Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mom Prom, Take 2

Last year, I got to go to my first ever Prom. The Mom Prom. I never went in high school because I was never asked. I was pretty much a fat dork, so it's no surprise. I spent Prom Night with my buddy Karl (he didn't want to go to prom either) watching a first run showing of Forest Gump. It was a good time, and having known Karl since we were in 2nd grade, it was like attending a movie with a sibling. Our last hurrah before college consisted of an American Graffiti style night out involving the local pool and illegal activities.....but I digress.

Last year I dressed as Waldo's girlfriend. This year...well...you'll see. And I got to take BOTH boys to the Prom! It was so fun!

This is my son the skeleton. Last year he wanted to be a skeleton, and I couldn't find the costume. This year I found the costume at Good Will for $5, brought it home and he decided he wanted to be a Storm Trooper. And I unknowingly offended anything with a penis when I said, "But you were one 2 years ago." GASP! "NO MOM!! I was NOT a Storm Trooper, I was a CLONE Trooper, they are different."
Really? There's a freaking difference? When can I start playing that Star Wars drinking game, the one where everytime you see a bad guy in white you take a shot???

Doesn't Nate look ferosh? I am so proud of him though...he went to the dance with me and only freaked out a little bit. Then he was happily doing the hand jive, and the macarena, and we even did the Charlie Brown. "Everybody Clap your haaaaaaaands! Stomp, criss cross!"More ferociousness. These costumes better bag them a lot of candy.

Okay, so here's the story. I decided to be one of the Andrews sisters after I found the army jacket and couldn't find any pants that fit me. Apparently there are a lot of heavier men wearing army costumes around Halloween, and then giving the costumes to goodwill. If you don't know who the Andrews' were, google them. Think Bugle Boy. ALL the mommies at the dance got it. I know, I know I know! In their famous army photo for the USO they wore button down shirts with a tie, but young boys wouldn't get that AT ALL, and they thought the army jacket itself was cool. Add to that the fact that I told them I was from the 1940's and I was borderline cool.

After the dance, I put the boys to bed and went to a grown up party with my neighbor. Thank goodness it was within walking distance. It was a fun party...I attempted to be all gossipy and get some scoop on someone my neighbor and I both know and before I could ask the question in my head I was handed a shot of whiskey, which then made me even forget I had a question to begin with.
Then Shaggy Do was refilling my beer and asked me why I was dressed as an Angry Nazi for Halloween. In case you've never seen me when I've had a few...Ummmm...I don't get angry. Sure, I may drunk dial my parents, but I don't get angry. So where this dude got ANGRY Nazi from is beyond me. The Nazi thing...maybe. Maybe I should have told people I was Eva Braun.
Later in the evening there was this dude there named Bob with no costume on. So I taught him how to fist pump and started introducing him to everyone as my new friend "The Situation". Obnoxious yes, Angry, no.
Saturday was fun. Slight headache, but moreso just exhaustion. When's the last time I went to a grownup party like that?
When can I go again?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When You Have To Choose

I'm starting to realize that part of my problem with artistic endeavors, home decorating, painting, and being organized is the requirement that you need to make choices. And what makes that harder is that the choices you have to make have to be done from such a vast array of possibilities that all just look so good. That's why I'm good at cooking and baking. You have one choice: Dinner with some allergen parameters and you're given the ingredient list with some variations. I can make those choices. I can help my children choose their clothing in the morning because it needs to be weather appropriate. I can choose a good book to read or movie to watch.

I cannot choose between my children.

Now, I'm not referring to choosing between them as in, "Who do I like more today?" because the real answer to that question varies. Daily. Hourly. Minute-ly. But now, I am faced with a very real situation that requires me to make a choice between Nate and Maddie. Don't worry, it's not life or death or anything as melodramatic as that, but still.

