Saturday, February 28, 2009

Quenspeak and a little yummy goodness

This will be a quick post.

We have two new Quenisms that crack me up.

1.  The first is what he calls Kelloggs' new product Jumbo Krispies (which are, by the way, a very yummy snack for little people -- we love them).  Quentin calls these little (or Jumbo) guys "GUMBO TRISPIES".

2.  The second one is what we commonly call a "slinky" (you know, "slinky, slinky fun for a girl or a boy!"). To Quen this fabulous coil of fun is called a "STINKLY".

30 Years Apart

This is one of my favorite pictures of me and my father.  I was 2. He was 35.

I decided to recreate it... 30 YEARS later.

Quen is 2. Dad is 65.

Dad has barely changed other than a few wrinkles, no sideburns and a little less hair!

Here were some other ones I took in my quest to find the right one that turned out cute too.

Great Mimi and Aunt Beef Part 2

This is a little video I made of Q identifying people in pictures.  While he ate his pizza and peas (i know such a yummy combination, right?) I quizzed him. 

Friday, February 27, 2009

Girls and Boys

I am proud to say that my 25 month old son can readily distinguish the difference between boys and girls without having to get into the "parts" discussion. I did not know HOW WELL he knew the difference until last night while giving him his bath.

Usually these conversations take place in the bathroom, as one might imagine, but oddly enough this one was not sparked by the usual questions about "winkies" or "pee pees" or anything like that and frankly looking back on it, I can't really remember what sparked it other than me saying "you are a dirty baby boy" as I poured clean water over his head washing the shampoo out. He responded with some form of acknowledgement that he was a boy. That got me thinking, this might be a good time to see what he knows.

The conversation went like this:

Me: "Quentin, is Mommie a girl or a boy?"
Quentin: "a girl"
Me: "Good, your right! What about Daddy, is he a boy or a girl?"
Quentin: "a boy"
Me: "Great! What about Luke?"
Quentin: "boy"
And it went on and on, I asked about Izzie a little girl in his class, "Mommy Shalkham" (also known as Anna), Kevin, Clair, and Buppy -- he got them all correct! I was so impressed.

Then I asked: "Quentin, what is Mimi?"

He responded: "Mimi is a grandma"

Moral to this story: Ask a stupid question get a SMART answer.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Great Mimi and Aunt Beef

My paternal grandmother's name was Minnie Merle Flanders Douglas. Her grandchildren called her "Mimi". When my mother became a grandmother 9 years ago she declared that she would be called "Mimi" and my "Mimi" would now be called "Great Mimi".

Great Mimi died several years ago and unfortunately Quentin never knew her. The only "Great Mimi" that Quentin knows is the image of a young woman with a stylish finger wave and hand tinted rosy cheeks behind glass in a bronze frame that hangs in the picture hall.

He will often talk about "Great Mimi" as if he just saw her yesterday. He also says sometimes that he "can't like Great Mimi" -- that she scares him. I am not sure what that is all about?

Quen also has a strange attraction to a picture we have on the sideboard of Great Mimi's sister Francis, who we always affectionately called "Aunt Bee". I have no clue why or how she got that name -- but that is what we always called her. At some point he found out that the pretty lady in the white frame's name was "Aunt Bee" however he refers to her as "Aunt Beef" and he knows she is Great Mimi's sister. Quen gets very excited about "Aunt Beef".

He knows were the pictures hang/sit and is always very eager to show you where the pictures of Great Mimi and Aunt Beef are located. The fact that he calls Aunt Bee "Aunt Beef" tickles my Dad to death.

Additionally, there are several other pictures that hang in the picture hall that are on his "tour of the picture hall" -- like my parents first portrait as a married couple and then a portrait of my father in his early 20s that Quentin is always quick to point out is "ma Papoo".
Almost everyday he has something to say about Aunt Beef and Great Mimi, who I have no doubt are sitting in heaven having a good laugh at this.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I "can't" like it!

For your weekly Quenspeak, I give you the improperly used word "can't".

Quen uses the word "can't" in place of the word "don't". I have gotten used to it, and often correct him, but he tends to not want to give this one up. However to the novice, it can be very misleading.

