Surely fish can last a few days with no food. Right?
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

'Cause feeding the fish is Jonathan's thing. And just a few minutes ago was the first time I've fed them since he's been gone. And chances are good that I won't remember to feed them again.

Maybe the kids will help me remember.








Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock


Generally, Lauryn gets put on the "time-out bench" for throwing tantrums. This morning I've decided to use the "I'm going to completely ignore you" tactic.

Scene:

"Mommy, can I please have milk?"

"Okay, here's your milk. You need to sit at the table with it please."

"NO!" Falls dramatically to the ground.

That was about 25 minutes ago. No real tears are falling at this point but the pseudo-crying is still going strong.

At one point she said "You're not my friend!" I just ignored her and she calmly said"Bubba taught me that." Then she went back to crying.

At first it was wearing me out, but at this point I've kind of tuned her out and I'm just curious to see how long she can keep it going.








Countdown to his return: 96 hours
Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jonathan is out of town this week attending a conference.

I asked the kids what they'd like to do this week, and we have several EXCITING!! and FUN!! things planned, including dinner at McDonald's and trips to the play land at the mall. If I'm feeling particularly adventurous we might even head over to Cici's Pizza. Jonathan occasionally agrees to eat there to please the kids (Okay, okay. And me too. I love those ooey-gooey, probably slightly undercooked, cinnamon rolls!), then immediately after leaving vows he will never, ever return. He just doesn't appreciate the beauty of a buffet style establishment.








I've decided this will be my new "summer thing".
Saturday, April 26, 2008


I went to a community "baby bonanza" sale this morning with a friend. I got some great deals! Now my four year old has TWO, (count 'em, TWO!), pairs of jeans without holes in the knees. They are even name brand, the likes of which don't grace our closets very often. Best of all, I paid barely more than a wink and a smile for everything I bought.

So I've decided to try and hit some garage sales this summer bright and early on Saturday mornings. I have never been a garage sale-er, but I'm going to give it a whirl.

Any tips from old pros as I hit the garage sale scene?








Them there er fightin' words.
Thursday, April 24, 2008


After reminding Dylan he has soccer practice tonight, I say to Lauryn,

"Are you going to play soccer someday too?"

"Yeah! Soccer and t-ball!"

Dylan interjects, "You can't Lauryn. You're just a baby."

Lauryn calmly and deliberately says "I. AM. NOT. A. BABY." Then all manner of vengeance and wrath spilled forth from her mouth, aimed at her brother who would dare accuse her of being the "b word." The words were not always decipherable, but the sentiment was perfectly clear. She ended her vitriolic speech again emphasizing "I am NOT a BABY!"

Now that Dylan has discovered her trigger, I fully expect him to call her a baby 17 more times before the morning is over.








Another fun link. Well...some people might call it fun.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

But I call it maddening because I can only get to about 4.12 seconds. Here's the game.

Not as fun as the helicopter game I linked to a few weeks ago!

EDIT: 12.14 seconds. And I'm not playing ANYMORE.








Achievements



Ryan's biggest achievement this t-ball season: He has gotten a hit each time he's stepped up to the tee. He's also perfected sliding into home. Even if no one is anywhere near him.

My biggest achievement this t-ball season: The child has had sparkling white pants for each and every game. Even with his aforementioned habit of sliding into home almost every single time he scores and dirtying his little tooshie, I've managed to have his uniform clean twice a week every week. It's a victory worth celebrating.

Bleach and I are becoming acquainted like never before thanks to those white uniform pants.

I know, because you've told me, that some of you are horrified that I don't routinely bleach my whites. I know some of you bleach your whites each and every load. Sadly, ensuring that nothing of color has snuck into my white load is too big of a commitment for me to make. So I remain bleach-less. And yes, our socks can get a bit on the dingy side. But seeing as our socks are generally tucked away out of sight in our shoes, I have decided not to lose sleep over it.








Two and a half and loving life.
Monday, April 21, 2008



Lauryn has randomly been calling me "Ma" this afternoon. And since she's wearing pigtails today, I keep having thoughts of Laura from Little House on the Prairie....

I don't much like this "Ma" business. But if she keeps it up I'll train her to call her Daddy "Pa" so we can keep it equal.

Lauryn has been wearing pigtails a little more often now that I have let go of my obsession that the part in her hair has to be PERFECTLY STRAIGHT. Pigtail construction used to be a misadventure that left both mother and daughter in tears. After much struggle, I'd get them in, then see that the part in the back veered slightly to the left and we'd have to start all over again. It was ridiculous really. But as you can see from the wavy line down the middle of her head, and the strands of hair falling around her face, I've let go of the need for pigtail perfection. We're all much happier.








