Friday, April 30, 2010

Seriously?

And just let me vent this last little bit of bitterness and I'll be done.  I'll move onto the rest of the really good weekend I'm about to have.  (because I'm declaring it) 

Why in the world do my kids eat and like Trader Joe's whole wheat frozen French toast better than my homemade?  (with REAL maple syrup and sliced bananas no less!) 

Why will they sit in front of the T.V. watching America's Funniest Home Videos eating dry Kashi cereal?  (I despise this show and my husband loves old re-runs.  Tom Bergeron hosts this show, as he also hosts Dancing with the Stars......HURT ME.)  So the kids will watch this?  I mean, my son is NO LIE, sitting in a chair glued to the T.V. with his sister and he's almost 17 months old!  This is not a cartoon!  This is not baby Einstein crack!  No Mom, it's better than crack!  It's Tom Beregon!!!!

Why will they eat chicken nuggets and mac and cheese (albeit 100% white meat organic whatever Trader Joe's brand and whole wheat mac and cheese organic whatever)  and CLEAN the plate?  Like, LICK it clean.  I cook almost everynight and feed them the best possible food I can muster up and not sweat the small stuff when it happens.  (mcDon's......sugar, candy, treats, etc.)  I have obviously done a somewhat good job because Lauren loves steamed broccoli and asked for cauliflower with cheese sauce this week.  
Check out this simple and great recipe:  http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/cowboy-spaghetti-with-cheddar-cheese-sauce/  (Just the cheese sauce section) 

Okay, maybe all the venting has ended.  It's kinda like when you begin a run and have all this stuff in your head and are mad about things or frustrated or irritated and a mile or so in, once you've got your breathing down and can let go of everything and just surrender to your feet hitting the pavement.....well, I feel better.  Thank you and have a great weekend!!!!!!!

Yep, the rhubarb is a flowerin' !!!!

Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski

I will be adding this to Lauren's book collection STAT!  : )  Isn't it crazy the things that remain in your memory and the other big things that you can't remember a thing about?  What about this book was so special that the title and author are permanently in my brain?  Maybe I'll remember when I read it to Lauren.
Synopsis:
The land was theirs, but so were its hardships.
Strawberries — big, ripe, and juicy. Ten-year-old Birdie Boyer can hardly wait to start picking them. But her family has just moved to the Florida backwoods, and they haven't even begun their planting. “Don't count your biddies 'fore they're hatched, gal young un!” her father tells her.
Making the new farm prosper is not easy. There is heat to suffer through, and droughts, and cold snaps. And, perhaps most worrisome of all for the Boyers, there are rowdy neighbors, just itching to start a feud.

Lilac bushes, rhubarb, strawberries...oh, my!

Out of desperation and a mommy break-down moment today, I told Lauren she could write my blog for me.  It's been a long week of feeling like a single parent and I'm SICK SICK SICK of feeding kids, cleaning up, going outside, going to the park, answering questions from an almost 5 year old, looking at sippy cups and cleaning them and filling them...........well, you know what I mean.  You feel my pain.  My sister feels my pain.  It's the same pain I'd feel if I worked full-time, it's just a different pain.  My husband runs a company and he says my job is harder. (Um,  DUH.)  And look, I'm not complaining.  Oh, wait.  I AM.  Isn't that why people have blogs?

I was feeling very much on the verge of a screaming fit so I called by BF and sissy and vented.  I felt SO much better.  She gets it.  She gets me.  Unfortunately, Lauren is the closest thing to an adult in my life 24/7 so she gets the bulk of my moods.  I have said more than once this week "Someday when you have kids you'll understand."  Who am I?  So I got off the phone, poured a drink and whipped out the Eric Carle animal sounds card game and turned on the stereo.   Hey, the drink helps.  But what is so funny is that my sissy told me to watch 20/20 tonight about women who leave full-time jobs to become SAHMom's and hit the bottle.  Wow.  She did however throw in, "I don't mean you." hahahhahahahaha  Lord, help me! 

So after a round of cards (picture me sitting on the floor asking Lauren, "Do you have an oink, oink?"  cuz that's how it goes my friends) and a quickie game of Chutes and Ladders we turned to the blog.  I posted the pictures and she made up the story that she thought went with the pictures.  Lauren totally knows what my blog is, looks at the pictures and finds it all very entertaining.  So here is her story:  (ENJOY!  It's gene if I do say so myself!!!!!)

There was a story of a little girl that had two brothers and then the two brothers picked all the lilacs off the bushes.  Then the mom came outside and said "Don't pick off all the lilacs!"  (she adds a side note of "and that was a mean mother")  Space people came and they put lilac bushes everywhere........like everywhere in their yard in the grass.  Then alot of people came to put lilac bushes in everybody's yard.  Big stinky people came to put stinky perfume everywhere in everybody's yard.  (she is hilariously laughing at herself as we write this)  And then when all the kids where sleeping, (and the mom and the dad) burglars came to the house and stole stuff from the inside of the house, but not alot of stuff, but stuff from the bedrooms. (At this point I ask her if we can end this story on a happy note)  She replies with "Happily ever after.  The End."  (But she picks up the story again) We talked to the burglars who were just sitting outside all night and told them that you don't take stuff from anybody's house and you don't come ever, ever, ever, ever again.  The Dad said "I'm gonna put you in a cage."  Happily ever after. The end.  (I've read this from the beginning to her over five times now and the final reading got this response, "I love this story and could you put this on other people's blogs?)


