Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday stuff

Do not make these unless you are ok with eating an entire 11x13 pan of chocolatey, sugary goodness!
I made these Magic Cookie Bars only because I have decided I need to use some of the stuff I have been stockpiling. I found a random jar of Eagle Brand Condensed Milk leftover from Christmas fudge making, I think, so I decided to do something with it. Wow, have you ever searched their website? It is like an ooey gooey invitation to get fat and love every minute of it. I was overwhelmed.

Anyway, I found this recipe and it was super easy. The problem was, it was super easy to eat these too. I honestly do not know how many I ate. It is scary. Big tall hubby and kids had some too but not very many. I know because I just kept going back for "just one more bite." They are so yummy. Of course, as usual, I had to adapt the recipe. I didn't have coconut so I left that out, I am probably the only person in my house that would eat it anyway. And I didn't have peanuts so I crushed some almonds and sprinkled some coarse sea salt on the top. Big tall hubby said they were like a candy bar. Mmm, I wish I hadn't eaten them all, just one more bite would sure be yummy right now.

Go here for the recipe. Be sure to click around, it is heavenly.

My things to do this week:
  • I hope to make it back to Goodwill to actually shop (I am searching for a small shelf set/bookcase for my basement)
  • I am beginning my (scrapping/crafting) desk clean up/reorg (this one will probably reappear in the next few weeks)
  • I am going to try to get some sleep and hopefully feel better (still fighting this lingering, whatever it is sickness)
  • mail a birthday gift to my mother in law
  • help kids finish their Valentines for school
My menus for this week:
I don't have any big meals planned for this week. Maybe because I still feel icky and sick? Either way, I plan on making a lot of stuff from my freezer (I have tons of stuff in there- soups, sauces, frozen shrimp, dough for pizza, etc.)
I also have a sick child and I anticipate the others will get "it" too. So it will be a fly by the seat of my pants week as far as food goes.

Have a great Monday.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ha! I told them so!

Don't you love it when you can say, "I told you so!"

Well, I like to say it (sometimes) but I definitely don't want anyone to say it to me! ;)

I was singing this song to myself one day and Zoe was all like "Mo-om, that is so not a real song." Oh yeah, wanna bet sister? I dug through my massive CD collection and I pulled out the Bay City's greatest hits. I blasted it and danced like a maniac, how can you not when this song come on? Seriously? She of course looked at me like I was a nut. She might have even rolled her eyes. The boys were jumping and rolling all over the place. I think they liked it.

Then just yesterday, Zoe said, "Mommy (see how much sweeter?!) I want to hear that Saturday night song, it is so fun to dance to." Ha! I told her so!

On the way to the bus today, she was singing it. Yep. I definitely told her so.

Enjoy your Saturday Night!

(sorry for the really bad video quality, I guess 1976 can't compare to our digital age)

Not for the faint hearted

The basement where the kids play:
I am waiting for Peter Walsh to come and do some kind of intervention. I have been trying to get rid of toys slooooooowly but the kids are driving me crazy about it. "Mom, where is that dragon from McDonalds?" Yikes, Goodwill. "Mom, have you seen that bouncy thing we got from Chuck E. Cheese?" Oops, trash. It goes on and on. My kids are majorly attached to every little (and big) toy they have ever received. I swear I want to put one of those bug bombs in the basement and get rid of it all, bug bombs probably don't work on toys unfortunately. I have been kind of putting off getting rid of toys since we have had the house on the market. My reason, well, we will probably have to before loading up the truck and I'll be more apt to purge without regrets. I clean, they clean, and then five minutes later, it looks like this. They have too much, I know it. Something has to be done.

In the mean time...

I spent 45 minutes picking all this crap up because we are supposed to have a showing Saturday. I have decided that people with kids should not have to show their houses to sell them. Surely those properly staged photos on the internet are good enough, right? The rooms in those photos only look that good for five minutes anyway.


Back to work I go.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Where are my manners?

Yikes, Karen over at Stairstep Boys nominated me for the Stylish Blog award and I did not acknowledge her or thank her! Jeez, what would my grandma say about that? She'd probably smack me with a wooden spoon or something, I totally deserve it.

Anyway, thank you so much Karen. We have recently found each other and let me tell you something girlies, this gal, she'll make you think. In a good way. I love her thoughtful posts and reading her bio/profile I knew I'd like her instantly. Give her a click, will ya?

