Thursday, May 31, 2012

You Need These Croutons

Summer is here and our garden is kicking out lettuce like gang-busters. Salad is on the plate nearly every night at our house and our salads sport these little crusty jewels.

Just trust me. You need these croutons. It's not hard or fancy so just do it.

Chunks of Garlic Yumminess:

  • 1 French Baguette
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • Coarse Salt

Chunks of Garlic Yumminess

Preheat : 375 degrees
  • Dice Baguette into 1 inch cubes and set them in a shallow glass pan. You can use a cookie sheet- but it makes it harder to stir them.
  • Mince 4 cloves of garlic and stir them in a separate pan with one stick of butter and heat until melted.
  • Pour the butter and garlic evenly over the bread cubes and sprinkle with coarse salt. Mix them to make sure all of the bread gets some of that buttery garlic love.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes- stir halfway to get golden brown on all sides.
  • Enjoy!
You will never, ever buy store bought croutons ever again. Seriously, it's criminal. They are so good I am eating them now... for breakfast. I couldn't help it- they were just sitting on the counter saying... come on, you know you want me.

Super good in split pea soup too!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Mom Slammed My Hand in the Car Door

Not recently. No, I think she is still in California visiting Bernie's family. I'm talking like I dunno 30+ years ago, I think we were at the state fair or the Livonia Spree or something and we were piling into the car to leave. As a 5 year old it was my responsibility to be poking around in the hinge part of the door, because that is what a 5 year old does- Mom just closed the door. Of course this was an accident- I am fairly certain she did not intentionally crush my hand. At least I hope not. I don't even remember if it hurt. It probably friggin killed- but I was like 5 so you forget that kind of stuff. Well just enough to hang over my Mom's head for the rest of my life :)

Let me tell you what I do remember. Sitting on the couch with my hand in one of those little yellow Tupperware cups filled with ice. Or maybe my Faygo was in the cup... I dunno. There were definitely Tupperware cups involved.

Tupperware Cups found on Tree Fall Design Blog
Every Sunday or maybe it was Saturday night we would get to watch The Muppet Show. My brother and I each had one bowl of popcorn and a small cup of soda. Probably Faygo. There must have been an enormous amount of Mommy guilt going on this night because honestly... the only thing I remember about the entire experience is that I got an extra bowl of popcorn and an extra cup of soda.

To this day, I tease my Mom all the time. "Mom my hand still hurts..." News flash. Doesn't hurt. I don't remember any of it. I only remember that I scored extra popcorn, soda and watching The Muppet Show. Which for the record is one of the best programs ever on television. If you disagree you are wrong.

You see. Here is where I am right now. Stuff happens. Stuff out of my control. Don't tell my kids, I can't fix everything. I cannot be everywhere all the time. Even though I tell them I can. I certainly try. When accidents happen the guilt becomes part of me. This example, is the same. But different. I was inside with Kate a few weeks ago and Bradan had a major wipe out on his scooter. I mean... yikes...

Bradan's Knee - Post Wipe Out
His knee was raw, but what was worse was his uncontrollable screaming. I mean seriously... you would have thought his leg was being chopped off. 

While I was making every attempt to console him- my heart was so heavy because there was nothing I could do to make him feel better. It took a good 30 minutes to get him to calm down just to let me wipe the snot from his face let alone the blood from his knee. Selfishly, I look back on this day and while I certainly think about the horrible road rash he had and how bad he felt. I also think about how helpless I felt not being able to fix it or prevent it from happening all together. The guilt comes over me and I think- if I would have been there this wouldn't have happened. WTF do I think I have superpowers? Was I really going to swoop in and catch him as he flew down his favorite scooting hill he calls "The Mountain" clocked at a good 12-18 mph? Probably not. 

Yup, probably should have been wearing knee pads... luckily he religiously wears his helmet- because we have brainwashed him on that one. But I should not feel guilty about not being there. They are growing. They don't want me watching over their every single move. (otherwise they wouldn't get away with anything!) I know I should not feel guilty- but I do.

I took this photo of his knee and recorded him screaming because I know he will forget. On occasion he will look at photos on my phone and say- "My knee was really gross Mommy. Look at it now- it is totally healed". This is still pretty fresh in his head since it just happened recently- but I'm pretty certain the memory will fade into, getting to prop his leg up, watching Shark Boy and Lava Girl, extra play time on the Wii, special snacks and Caprisun.

