Thursday, April 29, 2010

What's in the Bag?

Sometimes it is the little things in life that make a day special.  I have a neighbor, I actually don't even know this neighbor's name and have never talked to them.  I live in a fairly large neighborhood and actually know a lot of my neighbors on a first name basis.  I attribute this to staying at home and just being around and having kids.  We are outside all of the time, walking and you tend to talk to your neighbors.  Well, this neighbor, who I think is probably a pretty special person; I do not know. 

This neighbor makes me curious every Thursday.  See, Thursday is trash day.  Every day on trash day this neighbor (I must admit I have a gender bias here and think it is a woman, so I will refer to this neighbor as a female from now on) leaves a brown paper bag folded closed, on top of both her normal trash can and her recycling trash can.  Hmm.  What is in that bag?

Is it a cookie, a muffin, a sandwich?  Is it homemade or some sort of Ding Dong thing store bought?  Or is it healthy, like carrot sticks or pretzles?  Or maybe it isn't food at all.  Maybe it is a thank you note, a comic book or a baseball card.  Does it change or is it exactly the same every week, or is it seasonal?  What is in that bag?  Regardless of what is the bag, I think I know what it means.  It is saying, I appreciate you and the fact that you came to work today to take my garbage off the curb and you probably love your job but maybe it wasn't what you envisioned for yourself when you were 10 years old. 

And what does the garbage man think of that bag.  I assume he is grateful, but is he?  It should be the thought that counts, but if he is getting carrots sticks and a Jehovah Witness pamphlet every week, maybe not so much.

It makes me want to show more appreciation.  I could do more for my garbage men and my mail carrier and all the other people who do things for me (I know that they get paid) daily and weekly.  What a world it would be if we were all out there handing out cookies in little brown paper sacks all day long.   It may make people aspire for more, it may help them be content or it may help them dream.  It definitely would make me take a look at other people's situation and be thankful for my own.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

9 O'Clock and All Is Well


Sweet boy received a watch from one of his good friends.  She gave it to him as a 'thank you' gift for watching out for her cat while on vacation.  This is Jac's first watch and he is enthralled.  It may be competing for most treasured item with his Cardinal's hat.  He checks the time, oh, about every minute and runs through the house saying, "Mommy, it is 9:11!".  A minute later, "Mommy, my watch says 9:12!"  A minute later, "Mommy, it's 9:13."  You get the picture. 

I told Jeff I felt like we were in the Middle Ages and the night watchman was yelling, 9 o'clock and all is well, except a lot more frequently! 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Birthday, birthday, goose

I mean duck.  I guess it actually should be duck, duck, duck, duck, duck - no goose.  The ducks hatched over the weekend.  Although I had no part in it and didn't even see the event I still felt like a worried mama when I checked the nest around 9 am on Saturday and it was empty.  Much to my shock.  Nothing except a few grey feathers hanging around.  I was upset, but did think maybe they had hatched and were already heading for the pond.  The weird thing, not one egg shell.

I got a phone call later that day from my neighbor congratulating me on the ducklings!  Yay!  So as a family we went to the pond to see if we could find them swimming happily around.  No luck.  I kept watch out for them until around 7pm, no ducks.  Then I thought maybe they made a different nest and weren't coming back to our yard, which made me a little sad. 

It stormed really bad all day on Saturday.  It definitely wasn't the best day to hatch and learn how to swim.  On Sunday, I was working on dinner when Trucker went berserk.  I glanced up, because random squirrels will make him sound like that and usually it isn't anything to get excited about.  Except this time!  There was mama duck with her 5 ducklings splashing and playing in a puddle right out on our patio.  They got scared and high tailed it out of the yard.  So, we do have ducks.  It seems that either some didn't hatch or some of them didn't make it through the first day which was a torrential downpour and high winds.  But there are five and they are cute!  I really am going to try and get some pictures, but those little suckers are really fast.

