So, this is what you’ll find lurking in the Kingdom of the Night. This creature notched up our zoo a gazillion points. I’m sure I’m getting the wording all wrong and everything, but it’s not like I can read the info…it’s dark. This here is an albino alligator. Very rare. Very hungry. And secluded from the 50 other alligator in the same exhibit…the swamp. Why we need a suspended wobbly plank bridge to walk over for effect, I dunno. I think the dark and the hissing gators are enough. Don’t you?
The life of the tall is very distinct and there’s a unique familiarity to it that you forget about until moments like these.
The other day, I took the kids to the zoo. Because it’s summer and we’re bonafide season members of the zoo. We met a fun friend of ours, and her two kids as well. One of my all time least favorite places, but probably one of the best exhibits is the Kingdom of the Night. It’s underneath the Desert Dome. I don’t go in the Desert Dome because I lived in the Desert Dome _ it’s called Amarillo, y’all. But the Kingdom of the Night is not on my priority list because A) it’s in the frikkin basement of a building; 2) it’s one way only and one exit only _ helloooooo safety hazard; and C) it’s all animals that go bump and buzz and bite at night _ the nocturnals. Quite frankly, I don’t really care to know what’s in the depths of the ocean, nor what’s creeping around at night.
The kids have become aware of this and think its super paybacks to want to go to the Kingdom of the Night because they know that mommy doesn’t like it, but that they can go anywhere they want at the zoo. Fine. Bring it on.
So, we get down to the basement, and it’s dark, uh, because it’s the Kingdom of the Night and all. And my pal and I are talking about our feelings, I’m sure, while the kids play with the interactive exhibits of what it’s like to be a nocturnal animal. I see a shadow of this tall guy walk by. Then I see him walk by Lucy and in a split second, I see her notice the tall guy’s presence and grab his hand and know exactly what’s going on. Before the guy can be freaked out, I simply announce,
“Uh, Lucy _ that’s not your Dad.” Because we didn’t come here with Ricardo, he’s at work. Duh. Lucy looks up, sees I am correct, and then walks over to me a bit bashfully. Shakes it off before she gets to me and goes back to playing in the dark.
The poor guy was just as confused as Lucy was because he said he had a daughter here at the zoo who didn’t want to go to the Kingdom of the Night. So, she and his wife stayed upstairs waiting for he and his son to go through on their own. So, he figured his daughter changed her mind and found him. This is all awkward and yet, we’re all safe and so it’s funny.
“Well, sorry about that. My husband is tall like you. What are you about 6’10″?”
WOW. That’s a whole other level of tall. But to a 7 year_old, I suppose it’s all the same.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the day: Pump It Up by Elvis Costello
I’m sure you’re all dying to know how my triathlon went last week. And probably thinking, “That’s odd, she usually stuffs her tri reports right in with all her greatness and superhuman capes and stuff. Wonder why she hasn’t written about it yet?” Well, uh, because I didn’t do it. But you know I’ve got a story behind it. So, here we go.
First I have to explain that JulzHOLLA! up and left me and went out of town for menial priorities like “visiting family” and “awesome romantic 10 year anniversary trip with Sven to NYC” but whatever. So, I signed up for this triathlon to fill the void of her absence. I should have known better.
I rode down to the Cornhusker State Tri Games Triathlon with my pal Kathy. Kathy _ as I stand corrected _ is 2 minutes from being an Elite Triathlete. To give you some estimation on where we are comparatively _ I’m about an hour and a half from being an Elite Triathlete. It’s an honor and a lifetime I’m not willing to strive for. So, Kathy picks me up. Loads my bike. I’m waiting for her little limo hat. Maybe I should tip her. And the whole Driving Miss Leslie crew heads down to Lincoln. Mind you, it’s raining like mad out. The sky is dark, and it’s not from being so early in the morning. It’s been raining so much here lately that that stupid Annie song is all wrong. Nope, sun’s not coming out tomorrow, or the day after that, or really ever as far as I can see.
Had it just been me, I would have woken up, looked at the forecast and gone back to bed. But my driver was picking me up. And silly petty things like the lightning show, the thunder concert, and rain don’t really bother her. She has way more accessories than me. So, I went with it, figuring Kathy would take good care of me. I don’t know exactly what I assume she’s going to do…what, like carry me the whole way? Maybe drive me through in a Pope_mobile? I don’t know, but I’m feeling confident because I’m with Kathy.
