Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day

Today was Caleb's first ever snow day. It has gone pretty well. Boredom has not hit him until the last hour and he is quickly entering into one of his moods. I did not, however, get a snow day. (Amazingly enough, they do not cancel online courses for inclement weather.) So, I spent the day putting the finishing touches on an essay that was due before midnight tonight and doing research for another essay. Needless to say, between the super cold weather and the school work, my brain has frozen. So instead of my normal witty commentary, I will just pass along this picture I took this afternoon....

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fleece Sheets....Who Knew?!

This weekend I had one of those moments wherein I forgot that my children (bless their hearts) lose their danged minds whenever they are taken to any public location. In this moment, I decided that it was a good time to use our gift cards from Christmas and eat lunch at Red Lobster. Martin agreed and we set out. We decided that while we were out and about that we'd do a little shopping too. Originally the plan was to go eat then head over to the Barnes & Noble (because what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than eating fried seafood and shopping for more books). Well, during lunch the boys were fantastic. Caleb even cleaned his plate. As we were leaving, Martin suggested we cruise over to the newly opened Sam's Club and check it out. (Bad idea, by the way! The place was a zoo and we didn't even bother going in.) This change of plans was enough to send Caleb into one of his moods and Jacob wasn't much happier. So, in a parental effort to avoid rewarding their crappy attitudes, we next went to the Bed, Bath & Beyond. The kiddos didn't get any happier and by the time we were done in the BB&B we just headed home with the afternoon ruined (in my pregnant judgement of things).

However, the day wasn't a complete loss. My fantastic husband decided that we needed flannel sheets for our bed because I'm always cold. In his internet search for sheets (because he really doesn't like going into real stores...well, other than the Bass Pro Shop...), he discovered fleece sheets. I thought he'd lost it, but then we found some in the BB&B. I was wrong. The things felt fabulous and soon I'd been talked into purchasing a brand new set for our bed. Immediately upon our arrival home, he put them in the washer and had them dried and on the bed before bedtime Saturday night. After two nights on them, I have to say they are evil (in the most fantastic of ways)! Not once have I gotten cold and they are the softest sheets (other than my 1000 thread count sheets, of course) that I've ever slept on. I'm in love! Who even knew there was such a thing as fleece sheets or that they are so freakin' fantastic?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Starch-less Potatoes

As I wrote my blog yesterday, I nearly forgot to include the potatoes in the recipe. When I realized my mistake, I fixed it and that got me to thinking about this dream I had last week. Before I share the dream, there are a few bits of background info you have to have:

1. My mother is a little nutty when it comes to food. She once made mashed celery root as an alternative to mashed potatoes because potatoes are starchy. She buys $6 applesauce because it doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in it and she's been known to make spinach brownies. All of this is only the tip of the iceberg.

2. I make weekly dinner menus for our family. (It makes grocery shopping easier in addition to actually making the meals. There's never a night when I go "Hmmm, what are we going to eat tonight?") Generally, potatoes are on the menu probably 4 nights every week. What?! We're a potato-lovin' family!

Ok, so here's the dream: My parental units came up to visit us. I had made the menu for the week and decided that it was a good idea to let my mom go along to the grocery store. I didn't have potatoes on my list because I already had some at home. We went through the store and had managed to get everything on the list without me losing mom in the store once (a MAJOR accomplishment, trust me). We were walking to the check-out and passed the produce department where my mom stops and announces that I have forgotten to get potatoes. "No mom," I say, "I have potatoes at home." She stomps her foot, looks at me like I've lost my mind and proceeds to inform me that the potatoes I have at home have starch in them and she will not allow me to feed her grandchildren such a horrible thing. She then tells me that I have to buy the starch-free potatoes. Then I woke up.

Ever since I had this dream, I've been a bit irritated that I woke up when I did, though. I wonder, did my mom actually find starch-free potatoes in the Wal-Mart in backwoods Kentucky?! If she did, I'm quite impressed because I can't even find regular potatoes that haven't begun to sprout eyes in that place!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yes, I Can Cook

I am the world's pickiest eater. Seriously! I won't touch 99% of the food known to man. I have my reasons varying from the odd textures of things to the horrid smell wafting from the foods to the fact that I just don't like it. Couple this with the fact that my mom didn't cook a lot when I was growing up and it is a miracle that I can even find a kitchen let alone cook. While I didn't receive a lot of instruction on cooking, I was taught the basics of baking by my great-grandmother and then by my granny. At one of my bridal showers a gazillion years ago, someone gave me a cookbook as a gift. You know, the red and white one that every home is apparently required to have (at least in the south). It is probably the most practical gift I received during all those showers. Anyhoo, I figured that I knew how to read so I could probably figure out the whole cooking thing with that skill and the cookbook. Well, it took a few years to figure out the real secret but since I learned it I have been a regular Food Network-quality cooking superstar (at least in my own mind). The secret I figured out is that pretty much any recipe you encounter is a starting point. Absolutely no where in the universe is there a rule that says you must adhere completely to any given recipe. Take the recipe and make it your own. For example, the recipe calls for cream of mushroom soup but you can't stand mushrooms. Well, change it. Use cream of chicken or celery instead. If it doesn't turn out well, oh well. It isn't the end of the world.

