Monday, January 31, 2011


This morning started off a "little" crazy. I used to wake Thing Three up at 5:45, because he catches his bus at 6:45. Lately he's been wanting me to wake him up at 6am, because that extra 15 minutes helps. I think it's psychological, but that's fine. Well, THIS morning, hubby woke up at his usual 5:30 and asked me if I was going to wake up Thing Three, and I mumbled "not until 6."

Then I promptly fell asleep.

At 6:20 I snapped awake, and okay, I did just a "little" bit of a freak out. Thing Three was actually pretty calm, he jumped into his clothes while I poured his cereal, ate, then packed his lunch and brushed his teeth and was ready to go with ten minutes to spare! (We make our boys shower the night before.)

He is now asking that I wake him up at 6:20 every morning, but I'm just not buying it. Rushing is no way to start a morning, you know?

We had a decent weekend. Hubby closed out the year and THANKFULLY he made his goals. Whew! We made yummy chicken alfredo french-bread pizzas to celebrate, and caught up on the DVR until we konked out. Saturday was running around, Thing One had team pictures and a game, she had to miss her church basketball game because I was mean and told her she wasn't doing back-to-back games, she'd be too tired. Hubby got his car serviced and took the boys for hair cuts while I spent THREE FREAKING HOURS trying to take Thing One shopping and during that whole time we found One. Skirt. Only. Then we gulped down Chick-fil-a and rushed to the pictures/game, which was three more hours, and by the time I got home at 3pm I just wanted a nap. But we had to get ready to meet one of our dear friends for sushi.

Sunday was a little crazy too, I realized the project I was doing for my class involved a LOT of coloring and cutting, and I had to wake up at 5:30am to get it all done, then we were dressed and sitting in church at 9:01. ;-) We eeked in just while they were singing the opening hymn.

Then after church Hubby had to do church visits, and I TOOK A NAP. FOR TWO HEAVENLY HOURS. Then we got invited to dinner and I baked a quick cake and we spent the rest of the night with friends. It was great.

This week will be figuring out whether we want to build vs buy, because we are out of this house in June. Yes, we get to move AGAIN. But at least it will be locally. If we build, I think we might have to move in late summer, because houses don't spring up overnight. ;-) Which will be fine with me. Gives me more time.

And I'm realizing how completely boring this post is so I'd better get some breakfast. Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, January 28, 2011

And...It's Friday.

Murhpy's Law #59375978:

Odds are, when you wake up in the middle of the night with the urge to go, stumble blindly into the bathroom and plunk yourself down on the toilet without bothering to check first, THAT will be the one time your dear husband has forgotten to put the toilet seat down.

Lucky for me, I clean that toilet very regularly. But still...EW. Not to mention I think I pulled something when I screamed and jumped right back up...

*sigh* I really hope this isn't an indication of how this day is going to go! We have a busy weekend, but I'm excited because it's going to be 60 degrees out! I actually feel really bad for all the people waist-deep in snow, currently. Be safe!

 And I can't think of anything else to say, so, if you need a good laugh, I leave you with the comic genius of Anjelah Johnson as Bon Qui Qui:
MAD Tv - Bon Qui Qui at King Burger. Watch more top selected videos about: Burger King

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Not Much To Report...

Well, I did get SOME sleep. But of course I had to stay up with Hubby and watch the BYU Men's basketball team BEAT THE AZTECS!!! Woo! Jimmer Fredette is amazing. And yes, I have a signed jersey of his, courtesy of my BIL. Fredette is going to be an NBA star someday, mark my words!

Got Thing Four all registered for preschool yesterday. Hooray! (SOB!!! WAAHHH!) He's our last child so it was bittersweet. I tried to get a nap, but ended up getting stuff together for a writing contest. All is well.

The weather has been downright YUCK these past few days. Overcast and rainy. I guess it's better than snow, so I should just shut the heck up. We are going to be in the 60's this weekend, I am hoping the weather is turning for the better. My neighbors are assuring me this has been a "cold" winter. ;-)

Today we have more dentist appointments, and I get to see Thing One in her school play--they're doing "WICKED." And I'm going to dust off a manuscript I've been working on (but that's a post for the writing blog) and attack it with fresh eyes.

Tonight Vampire Diaries returns! I love how they have the new ads saying "Catch VD" everywhere. In RED. I mean, it's kind of a bad pun, but I get the humor. I guess non-VD enthusiasts would raise an eyebrow or two at the ads, but it's all in good fun.

Wow, the milkman is here early. I'd better get them in the fridge! And yes, I get my milk in those glass dairy bottles. Like how the 1950's milkman delivered them. I love it!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Thing Four, who is three, is the only one who didn't get sick last time everyone got sick. He remained healthy as a horse while the rest of us curled up like fetuses in our beds, writhing in achy agony with heads made of cement for a week solid.
Not Thing Four! He was SUPER TODDLER! Happy, healthy, and not a sniffle or ache anywhere.

