Still, I felt like I was being stabbed in the heart when I imagined my boys finding that much sorrow in their brotherhood.  As I'm sure any mother of twins would.  You imagine your twins growing up the best of friends, always having one another to hold them up when things get rough.  You don't want to think that they might hurt one another in their relationship or cause each other pain.

I look at my dear, dear baby boys now, and see that they are constantly side by side.  Parallel play, of course, but where there is one, there is the other.  And in my heart, I hope that it might always be that way.  I know that you can't really determine the relationship between siblings.  It is one that they must discover and develop on their own, as their personalities emerge.  But if I could wave a magic wand and instill some brotherly love into my twins (and Pierce, too!) I'd ingrain deeply in their values:
  • Friends come and go, but your brothers - your family - that's forever.
  • Respect each other.
  • Be kind to one another.
  • Don't break trust.  It is so hard to fully regain.
  • You will fight.  It's going to happen.  But remember, even when angry, to be fair.  Don't say things that you will regret later on.  Think first. 
  • If you share with him, he will be more likely to share back.
  • When brothers agree, no fortress is so strong as their common life - Antisthenes
I think one of the hardest parts of being a mother is just knowing that sometimes, your kids - well, they're going to hurt.  And you won't be able to make it better.  You're just going to have to let it happen, as that is part of growing up.  If only their days could always be full of adventures and explorations, with the only sadness coming when you didn't get your milk the split second you asked for it.

Edited to add:  today I'm the featured blogger at Multiples and More blog, so you can go read my interview here.  And if you're stopping by from there, hi!  :-)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Seeds, Flowers, and Plants

For some reason I had a tough time with this week's theme.
We did asparagus/cheese flowers, chocolate chia seeds (if you haven't had chia seeds, they are awesome in breakfast cereals or oatmeal, and have way more calcium than milk - which I need since I'm not a milk drinker), a lemon flower cookie, some trail mix, blueberries, and a pickle (hey, they have seeds inside)!
It was a really random assortment and more snackish than lunch-like. 

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

Now, I'm sure you've noticed I've got a new look!  This is all thanks to Rocio.  Didn't she do an amazing job?  When I won her giveaway, I wasn't sure what to expect.  I was kind of fond of the old look, which I had pulling my hair out meticulously put together via Adobe.  But she was awesome to work with.  She linked me up with all sorts of choices and spent time finding out what kinds of looks I liked.  After I picked out a few things to get her started, she magically pulled it all together for me in what you see today.  Plus, a brand new button!
So if you want to update your look, go check her out!

Wendiwinn, the chickens are all straight this week.  I've just been too lazy busy to go take pictures.
Soon, I tell ya, soon!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I Heart My Dirty Girl Gaiters

I've been running a lot more on trails lately.  Not the best training for NYC, but at least I'm getting some miles in.  I signed up for another trail race in the near future - this one a half marathon.  I'm very excited.  In the meantime, I recently invested in a pair of Dirty Girl gaiters, which you can buy for just $17 (including s+h!) here .  My friend, Anita, told me about them.  She runs ultras practically every weekend (and has done Western States), so I figure she knows what she's talking about. 

What I love is that they have all different patterns with hilarious names.  The pair I chose is called Giardia (lol).  Hopefully I'm not tempting fate wearing them.

They are not waterproof, but are instead designed to keep debris out of your shoes.  Leaves, pebbles, and dirt can't cross the Dirty Girl gaiter.

Here I am on the trails in Douthat State Park:

Anyhow, if you're a runner, and do a lot of trails, they are well worth the investment.
I did a 13 miler yesterday (so humid out!) so hopefully this upcoming half marathon will be a little easier than the last one.  I'm slightly more prepared for the mileage :-)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Feeling Lucky

Yesterday we packed a picnic lunch and then headed out for the day.  First stop was the pediatrician's office, where Cort and Reid got their 9 month checkups a little late.  Both are in good health, and they only had to get 1 shot each.

From there, we headed to the zoo.  I let Pierce play on the 'big kid' playground this time.  It involves a lot of climbing and tunneling.

This?  This part makes my heart skip a beat or two.
I have to help him up the first ledge.
But then he does the rest himself while I wait below, arms outstretched and pleading Please Don't Fall.

The view from the top of the rock formation:

Inset within the rocks are various dinosaur fossils:

Cort and Reid observed much more calmly than I did:

After I could take no more, we went into the zoo.  The turtles were catching some rays:

And this?  This is Lucky.
His name is Lucky because a man was weedeating and weed wacked him.
So he has a big scar.  The man brought him to the zoo, where they mended him and adopted him.
I guess that's Lucky?

