Thursday, March 27, 2008

How a spider broke the closet door

I don't like spiders. Spiders are icky. I understand they perform a job and are important to our world. I know that we would be overrun by other icky things if we didn't have them. That doesn't mean I want them in my bedroom.

Tuesday morning Tiffany came into my room and shrieked "eww, a spider". "Where" I asked her, as she jumped up on my bed. She pointed to the spider that was on the floor just at the foot of my bed. So there we were, perched on the end of my bed, staring down this spider that was as big as a quarter and fuzzy. I called to Aimee "Are you dressed yet". "Yes" she replied. "Good, come here please and squish this spider." She came in, laughed and Tiffany and I, and squished the spider.

I called the pest control people and they came out yesterday afternoon. I spent the 32 hours in between these two events trying to get the kids rooms all picked up so the bug guy would be able to spray all around the baseboards in their rooms, lest any spiders try to snuggle with the kids. The kids didn't see what the big deal was and spent most of the time goofing off. They managed to break one of the closet doors in the process. What is it about a piece of wood hanging from two very little wheels that says "Hey, come lean on me, I can support your weight"? Needless to say, I was unable to get the wheels back on the little track. One more thing for Jay to do when he comes home this weekend. I'm sure he will be thrilled.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cheaters Chicken Parmigiana

Cheaters Chicken Parmigiana

Breaded Chicken Patties
Spaghetti Sauce
Mozarella Cheese, Sliced

1/3 cup Butter or margarine
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (the kind that comes in a can)

Place one Chicken patty per person in a pyrex baking pan. Pour spaghetti sauce over each patty. Just enough to cover the patty, they don't need to be swimming in it. Place one slice of mozarella cheese on top. Cook in the oven at the temperature and time it says on the package of chicken patties. (Each brand is slightly different).

Boil spaghetti and drain. Melt butter. Add parmesan cheese and spaghetti. Mix until butter cheese mixture evenly coats spaghetti.

Serve the chicken either on top of or on the side of the spaghetti.


What happened to Monday

Once again I'm a day late and a dollar short. It's Tuesday and I totally neglected to update my blog yesterday. It wasn't the only thing that was forgotten, but the amazing thing is.....

I actually sorted the sock basket. It's only been like 2 months.

This morning, out of habit, Kimberly came into my room to look for socks in the basket. I said "they are in your drawer", she said "what are they doing in there?"

We also worked on cleaning bedrooms yesterday. We can almost see the floor in Tiff's room now. Last night while she was sleeping, I went through her closet and sorted out all the clothes that no longer fit her and freed up about 30 hangers.

I won't bore you with all the other boring chores I did yesterday, but that is the reason I wasn't blogging. I was busy doing all the things that desperately needed doing around the house. Since my hubby has gone back to work, and stopped compulsively cleaning the house, it has gotten a little very messy. Tonight we have our Girl Scout meeting at my house, so there is a lot of cleaning left to do.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

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

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

If you haven't guessed, this is my unofficial theme song.

The latest offender would be my ADD child who left a spoonful of peanut butter on a spoon on my bookshelf, because that's exactly where uneaten snacks belong.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Sort Of

So how many of you know that today is not actually St. Patrick's day, and that it was actually last Saturday? Apparently something weird happens when March 17th falls during holy week for Easter and St. Patrick's day gets bumped. I guess church and green beer don't go together. It's a shame, more people might show up. Here in the US nobody knew except me and one other guy. I wore green on Saturday, but not many other people did. You would have thought that the bars would have been all over it since Saturday is a much better drinking day than Monday, but they seem to have missed the news too. Today I wore a shamrock headband to work. I figured that since everyone was wearing their green today I might as well join the fun. It is my favorite holiday after my birthday and Christmas after all. This guy tells me, "you know today isn't really St. Patrick's day right?". I said "I know, but you and I are the only ones so I decided to join the fun." When he left he said "have a happy day". I think he was mad at me for being a sell out. Oh well.

So for those of you who were waiting for the corned beef and cabbage recipe, I'm sorry it's a little too late to cook it for tonight, and most definitely too late for last Saturday. The good news is, if you haven't bought yours yet, it should be really cheap tomorrow and it freezes well. I like to buy a few and then I can have corned beef sandwiches in July. So here is the corned beef in the crock pot recipe I promised last month.

3-4 potatoes
3-4 carrots
1 head of cabbage
corned beef brisket

Peel and quarter potatoes. Peel carrots and cut in half. Cut cabbage into 8 sections.
Place potatoes and carrots on the bottom of the crock pot. Place corned beef on top fat side up, along with all the juice from the package. Open seasoning packet and put that in. Add enough water to barely cover meat. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Add the cabbage pushing it into the water around the meat. Cook for another 2-3 hours.

