Showing posts with label life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life. Show all posts

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)...so 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 it....so 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.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a spectacle, of sorts.



sometimes, with these four, I feel we are a spectacle. take this morning, for example. triston, the oldest, has basketball camp for an hour and a half each morning this week. after piling everyone in the car and taking off, i realized i had forgotten a bottle for the baby. i dropped t off and came back home to get the bottle and drove back to the school to watch the rest of practice in the high school gym. when we walked in my eyes scanned the gym to find triston sitting on the sidelines NOT PLAYING. so i sat the baby carrier down and started to walk over to him. while i am doing this, jackson takes off one way and bryce the other. the baby starts to cry so i hurry back over to him and triston is grabbing his stuff and saying, "let's go" which signals to me he is not happy about something. he is the particular one, after all. the coach comes over to talk with us and out of the corner of my eye i can see bryce doing a balancing act on the thin ledge that separates the bleachers from the floor. i can hear j in the distance saying, "mom! look at me!" he's at the very top of the gym. and the baby is still fussing. needless to say, all i heard the coach say was "wah wah wah wah wah wah wah", charlie brown style.

there are a couple of moms in the gym giving me the "i feel sorry for you" look and there are, of course, the women out there that probably have the "...she got herself in to this..." mentality (to which i believe are jealous of our little life...even if they don't know it yet) and a couple of other moms in the gym looking at me with the "i know, girl..." look, probably reminiscing about when they were in my position. what? did i just say reminiscing? yeah, i did. because even though these times can be tough, i've gotten the very clear impression to savor these moments.

after resolving the situation with t, i climb the stairs, baby carrier in hand to where jackson and bryce are sitting. when i arrive, they bolt, which i knew was coming by the smirks on their sweet little faces. i, of course, act like i didn't even see them which results in them coming right over within reach so i can lecture/tease them about the importance of staying close to mom.

"i need help with the baby," is all i need to say and that usually keeps them close so they can leap at his beckoning whimper. (it's good to be fourth in line at our house) (until you are old enough to go for someone's toy...then it's not so good anymore). and then we're done. practice is over, so me and the brood head into the pouring rain to our car to head home. (I did leave the part out about having to restrain b on my lap for a time while he kicked and screamed. that is always awesome.)

there's no great way to end this post except for the clear message of - this is hard. it is. but, more than it is hard, it is completely wonderful, absolutely hilarious, and such a blessing to have these four little boys completely saturate my days with complete joy. one day, instead of just the little daily nibbles that freckle my life as a mother, I am going to see the fruits of my labor in full perspective.

whether we are a spectacle, right now, or not. :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

All the Makings of a Scary Movie...and Really Good Tacos.

A few weeks ago I posted about how Jackson had discovered Bozo by accident and had decided on his own that it was some scary shhhhiz. Like the whole Bigfoot craze, the boys have become obsessed with clowns. The new game they play is Bozo, in which they chase each other around the house and growl or threaten each other with Bozo showing up at their birthday parties.

In an effort to curb this and also for them to go to bed at night without talking about red hair and painted faces, I decided to show the boys actual footage of the Bozo show on youtube. Because I totally watched Bozo on Saturday mornings when I was a kid and I never once thought it was scary. It worked! The footage I showed them was of a boy, about Triston's age, that got to spin a wheel and win a whole crapload of toys and of course Bozo and the audience was very excited about this and Jackson was totally in to it.


Jackson asked, a couple of days later, if he could look at pictures of Bozo on the Internet, so I typed in his name and hit "Images". Happy-looking clowns filled the screen and Jackson would point to one and ask to enlarge it, all the while making the connection that this dude is really fun and happy. My attention quickly faded and I mentally moved on to something else. Jackson told me to click on another image and because I am a bad mom and wasn't paying attention, this is what was enlarged on our computer screen:




Seriously? That is an effing scary clown. I snapped back to the present when Jackson asked if that was Bozo's evil brother. I told Jackson that it was a character from a scary movie (as we all know, It) that crazy adults sometimes like to watch, and we left it at that. He didn't act scared or bothered but we shut it down for the night.


That was last week. 2 days ago we sat down to draw pictures and we started out drawing sweet little houses and smiling people and brightly colored balloons. The balloons must have triggered "clown" for Jackson because this is what he drew next (and appropriately labeled by himself):



Of course Travis thought this was more disturbing than I did, probably because my dad let me watch really scary movies when I was a kid (Uhhh...can we say The Exorcist at age 10? Not a good parenting move.) and it just doesn't bother me as much. I mean, it is kind of funny.


