Saturday, August 16, 2008

No princes here!

I read this article when my son was little about how a mom was raising her boys. She said that in frustration one day she informed them that she wasn't raising princes. I gave a little chuckle and quickly forgot about the article.

This week that article came floating back to the front of my subconscious. I was asking my two year old to please pick up his play food off the kitchen floor. He replied with a sly smile and said " Mama clean it" Uh nooooooooooooo. I decided that my little prince needed to be de-throned.

I usually just pick up after him because 1.) its easier and quicker 2.) It gets done correctly. I have decided though that I need to start giving him some responsibility. I don;t want to wake up and have 16 year old that expects me to be his live in maid. I have a darling husband who cooks, cleans and just generally pitches in. This was hugely attractive when we were dating and very helpful when I had my babies. I know that if I teach my little man slowly to be self sufficient than it will only benefit any future wife. ( He's never getting married but you know... hypothetically)

I know what your thinking... a two year old really? That's what I thought too. So we are taking baby steps.

1.) I am asking him to pick up his own messes as long as its not too overwhelming. If it is overwhelming I will help him but not do it on my own.

2.) I am very specific on my requests. I will ask him to put his cars in his blue bucket.

3.) He now has a chore.

His chores are just little things that I have made accessible to him. He now sets his place at the table. I got a basket that has some construction trucks on it and filled it with his plates, forks and spoons. At dinner time he gets to pick his own plate, fork and he sets it at his place at the table. It makes him feel important to get to pick his own plate and I think its teaches him that he needs to help at dinnertime.


I am hoping that these few small steps lead to a man who can take care of himself. So to his future wife out there... you can just thank me later :)

Hello my name is Susan...

and I am addicted to cleaning products. I admit I have a serious problem. Every time a commercial comes on t.v. for a new "helpful" tool my eyes glaze over and I get a goofy smile. Its like they know what I need to make my life easier. My family is aware of my problem. My husband tries to turn the channel or redirect me in the stores but I am too far gone. He tries to convince me that I don't need anymore but somehow I always end up with one in my car.

They really do save me time and effort though. I should have named my daughter swiffer because I am their #1 fan. Have you seen the swiffer with the awesome cloth and the vacuum? It sweeps and sucks up all the dirt at one time. Bye bye broom and pan! If someone calls to say that they are stopping by in a few minutes I can whip it out and clean my hardwood floor in a matter of minutes. I also really love the swiffer flicker ( I think that's what its called ) Its for your carpet. I can pick up all the stuff that my loving family drags in off the carpet without dragging the vacuum out every day. It saves so much time! And I love my hubby to death but my runner up man has to be Mr. Clean. What a man! The ready mop and tub scrubber is such a great invention and saves me sanity on my most dreaded chore. The bathroom- YUCK!

Of course there is the expense of refills..... but who can put a price on time right? I can use the time to cut coupons... :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Great Summer recipee

I just made this last night and its awesome!! You can also use grilled chicken but we used shrimp. ( My son loves it and it was on sale! ) Its also so healthy since its all veggies that are fresh and its grilled. ( Zucchini, shrimp and stir fry sauce are all on sale at Krogers this week! ) Hope you enjoy it!

A few things:
**This recipe calls for a grill basket. I just saw disposable ones at Kroger that was a $1.
**Keep a grocery bag on your counter and put all your trash as you cook in it. There is alot of veggie scraps and this way you won't be running to the trashcan a hundred times!

1Tbs oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 lb fresh sea scallops, chicken or shrimp ( A 31- 40 bag of shrimp is on sale for $6.99 this week! )
1 Small zucchini, sliced ( Also on sale this week for .99 a lb )
1/4 lb ( about 1 cup) fresh snow pea pods
1/2 small onion, cut into thin strips
1/2 small red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 Tbs of stir fry sauce ( Or make your own- Recipe to follow)

Heat Grill. Spray grill basket with nonstick cooking spray. In shallow bowl,combine oil, salt and pepper; mix well. Add all remaining ingredients except stir fry sauce; toss to coat. Place in basket.

When ready to grill, place grill basket on gas grill over medium heat. Cook 13- 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp and meat is cooked through. Shake grill basket once or twice to mix veggies and meat.

