confusion abounds
Monday, March 31, 2008

Ryan randomly says to Dylan at breakfast:

"Remember when you were in the Christmas Play?"

"Yep. I was a moose."

"No Dylan, you were a King."

"A moose."

I'm listening from my bedroom while I'm putting on my make-up, and this back and forth dialog continues for quite some time. "KING!" "Moose." "KING!" "Moose."

Finally they come to me to resolve the conflict. Ryan is up in arms, but Dylan is pretty calm. The whole time I've been listening, I'm assuming that Dylan is just persisting that he was a moose to irritate Ryan. A moose? In the Christmas story? Not sure how that would fit....

So I say to Dylan, "You were a king Dylan, remember you wore the yellow crown?"

"Okay Mommy, then I was a King AND a Moose."

"Dylan, are you just teasing?"

"NO MOMMY! Remember? The t-shirt I made and wore in the play?"

Actually, it does kinda look like a moose. Apparently no one told him it's supposed to be a reindeer.

If not for a random conversation 3 months after Christmas, the kid might have gone his whole life wondering why he played The Moose King in the Christmas play.








Soccer Debut
Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dylan had his very first soccer game today! I was at a tee-ball game with Ryan, so I had to get the game highlights from Jonathan. Dylan had a great time running up and down the field, but occasionally forgot there was a ball somewhere on the field that he might consider taking an interest in. He also kept looking over at Jonathan and smiling and making faces, as evidenced by this picture taken during the game:

Love this kid!

Dylan's very favorite friend is on the same team. This alone makes it all worth while for Dylan. Add in getting to eat fruit at half-time, and the post-game snacks, and he's pretty much floatin' on air.








30 Years
Saturday, March 29, 2008

30th birthday recap:

Jonathan asked the boys what kind of cake they wanted to make me, and they decided I needed a "pink princess" cake. How great is that? No one can feel old when presented with this:

Made with love.
So sugary sweet you can feel your teeth falling out of your head.



I really wanted a picture of me with the kids. Why do I ever think that will work out? Upon my request, Jonathan was the photographer. I think he has made a personal vow that he will never use more than 30 seconds of his life attempting to capture a shot. His technique: Stand up, snap about five pictures in immediate succession with no warning, and hope for the best.


Take 1:


Take 2:

Take 3: Where's my middle born? He fell off the couch in hysterical laughter when my first born announced "We better hurry. In about three minutes I'm gonna fart." Nice.

Take 4 and the best we were gonna get:

Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes!

A good friend sent me a message early in the day that said "Being 30 rocks!" For a moment I wondered if she was being sarcastic...but then I decided to banish that thought and embrace the sentiment! Being 30 rocks!









Recommendations? Anyone?
Thursday, March 27, 2008


My awesome in-laws gave me a hefty gift certificate to iTunes as a birthday present. (30 years old tomorrow. THIRTY. YEARS. OLD.)

I'm itchin' to spend it, but thought I would see if anyone has some favorite albums to suggest.

My musical taste runs far and wide. All suggestions sought and welcomed.

Maybe my best friend Lisa has some newly favorite country hits to suggest?








Flaming Hot



"Ryan, did I forget to put your drink in your lunch bag? I noticed a juice box on the counter after you left for school."

[giving me quite an evil eye] "Yep, you forgot. And as soon as lunch started Zach let me have one of his flaming hot cheetos. After I ate it I realized you didn't send me a drink."

Oops.








Helicopter Pilot
Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Me and Dylan have had fun with this site today. My best distance: 498

Thanks to my Aunt Marylne for the link!








Batter Up
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ryan's first tee-ball game went to overtime, then they lost by one run.

I don't think the team cared too much about the loss. Especially since the after-game snack was Gatorade and Cookies. Most thrilling part of the evening.








Fun with a Peep


Yesterday I heard a co-worker say that if you microwave a Peep, it expands dramatically and makes for good entertainment. So of course Dylan and I had to try it today. He thought the gigantic poofy peep was hysterical. I thought his reaction was hysterical. Fun was had all around!

Turns out there is a "how-to" page for microwaving a Peep here. We just went for it with no directions though, and it turned out okay. :)








I look weird.


That's what I thought after I fixed my hair and put on my make-up yesterday before leaving for work. I kept looking in the mirror thinking, "I don't look right. What's wrong with my face? Why do I look so weird?"

