Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dad vs. Baby

I know what you're going to say. You're seeing through my attempts at procrastination. Three blog posts in one day? Come on! I know. I know. But, I'm almost done packing and my husband won't be home until who knows when tonight. I've got time. Really, I do. So much time, that I've watched this video over at Danielle's twice. You really have to watch it if you haven't already. So funny!

Not Da Grinch

To keep this blog from being voted grinchiest blog of the year from my post below, here are a couple of fun pictures...

Ladybug is trying to become the world's greatest escape artist. Here she is finding the weak spots in my system...

Fritter is a very good big brother. He keeps his sister out of as much trouble as he gets her in.

I couldn't resist a first thing in the morning picture. Excuse the red eye.

It looks like he's helping her decorate the tree here, but actually, he's stopping her from ripping down the ornaments. ;-)

Now, back to that packing...

Clearing Out The Donation Box

I'm sure you are well aware of the many requests for donations that come through the mail this time of year. We get so many that I haven't had to buy address labels in three years! And the rosaries, and spare change, and prayer cards are overwhelming. Each time I get one of these requests in the mail, I read through it, decide if it's a cause I'd like to donate to, and if it is I put it in the donation "box" which is really just a drawer in my desk.

But since I can't donate to all of them, the "box" has been becoming fuller and fuller. There's guilt there too, you know. My conscience tugs at me every time I get another in the mail and it gets relegated to the "box".

NO MORE! I have decided to clear out the "box". I'm not looking twice (except to take a picture). They are getting tossed as well as the guilt. Is this wrong to do three days before Christmas? I don't think so. We donate to what we donate to, and I may or may not ever donate to some of these other causes. Should I keep them around just because they are "worthy"? Again, I don't think so. Goodbye box 'o guilt, goodbye!

Friday, December 18, 2009

2010 Goals

Taking the idea of the five P's from A Mother's Rule of Life, I decided to set my New Years Goals in each of those areas. I plan on also using Michelle's idea of a New Month's Resolution to achieve these goals. And, since I can come back to this post at the end of next year, I am going to mention where I am currently at in each of these areas, so I can see my progress. Here goes...

1st P: Prayer
Attend Daily Mass - currently only attending on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation Ah-hem.  Still here.
Awake at 6am for morning prayer - this happens maybe once a week if I'm lucky Have adapted to saying morning prayer no matter when I get up.  This has made it more realistic for me.
Evening prayer with an examination of conscience - not happening Has become more of an organic thing, instead of what I envisioned.  In many ways, this is actually better.
Daily Rosary - this doesn't happen enough for me to quantify it Really was doing good with this, and so were the kids.  Fell off after Advent came, but has become enough of a habit, it should be easy to start doing again.
Daily Spiritual Reading - I do do this, but I want to make myself a little less flighty with it and maybe make a list of those books and readings I really want to do Who really needs a list?  I'm always reading spiritual books.
Monthly Confession - currently about every other month  Still about every other month.
Daily Family Prayer - not happening Besides meal times, this is still not happening.

2nd P: Person
reduce sugar intake - ummm...this one is really bad Still pretty bad.  I have increased my protein intake though.  ;-)
daily vigorous exercise - sometimes walk in the evenings with the kids  Uh....no.
Monthly Mother's Sabbath - not happening Nope again.
Asleep by 10 - currently asleep by 11 or 12 Usually asleep by 10:30.  I guess this is progress.
assess clothing needs - this one is already in the works, but I had to include it  Done.

3rd P: Partner
Monthly date night out - happens about every other month  Every other month has become realistic.  We spend many evenings at home together.
attend a marriage conference or retreat - we did a marriage encounter when we were first married, and nothing since We attended one at our parish.

4th P: Parent
Make independent play a priority - this mostly happens, but I didn't want to forget about it Can't live without this.
Make mommy and me time a priority - to my shame, this happens less than I'd like Still happens less than I like.
Use raised voice less and action more - sigh  sigh again.
Celebrate Feast Days - not happening  This was a success in many ways.  It's all about planning.

