Archive for April, 2008

Coffee Break

I don’t drink coffee.

I wish I did.  I have always wanted to drink it.  I love how it smells as it is brewing.  I love how it steams out of a cup.  I love how warm and cozy it looks as someone grasps their mug in the morning.  Unfortunately, I just cannot get past how it tastes.  It is horrible..so bitter!

I have tried.  As a junior high school student, my best friend and I wanted to become coffee drinkers.  So we would challenge each other.  We had heard it was an acquired taste so one would spend the night with the other and we would make a promise that we would not go to sleep until we had each drank say seven cups of coffee.  You do realize the total irony in that, right.  No junior high schooler will sleep after drinking seven cups of coffee, ever, but I digress.

My best friend from Jr. High now drinks coffee.  I do not.  I drink Hot Chocolate.  It doesn’t smell good in the morning.  I don’t get to snuggle up with it and relax each morning.   It is just a special, winter treat.  Not like coffee, not a daily friend to get you going in the morning or to warm you up at your son’s ball game when are about to freeze you hiney off. 

Which brings me to this post.  Because never have I wanted a cup of coffee more than tonight.  When we left the house this afternoon for dance it was a pleasant, comfortable 65 degrees.  Then it rained.  Just a few short minutes and the temperature dropped 10 degrees.  We did not  have time to go home, so we planned to just sit in the car for the game but Nana came through and brought blankets and jackets.

The game was great.  The players were awesome!  The fans were freezing!!!!  If only I drank coffee, for a few cents I could warm my insides—but, I don’t.  We are home now and thawed out.  The kids are snuggled down in their beds and the house is warm.  There is, however, a freeze warning out for the night.  In a few minutes, Tigerfan and I will go out and bring in the ferns and the hibiscus and then we will need to warm up—I hope we have Hot chocolate!

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What Women Want

I love my children.  I LOVE my children.  I REALLY DO love my children.  HOWEVER, I am soooooo tired of children right now!  Please do not get me wrong.  There are many people with worse situations than mine.  My precious grandmother raised five children and she is still nice!  I have dear friends with eight children and regularly read blogs of people with four and more so I realize I am just being a big baby right now, but oh, how I long for peace. 

I long for one night with at least four hours of uninterrupted sleep. 

I long to wake up in the morning and get all the way through my quiet time before the pitter patter of little feet or the cries of a hungry baby interrupt. 

I want to get all the way through a shower in the morning without hearing the words, “Mommy, watch this!” 

I want to get myself fully dressed without buttoning three things that don’t belong to me. 

I want to leave the house without realizing that I brushed four heads of hair, but none of them were mine! 

I want to get in the car and leave without making three extra trips into the house or begging someone to get in the car because we are going to be late.

I want to eat a meal in public without  making three restroom stops AND having at least one complete conversation–with an adult–without having to stop and say, “sit down” “leave him/her alone” or “please do not put that in your mouth!”

I want to go into a store and look at pretty things without any eyes rolling, any begging to wait in the car or any detours to look at the gaudy pictures on aisle two.

I want to read my blogs without using the other ear to listen to the same story I heard five other times today.

I want to take a nap without having to button dress up clothes, hear the retelling of what Batman did to Spiderman when they encountered G.I. Joe, or having ANYONE come into my room to ask me if I am through taking a nap yet.

I want to spend a family night together where no one fights over who touches or lays on me more.

I want to say good night to my children in peace.

When I clean my house, I want everyone to notice and tell me what a good job I did and how proud they are of me!

Wow!  I think I just figured it out!  I want to be a man!

Oh!  I kid!  (sort of)

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Lessons Learned This Week

Here are just a few of the valuable pieces of wisdom I have acquired this week.

1.  When your 8 year old son asks you to fix him ice cream and you do and you tell him to go put the carton back in the freezer don’t leave the kitchen for two and a half hours assuming he did.  BECAUSE…when you return to the kitchen, the aforementioned box will still be sitting on the counter, however the ice cream will no longer be in the box!

2.  Just because as a young, jaunty twenty something you could drink unlimited amounts of caffienated drinks and immediately go to bed and sleep soundly, does not mean that as a 35 year old mother of four you can do the same and no matter how tired you are, if you drink a 20 oz. Diet Coke at, say 9:00 p.m. chances are rather high that you will still be awake at 9:00 the next morning.

3.  After learning lesson number 2…One should not use a caffeinated Diet Coke to take a percocet to try to sleep off a major headache.  BECAUSE…while one will sleep, it will be a fit-full, jittery sleep full of weird and rather distressing dreams.  AND, there is a very good chance you will wake up dazed, tired, and still have a headache.

