Friday, January 25, 2013

U is for Understand

Sometimes it's more important than you think to actually understand what your kids are saying.

Admit it, sometimes when your kids are talking and they get into minute 43 of non-stop chatter, your eyes start to glaze over a little. And you don't listen quite as closely as you did at the beginning of the conversation. And maybe you don't understand every word they utter (even older kids are sometimes a little hard to understand) but it's ok because you've got the gist of the story, right?

But sometimes understanding that one word makes all the difference in the story. For example, a few nights ago Preston was telling me about his day. I'm actually not exaggerating when I say that he started into this section of his stories after 40-45 minutes of near non-stop talking. I may be exaggerating to say he hadn't paused to take a breath (let alone let his siblings speak) for that entire time. But I'm not exaggerating by much. Preston is quite the talker. So, especially since I was also trying to fix dinner at the time, I think I can be forgiven for not being entirely focused on the conversation.

"And then we were all running around the playground and we were trying to kick each other in the Crocs. And sometimes somebody would get kicked in the Crocs and they would trip and fall down. And one time I got kicked in the Crocs and it hurt and I fell down but then I got up again and I chased **** and kicked him in the Crocs so it was okay. And then later I was sliding on the pole and I jumped on the pole and I banged my Crocs on the pole but it didn't even hurt so I laughed. And then another time **** told us about a movie he watched and this guy was really stupid and he poured oil on his Crocs and then he lit the oil on fire! But his Crocs didn't even burn up and it was okay. But I don't think I would want to have my Crocs be on fire. Why is it called a Crocs, anyway? Just like the shoes? I think that's really weird."

So as I'm listening to this conversation I'm adding little interjections here and there to show I'm listening. "Um-hmm. ... Really? ... I'm glad you were okay - maybe next time you should find a game where you don't kick each other. ... That's good, you have to be a little careful on the pole sometimes. ... Wow, that doesn't sound like a good choice! What a waste of his shoes. ... Wait - what? What's just like the shoes? Aren't we talking about the shoes?"

*heavy sigh * eyeroll * "NO, Mom. Your Crocs... you know... down here?" *gestures below the belt like Vanna White in an anatomy class* "Crocs... the penis spot!"

The what now? Oooooh... not Crocs. Crotch. Suddenly the whole previous conversation has a very different slant. Not only were the boys running around tripping each other, but they were kicking each other in the crotch to do it. And then discussing some idiot who decided to set his crotch on fire. (I can only assume this is some movie like JackAss? And who is letting their first-grader watch that? It's just a recipe for disaster... old enough to watch, think it's funny, and decide to replicate it. Not old enough to have any filter or thought about consequences of repeating a stupid stunt. Yikes.)

Follow up with discussion on correct pronunciation of the word, good and not-so-good things to do with your crotch (good: use the bathroom, keep private; not-so-good: kick, light on fire), the best way to interact with other people's crotches (which is to say, not at all, especially not at school), and how people in movies don't always make good choices and that's why we shouldn't do the things we see on TV or movies without talking to Mom or Dad about it first. (And we especially shouldn't do anything like that at the sleepover coming up on Saturday with the other boys from the crotch-kicking game and are we sure we really understand that point?)

*Whew* That was exhausting. And at the same time... hee-hee. Worth a giggle. :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

T is for Tired

So VERY tired this morning. I'm about to doze off at my desk. Actually, I think I just did doze off at my desk for a minute between the second and third sentences.

Last night, we finally headed for bed shortly before midnight. I think I alseep about 5 minutes after my head hit the pillow. It only took that long because Aaron was talking to me and I was trying to stay awake enough to respond. I slept for a couple of hours before being awakened by Rylen, who has developed a delightful new habit of waking up in the middle of the night ready to play and socialize. So at 3 a.m. he's demanding a drink, playing peek-a-boo, and generally wanting me to wake up and play with him. He's really cute with his smiles and giggles. But I'm not so interested in that, because IT'S 3 A.M.! I'm just too tired.

After what felt like an hour (I have no idea how long it really was because that would require me to be more coherent than I actually am at 3 a.m.), I finally got Rylen settled down again. (Aaron either manages to sleep through most of this many nights or gives a good impression of sleeping through it.) I was just drifting off to sleep again when I feel a little hand tugging at my arm.

This time it's Brekken. He's had a nightmare. He needs a hug. He needs me to help him say a prayer. I help him out with these and try to send him off to bed. But apparently that's too frightening. He needs to sleep at the bottom of my bed. It's not worth fighting him over it, because I just want to go back to sleep. So I settle him down by my feet - where he is cold. And he needs my blanket.

Fine. I don't care. I may shiver a little, but at least I can go back to sleep. For about 30 minutes, because it's almost time for my alarm to start going off. *sigh*

I fall asleep and dream that I am calling in sick to work. It's very convincing. So much so that when my alarm rings, I turn it off. After all, I've already called in sick. No reason to get up when I'm still so sleepy. I slept for almost another hour before I woke up enough to realize what had happened, dragged myself out of bed and into work, and now I'm sitting here at my desk trying to wake myself up enough to accomplish something today. So far, not a huge success. I've dozed off several times in the course of writing this post.

It's days like this that I kind of wish I drank coffee.

Monday, January 7, 2013

S is for Shrooms

Mushrooms that is. Specifically a new recipe called Crackpot Mushrooms.

Unfortunately, I can't give credit to the person who came up with recipe, because I don't know who she is. While on vacation last week, I was surfing the web one night after the kids were in bed. I was killing time on a website that lets people anonymously send in their stories of horrible manners or ask questions about etiquette and manners. (It's more entertaining than it sounds.) One of the stories was from a woman who had made a big crockpot of a special dish for a party she was hosting, then two guests arrived early and ate the entire crockpot of food before anyone else arrived.

Of course, the number one comment everyone had was to ask for the recipe! So the anonymous poster helpfully shared her recipe for Crackpot Mushrooms, thus called because they're made in the crockpot and seriously addictive.

It sounded good, so I decided to give it a try. I made a crockpot full of mushrooms last night, and between Aaron, Preston, and I, we ate the whole crockpot. :) Of course, we were eating it for dinner and no one expected us to share it with a houseful of guests. (The other people in our household didn't want to share in the mushroom bounty.)

We enjoyed it so much that I thought I ought to share with other mushroom lovers out there.

Crackpot Mushrooms

4 containers (or 2 large), small white button mushrooms

2 sticks butter

2 packages dry Ranch dressing mix

The instructions say to dump it all in the crockpot and cook on medium for 2 hours. My crockpot doesn't happen to have a "medium" setting, so I improvised. I started on low for 1 hour, then gave it a good stir and cooked it on high for another hour. It seemed to work just fine.

As the original poster of the recipe said: "It is pretty freaking good. Even if it will give you a heart attack from all that butter."

She's right. It is pretty freaking good!