Crabs

We have crabs.

Pet crabs.

That live in a tank.

*I have to clarify because a friend asked me what kind of crabs on Facebook.  As if I would talk about any other type of crabs publicly - sheesh!

During the last month of school, GG was studying fiddler crabs and African clawed frogs in Science class.  At the end of the unit, with parental permission, students were allowed to bring one or the other home as pets.  GG chose the crabs and we gave her permission to bring home two.  Three if the teacher still had some that needed homes.

A week before the crabs were due to come home, her teacher sent home a bag of goodies for the crabs - Instant Ocean for their water, a water dish, food (that stinks!), some of their sand mixture, and instructions (thank you!!).  The kids and I went to the pet store to find a new aquarium, some fake plants, and something for them to hide under (half a fake log).  GG finally brought her crabs home and we got them into their new home immediately, almost losing one in the process.  Had it have fallen on behind the stand where the tank is, it would have been lost forever!



At first, I was a little disappointed that her three crabs are all female.  The males have one giant claw they like to wave around.  I thought that would be cool to watch.  It turns out, three female crabs are just as amusing.

For the first few weeks, they hid among the plants and in the log.  We also got to see what happens when they molt.  It was kind of gross to see a ghostly, empty crab shell floating in the water, but it was nice to see the two who were missing legs grew new ones after shedding their old shells.

One day we noticed one of the crabs had started to burrow behind the water dish.  Afraid she would get stuck, I filled the hole and made sure the water dish was as close to the aquarium walls as possible.  All was well for a bit, but then she started to burrow behind the water dish again!

We finally caved and moved the water dish out.  Crabs love to burrow and we obviously weren't stopping them from burrowing where they wanted to burrow.  Once one made a nice little hole to hide in, the other two followed suit.  As of now, if you were to come into our house, you would think we were crazy people who kept a nice aquarium without any creatures in it.  Those little bugger rarely come out of hiding before 10 at night when the kids are in bed and it's quiet.  Smart little crabs!

The one thing that was driving us nuts with the whole borrowing thing is that we could only ever find two crabs at a time.  It finally got the best of us and we invaded their space.  Their water dish rests on the sand with a hill on one side for them to climb into the water.  Two of the crabs made nice little homes on the side of the water bowl and the third dug herself a home smack dab under the middle of the water bowl.

Our crabs are so fun to watch when we catch them out of hiding.  Now if only I could get GG to stop talking to them like babies every time she tries to pick them up!


What's the most interesting pet you've ever had?


Until next time...



Head, shoulders, knees and toes, broken toes

A friend recently commented that things are rarely boring in my house.  She was definitely right!  Not only have we been running around like idiots since school let out, but we have been dealing with injuries galore.  Yes, we've had skinned knees, bumped heads, and blisters from new shoes, but I think GG has taken the cake with her latest injury.

Let's rewind to a few months ago to set the story up.  We had a tree come down in the very back of our back hill a while ago.  The husband had been eyeing it up and he finally caved and bought himself a pole saw.  Since I wasn't exactly sure what that tool was at first, I'll explain it to you, too.  It's basically a chain saw that comes with an attachable pole.  The pole happens to be 10 feet long.  Let me tell you, it was a blast trying to get that box into the trunk of a Cobalt!

Anyway, the husband finally chopped up the majority of this tree.  Some of the wood went to our neighbor, some went to my father-in-law, and some went to Little Dude for when he wanted to play camping.  Two weeks ago, after the sun had set, GG went outside to say good-night to the husband.  He was on the back porch playing with his Ham radio.  I'm inside trying to convince Little Dude that it was, in fact, bed time.  That is when I heard the most gawd-awful sound ever.

Little Dude had tied a string from the fence to one of the logs in the middle of the deck.  It was his telephone wire or something.  As usual, GG wasn't paying attention to where she was walking and got clothes-lined.  This caused the 2-foot tall log to fall over.  And land smack dab on her big toe!

I panicked!  Do I get ice?  Band-aids? Call 911?  What should I do?!?!

I took a big breath and went out to help her hobble in.  I calmed GG down as best I could, which wasn't much.  Her toe was purple, particularly the nail.  It was slightly swollen, but not enough to make me think it was broken.  It wasn't bent funny and she could wiggle it a bit.  Naturally trying to wiggle a toe that a big ass log just fell on is no easy feat.  I grabbed an ice pack, shoved some Motrin down her throat, and told her to go lay in bed with her foot elevated.  We would check it again in the morning to see if we needed to do anything more.

