Thursday, May 31, 2012

Raisin bread

This is  fun recipe.  It's a yeast bread that requires some kneading and and waiting for the dough to rise, but when it's done, it is an amazing bread that will go quickly.  It's also a large recipe and makes 3 loaves which I personally think is nice.  In our house, raisin bread doesn't last long enough for it to get hard or go bad.

1 1/2 c. milk
1 c. warm water (110°F/45°C)
2 (.25 oz) packages active dry yeast
3 eggs
1/2 c plus 1 Tbsp white sugar, divided
1 tsp salt
1/2 c butter or margarine, softened
1 c raisins
8 c all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp milk
3/4 c white sugar
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm.
2. Dissolve yeast in warm water and 1 Tbsp sugar, set aside until yeast is frothy.  Mix in eggs, 1/2 c sugar, butter and salt.  Stir in cooled milk.  Add the flour gradually to make a stiff dough.
3. Add the raisins.  Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes.  Place in a large, greased mixing bowl and turn the dough to grease the surface of the dough.  Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise until it's doubled in size.
4. Punch down the dough and knead a few times.  Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2" thick.  Moisten dough with 2 Tbsp milk.  Mix together the 3/4 c white sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the milk covered dough.  Roll up the dough tightly, about 3" in diameter.  Cut into thirds, tuck the ends under and place in lightly greased 9x5" pans.  Let rise for 1 hour.
5. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 40 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when knocked.  Remove loaves from pan and let cool before slicing.

The other loaf has a chunk missing from it, it was barely out of the pan and Bug yanked off a piece.  I figured I'd better take a picture before they were all ruined.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

English; making learning a new experience

There are sooo many different conversations that you can have with your children when you're in the car.  Often times you're not even sure what it is you're talking about but a lot of "uh huh's" and "oh yeah?" come out of your mouth as you attempt to pay attention to the road as the kids in the backseat go, "Mommy, Mommy, Moooommy!"

Sometimes the conversations are not only memorable, they are worthy of being written down.  This is between me and Sunshine.

Sunshine:  "Mommy?"  It's probably the third or fourth (or seventh) time they've said my name and asked the question, but I was trying to drive.

Me:  "Yes?"

Sunshine:  "Why do they call it a stampede?"

Me:  "What?"  Because I couldn't have heard it properly, why on earth would they think I knew why they called it a stampede?

Sunshine:  "Why do they call it a stampede?"

Me:  "I don't know.  Because the person who wanted to name it thought it sounded like a good name?"  Which is really mostly true.  Someone had to name it and someone had to think it was an appropriate word.

Sunshine:  "NOOO!!!  I want to know why it's called  a stampede?"

Me:  *sigh*  "I have no idea.  Why do you think it's called a stampede?"

Sunshine:  "Is it like they're peeing on the toilet?"

Me:  "Huh?"  It's the exact word too.  Where on earth does she get her reasoning?  She tends to come up with some very odd explanations of things and sometimes asking her to explain is even more confusing.

Sunshine:  "Is it like they're peeing.  You know, maybe they're sitting on the toilet, peeing."

Me:  "Why would you think that?"

Sunshine:  "Because of the name."

Me:  "The name?  Where do you get that from?"

Sunshine:  "You know."  Because saying 'you know' makes it all make sense.  "Like the name, stampede.  Like peeing on the toilet."

Me:  It suddenly dawns on me.  Stampeed.  Not stampede, but stampeed.  Like stamp-peed, like peeing on the toilet.  I laugh, "No, it's not like peeing on the toilet!"  It just means they're running.

Sunshine:  "Maybe they're peeing when they're running."

Me:  "No, probably not."

Sunshine:  "Because that would be pretty funny, if they were all peeing when they were running."

Me:  I make the mistake, "No, it would probably be pretty gross."  'Gross', a child's invitation.

Sunshine:  "Maybe they would be running and peeing and they would all be like, 'Aaahhh, we're all peeing!'"

Monkey:  He's been quiet for most of this.  "Then there'd be pee everywhere!"

Sunshine:  Breaks in to a 'pee' song.  It goes kind of like this: Pee, pee, pee, pee, pee.  You get the idea.

Monkey:  He decides this is a good song and sings along.

They both continue to sing the pee song until we get there, 10 minutes away.  They are both laughing hysterically and Sunshine is practically crying she thinks this is so funny.

