Feb 26, 2011

The Boy: He's FOUR!

I've been needing to write up the birthdays for a while now, but because I'm riddled with ADD, I keep getting sidetracked.

Also, it's not like I want random people to know EXACTLY when my children's birthdays are. You random people are fine, but those OTHER random people, not so much.

For Hubs birthday, I took him on a surprise trip to Disneyland a month before his actual birthday. On his actual birthday I made the requested waffles and for dinner that night we ended up at a hugemongous family dinner because some great aunts had come to visit. Luckily for The Hubs, I made his birthday dinner the night before. I took a cake decorated like a laptop to the party, but it fell apart before we could sing happy birthday. I guess I didn't use enough skewers...or superglue.
The Hubs momma got him a button up shirt, because that's what she always gets him, and my momma got him a game, because that's what SHE always gets him. Luckily, The Hubs likes shirts and games. Did I mention my gift was a surprise trip to Disneyland? OK, then. I win.

The Boy turned four, which is an even number. On even years we get to make a huge fuss and spend time as a family. Poor The Boy was rather sick on his actual birthday. The day before we ate the greasiest, most tasteless food I've ever paid for at the Flight Deck, a cafe in our local airport. Yuk! Then we drove to B&N where The Boy got to pick out not one, but TWO birthday books! What a lucky kiddo!
This child made out like a bandit in the present department. Mom and Dad got him a bubble gun and a Richard Scary board game. Grandma got him a lego man that is a flashlight and hooks to a headlamp and  his other grandma gave him a plasma car. He's played with all the toys every day since his birthday.

video
We also filled the toy room with balloons which the children fought over played with for days. I keep finding forks in there because The Boy realized forks make excellent balloon-popping instruments.

We ended up at yet another hugemongous family dinner on The Boy's birthday, so I brought another cake. Since I'd practiced earlier in the week, this one came out better. The Boy insisted it be a ghost with a pumpkin AND a spider. Since that was within the realm of my cakeology abilities, I made exactly what he asked for...and I totally copied someone else to do it.

I used this frosting, a Swiss butter cream, and it worked so well I'm going to use it again and again. Especially if lemons are in season, because I can then take the yolks and make this curd. Wow. But I probably won't make a cake shaped like a ghost. Just say'n.

Happy Birthday to my handsome, grown up boy. Momma Loves.

To see more work by my awesome friend/photographer, go here.

Feb 24, 2011

Toddler Tweekers

You know how when when your children are the same kind of sick as the kids your children play with, and the other mom takes her kids to the doctor first, and you just kinda assume YOUR babies have the same thing the doctor said their infected friends had?

That.

My good friend took her brood in and was told "it's just a cold". So my currently uninsured (it's a long, boring story) children didn't go to the doctor, because OBVIOUSLY they had the same cough and other symptoms so it's the same thing. Right?

Or not.

Today Zsa Zsa woke up with not only her nasty cough and the runny nose she's had for over a month, she was also occasionally gasping after the coughing fit and once I started to think about it, I did notice her blue fingers the night before. I am SUCH a good mom. Seriously. Applaud.

As soon as she saw me this morning, she asked to go back to bed. That's when I knew she had something more than "just a cold" and I was going to have to fork over a bucket full of money to find out what it was.

Boy, can I call 'em.

An (expensive and uninsured) trip to the doctor later, we found out she's got a double ear infection, a sinus infection, and enough of a wheeze in her lungs to require albuterol. In case you're keeping track, in one day she racked up three prescriptions. Only two of them were reasonably cheap.

The antibiotic is so expensive, if she spits it out, I'm making her suck it out of her shirt, because we are NOT wasting it. Judging on the per ounce price, gold must be a major ingredient.

Speaking of medication, have you ever given a child Albuterol? Well remember a few posts back I wrote about a napless Zsa Zsa and how no sleep has the same effect as would speed on my daughter? Well, Albuterol is the legal drug of choice for two-year-old tweekers everywhere. You can't tell that she also has Tylenol with codeine on board. I think the chemist may have forgotten the codeine part of the Tylenol with codeine.