5th P: Provider
Stay within bi-weekly budget - this happens about every other check. I seem to end up borrowing from the next pay.  We have renegotiated the budget, and it's more realistic.
Establish savings goals - not happening  This will happen more after we are debt-free.
Garage sale - oh boy is this needed Done
Come up with a doable cleaning schedule - right now I oscillate between an overachiever and an overwhelmed housewife Mostly found my balance.

Have you come up with your 2010 goals? I'd love to hear them.

If you're interested, I updated my resolution from 2009 with where I'm at with them.

*Updated 1/6/11

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ramble Bamble

After a morning of standing in line at the post office for an hour, AN HOUR, with a three year old and a one year old, and THEN going to the store for milk and a few other odds and ends (what is it with milk prices lately? I paid $2.50 for a gallon of milk today, and since my gluttonous family drinks a gallon every other day, I'm spending $10 a week on milk (that's $520 a year!)and I only have two kids!!!) I finally got home in time to put the kids down for a later than usual afternoon nap.

I spent my "break time" making the beautiful candies in the post below. Granted, they didn't turn out as pretty as the picture, mostly because I didn't have sweetened condensed milk, so I made my own, but burnt the sugar, and I somehow made the white chocolate turn chunky for the peppermint bark. Hey, it tastes the same, and as long as I don't show my hubby what they are supposed to look like, he might not notice. ;-)

Speaking of my hubby, I got a call from him to tell me he was going to have to work pretty late tonight. How late you ask? Like midnight. Yeah, that's late. Add that to the fact that I very lazily didn't get up this morning and he left at 6:30. That means he didn't eat breakfast, he didn't take a lunch, and I have a very guilty conscience. *sigh* When he called, he did say that he got something from the cafeteria, but still. Why does waking up have to be so hard to do? Does anyone else have this problem?

***Bonus! He just called at 8:30 to say he's on his way home.***

What I'm Making Today

Care to join me for tea later?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Catholic Radio!!!

I have been haunting the website of Immaculate Heart Radio, because I saw in our church bulletin a few months back that we were getting a Catholic radio station. But then I never saw anything else about it. And just tonight, when I thought to check again, there it is! Coming soon to Arizona! Yay!

Ok, I'm done now. Back to your regularly scheduled programming... (impish grin)

Guilt Free Wednesday Fun

I've decided that Wednesdays are going to be our fun days around here. Besides the usual cleanup stuff there will be no real "work". Today I'm planning on taking us to the park, with lunch at Chick-fil-a (we have a gift card). After naps, I think we'll bake some pumpkin bread and then walk around the neighborhood.

I have a real problem with guilt. While my husband is at work, I feel guilty if I'm playing or having fun. It's like if I'm not doing real physical work, I'm slacking. So, I talked to him about it last night.

He told me that he actually deals with a little bit of guilt too. He feels guilty if I make him lunch and breakfast in the mornings, or when I do things for him. It's a societal pressure, he said. Because many families have both parents working, many men can't really ask their wives to do some of these things for them without imposing on them. And even though I stay at home, the guilt is still there for him.

We've decided to enjoy the benefits more of our vocations, and not feel guilty about it. If I have a chance to take a nap while the kids are sleeping, I should do that. They won't be napping forever, so I should take advantage of it. And because my hours are "longer" than his, taking a nap and little breaks here and there are required to make sure I'm not getting run down. If I'm grumpy, everyone is miserable. And if my husband is not eating right during the day, he comes home hungry. Then he's not able to give us his best either.

It's really ok to experience joy in our vocations. Perhaps this is a no-brainer to many of you who stay at home. I'm curious if other families feel this "societal" guilt as well.

Here's to guilt free Wednesday fun!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Chant

I am not a chant lover. I like it at Mass (when I've heard it there), but to just listen to it at home...not for me. But I know there are those out there who do like to listen to it. I can see why.

Recently, I got an opportunity to review two new Christmas chant albums. "The Glory of Byzantine: Christmas Hymns" is truly beautiful. Granted, I couldn't tell I was listening to Christmas music. This is not Jingle Bells. This is better. The music really put me in mind of the holiness and sacredness of the coming Christmas season.

