How’s My New Website Coming Along?

It’s a mess. An absolute mess.

Thank you for asking. I am neck deep in trying to design my new website “Just Like Perfect!” and it isn’t even close to perfect.

It is disorganized, stuff is all over and I cannot find anything I need. It is cluttered, messy and just plain chaotic. There is no place to sit down or put things. It is disturbing to the eyes.

Hmmmm….that sounds familiar but I cannot put my finger on it…..hmmmm.

Oh yah…it looks a lot like this…

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and this

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and this

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and this

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(Yes, there are still holiday decorations up but they are “winter” decorations people…)

I have a tech person in the family who is giving me some assistance. This is the person who wondered why my site didn’t look like “XYZ” (and XYZ was exactly how I had always wanted my site to look but didn’t think I could have a website yet so I got very excited to hear the tech person say that) when I had questions about changing the name of my blog. So, with this person’s encouragement I set off on my quest for the website that I had always wanted.

This person is an absolute whiz in the tech world. This person could design a technical world in a warehouse the size of a football field all by themself and be able to find one specific needle based on that design. No problem. But you would not want to visit this person’s warehouse, it would be too cold and too harsh and that is exactly how it would be planned. It would not be meant for visitors, it would be strictly for function. I, however, am looking for a warm cozy fuzzy place for everyone to come and sit for a while. Big cushy couches to sink into with your coffee while you lose track of time hanging with me. A place that feels fun and inviting. That is a new design world for this tech person who is helping me. We are both bringing something different to the table and I think that it will be one fabulous website, a place you never want to leave, once we are done. But, I am not sure we are ever going to get done.

I am grateful for this tech person’s help because just when I am completely stumped, they give me enough clarity to push through and move on. They give me hope when I am ready to pay someone a million dollars to design my site. It’s too much, I am in way over my head, “WAHHHHHHHHHHHHH” – insert tears and foot stomping – “I can’t do it!!!!!!!!!!”. The worst thing about working with this tech person is that this person believes that I can do this (I can’t). They will not let me give up and hire someone for a million dollars (it’s the only way). This tech person feels that I should know how to do all of these things myself because

A: it is fun – (ok, it kinda is)

B: I will need to know how to do it any way to manage my site in the future (yes, I guess that is true) and

C: I will feel so accomplished once it is complete (probably way more accomplished than trying not to eat a waffle sundae every night)

That tech person’s calm voice cuts through my drama and says that I can do it and that there is a way.

Sniff, sniff – insert nose blowing – “Ugh, Ok, I will keep working on it”.

By the way, tech person, I also don’t know how to get my pictures to organize on my new computer. And how do I get my new camera to take better pictures? Oh, heck, can I pay you to come here and fix all of my technology issues? I would happily give you the million dollars that I want to pay someone to create my website.

This tech person knows how I live and just laughs. They offered to meet me, alone, in Maine and handle my tech issues, but none of my other issues. They are not coming to my world. Wimp.

Maybe it is because I am designing my new website on a notepad?

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(and yes that is a gingerbread tablecloth on my table still and yes, I do know that it is February.)

I need to go make something in my kitchen, a place where I feel comfortable and know what I am doing, to rejuvenate my soul…and then get back into my website refreshed and ready to tackle the unknown. Unless I use up all of my free time in the kitchen….hmmm….that could work….

 

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Maple Sugaring Starter Kit from Blain’s Farm and Fleet

Being from the Northeast and close to New England, maple sugar is a love of mine. I used to get little packages of pure maple candy when on vacation and I savored that treat. The way the sugar just melts and dissolves in your mouth….mmmmmm.

I received an email from Blains Farm and Fleet and this is what I saw (click on link). How fun! Aside from the kit, there are other related goodies.

http://news.farmandfleet.com/public/?q=preview_message&fn=Link&t=1&ssid=10172&id=l4u61humtvrpc4qu1v2jkhf241kqh&id2=f48a2u6oikl88xgckhlm5m8w0s06h&subscriber_id=abywdyrkvwxiszvtywgaafkdfxwcbge&delivery_id=bppsjdqhkvowogqgvgvfogezokgabih&messageversion_id=buuzhghqtukyfgdgzdcymqqsnghkbpb&tid=3.J7w.B71jlA.GBdP.Afb9Zw..AlnRpQ.s.awo.s.AVgs.b.VNIz8A.VNJPqA.J53MYQ

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This kit looks like so much fun, although I suspect there is a learning curve and a bit of work involved. But you just might have someone on your gift list who would love this fresh idea.

Tap My Trees Maple Sugaring Starter Kit

$90.00 for Tap My Trees Maple Sugaring Kit

http://www.farmandfleet.com/products/878661-tap-my-trees-maple-sugaring-starter-kit.html?utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Image+-+Tap+My+Trees+Maple+Sugaring+Starter+Kit&utm_content=Breakfast+will+never+be+the+same+again%21&utm_campaign=150204+6806+Spring+Dollar+Days+Tap+My+Trees+In+Area#.VNJipTM5CUk

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Even if I could take on this hobby, one important factor is missing…

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We only have one tree in our backyard.

I guess there will not be a brunch at our house to celebrate my first batch of homemade maple syrup!

My Daughter’s “Blogging”

My daughter has been watching me and paying attention and I did not even know it, until I saw her one day going around with her kid camera getting in close for her shots.

She also loves to “cook” and craft and she has made these for my blog. She had an idea to scoop out the inside of an orange and then fill it with other fruit and yogurt, then top it with the other orange peel. She considers it a recipe (I do too when I barely did anything for my food, it sounds like I was much more involved) and calls these “Treasure Chests”. She must have seen an idea for them somewhere but I just think she is quite clever. She has only just turned “5”.

Her most recent creation is a cupcake made with little colored “puff balls” and a glittery-topped chapstick for the candle (it was a birthday present).

Of course, I think she is so stinkin’ cute…

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Just Like Perfect!

Yippee! Wahoo!

…[insert happy dance]…

Thanks to you and your encouragement to hang in there, I finally have a new name! (I had outgrown my blog name-read about it here)

This past week it came to me and it was inspired by these pathetic little cupcakes that I made for my daughter’s birthday. I shared these with you in this post.

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They looked fine going into the oven.

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They did not come out looking anything close to fabulous.

Not even close. The tops were sunk in and crunchy. The batter had spilled out over the sides and was baked on.

But, that was not what mattered. It was about celebrating a birthday for my muffin and she loved these cupcakes. It didn’t even occur to her that they looked pathetic.

It was just us and I was juggling a sick kid too so starting all over was not an option and I did not have to.

I salvaged them with frosting and candy and hearts were happy. It was a moment made and for me, that was more important than a lovely looking cupcake.

