Sunday, October 31, 2010

And the Halloween Candy Extravaganza Winner is....

Midwest Mommy! 

After asking the lovely Gymnastics Queen to choose a number between 1 and 13 (removing my comment from the mix) she pondered for a few moments...and then decided on the lovely number 9.  Congrats Midwest Mommy!  Please email an address to send your gift card and box of SNICKERS!  Maybe I will throw in some Aquaphor as well for good measure....(if you read her wonderful blog she is battling a nasty case of eczema.  If you don't read her blog stop by, she is quite entertaining)...

A few other thoughts on my Candy Poll....

53 Readers voted in the Candy Extravaganza, and 13 commented to win the Gift Card.  Thanks to those who commented, and to everyone who voted!  

Kit Kat is the candy bar of choice for Mommyhood readers to snag from their child's treat sacs.  I have to admit I found that surprising.  I thought Milky Ways would have fared better, and 100 Grand Bars.  Tootsie Rolls came out on the bottom, which was no surprise.  I despise Tootsie Rolls.  Give me the good stuff.

Here's a copy and paste from Friday's blog...Mommyhood's stance on candy indulgence for all you fabulous Mommies (and non-Mommies)....

Mommyhood FIRMLY believes that Mommies can indulge in high quality, stashed in coat pocket candies on Halloween ONLY.  After Halloween these treats suddenly have calories.  Those calories will stick to your thighs like stickers from a doctor's office to your car windows.  Good luck getting those suckers off.  Spare yourself the humiliation. Halloween is a one day affair.  As it should be. 

Now go out and snag yourself some candy!  Woot Woot!  Suga' High!

Tomorrow I unveil my 1st Mommyhood Holiday Giveaway!  Wishing everyone a VeRy HaPpY Halloween!  BE SAFE!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Great Way to End the Day: Pumpkin Face Pancakes

Reminder that today is the LAST DAY to enter Mommyhood's  Halloween Candy Extravaganza!  Don't miss out on the Halloween Fun!
Winner announced tomorrow morning!  

After a wonderfully chaotic day with my munchkins, I served these for dinner.  They would be great for Halloween Morning as well.  I added pumpkin to the recipe, which I posted below.  The pumpkin just added some zest, and is completely optional.
Leading up to our delightfully delicious Pumpkin Face 'Cakes, there were several highlights to my day:  

Moopa watching us wait for the bus. 

Moopa in her Pumpkin Suit.  

Marching in the parade with LLG while wearing my annual Halloween attire.  Attire is already in wash to wear again Sunday.

Watching my sweet as pie Sports Fanatic carve his 1st pumpkin (sniff sniff).

And finally, ending the day with these Pumpkin Face 'Cakes and the Shrek Halloween Special I DVR'd for the munchkins.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Pancake Mix Recipe:
Prepare dry pancake mix
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
I store this mix in my refrigerator for up to 2 months.  

1 1/2 c. mix (above)
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 large egg (slightly beaten)
1 TBSP oil
1/2 c. pumpkin puree (optional/seasonal)

Mix well.  Pour 1/4 batter on greased, hot griddle or nonstick skillet.

Once pancakes are bubbling, flip and cook approx. 2 minutes until done.

For face:  Candy Corn** eyes and nose, apple slice mouth, whipped cream hair.
**Substitute strawberries or blueberries for candy corns for a healthy, all year alternative.**

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween "Mommyhood" Style

Don't forget to enter my
 Join the fun, and don't forget to vote for your favorite candy bar on right! 

I am posting this today for a few reasons.  First being that today I will be experiencing much Mommy Sweat as I clap through three Halloween Parades.  I also have the privilege of volunteering in LLG's classroom for their Halloween Party.  More Mommy Sweat.  But there is no better way to know what is up at school than to be in the classroom.  So today I will say, "What up Kindergarten?!?!"

Well, maybe not.

Of course this is only if I survive dressing four munchkins in costumes in time to catch the bus.  This means my butt needs to get out of bed way before it wants to.  My butt likes to sleep.

And since I am working a full day Saturday, and then having a killer Halloween Sleepover with my munchkins and nephews, I may not be vertical long enough to post this Saturday evening.  I will post, but this one took brains. And effort.  My Saturday night post may sound much like Charlie Brown's teacher. 

