Thursday, October 29, 2009

National Chocolate Day

Yes, there actually is a National Chocolate Day! Why the Hershey's doesn't make a big deal out of it, I don't know; but I do feel the need to honor it here on my Delicious blog.

National Chocolate Day was actually yesterday. It's a good thing I didn't hear about it until almost dinnertime; otherwise I would have spent the day justifying my constant desire to eat chocolate.

As it was, I only had a very small piece of chocolate cake late in the evening. Technically, I had to eat it. It was the last piece of the cake I made for our church's Oktoberfest this past Sunday. It would have gotten stale had I left it any longer. *written with a very straight face, of course* LOL And since it was my very favorite, completely made from scratch, Hershey cocoa's "Perfectly Chocolate Cake", I fully enjoyed every. single. bite. Had Scott been with me, he would have teased me about a chocolate-gasm. ;)

At any rate... I feel the need to pay tribute to chocolate. Amazing. Delicious. Luxurious.

Chocolate-covered almonds
Chocolate-covered marshmallows (Emma made me type this one! LOL)
Chocolate chip cookies
Chocolate pudding (best eaten warm, with whipped cream on top)
Chocolate ice cream from Baskin-Robbins
Turtles
Hot chocolate (with slightly melty marshmallows)
S'mores
Chocolate cream pie
Skinny mocha
Nutella
Twix
Caramello
Dove (Thanks a lot, Mom, for introducing this one to me! Now I *crave* it!)
Chocolate Tootsie pops
Root beer floats with chocolate ice cream
Chocolate pound cake
Chocolate fondue
Chocolate espresso brownies

And quite possibly, my favorite of all... dun dun dunnnnnnn....

Chocolate cheesecake

Oh, gracious.... I think I'm getting myself into trouble here.

Delicious Readers, you must, must, must follow this link and read the ensuing article...

http://www.chocolate.org/

This is my favorite part:

"Jeanne Calment habitually ate two pounds of chocolate per week until her physician induced her to give up sweets at the age of 119 - three years before her death aged 122."

But I also really love that chocoholics live longer than their non-chocoholic peers! And that chocolate has been shown to improve brain function.

So that's why I'm so smart!!! Ohhhhhhh, I got it now!

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Violin Virtuoso!

Emma took the audience's collective breath away last night at the 36th Annual Church Talent Show!

Keep in mind, she's only 9 and she's playing Schumann and Paganini here! And, of course, the perennial favorite, Edelweiss.

video video video

This is the second year she's played in the talent show. She says she's a little nervous going in, but she doesn't show it at all. She just gets right up there and starts playing. Between songs, she catches my eye and gives me a little shy smile. It's so sweet!

After the show, so many people came up and complimented her. We'd actually been at another church thing on Friday night and she told several people there that she'd be playing on Sunday. They were all so supportive and excited for her and made a point to come tell her how great she played. There was even a violinist among her fans (lol) who commented on how well Emma played! I have to say that we have the most amazing congregation EVER!

Scott and I are so proud of our girl. She's dedicated, focused and most important of all, really loves to play the violin.

P.S. Our V.I.T. (Videographer in Training), Hayley, thoughtfully shot the video for us so Scott and I could have both hands available for clapping. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ok, so maybe Hayley won't be cooking dinner for a while..

You see, Emma has swim twice a week at 5pm -- prime cooking dinner hour. Since I have to take her, it's Hayley's responsibility to cook dinner and have it ready when we get home.

Success has been a little hard for her to come by, especially tonight.

She completely forgot the veggies.

The mac n cheese (from a box) came out overcooked and chunky!?

She set the microwave for half an hour to cook the chicken.

Yes, she did press Start.

But she didn't check to see if the chicken was actually in there!

It. Wasn't.

I had prepped it and popped it in the fridge, then told her to put the chicken in and cook it for half an hour.

So what happens when you set a high powered microwave on high for 30 minutes WITHOUT FOOD IN IT?

Well, nothing at first.

Then you start to hear strange noises. So you call Mom (who left her cell phone at home). Then you call Dad and actually follow his instructions. (Turn not off and do not touch it.)

Starving mom comes in ready to chow and discovers a microwave with a destroyed rotating plate and a melted rotating mechanism.

And. No. Dinner.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Volunteer Extraordinaire still exists!

Ignored, but not forgotten, she returns!!

I took a break from much of my regular volunteer work over the summer and with my Girl Scout troop dissolving, that much more was eliminated. And with the craziness of every day life gnawing on the edges of my sanity, I didn't want to do more than the school-regulated minimum.

Yesterday, I bit the proverbial bullet and went to volunteer at Hayley's school. It's her second year there and this is the first time I've volunteered. Who knows what was holding me back, but I finally decided to just get my a#@ over there and give back.

