stream of semi-consciousness

i took myself to urgent care on saturday because i have been sick for over a week. it's like some half-assed flu that allows me to be coherent and go to work, but which makes feel like i am 18 months pregnant too. i got antibiotics and am feeling 25 points better. have blown my way through 2 boxes of kleenex during this time. my most treasured possession right now it my sinus-blaster bottle.

during the last 5 days i have slept an average of 18-20 hours per day. jesse has been parenting at mythological levels, but i am so ready to reclaim my status as functional human, and to reclaim our house which has suffered under the tyranny of 2 toddlers versus only one adult.

judah informed me this morning that "daddy's hair weally brown. like chocate mee-uhlk." this is excellent on several levels. one: he is using similes. two: it shows off his habit of substituting the word "really" for any form of the verb "to be."

layla's third tooth came in! she got her first 2 teeth at 4 months and has been gumming her way through life ever since. her first top tooth broke through last week. let's all be thankful that it is her top MIDDLE two teeth coming through first so we dont have a repeat of this situation. it was passably cute on a 10 month old judah, but on a 15 month old terminator layla, it might actually frighten me. girlfriend is fierce!

i watched the oscars on sunday for the first time in years. i usually stay away from events like this that make me feel like an ugly boring slob, but this year i was just thankful. thankful that i am anonymous in 90% of my daily encounters with the outside world, thankful that no one gets paid to review what i was wearing, thankful even for my upper elbow meat (really, angelina?). maybe i have turned a corner and can finally be content with where and who i am. or maybe my self-hate receptors are bogged down under all this post nasal drip.

jesse preached at our new(ish) church on sunday. it was awesome. some of our best friends from our old church just happened to be visiting on a whim so it was great to have the extra cheering section there for him. we are falling hard for this church. right now they are meeting at a school 30 minutes away from our house (i do sunday mornings with both kids alone b/c jesse leaves early for band practice) but they are building a new building that is a mile and a half from our house. we are so excited to get more involved in this church that has received us with open arms and that wants to make a big impact in our neighborhood.

today is leap day! i just realized that people with march 1st birthdays would have been leap babies if they had been born in different years. cool! i also love a leap year because it means the summer olympics are coming! am i the only one who kind of wishes that china would host them all? no, i am not the only one. wesley snipes agree with me at least:

i came to the sad realization that i dont have any girl friends that i actually live in community with on any regular basis. i have many beloved best friends, but they all live at least 45 minutes away (which requires lots of preplanning), and most of them live in other counties, states and countries or on the internet (...or TV. LIZ LEMON!). i am working on remedying this because layla is just not cutting it for lady companionship.

i have like 5 AWESOME sewing tutorial/projects that i cant wait to share, but just when i got out from under an etsy avalanche i got the death funk. until mucous becomes an acceptable notion/trim, i am going to need to step away from the rotary cutter and remain in bed.

speaking of in bed, listen to what jesse did the other night. haha, i wish this next sentence was going to be as exciting as it seems. we had been watching wipeout all night because nothing was on and i was half comatose. jesse fell asleep and i was still up reading. all of a sudden i hear him growl disparagingly, "pah-thetic." and so i died laughing and tried to engage the unconscious man in conversation by asking what is pathetic, knowing full well that it was just his dream leaking out of his mouth. he goes, "that jump." hahahahaha he was mocking the contestants of wipeout in his sleep. if thats not enough to get him an audition to be on the show himself, i dont know what is. he'd be so adorable faceplanting off of the huge red balls.

and my 2 favorite pictures from last week:

i mean, seriously.

and then i accidentally activated Siri on my phone while lifeguarding the kids in the bathtub. here is what she thought i said:
i think i was telling judah not to open his mouth under water and then who even knows where things went from there. i am encouraged by the fact that Siri just blindly obeys me.


