Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Meal

 Recently, Ella experienced a rite of passage...her first Happy Meal from McDonalds.  Just to reassure those of you who are cringing, please be assured that we almost never eat fast food.  In fact, this is probably the first time I've been to a fast food joint this year. 

But I digress.

We went through the drive through and got her a chicken nugget meal with apple slices. 

I cut her nuggets up so that they would cool off enough to eat.

and I spread out her apple slices...notice the little bites in them...

...but of course, all she was interested in was the toy!


At this point, I was thinking about how much healthier these happy meals were than the ones that I ate as a kid.  Apple slices instead of french fries?  Awesome! 

And then, right when I was about to throw away the bag, I noticed something.

What is that?

Caramel Dip?  Seriously?  NOT COOL.  What's the point of feeding your kid apples if they're covered in sugar?

Oh well.  I guess that's why they're called Happy Meals instead of Healthy Meals.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Working Questions...

I read this recently on my friend Dara Lynn's blog "The Space Between" and I felt that it was too good not to re-post.  Guaranteed to get a laugh!

Stay-At-Home vs. Working Parents
Questions to help spouses bridge the communication gap
By Heather Rigby | May 19, 2011

When you decide to become a stay-at-home parent, you enter into a different realm — one ruled by illogical two-year-old dictators, school schedules, and choosing the correct color yogurt. As much as I can explain this to my husband, I don’t know that I’m getting through. Now I’ve done the next best thing: creating a list of questions that will help him and other office-bound parents gauge how (cough, cough) similar their days are to ours.

1.When you walked into work this morning and pleasantly greeted your co-worker Jim, was his first reaction to scream “NO! WANT JASON!" followed by an office supply being thrown at you?

2.Has a colleague ever climbed up on your lap while you were using your computer and slammed the keyboard with both fists until the up arrow no longer worked?

3.Do you have to lock yourself in the supply closet or bathroom on a regular basis in order to make phone calls?

4.Did you finish a complete thought at any time during the day?

5.When you went out to lunch with your fellow workers, did you have to pack a diaper/juice/extra outfit for them? Did you have to wipe their faces? Smile an apology and leave an extra tip for the waiter on their behalf?

6.When a co-worker needed you for something, did she sit at her desk with her head tilted back toward the ceiling and repeatedly scream “SEAN! SEEEEANNNN! SEAAAAAAN!” until you came to find him?

7.When you needed a specific colleague, did you search all over for him, only to finally find him giggling in the cabinet under the sink? Did you also find six pairs of your church shoes under there with him?

8.Have you had to come to an associate’s aid because she fell off her desk after trying to climb on top of it using a rolling chair?

9.When you reached for the report a co-worker was handing you, did he snatch them away at the last second and scream “MINE!” while shoving you backwards?

10.Does your colleague lift up her shirt and pick things out of her belly button every time she comes over to ask a question?

11.While you are using the restroom, do various co-workers come in the stall and ask you to settle a disagreement or open a packet of fruit snacks?

12.During a board meeting when everyone is present, do you notice a smell and then have to check all your colleagues’ pants to locate it? In fact, at ANY point in your day do you have to deal with another person's feces?

If the answer to most of these questions is no, it’s a safe bet to assume you’re in an office. That said, if your answer to most of these questions is yes, and you know you’re in an office, it’s safe to assume you might need a new job.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Our yard is starting to look nice for the summer.  Hostas, impatiens, and hydrangeas in the front...


climbing Don Juan roses...

clematis climbing by the back gate...

not sure what these are, because we didn't plant them, but they're pretty...

pink climbing roses...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rainy Day Thoughts

So I'm the only person awake in our house right now.  Ella is upstairs asleep in the crib, James is asleep on one end of the couch, and Max is snoring on the other end of the couch.  I'd love to nod off myself, but I know that the moment I do, the baby will wake up, so I'm going to fight the urge.

Why is everyone in dreamland? 

