Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pizza, Pizza, and More Pizza

My lovely children

Who knew life could be so busy?  My youngest started playing T Ball, and my oldest started boxing in the last month.  I don't know how you other ladies do it.  I'm pretty sure my children haven't eaten a decent meal more than once a week during this entire time!  I just don't have time to go grocery shopping.  I leave for work around 7 am and return home between 5:30 and 6.  On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are T Ball,  on Mondays my oldest has Boy Scouts ( luckily I just have to make sure he's fed),  Wednesdays,  Fridays, and some Mondays are boxing. I need a nap just writing about it!  We also have several other things we do, splattered among this chaos.  We get home, I shove pizza, Subway, pizza, Dairy Queen, pizza, and Pals in front them.  Short stuff prefers yogurt and peanut butter tortillas to this crap.  I usually just end up watching them eat, because I am too wound up from the day to want to food.  Oh, and we haven't eaten at the kitchen table in at least a year.  We eat at the coffee table and watch the news.  Then, it's on to homework, bath/showers, and bed.  This is when I retreat to my room to hibernate, scoff down some fast food, and rot my brain on TMZ.   The crazy schedule will continue until June

      I really miss being at home with my kids, but someone has to keep the lights on.  I can't figure out if it's a time management  issue, or just defeat. I need to start feeding my kids better.  Maybe we would all stop being so grumpy!  Well I'm not sure about my angst filled 12 year old.  I think we just need to suck the testosterone out of him !  I would love for any of you to share your ideas on how to work, manage your family, and still find time to feed them decent food.

     On a positive note, the laundry seems to be under control a little more.  It still doesn't make it to anyone's bedroom, BUT it doesn't seem to accumulate on the kitchen table anymore.  YAY!!!!!  We just throw it to the appropriate basket when it comes out of he dryer.  It may not be folded, but I can sit at my table if I want.  The laundry basket outside the bathroom seems to be curbing the drop the dirties on the floor habit.  I'm even able to get Thing 1 to help me sort and pick up the laundry now.  Sage has his own socks and underwear box as well.  He can go get new underwear when he has an accident, and not have to dig for it.  Baby steps right?

   Well I'm off to make a meal plan, that I will never get to shop for, and wash 5 loads of laundry.  I'm hoping to make some nice warm chicken corn chowder for dinner w. corn bread.  If you don't hear from me by midnight, come looking under the piles of bedding in the kitchen.

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Week in Photos

My week in photos.  It's missing Thing 2's first TBall practice.  I spent the entire time chasing him around and bringing him back to our plane of existence most of the time. There wasn't room for picture taking.

Thing 1 Being useful as always.  Mom are you going to blog this?

In Target ( Tar jay) they don't have laundry bins, they have LAMPERS!

Sorting out clothes that don't fit.

Beauty of Spring

Willow in bloom

Dinner was kid fun
Banana Pie anyone?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Laundry...Plain and Simple

     I had grand ideas for The Unexpected Life this week.  I thought hard all week over what I wanted to talk about;   a tutorial for my rainbow cake, what we do for family time in our house, some sort of making this place look decent deal, instead  I ended up spending half of yesterday buying shoes for the kids.  Well, I spent half the afternoon fighting over a pair of shoes for my 12 year old (so glad they told us we could return them if they didn't fit right).  My 4 year old wanted the prettiest red sparkly TOM  shoes, but his dreams were dashed when I informed him he needed sneakers.  It took him all of 5 minutes to decided on the ones that looked like lizards.  Today I am just tired.   I think springing forward has stolen what little mental capacity I have left. I sit here in the middle of my kitchen I start to thinking about laundry.

    Laundry seems to be one of those dilemmas we all have to fight at some point in our lives, some of us on a daily basis.  When I stayed at home with the kids, I didn't seem to have as much of a problem.  I washed laundry daily, and for a year I even had to hang everything to dry because our dryer was broken.  I'm even one of those crazies that like to do the laundry when I have the time.  The problem is.......I don't seem to have any time.  Where I once washed a daily, I now try to tackle everything on one day of the week.  Compounding this problem we only had two laundry baskets.  We used to have more, but they always ended up storing things in closets.  I'm pretty sure I have at least 3 in my bedroom full of clothes I don't wear anymore.  None of us have dressers (mine won't fit in the door, Thing 1's has been claimed by another family member, Thing 2's broke 3 years ago), and nothing ever gets hung up in the closet.  So throughout the whole week our mountains of laundry overtake our kitchen and kitchen table.  Nothing ever seems to find it's way to it's home.  We are pretty lucky if out clothes even get folded.  I need a solution and I need one fast.

