Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Today, after finding a broken toy bin amongst the carnage of toys and games in the playroom, I invoked the call of the husband and closed the playroom door. I announced, "The playroom is closed for the entire day...see you tomorrow!" The husband said, "See, that's MY idea!" and smiled. He nodded to himself as he walked on to get coffee.
Three hours later, he calls from the other room, "How's the 'no playroom' thing working out?" I shot him The Look.
I knew what would happen when idle hands are left to play. I knew this because I'm with them -All. Day. Long. I don't know if he thought they'd sit on the floor, sad and forlorn all day, lamenting about their actions and the dearly missed toys. I love my husband dearly. He is, however, a product of the old school "children should be seen and not heard" train of thought. He thought that "those kids will learn a lesson!" by having their toys unavailable. Mind you, this might, and I stress might, have worked with children who care about their toys. Our boys don't have a favorite anything. They don't really form connections to objects (besides their stuffed doggy's). Instead, our boys decided to make a nuisance of themselves. They climbed all over their daddy, wanting attention. They tantrumed and pouted and whined and cried when they didn't get the attention they wanted. They were underfoot at every possible step. I could see the tension building in the husband's face and I told him to go to work early if needed. In his mind, if children can destroy a playroom, they should be able to pick it up without any help or encouragement. Ha!
I called back to him, "It was YOUR idea!"...
Here's to another wonderful New Year!
Friday, December 25, 2009
I ate all day. Literally. ALL. DAY.
The two-year-old decided that it was a candy-cane-free-for-all. He ate 1/2 the candy canes on the tree (his brother ate the rest). I'm not sure how many candy canes they actually ate because I found half-eaten canes littered all over the house...and on the bottom of my socks. Gross. In addition to candy canes, the delightfully aggressive two-year-old ate cranberry sauce and later on, some whipped cream. I'm pretty sure he might have eaten a brussel sprout or two, but that's it. Oh, Christmas!
The four-year-old ate sausage and candy canes. Not together, but like it would even matter.
I forgot about the Pez. They ate Pez. And the candy poop that came out of these musical animals that poop candy when you press on their heads. Seriously. Ice cream! I forgot about the dehydrated astronaut ice cream. I'm really surprised they didn't throw up. I wanted to...looking at their sticky hands and faces.
I didn't throw up. Instead, I loved their excitement and remembered eating a box of Life Savers (the kind in Christmas book format), candy canes and the like every Christmas. And the correlation made me smile.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
And can I just say that I paid 2.99lb for grapes the other day. I did not pay attention to the price and just let my kid plop them into the cart. Last time that happens! Sorry for the non sequitur...talking about fruit made me think of that.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Mama’s Holiday Wish List MemeTodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.
1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year? Kindle, Peacoat, boots, kitchen cabinets and moccassins...yes. You heard me right...moccassins. *sigh*
2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received? A sweater and hat set when i was 7.
3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle? Knitting anything. I can't knit.
4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child? I honestly can't remember...
5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year? Bakugan, microphone, Pokemon, Digimon. Thank you, Japan.
6. What is your favorite holiday food? Pumpkin pie, cranberry tart and homemade cranberry sauce.
7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays? Christmas cards, Our new Christmas stockings, a baby jingle bell toy, felt books for the boys and Dinner!
8. What is your favorite holiday movie? A Christmas Story, hands down.
9. Favorite holiday song? Silent Night and Little Drummer Boy tie it.
10. Favorite holiday pastime? Driving around and looking at Christmas lights.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
We did the old moldy bread experiment. I wanted to show my kids how gross our hands are and the importance of handwashing.
I told Eli to grab a slice of bread and rub his grubby little hands all over it. He had been playing outside with other kids. He also used the bathroom and did not wash afterwards.
I got the other slice of bread out of the bag with tongs and placed it into a plastic bag. Eli put the grubby bread into another bag.
We squirted a little bit of water into the bags, then sealed them. This is what appeared a week later...
The green mold I've seen before. What in the world is the yellow mold?! In person, it looks similar to a fried egg - white around it with yellow in the middle. And the yellow is raised. Gross. We wash our hands almost obsessively now. My kids weren't grossed out. I doubt they had any idea, even after I explained it. I, on the other hand, wanted to take a shower.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
We are now 3 children happier. All have slept in cribs since 7 weeks old. This has worked well for us. We have remained happy. Our children have slept and kept ritualistic bedtimes. They are happy.
