Sunday, July 17, 2011

So We Went Camping....Next Time Can I Get A Hotel? Please??

So we all went camping this past weekend, all 7 of us.  Wow, for 2 nights I never thought I'd need to pack so much stuff for my little family of three.  Plus I was also surprised at how much it cost for our little camping excursion. 

Pros of Camping:

Lots of Fresh Air
No TV's, Computers, Video Games, etc.
Good 'Ole Fashion Fun
Eating "camping" food

Cons of Camping:

Oh, and Bugs
Dirty Laundry that never ends when you get home
Oh yeah and Bears too, yay

The bugs didn't care if we had a fire going or bug sprayed ourselves every 5 minutes, I swear they ate through our tents and screen houses because they are that determined to suck our blood....them and the leaches...but we only had one of those. 

We didn't actually see the bear, but the park ranger came by and said they saw the bear back at the office and warned everyone to take extra care of their food so we didn't attract the bears.  One might ask, "what do you do if you see a bear"?  The general consensus of the group was to make a lot of noise and scare the bear.  Milly was my secret weapon she makes a great bear sound that I'm sure would scare any bear off....unless said bear was peer pressured from the darn bugs to come and get us. 

Right now I've been home for 9 hours and I'm exhausted and dreading work tomorrow, but very much looking forward to sleeping in my bed tonight.  I'm in need of at least 12 months to recoup from the camping...maybe more.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Breakfast Anyone?

Like any morning, I wake up like a bear coming out of hibernation. I am starving, and! I would like to blame the fact I am nursing my 10 month old, but really, I just love food. I digress.

I decided I would be fancy and make myself a egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. I started toasting the english muffin and fried the egg. Inbetwen that, I balanced getting orange juice, yogurt and vitamins to Tall Boy, and tried to entertain the baby who likes to try to scale my legs like I am some sort of climbing apparatus. Meanwhile the dogs are tap dancing at my feet, hoping for something to fall onto the floor for them to eat, because you know, we never feed them. Apparently.

Keep in mind our kitchen isn't really that big to accommodate all that, so I am always shuffle-walking to minimize any crushing I may do to all the bodies that make it their job to be up my butt.

Finally my food is done cooking. I spread butter on the english muffins, place cheese on one half of it and flip the fried egg ontop of that. I start to turn and put the rest of the ingredients back in the fridge, when out of the corner of my eye I saw something black.

I sort of did a double take, like "Whuck? Something black? Eggs should not have anything black."

I look closer. Then I saw it. 4 little legs sticking out of the eggy goodness. Legs?? Now there DEFINITELY should not be any legs involved.

Yup. There was a tiny dead spider sticking out of the fried egg. My first thought was, "Are you kidding me?!"

Followed by the feelings of vomiting at any moment.

So I woke up thinking it was a good egg sandwich day, but really it was a cereal type morning.

The kicker is, where did sir Eggy Spider come from? Was he already in the pan and I just drowned him in egg? Or was he waiting on the ceiliing, readying himself to attack my face. Either way, he met his demise. And now I am a little scared to make breakfast in the morning.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Teenage Babysitter

I don't know how parents of more than one child find babysitters.  Being the parent of an only child is sometimes hard enough to find adequate sitters.  My #1 sitter for the past few years is a teenage family member.  She does a good job of making sure my little man is fed, out of harm and occupied when she's in charge of him.  But that's it. 

I don't know if it's the times now or what, but when I was a babysitter I had a bag of things with me to do with the kids, we went outside to play, I made food, picked up the house (espcially any messes made when I was on duty), took care of the dogs, gave baths to the kids, put them to bed, etc.

Oh, I would also know in advance whether or not I was free to babysit.

In the past week I've tried to arrange babysitting for a few things:

1.  We have an 80's themed 30th Birthday Party for my Sister In Law & Brother In Law in July.  When we first got the invite the party was 2 months away.  Every week since then I've been asking "the teenager" if she can babysit for the 2-3 hours we'll be going to the party.  Which is now 2 weeks away.  And her answer is still "I don't know if I will have plans with my friends that day yet.  Ask me when it's closer".  This translates to, "Ask me that day and if I don't have anything else better to do I'll come over and babysit otherwise you'll have to beg find someone else in a few hours or not go".