In return, I'd like to nominate Kristin at Bringing Pretty Back. I know lot of you know her (she might have already been nominated) but if you don't, you are in for a treat. The snorting kind. I think I snort out loud when I read her short and sweet posts every time. She is funny and always knows how to remind us to be our pretty selves every day.

So, stylish blogger that I am, I will share seven more things about myself...
1. I am wearing my fleece robe over my clothes right now because I am freezing! We call it "Big Pink" lovingly, of course.
2. I have horrible guilt when I throw out a plastic water bottle so I often bring them home from where ever to put in our recycling bin. Love the earth I say.
3. I love politics and get giddy around election time. (on my mind since last night's state of the union)
4. I can't stand to watch people chew gum. Grosses me out.
5. I have taught my kids to say "grody" and "gag me" I am single handedly bringing valley girl speak back!
6. My happy places on earth include the library, Hobby Lobby, the beach and antique flea markets.
7. I wish I could live in Vermont (minus the cold weather) and wear L.L.Bean and go kayaking, live that whole lifestyle for a while.

watchin' my weight Wednesday

Still sick, grr, now the annoying cough... I really hate that nurse who gave me the flu shot, almost as much as I hate myself for not standing up to her!!! So I probably am not the best person to talk about healthy living right now, but oh well...

Music To My Ears
I finally got one of these:
I have resisted for years. I have had the same MP3 player since Zoe was born. I actually love it. My big tall hubby could not believe that I didn't want an IPod (he is an I-Phone and Mac addict) and I just kept telling him "I don't want one!" I am like that for just about everything. I always feel like if "it ain't broke, don't fix it" or get a new one. Drives big tall hubby crazy.

Look at my cute little guy who has been there through all the baby weights- gains and losses, a slew of races, lots of walks in my neighborhood, massive cleaning sessions, and those times when I just want no one to talk to me: I call him: old blue.
Yes, the headphones are HUGE, but I love them. I pretend I am a DJ when I have them on. Just kidding! I hate those ear bud things. So annoying. Yes, it only holds about 50 songs and yes it is clearly outdated. Yes, it has a CD ( a teeny one but a CD nonetheless) see...
But let me tell you, those guys (and girls) at Sony know music. That little guy rocks out. I have been blasting my eardrums out almost every day for 8 years (don't tell my kids, I yell at them all the time "to turn it down already!) and the sound quality makes my really expensive IPod sound like a transistor radio in a tin can. No kidding. I love adjusting the bass and treble for songs and those big headphones pack a mighty thump! You know what else old blue has that the IPod doesn't? A radio! Woo! And it picks up tv channels too, yes I have listened to tv shows while walking my dog. I remember listening to Britney Spears' interview with Matt Lauer a few years ago and just feeling so sorry for her. See what I mean, the MP3 player is so awesome, except that I can can't put any new songs on it anymore. It just kind of quit and we can't figure out how to do it. Normally, I wouldn't complain but I depend on my music to help me through my runs and workouts. I was seriously going insane listening to the same songs over and over (even on shuffle it was making me crazy.) For the past year or so, I have been listening to Bob and Tom in the mornings. I know, I know, they are so obnoxious, but I used to listen to them all the time before kids, and I just crack up at their characters. Honestly, as funny as they are, they don't motivate me to run farther or faster. I have had to explain myself a bunch of times at the Y when I would bust out laughing while lifting weights. Guys get a little annoyed when they think you are laughing at them in the weight room.

So far I am not an IPod convert. I have had numerous problems with mine so far and I have wanted to throw it out the window and run over it with my van on more than one occasion. I am trying to be optimistic. Big tall hubby keeps telling me "it's intuitive, and so easy, you'll get it" then I want to throw him out the window and run over him with the van. I don't obviously. Until I begin to love my new toy I am still listening to Bob and Tom on old blue and IPod-ing it too. I'll get there eventually.

