An irreverent look at motherhood and family life in a new state of normal.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Travel Days

On Friday, we decided to pack up the truck so my dad wouldn't have to pack, just drive. So... we packed and packed and packed. Andy's parents were there to help us. Several people from the community stopped in and helped for a while. Then we were all dead and it was all done. We lay down to go to sleep on the empty floor of our house. Abby, Cate and I all together and Andy out in the living room because I needed sleep and he snores and we all know how that goes... (nudge, snore, kick, snore, "GET OUT!" snore...)

Around 11 or so Abby started coughing a very strange cough. It sounded like she had a very sore throat and I was a little worried that she would be sick on our flight the next day. About 2 hours later, she woke up in a panic coughing like CRAZY! She was wheezing and freaking out. We took her to the ER around 2 AM. Not a wink of sleep did I get. I didn't go to the ER with them as Cate was sleeping and someone needed to stay with her and since I have the boobs, I get to stay. I finally slept for about 2 hours while they were at the ER. They came back with steriods and a very hyper Abby. She had croup. Therefore, she was going to be sick the whole day the next day.

4 AM was our start time for getting ready. We got it together somehow, drove to Charlotte, got through security and onto the plane just in time. Then Abby decided she needed to go potty but we were strapped in and the fasten seat belt sign was on and basically, it was impossible. She decided to scream and scream and make everyone miserable around her. Now, usually I would have a little more patience with a sick 2 year old that got very little sleep but I am also not feeling well and running on pure caffine at this point. When the fasten seat belt sign went off, I left a sleeping Cate with the lady in the seat next to me and hauled my screaming, kicking (and you all know how small those aisles are so she was kicking EVERYONE) down to the smallest bathroom in the world to deal with her soaked pull up and deal out some discapline. Let me take you in that tiny little room for a moment:

Abby: Need to go POOOTTTTTYYYYY!!
Mommy: I KNOW IT. JUST A MINUTE! We have to get your pull-up off!!!
Abby: Need to go POOOTTTTTYYYYY!!
Mommy: (chanting) I'm not going to freak out, I'm not going to freak out...
Abby: (sitting on the potty) ALL DONE!!!
Mommy: (pulling on a new pull up) We are not leaving this bathroom until you get yourself together and STOP CRYING!
Abby: (crying) ALL DONE!!!
Mommy: (repeating over and over that we are not leaving...) grumble grumble...

At this point, she squats on TOP OF THE SEAT and poops in the new pull up. I'm without a new pull up and I'm stuck in this bathroom trying to make a point that crying is not the answer to a sick, tired 2 year old. I look out the door. The stinking beverage cart is blocking us from getting back to our seats anyway. I leave Abby on the potty, clean her up with more than her share of the wipes in my every waning travel wipe holder, then, when the beverage cart passes, I forget the point I'm trying to make and haul her back to our seats, diaperless. I put a new pull up on her in the seat, take back my other child and continue to chant.

Abby slept for a while, screamed bloody murder on the way down for landing and we finally exited the plane. I was getting strung out. We played around a bit at the Dallas airport where I found out that my father's plane heading out to NC to join Andy to drive the truck had been delayed. I was dreading getting on another flight but we had yet one more leg to go until Albequerque.

Abby screamed the whole way into the air, of course. She claimed (the second the fasten seat belt sign came on) that she needed to pee in the potty. I successfully distracted her for part of the flight with toys but she was not having it after a while. fortunatly, we were the only people in our row because as we began our decent (and the fasten seat belt sign came back on) she decided to try and commit suicide via hanging herself by her seat belt and screaming that she needed to pee in the potty. She threw up on herself TWICE just to make her point that seat belts are not for her and Mommy is the devil. Abby's puke is not baby puke. It stinks to high heaven and a nice lady came over and held Cate while I completely changed Abby's clothes and cleaned up the best I could with the last of the travel wipes. To say the least, I was haggard when we got off that plane. My mother met me at the security check point and I burst into teats. I had about 2 hours of sleep in 48 and I was EXHAUSTED, angry and close to walking away from my babies to start a new child free life. Then, Cate smiled and me and most of it was better. I say most because we still had a 6 hour trip to my parents house for which the girls screamed most of the way.

A little information on the boys: They started driving as soon as they got back to Asheville that night. The car was being towed behind the moving van and it caught ON FIRE! I don't know the extend of the damage yet but we are hoping its not bad. We'll see. Please pray that we still have a car to drive when they get here.

