Friday, January 30, 2009

Dr. Seuss

I know this is some sort of blasphemy, but:

 I do not like Dr. Seuss. 
 I do not like him with a goose.
 I'd like to hang him with a noose.

I think it's hard enough to explain real words, but how do you explain the made up ones? Cassie is just learning to love reading but she finds it frustrating to read Dr. Seuss because she's not sure if the words are real or made up. Hannah is too curious to just sit and enjoy a lyrical sounding story, she points at each thing on each page and asks what it is, then I have to say things like, Well that is a wump.  And that is a woozle.  She asks if that is a boy or a girl, but the answer is complicated because it is actually a cat-like thing called Mike that is furry and tall and pushes bikes up hills.  Maybe my imagination is stunted or something but I like to read stories and ask questions about the possibilities of each page.  Like, "What do you think will happen next?" or "What would happen if the bunny doesn't go down the hole?" etc.  Is it strange to not adore Dr. Seuss?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Funny Face

Hannah wanted to take funny pictures with the computer.  I'm afraid she only has two "funny" faces.  One is "mad face" as shown in photo #1.  The other is from the manners flash card hall of fame, as shown in photos #2-#4.  The latter also showed up in the passport photo rejects.  I am not really one to talk as I only seem to have one funny face.  Scrunched up nose face.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Mystery of the Plates

I LOVE my husband.  Really, really love him.  He is the opposite of me in most ways.  I suppose that is why it works so well.  I don't really need a lot of answers, I'm pretty satisfied to let mysteries exist as long as they don't disrupt my day or potentially cause harm.  My husband, however, needs ANSWERS.  For instance, yesterday he unloaded the dishwasher and it seemed to him that there were a few too many plates.  
Paul:  What's with all the plates?  Did you take them out of the cabinet to wash them?
Natalie:  Well, no, because that's stupid.
Paul:  Did you buy more plates?
Natalie:  No.  I made food, we ate it on plates, I put the plates in the dishwasher.  
Paul:  But you still haven't answered my question.  Why so many plates?
Natalie:  This is an asinine conversation that I am not having. Ever.  

Then I threw the plate at his head thereby lowering the mysterious plate count by one. 
Not really, I sort of like my plates and I really like my husband's head.  I just passive aggressively put a post it note on the dishwasher explaining the day's plate usage.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Every night when I kiss Hannah goodnight I also have to kiss all of the things in her bed.  If she is complaining about going to bed (read EVERY NIGHT) I call everything by the wrong name just to distract her.  I kiss her and call her Nicole.  I kiss a random Nicole and call it Cassie.  Last night I forgot to kiss Boo.  She pulled him out from under the covers and said, "And who is this handsome young man?"  I think she is too young to have handsome young men in her bed.   

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Naked Mole Rats

This is our new favorite book.  Hannah, Cassie and I read it over and over again.  It is the story of Wilbur, a naked mole rat that likes to get dressed.  You can imagine the ridicule he endures.  Because, as it is stated in the book, there are a few things you must know about naked mole-rats:
  1.  They are a little bit rat.
  2.  They are a little bit mole.  
  3.  They are all naked.
But Wilbur asks "Why?  Why must naked mole rats be naked?"  Then Grandpa, the leader of the naked mole rats, says "Why, indeed?"  Then there is a PROCLAMATION (and we all know what that means.)  Soon everyone is making their own decisions and this is all you need to know about the rest of the story:
  1. Some of the mole rats were naked
  2. Some of the mole rats were clothed
  3. All of the mole rats had a great time 
Cassie likes the book because she can read it to Hannah, Hannah like the story because she gets to say "A PROCLAMATION, A PROCLAMATION!!"  I like the story because I have so much ummm... respect and admiration for the author's body (of work):

And now, for more on naked mole rats:

They aren't nearly as cute as when Mo draws them, but if you are interested and slightly bored, you can watch them 24/7 on the naked mole-rat cam.  Scroll down all the way to see some live mole rat action.  I watched it for 20 minutes and I'm pretty sure one of those rats is dead.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


