Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why haven't I heard of these?!?

The diaper cake made by Chelsea.
I went to a baby shower this past Friday. It was a lot of fun, but the big hit? The diaper cake and the cake pops (pictured above). They were absolutely adorable! Of course I just had to know how to make them so I can "borrow" this idea in the future. The cake pops were very easy! And sinfully delicious. They tell you how to make them on, as well as a bunch of other ones that you couldn't make no matter how long you were in pastry school. My friend Erica was cool enough to share the site with me! So, of course-I had to try.

I didn't have any lollipop sticks, or colorful chocolate, but I did have Almond Bark, which is my favorite chocolate coating anyway, and popsicle sticks. They were, in fact, very easy to make. My only tips are make sure that you have room in your freezer for these so the chocolate can set, I didn't have room and it took quite a while. Also-get styrofoam to stick them in after they are dipped. I used a box, with holes cut into it, and wax paper put over it to catch the drips, but the weight made the pops want to topple into the one next to it. Styrofoam would fix this, plus it's what is suggested. Otherwise, this is awesome to do with kids. Probably 7-8 years, or older.

I am not putting pictures up because mine weren't Martha Stewart like. I can't face the shame of less than perfect cake, just kidding. I forgot to take pictures. Plus, they didn't last long. I have tried chocolate, red velvet, and I made vanilla. Chocolate is hands down the best. I had to have a moment when I first bit into it. The taste overtook my whole body, and I didn't want to chew-I just wanted to live in that second forever. It really was that good.

I googled how to make the diaper cakes, but the results didn't turn out as fantastic as this one. I might just have to do a Girls Night Out, and pick Chelsea's brain for all her fabulous ideas.

I'm tempted to make Yo Gabba Gabba cake pops for Nathan's birthday in November. We'll have to see if the temptation turns into anything productive though. Some people on bakerella did these, and I want to try . Only, I'll make them better. =)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Say What?!?!?

This is a letter I got in the mail a few days ago......

Since when do you find out your kid may, or may not have asthma by mail? And by your Health Insurance, not by your PCP? This is new to me. I opened this, and literally said "WHAT?!?!" really loudly, making my kids suddenly take notice of me. I had been trying to get them into the car so we could leave, and they were doing their best to ignore me completely-yell out "WHAT" and they are all ears.....I may be onto something. Anyway, I read that and immediately launched into 20 questions with Ben.

Me "Do you feel like you can't breathe sometimes? Like after you are running?"

Ben "I don't know what that feels like. What do you mean?"

Me "When you run, do you sound like (then did my best asthma/wheezing impression. I think I sounded pretty dead on. I should be in asthma commercials...)

Ben "Not really."

Me "Does running around make you cough a lot?"

Ben "Yes."

Nick "Me too. I sound like (winded kid impression) after I run."

Me "That's normal Nick. That means you ran fast."

Nick "I do run fast."

Ben "No you don't. I run faster than you do..."

And I lost them. This is typically how any conversation goes at my house. Someone feels left out, and Ben has to say he's better than them since he is the oldest.

I need to call and make appointments for Nick and Nathan at the pediatrician, They have been sending me reminder postcards for months, but I dread the paperwork. The 20  page packet that tells you if your kid is 'normal' or not compared to other kids their age. I usually have all the boys with me, so sitting down and paying any attention to the questions, and asking the boys "Nick can you hop on one foot and rub your belly at the same time?" & "Nathan, can you say the alphabet in Pig Latin? No?! I'll just put sometimes...." is really distracting. It doesn't get much better once I am in the room either. Making sure the boys don't climb up, and jump off the examining table, and watching them so they don't steal anything out of the drawers while holding a clinging baby who is terrified we are there to get him shots-doesn't allow me time to really listen to what is being said to me. Maybe, he said something about asthma, but I really don't think he did. That is a word that I would think would stick out in a conversation. Like, swearing. Tell me you don't zone out on things and then suddenly you hear it....

"Blah, blah, blah.....F******..."

Suddenly you are all ears. "Did I really just hear that?" You turn to the person next to you, "Did they just say what I think they said?" There are certain things that get your attention in life, and I would like to think that if I hear the name of a disease in the same breath as my child's name, I would pay attention. I guess I should get on the ball and make the appointments for the other boys so that I could bring it up with him.

