Monday, March 31, 2008

While driving to school this rainy Monday...

We were stopped at a red light and Maddie exclaimed, "Hey! What are those black things?"

"Where?" thinking she was talking about something outside the car.

"Those black things that are taking the rain off the window?"

"Oh, those are called Windshield Wipers. They move the water off so I can see better."

"But, I don't have one," she points to the side back window of the car. "And neither does Brookey. How are we supposed to see?"

"We only need two of them on the front windshield so I can see when I'm driving."

All bossy and matter of fact like, she sighs, "Well, I think you need to buy another car with them on EVERY window so we can all see better when it rains."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter 2008---TWO videos!

Easter was a fun filled weekend at our house. Unfortunately for me, Zak was skiing with some friends, but my dad did come and hang with us for a few days.

The Girls had an Easter Egg Hunt at school on Friday to practice for the real deal on Sunday. They both came home with tons of eggs filled with candy and chocolate. Maddie immediately wanted to eat every piece she had, and Brooke shoveled them in her mouth BEFORE I was able to get the foil wrappers off of some chocolate pieces. Of course, this meant I had to pry her screaming mouth open to scoop out the foil covered drooly chocolates so she wouldn't choke (picture taking something out of a dog's mouth). Once I successfully removed all candy from her reach, and gave her one unwrapped piece, she forgave me for my trespass:

On Saturday, we decorated some cookies that Susan baked and sent down with my dad who flew in for the weekend. Maddie really enjoyed this, and did a great job.

She always likes to "help" me in the kitchen, especially when I'm baking. Contrary to how the cookies look, they were VERY soft and super yummy. Thumbs up to Chef Susan!

I took Maddie outside for what she continues to refer to an "Easter Bear Hunt" in the backyard. Little did she know that I just re-hid all the eggs she got at school the day before! Hee Hee Hee...I'm such a sneaky mom.

Easter morning arrived, the Girls woke up my dad before 7:00 a.m. ready to start the day. Maddie discovered her Easter Basket, and surprisingly sat there looking at it for over an hour! When I came downstairs she was so excited to tell me all about her "princess" basket and Brooke's "sports" basket.

I know you're wondering why I bought a boy's basket filled with soccer balls, golf clubs, basketballs, a hoop and a soccer goal...? Or, quite possibly you know me well enough (or have been reading long enough) to know why I would do such a thing.

Well, I'll tell you why: BECAUSE ALL THE "GIRL BASKETS" WERE FILLED WITH CRAPPY JEWELRY, MAKE-UP, BARBIES AND CHEERLEADER STUFF. My God, why is it not possible to purchase a female themed sports stuff? Or better yet, why do they have to be MALE themed? As much as I hate the sexist world in which we live, little girls adore all things pink and princess-y.

Guess which toys were the most popular on Easter morning, and which toys remain unbroken three days later? This (poorly taken) video of Brooke practicing for the LPGA tour should answer your question:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sassy as salt

Well, the good behavior was short lived. Maddie returned to her normal self today, then reverted to her TERRIBLE self.

My dad is here for Easter weekend, and also to help me in Zak's absence (Lord knows I need help, and vodka). She woke up today at 6 AM ready to start the day. Luckily, my dad is up that early on a normal day, so they hung out and played until I woke up at 7:30.

She was just sassy and crappy and bratty all day long intermixed with some rare fun playful moments. She was even mean and rude to my dad, which has NEVER happened. She adores her Papa, and while she's had typical temper tantrums in his presence, it was never about him. This time...a giant load of hot, steamy SASSS was sent directly his way. I was at my wits end at bath time and could find no other ways to punish her. I tried ignoring her, I tried time outs, I tried reason, I tried begging, I tried fake crying, I withheld privileges. I tried EVERYTHING. I almost spanked her at one point when she hurt Brooke, but I did not. WHAT ELSE!?