On another note, it is birthday season.  A lot of Jac's friends have birthdays right around his.  Which is a nice little build up to his big day.  I think five is a pretty big birthday and definitely one that he will remember.  He is going to have a space themed party and I hope that I can make it fun.  He has been invited to a lot of the destination birthday spots - gymnastics places, bouncy places.  We aren't quite ready to do something like that in the Carey household, hopefully his little party at the house will hold up to all those.  If you have any great space ideas, let me know.  I am toying with the idea of doing the cake myself, which I haven't done in a couple of years.  We'll see, it is a lot of work. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Little Bit of Conversation

Here are some snippets of actual conversations today:

Jac:  Are you really crying?
Mia:  No, I not crying.  *snif* *snif*  My eyes are just watery.

Jac to Mia:  I have to go to the bathroom.
As he tears down the hall:  Mommy!  Mommy!  Have to go potty, I have to go potty and I have to poop!  I have to go potty and I have to poop and I pooped in my pants!
Jac to himself when he is done and has inspected his work:  That is a huge poop.

After we picked up Mia today, I told the kids we could go to the library.
Mia:  Look mommy, we are right by the Liberry!  (Which is quite convenient, considering that was our destination.)
Mom:  Yum, liberries are good.
Jac:  That's funny.  (He thinks for a minute.)  Do you say it Liberry?
Mom:  Jac, is it Library or Liberry?
Jac: Library!
Mia: Lib-, Lib-,  I can't say that. 

We made macaroni and cheese for lunch.
Mia:  Look at the cheese floating up.
Mom: There is no cheese in the water yet, just noodles.  You are holding the cheese in your hand.
Jac:  Yeah, you put the cheese on after the noodles are done.
Mia: Yeah (She always says YEAH really loud and sort of laughing, like there was a big joke that she just now understood.)  When the noodles go in the water they are wipe.
Jac looking at Mia critically:  Can you say 'white'?  (He emphasizes the 't'.)
Mia looking slightly offended:  WhiiiiiTe.  I can say it my way too, WiiiiiiPe.  (Very proud of herself.)
Jac:  Mia what other hard words can you say?
Deep thoughts by both children as they try and figure out what words Mia normally mispronounces, she can only come up with Diego.  She normally says Bedego.
Mia:  Look at the cheese floating up.

When Mia got up this morning.
Mom:  Do you want pancakes for breakfast?  That is what Jac and I had.
Mia:  YEEEES!  I want pancakes with butter, no syrup.  And I want biscuits.
In my mind:  Okay, I made pancakes and now because my three year old wants biscuits also I will just whip those up and pop them in the oven even though it is 8:30 and this train leaves at 9:05! 
Mom:  Mia, I will make you biscuits either for dinner or over the weekend.  For breakfast we are having pancakes.
Mia:  Okay
This really is my fault, I asked her if she wanted them.  There should be no negotiation with the menu!

I really am not making this up -
Jac:  Sister, hand me that car.  (We call Mia 'sister' a lot.)
Mia: no response
Jac: Woman, hand me that car!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Discrimination in the Worst Way

I hate discrimination, any kind of discriminition.  I am particularly sensitive to gender discrimination and once upon a time considered myself somewhat of a feminist.  I have lightened up a bit in my "old age" and even find most of the differences between the sexes things to honor or at the very least make light of.  Feminine qualities and masculine qualities, well they are what makes the world go 'round. They are why we have babies and families and without them what would be the purpose of any of this?

But I must draw the line at corporations trying to keep a good woman down.  For 22 years I have trusted that a pretty pink razor was the best tool to shave my legs.  I have in recent months discovered this to be incorrect.  I thought for sure that razor companies with all of their research, science and space age materials were marketing products to women, designed for women.  I just knew that the strange shapes and designs of the female razor were made that way because somehow they would shave a female better than the more functional looking male counterpart. 

Over the years I have tried different shaving and hair removal implements.  I was sucked in by an expensive electric model, I tried the torture device commonly known as Epilady (I assure you there was nothing ladylike about ripping your hairs out with a battery operated twisted coil), I tried home waxing kits; eventually I always seemed to return to a disposable razor.  Over the years, I guility tried Jeff's razor here and there.  Jeff, for the most part has always used a standard razor with disposable blades, nothing too fancy but it did require a $40 or $50 investment initially. 

