Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meet My New Baby...

Isn't she pretty?

You crazy people thought it was a real baby again, didn't you? I've told you all...that would take an act of God. Really. That package has been wrapped, friends. :)

Anyways...this is my new baby. My garden. I think I'll name her Gertrude. Sure, Gertie doesn't look like much right now, but pretty soon she's going to be full of awesome things to eat.

I've always thought it was pretty freakin' cool to be able to grow your own food. My grandfather had a large garden when we were kids, and I have many memories of running up to Gamma and Papa's back door with my nightshirt full of produce from the garden. I've always wanted that. Now that I've got some cute little binks that can carry stuff to my back door, we thought we'd give it another shot this year. It will mean a battle with the rabbits, squirrels, our psycho dogs, and this monster:
but I think we'll be able to handle it. I mean, we've managed to keep two kids breathing and alive for almost 3 years now, so this should be a snap, right?
Wish me luck. Who knows, if you're lucky, I might share some of Gertrude's sweet booty with you.

Monday, April 26, 2010

On marriage...

John and I have weathered many a storm together in our life, starting with the day we got married. Literally, we weathered a storm that day.

Our wedding was set to be an outdoor affair, in the beautiful backyard of our home. Cellists and violinists were to play wedding music, and we were to say our I Do's next to our water garden. Our caterer Andie had mapped out where the buffet and bar would be, the florist gave tips on what would make a beautiful spring bouquet, and the design of each table and area had been planned according to how it mingled with the natural elements of the outdoors. I spent a small fortune on lush flowers and plantings so that spring colors would surround everyone at our intimate gathering. It was going to be perfect.

And then, Mother Nature had other plans. The forecast for our wedding day in 2006 was rain. Lots of rain. Like 115% chance of rain. Having sent out 125 invitations, and seeing as how the entire Taylor & Culver families had flown and driven in to Lawrence for our wedding, we improvised. The weather held out long enough for us to have our pictures, string music and wedding outside, but the rest of the event was moved into our home. It was still a lovely affair, and John and I still had the time of our lives. People still comment to this day that we had one of the most fun weddings they'd ever attended. In the garage of my house during a torrential downpour.

Needless to say, it was not my dream wedding...but how many things in life have ever gone according to the plan you dreamt up? At the end of it, we were still married, and happy. Who knew that our wedding day would be the first in a series of tests for John and I. One down, a life time to go.

So, this week...I look back on the past 4 years of my life. There has been sunshine and there have been dark clouds. But most importantly, through whatever weather Mother Nature has dealt us, John and I have weathered the storm of life together. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Happy Anniversary John. I love you.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Next Week Has GOT to Be Better Than This Week...

Right? In no specific order, here's a list of shitty things that have happened around here this week. Hot Mess Express, indeed.

1. I didn't get into a class that I HAVE to have before I can go to nursing school. It pretty much means I am screwed until next semester. I just hope someone forgets to pay their tuition, and a spot opens up.

2. Sloane threw up on me in the check out lane in Target. Gross.

3. Sam fell down in the Target parking lot, in the rain. We were both soaked.

4. With all of the rain this week, I found out that one of our windows leaks. A lot. Right into the den that is the room beneath it.

5. My health insurance premium went up $100 a month. I'm thankful for healthcare, but HOLY CRAP. That is quite a jump. I will continue to pay it though ,because....

6. Today I pretty much cut 2 of my fingers off. Stitches, cauterization, the whole works. I'm sporting two Johnsonville Brats for fingers. Pretty.

Happy Friday friends. If you're looking for me tonight, I'll be sitting next to the world's largest bottle of Grey Goose.

If Walls Could Talk...

Overheard on the monitor this morning...

Sam: Hi sisser! Hi poopy diaper! Yucky.

