Thursday, January 31, 2008

My Boss and the Passing of Time

Nathan tells me this morning as he opens the very full hamper to put his pj's in, "Mom, you need to do some laundry today."

The other night Reese went to bed early due to a missed and much needed nap so Jake and I dug out our first video's of Nathan and sat and watch with him. He was amazed he was ever that small and loved watching himself. I, in turn, felt like it was 20 years, not 6, that Nathan was ever a baby. You know how people tell you all the time to charish your kids because they grow up so fast. They are right, but I don't care how much you charish each step of growing up it still goes by way too fast.

Some other things the kids say that I need to document before they stop saying them and I forget:

Veronica = Harmonica (Reese)
Grattoo = Tattoo
Nakum = Napkin
Noka = Mocha (our dog)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Blue Man

Jake and I had a mini getaway this past weekend. Gran and Nana kept the kids and we headed to Orlando to Universals Royal Pacific Hotel. We took the water ferry over to City Walk too see Blue Man and then back over to our hotel for dinner at Tchoup Chop. It was so nice hanging out the two of us.
And guess who we run into while shopping at Pottery Barn...Ann-Marie, out with her old room-mate.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Stay-At-Home-Mom

6:00am Alarm goes off. I reset it for 6:30 because I remember it's Rochelle's day to take the kids to immediate shower necessary.

6:24am Nathan climbs into bed with me, said he had a bad dream. We snuggle until the alarm goes off. He never told me about the dream and I'm guessing it was just his excuse to get out of bed early.

6:30am I get Nathan in the shower (we were out late last night and missed a bath, not a big deal, but it's picture day and I want him to look and smell nice). Note: According to experts on the Today show last week, kids don't need to bathe every day. I always had them take a bath for sake of routine, but now if we miss a bath every now and again I don't sweat it....if the Today Show said it was OK.............

6:45am Pick out picture day clothes for Nathan, help him get dressed, gel in hair, breakfast, teeth brushed, lunch made.

7:15am Reese comes downstairs naked, except socks, holding clothes for the day, they actually match.

7:35am Rochelle picks Nathan up for school.

7:45am I catch-up on blogs and then help Reese put his new Diego puzzle together.

8:15am Reese and I have breakfast and watch Super Why and some of the Today Show.

8:45am I head upstairs and collect bedding from the boys rooms and get it into the laundry.

9:00 Nana calls to see if she can pick up Reese for a play date at the zoo later today.

9:15am I start this blog entry.

9:25am Time for a shower. No make-up, plans to go anywhere today.

10:00am Help Reese find his Diego costume. We never find it and he gets distracted with another toy.

10:15am Find digital pictures taken of Nathan's class to submit to the yearbook staff. Email pictures.

10:45am More laundry and put clean sheets on beds upstairs. Start to think about lunch. Decide on Sicilian Chicken Noodle Soup (sounds fancy, but it's a dry soup mix...add water, cook and serve) and smoothies. Reese needs to squeeze in a nap before Nana comes to get him so I hope the early lunch, early nap thing works because he has a cold and I don't want it to get worse.

11:00am Cook soup. Somehow, when adding the soup mix to the water I splash boiling water onto my stomach. Finish cooking soup while holding boo-boo airplane (ice pack) on my belly.

11:45am Tuck Reese into bed and read him The Aminal by Lorna and Lecia Balian, a gift to the boys from my dad, a very cute book. Come down stairs and clean up from lunch. My stomach still hurts.

12:15pm Give Mocha a bath. Listen to Reese chatter upstairs about going over to a Power Rangers house with his friend Ethan. Realize he probably won't fall asleep.

12:45pm Go get Reese. He is clearly not napping.

1:00pm We put the Diego puzzle together again. My stomach still hurts.

1:15 Nana arrives to pick the little monkey up. I have a child free hour before Nathan gets home from school. What will I do? End up watching more of the Today Show (which I record) and finish laundry.

2:30 Nate gets home and we enjoy some alone time together, which we rarely get. The afternoon and evening get away from me and I realize while this was a cute blog idea it is taking me too much time and I abort chronically the rest of the day. For those of you heart broken I didn't finish, just know it ended pretty much the same way it started. Pretty uneventful, but that is just the way I like it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Disgusting or Resourceful and More Organizing

Reese and I headed out to Target and Office Depot this morning. Like most 3 year olds, he is not a big fan of shopping so I packed my bag with snacks and entertainment, hoping for a stress free outing. Thankfully it was an uneventful morning and I was able to pick up a few more organizing tools like a really cool label maker. I'm not even sure what I'm going to label, but I couldn't resist it. I'm not sure what has come over me.

