Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shop Till Your Husband Drops

Last night I did a little online shopping for me and the Belle.  That's my nickname for Ashley.  Along with Bunny, Ashes, Baby Girl, and lots of other silly little names.

Anyway, I went to oldnavy.com and took advantage of their "stock up" sale and stocked up on tons of T's for the girl. 

And then I noted that they were having a 30%-off sale on all new arrivals so I went to town for myself.

I put this in my shopping cart:

And this:

And then this:

A whole bunch of these in different colors:


Some khaki's, because you just never know when you're gonna need them:


And then some dresses.  Lots o' dresses:




And a few other things, too.  And then I looked over at Scotty, who was busy watching the baseball game on TV, and said "DUDE.  I just got all this stuff for $275.00!  Including 7 or so tee-shirts for Ashley!"

And he almost croaked.  Apparently, one's husband does not know how to properly appreciate a combined 30% off and stock up sale.  With free shipping, I might add.  Harumph.

He asked me to tone it down to $200.

So I said farewell to the pretty scarf:


The fourth dress:


And the lovely sweater:


(*sob*  Goodbye, my pretties!  You were almost mine!)

And I ended up at $202.

Which he still didn't like, but I ordered it anyway.  Pretty clothes!!!  Arriving at my doorstep, in 7-10 business days!!!  Hurrah!!!


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Monday, July 25, 2011

Butter Brain

So the other day I was at the grocery store, picking up a few necessary items.  One of which was butter.

We go through butter in this family like water.

Got bread?  Put some butter on it.  Got pasta?  Put some butter on it.  Potatoes?  Butter.  Veggies?  Butter.  Steak?  Butter.  Mmmmmm, butter.

And I don't discriminate.  Butter, margarine...all are welcome at my house.  In fact, we mostly use a little product known as "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter!"  Which seriously, they need to find a new name for that already.  It's time.

Anyways.

I was at the store, picking up some butter.  So I made my way over to the dairy aisle, and reached for my standard two-pack of the good stuff:


And then I paused and noticed this bad boy sitting right next to it:

And I thought to myself..."Why do I always buy the two-pack?  Why not the big daddy butter?"  I mean, we always use all of the butter.  There is no such thing in my vocabulary as too much butter.   

"But what about toast crumbs, Megan?"  I reminded myself.  (Silently, of course.  I don't talk to myself out loud at the grocery store.  Usually.)  "You don't want a bunch of toast crumbs lingering in the precious butter!"

But then again, you can always scrape out the toast crumbs.  Hmmmm.

And then my environmental conscience kicked in.  Wouldn't one giant tub of butter be made out of less plastic than two smaller tubs of butter? 

What to do, what to do...

And then I decided.  One tub of butter it was.  It just felt right.

On Sunday morning, I opened that giant tub of butter and proceeded to make my family a breakfast to die for. Scrambled eggs, fried eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, the works.  I had every burner going.  I was super-mom.  I had one hand scrambling, the other hand flipping, butter being spread, hasbrowns being tended to, and then I saw it.

The lid to the big daddy tub of butter.  Sitting on the burner, right where I'd placed it just a moment ago.  Melting into goo while emitting an eerie yellow smoke. 

And then I remembered why I buy the two-pack.

Butter back-up.  You never want to be without it.

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Time Goes By

Did you know...

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That my baby is starting kindergarten in a few weeks?

Where oh where has the time gone.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rouladen in 12 Easy Steps

So, guess what happens when you blog about your hubby's favorite meal?

Well, if your hubby reads your blog, it means you have to make that favorite meal the next day. So I did. Because I love my Scotty.

I also took pictures. Vegetarians beware!

Step One:  We can have lots of fun!  Step Two: There's so much we can doooooo...

Ahem.

Step One:  Pound yo' meat.

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Step 2:  Mustardize it.  I just invented that word.  And I like it.

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Step 3:  Chop up some onions.

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Step 4:  Forget to take pictures.

Step 5:  Admire your rouladen rings.

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Step 6:  Brown it.

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Step 7:  Make some potates.

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Step 8: Go draft two employment agreements.  (Only do this step if you're a lawyer).

Step 9:  Smell it.  Yum.

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Step 10:  Make gravy.  This part's hard.  Focus.

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Step 11:  Watch your husband fall in love with you all over again.

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Step 12:  But hopefully not too much.  Making rouladen makes a girl tired.

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And there you have it.  How to make rouladen in 12 easy steps.  And thus ends German heritage week at Twinsomnia.  Hope you enjoyed it.  ;-)

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Ja das ist ein Family Reunion!