Currently she's bouncing off literal walls singing, "meenie mo, meenie mo, meenie mo" as fast as her little tongue can motor. Happily, I can report that's not a normal behavior for my sweet girl.

On a completely different, yet related tangent, today Zsa Zsa had to bring her pink princess purse on all our errands. Absolutely everyone who saw her thought she was the cutest thing ever and stopped me to tell me this totally obvious fact. Zsa Zsa compliments easily added 4.2 hours to my errands. I was just glad they knew she was a girl today. Yay for dresses and pink princess purses!

This post has been brought to you by: an exhausted IdahoBecky.

Feb 22, 2011

I Love Needles

UPDATE:

I just thought you should know, I had my Chi adjusted today. It's kind of like an attitude adjustment, but with more needles.

My Acupuncturist said there was a problem with my spleen chi. So he punched a bunch of holes in me, burned some moxa by the points that needed it, and low and behold I'm back to my happy self again.

I'm thinking of taking up a collection to support my needle habit.

Seriously, I feel SO much better. Back to my chipper, upbeat, super peppy self. Wait, maybe instead of getting my chi adjusted, I had a personality transplant. Oh! I hope there's not a glum cheerleader wandering around somewhere...

This post brought to you by Idaho"Sieve"Becky


PS If you want to read a funny story, the last time I wrote about acupuncture, it was Here. I nearly got busted for pot possession. 

Feb 21, 2011

Ponds, Sharks and Other Reflections

Yesterday I sat in church amidst women who sing better than I do, play the piano more brilliantly, are more educated, thrifty, well dressed, coiffured, genetically blessed and had more artfully applied makeup.
They take better pictures (admittedly not hard to do), invent better crafts out of duct tape and bailing wire and generally do more with less.

Then it occurred to me.

I need to be swimming in a smaller pond.

One that lends me the illusion of more shark, less minnow.

Either that, or I need to start focusing on what I'm really good at. Do you suppose heaven gives bonus points for snarky-ness? How about nagging? Unbalanced diet? Judging others? The shear volume of things I commit to and then flake on...

Oh, we'll come up with something...

This moment of minnowness has be shared by, IdahoBecky. Underachiever Extraordinaire.

Feb 20, 2011

Phew! Or, the Sugar Ate My Kids



Can I just say, I'm SO GLAD this week is over?
Seriously. So. Glad.

Monday: Valentine's Day~I thought our family should mark the occation in some way, so I bought the kids each a solitary box of conversation hearts. Total cost: $0.50. The Hubs made heart-shaped eggs and toast for breakfast. Then, the sugar ate my kids. Oh holy whine-fest. Who knew that ONE BOX of sugar could cause such discontent! Before 8:00 am!
We had lots of company for dinner. And of course, Valentine's Dinner would not be complete, without frosting our own sugar cookies. Oh, just shoot me now. Because the camera was lost until the end of the week, I have no pictures of this. Be glad. It wasn't pretty. Word picture: two four-year-olds, two two-year-olds, four cups of vibrantly colored watery frosting. Spoons.  Let's just say, the adults weren't going to eat the cookies.
The Hubs got me a giant box of mini Lofthouse cookies. Why he thought I needed a giant box of the one one of the foods I'm MOST addicted to, I'll never know. (but it could have been because I pointed and jumped up and down with happiness when I spotted them on our totally hip Wal Mart date). I hid them from my kids. And made The Hubs hide them from me.  If a cupcake wanted to be a cookie, it'd be a Lofthouse.

