Monday, November 29, 2010

Eye Issues, Tickets and No Water Pressure

Today was a giant cluster mess.

Our hot water decided it didn't want to have pressure any longer.  The hot water now prefers to dribble from my shower head and faucets. 

I love hot water.  I love hot showers.  I love hot soaks for my laundry that is soiled beyond what I care to describe. 
So my morning began with an extremely lame dribbly hot shower.  Not my ideal washing scenario but I can handle it.  Takes more than that to get this Mama down.

Besides, I had places to be today.

Moopa, my gorgeous little monster, has eye issues.  We went to see a 2nd pediatric ophthalmologist today.  And since I am not fond of driving to unfamiliar places, I asked my father to join me and the Moopa.

Being the wonderful dad he is he obliged.

After picking up my co-pilot, we were headed to the doctor's office.  We happily chatted as I drove down the highway.  We were chatting so happily we missed our exit.

This normally wouldn't be such a problem but the highway we were on only has exits about every 20 miles. 

I had only one option.  Hell hath no fury like a Mother who is late for an appointment with a specialist.

I broke the law.  I made a U-turn in a very inappropriate, illegal place.

My heart was racing the entire time.  I am a rule follower.  I felt terrible about my criminal behavior.

Back in the right direction, I shook it off and continued on my way. 

As my father and I returned to our casual conversation, and Moopa napped in the backseat, I drove down windy highways with very annoying round-a-bouts.

If you have never driven through round-a-bouts thank your lucky stars.  I despise any road that confuses me more than I am on a regular basis.

Due to confusing round-a-bouts I proceeded to make two more heart racing illegal u-turns.  I was now sure I would be pulled over and hauled off to traffic jail.

My munchkins would miss me terribly.

Amazingly I once again flew under the criminal radar.  Almost to my destination I had to cross over a scary, high two lane bridge.  I am not fond of heights.

But I was REALLY not fond of the police officer with his lights on behind me.

Could this bastard really have followed me all this way?  Could he have witnessed my numerous traffic violations and reckless driving?

As the State Trooper directed me to pull over in a rest area I was sure I was toast.  Goodbye family.  See you in a year.

I pulled into the rest area and rolled down my window.  The officer in his fancy police clothes and dopey hat asked if I knew why I was pulled over.  Many recent violations ran through my mind.  I decided to just look confused and innocent.

I waited for the cuffs.

"Your inspection is almost a year overdue..."

WHAT?!?!  How is that possible?  I have driven all year, to and from the beach, every day on my errands in this vehicle.  How could I have skated by all those policemen without ever being noticed?

How could Hubby do this to me?

I sat as he went back to his police cruiser to run my license.  I watched the minutes pass and knew there was no way he would ticket a sweet mommy taking her daughter to the doctor.  Besides, an overdue inspection was nothing compared to what I was really guilty of. 

The bastard returned with two tickets.  One for my inspection and one for my missing license plate I neglected to report after an accident two years ago.

Lovely.  Guess what they say about the end of the month and police writing tickets is true after all. 

After cursing into the air several times and making jokes with my father about the tickets I should have received, I was finally en route to the doctor.

I arrived at the doctor's office just 20 minutes late.  Not bad considering the adventure getting there.

The appointment was a success.  My drive home was uneventful.  Hubby dutifully took the car to be inspected.

I now have two tickets, another eye appointment in three months for Moopa's condition, and no water pressure.

What a day.  Time for pajamas, trashy television and ice cream. I'll skip the lame hot drippy water shower.

Have an awesome Tuesday!  I can only pray my Tuesday is easy.  I think I need a trip to Target to lick these traffic ticket wounds...

Tuesday Blog Hop!
Update:  Tuesday Target trip was phenomenal.  Everything I was hoping for and more.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Elf on the Shelf

This post is not sponsored.  I felt the need to share a very special tradition with my blogging pals.

Every year an Elf named Stanley comes to our house.

Seriously, he does.

He arrives on Thanksgiving, and stays until Christmas Eve.

He hides in my home, and every morning the munchkins rush to find him.
 He is creepy looking.  Handmade looking.  He hails from the North Pole and watches everything we do.

I am constantly watching my back.  

At night he flies back to Santa and reports on our behavior.  He then returns again and is always in a different place when we awake.
 Hence the munchkins flying out of bed at warp speed to find him every day.

