A Life Askew

Bumbling Through One Day At A Time

Things You Can Learn From A 3 Year Old

It’s 11pm and I can’t sleep.

This definitely has nothing to do with the scary book I just finished reading.  Nothing to do with it.

So, as I’m laying in bed, I start thinking (because what else would you do in bed? Sleep? Pssh.) and I realize that my child has taught me a few important life lessons.

I really am tired, just sleepless, so I’m gonna skip the segue and get right to the things I learned.

On a completely unrelated note, walking through a pitch dark entry way to let your dog out into the darkness, out side, is REALLY creepy right after finishing a scary book.

Okay, okay,

Lesson 1:  Don’t sweat the small stuff.

This my terrorist wonderful child has taught me two ways.  The first is learning which battles to pick with her.  Do I want to scream and yell when I see her face is covered in six different colors of marker?  Sure, but I have to save it for when she’s got the dog in a head lock.  The other way she showed me this is one day we were on the interstate driving to my dad’s house and the whole trip I had her pumping her arm up and down trying to get the semi’s to honk their horns.  More than 10 times and not one of them did it.  (Bastards.)  Coupled with interstate traffic and my volatile mild temper, I started getting irritated.  Finally another one didn’t honk and I *might* have yelled (though I’m sure I said it very calmly), “ARGH!!!  What a bastard!!”  To which my darling child says to me, “Momma?  It’s okay.”  And right there, I knew that I let too much get to me.

Lesson 2: Everyone poops, farts and has a butt. 

I grew up where girls didn’t fart or poop and if boys did it you ignored it.  Then I got pregnant and nothing is sacred.  Then I had a sweet little baby and I was a girl again.  THEN I moved in with a guy that taught my sweet little baby to say, “Your turn!” every time she farts.  But yeah, I’ve always been pretty private about any bodily functions, including not blowing my nose around other people.  So having to take my kid with me to the bathroom 90% of the time was a little awkward at first.  Especially public restrooms, where she yells, “Momma!!  You poop!!  Yay!!”  Isn’t potty training awesome?  Anyhow, so the other day we were watching her latest favorite show, The Dinosaur Train, and they were talking about going potty.  The entire point of the episode was that everyone does it so it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything more brilliant, ever.  Now going potty is a normal thing that doesn’t freak me out so much when I have a regular audience.  (That sounds really gross.  I mean when I have to take my kid in there with me.  Heh.)

Lesson 3: Talking cutsie makes you sound stupid.

If you ask my daughter if her food is yummy, she will tell you, “No.  It’s food/dinner/sandwich.”  I knew talking like that around adults made you sound dumb, but when a 3 year old picks up on that too, you’ve gone too far. 😉

And that’s it for tonight folks.  I can’t think of anything else. 🙂  I, totally, thought this would be a lot longer when I sat down to write it.  So, maybe I’ll think of more things when I’m not so tired.  We shall see.

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My Kid IS Cute and Other Things

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve been on here.  To be honest, that people were actually reading this is scary.  I feel like I have to be brilliant to keep writing and that is a hard standard to keep up with.

So, to start, I’m going to do the most annoying thing possible, advertise my child.  And from there, anything else should look great! 🙂

A few days ago I entered a photo of my daughter into a “Cutest Kids Contest” and have been campaigning for her cuteness since.  I figured, I have about 140 friends on my Facebook, all either family or friends and people that I actually know.  That said, I thought these people would automatically want to help out.  The contest started Sat the 5th at 2pm and, so far, we have 16 votes.  16!!!  That’s about 10% of what I was expecting.  So, now it’s turned into a matter of, “What kind of friends are these?!?”  And now it’s time to turn to other alternatives:

Click on the picture and it will take you to the page where you vote.  You have to have Facebook and it makes you agree to another app, but no reason you can’t vote and then delete the app.  The prize is a $500 photo package and the chance to be in their new ads for the year.  It’s not really important, but it would be something cool and special for her for when she’s older.

Anyhow, please help me out.  And I promise I’ll try to write more about more fun things!!!!!

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Cooking D’uhs and D’ohs!