Last weekend we had a family reunion, on my dad's side. 

I learned tooooons of stuff about my family history.  Some stuff I already knew, other stuff I had no idea.  For example, apparently there is an "opera singer" gene that runs in my family.  (FYI - I don't have it).

Also, lots of folks have red hair! 

And we're all really, really German! I have the Schnitzelbank song burned in my brain now.  Ya, dat is a dickie frau!  Or whatever.  That's what I sang, anyway.

I'm feeling all pro-german heritage after it.  Like I want to dress Aidan and Owen up in some lederhosen.  And drink a big frothy beer.  And watch the foot-ball (i.e., soccer).

But instead I'll just post a fantasmic German recipe for you all to enjoy - Rouladen.  Ooh, I make a mean Rouladen.

(Disclaimer:  It sounds disgusting.  But my Rouladen is what makes me 99.99% sure Scotty will never divorce me.  He could give me up, maybe - but not my Rouladen).

Rouladen - A German Dish to Die For

What You Need:

Round steak - as thin as you can get it!
Bacon
Onion
Dill pickles
Mustard
2 Beef Bouillon Cubes

What You Do:

Cut the round steak into 2 long sections.  Spread with mustard.  Sprinkle the meat heavily with chopped onion, chopped pickles, and chopped cooked bacon. 

(FYI - I use dill pickle relish (since it's already chopped) and microwave bacon (since it's already cooked).  My mom calls this "cheater" rouladen.  I say her opinion doesn't count because technically I'm more German than she is.) 

Roll up the meat and tie with string.  Or you can use rouladen rings.  Yes, I have rouladen rings.  I am that fancy. 

Brown the rolls in a dutch oven.  Dissolve beef bouillon cubes in 2 cups boiling water.  Pour over the meat.  Cover and simmer for 1 - 1.5 hous.  Don't let it boil too much!  You want there to be plenty of liquid there at the end to make gravy.

Do you know how to make gravy?  It took a long time for me to learn how to do it right.  Mix up some flour with water so it's kinda like a runny soup - allllmost thick, but not.  Take the meat out of the pot, turn it up to high until it's boiling, and then pour the flour/water mixture slowly into the pot while stirring.  It should thicken.  If it didn't, you did it wrong.  Sorry.  Enjoy your Rouladen with crappy gravy.  ;-)

Oh, and serve it with noodles or boiled potatoes.  Or maybe both.  We Germans love our starches.   

Anyway, give it a whirl and let me know if you tried it!  Your husbands will love you.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Childhood Milestones (The Important Ones)

Throughout my mommy career, there have been certain milestones that my kids have reached that have made me say to myself, "Dang.  That just made my life a lot easier."  These milestones include things like the kids (finally) sleeping through the night, or (finally) holding their own bottle, or (finally) using the potty. 

But there are other milestones out there.  Less appreciated milestones. 

I wish I could share how old my kids were when they started doing all these things, but I can't because I don't remember.  That's the trouble with underappreciated milestones.  They just slip quietly by, without any hoopla or big production.

Which is why I think it's high time that they be given their due.

5 Underappreciated Childhood Milestones That Make A Mom's Life Hella Easier

1.  Sitting Through an Entire Movie

Hello!  Who doesn't love the blissful moment when you realize your child has remained quietly occupied for 1.75+ hours??  For Ashley, it was Elmo in Grouchland that brought on this momentous occasion.  Ah, Elmo, my furry little friend.  I miss you.

2.  Eating a Hot Dog in a Bun

The moment that you no longer have to slice up hotdogs into itty bitty pieces is a HUGE milestone.  Going to a picnic?  Wondering how you're gonna slice up that dog on the fly?  No more worries.  Just throw that puppy in a bun, hand it off to your kiddo and you're good to go.  Love it.

3.  Learning to Pump Their Legs on the Swings

This one is HUGE.  HUUUUUUUUUGE.  No more pushing on the swings!!  Do you hear me?  No more pushing on the swings!!  You can just drink your coffee and watch!  The freedom!!!  It's incredible.

4.  Being Able to Open the Refrigerator Door

Kid:  "Mommy, I want a cheese stick." 

Me:  "Well, go get one."

Kid:  "Okay."

Me:  "And while you're there, will you grab me a Diet Coke?"

Need I say more?

5.  Playing in the Backyard by Themselves

Oh, this one is awesome.  The kids want to go outside.  It's [hot] [cold] [snowy] [muddy] [something really good is on tv].   What to do, what to do...  Well, I'll tell you what to do!  You open the door and ship 'em on out!  It's that easy!  (Disclaimer:  fence recommended.)

