what’s up

On Tuesday Wes decided he wanted to build a fort. With me. That is important. The plan went like this: build a fort, make a snack, and then play a game whilst eating snacks in the fort. He chose lemon brownies for the snack. Wes is a lemon lover for sure.

Fort building didn’t actually happen until Wednesday, due to a conflict in Wes’ schedule, i.e., something better came along, but I have never seen a boy so intent on a project. Here are some pretty much chronological photos of the construction of said fort:

Snack making went well, but, alas, no pics. Terribly sorry, I am. Game playing in the fort did not go as well. We both felt sick after one turn at Scrabble. It is HOT and STUFFY in a blanket encrusted fort, who knew? We continued our game at the table. It was a fun time.

Moving back in time, Sunday’s Pinterest Recipe, (a new tradition), was Butter Bars. Based on the name of the recipe alone, you would assume and you’d be right, that these would be the bomb. They could actually be a weapon of mass destruction, if you weren’t in any hurry. Death by Butter, Sugar, and Cream Cheese, would be a slow one. But what a sweet way to die. Funny, right?

The bars should be more set up, but no one could wait to let them chill all the way. We’re an impatient lot when it comes to dessert. There is cream cheese in the filling, but strangely it was difficult to taste-which surprised me. There are very few ingredients to have on hand as the base is actually cake mix mixed with butter. I don’t understand why they’re called Butter Bars; they don’t have any more butter in them than you’d expect.


They were a touch too sweet to me. Which is saying something. David LOVED them. Wes loved them. (I see in Wes my love for treats. He may be the only one! Which is not to say I’m happy about it, look at what this love has got me-FAT.) Dad never said, although he ate them. Sam ate a huge helping even after I told him he’d die of diabetes later that night. (Not really, but that would have been mildly humorous and possibly true.) Apparently he can hold his sugar well. Jake and Makaela tried them, but seemed to be less than impressed. Not hipster enough I guess. What will it take to impress you Jake? (Not to worry Jake, I love you anyway, no matter how you feel about my delicious homemade treats.)

Stay tuned for next week’s What’s Up Post. I’m thinking Raspberry Bread Pudding and card making, not necessarily at the same time.


about valentine’s day

Valentine’s Day 2012.

Kevin left EARLY Tuesday morning for Texas.  His professed reason for going to the Lone Star state, (Texas is the Lone Star state, correct?), was for BUSINESS. But I’m sure it had more to do with his new COWBOY boots than his JOB. I’d post a picture of the boots, but the only one I have is terrible even by my low standards. What more really do I need to say other than they’re COWBOY boots?

I don’t like COWBOY boots. They make me laugh and I’m not sure why. I do know that I feel rightfully judgmental when I see real people wearing them. Maybe cuz there cannot possibly be that many REAL COWBOYS in REAL life.

Kevin left presents for Wes and I, bright red bags with red tissue paper and cards for each of us. I mention the full presentation description because the only thing more surprising than his remembering Valentine’s Day is the premeditated purchase of wrapping supplies. It was a wonderful surprise.

Actually Kevin is becoming the present giver in our home, after years of me dominating this position. I realized after Tuesday that I better step up my game. (In my defense I did get a Wes a Valentine’s Pez and Jelly Bellies. I’m not a monster.) I guess I will claim that my gift to Kevin was COWBOY BOOTS.

There, I claimed it.

There’s more to the Valentines’s Day story than just my  basic lack of compassion. It just gets better.

As a favor to my neighbor, (and Wes’ classroom mom), at the last minute I went in her place to Wes’ class party. All I had to do was hand out treats. I got a headache just breathing in all the sugar in the air in the classroom. (Another thing that makes no sense to me… handing out cupcakes and cookies to a bunch of kids already hopped up on Valentine’s candy.)

So, those sugar sated 4th-5th graders were flying high and ready to talk my ears off. Mostly what they wanted to talk about was Wes.

