So Two-Thousand-And-Late
Aloha Friday

Goodies From Grandma

Hey again, y'all. I'm yawning like crazy here, but I think I slept well enough that I really don't need a nap. And besides, I have stuff to do and the kids only have a half-day and it's 1100, so I really can't take one even if I did require a little more sleep!


Tuesday night into Wednesday, I didn't get a lick of sleep. I was just wired! For no reason that I could think of, other than maybe I'd slept so much during the day? Duh, yeah, that has to be it. Damn those naps.

I got super sick of eating all this DiGiorno pizza we've been having (and I don't think I've lost an ounce in two weeks because of it), so I decided to actually cook something real for dinner instead. Plus, I had three about-to-expire containers of sour cream to use up, chicken legs aplenty in the freezer, and a desire to send Rob to work with something more than a can of soup and a Coke.


So, after some serious SwagBucks searching for a recipe with chicken legs and sour cream, I decided to make this. It was 0500 and at least 12 hours from dinnertime, but who cares? No time like the present, I say. Okay, I really don't say, but I did say this ONE time.

{First, speaking of SwagBucks, I have two things to tell you: I just redeemed them for my first AND second $5 Gift Cards! I had 44 and did a number of searches with no luck to get that last one for the 45 needed to redeem, so I decided to complete a couple of free offers. Less than an hour later, Bam! $10 in free money. Sweet, right? My goal is to earn two $5 Amazon cards every month by Christmas, and I'm well on my way!

The second thing is that I did a LOT of searching for all kinds of weird things to earn that last buck, and I ended up getting hit with the "rules" page the last few times. I finally figured out why: when you do a lot of searching like that, it picks up on what you're doing and stops you in your tracks. Their FAQ tells you this. So... don't think you're going to be able to search all day and get loads of SwagBucks. I usually win twice per day, as do most folks. So, be aware!}

Back to the dinner. The first thing was to cook the chicken. I had just taken out six drumsticks from the freezer, but I was itching to start cooking, so I had to defrost them in the microwave. I hate defrosting meat that way, but I'm the impatient sort and, well, that's the way it goes sometimes. I think it's the "mania" part of being bipolar when I get in the mood to do something in the middle of the night and have to do it Right. This. Second! You know?

I probably should have taken out more meat than that, but after all, we are trying to stretch the buck these days. After thawing the meat, I had to boil it. Now, I'm a little embarrassed to tell you, but I have never in my life boiled chicken before. I didn't quite know what to do. So I put the thawed chicken in a big pot, added two cans of Campbell's chicken broth and filled the rest of the way with water, to cover the chicken. I added two bay leaves and a small chopped onion, some salt and pepper, and that was it. Brought the chicken to a boil and then, like the recipe said, let it boil for 20 minutes. I crossed my fingers the whole time that the chicken wouldn't be nast-ay!

It wasn't! Oh, my gosh, y'all. I boiled it skin-on, but I removed the skin after cooking (it's easier that way, don'tcha know). As I was taking the extremely moist and appealing meat off the bones, I started salivating for a taste. (So did Tiger Lily, at my feet, and she was not disappointed.) So I sampled once, twice, thrice... so good!! I will definitely be boiling chicken this way again soon, even if that's all I do with it instead of further recipying it up. Yummay!

So after feeding Lily all the bits that I deemed unacceptable (ie, toughened from being nuked) for my dinner casserole, I mixed up the rest: a whole pint of sour cream, and a can of cream of chicken instead of mushroom. Because mushrooms are gross, y'all. I don't like 'em. It seemed like a really low chicken-to-cream ratio there, and I was kind of worried it would be nast-ay, once again!

The topping was super simple. I used a box of generic stuffing, since it was older than the Stove Top I also had on hand, a melted stick of butter, and another can of chicken broth. Good thing I'd stockpiled broth recently! Patted that all on top of the creamy stuff, covered it with aluminum foil, and refrigerated that baby for later.