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I caught myself whispering, “just like perfect” as I finished the first cupcake and I realized that I enjoyed that motto a lot. A lot. More often than not, my best intentions for perfect produce less. But the outcome I wanted was not a perfect cupcake, it was a happy little muffin who felt special on her birthday and I succeeded in that. THAT came out perfectly!

It must have been “meant to be” (I believe in the energy of the universe and all that jazz) because later that night when I looked up the phrase, I could not find anything online that would be a problem for having it as a title for my new website. Nothing. I have searched hundred of names and phrases and they have all been taken.

Then…panic set in…

I still had not figured out HOW I was going to have a website and I did not want the name to be taken before I could “own” it. I wanted to do it right but fast. Here and there I was able to put the pieces together for a plan and became the new “owner” of a website called Just Like Perfect!

I have only just moved into my new digs and now I am trying to figure out how to build my site but I am excited to get it “livable” and invite you to the Open House. Until then, I still have lots to share here, but I will keep you updated. And maybe I will share my journey in the event that some of you are thinking of self-hosting your site. I truly am starting from scratch and with limited knowledge.

So far, it is Just Like Perfect!

Home from Surgery

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and well wishes yesterday during my wee one’s day surgery. He did a great job and is recovering at home today after a long day at the hospital.

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These are the bags that I took with me that were filled with food and activities for me and my wee one, but mostly me. Let’s face it, his day was pretty much planned out. There were various snacks of the sweet and salty variety and a Diet Pepsi, of course. A thermos with water and one with ice. The shining star was a turkey sandwich on a beautiful roll that was only slightly less “shining”” because it lacked bacon. But I was too tired to make it the night before and yesterday morning making bacon felt inappropriate when my wee one could only eat JELL-O. I had to call on the gods for self-control. I REALLY wanted bacon. I settled for bacon bits. It was still a delicious sandwich and I even packed chips and pickles. I had to have pickles and they made me so happy.

I found a section of the waiting room that I could call my own and set up my little fort. It was lovely. I ate half of my sandwich and a variety of accompaniments around 10:30 am when my muffin was in surgery. That time frame is normally second breakfast or first lunch for me when I am home, so I was right on schedule. It was delicious. I read a bit and eventually the surgery was over and I was called to meet with the surgeon. All went fine and it was to be about 30 minutes to an hour before my wee one would wake up and I could see him.

When I came out of the physician meeting room, the people in the waiting room had multiplied and I saw that I lost my large section that had been all to myself.  I tried to act casual as I looked around to see that there were other empty chairs that they could have selected from. My giant collection of bags should have been a warning. I needed to corral my bags so I squeezed me and my bags into the allotted space for one chair and then proceeded to become “one of those people”. The ones that we roll our eyes at. There are times when I fill that role very well and yesterday was one of those days.

I decided that I needed my Diet Pepsi. I really wanted the ice from my thermos in a cup with my Pepsi but the ice had melted enough to become one block. I would have needed to shake the thermos to break it all up. In the woods, that action would have been just fine. In the waiting room where parents were anxiously waiting for word on their wee ones, that behavior was not appropriate. So, I resigned myself to pouring the soda into the hard packed ice-filled Thermos so that it would at least be cold. My soda filled the thermos almost to the brim so I was going to need to politely sip out of the top of the thermos a bit before I could put the sippy-type cover on. No problem. I settled back with my book about self-publishing and prepared to wait out my time. Before I even took a polite sip of soda, a lady called for the mom of my wee one. She said that it was time to go with her. What? I just sat down. Is this the real deal? Do I get to go back with him now? Do I bring all of my things?

Yes.

Oh happiness! I started to gather my things realizing that I had a bit of work ahead of me to get packed up, all while the lady was waiting for me. Talk about pressure.

The first thing that I did was to put the top on my very full thermos of soda because I forgot that it was a very full thermos of soda. You guessed it. Soda spilled out onto the little end table. The people around me (that had not been there earlier in the day mind you) tried not to look.

At this point, I knew that I was just going to have to accept being “one of those people” and I may as well do it gracefully.

I tried.

But the soda just seemed to keep showing up on the table and I had to take it to the garbage and spill some out then make a few trips to grab tissues and throw them out. One of my giant bags that I had already slung on my shoulder kept falling and getting in the way as I tried to cleanup my mess and gather my belongings. It was not going well. I cheerfully offered that the doctor had just told me that it would be 30 minutes to an hour so I wasn’t expecting to go so quickly. No one seemed to see that THAT was the reason that I was in this predicament. They just kept pretending to look at their tiny little technology devices – the ONLY things that they brought with them.

Eventually the lady who was waiting for me came over and told me that she would take care of my mess. I told her that she did not need to clean up after me since it was my mess. I think she just could not take it anymore.

As I finally left to follow her to my wee one, with all my bags hanging off of me, I looked back to make sure that I had everything and saw that my neighbors were still pretending to look at their little devices but I think I heard them breathe a sigh of relief.

I was so happy to see my muffin that I had already “moved on” from my performance.

Eventually, he and I were settled in a room and when he fell asleep I grabbed my thermos full of soda. Ice-cold soda. Delightful.

It went just perfectly with the second half of my sandwich, chips and pickles.

I got to watch Sesame Street, which I think is one of the funniest shows ever made. The hidden humor gets me every time. And don’t even get me started on how funny Grover is.

And the highlight of the day was that the Tooth Fairy made a stop by the operating room since a tooth was hanging by a thread. That crazy lady even left a dollar. Who knew she made hospital calls?

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Today I am balancing a recovering child’s needs with a birthday child’s needs…and a toddler’s needs.

A recovering child who feels worse than when he went in for the surgery that was supposed to make him feel better. He is frustrated.

A birthday child, who already had the “big bash” but is still excited (and rightfully so) because it is the “real birthday” and is looking for the hooplah.

A toddler who may not know exactly what is going on but knows enough to make sure that he isn’t left out of any of it, good or bad.

Phew…

But I still think my day is better than my neighbor’s who has her first few day old newborn.

I think…

My house is a mess, laundry is piled up, kitchen counters and dishes are in their various stages of clean/unclean and the countless other tasks that are always with me. I am tired.

But…

the ice cream cone cupcakes were made.

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And as it would figure, this is what our cupcakes look like.

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I know it has nothing to do with me. I am not taking it personally.

They are far from perfect but I was the only one who noticed and not a one of us cares. It’s a good thing that we never met a cupcake that we didn’t like! With a little love it will be just fine. A moment is made…

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Hip-Hip Hooray for store-bought cake mix (although this one produced a not so soft cupcake) and frosting as a pantry staple (and for store-bought pre-made dinner!). It will be the best birthday ever!!

Set for Surgery

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Bright and early Monday morning me and a wee one are headed off for some child-related day surgery. We were able to get in on a cancellation, which meant that I had some scrambling to do Friday afternoon to get ready. With insurance authorizations, school teachers on notice, childcare for my other wee ones in place, and all other related tasks in order I now need to prep for the surgery day.

