Sunday, December 27, 2009

One down.... to go!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Even with all the chaos, too much food and a huge mess ours was wonderful! The kids seemed happy with their haul so I guess life is good here.

Onto party number 2, Syrina's birthday on New Year's Eve. My baby will be 3!

I don't know what it is about New Year's but it puts me in the spring cleaning mode. Maybe it is being cooped up in the house with all this clutter and useless crap that does it. Maybe it is because we get a buttload of snow and going out in it is a chore. Maybe it is the whole in with the new and out with the old.

This year I am resolving to take a room a month and purge, clean and organize.

First on the list is the master bedroom.

It really needs some love. Not like that you dirty minded ladies! Yeesh! I love the color. But on this wall I want me some stripes! I think that horizontal stripes would give it some life. I like the pics above the bed and the sign that I made. Those are staying. The bedside tables are going. I think on my side I am going to bring back my dressing table. On my husband's side I am going to look for a low bookcase with a top drawer. The bed I got this summer. It's an antique sleigh bed. Even though it is a full size I had to have it for my queen bed. So I need to get a new frame so I can attach the headboard, which is leaning against the wall, and the footboard which is leaning against another wall. The red sheets need to go. The hubby requested more pillows. The comforter needs a duvet cover too.

This dresser needs to go into the girls room with a paint job. We have a dresser at our property up north that I want to steal for here. The mess up there needs to be organized and moved. The books will go on his new nightstand. I like the curtains but they do need to be taken down and cleaned. They used to be tab top curtains and I changed them to pleated ones.

I love my bench at the foot of the bed! I got it a couple of years ago at a store closing. The thing is heavier than anything though. I like the new hardwoods we installed last winter too. I don't know if you can see it that well, but I love the bedskirt too. I made a copy of one I saw in the Pottery Barn catalog out of an extra set of tab top curtains. They are pleated with covered buttons at the top of the pleats. I am afraid that once I get the footboard up though the bench is going to get lost. So I think I am going to make a bolster pillow in white to draw your attention to it. I also think that I need a rug at the foot of the bed. Wait til you see the one that I have in mind!

My husband added the closet on the right for more room. So now we have his and hers closets. I need to go through these and take out the clothes that never in our wildest dreams we will ever never fit into again! Love the black doors though! See the footboard leaning against the wall? Yeah that needs to go on the bed. The dog sleeps in between the 2 closets, but her bed needs some help too.

This "dresser" needs to be gone and replaced with a larger dresser. The steam cleaner is there cause I was cleaning the mattress yesterday. Too lazy to schlep it downstairs. I do need to do the other mattresses first though. Also need some kind of mirror here too. The dresser top needs some work also.

So there it is January's resolution. I figure that finding the right furniture will be the most of the work and may take longer. The rest of the work can be done though. I was going through things today to see how much there is to actually be done. Seems I am quite the little packrat cause you would not believe the amount of crap that is crammed into my closet alone! I moved the bed, flipped the mattress, cleaned under the bed and cleaned the mattress today. I think that I have atleast 20 pairs of shoes under there! Those are just the everyday kick around shoes too. Dress shoes are in the closet! I'm afraid to see how many pairs are in there. I see space bags in my near future. Many, many space bags!

If anybody needs me, I will be under a mound of crap that I am pulling out of here!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In My Daughter's Eyes

I thought that I had lost my Christmas spirit. The gifts aren't extravagant, the decorations suck and I felt not in the mood. I was dreading Christmas. I tried everything I could to get in the spirit of things and I couldn't. I didn't want to buy crappy gifts. I didn't want to hang the sucky decorations. I just wanted it to be over and done with and to the part where I swear to lose 50 lbs only to end up gaining another 15.

Then I went to the grocery store to get grub for "the" dinner. Along tagged the 13 year old, who by the way is older beyond her means. On the way, she asked me what was my favorite memory of Christmas. Hmmm.... I thought long and hard and told her it was 2 things. Having my mom there and Midnight mass. I always thought that Midnight mass was the most beautiful celebration of Christmas. I got an ache because I suddenly missed those two simple things about Christmas. I asked her the same question.

Her answer?

Me. Me? Well inquiring minds want to know why? She likes that I tease them about their presents. She doesn't even care what is in them. She likes how I will grab a gift and shake it and sniff it and say "I think I small a gift for so and so." She likes waking me up on Christmas. She thinks I look like an angel. I have NEVER seen an angel with their mouth hanging open and spittle running out the side. To her I am though. She likes pretending that she doesn't want to come into the kitchen cause I grab anyone who does and sing Christmas carols like Lucy and dance around. She is excited about Christmas cause she has made every single gift this year. Why did she do that? Because I have taught this beautiful, wise beyond her years, child that Christmas is about giving of yourself.

So this year, I will be capturing the magic of my childhood Christmas by attending Midnight mass. My gift is that I will have 2 angels at my side. 2 angels I created. 2 angels that I have given to make the world a better place. 2 angels that can see through my short comings and love me unconditionally. Because to these 2 angels I am the meaning of Christmas and love and joy. These 2 angels are what they are because of me.

Is there any better gift?!

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm Not In The Mood!

Settle down here this is not a sex post. It is though a Christmas post. I'm not in the mood for Christmas. I've tried to get "in the mood". I apologize if that offends anyone. It's not a passing or recent thing either. Back in August when I saw the first Santas in the stores I just wanted to kick the crap out of his plastic molded jolly butt.

I even managed to talk my husband into a fake tree this year. Wasn't hard. I just didn't want to still be picking out pine needles out of my feet in July. It does make good kindling for the first bonfire of summer, but I'll buy charcoal fluid. We finally did get it up though.... on Saturday. I was the one who dragged it out though. There is a good thing about procrastination though, our $200 tree was 50% off.

And it's lit! Prelit Christmas tree! Cause I hate lights on Christmas trees. I think the lights are pretty, but I have a fear of them. It goes back to childhood. There would be my dad, all 300 pounds of him, legs splayed out, 6 pack of beer by his side and a humongous ball of lights. The first trick was to detangle the mess cause lawd knows he was not smart enough to wind them around something. Then came the fiddling. You know those monster paws can crush a delicate light bulb in one swoop. After the fiddling came the dreaded words....

"Here plug this in".

A few times of getting knocked on our butts from the electrical shock and we learned. MAKE YOURSELF SCARCE! The bulb part was ok. The tinsel sucked. I hate tinsel too. There was to be NO throwing a gob on our tree. Nope, my mom had to take each strand and carefully drape it over a branch. She would even "tweak" the tinsel throughout the season.

But now ours is decorated.

You can tell how tall my kids are. Lots of bulbs at the 3' level cause the bitty one was all over that. A few bulbs at the 4-1/2' level cause the boy was not exerting any energy and doing as little as possible. More bulbs close to the top, but not quite cause the oldest was too busy yelling at the bitty one not to bunch everything all up.

The stockings are not up though. I keep kidding myself that I am going to do them for Christmas. In reality, I see the old stockings and the "baby's first christmas" one up again. At the rate that I am going, she may still be using that stocking when she is 16.

Cause I am not in the mood....

I still have more than 1/2 my shopping to finish, all the wrapping to do and food to buy and burn. A house that desperately needs to be cleaned only to be trashed with having 10 people over for dinner. If Santa is late getting started, blame it on those damn DeLauders. We will more than likely be trying to squeeze in a visit with him at the last minute on Christmas Eve. He's not really all that jolly at this time. Could be why the bitty one has cried every time she has gone to see him. Last year she got off his lap, turned around and with tears streaming down her face yelled "I TOLD YOU NOT TO TOUCH ME!!!"

This year she says that she is not going to cry even if he punches her. I don't know what kinda psycho Santa she thinks we take her too. He may feel like punching a kid after being nice to 356,847 kids in 6 weeks but I have never seen him punch one. I know my son wanted to punch him last year. I begged, pleaded and cried for him to just stand next to Santa so I could have a pic. He agreed as long as he didn't have to sit on his lap. Up we go. The oldest one runs up and plops on his lap. The boy positioned himself standing next to Santa. Then came the bitty girl. She screamed bloody murder once I put her down. Santa did a little shifting. He put the bitty one on the older one's lap and grabbed the boy and pulled him on his lap. The girl snapped the pic. So that is my Santa picture. The oldest one beaming cause at 12 she can STILL sit on Santa's lap. The bitty one with tears and a pout lip down to her knees. And the boy glaring at Santa like he is a rotten so and so.

