Friday, April 30, 2010


It would be interesting to know what babies and toddlers really think of the kids their parents make them play with. For instance, Colter has spent a lot of time with one of my best friend's sons, Carter. Our boys were born within eleven days of each other and have been hanging out since birth. They've always seen each other at least once a week, usually more, and because of their mommies' friendship, have been forced on each other.

Look, we even made them wear coordinating outfits. Okay, not really. That was just a cute accident.We think the boys like each other; they talk about each other and ask to go play with the other, but do they really? Is the laughter apparent on Colter's face laughter of the joy of playing with a fellow nine-month-old, or was he making fun of Carter's carrot-tinted nose?
A month ago, our two families got together for dinner and the parents attempted to play cards while the kids played. Not long into our game, Colter and Carter came into the room quietly like something was up. Colter fell over holding his head, and instantly Carter started to cry. At first, I thought Carter had been injured, but John quickly pointed out the blood on Colter's forehead. Colter had a cut on his forehead, not a bad cut, but bad enough that the possibility of an E.R. trip to get stitches crossed my mind, but after we cleaned it up, it really wasn't much of a cut. It did swell up later and spread apart, so we put one of those butterfly bandages on it to try to prevent a scar, so it looks worse than it was.

When we asked the boys what had happened, we didn't get a straight answer. Colter wasn't talking and Carter's story didn't necessarily make sense. Probably because he was crying. Carter's brother Evan said he thought Carter hit Colter with a toy, and Colter pushed Carter down, but he didn't act absolutely certain that was what happened (I wasn't totally convinced anyway). Well, as soon as we got in the car, Colter came clean and said, "Carter hit me, Mommy, so I pushed him." I got the story out of him, and apparently, either Colter tried to take Carter's toy, so Carter hit him in the head with it, and then Colter pushed him down. It was so funny that Colter wouldn't tattle on Carter.

The point to this story is that now, there's been a couple things happen that make me wonder what's going through these kids' heads. When we went to play at Carter's house a few days ago, Colter proclaimed, "If Carter hits me, Mommy, I'm going to push him." Yesterday, we met up with several different families at the park, and after playing with a little girl we know, Colter said, "Scarlet is nice; she doesn't hit me." I think Colter may be holding a grudge. Perhaps. Today, I had a substitute teaching job and Colter spent the afternoon with Carter. Colter shut Carter's fingers in a closet door and wouldn't say he was sorry! Is it wrong that all preschooler drama makes me laugh?

Most of the time, the boys have a ton of fun playing together and get along really well. At least I think so...I'm not sure about this look on Colter's face, however.

Maybe we should work on the "A friend loves at all times" Proverb...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I've Eaten Seaweed, and I Liked It.

My taste buds have branched out. Now that I'm the ripe old age of 29, I decided it was time to be brave and cast off any squeamishness concerning raw fish and try sushi. Actually, I'm not sure if I ate any raw fish or not because in my sushi research on Wikipedia, I found out that not all sushi contains raw fish. Who knew? Last weekend, we went out to eat with my family at a Japanese steakhouse and my aunt and brother both ordered some sushi and offered free samples. That way I got to try some new things without having to pay for a dish of unfamiliar food that there was a good chance I wouldn't like and an excellent chance would make my picky husband gag. Thank you Chance and Robin!

I tried Robin's sushi first and found it less than delicious. To be honest, I didn't actually try everything. I wasn't really clear what was even in it (I think it was crab), and I wasn't anxious to try the unidentifiable green blob and the pile of pink stuff pictured below, so I skipped that part.I did some reading and found out that the green blob was probably a version of Wasabi which is a mixture of horseradish, Chinese mustard, and some green food coloring. It's supposed to be spicy hot, so I'm glad I didn't try it. The pink stuff was ginger, and I'm not sorry I didn't eat that either--not my favorite. This was probably the most traditional of the two types of sushi I tried from what I read. It had a vinegar taste to it, and while I am grateful to my aunt for letting me try it, I'm glad I didn't feel obligated to clean my plate.

