Sunday, April 13, 2014

Oh hi're still here?! That's so nice of you! Or forgetful of you! Either way, hi!

Would you like to keep tabs? Find me here:

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Stump is a weird word, anyway

Last week Jay and I were sitting in the running car, in the driveway, listening to a Christmas music cd. The boys were in the back, snoozing away, which is why we were sitting in the car, in the driveway... the ol' wait out the car nap game.

We had a clear view into the backyard, which reminded me about something I'd been meaning to ask him:

"That right there" I pointed, "Is that our tree from last year?"  --- we have a large back yard lined with woods, so yes, we just discard our old trees there.

"Yeah why, do you want me to move it back further?" he asked. Defensively, I might add.

"Jeez, no. I just...I saw this thing. Like, you cut off part of the bottom of the stump, like, you know, circular, and you write the year or whatever on it, and it's some sort of keepsake. So since we still technically have the one from last year, and last year was the first year we had all of us, we could start from there? I don't know."

You've all seen this on Pinterest, don't even pretend you haven't.

"So wait...what do you do with it?"

"You make ornaments from them if you want. Or you just hang onto them..."

"Okay, so we do this and then 30 years from now our Christmas tree will pretty much just be covered in the stumps of the trees before it? Like some sort of sick serial killer tree?"

"Yeah...I...didn't think about it that way. Let's...just...forget it."


Monday, October 14, 2013

The Dichotomy of Four

Tonight at dinner, my dear darling son requested something, and apparently the approximately fifteen seconds it took for me to put down my own fork was too long for him to wait, thus the utterance of "This is taking a while".

I'm not proud of my reaction to this, but suffice it to say this did not stand and he now knows that this was a completely unacceptable response, and why.

Rewind to yesterday afternoon. We were at our town's autumn festival, basically a ton of vendors lining main street with some fun activities thrown in for the kids closer to the school and at one of the bigger touristy stores.

We were walking along looking at things and I pointed out a quarter on the ground to Jack, which he was very excited to pick up and even more excited to get home and put in his piggy bank. The kid has a sizable chunk of change in there.

We kept walking around for quite a bit and eventually made our way to the very kid-friendly area. Face painting, a clown, little homemade games, that sort of thing. We had just made it there and were scoping things out when this little boy who is probably about a year or two older than Jack, and his mom not too far behind, came up to us with this big bucket and asked if we would like to donate to his sisters' cheerleading...something or other. Jay is always an absolute sucker for this sort of thing, and he started looking in every pocket he had for some spare change, but alas. Sorry kiddo, fresh out, really (genuinely) do wish I could help you out though.

As the little boy was telling him it's alright and started off to look for someone else...Jack held out his little hand with the quarter in it.

Jay, CheerMom, and I just about melted right there on the spot.
She said it was "the best donation all day".

He never said anything, he never lamented his quarter being gone after he did it, he just smiled a little when we praised him. He didn't think twice.

As long as my boy can display kindness and grace in public without batting an eyelash...I can take a little lip at home every now and then.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Some Changes Here

You wouldn't have noticed because I'm only saying so now, but I went through and stuck a lot of past posts in my drafts. A lot.

It's been a long time coming I think. I'm not quitting, but let me explain:

When I started this place, publicly, I was not who I am today. I had a one-ish year old, was living in a place I despised, and had a great deal of time on my hands aside from taking care of the aforementioned child. I started delving into reading blogs as a bored, lonely person and then decided to join in by starting one of my own.
I never planned to make Jack the primary focus, but let's face it, he WAS my primary focus, I guess as it should be (?) at that time.

He's getting older, and the internet isn't going away, and he doesn't need his life chronicled on it. Even though what I put on here is a very small part of a whole and you were never privy to everything, it doesn't need to be here - at least not anymore. Also the internet is scary and there are terrible people on it, and I've been watermarking pictures for some time but that's not going stop people from - do I really need to go on?

Many mothers I admire a great deal from across the internet also seem to be coming to this realization and have been doing the same as of late. Note, I am not being a follower, I honestly just haven't had the time to sit down as work on what needed to be done. Many are not and never will, and that's alright too. It's a personal choice, and to be honest I'm surprised that I chose what I did when I began this. Suffice it to say I was not myself, not thinking clearly for a long time, and I now am.