YUM.
Note: Not my cookies. My box was much, much bigger. Much.
I can't remember what happened the rest of the week, because I was in a sugar coma, but somewhere in there I made a two-layer 9x13 cake for The Hubs' birthday. It was shaped like a laptop, because I'm awesome like that. But it fell apart before I got a picture, because maybe I'm not that awesome.
The keyboard was made out of Starburst. Somehow my kids got their grubby little hands on the bag, and again, the sugar ate my children. Whinefest 2.0. If there is anything to be proud of here, it's that their whining is improving. I may have also given them the leftover bits of cake I didn't need after shaping the earstwhile laptop cake. But that was BEFORE I noticed the Starburst were gone...


Friday: For breakfast I ate greenbeans. That's how sick of sweet I was.

Weekend: We started celibrating The Boy's birthday. Of course, I needed to make another double decker cake for this most momentous of birthdays. The oldest has survived my parenting for four whole years!

WOO HOO!

None of us has any idea why he needed "a caked that is black and white. And looks like a ghost. With a spider and a PUMPKIN! "

Apparently he has his birthday confused with a more widely celibrated holiday.

(I'll post a picture with the birthday post I'm working on. Currently we have the camera, but not the USB cable to port the pictures off the silly thing. )

So, as you can see, I'm not eating anything sweet for at least a month, or until the Intense Orange Dark Chocolate Bar starts calling my name.

Feb 19, 2011

How to Eat a Mango. Properly.

Today I got four of the most gorgeous mangoes I've ever seen this side of the equator. (Not that I've been south of the equator...) Plump, juicy, organic Peruvian mangoes. Oh glory. In case you're like most Americans and eat them with a knife in one hand, here's the "real" way to geterdone.

  1. Rinse the outside.
  2. Massage the heck out of it. Massage like you've never before massaged a mango. Massage until you feel all the pulp breaking up and it's mushy to the point of near leakage.
  3. You know that little stem on the end? Pop that sucker off.
  4. Suck the pulpy juice out through that itty bitty hole.
  5. If this works for you, let me know, I've not managed it yet. At least, not neatly. My mangoes are still eaten while standing over the kitchen sink.
This How To brought to you by one sticky IdahoBecky.

Feb 16, 2011

Um...and Shopping with Zsa Zsa

I re-read my post from yesterday. Can we just all agree that I should NOT post ANYTHING
when I'm hormonal?
Good.
Moving On...

Today I took Zsa Zsa with me to Wal Mart. Oh, just the one kid? you're thinking. Yeah. Just the one. Thing is, she forgot to nap today. Some kids get whiny, other kids get sleepy or clingy. Not my daughter. Skipping a nap for her is the equivalent of downing a box of no-doze, four Red Bulls and a couple hits of speed. That kid was WIRED.
Example: In the Wilton cake decorating area, she found the ONLY container of food color gel that happened to have product on the outside of the container. Before I had time to scream "NO!" and move, 1/2 speed movie-style, she had it all over both hands, her face AND her dress. Did I mention it was Red?

After cleaning up that little treasure, I tried to get her to ride in the cart. This is OK, as long as you have one hand on her head, holding her down at all times. If not, she thinks it's a GREAT idea to stand up and launch herself head-long in your general direction, whether or not you happen to be looking, or even facing her. OBVIOUSLY the Mommy will catch her. We caused no less than 4 snow bird heart attacks, but don't worry. She never once hit the ground.

At that point, due to the rapidly escalating need for EMS and cardio paddles, I figured it was safer to let her walk. The trouble is, I take my offspring to The Children's Museum on a regular basis. The same museum that has a very realistic child-sized grocery store in which the children are encouraged to role-play. How did I not see this would translate into my daughter thinking it would be OK to "help" me shop? Daughter. Daddy does NOT need those Depends...or the Ben Gay.

When she got done helping me shop, her new idea of fun was to run the entire length of the isle, make the turn going full tilt, and then peak her head back around the isle to see what was taking me so long. Remember that Red Bull and speed? Yeah. THEN she started to take off fast so she could run in front of oncoming old people's carts, the ones EMS didn't already cart off for Advanced Life Support, stick her hand out like a traffic cop, and smile charmingly. The snowbirds all thought this was adorable. The few people who actually had anywhere else to be that day were less amused.

