Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Seed Spice

Yesterday I finally allowed the pumpkin carving to take place. I'm sorry, but this is something I dread every year. Why? It's messy. Yep, that's all. Just messy. And my girls already make more messes than I can keep up with, so the thought of one more just puts me over the edge.


Moving on.

After scooping Megan's pulp (that she kept calling "kelp") from her pumpkin ...

Me: Meg, just put all that stuff in the trash. That's why I brought it over here.

Megan: But I want to keep the seeds to bake them.

Me: I've tried that before, and they never turn out right. I don't know why. I can never get the spice right or something.

Megan oh so sarcastic: The "spice"? You mean "salt"?

Me: Uh, yeah. That.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"My Mom" by Megan

Amanda had to write about me in 3rd grade, and now it's Meg's turn. While I know this was an assignment that she had to do, and probably had a list of adjectives to choose from, I still enjoyed reading it. And yes, I'm going to leave in all the spelling and spaces the way she wrote them.

My Mom

Let me tell you about someone who is specal to me. It is my mom. She has short, blonde hair. She is smart and funny. She is alwas there for me. She is glamorous. She is out standing. I got hurt in my bed and she raced to my room. She is hysterical. She giggles a whole bunch. SHE IS THE BEST MOM EVER! I love my mom! That is why my mom is special to me.

That's right ... I'm glamorous AND hysterical. (And apparently out standing somewhere.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Now Accepting Applications

September 2010 - I went to a new dentist for a cleaning. Apparently they take the blood pressure of all their new patients, and mine was very high. So much so that they recommended I see my doctor about it. I tried to point out the fact that I was at the DENTIST, hello?! Not the most relaxing place to hang out. But even so, they were concerned.

I went to my doctor the following week and it was still high, so she recommended something I'd never heard of: diet and exercise. Okay, I had heard of it, but certainly didn't think it would ever apply t
o me.

From that point on, I've made exercise and healthy-ish eating a priority, and I'm happy to report that my blood pressure is right where it should be. Yay!

Alright ... in March of 2011 I was supposed to return to the dentist for a 6 month cleaning, but the week of my appointment brought about a cold-virus-thingy that left me with no choice but to call and cancel.

Fast forward to this week: October 2011. I'm at work and my phone rings ...

Caller: Hi Tamara? This is your dentist's office calling to reschedule your cleaning.

Me: You mean the one I canceled like 8 months ago?

Caller: That's the one.

Me: I guess you could say I was playing hard to get ... I've been waiting for you to call.

Caller: Yeah, I know how it is. So how about next week?

Me: Uh, sure. That'll be fine. And as long as you're making this appointment, could you schedule my mammogram as well? That's another appointment I keep forgetting to make.

Caller: Ha! I'll be sure to give them a call ... for BOTH of us.

Me: Great, thanks.

I hung up the phone and realized: THAT'S what I need!! A personal assistant!! Someone to make all my appointments for me, then remind me of those appointments. Oh ... and they might as well raise my kids while they're at it, right? Right.

So who's interested?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Neighborhood Noise

The other day, after we arrived home from school, the girls chose to go directly into the backyard and play with the dogs.

While I knew they each had homework to do, I figured a few minutes of R&R would do them good.

I walked outside to
the mailbox and immediately heard blood-curdling screams from our backyard. The kind of screams that are so intense, they should be reserved for absolute torture, like being dunked in acid or something.

Yet somehow I knew that neither child was hurt or being "tortured" (though I bet they'd argue the latter), so I just calmly took my mail from the box.

As I turned to go back inside, I noticed my neighbor standing at the end of her driveway, not 20 feet from all the ruckus. She seemed completely peaceful and unfazed by the shrill screams coming from behind my fence.

Me: Hi Sharon.

Sharon: Oh hello. I was just watching my (grown) kids drive away. We have a tradition of watching each other until we turn the corner at the end of the street.

Me: And I don't suppose you can hear my girls killing each other back there.

Sharon: Oh sure, but do I look concerned?

Me smiling: No. No, you don't.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Can I just say ... we need more Sharons in this world?! People who instead of judging our parenting, let us know that they have been where we are right now, and can assure us of things like: It's completely normal to have your backyard emote sounds that are usually reserved for horror film soundtracks.

