Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photos from the weekend

Team B:  In search of bait

 The forest foragers

The catch.  And discussion of orange spots.

The snack wagon

The Weekend in Review

So the weekend.  To document.

Friday afternoon found me doing the kid-juggle.  I ended up with the two big ones at my lab result doc appt.  (I'm fine, by the by, but I got a cortizone cream for the stress-induced rash I get on the back of my neck and a new epi-pen for the latex thing.)  Somehow Hot skated and got to go to the doctor alone... but then he had to pick up the littlest one so that was payback.  I went to Costco with the two bigs and was completely confused because I kept looking around for the baby.

I bought myself some glass-lock containers.  They were $30 plus $6 off with Costco coupon for an 18 piece set so it was a bit of a splurge.  (9 containers and 9 lids)  So far I love them.  I like clear containers in the fridge and I like glass for the microwave and I love the locking lids for work lunches.  I have some very pretty "french white" bowls with lids but they compost in the fridge when I can't see what is in them.

I can't even remember what movie we watched for movie night.

For those of you who know me off-line.... the Hot health saga continues but is improving.  He probably isn't dying of colon cancer... more likely it is an ulcer in his duodenum.  Prilosec rocks.  Although I really wanted a bottle of wine this weekend and he can't have alcohol so that sucks.

Saturday was a birthday party.  Great weather.  The kids played and played and I got to just veg out for a bit.  Lovely.

Saturday night I was up putting kids to bed and reading books.  Hot holler for me.  I came running thinking something was on fire.  A mouse.  By the couch.  Get the cat.  So Bugsy and I run around like cartoon characters tossing the cat at the mouse (confused cat) and planning to trap the mouse with a giant Costco-sized Wheat Thins box.  Meanwhile... Hot is still reclined in his chair.  I stop.  Look at him.  We both start laughing.  He didn't want to scare the mouse.  Uh-huh.  We finally give up and that damn Mickey sticks his head out, thumbs his nose, and takes off.  Hot found him in the bathroom cowering under the ironing board (who knew I even OWNED an ironing board??) and moved it so Chili could chomp him.  Here comes Hot, Chili held in front of him, in her mouth a very-much-alive mouse.  Don't drop it.  Don't drop it.  And out the door they go.  Last time she caught a mouse in the house she dropped it (still alive) in the dining room and I had to prop the door and use a piece of cardboard (interestingly, probably another Costco-sized Wheat Thins box) to bat it out the door like a star hockey goalie. 

I'm hoping this explains the mouse poop under the kitchen sink... but you know mice are rarely batchelors.

Sunday dawned gorgeous.  We decided to finally prime the porch posts and window frames.  FUN.  We also did the garage door frames.  And from now on, please refer to Hot as "roller-man" per his instructions.  Do NOT call him sponge bob.  Perhaps this weekend we will do the actual painting.  Please remind me to stay on top of this in the future.  They were looking incredibly white-trash.  I also elected to paint the kitchen window frame (it is paned) without tape.  (What?  It gets a better seal that way.)  So now the window looks "flocked" for Christmas.  I think I'll call it decor and not scrape it off. 

The car is finally vacuumed.  I love my little shop vac.  But the windows are awful.  Windows are an issue for me... in the car AND in the house.  Always filthy.  And I didn't deal with recycling OR take the pile of stuff to Good Sam's.  Maybe next weekend.

I also had to take the Dyson apart.  It smelled.  Awful.  I have no idea.  But it is better now.  And while I was at it I cleaned all the hair and dental floss out of the roller and belt.  Ew.

We went for a little fishing trip to the creek, had some snacks (Wheat Thins, of course), and then played football.  Bugsy grunts and smacks her hips so you put "flags" on her.  (Duct tape) Then she runs and giggles.  She will also growl if you say "set, hike" the right way.

We caught a little Brookie.  Hot asks what kind it is.  Tuff shouts, "TUNA" and we all fall down laughing.  That girl is FUNNY. 

I made a lovely ulcer-man dinner.  Chicken tenders & potatoes & corn.  Then we curled up and watched Ax-men on netflix.  Great weekend. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ulcer Man

Remember this vaguely smug post about getting back on the wagon with meal-planning???

Do you hear the Universe laughing??