We get there, walk our bikes about 1 1/2 miles to the triathlon area and then sign in and get marked. We park our bikes. All of this is in the rain. I choose not to set out all of my transition stuff out in the rain. I figure they’re gonna call this mayhem off, and I’ll be able to grab my bag and be the first one in line for pancakes that they are serving. How’s that for transition?
The race was delayed for a while. So, I stood around and talked about things like the wet roads. And that the bike was three loops around. And when roads are wet, and you’re riding your road race bike, it’s slick. And your brakes don’t work. I’m starting to get an image of Tour De France and the douche bag who crashes and takes out like 15 others. And I’m envisioning the odds of taking out the elites because they will lap me…twice. God. Then I remember I’ll be clipped in _ attached to the bike. And then I remember I haven’t ridden the darned bike since the last triathlon. What puts me over the top is I remember, I’m insured. The bike is not. I wreck this bike, and my mediocre tri
career hobby is over. I resolve that they are probably going to cancel this whole thing. I’ve been checking out the weather on my phone and there’s just no clearing for the entire day. This will be easy. I don’t even have to bail out. It’ll just be canceled.
And then they announce that there’s a clearing. No there’s not. And they are going to try to get the tri started so everyone needs to get ready and get in their waves. What the hell? I’m walking to get my goggles and swim cap, and calculating that I could just do the swim, I suppose. Because I’ve already decided I’m so not doing that bike, for the sake of the other 500 people’s safety. Wait, was that lightning? They keep saying that we need to get started before the lightning and storms start back up _ that there’s this slight window of opportunity. Perhaps I am superhuman with my vision, or maybe just closer to the sky or something. But lo, I see lightning. I walk to my wave group and see everyone with their swim caps on, goggles adjusted. I am paralyzed though. I’m staring at my cap trying to will it on my head, but just can’t do it. I’m the only one who thinks this is a bad idea. I’ve mentally quit the bike, and now I’m quitting the swim. This is crazy. I start walking back to my bag and the announcer guy finally makes sense and tells everyone that they just saw lightning and can’t delay the race any more. So, they are switching to a duathlon. It’s a run_bike_run. The split up run isn’t worth even lacing up for me, and I just don’t do it.
When it’s all said and done, I got some great pictures of Kathy and a few others. Lucy’s Kindergarten teacher crossed the finish line. I congratulated him and he said, “I can’t believe you really didn’t do it.” Great, now I’ve let my kid’s teacher down. Nice. Still, I feel like I made the right call for me. I watched 4 people fall off their bikes just coming out of transition. And Kathy mentioned she saw at least ten crashes on the course. The last of the ten was being treated by medics. I made a good choice. I’m okay with me.
What I should have done was ride my bike more instead of going to spinning class. It’s very different. Lesson learned. I have one or maybe two more sprint triathlons, and then the big olympic distance. Oh God. I better get on it.
So, this wasn’t exactly the most inspirational supermom post about a triathlon. However, the aftermath was a very good kick in my butt to train more, and that I can’t just focus on running, I have to find that balance for all three legs of a triathlon. It’s why I started doing them anyway. I learned all that and also a valuable lesson that $40 is a bit steep for pancakes and standing in the rain taking pictures.
I’ve also learned a valuable lesson that I just shouldn’t do a triathlon without JulzHOLLA there. Clearly, that was the whole “something ain’t right” vibe I was getting. Well, that and the lightning and rain.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the day: Umbrella by Rihanna featuring Jay_Z
This is last year’s Halfway to Christmas celebration. For my birthday last year, Ricardo arranged for me to get mooned. How sweet is that!? I wonder what I’ll get THIS YEAR!?
I didn’t have
a lot of any birthday parties when I was growing up. Except this one time, on my 16th birthday, my pal _ we’ll call her the divine Miss M _she threw me a surprise birthday party. I don’t know how she did it but she had all my favorite peeps, including a BAND we loved at the time. Because we were church youth group roadies and all. They sang Shamma Lamma Ding Dong to me _ a capella. I don’t know why I love that song more: because it’s from one of the greatest movies ever, because Crossrodes sang it to me at my own personal birthday, or because some guy named Otis sang it. Because Otis is just a great name, whether you’re a soul singer or a Pug. Either way, it’s one of the best songs out there. And I don’t know how I should have been our wedding song.