The second album "Hymns of Mount Athos" by the Choir of Monks from the Monastery of Simonos Petra had the same effect on me. I would say that I enjoyed the "Hymns of Mount Athos" more. I'm not a music expert by any means, but it seemed to have more variation of sound than the first album. Because of this, I was able to distinguish the songs better.

I would recommend both of these albums to anyone who is looking for something different in their Christmas music collection, but I also think that anyone who enjoys chant music would like these as well. You can find "The Glory of Byzantine" here and "Hymns of Mount Athos" here and also listen to tracks as well. You can also find out more about Jade Music here.

*I received a free download of both albums in return for an honest review.*

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thy Will Be Done

I was running late for a dentist appointment on Saturday. So when I rushed in 10 minutes late and hurried the paperwork along, I was not really thinking straight. One question asked, "Are you pregnant or trying to become pregnant?" Well, I suppose there is always that possibility, so I wrote that on the form.

When the receptionist called me up, she asked if I was pregnant. "Ummm...I don't think so, but there is always a possibility." She looked at me like I had grown three heads right in front of her. So she asked if I already had kids, to which I replied I did have two. "And you want more?" was her sarcastic answer. So I very calmly and politely replied that I will gladly accept as many children as God decides to bless us with. Somehow, this made her tell me her story.

After her third child was born, she "told God I was done" and had her tubes tied and "burnt" (I'm not really sure what all that means or entails, and I don't think I want to). But a few years later, a good friend with four kids passed away and the receptionist took in her children. "So now you have seven kids?" I asked. To which she replied, "I do. I had decided I was done, and God felt otherwise."

God's will be done.

Monday, November 30, 2009

And Two Appointments Later

First was Fritter's. After running a 102 fever last night and most of the morning, I decided I wanted him seen today instead of waiting for his well check tomorrow. So I drove the 30 minutes to his doctor (we really like this doctor) after they graciously double booked us. That meant waiting in a swine flu infested waiting room for another 30 minutes with both kids, but it needed to be done. The diagnosis? Both ears are infected on top of the cold he's managed to catch from me. Our doctor gave me another prescription for Ladybug to be filled if she starts to get the same symptoms in the next week. And I moved both kids well checks to January.

Then home for naps (including a quick one for myself) and we were off again. This time for me. And the winner is....a healthy dose of bronchitis. Just what I've always wanted. *ahem, cough, cough, hack, hack* So then I took our healthy family to the grocery store to have our prescriptions filled. I figured I could find something tasty to buy while we were waiting. But when the pharmacist said it would be an hour before they could get to ours, I decided nothing in the store was that tasty. I left the prescriptions after asking my dear, dear, dear husband to pick them up for me after work. He did. He loves me. *yeah, yeah, yeah*

Alrighty, off to bed I go. If you've read my ramblings, bless you.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Ladybug!

I'm amazed at how you've grown. I'm amazed you're already 1. Happy birthday girlie!

See, I can help!

Oh! Is this for me?

Let's see what this is all about.

That tastes pretty good, I'll try some more.

Wow! This stuff is messy!

Here Mom, want some?

Silly sisters.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On A Day

...when I should be scouring every inch of my house in preparation for our Thanksgiving feast with my small family, I'm doing every inch of nothing and feeling sorry for my sick self.

On a day when I should be preparing those things that can be prepared today for our Thanksgiving feast, I'm sitting at the computer with blurry eyes contemplating how far away my bed is.

On a day when I should be drinking ten cups of extra strong coffee to keep me going, I'm drinking decaf green tea with honey and counting the hours until bedtime.

On a day like today, I wonder at God's humor. Sick two days before Thanksgiving?

But, He knows my plans. He knows that if I kept to the schedule I've set for myself, I'll be exhausted by Thanksgiving, and less than thankful. He knows that on a day like today, I need to rest. On a day like today, I am thankful for His Fatherly Love. He knows what I need more than I do.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Say Thanks

From our homeschool group:



If you go to this web site you can pick out a Thank You card and Xerox will print it and send it to a soldier who is currently serving in Iraq.