I think I just might have jinxed myself with the previous post about how sweet she was on Thursday night. I even reminded her, when I put her to bed, of that and told her that I loved her very much, but I prefer Thursday's behavior over today's behavior. How much chocolate should the Easter Bunny bring you in the morning to ENSURE a pleasant day?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sweet like popcorn

Maddie was suspiciously sweet today. Sweet like:
  • followed directions
  • did not whine
  • did not complain
  • shared with her sister (which is typical)
  • gave me frequent kisses
  • told me how much she loved me
  • brushed my hair out of my face and caressed my face (really!)

It's not that I didn't loooove it, I just wonder how I can make her duplicate it.

She politely asked if she could stay up and watch TV with me after her bath. Normally she and Brooke are read a book, then lights out. I agreed to letting her stay up longer because she was behaving so well, then continued to reward her positive behavior with a shared bowl of popcorn. We call it a "popcorn picnic."

Maddie ended up going to bed about an hour later than normal. Zak called (he's on a ski/poker trip with some friends) to chat and was surprised to hear that Maddie was still up. I told him that I was rewarding her good behavior, and he promptly called me out by saying, "Oh, you're just trying wear her out so she will sleep in tomorrow so YOU can sleep longer."

I guess he was right. It's easy to trick a three year old, but not someone who knows me better than I know me!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monkey Stats

Zak and I took both little monkeys to the doctor for their "well baby" check-ups. We're a bit behind since Maddie turned three 3 months ago, and Brooke is six weeks late for her 12 month appointment.

Here are the Monkey Stats for Girl Monkey #1 (at 3 years/3 months old):
Weight: 28.4 lbs (15th percentile)
Height: 39 inches (80th percentile)

The doctor did not believe that she was that tall for a three year old, so she made the nurse re-measure her. At Maddie's last check up, she was in the 40th percentile for height, and has jumped to the 80th percentile. I swear to God I gave birth to that Girl, and did NOT let her out of my sight until she was properly tagged as "Amanda and Zak's Monkey Girl." She's tall and thin, but she will show you her "Huuugge Muscles...Grr!" anytime you want to see them.

Monkey Stats for Girl Monkey #2 (at 13.5 months):
Weight: 19.5 lbs (11th percentile)
Height: 29 inches (25th percentile)
Head: 44 centimeters (11th percentile)

Brooke's a teeny tiny little thing, except for her giant Beer Belly....just like her mama. The way we lug her around and complain about how heavy she is, you'd think she was over 30 lbs!

She is a walking and dancing queen. We can hardly keep up with her and when she disappears, rest assured she is into something she is not supposed to be. I found her this morning chewing on my computer plug, then later, opening the cabinet doors and banging on the hanging wall mirrors. Before that she was in the bathroom checking out the toilet seat lid...with her hands!

Now that she's figured out there is a world outside of the living room, she wants to explore every inch of it. Needless to say, this means she gets hurt. A Lot. She'll climb on the window sill (about 12 inches high) and fall off, she will run without looking where she is going, she will trip over her own feet, and will just randomly fall over and bonk her head.

I promise that we feed them both, and provide semi-adequate supervision. Just this weekend, I gave them both ice cream for no special reason. Maddie said with great excitement, "Is it someones BIRTHDAY TODAY?!" and Brooke couldn't eat it fast enough. At one point, with a huge grinning mouthful of ice cream, Brooke raised her arms in the air and pumped her fists over her own head in sheer, blissful ice cream delight.

Oh, the simply joys of life.

Friday, March 14, 2008

...the darndest things!

Maddie got in trouble today because she didn't pick up some of her flash cards after she promised that she would if I opened the package. When I asked her to pick them up before bed she complained, "but I didn't even play with them!" I explained the term lying and told her that in addition to not following directions, lying and sassy behavior was not acceptable in our house.

She said, "Well, maybe I want to live in ANOTHER house then."

While trying to not laugh because that is something that is typically said by a teenager, I asked, "If you didn't live here, what other house could you live in?"

She replied, "Jason and Caroline's house."

