Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Might Make Really Good Flank Steak and Salad - Seriously, It's a Recipe-Ish

I went to my sister-in-law's house on Saturday and she made the most delicious steak and salad.  Thank you Daphne!  It was perfect for a large group.  It wasn't too heavy, not too light.  Vegetables and meat so it pleases everyone with options for their own preferences.

Best part of it?  It was straight up delicious. 

So I decided to copy it, because I'm smart like that.

If you are new around here and don't know why I'm talking about making food, check out my weekly-ish recipe-ish posts.  You can find some of my favorites here or here or here or here.

I was racking my brain to figure out who really needed a recipe-ish today and then I turned on the TV and there was Kim Kardashian*, bawling because her hunky, then boyfriend and now husband, had thrown her into the ocean while on vacation in Tahiti...and one of her $75,000 earrings fell out. 

Poor thing. 

My heart really went out to her.  Anyone on the cover of People magazine looking like a princess, that can afford to buy $75,000 earrings, be on vacation in Tahiti, and be famous for, well, being famous, I really want to help out. 

Oh, and did you her she has psoriasis?  She's having a rough go of things.

She needs me.

Dear Kim,


Congratulations!  I heard that you got married to Kris Humphries of...wait, who the hell is your husband?  I think he's a sport guy.  He looks really big and I heard him talking and he didn't sound super smart, even though I'm sure he is, so I'm just guess he plays a game for a living. Fun!


Now that you are married, I thought I would help you out by giving you a recipe you could make for you and your husband to enjoy.  Not that you have to make food for your husband because you're a woman, only if you want to.  Stay strong Kim!


Side note: I'm not sure if you've noticed or not, but I'd like to point out that your Mom and husband have the same name, spelled the same way.  This is sort of strange, but maybe sort of convenient? 


I've been looking through some photos from your wedding and it looks pretty spectacular.  It reminded me a lot of my wedding.  Well, not really, but it looked amazing....except for one thing.  Did you notice Kris, your Mom, not your husband, was wearing a really obnoxious bow on the top of her dress?  This was pretty hideous.  You probably should have talked to her.   I'm just saying.


Quite a guest list too.  Lindsay Lohan?  Eva Longoria?  Ciara?  Ryan Seacrest?  Serena Williams? Mario Lopez?  Wait...did you know that Slater was there?  He seems really nice, but geez.


I'm not sure if you know this or not, but I've been with my husband for 11 years.  I'm nuts for him.  I could probably give you all sorts of wisdom, but I hate to be presumptuous, like I have some sort of secret information.


Well, just this one thing.


I also noticed that you were quoted as saying "I was speechless.  It was like we were in heaven."


That's sweet.


I want you to understand that your moment in marriage heaven is gone.  It can be really, really good, but you are probably going to soon realize that he can't put a dish in the dishwasher to save his life, he has horrific gas after a big meal, and there is not a chance in hell he's going to be able to find anything that is not fully exposed in the fridge.  This stuff feels very anti-heaven.  You might even want to punch him.


You are going to need to be at peace with at least 90% of these "idiosyncrasies," or life will be very, very horrible. 


Alright, let's cook. I think first, you are going to need to take off your rock and put it somewhere.  I can only assume by the size of it that it would be next to impossible for you to even bend your finger while wearing it.  Bending your fingers seems sort of important for preparing a meal.


Here is what you are going to need.


Steak:
Flank steak.  A lot of it. Or a little, not sure what you have going on.  Maybe Slater's coming over for dinner?  Get a lot.
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Garlic
Worcheshire Sauce
Lime juice


Salad:
1/2 head iceberg lettuce shredded (you should have someone else do this part, because it's really annoying and I'm pretty sure you are rich enough to avoid this sort of thing.)
8 oz. spinach roughly chopped
1 bag steamed and shelled edamame
corn kernels - some, maybe a cup? 
1 seeded and diced tomato
1 diced bell pepper - any color
1 seeded and diced hot pepper - jalapeno, Serrano
1 diced sweet-ish pepper - like a banana pepper?  I really don't know what is sweet, you might need to google sweet pepper.  I saw you google psoriasis so don't pretend you don't know how


dressing:
olive oil
salt
pepper
lime juice
vinegar - whatever you have


First, take all the flank steak you bought and put it in a sealed container.  Tupperware, Ziploc, whatever fits.  Now dump in some olive oil, salt, pepper, a spoonful of minced garlic, a few good shakes of worcheshire sauce, and squeeze a whole lime in there.  You have to cut the lime first.  I don't mean to be insulting, I just don't know what someone with $75,000 earrings knows about citrus.


Put that in the fridge for a while for it to marinate. 


While that's marinating you can work on the salad...and question what the hell you were thinking with your video.  Kim, I think you seem like a nice girl.  I realize you have a very large ass, which is just fine if you want to flaunt that, but your "music video" is horrible on several different levels.


If you don't remember how horrible it is, you can view it here.


Why do you have plastic underwear on?  That is just begging for some sort of vaginal infection, especially since it looks like you are sweating profusely in that warehouse. And why aren't you allowed to walk in that place, you can only crawl and slide around? You shouldn't go places like that. 


What would Kris think? 


Or Kris?


Further more, I do realize that your pink fingernails match your plastic pink underwear, but I'm not sure your nails are supposed to match your undergarments.  I hear a deep gray is in this year.  Let's try that next Kim. OK?


Oh, and you can't really sing that well.  Do you know JLo?  She sort of already does the sweaty, sultry party song thing, and does it quite well.  There is no room for you in this market...I think your only hope would be to call Pitbull and hope he's up for a collaboration of some sort.  He's used to big asses, JLo is very voluptuous as well.


While you are thinking about all your mistakes with this "music" video you can work on mixing all the salad fixings together, except for the lettuce and spinach. Those need to be kept separate until you are ready to eat.

Mix the dressing together too. I realize this might be the most frustrating to not have amounts given, you are just going to have to guess Kim and have a little faith.  Making salad dressing is a lot like marriage.  You throw some things together that feel and sound good and try to make it the best you can.

I actually think that's a pretty shitty analagy, and I don't recommend you tell people you are going to try to approach your marriage like you would making salad dressing.  Especially after that "music video," you're just going to sound batshit crazy.

Pour the salad dressing on the vegetable mix, again, waiting to add the spinach and lettuce until right before you eat.  Have I mentioned this enough times to be annoying yet?  That's what it's like to have a husband sometimes.  I'm just trying to help you.

If your steak has marinated for a while, you can go ahead and fire up the grill.  I don't know anything about griling so I have no direction for you here.  Basically I think you shouldn't grill them for too long.  Does that clear things up? 

Once you figure out the grilling thing you can slice the steak.  Mix the spinach and lettuce in with the other vegetables and serve the steak on top of it. 

Kris, your husband, probably won't give you another 20 carat ring for this meal, but he might.  He did marry you even though he knew you had psoriasis.   Remember how your Mom, Kris, told you that it wasn't a big deal that she got psoriasis because she was already married, but you were 30 and single and had it and it would freak guys out?  That was pretty messed up. 

Wait....did you make her wear that bow dress as punishment for saying that?  Well played Kim.  Well played.

Linking up with Serenity Now - A Mommy's Solution to Staying Sane: Weekend Bloggy Link Up!  Check it out here.


*Can I say that I really do love Kim Kardashian?  I'm not sure why, but I do.  I do think she's a little ridiculous sometimes, but aren't we all?   Maybe I'd be crying over my $75,000 earrings if I could afford to buy them? Maybe I'd be sliding around a warehouse in plastic pink undies if I thought someone wanted me to?  Well, probably not, but I won't hold it against her forever.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ten Things to Smile About

Every month, Emmy over at Emmy Mom - One Day At A Time asks for a Ten Things to Smile About post.  Since I have to do what the Internet tells me to do, I decided it would probably be a good idea. 

