Thursday, May 29, 2008

Two All-Beef Patties, Special Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Pickles, Onion, on a Sesame Seed Bun!

I'm going raw and I'm going vegatarian!!!!

Well, kind of.

There is no way I could live the raw or vegan lifestyle all the time. I was a vegetarian for several years and really felt healthy and wonderful, and lost a lot of weight, but I won't kid myself, it would be nearly impossible now.

But I am making a committment to eat one raw meal a month, and one vegetarian dinner a week. That's 56 meals sans meat, and 12 meals sans heat!

We very rarely have meat for breakfast, maybe one or two Saturdays a month we will have bacon or sausage links. And we eat a lot of organic PB&J's on whole wheat for lunch, since that is the only thing Chloe will eat lately. Sigh.

But the real challenge is dinnertime. The Hubs is a meat eater, and I am sure he will be until he is in the nursing home, using his dentures to chew his steak. I am not a huge red meat fan, but I like me some chicken.

This week our vegatarian meal was corn on the cob, baked sweet potatoes and a big green salad. Both of my kids gobbled it up, and The Hubs made a good effort. Although I am relatively sure he picked up a Big Mac on the way to his night shift at work.

I don't think the once a week herbivore diet will be that hard. It's the raw meal that I am having a hard time with. I can't see myself wrapping up tofu in seaweed and serving it with a chunk of fresh coral reef or something. There has to be a collection of raw recipes out there that are actually doable, affordable, and tasty. Anyone have a great raw recipe or idea to share???

Monday, May 26, 2008


Finished Uncle Tom's Cabin on Friday. Loved every single page of it and cried. A lot.

Started The Glass Castle Sunday and finished it Monday. Seriously awesome, amazing book. Read it. Please?

I've got Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Unholy War:Terror in the Name of Islam next on my list. Anyone want to read a Mark Twain classic with me??

Day Two-Project GID!

Yesterday I purged and cleaned two more areas for Project GID. You can find day 1 here. The first project was our hall towel closet. For some reason this closet piles up SO fast. The Hubs is also into the fine art of collecting massive amounts of useless crap. He has a hodge podge of computer bits, random wires, tools, etc. But he never wants to sort through anything or HEAVEN FORBID, throw something away. This closet is one where his junk starts to collect.
The before picture with my collection of candles, all kind of lotion, mismatched towels, and The Hubs' crap stowed behind it all.

Still a lot going on, but a little more organized. I threw all of The Hubs' junk in the green and blue buckets and I am now going to dream about the day that he will sort them.

Here is the top of my microwave. I have tried a large number of techniques to manage the amount of paper crap that accumulates around here. In baskets, daily sorting, shredders blah blah blah. It all works for about a week, then I lose the steam and the paper builds up again.

In all of it's glory.

Sorted, filed, shredded....

Throughout this week I will be doing the girls' closet, computer desk, a few more kitchen cabinets, and laundry area. Do you have any areas that you just need to GIT R DONE????

Friday, May 23, 2008

Project GID

Project GID has now begun! GID, or rather Git Ir Done, is something I have been meaning to do for umm..ya know....about...umm....okay... carry the one, yeah 4 years. You see, The Hubs and I are both packrats (to the tenth degree). We have no concept of cleaning up after ourselves or putting things away. Every once in awhile I will go on a cleaning binge but I really am a terrible housekeeper. I am working on it though!!

I have a lot of areas in my home where things just pile up. Things that have no specific home get shoved into these little corners which start to take over the entire house. Flylady calls these things "hot spots". My specific hotspots are all over the house, and are in need of MAJOR decluttering and organizing. Since these things have been on my list so long I finally broke down and said "You know what? Just git r done!" So, here we go, here are my hot spots in all of their glory, followed by pictures of my new shiny drawers and cabinets (cold spots?). I would never share these pictures unless I had a nice clean shiny one to follow it with. :)

I have four drawers in my kitchen that hold utensils, spatulas, etc and they get SO cluttered. Both of my monkeys like to play in there, so they don't stay organized for long. But they are now!