And since Halloween is "creeping" up on us, here is Halloween "Mommyhood" Style:

BE SAFE.  Stay with your munchkins.  Carry flashlights.  Stay on sidewalks.  You know the drill.

Please please please put something festive on.  I beg you.  I don Skeleton Bell Earrings and a Skull Shirt. Every year.  This year I'm adding a witch hat to my ensemble.  It's the least I can do. I will be sporting this ultra cool Halloween outfit today and Sunday.  I don't think work would like it too much on Saturday.  But I may just sleep in it tonight and roll in wearing it by default.
I feed my little trick or treaters a healthy meal BEFORE peddling for treats.  This makes me feel like Mother of the Year.  My conscience is all warm and fuzzy with the knowledge that my munchkins have a tummy full of healthy fare before they overdose on sugar.

Within reason, I let them overdose on sugar.  I let them be kids.  They can detox November 1st.

I keep an eye on what is handed out at each house.  My older munchkins eagerly open and eat on the go, so I check after each house.  During these checks, I remove any high quality candy such as 100 Grand Bars or Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.  I stash them in my coat pockets for later.

Mommyhood FIRMLY believes that Mommies can indulge in high quality, stashed in coat pocket candies on Halloween ONLY.  After Halloween these treats suddenly have calories.  Those calories will stick to your thighs like stickers from a doctor's office to your car windows.  Good luck getting those suckers off.  Spare yourself the humiliation. Halloween is a one day affair.  As it should be.

After trick-or-treating, as I go through the candy, I let my munchkins choose a handful of favorite treats (about 10)  to keep for themselves.  I give them a ziploc or a small container to hold them in.  They then have the freedom to help themselves to their treat stash without having to ask my permission.  Within a week (or a day depending on the munchkin) the treats are gone. But my munchkins LOVE the independence of indulging when they feel like indulging.  And I don't feel like the Halloween Grinch confiscating all their candies as soon as they get home.

The rest of the quality candies go in an OUT OF REACH basket that I pull from for specific occasions such as school lunch treat, cookie dough add ins or Mom needs a friggin' candy bar.  Let's not judge people.

After munchkins are in bed, I go through the candies that weren't up to snuff for my out of reach basket.  I set aside candies to make gingerbread houses or other crafts.  The rest goes in the trash.

And that's how Mommyhood does Halloween.  Any questions?

Supa Cool Halloween Cupcakes

Before you read this post, enter to win my HALLOWEEN CANDY EXTRAVAGANZA! Click here:

In case you were wondering, Supa Cool Halloween Cupcakes look like this:
My recent edition of Country Living Magazine featured cupcakes made with fondant.  They were the most perfect looking cupcakes I had ever seen.  I decided I must make them.  It was my calling.

I had never used fondant before.  I passed it many a times at Walmart and Michaels Craft Store, wondering what the heck it really was.  I finally had a reason to unravel the fondant mystery that plagued my existence.

These cupcakes are easy.  A little time consuming, but easy.  You will need Halloween Stamps (mine are from the $1 Spot at Target), food coloring, a small paint brush and Fondant if you wish to embark on this cupcake making adventure.

After LLG arrived home from an exhilarating day at kindergarten earlier this week, he helped me prepare the cupcakes.  As always, I use this recipe: Attention: This is NOT a Cupcake

Look at my Little Lunatic in his skeleton shirt eagerly preparing cupcake mix.  He rocks.

After your cupcakes have been baked and are heavily frosted (as Mommyhood completely abhors a lightly frosted anything)  roll out the mystery that is fondant.  I discovered it is nothing more than a GIANT white Airhead Taffy with a very strange taste. 
I bought a small rolling pin for the fondant, just to be safe.  Didn't want to destroy my Supa Cool 'Cakes with messy fondant.

I rolled out the fondant, and used a 1/4 measuring cup to cut the fondant into circles that would fit nicely my overfrosted cupcakes.
With a small paint brush, I painted my Halloween Stamp with food coloring.  
After I stamped the fondant, I decided to get a little funky and paint around the stamp.  I am now confident I discovered a dessert decorating secret I had missed out on all my baking years.  It is called fondant.
I carefully placed my masterpiece on top of one of the cupcakes. 
Voila, a Supa Cool Halloween Cupcake.  I continued on my fondant decorating adventure, and rolled the sides in sprinkles to "finish" them appropriately.  I equate rolling messy frosted sides in sprinkles to painting the trim.  Makes all the difference in the world, even though you are tempted to call it a day.
 Easy as these are to make, they are that much more impressive.  My munchkins weren't thrilled with the taste of the fondant, but it peels off easily.  They were so cool I almost wanted to put them out as decorations. 


