Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Recipe Swap Wednesday-Help With Your Diet

A while back when I posted our Christmas pictures, I had a request or two for more information on the treats that we made. And since it is the season of New Years Resolution Diets, I'm now going to share with you. But no worries. The pictures are totally calorie free. What you do with the following information.....well, that's up to you.

First off we have the Peppermint Bark. I'd always been curious about it and had wanted to make it, but was too chicken. But my good friend Hairyshoefairy walked me through it and it was fun. And not super difficult. It's one pound of starlight mints crushed to oblivion to two pounds of white chocolate. Melt the chocolate, add the mints and pour out onto a wax covered cookie sheet. Poof! It's done. And yummy.
Even the girls got in on the action.
This picture I took at the beginning, before I realized that we were gouging holes into my kitchen table and not getting very far with our wooden rolling pins. Shortly after, I found CG's hammer and took our party to the floor. Lolly was rather offended when I wouldn't let her have a turn with the hammer. But Dexter loved licking up the dust that had escaped onto the floor.

Next, Chocolate Dipped Cinnamon Bears. Buy the cinnamon bears and dip them in chocolate. Complicated, I know. But again....yummy.
Mmmmmm......Mint Oreo Chocolate Truffles.
Last fall Lolly's preschool teacher generously shared one of these with me as I was picking Lolly up from school. And I craved them until I finally made them in December. They're that good.

Step 1: The filling. A package of mint Oreos that have been crushed mixed with 8 ounces of softened cream cheese. I used low fat to make myself feel better about it. Then roll it into tiny balls and stick in the freezer to harden up for dipping. Or, stick them in the fridge if they don't fit in the freezer.

Step 2: Dip them in chocolate. And enjoy. Also, keep refrigerated. That was the only problem I had because the rest of the treats didn't have to be refrigerated. So if anyone has a recipe for similar magicalness that doesn't need refrigeration, please feel free to pass it on.

And, finally, the English Pecan Toffee.
I got this recipe a few years ago from Dandelion Mama's blog and have made it every year since. But I only make it once a year because you use a pound of butter. Yes, a pound. You can find the recipe here. It's amazing!

Also, we made chocolate dipped pretzels. With Christmas sprinkles. Until I ran out of sprinkles. Anyway, to make those buy pretzels and then dip them in chocolate. Ta Da! And. I'm pretty sure pretzels are a health food so that one has to be diet friendly.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tip Tuesday-My Hair

My hair. **sigh** There's so much to say and so little of any worth. I hear that people can actually go and get their hair cut/colored/whatever and leave with what they asked for and be happy with the style they have.

It seems I am not one of those people. When I get my hair cut on the spur of the moment (it took all my self control not to type "sperm" instead of "spur"....oh wait...) things like this happen. That was an unfortunate hair time.

Or, the guy that I have gone to since high school starts talking on the phone/with other clients during the entire hair cut and lacks the time to style it after you cut, say, 10 inches off. He's good, don't get me wrong. And I know that because he's $$$. But still. And when I go to someone else in his salon, thinking it will be fine. It's not. Awkward. So, I need to find someone else. **sigh**

My current dilemma? I'm thinking about bangs. Not the high stylin' 80's bangs, but the more conservative side swept bangs. But I hesitate. Because when I've had bangs in the past I've had some really fun cowlick action happening so that they would separate every 1/4 inch across my head in a fluffy manner. It was attractive. And also before I had a flat iron. And I wonder if the flat iron will save me from bad bangs.

I'm seriously considering bangs lately because I feel like a giant face. Because I have no bangs to hide my forehead. And I have a large manly face. **double sigh**

So, I come to you my Internet Friends. What are your thoughts on bangs? In general? On my manly mug? Flat iron versus giant fluffy, cowlicky bangs? I need advice before I do something drastic. Like go to Fantastic Sam's.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Favorite-No Squeeze My Roonies

This week we've heard from just about everyone in the Chaos family. Everyone, but Babs. Sweet little Babs who's been speaking in complete sentences since before she turned two. That girl has lots to say and today's installment of our Conversation Week is the perfect way to end the week.

