Scott Uncut/Nate in the Raw

February 25, 2010

Oh, kids. Silly, crazy, mind boggling kids. Nate is 19 mths right now and Scott is 4 1/2. We are all counting down until summer and I have sufficiently brain washed Scott and he now says, “I just CAN’T wait for the pool to open!”. He also has had some pretty awesome quotes lately…

Scott and Nate hold hands in the car (which melts my heart every time I see it). It is so sweet and the other day Scott said, “Nate, I love holding your hand. Your little hand gets all sweaty and keeps my hand warm.” Nate was just looking at him laughing.

We also have had lots of interesting discussions about the Olyimpics. Ice dancing has become a house favorite because of the hilariously awesome costumes. And seriously, if a 4 year old can see it on TV and says, “WHAT are those boys wearing?!” I think it may be time to tone down the drama a bit. While we were watching he said, “Those giwls (girls) are so beautiful and fancy.” And then when I put him to bed I was laying with him and he said, “Mom, you are so beautiful, just like an ice dancer.” I am not ready for this stuff.

Nate has been cracking us up lately too. These are the people he has called, “Mama”

Paula Dean is beautiful…but…maybe in 30 years?! And yes, that is a female speed skater. I would be annoyed, but I think she won a medal, so I guess it is okay.

And this is apparently Mike’s doppelganger.

I am not joking. Every time we read this Elmo’s Colors book and we get to the Count Von Count page, Nate points at him and says, “Dada!”. I even said, “Nate, does that look like Dada?” And he gives me his serious eyes, nods his head, and says, “Yep.” He even does it when Mike is actually reading the book.

Nate has also expanded his vocab from just “cookie” to lots of new fun words including, “Uhoh daisy!” His first two word combo was at the puffies when he was mad I wouldn’t give him a jelly bean and the mother of his favorite named friend (Coco) asked him what I did to him and he looked up at her with crocodile tears and said, “Mama apple!” (yes, he calls jelly beans apples, actually, he calls lots foods that have no fruit type relation, “apples”).

Scott, who has despised eggs forever and Nate who loved eggs, have apparently switched taste buds. Let’s see, what else is new…

Scott has embarked on a new Star Wars obsession, it might be replacing the two year pirate obsession. School is going great! Switching schools was a wonderful decision for him and he has grown so much.

Scott is still Nate’s best friend and he follows him where ever he goes. In the last month or so, they have started really playing with each other and I love it! Never in a million years would I have thought I would have had an 18 month old that knows how to sword fight and point and “shoot” a gun. I also never thought I would have a “weapon basket” but apparently these things happen when you have two boys.

That is the kiddo update for now. We love them more than we ever knew possible.

$20 Pride

February 22, 2010

Were those couple of sunny days last week heaven or what?! March equals Spring, right? I mean, winter will end really really soon, right? RIGHT?!

Menu planning is not coming easy this week. I have no idea why. It might be Rob Lowe pulling my attention away from the computer with his dynamic acting in the Lifetime movie, “To Late To Say Goodbye”, and yes, it is as fabulous as it sounds, and no, I have no shame. In fact, last week, I actually did this:

Me: (walk into the BabyGap with 2 kids in tow that are spazzing)

Me: Hi, I have a couple returns, but I want to walk around a little bit!

Sales Girl: OKAY!

Me: (running around sweating and wrangling kids, trying to check out the sale rack before a full out spaz happens)

Sales Girl: (keeps coming by and making sure I am “okay”)

Me: Okay, I am ready now!

Sales Girl: GREAT!

Me: Ummm, I know this kind of tacky. But last week, I bought a couple of things and when I got home, I checked the mail and I had a coupon for 25% off, sooooo, I actually want to return some of these things and buy them back with my coupon.

Sales Girl: (looking at me like I am crazy) What?

Me: (explain again)

Sales Girl: How long have you had this stuff?

Me: Like two or three days. Is there a problem?

Sales Girl: (looking at me like I am the tackiest person to ever walk into BabyGap) Well, I mean, I guess not.

Me: Great!

AND yes, there was a line behind me.

