Archive for April, 2007

Anatomy of a birthday party.

My youngest daughter turned 4 years old yesterday. So we had a birthday party. And invited all the family. And they all showed up. Here’s how it went:

We were up at the crack of dawn thanks to my 6-year-old who decided to wake up my 3-year-old 4-year-old by singing that song from Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses — you know…the one that Barbie sang to the little triplets in the movie on their birthday? Yeah, that one. That’s what I woke up to. That song. Over and over again.

I figured I’d better get the girls up and feed them a good nutritious breakfast before the party. So we had chocolate chip cookies with juice and watched some Cartoon Network, because that’s what birthdays are for, dammit.

About an hour later, my husband got up and staggered out into the kitchen for some coffee. Then we got showered and dressed and started Cleaning The House. This was the Semi-Annual Three-Hour Pre-Party Pick-Up event in which many bribes were offered to and accepted by my 6-year-old. During this time, my 4-year-old had at least three tantrums because she didn’t understand the concept of bribery very well and kept trying to just TAKE THE MONEY and it didn’t go over very well.

At 11:00 am, I left the house to go pick up the cake — this year it was a half-sheet white cake with techno-color buttercream frosting with the Babes of Disney, as my husband (drooling helplessly, and not just because of the frosting) lovingly refers to them, dancing all over the top.

By some miracle of timing, we got the house clean, the food ready to grill, and balloons stuck to the mailbox by the time people started showing up.

At 1:00 pm, the official start-time of the party, my husband was grilling things, my father-in-law was standing by to take over the grilling should my husband suddenly collapse for some unknown reason, my step-mother-in-law was asking me if I need any help waxing the floor or reorganizing the junk drawers, and things were rolling quite nicely.

At 1:05 pm, my 4-year-old was finished eating her hotdog and wanted to open her gifts. RIGHT NOW!!!! No one had actually arrived at the party yet except for Grandpa and Grandma, but she still wanted to be into the wrapping paper RIGHT NOW PLEASE. I told her we needed to wait for everyone else to arrive and she agreeably said, “Okay, well then let’s have the cake.”

 Just repeat the previous paragraph about 200 times, and that will bring us to about 2:00 pm, when our last guests, my sister (who’s 8 months pregnant and had been sitting in a car for almost 2 hours) arrived with her husband and their little 16-month-old daughter. They pulled in to our long driveway, and immediately upon exiting their vehicle, rushed over to the GIANT FROG HEAD in my back yard, pointed at it and laughed hysterically, saying to each other: “There it is! There it is!”

They’re, like, big fans of this blog. And they’d just experienced the moment that you yourself had never even considered: a live-viewing of the GIANT FROG HEAD. After that little I’ve-Just-Died-And-Gone-To-Mecca moment, I approached them and offered hugs and kisses and most importantly, a police escort clear path to our one and only bathroom for my extremely pregnant sister.

(cue theme from Mission Impossible)

We made a break for it, dashing across the wide lawn, dodging hot grills, tricycles, and pint-sized cousins, and just as we managed to get through the kitchen, where various other dear old aunts and uncles desperately tried to block the extremely pregnant woman from reaching her destination with exclamations of HOW WONDERFUL she looks, our own mother casually sauntered from the kids bedroom across the short hallway into the one and only bathroom we’ve got and bolted the door shut behind her.

(fizzle-out theme from Mission Impossible)

Forty-five minutes later, my mother emerged from the bathroom, freshly showered, hair soft and shiny, eyebrows plucked, nails manicured and said: “Oh, did you need to get in here?”

Forty-five seconds later, my sister was done in the bathroom, and we were ready to open some presents!

My 4-year-old found something she JUST LOVES in the third package and immediately rushed off to play with it in her room alone where no one can find her so she won’t have to share it. We coaxed her back to the livingroom and got her to open more gifts but she soon found another item that must be played with Post Haste, and so my 6-year-old took pity on her and opened the rest of the stuff.

Not long after all that, my birthday girl had one more massive tantrum because she kept trying to take the one little gift that had been given to my 6-year-old. She had mountains of new things to dig through, but she just had to have her sister’s stuff. So I removed her to her room to discuss it. She didn’t want to discuss it. I told her we needed to discuss it because it was almost time for cake. She said she didn’t want cake. I sighed and got up to leave. As I was leaving the room she began to shriek at the top of her lungs: WAIT! I WANT MY CAKE! over and over again.

It took about a half-hour to diffuse that one. And finally, we had THE CAKE:


You’ll notice in the photo there that a wisp of her hair came quite close to those lit candles. It’s amazing her whole head didn’t just go up in flames. It’s that kind of thing that makes you realize that God is watching, and that He’s probably hoping for the piece with the yellow rose.

You know what the best part of doing the cake is? (No, not the yellow rose….that’s for God. Don’t mess with the yellow rose, okay?) The best part is that once the cake is cut and handed out, my hostess duties are over. That’s when I find a chair and a plate, and scarf down whatever’s left from the buffet. I sit and survey the damage, listen to the sugar-charged screaming voices of exhausted, over-stimulated children, and pronounce it all the best day we ever had.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl.