So, to my extreme NOT surprise, he woke up last night several times crying, because his "nose was stuffy and he couldn't breathe." I finally advised him to open his mouth and breathe through it, and stubborn little nut that he is, he said he "didn't want to." But eventually he figured it out, I imagine, since he didn't suffocate in his sleep. ;-) This morning he's grumpy, sniffly, and cantankerous.

I'm a zombie. Not the flesh-eating kind that you see EVERYWHERE these days, but the walking undead from lack of sleep/dragging my heels/wishing for bed kind. And of course in an hour I get to run and register Thing Four for preschool (is it me or do preschools here fill up WAY fast???) and then I get to truck his older siblings off to the dentist, and RUN THEM LIKE THE WIND to school so Thing One won't miss her play rehearsal, and then I have to fax all our tax stuff to our accountant and turn in dry cleaning and THEN I'll get to collapse at home. And take care of my grumpy, sniffly, cantankerous three-year old.

I just gave him a chocolate chip cookie and shoved my iPad in front of him and told him he could play Lego Harry Potter. The Grump is gone!!! HA HA!!!

Well, as I'm off collecting my Mother Of The Year award, I hope everyone has a happy Wednesday. Keep dry! It's raining fishhooks and hammer handles, here in NC!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hiding Dirty Dishes In The Oven.

Yesterday, I was a cleaning machine. You can now "walk" into our master bedroom walk-in closet. The Master Bath is spotless. The room is spotless, the carpets and floors are...well, you get the picture.

At one point, I was seriously elbow-deep in cleaning the toilet, when the doorbell rang. It's one of those defining moments, you know? I ran to the top of the steps to see if maybe it was a delivery truck (they ring and run, leaving the package on the doorstep), but no, it was a friend. At the door. And she could see me, at the top of the stairs. Because the guy who built this house decided it would be cool to make 3/4ths of the door paned glass. Paned SEE-THROUGH glass. So, I muster up all the dignity I can, walk down the stairs pulling off my bright yellow-and-green rubber gloves, and open the door.

"You caught me cleaning," I say. I'm sure she's looking at the flyaway ponytail, stained up sweats and tee and sweaty face and thinking "Yeah, I believe you."

Of course the cherry on top was when Thing Four, still in his jammies, came running to the door as well. Yes, he was still in his jammies and it was noon. Shoot me. She was returning Thing Two's pillow, he left it at her son's house during a sleepover.

I thanked her, and mercifully, the conversation was short. Hey, at least I didn't hide and not answer the door until she left! The Twenty-something Lara would have hidden out of sight and not answered the door at all. Because the Twenty-something Lara worried incessantly about what people thought of her. The Thirty-something Lara? Not so much. :-)

It got me thinking. When I was growing up, our house was in a perpetual state of chaos. Only because both parents worked, and let's face it, my siblings and I were totally messy and lazy. My mom would come home from a hard day at work with all the love in her heart, excited to see her children she missed all day, but all those happy feelings flew right out the window at the speed of light when she stepped inside the house to a trashed kitchen, a trashed first floor, and us, screaming at each other and running like banshees through the house. Poor mom.

I remember when we knew company was coming, we did a Major House Cleaning. But on those rare occasions when someone surprised us (A.K.A. they didn't call before they came over) we let them stand on the doorstep while we went into full STASH AND HIDE EVERYTHING mode. My mom taught me the nifty little trick of hiding dirty dishes in the oven. Voila! Dirty dishes are out of sight! Because dirty dishes in the sink are BAD. So, if company surprises you, in the oven they go!

When Hubby and I were first married, we had people over All. The. Time. Our little apartment was like Grand Central Station. And sometimes, people would show up at the door, unannounced. One such time, I hurriedly shoved dirty dishes in the oven. The visit was great, they went home, we went to bed.

Cut to the next night, I decide we're having pizza for dinner. So, I turn the oven on and putter about the kitchen. Soon, I smell something. What is that smell? Then I realize. THE DISHES!!!!!!!!!

I throw open the oven door and scream. Pots, pans, and all my lovely black Calphalon utensils are melted. MELTED!!!!

Needless to day, I've never put dirty dishes in the oven, since.

Now, I put the closet! BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!!!!!

I'm sure all of you out there are perfect and always have a clean kitchen, so you never resort to tricks like this. So, you can stop rolling your eyes, now! (Mom, stop crying!)

ps, I Googled "Hiding dirty dishes in the oven," and apparently, I'm not alone in this. So, I feel better.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Can't Help It.

Seven years of living in Wisconsin has made me a Green Bay fan. I'm usually partial to New England (yes, Tom Brady has a lot do to with it, I'm not going to lie, prior to that I was a 49'ers fan because of Steve Young ha ha) but yesterday's game was just...awesome. But I do wish the Jets had won last night. Because then the Packers would actually have a chance at the Superbowl. My sons remain optimistic. Stranger things have happened, right?

ANYWAY, had a good weekend. Hubby is closing out the year at work so he comes home at night a pile of stressed-out goo, and this weekend was all about "vegging" and watching football and the Australian Open. And Sunday was church and then we had friends over for the big game. I think I did well, I had a BUNCH of dips and chips, and we grilled chicken and made quesadillas and just basically ate and enjoyed the game. Good times.