I was pretty proud of myself and told Mike the story later, he said, “How much money did you save?” I replied, “Well, ACTUALLY, some of the stuff had gone on sale even more and then I used my coupon sooo about $20!” Mike: “So your pride is worth about $20?” Me: “Basically.” Mike: “Are you embarrassed a little?” Me: “NO, why should I be?” Mike: (staring at me like I am the tackiest person to ever walk into BabyGap)

Monday: Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

Tuesday: Dinner at my parents

Wednesday: Slow Cooker French Dip with Salad

Thursday: Breakfast Burritos (I am only going to use 1/2 lb sausage 1 lb seems a little too sausagey) (I am also going to add chopped bell pepper and onion)

Friday: Out to Dinner

Saturday: Grilled Chicken Nachos

Sunday: Leftovers

Any good recipes out there?

Communion

February 18, 2010

Since we have been on a church hiatus for the last year or so, last week was the first time I have had communion in at least a year. I forgot how refreshing it is. I grew up in a church that took communion weekly, and I kind of wonder why all churches don’t partake or commune or whatever the word is every week, it is good for the soul.

I love that moment right before you take the bread that your head bows, your eyes close and you get to sigh, knowing it is a new beginning. I love the feeling of a fresh start. I love New Years Resolutions and spring cleaning. I love the freedom in letting go.

No matter your religious views, as people and especially as parents, we all need that fresh start. Maybe I am the only screw ball that needs it once a week, but we all need it. We all need the freedom to know that mistakes are correctable and mindless choices don’t have to determine the entire course of our lives or even our day. I can’t control my friends, my husband, circumstances or even my kids but I can control myself. My reactions, my attitudes, my spirit, my faith. I have to the ability at any time to make amends, ask forgiveness, let go, change a path, and wipe that slate clean.

I needed that reminder this week.

BIENVENU

February 15, 2010

Food in review from last week… Jambalaya= awesome! Super spicy. One Pot Spaghetti = Incredible (will now be my go to meal to take to people, so get pregnant or really sick and I will bring it to you ;)). Pork chops= Mixed Reviews…. I didn’t put the gravyish stuff on Scott and Nate’s and they ate an entire one chop between them, I did put the gravy stuff on Mike and mine and it was okay. We were not in love with it BUT for my first attempt at pork chops I was proud. I have a burning question out there for those of you who fry things… How do you not let the little flour chunks that fall off whatever you are frying burn as they stay in the oil after you pull the whatever out? Does that make sense? (did you catch my joke, “burning question” about “burning stuff”… did I just ruin it by explaining it?)

Moving on… How about those Olympics? I have been walking around all weekend randomly yelling BIENVENU! Not to diss on the opening ceremonies, but was I the only one cracking up at the giant frankenstein ice sculptures? The people would yell BIENVENU and the franken sculptures lifted their arms zombie like in front of them. I was waiting for them to start walking around saying, “Brains, Brains, Brains…”

My most favorite part of the Olympics is when Mike and I sit on the couch drinking beer yelling at the TV, “Come on! Get your knees together! How hard is it???” Like we have any idea what we are talking about. On a different note, we went through a whole package of butter this week.

Here is our gold medal menu (there I go again cracking everyone up….)

Monday: LEFTOVERS, our fridge is overflowing with lots of health food, you know, pizza, ribs and jambalaya

Tuesday: Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie with steamed broccoli

Wednesday: Pulled Pork Baked Potatoes (rice for the kids)

Thursday: Cowboy Burgers were on sale at WF last week, so I stuck some in the freezer YUM! with sweet potato fries

Friday: Breakfast for dinner

Saturday: Out

Sunday: Leftovers

Have a great week!

Blue Lining

February 11, 2010

I feel boring right now. I am 99% sure that it is the weather and I have not had an unexplained loss of happy cells, but I could be wrong. Part of me wants to start on a fun project and then the half of me, the half that I have been listening to, looks out the window into the never ending greyness that somehow passes for the sky these days and sighs and says, “What’s the point?”

