Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!!

Fifteen years ago today I married my sweetheart! It was the best thing I ever did. He is such a great guy, I'm so lucky to have him as my husband!
I just dropped the kids off at my mom's house for their annual New Years Eve sleepover. Grandma likes to spoil them. They gorge themselves on pizza, soda pop and other treats all night until midnight when they go outside to make as much noise as possible.
Noise is their specialty.
DH is taking me to a nice steak place for dinner. I still haven't figured out what I'm going to wear. It's a toss up between fashionable, or comfortable. I'm trying to come up with a compromise. This would be SO much easier if I hadn't gained those 7 pounds last week. Right now I kind of regret stealing the chocolate out of the kids stockings. Next year, Santa needs to leave me my own chocolate.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas cooking with the Little Red Hen

Once upon a time there was a Little Red Hen. She lived with her Hunky Rooster Husband and her four darling little chickadees.
One day the Little Red Hen realized that Christmas was only two days away, and she asked her little chickadees if they thought it would be a good idea to make Christmas goodies to take to the neighboring farm animals. They all agreed that it would be a lovely thing to do, and so she asked them who wanted to help her make the goodies.
"I do!" said chick #1.
"I do!" said chick #2.
"I do!" said chick #3.
"I go pway wif cars" said chick #4 because, well, he's only two and wouldn't really be much help anyway.
So the Little Red Hen made some cookie dough and said "Who will help me roll out the cookies?"
Chick # 1 -"Not I"
Chick #3 - "Not I'
Chick #2 - "OK"
But apparently chick # 2 has a short attention span and she soon wandered off downstairs to play the Playstation with her brothers.
So the Little Red Hen made the cookies herself. She rolled out the dough, cut out the cookies, and baked them. She even went so far as to decorate them with m&ms and sugar sprinkles.
Then the Little Red Hen said "Who will help me make the fudge?"
"Not I" said Chick #1.
"Not I" said chick #2.
"Not I said chick #3.
"Watch yaiying a'keen" said chick #4. (That would be LIghtning McQueen from the movie "Cars")
So the Little Red Hen made the fudge all by herself. She measured the the ingredients, and stood over the boiling mixture until it was done cooking, and poured it into a pre greased pan. It smelled delicious.
"Who would like to help me make the pecan tarts?" asked the Little Red Hen?
"Hey, Chick #1 just made it to level 5!" yelled chick #3.
"Hooray!" said chick #2.
The Hunky Rooster was snoring on the couch, and Chick # 4 was busy moving all of the refrigerator magnets to the dishwasher and back to the fridge.
So the Little Red Hen made the pecan tarts all by herself. She made the dough for the crusts, and molded them into the tiny muffin pans. She chopped the pecans and made the filling. She baked them in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
The aroma was heavenly.
Next the Little Red Hen was about to ask if anyone would want to help her make another batch of fudge when she heard the sound of racing cars coming from the direction of the playstation. She was annoyed, and didn't even bother asking.
She decided to make a batch of white chocolate fudge this time because it was such a hit at the Christmas party last year. She put almond flavoring in it and poured it into another pre greased pan, but alas, she had not cooked it long enough, and it didn't set up. It was soft, and very sticky.
The Little Red hen thought for a moment, and had a great idea. She scooped the soft fudge into balls, rolled them in chopped nuts and put them in little paper candy cups.
The fudge smelled so good, that the Little Red Hen ate a bunch of it. So much in fact, that she began to feel sick to her stomach.
"HEY!" she yelled "Is anybody going to help me dip pretzels?!?!?!?!"
Chick #3 appeared out of nowhere. "I will help" he said, and he proceeded to dip the tiny pretzels in the cocolate that the Little Red Hen had melted.
Before long, the Little Red Hen noticed that chick #3 was eating more pretzles than he was dipping, and the chocolate was going hard, so she finished dipping them herself.
Suddenly, Chick #1 & chick #2 came upstairs & said "Wow! What smells so good? What are you making that for?"
The Little Red Hen shot them a dirty look and said "Who will help me put these goodies on plates, and wrap them with cellophane to give to the neighbors?"
"Do we have to?" asked chick #1
The Little Red hen looked at her brood, her eyes open wide, her teeth clenched, and hissed "YES!!!"
So chickadees #1,2,&3 all grabbed plates, and loaded them full of the lovely goodies that the Little Red Hen had spent the last 6 hours making.
At some point, chick #4 got hold of a piece of fudge. The little chick thought the fudge was delicious. So delicious in fact, that he ate more, and more. He kept stuffing the fudge in his pie hole until the Little Red Hen noticed the melted chocolate all over his hands, and the stream of chocolate drool flowing from his mouth, and dripping all over his new shoes.
Finally, the plates were filled and wrapped.
"Who will help me deliver these fine goodies?" asked the Little Red Hen.
"I will!" said chick #1.
"I will!" said chick #2.
"I will!" said chick #3.
"WANT MORE CHOCKIT!!!!" yelled chick #4.
"Fine" said the Little Red Hen "Then go deliver them."
The chickadees gathered the goodies and went out into the cold night to deliver the fine Christmas goodies to the neighbors.
The little Red Hen poured herself a large glass of Dr. Pepper, took some Motrin, and then sat on the couch with her feet up.
Right at that moment, the sugar kicked in from all of the fudge that chick #4 had eaten, and he began running around the room, jumping on the couch, and screaming "WWHHEEEEEEEEEEEE"
And then the Little Red Hen wrestled chick #4 into his pajamas.
And put him to bed.
When the 3 chickadees returned home, they brought happy Christmas greetings from the neighboring farm animals.
Then the chickadees all said "Dear mother Hen, it has been so much fun making goodies, may we do it again next year?"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Toxic glue?????????

