Friday, December 21, 2007

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

Apparently, Arden didn't get the memo that Santa is one of the good guys. Maybe she's a little freaked out by the whole "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake" thing.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

An Open Letter to the Person Who Stole My Credit Card

Dear Credit Card Thief, or more specifically, Credit Card NUMBER thief,

I'm glad I could help make your Christmas season a little merrier by paying for the gifts you ordered online last week. Whoever you had in mind for all those lovely presents will appreciate your thoughtfulness, although you might want to leave out the part about how you paid for them using a stolen credit card number. I'm just sayin'...
I'm sure the lucky recipient of the gourmet coffee will greatly appreciate it. Also, the wine. That was very thoughtful of you. However, I think you should have definitely reconsidered the leather portfolio. It looks a little, well, on the cheap side. Not that you asked, but the next time you go on a shopping spree with someone else's money, you might consider something from Coach.
And as for that "Profit Sharing" ebook you purchased... I hate to tell you this, but I'm pretty sure that's just a pyramid scheme. I'm sure Shaun Kasey is a real stand up guy, but I'm starting to resent all the emails I'm getting from him, on account of my, excuse me, YOUR, recent internet purchase. And seriously, who signs their emails "Yours in Success" anyway?
I hope you enjoy your upcoming trip to Vegas. At least, I'm assuming you're going there since you purchased a Las Vegas entertainment book full of coupons with GREAT DEALS ON DINING, SHOWS, HOTELS AND MORE!! It appears that I won't be paying for your trip, as my card was cancelled as soon as I started receiving emails thanking me for all my purchases, but if I may, I would recommend staying at the Bellagio. It's gorgeous.
Well, happy holidays and all that.
Yours in Successful Prosecution of Identity Thieves,

p.s. I'm no expert, but the next time you steal someone's identity, you might want to change the email and shipping address on your internet orders. I'm just sayin'...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Catching Up: Or, I Finally Loaded the Pictures Off My Broken Camera

I mentioned several weeks ago that I broke my digital camera. I didn't want to bore you with the details, so I didn't share what specifically had broken. To excuse my recent lack of blogging, I feel like I should explain that while my camera will still take pictures, I can no longer upload them to my PC unless I load them directly through my photo printer. This. Takes. For. Ever.
But, I finally got them loaded, so brace yourself for another picture blitz.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Dallas. We spent a fun weekend with Grandad and Mimi and Aunt Ashley and Uncle Thad (Uncle Fad, as Claire would say). We had a great visit and Claire had a blast playing with Alex and swimming in the hot tub with Grandad.

The very next weekend, we were off to Memphis to run the St. Jude's Marathon. And by "we" I mean Jason. I officially downgraded to the 5K last month. I would like to say I had a good reason for this, but really it boils down to laziness. And lack of self-discipline. But, hey! A 5k! Just have fun with it! And I was, until I got passed by a nine year old girl and a man pushing another grown man in a wheelchair. Really, how slow do I run?
But Jason did great (he would tell you otherwise) and we got to spend some child-free time with our BFFs, Ryan and Cortney, so all in all, it was a great weekend.

Now we're just trying to enjoy the Christmas festivities. Our tree is up and decorated (Claire was a big help this year and my OCD self is learning to embrace the fact that 75% of the ornaments are on the bottom two branches of the tree).

The presents are wrapped and under the tree. And we've attempted several Christmas card photo shoots... Here's a little sample of what we've been experiencing when it comes to posing for a joyful holiday photo.

Tis the season!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

You Are What You Eat?

If this is true, then Arden is Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Yeah, you read that right. My baby helped herself to a finger-swipe full of the stuff after I poured it into the potty this morning. Don't worry, though. I had a nice chat with Stephanie from Arkansas Poison Control and she assured me that I did all the right things by washing Arden's hands and making her drink water, then calling the poison control hotline. She told me to watch her for an hour or so, but that she should be fine.
Seriously. Toilet Bowl Cleaner. I think this reinforces my case for hiring a maid service.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


This morning at school, Claire's class did a craft titled "I'm Thankful For..." The kids did hand prints on paper plates and then their teacher wrote on the craft what the children told her they were thankful for. When I went inside to pick Claire up this afternoon, I saw all the crafts hung on hooks outside the classroom and enjoyed reading what everyone was thankful for.
Most of the them said things like "I'm thankful for...Nanny and Poppy" or "My dog Ginger" or even "My Thomas the Train track".
Claire's? "I'm thankful for...My coffee and going outside."

Given that coffee was at the top of her list, I'm a little worried that she's got too much of her mother in her.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween

Due to technical difficulties (I broke my camera), I'm a day late on the Halloween picture blitz. Better late than never, right?

