Monday, September 29, 2008

Trike talk

When Tyler rides his trike, he often pretends that he is dispensing gum from it. Today was no exception.
Tyler, "What kind of gum do you want?"
Wayne, "I'd like coconut gum. How much is it?"
Tyler, "It's one piece."
Wayne, "Oh,... how much does it cost?"
Tyler, "Forty bucks."

By the way, my grape gum was "forty-five bucks" and the pineapple gum was "zero bucks."

"A lot of my gums melt in your mouth but not on the sidewalk."


Later, he randomly started talking to me about the "old lady" who "died and peed in the blue tube." He confirmed that this was at McDonald's Playplace, but denied that it was a dream. He had also talked about this a long time ago - I don't know if he is having recurring dreams or what that's about! At least he is not old enough to have nightmares about the financial crisis! :)

Wayne told me that Tyler said he wanted new parents today. I asked about it and he said, "I want two moms and dads." I asked what they would be like. He said, "Somebody who doesn't have a son. Like my friends."

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Please forgive my lack of posts recently...being back at work has really affected how much time I allot myself online. Last weekend, we spent a lot of time at Pat and Lisa's. After many months of waiting, they moved into their new house! Wayne helped move their things and I helped with painting. As cliche as it sounds, I feel like I'm getting old. I was sore and tired for several days following and finally feel recovered now. :)

This weekend, we enjoyed taking it easy. We spent Friday night getting Tyler's picture taken, eating at Pei Wei (a family favorite) and went to Target. But before we left, I found out that my little nephew, Zion, was born! We got to skype with them. It was a happy evening. :)

Later, Tyler pointed to a picture of a baby and told me that it was cute. He said that he wished he had a little baby. I asked whether he was jealous that his cousin, Gabe, as a new baby. He said, "no, it's okay if he has a baby, but I want one too." :) Unfortunately, so far neither Tyler or I have been successful in convincing Wayne that we need another baby around here.

Last night, Matt and Michelle had the Jaberg's and us over for hamburgers and the weather was so pleasant that we ate outside. We had a great time.

Today, I got to talk to Lynette for the first time since they moved back to Thailand. I'm such a bad sister, I hadn't called her yet. We had a great conversation... and it makes it feel like she doesn't live quite so far away. I'm not jealous of all the worms her Thai friends are giving to her to eat. She claims they taste like popcorn...and told Tyler that too. Hopefully he doesn't get any ideas.

This afternoon, we spent some time at the park

Crazy Wayne!

Monday, September 22, 2008

more politics, anyone?...

OK - I resist any groups, especially any I claim :), being labeled as thinking or feeling a particular way all of the time. However, without going into detail about my thoughts on the following article, I did find it interesting (if a bit long). It is followed by a lot of professional responses to the article.

I also enjoyed this site, which I found on Sarah's blog, which shows you whose political views you really support. I found it interesting and maybe you will too.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Trash Can

This morning, Tyler pulled off a paper chain ring, threw it on the floor below and said, "this is my trash can, okay?"

"Alright," I conceded, "But we could get you your own trash can for your room."

"Yay! I've been dreaming of a trash can. Sometimes I dream about cars and trains... and trash cans!"

Somehow, I believe the cars and trains...but trash cans?

Oh, the simple joys of life. :) And how easy it is to make a 3 year-old happy (sometimes).
Thank goodness, as I think ahead to the surely more expensive wish list of, say, a 14 year-old.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Arrr, Matey!

Did you know today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? This afternoon, I've been invited to a pirate party in one of our classrooms, and was even provided a bandanna complete with skulls and cross bones. I also followed this link to find out my pirate name. How fun!

My pirate name is:
Red Jenny Kidd
Passion is a big part of your life, which makes sense for a pirate. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pretty air

Last night, after Wayne had brushed his teeth, he was blowing toward Tyler. (I hate when people do that to me, but Tyler doesn't seem to mind). In fact, Tyler said, "You have pretty air."

My son. I love him so.

(We won't get into his morbid conversation with us last night: something about - do we wish he was dead? him dying at 38, 57 or 58-7. What is 58-7? We don't know either. Yeah - still figuring out this dying thing, I guess).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Trike riding

We just got in from a little evening trike ride, well Tyler anyway. I just had to write this before I forget. I should preface this by saying that Tyler has been into making up his own (nonsense) words lately, and then he likes to explain what they mean.

One time around on his trike, I had given him a little push with my foot. He came around the driveway again and said (very nicely), "Don't pist into me."

I asked him what "pist" was.

He said, "it's like making somebody go fast. Like pushing into them." (Whew).

"Pisting is a little trike that you push them on to go fast."

