Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lazy day (aka random ramblings)

Today was one of those wonderful lazy days that I ADORE. I didn't get out of my pajamas until after 5 pm (I should be embarrassed but I am NOT - you know you would do it too if you could!) I got up early to start our taxes and found out that the IRS is revising a form that we need to claim the remainder of our adoption tax credit from finalizing V's adoption last year. So...we won't be able to file until mid-February!!! That is just annoying - who revises tax forms DURING tax season??? After that, I made a big breakfast and took a nap. I woke up, ate some lunch, and took another nap. I have been sooo tired this week - it was heavenly! V has been sick this week with a double ear infection/sinus infection so she just wanted to play in her playroom with her Polly Pockets. Thankfully I think she may be over the worst of it - she is the grumpiest sick person EVER! (Besides me...I admitted it). Tim is on his 2nd round of antibiotics, so hopefully all of our house will be well soon. :)

What are you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mommy guilt

Today was not a good day with V. She was super slow getting ready for school this morning, so I had to fuss and hurry her along all morning. After school, she accidentally erased a file on my computer and got my overhead transparencies all wet. It's not completely her fault - she has a stuffy nose which is making her a real grump. She is NOT a nice sick person - I wonder who she gets that from (Tim, don't say a WORD!). :) However, when we got home, I had just had enough. She had argued and been sassy and complained and fussed. I told her she needed to cut it out or she was going to have some serious consequences. She continued with her lovely 8 year old mouth so....consequences happened. She didn't like them, she didn't want anything to do with them, and what happened next wasn't pretty. Needless to say, Mommy won - consequences happened, but then later the "I should have" or "What if I had done..." start creeping in. I think moms beat themselves up so much and worry so much about being "the best" - I know I am guilty of it. Right now, V is tucked into bed, hopefully asleep and getting some rest, and I am sitting here wondering what I could have done differently. I know she needed some consequences - her behavior was awful - but yet I feel bad for giving them to her. Does anyone know what I mean? Thankfully tomorrow is another day and hopefully it will be better than today.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm going to open a pizza place when I grow up

Today V was sitting next to me on the couch playing on Webkinz World while I was watching a rerun on America's Next Top Model. I was kinda sorta watching the show and kinda sorta watching V play - she is all about the Webkinz. If you don't know what webkinz are, you have to live under a rock. Seriously! Really, they are cute little stuffed animals that come with a secret code. You take the secret code and register them online. You name them once you have "adopted" them and make a room for them. V has several Webkinz and they are all named after princesses - Ariel the bulldog, Cinderella the white cat, Snow White the bunny, and Sleeping Beauty the white seal. So, anyway, V was playing this arcade game on Webkinz world. It is called Pizza Palace - you basically are the owner/manager/server at this pizza restaurant. You have to go back and forth cooking all the pizzas for the animal customers and if you don't make their pizzas fast enough, they get a black cloud over their heads and leave. It looked like fun, so I asked V to let me have a turn. She was amazed at how fast I could cook a pizza and told me I should "open a pizza place when I grow up and quit teaching." That girl of mine cracks me up!

To tell you how much fun I had at the Pizza Palace, I went back on when V was in bed and played for over 2 hours. LOL! She is going to be so surprised the next time she goes on Webkinz world and finds all the money I earned for her. The best part is - Tim was laughing at me about getting so into it until I let him have a turn and he got hooked too. Right as I was getting ready to get off, I found a new arcade game called Bamboo Break - it is like Tetris set to Oriental music. I am in deeeep trouble....

Friday, January 23, 2009

'Cause cyber pets are so much easier...

V LOVES her Nintendo DS. I am probably the meanest mom on the planet because I am so anti-video games. We have a wii, which is fun, because we can all play together. However, I never had ANY video games growing up so I really limit her time with the DS. She pulled her grades up from the slump they were in, and she got all A's for the 2nd nine weeks, so she has gotten her electronic privileges back and she is all about the DS. She got a new game for Christmas that basically lets you create a cyber kitten - you get to name it, play with it, clean it, the whole nine yards. Forget the fact that we have two LIVE cats and LIVE dogs - she loves her cyber kitty Amber almost as much as the real thing. After school yesterday, she was telling me that she had a "cat show" so she HAD to go on her DS because she would have to pay money (fake game money, of course) if she didn't go to the cat show that day. V, the sweet little persuader that she is, told me that the last time she had a cat show that she came in 2nd place and earned $10. Here's our conversation about the cat show...

"Want to know how I earned $10 for the cat show, Mommy?"

"Sure, V. Tell me all about it!"

