Friday, March 31, 2006

What's for Dinner?

Like Noelle Robbins, I don't enjoy cooking. When I was first married, I tried to cook most evenings and The Husband often tried is hand at cooking dinner. (Truth be told, he enjoys cooking more than I do and is better at it, too.) But my repertoire was limited and I wasn't a very adventurous cook. It didn't take very long for The Husband to announce is that he had never really liked spaghetti, was tired of chicken and Rice-A-Roni, and didn't like the way I flavored the pepper steak.

This was the beginning of the end of dinner in our house. The final nail - or nails- came in the form of our 5 children - 2 picky eaters, 1 who will try most things and 2 who will eat almost anything.

Now trying to decide what to make for dinner requires evaluating the pros and cons of each meal in relation to every member of the household. (Let's just skip the lecture about making them eat whatever I serve - I just can't do it. Being a picky eater as a child I am too familiar with the child's side of that philosophy. More on that in a later post). If I make something that the majority of the kids will eat, The Husband will most likely turn up his nose. If I make something that The Husband would enjoy, chances are only 2 of the children will eat any of it. Either scenario will probably lead to the making of an alternative dinner or allowing someone to have cereal for dinner, thus creating dinner envy amongst those who ate the original meal, but would have preferred the cereal.

Really it's too much stress for me. About once a week I attempt to make something that the majority of the household will eat. About once a week The Husband makes something that he would like and about half of the family will try it. The rest of the week, well let's just say, we eat a lot of cereal and spaghetti.

While I do not enjoy cooking, I love to bake. Cookies mostly, but I also like to try brownies, fudge, pies (but only those that are made with a graham cracker crust), and cakes (yellow with chocolates frosting mostly). I make the best chocolate chip cookies (ask my friends, they'll back up my claim). For me baking is therapeutic (unless I have more than one little helper, then it's not quite as relaxing). It is also how I can show my love to my family. I have been known to make 3 different cookies in the same day just to appease varied tastes of my children (of course they can't all like the same cookie, that would be too easy). I will gladly whip up a batch of cookies whenever one of my brothers visits (or needs to bring something to a work function). I rarely visit a friend without also bringing a plate of goodies, and my annual Christmas Plates are eagerly awaited by the lucky recipients.

I believe in the grand scheme, my cookies compensate for my lack of gourmet dinners joyously prepared and served. At least that's my story.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Conversation with a nearly 3 year old . . .

One of J's favorite TV shows is Scooby Doo (in all incarnations). Today, while getting him dressed we were singing the Scooby theme song (note to mom -- look up the words to this song). The following conversation ensued.

Mom: Do you like Scooby?

J: No.

Mom: No?

J: I like Daphne?

Mom: Daphne? Why do you like Daphne?

J: 'Cause her cute.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Shoe Shppping . . . again

Size 7.5 wide blue sandal to replace the size 7 wide blue sandal - $3.21

3 gallons of gas to drive the 60 mile roundtrip to a Payless outside my normal shopping zone - $7.50

Finding the last pair of last years sandal that happens to be the ONLY shoe my stubborn nearly-3-year-old will wear - PRICELESS

Friday, March 24, 2006

Conversation with a nearly 6 year old . . . take 2

M: He's the one we love (said while watching the septic* man put things back in his truck).

E: Yeh, we love the skinny one.

M: Yeh, he's the one we love.

Well at least he's gainfully employed (even has his own business, okay he and his brother), he's very polite (but all good Southern boys are), and even a little bit cute. But he's got to be nearly 30. Sorry girls, you'll have to love only from afar.

I'm in soooo much trouble with these two.

* maybe someday I'll post the Septic Saga, but for now just know that the septic guys have spent some quality time at our house lately.

Conversation with a nearly 6 year old . . .

M: Mom, do you know who is my boyfriend?

Mom: No. Who is your boyfriend?

M: Justin J.

Mom: Really. What makes him your boyfriend?

M: He has a really pretty [nap] towel.

And so it begins. Does this mean she'll be dating the boy with the best car?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Accessories Make the Baby

I have noticed lately that I have a uncontrollable urge to coordinate P's paci with her outfit. Blue pajamas, blue paci. Put her in purple clothes in the morning, swap the blue paci for purple. She ends up in a new outfit after lunch and I again swap pacis.

I know your wondering about several things now. First, blue pajamas. Despite after two older sisters P has very few handmedown's, particularly of the pj kind, since M & E were summer babies and P is a winter baby, the sizes just don't match with the seasons. So she is wearing J's sleepers from last winter. Poor girl only has one pink sleeper.

Yes I do really have pacis in all those colors, plus red and yellow. You know how it goes -- all the paci's disappear, so you buy more and then one day every paci you've every purchased finds it's way home and you have about a dozen of them. So now I have pacis in nearly every color -- I'm missing pink and orange and trying very hard to resist the urge to buy them. P is, after all 15 months old and really should not be sucking a paci all that much longer. (I hear you laughing. It's denial I know, but let me pretend, okay?)

Now, if you'll excuse me, P is currently wearing purple (although 2 very different shades) and sucking a blue paci . . .

