Friday, December 23, 2011


My dear son short-sheeted my bed!  He learned how to do it from a book of pranks.  I like to think I can take a joke, but I was pretty annoyed by this one.  What is this, an army barracks?  I had to re-do my entire bedding.  He couldn't wait for me to discover it, so he came to me, all angelic, and said sweetly, "I made your bed for you, Mommy."  I think he felt bad, because I was so excited at the prospect that he had made my bed for me. 

Social butterfly

I sent the kids out to make Christmas deliveries in the neighborhood.  I gave them each half of the stack.  Noah was back in less than a minute.  Twenty minutes later, Sarah is still gone...

Thursday, December 22, 2011


We drove past Dairy Queen today, and Noah read the sign on their billboard: "Pray for health and peace in 2012."  He said, "If they were that concerned about our health, they would sell vegetables instead of ice cream."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Feeding the cute little picky girl

My friends' two girls are staying with us today.  The five-year-old is notorious for saying hilarious things and being a picky eater.  Soon after they got here, Picky Girl announced her hunger.  I asked her what she would like to eat.  She said, "I don't know.  I'm pretty picky, you know."
Me: How about some Cheerios?
PG: No, I'm not a big fan of those.
M:  Rice Krispies?
PG: OK, I like those, as long as they're just plain.
I held up the box.  She approved.  I poured some in a bowl. She frowned.
PG: I only like them bundled up in squares.
I tried not to laugh, but that cracked me up big time. I offered her several other choices, but she refused.
PG: May I be excused?
M: Yes.  I'll leave your bowl of Rice Krispies on the table, in case you get hungry.
PG: [walking away, voice trailing off] I am hungry....

So I failed at breakfast.  Then lunch time arrived.  I was feeling pretty confident about it, because I had stocked up on food that I know she likes: macaroni and cheese, bananas, salami, and yogurt.  I laid out a spread on the table, and all the kids sat down.
PG: I don't like any of this.
M: What about macaroni and cheese?
PG: Nope.
PG's big sister: She doesn't like that anymore.  She used to, but not now.
M: Oh.  Well, what about salami?
PG: Nope.
M: Banana?
PG: Gross.
M: (getting desperate) Yogurt! I know you like yogurt!
PG: I only eat orange yogurt.
M: Oh. I can do that.
I put away the blueberry yogurt and get out a carton of peach.  It's the closest thing I have to orange. I put it in a bowl so she doesn't see that's it's actually peach.  Success!  She eats the whole bowl and asks for another. Thankfully I have one more container of peach.  She eats it too.  I know she spent the day with her grandparents yesterday, so I ask her what she ate over there.  She says, "Potato chips and buttered crackers."  I guess two cartons of peach yogurt is a success.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yogurt war

Noah has been in the tub all afternoon, staging a war between the Dannons and the Yoplaits.  Here is the Dannon side, with General Dannon in front, the six sergeants behind him, and lots of foot soldiers behind them:


Conversation with Noah today.
N: Mom, I'm thinking about becoming a vegetarian.
M: I always knew you would.
[Few minutes of quiet thinking]
N:  Well, maybe I'll be a pigatarian instead.
M: What's that?
N: It's where you're a vegetarian, except for pig.  I can't give up ham, bacon, sausage, pork....
[more quiet thinking]
N: Wait a minute...I don't want to give up double steakburgers either.  I think instead of being a vegetarian, I'll be a meatatarian.

Egg race

The kids had an egg race today. They had to walk to the sidewalk and back balancing their eggs on a spoon.

Noah took off to an early lead.

Sarah caught up and passed him.  They ended up in a tie.

They raced again, and Sarah splatted her egg. 
Noah wanted to splat his too, so he threw it.

It landed in the middle of the street.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Yesterday marked one month since Jason's death.  I went out to his grave, and there was Noah lying on the ground on his side, with his ear right over the grave.  He said he'd had a dream that Jason was still alive when we buried him, so he was listening to see if he could hear him.  Sarah came over and put her head down on the grass and listened.  It was a sad sight, seeing both kids prone on the ground with their heads on the spot where Jason was buried.  Then Sarah said, "I hear him purring!"  That was a little disturbing.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas cats

Marty is getting old and feeling crabby about the new cat, so Christmas makes her pensive...
...and sleepy.
Snickers has a lot of kitten in her, so she loves pouncing on the decorations...
...and throwing them and chewing on them.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What I'm missing

See what it says on the bottom left corner?  "Scan here to join the conversation".   So if I had a smartphone, I could use it to scan that black box and join in a lively conversation about toilet paper.  Since I'm relatively low-tech, if you want to engage me in a conversation about Quilted Northern, you'll have to email me, call me, or if you want to go really old-fashioned....have a live, face-to-face talk. 

Phone scam

The phone rang this morning, and this is what the caller ID said.  Something told me not to answer it.


Sarah was in an allergy research study, and at the end of it, she got a free Ipad2.  I had no clue what it was.  I had to have a kid show me how to turn it on. I still don't really know what all it does, but the kids are enjoying it immensely.   
If you're looking for Noah, you can usually find him in the above position.

Snickers drives him crazy by pouncing on it while he's playing games.

There are often fights over whose turn it is to use it, but sometimes they actually bond over it. 

Moving in

We've been here almost a year, and we're finally almost moved in!  Mike unpacked the box of family pictures and started hanging them in the living room.  I think there are only about two boxes of stuff that we still haven't unpacked. 

