Welcome to the fabulous and sometimes insane life
of a working mother who is trying hard not to
let her whole existence be determined by her
cute little munchkins, yet continues to be drawn
in by the adorable and sometimes annoying tiny people!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Our Olympic Opening

I love the Olympics. I mean, I freakin' LOVE the Olympics! I don't really know why...maybe it is the sports, maybe the camaraderie, maybe its the tradition, maybe it represents our hopes of peace for our world. Whatever it is, we are glued to it for the next 17 days. 

So we decided to make it a big deal at our house and have our own opening ceremonies: complete with decorations, events, medals, and international cuisine. We started by creating our decorations.  

We made a border of flags that I drew and the girls colored, and then created an Olympic flag. 

Next we had to plan the events. We left this up to my 8 year old. She likes to plan and is extremely organized, so she fit the bill of our Olympic Games captain! 

We started with the trampoline jump which included a high jump and trick section! Check out my toe touch!! Yeah, I still got it!

Then we moved to the track and field events, where we had one of the youngest Olympian ever participating!

Finally, before we were driven inside by the heat, the gnats (welcome to South Georgia!), and the mosquitoes we had the soccer shoot out.

When we got inside, there was gymnastics, a scavenger hunt, and Wii Fit events! Then we had a medal ceremony, where we used every medal and trophy we have ever received from Honor Rolls, gymnastic competitions, dance, and honors days! Check out who was the Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!!! 
Speaking of dinner: we had the traditional English Fish and Chips and then I prepared an English trifle.

For the fish and chips:
5 white potatoes
3 flounder or other firm white fish fillets
Garlic Salt
Seasoning Salt
Olive Oil
Canola Oil
Peel the potatoes and slice into thin strips. Place on baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and toss. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, seasoning salt, and garlic salt and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. 

For the fish, cut the fillets into 1-2 inch strips. Drag through a butter and milk mixture. Coat in a flour mixture of flour, garlic salt, salt, and pepper. "Fry" in a skillet with about 2 tablespoons (just enough to coat the bottom) of canola oil. Cook until brown on both sides.

For the Traditional English Trifle:
2 pints of strawberries
1 pint of blueberries
4 bananas
1 cup of sugar
1 angel food cake (just buy it out of the bakery)
Vanilla pudding, prepared as instructed on the box
Cool Whip
Slice strawberries and toss with half of the sugar. Toss blueberries with the other half of sugar. Slice bananas. Prepare pudding. Get everything ready to layer.
Cube angel food cake and layer half of it on the bottom of a deep bowl. Then layer strawberries, blueberries, and then bananas. Next spread half of pudding on top of fruit. Repeat layers and then top with cool whip. It was light and delicious!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lessons that Stick

In the news lately, there have been countless parents that have been publicized for their disciplining tactics.

There was the father in Texas whose daughter was stupid enough to post things on Facebook about how horrible her family was:

Then there was the mother who posted on her daughter's Facebook page:

And tonight on Facebook I saw this one:

We discipline our children in a pretty simple ways. We talk and explain. We then place in time out. If that doesn't work, we take things away. And if by some reason they continue the same offense or if there is an offense that is so bad and/or dangerous, we will (gasp) spank.

However, recently I found that none of my tactics were working, and I had to get creative. My oldest daughter has recently been having trouble remembering to flush the toilet. It has gotten so bad that my maid has complained, my mother, and even our occasional guest. I put her in timeout, made her write letters of apologies, took her Nintendo DS away, and, once because she repeatedly lied about it, I spanked her.

I came to my wits end, when after I found a present in the toilet left for me by my precious 8 year old, she lied to me again about it. This came after the day before we had been at my parents' house and the same thing happened. So I got extremely creative....creative and probably a little cruel according to some people and a lot cruel according to my daughter.

After making her flush, I made her clean the toilet. I gave her Clorox wipes, a scrub brush, and some toilet cleaner and made her clean from the top all the way into the bowl. She cried and cried and I almost gave in, but then I thought about her going to third grade in August and being made fun of for not flushing the toilet and I stuck to my guns (no pun intended).

She was mad at me for a while, but my job as a parent is to teach my children lessons to help them be better people: better, responsible, and considerate people. But my job is not only to help her learn lessons but also to make sure she remembers these lessons. Not just the little lessons about flushing the toilet but also the lessons about not doing drugs and being kind to others and waiting for true love before having sex.