Hot found out he probably has an ulcer in his duodendum.  Or something like that.  Which beats the hell out of my google-diagnoses.  Actually the most amazing part to me is he was required to do three stool samples.  He went to the doc Friday afternoon and this morning he had the samples all bundled up and ready to go.  It would take me a month to get three stool samples.  Especially under pressure.

But what does this have to do with meal planning?

Oh right.

So now he's on an ulcer-guy diet.  I don't really know what this means since he can't find the paper that tells him what he can and can't eat.  But, basically, it appears to be a diet of bland pale foods.  No red meat.  No alcohol.  Limited fats.  Nothing spicy.

Well that shoots Taco Tuesday all to hell now, doesn't it? 

Until I figure out some recipes he's on a diet of baked potatoes, rice, chicken strips and canned soup.  Lots of crackers and cottage cheese. 

It might kill him.

But better eating and daily prilosec is making him feel better.... so we will roll with it. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lasagna Cupcakes

From Framed.

I love this site.  Although I made the French Toast Muffins and they were not a hit at our house.  My kids love Schwann's French Toast Sticks but I haven't attempted a recreation of those.

Yesterday, due to unforseen circumstances, I was home all day with the kids.  SO we made these for dinner.  Served with a lovely side salad and some frozen corn.  Just call me June.  June Cleaver.

Below is my re-adapted recipe from Framed who snagged a version from

Lasagne Cupcakes

Pasta sauce 2 cups or so
Ground meat 2lbs (I used moose last night)
Wonton wrappers (I used 3/ 36)
Fresh Parmesan
Cottage cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray 12 serving muffin tin with Pam Olive Oil spray.

Cook meat.  Slap a wonton in the bottom of the muffin tin (mine is a muffin silicone... not nearly as great as a tin).  The "real" recipe recommends cutting them into a circle... I didn't.  Sprinkle parm, mozz & cottage cheese.  Then meat.  Then a spoonful of sauce.  Wonton again.  Cheeses.  Meat.  Sauce.  Wonton.  Cheeses.  Meat. Sauce.  Top it off with a blob of mozz and a sprinkle of parm.

Bake about 20 minutes.  Let sit about 5 min.  I (am so smart) put the pan on a cookie sheet because, well, since my microwave shit it's pants I have no way to self-clean my oven... I'm a careful cook now.

Getting the mini-mes out of the pan seemed like a challenge but the handy-dandy pam olive oil spray worked like magic and they popped right out. 

So cute.  So delish.  Bugsy ate one all by herself (and a good chunk of Ceasar salad... that girl is odd.)

So there you have it.... an easy week-day version of lasagne... in portion controlled format.  I imagine they would freeze nicely if we weren't such hoggers.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Meal Planning

Slowly moving back into the world of being planned and organized for meals.

Tonight is taco night.
Tomorrow will be red beans and rice.
Wednesday I'm going to try some lasagna cupcake things.
Thursday will be leftovers.
Friday.... some sort of instant food.... maybe pizza rolls or burritos. 

One week down.  I like to plan for two weeks at a time but that's all I've got right now.....
This morning as I was leaving the house my husband yelled, "Don't be so hard on yourself.  You're good."

I had a great weekend but it ended with me washing a small load of laundry with a dark green scarf and destroying a few items and forgetting I had an award thingy at 2:00 today.  It's ok... I was wearing "good eyes" and a cute top and even the Governor was wearing jeans.

So the weekend.

Friday we had an office celebration lunch of Bullman's Pizza.  Yum.  And cupcakes.  Then off to get the kids.  We shopped our daycare lady's husband's garage sale.  Purchased two guns and a princess book. 

Then to Macy's for the traditional birthday week bra fitting.  I won't give you a size... let's just say for where I am right now in life there really is only one bra that works.... sigh.  So I bought two of them (they look like satellite dishes) and a fabulous Champion sports bra.  Because jumping jacks with Jillian is killing me.  Hot stopped on the way home and bought a bottle of wine for me.  The kids watched Pippi Longstocking for movie night. 
Saturday Hot worked.  I cleaned and made biscuits in the am.  Discovered three large yellow spots on the feather duvet on our bed....  I can't promise they are cat pee because I washed it before I saw them but I tossed the feather duvet in the trash anyway... it was fairly old and it is time for a new one.  I wormed the cats and dog.  The worm saga continues.  But putting a little butter on the pills is a great trick.  Tastes good and they slide right down.