I have determined that he is turning the Piston Cup into a verb (where there is a lot of crashing, pushing, etc).

And for a potty update - since the day I posted about my concerns, I've decided to relax and just make it not as big of a deal. Tyler has still had a few accidents, but it has been noticeably better! Yay! And, I think he seems happier and more adjusted to me being at work. Not that he still doesn't talk about missing me or not wanting me to work, but he seems better. That is a big relief for me!

French Onion Soup

Today's weather was gorgeous. But, this weekend's rain and wind put me in the mood for some fall cooking. I must admit, before tonight, I had never made French Onion Soup. But it just sounds like fall. I remember my Mom making it when we were growing up. I always thought of it as "hard to eat" soup. Those croutons and stringy Swiss cheese just got in my way. But, Wayne had told me of his love for French Onion Soup and I wanted to give it a try. And, I must admit, eating it tonight, I appreciated the stringy Swiss cheese and loved the crunchy salty bits of the croutons. But even better was the delicious, comforting onion broth! Enjoy! (Just make sure you have several hours to make it before you want to eat it). :)

French Onion Soup with Shaved Swiss Cheese
Emeril Lagasse

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
3 pounds yellow onions, peeled and julienned
1/3 cup bourbon whiskey
2 quarts beef stock
1 quart chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup freshly grated Swiss cheese

In a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the onions and cook, stirring, until dark golden brown and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until a deep caramel color, about 1 hour. (I turned down the heat - on my stove, that would have been too hot).

Add the bourbon and cook, stirring occasionally, until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except the cheese, and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and fragrant, about 1 hour. (I then added a little more salt and a little sugar, to taste).

Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
To serve, sprinkle each portion with grated Swiss cheese. (I also made some croutons and sprinkled them on top).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Let's go fly a kite...

After last weekend's rainy days, and the downpour we had this weekend (I guess it was 12 inches within a 24 hour period instead of 10), we were ready to get outside today when the sun came out! It was windy, but sunny and in the 70s. Perfect weather for flying kites. So we headed to the park with the Jabergs. (We, of course, visited the playground afterward).

Tyler, Lisa and Oliver are flying Oliver's kite on the left of the picture. Wayne and Pat are flying Wayne's kite on the right.

Tyler enjoyed looking out for the shadow from Oliver's kite as it flew past them.

Date night

Last evening Ted and Sue so kindly came to Wichita so that we could enjoy an evening out with Matt and well as giving us precious, valued coupons...the Warren Theater movie coupons. (1/2 off ticket price, plus free popcorn and soda). We enjoyed our movie, Tropic Thunder, a parody on actors and movie making process. It was a little more of a guy movie than I expected. But it was funny and we had a good time. We had dinner at Red Beans Bayou Grill - the atmosphere feels like you're by the ocean...even though we are definitely not in Kansas! It is really nice to go out to eat without worrying about entertaining children or the wait. :) Tyler LOVED his time with Grandpa and Grandma. He told me they ate black olive pizza (apparently that was the main event to him amongst many other toppings). Thank you, Grandpa Stuckeys!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

City: Flood could be as bad or worse than '98 | - News, Weather, Sports - NBC - Wichita - Great Bend - Garden City - McCook - Kansas | Local News

City: Flood could be as bad or worse than '98 - News, Weather, Sports - NBC - Wichita - Great Bend - Garden City - McCook - Kansas Local News

Yesterday, we really got dumped on. Yesterday evening we had gotten about 8 inches of rain and it was up to around 10 inches by this morning. We feel lucky not to have any flooding at our house. I'm happy that Wayne replaced our sump pump earlier this summer! Luckily, I was able to get home from work yesterday with no trouble, but there are places (within a mile or so of our house) where streets are barricaded and people that have had to go to shelters because of the rain. I know that we're supposed to keep getting more rain, so we'll see what happens. And we're not even close to being in the worst hit areas of the country! I hope as many people as possible are kept safe!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Tonight, building his Hot Wheels track...
"Hmmm, I need to wook at the directions."


Last evening, Tyler went next door to jump on the neighbor's trampoline...with 2 neighbor girls from a different home/family. Pat & Lisa came over a little later to play some corn hole. Soon, our driveway became the place to be. The 2 neighbor girls and 4 other kids, plus our 2, came over to play. 2 of the boys we had never met before...they live at the other end of the street. They kind of hovered until they were brave enough to ask to play. It was unexpected...and fun.