Together with several other moms, I alphabetized and doled out $30,000 worth of baked goods from the September fundraiser. It was chaotic and somewhat back ache-inducing, but so fun!

I forgot how much fun there is to be had in volunteering!

Today I was back in Emma's classroom. I'm there every Wednesday afternoon, helping kids with their writing, grading papers, etc. (I adore grading papers--the methodical nature is soothing to me.) Today I graded a social studies test the kids had just completed.

(Warning! Mama brag forthcoming! My daughter was the *only* kid in the class to score 100%! Go, Emma, Go!)

Her teacher wants me to come in more often to help and I would love to. But there's that work thing.

And that book thing.

And that balance thing.

But, really, volunteering is a balance. It's fun. It makes me happy. It makes my kids happy. I'm role-modeling strong values. Not to mention all those purported health benefits!

Hhmm... I think I might have to whip up a pink cape with the initials "VE" (for Volunteer Extraordinaire) on the back. More fun!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yes, I'm seriously blogging about bathroom hand dryers!

Hahaha! Funny topic, I know.

Last week, Scott and I were in Costco. Before we grabbed a giganto cart, we hit the restroom. After doing my business, I washed my hands and reached for a paper towel.

But wait!

What's that thing? It's a new kind of air dryer! Funky!

And let me tell you, folks, it was so darned cool!

Instead of sticking your hands under it as you do with traditional hand dryers, you slide your hands down inside of it, then slowly bring them out again, kind of like the dry cycle at a gas station car wash. The super high pressure air blows them dry!

And I mean DRY! Not pseudo-dry where you still have to wipe your hands on your pants. But DRY.

Should you feel the desperate need to see it in motion, you can go here... http://www.dysonairblade.com/homepage.asp

I was so excited by this small phenomenon. Scott was jealous when I told him about it. Apparently men don't rate highly enough to get one in their bathroom! LOL

Yes, it is the small things in life that make me happy. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blast from the Past: Ballerina Huck


You're smiling, aren't you?

How can you not when looking at this gorgeous thing?

Emma was three when I shot this photo. Obviously, we were on our way to (or maybe just back from) ballet class. She very purposefully put her hat on backwards and arranged it so it felt just right.

No, she wasn't trying to be stylish. And she wasn't trying to ham it up. She was simply getting into character -- her favorite character: Huckleberry Pie from Strawberry Shortcake.

We don't know why she was obsessed with Huck, but for six hysterical months, she would refuse to acknowledge us unless we called her Huck.

Then one day, just as quickly as it started, the Huck phase was over.

It was just such a wonderful three year old thing!

Bedbugglet Surprise!


Went to bed last night and as I reached to flip the light switch, the hall light streamed in to reveal two angelic visitors in my bed. Both sound asleep.

Few things make a mama smile more than knowing her scent is the most comfortable place there is.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wowwee! Check out this link...

http://www.readallday.org/the365project.html

I found this thanks to Delicious follower, Valerie, on her blog... http://valeriegeary.blogspot.com.

The lady, Nina, who writes the Read All Day blog literally reads. All. Day. Every Day. For 365 successive days.

She's chosen to read an entire book in one day for an entire year. Sounds like heaven to me!

I won't go into her reasons for creating this goal for herself; you can read that yourself on her blog. But how cool!! To have the time and resources to read read read read all day long.

*happy sigh*

Friday, October 16, 2009

New Side Bar List!

Happy Weekend, Delicious Readers!

I've just added a new feature in my side bar -- Deliciously Couponed. I'm so excited about my cheap and/or free groceries that I just have to share!

The few I just entered are just from this morning's couponing excursion.

I went to Walgreen's and some of the items were simply great sales, so I didn't list them, but check this out...

4 bottles of hydrogen peroxide
1 box Bandaids (20 ct. of the most expensive kind)
2 bags cough drops
1 bag candy corn (I know, I know... but I promised the girls.)
2 tubes Colgate Total toothpaste

Grand Total?????

$6.24! I also received $2 back in Walgreen's cash.

Sweet deals, baby!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's 9:07 am and I think I need a nap...

and other random comments for the day.

Think of this as my Tweeter post since I don't Tweet. I have lots to say, but can't think clearly enough to expound, so enjoy the quickies (heeheehee).

  • Having lunch with Scott today -- away from the office!
  • There's a wonderful storm outside right now.
  • Meeting up with a friend in a little bit to talk about the amazing book she's written.
  • Supposed to create a presentation for the pres. at work, but I don't know what to do.
  • Glow in the dark nail polish really does work!
  • Must suck to be a gardener when it's stormy outside.
  • Wonder if the bananas are ripe yet.
  • I think the wind just blew the trash can over.
  • Successfully resisted that second Coke and a Hershey bar yesterday. Yay me!
  • Have you noticed that Delicious as Pie has 15 followers now? Sweet!
  • Those bananas are mostly ripe. A little hard, but good in Rice Krispies anyway.
Ahh, blood sugar is back up after that bowl of cereal. Still would like a nap, but now I'm ready to face the day.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Battling the Worry Monster

Work hasn't paid us again recently. While Scott did come home with nice sized expense check last week, he did not coming bearing pay checks for either of us.