On the other hand, my brother's salmon sushi was yummy! After reading about sushi though, I found out why. This sushi is a fraud! It's a Westernized version of sushi that isn't even served in Japan. Sushi in Japan is actually pretty healthy, but his dish has been doctored up with cream cheese, avocado, and I think it had cheddar cheese and bacon on top. No wonder it was good! I loved the fatty-delicious middle of the roll; the nori, a type of algae, a.k.a. seaweed Ick!, didn't kill me; I didn't have much of an opinion about the sticky rice; and the outer layer was tasty. All in all it was pretty good and peaked my interest about the world of sushi. I'll be trying more in the future. Japanese steakhouses are such fun places to eat--good food and entertainment at the same time. I wanted to take a bunch of pictures of our chef cooking right at our table and the big flames of fire shooting up around us, but Colter freaked out! Note to self: next time we go to a Japanese place, find a babysitter, because a stranger cooking at the table and shooting fire all over the place is scary! My poor boy was intimidated by all the noise and spent some time curled up on my lap gripping my hair, a.k.a. his security blanket. We had to go stand a bit away from the table at one point. Needless to say, my Colter-filled arms didn't get to take many pictures. Poor Colter! I could see how the experience could be frightening for a two-year-old, and I think I'll wait a few years before trying it again.

No smiles, tonight. The Japanese man cooking our food (who was really Mexican, but the restaurant owners must have thought we Caucasians are too stupid too notice) was too scary!

P.S. I'm actually thirty. Just thought I'd come clean.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Life-Time Supply of Pantyhose

I'm going shoot some honesty out there into the vast world of the web to be posted for all eternity, or at least until aliens invade Earth and destroy the Internet, therefore rendering man helpless and unable to evade alien attacks without the wondrous power of Google, because you know, without Google, mankind would not be able to read the 16, 500, 000 different webpages that refer to "how to kill an alien" (Seriously. There's that many. Google it.). Back to my honesty--I have problems. Big problems. I suppose it could be related to the genetic defect that causes me to play Facebook games instead of write whenever I have a paper due, or the problem could be connected to my tendency to start 33 projects at the same time, so it take years to finish things. Whatever the issue is, I have it.

Recently, I spring cleaned my laundry room and decided it was time to clean out THE HAMPER. You have a HAMPER, right? You know, that jammed packed clothes hamper full of unknown items, hand washables, things that couldn't be washed with the regular laundry, etc.? Maybe I'm the only one... My clothes HAMPER hadn't been touched in several years. The past few times I spring cleaned, I neglected to mess with it. After all, the disaster was hidden inside, and it looked nice and neat; why mess with what works?

When I dumped out the HAMPER to explore its contents, I discovered some mess and some treasure. I found a lovely, flowy pink skirt with silver sequins that I hadn't worn since 2007 that I absolutely love and had forgotten all about, several hand wash sweaters that since fashion has changed are now too short, a silky brown silk blouse that if it wasn't too small would be awesome, some unwanted bathroom rugs, two wrinkly white table clothes, Colter's entire collection of Halloween costumes, a dry-clean only suit that I'm sure I'll never wear again, and these...

Heavens to Betsy. Why do I have 152 nylon knee-high stockings and 23 pairs of pantyhose? OH, brother. Apparently, back in the day when I worked out of the home and wore skirts occasionally, instead of ever washing my hand wash-only foot apparel, I bought new ones. I think I was born to have a maid. Or at least a laundry woman.

After making this discovery, I decided to throw out conventional rules and threw all the pantyhose in the washing machine, and you know what? It all survived! Now, I have a lifetime supply of pantyhose and an empty clothes hamper. Well, except for that dry clean only suit that I threw back in. Shhh...don't tell anyone.

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Monday, April 26, 2010

Baby SmackDown

Are family gatherings at your house this chaotic? When we're all visiting, walking through my parents' living room is like trying to make it through a wrestling ring. It's nuts! Check out a few minutes of the chaos. Notice the amazing six-month-old-baby wrestler who gets in on the action and his sister, the Fantastic Flying Psycho Girl . They'll be appearing on WWE's SmackDown next season.

This brief glimpse into the adventures of my family is normal for us. We're a fun group. Bruised and battered, but fun! :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How to Get Rid of Onion Smell


This evening I made Pioneer Woman's delicious onion strings for a small army, a.k.a. my family, and my hands STINK. Actually, all of me smells oniony; my hair, my shirt, even, and this may be too much information, my bra. I reek of onions, people! For the greater good of all mankind and so my husband will allow me to crawl into bed with him tonight, I am sacrificing the well being of the skin on my hands to determine if any of the make-onion-odor-disappear legends I discovered on Google actually work.

