Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Tide Over

My big plan is to wake up tomorrow and blog, but here's a quick post with some pictures until then (and to make me feel better if my big plan falls through).

Didi sent some clothes to the kids, and the girls instantly tried on the new dresses (Bubby photobomb bottom right):

Chet often puts his own beanie on Ford's head (when Ford's hat is not easily accessible) before we walk outside into the cold air. It never gets old; we laugh our heads off every time:

The girls talked us into letting them tie-dye one of Chet's white t-shirts. (My big plan is to tie-dye some white tights for them, but I have yet to learn how via YouTube.) It was a messy, and not terribly fun project, and I think it was a little above the girls' ability level and above mine and Chet's patience threshold. But I snapped a picture, making us look like a fun, patient, craft-loving family:

Bubby was interested in the clean laundry that was for some reason sitting in the kitchen. Chet had mistakenly dressed him in Lorelei's size 3T Mickey Mouse pajamas (they fit, albeit a little long):

Hope everyone has had a great week so far! Snow for us here overnight!

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Reading Challenge Update

(To read my original post about the 2015 reading challenge, click here.)

I know you've all been constantly thinking about and wondering how my 2015 reading challenge is going.  Well, here's an update!

Out of twelve categories, I've read (sound the trumpet!) book.  And I just finished it a few minutes ago.  Fittingly (because today is Presidents' Day), the book was "41: A Portrait of My Father" by George W. Bush.  This book is a biography of George H. W. Bush, and "biography" falls into the reading challenge category of "a book in a genre you don't typically read."

Anyway, I really enjoyed the book, and highly recommend it.  It is an easy read (in a sense that you don't feel like you're wading through deep, presidential history), and I especially liked reading about George H. W. Bush from his son's (loving and respectful) perspective.

In my original reading challenge post I said that I was reading Little Women (still am!), and that it was going to fulfill the "book you've been meaning to read" category.  Well, I'm going to switch things up, and file Little Women under "a book your mom loves."  There are many (an understatement) other books that I've been meaning to read.

Here are some more books I plan to read for the challenge (which may change as the year marches on):

--The Girl on the Train ("a book published this year")
--The Brothers Karamazov ("a book that was originally written in a different language")
--Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (either "a book you've been meaning to read" or "a book 'everyone' has read but you")

Melissa recommended Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which I've already read and enjoyed because it was such a suspenseful page-turner (I hear The Girl on the Train is similar).  Thanks, Melissa!

What are you reading these days?  I hope you're either staying warm in this frigid weather, or enjoying your 70-degree February days (I say this through gritted teeth, words dripping with jealousy).

Happy Presidents' Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Thursday Funny

Bubby received a toy bear from (Great) Aunt Carol for his birthday.  When you press the bear's hand it sings "Anchors Aweigh," and Ford immediately starts be-bopping (he'll even be-bop if you start singing it a cappella, or, heck, if you sing any song at all; pretty much anything and everything makes him be-bop).

Now the term 'be-bop' sounds awkward, because I've typed it too many times.

Anyway, this bear is a big hit in our house.  Lorelei had the song stuck in her head earlier this week, specifically when we were wheeling around Target.  She would constantly (loudly) break out with, "Anchors aweigh, my boys; an-CHORS a-WEIGH!"  It was extremely motivating.

Those are the only words of the song that Lorelei is sure of.  Sydney, on the other hand, has retained more of the lyrics, and my favorite part is when she sings, "Through our last night ashore, drink to the FOAM!"  She has no idea what she's singing about.

Below is the version of the song that our bear sings (there is more than one version):

Anchors Aweigh, my boys,
Anchors Aweigh.
Farewell to college joys,
We sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay.
Through our last night ashore,
Drink to the foam,
All 'round the world it's U.S. Navy forever strong.
U.S. Navy forever strong!
I think the lesson learned here is that you should break out in song whenever the urge strikes you; even when you aren't sure of or don't understand the lyrics.  Why not?
(By the way, even though the bear sings this song throughout the day at our house, this is not the song currently stuck in my head.  The song currently stuck in my head is the theme song from "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" which is extremely catchy.)
Is there a song you can't get out of your head today?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

When Motherhood Prepares You to Rule the World...

...or to at least direct the 87th Academy Awards, or something equally as complicated and requiring just as much managing and lightening-fast thinking on your feet.

The day started off innocently enough.  Sydney hitched a ride to school with our next-door-neighbor, and Lorelei, Ford, and I prepared for a pretty intense grocery shopping trip to the commissary.  (The reason it was intense is because we had little to eat in the house.  I tried to make the girls share the last turkey hot dog yesterday morning as the protein part of their breakfast, but they politely declined, even after I offered them a piece of chocolate in exchange for eating said hot dog.  Which meant that I had the pleasure of eating the last turkey hot dog for breakfast.  And that was yesterday morning, not this morning.  I can't even remember what any of us ate for breakfast this morning.)

