Friday, October 31, 2008

The rest of the story

Happy Halloween Internet! You will have to wait until tomorrow to get the Halloween update. But I wanted to pass on this little piece of child rearing advice to all you childless people out there. For those of you with children, just stop reading right now because you will think, "It took her this long to figure that out, she's an idiot".
Here it is:
If you happen to notice that the sheets on your child's bed have not been changed for awhile and you think, "hmmm, I should go ahead and do that today" - resist the urge. They will most certainly have an accident on those newly clean sheets. I changed Hollis' sheets on Sunday afternoon and have changed them at least once, sometimes twice, every day since. And at least once in the middle of the night. That is 6 days worth of sheet changes people. Hollis only has 4 sets of sheets and two mattress you do the math. Needless to say our washer and dryer have been working overtime. Okay, that is not really true, I just wait until the last clean one is on the bed and then do one big load. Awesome, I know. Then Hollis had the audacity to tell me last night that he though he was almost ready to wear big boy underwear to bed. Ha Ha, you are nowhere near ready buddy.

On a cleaner note, it is 4:30pm on Halloween. We are waiting for John to get home. I sent Hollis to his room to "rest". There is an incredible amount of noise coming from the room of a person resting. I am afraid he may have a nervous breakdown if he gets up realizes we are not ready to leave yet. He has only been asking to go trick-or-treating since 7:30 this morning. And I have threatened not to take him at least twice. May the force be with me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mix it up Monday or Tuesday

I had this ready to post yesterday, but I am up to my eyeball in dirty sheets. That is a story for another time, you really don't want to know while reading about cookies. We are almost through with Halloween, so almost through with the Halloween baked goods. Last week our playgroup visited a local pumpkin patch so Hollis and I baked pumpkin cookies to take along. This recipe could not be any easier, even with Hollis "helping" it only took about 15 minutes. The secret is cake mix. The cookie by itself is really not that bad for you, no butter, eggs or oil, just yellow and spice cake mixes and canned pumpkin. It is the icing that pushes it over the caloric edge. I made my own cream cheese icing which honestly doesn't take any longer than adding cream cheese to the premade frosting like Jenny at Picky Palate suggests. Two things to keep in mind though: 1)the recipe makes a lot of cookies. I started out using my cookie scoop, but they were huge, so I just used a regular tablespoon. 2) October in Georgia is still too warm to have cookies with cream cheese icing in your car - yuck. I forgot to take a picture of the cookies, so here are two from the pumpkin patch. Happy Halloween!PS - I got Hollis' haircut so he is looking a little less like a blonde fifth Beatle.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

For the love of the game

Hollis loves theory. See, he loves hitting, pitching, running, sliding. He loves the songs, books about baseball and talking about baseball. What doesn't he like? He doesn't like watching baseball. We were given really great seats to an Atlanta Braves game recently, right behind first base. We thought these would be perfect since he would be able to see everything easily. Apparently, we still don't know our child very well. After the excitement of talking about going to game, driving to game, walking to the stadium, meeting Rae and eating lunch at the Chop House, he didn't have much energy left for WATCHING the game. The game started and Hollis waited with his glove for a ball to come his way. Nothing. He made it through about 2 innings before he decided he needed to be "doing" something. So we went for ice cream. That got us through about 2 more innings. The Braves organization has this wonderful place for you to entertain your child/be separated from your money - Scouts Alley. Far be it from me to tell Hollis that he is not big enough for the games. He tried his best to hit the balls from the pitching machine, but couldn't quite make contact. We returned to our sets to get John and Rae so that they wouldn't miss out on the fun of strolling the stadium. As we waited for the inning to end, Hollis summed up his feeling about the game, "I am tired of all this hitting". We made it all the way through the game and I am sure we will try it again next year. I am not sure how he is going to handle the upcoming end of the baseball season.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mix it up Monday

So I have decided to ride the wave of Halloween enthusiasm. We spend a lot of time talking about whether or not it is Halloween, what we are going to dress up as for Halloween, pumpkins and ghosts in general. I find all this interest in Halloween a little strange since this is the same child who will turn the TV off and declare, "I don't like giants" at any hint of a freakishly tall character. I also had to retrieve him from the top of the Chick-fil-a play structure last week because he was sobbing over one of the other children "roaring" at him. So, yeah, I really didn't think Halloween would be up his alley.
In keeping with the Halloween frenzy, he and I baked sugar cookies last week. Before you log off thinking, "Yawn...sugar cookies. So boring, I can buy those in the refrigerated section". But these are different than any sugar cookie you have made, unless you are my mother, in which case you can stop reading. This recipe was my Great Great Grandmother's. Don't worry, the release of the family secret was okayed by the higher ups. The big differences in this recipe is brown sugar versus the standard white granulated sugar and now, wait for it...
NUTMEG. Mmmm, I love nutmeg and it certainly gives these cookies a distinct flavor. And color. These cookies won't look like what you think a sugar cookie looks like, they are much darker. Try them and let me what you think.

My Brown Sugar Cookies
3/4 c. Crisco (or butter, softened)
1 c. brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
nutmeg (my copy of the recipe just says nutmeg, so I put in everything I had, about 1 T. - so about that is good)

-Beat Crisco, sugar, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer or mix with a spoon. Stir in remaining dry ingredients.
-Cover and chill at least 2 hours (try not to eat all the dough while your child is napping)
-Heat oven to 400 degrees.
-Lightly grease cookie sheet (I use a silicon baking sheet)
-Roll to 1/4 inch thick and cut into desired shapes
-Bake 4-5 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool.