Now, no blog about my enthusiam for cooking would be complete without mention of my crock pot. (You knew it was coming!) What got my thinking about all of this stuff to start with was a stew I make in my crock pot pretty often. It started off as a basic recipe from my cookbook and I have tweaked it a bit to make it my own. (Of course, I don't eat it but the boys and Martin love it.) And of course, I'm gonna share it with you :)

Meatball and Veggie Stew

16-18 oz pkg frozen meatballs
10 oz pkg frozen mixed vegetables
3 medium potatoes, diced
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
12 oz jar mushroom or beef gravy
1/2 cup water

Place meatballs, potatoes and veggies in crockpot. Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over meatballs, potatoes and veggies. Cover and cook for 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high.

And there you have it. Another creation from my beloved crock pot.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

OMG! Text-Speak Is Taking Over

I'll admit it....I'm a bit of a texter. In all reality, I'd rather text than talk on the phone. There are numerous reasons for this but the main one being that I just don't really like talking on the phone all that much. So it is no shock that sometimes (and by sometimes, I might mean on a daily basis) text-speak slips out in my conversations. However, I had no idea how serious the situation had become until last night.

We went to Wal-Mart after the hubby got home from work to look at a crib. (I saw it on clearance for $100 yesterday afternoon but didn't want to buy it without him seeing it and of course it was sold before we got back last night....anyhoo, back to the story...) The boys were not thrilled about the excursion and arguing soon ensued. On the way home they were still not happy campers. Caleb started complaining about something. Jacob, with the most exasperated look on his face, turns to Caleb and says "OMG! It's not my fault!" Needless to say, Martin and I laughed so hard we were nearly in tears.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Baby Shower Fun

This weekend went by sooo fast! I drove down to Arkansas on Saturday. It is really kind of boring driving that far by yourself, but at least I had a really funny audiobook to entertain me along me the way. On Sunday, my sister hosted a baby shower for me. It was loads of fun. I love a good excuse to get all my favorite people gathered in one place especially if it includes cake! Two of my best friends from high school were able to come. I hadn't seen one of them since we graduated and the other since my wedding, so it was wonderful to catch up with them. Of course, the cake was the very best cake ever. (Seriously, if you are ever in Northwest Arkansas and have a chance to eat cake from Rick's, DO NOT turn it down!)

I drove home yesterday and now it's back to the chaos that is my life. I left Martin a honey-do list and he finished it plus did some other things around the house for me. Yep, I'm a lucky girl....except him finishing the tasks means that I really created more work for myself. (He move the bookshelves, so now I have to unpack the books and arrange them....with my OCD, it'll take hours!) Plus, I have to replenish the kitchen (3 boys home alone for the weekend = empty kitchen upon Mom's return) and write thank-you notes. Guess I had better tear myself away from the computer and go start on my to-do list.

Thank you to everyone who was at the shower for making it such a fantastic celebration of Baby Kacey and for the fabulous gifts! And a big special THANKS to Katie for hosting the most fantabulous shower ever :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Weekend Road Trip

Tomorrow morning, I will set off on a weekend road trip. My sister is having a baby shower for me in Arkansas and, of course, my presence has been requested. As excited about this as I am, it is a little bittersweet for me. For only the second time in Caleb's life and the for the first time in Jacob's life, I am leaving them at home while I go somewhere overnight. The only time I have ever left home overnight without the kids was when Caleb was about 5 months old. We lived in Hawaii. My grandfather passed away and flew home for the funeral. I was gone for, maybe, 48 hours.

Now, don't get me wrong. My kids have spent nights away from me. They went on an ill-fated trip to Minnesota once many moons ago. When we visit the fam back in Arkansas, they generally spend at least one night with Martin's mom. But, all those times, the kids went somewhere and I stayed home. Actually leaving them at home is totally different. (Unless you have kids of your own, this is really hard to explain because I'm pretty sure it's one of those crazy mom things.)

Anyways, I'm a bit sad about leaving my babies at home. (And I'm a little worried that my hubby seriously will decide that on "Man Weekend" the only food necessary is pizza...) However, I'm really looking forward to my baby shower. So, bring on the cake (it's gonna be sooo yummy!) and those of you coming had better bring me something really good to make up for me missing my babies (just kidding....sorta).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Adding to the Chaos

Welcome to my chaotic life!

I have been blogging on MySpace for a while now. A few months ago, I was reading an article about blogging and decided that I might want to expand my blogging horizons beyond MySpace. So, here I am. (Yeah, it took me a bit to get here, but you did note "chaos" in conjunction with my life, right?) I'm an English major, so I can basically BS about anything. In my blogging, though, I generally just write about my life. So get ready to hear a lot about my kiddos, my hubby and other randomness that pops up in my day-to-day life (which might or might not include numerous odes to my crock pot).

Thanks for reading and enjoy the chaos!