September 30, 2008

On Time is When I Get There

So, I'm chatting on the phone this morning with my mom. Sounds normal so far, right? Out of nowhere, like a slap to the forehead, I realize that I have an appointment this morning with a new doctor.
Now, by this time it was just after 9:00. The appointment was for 9:30. It's a 30-minute drive, I hadn't showered and 2YO had just fallen asleep on the couch.
AAAAAAAACCCCCCKKKKK!!!!!!
So, I call the office and get the appointment pushed back to between 10 and 10:30. Luckily, they sounded really flexible. I hopped into the shower, threw on some clothes, packed a quick bag for 2YO and met my mom in the parking lot of the doctor's office. I walked into my appointment by 10:10.
It's amazing how quickly we can get ready if we really need to, huh?
I spent the rest of the morning confusing doctors and getting strapped to the torture devices to find out why my knees are so weak. As it turns out, they're really not all that weak. Why do they regularly feel like they're about to buckle? Who knows! He wants to set me up with the PT people so they can design an exercise routine I can do at the gym to see if my knees feel stronger. As far as my bones go, there's nothing wrong. The rest is still sort of a mystery, I guess.
On the homefront, 12YO was 'asked out' by a boy! Now, David is keeping some pretty tight reigns on these girls and even SAYING that they're going out with someone is totally forbidden, even if they never actually GO ANYWHERE. But, the way it happened is so funny.
You see, 12YO has a bit of a crush on this particular boy. We were talking with his dad at the last football game and David happened to mention this. To the dad of the boy that 12YO likes! (You can see that David was never a 12YO girl, can't you?) Anyhow, the dad must have thought it was funny or cute or whatever enough to share with his son. Yesterday, the boy told 12YO that his dad told him that her parents said that SHE LOVED HIM. Loved him? Who said anything about love? That word NEVER came up in the conversation! He actually sounded a little cocky when he said it. Apparently, this boy lacks no confidence whatsoever.
So, 12YO notices that he's looking at her during lunch. He's pointing at her and talking to her friends. He the walks over and sits next to her. She immediately gets up and walks somewhere else. He finds her a few minutes later and asks her if she wants to 'go out.'
HUH????
My daughter does not DO such things!!! She told the boy, "NOOOOO!!!!" When he asked why, she said that her dad won't let her. Then she said, "Here's the deal: First, he'd kill you. THEN, he'd kill me!"
The boy sort of shook it off, looking a bit disappointed until he walked up to one of her best friends and ASKED HER OUT NOT A MINUTE LATER. She's not allowed to go out with boys either.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
From the looks of things, he'll have a new girlfriend before the beginning of tomorrow's school day. If not, maybe this will chip away a little bit of that ego.
Word on the street is that he has plenty to spare!

September 29, 2008

Thanks a LOT Aunt Linda!!!!

5YO's class put on a little performance at her school. She was so excited about her makeup!


I can make my cake, but can I eat it too?


Let me just start by saying that we've had a great weekend. Football went well on Saturday, the drive being not so bad afterall. You know how I had said that 2YO was showing no real signs of having this cold? Well, she has it now! She crawled into our bed in the wee hours of Sunday morning and started 'barking.' She started having a stuffy nose yesterday and it's already really runny today. It seems like she's passing that part a little more quickly than David or I, but I'm sure her cough will linger for weeks now. Poor baby. I guess it sounds worse than it feels, however. She can finish her sentences with a smile, even when she's interrupted by that yucky cough.


But the snot-rockets....they're a'shootin! So long as I continuously follow her around with a box of Kleenex, we're all good.


Besides, it's not as if I do anything ELSE, right?

*giggle*


My cold is almost completely gone. I can now blow my nose and actually breathe clearly through my nose for a couple of hours before I have to blow it again. And that, my friends, is what I call 'progress.'



Sooooo, on to my Aunt Linda. My Aunt Linda lives far away and reads my blog.


HI AUNT LINDA!!!!!


She's never left a comment or anything, but it would be really awesome if she did!
(HINT! HINT!!!)


Well, she emailed my mom this recipe for chocolate cake. And it's not just any chocolate cake, but the kind you make single-serving in a coffee mug....IN THREE MINUTES IN THE MICROWAVE! My mom forwarded that email to me and, I must say, my curiosity got the best of me. Can you really make chocolate cake in the microwave? In a coffee mug? In three minutes?


YES! YES YOU CAN!!!


I will now pass this migraine-inducing, thigh-expanding recipe to you:



MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE


1 Coffee Mug (microwave safe)
4 tablespoons flour(that's plain flour, not self-rising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
Small splash of vanilla


Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well . Add the egg and mix thoroughly.Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and mix again.Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to share!)

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!


****************************************************


And that's the email as it was sent to me! I have to tell you that the chocolate chips sink to the bottom, which is actually nice when you flip it out onto a plate afterward. Then, they are on top. I know I'm not the most accurate person with a measuring spoon, and it showed because each one I made came out a tad bit different from the rest. (I made five of them total, one at a time.) I squirted a little bit of Hershey's Syrup over over the top after they were plopped out onto the plate. Because I have a death wish. The best comparision I heard was that they were sort of like those big, chocolate-chocolate chip muffins that you can buy at Sam's Club or Costco. Only they were more moist. They were really moist but still cooked all the way, which was a pleasant surprise.



Sooooo....once again,



THANKS AUNT LINDA!!!!!



(That is both genuine and sarcastic, all rolled up into one!)



I've already gotten tonight's dinner going. We are having THIS tonight. I can honestly say that this is the first time I've ever bought Velveeta in my life. It looks weird right now, but I'm sure it will be really good! It's starting to smell really good, if that means anything! I made the Taco Soup again for dinner last night. That was perfect, just like the first time. However, I think I'll have to sneak in some Bean-O or something the next time I make that....there were funny noises coming from every bedroom all night long!


Well, 2YO and I are off to the library. Have a great day!









September 27, 2008

Somewhere in hell, somebody has a glass of ice water!

