Archive for April, 2008

Apr 29 2008

mini brain dump

We planted some peas, but other than that, no garden planning has been done this year. Last year I sweated blood and tears over my sweet little indoor starter seedlings, and then I promptly killed them when I tried to harden them off outside (and it wasn’t the hardening. it was the not watering. i suck). So all the grow lights stayed in the closet this year and we’ll just be putting things directly into the ground.

I won’t be growing zuchini or cucumbers, because a) no one ever ate any but me, and b) the zucchini grew to GARGANTUAN sizes before I could pick them, which makes them less yummy.

The raspberries look like they are going to take over the world, the roots have REALLY spread out, and the strawberries are all intermingled with the raspberries. I should have done something about them last fall and now it’s too late. Note to self: Move the strawberries somewhere ELSE next fall. We already have a TON of little green baby strawberries growing. I can’t WAIT.

We’re doing sunflowers along the deck again – I LOVED those. We planted them on Sunday. I may also plant a pumpkin, because our mystery pumpkin was so much fun. Will definitely plant it later in the spring/summer though, as the pumpkin was ready long before October, and we’ll want some for halloween, o’course!

I’m totally screwing the pooch on some of my new years goals, so I need to go over that. Blech.

Soccer and tball season is upon us. Ethan’s games are going well, and I think he is really having a ball. Jocelyn love, love LOVES her soccer practice/games and even if she is a little clingy during them, afterward she always says, “I had SO MUCH FUN!” We had a vague repeat of the first game from last spring and I had an eerie deja vu feeling. It’s fun, but it really does run us ragged. Our menu planning is going to go SO downhill. I am the manager for Jocelyn’s team, so far I’ve only forgotten 1 thing. ERr, 2 things. At least I’ve come a long way since our first soccer game. Maybe.

i have very cute pictures that i need to do something.

It’s a shame that I fell off the 360 photos thingee because now the camera is sitting there, getting dusty. Someday I should pick it up again.

OK, not really money, but budget. The more I use YNAB, the more I LOVE it and I want to wax philosophical about that and see if I can’t get some of you to USE IT!


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Apr 22 2008

Holy Cow, these kids are growing up

Published by under daily,kids,likes & irks,overheard

First of all, I”m glad to hear that I am not the only one with a holy terror of the parental visit. Thanks gals for all your comments (is it weird that it is only GIRLS that commented? I THINK NOT!)

So yesterday, the note on the kindergarten board that informs parents what their kids did that day, held huge news. The kindergarteners had compiled and were taking home – their Kindergarten Phone book, with the names and phone numbers of everyone in their class.

Ethan was, to say the least, excited. He also held a little scrap of paper which he said was Austin’s phone number. As to why this number wasn’t in the phone book, he couldn’t say.

While I was picking up kids, James had arrived home and was starting dinner when Ethan received his first phone call. James was somewhat disconcerted, not knowing that kindergarteners everywhere were doubtless phoning up their buddies all over the prince william county area. He made sure a parent was near, took a message and then promptly called me.

“You’ll never guess who just called.”
“Someone for Ethan?”

Tee hee. I should have placed money on it.

“You got your first phone call, Ethan! Sean called you!”
“What did daddy tell him?”
“He told him you’d call him back when you got home.”

When we got home, Sean received his return phone call, Austin was also called and not being home, a message left for him. Then Lucy was called, and they discussed plans for meeting at the park in the near future. Other things that were discussed: Ethan’s upcoming birthday party and Austin’s upcoming birthday party.

After each phone call, Ethan usually beamed with pride and declared, “MY VERY FIRST PHONE CALL!!” (even if it was, at that point, his 3rd or even 4th.)

Jocelyn was not to be outdone, and wanted to make some phone calls of her own, so I let her call Grandma and Grandpa. They weren’t home, so she left a message for them. Ethan got a return phone call from Austin while he was in the bathtub (which was a fantastic way to get him out of the tub, which is always a chore). Grandma called Jocelyn back in about 10 minutes, and Jocelyn said “Hi Grandma! BYE!” and then passed the phone to me.

Yes, indeed, I’m surprised that the phone lines were able to manage all the extra usage as many 6 year olds (AND THEIR SIBLINGS!) tied up lines everywhere to call their friends they had just seen hours earlier.

This morning before getting dressed, he wanted to call Jenni. I managed to forestall that one, by saying she might be at school already.