But last night it all culminated when I dreamed my car was being hijacked, at night, in the rain, by....clowns. It was a nightmare, one of those that you kind of freak out and then wake up. Not cool, and who do I have to thank? PBS and Google. Public Broadcasting (which I always say is trying to indoctrinate. Hello?! NPR and Sesame Street? Yeah.) and the Internet.

Who would've thought, right?

On a lighter note, because I love my family, I have totally turned Friday night into.....dunh dunh duhn TACO NIGHT. I might be the most excited about this. No no, actually Travis will be the most excited about this whenever I decide to tell him, because I just decided TODAY that it is going to be a weekly affair. I have a yummy new recipe courtesy of a friend, but I have to get it from her first, and it calls for French salad dressing! Can you believe it? You might think French and Mexican don't mesh, but you are so wrong. Because this recipe is seriously delicious. So...I guess what I am saying is come back next week and you, too, could have a Friday night filled with delicious tacos!

Monday, February 28, 2011

And Then, I Totally Met Pioneer Woman.

On Friday, my MIL and I skipped town to head to St. Louis for a girl's weekend with my SIL, Danielle, who just moved there with her family. (Our other SIL Macy was also supposed to come, but ended up having to move to a new apartment in Lexington. Booo.)

Our agenda was simple: Lots of shopping, lots of good food, life-altering cupcakes, no kids, and meeting the Pioneer Woman. The freaking Pioneer Woman!

We kicked off the Weekend of Awesomeness Saturday morning at the LDS Cannery. Canneries aren't really awesome, per se, but being prepared is awesome, no? (And if you don't know what a cannery is or why we Mormons go there, go here.) We were kind of in the way of a big group trying to can over 200 cans of food, so we got a few things and got out of there pretty fast.

Next up, shopping at Chesterfield Mall. All I have to say about that is, OMG. And...we did well.

On to the cupcakes. I found a link to this cupcake bar on-line several weeks ago. I've been craving good cupcakes for months, so this was a must-stop-shop.
It. Was. Amazing.


That's a picture of the actual cupcake we ate, Chocolate Thunder, taken by Cheryl. The outside is beautiful, but the inside is filled with chocolate ganache. Yeah. We even picked up a couple of cupcakes for the Pioneer Woman herself. (sealed from Jilly's of course)

Then, on to the main event. The book signing started at 6 and as we drove by at 4:30 we were shocked to find a line wrapped around the building. And we were a little scared, too, because it was freezing outside and we're not cold weather girls. Or wait-in-line-for-hours kind of girls, for that matter, so we almost threw out the whole thing. But, our cookbooks we're calling to be signed so we toughed it out.

It turned out to not be so bad. They let us inside after only 30 minutes and then we got to wait in chairs, which is awesome to a huge pregnant lady who'd been shopping for hours.

Ree spoke for just a few minutes and took some questions. She was sort of shaky and said that these events never get easier and that she was extremely nervous, which I thought was sort of sweet. Someone asked her how she comes up with her recipes, which I'd been wondering myself for quite some time, and turns out most of them are old family recipes from both her and her husband's family. Awwwww.

Speaking of husband, he was there, too. Marlboro Man himself was there and I felt kind of bad for him because lots of middle-aged desperates kind of stalked him out, after Ree went to a separate room to sign books, and then started taking pictures of him and with him and asking him to turn around so they could take pictures of his butt, which he did, and the whole thing was just weird. But, as I observed from afar, he seemed to oblige each fan and seemed really very sweet. But really, you would be too if your wife was bringing in over a million dollars a year from a blog. Yeah. Over a million bucks a year. Wowza. (And that estimate is from my own research. PW is far to classy to divulge such information. But, still. A million bucks.)


After waiting for an hour and a half, we finally got to meet Ree. She is very sweet and a lot tinier than you'd think from seeing her pictures on the Internet and considering how much butter she uses in her recipes. We should have asked her how she stays so thin...
She also has a sweet, demure sounding voice, which surprised me because the voice I had always imagined her with while reading her blog posts is much throatier and sarcastic.
                                               
She asked if I was going to have a baby, since it is quite obvious and the shirt I had on made it much more so, and I told her it was my fourth and asked if she had any tips for me (since she is also a mom of four) and she said that I wouldn't even notice this one. Ha, that is kind of what I thought. After awhile things just start to meld together. She was excited about our cupcake gifts and we talked about her Chicken Fried Steak, which I made last week and burned the gravy and coincidentally she just posted the recipe on her blog, today. I guess she felt bad that a fan burned the gravy and thought she should clarify exactly how to make it, just for me. :)

We were really glad we stayed after we met her. And then we realized that we were famished, so we headed to P.F. Chang's and waited an hour and didn't get to even sit down until 9:30. And then the rest of the night is sort of a blur. I pretty much died when we got back to Danielle's apartment.

