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Smokey the Bear Would Be Disappointed In Me

I remember Smokey the Bear from grade school. “Only YOU can prevent forest fires!” I have never played with matches, I am cautious with campfires, I make sure that the BBQ is turned off and the fire is extinguished. I’m a pretty fire safe lady. But as I write this my house reeks of smoke, to the point I’m afraid that it is going to set of the smoke alarms, again. So apparently Smokey the Bear was limited in his scope. Yes, I can prevent forest fires, but house fires are clearly a whole other story. I suppose that Smokey only cares if a fire takes out his home, not mine. Selfish bear.

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Let’s rewind back to the Christmas Eve service at our church this year. We were having a small family style service in our church’s living room, cozy and complete with cookies, cocoa, and pretty little tea-lite candles on the table. All was well until the middle of the service when Liam had crawled over and was attempting to eat my husband’s sheet music. He was defenseless against the attack, as he was using both of his hands to play the guitar. I moved the stack of sheet music further toward the center of the table. Problem solved. Until about 30 seconds later when the song took an interesting turn. “O come, o come Emman-Uh! Nicole, FIRE!” Yep I had set the stack of music directly on top of the candle which shockingly resulted in a fire. I grabbed the stack of paper and blew on it. When that didn’t prove effective, I ran the papers to the bathroom and extinguished them in the sink. Christmas service continued with a sense of excitement in the air. The only drawback was my husband trying to play the songs with a large chunk burned away. Everyone was quite understanding. I chalked it up to a fluke. It had been a long day, and I was exhausted. Tired people set the occasional accidental fire. Whatever.

Moving forward, we had friends over for dinner this weekend. I made mini pizzas and some of them had olive oil for a sauce. I opened the oven to check on the pizzas, and moments later the smoke detectors were going off. Some of the olive oil had gotten on the burner of the stove and created a nice smoke cloud. The smoke detectors in our house are really quite awesome. 1st of all, our 750 square foot house that would be totally covered with one smoke detector, has 3. They followed code, and placed one in each bedroom and in the living room. The bedrooms are right off of the living room, meaning that we have 3 smoke detectors all within about 6 square feet. When one goes off, they all go off. On top of that, the smoke detectors are hardwired, and I don’t really know what that entails except for the fact that they don’t need batteries, and you can’t turn them off in the case of a false alarm. You just have to stand there and fan them repeatedly until they decide that the threat has passed and calm down. So we fanned them, they calmed down, and we all had some laughs about my cooking.

Fast forward to this afternoon. I was on the couch dinking around on Facebookdoing homework, and suddenly with no warning, the smoke detectors were at it again. I glanced into the kitchen to make sure that I had indeed turned the oven off after lunch. I had, so I assumed that perhaps it was the cool mist humidifier that I was running for the baby in the playroom while he napped. I went into the playroom, and other than the smoke detector making the baby scream, all was well. Just as I was silently cursing the stupid crazy smoke detectors, I walked into the boys’ room. It was pungent with smoke. I went straight to the electric baseboard heater to examine it while Logan pointed at the smoke detector and informed me, “Mama, I think it be makin noises.” Really buddy, ya think? The curtains were still hanging clear of it, so I crouched down to see if anything had fallen behind the dresser. I found three sippy cups of water neatly lined up against the heater, but they were barely even warm, so I peeked inside the actual vent part and saw an obstruction. I fished around in the vent and found this:

Mmmm... warm and toasty

Yep, that is a singed sock and a very burned part of what used to be a Target receipt. Being the genius that I am, I pulled these out of the very hot heater with my bare hands. Please note, that my finger is now blistered. I then aired out the room the best I could opening all of the doors and windows, even though it was freezing out. Once the room was sufficiently aired out, I put the kiddos back down to nap, but not before I had a little talk with the three year-old about not putting stuff in the heater. He listened very carefully and nodded yes, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he is not the actual culprit. I happen to know someone who has just learned the skill of putting things into other thing (like blocks into a cup, or perhaps socks into a heater vent), and has a particular disdain for socks. I cannot actually prove my theory, but I’m pretty certain that the perp is 2 foot 7, blue eyes, blond hair (but mostly bald), and looks a little something like this:

I thought his crimes would stop at texting and driving; who knew arson would be next

I am actually so grateful for my annoying smoke detectors because I was seriously sitting 5 feet away from his room and I didn’t smell anything until I opened the door. Yikes! Just to be on the safe side, I piled blankets on him and turned the heater off for the rest of his nap (either that or I turned it all the way up- half of our heater knobs are installed upside down, so it’s hard to remember in which room to do what).