When ready to serve, remove the meat to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into thin slices, against the grain. Serve with potatoes, carrots, and cabbage.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Tonight my kids are all spending the night at a friends house. I have the whole house to myself to whoop it up however I please and my body decides that a migraine would be a lovely way to spend the evening. At least it's quiet. I'm going back to bed now. The computer monitor is making a humming noise that feels like a jackhammer in my brain.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's a winner

So I made it to the store today, but do you think I remembered to write down what I needed for the soup before I left the house, of course not. Going by memory I bought as much as I could remember. Between that and what I had at home, I pieced it together. Not exactly what the recipe called for, but it turned out good, the kids liked it (Kimberly ate 3 bowls of it), and bottom line, it was EASY! So here is the recipe, the original (which is credited to a MsTillmannRN), and my modified version.

Corn Chowder

1 15 oz can of corn
1 15 oz can of cream style corn
2 12 oz cans of chunk chicken
1 can of cream of chicken soup (this is one that I forgot, so I substituted cream of celery)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (forgot this one too, but I had a second can of cream of celery)
2 7 oz cans of mushroom stems and pieces (this just sounded gross, and I didn't think the kids would like mushrooms in their soup so I substituted a 15 oz can of diced potatoes)
1 5 oz can of evaporated milk (I didn't remember what size when I was at the store and bought a 12 oz can, it worked)
1 16 oz can of chicken broth
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 teaspoon of pepper (I added another 1/2 teaspoon because I didn't think it had enough)
1/4 teaspoon of salt (I also added a couple shakes of garlic salt)

So the directions say to open all the cans and DO NOT DRAIN (sounds kinda weird I know, but I followed the directions). Pour all of it into a large pot (it makes a lot, you will have leftovers unless you have a family of 10). Stir well. Cover (I apparently had stopped paying attention by this point because I didn't cover). Heat for 20 minutes on medium and then reduce heat to low and cook another 10 minutes.

For a something you can whip up in 30 minutes with stuff that you have in your pantry, this recipe is fabulous.

I AM that crazy

Today I took five, you heard me right 5, kids to Chuck E Cheese and the mall. My three plus two of my friend's kids. Amazingly they were all really well behaved. It was so fun to watch Tiffany stare in awe at Chuck E Cheese. She's 6 and still blissfully ignorant of the fact that Chuck E Cheese is just some guy in a furry suit.

After Chuck E Cheese we went to the mall and Tiffany got her ears pierced. Then we saw the Easter bunny. Hey two guys in furry suits in one day. That's got to be some type of record. All this fun meant I didn't have the time to stop at the store to pick up the ingredients for the recipe that I wanted to try tonight and then share. It looks really promising. Open 10 cans, dump the contents in a sauce pan, and in 20 minutes you have soup. I don't want to post it until the kids have tried it though. I'll do it tomorrow, right after the jump place, McDonalds, and the orthodontist, I promise. It's not like the sock basket (that I still haven't touched by the way).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Socks are evil

I don't like socks. I'm not a big fan of shoes either. Most days (if it's above 70 degrees) you will find me in flip flops. If it's cold, I love my UGGS. Neither require socks. Unless you are my friend Kim, who likes to sport the socks with flip flops look. She can pull it off, I can't. Besides, I can't stand the sock being crammed between my toes. If it were up to me, the only use for socks would be sock monkeys. I make a darn cute sock monkey. You've all seen the one I made for Kimberly, but I made an even cuter one for my friend Maria's daughter's birthday. Of course I forgot to take a picture of it before wrapping it up. Maybe Maria will be so kind as to take a picture so I can share. Life isn't always convienient though, and sometimes it requires safe, closed toed shoes, hence the need for socks in my home. Having to wear socks means having to wash socks and having to wash socks means having to sort socks. Sorting the number of socks a family of 5 wears in a week, 2x5x7=70 freaking socks a week. plus the strays. When it comes time to wash the whites (most of our socks are some form of white) I throw all the socks and panties in a laundry basket to sort later. "Later" being the operative word. I haven't touched that basket, other than to add socks to it, in over a month. The kids come in and dig through it in the mornings to find a pair. Tonight, as yet another load of whites is washing, I told myself I really should sort the socks, but then I decided it would be way more fun to blog about it instead. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow.