You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.

How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!

It's FREE and it only takes seconds.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these?

Whether you are for or against the war, our soldiers over there need to know we are behind them.

This is a wonderful way to say thank you.

Please take the time and then please take the time to pass it on for others to do.

We can never say enough Thank You's!!!

Small Successes



We started potty training last Monday, the day after Fritter's third birthday. Despite my expectations that we would be completely done by that Friday (don't ask me why I thought this), we weren't. He did very well with the whole peeing thing, and has had very few accidents, but everyday was another day of dirty pants. But yesterday? Yesterday we went to a play group and (nervous as I was) he did great. He even used their potty. And not one accident. That doesn't mean he pooped in the potty though. We just didn't have an accident. I chalk this up to "holding it". This morning, I saw him squat and hurried him in, and again he resisted, and again I despaired. But...wait for it....HE DID IT! And he is sucking on a big sucker right now to prove it.


After weeks of being off the wagon (or is it on?) I got back on (or off?). Um, with my cleaning schedule that is. ;-) I've detailed the main bathroom, and the playroom, and the kids' rooms are scheduled for tomorrow. Have I mentioned before how I love Zone cleaning?


Speaking of the home front, I never mentioned our big mess that I alluded to before. While my husband was away, I noticed the floor in our master bathroom always seemed to be wet. Then I noticed that it was getting worse and one of the tiles actually squished when stepped on. But right after my hubby got home, we had guests and Fritter's birthday, and it just wasn't the right time to tackle the project. However, the thought of a leak somewhere in our house drove us both crazy, and so my dear husband decided to find where it was coming from. Long story short, our master bathroom is now unusable, and a plumber had to come in to find the leak. Two holes in my dining room wall and a hole in my living room wall later, and the leak was fixed. But my house still had holes in it and the bathroom was still unusable. So my husband fixed the holes and they look fantastic. And now, we have moved painting up on our list. So the success? Ahhh...the anticipation. We picked out our paint colors and will start this weekend. Go us! ;-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

His Irish Wit and Wisdom

Three classic episodes of Bishop Fulton Sheen's series Life is Worth Living are included in the video, His Irish Wit and Wisdom. In the first episode, the psychology of the Irish is examined. He talks about their fighting spirit and their imaginations and lore. Even while he cracks a few jokes, his audience gains a greater appreciation for those that dream of leprechauns.

In The Divine Sense of Humor, Bishop Sheen explores the humor of God. He debunks the popular idea that puns are the lowest form of humor by stating that God himself spoke in puns. An example he gives is when Christ names Simon "The Rock" and then later tells him that he is the rock upon which he will build his Church. The audience learns not only about God's humor, but more about God's Word as well, in classic Sheen tradition.

Bishop Fulton Sheen examines why people laugh in the aptly named, Why Do People Laugh? He explains that people are the only ones in the animal kingdom that have the ability to laugh and then goes on to explain why that is. A viewer will gain a keener appreciation for humanity and the humor associated with it.

While these three episodes are not the best of Bishop Sheen's work, they are certainly worth watching. Anyone wishing to enjoy some of Bishop Sheen's humor will appreciate this compilation.

You can purchase this DVD here.

I wrote this review of Bishop Sheen's Irish Wit and Wisdom for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

*I recieved a free copy of this video in exchange for an honest review.*

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tracking Virtue, Conquering Vice: A Guide for Spiritual Survival

This is a must have book for anyone new to the idea of virtue and vice. The seven deadly sins are broken down into bite-sized pieces and are coupled with the virtue to remedy them. There is practical advice on how to exercise each virtue, and an explanation of how each vice can manifest itself.

