Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Plumbing problems, rodent problems, a/c problems (related to the rodent & plumbing problems). Double down on the gross factor because we're Hot too, since we haven't had a/c for a few weeks.
I never thought we'd get rats in our a/c system!! I don't know whether to be happy or disgusted that they were pretty much there just to eat the possums that crawled in to the ducts and died. It's all so gross. And, my GOODNESS, how did they all end up getting in there, dying, eating each other, befouling our whole house to the point where we had to replace every stinking (literally) inch of the system in the TWO FREAKIN' DAYS between when the plumbers were here and the a/c guys came out to fix the ducts in the first place? ugh.
Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Repeat.
Monday, September 06, 2010
At the same time I noticed he was also really intent on learning the phonetic sounds to the alphabet, so hey why not kill two birds with that stone? Presenting Mommy's Kitchen A to Z! Now he can learn his letters and sounds while associating them with stuff that he is surrounded by every day - and since the kitchen is my favorite room in the house, why not?
A - Avocados
B - Bread
C - Cantaloupe
D - Dill
E - Eggs
F - Frozen french fries
G - Grapes
H - Hot sauce
I - Ice cream
J - Juice
K - Ketchup
L - Lemons and/or Limes
M - Mustard
N - Nuts
O - Oatmeal
P - Pasta
Q - Quinoa
R - Refried beans
S - Spices
T - Tuna
U - Us (the family)
V - Vinegar
W - Water
X - "X" marks the spot - I make it out of string cheese
Y - Yogurt
Z - Zucchini
Friday, September 03, 2010
The major thing will be keeping it cool til Naples. Big cooler? Check!
Happy Birthday Mom! We'll see you tomorrow!
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
I love books! I love to read! I love that my kids love them too! We do go to the library just about every week, but they also know that I'm a complete and utter pushover for any kind of reading material.
Right now Anders is all about action, adventure, even things that are a little spooky. Dagny is totally into Egypt & mummies.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
"If you're going to talk, let's talk to each other, not just yourself."
It's, like, our #1 rule because both kids are inclined to talk endlessly to themselves at all times. Dags talks about imaginary creatures, our in her own imaginary language. Anders sings or talks about epic battles. It gets loud.
TGIF -- week 1 of school is done!!
Friday, August 27, 2010
So yeah. I plan. I make plans for my plans. I'm also a good organizer, but in a big picture kinda way. I hate clutter and confusion, I dislike piles o' crap. So I make the big piles go away. Do I care where? Notsomuch. As a result right now we have two "overflow" rooms almost overflowing with peoples piles of stuff. I need to get on that, STAT. The other area that I need to attend to is the garden, which is now pretty much just a weedfest.
So now that the kids are back in school and we are settled into our routine, I'm using my strengths to bring some order to the chaos. Starting next week, Monday & Friday are going to be dedicated to 1) cleaning out and organizing the two sunrooms and 2) attending to the garden, bed by bed. Tuesday will be errands/grocery shopping. Wednesday is my baking day. Thursday is cleaning and laundry. Starting in October, my book club will be meeting Friday mornings, so I'll fit that in as well. I love my plan; I hope I stick with it!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
- Cooler weather (we can pretend it's just around the corner, even though it will be October before we see mornings not in the high 80s)
- Electric bills under $500
- Wearing jeans again (I love jeans. I don't wear them in the summer unless I'm visiting family on their dairy goat ranch in the middle of the prairie. Too hot & sticky.)
- Jeans with sweaters and boots.
- Five mornings a week to clean, organize, exercise*, get crafty, read, cook, bake - WOW
- Cafe con leche and a slice of toasted, buttered cuban bread for breakfast
- Fresh veggies from the CSA
- Sitting on the porch in the evenings
- The new season of Amazing Race
- Anders starting t-ball
- Soups, chili, roasts, stews and getting back to baking my own bread
- Planning for the holidays
Football!! Any football, but mostly Gator football. And SEC football. And maybe Denver football so I can watch my boy Tim Tebow play with the grown-ups. I picked up Gator tees for the kids when we were in G'ville a few weeks ago, so now everyone's ready for the season! (Now picture those same stands filled with orange-and-blue clad fans. LOVE IT.)