The experiment begins...

First, I tried regular old soap and water. Even though I've washed my hands numerous times since I sliced onions earlier, I'm still very oniony. Soap and water has seemingly no effect on this smell.

One of the tips here is to try toothpaste. Hmm... I squeezed some toothpaste from my handy dandy tube of Colgate on my hands and rubbed it around for a minute or so. They still smelled like an onion. A minty onion, but an onion.

Several sites, including this one said to try rubbing my hands on a stainless steel sink for awhile. That had absolutely no effect except making me feel stupid for rubbing my hands all over the sink for no apparent reason. My hands still smelled of minty onions.

After the stainless steel failure, I tried vinegar. I think I was supposed to wash my hands in vinegar for longer than the 15 seconds I did, but the stench of vinegar was more repulsive than the onion smell, so I rinsed it off. I'd rather smell like a toothpaste covered onion than a jug of vinegar. Ick.

Next, I tried lemon juice. Technically, I should have kept my hands in the lemon juice for three minutes or so, but I have never claimed to be a patient person. Plus, I have a little cut on my hand that kept stinging, so I probably didn't give lemon juice a fair chance either. After I rinsed the lemon juice off my hands, I really thought it worked though. My hands were lemony fresh instead oniony. After I dried my hands though and sniffed them again, the onion odor had returned only not as strong.

I headed back to the bathroom and tried mouthwash this time. It felt nice and cool, but I didn't really notice a change in the smell.

My skin was starting to feel a bit abused, so I decided to try my Mary Kay Satin Hands peach smooth hand scrub next. I rubbed the exfoliating scrub on my hands, enjoyed the peachy aroma, rinsed my hands, gave them a sniff, and guess what! No onion. After a few minutes, the onion smell was still gone from my hands, so the experiment was over. I didn't get to try tomato juice, peanut butter, or a salt scrub, but that's okay. There will be other onions.

AND THE WINNER IS....Mary Kay Satin Hands peach smoothie hand scrub. Or a combination of all the things I tried. I'm not really sure actually; I'm not sure my experiment was all that scientific. All I know is that my hands no longer smell like onions. But my bra still does.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Night

My eyes are drooping, and the words in front of me are blurring together. It's not really that late, and I slept in this morning, so I shouldn't be tired, but I'm working on an exam for an online class I'm taking--a class devoted to the study of literary criticism and critical theory. The textbook for the class should be prescribed for people who have insomnia, so needless to say, I'm not having a lot of fun. I'd rather be doing this... Or sleeping. That would be fun too.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Nature Painting

At some point in life, the desire to sit on the floor and participate in imaginative play for hours disappears. Old people can only play Little People or party with stuffed animals for so long. I'm old now and have toy A.D.D. My job title is mommy; duties include playing with my son, but I only have the patience to play toys for a half hour or so, so we do lots of projects at our house. We "play school" or make crafts--not craps. (INSIDE JOKE--when my niece was little, she always pronounced "crafts" as "craps." She would ask Nana, "Can we make some craps?" I love speech impediments).

I got the idea for our latest project from this site. First we went on a scavenger hunt adventure walk and found a bunch of cool stuff like pine cones, flowers, and sticks. Then we used the found items as paint brushes and made cool designs. Colter thought it was weird to paint with items that weren't paintbrushes, so he had to use a paintbrush too. Look at the cool dandelion prints. I think I'm going to go into business making canvases of dandelion art for people to hang above their couches...Dandelion Divans. Don't steal my idea. And for your viewing pleasure, my kiddo's "cheese" smile--the fake one that gets plastered on his face if I ask him to smile for the camera. OH, how I love this boy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Things I Want to Remember

Ten Moments with My Two-Year-Old (In No Particular Order)

1. I told Colter how glad I was that God gave him to me and his Daddy, and Colter proceeded to tell me how I unwrapped him and got him out of a box. He could not be convinced otherwise. :)

2. When daffodils started popping up this spring, I excitedly pointed them out to Colter on our walks. Soon, he started getting all excited about them and pointing them out to me only he calls them "duck-o-dills." Duck-o-dills! Cute!