So, now that I’m all grown up. I throw myself a party _ Mom on the Rocks style _ EVERY YEAR. Yo damn right, I do!
The other day we were shopping for what has become our annual affair of the Halfway To Christmas Cookout over here. I’d dragged the kids to giant grocery shopping for meats and beer and ofcourse a cake. And yes, I buy my own damned cake. So, I was explaining to the lady at the counter what to write on it, “Happy Halfway To Christmas!” And then I explained that it was my birthday, but that I’m old enough now that I don’t really want presents and all, just cake and my pals to come over, so I made my own holiday.
And that’s when Lucy and Max were all, “MOM! WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU EVER NOT WANT PRESENTS!?”
I tried to explain that the party was my present. I just would just rather my friends come hang out with me on my birthday. That’s all I want. After losing Carrie, it’s just clear to me that every birthday is worth celebrating with as many friends as possible. I love getting older. I mean, how do you explain to your kids, “Oh, Mommy just wants to celebrate kicking another year’s ass!” How do you do that?
And it’s worth it to me to do the shopping, clean the toilets, and mow the lawn in preparation for my friends to swing by and hang out with me. Because that’s the only time we clean is when we have people over. Not that I have friends that hold out on an rsvp with, “Uh, you cleaned your toilets right? Yes? Okay, we’ll be there!”
So, here’s to getting older _ it’s own little gift to me. I welcome that extra year eagerly, and all my friends and family who help me celebrate. And the cake. Mama loves cake!
I have some precious peeps far away who can’t make it to the Halfway To Christmas party. But I hope each of you goes and finds some cake today and then whispers right before that first bite “Yay Leslie!”
That’s how I roll.
Song of the day _ you got it: Shamma Lamma Ding Dong by Otis Day & The Knights
The kids are taking a swim test tomorrow to see if they can swim while I workout at the gym, because they’ve grown right on out of the kid careness. I remember the very reason we joined that gym: for the kids programs, free swim lessons, and the fact that I could schlep them off for 3 hours. They were 3 years old. They’re about to clep right out of the kids’ program now. And yet, I’m so proud of them and excited for them that they’ll get this little doohickey of summer Independence. Even if there’s bars around the entire property….
They are growing up so fast. Lucy has learned how to braid her hair. And I cannot stop staring at Max’s feet. They are gigantic. I’m afraid of our future shoe budget. For now, I will cram him into flip flops.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the Day: Skyline by Court Yard Hounds
This press box might be one of the biggest and newest building in this town.
For our second track meet, we drove to a small town in Nebraska. I know you’re thinking, “Wow, Les, you were all ‘we’re not gonna push sports on the kids…blah blah blah’ and here you are driving them all over Nebraska.” Uh, good point. And it’s a nice small meet in the middle of nowhere which means the kids have a good chance at winning medals and ribbons. We’re taking our big fish to a small pond for a little taste of success.
We packed up all the coolers and water jugs and bottles and drove in the rain wondering if there was even a track meet to drive to but under the impression that it was at the very least, worth the road trip and all. I thought back to all the times my Dad drove me all over Texas to countless volleyball tournaments. Truth be told, I don’t think he even liked volleyball. He would change his mind later on when his daughter finally stopped struggling with it and found my own place. But for a long time, I’m sure he was wishing it was basketball tournaments. Still, he drove me to every tournament and sat and watched. Then he’d go get me lunch. Then he’d sit and watch some more. And then he would drive me back home. I thought I was pretty grateful to the guy. But now that he’s gone and now that I’m doing this as a parent, I appreciate him way more. And I understand why he did it. Its simply fun to get away with your busy kids, busy life. Hang out with them all day. Cheer them on for 20 seconds. And hi five them. The snacks are great too.
