Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bad Neighbors

I've had some crazy neighbors over the years.  A few of them have been good, but most of them have been really, really bad.  After reading the prompts from Mama Kat's this week, I knew I had to tell you about some of the worse neighbors I've encountered.

When I was a tween and still living at my parents' house, we had a new neighbor next door.  Her name was Jeanie.  She was a witch with a b.  She used to yell at my sister and I when we were playing in our backyard.  She screamed at me for being too close to her lawn when walking my dog (who then left spite poop in her yard a few times, haha).  She put up a big wood fence facing the wrong way (so the ugly side faced our yard) and on our property.  Eventually she had to move it, but fighting with her made things infinitely worse.  Actually, half the fence fell down in a storm this year, so the people who live there now (who are super nice) actually turned the fence the right way so the ugly side is in their yard.  I was so happy when she moved, but the next neighbor was almost as bad.

Susan and her husband had 2 small kids, and she thought she was right about everything.  The woman lectured my sister and I, called the cops when we were out in our yard after dark (even when we were quiet and my parents were supervising us), and just grated on my nerves.  Oh, and apparently my sister's dog, a pit mix who happens to be incredibly sweet, somehow "threatened" her on multiple occasions while tied to an apple tree in our backyard (when she was in her backyard, on the other side of the fence), causing her to call animal control.  This happened 5 or 6 times, when the dog was tied up or in the house, and absolutely nowhere near her or her property.

I thought I would be home free when I moved to Philadelphia for college, but I had my share of crazy neighbors there too.  There were the drug dealers outside my window in my first apartment.  They were pretty cool, and watched my car for me when I needed to pack and unpack from my weekly trips back home.  Then there was Mama, the funny Jamaican lady who owned the restaurant below my best friend's apartment.  She was pretty awesome, especially when she helped us Macgyver our way into my friend's locked apartment.  And then there was the obese lesbian who live next door to me in my high-rise apartment who loved tattooed girls and creeped me out by trying to get in my pants every time I saw her.

My senior year of college, I lived in another high-rise.  It was in a good, safe neighborhood and had security.  There I found the worst neighbor yet.  He was a stalker.  He lived one floor up from me and his windows looked onto my bedroom and living room windows.  Apparently, he had been watching me through my blinds, which I didn't always close (which was maybe naive, but I never thought someone would be watching me from another apartment).  One evening, there was a "missing you" greeting card under my door.  It had a questionable stain on it  (if you're thinking the worst-yeah, that's exactly what is was-so nasty).  He wrote that he wanted me to take a shower at 10pm so he could watch.  I called security, and they called the cops.  The police wouldn't help because we didn't know for sure who left the card.  But my security guy tried to help me.  We looked out my windows and saw a camera sitting on the sill of an apartment.  He went to check it out, and told the guy not to bother me anymore.  Turns out he had a wife and child.  I gave his wife the card he sent me.  I hope she left the asshole.  I never felt safe again in that building again after that.

When I was pregnant with Goober, the boyfriend, the MIL, T, Princess, and I moved into a 2 bedroom apartment in the downstairs of a house.  The landlady lived upstairs with her 3 grown children, one of whom was a schizophrenic.  He was harmless, but I always felt weird with how he looked at me when he saw us outside and came to talk to us.  He always stared right through me, like he was looking at someone standing behind me.  It was so disconcerting, and after a while I made it a point to avoid him.  At one point, he broke into my car and my MIL's truck.  The boyfriend found him and called the police.  He told the police that a voice in his head told him to do it.  After that, his mom kept the doors locked so he couldn't wander outside at night like that.

His sister, who couldn't have weighed more than 90 pounds soaking wet, had the world's heaviest footsteps.  She stayed up all night because of her work schedule, and I was woken up almost every night between 2 and 4 am to her THUNK THUNK THUNKing footsteps shaking my ceiling and my wall.  The other brother handled the rent and thought he was a hotshot.  He drove a Beemer, took girls to the casinos all the time, and gambled away so much that one of his cars (yeah, he had 2 Beemers) was repossessed.  Oh, and he would fight with the schizophrenic brother.  We could hear them screaming at each other, and he would throw his brother into the walls.  He threw him so hard that ashes would fly out of our fireplace and the house would smell like smoke for hours.  This happened once or twice a month.

It got even worse when, during a snowstorm, water started pouring in one of the bedroom windows.  The house was on a hill, so it was a little window set high on the wall, and it was level with the ground outside (like a basement window).  We called the landlady and her son refused to do anything.  The boyfriend went outside and ended up fixing it by digging out a drainage ditch.  Then there was the big flood.  I was 8 months pregnant with Goober.  It had rained really hard all day, and when I came home from work and went into my room to change, the carpet was wet.  There was 3 inches of water covering half the room.  We moved the furniture to the living room and found a hole in the corner that went all the way through the foundation.  You could see the outside of the house through it.  My nightstand had been in that corner, so who knows when the foundation crumbled.  We put fans in the room to try and dry it out, and called the landlady.  She and her son refused to even look at the damage.

After a few days, the smell was so bad (mold and mildew) that I couldn't even be in the house without getting sick.  The kids and I moved into my parents' house.  We kept asking the landlord to call someone in to fix the hole and replace the carpets.  They did nothing.  So we looked for a new place and found the house we live in now, which I love.  We stopped paying the rent on the old house and just moved out one day without telling the landlady.  They were pretty pissed off at us.  I didn't care.  You should never make a really pregnant lady move.  They threatened to sue us for not paying them rent, and I flipped out on her and her son.  They stopped after that.  I am vicious when I'm angry.  I found out he was badmouthing us to everyone (we had some of the same friends), and they embarrassed him in public for being a liar to the point that he stopped hanging out in a certain town.

Now I have no real neighbors, and I like it that way.  There is a big office building on one side of my house, and the landlord's company is on the other side.  He has a landscaping company and also rents space to a towing company.  This works out well for me.

 Have you guys ever had crazy neighbors? Mama’s Losin’ It

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Chocolate Cranberry Hot Cross Buns

Happy Easter everyone!  I hope you all have a wonderful day!  I've been loving Pinterest lately, and I came across this great recipe for hot cross buns, and decided I had to make it.



I've only ever eaten hot cross buns once before, and I have to say, I wasn't at all impressed.  They were from the supermarket and were pretty gross.  I've also never baked anything with yeast before because I have an irrational fear of messing it up somehow.

But this recipe looked so good I decided it was worth it.  It was.  I am still terrified of baking with yeast though.

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients:

For the buns-
21 g instant dry yeast (this is 3 normal packets, or 2 1/2 packets of the organic yeast I bought since my grocery store was out of normal yeast)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
4 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened dried cranberry

For the glaze-
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp hot water

For the crosses-
1/4 cup melted white chocolate



Directions:
-Whisk the lukewarm milk, sugar and dry yeast in a small bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes. It should become frothy and increase in size (mine didn't do very much of either, but apparently it worked anyway).
-Put the dough hook on your mixer and add the flour and salt in the bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the melted butter, lightly beaten egg, frothy yeast mixture, cranberry, and chocolate chips.
-Turn the mixer on low and knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place it in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in warm place for an hour or so, until the dough doubles in size.
-Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.
-Once the dough has risen, knock it down.  Divide the dough evenly into 15-18 balls and place them close together on the baking tray.
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover the hot cross buns with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 20 minutes.
-Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. While the buns are baking, prepare your glaze.
For the glaze, dissolve the sugar in the hot water.
-Once the buns are cooked, remove them from the oven and quickly brush them with a few coats of the glaze.
-To make the crosses, melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts on medium, stirring in between. Put the chocolate into a small ziploc bag, snip off the end and pipe crosses across the chocolate chip buns.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Blueberry Lemon Banana Muffins

Once again, it's Crazy Cooking Challenge time!  This month, we had to find a blueberry muffin recipe and make it.  I love muffins, so this was a fun one.  I had a really hard time narrowing down the great recipes I found, but I finally settled on this one.