Now it's back to the reality of a scheduled and regimented day: I've allotted time for the gym and writing (the "gym" being conveniently located in a room in my house!) and today is a big time LAUNDRY catch-up day. Because Mount Vesuvius is back in my laundry room, and it's angry. It's about to erupt and take out half the house with it. ;-)

I hope everyone has a happy Monday!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Had a horrible headache yesterday. HORRIBLE. Of course, it didn't help that my friend Mik sent me a link to You know those pesky iPhones, you're innocently texting and you type in a word like "today" and the Autocorrect function defaults it to a word like FLAGELLATE, or something crazy. I've had some good ones. But this site has them all. Especially this little gem:

Or this:

I laughed myself into an even WORSE headache. It was 4pm before I got rid of it. And that was after copious amounts of Excedrin Migraine and lying down with my sleep mask on and everything.

As for Autocorrect woes, can I just say, this happens to me ALL THE TIME?

Luckily, you can turn Autocorrect off. LUCKILY.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Three-Year Old is Scaring Me.

This is a conversation Thing Four (who is three) and I had yesterday, at breakfast.

ME: Eat your oatmeal all gone, sweetie.

T4: I can't, mom.

ME: Why not?

T4: Because there's a zombie in the house, and he wants to eat my brains.

ME: Oh, really?

T4: Yes. And I can't finish eating my oatmeal because I have to go find him and destroy him, before he tries to eat my brains.

ME: (trying really really REALLY hard not to laugh) Well, I think you need your strength to fight the zombie, so you need to finish that oatmeal.

He shrugged at me, and finished the oatmeal. But I could tell he didn't want to. I have to give him points for originality. I mean, when *I* didn't want to eat my food as a kid, I just whined. I never "made up" a reason. Or a reason that was so...creative.

Scary. Either he's going to be a REALLY good liar, or a really great WRITER.

I'm hoping for the latter. And I think I feel a migraine coming on, so I'm signing off.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Immortal Panasonic Bread Machine

When I met my Hubby, it was 1993. I remember being very impressed with him because, frankly, he could cook and bake things better than I could. (His mom had insisted all her boys learn how, so they could fend for themselves ;-). After we'd been on a few dates he made me homemade pizza. (Yes, he made the crust and everything!) Apparently his mother had sent him a bread machine, so he and his roommates could enjoy "a taste of home" or something. Anyway, he had this bread machine in his college kitchen. It was kind of a joke at the time, because let's face it, how many twenty-something year-old guys had BREAD MACHINES in their apartments? ;-) Yeah. Not many.

We married in 1996. I didn't have to ask for a bread machine for my wedding, because we had one. Granted, I was really salivating over a double-bread machine I'd seen, but since we were newly married and poor as church mice, I was fine with inheriting the bread machine.

Hubby and I will be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary in a couple months, and guess what I took out the other day, and made a batch of rolls with?

Yup, it's still here! I give you, THE IMMORTAL "BREAD BAKERY" MACHINE, by Panasonic!

This puppy is ollllllld. Like, seriously, OLD. Hubby had had it for at least two years or more when we first met, so let's say it was made in 1990. That makes it TWENTY-ONE STINKIN' YEARS OLD. That is crazy! By my calculations, it's survived roughly 15+ moves to different apartments and houses during our marriage, and every time I plug it in I think "this is it, it's not going to work, and I'm going to have to buy a new one," and it works fine EVERY time!!!

And it still makes a great loaf of bread, and a great batch of dough. I use it at least every other week. In Winter, I pretty much use it weekly. It is AWESOME.

How's that for amazing?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011 is Going To Be Craptastic.

It's the age old complaint: why is all the "bad for me" food FABULOUS tasting, and all the "good for me" food tastes like A) something I went and picked off my front lawn, or B) Crap.

It's not fair. And it's not fun, eating healthy food. I have friends who eat healthy and they say it's "delicious." All those greens and whole grains and lean meats and fish, YUM YUM YUMMY.

Well, I say YUCK YUCK YUCKY. Especially if you came from the childhood I came from, where "healthy eating" just wasn't on the menu. We pretty much ate what we wanted. Sure, my mom tried to feed us balanced meals, but we mostly at the "unbalanced" parts and left the "balanced" parts sitting on the plate. ;-) And I can't even count all the "doughnut" runs and "junk food" treks to the store during the summers. My brother and I would save our money and go buy candy and junk. It was heaven, 'cause we were kids.

Luckily I was a spazz growing up (can you say ADD?) and I burned everything off quite quickly. Until I started college, and realized that being a spazz was socially unacceptable, and I slowed down. Wayyy down. I gained the Freshman 15. (More like 20) Lost it the summer after my freshman year, of course, but I realized I had to DO things to keep the weight off. Like running and fitness classes. I stuck with running, especially after an unfortunate Step class at BYU (remember, Aimee?) where I rolled my ankle severely, a few minutes in. Coordinated I wasn't. Running was the easiest thing to do.