Supposedly, the company our company is merging with was supposed to wire money over so our salaries would be covered, but that wire seems to be untraceable. Meaning the execs at the new company haven't responded to phone calls asking where the money is.

And we all know that banks like to hold on to money as long as they possibly can.

But the thing is, I need money in order to support my family. So *not* a newsflash! But what to do when the money's all gone?

The pisser of it is, is that as soon as the wire arrives, there will be plenty of money. In fact, enough to pay us back the extraordinarily large sum the company owes us from last year!

We just have to hang on. And pray. I've been begging God all day for the wire to come through right away. (Of course, Monday is a bank holiday.)

In the meantime, I have to battle that Worry Monster. Here's my strategy... I'm really focusing on things that make me smile. Here's what I have so far today:

  • hot showers
  • beautiful, flaming red leaves on a tree
  • Scott waking up happy
  • super-couponing
It's not even noon yet today, so I'm sure there will be plenty of other things to smile about. I just have to focus on them and not the evaporating bank account.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Oh Joy! Oh Happy Day!

They're healthy again!

Emma finally broke the fever cycle and Hayley's cough and sore throat are so much better!

Yippee!!

I would have sent them both to school today except, of course, it's a teacher inservice day and there is no school.

Alas.

Coupon Love!

Went to Walgreen's last night armed with several coupons, including a $3 rebate check from my last shop.

Check this out!

$9 Quattro razor: FREE, plus $2 back!
$3 Chapstick: FREE!

They won't actually give you money back if your products don't add up to zero (heehee!), so I grabbed a couple boxes of Snapple to-go powder just to have something to pay for.

Cool, huh?

I've got some really great coupons lined up for Rite-Aid and Albertson's as well. Shopping is fun again!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

They're. Still. Sick.

Both of them.

Day 6 for Emma.

Day 3 for Hayley.

Day Crazy for Kate.

Honestly, they're being really good. Needy, but who's not needy when they're feverish and bored?

My saving grace during this Week of Sick? The girls' new obsession with iCarly. It's actually a cute (and tweenishly funny) show and I don't mind watching it. BONUS!

Hayley downloaded past seasons of iCarly on Netflix, so the two of them have had something different to watch.

And last night, we bought Barbie and the Three Musketeers. Emma adores the Barbie movies (shh! don't tell her I told you that!), so we bought it instead of renting. We've gotten caught in the Barbie rental trap before -- every time we let Emma pick out a movie to rent, it's a Barbie movie she's seen a hundred times before. So rather than spending $4 each time she rents the same movie, we just bought it.

I gave it to her a few minutes ago and I saw the biggest smile I've seen since last Saturday. Thank you, Barbie!

Now I'm off to work between beckonings. Ooohh! Sick kids and Support! Oh joy! Can... you... feel... my... excitement...? (Those ellipses are supposed to indicate the slow and monotone voice of that question. Did it work?)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Delicious as Pie is undergoing minor renovations

I'm attempting to add a third column to my yummy blog, but since Blogger doesn't actually offer a three column template, it's so not easy as pie!

I finally found a site that gave me the html code (don't I sound all tech-y? LOL) to insert the third column, but it neglects to mention how to change the margins within said columns.

More research is needed and as I'm sleepy, I'll work on it tomorrow when my daily bucketful of patience is still full.

In the meantime, sorry it looks a little strange!

There are few things...

...more discouraging than waking up to dirty dishes. Spread across the counter in all directions, you think they'd reproduced over night.

"Hey, Baby," said the chili-streaked pot, winking across the counter. "Wanna have some fun tonight?"
The pink plastic plate licked her dried ketchup lips lasciviously. "Oh, yeah. Let's make some noise!"

**noises deleted for my rated R-forbidden friends**

Shortly thereafter, cheers rang from all corners of the kitchen as cups lined with lip marks, bowls decorated with glued Rice Krispies and legions of variously dirty utensils celebrated the product of the pot and plate's procreation: a cinnamon-smeared ramekin half full of applesauce in various stages of dehydration.

ROTFLOL

Are you all wondering where *that* came from? I'm not even sure of that. Probably one part giddy exhaustion, one part insanity and a three parts suffering from chocolate deprivation.

Both girls were home sick today.

