Thursday, October 27, 2011

Random Tidbits

1. Trick or treating is Oren's calling. He loves having people give him candy. My other two kids like candy too, but Oren has no limit. I told him that his fourth sucker was his last so he licked it a few times and handed it over in order to pick out something else from his candy bucket. Smart kid.

2. I am pregnant with my FOURTH child. Four. Children. And although I've been somewhat of a crank lately, I couldn't be happier. Seriously. Bring on the fat baby cheeks and huge thighs.

3. I used a saw today and did not injure myself or threaten any of my kids with it.

4. The kids asked when we are going to church again. This is a major accomplishment and makes me think that I've finally found a place that fits. I still need to check out the Sunday school program, but I think this church will give the kids a good Christian foundation and help give them a sense of community and service. I also like that is very family friendly and I don't get death stares when Oren starts crawling under the pews.

5. The church is not Catholic. As much as I'd love to raise the kids Catholic, all of the Catholic churches I've tried around here have been disappointing. I really wanted to like the church closest to us, but everything was always about money. Few activities were free and community service was about raising money and not necessarily charity work. I am more than willing to give my time to a cause, but I got tired of being asked for money every time I turned around. The death stares during mass were also a turn-off.

6. All of the plumbing in my house is currently working, however, try as I might, I can't figure out why my bedroom smells like pee. Maybe Oren peed in the closet again. Yes, again.

7. I am genuinely excited to start working on Christmas gifts. I braved the craft store with the kids today and might take them to the fabric store tomorrow. I need diaper fabric, fleece, oil cloth, grommets, and chalkboard fabric (no clue if I can find it). The kids will inevitably throw in $30 or so in crap that I don't need. I should just order it online, but I like to "see" fabric with my hands before I buy it.

8. I'm freezing this pregnancy. I was upstairs and had to put on socks and a sweatshirt. My nose was frigid and I was certain that the temperature had dropped to 60 or below. Nope. 67. That's what the heat was set on before we got the wood burning stove. I am spoiled now and like to keep the temperature between 75 and 80. The upstairs is never that warm though which is why I sleep under the heaviest, biggest crocheted blanket in the world.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


It is easy for me to get carried away at Christmas. As a child, we opened lots of presents and always got one big present to share as a family. "Big" as in one year we got a speed boat for Christmas. My parents spent a small fortune, which I can appreciate a lot more now that I'm a parent.

Spending a lot of money on my kids for Christmas isn't an option and I've been stressed lately trying to figure out ways to increase our budget in order to buy the kids stuff they want. You see, they love to circle everything in the magazines that come in the mail and I want to buy them everything from those magazines.

Reality set in and I started making a list of homemade gifts for the kids. I love making things for the kids and while no one will be receiving a skee ball machine or wooden putting green, they will be getting stuff that was lovingly made by their mama. Here's my list for those who might be interested:

Elf bowling pins
trinket keeper
chalkboard place mat
marshmallow gun (I have it marked somewhere, but can't find it right now)
leg warmers
fleece skirts
fabric barn (similar to this only better)
art smock

I am excited to get started and have my list of supplies ready for the fabric and craft stores.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


'Tis the season for chili. I made the best pot of chili ever today and thought I'd share. Unfortunately, I didn't measure anything so it's all approximate. Taste as you go.

Chop the stems/tops off of enough tomatoes to fill a 6 qt sauce pan. Bring to a boil, cook until soft, and use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender to grind up the remaining chunks. Dump into a large crock pot or whatever you like to use for chili.

Add beans. I like black beans. I boil the beans for a bit, rinse, and add as many as I want to eat in the soup. This is usually about 3/4 of a bag. That's probably 2-3 cans.

Chop one onion and toss it in.

Cook ground beef. The beef we use doesn't have a lot of drippings so I don't drain it before adding it. I also think drippings add flavor so I almost always use the grease unless it's some sort of ridiculous amount.

Now for the spices. I like to add paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic and cumin.

I cooked the chili on low in the crock pot for about 7 hours, however, I usually cook it on the stove for 1-2 hours.

Here it is all written out:

1 lb ground beef
6 quarts diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 large onion, chopped
salt, to taste (I used around 1 1/2 tsp of salt since everything was fresh)
pepper, to taste (I used 1/2 tsp)
1 heaping tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic
1 Tbsp paprika
a few chopped fresh tomatoes for good measure

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Life with children is not always rainbows and unicorns. I saw a commercial tonight that said "My children were so cute as babies that I wanted to eat them up. Now that they're older, I sometimes wish I would have." Yes.

So what has my last week involved? Lots of whining. Lots of runny noses. Lots of coughing, a few fevers, and very, very little sleep for me.

Oren is a fireball and, while he's better than he was this spring, he is still sneaky and ornery as hell. He has managed to flush an apple, a pair of safety scissors, and a rubber, squirty penguin toy. It goes without saying that our toilet is having problems. Where was I when all of this happened? In the office paying bills for about 10 minutes. I know he acted alone with the apple, but I have a feeling the scissors and penguin toy were suggestions given by siblings. They have all claimed innocence, of course.

Maeve and Oren were the first two to be sick. It was a cold, but Maeve acted as though she was going to die. She wasn't quite sick enough to be quiet, but she did sit in her chair most of the day and whine about  wanting to cut off her nose. I think she sneezed three times, maybe. She was fine after that.

Oren's cold was longer. There was a lot of snot involved and a coughing spell that lasted three days and was the worst at night. He would be awake from 12-2 am and again from 4-5:30 am. We sat in the bathroom many times with the hot shower steam. I still have not recovered from the lack of sleep. I suspect I will not recover until the end of next summer when baby #4 knows that night is for sleeping.

Finn never did get a cold. Instead, he had a fever, a belly ache, and puked water. All over my bed. That was a lovely way to say good morning. He was sick for an evening and part of a morning and never sick enough to not whine. Finnegan is also great at the man moan, which, I am certain, he inherited from his father.

Oren now has a fever. I took his temperature before we left for art class and was hoping the fever would break while he napped in the car. While the boys and I were driving around during Maeve's art class so that Oren could finish his nap, we got in a car accident. Everyone is fine and there was no damage on either car. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the lady is honest and doesn't become some sort of psycho, insurance fraud kind of person. Oren's fever had climbed during his nap so we went to the doctor after art class to rule out an ear infection or strep. He has a red throat, clear ears and had a negative strep test. Sigh.