Saturday, April 28, 2012

I Should've Have Known Better

If you follow my blog, it is no secret that I like to cook and try new recipes.  Couple that with the fact that DW has been traveling A LOT lately and the fact that it was Saturday - or Family Day as Emily affectionately calls it - and what happens??  I temporarily lost my mind and decided to prepare a nice, yet simple lunch for my family.  (Simple to serve, mind you, not necessarily simple to prepare.)

I scoured my Pinterest Recipe Board and decided on this Creamy Italian Chicken Soup and this Autumn Chopped Salad (even though it's spring).  I spent some quality time with my two big girls in the kitchen as they helped me chop and stir.  Although there was a lot of prep work, it was fun!  Then, after an hour (yes, it took an entire hour) of chopping, stirring, sauteing, and mixing, it was ready.  I served it up and called everyone to the table.

Sadly, it was all downhill from there.

Apparently, during my temporary bout of insanity, I forgot to take into account that nobody (except me and maybe DW) was going to enjoy this meal.  Of course, the vegetarian wouldn't eat chicken soup, so I had fixed her some broccoli and cheese soup from a can.  She refused to eat the salad because she doesn't like pears, cranberries, or lettuce.  The little one started crying the second she saw the food on the table.  She hadn't even sat down!!  She sat there with her arms crossed and tears streaming down her face for quite a while and never took a single bite of the meal.  I even tried to pick out some of the pears, chicken, and pasta for her, but no dice - it was already contaminated by all the other stuff with which it had been mixed.  I had high hopes for the middle one.  She is usually willing to try anything.  She had stayed with me in the kitchen almost the whole time making comments like "I love pears;  I love cranberries;  Yum - bacon!  Oh, that smells really good!" and so on.  However, she proceeded to pick only the pears, cranberries, and bacon out of the salad and I think she only managed one or two bites of the  soup.  As for DW - growing up with his mom and enduring the last 15 years of my cooking escapades has taught him a very valuable lesson; just shut up and eat it!  That is exactly what he did, but I could tell he was not too impressed.  Personally, I might have actually enjoyed the whole thing if it hadn't been for the crying, complaining, and looks of disgust that surrounded me.  Not to mention the mountain of dirty dishes that awaited me once everyone finished the meal - which, by the way, took all of about 15 minutes.  Rachel and Megan were "finished" even faster than that, possibly a record breaking time frame, actually.

So after an hour of work and 15 minutes of apparent torture at the table, I couldn't help but think to myself, "Really, Lisa, you should have know better!"  Sometimes, I don't know why I even bother! :-/

P.S.  Both of these recipes make a lot of food.  I pawned some of the leftovers off on my in-laws since, obviously, nobody here was going to eat them.  I still have some, however, if anybody wants to give them a try - no crying if you don't like it, though!

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

For Moms of Boys

For any of you moms of boys out there who might be concerned that you are missing out on the daintier, more feminine side of parenting, let me ease your fears.  Here are two stories about my little "princesses" not being so princess-y!

Story #1

Emily, the little one who is 4, is the most "girlie" one of the three.  She loves Disney princesses and loves to wear frilly, poofy dresses.  She has also recently discovered her own ability to belch.  Not just little burps - I'm talking full on, from somewhere deep down in her gut, sounds like a redneck who just chugged a Bud Lite, BELCHES.  Afterward, she smiles and giggles while swearing that she "didn't mean to" and that she "can't help it."  And, of course, those of us around her can't help but laugh a little, too.  (As if she needs encouragement!)  Very princess-like, don't you think?!?

Don't let that pretty smile and fancy dress fool ya!

Story #2

This is a conversation that actually occurred inside the confines of our minivan over the weekend after a particular aroma made it apparent that someone was passing gas.