*Yeah. There. I said it. The "e" word. Mr. J and I have a pact to exercise and eat healthier. I can't believe I'll finally have the time to do it!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Friday, August 06, 2010
1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons baking soda
In a large pan (make sure it is large, this syrup will grow when you add the vanilla and soda), place the butter, buttermilk, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and soda. It will foam. Now it is ready to serve. Try it warm over ice cream, on your pancakes, waffles, or scones. Yumm-o. Keeps in the refrigerator at least 3 weeks.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Monday, June 07, 2010
School's not even out yet and the house already looks like it is. Flip flops piled by the door and misc. toys and library books and bits and pieces of the kids make-believe games everywhere. They were playing Ben 10 Alien Force all weekend. Anders stuffed about 25 teeny-tiny Star Wars guns, blasters and sabers into his snack bag. This morning while packing snacks, I dumped them on the couch 'cause I didn't want to send him to school with contraband weapons. I hope I got them all and that he doesn't whip out a Boba Fett blaster with his snack this morning.
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
- Sauteed shrimp with carrots, squash, zucchini and thyme; yellow rice
- Oven fried chicken, green beans, noodles, fennel and orange salad
- Pancakes & sausage
- Tuna melts on homemade English Muffins; summer chopped salad
- Vegetarian pad thai
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Saturday, May 01, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I've actually been meaning to do it for about a month, but we had a couple of dinner parties to go to and I didn't want to have to show up and then only drink my "special" tea. And then I didn't want to start right before Easter 'cause, well, I know this is just another excuse but let's sum it up in three words: chocolate, coconut, ham.
I'm mostly better now though and ready to face the Challenge! Starting Monday!
Some of the restrictions of the 7-day Cleanse are:
- No wheat
- No sugar
- No dessert!
- No dairy
- No Dessert!!
- No added oils
- No DESSERT!!!
- and, most challenging of all, No Caffeinated Beverages!!!!!&*^^@^*!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
However, when I made the resolution it was January. And then we had the Mother of All Winters here when heating the oven to 500 a few times a week was no big deal because the house was barely 60 anyway. But now. Now it is summer! Today it is 90. The house is barely holding at 78 without running the a/c (I can't bear to put it on in April). Heating the oven to 500 would turn it into a sauna and/or steam room. And this is just April. I don't even want to think about baking bread in August.
So, like many resolutions, it looks like this one will be abandoned too, at least until the fall.
On the upside, it did give me freedom to head over to Whole Foods and indulge my inner carb addict with loaves of crusty sourdough (which I can't make to save my very life), cranberry-walnut boules, ciabatta and yummy yummy whole wheat baguettes.
And I also found this:
The Vosges Barcelona Bar - deep milk chocolate*, hickory smoked almonds and fleur de sel. The Trifecta!
*Deep milk chocolate = 45% milk chocolate. So creamy. Perfectly balanced chocolate. It will change your mind about dark chocolate, I swear! I've been off that wagon for more than a year.
Friday, April 09, 2010
One of my pet peeves is school lunch. I make Dagny her lunch 4 out of 5 days a week (she's allowed pizza on Fridays if she has good behaviour all week) because the small Catholic school she attends, while excellent on the academic front, has a truly abysmal lunch program. I've talked with the principal a few times, but she says it all comes down to three things: money, volunteers to man the cafeteria/cooking/serving lines, and what the kids will eat. I'm sure that's the standard response whether you are in public school or private. It's true; getting kids to eat well can be tricky. Paying for it straps the parents. And getting volunteers for anything is nearly impossible.
Enter Jamie Oliver and his glorious, amazing Food Revolution. If you haven't seen his new show, and have previously been turned off by his Food Network programs, I urge you to reconsider and check it out (Friday nights, ABC, check your local listings). What he is attempting to do is truly revolutionary: he is overhauling the school lunch program for a school district in Huntington, WV -- a town that has the current title of the Unhealthiest Place in the US. And not only is he attempting to get the kids to eat real, freshly prepared food, he's also attempting to change the mindset of the community. A community that currently considers french fries a vegetable. A community that didn't even have utensils for the children to use - all the food was "finger food." A community where the Kindergarten kids he visited couldn't identify 90% of the fresh vegetables he showed them -- including tomatoes. A community where the mom of a family he visited -- a family where every member was obese -- admitted that she served fried or fast food for every meal.
Obviously, he's meeting some resistance and I'm sure there are even a fair number of viewers (Hi Mom!) who consider him arrogant and bossy and that the schools have more to worry about than if the kids are eating properly, you know what with drop-out rates, test scores, social problems, etc. But I say let him try! (He attempted the same makeover in the UK and it is a resounding success, with students grades way up, less illness, etc.) At the very least, it will ensure that the kids are getting at least one nutritious, balanced, fresh meal a day. In the best case, families in Huntington will start eating better and eating together and everyone will benefit.
