Monday, February 25, 2008

Birthday cake

It's my birthday so it seems only fitting that today's recipe should be for cake. Now my favorite type of cake is white cake with lemon filling and sickening sweet buttercream frosting YUM, but that is not quick and easy to make so instead I will tell you how to make pineapple upside down cake. I like making pineapple upside down cake because it is sweet, but I don't have to put frosting on it. I stink at frosting cakes without getting all the crumbs in the frosting.


One box of yellow cake mix
One can of sliced pineapple
1/3 cup of butter or margarine
1/2 cup of brown sugar
Marachino cherries if you want to be really fancy (I don't do the cherries because if I had them in the house the kids would eat the whole jar in one sitting and get sick. I then would not have any for making the cake anyway, so I just don't buy them to begin with.)

Take the butter and brown sugar and melt them in the microwave for about 30 to 45 seconds, just enough to melt the butter. You should have just enough of the mixture to make a thin layer on the bottom of your cake pan. I use a 13x9 pyrex pan to bake my cake in so I melt the butter and brown sugar directly in it. If you are using a metal baking pan I would recomend you melt them in something microwave safe and then pour it into your cake pan. Drain the pinapple rings but save the juice. Add water to the juice to make up the total amount of water called for on the cake mix if there isn't enough juice in the can. My cake mix called for a cup of water and I had exactly that much juice. Other than that, make the cake mix according to the directions. Place the pineapple rings on the bottom of the pan in the brown sugar mixture (and the cherries in the center of the rings if you are doing the cherries), and then pour the cake mix gently over the top. Bake according to the directions on the box. When it is done baking and has cooled, flip it over onto a platter. Enjoy!

It's my birthday!!!

Today is my birthday and since the hubby got hurt and we don't have a lot of extra cash I wasn't really expecting anything. This morning we went to the mall for a Cinnabon cinnamon roll (I had a coupon for a free one, YAY) after physical therapy. We spent some time window shopping around the mall and then stopped to look at cars on our way home. My lease is up on my car this coming summer and I've been wanting to show him a car that I like but we've never seemed to have the time. So today we stopped and got a brochure and sat in the car. Then the school called. Kimberly was sick and in the nurse's office. That ended our leisurely day of window shopping.

I went back to the school for the other two a little bit ago and got on the computer when I returned home. I was sitting here reading this article about a 6th grader who made her own website to match pets in a shelter with homes which I think is pretty cool. It's amazing what kids can do with computers nowdays. I remember when I was in 6th grade and was one of the few kids to even own a computer. It didn't have Windows and I had to use DOS commands to access the couple of games (like pong) and the word processor that it had on it.

Sorry, I got a little sidetracked there. Anyhow, I was sitting here on the computer when the doorbell rang. Nobody else made a move for the door, so I got up to go see who it was. On the way to the door I asked if anyone was expecting anybody. The answer was no all around. So I answer the door and who is there but my friend Lara, and she brought me a present! I was so surprised. She was so sweet and got me some of my favorite things.

It's Mary Kay Satin Hands and my favorite lip gloss. When the hubby and I were at the mall earlier I was looking at hand stuff because my hands are just getting wrecked from washing them so much at work, but I decided I shouldn't spend the money on myself. My lipgloss has been almost empty for a while too, but I've been trying to use up every last bit. Getting this unexpected present just made my day.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

That's just not funny

Today I received an email from a family member titled "Why we didn't have ADHD when I was growing up". Contained in the email was a South Park cartoon with an adult proposing his solution to ADHD. He yelled at the kids and told them to shut up and do their work. He smacked one of the kids upside the head. Needless to say, I was more than a little peeved.

It really bothers me that so many people have the attitude that kids with ADD just need to try harder, or their parents just need to be more strict with them. You wouldn't tell a child in a wheelchair to just get up and walk, or tell his parents that if they just pushed him harder he could walk. You can't expect that a child with ADD will just stop having it because someone tells them to. Just because their disorder can't be seen like a physical disability, it isn't any less real.

