Friday, August 31, 2007

So my two week shopping trip experiment worked... although we ran out of bread and milk and a few other things around day 12... BUT! I discovered that I miss going to the store. I LIKE getting out of the house, and since we're trying not to eat out as much, that is my primary outing purpose.

So, today I am going to the lovely and gracious Wal-Mart... and I will be shopping for approximately 1 week of food. Also discovered: I am quite ambitious when thinking about meal preparation, but in actuality me and the small gents eat a lot of PBJ's. And leftovers. And we ate out several times.

The plan: make a reasonable estimate of out-to-eat expenses... like fast food once?? or maybe twice a week- and then Sunday lunch out. I have to make a plan that we can stick to or it will go the way of all my other good intentions. Straight to heck. And then make meal plans for home that work... and don't stress me out.

Submit your questions for Ms. Smartypants today through Sunday. She will answer as many or as few as she darn well pleases. But she likes having a column. So go ahead, give it a shot!

Quite the boring house-wifey blog today. But you are what you eat. Or something.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

We went to toddler time at the library this morning. TODDLER time, for 0-3 years. And R2. It was a small group, which I liked a lot. Toby and a few other miscreants (Dylan and Vaughn, according to their nametags) sat still for about 3/10 of a second and then were busy exploring the room.
We sang a song, then the librarian read a book. That was kinda interesting. But there was a big painting of a pig on the wall.

"Ma-ma! Ma-Ma! Mama! Ocaloca mama locka!"

(whispering) "I SEE the pig, Toby! Sit down and listen to the story!"

Sits for a second.

"MAMA! MAMA! Rorrrrrrr!"

(whispering) "I see the kitty, Toby. I see it."


"I see it.."

gone. running.

Me and Vaughn's mama and Dylans grandma: laughing

"Sit down! Sit!"

Ah, forget it. Me and Richy and Brynn and a few others sang Wheels on the Bus and colored a picture. Toby went and got the basket of glue sticks and brought it to me. I gave it back to the teacher. We heard another story.

Vaughn stole Toby's shoes.

Toby saw a baby crawling and took off crawling at breakneck speed around the room.
This seems like a pretty good idea to Vaughn, but not Dylan because he is busy defacing the feltboard.

Ah, the good old days of lofty superiority when my baby sat quietly and listened to the story.

We sang the goodbye song. Toby roared.

We got in the stroller and picked up 2 books and that was it. Time was up.

This funny, crazy busy little man. I am rich.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Last night was the final Radrev meeting... I haven't gone much for the last few months- just a lot of work with three kids close to bedtime- but I went last night. It was good. It was a quiet end to a chapter. And like all ends, there's some sadness there. But it is a beginning, too. More about that in a week or so.

Today is August 29th. We move into a tiny little apartment across from Simplify on October 1st.
So I am supposed to be ridding us of all these many belongings... sheesh. My brain is just blowing gaskets.
The garage is still full of boxes from when we moved in here a year ago.

And yeah, if it's been in the garage for a year, we probably don't need it. But it still has to be gone through and sorted into keep or donate or sell or trash or whatever. (**boom! sputter! crackle**!)

Where to start? There's spiders! And it's hot!! (**crash**)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Check out a track from the new CD... due in October!

So we've been working on the big boy bed for several days now. Here's how it's going.

Night 1: Never touches the bed. Wailing and gate-rattling and gnashing of teeth until around midnight, when we check on him and find this:

Night 2: A little wailing and such, then quiet. We check, he's got big bags under his eyes, listlessly playing the drums with a shoe. Panic ensues. I put him in my bed. Party time. I put him back in his bed. Panic. And around 1, Richy checks on him and he fell asleep sitting up, so he is laying on his back with legs hanging off the crib.

Night 3: Less wailing, just playing and harassing his brother. I check on him (are you seeing a pattern here?) and he freaks so I go lay in his bed with him. Party time. So I bail and leave my pillow, and 30 minutes later or so... midnight-ish, he is asleep in the bed, laying down. WAHOO!

Last night: not much whining. 9:20 all is quiet. He is asleep on the floor with R2's Spiderman blanket over his face. R2 is wide awake with no blanket. So there you go.

