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Showing posts from January, 2009

The rewards of motherhood

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Being a mom who considers motherhood her full-time job and who takes her job very seriously, there are often times when I just have no idea whether or not, quite frankly, suck at it. There are moments of laziness. ("Sure, watch Scooby again for the umpteenth time.") There are moments of frustration. ("What's the matter with you?!? Why are you missing so many on your math test? We practice! You're wasting my time!") There are moments of exhaustion. ("Please just go away.") And the hard part about parenting is that there is really no concrete way of judging how well you are doing. There's no report card, no review sessions. There are no checklists, and there sure as heck aren't any pay raises. So what we're left with are the little things. The random hugs, the sparse compliments. But every now and then, something appears out of nowhere, like this recipe card Ellen concocted the other night. She told me she was writing a secret recipe, and

Hey Hey! Vote today!

If you like this blog, take 2 seconds and vote for me at the following site... http://www.scholastic.com/parents/blogcontest/ Or perhaps even if you don't like me. Or pehaps even if you just feel like a random act of kindness, or a rare burst of energy, or are somehow robotic and do everything someone tells you to do, in which case, while you're at it, send me a boatload of cash.

25 random things about me

From the Facebook game that seems to be going around of late...I thought I'd just post my 25 random things here, too, because I'm pretty sure I'll never make it to the "20 questions" part of the local paper. 1. I won a band scholarship after HS, but rarely ever touch the saxophone. 2. I own my own set of mining gear. 3. I am licensed to carry a concealed weapon in Ohio, but don't normally pack heat at the playground. 4. There was a time when I did not like coffee. That was long ago and far away. 5. I have slept in a cow pasture after having cooked my dinner over a pile of flaming turds. 6. I really wish I could speak polish. 7. I have a freckle on my butt. 8. I can double curl my tongue. 9. I love the woods and wish I owned a hundred acres and had my own maple syrup farm, but instead will settle for 1.1 0. I don't know how I ended up with my husband, but there could never be a better match. 11. I wish my entire world smelled like a campfire. 12. I love to

52 pictures are worth a thousand words, and a zillion bucks

I recently received a very special package in the mail. It was enough to make a mama weep. The idea came to me via my brilliant cousin in the form of a shower gift, some eight or so years ago before my first child was born. After opening package after package of pink sleepers, bibs, and diaper pins, I was surprised to see two disposable cameras in the box. Actually, I was kind of like, “huh? I am having a baby here. I need stuff. Baby stuff. Not cameras.” Of course, I didn’t say this out loud, although given the girth of my belly, no one would have or could have stopped me. Instead I smiled and thanked my cousin who obviously recognized the look on my face. She then went on to explain this odd gift. “These cameras each have 26 pictures on them. Take one picture every week of your child’s entire first year. Set her in the same chair every week, and don’t develop the cameras until her first birthday.” “OK,” I thought. My cousin is a fairly fabulous mom, so I took her word for it, not kno

Our Little Chicken Fried

The meanings of some songs are best danced out...

WIth apologies to my friends who sell Tastefully Simple

First of all, let me say that I accomplished something that would have, I believe, in some circles of religions, put me into sainthood. It was a miracle of dramatic proportions, and even I can hardly believe it. I made a turkey meatloaf that my family loved. This was a miracle because a) my kids ate meatloaf and liked it and b) my husband didn't blurt out "where's the beef?" as if he were an old lady jonesing for a square hamburger patty. I personally ate so much of it that I skipped breakfast this morning because I was still full from the amount that I crammed in at dinner. But besides the amazing turkey meatloaf, I also whipped up a loaf of beer bread to welcome the husband home from a business trip. And as much as I love the simple and tasty packages that I tend to buy at home parties, this recipe is so easy. So easy. And cheap. Your friends will be amazed. I should say that my mom made this all the time when I was a kid, and being the dough-lover that I am, I woul