Today's conversation needs a little bit of a back story in order for it to make sense. CG and the girls often like to rough house. CG like to tease them and when he (gently) smacks them on the bum he calls it a "smack-a-rooni". You can often here them going after each other screaming "smack-a-rooni" at the top of their lungs. We're a subtle family.

One night, I was waiting in the bathroom for the girls to come in for their showers. They usually get undressed in their rooms and then come into the bathroom. On this particular night, Lolly had already come in and we were just waiting for Babs to join us.

Babs came running in to me and gave me a great big hug. I asked her if she was ready to get in the shower and I just couldn't help myself. I had to pinch her tiny naked bum. And say "squeeze-a-rooni!".

She stepped back and put her finger right up by my face and very sternly said, "No Squeeze My Roonies!".

We all laughed because it was the most adorable thing ever. And, believe it or not, Babs laughed with us. It has become one of our favorite family phrases.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lolly's First Funny

This little conversation took place a couple of months ago and I've just been waiting for the perfect time to post it. And writing it over and over in my head so that it's as funny on the blog as it was in real life. Now if I can just think of a good title.....**

Lolly and Babs were working on cleaning up all the many, many toys that had been strewn through the house that day. They often need a little in "pick up the play food. now pick up the babies. now pick up the potato head pieces. now pick up the...". You get the idea. CG was supervising this particular nights clean up.

Lolly: "What should I do now, Daddy?"
CG: "Um, let me think. Lolly, can you....." (While trying to decide what to have her do next, CG was unfortunate enough to pass gas, rather loudly, at this time. He was thinking really, really hard.)
Lolly: (giggling) "You want me to tootie, Daddy!!!" (more giggling) (lots more giggling)

We all stared. And then started laughing. Hysterically.

Our little Lolly had made her very first, true blue, perfect timing, unassisted funny. And it didn't start with the words "knock, knock". This is huge. This is epic. And not surprising at all that it would involve tooting (that's what we call farting in our house.)

And that, my friends, is truly one of my proudest parenting moments. You can't teach a good sense of humor. And it was really funny. That's my Lolly Girl!

**I thought of a title, obviously. I don't know how good it is, but it's a title.**

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We're Classy

In CG's Christmas stocking he received Dove Promises with Peanut Butter. In each chocolate there is a choice little piece of wisdom printed onto the wrapper. The other night, after eating a chocolate he brought the wrapper to share with me. Not the chocolate, but the wrapper. ;o)

CG: (while handing me the wrapper)This is very zen.
Me: (reading to self....Listen To The Wind) Hmmm....
CG: (mischievous little smile on his face) Ppppbbbbbttttt! (That's how I spell a farting noise.) know I'm blogging this, right?
CG:.....continues laughing

Yep, we're just dripping in class.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tip Tuesday-Picking the Perfect Preschool

I have decided to make this week Conversation Week. You get to hear some of our most intimate family conversations all for the sake of the blog. Okay, not really, but it should be fun anyway!

The following is a conversation with Lolly during the drive home from preschool last week.

Lolly: Preschool is a lot like Sesame Street.
Me: Really? Is it because you get to learn lots of fun things like on Sesame Street?
Lolly: Well, the classroom looks a lot like Sesame Street. And all the kids in my class are like the monsters.
Me: Are they good monsters or bad monsters? (Ya just never know with kids these days...)
Lolly: They're good monsters! Like Zoey and Elmo and Cookie Monster....

And now you know. Find a preschool that is like Sesame Street and you will have one happy kid!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

On the band wagon I jump...

I just learned from The Motherboard that today is National Delurker Day. And, as we all know, I am all about holiday celebrations. And blindly following those around me.
To honor this grandest of holidays, we're supposed to delurk by leaving a comment. Now, I'm looking right at all 5 of my readers.....I expect a comment out of each and every one of you. You can tell me how wonderful I am or how beautiful my children are or your favorite books or why you think I'm a total loony tune or your New Years Resolutions. Anonymous or not. Whatever. I'm not picky.