Jake came home last night to find I had made labels for the canvas bins I put in the toy room. I printed off "Lego's, Power Rangers, Cars" etc., laminated them and used Velcro pieces to stick them to the canvas. I was pleased with myself. Jake thinks I've lost my mind. Nathan is already learning how to read the label's and now we don't have to pull them off of the shelf to see what is in them. I think it's genius....and maybe a little anal.

Reese was so good while shopping we stopped by Snip-It's instead of our normal hair cut spot and he got the royal kid treatment while getting his hair cut. They even spiked his hair up and put some wash out green streaks in it. He loved it.

On the way home this morning I had one last stop, the bank. Right in the middle of my deposit in the drive through Reese insists he has to go pee-pee and NOW. I think over my options, risk waiting until the teller sends my stuff back through the tube or grab the empty sippy cup in the cup holder and let him make a little deposit of his own. I play it safe, tell him to unbuckle and come up front. He stands in the passenger side floor space and I hold out the cup. He says, "Is this a potty?" I said yes and the little guy did his business and hopped back into his seat, all before the teller sent us our receipt. If you are wondering, the sippy cup was one of those keep or toss kind so yes, it got tossed when we got home. Disgusting or resourceful...I vote resourceful.

Nate brought home his second report card of Kindergarten....all S's (A's) again. Yippee! He was so proud of himself....and I was too.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Quiet Sunday Morning

We are enjoying a quiet Sunday morning. Reese is busy playing his Leapster and fighting a cold, Nathan is pretending he's a thief (not sure where that come from) and he's finding toys around the house, stealing them, and taking them to his stash in the playroom. How come when I call this "clean up time" I can't get him to steal his toys away to the playroom so enthusiastically?

Jake slipped off to the office for a few hours before coming home for afternoon football and I plan on spending the morning changing my blog background to something neutral I can live with for awhile (I'm sick of my need to change it all the time), laundry..never ending laundry and a final check of my "accounting" work before sending 2007 to the accountant and into history.

I had a few requests for the squash casserole recipe so here it is:

Squash Casserole
2-3 cups fresh squash, cooked and drained
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
6 tbs. butter, melted
1 cup stuffing (I use Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing)

Preheat oven to 325. Combine first 7 ingredients. Place in a baking dish. Combine butter and stuffing, spoon over top. Bake 45 minutes.

It's really yummy and you may never eat squash any other way after trying it!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Family Night Expanded

We missed quite a few Friday night family nights in November and December, due to every one's crazy schedule, but are so happy it's back. Last night we feasted on baked chicken, squash casserole, broccoli, black beans and rice and cake. Our "family" has expanded to include my mom's boyfriend, Ron, Dennis, who normally has a Friday night drumming gig, and last night our good friends Jon and Tina (and baby girl in utero) made it over.

I helped out at Nathan's school yesterday and before school let out they played this cute little game. One child sits in a chair facing the wall and counts to 10 while the everyone "tip toes" to a corner of the room, each labeled 1, 2, 3 or 4. Once the child has counted to 10, while still facing the wall, he calls out one of the corners and everyone in that corner has to sit down. The game continues until there is only one person left. That person is declared the winner and it is their turn to count in the chair. Nathan wanted to win so badly, that when the game was over and he hadn't had a chance to count in the chair he was so sad. I promised him we would play when everyone came over for family night. We set up the living room and "practiced" after school. He had a blast, but I must say that when you are only playing with two people it isn't quite the same, but he was so cute I couldn't resist playing over and over.

You should have seen us all playing last night....much better with 10 people! Somehow this simple little game was lots of fun.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Come Blog With Me

Finally, my blog roll is growing as some of my fellow friends have caught the blogging bug. I want to personally invite a few other's to join in the fun...

Myra, I'd love for you to start a blog about your life with those two beautiful girls you have in your life now. There are a lot of us who admire what you are doing and want to hear all about it!

Jennifer N., fellow stay at home mommy of two boys that rock, won't you blog with me?