Love to all who helped me and Andy get it together in Candler and all who we miss already.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Misadventures of Aslan: The Parting

Well, I loved my dog. I got him in February 3 years ago when he was only 5 weeks old and I loved him. He stayed in the house with us for a year or so and then... we had a baby and the inevitable happened. His indoor days got less and less and shorter and shorter. Then I got pregnant again and his indoor days got even less. Then I bought new couches and that was the end of the indoor days. Then we had Cate and he barely even got a walk on a regular basis. We were so sleep deprived and crazy that he rarely got any part of his schedule dealt with properly. I could see that he was getting depressed and I was feeling more and more and more guilty. He is such a sweet dog and he would just look longingly at me as I walked away from the house, wishing he could go with me. Finally, because we are moving, we put him on and a nice lady and her daughter came and picked him up yesterday. I cried.

He was my walking partner, my buddy, my safety when Andy wasn't home. He was docile and cute and everything I wanted in a dog. He is going to be happier I'm sure. I'm just feeling so sad that he's gone. Pray that he has a good life.

Friday, May 21, 2010

More Pics of My Babies

Cate, Abby and their besty Josh. Poor Josh is wearing a girl hat because Abby made him. She's just like that...

Sisters. Sisters. Never were their such devoted sisters... until Cate pukes and Abby runs off yelling, "Ewwww!!! Puke!!!"

Andy getting artsy with the schools camera. I think we know what his next big present is going to be.

More artsy-ness from Daddy... He's looking to be the next Ansel Adams.

Cate: What are you reading?

Abby: Just listen...

If he's going to get good at photography, he's going to have to learn how to make me look thinner...

She smiles. She almost laughs. I'm waiting for that giggle. We are able to gauge most of her milemarkers by Abby's because they were born within a week of each other. Abby's first giggle was on her Grandpa Adams birthday so we'll see when Cate decides to grace us with a laugh. (I thought it might not be a big deal for these milemarkers with Cate but its just as awesome for her as it was for Abby!)

Chunky Monkey!

"Wanna hug?"

More giggle faces...

 They really look like they are plotting something here. Especially Cate and I bet it has something to do with poop.

In the end, I think they really just like being around each other because Abby is always hugging Cate and Cate smiles at Abby more than anyone else. I love having two little girls!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Double Chocolate Walnut Drop Cookies

These cookies are so yummy fluffy and soft inside. I love them.

You will need:
butter (salted or unsalted depending on your preference)
granulated sugar
brown sugar
a large egg
all purpose flour
dark cocoa powder (I like Hershey's Special Dark)
baking powder
semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whip one stick of room temperature butter until it is nice and soft (but not warm).

Add 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Whip together until VERY fluffy!

Then add the egg and one tsp vanilla and mix again. All this should be nice and light together, like if you put a fork in it, it would implode...

Sift together 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and a dash of salt.

Fold dry and wet ingredients together until incorporated nicely but not over mixed. Fold in 1/4 cup (or more if you want) chocolate chips and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pacans if you want a more buttery nut).

Put 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoon splotches of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 9 minutes.

Ok, here is the secret to keeping them nice and soft on the inside - when you take them out of the oven, hold the pan very flat with two hands about a foot and a half off the ground and DROP it! Yes, it will make a big bang and the cookies may jump a little off the pan but it takes the remaining air out of the cookies and keeps the inside from getting all hard.

I don't know how well these keep overnight. I suspect they are as exceptional in the morning after I make them as they are when I take them out of the oven but when I make them (they only make about 20 cookies), the smell wafts over the campus and there is a rush to my house. There are never any left. I rarely have one cool, let alone old.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Can You Guess?

Cate or Abby?

I just added these because I thought they were funny!

Abby getting ready for bed with curlers.

Cate hating the bunny ears...

I am really hoping that this is not a sign of things to come but Abby is sleeping while hugging the training potty in this picture... hmmm...

A Time to Poop (Yes, more bodily functions to blog about)

My husband helps me. Especially now that things are getting a little quieter around the school and he has more time, he really gets in there and does stuff. Like changing diapers. I have never felt like I change more diapers than him. It really is about 50/50 in this house. I never thought this would be a disadvantage.

My 50% of Cates diapers have been pee. I haven't changed a poopy diaper in several days and I thought, "Man, I'm lucky." When I ventured to flaunt my luck to my husband, he remarked that he thought he was lucky because he hadn't changed one in a week. We freaked out. What was happening to the poop? Was a good fairy coming and changing diapers for us or was Cate having some kind of bowel issue? As with all important questions about our young, we turned to Google: a reliable source, I know. So most websites seemed to agree that exclusively breastfed babies will go up to a week without having a bowel movement and this is totally normal. Cate seemed happy. She was putting on weight and she wasn't turning a strange shade of yellow or brown so we just decided to wait it out.

