Saturday, January 31, 2009

Terrarium Watch 2009 - January

For Christmas, Vicki made terrariums for everyone. (Mine - the giant glass pear - was totally the best one.) It looks perfect sitting on the kitchen table.

However, no one - including me - thinks I can keep this thing alive. I have a notoriously black thumb... I have killed SO many plants. I do have one plant on the kitchen counter that's lived since my first college apartment, but I think that thing must be magic, and - poor thing - it has had to fight back from death so many times. Everything else I've tried - dead meat.

(**Wait, one second here... I did keep the pineapple plants alive for 6 years: 1999-2004. Saunders sent me two pineapples from Hawaii in the summer of 1999, and I cut off the tops and planted them. They got huge! They lived in my apartment, my parents' house, and our first house, but they got gnats in the soil in summer of 2004. I didn't know what to do about it, and Saunders couldn't stand the little fruit fly-type gnats flying around the pots, so he threw them out in the backyard one day without telling me. I cried when I saw them because I'd worked so hard to take care of them, but I have to admit the gnats were getting on my nerves, too. But, I don't think that technically counts as me letting those die.)

So, I've been REALLY trying to keep this terrarium alive... A) because I like it, B) because I don't want Vicki to think I neglected it to the point of letting all her hard work die, and C) it is a challenge! I've made sure it gets sunlight (almost) every day and watered it infrequently, as per instructions.

It has made it through one month of living with me! Hooray! I'm going to do a "Terrarium Watch" on the blog to help keep me accountable. Every last day of the month, I'll post a picture of the terrarium so you all can see how it is doing. Hopefully, you'll see a pretty green fern in the terrarium each month. If you ever see an empty glass pear, you'll know the mission failed!

Cheap, Quick, & Easy...

And no, I'm not describing myself - I'm describing my dinner!

Tonight, I made a quick Asian dinner that Katie Anne just loved, and I thought some of you moms of little people might want to try it. It was totally quick and easy, and best of all - it was super-cheap and we've got lots of leftovers! I just made it up as I went, but this is what I did...

1 chicken breast
2 packages Chicken Ramen Noodles
Chopped onion, celery, and green peppers
Soy sauce
Vegetable oil

1. I cut up the chicken breast and started sauteing it in just a little veg oil in a nonstick pan. After a few minutes, I added chopped veggies... I just bought a bag of pre-chopped onion, celery, and green peppers already mixed together, so this was SO simple.
2. Cook ramen noodles in boiling water (do add seasoning pack to water) for 2 minutes.
3. Add ramen noodles to chicken saute once chicken is lightly browned/cooked through.
4. Add lots of soy sauce and saute for a few minutes to marry flavors.
5. Serve to little people! (I did cut up noodles smaller for KA.)

We had this with a side of Asian steamed vegetables (PictSweet brand Asian veggies are so good... I like their Asian version better than the SteamFresh one. So that took all of 6 minutes in the microwave!) and mandarin oranges - KA's favorite! A picture would make this post a lot better, but I didn't think about it until it was too late.

This meal literally took 15 minutes to get on the table, and Katie Anne and Saunders thought it was a gourmet Asian dinner. They both had seconds! :) I'm estimating the cost of this meal at $7.63...

Here's the breakdown:
Chicken breast: $1.75 ($5.25 for 3 pack)
Ramen: $0.20 (can't beat that!)
Veggies: $1.99 (and I still have 2/3 of bag left, so I shouldn't count that whole amount)
Soy Sauce: already had it
PictSweet Veggies: $2.89
Mandarin oranges: $0.80 (we buy these at Costco)

That's only $1.53 per person (I divided by 5 because we've got two helpings of chicken stir fry and veggies in the fridge)!
You cannot beat that with a stick.

Friday, January 30, 2009

100 Day Celebration!

Katie Anne wore her special shirt and partied with her friends to celebrate 100 Days of School today. Here's a Smilebox of all the fun.

Click to play 100th Day
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Middle Child

Here's a sob story with a happy ending...