becoming an outie

i wish it were otherwise, but i 100% prefer the climate controlled indoors to the elements outdoors. with all of its temperature extremes, creatures, allergens and noises, i enjoy nature the most when it is coming to me through a window (or DVD).

but i dont want to be like this forever. jesse loves nature, the kids go nuts whenever they get to play outside and i love the idea of the wild. so i am trying. as a part of this will to be different, i have entire pin board dedicated to the endeavor of making me more of an outdoorsy girl through various projects that would spruce up our back yard (first we'll tackle the yard, then the true frontier) and make it more "living space" and less "place that makes me itch."

a HUGE first step to this was the picket fence that we put up last summer which enclosed the area between our house and the chain link fenced-in acre of land that we own, but have been usurped from by our dogs. this awesome fency addition made the immediate backyard a place where the kids had lots of space, but were somewhat confined safety-wise AND it made the task of taming our little corner of terra firma a little less daunting.

last weekend we decided to cross off (take down?) one of these outdoor pins and declare a few more square feet of our property tolerable.

here is the back view of our house, standing at the dogs' fence. its a depressing landscape of forlorn toys, tools and unraked leaves (3 years and counting since we've raked!). grass is the most prolific life form on the planet yet somehow cant be persuaded to grow in our back yard.

this was the section we were giving a makeover to:
this little 10x11 foot quadrant of earth was once going to be our vegetable garden. that dream lasted about 40 minutes. its been a steady diet of neglect for this shady corner of the yard for at least 4 years though.

i saw a pin project that took an old freestanding firepit and turned it into a cool, sturdy brick one for very cheap. so several months ago i put out an APB on facebook asking our friends if anyone had an old neglected firepit they'd be willing to part with, and our friends tiff and jorge came through big time. so we got the firepit for free (well, in exchange for some cookies and a sewn-by-me dress for their baby girl...they aint fools!).

last weekend we decided to get the pavers that would comprise the new firepit and to create a little seating area around it off to the side of where we grill. we lined the square with bricks, filled it up with pea gravel and then built the firepit in the middle.

we love it! of course, now we are on the lookout for a great deal on outdoor sofas and chairs so that this will be more home and less "the ring."

slowly but surely, i will become earth mama. one day it will just happen and then, all of a sudden, i wont get BO from the georgia heat and my pheromones of nature-love will keep mosquitoes from biting me. believe in the power of the pin, you guys.


poppy chain giveaway winner

thanks to everyone who entered the poppy chain giveaway. i was positively transported by all of your favorite 90's jams, many of which received favored status in my yellow sony sport walkman.

one of my top 90's songs was "motown philly" by boyz II men. it was the music for my elementary school's jump rope team routine, during which i executed a running jump over my mom's back (she was our PE teacher and coach) into the double dutch that she was twirling. we rocked the retirement home circuit that year. my badassery knows no bounds.

i also enjoyed soul asylum's "runaway train" when i was feeling extra dramatic about life....as a 4th grader. if i had an especially hard run on the oregon trail--say my axle broke, timmy got dysentery, and i sank our wagon while foolhardily trying to ford the river--i might be tempted to belt out, "seems like i should be getting somewhere, somehow i'm neither here nor there."

be my friend.

the oracle of randomocity has decreed that the winner is commenter #27 and that means:

miss emily K wins with her comment of : "I don't really know what my favorite 90's song is because i was born in 1997 :P"

so emily gets the ring AND the award for making a lot of us feel old as gravity. we will all be happy for her though and not disqualify her for being a fetus while the rest of us were rocking out to TLC.

emily, email me with your shipping info, and congrats for real!

and dont forget:

now through next thursday, 2/23, get FREE SHIPPING domestically on your entire order from the poppy chain boutique when you enter code FREEPUYD at checkout.


david, goliath, and judah.

he's been having us read him this story once a night for the last week or two.

he has never done this before even a little bit with any of the other stories that he goes on kicks of reading every night.

jesse said he did it twice as long the first time before he called me in to witness/video.