Our bathroom cabinet. It was in bad need of a purge. In going through the vapo rub, old crusty toothpaste and dried out deodorant I discovered a few LONG past expiration dates. I guess this calls for a trip to Target to restock my cabinet. Dang. If I have to.

My shameful bathroom counter. Our bathroom is small, so it seems like the counter is cluttered when there are only two or three things out. When there are 73 things out, it looks terrible.


Thanks for looking. This weekend I am also tackling my towel closet, laundry area, computer desk, and the girls' closet. Git R Done!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Why my 1 1/2 year old ROCKS!

First I told you about why my 3 year old ROCKS and DOESN'T ROCK, now let me tell you about why my one and a half year old (almost) rocks my world!

-She is ridiculously hilarious, she does the silliest things.

-She is so smart, she talks up a storm, including two word phrases.

-Her face lights up when I walk in the room.

-She goes to bed without a peep.

-She loves to kiss and hug little dollies.

-She eats pretty much everything you give her.

-She is super strong and resilient. She jumps up after taking huge falls.

-She loves to sit on my lap and sing songs or read books.

- She gives The. Best. Hugs.

-She loves to cuddle at night.

Yeah, she rocks!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My List

I recently created a list of some of the things I want to do before I die. It's a running list, I am adding to it often. A stranger reading this list might look at it and say "Whoa, none of this involves your family or children!" and that stranger would be right.

I've also got a list in my head of the things I want to do with my children, and if they want to tag along with me to all of the continents, that would be just fine. But it is about time I start focusing on ME, things I want to do, things that will better MY life. Because somewhere between changing diapers and exchanging vows and mopping the floor I lost me. Considering I got married and had children at a very young age, I don't think I ever had me in the first place. The list is incredibly ambitious and hard to reach, but they are all experiences that will help me grow and change (for better or worse). Because before I can be a teacher, mother, wife, sister, I have to be me. And if I have to jump off of a bridge to make that discovery, well then, pack up my parachute.

Here is my list, please, make one too. We all have to have something to look forward to right?

*Wave to each of my children as they drive off to college.
*Visit all of the continents.
*Visit all fifty states.
*Take my kids to Disney World.
*Sit in a French cafe and write (with some pastries and espresso).
*Run a 5K.
*Read 100 classic novels.
*Publish a book.
*Live without electricity for a month.
*Live by myself (briefly), because it's never happened before.
*Learn how to snowboard.
*Learn how to garden.
*Lay on a semi secluded beach all day. In a reclining beach chair, with a stack of paperbacks and a large fruity drink.
*Go to the Four Corners in the US.
*Go on a safari in Africa.
*Get Lasik.
*Get a tattoo.
*Fit into (and look good in) a pair of my jeans from high school.
*Finish a 1500 piece puzzle with no help.
*Find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.
*Eat vegan for a year.
*Deliver food and supplies to a village of hungry families.
*Conquer my fear of spiders.
*Buy a beautiful house with a huge backyard.
*Become a foster parent.
*Beat my dad at Monopoly.
*BASE jump off of the
*Appear on Wheel of Fortune with my mom (and win a ton of money).

The Saturday Morning Parent

So, my husband works full time like the majority of other Baby Daddies in the country. He punches in via time clock, concentrates on his job for 8+ hours (minus a leisurely lunch break), then punches out. That's it, job over for the day.

We've been married for nearly four years and we are just now getting to the point where he is pitching in more with the housework and childcare. Granted, he has always "helped out" but that's all it is, lending a hand when things get rough, then retiring back to the couch/computer/video game/fishing pond/baseball field/you get the drift.

After a teeny tiny bit of nagging, he has come to the realization that I don't have a punch card. That I'm on duty 24/7, I don't get a lunch break, and my shift never ends. And even some days I'd rather work at the garbage dump, shoveling stinky filth while rats scamper over my feet and crows snap at my head. Really. It sounds like a wonderful change of scenery.