Yesterday we got all of our Christmas cards addressed and sent. 70 of them. I had no idea that we actually knew that many people. (And yes, I know it's kind of late to be sending them, and that they probably won't arrive before Christmas. I should have started them sooner...........ect.)
We got the kids involved in the whole project. They stuffed the envelopes, stamped our return adress on them, and put the stamps on.
I tried to talk them into licking and sealing the envelopes. They each sealed one and decided that the glue tasted bad, and so guess who got to lick all the envelopes.
Yep, it was me. And yes, the glue tasted bad.
As I was finishing up the last few envelopes, I had a flashback to that episode of Seinfeld where George's fiancee licked all the envelopes for their wedding invitations, the glue turned out to be toxic, and she died.
So far I'm feeling O.K.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Purple Christmas Cookies

Monday was the first chance I had to do any Christmas shopping. I am happy to report that after several days of "Power shopping" I am nearly finished.
For some reason, no matter where or when I start my Christmas shopping, I always end up at the same place.
Wal Mart at 1:30 a.m. Wandering around with a glazed look over my face, wondering what in the heck I am doing at Wal mart at 1:30 a.m.
I was in the toy department and found several strange things.
A play tatoo kit. It has a pen type thing that vibrates just like a real tatoo needle. It uses washable markers.
A 'three fingered ring' which looked suspiciously like brass knuckles.
And my personal favorite, the 'Alien in a test tube' kit. It comes complete with alien food.
I am not making these things up!
I have a question. Why do people bring their small children shopping at Wal mart in the middle of the night? WHY??????
Now if you are wondering why I don't shop earlier in the day, it is because my children are in year round school, and they have the ENTIRE MONTH of December off and I try NOT take 4 children shopping with me if at all possible.

Things I don't like about the kids being out of school:
#1. They don't always get along with each other as well as I would like them to.
#2. See #1
There are some things I DO like about them being off school.
#1. I get to sleep in :)
#2. No homework or school projects to worry about.
#3. We can do fun Christmas type things.
Yesterday, my cousin and her two kids came over for our annual cookie making activity. (O.K. It's only the second year we have done this, but I think it will be a yearly tradition from now on)

MMMMMMM don't they look delicious! These are the colors you get when you let 9 and 10 year old girls color the frosting.
The kids really had a good time. This was Max's first time making cookies, and he loved it. We gave him a wad of dough, a rolling pin and some cookie cutters, and this kept him occupied for the better part of an hour. For some reason, he thought that he needed to roll the rolling pin over the cookie cutter to make it work.

