Monday, August 31, 2009


Last week was a big week of firsts. So big I didn't have the chance to blog them. Luckily I did remember to capture them on film.

Kai's first day of Kindergarten:

First Daisy Scout Meeting:

I'm officially the mom of a Kindergartener & a Daisy Scout. How did my baby girl suddenly get so big?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Kai-versations: She does have a point.

The other night at dinner it was Kai's turn to pray for the food.

"Dear God -

Please keep giving us lots and lots of great stuff. And also, God, please could you change the words for tomato and potato to something else? Like, I don't know, whatever you want. Just not tomato and potato because, God, that is really starting to get confusing to me. Thank you.


Honestly, I couldn't contain my giggles at the table...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And Speaking of Dinosaurs...

**These pictures of the event brought to you by my fantastic 5-year-old blogging assistant, Kai.**

Though my girls already loooved them some Dinosaurs, our trip to Dinosaur World seemed to amp it up to another level. Which is why last weekend when we got the chance to take the girls out to Dinosaurs & Donuts to check out the exciting new things coming to GPB during Dinosaur Week (September 13th-18th) it was perfect timing!

We got a chance to screen the new show Dinosaur Train, from The Jim Henson Company, that will be debuting during Dinosaur Week. We're big fans of GPB anyways because they make me feel much less guilty about the time we do end up spending in front of the TV and my girls LOVED this newest show! If you've got kids who are into Dinosaurs in the least little bit you (and they) will be excited about this newest show. Be sure to check it out during Dinosaur Week at 9 AM and 10:30 AM and then at its regular time weekdays at 8:30 AM!

And if your kids are as into Dinosaurs as mine are, they'll love the upcoming Dinosaur Week because all their favorite shows will be featuring Dinosaur themed episodes. See what I mean? Educational and distracting enough that you can take a shower while you're kids are enjoying cartoons about their favorite subject. Thank you GPB. I might never be able to take a shower in peace and quiet if it weren't for your programming!

Thanks again to the folks at GPB for the chance to come out and have some fun while previewing this cool new show!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dinosaur World!

We made an unexpected stop at Dinosaur World in Kentucky last week because we just couldn't resist. I think the pics speak for themselves...

For more Wordless Wednesday, head over to 5 Minutes for Mom!

Oh, Indiana.

Here's a list of the most memorable moments from our recent trip to the great state of Indiana.

1. Forgetting a razor and shaving my legs with shaving cream, a baby wipe, and the sharpest razor known to (wo)mankind in the parking lot of Scott's grocery store minutes before I went to meet my great aunts. Yes, I really am that classy.

2. The moment where I realized we'd left the hotel for dinner with a child with no shoes, a child who had not buttoned her pants and was flashing the lobby, and a stinky baby who'd just spit up all over me. Oh, yeah, and we'd forgotten the room key inside the room.

3. The Great Midwestern Monsoon of 2009 in which Indiana got 6 inches of rain all in the 20 minutes it took us to load the children from the Cracker Barrel into the minivan.

4. The screaming & crying episode that took place at the table in the local greasy spoon the minute Ivy realized she had to "Poooooppppyyyy" really badly and would be forced to use the world's nastiest bathroom. You haven't lived until you've had 75 strangers stare at you while your 3-year-old screams about poop.

5. Driving down a remote farm road surrounded by miles and miles of corn on our way to an "American Girl Doll Clothing Store" that turned out to be in someone's converted garage. Once we worked up the nerve to go in we were shocked to see 400 pairs of doll shoes, several hundred handmade outfits, dolls, furniture and more! That was one crafty and talented lady!

6. Eating at Cracker Barrel 10 times in 5 days. Okay, maybe it was more like 7 times. But it felt like 15 times.

7. Stopping at Dinosaur World in Kentucky on our way home. I'm saving those pics for my Wordless Wednesday!

8. Realizing that 90 is the new 40 after meeting my mom's friend, Fern. She had more energy at 90 than most people do in middle age.

9. Discovering that the further North we go the more Southern my accent becomes. It's like I turned into Brenda Lee Johnson the moment we crossed into Indiana.

10. Perfecting the skill of nursing a screaming baby who is buckled securely in a car seat while someone else drives just so we don't lose time on the road. I'm sure there are quite a few fellow travelers we shared the road with who wish they could unsee that sight.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I swear I'm not making these up.

I'm working on a post documenting our ridiculous adventure across the great state of Indiana. We had such a good time though it was (of course) not lacking in "the crazy." More to come on that tomorrow.