2.  I needed a sitter for a few days this week while we had some changes in our schedules for work.  I had the option of sending my little man to pre-K for the week but they were closing for vacation the following week and "the teenager" was off from school so she said she would help out for a few days (Monday & Tuesday, the days of the week least likely for her to have other "plans").  So, I changed my schedule at work, found other plans for my little man on the other days (because I wouldn't want to over do it, and have her babysit for a whole week, that would just be crazy) and we were all set to go. 

So I thought.

Sunday afternoon came and I checked in with "the teenager" just to remind her of the hours for Monday & Tuesday, and what did I find out?  What?  She can't do Tuesday now?  And has known for a week that she wouldn't be able to do Tuesday but just decided it wasn't that important to tell me, cause you know "her friend can watch him instead". 

Great, just what I want, another random teenager that hasn't baby sat for me before to come to my house and babysit all day.  Not happening.

So she just babysat on Monday.  I left her a huge list of things to do during the day, how long he should be allowed to watch TV & play video games.  I even made both of them lunch before leaving for work.

So at the end of the day I come home to find out my little man has watched 2 movies (Tangled & Finding Nemo), played way too many hours of video games.  Didn't eat breakfast.   Didn't do any of the other multiple things I put out for them to do during the day (crafts, coloring, flash cards, work books, play doh).  Oh, and the house was messy, the dog aparrently thought it was a good idea to eat the stuffing out of a chair and she thought it was aparrently a good idea to let it happen, and not pick up the stuffing that was now all over the floors.

I guess I should just be happy that she did babysit, and he was fed (lunch) and kept out of harms way. 


Monday, June 27, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Milly's Meal Plan:

Monday: Steak tips, rice pilaf, asparagus
Tuesday: Chicken and Black Bean burritos
Wednesday: Baked Ziti with salad
Thursday: Soup with biscuits
Friday: Pizza night with family

Jessie's Meal Plan:

Monday:  Pizza & Salad
Tuesday:  Pork Chops, Rice & Zucchini
Wednesday:  Bean & Rice Burritos w/ Sweet Potato Fries
Thursday:  Soup, Bread & Salad
Friday:  Tortellini w/feta, tomatoes, black beans

Over the weekend we ate the BEST pizza I've ever had.  It was Chicken Cordon Blue pizza.  I've had cordon blue pizza before but it had mushrooms on it (which I don't particularly care for) and was OK.  But Milly introduced me to this guilty pleasure.  It had chicken nuggets on it, Alfredo sauce and ham that tasted like bacon!  Wow, it was amazing.  Of course this was after the great Minecraft party she threw for Tall Boy the cake and cupcakes were AMAZING and tasted sooo good. 

For more great menu ideas check out I'm an Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday Page!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Minecraft Cake and Cupcakes

I have been having so much fun doing the Minecraft theme birthday for Tall Boy! Yesterday we made the cake and cupcakes, and I have to say they turned out even better than expected! I started baking the two cakes and two batches of cupcakes yesterday at 9 am, and finished at 4 pm. My oven certainly got a workout! Decorating started at 5:30 after my sister-in-law, and mother-in-law got here to help. We were finally finished at 11:30 pm, we were all so tired, but had SO much fun in the process. Here is our work:

 Getting ready to decorate! The white stuff is homemade buttercream frosting oh, even yesser!

 "Coal" cake

Here are the animal cupcakes with the cake

 Pigs and Chickens!

Sheep and Cows!

Octopus in the water

 Overview of the whole cake

Close up with the coal pieces and the blue pick and axe

Lava over a castle

Shovel and tool chest

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How-To: Make Your Own Pinata

Trying to plan for Tall Boy's 4th birthday has made me realize how expensive everything is these days. I really don't like feeling as if I need to take out a mortgage just so my kid can have a great party. So, one of the things I did for his Minecraft-themed birthday party, was to make our own pinata. I had no idea what I was doing, but I had a whole lot of fun making it! Here's what I did!

