Monday, August 24, 2009

My Ode to the O.G.

The devil has tried contacting me. Over and over again, he sends his message. Taunting me. Tempting me. Seducing me with his carefully planned out, cunning scheme.

That’s right – I have recently seen a haunting series of Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Bowl food porn commercials. That dirty devil knows exactly what he’s doing.

Seriously, I don’t think I know a single person who does not like the Olive Garden. Who isn’t captivated by it. Who doesn’t crave it at least once a day month.

The breadsticks and salads and soups – the perquisite – as if we’re being lavishly rewarded for our premium choice of the dinner locale. And let us also not forget the sweet minty treats that unfold from the shiny wrappers and send us happily into our food comas.

As soon as the commercials begin, I imagine myself as one of the confused patrons, babbling about which meal to choose. But then my character stands up, boldly walks into the kitchen and swims naked in the vat of warm noodles. You don’t even want to know what happens next at the meatball station… What? I was gonna say that I pack the perfect meatball, geesh.

And then to tempt us with never ending bowls? Are they kidding? I’m still trying to figure out a way to spend an entire week there. Without leaving. Or showering. Even after my laps around the Olympic-size noodle pool.

If you are anti-O.G., please share your secret. Maybe one thing someone says will help pull me away from the magnetic green, glowing sign. From trying to convert Jace into being a believer. It’s already too late for Lanie.

She truly believes that when she’s there, she’s family.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Last night, I was putting our 4 year old, Lanie, to bed. Nearing the end of her prayer, I could tell she was feeling inspired. Instead of the typical, “Bless Mama, Daddy, Lanie & Jace and everyone we love,” she added a whole host of names of people we know. To close, we always say a big, “A-men!” But this time I was the only one to shout it. I curiously glanced at Lanie and she asked, “Mommy, instead of amen, can we end with I-O?”

I was very confused and asked her to clarify. She said that she thinks God would want us to end with I – O, as if throughout the prayer, her God is prompting her by chanting, “O-H…”

I laughed hysterically, which I regretted because she was completely serious and a little upset that I found her request so funny. I explained that she could end her prayers with whatever she felt comfortable with.

I imagine that Buckeye, the God of OSU, is beaming right now…

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sicky Nicky's Top Ten List

I’m sick. I have some sort of cold/sinus infection that snuck up on me and hit me like a ton of bricks. Fortunately, I’m the only one the illness has affected – my daughter and husband missed it entirely and my son had a brief stint with it all. This is a good thing, because one sick person seems to consume most of me. Not that I ever mind holding, wiping, hugging, staying up all hours with or holding hair back for any of them, but it is exhausting.

Typically, the order of sickness falls with Lanie then Blake then Jace then me. By the time I’m sick, a month’s time has passed and I have not one ounce of energy to care. And that’s why being a sick mama is one of my least favorite roles.

My top ten list why I hate being a sick mother:

1) Exhaustion. Little restful sleep + still fulfilling all responsibilities puts me on fake-energy overload. I find myself dozing off and face-planting into the pot of green beans before dinner. Picture the Saved By the Bell episode where Jesse takes the caffeine pills to stay awake to study for her midterms and then has a mental breakdown.
2) Smell. If I can’t smell, I also can’t detect the status of my 2 year old’s diaper. It doesn’t make me the popular mom while crop dusting all other Target shoppers. I must rely on dirty glances or Lanie shouting, “Mom, Jace’s poop stinks!”
3) No voice. How am I supposed to continue my yelling at the kids with no voice? I really need to be able to make the aware of my dismay with shouting.
4) Snot.
5) Groggy. I sometimes feel like my house is being destroyed by the children as I sit in the midst of all of it, not caring. Books all over the floor, toys in the non-toy rooms and dirty dishes left on the table from yesterday. When I’m groggy, anything goes. I just let it all happen around me as I drool and have a slight smirk.
6) (Lack of) Drugs. Er, I mean medicine. Because I do have to function as a responsible person, I can’t even enjoy any of the legal, over-the-counter cold medicines. The ones that make you feel tingly and see little trolls all over the room when the kids try to stir you in the middle of the day. Uh, I mean night.
7) No taste. I feel like I’m somehow cheating on my beloved coffee. And I can’t even taste the candy I sneak after telling the kids sugar is bad at 6 o’clock at night.
8) Being untouchable. If I’m sick, I don’t want to pass along my germs, so I try to stay at least 3 feet away from the family. This means no kisses or hugs, which makes me awfully sad. Of course, this also means no kid drool or hand goo touching me, which, now that I think about it, really is a perk!
9) The sweats. When I am sick with a fever, all I want to do is find any tile in the house, get nearly-naked and lie down on those cool squares of sweet relief. Apparently, this is inappropriate and offensive to my children and visitors.
…and the number 10 reason why I hate being a sick mom: Because I realize that commercial that claimed “when mom gets sick, everything goes to hell in a hand basket” (in so many words) is oh-so true. And because I know that when I get better, the long road to life and home restoration begins…

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Turning 20. Ahem - I mean, 4.