Whining in a Winter Wonderland

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It’s just one more reason in a long list entitled “how I know I’m getting old.” Even though I promised myself I would never do it, I have started comparing my childhood to my children’s and saying things like “you don’t know just how good you have it,” and “back in my day…” and other such nonsense that pushes me one step closer to turning into my mother. The latest cause for alarm is the wintery snow and cold that seems to come as a surprise every year, even though we all know it’s coming. And along with my proclamation of old age, I also find myself complaining about the cold (which I swear is getting colder) and the snow (which I’m sure is getting slipperier) and the winter in general (which I’m positive is getting longer, grayer, and darker.) But winter is winter, and as sure as you always end up following the salt truck when you’re late for an appointment, kids are drawn to the snow with unimaginable forces. I know. I was one of them, way back when. But now I find myself being a gr

Too lazy to send this to Leno

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Sometimes something in the paper just catches your eye. I ripped this dandy out for the Hubby and he snorted a little, so I know it is genuinely funny and not just I've-been-in-with-the-kids-all-day funny. So if this is one inch off his waist...

My brilliant idea

I guess you could say we're having a little trouble letting go of the holidays. Mostly it's the one, small artificial tree that I am too lazy to carry down the basement. So on this very cold snow day, I gave the kids a task and they literally jumped up and ran to do it. They are taking down all of the Christmas decorations and then going to make new ornaments to decorate for Valentine's Day. Voila-- a Valentine's tree. This is working well on many levels: 1. I don't have to carry the tree down the basement. 2. The kids were happy to un-decorate it. 3. This will keep them busy for an extended period of time. 4. Our stairwell will maintain that soft luminscent glow of tree lights. 5. I will somehow gain some status as a "cool mom" who does more than complain about the holidays.

Goodbye, Norma Jean -- we’ll miss you

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We didn’t really have a name picked out when we drove to pick up our new puppy. We tossed around a dozen or so while making the trip, but it wasn’t until the way home that we heard a song on the radio and looked at her wrinkly, droopy, and so-ugly-it’s-cute face and came up with it. “Norma. Norma Jean. Norma Jean, the beauty queen.” And thus, she became a member of our family. We never really planned on getting a bloodhound, it was just something that happened. We weren’t planning on using her for hunting or tracking, nor were we planning a Beverly Hillbillies reenactment. It must have been a calling from the universe that pointed us in the direction of what soon became our very own character dog. And man, did this dog have character. She had gumption, determination, extreme laziness, and more odor than a single person could handle. She was a walking (and sleeping) factory of stink and personality. More than that, Norma was a survivor. She lived through more than any one dog should. W

The end of Home Invasion, and it’s mine, all mine!

Quite honestly, I spend most of December waiting until I have my whole family home, together, free of school and work duties, for that precious stretch of time that goes by many names: Winter Break, Christmas Break, and Holiday Break to name a few. Or as I have recently come to call it, Home Invasion Break. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I love more that not having to worry about homework and toting kids here and there. And I really like having my husband around to change the occasional baby diaper and help around the house. But it was getting out of hand. As a mom who normally runs a tight ship, well, a semi-tight ship that usually needs a little scrubbing and dusting, I feel as if I had been totally overtaken by people in my space, my domain. My husband was changing laundry loads (incorrectly, mind you, and he has since been banned unless he promises to pretreat stains and sort colors), and the children hadn’t gotten out of their pajamas in three days. I hadn’t been to the store

Get the freezer ready

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After a few weekends of sitting in the cabin watching the Food Network and eating out-of-date foods from the freezer, Ryan finally got a deer. I vote next year we just wait until muzzle loader and save myself a few zillion calories, potential food poisoning, and a lot of money in cook books. But alls fair in love and deer season... For the family who want the full story, Ryan took it in the morning, and after coming in for lunch and some hot coffee, the whole family went out on a little blood tracking spree. The kids did a great job following the blood trail and they spotted the little guy right away. Toby ran right up to it, Ellen was a bit leery. Eventually the girls left for a hike back through the cold and Toby and Ryan field dressed the deer. Toby watched the whole thing, and even pulled out the heart and lungs by himself. He came back with bloody hands, and then commenced to play in the dirt only wearing a sweatshirt because "real men don't get cold." He is a