Naturally, my first priority and concerns are for my wee one undergoing surgery. But there isn’t anything more that I can do for him at this moment.

So, it becomes about ME.

Yes, me.

Will I have enough to eat?
(Probably a tuna fish sandwich is not a good choice in an enclosed waiting room. But bacon might be.)

What am I going to bring to keep me busy?
(This is not a problem at all. I have piles of things that I want to do and cannot get to. The better question is how do I narrow down the things that I bring to keep me busy to things that I would actually get to because I cannot bring in a rolling suitcase.)

What am I going to wear?
(Luckily, this is not a formal affair. But I suppose that fleece jammies and fluffy socks would be inappropriate since I am not the one actually undergoing surgery. I need to find the outfit that feels like sweatpants but looks like I put in a little effort. That will take some planning.)

Do I have enough headache medicine?
(Hanging around is not one of my strengths.)

In preparing for this day-long venture, I have become aware that I am actually going to have some rare time by myself. It’s not at the spa or at a bookstore but I always say you need to enjoy your opportunities however they come to you even if it doesn’t look exactly as you would have planned. It’s the only one coming so make it count.

I am getting a little excited. A cup of coffee, perhaps. I can leisurely read my books about self-publishing, a book by Marlo Thomas on ladies in the prime of their life starting their dreams (I do fit into that category) and one of the fabulous series of “Dummy” books  instructing me on how to use my new camera. Plus, there are still those holiday magazines that I have not looked at yet.

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Yes, it is a bit exciting.

There are also thank-you notes to get to and my holiday stories that need work.

And that pesky task of finding a new name for my blog/website. That task is like a mosquito flying around. I get tired of it and swat it away but it keeps coming back making noise.

Most likely I will be fraught with anxiety on separating from my wee one while away in the hands of others and I will sit with a nervous foot tick counting the seconds until we can be reunited, completely unable to focus on anything for myself. My giant stack of fun things to do will come home untouched.

But, it is a fun thought and is keeping me busy!

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to Me!

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Today is my birthday! (For some reason the date of this post is Jan 13th not Jan 16th – quite possibly I “published” my post instead of saving the draft when I started working on it…hmmmm.)

I love celebrating my birthday and I always have a wonderful day no matter what it looks like. It is called “Happy” Birthday, after all.

Are you on the edge of your seat wondering just how a gift idea blogger would celebrate her 44th birthday? (I know that you are thinking that I do not look a day over 25…thank you so much, that is so very kind.)

When you are also a mother of three young children, there really is only one way to celebrate….

With a dress-up tea party for lunch, of course.

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A princess, a Skylander Giant and a toddler who ditched his hat by the time the party started were all in attendance as well as a grandma and me. My daughter and her grandmother planned the party and it was quite an event.

 

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The kind of event that is talked about long after it is over.

In the evening, the festivities continued with tacos and quesadillas and a cakeroll that I had wanted to make for Christmas. With a little tweaking, it became a birthday treat! Instead of red and green sprinkles, I used rainbow ones. I skipped the cake bits as that was not something that I have on hand and I did not use white chocolate to cover the cake. I reserved some of the frosting for the filling and topped the cake with it too. It was fun and delicious but very sweet!

This is my cake…

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Yummy!

And here is the recipe from Roxana’s Home Baking…http://roxanashomebaking.com/christmas-vanilla-roll-cake-recipe/

What would some fresh and thoughtful gift ideas include? I asked for some yoga DVD’s and a new candy/deep fryer thermometer. (I guess I can stop procrastinating about that exercise thing now. Right after I make some chicken wings…)

But on the top of the list are homemade cards and lots and lots of hugs and kisses.

and a McDonald’s Hazelnut Iced Coffee never hurts either…

 

“Over the Hill” Party

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We recently had an “Over the Hill” party for the male that has been in my life the longest.

I was fresh into my 1st apartment when he moved in with me and he was a bit of a bad seed. He had behavioral issues and my mom was not thrilled about him.

(You should always listen to your mom…they just know about these things.)

But I couldn’t let him go, so he and I have been together for 20 years now.

If you had told me at 24 years old that I would still have this guy in my life, I probably would have gone into a panic. There was no way that I was interested in that kind of commitment.

But 2o years later we are still together and we have had quite a history together. A celebration was due.

He’s scruffy now and cannot hear, but it serves him well in our kid-friendly home.

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Happy 20th Birthday Raja!

He is still beautiful and full of spunk, at least once or twice a year. He tolerates me and my craziness. Every time I have to reorder his 16 lb. bag of prescription cat food, I consider a smaller bag, then go for the big one deciding that I can donate any leftover food. That was like three or four 16 lb. bags ago.

He needs nothing, as is often the case when you have lived a full life. But this Christmas he was thrilled with cat nip and scratch pads, things that he had not used in the last few years.

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And then he needs a nap.

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His favorite hobby has always been being outside, although he has had to accept supervised visits because I cannot let him go out on his own.

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He loves snow.

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and eating grass.

Here’s to many more lives, Raja, since I am sure that you are only on your first one!

(and no, he did eat any chocolate cake…that was for us…but did you notice the animal print candles? He he he…)

My Name in Lights!…well, not really

Being that I love gifting and all, I use various sources to browse around for fresh and thoughtful gift ideas and magazines often have some super cool ideas.

Well, while looking through the December 2014 Holiday issue of the Food Network magazine, I saw that they had a section with food related gifts. They shared a gift idea for Birdseed Donuts from Gardener’s and I was totally like, “Hey…I posted a blog about those! My idea is in the Food Network Magazine!”.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/holidays-and-parties/photos/100-gifts-for-food-lovers.html –  (go ahead and check out their other fabulous ideas).

Granted it was only one of my ideas and they had LOTS, but I was able to make it out to be “big”, BIG I tell you. (Here is my post).

Now, you know that it had nothing to do with me and that it was all pure coincidence. Yes, I know that too.

But wait…

It happened again in the section where they shared candy ideas from each state. They shared Aplets & Cotlets and I had posted about them too! (here is my post)

I made that whole moment out to be fabulous, I tell ya!

Frozen…and freezing cold

I had to use that title in honor of my daughter who loves the movie “Frozen” and anything that relates to it.

My reference is to the freezy cold temperatures this week and today.

I love it and here is why…

Last year was freezy cold most of the winter and we were not sick. This year we have been sick all the time. My theory, that I am now putting to the test, is that germs just cannot survive in this freezy cold weather so we will not be sick. I feel so alive and healthy!

I pay attention to MSN Weather for my updates and there is a warning for “Ice Accretions”. What in the world is that and how should I prepare? It is considered “heavy freezing spray”. We still do not know what that is but we are kinda excited to see it – bring it on!