Currently: we're embroiled in a standoff at the baby gate. He has presented his request to forgo his nap in favor of taking knobs off all of Daddy's studio gear. I have rebutted with the request, repeatedly, that he go night-night.

I'm not sure if Brynn is cute. What do you think?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Anonymous said...
Dear Ms Smartypants,
I'm so tired. I don't sleep well at night. I take vitamins & exercise & pray. What advice can you give me?
Sleepless in Texas

Well, my best advice would be to be a man. They seem to get plenty of sleep. Since that is neither possible, nor Biblically condoned, I recommend a lavender bath and a nice clean diaper. That way, if you end up kicking your mother in the face all night long, at least you smell nice.

jennifer said...
Dear Ms. Smartypants,
I am thinking of developing some new recipes, what do you think of White Chocolate chili pepper bark?
Chipolte rasberry brownies? or Spicy Ice Cream? Maybe I can market to extreme dessert eaters?

This reporter is very disturbed by the suggestion of Spicy Ice Cream. It's a slippery slope to Meatloaf Ice cream. Stop, dear reader. Before someone has to stop you.

lisa said...
Dear Ms Smartypants,
Why is it that little boys think anything to do with underwear, pottys or the trash can are SO funny?

There is an intrinsic Stink Gene in small persons of the male persuasion. Stinkus genanius, in the Latin.

BethC said...
dear Mrs. SP
what is the grandest brand of ice cream?

Ms. Smartypants is so, so disturbed by the concept of Meatloaf Ice cream. she hesitates to ponder the confection further.

Anonymous said...
Dear Ms Smartypants.
I have a good one for you........
Who was the woman who enspired
Goerge Harrison to write
"Something in the way she moves"
Who was the woman who enspired Eric Clayptons "Layla" and "You look wonderful tonight."?
Was it the same WOMAN?

It is a little known and fascinating fact- these songs were, in fact, all about one woman. The elusive and lovely Ethelina Fretzelmonken, known later in life as Sister Mary. Ethelina was a mysterious figure throughout the 60's and 70's, inspiring countless songs, the ones mentioned above as well as many others. Not to be excluded: Horseflies Keep Hangin' Round Your Face- that classic and deeply haunting tune by the King of Song- Neil Diamond. Ethelina/Mary took the veil in the late 70's, leaving a trail of broken songwriters and dead horseflies. As legend has it, she lives today. Some credit her for inspiring the modern epic, "Bootylicious".

Friday, August 24, 2007

There's not much better than holding a sleeping baby. Especially one who smells like baby shampoo. Mmmmmm.

This week we haven't really gone anywhere. I was trying not to spend any money, and it's so HOT out there. But my kids have some serious cabin fever. And maybe I do too. We're about 10 days into my 2 week shopping trip - still have groceries left. So it worked, so far! But today, we are chucking caution to the wind and hitting McDonald's. And maybe the library, Toby willing

as I was writing that, Toby fell out of his crib. As in, out of his crib, over the railing, to the FLOOR. Actually, he crashed into his Tonka truck and then the floor. Maybe it's time for a toddler bed. Yikes. He seems okay, you know... really mad and scared, but physically okay. Little boys must have extra angels.

Submit your questions to Ms. Smartypants today through Sunday. One question will be chosen as the subject of Monday's article, probably.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I have this dream of being this homeschool mom. You know, with a place for everything and everything in its place. And crafty little ideas that R2 can grasp and just have it together in general. Whenever I think about this woman, I get discouraged. I have lots of ideas, lots of creativity. But I don't know how to really get in Richy's head. And sometimes I think if I tried it, I would just keep working forever and ever and never get anywhere.
Some things he picks up and runs with- so I'm always on the lookout and hoping for some clue as to his thought process.
Logical things, like stack the blocks on top of each other, make a circle with the Playdoh- he has no real interest in, doesn't seem to have any understanding. And yet his sense of humor is highly defined... he understands subtleties and context that other kids don't. He understands music. He likes to be read to.... that's a key, I know. But his brain is a mystery to me in all the kind-of academic places.

Homeschool starts next week- maybe the week after. I have to make a plan.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Well, the Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj meetings were pretty wild. The guy looks like an Old Testament prophet. The word he brought was corrective but uplifting... and now we all need to develop lives of prayer.
Really, seriously. Powerful message.

