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

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Yup... I wanna talk about it NOW!

I never watched 24 or Bones or any of the other shows that everyone was like, "That's such a good show." We always forgot what night it was on and our DVR was full of stuff already.

So, now I don't have cable. I have Netflix online. I'm watching every season straight through without having to wait unless its because I'm changing a diaper or something like that.

Not really, I take long breaks because I don't want my kids seeing mangled skeletons and stuff.

Anyway, I have to say, I never need to have cable again. If a show is good, I will hear about it and I'm totally happy to rent whole seasons at a time on Netflix.

Goodbye, expensive cable bill. Goodbye, DVR priority list. Hello, instant gratification.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sharing Tradition

As some may remember, I have spoken about the reading aloud of books by my father before. I don't recall whether it was on this blog or in some other venue. Therefore I will draw you that picture again. Dad, every year when we were young, would read us The Other Wiseman. It was a very long story every year (when you are young and Christmas presents are waiting to be played with, everything is long). It was something very important to him and was a tradition that he wanted to continue. We suffered through it and didn't understand it's significance until much later in life (when we began crying through the reading) and we are of course making our kids suffer through the same ritual in hopes that they will grasp the deep meaning of the book and the tradition of reading it at some time in their lives.

Andy had similar traditions in his house. That beautiful tradition of books and learning. His books were the Sam Campbell series chronicling the funny exploits of the wilderness and it's inhabitants. I had read these books also of course but Andy's dad actually got to meet the author and got his books signed therefore making them more of a fixture in their house than mine.

Today, Andy thought he would attempt to start the Sabbath afternoon tradition of reading out of these books (or some other Sabbathy book) to the kids therefore instilling quiet reflection as a Sabbath afternoon staple.

I captured the one moment of picturesque serenity this afforded on camera. Needless to say, this photo does not give justice to the beauty of a lovely fire and the sound of Dad's voice relating a tale of canoe trips and God's creation. After this brief moment what chaos ensued. Abby wanted to get out book after book to look at the pictures. Her up and down was accompanied by her whispers of, "Wait, Daddy. I need another story." Cate woke up and she was wiggling and wobbling all over. She need to be constantly rescued from touching the fire and she was hungry. After being fed, she mooed (yes, like a cow) and Abby started mooing back at her. Andy attempted to read over the din. There was an attempt by Mommy to soosh the kids but it was a futile attempt as toddlers are not to be quieted. I was reduced to snickering at Andy's attempts behind my needle point.

I know that he will soldier on next week and every week after that as one of the reasons I married him was for his quiet patience and perseverance. Hopefully, the kids will at least learn to lay back and listen for a while if not fully appreciate the thought and energy put into the book selection. Andy loves his girls and wants all the best for them and it is shown every time he passes on a tradition to them. Tonight, we eat fresh baked bread and Grandma Adams' Boston Baked Beans that will no doubt bring back memories and hopefully tie the girls to a long and glorious tradition of family togetherness.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Few Random Things

Tonight, I found that we were out of bubble bath for the kids, I used some dish washing liquid that I got as a free sample in the mail from Gain. My kids smell like fresh laundry.

My Uncle Bob died today. It is so sad to lose people in this world but I look forward to getting to know him better in Heaven.

I made Chinese food tonight and Abby hated it. To bad she's not old enough to just be polite and eat it anyway. I guess she won't be joining us at the China Palace any time soon.

Cate has learned how to crawl and is racing all over the house. She was into the toy boxes today and tested everything for taste and durability. I will be bleaching everything soon as it seems to find its way into her mouth.

I am going to reiterate a previous statement about men: If you want them to get something done, buy them a new tool to do it with. I bought a new rake today and I took it out of the car and handed it to Andy who immediately raked the whole front yard. He then took the new fire grate I bought out of the box and built a Friday night fire. They just like using the new stuff.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Love Affair with BOB

After I had another kid, I was trapped. I couldn't get out easily because I had to carry one or drag the other. I could go places in the car but then we were bound to stay close to the car. During the summer, I didn't have a car that was mine all the time and I started getting stir crazy. I finally ran out and bought the first double stroller I could find on craigslist. Mistake.

The first double didn't have a wheel that turned in the front causing me to have to pop a wheely every time I wanted to change directions. I didn't have storage space and the sun shade only prevented me from seeing who was poking who as I walked. It did not, in fact shade from the sun.

I did however, feel a certain sense of liberation. I was getting tired of the problems with the used stroller. It needed some major repairs and the straps were just not working out for the girls. I had been drooling over a BOB (stands for Beast of Burden) and finally, Andy told me that if I wanted it, it was going to be my everything present forever. So, I got it.

Do you see how this picture of my new stroller is kinda shaped like a heart? That's because it's made with nothing but love!
Needless to say, spending so much money on a stroller was no easy thing for us but I can drive it with one hand so when Abby wants to get out and walk, I can hold her hand and still drive Cate. When Abby get's tired, she has a place to sit.