So yes, I made my kid clean our toilet, but hopefully that lesson, along with all of the other lessons, will be a Lesson that Sticks.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ham, Cheese, Broccoli Ring

This is easy, delicious an nutritious!

You need:
1 cup of chopped ham
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of chopped broccoli
2 tbsp of honey mustard
1 tbsp mayonnaise
2 cans of crescent rolls

1. Cook broccoli. Allow to cool. And chop.

2. Chop ham and place cheese, broccoli, and ham

3. Add 2 tbsp of honey mustard dressing and 1 tbsp of mayo and mix well. 
4. Separate crescent rolls into triangles and lay in circle with tips pointed out. 

5. Press the seams flat so none of the yumminess will escape.

6. Scoop mixture onto crescent rolls in  a circle. 
7. Fold the points toward the center to cover the filling. 

8. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Patriotic Cupcakes

I saw this on Pinterest and couldn't help myself. They were too cute!

What do you need?
1-2boxes of your favorite cake mix. Yeah, you could make it from scratch but why? It is just as good and so much easier! I always use pound cake because I love it and it is always firm and ready for decorating.

Now you just need to prepare the cake mix according to the box's instructions. 

Next evenly divide the batter into three separate bowls. 

Line the cupcake pan with liners and then scoop each color into every mold. Layering them: red, white, blue.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Top with your favorite icing. I use my homemade buttercream that is super easy and cheap. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Talk Early, Talk Often

Ever since I became an adult (even before I had my own kids), I have been a proponent of talking to your kids about alcohol, sex, drugs....whatever might affect them and cause them to make choices they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.

Today I watched "She's Too Young" on Lifetime that brought it all back to me. It was fiction but like many lifetime movies was based on a true story. It made me want to get back up on my soap box for a little while, so here it goes.

Parents are the biggest influence on their children, their lives, their choices today and in the future. If you start early, it opens the lines of communication for you to tell your child the truth about what is out there and instill in them your beliefs and why you believe them.

It was not that long ago when I was in middle school and high school. I mean it was 20 years ago, but I still wouldn't want to think of my children in some of the same places I was in....parties in the middle of fields with all kinds of things going on, places I ended up because that was where my friends went but I was so uncomfortable all I wanted to do was to go home, situations that could have ended up so much worse if just one little thing had changed.

And it is so much worse to day. Did you know that according to USA Today half of 15 year olds engage in oral sex on a regular basis and that they consider it to be the equivalent of kissing? 90% of teenagers will get drunk to the point of getting physically ill before they graduate from high school and many of those will happen before they even get to high school. 53% of the teenage population have tried illegal drugs and most of them tried something much worse than pot. Want to know something even more astonishing? 15% of children (and I say children because that is what they are) age 12 have engaged in one of the 3 types of sexual intercourse! 

Kids are going to make bad choices. They are going to live their lives. They are going to rebel. But what we teach them now before they get to the point of hating us and ignoring us is what might make all the difference in the future.

I remember when I was newly married, I went to a bachelorette party at someone's house. It was completely innocent, but we played this game where everyone told how old they were when they lost their virginity. I was the only one who was out of high school. In fact, I was 21 years old and almost through with college, and my future husband was my partner. Everyone else was in high school and in some cases middle school when they had their first time. I wondered why, so I asked them how old they were when their mothers talked to them about sex. Of the 12 women sitting around the table that night, I was the only one whose mother had ever actually had a conversation with me about sex.

Could talking have affected my choice to abstain? I don't know. And I don't fool myself into believing that talking to my girls about sex or drugs or alcohol or whatever else will cause them to abstain from it. I pray it will, but I am trying to be realistic. 

What I hope is that through my conversations with them they will come to trust me. They will know that I am there for them, and they will learn that even though I am "ancient" I did actually go through many of the same things they will. I hope they will see that actions have consequences and that we control our actions by the positions. friendships, and situations we put ourselves in. I hope that they know how special and precious they are and that every time they give part of themselves to a boy in any way sexually that they loose a little bit of that preciousness.

I am sure I will make plenty of mistakes, and I know they will. But the most important thing I can do is to start talking to them early and to talk to them often because I love them more than I could ever imagine and it is my responsibility to give them all the tools they need to live a safe, healthy, and happy life.