Thursday, July 30, 2009
She has this weird idea in her head that if we all go as a family it will be a blissful lovely time of togetherness. She even tries to incorporate it into dates at times. You know, just the two of us. Having a romantic getaway at Price Chopper. She is the princess and well...
She gets mad when I am not her grocery store prince charming.
You know, the man who keeps the kids perfectly under control. The man who keeps the perfect distance with the cart and never runs into her heals. The man who is never flabbergasted about the price of her healthy alternatives. The man who keeps his hands to himself. The man who anticipates her moves and would never deviate from the path she always takes.
We almost got into a knock down drag out brawl the other day because I did not know her usual pathway from the front door to the produce. Seriously, I saw veins in her forehead. I am just a huge disappointment when it comes to that. I am the frog instead of the prince. I know this by now, but she still hangs on to those school girl dreams that I will sweep in and rescue her from grocery store hell. Instead I just make it hotter.
Reality check in isle 3. As we all know I am not a prince. I have no white hoarse. And if she kisses me, I will still be me. I understand her desire for prince charming, I just can't be him. If I notice her growing out her hair like Rapunzel I might get concerned. I am not worried too much about some other grocery store Prince, because I have been there.
Not a lot of competition!
I will just promise to make it up to her in bed at night.
With a foot massage.
What were you thinking? We don't go to the counters that require a key.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Today we are making:
Aren't they cute? Oh, you're not finished yet. Wrap each sandwich individually in foil and freeze. Just grab'em when you feel like it. No need to thaw. These are a big hit with my kids!
Monday, July 27, 2009
It's is Monday and it is time for some of my randomness...
Sweet Pea has learned to taunt her friends and family by singing, "Nah nah a poo poo, you can't catch me!" while running off squealing and giggling in hopes that someone, anyone, will chase her. All I want to know is where did she learn it as "POO POO"? It is so embarrassing.
The other day we parked next to the "Lifeguard of the week." What does it say about us when the 16 year old lifeguard has a nicer car than ours? Just wondering...
On our way home from church yesterday, my parents called Nurse Boy's cell phone. They were stranded at Walmart where their last running vehicle wouldn't start. They have 3 cars between the 2 of them. All 3 of their cars had problems this weekend. Don't ya just love cars???
Nobody should have to be stranded at a Walmart. EVER. For ANY length of time. And, I am pretty sure my father would give me an, "AMEN!"
Nurse Boy and my father then spent the day trying to fix 2 out of 3 of the cars while I held my breath. When the two of them start "repairing" things, you just never know what will happen. They got one car up and running and used our AAA membership to tow the one stranded at Walmart to the family mechanic.
No, he isn't a family member. Doesn't everyone have a mechanic that the whole family uses? Or, is that just because we are all too cheap to drive newer cars? All I know is that our family has single handily put Mike's firstborn through college. And, maybe even the second born.
Nurse Boy has one final assignment for the summer regarding his schooling. Honestly, he couldn't be less motivated. It kind of reminds me of the college years all over again. Well, the college years with kids, a mortgage, a full time job, and a whole lot of "To-do's" that never seem to get done. No wonder why he is lacking motivation. So, why were we always finding reasons to procrastinate when we were young, carefree, and without too many responsibilities?
This week I read that summer is the only season that is too long and too short all at the same time. I couldn't agree more! I am so tired of keeping the kids actively entertained, yet I am not ready to get back into a strict routine and not have my children home with me all of the time. It isn't over yet, so I'll try to remain laid back and just enjoy!
Public pools are not kind to pedicures. My toes are looking abandoned and sad. Good thing I do my own pedicures.
Have some randomness to share? Join me and let me know in the comments!
Have a happy Monday!
Friday, July 24, 2009
Last night we decided to prepare dinner and let it chill in the fridge while we headed to the pool. That's right, we took three hungry kids to the pool and swam the night away. They didn't even complain about being hungry until the clock struck 8 PM. I know, I really should keep them on a schedule. Really, I do most of the time, but summer is when you have to mix things up. That is one thing I remember fondly about summers during my childhood. My mom would let us get off schedule, stay up late, and eat crazy things for dinner. Our favorite summer dinner? A scoop of vanilla ice cream in a half of a cantaloupe. Yum.