My daughter displayed every indication of needing Valium, but all she REALLY needed was a nap. Too bad Wal Mart doesn't carry Valiums or naps, because I could use one of each about now. I guess it's a good thing they do carry No-Doze and Red Bull.  

This amusing anecdote has been brought to you by: IdahoBecky.

Feb 15, 2011

A "Woe Is Me" Post

Here's the deal. I've been feeling out-of-sorts lately, and I can't get in to my acupuncturist until next WEEK!
Brent is amazing. Unlike a regular doctor, I can tell Brent I feel off balance, he checks my chi and clears the blockage. I always walk out feeling like a new person.
Since next week is a long way away, I'm going to whine here in the hopes it will be cathartic.

  1. My neighborhood is making me claustrophobic. The houses are packed so tightly it makes it hard to breathe. I think I've figured out why the HOA requires us to paint the houses all the same: it makes it feel less like stacked coffins. Also, on a totally unrelated, yet still in the same paragraph tangent, ALL the new move-ins are whatever the current PC term is for black. I'm not saying that's bad, I'm just saying I'm from Idaho. We don't have black people in Idaho. I think they're scared of us. Or of our truly appalling fried chicken.*
  2. I miss the routine of school. I miss HAVING to be somewhere every day and being accountable to someone other than myself. Also, it did not suck getting grades to reward my effort. Nobody is giving grades for mopping and meal preparation (although I hear about it if anyone goes hungry).
  3. I'm lonely. There's a kind of camaraderie that goes along with school. When you're in the same classes as other people you have so much in common. People here don't seem to get me. Plus, the neighborhood and church are COMPLETELY different. Both have grown so much since we left, it's like moving to an entirely new place, even though our house is the same. It's kinda disconcerting. Also, I'm too depressed to make much of an effort right now.
  4. I miss my momma. I miss her Crazy Bad. She's coming to see me at Spring Break, but that's only a few days, not forever.
That's about it. What do you think? Do I need happy pills? Does ephedrine count?
*I'm not a racist. Just thought I'd point that out. I am also not politically correct. Like, ever. I still call gay people homosexuals...or fairies. I think it's only fair, since they call me a breeder. What do you want? I'm from Idaho.

Feb 12, 2011

One Upping: A Funny Story

Friday I found a $5 variable speed Black & Decker Sander. {Choirs of Angels Singing the Glory of My Craigslist Prowess}. On the way to pick up this little treasure, we ran a few errands. One of which consisted of picking up a pizza and taking it to the park so our hungry children could eat dinner and quit whining in the back seat.
At the park, we were, eh hem, privileged to meet some future stars of the MTV hit show, Jackass. One in particular stood out. This young man was really something. I'm guessing he's about 8 and we shall call him Scooter, because obviously his parents didn't care enough about him to give him a real name...or any child-rearing-ness.

Dear, sweet Scooter was playing the One-Up Game with a 6 year old I'm calling Reginald, because he was the less obnoxious pre-pre-teen.  This game consisted of  Bud saying something completely ridiculous like, "I'm the Neighborhood Champion of Skateboarders. I won by going down these stairs!" Then Reginald would say, "Well, my friend, Suzy Q, is the best! She did jumps from HERE! (pointing to the very top of a play structure pole). Then our little TV starlette wannabe would prove his skillz by (badly) performing a "trick".
Truly, it was hilarious.  The hubris was so thick, I nearly choked on it as I tried mightily to contain my mirth.
The best bit was when Scooter attempted a "trick" he just couldn't manage and introduced his face to the concrete. At that point, there really was no way to stop the laughter. It was guffaw, or die. And by die, I mean soil myself.
Needless to say, there's a reason I don't watch Jackass on television. It's much better live.