Step 1) Found a box that was the size and shape of what I was looking for. I was lucky in that the Creeper I was making is just a rectangle. Then I spray-painted the box so it was a uniform color and so the wording and pictures didn't show through.
Step 2) Get rolls of crepe paper at the store, and the take measurements around the box so you know what lengths you will need. Then cut strips of the crepe paper the lengths you need. I would cut several to length, the stack on top of each other, the cut slits every half inch or so through half the crepe paper.
Step 3) Glue the strips of crepe paper onto the box, starting at the top and bottom, so that the loose ends will be covered by the rest of the crepe paper when you glue the rest of the paper onto the box. Kind of like shingling a house, you want to layer over the bottom pieces, so start at the bottom of the box.

Step 4) Once the crepe paper is covering the entire box, I glued the face of the creeper on. You can still see the glue drying, but you get the idea.

Step 5) When the glue is dry, turn the box upside down and cut a 3x3 inch hole on the bottom of the box. Only cut three sides, so that it hinges. I just used a serrated steak knife for that. Then I glued some crepe paper around the edges of the cut of the trap door, so that it looked finished.

Step 6) Poke a hole through the middle of the trap door, and take a ribbon and pass it through. Tie a knot at the end of the ribbon large enough so that one end cannot go through the hole. I used green for the "real ribbon" and then glued the "fake ribbons" around it. Tall Boy will get the green ribbon, of course!

Step 7) Wait for the glue to dry and then add the candy! Push the trap door closed, it should close very well with the added crepe paper around the edges of the trap door. Voila, done!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hole In The Wall

So yesterday I came home from work and ran around like my crazy self to pickup, cook dinner, do a load of laundry blah blah blah.  Then on one of the trips back from the laundry to check on dinner I stopped dead in the middle of the hallway and said WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?!

So my husband said maybe something fell off the wall and made this horribleness.  How can no one know what happened? What happened to the paint and sheet rock?  Did anyone pick it up?  It drives me crazy that there weren't any answers to my questions.

But wait, the super sleuth that I am have found the answer to at least one of my questions.  It was the dog.  Yep, later at night as I'm settling down to watch the Bachelorette and trying to figure out the best way to fix the wall what do my wondering eyes should appear?  But a dog gnawing at the wall!  What the heck would possess the dog to do such a thing?  Did my son smear his pb&j sandwich in this spot or something? 

So I grabbed my bitter spray that is supposed to stop the dog from chewing things...but so far in my experience all it does is make my mouth taste like I've been chewing on the wall since it gets in the air and and on my taste buds without my consent (or chewing the wall).

Wish me luck this weekend as I attempt to fix this mess.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Menu Plan Monday


For more great menu idea's don't forget to visit Organizing Junkie's website! 

Jessie's Menu:

Monday:  Hamburgers and Sweet Potato Fries
Tuesday:  Tuna Casserole
Wednesday:  Meatless Tacos (with beans instead)
Thursday:  Meatball Subs
Friday:  Pizza Night w/Greek Salad

Milly's Menu:

Monday: Homemade Mac and Cheese, Ham, and Brocolli
Tuesday: Black Bean and Quinoa Tortillas
Wednesday: Turkey Burgers with veggies for sides
Thursday: Make your pizzas (pita bread for the dough, then add your own toppings)
Friday: Tall Boy wants to go out for his Birthday