Our eldest child, Lanie, turned 4 years old this past Saturday. A day I hope she’ll remember. Recently, I’ve started thinking back to what I recall as a child. I have memories all the way back to being 3 years old. When I realized this, I decided that my husband and I had better start being on our best parent-behavior.

This means no more visibly eating cookies for dinner while demanding the children eat the cold veggies on their plates, noting that it is 2 hours past their bedtime when it was actually an hour before, claiming that iCarly “went to bed” ½ way through an episode because we wanted to catch the latest on TMZ, downing cups of liquor to deal with temper tantrums while telling the children it was mommy’s and daddy’s “juice.” Just kidding on that last one. Okay, no that really has happened.

Lanie has already proven she’s caught on to some of our shenanigans, so the act is over. No more parent lies. At least not at that level. We’re going to have to get much more creative. I suppose that’s what earns us those seemingly-mysterious parental powers.

Anyhow, Lanie had a great birthday. I bought a bakery cake for the first time, ever. It was delicious. I’ve now gained 50 pounds since Saturday… It was a Spongebob cake – Lanie’s favorite. She had Spongbob plates, cups and decorations. We had BBQ that was quite tasty! She also got everything she’d asked for and then some. I worry about those sort of things. I don’t want my kids spoiled, but she has absolutely reveled in each of the gifts she received, so I’m at peace with it all. Each gift has truly been special to her.

All-in-all, it was a fantastic day and I’d be proud if she remembers even a moment from it. Well, except the fact that I did hold the birthday over her head to get her to behave nicely last week. Let’s just hope she forgets that part.

Our birthday girl:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Time may change me, but I can’t change the temperatures...

So, yesterday I caught myself saying words I never thought I’d hear leaving my tongue: I can’t wait for Fall.

Whaaaat? I’ve always been a summer person. Only a summer person. I hate cold. I hate snow. I hate having to put on even a sweater. Who is this loon looking forward to FALL?!

Once the words left my mouth, my mind started racing… I had a flashback to a few weeks ago when I bought Bath & Body Works Wallflower refills. I purchased apple, warm vanilla sugar and pumpkin patch scents. Then I fast fowarded to that weekend when I went to Target and ended up buying Lanie Fall school clothes. Ones with long sleeves and had leaves and apples and Fall-related decorations. Just a few days ago, I was eyeballing new nail polishes in dark purples, browns and blues. And to top it all off, I found myself thinking about how nice it would be to use our fireplace. Our FIREPLACE. In 90 degree weather.

I feel like a pregnant woman who suddenly craves only prime porterhouse steaks after months and months of eating nothing but sugar cookies and sprinkle doughnuts. Except my passion for summer has been going on for 32 years – why is it changing now?

I find myself sitting in the sun and wondering when I can flee to the air conditioning. Instead of looking for the sunniest spot and rotating my lawn chair to the perfect tanning angle, I am seeking out only shaded spots. Preferably with dense foliage, water coolers and tiny hand-held fans. And when I am driving in my blazing hot car, I turn on holiday music and pretend that we’re on a sleigh ride in the white, glistening snow. (Only kidding about that last part.)

As much as I’ve tried to convince myself that I am still infatuated with summer, my mind keeps taking me to thoughts of Fall. I have decided to stop fighting the urge and, instead, embrace it.

At least I still have my abhorrence of winter.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The greatest discovery of Jace’s two years on this planet.

Jace, our 2 year old, tried ranch dressing for the first time earlier tonight. He smiled and then held out his tiny fist to “fist bump” me. (No lie.)

We will be legally changing his name to Jace “Ranch” Reynolds first thing tomorrow.

My Lazycation

Because my vacation time expires at the end of August (we’re on an academic year), I have crammed lots of time off in this summer season. Though I’ve taken the time, I don’t actually go anywhere, but rather stay at home and get stuff done, in theory. In fact, the last time we took an actual vacation was in November 2004. And then we had kids.

I’m a very motivated person. I typically have a really full plate. Really, really full. Like mashed-potatoes-and-gravy-spilling-over-the-side-of-my-plate sort of full. To accomplish everything, I drink lots of coffee and lack in the required amount of sleep. Being that I have so much to do, one would think that I am able to catch up, perhaps even get ahead, during these days off.

Not really.

