Monday, December 17, 2007

This Neighborhood is Sweet!

You gotta love a gingerbread structure with a carport! (a creative solution to structural failure!)

Baby in Red

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm a Nerd

I just cancelled our Netflix membership and I'm feeling really guilty about it. Don't get me wrong, it is a great company and they've always sent my movies out in record time. The problem is that I don't have good timing myself, so a lot of times Friday or Saturday night would roll around, and no movie. A movie was coming next Tuesday. Who watches movies on Tuesday! It's not their fault I can't time my movie mailing to get a movie on the weekend, but that is the reality of the situation. So, I switched to Blockbuster online. I feel like a traitor, Benedict Arnold! I am a brand loyal person. If I like something, I like to reward the company with loyal business. I belive in recommending good products to my friends. But I need to be able to go switch my movie out on the weekend every once in a while- IS THAT SO WRONG?!
Anyway, at the end of the cancellation, there are questions about why you switched. I always lie guiltily on these questionaires to soften the blow- it's not you, it's me! Really! As if they are going to be taking it personally. As if the person who came up with the original idea for the Netflix company is personally reading it and my answers are going to hurt their feelings and ruin their day. As if anyone besides a computer gives a care what I do!
I gave them a really high service rating, and said it was "household expenses" that made me switch, instead of the truth which is the fact that they don't have a brick and mortar location. And I said I would be getting my movies at a local store, not Blockbuster online which was one of the choices and actually the truth. I always do this, I don't like to think I am making someone feel bad. I know, it's psychotic. I know that logically but I still do it. When I rate the movies on the website, I never choose the worst rating if the movie was awful, even though it isn't even them who actually made the movie.
I know, I am a major nerd. I realize it, I embrace it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"How Does the Turkey Get Dead?"

Today in the car on the way home from his preschool Thanksgiving Feast my four-year-old asked me, "How does the turkey get dead?"

For some reason this struck me as hilarious. Generally I'm not one to keep the truth from my kids, although I might soften the blow a little on some things. However, there really isn't any nice way to say that the turkey gets his head chopped off! So, that is what I told him.
How's that for a Thanksgiving-spirit killer?!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dunkin' What?

You won't believe it, but we got more immunizations today. All four boys got flu shots, it was fun! Not really. To lessen the sting, we went to Dunkin' Donuts for a dozen. Here in Boston, there is a D.D. on every corner. Just our little town alone has four that I can think of. I'm not really sure why they call it Dunkin' Donuts
though, since we are the only people I ever see actually buying donuts. It's more like Dunkin' Coffee. I can't tell you how thrilled all the worn-out-at-the end-of-the-work-day crowd looked at 4:30 pm when me and my five kids waltzed in to buy our treats. It takes us a lot longer to choose a dozen donuts than it does to order a latte. Hurrying for us is what slow is to most people, esp. grumpy, coffee deprived people waiting in line for their cup behind a woman with five kids picking individual donut flavors. It is rare that I actually go out with all five of my kids by myself, but let me tell you, when I do it's quite a spectacle! Circus sideshow spectacle that is! Especially around here where pretty much anyone with kids has two-max. Right now D.D. has a seasonal gingerbread donut that I thought we should try, but actually didn't love. This is opposed to the seasonal pumpkin spice donut, which we do love, and highly recommend.
Thus ends my free advertising for Dunkin' Donuts post.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What a Week