I consider myself to be a good mom. Maybe not a GREAT mom, but I really don't have the time or energy to be a GREAT mom. You know who the GREAT moms are, they never yell (my theory is they are medicated), they are always just a tad on the weirdly overjoyed side to see their kids home from school (medicated or drunk?) and they make cute little cut out sandwiches for their kids lunches. Oh, and GREAT moms do home made Halloween costumes. I fit into not one of those categories, but I do provide my children with basic necessities: food when they're grunting about hunger pains, activities such as soccer and gymnastics and basketball. I even show up for those cold ass soccer games that I ENJOY SO FREAKING MUCH.

However, as a just good enough mom, I now have to choose whose Thanksgiving program I go to. This is the problem with children who are 13 and 1/2 months apart. They do the same kind of stuff for school on the same days at the EXACT same time, the only problem is the schools are 15 minutes down the road from each other.

So, who do I support? Either way, someone will be disappointed that Mommy and daddy can't BOTH be there to watch. Nate has lines he needs to memorize. It's like a real show. This is Maddie's last year in preschool (the same preschool I've been with for the past 5 years), and so I'd love to be there for sentimental reasons.

How do I choose who I am lucky enough to let down that day? We only have 1 videocamera, so I can't record both of them to show the other parent. It's a conundrum, and the best solution I have is to beg the kindergarted teacher to allow me to come in for a dress rehearsal. But still, it won't be the same.

I'll never be a GREAT mom, but I was hoping I'd pass the test to be at least a C average mom. I'm thinking that if this is only the first of a few major let downs on my part in choosing between children, I may not even make the grade at all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Patching

We decided to take the kids to another pumpkin patch this year, even though we drove 1 1/2 to go to one for my cousin's kiddos 3rd birthday. It was a beautiful day, as it was over 80 degrees, which made riding on a hay ride seem a bit odd. But we had fun anyway.

Yes, this is the 4 people I love the most, even if John makes funny faces every time I ask him to pose nice for the camera.

These bouncy pillow thingies are the bomb. THE. B.O.M.B.! I'm glad they are finally making their way to IL, as if you remember (which I'm sure you don't) we first got acquainted with them 3 years ago at Vala's Pumpkin Patch in Omaha.

Down she goes!

I'm going to turn this black and white. Or sepia. And do something with it. Unless Keri has a better idea. I just love this shot.

Frickin' goats. I hate goats. Almost as much as I hate balloons. And cats. These goats didn't smell as bad as goats usally do, but still. Why are goats ALWAYS the only animal you can really pet in a petting zoo? And WHY do they always try to eat my clothes? I hate goats.

This is me and the kiddos. Almost Christmas card perfect!

Happy Fall Ya'll!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday 5's (Five New Fotos, Five New Facts)

Yes, this is Nate, laying in the middle of the street in front of the house. And yes, I took a picture of it. He was punching Jack and Jack just gave it right back to him. No, he's not wearing shoes. How sweet is this? Until you know that Jack was teaching Maddie to rollerblade so that she could play hockey with him. As in, he could shoot pucks at her with the old hockey stuff Opa "donated" to him. Dad was nice enough to give Jack his old hockey stick, which happens to have been a lefty. Pretty soon, I'm sure Dad's going to be donating other random things in his garage to his 4 favorite boys....tools....tools....maybe some fishing stuff....did I mention his tool collection?

What I WANTED to do was take a picture of Maddie. What wound up happening was Nate jumped right in front of my camera. He does that a lot.

It's like the helmet is bigger than her head. And when she falls she just says " Oooh, I fell on my booty! Good thing I have cushion on my bootie!"

I love this pic. Action shots are my fave. It's real life, not a posed moment. And if you know my kids, those posed moments don't always turn out so well....