Boy oh boy. OH boy.

2 responses so far

Apr 18 2008


Published by under amy's head

OK, the british aren’t coming, but MY PARENTS ARE COMING AND THAT’S EVEN WORSE, PEOPLE!

OK, it’s not really worse, because obviously it’s a nice thing when your parents come to visit, but it’s not nice the kind of things that go on in my head when there is an imminent parental invasion on the horizon.

What kind of things happen in my head? Oh the lists I make, it’s startling. Here’s a taste of what MUST BE DONE before my parents make contact with Virginia air space:

fix bannister*
install thermostat
hang amy ruppel print
frame amy ruppel print
put away christmas decorations that are hanging out in the guest room
get rid of half the the toys in the house so that it’s possible to
put all the toys in their proper bins in their proper place
go through the pile of kid clothes on their upper shelf and get rid of the outgrown stuff
put all kids’ clothes the winter clothes on upper shelf of kids’ closet
have the carpets cleaned
have the house cleaned
buy new clothes
buy new bras
get a hair cut
get hair dyed
get a pedicure
cut the kids’ fingernails
get eyebrows waxed
clear off all the crap on all the flat surfaces throughout the house
have a garage sale
buy all new furniture
get decorator to make house actually look good
oh, and hide all the porn, booze, blow and dead hookers, and and last but not least,
put scriptures on coffee table.

OK, so yes, I’m totally kidding on some of these, of course we don’t have to hide dead hookers and blow, first of all, we already BURIED the dead hookers, and of course we’ll use up all the blow before they get here. And my parents would DEFINITELY know something is up if there were scriptures on the table!

The porn though, definitely need to hide that.

* (oh, by the way, our bannister bracket thingee broke and the whole thing has been lying on the stairs for over a week now. We are SO FANCIFIED.)

Seriously though, there are a lot of things that need to get done before May 11th, which is the day they arrive, and even though we are T-minus 3 weeks, I’m starting to go into panic mode.

How about you? Do you panic when the parrental units come to town? Or just come over? Or just call you? Or when you feel that perhaps they’ve turned your head in your direction from across the nation?

Oh is that just me?

Spill people! All two of you!

6 responses so far

Apr 14 2008

happy birthday to mah baby-daddy!

Published by under amy's head,cooking,kids,marriage

Err, mah BABIES’-Daddy!

Seriously, what is the proper grammer for the daddy to TWO babies? The world needs to know.

This weekend, I kept pestering James to tell me whether he wanted me to make him a cake, or if I should just buy the ultra decadent so-much-chocolate-it-may-kill-you cake from Costco (the tall layer one, with shaved chocolate on top of the frosting. OK, I’m salivating now. Good lord.)

He said, “Oh, you can just get the costco one, that’s fine.”
me: “Or I could make you one.”
him: “That’s fine too.”
me: “I’m gonna make you one.”
him: “ok already!”

I wanted to make him a cake because I haven’t baked anything in a while, and I love to bake. And also because it’s much funner with the kids to make one than to just go buy one. We had the important “what kind of cake should we make for daddy?” discussion.

“Carrot cake!” was Ethan’s vote. I quickly corrected him. (He’s really come about-face on this carrot cake business.)
“Well, carrot cake is good, but I think maybe chocolate. Because your daddy LOVES the chocolate. He is a chocolate lover.”

Jocelyn loved this description of James and has used it multiple times over the past few days. “Daddy is a CHOCOLATE LOVER!”

So in the end, I decided to make him a marble cake, because that’s what his mom used to make him when he was a kid. Only I wanted to fancify it, so instead of just using a 13×9 cake pan like the recipe said to, I decided to put it in 2 round pans.

Marble cake is a vanilla cake where you take part of the batter and add chocolate to it, and then pour the vanilla batter in first, and the chocolate on top and swirl it around a bit so when it’s baked and you cut into it, it’s all marbley with vanilla and chocolate cake.

So, since James IS a chocolate lover, I debated aloud on whether I should make the primary cake chocolate, instead of vanilla, so that would make the majority of the batter chocolate, which he likes better. Then I decided not to, and said aloud, “I should probably just stick to the recipe.”

james: “So NOW you’re going to stick to the recipe, but when I cook, you always want me to do things your way even when I’m trying to stick to the recipe!”

Pish. That’s all I have to say about that. (“Pish” is good for when you have no leg to stand on, see.)