You should have seen his face when he discovered that he could eat the dough.

As with any fun project, there comes the mess. Believe it or not, I took this picture after we had already cleaned up quite a bit of it.
I'm not sure what the magnet is doing on the counter. I'm pretty sure we didn't use it for the cookies.
Here's a useful bit of information. Did you know that if you take a magnet and put it on your television screen, you will see a bunch of pretty rainbow colors around the screen? Slide the magnet around and the pretty colors will follow in a pretty pattern.
Did you also know that if you do this enough times, the pretty colors never go away?
Seriously, DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!! One of our T.V.'s seems to have recovered from this experiment, however, the other is a lost cause.
We make the children use that one.

The A.Q.O.D. (Aaron quote of the day)
"Mom, do we belong to your side of the family, or Dad's?"


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Teeth, floods flying trophies & vacuums

O.K., So I went to the dentist yesterday, and after an hour of x-rays, putting ice on my teeth, and whacking them with a metal thing, he came to the conclusion that they can't find anything wrong with me.
ME: "OK,then what could be causing this stabbing pain in the side of my face?"
Mr. Dentist: "Well it's possible that you could have a micro-fracture that won't show up in the x-ray, the beginning of an abcess or something like that. If it gets any worse, call me."
He did give me a prescription for some pain pills before I left. They worked really well, as soon as I paid for them at the pharmacy, my tooth stopped hurting.
Yesterday, I read someones blog, who was complaining that some blogs are not funny, and we need to try harder.
Today I will try harder.
I will write about my 7 year old son, Aaron.
This is one of those kids that looks at things differently from the rest of us. He thinks "outside of the box" WAAAAY outside of the box.
When he was younger, he had a fascination with water. He loved to see how it would flow across the many surfaces of our house. He once managed to flood both of our bathrooms at the same time. (And before anyone asks why I wasn't watching him closer, it was because I was sitting on the couch watching soaps and eating bon bons:P )
When Aaron was almost 3, I woke up one morning to the sound of his older brother yelling "NO Aaron, that's BAD!!!"
I went downstairs to find that Aaron had removed the hose from the vacuum cleaner, and hooked it onto the faucett in the bathroom. He had created a "Fire hose" and had managed to flood the bathroom without wasting that all that time filling the sink with water.
I once walked into the kitchen to see him standing on top of the kitchen table pouring an entire gallon of milk directly on the top of the table, watching it flow over the edge of the table and onto the floor. (again, I was watching soaps & eating bon bons)
When he was almost 2, we woke up at 2:00 am because my daughter was screaming at the top of her lungs. We ran into her room (which she shared with Aaron) and Aaron was standing on top of the dresser next to her bed, completely naked, throwing trophies at her. Apparently he has a great aim, because he hit her every time.
We got him dressed, calmed Brielle down, put them back to bed, and went back to sleep. An hour later, he did it again.
Age 3, our pediatrician wanted to have a blood test done for Aaron. It took 4 of us to hold him down because he was screaming so hard. After they drew his blood, he wouldn't stop screaming. The nurses and receptionists tried everything. They actually gave him a toy from the waiting room, and one lady offered him candy from a bowl she had in her desk drawer, not only did he take a handful of candy, he insisted that she give him the package of microwave popcorn that was sitting next to it. He still didn't stop screaming. I picked him up and hauled him out of there, and as soon as he got on the elevator, and the doors closed, he immediately stopped crying, looked up at me with a very serious face and said "You know, it didn't really hurt that bad."
Aaron also has quite a way with words. We have what we refer to as the "A.Q.O.D.".
Aaron Quote Of the Day.
Here are a few of my favorites:
"Mom, when C.J. is 100 years old, will Dad be dead?"
"I'm stronger than a big pile of beef"
"Your tongue is like a little hand in your mouth that moves your food to the right
teeth to chew it."
"Crunchy peanut butter tastes the same as regular, it just makes your teeth work harder." (Now there's an advertising slogan if I've ever heard one)
"A take 5 candy bar is really good. It has so much stuff in it, that you can hardly taste the peanuts"
"It's better to breathe dirty air than no air at all"
"If it weren't for horses, hay would take over the world."
Aaron is also obsessed with cleaning. His idol is Don Aslett (author of 'Is there life after housework', 'Clean in a minute' and 'Why is it a woman's job to clean')
Aaron says when Mr. Aslett dies, he will take his place as "America's #1 cleaning expert". He is obsessed with Mr. Aslett. He named his build-a-bear after him, and dressed up as him for Halloween. He even did a book report about one of his cleaning books.
Aaron got his own vacuum (a real one) from Santa when he was 4. For the last 2 years, he has used his birthday money to buy mops. He has asked for a new "cooler" mop for Christmas this year. The kid has his own squeege, and is an expert on cleaning windows.
Now before you start getting all jealous of my live-in janitor, I need to mention that he can't seem to pick up any of his clothes off the floor. There is a constant trail of dirty socks and underwear from the bathroom to his room. I think he might be marking his path like Handsel and Gretel did, so he can find his way back.
O.K. enough about Aaron.
We are now going to put up our tree (finally) Hopefully it will help me get rid of some of my grinchiness ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My turn to whine

