Monday, December 29, 2008

Coffee for My Children

In 16 years since I left the college dorm I have never owned a coffee maker. The main reason - I don't drink coffee. The Mister drinks it but has never expressed a need to have it on a daily basis. As for me, I get my caffeine from Diet Coke. That is all I need to start the day. One ice cold from the fridge Diet Coke poured over ice. Yippee! I'm feeling euphoric just thinking about it. (By the way, what is the point of caffeine free diet coke? Without the sugar andcaffeine its just brown fizzy soda water.)

So, back to the coffee maker. This year I racked my brain for days trying to figure out what to give to the Mister for Christmas. Two months ago he said all he wanted for Christmas was some nice cologne because he was out, and luckily I found an extra unopened bottle which had been stored in the bathroom cabinet. Instead of keeping it for Christmas (and because he said he was out) I restocked his supply immediately. (Good wife award for me) But then I had to figure out what to give him for Christmas. Nothing seemed to be just right and I was dreading Christmas morning, imagining him opening his gift. I tried to visualize it and then I tried not to visualize it. WHAT SHOULD I GET HIM FOR CHRISTMAS??????

Then it came to me - COFFEE! If I bought him a coffee maker would he use it? Should I get a big one or a little one? Would he think I was a complete idiot for picking that for a gift? At this point my nerves were frazzled and I couldn't stand the thought of going into one more store, so I went with a small, simple four cup Mr Coffee. That was my first mistake, but not for the reason you would think. At home, overwhelmed with feelings of dread and regret, I kept it hidden the the car trunk and waited until 2:00am on Christmas Eve to wrap the box, and placed it under the tree.

Finally, the time came to open presents and I thought I might feel better if I just hid the gift and told him there wasn't one this year. I really felt that bad about the coffee maker. But it was too late now because he was already opening it. So far, so good. He was polite and appreciative but I kept wondering if he was just being polite so my feelings wouldn't be hurt. I really over think these things. Then he opened it as I pulled out some Starbucks Morning Blend and coffee filters and he began to make the coffee. A few days later he bought some pumpkin spice creamer. OK, this gift wasn't so bad after all.

Last night I decided to make coffee for the kids. I once heard that it has an opposite effect on children with ADHD. This was my chance to experiment. After briefly polling the kids to see who wanted to try coffee, I made a full pot - four whole cups. They LOVED it. Spencer actually prefers his coffee black with just a little bit of sugar. Natalie likes hers over ice and the others like it with creamer and sugar. I just like the smell because it reminds me of waking up to the smell of coffee when I was growing up. Tonight I made two pots of coffee and they wanted more but I cut them off until tomorrow morning. The result of my first experiment: The boys sat down and quietly watched a movie and then went to bed without giving me trouble. The girls stayed up late reorganizing their room.

So this coffee idea, which I dreaded and regretted, turned out to be not so bad after all. If the Mister never makes another cup of coffee at home again (not likely because he really does like it) I will be satisfied knowing that my children love it and will want it again and again. My only regret is that I didn't get a larger eight cup coffee maker. That was the first mistake I mentioned earlier. On the other hand, I think I started and encouraged a very bad habit. After all, they are drinking Starbucks and it is not cheap. And that would be the second mistake.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The NIGHTMARE Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the house
not a creature was stirring
although there might have been a mouse

The children were snuggled warm and tight in their beds
in fact, they had been threatened
if they didn't do what I said.

Then it came down the chimney
and down the hall it flew
It was the Great Vomiting Monster
and it knew just what to do

It threw up in the toilet
and down on the floor
then back down the hallway
and on the carpet by the door

Then later that day it threw up in the van
and I said "Hang on honey, I'm driving as fast as I can."

And just when I thought the monster was out of site
it flew back down the chimney again last night
and back down the hallway all over the floor
and again by the carpet next to the door

As I heard my son wrestling with the unwelcome guest
I said "Just cover it with a towel
because I really need my rest"

Now the monster is gone
and we can all get some sleep
and tomorrow we will deal with the vomit - knee deep!

