Yesterday was my baby’s third birthday. I suppose that officially classifies her as toddler now, although since she’s my last, I’ll always consider her the baby. Which she’ll hate me for at some point no doubt.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
But here's a shout out to all the people in our military and all the people who served out Country at some point: Thank You. Thank you a million times for all you do and have done for our country.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
I’m sure all of you have seen the You Tube clip, “Mom My Ride,” but if you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen it, you really need to watch it. I wish like hell I had been the one who thought of putting this together, but alas, I wasn’t. However, it is pretty much exactly what my van looks like and was what I was dealing with this morning when I decided to actually clean my vehicle.
Step One: Crap Removal
This is what I unloaded from the van today, although it was much worse a few days ago, when trying to find one of my children, I had to remove some trash from the floor. So while my trash bag is not nearly as full as it should have been, I did remove enough items to require four trips to the house to carry things in. While taking this photo I thought it would be a neat idea to put together some “I SPY Van Crap” fun.
I spy a bucket and a spool of thread,
I spy a hat for wearing on your head.
I spy a water bottle, phthalate free,
I spy an orange cup and pink pony.
I spy a rain slicker and bag of clothes,
I spy tissues for a snotty nose.
I spy sunglasses and a foil pan,
I spy some socks and a stained hot pad.
I spy a canning jar and a striped sun hat,
I spy two baseballs that you’d hit with a bat,
I spy a table cloth white and green,
I spy a bag of trash just for me!
Perhaps I’ll sell this photo to the I Spy book people. Maybe I could make a buck or two. (I also took a picture of the contents of my purse which I emptied out the other day as well. I’ll be doing another post on purse crap, with more I SPY fun to come.)
Step 2: Department of the Interior
Once the crap is removed, it’s off to grab the vacuum with the super suction. I admit that I didn’t do a stellar job with the floors; I just vacuumed over the floor pads without removing them. Upon first glance at this photo you might think that I have some groovy, retro tie-dyed carpeting in there, but alas, it’s fabulously stained from coffee spillage, sodas that leaked after the waxy bottom of the cup disintegrated, and other assorted liquids one might carry in the van. I don’t kill myself trying to suck up every last rock and crumble because I live with stains like these, and really, the bitty grit on the floors makes the stains less noticeable. I do however vacuum all the seats, especially the ones in the back where the kids inhale snacks and assorted sundries by first smashing them on their face, and then eating the crunchy bits. The seat around my daughter’s buckle is pretty malleable, considering that I had to dismantle it some years back to clean up a quart of chunky vomit.
I’m not even going to say it outloud because you know it’ll jinx me, but since then we haven’t needed to perform that particular service again. I understand this is just a matter of time.
Step 3: Put Van Back Together, While Admiring It’s Beauty
If cleaning out and vacuuming the vehicle wasn’t enough of a time suck, you then have to actually put away all the garbage you shoveled out of it. I had a pile for the laundry, a pile for the kitchen, a pile for the garbage, and yes, there is still a foil pan with a few remaining stragglers sitting on the driveway. I put back the driver’s side floor mat, admiring the cool hole that has worn through the bottom, but it does make a cool new way to play peek-a-boo with your three year old.
And lastly, the favorite part of my van has to be the passenger side mirror:
You too could be a proud owner of a carpet-soiled, rotten milk smelling van with a broken side mirror. The only thing you’ll need to do, is back out of your garage early in the morning (before your cup of coffee) while looking through the rearview mirror to make sure you’re not actually running over your children, and wait for the CRACK! CRUNCH! that is to ensue. For while we have a two car garage, it is obviously designed for two Tato Nano’s and not for a Dodge minivan and Toyota hybrid. When the cars are parked in the garage together, I have to climb into my van through the passenger door and into the driver’s seat. This is not a reflection of my growing arse, but simply a statement about how large our garage is. (Although those wood-working tools along the side may be taking up a bit of room as well.) The interesting thing to note about my side mirror, is the entire apparatus popped off and is too broken to work again unless we purchase an entirely new side mirror part, so my handy man-y simply popped in the mirror just so it doesn’t look as tacky. This mirror is no longer able to be controlled with the little buttons on my dash, nor does it even reflect anything, because it’s so loosely popped in there, that it vibrates so much that the images are just a blur: like trying to watch a movie while someone is fast forwarding it. But whatever makes him feel less like a white-trash van owner. I’m happy to own up to it.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, with a little hard work, a bachelors in education and a masters degree in English, you too could own a vehicle just like mine. If you need any tips on how to get the fab smells like vomit and rotted dairy products out of your vehicle, give me call. If you’re needing information on how to disassemble the vans seats to clean up excrement, body fluids, or to find a lost limb or missing child, I’m here to help you. If you’d like to post information on the state of your own vehicle and attach pictures for us to commiserate together, I’d love you forever. It’s my calling to turn my misfortunes into learning experiences that help others. No need to thank me.
