Friday, February 26, 2010

Dear Giant Zit

that has taken up residence on my nose,

I don't mean to be rude, but why, exactly, are you here? There seems to have been some sort of misunderstanding. You see, I am an adult and therefore, should not have to continue suffering the indignities of adolescence. Adulthood has enough indignities of its own...hello stretch marks and deflated boobs!

It occurs to me that perhaps you are here in some misguided attempt to make me feel young(er) again. It's possible that you overheard my conversation with my sister in which we were lamenting that we don't seem to have inherited our mother's eternally youthful skin. I am pretty sure that my mom was on to something by spreading her 3 kids out over a decade rather than trying to cram all of them into a third of that time. I have definitely noticed that sleepless nights and the deepening of my crow's feet seem to be linked! And the constant use of my most stern mommy voice has left two permanent creases between my eyebrows.

I think herein lies the confusion...You see, when I was wishing for youthful skin, I didn't mean that I wanted my teenage skin back! (Do you remember Acutane?) No, I meant I want Hayden Panettiere's teenage skin!

Or better yet, just go live on the side of her nose for a few days!


Sincerely,

Too Old for Clearasil

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sour cream is my butter...

I have a recipe to share with you.
But first, I have to share a story about my bff.
And her obsession with butter...
When Libby was a baby, I was a borderline paranoid schizophrenic a little cautious about introducing finger foods. My fear of choking was great. Emily suggested toast sticks as a good option, but since I was still breaking puffs in half before giving them to my baby, I was skeptical about giving Libby toast.
"What if it gets stuck on the roof of her mouth and she can't swallow it?" I asked.
Emily's response: "Just put a little butter on it."
When I was having trouble getting any of my children to eat vegetables, Emily's advice: "Just put a little butter on them."
And the kicker, (while visiting with our favorite friends one weekend) Emily made blueberry muffins for breakfast. She asked if my girls wanted butter on their muffins. I said "no, they prefer them plain." So Libby and Emma Jane each got a butter free muffin. Jack and Melody also got plain muffins...
but on their plates was a little spoonful of butter to dip their muffins in!
I looked at Emily and said, "Seriously, ya'll are the Buttertons!"
So I tell you all of this because the other day Emily called me to ask about this recipe I am going to share with you. (eventually.)
Emily: "Hey, what's in your chicken and rice dish?...I want to make that for dinner this week."
Me: "Oh it is super easy! It's just wild rice, chicken, mushrooms, Italian dressing and sour cream."
Emily: (small pause) "You know, a lot of your recipes have sour cream in them."
Me: "I know...sour cream is my butter!"
I mean, really, everything is better with a little sour cream!
So without further ado...
Chicken with Wild Rice
You will need:
one box of wild rice, cooked according to package directions
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
8 oz sliced mushrooms, sauteed until golden brown (note: I prefer cremini mushrooms but regular white button mushrooms work just as well.)
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing (I used Ken's Steakhouse Northern Italian)
1 cup sour cream
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a 9x13 baking dish. Cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
(The refrigeration step is not crucial, so if it's 30 minutes until dinnertime you can still throw this together and it will be delicious! It will just be even better the next day when you have leftovers! Decrease cooking time by 5-10 minutes if not refrigerated.)
Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Have you ever wondered...

why baby bananas are pink instead of white?

I find this mildly disturbing...anyone else?


Sunday, February 21, 2010

John's First S'more


He is a boy after my own heart!
Of course, I only shared one bite with him before finishing it off myself.



Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn

Thursday, February 18, 2010

PSF and Bangs

I have a love/hate relationship with my hair.
I love to hate it.

I have that really annoying hair that isn't straight, but isn't curly either. I was also blessed with this really stubborn cowlick that makes it impossible to part my hair anywhere but exactly one inch to the right (my right) of dead center.
My mother often tells me that the very first thing she noticed about me was my cowlick. And she tried with all her might to subdue it. She subjected my poor baby hair to product and spray right from the start in an effort to make my hair part on the left. She believed (under the influence of my grandmother, I am sure) that hair was supposed to part on the left and it drove her crazy that mine didn't. I have been driving her crazy like that my whole life, but that is a whole other post!

Mom succeeded with the left part for about as long as it took to snap this picture before the cowlick fought back and ultimately won.