“Why is Wes so funny?” [He gets it from me]

“Does Wes have a little brother?” [That would be Hunter]

“Does Wes play Halo?” [Certainly not]

“How old are Wes’ brothers and sisters?” [Why would they want to know that?]

“Do you know that…

Wes sings I’m too sexy… jumps on our backs at recess… licked marker off his desk… hugs Mrs. —— and asked her to marry him… is the funniest kid in our class… etc… etc.. and I’m talking a lot of etceteras. ”

I was overwhelmed with all this information and although I know that Wes is a good kid and doesn’t mean to hurt anyone, I wasn’t happy with all of what those sugared up narcs were telling me. In fact, I was kinda ticked at him. I gave Wes a lot of dirty looks and told everyone that I was going to ground Wes when he got home.

So of course when Wes got home he assumes I’m going to ground him. Which puts him on the defensive. Of course. And what do I do? Lecture him, of course. (BTW, I was not going to, in fact, ground him. But he didn’t know that).

Maybe y’all think that is what I always do, i.e., over-react, but the fact is that there has been a storm brewing concerning Wes and some of his behavior, and I leapt before I looked at the big picture. Truth be told, the big picture didn’t come into focus for me until late Tuesday evening. I was too quick to condemn and I embarrassed him. Nothing that the kids at school told me was anything I didn’t know already.

So, after my stellar performance at putting Wes in his place, we both had a terrible rest of Valentine’s day. It is my speciality to take a good mood and turn it into bad. He was so sad and dejected and grumpy the rest of the day. And I felt so crappy. His friend invited him over to make cookies and eat pizza and I was only to happy to let him.

When he came home it was clear to me that he was still upset. I tried to talk to him and he told me that he has no friends and no one to hang out with at recess… the two things that cut to my heart the quickest. He worked himself up so much that he missed school Wednesday. There is such a thing as your emotions making you sick. I made him go Thursday and he seems back to himself now. He was positively giddy before he left this morning. ps. 4 boys were at our house yesterday playing with my sweet and crazy Wes. [I’m still not sure what to think about his meltdown over friends/recess. As far as can tell, that really isn’t a problem. I guess we all feel that way sometimes.]

Is it any wonder that he made this cookie for me? Can you see his fake smile? sigh.

I’ve mentioned our new kitty, George Michael, right? What I didn’t know about GM is that he is a chameleon. I think it’s quite fortunate that he matches our decor.

I also underestimated how much I would love, did I say love?, I mean LIKE, this kitty. HI.LAR.EE.US.

a trip to the dentist

Look, I don’t know why I blog, there’s nothing I have to say that anyone wants to hear. But I do it anyway.

Today was my visit to the dentist to have temporary crown replaced with a real one  AND then have another temporary put into place on a different tooth. Meaning I’ll be going to the dentist in 2 weeks to get another permanent crown.

I think going to the dentist is torture. I have never liked visiting the Dentist,  but since having my tooth pulled last year and having a lovely bridge in its place, {pure sarcasm}, I get so nervous I have a hard time sleeping the night before.

First it was the bridge, then it was the root canal and temp crown, then there was today. I’ve learned a few things, among them the fact that I do like gas. Yeah. You know what I mean. I never wanted gas before chiefly because I’m a control freak and the thought that I’d be too ‘out of it’ had to be worse than the pain. I have watched my kids on gas though and they seemed fine. When they had their wisdom teeth removed  Jake was downright happy and hilarious, Kristen was in the ‘zone’ and Jessie just checked out. Not all the way, but enough that her blood pressure dropped. Well, that’s not a good thing, is it? The point is that they were not in pain and/or shaking/crying.

But the drill, no matter how much pain killer and gas, is still so awful. I’m sure that in reality the drill bit must be tiny, but when it’s whirring away in your mouth it sounds cars at the Indy 500 going around the turns. Yeah, I know this due to my nascar obsession.