Mama, running up the stairs: Oh boy...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Spring Chickens

The kids and I have been spending a great deal of time outside enjoying the beautiful weather. Before too long, the flying stinging insects will again dominate the yard, and I will lock myself inside the house with 23 EpiPens and a can of Raid. But for now, we have been having a great time drawing, riding our play cars and bikes, and eating random objects off of the ground. Enjoy.

Mmm. Leaves are tasty.

Sloane enjoying her al fresco buffet.

Bubbles are our favorite!

Sam was picking flowers for Mommy.

Playing on the equipment at Deanna Rose Farmstead.


Sloane sippy was found this morning. When I gave it a shake, it didn't make a liquid noise...it was more like chunks of play-doh. I promptly threw it in the trash can, and took the bag to the outside bin. Wasteful? Perhaps, but cleaning chunks out of a cup is on the list of things "Mama don't do."

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Things That Would Make My Life Easier: Sippy Cup GPS

Just now, as I was unloading the dishwasher and doing my OCD counting of sippy cups, I came to the realization that we've got a cup gone AWOL. It's a Sloane cup, and she only drinks milk. So basically, I've got a rotten ticking time bomb planted somewhere in my house or car. If you've ever discovered, through smell, the hiding spot of an AWOL sippy, you know it is a smell you will never forget in your life. And then, you will start OCD counting your sippy cups, too.

My experience involved a 2 week old milk sippy (at least), my Honda CRV, in the summertime, in a parking lot. It was the nastiest thing I have ever had to shampoo out of my interior, and I will never ever forget to count sippys again. My husband, on the other hand....not so much. Which is why I'm now frantically searching my home for a cup soon to go bad.

Enter the Sippy Cup GPS. I am surprised nobody has invented this gem yet...click on findmysippycup.com, and up pops all of the land mines in your house! No more exploding milk cup in the parking lot of Worlds of Fun! No more screaming at your husband for not developing a case of OCD like you! No more bribing your 3 year old with ice cream if he just tells you where his secret hiding spot is...that also contains your grandmother's wedding ring and the remote to the television.

I'm trying to make someone a millionaire here...invent this already! Meanwhile, I'll be using my nose in the next 2 weeks to sniff out Sloane's nasty surprise. Yuck.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I *heart* patios. And spring. And girlfriends.

My kids went to bed tonight at 6:45, tuckered out from the full day we all spent outdoors. Mission accomplished, Mommy. So, when you're kids are in bed early, what do you do? I make a few phone calls.

I think lazy, warm, perfect Sundays are made for having drinks with your best girlfriends in the whole world. On a patio. In your backyard. Perhaps you'll even have a Betty Ford Margarita or 3.

Tonight, 2 of my 4 best gals for life came over. It was just what I needed to power through Monday. I love you girls like fat kids love cake. And to the other 2...next time, my friends.

Happy Perfect Sunday friends. Hope to see you on my patio soon. :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Quintessential Warm Weather Cocktail

Spring is here, and for me that means drinking outside on a patio somewhere. It used to be at the Free State Brewery, but the addition of tiny children to the party means that Mama's got to get creative. So, my friends and relatives come hang out at our house now. We've got a decent patio, and the only thing we're really missing by being home are the random creepy folks and the skinny B Kappa girls. Just you wait ladies...your time of stretch marks and spider veins is coming. Enjoy your youth.

As many of you know, I'm now a slave to the Weight Watchers points system, so I need a good cocktail that is low on the points scale...enter the 2 point margarita. Or, you can call them Betty Ford Margaritas like my friend Jeannene....because if you love them as much as we do, you'll end up needing the services of the Betty Ford Clinic. :)

Recipe for Betty Ford Margaritas:
1. Fill a cup with ice, and add
-1 shot of tequila
-1 squirt of fresh lime juice (or the bottled, no need to be fancy pants)
-a few sprinkles from a packet of Crystal Light lemonade (dry mix)
-fill to the top with Diet 7up.
- Enjoy. Over. And over. And over.

