Saturday, November 24

AP Moment of the day~ think like a child...or why my kids love me!!

The children were just out playing in the snow and I, watching from the warm kitchen, remembered my childhood and the joy of coming in from the cold to a steaming cup of hot chocolate !! When they finally came back in, I made up some of our fabulous Ghirardelli Double Chocolate hot cocoa and then thought, hmm.. how can we improve on this.... sooo I got out some organic half and half and whipped it up into a frenzy. When the chocolate was warm I divided it between two cups and then dolloped the whipped half and half on top. It looked nice, but needed something... oh yeah... what it needed was dark chocolate curls sprinkled on top...THAT'S what it needed! ;D WOW!!! The kids eyes lit up and it tasted sooo good... I might have to make a little for myself..... right after I have lit the fire....Hot chocolate and snowy days call for a roaring fire in the fireplace... and a good book.....and slippers......and maybe a small nap!!! Bliss !!

AP Moment of the day~Taking care of you..... getting the heck out the house once in a while! :D

Last night we had our neice come over and babysit for us! Whooo hooo!! A "date night" !! We perhaps get out, hubby and I, around once a month, perhaps once every six weeks. The only night she was available over this holiday weekend was last night, so we took her up on her offer and she came over about 6:30. The kids LOVE her and barely batted an eye as I hugged them up and bade them farewell and adieu and adios... pleading with them to please be good for Meggie, please don't tear around the house screaming like last time.... please don't make her bake cookies with you and then pour flour all over the floor like the time before that.... please don't make the poor girl read every book in the house before you will even consider going to sleep when you know I read you two stories, two lullabies and then lights OUT!......The kids were all but pushing me out the door whilst I wrang my hands which were gloved up against the frigid air. On the occasions we do go out I have visions of us getting into horrendous wrecks and the poor children being left, orphaned, because their parents just had to get that "alone" time.... they just couldn't be happy at home night after night after night with their own children.....!!!! Last night was worse as the winter weather has finally arrived and the roads were icy... more worry for me...!!! I am, it appears, the quintessential worrying mother!!! I could worry for the Olympics for sure, if I didn't make it digressing!

So anyway...!! Hubby and I make it out the house and down the drive. ( cue the violins... ) We wave from the car to the poor children, sobbing at the window, pitifully waving hankies and wiping away tears of.....sorry? ... what???...oh... apparently they were jumping up and down laughing and were waving flags... silly me. Ahem. ( violins screech into silence! ) Hubby and I head off into the bright city lights of small town mid America!! I am dressed up "fancy" and have make up on... heels... the works! I'm looking GOOD and looking forward to my night out!!! Imagine my chagrin to find that e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. in town is closed on the night of Thanksgiving! EVEN STARBUCKS!!! ***GASP!!!*** I KNOW!!!!!!!! oh, I tell a lie.... the 24 hour crappy grocery store was open.... a gas station was open.... the movies were open ( but they weren't showing anything of interest. I considered sitting in their lobby eating popcorn and watching the screens with the previews but hubby wouldn't go for it!) and blockbuster was open. Natch. Our first stop was the gas station where we had an "exotic coffee" ( bleurgh!! and ptooowieee ) and a chocolate bar. It was all of 17f so even getting in and out of the car was a pain and something that you really had to work yourself up to do!! Do I REALLY want to get out into this cold and leave the warmth of the van?!?! After the dizzying heights of the gas station we then went and held hands in the Blockbuster and looked at all the boxes along the walls....!! We already HAD a ton of movies we'd rented at home BUT I was delighted to find that Blockbuster sells my FAVORITE chocolate ( see sidebar.....>>) and so I persuaded hubby to buy one for me and happily skipped ( sort of ) back out to the van where we considered our options for the remainder of our evening. We could go to the lake and sit and watch the moon on the ice, we could drive around and look at the lights... we could go home and watch movies in the warm.....!!! We decided to head for home but suddenly realised THE KIDS WOULD STILL BE UP!!!!! LOL!!!!!! Desperately we began to wrack our brains for something to do to delay the inevitable.... we remembered our good friends live on the way home and, despite it being Thanksgiving night, we called 'em up and invited ourselves on over!!! :D They welcomed us so warmly, served us pecan pie and hot apple cider and made us laugh and laugh!!! Our friends said they LOVED being our dates!!! We left them after an hour or so and returned to our warm home to find our oldest sleeping peacefully and the young un still holding out!!! I kissed Beans as she slept and held out my arms for my little guy. He sleepily looked up to me and said "Mammy Home!!" and I snuggled him until he fell asleep in my arms. Bliss.

Date night is lovely and getting out is imperative.... but coming home is the sweeter.

