Mom vs. Rice Krispie Treats

I reminded myself today why I never make Rice Krispie Treats.

It actually requires two people... "but I'm a loner... a rebel." (name that movie) So I work alone. And to challenge myself even more, I thought it would be a smart idea to make 3 batches at once. (aka Suicide) Turns out, me making Rice Krispie Treats more accurately resembled a wrestling match... Tune in for the play-by-play!

Round 1
At first, it wasn't so bad. The melting of the butter and marshmallows was a piece of cake. And luckily the little man inside my head tucked a helpful little tid-bit way back in those imaginary file cabinets in my brain and highlighted the key word "RICE KRISPIE TREATS", so I was able to remember the importance of melting the marshmallows and butter a little longer then one would think.... so it's a nice drippy consistency. This proved to work well for the beginning mixing... but when you're dealing with 18 cups of rice krispies, it didn't seem to matter.

Rice Krispie Treats: 0
Mom: 1

Round 2:
This is where the extra set of hands would've helped... (one person to hold the bowl so that the other person can stir with both hands.) I may have single handedly held the bowl in a half-nelson under my arm, but it had a huge advantage with it's circular shape and slippery texture. The spoon was also winning over the crowd with it's slender physique and sticky uniform.

Rice Krispie Treats - 2
Mom- 1

Round 3:
The mess continued to spread across my kitchen counter and onto the floor. All I could hear was the "snap-crackle-pop" of my toddling son stepping on Krispies. It almost sounded like applause. I tipped the bowl upside down and proceeded to pile-drive it to it's demise, but the Krispies held firm inside the bowl and refused to come out! The bowl was too heavy to hold in one hand, so I ended up just grabbing handfuls of Krispies and plopping it haphazardly onto the pan. They clung to my fingers, despite my secret weapon, Pam cooking spray... and the Krispies had now secured a threatening lead.

Rice Krispie Treats - 4
Mom- 1

And somehow in all of this, I ended up getting a ring of marshmallow krispie around my arms, where I unfortunately have a descent amount of arm hair. This reminded of reason #7 why I will NEVER get a bikini wax.

Rice Krispie Treats - 5
Mom - 1

Round 4:
I was a fighter and managed, against all odds, to make a huge come-back. But not without casualties...by the time I was done, the kitchen was a disaster zone... I had dirtied bowls, pans and spoons so badly that they required some serious soaking before attempting to put in the dishwasher... I had worked up a sweat... and I came close to swearing 6 different times.

Rice Krispie Treats - 5
Mom - 5

In my opinion, there was no victory in this fight. I may have had 48 yummy treats to show for my efforts... but the battle crushed my spirit and depleted my energy. The chances that I will return and fight the Rice Krispie Beast are slim to none... I just don't have what it takes.

back to school = end of the world.

At least that's the impression I got from the Target manager when I informed her that the Back To School Supplies were dangerously low. "We won't be getting another shipment in until... well, honestly, I don't think we'll ever get another shipment in." Really? So I guess no one in the entire west end will never need index cards or notebook paper ever again? Come on, lady.

I mean, seriously... this happens every year...and every year, I have to go to 5 different stores to get the basic, ordinary, run-of-the-mill supplies. Although they do have a plethora of markers and liquid glue, in case you want to stock up.

I really feel for those parents who wait until the last minute to do school shopping. I mean, I'm not ahead of the game by any means... but it's still 2 weeks until school starts! It reminds me when there's rumors of a snowstorm here... all of a sudden there's a shortage of milk, bread and water. I guess the term "back to school shopping" has that affect on people--HURRY HURRY... get as many crayons and glue sticks as you can! It's a back to school EMERGENCY!!!

Honestly, the whole "back to school" thing creates conflicting emotions.
Bad feeling #1
- It brings back painful memories and anxiety of starting another school year... and I feel sick about putting my kids through the same thing. (but deep down, I know it's good for 'em so I just paste a smile on my face, pat them on the back and send them off anyway!)
and Bad feeling # 2 - The mere thought of my kids being unprepared for school does invoke strong emotions. Sadly, I have even considered bribing (aka tackling) another mom for the last Kindergarten Rest Mat in the store.

Good feeling #1 - It's excuse to get more organized and start fresh.
Good feeling #2 - The boys are excited to see old friends/meet new ones...
Good feeling #3 - To continue down the road of learning and growing and developing... it's all very exciting too!

