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30 May 2012 | 5 Comments

We should hang out.  sowondsomarv

Does anyone remember the “he’s her LOBSTER!” episode of Friends?  Ahhhh I miss that show.

Birdie.

29 May 2012 | 9 Comments

If you’re a longtime reader, you might remember two years ago when my mother signed us all up to decorate a birdhouse for charity.  The houses are then auctioned off at the Toledo Farmer’s Market.  I ended up doing the house from Up! 

Last year, I was nine months pregnant, so I didn’t participate.  But the birdhouse?  It’s back. 

I need help.  Lots of help.  And quick.

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Here she is.  My birdhouse of 2012.  And she’s naked. 

Did I mention, she needs to be dressed by Saturday?  I’ve tossed around tons of ideas and nothing fits.  {Much like half the clothes in my closet.}

So, I’m asking you.  What should I do this year?  If I chose your idea, I’m going to send you a little something as a thank you.

I will take all your crazy ideas.  Obscure concepts.  Thoughts.  Themes.  Share them in the comments.

Do You Know How To?

22 May 2012 | 13 Comments

In the last couple weeks, two of my friends posted on Facebook about mowing a lawn for the first time ever.  What?  Yes, the first time ever mowing a lawn and they are both in their thirties!  I think it’s awesome and I have to wonder if they felt excited to be doing something brand new.  {Girls, if you are reading, let me know!}

Shortly after, another friend posted that she was watching one of the morning news programs and they were discussing gender-specific chores.  Specifically, to not give your children gender based chores. 

I have written before how spoiled I am, that Davester of mine he does the vast majority of the dirty work, but it wasn’t always that way.  I grew up in a single parent household, so my sister and I had to do things like mow lawns and take out the garbage.  My dad taught us how to change a tire the moment we turned 16, it was literally one of my proudest moments when my mom had a flat and I was able to change it for her.  Likewise, Dave’s parents taught him how to cook and do laundry and the Air Force taught him how to sew a button back on. 

And maybe, we’re odd.

So I want to know…

Do you know how to mow a lawn? 

Have you ever changed a tire? 

Does your husband know how to cook?

Does he know how to do laundry?

And what will you teach your children?  Do you think they should learn how to mow a lawn and do laundry regardless of gender?  Or are there clear gender lines in your house?

Happy. With a Side of No Pictures.

21 May 2012 | 7 Comments

Blogging can sometimes be exhausting. 

Oh, I know as a blogger, we’re not supposed to reveal this fact.  It’s like Fight Club.  We’re not supposed to bitch about blogging in of itself because really, a lot of you who read aren’t bloggers and could care less.  Anywho, it’s sometimes a pain in the ass.  Just know that I like writing rambling enough that I’m not going anywhere.

I can’t remember why I started writing this post. 

Oh, yes.  So I’ve been feeling a little burnt out and we have a load of stuff going on right now that is blog-worthy, but here is the thing… sometimes I want to just not.  I have this kick ass recipe for grilled broccoli and asparagus.  This weekend alone, we went to the zoo, the park, the drive in {Avengers rocked my socks off!} and had friends over for a yummy outdoor barbeque and time in our cheapie blow up pool from Tar-jay.  Plus, I came within one day and twenty minutes of my friend Jen’s birth guessing poll, so YAY for baby Katherine’s good timing!

I also took a nap three days in a row. My house is a disaster area.  My CRV cargo area was somehow filled with popcorn {that because I am watching what I eat, I couldn’t even partake in!} so the Davester spent the better part of an hour removing car seats and vacuuming every crevice.  Diet and exercise is bullshit, but necessary.  Plus, at thirty-six years old, I should know that my white ass Irish/Scottish skin needs a slathering of sunscreen or I will burn and yet, I continually neglect to do so.

Just keeping it real.

In summary, I took this weekend off and it felt good.  Fight Club.

What did you do?

I Can’t Take Him Seriously Unless He’s Wearing a Hat.

18 May 2012 | 10 Comments

Shortly after I met the Davester, he shaved his head.  He looked utterly ridiculous.  It was a cut that not even a mother could love, in fact, his mother did not love it one bit.  Even though we had only known each other for a few weeks, I sent him an email at work that said, “Dave, did you lose a bet?”

I was very professional, you can see now why he fell for me.

He looked like a lunatic.  I wish I had a picture of it to post, but I am pretty sure that he has disposed of the evidence.

Even to this day, we argue 60% of the time that he gets a haircut.  If you are thinking, that is a lot, you would be right.  My anxiety level goes to an eleventy billion if we have something important upcoming and he announces casually that he’s going for a cut.  Those days, he tells them not to cut it too short or his wife will kill him.