I know from lots of reading that listening to music while exercising does the following:
  • increases motivation
  • increases desire to exercise
  • those who listen to upbeat tunes burn more calories than those who don't (Shape magazine just listed this one again, last month)
  • obviously, makes that treadmill time seem to go by faster
  • makes exercise more fun and enjoyable
  • enables me to avoid the annoying chatty Cathy's at the gym (just kidding, that's my own reason!)
Just wanted to update you on my trainers...
Bob has joined my treadmill trainers. I love him. Look at him, just staring at me as I run and walk myself to fitness. He loves me too, I think. He is way more motivating than Jackie or Jillian to me right now, probably because I think he is so hot. ;)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Movie Recommendations

This is how Parker prefers to watch Scooby Doo (yes, that is his Halloween costume, sometimes it's a skeleton mask instead.) The excitement never ends around here.
This cold weather makes us all want to hibernate, I know, me most of all. I realize I complain about it all the time. We have been watching lots of movies lately since I am really too much of a wuss to venture out in the below zero temps. (Really I just hate getting everyone's coats and hats and gear on... and oh seriously, the annoying part of buckling seat belts around those fat coats- ugh!)

We have rented two really good movies on the DVR (from our cable company). One for kids and one for us grown ups, you know for when the monkeys are finally asleep! And one just for me when big tall hubby had to chaperone a dance.

Kids: We watched "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and it is so funny. Zoe has read all the books and she was really excited to watch this one. Parker and I both enjoyed it, laughing and snorting throughout. Tanner watched too but probably because we had a giant bowl of popcorn. There were a whole bunch of teachable moments in the movie- times where I could say, "we would never do that would we?" and the kids totally understood what I meant. For those of you who are big time language listeners, I think they did say "stupid" once and "dumb" once, and there is a scene where they talk about butts, but it is so funny we just talked about it afterwards. On the whole I thought it was good for my kids (ages 8 & 5). They were talking about it for days.

Grown ups: Big tall hubby and I watched "the American" with George Clooney. This one is strictly for adults. Good story, lovely scenery, and George (if you are a fan) and hot italian women who show their ta tas (my hubby really liked this part- hey, he's regular guy just like the rest of them!). I normally fade out and fall asleep on the couch before grown up movies are done and big tall hubby has to tell me the parts I missed as I wake up for the final scene but this one kept me awake. Maybe it was all that gorgeous Italian landscapes? I will say, as for the nudey girls, I was glad George used REAL women who have REAL bodies (i.e. curves and a little jiggle!) thanks buddy, if I have to look at gratuitious boobs let them be realistic not porno fakes on a size 0 body! The ending is a surprise, at least it was for us.

For the mommy's all alone by themselves: I just watched "Easy A" with Emma Stone (I think is her name) and it was cute. A play on John Hughes 80's movies but with the 2010-ish twists- pod casts, texting, etc. I liked how Olive, title character, was so smart, brave, and caring, things I wish all teenaged girls would be. Plus her parents in the movie were completely hilarious.

So there you have it, just a few of my recommendations for the humdrum winter. These accompanied by a big tub of popcorn and m&m's make the night even better.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday stuff, recipe, and bamboozeled

My things to do this week:
  • get out Valentine decorations
  • take all the lingering Christmas/birthday boxes to our recycling center
  • organize the basement pantry area
  • drop off Goodwill boxes (search for small shelves while I am there)
  • get dog food & browse the antique mall (they are right next door to each other, might as well!)
  • take Tanner to get his picture taken
  • write a few thank you notes
  • clean the house for a Saturday showing, so grumpy about this
It looks like I have a ton to do and I do, I actually have next week's list started. For the first time in over a month, I am not planning a birthday party or holiday gathering so I feel like I have a ton of things to catch up on. I hope I can get it all done.

My menus for the week:
  • spaghetti (kids' request)
  • chili (not sure what kind)
  • sub sandwiches and oven fries
  • after that, not sure, just found out big tall hubby is working late every night this week

Here is a recipe for the cheese tortellini stew I made a couple weeks ago. I made it again because we had company and I love it. It is super easy and yummy, despite my picture. I don't know how those food photogs get them looking so good! (This is a Weight Watchers recipe but no one has to know that!)
Cheese Tortellini Stew
serves 4

3 cups cheese tortellini
4 cups chicken broth
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp. dried sage or rosemary
2 cups coarsley chopped spinach
1 16oz. can of white beans rinsed and drained
4 sundried tomatoes, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook the tortellini according to the directions. Boil broth, sage, garlic and then stir in spinach, beans and tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer until spinach is tender, add tortellini, simmer a bit longer (just a few minutes) and then sprinkle with cheese when serving.