Annual bonfire at Grandma's church. Our third family picture ever.
Pirate #1.

Pirate #2. And Pirate #1. Because it's impossible to photograph Pirate #2 without Pirate #1 jumping in the picture. Also, Pirate #2 tries to run away a lot, so Pirate #1 is helpful in keeping her in place...
Claire and Isaac. We were the cutest band of pirates roaming the neighborhood ever!
The littlest pirate made up for her size by her speed. Once she figured out how this whole trick or treat thing worked, she was all over it.

Home at last, to examine our treasure!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sick. And Tired. But Mostly Just Sick.

My recent lack of blogging has not been due to the fact that my kids haven't supplied me with any blog-worthy material (they have), but is mainly because we, as a household, seem to be harboring at least three different viruses simultaneously.
I'll spare you the litany of symptoms we have going on over here, but if you live anywhere near us, I would advise staying away until this thing blows over.
In the meantime, here is a little teaser of stories to come...
*Claire singing "My God is so big and so is my mommy" instead of "My God is so big, so strong and so mighty".
*Arden sneaking up the stairs and going into Claire's room while she was napping. Drama!
*Arden learning to climb up the slide on our swingset.
*Claire's new-found love for all things "Hannah Montana"
All these and much, much more...Just as soon as these antibiotics kick in...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Power Trip

Last Thursday was Claire's turn to be the Line Leader at school. When I dropped her off and Mrs. V told her the good news, Claire turned to me and said, "Did you hear that? I'm the Line Leader!" And then she ran off to spread the good news to her subjects, I mean, classmates.
Knowing Claire as I do, I was a little worried that the power might go to her head. I mean, Line Leader is a big deal for the preschool set and Claire tends to take things to the, um, extreme.
I shouldn't have worried though. When I picked her up, Mrs. V said she'd had a great day and only reminded the class that she was the Line Leader 45 times.

Look out kids, there's a new Mussolini in town.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Christmas Trees? Already?

This morning, during our weekly Monday morning Wal-Mart outing, I found myself staring down the aisle at Christmas trees, wondering why in the world there are Christmas decorations out in September. Then I remembered it's not September, but is, in fact, the middle of October.
How could I forget that it's October, you ask? Maybe it's because Fall didn't bother to show up until late last week. Or maybe it's because our weeks have been so cram-packed of fun, busy activities that I've just lost track of time.
I've been meaning to blog about most of these events, but the thought of that is overwhelming. So, here! Have some pictures!
Mimi and Grandad came for a visit....
Claire has her weekly ballet/tap class...
Arden has become obsessed with Lucky Ducks. This is very unfortunate. Also, yes, Claire has a life jacket on.
We managed to get a little sister TV time in.
We went to the Pumpkin Patch with our friends Amber, Isaac and Jude.

We picked out our Halloween costumes (pirates, which is infinitely better than her first choice, which was Spiderman).
We got boots to go along with our Pirate costume. And wore them--with shorts-- to the family dinner.
We've been playing outside a lot, where Arden continues her love affair with the bucket of sidewalk chalk.

Claire had her last soccer game.

We're having so much fun that I wish I could slow down the clock. I'm not ready for Christmas trees yet. I need more time with my pumpkins and candy corn.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


When Claire was in the throes of the terrible two's, I had a very thoughtful friend say to me, "Just wait until she's three. Three is so much worse." Hearing that the worst was yet to come was not exactly what I needed to hear at the time, but now that I have a three and a half year old, I see what she meant. It's not that Claire's behavior is so much worse than it was a year ago, it's just that she's a year older, and, well, she should know better.
We've been having a bit of a tough time here lately, behavior-wise, and frankly, yesterday I was worn out from it. How many times can a grown-up be expected to say "I can't understand you when you're screaming at me. When you're ready to talk, I'm ready to listen."? At least twenty, apparently, because that's about how many times I said those very words yesterday.
We were on our way to soccer last night when Claire started asking questions about when she was a baby. Did I sleep in a baby crib? Yes, in the same one Arden sleeps in now. Was I so cute? Oh, you were soooo cute! Did I cry sometimes? Sometimes, but not too much.
Then she said, "I used to be a baby, but now I'm a big kid." I smiled and said, "Yes, you were a baby just like Arden but now you're a big girl."
She thought for a minute and then said, "First I was a baby then after five minutes I was a big kid."
I sat there for a minute and thought about how right she was. It does seem like just five minutes ago I was holding a swaddled bundle of precious baby and now I have a big girl who wants to do everything by herself. I started to get kind of emotional, marveling at how the time has flown and how wise my three year old is sometimes.
"Mom?" Claire said from the backseat.
"Yes, sweetie?" I asked, wondering what profound statement she would come up with this time.
"Arden has a poo-poo cup!" She said, bursting into giggles.
Looks like I don't have to worry about her growing up too fast, after all.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Completely Random Blog

Nothing in this post goes together, but I wanted to write down some of these memories before I forget them...

