Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top 5

There are exactly 5 things that Cash loves in this world.(not counting people)

1. Crackers. He loves crackers. Remember "if you love it so much why don't you just marry it" from when we were little? Well.. If it were legal, he older, and had the money for a marriage license he might actually do it. How many times Cash requests crackers in a day is uncountable. He wants them for every meal and when he's done he wants them for dessert as well. He asks for them when he's mad, sad or happy and even for Christmas.....this boy loves crackers

2. Dr Seuss...Specifically Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham

More Specifically the train page, up to this page he whispers "it's coming....momma is it coming?...it's coming..." He loves this page

3. Trains! Cash could talk about trains all day and he sees trains everywhere we go

4. Sandwiches- Every other night I let the kids pick their dinner in exchange for them eating what I pick on the opposite nights. Cash will pick sandwiches 96% of the time, Yuliya will pick cereal 100% of the time.

5.His dog. There's nothing like a boy and his dog they are a team always, whether they are creating trouble or in time out. Cash will lay down in front of the crack of a closed door and whisper to soldier when he's drying out from a bath in the bathroom or laundry room.

Now that you know all of this, let me tell you about our night. We got home and ate dinner, Yuliya had? Cereal.
Cash? A sandwich

Now, Cash being 2, dawdles as he eats so, Yuliya and I were able to finish dinner, have her play, come back, and eat a serving of yogurt.  Cash still had a half sandwich left to eat.
The sun still goes down pretty early so we headed out to the yard to water our flowers and newly planted veggies. First the tulips, seeds for veggies, then wildflowers by the mailbox. Next we moved on to the backyard where we watered the new flower bed(more on that later) and the garlic, onions and shallots we planted yesterday. As my little helpers are helping me water and tend to the alliums Cash lights up seeing Soldier! He runs up to him(forgetting to hold his food over his head as he normally does) and goes to pet his loyal dog with "the sandwich hand"...big mistake. 
Poor Cash had his heart broken as his dog swiped his sandwich in one big bite.  How bad we all felt for him(except Soldier) as he cried broken hearted big fat tears about his Sandwich!(4th favorite thing) that His Dog! (5th favorite thing) took from him. 

Not to worry all ended well as Cash was able to substitute yogurt for his missing meal.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Simple fun

When is the last time you rolled down a hill?

Jack and Yuliya

I love watching the kids do it.

Friday, January 27, 2012


We love our cousins. We do not get to see them as often as we would like, but we always have a blast when we do.  On Sunday the we all went to Aunt Tara's and played with Madison, Jackson and Kaitlyn.
Andre was setting up croquette when we arrived.  It was a nice day to play in the yard, unfortunately the sun still goes down too early. The summer will give us more time to play!
Once it was too dark to croquette and the game was over we wandered into the backyard where the kids jumped to their hearts content on the trampoline, and played house.

I am feeling better today, not 100% but I am doing better. I followed some of the advice that many of you emailed me. Those I did not get a chance to try I plan to use next time, or when the kids come down with something blue.
One of the things I did try and loved was garlic. Because I was at lunch the only available garlic was garlic stuffed olives(recommended by my sister Tara) other wise I would have roasted it and eaten it plain. I think it worked wonders! Although this is not one of the remedies I think my children will take to just yet, however it is much better than the Elderberry I had to down at their age.
Thank you everyone for the advice!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Weather change

Not an interesting post today, sorry friends and family!
 I am sick... Achy, sneezy, sore throat, keeping tissues in my pocket, never letting go of a hot cup of tea, talking like a cartoon character sick.
Not to mention migraines seem to feel more at home in an ailing body
I blame the weather change.

When I am sick I try to load myself up with things that will make it easier on my body. Carrot juice, Orange Juice, hot green and licorice teas, elderberry, fresh fruits and veggies and last night salmon and veggies.
Yes, I ate dinner in bed.

This morning I am having licorice tea and oatmeal to sooth my throat. How do you kick illness?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mind Jar

I pulled this idea from Angie who blogs here, here and here.  That's right she blogs in three different places AND writes as well as contributes to other sites. Inspired?  I am.

This is her explanation of the mind jar which you can read more about here

"It is essentially like creating a snow globe, but you can help you little one pick colors, make it their own. The goal is that when they are feeling out of control, they shake the jar, then sit and watch the glitter settle in the water. It is like our minds when we are angry, frustrated, things feel impossible--our minds and emotions are all shook up. I help Bea stare and not stare at the jar, that middle gaze. When the glitter settles, we finish our meditation. This one is a really great technique to use in lieu of timeout. When our minds are shook up, we can easily get shaken up again, and that is what the jar is useful to show, how our emotions can be shook up and crazy, but we don't have to shake the jar. "

I personally love the idea.  They say it takes 30 days of repeating before something becomes habit, so my hope is in 30 days this will become part of the system. I can easily see myself using this jar for reflective thinking periods as well.
This is how we made ours....

Mix  glitter-glue with hot water, then added food coloring and a tiny tub of glitter in a jar(I chose plastic because...well I have a 2 year old boy)

After our first go at it we decided the food coloring was no good, you could hardly see the glitter swirling around in there, so we re did them.