Then I realized I had forgotten to put on my mascara. (I had to leave for work extra early yesterday. I was a little slow on the uptake.)

Then I thought, "Huh...how funny that my authentic eyes look so weird to me...that my 'fake' eyes seem more natural to me."

Then I thought, "Huh....I wonder how often my fake self is more recognizable to people than my authentic self?" And I wasn't thinking about make-up.

"Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place."

Psalm 51:6








Little Eyes are Watching.
Saturday, March 22, 2008

I say to Jonathan at dinner:

"Why aren't you eating your vegetables?"

"I don't like 'em."

"Just eat them. Set an example."

So he hides the vegetables by arranging his chicken bones on top of them. Not the kind of example I was talking about.


Full Disclosure: The vegetables I made didn't look exactly like this. Or anything like this. Mine came pre-chopped. Frozen. In a bag. Maybe that's why no one wanted to eat them.








Hard Boiling Eggs to Dye for an Egg Hunt?


I followed these directions, and got nice bright, yellow yolks instead of the greenish-gray color I usually end up with when I just boil the eggs for 7 or 8 minutes.

Here's How:

  1. Place eggs in single layer in saucepan.
  2. Cover with at least one inch of cold water over tops of shells.
  3. Cover pot with lid and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  4. As soon as the water comes to a full boil, remove from heat and let stand.
  5. Large soft-cooked eggs: let stand in hot water 1 to 4 minutes, depending on your tastes.
  6. Large hard-cooked eggs: let stand in hot water 15 to 17 minutes.
  7. When cooked to desired level, drain off hot water.
  8. Immediately cover with cold water and add a few ice cubes.
  9. Soft-cooked eggs: let stand in cold water until cool enough to handle. Serve.
  10. Hard-cooked eggs: let stand in cold water until completely cooled. Use as needed.
[Yes. As a matter of fact I do feel like a little old lady for posting about how to get bright, yellow yolks in your hard-boiled eggs. I hope it brings joy to someone's life, making the ridicule I'm sure to get from my friends worth it.]

Time has flown by since last Easter, when we were still in Dallas, and spend the Saturday before Easter dyeing eggs with our friends. Miss you guys! I can't believe it's been a year already.












I think pink is her signature color.
Friday, March 21, 2008


Thanks Papaw and Mo for the new cool shades. She knows she's cool. Oh yes. She knows.

Grandparents: I fully intend to post some pictures of the boys soon. If they will only slow down long enough for me to take some....








Adventures in Potty Land
Thursday, March 20, 2008

After two successful days of potty training at home, I decided that I would take Lauryn out of the house wearing big girl panties today.

All week, I've been promising the kids we would meet Jonathan at McDonald's for lunch today. I don't know if I should feel awesome or lame about the fact that I can make my kids think a trip to McDonald's is as exciting as a trip to Six Flags. But that's a post for another day.

So when we left home, I was full of confidence that she would stay dry. Felt good about it. No worries. We ate our lunch (fries instead of apple slices and Hi-C instead of apple juice - in celebration of Spring Break), and I'm still feelin' pretty confident.

After we ate, we headed to the play land. My attempts at getting her to use the restroom before playing were fruitless.....and I had let her drink an entire cup of Hi-C.

So I'm sitting there watching her play, and I suddenly start to panic.

What was I thinking?? Two successful days at home is not sufficient time for an out-of-the-house panty trip!!! Am I insane!?!


I nervously start to wonder what I'll do if my daughter decides to pee her pants at the top of the play land, contaminating the slide on her trip down. Would I tell an employee? Round up the kids and make a break for the emergency exit? Would they have to clear the play room of the millions of mom's and their kids' enjoying Thursday's $1.50 Happy Meal Day, while someone cleans up my daughter's bio-hazardous material? (In reality, I'm sure some kid has a leaky diaper every other day in that nasty germ hotel, but in my panic I wasn't thinking clearly.)

So, before this imagined scenario could become a reality, I gathered the kids up and we headed home. Lauryn stayed dry the entire trip and asked to use the bathroom when we got home. So all is well in the potty training department today. My panic was unfounded.

Ryan, however, did spill a full cup of blue Powerade on the way home (I let them have their drinks in the van because it's Spring Break! Gotta live it up!), so the day wasn't completely catastrophe free. Wouldn't be a full day without at least one small "incident."