3. My boy was playing out on the deck, and I could hear him chattering away through the screen door. I opened the door to see what he was saying, and he got an annoyed look on his face and said, "Go back in Mommy. I'm talking to Tangent (the cat)." Well, exxxxcuse me.

4. While on a walk on a wooded trail, we could hear frogs "singing" in the distance. I asked Colter what they were saying and he immediately interpreted the frog-ese as, "The trees are growing! The trees are growing!"

5. Colter was very upset and started crying one morning when I gave him his allergy medicine. I totally didn't get what was wrong until he explained that he already had his energy. Energy? Oh! He thought I was going to make him go back to bed to get more energy. Allergy, energy--I see how it could cause confusion.

6. When putting on some pajamas that Colter got for Christmas, we discussed how they were his "Christmas jammies." Colter informed me that God gave the pjs to Jesus, Jesus gave them to Santa, Santa gave them to Mommy, and Mommy gave them to Colter. What logic!

7. Colter used an air pump from an exercise ball (that he had to figure out how to put together) to shoot crayons, wads of paper, and other objects across the room. He's two, and he's already building rockets. What will this kid do with fireworks someday?

8. I asked Colter to hand me a yardstick, and he said, "This isn't a yard-stick, Mommy. It's a garden-stick."

9. We've been working on potty-training (not going well by the way), and Colter's been very interested in where poop and pee goes. We ran into a friend the other day, and Colter opened up the conversation by telling her that "Poop and pee goes into pipes under the house." Great conversation starter. :)

10. We retired the crib and moved our boy into a twin bed. He's done a great job with it, but since Mommy and Daddy can lie down with him in bed now, he tries to convince us to sleep with him. When John put him to bed the other night, Colter got him to lie down a bit. When John got up, Colter wrapped his arms around his neck and said, "But Daddy I love you! I love you!" Awwww!!!!! It's hard to say no to that!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pretty Kitty Paw Prints

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

We have lovely cats. Sure, we've had a cat break a fish tank, knock down a box of breakable family heirlooms, knock a step ladder into our car and dent it, infest our house with fleas, make disgusting messes in our garage, etc., etc., etc., but we still love our cats. Yes, they're trouble, perhaps more trouble than they're worth, but still lovable.

Who wouldn't adore this sweet, cuddly, pretty kitty?

Or this one?

Tangent and Sine (there used to be a Co-sine---he had an unfortunate experience with antifreeze that resulted in a premature death) really are sweet cats, and they are so patient with Colter, but they do make messes!

Like this one...
We've had paw prints on our glass door for months. MONTHS, I tell you! I don't know how many times we've had company, and I have neglected to clean the window. I've just left it as a sign for all who enter our home, a big, muddy confession, "YES, I am a slob. A slob with cats." It's time to let go of the paw prints. I attacked them with Windex and paper towels and cleared the window of any evidence of a cat trying to convince its owners to let it in. The cleaning process took all of thirty seconds, so I'm really not sure why I've left the prints on the door for so long. Perhaps out of affection for the cats? Perhaps I'm lazy? Perhaps the two-year-old's fingerprints on the other side of the glass kept me from noticing the muddy paw prints? Whatever the reason the prints that tattooed my glass door for so long are gone now, and the glass is all sparkly clean.

Until the kid on the other side of the glass trying to figure out why his mommy is outside taking a picture of a glass door smears his chubby little fingers all over or starts kissing, licking, or otherwise marring the freshly cleaned glass that is.

Why can't things stay clean? Messes are just too exhausting.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Great Blogging Challenge

I miss blogging. I miss putting my randomness out there on a regular basis for people to read or, in the case of my blog at this particular moment, not to read. I started this website in the spring of 2008, blogged consistently for awhile, and loved it! My main goal was to have a sort of diary of my son’s antics but also to have fun. I loved participating in different blogging games like Wordless Wednesday or Favorite Foto Friday and getting to know a few people in the blogosphere. Due to a lack of time and a need for sleep, I stopped blogging regularly. I ended up neglecting my blog for a few months, then going back and backdating posts, so there would be some kind of record of what my family was up to, but stopped reading other blogs and abandoned my minuscule place in the blogging community. I want it back. Blogging keeps me writing and keeps me taking pictures—two of my favorite things! It’s time to revitalize those neglected hobbies of mine.

