Ruby says funny things.

Ruby has been saying some funny things lately.

Sometimes I'll be walking around the house and I'll start singing a song and both girls start yelling, "AAAHHHH MOMMMMYYY! STOP SINGING!" and I'll say, "Oh, sorry! I can't help it. I've got a song stuck in my head." And every time Ruby gives me a really confused look and pokes my head a couple of times.

Well, the other day Ruby was singing and kind of humming to herself and she looked at me and said, "Mommy! I've got a song stuck in my mouth!"

She said something funny to Shawn the other day, too. Shawn asked Ruby for a gentle headbutt (I'm not sure why--Lucy, Ruby, and Shawn all give each other headbutts all the time) and she gave him a pretty hard headbutt. I think she got hurt a little. She put her hands on her head and said, "I bumped. I dumped. I bimped. I pimped."

I like to take pictures!

Hey! Shawn got me a great camera for Christmas! So maybe i'll start posting hilarious Stonesifer pictures now. We'll see if i can figure it out...

Christmas was pretty crazy here. I don't know... we had about 10 million events to go to, we barely had time to talk to anyone, we ate lots of junk food, and then it was over.

The girls did pretty well, though. I was especially proud of Lucy. She gets pretty overwhelmed at family events--but this year she did alright. She played (sort of) nicely with the other kids, and she said thank you (a couple of times) to people for presents that she had received. She also had her first Christmas program this year, which was awesome. She didn't sing, but she didn't freak out either. She just stood there. She knew it was sort of a big deal and she seemed really nervous. It was really sweet. Afterwards she told her teacher, "I really liked singing those songs!"

So--yeah. I guess I don't really have much to say--I just really wanted to post some pictures to see if I could do it. It's fun. I'm going to take all sorts of pictures now. =) now you'll really know what we're up to.

love ya,

oh yeah--and the girls got rocking horses for Christmas from my parents. they love them.

4 words

Retirement home.

Buddy Meadows.


Beaver's jerky flashback

One time like 5 years ago Patmac fed Beaver a piece of jerky. Beaver thought it was good and also horced it up.

I just enjoyed a tasty jerky snack that I received for Christmas (I also racked up 10 new hot sauces so far) and as soon as I opened it up, Beaver came wandering in with this sniffy look on his face like "What is that heavenly smell?"

I'm certain he recognized it, I didn't share, but I considered feeding him the foil wrapper because it would taste like jerky and, foil or jerky, he was just going to horc it up again anyway. I just tossed the wrapper in the trash and he's ferociously sniffing the spot where the wrapper used to be sitting on the floor.

It's definitely the closest I've ever seen the Beave to begging. Sorry, the Beave.

One more insult for the Beave.

Post Booze Cruise Thoughts

6:19 AM by valandshawn 0 comments
When your beef comes with a pettite crock of bleu cheese fondu, don't be disappointed if it's just cheese sauce in a sauce cup.

What is broccolini anyway?


Christmas Party

So--Shawn has this office Christmas party that we have to go to--and i am really NOT looking forward to it. It's a dinner cruise on lake michigan and i'm just really nervous about it for some reason. I'm nervous about the small talk--several hours of being trapped on a boat with a hundred people that I don't know just sounds really exhausting. I'm nervous about getting there on time and getting home at a reasonable hour because this event has to fit neatly in between several other Christmas events. I'm nervous about how the girls are going to do spending the night at my parent's house.

But honestly--I'm mostly nervous about what I'm going to wear. blah.

I hope hope hope that it's going to be more like the booze cruise:

and less like a stupid fancy networking meet all the important people and try to make a good impression kind of dinner cruise.


So it begins

The Christmas terror is on! Multiple events every day through the 26th. Yah!

These pizza rolls comfort me temporarily until the next wave hits.


Where's daddy?

I heard that yesterday my family was having lunch and a conversation occurred like this:

Ruby: Where's Daddy?

Lucy: Daddy's in jail!

I'm glad my kids miss me when I'm gone. I had Thursday night meeting last night, came home at 11:30 and crawled into a bed full of cheezits. My life is pretty funny, but it's still not that great to come home from a 15 hour work day to discover your kids put cheezits in your bed. They must not have put them on Val's side, because I don't think she could sleep on cheezits. They're so pointy!

