Month: March 2011 (page 2 of 3)

I’m advertising love for free, so you can place your ad with me.*

You all know I’d been in a funk recently. It was pretty obvious why.

My cell fossil

My inadequate cell fossil phone. My modern day tin can and string.

This is me, dissatisfied with its primitive technology.

Where's the damn apostrophe? How am I supposed to text?

Do you see how I can’t even look at the phone? Do you see the chin hair? Oh, my dreary life!

But my clever husband knew just what to do. He came into our bedroom one day and said, “Listen. Will you come out from under the covers if I get you a new cell phone?”

I peeked out. “You’d get me a new cell phone?”

“You’ve got to get out of those sweatpants first. And put down the doughnut.”

“Can I get a smartphone?” I mumbled through a mouthful of powdered cake bits.

“You have to get a shower to get a smartphone.”

“Can I have an iPhone?”

“Can we have sex?”

And that’s how I got my Droid Global.

This is me now, with my new phone.

Confidence!

The phone covers my chin hair! I feel strong. Happy. Confident.

Sexy?

And sexy? Maybe. You should ask Dave. Or just know that his ring tone happens to be “Hard to Handle” by The Black Crowes.* Can feel me elbowing you in the ribs. Huh? Huh? Uh huh. Hehe. (You may need to pretend. I can communicate with my phone but I can’t actually TOUCH you with it. At least I don’t think I can. Can I?)

Now, I am current. Well, almost. As soon as I learn to actually use the phone I will be. Currently, I have the potential to be current! And you no longer have to wait until I get to my computer to know that I sneezed into the elliptical fan. Or worry that I’ll forget that funny thing my kid said. And I can watch Baby Monkey (Going Backwards on a Pig) ANYTIME!

The only funk I got now is the good kind.

Never Believe It’s Not So*

My grandmother came to visit last weekend. It felt so good to have her here. The girls and I couldn’t have enjoyed her more. Especially Phoebe.

Phoebe and her Great Grandma

Now, Phoebe is a girl that loves her mama. She wants to be held by me at all times. If someone else dares to embrace her, she’ll allow it, briefly. But mostly she does everything she can to let the world know she’d rather be in my arms.

Until Great Grandma.

No one has ever held Phoebe for as long and as peacefully as she did.

I think she must be magic.

*Post title courtesy of my latest earworm Magic by Pilot.

Make an Exploding Rainbow

Water and oil don’t mix. Neither do milk and oil. Here’s a fun way to demonstrate that using a few items you probably have in your kitchen right now.

Supplies:

Exploding Rainbow Supplies

  • A pie pan
  • Whole Milk
  • Food coloring
  • Dishwashing soap

Directions:

  1. Fill a pie pan nearly full with whole milk. Milk looks like a white liquid, but it’s really tiny drops of fat suspended in water.
  2. Exploding Rainbow 1

  3. Add three drops of each color of food coloring.
  4. Exploding Rainbow 2

  5. Add some dishwashing detergent. This will break the surface tension of the milk.
  6. Exploding Rainbow 3

  7. Watch the colors explode as the dishwashing detergent interacts with the watery liquid and the fat, creating currents that mix and swirl the colors. The show can last up to twenty minutes!
  8. Exploding Rainbow 4

Originally written for and posted on the now-defunct My OH! Momma website.

Look at that Rainbow-oh-oh!

You’ve seen this:

(It was made from this.)

Over the weekend, the girls and I did that old exploding rainbow experiment (for My OH! Momma). This was Lucy’s reaction.

Man, I love that kid.

Tasty Tilapia with Fruit Salsa

Tilapia is a wonderfully light and healthy dinner. It packs a protein punch, but goes easy on your bank account. And it happens to be delicious! Especially when you serve it up like this. Here is the recipe that made my kids fall in love with fish.