I love to hear the sound of the snow crunch under my tires and boots and the sound of my coat crackling because it is sooooo cold.

The air just smells of crispness.

And probably my most favorite is seeing everyone wear hats.

And I mean EVERYONE…

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(He’s used to it and he tolerates me)

There are even hats worn in cars and in stores. (Except for those two people who didn’t want to mess up their hair…)

I forgot the butter…and to publish

(As I was looking at my “posts”, because I am in the process of creating a new one, I noticed that this post was listed as a DRAFT when I thought that I had published it days ago. I checked my blog and sure enough – it is not there on my home page. I hope that forgetfulness is not in store for 2015!)

Here is the post that was supposed to be shared days ago…

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The night after the day that I made it my mission to bake for my neighbors so that I could finally deliver their gifts, I saw a measuring cup half-filled with melted butter on my countertop. At first I thought that our guest was using it for something but it was late and that did not make sense. My kids were in bed and making popcorn did not seem like it was on the agenda.

Then I realized that it was the last ingredient for my Scandinavian Almond Cake that I had already delivered to my neighbor’s house.

Oops!

The cake HAD looked different and tasted slightly different when I tried a piece but it wasn’t my best one. Now I know why.

Bummer.

So, in keeping with the theory of making lemonade from lemons, we made popcorn with the melted butter.

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Eventually I will need to redeem myself with my neighbors and deliver a better homemade treat, but until then we enjoyed all of that melted buttery goodness ourselves!

Shepard’s Pie so I don’t cry

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So, you may remember that I have mentioned that some sort of evil virus permeated our family before Christmas and took over our home and our holiday prep. Or maybe you were busy enjoying your holiday season like you should have been so you had no time for my whining. I hope that is the case!

Me, on the other hand, have had lots of time to complain and whine about being robbed of my favorite season and all of the goodness that I was looking forward to. Our evil virus is still staying with us and today I could take no more. I woke after a sleepless night in a defiant mood and was ready to roll out the cookie dough that keeps staring at me from the fridge, make cakes for my neighbors and get dinners ready to freeze so we could pull them out at night when we had no more energy.

I still have yet to make my baked goods but that is because I also needed to get out of the house and go to Applebee’s and laugh like they do on their commercials. I really needed that.

But my Shepard’s Pie and Turkey Pot Pies are ready for the freezer.

After naps, I will tackle the baked goods (I so hope) and make ice cream sundaes…because we really need that too.

Now, I just wish I could taste all of this good food…

My Christmas Crazies Calmed

I did not exactly veg out the last few days doing things unrelated to the holidays, specifically holiday shopping, which had been my plan once the Christmas Crazies hit me, but I am feeling balanced again and I “got my mojo back”.

I knew I would. I just love this time of year.

Having much of my shopping and wrapping completed for those giftees who get their packages mailed to them, it was simply a matter of boxing them up and shipping them out. That was fun and it always makes me feel like the holidays are swinging now once the presents start their journey. Of course, I ran out of packing tape toward the end of boxing up my gifts so I had to run out for more. That trip proved fruitful because I found a few gift items that I needed, which completed some more packages. Yes, on a roll now!

I also made some chocolate-covered cherries. Did you know that you could make your own chocolate-covered cherries? I did not. I love chocolate-covered cherries and the recipe looked doable so I did that on my “break” the last few days. They were delicious! I had stumbled onto the recipe while looking for something else so I tried it. I actually have two recipes and have only tried one. The fabulous part is that they are supposed to be made weeks ahead of time so that they “mature”. I love that, especially since I know there is a cold lurking in the shadows just waiting to infect my family as soon as Christmas gets closer. I have been freezing cookie dough and trying to get as much accomplished as possible so that I can just ride out the end of the Christmas season enjoying the fruits of my labor. These chocolate-covered cherries are part of that labor, the only problem is leaving them along to “mature”. Traditionally, I pick up a box of chocolate cherries and eat one a day, maybe two if I am feeling really up to the sugar high. luckily I have plans to try the other recipe so there will be plenty of cherries to carry me through if I decide that they have matured enough.

Here is the recipe that I tried. They were pretty easy but it does take time because you are shaping individual cherries. For me, it was a night-time activity.

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chocolate-covered-cherries

and here is the next recipe that I am planning to try…http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolate-Covered-Cherries-2/

We also picked up our Christmas tree, which is pretty much like stopping at a drive-thru to get it because I have used a small temporary local tree lot the last few years to take away the pressure of driving for three weeks to a tree farm to cut my own. It’s not as much fun but it’s part of my balanced holiday. This trip to get our tree was super exciting because a photographer from the local paper showed up while we were there and since we were the only ones tree shopping, he took a picture of my three small muffins dragging the tree to our car. I was just so proud.

Naturally, I ran out to pick up every paper that I could find the next day. It’s a local paper so I had to make two stops to get enough to cover the family who was going to receive this with their Christmas gift this year. Times have changed from my youthful days of being in the paper when you could call up the newspaper and ask to have them send you a picture. First of all, it is available online so I could email everyone the story, which I did. But that is not as much fun as getting the paper and my older relatives are not online so I needed paper copies. Secondly, there is a fee to get your picture but in addition to getting a picture you can get a mug, tee-shirt, mouse pad, key chain, pillow case, etc. – you could probably get a Fat Head too. I opted for the digital copy so that I could take some time to figure out how many people needed mugs for Christmas…

That simple small town experience was rejuvenating as well, so here I am back in full holiday mode.

Ok, I am off now to post some gift ideas…thanks for listening!

 

“VIP” Opportunities

As a parent you get the chance to groove with some very important “people” if you choose to hang in certain circles. The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and The Tooth Fairy are some of the most recognized celebrities in those circles. I have yet to meet the “Elf on the Shelf” – he hangs with a much younger crowd and I am not sure that I have the energy for his acquaintance. I have heard that he can be fun but he can also be a lot of work. I have also learned to stay away from those types…

I was very excited to have new access to these VIP when I became a parent because of my own long history with them as a child. But when it came time to introduce them to my children, I was unexpectedly hesitant. It is what I had been excited about and I had been looking to enjoy their traditions on a new journey for myself, so why was it hard to share my precious children?

Because I knew that there would come a day when they were older that the VIP’s would stop visiting us. That will most likely be difficult and I did not want that part of our hobnobbing. Because I had created an acquaintance with these VIP’s that I would later forever alter with information that I had known all the time. The future separation was already difficult for me and we had not even begun yet.

That was a few year’s ago.

The Tooth Fairy came last night. I had decided to keep with a tradition that had been important and special to me as a child since I am a semi-well adjusted adult, (it’s debatable, I know) despite separating from these VIP’s in my 20’s and 30’s – ok, it was much earlier than that I suppose. NOT sharing these relationships with my children did not sound like a better option so I went along for the ride figuring that I had some time to adjust.

