Sunday, December 19, 2010

where I've been, what I've been doing, and what I think would be HILARIOUS

First things first, where I've been.  Here.  Right.   Here.   

No exciting travel, no exotic locales, nothing, nada.

I read some blog post once that to be a "good" blogger, which I'm guessing means a blog in which people read and comment, you should never have long absence in which you don't forewarn your readers that you'll be away.  Or else you'll all run away and never look back.

Whoops. I don't ever do that.  I certainly didn't do that this time.

I'm wondering if I even have any readers left.  Anyone out there? Helloooooo

Flyboy likes to check out my blog every once in a while {ie when he has internet and remembers it on the road} and likes to point out how many comments I've gotten for each post, he's concerned my numbers are dropping some, in all honesty I am not, however, leave some love and make him less concerned. 

But all that is neither here nor there.  I drift.  I always have.

So what I've been doing while I was M.I.A..... sickness.  It swarmed our house.

Those of you with kids can truly appreciate that statement.  In fact I think I actually heard the heads nodding and the "ewwwww" as you all can only imagine the things that I got to clean up this week. {That is if anyone with kids is still reading this thing}

It started innocently enough, as most things do, Dash-1 said he wasn't feeling well on monday night, then come 2 am the vomit started.  Poor dash-2, crappy time to start sleeping on the second bunk.  It seemed that we were going to escape this with just dash-1 getting caught in the cross fire.

Until Weds morning when I woke up on death's door vomiting at 4am, and no, no I am not pregnant, I know this because in the past few months the Marine Corps has been a fantastic birth control, I had the worst case of the ickies ever. 

Long story short I had to do something I've done very rarely in my 8 yrs of military wife life, I had to call and impose on people.

I called my neighbor and landlord who lives right down the street to come watch the boys and my good friend who was at work, 45 mins away to come take me to the ER.  I am lucky that I have people in my life who care as much as they do, however, you milspouses out there know what I mean when I say its not easy asking for help and it sucks when it's not our spouse or family that we are leaning on.  {Or imposing on}

Only once the ER got me pumped back up with fluids did I realize what the hell I had left the house wearing.  Wowza.  Times like that I'm grateful that our hospital is on an Army post and not the rinky dink base that flyboy is at.

Dash-2 and 3 briefly dropped too.  They seemed to have caught a much milder form of whatever this is, poor dash-3 is keeping pampers in business and dash-2 did have some foul smelling vomit that thankfully, since I was sick and flyboy had just gotten home, he got the pleasure of cleaning that up. 

So here I am.  There I've been.

We are all on the mend.  I hope, I've missed an entire week of Christmas doing, I got stuff to get done!

Oh and I promised you  something that I thought would be hiliarious.  In fact file this under Reason #427 we are demented parents, imagine this, my boys wake up on Christmas morning, run down stairs to see what Santa left them and what do they find.....

What the hell?! Santa left girl presents?!

Barbies?  Her dream house?  The convertible? An easy bake oven?

{Actually strike that, dash-2 would be all over an easy bake oven. Cupcakes, on demand, right up his alley.}

Here's what you have to understand, my boys are boys boys.  I'm the only girl in the house.  So to review, that's 1 girl {me}, 3 boys, and 1 Marine.  My boys aren't so much fans of girl stuff, they've never had a doll, we aren't an advanced house.  They love nerf guns and cars.

Girl stuff would drive. them. nuts.

It would be hilarious.  In an evil sorta way.

And because we aren't totally evil, we would donate the girl toys, have the boy toys immediately available, oh and most importantly, we aren't going to do it.  But I still laugh thinking about it.

So that's where I've been, what I've been up too, and what I find funny.  Aren't you glad I shared?

***Dammit I spoke too soon.  Within 10 mins of each other last night dash2 and 3 managed to throw up 3 times.  Nothing like changing jammies and sheets at 1 am. Yummmmo

I can't take anymore.  I'm going to hang myself with a Lysol wipe.***

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Support the troops with cookies!

