Sunday, December 31, 2006

Oh No, He's Got a Hoe

In the steamy summer heat of the Oklahoma plains, yellow squash grew in my grandparents garden, to grand proportions. Despite their size, they were quite docile, so I never really understood why exactly my brother found them so intimidating. Perhaps it was their crooked necks or their bright yellow skin.

It never really seemed important until one day my young friend Amy and I found ourselves accosted by the typical younger sibling wanting to refocus our attention on something much more fun such as wrestle mania or monster truck rally, or some other such thing not at all appealing to two prissy grade school girls. Try as we might, we just could not convince him we did not want to play.

Eventually we retreated outside, where he followed and where we happened upon the perfect tool of persuasion, the yellow summer squash. Perhaps in my brother's mind it was somewhat akin to the giant squid, because when Amy and I each picked one up and turned toward him, he ran. And screamed. Like a girl. Now this was fun. Maybe playing with your younger brother wasn't so bad after all.

And so we ran, each with a bright yellow squash in hand, chasing him round and round the house, around the outbuildings, through the yard, up and down the drive way, Amy and I laughing all the way, with him occasionally looking over his shoulder to see if we still brandished our squash, the magnificent summer squash.

There was just one problem with our squash waving rampage. In this larger than life game of rock, paper, scissors we were playing, there were several things that would come out on top over squash. Something probably Amy and I should have considered. Then we wouldn't have been so surprised when he emerged from behind the house wielding a hoe.

"Oh no! He's got a hoe."

When we saw it we ran. And screamed. Like girls. And so he chased us both, round and round the house, around the outbuildings, through the yard, up and down the driveway, laughing all the way.

Political Spotlight of the Week

This week the Political No No of the Week Award takes a back seat to the political spotlight focused on the passing of former President Gerald Ford, the man who I, even as a budding Democrat, backed in my kindergarten mock presidential election. Can't say my decision was based on political positions, but gee he seemed like a nice guy. In all seriousness, I must tip my hat to anyone who is willing to endure the slings and arrows, incredible stress and never-ending work hours that the presidency brings.

Happy New Year!

After a brief holiday respite, I'm back, blogging away for your reading pleasure.

Friday, December 22, 2006

And the Winners Are . . .

The lucky winners of our Country Colloquialism Contest:

1st -- Karin of DoubleDutyDiary

The first thing I thought of when I read about this contest was a plaque that rests above the kitchen table in my Oma's (grandma's) house in New Jersey. It's written in the country German (Platdeutch), as opposed to the formal German (Hochdeutsh), as my grandparents were both born and raised on rural farmland in Northern Germany. So it's just perfect for the country angle of your contest.

Anyway, the text is written in "low" German, with very pretty script writing, and an illustration of a glamorous woman. So, until you ask for a translation, you'd never know that it really says:

This is my kitchen and I do as I damn well please.

2nd -- Jean

My mother would get exasperated with dealing with her six kids and the thing I remember most hearing her say was, "Sometimes I just want to get my bonnet and leave!" Guess the reason I remember it so vividly was because I was afraid she might just do it. I could picture her walking up the road headed east, going up the slight hill with her bonnet on her head and never coming back. Made me shape up!

3rd -- Jennie

Better to be pissed off than pissed on - until i had my son i had no idea how anyone would know...

Congratulations Ladies! You should be receiving your prizes soon.

Overheard at the Mall

"We faxed our list to Santa. So we don't have to wait in line, do we."

From the looks, several bedraggled mommies in the crowded Santa cue would have pummeled this woman with their designer diaper bags, if only they wouldn't have had to give up their place in line to do it.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thanks Santa -- Part of the Thanks Giving Series

Dear Santa,

Just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for your surprise appearance yesterday. I was beginning to think some strange sect of Christmas Krishnas was following us through Macy's, jingling bells and chanting, "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas." A little dismayed by their persistent holiday spirit, I turned around to spy you waving your arms wildly trying to get my attention. If I had waited another moment, you might have actually taken flight.

There you stood in all your seasonal glory, beard disheveled, hat askew and slightly out of breath. "Merry Christmas," you managed to pronounce and then waited for our response. The twins and I stared at you, mouths agape, stunned by all the commotion and the crowd of people now surrounding us. Your bell-ringing posse alone must have numbered 15 or more and now customers and staff were gathering as well.

"Merry Christmas," I responded.

You looked at me as if, "Is that it Lady? I run through this store with my band of red clad zombie bell ringers, chasing after you, so your babies can have the joy of seeing Santa M. Claus, and all I get is 'Merry Christmas.' Didn't anyone give you the Santa M. Claus Guidebook that explains how to torture your children with threats that I am always watching. I am the greatest thing for childhood discipline since 'spare the rod and spoil the child.' I am the Grand Pooh-bah of the kiddy Christmas experience. And this, My Dear, is where at all begins."

The look in my eyes, must have said, "Yeah, sorry, I'm not into that."

Perplexed, you rather huffily asked if the girls could have some candy. To which I responded "No, sorry, but thank you. They're really too young for candy. It's kind of a choking hazard."

A choking hazard? Too young for candy?!!?!! Where are you from woman? This is the United States of America. There's no such thing as too young for candy. If you won't let them have candy, Christmas will be ruined. What is the point of Christmas if they can't have candy?

Your band of bell ringers collectively took a step back, as if they expected you might collapse from shock.

The twins watched you closely and then glanced at me as if to ask, "Mommy, is he going to be okay?"

"Thank you, Santa, for stopping to talk to us. That was very nice of you."

You spun on your heels and turned away in a daze, baffled by the strange reaction from this woman who clearly did not understand Christmas and her two mutant children who did not squeal in delight at the sight of you. Then off you trundled with your band of merry bell ringers to surround some other unsuspecting soul and bring them Christmas joy.

Thanks Santa for your surprise visit and may you have a very merry Christmas.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Can Can It Get Any Better -- Dancing Lights


Hours spent shopping online only to click on at least 37 items that said "Out of Stock" or "This item has been added to your bag and is expected to ship 1/30/07" (Oh yeah, that will be helpful.) have led me to this. I am mesmerized by pretty flashing lights.

My conclusion -- Christmas shopping sucks big lemons, even online. More proof giving birth must have given me a big dose of reality. I no longer love spending hours at the mall looking for just the right strappy sandals. I would rather clean my house. How sick is that?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Just See Those Snowflakes Falling -- Web Funtivity

Here is a great way to while away a few spare moments and reminisce about those third grade arts and crafts days when the most dangerous tools in your arsenal were rubber cement and round-tipped scissors.

Make your own snowflakes online here.

Thanks to DoubleDutyDiary for the 411. What a blast!