How do you teach it? 
I understand that 2 year olds are self centered by nature and that soon they begin to realize that there are others in the world, in their life and in their house.  Hannah is starting to get it.  She used to (3 months ago- man, kid phases are FAST!) call Cassie "mean" and not care that Cassie would get her feelings hurt.  I would try to explain how it makes Cassie feel bad when she says mean things, sometimes it can even make her cry.  She'd kind of shrug her shoulders, like "Yeah?  What of it? Wanna see me do it again?"  Now she has progressed to saying "You're mean Mommy, but you're nice."  Huh?  Does this mean that she doesn't want to hurt my feelings or that she knows she gets fussed at for saying people are mean or perhaps she really feels that as far as meanies go, I am a nice one?  This evening Christian accidentally ran into her and knocked her down.  For the rest of the evening she complained about the fact that Christian hurt her feelings.  I think he actually hurt her leg, but maybe that's where she keeps her feelings.  I don't know.  
What if she grows up to be too empathetic? Then she will never put herself first, right?  Maybe she will grow up to be a people pleaser?  Not that I know anything about that.  And when she is 39 she will feel horribly guilty when one day she up and decides to get a massage.  Not that I know anything about that. 
Isn't the lack of empathy a red flag for serial killerness?  How's that for pressure?  The way I interpret this bit of information is that unless I want a little serial killer on my hands it is my duty to teach this emotion.  And to teach it well.  Because, well,  
Failure= (picture my finger moving across my throat)
Do they make flash cards for that?  We all know how well that turned out last time.

A Post From the Future

Dear Mama,
Thanks for trying so hard.  It's a shame that you are so crazy. As you know, I turned out just fine and that scar from way back when did not mess up my eyebrow forever.
P.S.- Don't forget your medication.

Your empathetic (but not TOO empathetic), non-serial killer daughter,

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Tea Party with Hannah, Baby Chunky and Some Nicoles

This morning we had an early morning (EARLY!) tea party with Hannah's new tea set from Libby.  We brought all the Nicole's down to join in on the fun.  Hannah thought that Baby Chunky should not be left out.  He received his name from Cassie due to his chunky hiney.  
(I hope no one googles "chunky hiney" and reaches my site.  They will be so disappointed!)
Sadly, no baboons stopped by.

Project Runway: The Home Version

We like to trace and cut ourselves out of butcher paper.  Then we draw clothes on ourselves (our paper selves, that is.)  This time we thought it would be so fun to design clothes out of our leftover construction paper and scraps of stickers.  And it was!  Except that Hannah is 2 years old, so she pretty much lost interest once her little Hannah was cut out.  I, on the other hand, have found myself thinking about other design options for days.  I stay up late with my glue stick and scissors, cutting and pasting clothes for our life sized paper doll. Please don't scrutinize too closely, I can't draw feet or faces.  Which is your favorite?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Advice from Hannah

Today Hannah told me that if a baboon ever comes into our house she will say "Get out of here, baboon!"  Sounds like a good plan to me, but I told her that I would say, "Hello, baboon!  Would you like some tea?"  Then we would have a tea party.  Mommy, Hannah, and the baboon.  I think it's a good thing to be prepared for baboon visits.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What Goes Around Comes Around...and Around...and Around

Today my friend Mary Jo and I were having our semi daily phone date.  We have the same job in different cities and generally work the same hours, so we get to spend the drive home dangerously talking on our cell phones.  I guess I usually talk and she listens, and offers sage advice.  I tend to talk fast, fast, fast because I'm afraid that there will be no traffic or red lights and I will arrive at home sooner than I can finish telling her all the things that I must.  We both have a standby, emergency pull-off-and-park location just in case we need more time.  I'm pretty sure the local IGA thinks I'm casing the joint.  I find that these conversations are the perfect segue from work to home.  Plus she calms me down, she is steady and calm and rarely gets flustered (although I suspect that inside she is as flustery as me!) 

