30 August 2010

Every once in a while, I need a reminder...

So it's nice that I found this list today, over at Life In A Shoe100+ Reasons for Having Children.

Personally, I'm holding out for 22.  Any day now.  It has to happen eventually, right?  And 76 and 80 were also favourites. 

I needed the reminder, because I spent today listening to my oldest moaning and throwing up.  It was supposed to be our first day of school.  Now I'm just dreading tonight, expecting (as I am) that Monkey2 will be the one throwing up all night long.  And since The Mad Scientist was up last night ("Every hour, from midnight on") with Monkey1, tonight it's my turn.  Oh, how I dream of the day when I can sleep through the night without interruption, and without a small human attached to my chest. 

But really, all things considered, I wouldn't trade my children for the world, or anything in it.  I'm a little worn out right now.  It's been a long summer.   I haven't been posting much, because I've been having a hard time focusing on the positive.  And who wants to read a list of complaints on a regular basis?  No one.  People want someone to listen when they complain, but no one likes to listen to someone else doing it.  Nope.  So I figured I'd just bite my tongue (fingers?).  Lately, it seems like just one thing after the next comes along, and hits us while we're still reeling from the last thing.  That will wear a person out.  So forgive the intermittent posting, please.

21 August 2010

Note to self...

Dear Body,

     I would like to introduce you to someone.  I believe you may have had a passing acquaintance in the past, but it has become (painfully) obvious to me that you really have nothing to do with one another any more, and that is something I would like to see change.  In the interest of all working together toward a common goal, I really think the two of you should get to know one another.

     Meet the Abdominal Muscles.  They're going to become a much greater presence in your life, so try to get along.

     That will be all, thanks.



18 August 2010

Growing up

We had BIG excitement at the Kitchen Sink last week...my baby is growing up!

Oh, I just can't believe he's already losing his baby teeth!  I mean, goodness, I remember when he GOT those baby teeth, and it was such a big deal...and now they're already starting to fall out.    

It had been loose for about two days, when he came to me at bedtime and said "Look, Mama, my tooth is sideways!"  And sure enough, it was.  I didn't want him to swallow it in his sleep, so I prescribed a popsicle, (because he was worried about it bleeding; didn't want to taste the blood), and then The Mad Scientist yanked it out.  One little "pop!", and there it was:

One baby tooth.  Or "Baby Tooth Number One".

He put it in a sippy cup (we were unprepared parents, with no Tooth Fairy pillow to tuck it inside), and went to sleep...and the Tooth Fairy snuck into his room, and switched his tooth out for a dollar.

The Mad Scientist was appalled (and, I think, rather jealous).  "I only got a DIME for a tooth!" he announced.  "Yes," I told him, "my mother said the same thing to my dad when I was little.  And he pointed out that, when she was little, a dime would buy a candy bar at the corner store.  Now, that costs about a dollar."

Monkey1 was totally thrilled to discover his dollar, but he wasn't buying the Tooth Fairy story at all.  He wanted his tooth back, to look at, so I finally got it for him.  We don't do Santa, and I look terrible in a tutu, so I didn't have a whole lot invested in the Tooth Fairy.

16 August 2010

One of my favourite sounds in the world

I'm up very late.  Very, very late.  Because on Friday, a wonderful friend who happened to be heading out to a local orchard, picked a big box for me, too.  Yesterday, dinner was late, because I was stirring two batches of jam on the stove, simultaneously.  I made it up, though, because we had peach pie for dessert.

Tonight I was smarter.  I put both batches in the same pot, so I didn't need to be quite so ambidextrous.  Which was good, because I'm exhausted.  But hearing those little pings as the jar lids seal while they cool?

Makes it all so worthwhile.  We'll be enjoying this all winter.  Here are the rest of the fruits of my labours:

Nothing beats homemade, for sure.

12 August 2010

Overheard at dinner

Today I bring you the following conversation, which could have been overheard at our dinner table just the other night:

Monkey1:  The next time you go to Goodwill, will you buy me a stick on mustache?
(The Mad Scientist looks at him quizzically.)  (Note that he knows my favourite shopping hang-out.)
Me:  Sure.
(TMS looks at me in disbelief.)
Me:  Incidentally, why do you want a stick on mustache?
M1:  (As though it's the most obvious thing in the world which, perhaps, it is) To stick under my nose.
TMS:  I was wondering if that was a trick question...
Me:  (Giving TMS my best indignant glare) "Let me re-phrase: Why do you want to go about with a mustache stuck under your nose?"
M1:  (As though what he is about to say is, again, rather obvious, and completely normal) "So I can look like a dwarf with a mustache."

Oh.  Of course.

Do you have conversations like this at your dinner table?