So Smokey the Bear was right. I can prevent forest fires. However, my fire prevention skills apparently stop there, as I clearly cannot prevent indoor fires. I’m not sure what his advice to me would be, but I feel like even though a have yet to set a forest fire, he’d probably be disappointed in me.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in Cooking, kids, Parenting

 

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Awww…Can We Keep Him?

So I had some time to kill after I took my Chemistry final tonight, since my lab partner was giving me a ride home and I finished the test an hour or so before her. I forgot to bring a book to read and since I was done with the class I didn’t really feel inspired to read the only book that was currently in my possession- my Chemistry text. I wandered the corridor hoping to find a newspaper or something lying around, but all I could find were several copies of the school paper. Even though community college papers aren’t really my thing, I was bored enough to read through it. It was mostly a pretty generic college paper, until I got to the back. The back is where I struck gold.

Solid Gold!

 There are so many awesome things happening here, I can’t decide where to start. Okay, we’ll take it from the beginning. The title:

On Broadway!

 To me this title implies that this is an article about reptile performers. Come on, who else soaks up the spotlight. In actuality it is an article about a reptile store in the local mall that opened over a year ago. I’m not really sure how this is newsworthy, but I kept going. The next thing I noticed was the awesome quote in the center of the article:

I know it's a little dark, and you may need to click on it to get it big enough to read, but it's worth it, I promise

 First of all, this is just good information to know. I bet that this quote will prevent a lot of unsuspecting people from buying an anaconda in the hopes that one day they might teach it how to fetch. Also, this quote really answers a lot of questions about what I thought was my dog. He doesn’t usually care if I’m calling his name, and he really doesn’t seem to recognize what I want from him (especially when what I want involves him stopping whatever misbehavior he’s involved with at the time). He MUST be a reptile. That explains everything!

Canine or Reptile? You decide
 
And then the sidebar. I really, really love the sidebar.

"Illegal Exotic Pets in Wash"

Finally, perhaps my favorite part of the article is the sidebar. First of all last time I checked the abbreviation for Washington State was WA, but since this says “Wash,” these pets are either illegal to own in Washington or illegal to put in the wash. Either way, I am firmly opposed to putting any pets, exotic or not, in the washer. That’s just not cool.

Now for my itemized analysis of the illegals:

Non-Human Primates: I was a little concerned about this at first, but since the list specifies that it’s non-human primates, I’m relieved. I was afraid that perhaps I was keeping my children illegally. But since I’m over 95% sure that they are human primates, then we should be in the clear. Also, if any of you were considering getting a human primate as a pet, rest assured that it’s not illegal in Wash.

Badgers: No problem here. I have never wanted a badger. Those little guys have a reputation for being mean. However, apparently this list doesn’t 86 beavers. So if you’re disappointed that badgers are off the list, consider gifting a beaver this Christmas.

Large Cats: Due to the fact that this list doesn’t really define “large cats” I’m a little worried. I know that tigers, cougars, and pumas are out, but what about our beloved Fat Buttons? Everyone who comes into our house marvels about how huge he is. Is our adorable large cat an illegal in this state? If so, since he’s been living here for over six years do you think they’ll grant him amnesty?

I'm not fat! This fur just isn't very slimming on me.

 Alligators and Crocodiles: I have no issue here. My bathtub certainly isn’t large enough.

Water Moniter Lizards: I actually had to google these bad boys, and as soon as I read that they can grow to be over 10 feet long and weigh up to 55 pounds, I was convinced that they deserve their place on the no-go list. I’d actually be willing to sign a petition to keep them there.

Venomous Snakes: I’m glad that these aren’t allowed as pets in Washington (or the wash – we never really cleared that up). I wish that they weren’t allowed in camping areas either.

Wolves: Oh, man. I totally wanted to try to tame one. Perhaps I can tame a coyote since they aren’t on the list.

Hyenas: I only know hyenas from The Lion King, but based off of their portrayal in that, they don’t seem like very good pets.

Bears: Not even a little black bear cub? But they’re so cute!

And finally, Elephants: First of all, to me elephants would be very impractical in Washington. It’s cold here. Based on where they’re from, I assume elephants like to be warm. That would take a lot of blankets. However, with only elephants and big cats being excluded from your safari pets, that still leaves plenty of ridiculous options. Zebra, giraffe, or hippos, anyone?

All in all, this article definitely wins my vote for most thought-provoking part of the school paper.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in General

 

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Got Milk? (If So, Do You Deliver?)