The kids were racing around, biking, etc, and I could never get all of them in a picture at once.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Tyler's thoughts on Rocky Road ice cream,
"Well, marshmallows are good hiders when they're in ice cream."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tyler, what is going on? :)

Last evening after we got home, it took awhile to get Tyler to settle down. At bedtime he quite strange - it was so out of character, I still don't know what to think. I was laying down with him and he said he needed a new pillow. I got him a little froggy pillow. He laid quietly then suddenly sat up, and cried out that he did not want the pillow, would never want it again and threw it across the room. He settled down and was quiet for about 2 minutes. Then he began whimpering which turned into loud crying saying that he was scared and needed his froggy pillow. I retrieved it. He settled down and then within a few minutes again began crying that he did not want it, he hated it and would never want it again. (Yes, quite dramatic). Instead of letting him throw it, I took it. He needed some reassuring that it was not touching him and was not in the bed with him. I again thought he was going to go to sleep when he freaked out again that he was scared and desperately needed it. I gave it to him again and he finally fell asleep. WHAT IS GOING ON?

Today I was asking him about it to try to figure out whether he was awake when this was going on. He said he remembered it. He said, "I woved it, then not woved it, woved it, then not woved it..."

Tonight he told me, "You and me are monsters."
I asked what kind of monsters we were.
"The kind of monsters that take tags off."
Me, "Why would we want to do that?"
Tyler, "We would eat the tags. Do you fink the tags are pretty yummy?"
Silly, random boy.

Saturday night

Yesterday it was cool and rainy. We went bowling at The Alley with the Pankratz's. Apparently a lot of other people had the same idea because it was pretty busy. We had to wait for an open lane. In the meantime, we hung out in the gaming area. Tyler was quite taken with the dinosaur/candy game (despite having no tokens to spend). He was there for quite awhile, mesmerized.

Pretending to drive with Leo.

Abe bowling.

Tyler and Leo (eating french fries, thus the ketchup face for Leo).

Tyler bowling.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Politics and religion. The two things to avoid talking about because they always spark controversy and disagreement. This morning, I just can't help myself.

I've been enjoying the excitement surrounding the upcoming election. I enjoy reading Sarah's blog who recently added some interesting articles and has been blogging a lot about the election. I enjoyed a relative's blog post(who I will keep anonymous because the post now appears to be deleted). While I can't quote it, I'll summarize one point that stuck out to me. While some Republicans present themselves as the "Christian party," specifically due to their pro life stance, there is simultaneously a justification for the thousands of lives lost in the war. This irony is frustrating to me as well as the infuriating belief held by some that if you are a Christian you must also be a Republican.

I enjoyed a clip from the Daily Show from September 3 following a link from barkdust, who I also enjoy reading. This morning, I also enjoyed this clip from last night's Daily Show.

I am, perhaps obviously, an Obama supporter, but since (at least in my family) we have some varying political views, I try not to talk about it too much. I wanted to share these clips for those of you who may also enjoy them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Potty troubles.

I don't quite know what to think. We thought Tyler was daytime potty trained. He had gotten to the point that we weren't reminding him and he was starting to go by himself without needing one of us to stand there with him. But he has had fairly regular potty accidents since I started back to work. (Generally not on a daily basis, but often enough). I know that kids can regress when they are stressed or there is a big change. Apparently my going back to work is a big enough change.

We have tried rewarding him for making it to the bathroom on time and for trying to go even when he doesn't want to. But, alas, he continues to have trouble. The other night after he had wet his pants, I was asking him what we could do to help him stay dry.

He said, "but you just go to work and go to work..."

I feel bad for him, but really, it's just the way it has to be. I just can't stop going to work.

Last night, after he pooped in his underwear, I told him a story about my Grandpa (David). I explained (my Aunt Betty told me this) that Grandpa said that if little boys poop their pants, we should scrub their bottoms with a toilet brush and put them in a cold shower. He first looked surprised by my story, and asked why. I explained. Then he got teary and said he didn't want Grandpa David to be dead. So, that ended that discussion about potty time and became a conversation about dying.

Other than praise, taking him even when he doesn't want to go and, um for lack of a better term, threats, any other suggestions out there? I don't know if it's a matter of time for him to adjust to the change in schedule or if there is some magic trick I'm just not trying.

This may be too much honesty for a blog, but, it's what's really been on my mind lately.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Banana Bread

I made this banana bread recipe last evening from Orangette's blog. I had a couple of large overripe bananas sitting on the counter and this used them nicely. I love the way she writes - enjoy.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Antipasto Pasta Salad

Sue made this pasta salad and brought some to share last weekend. I made it for the camping trip and we enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend it. It makes a lot, so you'd probably want to halve the recipe unless you have a large group.

Antipasto Pasta Salad - America's Test Kitchen

Can add: 1 cup chopped, pitted kalamata olives or 1 cup jarred artichokes, drained and quartered. Use any curly-shaped pasta for this recipe. Serves 6 to 8 (We think it serves more like 12-14).