So last night, I prepared my batter and sprayed my 2 round pans, and had the batter all ready to pour, but it did NOT LOOK like nearly enough batter to fill 2 round pans. So I poured the whole thing into ONE round pan and right then, I could tell I was really screwed. It was way too full. But it’s a MARBLE cake, so I couldn’t transfer some of it to the other cake pan or it would stop being marble-y and just be … all mixed together brown cake? Not marble cake? Not sure what you would call it! So, knowing I had screwed the pooch, I just put the over-full round pan on a cookie sheet and slid it into the oven.

(Another reason one should probably not make marble cake in 2 round pans – the “marble” effect is probably better acheived in a single big pan. Then there is plenty of each batter (plain and chocolate) to make it the nice marbly effect when one batter is put on top of the other batter. If you split all that in half, as you would have to with 2 pans, there’s not as much of each type of batter to blend with each other it probably wouldn’t make as nice of an effect.)

Sure enough, 30 minutes later it had overflowed and half the cake had bubbled out onto the sheet pan.

So for James’ birthday, he gets the costco it-will-send-your-blood-sugar-to-new-heights chocolate cake AND he gets to taunt me about tweaking the recipe with disastrous results, which I usually bristle at with unbridled fervor. Now he can tease me all he likes and I will just have to TAKE it because of my cake disaster. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HONEY! MAKE MY LIFE HELL! 🙂

This morning James made the “i’m getting out of bed” movements, so I quick told him to stay put for a few minutes and scurried into the kids room.

me: “Guess what today is?”
Now usually, Ethan answers these sort of questions first. But today, Jocelyn totally put the smack down and answered instantly.
m: “You guys want to climb into our bed and sing him happy birthday?”

And so they did. And it was so super cute. Cuter than bunnies on top of puppies, they were so cute.

Then I told the kids, “Guess what, guys. Mommy ruined the birthday cake! So I’m going to pick you up early from school, and we’re going to go to costco to get one from there.”

Ethan: “Yay! Carrot cake!”
Jocelyn: “No! Not carrot cake. CHOCOLATE. Because Daddy is a CHOCOLATE LOVER.”

That girl. She kills me with the CUTE.

So this morning, we had a gouge or two out of the ruined birthday cake for a post breakfast snack, and tonight we’ll be lighting candles on top of the costco death-by-chocolate cake.

Because James is a CHOCOLATE LOVER.

Happy birthday to the best baby-daddy a girl could have!

love you sweetie.

3 responses so far

Apr 11 2008

militant atheist anti flickr doughnuts

Published by under amy's head

j: i went to lunch with my militant atheist friend today.
a: kurt?
j: *laugh* yeah, kurt.
a: *laugh*
j: where’d you go?
a: rubino’s.
j: ahh.
j: we got a pizza.
j: and fries.
j: … and chocolate chip cookies.
a: okay then!
j: You wouldn’t think those would go together, but at this place they do.
j: Oh, and garlic knots.
a: Garlic knots? like they tied the bread dough in a knot? and slathered with garlic butter?
j: Yes. As long as they don’t go overboard on the garlic butter, they are gooood.
a: that reminds me. you know what i’m looking forward to?
j: what?
a: on sunday? at the carnival?
j: what?
a: funnel cake. mmmm.
j: that is all you.
a: you don’t like funnel cake?
j: i’ve never tried funnel cake.
a: That is flabbergasting. you are THE DOUGHNUT guy. You love doughnuts. You know what funnel cake is, right? It’s like doughnuts covered in powdered sugar. Only crispier. It’s like crispy powdered sugar covered heaven.
a: Although, you do have to be careful when you’re eating them, or you can inhale the powdered sugar. Not fun.
j: have you heard about what’s going on on flickr?
a: no. what’s going on on flickr?
j: they’re beta testing video now. like, 90 seconds long, you know the kind you can take with a still digital camera.
a: cool! i have a bunch of those!
j: some people do not like this. they are upset.
a: really?
j: there is an ANTI Flickr video group. On flickr.
a: ok.
j: and there’s an ANTI ANTI flickr video group.
a: Heh.
j: on flickr.
a: hee hee!
j: And now another group has started up, and it is the We Demand Doughnuts flickr group.
a: *laugh*
j: And flickr announced that anyone from the We Demand Doughnuts group that would meet at some doughnut shop at a predetermined time in san francisco…. would get doughnuts.
a: awesome.
a: i love flickr.

