Thursday, April 30, 2009

In case you were wondering....

...yes, of course the girls and I are watching American Idol these season. Duh.

I mean, I wasn't going to talk about it - as I am much older and wiser now, I do spend most of my T.V. time tuned into Masterpiece Theater and Antiques Roadshow...but it's good to have a few guilty pleasures... Desperate Housewives, Dancing with the Stars, Rachel Ray, The Amazing Race, Countdown with my hot buddy Keith, and of course American Idol. It is when I start making this list that I am very grateful that we do not have I know I would be sucked into Project Runway and probably Big Love too. whew. I love being wholesome and none the wiser of cable television.

Last season, I blogged about my obsession with David Cook and Esther's obsession with David "enchilada". We don't have a clear favorite this year - and it's down to 4...what to do?

Esther pretty much hates everyone. Eloise calls her "Simon" because as each contestant ends their songs, Esther yells "that was awful - I don't like them."

So here is our current opinion of the top 4:

Kris - our dreamy boy next-door contestant - cute, hot, sexy with a voice and eyes that, well, oh my...does he deserve to win..perhaps...but we just enjoy looking at him. He can sing for as long as he likes - or just standing there is fine too - for a long time.

Danny - he was our first favorite..but now his teeth bug me. Call me shallow, but they really really bug me and most people can't sing with their mouths closed. sorry.

Adam. Oh Adam. I have to admit I have a bit of a thang for him too, but mainly just because of the eyeliner. I have a thing for guys in eyeliner dating back to Boy George in 1982. I am seeking counseling for my obsession. I really have no idea how he sings or performs - but I have heard he is good - I just can't get past obsessing about his eyeliner. Sorry.

Alison. Even with my closet lesbian tendencies and obsession over my Gwen, Alison doesn't do it for me. Every song sounds the same. Sorry. Esther really likes her hair though. I think Esther will have pink hair when she is 16 - and probably a pierced nose too. Don't tell Jed though as I know he will go into cardiac arrest.

Anyone else watching this season? Am I boring you yet? Hello, anyone out there, anyone care?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This little piggy...

What I like the best about putting piggies in my girls hair, is that I don't care if their part is straight....
...and they don't care if their part is straight... long as they have piggies in their hair, they are happy, even with my imperfect ones...
..well, most of the time they are happy.

Monday, April 27, 2009


All I ever wanted to be was a mermaid
floating through the water
kicking my tail
my long hair flowing behind me as I swim faster and faster
I am friends with all fish
I am happy and light
I am beautiful

...for 20 minutes every night
I am a mermaid
with my best friend, my sister
together we are the most beautiful mermaids in the sea.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Appreciating their Differences...

Sometimes I wonder how two sisters can be so different. Different hair, eyes, bodies, faces, teeth, eating preferences, temperament, likes, dislikes, moods...

Sometimes these differences lead to comparisons that are so hard to avoid, but necessary for a mom to avoid. Every one is an individual and shouldn't be compared to others. Every one should be appreciated for who they are.

Sometimes I have a hard time doing that - and I only have 2 kids - think of the differences to appreciate with 6 or even more.

If I can have a bad mommy moment for just "once" and compare my children on one point....

Esther had her kindergarten screening this week. Oh my - good thing Eloise wasn't there, she would've been so angry at her. I just sat and tried to stifle my giggles. When Eloise took this "test" 2 years ago, she aced it - 48/48 and was so proud. Eloise is a pleaser - she does EXACTLY what the teacher says and pretty much what we say. We don't even think about discipline or consequences, or even planned positive reinforcements with Eloise. She is just a good kid and likes rules, schedules, expectations and wants to please you and others. Eloise has a hard time with the fact that Esther just doesn't care that much about pleasing others. She is in it more for herself.

Esther missed the first 6 questions on her kindergarten readiness test - on purpose.

Question 1.
Teacher: "Esther - here are 6 orange blocks - I have 6 orange blocks and have built a tower - can you build a tower that looks just like mine?"
Esther builds her tower.
Teacher: "Does your tower look like mine?"
Esther: "No"
Teacher"Do you want to try again?"
Esther "No, mine looks much better than yours, why would I want my tower to look like that?"

Questions 2.
Teacher: "Esther - here are 6 blocks - 2 black, 2 white and 2 orange - and I will put them in a pattern, can you copy my pattern with your 6 blocks of the same colors"
Esther makes her pattern
Teacher: "Does your pattern look like mine?"
Esther: "No"
Teacher "Do you want to try again?"
Esther "No, I didn't want to do black, white, orange, black, white, orange - I think it looks better black, black, white, white, orange, orange so I am keeping it this way."