See, he shaves in the shower.  Which I must admit is one of his best qualities.  I am not kidding.  There have been very few times over the years that I have come into the bathroom to use the sink only to find someone left ground up oreo cookies all over the place.  This is gross.  I think that shaving in the sink and then not immediately cleaning up the sink makes it looks like someone ate cookies and cream ice cream out of my bathroom sink.  Gross.  But not Jeff.  He shaves in the shower, all of that cookie mess goes directly down the drain. 

This does leave a razor in the shower, that isn't mine.  I must admit that once in awhile I would use his razor, on my legs.  It was always under duress, I had thrown mine away or it was 'used up' and I didn't want to run across the dry floor with wet feet  and grab a new one.  I always felt bad, because I was sure that I probably was using up his razor quickly by using it on my legs.  His razor, I thought, although quite wonderful for faces, was definitely not made to perform a full body shave.  It always felt wonderful, the shave was always very close and never led to razor bumps.  Eliminate the guilt and the fact that I thought that I would somehow "use up" the blades too quickly and it was perfect.

Fast forward through years and years of searching for the perfect razor.  I definitely knew I needed to invest in a real razor, no more disposables.  I started the research process.  I think I might have read Self magazine at the salon.  Very extensive research.  Well, I came across this article about the best razor.  It reviewed six or seven different women's razor and chose the "editor's choice".  Much to my amazement, a men's razor was the top choice.

At no point did it say anything about the blade being used up too quickly.  In fact, in every area this razor was superior.  I was hooked.  I came home and told Jeff and he casually says, "I have an extra one if you want it".  What did he mean?  Of course I wanted it!  I felt like I had struck gold, and no longer would I have to feel guilty. 

I love my razor!  It is a Schick Quatro - for men.  It is a heavy metal razor, very balanced and a perfect fit.  I have never cut myself with it.  It gets the closest shave I have ever had with no yucky bumps.  It has a satisfying snick-snick feeling when I am shaving, especially with a new blade. 

Why oh why do companies try and convince us that a round handled pink razor will shave our legs better than a nice metal razor?  Women do most of the cooking in this country, do we need softly shaped and colored knive?  No, we use sharp knives that fit in our feminine hands just fine.  And even if we did need a different shaped handle, shouldn't the blade do the same thing at the same quality?  This is the real question.  Why wouldn't we want our legs to be shaved just as well as a man's face?  Why wouldn't these companies whant our legs shaved that well also?  I can tell you this, it makes no sense.  I feel very silly for falling for marketing ploys for so long, when the object of my desire was right in my own shower all along.  What else have I been duped about?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

He's Back!

Jac left, he was gone and now he is back!  It was hard, but not crazy, like I was worried it would be.  I even felt a bit guilty about sleeping so well.  All in all it was a very good experience for both of us.  I have left him before, that isn't it.  But to have him traveling, out in the world, without me; well, that was new.  Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder and I was very happy to have him back safe in my care, once again. 

He seems to have matured on his trip.  He has thrown a few fits since he got back, but in general is being quite reasonable and what I had always imagined an almost five year old would act like.  My parents said that he was really well behaved, trying lots of new things, eating everything they put in front of him, following the rules and doing a lot of things to take care of himself.  He started buckling his own seatbelt for instance.  I have yet to see this little accomplishment, but I am very excited that it is right around the corner.  It truly is the little things in life. 

He isn't much of phone talker, like most men, but once he got home I got to hear all about the trip.  He continues to be reminded about little things he saw and will get really excited in telling me the story.  I love it.  It is wonderful to have things to talk about that are new and for him to be able to tell me things that excited him that I didn't get to see.  Story telling is an important skill and I love that he likes it. 

Here are a few quick photos that I nabbed from my parents.  Jac is officially back in the swing of things, going to school, sleeping well at night and remembering the house rules.  No big adjustments that we have had in the past.  He seems confident in his place in the family. 

The Chatanooga Aquarium is wonderful, so I hear!

On the beach, with his cousin.
The condo playset.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ta Na!

Mia says, "Ta Na!" instead of "Ta Da".  Very Cute.  I have to say that the curls worked out fantastic.  Although we did have to redo them and put about double the rollers in and 4x the hairspray.  I now understand why back in the day they rolled their hair every night.  If it was the 'in' thing to do you would look quite sad with stick straight hair while everyone else was litterally bouncing around with all those curls. 

