Thursday, February 27, 2014

...a day just like today was the best kind of day

  • Coffee with Meghan.  
  • A run on the treadmill.  (Uninterrupted too!  Not an easy feat given I have Audrey (4), Paddy (4), & Cormac (2) home with me.
  • The kids were all sent home from school today before lunch and all of our evenings activities were canceled.
  • A spontaneous lunch and coffee with Meghan (since all our afternoon activities were canceled).
  • Abbey and Audrey took naps.  Awesome!!
  • Isabella and I sat by the fire together during their naps.  She read.  I worked.  So peaceful.
  • I made Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies and didn't burn a single batch.
  • I was able to talk with Mark at the end of his work day.  It's always nice to hear his voice even though it was a bit chaotic when he called.
  • Will didn't make a single fuss about any of my demands nags requests through the whole day! 
  • I enjoyed a drink and a lovely (also uninterrupted) dinner with Donnie and Amy.  
  • Bedtime was sweet and cuddly and there wasn't even one complaint.

And all the snow that enabled me to enjoy such a delightful day...was shoveled away by an anonymous neighbor.

Its too bad this bliss has to be interrupted by a 5:00 am wake-up call.

Monday, February 24, 2014 remain on task

...and stick to the list

Life's been a bit chaotic around here.

I am not sure if it's the four kids or their slightly deranged caretaker that's to blame.

I feel like there are three scenes that play on repeat here at my home:

Scene A:

Mommy is contentedly listening to music while preparing dinner in the kitchen uninterrupted...

Because the heathens are wrecking havoc on the house leaving behind them:
--inside out jackets tossed on the floor (in the puddle their wet boots have made)
--a naked barbie on the stairwell
--one lone sock wrapped into a ball that was used as target practice
--and a tower of books on the desk that will crash onto (and break) the next unsuspecting-pinky-toe that dares to come close

***And Mommy is simply choosing to ignore all of the above.

Scene B:

Mommy is making dinner and yelling and fussing and nagging like a maniac about the chaos and trail of tears that have been left.  And not.a.single.child can be found in sight...they have all mysteriously disappeared.

Scene C:

Mommy is making dinner but can't complete a thought because at least four children need something, want something, are crying about what someone did, or crying about what someone won't let them do....all at the same time....and then dinner burns (usually the bread of the meal)...and then Mommy is yelling and fussing and nagging like a maniac.

True stories.  True scenes.

But this week I though if I stick to the list...and prepare...then things would be better.  Day three of sticking to the list complete.

Success people!

There has not been a single breakdown!

Even from me.

Here are our meals for the week:

Saturday:  Chicken Stir Fry with edamame, broccoli, zucchini and mushrooms (Why yes Isabella. You did read that right there were plenty of delicious mushrooms chopped up fine in that stir-fry).  Success!  They all liked it.  A few even had seconds!

Sunday:  Broccoli & Cheese soup  (

Monday:  Lemon Chicken Pita's with cut-up veggies and cheese as toppings  (Another success.  I may have met my 'success' quota for the month).

Tuesday:  Leftovers-Choice
Wednesday:  Chili & Cornbread
Thursday:  Chili Dogs
Friday:  Lemon Chicken Pasta

Saturday, February 22, 2014 have a reprieve

...from the-place-where-winter-will-never-end!

The kids and I headed to Boston for a much needed break from chores and poorly prepared meals and...snow.

Maybe I should have checked the weather forecast...since the day after we arrived Boston was hit 'with another big storm'.  Sigh.  Of course they were.

The kids and I realized it wasn't the snow we needed a break was the chores and the poorly prepared meals...and the monotony of my voice telling each of them what to do.  Constantly.

It was a lovely break from me nagging them as well as from them ignoring me.  (All.the.time.)

For four days we got to spend several lovely days cuddling with our new nephew,

playing with Garrison,

and enjoying time chatting with Jason and Lisa.

my beautiful sister-in-law
As a bonus we spent lazy mornings at the hotel, lots of time splashing in the pool,

They love the pool.  It's photo time they don't!
Such a fun time...

and I even got one fair photo for the family heirloom books.

Sunday, February 16, 2014 enjoy my Valentine's Day


What is one of the things I like best?

Why coffee, of course!

My incredibly thoughtful husband loves it as much as I do.  In fact, one of the things we enjoy most is to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee together on Saturday mornings.  

We have learned to love the process of making coffee to be as enjoyable as drinking it.  

This year's coffee gift is even more fun than making pour over coffee.

This is a coffee siphon.

Yes.  It kinda looks like a science experiment.

The water for the coffee goes in the bottom beaker and the freshly ground coffee goes in the top.

The water boils up and siphons up into the top globe then filters back to the bottom globe after it brews.

When the process is complete the top beaker is removed and a perfect cup of coffee remains in the carafe.

The flavor was amazing.

I am so looking forward to Saturday mornings in June/July.

Saturday, February 15, 2014 spend the day

....watching lots of basketball

Will has joined the CYS league here on Post.  One of his good friends is on the team with him.  While the practice schedule is a little more relaxed, the kids are equally as serious about their play.

 Of course they don't keep score at these games...

(As if the kids don't keep score in their heads?  They know which team wins or loses!)

Will had an hour between games and went all out again for his school team.

By this point, Abbey was a little 'basket-balled' out.

Not Will.  It must be the new shorts that Meghan ordered for him!

Audrey maintained a great attitude the whole time.  Perhaps it was the third bag of Pirate Booty?  (That I pretended not to notice she ate?)