I'm a lucky gal.

I get to make {and eat} cookies from the warmth and comfort of my home.  No one is shooting at me {well nerf guns}, I'm not sitting in a war away from my family, I'm not missing all the comforts home on top of missing my family this holiday.

If you can say the same thing, you're amazingly lucky.

But like so many of us know, especially us military families, someones got to be the boots on the ground.  And thank God for them!

So why not make their holidays a little sweeter?

Kenmore has teamed up with Sunny Anderson from Food Network to for a  Baking for the Troops campaign with the goal of sending 250,000 cookies to deployed troops with messages of support from Americans. 
Sounds good right?  So go to the COOKIES4TROOPS tab on the Kenmore Facebook page and ask Kenmore to bake and ship a dozen cookies on your behalf – at no cost to you and you select your own personalized message, send a message of thanks - a wish for a happy holidays, something to let them know that you care, we’ll pair with the cookies for individual troops.

Even sweeter – when a quarter million cookies are shipped to the troops, Kenmore will donate $50,000 to Heroes at Home Wish Registry assisting military families stateside.  So you help the troops over there and over here.

 And I'll have a recipe to link up to the Cookie Hop that they kindly included from Sunny Anderson which I'm sure are delish.  I'm doubting that you get a show on Food Network if your cookies suck. 
Go send some happiness in the form of a cookie to a deployed service member and then  go click on the cookie hop button to come back and link up the cookies that are baking in your oven right now!


CookieBlogHop

Cookie Blog Hop!

This is the time of year when the gloves come off in the kitchen - no margarine, no low cal nothing, no skimping on the sugar or sprinkles.  It's the best kind of baking, high test, holiday baking,

So without further ado, its time for

CookieBlogHop

a cookie blog hop! 

Why not turn your favorite holiday yummies into a blog post?  Post the recipe on your blog, with the lovely button of course, and link it up here to share it with everyone!

It really is that super simple.  And if you have any questions you can always go back to this post and check it out.   

Bake your heart out, link back here, and leave a comment saying hi, or hey, or whatever you like. 

Oh and while your spreading caloric goodness, spread the word, more bakers, more recipes, more holiday happiness. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

December memories

While hanging out with the dash boys on the playroom floor today I realized something.... Decembers rock.

Dash-2 had asked me what my best gift EVER {emphasis on EVER} was, he's a smart one, and put two and two together that since he was born in December my answer should, of course, be "why you my love". And while he is indeed, one of my greatest gifts, the other 2 excellent gifts were right there staring at me so I did the smart mommy thing and deflected.  

So I started to list all the great things that December has brought....

-Flyboy came home from a deployment, while I was pregnant with Dash-1 and thanks to preterm labor on bedrest {and had to move back home with my parents} getting home in plenty of time for his birth.

-Like I mentioned and dash-2 likes to bring up, December brought the birth of our second bundle of joy and my kindred spirited middle child.

-After a miscarriage at Thanksgiving we found out right after Christmas that I was pregnant with Dash-3.

This month holds some special meaning for each of the boys, but December isn't just kiddie related.....

-14 years ago this week flyboy and I had our first date.  If you would like to know it didn't turn out as planned, we were supposed to meet friends at a movie {Mars Attacks, good thing we missed it} for a double date.  We missed the movie time so we just sat in his car and talked for hours, seeing as though I was 16 at the time, my mother does not find this amusing.  Still.  To this day.

-8 years ago this month, we were married, the start of it all.  Our dating years weren't always rosy {perhaps more on that later, we certainly are the poster couple for "if it's meant to be it's meant to be} but in the end, we found our way back to each other and now, it really is all because two people fell in love.

-9 years ago this month I graduated from college. {Actually one year to the day before I was married not that any of you care but I felt I should share that tidbit} And being done with papers, finals, and obnoxious roommates truly was a well earned gift.

December's a pretty kick ass month.