Friday, May 28, 2010
- Peel the eggs and slice each in half lengthwise. Remove all yolks from eggs and place in a separate bowl.
- Mash the yolks with a fork or pastry blender until they are a fine consistency and no large chunks remain.
- Add mayonnaise, mustard, seasonings, herbs, and pepper sauce to the egg yolks. Mix thoroughly until well incorporated. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Scoop yolk mixture into quart size zip-lock bag, remove air and seal tight. Cut off one corner of the bag.
- Pipe filling into egg white halves.
- Sprinkle chopped fresh chives over eggs before serving.
- Refrigerate until serving.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Anyone who has ever traveled with children—especially on an airplane—knows what a harrowing and exhausting experience it can be. Even when your children are fairly well behaved. In fact, I think I’d rather get paper cuts underneath all my fingernails than to take my five and seven-year-old on a cross country trip again. They have been traveling on planes since they were very small, so I figured I was getting seasoned enough to know how to do it right. I always try to come armed with paraphernalia to keep an entire troop of children happily entertained for hours, but somehow 10 minutes into the flight the floor beneath our seats is littered with food wrappers, crayon shavings, shoes, a few socks, empty Capri sun packages and the children are, well, bored.
I have flown enough to know that the key to surviving an airplane trip with your children—at any time really, but especially when you are sans husband—is to keep the carry-on mess to a minimum. Each child has their own backpack, which contains: their music players, gameboys, crayons, coloring book, plain notebook, a pen and pencil, perhaps two small travel games or a deck of cards, a bag of their own personal snacks, a small pillow, and their “pet” stuffed animal. Theoretically, individual bags will alleviate the fighting, bickering and general upheaval that is typical of siblings, especially when those siblings are crammed together in airplane seats sized for your basic Oz Munchkin. I say theoretically because my children can always find something to fight about. “Your arm is on MY part of the arm rest… SO?…SO get it off it’s been there the whole time and I’m uncomfortable and it’s my turn to use the armrest…FINE have the armrest I didn’t want it anyway…THUNK…OWWW! MOM he pulled my pillow out from under my head…I’m going to rest now and I NEED a pillow…I was USING that pillow…SO?…SO it’s not fair…Well you CAN’T use the pillow AND the armrest at the SAME TIME…
It’s at this point I stand up and ask if anyone would like to switch seats with me, an LDS mom perhaps, who is used to dealing with 8 or 9 kids at the same time, which would make my two seem like a vacation, but alas, there are no takers. Quite a lot of people are whispering to each other however, which I don’t think is a good sign.
I sit down and wedge myself in the seat between them hoping my presence will make a difference. However, by the time our flight arrived in Boston—12 hours after leaving Phoenix—I was spent. My husband met us with a shiny smile and open arms, while all I could do was hold back the sob that wanted to escape. You’d think that the drive home at 10:45 at night would put the kids into some type of sleep, or at least quiet respite, but of course the adrenaline was still coursing through the veins, and the yelling and fighting, wrestling, singing, guffawing laughter and all around vocal upheaval was still alive and well. My husband said, “You’re quiet tonite. Are you tired?”
I’m sorry. Did he just ask me if I was tired?
Seriously. Is that what he just said?
I stared ahead and bit my tongue. Any sound that would have come from my mouth would have been a total verbal freak out and I was trying to stay pleasant. I hadn’t seen him in two weeks after all.
But tired? TIRED?? Tired doesn’t even begin to touch the depth to where my fatigue had fallen. Lower than smashed gum on the sidewalk, I tell you. But tired as I was, truth be told, I just wanted them to shut up. I had been the only adult to shield the barrage of questions and comments that shot from their gun-fire mouths since 10:00 a.m. And every one of those questions and comments was preceded with, “Can I ask you a question” or “Mom, I have something to tell you.” By the time those wheels touched down on my Bean Town black top, I was neck deep in words, question marks, complaints, exclamations; just sitting there drowning in black, bold letters and onomatopoeias. They were sucking the very life out of me to the point where all my answers were, “I don’t know.”
