Thursday, February 21, 2013

Things you didn't really want to know and Didn't ask

A few weeks ago I was tagged by the very awesome Sadder But Wiser Girl in an old school Facebook game. No, not Farm Burg or whatever, the Question game!  25 random questions that you answer and tag other people to see their answers too. I was so excited to do it, but alas, life got in the way for a bit. But, without further ado, here it is!

1.  WHERE WERE YOU BORN?  I was born in Mass, in the same hospital as all of my kiddos.

2.  WERE YOU NAMED AFTER SOMEONE?  Not my first name, my mom chose it and my dad chose the spelling.  My middle name tho is the same as my mom's, and my sister and all of my girls have it also.

3.IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN, HOW MANY DO YOU HAVE?  I have 9. Yes, the number that comes after 8. Not a typo.  7 that I birthed and 2 step-sons. 3 girls 6 boys all together. Us ladies are outnumbered.

4.  HOW MANY PETS DO YOU HAVE?  1 dog, an american bulldog/boxer mix named Lily that we got from a rescue in Mississippi.  Although with the smell coming out of the 14 year old's room, he may be hiding more pets in there that I just can't see through the rubble.

5.  YOUR WORST INJURY?  I guess putting my hand through a glass door when I was in 5th grade, resulting in 13 stitches.

6.  DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?  Getting pregnant, apparently.

7.  WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO BAKE?  Anything containing chocolate. I have a fabulous chocolate bar recipe with sweetened condensed milk, choc chips and a fudge cake mix. Mmmm

8.  FAVORITE FAST FOOD?  McDonald's McGriddles

9.  WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?  Hell To The No.  Heights are stupid.

10.  WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?  Not sure how to put it, their countenance, maybe? Like if they look friendly, pissy, bitchy, shy...

11.  WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?  Just the other day, reading about someone who lost a baby :(

12.  ANY CURRENT WORRIES?  It would be quicker to list the things I don't worry about. I'm a big time worry-wart, I hate it, but I am. Money is a big one.

13.  NAME 3 DRINKS THAT YOU DRINK REGULARLY:  Coffee, Diet Coke, and wine (preferably pinot noir). What, you were expecting water, juice, and some other healthy crap? No.

14.  WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?  How to choose only one??  "The Help"  and  "The Memory Keeper's Daughter",  "The Nanny Diaries" were great too.

15.  WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE A PIRATE?  Since I get sea sick, that'd have to be a Negativo.

16.  FAVORITE SMELLS?  Baby, vanilla, fresh roses

17.  WHY DO YOU BLOG?  To connect with others and be part of a "community" now that I'm a SAHM again. To purge my brain of the nonsense rattling around in there.

18.  WHAT SONG DO YOU WANT PLAYED AT YOUR FUNERAL?  "Another One Bites the Dust"??  I kid.   'The Saving One' by Starfield.

19.  WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?  Low self esteem and stupid stupid depression.

20.  FAVORITE HOBBY?  I'm actually turning into a geneology freak. Love me some I'm a big reader too.

21.  WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A FRIEND?  Someone I can 100% be myself with.  I find this very difficult, and seem to adapt to whoever I'm around, so someone I can just be totally me with is the bomb diggity.


23.  FAVORITE FUN THINGS TO DO?  Love the beach/lake, and shopping is awesome providing you actually have money.

24.  ANY PET PEEVES?  Oh goodness, do I.  Just a few:  when I let drivers pull out in front of me or let pedestrians cross in front of my car and they don't acknowledge it with the customary wave; items being "on sale" but they're only marked down by 30 cents; being poked to get my attention.

25.  WHAT'S THE LAST THING THAT MADE YOU LAUGH?  My 11 year old, he asked if my nephew was a different religion "like British"  :)

And now, to tag:  Gotta pick Sorry kid, your mom doesn't play well with others, cuz with 5 kids and being pregnant with number 6, I'm sure she has nothing better to do.
And Diapers.....or Wine? who also has 5 kids AND homeschools like a Beast.
Also gonna tag Chantal from Adventures In Hickey Land because she's pretty fricken awesome.
If you ladies are game, can't wait to see your posts :) :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fly On The Wall - February!

Alright Bleeps (bloggy-peeps ?) Have you ever thought about what people might think if they saw or heard what goes on behind-the-scenes at your house? Do you ever wonder what it would be like to catch a glimpse of someone else’s daily life? Well you asked for it. Karen from Baking In A Tornado is making it happen and here’s your chance. Today 15 bloggers are inviting you into their homes to be a fly on the wall.