I find that if I have pockets of “free” time, I am motivated to do nothing at all. And when I am so busy that I am multitasking at even inappropriate times (such as talking to students online while changing a diaper and checking my Facebook simultaneously), I get my crap done. All of it. It’s the only way I can ensure I meet my deadlines. And that my kids get baths. And that we eat dinner. And that I take time to brush my teeth each morning.

I am pretty sure I get dumber with time off, too. I find myself wandering aimlessly around my house taking note of everything I need to accomplish and then deciding which day next week (when I’m no longer on vacation) I’ll complete the tasks. I also find myself pondering things like who my celebrity crushes are, why Wendy’s fries sometimes have an okra taste to me, what t.v. channels I would program as my favorites and what “fall” color my hair will be this coming season. Duhhhhhhh…

I’m actually looking forward to getting back on track starting on Monday. To be functional again. To be productive again. To start reclaiming my smarts. And so that my kids don’t look like little Pigpens anymore.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Senior Pictures

I had my first senior pictures shoot yesterday! Thanks to Beth, Molly & Colleen for making it an awesome time!

Here is a link to the stream (you may want to maximize the screen once it begins):

Monday, August 10, 2009

Our Jolly Holiday with Mary

My sister Mandy and I took my daughter Lanie to see the Mary Poppins musical in Cleveland yesterday. As expected, it was awesome. It did end up being a tad bit too long for us, but we loved it nonetheless.

It was like the movie, but had some new songs/scenes and some of the original ones fell in a different order than in the movie. The actors were amazing. Their voices were absolutely beautiful! The new songs/scenes were fitting to the other changes they made to the story. There was one dream scene that was a little dark for some of the younger children, but certainly added some spice!

Being that Lanie is just about to turn 4 years old, I wasn’t sure how she’d like the whole theater experience, but she was smitten as soon as the lights dimmed. She did REALLY well for a show that was almost 3 hours long. There were a couple of points where she almost fell asleep, but I expected that after our 2+ hours drive to Cleveland from Columbus.

There were a few more points of interest outside of the actual production. And I am going to list them now:

~ To the lady who sat directly behind me – quit singing every freaking song during the musical. Most everyone there knows the songs or else we’d probably not be there, but were we all singing loudly? Hell no. And we don’t like you doing it, either. We also don’t appreciate the fact that during each quiet moment, you kept giving your child a run down of what was going to happen next. And you provided your opinion. You said things like, “Ooh, this is the part where (blah, blah) and it’s reaaaaly a boring part, but then comes (blah, blah) and they move all over the stage like crazy! Everyone is going to love it and then clap.”

I am sure you are also the person who, in the regular movie theater, chats on your cell phone or laughs obnoxiously or spoils the end. We hate you.

~ To the lady who was to our right – next time you leave a musical to go to the bathroom, please don’t bang on the Emergency Exit door upon your return. The entire section allowed you to knock and knock and knock like a jackass for far too long. Do you like being ignored? And do you also like being stared down and shot with eye laser beams when you were finally let in and walked to your seat?

Next time, use the regular entrance into the theater like everyone else. And I hope that you sat in someone else’s pee on the commode. Only a loooong trail of toilet paper hanging from your pants would have been icing on that cake.

~ To the lady walking out of the theater behind me – I am shocked that you said aloud, “I can’t believe all of the kids here. Why would you bring a child to this show when you KNOW they can’t hold still that long?” Um, Grandma Crabbypants, you do realize this was “Mary Poppins,” right? A beloved movie for people of all ages, particularly children.

Do you also realize that you smell like pee and took 20 minutes to get to the end of the aisle during the show, blocking our view from the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious scene? Yeah, we’re just as delighted you could join us for the show. Maybe you can meet us at the Wiggles concert in a few weeks and beat down Dorothy the Dinosaur with your cane in front of all the children.

There were also a few precious moments of note with Lanie. During the quiet lulls of the musical, Lanie exclaimed loudly from my lap:

~ “Mommy, I have a HUGE boog!” Meaning booger. In her nose. It was all I could do to keep her from parading it around the theater. People stared.

~ “Can we open mouth kiss, Mama?” Ummm… whaaaat? Are you serious? Where did she get THAT from and why did she have to ask me at that moment? People all around us laughed. I laughed, too. Only to mask my near-debilitating embarrassment.

~ She also, however, did give me lots of squeezes and repeatedly said, “Thank you SO much for bringing me here, Mama.” Somehow, those words made me forget the embarrassing parts.

And that was our trip to Mary Poppins. I would highly recommend you go if you have any interest. Just be sure to avoid sitting next to mean older people and bring a muzzle for those around you who feel they should be on stage singing right along with the cast.

Check out pictures from our trip in my Flickr photo badge.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The happiest day of their lives...