New 'before' picture with the increased amount of hairspray and rollers.

Ta Na!

So sweet it will give you cavities.

On stage at the dress rehearsal.

The only way to describe three and four year olds performing tap and ballet numbers in these outfits is sheer silliness.  Most of the girls stared directly at the teacher and waited for her to give them the next move they were supposed to do. Then there were the girls like Mia who didn't care what they were supposed to be doing, they were just thrilled to be on a stage.  She was located in the "trouble maker" section, as I like to call it.  Far to the back and all the way on the end. 

It was worth every penney and every moment we spent waiting on her in practice.  I laughed until I cried and I was actually very proud of her for getting up there and smiling.  She never looked scared and never boo hoo'd.  She was terrible, but amazingly sweet and cute at the same time. 

When asked if she wanted to do dance next year, she promptly said "no".  Jeff asked her if she wanted to do soccer instead and that got a big smile and a nod before her adorable curly head passed out in the back seat from exhaustion.

On another note, Jac is home safe and sound and had a wonderful trip with his grandparents.  I will give you more details on that tomorrow.  All is right with the world!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Price of Beauty

This is how I sent Mia to bed yesterday.  Surprisingly she slept great! She has her dress rehearsal for dance today and she has to have curls.  We will see how they fared overnight.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Are There Class Differences In Your Home?

Do men and women live in different socioeconomic classes?

That is a really daring question, maybe even a volatile question.  I often think about the differences between the genders and wonder.  We have come a long way, as females.  The fact that we earned the right to vote in America a mere 90 years ago seems startling to me.  Did husbands actually look at their wives and smirk and say, "you couldn't possibly have a relevant opinion."  How frustrating would that have been! 

And now we know that for every dollar a man makes a woman makes only $.75.  Again, does a man look at his wife, daughter, mother and say, "she just isn't worth more than that."  Of course not.  It is a collective agreement among us all to either require a lower amount or offer a lower amount because it is okay.  We have allowed it to be okay. 

I am a white woman who chose to abandon a very lucrative career to raise a family.  I expect to go back to work someday.  I am not sure exactly what salary I will require, but I am sure that men who would be vying for the same jobs will ask for more money than I do.  This doesn't shock me, I will have been out of the workforce for a number of years and at the very least a little bit rusty.  I also will still be a mom who will probably require a few more days off a year and more than likely will work fewer hours during the week.  Now, I have always performed very well in any job I have had.  I am quite productive and can pretty much hold my own with any man, woman or otherwise.  But in my mind, I will probably think that my work product won't be worth quite as much as it used to be.  Hmm.

But that is in the future.  What about now?  What about all of the women who currently are stay at home moms, while their husbands work?  Is my socioeconomic status lower than my husband's?  Talk about rocking the boat.  But really, I think this is an interesting question.  Let me lay out the evidence.  But first let me preface.  I made a choice, it was mine to make.  No one elses.  Some women have no choice and most men don't have a choice.  So the fact that I have options surely is worth a lot in this equation.

Let's break down a few areas.  Food, lodging, clothing, free time.

My husband works for a fairly large company, he is an executive at that company.  He is required to travel two to three times a month.  For those days that he is traveling his lodging is pretty swanky and it comes with a maid.  On those trips his food is paid for and I can only assume is tastier if not healthier than our fare at home.  Jeff shops the sale rack at Nordstrom's while I shop the sale rack at Old Navy.  I just don't need that many nice outfits.  Jeff drives a luxury car, I drive a 10 year old GMC.  I don't carry execs around like he does, I carry snack toting and every once in a while vomiting children to and fro.

Free time would be the one area that we are either equal or I actually have more time.  I think this is where a lot of men focus when they have a "beef" with their wives staying at home.  They have a perception that moms have a lot of free time, especially once kids are in school.  I see it from both sides.  I often would be out of the office driving to a doctor's appointment thinking, why are these people not at work?  Well, because carpools must be driven, Target shopping must be done and gym bootcamps must be completed.  To be fair, often a mom's job doesn't end at 6pm when the whistle blows; in fact it doesn't end, period.  So being on call all the time certainly plays into the equation somehow. 