Sure 30 years ago kids weren't diagnosed with ADD. That doesn't mean that it didn't exist then, or that parents were better then, it just went by different names back then, some not nearly as nice as ADD. A lot has been learned about ADD in the last 30 years, but unfortunately the majority of people still hold the backwards view that ADD kids aren't trying or are parented poorly. If more people understood ADD, I don't think they would find these types of jokes funny.

Quiet time

I know you all have been missing my blog, and I've been missing blogging. I've been missing most things that used to be normal to me. I used to have a routine. My hubby worked, the kids went to school, and I kept the house running. I paid the bills, cleaned, and drove all the kids wherever they needed to go. I was lucky that I didn't have to work outside the home. Working inside the home was enough!

A couple of months ago when my husband was temporarily laid off from his job and took a lower paying job in the meantime, I went back to work part time to help make up the difference. I was only going to be working while the kids were in school so that home life would be only minimally impacted. All that changed when he got hurt. Now I have one more person depending on me to drive him around. Now I am the main wage earner in the house. This last week I have worked six days in a row, leaving me little time for blogging or anything else.

The whole family has been affected by my husbands injury. As my husband is recovering he is stuck at home unable to drive. It's so hard for him to go from being the provider and protector of the family to depending on me to drive him where he needs to go. He stays home and cleans the house while I go out and work. He is now the one at home with the kids in the afternoon doing homework and dinner with the kids. For kids who need a very structured environment like mine, just the change from mom's style to dad's is proving to be disruptive. Add to that the fact that they are worried about dad's health and recovery and we've had a rough couple of weeks. The kids have been acting out and I think to some extent the hubby and I have been too.

Today I had a day off. Some of my friends had planned to throw me a little party for my birthday, but all I wanted to do was be alone. Not just alone in the sense of not wanting to be around a group of friends, but completely alone. I felt so guilty for not even wanting my husband or kids around, but just to be completely and totally alone. What I came to realize is that in this last couple of weeks, I've lost my alone time. Before all this happened I had a lot of quiet time. I used to have the whole day while the kids were at school to myself. Sure I had plenty of laundry and cleaning to do, but I could think while I was doing it. Even after I started working part time, my husband would work so late into the evening, I had several hours after the kids went to bed all to myself. I now work all day during the hours I used to spend at home alone and I've been working so much that I come home exhausted and go to bed early instead of staying up until midnight like I used to.

I know that in a few more weeks my husband will be recovered enough to go back to work, and in time we will either go back to our old routine or settle into a new slightly different one, but today I learned that in the meantime, I need to find some way to get my alone time. It appears to be vital to my mental well being. Tonight I stayed up late. I spent some time reviewing my finances, something I have had little time to focus on in the last week and has been causing me a great deal of stress. I usually balance my checkbook every couple of days and know my bank balance within $10 at any given time, so not being able to enter my receipts for a week made me nutty. After getting that done, I decided to tend to my blog. I'm glad I did.

This week I'm going to try harder to do these little things for me. The hubby has three physical therapy appointments this week. I'm going to spend that time reading. I started reading a new book at his last appointment called "You mean I'm not lazy, stupid or crazy" it's about adults with ADD. So far it looks pretty interesting.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A day late....

I managed to get a recipe up yesterday, but the monkey didn't arrive until today. Yesterday I worked all day, and then drove the hubby to physical therapy. I spent my whole morning today driving my husband all around town. First we went grocery shopping, to the library, and to get him a hair cut. Then we went to the 99 cent store in search of items for Kimberly's school invention project and to Office Max to send a fax. It cost us almost $9 to fax 5 pages! As we were leaving we grabbed their sale flyer. They sell fax machines for $20. When we have some extra cash, I think I need to invest in one. After all that was done, it was time to pick up the kids, and then I went to work. When I got home from work I couldn't get on the computer because of my husband. He wasn't using it, he was using his own laptop. He was just sitting with it at my desk, in front of my computer. So when I finally got him out of my chair I was able to upload the pictures of this week's monkey.