Yeah, running was how I kept the weight off. I hated every minute of it, because my lungs hurt and my sides hurt and my legs hurt and oh my the SHIN SPLINTS, but when I got engaged and I wanted to get "fit" for my wedding, I dropped 15 pounds in two months, because I RAN a few miles every day.

Now, I'm in my late 30's, I have four kids, and the Metabolism Fairy has completely deserted me. (Well, let's be honest, She deserted me after my first child, but who's counting.) And I have decided I need to get down to my high school weight again, before I hit my 40's, or I'm going to a word...screwed.

So, yes, this post has a point: I am eating healthier. I am going kicking and screaming because I am a total stress/comfort eater, but I am making the effort. My daughter, who has suddenly become VERY health conscious, shuns pretty much anything processed. McDonald's is the Devil. (And when she was younger she used to LOVE those Happy Meals!) She pretty much has fruit, and more fruit, and I force her to eat protein. She does sports, so she has an outlet, but I asked her why she suddenly "hated" all the good tasting food and she said "I don't. I pretend I hate it, because I love it so much."

I guess I could learn a thing or two from my own daughter, right?

So, if you see a grumpy lady with a stalk of celery in her hand, don't worry, that's me. Basically, just stay away from me for the next six months, because that's how long it's going to take for me to "get used" to not eating my usual yummy food. And I'm going to do it all: running, weights, yoga, EVERYTHING. And I am going to be CRANKY. Because I like carbs. I like sugar and salt and fat. In fact, I might even lurrvvvvve them...

They just don't like me. :-(

Monday, January 17, 2011

Why Do I Procrastinate? I'll Think About That Later...

So, since I love to "put things off," I found myself at the dry cleaners this morning at ten to seven, waiting for them to open so I could beg them to dry clean two suits and five shirts by tomorrow night. Luckily I'm a good customer and I don't usually make "emergency" requests, so they were super nice about it. But it's my own fault I had to get up early and make the trip--I've known about Hubby's meetings for four days and did I take the clothes in Friday? No. Saturday? No.

So, basically. I utterly suck need to stop procrastinating.

ANYHOWSPEAKINGOFSTUFFTHATSUCKS, we saw Green Hornet Saturday night. If you are a fan of fluff with zero plot and gratuitous violence and car chase scenes, this movie is for you. Otherwise, I'd recommend you skip it. The only good part about that movie was Christoph Waltz as Chudnofsky, but he was horribly underutilized. The characters were more two-dimensional than a freaking STAR WARS movie! The best parts of the movie were used in the trailers, and that about sums it up.

Okay, I'll stop, you get my point. I'm tempted to go back to bed (kids are still asleep--no school today because it's Martin Luther King day) but I'll stay up and get some stuff done. Because I have a lot to get done because I procrastinated so much this weekend.


Oh, and did anyone see the Golden Globes? Ricky Gervais is the new IT MAN. Seriously. If he survives the week (you know he's had "hits" put on him now from those Hollywood types) his show ratings are going wayyyy up...

Friday, January 14, 2011

School is IN!!!

School has been canceled for four days. FOUR. And during those four days, did I see any of my children doing any homework? No. Not once. Cut to this morning, and we have a two hour delay of classes (they should have just canceled school again because five days in a row is considered "natural disaster" and the kids DON'T have to make the days up, but NO, they didn't do that) and all of my children, every single one, got up super early and are currently poring over books and papers, feverishly completing their homework.

I mean, seriously? They couldn't crack a book open, even once, during the FOUR snow days we had?

As my daughter would say: "Whatevs."

Hubby's flight didn't get canceled out of La Guardia. He did sit on the tarmac for over an hour, waiting to take off last night, but he made it back to Charlotte only 40 minutes later than previously scheduled. He was so glad to be home, he didn't care. We're glad to have him back!

Today I'm getting the kids off to school (two hours late) and then I need to put the house back together. It's not super bad, just needs some help. I was sick most of the week and I wasn't able to do much in the way of deep-cleaning. ;-) Time to get hopping! But I will leave you with the trailer to the Green Hornet, because I'm going to see it this weekend! Have fun, everyone!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

And We're Still Snowed In...

Well, not by MY standards, activity around here has pretty much resumed to normal. But since Union County has a lot of rural roads that are still iced up, school is canceled for today as well.

Hubby's flight out of La Guardia tonight is still on (fingers crossed!) so that's good.

I bought tickets to see Green Hornet Saturday night for Date Night. I get the titles Green Hornet/Green Lantern so confused. They're both green. ;-)

The kids and I watched The Three Musketeers last night before bed, I had forgotten what a cute movie it is! I can't believe it was made 18 years ago! (As in it doesn't seem that long ago!) But it was made in 1993. Tim Curry is so ham-alicious as the villian, and I love the chemistry between the three principals--Sutherland, Sheen and Platt. I always thought Chris O'Donnell came off as an unlikeable little punk in the role of D'Artagnan, and after watching it again, it seems even worse. I realize now he was a young, up-and-coming actor at the time (hence the starring role) and he was working with seasoned pros, way out of his league. Now, O'Donnell is much more seasoned. :-) He can pull off the lead in NCIS LA very believably, in my opinion. Some actors do get better with age.

