It’s Getting a Little Crazy Up In Here

Things are starting to get a teensy bit looney in this house. We’ve been on Christmas break for a week and a half, we’ve celebrated the holiday with a whole lot of gusto and are now anticipating one overly long night to ring in theNew Year.

I, for one, am quite ready for this whole “holiday” season to move on with itself. I will say, it’s been really nice not having to wake Avery up for school every morning, facing the wrath that can be her if she hasn’t had enough sleep. In fact, if truth be told, I’ve also been sleeping in a little longer than usual in the mornings. Jer? Well, he has been keeping his same schedule of ‘go to bed late and wake up late, stumble to the computer in his underwear, sit at said computer attempting to read the monitor with his 20/400 vision while his glasses sit but feet away from him’ while I run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to please the every whim of my children. Okay, not every whim. Realistically, I don’t even attempt a good 2/3rds. But, you get the picture, right?

Well, this morning was slightly different. Apparently the universe aligned or the Earth was sprinkled with some sort of alien “generosity” powder because Jer decided to make the bed, once he crawled out of it, late (emphasis added) this morning.

And here’s what I walked in to see.

Jer Makes the Bed

Do you notice anything, say, slightly off? Like, in a vertical/horizontal directional kind of way?

Yeah. Me, too. I stood in front of that bed for a good 5 minutes trying to understand. What would possess this man to think that this looked right? Now, I’m not being all Type “A” control freak, here. I definitely appreciated the break in my normal routine. But, I’m honestly flummoxed. Did he look at his finished product and say, “Nice job, Jer. Looks perfect.” Or, did he look at it and say, “Oh, sh$@. Oh, well. She probably won’t notice.” I think this is part of that Man DNA I’ve posted about prior. I’m very scared to admit that I think he honestlydidn’t notice that the stripes are going in completely opposite directions. In all actualityI think it looked just fine to him.

And men are predominantly running the world? Hmm.

The insanity does not stop with Jer. The other one with boy parts is suffering from it too. I walked into the living room the other day only to find him brushing the dog, Lewis. At first I thought this was very cute. Sweet, even. Until I noticed one very important factor. He wasn’t using the dog brush.

“Jack. Whose brush are you using?’ I asked, trying to locate the brush entangled in the dog’s poodle hair.

“Oh. It’s jus a brush,” he answered, continuing his styling.

“I see that, dude. Whose is it?”

“Um, oh, it’s mine.” Those bristles are shining up the dog’s hair like nobody’s business. Gross. Not to mention, the dog is looking at me like I’ve failed him miserably.

“Jack. You can’t use your brush on Lewis. He has his own brush. Lewis’hair isn’t as clean as yours, okay? So we don’t use our brushes. Okay?” I ask.

“Sure, mommy. Okay.” He pulls his hairbrush out of Lewis’ poor hair, hands it to me and leaves the roomafter which I proceed to begin a rigorous sanitization session. I finish up and head out to grab some laundry.

Moments later, I come back into the living room and find Jack brushing Lewis. Again. Lewis turns to look at me, the question, “How could you?” unspoken but unmistakable.

“Jack! That’s not a dog brush! I told you not to use your brush.”

“I not. Dis one’s not my brush,” he answers, methodically brushing through each strand of doggy hair.

“Whose is it then?” I ask.

“Oh. Dis one is Avie’s. It’s fine,” he says, vigorously brushing as if he senses that any second his sister’s brush will be ripped from his sneaky little fingers. Smart kid.

So, as you can see, we’re all getting a little stir crazy around here. Too many self-indulgent festive moments make for some pretty looney behavior. We’re ready for some kind of “normal” to set in…and until that happens, I’m making my own bed and keeping the hair brushes under lock and key. Oh, and Lewis is still giving me the cold shoulder.

Mindy

Recipe of the Week – Balsamic Bruschetta

It’s that time of the year, folks! Time to kick upour heels and party like it’s 1995…or,I guess, 2010. It’s almost time to ring in the New Year, and what’s synonymous with ringing in the New Year? That’s right…hor d’ourves.