Sucks. I remember as a child trying desperately to get my mind to stop going a mile a minute at bedtime. Focusing on just the black of my eyelids. If a stray thought popped up, returning my wandering mind to the dark. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. I continue to be plagued by insomnia. I've even been given some nice sleeping pills (that hardly work). The problem is that by the time I realize that I'm not going to be sleeping, it's too late to take one. Now there have been many times that I have taken them and nothing happens, I still lay there awake, but the ONE time I take one when I have "less than 8 hours to devote to sleep", wouldn't you know I slept right through the alarm, didn't wake up until 8, and my kids were all late for school. So the other night, about 12:30, I'm laying in bed and have the realization that I'm wide awake. I have things on my mind, like the upcoming 504 meeting, what to do with the kids for a whole week for spring break, missing my hubby, but nothing so urgent that it couldn't wait for the morning. The morning that was going to come at 6:45 am sharp, whether I wanted it to or not, because I needed to get up and take my little one to sell Girl Scout cookies in front of a grocery store. So I laid in bed for 6 hours, and then got up, exhausted at 6:30. After cookie sales were done, I took a nap, which of course made it so when I went to bed, I wasn't sleepy.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Don't look now, I may be getting all gourmet on you. Not!

Tonight I was reminded of why I don't waste my time making really good, gourmet type meals. It's not that I can't. Look at the picture above for proof. Those would be cheese tortellini in alfredo sauce served in acorn squash bowls. It sounded like a really good recipe, so I decided to make it for dinner tonight. Cut the acorn squash, scoop out seeds, cut a bit off the bottom so they sit flat. (First of all do you realize how hard it is to cut those suckers in an even half? The recipe says cut in half lenthwise so each half has a piece of stem. Right. My knives didn't like the stem. It took some creative body work to get them in something resembling equal halves.) Bake for 30 min. Meanwhile cook tortellini and simultaneously make alfredo sauce from scratch. Time it all so the tortellini, sauce, and squash are all done at the same time. Place the tortellini sauce mixture into the acorn squash bowls, sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese, and return to the oven for 10 minutes to brown. This whole process took over an hour. It would all be worth it when my dinner guests children ohh'ed and ahh'ed over how amazingly yummy it was. Right? Wrong. What I got instead was a table full of disgusted faces, picking at the tortellini, looking at me like I was the worst mommy ever and trying to feed them worms in mud sauce (oh wait, Kimberly might have actually liked that). So I give up, it's back to 3 ingredients in the crock pot, nothing that takes more than 15 minutes to prepare, for at least another 15 years I'm sure. If you are a fan of those recipes, you have nothing to fear. I'll keep them coming.

Lizards can't swim

You'd be surprised the things I've learned are not very good swimmers. At our house back in California I found all kinds of things that couldn't swim in my pool regularly. We had quite a bit more wildlife there than we do here, but the creatures that tried to swim most often were the lizards. (I can also tell you that tarantulas and potato bugs are crappy swimmers) So it came as no surprise to me yesterday to see a dead lizard at the bottom of my pool. Kimberly flipped out. "Ewww, that's gross. Get the net. We have to get it out of there now. I'm going to be sick." I tell her "fine, get the net." She proceeds to fish the dead lizard from the pool. When she gets it out, she picks it up with her bare hand and starts carrying it around the yard. (I don't get why it's so gross in the pool, but not in her hand. Maybe it was just a clever ruse to get me to let her remove it from the pool). Then she comes running and tosses it into her bug box and insists that it moved. I look at it, and it's definitely in lizard heaven. I assure her it wasn't moving. I ask her again to go throw it away. Instead she decides it needs a proper burial. So she and her friends dug a hole and gave the lizard they never had the chance to get to know a proper send off.

Can we swim today?

It's March and we live in Arizona. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't 120 degrees all year here. In the winter it does get cold, and our pools get quite chilly. So when the weather starts warming up, of course the pool takes awhile to catch up. This past few weeks it's been very nice with temps in the high 70's to low 80's. (To those who are jealous because you are still dealing with snow, just remember I will be jealous of your 70's and 80's when it's 120 here.) Yesterday the kids were outside playing and since it was nice they wanted to swim. There is no convincing a child that 60 degree water is too cold to swim in. You can deal with a daily round of "Can we swim today?", or you can do what I did yesterday and say "SURE!, just don't forget your towel". Hillarity insued. My 6 year old was the only one who really fell for this as the other two have learned this lesson already in previous years. I have to say though, this one was the most entertaining. She ran off, got her bathing suit, and her towel. She came out and asked if I would take a picture of her. I said "Sure, go get my camera, and as soon as you have your whole self wet, I'll take a picture of you". She ran and got my camera. She started getting in, and apparently her legs are impervious to cold. She was on the second step and still declaring that the water was fine. Then it happened. She took the next step and was now waist deep in the water, she exclaimed "HOLY CRAP!!!" Now you need to understand that this is not something she normally says, or something that I would normally allow her to say, but I was so busy falling out of my chair laughing that I forgot to reprimand her. Of course there is no picture, because she was out with her towel before I got off the floor.