Please take a few moments to ooh and aah over my cuteness...I'll wait.

The presence of the cowlick has seriously limited my style options. My hair has pretty much looked the same my entire life. It has varied in length over time and in recent years, varied in color as well. But for the most part it has been the same.
Any serious variation in my standard haircut has usually involved bangs. And has usually been regretted the instant the hair hit the floor.

The issue with bangs goes back to the cowlick and the impossibly stubborn part. I have always wanted thick, chunky bangs that fell straight forward into my eyes...like hers:

Unfortunately, my bangs always part on the right just like the rest of my hair. This has not stopped me from trying though. My childhood is peppered with pictures of my failed bangs attempts. (You can see in this picture that my mom is still trying to make my hair part on the left!)

After about age two, we gave up on bangs for the next decade. And when I look back at pictures of my middle school years, I wish we had just let sleeping cowlicks dogs lie. Because what happened next did nothing to help my awkward years.

I decide that I actually could pull off bangs, if I just quit fighting the cowlick. So I feathered them...

Don't laugh.

Every single one of you has a picture at least this heinous hiding in an album at your mom's house. And it probably involves bad bangs too! *shudder*

After letting those grow out, I swore (or maybe my mom did) that I was never cutting bangs again. And I didn't for about 4 years. Until 10th grade. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I didn't feather them but I did still use a curling iron (and a whole can of AquaNet) in order to make them fall straight across my forehead. The effect never lasted past 10am.

Thankfully, I had school pictures taken during first period that year!
Somewhere shortly after this, due to hormones or whatever, I entered the idiot teenager stage. You know what I am talking about...all teenagers are idiots. Even the goody-two-shoes ones, like me.

There can be no other explanation for what I did next...

I let my bff (who in retrospect, had no skill with a pair of scissors whatsoever) cut my bangs.

About an hour before our dates picked us up for prom.

It was not my best look.


I gave up on bangs (again) after that. And I really thought I had kicked the habit this time.

Until Katie Holmes cut her hair.

Then I just had to jump on the bandwagon.

But for the first time, I found bangs that worked. I really liked my Katie Holmes hair and I kept the style (and color) for over a year.

It's been about a year since I let my bangs grow out and I really had no intention of crossing over to the dark side again this soon.

But then my sister came to visit with her new bangs, looking all cute and sassy like Jennifer Garner...and what can I say?

I caved to peer pressure.


They're ba-ack!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

No One Mourns the Wicked

Last Friday night, Brad and I went to see Wicked. It was my first time seeing the show and it exceeded every one of my expectations! It was absolutely fabulous!! If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it!
I got an email from the performing arts center today stating that there are still a few tickets available for the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday shows and I am trying to figure out how to convince my sweet husband to let me go see it again!

And because I will use any excuse to buy new shoes, I had to get my self a pair of ruby slippers

to go with my witch's hat!
My girlfriends and I made up the official Team Elphaba. We were almost as big a hit as the actual actors! During intermission, there were several people not-so-subtly snapping pictures of us. And a few actually asked permission...which of course, we granted!
Brad was a good sport. He did still sit with me even though I was in costume.
And for the record, I did take the hat off during the performance so the people behind me could see.

Afterwards, we posed for a picture with Boc/Tin Man. His comment when he saw us was, "Wow. That is a lot of hats!"
It's kind of fun being Wicked!

Sea World!

We spent Valentine's Day, along with the rest of the world it seemed, at Sea World. It was a great day despite the cold and the kids had a blast. My experience with theme parks and preschoolers is that after a few hours and meltdown is inevitable. But really, the kids behaved beautifully. The only meltdown that did occur had nothing to do with over stimulation or exhaustion...it could have happened anywhere.
When we stopped for lunch, I opted to make the fiscally responsible choice of not getting each of my daughters their own $8 kids meal. I got them one meal to share, which was more than enough food. Emma Jane absolutely lost it when I put some of "her" french fries on Libby's plate. She literally threw herself on the floor and started screaming. After a few minutes of trying to explain that she had to share, I lost it too. If any of you happened to be at Sea World on Sunday and you witnessed some crazed woman yelling at her child to "JUST EAT YOUR FRIES OR MOMMY IS GOING TO THROW IT ALL IN THE TRASH!"...yeah, that was me. I just love when one of my children turns us into that family.
Once we got past that unpleasant moment, the day was lovely. We kids loved all of the shows. We saw the otter and sea lion show, which was really funny. I don't have any pictures of that one unfortunately.
Next we went to see Shamu. (Although my sister and I are in agreement that Shamu did not actually show up for this performance. I remember him being way bigger than the two whales that did perform.)