The next few days after "the incident" were touch and go.  One minute she was hobbling around like an old man.  The next she was running around like a fool chasing her brother and friends.  Over the next week, she survived a whole day at an amusement park with tennis shoes on and she also walked close to 2 miles in the 4th of July parade.  I figured we were safe and it was just a bad bruise that was already healing.  Tuesday night I realized I was wrong.  Oh so wrong.

After she had been in bed for about an hour, she calls me upstairs and says she thought her toe nail was falling off.  She then proceeded to make it move.  Yes, it was gross.

I called the pediatrician first thing next morning and they wanted to see her IMMEDIATELY!  Is losing a toe nail really that bad?  Dr. Google said it wasn't a big deal.  And we all know if it's on the internet, it's true, right?

Or not because she is now taking an antibiotic and of course it's the one I'm allergic to.  But luckily she seems ok with it.  I don't know if allergies like that are hereditary, but I was freaking out a bit because no one should have to go through what I went through when I last took it.  She also has some cream I have to put on her toe.  Do you know how hard it is to put cream on a toe, send a child to bed, and expect the cream to stay where you put it?  And band-aids don't help because whoever made those things didn't design them for small kid toes.  Jerks!  And to make matters worse, GG stepped on her bee and was stung on her other foot.

Maybe I should start calling her Gimpy instead of GG!

Please tell me your summer is going better than ours.


Until next time...



Mirror, Mirror

I should take a picture of our bedroom to show off that, for once, it's clean.  But that's my and the husband's space.  However, I will tell you all about what is on the walls.

Or was on the walls.

See, there are these mirrors.  Three of them.  Close to five feet tall.  On the wall all lined up next to each other.  They were on the wall when we moved in.  I know the family that lived here before us.  I also know that the adults of that family were smokers.  And they smoked in the house.  Knowing what that can do to your walls, we left the mirrors be.

These three mirrors, full length did come in handy on those rare occassions where I had to dress up, but (keeping in mind I know the family that lived here before us), it kind of creeped me out seeing those mirrors right next to where their bed was.  As if the mirrored sliding doors for the big closet weren't enough!

Over the years, I did my best to keep those mirrors clean.  Quite often our kids wold hang their artwork on them.  After a while it didn't erally bother me that they were there.  Until today...

Mid-afternoon, I plopped my butt down on the couch, turned on A Baby Story, and began to fold laundry.  Everything was folded and I started to work of matching the uneven amount of socks I had when... ba-ba-BOOM!!!  And then the living room went out.

I ran upstairs.  Searched our room, searched GG's room, peeked in her closet up towards the attic.  Nothing.  All was where it should be.  So I searched our room again.  Our cable box was out and my alarm clock was out.  Something fell and knocked the plug out of the outlet.  And that's when I saw it.  One of the mirrors crashed to the floor, knocked tricky plug out, which sometimes causes the lamp in the living room to go out.

How the hell did it just fall off the wall when no one in the room?  Let me show you how it was hung and then you'll understand.






Those long strips?  The paper is still on so they serve no purpose whatsoever.  How this mirror stayed on our bedroom wall for over 10 years is beyond me.!

Luckily, the mirror didn't shatter.  I could still use it to help me decide if an outfit (obviously not this one!!) is good enough for a date night.  But...



There is a crack running across the bottom now.

My business partner and I are about to start something big, and good, with our Macaroni Kid newsletter.  Hopefully we can prove that a broken mirror does NOT bring 7 years bad luck.

Also... I think the husband and I should take the remaining 2 mirrors off the wall before we tempt fate.


Until next time...



And off we go!

Last summer, the husband and I really put an effort into teaching GG how to ride a bike.  In our neighborhood, it's not the easiest thing to do.  If the roads around our house aren't busy main roads, they are giant hills.  Neither is conducive to a beginner bike rider.

Last summer the husband and I discovered a local church parking lot, which also shared a lot with a neighboring business.  After hours, they were perfect.  The husband took GG's training wheels off and began to teach her the basics of riding her two wheeler.  As long as he or I were holding on, she was getting the hang of it, but she didn't quite have the confidence to go on her own yet.