Accidents happen. Scraped knees and pinched fingers are inevitable. While I don't wish them on anyone- it gives them a story to tell, a scar to show later or a tramatic experience to hold over their Mom's head... "Mom remember that one time when I wiped out on my scooter? You should have bought me knee pads". Yeah yeah. My point is, I have got to stop with the Mommy guilt. 

My Mom is the coolest. She did not intentionally slam my hand in the car door. She probably relived the experience in her head a thousand times that day. I can't say for certain- I just know that this is what I do with my kids. I can't be everywhere all the time. Shit is going to happen. All I can do is hold them tight when something happens and have it all documented so when they are ready to hang it over my head- I will just be able to nod and laugh that they have a story to tell instead of feeling guilty for not being there to prevent it from happening.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

6:50pm Today

Me: "If all of you don't get some clothes on your bodies stat you are all fired!"

I may need about 5 of these tonight.

Mama Juice

Ready or Not Summer is Coming!

So here it is. In writing. How my/our/your life runs. I feel like everyone can take a nugget of experience or relate to my life, learn something, cry with me, or at least spit your morning coffee or evening cocktail at the computer laughing at my expense.

I don't even know where to start. So I will spit out what was running through my head as we escorted the boys to the bus stop this morning. Summer break starts in 9 days. I'm a bit frightened. I don't know how we operated with 3 kids and both of us working before. It's a lot of work. Managing a toddler is a full time job. Toss in the other two maniacs and I am pretty much up to my ass in alligators until the sun goes down. The boys would be completely content playing video games from sun up to sun down every day. They would likely be sitting on the couch in the same Star Wars underoos as yesterday at 3pm playing Mario Kart if I let them. But I am a glutton for punishment. I am planning a summer of adventure and fun. They will thank me later.

My children are annoyed by crafts and irritated by organized play. Free spirits... or crazy- however you want to label it. They have the attention span of gnats. So I am going to try and hide the fact that they are doing what I want them to do. 

First on the docket: Tire Paintings. My brother's family bought the boys a drawing kit for Christmas that has a big roll of paper. We are going to unroll it on the driveway, paint the wheels on their bikes and scooters and let them ride all over the paper. It will probably be horribly messy. I will likely say at least once- what the hell was I thinking. But I think they will dig it- and it is likely the closest I am going to get to an art project from Bradan (the oldest) this summer. Tire paintings will be followed by the ever so fancy schmancy Kid Wash Sprinkler and a few buckets of suds for them to scrub their bikes clean. 

Quick note about the above Kid Wash Sprinkler... you should stop reading this, go to the hardware store and just make it if you have not done it already. It is easy, cheap and the kids friggin love it. I had seen it on Pintrest- and after my girlfriend Stacey's husband built it for her minions- we needed one too!

Kate - 21 Months- Running through the Kid Wash
Bradan - 7 Riding the scooter-skateboard through the Kid Wash

I made it in less than an hour and as long as you have a hose already- you are looking at only about $25 in expenses. The only time suck is letting the PVC cement dry. This is kind of a buzz kill when the kids see it sitting there all assembled- looking super fun and can't wait to hook up the hose and start playing- but just believe me when I tell you- if you don't let it dry, the water pressure will just push the thing apart- your child will be clobbered in the head with a PVC pipe and then you are subjected to unnecessary whining. Put it together- go inside to put on the swimgear- have a snack and let it dry. Let the PVC pipe entertain your child  this summer instead of the slip n' slide which is guaranteed to be gummed up with grass and have your children whining about broken ribs and scraped knees. It costs about the same too.

So, this will probably cover a good 2 hours of the day. I have no idea what kind of filler we will use for the rest of the day. There will likely be food, movies, off-site adventure, lots of tattle tailing and threats made by me to help keep the peace... we'll figure something out. I don't want to use all the super-way-cool-awesomeness up on one day- summer break is 10 weeks long. I'll try and keep you up to speed don't you worry :) How are you and the kids spending your summer? 

Alright. If it wasn't painful, entertain me, give me the warm fuzzies and follow my blog. Wanna really make me feel special, make a comment, tell a friend or enemy to read my blog. For even a moment - I will feel like Sally Field. 

Sally Field Clip - Courtesy of