Anyway, it's easy to laugh about it the next day.

Not in jail,

Befuddled, trying to peel fruit.

Me: "I don't think this is probably what I should be spending my day on.

Val: "Come on. You're going to spend your whole day falling down in the ice storm. You should have some fun with a pampelmoose."


TV=Stress. Maybe.

So my plan for the winter months is to watch less TV. Winter seems like maybe the hardest time to cut out TV, i think--because i'm home more, and it's dark so don't feel like doing anything, and it's cold so i feel like i need to curl up under a blanket just to keep my toes from freezing off. plus we just got a new TV. but i really think that the writer's strike is going to help me cut out all of the prime time stuff.

so that leaves the daytime stuff. no--i dont watch talk shows or soaps or anything like that, but the girls have been watching sort of a lot of cartoons. i think maybe its causing a lot of stress for us! my new theory is that our not-watching-tv time is a lot more stressful because of all of our watching-tv time. so we're going to try it out these next couple weeks and i'll let you know how it goes.

today was our first day of cutting out some tv time, and it went really well, i think. Our first new TV rule is "no TV before 10:00 am." this one went really well today. we played bowling in the hallway and colored skunks on giant sheets of paper instead.

our second new rule is "no more than 1.5 hours of TV per day, TOPS. unless there is an emergency." this one didn't go so well today--that's why i had to add the "unless there is an emergency" part. the girls chose lady and the tramp for their 10 am TV time and that pretty much ate up the 1.5 hours. i thought that would be fine, but neither girl took a nap today! it was crazy. they were both acting tired, but they both spent 1 hour in their beds talking and singing and yelling at each other and NOT SLEEPING. this was ruby's first day with no nap. and they were both crazy tired by 5:30!! i stalled, and i played and i tried to be really exciting, but finally i had to put in a dvd to keep them awake. they made it until 7:00 which is a crazy miracle--made possible by dora's pirate adventure.

anyway--we did have a pretty stress free day. we even had lots of fun. and if it wasn't for the emergency, we would've been fine with less than 1.5 hours of TV, even though we were home all day.


One more for the Beav

Apparently, if you're two and you're potty training, you don't realize that if you hide and poop in the corner, eventually someone is going to find it. You've gotta stop that before it happens.

The other day, Lucy renamed Beaver. His new name is Squeezy-Tiny. One more humiliation for the Beav.

Exploring Davis Junction

I don't think we were quite excited enough about Harvard, IL from our trip there. It was fine, and there was a house we liked, but you gotta be excited to make that kind of change.

Today I visited Davis Junction. I sold a lot of gas and learned a lot about this curious little town. The original Davis Junction was no more than a few hundred people, and now that it's a few thousand, it basically consists of a gas station, Brothers Pizza, Byron Bank, village hall, and they are opening up a Subway tomorrow. 80% of the town is cookie cutter cheapo housing development (very strange to see an entire community of exactly the same thing) and most of the people who live there moved out from the suburbs to this very affordable housing. I consistently heard 5 things from the residents as I asked about their experiences.

1. Cheap housing
2. Low taxes
3. A geographical oddity (2 weeks from everywhere)
4. Good Schools (Stillman Valley)
5. Too many trains and planes (Davis [train] Junction) right in line with Rockford airport runway

Definitely a possibility. The location is right, halfway between Rockford and Rochelle on 39.
Everyone had huge dogs. No chickens allowed. Developing...

Make me laugh

We've been looking at moving to a small towny community where we can have chickens and good schools. Today we packed up the family and visited Harvard, IL. It's been a very unpleasant 24 hours, I must say. I don't have time to give you the details, as I will be asleep in the next 8 minutes, but it's definitely insult + injury. (Maybe Val will give details later) So we're driving through Harvard on what has been a brutally strained and sleepless day for the family, and Val says

"I may have bought some shoes on the internet this morning."

I laughed for about 20 seconds (not exaggerated). It was a hilarious thing to say in about 10 different ways, especially if you know Val. She's a sweet lady and she always makes me laugh.
Thanks for making the best of today with me, Val. I love you.