Their whole day ahead of them.


Those embarrassing search engine moments.

So, I’m just starting to get search engine results, now that I’ve been doing this whole blogging thing for a few months now, and for the most part, it’s been pretty uneventful stuff. Things like country living, homeschooling, earth giant frog, photos of giant frogs, how to make a frog head, and even why does my 3-year-old spit at people. You can see it’s all pretty much on target for what we’ve been discussing here in my little corner of the blogosphere. But earlier today this little gem popped up on the radar:

why does my poop smell like sulfur?

When I typed this question into Google myself, I came up seventh on the list. I’m not quite sure how to feel about this.

First of all, my blog lists seventh on this search term. Seventh. Gee, it really says something about the quality of topics I’ve got going here, doesn’t it?

Second of all, someone actually typed this question into a search engine today.

And third, after asking this question, they clicked on my link to see if maybe I had the answer. Which I don’t. I’m sure I could look it up (we are homeschoolers after all and we firmly believe that the only dumb question is the one that your school teacher made you answer to pass the fucking test), but whoever it was didn’t leave a calling card, so what’s the point. Once I had the answer, I wouldn’t know what to do with it.

And you know, I feel bad for the guy. He needed some serious information, and he ended up here. And I wish him well, whoever he was. I hope he clicked on one of the other top 10 links and found what he needed, like maybe a recipe for a colon-cleansing smoothie, or a support group, or even a hotline (1-800-stinkypoo?) because the whole thing just sounds rather unpleasant.

Dude, whoever you are, I hope you found your answer. It sounds pretty serious. In fact, I’d get that checked if I were you.

Bashful and oh-so-blue.


Look who’s moving in to one of the weathered wooden hutches that hang from our fenceposts.

My kingdom for a better camera.

After Grandma goes home

Me: “So, did you have fun playing with Grandma today?”

6-year-old, sounding a little sad: “Yeah…I guess.”

Me: “What did you play?”

6-year-old: “Fairytopia. I was Elena, and Grandma was Rowena [the evil fairy queen]…but…”

Me: “But what?”

6-year-old, sounding even more disappointed: “Grandma’s just not good at being Rowena. She’s too nice.”

Me: “Oh. Well, yeah, that’s bound to happen. Maybe next time—”

6-year-old, with the light of pure understanding glowing suddenly on her face: “Next time you could be Rowena, Mom! You’d make a GREAT Rowena!”

Another blog has frogage!

Yes, it’s true! We have yet another winner in our current awards program! Congratulations to Heather over at My Supernatural World, for her fabulous post, We Have Tadpoles. Heather is now the proud recipient of one of these:


You might have noticed that Heather’s post only involves small tadpoles, which may not seem to fit the entry requirements, but give it time, people, give it time. In a few months, it’s entirely possible that at least one of those little tadders may grow up to have a GIANT FROG HEAD. We can only hope.

In any event, we should note that Heather’s entry is the only entry that had actual living frogs in it, and we’d like to also congratulate her on not being taken in by the dastardly petshop people who tried to convince her that she needed to create a tropical environment for her tadpoles that were spawned in NON-TROPICAL Iowa. Really, there’s just no limit to what those petshops will try just to make an extra buck. We applaud you, Heather, for standing strong, and we assure you, dear readers, that we will never ever ever award our illustrious award to those rotten petshop people, even if they tried to present us with the most gigantic tropical frog head in the whole world.  

As for the rest of you, who may now be wondering just how in the world to make this woman stop with the giant frog heads already win one of these for yourself, all you’ve got to do is post something that will make people think about GIANT FROG HEADS and then notify me (and then wait for me to notice that you’ve notified me — sorry about that, Heather) and then I’ll come check it out. If I find myself thinking about GIANT FROG HEADS while reading your post, you’ll win.

Please also note that in keeping with April being National Frog Month or whatever it is, our award program will officially close on April 30 and any further entries submitted by then will be listed in a special post on that date. See official rules for details. No purchase necessary to play. Thus ends the spoof on lawsuit-prevention paragraphs and meaningless blog awards.

I’m gonna go watch lots of TV now.


of the larger variety.


Around these parts, we take our bubbles seriously. We don’t mess around with those itty bitty bubble wands. I mean really, why bother with that when you can have THIS:


And all you Earth Day fanatics out there…don’t give me a hard time, okay? I just heard that soap bubbles are GOOD for the grass in some strange way. It kills aphids or something. So, let’s just pretend that we’ve got this massive aphid infestation out on the lawn and I sent my kids out to Take Care Of It.

When they’re done killing all those imaginary aphids, I’m gonna bring ’em inside (the kids, not the dead imaginary aphids) and make ’em watch a couple of hours worth of television. I’m gonna hold ’em down and force PBS Kids on them till they can’t take it anymore and beg me to read War and Peace out loud one more time.

Because I’m THAT kind of homeschooler.

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