Here are two of mine:

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mimi's Peanut Patties

This is one of my favorite candies. My Mimi used to make them every year at Christmas and, if we were lucky, at Thanksgiving. I think they tasted extra good because of all the work that went into them, standing over a hot stove and stirring . . . and stirring . . . and stirring. Oh, but they are so worth it. Try this recipe out yourself and taste the love.

2 ½ Cups sugar, 2/3 Cup Karo Light Corn Syrup, 1 Cup evaporated milk, 2 Cups raw peanuts, mix together in heavy three quart pan, cook over low heat 1 ¼ hour, stirring frequently. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon butter and 3-4 drops red food coloring. Beat until creamy and loses its gloss. Drop from tablespoon onto waxed paper to form patties. Let stand one hour before serving.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Political No No of the Week Award

This week's award goes to CNN for their inappropriate focus on and repetition of their hard-hitting (not) story regarding the possible shift in power from Democrats to Republicans in the United States Senate. The real story is that a man, yes a real live person, Senator Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota), who is devoting his life to serving our country, is gravely ill. CNN jumped over that story, past several stages of logical thinking, and straight into the hyperreactive story that power in the Senate might change hands.

I suppose that is one way to get ahead of your competitors, by jumping past what is happening and reporting what might happen. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict the future. In their haste to beat competitors, CNN has gotten it wrong many times in the past and apparently may have this time as well. At the very least, they have come across as ghoulish and so competitive that they are more concerned about sensationalism than reality and human emotion.

It is hard to trust a news source that repeatedly reports bad information in an effort to be first or draw attention through overblown sensationalism. CNN just took another step down in my list of reality-based news sources.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Internet Outage

Sorry folks, no news available for Friday because of an Internet outage thanks to AOL, the less-service-more-monopoly people.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

From the Toddler Files

As we relaxed on the floor together before nap time yesterday, the youngest of my 17-month-old twins pointed to her knee and said, "Knee." Encouraged by my response, she pointed to her sister's knee and said, "Knee." Realizing she was on a roll, she pointed to her mouth and said "Mouth." Excited by her sense of accomplishment, she then proudly stuck her finger up her nose and said, "Nose."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My Kind of Cooking

I like to shop at estate sales. A couple of years ago, I came across a lovely little recipe book that was charmingly vintage, with front cover illustration, printed tabs and hand-written recipes. It was so lovely, in fact, I asked if they were sure they wanted to sell it. They said yes, so I carried my little treasure off home.

More interested in its look than its contents, I occasionally gazed upon it admiringly, but never explored it thoroughly until about a week ago when I opened it and found that the only things behind the basic cooking advice and recipe tabs were recipes for desserts and spaghetti and the wine guide seen above.

Now that's my kind of cooking!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Today's Special Feature -- The Virtual Cookie Exchange

Fun, fun, fun 'til Mama takes the cookies away.

The recipes I have posted for today's cookie exchange make me think of fun, the first (Doggie Cookies) because of the all the tricks and happy doggie smiles they inspire, the second (Microwave Pecan Toffee) because it comes from my Aunt Jean, and the third (Date Pinwheel Cookies) because of the many family memories they bring flooding back. Their sweet aroma takes me away.

Doggie Cookies -- Don't Forget Fido

Don't forget Fido this holiday season. These fun cookies make an apparently tasty treat. I can't recall where I picked up the recipe, but it has been a hit with our poochie pals.


- 2 cups whole wheat flour

- 1 Tablespoon baking powder

- 1 cup peanut butter

- 1 cup milk


Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk, then add dry ingredients and mix well. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool, then store in an airtight container.

And in show of appreciation:

Apparently the appropriate way to claim something as your own is to rub your fanny on it. I will keep this in mind next time someone hits on my husband.

Aunt Jean's Microwave Pecan Toffee

Here is a recipe you will love for Pecan (or you can use almonds) Toffee. It's quick & easy.


First, butter a cookie sheet and chop or break up the nuts. Then these are the ingredients--

½ lb. Butter (no substitutes)

1 C. Sugar

2 Tablespoons water

1 Tablespoon white corn syrup

1 & ½ C. Broken or chopped pecans

1 pkg (6 oz.) Milk Chocolate chips

Melt butter in 2 quart glass bowl (takes nearly 1 & ½ minutes). I use one of those that looks like a big measuring cup with a handle. Add sugar, water and corn syrup. Stir thoroughly until creamy, like lemon pudding. Cook 4 minutes on high. Stir. Cook 3 minutes on high. Stir.

Continue cooking on high for one minute at a time until mixture is a golden brown (about the color of khaki). This takes two times on my microwave - may take more or less time on yours. If you cook it too long, it separates and is oily and sugary instead of crunchy! When it is ready, add nuts and pour immediately onto a greased cookie sheet. Spread quickly (it won’t cover the whole sheet). Mixture hardens rapidly. If it is too thick, just mash it down with your spoon. Sprinkle hot mixture with the chocolate chips, and spread the chocolate with a knife as it melts. Let cool on the counter for about an hour; then in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Break into pieces and serve.

Date Pinwheel Cookies

My great-grandmother, Mamaw P., passed down the recipe for these delicious date filled cookies to my grandmother, Mimi, who passed it on to my mother, who passed it on to me. Not only are they yummy, but beautiful too. They look like you just swept them off the baker's shelf and onto a plate. The spirals of date and nut filling surrounded by cookie always make me think of holidays and big family gatherings.

I hope your family will enjoy them as much as mine has.

(Note: My great-grandmother cooked with instructions such as a "pinch" of this and a "dash" of that and "cook it until it looks like this," so the recipe may not be the most detailed.)


- 2 cups chopped dates
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup chopped pecans

Mix together, cook until thick and cool.

Cookie Dough

- 1 pound light brown sugar
- 1 cup Crisco
- 3 eggs
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream sugar and Crisco together. Add eggs. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt. Combine all ingredients. Chill dough 1 hour. Roll out. Spread filling. Roll up dough. Wrap in wax paper. Chill 3 hours. Slice in 1/2 inch slices. Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 until golden brown.

Mad Props to Jenn for the Virtual Cookie Exchange

The great idea for a virtual cookie exchange was brought to us by Jenn of Jenn's Journal. Thanks Jenn!

For more recipes on the blogs of other cookie exchange participants, just click here.

Thanks for Visiting ZoKai

Click here to go to the homepage.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Under the Heading "Duh"

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!

Okay, the long sleeved shirt with the mini I can understand, totally. Sexy if done right.

But really, adding the yellow rubber boots and white knee socks? And the scarf, obviously because someone stopped the photo shoot and said, "Wait, she's dressed exactly like Minnie Mouse. Here, let's add a scarf and maybe no one will notice."

"It's a small world after all."

If this poor girl showed up at a party wearing this outfit, I would not make fun of her. The design person responsible for this "look," however, should be forced to drive six screaming toddlers around in a minivan for an afternoon with "It's a Small World" blaring in surround sound. If Mickey and Minnie can be singing it, all the better.