Everything is Broken

things have been breaking around here lately. i hate that! i hate when things break. i just really wish that everything lasted forever. i know that nobody likes it when things break, but i feel like it affects me more than other people maybe. i know some people who of course are annoyed when something breaks, but they also see it as a chance to buy something bigger and better to replace it. in the end, they are probably happy that it broke--they are at least fine with it and see it as a part of life.

in the last month or so our tv broke, lucy smashed a hole in the wall by throwing something heavy down the stairs, the faucet broke in the bathroom, beaver barfed all over my tree skirt (it stained, of course), the Christmas tree broke (the day after we decorated it), one of our curtain rod brackets broke (shawn fixed it, thankfully), our sewer line got clogged and our basement floor was covered in sewage, i made a meal that was so bad we had to throw it away and get mcdonald's (it's been several years since this happened), and i completely smashed the window in our front door (no injuries, thankfully).

i'm not sure i'm going to be able to take it if something else breaks. it's not just the money either--although the money does start to add up after that many things break at once. i just get so attached to things. like our christmas tree. we bought our tree for $20 at walmart 7 years ago. it's not like we didn't get our money's worth out of it. it shouldn't have been that big of a deal, except that it was our first christmas tree, and it was the perfect color and i thought that we would have it forever.

i just get so attached to things.

--and i like to replace them on my own terms--like the front door. i've been asking shawn for a new front door ever since we moved here. it's as old as the house and has a huge single pane window in it (or i guess it HAD a single pane window in it). it looked gross, it let in huge amounts of cold air in the winter, and it looked ridiculously easy to break into (i don't usually worry about those things, but at least 7 different people--strangers and relatives--have told me that we needed to replace it).

anyway--a couple months ago a window and door salesman came to the door and asked if we would like to set up a free extimate and informational thingy so he could try to sell us doors and windows. i said sure! we really need that! i really liked the guy--i try to be nice to door-to-door people (because shawn does that) and this guy had the quantum leap theme song for his cell phone ringer (one of my favorite shows!). i made the appointment and cleaned the house and everything and he never showed up! i was really disappointed. i decided that we should just forget about the door and live with it until we decide to move, which was hopefully going to be soon.

and then the door breaks! i'm so disappointed. i guess i slammed the door one too many times. the window completely broke into a thousand pieces. now we have an even colder hallway and an embarrassing board over our front window. and our new window and door guy says it is going to be 2 WEEKS until he can get us a new one.



Pizza night

We had pizza night at home tonight. We make pizza together about once a month and it's pretty fun. Somehow one of the crusts was butchered when backs were turned, and one of the pizzas was pretty shabby looking.

Ruby has been carrying around a nativity scene baby Jesus for a while now. Ruby and Jesus and I watched the pizzas bake. Ruby declared "Baby Jesus likes it."

By the way, the new TV is great. I don't even care what I'm watching as long as it's HD. I know entertainment isn't really important at all, but really, I mean, it's like being in the TV store!


red dogs and mice

i feel like i accomplished a couple of things today. it has been a pretty exciting day so far. shawn actually did bring home a tv this morning and it sure looks better than the last one we had. our last tv was turning all red for some reason. to be honest, it was probably a 15 year old tv, so it really was past it's prime. anyway--the colors were all fading out except for red, so instead of a black and white tv it was a black and red tv. it was really gross. it honestly gave me a headache if i tried to watch anything on it. but the girls didn't really seem to mind, so they would watch cartoons on it sometimes--just occasionally complaining that the colors looked funny. so--shawn brought the new tv home but didn't have time to hook it up because he had to go to work, so i hooked it up! yep--that's right. i hooked up a brand new television all by myself. actually--even more impressive than all by myself--with 2 preschoolers helping me! i hooked up the dvd player and the cable and everything. i was pretty proud of myself.

we watched clifford and curious george on it and we were totally amazed by all the colors! i forgot that cartoons were colorful. i guess i had sort of thought that the shows were called, "clifford the big red dog, and all his friends are red too!", and "curious george, the little red monkey!"