Family closet from

I REALLY like the concept of the family closet.  I have been contemplating this particular idea for probably 2 years.  The more I think about it though, the less I think it would work for us.  We just don't have the space for one.  Our closets are our storage units.  They are full of exercise equipment, Christmas decorations, and craft supplies.  My oldest son has a large room, but I don't want to fill it with everyone's clothing.  He's getting to be "that age", and likes to have his own space ( and I like him to go to that space and stay there on occasion haha).  I even thought, well maybe we could set up some tall shelves in the kitchen and store things in hampers or bins.  This idea only seemed good for a millisecond, then I knew I didn't want to look at any sort of storage in my kitchen. So, if this isn't going to work for us, I'm not sure what we really need to do.  I do know that I'm not just going to sit around and wait for an epiphany.

I decided to make a preliminary game plan to climb to the summit of Mt. Laundry.  It all begins with purging.  I am going to go through everyone's clothing and if it doesn't's going to be donated.  I'm not going hog wild with this purging, but as I wash I will pull out those items of clothing.  Next, I am going to make sure those bags of clothes actually leave my house.  I currently have three bags that have been sitting by the door for 2 months.  I may have to employ the services of a family member to take care of this.  The Salvation Army is open when I am at work, and there are no drop of locations here.  Third, I am going to separate the laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer.  I purchased 2 new laundry bins yesterday.  There is going to be a laundry basket for myself, one for Thing 1, and 1 for Thing 2.  There is also going to be a smaller bin for socks.  Luckily we all have vastly different size feet and fashion sense.  We won't have to separate them.   Fourth, I am keeping one large hamper for our clothes to go in.  It will be located in the hall by the bathroom and two of the bedrooms.  This will hopefully make it more likely the clothes will be in one contained space, and will eliminate the pile in my kitchen.  If we need to we can add another hamper in the hall.  Last, I will keep thinking about a larger solution to  our problem.

I would love to take some before  pics, but I think the laundry on my kitchen table might have eaten my camera.  Once I find it I will try to remember to post progress pics of our laundry issue.  That is if I don't die under an avalanche of clothes. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's Better Than Elevator Music

Instead of playing elevator music over and over in your head while waiting for another mind blowing post ( just laugh it's ok), I thought I would share with you some of the creations I've recently made in my kitchen.  I don't claim to be a master pastry chef, cake decorator, or even Chuck Norris, but I really like to bake.  I started helping my grandmother bake the minute I went to live with her at the age of 5.  By 8 years old I could bake cakes and cookies completely on my own, and by 12 I was baking cakes for others.  Then I got busy with life and I have just picked up this wonderful hobby again.  I love to see the faces of my children and family when they see my sweet creations...even if they're ghetto :)  Hope you enjoy my pics, and happy creating!

The first creation was for Thing 1's 4th Birthday. He requested a rainbow, tie dye, Hello Kitty, rock star cake.

Hello Kitty knows how to rock out.

Our rainbow Tie dye cake.  It was so yummy!

 My second Creation was for my 12 year old.  He insisted on an Anrgy Birds Cookie Cake.  It was very simple to make.

It was never quite finished, because even 12 year olds like to sneak bit of the cookie when no one is looking.

 I made these for my grandmother's Birthday.  They are a "funfetti"white cake, with strawberry frosting.

My grandmother likes the color pink.

Rosette style frosting.

Sugar crystals, A girly cupcakes BFF.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Hen and the Caulk

     This past week I've been dealing with the plague.  I'm pretty sure I got it from my office mate at work.  She went down at the same time I did, and with nearly the same symptoms. So... I spent  days of my life in bed in agonizing pain, and was so tired I had to work to breathe, BUT BUT BUT I managed to accomplish a few things last weekend before it obliterated my immune system.

     I've been so incredibly busy lately, that I was very excited to get some things done in the house.  The room that has been the most neglected was my bathroom.  It had come to the point that I didn't even want to go in it anymore.  My poor tiny little bathroom was super cluttered, and well...hadn't had a really good deep down cleaning in a while.  Compounding that situation was the fact we have been ( like a lot of Americans) a little cash poor, and while I love my job it doesn't pay enough.   Everything in my bathroom is old, classic, vintage whatever you want to call it.  I have had the same multicolored stripe Martha Stewart shower curtain since my oldest was 4 (he's now 12).  The metal grommets were rusting, and we don't want to even talk about the condition of the liner.  So as a motivator to work on the bathroom,  I purchased a cute almost eggplant purple shower curtain and a new liner.  The rules were that I couldn't put it up until all tasks were complete; all the tile was wiped down ( it covers my bathroom), grout cleaned, rugs washed, everything scrubbed, floors mopped,  knickknacks dusted, the counter decluttered, and MOST OF ALL.....I had to replace the caulk in my tub.  I rent, so not one of the not so handy men had ever properly re-caulked the tub.  In one corner a "professional" had actually just made a big pile and smeared it around.  After living here for several years it was just plain ol' disgusting. It was time to get to work. 

