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Got Milk? (If So, Do You Deliver?)

Because I sure as heck don’t. This is one thing that the tiny humans (otherwise known as my kids) love, that I just don’t. I really kind of hate milk. I can handle it in cereal (but I absolutely will NOT drink the leftover milk out of the bottom of the bowl), I occasionally take a little cream in my coffee, and I do drink a latte one in a while, but I. Will. Not. drink a glass of milk. Not now. Not ever again. I would rather drink antifreeze (what, it’s supposed to be sweet, right?). I didn’t have a traumatic milk experience that has scarred me for life, but I worked at Starbucks for several years, and I did a stint at Coldstone Creamery, and after those jobs, I was over milk. I hated how my hair, and my clothes, and my shoes would smell like it. And even now, years later, I still don’t like it. My husband is fairly ambivalent towards milk. He can take it or leave it. Before we had the boys we usually didn’t finish a half-gallon carton of milk before it went bad.

Explain to me then, how am I going through 2 to 3 gallons of milk every week?! The tiny humans love their milk. Logan likes a big glass at each meal, a glass during snuggle time (what, you don’t have a scheduled snuggle time in your house? If not, you’re missing out.), and sometimes a glass with his afternoon snack. (Oh, and the word glass there actually means cup, because seriously, this 3 year-old pretty much doesn’t get to touch anything unless it’s shatter-proof). Liam drinks about as much as Logan. It doesn’t seem like that much until I buy a gallon of milk and it is gone- G. O. N. E.- in 36 hours. Where are these kids putting it all? I would love to buy milk in bulk, but honestly, we don’t have room for more than about 2 gallons at a time, otherwise, I’d have nowhere in the fridge to put all of the food these kids eat. We are constantly running out of milk.

So that brings us to this morning. We finished the last of the milk at breakfast, so we took a little errand running adventure this morning to get more. We made an event of it, driving out of our way to go to the consignment store and the dollar store, and wouldn’t you know it, I got the kids home and I realized that we had forgotten the milk. The thing that we left the house for. So as soon as my husband gets home from work, I will be running to the grocery to grab a couple of gallons before the kids wake from their naps and mutiny because of the lack of  a dairy based refreshment. Perhaps we could just get a dairy cow to avoid the whole fridge space dilemma. That would also cut down my trips to the grocery. Then again, I’m not really sure where we’d keep her.

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Posted by on December 7, 2011 in General, kids, Parenting

 

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Yummy Christmas Treats in 15 (mostly) Easy (almost) Stress-Free Steps

So Logan and I had our very 1st mama-son baking extravaganza this weekend. I was a little stressed out to start because I like structure, and order, and to not have to screech “Logan, NO!” every 30 seconds or so. However, I braved the store to buy supplies, and last night we settled in to baking our treats. Logan actually loved it. He was very well-behaved, and made a point to remind me every few minutes that he was my “big-boy helper.” So without further ado, a picture tutorial on how to make some yummy Christmas treats (the 3 year-old edition):

Step 1: Realize that you plan on taking pictures for your blog, and take Captain Underpants into his room to put on some clothes. When he protests, remind him that we get to eat cookies when we are done. Emerge with pants on to commence baking.

Step 2: Lock the baby behind the baby gate so that you only have one kid underfoot in the kitchen at a time. Listen to him shriek about the indignity of it all.

Let me in! I want cookies too!

Step 3: Get ingredients out while 3 year-old salivates over his favorite treat in the world, “nener-nems.” Explain that the “nener-nems” are for later when we make the cookies so we can’ open them yet.

Forget the baking, Mama. Let's just eat these!

 
Step 4: Pre-measure ingredients, and allow 3 year-old to empty the measuring cups in the bowl. Try not to have a nervous breakdown that your toddler is the only thing standing between 2/3 of a cup of vegetable oil and your floor.

Careful....careful...careful!

 
Step 5: Allow child to help you stir, and wonder why you’re surprised when he takes the spoon away from you and doesn’t allow you to help at all. What’s that about children being like their parents?

