Turning 2: A Bunny BBQ

Amidst the chaos of moving from Washington state to Ohio...settling in corporate housing, house hunting, visiting family and friends, locating pediatricians and finding a preschool...we managed to pull off small and simple second birthday party for sweet Norah. Held at a local park, family and friends provided side-dishes, laughter, love and fun. Mother nature provided a beautiful day!

Bunny and carrots galore! (I'll upload the awesome invitation once I get a great pic of it!)


Midwest Bound

That's right...taking the blog and family back to our roots! Giddy-up! Yee-haw! And all those other obnoxious sayings I'm sure to hear once back home. ;)


Norah Grace Don't Care

Have you ever been asked the question, "If you were an animal, what animal would you be?" I have, and my answer is always sea otter. BUT, have you ever been asked, "If your daughter was an animal, what animal would SHE be?" Yeah, I haven't either. But if I were to be asked, the answer is blatantly obvious...HONEY BADGER. And not just because she can make this AWESOME "honey-badger-crazy-face", but because she's got serious honey badger ways.

Did you know the honey badger is listed in the Guinness World Book of Records as being the word's most fearless creature? Norah Grace* just happens to unofficially be the most fearless toddler in the state of Washington. Coincidence? Hmmm...read on...

Just as the honey badger, Norah Grace is aggressive and has few predators. She can clear out a children's play area within seconds. She pulls hair, throws sand, scratches eyes, puts her finger in older kids' mouths and fish-hooks them until their inner cheek bleeds. She'll push an 8-year-old over without hesitation, just to get up the slide first. She'll scratch the face of an adult, then laugh in her face (ask my friend Jenn- she's a victim).Norah Grace don't care. Norah Grace will smack the shit out of a kid for looking at her the wrong way. I've seen it. I myself have probably qualified for a Guinness record: the most parents giving me the stink eye within a minute.

Norah Grace has an extremely wide diet. She eats anything and everything – from broccoli to bugs. If it fits in her mouth she's eating it. She doesn't question it, doesn't think about it, just pops it in her chops. Like the honey badger, she's a forager. Three meals a day with snacks in between isn't enough for Norah Grace. It's not uncommon to find her under the kitchen table picking up small, dehydrated food particles that have been wedged into the braids of our dining room rug. I've also caught her eating grass, small rocks, and most recently the tip of a giant Color Wonder marker (Which, off-topic, Preston was relieved to find out she'd eventually poop out. This way we could glue it back on. Yay!) Norah Grace is just crazy.

Both Norah Grace and the honey badger are accomplished climbers. Badgers can easily climb up to into the uppermost branches of trees to raid bird nests or beehives.  Norah can easily scale any dresser or cabinet structure in order to destroy (or eat) what she finds. Whether she pushes her baby stroller up to the cabinet to give herself a boost or uses the knobs as foot holds, she reaches her destination. Once atop a table, she recklessly clears the area by tossing all objects to the ground (or eating them). Norah Grace don't care. In her words, "I MESS!"

Honey badgers only weigh up to 30 pounds. Small, but fierce. Norah is about 25 pounds. Not "intentionally designed" to be fierce, but fierce nonetheless.

Couple determination with a high pain tolerance and nothing can stop the honey badger. The honey badger can get stung repeatedly by bees or temporarily pass out from a venomous snake bite, but the badger doesn't change its course. Similarly, Norah Grace can run full force into the sharp corner of a wall, resulting in a liquid-filled lump the size of a bouncy ball protruding from her skull, and she's barely phased. Norah Grace has WILLINGLY pulled the majority of her index fingernail off...blood dripping down her hands...and the only sound out of her mouth was a proud, "Mommy, I pick!" She's pretty bad-ass. Hell, the girl is missing part of her front left tooth and I have no idea when or where it got knocked out.

Ya know, in South Africa a permit is required to capture or keep a honey badger in captivity. While there are many cases in which I support the idea of  men and women being required to obtain a permit prior to becoming a parent, I'm truly glad this isn't a reality. Otherwise my wild and free-spirited little honey badger would probably not be turned over to my care.

