Thursday, July 28, 2011

For the record: no Academy Awards here

Okay so every star takes the off role every once in a while, for whatever reason. Parents are no different. We're not always happy, organized, healthy, or clean. But. . . it happens. Time to move on and focus on the good things (and hopefully that is what the kids remember, too). Don't let MamaGuilt take over! It Will Suck You In!

The more I schedule for our day, the better. I actually think this is the problem this week: we're staying home so that I can get organized for camping (hah!) which I know usually backfires, but hey, it's almost Friday.

Things We Like To Do-

The Library:
Ox and Mr. Norm. Note: Ox picked out his own outfit.

I LOVE the activities that the library has planned for kids! Story time is good, but their Tuesday afternoon programs are better!

Plus the library has AC and clean bathrooms - making it an ideal stop whenever we're out.

Swimming Lessons:
Little Frog practicing her backstroke.

I LOVE swimming lessons! If only because it is a good activity to do in the morning. Last year was rough, when Little Frog wasn't old enough to participate. This year rocks so much that I'm spending another $140 for the kids to do another session.

Downside: The other parents get chatty, one even asked for my phone number. Nuh-UH!

Red and Blue make Purple Sidewalk Chalk!

I am not one for doing crafts and projects and activities. I think it's important for my kids to learn to play without being overly managed* but making things is fun for all of us. Sidewalk Chalk was a fantastic activity, unlike making superball chunks last week.

Plus, that green food coloring actually washed out of Little Frog's shirt, so all is good.

*This statement is not backed up by any real proof that it works - but sometimes results in my kids playing together nicely. Or in Little Frog earning a new nickname: Naughty Bird.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Date Night

The Mastermind and I are frequent Yelpers - in fact I was invited to be a Yelp Elite member about a year ago, which means I get to attend super cool events at local restaurants (we're headed to the Yelp's Far East at Little Szechuan in St. Louis Park -mmm free Chinese food)!

Truffled Tater Tots!
The Mastermind and I headed to The Bulldog N.E. this evening because he has a thing for nachos, and according to Yelp they have the best in the area. . . I was all about the truffled tater tots.

How can you go wrong?

You can't.

they were

Because the service was SO good, we were out of there with an hour to spare on the meter so we took a walk and ended up at Pacifier. This is a very dangerous store to go in to, if you're a mom of little ones, if you are a mom of old ones, if you were ever a baby, if you have decided that two is enough because this might be the store that breaks you. It has ALL the coolest, best, cutest baby things that you never needed but of course need now.

Like Tea Collection. I received a Tea Collection catalog awhile ago, and after a crazy afternoon when I actually thought buying $60 dresses for Little Frog was a good idea, I decided I needed to just throw the catalog away whenever it appeared. I've been tossing it faithfully ever since, but not without a longing for the cutest baby and kids clothes around.

Pacifier has them. On sale. But Mamastar walked away (and then found more to buy-I blame The Mastermind, he was all "don't we need a birthday present for. . .").

And  was thinking about it, though, because if anything makes you want another baby it's all those fantastic baby things (and baby clothes made out of bamboo - swoon!) - but it was a fleeting fancy.

Because a true star knows what scripts to send back unopened, and even if she has a stares-in-to-the-sky-thinking-whatifs moment about what fun it would be to be cast in an independent version of Blade III: The Mommy Years, she knows that would be a very bad idea.

Very Bad.

You know why? In case of zombie apocalypse, three kids would be really hard to grab and run with only two grown-ups.  You know it's true.

And now to finish this date night with some episodes of Lost. Because it is also true that watching the pregnant woman being all pregnant-y on a beach is way more exciting than going through it yourself.



Monday, July 18, 2011

An Afternoon in Pictures

When your kids wake up at 6am your afternoon starts at 10:30. 

Documented proof that they sometimes play nicely


The making of superballs, using Sunday School leper sticks (or were they shepherds?) as stirrers.

Braving the HEAT for the SAV Farmer's Market

 The St. Anthony Village Farmer's Market was sorely diminished today - most likely due to the heat index nearing 112 degrees, but we went anyway. The sellers that braved the heat got our money, and we got zucchini and hot sauce, so all is well.

Little Frog losing it while I'm making dinner - Note Ox laughing in the background.

Finally dinnertime: BBQ pork sandwiches & parmesan roasted zucchini.

All in all a good afternoon.The more we cram-pack our days the happier everyone seems to be (I can't think of a day that hasn't contained at least one melt-down from one of us-on good days they happen at home).


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Candy Making 101

It is one of the hottest days of the year, The Mastermind has hurt his back which has put him out of commission, I have a going-on-three-days headache so, and Ox is 5 going on 15 (can we say ATTITUDE?)
so. . .

Lets make candy!