I wonder if it is because we have a nebulizer? Ben gets croup every time he gets a cold. It sounds horrible and scary, and leads to bronchitis, so our wonderful Dr. P gave us a nebulizer, and a ton of alboterol that works like magic for him. The treatments with it help him breathe so much easier! It was a life saver during the cold/flu season last year. Maybe the fact that they paid for that gave them the impression he has asthma. I would think that since he hasn't been prescribed any inhalers, that means no. I don't know. They were very helpful though. They sent us a paper explaining Asthma, and gave me the kick in the butt I needed to get off my butt and get these kids seen.

I'm just old school, and have a hard time taking healthy kids to the doctor. Stuff had to practically be falling off for my dad to take us, and I only remember my mom taking me when she thought I might be faking a cold just to stay home. At least that's how I saw it.....and the A-hole doctor didn't help. He said he couldn't find anything wrong with me. Jerk! I was feeling bad that day, Mom. Just so you know. All these years later-I wasn't lying.


Friday, September 17, 2010


So, we are heading into the end of the second week of school tomorrow. Second week, and what did I get today?!? Any guesses? I got a 2nd sad faced note from Ben's teacher that I had to sign and return. Let me repeat-second note-second week. What the?!? Ben doesn't get into trouble (usually) at school! He loves it there! Home is a different story.

He got this one for the same reason as the last one, not listening/paying attention. Last time he lost 5 minutes of recess time, it will probably be the same tomorrow. I told him, again, I wasn't happy about this. We moved the bedtime for him and Nick up another half hour to 7:30. I also put on my 2nd signed note, that I thought it would be a good idea for him to be moved to the front of the class away from his friends. We did deal with this problem last year, but he had a more tolerant/understanding teacher then, I guess. It's still not something I want to dismiss-I definitely think he needs to work on his listening. Wait, scratch that-his hearing  needs improvement. As we all know, there is a big difference in just listening to someone, and actually hearing the words they say. I fear I am at a disadvantage here, just because I am a woman, trying to understand and fix something that most adult men still have problems with. But I need to do something. His "Professor *Umbridge-esque" teacher seems to have a low tolerance for this kind of thing. I'm pretty much at a loss of what to do next. This kind of thing makes you question your parenting skills.

"My kid isn't one of those kids. He's well behaved, with impeccable manners. Every teacher dreams of having a child like him in their class!"

That's what I would love to think. That my parenting skills are above reproach, and my children are perfect in every way. But they aren't. They are kids. Kids will push boundaries, and try and get away with everything. Ben likes to think that whatever he is drawing at the moment, is more important than whatever he is being told to do. He, very much like his father, likes to do things in his own time. Neither of them like to feel "rushed", which I know from first hand experience, can be quite annoying. He's also a perfectionist. (Unfortunately, that is all me. *Sigh*) I told him that it isn't fair for his teacher to have to keep repeating things to him, and hold up the class because he isn't listening to her. To this, he breaks down in tears with, "but I was listening! I was trying to!"

No amount of explaining that if he was, in fact listening, I wouldn't keep getting these sad faced papers sent home to sign. I could try, but he wouldn't listen to me anyway. Like I said, we have the same issue at home. I have to repeat things about 6-9 times before I get any response from him. It's beyond irritating! If the TV is on, within a 1/2 mile radius of him-forget it! This doesn't help him out at all. It just makes me even more angry-I have a serious hate/hate relationship with repetition. His teacher last year told me he listens great once he makes eye-contact. So goes my reasoning for him getting moved to the front of the class!

All I know is this has to stop, but since I really haven't known how to deal with this at home, I really am at a loss for how to deal with it in public. How do you make a kid "hear" his teacher? I have explained that no matter what he is doing, he needs to do what the teacher says-when she says it. As in-right then. No excuses. He says he understands, but how long does that last? A week, apparently.

And his ears have been checked. They work perfectly! Just whisper something next to him you don't want him to hear, and you can guarantee he did!

*Also, I doubt his teacher is sadistically evil like Delores Umbridge from Harry Potter. I'm sure she is perfectly wonderful. I haven't met her yet, but I believe her to be all that is good and pure. I just am speaking of her "No crap, Black/White views on teaching." (I reserve the right to change my mind upon meeting her....)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

51st Post!

I am a sick person. I must be. I apparently like to torture myself. I can't help it. I don't see the point of owning something that just causes severe depression every single time it's used-yet, I do. It's right here on the floor next to me, in fact. It's a tool of the devil. A. Tool. Of. The. Devil. Sent here to destroy me, and any/all positive feelings I may have about myself. Why is it in my house? Why?!?

The following is a close version of what just happened a few minutes ago.

For some unknown reason, I thought it would be a good idea to weigh myself. This is what it said.....(give or take an ounce or 2.......)