**I add more garlic and tomatoes, just because I love them both.**

I got bamboozeled!
Last week I went to the doctor (will talk about why some other time!) and the nurse there convinced me to get a flu shot. I was trying to avoid it, not because I am afraid of shots or whatever, but I just know every time I get a flu shot I get sick. (I have avoided getting one for the last three years because of this.) I am not kidding. I told the nurse that and she said, "oh no, if you get sick afterwards it is because you already had something." Well, I totally feel like calling her up and ripping her a new one, because now I am sick. Fever, sore throat, chills, snot, the whole thing. I WAS NOT SICK prior to that stinkin' shot. I am so mad!!! No one in my house was sick either, now you tell me, did I get it from the shot or was I already sick? I had better get well soon because big tall hubby and I have a date planned for Saturday and I am not missing it by golly.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Freezer storage

By golly it really works!
I readd an article in Better Homes and Gardens magazine a while ago, maybe this spring? I'll bet you saw it. It showed a before and after of a freezer all lovely organized and labeled so perfect. (I just searched for about 30 minutes and cannot find the picture or article to share online, sorry girls.) It described how to freeze liquids flat and put them on their sides to save space. They suggested putting soups, sauces, etc. in freezer bags and laying them on a cookie sheet in your freezer. Then transfering them to vertical storage after they have frozen.

Hmm, does this really work, I wondered. Heck ya, it does! I have a teeny freezer. Really. A frozen pizza barely fits in there. Say what? You didn't think we ate such gobbly goop? Well, we do people. (Amy's, Kashi, and Newman's Own are our favorites.) Anyway, at the bottom of my freezer is this drawer that is dumb, stuff gets lost in there and it never pulls out right so I get P.O.ed at it all the time. BUT right under it is about a two inch space and then the bottom of the freezer. So I thought, there is where I can lay my liquid stuff to freeze. Who has an extra cookie sheet or space to just lay stuff in your freezer? Not me!

I just fill the bag, squeeze out as much air as I can, lay it on the bottom of the freezer (under the annoying drawer) and later move it to the vertical storage. Hot diggity, it is so easy. Now I am freezing everything. I freeze all our leftovers of course but I found you can freeze half and half, heavy cream and other goodies you might need for baking. (Do not use heavy cream to make real whipped cream after it has been frozen, it won't whip correctly. All these ingredients I use in baking only, not as stand alone items after they have been frozen.) I promise it is so easy. I found this so helpful when a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of something (like chicken broth) and you have a whole bunch leftover. I used to put everything in plastic containers and they take up way too much space. This flat method works so much better.

Don't forget to label!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Rock and A Hard Place

I am definitely stuck. Help me please.

The rock part:
OK, Parker (age 5) sleeps like a rock. Seriously. The kid doesn't move once he falls asleep. I have been so neurotic as to go and roll him over so he won't get a smooched face or sore ear from sleeping in one position too long. Not a bag thing really, don't judge my crazy mom habits, you know you have them too! Anyway, so he sleeps pretty well, hardly ever a bad dream. Here is the problem, he does not get up at night to go "potty" (yes I still call it that, and in public, again, don't judge! If you hear a grown woman ((Me)) saying, "I have to go potty" you'll know it's me, just say hi and let me go for goodness sake!) Back to my rock: Parker has been wearing pullups at night for over a year. I really thought he'd grow out of them by now. He was a really quick potty-trainer, an A+ student if I ever had one. This week, I have washed everything on his bed, THREE DAYS IN A ROW people! Do you know how annoying this is? Of course you do, you're mommies. I mean I already do three loads of laundry a day, I can't really add more without getting a second washer and dryer! I have tried limiting his drinks in the evening and waking him up to "go." But really I haven't seen consistent results yet. I am contemplating getting one of those alarms that hook up to the child's undies that senses when they go and then alarms them to train them to wake up. They are really expensive but it might be the only choice I have. Any ideas?