Me:  O.K.  Who needs to go the bathroom?
Rachel: Not me!
Megan: Not me!
Emily: Not me!
DW:  Well, it has to be somebody!
Emily:  Yeah!  Somebody farted!
Me:  Emily!  We don't use that word!
Megan:  Yeah - you're supposed to say someone pooted.
Rachel:  Well, it wasn't me!
Megan:  Me either!
Emily: Not me!
DW:  Well, it wasn't mommy or daddy, so it has to be one of you.
Rachel: Not me!
Megan: Not me!
Emily: Not me!
Me:  Well, we are almost home, so whoever it was just go to the bathroom when we get there.
Megan: It wasn't me!
Rachel: or me!
Emily: Not me either!
DW:  Well, somebody did it and that person needs to go to the bathroom.
Me:  Nobody is in trouble, we just don't want you to give yourself a stomach ache later if you need to go to the bathroom, but you won't.
Rachel: Well, I don't need to go because it wasn't me.
Megan: It wasn't me either!
Emily: Not me!
DW:  Fine then - when we get home everyone go to the bathroom and sit there until somebody poops!
Me:  Did we seriously just have this conversation and lay down that consequence?!?!?  ::Sigh::

Monday, April 23, 2012

Conversations From the Minivan - Emily's Boyfriend

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this one earlier.  It is so funny.  Here’s a conversation I had with Emily (4) as we drove home from preschool a few weeks ago:
Me:  How was your day at school?
E:  Good. I have secret, but I can tell you because you’re my mommy.
Me:  O.K.  What’s your secret?
E:  B is my boyfriend.
Me:  He is?
E:  Yep.  I’m dating B and R is dating O.  (R is her best friend at school.) 
Me:  Do B and O know they are your boyfriends?
E:  No, they haven’t figured it out yet.  That’s why it’s a secret.  We are waiting for them to figure it out.  When they figure it out, they will give us rings and we will get married.
Me:  Really?
E:  Uh huh.  When they figure it out and give us rings, we are going to ask Ms. Barnes and Ms. Kelli (her teachers) to get out some wedding stuff and we are going to get married together at school.  But we aren't going to kiss because that spreads germs!
Me:  Well, let me know when you are getting married so I can come.
E:  O.K.  Maybe the boys will figure it out soon.
Since this conversation, I have checked in with her occasionally.  At last check, the boys still hadn’t figured it out yet! :-) 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

We're Baaack! :-)

If you follow my blog, you probably read my last post about preparing to leave the girls with my in-laws for a week.  Well, we're back and everyone survived!  In fact, we did better than just surviving.  My in-laws said the girls were great.  They behaved, cooperated in the mornings, got their homework done, made to their extracurricular activities, and didn't seem to miss us at all.  When we got back, the house was sparkling clean (Thanks, MawMaw!) and we were showered with lots of sweet hugs and kisses.

As for DW and me, we had a FABULOUS time!!!  The trip was a reward trip from his company that is given each year to the top 2% of their global salesforce.  Aside from enjoying the trip, I am one proud wifey!  We spent four days at the Breakers resort in WestPalm Beach, Fla.  (You know it is a swanky place when you pull up in the motorcoach from the airport and see in the parking lot an assortment of Porsches, Maseratis, Ferraris, and Bentleys.)  As I began writing this post, I tried to come up with something profound and enlightening to share with you, but it wasn't really profound - It was just FUN! We meet some new people, had some new experiences, ate some amazing food, and thoroughly enjoyed our time there.  Here are some highlights:

The Hotel
The Driveway

The Main Building

A Flower Arrangement inside - All real flowers

The Food

A Decadent Chocolate Dessert that was served at one of our dinners

The crab cakes we ate and learned how to make during a cooking class

A Key Lime Tart - Yum!

Blues Brothers impersonators from the 70's & 80's concert

Kayaking on the Intercoastal Waterway

Me pretending I made the beautiful dish of crab cakes that were actually prepared by the chef in our cooking class

Heading to the Beach!

The Scenery

The Beach

Two of the pools overlooking the ocean where we relaxed and soaked up the sun!