6 responses so far

Apr 10 2008

jocelyn kid art

Published by under crafty,kids

I have neglected to get some of the ADORABLE drawings that Jocelyn has done up here, so it’s remedy time.

Crazy Monster with Many Eyes

crazy monster with lots of eyes

cute person

tomorrow – the book Ethan wrote and illustrated.

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Apr 09 2008

singing and dancing and the subconscience mind

Published by under amy's head

I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet lately. I switched hosting companies for the assortment of stuff James and I host, and then grew a bit dissatisfied with them and ended up switching hosting companies again – this time I think it’ll stick.

But that’s pretty much settled down now, so I don’t really have any excuses for not writing something. I even have a ton of stuff to write ABout that I keep saying to myself, “Gotta write that down,” or “boy this will make a good post!” But still, nothing.

I’m a bit scattered and out of it, too. Yesterday when i was driving the kids to school I was thinking about how we had to get Ethan registered at our local elementary school for next year (he is at a private kindergarten now) and instead of going straight, I turned left as if I was going to the elementary school. And then when I was closer to our kids’ school, I took a right a block too early. I am just off in la la land, I swear.

My brain is deciding to do things for me too, which is weird, but a bit of a relief. I’ve always noticed this, and you probably have too. You’re sitting and doing something and you know you need to get up and do something else, but just haven’t yet when suddenly your brain just throws your body into motion and you’re up and doing what you need to go do. Now, obviously, your brain is the one that makes your body do everything ALL the time, so this explanation probably makes not much sense.. but it’s more like your subconscience had a timer that finally went off and says, “OK, no more lolly-gagging reading blogs on the couch, time to go clean the kitchen NOW!” and before you know it you’re up and moving even though you were in mid-post of dooce’s latest dog exploits. Oh fine, subconscience go team up with the brain and the body and just leave me, your conscience mind out of it! See if I care!

So, a few very short and totally disconnected from anything else thoughts rolling around in my head that I must now share:

– I love singing and dancing. The old Drew Carey show? Loved it. Why? It was funny, yes, but mostly because they would randomly sing and dance. Gotta love the singing and the dancing.

– Which is why I have saved forever on my Tivo, the Scrubs rerun where there’s a patient who hears everything in song, so the entire episode is like a musical. Awesome!

– which also leads to me hearing that Penn (from penn & teller) is dancing on dancing with the stars and setting the tivo to catch it – Um, HELLO!?? dancing!?! WHY HAVE I NOT BEEN WATCHING THIS SHOW FOREVER? I LOVE IT! Now if they would only start singing while they dance.

– As you know I am in a choir. And we have a concert coming up in May. I am now giving everyone that personally knows me warning to think up their excuses now, because I have actually been given TICKETS and am charged to like, SELL them and stuff. So I will probably be bugging you in a future near you. (They’re only $5 a piece and anyone under 18 is free, so seriously, you should come. We’re singing lots of jazz, and i have several solos. Several? I think several. I need to check that. And I don’t mean just you, people I know, you, I also mean YOU, people I DON’T know, you, if you’re in the northern va area, that is.)

Wow. They were very connected, in fact. Huh.

So yeah. Weird stuff going on over here in amy head land. Hopefully my subconscience will throw my body into action and I’ll write up some actual POSTS sometime soon. That would be nice. Yes. Let’s do that. Subconscience, get right on that, will you??

I’ll see you there!

One response so far

Apr 08 2008

new belated april banner

Published by under marriage,photos

We celebrate James’ birthday in April, so it’s only fitting to have a banner that also celebrates him – and what a great daddy he is 🙂 Happy birthday month, baby.

april 2008 crazymokes banner

This photos were taken in September 2006 – and are still some of my favorites.

Previous banners.

One response so far

Apr 01 2008

kid conversation

Published by under amy's head,kids

james: I have a CRAZY idea! How about mac and cheese for lunch?
jocelyn: YES! I like that idea!
ethan: Daddy, that is NOT a crazy idea. Do you want to hear my idea?
james: let’s hear it!
ethan: YES!

That’s it. His idea was “yes!”

james: Excuse me Jocelyn.
jocelyn: I am not a Jocelyn. I am a DOOR.
james: Oh, I see.
*opens jocelyn like a door*

Sorry for the silence. This is all I’ve got.


2 responses so far