Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Sticky Situation at Puddle Jumpers

The kids made gum, yep real life sticky, minty, fruit flavored gum! It was really cool and fun, although the flavor didn't last long. The kids created their own flavors some were "Candy Kisses" and "Junk Yard", they all looked the same but I can attest that not all chewing gum is created equal. It was a blast and if you are interested in making some gum of your own you can buy the kit at Borders!
I think I will stick (get it - ha ha) to Extra or Juicy Fruit and if I'm feeling brave I may just pick up some Stripes!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Our Kiddos

Oh how WE LOVE them!!!

A Story of a Piano

Step 2 of piano restoration. Cleaning it!
Our family inherited a 1919 Brewster piano from the neighbors. They inherited it from some friends of theirs. I love the piano and have always wanted one but seeing how I don't actually play made it hard to justify buying one. So this Beaut was my answer to prayer so to speak.
Now rumor has it that the third owner ago had stashed money in it (lots of money). So when the piano tech told me that this piano had more then 90 years worth of dust needing to be cleaned out, I was hopeful we'd find something .... well we did! A inch of dust, several hair pins, a chicken egg (yeah seriously) and a 90 year old Cobb Webb. It was something to see and I have never been happier to pay someone to do the dirty work.
Oh we also found some other cool things but that's another post!

Monday, August 23, 2010

One Sleepy Girl

I got home from work today and Danee was being CRANKY!!!

Normally she's a very happy babygirl, so I figured she had to be either hungry or sleepy.

Got her in the high chair with a PB&J, and she happily started stuffing it in her mouth. Yay! The cranky problem is well on its way to being solved!

Uh-oh... a few minutes later, I looked over at her, and she was rubbing her PB&J covered fists in her eyes. I wondered why she was suddenly being naughty, making a mess before she was done eating... To convince her to stop, I gave her a fresh blackberry - ANY berry is Danee's favorite thing to eat!

She ate the blackberry, so I figured she would be good to finish her sandwich.

But then I looked at her again, and saw this:

Ummmm.... For some reason, I actually thought she was trying to trick me, so I kinda nudged her little hand - nothing. Except for a big sigh... She was out cold!

I got a wet washcloth and wiped her face and hands the best I could without waking her up, picked her up and took her down to her crib for a nap.

About half an hour later, Ellysa's boyfriend Dan came by looking for his swimsuit. Ellysa's working down at the pool, and a few of her friends were going to go swimming tonight. She had told Dan that his suit was probably in our laundry room. (somehow, this all made sense - Dan has been at our house more this summer than any of our actual kids, except for Daneekins!)

So Dan goes down to the laundry room to get his suit, and accidentally wakes up Danee. She doesn't sound very happy about it either. I run down and pick her up, and she goes limp on my shoulder, but does NOT want to be put back down.

So I come upstairs with her and figure I'll play a little Dr. Mario with her on my shoulder while she slowly wakes up.

It is only a LITTLE BIT distracting to play Dr. Mario while there's a warm snuggly babygirl snoring in your ear.

Yep, she was back to sleep. After about ten minutes of playing, she adjusted herself off my shoulder and into my lap, without waking at all. Finally I figured she might be more comfortable on the couch with a blanket.

And there she still lies.

I REALLY hope she either stays out for the rest of the night, or wakes up soon, because I would love to get a good night's sleep myself tonight!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Two Fisted Fruit Lovin' BabyGirl

Last week Cindy took Kaylee and Danee on a quick trip to the Tri-Cities to visit grandparents... and on the way back, they hit up the produce stand for some peaches... and other stuffs...

For example, Danee was VERY grabby, so Cindy decided to give her a couple hand-sized pieces of fruit to occupy herself. One Pluot and one Apricot later, she was a happy girl!

Of course, she didn't just want to hold them, she wanted to DEVOUR THEM!!

I've never known a baby to be SO into fruits and veggies... Seriously, if you want to make Danee happy, just give her some strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, or now, Pluots and Apricots!

Meanwhile, her big sister was loading up on slightly more processed fruit products...

Happy girls, all the way home!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Box Was Awesome!

Way back in March, I won a coveted "BOX o' AWESOME" from my niece Heidi's blog!!

Because she knows that waiting and anticipating are two of the best parts of winning something, she held off sending it until a couple weeks ago - so I had plenty of time to ponder the awesome that would be within the box.

The day it arrived, I didn't even notice it. I have most of my orders for work sent to the house, because there's not always somebody at the office to receive them. I came home from work, and saw a pile of boxes, and since I was expecting some deliveries I didn't even suspect that one of them contained AWESOME.

The next morning I decided to go through the boxes and make sure I had all the parts I needed for the various projects I was working on....

First box: 2 Laptop DVDRW drives. Woo.

Second box: 2 Laptop Wi-Fi cards. Woo, and also Hoo.

Third box: Wait, that's a hand-written label!

And it's from Cheney... I definitely didn't order anything from Cheney... In fact, the only people I know who live in Cheney just may have SENT ME A BOX o' AWESOME!!!

Sure enough, upon breaking the seal, the Awesome was practically bursting from the box!