Debbie Downer? Yea, I know. I almost wore a tank on Tuesday just to somehow will summer into getting here faster. Remember on Monday how I had all sorts of fun Valentiney things to do? FLOP. Major flop. Tomorrow for Scott’s party, he will be taking hearts (cut out by me), not colored, with melted crayon hearts (made by me) taped to them, with “You Color My World! From: Scott” (written entirely by me). He refused to even sign his name. The Heart Hunt got cancelled on Tuesday when Scott found his heart and threw a fit, screaming that his present was good enough and that I “had” to get him a new one. To which I very maturely answered, “(evil mom eyes) Fine! Christmas is cancelled!”

Which leads me once again to why I love my family (you didn’t see that one coming did you…). I love that with your family you can be your worst version of yourself and they love you anyway (at least a good family does). I love that one day my kids are poking my last nerve and the next day they shock me. I love that Mike and I can get in an argument, he can come home and say to me, “Are you still upset?” and I can say, “Yes, but I am to tired to talk about it, let’s just lay here and watch something stupid on TV.” And then we forget we were even mad.

Today, my kids shocked me. You know how I always whine about volunteering and HAVE YET TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT… well, today we sort of did. My motives were not entirely altruistic, but the result gave me so much hope. We went to a play date at a “retirement village” (whatever that means), our group reserved one of the activity rooms, the (ahem) good parents that remembered to bring toys brought enough to share with my kids, the kids played, the mom’s made Valentines (the kids were to busy) and as we were leaving the plan was to pass them out to the residents we saw. I honestly thought, Valentine Party, yummy snacks, get out of the house, my kids won’t pass out the Valentines, but whatever. As we were leaving, I handed Scott some of the Valentines and told him the plan. He said “Okay!” And off he went. He passed out some to people in the lobby and the walked into the dining room and was going up to the tables and talking and handing them out. He was saying “Happy Valentine’s Day!” Smiling, telling people his name. We were there forever BECAUSE Nate made it his personal mission to shake everyone’s hand. I didn’t even know he knew how to shake hands! He would walk up to a table, start with one person and work his way around, say bye and move to the next table. Scott went with him and told everyone his name. THEY WERE EVEN HUGGING PEOPLE! I had to pull them out.

That was my blue lining on the grey sky today. I hope you had one too.

PS Scott is now sitting at the kitchen table coloring his hearts…

PPS Thank you Denise for planning the play date. I know it was a rough week for you!

Cupid Eats

February 7, 2010

I have been a blog slacker this week. My best friend of 18 years (or 19, I can’t remember if we met in 5th or 6th, which we should figure out because I think a celebration is in store when we hit year 20!) has been going through what I would say has been the hardest week of her life. It is not my story to tell, so I won’t tell it, but my every still thought has been a prayer for her and her family. I also have had sick kids wiping a lot of boogers on me so my mind has been distracted. In the midst of sadness I have I had a renewed sense of love for those close to me and have held my babies a little tighter. Which is fitting since this is Valentine’s Week!

You know those mom’s that are really good at doing cool crafts and cooking projects with each holiday…. I envy those moms. I don’t plan ahead enough and then at the last minute I think “Oh oh oh, let’s do this” and we don’t have the supplies to do it. SO this Valentines I am trying…. I am hiding a heart with special message for each boy around the house that they get to hunt for every day (for the week). We always have pizza and wine for Valentine’s Day dinner. So I bought these:

To make the kids drinks a little more fun I am going to add red juice heart cubes to apple juice. I am going to have Scott help me make these cupcakes for Valentine’s dessert. AND last but not least. I am going to break out the glitter (shudder) and let Scott make his own Valentines to take to his friends at school. I know you crafty moms are thinking, “Big deal lady, I dress up as Cupid on Valentines morning and put on a play about the life of Saint Valentine while simultaneously making homemade heart shaped scones.” I applaud you, I bet you also didn’t just spend 5 minutes re arranging the letters in “simultaneously” trying to get spell check to recognize the word enough to correct it. You win (but my kids are still cooler). Maybe not smarter judging by the video below…. but still cooler….

Okay, the point of this post. Menu plannin’.

