Every day the wonderful happens…

and I'm here to blog about it.

What? You Thought I Forgot it was Wednesday? September 29, 2011

Filed under: whatnot — Elizabeth @ 12:57 AM

  • I’m running a bit late today.  Just a tad.  We got an unexpected date night tonight and went to see “Horrible Bosses” at the dollar theater.  It was really funny.  Then we came home and played canasta with some friends.  Cause we’re old.
  • Note to self:  now that I play canasta, I should probably also start keeping hard candies in my purse and a kleenex tucked under my sleeve.  I think that’s the rule.
  • Tonight on the way home from the movie, we passed a doughnut shop.  They were closed and the lights were out, but I saw someone moving around in there.  I pointed it out to Jason and said, “note the time!  7:18 PM”.  He had no idea what I meant.  Is it just me or do you always note the time anytime you see suspicious activity or hear a noise that may be a gunshot (or fireworks)?  You may have to report this to the police or be a witness in a trial!!  One day I’m gonna be a star witness, people.
  • The other day I had on a shirt with a scoop neck.  I think that’s what you call it.  It came down a little low in the back–not so low that you could see my bra or anything, but lower than a normal shirt.  When I picked the boys up from school, Isaac told me that my shirt was broken.  When I asked him why, he told me that he could see my back, and I needed a new shirt.
  • Last weekend I did the nicest thing for myself.  I was at Costco and I bought myself a pack of underwear.  And they are so cute and comfortable!!  I have just been tickled to death about it all week.
  • And yes, I realize how sad that is.  But Costco knows how to get me excited.  Comfy new underwear, ginormous bags of coffee and 1000 ibuprofen for less than $10.  That’s hot.
  • We got a new fish on Friday to replace Fishy Fish–our fish that died a while back.  In a burst of creative genius, Isaac decided to name the new fish Fishy Fish 2.  Jason asked if we could call the new fish FF2 for short, and Isaac was indignant.  He said if we wanted to call him something for short that we could call him Buttoner.
  • When Jason gives the boys their baths, he lets them have a while to play in the tub before washing them.  When it’s time for soap and shampoo, he tells them it’s time to get down to business.  So now, at bathtime, they are always asking “when is business?”.  Or if Matthew is in the tub, I will send Isaac up to see if he is almost done and he will scream down to me, “Matthew is about to start business!”.
  • So I made it in just under the wire.  Note the time–it’s 11:56 PM.  Boo ya.

Need to clear your head?  Write your own Whatnot Wednesday post and link up below so that we can all see the randomness that fell out when you rinsed your brain.  Just don’t forget to link back here or grab my button–get your HTML on.


Protected: Don’t Mind the Cobwebs September 26, 2011

Filed under: everyday life — Elizabeth @ 2:10 PM

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Whatnot Wednesday–Threat Level Midnight Edition September 20, 2011

Filed under: whatnot — Elizabeth @ 10:07 PM

  • What a week, people.  What a week.  First, Isaac had an unfortunate head injury.  He was running down the stairs and around the corner, and he slipped.  He banged his head onto the edge of a wall, which threw him forward and then he banged his forehead on the train table.  OUCH.
  • Then on Sunday, I tumbled down a flight of stairs.  By “tumbled”, I mean I slid extraordinarily fast on my butt down a flight of stairs.  I was here alone with the boys and it scared me, but when I finally got to the bottom, I realized I was okay.  I walked into the laundry room to put away the cleaning supplies that I somehow had held onto the entire time and when I reached up to open the cabinet, I saw that my wrist looked like this:FREAKY!!!  So on the inside, I was thinking that I might be about to die of a blood clot, but I couldn’t show the boys that I was scared, so I was cheerfully walking through the house saying, “we need to find my phone, boys.  Mommy needs to call Daddy right away!”.  Jason rushed home (he was at our friends’ house nearby) and I began texting the photo around trying to see if death was imminent.  My mom said to put ice on it and apply pressure, so Jason made me a contraption out of a baby bib and an ice pack.  The craziest part was that I didn’t feel any pain for about 15 minutes–I think it must have been the adrenaline of it all.  So then I laid on the couch with my ice pack bib and Jason disappeared to check football scores.  Isaac brought me a crayon to cheer me up.  Then Matthew brought me a Duplo tower.  Then the “I Can Give Mommy More Presents Than You Can” game began.  Within minutes, I was on the couch, covered in blankets and stuffed animals and markers and crayons and blocks.  I even had a fake pumpkin on my shoulder.  All you could see anymore was my face.  My wrist is better now, and surprisingly not all that sore.