And I probably would.  Unless this blog post constitutes pre-meditation, in which case, I was totally kidding.  Yep, this is me kidding over here… hey Dave, I am totally NOT kidding!

He goes to a barber and depending on who he gets it either comes out looking normal, but short – or – like he just got back from basic training all over.  There is no in between.  People, there is a guy named Buzz {I kid you not} who Dave tries to avoid at all costs because he is 70 years old and only does a high and tight.  THIS is what I am dealing with.  I mean, yes yes, we’ve all had bad hair cuts, but he goes every few weeks so I would think there would be a better average than what he is sporting, or that he would find a real salon to go to, one that offers you something to drink and an US Weekly to peruse.

Wednesday, he came home and I only heard Finn in the kitchen say, “DAD.  What happened to your hair?” as a greeting.  I knew when he rounded the corner that it was going to be one of those cuts. 

He’s been wearing a hat ever since. 

Then he told me he’d wear it to bed if I thought it might improve his getting lucky chances.  Psssst… Davester, staying away from Buzz would improve your chances even more.

Kinder.

16 May 2012 | 8 Comments

My little bug is going to kinder next year and dear Lord, I don’t know how I am going to survive this. 

I feel like he is ready.  It is me, who is not.  Not at all.

Last week we went to registration and it has taken me almost a week to write about it.  Every time I thought about sitting down, I got all choked up. 

My baaaaaaby.  {Yes, I know how utterly ridiculous I am.}

They had all of the classrooms open for the kids to go through.  So many of his little preschool buddies were also there, it made me so happy that we chose a preschool in the neighborhood.  The first room, he was holding tightly to my hand.  The second, he was shyly exploring a little more and talking to his friends.  By the third, he sat right down and started playing with toys and openly talking to the teacher.  Not going to lie, my eyes were welling.

I imagined him in his little uniform, sitting at his little desk in one of these very classrooms, eating his lunch in the cafeteria, and away from me all day.

All day.  Away from me.  It simultaneously makes me sad and so excited for him.  He is becoming independent.  He will be taking his manners and humor and kindness and goofiness and intelligence out there, into a new environment.   His own environment, one that doesn’t belong to me.

So, that first week in September, I may cry the entire way home, much like I did that first day I went back to work after my maternity leave ended.  But, I will put on my happy face for him.

It is what Mamas do.

Pretty please share with me your hints and tips and thoughts about surviving those first school days.  For me and for him.  But mostly me because I have a sneaking suspicion, he will be just fine.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

15 May 2012 | 6 Comments

After Tate was born, my friend Steph invited us over for dinner one evening.  She made chicken tacos in the crockpot and they were fabulous.  They are now a staple in our house, we modify it slightly and add black beans.

You will need:

  • 1-2 whole boneless skinless chicken breast {cut in half and trimmed of any fat}
  • 1 can red or green enchilada sauce {we prefer the red}
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 can water

Pop all of it into the crockpot and cook on high for an hour and a half to two hours or low for 4 hours. 

Remove the chicken breasts from the liquid and shred.  I used this AWESOME technique that I found on Pinterest with great results, you put the chicken in the Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment and turn it on... the chicken gets perfectly shredded by magic.  It was like David Copperfield himself was in my kitchen.  Magic, I tell you!  I’ll never go back to shredding it with a fork again.

Add the shredded chicken back to the liquid and add one can of black beans if you like.  Bring everything back up to temp & serve!

Serve with all of the taco fixings your family enjoys!

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Nestle Drumstick Review + Giveaway

14 May 2012 | 137 Comments

We are inching closer and closer to summer here in Ohio. We keep getting little glimpses of it--an 80-degree day here, an 85-degree day there. It is just enough to break out the shorts, open up the windows and stick toes in the grass. This weekend, we did just that. Off we went to spend some time with the cousins. It was nothing special, just some time playing on the swing set and enjoying this gorgeous weather. We parents got to sit on the deck with the little ones and watch the boys having a blast.

When we broke out the box of Nestlé® Drumstick® Lil’ Drums Caramel Delights, they were so excited. Myles and Finn chose the Vanilla Caramel Crunch cone and Colin went for the Caramel Graham cone. We had never tried the Lil’ Drums before, and they are the PERFECT size for kids. At just 120 calories, they aren’t too shabby for the adults either. The boys were able to enjoy the cones themselves…even if Colin started his from the bottom. I’m definitely going to remember to keep a box in the freezer for summer playdates and after-dinner treats.

