Sunday, October 30, 2011

My favorite "canned" recipe

Here's one to go along with my latest this!!  I also really really love the iced pumpkin cookies and pumpkin roll that my mom would make every fall.  But they are a lot more laborious, and, they never taste as good as I remember my mom's tasting.  Somethings just have to be made my Nanna ;-)

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

One Spice cake mix
One can of pumpkin
3/4 cup of water

Add in chocolate chips if you like or raisins for a more traditional fall feeling pour into muffin cups and bake at 350 until toothpick inserted comes out clean.   I can't tell you how long that is because I lost my muffin pan to the boys a couple of years ago when they were into catching bugs.   So now I use a mini loaf pan for these and it works just fine.  Besides, who uses a mini loaf pan to store bugs, duh!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

So what if it's canned!

There are many lovely things that come in a can: pineapple, black beans, sweetened condensed milk to name a few.  There are many important things that come in a can: motor oil, beer, wrinkle cream.  There are also some very scary things that come in a can: Spam, brown curry mole crickets, cheeseburger, and headcheese.  Did you know there are whole cookbooks dedicated to eating out of a can - A Man, A Can, A Plan from Mens's Health Magazine.  My favorite Cook of the Can, so to speak, is Sandra Lee's Semi- Homemade.  She can turn a can of beef broth into Coq Au Vin.
But if you broaden your definition of canned from just food I think you will find that being canned is not just for political speeches and human resource directors.  It can even be for parenting - my type of parenting.  I stumbled onto something called Love and Logic.  The best part is they give you canned answers to memorize then spit out when your children repeat the same annoying behavior over and over and over again.

There was a time I might be ashamed that my spaghetti sauce let alone my parenting came out of a can.  But I'm starting to embrace the idea.  This is not my fault either - it's all your fault.  Yes, all of you.  Society is pushing for more, more, more and some of us just can't keep up.  No more feeling guilty for me!

I am embracing my averageness and refusing to bow to the pressure that is becoming every daytime television show.  These hosts are always cooking, decorating, styling, and preparing for the next holiday.  Not me.  Want a costume? They sell them at K-Mart.  Want Halloween decorations? Carve a pumpkin with a kitchen knife and stick a candle in it.  Want pumpkin pie? Guess what - that comes in a can!!

Enjoy your holiday.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The only scary thing here at Halloween.....

ME! I swear this is what I look like in the morning...The hardest part of parenting has been learning that my children's behavior is a direct reflection on me.  I'm not sure what is going on with me lately, but I've been so emotional so testy.  Perimenopause?  If emotions are contagious, are hormones??  Am I sending the boys into an early puberty?

What happened to the first days of school when everyone got up more than an hour early and ate and played and was ready on time.  We've missed the bus twice this week! What's going on here?  Can I blame the weather?

Can I blame retail?  Christmas throws me into an emotional tailspin.   And this year I swear retail started Christmas in July.  Of course we also had a very emotional summer with the big trip and my BFF moving away and now we're getting ready to have Gia Gia come stay with us for the Holiday's.  No pressure!!

The boys still have not decided what they want to be for Halloween, but the five-year-old has decided what I should be - A Princess.  "Cause that's a girl thing."  Maybe he's got the right idea, it's time to embrace my inner princess, but is it to much to start wearing the costume now?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Best parental training ever....

Check your chart!  Has become the new mantra in our house at night.  We are working with someone in regards to our children's anxiety (and mom and dad's, but don't tell dad because we haven't yet) and they suggested that we have a chart.  They even drew the chart and a reward chart that goes along with it.

Let me quickly explain.  The Chart has 4 pictures for the 5 year-old who can not read and words for the eight-year-old who can.   Brush your teeth, put on Pj's, go potty...blah, blah, blah.  The reward chart is an old fashion thermometer marked from 1 to 25 with rewards earned about every 5 spaces.

Now let me say that this is not a new concept to me, but I have been resisting it for 8 years now.  I'm not sure why exactly I have fought this so hard, other than I am a little lazy and inconsistent and having to do anything everyday is torture.  And believe me - this is.

But as this person is describing the "rules" of the chart in front of the five-year-old (damn-it! because he is rules king, and he was listening!) I knew I was in trouble.  Not just because the five-year-old was going to hold my feet to the fire - but because I was required to have their "rewards" on hand.  That would require a trip to Target.  Do you know how much I hate shopping? Even at Target.