Have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Candy Extravaganza!

I just posted a poll on what candy is most likely to be snagged from your child's trick or treat bag (see right). 

If you post a comment below, you will be automatically entered to win Mommyhood's... 

Halloween Candy Extravaganza!

Post what your Favorite Candy Vote was below.  Or, if there wasn't an option for your real favorite, add your favorite along with what your vote was in poll.  At end of Candy Poll Close (Saturday, 10/30, 11pm EST), hope your number is chosen by one of my munchkins (yes, yes, pick a number between 1 and whatever will be my method.  I'm very crafty). I will announce winner Halloween Morning.

Prize?  A $10.00 Dunkin' Donuts Gift Card to buy yourself coffee, or a muffin, or a bagel, or a donut....whatever you are craving... after your munchkins come off of their sugar highs next week....and a small box of your favorite candy to go along with it.

Now don't be shy, tell us your favorite stick to the thighs sweets!!!


**If you post as anonymous, please put a name with your post so I can make certain of the winner should your number be chosen.** Thanks!!

Winner will be announced Halloween Morning (10/31).  They will be contacted via email (or given 24 hrs to contact me if their email isn't available through their profile).  After 24 hrs an alternate winner will be chosen.

Lunchbox Fun

I decided to get crafty with my daughter's lunch the other day.  My son, the Sports Fanatic, is a little too old for "craftiness".  He has made my ability to embarrass him quite clear.  Thus, he is not treated to any Halloween Lunchbox Fun.  I reserve all lunchbox fun for the Gymnastics Queen.  She still squeals with delight when I pack a surprise in her lunch.

I decided to keep it simple, which is my motto for Mommyhood.  Simple keeps me sane.

I used a ghost cookie cutter to make a "puzzle style" sandwich.  With a sharp knife I carved "Boo" on bottom left, I used purple Nerds for eyes, and carved the mouth from top piece of bread.

Voila!  Halloween Lunchbox Fun Mommyhood Style.
 While I am on the subject of lunches, I will add my "Mommyhood Stance" on lunch preparation:

All lunches prepared by Moi have three key categories:  Main Course (Sandwich), Healthy Side (Fruit, Veggie, Cheese, Yogurt) and small Dessert (chips, cookies, cupcake, chocolate).

When my munchkins are young enough to believe me, I claim to always know what they eat first even though I am not present at school.  I explain that at any time I can call the school and the school will report to me if dessert was eaten first.

I know, I know, BAD MOMMY.

But this works like a charm, and my munchkins are now in the wonderful habit of eating dessert LAST.  Sometimes fibs are for the good of Mommyhood everywhere.

Baby food is now sold in convenient, small plastic containers.  I wash these and keep a stock pile in my kitchen.  I use them to pack fruit, dips, cookies, cheese, crackers, cereal and anything else that fits inside.  They are wonderful little containers.  They make me so happy.
Reusing these containers is excellent for the environment.  Recycling at its best; no need to make more garbage with plastic bags.  Mommyhood school lunches very rarely have any plastic bags inside.  Everything is packed in a reusable container.

A few other bonuses to reusable containers:

You save $ because you don't need to buy plastic bags every few weeks.

I also find food tastes better stored in these containers.  Keeps everything fresh without that delicious polyethylene aftertaste.

They prevent cookies, cereal and other items from being crushed before they reach their lunchroom destination.  Score!

If you aren't currently purchasing baby food, Glad makes wonderful small containers that are very affordable. 

I have now divulged all my Mommyhood Lunchbox Tips.  Have any to share?  Comment below!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Fun: Dipped Marshmallows

I saw these babies over the summer at the grocery store.
In case you haven't seen them, they are giant marshmallows. 

I resisted the urge to purchase these giant marshmallows when I first laid eyes on them.  I knew they could only lead to bad things.  Bad things like ingesting them.  Or finding a way to introduce them to my M&M's.

But after months of willing myself to ignore these bad boys, I bought them.  I stashed them safely out of munchkin reach.  And then I introduced them to my M&M's. 
And then it only took me moments to decide the fate of the giant marshmallows.  

