Archives for category: Mom Stuff

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and thought it was too bizarre not to try.  I just had to now if it worked.

Instructions say, put 2 bags of frozen berries (I used strawberries and blueberries) on the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan, sprinkle the cake mix over the top, and dump a can of Sprite over the top.  Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.  It specifically says not to mix it all up.  And this is supposed to create a berry cobbler that will be a huge hit at all your family functions. And weight watchers approved too!

This one was a big fail.

We don’t drink much soda at my house, so I didn’t want to by a case of cans of Sprite. Instead I got a litre bottle of it.  Poured 12 ounces into a measuring cup and slowly poured it over the top of the cake mix. It looked just like the photo said it should.

But when I took it out of the oven and cut into it (after it had cooled of course), there were big patches of dry uncooked cake mix throughout. The parts that the Sprite soaked into did cook a little, but only on the surface.  So there were piles of uncooked cake mix under those parts too. Could the first pouring of the Sprite into the measuring cup have popped too many of the bubbles for it to cook up right – who knows!

My mother happened to visit that day so I sent half of it home with her to try, knowing full well I’d just be throwing it out. Now, my mother is usually pretty gentle in her criticisms, but she agreed completely – total fail! Although she did try remixing it all up and putting it back in the oven to re-cook. She said it came out kind of like a berry cake!

I will not be trying this one again.

Yesterday, when I went to do a long overdue cleaning of the bathroom, I remembered I had seen something on Pinterest about a great way to clean soap scum.  So I decided to try it out.

Seemed super easy – you just mix equal parts of Dawn dish soap and warmed up vinegar in a squirt bottle. And I had all the necessary items on hand already.

I heated my vinegar (about 1/3 cup) in the microwave in a Pyrex measuring cup for 2 minutes.  That was actually a bit long – it was pretty hot.  And when I poured it into my squirt bottle it softened the plastic so the bottom of it is no longer flat! I should get a new squirt bottle for this anyways because this one only does a fine stream.  It looked like I had drawn blue lines all over my tub surround.

But I will say that this worked wonderfully. My tiles are finally all nice and shiny again!

The only complaint I have is that it takes a lot of rinsing to wash away all the Dawn. Think about how many bubbles 1/3 cup of dish soap makes! Next time I might try it with less soap and see if it still works.

I just wanted to update a couple of old posts.

Here’s a photo of what my pallet planter looks like now (original post was “One postive result of my pinterest obsession” from May 29th).

As you can see, things have grown a bit – especially what was supposed to turn into romaine lettuce. Not sure what has taken over its soul but it is now a towering monstrosity with a flowering spike coming out the top! And that thing on the bottom right that I still forget the name of. And the mint of course – yeah Mojitos!

Unfortunately a few things have died due to my lack of green thumb. Alas, there was originally 2 vincas on either side of the lettuce spikes and 2 lobelia in the top row. But at least its still fairly balanced.

Next, regarding football and my 10 year old… (original post was “Is football OK for a 10 year old?” from February 6th).

We went for it! Please don’t let him get hurt…Please don’t let him get hurt…Please don’t let him get hurt!

At the beginning of the summer, I was all nervous about surviving the entire summer with my 3 monsters.  They do nothing but bicker and fight all day long.  Unless they are fully entertained.  So I came up with this list of fun summer time activities to have in my back pocket in case of emergencies.

Its about 1/2 way through the summer and, as you can see, I’ve checked off several ideas so far.  I try to get us out of the house at least every other day to do some inexpensive activity.  I have the extra added bonus of our $300 Intex swimming pool in the backyard (best investment ever made), a free pond behind a nearby college, and a free beach about 5 minutes down the street.

So far this summer has been great. Surprisingly, I’ve really been enjoying playing with my kids!

I’m not particularly into Mother’s Day and neither is my mother. But it is nice to get a little recognition from your kids. Who doesn’t love a macaroni necklace? I’ll treasure my 3 forever. After all its a piece of their creative youth that will soon be gone.

Usually my husband or maybe a teacher is responsible for whatever it is they give me.  My favorite is my mothers ring. Its just a plain white gold band with a little bitty diamond and 2 aquamarines in it – my kids birthstones. But every time I look at it I think of them and I get to have them with me where ever I go.

No one can explain the overwhelming love you feel once  you become a mother. You just have to become one. The way you cry because you’re no longer providing for them when you wean them, the way you literally feel their pain when they break their arm falling off the monkey bars, the worry you feel when they go on their first solo bike ride fearing you may never see them again. So all those kids out there won’t get the fact that their parents would literally die for them for many many more years.

And once you have your own kids, you appreciate your own mother so much more.  I think of mine as a single mother of 3, never getting break, having to always be the one to put us to bed, always be the one to get us dinner, always be the one to take us here there and every where, always be the one to deal with our melt downs, and always be the one to deal with every I want I want I want. With no help and no end in sight. And she never complained, she never yelled, she never lost it. (Exact opposite of me!)

Although she lives only an hour away, I don’t see her very often.  We email most (I hate phones).  But I know she’s always there to answer my questions, help out when I need her, share the goofy stories about my kids with, and just offer support. What would I do without her?

So on this mothers day, I want to wish every mother out there, but especially mine, an overwhelmingly love filled day.  And thanks for all you’ve done and continue to do!  And to all the kids out there, all you really need to do today is give Mom a big hug and tell her you love her.  What more could we ask for!