Well, at least I was able to take myself to Wendy’s for a vanilla frosty shake. My new favorite treat.

Here’s some so-so photos from my so-so life.

Wes, Jake, and Makaela, attempting to coerce Simon out from under the couch.

The apple, aka Wes, does not fall far from the tree.

George Michael, our new kitty, and Wes.

Another one of the recipes I found through Pinterest, Lemon Brownies. They were delish.

That’s all for today, folks. TTYL

these hands


So, why the hand? I found through blog hopping a photo challenge for each day of February, and as you might guess, today is “Hands”. I used my creative license and went with just the one hand. How on earth would I take a photo of both of my hands?

More importantly is the question as to what that hand has to say. Or at least what the hand says to me.

For as long as I can remember I’ve known that I have Man Hands. It has been scientifically studied and it’s true. I’ve felt self conscious about my hands ever since elementary school, the age at which when all good complexes are born, and I continue to feel that way, (although at a significantly lower level). I still cringe when I have to confess, (and this happens all the time don’t you know), my ring size.

They’re also bony, with bulging veins. And then there are the hints of the age spots soon to appear.

When I was in High School my grandparents on my mother’s side moved from Washington to Idaho and lived near us. We’d never been around them much before and so us kids never did develop much of a relationship with them. Certainly not a close one. Guess I should’n’t make assumptions about my sibling’s relationship with them. But I certainly never felt like we were much more then acquaintances. I was actually more than a little bit scared of them. My Grandpa was loud and opinionated and my Granny, I believe, was bedridden that entire time when they lived in that house. Which seemed kinda scary to me at the time. Now it just makes me terribly sad.

I felt that me and my grandparents had nothing in common. Other than Grandpa’s love for cheetos. Yet I was so timid around him that I don’t even know if ever worked up the courage to ask if I could have some of the cheetos that always seemed to be out on a table. Everything in that house reeked of cigarette smoke; probably the cheetos would’ve tasted pretty nasty.

When my mom would take us to their house to visit I would feel so uncomfortable. It was smoky. It was boring. I had nothing in common with these old people. The TV was always so loud, you had to practically scream if you had something to say. It made it very difficult to have any kind of conversation. There was a bit of a ritual when it came to visiting with Granny. I’d go into her bedroom, where she’d be lying on back. I’d stand awkwardly next to her bed, saying hello and not much more. It was the only way I spent anytime with Granny. I remember the dozens of pill bottles crammed on her bedside table. It was later that I wondered what all those pills were for and realized how dangerous that amount of medication had to be. Perhaps they affected her state of body and mind negatively. Which is an entirely different issue to address.

And I remember her hands. I can see them lying on top of the covers, large and veiny with long fingers and covered in age spots. That’s when I knew where my hands came from. I wish that I could say that all the years of me feeling ashamed and embarrassed about something so trivial disappeared and that I embraced my hands lovingly. Pshaw, things are never that simple and uncomplicated with me.

But over time the more I thought of her hands and mine, the less I would feel self conscious of them. It was like my hands made sense. That they were not freaks of nature but an inheritance from my Granny and that made me feel like I belonged to that side of the family. It took years for me to fully appreciate that. And even though I have no memory of ever having had a real conversation with her, (what was I going to say? “Why Grandmother, what large hands you have!”). (Which would’ve been funny.) I like to think that we had a connection through our hands. And that is important because I feel like it is the only one we really had.

Until I found out what good taste she had…


So Wes skipped school this week and went skiing with another delinquent, Drew. Blame Kevin for making the suggestion. You know how much I hate him missing school.

Anyhow. I worried all day about those two 11 year olds loose on a freezing mountain top where who knows what could happen or who knows who might do who knows what to them. But it was for nothing, cuz they returned safe and sound and super, duper, tired. Bet you can’t tell…


And what would a post be without this screen shot of the woman I don’t know whether to love or hate. Hate to love? Love to hate? Since I’m DVR’ing her show now I think I know the answer.