Let the delurking begin.........NOW!

How 'bout now?

And now?

My 5 year old loves doing this whenever she's asking for something and the first answer is "not yet". It's fun. Really.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Best of 2009-Picture Edition

Actually, this will be the only "Best of 2009" edition. I've seen a blogger or two do a Best of 2009 Posts post, but I haven't written anything worthy of re-posting. On the other hand, I have the two cutest kids EVER. And I take lots of pictures of them. So the Best of 2009 Picture Edition is totally doable. The Best of 2008 can be found here, if you happen to have the time or inclination.

Can I just tell you, I have had the hardest time narrowing it down to just one picture a month. By the end of this post, I may have upped it to my two favorite pictures of each month. And you, my blog friends, will be begging for more!

How cute is that panties-over-the-clothes bum?!

During their cat whisker phase.

A date with Lolly. And good hair. Both must be celebrated.

Family self-portrait. In Easter dresses. Classic.

I am Soccer Mom. Hear Me Roar. And laugh while I coach.

Summer nap. Back when she napped. Sweet girl.

Super Princesses!!!

This is just one of my favorites. I think it's because of the whole "I don't know the word for it background/foreground" thing. Mostly my girls are in it.

Big Girl Ponies!

Halloween. Of course.

A King and his Princesses.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

And then there was New Years....

We celebrated New Years like the average, every day American family. By painting our kitchen back-splash, of course! As soon as our Christmas decorations came down, I became obsessed with rearranging our front room furniture lay out which obviously leads to painting the kitchen back-splash, hallway and front room. Isn't the connection obvious? I thought so, too. But obsessions do get us places. I'll do a big 'ol post devoted entirely to our recent renovation projects soon with pictures and everything, including excessive details about our furniture lay out. But not today. Today, we review New Years'. Now that you know what we did New Years' Eve afternoon, I present to you our New Years' Eve night. In pictures!

We celebrate every New Years' with CG's family. It's mostly his immediate family which includes his siblings and their spouses and children. That's about 40 people, give or take a dozen when everyone is there. This year, his parents decided to take the late night breakfast party to Denny's. At 1o o'clock at night. There was a very large L-shaped table set up for us that went through the center of the restaurant. Here is half of the L. And my sister-in-law taking pictures.
We were missing a few, but we still filled up the restaurant pretty good. And! Our waitress was still smiling at the end of the night. Not bad. And now the pictures.....

Here's CG's mom
My Girls
My brother-in-law having a blast!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas 2009

So, here we are. It's January. January 7, to be exact. 2010. And yet, still no Chaos Christmas post. What is this world coming to?! Of course, I guess my last post kind of explains what I've been doing. That and the painting. But I have to post our Christmas festivities. Just like I have to post my New Years Resolutions. Mostly because hardly anyone does that and I like to be original. Sadly, my pictures are still showing up weird and not nearly as cute as in person. I haven't figured out why yet, but hey...that's why I married a computer geek. Love you CG.

Chaos Christmas 2009 Highlights!

Visiting with Santa
The Two Star Monkeys. Doing Yoga. More on them another time....
The Gingerbread House Construction
The Treat Making
The Reindeer Food....That We Forgot to Sprinkle on the Lawn. Oops.
The Singing of Jingle Bells for the Family Talent Show
The Exhaustion
The Christmas Jammies
Some More Exhaustion
Christmas Morning
CG looking through the coolest calendar EVER!Christmas Night Exhaustion
Merry Christmas to All and to All a Goodnight!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tip Tuesday-Teasing & Taunting & Screams, Oh My!

