Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Fun--Botanical Gardens

A few weeks ago, I heard of a new Children's Garden opening about 1.5hrs from us.  Opening day activities included free admission, special events like facepainting and storytelling, a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring the governor's wife and a U.S. Senator, and the opportunity to explore a part of our state we had not been to before as a family.

They had me at free admission.

I made sure we arrived WELL after the ribbon-cutting ceremony...I didn't really think the governor's wife nor the senator would appreciate my many men chasing frogs and chickens while they were trying to address the audience (*ahem* You're welcome, Mrs. Baldacci!).

There was no way that I could take pictures of the many BEAUTIFUL and creative parts of the gardens...especially with 5 kids, a borrowed camera, and zero adult backup...I had one of those, "Hey, it's free, if y'all go crazy, I'll just leave and I'm not out any money" moments.  Luckily for them me, there was plenty to see and do, and lots of kodak moments.

The grounds, brickwork and buildings were absolutely STUNNING!  Many of the exhibits are based on Maine children's literature classics, such as Robert McCloskey's "Blueberries for Sal," which was a favorite of mine as a young girl...I remember coloring in the pages, as they only came in black/white.

The Lawn Maze
"I AM looking at you, Mama!"
The thermometer in front of them read 100 degrees. blech.
Ummm...I think we were being watched...

I'd take a daisy over a rose anyday :)

What has two thumbs, a dinosaur tattoo, and has to pee?
This guy.
Whale spray...a great way to cool off!

Gradster, who had just fallen down and refused to smile for
or even look at the camera.  Punk.

Stump Jump:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Checking out the bear cave.
"Smile. No really, smile.  Yes, we're going home after this picture,
but you still have to smile. So, SMILE."
"No, not make bear noises, S-M-I-L-E."
"Seriously, I'd like to send a picture to your great grandparents."
"Ummm, thanks for the effort...pssssssh."
"Yeah, I'm ready to go now, too.  Mama needs a caramel frappe, STAT."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Easy Recipe (Trust me, if it's not easy, I don't cook it!)

I saw this recipe in the casserole group at Cafemom 
It is DELICIOUS!!!  
ALL my boys had seconds and my oldest even said it's his new favorite food..."even better than tacos!"...which is HUGE because those have been his fav since Kindergarten :-O

Chicken, Broccoli & Ravioli Alfredo
  • 2 lbs pre-packaged 4-cheese ravioli, cooked and drained 
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets, defrosted 
  • 1-1/2 cups pre-cooked chicken strips, diced 
  • 1 jar alfredo sauce 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 
  • divided 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese 
  • 1 tbsp butter 
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Coat the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish with a thin layer of alfredo sauce. In a medium bowl, mix the ravioli, broccoli, chicken, garlic, alfredo sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese until combined. (Be careful not to mix too hard that you tear the ravioli.)Place mixture into baking dish and top with 1/2 cup mozzarella and parmesan cheese.Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter on top of the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly. Set to broil for additional 5 minutes if you want it more toasty!

CHANGES I MADE: I used fresh broccoli and boiled it for a couple min before stirring it in, didn't measure it out, nor did I measure the chicken which I grilled and diced. I used 2 jars of alfredo, and probably more mozzarella and parmesan than the surgeon general would allow without issuing a warning first. Also, I left out the garlic (but they make garlic alfredo sauce if that's your thing) and I forgot the butter (my bad).

I have a friend who's going to try it with shrimp instead...DEFINITELY gonna have to add that to the menu this week!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

They crack me up

These were some of my facebook statuses from July...and just in case FB ever *gasp* crashes...I wanted to post them here.

ASHITONER: "I can't remember what they make at that place."
ME: "what place? Moss? don't they make tarps or something?"
LUKEYBABY: "No, I'm pretty sure it's applesauce."
(Mott's bahahaha)

ALPACA FARM TOUR GUIDE: "Have you ever been around alpacas before?"

5 BOYS & I: "No."

GUIDE:  "Don't worry, they won't spit at you, they just spit at each other."
ME: "Oh, just like you, boys!"

JAKESTER: "Mommy, NOW are you setting the 'puter up for me?"
ME: "Not yet, buddy...I'm trying to find fun stuff for us to do when we go visit Auntie Cori...don't you want to go to a zoo and ride on a bus and the animals all come up and you feed them?"
JAKESTER: *shakes head NO!*
ME: "Well, what do you want to do at Auntie Cori's house?"
JAKESTER: "Play the computer."

ME: "Is it weird that I'm actually kinda excited for this trip to Ohio?"
HUSBAND: "I don't think I'd use the word weird...psycho maybe, but not weird."

ME: "The dog killed a skunk out back last night, that's why it smelled so bad."
HUSBAND: "How do the skunks keep getting in the 6 foot fence?"
ME: "Idk, want me to get out the ouiji board and ask him?"