Natalie, with two teenage daughters I KNOW you have something to say.

Jennifer P., blogging can be very therapeutic, plus, I know you would entertain the hell out of us!

OK, so there you have it, an official invitation to click "create blog" in the upper right of the screen. Or just click here. It's easy and fun! Come on, inquiring minds what to know.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Nesting, Adoption, Baby and Pics

It must be premature spring fever because I've been organizing for days. I don't think I've done this since my pregnancy nesting days. It all started when I found these cute Boat and Tote Storage Bins and thought they would be perfect for the playroom.

I took the old baskets I had in the playroom and used them to organize my closet.

And somehow when I was unloading the dishwasher yesterday I found myself cleaning out the kitchen cabinets. When Jake and I saw the episode of Friends when Chandler discovers Monica's closet crammed full of stuff, Jake said, "That's totally you." I look clean and organized on the surface, but behind the scene is a different story. The good news is that I'll get a wild hair and start organizing my untidy places just to let it go to pot again. We'll see how long it will last this time.


Congratulations go out to my Aunt Myra who got word yesterday that child services will be taking steps to make her two foster girls, 7 and 3, adoptable. She is so excited. A number of things have to happen to make it all come together, but she just may become a mom before her 50th birthday! Congrats!


Another congratulations go out to my brother, Will and his wife who are expecting their 2nd child this summer. The unofficial word is that it is a boy!


Here are two recent pictures of Reese I just had to share...

He came down stairs the other day with a bunch of bathing suits saying he wanted to swim. He took off his pajamas and put ALL of them on. I think it was about 60 degrees we let him swim in the tub.

Nathan had a birthday party to go to the other night so Jake and Reese hung out and watched football. Jake showed me this picture when I got home....Cheerios and beer for dinner.....

Sunday, January 13, 2008


We're two for five on the recipes we've tried out of Deceptively Delicious. The first was the chicken nuggets, which I loved but the kids came to a screeching halt when they spotted the "orange stuff." Here are our votes on the other dishes and the recipes if you are interested in trying them yourselves:

Macaroni and Cheese 1
Mom and Dad vote: Yummy
Kiddos vote: "Yuck" and "Too Cheesy"

1 1/2 c. elbow macaroni
Nonstick cooking spray
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. flour
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. cauliflower puree
1 1/2 c. (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz. (almost 1/4 c.) cream cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. pepper

Boil pasta. Coat large saucepan with cooking spray, heat over medium heat. Add oil, then flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture resembles a thick paste, but has not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. I thought this part was tricky. On my gas stove it turned brown before it thickened so three tries later I let it cook about 15 seconds and proceeded on. Add the milk and cook, stirring every now and then, until it begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cauliflower puree, cheeses and seasonings and stir until the sauce is smooth. Stir in macaroni. If I make this again I'll add more pasta because it is REALLY cheesy.

Scrambled Eggs
Mom and Dad vote: Good, but a strange texture. Probably wouldn't make again.
Kiddos vote: Nope, but they were always sketchy about scrambled eggs anyway.

2 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. cauliflower puree
2 tbs. grated Parmesan
pinch of salt
nonstick cooking spray
1 tbs. olive oil

Whisk together eggs, egg whites, sour cream, cauliflower puree, Parmesan and salt. Coat skillet with cooking spray, add egg mixture and scramble. It took longer to cook than the recipe indicated and the skillet had quite a bit of water in it when it was done cooking. I just scooped the egg out being careful not to get the water with it.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mom's vote: Great! No vote from Dad because he is a freak and doesn't like chocolate.
Kiddo's vote: Yummy, I want more!
Family over for dinner vote: They taste just like a regular cookie!

Nonstick cooking spray
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. margarine
2 egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (and chopped)
2 c. chocolate chips
Walnuts optional
Raisins optional
2 c. flour
1/2 c. old fashion oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350. Coat cookie sheet with cooking spray. Mix sugar and margarine until smooth. Beat in egg whites and vanilla, then chickpeas and chocolate. All the flour, oats, baking soda and salt, mix until thick dough forms. Drop by tablespoon on cookie sheet. Bake 11-13 minutes. I put my chickpeas in the blender and set it on food chop so there wouldn't be huge visible chickpeas in the cookies. The blender left a few whole chickpeas behind and Nathan noticed them right away. Next time I'll be sure to blend them all the way!