(If some of the humor of this post escapes you, watch this, then read it again.)

*Disclaimer: Norah, when you are older and reading this please know I love you with all my heart. And I promise you upcoming posts about how sweet you are. Just not today. But someday, once you get out of this honey badger stage.*


Explaining Easter to a Preschooler

In preparation for the "Kids Sing" mini-concert at church, Preston had been diligently listening to the songs he received on a CD in his Sunday school class. (His class is actually called "Kids Life, Jr." but I'm keeping it old school on the blog!) The disc included three songs, one of which was Happy Day by Tim Hughes. If you aren't familiar, check it here.

One fateful day, while driving in the car, well after Preston had memorized all the song's lyrics, he asked, "Mommy, why does this song say Jesus is Alive? Did he die? Did his parts stop working?"

Mommy nearly went into a panic. I've been a Christian for just under a year and a half. And Preston whips out a mother of all biblical questions.

As I started to fumble through a lame, and ultimately overly-complex explanation, Preston interrupted, "Mommy, well...why does it say I'll never be the same?"

And as sure as Moses parted the waters, I came up with one mother of an answer...

"Let's think of it like this. You and all the kids in your preschool class are good boys and girls, right?"

Preston, "Yes!"

"But sometimes, you make bad decisions. And you get a time-out, right?"

Preston, "Yes! But not all the time!"

"Okay. Well, in the Bible there were lots of boys and girls. Just like in your preschool class. And even though the boys and girls were good, they sometimes had bad behavior. One day, all the boys and girls were getting in trouble, and their teacher said they ALL had to have a time-out!"

Preston, "ALL the boys and girls? That's A LOT!"

"But you know what happened? One boy in the class stood up and said he'd take a time-out for ALL the kids in the class. His name was Jesus. And even though all the kids had bad behavior, Jesus volunteered to sit in his time out chair for as many minutes as it would take for all the kids to have their time-outs."

Preston, "So the other kids didn't have to go in time-out?"

"No, because Jesus was so good and kind. He loved all the kids so much that he didn't want them to have a time-out. He was willing to get in trouble so that nobody else had to! All the kids were so thankful for Jesus. They thought Jesus was wonderful and so nice to take their time out for them. And because Jesus was so nice, the kids decided they wanted to have better behavior. They wanted to be better kids because Jesus was so nice and kind."

Preston, very simply, "Oh okay. That's not confusing like the story you said before."

As I pulled into the driveway of our home, I was feeling rather proud of myself. I made that up on the fly and it made sense! And Preston even seemed to understand it. Go me!

Later that night, however, my so-called impressive explanation came back and bit me in the arse. Preston wasn't being on his best behavior. He was testing me like any good 4-year-old often does. So, I instructed him to go to the corner for his time-out. (We do corner time-outs in our house...much more effective that sitting in a chair!)

Preston looked at me, brows furrowed, and lips tightly clenched. He slowly muttered, "BUT YOU SAID!? YOU SAID JESUS TOOK MY TIME OUT FOR ME!?"

Some people's kids!


You Are What You Wear

Yesterday we had Preston's best friend Dylan and his family over to our house. We were attempting a St. Patrick's Day mulligan due to the sickness that invaded our home last week. Everyone wore green, we listened to Irish music and ate green food! After a long day of play outside and their bellies full, the wiped out kids requested to watch a movie.

As I trolled through the channels to see what was on cable, Goonies caught the eye of the children. It was nearing the end of the film, where everyone was in battle on the hidden pirate ship. The kids screamed in delight over all the jewels and magical scenery so I agreed to let them finish the movie.

A couple minutes into the show, I popped back in the room to see how everyone was doing and if the movie was 'okay', ie not scaring them.

An overly-excited Preston replied, "Yes Mommy! I love this movie because Superman is in it!"

Let this be a lesson to all of us. We're all super heroes if we wear the gear.


I Dream In Pinterest

Pinterest. I'm one of the millions fallen victim to this craft-ridden, do-it-yourself-ing, baking, sewing, photographing, cleaning and book-loving online community. It puts facebook to shame. I could care less about what you are shoving in your pie hole, where you are eating it and with whom is sitting by your side. Why I'd much rather see a pic of what you are eating with a link to the quick and easy recipe. That's the beauty of Pinterest. And me loves it!