In other news, day two of Potty Training, which is loosely translated as Pee On The Floor. I am hoping that maybe today he will notice when he is wet. Yesterday he would just keep playing and I would walk by and say, Are you wet?? And sure enough. It is very hard to know what is going on in Richy's head. He is a mystery.

I quit praying for him to be healed years ago, but I'm starting again. So many people tell us of dreams where he was healed... I want to believe.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ms. Smartypants' regular column will not be appearing today, as a result of not receiving any questions. Ms. Smartypants is not bitter, and realizes she is too much woman for some people to handle. And no, she will not be dispensing hurricane advice either. She will just be surreptiously wiping away hot tears and thinking of all the problems she could have solved...
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
the saddest are these, "It might have been!"
John Greenleaf Whittier

You must all be asking yourself, what did they do for their anniversary? UNLESS- a)you don't care or b)you already asked me. But the rest of you- we went to Tommy Bahamas (pricey, nice and good food) and then to the movies and Chocolata.... mmmmmm chocolate. It was romantic and fun and thank you for all your suggestions! Now, back to our regularly scheduled budget.

The SSS meetings at Christ the King have been very good. Heavy. If you haven't gone, and you live here, well. You know.
Tonight Radiant is leading worship - I love it.
Also today: the first day of Potty Training (ominous music). R2 has been talking about going pee-pee on the potty every time I change his diaper. So what the heck, we're giving it a shot. So far, 1 hour of potty training, 1 accident, no successes. Pair two of Spidey undies.

So there you go.

Ah, and all the toby pix are on my picture page------------------->
Link over that way.

edited to add pictures from our date and r1s new hair

Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm supposed to be planning our anniversary date right now. But there's no movies worth seeing.... the Astros are out of state... ugh

Food. And rent a movie. Boring. Boring, boring boring.

What should we do?

The format of Ms. Smartypants' column will be changing this week to include only ONE question. She will choose the question from all those submitted, and will craft a column from her answer. You may submit questions from now until Sunday night, and the chosen question will be showcased Monday "morning".

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I was a genius when I was a kid. Some of you know that. I tested post-high school on the SATs when I was in first grade.

You wouldn't be able to tell it now.... what kind of genius takes 3 kids to Walmart at naptime and/or lunchtime? That's what I'm sayin. I heard another kid screaming all the way through the store. Like angry tantrum screaming. We don't have that. We just have high-pitched whining and subversive attempts to climb out of the cart or throw things out of the cart when Mommy's distracted. And again, and again, and again. And again.

Man. It makes me tired just remembering it. BUT- I tried to shop for my two week plan! We shall see if it works.
Then, last night, Tobes and I went on a date to get his picture taken because we got a haircut. I thought I would cry, but it was just a tiny haircut and he still looks like a baby. Whew! We also entered him in a contest to be in an ad campaign for Yobaby yogurt... it would rock if we won.

Don't YOU want some yogurt??

Click to enlarge...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Here's the part of the show where I try to go to Walmart and the library and the bank and maybe even (MUAHAHAHA) the mall.
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Been giving a lot of thought to the subject of spanking... LOTS of thought. Just kidding. But Toby is skyrocketing toward the age of accountability....
Lilypie 2nd Birthday PicLilypie 2nd Birthday Ticker
Joking about the age o' a... I don't buy that. But I have been trying to figure out some kind of discipline, that is merciful but still gets the job done.
My mom said, "I understand your policy. ......... But, it's stupid!"
HA... I have to remember that quote forever.
Here's the thing. I don't like spanking. I never have. I've done it, sure. But I've never been quite comfortable with it. And the more I read, the more it seems like the few Scriptures that reference the "rod" are not referring to a whipping rod... it is the Shepherd's rod, the staff... pulling them back in line, gently.

I mean, it always seemed wacky to me. Why would I want to hit my child? Well, not that part. I know why I might want to. But why would I? Especially when I am telling him, "Don't hit!" WHAP,
No judgment here... I'm just thinking about it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

BethC said...
does licorice expire?

This is the question Ms. Smartypants chose as the column-based question. However, she made the mistake of doing actual research, and thus, lost her humor. Fascinating stuff, though, licorice. A legume.
Liquorice, from Wikipedia...