Things have been a little crazy around here. I guess I should say crazier. I console myself with thinking that it happens in a lot of households and not just ours. We are a fairly routine oriented family and have expectations of behavior that need to be followed. I wouldn't say that I'm extremely strict. I believe in picking my battles, but I do stick with it. Even though it's painful at times. Very painful. That being said, sometimes things get a little lax. We get into a good place with routine and behavior and then things slowly start to.....slip. Little by little. Until, one day, you find yourself wondering what happened to your sweet, darling children and what you can do to rectify the situation short of selling them on eBay.

That is when Baby Boot Camp comes into play. But more on that later.

Recently, what started out as an annoying, common-among-siblings problem ballooned into an out-of-control-drive-mom-to-the-loony-bin problem. Teasing. Sounds so innocent. Teasing. All kids do it, right? Right. But ours had become totally out of control. It would literally start while they were still in bed and continue throughout the day until they went to bed that night. And it wasn't just teasing. Whoever was on the losing side (and it varied fairly equally) shared their discontent with the situation loudly. And often. One would be screaming or crying, while the other would be cackling with satisfaction. It was as pleasant as it sounds and then some.

Traditional time outs, loss of toys or privileges and other punishments didn't work. What's a mom to do? This is when Baby Boot Camp starts. I've done Baby Boot Camp at other times when we just needed a little refresher coarse on what is and is not okay. This time though, it had a little twist.

Now, pay attention because the advice I'm about to share is priceless. And most likely has been used countless times in the past and worked equally as well. But this is the first time we have used it and I'm a big fan.

Whenever there is teasing, taunting tormenting, screaming, etc. there is one warning given in the morning to remind the girls of how the process goes. Then, the next time it happens...BAM! Both girls in time out, separately, for 10 minutes. Every. Single. Time. It doesn't matter who started it, I ended it. Gone is the huge amount of time wasted trying to figure out who actually started it and who should rightfully go in time out. Gone is the satisfaction that they no doubt felt when getting the other in trouble. And, even if I have to do it ten times a day, I at least get 10 minute breaks without the fighting.

The first day, they were put in time out for teasing at least 6 times and I think probably more. When you add that all up, it's over an HOUR spent in time out. There's a lot of playing that can be done in an hour.

Since we instituted the new "teasing time out" rule, there has been a significant drop in the amount of teasing. It's been nice. And, honestly, there have been a few times when they have been totally out of control and not listening and I've done the group time out even though it wasn't for teasing. It works well. Now it's just a matter of not abusing it. ;o)

I'm certainly not a parenting expert (obviously) but I think it would work with most kids. I have fairly strong willed children. A recent example:Babs decided (3 days before Christmas) that she didn't want to wear a shirt. Any shirt. And spent four and a half hours in her crib screaming and refusing to wear a shirt. Technically, the last hour she had fallen asleep and as she was waking up, CG forced a shirt on her before she was awake enough to fight back. After she ate, she thanked me for the best day. Yes, I do live in the Twilight Zone...why do you ask? The next day, it only took an hour and a half. Like I said before, I pick my battles and wearing a shirt when it's 18 degrees outside is a battle I choose to fight.

As I was saying, really strong willed children. And I think that is great. Or, will be in about 20 years. And I don't want to squash their strong will, but rather teach them to use their powers for good and not evil. And I have found that this really works without me turning into a total monster. Or them turning into monsters. It's a win win.

Now, any advice for the teenage years? Because I am terrified.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Excuses Excuses

Oh, I have so much to blog about. Christmas. New Years. Lots of stuff. But, you might be wondering how this Lady has rung in her new year. By being sick of course! And what better time to take on home improvement projects than during the holiday season while being pestered with an annoying (although not completely debilitating) cold?!

Don't ask my why I'm this crazy. Just love me for it and be glad that you're stable.

And I'll be posting pictures soon. Of everything. And then some other stuff. And now I think it's time for the next coat of paint.....or maybe it's time to go to bed. Sunday mornings come early and painful around these parts.

Friday, January 1, 2010

So I'm Kinda Famous....

...well, not famous as in "well known and adored", but I was mentioned here. That's the closest I'll probably ever get. And I'll take it!
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