Ginger is having a ton of fun now that Katie Anne rescued all her toys from the basement. Last summer, right after KA started walking, we had to put all of Ginger's toys in the basement because Katie Anne kept getting them out and putting them in her mouth. Well, we kind of forgot about them, so Ginger's been toyless for a while. (That might explain the crayon eating incident of a few weeks ago.)

Then, about two weeks ago, Katie Anne found the toy basket in the basement and brought all Ginger's goodies back upstairs. Now, Ginger is loving life and playing with all her things! She loves for Katie Anne to throw stuff for her to fetch... I've GOT to get a video of Ginger playing "soccer". I'll try to do that this weekend... it is just too hilarious.

For now, here's a video of Ginger playing fetch and tug-a-war with her rope with me. Just FYI- all the growling you hear in the video is me growling at Ginger, not the other way around. Ginger is too sweet to growl... me, not so much. :) She was tired when I thought to make this video- we'd been playing for about 30 minutes at this point.

We're on a First Name Basis

Katie Anne has always liked playing with my work name tag, and about two weeks ago, she asked me what it said. So, I showed her where it says, "Katie Jones - Teacher". She said, "No- Mommy!" and pointed to my picture... I quickly got the point that she thought the name tag should say Mommy instead of Katie Jones. So, I told her about Katie Jones being my real name. For a few days, she liked pointing to it and saying, "Katie Jones - Teacha!"

Then, a few days later, I told her that her last name was Jones, too. So, she got onto a real kick of saying "Katie Anne Jooooooonnnnnnnneeeesssss!" Now, she calls herself Katie Anne Jones a lot.

A few days later, she got interested in other people's first names. So, we went over other people's first names, and she picked up on them pretty quickly. Now, she knows the first name of both parents and all her grandparents - much to Saunders's chagrin. He prefers to be called Daddy! One funny thing was when she started asking what Greg, Jillian, Carlton, and Trisha's real names were... she totally does not get that those are their real names.

Here's a little video that I made today of her saying some first names.

100th Day of School, Round 2

Tomorrow is Katie Anne's official 100th day of school. (The daycare's official "first day" was like August 20th or something, so they're a little behind my school.) The kids are having a little party tomorrow at 2:30, and Katie Anne is supplying cookies (sugar and chocolate chip, courtesy of Kroger... love cookies from Kroger), pineapple tidbits, and plates (she picked Arthur plates). Of course there's a family project involved, too!

She's supposed to wear a t-shirt decorated with 100 things. After seeing some of my kids' 100th Day shirts from a few weeks ago, I had a lot of good ideas... buttons, wiggle eyes, BeDazzler style jewels (and no, I do not own a BeDazzler- that's one craft I never tried). But, after brainstorming with my mom over the phone as I strolled the aisles of Hobby Lobby earlier this week, I rejected those ideas. Here are my reasons.

A) Those things could be choking hazards. I don't think KA would necessarily pick them off - she's pretty good about that stuff - but I can't speak for her playmates.
B) Even if I did sew things on really securely, that would really take a long time, and I was starting this project on Monday.
C) 100 novelty buttons are expensive as all get out... like $1.99 for 5. I did not want this one-time-use shirt costing almost $100 itself.
D) She'd have to lay down on whatever the items are to take a nap, and that would poke her.

So, I just decided to take the easy way out and draw 100 things on her shirt with fabric markers. I tried to do hearts, but the fabric markers are not that precise, so they wound up looking like circles or weird, misshapen ovals. So, I added balloon strings and bows and the little balloon "shine" on the side (does anyone know what I mean by that?) and made them balloons! I added her name and "100 Days!" with iron on letters, too. Here's how the project turned out...

Of course, I'll take pictures of her tomorrow in her shirt and at her party... more to come!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Dance Machine

Here are two little videos of Katie Anne the Dance Machine. (Just much easier to use a Smilebox than to wait on the dreadfully slow You Tube upload tonight.) In the first, she's doing the Happy Dance with Elmo at my parents' house this weekend. In the second, she's doing "I Like to Move It Move It" from Madagascar at Saunders's parents' house last weekend! What a dancer!

(FYI- it does take a few seconds for each video to load!)