I dooo it!

 
 
Step 6: Unwrap the candies to place inside the brownies. Explain repeatedly that the candies are to go into the bowl, not into mouths.

oooh...cannies!

 Step 7: Show 3 year-old how to line the mini-muffin tin with mini-muffin cups. When you notice what a good job he does, allow your mind to wander, while you try to think of all the other menial chores that you can now convince him are fun.

Look at my cute face instead of mom's messy counter!

 Step 8: Pour brownie mix into muffin cups, and have 3 year-old push a peanut-butter cup into the center of each one. Admire his skillful work.

Squish

 Step 9: Put brownie bites in the oven. While they are cooking, get all of the ingredients ready for the cookies. Watch as toddler becomes even more of a dictator, and demands to do ALL cookie batter assembly (of course with a big smile, saying, “I a GOOOOD helper, right Mama?”).

Sugar!

 Step 10 (OPTIONAL): Put the butter in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften (unwrapped of course- that’s not moronic), and accidentally cook it for an entire 30 seconds because the kitchen chaos is stressing you out. Scrape as much butter out of the microwave as you can, while hissing under your breath at your husband (who is acting as your kitchen photographer) when he asks if you’d like him to take pictures of this particular mishap.What? No accompanying photo? Are you shocked!?

Step 11: Compliment your husband’s creative kitchen photography skills when he takes this beauty. Forget that the butter ugliness ever happened.

This is what Logan baking looks like to a bird flying through our kitchen.

 

 Step 12: Mix it. Mix it good.

Please note the chunks of sad, lumpy microwaved butter

 
Step 12: Take the brownie bites out of the oven while screeching “HOT! HOT! NO TOUCH!” and realize that you have nowhere to cool them. Then improvise.

Yep, those cooling racks are on top of my beautiful LG front-loader. I love it even more now that I've found out it can multi-task.

 
Step 13: Realize that making these treats takes more steps than overcoming alcohol addiction. After all this they’d better be good. Finally, let 3 year-old add his beloved nener-nems to the cookie mix. As you drop cookies on to the sheet, encourage his to add extra nener-nems to the top of each cookie.

One for the cookie...one for my mouth...one for the cookie...

 
Step 14: Bake cookies, and a short while later, enjoy!
Mmmm…cookie!
Step 15: The most important step. Wait until your kids are in bed and frost the brownie bites with peanut butter frosting. Eat a couple, and relax. You deserve it.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Posted by on December 6, 2011 in Cooking, Holidays, kids, Parenting

 

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Sweet Victories

So my NaBloPoMo tally:

Total posts:10

Slightly passive aggressive sentiments: 4

Posts about NaBloPoMo (including this one): 3

Not great, I admit. However if any of you would like to come over to watch my kids and do my laundry so that I have more time to blog, I’m all for it. Really though, I’m kidding, I don’t do laundry, that’s what husbands and dark-colored sweaters are for. Perhaps next year I will do better (on the blogging, not the laundry) or at least have more realistic expectations for myself. I’m going to now brag about myself so that I can feel that even though I was a NaBloPoMo failure, I am still successful in other parts of my life. So these are the highlights that I accomplished in November:

1. I finally figured out how to personalize the little sidebar thing on the right. admittedly, WordPress does try to make it easy for you, but for the last 6 months, I kept wondering what in the heck a widget was, and why my blog kept encouraging me to personalize them. I didn’t know what they were or how to personalize them, and the word widget kept creeping me out, so I just avoided my widgets all together. You may now take a moment to admire my personalized widgets. Aren’t they pretty?

2. I rocked my college Chemistry class. Technically, until I take my final, it’s not in the bag. However, I took the last regular test this week, and I feel really good about it, so I feel that a 4.0 may actually be within my reach. This is probably the thing that I’m the most proud of. I’m about 9 years older than the average student, so I feel pretty good about my old lady brain this month.