Okay, fine. There are other *slightly* more important things to ringing in the New Year like resolutions and reflections on the past year. Oh, and champagne. Okay, maybe party poppers. The point is, a big part of a New Year’s Eve party is the food.

This hor d’ourve serves more than one purpose. It’s not only insanely delicious but it also doesn’t require immediate refrigeration. Have you ever been to a party where someone is serving some bangin’ cream cheese/mayo dip? They bring it out and you swarm in on it like a dehydrated hummingbird. Once you start in on one of those dips it takes an act of God to remove you. Or a game like Apples to Apples. So you step away to get your game on and after some rousing rounds you head back to the buffet table. But wait. You quickly notice that your beloved dip has taken on an odd filmy substance. It’s like someone covered it in Saran Wrap…but, they didn’t. You know you shouldn’t. But you dip back in, scraping away the film, feeling horrible about yourself with each and every bite. And then during the highlight of the entire evening, as you are watching the ball drop, you feel a faint rumbling starting in your tummy. Damn dip.

Balsamic bruschetta dip? Eat away. All night if you want to. I highly suggest it. Oh, and if you notice some amazing improvements in your vision quality, you can thank the lycopene. And me.

Balsamic Bruschetta

  • 8 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsps. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 loaves baguette bread
  • 1/4 cup melted butter w/ garlic powder to taste
  1. In a bowl, mix together tomatoes, basil, onion, cheese and garlic. Add in vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Mix well. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Can also refrigerate overnight before serving.
  2. To serve: Thinly slice baguette bread and place on cookie sheet. Brush melted butter/garlic mixture over bread and place under a broiler until slightly toasted.
  3. Serve toasted bread alongside the balsamic bruschetta.

You all are going to just love this dish. I have been known to eat it straight out of the bowl with a spoon. I’ve eaten it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Frankly, I eat it until I simply cannot stomach eating more. I’m not proud. I’m just sayin’.

A little natural inspiration

It is not often that nature inspires me. I’m not reallyone of those types that spends time out of doors reveling in its beauty, awe-inspired by its mysticism. I mean, I like a good waterfall or field of daisies just like the next gal, but it doesn’t reach me like some of the more spiritually evolved folks.

My husband on the other hand? That dude likes him some nature. In fact, his love for all things outdoors garnered him the all-appropriate title “Nature Boy” years ago. And it fits. He camps, he hikes, he fishes, he hunts. If it belongs outdoors, he participates in it. Funny that he married someone who would much rather revel in the beauty of a well-heated home.

Recently, Jer got a call from his good friend about some pretty astonishing ice structures forming in the hills above our neighborhood. Never one to turn down an astonishing ice structure (or amazing sand formation, majestic mountain or breathtaking tributary for that matter) Jer rushed over there, camera in tote, to capture the moment.

Most of the time when Jer returns home from one of his picture-taking expeditions I humor him, complimenting his prowess as he clicks through his memory card, picture by picture. Before you get all preachy on me about being a more supportive spouse, let me put this into some perspective for you. A few years ago Jer went on a four-wheeling trip to Moab, Utah. Beautiful place. Jer took 5000 pictures. Do you savvy, folks? That means he clicked his camera 5000 times. And he wanted me to look through each and every shot. Not likely. Now,would you like to know how many pictures he took at Thanksgiving? Ten. Would you like to know why? Because there were no trees at the dining room table.

So, normally, as I said, I humor him. But this time? I must say I was actually intrigued. Our winter weather has primarily consisted of frosty mornings with most of itmelting off about midwaythrough the day. Apparently, it’s not melting everywhere. Ihad no idea that just a hundred or so feet above my house this beautiful situation was happening.

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I’ve never seen anything like this. As frost was forming, wind was blowing it into these frozen columns attached to the most delicate of branches. There were fields of these frozen “flowers”, each one different than the next. A breathtakingly beautiful sight.