So here we go... the beginning - and the end- of life as we know it! HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL!

I'm not sleeping... I'm just resting my eyes!

Yesterday, I had to set up and help run a primary activity... and for those of you who know what that involves, know that it's exhausting! Especially when it's hot outside, and you're running all over place trying to stay ahead of all the kids. For your own sake, I'll spare you all the details... but bottom line is, it left me bedraggled.

Then while Brooks was sleeping, I started getting things ready for Sunday. By the time he woke up, I was a little weak in the knees with heavy eyes. And for those of us not lucky enough to have a nanny or full-time babysitter or teenage kids, I had to make due. So I shut the door to the playroom, dumped out a variety of toys, and laid down right next to my little toddler. By doing this, he actually thinks I'm playing with him... so sad, I know... but someday I'll make it up to him.

The only problem with laying on my side, is my arms start to get kinked and they fall asleep. So I rolled to my back. This was no good, because he immediately straddled my stomach and pounced. So I rolled to my stomach and laid my head in my arms. This was much better for a minute or two. But once again my arms started to fall asleep, but worse, Brooks realized that I was trying to fall asleep, so he grabbed the back of my hair to pull me out of my slumber.

So I just turned my face into the carpet. Surprisingly, Brooks went back to his playing, and I got up close and personal with my un-vacuumed carpet. FYI: there's no better motivator to improve your housekeeping then a few goldfish crumbs in your forehead. Then I tucked my arms up under my legs to keep off the draft, and secure them in place. I don't want to glorify this position too much because tucking yourself into bed is soooooooo much better. But drastic times call for drastic measures. After a few minutes of silence, Brooks was completely comfortable with my position...and he even started driving cars on my back... BONUS! I had to pinch myself to help me realize my good fortune. Closing my eyes and a back rub all at the same time... close to heaven in my opinion!

It's funny how the 9-years-younger-version-of-me would've thought this scenario to be absolutely insane. But now, it seemed perfectly logical for me to be laying face down on my playroom floor. Signs of the times, I guess... signs of the times!

I haven't done much today...

I'm not sick... really. Just a little dizzy and achy. I'm afraid the worst might be yet to come. But in an effort to nip this in the bud, I decided that I would have to take it easy for today. This is what I did:

1) did 2 loads of laundry
2) cleaned the kitchen
3) went visiting teaching
4) I was already out, so I stopped by Walmart for a few school supplies
5) fixed lunch for 3 hungry boys
6) currently surfing the net for something easy to make for dinner
7) still need to gather "stuff" for the primary activity tomorrow
8) and to top things off, I'm considering taking the chillins to the pool for a night-time swim after dinner.

It's funny how my idea of "taking it easy" has changed since having kids. (sigh)

I think I had a heart attack!

The other day, Mike and Josh went to the baseball field to practice. I was chatting on the phone. Brooks was down for his nap. Caleb was upstairs playing LEGOs. I glanced out the window and saw an empty COP CAR parked right outside my house. I found myself sneaking and peeking around trying to locate the cop, and my heart jumped when I saw him walking up my driveway. I immediately ended my phone call. It became very obvious that I've watched too many forensic/crime tv shows, when my first thought was to hide or run out the back door... but I did the opposite and opened the door before he even rang the doorbell.

Policeman: Ma'am... (why do they always have to call you Ma'am? it sounds so old)... Do you own a black cadillac?
Me: Yes, it's my husband's car.
Policeman: Do you know where your husband is?
Me: Do YOU know where my husband is?
Policeman: Well, we found his car...

(Tears were welling up at this point. I had seen this moment on TV... and always found myself wondering what I would do if that ever happened to me. Is that crazy? I always wondered if I would cry in front of a stranger, or scream like they do on the movies? So, when I could hear my voice shaking and the tears were on the verge, I knew at that second that I was definitely capable of making a scene.)

Policeman:... Apparently it's been abandoned over at T------ Little League for 2 weeks now.

(Okay, now I KNOW this was a misunderstanding, since I know for a fact that it has NOT been parked over there... because he comes home every night.)

Me: (regaining my composure) My husband and son go there to practice quite a bit for a couple hours... around this same time... and I'm guessing he parks in the same spot closest to the field. I'm sure that everything's fine because I just saw him an hour ago. So I'm sure that it only APPEARS to be abandoned.