When we got there, it was still raining. I packed all that food, the chairs and the water bottles, but forgot umbrellas. With no end of the rain in sight, and no where to take cover, I figured I’d just run and get a couple of umbrellas. I asked around where to go _ to a Walgreens or a Walmart. I mean surely if there is a high school track _ there’s a Walmart, right? But the best the ticket taker could point me to was Petes Pharmacy. If you just go up the street to the second intersection its the third building on the right. Because there’s no lights which is what I would consider an intersection to be. Its just street crossings.
I just drove slowly, looked around and found it. It took me a while to parallel park the minivan. I’m guessing Pete and all of his Pharmacy watched and mumbled, “Stupid City Folk.” Which is fine because I wasn’t impressed with their small town_ness either. Pete’s got an empire in this town. Apparently, it’s not just a pharmacy, but you can get toilet paper, and Sharpies, notebook paper, sweatshirts, hats and tshirts there as well. However, it’s like you’ve walked through a time machine back to maybe 1950 when you go in there. There was a combination smell of moth balls and a very old and abandoned farmhouse. Abandoned, perhaps of the smell.
I searched and searched for an umbrella. Did they have umbrellas in the 50s? I dunno. It turns out no. But the nice lady _ also from the 50s _ helped me find rain ponchos. She even let me have one free. Hey! It’s buy 3, get the 4th free! Thank you! I paid the $3 and walked back out to my car and 2010 only to find clear skies and no rain in sight.
I’m grateful for the kind woman and the super deal on rain ponchos. But I just can’t shake how weird that store was.
I unparallel parked and went back to the kids and got our camp set up. Ricardo asked me how my trip was.
“Uh, I don’t think I could handle living in a small town. Ever. And the 1950s smell weird to me. I’m just sayin.”
He looked at me for a moment, mentally translated, understood. And then simply agreed, we’ll never live in the 1950s. Time to watch some races.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the Day: Ya Ya _ Lee Dorsey
Oh God. The other day I told Ricardo I thought it might be a good idea to have the sex talk with the kids. The kids try to use the word sexy. I tell them not to use the word. It’s just weird coming out of a seven_year_old’s sweet face. We tell them to not use words they don’t know the meaning of. And my idea of having the talk with them now is that its the beginning of summer. So they won’t go to school and explain everything Mommy and Daddy told them. Hopefully over summer I can talk to them and then turn on the tv and erase the urgency to talk to all their friends about it with a few episodes of Spongebob or something. The plan is by the time summer is over, they’ll know the facts, but it won’t be such a big deal by the time they get back to school.
Ricardo said he heard the kids talking about a couple of kids having sex at school. He asked them what that meant and they thought it was bootie dancing _ with clothes on. Yea _ uh kids we gotta talk. I remember watching a morning show and some lady was on promoting her book and suggesting that you start talking to your kid about sex at age 3. No thanks. I really don’t wanna do it at 7. Or really 11 or 30. But better me to have the talk than the schmucks who told them booty bumping was sex. I mean where’s THAT kids’ frame of reference? Can’t imagine what he witnessed to come up with such an idea. But probably just tv or older siblings or something.
So _ I’ll have the talk but I balk because I don’t want to give up their sweet innocence. I mean once you blow the cover on sex _ its over. So I might have put it off til next week. I’ve been going strong on procrastination on this for about a month now.
And then last night I’m sitting outside _ while my kids play at the neighbor kids’ house _ making my grocery list and menu when I hear the kids next door calling people gay. I think to myself _ my kids know better. They know better than to use a word they don’t understand. Then Max chimes in “You’re gay!” Then Lucy. My heart breaks. I scratch popsicles off the list _ jerks don’t get popsicles. I mutter a few shits and dammits to myself and then call them over back to our house. They thought it was cool because the new neighbor kids’ MOTHER was right there hanging out on the back porch while the kids play and didn’t admonish their uh YOUNGER kids for such language use. Max and Lucy walk slowly. They now see my face and know they are in deep trouble. I’m really just panicking. I mean, explaining gay is way down on the progression list of the sex talk, don’t you think? If they don’t know what sex is…I’m interrupted by their arrival.
“Did you use the word gay?”
“Are you allowed to call people any names?”
“No ma’am” oh wow _ they are kissing up with the ma’am gig too.
