Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Madness!!

The title is courtesy of Kathleen...Thank You! What is Monday Madness? Well I have decided that every Monday I will make, I mean give my family the opportunity to try something we don't normally eat. Last week it was Mango, it got mixed reviews. Rebecca said no thank you, Reagan thought it was first and then had her fill, Ryan wouldn't touch it and since he's two...well, oh well, Ron thought it wasn't too bad and I wasn't super crazy about it either. Now I have had it in a jar as strange as that sounds and that was pretty good, so maybe I just didn't get a good one. i don't know. Anyway, tonight's mission: Make Butternut Squash taste good. Of course I went straight to my favorite recipe site and typed in squash...OK, confession, I didn't know what kind it was. I went to the store saw "winter squash" and thought...we've never had that!! So after a little research, thank you wikipedia and you tube (had to learn how to cut it) I went back to the recipes. So I put butter in the pan, always a crowd pleaser, and threw in some I did not throw up in my mouth at the thought of that, and let it cook. While that was assaulting my senses, I cut up my squash and then peeled it and then cubed it. The onion is definitely soft now so in goes the squash. Reagan wants to try it raw and I said no. I know you should let them try it, but I know my daughter and I know it's nasty raw and if she tastes it nasty there will be gaging and crying to taste it when it's "good" later. So I'm moving it around, salt, pepper, Cinnamon, nutmeg (yay I finally get to use my pinch of nutmeg from the bottomless jar)and let it work. Oh did I say I was toasting pecans too? So cook until problem, soft they are, at least most of them, and at the end toss in a tablespoon of brown sugar! That cannot be bad. Oh yeah and the toasted pecans. I give Rebecca a taste and out flare the nostrils and her hand goes over her mouth as she shakes her head, No! Reagan takes a bite and instantly starts negotiating how many bites she will have to eat at dinner time. I go to give her another bite, she politely refuses. Ryan, well I am starting to think that if it's orange, he's not interested, but I am going to try to get him to take a bite. I think it's pretty good. Will I shout HOORAY and make it once a week? No, but I could be a seasonal treat! Ron has not tasted it yet so I will have to come back and edit his response later!! I'll let you know how it goes, oh and in case you are wondering, Reagan only has to eat 5 small the size of peanut M&M's. Hopefully she'll live.

Edit: Ron actually thought it was pretty good and ate his portion. When I asked what he thought and he said, "not bad." I figured I'd ask the million dollar question, "Would you eat it again?" When he said yes I fell off my chair. Ryan did not want the mysterious orange food Rebecca was gaging over. Imagine that.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Cat and The Woodchuck

Our backyard is a sanctuary for animals. We have about 6 different kinds of birds, endless squirrels, A family of 4 bunnies, a woodchuck and occasionally a couple of deer. Every morning, afternoon and evening the bunnies and the woodchuck come out of the trees to eat. I think they are getting ready for winter because you'd think they were all teenage boys as of late. Eating constantly!! Well this morning a orange and white cat decided to join the breakfast club. However, the cat eyeballed the woodchuck (chuck is his name, they all have names but I won't bore you) too long. I know this because instead of keeping everyone on the "take another bite" schedule of our own breakfast, I was watching out the window. Naturally the girls noticed so they came to watch. So here is Chuck watching the cat and the cat is watching chuck and all of a sudden backs start to arch. Hmmm...never seen fat ole Chuck do that before. I decide in my good Mothering to inform the girls that this could go in a bad direction. And because I am such a good mommy I tell them if one attacks the other they are to close their eyes and I will tell them what happens. So now Chuck is trying to do the right thing and walk away...I pointed that out to the kids..."see you should always try to walk away from a fight." Now I am narrating and Chuck says to...fluffy...for lack of a better name (the cat hasn't been around long enough to be named) "fluffy, I don't wanna fight you man...walk away cat." and Fluffy says, "take one more step, chunky, and I'm gonna take you out in front of those kids" Well chuck took another step and, like Ryan does pretends to do something else and then takes off running. He's remarkably fast for the body to leg ratio! Fluffy follows and they chase each other into the trees. Now we are all standing there listening..."you hear anything?" I got three No's and of course one yes. The yes comes from the hypochondriac of the family (no it's not me, I am miss worst case scenario) This person can hear yelps and hisses from the cat and Chuck. OK, I don't think so. We figured we just wait to see who would come out of the trees victorious, but the timer rang and we had to leave for school. I am happy to report that Chuck made his scheduled appearance at dinner time. No sign of Fluffy. I don't think the cat is welcome for meals anymore. I'll let you know if we see him or start to smell a foul smell coming from the trees. Normally my children get to experience mating or birth from nature so this was a nice change of pace!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Home or Hotel?

I recently read a book that asked this question, "Is your house a home or a hotel for your children?" At that time, I was definitely running a hotel. I was doing everything for our kiddos and starting to resent the fact that they expected it. Well after I read this book, things got shaken up!! The girls have regular chores and certain expectations of what they need to do everyday. It has changed our home drastically. A few of the things the girls do are: Empty the dishwasher (Reagan does the dishes, Rebecca does the silverware 2. Help pick up the house at the end of the day 3. Clean up their dirty clothes after a shower 4. do their own laundry and keep their rooms clean with a vacuum and dusting once a week. They do get an allowance, but they can only lose money if I have to do a job for them or if they hire someone else to accomplish their responsibility. At first I wasn't sure how this was going to work, but I have to say it has helped relieve my burden a ton! Anyway, the best part so far is this, yesterday I noticed Reagan's room was getting a touch messy and her bed wasn't made. So I did it for her. It was so cool to see her come home from school go up in her room and yell, "THANKS MOM!" I got the opportunity to bless her instead of feel taken advantage of. That has been awesome. It has given me joy back in surprising them with a job already done! The other great thing is we have started giving them allowance. They are a bunch of savers!! LOL No one wants to spend their money now that they are seeing it add up. It's cool to watch them learn that not everything is worth having. Lastly, I have to tell you about Ryan who is picking things up just by watching. Lately his favorite past time is to play in the sink. With a stool he can reach to turn the water on and play. Last night I let him play for a while so he got out some cups and was having a grand time. At some point he decided while he was there he would brush his teeth. So I told him to brush his teeth and then he needed to be done. I could not believe it when I walked in the bathroom after he was done...we'll I couldn't believe he actually turned the water off the first time I asked!...He had put all of his cups away and done his 2 year old best to clean up without me asking!! That was so cool. Is it really possible that I am going to end with an easy child??? I guess the lesson that I have learned is that I can do everything for everybody thinking I am being a great mom and in the process burn myself out into a resentful mess. Or I can delegate some of the responsibilities to my children and give them a happy mom and teach them to contribute to our family. When the choice is home or hotel, we remember quickly that a hotel is only fun for so long but it always feels great to come home!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Back to School

Sorry it's been a while since I posted anything. The beginning of the school year is always a little crazy. I started to realize just how lax our routine had become over the summer. Now we have our feet under us again and things are running nice and smooth. The first day of school is always interesting. Each child deals with it differently and I find myself dealing with each of their emotions all at once. Reagan is always nervous.
She is so much like me. She sat at the breakfast table unable to eat because the inevitable stomachache had shown up. I couldn't say I blamed her because I had the same one. I was busy hoping she'd like her teacher and that she would find a friend in her class, and countless other thoughts that every parent of every child has. Then there was Rebecca just as excited as ever.
Not a care in the world just ready to get going. The ache in my heart was for her. The fact that she is growing up faster then I can keep up with gives me that ache in my chest. For her I hoped that she would find her class room. She seems so small to me, yet the confidence she has makes me so proud! We are two weeks in and everyone is doing great. Reagan pulls out her daily homework and gets it done right after school. It helps that the neighbor and I have a deal and both of our children must do their work before they can play. It works wonders. Rebecca is doing so well at getting ready for school and coming home and telling me everyday that, "someone has homework!" however it is NEVER her...always me. LOL Before I know it all three will be getting on that school bus and I am told that I will rejoice. For now, I nurse the ache in my heart knowing that being a parent will always be bitter sweet and it will always go too fast in some ways and not fast enough in others. I am just thankful that I get to be here to witness their lives. That is truly the best gift I've ever been given.