After deciding that the scale had to be wrong, I got off and got back on.......


Then, I realized what it actually said, and I had gone down mere ounces instead of a few hundred pounds.

Sad me.

(This format was somewhat borrowed by the fantastic blog If you haven't heard of it, it's a must read. Sometimes pictures just tell do much more than words can....)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Music Musings......

This is an online radio station that plays songs based on the artist you put in that you like. It is also perfectly named. I don't know that I really wanted to open up the Pandora's Box of "uncoolness" that I try so hard to deny sometimes, when it comes to music. You can put in any artist or song that you like and it will play selections similar to it. Um, I am a total nerd. My selections were as follows.......

James Taylor
Dan Fogelburg
Michael Buble
Michael Jackson
Jessica Simpson (Yes, I did.)
Spice Girls (Yes, I did this too...)
Rob Thomas
Barbara Streisand
Jason Mraz
The Monkees
Sting & The Police
The Beatles
John Mayer
Elton John
Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton (Together! Islands in the stream, here I come....)
Jonas Brothers (This was on purpose. Camp Rock 2 kinda hooked me..)

I love the Monkees! I faked being sick a few Sundays while younger, to stay home from church and watch the Monkees Marathons that were on MTV. I'm not ashamed.
Rule The World by Take That (One of my favorites! Please take a few minutes to listen)
I realize that only a few of my choices are appropriate for someone my age, but seriously-even I am embarrassed by some of these! But clearly not enough to stop listening to them. Embarrassing-yes, but I ask you;

Who defines what is "cool" enough to listen to?

I know my sister (Holly) always makes fun of me for my choices. And last night, a friend was asking for the names of some of the songs that were on my mixed tapes growing up, because she liked them. When I started listing songs & groups, I was kind of shy about putting it out there, until I remembered that she said she liked my stuff too. I sit here now thinking about how I try not to care, but honestly, I am terrified of being judged  by others! And over something so stupid as the music I like!

I have always been more of a laid back person, and upon reflection-my music choices kind of fit. Easy listening-Not too loud, soothing. Pop-bubbly, kind of songs you can sing along with easily. I can't handle "music" that is just loud and has no understandable lyrics. I don't think it's "singing" when you scream and growl into a microphone. If I'm gonna be real, I enjoy happy people singing about love. Period. And Sting, but that's a no brainer.

I could listen to him sing all day. It's truly a sickness.
I am probably losing the 3 or 4 readers I have, just by listing the music I actually listen to. It's really hard to admit my inner nerdiness, without wanting to revert back into the awkward Middle School 'tween' girl in me, dropping to my knees and screaming at the top of my lungs, "Please accept me!!" Putting my desperation out there like a flasing road sign. I can't dance, I can't sing-but that doesn't stop me from trying whenever a catchy little tune comes on. (If you have seen how some of my family members dance, you will understand this. I have genetics against me here.) I just try to not do it where anybody can see me-I have been caught rocking out in a car before, with my friend. It was a "deer caught in the headlights" kind of moment, that melted us into fits of laughter. It is a great memory, but I don't want to do that again. Sadly, I still care too much of what people think of me. But, my kids don't judge. They love me no matter what, so I inflict this painful sight on them. Hey, what is family for?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Will Not Hide My Feelings Any Longer....

I want it to be okay to listen to Christmas music all year, and not feel like a social outcast for feeling this way!

"Ugh, it's way too early for that!"
"I don't even want to think about Christmas already!" (cough, cough....Mom.....)
"What the heck is this on for?"

I happen to love Christmas music! I'm tired of being ashamed, and I'm especially tired of only being able to listen to it for 1 month out of the year! I feel like I have to go into "Joy to the World" overload, and not get to enjoy it for all it stand for. Christmas happens to be one of my top 2 favorite holidays, and if it weren't for the fact that there are so many dang cool Halloween decorations-it would be #1! I love the memories that come with hearing the songs. I love the messages of love, peace, and just general "warm fuzzies" that come with listening to it. I'm listening to it right now! Olivia Newton John is singing about her "Mothers Christmas Wish" for her children.

She wants them to learn to love. Learn to give. Learn to lose. Live the truth in all they do....These are fantastic lessons that all kids need to hear ALL YEAR LONG! Because at Christmas, let's be honest-they are not really listening to the beautiful messages about love, hope, and Jesus. They are thinking about what Santa is going to get them, and how they can convince him to bring a few more presents to them. Greed is what rules their minds from November 1st until December 26th. Even longer for some.....

