Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Day of Kindergarten

My baby is off to Kindergarten. I don't feel too weepy about it yet, but I guess we'll have to see what happens when I drop him off.

It's hard to see his written name, but you can click on the picture to see it bigger.

Some days he seems so OLD!

In the following series of pictures, I was trying to illicit an honest smile out of him, so I was listing off what he'll be able to do while he is in Kindergarten.

You're going to have so much fun...

You'll get to do so much...

Recess every day! Cutting and pasting!

Computers, music, art!

What a cutie! And so big! I love this guy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Day of Second Grade!

I'm amazed yet again at how fast summer vacation flew by!
We didn't have big plans but mostly spent time with each other and family.

Today marks the first day of second grade for Audrey!
So following our traditions of the school year, here is our first day picture.
(click on the picture for a closer look)

When she grows up she wants to be a Cowgirl! I think this is at least the second time she has said so when I've asked.

First dress for first day of school outfit. So big!

She is getting so big and the red hair is really starting to show a lot!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Poor Decisions at 10pm

Years ago, I realized that making any serious decisions in the late evening was always going to result in something completely devoid of intelligence and/or safety.

This is why my evenings usually consist of mimicking a potato or other inert object.

Apparently, I was feeling frisky recently, because I suddenly had an idea that I put very little thought into and, therefore, sounded like the most amazing idea in the history of ideas.

With a nearly silent throat-deep cackle, I eyed my domesticated and miniature huntress on her perch next to the window. She was faced away from me and I immediately crouched, which must have been instinctual because there was no foliage or other cover to hid behind.

As I crept toward her, I watched her ears, knowing that she would hear me long before she would turn around and look.

Her left ear twitched and curved back toward me.

My husband, who was sitting in a recliner looking at his computer, calmly stated, "Her eyes are closed."

I didn't speak, knowing that this would alert my quarry.

I slowly closed the gap between myself and the furry bundle of carnivorous instincts.

When she was within reach, I lunged forward and, in that moment, another insane idea occurred to me: I would start screaming ecstatically, like a hyperactive banshee whilst simultaneously grabbing her around her middle.

I'm sure you can imagine my little friend's reaction to this attack.

Her whole body spasmed and twisted between my grasping hands, whilst appearing to sprout additional limbs out of nowhere. She flailed and escaped my grip...

It was over in a split second and I was laughing.

Then I pulled in a hiss of breath as the pain registered in my brain.

Somehow, while that beast was flailing, one of its dozen limbs managed to slice into the skin of my palm. Even more impressive because her front limbs were declawed over five years ago...

My first addled thought after this late evening decision debacle?

That was totally worth it...

Immediately after the carnage.

She was relaxing less than ten minutes later.

This afternoon. The bleeding has stopped, but the pain still lingers on...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Chicken Fried Rice-a-Roni Fail

In my fatigued stupor this afternoon, I looked in my cabinet for anything that I could remotely call nutritious for my children and me. Or at least edible.

Okay, I'll be real. Eatable...

I was pleased to find that a box of Rice-a-Roni Fried Rice actually looked pretty good. Of course, I knew I'd have to beef it up a little, as it were, so I looked on the back for suggestions. Ooo! Chicken Fried Rice! And it didn't even look gross!

Bonus! The recipe called for two blended eggs to be added in the final moments and I just so happened to have two eggs from my last carton hogging the space set aside for my new carton. It was more than just dumb luck. It was serendipitous... It was divine! I forgot my weariness and set about cooking up this little miracle.

There was a tiny (I mean TINY) picture on the back of the box of the finished result. Oh, I thought to myself, you can even see the little bits of egg mixed in and it doesn't look horrifying! MA-GI-CAL!

So, I carefully followed all the directions. I was a little concerned that my chicken wasn't thawed completely when I put it in, but I reasoned that 15-20 minutes boiling away with the rice would fix that toot sweet!

When the 15-20 minutes were up, I opened the lid and looked at the beautiful miracle of foodness that was Chicken Fried Rice-a-Roni... All I had to do was put in the eggs. They were already mixed and ready to pour in. With all the confidence a recipe on a small cardboard box could give me, I carefully poured in the egg and proceeded to gently stir it around.

Much to my dismay, it didn't congeal into fluffy bits of scrambled egg...

It was sticking to the rice and noodles...


It was forming a slimy, yellow coating all over my beautiful fried rice...

I continued to stir, foolishly certain that at some point the egg would separate and magically become lovely bits of egg...

It was not to be.

The slimy eventually cooked away, but I was left with Chicken Fried Clump-a-Roni.

If I had poured a bottle of glue into my pan, it wouldn't have looked any less attractive... 

That little bit of white you can see almost in the center was the only bit I could verify was actually egg...

As far as taste goes, it wasn't bad at all. In fact, my son stated quite enthusiastically,

"We should have this EVERY day!"

Luckily, I could let him down easy. I had only bought one box.

Monday, May 12, 2014

If Humans Reproduced Like Animals (G Rated!)