When he first arrives on Thanksgiving, he has a bag of goodies for the munchkins.  Chocolates, puzzles, or small toys.

And every so often he brings a new surprise.  He even hand delivers our letters to Santa.

This little Elf has enhanced our Christmas three fold.  We adore him.  He keeps the munchkins in check when the overexcited madness starts to take over and turns them into little gremlins.

The sight of him, or a gentle reminder of him brings behavior back to Mommyhood standards.

Stanley only has one rule:  You can not touch him, or the magic is gone.

He will never return.

We have never attempted ruining the wonderful magic that surrounds Stanley or Christmas.

There is so much magic in Christmas I tear up thinking about it.  

If you care to have one of Stanley's friends reside in you home, check out the link below.  Or visit a local bookstore.

My niece and nephews have Stanley's buddy, Cookie.  He keeps tabs on the cousins.  There is much Elf discussion once these little guys arrive around Thanksgiving.

These Elves bring squeals of delight to munchkins everywhere.  I guarantee it.

Invite one into your home, and then clean up your act.  He'll be watching.

Monday blog Hop!

Just Married with Coupons

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

In high school, my brother's girlfriend became my best friend.  We were a unit, a crazy group of kids with the world in our hands.

I owe my hometown an apology.

My BFF (Maris) and I would dream about her marrying my brother and how our kids would be best friends.

We dreamed about our daughters growing up together and how we would get our nails done and go shopping.

This dream seems so long ago...I can see it through hazy memories of cutting school and house parties.  Through field hockey games and late night laughs. 

But about 8 years ago, my brother married Maris.  We were on our way.

We were now officially family.

Now we needed daughters close in age.

Fast forward through eight years and five cousins, and we finally had it.  My fourth baby and her third.

Cue Moopa and her cousin, R.
The dream was in sight.  Nail salons and shopping malls.  Lunch dates and boy talk.

Our first few rounds of introductions were hindered by Moopa's bullying issue and her tendency to bite when she got overexcited.  R wasn't interested in that kind of friend.

I couldn't blame her.

But Moopa has grown up a bit, and she was ready to begin a beautiful friendship. 
This Thanksgiving, we got together for our first photo, the four BFF's.
But R had not forgotten Moopa's bullying issue and her biting habit.  

She knew this was her chance.  No one was watching and she was in close range.

Perfect set up for a good hair pull.
Maybe this beautiful friendship will have to wait another year.

Stay tuned.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday (not) Fun

This will be short and concise.

I was robbed.  Robbed of my 2nd favorite day of the year.

I have to work Black Friday.

My mom, my Black Friday partner in shopping crime, has to work Black Friday.

This upsets me dearly.  It's like missing Christmas.  Well, not quite.  But close. 

I'm off to work and watch in envy as all the frazzled shoppers wait in lines that are three miles long and run from store to store.

I wish every Black Friday shopper out there today a fabulous shopping, deal finding, breakfast eating experience.

Happy Black Friday!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! Giveaway winner!

Mommyhood's Holiday Giveaway Winner is.....Drum Roll....

This is the copy/paste from the random number generator....

True Random Number Generator:

Min: 1
Max: 20
Result: 8

The 8th comment is....

Conrats and Happy Thanksgiving to you!  This saves you approximately $12.99 because you won't have to buy it for your munchkins!  Woot Woot!

Thanksgiving Trivia:  Which President was the 1st to proclaim Thanksgiving Day?
a. Washington b. Carter c. Johnson d. Lincoln

(I jacked that trivia off my Sports Fanatics "Thanksgiving Special" newspaper!)


And now that I've made you a little bit smarter and given away a Sing-a-ma-jig...I will finish with a Thankfulness Footnote!

I am so very Thankful for all the lovely people who take the time to read my rambling blog.  It means so much to know my creative outlet is enjoyed by more than just Moi. So MUAH to all the readers and followers!

I am thankful for turkey, stuffing, rolls, gravy, get the picture.  And I'm SUPER thankful for my Mama who cooks one mean Thanksgiving meal.  Love you mom!

Random picture off my computer time! 
Moopa pulling my dad's hair!

Have a good one!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mommyhood Cinnamon Coffee Cake

On Monday Hubby came home and alerted me that his account requested a coffee cake for Wednesday.

Let me rephrase.  On Monday Hubby came home and told me I have to make a coffee cake for Wednesday.