3. I made a new friend. Laugh if you want to, but stay at home mamas are not usually presented with tons of opportunities to make new friends. It’s not like elementary school where you can just run up to the kid with the awesome Teddy Ruxpin back pack and ask if they want to play kick ball at recess. Adult friendships take a bit more finesse. My lab partner and I hit it off, and we chat socially, as well as chemistry-ily (chemically?). Plus we already have a post final wine date planned. Which, may I mention, is another advantage to being an old lady student- I can have a drink after finals. Wahoo!

4. I got all my Christmas shopping done. Please refer to my Black Thursday post. It was both awful and awesome at the same time. But it’s done. Done, done, done. Okay, I’m done bragging. Done.

5. I have taught my 3-year-old all of his colors. All of them! It’s amazing. As of October, I was ready to take him to the doctor because I was SURE he was colorblind.

6. I’ve got my 3-year-old consistently pooing on the potty. I realize that you may not want to hear about his poo, but I most certainly didn’t want to ever clean it off my walls, so realize that these unpleasant truths just tend to be part of life, and give me this one. Although, I’ll be the first one to admit that the poo-training may have had less to do with my awesome parenting, and more to do with “sucker-treats” (or dum-dums, as you may call them). I’m still claiming the victory though.

7. I got to feel smarter than my computer for once. Pertussis, it’s a real thing, even if 07 Word doesn’t think so. Take that Windows Vista! I know more about childhood vaccines than you do. And I’m done gloating about being smarter than the spell-check. I feel the need to embrace spell check’s inadequacies, because it’s usually so condescending. It’s like “don’t you remember your 4th grade spelling tests, Nicole?” It’s rare that I get to mock spell check the way it mocks me, so you bet I’m going to run with it. (Edit: let’s not talk about how spell-check just nailed me for misspelling both ‘inadequacies” and “condescending.” And now I feel like I need to spell-check this sentence. AGH! I misspelled sentence. I probably misspelled “misspelled” and “AGH!” for that matter, but I’m leaving spell-check alone. I have pertussis on it, and that’s all I need.)

I’m celebrating the little victories right now. Because if there is anything I have learned from being a multi-tasking student-mama, it’s that I’ve got to take what I can get.

 

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Black…Thursday?

Ah… Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. Family, friends, turkey, what more do you really need? I’m proud to report that this year’s meal went off without a hitch. It was potentially the smoothest Thanksgiving in the history of the world. The turkey was finished right on schedule, unlike last year when the dang bird took an extra two hours over our estimated time. I remembered to buy milk this year, unlike two years ago when I had to run to the store as we were supposed to be sitting down for dinner because we didn’t have milk to make gravy with. Everything came together perfectly, and Gertrude (what, don’t you name your turkey each year?) was delicious.

Dinner ended, leftovers were put away, a quick slice of pie was eaten, and then I settled in for a relaxing evening of… shopping. Okay, not so relaxing. I do enjoy my Black Friday shopping, but it seems to start earlier and earlier each year. Two years ago stores opened at 5am, last year stores opened at 4am, and this year I was standing in line at Toys ‘R Us at 6:30 in the evening on Thanksgiving, waiting for the 9pm open time. Seriously, Gertrude wasn’t even digested yet and I was waiting in line. And to top it off, I forgot my Chemistry flash cards. My plans to study were thwarted (although I’m not sure how much I would have retained anyway).

So my shopping went well. I left my house at 6pm on Thursday and returned at about 8am of Friday. I felt like some sort of wild college coed, except I think wild college coeds are probably waiting in lines to get into clubs, rather than waiting in lines to purchase discounted train tables and Legos. Even so I felt pretty wild, staying out all night. And by wild I mean exhausted. Because seriously, I got up early, cooked a giant meal, and then spent the whole night on my feet, waiting in lines, trying not to get trampled, and doing a few sprints (yes, I may have actually full-out ran through Target to the electronics department to get my Kindle. What? I stood in the freezing cold line outside for over two hours. I certainly wasn’t going to give up that close to the finish line, so I broke the rules and ran inside – just don’t tell my kids.)

