Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Ian and Sam decided to participate in their school's Science and Engineering Expo (squeeeee!!!). The first ideas out of their mouths had to do with things exploding, baking soda volcanoes, and crating machines that would throw stuff. Of course, right on the form it says no baking soda and vinegar volcanoes (not proper science) and no projectiles (too dangerous for the under 10 crowd). So they talked it over with each other, talked it over with their big brother (who had loads of crazy and not quite right for ES science fair ideas) and talked it over with Tom and I, and decided to race Lego cars down a track and see what happened when they added weight to the car. Track building was a little tricky but they got it worked out, the experiment went well, and they wrapped up their project looking like super scientists.
They presented their research (He he he!) at the Expo at school to rave reviews. And on their birthday, to boot! Great job guys! see a future full of loads of science fairs, following in your mama's steps!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Messy Bed

And you wonder how she gets any sleep. Yeah, so do I some days.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lucy's Butterfly

Mom, draw me a butterfly.
Mom, draw me Sam.
Mom, draw me a doggie.
Hey Lucy, why don't you draw me a butterfly?

Here's the happy butterfly from my little lefty:
You go, big girl!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I have three pairs of jeans where the zipper seems to have completely given up.
One pair is a bit snug, so the zipper stays a little better, but the other two are loose and the zipper just slides down and stays there until Tom kindly points out that my zipper is down AGAIN. Notice I said Tom - I've walked around for HOURS with my zipper down and no one said a peep. So I hopped online and found a simple fix:

(Thanks Maggie Berg for a GREAT idea!)

But I didn't have a round key ring thing that would work, so I grabbed the closest thing I could - a little paperclip:
and that seemed to do the trick! So, next time your zipper makes a run for it, grab a smallish keyring or a smallish paperclip (don't use the bigger ones or the zipper won't zip up high enough), and go to town (without having your undies hanging out)!

Monday, February 20, 2012


We love Skype, and have for several years. Now, we love Facetime too! Lucy wanted to talk to her cousin Nicholas, so we popped online and hunted up Uncle Bill, and Voila! The kids were thrilled, as you can see, to be able to chat with him!

Just how cool is that???!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I {heart} Star Wars!

Why on Earth can't I get a heart in my title?

Anyway, saw this commercial tonight and HAD to share:

Love this one in particular: "Star fighter - that's like a million dollars in gas." "Yeah, that's pricey." He he he. Just spreading the Star Wars love.

Friday, February 17, 2012

What's on our TiVos these days

We have two TiVos in the house - one is mine, and the other is really for the kids, but I occasionally park stuff on it. (Don't judge - I watch a LOT of TV but that's for another post.) All of these shows are in season now, and there's a whole host of cool shows that pop up in the off season for these that we really enjoy (Psych, Dr. Who, etc.). But it's been a long while since my TiVo was empty since they started showing various things at different times of the year. What's on your DVR?

Shameless - new favorite, definitely not for the kiddos but it makes you feel good about yourself and how NOT screwed up you are
Justified - reminds me of Texas crazy and Timothy Olyphant is easy on the eyes
Parenthood - LOVE this one but it makes me cry pretty much every episode
Grimm and Once Upon a Time - not 100% on either of these, and I assume one or both will be cancelled, but I like the idea
NCIS/CSI/Law & Order - All episodes of all of these guys and their spin offs - LOVE the crime dramas
Castle - speaking of crime dramas - MAJOR crush on Nathan Fillion
Robot Chicken - YEA! back on the air with NEW episodes, full of GREAT things to quote and VERY inappropriate (for some adults as well as kiddos!)
Glee/American Idol/The Voice/Smash - LOVE the music shows (mainly the singing parts, not so much the drama) and can't wait for the next one
White Collar - Crushing on Matt Bomer (Neil, of course) and enjoy the mindlessness of it
Raising Hope - LOVE this show - cheeky and irreverent
The Firm/The Mentalist/Fringe - Fun to watch but missing an episode isn't a big deal