I say, play the music DAILY! Maybe if people heard the "do good" message, they would be more willing to hold the door open for someone at the store. To let the person behind them with only a few items, skip ahead in line, and possibly make their day. Let the jerk who almost hit you, get in front of you on the road, and wave at them with a real smile instead of the one finger solute you really want to do. (Hey-it's easy to do good to the nice people, it counts double when the person doesn't even deserve it.)

So, I challenge you to go right now, and pull out some of the dusty Christmas CD's you have hanging around your house. I dare you NOT to be in a good mood listening to it!

And mom-you can listen to it, and not think about all the money that comes with Christmas in general. It is possible. Enjoy the music!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Photos as Promised........

Ok, if I can give my near skeleton kid a double chin, this shot absolutely proves to never shoot the camera "up". What the heck?!?
Ben's action shot.
Believe it or not, this was one of the best ones of them together. Weird faces, water bottle and all.
Nick showing his pearly whites.
Nick's action shot of getting home from school. Don't his legs look short in this? Weird angle or something. Hmm...totally rad purple shoe laces, though. (Yeah, I said Rad. Deal with it.)

Ok, I'm off to watch Date Night now. Yay!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to school

The boys went back to school today!!! I was so excited. Especially since Alan works really early in the morning, so he does the "getting them ready, and to the bus" stuff. Meanwhile-I hang out with Miles and Nathan, and pick the boys up from the bus after school. I only am involved with the early morning mess if the bus runs late, or on the days that school starts 2 hours later (once a month!!). This is a pretty sweet deal for me, I must say. I actually hung out watching cartoons in bed with M & N, then got them breakfast, and cleaned the front room. It was pretty bad. Then I went in and did Nathan's room because that had been turned into my "clean laundry that is still sitting and waiting patiently to be put away" room. But the boys went in and decided to throw the clothes all over the room so that they could play with the baskets. It too, was really bad, but while I was cleaning it, I did a little redecorating, so I didn't even mind re-folding everything. I'm setting a goal to try and do a major clean up of at least one area when the older 2 are gone. It's so much easier! If only I could have Miles not follow me, practically undoing everything I've just cleaned-it would be fantastic!

I will put pictures up tomorrow since I forgot to take some today. Oops! They will still have that "I love school" glow about them, and will be willing to pose for pictures then too.

I have to go Biofreeze my back now, because of the days activities. It was totally unprepared for the spur of the moment renovations. But really, my back needs to get on board with me about this cleaning stuff, and not make me pay for it later! This constant burning it's doing, just is not going to be okay with me!

Biofreeze-the stuff of Champions! (Sore champions, but champs none the less!)

A Hairy Situation

If it's good enough for Julia...........

Ok, ladies. Please help me out if you know the answer to this one, because I am about to pull out my European heritage card, and just say forget it!

How do you make your legs and armpits NOT itch like crazy the day or 5 after you have shaved? I swear I have had my hand down my shirt, scratching the life out of my armpits, a few more times than I care to recall today, because the itch is unbearable. Thank goodness I am home with 2 little boys that have no idea that what I am doing is usually frowned upon in the company of others. Deodorant isn't you guys just shave every day to solve the "grow back" scratchiness? Again, if that 's the only way-that little bit of French in me is about to play a major role. I don't wear tank tops, or outside the bedroom (ahem), I don't think anybody would even know.

Please share any hints, or tricks. I am down to my last layer of skin here.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

RIP Tammy. Welcome to the Dark Side.

I always made fun of my mom for watching kids movies, when all of us kids were grown up. I still kind of do-yet, I realized something pretty scary today. I am totally already MY MOM. I have always been like her, but I have really held onto the fact that I watch kids movies with my kids, and not just for the fun of it. Then as I was walking through the grocery store today, I caught myself singing "Introducing Me" from Camp Rock 2. I didn't even have kids with me! When I caught myself, I literally stopped where I was, hung my head, and had a moment of silence for "Tammy", because I now am my mom.

I should have caught on Friday, when Alan was gone for his Guys Night, and I had all the kids in bed and could have picked anything to do. What did I choose, you ask? The first paragraph should be a huge hint. I layed in bed with Miles and Nathan passed out, and I watched Camp Rock 2, by myself. I even rewound, and re-watched the song "Introducing Me" because I thought it was very cute. I seem to be doing this kind of stuff more and more, now that I'm thinking about it......There are times where there are no kids in sight, and I will just leave the channel fixed on whatever show they had on. I have definitely left Coolsville! Goodbye, Shaggy and Scooby! (If you thought "Hey, that sounds just like the name of the town Shaggy, Scooby-Doo and the gang live in!" before I mentioned it, you need to come with me to Mommytown. You have lost your "cool" ticket too.) I'm not too sad, because being a mom is actually pretty fun at times. I'm embracing it with open arms! Now I have a licence to get away with all sorts of previously scoffed at things. I admit it- I like the Disney Channel. I confess that I enjoy cartoons, as well as my girly tear-fest movies. There is room in my life for all of these, and my crime shows, ghost shows, and my not so kid-friendly movies. Ok, world! I admit it-I am my mother, and I am fine!