I think that is enough wisdom for now.  I would not want to over burden anyone with all my new found knowledge!  If I learn any more valuable lessons this week, I will be sure to share them soon!

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All in a Weekend’s Work

Wow!  What a weekend!  It will be easiest to cover it in list format.

1.  Friday some of our friends were out of school for Teacher Appreciation Day.  My children should appreciate me, so we took the day off, too and hung out with them.  They have a trampoline (something I have tried to get my kids to ask for for Christmas because, frankly, I want one) and the weather was pretty but threatening rain, so they jumped for awhile and headed inside.  I got some much needed adult conversation and the kids played to their hearts’ content.  Eventually they headed back outside to jump.  We were enjoying our mommy time and not paying much attention until one of the boys came up to the door drenched.  It was POURING down rain and the kids were having a ball jumping in it.  We discussed whether or not to let them stay out and finally decided they were making great memories and they were already wet so we let them continue.  I took soaking boys home, but it was worth every minute.

2.  In a second of totally out of the ordinary organization, I had pre-made a lasagna before going a visitin’ so I just had to throw it in the oven when we got home.  We enjoyed a lovely dinner together and then Dancer began complaining of a tummy ache.  I chalked it up to a day of eating junkfood and didn’t think much about it until 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. (I think you get the picture).  She ended up with a full blown tummy bug that lasted two full days.  Poor baby could not keep anything in her!  This was truly a problem for her but I suggested it might be helpful for Baby boy who seems to be having some p**ping issues.  It began with him producing only on Sundays and Thursdays (you think I kid, but I do not!).  The days then changed to Tuesday and Friday.  This last Tuesday was VERY productive and we thought we were, perhaps making progress but the poor rascal has not gone since!  (Yes, I am fully aware that this is a case of way too much information!)

3.  Baseball boy had a ballgame Saturday morning at 9:00 which would have been fine except Tigerfan was in the woods (yes, he is the coach but it is turkey season and one must have priorities, really), my MIL had obligations at church and I had a sick child.  So, I took Dancer to the bathroom (precautionary) loaded up all four kidlets and headed to the ballpark.  I dropped off B.B. and headed back home.  The other coach brought him home with great news!  We now have won THREE games.  B.B. claims he got the winning hit (I have to believe him)!  Truly, the whole importance of the hits is cold, hard cash!

4.  Sunday, Tigerfan stayed home with Dancer while I took the rest of the clan to church.  We ate lunch with Nana and Papaw and returned to the infirmary.  Dancer was starting to perk up.  Tigerfan was working on a power point presentation for a class he started teaching tonight and I had kid duty.  We played Simon Says, Quiet Mouse, Still Mouse, Noah’s Ark, etc. until I was gamed out and suggested the children watch a little T.V.  This delighted Football boy who was wandering around the house like a lost sheep because he could not get on the computer to play–what is technology doing to our children? 

5.  Finally, things were getting back to normal, we prepared for a better night sleep but Baby was not to be forgotten.  He spent many hours last night reminding us he was there.  In our room.  Demanding attention.  Loudly.  And Shrilly (this word made since in my head–it did not transfer to type well).  HOWEVER on a semi positive note, during one of his bigger fits in the wee hours of the morning he learned to turn over!  My little boy genius, only 3 1/2 months!  He is quite pleased with his new found skill and has practiced all day.  He keeps turning on his tummy to sleep so now my sleepless nights will be because I feel compelled to get up and make sure his head is not buried in the bed!

6.  I realized, sadly last night that I do not smile and laugh like I used to.  I am too stressed out, so I committed today to be more laid back.  I got up and walked on the tread mill this morning.  I read extra chapters in our read aloud book at breakfast and didn’t freak out when we did not officially start school at 8:00 a.m.  (The book is called “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” and it is adorable!).  We finished early.  Okay, well we didn’t do Spelling, Latin, Spanish…you get the picture but I did get all the laundry finished, scrubbed the bathrooms, etc.  My kids might not have a good education, but my house will be clean!  We then had dance, which we got to and Dancer decided her tummy hurt.  So, we skipped dance, went to the grocery store (and may I say that I would rather have all my teeth pulled out without medication than take four children to the grocery store), got gas and returned home.  I went to the store without a list so I came home with 2 packages of brownies, oreos, 4 bags of chips, a cake mix, kool aid drinks, peanut butter and honey…you get the picture.  And when I got home at 6:00 with a baby who wanted to eat two hours earlier, with groceries to put away, dinners to fix, a science project to do with Football boy, baths to get to and ironing to do, what did I do?  make chocolate chip cookies from a recipe Happy Mommy gave me.  Because, again, I am all about priorities.  The cookies, by the way are quite good and super simple!