“Do you know what gay means?” This is where I think I’m reeeal smarter than them. They will say they do not know what it means and I will remind them to not use words they don’t understand. And then that will be it and I can continue my procrastination about any level simple or complex to do with sex.
But instead I am challenged. Lucy answers “Yes.” Shit.
“Uh, okay, then you tell me in your own words what gay means.” Bracing myself while remembering the butt bump = sex in her world.
“It means when a girl is in love with another girl. Or a boy is in love with another boy.”
Holy crap. We’re not dealing with chumps here. Quick Leslie, think!
“That’s right, baby. And is that bad or wrong?”Just wanted to get a feel for what else she thought she knew.
“Okay _ tell me why.” Max is standing beside her with total confidence that Lucy will happily speak on his behalf. And she does.
“Because when you love someone _ you just love them.”
“Yes baby. That’s right. So please don’t use that term to call someone a bad name when you don’t think its bad?”
I send her and Max to play, proud of myself for staying calm. But a little set back that Lucy didn’t hold her own but rather, jumped on the bandwagon. I was under the impression that Lucy kicks all bandwagons over and then robs them silly. Then again, I’m completely in awe of the message my daughter just articulated to me. And I’m crazy proud.
I’m going to have to up my game plan from my four_sentence sex talk, I think. My plan was to keep it brief and simple. And then lay down some serious ground rules for who she can talk to about such treasured information. And that would be uh: Me only. And then ask if she has any questions. Ricardo will have the talk with Max. We’re not so sexist as to believe that boys should talk to their dads and girls should talk to their moms. But they definitely need to be separated. They can barely eat dinner without egging each other on about fart sounds. So, we’ll keep them separate for this talk. And then maybe the rest of the summer. Oh God, I haven’t consider what they’ll do after the talk:
“Hey, what did Mom tell you?”
“Teee hee heee, what did Dad tell YOU!?”
“Mom said the real name for my privates is VAGINA! BAHAHAHAHAH!!!”
“Lucy, you said VAGINA! HAHAHAHAH!”
Oh God. I need therapy. Or a vodka tonic.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the Day: Train Wreck by Sarah McLachlan
By the looks of it, I made it with less spana and probably too much kopita. I’m just sayin.
When I was a kid my mom made this spinach soup. And it was delicious. (Boil spinach, throw it in a blender with milk _ or I think my mom used heavy cream _ and some freshly grated nutmeg and salt and pepper. Blend, serve. I’d probably dollop a little greek yogurt on top.) And I knew deep within that I should probably keep that to myself. Spinach isn’t a real selling point on the popularity circle of kids. Not really ever a point of topic: “Hey Susie, pass me that barbie. Girl _ my mom made the best spinach soup last night! Hey, where’s the crayons?”.
But Lucy doesn’t care about social acceptance. She’s teaching me lots. So, today Lucy came in and
asked announced that Jackie could come over for dinner because her mom said she could. My response was something like _ “Uh, did you fill her in that we’re having spinach for the main course?”
Like I have a main course dotted with an appetizer course and salad course. Its Spanakopita, y’all _ spinach IS the salad and the appetizer and also the main course. Geesh. Still Lucy and Jackie both proclaimed that Jackie indeed was good with the menu and then directed “Spinach is so yummy!” She’s my favorite kid. Jackie just kind of agreed with this goofy smile. She doesn’t talk much. So, Lucy telling her what to do and that she does, indeed, like spinach is working out just great.
The recipe took me a while because it was new. And phyllo dough was involved. That’s sort of new to me. And I didn’t do it correctly. I think I OVER phyllo doughed it. So, I worked hard on it y’all. And it took a while. And finally, I served up the Spanakopita, some turkey ham, and carrots. You know that Jackie did not even attempt to look at it. With the same goofy smile, she ate her turkey ham with her hands.
“Do you need me to cut that ham up for you? So you can use your fork?”
Blank stare goofy smile. And continued to eat with her hands. Table manners at my house are a constant work in progress. But this situation has me thinking my kids could dine with the Queen of England and hold their own.
Then Jackie played with her carrots. I waited for her to actually eat one, but not so much. My kids ate their ham (with a fork, Thank God) and then got in trouble several times for acting too silly at the table. Max and Lucy both saw the crust as an obstruction to the good stuff. Yeah, that’s right, they like spinach. It’s possible. And they ate all of the spinach mixture and minimal crusty goodness.
