Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Little Bunny Ears

Today Amber learned how to tie her shoes! Eric taught her and she learned in all of five minutes. It had been something we had been wanting to teach her for several months, but we just didn't make the time. Next up is riding her bike without training wheels. She's been ready for this for probably a year, but we live on a busy street corner and haven't taken the time (again) to go to a parking lot or the bike trail to teach her. That is on Eric's "to-do" list now. There are so many things we have to teach our children and so little time to do it. I am glad there isn't a rule book with a time-line for learning. I know how to tie my shoes. I know how to ride a bicycle without training wheels and I know how to read and write. I have no idea when I learned those things and it doesn't really matter. The important thing, I guess, is to keep teaching our kids, and hopefully to have fun while doing it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Do you really want an answer?

"Oh why is this stuff on the ground and I keep stepping on it?"
Amber said this tonight after stepping on an Eeyore action figure. I didn't even answer her. I just laughed!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fooled

I've been "took," and I brought you along for the ride!
Remember the blog I wrote about Annie's Homegrown products? Well, the bunny grahams are made with good ingredients, but I just discovered that the cheddar bunnies have MSG in them. It doesn't say "MSG" on the box, but monosodium glutamate hides behind more than a dozen other names. My friend in Phoenix did extensive research on MSG and has "cured" her son's tourettes syndrome by ridding his diet of that yucky flavor enhancer.

Since we returned from Phoenix in September, we have gotten rid of everything in our pantry with MSG--Campbell's soup, salad dressing, dry roasted peanuts. We literally threw them away. I won't go into the details of why MSG is so bad for you (if you want me to, ask and I'll email you) but the fact hat it can cause headaches, among other things, was enough for me to say "good-bye."

Here's a list of the other names for MSG:
monopotassium glutamate, glutamate, glutamic acid, gelatin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), autolyzed plant protein, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, textured protein, yeast extract, yeast food or nutrient, and autolyzed yeast.

At the end of the list, you'll see "yeast extract." Yep, that's what is in Annies cheddar bunnies. Bummer! I read labels all the time now when I'm shopping, except when I'm at Trader Joes. The manager said TJs is a "MSG-free zone." I hope he is telling me the truth. Other things I've learned is that MSG is not a preservative, it is a flavor enhancer. If something says "preservative free," it could still contain MSG. Also, if a product says anything but 100% organic (Annies says 80%) then it could still be loaded with "bad stuff."

If you had told me 10 years ago, even five years ago, that I'd be an organic, preservative-free, MSG-free police woman, I would have said you are nuts. Now it looks like I'm the one who is "nuts." It just proves what my sister's husband always says, "You live in California, the land of fruit and nuts!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fall Birthdays!

Last Sunday we celebrated four birthdays at Eric's parents home in Santa Barbara. Eric's cousin, Grace, had a birthday mid-October, mine was late-October, and Eric's and Autumn's birthdays are both in mid-November. (Autumn actually turns 3 on Sunday!) We had a small, family gathering at the Hodge Lodge #1, complete with dinner, cards, gifts and Eric's mom's famous homemade lemon chiffon cake! Yuuuummmmmy! The evening ended with Eric's dad giving Eric a much-needed haircut and trimming Autumn's bangs. Although I thoroughly enjoy planning and giving large birthdays parties, it was nice this year to just gather with family for a quiet evening.

The birthday family!

Autumn was so shy when we
sang "Happy Birthday" to her!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Taking over my job

A few minutes ago the girls and I were playing in their room. Amber was putting on one of her dress-up dresses and walked over to Autumn, bent down and said, "Autumn, would you please zip me up?" Autumn pulled up the zipper effortlessly and Amber said, "Thank you."

That used to be my job. I'm not sure if I should be sad for this rite of passage or happy that the sisters are helping each other out.

A True Friend

Sounds like a cheesy email poem about friendship, doesn't it? Well, it's nothing of the sort. It's true and it's a tribute to my good friend, Gina.

After going 2 1/2 days without a land line, (see the blog below) yesterday I logged onto the Internet to check my email and noticed that Gina had just emailed me. Hoping she was still online, I emailed her a request. I wanted her to call the phone company for me. Eric had called them two days before using his cell phone and they told him that a phone tech would be out sometime Tuesday afternoon. It was approaching the "afternoon" time and I wanted to make sure they were still coming, but I don't have a cell phone and the girls were asleep so I couldn't go to the neighbor's house to use their phone. I emailed Gina and asked her to call AT&T for me. I gave her the phone number and our account number and she emailed back that she would call. A few minutes later she emailed me again:

I'm on hold......