Friday, March 7, 2008

What part of DISORDER do you not understand?

Isn't it just lovely when you are having a conversation with someone and they don't seem to listen to anything you say. This is how I've felt all year every time I talk to my daughter's teacher. She seems to live on her own little planet. It's not the same one where I reside.

Today I had my parent teacher conference with my daughter's teacher. She said that my daughter was doing well, progressing well, etc. When my daughter mentioned that she was excited to finally be getting her 504 plan written up, her teacher got this horrified, deer in the headlights look, and proceeded to tell me that she didn't think my daughter needed one. She then said that my daughter could do everything required in class if she would just focus. FOCUS? Is that not another word for Attention? Is Attention not the thing that my daughter has a clearly diagnosed DISORDER with?

I'm so sick and tired of everyone thinking that my daughter should just try harder, I could scream. She tries hard. She tries very hard. I wish people could see that. It's so frustrating to her when people treat her like she is lazy or not trying. I'm happy that next week is spring break and I get to spend some time with my kids away from school. They deserve it.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The big day

I finally have a date for the meeting to write my daughter's 504 plan. I'm so very nervous. I've obviously never done this before. I've read so many books and internet articles about them since I first learned about their existence last year so I think I have a pretty good idea about what I want included in it, but once again, I feel like the underdog. I've learned that school districts aren't exactly forthcoming with information about how to obtain or write a 504 plan. They don't exactly tell you what is available to your child. You have to be informed and go in and ask for it. I feel like I am preparing for battle, which is not a feeling I enjoy. The next 22 days will be devoted to brushing up on my knowledge. If anyone has personal experience or knows of a good website on the topic, please share.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Yup, it's true

As alluded to in the previous two posts, my hubby has returned to work. His finger isn't entirely healed, but he got called for work, and was eager to return to his role as provider. It's been an interesting few months. This was the first time we had ever endured him being out of work because of a strike. He learned all about milk processing and lost part of a finger in the process. I learned all over again how wonderful he is, even if he did keep me from my computer. I'm glad he is back to work doing what he is passionate about. I hope it helps him heal. For the rest of us, it sucks having him gone, as it always does, but it's a sign that life is returning to normal and everything is going to be alright. For me it's going to take a few days to get used to doing everything on my own again. He was doing an amazing job of keeping the house clean, laundry done, getting the mail every day (I always forget), and helping with dinner and the dishes.

One of life's mysteries explained

I know I'm not the only one that has an issue with socks missing their friends at laundry sorting time, I even have a little bucket for the orphaned socks, but I just discovered where some of them go (and it's not the dryer). You were thinking it was the dryer, right? We've all heard that the dryer eats socks, there are countless jokes and cartoons to that effect. So you might be surprised to hear that the washer just ate one of my daughter's socks, and I saw it do it.

I was starting a load of laundry and there was this blue sock up towards the top of the washer basket. I went to grab it to put it into the washer basket and it fell behind! In between where the basket is and the cabinet it sits in. Now there is a sock where I'm pretty sure a sock doesn't belong. I'm sure there is a motor and moving parts down there somewhere. I hope it doesn't break my washing machine. I really need to do some laundry today.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Crock Pot Ribs

Wow, it's Monday again already. Last week was quite eventful. I'll elaborate on that in another post, but today I was on my own again to run my whole household (including dinner). This is what I came up with. I had some pork spare ribs, but I didn't have a lot of time to mess around with them. I had to work today. So I looked on the internet to see how to cook them in my crock pot. I found several recipes, some more complicated than others. This was by far the simplest, and quite obviously the one I picked.


2 racks of spare ribs
1 16 oz bottle of bbq sauce

Put the ribs on a foil lined baking sheet and broil in the oven for 10 min per side. This is supposed to crisp them up some and drain some of the fat. I forgot I was broiling them until something started smelling good, so they were probably on the first side for 20 minutes, whoops. Didn't seem to hurt anything though. Cut them in half so they will fit in the crock pot. Slather bbq sauce on each section before you put it in the crock pot. Dump the rest of the bottle on the top. Cook on low for 6 hours. Broil for another 10 minutes when ready to serve if you want them a little more crispy on the outside.