Thursday, March 29, 2012

some generics i can get behind

so the other night i read a blog post from a really funny blogger. it is so dang true and i was nearly in stitches from all the laughter. the mechanics of becoming lame. go read it, because until you do, you might wonder why i am posting about grocery stores and products i like to eat. it is super lame of me, but i have nothing else to post about and at some point it became okay to really care about grocery stores. and i also look forward to dateline and 20/20 on friday nights. i don't even know how it happened.

anyway, as i was about to say, has anyone else noticed the cost of....everything? especially groceries, right? we have a weekly budget for 6 of about $160.00. that usually covers all of of it - food, diapers, cleaning supplies, laundry soap, ect. ect. ect. but that still seems high to me, even though compared to most american families, it probably isn't.

one of the ways we try to save money is by shopping at aldi, which is generic city. i am pretty sure aldi is regional, too - i know they don't have 'em in the south and it's a shame because this store is awesome.

first of all, you have to "rent" your shopping cart. each cart has a slot that is attached to a hook that keeps them all together. you have to have a quarter to release one, and then you get it back when you return the cart and lock it to the others - eliminating the need for an employee to go catch them all in the parking lot! kind of genius, right there.

so aldi has it's own brands. and i was skeptical at first because everything is so much cheaper, couldn't be good, right? wrong. the milk and all dairy products they sell are all rbst-free. the meat - usually chicken, pork, and beef are all minimally processed, all natural, no added hormones, ect. in other words, no pink slime. and i have this thing with generics anyway. years of mass marketing has successfully brainwashed me into thinking that the brand name product is better/tastier. sometimes it is, but most of the time it is the same dang thing anyway. so i finally got over it when i realized if i ever wanted to do anything fun or have anything nice we were going to have to save money somewhere.

aldi doesn't have everything you could find at walmart (so i usually have to go there, too) or a larger chain grocery store and i have some brand loyalty to certain products (hello JIF!), but there are always some different items that i wouldn't be able to find in those stores and if i were to find them they would be super expensive.

example: my two new favorite things...

1. basil infused extra virgin olive oil. who knew? i was after regular EVOO, but all they had was this. i sauteed some fresh spinach leaves with it this morning and it was amazing. next use: spaghetti.

2. garlic vinaigrette. the bottle has whole cloves of garlic floating around in the bottom along with cracked black peppercorns and all kinds of other goodness. it is the best salad dressing ever.

and there you go. a lesson on aldi and a few generics. i am always on the lookout for good non-expensive products so send them my way if you have any suggestions.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

and then, you know, i just try not to flip out.

what is considered flipping out anyway? I am sure my kids could tell you. An inner defense mechanism won't let me even re-type all the happenings that have happened during this spring break.  and it is only wednesday, mind you. nothing too tragic - just some, okay a lot, of embarrassment on my behalf that included underwear, a little unfounded fear that my kids would fall into a freaking cavern for goodness sakes and be lost forever (which turned out to be a total over-reaction on my part), and some battle wounds to the littles all resulting from not listening! story of my life, right there.

these boys. there is something different about raising boys. i know it because i live it, but i am constantly validated when i hear from friends and strangers alike, "wow, all boys?" or "you have to be one tough mom!" or "good grief. how do you do it? i bet it sure it crazy at your house."

yes. yes. and yes. i get compliments to, though, like "there is something special about mothers of all boys" which I am beginning to believe is just a nice way of saying "hang in there. maybe you'll make it and won't have to be put in a loony house."

we are committed, though. these boys will grow up to be men and i am a big believer in righteous, hard-working men that are not wimpy or lazy or distracted by the cheapness of the world. and so my job is a hard one but we will get there - one injury, one time-out, and one dirt covered shirt at a time.

