Just because…

… I haven’t shared a picture of the boys in awhile, and I like this one:

Aren’t they cute? All boxed up and ready to be shipped off to military school! Juvenile detention? Nah… not today…

Snowy Days

Fort Wayne got dumped on over the weekend. It was the perfect time to go sledding, build snowmen and build tunnels through the backyard. But what do my boys want to do? Obstacle races through the family room:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=3029786794507

Here are some things you should know about the video, which is very amateur and not very funny in and of itself:

1) I was asked to be the sports commentator by the boys. I never said I was good at it.  Bob Costas/Bob Cutlass I am not. Oh, and I can be funny on paper, you know, the written word? On the spot, not so much. Which is why I keep refusing stand-up comedy shows despite multiple requests. (-:

2) The boys were actually speeding to “Can’t Touch This” by McHammer blaring off Pandora. I neglected to turn the speakers up loud enough. And this whole statement is wrong on so many levels…

3) I wish I could tell you that Matt has no shirt on because he had just finished eating Chef Boyardee. Not exactly true. Actually, not true at all. I recently taught him how to remove his shirt by himself. Now he does it everywhere. Unaided. Without regret or remorse.

4) Nate’s in his good Catholic school uniform pants. Not good. We practiced this a few times before filming, and during one shining burst of spontaneous glory I told him I would go “old-school nun with a ruler on his a**” if he put a hole in them.

5) Yes, those are unwanted Christmas presents on one of the counter stools. I keep telling myself to do something about them: which basically means I move them from one stool to another each day. Give a mom a break: I had my Christmas tree down by mid-January. It could be worse…

6) Yes, Nate is leaping over the cushions of my once-good family room couch. Back in the warranty days, I was on a first-name basis with the stain removing people — a fixture in our home. Nowadays, the couch is covered with goldfish and wheat thin crumbs, dogs hairs, and remnants of cousin Robert’s regurgitated grape juice from Matt’s 4th birthday party.

7) Yes, the house is… well… cluttered. Unless you are offering to clean it or hook me up with an organizational consultant, you just keep those comments to yourself.

8) Finally, yes Matt cheated at the end of the video by cutting through the heavily-blockaded-by-well-worn-blue-pillows area on the hardwood floor. Yes this did result in Nate screaming “cut!” followed by all of the following: screaming, crying, pushing, more screaming, two time-outs and one yelling father. Shoulda stuck with snow angels…

Good Fortune

Denny had to stay late for a meeting tonight. (Translation: Denny will eat surf and turf and I will fix the kids something for the 3 of us for dinner.) This brings up the age-old question: Should I follow the path of least resistance (i.e. chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, or pizza)? Or, should I take the road less traveled?

You know those people who just have to make it hard on themselves? Enter this mommy. I decided to, tah-dah: cook! And part of me will admit one benefit that, when I’m cooking, I’m not having to entertain them, as that would involve multi-tasking (which is a very difficult world, errr… word… uh…. thing for some mommies). So while the boys removed the cushions from the couch, jumped up and down on them and piled all their toys in the center of the floor as their own private junk-yard, I whipped out my cookbook, and located the following: Shantung Chicken.

Not familiar with it? I’d call it a cross between a saucy chicken lo mein and the kind of stuff you get at a Japanese Hibachi grill, but with noodles instead of rice. Minus the large chef hat, throwing swords, and lighting a pyramid of onions on fire. I googled it and this is the best picture I could find (or at least partly how mine looks):

Pressing my luck.

Apparently, on some uber-awesome mommy day, I had scribbled under the recipe “kids love!” WTH? Presentation is everything with most kids this age: Does THIS look like something YOUR kids would eat? For Pete’s sake the green is in plain sight! Plain sight!

Well… either I actually wasn’t on crack that distant day or I did have the good fortune of the upcoming Chinese New Year on my side because guess what: score! Oh… it was far, far from a home run. But much better than a foul. Perhaps the best analogy would be like walking the batter: I served it in front of them, called it dinner and pretty much said “I ain’t got nothin’ else” as I spit a wad of congealed mommy wine to left of the pitcher’s mound (aka “the dinner table.”) Would you believe Nate and Matt stepped up to the plate? (Oh that is a great, deliberate pun, by the way.)

