Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Signing Off!!!

Merry Christmas everyone, and Happy New Year! I hope everyone has safe, wonderful holidays! My blog will be back bright and early on Tuesday, January 5th. I'm sure you'll ALL be waiting with baited breath until then! Be safe.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

First Glimpse of Twilight Saga's Eclipse!

Ahhh, that hair...(no, not Bella's!) Can't wait until June!

Photo courtesy of Popsugar


PLEASE tell me that some of you have (with the best of intentions) baked and cooked and made plates of cookies at Christmas time, only to get around to delivering about HALF of them. (Devon, you don't count, because I know this has never happened to you!)

I stink. I still have ten plates of cookies to deliver to church friends, and have I delivered them??? NO!!! I ran around so much yesterday, and today it's snowing and I Just. Can't. Get. My. Lazy. Butt. In. The. Car.

Yeah, I stink times two. I should just throw up my hands and toss myself into the nearest empty grave plot.

Monday, December 21, 2009



It's the best feeling in the world, being finished with Christmas present shopping. Thing Four (who is my little buddy/trooper) and I dropped the kids off at school at 8am, and after trips to Subway (for giftcards), Target, Kohl's, Walmart, Home Depot, the grocery store and the dry cleaners, we are finally home (he just went down for a nap) and we're finally DONE!!!

*Lara collapses*

Now we just need to clean our whole house and pack for our vacation. Boo.

Oh, and how did I/will I achieve all this???

Pepsi Max. Yeah, you really think *I* have natural energy???


Sunday, December 20, 2009


If you are a LOTR fan, you MUST watch this! How could I have missed it???

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Bought Alcohol. (*Giggle/Snort*)

Okay, so I folded and went and bought a TEENY (with a stress on teeny) bottle of Brandy at the liquor place next to my usual grocery store. Don't laugh, it's the first time I have been inside a liquor store in my life. MY ENTIRE LIFE. She had the perfect little size (just a bit bigger than airplane-service size) and I hid it in my handbag. I will use it in the cookies and all will be well.

Just got back from Round One of Sibling Shopping. Since I was shopping for my two-year old (who wanted to buy just about everything) I pretty much picked out the presents for his siblings. And we found this FABULOUS "Space Ship" tent for his room, to play in. I had to get it. Now that he has his own room, it's a little bare, since his brother took all the furniture out when he moved. After the Holidays are over, I will pay some attention to making his room "cute." No time now.

This weekend should be good. We're making cookies and delivering them to friends, and the kids are doing The Nativity at a nursing home with other kids in our church, and other than getting hair cuts, we will be able to relax and get packed for Christmas vacation. The kids don't have school on Wednesday, so we're going to have pancakes in the morning and stay in our jammies and watch Christmas movies all day. :-) On the menu is our favorites: SCROOGE (the 1972 Albert Finney version) POLAR EXPRESS, A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE SANTA CLAUSE, and yes, I'm forcing them all to watch IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Because Christmas isn't complete without at least one viewing of that great film.

I'm bummed because our DVR decided to eat last week's episode of BONES. The one where Zooey Deschanel guest stars. DARN IT!!! We were having our snow storm, and the Directv went out. I am seriously sad. I guess we'll have to watch it online. It's not the same, though.

Time to get my little cherub down for a nap. Have a happy safe weekend, everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mission Impossible. Seriously???

I have this recipe I've loved for decades (loved them when I was a kid!) and I broke it out the other day. We call them "Brandy Balls," but they are also known as "Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes," etc. Those yummy cookies with nuts that are heavily coated in powdered sugar. YUM.

Anyway, I was looking at the recipe, and it calls for 2 tablespoons of Brandy Extract. (Hence the name "Brandy Balls," heh heh.) I looked in my extract tub, and no bottles of Brandy flavor. Pretty much everything else, but not Brandy.

So, my next trip to the store, I looked for Brandy extract. They didn't have any. Not that they were sold out, but they didn't even CARRY it. I thought it was strange, and the next time I went to a store (this one being a "boutique-y" store) I figured they would have it.


Perplexed, I went to another store, the same one I get my essential oils. They have extracts, but no BRANDY.

Cut to yesterday, when I really wanted to make these cookies, I started calling stores. I called Sendiks. Nada. Albertsons. Nope. Fresh Market. No. World Market. Nope. Penzey's Spices. No luck. WTHeck???

The crazy part is, these stores weren't sold out of Brandy extract, they simply DON'T STOCK IT! Isn't that crazy? Is my recipe outdated? I finally found Brandy extract online, but I don't have time to wait for it to get to my house, because I am going out of town.

My mother, bless her, suggested I go and buy a "leeeeeeeetle" bottle of REAL Brandy, but I'm nervous about that idea. Yeah, I'd probably run into my bishop or something. A Mormon in a Liquor Store. Yeah. HA HA.