Feb 10, 2011

Raw Wild Rice Salad

When I first read the recipe for raw Wild Rice Salad this is what my brain said, that's barmy!" 
My brain has evidently been watching lots of British television. 
Then, because I was desperately hungry and had five days in which to soak rice, I tried it. 
Now this recipe is a staple and I make it twice a month or so. 
The original recipe comes from Rose Lee Calabro, courtesy of The Complete Book of Raw Food. Frankly, this cookbook only occasionally proffers edible food, but this is one recipe that is worth it.

Advanced Prep Time: 5 Days to sprout the rice
Active Prep Time: 15-20 min

Makes 2-4 servings

Soak 1 1/2 cups wild rice for five days, changing the water twice a day. I soak it in a Mason jar next to the sink, so I can remember to change the water. Do not, under any circumstance, use a wild rice BLEND. The other types of rice are so crunchy you wouldn't be able to make it through the meal without breaking a tooth, or scratching your larynx. (lar-EEnx, not lar-nix, you're welcome, Dr Boling).

After you've waited around for 5 days, pretty much dying of hunger, rinse your rice one last time and put it in a bowl. Now we're talking!

1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 red onion, minced
1 carrot, shredded
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/4 cup raw corn
1 tomato, diced
2 Tbls fresh parsley or 2 tsp dried
4 Tlbs cold pressed olive oil
2 Tbls lemon juice
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt. I don't know why regular sea salt won't work. Apparently the Celtic kind is magically delicious. 
Sorry about the picture quality. I think something is wrong with my camera.
I mean, other than the person operating it, that is.

Combine all ingredients. I like to let it sit so the flavors can mix a bit. But it's nice straight away as well. 
Also, it's tons better if, right before you eat it, a nicely sliced avocado is added to your bowl. But then, aren't most things better with avocado? Just the other day I saw avocado ice cream. Yes. Really. 

Kidlette Activities: Bean and Noodle Box

Have you ever just wanted a few minutes to yourself, but you can't send the kids out for whatever reason, and you'd rather not turn on the TV? I have. Like, at LEAST once a month.

Enter the Bean and Noodle Box. 


This nifty creation is yet another idea I copied off my good friend, Whitney. She's super awesome at being a mom, so I HAVE to copy her, since I'm not what anyone would call a "natural" mother. Totally making it up as I go along. Ferills.

So here's what you need.

2 minutes
a sturdy large-ish container with a lid that snaps on (to keep out the buggies)
beans
noodles
a large sheet

How it works: Dump the beans and noodles in the container. Spread out the sheet. Place container on the sheet and let the kids get out their kitchen toys. I also have some left over frosting containers and a kitchen funnel they love to play with. The only rule is, the beans and noodles must stay on the sheet, which makes cleanup a breeze! It's an in-door sandbox with more texture for exploration and easier clean up.  Win-Win.

Once they start playing, you have at least 30 minutes of peace and quiet, and if your kids are as easily entertained as mine, up to 90 minutes of blogging time. :D

Feb 8, 2011

You Make It! :Baby Wipes

My friend, Whitney, is super awesome. She totally gets my organic-ness and raw-ness. In fact, she's introduced me to being aware of chemicals in the products we use and so I'm now even more neurotic than I used to be. So neurotic, in fact, that I just made my own baby wipes. Ferills.
It turns out the baby wipes you buy in the store contain things like formaldehyde, chlorine, dioxins and alcohol. Super. Making your own is not as easy as the washing detergent we made last week, but it's close! Or maybe I was just more tired tonight.

LIST OF INGREDIENTS
1 roll of quality paper towels (I used Bounty because that's what I had)
1 cup boiling water
1 heaping Tablespoon of coconut oil or other carrier oil
1/2 cup witch hazel
a few drops of Tea Tree Oil or Lavender oil
A couple light squirts of a chemical-free or chemical-light baby soap
Air-tight container for holding wipes

The point of the witch hazel is to soothe and the tea tree oil is an antimicrobial and thus natural preservative. The soap is obviously the part that cleans. Duh.