Little Purple Zombies

On Saturday we had Milly and the gang over, we splurged and had yummy steak on the grill and corn on the cob (the corn wasn't the splurge).  We were outside on the deck while my husband was grilling when the wind picked up and we thought Toto was going to be swept away and a mean ugly old lady was going to ride by on a bicycle so we headed inside...just in time it seemed because the sky opened up and we had a crazy thunderstorm with bonus hail just moments later.  The food was so good that when it was all gone we ate the food the kids didn't eat from their plates too (kind of like when we ate goldfish and ketchup another time but this was way better).    After the storm our boys were outside playing with sidewalk chalk and having a grand ole time together.  The next day was Fathers Day and my little guy gave Daddy a frame with a picture in it and some scratch tickets (I also gave him some new RAM for his computer that he absolutely had to have).  We also went out to visit the Grandparents which was stressful fun as always, when we returned home and pulled up to the house we were like OMG.  There were little purple hand prints and smears all over my big front window, purple foot prints all on the sidewalk and purple hand prints, foot prints and smears all over the siding.  Some mom's might get upset over this but I found it very funny. It looked like a zombie aftermath.  I really wish I had taken a picture before hosing the zombie scene off.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Plead the Poopth

When you become parents, discussing your child's bathroom habits is a just another dinner conversation, kind of like discussing the weather. I'm sure no one ever imagines having to concoct the best washing routine to clean out messy underwear, or begging your child to go poo on the potty out in a scary public bathroom (hey, even us adults don't want to use them!)

But what is it about having poop emergencies when you need to be somewhere on time. Every single time I need to get Tall Boy to his speech appointments on Tuesdays, it's just a given that both kids will have to be changed in some form or fashion while we are walking out the door.

I thought we were alone in this venture, but then I discovered at Ladies Night last week, it's just how the universe functions in mommy land! Meanwhile, how do we always end up discussing our kids when we are out at ladies night, anyway? Anyway, I digress!

Tuesday's rituals are so predictable now, that I always grab two changes of clothes when getting out the clothes for the day. And I have to do a mock leaving the house, 10 minutes ahead of schedule, just to prepare for the poopageddon.

But why, oh why, small children of mine, is it like pulling teeth to get you to go at home. It's like I am asking you to solve complex math equations. It turns you into a melting down mess, sprawled out on the floor, and I can almost always guarantee that I will have poop on my clothes at some point. (Note to self: make sure I have a change of clothes too!)

Pull up's may be counter productive, but they sure have saved me from losing my schmidt a number of times. So parents, to you I say, down with underpants! If it helps save your mind from going on a long term vacation to crazy land, go for it! And I will leave you with this lovely little tid-bit that sums up my everyday:  "I am doing laundry. Nothing says 'I love you' like clean underwear." 


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Those Dogs are Wild Things

So today started at 4am when I heard my dogs making mischief of one kind and another.  Of course I'm the ONLY one that can hear the ruckus.  Surprise Surprise right? 

So I stagger half asleep into the kitchen to see that the dogs have gotten stuff off my counters, they are chowing down on a brand new bag of tortilla chips, there's a DS game on the floor next to it, and also I had a pile of hinges and screws that are now scattered gosh knows where.  So I pickup the messes tell they dogs there were naughty and head back to bed...stepping in pee on my way there.   Five minutes later that mess is picked up and I'm finally going to get another 30 minutes of sleep before my alarm goes off.

Ten minutes later the ruckus starts up again.  And again I'm the only one that hears it.  Even though at this point I'm not so quiet about getting up to make sure the dogs aren't eating any furniture or my purse.  But I don't even see my husband stirr...he's definitely fake sleeping damn him.  Well my furniture and purse are safe but they did get a throw pillow and it's fluffy contents made the floor look like it had five inches of snow inside the house.  This time after I picked up the mess I just took my shower and got ready for work.

Needless to say I was a little sleep deprived this morning, I didn't go to sleep until 1am yesterday and then the dogs at 4am wasn't part of the plan.  So I threw on my make up before heading out to work thinking I did a good job making myself look like I had a restful nights sleep (ha!).

Two hours into the workday I visit the ladies room and as I'm washing my hands I look at myself in the mirror and to my horror I see that my eye shadow powder had landed UNDER my eyes too and since it was a dark purple color made me look like I had two black eyes!  So I start frantically pulling out paper towels and wiping under my eyes until they are red...great now I look like I've got black eyes, been crying AND didn't get any sleep.  Fabulous.