I have this app on my iPad called "Voices," and you speak into the microphone and it will play your voice back any way you want--like Darth Vader, or The Exorcist (ugh) or as a Robot. It's hilarious to hear my three-year old right now--he's on the sofa next to me, oblivious to everything but "smack talking" the iPad. His brothers have taught him well. **sigh**

I am SO done making "snow day" breakfasts--waffles, cinnamon rolls, eggs and bacon and muffins, etc. It was fun the first couple of days. Now I'm over it.

Today we're having a "fend-for-yourself breakfast," A.K.A. Get Yourself Some Cold Cereal.

I'm so MEAN, heh heh.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So, I'm Not a Bad Parent After All?

Or...this could be my last-ditch attempt at rationalization. ;-)

I've learned a very interesting fact about my kids the last few days. We are currently on day three of school being closed--way too icy out there--and the five of us (Hubby is out of town) have been hanging close to the house.

I am trying to think back to when *I* had a snow day from school, growing up. I don't really remember any. Maybe one. But what did WE do? Well, we PLAYED in the snow. For hours. Then, we stayed inside, and we made forts. We did little "plays." We did art projects.

So, what have MY kids done? Well, the first day, they played in the snow. For hours. Then, once the novelty wore off, they came inside, and played with their iPods. Asked me if they could get THIS game app, and THAT game app. And played with their iPods. And played with their iPods. And played on the computer. And played the Wii. Then the iPods again. Asked me for MORE apps. I said no. They played on the computer some more. I kicked them off the computer. They said they were bored.

Notice a slight difference?

Yeah. Technology.

Why? Because when I was a kid, we didn't have electronics to play with. HELLO!

My kids are addicted to electronic gadgets. What I have FINALLY realized, is it doesn't make me a "bad" parent, it's just this is an electronic generation. My three year old can maneuver my iPhone better than I can. He's lightining fast. My daughter can make a MOVIE out of photos (complete with music and graphics) on my Mac, and she figured out how to do it all by herself. I would need to take a class. My boys can beat a video game in under an hour. Kids these days are just hard-wired this way. When I listen to my kids' conversations with their friends, what do they talk about? How far they've gotten on such-and-such video game. And how far this friend of a friend of a friend got on HIS video game.

Sure, I still like to have my futile attempts at "unplugging" and spending QT family time together, but it's not like it used to be, when I was growing up, and we didn't have electronic stuff. Then again, if memory serves, I do remember when we got the Atari. WE stopped making forts and playing with toys. We played that thing till it broke. And then the Nintendo NES. I spent an entire summer playing Super Mario Bros. and I saved Princess Peach, more than once.

So, I can't whine and wail and bemoan my kids wanting to be on their electronic gadgets all the time. It is just the way it is. At this point, it's the norm. All their friends, and their friends' friends, are addicted to their gadgets. Quite frankly, I'm "resistant" compared to some of the parents around here. And no, I'm not judging. I just think I'm a little Late to the Party.

Then again, I walked in on Thing Three last night, and he was lying on his bed, nose buried in book 3 of the Ranger's Apprentice series. He had actually made the choice to read a book.

"You're reading?" I asked.

"Yeah--I got tired of my iPod," was his reply.

I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

And Now, We're...

It's 1/11/11 today! Make a wish at 11:11! You'll get two chances. :-)

School is cancelled again--all that snow that melted on the roads is now ice. I've been reading the reports and they say going out in a car is like "rolling the dice" today--because EVERYTHING is ice.

Thanks, I'll stay home. It's warm inside, we have plenty of food, and we can watch movies and hang out.
Here's the kicker: Hubby is currently in NYC, and they're supposed to have a storm the day before he's supposed to fly back home. Yeah. He packed extra underwear, in case his flight gets canceled. ;-)

I'm still sick. The aches and fever are gone, but now, my head is solid cement from the neck up. I want to kiss whoever invented this little Pump Spray of Salvation:

It is because of this stuff I can actually sleep at night. And yes, I know it can make me worse in the long run, so I only use it sparingly--not during the day, and only before bed. I discovered it a couple years ago, when I was DOG sick for my sister's wedding. It got me through the entire time. And I could BREATHE.

I hope everyone is staying safe and warm!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Having moved recently from Wisconsin, I have to say I find it a little comical that a "few inches of snowfall" is enough to close the schools, here in North Carolina. We used to live in Pewaukee, which is just outside of Milwaukee, and let me tell you, can you say WELL-OILED MACHINE when it came to snow? We lived in a subdivision with only about 30 houses in it (the lots were one acre) that was off a main road but kind of isolated, and I remember by 4am the snowplows had already come through and plowed and salted the roads. Which was nice, because when we finally got around to snowblowing the driveway, we didn't have to worry about them coming later and "boxing us in" again.