I'm like a squirrel searching for a nut when I hit Target. I get caught up in all the sparkly things, gadgets, noise, smells, people....I am soon lost in the underwear department when I was suppose to be buying Hot Wheels cars.  I'm now late for parent pick-up I have two new bras - that will never fit by the way - granola bars, a latte, and a new flashlight and of course NO HOT WHEELS CARS.

Needless to say that it took me a week and a half to implement this plan that said "expert" required I start that night.  (If you wanted me to start it that night buddy you should have given me the damn Hot Wheels cars.)  And even though Check your chart! works like some magic tazer zapping my boys in the butt because they jump up and run upstairs...they also will not stop asking for a reward.

That's when I realize this is the best parental training course EVER!  The said "expert" I am convinced is really Pinky and the Brain! They have found the key to world domination - one parent at a time.  Sure the kids are getting ready for bed, but who's really getting trained here?  I caught myself thinking after about three days, Maybe I should make a chart for the morning, and chores, and homework!!

Ahhhh - but I will not fall victim to the sinister Mastermind behind this plot.  No way! I will not be sucked into the mind control powers of positive parenting.  Because it will positively cost this parent the power.  I will tell all the parents of the world - Stop with the charts!
...and if you ever find me in Target, please return me to my rightful owner. Thanks.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

If I let you fall, will you do it again

Isn't that a song?  My biggest struggle as a parent, especially now that my children are getting older is when to let them fall, and when to swoop in and save them.  How early do you teach life's hard lessons?

I am really dating myself with this reference, but a favorite show after college in the early years of our marriage was Mad About You.  (Yes, I know how old I am, it's in my bio for goodness sake!)  Part of it was fantastic writing and good actors, and part of it was getting exactly where they were.

One of the last episodes is when they are trying to get the baby to soothe herself to sleep.  Which basically means letting her cry it out.  It is such a poignant scene because just when mom's about to break and give up and race in- tears spilling down her face, dad says WAIT, Listen.....nothing.  Mom says, What have I taught her except that I won't always be there for her.

So often I think about that, what I am telling my kids by letting them fall? Why do I have to teach them life is hard, they will find that out soon enough.  And can't someone else be the bad guy - Why me!

My eight-year-old has a Book Share coming up the end of October.  Requirements include poster, report, oral presentation, and more.  He choose a rather long book with difficult words and concepts.  We've been telling him for over a month now (Thank God the teacher gave everyone ample warning!) to read that book.  I think he's still on Chapter 5 - of 25! I'm getting concerned, my husband is freaking out, and our son appears to be blowing it off.

Do I let him fall? I started to read the book today, I even called the Library and reserved the movie version.  What Am I Doing!!

Being a mom?

Do you remember how Jamie (Helen Hunt) named the baby on Mad About You?  Her mother (Carol Burnet) told her to always remember MABEL - Mother Always Bring Extra Love.....and if your lucky they read your book share book before  the due date.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This is my Now....

The time is drawing near.  Soon the chickens will fly the coop for a better part of the day, and I will be left with, well with my husband.  But who wants to mother their husband? Kinda kills the mood at the end of the day.

As I watched my five-year-old step up onto the bus the other day like an old pro it hit me- I need to find a place for myself.  What will I do all day without any one to mother? No one to cook for and pick up after and cook for and to politely ask to close the door and to cook for and to ask again to close the door and to cook for and to scream "Where you born in a barn?! Close the @^#&" but I digress.....

I've known this day would come.  I've tried to remember if I ever had hobbies and if so, Are they what's in that box shoved under the steps in the basement?  What did I ever do with free time?  What makes me happy?  That's too much thinking for one blog.

Considering the state and uncertainty of the economy, should I find a job?  What am I qualified to do?  Who would hire me? Can I ever do anything other than make PB&J, wipe butts, and find lost legos??  Oh, dear God I think I'm hyperventilating!!

OK, I'm OK.  Just having a minor panic attack.  But who among us hasn't when faced with the next chapter.  The anticipation of the story to unfold, the excitement of the unknown, the sadness for what is left behind....this is my now.

Anyone have advice on where to start?  Seriously - anyone??