"Well, I fed my kitty and gave her a bath and watered her and loved on her and cleaned up her litter box."

"Wow! That sounds awesome! Why don't you do that for our kitties at our house?" (She does feed the cats and loves them to death - sometimes too much. It's the litter duty that I was most interested in).

"Mommy! These are FAKE cats, not real cats. All you have to do is move your stylus over the poop and it magically disappears!"

That statement made me laugh so hard I got tears in my eyes. If only it was that easy in real life... :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No new post tonight

No blog tonight because LOST is on....'nuff said. :) Catch you tomorrow!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sugar cookies, take II (or V's latest obsession)

V and I were off from school today because of MLK Jr. Holiday (thank you, Rev. Dr. King!) so we decided to bake some sugar cookies. Remember my earlier debacle here? I definitely learned my lesson, so this time we started with some pre-made sugar cookie dough (thank you, Pillsbury!). We had to make the cookies today before we went back to school because they had BOX TOPS ON THEM. Do you all know about this wonderful program??? (I hope you are detecting my complete and utter sarcasm here.) Certain foods you buy have these little box tops on them and they are worth so much money. V takes them to her school and turns them in to her teacher. For each 5 box tops they bring in, they get a "spot" on their giraffe (they have a wildlife theme at their school this year). The class with the most spots gets....a pizza party at the end of the year!!!! I swear, my child would go out and eat worms if you promised her a pizza party. It's not like we don't eat pizza here at least once or twice a week. But promise her a pizza party...and she will do anything!

Back to the original story....V has become obsessed with box tops. If she is anything, that girl is competitive! One day I went into the pantry to pack her lunch to find all the tops cut off my boxes...because they had box tops on them. While I was cooking breakfast this morning, she had gone through the fridge to find any box tops on refrigerated food. She stalks us when we bring groceries home from the store to see if we purchased anything with box tops. One day, I am going to find a dead horse's head in the pantry surrounded by boxes with no tops. (Bonus points if you can tell me what movie that's from!) So, after reminding me about ten gazillion times to remember to cut off the box top from the cookie tube, I was really tired about hearing about the blessed box tops. We just started this program at my school so I threatened her if she reminded me one more time about that box top that I was going to take it to MY school and try to win MY class a pizza party. I know, I know, I am a horrible parent, but she quit pestering me every five seconds. I finally cut the box top and gave it to her after we finished decorating all the cookies and you would have thought I gave her a million dollars. "Oh, Mommy, thank you SO MUCH!" (We definitely have a flair for the dramatic around here, if you can't tell by now.)

By the way, the sugar cookies turned out MUCH better this time around. We were actually able to cut them with cookie cutters and roll them with a rolling pin and I didn't have a temptation to say bad words one time because everything worked like it should. We even decorated them with sprinkles and chocolate chips and had a great fun time. :)

PS - if you have any box tops, feel free to send them our way. V would be eternally appreciative. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"Babe?" "Yeah, babe!"

Tim and I are so goofy. We get in these moods where we joke around with each other and it just goes on and on and on - this little private joke between the two of us. Today it was the "babe" joke. If you ever watch Saturday Night Live, there is a running sketch about this married couple who are up each others' behinds but so obnoxious that no one can stand being around them. If you don't know what I am talking about, click here. Tim and I started doing their signature "babe" at the end of each sentence this morning and we kept it The funny part was that V sensed she was being left out of the action and she started doing it too. Haha!

So, what do you do with your husband to joke around and not feel like just a parent all the time?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Favorite Ingredients Friday - Pie Edition

Today is Overwhelmed with Joy's Favorite Ingredients Friday. :) If you haven't visited her blog before, she hosts FIF every Friday and has lots of great recipes. I am not one for complicated recipes, but I LOVE baking, so when I saw it was a pie day, I knew that was right up my alley! The recipe that I am sharing is one from my grandmother (who passed away when I was in high school). She was a special lady and I remember eating this every Thanksgiving and Christmas we celebrated at their house. Now we enjoy it at my house!

Peanut Butter Pie

8 oz. cool whip, thawed
1/2 c. peanut butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. milk
9 in. graham cracker crust

Whip cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar and peanut butter. Slowly add milk. Fold in cool whip. Fill crust and freeze for several hours.