Fast-forward to dinnertime, after the kids had been begging me for pizza all day (apparently they didn't get the memo that I was sick of it), et voila:


The kids were complaining that they didn't LIKE chicken casserole as soon as I told them what we'd be having. Well, guess what folks, you've never had it and you ARE going to try it. Jack cried. Sobbed, even. He wanted pizza. The girls were equally dissatisfied, but at least they tried a bite. They all hated it. I told Jack if he was going to pitch such a fit, to go do it in his room. He left and wouldn't taste one bite. Hmph. 

So I was thinking dinner was going to be a big FAIL, but you know what? I don't care. I liked it just fine. There was plenty of chicken in it after all, and if I made it again, I'd still only use about six chicken legs. Rob ate two plates of it when he got home from work at midnight. We both liked it just fine. Did we love it, was it the best thing we ever ate? No, not at all. But we both agreed it was good enough to make a second time, and that works for me.


As for the rest of the day, let's see... I slept after premaking dinner, finally lying down at about 0751. The kids were on a two-hour delay from school WITH a half-day, so they were only going to be there 1030-1430. Rob got them up and off on the bus, and then he woke me to make sure I had an alarm set for 1430 to pick them up. I assured him I did (I really did).  

Well, guess what, folks. Either it didn't go off, or I slept right through it, and I popped awake at 1445!! Aaah! My bladder was completely overloaded, my hair was a mess and my mascara was running down my cheeks, but ther was no time to worry about any of that. I flew out the door with my coat open and my boots barely on and not zipped up, and ran, ran, ran to the bus. Which was already there, having barfed out all the kids from our stop except Sophia. They won't let preschoolers go without their parents there, which is a pretty damn good idea except this particular preschooler's parent is late half the time!

Thank goodness she stopped and waited for me, knowing I'm always late for the bus. I always think she's going to be there at 1515, which she usually is, but sometimes she shows up at 1512. Luckily it's only a 30-second walk to the bus stop, but still, I bet she's tired of waiting for me! I think I'll make it a point now to get out there by 1510, even if i am freezing. Yeah, that's the ticket.

What now? I forget what I was talking about. Oh, yes, so I got the kids home and then burst through the door just in time to pee all over the floor. Not really, I made it to the bathroom, but I sure did not have any extra time to get there! Whew.

Aren't you glad you read this post today? Now I really DO tell you everything, including when I have to go pee. 

Enough of that.

None of the kids have homework this week, because it's such a short one, so we didn't have to worry about that. Yay! There wasn't a lot of playtime before it was time to leave for dance class. The only thing was, we were still late getting there, because I'd forgotten all the dance clothes were in the laundry! And Sophia couldn't find her ballet shoes. Agh, those things are always going missing, even though I'm constantly yapping at them to put them away IN the dance bag and zip it up. Fracking ballet shoes.

So, they danced in tights, t-shirts and shorts, with my apologies to their teachers who have strict rules about what to wear to dance class. Ah, well. It happens.

Jack, who had been extremely grumpy after school, fell asleep on the way there, to my utmost relief. He snored through Sophia's Creative Movement class. Chloë had brought a book with her, so I took that opportunity, once again, to take a nap! Only, I didn't sleep at all. I was tired but too cold.

When Sophia came out and Chloë went in for Jazz, I was hoping for more peace and quiet. The first thing she did, as is typical for her, was to bug her brother and wake him up! I'd warned her to leave him alone the second beforehand, too, so I was really annoyed when he woke up screeching and complaining. For an almost-7yo, he really does behave more like the 2yo he appears to be outwardly, at least when he is tired!

I tried to get him to settle back to sleep, and I brought Sophia up to lay on top of me and be quiet. I got my daily warm fuzzies from the feeling of the weight of her body on mine, and her little blond ponytail tickling my nose. I held her for most of the hour, with Jack grumbling in the back seat, until it was obvious neither of them were going to snooze at all. That was fine, because I really couldn't, either.  Whatever, I had enjoyed my time snuggling with The Little Girl, as I like to call her.