Ladies and gentlemen, life as we know it has changed.
I think I may be turning into a morning person!
NOW, who ever saw THAT coming?
I realized that I really do like mornings. The sun is not up, the kids are not up. It's just me and my crazy, energetic-in-the-morning dog. She calms down after she's made a few sharp turns in her laps around the living room and skidded out. Okay, so she's nuts.
It's just that, with 5YO in school now, mornings are more and more hectic. In order for me to get anything done before school (like SHOWER) I have to get up at 5:45. (12YO gets up at 6:00 to get into the shower) The past few weeks have had me getting up earlier than I ever had before on a regular basis.
And I'm starting to wake up before my alarm.
This morning, I woke up at 5:00. On a Saturday. I had no reason to get up early, it just sort of happened. By 5:30, I realized that I was not going back to sleep and decided to just get up and put on a pot of tea. The house is so quiet, with the exception of the crazy dog. I can actually hear myself think. I'd almost forgotten how that felt, hearing myself think. I'm just so tired at night that I find myself wanting to go to bed before my kids.
I woke up and went straight to my computer. I spent a few HOURS (and that's not an exaggeration) researching coupons and planning the menu for the week.
Yup...you read that right! I'm starting to plan menus. And clip coupons.
Does anyone want to play along? I've never really been a bonafied 'coupon clipper' before. I've never really wanted to bother, wondering how saving 30 cents on a couple of boxes of macaroni and cheese could really change my life. But, you know what? I think it can. So, who wants to join my 'coupon crusade' of sorts. I only had one coupon to really work with today, as today is the day I begun this adventure and haven't had time to bulk up my collection. But, I paid for my groceries with CASH, which is something I never do. I always write a check and have always considered money to be money, no matter what form it comes in. But, it really did make a difference in the way I shopped today. I knew I had only so much money on me and was not pulling out the debit card or checkbook. And I was so much more frugal. Things that I would just toss in my cart without much thought because it looked good at the time...I just walked right on past those! I had a budget and that was that. My goal was to not spend all of my grocery money today, while still buying all the food my family would need for the whole week. I sat down beforehand and planned the week's meals and studied my pantry to see what I would actually need.
And I did pretty well, if I do say so myself! I spent $85.00 on about $126.00 worth of groceries. And that will feed my family of five for the whole week when combined with what I already had.
I think I can do so much better, after the Sunday paper comes tomorrow and I get to dig through all the ads and coupons. There are a few websites I'm using to help me get the most bang for my buck between the sales and coupons. And I can only get better at it, if I stick with it.
I've personally known people who could use coupons and walk away with a ton of groceries for a fraction of what they would normally cost. And I think it would be pretty cool to be able to do that!
SOOOO...who's with me? Anyone else have any tips they want to share? Anyone a 'coupon rookie' like me? The more the merrier. I'd like to have a little company on my little journey to couponland.
Well, I have to clean up the rest of dinner and put the crock pot away. We had THIS for dinner. And it was FABULOUS! 2YO wouldn't touch it, but she's picky like that. I'm sure she would have loved it if she had actually tried it. 5YO cleaned her plate, as did my neice who is known to be more than a little picky. 12YO ate two big servings of it. David and I loved it. BIL...well, he's already alseep. Poor guy's been up since 7:00 last night!
Speaking of sleep, I'm gonna go and get me some of that!
LATER TATER!!!

September 25, 2008

Is a 15 minute nap going to be enough?

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
I'm finally starting to feel more like myself. I hadn't had a migraine headache in MONTHS and this last one kicked my butt! The past two nights have left me wishing that I, myself, had a 7:30 bedtime! I ended up dozing on the couch by 8:30 or 9:00 both nights and waking up to go to bed around midnight. Other that almost falling victim to buying something off the infomercial on the television, I went right back to sleep. And slept like a rock.
The sore throat is almost gone, thanks to the ocassional spoonfuls of honey and constant hot tea or ice water. The runny nose has arrived, but the dry throat seems to be letting up.
Internet, I think I really have a cold.
Were it not for the migraine that came on when the rest of this was starting, I'm sure I wouldn't have been so tired. Either way, I have slept almost all of nine hours each of the past two nights. I'm sure that has helped! I'm also taking my vitamins twice a day, as opposed to once. I don't like the way cold medicines make me feel, so I tend to stay away from them unless I really feel like I need it. This time, I think rest and plenty of vitamins are what I really need. I can handle a runny nose. I can handle a cough. I cannot handle feeling shaky and twitchy the way most cold medicines make me feel. And I'm a pretty cheap date, so it doesn't take much for me to feel that way.
David has it too. His symptoms seem to be a day ahead of mine, almost like clockwork. Each day, he can tell me how I'm going to feel the next. And he's been right! 5YO seems to have a version of it, too. She has a slight cough and has to blow her nose a couple of times a day. Other than that, she's a trooper. Nothing really gets to her the way it does most of us. I'm not quite sure if 12YO has it or not. She hasn't really said anything, being mostly preoccupied about the new holes in her smile and the upcoming progress report.
Straight A's = A Cell Phone.
She doesn't really NEED a cell phone at this point in her life, but she really, really wants one. And she is working her tail off to earn it, so I can't argue with that. I can check her grades online whenever I want, down to the assignments she has turned in that day, so she knows that the phone may come and go from time to time. She doesn't care. She wants one and she is thriving in junior high in the process. She has the highest grade in her history class, an A+ in pre-algebra and, from what she says, A's in the rest of her classes too. When school gets harder, we're probably going to have to come up with some other sort of deal. But right now, this child is on a mission to succeed and I don't care what brought it on!
As far as 2YO and this cold goes, she's showing no signs of it yet. I'm sure she'll start coming down with hers when the rest of the family is over it and hers will include a really bad cough that lingers for weeks, as usual. I bought that cute humidifier so it could just sit in her room permanently, and that's where it is.
I managed to nap for about 15 minutes while I was trying to get 2YO to nap. I woke up at 5:45 this morning and plan to stay up until 11:00 tonight. Why? Because Grey's Anatomy is on! DUH!!! I like that show. I just hope I like it enough to stay up until 11:00! We have cheer practice tonight, so things will be a little more exhausting anyhow.
I think exhausting may be my new normal.

September 24, 2008

Musings to Get Me Over the Hump

It's a bit hard for me to remember that she's only FIVE when I look at pictures like this. Or that she's actually out there cheering, in front of possibly hundreds of people and she's fine.
1. My throat hurts. It started to hurt yesterday. David told me that his throat has been hurting since the day before that. Does this mean I can blame him since he had it first?
2. 12YO had her two teeth pulled yesterday. She was a model patient and the oral surgeon was really sweet. It took a long time to get everything in order just to start. The actual process only took a few minutes, but the paperwork and the x-rays took a lot longer. We must have been there about 2 hours...and I even forgot my KNITTING in the car!!!
3. I had planned on taking a walk yesterday with 2YO. I've started to go to the gym on Tuesdays and was hoping to get some exercise anyhow, even if I just stayed home all morning. I was working on the last couple of load of laundry and was about to get ready to go when a migraine started coming on. I hadn't had one of those things in MONTHS. It sort of makes sense that I had one now, though. I've been a bit lazy about eating right and had two consecutive nights of less sleep than I'm used to. That's pretty much all it takes, I guess! I took my migraine meds and it really helped me get through the rest of my day.
4. Every living thing in this house is so incredibly lucky that they did not disturb last night's slumber. I was ready to go to bed at 7:30, though I knew that was never gonna happen! As well as the Maxalt works for me, I'm still just worn out by the end of the day. I slept like a rock and I needed every minute of it!
5. BREAKING NEWS: CLAY AIKEN IS GAY. Seriously, is there anyone out there who didn't know this? I don't think it should matter to his fans and it probably doesn't. In fact, I'd really like to see some people actually reacting with shock and awe. He's out, he's proud....let's let him raise his baby and get on with his life! Of course, now people will probably start stalking him to see if and when he's dating anyone. He has a baby, therefore he has NO TIME TO DATE. If he hasn't hired someone to help, the poor guy won't have time to brush his teeth!
6. 2YO now does things that she thinks she should be doing. (Not always, of course!) But, when she does them, she looks straight at me and says, "You're welcome, Mom." As if I'm to follow her around all day and thank her for the one out of ten things she actually puts back after she takes it out! Or that thing she didn't throw or break, even after she had thought about it for a second.
7. I feel like the more tired I am, the more energetic my daughter is. I'm walking around like a ZOMBIE and she's running circles around me and 'racing' me through doorways only to yell, "I WIN!!!" Yeah, I don't win today. I'll be a winner at naptime, though!
8. I'm not sure what to make for dinner tonight. We have no cheer practice. *doing a little happy dance!* I've browsed through the few most recent pages on my favorite blog to help me decide what's for dinner and I think I've decided on today's entry. I have all the ingredients on hand and enough time to make it....or I will if I get off my caboose in the next hour or so!
9. Odds are good that I'll be up soon. 2YO is hungry and just brought me a box of mac and cheese from the pantry. Subtle, huh? She has a gift.
10. My chickens eat eggs for breakfast. At least, I think it's their breakfast...but I just cannot seem to gather the eggs in the chicken coop soon enough before the chickens have pecked holes in them or eaten them entirely. BAD CHICKENS! BAD!!! Do they need a man or something? Is four women in one coop with no man just too much for them? We have a few golf balls in their boxes...somehow I came across that tip online. Maybe I need more golf balls.
I don't really understand chickens.