The Hard Place part:
Zoe (age 8) has been getting invited to sleepovers since she was in kindergarten! Yikes! Can we just let our little girls be little people?! Anyway, when she was in kindergarten I just told the parents we had some other plans whether we did or not. Then in first grade I would let her go but I would pick her up at 10 or 11:00. She didn't really mind. She was even glad because she said she really didn't want to sleep there anyway. So onto now, second grade, she has been invited to yet another sleepover with a group of girls I know well and their moms are nice and ok (again, no judgements on me, I definitely check out moms of my daughter's friends!) but I just don't know if my Zoe is ready for a sleepover. How do you know? I remember my first sleepover. It was terrible. I was in second grade. I really liked all the girls, they were in my class at school. I thought they were the nicest girls in the world until I spent the night with them. I was terrified when I saw them prank calling people, teasing others and trying all the mean girl tricks in the world (i.e. putting your hand in cold water while you sleep to see if you'd pee in your sleeping bag, putting your bra in the freezer, etc.). I refused to sleep, I remember sitting up against a wall to stay awake and I did not go to another sleepover for a long time after that one. These were supposedly "good" girls from nice families. Don't even get me started on the sleepovers that took place in my teen aged years. Gosh, those girls were awful. I was always the one saying, "gee girls, should we really be doing this?" EEEEEEKKK! So am I just being overprotective because of my own bad experiences? I know I am a total worry wart but I think most moms are. Have any of you let your child have sleepovers or go to them? When did they go? How did you know they were ready? Darn it anyway, why don't these kids come with instruction manuals?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rambling On today

Me in front of the Apollo spaceship...
read on to find out why I included this photo today. (photo from 2010)

Well howdy do there ladies! (Isn't it funny how I assume you are all ladies? Well, I think I am safe to assume.) I hope all is well with you. I can't wait to catch up with everyone. I swear I do not know where the time is going. The days are flying by and I am so stinkin' behind on everything, then I start to worry that spring will be here and there goes a whole bunch of more stuff I have to do (see, I am delusional, it's only January for Pete's sake!) and I start to get all panicky again. I am such a Nervous Nellie, drives myself crazy. I have lots of bloggy ideas I want to share/ask/ponder, I hope I can get them out there before they get lost in my "things to do" list in my brain.

This week (and last) have been crazy busy so I missed my Monday stuff altogether. In my defense, it was big tall hubby's birthday and the kids were out of school so we were family-ing it up around here. Just note, I have no idea what I am cooking for dinners this week and my "things to do" from last week are actually getting pushed to next week because I am planning a three person birthday party for this Saturday. That definitely takes precedence over anything else.

On to more exciting things...

The lovely and talented Erin over at Skoots and Cuddles nominated me for a "Stylish Blog" award. I was so excited. Woo, yay me! So thank you to Erin. You should totally check her out. She just moved into a golf course house (don't know why she didn't buy mine!!! just kidding, we live waaaaay far away from each other) and she has the best decorating ideas. I am loving her dining room redo and it is making me want to work on my own neglected dining space. Part of the acceptance of this award is to share seven things about myself. Hmm, just seven? Kidding, again, I think I share lots but here goes.

  1. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a Solid Gold Dancer or an astronaut. Both of those are super cool jobs, right? Funny, if the good folks at either place called me now, I would totally accept their offer. In a heartbeat.
  2. I used to play cello in school. I only picked it because my mom wouldn't let me play drums and the cute, cool girl on "Fame" played cello so I figured that was a good choice. I played for a long time but now I don't think I could do it. I still have my cello in my closet. Maybe I should drag it out sometime.
  3. I was called once to be on Martha Stewart's new show (when it first got started). They were looking for really bad cooks, that Martha could help. I had emailed her a question shortly before and when they called me I felt bad saying I was a bad cook. I'm really ok (they wanted like disastrous people who couldn't boil water). I didn't want to lie. Now I could kick myself. I mean, hello! It's Martha. I LOVE THAT LADY!!! Boy, was I dumb.
  4. I wish I could have some chickens in my back yard. Just a few. I think that would be fun.
  5. I am dying to move to a beach. I really hate cold weather (yep, you know that already) but I seriously would not miss anything about the Midwest. Maybe someday I'll get there.
  6. I never lived in a house until I got married. I always lived in an apartment (or dorm in college) with my mom. I was so proud of my first house. I loved it there.
  7. I have almost 500 CD's. Ridiculous. But I love music and would pick listening to music over TV any day. Most of my collection is older, but I have a list of new tunes I want to get soon.
Well, there, seven kind of new things about me. Whodathunkit?

