Monday, October 31, 2011

NaBloPoMo or Why I've Lost My Mind

My sister Sarah and I have decided to attempt NaBloPoMo this year.  She wants to increase traffic to her blog, and I want to decide if I really want to keep doing this blogging thing.  This last month has been so incredibly busy, that all I can do is think, "I should probably blog."  And then I don't.

I've been trying to decide what I'm going to write about.  You are supposed to have a theme, right?  I haven't been able to come up with anything until tonight:  Entropy.

Yeah, I'm pretty much just going to blog about the same stuff I always blog about: how my life is crazy and chaotic, and mildly hilarious.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Winter is Coming...

No, really, just a couple months til my least favorite season begins.  I like to watch the changing leaves, and occasional rainbow, though.

Monday, October 17, 2011

On "3 Under 3"

As I mentioned in my previous post, we babysat my sister's munchkins: our 2.5 year old nephew Malakai and our 11 month old (identical twin neices) Ava and Lilly, collectively referred to as the "niblings." It was my sister's 4th anniversary, and I thought it would be nice if they could spend it child free (as she has either been pregnant or caring for a baby for every single previous anniversary!)  They decided to go to the local Renn Fest, and then spend the night near-ish, but not TOO close.

(Thanks go to my baby sister, E. for discovering that word. I think.  Because it kind of sounds like food.)

Not long after arriving, and before his parents had even left, M. discovered that we owned the movie "Up."  When I told him we would watch it after his parents left, he promptly informed his parents that it was time for them to leave.  Now.  Also, he told them that Minion's name was Caloatejkaeafdaewraioja.  Or thereabouts.  Because that is how he pronounces Minion.  (The girls just yell "at! dat! at at at!" followed by "bye byes!" from L. or possibly "Lllllpbfffft.")

After depositing the necessary accoutrements of child rearing in various places in my house, the parents headed out.  My sister was devastated to be leaving her sweet little babies.


We watched "Up," and then M. played out on the deck for awhile, giving his dear Uncle Hubs a near heart attack everytime he banged on the sliding glass door to entertain his sisters.  Meanwhile, the twins were attempting to teach each other how to climb stairs, how to open all the drawers in the kitchen, and why cats are THE MOST FUN TOY EVER, if only one could catch them.

Then it was lunch time.  Uncle Hubs made scrambled eggs, toast, and bacon, and Aunt D. (me) sliced up apples.  It turns out, A. can sneeze globs of partially masticated apples up to at least

Also, lunch isn't yummy if it isn't in your hair, your ears, your eyebrows, and coating your arms up to the elbows.  Meanwhile, L. is showing off her raspberry skills, while sister A. (shaking her head no to L.) does the same.  Malakai, who is QUITE amused by his sister's display, informs me that you can't eat apple skins because they go in the trash.

I get it, kid.  I didn't like them when I was little either.  And I'm cool Aunt D., so you don't have to eat them.

But please stop putting them in my eggs.

Then it was potty time, and diaper-changing time, and NAP TIME.

Oh!  I forgot to mention HOW AWESOME potty time is when you are two.  Especially when Uncle Hubs lets you wash your own hands, and then you discover that wet sleeves nothing compared to the sheer joy of running water and a bottle of hand soap.

Which is why you got to take a  nap with no shirt on.

A. and L. went to sleep with relatively little fuss.  Big brother took a little longer, but a half hour of "Tangled" put him to sleep. 

After M. woke up from his nap, he and I took a long walk around my neighborhood, which is filled with exciting things like LEAVES!  and PINECONES!  and someone's nasty junked up old TV, Aunt D.!  Can I have it?? 

We are also on the flight path to a major international airport, and M., who loves all things mechanical, was so excited by all the planes.  We also live a block or so away from the county hospital, and the helicopter landing pad is on the side closest to our house - which means we always see/hear the helicopter when it is landing and taking off.  M. was incredibly excited to see it the first time, and delirious with joy when he exclaimed, "Aunt D.!  Helicopter coming back!"

We came inside to get sisters up from their naps (and he loves running in to see his sisters, and talk to them and play with them.  So sweet!)  After diapers and potty (again), it was snack time and play time until dinner.  Guys.

