Thursday, September 27, 2007

DAY AT HOME SPARKS NEW TASK

With Mom feeling a little under the weather, the Cupits decided to spend the day at home today. The morning was off to a not-so-good start. When Maren was in the other room, Brant removed his diaper and tinkled on the living room floor. Thank goodness for hardwood! Well, Maren decided it's time to try potty-training. From what she's read, Brant meets most of the criteria, and he seems interested now. Maren has her own motivation, of course. If the family stops buying diapers, she can enroll at the YMCA! This may be a very short attempt, but maybe success is on the horizon. After all, didn't our parents' generation have everyone potty-trained by 2?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

DANCING MYSTERY SOLVED

For the past few months, Laurel has been embarrassing her parents by putting on a little dancing show every time she takes off her clothes. For a while, they tried to encourage her to at least put on some panties before shaking her booty. Her parents have tried to ignore it and give her as little reaction as possible, hoping she would grow out of it. At one point, her parents found out that she had even performed naked in front of her great-grandmother while staying at her grandparent's house. She's been caught standing naked in front of the mirror singing and dancing. Her parents wondered nervously what the teen-age years would be like. Mostly, they just kept thinking, "Where is she getting this?"

Aha! Last night, the mystery was solved! Last night was the premier of Dancing With The Stars, a show that Laurel loves to watch so she can partner dance with Mommy and/or Daddy while the stars are dancing. She tries to mimic their moves. During one of the first performances, Laurel's mommy caught her taking off her shirt. Upon interrogation, she pointed to the t.v. and said she was doing like the t.v. Maren figured it out. Usually, the dancers on the show are scantily dressed in their fancy costumes. Some of them look practically naked. Laurel must have interpreted that people take off their clothes to dance fancy! Well, the mystery is solved, but it's quite probable that Laurel will still think that it's time to dance in front of the mirror every night when she gets ready for her bath.

Friday, September 21, 2007

BRAD TAKES ONE FOR THE TEAM

What began as an innocent practice for an upcoming church basketball tournament, ended in the local emergency room. Late Thursday night, Brad took an elbow to the eye under the basket. He was able to clean it up a little and drive himself home for a spousal consultation. After Maren determined that stitches would most likely be necessary, the family's good friend Cathi came over to stay with the children so Maren and Brad could go to the ER together.

Miraculously, the entire hospital visit lasted less than an hour and a half. The ER doctor was a low-key, soft-spoken, very nice man sporting a beard and pony tail. Maren couldn't help but wonder if his Harley was parked in the employee lot somewhere. Brad mentioned that Maren should take a picture during the process. Maren hesitated, but the doctor said to get the camera. He took a picture of Brad and then told her to get in for a picture, too! Besides the fact that poor Brad is going to be wearing a nasty black eye for a while, the whole experience was rather pleasant.

Friday, September 14, 2007

COOL DUDE ENJOYS LIFE

Some boys have all the fun. Brant Cupit is one of them. The picture at left tells some of the story. Brant is very "into" glasses right now (perhaps because of his sister's newest accessory.) If he sees them laying around he wants to wear them. He particularly likes to put them on himself. In this photo, he wanted to wear them while eating his breakfast...a turkey hot dog. Brant picked this out himself. Dr. Atkins would be proud. He likes to use a fork to eat his food and is quite an accomplished jabber. Here, he masters his craft with both hands!

Brant's chauffeur has taken him to quite a few adventures lately. A few have been captured digitally to share. On Thursday, Brant and Laurel's park date was cancelled due to wet weather. Hurricane Humberto must not have checked the family calendar. Instead, the children joined some friends at the remodeled playland at a local mall. Competition is a beautiful concept. The other mall opened up a brand new playland some time this year. The Cupits, most certainly in the same category as other families with young children, found very little occasion to go to the old mall any more. Then, like magic, a completely remodeled playland opens at the old mall. It's packed with fun, climbable animals playing jazz instruments resting on brand new colorful carpet. There are plenty of pieces to climb on and slides for a large group of kids. Take a look at some happy kids!


Finally, Brant spent some quality time alone with his mom this morning while Laurel was at pre-school. They stopped at a shady park for a little fun.

HALLOWEEN CAN'T COME SOON ENOUGH FOR KIDS, MOM


October means many things in southeast Louisiana. Cooler temperatures, the beginning of "holiday party season", candy everywhere, costumes and decorations showing up at almost any store. At the Cupit house, October couldn't come fast enough this year, so Maren bought costumes in September. She's been buying decorations throughout the year. "I really, really love October through December," says Maren, "It just makes me so happy."