A wee one lost a top front tooth, very timely of course for the annoyingly famous Christmas song “All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”, and the 2nd top tooth was barely hanging on by a root. But despite the 2nd tooth’s exposed gum and twirling hanging nature, it was not going to share the limelight with its twin so there will be another Tooth Fairy visit tonight.

The biggest problem that I have come to see with these VIP’s, way beyond my distress from sharing misinformation, is that they all come at night. And their appearance in our home always seems to be discovered in the wee hours of the morning.

At 4am, I had already learned of the Tooth Fairy’s visit. It was very exciting, of course, but I am coming off of a marathon of sleepless nights due to weeks of illness in some fashion for my kids and before that I think they were newborns. No sleeping then.

I hopped back into bed after hearing about the Tooth Fairy in the hopes of seeing “The Sandman” within minutes. I have kept his acquaintance to myself though because he always seemed a bit scary when I was a kid.

He never made it, did not even stand a chance of getting near me. There were various other visits, not from VIP’s, but from my wee ones with bathroom needs or other issues. My daughter ended up needing to crawl into bed with me because she was afraid in her room by herself. She currently shares a room…

At 6am she and I were still awake, despite my best attempts, when my toddler woke for the day. My daughter decided that she was not going to get up, even though she was the reason neither one of us made it back to sleep, and she even decided to go back into her own bed to get some more sleep.

Kids and VIP’s can be a lot of work…

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Stomach Bug…The “Beauty and the Beast”

Our family is expected to share, but sometimes that means the bad stuff too.

We were all afflicted with a violent stomach bug over this past weekend as it went from one family member to the next. No one was left out. How kind.

As I miserably counted down the hours for the 24-hour bug for myself, as well as each member that I had the pleasure of caretaking for, I saw the “beauty and the beast” of the stomach bug.

Beast – mountains of laundry, and I mean mountains. All of the old towels and sheets and blankets that I have ever saved were pulled out for duty this weekend and then piled into the laundry room as they performed their service. It was not long before it all spilled out into the hallway. I am not sure that I will ever catch up.

Beauty – the family had to pitch in to help momma when it was my turn to dance with the stomach bug. While camped out in my pitiful state I heard my 6-yr old ask my 2-yr old if he wanted to run errands with he and his father because they had not been afflicted yet and were elected for errand duty. Naturally, he did. Then I heard my 6-yr old begin to undress the 2-yr old which included lots of giggling and instructions on where to put your arm to get it out of the shirt. Knowing that this should not be an unsupervised moment I dragged my sorry buns upstairs to see my two boys in under garments and diaper while the 6-yr old was rummaging through the closet and drawers for something that the 2-yr old could wear. So darn cute! The 2-yr old was all on board and just followed his brother around. I went to get my husband so he could see them and in that brief moment, they had moved into the 6-yr old’s room and my toddler was now diaperless. He only knows how to get off his socks and his diaper so that was his contribution to getting ready. I had to step in now, as it was only a matter of moments before I was going to need more towels and NOT for a stomach bug.

Beast – for some reason, all 3 of my children had the active part of the stomach bug at night. This meant that I was up all night since the bug hit every 15 minutes for hours then slowly tapered off over the rest of the night.

Beauty – The stomach bug hit at night for my kids so that they would “respond” to the bug and then go back to sleep because they were so tired. The moaning and self-pity that came with my own day-time active stomach bug was a lot less for my kids at night. I could also focus on the sick ones and be relieved of my other day time caretaking duties, which would have had my sick buns running even more ragged.

Beast – two of my children started the bug at bedtime together so I spent the night of my own day time sickness running back and forth between rooms. I had no sleep that night, which followed my own day-time afflicted state and had previously had little to no sleep the 2 prior nights because of the stomach bug in my family.

Beauty – By that evening when 2 of my children were sick simultaneously I was getting past the active part of the stomach bug so I was not “in the loop”.

Beast – it’s hard to eat so everyone is hungry constantly but cannot eat much, then they are hungry again in 5 minutes.

Beauty – when my husband gets groceries he is brand name all the way! And “super-size”. I am the exact opposite – I buy generic and if it costs more then $3, I do not want to buy it. That applies to meat, cheese, clothes and tires too. So, I got a nice brand name tub of baking cocoa that I am very excited to use when we get past this stomach bug thingy. And we have the biggest box of Froot Loops (not “Friuty-O’s”, mind you) that I have ever seen. It will not even fit in the cupboard. Those real Froot Loops nursed me back to health little-by-little the night that I was on double active duty with 2 sick kids and my own recovering system.

Beast – I am home with 3 sick kids.

Beauty – I get to say things like, “Please pick up your dishes, nobody took care of me when I was sick”.

Beast – I just had Stanley Steamer (carpet cleaner) at my house.

The Beauty of this Beast – I lost weight and am ready for the Bakery and Overeating season and all I had to do was suffer for a few days! Easy peasy.

The BIGGEST BEAST – I jinxed myself because a wee one just threw up and I thought that we were past that. Ugh.

The BEAST wins…

They Come with the Santa Hat…

In December we have a school holiday concert to look forward to and we are very excited.

Yesterday, I received a note from school that my wee one would be able to wear dress clothes or a costume – either a Santa (Mrs. Claus) or an Elf for this concert. My wee one decided to wear a costume and I had the perfect one.

I had seen these adorable Santa and Elf pj’s at Target in their flyer this week…

http://www.target.com/p/kids-striped-elf-sleep-set/-/A-15640088#prodSlot=medium_1_8&term=elf+pajamas

http://www.target.com/p/kids-santa-pajama-set/-/A-15808456#prodSlot=medium_1_1&term=santa+pajamas

Since the concert will run into our usual bedtime, I had a parental fantasy that I could kill two birds with one stone. I would have a costume for the concert and then he would also be in his jammies so I could just plop him into bed when we got home. Yes!

But, reality is that it will be cold so I will need to put other clothes on underneath his “costume” and if he ends up sliding around on the floor or some other kid related behavior, I would not in good conscience be able to put him to bed in those jammies. It was a nice fantasy though!

He took a liking to the Santa pj/costume, but they are on backorder and I am not sure they will be available in time. So, I ordered those as well as the Elf pj’s. It will mean a trip to the store to make a return at some point but that will be easier than running around like a crazy lady now.

My wee one was happy but he also needed a hat.

A hat, ok. Should be easy enough.

You would think that we had Santa hats stashed away in our holiday bins but we do not. I figured that I had better order that as well since we never know when I will be getting out to browse.

A search on the Target website proved to be slim for Santa hats and this is what I had to choose from…

The Santa and Elf “pants” come with the hat.

Well, I needed a hat. I could not be choosy even though I got more than I had asked for! I just hope that I do not mix up his costume.

But what am I gonna do with the Santa or Elf “pants”?

