Tag Archives: kids

Here I Go Again…

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If you are like me, you read the heading to this post and started singing White Snake.  If you’re not like me, I feel sorry for you because your inner soundtrack is obviously missing something… TOTAL AWESOMENESS!!!  Every time I here that song, I have to break out the air drums and smile.  When I actually listen to the words I have to laugh a bit because the last time I was alone on my own was about 9 years ago. It lasted for like half a minute before I met my husband, got married and started on what is now a family of four, count them FOUR amazing kids.  Still, the song makes me want to surge forward and do all the things I love that get pushed to the side with the day to day of being a stay-at-home mom.

On that note, I will admit that I am attempting Kids Clothes Week Challenge (KCWC) put together by elsie marley.  The challenge is to spend an hour a day sewing kids clothes for 7 days!  I am already a little behind, but I do have some pieces I am working on including a cute circle skirt for my Pork Chop and some more pants for Moo.  It’s daunting but exciting because although I really love to sew and create, it’s often hard to find the time.

 

On top of that I’ve been back to bentos with the kids’ lunches.  This year I have three in school!  I had conferences with my kindergartner’s teacher and when she showed me that he was having trouble recognizing some of the letters in the alphabet, I suggested that I make flash cards at home.  “Even better,” she said “would be to make him letter bentos!  We love the lunches you send with him every day!”  I have to admit, I was a proud mamma at that moment.  I came home and told him that it was totally worth it to put together those lunches.  I was of course cursing that notion this morning when we were all running late and I was trying to be creative yet healthy…

It’s a busy life but today I wouldn’t trade it in for anything!

So what have you been up to lately?  I want to hear all about it!

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Pinterest Win

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I’ve mention Pinterest in a previous post and I’ll say it again, if you haven’t checked it out, you are totally missing out!!  I’ve recently added a “follow me on Pinterest” button on my sidebar, so please feel free to click it and check out my pins.

I’m proud to say that I’ve actually tried out some of the things I’ve found on Pinterest including this recent success:

Donuts from biscuits  These insanely easy to make donuts were insanely delicious!  Just get packaged biscuit dough (any kind but flaky)  I found a pack of four for less than $2.  Cut out a hole in the middle (don’t forget to save the little pieces for donut holes!), fry in veggie oil (watch them carefully because they brown quickly) then dip in butter and cinnamon sugar, sprinkle on powder sugar, or even make a glaze (I made some odd approximation of a maple glaze) and go to town!  I didn’t really like how they tasted the next day (a little like stale cake donuts) but oh my gosh my family devoured a TON of them the day we made them!

The Pork Chop

Bubba

Short Stack

Sporty

As you can see, everyone enjoyed the donuts!  A Pinterest Win if I do say so myself 🙂

 

Skinny Wallet

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Many families today are struggling with too much month at the end of the money and my family is no exception.  My husband and I have what I view as a very American mentality about spending:  “If I want it, I deserve it so I’ll get it and worry about it later”.  It’s frustrating because we never seem to have money for the things we really want, or the things we really need.

Need vs. Want… it’s a concept I try to teach my kids, but that I’m not very successful at myself.  I’ve made a decision and starting today I’m going to put my wallet on a diet.  I’m going to choose to forgo the WANT for the NEED.  Big talk, I know.

One of the first steps is going to be in the area of groceries.  I don’t know about you but I am a habitual impulse shopper.  I try to write a list, but then I get to the store and fill my cart with all kinds of things that don’t belong there.  I love cool packaging (it’s a downfall, I know) and although I have nothing against buying generic, pretty packaging often finds its way into my cart.

I’ve been doing some research on feeding my family inexpensively and one area I’m going to try to cut down on is cereal bars/oatmeal bars.  My kids love having a granola bar or oatmeal bar as a snack and so I buy boxes of them.  I’ll be looking for a good recipe to replace the processed version (bonus benefit – healthy snacks!).  I’m also going to get out my sewing machine and sew up a couple of re-usable snack/sandwich bags and save on the cost of ziplock bags for the kids’ lunches.

Another way I’m going to start spending less is the entertainment part of our lives.  Friday Funday has become an automatic fast food meal and video.  Why can’t I start cooking with my kids and playing board games?