But I’m pretty sure my jacked up hips and spine will be predicting rainstorms for months to come.

  • There is a huge tree about to fall on our house.  I’m totally serious.  It all started last year right after we moved in, when I came home to find the power company cutting off….basically an entire side of the tree.  So we have had a lopsided massive oak tree in our front yard all year.  Then came all the tornadoes and tropical storms.  Last week, Jason asked me if I noticed that the tree looked like it was leaning more toward the house, and I had noticed.  Sunday after church, Jason went out to do some inspecting and realized that the ground above the root system was beginning to crack.  CRAP!!!!!
    Yesterday and today have been a flurry of trying to get this tree down.  We found out that the tree lies on a property line that makes it half the city’s responsibility, so the great news is that they are splitting the cost with us.  The bad news is that is has rained ALL DAY LONG and a tree professional told us that this tree was coming down on its own….and soon.  So we have moved the boys down to the basement in a room on the opposite side of the house to sleep.  Jason and I are taking our chances in the living room.  The tree should be down in the next two days, so say a prayer that it stays up until then!!
  • Okay, so this hasn’t been a funny post at all, so I will end with this:  Isaac had to bring in show and tell items to school that start with the letter “B”.  He got a basketball, a Blues Clues movie, a train named Ben, and a stuffed animal he named Braxton (don’t ask).  So we were saying “B-B-Basketball!!” or “B-B-Blues Clues”.  Meanwhile Matthew ran in the room carrying a tiny stuffed bunny that he calls Boo Boo Bunny.  I was really impressed that he made the connection and I said, “yes that DOES start with B!!!”.  To which he replied, “B-B-B Rabbit!!”.  Ummmm, not quite.

Need to clear your head?  Write your own Whatnot Wednesday post and link up below so that we can all see the randomness that fell out when you rinsed your brain.  Just don’t forget to link back here or grab my button–get your HTML on.


The One Where I Fail at Iced Coffee September 15, 2011

Filed under: mommy brain — Elizabeth @ 4:43 PM

So it’s no secret that I’ve been a bit addicted to iced coffee this summer.  Every time I make a gallon, I think it will be the last gallon I make because I know I’m going to want to switch back to hot coffee in the cooler weather.  Apparently I am in denial that fall doesn’t come to Alabama until late October, and I have to keep making the iced coffee.

So here’s a quick breakdown of how I have been making the coffee.  I get a large container and put in a gallon of filtered water and 8 oz of ground coffee.  Stir and cover.  Let sit for 8 hours.  Strain the sludge through cheesecloth, and put the finished project in the fridge for use when making iced coffee.

Every time I make it, it comes out a little bit differently.  First of all, I can’t find coffee in 8 oz. increments or even 16 oz. increments.  It seems to come in 11.5-12 oz bags now.  And since I don’t have a weight watchers scale or a baby scale or even one of those scales that drug dealers use, I’m kind of guesstimating about how much coffee to use.  So sometimes it comes out stronger or weaker.

(Sidenote:  yesterday a google search told me that 8 oz was the equivalent of 2 2/3 cups of ground coffee.  So there you go.)

Also because I’m a total cheapskate, I don’t always use the same kind of coffee.  Coffee is expensive and somehow I feel really guilty to use that much at once.  So I’ve used Maxwell House, Seattle’s Best (which was too bitter), and Dunkin Donuts (which was of course the best).

Anywhooooo, yesterday morning I finished up the last of my iced coffee.  And I went to Costco and got to invest in the crazy huge bag of Dunkin Donuts coffee.  I also bought 2 containers of half and half, so I was fired up for another batch of iced coffee.