anyway--something even more exciting happened after we were done watching cartoons. the girls and i went downstairs, and beaver was acting really funny in the living room. beaver is our cat, if you didn't already know that. he was kind of sniffing and pawing at one of my end tables so i lifted it up to see what he was looking at--and a mouse darted across the room! now--i am not afraid of mice at all, but it is a little shocking when a wild animal is running through your living room. i yelled. the girls came running to see what i was yelling about and i told them that beaver was chasing a mouse in the living room.

ruby ran away into the dining room yelling, "i scared! i scared!" and she climbed up onto a chair, and lucy said, "can i pet him? where is he? what do mice eat? i'm gonna name him roger! is beaver gonna eat him? what color is he?..." it was pretty hilarious so far.

so--lucy, beaver and i chased the mouse around the room for 15 minutes or so, and then beaver got bored. come on! this is the most exciting thing that is going to happen to beaver probably in the next year, and he gives up! what kind of cat is that!? so lucy and i chased the mouse around for a few more minutes and finally i had him cornered under a rocking chair and i caught him in a paper bag! beaver got bored and i caught the mouse! it was hilarious and fun and really satisfying. i let lucy look at (but not touch) the mouse for a little bit, and i showed it to ruby so that she could see that mice are not scary (she was still a little skeptical), and then i tossed him outside. i know--he'll probably just come right back inside, but maybe he'll remember how terrifying it is to have lucy, beaver, and i chasing him and he'll stay outside like a good mouse should.


Black Friday

I'm preparing myself mentally for waiting in line at Target in the morning to attempt to put my grubby paws on a 37" Olevia LCD TV for $549.99, limit 2 per customer. I am posting my daring intent partially because declaring it out loud might keep me from chickening out when the alarm goes off at 5am. Fortunately for me, the girls have been waking up between 5 and 6 for weeks so this will not be far from the norm for me.

I wonder what percentage of people who participate in this have a sense of humor about it. I think it must be a lot, but some of them are probably just competitive classy americans who pride themselves on saving 12 bucks on the latest tickle me elmo limit 5 per customer.

If anyone reads this Thursday night, you're welcome to join me for some early morning amusement, if anyone else is participating in things of this nature, good luck and tell me about it.

Happy T-day


Talking in your sleep

You know how when you talk to someone who's mostly asleep but slightly awake, sometimes they talk hilarious nonsense? Well they do. I don't know why it happens that way, but it's true.

A couple nights ago, I heard Ruby crying like she does several times every night, and having trained myself to fly out of bed and be a responsible helpful dad, I jumped up, walked around the bed, paused, and it occurred to me that I was going to need something before I went in there.

"Hand me the- ... ... dessert."

Very matter of fact, as if I'd finally put my finger on it. Now that I think about it, I didn't need to take anything with me. I was just confused because I woke up too fast. Reminds me of the time a couple months ago, exact same scenario, wake up to go comfort a kid-

"I need the dynamite."

I don't know what sort of mental mixup that came out of. Sometimes when I say stuff like that, Val just sends me back to bed and takes care of it. At least I tried.

If you have a hilarious sleep-talking story, I'd love to hear it.


Episode II: The crackhead menace

Last week, the pending R2 change cleanup was interrupted by screaming girls and the front seat floor remained full of change, gold dollar coins and everything. The crackhead that ransacked the car looking for change a while back was apparently so focused on scraping up 35 cents that he missed the motherload on the floor by his feet. If he only knew.

Since we now have disclosed to the internet the location of this easy money, in order to protect the assets, I have moved R2 to a more secure location and assigned his previous duties holding up the magazines.

I don't know about you, but when I first read about R2 going flying, the visualization in my head included that R2 bleepy bloop squeak sound when he crashed into the dash.

I feel safe here. I mean, the car's only been sacked 3 times in 4 years and only once did they actually take it with them. And we got it back, so no biggie, right?


If it's your birthday

and what you really want for your birthday is a no pants day, I think you're entitled.


'sup macaroni?

There's a new guy at work who is doing very well named Mark Moroni.

Say it a few times fast, I think it's kind of funny.
I really want to say things like "sup macaroni" when I see him, but I'm not sure if he has a sense of humor about it, as I don't know him well.

It is my opinion that if you are able to laugh at yourself, that entitles you to make light of things about somebody else, like a name that sounds like macaroni. Not maliciously, just in fun, because I really like the guy, and it's not like it dominates his identity, there's just that one funny thing.