While I was making breakfast this, uh, morning..  While I was making breakfast today, I had to keep reminding myself to walk away from the potatoes and let them cook.  I have a terrible habit of hovering over them, while stirring too often, and then wondering why they take so long to brown…

Which got me thinking about all the really stupid things I do when I’m cooking that I totally know better than to do.  So, I’m making a list of “D’uhs and D’ohs” that we either all do, or you’ll say, “D’uh!” as you read it. 🙂

I wanted to try to add snazzy pictures, but I’d have to steal them, and well, that’s stealing.  And I haven’t gotten into the habit of photo-journaling all my stupidity yet, but I’m getting there.

Anyhow, here goes:

The 10 Biggest D’uhs! and D’ohs! of My Kitchen

  1. If you want really brown pan fried potatoes, without nuclear high heat on your stove, walk away.  I have to force myself to stay away from my potatoes to let them brown.  Often I still don’t and I get over mushed, hot, still not brown, potatoes.
  2. DO NOT walk away from your grilled cheese.  I always get distracted and come back to a cheese filled briquette.  If I could some how switch my cooking methods for the grilled cheese and potatoes, I’d be fine.
  3.   Plug in the appliance you’re working with.  I cannot even begin to count how many times I have turned on my crock pot and walked away without it being plugged in.  Or hit the on button on the mixer to actually be surprised that nothing happened.  Or got mad that dinner wasn’t even warm after 30 minutes on the stove, that wasn’t on.  Or waited an hour for coffee.  Or even got mad that my computer wouldn’t turn on (without a power supply).  Anyhow, you get the idea.  If you want something to work, plug it in and then turn it on.
  4. Plan ahead, a little, at least enough to get out a big enough bowl the first time.  I would probably have 1/3 less dishes to wash if I would just use the right pots and pans and bowls and utensils the first go round.
  5. This is kind of more, 4a… Plan ahead again, but this time, for things that are time sensitive.  Like slicing the cheese for your grilled cheese sandwiches BEFORE you put the buttered bread in the pan.  This could also help with number 2.
  6. Make sure you open the right part of your spice containers.  For example, the McCormick spice tins have both “pour” and “shaker” openings.  Mixing up the two could be disastrous.  Or, rather, it IS disastrous.  And you never, ever, live it down.
  7. Don’t EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER leave potholders on the stove top!!  I used to be really good about that.  And then I had a kid and my brain fell out.  And I have a really bad habit of-
  8. Making sure I am turning on the correct burner.  I have burned more potholders, and rice, and other low temp things because I’m an idiot and turned the wrong burner on high.  I’m lucky I haven’t burned down my house yet.  I’m gonna claim innocence on a couple of them after my range was replaced.  Why can’t they just put those damn nobs in the same order on all of them!!
  9. Not all sticks are made equal… Make sure you know what increments the products you’re using come in.  Like, when switching from stick butter or margarine to stick shortening.  They are not the same measurements….  And will make your brownies greasy.  (Okay, this one wasn’t me, but it’s still funny true.)
  10. And last, but not least, make sure you have all your ingredients before you start anything.  I’ve gotten halfway through more cookies, cakes, dinners, breakfasts…  Well, you get the idea, I do it a lot.  You’d think I’d know better by now, but it’s usually eggs or milk.  Things that other people use and don’t mention we’re out of.  Things that I naturally assume we have on hand.  And then we don’t.  Things that I have to drop everything for so I can drive 30 minutes to the store to get.  (I should just buy chickens and a cow.) Things that are stupidly easy to look in the fridge and verify we have….

And that’s it for now.  I’m sure there are about 50 more things that I commonly screw up, but luckily for my sanity I can’t think of them.  Ten should be enough for now anyhow. 🙂

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I Guess I’ll Have a Cookie.

For the last week, I’ve been craving Kripsy Kreme donuts like nobody ever should.  I went so far as to pick up some donuts at the store the other day, but they were, well, disappointing.  Kroger donuts ain’t got shit on Krispy Kreme.  Oh, for a warm, slightly cripsy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, donut.  With glaze so sweet your teeth run for hills in anticipation.

Unfortunately for me, it’s at least a 4 hour drive to the nearest Krispy Kreme.  (I would completely be okay with moving closer…)  With no good donut options, and because making them would be a disaster, I decided to settle on cookies.  But not just any cookies, chocolate-oatmeal no-bake cookies.  And not just any chocolate-oatmeal no-bake cookies, but the ones I grew up with.