That's more accurate to what actually occurred.

This request is not alarming, or annoying, because I often send baked goods to work with Hubby.  His customers have enjoyed my homemade goodies for years.  I have used them to unload butt enlarging cookies, cakes and candies from my kitchen.

I love to bake, but I do not love my butt enlarging.

A few years ago, I wanted to try my hand at making a coffee cake.  At the time this was uncharted territory.  I found a simple recipe posted online by a Bed and Breakfast.

Over the years I  "Mommi-fied" it.

I can't leave anything alone.  It's an impossibility.  When I gave Hubby the stink eye today for forgetting mouse traps, he snapped at me to just drop it. 

Another impossibility.  I just spent three hours cleaning terds Buddy.  I sanitized, hot soaked, bleached and vacuumed.

I earned the right to throw the stink eye.

And now, for butt enlarging Mommyhood Coffee Cake.  I must warn you that this recipe is not the typical "cut corners easy" I usually post.

It is the real deal.  A roll up the sleeves, wash the hands, get out the ingredients deal.

But man it is worth it.  I promise.

Mommyhood Cinnamon Coffee Cake
(this recipe makes 2 cakes.  One to share, one to keep.  There is always someone in your life in need of a coffee cake.  I also have a great holiday idea for the extra cake below.  But you can easily 1/2 recipe if necessary)

1 stick margarine, soft
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla

1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
4 tsp cinnamon
4 tablespoons margarine, soft

1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 2 pie dishes with nonstick cooking spray.

In medium bowl cream sugar and margarine, beat in egg. 

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. 

Stir in vanilla.  Pour into prepared dishes.

To make swirl, throw all ingredients into bowl.  Cut margarine with knife, and then dig in with your hands and mix.
Smush and mix until crumbly.
Sprinkle 1/4 over top of 1st cake and repeat with 2nd.  Use knife to gently swirl mixture into cake.
 Use remainder of mixture to sprinkle on top of cakes.  (My photo is deceiving, I make an abundance of swirl.  You will not have this much left over.)
 Bake 30-35 minutes until center is cooked through.

While cakes are baking, prepare topping.  Simply toss all ingredients in a bowl, and mix well with hands.  Add flour if needed.  Mix until crumbly.

When cakes are cooked through, remove from oven and sprinkle with topping.  (The "swirl" will have baked to the bottom, making a "cinnamon-y" delicious type crust).

 Place back in oven for 5-7 minutes to set crumb topping.  Remove and generously dust with powdered sugar.
 Serve warm or cool. Or depending on what kind of day you're having take a fork and just eat it.  I won't judge.

Check out that sinful crust...

**Holiday Idea**
 Bake extra coffee cake in disposable dish.  Cool and cover with lid or plastic wrap/cello.  Decorate with ribbon.  Take along on Christmas, Thanksgiving (or any other occasion/party)  for host.  You are bringing them a delicious homemade breakfast to wake up to the day after preparing a meal and hosting friends or family.  Different, easy, affordable and much appreciated.  Every time.


Thankfulness Footnote:  Today I am thankful for the sunshine outside my windows.  Despite the rapidly decreasing temperatures, a sunny day always gets my butt out of bed.  I love to face the sun and feel its warmth.  Heavenly.  Thank you sunshine for getting me moving on so many sluggish days.

Wednesday Blog Hops!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Odds and Ends

I realize I am doing some rather erratic posting lately...there is no real subject involved and my thoughts jump from one topic to the next without warning.

This is me in real life.  I can hide it no longer.  I am queen of start a sentence, and then.....

You get the picture. Hubby is left hanging on my last word as my mind trails off to oblivion.  He patiently waits a few moments before asking if I am going to finish what I was saying.

Where was I?

Tonight I needed to hit up Toys R Us because the last time I was there I didn't have my coupon.  My coupon was for a $10 gift card if I spent $75 or more.  I spent $220.

Needless to say I was sour I didn't get my gift card.

So I spent $10 in gas to drive back there today.

Since my trip to Toys R Us had to be after school hours, and we try to stick together if possible on nights where no activities are scheduled, we decided we ALL would go.

We decided to add in dinner with the kids.

At a restaurant.

Where people must behave in a semi-civilized manner.

Moopa doesn't speak semi-civilized.  She speaks laugh, scream, throw toys, "hello", "bye bye", "baby" and "Spongebob".