September 23, 2008

Sleep Loss and the Creepin' Crud...

2YO puts on her own makeup.

5YO is nice...when she's AWAKE!!!



12YO found that the dentist is nicer when she doesn't actually put the candy IN her mouth!

This is truly one of those days when I feel like I could just go back to bed and sleep the day away.



If only....



The night before last, I didn't get much sleep. First of all, I went to bed an hour or so later than usual. Just so you know, I always wear my seatbelt, I take my vitamins, I don't drink soda, and I GET 7-8 HOURS OF SLEEP EVERY NIGHT. And I'm actually quite content with how boring and predictable that makes me! So, going to bed an hour later was already going to mess me up a bit.


In the middle of the night, 2YO somehow made her way into our bed. She does that sometimes. Once she's there, I don't sleep nearly as well because I constantly feel like I have to know where she is. Our bed is set up rather high and our mattress sits inside of a wood frame, so rolling off would be doubley-painful when you hit the wood frame on the way to the floor. I slept very lightly the rest of the night. 12YO had requested that I wake her up at 5:45 yesterday morning so that she could finish up her book report. I had my cell phone on the nightstand so the alarm could wake me up before David's alarm.



At 5:30 yesterday morning, Spanish-speaking wrong number guy calls me. TWICE. I hit 'ignore' and hope that hearing my voicemail will confirm that he has the wrong number. I get a new voice message from each call. As I check, I just hear a minute or so of road noise like he's driving or something. It's the same number that has been calling me repeatedly for awhile now. Grrrr......



I was wide awake when my alarm went off at 5:45...and up for the rest of the day! I hit my wall sometime in the afternoon when we were finishing up homework and tried to sneak in a little nap before we had to get ready for cheer practice. Those bossy little people, however, had other plans for me. I was bothered approximately ever 90 seconds or so for the next 20 minutes. That's stinks because a good 20-minute snooze could really have turned my day around!



I was in bed by 11:00 last night, but only because I was too tired to argue with 2YO (who was wide awake, unfortunately) about sleeping in our bed. Again. This time, however, I slept like a rock. I was beat. I slept so hard, in fact, that I only woke up at 3:30 when 2YO had apparently wriggled her way to the foot of the bed and rolled off with a resounding THUD. That THUD was followed by a SCREAM and then some CRYING. David and I both flew out of the bed and to the foot where 2YO was lying, crying and still disoriented on the floor below. David scooped her back up and put her between us once again. She had no visible injuries and calmed down pretty quickly. David somehow managed to be almost instantly asleep after that. (Is that some sort of male gift or something?) I, on the other hand, took a few extra minutes to calm my pounding heart and get settled back into my own sleep. After that, 5:30 (which was 12YO's requested wake-up call) came pretty quickly.


Lily has also learned that I will let her out of her crate in the middle of the night if she starts to bark. I will do anything to shut anyone up in the middle of the night, determined to get a decent night's sleep. She just wants to curl up in the floor of the girls' room. I don't see any real harm in that, even though it's against the guidelines that David has tried to put in place. If he wants to get up in the middle of the night and help me, then he can have a vote.


On top of the whole sleep deprivation thing, our whole house seems to be coming down with the creepin' crud. Nothing too serious, just a congested sort of cough and a general feeling of our airways just being smaller. It's probably all congestion, but it hasn't loosened up enough to feel like it yet. Nobody feels all that bad, just a little crummy.


I cannot tell you how happy I am that I get to wake 5YO up for school for another 12 years or so. Here's little snippet of our conversation this morning, as accurately depicted as my groggy brain can recount it:


ME: Good morning! It's time to wake up.


5YO: Why are you waking me up?


ME: Because it's time to get up and get ready for school.


5YO: I don't want to go to school. And I don't want you to wake me up!


ME: Well then, who would you like to wake you up in the mornings?


5YO: NOBODY! I want to wake myself up!


ME: Well, I'd like that too. But, if you don't wake up by yourself soon enough then I have to come and wake you up myself.


5YO: WHY?


ME: So you can get to school on time.



5YO takes her time getting out of her bed and I have to resort to a few physical threats to make it happen. All in a day's work, right?


I walk her down the hall to get her shoes. 12YO is already showered and dressed and going over her notecards to study for today's tests, sitting at the kitchen table. She looks up and smiles at 5YO as she walks past.



5YO: I thought you were going to do my hair now!


ME: I will do your hair in a minute. I just need you to put your shoes on first.


5YO: (looks at 12YO smiling at her and growls) WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT???


12YO is startled by 5YO's response to her. She immeditately looks away and tells her that she just looks cute. 5YO growls again in response.


I'm either going to have to start putting this child to bed when she's done with her homework or just make sure she has a pot of coffee to wake up to every morning. I've never seen such a young child in need of a morning pick-me-up!


*For the record, I do not actually intend to give my child coffee. But I'll want to, though!*



I have a few loads of laundry going and I just wonder if I'll be able to sneak in a little nap to get me through the rest of the day. I have to pick all of the kids up from school and take 12YO to the dentist to get some teeth pulled. She has a couple of baby teeth that need to be pulled, as the permanent teeth aren't quite where they need to be to push them out on their own. She's actually more nervous about her tests and having to run the mile today in P.E. than her dental appointment.



My kid is weird. She actually loves the dentist! Sort of reminds me of this little girl:









I just wish she had her paycheck!

Have a great day!


September 21, 2008

Notes to the people in my life...no matter how distant!