Because I sure as heck don’t. This is one thing that the tiny humans (otherwise known as my kids) love, that I just don’t. I really kind of hate milk. I can handle it in cereal (but I absolutely will NOT drink the leftover milk out of the bottom of the bowl), I occasionally take a little cream in my coffee, and I do drink a latte one in a while, but I. Will. Not. drink a glass of milk. Not now. Not ever again. I would rather drink antifreeze (what, it’s supposed to be sweet, right?). I didn’t have a traumatic milk experience that has scarred me for life, but I worked at Starbucks for several years, and I did a stint at Coldstone Creamery, and after those jobs, I was over milk. I hated how my hair, and my clothes, and my shoes would smell like it. And even now, years later, I still don’t like it. My husband is fairly ambivalent towards milk. He can take it or leave it. Before we had the boys we usually didn’t finish a half-gallon carton of milk before it went bad.

Explain to me then, how am I going through 2 to 3 gallons of milk every week?! The tiny humans love their milk. Logan likes a big glass at each meal, a glass during snuggle time (what, you don’t have a scheduled snuggle time in your house? If not, you’re missing out.), and sometimes a glass with his afternoon snack. (Oh, and the word glass there actually means cup, because seriously, this 3 year-old pretty much doesn’t get to touch anything unless it’s shatter-proof). Liam drinks about as much as Logan. It doesn’t seem like that much until I buy a gallon of milk and it is gone- G. O. N. E.- in 36 hours. Where are these kids putting it all? I would love to buy milk in bulk, but honestly, we don’t have room for more than about 2 gallons at a time, otherwise, I’d have nowhere in the fridge to put all of the food these kids eat. We are constantly running out of milk.

So that brings us to this morning. We finished the last of the milk at breakfast, so we took a little errand running adventure this morning to get more. We made an event of it, driving out of our way to go to the consignment store and the dollar store, and wouldn’t you know it, I got the kids home and I realized that we had forgotten the milk. The thing that we left the house for. So as soon as my husband gets home from work, I will be running to the grocery to grab a couple of gallons before the kids wake from their naps and mutiny because of the lack of  a dairy based refreshment. Perhaps we could just get a dairy cow to avoid the whole fridge space dilemma. That would also cut down my trips to the grocery. Then again, I’m not really sure where we’d keep her.

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2011 in General, kids, Parenting

 

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Sleeping Like a Baby

I like to believe that we all have our weird parenting things that we do. Some of us are super schedulers, some of have weird cooking or food habits, some of us are very particular about how we dress our kids, and some of us take way to many pictures of our kids sleeping in crazy positions. Oh, that last one is just me? My boys are marathon sleepers. They can sleep anytime, anywhere, and they can do it twisted up like pretzels. The first thing I think when I see them in a random sleep position is “ohh… how cute,” followed immediately by “where’s the camera.” My husband thinks it’s strange, but I can’t seem stop. I need embarrassing pictures for when the boys grow up and start to date. And I think that the boys will both be relieved if I’m showing their girlfriends silly sleeping pictures because it will take me longer to get around to the bathtub pictures, the potty training pictures, and the pictures of a certain someone (ahem..Logan) playing the guitar in his undies. So without further ado, here are some (by no means all) pictures of my kids sleeping.

 This is Logan passed out at the dinner table. You know how tired he is because that is pizza that he has only taken one bite of before conking out.

Here we have Liam who rolled over and passed out mid-stride while he was crawling. I can’t count how many times I’ve wanted to do that at the grocery store; just decide that all that effort was too much, lay down, and take a little snooze wherever I please.

Here we have Logan, peacefully asleep with his stuffed dog Bruce. As it may be clear Logan LOVES Bruce.

This is Leelee asleep in his high chair. This alone is not super impressive until you find out that at this very moment, the toddler was screaming, the dog was barking, and my husband was playing his guitar a couple of feet away.

This is Logan as a baby, right after he jumped himself to sleep. Yep, I left him there for about 45 minutes until he woke up. Doesn’t he look comfy?

And this is Liam, asleep in his jumper. I know it’s the same jumper, but I swear it’s a different kid. If you don’t believe me, note how bald Liam is compared to the previous picture of his brother. Seriously, do they make baby Rogaine?

We were getting ready to go camping for the weekend, and Liam decided he ought to rest up.

And I saved the best for last. Not only is Liam sleeping under the swing instead of in it, he’s also holding onto the support bar under the swing with one hand, and holding onto the tray with the other hand, while fast asleep.

This is by no means a comprehensive collection of all of the crazy pictures that I have of my kids sleeping, but it is a sampling of some of my personal favorites. Makes you want to crawl up on top of your dresser and take a nap, doesn’t it?

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Parenting

 

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