in the meantime, i am going to relish in books like this. moms of boys just getting it out there in the open, all the stuff you might hear or see from your sons on any given day.
peyton was kind enough to send me a copy of her new e-book. i laughed out loud reading several of her clever haikus. it was just what i needed to make me feel like "at least i'm not the only one". because one day i really might be in the loony house from all the craziness and i will have to read as many books like this as possible to figure out just what went wrong with all these boys! ;)

you can purchase peyton's e-book, suburban haiku: boys to men, and her other e-books at:

Monday, March 26, 2012

eight is great

well lookie here, my oldest son turned eight on sunday. he is smart and funny and sometimes sensitive and he is just a special light in our house. here are some things i want to remember about him at this age:

  •  he loves chapter books right now, which is really amazing - i thought for a little while there that he would never learn to read. now, he reads beyond his grade level and gets great AR scores. whew!
  • he is a music man. he loves all music and makes up his own songs on the piano by counting out the keys and writing down which ones he plays in order. dare i say...we have a composer on our hands? i don't know because i am musically challenged in every way possible, but we are setting him up with an instructor soon so maybe that will help.
  • he is really into "friends" right now. ay ay ay
  • he loves nash so much and often "babysits" for me while i'm cooking dinner or other times when i could use a helping hand. he is always trying to make him smile or help him in some way.
  • he is pretty competitive. not sure if there is a way around this one though. he is a clowers, after all.
  • he loves to help me, as long as it is with me and not something i've just asked him to do. we have had to have some talks about this one. he will always stuff sock and dirty clothes in weird places so he doesn't have to put them in the hamper. grrrrr.
we had a birthday party for him on saturday. he requested a boy party, which is just funny to me. it was almost a boy party. our good friends and neighbors came over towards the end with their two daughters, but he didn't seem to mind. ; ) i kind of think he doesn't really think they count as girls anyway because they play together so much. anyway, we went bowling with some of his friends and family and had a party at our house afterwards that included trampoline, timed races around the yard, basketball, a cookout and cupcakes. he said it was the best birthday ever and when i remembered today that i forgot to serve the gallon of ice cream he said, "we'll just have to have another party like we had the other night!"

he really is growing up to be a fine young man. as my friend courtney said today as triston came upstairs, " have, like, a full grown man coming upstairs!" i agree - he is growing up way to fast.

Friday, March 23, 2012

friday mid-morning playlist

me and bryce and little nash man are prepping for an important 8 year old's birthday party tomorrow. (really i am prepping and the other two are doing everything they can to make it harder) cleaning, baking cupcakes, making decorations AND listening to awesome music at the same time.
here's what we're listening to:

rolling in the deep - adele
breathe - anna nalick
i can't help falling in love - ingrid michaelson
satellite heart - anya marina
to build a home - the cinematic orchestra
white blank page - mumford & sons
cosmic love - florence + the machine
soul to squeeze- red hot chili peppers
wagon wheel - old crow medicine show
sober - pink
the scientist - coldplay
the adventures of rain dance maggie - red hot chili peppers
yellow - coldplay
come away with me - norah jones

have you listened to cosmic love by florence + the machine? lovely.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

we don't mess around

they definitely mess around when it comes to soccer and baseball and basketball and maybe even football - and sometimes it drives me nuts - but these boys take wrestling pretty seriously. It paid off - two city champs in each of their divisions. jackson went undefeated the whole season and then wrestled the winner of the other bracket in his weight class - beating everyone in his weight in the whole city. triston did get beat a couple of times - by a 5th grader, i feel i should note that because he is only a 2nd grader and still a little clumsy at times and a 5th grader seemed like a giant compared to him, but he learned a lot from those losses.  he was ready to roll at the city meet and came out on top. of course, even if they didn't win, we still would have celebrated - wrestling is hard work and there were lots of practicing, patience, and some tears throughout the season. not to mention a few illegal moves like claws to the face. sheesh.

 a wrestling parent that is involved with the elite club in our town actually grabbed triston after he won and brought him over to us and said they wanted him on the team. it was a nice compliment for triston - i'm pretty sure i saw his chest puff up. triston and jackson, both, want to wrestle in the elite club that starts in the fall - which means wrestling 7 months out of the year instead of 2 and lots of traveling, but how could i say no to these sweet little (tough!) faces?! 

