Archive for October, 2009

Oct 30 Friday

Trick of the Treats!

Cheese please!

This is how you turn $6 of deli sliced cheddar cheese into a marvelous snack for the kindergarten Halloween party at school. In less than 15 minutes. Grab some cookie cutters and get creative. Serve with sliced honey crisp apples and you are sure to make everyone happy. (Even the Boogieman.)

The fantastic group of moms who planned this shindig also decided to have the kiddos paint pumpkins as an activity. Super amounts of fun.

While sorting recycling, I got an idea. An egg container is not only an eggcellent paint tray, if you snip the dividers it will also will hold your handy dandy paint brushes too. Thanks to my family and our love of brinner (breakfast for dinner) we have enough egg cartons for a successful pumpkin painting station at tomorrow’s party.


Eggcellent idea!

Excuse me while I step on my soapbox: Some people roll their eyes at this sort of thing. I get it. In my humble opinion, if it takes a tiny bit of creativity and 15 minutes more of your time to turn something fun into something that positively sparkles, give it a go.

The little things in life are the big things. I know this for a fact. The picture on my kitchen wall tells me so.

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Oct 29 Thursday


Stuff. While standing over contents of our hall closet, organizing and sorting 4 bins (1 for each shelf) as I do every few months, I asked SuperHub “You REALLY think I am neurotic?” He gave the smart answer, silence, and slowly backed away. Yeah, well.

We live in a  small house and things NEED to be organized to function well. Fifteen minutes every so often saves money, time and my sanity.

For the record: We don’t need to buy cortisone cream, toothpaste or hand lotion until 2013.

Going through our medication bin, I had a Come to Jesus meeting with myself. We are moving into the next phase of life. A phase that doesn’t involve making, creating or birthing babies. Time to let go of those things I have been skimming over the past few bin purges.

We have 3 bottles of infant gas drops, 3 bottles of stool softener, 2 bottles of sleep aids and breast pads in every nook of the Hair bin. Don’t ask.

All I can say is, what a difference a year makes. From the looks of Our-Life-in-a-Bin, I appear to have been a non-pooping (post c-section) sleep deprived, leaky boob mom of a fussy baby. Pretty much.

I now appear to be a tampon hoarding, hand lotion freak who has good intentions to floss but CLEARLY never does because of the 7 packages of floss floating around the Teeth/Face bin.

Who knew?

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Oct 28 Wednesday

Gnewest Gnome in the Gneighborhood!

Garden Gnome

It took four different kinds of glue, three days and lots of creativity. I super glued my fingers together, glued felt to my kitchen table and hot glued the hat to Maddy’s hair.


No harm done and it’s now official, Cooper is the cutest garden gnome this Halloween! I may be a bit biased because I do have skin invested in this costume. Literally.

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Oct 28 Wednesday

Boogers. Again.

One of my kids, who shall remain nameless, picked her nose. She glanced at the goods and I watched in horror as the finger went towards her lips.

“No no no no!”

She jumped.

“What Mom?”

“We DO NOT eat boogers. Gross. Ick. That is super duper nasty!”

At that moment, she thrust her finger at me. Trying to get the rest of her body away from it as quickly as possible.


I sat there and stared at her, amazed at the change of mindset. Drama oozes from my children. Where do they get that from? No clue.

“Seriously, you were just going to eat it and now you are afraid of it?”


I am not sure if I taught her a lesson or gave her an issue. All the same, the behavior was curbed.  Now if I could cure the drinking-of-the-bath-water issue as easily.

No boogers were harmed in the making of this post.


Note to You: Booger is the new “word” at our house. Remember when it was poop? I much prefer booger.

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Oct 27 Tuesday

Today I love my…

Boogie!Boogie Wipes
$3 and some change
Available at Walgreens, *WalMart, etc or online
*They are usually stocked with the children’s cold medicines.

I am mildly addicted to Boogie Wipes. Or maybe full on reliant on them.  The little green package is my newest under arm accessory.

Clearly I need to get out more.

If you are a parent or have a nose, you need a pack (or three) of these brilliant little creations. We have a pack in the car, in the diaper bag and scattered about the house.

Using saline, these soft but tough wipes clean up green clumpy noses without causing a fuss.  No more sore noses means wiping gross noses doesn’t have to be a fight.

Plus, they come in different scents to keep life interesting: Grape, Fresh and Magic Menthol.

So, how do you make a hanky dance? You put a little boogie into it!

Click me!

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Oct 26 Monday


“Oh man, I almost got kicked in the nuts.”

Yup. That little gem came flying out of my 5 year old’s mouth at the dinner table tonight.

SuperHub, while a wonderful father, could be better in these situations. He slowly lowers his head, covers his mouth with his hands and shakes ever so slightly but uncontrollably.

These are the spontaneous moments in parenting when you are thrust into the position to be able to teach your kids a valuble lesson. Or inadvertantly give them an issue.

