Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust....

I am trying hard here to think of something inspirational to say and I am sorry, I just dont have anything to say about the coming year. I hesitate to throw my resolutions out there because some of them are too personal to blog about, and some, well, lets just say they probably wont happen. So, I will just be quiet about any resolutions that I have and just do them. There.

I would like to reflect back on this year though. Ive always been much better at looking back than I have foward, which is why I like retro stuff and old music. Anyway this year has been a big one for me and for T. Oh, and it has also been huge for the kids; they can finally stay put and they have had a plethora (dont you just love that word? I do.) of firsts. This was the year of firsts.

In February we were presented with a bulletin with pictures and biography of our kids, and we said "Lets see what happens", then we spent a week in Mexico with friends, which time I could not quit looking at the flyer of the kids and dreaming about them. Also in Mexico we asked friends if they would be Godparents if we were selected for the kids and they said "yes". They have four girls already, and what is a few more kids, really?

We returned from Mexico and found out that T. had to have a triple bi-pass. So, that was no fun. Thank God the surgery was a success and he is doing great. Of course I worried about the adoption, but he and Dr. ensured me it would be was.

March: Our beloved Marco (our Italian Greyhound) passed away.

In April, I think it was, we were selected to go to committee (our first) for the three kids that we now call our own, and that we had hoped for. T said he kneew they were ours when he first saw their pictures. The end of the month brought us to our first visitation and subsequent visits. On the day of meeting our kids for the first time, our beloved friend and co worker Cole passed away unexpectedly.

In May, on the 6th to be exact, we brought them home. They had their own rooms (firsts), and had dogs (firsts).

June we were all just trying to settle into our new lives

July; see June.

August: see July.

In August we took them on their first ever camping trip, where they had many more firsts and also got to meet family and friends for the first time. They got their first ever bikes (which they still cant ride, except for A, a first for him)

September-They started in their new schools and A started Kindergarten.
N played on his first sports team ever, football. S had her first ever dance class.

October: I another year older (yuck). All three kids got awards at school. Kids got to go to their first ever Hockey game, first sporting event really. I think it was in this month that I received my AA in Criminal Justice, now to finish the next two years for BS in Psychology...Oh, and I got my first office job, no longer do I have to carry a gun...yipee! Oh and lets not forget this was the month that I brought the kitten from hell home; another first, the kids have their very own cat, that is especially for them.

November: Our first Thanksgiving with the kids. N went hunting for the first time ever and met his Uncle R for the first time. N and A had birthdays.

December: Lots of firsts here. T had another birthday. The kids rode their first ever escalater, S went to her first ever Birthday Party. N had a friend over to HIS house for the first time ever (had never had a friend over in any place he had lived), A blew his first ever bubble, All the three kids had their first experience with trimming a tree, putting cookies out for Santa, and waking up Christmas morning to full stockings (never had a stocking before). And tonight...will be the first New Years celebration together, except T has to work, which stinks. This month T's special uncle F passed away.

In a nutshell, that was 2008. Im sure there are lots Im forgetting, can you blame me? It has been a busy year. I hope this year I can become a little better acclimated to my new life and keep up in school. I also hope to have more contact with friends, J and R (you know who you are!!), I miss them.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Lets talk about toys ba-by

So, I spent a lot of time reading about toys before Christmas because I wanted to know what was what and what people liked. It was helpful. That is what Im all about is helping. Im a helper. So, I want to review some of the toys my kids have acquired since coming home to us. In the foster home, they did not have a lot. It was pretty sad actually considering most kids have a whole room full of stuff. We did not run out and buy them tons of things however, but got stuff slowly. I think spending money on a toy is worth it when the toy is really good. I hate when I buy a toy or anything else for that matter, and it just stinks and I feel like Ive wasted my time, and everyone else's as well.

