Beware the Bar Stool

Most of the women I know worry at least a little bit about what having a kid will do to their body.  Stretch marks and saggy boobs-maybe….even extra baby weight or new flat feet.

Nobody tells you that long after that kid is born, there is still every possibility they will do you injury…dundunDUN!

And now you totally know where this post is going, because my flair for the dramatic was used up in like…10th grade.

The other night I was cooking dinner.  We have a bar in our kitchen that oddly enough, we rarely use for drinking.  It has three bar stools:

The culprit-except ours has tooth marks from the dog.

Lately, the girls have loved watching me cook, and they each drag over a bar stool to perch on so they can see me add ingredients and stir and stuff.   Stools the perfect height for adults at the bar are the perfect height for the girls at the counter.

But, if I start using the front burners, they have to move.  I just have horrific visions of them accidentally putting a hand in boiling water or touching a hot pot when I’m not looking.  (When you are a mom, you, too, will have such horrific visions!  Hooray!)

I told Ashlynn to move.  She did.  I told Corinne to move.  She refused.  The upside to have young(er) children is that if they won’t go where you tell them to, you can pick them up and just put them where you want them.

Usually.

I picked Corinne up, and she wrapped her feet through the rungs of the stool.  It’s heavy, so it only came with her about two feet.  Then she let go and it fell….

…and the edge of the heavy circular top landed directly.on.top.my.left.foot.

I managed not to swear!  Barely.

Corinne’s first words were…”That was all your fault Mom!”

I was uninterested in whose fault it was.  I was more interested in the pain in my foot.  I swore I had heard something crunch, but it was the first day of spring break and I was NOT breaking a bone in my foot.  SO THERE.

So I finished cooking dinner.  And I cleaned and organized our lazy susan.

Then I started to get dizzy and shaky and light-headed.  I’ve broken a bone before (my other foot), and I was 90% sure I was recognizing symptoms.  Crap.

Called my mom to watch the kids.  Called my husband to come home from work.  Felt stupid causing everyone a fuss. (The calling was an adventure in itself…because my family all owns cell phones but uses them as doorstops?  Or something? )

On our trip to the ER, I realized that I had last been at the hospital in June 2009 to have my daughter.  So I guess that’s not a bad track record.

X-rays and an Ace wrap later, I was discharged with a “serious contusion” (read: big ol’ bruise).  I was totally embarrassed that I had gone to the hospital and wasted medical professionals’ time for a bruise.  I became less embarrassed when I realized a bruise like this can hurt just as much as a broken bone.

So now my husband calls me gimpy.  Sigh.

And the moral of the story: Watch out for falling bar stools.

Or: If you’re going to get injured by a bar stool, it is more fun when you’re drunk.

Or:  I almost gave a whole new meaning to spring “break.”

Ok.  I’m done now.

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In Which I Answer an Age-Old Question

There are a lot of big questions in life and not quite so many big answers.  What is the meaning of life?  Why am I here?  Why aren’t I over there?  Where did I leave my sock?  Who stole my pen?  Why does that guy think running me off the road will not result in my kicking his ass?

Deep questions, folks, deep questions.

Yeah.  I’m not answering any of those today.

What I have managed to do is answer one persistent question in our house with the help of my good friend Pinterest and my old friends Glue Gun and Cricut.

And that question is…

What’s for dinner?

The bane of every mother’s existence.  Several things can happen at dinner at my house:

-I do not feel like cooking

-I do not have the ingredients to make what I want

-The children do not want what I am cooking

-We are eating the same thing we ate two days ago.  Again.

But no more!

I have created this menu board, and it has fixed all those problems!

Just an 11×14 frame, all purtied up!
I took an idea I got from Pinterest and adapted it my own way.  It’s an 11×14 frame, and I filled it with two trimmed sheets of 12×12 scrapbook paper that matches our kitchen.  I put the black strip over the seam of the papers.
 
 
I bought plain old clothespins and painted them with some regular acrylic paint, then hot glued them to the edge of the frame.
 
The recipe cards are the genius of the whole thing.  We grocery shop two weeks at a time, so we pick out about 12 cards we will be interested in eating over the next two weeks.  (There’s a “Dinner Out” card, too, also known as “Get Out of Dinner Free-ish” card.  But there’s only one!  That keeps us healthier AND saves us money!)

Hey look! It's a Pinterest recipe. Me? Obsessed? Nah.

I made about 50 cards.  I had no clue we had 50 different favorite recipes.  That means we have no excuse to eat the same thing more than once every month or two or so.  I made a two column Word document and typed the recipe name on one side and the ingredients on the other.  Then when I printed them on colored cardstock, I simply folded them in half and used a glue stick to stick them together.  I plan on getting them laminated in the near future.
 
