Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's Out!


He did come home from school yesterday with it dangling, but before dinner he wiggled it front and wiggled it back and then it popped out! It's so funny how different Caleb looks without that tooth. But so cute!

The Tooth Fairy did come last night and left a whole dollar. Caleb told me just what he thinks he could use the dollar for: "Ice cream money!" (They sell ice cream during lunch one day a week and he's always itching to get one.)

I told him he could maybe save up all of his Tooth Fairy money and buy something good. He thought about it for a second before replying, "Nah! Ice cream money!" and dancing around the kitchen while his sister cried that she didn't get a dollar from the Tooth Fairy! But that's a whole other post in itself...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Pretty Things

I finished this little quilt top today while the girls were resting.

This pattern was so easy to do. I may make another one sometime.

Will it ever happen?

Caleb has a loose tooth. He lost two teeth last year (both bottom middle ones) and neither of them were a big deal. The first one came out when he was vacationing at Nana's and he didn't realize it fell out until it disappeared - they never found the tooth. The second one he let me yank. This third one is a different story.

The thing has been wiggly for a few weeks at least but no one has paid attention to it until recently. Last week in P.E., Caleb fell and bonked his mouth on the floor, loosening his already loose tooth. Since then, he's been wiggling and wiggling it and the stubborn tooth won't come out. And Caleb refuses to let anyone yank it out for him (even though after I pulled the last one he told me it didn't hurt at all).

It's so loose, the thing is hanging on by half a root.

Here's a close up. Not for the faint of heart.

Here he is last night, doing his best to get it out. I'm so ready for this tooth to be out that I promised him a dollar in addition to what the Tooth Fairy brings if he could get it out before bed. No deal. My mom promised him a "golden dollar coin" (his coinage of choice) if he could get it out before bed. Two bucks in addition to the Tooth Fairy's loot. It would have persuaded me, but didn't work for Caleb.

Here he is looking worried that I might yank the tooth out for him. (Or sad when I broke the news that it was bedtime and his chance to pull it out was over, along with the extra money incentives.)

He went to school this morning with the tooth dangling. I hope he doesn't gross out his teacher! He'll be home soon. I wonder if he'll still be sporting his tooth when he gets home...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Customer Service

There is a grinder shop close by here that has the most amazing billboard. It's just a picture of a grinder with the restaurant's information on it, but that grinder is beautiful. A big roll piled high with cold cuts and toppings. Every time we'd drive by I'd drool over it and tell Rob how much I wanted to go try it out.

Finally last week we did. Rob and I took the girls one day on our way to the grocery store. I got this fabulous bacon and mushroom chicken grinder which was terrific. However, we had the worst customer service ever. We were just about the only people in the shop, but the staff still felt the need to hurry us along. Since we hadn't been there before apparently we took too long looking at the menu or something. Anyway, when they finally made my sandwich they made it wrong. They left off the bacon and mushrooms (so much for a bacon and mushroom chicken sandwich, right?). Rob went up to let the guys behind the counter know of the mistake and they totally threw attitude at him, telling him that the way they made the sandwich was the way it was supposed to be. Rob pointed out that since there were no mushrooms or bacon it wasn't the way it was supposed to be. After a minute of debate, the guys rolled their eyes and tossed a couple of mushrooms and one slice of bacon on the sandwich.

Needless to say, Rob was pretty ticked. In the car on the way home he was talking about how we'll never go back and how he was going to write scathing reviews on all of the restaurant review web sites he could find. I suggested that we write to the company, letting them know what happened, and give them a chance to correct the problem. It worked!

This afternoon I wrote an e-mail and not two hours back received a response from the owner himself:

Dear Ms. Rollins:

I am so furious that this was your experience and it will be addressed! Are you able to describe the staff and what time this happened on Tuesday, 1/20? We are known for our good service and product. It's because of feedback from customers as yourself that we are able to maintain this level of service, with the exception of a few. Would you provide me with your address (confidential), I would like to mail you a gift card and I ask that you provide me with feedback on your next experience. Anything info you provide will remain confidential (amongst owners/siblings) and your gift card will be anonymous as well. I apologize for your experience and would ask that you try us one more time.


Now I'll feel okay about going back and trying another grinder. Maybe I'll get the one that's featured on the billboard...

Maybe this one will come without a side of attitude.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Those who are acquainted with our dear Camille will testify that she has attitude. She is sweet. She is cute. She is charming. But boy does she have attitude! I thought it was rough when she was two. Four is a thousand times worse.