I WILL be a Sharon when I grow up. Guaranteed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

5 Second Rule

It was Sunday.

We were at church.

Meg had a plate full of donut holes.

This is how it is ... every Sunday.

One of the donut holes rolled off the plate and onto the carpeted floor
below. She promptly picked it up and put it back on her plate.

Me: Let me guess ... 5 second rule?

Megan: No, the 5 second rule is for when you drop something outside. If you drop something inside, you get 10 seconds.

Wow. I had no idea. 10 seconds? For real?!

At that rate, I might as well save some dish washing time and serve dinner directly onto the floor from now on.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"The Man"

I really need to take notes during the day, because more than not, I only remember a portion of what my girls say. For instance ... the other day I asked Amanda a question. Can't remember what it was, but I do remember her answer:

Amanda: Well that's what The Man said.

Me: 'The Man'?

Amanda: Yeah, Padre.

Me: 'Padre'.

Amanda: Yeah. Dad is Padre and you are Madre.

Me: Okay fine ... but 'The Man'? Really?

Amanda just shrugged.

My girls are Dutch and Sweedish and live in California, and the fact that Amanda would call me Madre and call Henry Padre, didn't even phase me really.

But 'The Man'?

Are we in a James Bond movie and no one told me?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Compassion Challenged

I'm going to admit something, and if you've read this blog for any length of time, you're response to my admission will probably be something like, "Well DUH!" Nevertheless, I feel I must confess it anyway. Ready? Okay! (she said like a cheerleader) ...

"I'm not as compassionate as I'd like to be."

There. Anybody shocked by that? No, I didn't think so.

So when your mother is lacking in compassion, bedtime is not the time to mess around. (My girls have not figured this out yet, unfortunately.)

The other night, after tucking the girls in bed, I went to the laundry room to fold some clothes that had already spent the day hanging out in the dryer. While I was doing this, Megan came up beside me ...

Me: What are you doing out of bed?

Megan: My hand hurts.

Me sighing: What do you mean?

Megan: It's burning. My hand is burning.

Me: Well, you can get some ice to put on it if you want to.

Megan: That won't work. I've tried it before.

Me: Okay, then how 'bout a washcloth with cold water on it?

Megan just looks at me as if to say, Really, Mom? Is that all you've got?

And now I'm just irritated that she's still up. So I lay aside any trace of compassion I may have had and just give it to her straight (and perhaps with a touch of sarcasm) ...

Me: Meg, just get the washcloth. I'm sorry if I don't have the perfect remedy for 'Burning Hand Syndrome', okay?

Nice, huh? Yeah, she walked away a little like Charlie Brown and got herself a wet washcloth, then went back to bed without any further issues. And yes, I felt awful.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Backseat Brawls

What is it about the backseat of a car that makes siblings go all psycho? And when can I move one of them up to the front seat? Is that an age, weight or height issue? Because at this rate, we're all risking our lives anyway as the thoughts of driving off a cliff come to my mind regularly when they're quarreling behind me.

It is a rare day when I don't hear fighting of some kind back there. And of course they're always fighting about something major. I can tell by what's being yelled at the top of their lungs:

"Stop looking at me!"
"Stop touching me!"
"Stop breathing on me!"

Last night I heard a new one, and it struck me funny.

We were on our way home from church (which is always when the seemingly worst fights break out), listening to a CD when Amanda yells, "Megan!! Stop singing like a MAN!!"

Yeah. What do you even say to that?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Word Alert!

Sometimes I wonder why we even designated rooms for the girls. I mean, it's not like they keep their crap stuff in their respective rooms. It's always strewn about the house ... dirty socks, Barbies, lanyard string, shoes ... the list is endless.

So yesterday morning Amanda was looking for her other tennis shoe. She called from her bedroom ...

Amanda: Mom!

Me: What?!

Amanda: Where's my other tennis shoe?!

Me: I thought I saw one over by the door to the garage.

I was headed that way anyway, and by the time I got there, she'd found what she was looking for.

Amanda: Found it!

Me: Good.

Amanda: Yeah, it was like FIVE FEET away from the other one!

Me: Five feet? It was WAY further than five feet.

Amanda: I know. I was underexaggerating.

Me: Underexaggerating?

Amanda: It's the opposite of exaggerating.