Are you as tired of reading as I am of typing?  Four Little Penguins left me a comment today saying she wished I would post more often.  Frankly, I do to.  I just have this pesky time management problem.  I really need an intervention people.  I wish that I had never discovered blog stats because I stress all the time about the need to post so my 9 loyal readers will not abandon me.  I think of posts all day long, but I often just run out of day and lose my thoughts before I type them.  I read other blogs like We Are THAT Family who has been blogging about the same length of time as me and get a little envious (ooo, our pastor preached on that Sunday) that they have so many readers and so many commenters and so many posts!  It is like being in high school again and trying to win that elusive popularity.  And yet, I did not start blogging to gain a following so I am trying, please bear with me.  I will post eventually, and maybe eventually I will get back to daily posts, until then remember, if you do not hear from me, I am ignoring my own advice, multi tasking too much, and striving to get organized enough to not be quite so flighty.  AND, just because I am ignoring my own blog–I am not ignoring you, my children may go without a meal but I will check in with my faves every day.  There is nothing wrong with that, right? 

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Ladies and Gentlemen…We Have a New Record!

It has been a rough few days around here which explains why it has been so quiet on the blogging front.  In fact for about thirty seconds on Wednesday, I had decided to give up blogging entirely in order to focus on raising my children with no distractions because, clearly, I was failing at it with distractions.  As soon as I breathed again, I realized the insanity of that decision and came to terms with the fact that the kids may be warped but they are less likely to be beaten if I get a few minutes a day to connect to some bloggy friends.

Interestingly, and completely off the subject, I read a post this morning from one of the newest blogs I read that summed up my feelings perfectly!  We are THAT family has a great post about blogging—you should really check it out!

Okay, now on to the real business at hand.  Baseball season has begun friends, oh yes it has!  We have already enjoyed practices for 7 and 8 year olds that did not even begin until 8:00 p.m., rain outs and irate daddies!  HOWEVER, we played our third game last night and guess what, WE WON!  This is the second win this season (we are not even going to talk about the loss)!  Not only that, but there were three innings called on the seven run rule (a team cannot score more than seven runs in one inning) and all three times it was us that scored the runs!  Now, if you have read from the beginning, you will know that this is a complete turn around from last year.  In fact, we have actually exceeded last year’s one win for the season.  I figure that no matter what happens the rest of the year–we have already beaten our own record so things can only go up from here!  Not only that but Baseball Boy had two great hits (one mediocre, but hey, he is 8) and threw the last out of the game!  That’s my boy! 

He is quite motivated!  Not because of a deep and abiding love for the game, but because Nana and Papaw give him a dollar for every hit he makes.  The other day, we got a flyer from Dick’s sporting goods with  a coupon good for $10 off a $50 purchase.  After I helped him understand that having 8 of these coupons wouldn’t really benefit him because it really wasn’t like $80 free dollars, he understood that he would have to spend $40 to get the benefits of the $10 coupon!  His reply:  “Wow, I better hit every ball I get this year!”  Oh, and by the way, you know what he wants to buy with this coupon?  Under Armour.  Nothing specific–he just wants Under Armour–the choice of a new baseball generation!

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Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge

Firstly, let me just say, I completely realize the futility of offering up this challenge do to the, well lets just say reader challenged condition of this blog.  And yet, I feel somehow compelled to press on. 

I am a Food TV junkie.  One of my favorite new shows is the Ultimate Recipe Showdown in which contestants compete in three related categories (i.e. cookies) and then the winners of each of the categories go head to head for the ultimate winner.

Recently there was an episode where the challenge was cookies.  The categories were chocolate chip, spice, and bars.  The winning chocolate chip cookie was Radical Rob’s Chocolate Chip Cookies with a score of 99.  He was actually beat out by the spice cookie (something that totally perplexes me because how can a spice cookie ever beat out a cookie with chocolate…but I digress).  Anyway, totally unlike me, I actually decided to try a recipe I had seen on the show…I got online and found the recipe and read the reviews…Fantastic.  Okay, there were a few negative reviews but mostly they were because the website had a typo and people were using 2 cups of sugar instead of 1/2 cup sugar and ending up with extremely sweet, rock hard cookies.  Most of the reviews using the correct recipe were astoundingly positive with many people saying they were throwing away their old recipes and this was their one and only recipe from now on!  Sooooo, I had to try it.