Click to play Dance Machine
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Uncle Greg's Birthday Lunch

Today, we celebrated Greg's 24th Birthday with lunch at my parents' house. Everyone had a great time hanging out together and eating the delicious lunch... I think I ate my weight in deer tenderloin! I love that stuff. Greg got three new ties from us, homemade cookies from Katie Anne, and birthday money from my parents. Katie Anne showed us how to do the "Happy Dance"... I'll post a video of that later. Here's a Smilebox of pictures from today.

Click to play Greg's Birthday
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Making Cookies for Uncle Greg

On Friday, my brother Greg turned 24. We were going to celebrate at my parent's house yesterday for dinner, but Greg wasn't feeling well, so we are getting together for lunch today. This morning, Katie Anne made Uncle Greg some cookies as one of his presents. She loves decorating cookies, and she did a great job! Here's a Smilebox of our baking adventures.

Click to play Greg's Cookies
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stylin' in Stanford

Katie Anne is stylish in her Stanford sweatsuit that Doc brought her back from band camp in California. She wore it to "work out" (aka ride in the backpack while Mommy trudged up and down the hills of the neighborhood walking the dogs) and had a great time! Go Cardinals Go!

PS- There are a lot more really cute pictures of her with a big grin on her face in this sweatsuit, but unfortunately she's clinging to Saunders's leg in them. There's nothing wrong with her clinging to her Daddy's leg of course... except that he was changing clothes after just arriving home from work, so he's in his boxer briefs and a dress shirt - and he specifically forbid me to post them. :)

Flower Power

Last week, when we were getting ready to go to Greg and Jillian's house with Gigi and Mamaw, Katie Anne decided to accessorize with her flower hat from Carrie Beth's store Hip Chicks and a pair of pink sunglasses. She looked beyond fabulous... and a little Elton John-like.

These are not the droids you're looking for...

"These are not the droids you're looking for ... you will not need to see their identification ..."

Actually, Katie Anne is not channeling Obi-Wan Kenobi here. She's playing a little game she loves to call "Little Queen".

Wondering how to play Little Queen?
Step 1:
Have a parent drape a blanket or towel over your head. This is your royal robe. The preferred royal robe is green fleece (see photo), but pink fleece will also work in an emergency.
Step 2:
Walk very slowly around so as not to lose your royal robe.
Step 3:
It is preferred for the little queen to be silent, but grunts can be uttered. Speaking while dressed in your royal robe is, for some unknown reason, not permitted.
Step 4:
If you must be carried while in your royal garb, you must be carried as if you are in a chair... facing out, with your legs bent as if you're sitting. Put your back against your servant's belly, and do not turn around or make eye contact with them. One arm of the servant carrying you should be placed under your legs to support you... the little queen does not support her own weight. Under no circumstances should your servant (aka parent) muss the royal robe while carrying you.
Step 5:
If your robe should happen to slip off, little queens do not ask nicely for said robe to be replaced. Little queens squeal, "Lil' Queen! Lil' Queen!" repeatedly as loudly as possible until a servant (aka parent) rushes over to re-shroud you. Then, you may commence the game. Under no circumstances should you attempt to replace your own royal robe... do not stoop to that level.
Step 6:
Periodically during your reign as Little Queen, gesture and grunt (remember, speaking is not permitted) that you would like to look at yourself in the mirror in the guest bathroom - ONLY the guest bathroom. When you see yourself in your radiant loveliness, only then are you allowed to break your vow of silence and seriousness to smile and giggle. If your servant wants to smile and laugh with you, you may permit this (or not) based on your mood. If you do not want your servant bearer laughing with you, you may utter two words - "You hush." (Warning - this may lead to a not-so-royal spanking... a silent glare might be a better weapon.) As soon as the viewing is over, return to your stoic, slow-moving royal self.
Step 7:
Royal game playing continues until the little queen gets bored (usually about 5 minutes) or bedtime, whichever comes first.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Video Killed the Radio Star

Katie Anne has gotten into this phase where she loves making and watching videos of herself. Lately, anytime that I'm trying to make pictures of her, she'll say, "No, Mommy- make show." She loves to watch herself on the laptop and just crack up laughing. So, here's some evidence of her finding herself hilarious.