Maybe I’m just ADD, maybe I’m just over committed, maybe I’m overly interested, maybe just like with everyone else, there’s not enough time in the day.  But I seem to be having hard time keeping up with life.  I have failed at my goal of posting twice a week. I’m lucky if I post once a week these days.  In fact, I’ve not done much LeeLee related in a couple weeks.  Ok, I’ve shipped out orders and answered emails. But thats about it.  I’m supposed to be tweaking the packaging of the DIY banner, experimenting with silkscreening t-shirts, and developing new packaging that doesn’t involve our current round bags.

But I have gotten most of our basement painted. And I have gone to my kids’ flag football games. And I have organized and run a can and bottle drive for the school’s Green Team.  And I have had a meeting about the Holiday Craft Market craft show that Leslie and I run every year.

I have to keep myself in check so that I don’t take on too much.  Even though I already have.  Just yesterday, they were looking for a volunteer to be the Vice President for the PTO. You organize the fundraising events – right up my alley!  Then I got a group email looking for a volunteer to be on the board of the Centerville Improvement Society which I think would be a lot of fun.  But no.  I have to remember I just don’t have the time. I mean, I don’t even have the time to keep my house clean!

Then again, its all about priorities.  I feel its important to be involved in my kids lives, and sneak work work and house work in when I can.  I feel its important to be creatively and mentally challenged to remain happy in life.  I feel its important to do my part and help out the community.  So if my basement takes another month to finish, and the non-recyclable styrofoam trays stay in the garage a little longer, and the morning LeeLee meetings happen once a week instead of daily, while I take my boys to baseball practice in between making a sign for a food drive, and a birthday cake for my father, then so be it.  I guess.

I have to realize I can’t do it all perfectly or well enough to make everyone happy.  But I do the best I can!

I think I just saved my son Bobby from the curse of life in a bubble!
     When I found out the only thing he knew of Spam was junk email, I knew I had a mission. How could he not know about the Monty Python skit? Worse yet, how could he not be aware of the classic meat in a can?
     There’s a running joke with my college friends, that you must live in a bubble if you’ve never heard of Spam before (like my friend Betty). Spam was a staple on the pantry shelves of blue collar families from my generation. But alas, the fine art of cooking spam and eggs on Saturday morning, or perhaps spam and rice dinner on Sundays after church, has been lost on this generation!
     I just couldn’t let my son live a life of ignorance any longer. So off to Market Basket I went, completely mortified to have the can in my cart (the things you do for your kids). Today after school, he gently pulled the key and peeled back the cover only to be instantly horrified.  I could smell the fine odour from the next room.
     And I now realize I’ve been wrong all these years.  I don’t think I ever did have Spam before, because I’d remember that stink! Smells like cat food – and looks like it too. Ingredients say pork with ham.  Huh? I think the contents of this can must be the pig equivalent of pink slime.
     There is no way any of my kids would go near it, never mind have it for dinner. Jack actually shivered when he saw it!
     Betty, be glad, be very very glad that you’ve never had Spam before!

What was I thinking?

As I was giving in to my Pinterest addiction one night, I fell upon the cutest monster bookmark
( and somehow that led me to a similar Angry Birds bookmark.  Then a lightbulb went off in my head:  Because our school doesn’t allow treats in the classroom anymore, I’ll make these for my sons to give for Valentine’s Day!

Not the best idea I ever had.  Sure, they’re fun, useful, reading related, and of course Angry Birds are all the rage these days.  So they should be a big hit.  Wish I had reminded myself of that at 11:30pm on Sunday and Monday nights while I was STILL up making 42 of these!  I just thank goodness my 3rd son said no thanks and went with store bought Spongebob tattoos instead.  I would have committed hara-kiri if I had to make 62.

There are 9 parts on each of these.  That equals 378 individually traced, hand cut, and glue sticked miserable pieces!

But… aren’t they cute????

So here we are on the morning after the Super Bowl and a depressing (at least for us New Englanders) loss by the Pats.  I’ve gotten to thinking about the sport of football.  I’m glad that my son is almost as enthusiastic about the game as his dad is.  But I’m also thankful that he still thinks its goofy when his dad stands up and cheers at the top of his lungs for a good play!  Last night my little guy said “I can literally feel my heart pounding in my chest” during the last minute of the game.  I’m happy he’s finally found a team sport that he enjoys playing.  Although to this point, he has only played flag football.

Which brings up my issue.  I’m sure this is only an issue for a mom and I happen to be a rather big worry wort of a mom.  My son, who will be 10 when the season starts, now wants to play tackle football. Should I let my little boy play this particularly violent sport?  I watch these players on TV take these world rocking hits, have a pile of 300 pound men jump on top of them, and literally fall on their head, and wonder why they don’t get broken.  My husband says its because they work out so much that their bulky muscles protect things like their necks from breaking.  But my 10 year old son, does not work out.  And although he’s no lightweight, he would certainly be broken by that kind of roughness.

Its not that he hasn’t been broken before. He broke his arm when he was only 5 by falling off the monkey bars at the park. So I’ve seen him truly injured and I survived it (as did he).  But do I purposely let him “play” something where the odds of bodily damage go up exponentially, and knowingly put him in the way of danger?

Or… perhaps, this will turn out to be a good outlet for him. He’s got a temper (huh, no idea where he could have gotten that from!), and tends to be a bit agressive. Maybe this is the perfect place for him to beat on things legally instead of using his little brothers.  Maybe he’ll be so pooped when he gets home from practice, that he won’t have the energy left to try to get his brothers riled up.  Hmmmm….

Wow, what would I ever do if he came to me and said he wanted to join the military!!!!