It takes me a while to get around to watching movies.
Sunday, April 20, 2008


Just finished watching Dreamgirls. (Yes, I know it was made in 2006.)

I thought it was great. It made me wanna put on a sparkly dress and sing and dance.

Jonathan, on the other hand, spent the last half of the movie getting up to get a snack every time a song started. He wandered back in to hear the dialogue. It's amazing we get along at all.








Driving Ryan to school on Friday.
Saturday, April 19, 2008

First:

"Ryan, did you have a good time at your t-ball game last night?"

"No mom. It was so cold I was just out there wishing it would start to rain hot chocolate."

Then a little further down the road:

"Mom, I think I know why fish never sleep."

"Why?"

"They're worried that if they fall asleep, the humans will think they're dead, and throw them in the toilet. "









My husband really hates reality TV.
Thursday, April 17, 2008

"I'm so sick of reality television. Every network has a reality show on tonight! American Idol...Big Brother...Big Fat Loser..."

"Umm...did you say ' Big Fat Loser ' ???"

"Yeah. You know. That show where people try to lose weight."

"I think that show is called 'The Biggest Loser.'"

"Whatever."


I'm sure "Big Fat Loser" was a name they tossed around when the show was in production. Who wouldn't want to be on that show?








Sometimes simple is best.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008



We own a closet full of games, but the "Curious George Match-a-Balloon Game" was a favorite of Ryan, Dylan, and now Lauryn.

We received it as a hand-me-down, and I can't find it for sale anywhere online or at the store. If I could, it would become something I stocked up on to give to wee ones as birthday presents. No reading or counting required; just roll the dice and match colors.

Dylan has a great time "teaching" Lauryn her colors while they play.

Who doesn't love Curious George? The images on the game board pieces are delightful. I don't use that word, delightful, in real life, but it seemed okay here.












A shift westward has occured.

A screen shot of my Google Analytics page from last month, graphing my Texas readers.


I now have more Lost in Laundry readers in Lubbock than in the DFW area. I still feel like we're "new" here in Lubbock, but in reality we've been here almost a year. Crazy.

I miss Dallas sometimes (friends...Texas Rangers baseball games...bluebonnets...IKEA...Grapevine Mills Mall...The Dallas Morning News newspaper...WFAA news) but I really, really like it in Lubbock. It's a great place.

As far as readers of Lost in Laundry goes, Oklahoma still has twice as many people reading as Texas. Oklahomans. They're a loyal breed. Plus, with the exception of my mom, my entire family lives there. Family is really your core audience when half your blog is made up of potty-training stories.


Oklahoma readers last month.


Thanks to all of you (whatever state you're in) who keep checking in on the Cliff family!








Tip for Lubbock Readers
Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Did you know if you text the word "weather" to 75044, you will get an immediate text response with the weather forecast for the day? (Thanks FOX 34!)

Helpful when in a hurry to decide how to dress the kids before sending them to school!

You would hate the be the mom who sends her kid to school in shorts and a t-shirt on the assumption that it's going to be another warm day, only to realize later there is likely to be snowfall. Ahem.








Water Water Everywhere. (Well...wetness at least.)
Monday, April 14, 2008


People often ask me, "What's the difference between couplehood and babyhood?" In a word? Moisture. Everything in my life is now more moist. Between your spittle, your diapers, your spit-up and drool, you got your baby food, your wipes, your formula, your leaky bottles, sweaty baby backs, and numerous other untraceable sources--all creating an ever-present moistness in my life, which heretofore was mainly dry.

-- Paul Reiser



These would be my words of wisdom for anyone expecting a baby: Get ready for the moisture. The untraceable sources are cause for concern. Another particularly fun source of moisture is the middle of the night accidents. Those that leave you carrying a wet sheet, wet underwear, and wet PJ's to the laundry room at 2:00 in the morning, stumbling with fatigue as you hold the wad of wetness at arm's length to keep the moisture far from you. There's also the moisture that accompanies potty-training. Peeling off wet socks is one of my favorite things to do.

When Lauryn is fully potty-trained, I'm having a big bonfire to burn the diaper bag. A celebration of a little less moisture in my life.








Mama's a little nutty sometimes.
Friday, April 11, 2008

Lauryn seems to become extra needy at dinner preparation time. All kinds of requests are made as soon as I make my way into the kitchen. So I've begun asking the boys to help her:

"Ryan, can you turn on Lauryn's light for her?"

"Dylan, will you show Lauryn where her crayons are?"