Some food for thought.  Hopefully, I haven't just started a war in my house. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mommy Guilt

I have often said, "there is no guilt, like a mother's guilt."  I say this and sometimes I get strange looks.  First, I should preface the conversation with the fact that in general, I have a guilty conscience.  I was the kid who totally ratted herself out when she stole from the cookie jar. 

I would literally get sick to my stomach if I thought I had done something wrong, upset my mother or somehow caused a problem.  I was very shy and always VERY guilty.  Although I never did anything wrong!  My moral compass was set to a very low tolerance of wrong and a profound need to be righteous all the time. 

Fastfoward to mommyhood, oy vey this is a difficult thing.  Parenting is by far the hardest job in the world.  So many little tiny decisions every day that make up the character of a little tiny person who may rule the world one day, how much pressure is that?  So when I have the chance to stew in a little guilt, I take it.  It may seem crazy to you, but it is cathartic to me.  Let's just say it reminds me of my childhood.

Jac has been gone for three nights.  And the kicker is, I have slept great!  I mentioned that nightmare that I had about him a few days ago.  Well, I haven't even had a dream since.  Mia has been sleeping in until 8:30, I have been getting up around 7:30 and moseying downstairs.  Breakfast has been peaceful, wow, here comes the guilt.  I didn't think I would sleep at all and here I am sleeping like a ... well we all know that babies don't sleep, why isn't the saying "sleeping like a teenager", now they can sleep!

Jac and Mia are like twins.  They are somewhat yin and yang, they are peanut butter and jelly, ice cream and apple pie, popcorn and a movie, they just fit.  Mia is a little lost without him, but I must say it has been a very peaceful few days.  We all have been resting and relaxing, in fact I am worried that we probably will have put on some weight since the little guy has been gone.  He is the motivator, the mover and the shaker, the "what can we do now" kid. 

Mia keeps trying to tell me that he will be a back in two days.  I keep telling her that no, it will be longer than that.  Right now, we are doing good.  We miss him, but oh the sleep is fantastic.  I can't wait to see his cute little face with those lovely blue eyes though. 

And anybody who says you don't sleep well with a guilty conscience, well they were just plain wrong!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dem R Ducks

So last night after walking Trucker, Jeff was hanging out in the backyard while I talked to our neighbor.  When I came back there he said, "you have to come see this".  Ooooh, what was so exciting? 

He was in the middle of trimming up our last Maiden Grass and had the shears at hand and everything.  He was pointing under the Arborvitae that is right next to the grass.  I was leery.  I don't trust him to not show me something utterly gross or disgusting, I was thinking dead carcass of some sort.  Yuk.  He assured me it wasn't "scary", hee hee.  I looked and immediately gasped. 

I couldn't tell exactly what it was at first.  I knew it was a nest, but of what, kittens?  bunnies?  I looked a third time, eggs.  Hunh.  There was a HUGE nest on the ground under a tree of eggs, an even dozen of whitish, yellowish enormous, almost chicken egg size, eggs.  What in the world?

I looked at Jeff, perplexed.  What builds a nest on the ground, geese?   We are at least a half mile from the neighborhood pond.  Seems like you would want to build your soon to be swimming infants by a pond, not by a fence in our backyard where a DOG lives.  Oh my.

So we talked to our neighbor, she is a grandma and very wise about nature stuff.  She looked at it and said, ducks.  She has been watching a pair of ducks (mommy and daddy) in her backyard latelly and jokingly said to her husband, "sure hope they don't build a nest in our backyard"!  Lucky us.  Right as we were talking we looked over the fence into our other neighbors yard, there were two ducks splashing around in the inch or two of water that was on the top of their pool cover.  This is not a pond, mommy and daddy duck, this is a pool with a yucky film of pollen, leaves and other gluck that has accumulated over the winter.  By the way, when that cover comes off it will be CHLORINATED water, not water that you want your precious babies swimming around in.  Not to mention the fact that there is no food for them in that pristinely blue water.  I am not sure that a duckling could even get OUT of the pool, another terrible problem. 