I do love a good toy. A couple of times during my life, I have tried to get a job at Toys R Us, for like a second job, and they never hired me. Why? Im a good person, and doggone it people like me (anyone remember that Saturday Night Live skit). I dont know the answer to that, but I do know that they missed out. I would have been an awesome toy shelf stocker. Hmmm...maybe they could tell I would spend to much time PLAYING and not enough working. Whatever I still think they missed out. Anyway I will review many toys eventually, right now though I only have time for one as it is late and I must go to work in the morning (Not at Toys R US however, unfortunately for them. Do I sound bitter? Well, I AM)

Ok N doesnt really like to draw on paper, because he thinks he's no good at it. He always tries though and I could tell it was something he wished he could do.

For Christmas he recieved a Crayola Color Explosion, like this:

It is pretty cool because you can trace things onto the glass cover and glass tray. If you trace on both, you get a 3D picture. The thing lights up too, so in the dark it is really cool. You can also select which surface, cover or tray to light up, light up both, or flash between the two. N says he gives it a 4 out of 5 stars. The only draw back: It only came with ONE stencil. The packaging shows several stencils, and that is sneaky. Dont make me have Sasha write a letter to the company, because I will! Apparently you can order additional stencils, at an extra cost of course. N just takes pictures from other things and traces those, and that works well too.

That is the only draw back, the stingy stencil distrobution and for that, they lose half a star. Oh and it wipes off pretty easily too, which makes me happy. Look at N, he likes it, he really likes it.


Yummy Yummy Yummy

So, I have a love/hate relationship with baking. I love it, and have fun doing it when it turns out and I hate it when it does not. I also hate the extra flab it puts on my rear end, but I do love to eat it. This Christmas I made some old favorites and some new favortites that I will definitely repeat.

The old favorite was this pineapple ricotta pie. Its kind of like cheese cake..kind of. If you like cheese cake and pineapple you will probably like this. T, my husband loves, loves, loves this pie. The only complaint he has is that it goes away too fast. I made it last year, but only made one. Let me say that, if you make one, it is just as easy to make two, and I highly suggest it. Unless of course you hate it and then you will be swearing at me under your breath, or maybe even out loud or in email, but it is a chance I am willing to take. Im a risk taker.

If this looks good to you, you can find the recipe here:

One of the new favorites are red velvet cake balls. You can find the recipe here:


Im warning you though, they are addicting, youll eat one after another, after another and after another....

My favorite recipe this year though is for Apple Dumplings which comes from Pioneerwoman's site. The secret ingredient is Mountain Dew. You know the sugary, ridiculously caffenated soft drink which resembles ant-freeze? Yep, that is the one.
Here is what they looked like after I made them:

These are very, very good. My husband does not like apples, even apple pie. In fact at first he was not going to TRY this. I think the smell got to him and he tried one. Then he had another. He gave me his version of the thumbs up when he said, "These are terrible honey". Which coming from Sarcasm Man, means that they are great. Of course the kids love them. However it could have been spinach, liver, and worm gut pie, if you add Mountain Dew to it, they are going to want it, at least my kids do. We all agree though that it was a tragic mistake not to have vanilla ice cream on hand, because it really would have put these yummy, and easy little delights over the top!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Satan's Fundraising

Now that it is over, here is the most annoying part of this holiday season for me. The kids' "Angel Shop" at school. It should be called the "Satan Shop" because Satan would not hesitate to steal from kids and either did whoever was running this thing. Im pretty ticked off about it too, and I may even DO something about it.

Anyway, when I was a kid we had these little shops around the holiday where we could buy cheap little gifts for our parents or whatever for Christmas. It was pretty cheesy stuff, but it was kind of fun and kids could afford it so cheesy was ok.

This is what I was expecting. We gave each child ten dollars to buy for each other, both parents and grandma and grandpa. The flyer that the kids brought home said items would range from twenty five cents up five dollars and it even had a little check list of who they were supposed to buy for. This led me to believe that they would be having some assistance with this, especially the Kindergarteners.