So for now I am off to clean and bake cookies. Rather finish baking cookies. And bake more of those little powdered sugar balls of goodness. Cause yesterday I ate waaaay too many of them and now I am short. So off I go to try to conjure up some kinda spirit for the holidays.

Cause I'm not in the mood....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

~ For Yvonne

Yvonne posted the other day that she was challenging herself to use all the meat in her freezer. She also said that she had alot of venison. I pulled out one of my favorite wild game recipes for her to try. It is simply delicious! You can also use a boneless small sized steak in place of the venison.

First you need to make a Bordelaise sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tsp minced garlic
1-1/2 lb mixed mushrooms ( I used all bella mushrooms)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup red wine (I used Marsala)
1 qt beef stock

Heat the oil in a large pot over med-high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery.

Cook til soft about 3 mins. Add the garlic and cook about 30 secs until aromatic. Add the mushrooms and cook til they start to give off their juices about 4 mins. Add the salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 min.

Add the wine stirring to loosen any bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook til reduced by half. Add the beef stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cook til reduced by half about 1-1/2 hours.

While the bordelaise sauce is simmering mix up a creole seasoning.

2-1/2 Tbs paprika
2 Tbs salt
2 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs black pepper
1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs cayenne pepper (adjust if you don't care for spicy hot food)
1 Tbs oregano
1 Tbs thyme

Combine in small bowl and set aside.

I have found from cooking venison that if you get a tough animal you can marinate it overnight or longer in the fridge with milk. The acids in the milk tenderize the meat. Same goes for beef. For white meats use coca cola. Tonight I was using stag tenderloins and he is a tough old bugger. I cut 1/2 inch or more slices and marinated it 2 days in milk in the fridge. Once it was done marinating, I pounded the crap out of it to make it about 1/4 inch thick.

I used the little pokey thingy ( I think it is called a jardineere?) for this. Then I coated the pieces with my creole seasoning that I mixed up and dredged them in flour. I heated about 1/4 cup of olive oil in a pan and browned them on both sides. Doesn't take long and you don't want to overcook it. Once it was done I served it with mashed potatoes and poured the bordelaise sauce over everything. I also did glazed carrots too.

The nicest thing about cooking dinner?

Having someone wash the dishes for you!

Sorry but it has been really crazy around here. I got my husband's birthday right before Christmas, then Christmas dinner for 10 and Syrina turns 3 on New Year's Eve! So that means another party!

Looking forward to things settling down.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dressed Up

Well since I could come up with nothing inventive to do with ketchup, garlic and cream cheese, I went to the grocery store last night. I came downstairs and announced this to the tribe. My husband commented that he was glad I was starting to feel better since I "got dressed up". Well I guess after sitting/laying around in my sweats all week that putting on real clothes, jeans and a tee shirt, and brushing my hair could be construed as "dressed up".

So off I jumped into the grocery fetcher to the store. Maybe getting "dressed up" was making me feel better, maybe a little. Maybe it was just the miraculous event of going to the store without the urchins in tow. Who knows?! I was feeling festive! So festive that I even stopped at the coffee spot to get a cup to sip through the aisles. Obviously I thought that I had been transported to Mr Rogers neighborhood grocery store. The squeaky voiced kid asked if I wanted a "Pumpkin Pie Latte". Why will I think I am in a little french bistro sipping latte and eating pumpkin pie instead of being at Meijer's with 50,385 other people? Just a coffee, cream and sugar. Then he starts to list off all the blends there is to choose from. I JUST WANT A FREAKING COFFEE!

It was soooo nice to cruise through the grocery store without kids. I didn't have to buy 3 lbs of apples cause Syrina decided to "sample". I didn't have the boy trying to sneak junk food into my cart. I didn't have the girl texting EVERYONE on my phone. This is heaven.

