Monday, April 28, 2008

Let Them Eat (something that is not exactly) Cake!

My girls do not like cake. Or icing. None of it. If all three of the kids didn't look exactly alike (and like my MIL) I would swear the girls were switched a birth. Big Man LOVES cake, and chocolate - like any child of mine should! But I digress.

K's birthday was last Friday. For school we wanted to bring in a cake to celebrate. But K doesn't do cake. What to do? Her teacher suggested cupcakes. I questioned if she had ever met my picky daughter. So we made a rainbow jello "cake". It was so cool! Here is a picture of the one we made:
I know! Isn't it so cool? The best part was that the teacher's used it as a lesson on color spectrum. You see - you only make the blue, yellow and red layers. It makes the orange and green itself! So COOL! The kids all like it (even the ones who think K is weird for not eating cake).

Then for her party at our house the next day, we made an ice cream "cake". Again, this was a cake without cake. It was vanilla gummy bear "cake". People were weirdly impressed: guest - "wow! How did you do that?" me- "umm..I melted 2 cartons of vanilla ice cream and layered them with two packages of gummy bears." Here is a picture of it. Truly it is self-explanatory (it even has the bowl shape):

Seriously, I am still not sure how I ended up with children who won't eat cake- but at least we're having fun with it. Wonder what we will come up with for B's birthday in 2 months??!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

My CRAZY weekend

This weekend is going to be NUTS. Saturday morning we have12 kids showing up for K's birthday party. It is an Olympics theme - with torch ceremony (hold the protesters), athletic events, awards for all, and a closing ceremony. Then I run off to a surprise 40th birthday lunch for my best friend from high school. Saturday afternoon we have another birthday party for a friend at a park. Sunday morning I run a 5k with people from work. Then Sunday afternoon we have a BBQ at our house to celebrate with my great friends who are visiting from overseas.

Nevermind that next week will be INSANE at work. Wish me luck!

Where have the last 6 years gone??

My baby turns 6 today. How could this have happened? I so clearly remember being pregnant with her. Of course, its hard not to forget throwing up almost daily for 9 months. I routinely threw up in my garbage can at my desk at work, I once had to run from a speech I was giving to throw up, I threw up in the parking garage at work, and my favorite - throwing up in the passenger seat while driving (alone) on a bridge in rush hour traffic. Good times.

But seriously, I can't believe she is six. She is so amazing. She LOVES games - virtually all kinds of board games. She also likes dress up and make-believe play. She is really good at math - and is getting the idea of reading. She loves to sing (sadly, she inherited my dad's voice and sings much like he does - loudly and badly), and loves to swim. She is an excellent big sister. She is still a horrible eater, and sometimes I can see teenage angst already! But most of all she is my sweet baby girl and I love her to pieces. Happy Birthday, Sugar Pie!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Book Review : Pillars of the Earth

I recently finished reading the Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I have always like Follett - easy reads, simple mystery/thrillers. But this is totally different. It was recommended by Oprah - which surprised and scared me. Usually her stuff is either to literary or depressing for me. Given the sparse amount of time I have to read - I want to read something relatively easy reading (least I am interrupted 5 times with crying, whining, questions, and just plain old "mom, mom, mom") and uplifting.

This book was an easy read - easy, but not short. It is something like 975 pages. That is not a typo. But it was really good. Its basically about a family of cathedral builders. I really liked it. It takes place in the 12th century in England. Again, not something that sounds like something I would like - but I really enjoyed it.

So if you can handle the heft (I just barely finished it during the 3-week lending period at my library) - I highly recommend.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Crazy Entrance to the World

One of my bestest friends had her third baby last week. Her first two came quickly - but this one set a land/speed record. She actually had the baby in the waiting room of the hospital.....WHILE SHE WAS STILL WEARING HER PANTS!!!! I know..isn't that crazy? They were checking her into the hospital and she was telling them that she was pushing. The hospital staff were making her husband sign some forms, until he looked over and could see the baby in the leg of my friends sweat pants. So insane! Both she and the baby are fine now.

Now, believe it or not, this may not be the weirdest birth story amongst my friends. Another one was it the hospital, after having been induced and needed to go to the bathroom. When she goes to sit on the toilet, the baby comes out, and my friend passes out from the shock. Luckily a nurse heard her hit the floor and came in and got the baby and my friend - both of whom were fine.