Some of his favorites are:
Quenspeak: "I can't like it, I can't like it Mommie."

Translation: "I don't like it, I don't like it Mommie". This is usually accompanied by him spitting a mouth full of food out wherever he is, like on himself, on his tray, back on his plate, on the sofa or on the carpet. This is by far the most common usage of "can't".
Quenspeak: "I can't like him, he's mean."
Translation: "I don't like him, he is mean." Usually about Daddy after he has gotten trouble.
Quenspeak: "I can't want to, Mommie."

Translation: "I don't want to, Mommie." Usually this accompanies requests and/or commands like "sit down" or "do you want to go potty?".

My favorite is when he is eating something and has been eating something for a while and halfway through he decides he all of the sudden does not like it -- he says "I can't like it, its yucky" with a sour face like he just ate dog pooh.

MR. Yuck

Who remembers Mr. Yuck? I got a whole sheet of Mr. Yuck stickers one day at school and Mom and I meticulously went through the cleaners and what-nots under the sink and stuck Mr. Yucks on them. Good memories.

Do they even make Mr. Yucks anymore?


For those of you who read my blog you may remember my earlier post about the time Brian Adams was in my kitchen (singing "Everything I do, I do it For You" -- the love song from Robin Hood many years ago). Last night as Corby and I lay in bed, before the whole bru-ha-ha with Quen took place, I heard Brian UNDER my bed singing again.

The little speaker had fallen off of the bedside table and was under the bed. A muffled "Everything I do, I do It For You" was seranading us from under the bed.

We laughed and then Corby argued with me that Brian Adams was not a Canuk (I knew he was) and was thusly vindicated when Mr. Know-It-All did a quick search on his iphone from the bed.

I slept peaceful having been correct -- even though there was a Canuk under my bed.

Clemson Paw Clue

For those of you familiar with "Blue's Clues" you know that "Blue" the dog leaves Steve (or whatever his name is) clues marked by little blue doggie paw prints and at the end of the show Steve looks at the clues to figure out what Blue is saying.

This morning as we were getting ready to leave the house, Quen spotted a Clemson paw on the wing of this cardboard airplane/spaceship thingy that Corby designed in college that sits on top of our entertainment center. He pointed at the paw and announced "it is a clue"!

We thought that was mighty cleaver and funny.

Incidentally, on that same airplane (which is now faded from age) the designers of the project (about 5 guys) placed their pictures in the windows of the plane so it looks like they are riding in it. Corby likes to refer to his picture as "back when I had more hair and less chin".

What do "Mamma Mia", Firetrucks, quesadillas, Great Mimi, and eskimo kisses have in common?