In the meantime, I just checked my stats and couldn't resist sharing a list of the most ridiculous searches that ultimately led weirdos to my blog. (No offense if you're one of the weirdos who found me this way. But, really?)

"I am capable of keeping secrets from you." - Ooookaaaay.

"I wish someone would shoot me." - You're scary.

"Amazing swear word combinations." - My mother will be so proud.

"What does Kai smell like?" - Hmmm, it just depends on the day.

"Maternity pants falling down panties." Yeah. I know all about that.

"I breastfeed and my breast pads smell like chicken." - Oh, honey. #1. I'm so sorry to hear that. And #2. That's waaaay too much information.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm not here.

I'm taking a quick (unplanned) break from blogging for the week. My mom and I drove up to Indiana with the kids to visit some family and while I'd planned to blog up here it turns out our Wi-fi has been spotty so I'm just gonna wait and fill you all in on the fun we've had when I get back.

I will say this - Indiana may never be the same after we leave. Poor Indiana. They never saw it coming.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Our wild date night.

What makes for an interesting date night?

Sweaty bodies. A little rope. A mysterious stranger. And...a tow truck.

We were barely 5 miles from home and delighting in our plans to eat dinner with no kids and maybe (if we were really lucky) head to the bookstore when it happened. Woody (Thomas' "new" car) got tired and decided to take a break. In the middle of the road. In 6 o'clock traffic.

So there we were sitting in the middle of the fast lane trying to figure out what the heck is going on with the car. We started freaking out and panicking (Okay, that was just me doing that part, but still.) and ended up trying to push the car out of the way. Imagine the scene. There we are sweating in the sweltering summer heat with people honking, cars swerving recklessly around us, drivers nearly careening into the back of us because they weren't paying attention. Then the next thing I know this huge white pick-up truck comes swerving right in front of me. And I do what any gracious Christian girl in this situation would do. I lay on the horn. Hard. Because what kind of jerk does that kind of thing, right?

Turns out it was the kind of jerk who was pulling in front of us in his big huge (shiny & new) truck to hook a rope to our bumper and pull us out of the way. When will I ever learn?

Our angel, who's name was Ben, had just bought rope for no apparent reason the other day. He just thought it might someday come in handy. And boy did it. He tied that rope to our bumper and pulled us through traffic to the nearest parking lot. God bless that man.

Thankfully my sister (who was babysitting the kids for us) was able to load everyone into the minivan and rescue us from being stranded. She also got to experience the ultimate form of birth control: loading three kids into a messy minivan. (Thanks, Tara!)

I could be upset about everything but because of this interesting turn of events we got to meet an awesome good samaritan (Thanks, Ben!) and a really friendly and wonderful AAA tow truck operator (Thanks, Will!) and got to experience a much more adventurous evening than we could ever have planned on our own.

Despite the broken down car, the ruined date night, and all the hassle of towing the car back to our house, the most disappointing part was that I failed to get photographic documentation of this little adventure. Apparently I'm not as committed to being a good blogger as I thought!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blast from the past.

It is amazing how thin young well-rested I looked before kids. Anyone know any tricks for getting a little of that back?

For more Wordless Wednesday head over to 5 Minutes for Mom!

Please check all that apply.

In case you hadn't noticed, Thomas and I are an interracial couple. Which means we have biracial kids. (This is groundbreaking stuff, no?)

And mostly I don't really notice. We are who we are.

Recently, though, I was filling out some paperwork for Kai. And it included the usual (and of course totally optional) racial/ethnic questions.

Now, in case you were wondering, Thomas' racial background is as follows: Japanese, Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, Black, Cherokee, & Choctaw. Oh, yeah, and Irish.

So, when it comes time to fill out paper work for my kids and I have to check all that apply I can check nearly every box on the page. But you know which one I always leave blank? White.

And I never even realized it until the other day.

It kind of freaked me out. I'm not sure what to make of it. On the one hand, I feel silly checking it since they are so obviously brown skinned. But I'm white. So they're at least half white, right?

This realization may partly be a reaction to watching the documentary "Prom Night in Mississippi" the other day. It chronicles a small Mississippi town's efforts to hold it's first integrated prom. In 2008.

It made me wonder, if we lived in that town which prom would my kids be "allowed" to attend? Thomas said they'd be a part of the "Black Prom." He said white people (particularly in the south) simply associate anyone brown with being African Americans.

Which is obvious when you consider all of the talk about America electing it's first Black President. Wasn't Obama's mother white? So at the very least wouldn't that make him the first bi-racial president? (Something that bothered me like crazy during the election even though I'm guilty of it in my own family. Irony. I haz it.)