Ingredients:

For the Muffins:
-2 1/4 cup flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-2 large ripe bananas, mashed
-2 eggs
-2/3 brown sugar
-1/2 cup butter, melted
-1 tbsp vanilla
-1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
-1 1/2 cups of blueberries
-2 tbsp grated lemon zest, divided
-3 tbsp sugar


For the Streusel Topping:
-1/2 cup of sugar
-1/4 cup of flour
-1/4 cup of butter, cubed
-2 tsp ground cinnamon

yum, streusel topping-my daughter ate a bunch of it from the bowl


 Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
-Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and zest of 1 lemon together in a small bowl.
-Using an electric mixer, beat together the bananas, eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, lemon juice, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined then carefully add 1 cup of blueberries and gently mix together.
-Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin tray. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries evenly over the tops of each muffin, making sure to push them down a bit.



-Combine the streusel ingredients together in a bowl using a fork or hands. Mix until it is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over each muffin.
 -Bake for 27 minutes until a toothpick insterted in the center comes out clean.


Everyone in my family loved these muffins.  The original recipe didn't have a streusel topping, but streusel makes everything taste better, so I gave it one.  The muffins also turned out incredibly dense.  I'm not sure why, but I would have liked them a little fluffier.  They still tasted amazing, though.  The blueberries were juicy, and the lemon and banana balanced out the flavors.  The topping made it super satisfying.  My daughter ate 5 of the 12 muffins.  I will definitely be making these again, and soon!



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Friday, April 6, 2012

9 to 5

The boyfriend got his dream job a little over a week ago.  I couldn't be more excited for him.  His official title is "Project Leader for New Game Development".  It sounds important, doesn't it?

I kind of feel bad now about yelling at him for spending so much time making mods that he wasn't getting paid for.  It finally did pay off, just like he told me.  He got his name out there, people saw it, and he got hired. 

On a semi-related note, if anyone plays or knows anyone who plays Skyrim for PC, check out his mod Tytanis-The Ultimate Mod.  He's done some great stuff on it.

He's working from home, which has been a double-edged sword so far.  He's supposed to work about 40 hours a week, but some days, he'll get into a groove and work all night, and other days he's stuck and frustrated and doesn't work much.

He's also been really irritable when the kids or I have to interrupt him for anything.  So I've tried to be out of the house with the kids as much as possible.  I usually take T to school and bring either Princess or Goober with me.  Then I run some errands, come home, eat lunch, and take both the kids to pick him up from school.  We've been going to my parents' house every day from 3 until 7 or 8 every  night so he can have time alone.

I'm just happy he's working and looking forward to being able to pay some of our debts as well as more of our living expenses.  My parents have been paying my credit cards off so I could put food on the table for a while now.  I'm just lucky they've been so supportive and have faith that we will be able to pay them back everything we owe them.  I would be totally lost and screwed without their help.

Oh, and the kicker about the new job is that his dad finally got back to him about working doing powerwashing the day after he accepted the computer job.  The man has been putting him off since last August, and he finally got around to keeping his promise once we didn't need it anymore.  The boyfriend felt obligated for a few days to try and juggle both jobs, but he's not cut out for manual labor, and there's no reason he should jeopardize his dream job because he feels obligated to his dad (who always falls through on him anyway)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Book Review: A Song of Ice and Fire Series

Have you heard of a Song of Ice and Fire?  What about A Game of Thrones (you know, the hit HBO series)?  If you haven't, I think you may be living under a rock, and you have definitely been missing out.

 The book series is by George R.R. Martin.  The series will be a total of 7 books long, but here are the ones that currently exist: A Game of Thrones,  A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons.

I've read them all, and each one is amazing.  The series is addictive, and is just as good (maybe better) than The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Even though it is a fantasy series (mostly because there are dragons), it reads a lot like a great medieval fiction.  The books are roughly 1000 pages each, but I swear, they're really easy to get through, and they suck the reader into their world.

If you've seen the HBO series, it has so far covered much of the first book.  If you like the show, you will not be disappointed by the books.  If you love the books but haven't seen the show, you should also make a point to watch it-it does not disappoint.

The series is about the fictional Seven Kingdoms, where a power struggle is going on between the main houses: Baratheon, Lannister, Stark, and Targaryen.  After an incident in which the current king is killed (sorry I'm being vague, I don't want to write spoilers), these families vie to control the Seven Kingdoms.

It's also a world where each season can last years.  A long summer is ending, and winter is coming.  This brings further challenges by awakening creatures that have been dormant so long they're the stuff of fairytales and legend.

The series is full of war, death, intrigue, incest, and dragons (I'm really into the dragons, if you couldn't tell).  Although the plot is complex, each chapter is written from the POV of a different character.  All the main characters are fleshed out incredibly well, even though many of them are characters the reader will love to hate.

I highly recommend this series to everyone who loves fantasy, medieval historical fiction, dragons, and everyone who loves a good read.  I know I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the next novel.  It is definitely one of the better things I've read in my life (and I read a ton of books).

I wrote this post after seeing this prompt from Mama Kat's: 1.)   Book review time! Some people STILL read books...share one of your more recent reads and tell us what you thought!  Since I love to read, and I can't say enough good things about these books, I knew I had to write a review of it.

Have you read A Song of Ice and Fire or watched A Game of Thrones?  What do you think about it?


Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lazy Mommy

I'd like to say that there is a reason I haven't blogged in over 2 weeks, but I've just been super lazy.  Instead of blogging in my free time, I've been reading.  Oh, and watching the first season of Game of Thrones on DVD.

I don't get HBO, and I love the series, so I knew I had to see the show.  Thankfully, I read a lot and therefore, I'm friends with one of the librarians at my library.  I see her once or twice a week.  She knew I wanted the DVDs badly.  Our library doesn't let people put their DVDs on hold at all, so I was number 100-something to get it from another library.  Except my librarian friend was working when they got the DVDs in so she put it aside for me.  I was the first person to watch them.  The show was awesome.  I'm now DVR-ing the new season at my mom's house.  And I realized it's pretty cool to be friends with the librarian.  I kind of want to get a part time job there.

In my last post, I wrote about my cat being attacked and falling out of a tree.  He's doing better now, but he's definitely different.  I guess he did get some brain damage from the fall.  He cries a lot like my other brain-damaged kitty (who happens to be the sweetest cat in the world but dumber than a rock).  And he sounds like a newborn kitten when he cries.  I keep thinking something happened to one of the kittens, but it always turns out to be Little Fart wanting my attention.  I'm just thankful he's alive and doing well.

The kittens are finally 6 weeks old and one already has a new home with my high school best friend and her aunt.  Her boyfriend is taking another 2 kittens later this week, and hopefully the girl who used to cut gym class with me in high school will take another.