So....Jason and Caroline, if you're have a house guest any time you wish to take her! She also made a point to tell me she wanted to play with your dog, Belle, too.


The same night, as Maddie was climbing into bed and she marveled that she had a fresh set of sheets on her bed. She asked where her other sheets were. I told her they were dirty and in the hamper. She said, "DIRTY!? Did someone poop on them?"

"No, they just needed to be washed. "

"Did someone pee on them?"

"Nope. We just wash our sheets every week or so to keep them smelling good."

I could see a little light bulb go off in her head and she said, "I bet it was Uncle Marcus! I bet he came in the house today while I was at school and pooped on my sheets!"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dangers of iPod sharing

Zak and I share an iPod. Actually there is more to the story... I am too lazy to even think about loading music on an MP3 player, so I've never had one. Zak has a gazillion gigabyte MP3 that he bought long ago, and loaded nearly every single CD he owns onto it. I think it must have over 5,000 songs in it, however, Maddie uses it every night as she drifts off to sleep. "Please put on my mu-sick, mama." She listens to a custom made, "lullabies" track of about 4 albums that she's had since she was an infant.

A few months ago, my dad won an iPod for being the X Millionth shopper at the grocery store. I imagine that as he was checking out, hundreds of balloons fell onto his head, music blasting, clapping managers jumping out behind the customer service stand, and TV cameras all around as he was awarded his iPod. I doubt it was actually that exciting. My dad is less techno savvy than I, so while he knew what an iPod was, he didn't want to bother with it. So, he gave it to Zak.

Fast forward a few months, after Zak had put some music on it, and never used it. I confiscated it since I work out 5-6 times per week. Ahem, you should see my guns, baby.....

Zak just recently started a new work out regime at which point he says, "Where's my iPod?"

"Oh, you'd like to borrow my iPod? It's in my purse."

He finds it and goes to the computer to charge it and says, "Why is the USB port all rusty? Did you get it wet?"


"That's weird. Do you think it could be sweat?"

"How could it be sweat?"

"Well, where do you wear it when you work out?"

Oh jeez...."Um, sometimes I just carry it."

"No, you don't."

"Okay, I tuck it into my sports the shoulder."

"How do you lift weights with it sticking out there? Isn't that uncomfortable?"

Why is he asking so many damn questions!?! "Okay, sometimes I put it in my cleavage."

"Oh, God! That's why it's all rusty! BOOB SWEAT!"

"Well, at least I don't put it in my waistband. BUTT sweat would be a lot more disgusting."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Brooke walking on video

Below is video proof that Brooke can walk!

This video was taken last week, and just seven days later, the Girl can practically run! She is having some major crashes and bangs her head on something at least 5 times per day. Zak says it's because she's top heavy and her head is like an anchor!

One of the best parts of this video is Madison trying to steal the show by demonstrating her "fabulous" walk. Sisters!!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Raucous Caucous the Texas Two Step

Taking a break from our normally scheduled blogging about some Girl or another Girl or that Husband......

As you should know, yesterday was a big day in Texas, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Ohio....but mostly Texas (cause we're egotistical like that, y'all).


In Texas, we decided to complicate matters and we held a primary AND a caucus. I honestly think Texans just feel overly important and want to be able to vote twice. So, guess who voted twice? ME!

I've been supporting Barack Obama since his days as a newly elected Senator in Illinois. In fact, he was this close [picture me holding up my fingers centimeters apart] to speaking at the college where I used to work because I invited him! His people actually accepted my invitation, but cancelled it shortly after due to his "busy schedule." Mr. Fancy Pants Senator And Presidential Hopeful.

I decided to get extra involved in the Democratic party this year because the future of our country cannot be in the hands of another Republican. Especially Asshole Republicans like this guy who voted in the democratic party primary:

Obama or Clinton? Both?! Either one will get my full support and vote in November.

I really didn't have a clue as to what I needed to do to become involved. My first step was research, then caucusing my butt off last night for THREE hours. I had no idea what I was even there to do, but the media told me to go, so I did (like a little blind lamb). I simply showed up with hundreds of other people who didn't know what to do either. We all figured it out.