The next day I felt like total crap. But, T-bone took good care of me when I got home and I'll post about that tomorrow...






Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Have No Title For This. No Pictures, Either.

My taste buds are doing a simple little dance tonight. BE-cause I treated them to....

wait for it....

orange jello with crushed pineapple and cool whip. 2 bowls of it to be exact, and I am not stingy with my portions. Plus, Cool Whip!

So simple. So good. So happy.

I just learned how to make it today. I know, right? I thought it would be self-explanatory but when it came time to make it I just couldn't figure it out. Do you put the pineapple in the dish first? Do you drain it or un-drain it? Do you mix the juice with the water? (yes.) Anyway, thanks Mom.

I'm having sort of a writer's block crisis. Actually, it is more of a life block crisis which just affects what I have to write. Not that I am some prolific writer or anything, but it sucks just the same. And since I've been doing the same things over and over and over thanks to our little friend Mother Nature (weather and pregnancy..translation: I'm too cold and tired to do anything) and T-bone's lllllloooonnnnggg hours at work (translation: I am a single mom), I'm pretty much in the loser category right now.

So here is a little tidbit of all the random-ness that goes on in my head. Warning: it is really boring.

I really miss Summer (but you already knew that) and I decided that if this baby were going to be a girl that I would maybe name her Summer, as a tribute. But the baby is a boy and we still don't have a name. Or really any stand-out prospects, either. Back to Summer...I am un-decided at the moment as if I am really excited about the coming one. For two reasons, the first because I am going to have an infant and my boys are going to want to go swimming. I haven't figured out a plan for this yet because my last two were born in October and November, respectively, and it wasn't an issue. And the second reason is because I am going to be fat and the summertime is not the best time have extra baby weight. Am I right or am I right?

I found out Jackson is scared of clowns. Not just any clown, but Bozo the Clown. I kind of found out by accident as the public broadcast channel showed a history of children's television and the tv was just left on. Jackson came in the kitchen and said that he thought that clown kind of looked weird and I said (without missing a beat), "What clown? The one behind you?!" That was all it took. He had tears and everything and said I was the worst mom, ever. I am still cracking up but he got me back when he wouldn't go to bed and I had to stay in his room until he fell asleep. I guess I sort-of deserved that. But he is justified, Bozo would never fly with kids today and let's be honest: he kind of looks like a modern day molester-type. Not that he was or looked like a molester then, but in modern times, it would be the first thing I thought of if he was around my kids. Anyway, talking about clowns is now off-limits in the house because Triston would have a field-day with this one if I let him. And probably Bryce, too. I caught him telling his same-age of 3 cousin that monsters were under the bed while they were visiting over the weekend. He was telling him this at bedtime and I think he kind of thought it was funny when Logan started crying. Do you think he got that from me? Crap.

I. Have. To. Pee. All. The. Time. I just wanted to throw that out there for extra sympathy since my husband has none for me. I guess the novelty of being pregnant and helpless wore off after baby number 1 , possibly baby number 2. Or, maybe he realized I was milking it for all it was worth? Yeah, pretty sure he figured it out.  :) (The happy face means I am kidding, honey.)

Did anyone see the new Groupon commericals?  Funny or inappropriate? HereHere.  And here. 

I quite possibly made the healthiest dinner ever, tonight. Green beans with new potatoes, steamed and seasoned baby carrots, homemade whole wheat bread, cherry tomatoes, topped off with a glass of milk (chocolate for me, but I was sneaky about it so the boys wouldn't know). The boys didn't even complain. I thought they would surely complain about cooked carrots, but they ate every bite. Then dessert, but I already told you about that. The orange jello?

And since this blog post just came full circle, I'm going to leave it at that. And maybe just have one more bowl before bedtime.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Kids are funny.




Our family, as drawn by 5-year-old Jackson. Guess which one is me.