Besides the easy to read format, Fr. Classen includes several of his hunting and fishing stories. Even if you are not an avid hunter, the stories will still interest you. I can imagine that most of us can recognize ourselves in a few of the stories. For example, one of the stories he tells is when he and friend were deer hunting. His friend got the first deer, which meant that Fr. Classen had to help his friend before he could continue hunting himself. He shares in the book his unbidden thoughts that shocked him. He was experiencing greed, and only after exercising the virtue of charity, was he able to break free from the green-eyed monster.

Another great thing about this book, is that although it was written by a Catholic priest, it really can (and possibly should) be read by just about anyone. I would highly recommend this book.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Tracking Virtue, Conquering Vice.

*I recieved a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*


I'm tired of the spammers. I get excited when I see in my email inbox that someone has left a comment on my blog. The very same blog where I post pictures and stories about my family and my children. So when I open the email to read that that comment is not so innocent, (buy this performance enhancing product) well I get mad. So, for awhile at least, I am enabling comment moderation.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Potty Training Day 5

This was supposed to be our last day of potty training. Things have really gone pretty well, with a couple of minor issues and one great big (stinky) issue.

1. Fritter will pee in the potty anytime I tell him to go. Otherwise, if I just ask him, he tells me he doesn't need to go. Even if it's been a couple of hours and I know he needs to.

2. We've had very few accidents, but I think this is due to him really being able to "hold it". Once was while I was tickling him yesterday (and really, that was my fault).

3. I've yet to get him to go #2 in the potty. Generally this happens while he is in independent play, so yesterday I sat quietly in the room with him while he was playing, so I could catch him "in action" and put him on the toilet. I think if I could just get him to go once in there, he'd go every time. But, (even after two cups of apple juice and some raisins as a snack) he decided he didn't need to go at all. And this morning, while I was temporarily distracted, he went in his pants, and came and got me after the fact. Thankfully, cleaning up isn't such a big deal, especially since I can just dump the underwear in the toilet and throw them in the diaper pail. But really, he should go in the toilet.

I'd love ideas or thoughts on this. In other words, HELP! ;-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm A Little Teapot

There is nothing much cuter than a singing three year old, so here's another video.

ABC's and a Bonus Walk

Fritter singing his ABC's. Watch for Ladybug dancing and walking in the background.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's Potty Time! (Round Two)

If you don't care about the details of a first time potty trainer, I'm sure there is something interesting at the Discovery Channel. If you do care, well, read on!

Since Fritter turned three on Sunday, we decided that now was a good time to start potty training. Again. But this time there will be no going back. So I cleared our week of everything, and started yesterday.

In the morning, I immediately dressed him in his training pants. What is cuter than a three year old in underwear? He even said they were "cozy". I can imagine they must be compared to a diaper.

Because he is a very tall three year old, I decided to use the top of the potty chair on the toilet seat instead of just the chair. I also thought it would help him get more excited about using it. I used Ladybug's doll to show him how to use it, and sat him on it right after. It was very hard getting him to sit still long enough to actually go.

Right after breakfast, we had our first accident. (Which happened, by the way, while the plumbers were here. That's another story.) We had one more accident that morning, and I'm thinking that I have a very long, stressful day ahead of me. But right before his nap, I had an epiphany and had him stand up. It was only a couple of minutes before he went, and I think he might have been a little shocked. ;-) Now I just need to teach him how to aim.

He stayed dry for his whole nap yesterday, and although we never had a #2, we also didn't have another accident. For bedtime, I put a plastic cover over his training pants (I wake up enough during the night, I didn't want to change sheets too) but it really wasn't needed, because he stayed dry all night.

This morning has been a little different ball game. We've had three accidents so far, including a yucky one, but also a few successes. I think he's uncomfortable going #2 on the toilet, even with the potty seat on it, so we're working on that. I'm going to try the potty chair, and maybe he'll be more comfortable that way.

Patience wise, I've really been praying. Right before his nap, I was very frustrated, because I could see that he needed to go, but he was being stubborn. I'm thinking a rosary and a nap may be in order. For me. Not him. He's already sleeping.

I have to remember that this is a process, much like learning to walk, and when he falls, I can't get angry or frustrated, I have to help him learn from his mistakes.