I found a FANTASTIC blog called Making Memories that has all the cool tricks and tips for being a rockstar parent with very few ingredients, steps, and usually only a little acting required. Since I've never made candy before, I found myself trying to remember that one Dirty Jobs episode where Mike is making peanutbutter cups, and the specific steps for that perfect curlicue of chocolate on top. I don't think I perfected it. It looks more like a cow patty than a peppermint patty.

Here's Ox adding the green food coloring. If you look closely you might be able to see insects flying in to the window to put themselves out of misery rather than bearing this heat.
Ox with the minty centers and pre-melted chocolate.

Finished product. Pretty tasty, and not too ugly.

By the time we were done making our candy everyone felt better.We even braved the weather to cross the street to bring this plate of patties to our rockstar neighbors.

Not too many pictures of Little Frog, I know. She was not that interested in the candy making process, and threw away the one patty I let her eat. She chose to clean the floor with baby wipes instead:

Carry on Little Frog, carry on.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Rainy Day

About 6 hours in to this rainy day I've run out of ideas, and can barely remember this morning.

So we're watching a movie, in the basement, in case of a power outage:

Little Frog ready for the lights to go out.
Don't get me wrong, the kids love a little power outage. Not that we've had more than one, but that was apparently pretty exciting.

Ahh movie time! I tried desperately to convince Ox to watch one of the Tinkerbell movies, but he was NOT convinced. Which is too bad. Awhile back I managed to convince him that boys like to watch Angelina Ballerina, and he's totally okay with that. I must have gone about Tinkerbell in the wrong way.

We finally settled on Fantastic Mr. Fox, and I know I'll have to put up with Ox trying to imitate that little whistle for the next week as a result.

A note on Little Frog: this morning out of the blue she told me that next time she wants to be a cat, but this time she's a little girl. Her nickname is derived from another early morning declaration: "Mama when I was a little frog I was crying in the mud because a tornado was coming."


Past life: frog. Present life: little girl. Future life: cat. Leave it to a 3-year-old to have the universe well-organized.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chex Mix

I bought ingredients for Chex Mix a week ago and the peanuts were gone within 2 days, the pretzels are nearly gone, and so I have a lonely box of corn Chex in my cupboard.

(Question: do people actually buy a box of corn Chex, a box of wheat Chex, AND a box of rice Chex when they make Chex Mix? What do they do with the 3 boxes of Chex, two-thirds full?)

I briefly considered buying more peanuts and pretzels, but lets be honest, Chex Mix makes me poo.

So on the rare morning that I had time for breakfast alone I felt the need to commemorate:

a) Corn Chex with honey and skim milk in my recycled plastic bowl that sometimes leaves flakes of recycled plastic in my food and sometimes cracks, spilling its contents. But hey! I'm being green.
b) Tazo ginger tea in my AchieveMpls mug. Perfect tea, perfect mug.
c) The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang. I recommend it. Especially to people I've had to explain "why all those Asians are here anyway." Just read the book.
d) Retro blue/white-flecked table my mom bought for me at an antique store and is the perfect breakfast table (it was demoted from everymeal table when Little Frog came along and we needed more room for dinner).

Gotta get going. Swimming lessons this morning and then The Mastermind comes home from his trip to Nevada today and I have to pick raspberries and green beans because I said I would every day and didn't (hey I started picking beans, but there are huge brown spiders on the plants! Disgusting.), and maybe wash my hair. Not sure when I did that last (in my defense, Ma Ingalls only washed her hair once a week and if it works for Ma Ingalls, it works for me).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Just about a week before my son* turned five, I came home from work to a different kid. Something had happened/connected/developed in his brain and from that moment on I thought of him as five. Something similar happened to me about two months ago when I awoke from a daze to the fact that I am now a professional parent. After 5 and a half years.

(brief intermission while Mamastar gives Little Frog* a time out, scrubs smushed fishstick out of the carpet, actually finds herself hissing as she steps in said fishstick fallout, and forever bans processed fish product from this house)

what was I saying? Oh yeah, I'm a professional.

So I have a blog because:
1) Ever since Jon and Kate Plus 8 aired for the first time I've secretly pretended that I'm on camera to keep myself from going crazy (hey, if millions of people are watching me and scrutinizing my porcupine hair I might just do this whole Mamahood thing better, right?)
2) Every professional knows that reflection upon one's craft brings about true professionalism and awareness of one's strengths and weaknesses.

(and just maybe it will be a little bit fun)

Now excuse me while I take a walk with my children to retrieve the frizbee just flung into the neighbor's yard by Ox.

*For the sake of this and future blogs, my children will be referenced by their nicknames:
5-year-old has self-named himself Ox, short for Oxygen, an element which has fascinated him since he accidentally checked out a book on oxygen at the library last summer.
3-year-old will be Little Frog because of her strange fascination with frogs. I don't believe in reincarnation but if I did, she was for sure a frog in her past life.
Dear Husband will be referred to as The Mastermind. Not only is this actually his Meyers-Briggs personality type, but it is just who he is.