Like the title says, this blog is completely G Rated.. though, slightly disturbing. I hope you're as amused as I was making it, though.
My sister and I were talking recently and laughing at the idea of human beings reproducing or participating in courting rituals like animals do. I found the idea so funny, that I had to draw out what was in my head.

This first one is if humans reproduced like Anglerfish. Anglerfish males are born with no digestive system and are significantly smaller than females. They will fuse their bodies onto the female and will shrivel further until they aren't much more than a lump. The female will have the male conveniently available whenever she needs to fertilize eggs.

Here is my version:

Apparently, it doesn't matter what part of the body the male will fuse to. Can you imagine your husband fusing to your back? Neck? No thanks... The head was the funniest to me.... Though there was some potential to some "kiss my butt" jokes...

Some types of animals, notably clown fish, will switch genders when there aren't enough breeding pairs.

But if humans did it?

The other guy became a mushroom because I didn't want to draw him anymore...

During courtship, the male frigate bird inflates a bright red sack under his beak. The more impressive it is, the more likely he will gain a mate...

I like how she's sort of backing away from him...

My version.. hahah:

I'd just be tempted to run up and pop it with a pin!

We all learned about Asexual Reproduction in school... I doubt I need to put up this picture, but in case you need a reminder:

And if humans did it....:

When camels are trying to attract a mate, they drool profusely, often creating a thick foam and they inflate a sac in their mouths called a dulla. It looks sort of like a swollen tongue when not completely inflated. When inflated, it looks like a slimy, lopsided balloon...

I don't get how this is sexy... honestly.

It doesn't get any better with humans.... 

The Blue Footed Booby does a lovely dance for an intended mate. The brighter the feet and the better the dance, the better the chances for love!

I realized while I was making the human version that it's not far off from reality, actually...

Some species of Cuckoo birds lay their eggs in other birds' nests. When the cuckoo baby hatches, it will push any eggs or babies out of the nest so that it will benefit from all the food the surrogate parents bring.


Drawing a picture of a large baby pushing a small baby out of a crib seemed too sad...
However... I don't think I could have drawn a human variation that WASN'T disturbing.

For my last set of pictures, I think every woman could appreciate the tiny seahorse. It's the males that get pregnant and give birth to the babies. 

It's like a seahorse kangaroo.. aww!

No human birth pictures here... I don't even know how that would work.

So.. there you have it.

Aren't you glad things work for us the way they do?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Childhood Misconceptions: Discovering my Mortality on my Knee (Updated)

No, that is not a typo in the title.

I was supposed to die before my twelfth birthday. I knew it as certainly as you know that you will one day break down and eat something completely unhealthy and bad for you.

I must have been about seven or eight when I noticed a scar on my left knee. I was sitting on the toilet (I know. You didn't need to know that.) when I saw this scar staring up at me. I had no recollection of acquiring the scar. This is only disturbing in the fact that to attain a scar, you need to do more than just a little damage to your skin. I suppose it could have been something truly traumatic and that's why I don't remember, but most likely it was an injury that I didn't get tended to properly and kept re-injuring it until it became a scar. That sounds much more like me.

I wanted to take a picture of it for you, but it's barely visible to the eye, making it a pointless attempt, so I made this for you:

Isn't it beautiful?

So, I gave myself shorts so that you wouldn't be scarred (haha) by a drawing of me on the toilet. And, I put myself outside on a beautiful green lawn to further enforce the idea that I'm definitely NOT on the toilet. This drawing is from my own perspective, looking down from, apparently, an incredible height. Don't pay attention to the weirdness of my cut-off foot. Yes, I really am that white.. and I apparently have a orangey-flesh outline to my skin.

So, anyway. You notice the scar on my knee? The one that looks like an 11?

I was convinced at this tender age that this scar was somehow a portent. The universe or God or my miraculous body was trying to tell me that my days were numbered. Perhaps this was when I started to understand mortality and that I wasn't somehow invincible and permanently youthful.

So, there on the toilet.. uh, lawn... I started to feel woeful for my life. I was going to die sometime on or around my 11th birthday. I felt really dramatic about it.

I would never have kids or even get married.. heck! I'd never even go on a date! Just think of all the things I wouldn't get to do...

I was secretly gleeful that I had something to be morbidly upset about.

I didn't tell anyone.

Boy, would they be sad when I was ripped from this life during my formative years. All those people (I think I knew about 20 people aside from my family) would just be traumatized for life that they had been deprived of my existence.

I remember feeling unique and wise for a while after that. I had been instantly aged by the knowledge of my own demise. Suddenly a Sage.

I don't recall if I envisioned the ways I would die. I probably figured that I would die of a broken heart.. yes.. broken heart, while plunging off the biggest cliff waterfall on Earth, on the back of the last Unicorn in existence battling the last Dragon in existence, my tears and long, beautiful hair streaming behind me like a banner of innocence and tragic love.

(Update) At my sister's request, I drew this part, too.. I call it: Epic Death

And then I forgot about it until sometime after my 11th birthday and I started thinking, "Okay, it'll be soon... No one knows what a tragic little life I have..."