When we brought baby number three home it was just easier to have him sleep downstairs in the pack and play. The boys all share a room. There is no bathroom upstairs. The head of our bed abuts a slanted roof - it was almost impossible for me to nurse upright. And I am completely uncomfortable nursing lying down. I slept downstairs on the couch for two months until Silas started sleeping through the night.
Meanwhile, Odin, the wonderfully cuddly middle child, began creeping into bed with Daddy. Daddy thought it was terribly cute and did not discourage him. Two months later, I return to the scene and there is Odin. This was almost two months ago.
Every night we put him to bed in his own bed. And every night at approximately eleven o'clock, he wakes up. I put him back into his bed. Then, somewhere between one a.m. and 4 a.m. he creeps back out. Depending upon how tired I am, I return him back to his bed. Some nights it is three or four times. I figured the behavior would dissipate into nothingness. That's a negative.
Tonight I said, "screw it" and put him to bed in our bed. OUR bed. *groan*.
I have thought about putting up a gate at our door. But, I just can't block him, or his brother, from coming into our room. What if they really need me?
For now, I'll just enjoy that he wants to be near me...and enjoy the morning "massage" I get when he gently kicks my back and then "writes" the ABC's with his little finger between my shoulder blades.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
In a large soup pot over med-high, cook and stir bacon until crispy. Add beef and cook until seared on most sides. With slotted spoon, remove bacon and beef and put aside. Add mushrooms, carrots, parsnips, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook over medium high, stirring occassionally, for about 10-15 minutes. If cooking too quickly, lower the heat to medium.
Whisk tomato paste, mustard, flour and broth in a bowl and set aside.
Add wine and onions to the pot. Cook about 5 - 10 minutes.
Add tomato paste mixture. Simmer until thickened. Return beef and bacon to pot, cook another 3 minutes or until beef is cooked through.The first time I made this, I was pregnant and I swear I got tipsy off the wine. The husband loves this. My kids run away. But, they usually run from anything that is mixed together. They, apparently, need their food to be simple and separate. They are not my children. More for us, though.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
And it was probably best that we redirected his artistic tendencies...
I gave him acrylics and a piece of wood. I suggested he use his feet, but he used his whole body instead. The husband had to walk away. He cannot stomach the mess and craziness of it all. I loved it. This was such a great activity for him. We've done painting activities like this before, but this one can be saved forever. Or at least until it falls apart. I have plans to slather a water sealing solution over the whole thing. It's in my garden right now. He glued some seashells to it once it was done drying. It will serve as a lovely piece in my vegetable garden for years to come.
For that day, though, it served as a homemade Slip and Slide...
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Oh, and it's virtually free.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I have found, though, that napkins of one color show stains very easily. Greasy bacon, buttered biscuits, ketchup, bbq sauce... Our once pretty napkins look like something I'd normally throw away. But, the point is to reuse, so I keep them and use them. They are clean...they just don't look it. Target.com has some napkins in cute patterns. Mikabu, although a bit too pricey for me to load up on them, has really nice embroidered organic cotton napkins for kids. They are also made in America...always a plus! My favorite is the parade ones...gotta love animals all getting along. Cute. Molly, at the purl bee, posts directions for making your own. Hers are pretty fabulous. If I ever get the time, I'll make some. That might mean bringing the boys to a fabric store while I try to pick through rows of fabric...maybe i'll order some online. Okay, wait, I am totally interrupting myself...I just did a web search and found these Fabkins. How have I not heard of these before?! They have six different prints. The fruit ones are my fave because they are striped...less likely to show stains. They are reasonably priced and come in packs of five. And how great is it that Fabkins was started by two moms? I'm all for grabbing hold of a need and making a name for yourself.
Sidebar...I keep thinking of my million dollar idea only to find it's been done. ugh.
I think I need to make a list of things I want to do by the end of the year and add "make napkins" to it. That, and "make a volcano cake". Yes. Lately, while I am falling asleep, I have these strange "visions" of things I can do. Making a volcano cake was last nights. I wanted to make it for my son's fourth birthday, but he vehemently opposed it. He simply wants a Wolverine birthday cake. Um. Sure.
We played Les Graces, or Flying Hoops. The boys loved it. Odin got distracted by the slate blue turkeys roaming around, but Eli and the husband played for a little while. We churned some butter, posed for pictures, visited the Cooper and the Potter. We ate lunch on the Common, watched the muskets being fired, bought some pistols and rock candy, milked a fake cow, made a tin candle holder and smelled a variety of herbs in the herb garden. Oh, and don't forget the baker and the candlestick maker...sorry, no butcher. There is much more to do than what we did. The husband and I plan on visiting without the children. Much as we love them, they have no interest in listening to someone talk about something they simply cannot fathom, like "a hundred years ago..." The boys love their pistols and ran around shooting one another all day. These are the first guns I've bought the boys... After I read an article on PBS.com, I am not so reluctant to give my child weapons. Not that everything you read is right, but it makes sense. I make them fight now, pit them against one another. I'm joking...sort of.
