Monday, February 28, 2011


Happy Monday!


Hmn. Let's try again.

It's Monday!

Still nuthin'?

Alright, fine. It's Monday.

How was your weekend?

It was a big weekend at our house - the children ate something nutritious! Quick, someone call our pediatrician! Photographic evidence:

Apples! Yes! Vitamins! Fiber! Nutrition!

Then we rocked some serious post-nap-hair.


Then there was this brief moment where we forgot to put our pants on.

We did not, however, forget our "Bwoo-ins" hat.

So, the other day the big boy told me in no uncertain terms, "I want to stand up and pee in the potty." The resulting mess required a rather thorough cleaning of the toilet and surrounding walls. While scrubbing back there, I couldn't help but notice that the rest bathroom had reached a rather alarming state of not-so-cleanliness.

So this weekend, I triumphantly gathered a plethora of cleaning supplies, and cleaned the bathroom.

With help.

Thanks, Bud.

What can I say? It's totally awesome here.


Did I mention the pulled pork simmering away in the crock pot?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Moments

Friday Moments with Soule Mama again. If you have a moment or two to share, please leave a comment with a link.

This week there were lots of moments.

Good moments and bad moments. Cuddles and tantrums. Ups and downs, as always.

There were brotherhood moments.

Look! They are within striking distance and not hitting each other!

And more brotherhood moments.

It's no wonder they hit each other, they spend far too much time together.

There were gravity-defying-static-hair moments.

Go ahead, touch me - just be sure you're wearing rubber soled shoes.

There were frustrating mama moments...

Anyone seen my water bottle?

There were mama-saved-the-day moments...

Umm, hello there. Is that daddy's work-badge?  Gimme.

And then there was this heartbreakingly beautiful father-son moment.

"I kween-in up wif Daddy."
And dude, don't mention this to anyone - but we appear to be healthy. Shh! Don't go blabbing all over town.

I hope your week was filled with good moments (and pizza). Thanks, as always for stopping by. Happy Friday to you!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pizza Dough

I have taken a break from posting any recipes after bombarding you with all those endless cookie recipes during the holidays, but have no fear - I'm still cooking.

Today I'm making pizza.

I. Love. Pizza.

I could eat pizza every day. Seriously. I doesn't even have to be good pizza. Sure, I do indeed love the perfect pizza from Boston's North End. And I seriously miss all the crazy varieties available from the pizzeria of my college days. But, I could easily eat Papa Gino's pizza every day for the rest of my life.

But that's enough talk about other people's pizza. Today we're talking homemade pizza.

The pizza dough recipe I am about to share with you will easily roll out to make a 15" circle (about the size of your average pizza stone).

1 1/8c warm water
1 1/2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tbs Italian seasoning
1 tsp granulated garlic.
1 1/2 tsp yeast

Place all the ingredients into your bread machine (liquids first, yeast last) and set it to run on the dough cycle.

If you're not going to use the dough immediately, store it in the fridge in a bowl greased with a wee bit of olive oil, covered with plastic wrap.

When you're ready for pizza making, allow the dough to warm up a bit before rolling/stretching it to the desired shape.

This dough has a tendency to puff up a bit, so if you prefer a thinner crust pizza, use a cookie sheet instead of a pizza stone, roll it out as thin as you can get it, poke it like crazy with a fork, and bake on high heat (450ish)

For me, I like my crust thick and bread-like, so I roll it out and poke it moderately with a fork. Add a bit of olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and pepper and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

After this initial baking, rub the crust with a cut-in-half garlic clove.

Then add your toppings and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until  you have achieved ooey-gooey cheese perfection.

Why the two-step baking process? This ensures that crusty-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside texture that I just love. Also, it speeds up the process. If you throw the toppings right on the raw dough, it takes forever to cook all the way through.


Please excuse me whilst I do my pizza-happy-dance. Pizza...Pizza...Pizza...

The next generation of pizza fans.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Coming to you from the bathroom again today. It's tubby-time-at-naptime again as yesterday's attempt to let the big boy play quietly in his room resulted in him riding the rocking chair like rocking-surfboard and banging it (unbelievably loudly) into the wall.

Epic fail.

Sitting here, on the toilet, typing away, has got me thinking about all the strange things I do in order to survive the day with my beloved three year old. I behave a bit like a trained circus animal, jumping through a series of increasingly elaborate hoops in order to get even simplest tasks accomplished.