I had to dip these suckers in chocolate.  And then dip them in the M&M's.  The perfect treat to lead into Halloween.

So I dipped.
 And I grabbed Halloween sprinkles and candy corn to go with my M&M's.

At first I decided to only make a few. 

And then I got carried away.

I thought of all the happiness these dipped marshmallows could bring to the world.

I kept dipping to ensure I had enough to share.

Individually wrapped they could be teacher or bus driver gifts.  On a platter they could wow a crowd at a Halloween Party.  And in my kitchen I could share with the munchkins.  This waist certainly doesn't need twenty four dipped mallows. 

To go along with this post, I will attach the easiest recipe in the universe:

Mommyhood's Dipped Marshmallows

1 bag Giant Campfire Marshmallows.

Milk chocolate chips (1 bag)

Sprinkles or small candies (optional)

Melt milk chocolate.
I have a Treat Dipper, (here is the link: Back to Basics PC17581 Gourmet Treat Dipper, Red) which is an excellent tool to melt chocolate easily.  If you plan on making any treats that require melted chocolate, I highly recommend one of these.  Makes life extremely easy.  I love easy as much as I love melted chocolate..

If you are melting chocolate in the microwave, place all but 1/4 cup chips in a sturdy glass bowl.  Microwave on high for 30 second intervals.  Check and stir chips after each interval.  Once chips are 90% melted, remove and add in 1/4 cup chips.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Should be smooth and creamy, and drip from fork or spoon.

Dip the marshmallows in the chocolate.

Decorate as you wish or leave plain.

To make life easy set them down in festive seasonal cupcake/muffin liners. 

Set aside at least 6 in an airtight container for yourself.  Once container is safely hidden, share the rest of the delectable mallows.  You'll be glad you did.

Happiness.  Pure Happiness.  You will hear music from the heavens above.  I guarantee it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Football Sunday Update: A Moment

We lost our football game today.  We were defeated.



Before I share my moment I need to emphasize how much work these tiny football players put into their season.  They sacrifice playdates and vacations.  They hustle in the hot summer sun and the frigid fall nights.  They dedicate four days a week to their team. 

They take the losses hard, but they take the "make it to the playoffs" losses harder.

To make matters worse, my Sports Fanatic took a hard helmet to helmet hit with minutes to go in the game.  Thank heavens he is fine, and truly he was just rattled.  And devastated.  And heartbroken.

And he had a headache.

But this moment was about more than losing a game.  It was about giving your all from that first day of practice in August and seeing it through until your last game in November.  It was about taking the loss but not letting it define your season.  It was about our Sports Fanatic needing his Dad, not his "coach".
What I love about organized sports is how much each season teaches my munchkins.  Know how to be part of a team, how to handle a loss with dignity, and how to handle a win with humility.  Understand the sacrifices and know you're better for making them.

Valuable lessons my munchkins learn with every new uniform.  Lessons learned regardless of their team's record or what seed they will be in the playoffs.

Lessons learned through experience.  Those lessons cannot be taught, which is the sole reason they are so valuable.

Wishing you a week full of everything you need, with few headaches and many "moments".

Football Sunday

Today is "Football Sunday".  My favorite day of the week. 

Just so we are all on the same page, here is Mommyhood's definition of "Football Sunday":

Football Sunday n. Day of the week during which one watches football with family and or friends while thoroughly enjoying food without guilt.  Discussions revolving around work are banned, as is any activity that doesn't include retrieving more food.  No sour pusses allowed. 

Everyone in my family awakes on Sundays with the intention of having complete and total disregard for our arteries or waistlines.  We then spend the week with complete and total regard for our arteries and waistlines in preparation for the upcoming Sunday. It's all about balance people.

Food.  Family. Football.  I'll stop there with the F words.

This particular Sunday my Sports Fanatic has a big game.  Today determines the playoffs.  And if you haven't been on our football journey, and you are in the mood for some inspirational tiny person football, here are to links to bring you up to speed:

Dream Big and  Dig Deep.