We're keeping 2 of them.  One is really fluffy and I named him Jamie Lannister the Fluffy Kingslayer.  Yeah, I'm obsessed with A Song of Fire and Ice (the series A Game of Thrones is based on).  The other kitten is a dilute tortie and her face is 2 different colors.  I thought about naming her Patchface (another GoT character), but decided to name her Tyiron the Imp instead.  He is one of my favorite characters and I thought it kind of fit with Patchface since they are both dwarves in the book.

I'm going to attempt to get back into the blogging groove.  I miss it, so hopefully you will be hearing from me more often.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Sick Baby and a Cat Attack

It's been another hectic week here.  Goober started throwing up on Monday and he's been sick all week.  I don't understand how he gets sick so much more often than the other kids.  Even as babies and toddlers, T and Princess were rarely sick.  It seems like Goober gets sick at least once a month.  I feel so bad for him.

He finally seems to be on the upswing, though.  He managed to eat crackers and some chicken nuggets today, and now he's asleep.  I hope he doesn't wake up crying every hour or so tonight like he has been.  I'm barely functioning with my sleep so interrupted, and it doesn't help that I have awful insomnia and I'm lucky to get 4 hours of sleep a day.

My cat Little Fart had an accident this week.  The boyfriend told me that he saw him outside and he'd been in a fight but wouldn't let him near him.  When I went to get him, he looked gnarly.  His nose was bloody and torn up, he had bite marks on his face and near his ear, and he was a mess.

I took him to the vet and found out things were worse than I imagined.  They took him to the back to clean him off and examine him because he had an accident and peed all over himself in the carrier.  The vet came in and asked me if I lived in a high rise building.  I was confused, since I live in a 3 story cape cod, and the cat was definitely outside when he got hurt.

It turns out that not only did he get attacked by an animal, but it appeared that he fell out of a tree or off something else high up.  His nose was bleeding because he split his palate and broke some bones in his face.  He also had brain swelling and damage from the fall.  I had to leave him there to get steroids and pain medicine.

The good news is that his x-rays showed all his internal organs are intact.  I got to bring him home with antibiotics and pain meds.  They can't do anything about the palate or the broken bones in his face-they should eventually heal on their own.  He got some stitches in his lip, and I probably have to take him to get a fractured tooth pulled at some point. 

I'm just happy to have him home and doing alright.  I was so scared when I found out he fell so hard.  I never realized he would try and climb a tree to escape from an attacking animal.  It kills me that I will never know what the heck happened.  The vet also told me his back claws were shredded from trying to escape.  He's happy to be home, laying on the couch, and attempting to eat with his cone collar on (so he doesn't pull out his stitches).

Yeah, it was a crazy week.  I made corned beef hash with poached eggs and brownies with irish cream swirls for St. Paddy's day today.  The kids loved helping me make the brownies.  The best part is that they turned out gooey and under baked-I love half raw brownies, but I'll give the kids the more cooked edges.

In the morning we're going up to the house in the Catskills for the first time this season.  I'm excited because I love it up there.  It is my favorite place to be.  There's a huge parade in my town tomorrow and I can't be far enough away from it.

I always hated the parade growing up because my town is mainly Irish Catholics who get crazy drunk all day.  My parent's house was one block away from the parade route, and I hated that no matter what I did, I couldn't escape it.  It was a little better as I got older, and I even went and watched it from my old job (across the street from my parent's house) a few times.

Then I moved.  My landlord and his son throw a party every year on the parade day.  This wouldn't bother me so much if the parents who were there gave a crap about what their kids were doing.  Last year was a disaster.  Kids were opening the gates to my backyard and running around all over it.  I asked them nicely to leave, since my daughter was getting upset with strangers on her turf.  A couple minutes later, they would be back in my yard.

The kids weren't too young to know better either.  They were 8-14 years old.  Their parents were too busy getting drunk to do anything.  It got even worse when the kids started terrorizing my outdoor cats and attempting to come in my house.  I stood in my backyard for the entire afternoon, chasing kids away and getting frustrated.  I don't know what the kids or the parents were thinking.  I would never let my kids run wild and aggravate people like that.

So this year, T, Princess, and I will be gone and I won't have to deal with the urge to smack someone's poorly behaved child (or a poorly behaved drunk adult).  The boyfriend is staying home with Goober (I don't want him to throw up in the car-it's a 2 1/2 hour drive each way), and hopefully, he'll scare the kids from the yard.  I'm sure his BB rifle can help with that.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spaghetti Pie


This month's Crazy Cooking Challenge is spaghetti!  I love pasta, so I knew it was one I would really enjoy.  The only requirements were that we use spaghetti (not ziti or other pasta shapes), and red sauce.  I found a great recipe for Spaghetti Pie from That Skinny Chick Can Bake, and decided to make it.  I'm from New York and have never even heard of Spaghetti Pie, but it looks yummy!


Ingredients:
-8 oz (or 1/2 package) spaghetti noodles
-3 eggs
-1/4 to 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I used a handful and didn't actually measure)
-8 oz sour cream
-1 package Gimme Lean ground beef style (or 1 pound of real ground beef)
-1/2 jar tomato sauce (I used Ragu)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

Egg and Parmesan mixture
Directions:-Preheat oven to 350
-Cook and cool spaghetti noodles.  Heat Gimme Lean in about a tablespoon of oil until it is lightly browned and crumbly.

Sour cream on top
-Add spaghetti to a 9 inch pie plate (or a 1 1/2 quart oval dish-I have no pie plates).  In a small bowl, mix eggs and Parmesan together.  Pour over noodles and mix so noodles are coated.

Gimme Lean (or beef)
 -Add sour cream on top, followed by the Gimme Lean, the sauce, and finally, the mozzarella cheese.

sauce layer
-Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Cheesy

I did change a few things from the original recipe.  Firstly, I used vegetarian meat because I don't eat beef.  I also used 3 eggs instead of 2 because the spaghetti in the picture of the original recipe looked a little dry, and I was afraid the noodles would get crunchy, and then my kids would refuse to eat it.  It turned out really well. The pasta wasn't dry at all, and it was a totally new take on spaghetti for me.  My kids loved it, and my boyfriend thought it was so good, he ate half the casserole dish.  We will definitely be making this again.

Baked and bubbly-yum




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Monday, March 5, 2012

Sensitivity

When I was 9, I had a hamster.  His name was Brownie, and he was a long-haired brown and white teddy bear hamster.  He was awesome, and was the first pet I really loved.  Brownie used to sit in my shirt pocket, and I spent hours with him every day.  He had a neat plastic cage in my basement with an attached wheel, loop, and attic.

One morning, Brownie was gone.  Vanished.  I enlisted my family to search for him, but we had no luck.  I cried for hours.  I held out hope that he would show up again.  My family encouraged me that we would find him.

They were all lying.  Brownie got out because my dad accidentally forgot to close the attic part of his cage when he fed him that night.  He found him less than a week later, after smelling him.  He ate into the exposed insulation in the basement and died.  My dad and younger sister buried him in the backyard with the rest of the pets that had passed on. 

It was over 6 months before I found out what really happened.  It crushed me.  I dug up the body and cried some more.  I guess I'm trying to say that my family has always felt the need to protect me from things that they think will upset me. 