In case you are wondering where she learned the word 'stampede', it was on Martha Speaks
on PBS.  It's a great TV show that the kids learn all sorts of vocabulary, that particular day happened to have the word stampede.  See, this is what happens when you let your child watch education television, you end up listening to pee songs in a small, enclosed vehicle.  Thanks PBS.


Friday, May 25, 2012

When time flies

Yesterday Monkey was a baby, right?  I thought so anyways.  Monkey is four now and that means only one more year before kindergarten.  I've been looking for the perfect preschool and finding one that fits every single one of my needs, and I have a bunch of them.  A perfect school has to have 1. 4 year old classes that are 3 days a week and I need to be able to have an AM slot, 2. they need to have an attached playground (preferably with climbing things), not going across the field to the local park or worse none at all, 3. they need to go out every day unless it's raining or super cold, 4. it needs to be close enough to my house that I'm not driving all day those 3 days a week, 5. I want them to learn, but I was looking for more of a play-based learning, more of a nursery/preschool than a montessori type of school, and of course 6. I need to be able to afford it.  After all, I can't leave him with just any school.  He is my baby you know.

Sunshine went to that type of school and it ended up that her year there was the last year it was open.  Apparently going to a school that's been open for 35 years isn't always good, sometimes the owner wants to retire before all of your kids are through their preschool years.  So that left me with one less option and now I was comparing it to her old school.

I amazed myself at my awesome-ness and found another school that I liked that had all 6 of the criteria needed.  So I made an appointment to bring Monkey there yesterday.  I told him on Monday that we would be going to his school on Thursday and he was so excited.  He wanted to go NOW.  We put it on the calendar so we could mark off the days until we went, 4 days is a very long time sometimes.

Yesterday morning, I had to wake Monkey up.  This is usually a difficult task which requires multiple trips into his room and saying his name many times, turning on the light and pulling the sheet off of him.  I hate doing it, who wants to be woken up like that?  Yesterday I walk in and say, "Monkey, it's time to wake up.  We're going to go visit your preschool today."  He sits up and detangles himself from the blanket and scrambles out of bed.  "Let's go!  Let's go to my school!"  He goes downstairs and is all set and ready to go.  It was like nothing I have ever seen before.  When we're getting ready to leave, he tells me, "Let's go, I want to go to school and learn!"  How sweet is that!

When we get there, he runs up to the door and rings the bell, he shakes the lady's hand and starts talking.  And talking.  And talking.

He doesn't stop until we leave 45 minutes later.  He gets to play outside with one of the classes and rides on one of the pedal tractors they have.  I think he may be in love.

He was so excited, the director gave him his very own tote to bring to school and he carried it around for most of the day.  While we were there though (and he was holding the bag) he saw one of the containers of dinosaurs, he must have been excited about them and asked if he could have one.  The director gave him 2 of them (because we need 2 more dinosaurs) and he's been keeping them in his bag as well.

This morning I was woken by Monkey climbing onto my bed saying, "Mommy, wake up!  I have to go to my preschool today!"

It's going to be a long summer.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

From their mouth to my finger

There are all sorts of nasty things that you end up doing as a mom.  And I mean nasty.  One of those things that I absolutely hate is pulling things from babies' mouths.  Especially if they've been chewed on.  So here's a list of things I've pulled out (or attempted to pull out) of mouths in the last 6 years:

1.  Dog food.  Yuck.  This is so incredibly disgusting.  I don't like feeding the dog because the smell and feel of the food grosses me out.  Both Sunshine and Bug have decided to share Lily's dinner.  It doesn't matter how much it gives you dry heaves., round pieces of food have to be pulled out of the mouth.

2.  Bird poop.  Monkey did this when he was learning to walk.  We were going for a nice walk in my parents' neighborhood and he squats down and is looking at something, we thought it was yet another ant.  He promptly picks something up and eats it.  We look and there on the ground are small piles of bird poop.

3.  Sand/dirt.  Monkey tasted sand a couple of times but Bug seems to really enjoy the flavor of sand and dirt.  It is guaranteed that he will, at some point in his sandbox play, put a handful of sand in his mouth.  Lucky for him (and me) we keep the sandbox covered.