This is really rich, so you can cut small slices! Also, if you want to make it a little lower in calories, you can use fat free cool whip and low fat/fat free cream cheese - it doesn't taste any different at all. Hope you enjoy!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I have a dream....about colored sweaters

I used to be the Target queen - I LOVED Target. I loved the short lines, I loved the selection, I loved the cleanliness - I loved everything except the prices. However, when I am pinched for time or just need a few things, Target is my place to go. I am also a big supporter as I got several Target gift cards for Christmas and promptly spent them all. However, lately, Target has started to get on my nerves. I am sure many of you have heard of their stunt they pulled with the Britax car seats (for more info, read here). That would have made me really mad if I thought I was getting a car seat for a steal and then get a notice that they made a mistake, sorry. Uggh! Then tonight I got even more irritated with my good shopping friend. I had to run in and grab a birthday present for a party V is going to tomorrow. I noticed that they had some of their winter clothes on clearance, so I glanced quickly to see what they had. I saw some really cute cable knit sweaters normally priced at $20 marked down to $12. Great deal, I thought! The only thing was, only the black, gray, and green sweaters were marked. The other colors were not marked, so I figured they just didn't mark them. After all, they all were the EXACT. SAME. SWEATER. I grabbed a black one for the price tag and a cream one to buy. I was so excited because tomorrow is a teacher workday and I get to wear jeans, so I thought the new sweater would look so cute with my jeans. I got up to the register and explained that I wanted the cream sweater but it wasn't priced correctly, so I brought the black one for the price. The register girl rudely informed me that "only certain colors are on sale." This was after a long day, so I just looked at her for a second and said, "Are you serious? They are the exact same sweater." She just looked back at me and said, "I know, it doesn't make any sense." I asked her, "So you are basically telling me because I want the cream colored sweater I have to pay $8 more? That's crazy!" The lady behind me rudely said, "That's just retail." I handed both of the sweaters back to the girl to restock, paid for the birthday present and card, and walked out. I heard the register girl apologize for making the lady wait as I left. ARRRGGH! That is ridiculous - I think you could call that discrimination. Maybe I should call the ACLU or the NAACP and organize a protest to make all the colored sweaters the same price. It is the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day after all!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Single Parenting

I have known for a long time that I would be a horrible single parent. Tim is hands down, far and away, the better parent in this relationship. He is super patient and the "fun" parent - once V told me I needed to be silly and goofy like Daddy. :) He also has an identical personality to V - which is kind of scary since they are not biologically related. He "gets" her sometimes when she is being challenging in a way I don't. So...on nights he has to work late it is just weird around here. This week I have been staying up too late and having to get up and work as normal, so by the evening I am exhausted. This afternoon I laid down for a quick nap because I felt like I was going to fall asleep on my feet. Tim called a bit later and said he was going to be stuck at work with a computer issue - so I napped a little bit longer. V was being great, just playing in her playroom and coming to check on me every 15 minutes or so. I called Tim around 6 to find out when he was going to be home and found out that another problem had happened on top of the original problem, so it was likely he wouldn't see V and we needed to go ahead and eat dinner. Want to know what wonderful dinner I made? I cooked noodles, threw some alfredo sauce on them and cooked some chicken strips. TADA - chicken fettucine alfredo! I was going to run to McDonalds but I was still tired. It is so pitiful - if I had to be a single parent, I would probably never cook. I didn't do anything "fun" with V - we just ate dinner, went over her spelling words, watched TV, and then she went to bed. She has already told me she can't wait until Friday when she has her daddy to herself ALL DAY LONG (it's a teacher workday). I just can't compete...and I don't think I should try. Seeing her with her daddy and him with her....melts my heart in ways I can't describe.

So....what do you do when you are a "single parent" for the night????

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"Hi, my name is Erin.." "Hi Erin."

I have a confession to make. I have a serious issue. I ...(taking a deep breath) HATE taking Christmas stuff down. I LOVE putting it much so that this year when I was kind of dragging around and didn't have it all out the day after Thanksgiving, I think Tim wondered what was wrong with me. I was tired and worn out and ready to be on Christmas break, but we got it all up and I was so happy. After Christmas though...I was not so happy. I HATE putting the Christmas stuff away. It is so nice to see the house all decorated and pretty and Christmasey. Not that my house isn't decorated and pretty normally -it is. I have a great husband who helps me with all of that and has fantastic taste. I love my house. I just hate putting the Christmas stuff away. It literally depresses me. I am in a bad mood the whole rest of the day that I do it (just ask Tim and V and they will tell you!)