Me: Right.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

My sister was out from Texas this past weekend to lead worship at our church's women's retreat. We typically don't keep soda here at the house, but I bought some Diet Coke especially for her so that she would feel oh so welcome. Of course, once my girls knew we had "DC" on the premises, they would not give up on trying to talk me into letting them have some.

My sister's flight was delayed, so she didn't arrive in California until 11:15 p.m. ... I believe we finally went to bed around 1:00 a
.m., because a delayed flight equals a delayed bedtime dontcha know.

5:30 a.m. came around WAY too fast, and when that happens, I don't always make the best decisions ...

Amanda: Can I have some Diet Coke for breakfast?

Me: Seriously? Sure.

Megan: If she gets some, I get some, right?

Me: Well ... yes. I guess you do.

Megan: Yes!!

See? Without sleep, my mediocre parenting really takes a nosedive.

Now that the breakfast beverages had been decided on, I asked the girls what they wanted to eat. They both chose cinnamon toast. Perfect.

Okay, it would have been perfect if I'd had ample sleep the night before.

Meg's turned out fine, but by the time I got to Amanda's, the cinnamon/sugar shaker was empty. Now if I were rested, I would have added more sugar and cinnamon to the shaker and proceeded with the preparation of Amanda's breakfast. But we all know this was not the case. SO, while my girls were chugging their Diet Coke, I pulled out the sugar bowl and began to lightly shake a little sugar on the buttered toast, with the thought of adding the cinnamon next.

Um, yeah ... it was about that time that the entire bowl of sugar emptied out onto the toast.


I must have gasped or something, because Amanda came running over and could not contain her excitement as she laid eyes on her dream breakfast:

Now I know it's hard to believe, but a few minutes later she was all whiny because I actually said "no" to some absurd request ...

Me: I can't believe you're whining about this! I gave you Diet Coke and a plate full of sugar for breakfast, for cryin' out loud! So CLEARLY I'm the best Mom EVER!!

She did not agree. And I did not care.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Selfish Much?

I had the blessed opportunity to help lead worship at our church's women's retreat this past weekend at Hume Lake, and it was GLORIOUS!! A wonderful time spent with family, friends, and the Lord.

If you've never been to a women's retreat before, you should know that retreat speakers sometimes sell books they've written. Sometimes they sell DVDs of other messages they've given. And SOMETIMES they sell JEWELRY!!! Oh yeah!! This year's speaker not only had books and DVDs for sale, but bling to boot! Do I hear an 'AMEN'?!

So it was lunch time on Saturday, and all of the merchandise was displayed on a table in the dining room, but was covered up until the meal was over. As soon as I saw someone walk over there and lift the veils off the beautiful bobbles, I dashed over to see what was available.

What caught m
y eye was a silver necklace with a blinged-out crown dangling from it. It was just what I wanted! Until, that is, I saw another silver necklace with yet a different crown hanging in the balance.

Great. How does one choose between the two?

So I held on to both for a long time, comparing them, but unable to decide. Finally I thought, I should go ask my sister which one she likes better.

I walk over and show both necklaces to my sister, and she says, "I think I like this one, but you don't have to buy me anything."

Awkward silence.

Then I said, "Um, I was actually going to buy it for myself, but couldn't decide between the two, so I came over here to get your opinion."

We had a good laugh (mostly because a rhinestone crown necklace is probably the last thing my sister would ever wear.) I then took a pole of everyone else at the table. They all (but one) agreed with my sis.

As I headed back over to the jewelry table to make my purchase, someone I'd never met before, but who apparently knew I had two daughters, stopped me and asked, "Oh! Are you getting those for your girls?"

Again. Awkward silence.

"Uh, no ... I was actually thinking of buying one of them for myself."
I kid you not ... before the transaction was complete, another person asked me if the necklaces were gifts for my daughters! Holy cow!!! Is it that selfish to buy yourself a piece of costume jewelry these days? Was I reeeally the only one buying something for themselves?

Not sure what the politically correct thing to do here was, but I did go through with the purchase FOR MYSELF (I chose the second one pictured above, for those of you who even care), and then, wouldn't you know, my mom offered to give me money to cover the cost of it, so after all that ... it ended up being a gift from HER!!