Unfortunately, right after I picked up the boys from school, I realized that I didn’t have cheesecloth.  I don’t know about you, but I believe it is the worst kind of torture to take your kids on an errand when you just need to run in and grab one thing.  The buckling and unbuckling.  The holding hands in the parking lot.  Hoisting them into the cart shaped like a rocket ship that is so cumbersome, it keeps my chiropractor in business.  Or even worse, allowing them to “walk” through the store, which involves chasing, shrieking, and touching everything they can reach.  It’s a necessary evil when you need a ton of groceries……..but just one thing?  Mama don’t play that.

So I thought, you know, I’ll just put the coffee through a regular coffee filter.  No problem.

Side note:  I could have had my husband pick up some cheesecloth on the way home.  But there is some kind of phenomenon that occurs any time my husband goes to the store.  The bill inflates by about 3-4 times what it would have been if I went.  It perplexes me to no end.  It’s possible that it could have something to do with fancy beer and the 10 pound bag of sweet tarts that he picked up “for us to share”.

So anyway, the coffee has to sit for 8 hours, which put me needing to strain it at around 10 PM–not my finest hour.  At about 9:30, I decided to get started.  I was extra scientific and clothespinned a coffee filter to the top of the pitcher that I was going to keep the coffee in.  Then I used a measuring cup to pour the sludgy mixture into the filter.  After about 2 minutes, the liquid was barely dripping through.  Great.  I was tired and I had just eaten an entire bag of microwave popcorn and I was also feeling a little ill.  (Just so you know, I always eat popcorn until I get ill, but usually I just go to bed so I don’t have to feel it.)

So I got a great idea.  I would rig up another filtering station.  See below.

The rectangular container is the stuff that needed to be filtered. The filtering stations are clearly marked by the clothespins. The clutter speaks for itself.

After taking this picture I realized the irony of the unused coffee maker in the background, so I decided to turn it into filtering station #3.

So now we had 3 filtering stations and the coffee was just sitting stagnantly in there.  Being the dorks that we are, Jason and I were just standing there discussing theories and hypotheses of why it may be happening.

Shockingly, the hypothesis that staring at it would help was never proven.

Finally, finally after over an hour of staring, straining, and shaking the container to coax the liquid through, we were almost done.  And then, when I was un-clothespinning the filter from the pitcher, I messed up and spilled some of the sludge into the half full pitcher of coffee.  It could have been because it was about an hour past my bedtime.  Either that or the popcorn sweats that were taking over my body.  We decided we had to re-filter that entire pitcher.  Seriously.

this just about sums up my sentiments

Let me just take a second to say that my husband does not drink iced coffee.  Yet he stood there with me the entire time.  And never once called me a doofus.  So yeah, totally loving him right now.

So we filtered the rest and I think I must have blocked it out or gone into some sort of a fugue state so as not to remember it.  We finally finished around 11:15 and it’s a good thing we re-filtered because this is what was at the bottom.

how's that for appetizing?

I woke up this morning and my hands still smelled so strongly of coffee that I was slightly nauseated.  But I pushed through it, because I’m brave like that, and thankfully I only suffered negligible amounts of flashbacks and PTSD.

Needless to say, when I ran to the store for fruit today, I picked up 2 packs of cheesecloth, although it is unclear if I will be able to undertake this mission again until I receive some sort of counseling or deprogramming.

But I’m brave (and prone to fits of sleepiness), so I will try to power through.

(this was my 700th post!  And I used it to prove that there is nothing that is too idiotic or inane for me to blog about!  yay me!)


