About our blogger: meanboys
Typically I can be seen at local Targets, Walmarts and other super-centers hissing veiled threats at a cartful of children while simulaneously appeasing them with Slurpies, popcorn, soft pretzels and gum.
I am a first grade teacher and mother to four (soon to be FIVE) children who I find delightfully clever, funny and adorable (when they are not being exhausting, persistent and pesky). Although I am driven to distraction by too much noise, it seems I function best in chaotic situations with tight deadlines. I am passionate about reading and writing, and consider myself witty and well-read (the people at Borders would be happy to verify this). When it comes to hard news, I choose to get most of my information from People, US Magazine and In Touch Weekly. I am currently working on my Master's, my sanity and watching every single episode in the Law & Order SVU and CI franchise. If you are a person who sneezes more than three times in a row you will be asked to leave my blog.
Our Spring sports season got off to a sluggish start thanks in part to a ridiculous abundance of April showers. The entire month was a sloppy, sloggy mess, made worse by the fact that the color white figures prominently into three of the four uniforms currently being worn by the athletes in our house.
Hayden tried out for the high school tennis team in late March and made the varsity team as the only freshman playing #3 singles. (There are #1, #2 & #3 rankings for singles and doubles in the competitive circuit, sort of like “chairs” in an orchestra). Obviously we were incredibly proud of him, and even though he would kill me for saying this out loud, Hayden was pretty proud of himself too.
Read the rest of this entry »
I’m in this general vicinity.
I have been terrible about updating my blog. So much has happened since the last time I posted: Easter, birthdays, life in general…. Every day I swear I’m going to carve out 20 minutes to sit and write, and every day that 20 minutes gets overrun by the needs of six other people. As much as I try to find myself in this family, the only thing I “find” is that I”m more often lost than not. There is never a straight line from Point A to Point B anymore - every destination has a meandering path with LOTS of pit stops and TONS of detours. It’s frustrating.
I’ve been a mom for nearly 15 year now and it has never gotten “easier”. There are brief respites from complete chaos, but generally, the job is consistently demanding and unwaveringly insistent upon you being on top of your game at all times.
Sometimes I wish I had a “real” job. You know, one where you can Read the rest of this entry »
My small ones have been ridiculously sick for the past two weeks. Kellan has missed 4 days of school which when you are in kindergarten, is like missing a whole month. I made him recite the alphabet for me just to make sure he hasn’t backslid during his convalescence
Anyway, being trapped indoors is hell for me. It actually ensures that I will forever remain a law-abiding citizen because I would never survive prison. 24/7 in a 6′x6′ cell? I’d perish within days from my own insanity. To preserve my mental state during this Dickensian time of suffering I’ve had to keep myself occupied in projects that can’t be derailed and/or devastated by constant interruptions or insistent assistance. Usually that means baking.
Lately I have been on a sweet roll kick. A friend from the gym (ironically) and I have been engaged in the pursuit of the perfect sweet roll and have subsequently been baking and swapping on a somewhat weekly basis. I’m telling you, this winter better end soon before I develop diabetes, gain 20 pounds, or both.
Every Christmas I make The Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls and give them as gifts to friends and neighbors. Or at least that’s what I thought was happening. Here’s what I found last week while searching for some spray paint in the garage:
Yes, that would indeed be Read the rest of this entry »
Birthday Dinner 2013
Your birthday fell on a Friday this year which was super inconvenient because it seemed that the days that preceded it were a tangled rush of work and school and kids and house and bad weather and illness. I’d made plans for us to go out that night and at the last minute we almost changed our minds about leaving the house, but I’m glad that I kept the babysitter and stuck to the original plan because we needed that time together.
I always feel badly when it is your birthday or some similar holiday that requires a gift because you are terribly hard to shop for. You buy yourself the things you want…as well as the things you need (like that underwear off Ebay??!!!)…and that leaves me holding the (empty) gift bag! I am always at a loss for ideas and I never feel like what I do or give adequately communicates how I feel about you. Friday I took you to a vegetarian restaurant (apparently the only one for a million miles as I discovered in my 40-minute Google search) because you’ve been so committed to your juice diet and taking care of your health. (I’m proud of you!) It was a great meal in a weird little restaurant where we were pretty much the only customers, but Read the rest of this entry »
I should be perfectly used to the mercurial nature of the weather in Illinois, but believe it or not, I’m still gobsmacked every time Mother Nature pulls a fast one on us. Last week we had mild weather followed by torrential rains followed by a healthy dumping of snow.
Sure, it’s kind of fun to play, “Let’s Guess the Weather,” sometimes, but all of this up and down and cold and warm and wet and dry has wreaked havoc on our immune systems.