Monday, September 14, 2009
It's great being close-knit. I'm not saying that in a large home a family can't be close. I just like the close-proximity and the feeling of emotional closeness our home provides us. The shakes are cedar, so the ones that are in good shape will last forever, if we take care of them.
It was white and old. The paint was peeling. There were blatant holes in the siding. The yard was overgrown and covered in reptiles, amphibians, insects and arachnids. Okay, so turtles, snakes, frogs, earwigs, spiders... still creating a little wiggy feeling when walking across the lawn. We mowed and cut back all sorts of foliage. I put in a garden and threw down grass seed. The husband put up a fence and built a new bulkhead door. We put in a sandbox, threw in some yard toys and added a gazebo - which acts more as a storage shed than anything else. I refuse to keep my stuff in the actual shed...rodents, rodents, rodents... the things ripped up our double stroller. I am anti-shed...which actually appeases the husband.I love the home we have made for our family. It still needs a lot of work. It will take time, but we have a lot of it ahead of us, so it's all okay.
Sunday - breakfast - pancakes, bacon and fruit
lunch - smoothies
dinner - at parent's house
Monday - breakfast - muffins and fruit
lunch - homemade chicken nuggets, avocado and tomato
dinner - hamburgers, baked beans and baked potato
Tuesday - breakfast - toast and fruit
lunch - bbq pork loin on rolls (cooked in crockpot day before)
dinner - Crockpot Autumn Rice casserole (thanks, stephanie! and she's right, it does
taste like a bowl full of fall.)
Wednesday - breakfast - frozen pancakes (left over from Sunday)
lunch - meatball pizza quesadilla
dinner - sweet and sour sloppy joes, fruit salad
Thursday - breakfast - oatmeal and fruit
lunch - ham and cheese w/crackers, carrots and dip
dinner - sloppy shepherd's pie
Friday - breakfast - waffles and fruit
lunch - tomato soup (yes, from a can) and salad
dinner - Italian sausage and roasted red peppers, homemade bread and mango
Saturday - breakfast - cereal and fruit
lunch - Kid's choice (will probably be macaroni and cheese...from a box...blegh)
dinner - Lasagne and caprese salad
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The second day, we did more worksheets and I read to him from an early reader book. The Now I'm Reading series All About The ABC's is what I'm using to help teach reading. I also use the Preschool Planner from The Mailbox. I also am a subscriber to their Preschool Magazine. It has some really great ideas. It's a magazine/site geared towards teachers with ideas from teachers and education professionals.
I had the first two weeks all planned out with activities and worksheets and themes and letters and numbers and shapes... On day three we began painting the house. No school happened. Day four and five passed by. We took the weekend off. "Off"...as if we had been working so hard...
Yesterday was a holiday, so we celebrated our labor and that of those who came before us and rested. Today we got back into the swing of things.
I bought a dry erase board. I also printed out a list of beginning sight words like "a, at, the". We started today with "the". It took a few tries before he caught on to just looking at "the". He really wanted to recite the words that came after "the", in trying to "read" the story. I wrote "the" on a large index card. I had Eli write "the" on the dry erase board.
My plan for tomorrow is to use another book and have him find "the" in the text.
I'm utilizing phonics, sight words and anything else I can combine into our lessons. Whatever seems to work for him I'll use. He's eager to learn and sucks in information like a sponge.
A couple of years ago I bought a CD-ROM set from Einstein Prep. I'm not sure if they are still in business. I can't seem to access the website. I also saw that the company is on MySpace when I did an internet search for the company, but there hasn't been any activity on the account since 2008. In any case, my son likes the CD-ROM's. The interactive games help him to learn phonics. The first cd has introductory math on it, which he enjoys as well.
Monday, September 7, 2009
4 lg. pickling cukes (about 1lb.)
2 tsp. salt
3 large dill sprigs
1 garlic clove, halved
1 c white vinegar
1 c water
1/4 cup sugar
cut cukes into quarters. Place them into a bowl, sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
Drain in colander, rinse under cold water and drain well.
Pack into hot, sterilized Ball jar or whatever canning jar you prefer.
Add dill and garlic. Set aside.
Combine vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour over cucumbers in jar. Cool completely, then cover. Marinate in fridge for 5 days.
