Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cream of What?

This morning, while attempting to wake up, I had a random thought. I inflicted this random thought upon my dear, long-suffering husband.

"They have cream of chicken and cream of mushroom," I mused.

"Yeaaaah," Husband said, sounding apprehensive already... though, it may have been the sleepiness in his voice.

"What if they had Cream of Ham?"

Ben scrunched his face up, "Ew!"

"What would that even look like?"

We laughed a lot at this and spent the better part of fifteen minutes deciding what would be the most disgusting "Cream of" flavor.

Here is the list as I remember it along with some pictures that I whipped up to reflect my imagination.

Cream of Ham

Cream of Lettuce

Cream of Jicama

Cream of Hot Dog

Cream of Bacon - When I mentioned this idea, Ben actually said, "That sounds kinda good!" at which I said, "Gross!" I guess the jury is out on this idea.

Cream of TVP (Ben's idea!)

Cream of Bean - How do you cream a bean? I suggested to Ben that you'd have to hit it with a car.

Cream of Blood Sausage

Cream of Date (yes, the fruit)

Cream of Tuna - of course, this idea came from one of the family favorites of Creamed Tuna on Biscuits. It tastes better than it looks, thank heaven.

Cream of Sardine (another of Ben's ideas)

Cream of Eggplant - I just couldn't resist a purple soup!

Cream of Tripe - My personal and horrific favorite. If you don't know what tripe is, look it up. It's one of the most disgusting parts of an animal you can eat. I don't care who you are.

The scariest thing about this is that when I went to look up these ideas, most of them were REAL! I almost lost my lunch! Of course, you'll find none of them on a Campbell's can. Some wierd-o's in their homes or in their gourmet chef kitchens have spent far too much of their time adding cream to any number of strange foods and calling it edible.

We also had a special selection of Cream of Wheat replacements. Unfortunately, I am not savvy enough with Photoshop to fiddle with the graphics on a picture of a Cream of Wheat box, so you'll have to use your imagination on this. If your imagination is anything like mine, it will conjure up much more frightening images than Photoshop ever could!

So imagine, if you will, a box of Cream of Wheat. Wait... here you go. You're welcome.
 Now.. conjure in your mind....

Cream of Meat

Cream of Smeat (the generic version of spam)

Cream of Beet

They all have to rhyme you see or it just doesn't make sense.

So, yeah. That's what my brain has been working on today. What about you?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why Audrey makes me Smile

As I sat in the recliner in my children's room, comforting my unhappy and needy son, I hummed a (hopefully) calming tune I made up in spite of its similarity to some classical music I have heard but cannot readily identify and watched my daughter perfect the little house she was building for her Strawberry Shortcake dolls out of blocks. (Her daddy had built most of the structure before he left for work and she was steadily improving upon it by stacking the blocks in different ways and groaning dramatically when they fell over.)

After a few minutes, Audrey held up a yellow block and said, "These are their boxes." (Obviously indicating that there was, in fact, more than one "box" that applied.)

"Really?" I said in between hums. "What do they use their boxes for?"

"To hold their money," she responded, simply.

"Yeah?" I said with a smile.

"Yes. The green ones have LOTS of money. The blue ones have a little bit of money and the red ones have LOTS and LOTS of money. The yellow ones don't have money. They're empty."

"What do they use the empty boxes for?"

"To hold their keys."

"What are the keys for?"

"They are car keys."

"Yeah? What cars do they have? How many are there?"

"They don't have any cars. We don't have any out right now," Audrey said, shrugging her shoulders and pointing over to the closet where the main portion of their toys wait for their turn in the toy cycle.

"Uhuh..." I mused. "So they have car keys for when they can find a car?"

"Yeah," Audrey said, as if it all made perfect sense to her. Which it probably did.

It's obvious to her that money and car keys are important enough to keep in boxes. What you did with them once they were there is really neither here nor there to her.

She's probably right.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Preschool Week Two

Preschool week two turned out to be a little harder and less preschool-y than the first.