Oh, and please know that I DID make it over to the camp's gift shop before I left, to get my girls each a little gift, OKAY?! So get off my back already! ;)

By the way ... if you'd like one of these necklaces for yourself (okay, OR for one of your daughters), you can check out Nancy Stafford's jewelry collection here. A portion of the proceeds go to help Sat-7, which is a wonderful organization that you can learn more about here.

Friday, October 14, 2011


This never ceases to amaze me ...

I'll clean out a drawer (or closet, or backseat of a car) and put my findings out on display for the owner(s) to see. Then one of the girls will see something that's been missing for a while and exclaim, "Mom! Look what I found!!" To which I always say, "Uh, no, look what I found."

In this same vein, I had the following conversation with Megan last night ...

Megan: Mom, do you know where my DSi is?

Me: Nope.

Megan: I've looked and looked and can't find it anywhere.

Me: Could it be in a purse or bag or something?

Megan: No. Wait! I think I just thought of where it could be ... my yellow purse! I think I put it in there on Sunday!

She runs to her room and comes back triumphantly.

Megan: See!? Found it!!

Me: Mmm hmm.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Talkin' Text

While eating dinner last night, the phone rang.

You should know that we get our money's worth when it comes to caller id. If we don't recognize the number, it goes straight to voice mail! Who's with me?!

Amanda lo
oked at the caller's number ...

Amanda: TFC.

Me: Hmm?

Amanda: TFC ... Toll Free Call.


Amanda: What's 'AATJ'?

Me: And All That Jazz.

Okay, you may not find that funny, but Amanda laughed her head off (with food in her mouth, mind you.) And I know my sister will find the humor in this, because it's kind of a family joke. So my apologies to those of you who didn't get your daily smile from this post.

Speaking of daily posts ... When I started this blog about a year and a half ago, I posted about 3 times a week, sometimes 4. Then I started getting comments from people who said they looked forward to reading my blog everyday. I thought to myself, "Everyday?! Wow. Do I even have enough material for 7 days a week?" The answer to that is, "No." And if I'm being honest, I rarely have enough material for 5 days a week, but I post 5 days a week anyway ... just for the sake of posting, which is lame, right?

Okay, so I'm asking for some feedback here ... shall I continue with the 5 posts per week? Or only post when there's something that's truly worth posting (in my opinion, of course)?

And if you think I should stop altogether ... please keep that opinion to yourself. I'm pretty much just fishing for compliments here. ;)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Come ON

I'm sorry, but I don't get this:

Is it really THAT hard to close drawers? Come ON, people!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No More Secrets

Our church music department is blessed to have quite a spread provided for those of us who sing or play an instrument on Sunday mornings. You should see it ... doughnuts, oatmeal, bagels (with toaster handy), pastries, fruit, veggies with dip ... the list could go on and on!

This past Sunday after singing in the 1st gathering, I moseyed on over to the breakfast buffet and tried to decide what I was in the mood for. Amanda was with me, but since she'd already grabbed a maple bar, I wasn't too concerned with her.

The longer I stood there, the more enticing the chocolate cake doughnut with sprinkles looked. So even though I knew I shouldn't, I picked it up and put it on a plate. I took one bite and was SO happy with my choice. Until, that is, I saw a beautiful plain-glazed doughnut looking back at me. I'm telling you, it was PERFECT. And just when I started second guessing my chocolate choice, I realized, "Hey! I'm an adult. And I could totally have that doughnut too if I feel like it!" But rather than make a complete pig of myself, I took the high road, and cut the plain-glazed doughnut in half. That's right, I only had 1.5 doughnuts, which is completely acceptable in Christian circles.

Okay, so Amanda and I walk back to the audio studio where Henry works, and as soon as we step inside I hear her say, "Dad, guess what? Mom ate a WHOLE chocolate doughnut AND half of a plain-glazed doughnut too!!!"

Okay, SERIOUSLY?! Did she REALLY just tattle on me to my husband?! COME ON!!

And do I really have to teach her what things are okay to tell Dad:

"Mom did all the laundry today, Dad."
"Mom helped us with our homework, Dad."
"Mom finally vacuumed today, Dad."

And what things are NOT okay to tell Dad:

"Mom spent $75 at Target today, Dad."
"Mom ate all the cookie dough before we even baked it, Dad."
"Mom gave us cereal for dinner again, Dad."