First, I had to make sure he actually knew what he was saying.

M: “Cooper, what are you referring to when you say that?”

C: “A PENIS. You know NUTS.”

And here we go. Life lesson.

M: “Buddy, we don’t use that word. We would NEVER kick someone in their private areas.”

Then I think, wait, he needs to know what nuts means. I think he should at least know that.

M: “Do you know what a scrotum is?”

SuperHub is purple at this point. Seriously, I am married to a 12 year old boy.

C: “No.”

M: “Well it’s the area under your penis that hangs down a bit.”

C: “Oh that, I know what that is Mom! I SEE THAT EVERYDAY!”

My kids are quite quotable.

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Oct 25 Sunday

Oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh…

With less than a week until Halloween, I am scrambling to come up with a costume for myself. SuperHub told the kids again this year that he is going to wear a clown nose with his birthday suit.

Last year that backfired.

I am seriously considering teaching myself the Beyoncé Single Ladies routine and sporting a wig, leotard, shiny hose and some kickin’ heels.

When I told SuperHub he laughed so hard, he choked on a tater tot.

Rehearsals begin tomorrow at 9 am sharp.

Note to You: Click here to see Beyoncé Single Ladies video.

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Oct 24 Saturday

The Perfectly Practical and Practically Perfect Meal

Meat. Loaf.

I am not sure how to make that sound appealing, because well, it’s a loaf of meat. But if you are the lucky recipient of a home-cooked meal by moi, you might get something a little more exciting: Mini Cheddar Meatloaves.

These dainty bundles of meat are the petite cousin to your Mom’s classic loaf.

At our house, there is no meal more comforting than mini cheddar meatloaves, smashed potatoes and veggies. Nothing says “I love you” like a tiny little meatloaf on your Happy Camper dinner plate.

This recipe is super easy, like make on a Wednesday night when it’s 4 pm and you have a pound of ground meat but no idea what to do with it easy.

I usually double the recipe because you can freeze uncooked or cooked loaves, take dinner to a friend or keep leftover loaves in the fridge for quick hot lunches or cold meatloaf sandwiches.

Mini Cheddar Meatloaves

1 Egg
3/4 Cup milk
1/2 Cup quick cooking oats
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1 Lb. lean ground beef or turkey (Or double the recipe and use both!)
Pepper, to taste
Onion powder, to taste

2/3 Cup ketchup
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the eggs with the milk and mix well. Add oats, salt and cheddar cheese to the egg mixture, mix well again. Gently fold in ground beef. Wash your hands and roll up your sleeves, there is no kitchen utensil quite as good as your hands for this job. Take a scoop of meat mixture into your hand and  form into mini meatloaves. This recipe makes 4 to 8, depending on the serving size. Place into greased 9  x 13  pan. Mix together topping ingredients and spoon generously over loaves. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let set for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


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Oct 21 Wednesday

Quarantined & Cuckoo

Stay at least 6 feet away.I will spare you the details but tell you that contrary to what I thought 48 hours ago, I am going to kick h1n1’s ass. Once Maddy recovers, we will be three up on this nasty bug.

My kids are amazing. SuperHub is marvelous.

The last 6 days have been a bit blurry but I can tell you my low point was sitting in the doctor’s office waiting room. I was feverish and achy in every part of my body. I had a mask on and with my barking cough, it was obvious why I was there. A mom walked into the waiting room with her teenage son. He glanced at me then turned and said something to her. She looked at me, smirked and said “It’s psychosomatic” as she popped her gum.


At that moment everything tough in me melted into tears, all I could do was sob. Thankfully, I didn’t have a voice from coughing so no one could hear me and my glasses were fogged from the mask. It was a pity party for one. A sad little pity party. If I would have had the balls, I would have walked by her and coughed. That would be mean and I am not mean. Ok, maybe in my head sometimes but that doesn’t really count.

Here we are, a few days later and whole lot wiser. Of course I have come out of this ordeal with a few things to say. Mostly about TV because that is what you do when you are sick. You watch the boob tube, fall in and out of sleep and flip from one end of the couch to the other.

And go…

There are commercials for catheters on during day time TV. Apparently, this target demographic also wears dentures, suffers from erectile dysfunction, prefers designer Snuggies and watches The Martha Stewart Show.

When you watch the a news channel, on mute, for two hours before realizing it’s on mute, well that is just sad.

You find home remedies out of necessity and desperation.

Honey makes an excellent cough suppressant for kids over the age of two. Especially at night. Just put some on a spoon and stick it in their sleepy mouths.

Brown Rice WaterThe best remedy for the trots: Brown Rice Water. Boil brown rice, doubling the amount of water in the recipe, for the amount of time listed on the package. Ours was 45 minutes. Strain the rice and let the liquid cool a bit. Drink warm. It isn’t as awful as it sounds and it soothes stomach cramping quickly. (Ironically, I learned this on the Martha Stewart Show. Oh and my free sample catheter should be here by Friday.)