4.  The "pee cup" of the potty seat.  This still makes me shudder and gives me the urge to bathe Bug.

5.  Crayons.  Besides the fact that they are choking hazards, yes, this is gross.  If you've never had to do it, it's really icky.  It gets all crumbly and breaks into teeny tiny pieces.  The pieces end up in the molars and between the teeth and cheek.  When you try to pull it out, the drool that comes out is a "fun" color.  It sticks to their cheeks and they (they meaning Bug) cries because you're taking something out of his mouth, which causes more drool.  Instead, the best thing to do is get a paper towel and dig in there.  I was just reminded about the multi-colored poop that will most likely stain my diapers.  Thanks.

6.  Maxi pads.  Both disposable and cloth.  They've always been clean but there's something about your kid walking around with a pad in their mouth, although it is pretty funny too.  Used pads would be beyond gross.

7.  Underwear.  Again, it's always (at least I think it's always) been clean, but still.

8.  Water.  This would be the water that they aren't supposed to get to: the dog's water, the cat's water... the toilet water.

9.  Soap.  Never after eating any of the above items, this is gross just because of the strong smell.

10.Dog toys.  Sunshine was addicted to carrying the dog's toys around in her mouth.  She would often take toy directly out of the dog's mouth, meaning it was still covered with slobber.  It may not be that big of a deal, but it is funny.  Sometimes I think we should have just gone down the toy aisle at PetSmart instead of going to the toy store.

The best thing to do when your child is about to put something in their mouth that they shouldn't is to go run and grab the camera.

I'm sure there have been much nastier things, if this is the case, I am happy that I have been able to suppress the memory.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Silver Liner - 10% off discount -ENDED

I've been getting greener lately.  There are a ton of different ways that a person can "go green" too.  I enjoy supporting local and homemade items in my quest for a greener lifestyle.  Many work at homes support a variety of levels of green, which I think is wonderful.  People recognize that many people don't want to or aren't always ready to do an all-or-nothing change.

I've recently had the opportunity to use my newest green endeavor from The Silver Liner with my choice to change to cloth menstrual pads.  I've also used her swipers, a cover for my Swiffer that eliminates the need to purchase the disposable covers/pads.  Cloth wipes, they're great for baby bottoms, wiping off make-up, family cloth (a much greener solution to toilet paper), and anything else you might want a wipe for.  Wet bags and kitchen wet bags, now I've used wet bags, since I use cloth diapers it's kind of a necessity to have something to put the "wet" diapers in but kitchen wet bags are something new that I had never heard of until recently.  They hang from the stove and collect your wet rags and towels that you've used.

Super soft, minky, topped pads.  They are amazing and (honest) don't stain.


Hanging wet bag.

The owner of the store is very sweet and has a large selection of everything she sells, you can even pick out your own material, (and I love picking out the material).

Whether a light pastel "green" or a dark forest "green", she has a nice variety for all.  I highly recommend checking out The Silver Liner, she has both an Etsy store and a Hyenacart store.  Don't forget to use your 10% discount code though!  This code is for all visitors of my blog and is good from May 23rd through June 6th!

Code: windowtomyworld

Happy shopping and enjoy.


Thanks so much to The Silver Liner for their generosity.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Making a difference

I've recently made the jump to a greener lifestyle.  I've been doing cloth diapers for a while now and realized that I am buying all these nice soft diapers for my babies' bottoms, avoiding the chemical and icky feeling for them, but month after month I am continually using disposable pads for myself.  Before I heard about the different types of cloth diapers, I never even thought that there could possibly be a different option!  Those options died long ago when disposables were invented and women realized that having a one-time sticky-backed winged pad was much easier than, than what?  I had no clue.  What did they use before?  Moss, at least that's what they must have used according to authors of fictional prehistoric novels.  I guess after that they used rags, hence the wording "on the rag".  I didn't really give it much thought after that though because, again, it still wasn't making any sense.  Those poor women had to wash them.

Then I decided to cloth diaper my babes.  I joined a cloth diaper forum and learned all about cloth diapers and other ways of being green.  I joined a crunchy moms forum and learned even more about being green.  It didn't take long for me to learn about cloth menstrual pads.  Often called "mama cloth", "mama pads", and "cloth menstrual pads".  My first thought was, "What?!" Then I heard more about it, learned more about it and thought more about it.  I decided, maybe I'd go ahead and take the plunge.