Emma Jane, in a much better mood, loved seeing the animals!


John was pumped too!


I got lots of great pictures of the split second after each of the whale's tricks!

Here is a great one of his tail.
And check out that splash.

Oh, look...there is a good one!
(Seriously, I took about 30 pics and this is the only one that turned out well!)
The two non-Shamus taking a bow.
All of us taking a ride
When asked what her favorite part of the day, Emma Jane replied "the pah-cone." She is a little popcorn fiend!
And being the great sharer that she is...here she is running from Libby who was trying to get some popcorn too!
Next we walked through the shark encounter. Libby opted out of this attraction. She thought it sounded scary. And honestly it was eerily similar to a rather terrifying scene from JAWS.

We also spent some time in the kiddie area riding all of the rides. Libby and Emma Jane rode the roller coaster twice and loved it! At the end of the day, everyone was too tired to walk to the car, so Aunt Catie carried everyone!
They all passed out in the car before we even left the parking lot. That is, after Libby and Morgan both peed in the parking lot next to the van...like I said, we are that family!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Where Have I Been?

Well, for the last five days, I have been hanging out with these people.
My sister and her family made their annual trip to Florida in hopes of escaping the bitterly cold New England winter...

only to discover that Florida isn't much warmer!

Last year at this time, preschool skinny dipping was on the agenda.

This year, the kids barely lasted ten minutes outside! (And mommy couldn't even last 10 seconds to take a decent picture! I took this one through the window.)

Luckily though, it was perfect weather for building a fire,

and roasting marshmallows

for s'mores!

Ryan thought the marshmallows were okay, but he really just wanted more "chocate!"

There is nothing more fun than cousins!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine Craft

My girls are collectors. Especially Libby. She is always starting new collections and she is always on the look out for containers or bags to hold her crap treasures. Last week she borrowed six of my Tupperware containers and used them to sort all of her different crap treasure collections. I need my Tupperware, so we had to come up with a different solution.
Since Valentine's Day is coming, we killed two birds with one stone by making treasure boxes for our Valentine's Day craft. You will have to forgive me for forgetting to take pictures of the process, but really, this project is so easy it barely even has a process. I am sure you will get it even without step by step, photographic instructions.
We started with an empty formula can. We happen to have a lot of those but you could also use a coffee can, oatmeal canister or a shoebox. We wrapped the can in scrapbook paper and decorated it with stickers.

Then I wrote the following bible verse on each girl's can and we practiced saying it a few times.
This project is super easy, cute and a surefire way to get your Tupperware back!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Love at the Chick

Do you remember when I told you about Libby's friend, Nicholas? The one that didn't want to marry her.
I think he may have had a change of heart!


I caught them snuggling in the play area at Chick-fil-A today!

I am going to have to keep an eye on those two!






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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thank You Very Much!

The Daily Dribbles



I have decided to jump on the free therapy bandwagon this week. Make sure to click on over to Kmama's at The Daily Dribbles and link up your own Thank You post!

To the woman, 30 years my senior, in Zumba that was droppin' it like it's hot and making me feel like an uncoordinated moron in comparison: thankyouverymuch!

To the sticky spot on my kitchen floor that I kept stepping on with bare feet but then couldn't find when I came back with a wet rag: thankyouverymuch!

To the child (who will remain nameless) that has been throwing raging tantrums in the middle of the night all week and disrupting mommy's necessary 8 hours: thankyouverymuch!

To the laundry that is never finished: thankyouverymuch!

And to the human vomit projector, for always aiming it at mommy (and causing the latter): thankyouverymuch!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lumberjack Love

Maybe it's just me, but I think there is just something sexy about a lumberjack.


I mean, who wouldn't want a man that can tear down trees with his bare hands!


I suppose it is a good thing I feel this way since my man does sort of resemble this guy.




Seriously, every time we walk down the paper towel aisle at Publix, Emma Jane points at the Brawny guy and says, "It's Daddy!"


And for your viewing pleasure: