Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Brandt adores London. He has to do everything his brother does. If London gets a treat, Brandt wants one. If London has reading practice, Brandt does too. If London bites his tongue when eating, Brandt suddenly has an owie in his mouth.

So when London accused Brandt of calling him a name, not to be left out, Brandt was ready with his own accusation: "Now you called me a name, mama!"

"I did not call you a name, Brandt."

"Yes, you did! You called me Omar!"

And I admit, I laughed. Silly boys.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mistletoe: Really?

I think it's a rule that you have to include a mistletoe scene in every Christmas movie you make. In fact, I just watched Donald and Daisy kiss under the mistletoe. But I have to wonder, does it ever happen in real life? Does it take away my mystique to confess that I have never kissed anyone under the mistletoe? Okay, so I won't confess, but you get my point.

You do get it . . . right?

So, in the spirit of polling (once you start, it's hard to stop), I want to know if mistletoe is just a movie thing, or if it's actually used in real life. Look to the right margin to vote.

And not to break a newly formed tradition, a bit of mistletoe trivia: While mistletoe can grow on its own, it is more often a parasitic plant (i.e. it preys on the good graces of other plants, usually trees). In Europe, mistletoe produces white, sticky berries which are "considered to be" poisonous (whatever that means). And last but not least, in Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a "peace plant" and thus, spouses who had argued could kiss and make up under it. In medieval Eurpe, however, mistletoe was hung in doorways to ward off witches. What to make of that . . .

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sharing Traditions

Today, I got to visit London's kindergarten class and show them how to make cinnamon twists. The teacher invited parents to come in and share their holiday traditions, so this was our offering. London was practically jumping out of his skin, he was so excited. His teacher told me that London bragged all day that he already got to eat a cinnamon twist last night, "So when my mom comes, guess how many cinnamon twist-es I'll have had?! Two!" And may I say that his teacher does a pretty good impression of London.

London got to be my helper, and showed all his friends how to dip the dough in butter, cinnamon-sugar, and then twist. Twisting was amazingly hard for them to do. Some really didn't want to get butter and sugar on their hands. And a few of the kids finally just mushed their twist into a ball. Very amusing. One or two wanted to eat the sugary dough, but fortunately I brought a pan of already-baked twists so they could all taste them. We had fun.

Khyah sat in her stroller and happily munched on a plastic bag until one of the kids told on her. She screamed bloody murder when I took it away, but accepted her binky as a peace offering. Th teacher's assistant was very happy to hold her.

Brandt was THRILLED to be at school with the big kids. At circle time, the teacher let Brandt call out all the kid's names as they were drawn from the basket. Brandt stood calmly at the front, and carefully pronounced each name (and some weren't so easy). The kids thought he was super cute. They giggled when he said a name wrong, and patted him on the head when they took their name from him. The teacher was very impressed that he was willing to do that.

What can I say? I just have impressive kids. :D

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Brandt's Shopping List

1 bunch of bananas

1 gallon of olive oil

3 bottles of Season-All (2 small, 1 large)

1 bag of coffee

1 bag of whole wheat Goldfish crackers

2 lbs of bologna

1 tube of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough

1 tube of Pillsbury peanut butter cookie dough

1 lb of Smoked Sausage Link

Nothing like a secret second shopper to liven up a trip to the store. I caught him on most of it, but I did have to trek across the store to return certain items to their proper place. Little stinker. In my defense, Khyah's car seat blocks my view pretty well.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving Et Al

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and this year, we are most thankful to have spent it with family. Rick had two weeks of vacation over the holiday, so we had a splendid visit with parents, grandparents, cousins, brothers, sisters, the whole shebang.

I don't want to bore you with all the sordid details, but here are the highlights of thanks:

1- I am thankful I got my hair cut! (The dead animal is GONE.)

2- Brandt is thankful for chopsticks and McDonald's. (And for grandparents who love to take him out to eat!)

3- London is thankful he got to bounce on the trampoline.

4- We are thankful we got our family picture taken. And even more thankful that we only do it once a year.

5- The boys are thankful they got to go to the zoo with their cousins. And very thankful to Aunt Kim who bought tickets to the carousel.

6- Rick is thankful that the people on the airplane were so understanding when Brandt had to get up to go potty every 5 minutes and then threw up on the plane.

7- I am thankful that Rick took Brandt and Khyah early so I got a nice peaceful flight with London.

8- We are all thankful that it snowed. More thankful that it only snowed once. And most thankful that we got to go sledding. London keeps asking when it will snow here.

9- Rick is thankful that he got to play soccer with my family.

10- I am thankful I got to go shopping with my sister (it's tradition after all), even if it was only at K-mart on Thanksgiving night to find formula (because we ran out).

11- London is thankful he got to play with all his cousins so much. He wishes we lived closer.

12- Khyah is thankful to have FINALLY met all her aunts and uncles (excepting Aunt Tiff and Uncle Rob, who I'm sure she is dying to meet) and that everyone held her all the time. (She misses that. As do I.)

13- Rick and I are extremely thankful that we made it home before London's stomach bug hit in full force. And in conjunction with that, I am grateful for carpet cleaner, washing machines, and toilets.

14- Though I could go on like this a long time, because we have much to be thankful for, I will end with our biggest thanks. We are thankful for our family, their love and support, and the chance we had to spend some quality time with them. After all, where would we be without them?

And I can't resist a Postscript: We're thankful everyone thinks we live in an awesome place so they all want to come visit!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Poll results:

Even though 58% of those polled do NOT like cranberries, 90% reported serving them at Thanksgiving.

My interpretation of this data:

1. We're tradition-driven.

2. We're catering to the few.

3. You had leftovers of the cranberry sauce/relish/jelly (whatever you want to call it.)

4. This could very well be a snapshot of society-at-large. ;)

5. Cranberries just don't taste very good.

6. We all gained weight over Thanksgiving . . . wait! That's not related . . .

7. There is a conspiracy by cranberry growers to brainwash Americans into believing we MUST have cranberries at Thanksgiving.

Anyhow, these are just my biased, first-glance findings. Please share your own interpretation, I'd love to hear.

And as a little factoid, did you know that polls suggest that as many as 80% of Americans believe JFK's assassination was a conspiracy? Important information, people. Right here.