The second we were loaded into the boat we drive I was praying for a painless excursion.  I was a little apprehensive.  Tempted to abandon ship and hit up the pajamas. 

I kept my eyes on the prize.  A $10 gift card.  And time with the circus I love so dearly. 

Our first stop was Toys R Us.  While Hubby walked the munchkins around and let then drool over all the toys they never knew existed, I retrieved my much deserved gift card.

We then let each munchkin browse their "section" in search of any toys they may want to add to their list for Santa.  I must add here that Toys R Us is equivalent to a vacation to my munchkins.  They have step foot in that store a handful of times.  And never with me.  This is a grandparent place.  I don't punish myself and take the munchkins to stores full of things I refuse to buy.

We forewarned before entering Toys R Us we WERE NOT BUYING anything.  The munchkins knew the drill.  No buying, only wishing.

We make unnecessary toy purchases only three times a year.  Easter, birthdays and Christmas.  The wallet can't handle anything else.  One trip for a small "treat"  turns into an $80-$100 excursion because everything is multiplied x4.  Mind boggling.  And expensive.

We left Toys R Us when Moopa decided it was squiggle to a stand in cart time.  The munchkins each had added one more item to their list for Santa.  Bless their little hearts.

We were off to face the restaurant.  We went upscale and hit Applebees.

The hostess had our number at "Welcome to Applebees".  She sat us in the corner.  In a booth.  Away from other patrons.

And miraculously, aside from yell-speak, the official language of my munchkins, and LLG sprawling out in the booth exclaiming he could sleep there, dinner was painless.

To top off an awesome evening out we had coupons for free kid's meals.  Hallelujah!  The munchkins each picked their own meal.  No sharing.  No "we need an extra plate". What super cool parents we were.

We ended our evening of being super cool parents with a trip to the football field for equipment return.  I was positive everything was packed in the bag for return.  I washed, folded and placed in bag.

Three things were missing.

Super cool was so short lived.

Back to the field tomorrow.  Oh, and we came home to a mouse in the garage.  Lovely.  Not.  I hate critters, and I hate their terds even more.

Let the mouse battle begin.

Thankfulness footnote:  Today I am thankful for coupons.  They make life for big families so much more affordable.  They make dinners out possible.  Praise the heavenly coupon.

I am also thankful for my friends.  My daytime chats (every Mom knows chat hours are 8am-4pm, or after 10pm) with my Mama friends are sanity savers.  Thanks Mommy friends.  And blog Mommy friends.  The Mommy Club is entered only through becoming a Mommy.  Battle scars, puke, poop, tantrums, snuggles, smiles and all.  Mommy friends get it.  They rock.  Thanks to my Mommy friends.

Random Picture time!  The circus on Thanksgiving, 4 short years ago.  How time flies!

Mommyhood Cornbread

I have spent the last hour surfing the net for a Gymnastics Beam under $100.00 for the Gymnastics Queen for Christmas.

The best I have found, that is up to snuff, is $96.00.

I am persisting.  I will prevail.  And until I prevail I will post about cornbread.

I am waffling on whether or not to bring this phenomenal bread along with my peppermint patties and sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving.  I am waffling because I know there will be rolls with dinner, and this cornbread may go unfinished.  Not everyone will eat the cornbread.

But I will eat the cornbread.  And my fear is that a very large portion of the cornbread will inadvertently find its way onto my plate.

Then, all of a sudden the cornbread will be gone.

It will be a "Where did the cornbread go?" moment.

Followed by a wake up and realize, "Oh my goodness, I ATE 95% OF THE CORNBREAD!" moment.

This series of moments will conclude with "now I need to do an hour of cardio".

Thus, I am waffling on bringing the cornbread.

But because of the "I can eat the entire loaf" deliciousness of this cornbread, I must share.  And please, if you are strong enough to limit your fresh baked corn bread consumption, bake away.

You will not be disappointed.

Mommyhood Cornbread

1 Egg
1 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Oil
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tsp Baking Powder
Sprinkle Salt
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Cornmeal

Heat oven to 400.

Grease and flour 8" pan.  I used a casserole dish.  You ask why?  I respond, "because I didn't have an 8" pan".

Beat egg, buttermilk, vanilla and oil.  Do not overmix.  Just blend on low until well combined.