The past 8 months or so, the Hubs has really started pulling his weight. He has been picking up after himself, straightening things up, and even vaccuuming. Even more important is that he has been helping with the kids A LOT. He'll entertain them while I do housework, take them to visit his mom, and most importantly, let me sleep in on Saturday mornings.

Now that he has spent more time with the minions, he has started to gain a bit of apprecation for what I deal with on a daily basis (whining, crying, tantrums, scratching, and throwing, just to name the mild problems). While I snooze away the Saturday morning hours, he sees first hand how hard the Threes have hit us, and how much of a stinker Ali "cantmakemehappy" Mae is.

We've been arguing lately over parenting and discipline choices. I tend to ignore the tantrums and then talk about it with them once they have calmed down. This mostly applies to Ali since she throws a tantrum every few minutes (on a good day) and will scream herself blue. She climbs on the table, she tries to throw things in the toilet, she chucks toys, she throws herself on the ground, she kicks, and she scratches. She uses her cute little baby teeth to inflict pain on innocent bystanders, she steals toys, she generally wreaks as much havoc as possible. Yeah, she's a sweet one.

He is upset with me for letting the kids get away with the behavior, not being strict enough, etc. I am upset with him for trying to meddle with the way I do things, since I am the one doing it the other 164 hours each week. I wouldn't say we are fighting about it, just discussing and trying to figure out a solution. I know that we are both the parents, we both have the responsibility of raising our children, and we should figure it out now while they are still little.

So, what do you think? Anyone else experience frustration like this??

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Mommy Smash

The Mommy Smash occurs when an unsuspecting mother bends over her child for a variety of reasons....tying a shoe, giving a good night kiss, pulling on clothes, etc.

When said mother bends over and the child just happens to jump upwards at the same time it creates a harmful collision called The Mommy Smash. This is blindingly painful because it is so unexpected. I would even venture to say this is more painful than childbirth. Really.

Often the child's rock hard head comes in contact with a mother's nose or lips or teeth. This can result in the shedding of tears and/or blood.

I was recently reacquainted with The Mommy Smash. I was standing behind Chloe and bending over to help her pull up her new My Little Pony undies. She didn't realize my face was so close and she jumped up excitedly. She giggled and rubbed the top of her head for a sec then ran off to play. I slumped over on the floor with little birds and stars swirling above my head and blood streaming down my face as my lip swelled to three times it's normal size. *

I need to start wearing a mouth guard and goalie mask anytime I am around my children.

*Slight dramatization

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I could use a warm biscuit! Or something from Warm Biscuit Bedding Company. They have the C-U-T-E-S-T stuff ever, a really adorable store. I am absolutely in love with this wooden mixer set and this cookie set. How cute are those??? Oh man, I could spend hours on their site.

Megan is hosting a giveaway for a $50 gift certificate, so go over and sign up. Wouldn't that be a great thing to win????

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Outside Box

We live in a fourplex, on the upstairs level. We have a sidewalk in front of us, and a small grassy area. Both girls like to draw on the sidewalk, blow bubbles, play in the grass, etc. We live next to a horse corral, so we always like to go visit the horsies, go on short walks, and visit the park a few blocks over.

One problem I have found is that Chloe always wants to bring a ton of toys downstairs to play with, a big bucket of sidewalk chalk, a large bottle of bubbles, assorted sizes of balls, a water bottle, etc etc etc. This means I am lugging stuff (and kids) up and down the stairs repeatedly. Then, the outside stuff doesn't really have a set place to go when we get inside.

I store the girls' outgrown clothes in containers like this one from Rubbermaid. I recently went through and emptied one of the boxes (most of the clothes will go to charity). So now the box is our Outside Box.

Right now it is has:
-A large bucket of super cool sidewalk chalk.
-Two jump ropes
-A small first aid kit
-2 bottles of bubbles
-A roll of paper towels for snot, blood, dirt, etc (they are kids, ya know?)
-A shovel and bucket
-An assortment of small toys
-2 bottles of water
-granola bars
-Tennis ball, bouncy ball, big bouncy ball, etc
-A magnifying glass so Chloe can check out bugs right before she stomps on them.
-Before we go outside I also throw in my cell phone and camera.