So here it is, January 11th, and all my Christmas stuff got put away today. And that's only because Tim gave me a deadline. Because if I had to do it on my would probably still be up on Easter. When I am old and have an extra room, I will probably make a Christmas room and leave my Christmas stuff out all year long. I saw a show one time somewhere that someone did that and I think that is a fantastic idea. Please, please, someone sympathize with me - do you have the same dread? Do you puffy heart all your Christmas stuff? Do you procrastinate putting it away? Or do I really have a serious problem? :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Hoochee Book Club"

One of my favorite blogs, Chattahoochee Mama (written by Ainsley, a great mom of two boys and another baby on the way!), is hosting her monthly book club. The book she has chosen is Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. She has just started this book club and so far I have really enjoyed it! Her book last month was a great read and I am looking forward to this month's as well. If you would like to get in on the action, you have until Friday, Feb. 27th to read it and post about it on your blog. After you post your review of the book, go to Ainsley's site and link your post to her blog. If you don't have a blog, just leave a comment about how you liked the book. I hope you join us! :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The tale of the stinky girl and the polyester pajamas

Sounds like a fairy tale, huh? NOT! Let me start at the beginning of the story...
Once upon a time there was a sweet little girl named V. Her sweet great-aunt gave her a set of Hannah Montana pajamas along with a Hannah Montana singing doll. Add to that the Hannah Montana panties and we are just a walking advertisement for Miley Cyrus. Anyway... V's mommy noticed after going back to school that V smelled really sweaty at the end of the day. Almost like BO smell. The first day, V's mommy thought that she just didn't take a good bath, so she made sure she did that Monday night. The next day, V's mommy thought she had worn her coat all day so she made sure she took another good bath Tuesday night. On Wednesday, V's mommy started wondering if V needed to start wearing deoderant. This made V's mommy very sad because V is her baby and no one wants to think about their baby wearing deoderant at 8 years old. V's mommy even talked with some of the teachers at her school, taking a poll of sorts to find out if this was normal and at what age their child started wearing deoderant. Wednesday night when V's mommy got V up in the middle of the night to go potty, she noticed the same stinky the middle of the night after V had a bath that evening! V's mommy took a good whiff of V's pajama shirt...and it would make a locker room smell like roses and perfume. WOW! It almost made V's mommy pass out. V's mommy talked to V's daddy and they figured out that the pajamas (which are V's first pair of polyester pajamas) were making V sweat in the middle of the night and they didn't breathe well, so the sweat was staying on her body and making her stink. V's mommy changed her pajamas and put her back to bed. And the next morning V's mommy let her use two sprays of body spray to make sure she didn't stink at all. And everyone lived happily ever after...except for the poor Hannah Montana pajamas which will never, never, never, never, never be worn again.

Moral of the story: when surrounded by odor, suspect the least likely of culprits (like polyester). :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Eating the elephant...

One of my favorite bosses was this sweet lady that I worked for as a workstudy in college. She was the secretary to the head of the Education Department and I was an education major, so she was always so sweet to me. We had this huge stack of papers that never seemed to get smaller that I had to file. I told her one day that I didn't think I would finish filing that before I graduated (and I was a freshman). :) She asked me, "How do you eat an elephant?" I laughed and told her that I didn't know. She smiled and said, "One bite at a time."

Well...the holidays are over and it's time to start eating the elephant. I majorly pigged out all over Christmas break. Name a dessert - I probably ate it. I don't have a scale in my house for good reasons but I can guess I probably gained 5 pounds or more. To top it all off, I ordered new clothes from several places online and some of them don't fit or they don't fit well. I am MAD. So...when I couldn't sleep this morning at 5 am, I laid there until 5:30 and then decided to get up and go jogging. Yeah...those of you who know me personally are probably dead of laughter right now. I don't think I have jogged since high school but I just felt like doing it. Not walking....jogging! Who cares that it was raining at 5:30 this morning? I grabbed a hoodie, my sneakers, and my dignity and started jogging. I made it about halfway down the street before my jog turned into a brisk powerwalk. I made it three times through the neighborhood before my legs started aching and I realized that my pants were soaking wet. Now, here I sit on the couch with my legs hurting SO BAD and my back killing me. I did make it through the whole day without a dessert, which is a major accomplishment considering what I have eaten over the past few weeks. This elephant sure doesn't taste very good.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to school...back to reality