The potty-princess with her McDonald's Happy Meal loot.








So....funny???

Lauryn keeps fake burping then saying "Excuse me!"

She might stop doing it if we'd all stop laughing so hard. The girl knows how to work an audience.








gasping: like praying but with much fewer words
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

This title is taken from a great blog post about fatherhood by my old friend Russell. ("Old" as in we were friends several years ago...not "old" as in geriatric.) Check it out.








Eleven Thousand Six Hundred and Eighty-Seven Days Old
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jonathan is 32 years old today. I have made very few snide remarks about his old, old age and the number of gray hairs on his head, because he's assured me that his revenge will be sweet on my upcoming birthday.

Stop by littlepastor and leave some birthday love. The world is a much better place because he was born. Truly, truly it is.








Words Per Minute

63 words

Speedtest



I took this test mostly to see how my typing compares with my mom. An administrative assistant for most of her adult life, that woman's typing speed is almost supernatural. I sent her the link. No pressure mom, but I expect you to nearly double my score. :-)

(Full Disclosure: I had to take the test about four times to get a score of 63! I thought anything less than 60 was too embarrassing to post.)

Update: Here's my mom's speed, with zero mistakes. Anyone faster and still as accurate?









Might Need to Work on His Bartering Skills
Monday, March 17, 2008

Ryan and Dylan, while playing "store" in the backyard:

"Dylan, how much is this?" [holding a very lovely stick]

"You can have it for....$10 dollars."

"I don't have $10 dollars."

"Okay then. You can have it for $100 dollars."








Spring!!!

Is this springtime weather here to stay? I sure hope so.



Blossoms

Bouquets

Treasures








Have I learned nothing in almost six years of parenting?

Learn from these examples from a week in the Cliff house:

Don't feed your two year old chili while she's wearing a white sweater. It can't turn out good.

Also, when your two year old asks you if she can please open her own bag of instant oatmeal, don't just hand her the package with no guidance. She will rip it with all her might right down the middle and send oatmeal flakes all over the kitchen. ALL. OVER. THE. KITCHEN.

Please, raise your four-year-old in such a way that he will KNOW it's inappropriate to yell "Hey, look at that funny old man!" when an older gentlemen in a wheel chair passes in front of your home. [Horrifying.]

When you whisper to your four-year-old, "Yes, you may have an apple in just a second, but wait until I lay Lauryn down for her nap", please don't assume he knows it's meant to be kept quiet. He will immediately yell, "Hey Lauryn! After you lay down for your nap, I get an apple!" Nap time will be delayed while she finishes her apple.

File Under: What was I thinking?









I would delete file after file of Cyndi Lauper songs
Sunday, March 16, 2008

Here's a funny article that articulates what I often think -- how great it would be if we could delete useless information from our brains at will!

If I could do some "spring cleaning" for the brain, I would wipe away the lyrics to all those pop songs from the late 80's, and make room for more relevant information. Maybe then I'd stop embarrassing myself by showing up on the wrong day to birthday parties.








How do grandparents always know?
Friday, March 14, 2008


Product Ryan has begged for (but not gotten) every time we've been to the grocery store in the last month: Cereal Straws

One of the products the kids received in the mail in their Easter Package from Granny: Cereal Straws

It seems like Grandparents are always getting just the thing the kids have been wanting. Pretty cool. Or, they might have a weekly phone call happening that I don't know about....








On the Sidelines No Longer
Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dylan has watched Ryan go to school. Watched Ryan play soccer. Watched Ryan play tee-ball. As of today, ladies and gentlemen, the watching is over! He owned the field at his first soccer practice today.
("Owning the field" could possibly be a small exaggeration by a proud mama. Maybe.)








Brotherly Advice


I asked Dylan , "Are you excited about your first soccer practice today?" He replied, "Yeah. Me and Ryan talked about it last night before we fell asleep. He told me to just have fun and listen to my coach and do everything my coach tells me."

Good advice from the 5-year-old pro to the 4-year-old rookie.

When they aren't fighting or generally annoying each other they have a pretty great relationship.








She loves her hooded towels. I'll be sad when she outgrows them.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008










So it begins...

Ryan has tee-ball practice on Monday's and Friday's.