In order to do so, I’m giving up TV. I don't feel like I've ever watched a ton of television, but I turn it on when I don't need to, like when I'm cleaning, and I know it makes me work slower resulting in wasted time. I don’t mean I’m going to go crazy and take a sledgehammer to our televisions and never watch TV again. That would be a little extreme. Plus, we don’t have a sledgehammer. My intention is to leave the TV off during the course of a normal day. Sure, I’ll occasionally use an episode of Little Bear as a babysitter if I get smelly and need a shower, but I vow to stop turning on Little House on the Prairie reruns as I fold the laundry. It slows me down. It rots my aging brain cells. And I’ve seen all those shows before anyway! I’ll still watch some TV with John in the evenings (although our show, Lost, is ending this season—sad), but no more daytime TV. No more Food Network. No more Dr. Quinn. I’m done! In case you’re thinking yeah, right, Jenelle, don’t make public professions of TV purging unless you’re really going to stick with it, I’ve been practicing leaving the TV off for the past month or so, and it's been going well. It's actually liberating and probably why my blog that was stuck in October for months is finally current.

I will always be pressed for time. There will always be a house to clean, children to entertain, meals to prepare, papers to grade, or classes to take. In fact, I’ve got several projects to finish up in the next few weeks for an online class I’m taking, and I need to dedicate several hours a week to studying foreign language to finish up my graduate degree. I probably should be working on those things instead of writing this, but hey, a girl can’t work all the time. Since I’m always busy and have multiple interests, it’s time to stop wasting time on something that doesn’t really interest me anyway. BYE-BYE TELEVISION. You’re wasting precious moments of my life. Get lost.

SO, now that TV has been banished, I desire to spend some of my found free time doing something I deem more worthy of my leisure time—blogging! Sure, this could be a temporary phase (my phases often are), but I feel like blogging NOW, so I’m gonna! To try to break back into the habit, I declare the next thirty days “Jenelle’s Great Blogging Challenge.” I’m going to attempt to blog every day for the next 30 days. We’ll see how long I last. Ready, Jenelle? Set? GO!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Who Needs a Petting Zoo...

When you've got Poppy and Nana's farm? It was a lot of fun to watch Colter and his cousins interact with some sweet little bottle calves that reside on my parents' farm. Well, it was mostly fun. Trying to dodge manure and keep Colter from stepping in it wasn't all that enjoyable and cleaning the poo out of the grooves of the bottom of my tennis shoes (that are still in the garage even though we visited the calves two weeks ago) won't be fun either.

Awww! This baby should come home with me and live in my backyard. All the neighbors have dogs. Why shouldn't I have a pet, too? Or maybe this one! So CUTE!Colter wouldn't mind either! He loves the baby calves. The calves look a bit hesitant to come home with us though. They must know that they are destined to become...

SAD (but tasty)! Baby calves make me understand why people become vegetarians. I'll never forget a bottle calf I helped raise, Betsy, when I was a teen-ager. Betsy and her brother, Bobby, were twin Holsteins that were practically family pets. We had a relationship with those cows; we played with them, talked to them, loved them, and we ATE BETSY! If I remember right, Betsy couldn't have babies, so her only purpose on a farm was to become dinner.

When Betsy met her fate, my family had been out of home-grown beef for a few months and had been eating store-bought. Store-bought meat is disgusting compared to the farm fresh stuff. Really gross. After being deprived of good meat for awhile, I remember browning the first pound of Betsyburger thinking there was no way I could eat my pet cow. But then the delicious aroma of home grown beef quickly got the best of me, and I gave in; I ate Betsy. It felt akin to cannibalism, but it was delicious. There. It's out in the open. I ate my pet cow, and I liked it. Poor Betsy.

I'm rethinking the whole bringing-one-of-the-baby-calves-home-for-a-pet idea. I'm not ready to explain to Colter why it's okay to play with his food at the farm but not at the table.

Ignore my cuteness. Think cheeseburger.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

A little silliness...Too much wind... A LOT of energy...
A smidgen of obstinance... A dash of goofiness...The combination of all of the above results in a not-very-traditional Easter photo but a very realistic and typical glimpse into life with a two-year-old. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

So Long Winter

Ireallylovespring! I did not alter the saturation of this photo at all; the sky was really that blue! SO AWESOME. God really is one talented super-natural being. Thank you, Lord, for your beautiful creations and for spring!!!