I see a blog giveaway in my future…

1989 had Cookie Pops?

I was perusing my 1989 version of a Better Homes and Gardens Cookie cookbook, which happened to be my high school graduating year.

 

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Back then there was great hair, great music and apparently cookie pops.

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Who knew? I thought cookie pops were a newer fad. But there they are complete with popsicle sticks.

I was also struck by the food photography in that cookbook. I took a liking to it instantly because it reminds me of my photography that is considered sub-par by todays’ DSLR standards. The photos in that book are darker, not as clear and a bit golden-looking. Just like mine! Were I back in that fabulous year, I would be right up there with the great food photographers of that day.

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Good Momma, Bad Momma or Crazy Momma?

Here in our Midwestern world the Trick or Treating weather looked pretty similar to the blizzard on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, minus the snow accumulation.

All day garbage cans (it was garbage day) were flying by our house. My wee ones plastic toy house out in our back yard took a tumble and I am pretty sure that I saw an elf roll by.

We had snow flurries and the wind blew sideways. ALL day…even now.

It was scarier than any Halloween gimmick that I have ever seen and I tried to put it into my wee ones heads that it was just not going to be fun heading out there. They agreed with my statement but it never entered their minds that we SHOULDN’T go out to gather candy.

I could have put my foot down. But, instead, I said that we would probably only make it to a few homes that were next to each other and then we would call it a night.

Our town sets a date and a time frame for Trick or Treating and we headed out right as the clock ticked 5pm. I drove around the corner to a more densely populated street knowing that more houses and less distance between them was just plain good math. We made three houses at our first stop, then piled into the car to warm up and drive three or four houses down to be in the middle of another closely grouped set of homes with their lights on (I love that universal sign of “candy here”).  Then we did it again. I think I made 4 stops and we actually made it to quite a few houses, at least by our standards based on the expectation that we would only get to four or five and because my kids are still young so their math ability is unripe.

I was the only soul out with my wee children. I started to feel a bit like a bad mother that I was taking my young children out in this weather to get candy no less that we did not need. Because people did not expect to get many visitors due to the weather, they packed our bags full. My kids were thrilled and I was content that we would only need to go to a few houses for a respectable load of loot.

Eventually we were joined by others who braved the weather to fill their loot sacks too.

I am from the Northeast so fair-weathered Halloweens typically are few and far between. This particular one was extreme but I was game in the name of adventure and stocking up on yet another great story to tell around the Thanksgiving Dinner table in the years to come. I do not remember a Halloween as a kid where I did not have to wear my coat OVER my homemade costume, along with a hat and mittens. That frustration can still spark a great conversation as I tell about my suffering. My kids should have that too.

And they did. We had another crazy Halloween story to add to the one that happened 2 or 3 years ago where it rained and was windy and we suffered for that candy.

Back at the homestead, we warmed up as we surveyed the loot and made our choices for the first “dig-in” moment. I am not sure if I was a good momma, a bad momma or a crazy momma, but I think all three fit for different reasons!

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My kids were wild-eyed and unrecognizable from two days of Halloween parties and junk food that we normally do not encounter. Those couple of celery sticks that I threw into the mix to combat the sugar never stood a chance. I too was feeling “off” from my loot choices and decided to combat mine, not with celery sticks, but with popcorn and a Diet Pepsi. I suspect that I will be sorry. And if I am not careful, I will need candy to offset the salty popcorn – and then I will be found in the morning in a heap of candy wrappers and un-popped kernels moaning about Halloween.

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I am looking forward to Thanksgiving now and a different kind of gluttonous sickly feeling from overeating.

 

Garbage Bread

At a 5-year-old birthday party this weekend, I watched the helper of our host pick up leaves of lettuce one by one with a fork to put them in a storage bag while cleaning up. Out of all of the things that could have caught my attention at a 5-year-old birthday party (like the “wild animal nature” that comes alive when a piñata opens up and the candy spills onto the floor, it’s pure raw fend for yourself – take no prisoners behavior) I was struck by her gracious behavior and wondered if I would have the couth to do that. It was very time-consuming and I pictured myself washing my hands and then grabbing it by the bunches. Would that be construed as “yucky”?

It got me to wondering about my nature. When push comes to shove, do I have any couth?

At the grocery store I had purchased some rolls and fun bread (fun bread is not the normal healthy wheat bread I force us to eat daily) and I was looking forward to the sandwiches that I had planned to go with those white foods.

When it came time to make those sandwiches, I could not find the bread anywhere.

Nowhere.

As the weather turns colder, I look forward to using some shelves (and often other flat surfaces) in my garage as a cool and cold place to keep foods and drinks. I had done this with my bread, or so I thought.

In and out of the garage I went, looking for the bread. I spend an awful large quantity of time in a mental fog because of my parenting status and I searched in many places that I may have left the bread. I wasn’t even sure that I had not already picked up the bread and just put it down somewhere odd in my mental fog.

As it usually does, the mental fog eventually cleared enough for me to have a thought (probably from all the wind surrounding me as I walked in and out of the house).

Since it had been wrapped up in a grocery bag I thought that it just may have found its way to our garbage bin. That’s what cat poop and baby diapers get disposed into naturally.

It did. I grabbed it out and spent some mental energy contemplating the “5 second rule” for wrapped food in the garbage. I had never heard about that rule.

Since it was double wrapped and sitting on top I figured I was safe. These were great rolls and bread after all.

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Then I texted my husband to see if it was he or me who tossed our great breads. I won’t tell…

But we had a good laugh – and a good sandwich.

It also gave me my answer on whether I have couth or not.

I’m thinking “not”.

I know that you cannot wait for an invite to eat at my house now, with garbage bread and handled leafy greens on the menu.

 

Halloween Goodies!

I have mixed feelings about Halloween.

Happy Halloween by the way! (or almost, if you are reading this on the eve when I actually posted it).

It is a fun holiday. I love silly spooky and I get a kick out of the old time black and white movies as well as the kid shows.

But I also have to find costumes that my kids can maneuver in at school independently (they have to go to the bathroom) and no store-bought costume fits that description. I prefer homemade costumes but since we entered the social domain at schools, my kids found out that there is a larger world than a costume that mom made.

Sad.

The candy negotiations begin as well and little by little, my wee ones stock dwindles (sometimes my secret stash gets bigger depending on what they scored). They do well with momma’s limits and soon they forget what they had. Then I move to close the Halloween candy deal in a few days and move on. So far, that works. As they get older, I will have to come up with something new.

This year, I was on a mission to send some healthy treats to my son’s Halloween party, in addition to my favorite Rice Krispy Treats. I saw these dressed up bananas and mandarin oranges during an online search (see the site link below) and fell in love!

Somehow though, in the translation of many back and forth emails with my son’s class party people, I ended up being assigned something else and someone got to make my bananas. Bummer!