One cute story, yesterday before doing his deed, he blessed himself, folded his little hands and prayed, "Bless us oh Lord and these thy gifts..." I'm sure God knew what he meant. ;-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Fritter!

We had Fritter's birthday party yesterday at the park, and it really turned out good. I was nervous, because I have never thrown a party myself before. But I think everyone had a nice time. Especially with the pinata. ;-)

Fritter thought he was in heaven, because my dear husband bought some "booloons" to decorate the pavilion with. We let Fritter pick out a "wed booloon" and tied it to his wrist. So even though the park was crowded it was easy to spot him.

Fritter trying to blow out the candles. He still isn't quite sure how to blow (he tries to blow through his teeth) so an older boy helped him. I think he'll still get his wish.

Fritter going for the pinata.

Afterwards, we were exhausted but happy. It is a nice feeling to be surrounded by so many good friends.
Happy 3rd birthday Fritter! We love you.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Melissa & Doug Giveaway

Head on over to Melissa & Doug to see the adorable play kitchen they are giving away and enter to win there. If you've never seen Melissa & Doug toys, you are totally missing out. Seriously, they are that good. So what are you waiting for? Go! Enter!
*Picture from the Melissa & Doug website.*

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Little Saints

Last night we went to our first All Saints Day Party. It was so much fun and so cute to see all the little saints. I was amazed at how many St. George's there were to sword fight each other. ;-)

St. Francis

Mary Queen of Heaven

The Litany of Saints
There was also a catacombs made out of refrigerator boxes and a jumpy house. Which was great, because after all the candy Fritter had eaten, he needed to get that energy out.
It was nice to meet other families in our area, and I was amazed at how many little kids there were. It was a madhouse, and it was so much fun. ;-)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hubby, Come Home!

My dear, dear, dear husband will be coming home late tomorrow! *Squeel!* I don't think I can convey to you how excited I am. Or how long today has been. Or how long tomorrow will be. He's coming home!

I have a few projects underfoot to keep myself busy. Besides the kids. They are two bundles of projects themselves. ;-)

I'm working on their costumes for the homeschooling group's All Saints party. I'm very excited. We've never been to one and I'm really looking forward to it. Especially since my hubby will be there.

So, the costumes. At Joann today, I found some simple brown fabric for Fritter's costume, along with other fabric for Ladybug. While standing in line to checkout, I looked down at my receipt and saw *gasp* that simple brown fabric was going to cost me $50! I had accidentally picked up brown suit wool, without really looking at it. Thankfully the nice lady that helped me cut the fabric took it back and directed me to the $1/yard brown felt. Otherwise Fritter would have been one rich St. Francis. ;-)

I'll post pictures of the kids in their costumes maybe Saturday or Sunday...or tomorrow. Who knows. My hubby is coming home!

A Google Search

For the person who found me by searching "story of mothers pooping there pants", I'm curious. Why? And did you find what you were looking for? ;-)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Little (Big) Boy

Why is it that I miss my little boy and want to go wake him up just so I can snuggle him? An hour ago I was looking forward to him going to bed. This isn't a rare feeling for me either. It happens most nights.
Perhaps it's because Fritter has (almost) become a big boy. You know what that means, right? It means that he doesn't want hugs and kisses and snuggles when I want to give them to him. He wants to sit in the chair instead of on the couch with mom. He wants to play with his cars instead of snuggle on my lap for a book. And he would rather try to run as fast as he can at me and throw his whole body weight into me and squeeze my leg as hard as he can, instead of giving me sweet little hugs.
He's all boy, that one. He tries my patience a lot. He's loud, he's stubborn, and he fusses. But he's also very funny. He's strong willed and independent. And he surprises me with his gentleness. He's incredibly smart and I'm amazed at the things he remembers and the things he knows. There are times when I wonder when he's going to start listening to me, and then there are days when I'm amazed at how well behaved he is.
He is not the same little boy we brought home from the hospital. And yet he is. He changed a lot after his sister was born. In some ways he became more challenging and in other ways he became more independent. He's grown up. And while I know he still has so much growing to do, I can't imagine him being any bigger than he is. He's my good boy. And he's almost three.