And here is a picture of my Sports Fanatic making a totally kick butt tackle.  Just because I love when he makes kick butt tackles.
Once tiny person football concludes, the family settles in back at my mom and dad's house for Football Sunday.  This is where I insert that I pray to the heavens above that Fox has made a deal with Cablevision by now.  A deal that doesn't raise my cable bill and a deal that means that when I turn on the television at 1pm, I see big person football.  Maybe I should make this prayer official:

Please heavens above and all that is good and holy, let Cablevision and Fox see the errors in their ways by denying us football (and my sister Glee).  We are hard working folks that look forward to simple pleasures such as football (and Glee).  Thank you heavens, Amen.

I don't feel that is too much to ask.

Family.  Food.  Football.

And I'll say it again, AMEN.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Leaf Leaping

My munchkins created a very easy game the other day.  I decided to share because of my love for easy and my appreciation for fresh air.

Whenever the munchkins are outside in the fall we rake the leaves into piles for the sole purpose of jumping in them.  This is excellent exercise for me.

Rake in hand; I make a pile.  They jump in it and throw the leaves around.  I re-rake the pile.  They jump in and destroy it.  I re-rake the pile.  I begin to sweat.  This cycle continues.

But yesterday they decided to get crafty.  They made a game.  All munchkins amaze me, how they can imagine and create.  Give a munchkin a leaf pile and they will give you a game.

Their game was quite simple.
Run and leap over the leaves.  If you leap over without destroying the pile, or touching it in any way, you get three points.  If you touch the pile with your foot, you get 2 points.  If your foot in any way disrupts the pile, you get 1 point.
The running and leaping began.  My heart swells every time I see them simply being kids.  Imagining and playing without schoolwork, electronic devices or Mommy entertainment.

They were having so much fun even our neighbor's dog, who we refer to as Marmaduke, wanted in on the action.
Fresh air is vital to my munchkins.  They need to get outside and play, every day.  The energy needs an outlet.  For LLG, his "crazy" needs an outlet.  That boy needs to get his crazies out like I need an ice cold Diet Coke by noon.
Fresh air also recharges me.  When I'm outside with them I'm fully present.  No phone, no internet.  No cleaning.  Just me, the munchkins, and lately, the leaves.
Wishing you a beautiful weekend full of fresh air, leaves and together time.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Healthy Weeknight Dinner: Pepperoni and Kielbasa Pasta

Healthy Dinner?  With kielbasa and pepperoni?

I use Turkey Pepperoni and Turkey Kielbasa.

Then I really get crazy and buy the Barilla Plus Pasta.  Tastes delicious and it's loaded with fiber and protein.

My body needs as much fiber and protein as it can get considering my weakness for sugar.  And my munchkins need as much fiber and protein as they can get considering they are still growing.  And Hubby, well, he needs as much fiber and protein as he can get because he's a tough guy.   He works out.

I guess what I'm saying is EVERYONE needs fiber and protein.  Which makes this meal your friend.

I serve this dish at least once a month in our house.  The staples are usually on hand, and everyone eats it (or some version of it, I choose my battles).  Tonight I used angel hair pasta for this recipe. Why angel hair?  All I can say is, why not?  I don't discriminate when it comes to pasta and what is up to snuff when I am throwing together a meal.  However, any uncooked pasta will suffice.  Make this meal whatever you please.

All I care is that it is easy and quick.  Both are Mommyhood requirements when weeknights are busy and we have activities.  Remember, a quick dinner together is better than no family dinner at all.

Mommyhood's Pepperoni and Kielbasa Pasta
1 box uncooked pasta (I recommend whole wheat or Barilla Plus)
1 jar Tomato and Basil Sauce
1 cup Turkey Pepperoni, chopped
1 cup Turkey Kielbasa, chopped (I use Hillshire Farm)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoons oil (I use Canola)
Seasonings to taste (basil, salt pepper)

Heat oven to 350.  Cook Pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking, chop pepperoni and kielbasa.
 Heat oil in pan, add meat.  Cook over medium heat 5-6 minutes.
Drain pasta and return to pot. This is when I remove a portion for my daughter who claims to only like butter noodles.  Once her serving is safely set aside, I add jar sauce and cooked meat.  Add any seasonings.  Mix well.
Pour pasta into casserole dish.  Sprinkle with shredded mozzerlla.
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes (mozzarella should be completely melted).
Serve with a green salad and warm (whole wheat) bread.

Or stick with just the salad.

Or serve with pork and refried beans.  It's your dinner. 

Most importantly, dig in and enjoy.  Hopefully there will be leftovers because leftovers make life easy.
And I LOVE easy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hot Holiday Toy #1 (drum roll please....)