I loves it so much, I dream it. If Pinterest were a a world, I lived it last night.

There I was with one of my besties, Allison. We were living in something similar to a compound in a wide open field. There weren't houses, fences or streets but there were definitely divisions between different groups of people. We could all see one another, but everyone was busy doing their own projects...everyone was living their life within their specific "board".

I was multi-tasking. Using a mixture of vinegar, Epsom salt and olive oil I was putting a shine to the chrome on my motorcycle that would make William Harley and Arthur Davidson proud. At the same time, I was working on assembling two rifles- complete with a cork popper and baker's twine to keep it attached to the weapon.

Seriously...is this dream awesome or what?

To the "board" next to me, Allison was busy making a sausage stew in a wonderfully re-purposed, extremely large concrete flower pot. I could tell it wasn't an actual cauldron, but she did really well painting it black and I wasn't about to judge. Her recipe was a print-out of a photograph that captured all the stew ingredients. The sausage had "1 lb." written next to it, the carrots, "1 bunch", the potatoes "1 lb"... and so forth. The author of the stew had horribly slopping writing, and Allison was having difficulty deciphering whether or not she needed 1 tbsp. of salt or 1 tbsp. of herb (what herb, I have no idea...this is all the dream offered up.). Using her phone, she diligently tried to find the original recipe, but was having no luck.

In the "board" next to us ladies were our husbands and children. Jeremy, Brad and the kids were all wearing pillowcase dresses! (I shit you not!) The men were stretching a huge piece of scrap chicken wire between two evergreens. Preston, Norah, Eli and Wyatt were balling up peanut butter and birdseed. The birdseed balls were then shoved into the large holes in the chicken wire. You wanna know why? To catch dinner, of course!

The idea behind the birdseed in the chicken wire is to attract local foul. They'd swoop in to peck a piece of the bird-bait. The force of their 'aggressive beaking' would actually put their heads through the chicken wire hole, capturing the bird around the neck. Dinner!

Allison, being frustrated with her sloppy Pinterest recipe, suggested we go for a motorcycle ride. She brought me a print-out of an aerial photograph with windy roads amidst tall pines and rolling hills of flowers. Neither of us had been there before, so it seemed like a great idea! (This dream is insane, right?)

On the way out of the compound, Allison and I were getting stopped left and right. I got the vibe we we were the leaders. Many people I had never met or seen before, but I did run into a couple girls from high school. Hadn't seen them in years, but apparently they had been following me for awhile. Everyone wanted the same things...Allison's recipe for the stew, my chrome polish concoction, and tips on how to catch live birds.

INSANE, right?

I rather enjoyed my stint living in the land of Pinterest. I was a bit overwhelmed by the thousands of 'followers' though. After all, I have 145 groupies that follow this blog- and probably ten read it. Maybe this post will fling me into my fifteen minutes of fame. I'll attract a whole new set of readers. Everyone will start pinning this post and I'll go viral. Anderson will have me as a guest on his show and surprise me with a trip to one of the exotic locations I have saved on my "Destinations" Pinterest board. (Chose Anderson as he's the only daytime talk show host that doesn't make my ears bleed.)

So what's a girl in the REAL world do now? PIN this post, of course. ;)


May I Redirect Your Attention...

to the sidebar entitled "Mug Shots". I've got a couple more months to add, but have pretty much uploaded a summary of pics from all of 2011 until now. Boom!


Take Me Off the Milk Carton

I've been found! Yes, here I am...alive and WELL. I've updated the "look" of things, altered the blog name, and am ready to get back into writing. It's taken me eight months to get back on here, and over a year to pull myself out of the drudges of postpartum depression and being overly medicated –a prisoner of Lexapro. Last year was a mental blur. I thank God every day for my newly-found clarity.

So, welcome back ME! Off to update the picture link- you all won't believe how big the ankle biters have gotten OR how much trouble they get into!