Thinking Spring…And Suckering My Husband.

You may remember that I got my husband this coffee maker for Christmas:

While I am still in love with it, the coffee maker also requires these little plastic cups:

That’s the part I’m not so in love with. I am by no means the princess of environmentalism, but I am a little uncomfortable with that kind of waste…even if those boogers produce the tastiest coffee I’ve had outside of a Starbucks. So, I’ve been enjoying my tasty, tasty coffee with the nagging guilt that these plastic cups are a problem.

In the meantime, I’ve had just enough time to develop amnesia about the reality of 105 degree summer days, and have yet again convinced both myself and my husband (not really), that this year, I really will overcome my green thumb of death. I look at seed catalogues, and plot about how I (i.e. my husband) can turn our yard into a Southern Living photo op.

Rather than try and talk me out of it (again), my husband looked at our pile of plastic coffee cups, and realized that they would be just about the perfect size in which to start our seeds.

See? My madness is contagious. Either that, or I have whined him into submission. Whatever the cause, he has big plans for our plastic cups, and I’ll post some pictures soon.

I now have perfectly good excuse to drink more coffee than I should…just promise to peel me off the ceiling later.

My Little Sour-Puss

Lately, my littlest heathen is less than enthusiastic about school. He seems to be going through a phase where he is truly baffled as to why he has to do something that he does not particularly want to do. I feel that way about laundry sometimes…and toilet cleaning…

In an effort to promote the power of positive thinking this morning, I asked him to tell me two things about school that he does like. Surely, I can use this as a spring-board to talk about recess, his friends and his cool teacher…right?

You know what Monkey says?

“I like lunch, and the part where I get to come home and have a snack.”

Well, dang. What am I supposed to say to that?

Too Fun.

Saturday was a hoot and a half.

But first, the back-story (and forgive the low-quality iPhone pictures). Every year, my kids’ school holds an annual auction/dinner/dance as a fundraiser. Up until now, this has been fairly unexciting, as the school gym is not exactly the type of place where you want to go party down and spend some money. After all, we all spend enough time at the school anyway. This year, a group of moms started to think outside of the box. Instead of the school gym-banquet gig, we decided to host a similar event at someone’s (very nice) house, with a more relaxed, cocktail party type of atmosphere.

The theme for the evening is “Taste of Italia,” and since our principal just happens to be Italian, we convinced her that her secret family recipe for Italian cookies would be a way better dessert than some generic caterer’s cheesecake. She agreed, but when we realized we would need a boatload of cookies for 200 people, my friend A decided that we would all make them together. This way, all the moms could bond, get familiar with A’s house (because the event will be there), and we would all learn about our principal’s coveted family tradition.

We had mothers, grandmothers and even some daughters show up, and we tackled those cookies in no time at all.

Our cookie-making get-together started as a practical way to accomplish a task, save some money and prepare for a huge event. What it turned into was a day of fun, stories, debates on proper fig cookie recipes and caloric suicide. I ate more cookies than one girl should eat, and my scale told me this in startling detail this morning.

Now, if the event is half as successful as the preparation, then we will hopefully make progress in raising money for an elevator. Why is this so important? A girl in my youngest’s class was paralyzed last year in a one in a million complication from a rare virus she contracted.

Though she will never walk again, H is still an active, healthy, stellar student. Without an elevator, however, she will have to leave school next year, as all the upper grades and enrichment classes are upstairs. If you want more information on H’s Elevator Fund, leave a comment. We can use all the help we can get in keeping this little girl with her school friends and family.

The Heathens’ Favorite Cookies…Or An Excuse to Play Off Laziness as Mental Illness

My picky eaters are picky about everything, including their cookies…the freaks. But, even as they beg me for Happy Meals instead of nice, home-cooked dinners, they still think I am Super-Mom when I make their favorite cookies. These cookies are unusual, because they have an almost cake-like texture. When I’m asked to bring a snack to school, this is what the boys clamor for.

 I like them, because they only require one bowl, and practically no work or measuring.

Yes, I am so lazy, sometimes even the thought of washing the extra measuring cup is enough to send me screaming from the kitchen.

We’ll call that Working Moms’ Schizophrenia.

Chocolate Cake Cookies

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the real stuff, don’t even buy the imitation stuff…you’re better than that)
  • 1 (18-ounce) box devil’s food cake mix
  • Powdered sugar

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until well-combined. Beat in the cake mix.

3) Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in powdered sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. The cookies will remain soft, and have a cake/brownie type of texture. Cool completely on wire racks.

Just avoid those guys with the butterfly nets.

My Secret Stash…Or When Weirdness Meets Excess

 


I have a confession to make. I am soooo addicted to Moleskine notebooks. In fact, at this moment, I have one in my desk at work, one in my purse and a couple floating around my house. I fill these notebooks with all kinds of random notes, song lyrics and whatever other drivel is floating around in my head that I need to vacate from the premises. For example, when the flight on my last business trip got delayed for the third time, I spend the next ten minutes filling up a page in my notebook with all the reasons I hate airports. It was a veritible disseration on the relationship between ancient evils and airport chairs.