It's a great concept. I hope it works. In the meantime, I'm "homeschooling" my kids when it comes to food, cooking, eating healthy, and making good food choices. I'm lucky that I had parents that thought mealtimes were important. I'm lucky that I am able to afford quality fresh ingredients (I'm sure some people would disagree, I think everyone can do this -- some people will always make bad, uneducated choices and the children certainly do suffer for it. But COME ON, you can't tell me that anyone thinks a box of snack cakes is a better choice than an apple.) And, although creating and packing school lunches can be time consuming, thankless, and frustrating, I'm happy to be able to do it.
My six rules:
1) If you're going to allow snacks, make sure the kids have healthy snack options. Get the processed foods* out of their - and your - life now!
2) Portion control
3) A vegetable and/or fruit of some sort every single night - sometimes this is as easy as iceberg lettuce or mandarin oranges. Sometimes I serve TWO veggies. Sometimes it's just apple slices or carrot sticks. But I do it every night.
4) Buy whole foods whenever possible. My kids know what carrots look like with the greens on; they've seen a whole watermelon; they know that fruit doesn't come from a can; they LOVE the Farmer's Market. (Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with buying a convenient prepared cup of mixed melons and berries. I'm saying do BOTH.)
5) Let your kids help in the kitchen! My sis was amazed when Dagny picked up a whisk like a pro to whip up some hot fudge sauce. (She knows all about ganache, egg washes, and proofing dough.)
6) Make it homemade as much as humanly possible. It's not about convenience -- it's about survival. I want my kids to be able to provide a nutritious homemade meal for themselves, their friends, their future families. I get a real kick when I hear my kids ask "Is this homemade?" when they eat something.
*Full disclosure: Anders is a very picky eater and has a thing about Ritz crackers. I know one day they won't be considered a whole food group at our house, but until then I will buy them. I did however, wean them from processed, sugary breakfast cereals. And they haven't seemed to miss them at all!
Thursday, April 08, 2010
No kidding. I do love it. It's so nice to feel the warmth of the sun again. I'll love it for at least another 30 days (or until I get my first electric bill) before I start complaining.
And thank goodness that, now that Easter has passed, all the major candy-centric occasions are behind us until next October. Dags & Anders are way more into collecting candy than actually eating it -- which explains why their "special" candy from last Halloween is still in the treat basket. So I give them until Memorial Day to eat it, then whatever is still around gets pitched. Except of course for any remaining "special" peanut butter confections, which get pitched into my tummy.
The kiddos have been on Spring Break all week so we have been enjoying the beach, sleeping "in" (6:45 for Anders), afternoon movies, and staying up a wee bit later so I can read the first Harry Potter to them before bedtime. Lovely! Next Monday we're back to routines, schedules, snacks and lunches (>shudder<) but for now, we relax!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
- Mr. J will have to be out of town on business at least one night which means I am on 24/7 dog n' kid duty.
- A lizard will get into the house. Even if the freezing winter here has drastically reduced their population, the hardy survivors continue to make valiant attempts to find their way indoors.
- One or both kids will have about 23,000 things going on, a major test, and/or a fight with their so-called best friend.
- The Dog will develop a sudden and disgusting illness that will include any or all of the following: sudden diarrhea, total incontinence, unexplained vomiting, a giant hotspot, stinky fur.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Friday, March 05, 2010
- Weeding and pruning our pitiful yard
- Finishing the laundry, of course
- Cleaning out our master sunroom
- Organizing the Girl Scout stuff which is starting to take over the laundry room
- Cleaning the bathrooms
- Baking some bread for this weekend
- Washing the MomMobile
- On my way to the Mall to buy a new Sunday- best dress (I can tell you right now that I'm NOT going to do this and that I already know I'll be so angry at myself come Sunday morning when I want to wear a pretty dress and all I'll have is my black dress pants that I've been wearing all winter anyway.)
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
- Safari in Botswana - note, I don't NEED to do an Abercrombie & Kent trip, although that would be nice, no? I do want to go to Botswana because 1) it's family friendly, 2) it's a relatively politically stable country and 3) Okavango Delta & Victoria Falls!
- Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage - while probably the most affordable and least physically taxing item on my bucket list, it's also the most far-fetched. Why?Because it's a 30 day pilgrimage so the kids would most likely NOT come along. So I would need someone to watch them for a whole month. Yeep.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Monday, March 01, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Friday: Potato tortilla (for grown ups) AND mac n' cheese from a box (for the kids), because we have one of Dagny's friends staying with us for the weekend and Dagny assures me that "everyone, well not me, but everyone else likes the box kind"
Sunday: Roast chicken, smashed potatoes, broccoli and rosemary rolls