And of course, Triston makes my day (because I made his by letting him stay home from school without a fever) by saying, "Mom, even though your belly is getting pretty fat you are still really cute. A cute fat lady," he says. And little Brycer, with O.J. dripping off his chin and eyes opened w i d e nods in agreement, with such excitement I might add, and suddenly I can't wait for another one of these guys to be around. Not because of the compliments, and certainly not that I wasn't excited before, but because they are really truly hilarious. And bonus! they will rub my back when I ask them to.

Case-in-point: Triston tells me about how he isn't friends with so-and-so anymore at school because he picks up eggs with his hands and shovels them into his mouth while exclaiming, "I just can't resist!" AND he farts all the time. Even though I gave him the spiel about being nice anyway, I was really thinking, "Man, if this kid was an adult, I wouldn't be friends with him either". You just can't make this stuff up.

Plus, the boys said I make the best pasta in the world tonight after dinner. Redemption. They catch on quick. For it was just a mere 24 hours since they told their Nana that she was a much better cook than me.

Whhhaaaat?! But, I'm pretty sure their dad thinks that, too though, so at least they get it honest, right?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The 1st of What Will Be a Great Month.


keeping ourselves entertained.
 Because it has to be, right? I am going insane with cabin fever; we've watched as many movies, played with as much play-doh, have drawn as many pictures, played as many games and toys, held as many talent shows, played as much Wii, read as many books, and have made as many forts, that we could ever possibly want to in a lifetime.

The weekend weather gave us just a teeny tiny bit of reprieve and we played basketball and took a few walks and now I am sick. Again. I am ready for my pity party or even better; a full-time job in South Beach that allows for four children to be in tow. 

But, in spite of all the blahs that are lingering outside, I have been having fun cooking in the kitchen, inside.  


You and everyone you know just has to make this: Chicken and Black Bean-Stuffed Burritos, courtesy of Cooking Light. I had been eyeing this recipe for a few weeks, wondering if it really fit the bill. You know what I mean? It sounded good, but you just never know, and I've got a ridiculously stupid talent of picking out new recipes that just....suck. But, I took a chance and It. Is. Fabulous. Like, I am obsessed, fabulous.

Here is the recipe.

Now. Just to make myself feel better, here is a list of things that are happening this month that, if I can just keep focused on, I might not give in to the cold and S.A.D. that is taking over.

  • a Pampered Chef party. Have you seen their basting brushes? Amazing.
  • seeing two of my little sweeties wrestle is a singlet. Ha ha ha...I can't wait. It will be the cutest most hilarious thing EVER.
  • my bro-in-law's birthday party, where I am hoping some kind of cake will make an appearance.
  • Valentine's Day, even though my husband thinks this is a stupid holiday (and I do, too) it is still fun to act like a love-struck doofus. (Balloons and a HUGE card for his office? Riot!)(I want fresh bright pink flowers, by the way.)
  • my mom's birthday party....more cake.
  • meeting the Pioneer Woman (and shopping in a 3-story mall!)(a weekend without the kids!)
  • The last good month for homemade hot chocolate.
  • ...and perhaps the best part of all to happen this month, the Girl Scout cookies I ordered will finally be in! Bring on the Samoas, because I am totally not sharing.
Wow. I feel better, already. Now, if someone would just paste beach scenes over all the windows and rub me down with coconut tanning oil every day...we might just make it this month.

Happy February!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Completely Outnumbered.


I would love to say "as taken from my iPhone" like all those other fancy blogs, but it's an old flip from like 2003. It's how we roll.
 Tonight I was at wrestling practice. Wrestling practice. It was everything I would have imagined it to be. The small room on the second floor of the local high school that housed 30+ rambunctious boys was hot and smelly. And all those boys? Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure they loved it.

All at once a light bulb flashed right above my head. As I watched all these little guys practicing all their crazy little moves, I suddenly became aware of my place as mother, as a keeper of our home, and above all...a woman.

You guys, in just a few short months I am going to be completely outnumbered in a house WITH 5 DUDES. Right now all but the one who caused this, one is little (and they're all so adorable), so I can still control most things, but one day I am going to wake up and my four little babies are going to be half-way grown men that smell and make weird noises and eat whole large pizzas by themselves.

I am already arguing with my 6-year old most mornings as to why he has to take a shower every day. I am constantly reminding to flush. the. toilet. already. and not to throw the football in the house. And in just the last month suddenly the amount of food I cook is never enough.

Deep Breath.

So, in conclusion, what I'm trying to say is I am really important. I mean, it's my job, to make men out of these little crazies. And in the meantime, while they are still offering, I am going to relish in all the kisses, all the lap-wrangling and arguments over who gets to sit by me, and all the marriage proposals. Because if you didn't know....little boys realllly love their mothers. And that is why I love being outnumbered. I mean, you know, for now.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Have You Had One Of These Lately?