Over the years I’ve tried a few different recipes and always wind up throwing away cookies (which I believe Moses said was a sin).  So, for the sake of my soul, I determined to make my mom’s (actually my great-grandmother’s, I think) recipe.  You would think, with some thing this important, I’d already have it, but alas, no.

The first step was to call my sister.  (My mom had some weird face issues going and I couldn’t get her on the phone earlier.  Or that’s the best I could get out of my brother.  My mom is probably fine.)  My sister was, of course, shocked and dismayed that I didn’t already have the recipe.  In fact, I probably should have remembered it.  Since we made it nearly once a week from the time we were able to safely use the stove (except my sister, she still hasn’t gotten there…)

After a little begging, she finally gave up the goods.  And they’re good. 🙂  So, without further ado, here is our family recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies!

Ignore the poor quality and smut book, focus on the deliciousness that is the cookie!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4c cocoa powder
  • 2c sugar
  • 1/2c milk
  • 1/2c (1 stick) butter (I don’t know how margarine would work, I’ve never used it.)
  • 1tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2c peanut butter
  • 3c whole rolled oats (that is the only kind i’ve ever used, I don’t know how other types would turn out)

Directions:

  1. Mix together the cocoa powder and sugar in a sauce pan. (One that is big enough to hold all the ingredients.)
  2. Stir in the milk.
  3. Add the butter and turn on medium heat to melt the butter.
  4. Once butter is melted, stir occasionally until boiling.  Once boiling stir constantly for 4 minutes (forever).  Scraping the sides is not only fine, you probably should. 😀
  5. After the chocolatey gooey mixture has boiled for 4 minutes, remove it from the heat and mix in the vanilla and peanut butter.  Mix them in until the peanut butter is completely mixed in.
  6. Mix in the oats until evenly coated and mixed in.
  7. Using a spoon, spoon cookie size bloops of hot mixture onto a piece of foil laying flat on the counter.
  8. Let cool and set up (approximately an hour if you can stay out of them).

This makes about 18-24 cookies, depending on what size you make them.  It may appear to make less if you eat half of them before they’re done.  Just a warning.

And thus ends my first attempt at productivity with my blog!!

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Am I a Drug?

I’ve found a new favorite game.

Today, we had some friends of ours over for the afternoon.  They’re married and have 3 kids and two dogs.  This made for a pleasantly noisy house while the kids and dogs all played.  Our dog is always ecstatic when we have doggie company for her.

Anyhow, after lunch we ran the kids off into the bedroom and our friends pulled out a game they’d brought with them.  It’s an old game, but new to us.  It’s called Hedbanz.  If you don’t know it, basically, you have a bunch of cards with different words (and pictures in the kid version) and you each take a card and place it in the headband card holders that come with the game.  Then you take timed turns trying to guess what your card is using yes/no questions.  It was pretty fun.  But we all agreed that it could have been more fun with more “adult” words.

So, I got online and looked up the game.  I found an adult version on Amazon that seemed to be about the same, just without the pictures.

Well, that would have been okay… but a more “adult” version would still be even better.

This is what I did.

I have about 300 blank 3×5 index cards.  I grabbed a bunch of them and a dark colored pencil (they’re not very thick so marker would have shown through).  Then, I sat down with my materials and began making my own.  That’s right, I started putting my own words on the cards.  I wish I’d have thought of this years ago…

With no help from the peanut gallery (my boyfriend) I came up with 40 words for the game.  I’m so excited I can barely stand it.  I can’t wait to play again and see the look on someone’s face when they guess that they are a rooster, or stripper pole…  Or other things that I could probably get kicked off of here for saying… 😉

I don’t know if this was really “post” worthy, but I’m stupidly excited and will probably force my cousins that are going to visit tomorrow into playing a couple rounds.

Either way, it’s a really simple, cheap, and easy game to put together and play.  And you can use any vocabulary you want!  From kid safe to George Carlin-esque, you get to pick.  Oh, and in case anyone that reads this likes the idea enough to do it at home, the turns were about 1 minute, during which the person gets to ask as many questions and make as many guesses as they can.  If they get it right, the timer stops and they get another card.  The timer starts up again when they resume asking questions. Give every correct guess a point and at the end of the game, the highest points wins!!