I emailed her back this reply:

You're an awesome friend. I'm gonna blog about you when this whole thing is over...a true friend waits on hold for another friend...a true friend waits on hold when it has nothing to do with her.

Several minutes later, Gina emailed me again:

They transferred me to the repair dept and they said that a tech has already been dispatched and should arrive shortly. Wahoo!!!

As soon as I replied to her email, there was a knock at my door and a not-so-happy phone tech was there, ready to fix the problem.

When I had phone service again 45 minutes later, Gina was the first person I called.

She said, "I thought I'd never see your name on caller id again!" and we talked for way-too long!

Gina, you are a true friend!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I can't hear you!

I have so much to blog about but no time or energy to do it, so I'll post this little ditty...

Our phone lines are down. They went down yesterday evening and we won't have phone service again until sometime tomorrow. We still have Internet, though, so I don't get it. Of course, I don't understand anything having to do with science and technology! Anyway, I don't own a cell phone and so I am really without communication. But it has been so nice. Besides the kids making noise, the house has been quiet and it's nice not having the phone ring. Too bad the lines didn't go down the last three days of elections. Now that would have been nice!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

That made my day!

I was looking through a Body Shop catalog just now, and Amber said, "Is that makeup?" I said, "Yes." Amber said, "You don't need makeup, you're pretty." I hugged her so tight.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Falling Back

One of the things I loved about growing up in Arizona is that we never ever had to change our clocks. Arizona is always on Daylight Savings Time and I think it's the smartest state in the union because of that. To say that I hate the whole changing the clocks thing is an understatement.

First of all, we have a bazillion clocks in the house. We received a lot of clocks for our wedding; it was the "multiple present" we received. So with those clocks and the oven, microwave, timer, car clocks, etc., I have to change 14 clocks.

Second, I am a little (okay, a lot) OCD, and so changing 14 clocks can be a frustration. Gina and Michele may recall a recent Monk episode where Adrian is in agony over changing the time. That's me. First I change the timer clock and then take that clock throughout the house, changing each of the other clocks to match the time on the timer clock. Yeah, I know, it's a sickness.

But above all else, the third reason I hate "falling back" is because I have kids. I have two little girls who share a room and who get up at 7:00 every morning like clockwork (pun intended). Ever since we changed our clocks, they have still been getting up at 7:00, only now it's really 6:00. Their bodies don't know that we "fell back" and they are up and raring to go before the sun has made a proper appearance. I know it's only been two days, but this happens every year and it goes on for weeks before they adjust. They know they are not allowed to get out of bed until their clock says 7:00 or later, and they know that they are not allowed to talk until then, too. But seriously, try to keep two girls from talking is almost impossible. While they try to quiet down and be silent for the next hour until their clock says 7:00, it just doesn't happen sometimes. And I can't go back to sleep once they are up; it's just how my body is.

So, there you have it....my gripe session...why I hate the changing of the clocks. Now I must go to bed because 6:00 comes too early.

Facebook

I think I joined Facebook just now. I created an account and uploaded a picture to my page. Now I don't know what to do. I am way confused. Help!

I really didn't want to join Facebook (sorry Lysa), but my sister-in-law (Eric's sister) in Canada just joined and it is a good way to keep in contact with her. So, I did it. I really don't have time for Facebook, and that is why I hadn't joined. However, I did it for Amy. But now I don't know what to do. I don't even know what Facebook is, really. Is there a "Facebook for Dummies" book?

I am just rambling.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween 2008

The night finally arrived...the night Amber had been looking forward to since summer when she decided what she wanted to be for Halloween...the night she had been especially looking forward to since last week when I showed her the Ariel costume I bought...the night was here...Halloween night! We got all dressed up and went to the Harvest Festival at church. Amber was Ariel, Eric was Prince Eric from "The Little Mermaid," Autumn was a Care Bear and I was Captain Jack Sparrow from "Pirates of the Caribbean" (for the second year in a row).

The Harvest Festival was a lot of fun. I got into a sword fight with little Riley Frisk, who was also dressed as a pirate. We were really dueling it up, and I probably would have beaten the 8-year-old if it hadn't been for some lady and her baby behind me. As we were fighting, I backed up and tripped over the stroller. I almost fell backward onto the baby! What in the world was that woman thinking--getting in the way of a sword fight, with a baby nonetheless! I think Riley paid her off to begin with. I mean, it's the only way he could beat a grown-up pirate, right? I have to admit, though, he is quite a good sword-fighter! Maybe all the taekwon-do classes he's been taking have finally paid off.

It was a fun night!