So there was also another issue about using the disposables, the trash and the money.  Well it turns out women spend a lot and throw away a lot during their fertile years.  According to The Keeper*, in 10 years, one woman will spend approximately $480 and produce 65.6 lbs of waste.  A woman can easily triple this number and end up spending $1,440 and produce 196.8 lbs, that more than the average American adult man. **

1 year of pads and tampons is about 6.6 pounds.*

10 years of pads and tampons is approximately 65.6 pounds.*

Back in December I started with panty liners.  I hadn't gotten my period yet after having Bug so I decided just to start with the liners.  I really liked them!  It saved my underwear and was basically just washed with the rest of my laundry.  It's no different than washing my underwear.  Then I decided I'd go ahead and buy some for when I actually got my period.

I'll admit, I was a little nervous.  I was surprised though.  It wasn't so bad.  I had bought 7 different pads and a few different brands, all with fleece backing and all with wings.  No slipping, no sliding and nice and comfy.  I rinsed it out and stuck it in a wet bag.  The pads go in the wash with towels, no fabric softener, they're dried in the dryer and then they're done.

All of mine have a minky top.  They are sooo soft.  The type of material it is also is amazing at not staining.  It was one thing I did not want to have.  The thought of having a pad that was instantly stained was kind of a turn off.  It's been 3 months, I now have 10 pads and none have stains.  I am so glad I made the switch.  It is the best decision I made since getting rid of our disposable diapers.

+++Stay tuned for coupon coming up in the very near future!+++=


*Pictures and numbers taken from The Keeper.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hosting summer parties

I have a bunch of recipes that I love, some I love more than others but during the summer when I am asked to bring a side, there is a good chance that I will bring one of these sides.  If I am hosting, there will be at least one of these dishes.  Easy, fun and always a huge hit.  Some are recipes that I have tweaked from others and some are recipes given to me.

In my family, we have appetizers.  It can be a huge Thanksgiving meal and we will still have appetizers.  A family bar-b-que is definitely no exception.


2-3 ripe avocados, smashed to the smoothest consistency you can get/want
2 diced tomatoes
1/2 red onion-diced
1/4 - 1/2 fresh cilantro bunch, cut or torn up
Juice or 1 lime
A tablespoon scoop of salsa (helps with consistency)
I use 1 Tbsp Penzey's Southwest Seasoning or you can use salt and pepper to taste

Tomato/mozzarella/basil salad:

Here's the side:

I apologize for this recipe, I don't really measure any of it.
1-2 pint grape tomatoes
1 cup bite sized mozzarella cubes.  I go to the deli counter and ask for 2-3 slices of cheese cut in 1/2" slices then I cut it up from there.
7-8 basil leaves torn up
a few Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
a few Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Oregano, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder to taste.
Diced onion (opt) I don't use this though.

Mix it all up and refrigerate overnight.  If it is still dry, add more oil and vinegar.


And of course the drink.

1 lemon
1 lime
1 orange
1 1/2 cups rum

1/2 cup white sugar
1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine
1 cup orange juice

1.  Have the fruit, rum, wine, and orange juice well chilled. Slice the lemon, lime and orange into thin rounds and place in a large glass pitcher. Pour in the rum and sugar. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours to develop the flavors.
2.  When ready to serve, crush the fruit lightly with a wooden spoon and stir in the wine and orange juice. Adjust sweetness to taste.


Thursday, May 17, 2012


As long as I can remember I have had extremely vivid dreams.  I remember when I was younger crawling into bed with my parents and later then telling me to crawl into bed with my oldest sister.  I would climb into bed with her and we would giggle and see who could hang the butts off the bed the furthest and then pull themselves back up onto the bed using only the rungs on the bed.  We would be "mountain climbing" onto her canopy bed.  I think I slept in there more than I did my own bed.

After I married my vivid dreams continued.  On our honeymoon, Hubby had his first experience with them.  We had seen a cockroach in the hotel we were at in Hawaii (apparently this is fairly common) and I had a dream about a very large cockroach in bed with us.  I jumped up, standing on top of the bed, and was freaking out.  Hubby threw back the covers to reveal the white sheets.  I made him completely strip off the top covers before I went back to bed.  Congratulations Hubby, you've married a nut job!

Well these are the type of nightmares I was having for the first couple of years of our marriage.  Then Sunshine was born.  Then the dreams changed.  In the first week home I was dreaming that she was in bed with us and I couldn't find her in the covers.  I was sitting up frantically looking in the covers saying, "Hubby, Hubby, I can't find Sunshine.  Where's Sunshine?"  He leaps out of bed and runs turns on the light and there she is, still sleeping in her bassinet next to our bed.  This is one of the reasons why I would never co-sleep.  