I am still in love with this cookbook. Both of these recipes came from here. Go ahead and check out hungry-girl.com for yourself!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Today I will pose an age old question. The question that has raced through the minds of women for generations. (Maybe even some men, but certainly not my man.) The question that defines who you are when you look at your reflection. The question that women all over the world have taken a strong stance on:
Bangs or no bangs?
Yes, I am talking about hair. What, you were thinking something a little more... deep... intellectual... maybe even profound?
Are you new here? Have you read this blog before?
It is the question that haunts me every time I get my hair cut. It is the question that probably drives my hairdresser crazy every time I visit her. It is the very reason why I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. And, I tend to lean more on the hate side.
You see, the VERY MOMENT I decide to cut bangs, I know that I made a BIG MISTAKE. A mistake that will take at least a year to fix. That is , if and only if, I stick to my decision to grow them out. But, I am fickle. One month I want them, the next month I am growing them out, and the very next month I choose "long face framing" bangs.
Now, I have my own daughter's hair to stress over. Yet again, I am constantly mulling over: Bangs or no bangs?!
I have noticed that the women of Hollywood are no different. 2008 seemed to be the year of the bangs. All of the magazines were telling us that, "Bangs are in! Everyone is doing it!" Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, and many others joined in on this fad. As did I. The only difference? (Besides the lean, trim, personal trainer toned body, the perfectly glowing skin, and the regular shots of botox...) They have "hair people." When they are feeling fickle, they have extensions put in and hide their bangs. Not me. Nope. I have to grow those bad boys out for a year or more. No quick fixes for me.
So, how about you? Bangs or no bangs?
Now that I have that off of my chest, maybe I can focus on more important things, like...
Blue eyeshadow or stick with neutrals?
Or, how about the REAL question of the moment:
Will I really embrace the return of 80's fashion?
Yep. I am FULL of deep thoughts like that. You're welcome.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Ah, yes. Summertime.
Nice, warm sun.
Lots of free time with my kiddos.
The smell of sunscreen.
Melting ice cream cones.
Refreshing rain showers.
Trips to the park.
Water gun fights.
Endless hours on the swing set.
Numerous trips to the pool.
But, there is one thing about summer that I will never get used to. Like the times when we are minding our own business at the neighborhood pool and, suddenly...
Whistles are blown...
Moms are quickly scooping their children out of the baby pool...
Some are even darting out the exit...
Lifeguards are directing moms and babes to lawn chairs...
Everyone looks disgusted...
Lifeguards are slowly searching...looking...scanning...for a fresh nugget (and, we are NOT talking chicken, people!)
Nope. Not my favorite memory of summer. And, for the record, it wasn't my child. This time anyway...
Monday, July 20, 2009
Today is Monday and the boys are starting their first day of soccer camp. They went last year and loved it. I am just thrilled they will have something to do from 9 to noon everyday this week and they won't be asking me what we are doing, where we are going, or who is coming over. Yes, I realize I am their "Activities Director" this summer, but I am really over the job. You see, it is exhausting, demanding, and endless. The hours are long, but the smiles ARE precious. Maybe I'll stick it out after all. Meanwhile, I'll focus on being thankful for soccer camp this week! A little rest for the weary!
Here are my random thoughts and reflections for today:
I hate cold, bitter weather. However, I am not a huge fan of hot, suffocating weather either. Plus, I am growing tired of keeping my legs shaved. That's right. I said it. But, don't you worry. I wouldn't be caught dead with hairy legs right now. During the winter months however....
The other day I found corn on the cob on sale for 5 cents an ear! I marched home and removed the husks. One of those ears of corn was a rotten mess and was home to one of the largest, juiciest worms I have seen in a long time. (Can you tell that I don't garden?) I let out a little yelp when I unwrapped my surprise while the boys went on and on about how cool it was and asked if they could keep it as a pet. My answer was a firm no.
Whoever came up with the whole meatloaf idea? I mean, why would you want to make a loaf of meat? Yes, I know it can be good, but who thought of such a thing? (Yes, that is a very random thought. You are welcome!)