Anyway, the point is I was tired. And I fully attest that Black Friday needs to actually start on Friday. Starbucks wasn’t even open until 3am, and that’s just not okay. And complain as I might, I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll be doing the same thing next year. Even if the retailers go crazy and have sales starting at noon on Thanksgiving, I’ll still be there. I just hope my family won’t mind having a nice Thanksgiving dinner at 7am.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Holidays, NaBloPoMo

 

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Love Song to the Pediatric Urologist

So I’ve been slacking off big time this week. It is my 2nd NaBoPoMo Fail. My first was forgetting to start on the 1st of November. My second was forgetting (or not having time to) continue. Uh oh. Do you think I’m going to get kicked out of the club? On the upside, all the time off gave me a ton of material to write about as opposed to my usual choice between writing about my trip to the grocery store or about what I made for breakfast. This week we had family pictures, dentist appointments, several hilarious conversations, a chemistry test, a church potluck, a girls night out. All of these included some awesome moments for your reading pleasure, but I think I saved the best for last. And the topic today is:

PeePees!

Come on. You know you’re excited.

So Logan (my 3-year-old monster) has been having some peepee related issues. About two months ago I picked him up from the childcare in the gym to find him peeing blood. Lots and lots of blood. So, yeah, we hightailed it to the ER where after having a cath and some other horrible things done to him, we were told to go home and call if the bleeding didn’t stop in a few days. It didn’t. A long story short(er), we went through many medical procedures and so many doctors appointments that anytime we went in to a building that even vaguely resembled an office, Logan would kick off his shoes and start looking for the scale. About two and a half weeks after the original incident, we landed at the pediatric urologist.

Now, urology is one of those speciality I’ve always wondered about. OB/GYNs get to help babies come into the world, and surgeons save lives, and general practitioners keep people well, but seriously who chooses urology? Were they absent on the day that careers were handed out in medical school? Anyway we went to the urologist and I was irritated because I COULD. NOT. FIND. THE. BUILDING. And I was running late. Logan was stoked because the said building not only had an elevator, but we actually got to ride it because we were running too late, and I didn’t want to waste time on the stairs.

Pediatric Urology offices as it turns out are a medical utopia. There are awesome toys, and no pesky sick kids to get their sick kid germs on the toys. Logan, having never been allowed to play with Dr.’s office toys was already in love. I met the urologist and I feel in love. Seriously, I couldn’t have asked for a nicer man to fix my little boys’ pee pee parts. As it turned out Logan needed surgery for his issue. Nothing major, but seriously who wants to have surgery on their pee pee parts?

So Logan had his surgery yesterday, and everything went perfectly. And now, for the first time in months, my little guy not only pees without crying, he pees like it’s no big deal. It’s no longer a screaming, crying, begging, pleading, banging my head against the wall event every time we head to the bathroom.

So back to my question of who choses to be a pediatric urologist. Someone who is awesome, and amazing, and who wants to use their years of medical school and training to make sure my little boy can pee without crying. In case you can’t tell:

I LOVE PEDIATRIC UROLOGISTS!!!!

In my opinion, this week, they are the best people in the world.

Logan summed it up best in the car on the way to the grocery store this morning, as he played his keyboard and sang:

“The docta fixed my pee pee my pee pee my peeeeee peeeee. Now it’s all better all better all better. I like the doctor. He fixed my pee pee. My pee pee no hurt more. It all better. Then I get juice.”

Me too, Logan. Me too.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in NaBloPoMo, Parenting, Potty Training

 

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Grades

When I only post a couple of times a week, I can keep most of my commentary light and funny. However this posting everyday thing is letting some of the harder things seep in too. So, with that disclaimer, I will try to be lighter and funnier tomorrow. But on my mind today:

I’ve been doing very well in my Chemistry class, which makes me feel good. I feel good when I do well on assignments, I feel even better when I actually understand things and am able to memorize them, and I feel amazing when I get a 100% on a test. I know that school is important to me, and that it’s important that I do well because that is what I’m there to do. However, I feel like I’m getting this satisfaction from succeeding at something that in the broad scheme of things isn’t really important. What I want to succeed at is my real job, being a mom. I would give anything to be given a 100% at parenting for a day. Honestly, lately, if parenting was graded I’m not sure I’d even pass.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2011 in NaBloPoMo, Parenting

 

(in)Sanity

Today I tried to have a perfect day. I really did. I wanted a day without stress and without incident.