Vivid dreams; they can take you to wild and crazy fanciful places.  They can be fun and have you begging to fall back to sleep to see how they'll end.  Dreams can be so incredibly bizarre that they must be the basis for the strangest horror books.  You can wake from them still seeing them, hearing the voices, and leave you questioning if it was real or imagined.

A few years ago, my parents were talking about getting a pool.  I was pregnant with Bug, Monkey was 2 and Sunshine was 4.  I had them in swim classes and they had been in them for a while.  During all of this pool talk I had had a dream:

We were taking swim lessons again.  Sunshine was in the bigger pool while I was in the smaller pool with Monkey.  I was so tired though and really wasn't in the mood to go in the pool for yet another "Mommy and Me" swim class.  The swim instructor told me not to worry, that she would take care of Monkey and I should just rest.  I sat out in the little hallway outside of the swimming pool, waiting for the class to end.  After a while, the parents and kids started coming out of the pool area with the instructor being the last one to exit.
"Where's Monkey?"
She looks kind of surprised at my question and we all go running into the pool area.  We don't see him anywhere in the very small space.  I do, however, see our large stroller, it's the blue one that the car seat attaches to.  I run over to it and there, under the wheels and under the water is my Monkey.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry.  I forgot," says the instructor.
I cry and cry and try to get him out from underneath the stroller.

I wake up in my own tears.  That was a few years ago.

When you wake up from a dream, you're supposed to think that it was strange, odd, sad, scary, etc.  You think, "I should tell someone about that later on."  You might attempt to even write it down it never quite comes out right because dreams just don't seem to make as much sense when you're awake as they do when you're asleep.  So you decide that you should tell someone about it later on because the oddity of it is also worthy of being told and being laughed about.  Of course, half way through the day pieces of the dream are missing, holes in the story.  By the end of the night when your husband comes home from work and you go to tell him, there may only be the idea of the dream or it may have completely left your mind.  They are not supposed to linger, that's not how they're supposed to work.  They should disappear, be lost forever in the far corners of your mind.  Dreams should not keep you living in fear.

I tried to subtly convince my parents that they shouldn't get that pool.  The kids were too little to be trusted around it.  The pool would take up their whole yard, where would the kids and their dog run?  Did they really want to have to deal with it on a daily basis?  Apparently my arguments were to deaf ears and their question of, "We're thinking of getting a pool, what do you think?" was really a statement, "We're getting a pool.  Aren't you excited!"  My sisters both were, so were all of my nieces and nephews.  Now with summer coming, I will be watching the pool.  Every time they enter, I will be revisited by the memory of Monkey and the stroller.   Crowded pools, jumping children, floaty things trapped in the corner, will start a panicked search for the kids.

Yes, this is something I need to relax about, but how do you relax?  How do you relax when relaxing could cost you so dearly?


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I'm better than you

Sunshine is six and in kindergarten this year.  She has always been a sensitive, eager to please, rule following, sharing little girl.  Things must be equal and (with the exception of Monkey) she is generally nice and polite to everyone.  All are wonderful qualities, I am always so proud when strangers come up and compliment me on her behavior.  It's pretty common too, and it's not just little old ladies that think they should say something nice about a child.  Men and women, old and young (I like to think that 30's are still young).

It's also a quality that has also concerned me.  Nice people that want to please can be walked all over.  Their feelings are easily hurt when others don't share and give as easily.  Teasing and name calling will break her heart, not to mention her mom's.  The question is; How do I raise a child that can stand up for herself without losing all of those qualities?  How do I teach her that it's ok to say 'no' without being mean about it?  How do I tell her that if someone isn't nice it's fine to think that they aren't worth it without teaching her that she should feel superior to others?  How do I teach her that not being friends is ok, but following the crowd and not staying or reaching out to someone isn't acceptable?  I suppose these are questions that all parents ask.  Questions that they wonder about from the moment they realize they are going to be responsible for his/her child for the rest of their life, not just the first year or two.  I know I forgot when I said, "Let's have another baby!", I forgot that, oh yeah, we would be responsible for preschool (as Sunshine was only in preschool when Bug was born) and grade school years and (good Lord) teenage years.  It's not just feeding and clothing them but guiding them to become good, well rounded, sane members of the community, worthy of being called a good citizen.

The worst part?, I don't know any of the answers.  At all.  None.  I suppose I am struggling like every other parent out, trying to keep my head above water and sacrificing my own sanity for the sake of my children.