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It is NOT Okay to Slay Your Friends

I think that raising children is one of those things that usually brings you joy, frustration, tears and joy.  However, I also think it is peppered with times when you seriously doubt what you’re doing and consider trading the child in for something like a dog, or monkey.

Yesterday was one of the latter times.

My daughter has recently taken up the past time of slaying dragons.  Which I felt was a little weird anyhow, you know, for a girl.  She’s really into it, too.  She’ll steal the lid to my laundry hamper to shield herself from their fire breath and yell cries of battle as she runs down the hall chasing them.

As boyish as this seems to me, it’s really quite fun to watch (encourage).  So, while we were visiting a friend yesterday, she found a piece of paper that rolled up into a fabulous sword and started hunting dragons (they are everywhere you see).  We were out on the balcony and she would alternately chase down and stab dragons, and squeal in girlie delight when she got one.  My friend and I stood watching this with great amusement until things took an unbelievably creepy turn.

Apparently there was a particularly vicious dragon (or maybe it just wasn’t a color she liked) and she took it down with reckless abandon.  I’m serious, she stabbed that poor dragon 3 or 4 times before it went down, then she stabbed it another 3 or 4 times after it was down.  The whole time she was yelling and grunting like she was a soldier in “300”.  That was funny, but the creepy part was next.  So, now the dragon was officially dead and she paused to brush back her hair and take a moment to appreciate her kill, when she looked at her sword, held it up in front of her face, and LICKED the pretend sword from hilt to tip.  SHE LICKED THE SWORD.  Who does that?  Holy hell.  I was torn between banning dragon hunting for life and laughing so hard I couldn’t breath.  Laughing won out.

But really?  I’ve never been more creeped out by a kid than in that moment.

I’m still racking my brain trying to figure out what movie we saw someone do that with a sword.  And when I figure it out, it will be black listed from our house.

Fortunately, the hunt didn’t stop there, and my friend and I were enlisted to help.  We were ordered to follow and when we giggled too much, we had a VERY stern 3 year old shooshing us to be quiet.  (After all, you can’t sneak up on a dragon if you’re giggling loudly.)  Together we chased a few dragons and she protected us and killed them all.  I ended up having to take a bathroom break in the middle of the excitement.  When I came out, I saw my friend crouching behind her breakfast bar/kitchen counter and my daughter, posed with sword out in front, standing at the corner peeking around it into the kitchen.  She again shooshed me to be quiet, and then my friend for filling me in on why she was hiding.

The dragon in the kitchen was extra dangerous and so needed extra caution when sneaking up on it.  Running in all willy nilly wasn’t going to cut it this time.  So, my kid worked her self up for the attack.  Finally she charged, running and war crying like a pro, sword out in front of her, when the dragon became too much and she threw her sword in the air, screamed like a little girl and ran to go hide in the bathroom.  We asked her to come save us from the dragon, and she said, “NO!!”  That was the end of the dragon slaying for a few hours.

When they resumed, we were at the park meeting with friends for a picnic.  They had their own two children with them, ages 4 and 5.  While we were waiting for them to show up, my girl had found many sticks that were perfectly suited to be her new dragon slaying weapons.  She ran around slaying everything from the trash can to the slide.  When our friends showed up, she looked up, saw them and took off (with a war cry) waving her sword in front of her.  I, being the responsible mother that I am, called after her, “Monkey!! No slaying your friends!!”  She looked back, and then threw down the stick.  See?  Responsible mom here…

The rest of the afternoon was considerably less exciting, well, dragon hunting wise anyhow.  I think the only other real incident was when, we think, my kid decided that our friend’s husband’s butt was a dragon.  O_o  She went right for the kill too, straight jab.  Poor guy looked awfully surprised, but otherwise took it pretty well, considering.  One last reminder that slaying people wasn’t allowed and that ended our dragon  festivities for the day.

Hopefully this is all just a phase.  I did mention what a joy raising a kid is, right?? 😉

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30 is Nearly Upon Me…

Well, here I am.  I can’t believe how much I’ve intimidated myself over posting anything on this blog.

Really, it’s terrifying.

I suppose I feel that whatever I put in here should be a master piece and go viral in the hour.  I have to accept this is incredibly unlikely.  In fact, it’s so unlikely as to be normal.