Yesterday we went to BJs and ended up eating dinner at the Subway there. We went through the line and ordered our sandwiches and everything was good until Rob told the sandwich artist that it was okay to put oil and vinegar on Camille's sandwich. Oh my goodness! If you had heard that girl, you would have thought someone did something terrible to her. She flat out refused to eat the sandwich - or eat any of anyone else's sandwiches - since all of it had some kind of condiment on it. You should have seen her using a baby wipe to try to get the mustard off the olives Caleb donated from his sandwich so they'd be okay to eat. Hysterical.

Anyway, we all finish and then head back out to the car. On the way Camille asks, "Can we go out to eat?"

We nicely explain that we just did go out to eat and now we are headed home. If she is still hungry, she can have a snack when she gets there.

"That's not fair!" she said. "That man was the worst food maker ever!"

(And just to be sure that we heard her - we were so busy laughing at her attitude that she was worried that we didn't hear correctly - she repeated herself: "That man was the worst food maker ever!")

She's going to be a really fun teenager. We can't wait!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Songsters

Yesterday afternoon the kids played so well together. We all got bundled up and went outside to play in the snow (including their mother who was sporting a pair of snow pants that I must have gotten in junior high or whenever it was that my mom stopped buying snow pants for me). Then, after dinner, Caleb and Camille went into the living room to play. Before I know it, I see Caleb and Camille taking turns standing on the coffee table, waving the stick from our window blinds and holding a card in the other hand. It took me a minute to figure out what they were doing. They were playing singing. Caleb taught Camille the "song" that was written on the inside of an old Christmas card they found. They sang it at the top of their lungs for about 20 minutes. Surprisingly Caleb was extremely unimpressed when I sang it to him this morning at breakfast.

"Mom," he said. "That embarrasses me when you sing that."

I don't know if he's embarrassed at my singing or embarrassed about the song itself. The lyrics are as follows: May the spirit of Christmas brighten your celebration and your life at this special time and always.

I was too late to catch them in full glory, but here they are singing on the coffee table near the end of their performance.

Our Prima Ballerina

Today was Camille's first day of dance class. She was so excited to put on her pink real ballerina leotard and pink real ballerina tights and pink real ballerina ballet slippers and her pink tutu. She even let me pull her hair back (she usually likes to wear it down).

Here she is posing for me before we left for class.

Here is her little dance class. Can you find her? She has the big tutu and the braids.

Here she is doing her "tip toe walk" across the floor.

They also did a short tap dancing portion at the end of class which she liked until she slipped (it's a tile floor, not wood since it's just a class at the Park and Rec instead of a real ballet school) and fell smack on her bottom. Fortunately the tap portion wasn't very long because she insisted I come out with her and hold her hand through it. I'm sure the teacher was impressed with my mad tap dancing skills. Hopefully she'll forget all about the slip by next week and do the whole class on her own.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Silly Pics

Rob's GrandDad is in the hospital and we hear that he can surf the Internet on the TV on his room. Here are some pictures for his (and everyone else's) viewing pleasure. Hope you feel better soon GrandDad!

Caleb exercises.

Caleb's not sure he wants his picture taken.

Caleb tries to scare away the person behind the camera.

Camille sports some crazy hair. (We braided her hair the night before and this was the result. She added the bow herself.)

Chloe takes a seat under the computer desk.

Chloe practices her yoga.

Crazy Chloe smile! She saw the camera and turned on the charm.

Why is Caleb so sad?

Could it be that his pajamas are way too small?

Some brotherly-sisterly love.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Caleb's First Gymnastics Class

I took Caleb to his first gymnastics class this morning. He is in a small group - only four boys - with a male coach. They did some warm ups, practiced forward and backward rolls, then took turns on the parallel bars, the high bars and practiced climbing this ladder thing on the wall. Chloe went with us and we were able to watch Caleb through the big window in the lobby while I found a nice mom to talk with.

After his class was over, I asked him how he liked it.

Caleb: I didn't like it.
Me: You didn't?
Caleb: No. I loved it!

A few minutes later, during our drive home, he said this:

Caleb: I don't love gymnastics.
Me: You don't?
Caleb: I love it more than love!

I spoke with his coach before we left and he said Caleb did a great job. He just needs to work on building up some muscles, so we are going to do some sit ups and push ups every day.

I'm glad his first gymnastics experience went well. Maybe next week, if I can sneak out without the girls, I'll bring my camera and post some pictures. Until then, rest assured. Gymnastics is Caleb's new favorite.

Friday, January 16, 2009


This afternoon we were driving back from a friend's house when Camille started singing. I asked her what song she was singing.

Camille: It's just a song about bodies. It's not very interesting.
Mom: Can I hear it?
Camille: Okay, but it's not very interesting.

