Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Resolution

I've never been big on the New Year's Resolution thing. Probably because I just didn't want to disappoint myself 10 days later when I completely "forgot" what I was resolving to accomplish.
This year is different.
And for this moment, just right now, I'm hanging up my sarcasm hat that I wear so comfortably.
I feel that we all need a little inspiration now and then. And hopefully you'll gain a little after reading this. If not, that's okay too.
This is mine.

This year I will take care of my family. I will sacrifice everything for them. I will set aside all my comforts and everything I trust, to do what I feel in my heart is right for them. I will do everything in my power to make sure they have what I never did. I will lay the groundwork for my kids to grow up in an environment where they learn to be proud of what they've done, not just to compete to be the best. They will learn to work for what they want and will therefore enjoy it ten times more. Their family will be one they can trust, rely on, learn from, depend on, and of course love. It will be the first place their minds and hearts tell them to go when they are in trouble, not run from. I will discipline my children so that they know right from wrong. I will also let up on the petty things so they can learn for themselves what happens when you slam your toys around, or jump off the couch, or don't hold your cup with two hands. I'll sit back and watch the little lightbulbs above their heads go on, instead of the "uh oh" face that usually shows up. I will aggressively go after and get what I (WE) want for our children. I don't want them to have to work so hard to just make it by the skin of their teeth. I don't want them to live someplace where they have to work so hard that they can't sit back and watch the sunset, or if they can, they have to drive a half hour to see it. I want them to be surrounded by nature. This is something that has always  made me happy. And I know it makes them happy as well. My almost 11 month old has been calmed by just seeing trees since the day he was born. My older two love being outside just to play in mud or pick up sticks and we let them. Simplify. It makes them happiest.
I want my children to have a childhood. Some of ours were cut too short in life. I'll fight to the death to make sure that doesn't happen to mine.
I am far from perfect. I have made mistakes in my life, just like everyone else. In my past, I have hurt the people closest to  me.I have not always chosen the right direction. I have procrastinated when I should have gotten up off my ass. I have sat for far too long waiting for things to fall into place. I have held myself back from things for fear of being judged. This is a learned behavior. One I don't want passing down to my children.
So let the judgement begin.
Judge me for putting off laundry so I could sit and play with my kids. Judge me for putting myself out on a limb, when that's the hardest thing for me to do. Judge me for having parties with my friends and family as often as possible just because I like to surround myself with them. Judge me for cutting ties with those that are poisoness regardless of genetic ties.
It is ingrained in me to stand idly by while the world and life pass me by. I have been taught to not fight for what I want, but to change course. And when I have resisted, I have been made to feel guilty along the way.
I have been resentful and then forgiving, resentful and forgiving too many times. That cycle for me is long gone. Focus lies only in the success of our little family we've created.
And I can't wait to start our new journey. Good things are coming and I can't wait to watch everything unfold!

So to you and yours, I wish you a very Happy New Year. And I hope all your dreams come true!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fa La La La LA