We have a rating system here at the house of awesomeness for new recipes. The kids give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down, and sometimes, I get a thumb midway up, midway down. This recipe was the midway thumb on account of they loved the spinach, but not so much on the phyllo dough. Weird kids, I know. So, I’m going to say that since I got my kids to eat spinach and like it, it’s a success.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe. It’s from the Clean Eating Magazine (March/April 2010, p. 57). And if you like Greek food, this recipe is a perfect Spanakopita. MMMM!
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. sweet red pepper, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
- 3 large bags fresh spinach (9 oz each) or 36 cups loosely packed spinach
- 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 cup feta, crumbled (I’m sure I used a good full cup of it. Mamma likes cheese!)
- 4 sheets whole_wheat phyllo dough (13 x 18 inches each; Try: The Fillo Factory) I couldn’t find it, so I used regular phyllo dough. They actually have a how_to on assembling this here.
- Olive oil cooking spray.
Instructions: (I pretty much did as I was told, so I’m just going to write it verbatim. I kind of winged the phyllo dough assembly, and I think I used too much of a really good thing. So, check out that reference on how to assemble it.)
One: Preheat oven to 375F. Heat oil (yes, it’s only gonna take that 1 tsp of olive oil to cook down that 36 cups of spinach.) in a large saute pan over medium_high heat. Add pepper and onion and saute for about 2 minutes. Add spinach in batches, waiting 2 or 3 minutes between intervals; cover tightly and cook, tossing frequently, for about 15 minutes.
Two: Drain spinach mixture in a colander, removing any ecess liquid, before placing it in a large bowl; set aside. When spinach mixture is cool, mix in dill, mint and egg white. Then fold in feta until well blended. Set aside.
Three: Working quickly (hahahha, I don’t do anything quickly, but ok…), roll phyllo out onto a clean work surface. Carefully cut each sheet lengthwise into approximately 4 3″ wide pieces. Place 3 or 4 strips across the center of a 1 1/2 quart or 9×9 casserole dish misted with cooking spray, leaving about 3″ to 4″ of excess hanging over on both ends. The strips should be overlapping slightly. Mist strips wit cooking spray. Turn the casserole dish clockwise and place 3 or 4 strips across the original layer, at a 90_degree angle. Mist strips with cooking spray. Continue turning and layering until all strips have been used, about 4 layers in total, misting with cooking spray after each layer.
Four: Spoon spinach mixture into center of phyllo_covered dish. Fold phyllo haning over edgest into the center of spinach mixture, covering the top (no spinach should be visible now). Mist with cooking spray.
Five: Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly brown and crispy. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Cut into 6 pieces and serve.
The magazine reports that this is 140 calories, 3 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, 450 mg of sodium, 5 mg of cholesterol, and 1 gram of sugar. Serves 6.
I hope you try this one, and let me know how you like it.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the Day: Right Field by Adam Sandler _ ok, so it’s not an actual song. But it’s a good Friday gig. I dare you to not laugh.
It occurred to me yesterday that my kids have hit some major milestone. And strangely, while relieved, I’m totally cool with it. Perhaps I’m relaxing my ways as a mom.
I’ve gone from neurotic “DON’T TOUCH THAT!” woman to “Oh cool you moved the trampoline to the side of the pool so you can bounce right in it” lady. I’ve gone from “Clean up this mess and you’ll get hurt, don’t do it.” to stepping over beach towels and shoes and “That’s cool, we’re insured.” I’d say I’ve changed just a wee bit over just a few months. And I’m going with it.
The kids are 7 years_old now and going into 3rd grade. And it just seems like their social schemes have changed. Gone are the day of scheduled play dates. The kids beg to just hang out at home and play with the neighborhood kids. Granted, the neighbor kids have a pool and a trampoline in their back yard. But still.
So, yesterday, we stayed home, which is a rarity at my house. I like to go_go_go, and then crash and stay in bed for a day. It’s been a while since I’ve actually been able to do the stay in bed part, but we did stay home. I resolved that I wouldn’t work or blog or even get on the computer at all for the entire day. I cleaned though.