We planted the lilac bushes last year and they are growing so fast!  I have incredible memories of lilac bushes from my youth so I'm giddy to have my own beauties in the backyard.  We also decided to plant "edibles" within our landscaping and the rhubarb has flowered (isn't that what that is called?  Not sure what it means but I feel wikepedia is calling me)  The strawberries are growing like gangbusters and Lauren checks the blossoms everyday.  Did you know those white flowers become actual berries?  amazing and cool!!!!  Did you ever read "Strawberry Girl" by Lois Lenski as a child?  LOVED that book.  I hear google calling me!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Does having too many kids get you on T.V.?

Two Kids vs. A Litter....
I find this photo hilarious.  Picture day for Lauren at school....Evan so unhappy to get in the photo!


Did you happen to catch the Oprah interview with Nadya Suleman (otherwise known as "octomom")?  WOW is all I can really say.  It put my "bad" mom days with TWO kids into perspective.  I am not sure if I think Nadya is crazy now, was crazy and recovered or is still crazy.....Or, if having all these kids MADE her into a crazy!  Watching a day in her life makes me run for the bottle of wine.  I can't really feel sorry for her, as she chose to have all these kids, but I do feel very bad for the kids.  There is no way they will EVER get the love, affection, attention or care they deserve.

BUT!  I did see that she makes French toast for 14 kids in the morning and well, if she can do so can I!  ahahha  Goodbye to the Trader Joe's frozen brand and hello home-made breakfast kids!  Lauren may prefer the frozen........she ate less of mine this morning.  You gotta love kids.  Help us all.

My husband commented last night that the only shows I watch are about crazy people who have too many kids.  Hmmm....he might have a point!  My new favorite is "9 by Design" on TLC....taking the place of my love to hate family "John and Kate Plus 8" followed by "19 Kids and Counting."  Oh, and there are so many others....WE network has a show called "Growing up Sextuplets" which I've seen many episodes of but don't follow.  

Why do I want to watch these families?  I guess its just the reality TV scene.  You can't look away.  You get sucked in.  It makes you feel normal or even better about your life.  Why are these shows so popular?  What are you hooked on watching?

I can almost taste summer...

Evan's first fruit pop!  Another great Costco purchase (I might need to become their spokeswoman!) of Edy's 100% natural fruit pops in assorted flavors. 
http://www.edys.com/brand/fruitbars/index.asp?b=136
I'm not sure what is more summery than a fruit pop and the kids loved them.  Evan however only took a few bites but he was very interested in what I think of him describing as "this cold chunk of goodness." 

A Spring Beauty....

The beauty being the gorgeous purple flowering tree AND the red-head!

Friday, April 23, 2010

What would I find in your fridge???

Okay, so we may discover some
priorities in my life here........ahhahahahha

Here is what you may find in my fridge:
2009 Santa Barbra County Chardonnay from Trader Joe's......$3.99  (I usually run from these wine price points but..........look how lovely the bottle looks!)
Check out what the "cheap drunkard" has to say.......I love it!  : ) 

Sorry for the glaring flash there....I need to work on that : )  I tell everyone that if I have bread, cheese, wine and coffee and half and half then I am a happy woman.  I'm delighted to report that Costco now carries Horizon organic half and half!  This lovely half and half paired with a giant bag of Starbucks French roast makes the start to any a BETTER day!      
And another fave from Trader Joe's!   Marinated mushrooms with garlic.....my friend Kelly and I love to make a drink with diet coke or diet pepsi (I heart vodka, she hearts Jim Beam) but we find the drinks much more delish with some pickled mushrooms and a drizzle of the juice into the drink.  I KNOW.  But, you'd have to try it before you knock it!!
So what are your fridge faves????

Monday, April 19, 2010

Georgia

This might be the first picture taken of
Georgia alone since the kids were born. 
Chillin' in the afternoon sunlight...

Garden Expansion Project 2010....

View from the deck of two new lovely strips to garden in : )
Old garden...just a tiny little square. 
Seeded and eady for new grass to grow over...
Just look at the new design! 
So genius the middle part is just the right width for the riding lawn mower!
Peat Moss....not just for heating your home anymore...hahaha  Fertilizer baby!
We also spread all accumulated ash from the fireplace over the winter for fertilizer.
I told Bengt...."If we can't garden succesfully this year we need to give up!"  Peat Moss, Compost, Ash and Mulch!!!!!
1+ years worth of compost ready for fertilizing action!
Adding compost with my red-headed helper!
Bengt loves watching me do "manual labor." 
As if my days are not FILLED to the brim with it!
Mulching over the top to prevent weeds....
Lauren passed out for 2+ hours after the job was done.  This is a child who DOES NOT NAP.  EVER.  Not since she was 3 years old.  I fell asleep sitting up.  She was snuggled next to me and the cat got wise : )
We were all THAT tired!  Mulching entire day on Saturday and prepping garden on Sunday...whew!  Bengt and I were in bed by 9:30 pm last night.  Wow.  It's big shakes around this house people!!!!!!!
COMING SOON:  Photos of all the incredible veggies!!!!!!
STAY TUNED!