After dance, we ran to Farm Fresh, since it was Double Dollar Wednesday. I didn't have stockpile-worthy coupons and didn't take a picture, but I did manage to get my $23.20 order down to $5.61, a savings of 77%. For that little bit of cash, I got another box of Wheat Thins, two boxes of Crackerfuls, a can of Ro*Tel tomatoes, two packages of 7-ct Hebrew National hot dogs, a 4-pack of Yoplait YoPlus yogurt, and two gallons of milk for the kiddies. Not too shabby.

The hot dogs came in handy at dinnertime, when the girls scarfed five (!!) of them after refusing the chicken casserole. Whenever they refuse to eat dinner, I like to have something like this or a PB&J sandwich or something available. I will not let them starve, but I'm not going to make them a whole 'nother time-consuming supper, either.

Jack never came down to eat. Tsk, tsk. I would have gladly given him a hot dog or twelve if he'd returned, but he fell asleep. Guess he needed some sleep more than food last night.


When we got home from dance and the store, two packages were waiting in the rain, on the porch. I don't understand it. The row of mailboxes are right across the street from our house, and at the end of the row are two large boxes, presumably for packages. When I lived in apartment complexes, and there were packages to be had, the mailman always left a key to one of those large boxes in our regular mailbox, so we could fetch the package out of it. Not once in seven years here has the mailman utilized those big boxes for our packages, instead of leaving them on the porch to be stolen or rained upon. I wonder why??

I didn't get a chance to open the packages - both from my MIL -  until after the kids went to bed, so they haven't oohed and ahhed over everything with me yet. I'm sure they will in an hour, when they're home (another half-day).

The first box contained crocheted goodies for CARE Package. MIL has been our most ardent supporter from Day One, a fact that pleases me greatly. Who else can you count on, if not the grandma? No one, that's for sure. I get an email at least every other week, from someone saying they want to make things for the charity, but after I email them back with details, I almost never hear from them again! Guess that's the way it goes. Here's what Grandma made:



This little boy's set is so soft! Very squishy, and yes, I did give it a few love-squeezes before putting it away. So cute!


I always have the hardest time deciding whether color schemes like this one are appropriate for being unisex, or are just for girls. I usually decide on the side of unisex, but my Assistant Manager, whose job seems to entirely consist of helping me make these decisions - as well as underwriting a large portion of the cost of running this enterprise - always decides they are just for girls. So, you help me decide - could a boy wear this? And is that not the most perfect pompom you have ever seen?!



This is definitely a boy's outfit, right?! ;) I kid. How cute are those little teddy bear buttons? I love them.


Another supersoft outfit, and I just LOVE the buttons MIL chose for this outfit. I'm turning into a button-lover lately. Sweet set, and thanks so much for all your hard work, Mom!!

The second box contained goodies for the other kiddos in the family:


A Hallmark T-shirt, which I assume is for me because it would float on Rob... although I'm getting to the point where it'd be too big on me, too! After my abdominoplasty, I'm hoping to be in mediums for everything. Yay!

Three Valentine's puzzles for the kiddos, which will be great for the newly-growing game stash (did I tell you that the kids destroyed all the games and puzzles we have? They're no longer able to have free access to them. Shame).  A Valentine's craft, which they love doing, and two books from Rob's childhood! How cool! Finally, another recorded book with Grandma's voice. They went absolutely fargin' NUTS over the one she recorded for Christmas, especially The Boy, so I know this will be a hit, too!

Thanks for all the goodies, Mom!


Welp, I was going to go take a shower before the kids got home, but Rob just did and surely used up all the hot water, so it'll have to wait. Instead, I'm off to finally watch The Hangover (we've had it at least two weeks from Netflix) and work on the long-ignored kimono. Maybe I'll finish it by the weekend. Hope so.