There was obviously no supervision while the kids were "shopping". OK, that is not too big of a deal, I can deal with that. What did tick me off is the stuff that they were selling. I was a little upset when Sasha showed me what she had gotten for N and for T. She had got each of them a jigsaw puzzle, that was from like the seventies and had been opened, quite a few times by the looks of it. It looks like something someone had try to sell at a million garage sales, but because of the shape of the box, never sold. I mean I will be shocked if all the peices are there. The boxes were also written and scribbled on.

Now, I have nothing, absolutely nothing against used items. Infact, one of my favorite things to do is go garage sailing and second hand store surfing. I live for it, it really floats my boat. I just think that if the school was going to do something like this, they should do a better job screening the items to make sure they were in DECENT shape. If you dont think the jigsaw puzzle thing was that bad, how about this:

A wooden back scratcher that has all the teeth broken off of it, and was obviously used. I mean that is pretty gross. I dont need nor do I desire some strange mans flakey skin and God knows what else coming off onto the body of my loved ones. This is the gift N got for my husband. Crazy. They sold this crap to KIDS who dont know any better. I think that is pretty evil. Satan is alive and well and in charge of fundraising at our elementary school. Nice.

Wierd Christmas Morning Behavior

On Christmas Eve while I was tucking A in, he did not seem like he knew what to expect with all the Santa stuff and had a lot of questions. I explained to him that in the morning, he needs to come and wake me up before he goes into the living room and starts messing with stuff.

I think he freaked out though, Christmas morning. T and I heard the boys get up, and we layed there waiting. I was so excited for him to come in and "wake" me up and tell me "Its Christmas!". I did that when I was a kid, and I thought all kids did this. Well, I did not get to experience that this time.

We heard them walk up the stairs to the living room and we could hear them whispering and then we heard them go BACK DOWN THE STAIRS to their rooms. I was flabberghasted! I was, I will admit, disappointed.

I got up and went downstairs and they were in N's room reading a book. I am not kidding. So, I asked A why he didnt wake me up and he said that he was scared, because it was still dark in the house. I pointed out that that wasnt true, because he has woke me up on numerous occasions when it was even darker, and without his big brother with him. He said he saw T and thought T was supposed to be at work, and he knows how much T needs to sleep and didnt want to wake poppy up. He then told me he saw a big horse in the living room, and didnt know who Santa left it for.

So, Im thinking he was overwhelmed and it was too much of a different and exciting experience for him that he just retreated. I dont was strange and I felt a little deflated. That is part of older child adoption though, you just dont know what is going to happen, and it is often not what you think and you must always stay open to things that may happen.

Its over...

,,for another year. Well, I guess there is New Years Eve and all that, but basically it is over. So, we will probably stay up until midnight, maybe play some games or something. Oh, there is always eating, but Im kind of sick of that. Of course I say that right NOW, because I just finished off the Pineapple Ricotta pie, but tomorrow eating a bunch a stuff that will put pounds on my hiney will sound like a good idea again. Im in so much trouble when I go back to weight watchers....

It seems like the kids had a good Christmas and they got some good stuff without being over-spoiled. I hate it when kids start to act entitled and they are so consumed with material stuff that they become bratty. You know like Varuka Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. We are trying to avoid that, and so far I think we are doing a good job.

Before the kids came home I always pictured Christmas with my kids one way. I now know that there is a lot more to it than all the warm and fuzzies. Oh man, because not only am I doing all the preperations like before, but now Im doing it for more people at the same time Im doing all the normal day to day stuff. Christmas=more stuff to cram into the measly 24 hours a day we are given.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I just want to wish everyone here a Merry Christmas. I hope your day is filled with joy and laughter and most of all I hope we can all look at our lives and see the blessing which we have been given, despite of any bad stuff which may have happened to us this year. Im looking foward to the next year and whatever it has to throw my way.