Gradster saw the Frontierville bear on the loading screen. "Mommy, you see that bear?" *puts his hands up like the bears paws* :That bear says wait, wait for me in that car!" 

4th of July:  had a great two days with amazing friends and family. The boys did so great waiting for and then watching the "boom boom pow" fireworks...we were even complimented on how well behaved they were...only to have Gradster yell out "Oh my Dawd" and "Holy twap" when everyone around us was silently watching the fireworks. ♥

Delete...delete...delete...Friends don't let friends drink and facebook. That is all.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! I can't load FrontierVille !!! What am I gonna do now?????? Oh. Laundry.

Went 2 store 4 sweet tea then figured if im gonna have calories, I might as well get some twisteds but was undecided til i saw TWISTED SWEET TEA! *wipes drool*

Jakester had his routinely Monday morning panic soon as the garbage truck hooks onto the dumpster he screams and cries cuz he thinks they're taking "his" dumpster away! lol

You know that wrestling move, where the guy's laying on the mat and the other wrestler climbs up on the ropes and jumps on his groin? Well, Gradster was on the armrest and just did that move on his daddy who was napping on the couch. No vasectomy needed :D

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

That's one way to keep an eye on them!

Me:  "Honey, can you keep an eye on the kids for a minute, I have to go switch the laundry around."

Husband:  "How'm I supposed to do that AND mow the lawn?"

Me:  "IDK, you'll figure something out, I'm sure."

Upon returning, this is what I found...

Creative, no?

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Many Men & Me

We were at Nana & Papa's for the Twinkie's 3rd Bday partayyy last week (bday post soon!) and decided to squat for a quick family pic.  This was the best one...or I guess I should say...the only one where someone was swatting at mosquitoes or trying to escape :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

"Roger that."

Jakester (into a pretend walkie talkie): "Roger that."
Gradster (age 2.5): "I"m not Roger. I'm Grady!"
Me: "Grady honey, he's not calling you Roger, he's saying Roger, like Over or 10-4, ok?"
Gradster: "Okay, Mommy."
Jakester (age 3.5): "Yup, Roger that."

I was sitting between the two of them on the couch and was busted up laughing.  They were both so mad at me, but I could not stop :)  This went on for the rest of the afternoon...I still don't think they even know anyone NAMED Roger LMAO

Thursday, July 22, 2010

In the words of Reba, "What do you say?"

I absolutely love the nearest (to us) McDonald's with a Playplace. What's not to love? besides the fact that 7 out of 10 times, my kids leave there with pink-eye I get to sit in a cool, air-conditioned space sipping my caramel frappe and don't have to listen to the kids fighting over the same toy or the video game remote or who's turn it is to ride the 4-wheeler and why the other one has to *gasp* "ride his lame bike while waiting his turn to ride the 4-wheeler" which leads into: "why didn't we buy two 4-wheelers" and eventually into: "why was I even born?"

Nope, at McDonald's it's all peace and quiet...minus the screams of dozens of germy kids racing after each other and the screech of their elbow skin peeling off as they slide down the slide. I know that we're going to be there for a minimum of an hour, and I'm okay with that. To sit in a chair without any little people sitting ON me. I can just sit, and sip my frappe, and dip my french fries in that teeny little cup of delicious sweet'n'sour sauce and watch the world kids go by in peace. *wipes drool*

I've yet to bring my laptop in and read a few blogs or harvest some crops using the free wi-fi served daily. I'm working up to it. The laptop was even in it's bag IN the car last time, but at the last minute, a guilty little angel fluttered onto my shoulder and I left it in the car. The angel told me I didn't want to be "that" mom...little does she know...

But really, I saw my oldest's eyes light up the second he saw the laptop bag in the car. His little angel devil told him he'd get: a trip to McDonald's, a frappe, playing in the playplace, AND get to log onto OurWorld?! Score. *Ahem*...not. So I pretty much deduced that bringing a laptop to McD's would be the same as trying to use it during daylight hours at home...with 3-5 little devils angels tapping me on the shoulder wanting their turn to use it. Nah, I think I'm good with just letting them race their little hearts out for a couple hours and napping on the car ride home.

So good, in fact, that I thought to myself, "Self, why don't we try out a new McDonald's with a (looks like from the outside) bigger Playplace?" And lemme just say, if it was that little angel who put that idea in my head, the next time I see her, I'm going to squash her ass like the pesky little mosquito she has become.

As we roll up to the new location, I already felt dread.  {Heed that feeling, Future Me, and DRIVE THRU next time!}  There were no parking spots on the same side as the building's entrance.  My many men and myself would be dodging drive-thru traffic to get inside.  "Deep breath, woman," my angel said to me, "you can do this." Bitch.