My births were all vanilla. I was induced with my first (i had excess amniotic fluid that was scaring the doctors, but meant nothing), then had a c-section (failure to progress); I had a scheduled c-section with my second, and a c-section with my third (I went into labor the day before my scheduled c). Anyone else have a fun delivery to share?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's the Little Things

Sometimes its the little things I love about being a mom:

1) B, announcing as we arrive at the door of the birthday party she is going to, "Mommy, why don't I have any underwear on?"

2) Big Man, after performing a flip off my lap, standing up with big grin, arms extended saying "TA DA!"

3) Emptying out my purse at the office desperately trying to find my keys, to find instead 2 pairs of children's socks, a half-eaten lollipop, three pony-tail holders (not mine), a plastic bracelet, and the top of a sippy cup.

4) K, almost 6, still wanting to snuggle.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Its Like Recycling but with less hassle!

For this Works for me Wednesday, I will share one of my favorite guilty pleasures -- Freecycle. It is the best thing. If you have something you don't want anymore but could be used by someone else - don't haul it all the way to Goodwill or put it out for the trash - freecycle it! The way it works is - you sign up for your local freecycle listserve. Then people post stuff, and if you want it, you email them back. If you want to get rid of stuff, you post it, and they come to your house and get it! I've gotten some of the best stuff - a train table just before Christmas one year, a rooftop car carrier, lots of scrapbooking supplies, etc. I've also gotten rid of stuff quickly - baby stuff goes fast, but so do old air conditioners and left over corian countertops! You can even post "wanted" ads for something you are looking for.
That's what works for me! For more great ideas go to Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Technological Improvement???!!

I had a conference last weekend. When I showed up at the hotel (JW Marriott in DC) I was shocked to find that they had weird elevators. I know?!! How can elevators be weird? Get this - instead of the typical up/down buttons there was a keypad. You had to enter your floor, and then it would tell you which elevator was coming for you. You stood there, and when it arrived the doors open, and you get in. Ok, little strange, but whatever. But then, once you are in the elevator you see the total madness. THERE ARE NO BUTTONS!!!! No buttons to push your floor. Seriously. The elevator just takes you there.

Apparently, this is supposed to be a more efficient elevator routing system. By knowing in advance where the people want to go, the computer can most efficiently route the elevators to the right people.

I get the idea, but still. TOO WEIRD FOR ME. Seriously. I mean there are some things that are basic in this world. Getting on an elevator and pushing the buttons is one of them. What will these crazy youngsters think of next??!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Play By The Rules

So last week 2 of the kids were sick. On Sunday, B wasn't feeling well. So DH stayed home with her on Monday. She was still sick (really just a come and go fever and some general malaise), so I stayed home with her on Tuesday. Then around 1pm the school called to say K had a fever, so we went and got her. Thankfully, Nana came and stayed with the two of them on Wednesday, and K on Thursday (B went back to school). (Have I mentioned how much I adore my MIL recently??!! She is the BEST!) On Friday DH and I split the day.

Anyway, Thursday K seemed quite a bit more chipper (we figured she'd go to school on Fri til she woke up at dawn with a fever again - argh), and wanted to play lots of games with Nana.

Now, mind you, while she does know quite a few board games (and LOVES them), she often has her own variations on the rules (which can change through the course of the game). On this day she was also into making up her own games. After teaching Nana the rules, they were happily playing. At some point it seemed like Nana would win. K turned to her an explained that "kids should really be the ones to win because if they don't they might get sad and whiny". Nice! I guess if we haven't yet taught them to be good losers, I guess we have taught them to know what they want!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Support Our Troops

Back in 1944 when the GI bill was passed, it laid out a list of benefits our veterans would receive as part of their compensation for service to our country. Included was free education. Under that bill millions of returning soldiers were able to get a free education. Today the GI bill provides a MAXIMUM of $9,600 a year for higher education. Last year I paid more than that for childcare for each of my kids. And they didn't need books or the like. The benefits provided for WWII vets under the GI bill were fantastic and certainly well deserved. And the returns to the economy and American families were great.

Senator James Webb (D-VA) has introduced a bill to cover the full cost of college education for veterans. But the DoD has opposed the bill. They argue that increasing education benefits will hurt retention (presumably because once they have qualified, these men and women would leave the military to go to college).

The bill S. 22, has 50 cosponsors - both Republicans and Democrats - many of whom used the GI bill to get their education. The bill is estimated to cost $2 billion. Yes, that is alot of money. But seriously, its like what, a week or so in Iraq? Its truly a shame that we can't get our lawmakers to move a bill like this - that will have a great impact on many American families - and our veterans who deserve no less. 50 cosponsors is HUGE in the Senate. Yet the bill is not moving at all. Shame shame shame

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My little princess or a truck driver?