I loved watching how hard he played...

...all day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 share our menu from last week

...and then a bit of our reality

I have found that our weeks go much more smoothly when we use our lists, make a menu, and stick with them as our schedule allows.

I know that flexibility is key.

One could say I was flexible this week.

Monday:  Chicken Noodle Soup (made from the Rotisserie Chicken we had the night before).   I'll be honest, the only reason this was a reality is because I had several cancelled appointments that day due to the poor weather.  It was a good soup though!

Tuesday:  Chicken Pasta.  Leftover Chicken Noodle Soup.

Wednesday:  Tacos.  Toast (or the last bowl of chicken noodle soup).

Thursday:  Leftovers.  There were no leftovers left.  (Since the only meal I made all week was soup).  The kids had cereal.

Friday:  Re-Stuffed Potatoes.  Shredded spicy-chicken tacos.  Yummy!  It's only because we had a snow day that this meal was made!  This meal gets a B though.  No sides!!  No guacamole.  No taco chips.  No salsa!  What is taco night without salsa?

Saturday:  Chicken Pasta.  Spaghetti left-overs (that had been frozen a month ago).  Yikes.  Meghan provided the frozen garlic bread as an accompaniment.  Thankfully I wasn't around to hear the boo's from the peanut gallery on this one!  I enjoyed a night out with the ladies.

Sunday: Roast.  Excellent!  Finally a real meal that was actually on the menu!  I had exactly one small onion, three carrots, one can of tomatoes, and some potatoes to throw in the crock pot.  This delicacy roasted all day.  The house smelled amazing!  This roast was melt-in-your-mouth delicious!  Said only me.

For the record, this week isn't starting off much better.

I am not sure whether to pat myself on the back because 'at least we aren't going out to eat' or to be mad at myself because I still haven't been able to make it to the commissary.

I am certain I don't deserve any accolades but I am equally certain that my children aren't going to starve.

Sunday, February 9, 2014 post the top five

...from the weekend.

5.  It's old news for sure.  I am certain you are tired about reading/hearing about our snow-woes up here the the North country.

But I am living the dream.  This IS our reality:

An official weather spotter for the National Weather Service recorded that 22 inches of new snow fell in the Watertown area between Thursday and Friday morning. But today is Saturday and it's still snowing! We have added another 19" since then. 

Snow totals for Watertown for this Winter are 135" and counting. 

4.  Two hour delays have given the kids the chance to hone their musical talents...(disclaimer I took these videos a week or so ago.  We have had A LOT of two-hour-delays.)

3.  I had an evening out with Meghan and Amy and a few of our friends from Augustinian for the school's annual fundraiser.

2.  The kids spent a considerable amount of time outside this weekend.  It's hard to capture just how much snow we have but I tried...

Will is standing nearly as tall as that tree!

As this photo shows, its a pretty tall tree!

1.  The highlight of the weekend has been watching the olympics.  The globes are helping us (especially me) brush up on our geography skills!  When each team was introduced during the opening ceremony we raced to see who could find their country on the globe first.

Fun fact:  The order the teams entered the olympic stadium was according to the Russian alphabet.

For the record, Isabella won nearly every time!

Thursday, February 6, 2014 find some humor the &%* weather.

Meghan asked me the other day, "Are you sure that Fort Drum is still your third favorite Army Post?"

(I think it was the day we were supposed to get 'less than an inch of snow' and we got 20 inches instead.)

I'm beginning to reconsider my ranking of this place.

You may think its cozy and beautiful.   And It is!  When you can sit by the fire and read a book all day.  But see, up here, they just carry on.  

48 inches of snow?  No big deal.  Two-hour delay.  
25 below zero? Not cold enough to cancel.
Blizzard-like conditions at 2:00 in the afternoon?  Bundle up kids.  I guess we'll cancel the evening activities.  But...we'll see you bright and early in the morning!!

If the weather keeps us, and the snow-plow guy keeps dropping boulder-sized ice balls at the bottom of my driveway it is likely that I am going to lose-my-mind.

In the meantime, I thought this was pretty humorous today:

And now if you'll excuse me, I've got to get to bed.  It's so weird but its snowing right now.  So, I'll have to get up early to shovel.  

Just for the record the 'It's good exercise' motivator has lost is zing.

Maybe...Mark should have bought me a snowblower after all.

Monday, February 3, 2014 do a little reading...

...about my new obsession...

I've been grinding wheat.  (That I have purchased locally.)

I've been kneading and rising and proofing....

And hopelessly failing.

Flat.  Chewy.  Tasteless.

So I need to figure out why....

Did forgetting to put the salt in really make that big of a difference???


Saturday, February 1, 2014 spend the day

...watching the kids play...

Basketball of course.

This was our last full weekend of basketball.  Which is great because as the first few pictures show below I think the little girls are ready for the big kids to move on to new activities.

This was taken in the middle of last night's game (which was about a 45 minutes drive from here)...

Audrey didn't even fake-the-funk...she was watching something with her little 'boy'friend...just not basketball.

Saturday mornings the girls get the chance to hone their skills (fun for them).  And basketball can be a little more interesting if you are the one playing...

...unless someone nearby has an iPad then perhaps that is a little more interesting than basketball?

Why yes, she did walk of the court mid-game to announce she was done playing.

Abbey is all-about playing hard with a great attitude!

She is plum-tuckered out at the end of practice.

Popsicles at the end of practice?  

At 10 o' clock in the morning you say?

Why not.