Friday, July 29, 2011

a real-life fight

two of the culprits

boy, howdy. i was in for it. last night, i experienced a real fight. like, a real face-punching, wrestling-to-the-ground and into furniture, feet-kicking fight.

it all started by play wrestling. surprise surprise. we have somewhat of a circle that connects our dining room, living room, family room, and kitchen and triston and jackson were chasing each other around and around and of course i was busy doing something domestic and sometimes i just kind of check out. when i came too, and they were running in circles, i interceded and told them we don't do that. so they took it in the family room and started wrestling around. someone got hurt and the fight was on.

usually when someone gets hurt, the afflicted comes running to me and i give them the bit "that is why we shouldn't play like that" and "if you want to wrestle you've got to be more careful", but this time no one came. all i heard was grunts and yelps and "thuds" which is making my stomach hurt as i type this.

i ran into the family room and broke it up. they were screaming about who did what and who started it and i being the wise mother that i am didn't ask for details and didn't take sides but instead reminded them that we are a loving family who doesn't fight, unless we are going after liberals, and even then violence is not the answer. ha ha, just joking (or am i?)(i totally did not say that to the kids). i made them hug, which elicited lots of complaining, but mothers know how to make their kids do it anyway (by issuing threats, of course). i came back to the kitchen to finish up cleaning and it started all over again, except the little-er one was chasing after the bigger one right up the stairs into dark territory, which doesn't happen around here because like their mother, they are afraid of the dark. but it happened anyway and i knew this was some serious shiz taking place.

i followed up the stairs and broke it up again only after seeing jackson throw a right into triston's chin and triston kick-slamming j right into the wall (aunt danielle, style). i made the guys apologize to each other and hug-it-out once more and to even throw an "i love you" in there, too. the weirdest thing about it all was that jackson had on this stupid electronic spider-man glove (just on one hand) during the whole fight, and every time he moved there was this whole array of noises like "huh!" "pow" "scat!" and the like. it was kind of surreal.

there were no tears, only breathless anger and above all: my threats of house-hold peace were being ignored. i grabbed jackson and took him to the bathroom for teeth-brushing (and a good talking to) and triston busted through the door with wild eyes, not unlike a crazed meth addict. only, he is seven and is most definitely NOT a crazy meth addict. jackson bolts off the counter and gets in some ridiculous stance and then this is where i got pissed. after throwing triston out of the bathroom and locking the door, i started yelling about how "triston is supposed to be your best friend" "who are you going to sit with on the school bus the very first day?" "he will always have your back, and here you are fighting with him" "he is your brother!" blah blah blah. although mostly very sweet, jackson has a tendency to look right though you and completely not care what you are saying. it's the second biggest reason why i got rid of the wii. anyway, i sent jackson off and yelled for triston to come into the bathroom  pretty much for me to do and say the same things to him. except i added the part about "you are older, you set the example".

triston, god bless him, he is a reason-er. he'll think about things and over think them and if he feels his very core has been wronged, will give 250 bazillion reasons why he did what he did and he just can't let it go. and that is exactly what he started doing...which ultimately lead me to offer him a candy bar of his choice if he would just go apologize and see what happens.

also like his mother, he can't resist candy bars, so he did it and the contention that was palpable just minutes before suddenly vanished and jackson, without hesitation and a simple shoulder shrug, said "me, too" and it was all over.

20 seconds later (literally 20 seconds later) they were talking about a couple of army guys triston had and jackson asked if he could borrow it. triston said, "sure, but i have two of the same and we could just play with them both - together- if you want". and then they went to bed with no further problems.

if you are like me, you are thinking "wth" only i was thinking more like "wtf", except i am a christian and don't use words like that.

honestly, i was sad to see these two fighting. and you better believe i broke out the "jesus doesn't like it" speech. if all of that failed, and they do it again, i have a really great scary "mean mommy voice" in my arsenal that i only pull out on special occasions. we'll see what happens.

but, the most important thing everyone should pick up on, though, is that peace was instilled in our home by a candy bar. a freaking candy bar was all it took. the power of chocolate is quite persuasive and i'm thinking all the president needs to do for a bi-partisan vote on this debt debacle up on capitol hill is start passing around the chocolate. dark for me, please. seriously...contention vanished just. like. that.

let's pray for peace....all around.