The weather this past weekend was hot, but gorgeous.  Monday we finally had a chance to take the kids to those parking lots to practice.  Little Dude, with his training wheels still attached, whipped around the parking lot like nobody's business.  The husband helped GG control her balance, and after a few tries, she got the hang of it.  She was able to go a few feet on her own before she started to tip.

We decided to gather the kids up and head over to their school's playground.  It's flatter and they have more room to ride.  Once there, GG steadied herself on her bike and before we knew it, this was happening...


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Until next time...



This is how we do it

On Memorial Day, I hear from friends, online and off, about the picnics they are going to, what patriotic looking dish they are making, which pool they are going to.  For my family, we don't do anything special.  I take the kids and go to a friend's picnic the weekend before Memorial Day, but on the holiday itself, we don't do much more than sleep in and hang out at home.

This year, the husband decided he wanted to cook dinner.  I obviously did not have a problem with that!  He wanted to use our little grill to make dogs and beans.  This grill is meant for tailgating, but that has never stopped us from using it at home.

He pulled out the grill and arranged the charcoal.  He then asked me where the actual grilling piece was.  I had no clue.  While we looked high and low, he decided it would be fun to cook our dogs using sticks.  Of course we found the piece we needed in the drawer under the stove where I keep the cookie sheets, but by this point, Little Dude had heard the stick plan.  There was no backing out now!

The husband went to work sharpening some sticks while Little Dude arranged chairs around the grill for us to sit on.  Once the sticks were sharpened and the coals nice and hot, the kids began to cook their own dinner (how awesome for me!).







While they were busy roasting their dogs, the husband popped open a can of chili and a can of baked beans.  He used a combination of the little grill and a esbit stove to cook his chili in beans.   








And because no cookout is complete without dessert, we made S'mores!  Or one S'more per kid followed by a bunch of roasted marshmallows!







After all the marshmallow goo, chili, cheese, and whatever else the kids managed to get stuck to them was cleaned off, the husband and I took the kids out for some more family togetherness.  You'll have to stop back tomorrow to find out what that was.

How was your holiday weekend?


Until next time...



Poison Ivy and Snakes

What a busy weekend we had. I feel like I say that every weekend anymore, but it's the truth.

As much as I love my sleep, I actually don't mind getting up early.  I am not a morning person, but I do enjoy savoring a cup of coffee (or three) and having everything I need to do done by early afternoon so I can enjoy the rest of the day with my husband and kids.

As satisfying as that feeling is to get things done early, I hate having to wake early and rush out the door.  Not being able to savor those cups of coffee tends to make me grumpy.  A grumpy me is never a fun me.

The chaos of last weekend began Friday afternoon with school pick-up.

Little Dude was complaining of being itchy the night before.  He has dry skin and has had issue with eczema in the past so I thought nothing of it.  I would just lotion him up and he's be good to go.

Not the case.

Little Dude bounced out of school Friday afternoon, happy it was finally the weekend, and that's when I saw it.  Scratches, blisters, and a flaming red neck.  Right then I knew it was more than eczema.  It was poison ivy.  Perhaps letting them run around on the hillside by the husband's work was not a good idea.  Thank goodness I had some anti-itch cream in the medicine cabinet because I didn't have time to run to the store.  I had to get the husband from work and take my boys to the zoo for a Scout sleepover

After we returned home from our drive to the zoo, GG and I prepared for our girl's night in.  I was setting up the DVD player for a few games of Harry Potter Scene-It when I realized Little Dude wasn't the only one who was running around on that hillside.  The proof was beginning to show on GG's legs, hands, and arms.  Thankfully she could make do without the anti-itch cream (I sent it off with my boys).  She was either not effected as bad as Little Dude or she had more control when it came to not scratching.

Until Sunday.

Sunday was our end of the year Girl Scout picnic.  It was hot as hell and she was running around almost the entire 8 hours we were there.  A hot and sweaty girl made for an itchy girl.  I again left the cream with the boys because Little Dude didn't seem to understand he shouldn't scratch if he wanted to get better.  A hot, sweaty, tired and itchy child is NOT a fun child!

But just because we were all hot, sweaty, tired, and some were itchy, didn't mean there was no fun to be had.  GG had a blast at the picnic - good food, crafts, and friends.  And Little Dude had a blast on his zoo trip.  He was able to go behind the scenes with a few exhibits and touch animals ordinary patrons might not have a chance to touch.