Black beans.  And macaroni and cheese.  That is all I'm going to say about that.  (There were also chicken nuggets, but are you crazy?  Why would you let even one delicious morsel of chicken nuggest escape consumption???)  Then more diapers, and more potty (potty was, according to my husband "every 38.20 minutes.")  Then bath time.

Bath time mainly involved bubbles, screaming, and filling the floor with an inch of water because splashing is SO MUCH FUN.  I videotaped over a minute of nothing but splashing, non-stop.  Of course, L. wanted to drink the water, and kept leaning forward to bury her face in it, which nearly gave me heart failure every time.

All in all, it was pretty hilarious.

Then it was jammies, and bed time for the twins.  Malakai got to stay up and watch "Despicable Me" with Uncle Hubs - and here is where the least fun part of the story begins.

I'm not going to go into too much detail, but suffice to say that one poor little guy was terrified to be sleeping somewhere not at his house.  And wanted his house, and his car, and his mommy (and daddy) and he wanted them now and want fan and want door open and want cats go away and want door closed and open at the same time and want mommy!  And there were tears, and hyperventiliating, and Aunt D. ended up laying in bed with him until midnight, at which point she gratefully retreated to her bed to crash.

And returned to cuddle with an even more distraught M. at 5 am, who finally fell back to sleep close to six - and was awake by 730 am, bright eyed and bushy tailed and SO EXCITED that mommy was coming now because its light outside!

We had breakfast (munckin is NOT a fan of oatmeal, but will eat as much fruit as you have on hand to give him), and got dressed, and played for a few minutes before we got sisters up at 830.  I think the hardest part of taking care of the twins was in the morning, because M. was done with breakfast, but I had to feed the girls, and poor Uncle Hubs was dead to the world from his medication (please see earlier post about this).  And you can only change one twin at a time, which leaves the other free to climb the stairs/open drawers/chase cats because OH MY GOSH.  SO MUCH STINKY.  And you can't stop in the middle of SO MUCH STINKY to grab escape-twin. 

Meanwhile, M. is running around (naked) because he can't put his clothes on by himself (he says - I have not tested this) but he CAN take them off all by himself.  And then you leave the girls in clean diapers, because you KNOW what will happen when you feed them breakfast, and you realize that when you strap them into their chairs its the first time you've taken a breath in an hour and WHERE IS UNCLE HUBS??? 

So then M. runs around yelling "UNCLE HUBS!" in excitement, and you finish feeding the girls breakfast and are trying to get them dressed and somehow manage to put L.s dress on (and hope that you can tell A. and L. apart, because they were undressed at the same time, and you're pretty sure you can tell the difference, but WHAT IF YOU CAN'T??) backwards three times.  And then mommy calls.

And M. is suddenly struck by the fact that mommy isn't HERE yet, and why isn't she here, and he is going to go outside and look for her and thank goodness he can't open the doors yet, and A., stop climbing the stairs, and L., please don't open all the drawers and!

Then mommy walks in, and there are three of the happiest little kids in the entire world.  To be fair, L. looked a little confused when I set her down, because she couldn't figure out why brother and sister where rushing towards the door.  Then she heard DADDY and took off. 

Then Uncle Hubs wakes up and comes downstairs, and you want to tell your sister you had a lot of fun, and the kids were great, but you are so tired that you are pretty sure all you said was "jdkwdeaihwer8iajedmczfvflafjeiowafa... can't.. get.. up." 

It was absolutely a blast.  And I totally admire my sister for doing this everyday.

And yet, when we shut the door behind them, and I looked at the hubs and asked "Are you sure you want to have kids?," I wasn't entirely shocked that there was a brief pause before he said "Yes.  Someday."  :)


This weekend, I got to babysit my adorable "niblings" (thank you, Wikipedia, for that awful word) - M., A., and L.  M. is 2.5, with a 5 year old vocabulary.  The twins are 11 months old, and pretty much as sweet as they can be.  Even Uncle Hubs dotes on these three.  I will have a better story for this later, but this is my bookmark/reminder to do it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

In Sickness and In Health...

Somedays, it feels like the "in sickness" part of our vows has been taking over our lives.  Between me and my six medications, and the hubby's recent troubles (not to mention other members of my family), our "disposable income" is being disposed of... right into the black hole of the American health care system.