Question 3.
Teacher: "Esther can you draw this letter "E" to look like the letter "E" above it"
Esther draws the letter "E"
Teacher: " Is that the letter "E"?"
Esther: "No, it's the letter "F" - I can make an "E" - I just would rather make "F's" today as I make E's everyday since my name has 2 of them."

...and it went on like this for the next several I silently wondered if they would let her in to school... ;)

Many times during the school year - when we drop Eloise off, Sister Sara will always make a point to say hi to Esther and tell her how excited she is for when Esther is in her classroom soon. Esther always boldly says back to her "no, I don't think you will be my teacher, I would rather have Mrs. Lange" as she turns and walks away from her. Sister Sara is probably secretly very very happy about that.

xoxo, t

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Parental Influences...

Homework. Eloise and I spend a bit of time each week with her Kindergarten homework. Usually she just does it and I sit and nod and say "yep - that is right" occasionally while on-line shopping, reading blogs and making MJC calls.

Last week - homework was more in depth. Each student had to make a shoebox/cardboard building for their class town. Eloise wanted to make a pet shop, which seemed strange to me as she dislikes animals. Also - 9 other kids were already making pet shops. I told her that in this economy, we needed to differentiate. With 10 pet shops in a town of 24 buildings, most of us were bound to go out of business! I also told her that we shouldn't do luxury - like restaurants or movie theaters or jewelry stores. We need a solid business that will thrive in this economy and support green efforts for our planet.
(Donut cat planning Barbie's quick demise)

Eloise stared at me and wondered why she didn't have a normal mom who just let her build a pet shop like the lucky other 9 kids in her class who were sitting at home right now gluing Little Pet Shop guys to cardboard.

I suggested a clothing consignment shop. Eloise agreed, but only if she could use Barbies - even if they are not politically correct(or anatomically correct) in many circles. A compromise was reached and the planning and building began.

We used my Barbies - with 1966 still engraved on their butts, and the clothing circa 1966-1972. So, it is more of a retro consignment shop - but fabulous just the same. Eloise and I carefully picked out and attached wallpaper, carpet and curtains inside...and took great effort into choosing the best dresses for display. Eloise made a shoe display - with go-go boots proudly shown. Eloise was most proud of her garden and vines that she drew on the outside walls.

I have to say that it is an original in the town they made. And no, nothing you see here is actually for sale, so paws off ebay crazies.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Husband for Sale...

Do you remember this post last year? Well, let's just say DITTO this year(except the part about the girls being sick).

Ironically I was reading More magazine yesterday while sitting at Esther's Ballet lesson. There was a lengthy article about how more woman in their 40's are leaving their husbands for lesbian relationships and companionship with other women. It all makes sense to me. SHE would never forget a birthday or blow-off an anniversary, right? SHE would help to prepare for the kids birthday parties and never forget a function at school, right?

I think Gwen Stefani turns 40 this year? Oh yes I know she is happily married with 2 gorgeous kids...but a girl can dream can't she?

I did buy myself a $7.99 bunch of tulips at Kowalski's yesterday. That is really all I want - just a simple acknowledgement and a $7.99 bunch of tulips from Kowalski's. He said he was too busy to deal with it this year.

Do you think Gwen likes tulips?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cat for Sale...

Domestic, abandoned, neutered(once Male) short hair, mutt-breed

Goes by the name Donut - but I don't think he would care if you changed it

All shots up to date - $2500 for broken leg paid in full at Vet


Wakes you up every morning at 4am screaming loudly to be fed - and continues to scream even after fed.

Favorite place to lounge is on the dining room table - even when you have thrown him off 3 million times, squirted water on him, threatened his life and shot jelly beans at him - he gets right back up and then I think he gives you the finger(if he had them).

Chases cars, dogs, other cats and any other animal or thing he can find - just to be their friend.

Overly friendly and overly stupid.

Able to climb the tallest trees in the neighborhood - and 4 story buildings and loves watching Jed get the big ladder out for him.(ladder included with purchase of cat)

Lays in the middle of the street

Can unlatch most home windows to escape and then crawls in neighbors windows and wakes them up at 5am.

Hangs from the furnace chimney swaying on it until it breaks away from the vent - causing said furnace to vent into house and start possible furnace on fire - causing Carbon Monoxide to fill the house - causing our alarm to scream "WARNING FIRE FIRE FIRE WARNING CARBON MONOXIDE LEAK CARBON MONOXIDE LEAK EMERGENCY EVACUATE NOW FIRE FIRE FIRE - STUPID CAT STUPID CAT" at 5am. Causing 7 emergency crews to WAKE UP the entire neighborhood. When we evacuated the house, I think I noticed him trotting happily to freedom with a damn smile on his face like his whole escape plan worked. Or perhaps he is trying to kill us - as I have noticed 2 kitchen knives missing this week.