First, watch the "show" where she gets a kiss from Abby...

Then, watch the show of her watching the show and loving it!

In the words of her momma, Katie Anne says, "I love myself!"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Two Heads are Better Than One

There's a New Sheriff in town...

and Katie Anne would like to tell you the new sheriff's name:

Regardless of your politics, today's inauguration was one for the history books. I watched the whole event live with my students, who were mostly interested in why the youngest Obama girl was wearing orange. (They thought red would've been a better choice... what fashion critics.) I thought his speech was very eloquent... I heard he wrote it himself. If that's true, he did a good job.

I am always impressed by events like these... the pomp and ceremony is really something to watch. Seeing the first African-American President take office is one of those "Where were you when..." moments. Also, it is such an incredible thing that today marks the 44th time power has peacefully changed hands between Commanders in Chief in America. As you watch events unfold in other parts of the world and see the blood shed as leaders vie for position, you can't deny that it is wonderful thing we've got going.

I didn't vote for Obama, but I respect the President regardless of whether I voted for him or not. I don't agree with all of his ideas, but I hope he's able to make good on some of the promises he's made that would be good for this country. I wish him all the luck in the world; I hope he leaves the country better than he found it; and I hope we're in a lot better position in four years than we are today.

Farewell, GWB

Farewell, George W... we hardly knew ye. Actually, we did know you pretty well, and I don't know that any of us, including you, enjoyed it. Except for maybe the media- I think they enjoyed it a lot.

Now, don't get me wrong- I did vote for George Bush the first time (not the second... I voted Libertarian). I do think he's a nice guy at heart, and we agree on some major points. However, he's made some crazy decisions, and goodness gracious - the man makes some serious flubs when he speaks in public. And, since that's kind of a big part of being the Leader of the Free World, he's made those mistakes in front of a lot of people... and a lot of cameras!

So, in honor of GW's last half-day as President, here are my top five favorite George W. Bush "misunderestimated" quotes.

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." - September 2000 explaining his energy policies at an event in Michigan

"Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?" - January 2000 during a campaign event in South Carolina

"There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know its in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again." - September 17, 2002 in Nashville, TN

"Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB/GYN's aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." - Sept. 6, 2004 at a rally in Poplar Bluff, MO

"The fact that they purchased the machine means somebody had to make the machine. And when somebody makes a machine, it means there's jobs at the machine-making place." - May 27, 2008 in Mesa, AZ

And, to finish it off, here's a link to my ultimate favorite JibJab video of all time... This Land, the election video from the campaign of 2004. I know it is old, and it is about John Kerry and George W, but it is still HILARIOUS. I still catch myself singing lines from this one all the time. (There is some not-so-nice language here, so don't necessarily watch this one with the kids.)

"From the liberal wieners to the right wing nutjobs, this land belongs to you and me!"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

One Minute Poetry

Today's prompt is to write a rhyming poem in one minute...

I know a girl named Katie Anne,
And she is as cute as could be.
She likes little oranges out of a can,
And eats big bowls of broccoli.

Bon Qui Qui Revisted

If you've never seen the Bon Qui Qui video, you should watch it. It's totally hilarious, and there are definitely some high-quality eating establishments right here in good old Bartow where you can find that top-notch brand of service.

I'd seen the video a few months ago, and Saunders and I love to say, "DO you see me in the middle of a con-vo-sation? Don't interrupt - rude." Well, my brother Greg posted the video on his blog yesterday, and we checked it out this morning... this was Katie Anne's first time to see it, and she thought it was hilarious! She especially loved the dancing at the end (which, I know, is not something she should be emulating at this point), and she totally busted out her own little version. It was SO funny!

So, watch the real thing first, then watch this video of Katie Anne inspired by Bon Qui Qui.

The Case of the Vanishing Rabbit

Watch the latest installment of Katie Anne, Animal Detective. Today, while trying to film a segment on kool aid trickery, our super sleuth discovers a mysterious vanishing rabbit hidden under the coffee table. How to tell her mother that adults cannot see the sneaky rabbit? The world may never know...