The good thing is ... I'm married to someone who completely has my back. Case in point? As soon as Amanda blabbed what I'd consumed, Henry said, "Well I'm not surprised. You girls probably drove her to it. She's just getting a little comfort food to compensate for what all you put her through this past week."

Is he the best, or what?

Even so ... I'll be very careful what I do around Big Brother from now on.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I often wonder what my girls will remember about their childhood. Specifically, what they will remember of the role I played in their childhood. I hope it's more than just a recollection of me on one of my many tirades regarding the disaster areas they call bedrooms.

Saturday night after saying bedtime prayers with Megan, I got a glimpse of what kind of memories might stick ...

Me: Good night, Meg.

Megan: Good night. Mom?

Me: Yeah?

Megan: Remember at our old house how you used to play your choir music on Sunday mornings, and how I would sit on your lap eating my waffle, and you would practice your choir songs?

Me: Hmmm. I haven't thought of that in a very long time, but yes, I remember.

Megan: I liked that.

Me: Me too.

Megan: Love you. See you in the morning. Good night.

Me: Love you too. Good night.

I'm thinkin' the memories will work themselves out.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Responsibility vs. Duct Tape

Amanda earns tickets from her art teacher for doing extra credit projects. These tickets can be turned in for prizes. Last week she earned some, showed them to me, then came to me an hour later asking where they were.

Me: How should I know where the are?

Amanda: I showed them to you.

Me: Well you need to keep better track of your tickets next time, because I don't know what you did with them.

Amanda: My friend made a ticket holder out of duct tape. I wish I could get some duct tape to make a holder for my tickets.

Me: We're not going to the store for duct tape so you can make a ticket holder.

Amanda stomped out, clearly irritated with my lack of support for the duct tape plan. When she told her art teacher that she'd misplaced her tickets, she was kind enough to give her replacement tickets.

The following day she came asking me if I knew where her replacement tickets were.

Me: Seriously? Why would I know that? You reeeally need to take better care of those.

Amanda: Well if YOU'D taken me to get duct tape like I'd asked, I'd still have my tickets!

That's right. This is all MY fault because I didn't buy her duct tape. Someone call CPS.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Judge Not

It rained Wednesday, yay!! I've been waitin' for this all summer!!! Now because of the rain, Amanda's volleyball practice was cancelled.

Me: I hope the ground dries out enough before your volleyball game tomorrow.

Amanda: I know.

Me: Did I tell you I'm gonna' be a Line Judge?

Megan: A Lying Judge? I thought Judges were supposed to tell the truth.

Me: I said Line Judge, not Lying Judge. And for the record, I intend to tell the truth.

Megan: Good, because Judges can't lie, Mom.

Me: I know, Meg.

Why do I get the feeling she doubts my ability to carry out this task? As if lying is an issue I struggle with or something. Oh well. As long as she doesn't yell a reminder to me as I'm walking out onto the court, that judges don't lie ...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Meg's Marriage Vow

Megan: My husband isn't going to be older than me like Dad's older than you.

Me: Why's that?

Megan: Because I don't want to be a widow.

And there you have it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Do you have any rituals at your house? Things you do with family members, but you don't even remember how you started doing them?

When I was a little, my sister and I would always want mom to "Rub our back, tummy and feet" at bedtime. How did that even start? I guess if the back rub was so good, why not go for broke and ask for a little tummy and feet action while you're at it, right?

Well, one of the many rituals at our house is the goodbye kisses Henry and I give each other. I have no idea how it started, but we can't say goodbye now without 3 quick kisses. I know the girls are around when we do this, but I guess I never really thought they were paying attention.

Until yesterday morning.

The girls and I were ready to leave for school ...

Me: Is Dad in the shower?

Megan: Yeah.

Me visibly disappointed, apparently: Okay, let's go.

Megan: Wait, pretend I'm Dad.

Me: Huh?

It was then that she gave me 3 quick kisses for him.

How sweet is that?!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Blog Girl

After cheering her heart out at a football game Saturday night ...

Megan: I think I'm gonna' lose my voice tomorrow because of all the cheering I did.

Me: You think so?

Megan: Well, I HOPE so.

Me: Why?

Megan: Because I'm shy when people come up and say, 'Are you that girl in the blog?' And if I don't have a voice, I don't have to say anything.

Me: Does it bother you to be that girl in the blog?

Megan: No, I like it.