I am happy to report that my camera is alive and well. Apparently, cheap batteries are not meant to be used in a camera. And, yes, I realize everyone else besides me seems to already know that. I guess I SHOULD have read the user manual after all.
I am in love with spray on sunscreen. Yep, it was love at first sight! I can line up my crew and have them all sprayed down in one minute flat. Lotion, you are so yesterday.
Nurse Boy and I watched the movie, New In Town, this weekend. I love making him sit through romantic comedies. He always squirms at the very thought of it, then he has to quietly admit that he actually enjoyed it when it is over. New In Town was no exception. Cute movie and Nurse Boy gives it two thumbs up! (He is going to kill me for this one. Why can't guys admit that they like romantic comedies?)
Lastly, I like to keep it real around here. I am gong to get serious here for a minute... A few months ago, life was heavy. So heavy. We were busy being parents. Nurse Boy was very busy being an employee, a student, and a daddy. We both had forgotten to be a husband and a wife. I began to feel disconnected with my husband. I felt like a mommy and only a mommy. I know I am not the only one who ever feels this way. Nurse Boy and I had a heart to heart. Truth be told, I would NEVER give up on my husband. Honestly, that is NOT an option for either one of us. We are in a covenant marriage. But, I was feeling discouraged. Very discouraged. We made a commitment to put our marriage first, no matter what was on the schedule or the to-do-list. And, I prayed. I needed God to rekindle the fire in my heart for my wonderful husband. I can now say that God is just as committed to our marriage as we are! (Actually, more so.) That prayer did not return void! So, I encourage anyone who ever feels this way to pray and commit to make your marriage a priority...and do it right when you see or feel those signs of feeling disconnected!
Thank you, Nurse Boy for always sticking it out with me! (EVEN during those "monthly spells" when one of us can sometimes be a bear to be around. We won't mention which one of us that is. ;0) I am a very blessed wife!
Oh, and I forgot to thank the woman who was sitting behind us at the comedy club this weekend. Thank you for constantly using your flash camera and blinding us all night long in the pitch black. I guess that was your way of mocking me and my "broken" camera with cheap batteries. Thanks again. I am still seeing spots.
Don't forget that you can join in on the fun! Just let me know in the comments if you are posting some randomness of you own and I'll be sure to stop by!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Ah, Friday! Today I have an awesome recipe to share with you. On our date last Saturday, Nurse Boy bought me the new Hungry Girl cookbook. I love trying her recipes. I am going to be honest, they can be hit or miss. But, the hits have been well worth the misses. This week we tried a new recipe out of Hungry Girl 200 Under 200 (200 Recipes Under 200 Calories). We LOVED this stuff and I plan to make it often from now on!
Go Greek Chicken Salad
(You can just eat this as a salad or stuff it into some whole wheat wraps. We ate them as wraps and they were so yummy.)
Ingredients for 2 servings:
6 ounces cooked chicken breast, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup crumbled fat-free feta cheese with Mediterranean herbs (plain will work, but TRUST ME, you want the stuff with the Mediterranean herbs!)
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
2 tablespoons canned sliced black olives
(Optional: You can add salt, black pepper, or lemon juice, but I did not.)
1. Combine yogurt and mayo until mixed well. (I know this sounds gross but it isn't.)
2. Add remaining ingredients and stir until coated.
3. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes for the best flavor.
This stuff is fabulous stuffed in a wrap! And, I must confess that:
1. I didn't even try feeding this to the kids. I know Bruiser would gobble it up and ask for seconds. Dimples would choke a very small serving down and ask for a bowl of cereal. Sweet Pea wouldn't even touch it with her chubby little fingers, much less her lips. I decided I didn't want to face any rejection the night I prepared this meal, so out came the blue box of Mac-n-Cheese. They didn't complain and Nurse Boy and I had leftovers for lunch the next day. It was a win/win. So, here's hoping your kids aren't as picky as mine!