Dora It’s a Party! isn’t such a party the 3rd time through the DVD. But no one in quarantine has the energy to find the remote. So we will watch it again.

You know your really sick when you don’t lift your head off of a pillow for the entire length of time the sun is shining in the sky.

A friend, or family member, offering to bring you watered down Coke, movies, puzzles for the kids or dinner is enough to make you feel a little better instantly. Even if you say “No thank you, we are set.”

Graham crackers can be a meal. And a very delicious one at that.

Four words: The Wendy Williams Show. It should not surprise you at all when I tell you it is brought to you in part by WalMart. How you doin’?

Watching TV with no DVR is painful. I can honestly say I may opt to not watch TV rather than sit through another set of pharmaceutical, credit card debt consolidation and Benefiber ads. I have watched enough daytime TV to last me a lifetime. I have come to the conclusion that nothing good comes from it.

The circle of chalk By Cooper Sometimes, seeing how big of a circle you can draw on your chalkboard wall, until your chalk is totally gone, is actually interesting. And burns a good 39 minutes.

Temporal thermometers are fun to use. I like to pretend I am a grocery store clerk ringing up groceries. Maddy is a ham. Cooper is a hunk of cheese. Beep beeeep. Somehow I think I enjoy this game more than they do.

There comes a point when you have to ask, will that taste OK coming back up? Note to You: Gatorade and Pedialyte are gentle on the gastric geysers.

I have a whole new perspective on this virus and it’s ability to knock your knees out from underneath you. There is so much mis-information out there, arm yourself with facts before you choose to make your decisions on getting the h1n1 vaccination for you and your kids. Knowledge is power.

Now wash your hands.

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Oct 21 Wednesday

Free and Educational!

As I sit here and keep vigilant watch over my sick family, I figured I’d put up another blog post since I really have nothing else to do except dishes, laundry, taking care of the kids, taking care of Katy, and trying to get at least a little bit of work done in between all of those things.  Thus far work and laundry have suffered the most.  I’ve been keeping up on dishes and caregiving, because those seem to be the most important things right now.

Anyway, onto something more enjoyable than talking about us.  This is actually a re-post from a blog I did some writing for called  The site doesn’t get much traffic anymore, since most of us are too busy parenting to write blog posts, but that’s life I guess.


Do you have kids at home?

Do they enjoy learning new things from new colors or words, to math and science?

Do you cringe every time your 4-year-old wants to use your computer with his sticky hands or a tippy-cup full of apple juice?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, please read on for a very important public service announcement.

Now that I’ve been a dad for a few years, and have VERY curious kids, I have a renewed interest in a program called Edubuntu. I used it once a couple years ago, but haven’t had a chance to revisit since then. I think the time is right to revisit it again. Edubuntu is a specialized Linux distribution based on the popular Ubuntu distribution. Some of you may see “Linux” and immediately tune out and think of a bunch of nerdy dorks in a room huddled around a command-line terminal, but I urge you to ignore those thoughts and read on. It’ll be worth it.

Edubuntu is a great tool for parents with kids of all ages. It’s designed for ease of use, ease of updating, and educational value to kids/students. Edubuntu is a complete Operating System with an Office Suite (similar to Microsoft Office), Internet Browser (similar to Internet Explorer or Firefox), and loads of educational applications for kids (and probably parents) to expand their learning potential. Best of all: IT’S FREE!

Did you catch that part? That’s right…you don’t have to pay a single cent for it. Zip. Zilch. Zero. All you need is an mid-level PC that has enough hard disk space and memory to load and run Edubuntu. It doesn’t take much. I installed it on an old Pentium III with 512 MB of RAM and a 20GB Hard Drive. Everything ran just fine. For those of you that have no idea what that means, that computer is about 9 years old, designed for Windows 2000, and still ran Edubuntu just fine. That’s the beauty of this, it doesn’t require an expensive top-of-the-line PC to run like Windows Vista/7 or Mac OS X do. Afterall, it’s just a learning PC for kids. Who cares if it’s a little slower than you could deal with on a daily basis. You’re not going to be doing any hardcore gaming or video editing on it anyway.

Unfortunately, as that computer was 9 years old and not in the greatest condition, it didn’t last long before my hard drive went bad on it. I have the replacement hard drive, I just haven’t had a chance to install it yet.  I think I’ll use one of my old laptops this time around so the kids can use it in the kitchen instead of being tied to a desktop machine.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a way to help the kids learn while entertaining themselves on the computer, look no further than Edubuntu. It’s regularly updated with new tools and applications and it’s based on a Linux distribution that enjoys a wide user and support base. It just doesn’t get any easier…

Oh, and did I mention it’s free?

Check out some screenshots here for an example of what types of learning programs are included with Edubuntu.