I've always been really sensitive.  I still cry regularly over the death of my dog 4 years ago.  I get upset incredibly easily, and I can stay upset for a long time.  Even my boyfriend keeps things from me if he thinks they will bother me, and everyone who knows me well agrees that this is the right thing to do, even though sometimes it comes back and bites them in the ass.

I know everyone has my best interests at heart, but when I really think about it, it bothers me.  It stinks that even though I am 27 years old, the people closest to me hide things from me on a pretty regular basis.  I wish I had a thicker skin, and could take things in stride like everyone else.  Instead, I take everything to heart, and it can eat me up for days, weeks, or longer. 

When I get really upset about things, I just go through the motions of taking care of my kids, and I can be lax about it.  I've used TV and junk food as a babysitter so I can sit and cry and dwell in bed.  It's not like this happens all the time, or for no reason.  I'm not depressed or anything.  I'm just really sensitive, and things affect me a lot more deeply than they do to others.

It can be isolating.  But do I really want people to just shove the truth at me if I can't handle it?  I don't know.  I guess it's good in a way that the people who care about me try to protect me.  I've been through so much crap that sometimes, I think it's good to live in my own little world where people try to keep me happy.  On the other hand, I'm never going to be really independent if everyone does this for me forever.  I'm super happy being a mom and not having to work, but at the moment, I'm financially dependent on my family.  The boyfriend has no job at the moment, so his mom and my mom cover our part of the rent.  My parents pay my credit card and gas bills.  They buy diapers for my kids.  They're the ones paying for my groceries, since I can't afford it. 

When I think about it, I have never been financially independent.  Throughout college, my parents paid for everything, from my shopping sprees to my luxury apartments.  After that, my ex and his family paid for everything, from my dinners out to vacations, to expensive clothes.  When I was working, I could afford groceries, as long as I only bought the store brands, and that was it.  Now, they pay for everything again. 

On a good note, the boyfriend is supposed to start working for his dad again soon, which  means he will have his old job back.  The one I asked him to quit after T was born because he was at work so much.  At least it will pay for the groceries and maybe give me enough money to start paying back my parents for everything they've paid for over the years.

I'm not sure where I really intended to go with this post, or how it ended up here, but it feels better to have gotten it all out.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- Baby Kittens, Anyone?

Feb. 23, a couple hours after they were born
Feb. 29th

Aw, look at that pile of kittens

He's the first with his eyes open

Look how tiny any cute!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Winter Vacation, Days 2-5

Sorry I'm so late in posting this.  My migraines have come back with a vengeance and I haven't been able to be on the computer too much because the light from the screen hurts my head.

Anyway, onto Day 2 of vacation.  We all woke up late, so we couldn't go to the zoo.  Instead, I took T and Princess to go see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.  It was the first time either of them have gone to the movies.  We got there early, got popcorn, and sat down.  Before the movie started, T wanted to leave.  He threw a little bit of a tantrum, but managed to do it quietly and we got to stay and see the movie.  I got some nasty scratches from him that are currently infected, but it could have been worse.

They both thought the movie was so cool.  I really liked it too-mostly because The Rock was in it and he's awesome.  The special effects were pretty great too. T has been begging me since then to go see the Lorax, so I'm going to take him this weekend.

After the movie, I took them to Johnny Rockets, since I haven't had their chili cheese fries since I was in college.  T got really antsy, insisted on sitting under the table on the floor, and decided it was his job to help the waitress by giving everyone ketchup.  Princess burnt her mouth on her first bite of french fry and refused to eat anymore.  We ended wboxing up the food and leaving.

Day 3 of vacation took us to the Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs.  Unfortunately, the parking garage was full at the museum, so we had to park 6 blocks away.  It was a little nerve wracking for me to have my preschoolers walking that far in the city.  They've never been in the city before, and there's all the traffic, and they're not used to it.  But it was fine and it turned out just to be mommy worry.

It was beautiful outside, and crazy hot in the museum.  The heat was blasting and I was dying after 5 minutes.  We ended up checking our coats, and T was afraid they were taking his jacket forever.  He had a little meltdown, but the coat check woman finally managed to assure him he would get it back later.  The kids wanted to take the elevator, even though we didn't have Goober or a stroller with us.  There was a line, but finally we got on it.  There were 3 nannies with their charges, and a woman from Florida with her kids.  The elevator guy thought I was a nanny too.  I took it as a compliment that I look young and not nearly as washed out as I feel.

We were only in the dinosaur wing for 10 or 15 minutes before the kids decided they were starving and had to eat immediately.  Back down we went, to the food court.  After we ate, we went to the gift shop.  T picked out a set of space shuttles, and Princess got a pink dolphin stuffed animal. 

They weren't too keen on a lot of the museum.  They weren't interested in the hall with the giant whale, or the Asian wing.  I finally got them to go look at the African animal dioramas, which they did like.  T threw a few fits, but it was mostly okay.  The heat got to me, though.  I had to sit down every time we went up or down a flight of stairs because I would start sweating and getting dizzy.  We went back to look at the dinosaurs again, and after they saw the T-Rex, they were ready to go home.

I promised them that if they behaved on the way back to the car, we would get cupcakes (there was a Crumbs half a block from where we parked).  It was a slow walk back.  They were so tired.  The cupcakes were amazing, though.

Then I got lost in New Jersey.  I had to take the lower level of the bridge and I always take the upper level.  I ended up having to go on the Turnpike South, which I am not familiar with.  I got off at the Meadowlands to turn around, and followed the signs for the Garden State Parkway, which I know like the back of my hand.  Then the signs for it stopped.  I had to choose highways and had no idea if I was going in the right direction, because I didn't recognize any of the town names.  I called my parents, who were golfing in Myrtle Beach, and my dad somehow figured out where I was, so I got back on track.  My trip home, which should have taken 30-45 minutes took close to 2 hours.

That's when the migraine started.  I've had migraines for years, but they've cooled off since Goober was born.  I'm allergic to Imitrex and the other migraine medications, and I've tried a bunch of preventatives that didn't work either.  So I'm basically SOL unless a doctor gives me narcotic pain relievers.  I was up all night, miserable.  I almost went to the ER a few times, but I really didn't have anyone to take care of all the kids if I went.  So I stayed in bed, pillow on my head, and tried to keep my kids quiet.  Yes, it involved lots of junk food, but the tradeoff was necessary.

On day 5 of vacation, I didn't feel great, but I promised the kids we would go to the zoo.  Except there was snow on the ground and it was raining when we woke up.  So went went to the aquarium on Coney Island.  I was under the assumption it was indoors, but I was wrong.  It was mostly outdoor.  And it wasn't as cool as I thought it would be.  T and Princess had fun.  Goober didn't really like it.  We saw the entire thing in an hour and a half.  I felt a little gypped, since it took about that long to get there, and I assumed it would be an all day thing.  The kids were happy once they got toys, though.  Princess got another pink dolphin stuffed animal, although this one came in a purse.  T got a 3D dolphin puzzle and sticky frogs.  Goober got a tiny little shark stuffed animal.

Instead of going home, since the boyfriend wasn't feeling well, we went back to my parents.  They were on their way home from Myrtle Beach, but we left before they got there.  The kids love being there to play.  It's roomier than our house, so they have more room to play.  We stayed there until dinner time, when T got really cranky and wanted to leave.