A Nestle Tollhouse Cookie.


My father-in-law made original tollhouse cookies a few weeks ago and hello! I had forgotten how good this simple recipe is. Like, seriously good. And I also forgot that when I get stressed I go after anything that has chocolate in it. In two days I had eaten seven of the cookies. And I kind of feel bad about it, but not that bad. Here's the recipe
And while we're talking about eating too many cookies, here is my latest belly shot. At 6 1/2 months, I look like this:




At my doctor's appointment last week, he mentioned I've gained 17 pounds, and maybe that really isn't great given how much farther I have to go, but I honestly thought it would be closer to 50, and I keep asking myself where the heck the rest of it going to go. So, needless to say, I was happy. Baby is good, so we're good.

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Favorite Room in the House.



Our formal living room. The light that comes in from that bay window is infectious, especially during this time of  year. The picture is a little dark, but our house is one that soaks up the sun and passes it along to me via the big open windows, which is why I love it so. I spend most of my free time in that bare little room, often laying in the rays and just listening to my children talk about the funny stuff that comes out of their mouths.

I have big plans for this room. The bay window had these big fluffy custom curtains, circa 1990 that I had to remove. So, as of now it is bare and I am not sure what to do with it. Some panels on either side? The couch and two chairs I have in there are all different majorly uncoordinating fabrics, so I will be slip-covering something as soon as I find the right one. And a piano! I desperately want a piano in this room, even though I have no idea how to play. Triston shows interest, so he will be my golden ticket to beautiful live piano music in my home, I suppose. And then we'll add a few side tables** and some art on the walls and my perfect room will be complete. Let's make a bet on how long it will take to achieve this.

**I want side tables instead of coffee tables for this reason:


 The big open area is a hot spot for my boys to wrestle and play, which I love to watch them do. Here, they are playing Man vs. Ghost, Jackson playing the ghost, respectively. Jackson is always the creature, Triston is always the man, and Bryce is always the terrorizer. (Their words, not mine)

After taking down the few Christmas decorations that I decided to put up last minute, my family room was bare. Like uncomfortably bare. So I made a few V-Day decorations that spiced it up a bit..just until I find permenant pieces for the fireplace and walls.







Thursday, January 20, 2011

Impending Doom.

I painted my nails bright pink yesterday in an effort to thwart off the forcasted snow. I even put on a bright yellow and white striped maternity tee from the Spring line at Old Navy and paired it with sky blue sweatpants. I doused myself with Black Raspberry Vanilla spray and pretended it was already April.

But I crashed back to reality bright and early this morning when buckets of snow started falling from the sky and school got canceled. It. Is. Still. January. And in defeat, I put my grays back on and am planning on spending the day sulking.

It's a mystery as to why the snow affects me so. It turns my mood inward and all I can think about is impending doom. Of what, I am not sure, but that is the feeling that accompanies the fluff on the ground.

So what is a girl to do?

Well, I haven't figured it out yet. But I am hoping it involves a good book and good baked goods. And children that act perfect all day long. And the good feeling I get when the carpet is vaccumed just right and all the beds are made and all the laundry is put away. Oh! And a husband that brings me home an ice cold coke on his lunch break.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oatmeal at Mickey D's?

One morning in the midst of our 12th move in 8 years, I ran to McDonald's to grab breakfast, for just the night before I had packed up the entirety of our kitchen, not leaving even a single spoon.

While ordering the breakfast usuals, bacon-egg-cheese muffin for myself and Mcgriddles for everyone else, my eyes landed upon the word oatmeal within the contents of the menu.

"Oatmeal"? I thought to myself. "I love oatmeal". And the picture was right before me so I knew it was true. So I ordered it, too.

And it is seriously delicious. It consists of apples and golden raisins swimming in a sea of rolled oats with (or without) brown sugar to sweeten it up. And you know I went with the brown sugar. But, its completely optional.

Now.

This morning, I am eagerly waiting on a plumber to come rescue my 2nd bathroom woes of the toilet not flushing properly. We have 3 bathrooms, so it's not a dire situation, per se, but the boys have been using our bathroom for a week and sometimes they forget to flush. Which makes it kind of dire. Boys are gross, you remember.

I woke up thinking about the commercial I had seen the night before advertising McDonald's new oatmeal, but of course, I am not missing the plumber. So, I made my own. It was good.

