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You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: 1/13/08 - 1/20/08

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Build a Bear!

On Friday I took the boys to the Build a Bear store in Durham so the boys could use their Christmas gift cards from Cousin Jenn. Timmy was sound asleep when we got there, so Jake was able to go through the bear-making process on his own, and Timmy awakened right before I paid for Jake's bear (and bear accessories). Then Timmy went through and made up his stuffed doggie.

Jake named his polar bear "Snowy" and got him a winter hat, scarf and mittens, along with Converse-all-star canvas sneakers, pants and a zip-front sweatshirt. I let the boys choose a sound box for their animals, so Jake chose the "Happy Birthday Bear" song -- even though it isn't his birthday. Jake said "It's Snowy's Birthday!".

Timmy got a dog, named him "Timmy Dog" (I know, megalomanical), and dressed him in a Carolina Panthers sweatshirt, carpenter jeans and a pair of soccer cleats. He chose the doggie sounds, which include panting and woofing.

When Timmy gets up from a nap, it takes a LONG time for him to actually "wake up".
From 2008 01 18 Bu...

Click here for more pics from our trip to the Workshop.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

How did my blog get its unusual name?

I'm trusting that most of you have figured it out by now.

Obviously you can't just click a site and hear the song, but you could go here and watch the video.

Now...when I came up with the name, Dave was thinking of a different song.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Laundry Day!

It's laundry day in the Vollmer house. For those who don't know, I HATE laundry. Always have. I was quite lucky as a kid -- I did a lot of chores in my house growing up (washing dishes, mowing the lawn) but laundry was never one of them. I think my Mom had her way of doing laundry and it was just less work to do it herself rather than deal with us kids messing things up. I understand completely -- I get nervous that Dave might accidentally let a bra or sweater go into the dryer and we all know what happens then!

Anyway, before kids, and while Dave and I were both active duty Air Force, our laundry was easily a 1/2 day chore, once a week. One load of whites, one load of colors. Our uniforms were usually being professionally cleaned, so we didn't even have to worry there.

Of course NOW, particularly in the wintertime, during Timmy's potty training (that's another posting, we're in the home stretch!), the clothes pile up like crazy. Once a week is a no-go. But I'm not disciplined enough to do it daily, which is what many of my friends claim to do: 1-2 small loads per day = 10-15 minutes worth of work per day.

What I do is probably worse: 5-6 very-large-loads every 4-5 days, 1-2 hours of folding/putting away.

And then I really take my time -- I've been known to let the clothes sit in the dryer or in baskets in the laundry room for as many as 5 days. I'll just pull what I need from the piles. But typically, I can do everything in one day.

So go ahead -- take my poll! I've been wondering if I'm sort of a freak because I don't do laundry daily.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Jake had some fleece mittens (Megan: you remember the ones we got in NH w/ the paw prints?) that have become so stretched out and grubby, it was time for a new pair. I got a bit ambitious and attempted to crochet him a pair. The good news is that they actually look like what they're supposed to: mittens. Bad news: they're huge! But Jake really likes them and is wearing them anyway...isn't he sweet?

I tied a chained length of yarn to them to thread them through the sleeves of his coat. It's going to be COLD here this weekend, so I got them done just in time. It was about 5 hours worth of work.

From 2008 01 16 Ja...

From 2008 01 16 Ja...

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Birdwatching, Vollmer Style

This winter, a hairy woodpecker started visiting my suet feeder that hangs right outside my kitchen window. I've had lots of birds come by over the years, but this was a first. It visited a couple weeks ago, but too much sudden movement from in the kitchen scared it away. Yesterday was the first time it had returned in a while...

So this time I moved S-L-O-W-L-Y and got my camera, stood at the back of my kitchen, and kicked my 12x zoom into gear. This is what I got, which is pretty good in my humble opinion.

From 2008 01 15 Ha...

Visit here for a couple more pics of the bird.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Moon Sand Mess -- Pardon Me While I Vent

My boys love Moon Sand. I'm not Moon Sand's biggest fan, but I'm willing to accept the risk for the sake of happy kids who are exercising their creative muscles and (above all) are sitting still being good. I suggested to Grammy Vollmer that Timmy receive a Moon Sand play set for Christmas and she came through for us with the Neighborhood Playset. That along with some other containers of Moon Sand we had, and we have enough Moon Sand to even entertain friends who come over to play (which we did a couple weeks ago!).