For my nomination as a stylish blogger, I am nominating, Kerri over at The Pleasures of My Life. She has the cutest baking and crafting ideas. And she loves to share stories about her cutie pie son, Brady. So give her a look see, OK?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

good golly

This is the only thing winter is good for...
I am here.

Not sure where the time is going... where did all this clutter come from?

Why is my house so dirty?

When did my "to do"list grow to two pages?!

I am way behind on house hold chores, so far behind it is starting to scare me.

I'll be back tomorrow... when everyone is in school and/or napping.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Multitasking up ahead

I have so much to do this weekend. Has anyone figured out a way to stretch the hours longer or add more into the day? Come on moms, we're smart, we raise children from teeny infants to college graduates, can't we do this one little thing? Seriously, I do have tons to do, I am going to be a multitasking momma (see just like my buddy, eating Pringles while riding his pony- ultimate multitasking!) for the next couple days. I hope everyone has a great long weekend, if you are lucky enough to be off work.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

watchin' my weight Wednesday- except it's Thursday

It is next to impossible to break a sugar habit when your kids beg, I mean, beg you to make cookies on snow days. I had to oblige, didn't I?

I have just about kicked my salt cravings. (Remember my sugar and salt cravings went crazy after all the holiday indulging?) I found that if I have a savory breakfast I don't really crave anything salty the rest of the day. I know, weird. I have been making a scrambled egg with cooked spinach. Then I cut up some cherry tomatoes and add a lot of pepper and just a touch of sea salt. It works.

I am still trying to work on the sugar habit. I definitely got rid of all the holiday junk. But like I said, the kids really wanted to bake. It is so hard to resist home baked goodies. We only made half a batch (don't tell them that!) and they scarfed a ton of them already. I am finding that I really crave sweets around 2-2:30 so I have been having a yogurt or banana then, we'll see if that helps.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Not complainin' just sayin'

Today has been one of those days:
  • 2 hour delay for school, therefore, wasted crazy morning
  • I got paint on my clean white blouse and pink cashmere (the only one I own) sweater not from my painting but from cleaning up the kids' mess/creations from 2 hour delay
  • sick 5 year old therefore no school for him hence crazy busy afternoon for me
  • no water, water guys here fixing pipes, do you know how awful it is to be without water?! OMG! I am going crazy. It's really bad when you have to go potty...
  • can't cook dinner b/c no water
  • hubby working late
  • had to go out and stand in freezing cold to remind water guys not to break our sprinkler lines while they proceed to rip our yard to shreds, they just told me they would "try their best" in between puffs of their nasty cigarettes
  • spent 90 minutes cleaning 5 year old's room, seriously, he has way too many tiny toys (he helped, so that was good)
  • found out jerky people want to come look at our house again this weekend (they haven't even listed their own house, WTF is their hurry?????do they think this is five years ago when houses were actually selling?!) so mad, b/c I want to have a normal weekend with no house selling mania
So anyway, I am hoping to be back tomorrow with no grumpy posts... I'm on the hunt for some chocolate, there's got to be some around here somewhere...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


194 pieces, we're pretty proud of ourselves.This is the one thing I have found that will keep Parker busy and engaged that doesn't involve jumping like a spider monkey from the furniture.
Thanks Santa and family for buying him lots of new Lego sets.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday stuff

Oh how I wish my kitchen was this clean all the time...
We had a house showing on Saturday (in the middle of Parker's first basketball game and exchanging a clothes dryer at my mom's- she is upgrading hers so I received her new-old one) that lasted an hour and a half! Seriously. The realtor was pulling into the driveway as I was loading up my dog and dog cage so we could disappear for an hour while nosy people came to look at our house. By the way, she was 15 minutes early! I know because I left Parker's basketball game early to come back and get the dog and cage. Note to realtors, do not come early to showings, people need every minute to get ready for showings!!!

So we went to lunch and came back when the lookers were supposed to be gone and they were still here, for another 30 minutes! Big tall hubby and I parked at different sides of the street to wait for them to get the heck out and they emerged with two small children (hubby says maybe 2-4 years old). Now, let me just tell you, their realtor called to book the showing at 7:30 PM the night before. What do you think I did from 7:35 to 1:30 AM? That's right, cleaned and decluttered my butt off. Then like I said, had to get kids ready for basketball and dryer mania, and get dog and blah blah blah. My poor kids, I had wanted to have a relaxing Friday night of games and a movie, it was Zoe's birthday after all, but no, inconsiderate jerks call to see my house and give me like a minute's notice and THEN do not have the decency to call my realtor to give her feedback. That is the kicker that is making me so mad.