Here, there aren't any trucks. At least, I don't believe so. So, be it snow or icy rain, you just STAY HOME. Back in good ol' WI, it had to be either A) SIX feet of snowfall, or B) Minus Forty degrees, for them to cancel school.

I'm a mean mom. I made my kids go to bed at 9pm last night, because as of then, the schools were still "open." Oh well. I'll let them sleep in this morning. And I'll make them waffles. They'll forgive me. ;-)

Yesterday was pretty harrowing, because Hubby was scheduled to fly out Tuesday morning to New York, and his boss texted him yesterday afternoon, recommending he try and get out last night, instead. Hubby called the airline, and there were still a few seats available for the direct flights at 8 and 9pm. Hubby texted his boss back, and said he could do it. Then he called the airline back, and in the 10 minutes it had taken him to get back with his boss, everything had sold out, and the ONLY available flight out of Charlotte was a non-direct, leaving at 6:55. Which gave us exactly ONE HOUR AND SIX MINUTES to get him packed up for the entire week and off to the airport!

Now, I'm completely CERTAIN, that when I woke up Saturday morning and despite feeling like crap (I've been dealing with a nasty flu-like virus) I ventured out to pick up all his dry cleaning, it was inspired. Because luckily he had all his suits  and dress shirts ready to go--so he could just throw them all (well, ok, pack them neatly) into his garment suitcase and GO. We got him out the door with 15 minutes to spare. It was pretty miraculous, actually.

I am now Hubby-less until the weekend, but since I'm still feeling sicker than a dog, it's not like I want him to see me like this anyway.

On the agenda for today? A whole lot of nothing. Except I plan on getting some writing in on my new story idea.

Stay warm, everyone!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Hummus, Where Have You Been All My Life?

I am sick. Achy, chilled and fevery. Viruses suck, can I just say? I was curled up in bed most of last night and this morning. I'm taking EmergenC and lots of water. Gotta be a Mom. No time to get sick!

 So, HUMMUS. Yes, it's not new. It's new to "me." So, all you people out there who feel tempted to roll your eyes can just stop it now! ;-)

We went to Brixx last week, and on the menu was "Wood fired pita chips and 3 dips." As in 3 different kinds of Hummus. Hubby was all for it, and I grudgingly agreed. The appetizer came out. It had regular Hummus, black-bean Hummus, and roasted Red Pepper Hummus. We dug in.

Oh my Gosh YUM!!!

I hate to admit it, I have never tasted Hummus. I had a roommate in college who loved to eat garbanzo beans (a.k.a "chickpeas") and I was super sicked out by them. And grinding them up and eating them just seemed...gross.

Then I heard about Hummus being "the rage" a few years back. I figured it was for types who did Yoga and Recycled and ate organic food--which is funny because these days, I do all those things!

Needless to say, I very much enjoyed the Hummus, and I'd totally eat it again. I was at Harris Teeter yesterday and I was shocked to find that a teeny tub of Hummus was $4.99, and a bag of Pita chips was $5.99. Wow. Expensive! I'd rather just go buy a can of chickpeas and spices and make the darn stuff myself! So, I'm on the lookout for a good basic Hummus recipe...

Thing One is finally feeling better today. I'm forcing her to go to school. She's missed all her basketball practices this week, and she's probably going to be too weak to play in Saturday's game, but we'll cross that bridge if and when. I need to get her some good basketball shoes. The shoes she's currently wearing are getting tight in the toe (they're from last year) but she loves them so she only just started complaining. I just hope they have them in her size--a woman's 10. We had a DEVIL of a time finding volleyball court shoes for her last season--I had to order online!

I hope everyone has a good weekend. Hubby is flying out to NYC on Tuesday morning, and we're supposed to have snow that day. Well, RAINY snow, which means he may not be going anywhere. North Carolina is NOTHING like Wisconsin, everything shuts down in mere anticipation of snow. Which is kinda funny, but nice, too.

Stay warm, everyone!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Comfort Food.

It's raining outside, and I'm enjoying my morning cup of Pero. (Closest to the now-defunct Postum I can find, thanks to my friend Aimee!) I've been mulling over what to fix for dinner tonight, when it's cold and rainy like this. Of course if it was ten degrees colder we'd be buried in SNOW, which would be awesome, but I digress...

I have dishes I only fix in Winter. Like most of you do. Summer is too hot for hot casseroles and homemade soups and double chocolate carmel brownies, so I actually cook and bake more in Winter. I have a really yummy (and easy) Chili recipe, which I make with sweet cornbread. I have a clam chowder recipe that is SO yummy, but I have to get the bread bowls at Panera. I'm no good at making them. ;-) Although I imagine they're not that hard.

The kids and I love Stroganoff, but Hubby would rather stab his eyes out than eat the stuff, so I think I'll fix it when he's in NYC next week. My neighbor informed me it starts becoming "shorts weather" in mid to late February, here (CAN YOU SAY HALLELUJAH?????), so I don't have a whole lot of "comfort food" nights left.