On Saturday (Day 6 of vacation), I took T and Goober over to my parent's house, and stayed there most of the day.  The boyfriend was still under the weather, and Princess slept all day.  Sunday we stayed in.

T was so happy to go back to school on Monday.  He really loves his teacher and his class.  I got a letter that his meeting to get re-evaluated will be on April 20.  I hope they'll let him stay in the school next year.  He's doing really well there, and I can't afford for him to go to preschool at all if the district won't pay for it.  We're also going to get Princess evaluated and try to get her into the school because she's been copying his speech and now she doesn't pronounce a lot of words right.

All in all, vacation was good.  Now T wants to go to Disney World, or as he calls it, Mickey Land.  He'll have to wait for his grandparents to do that one, but I hope we do get to go one day.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Winter Vacation, Day 1- The Aquarium Debacle

T has off from school this week for winter vacation.  My parents decided to go to Myrtle Beach on a golf trip all this week, and my sister is panhandling her way from NY to Wyoming to go to a wedding.  I am here with all 3 kids, all week long, with basically no help.  T is not happy there's no school-he cried all weekend that he didn't want to have vacation because he loves school.  So I promised him we would have a great time and I would take him to a bunch of places.

He wanted to go the aquarium, the zoo, and to see the dinosaur bones at the Museum of Natural History.  Since the weather is super nice for February, I thought none of this would be a problem.  I didn't realize how hard it is to try to take 3 small children somewhere by myself.  In the past, someone has always insisted on coming with me, or taking one of the kids so I only have 2 with me.

Not today.  We had a little bit of a late start, so I decided to take them to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT.  It's about an hour drive.  The trip started okay, until T wouldn't leave the touch tank.  Princess was terrified of the crabs and other creatures, so I kept an eye on her while she ran around to the nearby tanks.  Goober kept crying, so I finally got T to keep walking.

Then Goober threw up all over himself and my brand new Sit and Stand Stroller.  And I didn't pack extra clothes in the diaper bag because I have never once needed them on a day trip in the 4 years I've had children.  And I did the one time they weren't there.  We were right next to the children's play area when this happened, so while I attempted to clean as much as I could with the wiped I'd packed, there were 3 or 4 small children that weren't mine watching me, pointing out that there was a big pile of vomit all over.

Once my wipes were done, the mess wasn't that much better.  We had to head down in the elevator to get to the bathroom, where another child complained that my baby smelled.  No shit, kid.  I had to sit poor Goob in the sink to get him clean, and there was only cold water.  He was not happy.  I spent a good 45 minutes getting barf off everything.  But his shirt and jacket were soaked. 

We had to go to the gift shop to buy him a shirt.  We proceeded to walk down a long hallway, where I received a bunch of nasty stares and comments about my shirtless baby in the middle of February.  Did these people somehow think I brought him to the aquarium without a shirt?  Seriously.  Of course I had to buy 3 shirts, since it wasn't fair if only the baby got one.  $37 later, T decided he needed to eat. 

Not the snacks I brought, but cafe food.  We took the elevator upstairs (and I learned the baby is terrified of elevators), and the kids decided they wanted french fries and onion rings.  I also got a grilled cheese sandwich since the baby wanted to eat and I felt bad.  I figured it was less greasy than anything else there, and it was bland too.

After lunch, we went back to see more stuff.  Princess wanted to see the sharks, and T wanted to go back to the touch tank.  They were fighting about it, so I took them somewhere else entirely.  They had a boating exhibit where the kids could play on a fishing boat and pretend to fish and put on life jackets.  T had a bunch of fun.  Princess sat on the edge of the boat, glaring and yelling at kids who ran into her or were too loud.  I let the baby run around for a little, but his shoes kept slipping on the concrete and he wasn't too happy after he fell on his face a few times.

T didn't want to leave, and threw himself on the middle of the floor, so no one could get around him.  I told him we were going home since he wasn't behaving, and had to carry him out of the exhibit.  He screamed all the way outside.  Those looks and comments I got from old ladies were fun. I have a tip for them: if you don't want to deal with noisy children but want to go to the aquarium, don't go on President's Day when all the kids are out of school!

He finally told me he would behave, but we were already outside and at the parking garage.  So I promised him that if he was good all the way home, we could stop at Toys R Us.  Yeah, I bribe my kids and they're spoiled as hell. 

I couldn't find the highway entrance on the way home, got stuck in crazy traffic, and spent another $30 on a Power Ranger and Littlest Pet Shop toy.  Of course, when I got home, the boyfriend hadn't cleaned anything or taken out any trash.  I was exhausted, and he told me he would watch the kids for a couple hours so I could rest.  Instead, he went back to sleep after sleeping all day.  And Goob threw up all over my bed.

Well, it was an eventful day.  Tomorrow, I think we're going to go to the museum.  That is, if the boyfriend comes and the baby's okay.  Otherwise, I'll leave Goober with him (or take him if he's feeling better), and go to the Bronx Zoo.  The kids love it, and we have a membership, so it's totally free, except for food and the gift shop.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Memoir Pitch

The prompt this week for RemembeRED from Write on Edge was to write a 200 word pitch for your memoir.

An idyllic childhood turns sour when a young girl makes the mistake of angering her friends, leading to her ostracization.  Compounding the problem are her family issues, which lead to her withdrawing into herself.

After being bullied for years, she is broken and feels like she has nothing to live for.  Her self-mutilation and cries for help go unanswered until she meets the man who will change her world.

He is everything she thought she wanted, but the fairytale doesn't last long.  She gets drawn into a dark underworld of abuse, drug addiction, and lies, where, in desperation, she sinks to unfathomable lows.

Although she finally gains the courage to break free of the relationship, she can't kick the drugs and manages to drag everyone around her down as well.

An unexpected pregnancy gives her the strength she needs to turn her life around.  Motherhood proves to be a fulfilling experience, and she finally finds the happiness that  has escaped her for so long.


Write on Edge: RemembeRED

Monday, February 13, 2012

WoW Stole my Life and the Cursed Comforter

I just noticed I haven't posted in almost 2 weeks.  The boyfriend finally renewed my WoW subscription like he promised, so all of my spare time at night has been spent playing instead of writing blog posts.  It's a seriously addicting game, and I figured I should get my money's worth and play it.

T stayed at my parent's house last night, so all was quiet here.  I finally had a chance to take my white comforter to the laundromat to get washed since it's too big to fit into the machine here, and Goober puked on it a week ago.  I cashed in my lotto tickets from Christmas to pay for it, since I didn't have $15 laying around. 

Every time I pay to get the comforter cleaned (I have a backup, but it's old, and has tons of rips in it, and it does nothing to keep me warm-my legs freeze all night), it seems like the kids get it dirty almost immediately.  I probably shouldn't have a white comforter with small children around, but it was free (from the dumpster behind Home Goods because the pillows were missing-new and in the packaging, in the dumpster), and it's really thick and warm and awesome for winter.

I usually only have it on my bed for 24 hours or so before one of the kids spill something on it, or get sick on it-the poor comforter has been puked on and pooped on more than I'd like to admit.  This time was no different.  I kept it off my bed for a few hours after bringing it home because Princess and Goober were up and about, and I figured someone would have grubby little hands that would love to get my comforter dirty. 

