Monday, January 31, 2011

For Martha...

My dear friend Martha, who is gorgeous, funny, and sweet as can be, tagged me to do a list of seven facts. I am a boring person, so these lists are always hard for me, but since Martha is also growing a baby in her adorable little belly, I will attempt the list, just for her. Who can say no to a cute pregnant girl???

1. I have stuck with the photo-of-my-funny-looking-face-every-day-goal so far. Is it cheating if I let Micah take the photo sometimes? Last night Alden and I fell asleep together and before he woke up, I whispered fiercely for Micah to come snap a photo.

2. I have not had any salt and vinegar chips since New Year's Eve. I am an addict, and quitting cold turkey was the only way to go. Can you go through salt n'vinney withdrawal? Cause I am.

3. I finally found a place here that makes fish fry to rival Buffalo's. I have always missed that, especially during Lent. And yes, leave it to Buffalo to take a healthy food like fish and make it yummy and bad for you! Woot woot!

4. Micah threatened to take away my txting plan. Apparently, he is not a fan of my inability to pick up a phone anymore. I am a fan of a "conversation" via txt that can occur whilst kids are crying or bums are being wiped. (theirs, not mine.) I think that is a whole blog post in and of itself. Coming soon...

5. I finally bought a used copy of and started reading, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." Oh.My.Word. I love it. I am about halfway though it, and am already sad that it will be ending soon. That my friends is how you know a good book.

6. I tried to stretch the taco meat this week by adding black beans. I was very quiet and just made up everyone's tacos in the kitchen. I thought I was in the clear, when at the almost last bite Hadji picks a bean up and says, with great disdain, "What is this? A bug?"

7. Things I never thought I would say, but have... "Please, please do not come ask me any more questions while I am using the bathroom. Unless you, your brother, or the house is on fire, do not come near this door. " I also may have said that the house fire should be out of control before I am interrupted. Shameless, poor, mothering, tis true...

See, I am not good at these lists. Maybe you can get a refund on the 4 minutes you have invested here?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Confessions of a Date-In FAIL...

Sometimes, you just have to know when to throw in the towel. After writing that lovely and positive post about the "Date-In", we attempted our first Date In of 2011. It was an epic failure.

It all started as a carefully planned evening out. We were going downtown to a lovely restaurant to feast on a pecan crusted trout with Bourbon glaze. It was the restaurant's special that night, and I had been dreaming of that yummy pecan crusted goodness for days. (only kim will get this advanced meal planning. you appreciate it don't you kim?)

Then we got socked with some snow. Snow topped with ice. Ice which meant we could not ask our lovely babysitter to come drive out here to the casa. It's ok, I tell myself, that despite the fact that we are on day two of school being cancelled, I can handle not leaving the house. I declare to my Micah that we will Date-In! I shower, I make up, and... then I broke the first rule of the Date-In. I put on long johns. In my defense, I was FREEZING, very freezing, and...I think I can rock some long johns. That my friends is not prideful fashion bragging... more like a confession of embarrassing long john love.

I try to think of what take out My Micah can bring home from work that will keep until bedtime... um, yeah...there isn't one. When we typically get take out, he goes back out for it after the little ones are in bed. I could not send him out onto the ice laden streets to satisfy my pasta needs.

So, I call him at work to chat. I offer snack and dinner options. Apparently, a husband who is very busy at work, he is not wanting to think about his dinner options. I need to remember... if I put hot food on a plate, he will be happy 98% of the time. So... we decide on nothing.

I am busy re-clothing the boys who are sledding, and searching for dry mittens, making hot chocolate, and whatnot. In short, I was quickly losing my planning focus for the Date-In. I had no candles ready, no romantic music keyed up, and no game/movie picked out.

I should also point out that someone may not have greeted her spouse in a perfect fashion upon his arrival home. I asked him to stop at the store and instead of saying "Thank you", I questioned his purchases. Oops. See, my Micah saw bread on sale for a $1 a loaf. And bought 10. Yes... TEN. That is 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. Now, on another item, I would have been elated, but this picky gal has decided frozen bread is not good. It gets soggy when you thaw it. I don't care for it. So, instead of praising my frugal husband, I screwed up my face and questioned his shopping skills. This did not help set the tone for date in either. I should add, "Don't rebuke your honey on his way in the door" to the list of rules.