Now, I was raised on what I consider to be the world’s best C.C. cookie.  We make it around here with alarming frequency.  Tigerfan, however, is not a huge fan because my recipe has oatmeal in it which he does not love.  So, when I found this new recipe to replace all recipes I thought I had found the answer.  A C.C. cookie that was so delicious I would throw out my old recipe and Tigerfan would love as well because it did not have oatmeal.  Dancer and I were ready and prepared the cookies Friday night to take with us on the trip to pick up F.B. from his cruise.  The recipe was fairly simple and we had them whipped up in no time.  We packed them up and put them in the car and Saturday morning, when we got the snacking urge…out they came!  They were, well, mediocre!  Even Tigerfan agreed.  Now, they had one thing especially going against them and that is that the recipe called for milk chocolate chips.  I am a milk chocolate girl, but in a cookie, I prefer semi-sweet.  I haven’t given up on this recipe–it has potential.  When I try it again, I will use semi-sweet chips and probably use salted butter and maybe even add a little more salt.

So, here is the challenge.  Try both recipes and tell me which one you prefer.  My old, family recipe or Radical Rob’s.  I really want to know.  Am I just loyal to my recipe or is Radical Rob’s not as radical as it claims.

Here is my recipe:

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour                                                     1/2 tsp water

1 tsp. soda                                                              2 eggs

1 tsp. salt                                                                2 cups oatmeal

1 cup shortening                                                    1 pkg. semi sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Sift together flour, soda, and salt.  In separate bowl cream shortening, sugars, vanilla, and water.  Add eggs.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Add oatmeal and mix.  Mix in chocolate chips.  Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes.

You can find Radical Rob’s recipe here.  Just remember it is only 1/2 cup sugar, not 2 cups!

Happy baking and let me know what you think!

 

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Cruisin’

I am so excited as I write this post because tomorrow we leave to pick up Football boy after a week apart.  I didn’t know how we could get through a whole week without talking to him, but here we are at the end of it!  How time flies!  I was actually relieved that he wasn’t here last night as storms covered the mid-south.  He is soooo scared of them and would have been miserable, instead he was living it up in style–isn’t God good!

When we first got to our friend’s to drop him off, the boy he was going with immediately took him to his room to show FB the candy stash he had been saving for the boat!  He was so excited and the boys spent the next couple of days counting it, seperating it, etc.  The night before they left, his mother suggested he put it in his backpack, but no–he wanted to carry it.  Guess what?  He forgot the WHOLE bag!  I felt so bad for him, but really, it was kind of funny, he was just stunned when he realized all the candy was at home on his bed!  He quickly perked up, however, proclaiming that it was okay, his grandpa would probably get them more on the first stop.

This was just after his mother realized that on Sunday morning, he had unpacked his bag and worn one of the pairs of dress pants he had packed to church and got them filthy!  It seems that he HATES to wear shorts (which is unfortunate when you will be on a cruise for a week).  I had packed FB’s only two pairs of khaki pants for the trip and so Sunday morning all he had for church was a pair of khaki shorts.  D felt extremely sorry for him that he was suffering so much to wear shorts to church and offered to let him wear one of his pairs of khakis–after all, he has seven pairs!  As it turned out, D’s pants were to big and FB ended up wearing a pair belonging to D’s 8 year old brother (they make ’em tall in that family).  However, in all the rummaging around, D decided none of the other 5 pairs he owned would fit so he got a pair from his suitcase!  His poor momma, I thought she was going to die!

Anyway, we got the boys sent off and headed back home in much better weather!  I was sooo surprised a few hours later when my cell phone rang and it was FB calling from the boat!  They were taking off (or whatever it is when a ship leaves) in fifteen minutes, but D’s grandfather had graciously allowed him to call us before leaving.  I am telling you, that man got a big ol’ jewel for his crown with that one single act!  I asked how things were going.  And, oh, he was beside himself.  They had already eaten!  Plenty?  He informed me that they  had cut a full size pizza into fourths and gave him a whole piece!  He had eaten one other thing and two ice cream cones, and the ship had not even left yet.  His comment, “You know how they say it is all you can eat?  They mean it is ALL you can eat!”  He also bragged that they had given him his very own room key and map–I wonder if he would have been as excited if they had told him he could make his own bed or scrub his own toilet?  Lastly, he asked me if I knew that pointy part of the boat.  That is where he was standing to talk to me!  He was so excited and suddenly every ounce of questioning whether or not we had done the right thing by letting him go melted away.  How could I have possibly denied him this opportunity, one he will never have again and memories that will never fade away!  I have missed my little FB like crazy and cannot wait to hug his little neck tomorrow, but it was worth driving in pouring down rain, getting lost, even the gazzilion dollars we spent in gas to get him there to hear  the smile in his voice as he announced that he better go because the ship was getting ready to sail. 

Now, if only Tigerfan would take me on a cruise–I am pretty sure someone would hear a smile in my voice, too!

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