I put it on the bed when Goober looked like he was getting tired (since he and I share the bed).  In less than 20 minutes, he managed to get a dirty mouth print on it (even though his face looked clean when I put him on the bed).  Then T came home.  He mentioned that his stomach hurt and went downstairs to watch TV.  I ran to the store because we were out of milk.

When I got home, the boyfriend told me T threw up all over my comforter.  I was furious (not with T, but with the fact I paid $15 to get it cleaned and didn't even get to sleep under it one night).  I called my parents and they told me he was fine all day and hadn't even eaten since lunch.  I bitched and moaned about my comforter and how it is cursed, and my mom told me to come pick up a spare comforter set that she was going to return to Kohl's (with a normal sized comforter that will fit in my washing machine).

I picked it up, got the bed made, and took a shower.  T and Princess were in my bed when I got out.  He told me he threw up again-all over my new sheets and comforter, that once again, I didn't even get to sleep under.  I wanted to scream.  Instead, I did the laundry, and put everything back on the bed before it was totally dry because I hate having an unmade bed at night.

I banished T to the couch and he fell asleep almost immediately.  I attempted to wash the cursed comforter in my machine.  I practically broke a sweat shoving it to fit.  The machine made horrible noises the entire time, and the comforter is so big, the part at the top of the machine stayed dry.  I don't even know if the machine still works right, but I guess I'll find out.  Oh, and the comforter was still stained, so I have to go take it to get bleached at the laundromat anyway.  It's been in the dryer for 3 hours and it's still wet. 

Oh, and T woke up and barfed all over his grandma's computer keyboard.  I'm just happy it wasn't mine, and I'm hoping she doesn't see my comforter in the dryer because she will kill me.  I'm waiting for her to go to bed so I can sneak it upstairs and hang it over the bannister to finish drying.  I guess T won't be going to school tomorrow.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Real Me


This is my favorite picture ever of me.  It was taken on the teacup ride in Disney World in January of 2007.

My mom took me on that trip after my fiance and I broke up after a 4 1/2 year relationship.  When it happened, I thought it would be really sad, but instead, I was so relieved.  I finally had my life back, and I really enjoyed it.

I love how happy I look in the picture.  I was so miserable for so long, I forgot what it was like to be happy, but it was still there.  In that vacation week with my mom, I regained everything I lost of myself, and became the person I used to be.

5 years later, I am still that person.  I learned that I can be me and be happy in a relationship-there's no reason to give up me to make someone else happy.  I think, if anything, I've become an even more joyful person because of my kids.  There's something to be said about how becoming a mother changes you for the better as a person.

I wrote this in response to one of this week's prompts from Mama Kat's.  4.) Share a photo that was taken of you, that you think really captures who you are.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Exploring Friendship

We met the first day of college.  Somehow, it came up in our conversation that she had a car and planned to go home on the weekends.  I planned to go home on the weekends, too, but my car was back home in New York, and I was now living in a dorm in the lovely city of Philadelphia.

After class, I went with her to a cafe and met her mom.  We had a great time, and by the end of the day, I felt like I had known her for years.

Her apartment was only 5 blocks from mine, and we started meeting up in the mornings to go to class together.  Between classes, we would head to Taco House, a little dive of a restaurant that had a huge, $5 lunch special.

On Fridays, we would leave the city after class.  She dropped me off at the train station near her parent's house, which was halfway between Philadelphia and my home.  I would then take a train to NYC followed by a bus to my suburban neighborhood.  On Sunday nights, my dad would drive me 45 minutes to her parents' house, and we would go back to school.

Our sophomore year, I moved to an apartment half a block away from hers.  By that point, we spent all day together.  We went to the same classes, and spent all our spare time at my apartment (sometimes we went to hers, but she lived in a 10'x10' room and I had the bigger place).

We started taking my car after she totaled hers, which worked out better for me because it was quicker than having to take a train and a bus to get homch e.  We shared so much of ourselves with each other on those car rides, and know all each other's secrets.

We've been there for each other through thick and thin, love and breakups, drunken sob fests (where I passed out on her floor on top of a bunch of gummi bears), roommate problems, boyfriend problems, and everything in between.  She loves my kids like they are her nephews and niece, and they call her Auntie Michelle.

Even though we don't spend nearly enough time together anymore because life gets in the way, we're really close.  I only see her 4 or 5 times a year, but we cherish the moments we have together.  We're still just as close as we were when we spent every waking moment together.

I thought I had met a ride home, but I really met my closest friend that fateful first day of college.

This post was written for this week's RemembeRED prompt from Write on Edge. This week, we’d like you to explore friendship. You can talk about a current friendship or one from your past, a friend you met over kindergarten snacks or happy hour at your first job. Examine your emotional interest in the friendship and the role it plays, or played, in your life. The word limit for this prompt is 400 words. 

Write on Edge: RemembeRED

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pizza Party with a Side of Drama

I threw an awesome birthday party for the kids this weekend, although, unfortunately, it ended up being full of drama.  We rented out a pizza restaurant for 2 hours and hired Matty Roxx, an amazing children's entertainer in our area.

Princess wore a brand new poufy pink tutu and new silver shoes, along with a pink furry stole.  She looked precious.  We got the boys, (T and Goober, as well as my nephew) matching outfits.  They all wore black superhero T-shirts and acid washed black jeans.

While I was going nuts baking the night before at my mom's house (2 types of cake pops and a banana cake), she mentioned that my MIL told her that Rick, the kids' grandpa, was coming.  I was annoyed.  First of all, he hasn't seen the kids since Christmas 2010, when he promised them all presents and never followed through.  I don't care that he didn't buy them stuff, but it made me so mad to see my kids disappointed by him.  I was also very irritated that my MIL invited him and didn't tell me.  I have a right to know who will be at my kids' party.

The kids had a ton of fun and Matty put on a great show.  It was nice to be in a place where 12 kids could run wild.

I've written before about how my SIL and I do not get along, at all.  And a lot of the time, I am not the most mature person about it (like Christmas Eve, when I totally ignored her and pretended she wasn't in the room-it was the better option than ruining the holiday)

Well, my MIL took it upon herself to invite my SIL and not tell anyone-not me, not my parents, not my boyfriend.  I was near the door, waiting for my best friend from college to arrive, and instead, my SIL walks in.  I was shocked, and so angry I was shaking.  The first thing out of my mouth was "You weren't invited, so feel free to leave."  I really didn't mean to be mean.  I just got taken off guard and was furious with my MIL.

They both left, and apparently, she told my boyfriend she was going to kick me out of the house-except I'm on the lease and I pay rent.  She can't do that just because she's mad at me.  I'm back home now, and we're avoiding each other like the plague.  I want to be able to explain to her why I said what I did to her daughter, but I don't  think I can without blaming her for overstepping her bounds and inviting her without telling everyone.  It wasn't her party, or her place, to do so.  I hate being the last person to things, and it seems like she always does this.  I thought she learned after the last time, when she invited her daughter and her dogs to stay for a few days at our house and I found out on Facebook.

At least the party was good.  And, I found out my college friend is pregnant, and due 2 months before her wedding.  I am so excited for her!  Now I have baby fever, and I want another one, even though that's crazy and I can't afford it at the moment.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Top 10 Life Stories

This week, for Mama Kat's, I chose this prompt: 3.) You know the stories that are retold a million times at family gatherings? I call them Life Stories that you just never live down. List your Top 10 Life Stories.