PS my baby has two little "toofers" trying to pop through and last time i checked he is just 3 months old. what is going on, here?

PPS did you know that e.t. still scares the crap out of little kids? it does. and elliott also says "penis-breath" to his brother and my kids thought it was hilarious. awesome.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Honey-Sesame Salmon

i've been really in to broiling fish lately. i don't know, it is just easier than the grill, maybe? anyway,  this doesn't look nearly as good as it tasted. it's a recipe from the dinnerRevolution cookbook, that I blogged about last week. if you like salmon it's just another way to prepare it. and it really was a quick and easy meal with few ingredients. in fact, 30 minutes prior, i was kind of freaking out about what to cook for dinner and suddenly i remembered i had all the ingredients on hand, thanks to my new asian friend. bonus: the kids liked it, too!

honey-sesame salmon

salt and pepper
1/4 c. sliced green onion
1 T sesame oil (i used olive)
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 T. rice wine vinegar (i used rice vinegar)
1 T sesame seeds
5 salmon fillets

place salmon on aluminum foil over a broiling pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper; to taste. next, whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and pour over each salmon fillet. let marinate for 15-20 minutes. broil for 10 minutes or until fish is flaky and just a little golden around the edges.

that's it! i served with sauteed zucchini, squash, and onion...throw together in a pan, add olive oil and garlic (and just a little red pepper flakes) and saute until soft (or slightly crunchy). and also, let it be known that my kids hate this side dish, but in the summer have a lot of squash and zucchini. and this year we even have our own, so we are really making it a lot. and if you were wondering, we totally make the kids eat it anyway because we are cruel like that.

Monday, July 25, 2011

the ac follow-up

i sat down and tried to write this a couple of times, but re-living it was quite tiresome. tuesday night our air stopped working somewhere between 7p - 3a. i awoke and wrote the banana bread post and went back to bed. by morning, though, it. was. hot. we stayed around until 11, when everyone was sweating just by watching a movie with all the blinds closed and fans running. we decided to go to the mall - have lunch, ride the carousel, play in the kid's area, and do some walking - the usual. i actually had to borrow a stroller because we haven't gotten that far in our baby buying just yet...which will be corrected this week, i forgot how awesome strollers are - even if they are big and clunky and take up way to much room.

the mall was better than we expected. there is a new trackless train in the mall that actually drives around different areas and after you pay for a stamp, it is unlimited rides. needless to say, the kids had a blast. they played, argument/fighting free, for a few hours, we had lunch, and i actually tried on clothes and picked up a few things for myself. what?! i'm still wondering how that happened. the kids were being so good, i took advantage and they did just fine in the dressing room. a modern day miracle, if you ask me. don't get me wrong, though, i wouldn't even attempt it again.

we, of course, came home to a house that rivaled the heat of hades. i got the kids dressed as quickly as possible for their baseball game and we were out the door again, no reprieve from the heat, though, because it might have been hotter inside than out. the heat index was 115.

after the game we had to go back to our house to pack an overnight bag for everyone to stay at my in-laws. i am making this sound like no big deal, but packing for 4 with sweat pouring down your face and all the boys pretty much crying because they are hot really isn't an ideal situation. it could have been worse, but it wasn't fun.

the next day our repairman didn't show up so we packed another bag as quickly as possible for a hotel. first, let me just say that i hate hotels, so i wasn't thrilled to be going there. we knew the kids would have fun swimming, though. i packed everyone up and we headed there.