In a separate bowl, mix sugar, baking powder, salt, flour and cornmeal.

Add dry ingredients to wet mixture.  Beat on low until just combined.

Pour into pan, bake for 30 minutes or until center is baked through.

 Serve warm, slather with butter, and drizzle with maple syrup.  Trust me on the maple syrup.  You will never eat cornbread without it again.

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

And now for my Thankfulness footnote:
I am Thankful for ice cream.  There is no greater dessert on this planet.  A large bowl, with sprinkles galore, topped with whipped cream.  Every night I slide into an ice cream coma after a day filled with munchkin fun.

Post ice cream consumption, I am thankful Hubby's body temperature runs a cool 200 degrees.  Laying next to him helps tremendously as I shiver, trying to get warm, in my 10 layers of flannels.

Lastly, I am thankful I know how to rock flannels. You must wear them mismatched with colorful large wigwam socks and a sweatshirt overtop.  Trust me.  Irresistible.

Monday Blog Hop!

The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Smorgasbord

Today's post is a smorgasbord of blogging bits.

Does that even make sense?

It's late.  I'm tired.  I'm working tomorrow.  Then I'm watching football.

I have a new blog, MommyViews.  This blog is reviews of parent related products.  Check it out!  My first post is about a new children's beverage, KIDStrong Hydration Drinks.  As a Mommy, new foods and beverages aimed at my munchkins are high on my list of things to educate myself about.  I urge you to check out my thoughts on this new beverage!

I promised every post until Thanksgiving will have a few things I'm thankful for.  Tonight I'm thankful for my bed.
 It's big, soft, fluffy and warm.  I love this bed.  It's heavenly.  It's the kind of bed that makes waking up in the dead of winter almost impossible.

Not to worry, my munchkins do the trick.  They would never let me or Hubby sleep past 8am.  Man do they know how to get us out of bed.  It involves a lot of noise and pleading for food.

I'm also Thankful for my job.  Despite it's very low hourly wages, the atmosphere is pleasant, my co-workers are nice and I get a great discount. 

I'm thankful for my pay check when the Gymnastics bill is due.  Hubby is as well.

Did I mention how thankful I am for Hubby?  He puts up with me one week of every month when I can't even stand myself.  It's unfortunate but true.  Thanks Hubby.  He also keeps the house clean when I'm at work.  He will never know how much that means to a clean OCD freak like myself.
 Now onto my Sunday Blog Hops.  These are fun, easy ways to cruise other blogs.  I never fail to find at least one I love.

Shibley Smiles Sunday Blog Hop

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm Thankful, I'm Thankful, I'm Thankful....

To celebrate Thanksgiving, I'm posting something I am thankful for every day until next Thursday.  After today they will be "footnotes" to my daily post....

I'm thankful for so much I could post something everyday for a year...but it would eventually lead to not having to wipe a butt because Hubby was closer to the bathroom.

And no one needs to know that.  But in case you're wondering, that is super high on my list.

To kick off Thankfulness posting, I will begin with the obvious.  I am thankful for my family, my health and my home.

I am thankful my munchkins hang on my legs (which drives me insane) because it means they need me.  It means they are home.  It means I have them.
 It means I can look down at their precious faces and squeeze them with embraces. 

I am thankful for my family because they lift me up, keep me above water and keep me going.  They pitch in whenever I need it, no questions asked.  They give up their time to lend me a hand.  And they are the most fantastical people on Earth.  I wish everyone could have the pleasure of their company.  Just being near them makes me warm, fuzzy and happy.
I am thankful for my health.  I am thankful for my body because it nurtured and carried four miracles for nine months.  I am thankful my legs can run to my munchkins and my arms can hug them.  Every day I need to remind myself that what my body can do far outweighs its appearance.
 A softer tummy means four strong munchkins lived there for nine months.  A few wrinkles means many, many laughs.

I am thankful for my home because it houses the priceless, irreplaceable family I have been blessed with.  Sure there is much I would change if money allowed, but what is living inside the walls is so much more important than what is on them.
And since I've already gone there, I am thankful when Hubby is closer in proximity to the John or the Moopa when butt wiping is involved.  I am so very thankful every time a butt gets wiped by Hubby.

I have no photographic evidence of butt wiping.  Amen.

What are you Thankful for?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Five Question Friday!

Here it is again, Mama M's 5 Question Friday!  Once again, I love to punish myself and NOT preview the questions...