Monday: One Pot Spaghetti* (I am also going to add pepperoni to mine)

Tuesday: Baked (but actually kind of fried) Pork Chops (double the sauce to use as topping for mashed potatoes), Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Jambalaya

Thursday: I feel the need to cook something boring tonight since I am trying 3 new recipes in a row. Soooo, it will be French Toast, Eggies (as Nate says), Fruit

Friday: Date Night

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Happy Valentine’s Day! (I actually wrote Happy Vday but from some reason that sounds a little inappropriate) Heart Shaped Pizza (Thank You Papa Murphys) Wine, Salad, and Dessert

PS The Crispy Beef and Broccili from last week was a hit! As was the Tom Ka Gai soup, although, I did add extra cayenne and it was to spicy for the kids.

*One Pot Spagetti

2 tbls oil

1 onion minced

1/2 lb lean ground beef, turkey, pork sausage, or turkey sausage

1 tsp dried basil

1tsp dried oregano

1 14 ounce jar spaghetti sauce

1 8 ounce can tomato sauce

Salt and Pepper

8 ounces dried pasta (I use fusilli to pretend the dish is fancier than it actually is) (the author wrote that, but that is what I am going to try)

2 cups water

Grated Parmesan to top (optional)

Heat oil in large pot and saute onion until translucent. Add meat and herbs and cook slowly. Drain fat if you feel like it. Add sauce and sauce and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add salt and pep to taste. Add pasta and water. Bring to boil. Lower heat and cover pot, simmer for 1/2 hr. Stir frequently to make sure it scorch bottom. If it looks to dry add up to 1/2 cup water, but you are unlikely to need to do that.


Menu Monday

February 1, 2010

The ribs got postponed. I fell to facebook peer pressure and was one of the people who went to the grocery store the night before the BIG storm JUST IN CASE we couldn’t leave the house for 24 hours. Because, what in the world would we survive on for 24 hours in a house full of food???? So of course, being me, I went to WF and this is what I bought…. Roast, BBQ sauce, Shrimp (because if you are snowed in you will definitely crave shrimp??), Potatoes, Pastrami, some organic healthy version of Diet Coke, and ingredients for chocolate chip cookies. No bread, no canned goods in case the power goes out and we can’t cook, no peanut butter, pretty much nothing useful in case of an emergency. Where am I going with this? Well, in my rush to buy completely perishable goods, I forgot that I already had a meal of chicken and ribs at home waiting to be cooked, thus, it has been moved to this week.

I am very excited about this week! No out of town trips, no Extreme Makeover (NOT that I am not a fan of Extreme Makeover, BUT if your husband had been out of town for 2 weeks and came home and was then at Extreme all weekend, you would be excited when it was over too), getting things back to normal always feels nice.

Monday: Tom Ka Gai (Coconut Chicken Soup) with rice (make double) and asparagus

Tuesday: Crispy Beef with Broccoli* leftover rice from last night

Wednesday: Bacon Egg and Cheese Sandwiches and Homemade Tomato Soup– as always, regular milk instead of whipping cream (does it seem like we have this a lot? it does to me….)

Thursday: Babysitter coming, school tour, and Kids= Pizza, Us= Out

Friday: Ribs (my friend Kassidy last week said that unless I am going to make my own BBQ sauce (umm no) then I HAVE to use Head Country, so I will), Chicken, Salad and Man vs Wild Night

Saturday: Out for a friends birthday/Date Night

Sunday: Leftovers

*Crispy Beef with Broccoli (stolen from Parents Magazine)

Marinade:

1 1/2 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp corn starch

Freshly ground black pepper to season beef

Stir Fry Sauce:

3 TBS oyster sauce

2 tsp water

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

To Prep:

1 lb beef top sirloin or flank steak, thinly sliced into 1/8″ thick strips

1 1/2 lbs broccoli cut into bite size florets (4 cups)

1 TBS canola oil

1 TBS minced garlic

1. In med bowl combine marinade and beef for 10 mins

2. Mix ingred for stir fry sauce in small bowl

3. In wok or large pan, add 1 inch water (about 5 cups) bring to a boil, add broccoli and cover for 3 minutes. Remove and pat dry

4. Discard water in the pan and dry well. Place over high heat and when hot add canola oil and swirl to coat. Add garlic and fry 15-30 seconds. Toss in steak strips, keeping them in one layer and fry 30 seconds. Flip and cook 1-2 more minutes.

5. Pour stir fry sauce and stir to combine. Add broccoli and toss to coat well.