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.