It's been far too long since I've blogged. And I just KNOW tons of noteworthy things have occurred in my life that I should share with you. But I don't remember a single one of them!
Aside from a conversation(via email of course) with my mother.
Tis that joyous time of year when we all do our best to get together with family and friends and celebrate Christmas. We put on our happy faces and sing carols in the car on the way to the various houses we visit. And attempt to dress our little ones up in dapper attire for the ever present bombardment of flashing cameras that are sure to come their way. We spend far too much money on things that kids and adults alike, don't even need. But it's all in the spirit of giving. I LOVE giving people presents! This is NOT sarcasm. I actually wish I had a huge bank account so I could go on that exciting hunt for the Perfect Gift for each and every one of the people I hold dear to my heart. Sadly, this is not the case. And while I have yet to succumb to grabbing Snuggies for everyone on my list, I've come dangerously close. Instead I've spent endless hours in the kitchen baking yummy cookies for everyone and have otherwise stuck to a strict list for my kids and the "secret santa" picks we have this year.
My kids are easy. Toys light up their lives. And the boxes they come in are even better! I don't have many adults on my list this year, but the ones that are there are getting cookies whether they like it or not.
The Hubbs and I have both drawn teenagers in the Secret Santa with his family this year. So while they're a little tricky, it's nothing I can't handle. Young whippersnappers just love cash. I can't quite bring myself to give ONLY bank cards or gift certificates, but I'll make sure to leave at least a little spending money along with whatever wrapped items I come across.
Our family's Christmas Eve will forever go down in my memory as a joyful event for me! It's spent with my in-laws every year at my brother in law's house. That really is the only house that can contain the entire family PLUS all the gifts and food and booze. We eat. We drink. We laugh. All the kids play. Then they all open their gifts from their Secret Santas. And the adults then go on to open a $20 limit grab bag thingy. It's what we need to do or  we'll all go broke! It does the trick. Then we all pack up the car, drive the little ones home, tuck them in their beds and proceed to Santafy the house.
Now, I am probably more excited about this than the kids are. Seeing the joy on their little faces is just breathtaking. And I can't wait!
this year we will have extra bodies in our house on Christmas Day.
My folks are coming to town. (reminder: "strained relationship") Originally they had told me that they were coming the week in between Christmas and New Years.  But they then told me their date of arrival was 12/23. I don't remember much these days. But I was pretty sure Christmas fell on the 25th? At least this year.
Their plans (as emailed to me) were to spend Christmas Eve at my sister's house since her husband is on duty.  He's a firefighter. But that was it. Nothing else was in the itinerary. At all. It's 12/22 as I'm typing this. And I still don't know of any other plans of theirs. So I went out on a limb and invited them here for brunch and to spend the day with "the children". Selfish as it may sound, I refuse to let "intruders" in my house while the Christmas morning joy and unwrapping is going on. Judge all you want. I pushed those giant kids out.........I decide who gets to watch them open presents. And for's just me and The Hubbs. I'm not ready to share yet. They grow up way too fast. When they are bored by Santa or no longer believe, be my guest and sit around my house to watch THAT. But the elated glow on the morning of 12/25 is reserved solely for the two of us to enjoy as their parents.
I'm even closing the blinds JUST IN CASE!
So in my email correspondence, I noted that any time after 10am would be fine. I'll have brunch. They can play with "the children". And then I'll make a nice Christmas dinner for us all.
This is where my story stems from.
What to cook? I have a recently stocked freezer full of venison. Do the parentals eat that sort of thing? Who knows? I'll ask.....................and so the email was sent.

ME: "Do you and Daddy eat venison? Or would you?"
THEM: "To our knowledge we have never had it." question was unanswered. UGH.
ME: "It's like beef, a little LESS gamey than lamb(which I know they eat often). Would you guys like to try it?"
THEM: "Whatever is convenient for you"
WHAT THE?!?!?!?!?!  Why are they incapable of answering with a simple YES or NO?!?!?! I couldn't care less if they don't want to eat it. My feelings won't be hurt. But for the sake of my sanity....Answer the FRIGGING question!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need to go grocery shopping and would like to have an inkling of what aisles to hit in the madness that is preChristmas Shoprite!.
And although that reply from them pissed the ever-lovin hell out of me,  I decided it would be best to refrain from the wise ass Hubbs up to tell him the crazy "conversation" I'd just had with the parentals. He was less than thrilled. I like to share :)
Still PO'd when I rolled out of bed in the morning, I had a snippy comment all set to email their way. Instead, I open my email and see this
THEM: "Looking forward to the venison and seeing you all on Christmas. Love Mom and Dad"

Ambien haze? Sleep emailing? I have not the slightest idea what was going on. Maybe they have a tag team email response thing going on? Quite frankly, the possibilities are exhausting to think about. So I left it at that.

FYI-red wine/pale ale is a perfect pairing for venison.
I will be enjoying both.