Will keep up to 6 weeks in refrigerator.
lunch - leftovers
dinner - Costa Rican beans and rice (Gallo Pinto)
Monday - breakfast - eggs and biscuits w/jam
lunch - soynut butter and jelly sandwiches, cantaloupe
dinner - mini meatloaves, steamed carrots, peas and sweet potatoes (left over from
the other night)
Tuesday - breakfast - yogurt, granola and fruit parfaits
lunch - chicken and cheese quesadillas w/ salsa and avocado
dinner - stir-fry chicken w/veggies and udon noodles
Wednesday - breakfast - pancakes (frozen from sunday) and fruit
lunch - bologna and cheese sandwiches, homemade pickles and grapes
dinner - chili and cornbread
Thursday - breakfast - cereal and fruit
lunch - chili over hot dogs, buns
dinner - crockpot chicken pot pie
Friday - breakfast - toast and fruit
lunch - hardboiled eggs, fruit, crackers and cheese
dinner - homemade pepperoni pizza
Saturday - breakfast - oatmeal and fruit
lunch - grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, homemade pickles, potato chips
dinner - seared steak w/olive relish, homemade bread and steamed veggies
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Plus, not much goes on around here. Camera crews, celebs and drama is worth driving out to Worcester for an afternoon.
I'm above autographs, but not zooming in on their faces with my telephoto lens from my car and snapping a few shots. Maybe I could be paparazzi...
Monday, August 31, 2009
Here's the recipe:
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt (I used low fat)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large, very ripe bananas
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a muffin tray with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, white sugar and brown sugar until well combined. In another bowl, mix the egg, oil, yogurt, vanilla and mushed bananas until mixed thoroughly. Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients without over mixing. Add the chocolate chips and fold them into the batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and a tester inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Cool on a rack then serve with butter. Enjoy!
I used the skeleton muffin tins I had bought for my son's pirate-themed birthday party. Then I added extra chocolate chips on the "faces" of the muffins. The kids absolutely loved them. Eli ate two and Odin had one. These muffins are about the size of one and a half regular-sized muffins. These were dense, flavorful and just simply yummy. Thanks, Pam, for posting this wonderful recipe on your site!
The kids didn't like it. They made faces. I was surprised that it did have a salami look to it, sort of. And the outter "shell" was hard like salami. If anything, it was an interesting process. I doubt I'll make it again. I do want to try to make traditional salami in a beef casing, hung to cure for weeks. I just have to figure out where I'll hang pounds and pounds of meat...
Here's what's going on for this week:
Sunday: Breakfast - pancakes, bacon and orange slices
Lunch - antipasto salad with homemade salami
Dinner - Steak, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Monday: Breakfast - banana choc. chip muffins
Lunch - grilled cheese w/tomato soup
Dinner - Pork chops, homemade applesauce, rice and green beans
Tuesday: Breakfast - toast and cantaloupe
Lunch - homemade chicken tenders, avocado and tomato
Dinner - Zucchini Parmesean and salad
Wednesday: Breakfast - pancakes and strawberries
Lunch - homemade mac and cheese
Dinner - honey soy chicken wingettes, sticky rice, stir-fried veggies
Thursday: Breakfast - oatmeal and cherries
Lunch - chicken salad sandwiches, carrot sticks and string cheese
Dinner - Sweet Potatoes, honey-wheat rolls, and leftovers
Friday: Breakfast - homemade waffles and mango
Lunch - honey-wheat rolls w/jam, fruit salad
Dinner - farmhouse chicken, sugarsnap peas, biscuits
I'm new at this, so I'll post recipes a little later...it's been a hectic morning...
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
This blog serves as my memory keeper of sorts. Perhaps when it is chock-full of humour - what I consider humour - I'll have it turned into a keepsake of sorts for my children. But, they are boys, will they even care to look back at that sort of thing?
Back to the little things children do and say. It's bath time. Eli and Odin are in the bath. I give them toothbrushes because they want them. They drink the bathwater anyway, so what's a little scrubbing the teeth going to hurt? I leave the bathroom for a moment. I can hear them giggling. I return and Eli charges out of the bathroom and emphatically says, "Momma, I washed my body all by myself (I'm smiling with encouragement) and then I put my toothbrush in the water (still smiling) in the toilet!!!" The smile is gone, my hand reaches up to the waving toothbrush and I huck it into the trash. The look on his face was priceless; like I just killed his dog. "But, momma, how am I going to brush my teeth in the morning?" I simply asked him if he would stick his face in the toilet and drink it. He giggled and said, "No, that's gross, momma." I gave him the "well, what do you think a toilet water soaked toothbrush is like" look. I don't think he quite understood because he looked into the trash as if he was going to retrieve it when I wasn't looking. I informed him that I'll get a new toothbrush for him...an ugly, non-character one that does not light up or make sounds. That'll teach him.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Then, he turned three. The back-talking started and tantrums. The books talk about the "terrible two's" and children throwing ridiculous tantrums. He never did that, until he turned three. Now, he is almost four and makes faces while I'm trying to talk to him. I don't believe in corporal punishment, but sometimes I'm thinking it's looking more and more appealing. I'm sure it'll be in style again at some point. There's a twenty-year cycle for things in fashion, right?