Once inside, our new venture was already met with groans from the peanut gallery.  The playplace was NOT in fact bigger than our "usual" was atleast 3 times smaller.  Fanfreakintastic.  And when we finally ordered and turned to sit, there were no tables in the play area, we'd have to sit in the regular dining room.  More groans (mostly by me that time).  We sat and divvied out food and drink, only to spy a family leaving the playplace, so we regrouped the food onto the tray and entered.

Within seconds, they were in stocking feet and off and running...their lukewarm semi-nutritious-if-they-had-actually-OPENED-the-apples-that-is meals were long forgotten.  There was a new area to explore: an under age 3 area with some musical instruments and a piano slide that made noise when they slid down.  It was pretty cute, for the littles, anyway.

The the two bigs, on the other hand, not so impressed.  They went down the ONE big kid slide ONCE...and had nothing else to do, except sit across from me eyeing my frappe and I could see the "why were we even born" conversation brewing in their sweet little rolling eyes.

To my left, I saw "that" mom...the one barely checked into her little girl who was running wildly barefoot up the piano slide because searching youtube for the perfect video to place on her facebook page was so much more important.  {Note to Future Me: no laptop at McD's...I think...}

Behind her was a family of 4 who's oldest boy had been playing on a built-in and provided by McDonald's video game screen/table their entire visit.  My judgemental mind: How bring your overweight kid to fatty McD's and instead of having him burn a few calories running up the slide the wrong way, he's playing a video game...that McDonald's provided!  At least my kids aren't playing video games here...

And it was as if my kids were reading my thought bubbles because next thing I knew, I heard a tremendously high pitched squeak that would have made dogs howl.  What the... Oh, it was just my kid pedaling on the only other video game in the room that was a bicycle race game that you had to pedal to make it go.  Sure, he can pedal THAT bike, but not his own at home?!  Maybe I can squeeze enough grease out of this cheeseburger to lube up those pedals...

Just as the Call of the Wild calls to...well...the wild...that squeaking called to the rest of my boys.  All five of them, in their stocking feet wanted on that god-forsaken bicycle game N.O.W. And there would be no good manners used in their motives to get on it.  When the game would freeze and one of them would get sick of waiting for it to reload, they'd move on and one or two of the other vultures boys would wrestle their way onto the seat and pedal those squeaky pedals like there was a caramel frappe waiting for them at the finish line (if there was, I might have tolerated the noise and fighting, btw).

But alas, there wasn't a frappe in sight, and my own was drained.  I tried, I honestly tried...I tried encouraging them to ask for a turn from their brother politely, I tried giving them each "one more race," or one more minute, I tried picking up the refusing-to-cooperate-one and talked him into asking for a turn and waiting another minute, while I tried getting down to the other one's level and talking him into giving up the bike for a minute.  I tried, damnit.  But nothing worked.

I looked around at the now cold, barely touched food, the annoyed parents trying to usher their kids away from the bike line which had since become a wrestling match, and declared "We're leaving. We came, we saw, we fought, we tried, we're outta here."

Cue the tears, refusing screams, tantrums, and throwing self onto the floor.  The kids even cried a little bit themselves...

I rushed to the shoe rack to grab the shoes for the heathens toddlers needing my assistance, trailed by one of them grabbing my leg and yelling, "No, don't make us leave!" Back at the bike, I put shoes on one of the crying/wrestling ones and turned to mash them onto another's feet, only to turn back and find the first had taken his off in protest.

Which leads me to my post title..."What do you a moment like this?"  When you're the other parent on the outside looking in at this woman who you've never seen before, who seemingly does not have her kids under control, and probably isn't fit to be a mom...not nearly as fit as "that" mom posting about "that noisy family" on her facebook status.  

Lucky for the onlookers, noone said anything, and they all averted eye contact--lest their heads be dipped in sweet'n'sour and washed down with frappe.

Ok, Ok, I'm kidding about that last part.  The truth was, I was mortified!  I can't even remember the last time I felt I had no control over my kids, if ever...not in a public situation such as this.  What those parents must have thought of me...of us! Pfffffffffft.  I know what I would have been thinking!  {To Future Me:  just remember, it might be another mom's first time dealing with this situation also if you see it sometime...}

So I did what any well-medicated Mom would do.  I emptied the trays in the trash, calmly wiped down the table, shoved the shoes in my purse, announced "I'm leaving, you can come with me if you want to, or you can go home with another family!" (the other parents probably would have helped them all with their shoes and carried them out to my car for me at that point...and gave me gas money to boot LOL). I scooped up the most ornery child of mine, and left the 1/3-of-a-Playplace-and-FYI-adding-2-video-games-doesn't-make-up-the-other-2/3rds-m'kay?!  The rest of my little ducklings darlings followed behind...still protesting.

And never again will I betray my beloved close-to-us McDonald's with a Playplace (and NO video games).

*Lesson learned*

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If you liked it, then you should've put a thing on it! HA!

This is amazing :)