By the way, my last trip to the grocery store was last Sunday, not six months ago.  WHO KEEPS EATING ALL THE FOOD?!?!

Anyway, we went to the grocery store, Ford fell asleep on the way home, and I let him stay in the warm car snoozing (keep in mind it's 30-ish degrees outside here, that's why the car was warm) while Lorelei and I began to unload the groceries.

On my first trip from the car to the front door I was carrying my diaper bag and two grocery bags, which included Sydney's sushi (for lunch), eggs, and some chips.  We made it into the front door...and I dropped the eggs.

The carton was still inside of the plastic grocery bag, but I knew as soon as I heard them hit the ground that it wasn't good.  Sure enough, nine of twelve eggs were cracked.

What do you do with eight cracked eggs (one was a lost cause)?  I'll tell you (isn't that why you're reading this blog in the first place?)!

But before you do anything with the eggs, you finish carrying the groceries from the car to the house, quickly put away the cold items, shove the non-perishable items into the corner so that you can put them away later, try to make room on the limited counter space of your 5' x 5' kitchen (yes, you read that right) which still held this morning's dirty breakfast dishes (proof that we actually consumed breakfast this morning!), and retrieve Ford from the car.  Thankfully, Ford seems happy to crawl around the house while you direct your attention to dealing with the eggs, and Lorelei is who knows where doing lawd only knows...
Bad lighting, but tell me it doesn't look like a bomb went off in there.

You scramble the four most broken eggs, and serve them to Lorelei for lunch, along with a bowl of Trix that she talked you into buying at the commissary.  Since Lorelei cannot eat four scrambled eggs, you heat up last night's leftover spaghetti noodles and toss the rest of the scrambled eggs on top for your own lunch.  (Why are you even concerned with eating lunch yourself right now?  Because you are starving, and might start yelling at unsuspecting children if you don't elevate your blood sugar levels quickly.)  As you scarf down your own lunch, you make frequent trips into the dining room to tend to the needs of Queen Lorelei (help me get the last bite of eggs! I need a spoon! more cereal, please!), and then help her clean her hands and mouth once she's finished.

Amidst all this, you have managed to use another egg to make a batch of blueberry muffins that you will serve for breakfast tomorrow (not from scratch, of course, from a box -- just add milk and one egg!).  You smell something suspicious, realize that Ford is looking quite satisfied, and pick him up so that he doesn't end up with a leaky diaper and in need of a clothing change.  You hear Lorelei shout, "I'm finished!" from the upstairs bathroom (I swear, children love making "poop" pacts), and prepare to head upstairs to help her and to change Ford's diaper.  But, wait!  There are only two minutes left until the muffins are done, so it would be silly to head upstairs yet!  You holler at Lorelei that you'll "be right up!" and watch the timer count down to zero.  You remove the muffins from the oven, sprint upstairs with Ford under one arm, strap him to the changing table and put a bottle of milk in his hands to prevent screaming and escaping, head to the bathroom to help Lorelei complete her own business, and then return to Ford's room to change stinky man's diaper.

Before this, and while the blueberry muffins were cooking, you were able to use another egg to make a (boxed) batch of corn muffins, which you will serve for dinner tonight with...something.  Canned chili?  As soon as you took the blueberry muffins out of the oven, you put the corn muffins in to start baking, dealt with the poop pact, then headed back downstairs to feed Ford a quick lunch before heading out to pick Sydney and the neighbor up from school.

During this time you decide to use the last two cracked eggs to make a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough (this time from scratch!).  I (I'm switching back to personal pronouns now) looked at my go-to recipe...and realized I had no brown sugar.  So I Googled, "substitute for brown sugar."  Excellent!  You can use the same amount of white sugar, but add two tablespoons of molasses per substituted cup.  But, wait...I had no molasses either.  Google's answer to "substitute for molasses" was using equal parts honey, dark corn syrup, or maple syrup (maple syrup it is!), but warned that it wouldn't have the same "robust flavor as molasses."  Fine by me, seeing as I only needed molasses because I didn't have any brown sugar on hand.  I love Google.

By this time it was 12:10, and I needed to clean up Ford and get everyone into jackets and out the door so that we could pick up Sydney at 12:30.  So I waited to start making the cookie dough until we were home from school.  Right now, as I type, the cookie dough is complete (no baked cookies yet), Lorelei and Ford are napping, and Sydney is next door playing.  The kitchen still looks like a bomb went off (I decided to write this blog post rather than clean and stow non-perishable groceries), but since the egg incident, the day has settled back into its normal groove.

Well, that's all I have, I suppose.  Apparently, according to the title of this blog post, dropping a carton of eggs on the floor and dealing with the aftermath qualifies you to run for President.  If you  made it this far -- thanks for reading!

Speaking of reading, this morning I finished a novel called Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead, about the world or professional ballet.  It was excellent -- I highly recommend it.

Happy Tuesday!