Then we went to the gymnastic's place open house.  Fun was had.  Sweet got into it.  Tuff was the leader since she's been to camp there.  Bugsy wore a pink leo and leg warmers.  She loves the tumble trak.  Everyone was so good... so we went to McD's for lunch. 

Internet.... I must confess something.  I LIKE the caramel frappe at McDonalds.  Skewer me now.  Fake caramel taste and all.  Ew. 

Then home.  Decided to bail on rest time and invited the neighbor boys over instead.  They played Dinosaur Army for several hours.  They were nice to Tuff.  Bugsy ran and ran.... she would run to one fort just as they bailed out and headed for another... so she'd run over there.  Finally I helped her and she became The Skunkinator.  The evil enemy that tosses stink bombs from her endless diaper supply.  We made them run and squeal.  And she helped me clean all the garbage out of the van.

Also.... I believe everyone was peeing behind the barn... which is ok because that's the side the boys live on...

Then the boys had to go home and we got ready for dinner.  Dinner out at Macaroni Grill.  I had two glasses of wine.  TWO.  It was lovely.  The kids were adorable... even with no naps or quiet time.  Tuff, Bugsy and I split a lemon gelato. 

Then home for presents and a little more wine.  I got everything I could have wanted and more.

Sunday we put the kids in front of the tv for a short movie so we could sleep in.... you know how well that works.  So I took my fabulous cup of Costa Rican coffee (that my boss brought back from... Costa Rica) and went outside to pull grass out of the flower beds.  I got a lot done.  The kids mostly zoomed around with the new guns and caused mayhem.  We played a few rounds of King's Corner and the kids took solid naps.  I made cookies, did a little more yardwork and went to an open house down the road to snoop out the interior.... there were SIX neighbors there doing the same thing. 

Then off to dinner at some friends.  Our kids had a blast.  We got home before it was late and I discovered my laundry disaster.  Oops.  Did all that "prep for the week" stuff.... looking at schedules, putting money in school portrait envelopes, finding apples in the fridge for a math project this week.  Those kinds of things. 

It was a productive weekend.  Although I didn't finish cleaning the laundry room or deal with all the paperwork in the "office" corner.  And the spare room is still bare.  And I need to start bringing winter gear back in the house.  (Packed it all when I thought we were remodeling.)  But those are chores for next weekend.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Confession Time

I lost my spark. 

I haven't done A SINGLE THING in the "spare" bedroom since the floors.  Nothing.  Na-da.  Zip.  Zilch. 

All the "decor" is piled in the laundry room.  Nothing on the walls.  No rug.   

We did put the trim back in.  And I vacuumed up some feathers from a hole in the duvet.

No ideas.  No inspiration.

I've lost the spark.

I no longer see possibilities....  I see.... nothing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

3 Day Record

A special moment in history.... we've eaten dinner at the table as a family 3 nights in a row.


Night One (Saturday):  Moose steak & fried potatoes & green beans.  Hot cooked. 
Night Two (Sunday):  Stove Top, chicken tenders, rice & salad.  I cooked.
Night Three (Monday):  Spaghetti with jar sauce, leftover green beans & salad.  Nobody cooked.

Can we make it four nights?  No.  Because Hot works until 6:30 tonight and Sweet has football practice at 6:30.  Sweet will chow down on leftover spaghetti and the girls will pack a snack-dinner to take to practice.  The grownups are on their own... so eggs or salad or leftovers are the options. 

I'm very pleased with Hot for making the effort.... love you honey.... you make me happy.  (Especially when you do what I want...)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

But then I get a 3-day weekend and I wish it was 4 days.

I think I got a lot done this weekend.

My mom was here Friday.  She took home a couple of boxes of stuff for my sis-in-law.  Breast pump.  Milk storage bottles.  Spare boobie pads.  Baby jammies. 

I took a moment to reflect.  That part of my life is over... the pumping part.  I won't miss the pump.  I will miss having tiny babies. 