Now that the weather is FINALLY nice, we have started playing outside more. Which is great to help pass the time since my kids have started waking up at the buttcrackofdawn.

So, now I only have to carry one big thing and it stays by the door ready to go! Voila!

Why My Three Year Old DOESN'T Rock

First, go see why my three year old does rock!

Now this is why she DOESN'T always rock.

-She hasn't eaten a real meal in six months.

-Although she sleeps through the night, she stalls for nearly an hour before she falls asleep.

-She will only eat off of oinge plates, and drink out of oinge cups.

-She begs and whines for a bath three. times. a. day.

-She knocks over her sister, right before helping her up and kissing her softly.

-She doesn't listen to a thing I say.

-She has started saying "I can't do it" and "I hate this"

-She screams hysterically when I have to wash her hair.

I am sure she is acting like a typical three year old, but since she was such a good two year old, it is really shocking. I think she just woke up one day, removed her halo, and replaced it with a set of pink horns and a matching pitchfork (which she will later use to poke me in the rear).

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Day in the Life.....

I know my fellow stay at home moms can relate to how hard it is to be a homemaker. I know that my husband and some of my family members don't realize how much work it really is. A few times I have written out EVERYTHING for the Hubs so that he can see how much I really do.

Stumble out of bed.
Start coffee.
Change Ali's diaper.
Help Chloe wipe bum.
Help Chloe wash hands.
Prepare breakfast.
Dish up plates for both kids.
Pour out juice.
Set both kids up with breakfast plates.
Prepare my plate.
Eat my food.
Get Ali down from high chair.
Clean up Ali's face and hands.
Get Ali dressed.
Get Chloe dressed.
Help Chloe brush her teeth.
Unload yesterday's dishes.
Load breakfast dishes.
Wipe down kitchen counters.
Shower (every other day).
Get dressed and ready.

And this is all by 9 AM.

Fast forward to the afternoon.

Start preparing lunch.
Prepare lunch plate for Chloe.
Prepare lunch plate for Ali.
Pour milk cups.
Put Ali in high chair.
Prepare my plate.
Eat my lunch.
Get Ali down from high chair.
Wipe Ali's hands and face.
Help Chloe go potty.
Help Chloe wash her hands.
Load lunch dishes into dishwasher.
Wipe down kitchen counters.
Change Ali's diaper.
Find Ali's blanket and binky.
Sing song to Ali while rocking her.
Lay Ali down for a nap.

And this is all by 1 PM. Chloe and I do some type of project or preschool time, then she has "quiet time". Then Mommy reads, messes around on the computer, does some chores, etc.

Fast forward to predinner.

Set Chloe up with a project or coloring.
Give Ali something to do on the kitchen floor.
Make dinner.
Clear and set the table.
Prepare dinner plate for Ali.
Prepare dinner plate for Chloe.
Pour milk cups.
Put Ali in high chair.
Prepare my plate.
Eat my dinner.
Get Ali down from high chair.
Wipe Ali's hands and face.
Help Chloe go potty.
Help Chloe wash hands.
Send kids to room to play.
Load dinner dishes into dishwasher.
Wipe down counters and stovetop.
Sweep the floor.
Empty the garbage.
Wipe down table.

And this is all by 7 PM.

Fast forward to pre bed time.

Start filling bathtub.
Strip down both kids.
Supervise bathtime.
Empty bathtub.
Dry off Ali.
Give a baby massage with lotion.
Put on new diaper.
Put on jammies.
Brush her hair.
Dry off Chloe.
Give a toddler massage with lotion.
Put on jammies.
Brush her hair.
Prepare a small bedtime snack.
Load bedtime snack dishes.
One final swipe of the kitchen.
Find Ali's blanket and binky.
Read one book.
Rock and sing to Ali.
Lay Ali down for bed.
Tell Chloe a story.
Sing a song to Chloe.
Read one or two more books to Chloe.
Help Chloe go potty.
Help Chloe wash hands.
Help Chloe brush teeth.
Get Chloe a drink of water.
Tuck Chloe into bed.
Sing one final song.
Collapse onto couch.