Family vote: Perfect. Will make this again and again.

Here is the recipe with my changes in italics
1 c. water (1 1/4 c. milk)
1/2 c. sweet potato puree
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 c. pancake mix (2 c. Bisquick)
nonstick cooking spray
1 tbs. vegetable oil

Mix all ingredients just to combine, batter should be lumpy. Cook in skillet or griddle coated with cooking spay and vegetable oil. (Short and sweet of it...I'm assuming everyone knows the basics of pancake making).

I promise my blog will not turn into a cookbook nor will I prevent Ms. Seinfeld from cookbook sales by providing a copy of all her recipes here. I will, however, share a good recipe from time to time.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Remember when you were a kid and you needed to get somewhere? You hopped on your bike, roller skates or you walked. This morning, instead of hopping into my car I decided to ride my bike to get to where I was going. It's a beautiful day and Jennifer and I had decided instead of meeting for breakfast after dropping of the kids at school we'd pass on the bagel and play tennis. We have tennis courts in our neighborhood about 2 miles away and as I crawled into bed last night I decided my month off after the marathon needed to officially end. We had such a great time that we're playing again next Friday. I say play, but really I just hit the ball around. I took lessons about 8 years ago, but can't remember a thing I learned. Jennifer hasn't played in a long time either, but at least remembered the rules!

I made the chicken nuggets out of the Desperately Delicious cookbook. I loved them, but the kids immediately spotted the "orange stuff" (sweet potato) and refused it. I would certainly make them again for myself and maybe I'll try a different puree that isn't orange. Off to eat leftovers for lunch.....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Belly Buttons and Green Logs

I'm not sure what sparked this, but the kids have been eating so much better. No more gagging when they try new foods and food negotiations have been to a minimum. Last night they ate chicken tortellini and green beans (belly buttons and green logs) willingly with no promises of dessert. They also ate cantaloupe, fresh cherries and no lie, real, hormone free grilled chicken this week! And they liked it!

I got the new cookbook Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld for Christmas. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but hear the spinach brownie's are good.

I have a subsciption to Family Fun magazine and half the time I forget to read them until they are months old and all the cool holiday/season ideas are old news. Yesterday, when my February issue came I actually sat down and read it cover to cover. Nathan picked out these fun valentine cards to make for his class. Despite the fact that Jake and I mutually agree that Valentine's Day is a Hallmark holiday I still find Valentinie things fun to do with the kids.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

1 Year, 20 Years, and VOTE

This morning it dawned on me that Jake and I met 20 years ago this month. It was January 1988 and I had been uprooted from my very comfortable life as a 9th grader in Alabama to move to Florida. I was not happy. Within my first few days at my new school I met Jake, a skinny, red-head who was dating a very cute cheerleader. The first time I laid eyes on him I remember thinking, "What does she see in him?" (Jake loves it when I tell that story). By 10th grade we were inseparable. I've known him longer than I haven't known him. I love that.

I started blogging a year ago. What an addiction! I was a lurker at Jen's blog for years (she's one of the reasons moving in 1988 was so hard) before I took the bait and started my own. It sure is catchy.

I don't know what it is, but I'm totally into the Presidential Election. Politics has always been a bit of an afterthought for me, but I can't seem to get enough election news. Can hardly wait to cast my vote! Still need help making up your mind, go here.

Friday, January 4, 2008

"Waggle It Like a Dogs Tail"

Reese (this morning), "Mommy, I can waggle my penis like a dog waggles its tail."

Back to Normal

The last of our visiting family made their way home yesterday and we're getting back to normal. We were crazy busy and I'm glad to be getting back in our routine, yet I miss them all and so much.

I always get excited about decorating for the holidays, but when the holidays are over I can't wait to pack it all up and get it out of the house. Jake returned to work yesterday, after 13 days off (a miracle in itself) so the kids and I boxed up all the decorations. We cut some lower branches off of the Christmas tree and made a fire in the fireplace. Building a fire is normally Jake's job, but I've watched him enough I thought I could handle it. I realized we put too many tree clippings in the fireplace because when we lit it we had to backed up from the blaze. I played cool with the kids, but it freaked me out. It died down pretty quick and left a nice steady fire for a couple of hours, but I think I'll leave future fires to Jake.