Tuesday, January 29, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons

This winter has been pretty blah. Not much snow. Cold. Icy. The kids have tried sledding, but the lack of fluffy snow has made it difficult, if not downright painful. Bumping over sharp chunks of ice can be bruising.

My 12-year-old came up with a brilliant idea. She's the figure skater in the family, so she's always thinking about ice. She asked my husband if we could make a rink in the backyard. They cleared away a large rectangle—which took all of 10 minutes, since we only had a few inches of snow—and then used the hose to begin adding water in a layering process.

Since the temperature hung at a chilly –5° over the weekend, they were able to make quick progress. A couple more layers and the kids will have smooth ice to skate on.

The area is larger than it looks in this photo, which isn't to say that it's Olympic-sized or anything, but it's big enough that all four kids can skate easily around each other.

Dinner last night: rotisserie chicken, baked potato, corn-on-the-cob

Exactly four years ago:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Weekend Plans

I walked into the mudroom this morning and just about fell over from the stench of . . . what? Stinky shoes? Dog urine? What horrible odor had sprung up over night? I could see nothing amiss. There were no puddles on the floor or rotting food in the corners. I was starting to think maybe I was suffering from one of those neurological problems where your brain scrambles olfactory signals, or maybe I had finally snapped and was experiencing some kind of smell schizophrenia.

Fortunately, my 14-year-old walked in, scrunched her nose, and said, "What is that smell?" It wasn't just me. Something stinks in the mudroom.

So I'm going to pull up all the rugs and wash them. Scrub the floor. Go through the shoes. I'll be cleaning and sanitizing and spritzing Febreze like a mad woman.

Then I'll take a break to look for my cell phone. I've lost it. AGAIN.

Dinner last night: pot roast and veggies

Exactly three years ago:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Add Two More to the List

I've known for awhile that my twin daughters are not scared of much. They're not afraid to get their hands dirty, they're not afraid of heights, they're not afraid of the cold, and they're not afraid of dogs.

On our trip to Disneyland, I discovered two more things that do not faze them one tiny bit:

Rollercoasters, and . . . 

. . . Frankenstein.

Dinner last night: baked ziti with meatballs

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly two years ago:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

We've Got Spirit, Yes, We Do

This week is "Spirit Week" at my daughters' school; each day has a theme so the kids can dress up. Monday was Lumberjack Day and Tuesday was Mismatch Day.

Today is Twin Day.

Dinner: chicken parmesan bundles, zucchini

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly four years ago:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

You Can't Take Me Anywhere

Look how happy I was at the beginning of our vacation.

I'm smiling because I had checked the average temperatures for Southern California, and packed accordingly. I was going to be so comfortable in my black clothing and my socks and my running shoes.

The day after we arrived, the temperatures soared into the 90s. California had entered into a freakish heatwave, completely unexpected and highly unusual for that time of year. I toughed it out for a couple of days, pushing up my sleeves like a casual but sophisticated woman. I rolled up my long pants and hoped people would think they were capris. My ankle socks and running shoes looked a little funny with my stylish "capris," but I kept telling myself that at least my feet were cushioned.

Finally, I could stand it no longer. I was hot and sweaty and my feet felt like they were encased in ovens. I walked into a Ross store, headed straight to the clearance rack, and grabbed a pair of shorts and a fuchsia tank top. I didn't even bother to try them on. Then I ambled over to the shoe section and found some walking sandals on sale. I spent all of $20 on my new outfit. Frugal and fashionable, that's me.

When I returned to the hotel, I tried on the shorts. Perfect fit. My slim, toned legs were blindingly white and not particularly slim or toned, but after perspiring like a pig for the first half of our vacation, my need for comfort outweighed my need to be respected. I wore those shorts the rest of our stay at Disneyland. I went to try on the tank top, and as I shook it out and held it up, I thought to myself, hmmm. That almost looks like a . . .  no . . . wait a minute . . . is that what I think it is? I had grabbed a maternity tank top.