Dylan recently signed up for soccer and we just got the first call from his coach; his practices start on Thursday.

With church on Wednesday's, that leaves Tuesdays as our only free night. Until Lauryn is old enough to sign up for something....

I need a hybrid mini-van.








Brings the Budget to it's Knees
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The empty gas tank. Makes the blood run cold.

After finding my tank on empty today, I stopped at the gas station and planned on filling up. But I stopped at $56.00. I had to stop because I could feel my blood pressure rising with every gallon.










Sassy New Design

Thanks to those of you who have emailed that you like Lost in Laundry's new look. I like it too! I can take none of the credit. The great new look come courtesy of soapbox.SUPERSTAR. Let's all give her a big virtual round of applause.








He knows we share a checking account, right?

Me to Jonathan:

"What do you want for your birthday?"

"A MacBook Air."

"So, what do you really want for your birthday?"

"A Harley Davidson."

"I give up."








Must....be...strong
Sunday, March 9, 2008


I am trying to kick my caffeine addiction. I have taken the first step and admitted there is a problem. I had to own up to my problem when I realized that everyday by 2:00pm I have a raging headache if I haven't consumed a couple caffeinated drinks.

Right now I'm facing off with a 2 liter of Pepsi that Jonathan opened today at lunch. The pounding in my head is saying "Pepsi! Pepsi! Pepsi! Drink it! Drink it! Drink it!"

Just as I was about to give in I got a phone call from a friend. I think that was my way out of the temptation. I'm re-focused now and I'll try to overcome.








I heart George.
Saturday, March 8, 2008




Last night Jonathan took me to a George Strait concert. Fun, fun, crazy fun.

I don't quite know why my love of George has followed me since my childhood, when my love of The Bangles and Debbie Gibson has faded. :-)

My first George Strait cassette tape was his 1985 Greatest Hits album that I took from my Grandma's house. At the time, I was in Elementary School, and George reminded me of my Uncle Craig. In reflection, there probably weren't any real similarities, besides they were both handsome men in boots and dusty black cowboy hats. It was enough for a connection when I was seven I guess.

The concert was great. I was totally impressed with his band and with his sound. My love for George continues strong.

The concert was a present for my upcoming 30th birthday. My age was confirmed when during the encore, I stood up to clap. I think my main motivation for standing was to stretch my back. It's hard for old people to sit in one place that long.








Breakfast Conversation
Thursday, March 6, 2008


Starr: I'm taking Dylan and Lauryn to the library today.

Ryan: I'm going to school today!

Jonathan: I'm going to the moon today!

Ryan: Dad. No. [makes the word "Dad" two syllables as he shakes his head]

Jonathan: What? I'm going to the moon to get some cheese!

Dylan: You don't have to go to the moon for cheese Dad. Just go to Wal-Mart.

Not even a courtesy giggle for poor ol' Dad this morning.









"But he makes me so mad!"
Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I often tell Ryan that no one can make him mad; that being mad is a choice he makes. But then later that same day I apparently think that little piece of advice doesn't apply to me.

Parenting is hard. And some days I feel mad at my children. And sometimes feeling mad at them evolves into being angry at them. And sometimes I correct them and discipline them while I'm angry at them. Even though I don't think anger has any real place in discipline, I still do it sometimes. So my memory verse for this season of parenting has become:

"...man's anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires." James 1:20

The whole point of discipline (in this home) is to do our best to parent in such a way that we raise kids who live the life that God desires them to live. According to James 1:20...anger won't help in achieving that goal. Just might keep it from happening. Help me discipline without anger Lord! Help me love them the way You have loved me!


My incredible friend Kelly has an amazing post today that sparked the above thoughts. Check it out.








Bathtime Management


So if I give all three kids a bath on the same night, it takes me well over an hour. Is this a normal amount of time? It seems long to me.

Should I graduate them to showers? Do I need to just speed up the process? Make the boys share, even though the amount of water they jointly splash on the floor is completely ridiculous?








Calories
Monday, March 3, 2008


For lunch I had a sandwich and a Twix Java candy bar. For some reason, eating a candy bar doesn't seem as bad for me if it's a side dish.

Verdict on Twix Java: Oh. My. Yum.








About Three Minutes after Her Daddy Gave Her an Ice Cream Treat
Sunday, March 2, 2008











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I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)

 

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