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So, now, I guess you could say I’m a bit of a “nature girl.” Well, as much of a “nature girl” that I’ll probably ever be. I really don’t see myself rappelling down any cliffs or traversing across any mountains in the near future. But, sometimes the beauty and majesty of the outdoor world around us just cannot be ignored.

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This was one of those moments.

Mindy

Holiday Hangover

Phew, what a Christmas! It’s certainly been a wonderful week but, wow, what an exhausting one! The feeling I currently have reminds me of my old single days. Me and the girls would get all gussied up for a night out on the town spending ungodly amounts of time on hair and makeup.We would primp and preen, dress ourselves up and head on out for verve and fancy. A whole lot of time and effort for one single nightonly to befollowed by the inevitable need forrest the entire next day. Much like Christmas.

There is no doubt that the various carols, candies and well-wishes cause a little spark of hope and joy in us. There’s the excitement in the faces of children, the twinkle of the Christmas tree, the spirit baked into the Christmas ham.Most definitely it isa wonderful time of the year and I am increasingly thankful that I am able to shareit with my loving family.

Now, all of that being said, man almighty am I glad that it’s over! It’s been a whirlwind of flying wrapping paper, new toys, old toys, lost toys, roaming ZhuZhu pets, legos finding their way under my feet and into my bed, new books to read (and read, and read), andChristmas candy that must have been crafted from Willy Wonka himself because it won’t go away.

So it begins. The Holiday Hangover.

There ismost certainly a requisite recovery period after Christmas. There is nothing more necessary than taking a few days off just to actively not be doing something. And once it’s established that you’re butt is firmly placed in its rightful place on the couch, there’s the reflection phase of post-holiday recovery.

Firstly, realizing that everything we’ve been gearingup for is now over. The shopping, the gifting, the unabashed eating. Oh, the eating. I’m pretty sure that I have consumed my year’s allotment of caloric intake. I’m talkin’ 2010, people. Yep. I will be reduced down to lettuce and dry slimfast mix. At this point, I can’t even afford to use actualmilk with my shake. That’s a real lowpoint, folks.

Secondly, realizing that there is still a whole week until the kids are back in school. A whole week. Avery and Jack have only been together full-time for 7 days and they are already bickering like an old married couple. “Mom, Jack’s looking at me.”

Seriously? I thought that crap was only pulled in the movies.

“Mom, Avery say I can’t be in her room,” Jack says.

“Avery!” I yell. “You let your brother play in your room!”

“But, mom. He’s poking me in my eye. I’ve asked him to stop and he won’t!” she yells back.

“Jack, are you poking your sister in the eye?” I ask.

“Yes,” he answers with astonishing honesty.

“Why?” I ask.

“‘Cause her say ‘don’t’.”

Of course.”Avery, just keep your eyes closed.” See? The desperation of a mother who’s ready for the school break to be over. Pathetic. And kind of mean.

Thirdly, I’m now staring at a house which suddenly seems tacky and overly-decorated. The nutcrackers, Santas and snowmen just don’t resonate in the same way now that Christmas is over. They sit in various places around the house, some glowing and others whistling Christmas tunes, mocking me. “Hey, lady…how long can you stand it? You want to put us away, dontcha lady? Just try it and see how the little guy feels.” I’m giving them a week. Tops.

For the last couple of days, the kids have been sprawled out in the living room like coeds after an all-nite house party. We’re all exhausted. We’re all “a touch” crabby. We’re all looking forward for normal to set in.

The Holiday Hangover.

Jack Grumpy Christmas

It’s a real bitch.

Mindy

Merry Christmas!!!

I would just like to take a moment before all of the gift-wrap starts flying around here to say “Merry Christmas” to everyone! I hope this day brings you much joy, happiness and maybe those new diamond earrings you’ve been pining over. Not a diamonds fan? Okay, maybe you’ve been hinting around for a new vacuum cleaner, or perhaps a circular saw.

Remember to take a moment and reflect on the true reason for the Season!

Merry Christmas to all!!

Mindy