Anyway, I just may fold and go for that tiny bottle of brandy, just for the sake of the cookies. I really want to bake them for my cookie plates!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Making Hay While The Sun Shines...

You think I would realize, by now, that me running around flailing my arms and yelling, is NOT constructive. Well, I know it. I know that raising my voice to make a point is not necessary, but it SEEMS to be the only thing that gets results. So, I yell.

But not this morning. I didn't yell. I calmly reasoned. I was cheerful. I set the timer. (You have eight minutes to eat your oatmeal, etc.)

It sort of worked. Go figure. We'll see how long THAT lasts.

I can't believe next week is Christmas! I'm already getting the Sads in a big way, because I only have eight more days to enjoy my festive house. Then I'll be off to visit family, and when I get back, Christmas and New Year's will be over, and I will have to take down all my beautiful green and red and everything will be clean and plain and...cold. At least, compared to how it was before. *sigh* The window is closing, people! Enjoy it while you can! I do keep white lights in my ficus trees after Christmas, so it's "somewhat" cheerful at night, but the long winter months can be tough. Unless we have sun. Sunny and cold I can handle. Gloomy and overcast and cold can be brutal.

Well, now, I'm depressed. I need to stop that. The Christmas presents are bought and shipped to where we're staying, now I just need to take the kids shopping. They have so much fun picking out presents for each other. I tell them what the $$ limit is, and let them "have at it" at fun places like Target or Walmart. This way, the whole "gift-giving" thing will have more meaning for them. It's a win-win.

So, other than the "Sibling Shop" we're done and ready to go. We have to be, in order to save money on airfare (we have SIX plane tickets now!) we fly in on Christmas Eve day. So, no time to run out and purchase anything last minute. It all has to be DONE.

You think I can pull it off?


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

If You Would Indulge Me In A Little Rant...

I'm a little annoyed this morning. One of my children (who shall remain anonymous), I swear, this child needs me VELCROED to his side every morning or he'd wander off and play with his legos instead of getting dressed, brushing his teeth, packing his lunch, etc. etc..

Sure, I've complained about this on the blog before. And sure, some of you commented that I need to "let him" go to school half-ready, unprepared, so he'd learn, etc. But the truth is, he wouldn't care. This kid is the most CAREFREE kid ever. It's just not in his nature to be motivated to do anything, unless *I* threaten him with a swat on the butt (he's ten!) or priveleges taken away.

Every morning is like this. Every morning I have to yell at him to stop daydreaming/playing/piddlyfarting and GET GOING. If I wasn't on his rear end about the "timeline" for getting ready in the morning, he'd take 40 minutes to eat a bowl of oatmeal. This morning I forgot he was in the shower (I got distracted and forgot to set the timer) and he just stood in there for 25 minutes and when I realized he needed to be told to get out, he said he hadn't even washed his hair yet. And I specifically tell my kids to wash their hair FIRST THING, when they get in, and do everything else afterwards. And yes, I remind him every time, just before he gets in the shower. I was ready to tear my eyeballs out!!!

It really makes me agitated in the morning. And I feel like I'm singling him out because his other siblings are pretty responsible and self-motivated. So he probably feels picked on.

FRUSTRATION. I've tried everything. The kid has been grounded, yelled at, swatted on the rear-end, had privileges revoked, and he is usually "okay" for a day or two and then it's back to his old routine of DAYDREAMING/PIDDLYFARTING/PLAYING in the morning. It's enough to make me want to shoot to the moon. I know its the ADHD he has, but GOOD GRIEF!!!!

Sorry, I just have to rant this morning. Usually I can handle it. Not so, today. Grrrrrrrr...

Monday, December 14, 2009


Mondays are always crazy for me. But look at the post below for a laugh!
Must dash.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


No offense to Mrs. Meyer, but this pretty much sums up my feelings about Twilight:

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'm Not a Fabulous Mom Today.

That's how I'm feeling, lately. I went to the kid's Christmas concert last night, and forgot my camera. And one of my sons had a duet, and another had a major part as Santa's announcer! And I didn't get to record any of it!!! All I have are the memories in my heart, blah blah blah blah.

Bad Mom.

This morning, I realized, with a pang of horror, that one of my son's pills had run out and for some reason, refilling the prescription had slipped my mind. He NEEDS these pills for school, or he can't focus, and acts like a Monkey on Speed, Caffeine (name your stimulant), etc.. SO, I called the school and said he was going to be "late" and we ran to the Dr, got the prescription refill, ran to Walgreens and got it filled, shopped at Walmart for nothing we needed while we waited for the pills to get filled, and I had him chug his pill in the car with water as I drove him to school, an hour and a half late.

Bad Mom.