(I'm not complaining, I know how fortunate I am to have health insurance and easy access to quality physicians and health care professionals.  I just like having money.  That's all.)

Lemme esplain.  No, wait, is too long, lemme sum up.  (This is a summing up.  I promise, the whole story is EVEN LONGER.)

I was awakened this morning to caterwauling of the worst kind:

No, not my cats.

I mean, Minion was being all whiny earlier in the evening- I was laying in bed when I hear "Mrow?  Mrow?  MROW?  MROW?!?  MROWMROWMROW!"  "Minion, shut up!"  *30 second of silence*  "Mrow?  Mrowmrowmrow?"  "GAH!  Shut up you stupid cat or I will never feed you again!"  Then I fell asleep.  I was really tired.  Overdose of rage.

Wait, let me back up.  When I went to bed, the hubs wanted to converse about something.  (I don't even remember what.  I'm kind of rude like that.)  And I said, "Honey, I'm sorry.  I just need to go to sleep now.  I'm so tired, and really just need a full nights sleep."




So, at 2:30 a.m., caterwauling.

Disregarding the fact that, well, I'm not exactly fully clothed (partially, but not fit for polite company), I rush down the stairs fearing some dire emergency, to find my husband writhing on the couch.  In pain.  Because he has multiple protruding cervical dics, and the other day, when our windows were being replaced (Did I mention that I have the absolutely best in-laws in the entire world?) we had to catch Diego.

"Ah ha," you (my faithful blog reader) say, you knew it was the cats' fault.  You are so smart.

While the hubs was standing in a stationary, "blocking-this-direction" sort of position, Diego did the "dart-twirl-spin."  "Wait," you are thinking, "Isn't that Minion's special move?  Isn't that why you call him "The Minion Underfoot?"  You're right again!  Apparantly, Diego has been taking lessons. He darted between the hubs' legs, twirled around his ankles, then spun and took off in another direction.

The hubs was not expecting this.  It caused him to make a sudden move, and immediately un-did multiple weeks of painful recovery from his ongoing spine issue.  Sigh.

At least, that's what we thought.  UNTIL THIS MORNING.  Because at some point, in between alternating ice and heat, the pain grew so intense that he couldn't move.  Hence me, flying down the stairs, Lady Godiva reborn.  (Except there were no peasants.  Or horses.)

And of course it was pouring down rain, at 2:30 am, as I struggled to wake up enough to get myself dressed, dig out clothes for the hubby (and as my mother told me, always wear clean underwear, because you NEVER KNOW when you will end up in the emergency room.)  And of course the car wasn't parked terribly close to the house.  And OF COURSE my husband couldn't walk, and begged me to call an ambulance... and I didn't.

Because I am a heartless mercenary wench. Penny-pinching miser.  fiscally responsible wife.

Who likes money (see above). 

Yes, in the middle of trying to keep my head on straight (i.e. not collapse in tears at the insanity of the situation), I actually took a moment to think, "We live less than a block from the hospital.  HE CAN SUCK IT UPI am so not paying $500 to have someone else drive him across the street.  If I can just help him to the car, we will feel a lot better about this situation later."

He did manage to make it to the car.  We aren't going to talk about that experience.  Let's just leave it at that

After having an orderly and a nurse bring a wheelchair out to car and help him inside (whic was a total blessing.  They will never know how much), we got to sit in the lobby for awhile.

Here is the problem with the internet:  it allows you to google things like this.  When you would much rather be watching this:

 and arguing about its veracity.  (You're welcome.)

Let me be honest.  I love my husband, more than I can possibly express.  And I wish I could tell you that I was the strong, supportive one whose shoulders are broad enough to carry the world.  But after several hours, the anxiety occasioned by the circumstances of the previous day (a story for another day), combined with the exhaustion and stress of this situation, caused me to feel violently and almost uncontrollably ill.  And my sweet, long-suffering husband, seeing that I was exhausted and miserable, and that the women's rest room had been occupado (and locked) for at least two hours, sent me home.  And I barely made it home before I spent the next hour being incredibly grateful that I clean my bathrooms. 

"Oh Mister Potty... you're so shiny... and cold.  I love you, Mister Potty."