I wonder what pairs well with waffles?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Breakdown? I may have had a mini breakdown yesterday? I'm not really sure, but the kids were all sick and unruly(that makes it sound polite, don't ya think?!) to say the least. Sure enough I signed on to THIS BLOG and saw that God Forsaken countdown to Christmas ticker I put up and almost passed out in my chair. I hadn't even BEGUN to start my shopping yet. And I'll just put this out there.....I don't actually enjoy shopping. For me it's a task most times. And having to go out in this area, this time of year is just not pleasant.
So after a mild kicking and screaming fit(from me), I text the Hubbs who was out in the woods for the day, to get his arse home to spend some quality time with the minis so I can jump ship and get this shopping over with. He actually came right home and I proceeded to get ready to join the general public in some shouting, elbowing, Christmastime madness, and all around rudeness. After giving my middle finger a good warm up ;) I headed out to THE MALL. Ugh. Now please understand the ridiculous amount of motivation I must work up to actually go do this. I loathe THE MALL and the highways around here are murderous. And this time of year, all the back roads are mobbed too. It's like hell, just colder and with squeaky toys.
So I get my keys, my wallet, my coupons, my list. I kiss the minis and tell them to be good for Daddy and that I won't see them before bedtime. It's then that I realize they all need milk. And we don't have enough for the night. So I run to the supermarket quickly to get that. Then home again. My motivation is slowly dwindling. Then, our meat is ready to be picked up at two different places.(our friend had picked some up at her butcher, and we had some at our own butcher too...details details)  So to the bank for cash to pay them with, and off to the first one. The first was a friend, so I sit down and hang for a bit, sans kids. Ahhhhhhhhhh some much needed R&R and adult conversation. I'd say minus the whining, but my friend's English Mastiff is a lover. And if you don't give him your full attention at all times, he sits directly in front of you and whines. So there was that. A short social call, loaded up the truck and headed out to THE MALL. It was flippin cold out, so there was no worry of anything spoiling in the back of my truck. Shop, then run to butcher for the 2nd pickup. That'll work.
At this point, I've been exposed to the elements for a whopping 30 minutes and I'm already ready to go home, take a scalding shower, and hide under the covers for the night watching bad TV and eating popcorn. But I have 3 tiny joy filled little faces to think of. So to Target I go. And wow. Just WOW. I've worked with wild animals that had better manners than the majority of the people shopping there! Shoving, yelling, smacking their gum, (ok so that's just my personal pet peeve.....but it added to the "joy"), and children up waaaaaaay past their bedtimes screaming bloody murder throughout the store. One in particular that chose the same general route that I did and followed me until I couldn't take it any longer and changed my course. One kid was screaming SO loudly and screechily(is that a word?!) that I actually put down what I was looking at to see if I needed to fashion a tourniquet out of pieces of my clothing for the limb they cut off?!?! Just a tantrum........whew. Please folks, I know there are always desperate times when we can't find a sitter and must bring our little ones somewhere that we really don't want to, and maybe this was the case here, but lets all exercise some common sense when going out in public.
Kids bedtime? Don't pack them up to take into the winter night for some "fun" shopping. Tuck them in their beds and do it in the daytime. OR find a sitter. IF YOU CAN! But just remember you're not the only ones in the store.
That's a big issue with me......
It absolutely infuriates me how most of the people I encounter out in public have zero consideration for anyone or anything around them? How does that happen? Is it just in Jersey? Is there something I don't know like............all things were indeed made solely for the happiness of these particular individuals and no one else? Cuz I missed the memo.
See the foul mood that going to THE MALL will put me in?! Amazing.
I did end my evening on a high note though. My last stop before home (with ALL the minis' gifts bought! WOO HOO!) was the butcher. Which is actually a local guy who is a professional butcher and does this out of his garage come hunting season. He's a vegetarian. Which I just adore! And the group of people that hang out there are these old whipper snappers that always have something clever to say. I love going there. Chivalry lives on, as they carried the very heavy boxes down the very long driveway since I didn't want to block their driveway by parking in it and parked instead on the street. CONSIDERATION....CHECK! CHRISTMAS PRESENTS.........CHECK! FOOD TO FEED THE FAM...........CHECK!
Fa la la la laaaaaaaa la la la LA!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Sounds of Nature

The few moments in my life that I actually do get to sleep, I dream of nature. I LOVE being outside. I LOVE the mountains and streams and trees and all that fun stuff. Subsequently, when I dream, it's of the sounds of these things. Wind rustling through the leaves. Babbling brooks. Softly singing birds. (not the squawking crows or cracked out woodpecker that likes to peck on my SIDING)

Then I wake up.