"Ryan, can you please help Lauryn get her sandal on so she can go in the backyard with you?"

Well, today I realized I might be taking it a little too far.

Lauryn stubbed her toe (barely touched it but to her it was a minor tragedy) right as I was trying to get hot baked potatoes out of the crock pot. (Great way to make baked potatoes by the way.) So I said:

"Dylan, can you kiss Lauryn's toe and make her boo-boo better?"

I'M NOT EVEN KIDDING. I asked my four-year-old to kiss his two-year-old sister's toe. A likely stinky toe, dirty from backyard play while adorned in sandals. And as the words came out of my mouth, requesting that he kiss said stinky toe, I was completely serious. He looked at me like I had lost my mind. And maybe I had. Maybe I had.









Can we all make a vow we won't start wearing shoulder pads?
Thursday, April 10, 2008

I received this promotional email from Kohl's:

Click image to enlarge.

Is it just me, or does that outfit scream return to the 1980's? The shimmery fabric. The pleating. The navy blue skirt with black tights. All she needs is a wee bit more AquaNet. Or Rave.

You know you used it.
I spent at least 20 minutes each day in Jr. High with a curling iron and can of Rave,
getting the perfect "bang poof".


I make a vow to you my internet readers, that I will not embrace the shoulder pad, no matter what direction fashion may take. Although....the optical illusion they create would likely make my waist look smaller....










I try to be crafty sometimes. With various degrees of success.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008

While watching Good Morning America yesterday, they had a segment about easy crafts for kids. I was inspired to try and help the kids make some "yarn bowls."


You will need:
balloons
yarn
Elmer's glue

Step 1: Cut yarn into strips and soak in a bowl of Elmer's glue. Dylan was all over this step. Getting to put his fingers in a bowl full of glue? Right up his alley.

Lauryn, however, was not so into Step 1. She tried to get her yarn soaked in glue while never getting her fingers anywhere near the "yucky" (I quote) stuff.

Step 2: After yarn is glue soaked, pull out an individual strand.

Step 3: Drape glue soaked strands of yarn over a balloon that you have secured in a bowl with tape.

Step 4: Let the yarn/glue/balloon creation dry over night. Ideally...the balloons should have much more yarn covering them, but my kids got bored.

Step 5: After glue is completely dry, pop the balloon, and the yarn keeps the shape of a bowl. Everyone, all together now: Ooohh....ahhh....!!! Except, we didn't really use enough yarn for it to be much of a bowl. Not a bowl that will hold anything anyway. Oh well.



At least it makes a good wig.


Click pictures to enlarge. If you so wish.

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Loving others. Sometimes it's hard.


My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

John 15:12

Love each other. Okay. Yep, I try and do that. Love others as He has loved me. Need to work on that part a bit.

He has loved me with
compassion
grace
mercy
long suffering
selflessness
passion
authenticity

and most of all...He loves me even though I don't deserve it.

How has He loved you?












not so alarming
Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Tonight all three kids were sitting on the couch, the boys playing a Cars video game, Lauryn observing.

The smoke alarm starts violently blaring an incessant BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP.

NONE of them even budge. Ryan calmly says "The pizza is ready" and not a single eye is even momentarily averted from the TV.

So yes....this time the smoke alarm was again set off by my burning something in the oven. But it might have been a real emergency! Geesh!

My (non)cooking skills are training my children that the smoke alarm merely means dinner is ready. Sigh.








I like to get new music.

mattmaherbanner

I've heard (read in the blogosphere) great things about worship leader Matt Maher. Raving reviews of his music can be found here and here.

Then I heard about this promotion. If you are a blogger with at least 50 unique visitors a month, check it out!

And if you're not a blogger, or not one of the first 100 to get in on the promo, you can buy the album here. You can listen online to the album; I really like "Lay it Down" and "For Your Glory."











"How do I get my toddler to talk more?"

This is the question I answer almost weekly. Both on my job (I work on Mon and on Fri from 8:00 - 3:00, it's a nice gig for a mommy!), and from friends and acquaintances who know I am a speech therapist.

I found this great article today that addresses this question, and the author nicely articulates all the things I encourage parents to try.

Talking "more" is not the problem around our house. Dylan and Lauryn both talk plenty, it's just that half the time, half the listeners can't quite understand what they're saying. Humbling for this SLP. We're working on it!

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best buds
Sunday, April 6, 2008










watch your head

My husband and I both routinely leave kitchen cabinet doors open after we get something out of the cabinet. It's not uncommon to look in our kitchen and see every door hanging open if we've been cooking dinner together. I guess it's a good thing we both do it. I can see how it would be irritating to someone not afflicted with the disease.