But I wanted to share these with you in case you need some ideas. I made these at home for my kids any ways and they were a big hit. But they were supposed to be a bigger hit.

I had to tell someone, so thank you for listening.

http://www.creamty.com/t1/recipes/sweets-snacks/healthy-halloween-snacks.html

Aren’t they great? And easy!

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I did get to make my Rice Krispy Treats (and eat some)…

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And because it is Halloween, I made one candy corn levitate…

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spooky…ooooooo…..

Happy Halloween!

Don’t get a bellyache-

 

My Big Hurry

As soon as the warm weather came to my part of the world, which was very late in coming this year, it seemed like I delved back into the winter and the holidays again. I often get in a big hurry to get things done when I have big ideas and I had an idea.

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For the last few years I wanted to write about winter magic but I was never able to come up with a story line. This summer however, I developed an idea. I set out to writing my stories and creating my little pet project, expecting to complete it and self-publish for this coming winter season. I have complained about technology as I struggle to keep up with it lately because I am still fumbling around on my new computers, I am just barely on Pinterest (and for some reason I think I have two accounts), I have never tweeted and I do not even know what Instagram is. But it is also a wonderful way to accomplish things that were once not possible. I would never be a published writer except that now self-publishing is on option. Fabulous.

My pet project includes short stories, recipes and photos. I also need to figure out the whole self-publishing “thing” and create my book. I have worked on all of those aspects here and there along the way. I made some adjustments to my pet project as I realized that my initial plan would not fit into the time frame I had allotted myself. As my time to complete the project is drawing near for unveiling this winter season, I did some more research on self-publishing a few days ago. I had intended to unveil the completed book on my blog, but the research suggests otherwise. I need to try out my idea on an audience for feedback and what better audience than the internet for honest feedback.

It made sense so I revised my plan again and started working to get my creation in order to share with you for feedback and help. My research also strongly suggested that I have professional copyediting performed. Hmmm…that would take time. It also mentioned that once you put something in print, it was “out there” forever thus why wouldn’t you want to have the best representation shown? It should be thoughtful and ready versus just quickly finished to get it published. Hmmm…there is much wisdom to that since this was a labor of love that I was enjoying and I should share the “true” vision of my project instead of putting it together quickly to fit my deadline. It was only meant as a gift for grandma’s and family members but since it would be available to all it should be my best.

Phew…that all means that I still have so much more to finish.

My days are full as I “do life” with my family and nighttime is the only time that I am able to work on my pet project. But there are also numerous other things that I need to fit into that time frame too and I am tired. Last night I had a quiet temper tantrum because I really wanted to work on my stories and there just was not going to be time. Each time I thought I would get to it I remembered that I had real work to do online and that I had not made lunch for my son or scooped cat litter and prepared my cat for the evening. And those last-minute dishes that get me EVERY night when I think that my kitchen is all caught up. Ugh.

Time ticked on and my quiet temper tantrum festered. “What about me and the fun things that I want to do? When do I get to play?”

I was pooped as I finally got to look at my drafts and focus on the computer for “me” time. I complained in my head that I had so much left to work on before my pet project would even be remotely readied. How was I going to get it all done in the next few weeks?

A voice simply said, “You’re not.”

It was the voice in my head and it was right. There was no way that I was going to have this ready in a few weeks, especially if I wanted it to be a representation of the true project that I wanted to create. I do want it to be right and I do want the first thing I ever self-publish to look like my plan.

I was disappointed because I have worked whole-heartedly on it. And because in addition to my pet project there are other things that I want to do for my blog that will have to come in time.

Then I started to feel a little relief. When resignation set in, I began to feel excited. Accepting that this was not the right time to be finished with my pet project meant that I would have the time to do it right. I would have this winter season to feel some of the essence that my project would need. I could work on recipes and photos and enjoy it. I was feeling good about my new decision.

You see, I have issues. Plenty. Jumping in head first and working like a crazy lady to meet a self-imposed deadline always gets me.

Except for my front porch bench.

I have been sitting on this project for quite some time because I am tired of this bench. In the last few years, I have painted it bright red and then bright yellow and that was quite an accomplishment.

Now that our undeveloped development is developing we are just one brown house in a row of brown houses. I need to stand out, tastefully. I am not a big fan of blending in, unless I am hiding. Last fall we had our shutters replaced and the bright yellow bench no longer went with the new brown color. So, I painted our front door a new bright color and I had big plans for the bench. I wanted a bright multi-colored bench so I jumped in to that project. I did not allow myself the opportunity and time to really select the colors so it was a pathetic excuse for a bench. Now I need to just paint it the one color to match the door and be done with it and I have no interest any more. But, it needs to be done so that our front looks reasonably put together.

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But the geraniums that were to be replaced with fall Mums are still out front. So is the empty planter that was supposed to be filled with more geraniums. The spider webs and dead bugs that hang from our unused doorbell (Do not ring this and wake up my children! Knock, please!) and light fixtures are not Halloween decorations. They are real. I cannot keep up with the pace of the critters therefore they are still there on my front porch. At least the dead bug dotted spider webs deter people from using my doorbell in the event that they want to ignore my sign. Painting my bench will help but it’s only a drop in the bucket for our curb appeal.

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This weekend I had bake sale volunteer requirements to be fulfilled. I planned to make 3 desserts but I was lucky to squeak out one.

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We coveted that cake so I would like to make another one for us.

Thankfully, my neighbor offered to make something because she misses baking since she is watching what she eats lately. She made us a dessert too and it was heavenly.

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I have been in a mood to make decorations and gifts lately but I know that I cannot fulfill that desire. I did however fight that knowledge and purchase some mini-mason jars at the grocery store as an impulse buy because I want to make SOMETHING. Is that too much to ask? Probably, but I am trying. At least they will keep until next year if I cannot get to it.

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So, I have no business trying to self-publish a book right now. What was I thinking?

But my new direction for my pet project has me jazzed to do it the way that I intended and I would still like your help. I will keep working on it and will roll it out closer to the holiday season to see what you think and to get your feedback and suggestions. Is it even worth it? Am I on track or do I need to rework it? Does it look more like something my cat created? I don’t know and I need your help.

There will be Sugar & Spice Black Tea and Christmas Butter Cookies.

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There will be twinkle lights.

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and there will be napping…lots of napping. It is a grown-up story after all!

Out of the Mouth of Babes…

I haven’t posted yet for today because I wasn’t “feeling” anything yet.

My daughter just gave me my material.

This morning my wee ones were helping me pick out my shirts and I had a selection of shirts that were from my “expecting mom” days. They are not maternity wear per se, but if the belly fits, they may as well be. My concern was that my belly would fit so I was explaining to my kids that I wore these when they were in my belly and I loved them but I did not want to LOOK like I had a baby in my belly now because I didn’t.