holy farking bananas! now i know i might be getting ahead of myself thinking we have a little prophet or bible scholar on our hands (after all, it is the most exciting and kid-friendly story in the whole bible and it's understandable that a little boy would love this one).

it might seem cheesy, but since we were pregnant with judah we have prayed that we would have the word of god written on his heart. that he would know scripture and have it at his fingertips all the time. i didnt do a lot of bible study or reading as a kid and as a result, i dont have hardly any scripture memorized, and doing so as a crusty old-brained adult is HARD. jesse, however, did lots of scripture memorization as a kid and the man is an amazing reference. he just knows so much scripture word for word because it was laid down in his mind as a kid when those learning faculties were still sharp and active.

ever since seeing the FASCINATING jesus camp, i have been wary of the line between raising our kids up to be christ-like in age-appropriate ways, and indoctrinating them. we believe very strongly that the bible is the word of god, so we feel that instilling that in them (and not some of the scary extra-biblical [as in outside of the bible] conclusions some of the folks in that movie were drawing and teaching their kids) is not only our duty as parents, but is also something special and magical that will be honored and used by jesus for good no matter what.

since it is more than just memorizing words the way you would your favorite song or movie, and is instead taking the word of the almighty god into your mind, it has power beyond where jesse and i may fall short as christ-modelling parents, and even beyond the sins that our kids will inevitably commit and the ways they will stray from their savior.

the word was with god and the word was god from the beginning of time, soooooooo, we'd be dumb not to make it a huge part of their lives....right? if we say we want our kids to have the hearts and minds of jesus, then this seems like a foolproof way to start and something that cannot be left out.

that's my little aside. yes, we do plan to memorize scripture with the kids from a young age. no, this was not an instance of that. but it was proof that a young brain is amazing and that hopefully instilling a love of the bible from an early age is possible.

also it was mother flipping adorable and entertaining.


february sponsor & giveaway: poppy chain boutique

so glad to have the lovely ashley back as a sponsor this month. she has restocked her shop, the poppy chain boutique, with LOTS of lovely new goodies.

a few of my current faves:

i am a sucker for a mum, evidently. all of these just look so springy and bright!

ashely is giving away one "keight ring." it is thusly named due to my undying love of the color saffron.

to enter: leave a comment here telling me...oh, let's say your favorite 90's jam song.

extra entries (leave another separate comment for each one):
-follow ashley's blog
-"like" her etsy shop

winner will be picked on tuesday.


now through next thursday 2/23 get FREE SHIPPING domestically on your entire order. enter code FREEPUYD


layla's quilt!

how about the finished product of a project i started last april and finished in november and then never posted about? i figure if anyone is first in line for an overdue post, it's this guy.

in november, you may have noticed that the background of layla's birthday picture was her quilt. the one i started ages ago, butchered on my first attempt at quilting it, and finally set aside for a good 6 months.

well, i finished it! yup, that background was more than just the quilt top (which i had used as a photo prop before); its a full-fledged blanket extraordinaire. my first ever quilt! it is far from perfect, but i we are so in love with it.

after i finally seam-ripped all the awful original quilting lines (an entire night's work) it was much easier to get motivated and make some forward progress. i wrapped it up a few days before layla's birthday and we have been loving it ever since.

sometimes, i snuggle with it if she isnt using it.

in the dawn's early light: there she is.

i basted it correctly this time with actual safety pins which made a huge difference, though my choice of quilting pattern was just as stupid this time (drunken digital spirals!), it looked better and didnt have much of the nasty bunching that my first attempt was soiled with.

drunken spiral quilting pattern-do not attempt

i made the binding myself and hand-stitched it on. i had made fun of raechel in the past for saying how much she loved hand-binding quilts, but i swiftly ate my words when i first sat down to do mine and found myself falling in love with the rhythmic, exact, inching progress of this method. lesson one: never doubt the rae-rae; she will make you a believer.