In order to brush his teeth - I sing the numbers 1 through 30 to a crazy little tune I made up, with a somewhat southern twang. Recently, the he has begun requesting that I skip certain numbers in the sequence - so here I am: holding him loosely in a head-lock, brushing his teeth quickly, vigorously, and thoroughly while singing and remembering which numbers in the sequence have been banned today.

"Mama will not say fwee, ee-web-en, and twenty-fwee."

Then there's the questions. It is impossible to get the big boy to do anything without first getting his opinion on how the task will be accomplished.

For example, any time an article of clothing is added to, or removed from, the big boy's body - a series of questions must be asked. "Time to get dressed, shall we do it in here or in the bathroom? Do you want to undo the zipper? Pants or socks first? Which foot first?  Which arm first?"

When cutting his finger and toe nails, I ask "Now which one?" twenty times in a row.

It takes fourteen questions to get from PJ's to fully dressed.

As for leaving the house, the series goes like this, "Time to get in the car, what do you want to bring with you? Do you want to open the door? Who goes first? Do you want to open the car door? Do you want to climb in or want me to lift you in?"

And on. And on. And on.

I follow him around all day sounding a bit like a bizarre drill-sergeant/tabloid-news-reporter/highly-motivated-concierge, peppering him with an endless stream of questions.

Now let's discuss the rules of engagement.

And then of course, there's all that time we spend standing around in the freezing cold playing outside together.
The rules of playing hockey with him are simple:
* Hold the stick with two hands (i.e. no cell phone usage during game time).
* Chase him around.
* Attempt to steal the puck, but do not, under any circumstances, actually touch the puck.
* When he scores a goal, hoist your stick into the air in celebration, but do not cheer, or say, "Goal!"
* That is all.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some limbering up to do before the next round of hoop jumping.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This 'n' that

How was your weekend?

We had a visit from some beloved family, long hours spent gabbing, eating, and playing with the kids. I am honored and humbled when people love my kids, I mean really love them. It never ceases to amaze me.

And they came baring gifts! Just home from a lovely Caribbean cruise - all relaxed, glowy, and tan - then presented us with a pretty killer souvenir:

Coconut rum filled chocolates?!
You know it's good when it comes with a warning label.

I also received a slightly belated Christmas gift from my mom - a beautiful fingerprint necklace with the boys' fingerprints and initials. Love.

I never thought I'd find a piece of "mother's" jewelry that I liked, but this? Oh, I'm just loving this.

Other than the big boy's screaming while we pressed his finger into a clay block,
I love everything about this necklace.

In other weekend news, there were dueling doodles. 

Whatever he's got: I want it.
And stories.

1.) Don't be hatin' on my sweet hairdo. 2.) Sailor? Escapee from baby prison? I don't
know. All I know is I like me some fat baby belly in horizontal stripes.

We enjoyed every last second of our winter-weather reprieve.

The conversation goes like this: "Blew!" "No, honey, that's purple."
Pause. Furrowed baby eyebrows. Then firmly, "Blew." "Okay, then, blue it is."

So now our company has left us, laundry piles and sticky milk rings await me, and we are back to hovering-around-zero temps. Sigh. It was dang good while it lasted though.

Monday, February 21, 2011


So, this really remarkable thing happened to me over the weekend.

I am a member of my local Freecycle group. Freecycle groups are yahoo message groups, organized by town, where people give away unwanted items that are still useful. You can post an "offer" or a "wanted" as long as the item is given freely, and not illegal.

Last week I saw a "wanted" message for a bridal gown - only a size smaller than my own bridal gown. For some reason, my gut prompted me to respond to this person's request. My dress had been professionally cleaned and stored and was stashed away in a protective box in an upstairs closet.

I hadn't given the gown a thought in years. I had no intention of getting rid of it, but something about this email gave me a little nudge. I have no explanation. Go ahead, give it away. You loved it, now let someone else love it. Why not?

So I emailed the woman making the request with a photo of the dress.

She was delighted and said she'd be happy to have it. So I went up to the closet to retrieve the box, and this is where the story gets weird. Inside its' protective plastic bag, the storage box was wet.

My stomach sank as I tore away the plastic and began breaking open the storage box, the cardboard was soft and crumbling in my hands. There was water on the inner box as well, just starting to soften the cardboard - but the dress inside was dry. Undamaged. Another few days in the closet and the water would have eaten it's way through the inner box and wreaked havoc on the fabric. Unbeknownst to anyone.

If I hadn't responded to this woman's request, the dress would have been ruined.  If I hadn't been willing to give it away, it would have been lost anyway.