When I had just one kid, my mom bought me a huge Eddie Bauer stroller that housed a car seat if you wanted. It was perfect for traveling and was affectionately called "the beast." It had enough room to put Abby, her stuff, my stuff, the base for the car seat and cup holders to boot. But then along came Cate and Abby was reduced to sitting on the cup holders. One airline trip and I was sold on getting something double.

This stroller does not have as much storage room but it's worth it because I can still get a diaper bag over the back, the blankets in with the kids and another bag in the bottom storage tote. It breaks down easy, the wheels come off and it is just the best thing you can get. Unless you are using your double exclusively for marathons, you should consider getting one if you are having a second kid (or twins). It's the only way to go!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I'm addicted to baths. I'm addicted to hot water, in addition to alot of other things. I can put Cate on the floor and have Abby "help" me and take a bath and feel better. I take two or three a day when I have a very young baby. I take less the older the baby gets. Stress just seems to melt away in hot water. I'm in a warm bubble where nothing can get me. It's crazy. I love it.
I'm addicted to chocolate. Every woman's worst addiction. I love chocolate. I have actually taken a liking to Chocolate Silk. Many nights, you can find me behind the refrigerator door sucking down a cup or so of the chocolaty goodness. Yummy... It goes down my throat and gets me all warm and fuzzy inside. Very smooth. Dove squares are a weakness as well.

I'm addicted to sleep. Any time I get upset, after taking a bath and drinking some chocolate silk, I just want to take a nap in a warm blanket.

I'm addicted to caffeine. I don't like being awake but I have to be. The only way to stay awake long enough to make sure my kids are taken care of and my husband is happy is to drink massive amounts of caffeine. I have decided that I might need to back off this one a little more. I noticed a weird feeling today and I think it's all about the fact that the majority of my liquids intake today was caffeinated. Grrr... I have to check myself on that one more.

I'm addicted to my kids. They are the best things and when I'm away from them, although there is sometimes that sense of relief that I'm not responsible for them for a short time, I miss them. I miss them after only an hour. Sometimes I need more than an hour as a break but I'm always a better mother after a break because I realize how much I need them and to be needed by them.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Run! It's communion!

Why is it that as soon as it's announced from the pulpit or posted in the bulletin, we all find a reason to skip that week? "Let's do something in the mountains." "Camping anyone?" or the good old standby, "Communion this week. I'm sick."

Communion can be very frustrating. You are herded into an over crowded room only to be asked to find a partner. We all know from grade school that finding a partner is the worst! Then you have to remove your shoes (which, let's admit, no one wants to see) and get dripped on and sloshed on.

Back in the sanctuary, you are given the tiniest piece of communion bread ever and asked to hold it. You are getting hungry and the preacher is telling you about the reason for the bread and your minuscule cracker is melting in your hand. By the time he quotes the Lord and asks you to eat, you are licking the remnants off your hand and hoping for something salty at potluck.

Then they pass around the tiny cups and the warm juice sloshes over your hand leaving you sticky and ready for a baby wipe as you are finally asked to drink.

I realize that in the constraints of our modern service, it is hard to do more than we are to represent what our Lord had in mind.

As an academy teacher, I have seen communion done every year although I'm not sure they know they are doing it. It's called "Cry Night." At least, that's its unofficial title. Usually it's called Friendship Commitment. Everyone has a chance to find those people they may want to reconcile with and apologize, ask for forgiveness and pull together before they are separated for the summer or forever as the case my be. It's also something that many faculty (including me) tend to avoid.

I think this is the real reason we avoid communion. We are not reconciled. We don't want to be stuck washing the feet of someone we may have offended or visa versa. We don't want to admit to ourselves or anyone else that a relationship is broken. We are satisfied putting on the happy face every Sabbath and then going home and forgetting all about our troubles.

If I could do communion my way, it would be a feast. Large loaves of crusty bread with fresh grape juice and cheeses and fruits that would be more reminiscent of what they may actually have had (minus the meat...) to eat. Those with the gift of hospitality could really make this great. I would place the pastor at the head of the table and have us all find people we need to reconcile with. Then, when you have found spiritual healing, wash each others feet and or pray together as a symbol of your renewed relationship. Reconciliation is such a healing and spiritual process. (Not everyone needs to be reconciled with another human but we all can use that time to spiritually reflect therefore being reconciled to God.) As communion approaches in your church, find that reason in your heart that is causing you to run away. Is it the service itself or something more?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Goodbye, Grandma

Today I drove my mother-in-law to the airport where the girls and I waved a sad goodbye. Janet Adams is a GREAT MIL. She cooks, she cleans, she cans and she plays with and reads to the girls. She discusses things with me and provokes me to think about my life. It's always fun when grandma comes. Man, I'm going to miss her.

We walked several times during the week she visited. The air here in Montana is getting crisp and perfect for a nice brisk walk everyday. Now if it will only stay that way for a while. I kinda doubt it as every time I walk into a store there are snowsuits and Columbia ski jackets prominently displayed with the Halloween costumes. What with the smell of cooking apples in the house and the leaves blowing all around, I'm practically in Campbell Soup heaven this fall. It's GREAT!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Adventures in Canning

Today we decided to can applesauce. I have not made applesauce as an adult so I was very excited to learn something new. So was Cate as you can see in this picture.

