Friday, March 27, 2009

The Magic Chair

When I was in college I worked for Student Activities. Every Third Thursday we had a little coffee house/music event (remember, it's been a while since I was in college-coffee houses were very big back me!). There is a large number of performers who travel the college circuit and I got to meet some really neat artists. One guy we really liked was a quirky man named Del Suggs. I think he is still performing, actually. I saw him on one of my friend's facebook pages!! Anyway, Del had a song called "Magic Chair". This song is all about a chair at the beach that gets rid of all your cares. We used to joke about needing to take a time out in the "Magic Chair" back then. I even have some pictures of friends on the beach in a designated Magic Chair.

Well, as it turns out, we have our very own Magic Chair right here in Nashville.

Every now and then, a toy, etc., will become THE coveted thing. When it comes to the coveted item there is much fighting and gnashing of teeth. Our current love affair is with a folding Spider Man chair. Last summer Granna brought this little chair down for Drew and he liked sitting in it. Usually for about 5 seconds, which is about as long as he sat anywhere back in those days. I put the chair up for a while (this is a fun little trick when your constituency has very little long term memory. You pull the toy back out and it's like new!) When I pulled the Spider Man chair back out a few weeks ago, Drew flipped out. He looks like a total dude laid back in the chair (sometimes putting his hands behind his head!)

Yesterday, the battle royale was on over the chair. Lyla brought it outside and Drew was irate that I wouldn't let him steal it from her. After her turn, Drew got in the chair and then proceeded to try to scoot the chair around the deck to do various activities so he wouldn't have to get up, leaving an opening for Lyla to get back in the chair! It was hilarious! He was sitting in the chair, bent over, trying to color with chalk!!

Later in the evening when we went outside (after Lyla had gone home) this is what Drew and I saw:

THE CAT WAS SITTING IN THE CHAIR!!!!!!!!!!! Even Drew knew that was funny!

The Deck

Since the weather has warmed up and the sun is shining (well, ok, for only one day this week, but I'll take it...) I got out all of our outside toys and reestablished the deck as our primary play space. In the span of several months, I had kind of forgotten how nice it is for the kids to be able to play in the sandbox, slide, and just mill around the backyard. I also did a little shopping. WalMart is not my favorite place ever, but they have some CHEAP toys. And by cheap, I mean inexpensive (well, and probably of low quality, but who cares!) We ran into a little snag with our bubbles. The kids are really past the point where they like for me to blow bubbles for them to chase around. They want in on the bubble action. The main problem here is, they don't quite get how to blow the bubbles. Drew has a hard time understanding that you don't put the bubble wand IN your mouth (or your tongue through it, or bite it...) So, the whole bubble thing was pretty much on my nerves. UNTIL. Until I found the bubble fun pack at WalMart for a whopping $5. In this fabulous fun pack are several little tools that make bubble blowing easy for the 2 year old set. You just dip one end in the bubble mixture, ("miracle" bubbles they are called. This week I'm sort of inclined to believe it...), put the other end in your mouth and blow-voila-little bubbles everywhere, with the added bonus of ecstatic two year olds. I swear we played bubbles for a total of an hour and a half the other day. That may not sound like much, but for two kids who rarely do anything for more than 7 minutes-it was amazing.

We also had a little fun with some shaving cream. It has been about a year since I have done this activity. I think it takes about that long to forget what a hassle it is!! The kids liked the idea of doing it, but didn't like having it on their hands. Hmmmm....Once I got my hands in there they were a little more inclined to get messy, but too much glop on them, and they were whining for me to clean it off. Since we were outside it was super easy to clean up. The only downside is that we all smelled like cheap men's cologne!!

And check this out!! Lovely decorations, huh? It's just a good thing it was on the screen door and not my newly scrubbed glass one!!

You might notice in the shaving cream pics that things are looking a little damp. It's because it had been raining-a lot-just before we went out. But, I figured as long as it wasn't actually raining...

It has been heaven for the kids to be outside. And Drew will actually play out there by himself in the evenings (with me VERY close by-never fear!!) Yes, you heard that right-I said the words "Drew" and "play by himself" in the same sentence. It's a miracle of nature.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Undomestic Goddess

I stole the title of this post from one of my favorite books "Undomestic Goddess" by Sophie Kinsella. Have you read her books?? If you haven't, and you're looking for a laugh-out-loud book to read, she is your woman. I recommend you start with Shopaholic (only if you HAVEN'T seen the movie). They are great.

But, I digress. What this post is really about is my sad lacking in housekeeping skills. There are several women in my life who are the queens of keeping house. You could never find a speck of dust anywhere in their home, their toilets are always sparkly, and they are always exhausted. Ha! Just kidding. I'm not really sure where I've been for the past 3 months or so. Or, who exactly, I thought was cleaning my house while I was away, but dang her, she didn't show up.

Somehow, over the weekend, I took a good look around and was horrified. So, I went on a total rampage. I moved furniture, I scrubbed, I cussed-just being honest. And let me just say, I did things I've NEVER done before. Such as clean the outside of my windows!! I know I should be embarrassed admitting that, but frankly, I'm not.