Besides, I could always use  a reason to think about the things that make me smile.  I tend to hover over the drama, because that always seems more interesting.  I'm going to give it a try though.



Here we go.

Vampire Books 

My first obsession was with the Twilight books and now I've moved on to the adult Sookie Stackhouse series.  Twilight is infinitely more entertaining since I can actually put the Sookie books down without a problem, but both are an enjoyable escape from Mommy life. 

I find peace, and a little bit of pride, in the fact that I can't watch the True Blood series on HBO that is based off the Sookie books though.  I'm too much of a delicate flower for all that sex and violence.  I prefer to read about it, clearly I'm a better person, right?  This makes me happy.

Kindergarten Open House Night

Aiden's school has an open house this week and I've booked a babysitter. I plan on attending with my husband and then going out for a romantic dinner afterward. And let me be clear, any type of dinner outside of this house, without our children is a romantic dinner. This is a rarity which should be celebrated. 

If you haven't been reading long, I'm nuts for my husband.  I crave time with him and am extremely attracted to him.  I wouldn't be surprised if Alex and I are making out in the back of the classroom.  We have to take advantage of the moments we have.

I wonder if I can sit on his lap in one of those little chairs? 

Generic Sudafed 

Remember when I went to Walgreens to get Sudafed and the people there were convinced I was purchasing it to make meth? (You can read about it here.) Well, I didn't make meth with it, but I thought about trying to figure it out after I saw how expensive it was since I bet meth makers roll in some good cash. 

Wonder why they don't fix their teeth with it?

Then I was at Target, where no one accused me of trying to make meth since I was wearing underwear this time and speaking in full sentences, and discovered there is a generic available for the rock bottom price of $2.75.  Amazing.  I can be headache free, and I could be making a killing on meth if I just bought the generic.  Maybe there is somewhere that I should be sharing this info with the meth suppliers?
Shoes With Bells

Stella has inherited some shoes from my niece that were purchase in Greece by my mother. These shoes are amazing. They slip on her feet easily.  She always wants to wear them....and the best part is that I can always hear exactly where she is, which is priceless now that she enjoys hiding from me.





Scholastic Book Orders

Cole's preschool started yesterday and with it came the first Scholastic book brochure.  I spent 25 minutes of my alone time pouring over this brochure and calculating exactly what I would like to purchase for my children.  There are few joys in life that compare to the arrival of a Scholastic book order.  That's just good clean fun.

Currently I have a total of $54 on a variety of books about feelings and emotions for Cole.  Scholastic is going to change our life, I'm sure of it.

The School Bus

This is handiest part about kindergarten, other than taking Aiden away for 8 hours a day, and just above school lunches.  I had visions of loading the kids in the car for drop off every morning and then waiting in a line after school for pickup, having to wake Stella for both of these trips.  Oh that is so not the situation now that we are on the bus.

I am totally baffled by why everyone isn't using the school bus if it is available to them.  I can not get over how easy it is, how little effort it requires from our entire house, and how much my child loves it.

I admit that I once had some fleeting thoughts of bullies on the bus or something, but I haven't heard of or experienced anything like that.  If we do, we'll reexamine the situation, but for now it means I don't have to do anything more than walk outside with my kid in the morning and wait for a few minutes in my yard in the afternoon. Heaven.

ONE NAP A DAY

We have officially switched Stella to one nap a day and this is life altering.  She's been going down without a fuss, probably until right after I post this, and have eliminated most of the nap time drama.

I can run an errand in the morning and she's usually up by the time Aiden gets home from school so we could go somewhere in the afternoon if needed.  We are free!!!!

(Totally breaking rules about not talking about sleep in any form. I expect my punishment to be swift and horrid.)

Tampons

My daughter can be entertained for a solid 45 minutes if given a full box of tampons.  Nothing else keeps her busy like they do.  She empties them all from the box, spreads them all over the room, and then begins to try to open them...and then the fun just multiplies when she gets one open.


It's glorious.

Exhaustion

The boys, not mine.  This is the two of them immediately after school yesterday.  They had nothing left in them, school totally depleted them of even being able to sit and watch a TV show. 

This is how I most enjoy my boys right now. They were too tired to even complain about anything.

I love school.

Heels

Stella can not get over my high heels.  I thoroughly enjoy her love of the girly things in life, but she is obsessed with me wearing these around the house.

I'm not really your four inch heels for housework sort of girl.  I barely survived these heels in Vegas while drinking heavily, there is little to no chance of me not going crazy trying to wear them around the house.  She's pretty aggressive about it too, she shoves them into my legs if I am ignoring her pleas to put them on.

She's really mean sometimes...but it's sort of funny too.


***********************************
You can read my previous Ten Things To Smile About posts here or here

Here's one I did on my own before I even knew about Emmy's monthly post, probably because I'm psychic.  Did I forget to tell you I'm psychic?  Anyway, this one had a not so nice commenter so it makes it extra fun, that's here.

What are you feeling happy about?  Or pissed?  I'm amused by both.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Stella, This Could Be You Someday

I'm down to one.  Stella and I dropped a very cheerful Cole off at preschool this morning.  He didn't even say goodbye to me.  How desperate are my children to get away from me after this summer? 

I guess the feeling's mutual.

In his/my defense, he was way too infatuated with the extensive collection of My Little Pony available to him.  He was last seen brushing a small pony's fake pink tail with joy.

Have fun Cole. 

With the next five hours wide open for Stella and me, I decided to treat her to a day of education. Some of you might be thinking, Children's Museum, park, even a walk around the neighborhood to talk about the trees and dead grass due to lack of rain....no, no, no.  I decided to show her a day of duties of a stay at home mom. 

We had already made an 8:00 stop at the grocery for two dozen mini cupcakes for Cole to share with his class and celebrate his birthday, that simply WILL NOT GO AWAY.  This is day three of special treats and happy birthday wishes.  He went from being totally in the shadow of his big brother's kindergarten limelight to dominating our world for the last three days straight.  It ends today Cole. 

And no, I'm not going to buy you a My Little Pony.  Not today anyway.

So, with one trip to the bus stop, one grocery store run, and one drop off at preschool, Stella was getting a really good look at what her future could be if she doesn't plays her cards right. Next stop was Starbucks to go to the bathroom, because no self respecting mother of three can hold her pee for longer than one hour, and a pricey beverage to make us feel good. 

The Starbucks bathroom trip was another lesson in motherhood.  If you are in a public restroom, you always try to strap as many children as you can in to a stroller so as to avoid their ability to touch EVERYTHING. I forgot my stroller, rookie mistake.

Stella worked her way around the bathroom, checking out the tampon trash can while I shrieked at her to move away, and then moved on to putting her head right by my ass as I squatted over the toilet to pee, even poking my butt...twice.

(I'm a squatter in public restrooms, I'm exposed to enough fecal matter at home by the ones I love, I don't want to touch anything from a stranger.)

After a thorough hand washing for both of us and a paper towel assisted exit, we moved on to order a drink to accompany us on the most important Mom duty, grocery store trip #2 of the day. One of the tricks of enjoy this horrid task is to carry around a $5 drink so that you feel like something must be going OK in order for you to be able to pay for a drink that costs that much.  It's important to ignore the reality that is your checkbook when deciding to get this drink or all the fun goes out the window.

Other than the beverage, the grocery store is filled with a thousand decisions about cost, nutrition, meal planning, consumption, and the evil emails forwarded to you that list hidden poisons in certain types of bread/fruit snacks/cereal/yogurt that fill you with fear if you make the wrong choice.  Don't get me started on the parenting magazine articles that terrify me, I read them, but then try to block them out immediately.

Really, the only joy that can come of the grocery store trip is that the check out person will ask you your birth date while scanning your alcohol purchase (there is almost always an alcohol purchase,) and make a sweet comment about how you don't look that old.  This is sort of a crappy compliment because although they are saying you look younger than your age, they are still pointing out that your real age is old. 