There are so many flavors to choose from, there is a cone for everyone. You can check out all of the flavors on the Nestlé Drumstick Facebook page. I hate to play favorites, but I always go for the Classic Vanilla Caramel. With the peanuts and crunchy chocolate shell coupled with an extra ribbon of caramel on the inside, it is hard to beat the original. You already know my feelings about filling-less Drumsticks, but if you go with the variety pack, there is something for everyone. My sister would dump the Classic in a second for the Cookie Dipped. We’re all dying to try the new Pretzel Dipped Drumstick cones; sadly we weren’t able to find them, but we’re keeping an eye out. Pretzels and chocolate and ice cream? Sign me up for that sweet, salty, crunchy combo.

Let’s hope Mother Nature gets her act together soon. We are ready for this warm weather all the time. The season for barbeques, long walks with Monty, baseball, fireworks, afternoons at the park or the zoo, and days by the pool are quickly approaching, and we can’t wait!

So tell me, peeps, what is your favorite summer activity with your friends and family? One So Wonderful, So Marvelous reader will win a $100 Walmart gift card!

Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  •  Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  •  Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  •  Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  •  For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/14/2012 to 6/15/2012.

Be sure to visit the Nestlé Drumstick page on BlogHer.com, where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Motherhood in Numbers.

11 May 2012 | 3 Comments

Mom

Your ideal amount of sleep in a night divided by 2 = Actual amount of sleep you receive.  {Divide by 3 for the first year and from 16-18 years old.}

Number of times each year you will feel like a bad mom = 14.

Actual number of times that will be true = 0.

Excitement level of your husband when you show him your boobs, multiplied by 400 = excitement level of your nursing 6 month old when you show them your boobs.

School projects you will help on = 27.

Number of minutes you will spend watching them sleep = 12,383.

Bits of {unsolicited} advice you’ll receive over the course of your motherhood = 457,689.

Number of times you will stifle a laugh when you realize you are saying the same things to your children that your mom said to you = 146.

The number of moms they get = 1. 

Make it count.

Happy Mother’s Day to my Mama and all of you too!

{I would love to have you add your Motherhood Numbers in the comments.}

Make a Scooby Doo Tag.

08 May 2012 | 5 Comments

For Finn’s Scooby Doo Party, we made all of the kiddos tags, just like Scooby.  I had considered making them out of paper, but wanted something a little more sturdy.  My friend Holly at 504 Main had posted a project previously about using computer printed Shrinky Dink paper, so I thought I’d give it a go.  And since we were making them ourselves, we could customize them with their own initials.

It turned out better than I had imagined!  You can pick up the Shrinky Dink paper at Michaels.  It is a little pricey, so try to use a 40% off coupon if you can.

First, I designed the tags using Microsoft Word.  {The squares are 3.75” x 3.75” with rounded corners}  Then, using Word Art, I added in the initials.  {I used BadaBoom font}  You will need to make your colors 50% lighter than you would like them to turn out.  As the paper shrinks, it will condense and darken the colors. 

Then, print your tags on the Shrinky Dink paper and carefully cut out.  Try to hold the non-printed parts of the paper while cutting or lines can smudge slightly. 

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After you cut out the tags, you will need to punch a hole in it.  The punched circle will shrink as well, so if you are using thicker string or ribbon, you may want to find a larger punch.  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. 

You can bake them on a brown paper bag or on parchment paper.

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Then, pop them in the oven for five minutes and watch the Shrinky Dinky magic happen.

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You’ll notice that they are still slightly wavy when they are done.  When you pull them out of the oven, you will turn them over and press down {I used a piece of cardboard and set something heavy on top} until they cool completely so they will be completely flat.

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We strung ours with bakers twine.  The kiddos laced fruit loops on them and then had fun eating them like candy necklaces.

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Confession.

07 May 2012 | 7 Comments

Lyndsey and I used to drive all over town and then put a dollar or two worth of gas {back when gas wasn’t even a dollar!} into my mom’s car so she didn’t know we had driven it.

I smoked for over ten years and quit when we were trying to get pregnant with Finn.  It has been over six years and sometimes I still  dream about smoking, then wake up feeling guilty about it.

I sometimes don’t feel like I am old enough {in reality, I am MORE than old enough} to be someone’s mom.

My dining room table has been buried under a pile of crafting stuff for the last two months. 

What is your confession of the day?

Scooby Doo Party

04 May 2012 | 13 Comments

Finnegan’s fifth birthday ended up being a total blast.  He had a smile on his face from start to finish

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Each place setting had a little sectioned plate that had a few Scooby Snack graham crackers, Scooby gummy treats, a Scooby tag with their initials and a mini cup of fruit loops, so they could make their own {edible} Scooby collar.  I will have a tutorial for you next week on how to make the collar tags!  They also had a Scooby party blower, a Scooby tattoo, Color Magic markers and Color Magic Scooby coloring pages. The green and orange bags held the party favor, a bottle of Scooby Doo bubble bath.