Kauai Trip - Part 2

The rest of our trip was spent mostly sight seeing. The kids did very well in the car, and because it takes awhile to get from one part of the island to the other, they were in the car a lot.

One of our many "road" pictures.

One of the first things we went to see was the Kilauea Lighthouse. Fritter has been fascinated with lighthouses since we did a short unit on them from the Brightly Beaming Preparatory Curriculum. A common phrase for him is, "A beacon is a signal." So we couldn't miss this. It was worth the drive, and the view was awesome.

The unused lighthouse.

The now used boring beacon.

On some of the days that my dear husband had to work in paradise, we went shopping. Outside the Hawaiian Trading Post was one of those touristy photo ops. Hey, we were tourists, and I wasn't going to miss our chance. ;-)

Hang ten, Fritter!

Hmmm....what's in there?

Probably the coolest playground I've ever seen was at Lydgate Park on the East side of the island. That's where we first met up with my husband's friend, from when he was in the Navy, and his family (The "A" Family). They are currently stationed on Oahu, so it was a short flight over for them and they stayed for a few days. Fritter loved playing with their kids and did his best to follow them around. ;-)

The only issue we had in the car was when we decided to go to Waimea Canyon. Waimea Canyon is called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific and is truly spectacular. To get there, though, you have to drive up winding mountain roads. And Fritter gets carsick. So about every 10 minutes or so, we had to pull over and let him have fresh air and walk around a bit. We actually went there twice. Once when the "A" family was visiting.

Waimea Canyon.

There are helicopter rides that will take you through the Canyon, but I wouldn't be caught on one. ;-)

The second time we went further up the canyon, because my hubby wanted to give me a great surprise. After a small hike, we were able to see part of the Na Pali coast. The only way to see the whole coast is either by boat or by helicopter. There is not a road that goes completely around the island. As such, it is a truly untouched piece of Earth. And an amazing one at that.

The last trip we made was to the very lush North side of the island to Hanalei Bay. This was perhaps the prettiest spot I'd ever seen, and maybe the best beach as well. The sand is soft powder, and the beach slopes very gradually into the ocean. Out beyond the bay, we could make out some surfers and some very big waves.

If you could see the picture above bigger, you would see about five waterfalls coming off the mountains. When it rains there are many more. I could have stayed at that beach forever.

Our camera batteries were basically dead by this point, so I'm amazed we even got this picture. We had to turn the camera on and point and click as fast as we could. The picture below is the result of that. I did bring the docking charger, but for some reason it's not working. ;-(

If you ever get a chance to visit Kauai, I highly recommend buying The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook.* It was such a help to us, and fun to read as well. You will be happy you spent the money on it.

*I did not get reimbursement of any kind for recommending this book.*

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kauai Trip - Part 1

As nervous as I was about such a long flight with the kids by myself, it went fine. And my reward was waiting for me at the baggage claim, so any discomfort was well worth it. I followed my hubby from the airport to his condo, and though it was dark, I could tell immediately that I was someplace magical. When we got to my dear husband's condo, I asked how close we were to the ocean. He told me that if I stand on the balcony and squint a little, I could see it. So imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning to this:

Cheeky hubby, isn't he?

The next day was spent napping mostly, but I did have to go out to get food in that house. Isn't it funny how quickly guys revert to bachelorism when it comes to food? ;-) While at Costco (The cheapest place on the island. Did you know that milk can be $8 a gallon there?!) I was charmed by these guys in the parking lot....

It seems that after a hurricane, a bunch of roosters were released and have become local pests. I think they're cute. Fritter enjoyed cock-a-doodling at them.

The next day, all I could think about was the beach. So that's where we went. Fritter played in the waves...

Ladybug did her best to eat all the sand on the beach...

And I did this...

What?! ;-)
Later that evening, when my wonderful-spoils-me-rotten-husband got home, we played in the grassy knoll and I got great pictures.