Did I mention he is very friendly and cute?

FREE to a good and well-adjusted home.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Extended Family....

...did I tell you that when I took the girls to Florida, I took them by myself to stay a week with my in-laws? Do you know how lucky I am to have such great in-laws? Pretty damn lucky.

Here's a pic of Jed's family - sans Jed of course.
( can see my bump is growing!)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mommy Choices...

One of the big lessons we teach the girls is how to make good choices. We teach them to be independent thinkers - and make choices that will positively effect their lives and others.

In this process, as you know, many bad choices will be made and lessons learned. But with proper parameters set, no one gets hurt and the day goes on.

I also want them to know that as we become "big people" - our daily choices never stop and our bad choices don't either. We are constantly learning until our time here is up.

I made a very bad choice yesterday.

Esther was busy, very busy, playing a favorite game of hers. I had asked her more than once if she needed to go potty to which she replied no. I SHOULD have taken the time to take her to the potty, because I KNEW she had to go, but I was busy - answering emails, shopping the new Naartjie line, reading blogs whilst cooking dinner and doing loads of laundry... Not 10 minutes later, I hear a yell - "Mommy - I went potty - on the floor"... Esther is FOUR and hasn't had an "accident" in well over a year. I was caught completely off guard, shocked, surprised and all of a sudden VERY angry. I ran into the room and starting yelling "How could you - you are FOUR years old - you KNOW better than this - you don't pee on the floor - YOU pee in the potty like ALL big girls - I CANNOT believe you did this." My screaming tirade went on for what seems liked hours...and in those few minutes my Esther, herself turned into a puddle of tears. I threw her in the shower and scrubbed her and clothed her and mopped up the pee(thank goodness for all hardwood floors), and continued my ridiculous anger towards her. She continued to cry and after everything was cleaned up but my anger, she came over to me and looked me in the eyes and said "Mommy, you really hurt my feelings - I know I should always make it to the potty, but I didn't want to leave me game. You shouldn't yell at me."

I grabbed her up in my lap and apologized for my bad choice of yelling at her. I smothered her with kisses and we snuggled for the longest time.

As a mom I feel like I make more bad choices than my kids do at times. Yelling at them being my worst offense. It seems to happen when I feel I have "better" things to do - trying to get some "me" time that they just keep interrupting. Sometimes I think they should be older than they really are and get frustrated when they can't do things that "I" think they should...but they are only little girls.

The girls are working hard on teaching me to make better choices. I learned quite a big lesson yesterday.

Thank you Esther.


Post Edit - I guess I also shouldn't cast stones. As someone who is 6+ months pregnant and is suffering from major Spring allergies right now....I sneeze MANY times per day. Yesterday alone I had to change my underpants 5 times. Should I tell my daughters that they will pee their pants more at 40 than they did at 4 or should I just let them find out when they get there?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


It was nice to celebrate Easter in Florida this year. Nice to have an egg hunt in Easter dresses and sandals versus the snowsuits we usually wear in Minnesota for the occasion. The girls had a great time - and are still on a sugar high from the chocolate and jelly beans. Slowly I will start weaning them off their new found love of sweets so life can resume a normal rhythm again.

We met the bunny. While we "do" the Easter Bunny and Santa a bit - I really, really try not to "overdo" it. Every year, the girls get a basket with candy and a few Santa gifts...but I try not to make a big deal out of it, talk about who the items came from or play up the mystery or illusions of these characters. It's really not that I don't want them to enjoy a time in their lives full of fairies and princesses and scary men in's more that I really have a hard time lying to my kids. It feels weird.

If they are to ask me how the baby got in my belly - I will tell them truthfully at this point exactly how it happens...and I talk to them very honestly about death, and sadness and good and bad. So, if they were to point blank ask me if the Bunny is real - I would only have the truth to fall back on.

That being said - when the "Easter Bunny" entered the restaurant - Esther's first words were "it's just a man dressed in a costume." Eloise said she didn't care - she still wanted a hug.

After a lovely Easter Brunch - we proceeded to the beach club lawn to find 4000 eggs scattered about and areas divided by age groups. Eloise's age group was 5-7 year olds - and it was the largest group, the most competitive and the fastest. Those kids ran so fast and furious that the area of 1000 eggs was obliterated within 45 seconds. Eloise was lucky to get her 16 eggs and come out with her life.
Esther's age group was 3-4 years. Her group consisted of about 15 little girls wearing their lovely Easter dresses, bows in their hair, and fancy sandals on their feet. All 15 girls politely and carefully and so dignified placed their 1000's of eggs into their baskets and bags. They spent the next 15 minutes trying to get them all while the rest of the age groups looked on with awe and greed wishing they could just get in there and help.
In the end were lots of smiles for a perfect day with family, the "bunny", lots of eggs, sunshine and candy.
Happy Easter. xoxo,t

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back with a Tan, some hats and travel tips...