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The Food: Finn wanted the food to be creepy. Part of what he loves is the ‘scary’ factor to the stories. We pulled out the Halloween decorations and added some of the Scooby villains to the food names. I just wanted a giant sub because Scooby and Shaggy are always eating comically large sandwiches. Here is the menu we settled on:

  • The Spector Sub Sandwich, three feet long!
  • San Franpsycho Fruit
  • The Creeper Coleslaw
  • Penguin Pasta Salad
  • Charlie the Robot Chips
  • Black Knight Iced Tea
  • Lord Infernicus Lemonade

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The Desserts:

  • Goblin King Cookies which were awesome cookies in the shape of the Mystery Machine, Scooby, Scooby tags with Finn’s initials, number fives, and dog bones
  • Ghost of Captain Cutler Cupcakes were mini cupcakes, the chocolate had Scooby Snacks on top, we also had strawberry with cream cheese icing
  • Old Iron Face Oreos were sea salt chocolate covered Oreos and had green tinted white chocolate ‘slime’ drizzled on
  • Ghost Clown gummies
  • Cheese Monster cheesecake dip served with Scooby Snacks graham crackers served in bright orange dog bowls
  • and of course, BIRTHDAY CAKE!

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The Photo Booth:  We had Daphne’s hair, Shaggy’s chin, Fred’s ascot, Scooby’s collar, and Velma’s hair and glasses.

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Sources:

  • Location – Sur St Clair Gallery
  • Scooby Doo Cookies + Finn’s Cake – Stephanie’s Patisserie {if you are local, HIGHLY recommend!}
  • Scooby Doo Photo Booth Props – Kitty Dune Cuts on Etsy {she rushed to get them to me on time, FAB customer service!}
  • Scooby party blowers. turquoise blue dessert plates – Party City
  • polka dot napkins, bright green plates, orange and green favor bags – Target
  • turquoise and lime green sectioned kids plates, Color Wonder Scooby pages & markers – Walmart
  • dessert napkins - Ikea

Tons of Scooby Inspiration for your own Scooby Doo party!

Coconutty. Heavy on the Nutty Part.

03 May 2012 | 8 Comments

If you’ve been reading So Wonderful, So Marvelous for long, you will know that my husband Dave gets a lot of harebrained ideas. 

A lot.   And most of them involve thinking he is a dude from Top Chef. 

Michelle, I should learn to make sushi.  Yes, I know the sticky rice tasted like vinegar and I ruined a pan, but I’ll get it.  Michelle, I am going to make my own peanut sauce.  Michelle, I just got this mini hibachi because I NEED to use charcoal for these chicken satay.  Michelle, Bridget said I can have her mandolin, what if I promise to use the finger guard?  Michelle, let’s make a $47 apple pie.

OK, OK, that last one was me, but all the rest are all Dave.  He and Finn together though?  TROUBLE.  I am dreading when Finn is a teen and can escalate the craziness with Dave right there egging him on. 

The latest?

We are at the grocery store and Finn talks Dave into getting a coconut.

Seriously?  How are you going to open that thing Dave??

I don’t know yet.  It can’t be that hard!

Solid plan.

You can see my trepidation since the thumb cutting incident resulted in antibiotics and a tetanus shot.

The thing is, I gave in because when we were young, Lyndsey and I talked my dad into this very thing and we thought it was SO cool.  And don’t forget, it was pre-internet when you didn’t have instructions.  {Oh, thank God for instructions.}  I think my dad cracked ours with a hammer until it broke into a bunch of pieces.  Dave said when he did it as a kid there was a vice grip present and he thinks maybe a drill.

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I laid out the rules for the Davester.  These are things I would like to avoid… vice grips mixed with coconuts, Dave losing a finger, Finn losing an eye, anyone going to the emergency room.

Finn was beside himself with excitement.  Tate was mouthing, “are you MAD woman? Don’t let Daddy have a hammer and a coconut!”

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First, there was punching of the holes with the nail set, but any old pointy thing will do according to the Davester, master of the coconuts.  Then the draining of the coconut water.

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And the cracking… against the stairs because… and I quote, “people on islands do this shit all the time.”  Well, that fact and I told him not to use our ridiculously expensive chefs knife for the job.  More for the fingers than the knife, but I digress. 

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What up now Sucka?  I got fresh coconut AND all my fingers!

And then they peeled it and made smoothies with it.  Dave saved a piece of the shell so Finn could take it in for the science center in school. 

That Dad of his is pretty damn cool.

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