As I discover what is most coveted by all tiny munchkins around the world this holiday season, I will post them and file them under Holiday Fun Tab.  I will also add any ideas, tips, recipes and holiday money savers.  Be sure to bookmark in order to check back for reference!

Now before I reveal my toy, I want to note that I first posted this before lunch.  I just received my newest issue of Family Fun Magazine at 3pm, and the cover has  "#1 Toy of the Year! (check page 98)".  I turned to page 98 and saw.....the toy I posted before lunch!!!!  I'm good, but I didn't realize I was THAT good!

Drum roll......

Toy #1:
Mattel Sing-a-Ma-Jigs. 
According to Toys R Us, these are one hot item.  I had the pleasure of playing with one at Kohl's about a week ago.  I was intrigued.  It was a "what the heck is this??" moment.  A toy I'd never seen?  Could it be?  Needless to say I was very amused.  They sing when you squeeze their tummies and I found myself trying all different octaves and noises.  I forced myself to return it to the shelf before I was one of those awful shoppers who ran it out of batteries or broke it without purchasing.

Check prices before buying because I have seen prices vary on these.  Toys R' Us (Link on my sidebar) currently has on of the best prices I have seen aside from Walmart, at $12.99/piece.  Walmart currently has them for right around $12.00, but they are already out of stock online.

Click here for Family Fun link.

Complicated Tuesday: The Conclusion

First let me thank my few voters who participated in my little poll...the result of my Tuesday was just as the poll results suggested: Smooth Sailing. 

Moopa napped early, allowing me to run.  I unfortunately struggled through my treadmill expedition due to my complete and total physical fitness neglect these past few days.  But that's the way the cookie crumbles (or shall I say leftover cake crumbles?  Either way, it's crumbling).

The Book Fair was relatively inexpensive.  The munchkins have come to understand there are limits to my wallet, and that there is no money tree sprouting bills in our backyard.  I escaped having only spent $30.00, which with three munchkins is a roaring success.

Moopa only threw one small tantrum protesting restraints during Book Fair hours.  I laid down Mommyhood law and she had to deal. 

Aside from small disagreements over who had how much time playing the Wii after school, there were no major issues between the munchkins.  Hallelujah.

Gymnastics duty meant taking LLG and the Moopa to Kid's Night at McDonalds (catch up on this saga here).  George was present, and it is safe to say LLG was finally recognized.  I stood and watched as LLG circled around our stroller in an effort to remain unseen, and George followed curiously.  I encouraged LLG to just say hello.  LLG disagreed wholeheartedly and told me he needed to "run for his life".  I assured him all would be fine.  He escaped without having to acknowledge George.  And hey, the Happy Meals were new this week.  It's the little things.

Tomorrow I am hoping to hit the oven, but first that will require a trip to the grocery store.  One of the many unfortunate things about colder weather is my non-desire to go outside once the sun goes down.  I could have grabbed groceries while my Gymnastics Queen practiced her little heart out, but I decided against it.  Why?  Because the thought of exiting a nice warm indoor establishment to head back out into the cold parking lot made me want to cry.  And then I would have to walk a cold grocery store.  Then I wanted to sob.

The end result of this post is that we all survived our crazy Tuesday, but we are grocery-less.  Unless Hubby wants birthday cake and Diet Coke for dinner tomorrow I will hit the store.  While that may be my idea of a dinner from heaven, he would just shoot me the hairy eyeball.

Hope you all had an uncomplicated Tuesday.  Wednesday has arrived....

Happy Hump Day! (isn't that just wrong on so many levels?)  Let me rephrase to make more appropriate...

Happy "Over the Hump" Day!  Still sounds wrong but I'll go with with it.  Have a good one!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Complicated Tuesday

Today is going to be one of those complicated days.  It will bring complications that can only come from being blessed with several munchkins. 

I have one munchkin home with strep throat.  He will be clear to be in public approximately noon tomorrow (24 hrs on antibiotics).

I have two munchkins that I would like to help at the school book fair (at two separate times).  I have Moopa, who needs a nap during the time I need to be at the book fair.  And I have my weakening muscles that need a good run somewhere in the middle of all the Mommyhood Madness. 

I am now thoroughly confused.  I hope you understood some of that because I don't.