The big meanie heads were here, in my house, for 90 minutes with two small kids doing gosh knows what, and they haven't called my realtor to let her know what they are doing?! How rude. Seriously. I am so tired of this house nonsense. Not to be complaining or griping, but wouldn't you at least let the homeowner's realtor know something? I am convinced they just let their kids play with my kids' stuff while the grown ups sat around and discussed things. This whole episode just ruined my whole weekend. I know it shouldn't but it did. I was emotionally, physically and mentally drained. Ergh! I am glad it is Monday and my house is kind of messy, makes me feel like the whole thing didn't happen.

Don't even get me started on the water company people who just put a note on my door about a leak somewhere that may require them to tear up our yard... by the way, they did not even knock or ring the bell, just left a note! What is wrong with people?!

my menus for this week:
cheese tortellini and spinach stew
spaghetti (we haven't had this for two weeks, I think it is time)
tacos and taco salads
chef salads
turkey rollups and soup

my things to do this week:
hang new curtains for Zoe
drop off Goodwill boxes
finish my last thank you notes (3 or so to go)
sort my coupons, they are a mess!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to Zoe

My little girl is 8 today.

Holy cow, seriously, 8, I cannot believe it.

Zoe is such a sweetie. She is so smart and talented, I can't imagine what she will be like in a few years.
She thinks she looks like Taylor Swift today. So cute.

It is breaking my heart to see her grow so quickly. When she was born (sunny side up- I might add! Yikes, not fun) her eyes were totally wide open and her arms were spread wide in a perfect cheerleader "v". That is how I picture her, I swear. Or I think of her chubby toddler arms getting a tea party ready for me. So cute. Now I have to deal with her watching teen shows (not allowed) and how to handle boys' attention at school. Ugh, those tea party days went too fast.

Anyway, I am super proud of her and I can't write anymore or I'll be a blubbering mess. She has requested McDondald's for dinner and I am happy to oblige. We will also be visiting Build-a-Bear in a week with one of her friends and celebrating with our family in a couple weeks.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Baby, baby, baby, oooh (sing like Justin Beiber please)

Don't you just love it when babies play with baby dolls? (Is it ok to still call Tanner a baby since he is officially two years old?)

Big hugs for this one, so cute.

The baby dolls are making some serious rounds at my house lately, I'm not sure why. The kids are dragging them out (all 25 of them) and making beds for them, playing doctor, reading them books, watching movies with them and of course taking them in the car everywhere. It is so fun. I thought that most of the baby doll days were done even though Zoe does play with her American Girl stuff. I am thrilled to see them all learning how to be caregivers and more loving.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

watchin' my weight Wednesday

This is my fringe right after Christmas. I swear it is full of the worst junk on earth. I am so ready for a sugar and salt detox. I tried to be good on the holidays and only eat healthy stuff but the bad stuff just kept finding a way in. I normally do not crave much sugar (or salt) so I am thinking those few times I induldged set off my craving -meter. Is that possible? Kind of like I fell off the wagon or something. So anyway, beginning, today (!) I am writing in my food tracker the emotions I feel when I am eating and hopefully I will find a pattern that will set me up to change some behaviors. (example: I crave sweets around 2:00, is that because I am sleepy and need to move more? hopefully I will find out.) I am proud to say the sweets and any lingering unhealthy stuff are gone, I dumped them all yesterday. Now I need to hit the grocery and restock the good stuff.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy Birthday to Tanner, part 2

Well I posted on his actual birthday about my baby turning 2 but I was too frazzled to get any photos up to show everyone. So here today, a couple weeks later, I am sharing with you.