that was on monday night. tuesday night my mom and i went to the elton john concert and i nearly died. saying the concert was good is an understatement. it was the best live music i've ever heard or seen. elton and the whole band made it look completely effortless - they played for 3 hours straight with no breaks and just rocked the whole night. i've been subjected to crappy music via pop radio stations for too long. electronic sounds that talk about getting drunk, having sex, hot girls, - cheap. this was amazing.

and i just have to show this video because i am still amazed by it. these two HOT guys can play...a cello.

elton john called them personally to go on tour with him and his band. i nearly died watching this live, too. the whole thing was just soul-moving, which is a really weird and artsy thing to say, but when you stay home all day with kids and listen to pbs and the lion king soundtrack (which hello! elton john, again!) you forget about all the things that move you. you know?

now go google those two hotties - with or without you was pretty awesome, too.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

skinny taco dip.

i found this on one of my pinterest endeavors. it was the perfect thing to make for dinner be-cause mother nature decided to bypass spring and it has been in the 80s non-stop for over a week. not that it's a bad thing. i'm just feeling a little pasty.  this is a light meal and everyone was busy playing outside and complaining that it was too hot to eat. which is kind of alarming - what are they going to say in july?! i had to remind them that they spent 3 good years in florida and floridians are no whimps when it comes to the weather.

it was also the perfect dinner because we had baseball practice the night i made it and for some reason when we have practices, things get all wonky in my house. i try to have all my to-do's completed before 3 so that when the boys come home i can focus on homework, making sure they do their chores, dinner, and then getting ready for practice, ect.

 if things would only go as planned. it never does and i am usually yelling so we're not late.

anyway, here's the recipe - which i made just a little different from the original.

1 large can of refried beans
1 8 oz. package of low fat cream cheese
8 oz. light sour cream
16 oz. jar of salsa
1 taco seasoning packet
chopped lettuce
diced tomato
shredded cheese
black olives
tortilla chips

i added the refried beans because i was making this as a meal instead of a dip. i've got hungry boys to keep full, you know!

spread the refried beans in the bottom of a 9 x 13. mix together cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, and taco seasoning until well blended and spread on top of refried beans. top with lettuce, cheese, tomato, and black olives. serve with chips.

you should eat this right away. or if you are saving the left overs (or if you are a good wife like me and put together a plate your working husband for later - leave off the lettuce, cheese, tomato, and olives until ready to serve. soggy lettuce and tomotoes are yuck.)

in other news...
photo by my mom
this little stink finally started saying "mama". i was beginning to doubt my place in his life when he started saying "lily" - the dog -  before me. and also dada, triston, bye bye, hey, hi, and bottle. and does it count that he only says it when he is pissed? i will take what i can get, i suppose. and since he just pulled an entire bag of pretzels out onto the floor..

that is my cue to go.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

a new snack.

whole wheat tortillas
low fat cream cheese
english cucumber, sliced and diced.

there are no pictures for this snack and i will tell you why: i made this snack on the brink of starvation and literally inhaled it in one bite. i know there are a few mommies out there who know what i'm talking about. and you might think it is because i am so busy that i didn't get a chance to eat, which is sometimes the case and i wish was the case all of the time, but this time it was one of those moments that i hate that i can't fit into the clothes i want so i tell myself at eight in the morning i am not eating at all for the whole day and then by 1 or 2 i'm just all crazed and start raiding the cabinets shoving everything in sight right into my mouth. now i don't do this every day, but there are definitely times...

and can we just stop a minute and talk about something. when i am at home all day i will think about food, like a lot. sometimes all day. and it is hard work to not stuff my face the entire day. now this past friday i was in indy - alone by myself- for several hours and didn't think about food one time. in fact, it was like 3 pm before i ever ate anything. what the heck is going on there, someone please explain this to me?