The glue makes the water so thick and gooey that the glitter just slowly and gently swirls around, it takes about 5 minutes for all the glitter to settle, perfect to gather your thoughts!

Here's the second try.....
We drained out the color and added new glitter glue

Shake it up again

And the glitter is now much easier to see, and much much more effective.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Marcel the Shell

This video is super cute.

Via Nie here she mentions a book to go with it, I would like to find it.

I have not uploaded pictures from the past week yet, we had a busy weekend.

The weekend was spent with Keith's brothers, Willeford times three. We were almost never at home zooming from the farmers market to the airport, out to eat, to visiting Houston landmarks. We went out to eat a lot this weekend...a lot. We went to the Rockets/Spurs game (go Rockets! 6 in a row) Willefords are from SA so it was interesting for all of us. We visited the new Dynamo Stadium where Keith and Jason had their first run on the field. They also "drove" a train next to Minute Maid. We did plenty of things this weekend to keep us ever occupied and/or in the car.... including going to Hermann Park.

Hermann Park
Living in Houston there are plenty of changes that one can be unaware of until you stumble on them. Houston lost 66 million trees last summer. That's about 10% of our trees, our trees once at about 663 million work to remove over 60,000 tons of air pollution per year. I think many may have read this in recent articles but to see it was much different. Hermann and Memorial parks are forever changed in landscape, in just a small area we could see at least 20 mature pines that had to be taken down. I myself have sought shelter and the comfort of shade under many of those branches on hot summer days. I can't imagine how relentless the sun will be this summer without those trees.

Go here to volunteer or donate. New trees need planting! Type in Houston, TX

Slightly related to that I joined Transition Houston this week! We will be doing a "Tour de coop" (touring of urban chicken coops) this Saturday.

We also may have taken Scott to Whole Earth to read books and play with toys....the masks don't really ever get old. Last time we played with the masks

Monday, January 23, 2012

Did you know we do not own a television? This is why we go to my sister Amy's house to watch football. Of course we love visiting with her. But football or any sport in a house with your family is much more relaxing than in a restaurant.
During half time we played soccer. Her new house has a great yard for the kids to run around in. Alyssa has just learned to walk and does not like the feel of the crispy crunchy dormant grass on her hands. When she takes a spill its entertaining to watch her battle with...put your hands on the grass to push yourself to standing again, or just sit here while everyone else plays.

Of course Aunt Megan comes to the rescue.
She is in position to throw it back in bounds like a real soccer player!

And....she threw it over the fence!
And Keith had to go get it!

Just kidding.
That was all Amy's doing.
She has started with a soccer club and was showing Keith how she can punt the ball.....over fences!
But the kids do have fun throwing and kicking the ball, especially Cash.

P.S. I am proud of Amy for picking up a new sport. It can be intimidating to try something new. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Jackson

 Happy Birthday to my nephew Jackson who turns 8 today!
Jackson, please tell me what's your favorite food now that your palate has matured 8 years?                                             "Macaroni and cheese and pizza"
 If this stays the same, his cooking future will be easy as pie... I mean pizza.
Coincidentally he has also "lost 8 teeth". One for each year, but not per each year....that would just be nuts.

Jackson, what would you NOT want to be when you grow up?
"A janitor"
  Fair enough, I don't think anyone likes chores

I asked Jackson what the most comfortable place in his house was, thinking surely he would say the couch or disclose a hiding spot away from his sisters. But he said...
"My bed"

And last but not least if Jackson could do ANYTHING he wanted for a whole day, he would...
"Go to Sebastion's house"

I am interested to see how he answers these questions in a few years.

P.S. I also stumbled on this little gem, what a cutie at 7 months!
Happy birthday Jackson, we will see you on Sunday. Hope you have a great day and win at put put.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Maybe Maple

The next home we have I would like to have trees that change colors, leaves that fall mostly all at once and are crispy crunchy under your feet.

I think fall colors on trees are absolutely beautiful and while I love my old oaks I find myself driving around Houston in fall/winter months jealous of all the yellow, orange, red and purples I see on trees and plants.

I also think I would delight in raking less often. I always dive into raking energetic and motivated, about halfway through I am ready to throw in the towel. The wind(or cash) is blowing over my piles and leaves continue to fall rapidly from the trees, this can be a little less than encouraging.

But why do I love crispy crunchy leaves?
Well, besides the fact that they are just more exciting to step on and hear the crunch, they break down more rapidly than oak leaves. This makes them great for composting....

Which we do
With joy.

P.S. This is a great way to weigh down the leaves so they don't fly away as you wheel them around the yard. Yuliya and Cash are willing to help you out and sit on your leaves for rides in a wheelbarrow.

Side note: I made a fantastic grilled cheese with sauteed onions inside dipped in pesto sauce last night. Still marveling over how great it was. What did you have for dinner last night?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Last night

Last night we went to get the car washed....
But it was closed at 5pm?

Last night I forgot to buy milk....
So we had dinner at Los Cucos. The first time to eat out on a week night in an extremely long time. They had a playground though!