Whatnot Wednesday September 14, 2011

Filed under: whatnot — Elizabeth @ 3:46 PM

  • Now that I am done with school and don’t have a full time job, I don’t have a lot of stress dreams.  You know the kind I mean, right?  Like when you dream you have finals coming up but you’ve forgotten to go to class all semester?  Or when I used to dream I was in chemistry lab with no shirt or bra on.  Well, we have a new Strollermoms class starting next week and I’ll be one of the teachers.  Last night I dreamed that the location of the class was changed and I didn’t know where it was and I knew I had the info in an email, but I couldn’t access it from my iphone.  (One bright side is that at least my stress dreams are keeping up with the advanced technology.)  A few weeks ago, I dreamed that I was at tryouts for some kind of local theater.  I sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and for some reason, I sang it really, really well.  And they cast me as the lead in a musical, but I actually cannot sing very well, and I was panicking because now they expected that I would be really good.  So I guess the moral is, even if I have a somewhat low stress lifestyle, I will find something to worry about.
  • I bought these toilet cleaning things–they are like big discs that you drop in the back of the toilet tank and it’s supposed to keep it fresh.  I probably shouldn’t have been cheap and bought store brand, but I thought, a toilet freshener is a toilet freshener.  Wrong!  Now every time we flush, we experience a puff of air that although it should smell lemony or even bleachy, it actually smells like moth balls.  Nothing like the sweet smell of a retirement home to say “clean, fresh toilet”.
  • Speaking of the toilet, no matter how many times I am asked the question:  “Mommy, do you want to watch me go poo poo?” the answer is always no.  But somehow I usually end up perched on the edge of the tub having a conversation with a pooing child.  Only to be smothered by moth ball smells when it is over.  I love my life.
  • So I know I told you I joined Costco.  There are a lot of good deals there, but what I really didn’t need was one more grocery store to add to my list of errands.  I have to go to Publix for a lot of things, Whole Foods for a ton of stuff for Isaac, the Korean Market, and now Costco.  Does anyone else feel like feeding their family is a full-time job?  But good news, I finally got to buy the giant bag of coffee…..and a giant box of organic gummies…..and a giant pack of dried seaweed, that I’m not sure we actually have room for.
  • I finished my yarn wreath….and I love it!!!!!  Can’t wait to do a Halloween one next!
  • My mom and my aunt are kinda kooky.  Maybe even more than just kinda.  Saturday we all went to a local park and because it’s so big and there is so much walking, my mom used her wheelchair.  I don’t see how she trusts my aunt to push her around, because as my aunt was pushing her around and watching some skateboarders and not paying attention, and she nearly pushed my mom’s wheelchair down a half pipe!!!  Talk about extreme sports.

Need to clear your head?  Write your own Whatnot Wednesday post and link up below so that we can all see the randomness that fell out when you rinsed your brain.  Just don’t forget to link back here or grab my button–get your HTML on.


How Was Your Day? September 13, 2011

Filed under: everyday life — Elizabeth @ 2:36 PM

I got a happy face today.

Home Living has a lot of food and a cash register.  But it is also like a kitchen.

Today I did computers.

I petted a puppy.  (The school uses an animal therapy program)

Rayn and Ben made sad choices today.  But they didn’t go in time out.

I got two stickers.

I didn’t tell Miss Frazier about my boo-boos because I didn’t want to upset her.

I got to pick a special treasure.

Here is how you draw the letter A.

We talked about skunks and traffic lights.  (?)

One day I went to Home Living but it made me miss you and I cried, so Miss Becky sent me to computers.

I got three owls today.

My favorite is circle time and the songs we sing.

Today we made pig pancakes.  They had banana eyes.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall at preschool.




Ten September 11, 2011

Filed under: and that's how I feel about that,looking back — Elizabeth @ 3:28 PM

I think that on September 11, we all kind of feel the need to tell our story.  Where we were when we heard, when we saw the horror of what happened.  Every year since 9/11, I have wanted to bury my head in the sand on the anniversary.  I’ve wanted to cover my eyes and ears.  Until this year.  For some reason, I feel ready to hear it all again and to let the stories and the grief of others wash over me.  I want to sit on the couch, covered in a blanket and watch and listen.  But with 2 four year olds in the house, that isn’t a good thing to do.  They don’t need to see those images yet.

Every September, our church does a series of messages called “At the Movies”.  Our pastor chooses different movies and uses them as modern day parables.  Lengthy clips from the movies are shown, interspersed with video of him delivering his message.  Today’s movie was “United 93”.  I’ve never watched it.  I’ve intentionally never watched it.  Some things are just too hard.  I’ve also never watched “The Passion of the Christ”.  During the scenes from the movie, I felt like I was having to push my hysteria down into my chest.  I thought I might have to get up and leave, but I made it and I’m glad I did.