I was able to squeak by wearing one of the shirts, but it probably is iffy.

We came home from dropping my oldest at school and had a few moments before I took my daughter to school. She wanted to do a “Dance party” so we were dancing and then she had an attitude. She has been having them lately so I left her to enjoy it.

I went back out to the dance party a few moments later and sat down to watch. She came over with an emotional face and told me that she felt like she looked like me when she was wearing her shirt and it made her feel like she had a big belly like mine. Then the tears welled up.

I know the feeling…

It was a great laugh for the morning!

I have to go now, she is waiting for me to get her a new shirt.

Maybe I should get a new one too…

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New Neighbors

We have lived alone in a field for 5 years. This field is supposed to hold 1 million homes – I am rounding up.

A lot.

We live in an undeveloped development that has started to become developed. We have lived with vacant new homes around us for a year, all in various states of construction. We knew that maybe, just maybe we would have neighbors someday.

We do! Two homes were recently purchased so we have neighbors after 5 years. Right next to us neighbors. Like 15 feet away neighbors. It must have made construction sense to build homes right on top of our house when there is a gigantic humongous field surrounding us, full of vacant lots.

Or maybe we are just that awesome and everybody who’s anybody wants to live right near us.

That’s probably it.

We feel sorry for those neighbors because since we have been by ourselves for so long now, we just might think they are quite interesting and it would not be outside the realm of possibility for us to stand out in our yard watching them in their yards. Waving a lot, saying “hi” a lot, asking lots of questions.

A benefit to having new neighbors is that they had new appliances delivered which means that we scored a great big box! And because I am a stay-at-home mom who never tires of stockpiling gear and activities that could come in handy on the days that my kids are driving me bonkos, I had no reservations about running outside to ask the delivery drivers if I could have a box.

It’s a fabulous box!

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New neighbors also means that I can whip up some sort of “Welcome” treat and I am already thinking about what that will be!

Family Meals Makeover

I hadn’t planned on sharing this with you because it is a tad pathetic (just a tad) on my part and I have a feeling that you will roll your eyes at me. Honestly I had been rolling my eyes at me, which prompted my new mealtime plan.

I was making various foods for dinner because my once-great eaters slowly over time became very picky and selective. I have three young kids at home so it became my routine to just make whatever any one would eat that was healthy because I am busy and needed to get food on their plates. My toddler often eats before the other two because he has no interest in waiting for me to get everyone’s plate ready. So, it was just a chaotic time of “comings and goings”.

I embraced the idea of trying for a third child because I was way too organized with two children and no good was going to come of that. Our family needed some chaos thrown in to skew the balance. I had also seen a tiny little face in my mind that I somehow knew was the next member of our family. I did not want to leave anyone behind so we have been blessed with three. So far, they are thriving in chaos and do not miss my organization, unless it comes to knowing where a toy is. Then, organization comes in handy. I am too exhausted from all of the daily chaos to wonder about the wisdom of my thought process. But meal time has been on the burner simmering for quite some time now.

This past few months I had been prompting my two older children that at some point, meal time would need to become more like a regular meal time. That how we ate was not how it should be and that I was not sure how or when but I would get away from making individual foods and they would need to eat more regular foods. They like pasta with no sauce. One child likes hot dogs but only if you cut the ends off. They would like a food then not like it when I was stocked up. Pure craziness, I know.

But momma’s time came and three days ago I unveiled the new meal time dinner plan. My oldest was quite sad when I discussed it with him because he felt as if he would never have the foods that he liked again. He ended up being the child that ate the most that night at dinner.

The new plan was embraced whole heartedly and my two older children had a ball. They ate more that night at dinner than they have in a long time. I was sure it was a fluke, a great start right out of the gate but it would be a struggle for the long haul. I just hoped that I could keep it up long enough for it to become the norm and then if I dropped the ball, we all knew that I would pick it up again.

The second night I had a request for broccoli. I knew that they were not really going to like the broccoli but I fulfilled the request. Broccoli was not a hit but again, my children ate more helpings of food that they previously would not eat. My toddler even started to see that something was going on that he needed to participate in and he ate very well. I found the whole thing quite comical.

Tonight was the third night and I had a request for pizza. It was prompted because my two children were celebrating their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy’s birthday and everyone knows that they love pizza. My son does not and he was the requester. I told him I would make it but he had to eat it with sauce. He hesitated and then obliged. It was another wonderful eating night and now I am feeling quite accomplished and proud so that I can handle it if you roll your eyes at me. We ate a whole pizza, there were no leftovers. I always have pizza leftovers and I count on them. I love pizza.

I fantasize about buying bulk groceries and making 2 of everything for dinner because that just sounds so cozy to me. 2 lasagnas, 2 meat loafs, 2 turkeys, a whole bag of frozen peas instead of just pouring out a cup or two for dinner. I may actually be getting closer to that fantasy!

At this point, I now feel confident that there is no going back. A meal time routine has been established and I think there is enough enthusiasm to last a few more days at least so that will keep the momentum going. My plan does require me to be a bit more organized and I will need to frequent the grocery store more than twice a month as I had been dragging it out to. You can do that when everyone eats a mish mosh dinner. But, I have to say that I am energized for the new plan and am having lots of fun too!

Thanks for listening to my “proudness”. Now you can roll your eyes…

The Bleeding Moon

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I had planned to chat with you about this last night but I had internet service interruptions. Time Warner happily fixed them but then my service went out again. In the 15 minutes that my service was back up I was irritatingly trying to print a simple Word document, but did you know that “I can only print from apps from the desktop”? What is that? I was never able to figure it out and had to handwrite my document.

I miss the days of just hitting “print” and my paper would come out. No extra steps that are supposed to make my life easier. They don’t.

I also miss big permed hair.

Any hoo, I was not able to tell you about the Lunar Eclipse that was to produce a “Blood Red Moon”, or as my daughter called it, “A Bleeding Moon”.

Same thing, really.

It happened this morning and I set my alarm for various times from 5:00 AM through 6:15 AM. Yes, I could have just stayed up but I love my bed in the morning, especially these newly colder dark mornings. Each time I woke to peek at it I saw that  it was a different color, but more darkish and brown, although I do get the reference to red. I kept thinking that it would get more spectacular and by the time I realized that I had already seen it at “spectacular” it was past and then I was just left with the eclipse. Here is the little bit of moon left, the rest is shadowed by the earth…always cool.

I was expecting the view as seen in the link below. I suspect if I had had a telescope, it very well may have looked like that. I did wake my wee ones as they had requested since they had not seen an eclipse. They woke, looked at it and went back to bed.

Been there, done that.

http://www.bing.com/search?q=lunar+eclipse+october+2014&form=IE11TR&src=IE11TR&pc=HPNTDFJS

There will be two more viewings by next September if you missed this one or want to stay in the loop!

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