Weston was laid up for a day with the beginnings of a cold, which disappeared once the cold snap hit. Aaaaand…once the cold snap hit, it brought an entirely different germ which has rendered Larissa frighteningly feverish for what is going on 5 days. Even with antibiotics, this has been a tough one to fight. Several sleepless nights of her coughing and breathing directly into my face has left me terrified that I am going to fall victim to yet another horrible virus. I have gathered an arsenal of disinfectants and herbal remedies and vitamins which combined with prayer, will hopefully get me through until Spring.
In the meantime…
Long winter days make for a stir crazy mom and kids. On particularly antsy days I take us all to our local diner where they serve comfort foods and frosted cookies. The cure for the common everything.
See…sunglasses! I was wearing sunglasses at some point last week!!
Kellan celebrated 100 days of school on Friday! That’s my volunteer day so Read the rest of this entry »
I was too lazy to come up with a better image, but gorillas can sure look pensive, no?
This year, coming up with my ONE WORD feels hard. I’m compiling a list of goals for myself, but what I really want my word to embody is the way I want to feel in the new year - and so far I’m not sure that feeling has a word. Well…I’m sure it does, I just haven’t found it yet. When I do, you’ll be the first to know
While I work out the details, here’s a look at the last three years of words:
One word 2010
One word 2011
One Word 2012
It is nearly impossible to get things done with six people off of work and school. The less my kids and husband have to keep them occupied, the more popular I become.
We enjoyed two weeks of Rob being home, which at first was hard - because he had to get used to our home routine and I had to learn to let him be part of our home routine. There were a few bumps in the road, but honestly, once the added stress of Christmas was over, it was pretty smooth sailing (and by “smooth” I mean, no one has been killed or injured…yet).
The kids went back to school today without much hoopla. As much as I wanted to celebrate the fact that they were back to their routine, I quickly realized that it meant that I had to get back to MY routine - and that routine involves a lot of getting up early, cleaning things, cooking things, and driving. Boo.
At the beginning of December a baby shower invitation arrived in the mail, which was puzzling because I don’t know any pregnant people. Turns out, I do!
My best friend from elementary school is finally having a baby!! She had numerous, serious health problems when we were growing up and well into adulthood, but when she married 18 years ago Read the rest of this entry »
What day is it today? Does anybody even know? I feel like I lived three lifetimes in the past 6 days…that’s how much stuff went on. I thank the Universe that we didn’t travel over the holiday because that would have been the final nail in my coffin.
So…let’s just do a quick recap using my always-limited, never high-quality, iPhone pictures!
Last week I only had Monday and Tuesday to myself (well, technically not all to myself, but with school still in session), so I tried to enjoy my final moments of relative calm before the storm.
Monday, I purchased the world’s smallest “small” coffee:
Seriously? It was embarrassing to drink because holding this cup made me look like I had gargantuan man-hands. This approximated .000000001% of my day’s caffeine intake.
Thank goodness I had the sustenance of that coffee Read the rest of this entry »
I guess it’s not all fun and games when you are one of Santa’s reindeer.
Something like this could happen at any time:
No, this isn’t our yard. But it could be. Rob saw this and his eyes lit up like a kid’s….well, on Christmas Day. He says this is happening next year.
I hope our neighbors have a good sense of humor. And strong stomachs.
For now, the greatest humiliation deer suffer in our neck of the woods is this: Read the rest of this entry »
or, people who like awesome stuff.
As if the holidays aren’t stressful enough, somehow a baking component got thrown in just to make things more complicated. I don’t know about the rest of you, but between open houses and holiday parties and gifts for bus drivers and tokens for neighbors and cookies for Santa, I feel like I am either in the position of eating something or baking something at all times between December 1st and 25th. Thankfully I am fairly decent in the kitchen so I don’t exactly hate baking cookies, but truth be told, I don’t always have the time to spend sifting and rolling and raising and frosting. That’s where these babies come in.
One of the girls at our gym brought these in last year around Christmas time and we all raved about how good they were. They are soft and chocolately and minty all at the same time - a nice departure from the Wedding Cakes and Peanut Butter Kisses that typically hog all the holiday glory.
We all begged for the recipe, assuming (since she herself is an accomplished baker) that it would be a fancy, time consuming endeavor. How wrong we all were. This recipe is easy. Like - embarrassingly easy. Like…you almost won’t want to give the recipe out - it’s that easy. FOUR ingredients. FOUR.
So, if you find yourself in a holiday pinch and you need to produce something that looks and tastes like you logged quality (wo)man hours in the kitchen, here’s your answer.
Read the rest of this entry »