Clearly, I must have some place to offload my occasional insanity. Do I need at least four of these notebooks? I have no idea, but I sure get twitchy if I don’t have one around.

When I was still trying to get less fat, I kept track of my weight and diet in my Moleskine. I still keep that one close, because I only need to look back through it to remind myself why eating half a box of Southern Maid doughnuts is a bad idea. These notebooks travel well and can take a beating. The inside of my purse is a tornado mixed with a black hole, and my notebook doesn’t flinch from the horror.

Well, those guys over at Moleskine must really like giving me an excuse to spend money. Last week, I spotted a whole new line of notebooks at my bookstore that are dedicated to a specific passion:



Ooooohhh, boy. I snatched up the recipe journal, but they also had notebooks for fitness, books, movies and most importantly…WINE. This begs the question…did I really need another notebook? Couldn’t I just jot down J and I’s cocktail sauce experiment in one of my four other Moleskine notebooks?

Nope, because that would just be too rational.

Bet you want one too…or at least pretend you do, so I don’t feel like so much of a weirdo.

**As always, all reviews on this site are unbiased, unpaid, unsolicited and completely out of the blue. Moleskine doesn’t know me from Adam.**


I Want My Own Housewife.

I was off work today.

In theory, I had laundry to do, floors to clean, closets to organize and a plethora of other things to accomplish.

Unfortunately for my to-do list, work has been extra-busy lately, and keeps me fairly close to the loony bin. Therefore, when I do have a day off like today, I am hard-pressed to do anything other than be a bum. Though I did clean the kitchen, buy the groceries and make the bed, I also devoted an inordinate amount of time to drinking coffee and watching TV shows I am too embarrassed to admit I watch.

I need my very own housewife, because the hardest thing about being a working mom is that I still have all the things to do that I did when I was a housewife. Now, I just have to do them when I am not doing my full-time, high-stress job. Even grocery shopping is a production these days, just ask the heathens. They want to know why I can’t do it at night, so they don’t have to spend part of their day off doing something so lame.

Ha…Ha…mwhahaha!

If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got two kids who are about to learn a valuable lesson.

 

Not That I Am Complaining…

I’m not one to complain about the cold weather.

After trudging through a summer that was hotter than Hades, I am infinitely happy with not sweating my makeup off before 9:00 AM.

However, my 100 year-old, historic home has hardwood and stone floors.

These floors do not feel very good at 6:00 AM after a night of 20 degree temperatures.

I’m just saying…

Sometimes, I Think Combat Pay is in Order

Living in the land of boys, I’ve learned that I should never leave my house without being well-equipped. Whether I stock my purse, my car or my pockets, I have a list of things that stand between me and insanity. Woe to the Mama who forgets the following:

  • Hand sanitizer. Lots and lots of hand sanitizer. Boys can be gross enough, but out in public, they will find the grossest, germ-filled things to touch and explore. And then they will promptly put their hands in their mouths or noses.
  • Ear phones. These do double duty; either I force the heathens to wear them while they play their annoying handheld video games, or I wear them with my iPhone to drown out the noise . Both methods save their Gameboys from being tossed out of the car window at 50 mph.
  • Neosporin and a Band-Aid or two. Boys find ways to hurt themselves even in the most innocuous of environments.
  • A bribe. Whether it is a special snack, Coke money or Pokémon cards, I need something to hold over their little heads in return for good behavior.

I think probably the best tool, however, is a strong sense of humor. Inevitably, they will embarrass me in some form or another with regularity, be it announcing to all of Wal-Mart what kind of cocktails I drink, or repeating a foul word they got from my unfortunate potty-mouth.

Living in the land of boys, I learned to check my modesty at the door a long time ago.

Cold is a Relative Term

It’s gotten a wee bit cold here in Louisiana. We even had a day off from school and work yesterday, all because we got a few snow flurries on Sunday.

Yep, you’d think 32 degrees was an arctic blizzard of epic proportions. Half the roads were closed, because we are never prepared for the possibility of icy roads. Why waste tax dollars on something that never happens anyway? That is…until it does…

Last year, when I was at a conference in New Orleans, the organizers decided to cut the event short because snow started to fall. The guest speakers from Iowa looked at all of us like we were out of our minds.

Trust me, you don’t want a bunch of native Louisianians on the road during a snowfall. Hence the whole day-off thing. Otherwise, calamity would ensue.

While our snow sissy-ness results in these rare but welcome days off, we do pay for it eventually in the form of four months with 100 degree/nearly 100 percent humidity weather.

But for now, I’m going to bask in the fact that I live in a place that shuts down an entire day for five minutes of snow…and stick my cold toes on my husband when he least expects it.

A girl’s got to have her fun somehow…