 ***

So, what did I miss?  What other nontraditional milestones are out there that have made your life as a mama easier?

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Still Sick. Less Tired. Now Hot.

Ask and ye shall receive.  My mommy came over bright and early on Saturday morning with donuts for the kids and some OJ for me.  I was starting to feel much better.

Then the air conditioner went kaput.

Now, let me say this.  It is not fun to be sick.  It is even less fun to be sick in the summer.  But it is SO TOTALLY NOT FUN AT ALL to be sick in the summer when it's 98 bajillion degrees outside and your air conditioner is not working.

Blargh.

Good God, how did people live in Nebraska before the invention of central air????????  I'm not sure how it was possible.  Sometimes I think of the Native Americans and a single tear rolls down my cheek when I think of how hot it must have been for them.  And also having to eat buffalo all the time, I bet that got old.  And littering!  Oh, the littering!  Wait, that came later.

If you can't tell, I am delirious from all the heat.  Or the sickness.  Who can tell anymore.  

Anyway, I was all set to take pictures of the trenches in the backyard today for all of you curious folk, but the air conditioner started working again so I stayed inside and soaked up the coolness instead.  You know the saying, get it while it's hot.  Or cold.  Or whatever.

I'm not quite sure what the trenches are for.  Scott and I have an agreement when it comes to home improvement matters - he tells me things on a "need to know" basis.  Otherwise he just fixes stuff.  This has worked well for us because he is a born carpenter, and I am a born lounger.  When a born carpenter marries a born lounger, it can work out very well provided that the lounger sticks with the lounging and the carpenter sticks with the carpentering.  But, this means that sometimes you wake up on a Saturday morning and find your backyard filled with trenches.

I think I have deduced that the trenches are some kind of irrigation system.  Combined with a little decorative landscaping and maybe some World War I reenactment.  I dunno.  I'm just gonna close the blinds until he's done. 

And if this post couldn't get any more random, here are some pics of the fam from the past couple weeks.

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Ashley strangling hugging Owen.

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Owen.  The boys are getting so blonde this summer!  I like it.  It makes my hair color look much more natural.

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Aidan and a Capri Sun.  Check out the puppy dog eyes.  Yeah, this kid gets pretty much anything he wants.  

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My Scotty.  Isn't he cute??  Trenches or no trenches, I'll keep him.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Sick and Tired. Literally.

I have a cold. I do not like being sick.

Especially when all the kids are sick, too. They keep waking up at night. And asking me for stuff.

My house is a total mess.

And my husband is busy digging massive trenches throughout our backyard. (Don't ask.)

And somebody ate the last orange creamsicle. Yeah, maybe it was me, what's it to ya.

I need some ginger ale and a cracker. And a mommy. Actually, two mommies. One for me, and a spare for the kids. And maybe a third one to clean the house. Anyone for hire?

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This Post is 98% Good, Clean Family Fun

Last week the fam and I headed downtown to watch the College World Series Home Run Derby and big ol' fireworks show.  Actually, we skipped most of the Home Run Derby.  Children have a limited shelf life, you know, so we didn't want to use up their good moods too early in the night.

It was the first time I've been down to see the new ballpark up close and personal, even though I see it every morning from afar as I drive to work.


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It is a cool stadium, at least for this little town.  It felt like living in a real live city!


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That guy up there apparently won the derby.  I wasn't really paying attention since I was busy taking artistic pictures of myself.  What!?  Baseball is boring.


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Anyhoo, after the derby, various bubble mascot creatures came onto the field to entertain us during the wait for the fireworks.  My kids' favorite was "Clammy Sosa", a mascot that ran around the field and pretended to eat things while "Eat It" by Weird Al played in the background.

Let me just say this.  Clammy Sosa did not look like a clam.  And that's all I'm gonna say.

...

Oh, forget it.  Clammy Sosa looked like a giant va-jay-jay.  A giant va-jay-jay, running around on the field, gobbling things up into its giant clam/va-jay-jay-like body.  And my kids loved every second of it - especially when Clammy Sosa ate the batboy, and then spit him back out with nothing on but his boxers.  Me?  I was a little traumatized.

"Mmmmm....batboys."

Any-way.  Let's get back to the fun family entertainment, shall we?  Fireworks!


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We all had a blast.

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Let me just pause here and say a quick hallelujah for the "soften" effect tool in Picnik.  Good God, I love my DSLR camera but my skin sure as hell doesn't.