It's not their fault though, most of them are 17 and they just don't have any perspective yet.  It's best to take it as a compliment and squeeze some joy out of the fact that a teenager thinks you look young-ish.  I explained all this to Stella and she was very accepting of this being her future.  She's a champ.

Next stop is home for the unloading process.  This is pretty easy except for the fact that Stella wasn't interested at all in learning this part, and was insistent on trying to climb on Aiden's bike.  That didn't go well.  It might have not gone well five or six times in fact.  I get pretty distracted when trying to save my Dove bars from melting in the hellish heat we have going on here.

This is also crunch time.  Stella now has to go down for a nap around 11 in order to get enough sleep during her one nap before I have to wake her up to go get Cole at 2.  It's also lunch time and most likely there will be a dirty diaper and some sort of extreme mess created or small toy which is cherished by a big brother will be smashed and small parts will be eaten.  It's a tough time, but it's going to happen.

Stella was kind enough to help me unload and then load the dishwasher after she tore apart the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I made her, because I am all sorts of gourmet like that.



She did a pretty good job getting the clean dishes out to hand to me, primarily because I only left her the plastic plates.  She mostly put them in different areas of the house, but I appreciated the effort and that's probably where they will end up being anyway so maybe she's really just smart.

We had more difficulty loading.  When I turned my back for a moment to wash a pot I noticed she was licking all the dirty silverware she had just put in to the dishwasher. This is poor form Stella.  I don't think most mothers do that, you have a ways to go in this area.

She graciously spent the rest of our preschool time napping so that I could write, email, and read two whole pages of my new InStyle magazine.  It might take me two months to read that magazine, but now I am two pages further than I was before.

I actually had to wake Stella up to go get Cole. This was horrible, but I am definitely happy she slept that long.  I decided she and I could continue our lesson on Wednesday when we are alone again since nothing happens once Aiden are Cole are presenting and dominating the situation anyway.

I did give her a very quick pep talk when Aiden and Cole were all in tears about not wanting to run an errand with me at 4:00. We were going to pick up birth control pills though and there was NO WAY IN HELL I was taking a chance on not getting those.  It's important to know your limits as a stay at home Mom, and though my children bring me immense and profound joy, I have reached my limit for children to take care of right now...and forever.

Sometimes you have to run an errand amongst tears.  Sometimes they will be your own, sometimes they will be your children's.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Prayer For Cole, Happy Birthday Cole

Today my quirky middle child turned four.  He is losing more and more of his baby look and looking more and more like a little boy....and I have a lot of mixed emotions about that, but mostly I'm hopeful and excited about Cole moving forward.  You see, three...well, it sort of blew.

His sleeping went from bad to worse and he went from potty trained to frequent accidents.  Tantrums abound and he is difficult to have focus on anything.

BUT...he is hilarious, creative, unbelievably sweet, and simply fun to be around, particularly if you can find him without his older brother.  Oh and he is cute.

Dangerously cute.



I wrote Stella a prayer around her birthday, you can read it here.  Her prayer is more about her total life, but I thought I should just focus on the current life with Cole.  There is much to pray for  now.

Dear Lord,

Please watch over my Cole.  He needs your protection. 

I need your help.

Cole is excessively slick.  It scares me.

His ability to grab my face while I am reprimanding him to tell me how much he loves me, while kissing my hand, is a dangerous talent.  He will get away with far too much due to his charm.  Please help me prevent him from believing his kisses and sweet smile will charm him out of any trouble....even though I think it could.

It's important to get in trouble every now and then.

Grant him the wisdom to realize that peeing your pants instead of using the toilet so that you don't have to wash your hands is simply nuts.  Please hurry.  After my extreme efforts, I know only you will be able to teach him that this is in fact the truth.

Allow him to experience the joy of sleeping when he is tired.  His constant efforts to keep himself up by running around the house, coloring, singing, or pretending to have to poop for twenty to thirty minutes while he tells stories about the poop, are wearing thin on those of us that are doing our best to get him to sleep, and are simply sad to see when he is so exhausted.

Give him words when he gets frustrated doing things like picking out his clothes so that he can ask for help instead of freaking out, rolling on the floor, and telling me he hates me. This baffles me. I don't enjoy this, and I like to think that he doesn't either, but I could be wrong.  It seems like a lot more work than simply asking me to help him with his shirt, though definitely more dramatic.

Show him the joy of playing with something other than his pretend shotgun and his new General Grievous mask.  He is scaring children on the playground, and I find myself slightly disturbed when he walks into a room with both of these horrid toys. 

Don't ever let him forget the joy of singing the Veggie Tales song, his made up songs about his penis, or Rhianna's What's My Name.  The variety of these songs alone makes me happy beyond words.

Give him knowledge and acceptance about the joy of coloring on paper, and paper alone.  My furniture and walls can handle no more of Cole's creativity.

Never, ever let him realize that pancakes isn't pronounced pam-pakes, instructions aren't constructions, and explode is not instode.  These words are far too cute.  I'm sure he'll be accepted at college for other cool things he does, but let him keep his words.

Allow him to understand that there is in fact a difference between joking and lying, and saying, "I'm joking because I'm a joker," while cute beyond words, doesn't allow to be released from the responsibility of owning up to his lie. 

Finally, help him realize that he can do more than he thinks he can.  He is not only Aiden's little brother, but also Stella's big brother, and an amazing boy all on his own.  Quiet Aiden's words of criticism and correction and turn up the volume on the praise he receives from Alex and me and others. He too often sells himself short.

Bless him.  Keep him safe from the sucky people.  Keep him healthy. Keep him happy.

Amen.

Oh...one more thing.  Please, oh please, open his heart to the idea that matching a red shirt with red shorts is simply a horrible idea.  Allow him to see the joy of matching clothing so as to not look like one giant blob of monochromatic color.  I know it must be in him somewhere, deep down.




Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kindergarten Is Balls of Sunshine, Rainbows, Unicorns...You Understand, Right?

Life is pretty good with Aiden in kindergarten. Cole, Stella, and I are a much more peacefully functioning unit than we were with Aiden. We can go places more easily, have quiet rest time, and Cole doesn't have to be shot down for every thing he does.

I haven't been asked to explain a unit of time or engage in an argument over fairness for three days.  This makes me VERY happy.

It's going so well that I went out to lunch with just myself, Cole and Stella today, at the mall.  I went to the mall with my children....and only a stroller for Stella. A bold move. 

It was great. I didn't even sweat the whole time I was there, which is amazing.  I usually panic and get flustered and start dripping perspiration at the fact that everything is spinning out of control at least twice during that major of an outing.  Not even once today. I probably could have totally skipped wearing deodorant between the lack of stress and the RAIN that was occurring when I left. 

Both kids were happy to eat and jabber away at the table with me, there wasn't a single complaint, not even about the food options. No one yelled about crayon possession, fought over who's cup had more WATER in it, and Cole didn't care at all when I had a pre-meal snack for Stella, but not him.

Apparently Cole is all sorts of chill, enthusiastic, and peaceful in the absence of his brother.



Stella's behavior hasn't changed much, but she still is painfully cute.

Look at how sweetly Cole and Stella are bonding.  They never hung out when Aiden was around.





I realize this might sound like I don't really miss Aiden and I'm happy he's gone.

I also realize that you might think I should deny this.

But, I won't. I don't miss him, not really. He does come back every day and he and I had a LONG summer together. I am happy he's gone, but mostly because he's so happy to be gone and it has made life here so much more peaceful...and I've really needed that.  I honestly think Cole really needed it too.

I think all the peace is going to my head though.  The peace and the going to bed too late and getting up too early.  I can't write to save my life the last few days.

I spent three hours last night trying to blog about a myriad of thing. I have about five different posts which are all about a quarter written. A recipe-ish to Aiden for mac and cheese, a post about online shopping for jeans with Alex, a post about me wanting to stab the weatherman and him finding out, and more pee stories.  (There is always a good pee story.)