To the person who calls my cell phone three or four times a day:


I do not speak Spanish. No matter how many times you call, I cannot understand you. Speaking faster and more loudly does not help. I can tell you are speaking Spanish, yet you do not seem to realize that I am speaking English. I know you've had to have gotten my voicemail at least a few times and heard that my name is 'Leann' and I speak English. I doubt you are trying to call someone with my name and voice. Maybe I should take some Spanish lessons in order to convey to you that I do not, in fact, speak Spanish. Then again, I guess I would be lying then! At least I could tell him that he has a wrong number and he actually might get it!
To my husband:
You have no idea how lucky you are that the retractable ballpoint pen that you left in your pocket was not open when I washed and dried it with the clothes. After the last incident, I'd have thought that you'd have remembered not to do that! Apparently, I was wrong. I sort the clothes, wash the clothes, dry the clothes, fold the clothes and put them away. Digging through pockets, as far as I'm concerned, should be out of my jurisdiction. Actually, so is trying to get ink out of various articles of clothing and nearly passing out from the fumes of nail polish remover as I bury my head the dryer, trying to scrub the ink away. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY. PLEASE EMPTY YOUR OWN POCKETS!!!!
(Unless, of course, it's just money. I keep that and, frankly, rather enjoy how clean and shiny the coins come out of the wash and the profit )
To Chocolat:
I am so proud of you! You deserve to be happy and are on your way there now. You will find that man that makes you feel better instead of worse. He's out there, so don't settle for that other guy, okay? I really hope we get together soon....if I can get some time away from my kids....unless you'd like to hang out with my traveling three-ring-circus!
To the guy who calls my husband's cell phone:
No matter how many times you call, 'Nacho' will not answer. Nor will we ever be able to get him to the phone. Keep trying, if you will. He'll never be here!
To the dj guy at last night's football game:
Apparently, the Macarena has now become so lame that it's cool again because you played it so often at yesterday's game. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm caught between feelings of familiarity and annoyance...
5YO's 'bite' is fine. While I'm sure it is actually a bite, I have no idea what kind of creature did the biting. The swelling is gone completely and the wound is finally healing. Now I think I need to pick up more Benadryl and just put 5YO's name on the bottle!
The past few days have been filled with knitting, football games, cookie-baking, yarn-untangling, leftover eating, and sheer exhaustion. We're having THIS for dinner tonight. I opted to use Cream of Chicken soup instead of Cream of Mushroom. The creepy grey color is no longer there. It's been replaced with a lighter tan color that looks a lot more appealing, almost like a light gravy. I can totally handle gravy look. I just hope it tastes as yummy as it did the last time. That was some good stuff, Maynard!
Once again, a big thanks to the Crockpot Lady for all of her wonderful ideas and recipes! That chicken already smells so good that it's driving me BONKERS!!!
Have a great night!

September 17, 2008

Wannabe

I am about to possibly embark on a new adventure. I won't bore you with the daily details...unless you ask!
I want to learn to FLY again.
I remember that the first step is to give your sink a thorough cleaning. My sink was just completely scrubbed a few days ago. It was really easy just to give it another good scrubbing and call Day 1 a success.
I met another mom in 5YO's class who does this program. I'm not sure if she actually wears lace-up shoes around the house or anything like that, but she keeps a FLYjournal and sticks to it. I think I've mentioned her before; her house is clean and she has three children under the age of six.
(Yeah, it's one of those things where she proabably gets constantly asked, "What's your secret?")
She just does a little everyday, mostly in the mornings. She plans meals for the week ahead on the weekends. She goes to the gym three days a week. Her kids are kids. They make messes and leave trails of toys during the day, she's just a lot more disciplined about keeping it picked up than I am. I painstakingly orgainze my kids' toys and then forbid them to play with them right away. I just want to enjoy the clean feeling, even if it won't last!
I guess I'm just hoping that some of her 'discipline' and 'organizational skills' will rub off on me. She's an awesome, down-to-earth mom on top of it all. Another positive person to surround myself with, I guess.
Now, I am in no way calling her perfect. Nobody is perfect. But she lives her life a lot like I'd like to live mine. More discipline, more order. She doesn't spend all day cleaning, she just cleans something everyday. She's a little 'wake-up call' as to how much better it can be.
So, my sink is clean. Step 1 is complete. I technically already sort of did Day 2, but only because I got up and dressed early to work in 5YO's classroom first thing this morning. Come to think of it, I ALMOST have all the water color paint washed off of my hands! Almost.Not even the Soft Scrub with BLEACH took all the red paint off my hands!
5YO's leg still looks yucky, but better than it was last night. The bite mark is starting to itch and no longer feels warm. There is no discoloration any more and she never got a fever. I take the itching to mean that it's trying to heal and maybe just a normal sort of bug bite. Her spider bite didn't act this way. She's at school. Her ankle is still a bit swollen. I made her wear shoes for almost an hour this morning before school, just to make sure she'd be able to handle them. At first, she didn't want to. She's dealing with it now. It was nice to know that I'd be at her school the first couple of hours anyway. I was able to keep an eye on her that way.
Well, I need to go and meet the bus or they won't let my kid off!
TAA TAAAAAA!!!!!

And the rest of the week will be downhill, right?

The ME. I'm not so put-off by the way my face is wrinkly-looking. After all, my hand is pushing on it. But get a load of how OLD MY HANDS LOOK!
I WILL HAPPILY REVIEW HAND LOTIONS IN EXCHANGE FOR SAMPLES.

The BIL. (David's brother.) HI JASON!!! His birthday was the Monday before mine, so we shared a cake. David kept it simple:

It's amazing I didn't get a headache from all the 'nibbles' I snuck in passing.

My new sock yarn. It's cheap and soooooo pretty! I cannot wait to knit these up and see if they really look like the pattern on the label! It's like magic, I think!

My new ball winder is worth its weight in gold. And those 1-pound cones of cotton yarn I keep buying are a lot easier to use for travel knitting now!


Lastly, this just appeared on my 5YO. WTH??? She had a great day at school. She came home and played well. They rode scooters around the house for all of ten minutes and came back inside. She said she fell once, but she never cried or came and got me to tell me about it. About 30 minutes or so ago, she sat down on the couch and started to whine. (She's five and a bit on the dramatic side. That sometimes just means that she suddenly realized that something wasn't going her way. I repeat: She's FIVE.) 12YO was the first to notice she had an actual problem. She never said a word before then. Her ankle is HUGE and there is a weepy little hole in the middle of all the swelling.
She mentions falling off of her scooter once. She never mentioned scraping her leg. I have already given her a dose of Benadryl, which it looks like we will always have to have on hand for this kid! I won't even Google 'insect bites' or 'spider bites' anytime soon. It's just a bunch of pictures of Brown Recluse bites anyhow! There aren't any of those around here and I never want to connect any of those with my little girl. Would you?
Well, the Benadryl has been dispensed and the wound has been rinsed. (HEY! THAY RHYMES!!!) We will keep an eye on it and take her in if it gets worse, red lines develop, or she gets a fever. Right now, she just wants to lie on the couch and watch television. Anything more happens and you'll definitely know about it....eventually!
In the meantime, I was watching Mystery Diagnosis last night on TLC. BAD. IDEA. I now am pretty sure my kidneys aren't functioning properly. (Don't ask.) I think my kidneys are fine, but that's what they said causes edema when there's no other obvious reason. I just can't watch that show. I'm one of those people who suddenly thinks they ARE the person in the story.
"HEY! I have that symptom too! That MUST be the reason!"
I'm warming up some of my CROCK POT PORK CHOPS, that are actually going to be transformed into pulled pork sandwiches tonight. Those thick boneless pork chops just shred to pieces effortlessly when cooked in a crock pot. Reheat, add BBQ sauce, dump some on a toasted sandwich roll, and DINNER IS SERVED!
HAVE A GREAT NIGHT!!!




















