Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Blast From the Past

More than a week since I last posted. Pitiful, I know. But in my defense I had a couple of blogs started and Blogger lost them.

Lost them.

Like they were saved as drafts and then "poof"! Vanished into thin air.

So today, we're going back in time, to one of my very favorite posts. I came across it the other day and it made me laugh. It was so not funny at the time, but thank goodness I can laugh about it now.

Kind of like Blogger losing my blogs. Not funny now, but maybe later.

Or not.

Oh yeah, I like this one, too. And I'll get to work on rewriting the other posts.

$*#*$@! Blogger!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Review: Deceptively Delicious

Okay, if you have those dream children that eat every bite put in front of them, move on. You are a perfect parent and I suck in comparison to you and I don't wanna hear about it. But if you, like me, have kids that balk at most vegetables and routinely ask, "How many bites do I have to eat?" then you may be interested in what I have to say.

A little more than a week ago I found Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, on sale at Barnes and Noble. I was intrigued. She proposes that she hides vegetables in her children's food without them even knowing...and they LOVE it. She has a brownie recipe containing spinach.

Spinach.

I don't even like nuts in my brownies. Spinach?!

So I brought it home. Well, first I paid for it, then I brought it home. And I couldn't wait to get started on my evil plan to lure my children into actually ingesting vegetables unawares.

The first recipe we tried was Chicken Nuggets with pureed sweet potato in the breading. Sounds weird, I know. Now, the trickiest part is actually sneaking in the sweet potato without them noticing, which I will tell you, if you're kids are always wanting to help cook, is no easy feat. But once I presented the finished product no one was the wiser. In fact, my little ones went wild over these! In fact, I was quite surprised at how good they were.

Our next recipe was Pancakes with sweet potato puree. Another hit. Last night it was Italian Meatloaf with carrott puree and Mashed Potatoes with cauliflower. The potatoes were excellent and though the meatloaf had a nice flavor, the texture was a little mushy, which turned my kids, and myself, off. However, with enough ketchup, you can disguise almost anything.

You might be thinking, as I did, that if you trick your kids into eating vegetables, they will never learn to eat them knowingly. However, she addresses this issue as well and never suggests that you stop serving fresh vegetables on the side and even as crudite while you are making dinner. But if you know they are getting at least some vegetables - however deceptively - then you don't feel like you have to spend the meal nagging and negotiating with them about eating. Personally, I hold the belief that kids are kids and eventually grow up and stop complaining about onions and peas. I eat loads of stuff now that I wouldn't touch as a kid.

Of course, I still don't do liver.

All in all, I highly recommend this book. So far, the recipes have been simple, kid-friendly and tasty. What more could you ask for?


And now I'm off to make Banana Bread with cauliflower.









Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ooooooo, you're gonna be so jealous when you see what I got for Valentine's Day!

Lookie!


It's the cutest little digital camcorder EVER! Now I can record earth-shattering events like this:

video

Imagine what this means for my BLOG!!

And it has zero fat, zero calories, zero carbs so it won't make my butt bigger...unless I record my butt...which will add ten pounds...but we won't talk about that.

I did not even ask for this. Didn't even know it existed. And my hubby - the world's best gift giver - surprised me with it, knowing I would go ga-ga. Oh, it's the best Valentine's present EVER!! (gush, gush, gush)

Stay tuned for more ground-breaking video journalism from the trenches.

(By the way, I don't know why it's posted the video twice. I cannot edit it out either. Guess I will have to spend my day playing with my new toy to figure it out. Gosh darn it.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hey! Did I Tell You?

I got an 86 on my first College Algebra exam.

Applause. Applause.

Of course, I was a wee bit disappointed it wasn't an A, but the semester is young...

Mystery Solved

Every now and then I stop to ponder some of life's greatest mysteries, such as:
Stonehenge



Crop Circles

Why my family cannot put their dirty clothes in the basket.
Seriously. Note the pink basket inside the closet. Note how empty it is. Note the incredibly large pile of dirty clothes on the floor directly IN FRONT OF the basket, even TOUCHING it. In fact, the clothes on the upmost top of the pile could easily topple over inside the basket with a good stiff breeze.
New rule:
Any clothing found on the floor does not get washed. If it is there for a week, it gets tossed.
Think I won't do it?
Watch me.
I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Memoirs Of An Addict

Coffee is my drug of choice.

I'm not in denial. I fully embrace the fact that I am an addict. I don't even hold the conviction that I should quit.

I'm a full-blown junkie.

One to two cups every morning. Two sugars and a splash of milk.

This morning, I shuffled to the kitchen, as I do every morning, to get the crack a-cookin'. I'd had an especially difficult night with Baby, who has some kind of yucky respiratory thing going on. She was up and down all night coughing and blowing her nose while I kept administering medication and drinks of water, trying to ease her discomfort.

It didn't help that I was up until 2 a.m., either.