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Aidan was much more impressed with his sno-cone than he was with the fireworks.  Ah, the simple pleasures.

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No clue what Ashley was doing.  I think she'd moved past the tired stage at this point and was approaching delirium.

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FYI - I cropped this picture so Scott's beer was cut out.  Yes, that's right.  I will talk about giant va-jay-jays on my blog, but will not show my husband drinking a Bud Light at a family friendly event.  You gotta draw the line somewhere. 

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited: July 2011 Edition

It's the 1st of the month! 

Oops.  No it's not.

But whatever, I'm STUPID excited anyway!!!!

For those of you new to my blog, "Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited" is a feature I post on the first day of each month. Usually.  Except when I have months like the last one, where I billed seventy bajillion hours and had no semblance of a personal life whatsoever.

No, I'm not bitter. Why would you ask that?

Anyhoo, let's get going with this list already.  For the love of pete, I don't need to make it any later than it already is!

(FYI - if you'd like to see my past lists, they're all linked up on my LTTMMSE page.  And if you happened to do a list yourself this month, link on up in the comments!)

Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited

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I've got *FIVE* stupid exciting things for the month of July!  Yes, I know only 5 things is lame.  But good lord it was a hard month!!! (Did I say that already?)

*One*
Ebooks...from the LIBRARY!!!

DUDE.  Did you know that you can rent ebooks from the library????  FOR FREAKING FREE???  I didn't.  This is a thrilling revelation to me because:

(1) I rarely go to the library (I am highly lazy). 

(2) I rarely buy books (I am also highly cheap). 

BUT. 

(3) Because of items 1 and 2 above, I haven't read a freaking book in so long I don't mind waiting months and months for the elibrary edition of "A Discovery of Witches" to become available.  And yes, I know you can get free public domain books any old time.  But sometimes a girl wants to skip the Hawthorne and go straight to "The Help" without having to pay for it, ya know?  Elibrary books to the rescue!

*Two*
Creamsicles

Oh, summer, and all your lovely popsicle incarnations.  Although none are lovelier than the creamsicle, in my not so humble opinion.  Love 'em.  Especially the orange ones.  Which is weird, since orange is usually my least favorite flavor out of the popsicle bunch.  But something about that orange sherbert gets me every time.

*Three*
Wicked / Dee Roscioli

Yes, I know I'm like a decade behind everyone else in the U.S. on this one, but OH MY GOD.  I saw the national tour of Wicked for the first time last month, and I loved it.  I didn't know anything about the storyline other than it had something to do with witches and the Wizard of Oz, knew none of the songs, and was just kind of like 'eh, sounds like fun' when my mom asked if me and my sister-in-law wanted to go see it.  And I walked out of that theater BLOWN AWAY.  Mostly because of the girl who played Elpheba - her voice literally took my breath away.  I found out later that the girl was Dee Roscioli, who's played Elpheba more times than any other actress in history, and that the night *I* saw her was her first night after joining the national tour.  LUCKY!!!!  Somebody recorded the audio of her singing 'Defying Gravity' the night I was there and posted it on facebook, and well - it doesn't do it justice.  But it comes pretty close!!  I'm telling you, if you have the chance to see the first national tour of Wicked with Dee Roscioli in the role of Elpheba - GO!!!

*Four*
Rhinestones for your Toenails

Are rhinestones on your toenails tacky?  Whatev.  I don't care.  Got these puppies at Walgreen's for like $2.99, and you just stick 'em on after you polish, then cover with a clear topcoat.  They're so snazzy!  I feel like Phoebe from Friends doing a little feet flirting.  Did I just age myself with that reference?  Ugh.  P.S. I only put them on my big toe, in case that classes it up a little bit.

*Five*

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One Year Anniversary of LTTMMSE!!!
 

Oh my God, do you realize I've been doing LTTMMSE for a whole YEAR now?????  Me either!!!!  If I'd realized it sooner, I would have had a big celebration planned, what with giveaways and balloons and ice cream and lotteries and whatever other fancy things bloggers are supposed to do on a big anniversary.  But alas, June was a crappy month, so blah - this month it ain't gonna happen.  Maybe next month.  Let's all pray for (i) less work, and (ii) more shopping at Kohls and Target for Megan during the month of July.

But I would be terribly remiss if I ended this post without saying THANK YOU to all my readers for getting STUPID excited with me over the past year!!!!  I love writing these posts, and I hope you love reading them, too. 

Let's do it for another year, shall we??  ;-)


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