The kids are in bed, Im finally done with stockings, finishing pies, wrapping gifts. T ate the Santa cookies and drank the Santa milk. He also went outside and picked up the carrots the kids threw on the lawn for reigndeer. We are ready...bring on the morning. Oh, wait..let me finish my champagne first.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Random, incoherant, and nonsensical rantings about baking

I like to bake. I really do and I wish I could do more of it. Or maybe I like the IDEA of baking. Who knows for sure. What I do know is that I have been frustrated this last week. I dont know if it is because Im not used to having three people staring at me while Im creating, but I am screwing up a lot. With them sitting there asking me questions or just staring, I feel like I have my own foodnetwork show or something. Like Im Emeril and have an audience. They are not allowed to come around to my side of the kitchen either when Im working so they sit on the bar stools and stare at me. I think I will have T insall a light up "applause" sign on the wall, wouldnt that be fun.

Anyway, cook books and some on line recipes are annoying because they do not tell the whole story to someone who is lacking in brain cells. Folks, you have to spell it out to me or I just may miss it. When I miss it, it is not pretty, I get cranky.

For instance I was trying to make lemon bars, which I love. Anyway, the first batch stuck to the dish pretty good, and so they were a mess but they tasted awesome. I made a second batch, thinking I just did not let them cool long enough. They still stuck to the pan. The recipe said UNGREASED, so I did not grease. I stared at that stupid recipe for ever and then the word PAN jumped out of me. Maybe I was supposed to use a pan instead of a glass baking dish? Would that matter? Im thinking yes. I have neither the energy or patience to do it a third time though, too bad.

OK blunder number two. I made red velvet cake balls, which I can not quit eating by the way. Anyway everything was going great with them until about half way through dipping the first pan of balls in chocolate. They had been in the fridge like the recipe said to do, and then I was rolling them in the chocolate, and eventually they started coming apart in the chocolate. I actually figured it out though. You cant take the whole tray out of the fridge when you roll them you have to take a few balls at a time, or they will get too warm. They need to stay COOL while you do this.

So, what is my point? My point is that recipes should consider people like me who are common sense challenged. The cake ball recipe should have mentioned that you should only take a few out at a time, and not the whole tray.

Im wondering if a cook book that takes people like me into consideration would sell. I mean it would be like a cook book with kids with bigger words; it would spell it all out, which apparently is what I need. They cant just assume I KNOW these things, can they?

That is one of the reasons I like the She even gives pictures of what she is doing, step by step.

By the way, if anyone could tell me how to insert a link to a web page into the body of my blog I would appreciate it, because then it would look like I know what Im doing, which is always nice.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Retro photo time!!!!

My first Christmas...and all I care about is the DOG. Some things never change...

Be more specific

So, the other day (ok it was last weekend), we got hammered with snow (and still are). I told the kids to put their snow suits on and go play. So, they did and pretty soon we loaded them all up and went and got our Christmas tree, after getting our tree we went and had lunch and hot chocolate. I was a little taken back how ever when S took off her jacket and I saw what she had underneath. She was still in her pajamas!!! I did not think it was necessary to preclude "put your snow suit on" with "get dressed in regular clothes". My fault. What was I thinking? This is what makes her who she is though. Im worried, have I said that yet? I think that I have.

There she is in her pjs drinking her cocoa in public. See, this is ironic because BEFORE I had children I would be the woman in the restaurant "tsk tsking" about the mother who was too lazy to dress her child before going out in public. Yep. That was me, oh the things I have learned.

Santa called and hes missing an elf

...and he's right here!

Putting it together

...thats how my mom described what A said to me this evening. I was tucking him into bed and he asked, even though he knew the answer, "where did we live before here". I named his former foster parents.

A: Oh, where before that?
Me: (I told him the names of the people they were with prior to their last home)
A: Where after this?
Me; No where. You will be here until you grow up and are sick of me.
A: Oh, good. I want to live by you
Me: I would like that
A; You could come over.
Me: Cool. What could we do?
A: Talk
Me: About what?
A: About how I was silly when I was little.