Mark, if you should ever in your lifetime google your own name and find my blog, know that from the start, I think fairly highly of you and I hope you make a million dollars at Energy Savings. I'm not making fun, just mild amusement.

Best google ever

Google "Bacon Wrapped"

You can't go wrong.


I hate R2D2

so--here at the stonesifer house we have a moderately sized R2D2 cookie jar that we use as our change bucket. meaning--that's where all our loose change goes. when we empty out our pockets at night we put all the change in R2. of course--that meant something a little different here when shawn was waiting tables. he worked at a couple different restaurants over the span of--i dont know--2 1/2 years? anyway--that means that he was bringing home a lot of change. a lot. so R2 is still full to the brim of change from when shawn was waiting tables a few years ago. even though i pay with change everytime i go through the drive thru to get the girls a quick lunch or to get myself a tasty coffee treat, R2 is still completely full of change!

the most annoying thing about R2D2 is really where we keep him in our house. there is actually no good place to keep a large plastic R2D2 cookie jar that is full of change. i dont want the girls to get to it, but i need to be able to get to it, but it is not really a nick-nack that i want to display. so R2's current home is the top shelf in our bedroom. this shelf is just above my head and for some reason it is packed with magazines. i dont know why we keep magazines and i dont know why we keep them on the top shelf. R2 acts as a bookend on this magazine shelf and keeps the magazines from flopping down and falling all over the floor. so--the problem here is that if i ever have to actually take R2 down from the shelf the magazines flop all over the floor. so--i dont usually take him down, i just reach up there and try to fish out a '2 happy meal sized' wad of change.

that usually works okay, but a couple of weeks ago, i had to drive to the suburbs for an appointment and shawn was already in the suburbs for work. he had our one and only ipass. so i thought--that's okay, i'll just take R2. so--i grabbed R2 off of the shelf and immediately all of the magazines flopped off on to the floor. i was annoyed, but i didn't have time to take care of the magazines because i was running late. so i ran to the car with R2 and drove to rolling meadows. it was annoying to pay with change the whole way there, but not really that big of a deal, i guess. here's where it gets really annoying: part way home from rolling meadows i had to stop pretty quickly and R2 went flying. FLYING. there was change everywhere. when i got home, i was still so annoyed that i didn't even clean it up. in fact--here it is 2 weeks later and i STILL haven't cleaned it all up. i think deep down i was hoping that a druggie or a punk junior high kid would steal it so that i wouldn't have to pick up all that change or put R2 back on his shelf. oh well. here i am--off to pick up all the change out of the front seat of my car, load up R2D2 and put him back in his place on the magazine shelf.



On Sunday, we ate lunch at the Sunrise Restaurant in Monroe Center.

That reminds me of the time 8 years ago when we ate at a Sunrise in Rochelle with Gary Brown and had Chicken Parmesan so bad that, uh... can't find the words...

I mean it was real bad. No words to describe. I'll never forget.

Sunday, I had a breakfast skillet, Val had a burger, and the girls split a Mickey Mouse Pancake, which kind of defeats the purpose. All things considered, this time around, the Sunrise was pretty nice.

Air Bud 5: World Pup

There's something addictive about blogging, just in that it helps you to vent, connect to other people, things of that nature. It's an open ended monologue, and a poor substitute for friends, but it's all we got for now, and I'm happy to reopen it, even though I have not so much to say at this time.

Last week, I had a 10 minute phone conversation with Brahm Wenger, who scored the music for Air Bud and a handful of other Disney productions including "Most Extreme Primate" and "Spymate". I hope I can get in touch with him again sometime. If that doesn't raise an eyebrow, I don't know what would.

Beaver didn't get angry

We heard some really hysterical screaming from upstairs, and when Val got upstairs to see what had happened to Lucy, Lucy bellowed


He scratched her pretty good, but I've seen the level of disrespect that cat receives when she thinks no one is watching. I'm sure she earned it. Beaver may be on the bottom of the totem pole in this house, but I think he just got a little more self-respect.

Lucy's emotional responses always use curious grammar and word choices. And gibberish.