Holding an armadillo



You'll just have to trust me that GG had a great time at our picnic.  I wasn't able to capture any pictures during the event because I was too busy trying to control the chaos.  All the girls in attendance seemed to have a good time, but events like this make me realize that we do, in fact, have well behaved children.


Until next time...



Roses are red

I really don't have much to complain about this Mother's Day, except that I was incredibly tired.  Three busy nights in a row with not much sleep will do that, but what I was greeted with upon waking Sunday morning made me forget all about that.

GG made me breakfast in bed - a bog bowl of Special K Red Berry (my favorite) with blueberries and a sliced banana added.  She also made me a poem book.  I'm pretty sure this is my favorite poem from her book...

Roses are red
And so is your head
Violets are blue
And so is my shoe
I love you


Once I made my way downstairs and grabbed a cup of much needed coffee, Little Dude presented me with his present.  This present came with much drama Saturday night.  My boy had seen this gift at Radio Shack and had been bugging the husband all week to get it and make it for me.  I went to a friend's house Saturday night and that is when my boys began building my present.  

At some point during the evening I received a text from the husband saying my gift "mostly worked :( ".  I came home and went to bed around midnight and the husband was still trying to get it to work!

I was informed Sunday morning that not all of the lights worked on my gift and they hoped I wouldn't be upset.  Knowing how much work the boys put in and how late my husband stayed up to try and fix it, I wasn't upset at all.  In fact, all of their hard work made it that much more special.

And it's a heart.
You can never go wrong with a heart!

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Poems, cards, a blinking heart, and a day spent with family... I'd say it was a perfect Mother's Day.

How was yours?


Until next time...



Open the Door

Those fleeting moments when I have nothing to do but think, I envision my perfect house.  This house has more than enough room for us 4 and all of our stuff.  This house also has a large, flat backyard where my kids can run and play ball.

Those fleeting moments are often interrupted by a quick glance out our back window.  We have a porch and we have a deck.  Both, when toys are not scattered about, have enough room for the kids to run.  Our actual yard makes me want to return to my dreams.  Our yard is a hill.  Not ideal for running and playing ball.  Our backyard has weeds and sticks that fell from the trees.  Not ideal to run through without any shoes.

But sometimes I catch moments of my kids playing in our yard.  Those moments are when I wouldn't trade our yard for the world.

Those sticks that fall can be used as walls for a club house.



Leaves are gathered to be used as camoflage






Trees can be climbed



Doorways to another world can be made






Wordful Wednesday by



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Until next time...


There's Always a Price to Pay

Over the weekend, Little Dude and the husband went away to Boy Scout Camp.  After watching him pack before they left, I think the husband was more excited than the boy!

I always worry when they're gone.  It's what I do best.  And some of the texts from the husband certainly didn't help.  For example, the one complaining no one else there would know how to survive in the wilderness or no one knew how to build a fire.  And those were from their first night there!  Ya, comforting.

After that first night, I assume all had a good time.  One of the activities my boys were really looking forward to was fishing.  The husband was so excited to go out last week and buy his boy his very first fishing rod.  I was worried when Little Dude was waving his rod around  like a sword, but considering he caught not one, but THREE fish, I think it's safe to say he learned the proper way to handle a fishing rod!



Once the boys were home, Little Dude told me all about fishing, running around with his friends, and how to make S'mores.  What he failed to mention to me were his battle wounds.


He fell into a wall!

I think it's about time I really started pressing the husband to let me buy this boy a helmet!



Until next time...



Our Eggs



Thanks to Pinterest, I found a new way to dye our eggs for Easter.   Instead of vinegar and those little tablets, we decided to color our eggs with a little water and Kool-aid.  Of course this all depended on if I was successful in hard boiling the eggs.  I know it's easy, but I've failed more than I care to admit at that process!

2/3 cup water and 1 packet of Kool-aid
is all we needed for each mug.


A fancy Tupperware spoon for dying eggs
didn't hurt either!


We avoided yellow because it's a light color, but we chose to go with pink.  Eggs in pink had to sit a while before the color took.  But good thing I read the entire blog with directions or I never would have known that purple could turn the eggs gray if left in too long.

All of our eggs turned out so well!  The colors were bright and cheery.  Even using a white crayon to write on the eggs turned out.  Instead of smelling like vinegar, our house smelled pretty and fruity.  Some of our favorite eggs were...

Little Dude's robin egg.
Just by chance it came out speckled!



Little Dude also dipped in egg in every color.
We decided this resembled a dinosaur egg.



