And So It Begins…

At Bean’s 4-month check-up, the doc said it’s about that time. Time to start the littlest Heathen on rice cereal.

She was a little confused at first…

And it took her a minute to warm up to the idea…

But soon enough, she got the hang of it.

Yep, this cereal thing is seems pretty good.

But not as good as HANDS!

Better Late Than Never

Soooo, I finally finished my husband’s very belated anniversary gift. As much as I wanted to knit my first pair of socks with his yarn of choice, the mohair blend was not conducive to the strenuous trial and error of this endeavor. Luckily, I found yarn that was much easier to work with, and though progress was slow, I emerged victorious.

A month of knitting a dang pair of socks? That’s a labor of love, right there.

Shots, First Fevers, and the Incredible Hulk

This is Bean’s Mohawk of Baby Hair. This has nothing to do with anything, other than it makes me happy.

Today is not our day.

Yesterday, Bean had her 4-month check-up, which included four vaccines. She already had these vaccines at her 2-month check-up and tolerated them just fine, so I figured we were in for smooth sailing.

Oh yes, I am a sad, deluded, wreck of a woman.

Right about the time we made it home from the doctor, she morphed into the Incredible Hulk. And you won’t like it when she’s angry. My poor baby was inconsolable, and we had a marathon evening of crying, fussing, screaming, and the most pathetic pouty lip you’ve ever seen. When she finally collapsed from sheer exhaustion, I figured the worst was over.

Oh yes, I AM a sad, deluded, wreck of a woman.

Bean woke up today with a her very first fever, and despite the fact that I’m no parenting newbie, I still had that sick feeling of instant panic and the knee-jerk reaction of “I don’t know what to do!” I swear that every time one of my kids falls ill, I have this same momentary crisis. Of course, thirty seconds later, I recovered my brain from the pit of my stomach, gave her a dose of Tylenol, and cuddled her into submission. She’s still the Incredible Hulk, but it’s Friday, so I guess that’s something right?

Did I mention that my husband is conveniently out of town during this journey through crazyville?

Coincidence? I think not.

Diet, Schmiet

On a good day, I really have the best intentions when feeding my picky-eating brood. I’ve slowly introduced foods that are a little fresher and healthier, and though my guys fought me kicking and screaming, they have resigned themselves to the fact that we will eat more than meat, French fries, and pancakes.

Every once in a while, however, I still treat them to their favorite stick-to-your-ribs dishes. These items may be less than healthy, but since we only have them in moderation, I don’t feel too bad about serving them. After a few sleepless nights (a la Bean), it’s nice to cook up a little something that doesn’t garner me the “ahhhhh…Moommmmm” groan at dinnertime.

For example, these creamy, cheesy potatoes are caloric suicide, but they are also pretty dang tasty. In fact, I actually called them “I Don’t Give a Crap Potatoes” last week, because I was too tired to care that they weren’t necessarily the pinnacle of nutritious menu choices. I just wanted a happy family dinner, and a nap. And maybe some chocolate.

All things in moderation, right?

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag (1lb, 10oz) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 1 small can French fried onions

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 casserole with non-stick spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine sour cream, soups and cheese. Add potatoes, stirring gently to combine. Spread potato mixture into prepared casserole.

3. Bake potatoes uncovered for 45 minutes. Top potatoes with French fried onions, and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Make some (in moderation) for your peeps, and you’ll buy yourself some well deserved peace at the dinner table.

What Does This Picture Say About Today?

This photo is a microcosm of my life right now. Why?

  • It’s out of focus…because as busy as my kids are keeping me, I’m lucky to brush my teeth, let alone operate my camera with any degree of lucidity.
  • See those power cords? Power cords breed around here, just like dirty laundry, Legos, brownie crumbs, spit-up covered garments and …did I mention dirty laundry? At this point, I’m tempted to beg my mother to fly 2000 miles, just to come home and do my laundry. If you think I have OCD, you haven’t seen my mother in the same room as a hamper of dirty laundry. She’d give the Energizer Bunny a run for its’ money.
  • This is a picture of Bean…aka Tyrant. She runs this house like it’s her personal armada. She says jump, you’d better jump, jack. This is the rare shot of her at rest. Do you want to know what life is really like with this little booger? Watch the last ten minutes of The Incredibles. Bean=Jack-Jack….like for real, ya’ll. Be afraid…be very afraid.
  • I’m sure I had another point to make, but Tyrant’s inability to establish rational, predictable sleep patterns means that I am two doors down from the loony bin.
  • Send margaritas…stat.

A Tale of Laundry, Cocoa Puffs and Thinly Disguised Urban Warfare

How much laundry can a one family go through in a single weekend? Excellent question. So glad you asked:

By midday Monday, this was what I had already washed and folded.

 

This was what I still had left to do. And yes, I had actually been caught up on laundry that Friday. I maintain that our dirty laundry breeds when no one is watching. Or, my guys change clothes three times a day just to punk me. Either way, I’m about to teach the Heathens to fold their own dang clothes, because this is just frapping excessive.

In unrelated news, I’ve been in school-supply-shopping-hell for two days now, and rescue is nowhere in sight. I feel like we’re competing in a cross between a scavenger hunt and Survivor. We went to three stores yesterday, and only completed about 90% of the list…for just ONE of the Heathens. Navigating the overly crowded aisles, which were clogged with equally snarly parents, was like a reality show gone wrong. Even the most genial southern gal loses her patience when she has to wait 10 minutes just to approach the crayon display. Some parents may find it acceptable to block the aisles, while their kids undergo an intensely existential debate about the best color for their safety scissor handles. Me? Not so much. My school supply shopping strategy is reminiscent of Supermarket Sweep.

I nearly had my first meltdown when I realized that one teacher wanted $20 worth of pens…JUST pens. That does not include the pencils or the red ink pens…nope, this is $20 worth of black erasable pens for my 5th grade child. If my budget wasn’t hurting before, it’s certainly on life support now.

Today, we continue on our epic quest to find notebooks in the following colors, as required by the ridiculously specific school supply list: red, blue, green, yellow, purple, navy, orange and (wait for it) lime.

“Lime?!?”

Ha…ha…Mwhahaha!

Riiiiiiggghhhtt…

Needless to say, I’m dangling a cocktail in front of me like a carrot, as a reward for making it through school supply shopping without pulling a Linda-Blair-in-the-Exorcist routine.

The only bright spot in my week has been Bear discovering the awesome power of breakfast cereal:

I know what you’re thinking. What kind of mother is proud of her kid for eating overly-marketed sugary puffs with little to no nutritional value? The fact that I am excited about this should give you a clue as to just how DANG PICKY my picky eaters really are.

Clearly, we are descending into madness.

I blame the lime notebook.

It’s Not Child Labor If He Volunteers, Right?

Ya know, this whole baby thing is much easier when you have big brothers around to help out.

G-Man loves holding his sister, and thanks to him, I’ve been able to not burn dinners, shower with gratifying frequency, and occasionally eat lunch with both of my hands.

Just don’t clue him in that some people get paid for this kind of thing. I’ve got a good thing going here…