If, after my glowing review, you would like to purchase above outfit for yourself or someone you loathe/love, you can do so here. They actually have a special page encouraging you to buy this, eh-hem, "look" as a complete ensemble.

And yes, I do note the irony of yesterday's post regarding my girls' fashion sense, but wearing bloomers on your head so pales in comparison to this.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Shootin' Flies

I come from pioneer stock, the sort of folk who teach their children basic survival skills before they start kindergarten, you know just in case the teacher takes the class on a field trip to the woods and abandons them there, or maybe a rattle snake shows up on the playground for recess, or the cafeteria runs out of food and you really need to be able to know which part of the cactus to eat. So, it's only logical that along with our advanced survival skill training, each of us kids received a few little perks in the way of things you might need to survive in the wilderness, like pocket knives and BB guns and fully operational little motorcycles, at age five for boys and ten for girls. There's that darn glass ceiling again.

It was normal too for us to be left to our own devices to explore our surroundings and implement these treasured survival tools we had been given. In fact it was our mission. On any given weekend, my brother, cousin and I could be found riding our motorcycles through the gully on my grandparents' acreage or stealthily tracking down some hapless furry creature. Perhaps it was cruel of our parents to loose us on Mother Nature like that, in all our glory, but Mother Nature has a way of keeping things even.

It was not long after the three of us began our little adventures, terrorizing crawdads and blazing motorcycle trails through grassy fields, that a mystery arose. Uncle Joe's prized orange 1973 Volkswagen Beetle began showing unusual signs of wear, little dings, like little pock marks in its otherwise glowing complexion.

He couldn't imagine what was causing this apparently spontaneous phenomenon. For some time it had been safely parked near his home, away from prying eyes and offensive road debris that might be kicked up by inconsiderate drivers.

The mystery continued for a few weeks, all the while more pock marks appearing in the once flawless complexion of the little Beetle.

Then one day, as Aunt Kathy stood washing dishes and looking out the window over her kitchen sink, she saw it. My cousin, brave frontiersman that he was, stood BB gun scoped in . . . on the Beetle.




Later that night, Uncle Joe asked him why was he shooting the little Beetle.

To which he responded, "I was shootin' flies."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thanks to Aunt Jean -- Part of the Thanks Giving Series

Just when I thought I couldn't possibly write today, a little gift showed up in my email, the picture above, with a precious note from my Aunt Jean. That's how Aunt Jean is, always dropping a line or an encouraging word at just the right time. I'm beginning to think she can read my mind across the miles.

I can never feel sour when I encounter her sunny disposition.

So, thanks Aunt Jean for:

1. Being my best role model.

2. Living a life to always be proud of, leading by actions rather than words.

3. Showing me, with style, what a loving, devoted marriage looks like.

4. Telling me stories about our family I've never heard from anyone else.

5. Accentuating the positive, eliminating the negative and not messing with Mr. In-Between.

6. Showing me how beautiful 75 can be.

7. Ignoring my faults and finding my strengths.

8. Telling me about our similarities. It always makes my day.

9. Marrying a great guy like Uncle Bob and sharing your family with all of us.

10. Showing me a softer side of Papa as your big brother.

And the bonus, the $20 accidental gift from the Tooth Fairy (You and Uncle Bob) which I shall never forget.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

My mom told me when I was 8 you didn't exist, but I knew she was wrong. You kept coming, right up until I got married anyway.

So, what's the dealio?

Look, I can understand if you're a little intimidated by Hub-a-dub's 6'8" frame, but he's a heavy sleeper. He once slept through our smoke alarm going off while I got up, found the source and eliminated the smoke, even though I woke him three times. Trust me. He won't notice you dropping off a few presents, especially small shiny ones.

So, I hope you'll reconsider and come visit me again this year. Here's what I really, really want:

1. Magic pixie dust to sprinkle on Hub-a-dub's head to cure his blindness to dirty messes and make him thoroughly enjoy cleaning house, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds -- in extra-strength please;

2. Flying diapers that fly right off babies' bottoms when they're dirty, taking all the poop and pee with them, the kind that fly straight to the dump without ever sitting in a stinky trash can in my garage;

3. Surfer girl hair, shiny, thick and long down to my waist -- wash and wear, dries in two minutes flat;

4. Bodacious beach babe body to go along with aforementioned surfer girl hair, think Beyonce meets Beach Blanket Bingo;

5. The good sense to appreciate having said body while it is in its prime;

6. Certificate for surfing lessons;

7. Maximum load memory chip for my brain, so I can store all the memories of my babies and family and never ever lose them or let them fade;

8. Stylish self-cleaning luxury SUV, built toddler-tough; and

9. Happy place distractor ray to zap myself with when I watch Sing and Dance with Barney for the 589th time.

Oh, and the perfect stocking stuffer, a T-shirt from here.

Love and kisses,

p.s. I'll make sure the chimney is unlocked.

This letter was written in response to a Meme started by Tater and Tot. I'd love to hear what you have to say to Santa. Karin (if you have the energy after NaBloPoMo), Sonya (if you have time in the midst of your international move) and Kelly, tag your it!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Seller's Market

Hub-a-dub sometimes likes to sell CD's. He had over 600 when we married.

The problem with his little hobby is he "accidentally" sells my CD's and keeps his own. I've grown tired of losing my little gems from retroville -- The Beastie Boys, Til Tuesday, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Garth Brooks (How did that get in there?). So after his most recent trip to the CD shack, I asked to see his receipt.

AH yes, mine, yep, that one was mine, and "Oh My God! You sold my Billy Squire Signs of Life CD? The CD that my freshman roommate and I listened to like a thousand times my first semester of college? You have to go and get it back."

And so he did, bless his little soul, the same exact one, with the little crack in the middle of the front cover of the jewel case, lucky, lucky man. This Billy Squire Signs of Life CD he sold for $10 cost him $40 to buy back.

As a result I have shared with him this little bit of advice that seemed so obvious to me, but then again it's not like I have a degree in mathematical physics or anything, like him -- "If you don't like it and can't remember why you ever would have bought it, maybe you didn't. No more CD selling until I preview what's up for bids, please."

Of course this would be the same advice I shared with him last time he sold a bunch of my CD's. I suppose it continues to be a seller's market.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Simple Cinnamon Citrus Air Freshener

A simple recipe for do-it-yourself air freshener. I was a big fan of scented candles until I learned that many have lead in their wicks. Now I opt for other options, such as the following.


1 Orange
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg


Fill small saucepan half way with water. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut orange in 1/2 inch slices and add to water. Heat over medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low. Be sure to add water as liquid reduces. Do not leave unattended.