I Used To Sleep

Once upon a time, in a very magical place, filled with unicorns and rainbows, there was a thing called sleep. I used to go there, everynight, and have some glorious rejuvinating sleep. Sleep that I took for granted. You know how everyone warns you that you should get extra sleep while you are still pregnant with your first (sleep during your 3rd trimester - tell that to my bladder! Ha!) because soon you won't be able to sleep? Yeah, well, what I didn't realize is that they meant you wouldn't sleep for like, the rest of your life, apparently.

Tall Boy slept ok as a baby, if you don't count the first three months filled with colicy-good times. I mean, who doesn't love a screaming baby for 5 hours straight every.single.night. By the time he was 2, he was finally sleeping through the night reliably. Then this magical thing happens, and next thing you know, you are pregnant.

Peanut has been a pretty good sleeper, when he actually sleeps. I'm not sure how he does it, but this child apparently has an agenda filled with super important stuff like pooping twenty times a day, and being attached to my boob all day (and night).

By the time it's 8pm, I am nursing him to sleep in a dark hole away from all noise, hoping and praying hubby will get Tall Boy into bed. My thoughts go a little something like this: "Please, for the love of chocolate, please notice it's bed time so I don't have to talk up the stairs and wake the child of no sleep. What is that noise? Don't make any noise, nooooo, for the love of... gaaaah!!!" Ah, time to start the process all over again. Who doesn't love that.

And every night I say I will go to bed early, I need to go to bed early, I am so tired. Know what time I go to bed every night? Midnight. Know what time Peanut wakes up? 1 am. Sometimes 3 am, for good measure. Then up at the butt crack of dawn at 6 am at the latest. At this point, there is not enough concealer in the world to hide my dark circles under my eyes. And I am left drooling on myself from lack of sleep. I do not have any idea how working mommies do all that, and go work. If I had to work, I have no idea how I would do it. Kudos to all those mommies - I'm looking at you, Jessie!

Now if Tall Boy wakes up, from the train going by, or needing to pee, or insert-reason-here. I am just a mess. I can't talk right, forget about thinking critically. I am lucky if I can remember to pull  my pants down before I pee.

So, I am pretty much accustomed to the fact that I will never go back to the land of unicorns and rainbows. But if I do get there, maybe it will be filled with Double Rainbows. Because it would be just that rare.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

To help stop throwing money down the drain save money, one of the simplest things to do is to plan out your weekly menus. 

Jessie's Weekly Menu:

This week I didn't use any coupons while shopping (I don't know about you, but I can get burned out after a few weeks of using coupon matchups) so I just have a basic menu that usually works without coupons to save money:

Monday:  Chicken Thighs w/rice & Salad (inspired by Milly :)
Tuesday:  Tortellini w/black beans, canned tomato, feta and pesto sauce
Wednesday:  Sloppy Joes w/fries and corn on the cob
Thursday:  Soup Night w/bread and salad
Friday: Pizza Night w/salad (with the $2 dough at the grocery store)

Milly's Weekly Menu:

I am using a coupon match-up with some items to help with the fact that we are beyond broke right now. We shop for produce at our local farmers markets, which is full of win because we support local agriculture, as well as pay less for better food. See? Winning!

Monday: Chicken alfredo with brocolli
Tuesday: Baked beans with hotdogs and brown bread, salad
Wednesday: Pasta and meat sauce with green beans
Thursday: Pizza with Salad
Friday: Red beans and rice tortillas, with tomatos and lettuce

For more great menu ideas check out I'm An Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekends are like Black Holes

Weekends are great in that we are all together, but HELLO! We are all together, which means our normal schedules fly out of the window, and there are errands to run, so we spend less normal time home. Friday evening starts out all fine and dandy. Everyone is as excited as a school girl to get out of the motherfurking house and do something fun.