September 15, 2008

But it had buttercream frosting and strawberry filling...

This kangaroo looks the way I feel today.
And that will be my excuse when I wake up from my sugar coma!



I've been bad. Real, real bad.




I had a terrific birthday. David and the girls got me and Mp3 player. It's actually one that I would have chosen myself, too. It has a memory card slot, so the memory is expandable. I've been able to put random home movies of the kids on it with its nifty little video converter thingamabob. Love. It.



Since David called his brother about what to pick (he's our family's version of a 'Gadget Guru!') he went ahead and bought me a 4 Gig card to go with it. So, my player is currently 6 Gigs smart so I can fill it up with pictures, audio books and my music. And I likes me music.



My mom bought me something I'd been wanting for some time, but had not purchased for myself: A yarn ball winder. Seriusly, I love this little thing! I've already broken down a 1-pound cone of cotton yarn into four pretty little balls, each one prettier than the last. I'm really getting the hang of this thing now!



We had an awesome steak dinner. I had mine RARE, which it totally my favorite! I cannot believe I ate an entire 20 oz Porterhouse yesterday. And I do not regret it a bit. I do, however, regret the cake I've been snacking on since Saturday night. I'm pretty much living on cake and lunch meat, which is the easiest thing for me to grab after I've had another regrettable cake incident and I want to have some protien in my body NOW. Since I've figured that out about myself, I've had the least amount of headaches ever.



It sort of reminds me of my younger years of late nights and parties. Remember having a little too much 'grown-up juice' and trying to avoid a hangover by drinking as much water as you could possible stomach and taking a couple of aspirin better going to bed? That's me now, only I can't remember the last time I had a few drinks (Okay, it was last March!) and I now have to make sure to pig out on protien-rich foods when I've had sugar. I guess I'm just really sensitive to changes in my blood sugar. That might have made my childhood a WHOLE lot easier. That is, if I'd have actually did what I was supposed to! I doubt it. I was a stubborn little thing!



We ended my fabulous day by seeing a movie. David and I almost never get to go to the movies. It's so expensive ($10.75 a ticket where we usually go!) and we just don't usually make the time for things like that. My mom kept the girls (thanks Grandma!) and we went and took in a 'chick flick.' I wouldn't normally drag David to a movie where there was not a male to been seen in the entire movie, but it was my birthday and 'The Women' started at exactly the right time. We couldn't be out too late, as the kids had school today. They showered and put on pajamas as Grandma's house, so we just had to drive them home and plop them into their beds.



It was a good movie. However, there was not a single male to be seen during the whole movie! Of course Meg Ryan and the rest of the ladies were great. I've never seen a Meg Ryan movie I didn't like. I like all the cheesy, girly stuff. Normally, David does not. But, I think he really enjoyed this one. He laughed a lot and stayed awake the whole time. (If you know David, then you know that that, in itself, is a feat.)



I just found out that my cholesterol is still high, even though I eat a lot better and weigh 26 pounds less than I did a year ago. It's lower, but not as low as they want it. I've (with a few exceptiions, like birthdays!) cut out sugar and flour. I take a multivitamin and a fish oil capsule every night.




My LDL has dropped from 118 (last year) to 107. They want it below 80. My HDL is still the same, low number that it was last year, 33. They want it above 60. I eat a lot more fruits and veggies than I ever had before. And they still want to put me on medication. And I still refuse. I took that stuff a few years ago and it made me feel really yucky! There has got to be a better way to get my numbers where they should be. I need to change something else about my diet, but what?



Any suggestions would be great, so long as they don't include 'popping a pill.' David is currently on TWO different cholesterol meds and I think there just has to be a better way.



I suppose it will be Google to the rescue once again, eh?



September 13, 2008

Socks, Birthdays, Time, and Paying Attention

See my socks? They are getting to be like a really good book that I can't put down. Or, at least I don't WANT TO. But, I must....

See the cool spiraly-thingy starting to form? Wildtomato told me how to do it and it's so fun! I definitely keeps sock knitting more interesting that just doing it all in stockinette stitch!
(Like my flip flop tan? You know you do!)




David took the girls out shopping for my birthday present. I have mixed feelings about that.



The only things I actually want right now are out of our price range. And that's okay. I'm a big girl, right? An elliptical machine or a really nice Mp3 player aren't in the cards right now. I can totally deal with that. I can't think of any little things that I want or need right now. So, given I haven't shared any good ideas with them, they are flying blind out there right now. David and three kids, one of which should be going down for a nap soon if she's going to remain a likeable person for the rest of our long day!



I take that back; I did give them a good idea. I would like to stay in bed and knit, read and watch tv at my leisure. Seriously. Don't buy me a thing, just let me do my thing. I want to see what a major day of knitting can do to my socks. How far could I get? I usually can't get five uninterrupted minutes to knit, much less a whole day. I just wonder what I'd actually be capable of.
Last night, I knitted in bed for about a half an hour or so before I went to sleep. When I woke up this morning, the children were starting to pile into our bed (which they love to do on the weekends!) and I decided to work on my socks while we were all there hanging out and watching tv. BAD CALL. In the two hours I actually knitted this morning (which were by no means what one would consider uninterrupted!) I spent more time UNknitting my socks than actually knitting them! I don't know how, but I lost track of what I was doing and started doing the wrong stitches on the wrong side of one of my socks. I guess I was just distracted by the kids and the tv and David and.....you know how it goes!
I wonder if that's how the rest of my life is, too. I wonder if I'd be able to focus better on things and be a more efficient person if I had more time to myself. A new friend of mine is so organized that it's almost insane from my standpoint. (But only because 'chaos' and 'disorganization' and 'procrastinator' are usually very good words to describe me with!) She is so organized, but she makes it that way. Her kids have always done down for naps at the same time every day since they were tiny. They nap for 2-3 hours. All of them. At once. They have no choice, as she is very intent on their schedule remaining the same. They also eat dinner at 6:00 and go to bed at 7:30. Think of all that kid-free time she has just by making sure the kids are all on a schedule. I need to be more like that and I would love some of her to rub off on me! She also says she FLYs. That's a great way to get it all sorted and scheduled.
No wonder her house is so clean with three kids under the age of six in it!
I just need to do something. I need to feel like I have more control over this house. I don't want to have to be too bossy, but things just aren't cutting it for me they way they are now. I actually had a day where I felt like I was ignored by all of the children all day. What I said simply did not register with them. That put me in a very bad mood!
All I want for my birthday is to feel like my family hears me. If they find that while they're out shopping, it will be the bestest birthday EVER!!!
But a card would be good too!