Cut the roll of paper towels in half. Or get your husband to do it, because honestly, it's a bit tedious.

Dissolve the oil in boiling water and remove from heat. Dump in the witch hazel, soap and essential oils.
Put towels in container. (FOOTNOTE: Apparently you're only supposed to do one of the cut rolls at a time. I didn't know this, and did both halves of the roll of paper towels. It still worked out, but apparently I won't use them fast enough. Oops.)
 Poor the mixture around the base and slap the lid on for 5-10 minutes. After that time, the cardboard center comes out of the rolls. Let sit overnight to fully absorb.


My favorite part of making these, other than knowing my baby's bottom will be chemical free from now on, was smelling the coconut oil. YUM! It doesn't hurt that I just saved a bajillion dollars, either.

Baby wipes are big business. In 2000 the industry made $263.9 million. (http://www.enotes.com/how-products-encyclopedia/baby-wipes) I'm all about capitalism, so go team for that entrepreneurial spirit. Boo for making something we use on our BABIES, toxic. That's totally a Fail, Huggies. In case you were wondering.

Next week on You Make It!: Toothpaste. Yup. I'm totally serious.
Thanks to Whitney for the recipe and letting me re-blog her blog.

Feb 7, 2011

Addiction

It's time to speak out about my daughter's addiction. We've known about it for quite a while, but lately it's gotten completely out of hand.
I'm in tears as I write this.
Researching treatment facilities has consumed my day. It turns out, there aren't any for this particular addiction! How can that BE! Surely celebrities have children with the same problem as Zsa Zsa! It's outrageous something hasn't been done about this. Just outrageous. I thought for SURE there would be something in California. They have treatment centers for every possible addiction, why not THIS one?!?
We should all petition Oprah...or something.

The breaking point came when I was changing the sheets today and found THIS under her pillow.


Hording and hiding is a sign of serious addiction. Please pray for us and for Zsa Zsa. We hope to break the binkie cycle very soon.

PS This has been a work of sarcasm. Note, and move on.

Feb 2, 2011

Blogger Update

So I found these super sweet tutorials on how to totally trick out your blog in customized everying, which is obviously why my blog has basic blogger templates and color scheme.

The tutorials come in 7 parts, and since I'm seriously ADD, I've only managed to do the first part of the first lesson. Can you say distracted? I can. Dis.....

Feb 1, 2011

Megamind: The Review

Last night for family night we took the kids to The Dollars and watched Megamind. Since it's at The Dollars, 9 of my 10 readers have probably already seen it, but just in case, here's the lo-down for that one remaining person who was waiting to Redbox it.
CONS:

(You know it's not good if I have to start with the cons, right?)

  • They say "butt" at least twice. We are fighting an uphill battle with The Boy and the word butt. Major con.
  • One dimensional  plot. I kept waiting for some kind of adult subplot to evolve and keep me company. You know, like Sesame Street.
  • The commercials and trailers have all the best parts.
  • The main character is a bad guy, which meant we had to actually TALK to our kids about the movie. What a pain. 
  • The hero has no neck. I'm sorry, but that's just WRONG. 
PROS:

  • Animated
  • The voicing is just stellar. Both the protagonist and antagonist's voicing is VERY well done. It may be the only way I can stand Will Ferrell is in voice-overs. Tina Fey is good, but her voicing just isn't as good as Will's and Brad's.
  • The hero's name is Metro Man. Think about it. 
After the movie we saw the police incident command vehicle and the old-timey fire truck in front of the mall, so we walked over to investigate and get the kids a sticker. It turns out Ruby Tuesday's was donating all tips that night to fallen firefighters/policemen. Since we were on our way to grab a pizza anyway, we just went inside to eat. Next year, I'll just send a check.
Even when eating with my grandparent's in the assisted living home, the food tasted better. That's right, I just said Spurkey (spammed turkey) is better than Ruby Tuesdays. Make a note.