Anyone have a fantastic and easy comfort food recipe? I've pasted my chili recipe at the end of this post, its so easy it should be CRIMINAL. Yet so yummy!

Thing One has been sick. I took her to the dr. yesterday. It's viral. She's had a high fever for three days now, and she's a total snot-sucking zombie. (I know, GREAT mental picture, right?) I'm sure she'd appreciate me telling you all. But the poor thing really has it bad. Luckily she can get most of her homework online with MOODLE, so she's not behind. Gotta stay on the honor roll! (And yes, I won't go so far as to put a bumper sticker on my car but I am proud of her honor-roll student status--so indulge me the occasional shout out.) ;-)

And now, folks, I have officially run out of time. Gotta get moving! Happy Thursday!

Lara's Quick and Easy Crockpot Chili: (Serves four, I usually double it for our family of six!)

1 Pound Ground Beef, 1 can dark red Kidney beans, drained, 1 can light kidney beans, drained, 1 (14 ½ oz) can diced tomato, undrained, 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce, 2 small onions, chopped, 4 cloves garlic, minced, 2 Tb. Chili powder**, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 cup water

Brown beef, drain fat. Pour into crock pot, add rest of ingredients, stir well and cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Ten minutes before serving, remove crockpot lid (keep heat on) and let thicken. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese. Yum!

 **If you have kids with "weenie mouths" like mine, cut the chili powder to 1Tb. It still has a "little" heat, but not too much for kiddos. Also, if you're low on fresh ingredients, minced garlic in a jar and dehydrated onion (reconstitute it first) works just fine.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Workout Insomnia!!! Waaahhhh!!!!!

**Caution, lots of Whiny, Woe-is-me Complaining Ahead**

Let me just say, I do NOT work out at night. If/when I do work out, it's at 11am. That's my best time. I've gotten the kids off to school, had breakfast, digested it for the most part, and I'm an hour away from lunch. In other words, Perfect Workout Time for me. Thing Four is pretty easy--I either have him in the workout room with me with an iPod to keep him busy, or I put a movie on for him, and I have a good hour to do whatever I need.

Hubby works out at night. Religiously. He comes home from work, scarfs down dinner, and at 9pm, after we tuck the kiddos in bed, he's on the treadmill or elliptical for a focused workout. He says it keeps the stress at bay, and is a great way to blow off steam. Fabulous for him, I say.

Except for one little hitch--we've started our weight training again (darn those New Year's resolutions!) and we have a pretty good rotation system where we do weights together. Problem is, the only time he can do weights, is yes, you guessed it, at NIGHT. And our routine is not some quick routine. It involves two repetitions each of four to five different exercises in a set (and we're talking two to three sets) then ab work. In other words, it takes a Long #&*!#!! Time! Usually about an hour. Since it's the new year, I committed to doing weight workouts with him, three times a week, and cardio on my own. Which means I get to work out with him on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

You can sense the complaints coming, I'm sure. Last night was the first night of our "night workouts." First off, we had church activities and Scouts (Thing Three earned his Bear, woo!) and by the time we pulled in to our garage, it was 8:30. The kids were still wound up, and when we finally got them in bed, it was 9:30. Hubby and I didn't start our workout until 9:45.


I hate to admit it, but I whined a little. I complained a lot. And I even pouted a bit. Hubby wasn't having it. We were DOING THIS. So, we did, and finally, at 10:55, we were all finished.

Another inconvenient little hitch is I generally turn into a pumpkin after 10pm, lately. Maybe it's because I'm in my late 30's, or because I've always been more Morning Person than Night Person, but I was DEAD. And I was all sweaty and still had to stretch and it was going to be another half hour before I was all back to normal and cooled down. It was nearly midnight before we were in bed.

And then, I couldn't SLEEP. Hubby was asleep pretty quickly, but he is used to sleeping after a workout. I am not. I tossed, I turned, I huffed and puffed. No sleep. Finally, at 2am, I passed out, and then woke up at 4am with a headache. I've been up since. Can you say Z-O-M-B-I-E????

And I get to do this all again tomorrow night?

I think I'd rather drop a bowling ball on my big left toe. And I am SO not joking.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Got Picky Kids???

I still marvel that all four of my children are so vastly different, yet they came from the same two parents. And I'm not just talking about personalities, I'm talking about FOOD and PICKINESS.

As far as I know, we all eat the same thing at our house. I don't fix one thing for one child, and something different for the rest of the family. At our house, I fix one meal for everyone, if you don't like it, you starve.

(Well, I wouldn't say starve, exactly. Since I am a "mean" mom, if you don't like it, you get to suffer through the humiliation of being force-fed a few bites by yours truly, and THEN you can be excused from the table. ;-)

ANYWAY, my kids always keep me guessing. Thing One, who before seventh grade was a virtual garbage disposal, now eats next to nothing. Red meat is "gross." (Yet she loves steak fajitas, go figure.) The mere mention of fast food sends her over the edge. She prefers what I like to call the "Rabbit Diet." But she'll eat Chick-Fil-A. (Only because the nuggets have some addictive ingredient in them that makes you crave them like mad.)