I am pasting...

What am I about to reveal???....

1. What Christmas song do you loathe?  

Hmmm...loathe?  None really.  I'm not a "loather" by nature.  Plus I love Christmas too much to loathe any one song.  But Jingle Bells gets old pretty fast...

2. Do you and your significant other cuddle at night or sleep on opposite sides of the bed? 

We bought a gigantic king sized bed a year after we were married.  We were in a full size which was tight...add a baby who refused to sleep in his crib...the full became VERY tight! 

And then we made one of our best investments...a gigantic bed.  

And we sleep on opposite sides.  I've been known to kick if there is any encroachment (while I'm sleeping) onto my side.

3. Have you ever had surgery?  

Oh yes.  I'm cleaned out.  I believe my dad's speech at my engagement party was that I was "a great deal".  Everything unnecessary has been removed.  

My appendix ruptured when I was just 4, my tonsils finally threw in the towel at 17 after years of strep throat, and my gallbladder was fully diseased (lovely) by the time I was 18.  

My senior year was rough. 

4. When do you typically have your holiday shopping done?  

About a week before Christmas.  But I pick things up every time I'm at the store since I'm convinced every year this is the Christmas Santa is bringing the $ tree....

5. If money were not an issue (and you HAD to pick something), what would your ultimate luxury item be?  

An oceanfront vacation home.  No doubt.  And we would spend 6 weeks there every summer.  

Forever the optimist, I am buying it with the $ I get from my new money tree from Santa this year....

And to go out with a bang, here is a random picture from my computer's picture library... 
Moopa and her favorite person in the world.  
The dog.  Doesn't my dog look thrilled?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mommyhood Recipe: Chicken Parmigiana Casserole

I threw this together the other night when I needed a quick dinner.  I needed to make something fantastic enough to please one Hubby and four "I'm starving" munchkins.  And I needed to make it with what I had on hand.

No grocery store for me.

I refused.

I don't like the grocery store.

My $100.00 is so much more fun to spend at Target.

After a quick inventory of the kitchen, I decided to create a Chicken Parmigiana Casserole.  I realize this recipe probably exists somewhere in the world, but I've never seen it.  And I guarantee my version is the easiest.

I didn't even cook my own chicken.

I'm a total cheater. 

Chicken Parmigiana Casserole
3 precooked breaded chicken breasts or tenders (I used low fat Perdue tenders that were chillin' in my fridge)
1 box whole wheat pasta (or get crazy and eat white pasta,  I won't tell.)
1 jar tomato and basil pasta sauce (your favorite, I use Rinaldi's)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
Basil seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350.

Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions. 

While pasta is cooking chop chicken and toss into frying pan over medium high heat.  Sprinkle with basil or any other seasoning your tummy desires.

Toss and heat until crispy and delicious.

Drain pasta.  Return to pan and add sauce.  Toss to coat.

Pour pasta in 9"x13" baking dish.  Top with chicken and mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and dish is sizzlin'.

Serve with warm bread and salad.  Watch family inhale happily.
 Everyone loves chicken parm.  This is an easy delish twist. 

Happy Thursday!  I love Thursdays.  Almost the weekend.   Enjoy it! 
Thursday blog hops!
Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: A Tip from Mommyhood

Today is "wordless".  Which I am not capable of entirely.  I am recommiting myself to physical fitness after a 2 week hiatus.  Today will not be wordless as I'm sweating through a killer workout.

I'll have words.  I guarantee it.

Moving on, here is one of my "Mommyhood Sanity Savers".
The baby drawer.  

My munchkins have a lovely habit of emptying my kitchen cabinets and drawers.  They dig in them and steal my tupperware, pans and anything else I need and then can never find.

I finally gave in and gave Moopa her own drawer.  Her own special Moopa place.  She loves it.

Makes life easy.  Love easy.  The end.

Wednesday Blog Hop Buttons:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Craft: Turkey Pins!

In this month's Family Fun Magazine there are several great crafts.  My favorite was the homemade Turkey Pins.  The Mommyhood version is a tad more simple, a few less steps.

Sometimes I am guilty of cutting corners.  I tend to remove any step that isn't 100% necessary.  I am all about the bare minimum.

This approach doesn't work with everything, but it worked like magic while crafting Turkey Pins.