September 11, 2008

Reasons I'm Not Qualified to Do This Job


I'm sure I'm not alone here when I say that I am not always prepared for what motherhood throws my way. At the end of the day, my kids are fed, usually clean, sometimes behaved....but that's normal, right?
A good friend of mine used to be a lifeguard. When 12YO was first born, this friend and I would spend a lot of time together. She didn't 'do' babies. She didn't hold them, do diapers-nada! So, imagine my surprise when she held my baby one day just so she could show me the difference between infant CPR and CPR for a bigger person. When she was done, she handed her right back.
It was then and there that I realized that this person who does not hold children was more qualified to take care of my baby than I was. Why, you ask? Because I don't know CPR! ( I still don't!) What kind of parent doesn't know CPR???
I mean, besides ME.
Another thing I am totally not prepared for is a fire. I had my first kitchen fire last night and that was the first time it occurred to me that I don't even own a fire extinguisher! The fire was in my stove. Apparently, David made bacon and let a good portion of the grease drip under the burner. The stove top was clean and I had no idea that there was about 1/2 inch of bacon grease under that burner. I went to boil some water and saw flames within minutes. I've been using my crock pot so often that I guess I hadn't used that burner since then! So, I used the lid from the pot and place that over the burner. But, since it was an electric range, the fire still had oxygen coming from the other burners. I was not really sure what to do! Luckily, a nearby neighbor came over at just the right time and told me to throw some baking soda on it.
See? I didn't know about that, either! I did know not to turn on the vent over the stove because the air flow would just fuel the fire even more. The fire never left that one burner and everything is just fine. We pulled the burner apart and found the big puddle of bacon grease that had just been burning away. The whole thing has since been cleaned and I think that I'll put some new rules in place for David when he's making bacon.
In the meantime, I think I might want a fire extinguisher for my birthday.

September 10, 2008

And on the needles...because I must be a GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT!

Here's the first toe, just a few rounds after casting on..

Here's the toe as of right now. I took pictures with lots of different backgrounds, but my pasty-pale knee seems to be the best backdrop for contrast...(like my goosebumps? It's chilly this morning!)

Can you tell I love Knit Picks? And blue?
I decided to let my first sock hibernate. I'm tempted to frog the whole thing and start it again. There are a few mistakes that I'm pretty sure I wouldn't make again AND it's taken me so long to make that one sock that I just don't see how I could make the exact same one AGAIN. I didn't actually follow a pattern nor did I write anything down. From here on out, I resolve to make TWO SOCKS AT A TIME! This is also the first time I've used the Magic Loop and I must say I'm in LOOOOOVE!
I knit my socks toe-up and the Turkish Cast-On is the best method that I've found to make seamless and PRETTY toes. And the Turkish Cast-On is really easy to do on the Magic Loop! I was a little nervous as to how it would all work. I have to see something (or better still, actually do it myself) to understand how something works.
So, just as soon as I finish all the increasing for this toe, I will cast the other one on the same needle and pray that it all actually works. Now that I'm actually doing it, I'm less worried about that part. This should all definitely work. Probably definitely. I'm almost positive. Really...
Once I've cast-on and finished increasing both toes, I'm really hoping to make them like the socks that Wildtomato just whipped out. (They are the green ones below her homemade ketchup!) Isn't she amazing? This woman is learning how to make so many awesome, everyday things from scratch! She's made her own cheese, roasted her own coffee, spun her own yarn from her dog's fur, made her how sauerkraut, and the list just keeps growing!
And on top of all that, she's the one who taught me how to knit! She bought me my first sock needles and yarn and taught me how to cast them on. She sat with my mother, 12YO and myself at that coffeeshop on last New Year's Eve with our new bamboo needles and cotton yarn in hand, eager to learn how to make dishcloths. 12YO still hasn't quite caught on, but it might just be her age. I keep trying here and there....or sending her to KnittingHelp.com to watch the videos as many times as she feels she needs to. I don't have the patience for that much repetition!
Well, I'm off to save the world now! (Not really, it just sounds so much more exciting than 'mop my kitchen floor!') Thanks to the ever-awesome CROCK POT LADY, I think I'll be making THIS for dinner tonight! I just changed the battery in my camera, so I really hope I remember to take pictures! I just have to take them before David gets home. He makes fun of me for taking pictures of what I cook! (MEN!) He also makes fun of my knitting and discussing crock pot recipes with other moms at cheer practice. What else am I supposed to do? My world is small and I'm okay with it. Then again, I give him a hard time about his 'guy stuff' too. I guess what goes around comes around. He doesn't make fun of my actual cooking....at least he's learned not to bite the hand that feeds him. I'll give him that.



September 9, 2008

All I want for Christmas is an....




ALPACA!!!



Actually, I'd settle for knowing that 2YO won't make any more PUDDLES OF URINE in the middle of Target! This is a stage in parenting that I've never really had to deal with. Yes, I do have two older children. However, I was working full-time when 12YO was little. My mom kept her while I worked. Most of the real work was taken care of by 'Grandma.' She was waking up dry for a long time and weekends were easy to keep up on once she'd had a week with Grandma. 5YO pretty much potty-trained herself. All I did was provide the fruit snacks as a form of bribery. Once she decided to 'be a big girl,' she started passing on the fruit snacks and continued to 'do her business' on things that flushed. She still slept in a Pull-Up for a long time, only because I'm not a fan of changing sheets in the middle of the night.



But 2YO...oh, my little 2YO....



She has got to be one of the most stubborn people I've ever met! When she's happy, she'll charm the socks right off ya! When she's NOT HAPPY, through a combination of horrible shrieks, a purple face and pummeling fists, she can make everyone around her totally miserable.
On a good day, we laugh a lot. She is hysterical, such a little comedian. Her dimples and charm can win anyone over. Then...there are those other days. The days where everything is a battle and we have tantrums over what cup she drinks out of and GOD FORBID I SHOULD OPEN A DOOR THAT SHE WANTED TO OPEN...even if she never said anything about it until I actually opened the door!
We've been trying to get her potty-trained for awhile now. She's really great about it, when she's in the mood. When she's not....she will tell you she doesn't have to go when you're actually IN the restroom and then leave a puddle the size of Texas in the middle of Target five minutes later. And the fruit snacks? They're not so enticing to her these days. I've tried chocolate milk, cookies, candy. This momma's desperate! I do my best not to ridicule her, but it's so hard not to yell, "WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU???" after such an episode.
I guess that everything is just harder with some children. I guess I just got lucky with the first two. I guess it could be worse.
I'll continue to hold my tongue and wait for more good days. This child is bound to take over the world one day with her charm and dimples. I'd better do my best to be on her good side when it happens....



