Saturday, December 25, 2010

Someday I'll look back at this and laugh.

This summer during the break between summer school and regular school, Peanut had a hard time. He expressed this hard time by smearing poop over every surface in his bedroom everyday for 21 days straight. It was not fun. As a result, we took the carpet out of the boys room. This meant we needed some other sort of flooring in there. Filbert has had this idea for quite a while now to take the laminate flooring from the living room and put it into the boys' room and then get new flooring for the living room. We also thought that, if we were going to it, we should rip out the carpet in our bedroom and continue the flooring into there. Filbert thought it would be a good idea to knock down my closet since it is poorly designed and has some functional obsolescence. (there's my effort at pretension for today.) Walnut and Peanut had the whole week of Thanksgiving of off school, so I packed the two of them plus Cashew up to my parents (the Grandnut C's) on Sunday, giving Filbert three and a half uninterrupted days to work on this grand project. His dad and mom (they prefer not to think of themselves as nuts) were enlisted to help.

Remember that three and a half uninterrupted days? It turns out, not so much. I was under the impression that since Filbert had this huge project to do, he was taking Monday through Wednesday off to work on it, until he came to join us in Iowa for Thanksgiving. I should have known better. He took Monday off and really only had half of Monday because since I was in Iowa with the kids, he had to go to the boys' parent teacher conferences that afternoon and go bowling that evening. (Bowling is sacred, don't even suggest that he take a night off.) I discovered through phone conversations the misunderstanding regarding the work schedule and then lived in fear for the rest of the trip. (Bonus: Cashew potty-trained while we were there. Yay. (Peanut is still not trained, but he no longer plays Picasso with his poop, either. Yay.)) We still managed to have a lovely Thanksgiving and Filbert returned home early to continue work on the closet.

I arrived home to see my lovely new floors and my missing closet. I still don't have a closet. I haven't been able to put the house back together after moving the furniture out of three different rooms. Chaos reigns (remember in Get Smart the evil agency was called Kaos?). And that chaos led us into the Christmas season and prevented any sign of Christmas from appearing in our house. We did get the small tree put up, but the cats keep knocking it over and chewed through one of the light strings. (Oh, by the way, this summer we got 2 kittens. They are named Lavender and Fairbanks. The kids love them.) So anyway, I was feeling kinda bummed about the lack of Christmas cheer in the house, but I have resolved to do better next year and also, Filbert is not allowed to start any new projects until all the projects he has started are completed. Oh, that's right, I forgot, part of the reason we chose the timing of Thanksgiving to do this project was because Filbert thought the bunk beds that he is building would be finished by then. Unfortunately, the work of getting three rooms ready for new flooring delayed the completion of the bunk beds. They're still not done, either. (Filbert is not a loser. I told him I would say that, because he was concerned that people might think he was a loser. He's not a loser, though.)

So anyway, we muddled toward Christmas and tried to look forward time with family and friends instead of focusing on the chaos. We've also had to deal with the escalation of Peanut's PWS related food-seeking behaviors and our fridge has a shiny new padlock on it. Peanut has been getting up early in the morning before anyone wakes and has delighted in finding many ways to strike fear into our hearts. He's really too smart for his own good.

On the 23rd, Filbert and I and his sister, Lisa, and her husband took their grandparents out for a special Christmas breakfast. While there, we got a hugely unexpected (and generous!!!) wad of cash from the Greats to spend on Christmas. Later that day, Lisa and I thought it would be a fabulous idea to go shopping with the money to get stuff for the kids that they could open in front of the Greats on Christmas. (Really, we just wanted to get away from the kids, between us we have a 7 year old, a 6 year old, a 5 year old, a 4 year old, a 3 year old and a 2 year old, and one of us is pregnant, and I'll give you a hint, it's not me.) I asked the kids what they wanted and got various answers, but Peanut was quite emphatic about wanting a "blue guy". I didn't know what this was. I got him a light saber, instead.

On the 24th, we opened presents with the family and Peanut again expressed his wish for a "blue guy" and we finally figured out that he wanted a Perry the Platypus toy. Since Filbert had to go out and exchange the two seated bicycle VCR we had gotten for his parents, he told Peanut that if he could find one, he would get him a "blue guy." We also didn't have any tape to finish wrapping presents. It turns out everyone closes at 8:00 PM on Christmas Eve and the only thing Filbert was able to get from our list of last minute stuff was some tape from Walgreens that cost about a thousand dollars. I finished wrapping everything up, put it on the card table in the middle of the family room, hung some stockings and went to bed.

