Monday, November 30, 2009

Breathe in, breathe out

Today is cleaning day. Get-back-to-normal day. Resume the routine day. Detox.

Mysteriously, the arrival of family coincided with my being able to drink wine again for the first time in 7 years. I've killed a bottle of Riesling and 1/2 a bottle of Beaujolais Noveau since Wednesday night. Also a half-pint of Silk Egg Nog and a pitcher of whiskey sours. Coincidence? I say there are no coincidences.

Let's get ready for Christmas!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

I am not shopping today.

Instead, I am entering Ellie's giveaway over on Vintage Victuals. She writes rockin' recipes for home-cooks and gourmets alike. In fact, her freezer lemon pie is now in my permanent dessert rotation after being met with widespread family acclaim here. Which doesn't happen often, so you know it's a good recipe. Go check her out here!

And stay out of the mall!

Giving thanks - part 2

I am thankful that:
  • The turkey came out perfect
  • All side dishes were delish
  • For a MIL willing and able to play with the kiddos ALL DAY yesterday to keep them out of my hair
  • I bought rolls instead of trying to make my own
  • We were fat, happy & all cleaned up by 8:00
  • I'm NOT shopping on Black Friday (thanks
  • I finished "Breaking Dawn" Wed. night so I could concentrate on cooking Thursday
  • I'll be having sushi for dinner tonight!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful for...

  • Christmas music! Finally!
  • MIL helping me in the kitchen!
  • Half the dishes cooked or ready for the oven!
  • Dinner at 4:00! I'm hungry already!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving thanks -part 1

The other night at dinner Dagny asked me if she was lucky. I quickly replied "Of course!" Then I realized that I had an important moment to explain to her just how lucky she really was and as I proceeded to do so I realized how much she (and we as a family) have to be thankful for.

First, that all of the kids grandparents are healthy, vibrant and important presences in the kids lives. They are the source of so much fun, wisdom and stability in our lives. I love to see them with the kids and I love to hear the kids talk about them. I was very close with my grandparents and I am overjoyed that my kids have the same opportunity.

Second, that in these scary and worrisome times that Matt's job has been relatively stable. We do not have to worry about food, housing or the electricity. What a blessing!

Third, that I am able to be home with the kids. Even on days when they drive me insane, or they watch to much TV, or everyone declares that they aren't eating dinner. I am happy to be here each and every day for them.

Fourth, that we are all healthy. I have a friend with a chronically ill child. I pray for her and her family almost every day and thank God that my children are healthy. I will take nothing for granted!

Fifth, I am thankful that sometimes the biggest decision I make all day is what to make for dinner. Not that I'm incapable of big or hard decisions (au contraire!), but I am grateful to the bottom of my soul that my life is pretty darn worry free.

And I have to throw in here that we should all be thankful that we are lucky enough to be American where, regardless of your stance on current events or the state of our Union, even those with the least among us are better off than 90% of the world.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Funny how when you are a mom you suddenly feel obliged to be the one to eat the burnt toast, overripe banana, the "funny tasted" orange popsicle that no one else wants, bread heels, pizza bones and the last of the slightly stale Cheerios.

And you don't even mind that much.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Whoo baby

Did you know you can make cookies using Dove Promises chocolate? Oh yeah baby the recipes in this month's Martha Stewart Everyday Food. Ignore the cheesy "promises" and enjoy the yummy chocolate.

So much for my diet.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Last lunch

I love school holidays. One whole week without having to pack a single snack or lunch! Wheeeeee.....

Busy week with family and cooking and playing ahead.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The perfect heroine

Have you read the Twilight Series yet? I'm, as usual, waaaaaay late to the party. I scoffed them off at first as teenage angst books, but now that I've read them, I have completely reversed my point of view. The stories have got everything: great plot, romance, long-anticipated love scenes, cool battles, love triangles, hot boys. Of course, I fit the target demographic (except maybe for age) to a Tee:

- True believer in both First Love and True Love (not necessarily the same thing as anyone who knew my h.s. boyfriend will attest)
- Someone who can easily get caught up in a romantic moment
- Has chased after a boy -- or wanted to
- Sucker for intelligent boys with thick unruly hair

But the true genius of the story is that Stephenie Meyer has created a perfect modern romantic heroine in Bella. Sure, you can draw all the comparisons you want between her and the classic romantic heroines like Juliet Capulet, Elizabeth Barrett, or Catherine Earnshaw (as Meyer does frequently), but her true appeal is that she is so insufferably whiny and selfish, so easily dismissed from the narrative, that readers will almost automatically project themselves into her place which means, in effect, that I was the one on that honeymoon with the gorgeous teenage vampire boy. And I had a good time! And I wouldn't complain about the lingerie and wish I had old sweatpants instead! In fact, I'd bet there isn't a reader over 30 who doesn't think she would be a much better wife for Edward.

(No offense, Mr. J.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I am cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner this year! For many years after we got married Mr. J and I would go to his brother's house in GA for Thanksgiving. A wonderful tradition sadly ended by his reposting to Kansas. This year my in-laws are coming down, so I'm prepping the big feast.