 Those websites did not, however, explain that when your infants body decides to eliminate it's solid waste, there will be a build up and it will explode out of their oh, so tiny diaper onto everything in site. Therefore, when I was holding her today, and I heard those telltale grunts and the passing of gas, I wasn't terribly worried but relieved that my babies body was working properly. That is, I was happy until I noticed the oozing out of the back, front, sides and everywhere. I mean, I have never dealt with such an enormous blow out. I had to change her clothes, my clothes, the diaper changing pad and after that, I used several washcothes and a towel to deal with the bathroom after I bathed her ALL OVER!

Abby never had that. She rarely had a poop leak at all let alone the full garage sale of these proportions. In fact, I had come to believe that when parents complained of these "blow outs," they were either exaggerating or purchasing diapers that were entirely the wrong size. They were not. I am here to tell you that no amount of explanation could have prepared me for what was to come when Cate decided it was time to poop.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Inconvenient Moment

My yearbook editor graduated today. I'm not afraid to say that she was one of my favorite students because I groomed her for four years to be the yearbook editor. She has been there with me all the way through and I have appreciated her more this year (when she was also my worker) than any other year. She has really been there for me. She loves my girls and teases my husband (in a student to teacher kind of way...). Andy told me that she wanted me at Parent Tributes. I knew that meant she was going to say something about me.

Now let me go on a seemingly unrelated rant. Each year it has been harder and harder to get to the events that happen at the school. The first year, it was just me and Andy and I totally made it to everything. Then I had Abby but she was little so I could still make it to most everything because she was just sleeping and eating and it was ok. Then she was not so little and not so sleepy and she wanted to run everywhere. It was harder to chase her around because I was pregnant again and chasing a moving target while obese is just CRAZY. Now I have one that is potty training and one that is needing to be fed and changed and it's just way nuts whenever we try and do a school event - such as graduation weekend parent tribute program.

My brother was there and he had Abby but then I had Cate and she needed to be fed and I knew (because tributes go in alphabetical order) that my yearbook editor was coming up. I had three choices: either take the squirmy Cate out to do the baby dance in the hall way while she snuffled and whined until I fed her and miss the tribute, OR sit in there while she made a ton of noise and annoyed everyone (this is a VERY quiet program), OR sit in there and put on my nursing apron and feed my kid while still able to listen to the tributes and pray to God that she didn't ask me to stand up. I chose the latter. I waited with baited breath, hoping that Cate would be done eating before my girl got up to say her tribute. Alas, she was not AND she asked me to stand... I almost didn't. Knowing how much it would hurt her feelings if I stayed sitting, I picked up Cate and stood IN MY APRON WHILE BREASTFEEDING! Yes, it was crazy and everyone laughed but my editor knew I was there and knew that I cared enough to risk humiliation to let her know that I was there FOR HER! DID YOU HEAR THAT, JOY?!!! You are my best girl!

Packing Pain

I have moved many times in my life. I don't remember the moves we did with my parents very well and that could be because I was more of a hindrance than a help. After I got to academy, I moved several times a year. I moved out of the dorm and back home, then to camp, then home, then back to the dorm. I did this all through academy and college. Then I graduated and I moved to another dorm to be taskfoce, then to California, then back to the school and in with my new husband. I had "moving" down to one car full of stuff.

Once Andy and I were married, we lived in one apartment for 6 months. Then I decided the mice won (it was overrun with mice and ladybugs) and we moved to a new apartment not a quarter mile away. We moved in laundry baskets that time.

When we decided to leave Pennsylvania and come to North Carolina, Andy worked at camp that year and I moved all on my own. I packed up all our stuff (which, looking back, was hardly anything) and his parents came down and helped me drive to the new place and unload. It wasn't all that bad.

Now I have to kids and I'm insane with the moving thing. When I packed up just Andy and I from PA, it took me three weeks. We have two weeks until we are supposed to be rolling out of here and I can't get a thing done because I can only pack when the kids are sleeping. It's rough.