My current plan is to run first and hope in vain that Moopa will nap an hour early for me to use the treadmill.  I will then take Moopa and my Sports Fanatic to the book fair.  The Sports Fanatic will have been on meds just shy of 24 hours by then.  For precautionary measures, I will instruct him not to breathe on anyone or touch anything. We will help LLG manouver his first book fair experience. To protect the Book Fair from destruction, Moopa will have to ride in the stroller.

We will then leave the book fair and return an hour later because we all know gas doesn't cost anything anyway. Moopa will once again be restrained in stroller.  I will help the Gymnastics Queen select the perfect books.  I can only pray to the heavens that she is more rational selecting books than she is selecting pumpkins.  No tears until we find the perfect one.  After all, we will be short on time and in a very public place.

I will have approximately 2 hours of downtime before all munchkins have to get homework done and eat an early dinner.  We have gymnastics duty (me) and football duty (Hubby).   We will roll in about 8pm on parenting fumes.

Depending on how all munchkins decide to behave, tomorrow could go one of two ways:

1.  Smooth Sailing.
2.  Mommy Sweat City (check sidebar to see definition of "Mommy Sweat").

In my semi-sane mind I always imagine the former.  It's a coping mechanism.  Always imagine the plan (you MUST have a plan) working smoothly.  Imagine smiles and rainbows and love.  Otherwise you will never muster up the courage to get out of bed.

And when munchkins start to melt, smile and pretend to have it together. Then go home and down a huge piece of leftover cake (or whatever you have handy) and shirk all your household responsibilities for the rest of the day. 

And there you have it.  My Mommyhood secret to keeping some form of sanity.

And I shall keep you posted on the outcome of my "Complicated Tuesday".

For entertainment purposes, lets take a poll.  Mommy Sweat or Smooth Sailing?  Vote to the top right!

Wishing you an uncomplicated Tuesday!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Simple Solution: Letter Game!

My munchkins love for me to play outside with them.  I love it too.  Fresh air does wonders for the psyche. 

But there are times (many times) I get a bit tired and I just want to sit in the sun and watch them.  I just want to relax and read a magazine.  But they want my attention.  Then they fizzle out and want to go inside. 

To keep them entertained, I then run around like a lunatic playing tag and I fizzle out and want to go inside.

This past summer it became evident I needed a quick fix to my "play outside" time.  One afternoon when things were getting hairy (as they often do when four munchkins are home over the summer), I came up with the "Letter Game".

We made letters in chalk on the driveway.
I then parked myself in a chair in the sun.  As I tanned myself, I called out a name and a letter.  I also gave instructions such as " LLG, skip to the letter S!".  Once he got there he had to give me a word with that letter. 
I varied the game once all the munchkins were playing (they all wanted in eventually).  They had to make letter sounds or make a sentence.  I added shapes and numbers.  The munchkins had to make silly faces and do dance moves.

We played happily outside while learning valuable lessons about phonics, letter recognition, letter writing and allowing Mommy to sit in a chair.  The munchkins got exercise. We laughed about words they came up with and dance moves they busted out.

This is now the go-to game for the munchkins. It keeps us outside longer and everyone benefits greatly.  I love that it is easily tailored to any age group.  Everyone can play; they can even take turns calling out letters and making up new rules.  The munchkins spend more time outside and I get to chill out and relax.  Easy, simple, and Mom gets a break.

I LOVE easy and simple.  I also LOVE a break.  I also totally love the Letter Game.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Neverending Birthdays

The beautiful thing about birthdays when you are 5 is that you get more than one.  You celebrate on your birthday, you celebrate with your class.  Then, you have your party.  For my munchkins birthdays are at least a 3 day affair. 

For LLG, I have always been able to have a huge playdate with my "Mom Friends" have cake and presents and call it a party.  It was a beautiful thing.  This year I knew he was ready for the "real deal".  It was time to get out the wallet and throw the munchkin a party.

So we did.
We had classmates.
 And pin the tail on the donkey.
And party hats.
Then the "animal lady" arrived....
There were squeals of delight.
And more animals.
And more squeals of delight.
And more animals.
 We had friends (and me) eagerly awaiting a giant piece of cake.
And the day finished with munchkins running wild like a pack of wildebeests.
We are officially on birthday hiatus until May.  Hallelujah, Amen.
Now I will sit in a semi-comatose post-birthday state and watch football.
HaPpY SuNdAy!