                                                    Fly on the Wall

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:                                
Much of what you would overhear in my house could be summed up under the title of: "Out of the mouths of babes..."  or  "Holy crap, your kid said what?!"
*14y/o last year: "My teacher laughed at me today"
  Me:  "Oh mercy, what for?"
  14y/o:  "She asked me to read out loud and I told her I can't read, I'm anorexic"
  Me:  "Dyslexic?"  (which he's not btw)
  14y/o:  "whatever."
*17y/o:  "What is the mafia?"
  Me:  "You know, like the mob?"
  17y/o:  "What's the mob?"
  Me:  "You know the Sopranos?"
  17y/o:  "the people that sing really high?"
*13y/o:  "Mom, your breath smells like hot frog legs on a bed of wild mice"
*Ex-husb:  "I keep getting things from the hospital. Yesterday I got a 700 dollar bill"
  14y/o:  "There's such a thing as a 700 dollar bill?!  Is it real??"
*I told the 14y/o to shovel a path to the oil spout on the back of the house because the delivery guy was coming.
  14y/o: "How big does it need to be?"
  Me:  "Big enough for the guy to walk through it"
  14y/o:  "How fat is the delivery guy?"
Just because I have a small love affair with wine:
*13y/o: Mom, can you help me with my math when you're done pouring your Cup of Joy?
*11y/o: Mom are you drinking wine?
  13y/o: She drinks wine all the time, wine is like her best friend.
Welcome to my life.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Easy Unsloppy Joes, and more!

Tired of the same old same old dinners? But need something easy and cheap? Well look no further, easy and cheap are my middle names! No, wait, that didn't come out right....
I mean, I've gotten pretty good at easy and cheap MEALS because I have to feed a daggone gaggle of kids every day.

This recipe comes from Pillsbury and there's so many tweaks you can do to make it to your family's liking. It's called Unsloppy Joes .  The original recipe uses a sloppy joe filling, but there's all kinds of variations you can do.

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef, cooked, drained                                         
1 can (15 oz) sloppy joe sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated biscuits
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (2 oz)
       1. Heat oven to 375° F. In large skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently; drain. Stir in sauce and chili powder; simmer 5 minutes.
       2.   Press each biscuit into 6-inch round. Spoon 1/3 cup meat mixture and about 1 tablespoon cheese onto center of each round. Fold dough in half over filling; press to seal. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
       3 Bake 9 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.
I made these a couple of weeks ago and they were a hit. Tonight I made them again but Buffalo Chicken style.  I substitued the ground beef for shredded chicken, exchanged the sloppy joe sauce and chili powder for buffalo sauce, used american cheese (because it was all that I had), and added a little ranch dressing before folding them up. Kids loved them! Two of them aren't big ranch fans so I left a couple without ranch. You could also use bleu cheese.
This recipe would work great with so many fillings: bbq chicken, ham and cheese, shredded steak and cheese, anything you can think up you can put in a pocket of biscuity goodness!
                               Don't hate on my awesome dishes.         

Friday, February 8, 2013

Secret Subject Swap, February - Take Two

Welcome to Take Two of February’s Secret Subject Swap. It's organized by the super blogging hero Karen from Baking In A Tornado . This week, 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out! See you there:

My subject is "Think about a TV show you love to hate. Now imagine you've been cast on it..."  It was submitted by Chantal over at Adventures In Hickey Land. She's pretty awesome, don't forget to check her out.
Even if you're not a big tv watcher, you've probably heard about the show "16 and Pregnant".  It's a reality show on MTV documenting teen-age girls who find out they're pregnant, and following them through the birth of their babies. I love this show, but I hate it. I want to watch it, but I spend the whole hour muttering and sputtering and occasionally yelling at the tv.  If I was cast on "16 and Pregnant", I would be one of the lead characters, one of the teenage mothers, because in real life I was one.

My episode would begin on Christmas morning of 1990. Bel Biv DeVoe was big, but my bangs were bigger. The camera crew comes into my room following my mom trying to wake me up to open presents. I have morning sickness. I don't want to get out of bed. My little sister is impatient so finally I gingerly make it downstairs and sit on the floor in front of the Christmas tree, hoping not to vomit. One of my gifts is a photo album. Because everybody who's going to have a baby needs a photo album. Other kids got cassette tapes and new basketball shoes and tickets to NKOTB. I was no longer like other kids.

Later, the producer tells me and my mom to discuss what it was like when my mom found out I was pregnant.  My mom begins to cry. I, for the millionth time, feel like shit.  My family was so incredibly supportive of me, but I knew I disappointed them.We talk about how nobody would've ever predicted it would be me to get pregnant sophomore year. I was quiet and shy, never ever got in trouble, was responsible, trustworthy and very smart. But I had an older boyfriend, got in over my head, and was ignorant. Lived in the land of 'that could never happen to me'. Well, it happened to me.

"How is school going?"  The producer prompts. 

"I can't go anymore," I respond with a quavering voice, "I'm sick all morning every morning, and well, I'm totally embarrassed and paranoid people are going to find out. I'm going to do homeschool for the rest of sophomore year. And finish right before the baby comes in May".  I had been ranked 3rd in my class, was a top student. Now I was doing math on the couch in my pajamas with my Dad as my tutor. 

The scene cuts to me preparing for the baby: going through boxes of hand-me-down maternity and baby clothes, cleaning a crib that belonged to my cousins 10 years before. Setting up a borrowed cradle against the wall of my bedroom, under the Donnie Wahlberg and Bobby Brown posters.