8 ounces sliced pepperoni , cut into 1/4-inch strips
8 ounces soppressata or salami, halved and cut into 1/4-inch strips
10 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 jar pepperoncini (12-ounce), drained, (2 tablespoons juice reserved), stemmed, and chopped coarse
4 garlic cloves , minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1 pound fusilli or campanelle
1 pound white mushrooms , quartered
1 cup shredded provolone cheese , aged
12 ounces roasted red peppers , drained, patted dry, and chopped coarse
1 cup chopped fresh basil

1. Place one paper towel on microwave-safe plate. Arrange pepperoni in single layer on paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and layer sopresatta on towel. Top with another paper towel and microwave on highest power until meat begins to render fat, about 1 minute. Set meat aside.

2. Whisk 5 tablespoons vinegar, olive oil, mayonnaise, pepperoncini juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl.

3. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, return to pot, and toss with 1/2 cup dressing and remaining vinegar. Adjust seasonings, spread dressed pasta on rimmed baking sheet, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, bring remaining dressing to simmer in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until they release their juices and are lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and cool.

5. Add meat, provolone, roasted red peppers, chopped pepperoncini, basil, and cooled pasta to mushrooms and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature. Salad can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Well, we had our first camping trip of the year. It took a few days of packing and preparing, as usual. Friday after I got home from work, we left for Cheney. Luckily, it only takes about 30 minutes to get there. We scouted out a couple of sites since our friends planned to join us on Saturday. We found a nice spot with plenty of space and a sandy beach. The evening was still and cool. Just right.

Sunflowers growing wild across from our campsite.

Since we got in late, we didn't get a fire going until it was almost dark. We had a yummy hobo dinner around 9:30 pm. After that, we all hit the showers. The water was very cold and I could hear screaming from the men's room - Tyler was not a fan of the cold water, I guess.
On the way back to camp, Tyler was holding my hand as we walked.
Tyler said, "Daddy, I like Mommy better than you."
"Oh, why's that?" Wayne asked.
"Well, she's shorter and fatter and she has a nice hand."
Wayne (to me, sarcastically), "Oh, you're welcome." (To Tyler), "you like Mommy's hand?"
Tyler, "It's soft and it feels good."
The next day, after another conversation including comparisons, Michelle wondered whether Tyler realized he could like 2 people equally. We explained that he could, which seemed to make sense to him. Before that, though, he said that he like me better because I'm cuter. I like that better. :)

The next day was very hot. Michelle & Matt, Lisa & Pat, Mark and Patty and their boys all joined us (sans Leo). The boys enjoyed playing in the sand and just running around.

It was a really hot day. We tried to stay in the shade to stay cool.

As we got in our cars to head for a designated swimming area (with less algae and muck than at our site) we realized that the battery was dead. I had kept the back hatch unlatched during the day and apparently that was enough to drain the battery. Just after we realized it was dead, the camp host came by and said that he could get someone to come in 20 minutes to loan us jumper cables. So, Tyler and I hitched a ride and Wayne stayed - they never showed. (We borrowed jumper cables from our camping neighbors the next morning).
While we were swimming, it started raining. So, we came back and found shelter until the storm blew through - I think we spent about 45 minutes in the car. Here's Tyler enjoying playing in the front seat. A rare treat for him.
We enjoyed a camping feast in the evening. After putting the children to bed, we enjoyed a little campfire time with the adults. However, I was so worn out, I didn't last very long. We had another delicious meal for breakfast, and lounged around for Sunday morning. We came home in the afternoon exhausted and dirty. It felt so good to have a thorough shower and sleep in my bed again. But, I still loved camping. It's a great chance to be together, enjoy the outdoors (and maybe appreciate the conveniences of home a little more).
Last evening, I was so tired I could hardly see straight. Tyler wanted to spend the night at Abe's house, which really surprised me. I know he loves Abe, and playing at Abe's house, but leaving him is usually hard (at least on me). He's never slept at any one's house before besides Ted & Sue's (which was only once). I was extra surprised at his request because lately he has been talking about wishing I didn't have to work and has had some regression in his ... how should I say...toilet habits. But, since he was so sure that he wanted to stay over and they were willing, we tried it. Apparently he did well and didn't ask for us once. I really appreciated it. After I got over the weirdness of not having Tyler around I realized that I was able to get my laundry done and the house picked up pretty quickly. That made today so much more relaxing.
Today, Labor Day, we did some shopping, went to the park, and enjoyed ice cream in the afternoon. All in all, it's been a pretty great weekend! I feel refreshed. :)