2. I couldn't find the fat-free feta cheese with Mediterranean herbs. I didn't have time to run around town for cheese with three kids strapped to me. Although, I do love cheese and I hate fat. Instead, I was lazy and went ahead and bought the FAT PACKED feta. I am so thankful I did. The herbs were a fabulous addition! So, I hope you can find it in fat free, but I highly recommend getting the feta with the herbs, no matter how you slice it... Sorry! I couldn't resist!
I must apologize for the lack of pictures this week. Would you believe that my camera broke while I was cooking this meal?! I am hoping and praying that it can be fixed and that it won't cost an arm and a leg. I don't think I can survive for too long without that thing! I didn't go digital until 2 years ago. Now, I refuse to go back to film...but, guess what, the film camera still works and I have never had any problems with it in the last 10 years. Go figure. But, I am trying to become close friends with technology. This isn't helping matters.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The other day we found ourselves at the grocery store. The entire family. And, it was after 9 pm.
THAT'S right. We were one of THOSE families.
My kids were tired, whiny, and looked like a complete mess. The boys' feet were covered in mud and I am pretty sure I saw sand in their hair. I won't even mention the remnants of dinner on their crusty faces. Sweet Pea's pigtails were a mess and she had about 7 different kinds of stains covering her shirt. Her attitude was just about as ugly as her stain filled shirt and as wild as her hair.
Yeah, we were quite the sight.
Then, I had a flashback. No, not one of THOSE flashbacks, but one caused by too little sleep and not enough caffeine. I suddenly remembered my life with just one child...
(Cue soft, beautiful music and a field of butterflies.)
Ah, yes. Dimples never left the house without a proper bath or wipe down, freshly combed hair, an adorable (always matching) outfit, and stylish shoes. (That is if you consider Stride Right stylish. And, at $35 a pair, I do.) His face was always void of smudges and smears. His nails were trimmed and his feet were clean. ALWAYS. Without fail.
I remember pushing the shopping cart through the grocery store with my head held high. My kid was clean, my kid was cute, and my kid had his shoes on the correct feet.
(I mean, who would go out in public with their kids' shoes on the wrong feet? Really? How tacky.)
Nothing but the best for my Dimples.
Fast forward to today...
Leaving the house takes an act of congress.
Shoes? "Check!" (Who cares if they are on the correct feet. Just PUT THEM ON!)
Teeth brushed? "Maybe." (Good enough for me. I don't even remember if I brushed my own teeth.)
Hair combed? "I think so." ( Um, I don't think so, but we are gonna be late.)
Clean clothes? "Uh, I scraped off chucks of cereal from breakfast, so, yes!" (Works for me!)
Frankly, I can't worry about every piece of hair, every smear on their face, whether their shoes are on the correct feet, whether their clothes are free of stains AND matching, or whether their hair has seen a comb in the last week.
Nope. We would NEVER leave the house if I did.
If they can walk without tripping, if they don't smell, and if they look somewhat put together, I consider it all good.
Like I said...We are one of THOSE families. And, I wouldn't trade it for anything...
(But, I will try to avoid the grocery store with the kids after their bedtime. Somethings we SHOULD keep to ourselves.)
Monday, July 13, 2009
Ready for some random thoughts? It's Monday and that's all I've got.
(If that's all you are capable of today, JOIN ME, and post your own random thoughts on your blog and leave me a comment so I can hop on over and read them! Come on, join in on the fun!)
Dimples has decided that he wants to be a Weather Man when he grows up. He is obsessed with his new found career goals. He reads the daily blog of a local weather man, can tell me what the weather will be like hour-by-hour during the day, and is even (all on his own!) charting the local temperatures this summer. I would say this is a pretty good career choice, except his is still afraid of severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings. Hm...we shall see how long this lasts.
Bruiser aspires to be a superhero. Yes, we encourage him to dream big. When we said, "You can be anything you want to be when you grow up," he took us literally. Yeah, we need to work on that one...
Sweet Pea is going to be the next Paris Hilton. OK, not really. But, she has taken to telling us, "No! I said, no," when she is determined to get her way. We keep reminding her that she is only THREE and she can dream on! Yeah, we are working on her, also...