The song went something like this:

I'm so glad that I have a head.
I have a head. I have a head.
I'm so glad that I have a head so I can have a place to put my hair.

I'm so glad that I have hair.
I have hair. I have hair.
I'm so glad that I have hair so I can keep my head warm.

I'm so glad that I have ears.
I have ears. I have ears.
I'm so glad that I have ears so I can...

(That's when she got silly and started coming up with all kinds of words. By the time she got to the tenth or eleventh crazy verse, I more than realized she was right. The song really wasn't that interesting!)

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Are you talking to me?

You can't be serious.

I love when I get this kind of look from my kids. It makes me feel like I'm doing a totally good job as a parent.

Things are good here. It's very cold this week, but we're keeping warm. Or at least we are all keeping warm except for Rob who has yet to buy a winter jacket. I sent Caleb to school in snow pants this morning. Apparently kids here don't wear snow pants to school. Caleb claims he was the only kid in his class to wear them. Even the only kid in the whole school! If he wasn't fashionable, at least he was warm.

Rob worked the night shift last night so I spent all day playing with the girls downstairs. Okay, I didn't play with them all day. There was a sizable rest time in the middle of it where I even grabbed a little bit of a nap. But I did do my share of game playing. Camille and I played a nice long game of Ballerina Barbie and the Pink Pony. I got to be the Pink Pony. The Pink Pony does not talk. The Pink Pony only says "neigh." It's a blast. The next time you come over, be sure to play this fun game with Camille. But be forewarned: She has to be Ballerina Barbie or you can't play the game.

We drew pictures. Chloe and I drew a Christmas tree (one of the few things I can draw capably) and Camille designed a line of clothing for her Barbie doll. I'll have to snap some pictures and put them up here. They were pretty good. She has decided she wants to be a fashion designer. Or a comedienne. Or a comedic fashion designer. The jury is still out on that one.

Caleb had a great day at school. He loves school, which makes me really happy. He played basketball in gym class. Gym is his favorite special of the week. Typically he plans ahead and wears his sweat pants on Thursdays so he is all dressed for gym, but today he realized that all his sweats were in the laundry. Since we were all up before six this morning, I figured I had enough time to throw in a load of laundry before he left for school. I would have. Really. Except that when I lifted the lid after the wash cycle completed, I realized there was still soap in there. Thinking perhaps I had accidentally put in too much soap (although I was sure I just did one scoop of detergent) I ran the washer through quick rinse. When that was finished there were still suds. This time there was also a big pool of water. Needless to say, Caleb did not get to wear sweats to school. He did, however, willingly put on a pair of jeans. For those of you acquainted with Caleb's aversion to buttons (and snaps) this is a major event. Rob's big task for Saturday is to fix the washing machine. Fortunately the house we're renting came with a washing machine so we can use that one until our washer is fixed.

Chloe keeps us on our toes. After weeks of waking up (multiple times) during the night, she finally slept all night again last night. Hopefully that trend will continue. She comes out with the funniest things. She got a little bowling set for Christmas. I set it up for her the other day and was trying to teach her how to bowl. "Roll the ball," I told her. "And knock down the pins." I watched her toss the ball in one direction and knock the pins over with her hands. That's one way to do it, I suppose. Tonight she was very interested in her Jack-in-the-box. She has one of those old fashioned turn-the-crank-so-the-music-can-play-before-Jack-pops-up ones. Today she figured out that instead of turning the crank (which is hard for her) she can just move the latch that holds the top on and Jack will pop up. Hopefully she'll realize it is much more fun to play with when the music plays first.

School is underway now and I have a busy semester ahead of me. My children's literature class should be pretty okay, but I'm also taking a course called Instructional Foundations of the School Library Media Program. It looks to be as interesting as the title implies, requires six expensive text books and a lot more work than I had dared hope there'd be. For that reason - and because the flannel sheets and two layers of down on my bed and my little rice bag foot warmers are calling my name - this rambling blog post is now at an end so I can pretend once again to be a productive person. Goodnight.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


This morning Camille comes out with this gem:

"Mommy, I love you the best. Just like I love Daddy the best. I love you both the same. I love everyone in our family the same. Isn't that sweet?"

The sweetest.

(By the way...she's feeling better today. And now we're off to watch Barbie in the Island Princess.)

Monday, January 12, 2009


Camille woke up with a fever this morning so she took it easy - watching a lot of tv and taking a long afternoon nap. Hopefully she'll feel better tomorrow.

Here she is looking as sad as she feels.

Chloe had a cold but seemed to be acting fine.

Here are some photos from the other day, before everyone was sick.

The other morning I made some muffins that were so good Camille wanted to feed them to her pony as well.