Wow. Warmed my little heart right up. My mom was over at the house and we had been baking some stuff. The kids hovered around us a lot while we were doing this. I think the fact that my mother lives around the corner from me and we hang out and "talk", was playing out in his little mind and he was thinking about when he grows up. I love this kid, he is pretty darn special.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

cold flakey crud

...bah humbug, no thats too strong it is my favorite holiday....

Oh wait, that is plagiarism. If you tell me what song the above line came from you will win...absolutely nothing, but I WILL be impressed.

It is snowing. It has been snowing. While I have been whining about not having a white Christmas in a very long time, it could have at least WAITED until Christmas to dump on us.

We had some really cool stuff planned with some really wonderful people. Its storming here and the roads stink so we have decided to play it safe and not go. It was also going to be the first time the kids have ever been to the zoo, among lots of other things they have never experienced. It was going to be really special, and it was going to be a surprise. So, it is a bummer. Whats worse is that Im DONE. I have just about everything done for Christmas, so what now? Just chill I guess and enjoy what I hope is a wonderful Christmas for the kids.

Even though we are not going to do what we had hoped, there will be plenty of firsts here. If you are going to adopt older kids from the system, be prepared to be stunned at how many seemingly "normal" things your kids have never experienced. Since being here, the kids have had sooo many firsts, and it really has been cool to be a part of that.

For instance, my kids have never had a Christmas stocking. I know, probably not everyone does that, but we always have. They have never put out cookies and milk for Santa and have never even wrote a "dear Santa" letter. They have never HELPED trim a tree. We are doing all those things and more. Next Christmas it will be the first time in a long time that they have spent two Christmas's in a row with the same family.

They trimmed our tree. We just sat there and handed them the ornaments. They were so into it too, and they did do a good job. N said, "this is a really good experience for us, because we never got to do it before."

They do listen.

A had gotten in trouble for something, and about an hour or so later he said that he was "a bad boy". I told him that he was not a bad boy, but sometimes he does things that he shouldnt do. You know, its just one of those things you might say to a kid in that situation. You dont really ever know if they even HEAR you.

So, imagine my surprise when after I told our weiner princess, Carmen that she was "bad girl", A piped up and said, "shes not bad mommy, sometimes she just does bad things".

He did it again last night. He was looking through his little bag of goodies he got from his Kindergarten Christmas party, and took out like 7 red wooden beads. He handed them to me, and said:

"Here, put these somewhere where I cant reach them".

Me: "Why?"

A: "Because I might want to put them in my mouth"

This cracks me up because he had quite a problem with security when he got here, for obvious reasons, and he was constantly chewing and sucking on anything he could find. He has gotten a LOT better with this, so when he said this, it cracked me up, he IS listening. Yessssss.


S has a game she plays on my computer. Its a petdogz game, and she bought it with her own money. It has a picture of a dachshund on the case, which is one of the biggest reasons she wanted it. She thought one of the dogs in the game would be a dachshund, and honestly, so did I.

There is no dachshund in the game. None. I wasnt too happy about this, and I said, kind of to myself, "Someone should write a letter." She went and got her paper and pencil box and settled down at the table and this was the result.

Dear compiny (company?),

You put a picture of a dacsund on the case but there is no dacsun in the game. why oh why did you do that, you idits.

Im sending it. Yep, she fits in so well.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


So, we went to a really cool thing tonight at a local church. It was a live Bethleham village with donkeys, sheep, goats, demon possessed people, Romans Soldiers (what jerks they are!), Mary, Joseph, and one baby Jesus. was the coolest thing. What made it better is that it was snowing and blowing the whole time. It took like twenty minutes to get through this thing and you had a guide who was dressed in the garb of that time. You went in a tent where soldiers yelled at you to pay your taxes...and through a market place which was pretty cool, they had blacksmiths, beggars, harlots and all that neat stuff. Oh and the angel of the lord was actually in up high in something and telling us which way to go. It was really well done and I think we will do it again.

