Oh There’s No One Like Mom For The Holidays!

MWWAB holidaysGet ready… It’s time for Mom for the Holidays! My sister moms over at Moms Who Write and Blog are putting together some of the best mom lit and parent humor for the holidays on the Internet! Hosted by the hostesses with the mostesses moi and supermom Lisa Nolan at LisaNolan.com.

Do things get a little crazy for you this time of year? Believe me, you’re not the only one!  So go and take some time out for yourself, because you deserve it! Head over to our group Pinterest board and re pin some great posts to read later (when your family has passed out from too much sugar-plum goodness). You can also hangout with us at our  Facebook Event starting on Wednesday 12/18 at 6 pm! And if you love to read mom blogs, click on our holiday lit and parent humor link and read yourself to sleep, because goodness knows you’re going to need all the sleep you can get!

Will you be there with bells on?  Ho ho ho!  Let’s get our holidays on, Moms!

Getting ready for Christmas

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Last Call: The Final Week in a Nutshell of 2012

I’ll be the first to admit I’m way, way behind on my reading.  I haven’t been reading other folk’s blogs like I usually do, because this is such a busy time!  Today is my Dad’s birthday and tomorrow is New Years Eve.  So I promise, I’ll be brief.  Because I’ve got stuff to do and places to go.  Well maybe nowhere to go but I certainly have things to do!

Sooo…just in case you were extremely busy like many of us were this past week, here is the week in review.

a-charlie-brown-christmasSunday  I took a good hard look (er, listen) at holiday music and picked my favorite versions and the songs that make me want to run for the hills.  Holiday Music:  The Great Ones and the Really Annoying (In My Unprofessional Opinion)

 

Monday I take a moment to remember why we celebrate Christmas.  The Hokey Pokey Is NOT What It’s All About

The kids on Christmas morning.

Wednesday A summary of my Christmas.  Elvis was there.  Wrapping Up Christmas

 

 

 

 

new-years-resolutions-cats-treadmill-exerciseThursday I tried out a new prompt-Theme Thursday over at Something Clever 2.0.  The theme was New Years Resolutions, which I actually don’t make. New Years Resolutions or Lack Thereof.

 

 

He probably reads my blog.  Must be a Chad Knaus fan.

Friday I looked back over some of the stuff I actually learned this year.  After I published this, I found the original list I made.  Much better than what I actually wrote down.  What I Learned in 2012:  An Introvert’s Introspective Retrospective

 

 

bats n miceSaturday was a reblog.  Shockingly, I didn’t seem to lose any followers over it.  Read here to find out why I don’t eat chocolate sprinkles.  The Scoop on the Poop:  Why I Don’t Eat Chocolate Sprinkles and Other Revelations.

 

 

 

I don’t have a list of favorite blog posts this week, though I assure you there were MANY great ones this week.  I’m just waaaaay behind on my reading.  Please refer to my little list here in the right hand column of all the great blogs I follow.  Each one of them is special to me for a good reason. Which reminds me, I really need to add a few blogs to it!

Coming tomorrow, the best of 2012.  If you made my list, you could be the recipient of a beautiful handmade award!  My daughter, however, does not take requests, she just creates.  Future independent artist, she is.

Her creations will be much better than the "Geller Cup".

Her creations will be much better than the “Geller Cup”.

The Hokey Pokey Is Not What It’s All About

Where have I been?  I’ve been plagued with computer issues the last 24 hours or so.  I’m not doing well on delivering any posts due to that, Evil Genius being off of work for four days and actually wanting to be around people, and all of that last minute stuff that comes along with Christmas. Since it’s getting too late to finish and share my “Alternative Christmas Movies” post, I’m thinking I need to just move on to something else.

After wandering around for quite a while today trying to figure out what the heck was going in the kids’ stocking this year without blowing much money, I settled on socks.  They NEED socks, and what better to put in a stocking than socks?  And M&Ms candy canes-when I was a kid that was always the coolest thing to get!  And I’m still worrying about trying to even up the presents, and that I got nothing for my husband or the dog or the cat.  I had to stop and think for a minute before I drove myself crazy, that is NOT what it is all about!

Remember…

star trek mind meld

(My apologies-I can’t ever think of the word remember without a Wrath of Khan reference.)

What it’s all about…

hokey pokey

Not that…this…

what christmas is all about

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Just like the Terminator, I’ll be back (the day after Christmas).

The ADD Kitchen Chapter 2: Cooking Calamities

I often disable this before I even start.  There is a good reason for this.

I often disable this before I even start. There is a good reason for this.