Actually,what I think really happened was that she said, "Gwab it," referring to the milk bottle. I thought she said rabbit, and we all know the power of suggestion... then she thought there just might be a rabbit under there. The funniest thing is that she keeps laying down on the floor today, looking under the coffee table, and saying, "Wabbit? Where are you?" and "Wabbit- come on!" You can hear her say "Wabbit- come on!" one time in the video.

The Kool Aid Trick

Yesterday, I got to leave work at 2:45 (woohoo!). So, Katie Anne and I got lots of play time in the afternoon before we started dinner at 5:15. We were playing with her baby dolls and taking care of them, and she decided to give one of her dolls a drink of "kool aid". The bottle is one of those that looks like its draining as you use it. She's had these type of bottles for months, but she just realized that it did that yesterday. She was mesmerized! Katie Anne kept turning it over and over and over for a long time. I wish I could've gotten the moment she realized what was happening on video- her mouth literally fell open.

She was very into making "shows" aka videos yesterday, so she wanted to make a show of the kool aid trick. She loves to watch herself on film - who can blame her?

(You can stop watching the video after about 0:35... all she does is try to drink the Kool Aid after that.) :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

100th Day!

Today was the 100th Day of School!!! In fourth grade, I don't think I ever noticed that it was the 100th day of school unless it was a r-e-a-l-l-y bad year and I was already doing a summer countdown at this point. Reaching 100 days isn't a big deal in upper elementary, which probably explains why I was totally unprepared when everyone started planning activities for celebrating on Friday. I quickly got with the program (we're learning about place value, duh) and thought up/borrowed some fun ideas.

We had such a fun day! The kids all wore outfits with 100 things stuck to them... 100 wiggle eyes, Post it Flags, stickers, and gummy Life Savers were some of the best. I numbered Hershey's Kisses with the numbers 1-100 and hid them around the room, and we had a scavenger hunt to gather them all and count them. We made necklaces out of 100 Fruit Loops, wrote 100 Words we knew how to spell, and were totally quiet for 100 seconds (one of my favorite parts!) We did 100 exercises - fun!

My kids love to pack behind my desk and take pictures with Photo Booth. This was our first attempt, which they were not happy with.

They wanted me to get out of my chair and try again, so we did. Here's the retake, which made them much happier... and you can see their necklaces.

We had such a fun time celebrating 100 days!
Today was one of those days that I just really love teaching first grade!

**I forgot my camera, so I made these pictures with Photo Booth on my work computer, which explains their questionable quality.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

365 in 2009

After totally stealing this idea from Jennifer's blog, I've started a 365 in 2009 slideshow on my blog. I'm attempting to take and post 365 pictures (one per day) to my slideshow this year.

This shouldn't be too hard, since I took ... and I'm almost - almost - embarrassed to type this number ... 7,315 pictures in 2008. Yes, you read that right... seven thousand, three hundred fifteen pictures in one year. (I know this because I just right clicked and looked at the properties of my 2008 Pictures folder... I do not keep track of it!) That averages out to 20 pictures a day! So, one per day shouldn't put an intense strain on me - haha!

I am going to try to stretch myself and take some more unusual pictures this year. Of course, I'm sure I'll still take (literally) thousands and thousands of Katie Anne, but I want to try my hand at some more "artistic" shots this year. So, keep an eye out for those!

One other thing... in adding a picture a day for 2009 so far, I've realized my daughter wears a lot of pink!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Laughing Out Loud

Today's prompt on One Minute Writer...

What is the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

Okay, I laugh a lot. Actually, I think the last thing I laughed out loud at was Katie Anne's running into the bathroom tonight and demanding to sit with Saunders while he used the bathroom. Hilarious because it happens to me ALL the time, and it was nice to see him get his turn! She also wanted to help by cutting the fan off and on, and that just added to my joy.

But, this little story below has to be the absolute funniest thing I've seen in the last few days. This is kind of cheating because I'm copying and pasting from an email I sent about this hilarious-ness, so I didn't write ALL of this post in one minute...

The kids had to read a very short story about a boy named Jay who visits his friend Jerry on a test on Friday. There are no tigers, dogs, or tanks in the story.