Here's a sadly undramatic photo

If you look closely, you can still see the water mark.
I didn't take this picture until the next day, so the box had dried. Bad blogger.

On an additional crazy note - it took us awhile to figure out where the water was coming from. At first we assumed a roof leak and were thrilled but confounded to discover there was no water anywhere - except within the box's plastic covering. The theory Hubs came up with is that the moisture from the humidifier in that room was condensing on the cold plastic because the box was up against a cold exterior wall. Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot? (Thank you, NHGirl).

This whole story just struck me as amazing. Sometimes life just whacks you over the head.  Hey, Melissa - Don't be greedy. Okay, life - got it, loud and clear.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Moments

Friday moments, as usual, with SouleMama. If you have some moments to share, please leave a comment with a link.

Sadly, we're back on antibiotics over here. The big boy's got an ear infection, so it was popsicles for lunch again one day this week.

A popsicle makes everything better, no?

Despite his healthy-baby-status, you can't  break out the "pop-sah-coes" without even distribution.

Check out that sweet cowlick he's workin' on the left side of his head.

Then one night we had an indoor hockey tourney - complete with appropriate headwear.

Hat + wooden spoon + soccer ball = hockey.

And (sensing a theme here?) the wee one was not to be left out of the festivities.

Striped hat. Striped shirt. Grey sweats. Tigger socks.
What? It's a sweet outfit.

Oh yeah, and we mustn't overlook the wee taste of spring we've been blessed with. Fifty degrees in New Hampshire, in February? Ditch the coats, man. That's downright balmy!

Cuz we loves us some sunny weather.

You, on the other hand, wee baby - you need a coat. Yeah, I know your bro's not wearing his coat, but I don't care - I'm the mama and I make the rules.

Keep all three wheels on the ground there, Evil Kenevil.

That's it, Gang. Our week in review. Not bad considering we've been blessed with another ear infection. Hope your week a good one. Yes? No? What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Don't hurry someday

I find myself wishing for "someday" to come, but unfortunately the progress of time doesn't stop when you reach that point you were waiting for.

Someday  ...

Someday he will poop in a potty, and I will be entirely uninvolved.
Someday he will rise to an alarm clock and get ready for work - in a house that is not mine, in another town or state.


Someday he will drink enough milk without bribery, trickery or cajoling.
Someday he will encourage me to take vitamin D and calcium, perhaps a can of Ensure.



Someday he will eat a vegetable.
Someday he will order asparagus with hollandaise in a fancy restaurant, sitting across the table from someone he cares about - while I am at home watching Jeopardy.


Someday he'll make a friend.
Someday I will not be the first person he calls when something big happens.


Someday he'll get himself dressed.
Someday he'll wear a suit that was not of my choosing, or purchasing, to an event I'm not attending.


Someday he'll stop trying to break the computer.
Someday I'll ask him to come over and teach me how to use, or fix, the computer.


Someday he'll learn to entertain himself a little.
Someday an entire day, or more, will go by where I won't hear his voice.



Someday he'll stop having tantrums in public places.
Someday I'll embarrass him.

Someday he'll stop being terrified of the doctor.
Someday he'll offer to come with me to a doctor's appointment where I am terrified.


Time's a horrible thing.  Too slow in getting to where I want to be, too fast in getting where I don't want to go.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Right now.

Inspired by SouleMama's post on monday. That mama never fails to inspire this mama.

Right now I am...

Eating popcorn for lunch. Yum.

Listening to the fuzzy hum of two quiet baby monitors. Bliss.

Proud to have finished up two recertifications for work this  month. See you in two years!

Craving something ooey, gooey, and chocolate. Hello, Betty Crocker.


Loving all the remarkable, kind, awesome people who leave comments on this here blog. You rock!

Thankful for the snazzy lip gloss my trendy friend sent me as a pick-me-up. Yes, I know - I am so blessed.

Sometimes, I'm a lucky girl.

Enjoying the respite from sub-zero temps. California dreamin' on such a winter's day.


Sending healing thoughts to a few people who are struggling - some who are close to me, and some who I've never met.

Reading a few great books The 9th Judgment (Women's Murder Club) and The Girl Who Played with Fire. Oh good, good stuff.

Thinking about what to have for dinner. Stir-fry, I do believe.

Dreaming about having a real, in-the-ground garden this year. No more plants-in-pots for this mama.

Requiring a cup of tea. Better finish up here and put the kettle on, those monitors aren't going to be quiet forever.