On Monday, I nearly made myself sick with eggs. I had Audrey try scrambled, fried and hard boiled eggs. She liked the first two, but really wasn't amused about the hard boiled. I ended up eating all the leftovers.

Anyone who knows at least a little of my history is aware that eggs are my kryptonite... and I don't mean that in the way that most people do: that it is my weakness and I will eat it until I explode. No, Superman avoided kryptonite because it turned him into a weak, pitiful creature that couldn't accomplish anything. He didn't eat it or go on long walks with it... or watch movies about it until 3 a.m. That's me and eggs. They make me sick. I can usually eat one or two fried eggs a week... and only after I work out... and only because I read somewhere that eating protein will help me lose weight... (and because I get to eat bacon right after.)
(This, of course, does not imply that I am super in any way until I eat eggs... Or does it?)

Before Audrey tried the hard boiled egg, I showed her that a hard boiled egg will sink in tap water. I started to spoon large amounts of salt into the cup of water with the egg. She was thrilled when she found that the egg was starting to float. (So was I... I was secretly worried that it wouldn't work.) Ben and Gabe were impressed too. Success! To Audrey: Science = Good! Eating the hard boiled egg after = yuck!

We read a book called Chickens aren't the Only Ones. It talks about all the different kinds of animals that lay eggs. The pictures were colorful and engaging. Overall, a cute book that Audrey actually liked looking at.

Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras.
I had a lot of fun stuff planned for this day. This was yet another day that didn't quite turn out the way I planned.
To celebrate Shrove Tuesday, I made pancakes from scratch. Audrey and Henry both ate with serious gusto. Even I ate a few.

Audrey was really tired by the time we were done with lunch and ended up taking a nap. So the Mardi Gras mask craft project is heading for the storage bin where it will (hopefully) be remembered and taken out next year. We ended the day right, though, and had my mother's fabulous Jambalaya for dinner! YUM!

We skipped over Wednesday altogether. Both the kids were sick and had naps in the afternoon. My scheduled playdate with my dear sister and her kids was cancelled because they were all sick too. Overall, a quiet day.

Audrey missed her preschool group on Thursday due to sickness. She was getting better but I didn't want to risk getting the other kids sick. She was well enough to not need a nap in the afternoon and so we looked at my faerie book which details all the different types of faeries and I gave her a cute fairy coloring page which she quickly shunned in favor of her afternoon educational programming.

We went up to Salt Lake on Friday and let the kids run around and play at Discovery Gateway which is a hands-on children's museum. This is the second time we've gone and I DO have pictures which I will post as soon as I stop being lazy. The kids love going and get to expend a ton of energy. Audrey usually talks about going back for several days after. We usually have to threaten her with never going again if she doesn't stop asking to go every fifteen minutes. Audrey calls the place "Bees" because they have bee and beehive decorations everywhere.

On Saturday, we went to the park and fed the ducks. It was a beautiful day and the kids didn't even need their jackets. I suppose that is where I became naive and imagined that the rest of the spring would be exactly like that.

The snow today is laughing at me. I can just tell.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Cheese Factor and Neuroticism

I cannot eat the last bits of anything that comes in a bag.

Be it chips, crackers, vegetables, dried fruit, beef jerky, bread heels, shredded cheese, candy... well, no, not candy. I'm not sure when this strange tendency started, but recent memory recollects the time I was eating a bag of Munchies and, after about five minutes of happily crunching away, found an ant on the cheeto I was about to put in my mouth.
 After the initial reaction, "YUCK!!" I threw the cheeto away and looked in the bag. I philosophically reasoned it could have been the only ant that had made it into the bag so far. No such luck. There were dozens in there crawling around. I won't tell you how I reacted then, but it was much stronger than "YUCK!!" Just imagine screaming and flailing limbs and you'll have a fairly close idea.

Most things just don't taste as good after being left in an open bag overnight. I don't care how well you fold it closed or duct-tape it shut, it's tainted.

Somewhere in my mind, there lives a five-year-old who believes that if I eat those last few crumbs or whathaveyou, I will become infected with a horrible case of herpes and get cold sores all over my face. Either that or leprosy.