In  past December, we moved in a blizzard, only to break down on the turnpike {fyi, if you think to yourself, "hey that's my husband in that Uhaul on the side of the road", you should not DRIVE BY, you should stop, that's not a way to start a marriage}.

We shared a Christmas in the hospital as he woke up from shoulder surgery.

We decorated our first tiny apartment, had 3 baby's first Christmas, then there was the Christmas dash-1 figured out that the toy Santa bought was the same exact toy he saw in Target the day before, anniversary's have been spent apart and anniversary's spent together, the Christmas tree that fell over in the middle of the night....

December is a special month, with special memories that, thankfully, show no signs of stopping.

What's your best December gift?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies

It's time for another recipe of mine for the cookie hop! Have you posted your recipe yet? The linky will be open all month so there is plenty of time to post and link up... and check out the other yummy recipes.


CookieBlogHop


I made these cookies on a whim a couple years ago after I found the recipe on the Betty Crocker website and they are now flyboy's favorite.  I could share that he's eaten an entire batch of these cookies before they have cooled but as his wife I don't think its right that I blab that.

oops.

I don't have a picture of the cookies when they are done because, well, the battery died in my camera.  I'm thinking that doesn't happen on Food Network cookie shoots. But take my word, they are a pretty little cookie.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 tbl of brandy
(if you dont have brandy around you can use vanilla I've tried it with both and while its still yummy with vanilla the brandy gives it good flavor)

1 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries

Beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar until smooth.

Then add the brandy and egg, cream together and then slowly add in the flour and baking soda.

When thoroughly mixed, add the chocolate chips and cranberries. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

If you are making these to give in cookie boxes, I would save time and double the recipe, these cookies ALWAYS go over well and FAST.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Super Simple Saltine Toffee

 There is a holiday staple in my house, so its fitting for my first recipe of many for the Cookie Blog Hop

CookieBlogHop

It's quite possibly the easiest thing I make all year long, its my go to when I need a really sweet treat to give away, because it's THAT good and that simple.

Super Simple Saltine Toffee

And yes you read that right, saltines. As in the cracker. Don't judge folks until you've tried it. Cause it is goooooood.

First get everything together.  
1 Cup butter 
1 Cup brown sugar
about 1 sleeve of Saltines
1 bag of chocolate chips

Spread out the saltines into a 9x13 pan.

Melt the butter and the brown sugar together, bring to a rolling boil and boil {keep stirring} for just about 5 minutes.  Pay attention to the time!

Pour the sugar and butter mixture over the saltines and place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 7 minutes.  

Remove from the oven and pour the chocolate chips over the pan and let the chips melt.
As the chips melt, spread the chocolate around to create a smooth layer.  Let it cool for a few hours or over night.  I prefer overnight to be sure that its hardended all the way.  

Break apart the pieces, package up, and enjoy.  



If I can offer up a helpful little tidbit.... don't try to go healthy with this recipe.  Only real butter will work and if you try to go low salt or no salt on the saltines it turns out tasting flat... I know because I tried that once and it was nothing short of a hot mess.  Though I did save calories because I couldn't bring myself to eat it.  But isnt the point of holiday treats to be delicious?

Enjoy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

the day of dash-2

 Today is your day dash-2.  

Today, you turn 4.

Yet another amazing year watching you change and grow.  Good with the bad, happy with the sad, you're a fascinating kiddo.  

How many other kids your age can explain symbiotic?  Shoot I can't even spell it! Although donuts to dollars I'd bet you can't either so we're even there.

You went from a diaper wearing 3 year old who didn't talk much to an underpant clad big boy who is already sounding out and spelling words.  What happened?  How is it that you're outgrowing all your clothes?  How'd you get so smart? So adorable?  Is it all the hot dogs you eat?  Should I stop watering you? 