*A dash of ground cloves can also make a nice addition to the mix.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Just the Funniest

The funniest story I have read in ages. Cruise on over to Call Me Soccer Mom and Die and take a minute to read Lizard in Labor. Just scroll down to November 16 and the big picture of the lizard.

Call Me Soccer Mom and Die will be added to my "Good Reading" list to the right as soon as I can stop laughing.

Political No No of the Week Award

This week's award goes to C-SPAN for making former President Jimmy Carter's mention of eventual funeral plans one of their top stories in "Capital News" online this afternoon. With all due respect to Mr. Carter, with laser-like focus on such crucial matters, who has time for discussion of Palestine Peace Not Apartheid? C-SPAN we know you can do better.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Shopping Paradise -- Finding the Finds

I've had a spin around the Internet and I've reached this conclusion. It's a shopping paradise. All sparkly-eyed and eager, I said a while back I was going to do my holiday shopping on the Internet and promised to share my best finds with you. Well, yes I am doing my shopping on the Internet, but the finds, the finds, the finds, they are so many. Plus I've found that this idea of sharing finds, yes, well, it's already been done, and so much better than I could hope to do it. So, I will simply share with you the links to the other hip sharers of finds as follows:

- It's a hiptastic list extravaganza over at Mom's Daily Dose (props to my friend Karin at DoubleDutyDiary for cluing me in);

- check out the Indie Collective 2006 Holiday Gift Guide for funky finds of a different kind;

- is the hip spot for techy girl in all of us;

- boasts smart things for the metro baby; and

- lots of lovely goodies are in store in the Cool Mom Picks 2006 Holiday Gift Guide.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Under the Heading "Duh"

Okay, does anyone else see a problem here, or is it just me? Am I the only one who looks at this picture and sees a trampoline with a big stick attached?

"New this year, our Trampo-Stick-O-Riffic -- for concussions, broken ankles and blunt force trauma all in one. Pick one up today at your local broken glass and lead-tainted candy retailer."

What were they thinking?

Trampolines are far too dangerous for children this young, unless of course we attach a big stick. Yes, that solves everything.

(*This item, the Kid-Riffic Jump Smart, actually available on from Kid-Riffic Toys.)

Snowed In With the Kids?

If you've been blasted by that supersized storm sweeping the plains and midwest, you might want to check out the fun things for parents and kids at the BBC web site. Just click here.

Welcome to Family Memory Month

Throughout December ZoKai will feature fun family stories and interesting, huhuhm hopefully interesting, tidbits.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Secrets of a Real Life Mom

I go out with out makeup sometimes, on purpose. I mean no makeup at all, not just like I forgot my mascara. This never would have happened before babies. I could have been running a 102 temperature and on my way out to buy TheraFlu, and I would have stopped to put on makeup. I don't know. It's like giving birth gave me a big dose of reality or something.

You know what else? I have used diaper ointment as hand cream. And it works great! No, it's not some beauty secret I found in a magazine or on the internet. Just something that came to me one day between diapering bottoms and washing my dry, cracked, bleeding hands for the 89th time.

Here's a good one. I go to bed when I am tired. No more of that "it's too early to go to bed" nonsense. Oh yeah, bring on the jammies and the soft cotton sheets, Baby.

I'm a little less of a daredevil. I've lost the urge I used to have to go skydiving, because, gee, wouldn't it just be silly if Mommy died jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

And here's one I hate to admit. I have a lot better perspective on where my mother was coming from. I know. I know. We all thought this day would never come, but it's inevitable. It's like the changing of the seasons.

These and other secrets I blame on motherhood and the sudden rush of sanity it brings with it.

It's Only a Day Away

Tomorrow begins Family Memory Month on ZoKai. Hope you'll come back and hang with us for some fun stories and a little reminiscing.

Thanks Mom, Part of the Thanks Giving Series

My mom will be surprised by this post. I don't think she realizes how grateful I am for the life lessons she has taught me. She is not always an optimist. I like to call her my little gray storm cloud, but she has taught me to see the world in a way I like. I hope to do as well teaching my daughters.

So, thanks Mom for teaching me:

1. Never be defined from outside yourself. Never let anyone else tell you who you are.

2. You can be anything you want to be, and I will love you no matter what you are.

3. Be colorblind. Race does not matter.

4. Men can cook and women can mow the lawn. I will never forget getting the answers wrong on a matching worksheet in kindergarten because I matched the mommy to the lawnmower and the daddy to the stove. Despite my repeated objections, the teacher still marked my answers wrong. What can I say? Thanks to my mom, I was ahead of my time, at least for Gotebo, Oklahoma, circa 1975.

5. Stand up for what you believe, even when you won't be rewarded for it, perhaps especially when you won't be rewarded for it.

6. Appreciate nature, respect it, and care for it.

7. It's okay to be different. Different is good.

8. Don't care so much about what other people think.

9. Janis Joplin, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones rock.

10. Don't judge others. They're not perfect and neither are you.

One last thing, thanks for being the cool mom. There is just not much better in fifth grade than the day your mom picks you up in a flaming orange Corvette.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Yes Sir, Yes Sir, Five Bags Full

In response to Kelly's good-natured comment on my "Did You Know Coffee Is Good for You?" post earlier today, I decided I should share the rest of the story with you.

As I wandered through the aisles of our local grocer Sunday afternoon, dazed from the glory that is twin motherhood combined with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it dawned on me that my shopping cart floated along with five, yes five, bags of coffee tucked neatly in the bottom. I realized that the folks up front, and now my friends in the blogosphere, might think I have a wee bit of a problem.

Not so much. I just like coffee, one or two cups a day usually. I just couldn't decide which coffee would be best. Hazelnut is my favorite, but I can't find the kind I like. So, I picked up Hawaiian Hazelnut. Is there a difference? Vanilla Nut is a safe bet. I've had that one before. Into the cart it went. Starbucks Sumatra, one of my favorites, and Mom will like that when she comes for Christmas. Serena Organic Blend, also good and it's organic. And finally, Cinnamon Vanilla, just so holidayish, sounds perfect for family visiting during the holidays. With all these at my house, there will surely be something for everyone. Until I got home and remembered, uh oh, I think Mom only likes Starbucks French Roast.

Obama in '08?

If you are one of the many who would like to see Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) run for President in 2008, you can sign a petition encouraging him to do so. The campaign web site of Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) now features an easy fill-in form letting you express your support for an Obama presidential run. Click here to go to petition form.

While I am not yet certain who I will vote for, there is one thing of which I am certain, having Obama in the race would be good for the party and good for the nation.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Did You Know Coffee Is Good for You?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I take comfort in the fact that Dr. Mehmet Oz, author of You: The Owner's Manual, and frequent guest on Oprah says coffee is good for you. A little coffee is not a bad thing, my saving grace.