The best part?  Sunshine is a good child.  She may have the typical issues of a typical 6 year old but that would be a bit concerning if she didn't.  She is a good child though.  She is giving and she is sharing, even with both of her brothers.  She will gladly give up the last bite of her dessert to anyone, without being asked.  She will make sure someone is ok when they are hurt and shows empathy and sympathy when others look past and ignore.  I am proud to be able to claim her as my daughter.  I hope I am able to keep her as wonderful.


Just don't tell my mom

Around fifth grade or so my mom went back to work and in sixth grade my two older sisters and I were left on our own during the summer.  You can imagine what happens when three girls are left to their own devices.  My older sister and I enjoyed breakfast at around 10:00 (or later) and it often consisted of ice cream.  Lunch would be peanut butter on a spoon, the spoon was double dipped.  Then we spent a lot of the days doing, well, nothing.

Often times our Saturdays would be filled with cleaning the house top to bottom.  No doubt it's because the three of us destroyed the house all week long and left it to be such a disaster that come Saturday we had no other option than to have an eight hour cleaning "fest".  We also didn't get an allowance per se.  It was more of an occasional payment for our chores around the house.  It was definitely not a continual thing.  We would go a long time without ever getting this payment opportunity, instead we had to clean because, as my mom always said, "it was part of being a member of the family".  You would think that when this rare event did occur that we would jump at the chance to earn some extra cash.

You would think.

One summer my mom wrote out a long list of chores we could do over the summer.  They were labelled as daily, weekly and once during the summer.  Next to the chore was the amount that you would get paid.  ex: washing the kitchen floor (hands and knees mind you)-weekly, $.50, Dishes-daily, $.15, Vacuuming downstairs-weekly, $.25.  I suppose looking back I could have made a fair amount of money for something that I wasn't being paid for the week before.  I didn't look at it that way.  I saw $.50.  Washing the floor on my hands and knees on a weekly basis for $.50.  This was already something I was doing since we didn't have a mop, I just wasn't getting paid for it.

I remember my mom telling us, "These are the chores you can do to earn extra money."

Did you read the flaw in that sentence?  It's a simple word that shouldn't make a difference.  Can.  You can do this.  She never said you have to do this.

That particular summer I happened to be babysitting a lot.  I was making quite a bit of money.  $2/hour is awesome when you're 12 in the late eighties.  It shouldn't have come to a surprise when partway through the summer I haven't been doing my chores.  When she not so quietly brings the fact that I'm slacking, I (with the indifference that only a teen can manage), I tell her, "I didn't need any money."

I think that was the last summer we were given the money incentive.

Now I have Monkey.  He is a lot like me in many ways.  For him, it is all about the wording.

Tonight was no exception.  After dinner, I wanted Sunshine and Monkey to clean up their toys.  I told them both that when they were done they could have their piece of cake.  No, that's not what I said, what I said was, "If you clean your toys, you can have a piece of cake."  Did you see the problem there?  Yes, it's the word "if".  As in, "If you choose to clean, you can have a piece of cake.  He clings to that if and tells me, "I don't want any cake."

Me: "What?!"
Monkey: "I don't want any cake."
Me: "Then don't have any cake, but you're still cleaning the room."
Monkey: "Can I go outside and play?"
By this point Sunshine is almost done picking up her toys.  I tell to go outside and play, but he will not be getting any cake or any other kind of dessert.  I would also add that we don't really have dessert that often here so it's a big deal to have cake.
So he goes outside to play, Mary picks up the last 2 toys (literally, there were 2 more toys) and sits down to eat her well earned dessert.  I am fully expecting a chocolate-envy meltdown.  Bug and I are also eating cake and in comes Monkey and, sure enough, he asks for a piece of cake.  I tell him "No.  Why can't you have any cake?"  I was impressed at how easily he answered, "Because I didn't pick up my toys."  He took this as a good reason and goes back outside to play.  Sunshine finishes her cake and goes outside to play with him.

Hubby comes home at about this time and, once again, Monkey asks for a piece of cake and we have the same conversation.  Again, he accepts the reasoning.  I am truly amazed.  I tell him that if he had wanted cake he should have helped Sunshine clean.  He replies, "That's ok, I don't want cake."

Really?  He didn't ask for cake anymore and was quite happy knowing that he got out of cleaning.  I think I need to remember this and always think before I speak.  Apparently I need to make sure he doesn't have any kind of option whatsoever.