So here's my proposal, if you are local and you want to help me get some stuff into boxes, I will pay you in brownies, or lemon tarts, or doughnuts, or fritters, or whatever I have made that day that might be worth eating. Come on down people!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The New Granola Bars

I posted a recipe before that was just not quite perfected. These are a much better recipe than before and I know you will love them if you give them a try. They don't take long at all. If I can do them between taking care of an infant and dealing with 3 other toddlers, you can and you will never regret it!

2.5 cups rolled oats (toasted in the oven at 350 for a few minutes - be sure to stir them every now and then)
2 cups rice cereal 
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup Earth Balance vegan buttery spread (softened)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey (Make sure its not to strong of a tasting honey. Remember, this is just for texture!)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
1 cup mini chocolate chips (semi-sweet)

Preheat oven at 325.

Toast oats and nuts. (Ok, I confess. I bought pecans already toasted because who wants to be in the middle of toasting and have to take a two year old on an emergency potty run and forget about them and have them burn? They are REALLY expensive but definitely the best for this recipe! I also bought them sugared or something and they just added a bit extra sweetness to the bars.)

Mix toasted oats, nuts, flour and baking soda. Allow mix to sit and cool before adding to wet ingredients.

Mix butter, brown sugar, and honey. Allow this to cool a bit also or you will melt your chocolate chips and have chocolate bars instead of tiny chocolate chips nicely spread throughout your bars.

Fold together wet and dry ingredients.

Add craisins and chocolate chips.

Press onto well greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 325 for 18-25 minutes or whenever it gets a little brown on top.

Let cool for 10 minutes and cut but do not remove from cookie sheet. I never cut them straight but I know it's best to keep them all uniform-ish to cut the whole thing in half and halfs and halfs then the other way the same thing.

Let cool all the way before you take them off the cookie sheet!

Wrap individually in wax paper for storage until service. I say wrap each one because of you just stick them in a container (which I do when I'm really to busy to sit and watch The Big Bang Theory and wrap 36 bars) they stick together and are hard to get out and unless you are having a party where you are serving all 36 bars, it's only going to get worse...

Now that you have made this recipe, I will tell you that it's vegan - accept for the chocolate chips which have milk fat in them... boo - (you knew that because of the buttery spread) but no one will know. You just feed these to them and they will be like, "AWESOME!" and never have a clue.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm Movin' On

We are moving. We always said we would only move if we were heading toward something. We are. Andy is going back to school to become a physical therapist. He has been thinking about it for a couple of years and we are finally doing it. This is not an ideal time to move with two little kids. It's not an ideal time to start a new career with a new baby. We are going to need alot of prayer and alot of help but we are very excited about what we are heading into.

I'm going to miss Pisgah so much. It was not a place I wanted to come to but it's not a place I want to leave.

If anyone cares about the current plan:
The girls and I are going to hang out with our stuff in Alamosa for a while. Andy is going to Montana to get a job, apartment, all ready for school and... you know. All that stuff. Then we are going to get out and join him. I'm hoping it won't be to long but you never know.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Accidental Conversation

Daddy: ABBY! (sigh) Where's the pee?

Abby: Juss pee. Dher. (Just pee. There. *pointing*)

Daddy: Abby, why do you... what are you... Where does pee go?!

Abby: In the potty.

Daddy: Not in your pants not on the floor. Where?

Abby: In the potty.

Daddy: Why aren't you peeing in the potty?

Abby: *blink blink*

Mommy: Resolve is in the closet...

Daddy: *grumbling under breath*

Abby: Daddy wash it?


Mommy: Abby, where does pee go?

Abby: *whisper" In the potty?

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Shiney Interpretive Dancer

Today, distracted by fun conversation with City Girl (my friend), I didn't notice that it was getting quiet in the back where my crazy two year old was. City Girl noticed and asked me about it but I refused to come away from downloading Glee music on iTunes. She finally got up and went to look. I heard, "Abby! You really can't do that..."


I yelled back and asked if it involved crap. "Is there poop?"

When she answered, "No," I decided it couldn't be that bad.

She came out holding Abby at arms length. My two year old was covered in Vaseline.

(Breath. Don't have a cow, Callie.)

My room was covered in grease. My books, Cate's bed (which is still right up against mine), all the blankets and Abby. I put her in the bathtub... and took a minute to collect myself. While City Girl held Cate, I took on the daunting task of washing a gallon of shellac off my kid. She is still shiney.

I didn't lose my temper. I didn't yell. But I was MAD!