Friday, November 23

Ap Moment of the day ~Thanksgiving

Today I gave my family the gift of a lovely Thanksgiving Day. I made the meal from scratch, from Turkey dinner to pumpkin pie ( with ginger topping that caramelised ...!! Recipes by request..!!! ) but the food wasn't the gift. The gift was my promise to myself that no matter what happened, no matter how stressed out I was, my family would not see me lose my temper or get flustered with them. ... and I did it!! I had a couple of challenges.... both children wanted to help... Beans was VERY helpful... donned her pinny and helped make the pies and dress up the turkey, Jackster, well, he wanted to be helpful by bringing in all his cookbooks and doing his best to tell us how to make cookies....!! I don't have a large kitchen by any means, so his being in the room with his stool and his books was rather stressful for me, but I was able to deal with it with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart. The house wasn't very tidy, there was laundry in the living room, the fire wasn't lit, the table looked ok but wasn't fancy at all... the piping bag burst when I was trying to pipe mashed potatoes, the Rustic Cranberry and Apple tart was not going to be cooked in time for dinner since it needed to cook too high AND there wasn't enough pastry to cover it.... Beans dropped the pumpkin pie on it's way to the fridge and Jackster wanted to play out in the snow and when he finally was persuaded to come inside, would eat NOTHING but bread. N.O.T.H.I.N.G!! Flippin' kid. BUT, I didn't get upset. I kept my calm, smiled, and said "Nothing will bother me today" !! It WORKED!! I can't believe it worked.

We had a "perfect" Thanksgiving by not focusing on what "makes " it perfect but on allowing it to BE perfect, whatever it was.

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful too.... come on Christmas... BRING IT ON!!!! :D

Wednesday, November 21

AP Moment of the day~let the kids be kids..!

I first have to share SNOW!! We had snow today!!! And not just a few dry flakes skating past the window, no real snow!! or, as Jackster puts it "NO!!!!!!!" LOL!! He just loves "no!!"

Anyway, today was going to be the day I took pictures of the children for the Christmas cards. We had errands to run in the morning and then when we came home we planned to give the kiddies a warm bath, wash and blow dry Bean's hair, dress up in fancy togs and have pictures taken! :D The bath went reasonably well and Bean's was super enthused about getting dressed up.. she LOVES to wear pretty dresses and look beautiful....she'd had her dress picked out for some time and spent a good few minutes picking out ribbons she wanted to wear that would go with the dress.... Jackster... not so much. I didn't actually have anything terribly fancy for him to wear, but I did have a few smarter shirts in mind.... but he wanted to wear his Cars T Shirt. He REEEALLY wanted to wear his Cars T Shirt. I mean A. Lot. I begged him, please, this is just for a photo, "You want to look nice for the Christmas Cards don't you?!?!! " ( Seriously, please, like the kid cares what he looks like on Christmas Cards!!!! ) I tried reasoning, pleading, bribing, then suddenly it hit me.... of COURSE he should wear his Cars T Shirt!! His obsession with Cars runs as deep as Bean's obsession with being Ladylike and demure in Princess like dresses....!! He IS his Cars T shirt and it would be wrong of me to try and dress him up in something that would be MY idea of what he should look like... he needs to be himself.... and I think he scrubs up pretty darn nicely! :D

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, from my family, to yours!

Tuesday, November 20

Kids Say the funniest things... warnings...!!

A while ago the family were all sitting around the dinner table and Beans got the giggle which annoyed Captain Destructo immensely!!! He became quite agitated and repeatedly asked her to stop....."..stop it.....Stop! .... STOP IT!!!!" which of course only lead to her giggling even more whilst desperately struggling for composure to ease his wrath! "stop it...." he said, in a warning tone......"stop it... or I POINT A' YOU....!!!!!!!!!!!" Dun dun duuuuunnnn!!! LOL!!!

We all dissolved in stitches!!! He's hilarious!!! When I'm thoroughly annoyed with the children at the table I give them "the look" and then, if needs must, I point at them ( you know, as mother's do... the "point" which means "You are on Thin Ice Mister ( or Miss ) !!" Clearly the little guy thought that was the scariest thing to do to a person and by Jove, he was going to do it if she didn't stop giggling and quick!! ;D

Of course now, if anyone in the family is remotely annoying... well..... they are warned....!! ....
"I POINT a' you.....!!! "

Monday, November 19

AP Moment of the day... Being a Mommy and stepping up to the plate.

There are some times when I hate being a parent. Honestly. It's true. I KNOW!! It's almost considered a crime to say such a thing, but, there ya have it, I'm shooting from the hip here. Sometimes it's godawful and I hate it. Mostly I hate it at dinner time. I care about my children and my hubby's health... (And mine, though you wouldn't know it given all the chocolate and cookies I force into my unwilling throat) anyhoo..... so I try to get the kids and everyone to eat SOME fruits and veggies!! I couldn't manage to get them to eat 11 servings !! ELEVEN SERVINGS??!? WHO HAS TIME!?!? But everything we do eat is organic, so I figure they get lots more goodness in the smaller amounts they eat. So I make soups, sauces, roasted veggies, sweet potatoes.... you know the drill. They eat tons of fruit, but the dark green leafies?!?!? Why does something that is sooooo good for you taste so bad?! It doesn't make sense. If Chocolate were the best food for you, we'd all be so very healthy around here!! ;D......