i mitered that corner like a playa!

i backed the quilt with one of my favorite fabrics from this collection.

it has a slight swelling protuberance going on over at 3 oclock, but we love it still

and i used printable fabric and added a built-in security precaution in case we ever get separated from this treasured item. it might not stop it from getting picked up by someone else (swiper, no swiping!), but hopefully it would unleash enough guilt to impel them to turn it in or contact us.

security blanket, indeed. (i didnt think of doing this until after the blanket was done, so i had to hand sew it on so the stitches wouldnt show on the front, and i went a little overboard with my embroidery floss. too flossy flossy.)

and lest you forget, here are the cool details of where this project started for me:

raechel was the source of my original inspiration for the quilt. she made her sweet daughter, hazel, one first after she was inspired by the designer of this fabric, ann maria horner, who made one for her son. shwew. that's a hefty amount of inspirational trickle down.

but that means there are at least 3 of these log-cabin style baby quilts out there making little toddlers and their sewing-mamas very happy.

this fabric collection is called "good folks." it is out of print and of the 24 fabrics that comprise the set, over half of them are really REALLY hard to find. raechel was key and SO sweetly gave me 3 or 4 of the really rare ones that she had left over from hazel's quilt. "greater love have no woman than would lay down her out of print designer scraps for her sister" -the bible of sewing.

a few of the rarest ones i actually tracked down by searching etsy for products that were made from these fabrics and then begging scraps form their makers. so many ladies just GAVE me their leftover pieces of these amazing fabrics for no charge or for so cheap. i heart the sewing community. (one lady actually said, "oh yeah, i was using that for serging practice, you can have it!" i about fainted over the prospect of using this awesome fabric as scrap fabric for serging! ack! yes, i burn twenty dollar bills for fire readiness drills sometimes too).

2 fabrics came from england, several from canada and one fabric i actually got by buying pillow covers made from the fabric i needed and then deconstructing them into yardage myself. girl's gotta do...

so now the quilt is finished and i actually have lots of leftover fabric from this collection since i had to buy many of the prints in full yard quantities. so i have declared this "layla's official fabric collection. what, your baby doesnt have an official fabric line? i might not have a clue what he birthstone is, but i guarantee this fabric is prettier.

pretty pretties before their first washing (which is what gives it that nice stippling effect that quilts are known for)

after the first wash

and the reason for the whole thing:
to see miss stinkerbell wrapped up in her coat quilt of many colors.

a little nervous about the general public possibly swiping her beloved.

reassured that they shant ever be parted thanks to my security measures.

the satisfaction we have gotten from the finished product of this project has been so much more gratifying than i expected. i have made really pretty, useful things before, but something about a cozy blanket (that will hopefully be around for a really long time) made by hand for your babes is really extra special.

high on the accomplishment of this first quilt, i am now in the middle of 2 more. expect recaps about their completion sometime in 2014.



the moment i saw this pin, i knew i would be doing it for judah's class valentines this year. so easy, so unique, so cheap, so cute. awesome fun with perspective that creates a cool visual effect.

after about 8 minutes worth of total effort (all fun), this is what all of judah's classmates and teachers will be receiving this year for valentine's day:

i love how he has on a kissy face as he proffers the goods.

i probably could have picked a better background than our desolate, unraked, front yard with its bald patches and 6 years of decomposing leaves, but i can only think of so much at a time, and there just isnt that much to chose from in our yard. plus, you can only keep pants on the child for about 4 minutes at a time if we are on our property, so we went with valentine's in the deciduous forest as our theme.

here's how we did ours (publishing this on the 12th so theres still time!):

we took a roll of christmas wrapping paper from the closet and wrapped it in the white craft paper from the big roll on the kids' ikea easel (the chalkboard side of which is what we wrote the "love, judah xoxo" on in the background). white computer paper would have been just as good, but required a tad more tape.

we wanted to get him holding the stick sort of towards the camera so it was like he was offering the lollipop to the recipients, but he is 2, so we mostly just went with whatever he felt like and told him to pretend the stick was a slime gun and he was shooting us.

i added the word graphics in picasa like a boss, poked a hole at tip of where the wrapping paper ended (could have used a hole-punch if it had been closer to the edge), stuck the lollies through and taped the stick down on the back. wham, bam, thank you, ham.