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Friday, April 13, 2012

The Devil is in the Details

In just a couple days, DW and I will be leaving on a business/pleasure trip to Palm Beach.  We will be gone for the better part of a week and there will be NO KIDS!  I really am excited about the trip - who wouldn't be?!?!?

We took this same trip three years ago.  At that time, the girls were 6 (1st grade), 4, and 1.  We decided the easiest thing to do was just to take Rachel out of school and give them to my parents for the week.  I hadn't left them overnight many times and that was the first time I left the youngest one overnight.  It wasn't easy.  I knew they were in very loving, capable hands, but they weren't with me.  Even though the trip was great, I missed my babies.

When I found out in January that we would be going on the trip again, I thought it would be so much easier this time.  After all, they are now 9 (4th grade), 7 (1st grade), and 4.  They can all express themselves very well and they can all understand the circumstances.  However, this time taking them out of school was not an option (they are already out this week for Spring Break), so DW's parents are going to be taking care of them at our house and they will be responsible for EVERYTHING I usually do.  Now don't get me wrong - DW's parents are fantastic!  They have raised five children of their own and they are certainly very capable of taking care of the girls for a week.  They already know our general schedules, too.   My parents are just a couple of hours away should they need "back-up" and the girls absolutely adore all of their grandparents.  So what's the big deal??

This time, it is not so much an emotional thing for me (although I will certainly miss them - a little).  It is, admittedly, a control thing - as the saying goes, "the devil is in the details."  This week, I have been putting together a portfolio of sorts for my mother in-law spelling out the details of the week.  Of course, it includes all of the emergency contact information - doctor, dentist, orthodontist, school, preschool, etc.  It also includes a schedule for each day including pick-up/drop-off times and extracurricular activities.  Then there are three pages about packing lunches and a page about morning routines and bedtime routines.  In an effort to avoid more pages about clothing - (no flip-flops at preschool, older girls have P.E. on certain days and must wear tennis shoes, etc.) - I am considering just planning their wardrobes for the week and hanging outfits in their closets with labels before I leave.  I also have to leave money for the kids to take to the book fair at school and write notes to all of their teachers.  The details are overwhelming.  There is so much that I just do without even thinking about it - so much that is just part of my "mom routine."  It is not until I try to lay it all out for someone else that I realize the enormity of it all.

Once again, I know that the girls will be in very capable hands.  They will be safe, well-fed, and very loved while I am away.  I just want things to be as normal and easy as possible for everyone, my in-laws included.  With children and crazy schedules, normalcy comes from details.  All I can do, though, is prepare in advance as much as possible, have confidence in the kids and the caregivers (which I do), and then let go - let go and know that everything and everyone will be just fine.  Perhaps it will be easier to let go and remember that when I am on the sunny beaches of Florida listening to the ocean! :-)

A picture from our last trip three years ago.
Kids - what kids?!?!?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


In an effort to get re-inspired and re-energized about writing and posting on here, I stumbled upon this nifty little website -  It generates prompts to help you get started writing.  Of course, not all of them are pertinent to what my blog is about, but there are some interesting ones.  For example, one that got me thinking asked "What have you accomplished in the past five years?"

Truth is, if I actually wrote a list of the big things I have accomplished in the last five years, it would be very short.  It would include giving birth to our third child - a 10 lb. 2 oz. baby girl - and moving our family (for the third time in 5 years) to the house where we currently live.  Those are pretty significant accomplishments, but, otherwise the list would be rather unimpressive.  As a stay at home mom, I don't have a "career" so I can't post about any promotions or pay raises.  I haven't won any awards.  I haven't run any marathons or traveled the world.  I haven't written any earth-shattering blog post that went viral.  I haven't painted a masterpiece or penned the world's next best seller.  