      In the past I have used caulk to seal up some insect super secret escape hatches.  It came out great and was super simple. This time I thought, "Well, I've done this before this will be a piece of cake"!  It ended up being a bit of a big mess.  I prepped it all the night before.  I pulled out 3 layers of caulk between my tub and the tile.  It was really difficult to get it out.  When I pulled it out was was horrified to see the grout was broken into little pieces, and in one spot there was a 3/4" gap between the tub and tile.  I thought nothing I can't deal with. I made sure to clean the new open space as to get rid of dirt and decomposed grout.  This is a really important step to ensure the new caulk has fresh start and a clean surface to adhere to.  A girl doesn't want to spend all this time just to have it peel up and mildew.  The next day, I went to the store and purchased caulk.  I decided against using the regular caulk and gun and went with the type in the tube you can squeeze out yourself.  The first portion I caulked was easy, then the more I moved along the harder it became.  It was hard to get in an adequate amount of caulk in the areas where the gap was large and very deep. This is where my cake decorating skills came into play. These areas were also a trouble spot when smoothing out the calk.  In previous small jobs I just used my finger to smooth everything out, or once even used one of those tools you can buy.  The problem with this jo,b was the irregularity in the gap between the tub and tile.  I ended up using my fingers in the end, but it didn't come out as aesthetically pleasing as I would have liked.  I did accomplish the goal of making sure the areas that needed to be filled in were, and that there was no space between the caulk and tile where water could seep in.  I think next time I might change how I do things, but hopefully there won't be a next time in this apartment.  At the end of the day I completed all my mini goals in the bathroom, and with the smell of original Pine-Sol wafting in the breeze, I put up my new shower curtain.  Mission Accomplished (but not in the George W Bush sort of way haha).  It's funny how less than $20 can make a room look brand new!

Tools used for the Tub Project
Utility knife
Scrub Brush
GE Kitchen & Bath Caulk-It
Lots of Paper Towels
Elbow Grease
      As for my blog self challenge/ to do list thingamabobber, I haven't decided how I am going to graphically show what I've done or what I need to do.  I'm also not sure where to place it on my blog.  These are all sorts of things I should be thinking about while I drive to work instead of singing to LMFAO songs. :) 

New shower rings ( to go with my vintage pink tile)

New shower curtain (it's much darker in RL)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

How Time Flies When You're stuck Behind a Desk

 Last time we blogged I was looking forward to fall.  What the?  Spring is upon us and the fall season flew by at warp speed.  I started working at the end of the summer at a great place that I love, but I have had a monumental problem meshing mom life to work life.  I am always so exhausted at the end of everyday, which is not helped by the long commute to and from work.  In the meantime my home and everything inside has gone to pot.  I desperately want to get back on track and blog again.  I have been doing some fun little baking projects over the winter that I would like to share, plus we may start talking a bit about my goal to organize myself and take my house back and get the children back in order.  Do any of you have any great tips on juggling work and home? I 'd Love to hear your advice.  I am contemplating some sort of self challenge.  I'm still working out what this  is going to be, and how I will set it up.  I may even ask you all to join in, or update us on how you are doing.  In the middle of this, I am also thinking of moving.  I have had about enough of apartment dwelling, and my long time neighbors are trying to buy a home.  I've missed everyone.  Here's to keeping my ADD brain on track! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Thinking Forward to Fall

     Fall isn't in the air, but it is in my mind when it comes to the garden.  Originally,  I had just planned just on planting some pretty fall flowers, because they are much lower maintenance that anything that produces food.  Through researching what to do to prepare for next spring, I have convinced myself to plant one or two things just to see what happens. Most people think of summer as being the only time you can grow your own food, but if you plan properly you can extend your growing season through most of the year.
     What you can grow, and when you need to plant it depends on where you live.  I suggest your state or county extension if you need help with finding your zone and plants that work well with your climate.  Here in TN the UT Extension has a free publication on fall vegetable gardens you can download.   Make sure you research what you want to plant because not all cool weather plants are created equal.  Many crops planted in the spring prefer cool and moist conditions, and if you have been outside lately you know that's not what goes on this time of year.  There are other precautions you must take as well, like keeping the seeds moist. One tip in improving your germination success, is planting the seeds 1/4 inch deeper than you would in the spring.  Compared to spring and summer crops you may also need to give your fall garden a little more TLC.  This is the one thing that seems daunting to me.  I spent  A LOT of time this spring hand picking insects off my tomatoes and I'm not sure I am up to the work this fall.
    I have been thinking about what I might want to plant for my fall garden. I have been thinking something simple like greens or lettuce and a few flowers.  I really need to think about it some more and see what seeds are available. SO as your summer garden starts to wind down, will you be thinking about a fall garden?  What will you plant?  Do you have any tips?  Happy gardening!