I use Quick-Cook Steel Cut Oats, which I prefer unless we are making chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, then I am over the moon with the rolled kind.

I topped it off with half of a finely chopped apple and some raisins, along with just a dusting of brown sugar and it totally hit the spot.

In other news, I also ate a bad blueberry this morning. Who knew blueberries could make one gag? It was was G. R. O. S. S.

And in more other news, I completely fell out of my chair and landed on my face struggling with the remote control. I only wanted to see the Today Show, what the hell happened? It's a mystery. One that I'm pretty sure has to do with my gestational situation.

Have a happy day...and as Bert would surely say, "Don't forget the oatmeal".

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Real Hot Chocolate.


My motherly obligation has been fulfilled. We went outside today in this "feels like 5 degrees" weather and played until their little hearts were content, which was about 9 minutes. Jackson even sat on the patio and cried, which I totally understood, because I, too, hate the snow and cold.

We made snow angels and tried to make a snowman, had a snowball fight and a few races around the house (which I won, by the way). And I took a few pictures to stash away as proof that I do things I don't want to do, too. 

The best part came at the end: Hot Chocolate. I am fancy and use a CocoMotion, but this recipe works just as well on the stove with a whisk. And just so you know, once you make this hot chocolate, Swiss Miss will never do the trick again.

4 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
shake of salt

Place all ingredients in medium sauce pan and start whisking over medium heat. The cocoa powder can be tricky because it will clump a little, but if you take the time to really whisk it while its on the stove, it will blend in nice and smooth. Once it is of desired hotness, you can pour it in a mug and drink it up.


Enjoy!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Simplification.

I am looking for ways to make our lives simpler. The first is to eliminate Wal-Mart. We always have quite the experience in that store, but after my Jackson stepped in someone's puke outside our car door and then trampled into our car before anybody realized what had happened, I snapped. And I may have said a few curse words and maybe even cursed Sam Walton, himself.

The point is: it is never a simple trip to Wal-Mart and so I am boycotting. With a little time and effort I think I can stay on our current budget by shopping elsewhere. Besides, I have a theory that sick people who might possibly throw-up in a parking lot usually stay home unless they are one of the characters I see frequenting that place.

Know what I mean?


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Completely Selfish 2010 Top 10.

We have had an amazing year with lots of ups and only a few downs that I can think of. If I were writing my family's top 10, it would look much different...things like buying our first home, Travis' running for office and winning, coaching and playing on numerous sports teams this year, Triston's good grades in school, Bryce learning how to ride his bike over the summer, Jackson starting to read, finding out another boy is on his way,  ect. but this is my top 10. The things that I loved and relished in by. my. self. (and that is important, here), things that kept me sane, things that made my day a little brighter (besides my kids and husband). And they're in no particular order...

1. Girls weekend in Indy sans kids.
2. Living 5 minutes from Target for 5 months.
3. Bath and Body Works Lemon Vanilla Lotion.
4. Belly Band by Bella Maternity.
5. Zesta Saltines, Subway, and Coke (my prego must-haves).
6. Date Weekend in Terre Haute sans kids (also when our niece was born, so double whammy).
7. Cooking Light Magazine.
8. Getting back into Grey's Anatomy and catching up on past seasons.
9. Mid-night showing of Eclipse, and then seeing it 2 more times in the theater and then buying the DVD. And Edward Cullen's face. (By the way, where is the calendar I asked for for Christmas?!)
10. Zumba, and pretending I am a Brazilian hottie.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Black Bean Soup

I have been waiting weeks to make this. I don't know why it hasn't materialized other than the fact Travis thinks it sounds gross, so the one day I had time to make it he whisked us all out the door for Mexican. And I had a Chicken Fajita Taco Salad, which is just about the best food invention ever to come out of Mexico, and it trumps this soup any day of the week, so I wasn't sad.

I can assure you, though, the soup is not gross. Travis knows that, he has eaten it countless times. And it doesn't take a long time to make, either, I just have had some busy-ness going on lately and our dinners have maybe consisted of such novelties as frozen chicken pot pies and the like.

I know. But there is something about the winter that makes me buy those little .50 cent pies. And I confirmed with a friend--she buys them in the winter, too, so it is not just me.