I do a voice-over, talking about how it was hard. It was lonely.And I was moody. Hoo Boy was I moody! Teen girls are moody, and pregnant women are moody, so combine the two and wowza! The camera zooms in on me throwing a bowl of applesauce across the kitchen. Because.... heck I was pregnant and 16, that's enough reason! But also, I talk about starting to get excited about the new little life growing inside of me. My parents were being very supportive, and while I knew they were disappointed in me and certainly didn't approve, they didn't throw that in my face. What was done was done and they hoped being upbeat about things would help to create a good atmosphere for their first grandchild to come into.

Sleepy camera men with coffee head to my house early on the morning of May 16. I'm having contractions. I think. It's rhythmic pains, spaced apart, but it's in my back. What the heck? Contractions are supposed to be in the FRONT, everybody knows that. And I'm not due for 8 days! I haven't finished my Geometry course! Or packed a hospital bag! What, a due date is a loose estimate? Huh? First baby, I'll probably be overdue right? Nope ,apparently not. The crew lounges around, panning in on me desperately trying to get comfortable, to no avail. I whine, and call my mom at work and whine more.

By early afternoon we head to the hospital and meet my boyfriend there. The camera crew is all up in my face, this is the pinnacle of the show, after all. I get checked in and banish MTV to the waiting room; some girls on the show do this, some don't. I have no idea what to expect about labor, and I'd rather not be worried about getting my 'good side' (you know, the side not showing my hoo-ha).

At 5:22 pm, after 8 hours of labor, my baby girl enters the world. I let the crew into the room and they capture her being weighed at 6 pounds 12 ounces and 18 inches long. She has a mass of dark hair, and a little smooshed up face. I fall in love instantly. "Looks like you did a good job," the producer tells me. Wearily I nod, amazed at what my body just went through. Amazed that this tiny person is mine. I'm not babysitting. They're sending her home with me, forever. 

After a commercial break hawking Aqua Net hairspray and acid washed jeans, my episode closes with me at home, snuggling my baby, not caring about if there's a baseball game that night or who said what to who in the cafeteria. My friends were working on formulas in chemistry class, and I was mixing up formula for bottles. I look into the camera and tell the world that I may be only 16, but I love my new daughter with all my heart, and I'm going to enjoy her. All summer long.
And in the fall, start 11th grade....


Friday, February 1, 2013

Human garbage disposals

"Mom I'm hungry!"
"There's nothing to eat!"
"Are you gonna go shopping?"
"What can I haaaaave?!"
"I'm starving!"

I was talking to a friend last night (ok, not talking, texting; I don't actually talk to anyone, scoff scoff) and we were discussing how much our kids eat. She was telling me about all the frozen pizzas her kiddos went through, and I was telling her about everything mine had demolished (I won by the way; my kids eat more than hers, ha!) I need a second mortgage just to feed these little boogers, never mind clothe them, house them, etc. etc.

Within 24 hours my kids had gone through a gallon of orange juice, a gallon of pink lemonade, almost a whole 32 ounce bag of cereal, half a gallon of milk, a box of pop-tarts (the big box, not the little one, that's like a single serving), half a loaf of bread and 2 sleeves of crackers. And that is not counting whatever I made for dinner, and whatever they may have hidden under their beds that I don't know about. So basically every single day of the week I could go to the grocery store and drop about 20 bucks on extras. That's $140 a week, not including dinner foods like meat and potatoes, paper goods (I should buy stock in a toilet paper company) and all the basics like flour, sugar, ketchup, coffee. They drink like we live in the Sahara, but do they want water? The free stuff that comes out of the faucet? Oh no. Why drink for free when you can spend money on sugared up colored water that I'm sure helped to pay for our dentist's new car??

And don't even get me started on the 14 year old boy. There's nothing 'boy' about his appetite, it's the same as a grown man's. A grown man with 2 stomachs. Who hasn't eaten in a week. When I'm not home he will text me asking what he can eat; um, you're the one at home with the cabinets, look around! But he'll just say: there's nothing to eat...  Well, right, because you already ate everything!

I get really ticked off grocery shopping because it's hard to feed your family healthy foods when you're on a tight budget. I know, not impossible, but definitely hard. I can get a bag of 8 apples for $5 or a box of 10 cupcakes for $1.79. A pound of sliced cheese from the deli for $4.50 or a package of 'processed cheese food slices' for $1.  Fish for $7.99/pound or not very lean ground beef for $3.69/pound. I think a good way to help fight obesity in our country would be to lower the prices of the healthy stuff. Even McDonalds, salad is $4.99 but a double cheeseburger is a buck.

Needless to say I get a little pissy when I see the kids sometimes waste food. When they very quietly get up from the table and walk towards the trash can I know there's stuff about to be dumped that should be being eaten.  And then 20 minutes later it's "what's for dessert?" Um, the rest of that chicken you just threw away. Here's some gloves, dig it out.

The one year old has discovered that the dog is his best friend when it comes to finishing food he doesn't want. She'll eat the Gerber puffs left behind in the seat of his high chair.  Oh well, saves me money on dog food.

Since February vacation is coming up, the kids will be home all week eating all 3 meals here plus infinite snacks. I better start looking around for things to sell to support their snack habit. Maybe Stop & Shop will do a work-trade.,,,,