I spent a good chunk of Saturday running errands with the kids.  We got a few gifts for Hot's birthday, bought caulk for the edge of the bathtub, got some jars at Ross.  Diddly stuff but good to have crossed off the never-ending list.  We had a lovely lunch at Burger King.  The kids played in the playland... even though it ooks me out.  And, also, note to self:  Fast food is expensive with three kids. 

I managed to watch 3 movies this weekend.  Shutter Island on Friday night while Hot was working late.  Then I started The Road and watched it in bits and pieces over the next 3 days.  Last night we hunkered down to mourn the end of the long weekend and watched, um, name escapes me.... Girard Butler and Jennifer Aniston and he's a bounty hunter and she's his ex-wife.  Yeah... The Bounty Hunter.  That's it.  Here's my assessment:  Shutter Island.  I would probably like the book better.  It was creepy in a good way.  But ***SPOILER ALERT*** I can't deal with movies where kids get murdered.... especially when their mother drowns them in a pond.  Then came The Road.... another upbeat movie.  Again with the mother abandoment issue... I just didn't need it.  So we added a little fluff to the weekend with The Bounty Hunter.... And can I say... with my addiction to decorator style.... I loved Aniston's character's apartment. 

Did a little more baking this weekend.  French toast muffins.  Ok but not great.  Definitely fun to bake with Tuff but not that tasty.  Not as good as the pumpkin-chocolate chip recipe and I think that one was healthier so we will stick with it for now.  Made bread dough to make pigs in a blanket.  Made beans and rice. 

Tuff says, "Let's make bacon bits."  "What?"  "You know.  What are those things called again that your mom made for you for breakfast when you were little?  Bacon bits?"  Oh.  "Biscuits."  So we made biscuits with honey.  Mom gave me her little honey jar.... it is shaped like a hive and has a little yellow honey dipper.  Love it. 

We played a lot of lincoln logs this weekend.  And tons of card games and board games.  Bugsy has a new fascination with the kitchen set so she played for several hours "camping" and "restaurant" with the big kids while I cleaned out their toy space a bit.  It will never be perfect but at least I got "like" with "like" and corralled most of the tiniest choking hazards in an applesauce jar.

I packed out quite a bit of kid clothing... this early move into fall is showing me how much they have grown.  I can honestly say their bedroom is as clean as it can be right now.  It looks good. 

I boxed up FIVE paper-boxes of clothes from my closet.  FIVE.  And it is still packed full.  But I got tired.  I need to work on the light situation in the closets before winter truly hits.  I have some rope lights and I was thinking of getting one of those "seen on tv" switches for it (We have that solution in the downstairs bedroom) but there is only one plug in and it just wouldn't work quite right.  I have some of those "pop" lights in there but they aren't great ones... maybe if I spring for better battery operated lights.  There is an overhead light over the "desk" between the two closets under the eaves but the light shines pretty much directly in the eyes of the one still in bed and not in the closet at all.

I put Bugsy's 18 month fall clothes in a rolling tub under her crib.  I hate that but it is what works right now.  I cleared out all of her small clothes and most summer stuff from the drawer in the bathroom. 

I cleaned the laundry room rug.

I poked around in the upstairs hall closet.  It needs to be emptied but I ran out of time this weekend.

Still need to do more work in the laundry room.  More work means.... toss more craft stuff.

Pulled blue tape from downstairs bedroom and tidied.  Hot has plans to put the trim back in today.  Still need a rug. 

I moved around some kitchen stuff.  Got rid of the baby bibs.  Put my coffee beans in a new glass jar.  Put the powdered milk and corn meal in canning jars.  Put the remaining plastic stuff in a drawer, donated most of the travel coffee cups and put the rest on a shelf.  I'm about one 9 inch spinny tray away from being organized in the kitchen... with room to spare.  All those boxes for donation are worth it.

How do you store your brown sugar?  I got a set of glass jars and one is tall... like for spaghetti.... should I put the brown sugar in it?  Will it get rock hard?  I have one of those little terracotta things to keep it soft... will it work?  Mmmm.  Brown Sugar.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Internet.... I'm going to post something that will make you hate me.....

I don't have a junk drawer.


I have no drawer dedicated to junk.

The flip-side of that is, possibly, all of my drawers are dedicated to junk?