I love my family, but they are messy, messy people. Messy people who apparently wear blinders to all of clutteryness. But to me, it's like all the clutter is a blast from the totally terrific 80's; all glowing in it's awesome neon colors and big hair.

We usually have pizza night with the in-laws, and the kids get super excited about it. To Tall Boy, my oldest son, this translates into, "Let's ask Mommy 9 million times when we are going out for pizza night?" so that she almost loses her schmidt. By the time Daddy walks in from work, I practically throw the kids at him and run to get changed (read that: take my sweet time to put on some non-frumpy clothes).

Saturday goes by in a blur. It's like the golden day of the week, and it's almost elusive in nature. It always seems to have the least amount of hours in the day. When you wake up, you are going "Yaaaay! It's Saturday!! I am so excited to have time off!" And just as you put a period on the end of that sentence, it's Saturday at 11 pm and you are just standing there going, "Whuck? What just happened? Where did my Saturday go?" It's kind of like when you get your tax return and then it's gone in a month and a half. You had that momentary period of time where you are like "Sweet, I am totally rich!" And then, just like that, not so much.

Sunday is the "Holy poop, we forgot to do these 900 things and tomorrow is Monday, and holy what, we have no food, clean clothes, and oh yeah I still have to make dinner and pack lunches, gaaaaahhh!!" And like that, it's over. You are just left standing there in the kitchen, food all over the place, boob stains on your shirt, baby vomit and snot in your hair and a mound of dishes in the sink. And then the week starts all over again. No wonder Mondays are my cleaning day. Someone has to clean up after the black hole that is the weekend.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Microfiber is my Darth Vader

I like things clean, organized and unsticky.  I like lines in my carpet after vacuuming.  Having a husband, child and dogs has made this OCD part of my personality working overtime.  Like I have nothing else to do in my time but clean up flexi straws, dirty laundry and pee all the time. 

I have one thing to clean that I have come to despise.  I give it the evil eye daily and close my eyes real tight and take deep breaths when I sit on it.  It's my couch.  My new(ish) microfiber couch.  I thought microfiber was supposed to be "easy to clean" and "kid friendly".  These are lies unless I have the one broken microfiber cloth where something went wrong on the production line and they accidentally put some silk in it which makes it the COMPLETE opposite of "easy to clean" and "kid friendly".

For 3 years now I've tried a lot of ways to clean it.  Steam, alcohol wipes, baby wipes, holy name it I've tried it.

As Milly puts it my worst nightmare is a house made COMPLETELY out of microfiber...I'm getting ticks just thinking about it.

This weekend I broke down and spent $50 I didn't have on a used leather couch from craigslist.  I have finally won against my evil couch and can't wait to see it go.  I will have to control myself so I don't spit on it and kick it as it's hauled out of the house.  My husband may need to hold me back.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Ladies Night

Every once and a while, we are granted access to the magical land known as Ladies Night. It's few and far between, but when it is nearing, I get more excited than a school girl. Not only can I eat (while food is still hot!) without having to cut food into a tiny pieces, herd children back to chairs, rock babies back and forth to keep from getting "the glare" from fellow restaurant go-ers, BUT I can also dress up in something other than schoolmarm clothing covered in snot and drool. I love my children, but please, for the love of everything fancy, I need a break.

We go out, and talk about everything under the sun, and of course, it always ends up that we are talking about our children again. Which gets me to thinking, is my husband going crazy with the kids? I always worry that the house will burn down, or the kids will be stuck in something random. It's not that I don't trust my husband, it's just, he gets distracted by shiny things sometimes. You know how that can be.

That night I didn't bring the cell phone, I may have forgotten it while high tailing it out of the house in lightening speed, while chanting "I'm freeeeeeee!!" So, while I enjoyed myself, I kept worrying about the kids. God love them.

I got home, and the oldest was in bed, but the littlest one, yes, still awake crawling around. The house is a mess, husband hasn't eaten, and the dogs need to go out. There is always crazy when I return home, but I will do it again and again because it really helps me to recharge and not get my "B" on. And Lord knows we all want less of that.

- Milly