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Shoe Shopping

After a fabulous trip to the park with all the kids, we ran into Walmart to look for light-weight pjs for P and J (ha) now that the weather has taken a warmer turn. When the pj search did not yield the results we had hoped for we moved onto shoes since J's toes are beginning to hang over the edge of his beloved sandals.

While I was searching for a pair of 7 1/2 wide by sandals, J was pointing to all the pretty pink shoes that he liked (should I be worried about that, or is just because the girls shoes are always on the lower racks and therefore the only things he can see?) E announces that she also needs a new pair because (and I kid you not this is a direct quote) she is "bored with her shoes" and doesn't want to wear them anymore. (Insert mom banging head on wall here).

Oh the joys of shopping with children.

Someone's Sleeping in My Bed

At Thanksgiving we bought a big boy bed for J and moved him upstairs with M & E. It took a few tries, but he was sleeping through the night in his own bed. Things were going great. J was in his own bed and going to sleep at a decent hour and P was finally sleeping through the night.

But in the last couple of weeks a new pattern has emerged. J returns in the middle of the night to sleep with mom and dad. The "good parent" would promptly return him to his own bed, despite any screaming or fusing that might occur regardless of whom it might wake up.

The sleep deprived parent (aka me) allows him to crawl in bed with her, just for tonight rather than risk the possibility of screaming that might wake the baby and therefore trigger further screaming.

So for about a week J has ended up in our bed. A couple times he has called from his bed until we retrieved him. A couple times he has arrived under his own steam, but has made sure we knew he was there. Once he even arrived with an escort in the form of Nan (whose room is upstairs).

But this morning I awoke thinking we'd had a good night. Everyone remained in their own beds and there was no breakthrough screaming or crying.

But there was something curled up at my back, stealing my covers and my space. J has developed a new technique -- stealth. How is a parent supposed to combat that?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Brain Dump

I am currently fixated on making the perfect brownie. Now before you think I'm going all Martha Stewart on ya, I'm using a box mix -- Betty Crocker, I think. And I'm not adding anything extra. I just would like to be able to figure out how to bake them without the edges going all crispy, but having the center still cooked. I think I have mastered this, but a brownie really needs to be completely cooled before you can really tell if it's perfect, but my kids like to eat their brownies warm so I can't keep a pan around long enough to be sure.

Survivor. All I can think is that the lack of food is really affecting their thinking. Last week Terry voted for Dan even though they promised they never would. Now I'm not debating the move to vote Dan off. Without the option of voting the lone girl out, Dan was the next most logically choice. But Terry did not have to vote for him to achieve that end. They were so worried about a 2 vs. 2 tie vote that they didn't see that if Terry voted for one of the young guys, Dan voted for the other young guy and the young guys voted for Terry, every would get what they wanted -- Dan out without Terry having to vote for him.

And for all the hype about Exile Island, it really hasn't lived up to the billing. They just don't show us enough of what the poor person has to go through by themselves. Well and Terry had to go and find the immunity idol so early.

Cirie has turned out to be my favorite player so far. She's just watching that tribe disintegrate and gently nudging things along as needed. I hope she manages to stay around a while longer.

School Pictures. Seeing as I take my own pictures of the kids on a regular basis, I don't need the school pic to be great. But is it really too much to ask of a professional photographer to attempt to get a smile out of these kids? Of my three kids I have three unsmiling photos. If this was the only time I had my kids pics taken I'd be devastated. Thankfully for me I'm a talented photographer in my own right.

3 out of 5 of my children do not like Girl Scout Thin Mints. I am shocked and appalled. Unfortunately this disappointing mutation does come from my side of the family. My older brother is also not a Thin Mint lover. Oh well more for me.

Guess that's all for now.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

World's Cutest Child

Beth, of So the Fish Said, whom I enjoy reading immensely, claims to have the World's Cutest Child. While Mia is truly a doll, Beth is, understandably, biased.

I submit for your viewing pleasure, P, the World's Cutest Child. I, too, am biased, but I believe you'll agree that P would give Mia a run for the crown (and probably win, but that's a mother talking).

So am I right? She's definitely the World's Cutest Child.

The latest Craziness from My Twins

It started on Sunday during church. E, who is quite the little mother, folded J's blanket into a pillow so he could lay down on her lap. This was seen a unfair by M, she wanted J to lay down on her lap, and brought on a round of tears.

At home the same day M and E asked J, who is not even 3 and can't really be expected to understand the full ramifications of his answers or even that 10 is more than 8, how much he loved them on a scale of one to ten, followed by complaining and crying that he loved one more than the other.

But like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it will change, because J just doesn't have a complete grasp of what numbers beyond two represent yet.

If it's this bad when they are fighting over the affections of their little brother, I'm really not looking forward to the teen years and fighting over boyfriends.

Save Me!

Monday, March 6, 2006

Um. . . .

In a world that revolves on a dozen why do They sell hangers in a pack of 13? Don't They know this is going to bother me? Or maybe They do know and it's just Their way of messing with my already befuddled head.

I know there's such a thing as a bakers dozen (is that so there's one left for taste-testing?) but hangers are hard plastic - not at all food-like.

And the number 13 has such a bad reputation. It only ever seems to be associated with bad things, so buying 13 hangers (even though I'm not really a superstitious person) just seems wrong.

I know I'm crazy, but I'm sure you have your oddities too. So fess up. What bugs you?