Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's Not Really Christmas til Someone Gets Kicked in the Eye

Ahhhh. The sounds of Christmastime. The pitter-patter of little feet. The sound of a child's laughter floating through the hall. The sound of a slap followed by shrieks that would make a banshee envious. Yes, Christmas at our house is a joyous occasion. My kids act like, well, kids. They are not write-home-to-mom well-behaved. They are also not look-up-the-nearest-military-school little demons...all the time.

They have their ups and downs, first adoring and hugging each other, playing school or restaurant, then, five minutes later, Monkey pulls Bear's hair and she grabs the toy from his hand and he proceeds to poke her and she slaps his hand and they shove each other and within 30 seconds it either escalates to a screaming match or they are laughing hysterically. It's a toss up.

This was taken approximately 30 seconds before he hit Bear with that train.

They inevitably choose to begin these arguments while I'm trying to nurse Roo to sleep. Which usually results in whispered threats from the couch, someone running in crying, Roo waking up, me losing my temper and putting everyone in time out. Including myself. Do I take a bottle of wine to time out with me? Maybe.

But with Christmas quickly approaching, the "Santa Claus is watching you" threat is being used more and more. Insert Ray Stevens video here.

However, it is losing its effectiveness. That's right. Now when I say, "Santa is making his lists! Do you think you're gonna be on the nice list if he sees you writhing on the floor with pillows on your head, sobbing and kicking and flailing because your brother tried to sit on your dollhouse?" I merely get more tantrum. What are my options here? I can see the wheels turning in her head, reasoning out the possibilities of a stocking full of coal:
Well, I heard that last year and the year before and I still got presents... Oh, well. Better keep up the flailing....

I suppose I could follow through on the coal threat. But I just can't bring myself to do it. So, instead, I simply pick her up, put her on the bed, and walk away to wait until she (or he, as the case may be) is ready to be reasonable.

Unwanted affection. It's rather hard to hate on him when he's being so adorable.

I know it looks like they are getting along in this one. He was actually rearing back to spit at her.

And still, I can't complain about my children. They are Good Kids, they know Right from Wrong, and they know exactly where the Line is drawn. I realized this even more last night as I was watching Jimmy Kimmel's Christmas YouTube challenge. These parents "let" their kids open one present early. They were horrible. The presents, not the kids. Okay, some of the kids were. A few were really young and very honest, saying, "I don't like this!" A couple realized that their parents' feelings might be hurt and tried (very diplomatically, I might add) to express their dissatisfaction while allowing the 'rents to save face.

But a few of those kids...

I swear on everything holy, if my child ever throws a present in my face, rushes me and screams that he hates his "stupid parents".... Not only would I be too ashamed to upload that video for the entire world to see my offspring act like that, I'd immediately start looking up the aforementioned military schools. I would be appalled to realize that my son not only knows the term "suck my balls" but would say it to his mother.

Yes, readers, it happened, it happened on camera, and now it has been documented by the Jimmy Kimmel Show, YouTube, and all the world.

So I guess we've got it pretty good. My kids are normal, well-adjusted, thankful for what they get, and I haven't tried to sell them to the gypsies.


Friday, December 16, 2011

I Made Nummies, and You Can, Too!

Oh, the yummy foods we make. I'd be lying if I said we plan our suppers each day. Usually, Wes or I come home with some kind of meat and then we make up some kind of creation. It's at the very least edible. At the most, it's worthy of me sharing the recipe here because we accidentally created something awesome.

This is one of the latter instances.

So we had some pork chops. And potatoes. And frozen veggies. Usually this will result in some kind of crazy casserole, but last night I was feeling rather inventive. I will now give credit to Pinterest. Completely responsible for the wonderful potatoes. You can see the recipe here. But the chops....

I did get inspiration for the pork from a loin recipe on Pinterest. (...this one...) But it took a sharp turn when Bear spilled half of the thyme on the kitchen floor. So we came up with our own variation. This was mostly due to her insistence that we have gingerbread pork chops. I thought that ginger would be a great addition. So. Here is what we ended up with:

4 bone in pork chops

3 T thyme
2 T ginger
1/2-1/4 c honey
2 T butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Sear the pork chops in oil for 45ish seconds on each side.
Transfer to baking dish lined with foil and lightly coated with oil.
Rub the mixture on each side of the chops.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until done.

Yup. And it was incredible. All of it. Serve with a simple green veggie like broccoli because you don't want the tastes to compete.

Sorry about the lack of pictures. They were gone before I got a chance to take any....

Monday, December 5, 2011

"Parenthood" has Ticked Me OFF

I'm addicted to the show Parenthood on NBC. I know a lot of parents who are. Seriously, Bonnie Bedelia makes the whole show for me. I totally want to be her when I'm 60.