I have been using Almond Oil on my skin right before I dry off after my shower and I LOVE it. How is that for a cheap beauty tip? I put it on a damp washcloth and rub it on right before I towel dry. My skin feels great and even looks better. NO MORE LOTION for me!!! EVER! (I know, you're wondering why you even read my Monday posts, aren't you?)
My father in law officially has 9 lives! Last year, we got a phone call from him while he was in an Indiana heart hospital. He was prepping for a triple bypass. We traveled 8 hours to be with him and he came out of surgery with flying colors. Just this Saturday, we got another phone call after he had made a visit to the ER. He was hit by a car while riding his bike. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?! He is fine and his helmet probably saved his life! I am now referring to him as the man with nine lives--he is a retired Army Colonel, so I am sure he may have even more stories of close to death encounters.
Nurse Boy and I did get to squeeze in a date night this weekend. We had a relaxing dinner...no kid's meals!...no trips to the restroom!...no chicken nuggets on our table!...and, no discussions about table manners!...(except when Nurse Boy wanted to lick his Creme Brulee bowl clean). Then we headed to a new bookstore and had a great time looking around. He even agreed to walk around the mall with me! It was a really nice, relaxing evening.
This weekend I also found myself at Target. Do you know that they already have the school supplies out?! I mean, come on!!! Let me enjoy my summer before I see all those "Back to School" signs!!! It is still MID July!
Yesterday, a very kind mother pulled me aside to comment on how sweet it is that both of my boys always want to give Nurse Boy and I a hug before they go to children's church every Sunday morning. It kind of melted my heart that she noticed and was touched. I know I joke about my kids a lot, but they really are terrific kids. She wanted to know my secret. Truth is, this last year has been really difficult for our family while we were searching for a new church home, were feeling judged and misunderstood by some friends in the process, and have made a lot of changes on the home front. We have tried really hard to SEEK GOD more than ever this year. It has been HARD, but I believe that God has actually brought our family closer together through all of this! I am looking forward to a much better year this year, but as long as I have my God and my family, it really will be OK.
And, just so you all don't worry about me this week, I went to Costco and got MY Diet Coke for this week. Ah, I missed you, Diet Coke. You and I were always meant to be!!! I think my family might be thankful you are back as well!
Have a terrific Monday!!! (If that is even possible ;0)
Friday, July 10, 2009
Ah...it is Friday. Whew! It has been a busy week of carting the kids here and there and everywhere. This weekend Nurse Boy and I are even going to try to sneak off on a date. Man, I could use one of those! And, NO, I am not wearing anything that is dry clean only. I have learned my lesson. Those dresses are for non-eating events only.
Or, maybe I should wear it. THAT could be my new diet plan!
On to dinner tonight. This one is a recipe I kind of came up with on my own with--you guessed it--CHICKEN!
We will call it:
You will need:
3-4 Chicken breasts
Bag of frozen peas
Wide egg noodles--your choice of no yoke, whole wheat, or whatever you prefer
8 oz. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Light Italian dressing
1/2 stick of butter
Italian seasoning, dried parsley, and garlic powder to taste
1. Cook the egg noodles as directed.
2. While you are doing that, cook the chicken breasts on low heat, on the stove top, in a fair amount of Italian dressing. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, parsley, and garlic to taste. Cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes until cooked through.
3. Cut up the cooked chicken into strips and add to cooked pasta.
4. Next, add cooked peas, Parmesan cheese, about a 1/3 cup of Italian dressing, butter, and sprinkle with some more Italian seasoning, parsley, and garlic. (You can use more dressing if you think it is too dry.)
I know, I know. Just like Martha Stewart, wouldn't you say? Minus the jail time, big bucks, magazine, TV show, and all the craftiness.
OK, forget I said it.
Have a terrific weekend and eat some chicken for me, K?!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
You will need one banana, 1/3 cup of peanut butter, and graham crackers. (We are doubling this recipe in our picture. Not to mention, we are doubling the cuteness factor. Don't they look like angels? Ha! They don't fool me!)
Mash the banana. See how much fun that is?
Measure 1/3 cup of peanut butter for every banana you use.