What's on the kids' TiVo: (Most of these are clearly for Lucy - she wants to see all kinds of different things on a whim, and so we just keep them all around instead of tapes or DVD's)
LazyTown - Who doesn't love Sportacus (well, Lucy probably doesn't, but I could watch that man flip around all day)
Dora the Explorer - SWIPER NO SWIPING!
Octonauts - It's new and kinda cute
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - Gotta love the Mouse!
My Little Pony - It's the third incarnation of this horse fest and even more drippy than before
Yo Gabba Gabba - A favorite of hers and tolerable, sometimes even enjoyable for me
Bubble Guppies - Bubba bubba bubba guppa guppa guppa (Lucy's version of the theme song)
Max and Ruby - Ruby and Max (he he he)
Chuggington - It's not Thomas, by any stretch of the imagination
Blue's Clues - We love Steve more but Lucy seems to like them both
Frenemies - That's the boys - not a clue what it is
American Idol - This one's for Max
Pokemon - Most likely NOT for Lucy...let's see...Ian and Sam?
Various version of Zack and Cody/Shake It Up/Lemonade Mouth/whatever tween shows that Max grabs

What Tom watches: Soccer, oh, and soccer. Occasionally he catches a soccer game or two as well. I do catch him channel surfing, looking for soccer. And during football season? The kids shows get bumped as their TiVo mysteriously gets filled with my football games. Love that little TiVo guy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


What a road it's been. 1,000 posts ago I restarted my blog. It all started up again when we picked up and left Texas for the Washington DC area. Who knows what happened to my old blog, how many posts were written, or even what I was thinking when I abandoned it, but here we are. Five years and all kinds of life behind me, I'm still writing. Some posts are just me dumping thoughts out, some are sharing family time, and some are confessions. I'm not the best writer on the planet, nor am I the most expressive. My writing has improved over the years, as has my typing. But I'm getting it all down - my story, our story, the journey. We've lost folks, gained folks, moved, and grown. Looking back the past five years have been crazy and peaceful all at the same time. I hope to keep writing for the next five years. Never would have guessed that it lasted this long, but hey, it's a journey and I've learned a lot. I hope that you continue with me as I share more adventures, more loves, and more crazies - you know we are all a little crazy here anyway.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Oh how things have changed. Years ago (and I mean decades really) I took the Myers-Briggs and scored a STRONG INFJ. The strongest part was the I - Introverted. I found solace and strength in the quiet, refueled when I was by myself, and while I was a behind the scenes advocate, I never stepped into the spotlight.

But oh how life has changed me. I'm now wavering between the E and the I, squarely in the middle of being introverted and extroverted. Both personality types fit me to a tee. I test one way one day, but not strong on the I or E, then flip to the other side the next. I'm leaning towards ENFJ as I get older, but still straddle the INFJ too much to call either one the dominant type. Everything else is fairly strong, at least it's never crept past the midline. But I am stuck somewhere between the extroverts and the introverts, and I'm pretty happy sitting right here.

INFJ (1-3% of the population)

For INFJs the dominant quality in their lives is their attention to the inner world of possibilities, ideas, and symbols. Knowing by way of insight is paramount for them, and they often manifest a deep concern for people and relationships as well. INFJs often have deep interests in creative expressions as well as issues of spirituality and human development. While their energy and attention are naturally drawn to the inner world of ideas and insights, what people often first encounter with INFJs is their drive for closure and for the application of their ideas to people’s concerns.

ENFJ (2-5% of the population)

For ENFJs the dominant quality in their lives is an active and intense caring about people and a strong desire to bring harmony into their relationships. ENFJs are openly expressive and empathetic people who bring an aura of warmth to all that they do. Intuition orients their feeling to the new and to the possible, thus they often enjoy working to manifest a humanitarian vision, or helping others develop their potential. ENFJs naturally and conscientiously move into action to care for others, to organize the world around them, and to get things done.

From Looking at Type: The Fundamentals - Charles Martin, Ph.D.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Snow Newbie Here

A few years ago I was complaining that I didn't know what to do when it snowed. Well, four winters and about 80" later we know. We know when to shovel , when NOT to shovel. We know when to salt and when it's going to wash away. And we know when the shovel that we've been using shouldn't be left out in the back of the van. Ahem. But this year, snow? No. We are almost mid-February and we've had 1.7" TOTAL of snow this year. I have these GREAT snow boots, all of my children have snow boots that fit, and Lucy even has a cute little snow suit. But does it snow? Of course not. Yes, that's Tom doing the happy dance off to my side.) He's a snow-free person - he could do without the fluffy white stuff completely. But me, well, I have a love hate with the snow. It's beautiful, quiet (who knew that a carpet of white was so silent), and it's still (I'm all about still these days). But you do have to shovel it, the car gets stuck in it occasionally, some folks don't know how to drive in it, and it's cold (and wet for the most part). But I think I'm a snow convert. And hell, if it's going to be this cold (it's hovering right around freezing as I write this) then it might as well snow.