Maren says she loves hot apple cider, scarecrow decorations in neighbor's yards (although she's never done one herself), chocolate cookies, trick-or-treaters, breezy days, pumpkin patches and photo ops. Maren and others relish the time when moms can finally take the kids to an outdoor park for a few hours without heat exhaustion, when summer items go on clearance, and shoppers begin to see hints of the holiday season popping up on shelves.

As a mother of a little girl and a little boy, Mrs. Cupit decided this would be a great year for Mickey and Minnie Mouse costumes. She had planned on Brant being a pumpkin this year and has a fantastic pumpkin costume in the attic (size 2-4). Perhaps an aspiring pumpkin out there could use it? Antsy and impatient, Maren couldn't wait to try the costumes on the kids. Maren and Brad finally convinced Brant to keep the hat on his head, but they're not sure this will last through a whole evening of trick or treating. Laurel loved to look at herself in the mirror in her new dress. She spent about 20 minutes between the mirror and dancing around the bedroom with the radio on performing her interpretive dance. She may be a little tom-boyish sometimes, but she loves puffy skirts that spin out when she dances.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

UTAH SENDS LOVE, NOT COOL WEATHER

The Cupits ended a much-needed visit with Papa G and Mimi on Friday evening. Laurel and Brant loved having their grandparents here to give them lots of attention and extra love. Despite some transportation shake-ups , the week was still a good one.

Maren and Mimi (Sandy) had a mother-daughter night learning how to make cookie bouquets. Papa G had lots of bonding time with his grandchildren. Mimi and Papa G were there to see Laurel get her glasses. They both got to see her new school. They also went with us to a play date at the mall. Hopefully, they had their fill of tasty Louisiana cuisine, from red beans and rice to oysters to jambalaya with Cajun sausage.

The Cupits won't see them again until Christmas, but at least that visit will be in a different climate. The first week in September in Louisiana certainly won't dry your skin out!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Oops....


On the morning of Brant's surgery (Aug. 27th) after the nurse took him back for the operation, I left the hospital to go pick up some breakfast for Maren and me. Maren stayed at the hospital, just in case, and it's a good thing too because it would be quite a while before I would be able to return.

While I was figuring out how to get to the McDonald's across the street, and paying attention to where I was going and not where I was, I apparently ran a red light and then got in an accident (in Maren's new car too...ouch)

Luckily no one was hurt. We got the car back on Thursday (Sept. 6th) so now things can get back to normal again, or at least until we get our next insurance bill :-)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

FOOD: TACO SOUP ADDS FLAVOR TO PARTY

The Chronicle has recently received several requests for a TASTY TACO SOUP RECIPE. This recipe is a favorite of our editors because it is easy, fast and delicious. It is ideal for taking to a family in need of a meal, or to serve at a party. It was originally found in the Wal-Mart Family Cookbook (2007 southern edition).

1 lb. ground beef, or a little more (Substitute turkey if you like)
1/2 cup chopped onion. (Who needs to measure? Just chop the whole onion and throw it in!)
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) Diced tomatoes with zesty green chilies
2 cans (16 oz each) pinto beans
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 3/4 oz) cream style golden sweet corn
1 cup water
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
2 tbsp cilantro leaves, optional

1. In 4 qt Dutch oven, cook ground beef and onion until beef is brown; drain fat.
2. Stir in undrained tomatoes, undrained pinto beans, black beans, corn, water, dressing mix, and cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 45 min (or less if you need to), stirring occasionally. Serves 10.

I think it's great with corn chips, sour cream, and some shredded cheese. It tastes even better after a day of sitting in the fridge. The leftovers are yummy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

LABOR DAY BRINGS GOOD TIMES



The Cupits and Cliftons had a yummy time this Labor Day, experimenting for the first time with Shish-Ka-Bobs. They turned out delicious and were topped off with the homemade, family recipe, strawberry shortcake. Preparing the meal was almost as much fun as eating it!

WORLD BECOMES CLEARER


In the eyes of 3 year old Laurel, the world must have been a different place before she received her magic princess spectacles. Today she brought home her new glasses and with them a clearer picture of the world around her. Laurel needs glasses because recently her parents noticed that her eyes were turning inward in certain situations. She was diagnosed with a condition called strabismus, more specifically accommodative esotropia. She is 4 times more far-sighted than the average kid. As a result, her glasses prescription makes her eyes look slightly larger. Lucky for Laurel, she has some beautiful blue eyes, so bigger is better!

Laurel asked a few times to take off her glasses, but after a few hours (or less) of getting used to them, they have become part of her. This little girl has adapted well to all of the changes in her life this summer, and her parents are super-duper proud of her.