20 copies of the photo: $3.80 at snapfish. picked up at our local walmart in 30 minutes.
box of tootsie pops: $2.95

i love these babies about fifty skrillionty times more than the store-bought perforated cartoon nightmares that i am sure he will want every year henceforth. and they cant have cost much more, even with the candy. so yeah, pinterest has made me uppity about 2 year olds' valentines. maybe thats a red flag that i should step away.

gag reel:

happy valentines to the girl who spurned his advances. maybe i will add a crack line through the heart.

happy valentine's day, to my favorite golfing buddy!

HIYO! happy valentines to ME

and this one ALMOST was the official picture, but just got edged out:

i LOVE how belligerent he looks. but when you added the lollipop, it totally looked like he was stealing it maliciously rather than giving it in the name of friendship and love and pink and red (as is the point).



full of sugar, but oh so spicy, this one is.

it will probably be more hurtful, but way less intimidating when she shoots us this look in about 14 years.

she is fiery!


black (and white) mail

i put this on facebook and twitter, but it belongs on the blog as well.

last night judah pooped on the real toilet in our bathroom during his bath. he is totally potty trained and not sick at all. we had a great bathtime and i put layla to bed and got judah in his jammies (undies and a long t-shirt)

about 45 minutes later i was working and judah was playing monster trucks. he told me he needed to go potty. now that he has been trained for several months, we are trying to get him to actually do the rest on his own...like pulling his pants down for himself and just sitting without our help. so i told him to go for it.

since he had already pooped, this was low-risk. if we think a poop is on horizon, we are more likely to help get him in position swiftly.

he did everything just right and then said, "mai awl dun!" i asked him if he had gone poop or pee (he sometimes gets them mixed up so we like to go over it when possible) and he said "poo-poo," but when i looked in the potty, there was only pee. so i said, "no, you just went pee-pee. see?"

he stood up, with his several-sizes-too-big t-shirt hanging down to his knees and started to pull up his underwear. i am still not paying full attention and all of a sudden he sticks his hand out and says, "mai got poo poo on mai hand. wipe it off, mommy."

and i see two of his fingertips have produced poop from somewhere. i am freaking out! where did the poop come from?!?! it's nowhere in the potty, his underpants are pristine, not on the floor, nowhere!

i life up his shirt tail and i see it:

oh man, this got so bad so fast that it was funny and not even stressful.

i would have just cut the shirt off of him, but my parents had bought it for him in the grand canyon, so i had to go over his head. this is what caused everything above the waist. it was all over his front too.

jesse wasnt home, so i snapped this pic on my phone once i had judah in quarantine because, HELLO, this needed to be documented. and i went with black and white to keep it classy (poop visuals can only be in color if your child is talented enough to produce woodland creatures).

as i washed him the poor guy seemed so confused about what had happened (you and me both, kid).

i got him sparkly clean and then starting wondering how HAD the poop gotten ONLY on him and only on the right outer side of his booty and not where you would expect it to be (right down main street)? it made no sense.

when i was telling jesse about it after he got home i started to think that maybe he had left the room and pooped in something somewhere else and somehow rolled in it, but after a thorough, yet tense, search, we turned up nothing.

i FINALLY figured it out this morning.

it was the long t-shirt.

he had sat down on the kiddie potty with his undies down, but the bottom of his shirt had gotten caught up under him, he was sitting ON his shirt tail. it was in between his bum and the potty. so thats why that potty was spotless: the shirt tail caught everything.