They are all really great beginnings, and then they sort of fall apart and don't make any sense.

I thought it might be funny to write a post tonight filled with only those beginnings, all mixed up, but I've been at the computer two hours and I'm thinking this entire idea is just further proof that I can't write jack right now.  I realized it really just sucks and possibly I can't even tell what's funny anymore because I'm too happy.  I've lost my edge.

I am enjoying the hell out of this time though.  I have not yelled in three days.  Three days people. I usually can't go three hours. I am calm and having fun with Cole and Stella and it is so fantastic.  We are riding bikes, we're playing play-doh, finding new computer games, baking, and just hanging out.  Cole is so pleased to just be with me, or do anything, that it is so wonderful.

He even loved taking ninja photos of me, his request not mine.  I totally rocked the ninja though.



Cole totally rocked the photography.

He's still having some sad times getting used to Aiden being gone though.  He misses his friend, but I know he feels the relief of not having a big brother on him about everything all the time. He also turns into a total shit once Aiden is home.  Coincidence?  Hmmmm....

Geez, all this to say that I Cole goes back to school on Monday and when that happens I'll focus more on finishing one of those posts.  But for now I'm going to soak up the peace.  I haven't felt felt so relaxed in months.

Maybe I'll write a recipe-ish next week, maybe I'll finish one of those posts I started, maybe I'll have something more amusing to share than my neighbor "walking" his donkeys near my house.


Classy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why Wasn't Aiden Worried About ME When He Went To School Today?



He LOVED it. He had a wonderful day.  He made a friend with the same lunch box. He couldn't believe all the food choices at lunch. He can't stop talking about this person called the principal that you go see if you're really bad and the nurse that you go to if your tummy hurts. 

(He informed me that his ankle hurt for a while today, but he did NOT want to go see that lady.  Good thing I quelled my sarcasm during the school tour because I started to tell him that was where a witch's office was that tried to heal you.  Sometimes I make good parenting choices.) 

He is actually STILL up at 9:30, smiling and being giddy in his room. He came out to tell me he couldn't sleep because he was smiling too much. 6:30 is going to hurt for him tomorrow morning. At least he hasn't been drinking, that would hurt.

Wait, I don't think he's been drinking...he was away from me for EIGHT hours today. Anything could have happend and I wouldn't know.

He was all sorts of adorable this morning with his excitement and willingness to pose for more photos and his "is it time to leave yet!" because he was ready to burst. He giggled while getting dressed, he barely ate any breakfast, and he asked me for the millionth time why he could ride the bus in the morning instead of having his lame parents take him?

Fine, he didn't call us lame, but he might as well have.

All his joy made me very sad. I mean, why is he so flippin' anxious to run out the door and leave me?

Forever.

This is NOT the time to remind me of the millions of posts I have done about how I can't wait to be rid of him.  Bite your tongue people, bite your tongue.

I really was happy that he was excited about this very HUGE moment in his life, I would much prefer his enthusiasm to him being terrified and sad, like I was. I knew he would be like this though. I knew he needed this, thrives from the challenge, the socializing, the getting out of the house for more than errands.

I sort of wished I was going with him. I could use those things too.

It was all a bit much for me though. I mean, I know I've wanted it for so long, but geez, did I have to send my first born child off into the world with nothing more than a hot pink 2"x3" piece of paper safety pinned to his shirt to help guide him back to me?

I felt very unsettled having to pin his name, phone number, teacher, lunch choice, and bus number to him. I mean, I understand, but shit it felt so casual. He seemed so loosely connected to me, to school, to anything to keep him safe. I saw the 20/20 on Jaycee Dugard, I had little confidence in that small piece of paper.

But he came home to me. He got off the bus with his favorite neighborhood friend and ran, smiling all the way to me...and then promptly ditched me to play Wii with his friend and eat the brownies that I made for him. He's super selfish.  Or maybe I am.  Shoot, this is confusing.

This is how it goes though, right? I just worked my ass off for the last 5 1/2 years to keep him safe, teach him to pee in a toilet, say please and thank you, stop using the word poop, share, only pick his nose in private, zip his fly, be kind, be curious, be Aiden...and now he's sort of over me.

This is the role. This is what I'm working my ass off for, so they can all leave and function well without me. This is what I am always yearning for, some time, some space, some more me.

Prayers are answered, so watch out.

I think I felt sad because I felt a little disappointed in myself this summer. I've been so anxious to get to this point, to have him somewhere else. I know this time with them will be over fast. I know I will miss their wanting me, I will miss the hours of no plans and their delight at my involvement in anything with them.

I don't feel guilty for wanting more time for me, I don't feel guilty for not enjoying every single moment of this role of motherhood, because I don't think it's reality to only want your kids all the time, but I do ache for my inability to at least live in the now with them and when I am present, I want to be fully there.

I guess I'll just try to do better with Cole and Stella.  Aiden was basically my practice kid, right?

It was nice to just have Cole and Stella though. We went to the gym and the grocery store without much of a to-do at all, which was awesome. Cole is much more calm and easy without Aiden encouraging him to knock off a bunch of bananas or sneak away from me while I'm picking pasta.

Cole missed his brother though. He spent most of the day carrying around and talking to a stuffed cat. He even took the cat on a hike.  This is really me putting his lunch in a bag, him putting on his backpack and carrying a towel to the backyard, something he always does with Aiden.  I tried to join him but I think he sort of wondered what the hell I was doing following him around and intruding on his hike?


Umm...can you get off my towel?  I'm on a hike here.

He lost the person that has been around every day of his life so far.  His playmate for as long as he can remember.  Everyone is making a HUGE deal about Aiden's kindergarten and Aiden's new friends and Aiden's clothes, backpack, lunch box, etc. He's still just here, with me, running errands and being yelled at to stay in his room at rest time.  Talk about lame.

I felt badly for him today. He starts school next week though and his birthday is this weekend so there is hope on the horizon for him.  He even started inviting people to his birthday party today! 

Minor detail that we have never planned, mentioned, thought of having a birthday party for him this year.  Who wants a donut on Saturday in honor of Cole?  Swing on by, we're calling it a party I guess.

So my day came.  Summer ended and life was a little easier today, and I think it's just going to keep getting better.

Yep, that was a hint of optimism from me.  Watch out.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Last Day Of Summer Fun Attempt, Failed

If you are reading for this first time, you might not know that I think summer sucks.  I'm over it and basically think I would have to go find a job to get away from my kids if summer were lasting another day, or give the kids away. 

I swear, I'm not being dramatic at all.  Fine, I wouldn't give them away.  I would want to though.

If you read this often then you probably are ready for me to shut the hell up about the summer hating and the woe is me, life is difficult at home with my kids.  I totally agree.  I'm annoying myself.

The good news is that school starts tomorrow for Aiden and our new life begins.  I will no longer be able to bitch in post after post about my loathing of all that is summer, except the extended trips to Indiana where life is good

Do not worry though, I'm sure I'll come up with something to vent about around here though.

As I mentioned last night, my goal for today was to make it a fun last day of summer.  It feels awful to know that I have had such a difficult time with the kids for most of the last three months.  I don't think they had a lick of fun either. 

I figured I could do one day of fun.  I mean, just enjoy one freakin day with my own kids.  Almost anyone could do that, right?

Nope.  Not me.

I tried.  I really did. I do think there were fun moments, but the day of fun I envisioned was a lot more enjoyable than the one that played out. Managing my expectations is probably 60% of my problem.  I need lower expectations. 

We started with breakfast on the driveway because they always love that...which they did today, until a huge fight broke out over a small inflatable ball.  This picture was taken just as the storm was brewing.


The absurdity of the fight, which I believe was mainly about whether or not the part you blow in to had to be pushed all the way  in or could be left out, was sort of amusing.  Aiden and Cole both felt VERY passionately about their positions.  I wish they cared this much about almost anything else in life.  I wish they cared this much about putting the seat down, or even just flushing.