However, I have three beautiful daughters and what I have done for the past five years has, I hope, impacted their lives in the most significant and important way possible.  I have gone on field trips.  I have been the "room mom."  I have helped with homework.  I have taken them to the zoo.  I have taken them to the dentist, the doctor, and all their extracurricular stuff.  I have kissed boo-boos, answered endless questions, and refereed more arguments than I care to recall.  I have read books and tucked them into bed.  I have wiped tears and shared giggles.  In short, I've been there - been there with them and been there for them.  I've done countless loads of laundry, cooked meals, packed lunches, and cleaned up millions of messes - all in an effort to provide them with a healthy, secure environment in which to grow.

In the last five years (+8), I've worked with DW to cultivate a strong marriage, too.  We try very hard to communicate openly and we respect each other's contributions to our household.  With never-ending stressors like finances, kids, and crazy schedules, marriage definitely takes work.  In recent years we have seen the marriages of many friends dissolve.  However, I truly believe our marriage is stronger now than it has ever been.  That certainly counts as an accomplishment!

I may not have trophies or a fat paycheck to show for what I have done over the last five years (and then some), but I have even better rewards that come in the form of hugs, kisses, and "I love you's."  I have a strong marriage and a hubby who respects and appreciates everything I do.  If I am ever feeling a little unappreciated or unrecognized, I just have to look into the faces of my family to be reminded of exactly what I have accomplished - and I'll take their smiles and laughter over a trophy any day!

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!!!

Easter 2012

Tried to get a picture before going to church - Rachel was not happy.  

After a stern talking to, it got worse.

I gave up and just took pics of the two that were actually smiling. . . 

After church, we tried one more time. . . . 

and this is about as good as it gets!! :-)

Hope all of you had a wonderful Easter!!!

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Bikes

A couple weeks ago, we got new bikes for all the girls.  They all needed them desperately and, since the weather has turned warm so early in the season, we decided it was a good time to get them.

 Rachel is always difficult to please.  Shopping for a new bike was almost worse than shopping for new clothes.  No pink, no purple, no flowers or hearts, etc.  After three stores, she wanted to give up, but we pressed on and went to one last place.  We found this one - the perfect bike.  It's her favorite color, definitely not too "girly", and should last her a very long time!  (She wouldn't stop to pose for a picture either, so I had to snap this one on the fly!) 

Megan found this one right away.  It's purple - her favorite color - and has a little pizazz with the handlebar streamers.  It also has pouch attached so she can carry "stuff" and a hand brake which make it a little more of a big kid bike.

Emily was also pretty quick to choose this bike.  It's hard to see in the picture, but it has Disney princesses on it which made it very appealing to our littlest princess.  It also has a carriage-shaped "basket" where she can carry a stuffed animal and her beloved blankie while she rides.  With that, it just couldn't be any more perfect!

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Rachel is going thru a phase where she doesn't like to have her picture taken. For some reason, she actually posed for this one and it is the best one I've gotten of her in a long time!

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bloggy Slump & Megan's List

Hello readers!  I'm still here!!  You may have noticed, however, that I have been in a bit of a blog slump lately.  I haven't posted much of anything for a couple weeks.  I've just been too busy and too uninspired to write posts.  Also, I was putting too much pressure on myself to write frequently, write wonderfully every time, and increase my following.  It was stressing me out, so I just put it on the back burner for a while.  I really haven't even checked the other blogs I follow much lately.  But it's time to get back in the swing!

My sweet Megan provided me with a little unexpected inspiration tonight.  As I went to put her to bed tonight, she very casually handed me a piece of paper and said, "Oh yeah.  Last night I came up with this list of things I think somebody should invent.  You can read it."

Just to make sure you can read them all, here's what's on her list (complete with her spelling):

1.  Chocolate Spaghetti
2.  A water slide for my bathtub
3.  Popcorn-flavored bubbel gum
4.  Invisibel spray
5.  Trapoline flors at school (I think she means trampoline floors)
6.  Robots that pick up dirty socks
7.  Gum that takes away cavitys
8.  A heating dress
9.  A cooling dress
10.  Flat peopel

My favorites are the chocolate spaghetti and the invisible spray.  How about you??  What do you wish someone would invent??

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