That said, I have something on my mind. 🙂

It’s 10:50PM and I just got out of bed after laying there for a fruitless hour and a half.  Insomnia is horrible.  But what is worse than not actually being able to sleep is that my mind refuses to shut off.  So I don’t even get to lay there in silence, because I have this running commentary going through my head the entire time.

Tonight, it was, “What should I post?  I need to think of something good.  Maybe I should do a recipe.  How about talking about something funny that happened with my kid?  No, no one cares about that.”

Well, I decided.

I’m going to be *gasps* 30 in a few ever shortening months.  I never thought age would bother me, but holy goodness it really is starting to.  So, I’ve started doing what any normal person would, freak out.  I’m freaking out quietly, but freaking out none the less.

Luckily, my freaking out has actually been really good for me.  It’s really made me take a look at where I am and where I want to be.  And where I am is good in a lot of ways, but in some ways, well, it really sucks.

“Which ways?” you ask?

Why, I’ll tell you.  Physically, I am in terrible shape.  Terrible.  I’m over weight by at least 40lb.s and I smoke like a chimney.  My diet is terrible and I rarely, if ever, exercise.  These things are parts of my life that, until now, I never really thought about other to complain that I’m fat.

But I’m tired of it!!!  I have a wonderful kid that I want to be able to care for and be there for until we’re both old and wrinkly.  I have a  boyfriend that I feel pretty similar about most days.  My health is not as good as it should be, and it’s because I haven’t bothered to try and take care of myself.  Until now.

Over the past 6 months I’ve been making BIG changes.  Slowly though, so as not to scare myself off.  First things first was improving the food that I was putting into my body.  Vegetables were a mystery food in my house.  Now we’re eating them with every meal.  Healthier snacking choices, tomatoes instead of potato chips…

I’m actually really proud of the changes I’ve not only made, but have kept up with!  We looked up a list of catabolic foods (you can nay say all you want, I’ve convinced myself they’re magic and that helps me keep eating them, especially when I don’t want to).  Go figure the list is all veggies and fruits.  I’m really okay with fruits.  They’re fun, and sweet, and healthy, and sweet…  Veggies, however, are my downfall.  So I’ve been trying to find creative ways to add them to food that we already know we like.  For this, my food processor is my hero.  And we’re doing great.  And my kid is loving it too!  The other day she actually chose, and asked for seconds, asparagus over home made mac & cheese.  As shocked as I was, I was seriously super proud too.

So, with the food thing under control, what is next?  Well, exercise of course!!

Now, I mentioned I’m fat and lazy, so running marathons is out.  For now.  No, it’ll never happen.  But I needed to find a way to exercise comfortably and without witnesses.  I have the Xbox Kinect.  I really like the work out game I got for it.  But, it’s too advanced for me.  Who starts out career couch potatoes with squats and lunges?  Who?? I ask, WHO?!?!

With the Kinect out, for now, I had to think of something I, not only could do, but WOULD do at home, in the winter, in beautiful mountainous Colorado.

I bought a recumbent exercise bike.  I have incredibly stupid issues with my nerves, joints and well, my body, so I got the recumbent bike to ease the process.  And I’ve been riding it fairly consistently.  In fact, in two weeks, I’ve got 70 miles.  ME, this lady, has ridden 70 miles.  I’m more proud of that than the veggies!!!

And now that it’s finally warming up in my neck of the woods, I’m able to get out and walk my energetic dog.  (She is a husky-dalmatian mix.)  She is also good motivation to get in good enough shape to run with her.  This is going to take a while, but I would like to be able to run a mile with her by my birthday.

In fact, my birthday is my anchor.  By September 1st I would like to:

1. Lose 30 lb.s (30/30 get it? 🙂 )

2. Be able to run a mile without fear of death.

3. Be able to touch my toes. (Okay, this isn’t because I’m so fat I can’t reach.  I’m really not, even remotely, flexible.)

4. Stop smoking. THERE!!! I’ve said it!!!  I want to be smoke free by the time I turn 30.  I’ve been smoking for more than half my life.  This will be the hardest thing I do.

5. Be a successful business owner.  I don’t have to be making 6 figures, but I would like to have steady business going.

I have just shy of six months to do all these things.  And now that it’s public, I have to assume millions of people will have read this and if I don’t make legitimate efforts on all counts I’ll die of the guilt of having lied to all of them.

With that, I’m going to go ride my bike and pray it wears me out enough to get some sleep tonight. 😀

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