I wanted to make the soup and post a picture, but since I haven't made it yet, and you should, here is the recipe that I received indirectly from Christy Astorga through a church compiled cookbook, so these are her directions, which I think suit the soup just fine:

1 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium stalk celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1/4 t. pepper
3 14 oz. cans of chicken broth
4 15 oz. cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can of corn, drained
1 16 oz. jar of mild salsa

Saute onion, carrots, and garlic in oil for 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, and pepper -  cook 1 minute more. Stir in broth, 2 cans of black beans, and the corn. Heat to boil. Put other 2 cans of black beans and salsa in a food processor or blender until smooth and then add rest of ingredients. Simmer 15 minutes. Serves 6.

Back to me. I like a chunkier soup so I don't process my salsa and black beans completely smooth and I always add a little kick - cayenne or crushed red pepper to the veggies as they are saute-ing. As for garnish, we top our soup with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream. Oh, and you can sub the chicken broth for vegetable broth if vegetarianism is your thing. It's good either way.

Now...

I will be gone for an undisclosed amount of time. My Christmas present came a little early and I will be moving all my earthly belongings into our new house starting tonight. Let's see...this makes move number 13 in 8 years. But, this move is permanent since it seems we are signing pretty much everything but the kitchen sink (and maybe that, too) in the bazillion forms that are necessary, so I am calling move number 13 the *lucky move number 13. I was born on the 13th after all, on a Friday no less. (That last one might not be true).

And if you want to know something that is even WEIRDer, we moved from Brown County back to Evansville exactly one year to the day: Decemeber 18. It's a pretty rad story full of modern-day miracles and amazing blessings if you ask me. I will write it for you sometime because stories like that should be shared, right?

So the next time I write on this little pet blog of mine, I will be sitting next to a roaring fire in OUR fireplace looking out OUR window into OUR backyard contemplating the Spring and what we are going to plant in OUR already dedicated raised beds, among other some such things that go along with owning a home.

Merry CHRISTmas!




Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Epic Fail


 a warmer day than today

Today is one of those days. An Epic Fail kind of day, as I like to call it. Let's start from the beginning.

I woke up this morning with high hopes of cleaning the bathrooms and getting all the laundry done, but I toiled around the house and really I am not sure where the time went. At exactly 11:17 a.m. I finally got around to putting the first load of laundry in, but when you live with 4 (almost 5!) dirty guys the laundry ends up being a massive pile the size of a small mountain. So the two loads I actually got done today didn't even dent the pile. Oh, and the bathrooms are still dirty.

Then, I intended to march in to CVS and demand a refund on these DVD+R's that I was told by an employee that I had to use when downloading from my camcorder. Turns out he was wrong and I was left with an $18.00 opened package of CDs that I will never use from a store that I am pretty sure doesn't do refunds. But, after taking Triston to school and I felt how cold it was outside, I came up with every excuse not to go.

Also, you should know that I forgot to feed my kids lunch today! In my defense, I wasn't paying attention to the time, so I gave them a late snack and they forgot about lunch time, too. But, still...this counts as an Epic Fail, too, right?

I realized that I hadn't done much around nap time, but Jackson was being incessant that he wasn't going to take a nap. I laid down with him for just a couple of seconds, but when I got back up, it was magically 1 hour and 15 minutes later. Almost time to pick up Triston, so no time to do anything I would have done while they were sleeping.

I let the kids talk me in to getting them McDonald's for dinner. But I really wanted to make Black Bean Soup, which is really good and healthy, and I could use a new recipe to post on here too, right?

Finally, I planned on wrapping all my Christmas presents tonight after the kids went to bed, but instead I zoned out on facebook and now I am too tired.

Here is what I did do...2 loads of laundry, I cleaned the kitchen (because I did make breakfast!), read books and played with the kids and let them watch way to much tv, took a shower and even shaved my legs, gave myself a mani/pedi, did some on-line browsing, day-dreamed about living in Florida again and made some tenative vacation plans, helped Triston with homework and got him to his Christmas play on time, watched his Christmas play while entertaining two jitterbugs and then even stood in line with those jitterbugs at the over- crowded book fair, now..I am blogging and next, finishing up Season 6 of Grey's Anatomy on Netflix Instant Play.

It is safe to say that this day was a total failure, even though re-living it just wiped me out. Tomorrow is the day. A brand new day and  I will get the laundry done, the bathrooms cleaned, the floors mopped thanks to a cup of spilled apple juice before bed, the DVD+R's taken back and those Christmas presents wrapped.

We hope, anyway.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Results Are In.

30 % of you voted boy.

70 % voted girl. 

Majority vote lost, and I am happy to report for the first time for four pregnancies, I was right!