This weekend, Claire was really tired and asked (whined) for a cup of milk. I grabbed a sippy cup from the drawer, filled it with milk and handed it to her. She immediately began to cry. "I don't want this sippy cup!"
I told her she was being ridiculous, that I wasn't going to get another cup dirty, deal with it, etc... She kept on, her cries escalating.
Finally, I asked her why she didn't want that particular cup. Her answer? "Dora's head is gone!"
I took the cup, and upon examination, discovered that Dora was indeed headless. Too many uses and washes had rubbed her head right off.
I could see Claire's point, so she got a new cup of milk.


OK, before I get into this story, let me warn you that it does contain some potentially offensive material. If you're grossed out by "potty talk" you might want to skip this one.

For some reason, Claire thinks it's really funny to say "poo poo" and "pee pee." She doesn't do it too often, but once she starts, it just gets funnier and funnier to her. She'll say things like "pee pee TV" or "poo poo highchair." You know, really sophisticated humor.
She started in with the "potty talk" the other day and kept on, even after I asked her to stop. I finally told her if I heard anymore potty talk from her, I was taking away her bike.
That got her attention, and we resumed playing Barbies. After a few minutes, Claire started giggling and said "Pee--"
I gave her my best "if-you're-about-to-do-what-I-think-you're-about-to-do-you-may-want-to-rethink-it" look and said "What was that?"
"Peas," she said. "Mmmmmm... Peas. They're my favorite!"
What can I say? The kid can think on her feet.


When I was putting Claire down for her nap today, she asked what story I was going to read. I showed her the new Disney Princess book I had bought this morning, and a Dora book. She glanced at them and then asked, "Are they favulous?"


Claire and Arden had their first argument the other day. Claire was reading books, minding her own business, when little sister swooped in and swiped one of her books. Claire, who usually just cries until I retrieve whatever Arden has stolen from her, sprang to action. She jerked her book away from Arden and yelled, "No, ma'am!"
Arden responded immediately by pointing at Claire and yelling back "No! Nononononono!"
Can't wait until they're teenagers fighting over clothes and boys...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Making Ourselves at Home

Service Call by Licensed Electrician: $90
New wire and splicer: $69
Two Hours Labor for Two Electricians: $120

Not electrocuting yourself when you drill a hole through the dining room wall into the back of the main power supply of your BRAND NEW HOUSE: priceless

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Weekend In Review

This weekend was Jason's 31st birthday. On Friday, Claire and I made a strawberry cake (Claire cracked all three eggs by herself and Mommy fished the shells out with a fork) and wrapped Daddy's presents. Even though his birthday wasn't until Saturday, Claire couldn't wait for Jason to open his gift, so we cheated and let him open it a day early. Plus, since Claire told him what it was as soon as he walked in the door from work, waiting seemed kind of silly.

Look out, Ace of Cakes, my cake making skills will give you a run for your money.
On Saturday, we celebrated the big day by going to see the Razorbacks get beat by Kentucky. Don't think that Jason didn't take the loss personally, because he did. At least we had our BFFs in town to help soften the blow of the defeat.

Sunday, we went to Jason's mom's after Church to have a birthday lunch in Jason's honor (we like to draw our birthday celebrations out as long as humanly possible). No pictures from that, but trust me, Claire had a big time hanging with Jason's teenage cousins and Arden ran around like a wild child, scavenging food from whoever was nearby.

Monday, we went to the park with Claire's good buddy, Ian. They rode their bikes on the trail, played on the playground and had a picnic lunch (well, if you consider "lunch" a cheese stick and a juice box, because that's about all either one of them ate).
After naptime yesterday, Claire decided to dress-up as a rock star and put on a little show for us. If I can figure out how to upload (download?) the video of it, I'll try to put in on here later today. In the meantime, here's a picture of my future rock star.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Does This Mean I'm One of the Cool Kids Now?

OK, so I got "tagged" by Cori. This is my first time to get tagged, and I have to say, I feel sort of cool right now. Here are the rules...

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.

2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

3. People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. (if you don’t have a blog, email me)

4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I am a big fan of "The Hills". There. I said it. Yes, I do realize it's a show about 20 year olds and that it airs on MTV. I also realize that I'm 31 and that admitting this will immediately remove me from being one of the Cool Kids, but I can't help myself.

2. I drink at least 3 cups of coffee every morning and prefer that I drink it out of my favorite red mug. I get a little sad when that mug is in the dishwasher and I have to use one of my back-ups.