I did try to laugh it off, keep it light hearted, but the insanity reached a point I could no longer handle, especially since we have two other balls EXACTLY LIKE THIS ONE INSIDE YOU FREAKS and Stella was a tear streaked mess because she just wanted to put the ball on the grass, which Aiden also strongly opposed. 

Are these people actually going to grow up and live on their own someday?  I feel that their chances of survival are not good.  Aiden is totally going to get jumped in a bar for correcting the way some one's pounding a beer or eating their peanuts.

After I managed to get everyone to calm down about the inflatable ball and get dressed (way too much energy went in to doing this,it's like herding cats,) there was about an hour of Last Day of Summer Magic.  (Yes, it deserves first letter capitalization, it's a proper noun people.)

Aiden, Cole, and Stella all played soccer with me, for about ten minutes of adorable, and then spent about 50 minutes in our never used sandbox. They had so much fun digging, building houses, making roads, catching tapeworm and whatever you get from cat pee. 

It was so fun to watch them play happily together, outside....until Cole started throwing wet sand at Aiden, and Aiden decided he hated Cole, and he couldn't wear any of his clothes anymore so he stripped in the backyard and went inside to get new clothes so I could do more laundry.  Hooray!

Once 9:15 hit it was just too damn hot to be outside anyway and that horrible time of the day happened where I tried to lay Stella down because she went down yesterday for a morning nap to trick me into thinking she still wants that nap, but she fought me hard today.  After about 45 minutes of failed nap I gave up and we all went to get Aiden's haircut! 

I wanted to take him to a barber because his hair is tough to cut, and first day of school seems like a good time to have a solid haircut, but I couldn't handle the protests I received so we landed at Snip Its.

On the most mundane of days, Snip Its is sort of weird. They have weird fake trees and steering wheels you can turn to make an arrow point to one of four positive adjectives, but I'm not sure what they are describing.  Maybe if you can turn a wheel you are automatically awesome, super, good, or great?  I'm just not sure I understand. Maybe it's a drinking game?

They also have some back room where they store a bunch of fairy and princess dresses and advertise to have you bring your daughter and all her friends in for a day of dressing up and putting on makeup.  It feels creepy to me though so I just feel yucky walking by all of it.  I'm also fairly sure Stella will desperately beg me for this party someday since I hate it.

Since today was the last day of summer the place was slammin'! They had popcorn and lemonade in the creepy dress-up room, arts and crafts, and every employee possible working.  Only rap music could have made it more fun in there for the kids. It was a tad crowded for my taste though, especially since there were so many kids around.  It felt more like one giant opportunity to share stomach viruses and horrid behavior. 

Everything went pretty well there, except for the look of Aiden's hair, until Aiden was told by his stylist that he could only pick a lollipop OR a bag of animal crackers.  This was very unsettling to him.  He always gets both when we go, in fact the people usually hand them out to all of us, but today this lady was playing by the rules.

I casually mentioned that we usually get both, but we want to respect the rules and she just gave me a closed mouth smile that basically told me, "screw you."  So I told Aiden to pick one or nothing.  He resisted further. 

It was tough for me too because I sort of didn't get it either.  The lady kept saying, "we have so many kids to give haircuts to today and there needs to be one for everyone," which sort of felt like a load of crap when there were animal crackers and dum-dums out the wazoo everywhere you turned. 

There were also a ton of kids waiting to pay $20 for a horrible haircut, which seems like a lot of money to buy animal crackers and dum-dums.  It wasn't like they were handing out Starbucks drinks.

I pushed it though because I knew it was the "right" thing to do, however inconvenient for me, and it just sucked.  Aiden cried, Cole cried because he didn't get one since he didn't get his haircut, and Stella was just tried because she didn't take her nap.  We almost had a good time, but no.

After lunch and a very challenging rest time where basically no one rested except Stella, even though she still woke up and cried for the next hour, I decided we were going to go out for ice cream.  Everyone around here flips for ice cream and that sounded like the perfect outing for summer. I asked everyone to get their shoes on and go to the bathroom, which was great, except for Cole.

Cole has suddenly been peeing his pants about 4 times a day.  He lies and says he is going potty, but actually just stands next to the toilet talking to himself, and then waits to pee in his pants later.  This is particularly fun when we are out and about without access to 3 or 4 changes of shorts.

When I see a wet stain on his shorts he continually tells me he's just sweaty...his penis is sweaty.  This is what I'm dealing with everyone.  He's creative and casually disobedient and sort of funny.

Today he lied to me about using the bathroom though and I blatantly saw him not pee.  I gave him the opportunity to be honest with me and he wasn't, so I informed him he wouldn't be having ice cream, but we were all going to have a really good time if it killed us so he had to put his shoes on and get in the car. 

Oh, right after he changed his "sweaty" shorts for the third time today!

Of course a giant tantrum commenced and it was rough.  It drained me of all energy I had gathered for making the day fun. I immediately felt defeated, went to my bathroom to stand by the toilet and talk to myself, while I cried a little, and then came back out to get the fun ice cream outing done.

It really was a pretty good outing.  Aiden LOVED it.


Cole, not so much.

But no one freaked out while getting ice cream (yogurt) and Stella managed to walk around the shop smiling and talking to everyone so I didn't have to hold her while I stuffed cake batter yogurt and oreos in to my mouth. 

I wonder why my jeans won't button?

We did run another quick, disastrous errand in preparation for school tomorrow and it didn't go well either.  It's not even worth going over though because it's just more of the same.  None of us want to be doing these run of the mill errands all together, everyday, for days on end.  We all want a break, a new challenge, and a fresh start. 

It all begins tomorrow...and Monday for Cole!

I read stories and tucked Aiden in and his excitement about tomorrow made me well up with tears.  He's going to love it.  As much as I have been so desperate for this summer to be over, as I am desperate for this summer to be over, this was the last day I'll have him all for me. 

I have a feeling we're going to have a lot more fun together, another day.

I have school to wake up for so I'm off to bed!  Hooray!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ten Totally Unrelated Things...Because I Can't Talk Anymore About How Excited I Am For School To Start

ONE

After Stella made several, really impressive attempts to get the butter out of the fridge last Thursday, I just let her have it.  I know this sounds bad, but it's just sort of gross and lazy.

I also was so bored that I figured she might do something kind-of funny with it and that would amuse me.

She basically carried it around and stuck her finger in it to eat it.  She tried to rub some off of her finger and on to Cole, but he hit her, which I sort of understand, but can't condone as her mother.





Overall it wasn't as amusing as I thought it would be, especially when I had to take it away because she was feeding it to the dog and trying to rub it on the beanbags.  Don't mess with the beanbags Stella.

She does look very cute eating a stick of butter though.

TWO
Is it bad that I think laser hair removal on my toes would be money well spent? Possibly more important than the up charge I pay for organic milk?  Why do I have to shave my toes?

I'm disgusted and annoyed.

THREE
I probably spent close to 2 hours today talking about and/or day dreaming about what I would like to do for my upcoming 35th birthday. Time well spent, of course.

When I say upcoming, I of course mean December. You can't start planning too early.


Of course I'll tell you my thoughts.  It's really come down to two choices. 

1. Invite approximately 5 or 6 couples to dinner here.  I make one large dish and everyone else brings sides, etc. so I don't work too hard. No one wants me to work too hard, I get cranky.

or....

2. Invite basically everyone I know/like to a party at my house with cocktails and the furniture pushed to the sides so we can dance, should the mood strike us, to all of my awesome running tunes so I can stop dancing and peeing on the treadmill and start dancing in an appropriate (sort-of) location.

I will definitely keep you updated on the developments of this obviously very important, and very challenging decision.  Oh, and yes, your vote does count.  I don't like being the only decision maker.

FOUR


I really wish I didn't look this lame on my new bicycle.  There is no way around it though.

Stella, on the other hand looks like this....