(By the way, the picture of the neat, clean red and blue Moon Sand siding on the house on the product mentioned above is some sort of pipe dream -- Timmy loves "painting" the house, but it would never look that nice.)

Hit the link above, check out the customer reviews about it. I feel both ways -- I'm thrilled that my boys enjoy it so much, but it is indeed a bear to clean up. And even after the visible sand is cleaned up, if you walk around my kitchen barefoot for a couple days afterwards, you still feel the grit that my vacuum, dustbuster, broom and sponge didn't quite get up. Again, an acceptable risk for the sake of happy kids, I guess.

There's apparently this inflatble play box thing for Moon Sand. Tempting. I wonder how well it would actually work, say on our back porch or something.

So this afternoon the boys spent 45 minutes or so with Moon Sand, and even though the boys make a good effort, there's still a colossal mess on my kitchen floor when they're done. And since sweeping up the stuff on the floor brings along dog hair, grated parmesean cheese, crushed Cheerios and the like, there's no way I'm putting Floor Moon Sand back in with the clean stuff. So I'd estimate a 5-7% loss of product with every play session.

I'm also a tyrant about keeping the colors separated. I know, I know, I'm probably hampering their creativity somewhat, and it's contrary to the commericals and pictures on the packages of Moon Sand of colors, colors everywhere, but they just don't mix nicely.


From 2008 01 14 Mo...

From 2008 01 14 Mo...

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Five Little Monkeys...

Enjoy this picture from the holiday portrait session my boys and my nephews did together back in December. Imagine how tough it is to get 5 little boys to cooperate for the camera, so even though my sister's youngest wasn't quite looking at the camera, they were all posing well and were smiling nicely.

Click on the link underneath the picture to see more from the portrait session...including a couple snapshots of the boys eating pretzels on the floor of the mall hallway. Aren't we classy?

You can once again see how my Timmy is the "White Boy" of the Fox side of his generation. Actually, even on the Vollmer side, his 12-year-old cousin is Italian and also has a dark complexion.

Also, note the boys' chins. They're all the same. It was one of the first things my Mom said about Jacob when he was born: "There's that Fox chin!"

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Haircut night!

As part of my role as the family cheapskate, Dave cuts his own hair and I cut the boys' hair. If anything, it allows me to afford my $42/each haircuts every 6 weeks.

So tonight was haircut night for my two little ones. I do it right before bathtime so they can go straight into the tub. I use Timmy's booster seat in the kitchen and they both behave very well.

Here are a couple pictures, there are more at this link.

From 2008 01 13 Bo...

Amazing eyelashes!
From 2008 01 13 Bo...

Jake was being super-silly here!

From 2008 01 13 Bo...

From 2008 01 13 Bo...


6.5 Layer Jello

So today I made a 7-Layer Jello dessert for the family.

I'd never made one before, and really didn't know much about it. As usual, it was Paul who suggested the recipe, and as usual, I fouled it up somehow.

How was I supposed to know that you're supposed to make it in a 9 x 13 pan and cut it into squares, like this example Paul found for me. Like the bad potato dumplings, I blame the recipe which didn't come right out and say what size container to prepare the dessert. So now I know for next time.

So why am I calling it the 6.5 Layer Jello dessert? Because the first layer wasn't ready before I aggressively poured the 2nd layer in. And they mixed. Oops. But I learned from my mistakes (something I pride myself in, by the way!) and the rest of it turned out pretty great.

I put it in a clear bowl, which the boys enjoyed looking at, and cut it into these silly-looking wedges. Go ahead...laugh! At least my boys enjoyed it and gobbled it up, except the red cherry-flavored Jello. The added Knox gelatin makes this a fine finger-food dessert for parties.

Maryann: I think I'll make a pink/red one for the Valentine's Day party? Cut into 2" x 2" squares?

From 2008 01 14 Se...

From 2008 01 14 Se...

From 2008 01 14 Se...