My baby is growing up way too fast, she just cut a tooth and she is only just over 3 months old! Plus she is the size of a six month old. I wish she would slow down a little. Next thing I know she's going to start talking to me! Her little personality is starting to shine and she is so happy most of the time. But don't let these adorable smiley pictures fool you! The exception to this is when she is both teething and has a horrible cough and cold at the same time. The teething made for some tough days this past week. And the fact that two kids came down with stomach flu. Ugh. Let me tell you how I spent our Veteran's day off last Mon- holding fussy, teething baby, cleaning throwup from the kitchen floor, and carrying a loads and loads of laundry up two flights of stairs (in the few minutes that I actually put the baby down). We all sat in the living room and watched the "Little People Big World" (our family's favorite show) marathon on TBS the ENTIRE afternoon. Approximately 6 straight hours of little people, and still not tired of it. Gotta love that show!
Anyway, later in the week my older son who is my big helper got the stomach bug too. At least it wasn't a holiday- the usual time people in my family start upchucking! Since the baby is so young, she doesn't really have a great grasp and can't really chew teething toys so you have to hold them for her or rub her gums. One late night when I was desperate I let her bite on my chin, and the next day it was actually sore and bruised! I have to admit that I did resort to tylenol a couple of times. Speaking of sore and bruised, my sister and I went to get flu shots on Tuesday at the senior center. Then we sat in the bathroom of the senior center and nursed babies, it was somewhat comical!
I barely felt the shot but I was surprised at how sore my arm was for a couple of days afterwards. I can't complain though since last Friday I took my four year old for a checkup where he got four shots. He was really brave, and then after we came home he fell asleep and woke up in terrible pain and couldn't even move his arms. I had to run to the store for Tylenol since of course I had baby Tylenol, older kid Tylenol but no little kid Tylenol! This was the same day that earlier I had taken he and the baby into the library without stroller or diaper bag, just a diaper in my pocket. First, I couldn't figure out how to go to the bathroom myself so I had to lay the baby on the floor while I went as fast as lightening! (I know- gross!) Then when I proceeded to change her on the tiny little counter they had in there, she peed all over her clothes. Since I hadn't brought in my diaper bag since it was too heavy to carry without the stroller, I had no other clothes to put on her. So, I had to take her out to the car with just her coat and diaper on to get some clothes for her. I'm sure people thought I was some kind of insaniac mom.
I did manage to read at least the first section of my book club book- Mayflower- and attend the book club meeting Thursday night. We had a mini Thanksgiving dinner and it was a really good meeting and discussion.
As a result of all of this my house is a complete disaster. I am not one of those people who says my house is messy when there is one sock on the floor and a fork in the sink. No, it is scary bad. There is both clean and dirty laundry laying all over the living room, wrappers, shoes, the floor is in desperate need of mopping and vaccuming. The bathroom smells and is covered with wet, poopy baby laundry, and my room looks like a clothing bomb went off. There are spider webs and piles of paper everywhere, and I can't find anything I need. Really, I'm not exaggerating. I now declare today cleaning day!
Well, I think I've rambled on enough. Just wanted to let you all know that despite the fact that I mostly post really pretty idyllic pictures of beautiful sights, and cute kids all dressed up in adorable matching outfits and bows in the baby's hair, enjoying holiday crafts, that is only one side of my life!
The other reality is the disaster zone house, daily baby poop explosions, late night teething episodes, vaccinations, puking kids, and dirty laundry that doesn't ever manage to all get folded and put away.
The other irony is that I went to a parenting class Wed. morning about organizing your home, taught by one of those uber-organized cleaning guru moms. It was so far out of my league that I might as well not even be playing.
Now where did I put that mop?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Cranberry Season

I got really excited the other day when I saw that there were cranberries for sale in the grocery store. I always buy a bunch and freeze them to use later in the year when they aren't available. I made these muffins Sunday morning and they were gone by the next day. I think I ate at least 8 of them myself! Then I made the apple-pear-cranberry crisp Tuesday night. I love the fall, and although I don't really like winter too much, I do like to bake and make soup and cold weather is the perfect time for doing those things. Here is the recipe for the muffins. Happy Baking!

Cranberry Muffins (from the Wilson Farms cookbook)
1 C coarsely chopped cranberries
2/3 C sugar
2 C flour
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1/3 C butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
3/4 C milk
1 t vanilla
1/4 C chopped nuts

Mix cranberries and 1/3 C of the sugar and set aside. Sift the flour, the remaining 1/3 C of sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon together into a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into dry ingredients. Beat egg, milk, and vanilla together in another bowl, then stir into flour mixture. Stir nuts and reserved chopped cranberries and sugar into the batter. Spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.
*note- I doubled this and it made 3 dozen muffins. I also sprinkled the tops with sugar/cinnamon sugar before baking.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Halloween Fun

We had a really fun Halloween this year. After getting our pumpkins from Wilson's farm on Tuesday afternoon and carving them that evening, we were all set for the big day. We spent Wed afternoon preparing our spooky feast. The two younger boys helped me make our "graveyard" cake and we had our now traditional Jacko'lantern-with-spaghetti-coming-out-of-it's-face and eyeball meatballs dinner. For the sake of realism, here is a picture of what my kitchen looked like after all of our preparation!
We told the boys it was a "use what you already have" Halloween this year and I think they were pretty creative coming up with costumes out of their drawers and toy boxes. As you can see the baby was just thrilled with her hot chili pepper costume and monster hat (not!). For some reason she absolutely hates things touching her head, so costumes aren't really her bag. She still looked cute though!
We went off trick or treating in our neighborhood and got lots of great treats including homemade popcorn balls made by Grammie for those few elite trick or treaters. Then we were off to the church for trunk or treating fun. What all of this amounted to is a gigantic bag of candy for each kid which of course they were up at 7 AM the next morning having for breakfast. Someone in the school system got smart and made Nov 1st a teacher day and day off for all of the kids- what a great idea! I think it should be declared a national holiday.
After all of that plus a quick stop to my sister's to see the new baby, we stopped at the video store to get a spooky family movie. We watched "The Witches" which is a great not-so scary movie to watch with the kids if you're looking for something in that genre.
Hope you all had a fun Halloween too! The really scary thing for me is that on Halloween afternoon when we ran to Walgreen's to get a couple of last minute things there was already a whole aisle of Christmas stuff out- Yikes!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007


*Note: Some of these pictures were taken by my husband and his mom, so some of the photo compliments in comments go to them!