I have two children I need to worry about, to keep safe, and who occupy SO much of my time. As it should be. Most days I am steps away from running around like a chicken with its head cut off. On the days when that does actually happen, it's not pretty. I didn't want to edit anything I'd already written and simply taking out the pictures obviously was not enough, so those posts reside in the draft section of my blogger dashboard and will just stay there.

There's some sort of weird transition phase going on here right now and there's a jumbled mess of odd past-posts left over after the reaping, but I wasn't sure what else to do and I didn't want to just start over. So I suppose we'll just move on from this point, and there really won't be pictures of the kids for sure or much about them, but other than that, it's all up in the air. Sometimes I feel like that doesn't leave me with much. Let's just say it, that's good and bad both in print and, you know, real life.

Is this making any sense?

Just...hang with me, let me figure out what's going on, respect that the kids are important and precious, aaaaand. Um. We'll just carry on from here.

Thanks, guys.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wreath Redo

I don't remember where we got this, but we've had it since we were married, and it's just kind of been filler on walls wherever we've lived.  Hallway, bathroom, etc.  Not really my style, though.

There actually used to be two little yellow birds in the lower left corner as well...but Jack ripped them off one day.

I decided to finish the job.

Then I spent a couple of nights making a buttload of felt flowers, and turned it into this:

Sometimes I admittedly have a hard time following the "less is more" mantra, but I think I did alright this time.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Love You Forever, Stalk You For Always

There seem to be two schools of thinking on the classic children's book "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch.

You can't really click to look inside, sorry pals.

1. It's wonderful, moving, heartfelt, a real tearjerker, etc.
2. Freaking creepy.

This wasn't a book I had grown up with, so when I received it at my baby shower and read it for the first time shortly after that...I'll fully admit, Camp Two.  Jay feels the same way.

We avoided reading it to Jack.  If we would accidentally pull it off the shelf at storytime, it went right back in.  When he got older if Jack would actually pick it out himself, we would recoil, and then begrudgingly read it to him.

I did read it to Jack today, though.  He had pulled most of his books off of his bookshelf, just like in the story, hardy har har, and it was sitting right in front of me as I sat next to his bed, so I figured, eh, why not.

Truth is, I like the story well enough until it gets to this part:

The mom, driving across town to go climb in her grown son's window to cradle and rock him while he's sleeping...


Obviously the beginning where the mom rocks the baby, and the toddler, and even the 9 year old, is cute.  I can even handle the part when he's a teenager - to an extent.

But when I get to this part, it's no longer cute and sentimental, it's just downright weird.  After it shows her driving across town, it shows that she used the ladder to climb into his bedroom, and somehow picked up a sleeping, grown man and is cradling him in her arms?!

I did my research before writing this post (I guess old college habits die hard?)
The author apparently wrote this book to honor two stillborn babies that he and his wife had. 
Talk about a gut punch, hmm?

I also read that the creepy part is supposed to be some sort of metaphor, like even though the man is grown and living on his own, he can still feel his mother's love.
Yeah, right.  It SAYS that she drives to his house and if all the lights are out in the house, she climbs into his window and rocks him. 

I ALSO read some discussion about how this book is mislabeled and shouldn't be a children's book at all, that it's more for parents; the way the boy is portrayed as a bit of a bother is not the way children view themselves, the lofty issues such as growing older - both the boy and the mother.  And then her looming DEATH at the end.  Not children's book issues. Plus, children take things literally.  If the book is using metaphors about a mother's love, they're not going to understand them.

That stuff, I can understand and get behind.  But uh, that's as far as I'll get because this was supposed to be a silly blog and not an Ed. Lit paper. 

That mama be climbin' in windows, snatchin' her man-boy up.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

COFFEE JELLO - Try This Tuesday

Lemme say that again.



Bill Cosby approved!!!  I like to think, anyway.

I've actually posted about this before.  It was my first ever "Try This Tuesday", before I started calling it that, and I totally scrimped out on it and didn't post it nicely with instructions or pictures or anything.