The past two weeks have been absolutely wonderful. Because I am a teacher, one of the perks is getting two weeks off from school during Christmas time. I had so many wonderful plans of things I wanted to accomplish...clean out closets, get pictures framed and hung, organize my house, etc etc etc. All the stuff that I am too tired to do during the school year. What did I do instead? Over the break, I...
1. Made horrible tasting cookies and a lopsided gingerbread train with my daughter but had fun trying to cook with her
2. Spent lots of money that wasn't mine going after Christmas shopping with gift cards
3. Played with V and Madison in the playroom - we taught Madison how to "Hokey Pokey" - all the babies at daycare are going to be doing it once she goes back. :)
4. Started a routine of reading a chapter book in bed with V right before she goes to sleep..(and sometimes snuggling with her afterward for a while if she talks me into it)
5. Watched waaaay too many episodes of "The Office" with my sweet husband and stayed up way too late after looking at each other and saying, "Let's just do one more..."
6. Visited with family and friends
7. Went to Charleston just for the day to eat lunch at Bubba Gump's and get pralines and gelato from the Candy Kitchen
8. Stayed in my pajamas surfing the Internet or watching old 90210 reruns past lunch time more times than I care to admit :)

I think what I actually did was way better than my goals, don't you???

Friday, January 2, 2009

"The Office"

Over Christmas break, Tim and I have been watching old episodes of "The Office". Tim has a knack for finding great shows that we both wind up being addicted to. Over Thanksgiving break, we got addicted to "Chuck" - now it's "The Office." I don't know if any of you have ever watched this show but it is HILARIOUS! Tim is dropping V off with my mother in law as we speak for the weekend and we have an Office marathon planned when he gets home. Popcorn, hot chocolate, and snuggling up on the couch with my cute husband sounds like a great way to spend the day. :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I really CAN believe it's not butter

Tonight V and I decided to do some post-holiday baking. I found this really cute Gingerbread Train the day after Christmas for half-off, so we decided to decorate it. The only thing was - it was NOT pre-assembled. I struggled with that dumb thing for over 30 minutes, with V trying to "help" me the whole time. "Mommy, let me see the box - I think I know how to do it!" We finally got the thing together and then we started decorating it. I had some frosting left over and I hated to throw it away. So....I thought, while we are already so messy, let's make sugar cookies and then we can frost them! Of course V was super excited. She got this holiday baking set (I found it after Christmas 1/2 off too!) with cookie cutters, a little ban, a rolling pin, and a wooden "flipper." So I pulled out my cookbook and found a sugar cookie recipe. I am not usually a "cookie from scratch" kind of girl - cutting open the tube and slicing the dough is much more my style. But I thought we would give it a try! I looked over the ingredient list to make sure we had everything we needed. The only thing I didn't have was butter or margarine, but I had a big bottle of butter spray so I thought we would be good. I start doing the recipe...but the dough is really sticky, more like cake batter than cookie dough, especially sugar cookie dough. I kept adding flour hoping it would thicken up. Finally I got it thick enough to roll out but it was so hard to cut with the cookie cutters. V and I finally just made little round cookies with our hands. By this time, my patience was at a frazzle and I still had dinner to cook and the kitchen was a mess.

Fast forward about 2 hours - V went in the living room and gave Tim a cookie with this big smile. He tasted it and asked if I had tasted them. I took one bite and almost gagged! They were HORRIBLE! V insisted they were yummy and wanted to keep them until I promised to buy some more dough and let her use the cookie cutters again. Life lesson learned: use real butter instead of spray - it really ISN'T butter!

Another year is here....what will it bring?

Sorry to all for the negative post last night - I really am so thankful for everything that has happened this year. Here are some highlights of 2008....
** We adopted Lilly, our sweet and goofy English bulldog puppy. After a horrible bout with pneumonia and a cherry eye surgery, she is finally healthy! She is our baby and such a funny addition to our family.
** V started 3rd grade at a new school. Her previous school (where I teach) only goes up to 2nd grade as it is a primary school, so this brought some nervousness on both of our parts. Her first time in a new school AND her first time not at school with Mommy. However, we both survived and she is doing really well! She made "A" honor roll for the first 9 weeks so we are incredibly proud of her.
** Tim survived a crazy freak accident at his work where the roof was blown off and his office was destroyed. While he wasn't there at the time, it was a long few months while the roof was being repaired and he had to work in a makeshift office. Thankfully he is back in his office and able to get things back in order.
** We found a fantastic new doctor's group for V's ADHD. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but it was a huge help for our family. I LOVE her new doctor and psychologist and they have been a huge asset as we transitioned to the new school this year.
** My niece Madison Brooke was born in July. She is such a sweet blessing to our family! We enjoy spoiling her -- V loves being "the big kid" who gets to help take care of her. Plus, it's the best arrangement - I just give her back to my sister when she gets fussy or needs a diaper change. :)

So, that was our 2008 in a nutshell. What happened for you and your family this year? I am so excited to see what will happen in 2009!