Lucky is a corn snake.  And a friendly one at that.  Pierce believed that snakes would be sharp because of their fangs.  So he was impressed by how smooth Lucky felt.
Here he is, petting Lucky right on his old injury:
Lucky for Pierce, Mom prefers snakes to ridge playground climbing.  Much safer ;-)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Memory Lane Friday - A Ceremony

Memory Lane Friday is a chance to write about your memories to preserve them for your family.  Everyone is welcome.  This week's topic is "A Ceremony".

In life, you tend to go through lots of ceremonies and rituals.  But I wanted to write today about my wedding.  Although we will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary in August, it looks like I still love the guy ;-)

Paul and I met during Welcome Week at Baylor.  I didn't expect to meet anyone so soon, and I definitely didn't expect to meet the person I'd later marry.  In fact, I never really saw myself as marriage material.  We stuck though.  And by early junior year we were engaged.  At some point, the summer before senior year, we decided to just go ahead and get hitched.  We knew this was what we planned to do.  So why wait?  Certainly, having never thought I'd be married, I'd never had any grand wedding delusions.  I just wanted a simple ceremony with a few friends.  So that summer we decided to wed in August.  Not everyone was as supportive as we would have expected.  And there were a few way off the mark questions about whether I was knocked up.  But we proceeded despite those things.

Like I said, I didn't want a big wedding.  I love attending other people's elaborate weddings, and have enjoyed participating in a few as well.  But that just wasn't right for me.  I picked out a pattern for my dress, sent it to my mom in Virginia, and she made it.  I searched all over Texas for strappy silver shoes, and finally found a pair in Dallas.  We called the people we wanted to invite - I didn't want invitations or receptions or announcements in the paper.  I didn't want stress.  So often, weddings cause people so much stress and cost so much money.  I didn't want or need any of that.  We really liked the Assistant Pastor at the University Church, so he did a few premarital counseling sessions with us prior to holding our ceremony. 

And so, on August 7th, 1996, Paul and I were hitched.  Other than Paul insisting on placing my wedding ring on the wrong hand, it went smoothly.  I sported a dress I still love, my strappy silver heels, and some very fake blond hair.

We had a maid of honor, my roomie Michelle, and a best man, Earl (who seems to have mysteriously disappeared.  Hey Earl, you out there somewhere?!?)

Loads of bird seed, coming our way.  This is my favorite of our wedding pictures, because it is candid and we look so happy.  All of our wedding pictures, incidentally, were taken by friends and family.

My goodness we were young.  Doesn't Paul look nice with his face shaved?  I keep telling him that.  He doesn't seem to care though.  He's had that beard thing going on 2-3 years now.  Sigh.  If you agree that Paul should shave his beard, PLEASE COMMENT!  It can be like a bloggy petition!  ;-)  Sorry, I digress.

Carrying over the threshold of the used-to-be-projects remade into college student apartments.

Hmmm.  Even though they were remade, they still kinda looked like projects in my pictures.
Friends decorated our car.  They did a thorough job, don't you think?  We headed off on our honeymoon and our first stop was a gas station to try to clear off all the cans and boxes and string.
Looking back, would I change anything?  Would I have waited or had a bigger wedding?
Nope.  It was just right for us.  And I remember the day fondly.

Want to join in on Memory Lane Friday?  It's easy.
Grab the code beneath the button.
Copy and paste it into your blog.

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Be sure to come back next Friday.  The theme is "This one time, at camp".  Also, if you have a theme you want to see, let me know!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

SomeMore S'mores

S'mores should be burned.
Put your marshmallow straight in the flame.

Once it's flaming, then blow it out when it's good and black.

Have your grahams and Hershey's ready.
Don't go generic on the chocolate folks.
Hershey's is the MUST HAVE for s'mores.

Hopefully your marshmallow is steamy enough to get the chocolate melty.
If not, put it close by the fire to get it right.

Oh yeah.  One of the best things about camping.  Ever.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

AHOY! How far would you go for the perfect playground?

Would you far as the eye can see?

Particularly for the chance to be a pirate?  Revisit this post to see how much we love pirates in our house.

 So how far would you go to run up and down bridges

To peek in portholes

And dine on the child sized picnic table located in the gallows

We would go far.  We would make that drive.

Watch out for that iceberg buddy!

And careful on the ropes!

To think that some pirates can have this much fun...with nary a bottle of rum in sight!