"Mommy, I need some water!"
"Mom, my throat hurts."
"Mom, it's my turn to pick a show!"
"Mommy, can you make lunch now?"
"Mom, can I have more medicine?"

I thank the Good Lord that both of my sweet angels fell asleep at 7:30 tonight. I was pretty fried. Scott has Men's Group tonight and was therefore deprived of the joy of attending his suffering daughters.

But all in all, it hasn't been a bad day. In fact, I'm feeling pretty darned pleased with myself. I was up at 6am and worked for two and a half hours before anyone else came downstairs. Woohoo!

Over the course of the day:
  • I worked seven hours
  • helped Neighbor Gloria (who proudly announced that she is now 87 and a half) look up her credit reports online
  • folded several loads of laundry
  • finished a movie I started watching last night (Management with Jennifer Aniston. I'd describe it as the vanilla ice cream of romantic comedies -- good, better than nothing, but bland)
  • mowed the lawn
  • knitted about six inches on the prayer shawl I'm making and.......
  • washed the dishes so I wouldn't have to face them in the morning!
All that and it's only 8:30! The night is still young!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Please say a prayer...

My dear friend, Dana, is in surgery right now undergoing a double mastectomy. She was diagnosed in February with breast cancer and has been through the proverbial wringer since then.

Please lift up a prayer right now: Lord, please watch over Dana. Give knowledge, compassion and steady hands to her surgeon. Help moderate the pain she'll feel over the next few days and help her heal quickly and without complication. Lord, help her remember how many people are rooting for her and that you are there for her, always and forever. Amen.

Thanks, Delicious Readers, for your prayers.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Man! Increasing a readership base is hard!

I have on average about 15 readers a day here on Delicious as Pie. (Thank you, Delicious Readers!) I'd understandably like to increase my readership base, though

I've been researching various ways to do that and I'm running up against a couple problems:

1. I don't understand a whole lot about blogging technology -- it's so not user-friendly. There is more info online about garnering more attention, but as soon as I start reading it,my creative-not-technological brain goes into hibernation. (Kind of like when I have to listen to politics.)

2. I don't have time to spend hours every day reading and commenting on other people's blogs in hope that they'll come and read mine. Sure, I'd love to cuddle up with this sweet new laptop and peruse the thousands of blogs currently out there -- no doubt about that. But then Guilt attacks, aiming its daggers of chores and reminders at my brain.

I need a plan. I need to sit down and outline exactly what I need to do on a daily basis as far as Delicious as Pie is concerned.

And while I'm at it, my book is demanding attention again. I've licked my wounds long enough. It's time to start submitting to other agents.

No problem! It's all about routine. Maybe as soon as Em leaves for school, I can sit down and work on the book for an hour or so. Then I'll work for pay for three to four hours and then I can tackle the blog-o-sphere.

Sounds totally doable, right? Damn straight, it is! We're talking about me here! I don't do anything half-assed. (I think you all know that by know!) I'm ready to take my schedule by the days-of-the-week tabs and wrestle it into submission, gosh darn it!

But not right now.

Right now, I'm going to knit. Then I'm going to eat a piece of the chocolate pound cake I made yesterday. Mmmmmm. And then I'm going to crawl into bed and fall asleep while attempting a fiendish sudoku puzzle.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sticking to My Parental Guns

Last week, Emma joined the choir at school. She's been looking forward to it for a couple years now, since only fourth and fifth graders can join.

I was hesitant to add it to her schedule -- she's plenty busy already. History has shown that Emma needs her downtime. No one wants to be around the little crazy person (to put it mildely) she becomes when she's feeling overwhelmed.

But she begged and pleaded to join, expostulating all the reasons she knew would convince me to decide in her favor.

I caved.

But I did impose a two week trial. If she was overwhelmed, cranky or not getting her regular chores and homework done, choir was over. Finito. Second chance deprived.

Today was the end of the two weeks (school weeks, that is). And it was not pretty. She has not been doing her chores; she's been exceedingly volatile; and there hasn't been much time for violin practice.

So no more choir for Emma.

Her fury was something to be seen. Biblical proportions here, folks. There was screaming and crying and begging and pleading and slamming and much gnashing of teeth. But worst of all was her deep blue eyes filled with all-consuming sadness.

I came so close to caving. I wanted to believe her "better choices" promises. A strong parent, though, doesn't give in on such things. By Supergluing myself to my "choir trial" declarations of last week, I made it through this morning's drama mostly unscathed.

In fact, I feel pretty darned good. Yes, I did stick to my parental guns, but it is more than that. It's that, even after such a horrible morning, Emma went to school smiling and laughing and thrilled that she is so quickly mastering her seven times tables.

It's that because I was calm and empathetic throughout the early morning drama she was able to move on and look forward to other parts of the day.

It's that somehow Scott and I have created a strong, resilient, amazing child.