Wii for cats

Snickers likes to torture me when I'm trying to do Wii Fit.  She bats at my feet and pounces on dangling cords from the remotes.  She did her weigh-in this morning and gained almost a pound!

Tub fun

These two can spend many happy hours in the tub, especially if they have shaving cream, food coloring, and little containers.  This is their "soda shop". 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Sarah tried to curl her hair with a brush again.  She got it tangled again.  She has scissors in her other hand, begging Daddy to cut it out.  But he's a great daddy, and he patiently untangled it.
Both cats got on the cat gym that Mike and the kids made for them.  Marty has been on the top floor several times, but this is the first time they've both been on it.
I'm reading The Happy Hollisters to the kids.  They love those Hollisters!
The top floor is just big enough for Big Marty.

Snickers did a move like those fainting goats who go stiff-legged and fall over.  It took me awhile to warm up to her, but now I'm totally in love with her.

Candy cane cookies

Every December, Sarah wants to make candy cane cookies.  She brought it up yesterday, and I felt myself making that face that my mom used to make when I would ask the same thing when I was a little girl.  It's that face that says, "Oh no, she wants to make those cookies that take all afternoon and require making two doughs, chilling the dough, rolling it into ropes, braiding the ropes, and twisting them into candy cane shapes, and I know she's going to weasel out after the first five minutes and I'm going to be left with all the work and the mess, and my reward will be these dry, tasteless cookies!"  But I remember what it feels like to be a little girl who wants so much to bake with Mommy in the kitchen like a big girl but who is at the mercy of whatever Mommy says because she's too little to do it all herself.  So I said what my mom always said, "Oh! Candy cane cookies!  That sounds like fun!  Let's do that tomorrow, ok?" and hope she forgets by tomorrow.  

But I never did, and she never does either.  So today we made the dough, divided it, colored it, chilled it, and just as we were getting started rolling it out, Sarah's buddy showed up at the door. 
So they worked on it together for five minutes and then drifted away to play.  
Noah wandered into the kitchen and twisted a couple cookies.  And then it was just me.  When my little girl grows up and leaves home, I'm going to make sure I give her this recipe to take with her so she can experience it with her kids.

Sled dogs

We've been reading The Call of the Wild, and Noah was inspired to build a team of sled dogs.
He used Sarah's Littlest Pet Shop sled and harnessed the dogs to it with safety pins and rubber bands.

Star Wars pizza

We made pizza for dinner.  I was planning to make it round, not realizing how boring and ordinary that was.  The kids came along and took over the rolling, and that's when inspiration struck.
They used Noah's Star Wars cookie cutters to make a Millenium Falcon pizza.
They also made TIE-Fighters and had an air war with them.


One day last week, Sarah got out her face painting supplies and starting working. 
She painted a flower on herself.
Noah requested a spy watch.
She made a girl with red pants and black shoes on my hand.
And Mike got a red heart on his forehead.
Then Noah got out his leather kit that he got for his birthday, and they made coasters and zipper pulls.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas time at the Janes house

The kids set up our nativity set a couple weeks ago.  It was better than they usually do.  I remember the year Noah had all the wise men piled up on baby Jesus like football players.  This year, they were all circled around the manger, and Jesus was sleeping peacefully in the hay.  But today, I came upon this scene:
Seeing the empty manger, I called out to the general population, "Where is Jesus?"
Mike yelled from another room, "In our hearts!"
After interviewing the prime suspects, we learned that Sarah had put baby Jesus safely in Mary's arms.  She knows that's where babies belong.  :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Air attack

I was driving home from Bloomington, lulled into a bored trance.  Noah was in the back, folding paper airplanes.  Suddenly, a plane shot by my ear and stuck in the dashboard:
It's never dull with kids around!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Regular old Monday

Sarah finished the dog puzzle we were working on.
Noah is explaining to me in great detail about the Lego ship he built, including all its features, weapons, and staff.
Marty is hanging out in her bed.

Sarah is singing a song while doing her math.  She can put anything to music!
She's explaining to me (in her extremely expressive way) the difference between odd and even numbers, in case I don't know.
Our new baby, Snickers, is usually in hiding during the afternoon, but she came out today and succeeded in distracting my hard-working student.  
Snickers tried to join Marty in the bed, but Marty rejected her.  Marty has been hissing and growling for the last two weeks, since we got Snickers, but I'm sure they'll end up being friends. 
My industrious little boy has become a 10-year-old who can be pretty tough to motivate.  At math time, he said, "Shouldn't I go clean my room, Mom?  It's pretty messy."  He'll do anything to get out of math.  He just doesn't like getting started.  Once he gets going, he always says it's not so bad and that he even likes it.  When I went to see how his "cleaning" was going, he was on the floor pretending to be a bull.
No wonder Snickers usually only comes out at night!

As for my Monday accomplishments, I did some laundry and filled up the soap dispensers. No pictures of that.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Date with Sarah--part 2

When I took Sarah to the dance performance, we were excited about seeing the Korean dance.  We were disappointed to discover that the Korean dance would only be done at the Sunday afternoon performance.  We had plans for Sunday afternoon, but the timing worked out just right for us to make it in time to see the Korean dance.
As we were watching, Sarah leaned over and whispered to me proudly, "I can't believe I'm Korean!"
She was totally inspired and danced all the way to the parking lot. This time she was wearing her pajamas with feet.  She outgrew them several years ago, so I cut the feet off, and now they only come down to her knees.  We had a nice time. I'm glad I took her.