So, this is done every single day, even on bad/lazy days. If it's a good day you can also throw in two loads of laundry, washed, dried, folded and put away, vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing the bathroom, changing bedding, running errands, paying bills and balancing the checkbook, mopping, doing an art project and decluttering.

I'm not claiming to be supermom, not hardly. I think I try to justify to myself that I am actually doing something worthwhile.

Recently on a college application I had to report my employement status. My options were Working Full Time, Working Part Time, or Unemployed. I would definitely say I am employed, my house, children and husband are my employers and the pay is CRAP. And I would love to say that I get so warm and fuzzy knowing I am doing something worthwhile and important. The truth is that when I realize how many hours are spent doing trivial things like folding Chloe's underwear and sweeping under the stove, I long for a career and padded bank account and a sense of accomplishment. Because the dishes, yes they are done, but changing the world, no, that will have to wait until naptime is over.


So, what do you think of my new header??? Cute huh? Corey created it, she did such a fantastic job!

I'm still fiddling around with fonts and spacing and colors and all that jazz, so bear with me!!!

Thanks Corey!!!!!!

And Happy Mother's Day to all you fantastic women who are child-rearers. You do such a great job! Although, you may be doing a crappy job, but since it's Dia de la Madre, go ahead and pat yourself on the back.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I'm reading it here.


Touching Stars by Emilie Richards

Chocolate Cheesecake Pudding Cups

Ok, so this is quite possibly my favorite dessert, and the kids love it too. Very simple, easy to make, full of calcium, and very filling.

You will need (for 4 pudding cups):

1 package cheesecake pudding mix
2 packages chocolate pudding mix (or one of the large boxes)
5 1/2-6 cups milk
4 graham crackers
whipped cream (optional)

First, prepare the chocolate pudding according to directions. Immediately distribute HALF of the pudding into four cups (you can use coffee cups, I use clear glasses since it looks so pretty when it is done!) and put into fridge. They only take 5 minutes to set. In a separate bowl, prepare the cheesecake pudding. Evenly pour all of the cheesecake pudding on top of the chocolate in the cups. Stick back into fridge for five minutes. Then add the rest of the chocolate pudding on top (this might have set up already, you can just use a spoon to scoop it on top!) So, you have three layers, chocolate, cheesecake, then chocolate. To make it easier you can just do two layers, or you can mix up the order of the layers if you like cheesecake more.

Set this back in the fridge for just a few minutes to get firm. For the graham crackers, you can crush each one on top of the pudding, break them into large chunks, or (my kids' fave) you can use the graham cracker as a spoon to dip in your pudding! Lastly, add a dollop of whipped cream to the top!

I always use skim or 1% milk, lite whipped cream, and reduced fat graham crackers, but you can mess with it however you like.

A couple of can also use strawberry or cherry jello in place of the chocolate pudding. We've tried that once and it really was DELISH. You can also use chocolate graham crackers, banana pudding, etc.

Chloe says it is YUM-O!

Ali would give her input, but she is busy right now.

Why my 3 year old ROCKS!

-She sleeps through the night.

-She can wipe her own rear about 85% successfully.

-She tells me "I lub you!" multiple times each day.

-She kisses her sister and helps her up when she falls down.

-She would gladly sit and read books for several hours.

-She tells fantastic stories.

-She kisses my owies better.

-She reminds me every day to wash my hands after going to the bathroom.

-Her favorite color is "Oinge"

-She gets deliriously happy over simple things like a cookie, an extra cartoon, or a trip to the park.

-When she smiles with her half toothless grin (results of a trike accident a few years ago) my heart melts into a huge puddle of bliss.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cautious and Adventurous!