I have to give props to my friend Karla, as she is the one who introduced me to this lovely little cocktail. But when drinks are as good as this one, you spread the word to everyone. Your welcome. :)


I am pretty confident that I live in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Lawrence. Everyone on our block (except for me, it seems) is a professional gardener, and there are tons of mature flowering trees. Yesterday I took the kids on a walk and brought my camera along, to capture some of the beautiful foliage.

I love spring. Enjoy.

These 2 pictures are of the same tree, but at different times of day. I love how the evening one turned out. Golden sun=perfect pictures.

Because I Don't Have Enough To Do...

I just enrolled and am taking classes for nursing school. I don't start until August, but I am excited and freaking right the F out.

I must be out of my mind. This isn't a complete career change, but it certainly isn't where I thought I'd be 10 years ago. I like that nursing will give me flexibility in my schedule, so that I can still be home with the kids when they need me to. And let's face it...the pay isn't all that bad either. It will be nice to ease some of John's load in the "provide for our family" department, too.

So, come along with me and my friend Xanax as we pave a new path towards becoming Nurse LTrain. :) I can guarantee it'll be exciting.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Boy Wants to Potty All The Time--In His Pants, That Is.

Today, in the battle of using the potty, Sam-4, Mama-0.

Sam will be 3 in August, and since he's super excited about preschool, we've been trying to get potty trained. No potty training--no preschool. I've got stickers, I've got chocolate, I've got a DVD/entertainment theater show going on in the bathroom to entice him to sit there. No dice. He sits for a while, plays, gets up, gets a Pull Up, pees his pants. Every. Single. Time. And every single time I say "Good try Sam! Almost that time!"

It is the most frustrating thing in the entire world. I'd rather do quantum physics.

Everyone I've talked to says they have to do it on their own time. Sam likes to do things his way; he's been that way since he was born. Which is why I know he needs some gentle encouragement...because if left up to him, he'll be the kid going to kindergarten with Pampers on. "I mean hey, if I can get someone to clean that all up down there, why bother with the potty?" This is a conversation I'm sure Sam has in his head all day.

I am not so much looking for encouragement, or ideas even ...just a place to say "USE THE DAMN POTTY ALREADY. I KNOW YOU KNOW HOW, QUIT MESSING WITH MAMA." Mama would love to save your portion of the $100 a month I spend on diapers. You know, for my boxed wine habit. :)

In due time, I'm sure. I just wish that time was sooner rather than later.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Food Coma

I am in one. If I never see another Reese's Peanut Butter egg, I will be OK. The Easter bunny needs to bring less chocolate next year. Or, bring me a plastic surgeon. :)

Happy Easter everyone. I hope it was all that you wanted (or didn't want it) to be.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

7 Layers of Heaven

Last week, my friends Shane and Bri came over for dinner. They brought with them the most awesome dessert ever. They called them 7 layer bars, but I call them heavenly crack. Ever since they gave me the recipe, I've been jonesin' to make them. Thank Jesus that Sunday is Easter...perfect time to make a big ol' batch, and cross my fingers that I don't have to eat them all by myself. It would be the most gluttonous, sinfully fantastic thing in the world...but my ass would hate me.

1 box of graham crackers, processed into crumbs
3 sticks of butter, melted- yes, you read that right. 3 sticks.
1 bag of chocolate chips
1 bag of butterscotch chips
1 bag of chopped nuts
1 bag of coconut
1 can of sweetened condensed milk

1.Mix the graham crackers and the melted butter, and form into a crust on the bottom of a 9x13 pan
2. On top of that, layer the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, chopped nuts, and coconut.
3. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top. (Or you can put the condensed milk under the coconut, but I'm told it's better this way).
4. Put into a 350 degree oven until the coconut browns.
5. Let them cool off, and then get your Cujo candy rampage on.

I am pretty sure you can throw whatever 7 layers you want into this and as long as you pour sweetened condensed milk over it, it's going to be awesome.

Thank you Shane and Bri for this bomb ass recipe. I hate you.