On the menu so far:

Stuffing (my MIL's recipe)
Buttermilk mashed potatoes
Green bean casserole
Roasted brussel sprouts and/or roasted baby carrots w/thyme
Toasted corn pudding
Cranberry sauce (canned, but a delish cran-orange relish got vetoed by the traditionalists)
Rolls & butter (I'm hoping to do homemade, but will depend on time)
Pumpkin pie (MIL)
Caramel cake

Turkey isn't my favorite meat in the world, but I am using my Dad's foolproof "Roast in a Paper Bag" method which has netted him a juicy, golden-brown turkey every year for the last 30 years.

Mmm, mmm, good.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Boys v. girls

Girls may be easier and more fun to buy clothing for, but boys are MUCH easier when it comes to toys.

Dagny wants a rock tumbler for Christmas. Anders wants Lego and Indiana Jones stuff.
Dagny wants a puppy. Anders wants a camera.
Dagny wants Moonshoes (no way, no how, not ever!). Anders wants a rope swing (we'll see).

Obviously, I've started receiving the kid's initial Santa lists.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Everything was fine this morning from 5:45 - 6:30. Then I had to wake the kids for school. I know Anders screaming and fussing is 90% power struggle, 5% not wanting to get up and 5% not wanting to go to school but it's 100% frustrating for me.

I have three hours of peace until pick up time.

And all I want to do is read "New Moon." How, how, how did I get hooked on the Twilight series?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Kids: Ham & cheese melts on English muffins, green beans, milk
Me: Comtrex, NyQuil and a side of Barnie's White Christmas ice cream

Come n' get it!

Monday, November 09, 2009

And I walked barefoot to school....

I'm not sure when I became tech-challenged. The list of new, cool, techy gadgets we DON'T have is getting longer every day. Soon we'll be hopelessly out of touch with the modern world. I used to buy every new gadget that came on the market. I don't remember when or why I stopped. Probably right after I bought an iPod (original white, click-wheel, b&w screen, no video, 20GB) and an iMac 6 years ago. Other than upgrading to VoIP phone service and purchasing a LCD TV, we haven't done much since then in the way of tech updates. We're even using our old Sony "surround sound" system I got Matt for Christmas 10 years ago. But we never got around to hooking up the speakers, so it's not really surrounding anything. We use it for the DVD player. (No fancy Blu-Ray for us! We're not even sure what that is!)

And I feel about texting the way my parents did about answering machines and ATMs. I remember thinking how totally crazy it was that they didn't use either (although they do have an answering machine now) and how could they get by without them, blah blah blah. But THAT is exactly how I feel about text messages! Will our kids look at us as completely crazy and out of touch because we don't text? Will they try to teach us one day? Will I start missing out on important information because I don't use text messages? Or worse, will they?

I don't even have a phone that CAN text. Or take pictures, surf the web, Google or IM. It just makes phone calls. It's older than the kids and it can barely hold a charge, but I also don't use it that often so I only care for about 78 minutes a month.

My digital camera maxes out at 2 MP and is the size of a PopTart box. I also don't use Twitter and I gave up on Facebook a month ago because it was too hard to keep up with. We don't have any "game systems" although I did buy Mr. J a plug-n-play video game set for our anniversary. It has PacMan, Super PacMan, Galaga, DigDug, Rally X and Pole Position. The kids laugh at the graphics, the "easy" games, and play Pole Position whenever we let them.

But maybe the time has come for us to reconsider our stance, particularly on the phone issue. A weekend or so ago we were our somewhere as a family and I remember looking at Mr. J and saying "I wish we had a iPhone so we could take a picture of the kids" and then we laughed and said "oh, we'll remember this!" But I've already forgotten.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thought for the day

"If you pick it up, it won't pile up."

And yes, that is the full & mighty extent of my 500th post. Y'all need to stick around for post 1000 for something really good.

And, GO GATORS! Surely you know this is Homecoming weekend?! They always put on a good party for the alums who show up, especially ones who are celebrating big anniversaries - like me, Number 20! Twenty! 2-0. How can I have been out of college for 20 years? But it seems like just yesterday I was walking into Simpson Hall for the first time.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Have or have not?

If you have....

... a house like mine then you probably vacuum every day too!

... a son like mine then you've left the house with him wearing blue plaid shorts w/ a brown & orange striped shirt that he proudly put on "ALL BY MYSELF" because you'd rather him be independent than suggest he change.

... a daughter like mine then you aren't surprised that your nightstand drawer is no longer carefully organized but instead is stuffed to the rim with stories, books, drawings, artwork, and tiny clothespin sculptures. Most are tagged with loving homemade notes, like: "For someone special like you!" or "You sparkle all the time!" Anyone seen my glasses?

... a husband like mine then you don't receive surprise bouquets of flowers, but he will bring you surprise tacos from your favorite taqueria (even though he hates the place) because he can tell how utterly worn out and exhausted you are.

... a bathroom cabinet like mine then you have more cold medicine, Children's Tylenol, bath toys and toilet paper than cosmetic items.

... a family like mine then you now how much you are loved despite everything that may be going on in your life.

I've been light on posts this week. Anders was down with a terrible, terrible case of bronchitis. One week of antibiotics, breathing treatments, no sleep (for either of us), high fevers and worry! But he tested negative for flu/H1N1 so at least it's "just" bronchitis.

Have a great week!