September 8, 2008

Mondays and Hypochondriacs


I just can't seem to look at this picture without the theme song to 'Three's Company' running through my head...
HOLY MONDAY BATMAN!!!
I cannot believe that Monday is (well almost, anyway!) half over! What a whirlwind of a weekend we had.
I wonder when Google was going to start a new search engine called 'Google Hypochondriac.' I don't know about you, but I think Google has created a whole new generation of hypochondriacs! And I count myself in those rising numbers.
You can find out just about anything on Google. You can find a good slow cooker recipe, knitting pattern, instructions on how to build a bomb (I'm only speculationg on that one because I've heard stories. I've never looked for such a thing, nor do I plan to. Big Brother's watching, you know!) or bazillions of other things that one might need (or not need) in their daily life. And if you get a cut, have a headache, or pull a muscle in your back, Google can tell you about that too. Now, I've never found a site that does not strongly recommend seeking a professional opinion for things, but don't they all have to say that?
If I have a day where I drop a few things, forget something I usually remember or if I can't read my own scratchy handwriting to save my life, I must have one of the many debilitating diseases that can cause that. I'm sure of it. And if you Google enough, you can find actual photo documentation to back up your self-diagnosis. Gonna have a surgical procedure? You can probably find pictures or even videos of it with a few keystrokes and a click of your mouse. With Google Hypochondriac, they will tell you want you want to hear: You are dying and should get your affairs in order....but call your doctor first!
I must admit that I usually Google a symptom before I call a doctor about it. I want to know if it's really something to worry about. I then find the blogs of others with the same symptoms and read their stories. I look up medical pages and try to see if I can actually understand what I'm saying. I look at photos, videos, you name it. THEN, and only then, I call my doctor.
After all, I'd hate for my doctor to think that I was a hypochondriac!!!

September 7, 2008

Football Games, Gym Workouts and the Zoo


So serious....
5YO finally cheered at her first football game. As we were getting ready to get there, she told David and I that she actually felt like a real cheerleader now. Why wouldn't she? She's got the uniform and everything...
We've had quite the busy weekend! Thursday night the girls had a cheer performance and it's been a total blur since then. As you might have read from my previous post, Friday provided for an unexpected turn of events that led to no rest AND no gym visit. I want to start trying to go to the gym on a regular basis. I need to. Actually, my thighs really need to! Plus, this new schedule has me pooped out by the end of the day and I could really use the energy boost that a good workout could actually give me. Isn't that ironic, really? You have to USE energy in order to get MORE energy. Who ever figured that one out? I'd always imagined that the steps I take every day are like the mileage reading on the odometer of my car: The more you take, the less you have left! I WISH! I guess it's the other way around, huh? Who made these rules? I'd like to have a word or two with them!
Saturday we had football games and were able to get a little rest in between them. It's a good thing we did because it was HOT outside. I've sweated more in the past three days that I had practically all summer! I'm sitting under an a/c vent as I type this and I have goosebumps...but I'm not complaining! I've been to hell and back this weekend and it feels absolutely terrific to be able to feel cold! If our freezer were bigger, I'm sure we would have taken turns getting in it.
After the football games, my mom took the girls home with her. It was nice, though David and I were too exhausted to do anything more than fall asleep in front of the television within just a few minutes of being home. No nice dinner out, no nice dinner in, no movie. We were pooped. I think I slept almost twelve hours last night! I must have needed it. This new schedule or routine or whatever you want to call it is kicking my butt!
We'd almost forgotten about a birthday party we'd promised to go to today. We had to get ourselves ready and give my mom ample warning to have the girls ready. Plus, we still had to pick up a gift. The party was at the zoo. It was hot, but the trees made it mostly tolerable. After we did the pizza, cupcakes and presents at the park and the party was over, David and I took the girls back into the zoo. We had a lot of fun. We have a membership to our zoo, but we hadn't actually gone this year. We took lots of great pictures, but I'll have to try to upload them all another time. I. Am. Exhausted. It ended up being a great family day, which was a nice surprise.
I like nice surprises.

September 5, 2008

All I wanted to do was wash my face and brush my teeth!

That seems like such a simple enough task, right?



Not when you're on a WELL.





It's been a pretty easy morning. I'd intended to run to the gym for the first time in forEVER and do a bit of shopping while the kids were in school. Since I'd be going to the gym to get all sweaty and yucky, I obviously wouldn't need a shower before I left. But, a clean face and clean teeth are totally necessary when dealing with the general public.





I went to turn the water on, and it was barely a trickle. UGH! Knowing all of the things that could cause our water to be NOT THERE, I didn't panic. I got some shoes on myself and 2YO and went out to our pump to investigate. The holding tank was empty! The large, sliver tank that holds up to 2,800 gallons of water was hollow and empty. I hadn't even done laundry or dishes this morning! Since this isn't the first time this has happened, I started my investigation by looking for ants. (If you've ever relied on a well to get your water, you might be familiar with the way ants can mess things up!) Not an ant to be seen....



Sooo...I hit the 'reset' button that controls the water pumped from the ground and to the tank. Water immediately starts flowing into the tank. (WHEW! At least I knew there was still some water in the ground!) Then, I had to try to reset the pump that pulls the water out of the holding tank and brings it to the house. I seemed to have forgotten where that switch was, though. As I'm heading back to the house to grab my phone and call David. As I'm crossing the yard, I notice that there seems to be a puddle in the yard. Since we technically live in a desert, a puddle in the yard in the beginning of September either means that hell just froze over or something was left on or is leaking.


Hmm....that puddle is supiciously close to our pool.......


YUP. David went ahead and filled up the pool this morning....and forgot to turn the water off! I discovered this little tidbit five hours after the water was turned on. David is livid. At himself. This explains the fact that he practically hired a lawyer after I accidently forgot to turn the water off when taking care of the chickens. He couldn't even look at Morgan when she did the same thing. And now he's just as mad at himself. Poor guy needs to relax! I was just relieved that there was still water in the hole! I mean, accidents happen and I know that it will take a long time to forget to turn the water off again. I know I haven't forgotten since. I'm just glad that the playing field is level now since we've all screwed up!


Sooo...our poor doughboy was bursting at the seems. Okay, not literally, but it was definitely full beyond capacity! David asked me if I would backflush the pump while there was so much extra water in the pool. With his instruction, I was attempting to bypass the timer and turn the pump on. In the process, I ended up standing in a bazillion red ants, who were loving their new water supply and looking for a bite to eat as well.


I hate ants. As 2YO walked toward me, they started to climb up onto her feet too. She screamed and fell in the mud. (Which was actually sort of good because it got the ants off!) I picked her up and set her up on the deck, out of the way of those pesky ankle-biters. She watched from the deck as I circled the pool in order to pull all the right buttons at all the right times.


She just kept saying, "YOUR HAVE TO CLEAN THE MUDD OFF ME!" over and over. After the pool was taken care of, I walked back out to the well and David talked me through resetting the second pump.


Within a few minutes, 2YO and I were in the shower....and I got to brush my teeth, too!


I never did make to to the gym, though. I feel like I still got a bit of a workout, just the same.


'City folks' don't really know how easy they have it. I just hope I never have any any septic tank adventures to share with you....EEEWWW!

September 4, 2008

Mmmm....PIZZA SOUP????

Mmmm....soup!

The breadsticks are almost done...

Aaaaaahhhh....now they're perfect!

WAIT! It's still missing something...

That's right...THE CHEESE!!!

I made Pizza Soup for dinner last night! Actually, it feels pretty good to say that I made it YESTERDAY MORNING and it was ready when I wanted it to be. This one was a hit! David had like three bowls of it! 12YO ate almost all of hers, even though her last few bites were always preceded by, "Can I be done NOW?" 5YO just ate a bit of hers, but I knew she wouldn't really appreciate all of the flavors of this soup. After all, she only eats cheese pizza! 2YO fell asleep rather early last night after a horrible tantrum, so she didn't get any. I don't think she would have liked it either, though. I hadn't told David what I was making for dinner. As soon as he entered the house, he said, "Are you making PIZZA for dinner tonight?"