Breath, Callie. It's going to be ok! ("Your eyes are crazy!" "I know, because I'm freaking out. What are we going to do?!!!!" - Steve Corell, Date Night)

Then, after taking some serious time to comb through her hair (Did you know that Vaseline causes already tangled hair to be impossible to comb?!), Abby was mostly ok. She barely escaped with hair at all as I seriously considered shaving her head at that moment.

Greasy and naked, she started to dance because that's what she does between 5 and 6 in the evening. (It's like clockwork.) She was the perfect example of Asheville life. I should have taken her to drum circle at Pritchard Park with a bead necklace and a little Patchouli oil.

How can you stay mad at that?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cate Meets Pioneer Woman

My friend came over on Thursday and told me she was going to a Pioneer Woman book signing in Charlotte. Needless to say, I was very jealous. I knew it was happening but I knew I couldn't go on my own with a kid and all the craziness that entails. Then my friend texted me.


I knew what that meant. No book signing for her.

After the customary (and very short) "Ohhh... I'm sorry. So what are you doing with your Pioneer Woman ticket?"

She was like... "Yeah, it's yours."

Ok, I never get to do ANYTHING! I'm broke all the time, I have two little kids and I hate changes in routine. Today was the exception. I jumped at the chance and after getting permission from Andy to leave him with a potty training two year old (who, incidentally, put him through the peeing and pooping ringer today) I raced off to see my favorite blogger... with Cate.

I was given the royal treatment. I was whisked down to Charlotte by my friends mother and aunt who were gracious and helpful. We were the first in line to get our books signed and we were in and out faster than you can say homemade doughnuts. I even got a picture taken with Ree, me and Cate (who was screaming bloody murder).

I'm chagrined to say that Pioneer Woman (Ree Drumond) is just as beautiful in person as she is in books. I guess I somehow hoped that she would be just like the rest of us and have gained 30 lbs. from her own recipes but she's quirky, funny, AND BEAUTIFUL... so not fair. Check her out at

Although it would have been more fun WITH my friend, I'm glad I got to go and I feel like I have gotten "out." I can now settle back for another month or six of doing absolutely nothing and making Ree Drumond recipes out of my autographed cookbook.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why do we do it?

I'm sitting here watching Andy hold Cate. Abby is in bed and Cate and Andy are getting some quality time watching ESPN together. She is looking into his face and "talking to him." He's talking back and it's SOOO CUTE! This is why I have babies. Because I love being a parent with him. I love having his children and having a little part of him that stays with me all day. I love it that we have made something together and that we both love our kids.

Plus babies are squishy.

"And you will be my squishy..." - Dory, Finding Nemo

Potty Training Woes

I need to preface this by saying that potty training has been going pretty well. Really well. The thing is... she has me trained. My method was to take her every half hour or so and let her do her thing. We have stretched it out to about an hour between potty trips but she is not trained. I am.

I can see her signals and get her to the potty usually on time. My friend who watches her is also attuned to the signals now and can rush Abby into the potty lickity split. It's funny. I'm not sure what will happen later but for now, this works and I don't have to buy diapers. There are minimal accidents so I say, "Train me all you want!"

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Waiting Room

Seinfeld has a whole bit about Dr.'s offices and the waiting rooms and all that and it's soooooo true. Yesterday, I went in for my annual invasive procedure. I waited with baited breath knowing that it was going to be totally uncomfortable but I would get through it with the usual humor and sarcasm. My experiences with doctors and this procedure have always yielded great blogs. Anyway, I waited and waited and after an hour of waiting and trying to entertain a two year old and make sure she doesn't pee on the rug, they put me in the next waiting room and then... they came in (I've been there for an hour and a half), the nurse comes in a tells me that the doctor is delivering a baby. "Your choices are: Wait for her to get done, or reschedule." Duh, I'm going to reschedule! What a let down... after all that waiting, nothing. Kinda like being the kicker for a football team. Game winning kick coming up in
Just kidding! TIME OUT! Now you have to wait again.

Anyway... Today, I took Cate to the doctor and we waited again... for shots. I hate babies getting shots. Especially my baby. I cried when Abby got them and I cried again with Cate. Three sticks in the little chubby legs (she's in the 90th percentile in weight and height... chunky monkey) and she screamed bloody murder. I was sooooo sad for her. We cried together and she was to upset to eat so I just held her. She is still whimpering and it's been several hours. I think she's going to hate me forever.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I came out from the bathroom to find this on the couch. Abby is now reading her sister a Sabbath Story from the Red Bible Story books.

Getting in for a nap together.

Checking each other out.

Getting sick of having Abby's curls in her face...

Getting tired of Cate...

All done with being cute and together...