It's as if we all believe that what you see is what you get. Which, at best, is ignorant. And, at worst, is racist. And something I (someone who is 1/2 of a interracial couple and the mother of 3 biracial kids) am guilty of.

I don't like realizing that very much.

I mean, clearly I'm not a hostile racist. (Duh.) But, I have apparently bought into the idea that what you see on the outside is what you are on the inside. And that it is that which defines who you are. An idea that is disturbing even outside the context of race.

Our Bible study has been reading through the book of James lately. And the 2nd chapter discusses judgment. Specifically how we are not to judge others. Which led to a fight discussion between Thomas and I the other night. You see, we have this house in our neighborhood. We call it the "stinky armpit house." "Stinky Armpit" being code for Registered Sex Offender. Because, well, a registered sex offender lives there and I don't want to use that term and freak out the kids.

In all fairness I should mention that the offender is registered with a very vague and seemingly minor crime. But still. It freaks me out. And I sit in judgement over the people in that house every time I drive by. Because I'm a hypocrite. And I apparently think I'm perfect. Thomas says (and I hate it when he's right) that I should focus on keeping our kids safe from the scary people, both registered and unregistered, and not appoint myself judge of the entire neighborhood.

It seems I'm guilty of doing this all over the place. I judge people based on what I see when I look at them. It's not always in a negative way. Sometimes simply in a categorizing way. But still. It's not a good thing. And, to further this theme of irony, it is something I most fear others doing with me. If you were on Twitter the other night you would have seen me tweet, "Heading to the Christian Homeschool Daisy Scout Orientation. Better wear extra Christiany clothes to distract from the tattoos." Do you see that? It's me judging people for being the type of people who will judge me before I even get the chance to meet them. I told you I'm an expert hypocrite. (BTW, they were nice. And didn't even seem to notice the tattoos. Which also means I'm kind of a jerk.)

All this very much makes me realize what a work in progress I am. And I hate being a work in progress.

So here's the thing. (And you're gonna love this.) I have no resolution to this post. I have no great way to tie it up and close it. I could say I'm vowing to stop looking at the outside of people tomorrow and pay attention only to their insides but that would be disingenuous. Because I've been doing this too long to simply say I've turned over a new leaf and I'll never sit in judgment again.

What I will say is that I am going to be more aware of how I see people. That I'm going to check my heart before I form opinions about people. And that I'm going to pray that God will let me see people as He sees them. Because if I can learn to do that then all the other labels go away. And the only box I'll have to worry about checking off is human.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The post in which I profess my love of Vinegar...

Here's how it happened. Traveler, my dear sweet goofy face making boy, will not let me put him down during the day. So, I wear him in a sling. And carry him on my hip. But my little stowaway makes cleaning the house a bit complicated.

My biggest concern was the fumes. Nearly every product I used caused these awful caustic fumes and I refused to use them with Trav (or the girls) around. And I wanted to buy Shaklee, but I am too stinking impatient to order something and wait to get it. So after a Twitter poll the other day my Twitter/Blog friend Mama Hall recommended Vinegar. Which immediately intrigued me. So I did some research and it turns out (though I may be the only person who didn't already know this) that Vinegar is a great cleaning product. And cheap.

The next thing I knew I was in the kitchen concocting cleaning solutions to use around the house. And after having used them for the last couple weeks I must say, they are AWESOME! And totally cute in their little mason jars and pretty spray bottles. Very charming. Maybe even a bit Little House on the Prairie.

So, I thought I'd share my recipes (I came up with these spending two days searching on the internet so I don't really have a source to credit. But, in the interest of full disclosure, just know they aren't my invention.) and you can use them or Google others or recommend some to me that you've used.

All Purpose Cleaner:

Spray Bottle
1 part Vinegar
1 part Water

This All-Purpose Cleaner is awesome. I used it to clean my counters and refrigerator one minute and then turned around and used it on Traveler's exersaucer the next. I didn't have to worry about any harmful residue or fumes. Later, I was able to spray it on the girls wet hair to help remove the chlorine residue from swimming before washing it. It's truly multipurpose!


Spray Bottle
1/2 C Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Tea Tree Oil
1/4 C Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Seventh Generation Unscented detergent
10 drops Sweet Orange essential oil
fill remainder of bottle with water

Mix the ingredients together (don't forget Vinegar + Baking Soda makes fizzy foam so be careful when mixing!) and shake bottle well. Use anywhere you need to clean and disinfect. It works great at cleaning shower stalls and bathroom areas.