I’m excited about this, but scared too.  What will it mean to change these ingrained habits?  Can I do it?  Will I be able to bear the complaining from my kids (that’s assuming they complain, which who knows?  They could surprise me!).  Can I still give my family a full stomach with a skinny wallet?  I’m willing to give it a try!

Pork Chop with a side of Lame Sauce

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So it’s been a year since I wrote anything on this blog which makes me a bit of a lame sauce mom.  An entire year has passed and now I am sitting here at the computer, trying to think over the shrieking and screaming (Bubba is watching Jurassic Park).  Last time I wrote we were the Handful Family (as in, you can count all the members of our family on one hand).  Now we are definitely more than a handful!  What I didn’t know as I wrote my last post (a year ago) was that I was currently cooking up another kid.  Not just any kid either.  I was cooking up the Pork Chop (as we so affectionately call her).  In December, Pork Chop (or P.C. for short) made her grand entrance into the world.  If I would have been blogging through the pregnancy, I could have shared all kinds of funny and awful stories about my pregnancy which was nothing short of horrific…  I also could have blogged about our brilliant decision to buy a house and move in to said house just a few short weeks before the Pork Chop came into this world…  There are many moments I have not recorded for you to enjoy.  But that’s okay!  Thanks to my cousin Jenna, I discovered some new blogs to read that not only make me laugh hard enough to pee (which, let’s be honest, after giving birth three times is not that hard to do), but also inspired me to get back in to blogging.  Jenna has a Handful Family herself, so she truly understands the need to have a few moments of laughter.  One of these blogs, Rants From Mommyland has finally given me what I’ve been looking for… suitably foul sounding words to replace the curse words that I’m so desperately trying to quit using (yes, yes I know… potty mouth is bad.  Especially when you watch Little Fockers and your 6 year old daughter asks what the movie is called and you tell her and she says “Little F**kers?”).  Check out the Mommyland Desk Reference here for a list of amazing words you too can integrate into your daily freak outs.

Also, I am going back to all my other posts and editing out the actual names of my children, because I don’t want all you weirdos out there knowing my kids’ names.  If you know me, then it should be pretty easy to figure out who is who, but let me just break it down for you:

Pork Chop:  Newest edition to the fam.  Rocks thunder-thighs and is known for spontaneously vomiting her recently ingested liquid lunch all over whatever I am wearing (at which point I strategically switch her to the other shoulder so I can have matching vomit stains).

Bubba:  My three and a half year old.  Also known as Monkey, Hubba Bubba and Crazy Pants.  His charming new habit is to point to everything using only his middle finger.  Recent accomplishment:  burning a frog to death in our leaf pile.  And he knew EXACTLY what he was doing because he announced to us “I want him to be dead”.  Nice.

Short Stack (aka Princess or Bluebird):  My oldest daughter who is 6 going on 23.  She has been known to cry hysterically when her father or I make fun of Justin Beiber (“Is his name Justin Beaver?  Justin Sneezer?”  MOOOOOOOOM!!  STOP PLEASE!!!!!!!!!  That is NOT NIIIIIIICE!”)  Most mornings for Short Stack involve her asking for the one thousandth time if she can just wear just a little bit, just a teeny bit, just some makeup to school puh-LEEEZ!  It’s a pleasant surprise to see her at all since her room is a toxic waste dump and I am continually amazed at how she manages to dig her way out every day.

Sportie:  My oldest son, the sport-head.  He’s having some serious life issues right now and can’t decide whether he wants to play professional football, become a drummer, be a police officer or possibly join the military.  Life is tough when you’re about to hit double didgets!  Sportie spends most of his afternoons kicking his football as high as possible while narrowly avoiding nailing Short Stack and Bubba in the head with it thus bringing on the Wrath Of Mom (which usually results in the loss of said football for an undisclosed amount of time).

So that’s the fam!

Well, here’s hoping that it’s not another year until I post again… but, this is me we’re talking about, so let’s try and be realistic here!  I will leave you with a link to the charming song “Did You See (Where the Cat Threw Up, Cuz the Cat Threw Up Again)? by Baron von Rumblebuss.  We don’t have a cat, but if we did I imagine it would be the kind that would throw up all over the place.