When my kids woke up at 7 instead of 8 because of freaking Daylight Savings Time, did I convince them it was still night-time, and that they needed to go back to sleep? (And I know that some parents out there are thinking that I’m lucky that my kids sleep until 8 regularly, and I shouldn’t be complaining. However, I. AM. NOT. A. MORNING. PERSON. Not even a little bit. So yep, a 7am wake up scream does not make me happy.) No, I did not. I mustered all of my energy and got the little rats up and got breakfast started (toaster paynk-paynks? you ask, why certainly.)

Liam settled into shoveling food into his face, while Logan spent the whole breakfast time in the bathroom. He did not want to go potty, a fact that he established by screaming it at the top of his lungs. “I DON’T WANNA GO POTTY! NOOOOOOO! I WANNA PUT MY UNNIES ON! UNNIES! UNNNNIIIIEEESSSS!” I calmly explained that his undies and breakfast were all ready for him, and he could have both as soon as we peed. After a good half hour in the bathroom he relented.

I had given Logan oranges along with his pancake, because Liam was having bananas and Logan doesn’t like bananas. Immediately upon sitting down he demanded a banana. Knowing that there is no arguing with him, I gave him a half of a banana. Which he ate exactly 2 bites of before feeding the remainder to the dog.

I decided that I would get some mileage out of the new membership that we purchased to Mobius, a children’s museum. After breakfast, we proceeded to get dressed and ready. I put Liam’s shoes on. He took them off. I put them back on. He took them back off. I put them back on. He took them off, and tried to feed them to the dog. I wondered if I could make my millions by inventing some sort of shoe suspenders that attached to a belt or something so that babies could not remove their own shoes. I gave up on Liam wearing shoes. I tried to convince Logan to pick matching socks, an idea he wanted nothing to do with, and we all finally ended my mostly dressed and ready.

We arrived downtown and went to a parking lot that is about 10 blocks away from the children’s museum because my mom works in the building and lets us use a parking pass whenever we go downtown. I can’t say no to free parking. We go up and visit my mom in her office for a bit, and I try to get Logan to go the bathroom while we are there. This results in another big stand-off until I am lamenting that the bathroom walls are cinderblock so it’s unlikely that I would be able to smash my head through one. I finally tell Logan that he doesn’t have to go right now, but if he pees his pants, we’re going straight home, and going to nap before lunch. And suddenly someone is ready to potty. That’s right: threatening children with malnourishment works!

We proceed to the children’s museum many blocks away. On the way there Liam pulls off his socks no less than 25 times. For those of you who aren’t so good at math that’s 2.5 times per block. If it wasn’t so cold, I wouldn’t push it, but I’m actually afraid his feet might fall off from the cold. We arrive at the children’s museum just minutes after a large preschool field trip does. What was supposed to be a quiet morning is now a zoo. We actually have a lot of fun at the museum, despite the baby almost getting destroyed by a crazy preschooler on a push car. Logan whines when we have to leave.

We get home, eat lunch, and the kids go down for nap. I listen to a message from my mother in law about home school curriculum accreditation that sends me into a stress frenzy. Which is why I spent the last 2 hours researching homeschooling laws etc. online. I’ve also just remembered that I need to schedule dentist appointments and Christmas pictures. I seriously don’t even want to know what my blood pressure is today.

So today wasn’t anywhere near perfect, but several parts of it have been very fun. I feel like maybe I’m setting my expectations too high for having a 1 and a 3 year old. Instead of a perfect day tomorrow, I think we’ll shoot for a fun and messy day where my blood pressure can stay within normal limits (mostly).

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Uncategorized