After breakfast the kids had a camp out in Caleb's room.

While Chloe got into trouble. Here she's not happy about being caught getting into the DVDs.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

There's a Sucker Born Every Minute

I admit it. I am a sucker for TV infomercials. I remember being in sixth grade and seeing this infomercial for this product called the Mr. Mixer. According to the host - the butler guy from Mr. Belvedere - the Mr. Mixer can whip regular old skim milk into frothy whipped desserts. Truly a fat little girl's dream. I wanted this Mr. Mixer and I wanted it badly. However many times I watched the infomercial and asked my mom if I could get one, no one really understood my deep desire to have one until my grandmother got me one when I turned 17. I pulled it out and got ready to whip my skim milk into a frothy whipped dessert when I realized that not only was it a knock off, but it actually added this particular disclaimer into the instruction manual: Does not turn skim milk into frothy whipped desserts. I kid you not.

Since then, I have been enamored with infomercials - the Caruso Molecular Hair Setter - a marvelous set of steam curlers that I wanted but never got, the Jet Aire Hair System - this great gadget that would dry and curl your hair all in one step that I wanted and my cousin got for Christmas one year, and all of those Time Life collections of digitally remastered classic oldies - to this day I will still tune in to listen to ten second snippets of my favorite oldies. Rob and I did come close to buying the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer one year, until we realized that it would cost way more to make the juice than to buy a thing of juice when we wanted it. Plus I realized that with the exception of orange juice for breakfast, I'm just not a juice fan.

I confess, I did buy the FIRM workout videos after Caleb was born and I did order the updated set last year. They are pretty awesome, although when they appeared in Target I did wish that I had waited to get them there and not paid the high shipping costs.

Last night Chloe was up several times, which meant I was up several times. We finally ended up on the couch at 5:00 this morning and I was in no mood to be up. So I turned on the TV and found this great infomercial for P90X - "Our Most Extreme Home Fitness Training System Ever...Get Absolutely Ripped in 90 Days..."

At first I thought of Rob and that he might want enjoy the workout. But the longer I watched it, the more I wanted to get absolutely ripped in 90 days. I'm actually considering getting it - if I could have any guarantee that I could have an uninterrupted hour to exercise.

This morning we babysat two of our neighbor's kids who are Camille and Chloe's ages. After they played for several hours I turned on the TV and let them watch cartoons. Before I knew it, this infomercial came on for this:

All three big kids said at the same time, "I want one of those!" I asked Caleb what he would do with it and he looked at me like I was crazy. "I'd put it on the door so no cold air comes in and makes our house cold." Duh. Then Camille pipes up, "We can even use it with the windows." Fortunately we do not have drafts coming in our door or our windows so this is one product we do not need.

Late in the afternoon Caleb turned the tv back on and was flipping through the channels, going between sporting events. I was in the kitchen fixing dinner when he ran in and exclaimed, "Mom! They have this great big bathtub that you can stand up in and exercise in and it will even give you a massage! Can we get one?" Have you seen that infomercial? It's that big whirlpool sauna thing. I can't remember what it's called. But we're not getting one.

I called the kids in for dinner a few minutes later only to find both kids perched on the edge of their seats engrossed in another infomercial. Camille was the one to ask for this one. "Mommy, can we get a snuggie? It's a blanket with arms so I won't get cold."

"Sorry dear," I said as I tossed her a blanket. "We already have lots of blankets."

"But Mom! This one has sleeves!"

So my initial thought is to get the kids tv products for Christmas this year. They really like them.

Maybe Caleb will get this:

Everything you need to start to start having fun!

The amazing Reflex Helicopter is the most advanced, most controllable, fully functional helicopter in its class.

Powerful enough to fly in the sky, controllable enough to fly in the house and small enough to land in the palm of your hand. Twin drive props provide directional control while the dual rotors lend stability. Included is one set of spare rotors and battery.

Or this:

It was fun in the 1950s and it is fun today.

I'm thinking this for Camille:

Girls will love the Girl Crush Jewelry Maker!

It is tons of fun and easy to use. Create cool necklaces, rings, bracelets and much more the possibilities are limitless.

The bright colored metallic foils, colorful gems and assorted foam shapes in this set make it easy to create cool jewelry designs.
Or this:

The Rub N Color El Grande - Doodle with a noodle, draw with a straw, create a snail with your fingernail, make a border with a quarter!

With Rub N Color the magic is in the paper! No messy markers to dry out. No messy coatings to scratch, scrape or flake off. The magic invisible ink reveals color when you rub it!

Rub it with just about anything!

For Chloe, maybe this.