A Christmas Adventure

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I love my children all the time… sometimes I don’t like them very much, but I always love them.  There are times though, that my heart just BURSTS with love for them.  Today was one of those times – and it didn’t come easy, let me tell you!

My husband’s grandmother passed away recently and his plan was to fly back to Idaho this weekend for the funeral.  The kids and I have stayed home, and although it’s hard to be separated during the holidays, I am thankful that he is able to be with his family during this difficult time.  He flew out of DC today which was kind of a change for us.  I don’t like dealing with DC traffic so I automatically fly in and out of Baltimore.  This time though, we decided to go through DC and just take the Metro to the airport.  That was the plan.

First, we left half an hour late so right out of the gate we were stressing out.  After a quick fill up and a bag of powdered donuts (hubby said he thought they would be “cleaner” than chocolate”… powdered donuts + young children does NOT = clean!!!) we headed out.  Traffic was of course horrible because we had to deal with morning commuters.  When we got to the Metro station, I bought hubby his one way ticket, then got three all day passes for me and the kids.  My husband went right through the turnstile, but when it was my turn, my ticket wouldn’t work.  Try as I might, it just wasn’t working.  The (not so kind) employee informed me that the all day passes don’t work until 9:30 (aren’t they supposed to be ALL DAY?) Well, no matter… time was slipping away and I was starting to freak out.  I went over to buy some one way tickets to the airport with my credit card… CARD DENIED.  Tried again… CARD DENIED.  WHAT THE???  For no reason at all the machine decides not to take my card.  I run over to the turnstile with tears in my eyes and try to hug my husband over the gate thinking the kids and I would just have to say goodbye there.  Out of nowhere a complete stranger, a CHRISTMAS ANGEL handed me a $20 bill.  “Your card’s not working?  Will this help ma’am?”  I was shocked.  “Merry Christmas” he simply said and quietly went through the turnstile and down to the train.  I ran over to buy three one way tickets when low and behold, grumpy metro employee informs me “That won’t work ya know 😦  That machine only gives a maximum of $5 in change.”

I started crying a bit again.  My husband was going to miss his flight if he didn’t get on that dang Metro like NOW.  Again, another Christmas angel came to my rescue.  “Here ma’am… I’ve got two tens.  Will that work?  Don’t cry!  It will be okay”.

Long story short, thanks to these two complete strangers, the kids and I were able to get our tickets and ride with my husband to the airport.  We took a moment to thank the Lord for sending us such wonderful friends during a time of need.  What a precious Christmas gift, a reminder that God cares about even the somewhat insignificant things in our lives.

After (barely) making it to the airport on time, we dropped my husband off at security and promptly went to drown our sorrows in some Cinnabuns and an hour of watching planes take off (hey, I’ve got two boys… they like that kind of stuff!).

The day only got better from there.  The kids wanted to go to the Natural History Museum, so away we went!  Dinosaurs, dirt and bugs were on the agenda.  I even impressed my kids by holding a Giant Madagascar Cockroach IN MY BARE HAND!!!!

This is not a picture of me by the way... I found it on an Entomolgoy website

This was possibly one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever done in my life, but the looks on the kids faces was totally worth it!  We spent a few hours exploring the museum when I realized that I didn’t bring any extra diapers for Bubba.  DISASTER!

After schlepping around trying to find a drugstore or grocery store- anything!  We ended up in a seedy little store that smelled very strongly of pee at which point Short Stack announces that she in fact needs to use the bathroom.  Of course the pee store had no bathroom, but the checker who took my money for the ridiculously over-priced diapers mentioned that I should go to the restaurant next door and ask them.  “Tell them I sent you”.  We hustled over to the “restaurant” which was actually just a single room deli sort of thing with no food in site and two women speaking only Spanish standing there arguing.  I begged for Short Stack to be able to use the bathroom and they stared blankly at me.  “PLEASE!  BATHROOM!  She’s going to pee!!”  They quickly pointed to a door at the back of the room with a piece of paper taped to it.  The paper had a stick figure of a woman drawn on it.  Really.