It's not a bad thing. I love my mom dearly, but if I start breaking out with the weird sayings:

"Two sides of one coin..."
"Mad as a hornet..."
"6 or one half dozen of another..."

I will walk my butt down to the court, and legally change my name to "My Mother" Hendricks.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Movie Review, Of Sorts.......

I watched Why did I get Married Too last night with Alan. I liked it. Some say Tyler Perry comes off as kind "preachy" with his movies. I say- "hey, if it's a good lesson-preach on, Brother Perry!" His movies all have a good theme, and lots of humor.

This one is the sequel to Why did I get Married, named such for obvious reasons. It features four different couples-and deals with the struggles of being married, and living everyday life. Hilarity, and tears ensue. The four couples are so different from each other, that as I was watching it, I was totally thinking of people I know who fit into each of their roles. Then came this one scene, and it really caught me off guard for how close it hit home.....

One of the couples Sheila and Troy-had just had a baby, moved across the country, and now he was looking for work so they had no money. 

(the following is a paraphrase of the scene)

*All four of the couples had just arrived at the rental house in the Bahamas, for their "Why did I get married" weekend retreat, when an unexpected & uninvited visitor showed up. They are all sitting around talking about what to do.....*

Sheila "Blah, Blah, Blah....We spent our last to get here, so we're staying. Blah, Blah."
Troy "Sheila can I talk to you inside for a second?"

*They walk indoors for privacy.....*

Troy "Why you gotta tell our business like that?"
Sheila "I have no idea what you are talking about..."
Troy " "We spent our last to get here......" (not quite imitating her, but all bent out of shape)"

*Then there is more Blah, blah, blah....*

Sheila ".......You need to let go of your pride.....blah, blah...."

*After a bit more conversation I can't remember, he goes upstairs, she goes outside to her girlfriends, and they talk it out.*

Sheila " .........Was I wrong to say that??"
Angela "Did you spend your last to get here?"
Sheila "Yes. "
Angela "Then, No."

(The guy Troy isn't a jerk by any means, though he kinda comes off that way here. Disregard that, I was just getting the main details out for the point of this...)

At this point in the movie, I looked at Alan and said,

Me "Can they not be us? I swear we have had this exact conversation. Close enough to it, anyway."
Alan "What are you talking about?"
Me "You know me-I have no boundaries when I talk to people. (As some of you know all too well) I say whatever I'm thinking, and you get mad at me for telling people "our business" ".
Alan *scoff loudly* "Whatever..."

I am so serious though. There are a few movies that have come close to some of the conversations/arguments we have had. This was pretty much dead on. It was crazy. A few more times, something would happen, and I would look over at him and cough in his direction, like "see? There they go again, being us...." (The Break Up was another movie. The fight that they actually break up over is seriously something that sounds too close to things we have said. It's like they bugged our house to write that scene.)

Me and Alan have some weird fights, and we clearly don't see eye to eye on how to deal with it. Alan would have us not talk about it to anyone, even each other. I can't do that. I have to talk things out otherwise I end up blowing up about something completely stupid, and unrelated later. And if Alan won't talk to me, I will find someone else to vent to. I see nothing wrong with this. He does. I will admit that I have recently figured out that I do indeed have "social diarrhea of the mouth", and I really don't know when I am doing it. I tend to over share things rather than under share, so if I say things that offend you, please let me know, because chances are-I have no idea I have made you uncomfortable in the least.

Oh! In the last minute or so of the movie, there was a serious "eyecandy" surprise......The Rock made an appearance-which made me like the movie even more. Alan's reaction was a little less enthused,

"What?!? Oh, come on! Why is he in this?!? That doesn't even make any sense!"

It did make sense, but even if it didn't-it was the freaking ROCK!! He can show up in Alan's movies any day. I did enjoy the movie though, and I came out fulfilled, and full of love and appreciation for Alan like Tyler Perry movies tend to make me do. I think Alan came out thinking about how he would screen the next movie for the Rock before I got to watch it with him, if he ever watched one with me again.
Yes, please.....