At 6:30 this morning, Walnut came into our bedroom and said Peanut's up and I think he's opening presents. We rushed to the family room and every stinking, last present was unwrapped. When asked why he did this, Peanut just replied, I can't find the blue guy, where's the blue guy?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We made our annual trek to the local Christmas tree farm today. String Bean is now 3 (yes, she had an epic birthday celebration since my last post) and fully enjoyed the experience. While hunting for a tree, we stopped and pondered the merits of many before we found String Bean standing in front of one and pointing. We ended up taking that one home.

Upon arriving at home, Mr. Bean put the lights on the tree while we watched the Chicago Bears beat the Philadelphia Eagles, much to my father's dismay. String Bean eagerly awaited her chance to put the ornaments on. Jelly Bean just tried to chew and grab whatever she could reach. (She is crawling and pulling up now. We've hit a lot of milestones since my last post.)

When the time to decorate finally came, String Bean concentrated on a very small portion of the tree and hung the majority of her ornaments there. She also put on her mittens to do it because the tree was too pokey.

That was our afternoon and evening. It is 10:30 and Mr. Bean and I just finished donning the rest of the house in holiday fare. Now to relax and enjoy the season!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm gonna do this.

Cashew has been asking for a red "sprinkle" dress ever since Filbert took the kids to see Toy Story 3. I got some clearance fabric a couple of months ago, but just haven't gotten around to getting started on this. Now I will.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pop-Pop Goes Home

Jack P. Edmundson, Sr.
August 13, 1920 - September 5, 2010

Very few men live a long life. Very few men live an honorable life. Pop Pop was one who did both. He had a testimony about the Lord's goodness he loved to share. His sums up his life with this verse: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

From the bombing at Pearl Harbor to meeting my grandmother and many adventures along the way, he testifies to how God worked together for good things that did not seem to be good at the time. Yet, his citizenship, his family, his medical bills, his distant relatives, and his retirement among other things were evidences of God's lavish love upon this man and his promise fulfilled to make "all things work together for good" because of my grandfather's love for the Lord.

I can rest assured that he is now rejoicing with the angels and worshiping God forever alongside his wife, Janet (Nonna to me). Pop Pop, we will miss you, but I know I'll be seeing you again.

Until then...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wiggly Circus

String Bean has been beside herself all week long waiting for today: the day we were to go to see the Wiggles in concert!

Upon arrival at the Rosemont Theater, Mr. Bean and I quickly figured out we had made a huge mistake by not bringing cash for parking. Seriously. Who runs a cash-only business in 2010?! So, after I made a quick dash over to the hotel nearby, we were able to park legally.

We managed to make it in time to check out the merchandise table briefly and take a photo or two before finding our seats and waiting for the show to begin.

Our family waiting for the show to begin.

Of course String Bean's favorite songs were done: Big Red Car, Do the Monkey, Music Box Dancer, Fruit Salad Yummy Yummy, Rock-A-Bye Your Bear, Shimmy Shake, and many others.

Someone is excited!

Jelly Bean was fixated on the glow from the stage and the crazy dancing that String Bean was doing at her seat.
Jelly Bean's reaction to the concert starting.

Anthony welcoming us to the show.

Toot, toot, chugga, chugga, big red car!

By the last couple of songs, String Bean had lost her steam from all the jumping and dancing so she curled up in Mr. Bean's lap and enjoyed the show with her thumb in her mouth.

Following the show, we took a bathroom break and then went back to the merchandise table where String Bean hemmed and hawed over her choices. She narrowed it down to a Wags the Dog hat or a Dorothy the Dinosaur Hat. When she realized the Dorothy hat was reversible and became a Sam Wiggle hat, that eventually won her over.

String Bean wearing the Dorothy/Sam hat in front of the Wiggles sign.

We posed for more pictures in the lobby and headed out toward our car. We had parked relatively close to the Wiggles' tour buses so our walk to the car took us past them. We noticed a small crowd of 30 or so parents and kids crowded nearby and found Jeff in the midst of the crowd! String Bean enjoyed meeting him and he signed one of the swag promo materials that were available for free at the merch table.

Shortly after signing our poster, Jeff hopped on his bike and went for a ride. We heard from someone in the crowd that Anthony had ridden off on his bike and avoided the crowd. Since the fans started to head toward their cars, we assumed Sam was already on the bus. (Murray was away on a "family commitment" and Ringo [who?] was filling in for him.)

We walked to our car, put the kids in their seats and went to drive out. We saw only one car exiting the same way we went and they had stopped a pedestrian and were talking to him through their car window.