GG took advantage of her egg holder to make stripes.
Doesn't this look like it should be made of Jell-o?



The kids had so much fun with this new way of dying eggs!
Making the dye was easy
Clean up easy was easy
Nothing stained from the Kool-aid



And GG even did at little advertising for me!



How was your Easter?  Do you have any traditions?  Did you try anything new this year?

You can find me on Pinterest HERE.  Directions for this activity on in my "Easter" board.

Until next time...





No Flowers for Me

At the back of our deck, we have 2 flower beds built into the wall that holds up the hillside. For years I have planted flowers in those planters.  Impatients, to be exact.  Why impatients?  Not only do they thrive in the shade, which we have plenty of in the back yard, but because I have a habit of killing most other plants.

Every year the kids and I would go out to some flower store or another to chose our impatients.  The kids loved to come with me so they could pick out which colors we were going with that particular year.  Sadly, this year, I do not see such a trip in our future.  Why?  Because I have a son.  To be more exact, I have a son who loves to dig.



Last year we dedicated a spot on the side of the yard where he could dig to his heart's content.  I think he outgrew that spot.  Last fall I purchased a sandbox thinking he could dig and get dirty in there.  He still does, but it's not enough to feed his digging addiction.  I finally caved and let him have the smaller of the two flower beds.  Those three spots would definitely give him enough room to dig, right?

Wrong!

Little Dude has moved on to digging not only in both flower beds, but up into the hillside as well.



This Spring I have decided to let him dig in all of those spots.  Partly because I am tired of arguing with him over where to dig, but I've learned his digging also benefits me.

By digging up the flower beds, it saves me the trouble of planting flowers.  Yes flowers are pretty and I would love to have a pretty yard, but it's one less thing to add to my to-do list.  By letting him dig on the hillside I've learned that the weeds no longer grow where him and GG play.  This means less weed whacking for the husband and I to do.

From the time Little Dude wakes up in the morning until the sun begins to set, he is outside.  He is being creative when playing outside, he is learning cause and effect when he builds and digs, he is soaking up some sun and fresh air, and most important, he is not vegging out in front of the tv or a video game all day.  So even though I won't be able to plant flowers in our back yard for quite some time, I am very happy that Little Dude spends his time outside.

However, there is a downfall to all of his digging.  Our water bill is starting to sky rocket due to all the hand washing and bathing of one little boy.





Until next time...



The Wait is Over

I am not the most patient person in the world, so having to wait 7 weeks for something I need was rather painful.  To be honest, the wait was much longer, but 7 weeks ago we got the word we were getting what we want.

Back in the Fall, the husband and I realized we would need a new couch soon.  The wear and tear from 2 little kids was starting to show in the cushions.  And a board was sticking out of the back.  With GG's birthday and Christmas, we decided to hold off until after the holidays.  Knowing our kids are still young, we didn't want to spend a fortune, but we also didn't want to go too cheap.  Hopefully we would catch a break with a post-Christmas sale.

As I do every year, I was browsing the ads while waiting for the turkey to cook Thanksgiving afternoon.  During my browsing I happened to mention I was keeping an eye out for furniture sales, as we would need a new couch soon.  This is when my mother-in-law informed me her and my father-in-law were purchasing new furniture for their own living room come Spring.  We were more than welcome to have their old couch.  Their couch was obviously used, but not having any children at their house, except the few hours we visit each week, it was in close to perfect condition.  She was also offering it to us at a great price... free!  SOLD!!!

Seven weeks ago is when she finally found what she liked and last Friday is when she got the call her new furniture could be delivered after Monday.  I feverishly texted my mom trying to set up a time for her significant other and his truck could transfer our new-to-us couch to our house.  If you follow me on Facebook you already know that Friday night was our set delivery time and I had to do a quick cleaning job of the living room.  I did get it done.  Or at least the part of the room closest to the front door.


Finally, after months of waiting, we had a new piece of furniture to add to our humble abode...


My mother-in-law so graciously gave us her slip cover.
Once in the house, I fell in love with the matching cushions...



I think the pattern really pops against the slip cover.  I really want to get a fitted slip cover, but because they are more than I care to spend at the moment, this one will do.  And I think that a slip cover is an absolute must with this new-to-us couch.  Not only because of the kids, but because the whole couch is the same pattern as the pillows.  That's just a few too many flowers for me!


Until next time...