at one point i wanted to cry because of all the questions. i was on edge anyway and nash was fussy and there was just a endless stream of "where are we going?" "is it far?" "can we swim right away?" "what are we going to eat for dinner?" "how long do we get to stay here?" ect. ect. ect. it's to be expected, but holey moley...

we got to the hotel and with careful maneuvering i got everyone and our bags into the hotel room in one piece. we got ready for the pool and realized we had forgotten triston's earplugs (he has tubes) back down to the car we go to run to the drug store. 

we run in, which is never just "running in" when you have four little kids. nash was in his car seat on my arm, and the other three were walking with little hands touching just about everything in site. we find the earplugs and head for the cashier, as i have to say "come on boys, let's go." twice. those creative marketing types are a mother's worst nightmare - there was just too much to see and they got distracted. but, then bryce starts opening up candy at the counter and eating throw that in, too. they are usually really good in stores, but this was just a weird trip, i guess.

let's not forget how hot it is outside...

we get back to the hotel and in to the pool and bryce starts jumping up and down to go pee, while the other two have already jumped in. in my desperation, i knelt down to bryce and just whispered for him to discretely pee in the pool. (and just so you know, that is not normally something i would do) bryce, in the loudest voice possible says, "what?! you want me to pee in the pool?!) to save face i say just as loudly, "no! i DON"T want you to pee in the pool!" so we all get out, two of which are soaked and dripping, and with nash's car seat back on my arm, we make our way to the bathroom, which for some reason is really far away: past the lobby and down a hallway. 

i made sure everyone went, even though triston argued with me about it before finally conceding, and he really did have to go so i don't even know why he made an issue out of it. we get back to the pool and have a great time. nash fell asleep and i got in with the boys and we swam for a couple of hours.

time for dinner, though, so we go to our room and everyone gets ready. travis has been mia this whole time, which is fine bc he was working, but we're waiting for him to arrive and he calls me and says he decided to just stay home because he has so much work to do. what?! i am going to have to do this completely alone?  i said a few expletives and hung up on him - it was his idea to come in the first place.  but just as i threw the phone on the bed, there was a knock on the door and there he stood. oops. i apologized and off we went.

dinner was great, but hectic as usual. rest of the night went just fine. travis took the kids swimming and i sat in the hotel room and of all things turned the channel to disney. i swear, i have no life outside of being a mother. that was proof, right there.

 in the morning it started all over again. we got up and everyone got ready for breakfast. our hotel had a really great spread and the boys were very excited. ( i am realizing we get way too excited about food). we ran into a couple of problems, though. first, i had nash strapped to me in the bjorn. and second, there was absolutely no where to sit. every single table and chair and couch in the lobby was packed. so not only did i have the issue of preparing food for them with a baby strapped on front, we also had no where to go...and the kids didn't want easy things like a bagel, they wanted cereal and waffles from the waffle iron that you had to make yourself.

i told the kids we needed to go back upstairs for just a little while longer. the older boys were fine with that, but little bryce wanted to eat right then and thought we were just going to skip it all together. so the tears started. it was awesome and i really did want to cry because it took a lot of effort to get everyone down there and we had to go right back up and bryce was upset and i just wanted to go home.

but no tears for mom. we came down an hour later and everyone had cleared out so the boys picked what they wanted and i maneuvered with nash strapped to me and we were just fine. untttttiiiil, the hotel clerk tried to be funny and knocked on this hidden wooden door in the front desk and it came down and hit bryce in the face. in typical 3 year old fashion, he started crying and jumping up and down.  the lady made a huge deal out of it and everyone was staring at us. it really wasn't a big deal, worse things happen at home, but she insisted of "treating" the scratch and was dramatic about it. afterwards, we did more swimming. and then i got the call i was waiting for: the ac got fixed and we could head home!

so that is what we did, but not before the kids got a healthy dose of bed jumping...

i and i'm pretty sure everyone else were relieved to be home. so, i learned a couple of things from all of this. one, that baby carrier is invaluable (i already knew that one) two, i never would have made it before ac with children. three, four kids is a lot to pack around. when is school starting again?! four, even though it was hard we really did have an alright time. and five, even though i try to fight it, these little guys really are my whole world (as evidenced by the disney channel deal). and six, there is always someone with a worse situation, so just suck it up and do what you have to do.