Tried and True Recipe...

Okay, I will admit my first attempt at "potato chip encrusted salmon" was a bit of a bust.  (Mother's Day circa um, 10-12 years ago, before I was a budding kitchenista...)  I put the lovely chunk of salmon in the broiler and yep..........smoke central.  Not cool.  I had the oven rack up way too high and the baby ignited!  Luckily, I just scraped all the chip and dill mixture off the fish and the salmon was fine.  But still, my ego was bruised.

I've made this dish many times over the years and I'd say this one was the best.  I used Terra Chips (to die for....I'm my mother's daughter through and through and can eat a whole bag in one setting as well!)  I used "tomato zest" flavor.  The beauty of the terra chip (or as the recipe suggests with Cape Cod kettle chips...and who doesn't love a kettle chip?) is the extreme crunch factor that really maintains its ooomph with lemon and dill mixture, EVEN after reheating!  That is awesome!

Try it!  If you love salmon you will love this.  I do admit I burned out on salmon years ago.  But I had a craving last week that led me back to this recipe.
Enjoy! The below recipe is just one of many I have found.  They are all basically the same.  What I liked about this one is the baking of the fish vs. broiling it.  No chance of error!  : ) 


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

All they want to do is be outside.....

And it's not even MAY yet!  And for my sister who religiously reads my blog because she loves me so much....Um, yeah....your nephew will MORE THAN LIKELY still be sucking on a SOOTHIE "baby binks" in August.  Get real.  I have come to grips with it and I'm fine with it.  So you owe me $1.50 for the one you threw in the garbage instead of keeping it until August!  : )

And isn't that stupid DISH attached to the side of the house hideous?  What would live be if we did not have T.V. or had the will to "just give it up"????  wow!

Because who doesn't love a Radish?

Spicy, peppery, crispy....doused with salt.....enter mouth.....crunch, crunch, crunch....yum.
And really, if you are a root vegetable in the family of a mustard green or turnip, well, hell......you are friend of this family. 
And another cool factoid:  The descriptive Greek name of the genus Raphanus means "quickly appearing" and refers to the rapid germination of these plants. Raphanistrum from the same Greek root is an old name once used for this genus. The common name "radish" is derived from Latin (Radix = root).
So yeah, that's all neat.
And don't you just love how (at my market at least) radishes by the bunch look like you just picked them from the garden?  All rubber-banded together with the big bunch of green leaves on top with the red gems dangling beneath? 
I am considering growing them in the garden this year.  Because really, there is nothing better than pulling a root veggie out of the garden dirt, washing it off with the hose and popping it into your mouth!  I still have that memory from children with baby carrots.  ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....
Happy Farmer's Markets beginning soon! 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lauren in Wonderland....

We recently took a trip to my sister's house in Swedesboro, NJ.  They live about 20 minutes from the Philly airport and 30 minutes or less to downtown Philly.  We took our second trip to the "Please Touch Museum" where they have incredible exhibits for children....all "touchable" and interactive. 

Since the big premiere of "Alice in Wonderland" has hit, I thought I'd share some photos from the exhibit at "Please Touch".  This is a well-done chidren's museum in Memorial Hall in Fairmont Park.  Historic Memorial Hall underwent an amazing restoration.  To see the building alone is worth the trip!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sinking into a good read...

Once in a while a book comes along that just speaks to you.  My sister recently forwarded to me a youtube video that spoke to me called
"Trancending" ~words and woman on strength~

Kelly Corrigan is the author of "The Middle Place" which I promptly read. The above video is her reading an excerpt from that book. If you are a mother this book will speak to you.  I assure you.  Reserve it at the library right now! 

My sister and I are continually talking about the extreme highs and ridiculous lows of parenting and all that it entails.  This book speaks to that topic in a profound and funny, realistic way.  I cried.  I laughed.  It was like I could have wrote this book.  Spoiler Alert:  (minus the breast cancer diagnosis of course)

Kelly now has a second book out called "Lift" which is written as a letter to her children.  It is only around 90 pages and you can read it in one setting.  (how good does it feel sometimes to just read a book, albeit LITTLE, in one setting?  oh, I find it delicious!)  Now, as a writer, I again feel like I could write this book.  Not coming from a place of "I'm so great" but from a space inside my heart that knows I am capable of speaking my truth.  That is all Kelly is doing.  That is all any great writer is doing.  Speaking their truth.

Everyone was sleeping last night and I snuck into the bathroom to read a few more pages.  I got to page 50 and 51 I started crying hysterically.  I could speak these words as my own.
"Mothering you is the first thing of consequence that I have ever done."  OMG.  Rip my heart out and stomp on it. 

Trust me.  Get both books.  Read them.  Enough said.
: )