Thankfull Short Stack is quick when it comes to bathroom breaks so we ran out of there and on to our next museum… the National Botanical Gardens.  It was MAGICAL!  Christmas decorations everywhere, trains, scale models of area attractions constructed of seed pods, bark and moss and an entire fairytale room  with waterfalls, hidden nooks and more trains.  We wandered around for a couple of hours, lingering in the Orchid room and reading about the connection between poinsettia and Christmas.  The kids would hop happily from one plant to the next shrieking with delight over all the odd specimens.  They loved it!  Seeing their faces, listening to their little voices, watching them laugh when they ran smack into a giant leaf hanging into the path.

One of the amazing creations at the Botanical Gardens

Next stop of the day, McDonald’s of course, where I kid you not, a real live SANTA came in for lunch.  Real beard, real round spectacles, and a Santa hat.  He sat a few tables down from us and the kids spent the entire time trying to decide if he was the real thing or not.  So funny!!

We left McDonald’s and stopped by the Air and Space Museum where I got the kids some Space Ice Cream (they didn’t believe me that astronauts like ice cream too) and we marveled at fact that such HUGE machines can actually fly!

Finally, we jumped on the Metro and headed home ahead of the winter storm that’s making its voice heard over here.  When we got close to the house, I drove around the neighborhood so the kids could see some of the Christmas lights.  It was beautiful and perfect and just the BEST day with my kids.

They are all sleeping soundly now and I’m sitting here smiling as I remember one of the best days ever, hoping they will always remember it too.

The Aftermath

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Happy Halloween!

 

Halloween is over for another year and I am sitting in the kitchen looking at a counter full of candy wondering how much I can eat before my kids notice.  My two-year old keeps walking by looking up at me saying “Trick-or-Treat?” and holding out his already chocolate stained hand.  The kids had a fantastic time considering I had them dressed for a cold October night and it was 75 degrees out.  My husband and I spent the evening sweating profusely and swapping stories of Halloween Past.  It was an especially fun Halloween this year because for the first time, my husband didn’t have to work.  He got to enjoy the whining about whose turn it was to ring the doorbell.  He got to experience the cranky attitudes that started to appear soon after my youngest son stepped in a giant puddle and got his feet and pants all wet.  He got to try and keep the kids from covertly shoving large amounts of candy in their mouth in the backseat of the car while we weren’t looking.  Yep, it was Halloween in all it’s glory and he was able to experience every bit!  As if self-induced sugar  comas weren’t bad enough, some genius decided that daylight savings time should end at midnight on Halloween and so of course with their little bodies telling them it was a reasonable 6:30, my kids woke up bouncing off the walls at 5:30am.  Not cool kids.  Not. Cool.

So I sit here munching on a Three Musketeers bar (I caved, so sue me), the older kids are off at school and I’m about to hand my baby man another piece of candy just as soon as he says those magic words…

Why I hate Call of Duty: World at War

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If you move in video game circles (or love someone who does) chances are you have heard of the Call of Duty games.  My husband is a HUGE fan and the release of the newest installment was driving him mad with anticipation.  He had pre-ordered the game and just happened to have to work when it came out.  Being the lovely wife that I am, I offered to pick it up.  I packed the young-uns into the car and headed off to Game Stop.  Why didn’t I think of the inevitable HUGE-MUNGUS line that was waiting for me there?  Why didn’t I think about my son, who tends to throw giant cranky crying fits when forced to be held for long periods of time?  I don’t know why these things didn’t cross my mind, but as you can imagine, the combination was not good.  Game Stop is a tiny little store and it was packed to the brim with anxious guys within a matter of minutes.  My son?  He was an anxious guy too… he was anxious to get the hell out of Dodge, and didn’t mind letting the entire store know with his ear-piercing wails.  These wails, if recorded, would make an effective weapon against all sorts of unsavory characters.  Unfortuantly they also have the power to piss people off in an excedingly short amount of time.  Amid annoyed whispers from the throngs of gamers, I stood my ground.  After about 20 minutes, we finally (quickly) picked up the game and headed straight to McDonalds.  My children, stuffed with chicken nuggets, drifted off to sleep that night, dreaming of a world with no lines.  And me?  Well, besides informing my husband that he owes me BIG TIME (and believe me, I’m coming up with a list of demands)… I stayed up way too late playing the new video game with him.  I’ve never really gotten into video games, but doggonit if we didn’t have a blast together crushing the enemy horde.  I got to take out some of my frustration with some well aimed bazookas and spend some much needed time with my guy… hmmm… maybe I need a title re-write?