...but the very next night my parents came to town and got a hotel room with a pool and wanted us to come swimming. i said no.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

i have a hand-me-down ice cream maker. it worked, as far as i knew, perfectly, yet i shyed away from it for two reasons. one: the instructions were not included and although i found them easily online, for some reason i didn't quite understand them. and two: ice cream is so cheap and so good the way it is...bought in a store.

but, that old ice cream maker would stare at me every time i opened the linen closet and  i vowed to make use of it before the kids went back to school. last week, i picked up a box of posey county's finest peaches (or so the roadside sign stated). we like peaches just fine all by themselves, but i came across this recipe and it all just clicked. peaches + ice cream maker + that recipe + only 19 more days of summer.

it was delicious. so delicious. i did pretty good for my first batch of homemade ice cream, but now i've got the bug and i'm moving on to find another recipe to try. ice cream is my favorite dessert, after all.

and while we're talking about ice cream, i ate the most delicious perfect ice cream ever. i'm usually a blue bell kind of girl, but blue bunny has won me over with their red velvet cake ice cream. it was so good i started dipping ginormous bowls of it for the boys because i was seriously scared i would eat the whole container myself. they, of course, were just fine with that.

definitely add that to your grocery list this week, but only if you have better will power than me.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Do You Do When the AC Blows?

We're out of house and home. The thermostat is reading 100 degrees up in here. The repairman might make it today...or might not. The good part is our home warranty is taking care of it.

Stay tuned....because leaving on such short notice with four little boys is turning out to be...interesting.

But right now, we're going swimming!

Peace out and stay cool.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Good Recipe

let me just go ahead and ask for forgiveness for this post. it is 3:30 in the morning and i am hot. there's a good chance nothing will make sense. our air conditioner decided to go out (what's UP, nicol!) during the height of summer (and in the middle of the night) and my husband just left to write a search warrant. i am up because i stupidly watched previews for a scary movie and i am scared without him. and i am totally 28 - how ridiculous. but was scary.

but i made some banana bread the other day and that is not ridiculous, my friends. it was chocolate chip banana bread, but perhaps even more special than the chocolate part, is the yogurt part. This bread is soft and smooth and melts right in your mouth. it might possibly be the best banana bread ever.

here it is.

2 eggs
1/3 c. vanilla yogurt
1/2 c. oil
3 bananas
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 3/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
semi-sweet chocolate chips

mash your bananas. mix well with eggs, yogurt, and oil. in another bowl, mix your sugars, flour, soda and salt. gently pour with banana mixture and combine. if you have a stand mixer, once it is all mixed together, just let it go to town for, like, 10 minutes. toss your chips in at the end. pour in loaf pan and bake at 325 for about an hour, maybe a little longer. at least until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

and as you probably guessed, the picture above is not the loaf. we ate it too fast. and that little nash-patty is growing fast, too. he turns 3 months old this week and is already in 6-9 month clothes. he might be our smiliest baby, yet, and he stares at us with such intensity and starts talking up a storm. it's so cute, but unexpected. the other boys were too focused on rolling around and trying to grab toys by now. and i am totally jealous of how much he sleeps. all night and several hours during the day. he is even keeping his dark hair! this child, he's not mine. or rather, he is mine. like, one of them might have gotten more of me! finally.

Friday, July 15, 2011

last week, triston and jackson had games at the same time. travis took bryce and triston, i took nash and jackson. i'm pretty sure jackson was acting out because his dad wasn't there. take a look for yourself:

every time i would look at him, he was already looking at me with this scowling face. it didn't help that all the moms and dads sitting in the stands with me were cracking up, and he knew it. he is certainly not afraid of the spotlight. if travis had been there, though, he would have been all game. i guess i'm just softer. besides, t-ball is pretty b o r i n g and he says he knows how to do everything already. too bad, he missed a grounder that rolled right passed him because he was too busy making that face for me. tsk tsk., little j-man.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

maybe just a glimpse..