January 19, 2008

A Snow Newbie Here

20080117_6333_1We've been here in Virginia through one winter but I still consider myself a snow newbie. You see, I was born and raised in Texas and lived in Florida for a few years, but never in areas where it snowed. Actually, it did snow in Central Texas - once every 11 years or so. But having lived here for one winter I'm still not versed in snow behavior, snow driving, and general snow stuff.

The big thing I learned last winter was that snow was fun to play in, but that's about it. It's heavy to shovel, dirty underneath (and gross when it splats on the side of your car), and when they plow the street you can't get out of your driveway. I also learned when to shovel your driveway (yes, we didn't do it in time and had to pay two guys to clear the driveway and it took them THREE HOURS to shovel). So I was prepared this winter, or so I thought.

Since I couldn't get down the driveway without sliding and crashing into the house this afternoon,

Sam and I spent about an hour shoveling out the driveway (Ian was napping in the car). I wanted to avoid destroying our garage, so I parked at the top of the driveway instead and out we hopped to shovel. It was fun (and no, I'm not insane...well...that's a different discussion) - the snow was light and fluffy, and while it was coming down it was nice and quiet. After Sam shoveled off the sidewalk from the driveway to the front door all by himself, and I finished up the driveway, we built a snowman. He's pretty cool if I say so myself (both Sam and the snowman). The snowman has a nifty Power Rangers hat, some orange mittens, and a cool red scarf - all thanks to Sam. When we were done with the snowman, I woke Ian up and we all went inside and played for a bit.

Then my reality came crashing down. I peeked out the window and couldn't believe my eyes. The entire driveway was covered with snow and it was starting to sleet. Dangit. I missed again. When am I going to get this right? It wasn't supposed to snow anymore - it certainly wasn't snowing when we came in. Then, in the course of an hour it snowed more - lots more. I called my hubby and he said it wasn't snowing at his work - and he's all of 20 minutes from here. It not only didn't stop snowing, but it started to sleet and then rain, followed by more snow. So now I have a driveway covered in ice, snow, more ice, some sleet pellets, and more snow. How many winters does it take to get this right? When the heck am I supposed to shovel? If I do it too early it is covered up again. If I wait too long it is nearly impossible to do. I can't park on the street and ignore the snow on the driveway because we live on a street that is plowed and that, I'm guessing, would mean that we'd get plowed in. What's the trick here people - am I missing something? Help a southern girl out. And yes, they are predicting more snow on Saturday...sigh...

When she's not shoveling her driveway, Suzie blogs about life over at Confessions of a Not So Well Behaved Woman

Thursday, February 09, 2012

¿Que hora es?

Here's a Mexican Soap Opera for folks who have only had three weeks of Spanish in the Fourth Grade. You gotta see to believe (promise it's worth your time):

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Missing Susan

Two days ago we lost a shining star. Today, we lay her to rest. Susan, you were and still are an inspiration to me. You asked the tough questions, you demanded the answers, you fought like a warrior. You taught me that dollars need to go to research, that teaching kids about science goes way beyond the classroom, and that being an advocate doesn't always mean yelling and screaming, but walking a steady path towards a goal.

I met Susan four years ago through the local blogging community. We talked science, we talked advocacy, but most of all I connected to her story. Five years ago I lost my mom. Susan was diagnosed shortly after my mom died, and not only went public with her story, but spent countless hours documenting her journey - the highs and lows, the happy times and the sad. Her blog serves as a roadmap for those starting their journey, or as a diary for those wanting answers. No two people have the same experience with cancer, or walk the same paths in their lives, but Susan opened up her family to us and allowed us to understand more of what my own mom went through when she was diagnosed with cancer.

Today we lay her to rest, and today I donated to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Too little money goes towards research across the globe into this deadly, deadly disease. These folks put our donated dollars into research of IBC, and also advocate for more research dollars, so please consider donating to them as well.

Susan Niebur, you were truly a blessing in my life. I never would have guessed four years ago that you would have taught me so much. Thank you for all that you've done for me, our children, and all of us who have come to know you. I hope that you are looking down on us, proud that we not only paid attention, but that we've taken up your powerful words and have created good with them.

Losing a friend at such a young age sucks. But most of all cancer sucks. Hug your kids a little tighter today, talk to them about the stars and the moon, and take a minute to observe and enjoy your surroundings. Susan would have wanted it.