We quickly realized it wasn't a pedestrian, but Anthony on his bike...carrying all his luggage. We asked him why he was carrying his luggage and he said, "Well, this was our last concert so we are going to the airport and...its a long story!" He was kind enough to sign our poster and pause for a photo before riding off into the sunset (aka-behind a nearby building where Jeff was riding his bike, too).

Anthony with all his luggage signing autographs for the people who flagged him down. Thanks, people in the black SUV!

Who knew Anthony had a tat?

String Bean was thrilled to have met 2 of the Wiggles! I suspect she will be talking about this for weeks and months to come.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fame in Philly

We travelled to Philadelphia this weekend to celebrate my grandfather's 90th birthday which happened to fall on Friday the 13th this year. He was born on Friday the 13th as was his wife, my aunt, one of his great great grandchildren, and me. (My father-in-law was also born on Friday the 13th.) My grandfather could have had an entire hour dedicated to his life story about how God has taken care of him over the years, but you'll catch just a brief glimpse of that here.

This is not my television debut in Philadelphia. My photo has been on the news twice before when the reporters covered the same story with a different angle. This is, however, my first interview on the news in Philadelphia!

Happy 90th Birthday, Pop-Pop! Proud to be one of the fellow Friday the 13th-ers in the family!

(Print version can be found here.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Getting Crafty with Whitney

My friend Whitney has a great blog, Elm Street Life, where I like to go often just to drool over the photographs she takes. Of course, it is a great way to keep up with what is going on in her life since she no longer lives nearby. I also enjoy watching her crafty things come to life with her helpful "how to" instructions.

I recently read this post and decided to try it out for myself during Jelly Bean and String Bean's naps. Here are the results!

String Bean shows off my very first attempt. This took me about 5 minutes total to do.

Since String Bean has a lot of hair, I tried this out with a larger barrette.
Worked GREAT!
She will likely be wearing both of these barrettes at the same time.

Yes, Jelly Bean's hair is long enough and thick enough that it needs a barrette, too!
I used the smallest bud I could find for her tiny head.

I did not have a glue gun like Whitney suggested, but I did have tacky glue. I'm hoping that does the trick. If not, I will probably be investing in a glue gun, soon. These little barrettes make great gifts and I know 3 little girls (all sisters) who probably need some barrettes for back-to-school!

And here are some bonus pictures of my girls which don't show off the barrettes very well; however, personalities are on display!

Jelly Bean cooing. 12 weeks old.
(And a great photo of the underside of the barrette.)

String Bean "smiling" for the camera while eating M&Ms,
her reward for peeing on the potty!
Age: 2 years 8 months

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cheesy Potatoes

My friend Denise gave me this recipe. I keep losing it and having her rewrite it for me, so I'm posting it here for my reference. You're lucky that you get it, too! I am enjoying what little was left over from last night's dinner as I type this:

Cheesy Potatoes

16 oz of sour cream
1 stick of butter, softened
1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups of cheese
32 oz of frozen hash browns, thawed

Combine sour cream, butter and soup in large bowl. When thoroughly mixed, stir in cheese. Add hash browns. Spread mixture in 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 for an hour or until cheese is bubbly.

(Can be made from frozen hash browns, just allow a longer cooking time.)

My family, and every potato-lovin' family I know, loves this!

Monday, June 28, 2010

What I'm Reading

Every year, like a good citizen of our fine town, I visit the public library and sign up for the summer reading club. (It has nothing to do with getting a free meal from Noodles and Company...Ok, it totally does.)

Here are the books I've read so far:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
The Gift Giving Handbook for the Inept Man by Timothy B. Schnabel (Funny to read from a woman's perspective, but has some good points in it.)
Manners by Kate Spade

I should mention that when I went to turn in my progress report after reading the Inept Man and Manners books, the librarian took one look at my two children and gave me a comment that said to me, "You clearly are lying because you have two children and there is no way you read two books in one week." I replied, "Yeah, spending 6 hours in the car does wonders for getting your reading list done." Yeah...she looked embarrassed.

Here are the ones that are on my nightstand (or piano bench that is next to our bed) waiting for me to read:
Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson (The first two chapters are good!)
Sarah's Key by Titiana de Rosnay (Haven't cracked the cover.)

If you have a book to suggest, post a comment!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Oh, Hello Baby!

These days I've been hanging out at the Oh Hello Baby! forums.

Check it out whether you're a new mom, a seasoned pro, thinking about having kids or looking to live vicariously through those who are. It is a small community right now, but several new moms who would love to connect with others like them or moms with all the answers to our commonly asked questions!