We cut the apples. Abby washing, Cate looking on and Grandma wielding the sharp knife. It was fun. (They get washed, quartered and seeded.)

Then we cooked them down in a big pot... (2 quarts of water to this big canner full of apples. It's a HUGE pot!)

...and while we were waiting, Abby got ahold of the camera and tried to take a picture of Daddy without a shirt on. Hubba Hubba!

Then we squashed up the apples in a squasher strainer thingy that I used. It strains out the skins and stuff. You have to ladle the cooked apples into it and then hand crank it over a bowl and combine all the efforts into another big bowl or pot. I did get a picture of this but I was in it and I was in very inappropriate clothing for a blog. Sorry.

Then after sterilizing the bottles and lids, you have to heat up the applesauce just a bit...

...then ladle it into the cans/bottles...

...and finally put on the lids and boil the can/bottles lightly in a water bath for about 30 minutes until they seal.

At any one time, your kitchen may look like this...

...or like this.

There will be lots of pots used and lots of sticky apple juicyness everywhere. But if your mother-in-law is there to do it with you, it will all be cleaned up before you come out from changing diapers and putting the kids down for a nap.

In the end, the cans will be on the counter cooling and waiting for you to store them for a long winter of yummy goodness.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Reason I Will Never Run a Daycare...

Today I volunteered for MOPS as a childcare giver while they were having a benefit yard sale. I was knee deep in toddlers. I left my own kids with my M-I-L and realized after I got there that I was in way over my head.

There were several little babies, toddler girls (who are easy) and then... there were boys!

I'm just going to say, I don't know much about boys or how they are managed. They are rowdy and dirty and loud and rough. AND I don't know much about how to deal with the potty and a boy toddler. Most of the kids were JUST potty trained so I went in to help a little guy on the potty. When he requested help pulling up his pants, I leaned over and checked to make sure we had the back covered as that seems to be the biggest problem in my JLo butt household. I didn't even think about what may be occuring in the front until he yelled, "My PENIS!" Oops. "I'll just let you fix that," I mumbled while holding his pants out far enough for him to poke the offending part back in. I am NEVER running a daycare. Grrr...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pot: Part 2

This morning while we were still in our bathrobes eating cereal, the door bell rang and fortunatley Daddy was still here because I was quite indecent. The pot had arrived. Here are some pictures of us ooing and ahhing over it. I can't wait to deep fry something. I'll be saving some serious Weight Watchers points for that!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Princess and the Pee

Cate is teething. It's miserable. Daddy is trying to help and that means that both sets of parents are working to get both kids to sleep or rest at random times of the day. We have to separate them right now because one wakes the other up and such. So Cate is on our bed barricaded in with pillows and she takes up the WHOLE BED! Yes, she is a princess. It's amazing how a little 18 lb. baby can take up a queen sized bed and force both parents to sleep in the living room on the floor or the couch or crawl in with the two year old.

On the up side, Abby has decided she's ready for potty training. That means that Mommy has decided she is never going to potty train anyone again and if Abby wants to be a big girl, great. Otherwise, diapers it is until college. Anyway, Abby can get into her own drawer and get out panties and put them on... all on her own. She can also get onto the potty and do her own business. So, if there is an accident, I clean it up and put her in a pull-up. If she wants to put on panties, she knows what she has to do. Updates to follow.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I got a great gift certificate from the school when we moved away. Sadly, it could only be used in Asheville as that store doesn't exist anywhere else and they haven't really advanced to letting you use their gift certificates online. It was for $100 so I didn't want to just set it aside and forget about it. Especially because it was to a kitchen store and I want this dutch oven that will just validate my obsession with butter and deep frying. (Donuts anyone?)

Anyway, I sent the gift certificate to one of my friends to spend at the store for me and send me the merchandise. I sent also $15 for her to pay for postage on a "large" flat rate box from USPS. Here follows a copy of our facebook conversation on the subject of getting me my new cooking utensil:

Callie Adams  - How did the sending of the pot go? Was it really expensive? Just let us know and THANK YOU for getting it for me!

    • Alisha
      It is on it's way!! It cost 29 bucks, tho. I was so mad about that supposedly "large" flat rate box! Large, my rear (no pun intended). I was about to go postal up in there! You actually caught me right in the middle of ranting about it as m...y latest update. Anyhow, it will come UPS (take that, USPS!!) No worries on the extra 15. Goodness, you left me with 25 bucks to blow! (THANKS a ton, btw!) I told her it had to be there by the 13th, and she said it would be no later than the 12th. I wanna know what you cook in it first!! Love ya!See More

    • Alisha
      HAHA! You know, "How'd the sending of the pot go?" could be misconstrued... Even funnier? The fact that I couldn't find a big enough box to send it! HAHAHAHHA!
    • Callie Adams 
      LOL! That totally made my day! The pot... LOL!!!!!!!!
    • Callie Adams 
      ‎...and "how expensive was it?" LOL!
      Good thing I'm not a teacher anymore...