Hi! I wish I was bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning, but I am not. Corby looks far worse than I -- he looks like he stayed up all night bar hopping. I wish we could say we had been bar hopping -- but alas we did not, we were up with Q.
Last night he woke up screaming at like 12:15. Usually when this happens (which is not that often) we let him cry a little and then he goes back to sleep. Last night though, his crying led to a runny nose, which then lead to a cough and when that happens it usually leads to a barf. So after a while he started making sounds like he was throwing up and we hightailed it upstairs. Luckily, it was just a wee bit and easily cleaned, but he had gotten his wish -- both of us were up there. The problem with going up when he calls and/or cries right away is because he wakes right up and refuses to go back to bed -- he wants to read books and go downstairs and watch a movie, etc. I stayed up there for 15 minutes trying to get him to put his head back down and go to sleep to no avail (at which time he told me he wanted a quesadilla and/or pizza and then got very upset with me for not having them) and then a super grumpy Corby came up and relieved me and he worked on the situation for another 45 minutes, finally just putting him back in his bed and leaving the room. Yes, he cried but he quieted down and we were able to see that he was laying down. 5 minutes passed and he started screaming for me. He would flip around go back to sleep, 3 minutes later he would cry for me again. This repeated for about 45 minutes until Corby said he had enough and he was going to bring him down to get in bed with us. He did -- Quen got right into bed and cozied up next to me -- I was very hopeful he was going to go back to sleep. Um, yeah, not the case. Chatty Cathy started giving me Eskimos kisses, he talked about Great Mimi (my grandmother who he never knew but knows only by a photo in the hall), he sang a little -- some itsy bitsy spider mingled with twinkle, twinkle little star. I told him to be quiet and listen for the "fire trucks" (a trick a made up a little while ago -- it makes him get his mind off of whatever he is thinking and be quiet for a minute -- just enough time for sleep to get him if we are lucky). He then leaned over to give Corby tickles who was not in the mood to get tickles and then he head butted my nose. I sprang up and screamed, he burst into tears, Corby pops up legs and arms flailing -- I am still not sure that I do not have a broken nose this morning. After that the only way to calm him was to let him sleep on me -- but the position he chose was crazy. He knelt above my shoulder and laid down the length of my torso, between my boobs and had his head on my belly. It was strangely comfortable and thought we finally had him asleep as he quieted down and I patted his back. Not the case. He sprung up and burst into "Mamma Mia" by Abba. I could not hold back the laughter at this point. I shook the mattress as I tried to stifle it. Corby was such a grump -- he would not even admit it was funny. That was it for him he scooped up Q and herumphed off to the den where he toughed out the rest of the night on the sofa. Q finally went to sleep a little after 4:00 on his father's tummy -- picture is attached. It was a long night in the Hilley household. Corby, even though he was grand poobah of grouches deserves a merit award for the effort he put in to getting Quen to sleep.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I forgot to mention (and I do not know how I did this) that THANKS TO THE HARD WORK OF MY SWEET AND DEVOTED FATHER IN LAW, Waylon Hilley, a.k.a. Buppy, a.k.a. The Tool Man, we have our new counter tops. Buppy has crazy "Man SkillZ" (with a "z") as do his other progeny (my two brothers in law) Shawn and Janson. There really is nothing that they cannot do -- and I really mean nothing. Corby is learning fast.
For those of you who do not know my sweet husband, he was a bit of the "odd man out" when it came to Waylon's sons. Corby would pay his brothers to do his chores and could have cared less how a lawn mower ran, how you put in a light fixture, tune a car, etc. He has found a new appreciation for these things since I "domesticated him". Corby has done very well and amassed a small fortune in tools and "handy" things. He is learning from his father and brothers very well and very fast and I am very proud of him.

BUPPY, however is the Patriarch and is and will always be the Big Cheese of home improvement. Thank you Buppy for coming and spending a day with us and helping us with the kitchen!

To Tip or Not to Tip, that is the question.

Okay, is it just me or do you feel weird at a drive in or take out type place where you use your debit card and you get the receipt you have to sign with a space for a tip? I always wonder what I should do? If it is a drive through, or you call in pizza and are picking it up, or even a quick drop in at the China Hut for take out, do you tip? It kind of puts you in a weird place -- to tip or not to tip? If you don't leave a tip the people will hate you and remember you did not tip and next time spit in your food (just kidding, got carried away). I then start to think, "What did they do to deserve a tip? Well, they did prepare my food, throw it in a bag, got at least half of the order correct, gave me no service, I had to spend 5 minutes trying to determine what they were actually saying and another five minutes trying to correct the order they messed up and they still forgot the ketchup".

Let me say now, I am huge fan of tipping for good service, I am not a tightwad.

Even though McDonald's is not one of the places I am referring to for they cleanly swipe your card and you are gone, but this whole topic made me remember something. I tried to order a small french fries at McDonalds the other day -- midmorning for Q after he had his shots -- and it went like this, I kid you not:

Me: "Yes, I need to order a small order of french fries"
McDonald's genius: "No you don't".
Me: "I'm sorry?"
McDonald's genius: "Not now you don't"
Me: "Uh, Okay"
McDonald's genius: "We only serve breakfast now"

I just bit my lip and got "a hashbrown".