Every day you look more and more like your daddy, but at the same time, every day you act more and more like me.  That temper, oh that temper, the way you hold on to your pissiness, that glint and hint of mischief in your eye that just screams "I'm screwing with you".  Those are the things that let me know, as if there were any doubt, that you are my boy thru and thru.

When you are big and tall, with kids of your own, I'll remember bits and peices of your 3's.  I'll remember how you were so stubborn about potty training that you could actually poop on command just to annoy your father.  {I have to say, this was kinda entertaining}

I'll remember how we play the "right here" game with our kiss, the adorable gravelly way you would say "gimme a kiss, right here, right here" pointing to your cheek and then quickly turning your head. 

I'll remember how your life changed the moment you ate real pizza.  Not that fake crap that they eat in the rest of the country but the real stuff.  Pure joy my son.

I'll remember how despite being a rough and tumble boy, you didn't want to leave mommy's side as you started school.

I will also remember how your teachers said you were the smart kid they had ever had the pleasure of teaching.  Trust me kid, mama doesn't forget a compliment without a "but" on it.

I'll remember that you were the most adorable green t-rex for halloween.

And you know what, I'll forget some stuff too.

But what I won't forget as we start a new year of you, a new year with your big bad {and by that my dear I mean the good kinda bad, not the bad time out kinda bad} 4 year old self, how lucky I am to be your mommy.

Happy birthday my dear!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

More info on the Cookie Hop- updated!

Hey folks! Get your measuring cups and ovens ready!

CookieBlogHop

Just in time for all that holiday baking that's about to commense, shoot or maybe it already has, I'm going to be hosting a Cookie Blog Hop.  Think of it as a virtual cookie swap, only you don't have to get out of your pjs and you won't consume all those pesky calories.

Now that I have a button {pretty jazzy right? Thanks to Ashley at Hasty Life} we can really kick this thing off right and you kind folks can start spreading the word over on your blogos.  After all, more people = more recipes which = more holiday love.
Ok so I made that equation up but still, the more the merrier right?

Here are the high points just so you can be in the know, don't worry, I'll reiterate these over and over again in up coming post {something to look forward too right?} its not too tough so here goes:

Cookie  Blog Hop Info
- Find a recipe that you love. That IS the holiday personified in a cookie or sweet treat, that you make every year, that you're trying for the first time, that someone passed on to you, ANYTHING! Any type of sweet treat type recipe. {shoot you can even share fruit cake, someone out there may share your passion for it}

- Share your recipe on your blog, on of the best parts of this type of blog hop is that its a great way to find new recipes! So share all the info needed to make your treat.

- Post pictures!  They don't have to be the pics you see in a food magazine, we are regular people, but I personally like to see what my the recipe looks like and a picture adds to a post.  {They are worth a 1000 words right? I should use more pics and less words. yikes}

- Link your post to the main Cookie Hop Blog post which I'll put up on Wednesday 12/8 and don't worry, I'll leave the linky up for the rest of December so people can come link up as they bake and add more recipes if they like. 


- Add the hop button to your post and spread the word!


Sound easy enough, everyone up for it?  Now... go bake!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Etsy Coupon!

Etsy's has created a monster.  A coupon code monster. 

I suppose I should first disclose that I am a coupon whore.  I once ran across the parking lot and almost got hit by a car to save my $1 off pampers coupon.  I have no shame when it comes to coupons.  So when etsy gave me the power to create my own.....

Madness.

But you all can benefit from this madness of mine.  And in time for Christmas!

Tonight I unviel my new coupon code: burpme  good for 15% off all burp cloths and diaper bag packs like these over at Blue Bird Crafting



Get it burpme?  And in case your wondering, yes, yes I do find myself humorous.  Its the simple things in life that amuse me.

my take on homework

I might just be a lazy fuddy duddy stick in the mud, or perhaps people think I sit at home with flash cards beating my kids if they answer something wrong, but I've been shocked by something since dash1 has started kindergarten this year.... peoples attitudes towards homework.

And I'm just poop-myself-surprised at the number of people who have had no shame in admitting that they have done their kids homework.