...and she is unstoppably cute. 

She even looks good in the helmet.




FIVE
I just spent the last hour and a half filling out various forms for Aiden's kindergarten and Cole's preschool.  I love filling out forms.  I feel happy that I received a giant stack filled with mindless paperwork about where we live, what language we speak, and who I want to pick up my children. 

I can answer these questions. I feel smart and capable while efficiently working my way through the stack. There wasn't a single question I couldn't handle.

Why aren't more things this simple?  Why can't I feel equally confident deciding on an appropriate punishment as I do filling in the names of the people that live with my child. 

SIX

This is my latest issue with Cole.  Now he not only is my worst sleeper, biggest tantrum thrower, one that wets his pants, he's using the crayons I bought him to destroy my house.  It was also all over his bed, the floor, and several chairs. Awesome.

SEVEN
Though really, really freakin tough lately, Cole was pretty impressive today when he plucked on the Darth Vader march on Alex's guitar...and then sat down at the piano we've had for 24 hours and worked it out there with a little help from Alex.


I'm trying to keep my expectations in check, but I have a feeling he's going to make me a LOT of money someday soon.  Really, it's the least he can do after he crayoned my house.

EIGHT
I fear this is my future with Stella at Target. 


She also spent the majority of our time at pulling around that Barbie suitcase.  I am not ready for this. Girl stuff scared me. 

Cole was impressively supportive, and actually VERY interested in the Princess Barbie song display. 

He and Stella should do just fine this fall without Aiden at home.

NINE
We have separated the boys, giving them each their own room and giving me the fun project of redecorating the guest room for Aiden and tweaking Cole's room into his own space.

(You can check out my VERY lame Pinterest page for some of the things I am looking at for Aiden's room.  Prepare to be disappointed though, I can't keep up.)

Since Aiden will be getting up early for school and Cole is chronically sleep dysfunctional, it just made sense to give them each their own space to relax, sleep, and stay the hell away from me when they are having a rough day.

I've clung to the idea of a guest room for the last two years because I'm irrational about things like that, which is what I think makes me "quirky."  Aren't I fun?

TEN
You know I can't stop talking about it, and since this is my blog, I don't care what the title says, I HAVE to say something about it.

Tomorrow is the LAST DAY OF SUMMER!  Oh sweet Jesus, despite my confidence that I will be weeping Tuesday morning, this is an event we are ready to have happen! 

We have plans for ice cream, movies, bike rides, and a haircut...because nothing says celebration like a haircut! My goal is to be a fun Mom all day.  We'll see how far I get. I'm guessing 9 am....but I will be SO fun from 7-9.





Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Must Be Going Insane

I think I need an intervention.  Things have gotten out of control.  I don't know how it happened, but I think I've become wreckless, careless, and happy-ish. 

Help me.

I've been out of my house, while it is dark, with makeup, and a fully clean outfit on, the last 5 out of 8 nights.  I am a mad woman.

Granted, three nights I was in Las Vegas, but still, this seems out of hand.

Last night I hopped in my minivan and drove home from a party...in my bikini.  Clearly there is something going on with me.

I went to Costco today, even after being told on my way that it is tax free weekend here, which means everything is beyond packed with crazy people.   I parked at the way back of the lot, hauled my three children through the chaos, and barely flinched when Aiden and Cole tried to kill one another over who gets to ride on the front of the cart. 

It was apparently a really big deal.  I'm totally riding on the front of the cart next time.

(Side note:  I was rewarded for my perseverance with the discovery of Costco's Salted Caramels.  Heaven.  Worth fighting my way, literally, through the masses of desperate-to-save-tax people at the warehouse store.  Try them ASAP.)

I haven't thought about starting a meth habit in at least a week.  There was a brief discussion at the  insane (and so super fun,) Mom's Only Back To School Pool party my friend Jenn threw last night, about the use of Ritalin, and I have to say it sounded useful. 

If you think Mom's are boring you should have been hanging out with this crowd.  So hilarious, so nice, and so not afraid to just throw it all out there...especially after a mojito or two.  I talked to at least three women about their periods and sex lives within 10 minutes of meeting them.  Fantastic.

I truly believe there is a light at the end of this sweaty horrible tunnel called summer.  We are nearing the end, though Mother Nature refuses to relent with the 100 plus temperatures, and soon we will have a real routine again, with real breaks for me to function and actually write regularly, and genuine challenge and fun for my boys.

I also bet I don't drive my minivan in a bikini again for at least two weeks....or try to score any Ritalin. 

I wonder if Aiden will have any ADHD friends in kindergarten?

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! 








Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Might Make Really Good Snack Mix, Seriously, It's A Recipe-Ish People

I'm not sure if you have noticed or not, but I'm pretty darn excited for school to start next week.  Some might even say I'm overjoyed at the idea of it all. 

I might be planning an amazing first day of school party to celebrate.  There might be adult beverages and dancing and Mardi Gras beads and keg stands and poor decisions. 

Or possibly just one weak bloody mary and a few tears.  Not sure yet.

I am not a robot though, I do have a few things that I am nervous and anxious about in regards to sending my firstborn off to kindergarten.  I worry about his overly particular personality being a challenge socially.  I worry about bullies. I worry about his crazy good looks being more of a curse than a blessing...something I had to learn about during my years of buck teeth and bad perms, when it seemed everyone was jealous of me.

I worry about my delicate feelings and emotions being all crazy about the passing of time when all I've prayed for is a little bit more rapid passing of time.  

Wait, am I not supposed to worry about me? 

Fine. Back to Aiden.

I worry about him being offered crack on the playground, or stabbed with a dirty needle. 

It could happen people.  I've seen 20/20. It's important to worry about all potential problems.

I worry about him not eating his lunch and going ape shit in the afternoon due to hunger. 

I'm going to take care of that though.  That I can help.  I can make a snack like nobody's business. 

I'm the Snack Queen. The Snack Mistress.  The Snack Bitch. 

I'm getting carried away.  I just deleted a line of rhyming titles with snack and mother fucker in them.

Oh-no.

I should probably be in bed. 

First though, I feel it's my duty to write a little snack recipe for Aiden's new teacher.



Dear Aiden's Future Kindergarten Teacher,

I thought I would send you a quick email to talk about Aiden. You'll be spending a lot of time with him this year and I thought it might be helpful to know what sort of snack will keep him smiling for you. You want him to smile, right? You'll be making his snack, right?

I'd like to start by saying that I really like you.  Your willingness to come to school five days a week and hang out with 20 plus 5-6 year olds is an undeniable strength that I can not comprehend, but I do greatly admire. 

Please don't take offense, but...do you do drugs?  I'm not judging, I wouldn't even turn you in. I'm simply asking because I just don't understand your method of survival.

It seems it would be difficult to be around that many kids without doing drugs. If you have 20 of my son in the room, you are going to have to explain 5902 times about when they get to go home, followed by a lengthy and confusing discussion about time which no one understands.  This will soon lead to hurt feelings over one person being able to see the clock, which they can't read anyway, better than someone else and someone is going to punch someone.  Then there will be tears and blame and declarative statements about the ending of friendships they never had, sharing, and joy everywhere.  

That sounds kind-of shitty.

Unless you had some drugs maybe. 

Do you ever just sniff the glue?  The markers?

Please think of me as a safe place, let's chat kid survival sometime.
  
I bet you meet some crazy parents.  I am not crazy.  I swear.

Here's a snack idea that I stole from Rachel Ray's EveryDay magazine, because I used to read it all the time and then I had kids and I haven't read a magazine since.  I still buy them and try to hide them in the bathroom on the off chance that I get to escape there without one or all three of my children joining me, but let's be honest, mostly my one year old will rip the hell out of any paper product she's near and lately I've been finding poop in my bathroom so I'm not too keen on the idea of picking up and reading anything I've left in there. 

Wait.  What are we talking about?  Why are you engaging me in a discussion about poop in my bathroom? 