I'm open to suggestions on new verbiage.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Why I'm awake

It's not early, certainly not early to many people's standards.  I woke up at exactly 7:04 on a Thursday.  It's not that I'm awake that annoys me, it's how I was woken.  Now I like sleep.  A lot.  Many people would think that this would have deterred me from having a second and especially a third but for some reason I enjoy torture, that and I've been fortunate and my kids are generally late sleepers.

This morning though I was woken by something far more annoying than my lovely, beloved offspring.  No, this was the obnoxious sound of the smoke alarm detector.  Not to worry, it wasn't going off.  It was announcing, "BEEP! LOW BATTERY!"  The smoke/carbon monoxide detector was announcing that I was living in a dangerous situation and I needed to fix it.  Right now.

It wouldn't be so bad except that this always happens on my watch.  Always.  Hubby is never home to change the batteries when the darn thing goes off.  This is strange because it always goes off at night/early morning.  A couple of times it's gone off when he's been out of town at about 3am but usually it goes off around 6am.  It's too early to get up yet for my kids but it's late enough that they (mostly Bug) most likely won't fall back to sleep.  It's also late enough that Hubby has already left for work.

This means that I have to change it.  Now I hate changing the batteries on it.  I'm 5'0", this means that I have to get a step stool or a chair to be able to barely reach the the detector. - I know I'm short!  I don't need some stupid CO detector telling me that. -  So I climb up on the stool, this is awful, it is in the hallway right next to the banister to the stairs, if I fell I'd be falling down to the first floor (not to worry though, the railing would break my fall).  So there I am standing precariously in the hallway and I make the mistake of looking down.  I then remember the saying, "Never look down."  This is because when you're scared of heights it will only make the situation worse (go ahead and laugh that I'm short and scared of heights).  You are also working on limited time before she loudly re-announces that you have a low battery.  Usually this happens as you are climbing up the stool so your ears are right there.  Then you have to get it down.  In order to get it down, you have to push a button.  This is the tester button.  The tester button will then announce, "BEEP! LOW BATTERY! WARNING FIRE! WARNING CARBON MONOXIDE! BEEP!"  Even while muffling if in your stomach it still hurts your ears.  To make matters worse, the hallway is an "L" shape with a large opening where the stairs come up, this means that the detector is virtually in front of every child's room.

I suppose I should be happy, it didn't wake up the kids. 

I would also like to add that we have 3 other detectors in the house.  These have never gone off and we change all of the batteries twice a year.  Maybe it's the higher altitude.


Monday, May 7, 2012

A farmer's life for me

So I've finally decided what I want to be when I grow up.

A farmer.

Not the corn/soybean farmer or the cow kind of farmer, something way, way cooler than that.  I'm going to be a dandelion farmer.  How awesome would that be!  I haven't told Hubby yet, but I'm thinking he'll go for it.

You might be thinking, "Really?  A dandelion farmer?"  Yes, they have to get dandelions from somewhere don't they?  There's dandelion salad.  Dandelion wine.  Dandelions for all sorts of medicinal things that I had no idea actually existed until I started researching dandelions.  This is the sort of thing is that happens when Hubby goes to bed and I stay up.  To get Hubby on board, these are some "logical" reasons as to why we should make this life-changing leap:

1.  Dandelions grow anywhere.  Anywhere.  Yes, even I could grow dandelions.  I could have a field of sidewalk and they would somehow be able to find their way.

2.  I have 3 children who would be willing to run through the dandelion puffs and thus spread seeds to increase our crops.  As an extra bonus, hours of running around in the dandelions will keep the kids occupied and tire them out.  Woohoo!  Early bedtime!

3.  We could make our own wine.  What better crop is there than a crop that you can make into wine?

4.  It's unique.  No one we know (purposely) grows dandelions.  It would be an excellent conversation starter at any party or event we went to.  We would never have to worry about having boring conversations and becoming a dinner party wallflower.

5.  We could move... to Belgium!  Ok, that might be a bit of a downfall.  It's one of those awesome facts I never knew, but they do grow them in Belgium.  See, I told you there were interesting facts.

Now all I need to do is convince Hubby.  I think I'll mention it to him tonight, I'm sure it will go well.

See how pretty!  Fields of dandelions.

These are the dandelions Monkey gives me.  He thinks they're the kind I like.  At least I don't have to worry about the flower part dying.