Not that sweet long stretch of a wake up either. But rather the panicked jump out of bed to the noise of a 112 pound dog retching his gut at the side of my bed before puking on my rug.

It's 5 am.

If you don't have the distinct pleasure of owning a dog. Let me share the wonderfulness of this noise. There's a very clear, deep, almost drumlike noise as the beast churns up whatever has decided that after sitting there for nearly 10 hours, it can't wait in the stomach for another 2 when normal people wake up. And then a God awful "BLAP" followed by the wet noise that is now my bedroom carpet.

Dog for sale. CHEAP.

After this particular episode, I decided sleep was just not in the cards. So I ran downstairs and let the dogs out, lest there be another pleasant "event" on one of my floors. To the coffee pot. While that was brewing, I decided I'd better go clean up the mess in my bedroom before one of the minis woke up and tried to find Mommy. Because I know no matter where the mess is, their feety pj's will find it. Much to my surprise, there was a present in the middle of the pile!! (I love surprises) String cheese. Still in the wrapper. Isn't that special? Yeah. I thought so too. 

It's things like this that make me laugh (much much after the fact) when The Hubbs claims that I'm not a morning person.

Please feel free to introduce me to the Haldol infused crackhead that IS a "morning person" after dealing with this! I won't hold my breath!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Princess Cupcakes

Sooooooooooo much to write about, sooooooooo little time. So I'm just going to post the pictures from the cupcake job I did Sunday. Which, sadly here in EST, is already yesterday :(
These were for a little girl who turn 5 today(Monday). After this order, I now know 3 perfectly good reasons why I don't bake during daylight hours. A job that should have taken maybe 4-5 hours took 7+. I love my kids, DEARLY! But it's no mistake that I usually bake and decorate for jobs once they're in bed.

2 dozen princess cupcakes


shoe(my favorite)

frog prince

the princess

perfume bottle



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bad Idea Of The Day Part Deux?!