My Mom and I did a little shopping to celebrate and we discussed important matters, like baby names and the proper way to pronounce our new Speaker of the House: John Boehner. I bet it was rough growing up with a name like that.


And if you're wondering: A girl would have been great, but I secretly wanted another boy. It's just easy...in a hard sort of way. Mommies of little boys will know what I mean. :)

PS: We are positive it's a boy...there was no mistaking it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Number 3 is 3.



Little Brycers is 3. Wowza. For his birthday, I told him the story of when he was born.
It was on November 30, 2007. I was scheduled for an induction at the ghetto hospital in Jacksonville that I can't even remember the name of now, but it was off Beach Blvd. and we lived off of San Jose Ave. and I remember thinking that it was a tad too far for my comfort if #3 decided to come by himself in mid-day traffic.

Luckily, that didn't happen. But he did throw me into labor on the scheduled day before I got to the hospital, which forced me to throw all my plans to the wind. I, being the seasoned laborer, remembered the horrific pictures of myself after my babies had been born. This time, I allotted a little time for me to take a shower, curl my hair (even though it was going to be up, at least my ponytail would be bouncy and cute), and maybe even dab on a little concealer and blush. But when I got in the shower, the contractions had me doubled over and were coming quick. I needed to get to the hospital before the window of epidural time closed. Know what I mean?

So I roused Travis by yelling at him and we flew out the door. There were more stop lights than I remembered and I demanded Travis start driving through the red ones. There was very little traffic at 5 in the morning, but he argued with me anyway. I wasn't amused.

We got to the hospital and I started throwing up. The poor nurse who was trying to get me to sign the papers looked kind of stunned when I looked at her blankly and said, "Where's the epidural release form? That's the only one I want to sign right now."

But I got it and everything was smooth sailing from there. 45 minutes later I started pushing and just after the 4th one, out popped a little black haired gem.


But all that black hair fell out and just a few months later he was a blondie, which should have been my first clue he would become a stinker just like his little blonde brothers. The kids do not have my genes.



And now he is 3 years old and is in love with Scooby-Doo. He thinks he is Spider-Man most of the time. He is picky and sneaky and completely adorable. He sometimes pees in his pants just a little and then tells me it is "Okay because it will dry," like it's no big deal. He loves riding his bike and being outside and will usually take a nap and eat his green beans without a fight because he says "it's good for me". He will run away from me if given the opportunity every. single. time. so he has to wear a monkey leash to town and it is the funniest thing you'll ever see...or he'll sit on the floor and refuse to move, then it's the worst thing you'll ever see. You never know which one is coming at any given time.


Happy Birthday little Brycers.  



Monday, November 29, 2010

To Card or Not to Card...

Everyone loves Christmas cards and I am no exception.

But, this year? Wasn't into it.

Again, we find ourselves moving (permanently!) during December; a reason in itself to not decorate and get all stressed out with...everything that goes along with it.

But, since I did that last year and it was no fun for anyone, I've decided to have some kind of serenity in my home this year. So, I bought a table top tree and mini decorations to stand in place of our 6 footer and I am making an awesome advent calendar for the kiddos (and the grown-ups) as a reminder of what the season is all about.

The rest of it? Staying in storage. (okay, I got a few things out) And even though I have little pin-pricks of jealousy when I drive past my neighbor's beautifully lit home with their ginormous picture window that allows me to see the decorations inside, too. I am okay with it.

And the cards? It was the one thing I could let go of this year without thinking about it over and over and over. Plus, it was one more thing I didn't have to do.

But, one night, I was bored and found myself blog hopping on stranger blogs I had no business looking at. One of the blogs talked about Shutterfly Holiday Cards and they had me hook, line, and sinker.

I followed the link and found myself ahh-ing and oooh-ing over all of Shutterfly's amazing holiday card collection. And then I knew. I am okay giving up my big tree, Christmas lights, and little decorations here and there, but after seeing all those cards, there was no way I was letting the card thing go this year.

Some of my favs?



 

There are just so many to choose from and my boys' sweet little faces would look perfect on one of these cards.You can find your favorites, here.

And, they have fun gift ideas, like calendars that you can design yourself using all your favorite photos. A perfect gift for Grandma and Grandpa, no?

The best part? Shutterfly is giving away 50 free photo cards just for blogging about how awesome they are. You can get the all the deets for yourself, here.

Happy Carding...

PS...Find anything odd in the above Christmas cards? Something most parents wouldn't do?!

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