And I realized halfway through this major jaunt that I had neglected to feed my two-year old (and myself) breakfast. All I had in the car was a box of Hostess 100-calorie chocolate muffin packs and half a can of Sour Cream and Onion Pringles. Guess what we had for breakfast?


I should just be shot. Maybe I should top off the day and let my toddler sit in front of movies all day long while I sleep. Or give him an aspartame-laden Diet Coke to top off those chocolate muffins and chips.


Scuse' me while I run off to make him a bowl of healthy oatmeal and proceed to read him 5847365 educational books...

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Now we have a lovely wind chill advisory. Our DirecTV won't work (because it's frozen) so I had to go online to make sure school wasn't cancelled again--it's not and I was frankly surprised because kids could get frostbite standing at the bus stop this morning! Then again, it's not exactly 30 below like they were predicting, but I bet it FEELS like it.

The snow blew all over my lovely snowblowing job. I have to chip it out again today, so the UPS/Fedex/USPS people don't break their legs coming to my front door. And my arms are killing me, I can hardly move them. Courtesy of struggling with a snowblower for two hours yesterday. :-)

Yeah, I guess I'm complaining a lot this morning. I WILL say that the season finale of "GLEE" had me in tears last night. It was highly...awesome. Although a bit creepy at the end. I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't you don't want to be spoiled...DON'T READ ANY FURTHER!!! you another chance...DON'T READ!!! SCROLL PAST THE SMALL PRINT!

Okay. So, SERIOUSLY, I got the tingles when Will kissed Emma at the end, but HELLO, he's still married, and he'd only left his wife THE DAY BEFORE. This was not cool in my book. I know, I know, I sound highly moralistic and square, but I guess with the seeiming disregard of the importance of marriage vows lately (I'm thinking of a recent newsworthy married athlete whose mistress count is now up to freaking THIRTEEN...) I am super sensitive to that stuff. I thought it was a bit creepy and soap-opera-ish. Then again, who am I kidding? GLEE, with all it's brilliance, is usually a bit creepy and soap-opera-ish.


I can't believe it's Thursday already. The school concert that got cancelled on Tuesday night is on for tonight. UGH. Luckily for me, it's only for the 3-5 graders, so Thing One can stay home with the baby and stay warm, while we brave the cold and lack of parking spaces.

Fingers crossed my nose doesn't freeze!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Snow Day.

Our first snow dump fall of the season...and I'm already OVER it. We got about a foot of snow where we live, it's so pretty...but SOOOOO heavy!!! It's the heaviest snow I've ever seen! I had to snowblow the driveway twice, and finally take a shovel to the "Great Wall" the snowplowers put at the foot of our driveway. The snowblower wasn't even a match for it, and I had to chip at it (back-breaking work!) until I finally got it out of the way.
And of course, an hour later, it was SNOWING again, and I'll probably have to do the whole thing over in a few hours because Hubby won't be able to get up the driveway. Why I loved this driveway when we bought the house is beyond me. It's long, and slopes up to the house, and it's very nice looking, but in WINTER, it The Driveway That Never Ends. Especially when you're trudging behind a snowplow on it. UGH.
Anyway, the kids are home from school, everything is cancelled, and we have a snow fort and assorted snowman attempts in our back yard.
At least we're warm and cozy inside--that's a lot to be thankful for!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Oy. Snow.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother, Chris!!!

I guess it was inevitable...the big first "snow storm" for Wisconsin. We're supposed to get a big ol' fashioned dumping today--starting around noon and lasting all night. 9-12 inches.

And of COURSE the school Christmas concert is tonight. My guess is they'll cancel. And we'll have a snow day tomorrow. At least that's the "chatter" lately. I called the school just to check, and they "haven't made that decision, yet," because in the past we've had severe storm warnings and....phhhhttt. Nothing. Maybe one or two inches. I guess we'll see what happens. It's no fun driving in thick snow, only to have to unload four kids (dressed to the nines, no less) and a stroller and get everyone into the school from two blocks away because there's no parking. In fact, last year, Hubby arrived late to the concert, couldn't find a parking spot within a half mile (or so he said, I suspect he was exaggerating a tad) and he finally gave up and went home. The concert was half over, anyway, and already standing-room only.

In other news, we have had a couple of milestones this week--Thing Four is finally starting to sleep in a "big boy bed" tonight. I'm a little sad at this, because I enjoy my sleep. So, when he wakes up at 5am and is able to actually get out of bed and come down and wake us up, it will kinda suck. I'm going to childproof his room so that he can get down and play with his toys, which he will most likely do.

Also, he's started talking about "going potty on the big-boy potty." I got him one of those conversion-potty seats, it's soft and has a football theme (we call it the "Football Potty") and he's ready to try it. I'm a little "not ready" because I was hoping to potty train him AFTER Christmas vacation (six hours total on planes there and back, yuck!) so I may try to hold him off. We may "sporadically" use the potty until then. If he's ready, he'll learn quickly. I'm crossing my fingers!