There’s a reason why I don’t bake stuff for people during the holidays.  Or any time of the year.  It’s because with the exception of the apple crisp I made once that turned out awesome and the banana bread I make, I suck at it.  I’m not much better at cooking regular stuff, you know, like dinner.

When you are ADD, there are things that just happen because we people miss stuff.  Important stuff.  Ok, often REALLY important stuff.  Certain things go wrong due to:

1)  Ingredients-Either a) I had it the last time I looked (in April) b)  Didn’t look to see if we had it at all or c) Missed something entirely (Oh, I needed THAT for the recipe?)  This sometimes calls for interesting substitutions, or a phone call to Mom for help.

Aw dang it, this recipe is for TIGER soup!  I only have leopards.

Aw dang it, this recipe is for TIGER soup! I only have leopards.

2)  Directions-Inevitably I will miss some really important part of the recipe.  Case in point-Mexican Stuffed Shells.  This is a very favorite in our house.  For some reason, we haven’t made it in a very long time.  Since we had leftover french fried onions from Thanksgiving, this is a great recipe to use the rest in.  I’ve personally never made it, because the one with the talent in the kitchen department is my husband.  I attempted it this time and as usual, only paid attention to part of the directions.  I mixed up the ingredients and just threw them all together.  Then I read the instructions again.  I was only supposed to mix a HALF cup of the stuff together.  Oops.  So to fix it, I just added extra of everything.  That works, right?  I threw in what was left of the salsa in the fridge, I opened another can of tomato sauce.  It came out ok.  Of course, you really can’t screw up that kind of cooking.  By all means try it though, just because I can’t follow directions doesn’t mean it’s not awesome.  We use ground turkey in ours, because I don’t eat red meat.

3)  Containers-I don’t often look at whether or not there is an insert in spices and extracts.  I just dump, assuming that there are a whole lot of holes to keep the whole container from going in there.  I was making a new recipe the other night, Turkey Pasta Soup.  First let me point out that I had already met criteria #1 because I needed the Italian stewed tomatoes, and I only had regular diced.  Damn Fareway, why do all of their cans look alike?  I figured I would just add extra “Italian” spices.  It needed basil.  I took the spice container and just started shaking it in there.  PLOOP!  A half container of basil.  Yup, I have no idea where the little shaker hole thing went.  “Man, that is a LOT of basil,” Evil Genius remarked in passing.

Today we attempted some holiday treats. Mostly because I want to do stuff for people so I don’t look like a total douche this holiday.  And also because Princess Christmas has been begging me since the day after Thanksgiving to do it.

So first we spent part of the day making sure we had everything we needed.  Then I settled on doing white chocolate covered pretzels with crushed candy cane and holiday sprinkles.  Easy, right?  I read online that “Chocolate covered pretzels are one of the easiest treats to make on the face of the earth.”  Whoever said that LIED!

This is what I was TRYING to make.  Something tells me they wouldn't look this pretty.  Image from BakedPerfection.com

This is what I was TRYING to make. Something tells me they wouldn’t look this pretty. Image from BakedPerfection.com

I try to be all organized and whatnot.  First I lay out everything I need.  While I do this, I set my daughter loose on the floor working on making graham cracker crumbs for another project.  I give her a bag of broken graham crackers and a hammer.  She loved this task almost too much.

Then I tried to melt the chocolate.  As I was gathering my recipes, on one website it said it was easier and better to melt the chocolate in the microwave than on the stove.  Since I’m always looking for ways to make stuff go faster (mainly because I lose interest quickly) I pour half the package of white chocolate in the microwave and started to zap it.  Meanwhile, I switch my daughter to saltine cracker crumbs.  My we will have plenty of crumbs to make stuff with!

All of a sudden I smell something NOT GOOD.  I look in the microwave and see a big black spot in the middle of the white chocolate.  I burned it!  Noooo!  I stop the microwave and try to yank the bowl out.  OUCH!  The bowl is hot.  A hot, stinky gooey mess.

I could very well go on a spree after some of the calamaties I've had.

I could very well go on a spree after some of the calamaties I’ve had.

I go back to the computer and google it.  Ohhhhh, you should do it in twenty second intervals until it’s almost all melted.  And stir, and all of that stuff.  In other words I have to monitor it.  Sigh… Ok, at least I have a half package left.  So I pour that into another bowl and stick it back in for the first of probably a million twenty second intervals.  While this is going, I eat what didn’t burn of the other chocolate (and I wonder why I’ve gained weight??)