Here is the modified, "Mommyhood" Turkey Pin:

Unless you stockpile craft supplies, you will need to purchase two items for this craft:

Googly eyes and adhesive pins.

Along with your googly eyes and adhesive pins, gather:

Empty cereal boxes
Two different sized caps (I used a cap from an Iced Tea Jug and one from a beer.  Classy.)
Pen for tracing
Trace caps onto cereal box.  There was no method to my madness other than to vary the colors for each circle.  I was aiming for colorful pins.

Have your munchkin cut out the circles.  Separate large and smaller circles.
If you are anything like me, you will take over circle cutting after about five minutes.  I then assigned my munchkin feather snipping duty on LARGER circles.  Snip lines 1/2 way around circle to make feathers.
While munchkin is feather snipping, find a yellow part of cereal box and snip out triangular beaks.

Paste smaller circle on top of larger one, towards bottom (away from feathers).  Hand turkey to munchkin to glue on nose.
While glue is setting, trace several more smaller circles, and cut them in half for wings.  Set aside pairs of googly eyes.

Paste wings in place on sides, underneath smaller circle (away from feathers).  Slightly tuck edges under smaller circle to help hold them in place.

Hand almost finished turkey to your munchkin for googly eye placement.

Making certain turkey is right side up and that pin is going directly across back, peel adhesive off pin and stick to back of turkeys.
Voila!  Turkey pins for your munchkin to bring to Thanksgiving.
These are great to add to each place setting, or have your munchkin proudly hand them out to each Thanksgiving guest.

Or have your munchkin sell them for $0.50/piece at Thanksgiving. 

Anyone coming to our Thanksgiving, bring $0.50.  You've been forewarned.

I'm raising some pretty tough business-minded munchkins. I like it.  I'll have to live with one of them one day.  I'd like nice accommodations.

Happy crafting!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Gymnastics Meet

Yesterday the Gymnastics Queen competed in her 1st official Gymnastics Meet.  This was a whole new experience for us.  I was certainly never a gymnast.  I have never done a pull up in my life let alone a handstand.

After a year of recreational gymnastics, our daughter joined the "team" this past June.   We have spent the last few months shuffling her to and from practices twice a week.  We have dug deeper into our wallets for a uniform, competition shoes, a dufflebag and special "undergarments".

We also watched as she worked hard in the gym.  And practiced hard at home.

If I had a dime for every time I've been kicked by a spontaneous handstand I could fund our entire Christmas.

All this practicing and money spending has been leading up to this meet.  Hubby and I are gymnastics novices. My only advice to her was don't fall off the beam, point your toes and have a great time. 

It's the least I could do.

The competition was at 6pm on a Sunday night.  This caused a mini-uproar amongst the Mommies.  "6pm? Don't they know it's a school night?  We wont be home until 11pm at the earliest!!"

We universally decided our daughters will just have to be late to school the next day if they needed to rest.

The competition was an hour away.  We drove the dark windy roads and highways, thankful for our GPS.  We arrived and the Gymnastics Queen showed very little nerves.  She's a tough cookie.

I felt some relief when I noticed we were the only team that had 6-7 yr olds competing in the meet.  She would only be competing against the girls on her own team.  We all knew what all our daughters were capable of and we are all friends.
Hubby ever-so-delicately pointed out we could have held the meet at OUR gym and saved ourselves the trip.  And the money.  But the experience of a new gym was worth it for our daughters.

And they had a great time.  

We watched as they spun on the bars, fell off the beam (its a learning experience), vaulted like champions and rocked out their floor routines.
Hubby took the liberty of keeping a tally of all their scores.  There is no surprises in a Gymnastics Meet.  Every gymnast knows where they stand if they watch the scores.  They even post them halfway through.

The whole experience was thrilling.  We were so proud to see her out there, in front of everyone, doing her best.  Shaking off her nerves.  And having a great time.
She ended up with two thirds and two fourths.  This was more than we could have hoped for considering there are girls who have been on this team longer.

The highlights of the evening were watching her compete in all her events, watching her on that podium, and arriving home at 9:30pm to watch some football.
And now, with the 1st official Gymnastics Meet behind us, our lives go back to normal.  There is no juice in the fridge, we have about a 1/2 cup milk left in the jug, and Moopa is destroying the house as I type this in 3 layers of flannel pajamas.

Wishing everyone a totally awesome week.