1. The time my 12-year-old self and 8-year-old sister convinced our Grandma to walk 2 1/2 miles to McDonalds with us in 90 degree weather-in dollar store green and white flip flops.

2. When my sister and I saw an ad in the paper for a guinea pig so we called the number-I pretended to be my mom.  When the lady came to our house with the guinea pig, my parents were so mad, but felt bad the lady got suckered by us so they let us keep it.  It had 5 babies that night.

3. On my first trip to Florida, when I was 4, we went to sea world.  I was a chubby little kid, and I got stuck in the dolphin-shaped stroller.  Staff had to come help pull me out of the damn thing.

4. At my sister's christening, when I was 4, my 2 cousins and I went outside the church to play because we were bored.  We were running in a row-I was in the middle.  My one cousin stopped short, and so did I to avoid him.  My other cousin ran into me and I scraped my knee really bad.  I proceeded to run back into the church, screaming.  My parents were up on the altar with my sister, so I ran up the altar and under the big table in the middle to get to them, in front of everyone there.

5. I had a dance recital when I was 3.  Earlier that day, I had been playing outside and gotten mosquito bites.  I completely stopped onstage, put my had down my tutu and tights, and screamed over and over, "Mommy, Daddy, I'm itchy!"

6. We adopted my sister when I was 4 and traveled to Oregon to get her.  We stayed at someone's house, and my sister was in a baby carrier on their dining room table, crying.  I yelled to my parents that I no longer wanted a sister, and in an attempt to return her, knocked the entire thing off the table onto the floor.  Thank goodness she was strapped in and didn't get hurt.

7.  I was running around the house with a pencil when I was 9 because I didn't want to give it to my parents.  I tried to hide it in the couch as I jumped on it, and stabbed the bottom of my palm, breaking off the pencil point.  You can still see the graphite under my skin today.

8.  I stabbed myself in the foot with a toothpick in high school, and only a little bit was sticking out.  When I pulled it out, I was spurting blood everywhere and started crying.  My dad came downstairs, and all I could manage to say was that my mom would kill me if she saw all the blood I got on the carpet.  We both burst out laughing at how ridiculous that was.

9. When I was really young, I used to pretend to fall down the stairs when people came over to get attention.  I never really got hurt, but no one knew that.

10. I sang in the children's choir at church, and every Christmas and Easter, when the church was packed beyond capacity, I would get overheated and sick and have to either run outside or into the choir room to throw up.  One time I didn't make it and threw up all over myself in front of everyone.


Mama’s Losin’ It

Happy 3rd Birthday to the Princess!

I can't believe Princess is 3 years old today.  Time has just flown by.  Just like with T, I can't remember her being a newborn.  I see the pictures I have and it's crazy to see how much she's grown.

I remember making Chocolate Banana cupcakes for her welcome home/T's first birthday party.  I loved getting adorable outfits for my little girl, since girls are so much more fun to dress than boys.

Princess actually slept in a crib as a baby, and was the only one of my kids to do so.  We moved her to a toddler bed at 11 months, but when I was 9 months pregnant with Goober and our apartment flooded, we had to move really quickly, and she's been sleeping on a couch with her dad since then.

She's always been my little drama queen.  She constantly gets "boo boos" and cries about them until you pay attention to her.  She hates to share, and is incredibly jealous, especially when it comes to daddy.  She also bangs her head on the floor when she's mad-I thought she would have grown out of it by now, but at least we have wall to wall carpeting upstairs.  Princess is definitely the little boss of our house.

When she was about 15 months old, we lived in a little 2 bedroom apartment and had the kitchen gated off because the landlords wouldn't fix the broken cabinets.  Anyway, next to the baby gate, there was a big drawer that we used as a junk drawer.  She somehow got into it one day, and drank an entire air freshener plug in.  The boyfriend called poison control and she was okay after she drank 2 cups of milk.  I will never forget that her breath smelled like flowers for 3 days. You knew she was in the room, even when your eyes were closed.  I thought it was hilarious.

She's my go-to child when I need to run errands.  She'll walk around the stores and really enjoys it.  I've yet to have her throw a tantrum in a store, unless it's because we're leaving and she doesn't want to go home.  If I want to go out to eat, she and I usually go together too.  The boyfriend hates restaurants, so I take her instead.  She's my little buddy.

She's just grown up so fast.  I remember dressing her in itty bitty outfits when she was 6 months old, and now she's 3.  Her Belle Halloween costume sits in my closet, and it's small enough for some dolls to wear.

I don't know what I would do without Princess in my life.  I'm so blessed to have such an amazing daughter, and I adore spoiling her (like buying the entire prarie girl line of clothes at Babies R Us for her today-they are so cute-if you have a daughter, you should totally check them out).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Banana Chocolate Cake Pops


T begged me to  make cake pops for his birthday.  I planned on making cupcakes, but who am I to deny the birthday boy?  We went through the cabinets and he picked out banana cake mix.  I decided to use chocolate frosting with it, and they were super good.

I also noticed that the banana cake was more moist than the other cakes I've made for cake pops, so I only had to use 1/2 a container of frosting instead of most of the can.

Ingredients:
1 box banana cake mix, made according to package directions
1/2 can of chocolate fudge frosting
2 pounds milk chocolate candy melts
lollipop sticks



-crumble the cake and mix with frosting
-refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, then roll into balls
-dip end of lollipop stick in melted chocolate, then insert halfway through ball
-freeze balls 20-30 minutes
-dip in chocolate and serve when ready







Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday!

T is 4 today.   It's kind of bittersweet for me.  It feels like I was pregnant with him just yesterday, and now he's not a baby anymore.

I mentioned it in my last post too, but I can't remember T being a newborn.  I vividly remember my awful labor and epidural experience, and I remember them whisking him away a few minutes after he was born to lay under the lights (he was a little bit jaundiced). 

I remember how it was impossible to get him to go to sleep at night.  By this time, I was very pregnant with Princess, and the boyfriend and I would have to rub and tap on his back for hours until he finally fell asleep.  If we stopped, even for a minute, he would start bawling and we would be back at square one.

Once he was comfortable crawling around and standing up on his own, he wasted no time figuring out how to knock the baby gate down so he could get out of the bedroom in the mornings.  We coslept with him, and every morning, I was awakened by the gate crashing to the floor.  The boy's never met a baby gate he couldn't open.

His first birthday was awful.  He felt a little bit warm and was cranky, but we chalked it up to teething and gave him some Tylenol.  He went down for a nap and woke up crying a half hour later.  When I went to get him, he was burning up and had  a seizure.  I have never been so terrified in my life.  By the time we got to the emergency room, he had 3 seizures and his temperature was above 104.   Spending the whole day in the emergency room was terrible for everyone, but thankfully his fever came down and he was okay.

Then there was the time he and the boyfriend were playing and they banged heads.  After I realized T was okay, I noticed that the boyfriend wasn't.  He was sprawled on the floor, completely out of it.  By the time the paramedics came, he was out cold, and stayed that way for the better part of an hour.  T was about 14 months old at this time, and he and the boyfriend both ended up getting CT scans.  T was fine, the boyfriend had a nasty concussion.  He'd kill me if he knew I told the bloggy universe that his son knocked him out.

T also knocked Princess out when he was 2 and she was 1.  He has a hard head and likes to give head injuries.  My daughter turned into Linda Blair in the Exorcist, and I swear, there was puke on my ceiling.  After more CT scans after a trip to the ER in a blizzard, she had a concussion and he was fine.