Then I start thinking of predators.  Um, let's see, Trucker the Dog lives in this yard for one, clearly they didn't do a lot of reconnaissance when they set up house.  There are not one but two neighborhood cats, who help keep the mole population down and evidently now will help with the duckling population.  We also have a hawk that hangs out in our Blue Spruce tree.  It is going to be a war zone Mutual of Omaha style in our yard.

And the poop, I am sure we are going to see our fair share of duck poop.

But regardless of all that, it would be really cool if these ducklings hatched and then slowly grew and the kids could watch.  I will not feed this ducks, that I assure you.  These ducks will need to make it on their own.  I also won't be on carcass clean up duty, Jeff will need to handle any issues there.  But I will say a little prayer for their family and that their babies grow up and fly far, far away.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Welcome, Blog Partiers!  Or is it Party Bloggers?  Or Ultimate Partiers?  Or Ultimate Bloggers?

Whatever moniker you choose to use, welcome!  I am glad you came to check out Mommy Season.  I would invite you to read a couple of my favey posts.  Please browse, look around, stay awhile and leave me a comment.

I am Dawn, gulp, a stay at home mom with two kids, a dog and a hubby.  This blog is about me waking up one day and freaking out because I had become (queue the scary music) domestic.  I freak out a lot and laugh a lot and try and be the best mom I can, which is still out for debate. 

Can I Put "Mommy" On My Resume?
But Will People Think She Doesn't Have A Mother?
Yes, I Am Blogging About Pot Pies

For all of you who have no clue what The Ultimate Blog Party 2010 is, click on the banner and check out the 5 Minutes for Mom website and take a minute to connect with other moms, dads and families of all kinds.

Thanks again for visiting me!

All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Preschool

Well, maybe not everything.  Maybe that comes in Kindergarten.  However, Jac has learned some very important lessons in preschool and with his preschool friends.

Include everyone, even if they are little.  Little is tough to include.  They tend to not follow important rules, like when to jump into the hoop and when to pretend you are a puppy.   Instead, they often pick the hoop up and throw it with all their might and instead of a puppy they often act like, well little people.  But those younger siblings teach us such great life lessons, it hurts when we aren't included.  No matter what, nobody wants to be a rotten egg.

Love and marriage.  Much to my surprise Jac got a marriage proposal from his best "girl" friend.  I wrote about it here.  The agreement, although I am not sure they actually talked about it, has been buttoned up and he is no longer on the market.  In fact, several other little girls have since been vying for his affection, to no avail.  He is quite loyal. 

How to sing like a pop star.  You know this is important.  When you need a little stress relief and you have just about had it, sing like a pop star.  A sure fire way to lighten your mood.  Sing like a pop star in the shower, in the car, anywhere you want!  Well, Jac has a little friend who has some older sisters.  They have great taste in music, because she sings their songs (in a nice little pop star voice) and then Jac sings them to me.  Love it.

How to be crazy, like a boy.  Jac isn't always the most rough and tumble, but he is learning.  He has a friend who is all boy and CRAZY, like a boy should be.  He is teaching Jac the ropes.  When Jac says things like, "I am going to shoot you!", in his toughest voice; I ask him where he learned this.  The answer is always his best little friend.  I am often shocked by this, but then I know he is just growing up and becoming more and more a little boy.  He is still my sensitive little guy who will hold his sister's hand when she is scared.  I think having this duality in his personality will serve him very well later in life.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I Can Do This

Let the anxiety begin!  I have often had baby sitters for my children.  I have had good baby sitters and wonderful baby sitters.  I probably have had bad baby sitters, but let's not talk about that.    I have taken long weekends without my children.  I have gone on full blown vacations without my children.  But I have always known where they were.  I have always been able to visualize what they were doing and when they were doing it.  At night they were tucked into bed, at 9am they are playing outside or riding their bikes, at noon they are eating at 3pm they are having a snack.  You see, I can close my eyes and see them in the rooms in my house or the rooms in their grandparents houses. 

Well, very soon, my dear oldest child will be whisked away on a wonderful vacation, to parts unknown with his dear loving grandparents.  I am worried to say the least.  I won't be able to imagine him being tucked into bed, eating a snack at the counter or riding his bike.  He will be perfectly well cared for, more than likely his every wish will be granted.  It is bordering on giving me hives.