Mix your mashed banana and peanut butter together. (Don't you think these boys need their own cooking show? I do! Preferably something that pays BIG bucks. I mean, have you seen the cost of college tuition these days?!)
Then, generously spread the mixture onto half of a graham cracker. Top with the other half.
Now, this is the best part! Wrap them individually in foil and FREEZE them. Yep, these bad boys go right into the freezer until you are ready for a healthy snack! No need to thaw!
(Shh...if you want to make some special ones for mom and dad, squirt some fat free chocolate syrup on the top before you place the second half of the graham cracker on top. Even better! But, don't share. Us Mommies NEED our chocolate.)
Seriously, these are yummy and simple! I wouldn't steer you wrong!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
So, here we are, right in the middle of wedding season. I love going to weddings. I love to farm the kids out and spend the evening with my husband while watching young love make a lifelong commitment. Mostly, I love reflecting back on our big day. We had NO IDEA what we were getting ourselves into, but we were in love. Love could conquer all, right?
We usually spend the evening remembering what it was like to go out to eat (and not ask for the kiddie menu), to live in an apartment (with a FREE, ON CALL maintenance man), and to buy what you wanted when you wanted it (and, I am NOT talking diapers and wipes). Oh, don't get me wrong, we LOVE our life now, but it sure was simple back then.
Simple and we didn't even know it.
But, I digress. I really want to discuss something deeper and much more profound.
We are right in the middle of the wedding season and I have NOTHING to wear. My dresses are around 10 years old. I have been staying home with the kids for about 10 years and it shows. I am armed with a closet full of flip flops and capris, not formal attire.
Well, I decided that I needed to purchase something trendy and cute. Something that didn't scream, "I've been staying home for 10 years and this dress has seen spit up, poop, and probably some vomit. Don't look too close or you might spot the stains."
What? Your dresses don't talk?
I marched myself right into a local dress shop and did what every mother of 3 does. I hit the clearance rack.
I know, I was living on the edge.
There I found it. A dress that screamed, "Yes, I stay home, but I can be trendy, too!" (I know that may not be what you want your dress to scream, but I'll take it. I AM a mommy with a tight budget and a not-so-tight rump.)
It also screamed, "Dry Clean Only."
I bought it anyway. I mean, my kids are older. I should be able to squeeze a couple of wearings out of it before it needed a good cleaning, right?
Nurse Boy then surprised me by taking me to a nice Italian restaurant about an hour BEFORE the first wedding of the season. You already know where this is going, don't you? Yeah, we spilt an amazing dish of Fettuccine Alfredo and it left a lasting impression...in at least 4 different spots across my chest. Yeah, real subtle. Not to mention that I couldn't blame it on the kids since they weren't with us. I was one hot mama sporting my Fettuccine stains all night long. Don't think I didn't see all of you who were whispering and pointing. And, don't tell me you were just pointing at my awesome hair. It wasn't a good hair day either.
Then, I had to pay $15 to dry clean a $30 dress after only ONE wearing.
I guess it wasn't such a bargain after all.
And, maybe those stains on the old dresses weren't from my kids. But, we will just keep that between us, K?
Monday, July 6, 2009
We had a wonderful 4th of July. It was full of food, fun, fellowship, and fireworks. It was NOT full of sleep.
So, staying with my Monday tradition, here are my random thoughts:
*** It DIDN'T rain on our parade...although it sure did try! Man, did we have a lot of rain this weekend. But, it was dry and cool for the parade and fireworks.
*** Dimples shot off fireworks for the first time this year. This was the only picture I got since I am an overprotective mother. I had to put the camera down and get Bruiser and Sweet Pea to safety. I know I sprouted at least 20 more gray hairs just watching Dimples and his fireworks display.
*** Lastly, I love watching this relationship. Her daddy is her protector. He can make everything better just by being present. Does that remind you of anyone? I learn so much about God by watching my children. When we allow Him to be present, He just makes everything so much easier.
I hope you all had a wonderful 4th!!!!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I hope everyone takes time to enjoy your family this weekend. Celebrate your freedom! Celebrate our awesome military! We are a blessed nation and I am so proud to call the USA my home!