If only I could say it turned out perfectly and the pretzels were awesome.  Oh no, you’re talking about something I’m cooking.  While I did earn the title “She Who Microwaves” from a coworker because of my love for taking shortcuts with a microwave any way I could, this does not make me an expert in any way.  l After microwaving several times at 20 second intervals, I wound up with a hard lump of white chocolate.

After consulting Google again, I discover that apparently you can overcook the stuff.  This is when I gave up for the day.  Not because I give up easily, but because I had a 2nd grade Christmas concert that evening and had to move on to other things…

In summary, research your desserts completely, because you never know when they’re going to turn on you!  If you want good baking, go over and visit my friend Karen at Baking In A Tornado.  She bakes great stuff!

Oh, and burnt white chocolate doesn’t taste bad at all.

I always do...

I always do…

My Christmas List, No Holds Barred

This really has nothing to do with my Christmas list but man did it make me laugh!

Now that we’re starting to get into the swing of the holiday season, I have something I want to share.  I know that Jesus is the reason for the season, and I know that I’m an adult and should be wishing for stuff like world peace and all that jazz for Christmas.  But I don’t want to.  I’m too broke to do much for Christmas.  My husband and I won’t be exchanging gifts and the kids will be getting precious little this year. So for now I just want to dream a little.  Today I want to be totally immature and selfish and think about all the stuff that I really wish I could get for Christmas. Then I’ll drown my sorrows in cheap wine.  So anyhoo, if you’re not offended by the fact that I’m not thinking about anyone but myself for the duration of this post, please read on. If you ARE offended, then, well… I got nothin.

MY CHRISTMAS LIST 2012

1)  A fake fireplace.  Really!  I AM DEAD SERIOUS ABOUT WANTING THIS!  I have always wanted a fireplace in my living room.  Insurance companies don’t really like them much and we really can’t afford to knock a wall out to put one in our living room.  But a fake one would work-all of the perks without the hassle, not to mention that we could mount our TV right above it.  They also have models with a place for all of your electronics.  I could bask in the warmth of the crackling fire while he watches… football.  Not a total win win, but I’d gladly take it.  Lowes sells them.  If anyone wants to donate one to me, I’ll point you in the right direction.  I’ll even drive you there.

Chestnuts not roasting on an open fire (because it’s faaaaaaake…)

2)  My gym membership paid in full for one year.  If I wanted to get really wild and crazy I’d also wish for someone to watch my kids while I went.  Of all the things I have had to give up in order to save money, this is the one I miss the most.  That and my newspaper subscription-but reading the news wasn’t really doing me much good. This was!  I have the flabby post gym membership booty to prove it, and that makes me sad.

3)  Wine of the week club.  Imagine the possibilities.  Wine delivered weekly to my front door.  So much more useful that a fruit of the month.  Add a chocolate of the week to go along with it and it would be way too perfect.  SIGN ME UP!  Oh yeah, I also need some wine glasses…

I want one. Or two. These are from a local winery here in Ioway.

4)  Mandatory Massages– This would go nicely with the wine.  A certain time each week set aside for a nice massage.  No exceptions.  Hold my calls, I’m relaxing.  These would be given by my husband.  Or a person of his choosing.

5)  A deeper bathtub– I love to take baths.  My problem is that even if I fill our bathtub all the way up and lay down as far as I can in the water, certain, um,  parts of me are barely submerged.  And I am not a big person.  If Matt Muenster and Bath Crashers ever come to my town, look out!

I could go for this too.  That’s neat.  But this bathtub isn’t deep enough.

6)  Drawers that are not baskets-Imagine if you will a bedroom set with many drawers.  You slide the drawers open to get clothes.  You slide them closed after you take the clothes out.  Slide out, slide in, slide out, slide in.  It’s a dream of mine.  My dresser drawers do not function as drawers, but rather baskets that stack on top of each other.  Except for one-the one that has been fixed.  There are five more.  Waiting…  Waiting to be fixed.

7)  Unlimited ITunes downloads (or access to your CD collection so I can steal music from you, which is much cheaper)-Music is my thang, yo!  I have quite a collection of ditties all on one IPOD nano. I’m just getting warmed up.  There is so much I want, yet so little that I can afford.

8)  Clothes Shopping Spree-Realize that a shopping spree for you may be waaaay different than a shopping spree for me.  I shop at Goodwill, consignment shops, and clearance racks.  This may very well be the cheapest shopping spree ever.  The catch?  You have to watch my kids.

9)  Unlimited Time To Peruse Scrapbook Stores Plus Store Credit– I always get slapped with a time limit and  mocked when I go to these places.  An ADD person let loose in a scrapbook store may never come out.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Too bad I can’t afford either of them right now. WAAAAAAAH!