The show has been kind of mild as far as offensive content... I mean, considering how touchy I am about certain subjects. You know who usually grates my nerves, though? Kristina, played by Monica Potter. I understand that it's her character. I get that. I don't, like, dislike Monica as a person. The writers, on the other hand, have finally royally pissed me off.

Maybe it's because Kristina is the one I associate with the most. Thirties, three kids, just had a baby... About that baby... Kristina is usually a mess about everything and that irks me. Her pregnancy was remarkably fast and not completely unrealistic, but inasmuch as the rest of the show is not overly exaggerated, I fail to understand why her pregnancy had to be. Still, that's not what got me steaming.

The childbirth was more or less ridiculous, but what was to be expected from a network tv show? On her back, screaming her head off, stupid nurses milling about. Whatever. But still, I took it with a grain of salt.

I've been catching up on DVRed episodes, so I watched several in a row. I just watched the one titled "In Between." The one where Kristina spends her first night away from the baby (who grew reeeeally fast, btw). Since the "birth," the writers haven't made it clear whether Kristina is breastfeeding or not. Which, actually, I kind of respected; that way no one gets offended, as we all know moms are very prone to do. Very. Until this episode.

I was slightly annoyed when Kristina was trying on dresses and was complaining about her "huge boobs" from breastfeeding. Poor thing. I have news. My boobs are bigger than that when I'm not breastfeeding. It's a pain. I deal. She then goes on to whine that if she has "anything to drink" she'll have to pump and dump. I hardly think that's accurate. If she went out and got smashed and came home reeling, yes. But heading out to a cocktail party and having a few cocktails or glasses of champagne is fine, as long as you aren't falling down drunk when you are pumping or nursing. Seriously, I go by the rule that if I'm sober, so is my milk. It was subtle, but pregnant women watching that scene can be easily swayed in their decision to breastfeed. And the thought of never being able to enjoy a night out without the prospect of coming home to sit down with a cold plastic pump for 20 or 30 minutes kind of really sucks.

Still, I was only mildly irritated by the allusion to inconvenience. What really got me pissy (like it's really that hard) was the scene when she was at the party. Standing there looking gorgeous in a red dress, feeling uncomfortable ( I must give Monica Potter credit, when her character feels uncomfortable, so do I), because she's there next to sexy 21 year olds in miniskirts, and she starts........ LEAKING. Gasp!!! Yep. The party is ruined because she was mortified with a huge boob juice stain on the front of that red dress. She had to leave the party. No joke.

So if any pregnant mothers were watching this show, they may be impressed by the fact that a character was breastfeeding. Hell, I was. But they are more likely to be impressed upon by the downfalls presented. Yes, sometimes leaks happen. They can happen at the worst times. But seriously? This was simply the worst thing that could have ever happened to Kristina at that moment. And it pissed me off. The first time they make reference to breastfeeding and it was in three negative ways. They didn't show any bonding and snuggling. No health benefits or mention of reduced risk of SIDS. Nope. Leaks that ruin dates. THAT'S what they portrayed.

Thanks, NBC.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mucus Monsters Roam the Halls

All three of my kids have been fighting off colds for weeks. I've tried homeopathic remedies and the like, but Monkey finally succumbed to all the mucus that had inundated his head. He started running a fever and I didn't give him anything for it because it wasn't that high and I figure the body is fighting something, better let it do its job.

Let me just say: he is sooooo sweet when he's sick. This is a red-headed three-year-old who is running at full-throttle 12 hours a day. So it was nice for him to just want to snugs and cuddle with mommy. But I ended up taking him to the doctor.

Is this not the most pitiful picture you have EVER seen??
I'd just like to know who made the rule that if kids are deathly ill at home, they will be just fine and dandy when they get to the doctor? I always look like that worry-wart mother that takes her kids in if they sneeze once. By the time we get there, he is playing and talking and not running a fever at all. I have been assured that it's not just my kids who do this.

But he was legitimately sick. Sinus and double ear infection. Gross. He had so much mucus in his head that it was literally coming out his eyes. Yeah. So they put him on antibiotics (I try to avoid them, but, man, when they are needed, by God, they are needed).

 So Monkey is on his way to recovery. Go team!

Naturally, I get sick. It had been coming on all week, but the cough turned into a lung shutdown. Gasping for breath is not high on my list of things to do while being clobbered by children. And when a 35 pound three-year-old wants to be held constantly, it starts to take its toll. By Friday night Monkey was feeling better and I had almost lost my voice. So while he is jumping off the coffee table over and over (and over and over and over...) I'm laying on the couch nursing Roo, so I can't get up, and I can't even make myself heard because my voice is almost gone.

stop, pleeeease *cough cough* stoooop

I have adorable brochitis. They said it's acute, but I think adorable sounds better. Apparently it was almost pneumonia. Sigh. Sometimes you just can't fight off the germs, no matter how hard you try. On the plus side, Monkey is back to his old self.

By the next morning...

Well, almost.

Crying for daddy. Can't win em all.