Thing Two is trickier. He's my "texture" kid. We gave him one teensy bite of Sushi, once, and we might as well have stuck needles in his eyes. He runs screaming from anything that grows--I used to joke when he was younger he was going to end up with Rickets, because he wouldn't eat anything fruit or vegetable unless I tricked him into it. Basically, if it isn't Pizza or Tacos (WITHOUT LETTUCE), he will whine and complain and yes, get force-fed by his mother. And yes, he is ELEVEN YEARS OLD. Highly entertaining for his younger siblings to watch him getting fed by me, let me tell you. I rejoiced the day they invented V-8 Fusion--with ground-up veggies in it. That's a staple at our house.

Thing Three is my Angel Eater. As in, he doesn't complain, he just eats it. He liked "adult" food at a young age, he was eating salad and cooked sushi at age six. I will admit recently he's decided cooked peas are From The Devil, other than that, he'll eat pretty much anything in front of him.

Thing Four is my Non-eater. I have to remind him it's time to eat, or he'd skip it. He's just too busy wanting to play, color, run around, etc. . Otherwise, he's a typical three-year old. Loves fruit, HATES vegetables, thinks grilled-cheese sandwiches are the best. Oh, and playing with his food? BEST FUN EVER. (**Mom sighs heavily and rolls eyes.**)

The other day, at Panera, Hubby and I were standing in line, and when it came our turn, I rattled off a list of foods (all carefully tuned to each kid and what they like) and when I deferred to him to tell the lady what he wanted to order, he looked at me for a minute and grinned. I felt smugly triumphant. Because although my kids are picky, I at least know what they like. Even if I sound like Meg Ryan ordering food in When Harry Met Sally.

I'm the Mom, after all. ;-)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Back To The Grind...And Then Some.

I always have this sense of loss, when everything goes back to normal after the holidays. No more trees and lights (well, after today, heh heh), no more holiday music, no more anticipation, no more palpable "spirit" in the air.

Everyone trudges back to work, back to school, the house looks bare again, and it's still cold and gray. Granted, now the stores will soon look like someone threw up red and pink hearts and easter eggs in them, but it's just not the same.

Everything just feels like...pppphhhhbbbbtttttttt.

Although I will say, I have a renewed sense of determination. A new year means new goals and a less jaded attitude. For a while, anyway. ;-)

And I always get into Organization Mode. I go room-to-room and organize, purge, minimalize. Because we accumulate so much stuff during the year.

Time to take those trees down! Happy Monday, all.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

My Favorite Things of 2010

So, if I had to narrow the year 2010 down to a few favorites, these would be them. In random order:
The Tide To Go stain stick. I'm in love. Complete and absolute. This little tube of loveliness got me out of SO many near-disasters and mishaps. And it fits nicely in my handbag and car! WOO! Even better!

Aveda Damage Remedy. I got highlights this summer. As in, LOTS of them. And my hair turned to straw in the North Carolina sun. This stuff single-handedly saved my hair. Well worth the price tag.
The Vampire Diaries. The SHOW, not the books. Don't read the books. Just watch the show. (Sorry L.J., but it's how I feel.) Seriously. This is the show that had me saying "Twilight WHO???" Yes, it's a guilty pleasure, and yes, there are 93756395 other things I could be doing with my time, but I'm sorry, sometimes I just need me a little Stefan and Damon Salvatore! ;-)
THE PEAS. I don't know anything about them personally, but my workouts were infinitely better, because of their music. Black Eyed Peas rock!
Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate. I'm NOT a coffee drinker, let's just clear that up. But Starbucks has won me over with a confection of carmel and sea salt and foamy hot chocolate that is To. Die. For. Try it before the weather warms up. You'll be glad you did! (Of course, I get mine non-fat, no-whip--or I'd be drinking back all the calories I burned working out. But it's still tasty!)
The Apple iPad. Never thought I needed one. Now I don't know how I lived before without it.

Popsugar. Of all the gossip rags out there, it's the cleanest. A tad saccharine, and sure, I prefer the humor of Dlisted, but Michael K. is a little "much" for me sometimes. When I surf Popsugar, I'm not afraid for my kids to be in the same room as me and my computer screen. ;-)
The "Henry VIII And His Six Wives" Bracelet. Only because I am an unabashed Tudor History fan and I really really really love it, and I so can't afford it. ($150 at TartX.)

Pull-Ups. 'Nuff said.

There are so many other things I liked/loved in 2010, so maybe I'll do some more roundups. For now, Happy 2011!!!

The Ball Has Dropped!

Happy 2011 Everyone!!! And a great big shout out to my parents, Rich and Ana, who celebrate their 40-year anniversary today!!! Love you guys! Happy Anniversary!!!

2011 is so going to rock. I have decreed it. Thus it shall!!

Woo HOO!!!