What did Jay ride to visit his friend? (correct answer - train)

Funny Answers, typed exactly as they were written:
* he rode a dog.
* He rides a tank wit de big ol guns.
* a tiger
* yes
* JaytakeatriptoseeJerryheliveinatownhehasfun (no spaces)

But the best one by far...
* he rode Jerry

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Blog in a Nutshell

Through Sharon's blog, I saw a cool thing called Wordle. In Wordle, you put the url of your blog, and it will bring up a "word picture" of your blog. I thought this was SO NEAT! Some of the words are totally random, like copy or take or every. But, I did love it that the big words were our names and things like love, family, pictures (duh), and balance, work, play! I think this Wordle overall is a perfect little "picture" of what's important on my blog. Here's my Wordle for this blog... click on the little picture to bring it up larger.
Wordle: Blog Wordle

I will admit I used one cheat... I removed the word "Sven" from my Wordle. It was DOMINATING the whole thing! I don't know why... I guess because it has so many comments on my blog right now or something?

Follow up- I just redid my Wordle to show Saunders, and it must have something to do with what you've posted recently, because "microwave" now dominates my Wordle! :)

Now We're Cookin!

On Sunday, Christmas came a little bit late... we got our new microwave! Saunders and I did not exchange gifts this year- just stockings. Instead, we agreed to get each other a new microwave. Our microwave was the only pre-renovation appliance left in our house, and it was a little funky... stains that wouldn't come clean regardless of cleaning products applied, light underneath didn't work, vent for stove didn't work, and it had been dying a slow death until about August, when it officially went kaput.

So, we grabbed the dorm/college apartment/classroom little microwave that my mom bought used ten years ago... a hard working little appliance, but let me stress - little. That little guy's been taking up room on the counter top all fall and barely being able to heat up frozen veggies... you had to double whatever time the directions called for when microwaving things. So, this has not been a want - this is a need!

Well, things got busy and we didn't get it bought before Christmas. But, it is a good thing we didn't, because we were able to use some store credit we got during the holidays at Best Buy AND we got a great post-New Year sale... so this lovely, big microwave (retails at $299) only cost us $74! Can you believe it?!

It is wonderful... clean, shiny, microwaves just right, has a light, and vents over the stove! Our SteamFresh broccoli came out perfectly with dinner. I'm so pumped about the new deal-ish-ious microwave!

Out with the old... in with the new! At this point, the old one's in the box and the new one's wrapped up on the floor.

Our old crusty microwave, ready for removal. Boo- so nasty! Gives me the creeps!
Handy Manny! Saunders removed the old microwave all by himself.

When we realized that A) touching the old greasy microwave made me freak out, so I wasn't much help and B) we needed an electric screwdriver to do it right, we called in the cavalry... aka Dad.

Working hard, or hardly working? You decide. Haha- just kidding! They did a great job.

Ohh, a little slice of appliance heaven!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Recognize Mii?

Do you recognize this happy electronic family?

That's right... those are our little Mii's - the people that represent us on the Wii!

Katie Anne has been so into the Wii Fit since I got it. She's been wanting to take her turn on it every time she sees one of us using it. So, on Saturday morning, I was working out on it before Saunders got up while she was playing with her kitchen. She kept asking for "my turn, my turn", so I made a little Mii to represent her so she could play.
Then, she tried it out. Of course, she can't really do many of the exercises - they're hard for adults, much less 21-month-olds! She does love seeing her little character on screen, and she likes to pretend she's playing the games. She imitates the moves she's seen us do, which is so funny... she weaves side-to-side and squats down. She did really good on the body test... she had to hold still for about 10 seconds while it measured her weight and balance, and she kept saying, "Fweeze- don't move. Fweeze- don't move."

Yesterday, she was playing some of the balance games. She was having such a good time that I made two videos of her. In this one, she's playing the soccer ball heading game. You can hear a little "ding" every time she hits one. You know what's funny about this? Katie Anne tied Aunt Jillian's low score, and she was only two points behind mine! Maybe Jillian and I should just try standing still instead of actually trying to head the balls!