Just the Coolest -- The Science of Snowflakes

If you, like me, live somewhere where you are not getting a good dose of holiday snow, you might find extra fun. The web site developed by Kenneth Libbrecht, a Caltech Professor studying the physics of snowflake growth, features fabulous photos of actual snowflakes. Some of the photos are so fabulous, in fact, they are featured on a series of US Postal Stamps this year.

As an added bonus, the site offers snowflake wallpaper you may download to your computer for free.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Mama Always Said

Top Five Things I've Said that I Never Would Have Imagined Before Becoming a Parent:

1. "Don't put that in your nose." This is my constant refrain. I'm just waiting for the day I turn around and find one of them with a green bean wedged in a nostril.

2. "Don't step on your sister." Why this is so appealing escapes me.

3. "We don't eat things off the floor." Ah yes, a crusty bit of dried cheese from breakfast looks much more appetizing than the chicken and carrots Mommy was just trying to feed me.

4. "It's not polite to grab there." How do they know just the wrong place to grab? It's like a homing beacon.

5. "Don't stick your hand in the poopy." You would think it was like water to a dying man the way the reach for it.


* "It's 8:30. I'm going to bed."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Political No No of the Week Award

And the award goes to . . . Senator-Elect Sherrod Brown, newly elected Democrat from Ohio, for his exchange today with fellow Democrat, Senator-Elect Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

On "Face the Nation" this morning, Ms. McCaskill had the nerve to suggest that Democrats and Republicans should start working together seriously to fix Social Security rather than continuing to use the issue to try to make each other look bad.

Unfortunately, Senator-elect Brown responded pompously that he didn't know that was what was planned and launched into a self-serving spiel about what he personally had done to benefit those in need of prescription medications in his own state. Apparently he entirely missed Ms. McCaskill's point. So today, Senator-elect Brown receives our coveted Political No No of the Week Award, along with marks of "Does not pay attention" and "Does not play well with others" for his unwillingness to play nicely even with those in his own party.

Under the Heading "Duh"

In the whirlwind that is parenthood, if there is one thing that is drilled into your mind it is that nothing is safe. In order to baby proof your home, you must seek expert advice, because even the youngest children are capable of conjuring lethal danger from thin air in ways that you as a normal human could not possibly imagine. Parents this is to be your mantra, "Nothing is safe. I know not the dangers of the world. I must seek wisdom to baby proof my home."

In an effort to place some sort of bounds upon this limitless task of protecting baby from everything from electrical outlets to falling meteorites, I purchased a little guidebook called, Baby Proofing Basics: How to Keep Your Child Safe by Vicki Lansky. When I found the following inside, I realized perhaps even I, a first-time parent, do not need a book to tell me everything.

Click on picture to enlarge . . .

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Let the Shopping Begin

A friend clued me in about the collection of good finds at Cool Mom Picks, so I thought I would share them with you too. There really are some cool things in their Holiday Gift Guide. This is not anything I receive any sort of recompense for, just some neat places to shop I thought you might enjoy. You can cruise through my favorite picks from the list below or go to the Cool Mom Picks Holiday Gift Guide by clicking on their button in the sidebar to the right. Happy holidays.

My picks:

Our Green House -- eco-friendly and something for everyone, my personal favorite.

Duck Duck Goose -- just the cutest children's boutique.

Uncommon Goods -- something for everyone, a little pricey, but just so hip. Their "Recycled" section is extra fun.

Chocolate Cake Club -- fun things for families. With a name so good, how could it be bad?

Mayhar Drygoods -- artisan crafted goodies for the kiddies.

Snapdragon Baby Socks -- socks that don't get lost. What a great idea!

Potato Ears -- very much about baby, not much to see for others on your list, but they get bonus points for the chic carseat covers.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Big Reveal -- New Year's Day -- A Whole New Me

Look out folks. I'm going Kirstie Alley on you. Recently, Kirstie appeared on Oprah strutting her stuff in a bikini to show off her slender new bod after losing 75 pounds on the Jenny Craig weight loss program. She said it was very motivating knowing she would be sharing her results with the world. I can imagine it was.

For the past three months I've been on the Weight Watchers flex plan and have lost 25 pounds. I have 10-15 more to go. They say the last 10 pounds are the hardest. So, here goes. To make sure I stay on track, I'm giving myself a little extra incentive. No, I won't be posting a picture of myself in a bikini, (You can all breathe a sigh of relief.) but I will be posting before and after pictures on New Year's Day. I might even don an evening gown for the after photo.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe

We eat cranberries once or twice a year and every time I think, "We should do this more often." I was a little intimidated by them as a cook until last year when I made my first cranberry sauce. This morning I whipped up a new recipe. It's actually very simple. So I am sharing it for anyone who, like me, has ever been intimidated by cranberries.

Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe


-1 cup fresh cranberries, washed and drained
-1 medium green apple, cored and chopped into half-inch pieces
-1/3 medium orange chopped into half-inch pieces, leave rind on
-1 cup carbonated limeade beverage (12 ounces of 7Up or Sprite may be substituted)
-ground cinnamon to taste
-ground nutmeg to taste


Place all ingredients in sauce pan over medium heat. Cook with lid on until sauce begins to simmer. Remove lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop open. Remove from heat. Serve hot over toasted English muffins or your favorite breakfast pastry, or serve cold along with turkey or ham.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Announcing ZoKai's Country Colloquialism Contest

ZoKai's new Country Colloquialism Contest begins today. Leading into Family Memory Month in December, we are requesting that you send in your favorite country saying, new or old, original or not, for consideration.

First prize: $25 Visa Gift Card
Second prize: Mary Kay Satin Hands Gift Set
Third prize: Mary Kay Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion for Feet & Legs

Click Here to Submit Your Entry to Please type "Country Colloquialism Contest" in the subject line. Be sure to include your name and contact information along with your entry. ZoKai will not share your information and will not use it for marketing purposes. All entries become the property of and its owners. Contest open to residents of the continental United States only. One first, one second, and one third prize will be awarded. Chances of winning dependent upon number of entries.

Contest ends December 21, 2006. Winners will be announced by posting on on December 22, 2006.

Good luck to all!

Iraq -- Something to Agree On

Now this seems like something we could all agree on:

"These are serious times for our country, and with their votes two weeks ago, Americans demanded a feasible strategy with defined goals in Iraq – a strategy no longer driven by ideology and politics, but one that is based on a realistic assessment of the sobering facts on the ground and our interests in the region." an excerpt from Senator Barack Obama's remarks Monday to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

This seems pretty straightforward and simple -- ". . . a strategy no longer driven by ideology and politics, but one that is based on a realistic assessment of the sobering facts on the ground and our interests in the region." Fact-based decision making seems like a good idea. Why can't so many of our leaders come to a point where they are willing to work on it honestly and put the good of our nation and the men and women in our military ahead of the good of their party?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Christmas Shopping

I hate the crowds of Christmas shopping. Last year, someone almost ran into me for a parking spot. So this year I will be trying a new way of shopping. I am going to try shopping in the mom blog community online. I have noticed advertisements from big brand names, such as JCPenney and Baby Zone as well as really cute boutique lines like Javis Davis. It will be a fun way to shop. Plus I like doing business with the people in my community. I will be sure to clue you in on the best of what I find.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Will Obama Run?