Then I turned twelve and was briefly confused by my continued existence. Maybe I wasn't really twelve yet. My parents and all the medical professionals attending my birth had somehow got the year wrong.

But the years continued on, further mocking my tragic vision of myself.

In the end, I felt okay about it. I think as I was trudging through my teenage years, I realized that dying at 11 would have been rather terrible, even more terrible than High School.

Though, not by much.

If you liked this blog, I'll share another Childhood Misconception soon.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Preschool: Home-Grown Science

 About a week ago, Henry and I embarked on a science journey. A much longer journey than I had originally anticipated. But, it all culminated today and we were able to see the fruits of just a few moments of labor.

I used this recipe to grow a bowl of epsom salt crystals. It looked ridiculously simple and, in fact, it was. I will say, however, that three hours is a joke. The crystals have been growing in the fridge for a week! If I had a sunny window, I'm sure our efforts would have been rewarded sooner. As it is, I didn't mind a bowl of blue mystery liquid taking up the space.

The only thing that worried me was that a smooth frozen-looking layer formed on the top after a few days. I contemplated the possibility that the whole experiment was a bust, but unexpected results are part of science, right? I couldn't help but wonder what I had done wrong, though. As it turns out, I did it just right!

We pulled it out and examined the bumpy, but smooth, layer on top. Then I grabbed a spoon and gently peeled off the top layer (not unlike the top crust of a pot pie) to find the magic hiding inside!

This is the underside of the bumpy crust. 

Even more growing from the bottom of the bowl. 

Henry was completely tickled over the crystals and I let him break up part of the crust and crystals. They are as delicate as they look. I was expecting them to be cold since they'd been in the fridge and they look like ice, but they were surprisingly neutral in temperature.

We'll pull them back out when Audrey gets home from school and let her examine them, too!

Yay, Science! Yay, preschool!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

February Photography

I started a personal photo challenge at the beginning of the year. It's the "10 Can't-Miss Photos to Take Each Month" project. I found it via Pinterest and printed it out here. I had greater success this month than I had last month. Though, I will admit that there were still some pictures that I didn't take. Apparently, "Can't-Miss" is entirely relative.

Kids in Pajamas:

While I do have some gadgets, I'm a good old-fashioned computer girl. Oh, the places I can go... on my computer! From Diablo 3, Zoo Tycoon, The Sims, Facebook, Blogger and all the way into the stories that come straight out of my brain and onto my word document. I LOVE my computer! :)

My Loved Ones
If you want to see more pictures from our recent trip to this stunning location, see here and here.

A Romantic Night Out
Ben took me to Sundance to eat at the Foundry Grill. We got there early, so got the fireplace table!

 Valentines I got this year. It's awesome to have kids (and a husband) who make Valentines on their own.

I didn't have a Superbowl party... No Mardi Gras... I forgot to take pictures of the kids making valentines...

BUT! Audrey came home with valentine candy, so I was saved there. :D 

 As for High School sporting events... as I don't have appropriately aged children, we don't attend those types of things but maybe once a year.

I'm looking forward to March's pictures. There are quite a few options, though I'll honestly say.. March Madness isn't happening. No. Thank. You.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Goblin Valley - More Goblins and the Stars Finally Come Out

Our second day at Goblin Valley brought some clear-ish skies and the SUN! We took a leisurely breakfast and then headed back out to the goblins.

On our way, we spotted pronghorns grazing in the sun.

Most of them took off running as soon as they were aware of us.

One hung out until he/she realized everyone else was gone.

I'm usually the photographer.. Finally, proof I was actually there!

Sound carried very well in the valley. We only had to speak slightly louder than normal to be heard from quite far off.

I can smell you!

Fairy Chimneys.

Ben climbed up to this weird hill to get a better vantage point. It was actually pale green from copper but the sun washed it out in the picture.

This gives you an idea of how large the upright rock structure really is.

A better idea of how big the valley is. The sloping green hill is the one Ben was standing on.

Henry pointing at "his" mountains. 

The Henry Mountains.

These characters made me smile. I had to get a close-up shot of them.

More pronghorn.

Night was pretty much pitch black and eerily quiet. I couldn't stand being outside alone for more than a few minutes because it gave me the creeps. I kept having wild imaginations of creatures staring at me. We never saw or heard coyotes but we had heard they do frequent the area.
The skies were clear by the time the stars really started coming out. They were absolutely breathtaking. It took us ages to figure out how to get our camera to take pictures of them, but for some reason, Blogger is making them look really fuzzy. I'm putting up a couple, anyway, because it just seemed sad not to.

Big Dipper (way better on my computer)

Orion (WAAAAY better on my computer)

All in all, we had a spectacular trip. We will definitely be going back! We think Spring or Fall would be the best seasons to go. Goblin Valley gets into triple digits during the summer. No, thank you!

But you have to snap up the yurt reservations fast! They book almost as soon as they open up.


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