Maybe they were starving. Maybe I should really be on “Chopped.” Maybe they took one good look at my mommy eyes and saw sheer lunacy. It came down to this: the older and wiser Nate skirted around his green onion pieces and bean sprouts with the skill of a fine illustrator who was coloring too close to the lines. The chicken and noodles were gone. Matt’s still honing his skills: He would accidentally get something healthy or crunchy in his mouth, make a face, and remove the offending piece of vegetable matter from said mouth and deposit it in a pile next to his noodle bowl. A pile of half-masticated crun-slushy yellowish mush. But then he continued eating.

So no it wasn’t a home run. No vegetables were digested. Nobody joined the clean plate club nor earned a dessert (except mommy and I’m too exhausted to scoop the ice cream). But I did get chicken and Chinese noodles into my kids bellies. And that, my fellow mommies, is a hit.

Cookies

Confucious say: You no likey? Tough!

It’s in the dictionary

Enough said.

Meal mayhem

Matt invoked the “I’d rather go to bed at 6 o’clock than try my dinner” choice tonight. Nate pulled the “well… I’ll try it but I won’t like it” mantra. I looked around the table and pulled the “I love these pleasant family dinners” glare and got up to get some wine. Denny just sat there, stone-faced, afraid to do anything but eat…

"One glass of wine"

Ski Trips

The husband and I love to go skiing. You know: pay an exorbitant price, wait in long lift lines, freeze your butt off, etc. Unfortunately we haven’t made it skiing since he knocked me up in 2004. We asked Grandma Peggy and Grandpa Marty to accompany us on an all-expenses paid vacation to New England this winter, so that they could provide free baby-sitting in the condo while Denny and I wiped out on some black diamonds. Can you believe they said “no?” Something about fears of getting stuck in the car during a blizzard and having to resort to eating each other. Or maybe it was fear of getting stuck in the car with their grandchildren for so many hours. I can’t remember. At any rate, I have recently come up with a solution to the problem. Check this out:

Who’s with me? (-:

Reflections on Christmas 2011

Santa and family were good to us this year. Really good. I got several bottles of good wine — apparently everyone who knows me well knows I sometimes need some wine to deal with the kids whine. Santa got the whole family a gigunda Yamaha keyboard that he found on special at Big Lots. Surprisingly, the kids haven’t used it much. No, they insist on pounding on the childish keyboard with no volume control that they got years ago from Aunt Carole.  Ugggh. And this brings me to my Christmas reflection:

Why do we buy our kids tons of gifts, only so they can spend the following days playing with forgotten gifts from Christmases past? Or building forts out of ratty old throws and kitchen chairs?

Yeah… in the days since we have returned from that unmentionable state up north (Go Buckeyes!) Matt has spent most of his time playing with trains he already has. Nate is still staring at Star Wars Lego Wii despite getting new Wii games and new Star Wars toys. Huh? Both boys have pulled out this thing-a-ma-jig from Grandma Peggy last year that didn’t work too well then and still doesn’t work too much now. So confused.

Well… just to prove that we did get them gifts they don’t play with, here is a picture of  them opening some at Grandpa Dennis and Grandma Pat’s house:

I suppose it could be worse. Santa could have skipped our house. I have a friend who stuck one of her kids on the naughty list … whoa! Not sure I could do that, would probably just drink more wine on a daily basis. Love to know your thoughts on that one. If you have kids please answer my poll below by leaving a comment.

Santa Claus:

A) Always visits our house.

B) Has left a lump of coal once or twice.

C) Is no longer believed in at home … the kids only get gifts from friends & family.

D) I/we don’t celebrate Christmas (please leave me your Hanukkah gift stories, too … or Kwanza or any gift holiday I forgot to mention).

I look forward to reading your comments.

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