In other news, I spent a good half hour searching for attractive bald men after Viking Granny's appalling comparisons. Found some good ones. In yesterday's comments.
Richy is finally back from Pennsylvania. He got home yesterday afternoon.... and there was much rejoicing in the land. He really is a fan favorite around here. I considered going to church yesterday, but it would have just been me... and Toby... and Brynn... and the nursery. So, like the proverbial second toe piggie, we stayed home.

In other, other news, we are moving into an apartment in October. We will be literally across the street from Richy's job. The plan is to save some green. Eat at home, etc. I like moving. I like being in a new space and figuring it out. I love this house we're in... it's great and big and beautiful. But it has never felt permanent to me. I wonder if anything ever will.

In other, other, other news, probably going to get Toby's hair cut soon. But just a little.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Last year, as I was attempting to write a gooshy blog about our anniversary, my spouse and I engaged in what could be known by some circles as an "argument". So I just posted pictures. Today, exactly one year later, as I began, once again, to write a sentimental blog... Toby started a level II whine and R2 just came and stood on my foot. And so I went and made oatmeal and now I have about 2 minutes before Toby throws the bowl and tries to launch himself from his highchair.

11 years. It's been good. I like these kids a lot. I like my husband a lot. I'm ready for him to come home now.

The format of Ms. Smartypants' column will be changing this week to include only ONE question. She will choose the question from all those submitted, and will craft a column from her answer. You may submit questions from now until Sunday night, and the chosen question will be showcased Monday "morning".

Thursday, August 9, 2007

So, like I said, Toby is sick. He has never-ending snot, and a cough, and whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiining..... I know he feels lousy. We both need a tranquilizer.
R2 has started now with the snot, and I'm hoping Brynn won't get whatever this is. I am applying the hand-sani pretty constantly... fat chance. Toby looks around at 1900+ square feet of space, and chooses to cough directly in her little face. So there you go.
I am thinking of becoming a domestic goddess. I want to make a weekly meal plan and only grocery shop every 2 weeks. So I'm percolating...
Currently, Toby is whining himself to sleep (done). Brynn is mostly asleep, and R2 is hanging out with Toy Story 2 (But you've banned television, maybe you're saying) I'm a single parent for a week! That makes TV my friend... or babysitter during naptime, anyway.

Now, back to being a domestic goddess. The thing is, it has to be pretty flexible. I can't say we're having pot roast on August 25th and be happy about it. But I can say, maybe, beef something every thursday. Capisce?
I also have to make a cleaning plan but I don't wannnnnnaaaaaa

And now my throat hurts. Call the waambulance.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Today my husband gleefully flew to Pennsylvania with our only debit card and our only hairbrush. These will come in handy on his trip, where all his meals are paid for and he has very little hair to brush.

So I gathered up my stir-crazy little brood and off we went to Target, where we bought 12 dollars of miscellaneous items from the dollar bins, and forgot to buy a hairbrush. Toby and I are looking quite emo with our tousled hair today... I'd take a picture, but he took the camera.
He's at a Youth Explosion.... gory, no? I wonder if people ever think about the way things sound. Youth Explosion. Ouch.
Tonight! X-treme Faith's Youth Dismemberment! Youth Implosion! Youth Armageddon!

Anyways. I also took all these children to McDonalds. Now I have to go make a credit card payment for 12 dollars + 7 dollars. And find my checkbook. Sheesh.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bedtime around here has gotten to be a bit of a production... wailing and gnashing of teeth and so on. So, I've started talking about the next day as an incentive to sleep. Like, "Now, tomorrow is Sunday, and we're going to church! Isn't that great?" and so on.... last night was pretty weak. "Tomorrow, we're going to make PBJs for lunch! Don't you want to make PBJ's??"
Needless to say, it wasn't incentive enough.

I'm in a bit of a slump. I don't know why... but my kids are getting on my nerves and my house is wrecked. So, today I will be un-slumping. Beginning with dressing "Baby"... R2's doll is busting the nekkid...