so anyway, this is supposed to be a healthy snack. i am kind of on the fence about that statement because really? cream cheese? even low fat cream cheese is kind of if-y in my book. anyway, slather up your tortilla with cream cheese, lay out your cucumber slices, and roll it up. it is actually really good.

not good enough for my kids, apparently, but good.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

a little break from my life.

oh, siiiiggggghhhhhh.

i had to take a little break. i put nash in his bed to keep him safe from all the things that he bumps and hits and falls on and what did that child do? fell face first in to the crib bars and cut the little thing that holds your top lip to your top gums. that sounds totally weird, but you know what i'm talking about, right?

so he cut that somehow and blood is pouring out of his mouth and he is choking on it a little. one good thing about myself that you should know is that i don't panic when the kids are hurt. travis - he panics. i wonder how different our life would be in that aspect if he would have went to medical school instead of law school? hmmm.

anyway, after holding his screaming little self down to keep a wet cloth on his mouth he finally got sleepy and is currently napping. which means - he is safe! oh my, this child has done me in in more ways than i can count. see previous two posts. i was a little concerned about the amount of blood he seemed to swallow? any nurses out there? hit me up.

so i had to take a little break. the little girl i babysit for screamed also the whole time this was going on - this 6 month old sweet little girl loves to be held and snuggled and she was probably traumatized by all the blood and screaming nash did. in fact, when it was all said and done i could see her watching me from her little bouncy seat and every time i would look at her she would start crying herself.  she is snoozing now, too, and although i should be working on getting the rest of the spring/summer clothes switched over - which has taken over my life, i had to take a minute to read everyone else's blog - which if i read the right ones, will make me feel better about my own life.


by the way... i nominated myself for circle of moms 'funny moms'. which is kind of funny, right? i nominated myself. maybe that is only funny in a sad way? anyway, if you feel so inclined - click that little pink button over there  ------------------------------------------------->

and scroll down until you find my blog and vote. you can vote once a day until march 21. thanks, friends.

Monday, March 12, 2012

cellulite: get the f off of me.

okay, seriously. i will spare you the picture that goes along with that title up there. gross. but, when the h e l l did it become okay for cellulite to be visible on my legs/butt? i don't use expletives all of the time, but there are certain times when they are totally okay. i explained that, here. and this is one of those times.

anyway, one of my sisters mentioned the on-set of cellulite during a pregnancy. i probably thought to myself, "lucky for me, i have awesome legs and that will never happen to me". and i can totally say that because it was like the only awesome part of me. and for the first 3 pregnancies i bounced back pretty quick. but this 4th one did me in. cellulite appeared and i saw it, but i was all horomonal-like and totally irrational and just stuffed my face with another swiss cake roll.

and now, almost a year later, i still have a shapeless blob for a mid-section. there should be coupons for plastic surgery in with all the free crap they give you at the hospital, right? only, i don't need plastic surgery, i need like a complete hull from neck down to knees. plus some hair dye.

and what do i do about upcoming bathing suit season? should i resign myself, at the tender age of 28, to skirted bottoms? how about a spanxx suit?  they claim to be "squeeze free". can i just wear a full body wet suit?

a small victory: jeans are looser. a pair that was too tight a month ago are now baggy and loose in all the right places. i am thisclose to being the size i want to be.

and today, i am celebrating those small victories. swiss cake roll, please! just. kidding. :(

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

you're killing me, nash.


can someone build me a padded room, like, in a hurry?!

nash has been walking for a couple of weeks now and he is falling all over the place. so much so, that he was recently treated for a concussion after walking out our back patio door and falling head- first onto the concrete. yeah. he has bruises all over that sweet little face. not in the above picture, because that was taken in january when he could just barely crawl. oh, what a simpler time for us.

tonight at wrestling practice - i mean, it is way dirty in the wrestling room - he screamed at me for an hour because he wanted to walk around and do his thing. and then i let him - just a little - and he was as happy as can be. until, of course, i picked him back up.

an old man looked at me tonight and said, "girl, you have your hands full".

don't i know it. toddlers are exhausting.

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