And what would normally drive me insane, is actually welcomed now. What the hell is wrong with me? Kids are in and out of my house all day. And I’m cool with it. As I type, Max and three of his buddies have come in to turn off The View so they can play Rock Band. The View wasn’t that great anyway, and I’ll learn more from them playing. So, I’m going with it. One of the three buddies is a new kid I’ve never seen before. They are multiplying.
The milestone is, they just play. They don’t need me to chaperone, entertain, or better yet, let’s be real, interfere. So, I’ve completely re_done my work/clean/workout schedules to take care of things in the middle of the day. And be available when ever they want. So far, it’s working.
It’s crazy to me that I’ve worked and paid for scheduling a lot of stuff for the kids to do this summer. They are in track club, Max is doing a basketball camp, Lucy is doing a vet camp. We’re planning a few trips to the zoo, and then to a couple of waterparks and nature parks. And all the kids want to do is play at home.
Lesson learned. I better go stock up the snacks.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the day: Summertime by The Sundays
Sometimes me and my online girlfriend like to dress up and role play on our dates. Is that weird? JulzHOLLA! is really mad at me. And it’s all reading’s fault. Not mine.
Yesterday, I told JulzHOLLA! I’d help her put up our co_owned bouncy house. And then I forgot. So, today, she Instant Messaged me, “I can’t get the darn thing in it’s giant bag. Can you come help me?” Well, I’m an ass. I’d forgotten I would help her do that, conveniently. And she had dried the entire thing, folded it up and was trying to zip it up into it’s giant bag home. So I Instant Messaged her back, “Oh! I’ll be right there.” And then I drove over to her house.
On the way, I remembered that her sweet baby girl would be napping, and I shouldn’t knock, because then the dogs would go all yappy and wake baby. Then I figured that she was probably in the back trying to contort the bouncy into the bag. So, I walked into her backyard but she wasn’t there.
So, I headed to her sliding glass door off the patio. But I didn’t want to knock, again, so as not to wake up the baby with the yappy dogs. So I just opened the door and came on in. And that’s when I saw JulzHOLLA! horrified thinking I was an intruder. She took in three quick scaredy cat breaths and then the nicest person I’ve ever met in my life yells at me, “Jesus Christ! Don’t you EVER do that to me again!” She was really mad. I mean, I’ve never seen her mad. She was mad. And shocked. And I think she might have peed herself a little bit.
I apologized through my laughing hysterically for not coming over sooner to help her with the bouncy. But I’d really planned out making sure to not wake up her baby and maybe she should give me some props for that. But no. She didn’t think that was really the point. I was still laughing. She still didn’t think it was funny.
And then she pointed to one of her vampire books. She got me to read the Twilight series. And that was fine and all. But really, she’s read every vampire book and/or series out there now. And there’s a lo. I would like to go on record here and mention that you can find all of these vampire books in the TEEN SECTION of the book store. I’m just sayin. It turns out, she’d just gotten through a part in the book where the victim was standing in her kitchen when dracula or a flying werewolf or something walked in. Then I walked in her back door. Woopsie.
And when I left she said, “Thanks for helping me out with the bouncy. And making me use the Lord’s name in vain in front of my kid.”
The thing is, she doesn’t ever exclaim that. I think maybe it was to scare off the vampires.
That’s how I roll. Still laughing at her. She’s still mad at me.
Song of the Day: Supermassive Black Hole by Muse _ from aw yeah, I went there: the Twilight Soundtrack
“So, what’s in them?”
“Uh, Everything. Duh.”
These cookies were a desperate attempt to have something yummy, but with chocolate in it. And the way we roll, is to wait for the kids to go to sleep before we crack into the desert aisle in the pantry. The kids have no idea it even exists.
So, I made oatmeal cookies and instead of raisins, I used chocolate chips. And then I thought shredded coconut would be good, and then maybe some peanut butter. And it’s just taken off since then. I even used cocoa one time.
My recipe is to take the oatmeal cookie recipe off the back of the oatmeal box and then just start adding stuff. I’ve tried to make this clean_er. But clean means no sugar, or as little as possible. And clean also means your chocolate should be 85% cacao or more. And I’ve tried it. I just can’t do it. And if I did, I’d add more sugar, defeating the clean purpose. Still, it’s a pretty hearty and healthy cookie. You gotta let these cool completely, or they’ll crumble. They are totally dunkable.