I pretty much have to eat the entire bag of ____________ (fill in the blank) in one sitting to feel satisfied that I will not die terribly disfigured. Of course, eating a whole bag of anything usually ends up badly in other ways; typically involving stomach-ache, indigestion and bizarre dreams.

We had tacos for dinner yesterday. I am grateful a million times over every time I pull out that bag of pre-shredded cheese and put some into a bowl. I lived in a household of nine people growing up and we could easily go through two or three pounds of cheese on a taco night. I remember being excited to get the job of grating the cheese. It was so simple and rewarding. That is, until I realized that it was a really crappy job and if you managed to go through the entire block of cheese without injuring yourself on the grater, it was a major miracle.
We always used cheddar cheese. This further compounded the problem of injuring yourself while shredding because cheddar cheese "sweats" when held in the hand of anyone not experiencing rigor mortis. So, yes, very grateful for pre-shredded cheese.

When I went about the task of filling the bowls with cheese, I was faced with the problem of one bag being nearly full and the other having just about a bowl-full left in it. One bowl would have nice, fresh, wonderful cheese which I would be more than happy to sprinkle on my tacos. The other bowl would have herpes-riddled leper cheese. What's a poor girl to do???

I filled both bowls, carefully noting the appearance of the diseased bowl and put them on the table. I smugly made sure to put the infected bowl on the farther end of the table and the lovely, fresh bowl on the side where I would be sitting.

Are you wondering why I would allow the rest of my family to eat from the leper bowl? Well, the answer, dear reader(s?) is that I am more than aware of the fact that the cheese was almost positively fine. However, I also know that I will allow my brain to tell me that certain things will almost certainly kill me if I don't let my neuroticism take over.

I shuddered fractionally every time I saw anyone take cheese from the bowl. I consoled myself with the knowledge that in the extremely unlikely event that my brain was right after all, I could go to the store and buy Abreva for everyone.

I just do my best through all of this to not think about the fact that the food I'm being so picky about is actually curdled, fermented and moldy milk.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

200th Post - Some things I've loved this week

The last few days of preschool have been fun, though nothing at all like I envisioned them.

On Thursday, we focused on shapes and sizes. I printed out a variety of shapes both large and small on paper and cut them out. I had Aud find a big shape and glue it on a piece of paper. Then she was to find the same shape but smaller and glue that on top of the big shape. I was worried that it would be too simple and boring for her but she was so pleased to be doing something that she understood completely that she giggled the whole time and was so proud of her paper with shapes glued to it. She wanted to show it to everyone!

Friday was Castle Day. I showed her pictures of real castles online and pointed out to her how different they can  be. I showed her a book called I Wonder Why Castles Had Moats. She was interested until we got about half-way through. Then she told me she was bored. I gave her a coloring page with a castle on it. She didn't want to color it and traced bear stencils on the back instead! When we told her yesterday that she could color the castle any color she wanted, she finally colored the tops of the towers.

On Saturday I read her three Dr. Seuss books, all of which I hadn't read in many, many years myself. I discovered that Fox in Socks is near to impossible to read fast or even at a normal pace. I had a craft planned but ran out of time. I'll have to save it for another time. :)

On all three days, she also did phonics on Starfall. I always have to encourage her to try new letters. She wants to go back to the letter A every day.

I think Henry is teething again. Two year molars. Yay.... So, needless to say, he's been somewhat grumpy and has a runny nose.

Ben has been gone since Thursday morning. As much as I have loved spreading out in bed, I am ready for him to come home.

At a recent trip to the thrift store, Ben brought over a couple of pillowcases while I was looking through the children's books. He knows I love toile and, at my enraptured expression, he put them in the cart. At $1 each, I couldn't resist! I sent them through the wash and found some pillows that fit just right.
 The details are lovely!
 I especially loved these three people. The only bummer is that they're on the back of the pillowcase and not the front.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Post-Mortem Legacy

Quite frequently an artist or other creative professional will receive very little acknowledgement or appreciation while still in this mortal coil. It is only after they have left us all behind that we finally see what we could not, or would not, before. If these so-called starving artists could receive the benefit of their post-mortem fame, they would certainly be well fed indeed!