O.K. Yesterday I had one of "Those" days. You know the kind. The day when one thing goes wrong and that causes something else to go wrong, and the domino effect just lasts throughout the rest of the day.
To top things off, the entire day there was this stabbing pain running from my tooth up the side of my face.
I go to the dentist in one hour.
Wish me luck.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Home from vacation

Hi, I'm back!
We just spent the last 10 days on Vacation in southern California! (Well, actually only 6 days there, the other 4 were spent driving to and from.)
It was such a great trip! We went to all the touristy spots. Universal studios, Sea World, and 3 days at Disneyland/California adventure.
We have had enough of Disney to last us for several years.
The weather was perfect, and the crowds weren't too bad. The older kids were even willing to go on all the fun rides with us. It took a while to convince Aaron to ride space mountain and California Screamin', but after that, we couldn't get him off. Brielle(9) was willing to ride everything once, and CJ(12) loved everything.
Max, on the other hand, was totlly freaked out by all of the characters walking around in the parks. (I should have expected this. He was, after all completely traumatized by the "Tickle me "Elmo" he got for his birthday)
Max was O.K. until the characters got about 2 feet away from him, then he started screaming. Poor kid. Even Santa scared him. All I wanted was a really cute picture of Max sitting on Santa's lap. Instead, we have a photo of me standing a few feet away from Santa holding Max who is screaming hysterically.
Also, for weeks before we went on our trip, Max said he wanted to fly on the Elephants. (Dumbo) We stood in line for 30 minutes, the whole time he was so excited, "I go up high in the air wif efephants" then when I went to put him in Dumbo, he started screaming "I can't ride, I can't ride". So I handed him to Daddy, and rode by myself.
Oh well.
Max did really like meeting Mickey, and for some reason Sully from Monsters inc. didn't scare him a bit. Go figure.
The great thing about this trip is that I was able to combine my two favorite things, Christmas and Disneyland. Everything was decorated for Christmas, and Christmas music played throughout the parks.
The last day we were there, we woke up to a downpour of rain, and 30mph wind gusts. This was the day we had planned to go to Sea World. The weather cleared up a while later, and we went to Sea World wearing our winter coats. The park was practically deserted, it was so great! No lines for anything. The highlight of the day was feeding and petting the dolphins. It was so cool!
I learned a few things on this trip.
1. I will never again travel without the portable DVD player. It kept the kids entertained, and we had very few fights along the way.
2. As far as I am concerned, the Onstar turn by turn navigation system is one of the greatest inventions of all time. I am so amazed by this technology. I didn't need to look at a map, and give directions the entire trip. It got us where we needed to go every time.
3. Even if your toddler seems really tired, and you are only staying in the hotel for one night, and you think carrying the travel yard clear up to the hotel room for him to sleep in is going to be more trouble than it's worth, and you are sure the toddler will probably be able to sleep in the bed with you just for one night, because, really he is a very good sleeper, and again he looks really tired.............BRING THE TRAVEL YARD!!!!! Because, otherwise, you will end up with your darling offspring jumping on your face all night long.
Trust me on this one.