Five Facts about Jack:
1.) He's getting better at soccer. Such a difference between first and second grade. He likes to say that he's got "mad defense skills", and his father and I have 'mad eyerolling skills'.
2.) He's tall and skinny. Do you know how hard it is to find 8 SLIM pants?
3.) His favorite foods are spaghetti, hamburgers and fruit. When offered a snack, he goes for fruit.
4.) He got to watch Pirates of the Caribbean last week, and wants Nate to watch it with him because he says it's not scary. I'm still on the fence, but they DO seem able to separate the Star Wars Fantasy land from real life pretty well, it would probably be the same with Pirates.
5.) The kid LOVES slapstick. He's been after John to find more Stooges episodes.
Five Facts about Nate:
1.) He's doing really well reading sight words. We've even read some Dick and Jane and Dr. Seuss books together. Wow.
2.) He's very seriously a math whiz. The kid adds and subtracts like crazy.
3.) Right now, on his bedroom floor, there is an epic battle going on amongst all his guys. Some are in the window sills, some are on the bed. It's a death match.
4.) The kid changes his underwear and clothes 3-4 times a day. Not because they're dirty, but because he doesn't like wearing long pants on his legs, and hates pants buttons, and HATES socks.
5.) He's a tv/wii junkie. I REALLy have to limit it, or he will be a couch potato. And he'll be happy about it too.
Five Facts about Mads:
1.) She's now in preschool 4 mornings a week. Wednesdays are "enrichment" days, and she LOVES it.
2.) She picked out a witch costume for Halloween, and wants to be a scary witch. Some days she's all girly girl, and some days she takes a street hockey puck to the chest. I love that.
3.) She LOVES music. She likes to go to the library and get cd to listen to. Currently, she's been singing at the top of her lungs the Veggie Tales Christmas Songs. LOVE IT!
4.) She sort of has a lisp. It seems to be resolving though. I keep reminding myself she's young. And she's stimulable when corrected.
5.) She can still fit in 24 month pants/skirts/shorts, but needs at least a 3T for the length. She swims in a size 4 (she only weighs 32/33 lbs). But, since she's so tall, she can wear 4 or 5 tops. Doc says she's 'almost' in the 20th percentile for weight, which dropped from a year agot from being almost in the 50th. But, she's healthy, happy, and I'm not going to worry!

Your Recipe of the Uh....Week/Month/Who's Keeping Track?

I totally invented this soon to be famous recipe for healthydairy free turkey meatballs. Yum.

Take 1lb of ground turkey.
Add 2 HEAPING Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast Flakes. These add lots of goodies for your body AND lends a cheesy flavor without dairy. Also, NYF are known as a Superfood.

Add 2 Tablespoons of Ground Flax Seed.
Add 2 TBSP Wheat Germ
Sprinkle in some italian seasonings, garlic powder and maybe some dried onion flakes if you're in the mood.

In a separate bowl, mix 1 serving of Ener G egg replacer (it works as a binder, but I don't know a lot about chemistry so I'm not sure why or how, but it DOES work).

Mix every thing together by hand. Roll into balls. Bake in oven at 350 til done. Dip in Marinara....Yummy!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Well, He Gets to Cross "Have an Endoscopy" off His Bucket List

My weeks have all begun to run together and while I like it busy, I can honestly say I don't ever have a moment to myself. So then, it seems downright WRONG to have anticipated John's doctor visit last week by greedily deciding it would be at least half an hour that I could work my crossword puzzle.

The short of the long of it is, he's been having issues with, um, digestion. I can't really describe it because it makes no sense to me, but I'm not living in his body. Apparently, it seems as though certain foods don't really go into the stomach, per se. He says they feel 'stuck' in his esophogas near his stomach. After telling our Doc during his annual physical (that he only does because his company will give him money for being healthy), the doc recommended him to have this endoscopy, which directionally speaking, is the polar opposite of a colonoscopy. I have mentioned before how my husband's diet has had to have changed drastically. I have failed to imprint on you the many ways this is ruining MY life.

1.) He has cut out caffeine. Totally. He's been sleeping better at night, but because I feel mean making a pot of coffee when he's home (which is 5 days a week), I am sleeping through my days. My new daily weight loss regimen of a cup of green tea helps, but still. Grrrr...

2.) It's really hard to cook for him. I enjoy cooking for him, and now there are limits...no chocolate, no tomatoes, nothing spicy, nothing nothing nothing.

But since it's really not all about me, he DID get an official diagnosis of ensophogitis today. I'm not sure if that's how you spell it, and I don't want to know, because when you say it out loud it sounds dirty. I am glad for this diagnosis because we can mark various forms of cancer off our list of what was causing his issues. Also, he is apprently prone to some sort of ulceritis (another very dirty sounding word) disease. The various biopsies came out good, so that's the important thing to remember.