11 August 2010

The Perfect Pie

The other day I was making pies.  The Monkeys were "helping".  I'm not sure what went wrong with the crust, because I didn't make it.  You may recall from this post that, these days, the food processor is my tool of choice for pie crust.  So, I asked the Mad Scientist to throw the pie crust together while I worked on...something else that really needed to be done.  I don't remember what, but I'm sure it was important.

The Mad Scientist has been forever relieved of crust-making duties.  It was awful.  It was completely falling apart, and really, pretty much the worst crust I've ever worked with.  And the Monkeys still wanted to help.

I was getting really stressed out, trying to still end up with something resembling a decent pie, when I had a sudden moment of clarity.  The truth is, I've made a lot of pies.  And to be perfectly honest, they usually taste better than they look.  My pies are really good, but the appearance frequently leaves a bit to be desired.  And I realized that no one was going to think back, twenty years from now, and remember how fabulous these pies had looked.  No one would ever say "Remember that time when Daddy screwed up the pie crust, but Mom somehow managed to pull it together and turn out a cover-model pie anyway?  Martha Stewart would have been proud, and just thinking of it gives me warm fuzzies!"

Yeah, right.  But I was making a memory.  What kind did I want it to be?

So I relaxed, and I let everyone help.   Then we pieced the crust together over the filling, and stuck it in the oven.  And you know what?  It tasted just fine.

I'm really proud of me.

09 August 2010

My Secret...

I have an addiction.  For a long time, I indulged on a pretty regular basis.  I always thought that I really needed to stop this, I needed to not succumb, not let it control me the way it did.  But then it would sing its siren song, and I'd give in again.

Now, though...now I'm fighting back.  Now when I walk past all the goodies, and they call out to me, I have learned to turn my head and walk away.  Want to know my secret?

Turns out, the grocery store candy bars don't have much of a hold over you, once you've moved on to the hard stuff:

Now you know...the secret to my sanity.

07 August 2010

Beauty-School Drop-Out

You might have noticed, in my last post, that Monkey2 has had a hair cut.  We decided at bedtime on Monday that haircuts were in order.  The shagginess was getting to me.  Monkey1 was the main offender, and he opted not to get a haircut, but I cut enough hair off the other three culprits to make me feel better.

Monkey2's hair turned quite a bit shorter than I intended:

But I think it's adorable, so that's ok.  My haircuts normally do turn out shorter than intended.  I've sort of learned to roll with it.  'Course, that's easier for the guys:

Pretty hard to go wrong there.  :-)  As for Monkey1?  He told me last week he wanted his hair really short, to be sure no one mistook him for a girl.  I told him that anyone who wasn't smart enough to figure out he's a boy, regardless of hair length, isn't someone whose opinion he needs to be super concerned about, anyway, and he should do what he wants with his hair.  Plenty of guys have long hair.  In fact (I told him) I had seen a guy in church just the day before, with hair longer than mine, and even from the back it was quite obvious he was a guy.

I guess I convinced him.  We'll see how it goes.

06 August 2010

A few observations on dinner

1.  Tonight we had cod fillet with sweet corn, broccoli, and hollandaise sauce.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it (except Monkey3, who apparently doesn't like broccoli).

2.  I sprinkled the cod with chives and dill heads from what remains of my herb garden.  It smelled amazing baking, and tasted even better.  (That could be because I also spread butter over it, before putting on the herbs.  Butter makes everything taste better; I'm with Julia Child on this one.)

3.  I'm completely convinced that Hollandaise Sauce originated when some gourmand looked at his plate, swimming in butter after his vegetables were gone, and said "There has to be a way to get this to stick to the vegetables better.  Oh, I know!  Let's thicken it with egg yolks!"  Voila.

4.  God bless him (or her) whoever he (or she) was.

05 August 2010

Life goes on

So, how's the weather where you are, these days?  Most people I'm hearing from are saying the same thing I'm going to say, which is "Did I die and find out I've been following the wrong religion all this time?"

Yeah, it's hot.  Hot enough that I got all this at the grocery store today:

and felt that I had exercised a great deal of self-restraint.  Especially since there's still some of it left in the freezer as I type.

We had fruit bars (from Aldi's, all fruit, very good) in the backyard, because (as I explained to the Monkeys) popsicles are an OUTside food.

They were good with that.

Then, The Mad Scientist decided to mow the lawn.  I need to preface this picture with an explanation...if I could only come up with one.

First, let me say that the boy uses the potty without fail...as long as his nether regions remain uncovered.  So there's been a lot of nakedness at our house, recently.  (Have you ever heard the phrase "Naked as a jay bird"?  Monkey3 has taken to saying, with great indignation, "I not day biwd!")

Also, he's a monkey.  And he likes noisy machines.  And he loves his Daddy.  And there you go.

I am so totally saving that picture to put somewhere prominent on his wedding day.