In this video, she's trying to ski slalom. She doesn't do quite as well in this one, and you can hear the sad music at the end when the Wii pronounces her "unbalanced".

I wanted to post this yesterday, but it took ALL night for these two videos to upload to You Tube! Does it take everyone else's videos so long?

I caught Katie Anne's Mii with her eyes closed!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Freakin' Love Coloring!

I love coloring! Luckily, Katie Anne does, too. Over the past week or so since we bought a new 48 pack of Crayolas (hello, 48 colors!) and a My Little Pony gigantic coloring book (to replace the Disney Princess one from Carlton and Trisha that we've already filled), we've colored every day. Today was no exception... we colored this morning and this afternoon. Here are some pictures Dad snapped of us coloring our pony pictures.

Hard at work!

Pretty hair
Coloring girls!
Working on our project.
My pony's on the left, Katie Anne's is on the right. She's trying to help me by coloring my pony in this picture. :)

Get An Assistant

Today's prompt is my dream!

If you could hire someone full-time to make your life easier, what would their duties be?

Really, I don't even need a minute... this commercial will answer the question all by itself.

It's a big joke in our house... I'll tell Saunders, "I need a Sven!" when I'm overwhelmed, or he'll say, "I'm not your Sven!" when I'm nagging him to do chores. If I won the lottery, my first expenditure would be to hire the actor who plays Sven, pay him a big salary, and tell him, "Just play that part. From sun up to sun down. Every day of the week." Shoot, I'll even give him Sundays off, although it would pain me.

Here's my actual answer- in one minute!
*Sven will wake me up with a cup of coffee made just how I like it, turn on the tv to Fox and Friends, and cut on my lamp. While I'm waking up, he'll update me on what's going on today in my schedule.
*Lay out my workout clothes while I use bathroom and put on my contacts, and then accompany me to living room to do Wii Fit... while I work out, Sven will feed dogs, let them out, unload/reload dishwasher or start laundry as needed.
*While I get ready for work, Sven will wake Saunders up (a JOB in itself), get him started on getting ready for work, and get Katie Anne's stuff ready for school.
*While I'm getting Katie Anne up, Sven will pack my lunch and load my crap in the car.

(Whoa- my minute ran out! Let's keep the fantasy going, shall we?)

*Sven will ride with me and help me haul Katie Anne's stuff into the daycare, get her signed in, and put all her little supplies in her cubby.
*Sven will go with me to work and be my parapro... watching the kids so I can have unlimited potty breaks, running to make a copy when I'm one short, answering all emails, making phone calls to parents, grading papers, stuffing folders, and laying the smackdown when discipline is necessary.
*At 12:00, when my planning starts, Sven can take the car and go back home... he needs that time to do dinner prep and household chores. (Wait, one of Jillian's jobs sounds kind of like she's a Sven...)
*Sven will be back to pick me up at work at 3:30 (or if I have a meeting, to attend with me and take my notes), then we'll pick up Katie Anne. If there's errands to run, Sven will go along and help, or Katie Anne and I will just play at the park while Sven does them. Sven will be in charge of buying groceries, running to post office, dropping off dry cleaning, etc. by himself. For errands that I need to go along for (like getting my eyebrows waxed... kind of hard for Sven to do that alone), Sven will accompany me to help keep Katie Anne occupied.
*We'll head home, where Katie Anne and I will color or play or read while Sven finishes up dinner.
*When Saunders gets home, we'll eat, then Sven will clean the kitchen and maybe go through the mail and pay bills or do some organizing in the office while we have family time.
*Finally, Sven will turn down everyone's beds and put chocolates on our pillows!

Is that too much to ask?

If you know anyone who's interested in being my Sven (I think I can pay them about $50 per week right now... no lottery winnings yet), please tell him/her to email his/her resume to me!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Picture Perfect!

I haven't posted as many pictures this week of Katie Anne. All this Wii Fit-ting takes up a girl's blogging time! Of course, I've made pictures of her cute self. Here's a picture of her playing with her baby dolls while we were taking ornaments off the Christmas tree on Monday night.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Welcome to Toddler Town, Toddler Town, Toddler Town...