We celebrated on Christmas Eve (his birthday is the 27th) because some of our out-of-town relatives would be here and we thought he's two and he won't really mind. I, however, did not count on having to do so much cooking and cleaning and all the bru-ha-ha that goes along with a party. You'd think I never did this before. Anyway, I was about to drop but we had a sweet party and it was really nice to have everyone hear on Christmas Eve.
Here is his Elmo cake. I am so proud of this one. I used the ball cake mold (from Parker's basketball party) to make this giant head. (When Zoe had an Elmo party, I ordered her cake from the bakery and it was so cute but at least $30 so this time around I decided to get creative.) The night before the party as I was decorating the cake I realized I didn't have a way to make his eyes and nose "pop." So I thought, I'll just get some mini donuts, like munchkins from Dunkin. Well, let me tell you, Dunkin is not open late, despite that guy's claims to be making donuts all day and night. So I found a beer drive thru that was open who had mini Hostess donuts. Why, you ask did I have to go through a drive thru? Because I had on jammie pants, that's why! Yes, I broke one of my cardinal rules, that is to leave the house in my pjs, but seriously, I thought Dunkin Donuts was open all the time and we have one right down the street!!! The guy at the drive thru of course had to comment, "nice pj pants" I swear I wanted to deck him. Trauma aside, I think the eyes and nose looked cute. It was like torture to cut this cake, I felt like Charles Manson or something, poor Elmo.

Tanner was an expert candle blower-outer. We were shocked, we figured he learned this from his big sister and brother. He also could not keep his little hands out of the icing on the cake, we were all stained red from the icing by the end of the night.

He loved opening all his gifts, he took off every last piece of paper and couldn't wait to get his hands on the goods.

I made him a "2" shirt but he didn't really want to pose for me. Don't you like this look on his face? He's like, "seriously mom, fugettaboutit!"

Big brothers and sisters are the best birthday helpers.
This picture is cracking me up. It is impossible to get more than two people to look right (see my half closed eyes!) in a photo and we are absolutely no exception. The thing that is cracking me up is that my big tall hubby is totally bent over and I am standing straight up, we are the same height. Ha. So crazy.

Well, Tanner is showing his true two year old self, by throwing fits in the store, screaming while I am talking on the phone and insisting we watch Elmo every time we turn on the tv. Yep, 2 year olds, gotta love them.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Holiday Recap

Wowzers, that was a couple of crazy two weeks or so... good for you blog ladies who are all up to date, already sharing your photos and stories and talking about resolutions. I applaud you. I don't know what the heck is wrong with me, I am way behind and just trying to take it one moment at a time.

I told myself I would not be stressed and to take it easy, take great pictures, eat and not worry about it, not scream about toys being left ev-er-y-where, not feel guilty about all the food we wasted or trash we accumulated, but none of that happened. I only lost it a couple times and in my defense it was really bad and losing it was really appropriate!

Here are a few Christmas highlights... (I tell myself every year I am going to get some great pictures of the kids but in all the craziness, it never happens!)
Christmas Eve jammies
Cookies for Santa, don't you like Zoe's flags!? The one that says "do not touch unless you are Santa" cracks me up!
Tanner, first thing after seeing all the Santa gifts. His version of "what the he** is all this stuff doing in my house?"
Favorite Gifts:
Zoe and her Zhu Zhu pets
Parker and the ginormous Nerf gun, doesn't he look so tough? Cracking me up.
Tanner liked everything but he likes Parker's drums best of all
Big tall hubby likes his new watch
Max always gets so excited on Christmas morning. He climbs over all the presents like a billy goat until he finds his and then he unwraps it and takes it to the corner and is happy for the rest of the day! It amazes me that he remembers what to do year after year. Animals are so much smarter than we give them credit for!

I got a new camera to keep in my purse. I am excited to have that and hopefully will get lots of good shots in places besides my house!

We also went to the Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati to check out the holiday displays. If you are ever in the 'Nati, stop by here, it is free and so beautiful. We had a teeny bopper boy take our picture, don't you love how he got our legs and cut off my big tall hubby's head? So funny!

We did not take any photos on New Year's. I know, you are so bummed. But really, we all watched "E.T." in our jammies and then the ball falling, so it wasn't really picture worthy.

I am glad that everyone is going to be on a normal schedule but it was so hard to get out of bed today! Holy cow, I couldn't believe I had to get up and get everyone ready for school again.

My menus for this week:
I really have no clue, because we have been eating so much high calorie, rich food, I am thinking I may have to fast this week (not really) but salads have never sounded better!

My things to do this week:
  • get out "regular" decorations (things we put away in December)
  • clean out my fridge (throw out the sweets!!!)
  • make treats for Zoe to take to school for her birthday (Friday)
  • write thank you notes
  • store/sort/purge wrapping paper and supplies
Have a great week everyone and Happy New Year!!!