10) Replacing the electronic things I keep putting off replacing to save money-A new printhead for my printer, and a memory card with tons of memory for my digital picture frame that does not cause my computer to crash when I attempt to add new images to it.  The whole purpose of the digital picture frame is to be able to ADD pictures to it, am I right?  My daughter hasn’t been two for a couple of years now.

11)  KITCHEN THINGS FIXED!!! Now I’m really stretching it (like I wasn’t before).  As I have shared recently, nothing in my kitchen really works right.  Last night I was trying to do the thing I hate most-DISHES of course.  I had the little sink plunger I had bought and was furiously plunging the sink I was rinsing dishes in because it backed up every time I ran water into it.  This is because my garbage disposal DOES NOT WORK.  Nor does my dishwasher.  You also take your life into your own hands every time you open my fridge because you just never know what’s going to come out of it at you.  That’s because there are multiple broken shelves and drawers in there.  Yeah, I could really use some appliance love right now.

That’s really, really nice. Now fix my dishwasher.

12) BLOG UPGRADE!  I got to thinking about this after I initially published it. Thought I’d throw it in here.  I’d love to be able to have my own domain and all of that fun stuff that you have to pay *GASP* money for.  I could do a whole lot more with more features and could customize it the way I wanted, not to mention would have unlimited space for images!   Just a thought.  Hint, hint.

That really IS it.  What would you ask for on your ultimate Christmas list?  I’ve seen some others around and I’m seeing some great ideas!  If you made your own list on your blog already I’d love for you to send me the link so I can read it too!

Let the Holidays Commence!

I do.

This is what I’ve been looking forward to-the next few weeks will most likely be an unending stream of idea diarrhea.  The stuff just keeps flowing because I love the holidays. Christmas is one of my very favorite times of the year.  Despite all of the poopy stuff we have going on (SHINY PENNIES FOR CHRISTMAS!  SHINY PENNIES FOR CHRISTMAS!) I am determined I am going to delight in the things that I love most for the next month.  Here are all of the reasons why I love this time of year so much.

1)  Excuses to watch my favorite movies.  What honey?  You said you want to see “ELF”?  Well let me pop it in.  No movie makes me smile as much as that one.

There is nothing funnier than this…

2)  CHRISTMAS MUSIC!  I like the older music.  I’m not a big fan of most of the newer stuff.  My parents had the original Time Life Christmas records.  The best music ever.  I thought I had found it on CD a few years back, but it wasn’t the same.  I’m still looking for the recording of Jack Jones singing “Do You Hear What I Hear?”  Can’t find it anywhere!  I love Handel’s Messiah, and of course I couldn’t be a band geek without mentioning Sleigh Ride.  I have a story about that, you’ll hear it later this month.

3)  Christmas lights They are even supposed to be up and lit this time of year!  It’s so much fun to drive around and see all of the different displays people have in their yards and on their houses.  We never decorate the outside of our house, so it’s especially fun to see what others have come up with.

I must admit I’ve never seen anything like this yet!

4)  The goodies.  I’m not going to lie and say that I won’t worry about how much I’m consuming, because I will.  But when else do you get to eat so many homemade goodies.  I hope to make some this year.  I want to try to make the big pretzels dipped in chocolate.  YUM!

I’ve never made these. Maybe I should!

5)  Wrapping paper.  I love beautiful wrapping paper adorned with ribbon and bows.  One year I used wide gauzy ribbon to wrap all the packages for the growm-ups.  I just love the way they look under the tree.  I may be wrapping empty boxes this year but dammit they will be pretty!!!!

Not pretty, but quite useful.

6)  Creative decorations. Oh darn, I have to spend lots of time on Pinterest finding ideas for decorating.  Breaks my heart.  This year I’m looking for ideas for a new wreath.  Ours was looking pretty shabby last year.  I’m thinking jingle bells and ball ornaments.  We’ll see what I come up with!

Hmmmmm…

7)  The Wonder of It All.  My kids are at very fun ages.  It’s all so magical to them.  I know that they are most concerned about what they are getting on the big day, but they are so excited about everything.  The next few weeks we will see time and time again what we refer to in my family as “The Christmas Eyes”.  I will find pictures of my sister and I with our Christmas eyes on, and will post them.  I see these on my kids every year.

See? Christmas eyes!

So keep an eye out for all of my crazy posts.  I have drafts galore lined up for the next few days!  To paraphrase my daughter:  “Let the holidays COMMENCE!”