Ingredients:

Tasty Tilapia Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Tilapia
  • Assorted fresh fruit (I used pineapple, strawberry and kiwi.)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Chop four cups of fresh fruit.
  3. Tasty Tilapia 1

  4. Combine honey and mustard.
  5. Tasty Tilapia 2

  6. Stir 1/4 cup of the honey-mustard mixture into the fruit and set aside.
  7. Tasty Tilapia 3

  8. Brush the remaining mixture on both sides of the fish and place in a foil-lined pan. Bake until fish is white all the way through.
  9. Tasty Tilapia 4

  10. Top fish with salsa and serve!
  11. Tasty Tilapia 5

Makes 8 servings.

Originally written for and posted on the now-defunct My OH! Momma website.

100 Years from Now

Julia brought this home from school yesterday.

100 Years from Now by Julia

I love this picture for so many reasons.

1. She has “childrin.” She wants to be a mom! Perhaps I’m not scarring her for life with my grand ineptitude!

2. Her sisters are around.

3. I’m still around. And I’m in a skirt!

I love the optimism she has for the future and my fashion sense.

She got a fever! And the only cure is a PURPLE RIBBON!

Julia woke up with a 102.3 degree fever on Saturday. Normally, a fever that high would warrant a couch-bed, a bucket and exclusive remote control privileges. But this wasn’t any old Saturday. It was Ribbon Festival Saturday.

Now, sometime, someone decided, and I’m sure it’s written somewhere, that children are supposed to stay home until they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours. Julia, however, did not care about that. She wanted to go to the Ribbon Festival. She’s been there once, twice, and would this time be three-times a ribbon-getter. And a purple ribbon-getter at that. Finally. She played her Ribbon Festival piece on an endless loop all the while shouting, “See! I can do it! That fever stuff is crap!”

Being that I’m somewhat of a rule-follower, I struggled with the situation, but ultimately decided that we would throw caution to the wind and take a chance on a purple ribbon.

I think it was the right thing to do.

The song she played was Chant Arabe. (Admittedly, not my favorite.) It’s the kind of song that most kids like to pound out hard and fast and equally as loud. Like a jackhammer. But Julia exhibited control, playing at an appropriate volume and speed, and as the song is written. And she was careful not to breathe on anyone in the process.

This is what the judge said about it:

Great, Julia!

I like your attention to the accents!

Wonderful right hand melodic tone, very confident, and solid left hand support.

Great rit. at the end!

Very, very secure and musical – totally solid.

Great job!

We were all so proud of her, although Lucy refused to be photographed with her. (She was mugging for her own shot.)

Julia (and Lucy) at the Ribbon Festival

Phoebe was willing, however.

Julia and Phoebe at the Ribbon Festival

Mr. Palmer was sufficiently proud, too, and rewarded Julia with a heartfelt squeeze.

And then, not just a mom, but The Mom – a woman with at least four musical prodigies that she homeschools approached and complimented Julia on her passion for piano. Julia has been performing alongside this woman’s children since she began piano with Mr. Palmer. Her two oldest daughters are as beautiful as they are musically talented and Julia watches them as closely as I watch their mother, because she seems so together. I want to know her secrets. I want to ask her advice. I want people to feel about me the way I feel about her.

Saturday’s Ribbon Festival was her oldest daughter’s 15th and final Ribbon Festival performance.

“She started at the same age you did, Julia,” the mom told her.

Our misty eyes met. She smiled and I smiled. She nodded. And that was everything I needed.

Her Hair of Floating Sky is Shimmering, Glimmering in the Sun*

Julia has long hair – a whole lot of beautiful, thick long hair. I spend a lot of time taking care of her hair. Combing it at night after her bath is an especially lengthy process I often complain about, but secretly love. We sit still and close and we talk. The older she gets, the less she sits still or close. And while she’s often talking, some days it seems like she has less and less to say to me. So, I’ve grown to truly love the time we spend combing her hair.

This morning, Julia combed her own hair. She’s been attempting it each morning and night for a long time. She would “comb” it and then I would comb it. But today, she really did it. I combed it through to check it, but she really didn’t need me to.

She didn’t need me and it gave me pause.

Push, push, push. That’s what I do with Julia. And while I’m often saying, “Julia’s great,” I almost always follow it up with, “but she needs to…” Focus more. Get through piano book one. Quit mixing up the hands on her watch and learn to tell time. Read longer books. Work on her cartwheel. There’s always something coming up next – a new thing I’m pushing her to learn. But she’s beginning to master things and it’s comforting and unsettling at the same time. I’ve been looking ahead so long and so hard, that when I look at her, she’s changed. She’s grown. I feel like I’m missing it.