By the time we got kids fed, the news that school was cancelled the next day had slipped out. (I shant say which over bread buying parent let that cat out of the bag) Well, every mom knows, once kids know there is no school, due to snow, their ability to fall asleep quickly and quietly disintegrates right before your eyes.

The evening dwindled down...
The next morning we had a good laugh and both declared that once the TV had stayed tuned to The Biggest Loser, we knew it was time to throw in the towel...
Man boobs do not inspire romance. Ever.
The moral of the story is... know when to persevere, and know when to park it on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, and call it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow day dos and don'ts

Here in the south, we like to celebrate snow by declaring any appearance of snow, or even the threat thereof, a day off. We are currently on day four out of school. We got approximately 1½ inches... with some ice on top. Lest you think I am some whiny Yankee, I LOVE it. I love that everyone runs to the store and stocks up, I love that school is closed and people refuse to drive. I love to be "hunkered down" with my little men.
Here is what I have learned...

DO... allow your children some extra TV time. For your sanity and theirs. There are only so many games of WAR one mama can play.
DO... have lots of hot chocolate, and allow it to be made after every trip outside. I feel this is a right, yes, I said it, a RIGHT of small,snotty nosed, cold fingered children everywhere. If they are willing to go brave the cold to plunge headfirst down the neighbors driveway in sub standard winter wear, give them the hot chocolate.
DO... pay the 99¢ for a few fun dance songs and have a dance party. It is "Peanut Butter Jelly Time"...
DO... be prepared for a few inevitable squabbles. They are kids. It will happen. Just keep the rules simple... no teeth, no kicking, and no knives. I am kidding on that last one. Sort of.
DO... be sure and remind your spouse that these are the days when paying that $10 a month for netflix is totally.100%. Worth it.

and now, for the dont's...
DON'T... interfere in the sledding tactics of young boys. If they want to make a train, even though they fall and crash every time, resist the urge to tell them to stop. Why? They are showing perseverance. Plus, a trip to the ER for some stitches is a great way to break up the day and get out of the house. I am kidding. Sort of.
DON'T... skimp on the marshmallows in the hot chocolate. I want my kids to think back and be like, "My mom used to make the BEST hot chocolate on snow days with so many marshmallows they overflowed!" Not.. "Man, my mom saved an extra three cents by giving us all exactly 13 marshmallows." Come on moms! Chuck them in there... live on the edge! (yes, it is sad that over marshmallowing hot chocolate is how we moms live on the edge. Eh.)
DON'T... get angry when your husband has just gotten to escape, I mean, leave for work and you are summoned with the following... "Mama, come here! I pooped on da floor." Oh yes. It's true. Courtesy of Alden, total accident, but still. YUCK! Emerson was soooo helpful. He called Lincoln to come see the offending dookey, and then ran back to the living room only to yell, "Goodness Alden! What did you eat today!?!?!"
DON'T... go near a mall, a bounce place, and especially not Chuck e Sneeze. It is a proven fact that your child will pick up germs and then be home sick the following week. So that half hour of sanity you claimed while your kids played at the golden arches? NOT WORTH IT!

In short, have fun. Relax. Let the house get a little messy... and of course, if your child is like Hadji, document these moments:

Yes. That is my child. In his barefeet. In the snow. He doesn't even flinch. Maybe he has a future as a fire walker???

Friday, January 07, 2011

The Great Date In

So I had a few e-mails and questions about the "Date In" concept. I thought I would share how Micah and I do this, and even a few ways I plan on improving it for 2011.

1. Ladies, you must still shower, shave, and wear make-up. Clothing options are up to you. I am a woman who loves her pajamas, but at least wear a nice pair. How would you feel if your husband came to Date In dressed in plaid pj pants and a "Mulletz Rule" shirt? Um, cause I may have done that once, and it did not set the appropriate date night vibe I was going for.

2. No cooking. You are saving money on a sitter, so at least spring for some take out. This is especially important in my dishwasherless home. I am not in a romantic mood if I have to wash 50 pots and pans.