(My I could digress for the Olympics!!)

...ANYWAY.......But you'd think I was asking them to eat steaming toxic waste. It's such a hassle and makes me NUTS. I am sensitive to things they really don't like and to things that are very strong tasting or just gross ( Okra, I'm talking about YOU... bleurrgghhh) but honestly they sit and piiiick really slowly at their food or flat out WON'T eat it... Agggh. It doesn't happen very often really... I suppose most of the time they are pretty good eaters. Also, if I am honest with myself, I always sort of KNOW when they aren't going to eat something so I think I am more stressed out anyway, but I'm a miserable housewife... I am hopeless at meal planning and the like and dinner is so often off the cuff.... GAH!!!

Oh Good GRIEF get to the point!!!

So tonight I really wanted the Captain to eat some of the soup. It was so darn good for him he didn't even have to eat much... just SOME for Pete's sake ( who IS Pete and how will this help him? What kind of a situation does a person have to be in where a random stranger eating "just three spoons" of soup will save him?!?! ) *tsk... I did it AGAIN*... even I'm having a hard time following this....!!!

The boy was very upset especially when he begged to watch Wallace and Gromit rather than eat his soup. I put the tape away and said he could see it tomorrow but for now SOUP, MISTER!!! He became very upset... I was really annoyed... flaming ungrateful kids....! I make the soup to keep them healthy and what do I get?!! Nothing but grief, that's what!! It makes me nuts that all I want is for the best for them and they fight me the whole way...GAAAHHHH!!!....

I managed to get some spoonfuls into the little guy before I sent him upstairs to get ready for bed. He was sobbing he was so unhappy he couldn't watch Wallace and Gromit. He was crying that sort of cry where you try to talk and you c....c....c....can't get it out.... I felt so sorry for him. He likes to deal with it alone when he is sad and we have to respect that, so I left him alone but kept an ear and eye on him. He went under the table, turned his back and sobbed some more. I crawled under the table and lay next to him without speaking. I touched his leg for a brief moment, just so he knew I was there and then said "I'm mad at you. And you are mad at me?" "noooo" he sobbed and turned around.. his little tear stained face just tugged at my heart. I told him that even though I was mad at him, I still loved him. He said "I yub you Momma" and I asked him if he'd like a hug. Bless him he came right to me for a snuggle and I held him tight and kissed his little head. What a stinker. Right around his finger I am. And I wouldn't trade it. For anything. Until dinner time tomorrow... we're having squash!!

Kids Say the Funniest Things...Again!

Today was another glorious sunshiney day... 80 degrees !! In Mid November!! Nutty!!! Anyway, it was super, so we spent a lot of time outside. The kids played in the yard, we went for a nice long walk and Beans gathered some stuff up and "surprised" me with a grouping of vegetation and vegetables on the dining table! It was like a little Harvest scene and I thought it was very sweet... it reminded me of the year when I gathered up our Thanksgiving centerpieces to put out on the table. Beans wanted to play with some of the bits and asked me for "that thing..."

"what thing, honey?" I asked her....

"That thing.... the "that's too much horn..." ......

"......!!??.....huh??...... Ooooohhhhh!!!!..... waaait..... you mean the "Horn of Plenty" ???"

LOL!!!! Bless her!! She ain't EVER going to live that down!!! :D

Sunday, November 18

AP Moment of the day~ Taking Care of You... teach the kids how to make your favorite beverage!

You may have noticed that lots of my AP posts focus on the Taking Care of You aspect.... hmmm.. funny that.....!! ;D

Children "of a certain age" seem to delight in doing things to please their parents, especially if it is something that is seen to be "grown up" and even more so if there is perceived to be a small element of danger involved!!! ;D I recently taught the Bean how to make me a pot of hot tea and a cup of coffee for hubby!! Each weekend and in fact, most mornings, she proudly arrives in our bedroom carefully carrying wonderful steaming beverages for her beaming parents to enjoy!! And, enjoy we do!! :D It seems to me that a cup of tea always tastes nicer when someone else makes it, especially in the morning! :D Of course her first attempts were not always to my liking... she used to run a hot tap in the kitchen and put a tea bag in the cup of lukewarm water..... hmmm... not so nice!! The other morning she had grown confused as to my directions for instant coffee and called upstairs complaining that "the coffee isn't doing's just sitting there...." ..... LOL!!! I jumped out of bed to see just what she thought the coffee ought to be doing only to find she had made an attempt at the coffee pot... to rather miserable results unfortunately! :D Still, she persevered and was able to produce a more than satisfactory brew for her Dad!!

So, in conclusion, if you can get them to make you something warm to start the day it's a good AP moment for everyone! Mama is happy ... and therefore there's a good chance everyone else's day will be better too!! :D ( hey, there's no guarantees!!!)