and then i think when he stood up, the shirt swung over to the right side and pancaked there on his little flank. the stars must have aligned for this magic BM because none fell out or soaked through enough for me to spot it from the outside. it wasnt until he felt it and reached back with his hand that he produced the evidence.

now that i know how it happened i feel so bad for him. poor guy did everything right and still somehow made the biggest poop mess of his life. and he even TOLD me he had pooped but i didnt believe him. it's my fault for not seeing the shirt caught under him and assuming he could only have one huge dump per hour. never underestimate the power of a boy.

a second shower and a few dry heaves are totally fair prices to pay to be able to show this to his girlfriends one day.


song and dance and layla chants

i shall watch these on repeat for ever and ever.

jesse caught this at bedtime (there is no video, just the audio...but its golden).

i caught this snippet of layla beat-boxing slash dropping it like it's hot. in case we were confused: she is definitely white. the moves prove it.

and here is the extent of our mother daughter discourse these days. hopefully we will be adding more as the years go by (yes she is IN judah's potty. BFD, it's clean and its her favorite place, yall:


minivans and superplans

we are up to our earballs in minivans. i could tell you pretty much every difference between every late model odyssey, from interior, to features to gas mileage. did i mention i HATE this? its so overwhelming and stressful and there is the constant, "am i getting scammed" thread through it all because, you know, used cars.

i hope to next week have an awesome tale of conquest, ample seating, and fiscal responsibility for you. complete with pictures of us having a dance party in OUR new van. but for now we are still on the hunt and comparing and test driving. actually jesse is doing most of this. i am specializing in being overwhelmed and taking naps throughout the process. hate it.

i have two more nights of menu planning to recap for yall...two VERY successful nights and yummy recipes to pass on.

my separated boards (sides and entrees) are super useful for when i am putting together a menu and deciding what to make, but i have found them annoying when i need to go back to pull them up for cooking. so i made a new board JUST for the recipes i have ahead of me for the night/week/event/whatever. this board will get edited lots and all of the pins will have more permanent homes on the other boards (unless they are yucky) but this will help me have everything i need in one place. (i tried to make this board private so it wont annoy followers with seeing my same pins again and again, but pinterest discontinued the private board feature as far as i can tell)

right now, i have our superbowl yum yums on the board for tomorrow. we are kind of boring (or perhaps you call it unpopular) we love to watch the game at home, by ourselves, and pig out on adventurous new foods. nutrition optional.

we've got avocado fries, almond parm dip, and buffalo chicken sammies on the agenda.

if my heart tells me anything, its that these are going to make it less functional, but it will be worth it. won't you join me?

to calories, athletic men in tight pants and built-in DVD players!



the problem:

look at the legroom situation

this is occurring in our current, "big family car," our saturn vue crossover (whose legal name is "shorty fire burnin' weasley):

before driving it off the lot in july 2009

we got the red car when our faithful, beloved old 1999 explorer, gandalf the gray died in the line of duty. luckily cash for clunkers was going on so we got $4500 from the government for it rather than the $0 it was worth at the time.

for me, jesse, and the 6-week old judah, this was the perfect car. safe, fuel efficient and lots of space for a growing family. t was our first ever NEW car. thanks to cash for clunkers and the sale, we got about $12,000 off the price of the car and were blessed enough to be able to pay it off in full within a year.

fast forward 2 years, and here is what this family looks like as keight, jesse, 2 year old judah and 7 month old layla attempting taking the "big" family car on vacation:

i am wedged in the back seat next to layla's backward facing baby seat and judahs car seat. and there is all of our stuff (2 of our bigger items had to be taken down by our friends in their cars).

i kind of hate the salesman for telling us that we would "never need a roof rack," and even though we knew better, we had not a lot of choice since the explorer was undriveable and some huge saturn sale was ending that very day. but the luggage capacity is clear not the only issue anymore.