I'm trying to be fancy by throwing French words into my blog titles! Is it working? I didn't think so.
Well, as I predicted, this title could indeed be a daily thing. Maybe I'm psychic? I hope not. Because then all those times I've said " crystal ball is in the shop" when someone was shocked I didn't know something, wouldn't really be funny anymore!
I grew up an animal lover. I had dogs all throughout my childhood. I've always been "that friend" that goes to your house and ends up leaving looking like a used lint roller because I've been rolling around the floor with your pet. And it didn't end with the household pets either. I remember crying so hard riding in the back seat of my parents' car as a little girl after passing a dead squirrel on the road. We lived in suburbia. This was a regular occurrence. I'm pretty sure the parentals were probably close to seeking professional help in the form of a shrink on more than one occasion. But THAT'S a whole other story for another day ;)
Anyway, I'm not really sure when my view on animals officially changed. I still love animals. I'll stop if one is darting across the road in front of the Mystery Machine. I'll call the cops to let them know if a stray dog is running around the neighborhood in the hopes it can find it's way home with their help. (Ok....I may have called the cops on MY dog on one of the many times he's scooted under our fence to trot around the neighborhood. Details Details) But all in all, I do love animals. Maybe not just mine so much. Our first dog, Kayles(don't ask) is a good dog. He listens to every breath that comes out of my husband's mouth. Literally. He sits next to his side of the bed at night just watching him breath. It's creepy. He's a total pleaser (back to the dog now) and makes sure he's not a total pushover with the kids now that their a little older. The baby still has free reign with tail pulling, eyelid lifting, tongue grabbing and fur pulling. But the older kids are put in check from time to time. Which as a parent who is genuinely concerned for all animalkind when minis are involved, I'm glad that the animals in my house are the ones gently teaching the limits now. A parent can only say something so many times(2 maybe?) before they just start to sound like the teacher in the Charlie Brown movies. However, when the dogs go nose to nose with one of the minis after a not-so-gentle game of "horsey", they listen! I've actually watched Kayles herd Child 1 into the corner like he was punishing him. HAHA!
Our second dog, Chauncey aka Fat Bastard, is not such a gem. He's not a bad dog, I guess. He's just not that wonderfully lovable family pet that everyone has in mind when they go to the shelter. He puts up with all the kids crap which in my eyes, makes him good AND worthy of staying under our roof! However, this is the shaky dog. Shortly after having our first son, Fat Bastard started having grand mal seizures. VERY scary to witness. And really not much you can do for the poor animal while it's happening. When he would come to, he didn't have any idea who we were or where he was. Of course, since we had a newborn in the house and sleep was at a minimum, these seizures would only occur in the middle of the f'n night! We had to resort to medicating him because they started to come more often. Sometimes twice a night. So after a few dose changes, he is now on two different seizure meds for life. A side effect of the drugs, is hunger. Let me just say that Fat Bastard got his nickname BEFORE the seizures. He used to(and still does) jump on counters, tables, PEOPLE for a taste of food! Anything he could get his snout on, he was in it. He's gross really. So with the addition of the meds, he was even hungrier! And ever-growing too. He's kind of short and stout. Like a teapot! But weighed in at his largest at 112 pounds. He's a black and tan mutt. Probably mixed with Rottweiler and who knows what. Cute. But fat.
Hmmmm maybe it's just a recent thing that my love for animals has.......dwindled?
Anyway, the poor dears ran out of their ridiculously expensive, high quality food. They pretty much eat better than we do. My only reason for keeping them on this food at this point, is because I know on lower quality food, they'll just poop MORE. We just don't have the plot of land that is needed to support two 100lb dogs pooping 5 times a day. We just don't! I can't even imagine. shiver.
The Hubbs was working, of course. So I bundled up the 3 minis, and packed us all in the Mystery Machine for a trip to the "puppy food store" as we so adoringly call it. Here's where the bad idea falls into play. There was a friggin monsoon outside! I was seriously a little worried. Listening to the radio, it was pretty warm for November in NJ at 56 degrees. But it was pouring with 40 mile an hour wind gusts. Would you like to bet whether or not a child's hood will stay up in that kind of weather? Not so much. We were all soaked! Drenched is probably the correct word used to describe us. So we tour the fish department, pick up the 40 lb bag of food that will last them 2 weeks, and head to the check out where the very nice cashier gathers my 3 coupons and PALS card for savings, yet proceeds to ask me if I'd like to donate $ to poor, poor shelter pets. It wasn't her fault there was a monsoon outside. And it certainly wasn't her fault I needed to drag all these kids to her store to buy this expensive food. So I took a deep breath and said "No Thank You" with a little snicker on my face. I was proud of myself for not venting to this poor girl that it's shelter pets in my home that eat EVERYTHING. It's shelter pets that have cost mortgage payments at the Vet's office because they have seizures, or allergies, or the time that Fat Bastard was sniffing around the counters for food and ate an entire bottle of iron pills when I was pregnant with Child 1! We're eating mac and cheese for dinner while our shelter pets have the very best dog food money can buy. And when they ran out the night before......did I let them starve? NO.....I cooked them brown rice. I might actually make a call to the shelters to see if they have some sort of reimbursement program. Or if at least they'd like to have a friggin statue of me made with angels wings put on the back to display in the middle of their lawn!
Whew.......good thing I kept my mouth shut. I mean I am a parent trying to teach lessons to my offspring of how to act and all! Truth be told, if I started verbalizing all this to the cashier, I'm pretty sure I would have ended up crying in the fetal position by the catnip aisle. Reality bites.
Oh...and another thing.......if I had a spare dollar to give to poor shelter pets, I would have PAID someone to go buy these dogs their snooty falooty dog food in a monsoon instead of dragging my kids out in it. Hmph!

Need to go let the dogs in before they scratch through the glass door out back.  You've seen those nails!!