What was I saying?  Oh yes, today we were asking each other why the same type of people keep showing up in our lives? For instance, her type is the needy sort.  The kind that need to be constantly reassured and praised.  She assured me that she wasn't referring to me (not that I'm needy and need reassurance.) My type is the "World of Black & White".  I struggle most when dealing with the kind of people who cannot see and do not understand gray areas.  They cannot comprehend why this rule must change in this instance or why 90% of the time this guideline is true, but 10% of the time it is not.  Some might say they lack flexibility, but that implies they are unwilling to bend.  I think it is that they genuinely cannot see shades of gray.  I have found that typically these folks are well educated and are extremely intelligent and detail focused but lack the ability to take a standard or rule, see beyond the words of it and apply the "spirit" of it to slightly different situation.  I live in a world of gray.  My workplace is gray, my home life is gray, my hair is gray.  I like it that way (except the hair.)  I think it forces you to make deliberate decisions and to creatively think through problems to come up with a solution that best fits the situation.  It also forces you to take accountability for your actions.  You cannot blame your decision on "the policy".

Oh yeah, and my take on the whole "Why do these people keep coming into my life?" issue is that until I learn to effectively deal with these sorts of people they will continue to pop up in my gray life.  Apparently I have a very slow learning curve.

Monday, January 12, 2009


This is the potty and sink that Hannah got for Christmas.

This is the baby doll that sits on the potty.  
Hannah named her Nicole 
(same as she names every other baby doll.)
This is the water in the potty.  Nice aqua blue color.
Yes, you guessed it.  This is what happens when Nicole sits on the potty.  Yes, that is little poo and some pee pee.  Don't worry, it goes away with a quick flush of the potty.  Then you "pat pat" with the toilet paper and head to the sink for some hand washing.


Well, I haven't really TALKED to them, but it seems from this photo mom sent that she at least had a great time on the zipline!!!!  They arrived safely home last night.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Baby Feet

See this scrumptious foot? This chubby foot with the tasty little toes? This foot that begs to be nibbled on? Well, my baby no longer has edible, little, chubby feet. She now has big girl normal feet with painted toes. So very sad. I am hungry for yummy baby feet.

No actual baby feet were harmed during the writing of this post. Really! I don't eat babies or their parts!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Impromptu Photo Shoot

We were shopping the other day and Hannah was looking especially cute (by cute I mean that she was wearing something other than leggings and she let me fix her hair. We have low standards.)  I saw a photo place and thought we might as well give it a shot.  The stars seemed aligned:  I had the time and energy, Hannah had good hair, I had so-so hair, no one was crying or fussing, there was no one else there. Stars. Aligned.

I think they turned out pretty good.  

Friday, January 9, 2009

I Lurve my New Sewing Machine

My mom & dad got me a sewing machine for my birthday. They unpacked it and set it up on the dining room table for me. Since then I have been plotting and planning projects. Projects galore. All involving lots of sewing. My first project was to replace the very ugly swag drapes in my bedroom that are 80's pink and seafoam green. They need to go! I picked the fabric out last week. I have thread, I have a sewing machine, I am on vacation so I also have time. But I have been scared. The sewing machine has been sitting there mocking me. All high and mighty with it's instruction manual sitting right there beside it. It seems like it knows that I am challenged when it comes to mechanical items.


So I sat myself down and made myself some new drapes. Just because I could. So there.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

When Your Christmas Gift is Smarter Than You

My sweet husband got me an iPhone for my birthday. I say sweet, and generally he is very much so, however this gift was actually a cop out. My birthday is also in December so you can understand his pain. He has to think of TWO gifts. On his own. He knew that he could combine holidays with the gift from Apple and call it a day. I immediately went out and bought a hot pink cover for it, because everyone knows that before you learn to use it, you have to look good using it.