3. Wait to start your Date In until your children are in bed, asleep. My kids are good sleepers, but if benadryl needs to be involved at this point... that is up to you.

4. Candles are always a bonus.

5. Pick a good movie, or a game to play. Make the movie one you are both willing to watch, and the game one you both want to play. My Micah knows this means we will NEVER watch a Sylvester Stallone movie. I have had to come to terms with the fact that, it also means we will never play Scrabble. (why? because I am a Scrabble CHAMP! Yes, that is bragging. Shameless Scrabble bragging.)

6. Dance once in a while. Oh yes, I mean dance, with your spouse, in the living room. Calm down, I didn't say to go all clubbing style, just hold your honey and sway to some romantical sounds. (and ps squeeze a butt cheek at least once!) (pss sorry mom.)

7. Make out on the couch. I know, some of you are cringing, shocked, and searching for that "x" button in the top right. (uh, left for mac users) If you have not sat your honey down for some serious couch kissing, you are missing out.

Numbers 8-10 are entirely up to you and your spouse. I have to draw the line somewhere and that somewhere is just after I use the word "makeout".

the end.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Still in the works...

Ok, so I was terribly torn about what to do for a first post of 2011. I had seen people posting fun quizzes, top ten photos, favorite scrapbook layouts, resolutions, and more. Then I finally decided to do more than one. Why choose? I can do the quiz one day and the layouts the next and... yeah, that didn't get too far as I choose the hardest one to tackle first.
It is a list of topics that you choose a photo from 2010 to go along with. Oh my word... much more time consuming than I thought. I think I am skipping the "friend" one because I was already up to 11 photos. So... anyhoo. You are getting a list of goals, and I will attempt to complete the never ending photo task soon. And then the quiz, and the top ten, and ... let's be reasonable. This list might be all this blog sees for a while.

Goals and Intentions for 2011
by Jude

1. Stick with my Project 365. This is a project where you take a self portrait every day... for one year. Holy Hannah that is a lot of shots of my goofy face looking at ya' but I am doing it. The first time I heard about this idea, 2 years ago, I honestly thought, how narcissistic! BUT... then I lost my grandmother this year, and all I could think was, I would LOVE to have a whole year of her German grimaces to look at. Here is an example... we'll see how this is going come April.

2. Stick with my Project 52. HA! I think this is technically a back -up plan in case I fail at the 365. This differs in that, I have joined a group of other photo enthusiasts and we are given prompts each week for a year. This week's prompt was NEW. Here is mine: Alden and his new best friend.

3. I want to memorize 5 or more good verses. By good, I do not mean that some scripture is better than others, I mean good in the sense that I will not count "Jesus wept" as a memorized verse. "Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you."

4. Read more books. I read a lot last year, but thanks to a website Nicole recommended,that helps you keep up with what you have read, want to read, and are currently reading, I plan on reading more. Plus, remember, I drink tea now, I am bound to read more because of that fact alone!

5. Do more crafts with the knuckleheads. I cleaned out our mudroom this week, and finally had to admit... my young testosterone bearing children are just not into rubber stamping and scrapbooking. They are into bendaroos, legos, and using household items to make weapons. I will let go of the estrogen craft dreams, and embrace the boy craft realm.

6. I will save all my birthday, Christmas and Hanukkah money for a new camera. I know, I don't even celebrate Hanukkah, but if I thought it would get me to my dreamy new camera sooner, I would indeed don a yarmulke and play with a dreidel.

7. Date nights will be an all systems go, just like in 2010. My Micah and I really loved this, and I have already decided two of our nights out for this month. We are not loaded enough to pay a sitter every week, so sometimes we "date in", but date we will... and I hope I get a corsage on at least one occasion... not really. My Micah knows I would jack slap him for wasting potential new camera dollars on flowers.

8. I have a few travel goals... those will depend on time, $$, and who I can pawn my children off on. Mom... don't you want to come for a visit???? heehee

9. I shant buy any unnecessary shoes in 2011. One should note, my idea of necessary and yours are likely two different things.

10. I will, in fact get my friend Sarah, to give me a full and complete hug. This is last because it will be the most challenging goal to keep.