I had a dream.  We don't need to go into details here.  Let's just say it was bad enough to keep me up for a good hour and make me cuddle my little boy in the middle of the night.  I really prayed last night that I wouldn't have that dream or any other dream like it - EVER. 

So ladies and gents, I need some encouragement.  I don't ask for a lot of comments generally, but getting ready to send my baby boy off with his oh so loving grandparents has me losing sleep.  So folks, tell me how it's done, tips, pointers, breathing lessons, anything you have for me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter

We had a fantastic Easter with lots of family fun.  My mom made an amazing dinner and an even better cheesecake.  (I am going to post the recipe below for the cheesecake, it was really good and supposedly foolproof.)  Here are some quick pictures of the egg hunt. 

At the starting line!

Finding the pink eggs.

Easter happiness.

Checking out the loot.

One happy girl!

Lemon Cheesecake by Betty Crocker


1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel


2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 containers (3.5 oz each) lemon pudding (from 4-pack container)
1/2 cup sour cream
3 eggs
2 cups frozen (thawed) whipped topping

1. Heat oven to 300°F. Spray bottom and side of 10-inch springform pan with baking spray with flour. Wrap foil around outside of pan to catch drips. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cake mix; set aside. In large bowl, beat remaining cake mix, butter and lemon peel with electric mixer on low speed until crumbly. Press in bottom and 1 1/2 inches up side of pan.

2. In same large bowl, beat reserved cake mix, the cream cheese, sugar, pudding and sour cream on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until mixed. Pour over crust.

3. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes or until edges are set but center of cheesecake jiggles slightly when moved. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes longer.

4. Remove cheesecake from oven; place on cooling rack. Without releasing side of pan, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Cover loosely; refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Remove side of pan before serving. Pipe or spoon whipped topping around outside edge of cheesecake. Store in refrigerator.

Friday, April 2, 2010

When Can We Make My Recipe?


"Mama, when can we make my recipe?"  Mia asks me.  I try and distract her.

A few minutes later, "Mama, when can we make my recipe?"  I tell her she should get her pretend mixer out and mix it up! 

A few minutes later, "Mama, it isn't pretend, it's real.  It is that green drink we had the other day with Aunt Daphne, ki weed."  I try not to laugh.

First of all, we didn't have a green drink with Aunt Daphne.  While waiting for the carousel to open I bought everyone smoothies, strawberry banana for us and orange for Daphne at the Orange Julius stand.  As you can see we didn't drink anything green, and none of them had kiwi. 

"First we have to get grass, and then the grass will turn into ki weed.  Then we need brown and wipe sugar.  And those colors you had, orange and red."  Oh my, this is involved.

"We need to put the grass in the big mixer."   Whoa, whoa, whoa, you want to me to put grass in a bowl and mix it with my mixer?  I try and go the pretend route again, no go.

Sometimes, you just got to go with the flow.

"Okay, go out and get some grass.  But we aren't using the mixer, you can stir with a spoon."

Mia proceeds to put 3 blades of grass in a bowl.  She gets out the sugar, both brown and white, and adds a few tablespoons of each.  Then she has me put in some water.  Yum.  Then we get out the food color, except I don't have red so we use orange and blue.  She mixes.

"We need some of those cranberries."  I can see she has been eyeing the cabinet and has decided to start improvising, she spotted the prunes and decided to throw one of those in.  I know that I need to bring this to a close otherwise we are going to start adding eye of newt and it is going to get disgusting.

"Okay, but that is it.  Recipe is done after I add the "cranberry"."  She agrees to this.  We add one prune and she starts hacking away at it. 

"Mama, you mix it up.  It doesn't mix up for me."  Then we get into a discussion about skin and fruit and I think she gets a little grossed out. 

"Okay, we're done."

"Mama, can I lick the spoon?"  Sure, knock yourself out.

"Mama, can you pour it into a glass for me?"  Well, it is just colored sugar water.  The prune is good for her and never really got ground up anyway.  But the grass is in there and for some reason I have to draw a line. 

"We don't eat grass, Mia.  You can have a very small sip and that is it.  We don't eat grass."  So I give her the smallest of amounts and she slurps it up.  Hmm. 

"It's good!"  Yuk