I'm not completely sure, but there are several possible reasons:
1) We've had a virus going around our house, so we are all worn out and not feeling our best.
2)  It's one of those weird, cold, rainy, misty, dark, stay-in-the-house-and-sleep days that you only seem to get in St. Louis during the month of May.  Did I mention that it's the month of MAY right now?  Because I think the weather might think it's actually early March...
3)  We've been staying up too late instead of going to bed early because we've had a lot going on, so we're sleepy anyway. 
4)  We got up and did errands today, and it's tiring to haul around a baby, a carseat, a diaper bag, food, and whatever stuff you bought at the store.

So, I'm sure one of those is the reason that everyone else is asleep.  Or maybe all of them.  Or maybe 3/4 of them.  Who knows?  

Monday, May 09, 2011

On the Market

Well, we finally listed our house on the market!  Here's the listing, if you want to check it out...

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Response to Bin Laden's Death

Over the last couple of days, I've heard a lot of responses to Bin Laden's death.  Here's a sampling....

1)  Good Riddance - wish we'd gotten him a long time ago!

2)  They shouldn't have shot him, because that was murder...they should have brought him in for a fair trial.  (This one is mostly from lawyers that I know.  Not sure they care about justice so much...but I know they like to showcase the legal system...)

3)  It's wrong to rejoice over anyone's death, even an enemy who wronged you.  (This one is usually followed by a quote from Martin Luther King.)

So how do I feel?

Well, I am not dancing on his grave, but I am glad he's dead.  There are two reasons for that...

First, because I feel like it makes the world a little bit safer for my family.  Osama Bin Laden made it very clear that as long as he lived, he would dedicate his life to slaughtering the innocent who disagreed with his religious views.  He also ordered his men to shoot him if it looked like he would be captured alive, so that was not going to happen.  Therefore, the only way to stop him was to take him out.  So we did. 

Second, I believe in justice, and that's what OBL got.  The Bible allows those in authority to take an eye for an eye in order to prevent reprisals that were out of proportion to necessary punishment for wrongdoing.  Do we all get justice?  No, thank God.  We are shown mercy, and he withholds the punishment that we deserve.  I am so thankful that I don't always get what I deserve for my sins.  However, sometimes God chooses to extend his hand of justice in defense of the innocent, and I truly believe that is what happened here.  You may disagree, and I respect that.  But this is what I believe. 

So how do I feel?  I feel happy because I feel a little safer.  I feel sad because a man went to hell.  But most of all, I feel like the decision was in the hands of an Almighty God.  And I won't question it.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Planting Tomatoes

Every spring, we plant tomatoes that we can use in the fall for spaghetti sauce, marinara sauce, and things like that....YUM!  I usually try to get the plants into the ground by the first of May, so yesterday, we set to work.  First, my trusty assistant and I picked a good spot and decided how to organize them....

 Then, we got down to business digging holes.

I like to mix lots of good soil into the hole before putting in the plant.  My preference is MiracleGro, but there are lots of other good brands out there.  The organic stuff is okay, too, but the plants won't grow as well.

My lovely helper decided to rearrange the pots while I dug the holes...

When you're ready to put the tomatoes in the holes, you need to pick off the bottom leaves and branches.  I know this seems strange, but here's why:  You know how tomato plants have really "hairy" stems?  Well, if you bury those stems, they will shoot roots out into the soil.  Since tomatoes don't usually have very deep root systems, you need to give them all the help they can get. 

So, you pick off the branches from the bottom two-thirds of the plant, and then you bury the plant up to the point where you stopped taking off the branches. 

You might find a new friend in the process, by the way.  This is an earthworm named Larry. 

I put him into the hole, because earthworms are great for the soil.  Their casings help to make the soil healthier for plants, and the holes that they dig aerate it.

I love to use these tomato cages that I bought from the Burpee company.  They've lasted me 6 years now, and they're still in great condition.  Also, you can attach extenders to them when the plants get too tall for them.

If you can't get those cages, here are the old school round cages from the hardware store.  They work, too, but the plant will eventually outgrow them.

So that's how we do it around here!  Of course, we still need to mulch, but we ran out of that, so it looks like I'm headed back to the store...