In the midst of my rampage I have discovered a new cleaning product to add to the must have list. It is kind of new-It is Soft Scrub scrubbing pads. I saw a commercial on t.v. for these and had to try them. They are fantastic. And, if you go to the Soft Scrub website you can print off a coupon. You know why I love products like this? Because I hate the term "elbow grease". This is a term thrown around by people like Martha Stewart and Heloise. But, you can be sure when someone says, "You will need to use some elbow grease" what they really mean is "This is going to take the better part of your day." I'm the kind of person who would rather leave a crusty pot in the sink overnight to soak than to scrub it for a half hour just to have the sink cleared out. (I know, I know. Some of you are having some serious heart palpitations about now!) These little scrubby pads (and my good friend the Magic Eraser) lets me do jobs in the time I have-which is usually around .5 seconds.

The job that sealed the deal was the soap scum on my shower door. We have a separate shower and bath in our master bathroom and in the words of my good friend Beth "This seems great at first, and then you realize it's just two things to clean instead of one." So true. And a glass shower door??? Ugh. So many reasons I hate these. And the biggest reason I hate them is because they are a giant magnet for soap scum. I have been having a serious feud with my shower door since we moved in. This week, I'm winning. Well, after a crushing defeat for the last three months.

And, of course, because it's me, the week's cleaning rampage was not without mishaps. I almost set the house on fire with the vacuum cleaner yesterday. RIP dear vacuum cleaner. You have served us well.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby Wade!!

My new nephew made his debut last Tuesday, March 17, 2009!! I was lucky enough to be in town for the big event and got to spend time with Weston while mommy & daddy were away.

Wade came in at a whopping 9 lbs. 2 oz!!! He's a bruiser! My sister was home with him the next day and is doing great.

Friday, March 13, 2009


...foiled again. I should've known better than to post about spring AND pack away all my winter clothes. No sooner had I done it, than the temperatures dropped a whopping 40 degrees in the span of one day!! I apologize to all of you around here-it's my fault. No more park for us this week.

We did take a little field trip on Thursday. We drove down to Murfreesboro for a date with Uncle Sam. He was on spring break AND had the day off from work. So, we played at the Discovery Center and ate at Chik-Fil-A. Have I ever mentioned how much I love Chik-Fil-A??? A lot. There is this plot of land for sale, right by McDonalds, one minute from my house that just screams out for a Chik-Fil-A. Anyway, we had a blast. Uncle Sam is the perfect playmate and it is so fun to have an extra set of hands around. Especially when someone does something like blow massive bubbles in their chocolate milk. I managed to keep the kids awake on the (horrendously rainy) drive home by giving them giant ice-cream cones. Whatever it takes, right?

Meanwhile, we had to turn the heat back on. THE HEAT! And not only did we have to turn it back on, but I think the heat is the culprit (or one of the culprits) behind my chronic sinus issues. I get so dried out and it causes some serious pain. I'm working all my best home remedies and as you can tell from all the whining, it's not getting better. I am a Neti pot addict and I've even been boiling mentholatum (which we have because my husband loves it. I mocked him for calling it mentholatum, like a Papaw, and lo and behold he brought home the little bottle with that very name on it...) on the stovetop, putting a towel over my head and deep breathing. I've cut back on my dairy intake (but haven't cut it out completely...too wimpy). And finally, today, I bought a cool mist humidifier for my room. It's sitting on my bedside table RIGHT by my head. We have sworn by the cool mist humidifier for Drew, and it really made a huge difference for him when he was tiny. Now I'm hoping it will work some magic on me!!

And honestly, if we could just turn the blasted heat off, it would help. I'm not bitter. Promise.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bloomin' Spring

It's here!!! It's finally here!! I am taking a break on the couch after a great morning of hard playing at the park. Woo hoo! The park!! I'm ecstatic about the spring, and I'm excited about the way it made its' entrance. But let me back up...

Over the weekend, Daniel and I made a last minute decision to head to Knoxville and go to the UT men's basketball game. I'm really glad we did. It was great. Well, except for the whole losing at the buzzer part. But, we got cheap tickets, free parking and of course all the redneck entertainment we could stand. I am a sports fan. I love to watch ball games, and I especially like to watch them live. There are lots of reasons for this. First, much to the chagrin of some of my family members, I'm a "woo-er". I love to give a big "Woo!" when something exciting happens. This is just not real appropriate from the couch, you know? I won't lie and say I've never done it in the heat of of UT football game, but it's just awkward for everyone. When you're really AT the game, a simple "Woo" is tame compared to what's going on around you. So I can "Woo" it up all I want! Second, I love to listen to fans talk around me. Because, as you know, every fan's an expert. Why the guy behind me was not hired to be head coach instead of Bruce Pearl, is probably a giant mystery to him. I think it probably has something to do with the fact that he said, "We just can't get over the hump with this team", about 97 times in the second half. There were two guys in front of us who were apoplectic over the foul shot issue (which was bad). And, finally, my favorite thing about a live sporting event is the random yeller. This is the guy who waits until everything is quiet and then screams something out. (These guys also show up at concerts on a regular basis). At the game, every time Wayne Chism came into the game this guy shouted out "Do it, Wayne!". A-hahahaha! Let's not leave out the "Ref, you suck" shout either. No live basketball game would be complete without it.

After the game Daniel and I walked down to the strip to eat. *Cue the "Memories" music* It was great to have an afternoon out together and stomp around UT. Good times.

So, back to spring. As we drove back into our neighborhood Sunday evening (it was still light!!) we were greeted by the sight of ALL the pear trees in bloom!!!! I almost burst into tears!! The neighbors are emerging and the kids are a little less nuts. Spring is here, people. Spring is here.