Monday, August 6, 2007

Anonymous said...
Dear Ms Smartypants,
What is it that drives you to concoct such a plan as an advice column? Was it that your early childhood vision of being the 1st female president was dashed? Would you actually give up that dream to one HC?
My dear reader... first I feel it necessary to apprise you... Ms. Smartypants and "Jess" are two different characters. Not different personalities, mind you. Just different characters.
This reporter (Ms. SP) was given the idea of beginning an advice and information column after noticing the sad state of affairs in the world at large. With her comprehensive understanding of human nature and neuroses, it was only fitting that she share her gift.
Many people suffer from delusions in this day and age. By bringing clarity to burning issues like the appropriate times to wear pantyhose, or why Japanese children may or may not have bad breath, she brings just a little light into what has become a darkened and hose-less culture. She also straightens out wayward young men full of vim and vigor, who attempt to turn buildings on their sides and stuff them in airplane hangars and the like.
Ms. Smartypants has a vision to impart practical wisdom and fashion advice. Thank your lucky stars.

As far as being President... I haven't ruled it out. But right now I have three kids in diapers.... I would probably blow up Iran just to avoid some of these offerings....

Friday, August 3, 2007

So last night we tried to go to the movies with all 3 kids (translate:Toby) God will not be mocked... do not take a 19 month old to the movies.
He was rapt: completely fascinated by the first 20 minutes. And then, not so much. But the other adult in our party kept holding out hope that maybe he would settle down. We were down in a blaze of glory by 45 minutes. $23 shot to heck.

So the other adult and I rented a RedBox DVD (uno dollar!!) and put all the little people to bed. Much better plan. Well, not all the little people. Bean watched the movie with us.

You want movie reviews? All right, the clamor... it hurts my ears. The first 20 minutes of Rata-whatever were funny... the short film before it was awesome. Pixar. Macs. Awesome.

Richy rented Night at the Museum and I was all like nooooooooo.... Ben Stiller.... lame... gross jokes and just stupid humor. But nope. It was actually good. Good acting, of sorts, funny writing... I did win the bet that eventually he would have some sort of sticky substance all over his face because OBVIOUSLY somebody finds that funny as it is in every comedy. Message: if that's you laughing at somebody falling in paint/poo/shaving cream/syrup/soup.... stop it. It ain't funny. And maybe if we all band together and make some kind of Alliance against People Smashing Their Faces in Sticky Stuff, maybe we can make a difference. (Although a good pie in the face is still appropriate on ocassion)
I digress. And my Grammar Enthusiast probably has a headache from that paragraph. Nonetheless, I forge on.
It was a funny movie. I liked it.

The format of Ms. Smartypants' column will be changing this week to include only ONE question. She will choose the question from all those submitted, and will craft a column from her answer. You may submit questions from now until Sunday night, and the chosen question will be showcased Monday "morning".

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I forgot my own blog's birthday.... what kinda rotten... anyways.
Happy 2 years to my blog! Wahooo!
I first began this blog when I was anticipating bedrest in my Toby pregnancy. He was the size of a lime. He is now the size of.... hang on... I have to think of something.nothing comes to mind. He is the size of a 23 pound 19 month old. BIG. He is currently sitting in his high chair downing scrambled eggs like a linebacker. And to think 2 years ago I was really not sure he was real...

Then, about 6 months after he was born, it got boring around here. And so I announced I was pregnant with Brynn. Well, Brynn is almost 6 months old, and it's boring again, so....

You can breathe now, I'm just yanking your chain... Anyway, this blog has been amazing for me and cathartic. And so, off we go into the third year of the ol' gal.

This morning Toby was screeching and R2 was still asleep. So I went and got Toby and I was telling him "Shhh..." And off he goes, "Shh.. chicka chicka bum bum Shh..." He's going to be a champion beatboxer... seriously. I can tell when he's doing cymbals, bass kick, snare... the kid is some kinda prodigy.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I got my drivers license at the young age of 21. Then I drove a lot for 4 months and eventually drove into an 18 wheeler. Then I didn't drive at all for about 18 months. So that's the background. Me and R2 ran the roads. We were unstoppable. That kid would sleep anywhere, go anywhere. Eat whatever. For 6 years this went on. Maybe I got a little cocky. Maybe it went to my head a little.
I would write more but I only have two hours, maybe 3 before Toby has to be napping in his own bed. CAN I... buy groceries at Walmart, go to the bank, Office Depot and maybe Old Navy?? We shall see.

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