I wasn’t there and I didn’t lose a loved one in the attacks.  My story is pretty trivial compared to most, but I am going to tell it here for my children, who might someday want to know.  The same way I know the story of when my mom found out that JFK had been shot.

I was 23 that September and working at a scientific research facility.  I shared a cubicle with a close friend, Cari.  I don’t really remember how I found out what was going on, but I do remember a group of us crowding around a computer to try to read the news, to find out what was going on.  One of my more vivid memories of the day was our boss scolding us.  “A plane didn’t crash into the pathology department.  Get back to work”.

Later I remember standing in another cubicle as we watched streaming video online.  Or maybe we were in a study director’s office watching it on a small TV (you would think these details would be etched in my mind).  I saw the second plane hit.  I don’t know that I saw it live, but I saw it.   And suddenly it was clear that this was deliberate.

Then we heard of the Pentagon.  The field in Pennsylvania.

I remember that my aunt emailed me and told me I could come spend the night with her that night and that I could bring my cat and dog.  I remember thinking, this must be some scary s#%t if she is letting me bring the cat.

I called my dad in Washington DC just to check in.  I wasn’t scared for his safety, I just felt like I should call.  My stepmother answered and when I said that it was me, she quickly said, “It wasn’t his plane.  He wasn’t on the plane”.  I didn’t even know my dad was flying that day.

After work, my friend Cari and I went to a bar.  A bar where I was a regular (yes kids, your mom was a different person back then).  My group of friends and I always sat at the same table, but that day we all sat at the bar watching the TV.  I finally began to understand the enormity of everything that had happened.

We could see a gas station out the window of the bar and cars were lined up for gas.  I still don’t understand why people go crazy for gas in times of emergency.

I went home and while I was sitting outside on my balcony smoking (I know children, this is all very shocking), my neighbor from across the alley came out on his balcony too.  We had seen each other a number of times but never spoken.  He called over to me and invited me over for dinner.  I know it sounds bizarre, but I went.  There was just a feeling that nobody wanted to be alone.  I don’t even know what his name is.  We never talked again after that day.

The next day, I called in sick to work and sat on my couch watching Katie Couric, dressed in black.  The people holding up pictures of their loved ones.  There was a girl there pleading for help to find her brother.  It was pure anguish, because it felt like all of us in the audience (and Katie too) knew he was dead.  But she didn’t know or couldn’t accept it.  I watched Katie choke back tears.  I remember an interview with someone from Cantor Fitzgerald, who only lived because he wanted to take his daughter to school that morning.  I cried and cried until I got a migraine.  Later I returned some books to the library and it was such a beautiful day and that felt very wrong.

I remember that for months or even years afterwards, I would hold my breath if I saw a plane flying lower than I thought it should be.  I remember that when people started flying again, they wore red, white and blue, and strangers introduced themselves to each other on the planes.  Because they might need to team up to fight some terrorists–this was our new normal.  I remember that “Sex and the City” changed their intro to remove the footage of the twin towers.  I remember the crazy email forwards that people would send with coincidences of numbers or scripture in the Bible, trying to find some reasoning in an event that defied reason.  I remember the Emmys (or was it the Oscars) being delayed because the nation was not ready to celebrate things that were so trivial, but when they finally did happen, Ellen Degeneres hosted and she was perfect.  I remember a few weeks after it happened, coming home to find a firetruck outside my apartment and wanting to sob and hug each and every one of those men.

At the end of September, Jason came into town for a wedding, and asked me to come to the wedding with him.  When I opened up my apartment door and saw him there, someone I had known for 5 years, suddenly I knew.  I am going to marry this man.  I’ve always wondered if that sudden revelation had anything to do with 9/11, if I suddenly wanted to get serious and focus on the things that really mattered.

I don’t think about the terrorist attacks every day.  But one thing that has stayed with me is always saying good-bye with an “I love you”.  Of being more aware that any day could be our last.

Here’s to remembering.