Place stir fry sauce in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 20 - 30 seconds or until warm. Add veggies and meat; toss to coat!

Stir fry sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 TBS of dry sherry ( You can find this in a little bottle in spice isle )
1 1/2 tsp of cornstarch
1 tsp sugar
Add either
2 slices of fresh ginger and fresh garlic to taste
BUT I just add some powdered ginger and some minced garlic from the little jar b/c who the heck has time to look for fresh ginger!

Showdown with the Paci

I haven't been blogging much.... partly b/c we have been on vacation but a big part of it is that I am getting no sleep! My precious daughter was the best infant. She slept like a champ..... took a binkie but still slept. Until about 3 1/2 months. Then every time ( and I mean every time) it feel out of her mouth she woke up. I am talking every hour on the hour. If we "plug" her back up she goes right back to sleep then she is fine. Until the next hour. I am at my breaking point!!!!

I don't want to take away the one thing that she loves and gives her comfort but I don't want to be in the funny farm either!! I feel like we are both not getting the sleep that we need and its driving me crazy. My pediatrician told me to make sure that we are putting her down every night awake so that she knows how to put her self to sleep. This is all fine and good except that she goes to bed with the binkie and so in the middle of the night she can't recreate that. I just don't know what to do!!

All I do know is that I am exhausted. I just don't have the energy that I need for the rest of my family and I know that Mia is not getting the sleep that she needs. So tonight I think we will have to do tough love....Please pray for me! Any suggestions what has worked for you would also be appreciated!

Monday, August 11, 2008

A laundry tip

I am not sure why I am so obsessed with laundry lately. My friend and I were talking about something that we both do that helps us so much, so I thought I would share.

I have made it sort of a rule... well more like a wish.... that when the laundry comes out of the dryer it is immediately folded or hung. That way when it is brought up it can immediately be put away. It sounds so simple but you would be amazed how much time it saves you.

I don;t know about you but I hate having baskets of wrinkly clothes to fold, sort and then put away. It makes me not even want to do laundry!

I'm back !!!

We are finally back from our trip to Lake Erie. I am so surprised what a good time that we all had! Not that I expected to have a bad time..... its just my expectations were not that high for a vacation with a toddler and infant. What I found though was that we badly needed the week away to relax and reconnect as a family.

One of my hubbys officers owns a beach house on the lake. I was thinking cottage. What we got was a gorgeous fully stocked home. We are talking flat screen tv on the wall, hard wood floors and a gorgeous wrap around deck. I felt so blessed to have such a wonderful place to go that was so reasonable.

I won't bore you with a thousand details but I will share with you some interesting things.

The first thing that we discovered is that after weeks of talking about the beach, our two year old doesn't like the feel of sand. Talk about anti-climatic. He was so excited about the beach only to have nothing to do with the water or walking on the sand. So out comes the beach towels. He sat all day on that thing and just played with his toys and sand buckets. He loved scooping the sand so he was entertained but we just thought he would go crazy...... not so much.

The second thing is that we went to a drive through an animal park. Can I just say that my husband had more fun than our toddler. My infant decided that this was the time to start screaming to the top of her lungs. I didn't want the animals getting agitated and trying to eat us or the car. So I pulled a Brittney Spears. We were only going about 2 miles an hour and stopped most the time so I thought it would be ok. ( I felt like a big trash ball just the same ) My husband started out with all the windows down and feeding the animals carrots by hand. When the buffalo.. yes I said buffalo.... started to get inside our car he kept the windows rolled up most the time. One thing you have to know about me is that I laugh like an idiot when I get nervous. So here I am holding my 6 month old, laughing hysterically while my hubby is throwing carrots out windows like a madman. My two year old is taking it all in with mild amusement and wonderment until an animal stuck their head in his window and then he started shrieking like his head was on fire. Which of course made me go into hysterics and tinkle a little. Which as a result made my infant start crying again. Good times.

It was a blast though and it was wonderful for my hubby and I. We relaxed. I didn't make any lists, have to return fifty calls or deal with family drama. It really made us realize how important it is to get away and reconnect as a family. It doesn't have to be expensive or complex. My son is still talking about the zebra and giraffes. I hope to share some pics later when I can find the camera :)