Abrasive Scrub:

Medium sized Mason Jar
1/4 Cup Baking Soda
Seventh Generation Unscented detergent

Put the Baking Soda in a bowl and add the detergent until the mixture has the consistency of cake frosting. Then put in a mason jar and seal. You can add a few drops of Olive Oil to keep the mixture moist. Use for cleaning the oven, bathtubs, or anywhere you need a scrub.

Swiffer Hack:

I added a mixture of 1/3 C Vinegar and 2/3 C Water (You can use 2/3 C Vinegar and 1/3 C Olive Oil for more of a polish) and a few drops of Sweet Orange essential oil to my Swiffer WetJet. Here's how.

Completely use up all of the Swiffer WetJet Cleaning solution. Make small hole in the top of the container. Using a very small funnel (or I use a turkey injector without the needle) add the solution to the bottle. Then apply a small piece of duct tape over the top to keep it sealed. That way you can keep the convenience of the WetJet but have a healthier & less expensive cleaning solution to use with it!

Thanks again to Mama Hall for opening my eyes to a new cleaning product! 

So there you have it! My new obsession. Got any recipes for cleaning products you've used in your house? Feel free to leave them or links to them in the comments!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Crazy bossy big sisters say whuuut?

Traveler has the best goofy expressions of any of our babies. I can't wait to see what he's capable of when he actually tries to be silly!

And as a bonus, here's what Ivy looks like after a day of swimming. The girl refuses to let me put her hair in a "pono" to keep it out of her face.

For more Wordless Wednesday, head over to 5 Minutes for Mom!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The real difference between boys & girls. Besides, of course, the obvious.

I know I've only been the mom to a little boy for about 4 months or so. But in that short time I've managed to notice one glaring difference between Trav and my girls as babies.

You see, my son loves to be naked. Loves it. I'm not one of those moms who ever really let their kids run around naked. Not because I think it's bad or anything, but I've always been too lazy to clean up whatever messes resulted in spending time diaper-free. Traveler, I'm afraid, is going to break that streak. 'Cause the child is only happy naked.

Now, I've heard tales of boys who strip off their clothes at the most inopportune times (Chik-Fil-A playground? Enough said.) I hear it is a boy thing - this love of their, ahem, "natural" state of dress. But, I thought it was something that happened when boys turned 2 or so. Apparently, not so much.

By and large, Trav is an ideal baby. Aside from the desire to be in my arms or in a sling 24/7 he is easy to deal with. But he has his moments. And when he's grouchy or crying or totally inconsolable I started doing what every mom does. I fed him to see if he was hungry. I rocked him to see if he was sleepy. I changed him to see if he was dirty. And that is when I discovered it.

Because the moment this child's diaper comes off he's quiet. And happy. He throws his little arms behind his head all Burt Reynold's style and basks in his nakedness. Which is why nearly every day I end up stripping him down naked and letting him hang out in his crib for a while. It's the only way to combat the middle of the day crankiness that he's developed.

I've determined that this is one very important difference in boys and girls. Maybe one they never grow out of. Because when I told my husband about Traveler's favorite state of (un)dress he said, "Of course he does. Being naked is awesome."

And that, my friends, I just don't get. Being naked is drafty. Being naked is inconvenient. Being naked is (at the wrong times) embarrassing. But, awesome? That is not a reality I am acquainted with.

I'm still a bit uncomfortable with the whole thing. After all, I've never had a baby that insisted on being au naturale. My girls never cared about being naked. Still don't care for it really. This little guy, though, he thinks it's the cat's pajamas. And if it keeps him happy, quiet, & content I'll indulge him.

Let's just hope he outgrows it before...oh, you know, middle school. Though based on his father's apparent (unbeknown to me) fondness for nakedness it looks like I may be in for years of this...

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's Cash for Clunkers. Except backward.

We have been a one car family for a little over a year. We decided last June to wait on buying a new car until we found one we liked that we could get without a payment.

Fast forward 13 months and we finally decided we were ready for another car. I don't know if it was my attitude or our life changes (adding a newborn makes things complicated!) but I was suddenly totally over the whole one car family thing. Waking up early and loading three littles into a car every morning to drop daddy off at MARTA started getting to me. And since I'm not so good at the whole waking up early thing, Thomas nearly always got into work later than he wanted to.

So this weekend, when the rest of the country was turning in their clunkers for cash we used our cash to buy a clunker of our own.

Meet Woody. He gets horrible gas mileage (thank goodness he only has to drive 5 miles to MARTA) and he's a bit quirky, but he is exactly the car Thomas has been wanting for a while. So, he's happy. I'm happy. And tomorrow I'm planning to enjoy the extra hour of sleep that I get by not making a trip to the bus station.

Clunkers FTW!