I used Linguica, because that's all the cooked sausage I had. It was really good! I also (ssshhhh....don't tell my family!) chopped up and threw in some vegetarian sausage that we made for breakfast a few mornings ago and tastes like cardboard on its own! Fortunately, it soaked up the other flavors as it simmered all day and nobody was the wiser. Our local market was out of mushrooms the last time I was there, thus I was out of them too. But, I found a CAN of sliced mushrooms in the back of the pantry. I tossed that in AND a can of sliced olives. (What's pizza without olives, anyway?) I did have the rest of the stuff and had to pick up the cheese later in the day, but it all worked out well. I used Ziti as the pasta, and I put more of it in than the recipe called for. What can I say? I tend to overdo things! I ALSO picked up a tube of those breadsticks that you bake. I won't even look at the ingreidents on the package, but they were a hit! The kids dipped their breadsticks in their pizza soup gulped them down! (So did David, for that matter.)
I will definitely make this again.






September 2, 2008

People Who Shouldn't Breed and Taco Soup


Some people should only be allowed to raise DOLLS!
My mom was shopping in Wal-Mart a few weeks ago. (Why do so many misfits always do their best work in Wal-Mart, anyway?) She was having a pretty crummy day as it was. As she was looking at different fabrics to make into blankets, some lady seemed to be making things more difficult. Every time my mother would stop to look at a particular fabric, she would take a moment to ponder if that was the fabric she actually wanted. You know, you feel the fabric, unroll it a bit, take a step back to see if it's something you can actually work with. Well, as she did this, some other lady would snatch up the fabric WHILE SHE WAS STILL LOOKING AT IT. My mom is not one to purposely be rude or cause a scene...even after the same lady did that to her AGAIN a few minutes later!
So....it was already a pretty crappy shopping experience for her already. Then, she noticed two women talking, one of them had a baby with them. That baby couldn't have been older than a month or two, still having the 'newborn cry' and everything. And CRY is exactly what that baby did! The baby was crying and carrying on like crazy. Finally, the woman (who appeared to have been the mother, but you never really know these days...) actually turned around and yelled, "WOULD YOU SHUT THE F*&% UP????" Just then, the other woman noticed that the baby had its finger pinched in the arm of the infant carrier. The baby had a reason to cry!!!
It took everything my mom had not to walk over and hurt that woman....or at least try to grab that baby and run!
Breeding should be a privilege, not a right!
*********************************************
On a much more positive note, I made THIS on Sunday night. We had it for breakfast Monday morning and it was YUMMY!!! Knowing we'd likely have a houseful, I bought a package of flour tortillas and we actually served this up as breakfast burritos. Now, they were not the same as the ones sold at the gas station on the corner (which, by the way are the BEST EVER!) but they were very good. We decided that it needed salsa to give it an extra 'kick.' Or maybe I should have added a bit more sausage or some other meat. (I used a large Linguica) It seemed like a lot, but the hash browns on the bottom made me wish there were something else in it. The salsa made it perfect and I ate it that way for breakfast this morning.
After we cleaned up from breakfast, I started making dinner. I made THIS. I cannot begin to tell you how yummy that soup was! I tried a cup of it three hours before it was actually supposed to be done (HEY...everything was cooked, just not simmered long enough!) and it was fantastic! Three hours later, at our actual dinner time, it was even better! Sprinkling some cheese on top, some crumbled tortilla chips and a dollop of sour cream made it PERFECT. I will so make this again, and am about to heat the leftovers as soon as I have posted this blog. I'm not sharing! The soup almost completely filled the 6-quart container and there is just one good-sized bowl's worth left. I would call that a success, wouldn't you?
I made mistake of writing down the ingredients I'd need to buy without actually writing down the recipes I'd intended to use them for. I took a few minutes this morning to scroll through her recipes and find what I had actually shopped for.
I couldn't wait. I got distracted by a phone call and am now eating my Taco Soup. I must end this, as me and my soup need to be alone for awhile...

September 1, 2008

Loneliness and Uninterrupted Bowel Movements

I guess you could say I take my 'me time' where I can get it.


I lock the bathroom door every chance I get. If I'm consumed by a novel or a game on my cell phone, I'll take it with me. Otherwise, I'm happy to just go alone. If even just to pee. I sometimes even lock my bedroom door to cut the children off so they can't knock directly on my bathroom door.


Alone.


Wow. That used to sound like a bad word when I was younger. From the time I was five and wished I had an escort to walk me down what seemed like the longest, darkest hallway ever to get to my room to years later when I was a single mom sitting in my tiny, low income apartment watching reruns of 'Nash Bridges' on a Saturday night while my then two-year-old daughter slept...waiting for my life to 'start.'


I'm learning that some of the things that we fear most when we are younger are the things we often crave when we're older. I'm also learning that my children have some sort of built-in radar that tells them when I'm trying to crap in peace.


Just yesterday, I was minding my own business (okay, I was doing my business) when my 5YO started pounding on my bedroom door. She just repeated over and over that she had something to tell me. Over and over, no matter how many times I acknowledge her request and tell her that she just needs to 'hold on a minute.' Over and over.


Just where did my children learn that persistence pays off?


I finish what I'm doing, wash my hands, and open my bedroom door. The thing that she had to 'tell' me was actually something she wanted to ask me. She wanted to ask me if she could have a Capri Sun. The funny part is that she probably had to physically step over her father, who was sprawled out in the living room floor in his usual 'watching television on the weekend' position to walk down the hall and ask me this question. The very man who, like it or not, has the same authority as I do when it comes to these sort of questions.


I just tell her that I refuse to answer such a question and that she can go back to the living room and ask her father, who was awake and breathing the last time I checked. I guess it's because I'm here with them all day while he's at work. They are not used to asking him questions like that. Daddy is the one they wrestle with in the floor or follow around outside as he takes care of the yard. Daddy is the fun, adventurous one. Mommy takes care of the food and beverages.


That would probably also explain why my idea of the perfect day is standing in Target all by myself, Starbucks cup in hand and nowhere to rush off to. I take every opportunity I can to run errands by myself, though I don't always enjoy it. There are some days when I don't want to be alone, or I don't need to. My tiny Saturn Wagon feels so big and empty without children arguing in the backseat or Miley Cyrus blaring out of the speakers. I actually sometimes miss the feeling of being mildly annoyed. Whoodathunkit?


Things are getting easier on the homefront. I only have one kid at home with me while the others are in school. On her own, she's actually pretty easy. Even pleasant, though she's still very much TWO YEARS OLD. I have three years of this until she's in school, too. What then? Do I sign my life away to their school and end up staying there all day making copies of things for teachers and collating and stapling homework packets? Do I get a job? Do I go back to school?


Whatever path I choose, I'm sure I'll still question myself and wonder if I should have chosen something different. And I'm sure I'll start to hate being alone again.


Although, maybe a few weeks of loneliness at the beginning wouldn't kill me, right? It's a risk I guess I'm willing to take, at least for a little while!