What are you up to at this very moment?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hanging in.

I gotta admit, today I'm feeling a little bit better.

The boys and I were able to play outside today without all the layers. Sure we still need lots of layers, but even skipping one makes a big difference to this mama.

It was warm enough to skip the epic battle over mittens for the wee one.

The wee one seemed to think it was warm enough to start thinking about golfing season, and I wasn't about to correct him.

Cute, ain't he?

The big boy, on the other hand, is still entrenched in hockey season - although he did follow his brother's lead and whack around a golf ball with his stick for awhile.

How long before I catch a golf ball travelling at 35 mph
to the side of the head do you think?

The biggest bummer of the day was forgetting to take shoes off at the door when dashing in to change a poopy diaper. Muddy shoes + off white carpet = irritated mama. But luckily, it wasn't anything a quick pass with the vacuum couldn't fix.


Last week I had a lot of mommy guilt, my behavior was not stellar, and sometimes catching myself in the middle of losing my temper with the kids is enough to snap me back to reality. That screaming, out of control mama is not who I want to be.

One day last week the big boy told me in no uncertain terms, "I want daddy. I want mama to go to work. I want daddy to stay home." Ouch. I tried to ignore it, but it struck a nerve.  Eventually, when he kept pushing it, I lost my temper. Yelled at him, made him cry. Guilt-ridden, I talked the whole thing over with my sister who helped me to realize that his request for his daddy made me feel like he was finally confirming my suspicion that I am, indeed, a bad mother.

Today, armed with that nugget of insight, when he again asked for his daddy - we called him on the phone. Sure, "I want daddy" still stings a little - but I can take it - I'm the mama.

The learning curve. I hate, hate, making mistakes when it comes to the kids. I should never yell at him - I feel so ashamed when I lose my temper. But, I'm learning. I am human. I make mistakes, and then I try to do better.

Today we did a little bit better. Sure, there were moments when I still felt frustrated and exhausted - but I'll take it. Progress, not perfection.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day

Happy Valentine's Day, Gang.

I hope your day is filled with flowers and chocolates.

I would like to humbly thank the Hallmark company for making this moment possible.

But the love doesn't stop there.  There are so many ways to say "I love you," right?

How about heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast.

Okay, fine.  Vaguely heart-shaped. Or mickey mouse shaped. Whatever.

And homemade treats that an egg-allergic boy can enjoy.

Oh, sticky, crispy, goodness.

I think nothing demonstrates true love like sharing something that really was meant for keeping all to yourself.

My dear Hubs, I love you this much.

Then there's that defining parental-love moment, when the wee one requests, " 'gain?" After you've already read this particular book fourteen times in the last twenty minutes.

But Hubs, he never let's 'em down. "Sure, bud." he says.

Although I have to admit, I'd rather be reading that book than demonstrating my love by wearing this smelly blanket on my head. 

Love. Love. Love. In all it's many forms. Sure our long walks on the beach have been replaced by taking turns with poopy diapers and middle-of-the-night rocking chair sessions, but it's all the same at the core.  Love in the trenches might not be as picturesque as those honeymoon moments in Jamaica, but there's something profound, sturdy, and comfortable here - and that  is certainly something to celebrate.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday moments

Friday moments with Soule Mama again. If you have a moment (or several - you rule breaker, you) to share, please leave a comment with a link.

This week hasn't been the best, or the most joyful week I've ever had - but we made it through. And even during a week like this one, I can look back and pick out a few moments that I'm happy to savor and share.

There were baby-on-the-mend moments.

I feelin' better, Mama.

There were brotherly moments with footie pajamas.

There was that one moment when I found the big boy asleep outside his new big boy bed.

Napping just slightly under the bed.

There were snacking-in-the-sunshine moments.

Let's stand in this sunbeam and pretend it's summer.

There were ecstatic I-love-my-brothers-remote-controlled-racecar moments.

Just, for the love of God, do NOT turn it on. Oh the horror.

Then there was this moment while watching "Da Bwoo-ins."

"I want to we-yah my Bwoo-ins hat, Mama."
You know, that's a pretty good assortment of moments, especially for a week that was full of funk for this mama. It may not have been the week I wished for, but it was the week we had, and we'll never have it back again. So, I'm happy to sift out some good stuff from the not-so-good stuff, and forge ahead into next week, knowing there will be a few good moments sprinkled into that week as well.

Thanks for stopping by today. Hope you have a great weekend.