It isn't that I don't have junk... I just don't have a drawer.

So, instead, I will list all of the things that should would and could go in a junk drawer and I'll tell you where I hide them instead.

1. Pens & Pencils & notepads. Notepad and pen in my bedside table. Notepad and pens in the armoire drawer where the computer lives. A few pencils and papers in the drawer with the phone book... but not much. A little wire basket in a flat cabinet with "homework stuff" like pencil sharpeners and erasers and scissors. This flat cabinet also houses some spare keys, stamps, address labels, sharpie markers hand sanitizers, tape, the emergency phone list and various bits of things that are important to my husband... like knives and notepads for work. Notepad and pens and scissors in the silverware drawer.... Ok, wait, what? Yes. This is where I make my grocery list and notes of things I might forget. A tiny little spiral bound notebook lives in this drawer and odd bits of info get jotted here.... random phone numbers, the price we paid for stove pellets, a recipe for chocolate cake in a cup... all in this notebook... right next to the can opener and the pizza cutter. Odd, I know, but it works.
2. Random laundry room items. There is a drawer in the laundry room specifically for "things that need to be fixed" and "next projects" for me. Every once in a while I rampage through this drawer and toss or glue everything. This drawer also contains projects I haven't completed yet... like the light switch that needs to be replaced upstairs and the paper to make wallpaper for the doll house and the alphabet cards I was going to put on the wall. There is also a little pink tub in this drawer that has, well, stuff.... little screws and broken bits. Interestingly, when I was putting out Easter decor this spring I found a thing that was missing a screw and, lo, the screw was in the pink tub... so it works.

3. Random socks. Top right drawer of my dresser. (It also contains a wrist brace from my fight with carpal tunnel.) These drawers are tiny. The left drawer has love notes & letters from my husband. The middle drawer has jewelry and a tape measure/notebook for when I feel the urge to punish myself by body measurement.
I keep a tub of lip balm in the cupboard with the dishes in it.... this is also where the advil/aleve lives and the vitamins.  And in the summer the allergy meds.

glue and sticky things, bottom drawer in the laundry room.

nail files, clippers, floss, bookmarks, the little drawer in the end table in the living room.

kid treasures, each has a red plastic shoe box for special odd and random treasures on a shelf in their room.

I'm trying so hard to simplify.  Sigh.  I don't think it is working.

Cinnamon Bread

Had a vaguely successful baking mission last weekend.  I was trying to adapt a cinnamon bread recipe to the bread maker..... total success EXCEPT I followed the instructions and used one pan instead of two... even though I knew 3.5 cups of flour was better for 2 pans.....  So it rose... all over.  I punched it back in the pan and baked it anyway. 


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Comfort Food

I had to call my mom this week and get her recipe for "Chipped Beef on Toast."

I've never gotten the recipe before because, well, I've never craved it before.  We used to eat it pretty often as kids.... it's cheap and easy. 

Too bad it isn't healthy.  Except... when I said this.... mom says, "Dairy.  That's healthy."

Then I called my sister and freaked her out because she was craving it as well.

So... without further ado.  This will probably gross you out but I think we are having it for dinner next week.

Chipped Beef on Toast (aka Shit on a Shingle)

Melt 4 TBS butter, add in 3-4 TBS flour so it makes a paste.  Add 1.5-2 cups of milk.  Bring to a boil and let it get thick.  Add a package of chipped beef, torn into bite-sized pieces.  Serve over toast. 

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Rice Crispy Treats

Here's a tip.  Don't go to Costco the day before school starts.  Everybody within a 10-mile radius is in there buying peanutbutter and bread. 

I overheard a dad (with 3 or 4 kids around him) say to the mom, "Do they start school tomorrow?"

I beaned him with a box of rice crispy treats.

No.  Not really.

I did buy Sweet a box of pre-packaged rice crispy treats.  I thought it would be a delightful back-to-school treat and he's been begging for them every time we go.  Bonus... I had a coupon. 

He said, "Oh, mom, you are the best mom ever."  "Because I buy your rice crispy treats?"  "Yeah.... that and when you make fudge."

Love that boy.

Then he tried one.

Now what do I do with the remaining 53 treats?  You know "picky eater" took one bite and didn't like them.