...of what these little boys will look like as old men. (i hope not)

(that bryce is the funniest of all)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

dinnerRevolution by Chef Jeff

Chef Jeff Pirtle has written a  new cookbook called  dinnerRevolution. The "revolution" part is taking on dinner, 10 ingredients or less, and able to be prepared in under 30 minutes. And he has come up with over 200 HEALTHY recipes that do just that.

With over 10 years of experience cooking everywhere from health-care as a certified dietary manager to cooking for the rich and famous on yachts and cruise ships, Chef Jeff has done it all. He also had a home-based private cooking practice based in Charlotte, NC where he cooked for local-celebrities and busy families, using regular ingredients from the grocery store. Ingredients that you can actually pronounce! This is where he came up with the idea for this cookbook.

The cookbook is actually an e-book, meaning it can be downloaded immediately upon purchase to be stored right on your computer or if you are technology savvy, a kindle or iPad for easy access. No actual books to take up space on your counter that could otherwise be used for prepping. And I don't know about you, but how many times have your hands been covered in whatever you are making and the page has flipped? Hopefully this doesn't just happen to me? (Does this totally sound like an info-merical?!)

The cookbook is filled with healthy, easy-to-make meals ranging in each category, beef, poultry, pork, seafood, and vegetarian. One of the recipes I have already written down ingredients for Mexican Shrimp Tortilla Soup. Hello! that sounds so good. And one of the first recipes in the book? Autumn Chicken Salad, combing the flavors of Fall with diced apples and walnuts.

To be honest, the book is a little pricey. $27.00. But, it does come with a 60-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied, so that makes it a little more worth it. And honestly, the recipes are ones you will go back to time and time again. Also included are a grocery store savings guide with tips and trades to help save time and money at the grocery and a dinner menu planner. And the recipes included really are easy-to-make and pretty healthy...and family friendly. I'm probably just cheap. :)

But, the best part? Chef Jeff is raffling off 6-free! copies to readers of my blog. Just go here and enter. Even if you don't win you still get 6 free recipes from the book.

Chef Jeff will e-mail the winners with a link to download the e-cookbook. Good Luck!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mommy/Daddy Time

Going back through my photos from the trip, the one above has got to be my favorite. Travis and I spent a few days {alone} at the French Lick Resort. It was amazing. Full of history and beautiful buildings, a pool, and lots of down time.

 The above photo was taken at the Pete Dye Golf Course, and more specifically in the Taggart Mansion. I saw the golf course for the first time, by accident.  I really have no business or interest in the golf world, neither does Travis, so I wasn't amused to get to tour an actual course and clubhouse. And, by the way....someone somewhere subscribed Travis to Golf Digest. We can't figure it out, and each month we get that magazine and we're both like "???" every time.

Anyway, I "accidentally" saw the course because a persistent woman on the shuttle she and I were sharing to the West Baden Resort talked the shuttle driver into a detour. I almost spoke ahead of her because I really didn't want to waste my time but I was feeling saucier than usual, it was day 2 of no kids, after all, so I kept quiet as the shuttle bus took a sharp left instead of heading straight to West Baden.

On the way up the hill, the shuttle driver talked of how much it cost to build the course (30 million) and how  it hosted the PGA Tour in 2010. He talked about how how beautiful it is and that the course is rated in the top 10 courses in the country and how much it costs to rent the clubhouse for one night ($10,000). I still wasn't impressed. 

And then I actually saw what he was talking about. It. Was. Amazing. Nestled on top of one of the highest peaks in the area, Mt. Airie, is a beautiful brick mansion surrounded by a perfectly manicured golf course. Over the sides of the peak is miles of trees, ones that make up the dense Hoosier National Forrest. And you can see just about as far as your eyes will take you.