Awww...Are those for me?

Guess not. ;-)

Stop eating stuff you little monkey!

Loving on Daddy.

Did I mention that Ladybug took her first steps the second day we were there? I say steps because it was three, not just one. I think I know where that's going to take us.

Dad and Fritter enjoying the waves.
And I'll leave you with this picture and pick up where I left off next time...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Travel Poop Story

I'm still not ready to expand on our trip, but I do have a small story to share.

The plane that took us from LA home was a small express plane with two seats on either side. While Fritter slept the whole trip (yay!) Ladybug was awake and enjoying waving at everyone behind her. About 30 minutes before we landed, her face started turning red and got very serious. That's when I realized that while I had put on the kids' overnight diapers before our first flight, I hadn't changed them yet. Hey, it was still nighttime for us, and I was running off of 30 minutes of sleep.

So, Ladybug is straining and all of a sudden there is an AWFUL smell radiating from her. So bad, in fact, that the older lady sitting behind and across the aisle from us said, "Someone is a little stinky". Yep, that's my kid.

The seat belt sign is on, we are about to land, and I can't get up to change my very smelly baby. That's when I notice something wet on Ladybug's pants. Her diaper was starting to leak. No big deal, right? I wrapped a blanket around her, more for stench control than anything, and kept her standing up. And then...I looked down at my lap. That's right. Poop. On. My. Lap. So not only was my baby smelly, but I was too.

I then had to endure the plane unloading and all the people Ladybug had formally entertained walking past us. I'm sure they smelled her...um, us. They had to.

After we landed, I went to unbuckle Fritter to shuffle him out of the plane and noticed his pants were soaked. Another leaky diaper. That's what I get. Do I hear a Mother of the Year award coming my way?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sandy Bliss

Just a small teaser. I will be posting about our trip soon. As soon as I catch up on some sleep.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chocolate Anyone?

I have been craving chocolate. I mean craving. I haven't bought any, because my budget has recently gone to more important things. That's not to say that I couldn't really afford $1 for a chocolate bar. I could. I just haven't.

Anyway, today, had I had a bag of chocolate chips in the fridge, they would have all been eaten. By me. All of them. But alas, I didn't have any. All I had was a bottle of Hershey's syrup. And it doesn't satisfy that craving. Ahem. So...

For dinner tonight, I planned on eating up the leftovers in the fridge. When you're going to be gone for two weeks, that's what you do. Instead, because of this raging chocolate craving, I went online to see if Pizza Hut had anything chocolate. They do. And they deliver. But the cost of a pizza! And they're not that great really. Especially after you're used to homemade. So I talked myself down from that very tall precipice.

Instead, I thought I'd go wake the sleeping baby, pack up the kids and go to the store for some chocolate and maybe some ice cream. Then I realized I was being irrational. Wake a sleeping baby for chocolate?! So we had the leftovers for dinner as planned, and my craving, while still there, has subsided a little. Just a little. ;-)

So I had an idea, and while I'm not going to do it, maybe one of you will, and I'll be your best customer. Why not have a Chocolate Hut (or other such name) where people like me could call and order? There could be high end chocolate, but also budget friendly chocolate. And you'd deliver it to my door within 45 minutes!

So? What are you waiting for? Just remember that you got the idea from me. The least you could do is provide me with free chocolate whenever I wanted it. I'll tip your driver good, too. ;-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Three Year Old's Prayer

Fritter has a friend who is about 7 or 8 named Jacob. Even though he's much older than Fritter, he plays well and is very patient with him, and Fritter adores him. Anytime we see these particular friends, the first words out of Fritter's mouth is, "Where's Jacob?" However, we haven't seen Jacob for a while, and generally I thought for a three year old out of sight was out of mind. I guess I was wrong.

Before dinner tonight, we, like many of you, bowed our heads and thanked God for our food. We also generally include various intercessions and tonight was no different. After I prayed especially for Daddy, I started to say "Amen". Fritter wasn't done though. Very quickly, he said, "And we pray for Jacob." I about melted on the spot.