We did have a long conversation on the way home from his procedure last week, albeit he was slightly stoned from the versed and twilighting drugs. I cannot understand how his cholesterol is as high as it it, AND he's having digestion issues. We do NOT eat anything out of a box, save rice and cereal. I prepare fresh, mostly clean meals that are typicaly dairy and egg free. I put flasxeed and wheat germ in our food whenever I can mask it good enough. I am following all the nutrition rules. I also found it necessary to point out on said car ride home, that maybe, just maybe, we shouldn't be putting 'flaming hot sauce' on every bite of food we eat.

John, for his part follows rules too. He eats oatmeal for breakfast, especially after a good work out. He WORKS OUT, fairly religiously alternating between cardio and a good weight training regimen. He's in good shape, hates greasy food, won't touch anything fried and has a hard time even SAYING mayonnaise, much less putting it past his lips.

So his issues are not my fault. They are not his fault. I think we can blame faulty genetics (high cholesterol runs in the family), but mostly I blame his stress. He is stressed about work, or has been for a while, and he does an okay job of keeping it in check where we're concerned, working out to get his frustrations out, etc., but stress has clearly altered his body and given him some warning signs.

He's too young for this crap, and I know him, and I know he will be pissed if he has to take any form of medication on a long term basis for any reason. It was hard enough getting him to the doctor earlier this month to treat his bronchitis with a 10 day antiobiotic and an inhaler (which, being an asthmatic, he probably should have anyways). He's also pretty pissed about having to take an antacid everyday for the next 2 weeks until he has his follow up appt. with his doc.

I'm looking for good ideas to keep things low stress, but it's hard, so any ideas are welcome.

And in case you're wondering, I finished my crossword while he was under the scope. It was a welcome break in a crazy day.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The "Good" Crusty Bread Story

I love my husband. I really do. But there are A LOT of things we just cannot manage to see eye to eye on, and I just don't get him. Number one, I have decided that I'm making soup or Chili every cold yucky Sunday that I can. Last week, vegetable beef, this week, Chicken and rice (I'd do chicken noodle, but do you know how hard it is to find noodles not made with eggs?). He cannot understand how I can turn soup into a whole meal. Soup is not a meal to him, it's a side dish. Well, eat more than one bowl, it's a meal. And it's healthy and clean and dairy free and almost edible for him on this new WHACK EGD diet thingy we have to endure for 8 weeks.

I will digress from the point of my real story to relay to you the following: Yesterday we got into a small argument because I saw a big semi truck with a sign that says, "Caution, Makes Wide Right Turns" and I had him explain what made the right turns any wider than the left. And he threw out some things about simple physics about how you have a whole lane of traffic to go around when turning left but right turns are always more sharper. Which I suppose I get, but being that the truck is the SAME size whether it's turning right or left, wouldn't, technically, the width of the turn be the same, you just have more room to do it to the left? This is one of those things where he just doens't quite 'get me' because 1 +1 always equals 2 for him, but not always for me. I am right brained. He is not. He is a logical thinker planner, and I am not. And I still do not understand how a truck goes wider turning left than right.

Back to my soupiness. I am making soup today, but I needed a chicken, so whilst I took the kids to church, I had him run to the grocery store. All I wanted was a chicken, and some good crusty bread to go with the soup.

He has never heard of crusty bread. (I have nothing to add to this.)

I wrote on the list, "crusty bread", and proceeded to tell him I wanted "good" crusty bread, from the bakery shelves, not the same old French Loaves that are always out. I informed him there is a sign that tells you this is "Crusty Bread".

Apparently he saw the sign. It just said "crusty bread' but it did not say "good crusty bread". So he asked the ladies at the store where they kept their 'Good Crusty Bread" because that is what his wife wants. After they laughed at him, they showed him to the crusty bread, and he brought home exactly what I wanted.

And tonight's dinner will be soup and GOOD CRUSTY BREAD!