Seriously though, what do you do? I generally do not add a tip to my receipt in these instances and feel bad sometimes. However, when you think about it, you would not tip if you paid in cash -- so why would you tip when using your debit card? I kind of think it is rude for an establishment to do this to people. Some of the main offenders are Lizard's Thicket, #1China and China Hut and most pizza places, off of the top of my head. So, what do you think?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


When we bought our sweet little abode 6 years ago the kitchen had been recently redone.  I loved almost all of it.  My only real point of contention was the navy blue (yes, I said navy blue), matte counter tops that were just, well, really ugly and frankly I hated them... a lot.  Another thing I really did not like was the back splash which was a "foamy like" wallpaper and  which the cats quickly made their scratching post -- shredding it almost instantly.  So needless to say our kitchen looked a bit like a waffle house in the end.  In addition, we were in the midst of doing more work on the kitchen -- moving a hot water heater OUT of the kitchen (because that is such a good place for a hot water heater) when we had a surprise baby a month early (Q was born on January 6th-- he was DUE February 4th).  In typical Amanda and Corby fashion that threw us completely out of whack and what would have taken like a weekend to do and finish turned into 2 years to finally get done.  I am proud to announce that the kitchen is FINALLY DONE!  

We did not do anything SUPER FANCY like granite because we are quickly outgrowing our little house and hope to be able to get a bigger house (with granite) in the near future, but I love the laminate we picked.  I am very happy with it.

What 'cha think?  Pretty snazzy, eh?

Oldest to newest.

Cub donned his knee pads -- you knew he meant business.

Old bouncer shirt.

Note the shredded wallpaper.
Cat scratch pad.
My sweet blue counter tops before we tore them off and set them on fire (just kidding).
Q "helped" and loved on Buppy.
The new backsplash.

Q's new bear slippers.

TADA!  All done with a new sink to boot!

The Family From Deliverance Shops at The Bi-Lo in West Columbia

Just in case you did not know, the family from Deliverance shops at the Bi-Lo in West Columbia.

I know this because I saw them shopping there last night. I had to hit the DT (that would be Dollar Tree -- one of my 2 favorite stores and the one in West Columbia is closest to my downtown home) and because I needed some more Pull-Ups for Q's class and kitty litter -- I stopped into the Bi-Lo next door -- little did I know that I would be afraid for my life for the second time that day.
When I saw them -- I was strangely attracted to them like when you want to see carnival freaks or something... I even went out of my way and down at least three isles I did not need to go down so that I could get a better look. I am horrible and going to hell, I know.
Anyway, the group consisted of one elderly gentleman (who probably was not as old as he looked) who had a grizzled beard, no teeth, a greasy ball cap on and dingy pants who kept yelling (as in the person was deaf) at a disabled woman with no arms or legs in a wheelchair (I am not making fun of this poor person -- just describing them). This woman had some tubes and whatnot attached and she would respond with a squeel to the man's questions. As they walked down the frozen food section he would stop and yell "Do you want chik'n pot pie?" she would squeal. "You want country fried steak with taters?" she would grunt or squeal. No matter where I was in the store at any given time I could hear the man yell at the disabled woman.
They were followed by a large red haired woman in a flannel jacket, track pants and bedroom slippers who meekly followed with the cart.
"You want coconut cookies, look here?"
Two dingy girls, one preteen and one a teenager, flitted around the store coughing. The preteen was a little chubby with black teeth and high heel shoes that were too big and kept flopping when she walked. The other girl wore a over sized sweatshirt and sleep pants -- both looked as though they had not seen shampoo nor a bath in a while.
"You want waffles?" "huh" "I said, do you WANT WAFFLES?"
I believe that along with the 5 above there were two guys who I described as "dull" in another post and I think that is a perfect description for them. They wore coveralls, smelled like ashtrays, had buck teeth and did not say much.
"Do you want pizza rolls?"
All in all -- I am sure they were a very nice family, good people -- but they kind of scared me, intrigued me and made me sad -- all at the same time and they definitely could have been the back up cast for Deliverance, hands down.


Last weekend Q and I were lucky enough to get the grand tour of a horse farm from our good friends Sinclair (a.k.a. Milk Duds) and her sister Dr. Anna Ogburn, who is the barn manager for the farm and veterinarian extraordinaire. Quen got to feed the horses, sit on the horses, pet the horses, see where they go "night night", ride on their saddles and play with all of the fun horse stuff, as well as ride in the ATV golf cart and play in the hay. We had a GREAT TIME (except for the hay down in the diaper which caused a little discomfort) and I think he will become quite a horseman. Thanks to Anna and Mary for letting us come up there and we look forward to coming again... like tomorrow -- just kidding.