I really have a nervous Nelly on my hands! Chloe has always been really tentative about enjoying new things, she doesn't stray far from me, and she approaches all objects and people with extreme caution.

In fact, she just went down the slide by herself for the first time a few months ago. She would always climb up the ladder, try to talk herself into taking the plunge, then turn around and elbow her way past the impatient kids on the ladder. Back to safety and solid ground.

Today we played at the park for a few hours. Both kids really had a lot of fun, the differences between them are amazing!

Ali approaches everything with the very opposite of caution. She is wild, she will run and jump, climb to the very top of the jungle gym and dangle her leg over the edge while grinning.

She squeals while defying the laws of gravity, she speeds through tunnels and over the wobbly bridge, she flings herself down the slide with reckless abandon.

We had a really great time. Dad came too, and he enjoyed the slide!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

3 down, 41 to go!

I love reading, but my bookshelves are stocked with lots of great fluffy fiction. You know, stuff that doesn't have a lot of substance. I really enjoy fiction since it doesn't require a lot of thinking, you just sink yourself in the pages for a couple hours and emerge feeling a little dumber. Teehee! That's good reading!

But I also really like reading all kinds of stuff. I've always wanted to read the classics, so I'm challenging myself to read the following classic titles in the next year. I'm also planning on hiring a full time nanny so I can actually sit and enjoy these wonderful works. Ha, wouldn't that be nice? No, it will certainly take a huge investment of time, but I am so ready to put it in.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (I read this book in 8th grade and am very interested in reading it again to see how much more I get from it!)
by Mark Twain

All Quiet on the Western Front (Read this one in 11th grade honors, which caused quite an uproar among parents. It was a little mature and violent for school.)
by Erich Maria Remarque

by Toni Morrison

The Best Short Stories
by O. Henry

Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley

The Call of the Wild
by Jack London

by Joseph Heller

The Catcher in the Rye (Read it in maybe 7th grade? Don't remember a thing about it!)
by J.D. Salinger

The Complete Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Doyle

Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Cry, the Beloved Country
by Alan Paton

Don Quixote
by Miguel de Cervantes

Ethan Frome (Read and studied an excerpt in 9th grade)
by Edith Wharton

Gone with the Wind (Studied in 10th grade, really loved this book!)
by Margaret Mitchell

The Good Earth
by Pearl S. Buck

The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck

The Great Gatsby (Really enjoyed too. This was 11th grade honors English also!)
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad

Invisible Man
by Ralph Ellison

Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte

Little Women
Louisa May Alcott

Lord of the Flies (8th grade and again in 12th grade)
by William Golding

Moby Dick (Read and studied excerpts in high school)
by Herman Melville

My Antonia
by Willa Cather

Native Son
by Richard Wright

Nineteen Eighty Four (Read in 10th grade, don't remember much about it!)
by George Orwell

Of Human Bondage
by W. Somerset Maugham

The Old Man and the Sea
by Ernest Hemingway

Pride and Prejudice (Semi read in 8th grade)
by Jane Austen

The Red Badge of Courage
by Stephen Crane

Robinson Crusoe
by Daniel Defoe

The Scarlet Letter (Studied in 11th grade English)
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

A Separate Peace
by John Knowles

Silas Marner
by George Eliot

The Sound and the Fury
by William Faulkner

The Stranger
by Albert Camus

A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens

by Edgar Allan Poe

Tess of the D’Urbervilles
by Thomas Hardy

Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston

To Kill a Mockingbird (12th grade English)
by Harper Lee

Uncle Tom’s Cabin
by Harriet Beecher Stowe

War and Peace
by Leo Tolstoy

Winesburg, Ohio
by Sherwood Anderson

Wuthering Heights
by Emily Bronte

A sure sign of our technological advances, you can read some of these classics online. A couple of good sites are Life Optimizer, and Sparknotes. Not to mention the local library.

So (*rubbing my hands together in anticipation*) anyone want to join me? Want to have an online classic literature reading club? I know, try to quiet your enthusiastic squeals, it sounds wildly exciting right? *wink*