Time to run around a bit--the storm is supposed to hit around noon today. I need to get extra gas for the snowblowers--and dig out my gloves and scarves and hats--snowblowing is messy business!

Monday, December 07, 2009

My Toddler is a Potty Mouth, Part II

Okay, I was SOOO sick all weekend! It was pretty ugly. But the antibiotics are finally, FINALLY kicking in! Whew. It was hairy there, for a while...

We finally figured out why Thing Four, who is two, shouted "Put me DOWN, you Moron!" to his dad during Thing One's birthday party. To refresh your memories, Hubby was hoisting him in the air "chair style" when he shouted the offensive phrase.

Cut to Friday, when Thing Four and I were taking in our 9372645th viewing of TOY STORY 2, and there is a scene where the toys are sneaking through a ventilation system. At one point, Buzz Lightyear picked up Potato Head and PH yelled "Put me down, you Moron!" in his Don Rickles voice.

I was like A HA!!! So, that's where he picked it up! We were honestly perplexed for so long. We also figured out an inadvertent viewing of "Spongebob Squarepants" was responsible for "Hey Mommy, I farted in your face!" And we are still wondering where he learned the word "Dammit!" We really have zero idea about that one...

*Lara whistles and looks to the side innocently*

ANYHOWDON'TLOOKATME, we figured it was important to "watch our language" around Thing Four. We don't say "shut up" or stuff like that. (He told people to "shut up" for WEEKS afterwards!) He seems to pick up on the naughtier words, and repeat them at the most inopportune moments. Like, in CHURCH.

Right now he's wheedled his head through my arms as I'm typing, asking for a "snack." Duty calls.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Kids are Snoops.

Thing One is the WORST snoop. She freely admits to searching the house for Christmas gifts. Thing Two is pretty much oblivious, but Thing THREE--well, he could give Thing One a run for her money in the "Snoop" department. This kid knows no boundaries. He will go into any room, and look through stuff. He's always asking me if he can have stuff he's "found."

And I'll retort, "Yeah sure, you mean you were snooping and 'FOUND' that in my desk drawer! No way!!!" etc. etc.

*sigh.* I'm sure it's payback time. When I was a kid, I was a snoop. I would go up to the attic and snoop through all the stuff up there. I'd go through my mom's craft stuff. I was a SNOOP too.

(You can stop grinning, Mom!)

ANYWAY, this year, I have them all thwarted. I've ordered everything ONLINE, and I'm shipping it to the house we're staying at for Christmas. HA! Take that, snoopy kids! Except Hubby's present. Like an idiot, I had it shipped here, thinking I could stick it in a suitcase or something. Um, it's HUGE. There's no way. So, I guess I have to spend more money and ship it again. Because Hubby is a "bit" of a snoop. He likes to know what his presents are, too.

I can't win.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time...

I have to say, truly, that this time of year--the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas-- is my favorite time of year, EVER. Hands down. Wow, what an awkward sentence. But you get my meaning. I LOVE this time of year! The Christmas stuff, the lights, the music, the FOOD, everything about this time is just...nostalgic and fun.

This year my church ward is doing something different--instead of having a potluck and gorging ourselves and having a "visit from Santa" where the kids ask for what they want, each family is bringing an entire Christmas dinner to be donated to a needy family, and "Santa" is arriving so we can give him all the food and send him on his way. I seriously think it is so cool. My church rocks. I just hope I'm not still sick on Saturday, or I won't be able to go! I feel awful! Bleah.

I need to go and buy myself some medicine.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I've Died and Gone to Heaven.

Why? Because I love Cherry Cobbler. But I hate the calories involved. But I like Yoplait. Especially their "thick and creamy" series. I discovered this tasty treat in the store, and since I like to sprinkle a little wheat germ on my yogurt--it really completes the effect. This 100-calorie yogurt (with a little wheat germ--this is key) tastes pretty much like this:
I kid you not. You need to try it for yourself. Mmmmm.

And that's all I'm blogging about today because I'm still sick. Boo.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Feeling Reflective.

Happy December First!

Every December, I sit back for a minute (58...59...60...okay minute's up!) and assess what I was able to accomplish during the year, and what I WASN'T able to accomplish.

Hmmm. I'm feeling a little like I'm coming up short. I really don't like that feeling. But what can I say? 2009 still feels like the year that got away. It went by way too fast. Soon, I will look like THIS while I make my new year's resolutions:Yeah, I know. But it's how I feel. Life is passing me by, and I'm not accomplishing what I'd like to accomplish. I've written a list of "Twenty Things To Do Before I Die." Guess how many things I've crossed off? Two. Yeah. Two. That's it.

Then again, I am lucky to be a stay-home mom, and life is generally drama-free--for now. Life will just have to continue "getting away" from me for a while.