Policeman: Well, maybe just tell him to park more randomly so it doesn't alarm the Little League staff.

After I drove over to the field to get visual confirmation of my husband and first-born child, I'm grateful for this experience for one very important reason... I finally have an actual confirmation that Mike and Josh spend WAAAAAYYYY too much time thinking/practicing/playing baseball!... I rest my case!

War Zone

I'm not speaking metaphorically today. It was a literal WAR ZONE in my house today! I've got the nerf wounds to prove it! I mistakenly walked in the cross-fire of a nerf dart battle and was pelted at least 7 times.

Even little Brooks got in on it. Although he couldn't cock his own gun, he was a vital part since he was the Artillery Commander. All I heard was, "More ammo!" being yelled through the halls, followed by the pitter-patter of little bare feet as he scrambled to pick up all the darts and deliver them to his com rads.

But if it's not nerf guns and darts, it's Gi-Joe's and Army guys... and when I don't hear the whistling of darts, it's usually the crash of blocks and legos as miniature forts and hide-outs are destroyed in combat.

It's times like these that I'm reminded of a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson that I learned in 6th grade.

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I hate two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills.

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

I never could relate to this poem before. But after 3 boys, I'm happy to report that this is my life... and where there are "war zones", there are three happy boys... and I love that... every second of it!

how can I blame him?

This is Mike in Alaska befriending a dragon fly. The kids and him named him "Steve".

Yesterday I was making something that called for jalapenos. I've had a jar of them for a while and use them every now and then... now I'm wondering if jalapenos go bad... hmmmm. Anyway, I went through the fridge and they weren't there.

Rewind a few weeks. Mike was so sad and lonely while I was in Alaska (I tell myself this) and so anxious to have me come home from my month long stay, that he cleaned the whole house from top to bottom. This was including, but not limited to, cleaning out the fridge. This needed to be done. And it was so nice to come home to a sparkling clean fridge where everything was in it's place. There was not a single tupperware container with some questionable, unknown substance... no moldy broccoli (you know that stuff is deadly) ... and no soggy, liquified cucumbers!

But since I've been back, I've noticed a couple things that are missing... of course, the jalapenos... and also my seasoned rice vinegar. To a normal, every-day male, these items might appear to be useless. I'm sure he thought that I never used them. But these kinds of condiments are things that you don't really notice being there, but you miss them when they're gone.

So I'm torn... do I bring it up and tell him never to throw things out unless he gets permission and risk that he will never do such a, dare I say, romantic act of service again? Or, should I just accept that my jalapenos and rice vinegar were simply collateral damage in the operation of "Husband-pleases-wife", and bite the bullet and just buy another bottle of rice vinegar?

I think I'll hold my tongue.

nesting bug...

This is NOT my way of announcing that I'm pregnant... in case anyone is wondering... HOWEVER, I think I've got a silly little "virus" that is often called "The Nesting Bug". Normally this "virus" is contracted during the last trimester of pregnancy in order for the mother to have the necessary energy to accomplish any and everything she desires before the baby arrives.

Although I'm not sure if it is scientifically proven, I have experienced it three previous times with the anticipation of each new baby. My most noteworthy feat was carrying a twin mattress and boxspring up a flight of stairs and put it together all on my own (8 months pregnant) before my husband got home.

This was NOT an easy task! I was off-balance and out of breath. By the end of it, I was covered in sweat with a sore back! But honestly, it was much easier then convincing a tired husband to catch my vision that it needed to be done RIGHT NOW!

So, for the past couple weeks, I've been evaluating the efficiency of my home and changing things that aren't running smoothly and decorating/organizing the things that need sprucing up. I'm doing all this, not because I'm expecting a new arrival... just because I'm determined to make things nice and cozy for my "rooster" and ever-growing "chicks"!

WARNING: The-Nesting-Bug-Virus is highly contagious and could be contracted the following ways: catching sight of well-organized pantry, flipping through an issue of Real Simple, reading the scripture about "a house of order, a house of God", experiencing the after-math of a recent camping trip, vacation, dinner party OR reading this blog post.

TREATMENT OPTIONS: a good, old-fashioned SPRING CLEANING SPREE! Symptoms will subside when everything in your house has a "home".

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