He was diagnosed with apraxia when he turned 3 and started with a new speech teacher through the school district.  She was the one who made a breakthrough and got him to say his first word, "ball."  I was so proud of him I almost cried.  After 3 long years, my son finally talked.  Now he chatters constantly and part of me misses the days when he was quieter.

I look back on all the strides he's made and I can only imagine what he will be able to do this year.  He's brought so much light to my life and I can't imagine what I ever did without him.  Happy birthday to my baby, T, who isn't a baby anymore. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Year is Not Going as I Planned

I've been so lazy about blogging since the holidays.  I can't seem to get inspired enough to write, and being sick for an entire week totally threw me off. 

I've still only gone to the gym once, and now my parents reneged on watching 2 of my kids to give me a chance to go because my sister decided to go back to school.  She's starting a nursing program this week, so they have to watch her son while she's at school.  I don't know why she decided to go to community college where I live, because she lives an hour and a half away.  It just kind of puts a damper on things for me, because sometimes I need the help, and now they have to watch my nephew every day.  T is going to be pretty bummed out too, because now he can't go there after school for a few hours every day like he's used to.

Speaking of T, he's turning 4 on Monday, and Princess is turning 3 on Wednesday.  I can't believe how fast they're growing up.  It feels like they were little just yesterday, but I honestly can't remember either of them being babies, which is weird.  I can remember Goober as a baby, but maybe that's because he's the youngest.  Thinking about this makes me want another baby, even though I know that is crazy and not possible at the moment.

The boyfriend needs to get a real job, as the internet thing he was working on doesn't seem to be panning out.  He was doing well until he decided to have other people help, and everything went to crap.  He doesn't seem to care that I'm maxing out all my credit cards just to pay for food, and I'm going to have to borrow money again just to pay our share of the rent this month.  I'm really getting sick of him not caring enough to get a job.  He knows that if worse came to worse, our families would bail us out so we had food and a place to live, so he's in no rush to get a job. 

Since the stupid Star Wars computer game came out a few weeks ago, that's all he's been doing in his waking hours.  He wears headphones and plays the damn game.  He can't even hear if the kids are screaming 2 feet away from him.  I have to tap him on the shoulder and yell if I need his help for anything, and that pisses him off because then he gets killed in his game.  I tried to talk to him about it, but he doesn't seem to get it or care, and it's not fair.  If he's home and not working, why the hell can't he help a little with the kids, or take out the trash, or clean up his dirty dishes?  I wish I knew a way to knock some sense into him.

On a better note, I decided to start a makeup blog as well.  You can find it here.  I only have a couple posts up now, but I'm planning to swatch a bunch of makeup if I can find a working camera, and post looks of the day.

I hope this coming week will go well.  I'm bringing cookie cake to school for T's birthday on Monday, so I hope the kids in his class have fun.  I'm also having a party for T and Princess next Saturday.  I invited his whole class, and even though the RSVP date was yesterday, I've only heard from 7 out of 17 kids.  I hope some more parents call me tomorrow, since we kind of spent a lot of money for the party (we're having a musician who does an interactive show with the kids-my kids saw him when we were pumpkin picking and loved him).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tagline for my Life

Little Girl Lost, Woman Found: One Woman's journey from idyllic childhood to the depths of addiction and back, finding her purpose in motherhood.

This was written in response to this week's RemembeRED prompt from Write on Edge.  Imagine your life, or a part of your life, as a title and tagline.  That's it.


Write on Edge: RemembeRED

Thursday, January 12, 2012

So Startled I Mom-Failed

I'm linking up to Mama Kat's today with prompt 2.) Describe a  time you felt startled.

This is also the story of my guiltiest moment as a mom.  I've contemplated telling it before, but always changed my mind.

I absolutely hate when anything or anyone touches my feet.  It freaks me out.  I don't do pedicures, I don't do foot massage, I scream at my kids when they do it to try to get a rise out of me.

One morning, I was taking a nap.  My leg must have been hanging off the edge of the bed.  I was woken up by something touching my foot.  I freaked, and kicked at it, assuming it was one of my cats.

It was my son.  Turns out I kicked him square in the mouth.  I felt awful.  He was crying and complaining that his mouth hurt, but there was no blood, so I thought it would get better in a few days.

Wrong again.  A couple days later, I noticed that one of his top teeth (not the front tooth, the one next to it) had broken off at his gumline.   I quickly called the pediatric dentist in a panic and he came in on a Sunday to see T.

It turns out T needed to get his 4 top teeth taken out.  Because I accidentally kicked him in the face.  Can you say epic mom fail?

His teachers and stuff have asked me what happened to his teeth, and I can only bring myself to tell them that he had an accident.  I still feel awful about it, but he's pretty comfortable and happy, even without the teeth.

Toothless T with his Nana


Mama’s Losin’ It

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Not So Great Start to the New Year

I've been promising myself that I would start blogging more regularly since the holidays are over, but that hasn't happened so far.

I've been dealing with a very cranky 15 month old who is getting 3 molars in at once.  I swear, the kid's only sleeping for an hour or two at a time, and only after I dose him with Ibuprofen.  He's been so uncomfortable, he's been chewing through binkies.  My other kids never did that.

I also decided I was totally sick of taking the medication I've been on for the past few months because of the weight gain it caused, so I stopped taking it, which has really thrown my body for a loop (not a doctor approved stop but I don't really care).

In the past 3 months, even though my eating habits haven't changed much, I've gained 20-30 pounds, all in my stomach.  I look 4 months pregnant, and it's embarrassing.  Since I'm poor, my mother had to buy me a whole new wardrobe of shirts, because I only fit into 2 maternity shirts and nothing else.  Jeans that were so big I could barely even wear them with a belt are now so tight they won't button.  I've had enough.

Even though I've only been to the gym once since I got my membership, I'm motivated to go, and I'm signing up for a few personal training sessions so I'm less intimidated by the machines and don't hurt myself (I have a history of working out too hard in my college days, leading to a 3-finger sized tear in an abdominal muscle that led to 6 weeks of complete bedrest).

I've also had crazy insomnia since I stopped the medication.  It's only the 3rd day, but I've had 45 minutes of sleep in the past 24 hours.  I feel so odd and awake and giddy.  It's really bizarre.  I finally fell asleep but my daughter woke up crying from her nap, and after I moved her to her room (she was so tired she fell asleep on a chair in front of the TV), and realized I felt totally awake again and will not be able to fall asleep anytime soon.

I hope I can get back into the swing of things soon.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Help a Kitty in Need

I haven't gotten as many posts up as I wanted to so far this year, but I thought this was important.

A girl I know is fostering a diabetic kitty named Ghost, and she needs help with the funds to get him to the vet and get him insulin.

Please consider donating even just a few dollars to help him.

Her post about him can be found here.

Thank you all in advance!   I am a sucker for cats and can't donate myself because I'm saving money to get my pregnant cat spayed (and it is really expensive where I live, even the low-cost option).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- Happy Kids and a Crazy Cat on Christmas

Our tree
Princess' Computer
T and his Bat Cave (don't mind his pants-he hates staying dressed)
Goober just ran around in circles all day
Baby Cat (aka Little Fart) trying to attack a Fur Real Friends cat