So, instead of running a math drill because, “You’re not a B+ student, Julia. Especially in math. C’mon kiddo. Let’s work on this!” I listened to her talk about “the dream of her life” and the original song she’s writing that will make her a rock star.

“You could go on American Idol, one day,” I told her.

“No, Mom. I’ve told you. I need a YouTube video. That’s how you make it.”

After I dropped her off at school, I came home and opened “Julia’s Video’s” folder on my computer and watched clip after clip of her talking to the camera, giggling, rambling and playing a song she wrote for her Dad. Lucy watched, too, her cheeks full of giggles. “Julia,” she cooed. “Julia is great.” No buts.

Julia is great. Not for her potential, but for what she is. She adds so much beauty to my life. And she gave me permission to share some of it with you.

Each morning, Julia gets dressed, comes downstairs and heads straight to the piano to play. Her appetite is greater for music than it is for food.

This is the song I was hoping she’d get to play for the Ribbon Festival on Saturday, but it’s not. She’s playing Chant Arabe. (I rolled my eyes when I said that.) Chant Arabe. Pshaw.

And this is the most recent one she’s learned in piano class.

She told me I could post one of her rock star video drafts, but I said no. She still has some things to work on.

*lyrics from the song Julia written by John Lennon.

Make Your Own Mardi Gras Mask

Mardi Gras is french for “Fat Tuesday,” the last day of feasting before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. The holiday is celebrated in a variety of ways including parades and wearing costumes and masks. Help your kids celebrate Mardi Gras this coming Fat Tuesday by making their own masks!

Supplies:

Mardi Gras Mask Supplies

  • Paper (construction paper, cardstock – the sturdier the better)
  • Stick (craft stick, dowel, or a straw will work)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Craft supplies (We used glitter, glue, feathers and ribbon, but you can use whatever you have available.)

Directions:

  1. Cut a letter “B” shape out of your paper making sure the size is right for your child to be able to see through the holes.
  2. Mardi Gras Mask 1

  3. Decorate the mask! The older your child, the more elaborate your decorations can be. We kept it simple and added some glitter, curly ribbons and feathers using the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold.
  4. Mardi Gras Mask 2

    Mardi Gras Mask 3

    Mardi Gras Mask 4

    Mardi Gras Mask 5

    Mardi Gras Mask 6

    Mardi Gras Mask 7

    Mardi Gras Mask 8

  5. Attach your stick with tape.
  6. Mardi Gras Mask 9

  7. You’re ready to celebrate!
  8. Mardi Gras Mask 10

Originally written for and posted on the now-defunct My OH! Momma website.

It At First You Don’t Succeed, Try Try – Oh Whatever.

I fell off the diet and exercise bandwagon. Again.

I’ve gained nine pounds since that horrible thing happened. (It’s okay to roll your eyes. I’m sick of fragile ‘ole me and my desperate need for the world’s approval, too.) Every day of the two weeks and two days that followed that incident, Dave would catch me eating [insert mass quantity of junk food here] and say, “It looks like we’re starting our diet back up tomorrow, huh?”

One day, he patted his tummy bulging with hamburger and suggested that, “Maybe dieting isn’t for us.”

I agreed. Maybe I am meant to be fat. There are plenty of people the world loves, not in spite of, but in part, due to their rolly polly nature. I can’t think of who they are right now. But they’re out there. Perhaps my destiny is to be a short little mom, plump like a ripe berry, with an endless batch of cookies baking in the oven.

“The thing is,” I told him, “the only time I’m unhappy about my weight is when I consider what other people think of it. I’m fine with it.”

I knew it was a lie as soon as I said it.

“I love you no matter what you weigh,” he said. “But I feel better when I eat right and I run.”

And so we started on Monday. Again.

I think someone smart (and probably skinny) said, “You never fail until you stop trying.”

Maybe this will be the time that sticks.

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