Tuesday, May 26, 2009

:: Random Internet Goodies ::

That's right folks!  It's the second installment of my Random Internet Goodies. I actually made a list of several online gems I have come across in the past few months that I wanted to share with you all... but I can't find the list. Figures, right?  This particular goody was one my husband introduced me to just this afternoon.  It's a hoot. Seriously.  You *must* check it out. 

The site is called Oddee.  Here is the description: 
Oddee.com is an entertainment blog on oddities, attracting over a million visitors each month. Focused on the odd, bizarre and strange things of our world, its daily articles and sections explore subjects from Science to Advertising and Technology; over 8.2 million pages are read at Oddee every month. 
I haven't had the chance to look through all of the site, but so far my favorite collections are the "15 Sexist Vintage Ads" and the "12 Most Unfortunate Product Names."  Gaytime Ice Cream, anyone?  Now, be warned, there are some possibly offensive entries on the site, but for the most part, they are just funny. REALLY funny.
So, if you are in the mood for a good chuckle... head on over to Oddee.com.  It's fun.  And who couldn't use more fun, right?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

:: Swimming Hats and Hungry Monsters ::

As far as weekends go, this one has been pretty good.  We didn't go anywhere exciting and we didn't have any thrilling experiences... but it was a good weekend.  We slept in, watched TV and just hung around the house.  Not bad. Just what a weekend should be, I guess.  Relaxing. Fun.
On Saturday, while Ben was taking a bath and I was getting his clothes ready, I heard him call for me... "Mama, come look at me.  Come look at my swimming hat!" I looked through the bathroom door to see Ben wearing one of my mixing bowls on his head.  It was his hat.  His "swimming hat." It made me laugh.  

Quite a number of my kitchen utensils have found a new home in Ben's bathtub.  He has tons of bath time toys to play with... we have bought him rubber duckies, plastic boats, dinosaur water squirters... but nothing seems to be as much fun as my whisks, mixing bowls and spatulas. During the summer, I usually lose about two strainers and at least one tea pitcher to the pool in the backyard.  I'm not even going to bother with buying beach balls and floaties this year.
On Saturday afternoon, Ben climbed up on our bed with a book in his hands and began to read us his favorite book "One Hungry Monster." At first, we just thought he was going to pretend to read it... he knows certain words and can spell, but he has never actually read a series of complete sentences, and certainly not a whole book. Well, guess what? He read the book.  The entire book. He really concentrated and sounded out the bigger words... we were so happy!  I went and grabbed several other books from his closet and asked him to read each one, and he did. He can read so well.  He's only four years old, and he is reading like a superstar! So, I told him this week we would go get him a library card, and he can pick out books all by himself.  He was so excited.  I am so proud of him.

Today we went to a birthday party for Ben's friend, Gabrielle.  She turned six years old today. Ben stayed in the pool the entire time we were there.  Well, he did get out of the water for cake and ice cream, but he jumped right back in after he was done. So, he was pretty hungry and very tired when we got home. It made bed time so much easier.
So, that was our weekend... not bad, huh?  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

:: Easter 2009 ::

This year, we spent Easter with my parents in Dallas. My Mom's birthday was April 13th, and to celebrate, we took her to the Dallas Arboretum. The Arboretum is one of my absolute favorite places... I could spend an entire day there. So could my Mom. For her birthday, we got her a year's membership to the Arboretum, so she can go as many times as she wants. We plan to visit every time we go to Dallas... yeah, the place is *that* amazing.
We had a pretty low-key Easter... we decorated some eggs and hid them around the house for Ben, since it rained the night before and we couldn't have an egg hunt outside. He had a blast.
I put together a little slideshow... enjoy.  :)

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Easter 2009
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

:: Adventures in Baking with the Easy Bake Oven ::

My son wants to be a Chef. 
Actually, he tells everyone he is already a Chef. He can make scrambled eggs - and very well, I might add. Jason and I really try to encourage Ben to cook. We think it's great he's so interested in it. Plus, he really enjoys eating the food he makes himself, which is fantastic, since he can be a bit of a picky eater at times.
Ben got an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. Unfortunately, we hadn't been able to try it out since we could not find a 100-watt lightbulb anywhere. Remember 100-watt lightbulbs? You could buy a four pack of them at Wal-Mart for about 88 cents? Well, guess what? They don't carry them anymore. Crazy, right? They have all switched to energy efficient bulbs and the closest you can find is a 90-watt bulb. So, I went ahead and bought the lightbulb and figured we would just have to leave the goodies we were baking in the oven a little longer to compensate for the lack of wattage. Turns out I was right... we had to cook the cookies we made about two minutes longer than the directions listed. It really wasn't a big deal at all.
I really wish the Easy Bake Oven designer people would have left well enough alone and kept the little "oven" look for the new Easy Bake Ovens. They look like microwaves now. It's "Easy Bake Oven," right? Oh well. The good news is that it works exactly the same as it did when I was a kid. I guess lightbulb-cooking technology really hasn't changed much in the last 30 years. 
The oven comes with packages of cookie and cake mixes that only require about a teaspoon of water to mix. It's super easy, and it was a ton of fun. Of course Ben's attention span didn't last the 10 minutes it took to make the cookies, but he did help take the cookies out and he washed the little pans.  I'm proud of my little Chef.

Ben waiting for the Easy Bake Oven to warm up...

 Cookies before baking.

Waiting for the cookies to finish baking.

Cookies after baking. Yeah, I know... they're tiny.

Ben LOVED the cookies, and that's what counts.