Even Returning a DVD is Bloggable


Dear Sanity,

I hope you enjoyed your little holiday hiatus yesterday, but I need you back today. It's not a good idea to take a leave of absence on my kids' very first day of a month-long vacation from school. Especially when they decide to spend the day antagonizing each other and working themselves up into a tizzy every other five minutes. In the future, some advance warning would be appreciated.


The Crazy Lady


(Click pictures for larger view)

Our first activity for the day was a craft. Chloë decided she wanted to use her rock-painting kit from (I think) my dad last Christmas, and Jack and Sophia of course wanted to join. So I sent them outside to find some decent rocks, and set them up with the kit. Actually, I supervised while Chloë retrieved the water, paper towels, and brushes they needed. Above are some of their creations, but I think there were a few more. Now, tell me, what we should do with eight painted rocks?


Next, I decided we should make some cookies after all. I had originally not planned to, because of the cost, but I figure we have the ingredients on hand for several kinds, so why not just do it at our leisure and have some Christmas fun? Plus, my SIL did give me that awesome Martha Stewart Cookie cookbook that I've been dying to use, so off we went. Yesterday, the designee was the mighty Sugar Cookie. Here's Chloë, trying to unwrap a stick of butter. As usual, I made the kids do as much of the work as I possibly could, explaining in detail what I was doing when they couldn't.


This one makes me laugh. Jack had just finished unwrapping his stick of butter, and rather than place it nicely into the bowl, he threw it across the table. Thankfully, he made it!


I'd made the mistake of getting out the wonderful cookie cutter set that MIL gave us while we lived in Guam, before we actually needed it. It was all I could do to keep the kids' attention away from the box of shapes and onto the dough at hand. And the cutters kept taking over the table where we were trying to work. And they kids kept fighting over the shapes they wanted to hold and admire and use first. And I purposely kept my voice low so they would have to stop shouting to hear me, while I made my threats about being sent to their rooms for various infractions.


When we finished mixing the dough, Chloë licked the bowl,


...and the Littles each licked a beater. Yes, the dough has raw eggs. No, I don't freak out and not let them eat cookie dough. It's tradition. Salmonella, schmalmonella.


The truck, of course, was Jack's favorite cookie cutter!


While the cookie dough chilled and  I decided on our next project, Jack ran off to play with his new cars from Stim, and the girls sorted through all the cutters. I had to kick Sophie off the table approximately 23,342,654,432,234 times yesterday.

Next, we made some more chocolate chip banana bread with the five brown bananas in the  hanging basket. Since we've made that recently enough, I didn't take any pictures of that. But it was a perfect choice: It had to bake for the exact same hour that the cookie dough had to chill in the fridge. And it was delicious; we savored it for lunch.


The bread came out perfectly; while it cooled, we started rolling out the dough for the sugar cookies. I took a laissez-faire attitude and let the kids do pretty much whatever shapes they wanted, eat whatever dough they wanted, and place the cutters wherever on the dough looked good. Even though they were highly inefficient at placement, and I had to re-roll the dough about four thousand times.  Whatever. I just rolled (heh) with the flow. Hakuna matata, baby.

At some point during the cutting and baking, we kept breaking out into Christmas songs. I was getting in a silly mood and decided to record us singing and dancing. Except, I sang in a more-or-less alto voice, when I am, in actuality, decidedly a soprano.  So the vid cracks me up; watch it here.

Once all the cookies were baked, and to the kids' disappointment, it was time for me to go shower and Chlo to dress for tap class. I wish dance class was closed for this week, but alas, it's not, and we need to get our money's worth.

I had an appointment with my prescribing shrink at about the same time Chloë needed to be at dance, so I dropped her off a little early and then drove down the road to my doc's office. The Littles were so squirmy during the appointment!  They had never been to that office before, and he had lots of cool knickknacks for them to explore. But surprisingly, he was in a good mood about it and actually chuckled. Normally he's an ass when I have the kids with me, but he said, "Oh, well, kids will be kids."

And even though he told me to bring all my meds and dosages and everything, I forgot, and the appointment was pretty much useless. Go, me. So I had to call him with all that information after we got home from dance class. Oops.


After we came home from dance class (and got a trillioin more Christmas cards, yay!), it was time to frost our sugar cookies.


First, I did a terrible job of mixing up the icing. I put waaaay too much water in the confectioner's sugar, and then didn't realize we had another whole bag in the back of the pantry, so I left it that way. Instead of frosting the cookies, I just dipped them in the goop and then let the kids go to town on the decorations, as you can see. Don't they look atrocious? They taste about the same. Thankfully, neither Rob nor I really care for sugar cookies, and the kids think they're wonderful.

What cracks me up most is that our "Christmas" cookies consist of, amongst the gingerbread men and trees and stockings, a dinosaur, cowboy boots, various modes of transportation, and lots and lots of flowers! Too funny.


What she sees in these cookies, I don't know...


When the cookies were finished and Rob had cleaned up the kitchen for me ('cause I got it like that), I decided to try out a new recipe for dinner.


Instead of regular lasagna, I made these roll-up cheese and spinach noodles that were sooo good. At least, to me and Rob. Chloë ate them, begrudgingly, but the Littles wouldn't touch them. Maybe next time I'll add more cheese and omit the spinach, I don't know.

I ran out while they were baking, to get two free movies at the Redbox. I found the code for the freebies at another blog (DealSeeking Mom) and decided to try it out. It worked, and I gave it to the man behind me in line, too! He was excited for the freebie and wished me a very merry Christmas. Made me feel good.

Of course, we crashed and never watched the movies, so I'll have to watch them while the kids are napping today. And speaking of the kids, they are up and about and being crazy. Time to run!