Or this:

Your child will love the Luna Talking Pillow - not only is it cute, soft, huggable, comfortable and very squeezable it will tell a story, play soothing lullabies or offer comforting words from Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa!

Rob definitely needs this:

As the saying goes, "Looks are deceiving".

Who would ever guess this compact Carbide Edge Pocket Saw could cut through almost

Its heavy duty carbon steel blade with tungsten carbide saws through steel, iron,
aluminum, brick, ceramic tile, wood, glass and more!

The Pocket Saw features a rust resistant ABS handle with comfort grip and 6" fold away blade that never, ever has to be sharpened!

How great would this be?

It Mows. You Don't!

RoboMower is the ultimate in mowing convenience. It is a fully automatic lawnmower designed to mow your lawn completely by itself. It's so easy! A simple one time set-up is required then set the weekly program and forget about mowing for the rest of the season! What could be easier? Designed for domestic lawns it can handle any yard that a traditional gas or RoboMowerelectric walk mower can handle, irrespective of the shapes and slopes of the yard, obstacles and type of lawn. Exclusive safety features - sensor equipped bumpers, mower lift detection and child lock and automatic mowing help make RoboMower the safest way to mow your lawn. And oh the convenience of it! Think of the free time you'll have!

Definitely worth $1,799.95. Free shipping too!

Wonder who I can give this to this year?

Shocking Autopsy is the fun, shocking operating game where you retrieve various weapons ranging from axes, and anvils embedded into the cadaver of a murdered thug!

I like to do my Christmas shopping early, but I think maybe this year I'll wait. There's no telling what great things I'll see on infomercials this summer and fall!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Another Reason Why I Love Camille

Last night the kids wanted pancakes for dinner. They actually wanted pancakes for breakfast and I made them eat cranberry muffins instead. Poor Camille was so distraught she asked for them for lunch and afternoon snack before I finally agreed to make them for our evening meal.

So I'm making these pancakes - and for the record, I don't really like making pancakes. I'd rather mix up a bowl of some kind of something else batter, throw it in a pan, shove it in the oven and come back when it's done. Pancakes are so time consuming - just like cookies. You have to stand there and wait for them to be done enough to flip and then wait until they're done enough to remove, but you have to pay enough attention to them so they end up the right color. While I'm trying to make them, I have lots of "help" including two girls in itty bitty aprons climbing on chairs to reach the counter to help mix, getting right in my way in the process. While I'm trying to cook them, I have to fight off the same little helpers that want to stand on a chair at the stove, fight off the helper who wants to eat before the pancakes are ready, fight off the kids who want me to do something else at the same time, and welcome Rob home from a hard day of work. During all of this, I somehow forget to turn the burner down and the first two batches of pancakes come out pretty dark. Some would say burnt. That is where our story really begins.

When it's finally time to eat, I proudly carry this plate of pancakes to the table. It's a huge stack of pancakes with the toasty ones hidden safely underneath. My family digs in and has the pancakes gone in no time. Except for the ones at the bottom.

Rob picks up a pancake and says, "Nice burnt pancake."

Camille pipes up and answers for me: "It's not burnt. It's just black. Pancakes come in all kinds of colors. Some are white, some are brown and some are black. They're all good. Can you pass me a black pancake please?"

Then she proceeds to slather her pancake with butter and gobble it down. "Mommy, these black pancakes are the best!"

There you have it. For the record, I did not burn the pancakes. They were simply black because that is the way some pancakes are supposed to be.

And that is another reason why I love Camille.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Snow Day

So they called a snow day today because we got some sleet and ice last night. It's not doing anything right now and I think by the time the rain comes again it will be warm enough for regular rain. The kids were able to sleep in this morning (Caleb really needed it!) and I'm hopeful that we're going to have a good day! We don't have anywhere to go and the kids are all in great moods. Maybe I can even get some helpers with some projects (if Caleb doesn't get a tummy ache from the 5 muffins he had for breakfast...)

I'll update later with pictures!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sticker Fun

Rob took these great pictures of the kids in the tub doing their new tub crayons, except I didn't realize that all of the pictures were total naked shots and this laptop doesn't have a program to crop them. For now, here's a snap of the girls keeping busy doing Barbie stickers this morning.

Our New Favorite Joke

So my kids are big jokesters. They are crazy about jokes - telling them, hearing them, you name it. It doesn't matter if they've heard it a thousand times - they'll still laugh.

Recently we got a little joke book so we were able to replenish our supply of fresh jokes.

Here's our favorite...

Where do you find a dog with no legs?
Right where you left him.

Ha. Ha. haha. hahaha. I know. Hysterical. (Hope that doesn't offend any of you with handicapped canines out there.)