Friday, December 19, 2008

If I had my way - 7 things

  1. There would be a TV channel dedicated to only good news. Wouldn't that be a great pick-me-up at the end of the day? I would be so excited to get home to turn on the news to find out what great things had taken place throughout the day. And on the days that I couldn't make it home, I could just DVR it.
  2. Every parent would get a dollar for dollar rebate check for all of the money spent on mandatory school uniforms, extra costs for field trips and the monthly and sometimes weekly requests for money to cover class parties and extra supplies that weren't requested on the original school supply list. While I'm thinking of it lets just throw in money to cover all of the school supplies. I could take a short vacation to the beach on that rebate check.
  3. There would be a comedy channel that appealed to adults but was so family friendly that even your 3 year old could watch it.
  4. There would be a remote control that works on Children. The largest buttons would be mute and pause.
  5. Liver and Brussel Sprouts would taste like chocolate. My children would beg for them and turn there noses up at hot dogs. I don't like liver or Brussel sprouts either. The best way to eat them is as a side dish with ketchup.
  6. One slice of Bologna would be packed with 100% of the vitamins you need every day. I don't care much for Bologna but my children love it.
  7. Children would never grow out of shoes. Instead, the shoes would expand as their feet grew.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Man Cold
Ode to the Man Cold - This is a link to a video called "The Man Cold"

Yes, the Mister has a cold. He came home from work early today because he was too sick to work. I tried to shovel enough over the counter drugs into him to at least mask the symptoms so he might think he was feeling better, but he refused anything more than a simple decongestant. Right now, I'm having visions of trying to feed a pill to a cat. That is kind of what its like. There is just no way to trick this man into taking enough medicine to actually treat his symptoms so I'm thinking of running away from home. At least that will treat my symptoms until this storm blows over.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I See You

Friday, December 5, 2008

How to Make a Really Good Bowl of Chili

Its winter time in Texas and this morning it was 32 degrees on the way to school. So, when I came home I decided that it was chili time. This is my favorite thing to eat in the winter. Before I had children - it feels like a million years ago - I would ONLY eat chili made from scratch. This process would start by cooking the beans, adding the spices and other ingredients and simmering to perfection, which took about 24 hours - only because the beans had to be soaked overnight to soften them for cooking. After that it only took a few hours to arrive at complete chili perfection.

These days there is no time (well there would be if I would reassess my priorities) to make chili from scratch. WARNING: I JUST REALIZED THAT THIS RECIPE IS ASTRONOMICALLY HIGH IN SODIUM.

The current recommendation is to consume less than 2,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. This is about 1 teaspoon of table salt per day. It includes ALL salt and sodium consumed, including sodium used in cooking and at the table.

This recipe contains approximately 3,742 mg of sodium. Yikes! I'm going to have to change my diet.

Start by heating One bowl of Hormel Chili with Beans (1,200mg salt per serving) One can=2 servings ( I usually eat the entire can)
Add two slices of processed cheese (total sodium = 500mg) and melt in the microwave. This picture only shows half of a slice arranged in a smiley face for effect.)Add about 8 crackers - crumbled (total sodium = 272 mg)
Mix it up. The Chili mix will be thick.
Add three teaspoons of ketchup - actually just squeeze it on there until it looks like enough to make you happy. (I've been told that the only thing I like more than chocolate and diet coke is KETCHUP - Total sodium 570mg if you only use 3 tsp but mine is slightly more)
Mix it all up real good, and if you make it like I do you should be able to hold the spoon upside down for about two seconds before the chili begins to fall off - Yeah, I like a little bit of chili with my crackers and ketchup.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Highlights from Wednesday and Thursday

WEDNESDAY - We finally got the Christmas Tree Decorated. Maybe by next week we will have the stockings hung by the chimney with care :-)

'Just happened to be waiting for the bank to open when I discovered that KLTY was next door at Chic-Fil-A for their morning show. This is me and Frank Reed.

Audrey FINALLY got her cast off today... YEAH!!!!! (I think I'm going to wrap her in bubble wrap from head to toe.)
ON THE WAY HOME FROM SCHOOL......Dalton and Jeremey were in the back seat with my camera... taking pictures of body parts. THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS. Its an EXTREME close up of Spencer's feet. :-) Really, IT IS!

I don't know why they were taking photos of feet, so WHATEVER! I'm wondering if this is an early warning sign that they will eventually need some serious therapy.I love to see Dalton Smile.
Everyone in the house just loves Max the cat. Audrey is really cute too!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

This is what we did last night. Christmas Decorating - Part 1 of ? I was in the middle of folding laundry when the Mister decided that he wanted to start assembling the Christmas tree.

This is how far we got because it takes a long time to assemble all of the branches. We are no longer purchasing live Christmas trees. I love the look and smell but I hate the mess of pine needles, and I can usually still find them in the house in June. Besides that, why kill a perfectly good, oxygen producing tree just because it will look good in my living room for about three weeks?

I tried to hang my wreath on the front door (still there this morning) with some cute ribbon which I purchased in the after Christmas clearance sale at WalMart last year for 50 cents. It didn't look as cute as I had imagined it would. I also realized, after about 20 minutes of effort, that the wreath was upside down. (To Do List: re-hang wreath on front door - right side up this time.)
Spencer's Christmas wish list.