The shuttle bus didn't stop, just traveled the loop and in a minute we were headed back down the peak and  on to our original path. But I just could not get over how awesome it was. I texted Travis and asked if he was up for a tour of a golf course. Of course, he was thinking the same thing I originally was, but he has learned to 'just go with it'. For my sake, anyways. Travis was busy with courses he has to take each year to be caught up with the Indiana Bar.

An hour or so later, I returned to our hotel and called the concierge to ask about the actual tour that I had read takes place every night at 6:15. I signed us up and that was that.

The shuttle bus was packed full this time, and surprise surprise, we were the youngest couple. That is usually the case. I guess it's because I'm actually like 50 years old. Anyway, we got to the top of the peak and a tour guide met us out front of the mansion. We went inside and he told us of the history of the place and what it was originally intended for. Some of Thomas Taggart's history can be found here.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of the outside of the place:

I don't know why I didn't get a picture of the front of the house, but if you're interested, go here.

And some of my favorites from inside the mansion:

And of course, that first photo - the green and black bathroom. (It was all original, by the way)

The night was pretty fun. We started out touring West Baden (because Travis just had to see that one, too) and then on to dinner. Afterwards we took our Pete Dye tour and then went to the casino for the evening. Quickly we learned we aren't gamblers and headed to a bar inside the hotel for a late-night snack of spinach & artichoke dip and then to the hot tub, where I got the pleasure of sitting among a whole jacuzzi full of lawyers talking about lawyering. Those lawyer type....

The entire trip was great. Most of the time we just hung out by the pool and watched people coming and going. 3 full days and nights with no middle-of-the-night baby feedings and brothers fighting. It gave me just enough time to really miss the kids and to really start liking my husband again. :)

Anyway, it was good to get away and a special thanks to our parents who kept the kiddos for a few nights.

And now,  back to real life...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm Behind a Whole Week

due to our "mommy/daddy" vacation last week, i'm behind. like, in all aspects of my life. but, what's new, right? anyway, we celebrated the 4th the day before with a "cook-in", well, because our "cook-out" was hijacked by a pretty big storm that lasted the entire day. we had fun anyway with friends and family celebrating our nation's birth.

the 4th is my favorite holiday, so i had to include it in my posts. i think it started with the fireworks when i was young but as a student of american history, i became fascinated with the founders and their ideas that sparked a revolution. ideas that i firmly believe in today (i.e. upholding our constitution), and if we ever stop having kids (!) i might actually finish school and get to teach that history to young people some day. plus, that red, white, and's a great color combo and my kids looked super cute that night!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Summer Lovin'

I started breaking out my Summer Lovin' recipes, and I have to say:


You can find them under the label "summer lovin'".


Monday, July 4, 2011

Pasta Salad for the 4th.

check it. this pasta salad is amazing. the writers at bon appetit warned of taking pasta salads to bbqs. that they were too overdone and never that good, anyway.

whatever, bon appetit. i am totally disagreeing with you, much like i do about something in every issue. mid-west people are exempt from trendy-food rules anyway...except for that delicious looking blackberry buttermilk cake i am about to, we love our carbs.

anyway. it's good. and got gobbled up at 2 (two!) back-to-back bbqs. so there. and, it's gorgeous, no?

you should totally make it. here's how.

2 12 oz. boxes of rainbow rotini
1 bottle of kraft sun-dried tomato vinaigrette

1 onion, diced
1 lg. tomato, diced
1 green pepper, diced
pepperoni, cut up
2 small cans of slice black olives
...and really just about anything else you want to add...

boil the pasta, drain, and start adding. once everything is added, pour the whole bottle of dressing in and mix to coat everything. refrigerate until serving time. (and it is usually better the next day)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

iPhone Dump 2019

In January, boys 7th grade took home conference championship Disney on Ice with Emma  Pretty meager winter, we...