in the past few months this car has been driving me nuts. cramming poor judah's legs in the back is a daily reminder that this is not an ideal situation (note: this IS a first world problem...but the first world is where i live, after all). if i scoot the passenger seat up any farther, then the passenger is going to get their lights knocked out if the airbag deploys AND have no legroom up until that point.

so i've made the mental switch. the final transition the many moms make:

i started lusting after a minivan.

visions of the kids running up and down the center aisle, of bucket seats and legroom for all have danced in my head for nigh on 6 months now.

for years i denied that this would ever be my chosen fate. and i know almost all the moms say they never thought they'd want one either, but i swore i was different. i thought if i ever had lots of kids i would just get a big SUV.

but now i'm there, and my mother in law's words are coming to life: nothing beats a minivan when you have kids.

and it's true, in terms of gas mileage, vertical space, layout and design, no SUV can compete. maybe when the kids are older and are without their individual required plastic space pods of safety, that will be an option, but to be honest, the only PRO in the SUV column is that it's not a minivan or that it's somehow "cooler."

hey world, i picked up actual human excrement off of my sweater yesterday and wore my pajama t-shirt to work the day before because it was just easier: the race to coolness is over. i have withdrawn on account of i dont give a shit and because i have won that race before and still never received any prize money.

instead i am now competing in what i will call the "master's division" of the cool race. all you have to do to win this one is not go insane. doesnt that sound COOL!?!

during that scene last summer (pictured above), hurtling 70 mph down the highway towards our florida vacation, i had to get into the back to access layla and help her not scream her head off and make me stab my cochleas with our tire pressure gauge. her rear-facing carseat was in the middle (the only place it fit in that car) and judah was behind jesse at the time. so i ever-so-nimbly turned around in my seat, got into a squatting position and proceed to squeeze my ample self through 11 inches of airspace above the headrest. i think at one point i was IN layla's carseat with her while simultaneously kicking jesse in the head, rubbing my butt on judah and getting rug burns on my face from the ceiling.

if there had been a blood pressure monitor handy at the time (there was no room in the car for it) i'm sure i would have been off the charts. this right here is how you LOSE the master's division cool race.

so now i envision heading to the main cabin of a van like a glamorous air hostess of the 1960's, drink cart and all. the room! the luxury! the sanity of it all!

i posted on facebook that we were thinking about trading in the saturn for a minivan, particularly an odyssey (yes, EVERYONE has one, but people arent stupid, they are popular because they work, evidently) and within a few hours i had 37 comments! every one of them (except for two of my childless friends who shall remain nameless, but judged) was touting the awesomeness of upgrading to a minivan. i have never seen passion like that on my facebook wall.

the funny thing is, up until i actually became interested in vans myself, i just assumed that they were super cheap; simply because they were so uncool. i thought, obviously honda would be thrilled to even get $10,000 for their newest vans due to their nonexistent degree of desirability or coolness. hahaha, stupid, stupid girl. these vans are pimpwagons and are priced as such.

so we are going tomorrow to look at a few used ones (2007 or 2008 models with 50K+ miles on them). the saturn is still worth quite a bit as a trade in, so we are hoping to be left with a very small amount to finance that we can pay off early at a super low interest rate. i will etsy my little heart out to make this dream a financial reality.

the solution?
picture me rollin'.

there will be goldfish dust coating everything and at least one spoiled sippy cup inside, but no legs will be touching seatbacks, no luggage will be touching the ceiling and my mental grip on reality will be safe and sound. i will keep all of my master's division cool-contest trophies in one of my 27 cup holders.

say it with me: there's no room for insanity when you're in-van-wit-me. (puns like that also get you trophies in my division).

sound off: where do you stand on the great van debate. if youre anti-van, are there more compelling reasons besides not wanting to be a van-mom? edukeight me!


menu planning recap: night two KABOBERY!