I wish this story ended with me taking that shirt back to the store and exchanging it for something cute and flattering, but I think you know who you're dealing with.

Ahhh. Happy again in my bright pink maternity top.

Dinner last night: barbecue steak, hashbrown casserole

Exactly three years ago:

Exactly four years ago:

Monday, January 21, 2013

I Put the High in High Art

My 12-year-old snagged the cute bookcase designed to look like a dollhouse that I had sitting at the top of the stairs. She dragged it into her room so she'd have some shelves on which to store her books from The Dork Diaries series. A lover of fine literature she is not, but hey, at least she's reading. Right? RIGHT?!

The landing looked so bare that I decided to hang some caricatures of the girls we had drawn at Universal Studios a few months ago. What's that? I never bothered to blog about our trip to Disneyland and Universal Studios? Well, that's about to change this week. Gird your loins, gentle readers, I've got lots of disturbing pictures of my children harassing the costumed characters. Poor Mrs. Incredible. I hope she didn't quit her job after my twin daughters refused to let go of her hands and followed her all over California Adventure Park.

Imagine you're a guest in my home, stumbling up the stairs in the dark to return to your bed, when you look up and see those scary beautiful faces. Sweet dreams.

Dinner last night: orange chicken

Exactly two years ago:

Exactly four years ago:

Monday, January 7, 2013

I Need an Actuary

All sorts of tables and charts can be found that break down how much time people spend on various activities. For example, three minutes (twice a day) brushing one's teeth adds up to 36.5 hours per year, which results in 106.45 days brushing teeth over an average person's lifetime.

I'd like to know how much time I will have spent hunched over my vacuum cleaner cutting off the hair that's wrapped around the roller.

25 minutes x every 2 or 3 weeks x 75 years (make that 80, or better yet, 95 healthy years) = too much time cutting hair off the vacuum roller

Dinner last night: garlic chicken pizza

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly four years ago:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Year of Fancy Boots

We celebrated a low-key, relaxed Christmas this year. We spent the morning at home, drinking eggnog and nibbling on cinnamon toast, and opening presents. Our best gifts to each other were . . . wait. Are you sure you can handle the excitement I'm about to lay down on your head? Better take a seat . . . Our best gifts to each other were footwear.

My husband needed a comfortable pair of shoes to wear at work; his others had become so agonizing that in a fit of pique he tore them off and hurled them into the trashcan. I was presented with a fashionable pair of warm winter boots. My teenager received short sparkly boots to wear with her jeans and impress all the boys, and my pre-teen was delighted to open a package containing a warm pair of clogs to replace the tattered pair she'd outgrown. The twins each received a pair of Ugg knock-offs.

We're an easy crowd to please.

Dinner last night: spaghetti and meatballs, green salad, corn, garlic toast

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly four years ago:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolution

Happy New Year!

In 2013, I am going to lose weight, tone up, polish my nails, apply make-up, style my hair, and wear cute outfits (including trendy jewelry and real shoes) every day. I am going to attend church regularly, arrange for date nights with my husband, volunteer in my children's classrooms, and donate time to charitable organizations. I'm going to improve myself through reading, writing, and deep thinking. I'm going to reconnect with old friends, make new ones, and spend quality time with extended family. I'm going to treat my husband, kids, and pets with love, patience, and understanding. I am going to keep my house sparkling clean . . . and cook every meal from scratch, using only the freshest of organic foods . . . and play with my kids every evening, before reading to them from a classic novel that they will find exciting but educational . . .

. . . in short, I resolve to BE PERFECT.

Okay, okay. What I have actually resolved to do is PUT ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed or stressed out or hopelessly behind, I shall whisper, "Come on, Kim, put one foot in front of the other." One step will lead to another step, which will lead to another and another and another . . . and before I know it I will be moving forward. Straight into the mountain of dirty laundry piled in my bathroom.

Dinner last night: barbecue ribs, mashed potatoes, broccoli

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly three years ago: