Conversations With Karlie

"I love dancing on the table!"

"My teacher is going to be Princess Layer for Halloween."

"Oh, that is so nice they put a sand box and sticks for you to play with at the mall." (Looking at the ashtray with cigarette butts in it by the entrance to the mall)

"If Mike and Cathy have another baby they will be just like us." Me, “They aren’t going to have any more kids.” Karlie, “Oh did the pray to God about it?” “Yes,” I replied. “So he said no?” (I guess that is what a Vasectomy is.)

“Karlie, those berries might be rotten”. She replied, “Yep, they have fur on them.”

“Daddy, why do you have splinters on your face?” (Rubbing his beard)

With a twinkle in her eye, “I bet Daddy tackled you after you got married.” Max has a habit of tackling us, especially during football season. The weekend she said this to me, he had tackled me and then kissed me. I think this is her version of the birds and the bees.

To her two boy cousins ages 4 and 6 as she claps her hands says, “So, who wants to see my underwear first?” We are looking into all girl boarding schools immediately.


We are thinking of changing Hank's name to Mr. Trouble. I have been exasperated at how busy he is and how he has already entered the wonderful times of Terrible Twos. How could this be? He could have gone down in history as the sweetest baby ever and now at 15 months he is acting like a 2 and half year old. How quickly times change. One minute he is sunshine and the next it as if a demon has possessed him causing him to throw himself on the floor, scream and thrash about.

We were at the pediatrician's for his 15 month check up where he decided to demonstrate his Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde like personality. The doctor was impressed with the intensity and persistence of his fit . After a physical exam and some history taking, she decided he has asthma. She hoped that by improving his respiratory status, he could breath easier so he would then sleep better and could return to his normally sunny disposition. The doctor noted that he had a major growth spurt and was in the 90th percentile for length but only 25th percentile for weight, so hunger could be an underlying irritation. She also said he had all but one of the teeth he would get before two so that could also be irritating him. I think she saw the serious speculation in my eye because she then tried to put a silver lining on his fits by saying, "it is a sign of intelligence" when they start to exert their ego so early. So I have a gigantic, wild, hungry, teething, not breathing, tired genius. Somehow that is suppose to make me feel better? :0)You can imagine how well a saline nose wash, nasal spray, and twice daily nebulizer treatment goes with this little tyrant. At first one of us would have to hold him down while the other kept the mask on. The positive note was that as he fought and cried he took nice deep breaths. He finally resigned and will now sit on my lap the entire treatment. The girls all sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and do Patty Cake with him to help distract him.
He is not wheezing as much but funny, he is still a little monkey with an attitude. When I make him get down or stop doing something he shouldn't he throws himself on the floor and cracks his head on the ground or wall.  I wonder how many times he has to do this before he realizes it is not going to work.  Doesn't seem so bright to me, but what do I know?
Why play with the toys when I can dig to the bottom of the box and find a choking hazard to suck on and sit in the toy box?
Rocking is fun.
Oh, rocking standing up is ever better!
Don't take another step toward me or I am going to fling myself off in dismay and in the process crack my head on the corner of the coffee table.
Your lucky it is only toilet paper.  If you had been a few seconds later, I would have put my hands in the toilet full of pee that my sisters never flush.

Everyone tells me I am going to miss these days.  Right, just like I have a gigantic, wild, hungry, teething, not breathing, tired genius instead of a little monster named Hank.

Turbulent Times

Yesterday a storm blew through our neighborhood. Our neighbors had warned us that there are very strong winds in these parts and that their trampoline will often end up in our yard. We got a dose of just how powerful the wind was yesterday as it threw our chairs and table into the yard causing the glass top to shatter into thousands of pieces. Each time I would pick up a large piece, it would shatter further into carat size shards of glass. It gave a new meaning of finding a needle in a haystack. I was combing through the grass trying my hardest to find every sliver.   Too bad they were not diamonds.

That part of the yard happens to be the spot where Daisy likes to pee. Lucky me. As luck would have it as I was combing glass out of the pee filled grass, Hank climbed the patio steps behind me. It was like a slow motion scene in a movie where I went running and as he saw me, he took a step forward and I saw him fall, missing the step nearest to him and falling directly on the the patio 2 feet below. The side of his forehead took the brunt of the fall leaving a half dollar size goose egg.  At that point I called it a night and decided I would try again tomorrow.  After discussing the disaster with Max and my parents, I decided to try the vacuum. Using the adapter hose, I sucked up all the glass and then on hands and knees tried to examine every inch.  It only took 2 hours but I think the yard is safe again. That is until Hank is on the loose again...

Eggless Blueberry Muffins

2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 and 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
Lemon zest from 2 lemons
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Milk
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
A few drop lemon juice
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 and 1/2 cups fresh Blueberries

After meeting with the pediatric allergist we learned Hank is highly allergic to eggs and peanuts with strawberries and dogs still in question. We are so thankful  the initial blood test that showed he was allergic to wheat and dairy were not confirmed by the skin test. It has been challenging enough keeping eggs out of his diet, I can only imagine how much harder it would be with either or both of those allergies too. I never realized just how many things contain egg or are processed on equipment that uses eggs. Unfortunately, he is so allergic that the slight contamination can give him a reaction. His allergist is hopeful that he will one day be able to tolerate baked goods since the protein becomes denatured at 350 degrees, but is doubtful he will ever be able to enjoy an omelet. He has very little chance of out growing the peanut allergy.

I have become quite adept at reading food labels and almost have all the various forms for egg memorized. However, things seem to still slip through. We were at Costco and the kids all love to eat the samples. Hank was becoming quite irritated at the lack of samples he was receiving, so I read one of the labels of the samples and it had no egg products listed. By the time we checked out and got to the car he was starting to react. First by vomiting and then turning red, then starting to wheeze. Poor guy. Luckily it did not progress anymore and he was fine with Benadryl.

I love to bake but have been feeling so bad that he can't partake that I haven't baked much. I decided it was time to venture into some eggless cooking to see if we could mange without eggs. Eggs are like beans in our house. They have their own box on the bottom of the food guide pyramid! They are a serious staple in our house with an 18 pack being devoured every week.

I envisioned eggles baking as flat and horrible tasting. Thankfully I found this recipe on Madhuram's Eggless Cooking . I adjusted it a bit because I didn't have all the ingredients and it still came out delicious. Neither the kids nor Max could tell it was eggless. The best part was that Hank got to enjoy them with us. If you happen to be watching your cholesterol, have an egg allergic guest or run out of eggs, these muffins are eggcellent!


Sisters by fate, best friends by choice.When we went to do our final check in on the girls before we went to bed last night, this is what we found.
This is what I found this morning.

Up In Smoke

Our dream house almost went up in smoke this afternoon. I was putting Hank to sleep and the girls were all getting out stuff to make lunch. Max was at work so the girls were unsupervised for a few minutes. I specifically told Hailey NOT to put the bagel she had picked out in the toaster until I came down stairs.

As I was rocking Hank I smelled burnt bagel. The smell continued to intensify to the point that I was worried it had caught on fire. Despite Hank almost being asleep, I hurriedly took him downstairs. I rounded the corner into the kitchen and saw nearly a 2 foot layer of smoke resting at the ceiling. I ran to the toaster, fuming that she had put it in the toaster despite my explicit instrucion not to. I unplugged it and still smoke continued to fill the room. Where was it? I flung open the microwave to see the tail tale burn marks up the back and on the top of it. But no bagel or smoke? I gave Hailey Hank and shewed all the kids out back as I frantically threw open windows and searched for the source of the smoke.

I screamed at Hailey, "What happened?!" They had all been so calmly sitting at the the kitchen table, despite the plume of smoke and awful smell.  Maybe something else was on fire and I had misjudge the situation.  She told me she had tried to toast her bagel in the microwave. What? Where was it?  She replied she threw it away.  I opened the pantry where we keep the trash can and felt the top of the stainless steel lid. It was hot. I grabbed it (while of course throwing a two year old style tantrum ranting and raving that I couldn't believe she toasted her bagel in the microwave!) and took it outside. I opened the smoking can to find a completely charred bagel that had melted some cheese wrapper trash to it. I don't know if it was on fire or just smoking but the can was full of smoke.

After opening all the windows and doors and turning the house fan on I took a long stroll through the house trying to calm down before asking what on earth she was thinking. To make a long story short, since I told her not to use the toaster, she buttered her bagel and toasted it for "just 4 minutes." When I inquired to why she didn't come get me when she saw the smoke, she replied that she had asked Karlie and Karlie told her she should just sit down and wait. Glad to know my 8 year old is receiving legal advice from her 5 year old sister.

We have since had a talk that while it is very important to not disturb me while I am putting Hank to sleep, it is even more important to realize that she should come to me for an emergency, even if she caused it. We have also discussed that all appliances are off limits until she is 18 when she can burn her own house down. :0) So my nice, new house now reeks of burnt bagel. Any tips for removing that from the walls?

Horton Has it Right

We went to the $1 kids movies at the theater this week and watched Horton Hears a Who. I couldn't agree more with his message. Hopefully that message will plant a tiny seed in all the kids who have enjoyed the movie.

"A person is a person, no matter how small..."

Happy Birthday Mel!

Happy birthday sister! I am thrilled watching you blossom into a mom and look forward to many years of raising up kids with you! I love you and hope you have a special day!

She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy...

Okay, not really but I am going to make a cowboy out of Max eventually! He has had the boots since high school, he tolerates my country music, he got the hat for his 30th B-day (which he has worn twice), he has the farmer's tan, and now he has the tractor. What more does a man need? I really think the seller throwing in the riding lawn mower sealed the deal for Max.

He got to try his new ride out last weekend and the kids all took a turn riding with Daddy.

Hank is such a boy. The minute he heard the roar of the engine, he started clammering to go outside. I took him out and he was reaching for Max as he drove by. Once Hank got on Max's lap he started laughing and clapping. I guess I will be able to make a cowboy out of one of my boys.

Today's Treasure ~ 409 Granite Cleaner

BIG changes occurred moving to "The Resort." The first of course being how much space we have. We went from about 1500 sq ft of living space to 4,700 sq ft! Along with all the extra space is extra cleaning. And new ways of cleaning. I am learning how difficult it is to keep stainless steel looking nice with four little people that like to see how many finger prints they can make in 24 hours.

Another learning curve was granite counters. They are the most beautiful but require a bit of elbow grease to stay that way. I searched the net and found a homemade solution with alcohol and soap. It was better than 409 or other all purpose cleaners that left streaks, but didn't do the job and left a medical smell. I discovered my favorite 409 has come out with a granite cleaner! You can go here and print a coupon for $1 off. Since it is new, I had a hard time finding it. Neither Target or Walmart had it but Lowes did. It has become my new best friend along with the stainless cleaner and the fancy little squeegee for the glass shower. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks!

Happy 1st Birthday AJ!

Happy Birthday big guy! We hope you have a wonderful day and will be thinking of you!


Big things are happening at MKHKKH! Last weekend we moved! It was a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies as we loaded all our stuff into a U-haul. The second load was particuarlly bad as our moving crew (family and friends) were getting tired. However, we are in our new place and it is wonderful. We have nicknamed it "The Resort." It is an amazing home and we truly feel like we are on vacation living in it. I keep waiting to wake up. We are so thankful to all our family and friends who showed up to help. I don't feel like pizza and beer was enough of a token of our appreciation. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

We are now getting our little hut ready to rent. So far we have had great enthusiasm from potential renters and we are just praying we select the right family for our house. Between fixing all the things for 7 years I wanted to do in the old place and are now finally getting done and trying to unpack, we have been a little busy :0) Hopefully soon I will have time to blog again. Have a Happy 4th of July!