These are the things that I know how to do with my phone:
  1. Play solitaire
  2. Use the flashlight
  3. Record any song and have my phone tell me what song it is and who is singing it (Shazam)
  4. Make a grocery list that sorts itself by aisle
  5. Check the weather forecast
  6. Enter appointments into the calendar
  7. Enter birthdays and have reminders 2 days in advance to send a card
  8. Check my email 
  9. Check my facebook 
  10. Watch myself driving down the road on a map in my phone
  11. Buy music and iPhone applications from iTunes
  12. Set an alarm clock
  13. Use the calculator and turn it sideways to make it a scientific calculator
  14. Check my Barnes & Noble stock
  15. Organize my clothes by outfit and record which days I wear them so as to never duplicate within the same week
These are the things that I can't do so well with my fancy phone (yet):
  1. Make phone calls.  My friend, Mary Jo, insists that my phone calls her and breathes heavily.  I think it has a little crush.
  2. Easily play the music that I purchase on iTunes.
  3. Quickly input addresses into the map so that I can use the GPS function before I arrive at the desired location.
  4. Make myself stop playing solitaire so that other tasks might be accomplished.
  5. Drive to the grocery store to shop for the items my phone so nicely organized for me (see #4)
  6. Do the laundry so that I don't make the horrible faux pas of repeating an outfit (see #4)
  7. Make myself get up when the alarm peacefully wakes me up with the sound of bells chiming. (see #4)
  8. Be organized enough to buy a card and find stamps to send a birthday card even when my phone yells at me to do it.
  9. Text quickly and be certain that I am sending said text to the correct person.
  10. Be smart enough to ever need a scientific calculator.
Whatever.  I look good carrying that hot pink fancy thing around.
Hey!  You wanna read something that will make you laugh out loud?  READ THIS!

Monday, January 5, 2009

We Have Been Over This Before!

Dear Mom & Dad,

I hate to have to do this again but I can see that I must. I'm not sure if you remember, but around this time last year you took off on a little cruise without letting anyone (by anyone I mean ME) know of your whereabouts. Now, this year you did inform me of this cruise and promised to send the itinerary, because, Lawsy, I can't keep up with 4 kids, a husband, AND which island you are zip lining on. Really, I can't. Unfortunately I received no such email. So how about you just give me a call when you get home? Hmmm?

Boy are you two in trouble when you get home.

Love and more love!!


Friday, January 2, 2009

Game On, Rachel!

Rachel from over at Home Girl tagged me in a bloggy game. After talking some smack, the details came out and it seems that I must open my fourth file of photos and choose my fourth photo, post it and explain it. I have not even looked in my files yet to see what that photo might look like and I must say that I am a bit scared. O.k. here it goes...

And I was right to be scared. This is what happens when Christian and Hannah wind up in his room. She mysteriously becomes gangsta with the name Hannah B. Her pants are held up with clothespins. I put several photos from this day in a file to post later, but thought better of it. Good decision. Word.

I tag Jason & Amanda from The Vance/Moore Family Blawg and Melanie from Beanpaste. You're it!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

How to Traumatize 2 Year Olds: A Do It Yourself Guide

So, as parents we typically spend a lot of time preparing children for things.  Whenever I go anywhere with Hannah I like to explain where we are going and why.  I do this mainly because I realize that she is this little person that just get picked up and put in the car seat, probably wondering what is going to happen next.  We talked about Christmas for a long time before Santa actually came.  We talked about the tree and the ornaments (which were breakable and which were unbreakable,) decorations inside and outside the house, presents, Baby Jesus, giving, sharing, all of those Christmasy things.  What I neglected to emphasize was the fact that this was a temporary holiday.  That soon everything would have to come down and be stored away until next year.  Instead, Paul and I just began in our serious, focused on a task, kind of way.  Hannah was cool with the ornaments coming down.  I think she just thought, OK, so sometimes they go up and sometimes they come down.  It also afforded her a better and closer look at some that she had only seen from afar.  Then the lights came down, and that was o.k. too, because she was able to help gather them up and put them in bags.  But then came the saw.  Her Daddy turned the noisy thing on and began hacking away at our poor tree and Hannah just lost it.  She was frantic and trying to scream above the noise of the saw to find out why Daddy hated our tree so much!  Paul turned off the saw and we talked about the fact that Christmastime is over and that soon many, many baby bunnies would be born and would need a place to sleep with their mommies, so Daddy was chopping down our tree to take out to the woods so that the bunnies can make a house in its branches.  That seemed to do the trick, but several times this evening she asked about the well-being of Bob (He comes down tomorrow!)