Boundaries.

Back to the snack.  Here's what you need.

Peanut Butter Chips
Dried Cranberries
Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch
Salted peanuts
Marshmellows
Epi Pen

Seriously, you're going to make a peanut snack mix for an elementary school class in 2011? 

You will need an Epi Pen.

Another Mother is totally going to come and kill you for jacking with her kid's peanut allergy. 

FYI, Rachel's recipe didn't include marshmallows but Aiden loves marshmallows and will do anything to have them. It's handy to know their weaknesses.

Let's pretend for a second (start working on how to explain this unit of time now) that you have an allergy free room and this sounds delicious. 

First, you dump all the ingredients into a large bowl.

How much of each thing?  I don't know, you are the teacher, I've been taking care of him for almost six years, it's clearly your turn.  Eyeball it. 

Or, use your bong!  Scoop one bongfull of each ingredient in to the bowl. 

(Does that even make sense?  I haven't been around bongs in a long time.  Again, you're the teacher.)

Get a large spoon and mix all the ingredients. Spoon reasonable amounts of mix into snack sized ziplock bags, if you don't care at all about the environment and are totally cool with being a horribly irresponsible example.  If you do care about the future of our planet, then find something recycled, or scoop each serving directly into each child's cupped hands and explain to them how trash is going to probably take over their children's lives. 

Keep it light though, don't scare them.   They're going to be freaked out enough when you inevitably have to stab someone with that Epi Pen.

Enjoy!

 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

If You Keep Finding Poop In Your Bathroom, Hopefully You'll Have Vegas Memories To Hold You Together

I just found what I fear is the second piece of poop within the last seven days in my master bathroom, not in the toilet.  I didn't even attempt to put pick it up and decipher for sure, but I've been around enough poop, and this summer has been all sorts of shitty, so I'm confident in saying there was feces on my bathmat.  

No way am I lucky enough for that to be a clump of dirt these days.

Seven days until school starts.  I'm afraid even a mere seven days might be too long for me to escape with my sanity though. I had to shut myself in the bathroom for 10 minutes this morning to talk myself down from raging on Aiden for asking me too many times about what we were going to do today. 

It was all I could do to not shout, "Nothing!  We're never doing anything again.  I can't function out of the house with all three of you for longer than 12 minutes without questioning my self worth, the purpose of my existence, and whether or not day care would be more expensive than what I would make if I got a job at the new gas station down the street on the 7 am to 7 pm shift because I think that would be more enjoyable." 

I would never have chosen the bathroom to freak out in if I knew my children are sabotaging my safe place with poop.  They are good. They are really good.

My Monday was really great with the kids.  I'm not even being sarcastic.  I felt revived from my trip and really enjoyed soaking up some time with the kids.  We even did crafts together. 

That's right, crafts.  We had glue and Popsicle sticks and all that stuff.  I was amazing.

Unfortunately, by the end of the day I realized I had spent the entire day just picking up their stuff, feeding them, and making pretend dogs and guns (because I am such a good Mom,) out of pipe cleaners and I hadn't had a moment to do any of my stuff.  This left me feeling unsettled and frustrated.  I felt totally selfless. 

Oh how I hate that.

This is where I could go on and on about that eternal struggle for balance in my life.  Where I yearn to devote my time to creating genuinely valuable moments with my children, but simultaneously feel able to have some time to work on my writing and reading vampire novels. You know, the important stuff. 

I know what you're thinking.  What about that super smart schedule Leslie?

Well, turns out you have to be really disciplined to follow a schedule and all that beeping coming from my phone really attracted the attention of Stella and I've been really busy picking up mysterious shit that I never planned into my days and I really hate myself when I'm waking up at 5 and going to bed at midnight....so I've sort of just quit the schedule and returned to the praying for a speedy start to school. 

Oh and a nanny.  I'm also praying for a nanny.  Feel free to pray too.

I also keep replaying visions of the joy from when I was in Indiana in July, the amazing friends I have that have risen up to help and support me these last few months, and the fun images of my phenomenal trip to Vegas this past weekend.  Thinking about these things helps to push me through these final days without abandoning my kids for a boob job and a hostess position at a Chilis in Vegas...since it appears you have to have a large chest to work pretty much anywhere there. 

I would be a fantastic big boobed Chilis hostess. 

Maybe I've just been over shooting my dreams all these years? 

Thinking about all these things even brings me so much joy that I can stop thinking about where and when the next piece of shit will appear.  I wonder if the Vegas Chilis gets lots of random poop lying around?  That plan could be pretty damn good.

You are now probably wondering what all the fun things from Vegas are that I've been thinking about, right?  If not, I'm going to tell you anyway so you might as well be nice and play along.  It could be worse people, I did recently write a post about the heat last week, my brain is clearly fried.

Here are my favorite Vegas memories.

Traveling without children and feeling like the most free woman on Earth.  I read two whole magazines, part of a book, and SLEPT on the airplane.  I even went to the bathroom, whenever I wanted...in the non-handicap stalls. It was crazy!  But...I still found myself sweating getting on and off the plane due to the crazy air temperature problems and managed to volunteer to sit next to a five month old baby that reeled me in with his fat cheeks.  Stupid kids have some sort of magic powers over me. I'm weak.

Having the opportunity to wear clothing that I would NEVER allow myself to wear around my kids, including heels and strapless tops.  I felt sassy and hip in my "going out" clothes.  But...apparently most of the women in Vegas dress a tad bit like a prostitute so my sassy clothes really looked more matronly than hip.  My lack of pizazz was accented by the fact that my size A breasts looked child-like compared to all the porn star boobs that EVERYONE had there. 

Seriously, how is that happening?

I loved walking through the casinos and shops with my friends without any timeline, no one asking me for a snack, no one told me they were bored while we looked at shoes, and everything was purely for our own amusement.  But...despite previously feeling pretty intelligent, none of us were able to navigate our way out of any of these buildings without the assistance of a hotel employee and the danger of peeing our pants from laughing so hard at how ridiculous it all as.

I felt young and attractive after showering and taking my time getting dressed to go out on the town.  But...apparently I missed the young mark.  We were called cougars.  Seriously, cougars.  Hysterical.

I loved the serious discussion my friends and I had about maintaining a buddy system for the duration of our trip, as well as acting as vigilant lookouts whenever we were drinking to assure that non of us were roofied by anyone looking like they might be interested in the older gals.  But...despite all those Datelines we watched that told us otherwise, no one even attempted to kidnap or drug any of us.  Lame.

Staying out dancing and possibly even taking a few shots one night until 4, in the morning, was beyond fun.  But...I don't think any of us are made for that anymore, or for the giant pizza and bread sticks we consumed right before going to bed at 5.  We were totally rock stars though.  How are those people standing up?
We also saw an amazing show the last night called Absinthe.  It was stomach ache funny and the perfect ending to our trip.  But...I have been having nightmares about one particular act where a woman on roller skates is slung around by her feet and her head basically could explode against the floor at any moment. 

Seriously, where is that girl's mother?  I would be livid if I worked my ass of this whole time to keep Stella's head from exploding only to have throw on some roller skates and have a guy fling her around in a tiny unitard.  She shouldn't do that. I bet her mom is very angry.

I could write more and more, but one of my kids is probably up pooping somewhere and plotting against me.  I should definitely check on them.

Hope you all are having a good week!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

All The Wild People Eat Cinnamon Rolls...At Night

I've returned from my vacation.  There is no escaping reality.  It took a mere 23 minutes after my arrival home for me to lose all sense of the peace and joy I discovered during my time away.

I am exhausted from all my peace and joy so I'm going to make this brief.

Vegas (though surprisingly icky and large chested) was amazing.

My time with my friends is something that I cherish beyond words.  They are three phenomenal women that I love, respect, and truly miss the moment I am away from them.  I can't imagine how I am so blessed to have them in my life.  If I were feeling more witty I would have worked a cheesy song about friendship into this paragraph, or perhaps a poem from summer camp, I'm feeling that sappy.