So, I go through the motions with my eyes only barely open. Empty old filter. Put in new. Two scoops of coffee. Six cups of water. Flip the switch. I shuffle back to the computer to check my email and wait anxiously for my brew. After a few minutes, I notice I can't hear the familiar sounds of percalation or smell the delicious aroma that would normally have me salivating at this point.

You know how you get in the habit of doing something and before long you don't even pay attention to what you're doing? It's the whole "autopilot" phenomena.

I automatically think I must not have really made the coffee. I can't even remember doing it. Silly me. I need coffee...bad.

I head back to the kitchen to make it for real this time, since I have obviously been on autopilot too long.
But the coffee pot is on.

I check the reservoir. It has water. What about coffee? Check. Plugged in? Check.

But it is not making coffee. It is not doing anything. Not even a pulse.

My coffee pot is...(sniffle)...dead.

A moment of silence, please.











Good-bye, old friend.

But there is no time for a proper memorial. My addiction is greater than even my grief and everything is secondary to my need for a fix. I begin to bark commands and have everyone dressed and loaded into the van within twenty minutes, myself included. As far as addicts go, I look the part. Sunken eyes, no shower, no makeup and last night's dirty clothes. My children cry as I rip their half-eaten breakfasts from their mouths and drag them out into the bone-chilling cold so mommy can score a hit. But I feel no shame. I am numb.

Driving bleary-eyed along the highway I try to formulate a plan. I will stop at the nearest fast food drive-thru and get me the largest cup they have. If it costs me four dollars, I will pay. But I cannot think clearly. In my stupor I drive past every available drive-thru and find myself close to Wal-Mart. Forget the drive-thru. Why pay a dealer when I can make my own at home? I need a new pot. I screech into the parking lot on two wheels. I cannot even speak complete sentences as my children ask me, "Why, Mommy? Why?" Coffee...hurry...can't...please...

The store is warm and bright coming in from the cloudy, gray cold and I steer us to the small appliance aisle. It is full of shiny coffee makers in black, white and chrome. They beckon to me and I am at their mercy. The commercial coffee pot at $94 is enticing. I could make a lot of it really fast. I could share it with my friends. Fortunately I don't have $94 to spend and I grab the $19.95 Black and Decker, ready to find an electrical outlet then and there and have my coffee in aisle number eight of my local neighborhood Wal-Mart.

I make it home with all three children, the Black and Decker, a new bag of freshly ground coffee at $7/pound and a box of Chai tea, shaking as I carry them in the door. In my crazed need for caffeine, I may have overdone it a bit, but I will have to deal with those repurcussions later.

Must.

Have.
Coffee.

Meet my new best friend:
I can even program it to have my coffee ready and waiting for me when I get up in the morning. Isn't it lovely?
Exquisite, it is.
My precioussss...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Lamenting Algebra...Again

It's down to the wire now. After two semesters of non-credit preporatory Algebra classes, I am finally in College Algebra. After this semester, I will wash my hands of math classes and will be the bonafide ownder of a...

Drum roll, please...

Associates of Liberal Arts degree.

Then it's on to the Big Kids College for the B.A.

But for the next twelve weeks I will be sweating through Algebra yet again. Only this time, it counts. Whatever I make goes straight to my transcript.

Yikes.

Tomorrow morning is my first College Algebra test.

I should be studying.

But I don't wanna.

I hate Algebra.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Wanted: Grandparents (or anyone else willing to babysit for free)

I have the sweetest little neighbor lady across the street. Ms. Cindy's husband died about five years ago and we try to look out for her. Ms. Cindy has a daughter my age and two grandsons that love to play over here when they come visit grandma...which is every weekend.

Now, I love Ms. Cindy. I love her daughter. And I love her dear little grandsons. But I have to admit, I feel a tinge of jealousy every weekend when her daughter drops off those little boys and leaves them to spend the night at grandma's house and she and her husband go do whatever it is childless grownups do on a Saturday night while I sit here at home surrounded by noisy, messy children and Hubby is at work.

Where do I get one of those?!

Don't get me wrong, my parents are fabulous grandparents. My kids adore them and they are great at coming, staying for an hour, spoiling the kids senseless and leaving. But they've never kept my kids overnight.

Never.

Part of it is my fault, really. I was very protective of Brother and wouldn't let hardly anyone hold him, let alone keep him. But with each child, I've become a little less protective and a little more desperate. Seriously. Take my kids. Please.

I've tried to tell myself that my parents probably would sit for us if they didn't live an hour away, but it's little consolation as I have a friend whose parents live in a neighboring state and still make arrangements to take the kids for the weekend.

Was their some kind of secret grandparenting class my parents missed? Shouldn't this have been in their contract? Can I sue for breech?

So who's free next weekend? Don't be afraid. The kids come with their own straightjackets and weekend supply of Benedryl.