“When are we landing?”
“I don’t know.”
“Will Dad be there to pick us up?”
“I don’t know.”
“Why is the green light on above the bathroom signal?”
“I don’t know.”
“What do we do if only two masks come down from the top?”
“I don’t know.”
“Mom, do you love me?”
“I don’t know.”
I just wanted them to shut up. Shut up shut up shut up. I needed the ride home to be peaceful and quiet for five minutes. Tired? Yeah, I was tired. Tired of noise emanating from their messy squishy faces. By the time we were finally home and the children were in bed my ears were aching, the cartilage throbbing to the memory of their constant cacophonous clatter.
Now after writing this, tell me again why we take this trip every year, adding a baby to the mix? I know it's only six hours of my life and the good news is that no one knows me. I probably won't see any of those people again. I've tried to be proactive and have packed enough crap to keep them entertained for hours, and we've also got the DS's and the mini video player. A little bit of Benadryl, and we should be all set.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I actually invented this dinner when we lived in AZ, and it was so hot so often that no one wanted to eat, and I sure as heck didn't want to cook a hot meal. I affectionately refer to it as Cold Plate, and it has now become almost a weekly staple in my house.
The basic idea for this is that you serve a bunch of cold foods; fresh fruits and veggies, lunch meat rolls, sliced cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and any leftovers you may have in the house that you need to get rid of. Diced chicken breast, pasta salad, green salad, etc. are all perfect Cold Plate ingredients. I also try to make it as colorful as possible (at one time actually arranging the food by color to replicate a rainbow, with cottage cheese clouds) which just makes it even more fun to eat. The benefits to Cold Plate are many:
1. You don't have to cook anything and can get dinner on the table in about 15 minutes.
2. Cold Plate is never the same twice, so people don't really get tired of it.
3. If you eat on paper plates there are also no dishes.
4. It's a good way to get your kids to try new fruits and veggies, especially if you serve stuff with a ranch, yogurt, or cream cheese dip.
5. There is almost never any whining when I tell the kids we are having Cold Plate for dinner. This in itself is enough reason for me to serve it at least three nights a week. No whining. Can you imagine?
6. It is versatile enough that even picky eaters can find something to munch on, although my kids don't have a lot of say because I "encourage" them to eat what I put on the plate.
This dinner is great for summer, allowing you to take advantage of warm weather by spending more time at the pool, beach, or playing outside with the kids. Or, in the case of my family, watch more TV. Bon apetite!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
When it comes to being a mother, I’ve noted my mediocre status, but the truth of it is that I’m really mediocre across the board, which includes my status as wife.
Monday, May 24, 2010
I tried to write a few Haiku that were relevant to my day or to this past week. I also am a strong believer in taking literary license when necessary; omitting a syllable when I need a word to fit. Makes writing Haiku that much easier!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Tighten your seatbelts for this one folks. It's the best stop of the bunch. This lovely picture (exposure issues notwithstanding), is what the Lady of the household deals with every evening when she tries to keep her pearly whites, pearly white. I have tried every type of toothpaste top imaginable. Screw on lids stop screwing on about day two of tube use, the lid falls onto the floor repeatedly, and eventually is lost all together, allowing the toothpaste to crust it's way around the hole eventually clogging altogether. The flip top lids are no better (as evidenced above) and the most beautiful part of this pic is the little black hair that's stuck to the ice blue nastiness. I find myself wiping these tubes clean more often than I wipe my three year old, which is pretty often. I have also attempted to use the toothpaste with the lid that is also the base for standing, but you can imagine how that ends up. All I have to say, is that if you come visit, you need to bring your own. Either that or bring some floss, because there is hair in ours, and your going to need it.
I hope everyone enjoyed your trip through my world. If you live in similar circumstances, I'd love to hear about it. You can even post pics to the East Coast Musings Fan Page on Facebook if you're so inclined. I'd love to know I'm not the only family manager who has to deal with these kinds of people.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Doesn't this look freakishly similar to the holes in my garden wall, if you use your imagination and have a drink or two? It's Bandelier Monument in New Mexico.