We’re going to a wedding tonight. I bet the bride and groom feel like puking right now. In a good, good way.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A 4 year old Funny

My daughter, Lanie, is almost 4. Earlier tonight, she kept singing, "Taco party, taco party, taco party..." I finally asked her what the heck she was singing. She was singing the "Talk about it" part of Funkytown. If you don't know the song, see this:

Bauble Friday!

Yea, yea, yea! I rarely wear jewelry, but saw this necklace on and knew that my higher power was demanding I have it. How could I deny that?! It arrived today!

T.G.I… What day is it?

Friday again? Am I the only one who feels like each week is a revolving door? I swear that time goes by so quickly, every time I wonder what day it is, it’s Friday again. Not that Friday is a bad thing, but I know with as quickly as the week days go by, the weekend will be over in the time it takes me to make a cup of coffee on my single serve coffee maker. …And just when it’s cool enough to drink – HELLO, MONDAY!

The weeks are so full of to-do lists and cyclical deadlines that I have to make every moment as interesting as possible so that I don’t fall into the routine funk. For instance, I try my hardest to make new recipes every week so that dinner time is much more exciting. …Or worrisome, but whatever… Though I don’t watch much television, I try to watch a show I’ve not seen before or at least not for a loooong while. I attempt to find a new, entertaining Website or Youtube video or blog. I search for the ultimate, fresh find in Target’s dollar aisles. God love Target.

Luckily, I have very comical and energetic children to keep me on my toes, too. Take last night, for example. Lanie, who is almost 4 years old, prayed that God would let a butterfly land on her finger today. This is also the child who believes that she has deadlines to write sketches because that is her “work.” Oh, and the one who also has choreographed her own dance/singing part of Fergie in the song, “Boom Boom Pow.” And she REALLY believes that these are her purposes in life and that the world is depending on her to come through.

My 2 year old, Jace, has really had a hard time forming any real words. He babbles constantly, but only recently have we had any idea as to what he’s saying. However, he is still so funny. He loves to babble off what sounds like jokes and then fake laughs. The fake laughing is so hilarious that we totally crack up. He also likes to pick up Lanie’s guitar and strum while he babbles a made-up song. He always has big finishes where he throws his hands up and holds his position while we clap.

Total hams.

I am just thankful I have those two to really keep things spicy. I never know what to expect from either one and I like it that way! They certainly keep every moment interesting. Now, if I could just create a time machine to keep them this way…

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The result of kung fu preschooler fighting... darned Fight Week.

Eye of the Tiger

So, what’s up with the “Fight Week” on the Nick channel? I understand that many of their episodes this week will feature some sort of kid-friendly fighting (huh?), but do they realize that the word “fight” is a trigger for my children? Every time they see the “Fight Week” commercial, they snap into kung fu mode.

Have you seen a 4 year old and 2 year old spar? Yeah, it’s really funny. For about 2 minutes. Then, it is just annoying. Neither child realizes their true strength, so it always ends up in tears and running for mama.

Thanks, Nick channel!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The small things...

The small things..., originally uploaded by nicky.reynolds.

Does anyone else love the small things? The fact that this pair of shorts has a decorative lining at the top thrills me.

Blog Hangover

Whew. Between creating this blog, joining Twitter and my husband’s acceptance and creation of his own facebook page, last night was like an online drunken night out on the town. I am totally technologically hung-over today.

However, I am having lunch with my favorite (and only) sister today and can’t wait! Not only do I get to see my sis, but I also get to eat out. In a restaurant. SANS CHILDREN. This means I can eat hot food, participate in adult chat (that will NOT include anything regarding Michael Jackson or the swine flu) and not have to request a broom and dust pan at the end of the meal. It must be an early Christmas for me!

Who knows… I may even put on lipstick OR blow dry my hair. Okay, okay – let’s not take it too far! I do have a hangover, after all.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Here I am. Ready?

I was just sitting at my computer thinking, “You know what this world needs? Another blog.”

A couple of years ago, I wrapped up a pregnancy/new mommy blog I had maintained for about 3 years. Once I had two children on my hands, I had no time to think about what I was going to make for dinner each day, much less create blog entries.

Today, I have it all under control and too much time on my hands. Only kidding! Really, I’ve recently realized how much I miss having a writing and photography outlet. More specifically, taking advantage of such a thing.

Like so many working mothers, I have my full time day work, my nighttime and weekend contract work, cooking, cleaning, shopping, wife-ing and everything in between. I’m lucky enough to have a super-duper husband who, literally, splits our home responsibilities 50/50. I do, however, still need a little something of my own. And here I am.

Aside from facebook & email, I’ve almost completely lost touch with the Internet, but if you’ll have me back, I’m ready to play.
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