Nirvana can be dangerous though. I start thinking that I will be the good mom and make fresh cookies for my kids. Plan flamboyant meals to impress the tribe. Crazy ideas like that. I even contemplated making my own pie crusts. Pfffft! Just stick to the list. Yes, I even made a list. Left the coupons in the cupboards but I remembered the list.

Then I saw him.....

The poor guy with two brats in tow. His wife's list in his hand just trying to keep his sanity and get through there as fast as he could. I found him in the soup aisle. "Kyle" wanted spaghettios. Dad told him no. Kyle insisted. Dad kept being patient but firm. Kyle argued. Dad got frustrated. It's not on the list and your mom will be mad at me. Kyle threw a fit. Dad begged for him to be good. I felt bad for him.

Then his cell phone rang.

Mom was calling to see "how things are going". Pffft, she knows how things are going that is why she sent him up with those two. He tells her the problem he is having. Some people don't realize that you can hear them on the other end when they yell. Especially if the recipient has to hold the phone away from their ear to keep blood from gushing out of their ear drums. So after his tongue lashing from her and alot of "yes dears" he hangs up. Kyle hasn't given up though. They are two aisles away from the freaking spaghettios!

I can feel for this guy. Most people are looking at him like he is a horrible person for not buying the kid some spaghettios. I can relate though. I got a "Kyle" at home. He is like a dog with a bone. He will not give it up for anything. I just want to snatch the kid and tell him to get his scrawny 5 year old buttocks on the side of the cart like his Dad told him and SHUT UP! I mean he has enough problems cause the baby in the front of the cart just threw up.

The best part of the whole trip? Coming home to find that Dad has convinced the kids to eat the Mac & Chez in the cupboard. You know, the boxes that they would not eat for me cause they don't like it? Yeah those.

Oh well, back to the couch....

Friday, December 4, 2009

Nope Haven't Died Yet!

I had so many plans for the weekend to get in the holiday mood.

I went out shopping for the first time on Black Friday to get a few things. Man those people are crazy!

I took both the kids to go see "New Dawn" on Saturday. I am going to blame the little brat next to me for my downfall though. All through the movie he kept turning his head towards me and coughing. So yes Santa he should be on your naughty list. Sorry I didn't catch his name though, but I am sure you can find him.

Sunday I started to feel yucky. It seemed the bladder thingy was back. Great! I had so much fun with it the first time that I was sooo glad it made another appearance.

Monday I thought it was back with a vengeance. After getting ahold of the doctor he wanted me to go to the lab to give a donation. Yeah, I feel like doing that. So Monday I laid on the couch in sweats, covered in 3 blankets with a heating pad crying to anyone who would listen.

Tuesday I went to have the test done. I hate urine tests. I was an expert marksman in the army with an M-16 and M-60. Yet ask me to pee in a cup and I am a horrible shot. I usually manage to get some in the cup and the rest on my hands, outside the cup, you get the idea. Plus it is not easy to bend down to look where you are aiming when you are fat.

Anyways.... I found out that not only do I have a bad bladder infection but also the H1N1 virus. Did I fail to mention that I also started my period? Yup, just slap them all on me. Could you also have me do a pap smear and a mammogram today too? That would be delightful!

So back home to the couch. Bed rest. We all know how that works. The hubby did stay home for 3 days to make sure that I was ok. I do think that the kids pushed him to the limit though. You can only take so much of them. The youngest came down with it yesterday. So far she is pretty good though. I've been able to keep here fever down. It was funny though last night. She had an accident in her panties and went to run for me and slipped in it. Landed right on her back. Jeffrey being the good big brother went running to her to make sure she was ok. Yeah, he slipped and fell in it too. Saves on paper towels! By the time they got through wallowing around in it it was all cleaned up! I do think the boy will be next to get it though.

So the house is trashed and the cupboards are bare. Unless anyone has any great casserole recipes for ketchup, garlic and cream cheese I guess I should go to the grocery store. Right now I am trying to figure out how after sweating about 20 gallons and not eating cause the smell or thought of food makes me sick for 4 days I still manage to gain 3 pounds? That is just not right! The only little ray of sunshine that I had was thinking of how much weight I had lost. But no! I freaking gain weight!

Just pack it right back there on my butt, cause lawd knows it isn't big enough already!