I went to make these cookies one day and realized that I put the oatmeal in a plastic container and ditched the box, there fore the recipe. So, I did what any desperate mom in need of a cookie fix when the kids go to bed would do, I resourced one of my 115 cookbooks and found the perfect cookie guru: Paula Deen. So, this is what happens when I get together with Paula Deen in my kitchen. Hope you like.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature. But who can wait for that to soften? I throw it in the microwave for just about 10-15 seconds. Don’t walk away from your microwave, or you’ll have melted butter, and that doesn’t work. You need softened butter.
- 1 cup sucanat (unrefined sugar)
- 1 cup as organicy and unrefined brown sugar as you can find.
- 2 egg whites. (I use 1/3 cup of egg beaters egg whites.)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla. I never measure this. Eye ball it and over estimate. Vanilla is yummy and Mexican Vanilla is delicious.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda _ I measure this. I think this is where the chemistry of rising or fluffiness comes in and I’m not willing to mess with that.
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder _ I measure this too. Same reason. I mean, do they cancel each other out, or what’s the deal? I don’t know, so I do what Paula tells me.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg. Don’t use that bottled powder stuff. There’s a significant difference in ground nutmeg and freshly grated nutmeg. Get some nutmeg and grate it.
- 2 cups quick cooking oats. I haven’t ventured into steel cut oats yet, but I’m willing to try eventually.
- Paula says to add raisins and walnuts here, but I’m going with chocolate instead. And I am the only one in my family who will dare eat a cookie with nuts in it. So, I appease the masses and no nuts.
- About 1 cup of peanut butter. We get the real healthy stuff. Or sometimes I use this PB2 stuff, it’s powedered. But just use your own peanut butter at your own risk.
- 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut. I just throw it in, so, I’m guessing on this measurement. And I’ve been wanting to toast the coconut first, but by the time I get to it, I just want a darn cookie and things like fancy toasting of coconut, well, I can’t be bothered with.
- Atleast 2 cups chocolate chunks. Don’t get those wuss chips. Get chunks. And I’m guessing I use more than 2 cups, I get a bag of them, I pour it in. I don’t look at petty things like how many ounces. I eyeball the bag of beautiful chocolate chunks and dump it in, y’all. Go with it.
Okay, so preheat your oven to 375. I use my mixer and you should too. I guess you could hand stir all of this and get a workout stirring. Then you’d burn off all the calories you’re about to consume. But I use my mixer. So, throw the butter and sugars and mix that til it’s light and fluffy. Then add the eggs and mix that well, then the vanilla. Then I know you’re supposed to mix all of your dry ingredients in a separate bowl. But I never do it and it always works out for me. So, add in your flour gradually. Then add the baking soda, baking powder, the salt and nutmeg. Mix that into a fairly creamy mixture. Then add everything else in the order listed, scraping the sides to make sure everything gets mixed up well. Save the chocolate chunks for last so they don’t get all crumbly, thus defeating the purpose of the actual chunk. Respect the chunk.
Dollop a spoon full on to the cookie sheet. It’s pretty thick dough so, I make a ball and then smush it down. I use no_stick cookie sheets. Hey, if it’s no stick, then how does the Teflon stick to pan? I’m just sayin. Anyways, I don’t grease my cookie sheets. But it’s up to you. If you have cookie sheets from 1940, you probably know whether to grease or not to grease. This recipe makes plenty. So, if your cookies are glued to the sheet, you’ll have enough to try again. Ball them up, smush them down. Keep about 1″ atleast between the cookies to allow for greatness. Throw them in your preheated oven and cook for about 12 minutes, or until yummy golden brown.
Let them cool. And then go to town! Mmmm! They make great milk dunking cookies.
This recipe makes a lot, even if you’re willing to share with your kids. Which is rare at my house, but I share. So, we put ours in a reusable plastic container with a good lid and bake them as we need them. Which is every night about 9:30p.m. I’m just sayin. I hope you try them and let me know how you like them! Or if you try some other thing for Everythings, I want to hear about it.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the Day: My Favorite Things from For the Kids Too! Album