As a mom of toddler twins, I rarely set aside time to watch any specific television programs, but today I will carve out a precious few minutes of toddler time to watch "The Situation Room" on CNN which will feature speculation on potential '08 presidential candidates.

My hope is that the discussion will reveal new information about the intentions of Barack Obama, perhaps the most exciting political candidate to hit the scene since JFK. He has hinted he is seriously considering running. I can't wait to hear his decision.

Why? His political views so far seem moderate, his rhetoric is reasonable, and his debating skills are exceptional. He exudes a warmth and genuineness that make his undoubtedly high IQ unintimidating. He has real potential to win a presidential race, but more importantly he has real potential to be a great President.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Under the Heading "Duh"

In sorting through the mountains of toddler paraphernalia that now fill our home, I ran across this little tidbit.



Sometimes you just have to wonder.

Isn't It Wonderful?

Isn't it wonderful when they learn how to feed themselves? Though I know I'll miss the cuddly bottle times.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Political Mom

The soothing voices of C-SPAN drone in the background as I sit in front of my computer. "If you can't be a highway, just be a trail," pops out at me, and I realize I'm watching the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Groundbreaking. It reminds me why I care enough to share my political views.

Political expression is not encouraged in the United States. In fact, it's downright discouraged. Expressing your political views at the office is considered career suicide, unless maybe you are a political pundit or a politician and even then it can get you into trouble. For years I kept my political mouth shut in public. Who doesn't like having a paycheck and a place to live?

Finally, my conscience broke through and I got politically involved again, campaigning for candidates, leading meet-ups and blogging. Politics is not pretty. It's an ugly process. If report cards were given, many of the people involved, perhaps most, would receive marks like, "Does Not Play Well With Others," "Talks Too Much," and "Does Not Pay Attention." Nonetheless, it's the best way we have to shape our collective future. It's not always fun, and it's not always rewarding, but I just can't get over the fact that it's just too important to let go, especially now that I am a mom.

Beantastic Trivia

In perusing other mom blogs recently, I've noticed many of us seem to share let's call it an affinity for coffee. Probably has something to do with the acquired skill of surviving on 45 minutes of sleep.

Curious person that I am, it raised many coffee questions in my mind and I found some great coffee trivia at

I liked this one:

"Caffeine is on the International Olympic Committee list of prohibited substances. Athletes who test positive for more than 12 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of urine may be banned from the Olympic Games. This level may be reached after drinking about 5 cups of coffee."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thanks to President Bush -- Part of the Thanks Giving Series

Lest you be confused, let me pause for a moment and clarify, I am not a Republican. (Repeat after me. I am not a Republican.) But as I reflect upon the past several years, there are some things that, really, I just have to stop and say thanks for. Way to go G. Dub.

I must stop and say thanks to him for single-handedly leading Republican politicians in the repeated, intentional mispronunciation of the word "nuclear" as nu-cu-lar, creating a class of apparently phonetically-challenged political lemmings.

I am also thankful for his many verbal foibles having forever left us with the term "Bushisms," and supplied comedians and humorists an ample supply of political material. (Here is just one example of a Bushism from "The Complete Bushisms" on -- "You took an oath to defend our flag and our freedom, and you kept that oath underseas and under fire."—Addressing war veterans, Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2006)

And God bless G. Dub, with Karl Rove at the helm, they restored America's faith that dirty tricks are alive and well in our nation's capital. The orchestrated release of information revealing the identity of CIA Officer Valerie Plame let us all know, "If you oppose us, there will be a price to pay." Hey guys, thanks for the heads up.

So, as we approach Thanksgiving this year, I must say I am thankful to President Bush for making it abundantly clear to me that I am not, nor shall I ever be, a Republican.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mom Blogging -- The Hip New Thing

"What is a Mom Blog?" you might ask. ZoKai is a Mom Blog. The key is, you guessed it, moms blogging. It's a way for moms to connect to each other and the outside world, even at midnight or 5:00 AM when the teething babies are finally sleeping, the laundry is almost done and connecting to a reality with more than a ten-word vocabulary once again becomes a possibility.

My friend Karin of DoubleDutyDiary clued me in about a year ago. I read her blog and was hooked.

There are many different kinds of mom blogs: baby blogs, complainer blogs, saccharin blogs, humorous blogs, opinion blogs, photo blogs, my-life-in-annoying-detail blogs and more. ZoKai was started primarily as photo/baby blog, an alternative to clogging up the email boxes of friends and family with newsletters and unbelievably adorable photos of my twin daughters Zoe and Kaia (ergo ZoKai).

During the 2004 election, I was a political blogger, an experience that graced me with just enough technical expertise to be dangerous as I began my mom blog. At its inception ZoKai featured primarily photos and updates to keep friends and family informed and create a kind of online scrapbook. As a stay-at-home mom with infant twins, that was all there was time for. Zoe and Kaia have now reached toddlerdom and as they are growing so is ZoKai. More sleep time for babies means more blog time for Mama.

Recently I've ventured out onto the blogosphere, reading other mom blogs and learning what a diverse group we mom bloggers are. I have found some real gems and some stinkers. Here are a few of the gems for your review: (Brace yourself.)

Pull up a chair, take of your shoes and enjoy some easy reading.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What Would Your Super Parent Power Be?

This week I asked my husband if he thought it would hurt me if I ate coffee straight from the bag. He thought I was kidding. It smelled so good (Vanilla Nut) and seemed like it might just turn me into Super Twin Mom. More likely it would just make me sick and very, very jittery. But it did get me thinking. What if we could have parent super powers? Hence today's poll to the right for your participation pleasure:

Poll completed.
~And the winner is: Mood Mender Mind Meld -- The ability to make any child happy simply by placing your palm on their forehead and looking into their eyes.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Giving Props Where Props Are Due

A little explanation about the recent changes on ZoKai:

Hi Karin,

I’m dropping a line to say thank you for the inspiration. Your blog looks great and I love what you’ve been writing.

Thanks to you, I’ve spruced up the place at ZoKai a bit and am trying to post stories more often. I’ve figured out a few template hacks and even learned a teeny teeny bit maybe about making a header, but it has not been painless. Crazy fool that I am.

“Oh yeah, I think I can carve out four hours on Saturday afternoon. I’ll just teach myself web design.”

Nutty, nutty girl.