I carefully removed the Awesome, piece by piece, savoring the moment. Because Heidi loves me, she knows that I love peanut butter... so the box took that as its theme - I got Peanut Butter Crunch (one of the world's finest cereals), Brownies topped with Peanut Butter Fudge and Marshmallows, Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles, a Giant Reese's Bar, some Homemade Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Sauce, and my personal favorite, homemade Kettle Corn that had been drizzled with a Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ribbon, which was gone in about 20 minutes - I had to laugh because Heidi had been concerned that it wouldn't be any good after shipping... Whatever. The whole box could have been nothing but that and I would have been happy thrilled!! :)

The Awesome was rounded off with a Rocket Balloon Launcher (which makes AWESOMELY obnoxious noises), and three Classic Sesame Street Washcloths. Since I give Danee her bath most nights, those are very cool to have!

Thank you SO MUCH, Heidi!! Love you guys - you need to come over soon so we can enjoy some Hot Fudge Sundaes with that Awesome Sauce!! I'll even make up some homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream to go with it!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Music Monday - Kids Pop!

See?? I still do music stuff when I get the chance!

I've never claimed to have very sophisticated taste in music - I simply demand that it be GOOD.

Now, "Good" of course is a somewhat subjective term, but to me, it's just something I can typically recognize from any given 3 to 5 second snippet of a song. It's got to have a strong melody, and the chords have to progress nicely throughout each section of the song. (verse, chorus, bridge, etc) I absolutely can't stand songs where they just sit on one chord - or loop through the same set of chords - for the entire song. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard to me! Also, the recording quality has to be good for its time. Meaning, a classic Motown hit doesn't need to (and really shouldn't) sound like it was made in 2010, but anything recorded in the last 40 years had better have nice clear highs and a solid low end. And finally, I just have to like it. :)

So - now that I've established my personal criteria for good music, AND admitted that I'm not very highbrow about it, it shouldn't be a big surprise that I'm a sucker for the kids bands. From Musical Youth in the early '80s, Hanson in the '90s and the Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato today, the kids almost always seem to "get it" on all the main points. Now, it's rare (if ever) that they can pull it off for a whole album, but you're almost always guaranteed to get three or four good solid singles out of them before they start to grow up and decide that they need "credibility." (Miley Cyrus' latest effort, "Can't Be Tamed" is smack in the middle of this category.)

Anyway, last week Cindy, Kaylee and Danee all went over to the Tri-Cities to visit grandparents, leaving Ellysa and me home alone. Not surprisingly, Ellysa opted to spend the majority of her time at her boyfriend Dan's house, leaving me all by my lonesome. I did some basic housekeeping, ate some food, and then decided to get caught up on the latest music. I mainly do that through a service called "Promo Only" that I got hooked up with back in the '90s when I was producing the Friday Night PartyZone on C-89.5 FM. So with the house to myself, I loaded up the August CD, cranked up the volume, and turned on the Wii for some quality time with Dr. Mario.

Each Promo Only CD has 20-23 songs, and for the past few years, there are usually only 3 or 4 that really stand out to my ears... But this month's disc is LOADED with catchy, quality tunes! One in particular jumped out at me, to the point that I ran over to the computer to see what it was. The band was "Burnham" and the song was "Catch Me If You Can." Great sing-a-long power pop, which is one of my favorite styles! From listening to it, I assumed the singer was a girl... but then I noticed the last line in the chorus goes "You probably still think that I'm your man, but girl catch me if you can."

Huh? Wait... If that says what it sounded like it said, then this isn't very likely to be a Power Pop Chick Band, this must be a Power Pop Kids Band...? Really?? So I hit up the YouTube and did a little research - and sure enough, it's the Burnham brothers, with the youngest right up front with pre-growth-spurt chubby cheeks and everything. They look like they're having a blast, and I still loved the song!

Having solved the mystery of Burnham, I resumed the August disc of new releases, and just a few minutes later, I was off the couch again, looking to check on another song... And it was the latest from Hanson - I'd noticed it on the track listing, and kind of laughed, not expecting it to be anything to get excited about... but this song was GREAT! Fresh sounding, soulful, not at all like everything else out there... I'm not sure why, but I decided to look it up on YouTube as well, and was very pleasantly blown away by what I found... A direct, move-for-move tribute to one of my favorite movie musical numbers EVER: The Ray Charles "Shake A Tail Feather" number from The Blues Brothers! And the Hanson boys obviously have a strong love - even a reverence - for the original...

So as much as I like the kids bands while they're new and fresh, the sad fact is that they usually don't age well. It's very nice to see that Hanson has turned out what may be their best work ever, more than a decade after their last significant chart appearance!

As if that wasn't enough, a little more research informed me that Taylor Hanson, the keyboardist and lead singer, formed a Power Pop SuperGroup last year with the guitarist from Smashing Pumpkins, the drummer from Cheap Trick, and the bassist from Fountains of Wayne... And they're AWESOME!!! I was going to embed the video here, but it's disabled - so you have to actually go there to check them out. (click here!)

That's it for this week - I've got lots of great new music to get me through the next seven days, and beyond!