We are back. I am busy downloading and editing pictures of the girls, pictures of their clothing of course, some egg hunting and the beach.
While I catch up on life in Minnesota and get my taxes done, here are some pictures of the girls wearing their new hats. Before we left for Florida it was snowing here, and cold. Glad we got to wear them. I have a matching one too - but couldn't find a photog near to capture all of us.
The hats were made by a lovely local lady named Susie. I met her at a Matilda Jane show last month. I meet the most amazing ladies at theses shows. You can find her here. Makes me want to start knitting again...almost.
..and just a quick travel tips for those parents traveling with small children. Don't sit by them. I was a wreck because the 3 of us did not have seats together. When we arrived at the airport, I was able to get Eloise and Esther next to each other, but I was still 9 rows away. Upon entering the aircraft, try as I did, NO ONE sitting near them would switch with me. Tears didn't work, begging and pleading didn't work, cursing didn't work, threatening my children's bad behavior on them didn't work, nor did money.
I trudged off to my seat alone, and opened my book. My book. Whoa - no kids are next to me asking for snacks, dropping their crayons, asking me to read My Little Pony to them, asking for technical help with their LeapPad's. My book - I had a book to read. So I sat there - reading my book - uninterrupted for almost 3 hours. The girls came up once for bathroom help. That was it. The rest, Eloise took care of. She was so proud to help Esther with her snacks, drinks, art projects and read story after story to her.
When we arrived at the airport to go home, I noticed that I was assigned to sit next to them. I quietly and kindly asked the gate agent if she could move me away from them. Unfortunately, the plane was full and I had to be a mom again. I guess vacation was over.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Break...

With much internal debate(that is fighting with myself) and many discussions with NWA(that is fighting with the airlines), we are going to Florida.

It is snowing in Minnesota today - perhaps going to Florida is a very good thing. I need some sunshine, I need to recharge, I need to relax and restore and refresh.

I also need the snow to be gone by the time we get home.

As Esther says about this weather, "why do we keep having Spring without Flowers?" It shouldn't be this way.
I miss you Papa and know you are happy and at peace.

See you all in a week.


...oh and if you see Jed while we are gone, please remind him to feed the cat and scoop the box and maybe run the vacuum a few times this week. It would help my return home immensely.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I haven't really started buying goodies for baby yet. I admit I am a bit superstitious. With my recent history of losses, I still walk on eggshells every moment that I carry this baby. It's a feeling of worry that is hard to explain.

Shopping for her should take my mind off things, but I can't just yet.

Last week Esther came to me and told me she wanted to buy a blanket for the baby. I thought hard and decided that one tiny little blanket shouldn't hurt. It would bring Esther some joy..and maybe me too.

When Eloise was born, I bought her the softest pink blanket I could find. It was from Little Giraffe. She loved it...and still does. When Esther was born, I bought her the softest purple blanket from Little Giraffe. She loved it..and still does.

Tradition called me to drive Esther to the little boutique on the other side of town. We knelt in front of the Little Giraffe blanket display and touched the luxury and admired the colors - yellow, white, blue, green, purple, pink, brown....

Esther said we must choose the Magenta one for the baby as it was the prettiest and brightest. She then rubbed it all over her face the whole way home was squeals of delight caused by it's softness.

I am glad she made me buy something. I have been sleeping with the Magenta Little Giraffe nightly while I pray for this babys' safe and healthy entry into this world. My heart may be heavy, but my mind is a little lighter thinking of this new little miracle coming soon to our family.


Friday, April 3, 2009


This is me with my Grandparents at my Baptism. They were the same age in this picture that I am now - that freaks me out just a bit.

My Papa died very peacefully yesterday morning. In his own home, his own bed with much peace and dignity with loved ones by his side. He was ready I guess. We may not have been...but it's not our choice. Papa had made peace with his fate and was so ready.

I had a dream last night that he and my Grandma were sitting on the couch holding hands and watching Lawrence Welk. Weird for me, but happy for them. I hope they get to do some fishing, are enjoying their weak coffee, and win big at the Laughlin casinos. I wonder what kind of car Papa will buy this year?

Me, I am stuck in reality selfish Hell on Earth desperately wanting and needing to be at his Funeral Mass on Tuesday...sitting here holding 3 plane tickets to Florida for Sunday and desperately wanting some sunshine and a Spring Break vacation for me and the girls, while talking on the phone with the airline all night and getting nowhere except having to pay $1000++ if I want to change my tickets. I wish my Papa was here to go kick some butt for me right now.

xoxo, t
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