So my 3.5 year-old GIRL burps like a 8 year-old boy. Seriously. She burbs often and very loudly. She (almost) always says, "Excuse me", but also find it hysterically funny. We try to not react when she does it, except to remind her to say excuse me if she forgets. But she always has something to say about it. "Momma, did you hear me burp?" or "Wow..that was as loud as daddy". I have been trying to figure out what to do about it.

I finally said to her, "honey, girls don't really burp out loud like that - girls are more polite". I was torn when telling her this because I don't want her to think there are things boys can do (or get away with) that girls can't. On the other hand, I don't want her to keep burping like a drunken sailor.


Friday, April 4, 2008

If you have a chance....

If you are having an emotional week, then don't go here. But this little girl needs our prayers.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

And now for some more about ME

Justice Fergie tagged me with this meme, so here we go.


A. Post the rules at the beginning.

B. Answer the questions about yourself.

C. Tag 5 people and let them know in a comment on their blogs that they have been tagged.

What Was I Doing 10 Years Ago?

Hmm…I was already married, but no kids yet. I was a new homeowner. We built a deck for our new house. We bought a hot tub. I was awarded my Master’s degree.

Snacks I Enjoy:

chocolate chocolate chocolate. Easter recently reminded me I like jelly beans too

Five Things on my To-Do List Today:

(1) work with girls to clean their room

(2) pay for extended daycare (only a few days late)

(3) finalize taxes with financial advisor

(4) get car inspected (only 3 days and one ticket late)

(5) lots and lots and lots of work projects

Things I Would Do if I Became a Billionaire:

Buy a house at a lake or beach
Buy my mother in law her dream car
Consider getting my dad a condo near us
Get a personal trainer
Redo my kitchen immediately
Landscape my yard and hire a gardener
Travel travel travel

Three Bad Habits:

(1) biting/peeling my nails

(2) overeating

(3) trying to do too many things at one time

Five Places I Have Lived:

1. Boston, MA (for about 2 months when I was first born)
2. Stoughton, MA
3. Washington, DC
4. Arlington, VA
5. Seriously, those are all the places I ever lived.

Jobs I Have Had:

1. papergirl
2. bartender
3. video camera operator
4. aide for Member of Congress
5. lobbyist

Things People Don't Know About Me:

I would LOVE to win the Pillsbury Bake off (but have yet to ever enter).


For this meme, I would like to tag Julie at Abbily Ever After, the Happy Working Mom, Amy at A Family Story (although she may have already done this one), Edie at The Cagle Clan, and Sabrina at Will Blog for Pixie Dust (who still owes me Disney tips!). If you want to participate - go for it, if you don't - that's cool too!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A rose by any other name...

So the other day there was an article in Newsweek that commented on the fact that Barack Obama is always referred to as a "black man with a white mother" and never a "white man with a black father". It was just a sidebar in the article, and certainly one can argue that he is considered "black" because he has a darker skin tone then say, I do. But either way, it certainly made me think about how we label people.

I have always been annoyed with the term "working mother". I use it a lot (its even in my blog title) because it's part of our vernacular. But I don't like it. Even aside from the whole issue that it presumes moms who are at home aren't working, it actual bothers me more for another reason. Have you ever heard of a "working father"?!?! Nope. Nobody every says that. And why not? Shouldn't working fathers have the same anxiety, stress, angst, stigma, status, etc. of working moms? Why are men just men and women are categorized based on their status as a caregiver? My husband (who happens to be very involved in our children's care) is just a guy with a job. I am a "working mother". That is so annoying.

We make lots of excuses about why women are always assumed to be the primary caregiver of our children -- its traditional, its instinctual, etc. But I am starting to wonder if these are maybe just excuses. Excuses that stop men (not you, honey) from taking equal responsibility in the raising of their children. Who says men don't have the same instinctual nature to rear their young that women do? History and tradition aren't good enough. I think ALL women need to expect more from men. Expect them to want to partner in raising their kids. Expect them to take equal responsibility for taking care of them when they are sick, playing with them when they are happy, consoling them when they are sad, teaching them how to be good people, and disciplining them when they misbehave.

I think there are men who do this. We all need to expect the rest of them to want the same.

I will get off my soapbox now.