I miss my girls. 

 

I lost all sense of reality and self control as you can clearly see in the photo below.

I ordered and consumed a cinnamon roll at 6 pm...with a large milk.

It felt so good to be wild.

It also felt good to feel comforted by the fact that I had a fantastic husband and wonderful friends caring for my children.  I was humbled by, and so very grateful for, the way my friends stepped up to take shifts caring for my kids when Alex couldn't get one day off work. 

They cleaned my house up people.  Laundry was folded.  I am insanely fortunate.

I also was feeling like Alex was taking a truly active role, engaging the kids and really stepping up. 

I felt especially moved when I saw the Brain Quest workbook out and Aiden's efforts to write "B" words from the things around him in the room.  Alex was teaching!


Really Alex?  You think 'beer' will be on a spelling test in kindergarten, or first grade?

I promise to write more about all my feelings and emotions about the trip tomorrow. As of right now I have to go to sleep.  I can't live the bake-goods-in-the-afternoon lifestyle for days on end people, it is time for some rest. 

Vegas is hard work.

Life is good.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Might Make Really Good Chicken Nuggets, It's A Recipe-Ish People

Oh it's been a doozy of a week. 

Is that how you spell doozy? 

We all know what I mean either way, right? 

I mean, it's really blown.  I mean I Can. Not. Wait. to get the hell out of Dodge tomorrow morning. 

(Dodge is Austin, TX in this scenario everyone.  Didn't want anyone wondering when I actually went to Dodge, where that is in Texas, why I didn't mention going somewhere else first, etc.)

I am spending a lot of time dreaming about my time poolside with a cocktail, dinner made by someone else, and possibly some serious dancing.  I could totally rip up the dance floor in Vegas.  I've been practicing.

I'm going to have to make this quick because I have a LOT going on tonight.  The final season of Entourage came out on DVD today and Alex and I have a serious love for Entourage. 

I am busy packing and have been making a desperate attempt to take a small suitcase, which I do realize shouldn't be a problem since I'm only going to be gone a few days, but I have a lot of shoe needs.  Besides, I'm checking my bag either way.  If I have a chance to travel without my kids, there is no way I'm going to drag around a giant bag.

I also have to figure out how I can transform my image so that I could pull off wearing a fedora in Vegas. 

I really want to be someone that can wear a fedora.

I would be lying though if I said that I'm not concerned about leaving Alex with the kids. It's not that he can't handle them, it's just that he gets confused about where we keep the bread and forgets to feed Stella and often sleeps through long periods of our children screaming.

I can't really help him much from a far so I figured I could at least leave him a recipe for something other than cereal to serve the kids. I wrote him a recipe. 

Dear Alex,


First, thank you so very much for being willing, without complaint, to take on our three children while I go to Vegas.  Your willingness to do so either shows your amazing love for me, or how out of touch you are with our current reality.


I'll be praying for you, oh and them, either way.


I know you have a difficult time multi-tasking so I'm slightly concerned with how this is all going to go down.  Periodically our children need things all at once.  Sometimes you might have to go to the bathroom, while Stella cries for a snack, and Aiden and Cole start to physically fight over a Star Wars man the size of your pinkie finger.  It's serious.


DO NOT PEE ON THE FLOOR. 


You'll just have to clean it up and Stella will probably toddle along and splash in it before you can get a rag to clean it up, and then you'll have to give her a bath and that's just not going to go well in the middle of the day.  Just control yourself.


I actually think you'll be fine.  Actually, I'm a little unsure but I'm going to be gone either way so I'm going to just let it go.

I know you are probably busy with the kids' I-Miss-Mommy-Because....Game and taking turns talking about what everyone could do better when I get back so I don't feel the need to run away again on Sunday night, but don't forget the kids need to eat.  I thought you might want a quick and easy meal to feed them while I am gone.  I know how much you really want to submerse yourself in my role.


Here's what you need.


Three boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 eggs beaten
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1 stick of butter - melted
salt
pepper

While looking in the refrigerator, you might be interested to know that I received a rather large bundle of some sort of "herb" from our vegetable CSA today.  I don't know what it is, but as someone that briefly dated a very avid pot smoker/dealer I want to say that you could smoke this if things get really rough for you.

I'm not even sure it would do anything, but the entire process might confuse you enough to make you feel a little less shaken when someone is yelling at you about the amount of ketchup you put on their plate, while someone else asks you to explain for the 673rd time how long 7 days is. 

(Here's a tip: Do NOT answer this question by saying 7, 24 hour periods of time or the conversation that will follow will make you run out and sell our adorable baby for actual drugs, not just herbs.)
Oh, I forgot to mention.  You will find those herbs in a plastic bag on the bottom shelf of the fridge, but there is absolutely no chicken in there so you better get the kids in the van to roll to the grocery.  I'd allot 30-40 minutes to this....getting the kids in the van, 30-40 minutes to actually have them all pee, get shoes on, complain about the torture of their crappy lives, and get in the van.  No less.  No way. 
When you get back you'll probably want to get started on dinner right away. 

What?  It's 10 in the morning? 

You should hurry up.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Do NOT let Stella see you do this or the next time you turn around she'll have it set on Broil and there is no way you even know what that means or what it means for your chicken.  Let's just say it would substantially jack up your meal, and let's be honest, you just can't afford that, right?

Take the chicken breasts and cut into 2 inch slices, like a nugget.  Do this on a plastic cutting board and be sure to wash it and the knife immediately. Have you heard of salmonella?  It apparently sucks and I am very confident there is no way you would survive an outbreak in our family without me here so clean that nasty stuff up fast!  (With more than a washcloth with water on it.)


Melt the butter.  Wait. Do you know how to melt butter?


Put it in the microwave for no more than 20 second intervals at a time.  The butter will explode all over the microwave and I am reasonably confident you won't clean it up and then I'll be cranky.  Where's the fun in that?


Take out a casserole dish and spray it with some cooking oil.  Lightly.


Crack the eggs and mix them around a little into a shallow bowl, like a pie plate.  I know you think it's fun to involve the kids with cracking eggs, but I'm here to tell you that it is in fact not. You will regret any child involvement in this recipe. You have been warned.
Mix the melted butter in to the breadcrumbs.  Do not eat it.  This is not really food, even though it has butter in it.  I know this is confusing.


Dip the chicken into the egg and then into the buttered breadcrumbs.


Place the chicken in the dish.


Put the chicken in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

During this time you should probably be cleaning up the kitchen, but I am fairly confident that Stella is begging to be picked up, Aiden and Cole don't understand why they can't just eat fruit snacks for dinner while wrestling with you, and you might be trying to figure out what to smoke those herbs in after the kids go to bed.  I think there's some plastic water bottles in the recycling bin. 

When the timer goes off. What?  Aiden stole the timer and turned it to 55 minutes?  Amatuer.

You can't put the timer out so the kids can see it. They always will be most attracted to whatever is most valuable to your sanity in the current moment, it's just the way they work.  See why I am crazy?


When you think it's beeen enough time, check the chicken by cutting a little to see if the chicken is still pink in the center.  It would probably suck to feed your children raw chicken. That would be poor form for a good father.

Once it's done you can serve it up with whatever side dishes you have prepared. 

No side dishes? 

Fine, just milk.  You're only making my meals look more amazing as far as I'm concerned.

Now, try not to cry, scream, jump on the dining room with a long speech about respect and gratitude when every single one of our children takes one bite, says they are gross, and takes their plate over to the sink. Just be happy they take their plate to the sink and this signals bath and bed time.  I've learned it's best to look on the bright side of this horribly disappointing moments in parenting.  Your words will be lost on them and you'll just have to drink more later.

Good luck and I love you!


Oh, by the way, I found a small piece of poop on the shower door in our master bathroom door so watch out for stuff like that, apparently that's what we're up against now.