3. My nickname growing up was "Merf". About half of my family still calls me that.

4. I have a very real (irrational) fear of all bugs, especially spiders. I don't like killing them because I don't want my hands or feet to be in direct contact with them. If I see one on the floor, I will usually put a huge plastic cup over it until Jason comes home and disposes of it. If I see one on the wall or ceiling, I try to spray it with something (hairspray, windex, whatever's handy).

5. My favorite dessert of all time is a cookie cake from the Cookie Company. The more white icing on it, the better.

6. When I'm running, I tap each finger on my left hand against my thumb and chant in my head "Every mile is a blessing. Every mile is a blessing. Every mile is a blessing..." I have no idea why I started doing this, but it keeps me focused (usually).

7. All of the food in my pantry is arranged by type--labels out. I recognize that this makes me sort of like Julia Robert's creepy husband in "Sleeping With the Enemy," but I can't help myself. I also make sure my towels are hanging the same length and that the stripes at the bottom are lined up.

8. I love to read. Once I start a new book, I'm pretty much out of commission until I've finished reading it. Some of my recent favorite books are: "My Sister's Keeper," "19 Minutes," "Kite Runner," and "A Thousand Splendid Suns."

OK, so that's my eight random facts. Now I get to "tag" some friends. Cortney, Staci, Summer, Kristi, Lisa, Ashley and Rachel--you're it!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Many Faces of 15 Months

The "Say Cheese!" Face.

The "Good Morning! I love my paci!" Face.

The "I'm Totally Going to Run Off This Gazebo" Face.

The "This Park is the Most Fun Place Ever!" Face.

The "Bath Time is My Favorite Time of the Day" Face.

The "I Finally Mastered That Front Step" Face.

The "My Sister is SOOOOO Funny" Face.
Here are a few Arden Facts:
1. Nutrigrain bars are no longer her favorite breakfast. She has moved on to Eggos and pancakes, just like sister.
2. She has mastered stepping down the front step and thinks she's pretty hot stuff now. Once she figured out how to do it, she seriously did it over and over for about twenty minutes.
3. She says no, a lot. And it's not just a simple "No". It comes out more like "Nnnnnn-yo."
4. She loves to dance and can get pretty low. I think she'll be great at the Limbo someday.
5. She loves it when Claire chases her around the room and laughs the entire time.
6. Her favorite time of the day is bathtime and she prefers to stand in the tub rather than sit.
7. She loves my Dad and if he's around, he better be holding her or else he's going to hear about it.
8. She hates to have her diaper changed.
9. She will not sit still long enough to listen to a book, not even "Goodnight, Moon," which takes about 60 seconds to read.
10. She likes to carry around baby dolls.
11. If you leave the pantry door open, she'll sneak inside and you'll find her a few minutes later, carrying around a package of hot dog buns or a container of sprinkles.
12. She loves phones.
13. She still uses her left hand for eating and pointing.
14. She's a big eater and usually eats at least twice as much as Claire.
15. She's as wild as ever, but so much fun!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Claire Needs a Bigger Calendar

This past week has been a whirlwind of activities so I thought I'd recap with a lot of pictures.

On Wednesday, Claire had her first dance class. It's a combination ballet/tap and I have to say, it's one of the cutest things I've ever seen. It's better than gymnastics because the girls are engaged the whole time (ie, not sitting in their hula hoops waiting their turn on the bars). Claire was totally into to it and I caught her checking herself out in the mirrors several times.

On Thursday, we had Claire's first day of school.

To my great relief, she was excited to go and didn't fuss one bit (so different from last year). Her teacher said she had a great day and was "best best friends" with a new little girl named Kate. Apparently, they had a big time playing cell phones together.

On the way home from school, I asked her a barrage of questions, which she reluctantly answered. What was your snack? Graham crackers and juice. Who did you play with? Kate and Izzy and Bo and Elizabeth is not there because she goes to a new school and her is not at my old school anymore. What was your craft? Stamps and I scissored with these two fingers ALL. BY. MY. SELF. What did you talk about in circle time? Silence. Did you have circle time? Silence. Did you learn anything today? Silence. Did you do the days of the week? Oh, yeah we did the calendar. What was your favorite part of the day? Recess.

On Friday, Aunt Ashley and Uncle Thad came into town for a visit, bearing gifts of course. Real scrubs for Claire and a puzzle for Arden. Claire has worn her scrubs every day since and has forced me to be her patient, giving me shots and listening to my temperature. She has a few things to learn about medicine.

On Saturday, Claire had her first soccer game. I thought dance was cute, but let me tell you, there is nothing cuter than three and four year olds playing soccer. Here are some pictures to prove it.

Is it weird that my three year old has more social commitments than I do? Yeah, I kind of thought so...