Monday, February 18, 2008

New Monkey

There will be a new monkey of the week today, but not until later tonight. It seems that the hubby has used up all the battery power on the camera taking pictures of his injured finger. I will not be posting those here. You are welcome in advance.

Cookie Dough Dip

Ok, not exactly a nutritious meal for your family, but it's a really good dip.

1 package of cream cheese
1 cube of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
3/4 of a bag of chocolate chips

Blend the cream cheese, butter, and brown sugar with an electric mixer. When it is well mixed, fold in the chocolate chips.

Serve with graham cracker sticks

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It could have been worse

I'm sorry for the lack of posts since last Thursday. That afternoon my husband got hurt at work. He is going to recover, but it's been a challenging week. I've been overwhelmed with caring for him and haven't had many free moments to blog. I apologize to any of you who checked in yesterday looking for a new recipe. I'll try to turn one up and post it in the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Girls day out

Yesterday I spent the day with Maria and Monica cruising the antique stores in downtown Glendale. What fun that was! I've never been down there and it was great to get the grand tour from a people who knew where all the good stuff was hiding. I didn't buy anything, but it was so cool to look around and spend the afternoon with friends. I saw some really cute things in some of the shops that I'm going to have to try making myself. We are hopefully going to get together this weekend to do some crafting. I'm really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Big Salad

It's Monday and I owe you a recipe. The new recipe I made a few nights ago didn't turn out so well. It was bland and colorless. So I'm not going to share it. Instead I give you the big salad. I love the big salad. Put some croutons on it and you have every food group. It's a little more time consuming, but I get the kids involved.

Big Salad

green onion
hard boiled eggs
grated cheese
sliced black olives
bacon bits
garbanzo beans
kidney beans

Dice all the ingredients except the beans and bacon bits (they are already bite sized). Toss everything with Ranch dressing. Serve.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

What happened to my weekend?

It's Sunday night and between the Girl Scout thing yesterday and working today, I didn't get much of a weekend. It's just gone. Poof! No relaxing with my feet up, no sleeping in, no reading my books. Tomorrow I need to take Lovely Bones back, I still haven't had a chance to start it and now someone else has requested it. I'm bummed. I spent my time this morning going grocery shopping and doing laundry before heading off to work. I've been a stay at home mom for several years now, so this working thing is going to take some getting used to. It will be nice to have some extra cash though which is why I decided to do it. All the kids are in school now during the day, and even though I could busy myself all day with cleaning and laundry, doing those isn't going to give us some extra spending money.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Saturday clean up

Today there wasn't much cleaning to do. Why you ask? Because I did it all on Thursday and Friday. At least I got all the main rooms and bathrooms clean. Today we had all our Girl Scouts over to my house to learn about other countries for Thinking Day. It was fun. I did Ireland and made some corned beef and cabbage for the girls to try. How yummy. I was thinking about posting the recipe on Monday, but I think I'll wait until closer to St. Patrick's Day. In case you didn't know, I'm Irish, and St. Patrick's day is my favorite holiday after Christmas and my birthday and only because those come with presents. We didn't quite get the girls rooms cleaned, so we shut their doors. After the Girl Scouts left, my girls were sent back to work on their rooms. It's now dinner time and two out of three are fairly clean. It will be really nice if they can get it done so we can relax tomorrow.

Friday, February 1, 2008

One of these things is not like the others...

One of these things just doesn't belong...
One of these things is not like the others...
Can you guess which one?

If you guessed the light bulb, you would be correct.

I went to a lot of trouble to find cute things to adorn the top of my cabinets. Light bulbs were not part of my decorating plan. I don't know why my DH decided that would be a good place for the extra bulb.