So with my vanilla nut coffee and my free trial version of Adobe Creative Suite, I sit down in front of my computer and watch every free online tutorial about AdobeGoLive they offer on their web site. Did I mention I am crazy? Three cups of coffee and 8 hours later, I had designed one puny little low resolution sort-of banner, which my husband Scott promptly appeared to lose into the vast computer abyss when he improperly (Yes, that’s right. I am blaming him.) inserted “The Wiggles Magical Adventure” into the DVD drive for the girls, and the computer became unresponsive and displayed three different colors of snow on the screen. I think if it could have coughed up blood, it would have.

The computer was miraculously restored to normalcy about 15 minutes later, undoubtedly because I wisely decided we (most notably Scott) should leave the computer alone (aka the Little Bo Peep method of restoring lost computer files – leave them alone and they will come home).

Anyway, since then I have designed two more banners, picked up a couple of template hacks from the Blogger Google group, and have actually started seeing a little sense in the html code (way different than the BASIC I studied in high school, but in some ways similar too). The third banner is currently implemented in my header, and I will be working on more.

Thanks so much for the inspiration! My brain needed a good workout and this has been lots of fun.


Take a minute to check out Karin's great blog at

Site Remodel

The goal is to make the transition seamless, but in case you see strange things happening on your screen, be advised that a site remodel is underway.

Welcome to ZoKai

If you're visiting for the first time, I'm so glad you're here. Have fun, take a look around and drop me a line to let me know what you've been up to.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Thanks to Papa -- Part of the Thanks Giving Series

My grandfather "Papa" with his first turkey.

I'm thankful for the lessons my grandfather taught me, some traditional, some not. Here are just a few:

1) Don't hunt for fun. Hunt for food. (We actually ate the turkey seen here, and it was the freshest, best turkey I've ever had.)

2) How to find water with a small branch from a peach tree. (How many girls do you know who can do that?)

3) How to drive a tractor with a plow. (Well, that one didn't go so well.)

4) How to drive a motorcycle.

5) How to shoot a revolver.

6) Tell the truth. Lies are too hard to remember and only snowball.

7) How to tell when it's going to hail.

8) How to know when a tornado is coming.

9) How to see the rain in the distance.

10) How to work hard even when no one is pushing you.

11) How to listen for rattlesnakes.

12) How to make doughnuts. (I don't think he knew I was watching.)

13) Don't chase boys. Let them chase you.

14) Let men open the door for you.

15) You come from a good family.

16) Treasure the past and look to the future.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

November Sky

When I came to California from Oklahoma one of the things I missed most was the dramatic sunsets of the spring storm season. I did live in Tornado Alley after all and the sometimes-threating clouds can really make beautiful sunsets.

More recently though I've been blessed with a vista of beautiful sunsets seemingly day after day.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My New Favorite Song

As a mommy of toddlers I have eagerly accepted my fate as a singer of silly silly songs for at least the next five years. Well, it's not like I never did this before just to entertain myself.

I enjoy some of the girls' music just as much as they do. The Ralph's World CD and DVD combo I recently bought definitely is my new favorite, largely because of "The Coffee Song" I heard for the first time yesterday on a long drive home from a doctor visit.

Hooray Ralph's World!

From Ralph's World

Click on the link above. Scroll down to "The Coffee Song" and click on the headphone icon.

The Coffee Song
(Ralph Covert - Waterdog Music / © 2002 ASCAP)


M-O-M-M-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
D-A-D-D-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
I love my kid... I love my kid
Gosh, I love my kid
But I need what I need, and I need a lot of what I need
M-O-M-M-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
D-A-D-D-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
I want a latte, a cappuccino
And tonight I think I’ll have a little vino
M-O-M-M-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
D-A-D-D-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E

Friday, September 29, 2006

You Dirty Bum

Zoe, mommy's little helper, has developed a new way of assisting me. A big fan of baby wipes, she has recently started pulling them out and tossing them at her sister's dirty bum when I change Kaia's poopy diapers. Who can say whether it's more target practice or an all-out effort to remove the stink from the room ASAP. All the same, it so far seems harmless and her aim is not half bad.

Monday, September 25, 2006

30 Things that Might Surprise You

Who's that lady? Photo by my friend Karin the Photography Goddess. Posted by Picasa

I appear to be your typical California suburbanite. I wear clothes from Ann Taylor. I have highlights in my hair. I work out. I drive an SUV. And I dress my kids in clothes from Gymboree. But there are things that might surprise you.

For example, did you know?

1) I am not a Republican. (Repeat after me. I am not a Republican.)

2) I love biscuits and gravy.

3) I believe in equal rights.

4) I campaigned for Howard Dean.

5) I was a Democracy for America Meet-Up leader.

6) I've walked neighborhoods and stood outside polling places in rain, sleet, snow and blazing heat to campaign for candidates.

7) I was a political blogger during the 2004 presidential election.

8) I've been caught in the middle of the armed capture of four armed robbers. (Notice the word armed.)

9) I had skin cancer at 26. Wear your sunscreen ladies and gentlemen.

10) I've been honored to be included as the only female participant of an otherwise all male racoon hunt in Northwest Oklahoma. Don't worry, I didn't carry a gun and the entire expedition was largely about drinking beer, climbing trees and running through the forest in the middle of the night. Yes, that's right, drinking beer and climbing trees.

11) I did landscaping to help put myself through law school. Yes my friends, beneath that mop of frazzled mommy hair, there sits a brain licensed to practice law and capable of comprehending words exceeding one syllable.

12) My friend Jack and I orchestrated the release of 1000 crickets in the Engineering Building at my alma mater during the traditional week of rivalry between the schools of engineering and law. Shame on me. Those poor crickets.

13) I have chopped cotton and ridden on a spray buggy. Translation for my city friends = hoed weeds in the cotton fields and ridden on a buggy pulled behind a small tractor while spraying weed killer.

14) I've been inside a house while someone was breaking in. He broke in and forced us to open our Christmas presents. Maybe I'll write about this sometime.

15) I love Blues.

16) I despise snobbery.

17) I know what it's like to be hungry because there's not enough food.

18) I'm lucky.

19) I read

20) I used to live across the street from a crack house.

21) I've witnessed gang violence.

22) I got my first official job at 10 years old. I was the concession stand attendant at the public pool.

23) I paid my own way through college and law school.

24) I once found my fiance in bed with another woman. They were perfect for one another. They were both cheaters.

25) I think it's okay to have pink hair. I've even considered it.

26) I've been in two movies.

27) I want to learn to surf.

28) I've eaten frog legs, calf fries and barbecued rattlesnake.

29) I don't eat beef.

30) I'm a Christian, but I don't think I personally get to decide who is going to Hell.