We weren't able to begin our caucus until the last voter cast their ballot in our precinct. The polls closed at 7pm, but people were still in line, so they were permitted to vote after hours. It took another hour and a half for them to vote. So, all of us Caucusers just sat around chatting while we waited for Last Minute Marty to make up his mind and vote.

After that, we were able to sign in and VOTE AGAIN for our candidate. This took another hour and a half. After everyone signed in, we tallied the votes. Old school style, yo, with a marker and tally marks on a piece of paper that was taped to the wall.

Each vote was called out one an a time...."Clinton, Obama, Obama, Clinton, Clinton, Clinton, Obama, Obama..." until we got through the whole list. Then we counted those votes, and lo and behold, the numbers didn't match up with those who signed we did it again.

"Clinton, Obama, Obama, Clinton, Clinton, Clinton, Obama, Obama..." We finally matched our numbers and everyone was in agreement with the count. Our precinct (which was allotted 18 delegates) gave 11 delegates to Obama and 7 to Clinton based on some mathematical calculation that I won't explain here.

Then, we needed to decide who were going to send to the Bexar County Convention to represent those as delegates. Guess who was elected? ME for Obama! And my neighbor, Sandy, for Clinton! (Thanks, Sandy, for going with me and taking these great photos!)

We were finally finished at about 10:00 pm. By this time there were only about 30 people left who stayed the entire time. Most people left after they signed in and voted.

What's that old saying that goes something like, "If you didn't vote, then you can't complain?" Well, I voted (TWICE!) and plan to do lots more important stuff that I don't know about yet in the upcoming months. I really, really hope that I won't be complaining in November.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Our Guitar Hero

For Valentine's Day, I got Zak Guitar Hero. Romantic, huh?

I knew he'd love it because he has a secret desire to be part of a rock band, but not so much in the skills department. He can play the congas, but didn't do so well with the guitar lessons I got for him 5+ years ago. When the girls hear him "play" the guitar, they still look adoringly at him. He can do no wrong as long as he musters some sort of rhythm.

That is why Guitar Hero is such a PERFECT gift for him (one he never even asked for...making it all that much cooler). So, for those of you who don't know what Guitar Hero's a video game that you play along with on a fake guitar-like controller. The music is great, and that is why the girls like it so much. It's actually kinda hard, and I am not good at all. Actually, I don't have the patience to learn.

As with any new aerobic undertaking, Zak is sore. He has a blister on his thumb from "strumming" and a sore forearm from pushing the buttons. Maddie, ever the supportive daughter, is always willing to get a band-aid for him. She puts band-aids on any source of pain, regardless of blood. Bump on your head? Band-aid! Stubbed toe? Band-aid! Paper cut? Band-aid!

Check out the video so you can see our Guitar Hero in action, and his cheerleaders:

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The sister I never had

I've always wanted a sister. I tell Maddie all the time that "Sisters are Forever and Ever," but I don't know that first hand, I just suspect it's true.

A huge benefit to marrying Zak (among all his endearing traits) is his sister, Terra. She's seven years younger than us, so I consider her my little sister even though she's 6 inches taller than me. Plus, she let's me boss her around, which is always a plus.

The Girls adore her, and have the privilege of getting to know her so much better since we've moved to Texas. Terra lives in Austin and sees us at least every month. She's still in the process of figuring out her life, what she wants to do, who she is, and where she's going. One thing I know for sure is that she's awesome and I'm happy to call her my sister.

She came to hang out with us (and babysit for a little bit) on Saturday morning. I repaid her by providing an endless supply of loving niece moments, dinner, and an eyebrow wax. As you may recall, I love to wax eyebrows.

As soon as we discussed waxing those brows, Maddie jumped up and screamed, "Yea!! Let's WAX her mom! WAX HER!"

Ahh, my daughter! What more can a mother ask for than a child who also loves to torture others perfect brows.