This brings us to my middle child. I had decided that I wouldn't even think about potty training until he was two-and-a-half. That was until he was eighteen-months-old and wanted to use the potty. I let him and he peed in it. Then, I let him take the reigns. Right after his 2nd birthday he took off his diaper and refused to wear one. He wanted Big Boy Underwear. He got his wish. He still has accidents, especially if he's engaged in something else....and in the house. He can go hours when we're out and about, but at home, it's like he pees every time he blinks. I believe our living room carpet feels like the sprinklers got tripped...they haven't been. It's pee. Amazingly enough, I don't yell at his potty accidents. I do yell when he dumps his grape juice on the couch or smooshes the baby's face with his hands. The baby is 2 months old...I am just not capable of calmly reacting when the children are jumping off the edge of the couch into the middle of it while the baby is resting peacefully on the Boppy... Or while they fight over the baby, physically, pulling on his limbs... Oh, I wish I was one of those calm moms. They take Valium, right? (Mommy's on Valium, so ineffectual...)
I'm working on the yelling. It's really not so easy to keep your cool. I found this blog in the New York Times. It's true...the topic of yelling at your kids isn't talked about all that often. Mommy's talk about how not to yell and alternative solutions. They scoff at those who yell. They all seem so calm, cool and collected at the playground and in the store. Meanwhile, I'm ripping my child across the playground, threatening toy removal and time-outs. Not really, but it seems that way, even if I'm just sitting there. I've thrown a toy or two across the room, yelling that it's going in the trash. I, too, always apologize for my erratic behavior. In making mistakes, and I sure make tons of them, I want to teach my children that they will be made, it's okay, and apologies - heartfelt ones - follow those mistakes. There isn't a lesson to be learned by my yelling at them to get out of the kitchen because they are underfoot and I've got hot food, utensils and pans all over the place. I'm working on it...
Sunday, August 23, 2009
1. Cut the zucchini and eggplant into rounds about 1/2 inch.
You're back, yay!
4. Drain zucchini. Keep in the bowl. Add Eggplant to the bowl.
6. Put some oil in the pan (I use a wok, but use whatever you have), add the three cloves of
7. Mix flour and crushed up crackers (should be very fine, like bread crumbs)
8. Coat egg-covered veggies in the cracker mix. (You can do this before you heat the oil and
9. Fry the veggies to a golden brown...couple minutes on each side. Discard the garlic when the frying is done.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
The new CVS flyer, sales beginning Sunday, August 23, has Playtex tampons on sale for $2.99. Combine that with the $1 off coupon from Smartsource and you're paying $1.99 for a box of tampons, 18ct or more.
Shaw's has pork tenderloin on sale for $1.79/lb. However, if you live near a DeMoulas Market Basket, pork is regularly that price. I bought a 7+ pounder. I also had the butcher there cut it into the slices I wanted. It's nice being able to do that.
I have been wondering whether getting a BJ's Wholesale Club membership would be worth it or not. I went and priced out a few things. Their pork tenderloin was $2.29/lb. Um, no thanks. A loaf of Pepperidge Farm 100% Whole Wheat bread was over $3. At WalMart it is $2.50. Again, no thanks. However, Bisquick is about $.90 per lb. at BJ's. Bisquick is $1.33/lb. at Market Basket. Aunt Jemima pancake mix is $.80 per lb. at BJ's and at Market Basket it costs $1 per lb. However, for my family, the cost of the membership, plus the gas it would cost to make the extra trip, would probably work out to be the same. Interestingly enough, BJ's used to allow a one-day pass for people to come and check out the prices and the store. The pass required you to pay the sales tax only. They don't do that anymore. You can get a pass, however, you have to pay 15% on whatever you buy. If you do have a BJ's membership and buy Aunt Jemima's pancake mix and/or syrup, Smartsource has a coupon for $1.50 off. Happy Shopping!