Last night a cold front moved in...
When we started playing on the playground, it was warm, humid and windy. It was chilly and windy when we left, making us say brrrrrrr all the way to the car.

Last night Yuliya wrote an apology letter to her teacher....
A short one yes, but an apology none the less. She was put in timeout yesterday for not listening to directions. She ended up writing it twice because once we were done I realized the paper had one of Cash's scribbles on the back of it. Having her rewrite it was very reminiscent of writing lines as a child....oh how I do not miss that.  How do you handle these situations? Getting in trouble at school. I would love to know

Last night cash pooped in the potty...
ALMOST in the tub. But my tiny 2 year old looked up at me with his big brown eyes holding his rear and said..."It's coming momma."  So I took him out of the tub and plopped him on the potty.

Last night I lost my voice...
Because sometimes I get a little too animated when I slip into Dr. Seuss' characters.

Last night I sat in bed with a basket of laundry....
And did NOT fold it. :)

Today I will buy milk, wash the car, make dinner and fold laundry. Sometimes its nice to give yourself a break.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Head

Happy Birthday to my closest friend, Heather. I won't tell you how old she is,even though it's younger than me.(gift #2)  I have left her Christmas present at my house all month, so she gets it today as well her birthday present (gift #1 and #3)

About Heather:
  • She's promised if my water broke in public she would walk behind me so no one knew. Twice.
  • She holds my hand when I am scared
  • She knows what I'm thinking at any given moment.
  • Eaten ice cream in the dead of winter almost daily because I craved it
  • She's very artistic, good at drawing and making things(like her momma) she even did this super cute christmas bow hair do in my hair this winter :)

  • She is a fellow foodie
  • She has the fattest cat (yes Heather I know you want me to say big boned)
  • And last but not least....I think she would make a great bus driver. Happy Birthday to Heather the best bus driving, animal loving, mini marveling friend I have.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A day downtown

One day we decided to park at Mai's and take the train to the aquarium. Sam and Cash love trains. Sam is an authority and Cash is just now developing the love, so they both enjoyed riding on one. The aquarium is a few blocks off of the stop so we ventured through the city a little.

It was a perfect chilly day, just warm enough to have fun.
Playing follow the leader they made their own way through the city. It may have taken a little longer than a normal path but it was far more entertaining.
Everyone posing in front of a statue

Sam shows us is booboo
As is typical, once all the big kids clear out Cash gets to conquer the statue.
We found a few neat fountains we never knew existed
Ran around while I stood in line for tickets
I loved the starfish. I have never seen any quite so fat!
I never knew they had a tiger exhibit in the Aquarium Downtown. It was pretty neat. Yuliya loves "touching" the animals when she can, she also does this at the chimp exhibit at the zoo.  This tiger was really neat pacing the length of this window over and over again. A few minutes after sitting down a small baby and her father came to the glass next to us, suddenly the tiger narrowed her pace to just in front of the baby. When the dad and the baby were ready to go he picked her up and...
The tiger went berserk, she jumped up on her hind legs and clawed at the glass as fast as she could.
The dad, baby and tiger repeated this once more to "test it out".  The tiger repeated her actions each time.
So the question is...
Was she protecting the baby? Or was it her food?

P.S. sorry the picture of her jumping turned out so crummy

Friday, January 13, 2012

Smokin Hot

Last weekend Keith and I went to my sister's house to watch the Texans play the Bengals.
Alyssa was there and she wanted to share food with us, only we were eating spicy jalapeno cheddar.
But she insisted....
So we had no choice, we had to capitulate and give her the cheese(Keith cut out all of the jalapenos)
Every time she had a piece she did this...

Ah.. need some milk.
More. This is her staring at us after she pointed to the cheese and said "mo" (more)

She is quite the ham, her routine had us cracking up. Needless to say I think she has a thing for spicy food. Or she will do anything for a laugh. Thanks Alyssa and Aunt Amy! Want to repeat again this Sunday?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Just a little more...

We all love gifts right? They are even better if they are for no reason or unexpected. Like when I come into work and my very best friend has brought me breakfast. Or when one of the kids makes me a "choo choo train" that he is so very proud of. When we get home from a long day and there's a package waiting there...even if you ordered it yourself but just forgot about it. (I love mail, I fully support post offices and wish mail came every day, not just Monday-Saturday.)

Most gifts though come from people we know and care about and/or who care about us.  So a while back I started leaving notes in and around places/things for people I might not ever meet or connect with. A gift to a stranger hoping to at least make them smile. As part of my personal new years goal...I am going to step it up as well as.... ask you to leave a few too.

So this is what I do.
When I have down time I write a few of these suckers.
(This is part of my and Heather's latest guerrilla messaging)

Then I leave them in places like this.
 and this
 And even for the sleepy parents reading to their children

I imagine them being read and hopefully they will make their readers smile to themselves or have a moment to be a little more introspective. I hope receiving a gift from a stranger provides at least some of them with at least a moment of happiness.  I know it would put me in the moment to find one. It's not that difficult...I believe in you. Feel free to email me pictures of yours :)

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up. ~Mark Twain


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