Monday, October 29, 2012

Caramel, Bugs, and Livestock

I know, crazy post title, right? It just came to me as I was uploading the pictures from my phone. It pretty much sums up the pictures I was seeing and am now going to share with you.

It's your lucky day.

So first, the caramel.

I love it. Especially this time of year. It's been at least a couple years since I've made Caramel Apples, and I really had a hankering for it this last weekend.

Plus, Mattie Cake loves caramel and a little voice was telling me that I needed to make some caramel for her. I don't always listen to the voices in my head, but when they tell me to make caramel, I take them seriously.

Only I was too lazy to actually wrestle pointy sticks into the apples and dip them into the caramel, so I took the cheater route and put the caramel in cute jars.

In all honesty, who really loves to eat a caramel apple anyway? There is just no delicate way to do it. You have to open your mouth Orca wide and take unattractive bites while caramel and drool slide down your chin. And with camera phones and Facebook around, it's just not a good idea to take that chance.

Especially if you are planning to run for President like myself. Yes, I'm a write-in candidate. Please vote for me. I have no idea how to run a country, but how hard can it be, right?

Bugs. This is Willard Scott. Actually, that's probably not his real name. It just now popped into my head and I really like it. Willard and I met at a math conference in Boise earlier this month. In this picture my teammate is tying a harness to Willard so that he can pull many pennies far exceeding his weight across our speedway of paper towels.

You have to be ever so careful when tying the harness, so as not to burst Willard like an unfortunate can of exuberant biscuits, thereby eviscerating his bugliness.

And I can guarantee you, he will not win the race for you if you do that.

I so wanted to touch Willard, to prove to myself that I was brave, but every time I reached for him it sent my body aquiver with Willies. Have you ever had a Willy? Willies are most unpleasant.

Willard is some kind of super bug and was able to pull more than 1,000 times his weight.

But Willard does not brag. He is a modest bug, and wants only to bury his head in a pile of rotting leaves.

I can relate. About the rotting leaves, not the modesty thing.


Groan. We have too many eggs from our too many chickens. I'm having flash backs from the time I decided to plant a garden, and I planted twelve zucchini plants just in case some of them didn't make it.

Anyone that's ever planted zucchini knows that they always make it, and one plant is enough to scare all your neighbors into ignoring your knock of zucchini blessings.

So, remember we have four chickens. We thought perhaps we had one rooster because, while they are all creepy looking to the nth degree, one of our chickens was looking especially masculine with extra large fleshy bits around his creepy chicken head.

Well, the egg laying got going pretty fast and all of a sudden we were getting four eggs a day. Four chickens. Four eggs. Um, it seems that the Maybe Rooster is perhaps just a very Butch Hen.

I don't really know how all this chicken stuff works, so I'm just going to assume that's what we have going on. 

Completely unrelated to the caramel, bugs, and livestock, Zoe Bug has started playing the violin. It's a very painfully awkward time, this new to music time with a screechy instrument. Her skills amaze, and she is able to clear vast rooms of people with one carefree swipe of her bow hand.

This picture has no point except that it makes me happy. My kids. Doing dishes that I now do not have to do. Bliss and contentment abound.

Another picture that's not like the others, but it reminds me of a beautiful day at the end of September when my little family ran a 5K together and nobody vomited. Good times.

Last picture. I just took this one today and it makes me giggle because it reminds me of the first year my girlies went to horse camp and Stinkerbell was assigned so very appropriately to a mule.

I should explain how this picture came about. Well, I know I've told you that my girlies love horses and that we have approximately 18,523 plastic horsies in our basement. You would think, most excellent parent that I am, that by now I might have enrolled my girls in some sort of regular horsey pursuits, right?

Wrong. As a parent, I suck. Yes, I also suck at the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa. Surely I'll soon find something that I'm good at.

Anyway, earlier this month I finally signed my girlies up for horse lessons. Today was their third lesson and they think I'm the Best Mom Ever. I arrived at the end of the lesson to pick them up, and Stinkerbell was trotting around the arena, no lie, trotting, on this cute little toy horse. He was adorable, all fluffy and bouncy, and she was just bounce-bounce-bouncing atop his cute little furry back with the biggest grin on her face. He is very appropriately named Doodles, and I think he is just Oodles of Adorable.

And there you have it, my pointless post of random. I've been scarce on this blog lately, and I assure you that I have not forgotten about it. I'm just struggling through a stressful period of time with beginning a new job. With all it's accompanying newness, it's hard for a person as controlling as myself when there are not enough hours in the day for all of the controlling that I want to be doing. I need to let go a bit, and perhaps do some Yoga. That sounds Heavenly to me right now.

So bear with me. It will get better.

Thank you to everyone that's still coming back, and thank you to the sweet boy in the hall the other day, a stranger to me, who came up to me and said "Hi Mrs. Scott. My mom follows your blog." I had to restrain myself from grabbing that child and hugging him on a day that I so needed to hear something nice. Thank you to his mom, whoever you are. He made my day.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chore Charts Revisited. Yes, Again.

I know. You would think that I would have this chore thing nailed by now, but truth be told it's a thorn in my side. A big. Massive. Thorn.

The problem is that my kids don't listen to me. I'm always talking, talking, talking, and it's as if my voice is on mute.

What's wrong with my kids that they don't love to do the chores on their super cute chore charts? I love checking things off my list, it's the best feeling ev-AH, so what's wrong with my kids?

Maybe the chore charts aren't pretty enough? Maybe they're tired of the tokens? Maybe I need to be more enthusiastic? Maybe I don't pay them enough?

Maybe my kids are brats?

Whatever the reason, I'm always changing up the girls' chore system, trying to find that one magic bullet that will solve all my problems.

The truth is, I don't think there is one perfect system that will always work. I think most things work for awhile. And then one day they don't.

It sucks.

Either way, here I am again. Changing it up.

This new system is pretty basic. I just created lists in Microsoft Excel and printed each day on a different color of card stock. The idea is that by having each day on its own card, the list isn't overwhelming, and the girls will be able to get through them quickly.

In theory.

Maybe not so true for Miss Dawdle Pants, aka Stinkerbell.

The little snot who put the grouchy face next to "Help Mom Clean House." Which, by the way, was my sneaky way of putting 6,042 check list items on one line.

I think she knows.

Heh, heh, heh. You will never be done with your chores. Nev-AH!

The chore cards hang by magnetic hooks on the refrigerator. I can always tell whether the girls have done their chores or not by which day is showing. All it takes is one look, and if the chore card hasn't been flipped, I know they haven't done them.

The funny thing is that they have no idea that's how I know whether they've been done. My kids are so naive, they think I have cameras mounted in every room of the house and that I'm spying on them.

I like it that way, so I don't deny it.

Please don't rat me out. They don't read my blog, so as long as I can trust you, we're good.

This is Zoe Bug making breakfast for us last weekend. Peanut Head taught her how to make pancakes, and they're quite delicious.

I could get used to this.