 
Once we choose 12 cards, I turn them over for the ingredients list.  Ta-dah!  Instant grocery list!  No more digging through the recipe box or a million cookbooks!  If it is a cookbook recipe, I put the name of the book and the page # for easy reference.
 
Two recipes get clipped to each pin, and we can look through to see what we’d like for dinner any given night.  We know we’ll always have the ingredients we need, because our grocery list was pretty much made for us.  After we use the recipe, it gets moved to the bottom box as “used.”  Once the top box starts getting low, we just move the bottom box recipes up and start over!

The word "menu" is cut from vinyl cuz I love my Cricut and my new Gypsy, but any sticky letters would work!

The boxes are simply empty 24 packs of crayons.  I cut off one long side and wrapped them in coordinating scrapbook paper, then hot glued the boxes to the frame.
 
 
Just to show how easy this really is, I made one for my parents, too!  For a twist, theirs is more ocean themed to go with their new kitchen remodel, and I used white for their cards instead of colored stock.
 
Honestly, the longest part was the typing of the cards.  But now that it’s done, I know the time and frustration it saves me will be so worth it.
 
I am an organization nut.  And a craft nut.  How could I not try this idea?  I hope this inspires someone to answer the age-old question “What’s for dinner?!”  with “Go check out the menu board!”
 

November Fan-Dom

Here are some of the things I loved, discovered, or remembered that I loved in November!

My Keurig

Have I mentioned that I have a Keurig?  I can’t believe I haven’t!!  We bought it as our “Yay Tax Return!” present back in March, and I’ve loved it ever since.  I’ve got to say that if you’re a “drink two entire pots of coffee every day” person, this machine is not for you.  But, if you only drink one or two cups a day, it’s perfect!  Since it makes single cup servings, you never waste any coffee-and it takes about 3 minutes to make a fresh cup!

Plus, it makes not only coffee but teas, cocoa, cappuccino, mocha, hot apple cider and more.  You can even brew over ice and make cold beverages…yummies!  There are hundreds of varieties, although I am currently addicted to Pumpkin Spice coffee and Kahlua coffee.

As an ultra-secret hint, this machines “large cup” setting boils the perfect amount of water to instantly make Ramen Noodles-one of Corinne’s current favorites.

Break Off Cookies

Dear Cookie Gods, please forgive me for being the world’s laziest cook sometimes, but I need me some fresh cookies without the muss, fuss and mess that comes with making my own, ya know?

Honestly…nothing beats these cookies for taste and convenience, although I won’t be using them much in December once my family does their huge cookie bake-off!

Great Clips

I love Great Clips because they fixed my daughter’s hair after she CHOPPED IT OFF.  Yes, that’s right.  She was reenacting the final scene from Tangled and cut her hair off to see if it would turn brown like Rapunzel’s.  Although she then pointed out that her hair was actually “Already kinda brown.”

It's business in the front and a party in the...no, no, we couldn't even get away with that.

Good Lord.  It could have been SO much worse though…she didn’t cut it too awfully short, she didn’t cut her sister’s hair, and there are no bald spots.  Plus, she managed to come up smelling like roses because her new haircut is just freakin’ adorable on her.

Ranalian Chicken (Ranch+Italian=Ranalian)

1 pack of dry chicken gravy
1 pack of dry ranch dressing
1 pack of dry italian dressing
1 cup water
boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Throw it all in the crock pot, set it on low, and enjoy.  I guarantee you will not be sorry.  If you want to use beef or pork, just switch to the appropriate gravy.  Mmmmmm…nomnomnom.  And virtually no work involved.  My kind of dinner.

Layaway

Seriously, layaway saved our Christmas this year.  We managed to buy gifts for everyone without having to charge one.single.thing to a credit card.  AND we even got the shopping for Corinne’s birthday in February done. (It’s a notorious money crunch just due to timing.)  Thank you retailers for realizing that not everyone wants to open a new charge account! 

Now if I could figure out how to stop buying my children more stuff.  At this point, they are going to have to start in the hall and open their way into the living room over the course of several hours.

Once Upon A Time

This show is AWESOMENESS.  I am an enormous sci-fi and fantasy fan, and this show gets it right.  I’m seriously in love (which, I am sorry, means they’ll probably cancel it really soon…they usually do that when I like a show. CAMELOT…coughcough)  Set in dual worlds, one storyline tells of a town in our time locked under a curse where no one knows who they really are.  The other story tells of a world from the past full of fairy tale characters on the brink of being sent to a place void of happiness…our world.  The plot is excellent and well-paced and the costumes, acting, and special effects are all extremely well done.  There’ve only been about 5 episodes, so check it out this Sunday night!!