Here are some pics:

After we were done, S goes "where we really in Bethleham?". She worries me.

Casey Anthony sentenced to five for fighting

What do you get when you cross nightly viewing of the Nancy Grace show (because since it started I cant tear myself away from the Caylee Anthony story), a family obsession with Hockey, and an eight year old girl?

You get confusing ideas about various penalties in life. While we were eating our fish and chips today, S decided she needed to inform my mother about the latest developments in the case. Now, I dont let them watch it, I shoo them out of the room to go play, but they still manage to catch the jist (is that seriously a word?) of whats going on, despite my efforts. Anyway, she was talking about it to my mother, and she said, "someone found her, and she is dead, and now maybe Casey will get a penalty kill"

So, its not funny unless you are a hockey fan. A penalty kill is when a hockey player has to go to the penalty box for being naughty (we tell the kids its "time out") and so his team is left with one less player for how ever minutes they get in the box. During this time the team has to keep the other team who has a one man advantage from scoring. When the team is successful in preventing scores against them until they have even numbers again it is called, "the penalty kill".

So, like I said, its probably not funny to anyone else, but its darn funny to me. So, arent you glad you are reading? Not only do you now think Im irresponsible for letting my child watch a show that talks about murder, but now you may know more about hockey than you ever really wanted to know. You are welcome.

Im nuts...

...because I decided that today going to the mall for lunch would be fun. It wasnt. My mom and I really wanted some Ivars fish and chips, and S loves seafood, so we thought it would be neato. Wrongo. It.was.crazy. I actually forgot that it was Saturday because all my days seem to run into each other now. All three kids got their haircut, and S got some more pjs. Oh, I also drove forty minutes there to find red velvet cake mix. I cant find this crud anywhere. I KNOW Ive seen it and now I need it for a recipe.

I was grouchy and crabby at the traffic. People are creeps when they drive. Well, OK they are creepy other times too, but really when they drive. A actually asked me in his wee little cute voice, "Mommy are you frustracated?" Yep, thats me. OH, and it started snowing, hard. I hate driving in the snow.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Help me

So, I added many Christmas songs to my playlist at the bottom. However, my favorite Christmas song isnt on there because I just dont know which version to put on there. My favorite is O Holy Night, of which there are tons of versions. So, Im looking for suggestions...if you like this song, like I do and have a favorite version, please share, so I can add it. I will be forever in your debt, well, not really, but I will be forever grateful.

I still miss him

Yesterday was the anniversary of a dark December in 1980. It was the day that John Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman. Chapman believed he was being told to do it through JD Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye". Ive read this book many times, and it didnt tell ME to kill anybody, although at times, I feel a little like Holden Caulfeild.

Anyway, on that day in 1980, I was sitting in our family room in the basement of our home, watching tv. I wish I could remember what we were watching, but knowing my mother, it was probably Little House on the Prairie. A ticker across the bottom of the screen actually popped up announcing the news. I was stunned, scared, and saddened. I was 11 years old, but had been a Beatles fan most of my life, thanks to my brother who is 11 years older (ew..creepy, 11 and 11..hmmm, just kidding).

Anyway, for those who do not know, John Lennon was sort of an adopted child, though not legally (I dont think anyway). He was raised by his Aunt Mimi and his Uncle George. His mother and father had split when he was a very small boy, and she gave her son to her sister to raise. Aunt Mimi and Uncle George, by all accounts took good care of the boy; he was loved. He went on to make millions love him. I am one of those millions. He and the other three lads changed the face of music forever. He was an advocate for Peace, and it was pure irony that his life ended by violence.

If you have the mute turned on on your computer, and you like John Lennon, or even if you dont and you just would like to humor me, turn it up and enjoy the two Lennon songs I have added to my music. If I can get them loaded, that is. If I cant, then nevermind.