It's in the Bag

(A Tongue-In-Cheek Social Study of the Female American Suburbanite Based upon Handbag Contents, Accomplished Through Viral Blogging)

When I was tagged by my friend Karin the Photography Goddess to do this post, my first thought was, "That's so cool." My second thought was, "What IS in my bag?" Typically Type A, I was tempted to first investigate the contents of my bag, sort, discard and rearrange prior to completing this writing assignment. I guess that would defeat the purpose, so away we go on an uncensored tour of the contents of my bags.

For me, it will be two bags rather than one. As a mommy of twins, no single bag has proven mighty enough to supply the needs of both mommy and babies on the run.

First, there's the luxury bag for me, my little splurge. Nevermind, that its original pricetag was more than my car payment. But then again, I'm a bargain shopper, so I got it for half off. Even so, it was pricey for me -- a little tiptoe into decadence justified by the fact that it's something that will always fit and the fact that it cost incredibly less than the similar purses in the same store that cost more than most of my highschool friends' first cars.

So, let's see what is inside:

- a pair of $5 sunglasses from Claire's
- a plastic compact with a mirror designed to hold tissues, empty
- cell phone and ear piece
- individual dental floss packets, toothbrush, miniature toothpaste
- Coolmint Listerine Pocketmist mouth spray
- a partially eaten colorful story card from an on-the-go toddler meal
- keychain with keys, remote keyless entry and and a red plastic logo tag from my gym
- miniature sunscreen on a caribeener clip
- miniature flashlight and Swiss Army knife on a separate keychain
- hairclip
- 2 tampons
- used tissues
- 4 stray Gerber Fruit Puffs
- Mary Kay Lip Protector Sunblock
- size and weight measurements from the girls last doctor appointment
- 3 packages of strawberry Weight Watchers Fruities candies
- checkbook, savings book
- informed consent for Zoom! Tooth Whitening
- 2 coupons for discounted Six Flags Magic Mountain tickets
- completely flattened unopened toddler cereal bar
- appointment card for the girls' next doctor appointment (hey, that's where it went)
- business card for landscaping
- 2 panty shields, an ultra thin pad, and another tampon
- Benefit "the gloss" lip gloss in "no peeking" pink
- 3 more tampons in yet another pocket
- 2 unused restaurant napkins (emergency kleenex)
- See's Candies gift certificate
- Trader Joe's receipt
- Costco receipt
- black ponytail holder
- rubber band
- cell phone magazine ad
- Triple A card
- receipt from doctor's office
- cell phone brochures and business card
- more business cards
- wallet and coin purse combo Posted by Picasa

Put me on Survivor, just let me take my purse and I could make it weeks on what's in there. Of course, if the girls are with me, we'll need the handy dandy diaper bag, a durable, urban chic unisex messenger bag, built for the practical gal or guy -- $10-15 from Target. The essentials for the mommy trail are tucked inside. It's likely to have everything but the canteen. Let's see . . .

- full size sunscreen and miniature hand sanitizer
- sippy cup and curvy spoon
- chicken stew toddler meal
- Costco baby wipes
- telephone number for Poison Control
- post office receipt
- wallpaper sample
- colorful story card from on-the-go toddler meal
- plastic see-thru block
- 2 Little Swimmers diapers
- 2 Pampers Cruisers diapers (more in the car)
- vacation brochures
- another curvy spoon
- 76 cents in change
- a sticker from a size 5 toddler shoe

All in all, some better and some worse than I anticipated, but now I wonder . . . . . . . What's in your bag?

I hereby tag Sonya. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 24, 2006

This Week We . . .

This week we said our first complete sentences. They were blurted out with the urgency of a fire alarm, lest Mommy and Daddy forget to give us our bedtime bottles. Kaia: Mama, I need baba! Zoe: Dada, baba, I need!

This week we went swimming for the very first time. Mommy and her friend Francie took us swimming in a warm saltwater pool with a walk-behind waterfall and tall palm trees all around. It was so much fun. At first we were a bit hesitant, but when we sat on the steps and splashed the water with our feet and hands, we decided it was just dandy.

Kaia seemed ready to jump right in off the steps and Zoe was ready and willing to give her that little extra push with her foot in the middle of Kaia's back. I decided they weren't quite ready for jumping or pushing in the pool and held back their efforts at advanced horseplay, at least for now. But they loved splashing the warm water and watching the other children. Zoe, in particular, squealed with delight each time she saw one little girl run by with her colorful float.

This week we noticed our shadows. Mommy couldn't understand why we kept kissing the wall in late afternoon. Finally, she realized we were giving our pretty shadows kisses.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

This week I learned . . .

I can open my bedroom door.
I can undo my stroller seatbelt and escape under the front bar.
I can unscrew the lid on my sippy cup and pour it on myself.
I don't like pouring milk on myself.
I like to share with sister.

Sister sometimes gives me things if I ask. If she doesn't, I can take her and the toy with me.
I can write on paper with an ink pen.
I love hats. The more I can wear at one time, the better. Stack'em on!
I like ice cream.
I like to make big splashes in the bath.

We like fresh peaches and nectarines. Yummy, yummy, yummy.
If Mommy is eating it, it must be good.
Afternoon naps aren't so bad.
Seals clap like this.
Playing ball with Mommy and sister is fun.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Baby Baby Baby

Kaia and Zoe got their first baby dolls today.

They are soft little dolls dressed in little baby buntings. One baby wears a little pink and white fleece outfit with an embroidered butterfly on the front. One baby wears a purple fleece outfit with a purple and white floral calico print top. Both have precious baby faces with big blue eyes and rosebud lips curled into a tiny smile.

The look in their eyes when I handed them to them was priceless.
Our big girls knew just what to do. Who knew they had been watching so closely all this time.

So excited to see their babies, they hugged and kissed them and gave them lots of love. Kaia was eager to share her baby with Mommy for a big cuddle. Zoe cradled her baby in her arms, rocked her side to side and kissed her forehead. What good mommies they may be some day!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Am I Blue?

Friday, July 14, 2006

This Week I Learned . . .

All the sippy cups are mine.

I can take off my diaper.

Folding sister up in the couch is fun.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The First Year in Pictures - Zoe and Kai's Greatest Hits

In honor of Kaia and Zoe's first birthday on the 9th, here is a photo montage of their best looks, accomplishments and discoveries. This is the first online appearance for many of the photos included.

Kaia and Zoe with Mommy and Daddy before being born -- 21 weeks Posted by Picasa

Mommy and Zoe just after delivery Posted by Picasa

Zoe's First Sponge Bath -- with Mommy in NICU -- 2 or 3 weeks old Posted by Picasa

Kaia's first sponge bath -- in NICU with Daddy -- 2 or 3 weeks old Posted by Picasa

Kaia talking to Mommy -- 10 Weeks Posted by Picasa

Mommy and Zoe -- 10 Weeks Posted by Picasa