Welcome to Toddler Town... population: 1 toddler, 2 adults. The current most popular attraction in Toddler Town is repetition, repetition, repetition. Is your favorite word "again"? Do you love doing the same activity over and over and over? Do you like putting together "the big puzzle" 5+ times per night, or listening to Mary Had a Little Lamb about 100 times in a row, or watching the Baby UGA dvd on repeat? If so, Toddler Town is the place for you.

The current hot new activity in Toddler Town is repetitive reading, repetitive reading, repetitive reading, repetitive reading. Our current favorite book? Little Quack's New Friend. A very cute, very sweet story... and luckily, a very lightweight story, because I've read Little Quack's New Friend at least twice per night for the last five nights at bedtime. Prior to that, it was Daddy's turn... we read "Max" (aka Where the Wild Things Are) on repeat for the week before the Little Quack debut. It's funny that she has one book for one parent- I could NOT read Where the Wild Things Are, and there's no way Daddy's getting his hands on Little Quack.

If I had a nickel...

Today's prompt is:

If I had a nickel for every time I...

*wondered how Katie Anne's day is going at daycare while I'm at work
*send or receive an email from Saunders
*text message!
*tell a certain student "Get your bottom in your seat!"
*read a book
*unloaded or loaded the dishwasher
*talked on the phone to my mom
*took a picture!

...I'd be rich!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Today's prompt...

If I had to lose one sense, I would choose taste. While I'd hate not to be able to taste delicious food again, it would certainly make losing weight easier! Plus, I could still smell wonderful things, which might be (*might be*) just as good. Sight and hearing would be top of my "do not lose" list, with touch a close third... so, between taste and smell, I'll lose taste.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Today's writing prompt at One Minute Writer...

*reading with Katie Anne
*meal plan
*coupon clip
*prep for meals on weekends
*walking the dogs
*grooming the dogs- brushing Abby, cleaning Ginger's eye gookiness
*digital scrapbooking- behind again!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thank You, Thank You!

Every year (well, every year being last year and this year), I like to take pictures of Katie Anne with her Christmas gifts from other people and send them out as part of her thank you notes. This way, the gift giver can see her wearing/enjoying/playing with the gift. I don't take a picture of her with every single thing she gets, but I like to take at least a picture or two to send to each person who gave her something.

Last year, I made individual cards on for everybody, but I wasn't too pleased with them. The picture on the front was really cute, but the interior pictures (the ones of her with the actual gift) were really small. So, this year, I'm just including the actual printed pictures in a regular thank you note. This way, if someone wants to frame it, they can- unlike the cards last year.

The pictures of her with all her gifts were too cute not to post! So, here's a little slideshow of all her "thank yous".

And, for those of you who gave Katie Anne a gift this Christmas, she says thanks... and the notes will be in the mail tomorrow! It obviously took me a few photo sessions to get the pictures done.

One Minute Writer - Waiting

Through Angie's blog, I found a cool new blog called One Minute Writer. Check it out!

Here's my answer to today's prompt... in 60 seconds!

*for the basement to be finished
*for the Christmas stuff to be in the attic
*for MLK Jr holiday! Saunders and I both get that holiday!
*for time to do the Wii Fit tonight
*for the dishwasher to finish so I can load it... again!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sister-in-Law Sew Off!

Today, Jillian and I had a sewing session together. She wanted to learn how to make a pillowcase dress, so she brought all her new sewing goodies up to our house and we sewed all afternoon! It took us a while to get it all together, but she went home with an almost-finished pillowcase dress (conveniently sized for Katie Anne- haha!) and a pattern for making more. She did a great job for her first major apparel project, and we had a good time hanging out together!
You know I had to pose mid-stitch for a photo.

Jillian working hard.
Jillian's almost-finished dress... she wants to add a little more rickrack at the top. Didn't she do a fabulous job?
My almost-finished pillowcase dress, using fabric that my mom had saved from at outfit she made for me! I didn't have any ribbon that matched for the neckline, so I've got that to finish later. I think it will be such a cute summer sundress.
Also, I don't know why Blogger keeps flipping that last picture sideways, but I'm too tired to mess with it right now. :)