last night was a mother-smashing success, as i knew it would be. on the docket were chicken bacon kabobs and jasmine rice. the kabobs have a pineapple bbq glaze whose easy-to-delicious quotient is so small its an imaginary number (8i+449 to be exact...yes, it's negative easy).

would you too like to go down in a glaze of glory? read on.

we were first introduced to this meal while visiting ryan and raechel last may. it was so good that when we got home from the trip, i made it again 2 days later. and then promptly forgot about it until last week, while menu planning and saying to myself, "what the crap can i do with all my frozen breasts?" my first response to that question was obviously, "make out with jesse dukes in an igloo." and then i remembered the existence of these gems and i literally started giggling at my desk in glee because of all the delicious in our near future.

if you read raechel's blog too, you will see she just posted the recipe. i am 43% sure this was brought on by me writing her asking a question about it last week, and her realizing it didnt exist online yet so she said she would swiftly remedy that. and then i tweeted my meal plan picture and ryan saw it and demanded it for their famliy this week as well. i think that's how the story went. just telling you that so you know i dont actually copy her meal-for-meal like a nut, but instead we both remembered these together and revived them from the annals.

but all of the credit goes to raechel for this beast. i have seen the magazine version of this recipe and it's just okay. raechel made it 213% more delicious and classy (she has this effect on most things she encounters...including me) and took the 3 microwave steps out of it (i dont even get why you would do that to meat).

after a total of 10 minutes of prep and then playing outside while the grill grilled and the rice steamed, and then this is what we were dealing with:

these havent even been fully digested by my stomach and i am already dreaming of when i can eat them again. that. good.

here is how we made ours (just a few variations from rae's) which served 2.5 humans, with a few leftover bobs to snack on cold later (serious).

chicken bacon kabobs with pineapple BBQ glaze of glory.

-2-3 medium size chicken breasts, cut in half vertically, and then horizontally a few times to make cubes
-8 slices of bacon, cut in half
-jar of pineapple preserves
-bottle of hickory bbq sauce
-metal skewers or presoaked bamboo ones
-kabob supporting actors (sweet onion, bell pepper, pineapple, mushrooms)

1. wrap each chicken cube in a bacon half and then spear it (its okay if the bacon doesnt make a full circle). intersperse each kabob with your supporting cast (we didnt add anything else to the meat-in-meat combo last night...whoops).

2. transfer those puppies to a hot grill.

3. dump half the jar of preserves and half the bbq in to a small saucepan and heat on med-low until its simmering a tad. our about a third of this into a little bowl and brush it on the skewers as they gril.

4. when the bacon is nicely done and has a little carbon scoring (aka char), pull them off. you cant really overcook chicken to "too dry" when it is wrapped in delicious bacon and coated with this sauce, so dont be afraid to leave them on until the bacon is good and done.

5. serve with/over rice (our choice for rice ALWAYS is jasmine with butter and salt and pepper) and the remaining glaze as dipping sauce. there is no such thing as "too much" of this sauce:

his nostril looks weird because i retouched it because he had a bat in the cave, and this is a food post, after all. just looking out for you.

the kid ate SO MANY OF THESE. i have never seen him carnivorate anything like he did these. we are such a great, traditional family, that we feed little zombie man ourselves while he watches TV standing up. not really, usually he feeds himself as he sprints around between bites and jumps off of things...you know, like they did in the olden days. but last night, dinner was way close to bedtime so we gave in to avoid a meltdown ruining our dinners. #tradeoff.

if you dont make these or at least want to make these or at least want to be fed these by jesse while you watch dora...then we cant be friends. let's just break it off before the heartache starts.

collage degrees

dont worry, i still dont know how to use a camera. but i do love to look at my kids, so i plunge forward, clicking wildly.

he's cute and he knows it; one in the bush, none in the hand; full speed ahead

baby glyphs; flight risk; chalksicle

awesome X4. she has never pooped in the tub while judah is in there. i look forward to that day and his reaction.