There were several hours of fitful sleep, waking up to imagined and real text messaged updates from the hubs.  Then there was the waking up two hours before work to call the pertinent relatives (I love you, pertinent relatives!) to pass on the message, and give instructions for further passing on.  And my hair looked like this:

Then the feeding the cats (Daisy spent the entire time I was home by my side, purring her sweet Kentucky kitty heart out), and getting "dressed", and frantic packing of a bag for the hubs because the doctors took him for a CAT scan and an MRI, fearing that his SPINAL CORD was being COMPRESSED which requires EMERGENCY SURGERY.  And then four or so more hours of worry as I sit at my desk working, responding to text messages (I did inform my employer what was going on, who was surprisingly understanding about my need to communicate with family members, etc...).

And then.

Oh, the wonderful, sweet, "and then!"

They decided his spinal cord wasn't being compressed, gave him a shot of steroids (and some really strong narcotic pain reliever that required anti-nausea drugs and made him very happy), and told me I could take him home.  He is now upstairs, sleeping, while a dear friend of ours is taking his prescriptions to the pharmacy (and bringing me a Starbucks Soy Pumpkin Spice Chai, oh rapture!).  There are other friends coming over to help me put my house back together (from the whole window-installation thing).  And right now, I just feel incredibly blessed.

This story doesn't have much a moral.  Always, the reminder to keep trusting, because our Heavenly Father always provides for us.  And the grateful, blessed feeling of having so many people who love us, who prayed for and with us, and who will laugh (because they know me and how crazy I am) when they think of me running around like a crazy chicken.

At 2:30 am.

But I swear, Minion, if you start "singing" again tonight, I am locking you in the dungeon basement.  Mama needs her beauty sleep.  Fer realz.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Second Best Green Beans In The World

The hubby makes the best green beans in the world. He covers them in savory toasted cheese, after steaming and salting them perfectly - so they are tender without being mooshy. "Best" is, of course, subjective. "Best," in this case, does not equal "healthiest." Not by any stretch of the imagination. Its not always cost-effective to smother green beans in a mixture of brie cheese, cream cheese, real butter and white pepper - and this is why MY green bean (the "second best") may be preferable to your wallet, if not to your palate.

I made these last week, which is how long it took me to figure out how to sync my cell phone with the lap top, so that I can actually transfer the pictures. So here you go. My amazingly delicious green beans.

Get your pan nice and hot, and cook up some bacon. I cut it in half, so that it will all fit, and cook more evenly. You want it to be crispy. Even if you don't normally like crispy bacon, it is better this way. It won't be crispy in the end.
While the bacon is cooking, chop up a medium onion, or about half of a large onion (which is what I used.)

Flip the bacon, and let it cook some more. While its cooking, rinse your green beans. We use fresh, not canned.
Drain the bacon on a paper towel.

Add a couple of tablespoons EVOO to the bacon grease in the pan.

Add the onions to the hot oil/grease.

Saute' onions.
Add a little paprika.

Add a little cayenne pepper.

Stir it all together.

Add about a cup of chicken broth/stock. I make my own, but you can use the stuff you buy at the store. I won't judge.

Add some salt. There isn't a picture of the salt because I forgot to add it until the end. But seriously, add it now. Bring to a simmer.

Steal a piece of bacon while you wait. This is the part where I chopped up the bacon, but I forgot to take a picture of chopped up bacon. Just trust me, I did.

Yay, its boiling! Stop stealing bacon now.

Add green beans.

Add bacon.


Wait five minutes!

Drain. If you don't, you'll regret it. I drain in a colandar on a plate with the same paper towel from the bacon: once it cools a little, you can just throw it away. You don't want the grease to go down your drain, unless you are invested in the DRAIN-O company.

Tap your foot impatiently as husband slices the chicken. Also take pictures, so he will repeatedly stop serving the chicken to glare at you. This won't improve the flavor of your food, but it might make you giggle.

Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Did you know...

That you are supposed to oil your wooden spoons the same way you do a wooden cutting board?  Thanks to Jules over at pancakesandfrenchfries, I do.  Now, all I can think about is getting home to oil my spoons.

I wish that were a euphemism for something.

Or a joke.