And fyi one of the mom's admitted not just to doing her kindergartners homework, but her 2nd graders sentence writing homework, going to far as to fake his handwriting.

Here's my thing, a. I've done school, I did my time with homework, no way no hell am I doing yours now.  b.  It's your responsibility, if I let you out of doing it what am I teaching you?  and c. I'm over that whole oh-it's-just-kindergarten attitude.  

The days of kindergartner's napping are long gone. Our district wants kids at a 2nd grade reading level, like yesterday, so by doing their homework you certainly aren't helping them out.

I get it, the homework battle can be nasty.  I was counting my blessings that dash-1 cames home and nicely sat at his little desk and did his homework while I make dinner.  Now he has a new sort of homework, more writing based and his teacher wants the kids to sound out the words on their own.  Right or wrong. 

Dash-1 does not enjoy being wrong.  This has led to some battles as of late.

However after I explained last night that he wasn't "wrong" per say, but that he was learning, they are different in a similar sorta way.  Oh and I added that if he didn't figure out the whole writing thing, he wasn't going to go far in life and he wasn't living with me till he was 35. 

Hey sometimes life calls for honesty. 

But back to homework. I don't know how much other kids his age are getting, I'm not sure if he gets a lot or a little by comparison.  He has a book we read a couple times a night {a new book every week and a worksheet we do about it on thurs. night}, a math worksheet {he had one with a ven diagram that I'm pretty sure I did in middle school}, and then he has a packet with a different writing assignment every night .

It would seem from my conversations at the playground after school and birthday parties that most parents aren't so keen on the homework.  Of course when I went into his school the other day at least a quarter of the class couldn't write their names on their assignments either so maybe there is a correlation.  I don't know.

My kids are kinda on the smart side.  I wouldn't say I have the next Einstein, {dash 2 might be sitting next to me trying to pick his nose with his toes and I have to admit I'm curious to see if he can do it} but they are on the top side of their classes, but then again we work with them at home.

We expect a lot from them.  Granted with getting moderately smart kids God proved he had a sense of humor and gave us rambunctious hellions but hey, all's fair right? But to me high expectations of your kids are still separate from expecting them to do their homework.

It's my opinion that you aren't doing your kid any favors with a relaxed attitude on homework.  Not to say you need to embody the late General Patton during homework time, but unless it says "optional" ITS NOT OPTIONAL!

It's homework folks.  You explain it.  They do it.  It gets turned back in.  There doesn't seem to be much room in that whole equation for me to run amock with it. 

All kids are different, they learn at different speeds, homework is meant to reinforce what is learned at school, to challenge and work those muscles inside their adorable little heads, it's also so that we as parents can see what's going on.  If I'm doing it for him, none of that is happening.

But something else is. 

I'm teaching my kid a valuable lesson.  That rules don't apply to him. 

{And just so we are on the same page here, I am in no way talking about kids who have academic modifications made for them.}

Your setting up the expectations now that they will carry with them later on.

Like I said, maybe I'm just a fuddy duddy.  I'm cool with that.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to fetch a Lightening McQueen for someone before he fashions a tool to get it off the top of the book shelf , that by the way, never ends well.

Was it you?

The winner of the Christmas cards giveaway courtesy of the awesomely awesome Tiny Prints is.....



LivKit!

Congrats and because this is a giveaway that is moderately time sensitive I've emailed you.

Thanks to everyone who entered, if your bummed you didn't win, no need for the sad face, head over to the Tiny Prints site and check out their 2 day 20% off your ENTIRE order coupon code!

And if I might add, while your add it, after you've made up your pretty cards, toss some address labels {matching of course} in your shopping cart.  Very affordable and so worth it.  I did not this year and have already wasted 4 sheets of those crappy self printing ones.  Waste. Of. Time. And money.

Sanity is fleeting, save it while you can. Right?

Again, thanks to Tiny Prints! And to everyone who entered!