I think maybe the whole leaving-the-cabinet-door-open phenomenon is genetic, because this is what Lauryn's play kitchen always looks like:








girls night out
Saturday, April 5, 2008

Celebrated my 30th birthday with my girlfriends last night. Among other great gifts, they got me a huge box full of desserts. THIRTY desserts. I do not exaggerate. It's a good thing I recently gave up Pepsi, so I can now replace those calories with cookies and brownies. Whew!

I would say if you haven't been to Gardski's in Lubbock, you should really try it out. And order the Monte Cristo sandwich. But I think everyone in Lubbock who reads my blog is in this picture.








arr matey!


"Boys, please try to be a little quieter. Daddy is trying to sleep."

"But Mommy! We're pirates on the stormy seas!"

"Well...pretend like you have to be quiet because if you're too loud the enemy pirates will find you."

That worked great for all of two minutes. Until I heard them scream, "They found us! They got us! Time to fight back! ATTACK!!!!!!"








TARGET: Page, AZ
Thursday, April 3, 2008

Anyone out there have a good friend that you've had since childhood? I am blessed to have a handful of such friends. One of them, Danielle, now lives right in here Lubbock!

It's a huge blessing, her living here - like having a little piece of my hometown right down the street. She knows all about Sand Springs, OK....Charles Page High School...and knows and loves my family as well. We've been friends since we were 8 years old, and I can't overstate how nice it is living so close to someone I share some history with.

Danielle,her husband, and their beautiful baby girl, moved to Lubbock about three months ago, when her husband got a job offer here. They put their house in Page, AZ on the market, and moved before it sold.

They are loving it here in West Texas....but their house back in AZ still hasn't sold. The cost of paying a mortgage on a house in Page, plus paying rent to live in Lubbock until the house sells, is making things a wee bit tight.

So faithful readers, I'm asking you to target a prayer in the direction of Page, AZ. See how I've even circled it for you on this handy map?

Please ask the Lord to bring the right buyer. And quickly!

Edit:

I wanted to post a "then" and "now" picture of us, but since I'm unwilling to dig through yet unpacked boxes in my garage for an old picture, the best I can manage is the "now." So imagine a picture right beside this one, of the two of us 22 years ago.











acceptance
Wednesday, April 2, 2008


There are several things I've accepted about myself.

I will never be able to fold a fitted sheet. I've read step by step instructions...watched how-to videos online...even caught an episode of Oprah with Martha Stewart demonstrating the proper folding technique. I just can't do it. The best I can accomplish is a "tidy wad". It works for me. I'm fine with it.

I'll never be a high fashion dresser. I'm pretty sure that to accomplish that certain "look" you first of all have to enjoy shopping. There's my first problem, and one I'm not likely to overcome. Secondly, I am not a fan of the high heel shoe. I will wear them occasionally when feeling particularly sassy. But that's a rare, rare day.

I will never truly appreciate classical music or the symphony. This one pains me. I so want to be sophisticated. But as hard as I've tried, I just can't get into it. In my college humanities class, there were people who could identify the composer almost upon hearing the first note. I was so jealous of those people.

Those are silly things....things that used to frustrate me....but don't frustrate me anymore. I'm a sheet-wadin', jeans and tennis shoe wearin', simple-music lovin' kinda girl. And I like it that way.

But then there are other things I worry I have accepted about myself.

I'm just not a morning person. Mornings at my house will always be rushed and crazy, and I just can't get up in time to meet with the Lord in the morning. WRONG. I know I could get out of bed earlier and start my day in a less frantic way. I just haven't made that choice.

I just can't eat right and get to the gym regularly. My life is just too crazy right now. WRONG. There are plenty of other mom's out there who manage to eat right and exercise. I just haven't made that choice.

I just wasn't born organized. I'll never have a home that always looks tidy, welcoming, and ready to greet company. Umm....wrong? Okay wait....so this one I really DO think is true. Just kidding. Sorta. I'm working on it, okay!?!








Nice change from sandwiches
Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Thanks to my friend Danielle for saving me from my lunch time prison. I have been chained to the same old lunch -- day after day after day of sandwiches. She introduced me last week to a simple Pita Bread Pizza that is oh so yummy - a piece of pita break, provolone cheese, and sliced tomatoes.

Today I made myself the same Pita Pizza and added marinated artichoke hearts, and it's my new favorite lunch.

I have trouble thinking outside the box, so it's nice when a friend expands my lunchtime horizons. :-)


Before serving to your husband: If your man is a meat eater like mine, consider adding some chorizo sausage. (His suggestion.)










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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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