I had only made it the once, months ago, and on a whim decided to make a batch yesterday. Back when I first posted this recipe, I had only a handful of readers, and this didn't get the attention it deserves because it wasn't the main focus of the entry.  So I'm giving it a second chance for you guys!

Because coffee.  COFFEE.  Duh.

Here's what you'll need to make this yourself:

1/2 cup cold water (I didn't take a picture of that)
About two cups of STRONG, hot coffee.
A glass baking pan.  Size doesn't really matter, but remember that it will affect the thickness of the jello cubes.
3 packets of Knox unflavored gelatin.  Packets, not boxes.  There are 4 packets in each box.
14oz sweetened condensed milk (not the same as evaporated milk)

(And, if you want to make these even more adult than they already are, you can add 3 tablespoons of Kahlua or other liquor that you would normally add to coffee. I didn't do that this time around, but did the first time I made these.)

So, what you need to do is brew the coffee, and while you're doing that, pour the water in a bowl and add the three packets of gelatin over it.  What it's going to do is "bloom" or suck up all of that water.  Give it about 10 minutes to do this.

Then pour in the hot coffee and stir it all up until the gelatin dissolves and you have a liquid.

Stir in the sweetened condensed milk.  Make sure you really stir it up so it doesn't all settle at the bottom, but try not to stir like a crazy person so that there are bubbles all over the place.  That will make for some weird looking jello.

Pour it into the glass pan, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, and BAM, coffee jello.

Then cut it up into cubes and enjoy!

Credits to both food librarian and the hungry mouse for this recipe!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nutella and Marshmallow "Pillow Pockets" - Try This Tuesday

Oh. My. Goodness.

Ladies and gentlemen, I don't pretend to be a baker.  I get anxious when I have to make cupcakes from a box.  I don't own an electric mixer.  But these beauties?  Simple, easy, and DELICIOUS!  Um hello, they had me at Nutella!  I'm relatively new to this treat, I'm talking within the last couple of years, but I am hooked.

Make these.  That is not a suggestion, it's an order.

Here's what you need:

Mini Marshmallows
Puff Pastry Sheets
One egg

Preheat oven to 350°F

Ok so if you've never used those puff pastry thingies before (*raises hand*) it comes as two big sheets.  Just leave the package out, I think it says 40 minutes.  I had to leave mine out a little longer to get them all thawed out.

Then cut each big square into four individual pieces, so you end up with eight smaller squares.  This is where I already got lazy and just ripped them.  Lovely, no?  I don't suggest it.

Then spread the Nutella onto the squares, but make sure you leave a bit of a border, about 1/2 an inch.  Then top it with the marshmallows, I used 15 on each.

Sidebar: For a little while I thought I had some sort of magical powers because I kept reaching a hand in and coming out with a handful of exactly 15.  Out of eight squares, I'd say it happened five times! 

Once you have all of the squares covered in Nutella and marshmallow goodness, fold 'em and crimp the edges with a fork.

Next comes the egg white wash.  That means, take an egg white, whisk it up with a tablespoon of water, and brush it on each pastry.  If you already knew that, congratulations and shush.

Then sprinkle sugar on top!!!

Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until they just are turning golden.  Mine only took about 20 minutes.

They're not as pretty as the pictures on the website I'm about to link you to...but dammit they were good!

Here's the full recipe and link to the original site.  Enjoy!!!

  • 1 package puff pastry, 2 pastry sheets thawed
  • 1 Cup Nutella spread
  • 1 Cup mini marshmallows
  • Egg white wash: 1 egg white whisked with 1 Tablespoon water
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Cut each square of pastry into 4 equal size pieces, which will equal 8 squares total
  3. Spread a couple tablespoons of Nutella spread onto the center of each pastry leaving 1/2 inch border around edges.  
  4. Top each with about 12-15 mini marshmallows and fold over to form a little triangle.  
  5. Crimp edges firmly with the tines of a fork.  
  6. Brush with egg white wash then sprinkle with granulated sugar.  
  7. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until pastry just turns golden.  
  8. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes, (sprinkle with powdered sugar if doing so) 
  9. Devour. 

(P.S.  I lost two and a half pounds this week, and these were my only indulgence.  Ha!)