A few (more) tips: The dough is pretty sticky, so generously flour your surface for rolling. I also found it works best to only roll out a small amount of dough (about 1/3-1/4) at a time and leave the rest in the refrigerator.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Not permanently scarred, yet

Hollis is in preschool three days a week from 9am until noon. We are consistently running late leaving the house since neither one us feels terribly motivated in the mornings. I have generally been on time to pick him up though. My theory has been that as long as I am not the last car in the carpool line - either AM or PM - then we are fine and somebody else can be the bad parent of the day. This week has been a little tough though. For the first two days of the week I was late picking him up, not "where's the emergency contact number" kind of late, but about 10 minutes. And the last one in line.
On the second late day, Hollis got into the car with a sticker on his shirt that said, "Hooray for Me!". I asked him what he did to get the sticker and his answer was, "I was sitting so nicely". "Okay, great", I thought, "I am glad he is behaving so well at school" and really didn't think anything else about it. Later that night, when telling John about the sticker he elaborated on the story and including a few new crushing details. His teacher gave him the sticker since he was sitting waiting patiently in the carpool line and was the LAST CHILD FOR THE SECOND TIME. Ooh, knife through the heart. Then he topped it off with this gem, "I was just sitting there waiting and waiting". Yeah, I am pretty sure my Mom of the Year Award is in the mail. Don't worry though, I made it up by being early this afternoon.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Join the Army

This is probably a big "no duh" for all of you, but October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation have launch the Love/Avon Army of Women. Again, you probably already know this, I am little slow on the upswing so bear with me. The point of the Army of Women is to recruit one million women to take part in breast cancer research. Women of all ages, races and medical backgrounds are needed. After you sign up you will be contacted regarding studies in your area. If you qualify you can choose to participate, or not. I signed up tonight and it took less time then typing out this post. You should do it too. We all know someone who has battled, or is battling, this disease and every bit of insight brings us closer to a cure. Here is why signed up, how about you?

I'm not doing it so much for the shark, just John and Hollis.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mix it up Monday

Today's Mix it up Monday is ooey, gooey, chocolate and peanut butter goodness. Basically, a brownie not quite baked all the way and topped with warm peanut butter. Seriously, what else do you need?
When I started to make these, I realized I didn't have enough chocolate chips for the brownies and the topping, so I melted semi sweet bakers chocolate for the brownies then stirred in the chocolate and peanut butter chips. This is fine except that chocolate squares take a lot longer to melt than chocolate chips. I though my arm was going to fall off from all the stirring. Also, her tip about the peanut butter in the ziploc bag? Yeah, that didn't work so well for me, I ended with warm peanut butter all over the pan and counters. If you really want the peanut butter to be more inside the brownie than on top, you can get a Bismark pastry tip which is designed to do just that. Don't worry though, peanut butter on top or inside will be the least of your concerns once you start eating these babies. Enjoy!

Hollis demonstrates the ooey, gooeyness.

P.S. - Thanks Rae for the fancy countertop shot!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Mix it up Monday: Pumpkins

Hey, it's 75 degrees in Georgia, must be Fall! We are having a bit a pumpkin obsession at our house right now. Over the weekend I put out a few jack-o-lantern decorations and Hollis immediately thought it was Halloween. John and I have tried to explain that there are many days until Halloween and yet the first words out of his month this morning were, "Is it Halloween?". This is going to be a long month. I thought pumpkin muffins would be the perfect addition to his Halloween anticipation. Also, they sell them at Great Harvest Bread Company which was closed today. All I did was take my favorite pumpkin bread recipe and make it into muffins. The recipe calls for cloves and raisins, neither of which I like, so I leave them out. I did put in a quarter cup of walnuts and about a third of a cup of chocolate chips. This recipe makes two loaves but I usually half it. The bread and muffins turn out moist and not too heavy, a perfect compliment to your holiday menu, or obsession.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


I don't know who it was that decided we needed child labor laws in America. Why should children be allowed a laze around all day when there is work to be done? Who needs a childhood? Put your children to work, they love it. And it makes them tired, which is by the way, the basis for my entire parenting philosophy. Hollis spent a, dare I say, ENJOYABLE afternoon dusting and sweeping. I would have taken a picture to post, but I didn't want to distract him while he was on the clock. I think this may revolutionize my housekeeping. Now if I could only get him to scrub the toilet...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Using our benefits

This week we have taken full advantage of our insurance benefits. Since Tuesday we have been to the dentist, the eye doctor, the audiologist and an ear, nose and throat doctor. Are we dying or what? Well, the dentist visit was for Hollis' first cleaning. I have to say that I was more nervous than he was and had been putting it off for a year and half. Peer pressure finally broke the camel's back (did I just call myself a camel?) and to the dentist we went. The problem you see, is that about 18 months ago Hollis had a run in with the vacuum cleaner and knocked out one of his front teeth. At the time we went to the emergency room to determine that he did not need stitches and followed up with a visit to the pediatrician. Everyone agreed that the tooth would fall out on it's own and there was nothing that could be done. We also didn't have the aforementioned dental insurance on Hollis at the time. So we didn't go to the dentist. Then I started to feel bad about having not taken him. So I put it off some more. I like to ignore problems and hope they go're right, it rarely works. Anyway, I was worried that I had made some horrible parenting blunder by not taking him to be checked by the dentist. But never fear, all is well. The xray did show that the tooth broke off and a piece of the tooth and the root are still left, but the dentist was not concerned. He did fine with the cleaning, exam and xrays. He particularly liked the fish with teeth for him to brush and the water spray and suction. He also wanted to take home the protective covering from the xray because it was heavy and therefore a firefighter jacket. Oh, and don't forget the bus in the waiting room.
All the other appointments were for me. I still can't see, so I got contacts. The audiologist said I still can't hear. The ear, nose and throat doctor said I have a sinus infection and wrote me a prescription. I think we will survive.