I am musing upon this because I discovered recently that Blogger (as of last June or July) has added a Stats tab to the administrative pages of each blog. I don't know why I didn't notice it last summer, but I looked at my stats for the first time about a month ago.

I was particularly happy about the almost real-time updates of blog statistics. I can look at them frequently throughout the day if I so choose and find out how many people have been visiting my blog today, yesterday, last week, etc. I can also discover where they have been coming from and what kind of searches they do to find my little corner of the universe.

For example, according to my stats page, I have had 1,393 page views since last July, 161 of them last month. Yesterday, I accumulated 17. Today still shows 0 views on the list, but the graph shows 10 throughout the course of the day. My main audience hails from the United States, but the U.K. and Russia take 2nd and 3rd place. China, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, Poland and South Korea also made the list. I have found all of this very interesting, but have no idea what to do with this knowledge. I haven't carved out any sort of niche in the blogging world with my little ruminations. I merely strive to update friends and family about my various meandering experiences and perhaps share a few cute moments and cute crafts with the world.

Some of you may know that once upon a time I was an Activity Days leader. I also had an Activity Days blog that I updated with the fun times I had with those girls. That blog has a total of 41 postings, the last of which I wrote in April 2009. I don't give that blog much thought and have considered shutting it down simply because I haven't done anything with it in almost two years. The only thing that keeps me from doing so are the occasional requests for more information or documents that I mentioned using. I cheerfully email those out and then move on with my life.

I decided today to look at the stats on that blog. I had never done so and was curious if my erstwhile activity was receiving the same attention that my current blog is getting.

My reaction to my findings: WOW!!

Pageviews Today: 14
Pageviews Yesterday: 151!
Pageviews Last Month: 3205!!
Pageviews all time history (as of June 2009): 17,815!!!

Um. Wow.

I shant bore you with the details of countries and referring websites, except for one. While I was chatting with my absent husband online, I came across a referring site that knocked my socks off!

You can find the website here. My little Activity Days blog is mentioned in the 3rd paragraph.

My response and my resulting typed message to my husband was: HOLY CRAP

I sent him the link and, after finding the reference to me, he responded with: WHAT?!?!?!?!?!???  You're a celebrity!!

I quickly tried to shrink my ballooning ego and said: In an extremely small circle, yes.

I am flattered to be mentioned by anyone anywhere for any reason at all.... except for bad ones, that is. I am astounded that a blog that has been mostly neglected for almost two years is getting extraordinary traffic, at least in my apparently naive opinion.

So, what I'm trying to say with all of this is: I appear to have died and received my post-mortem legacy and minor fame.

At least in the Activity Days Blogging world.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Alligator Day

Though not nearly as exciting or tasty as Strawberry Day, Alligator Day proved to be fun for Audrey and myself. I was nervous to begin with because Audrey started the day at breakfast with a weighty question.

"Mom, what am I going to learn about today?"

I guess yesterday had an impact on her after all.

She has also been asking to use a new website I've been testing out with her. It's called Starfall and is somewhat like Hooked on Phonics. There are graduated categories from learning letters and their sounds all the way up to independent reading. Not only is Audrey (hopefully) beginning the process of learning how to read, but she is also learning how to use a computer mouse; something that I will probably regret at some point in the future.

One thing is for sure: I'd rather she spend an hour or so learning with me than spending Henry's entire nap camped out in front of the TV.

Today ran slightly differently. I have a feeling that the food really helped yesterday's cause. However, I also have a feeling that having any alligator food today would have had the opposite effect.

After lunch, I showed Audrey some pictures and videos of alligators online. After that we read a book called Fun Facts About Alligators!
I had a few coloring pages for her. One of which was going to be an alligator that she would color, cut out, glue onto a blue background and stick a googly eye to it. She wasn't interested.
The other coloring page I provided was a letter "A" tracing page with a cartoon-style alligator on it. After a few minutes of insisted that she didn't want to, she finally colored it. I asked her before she started what color alligators are. She told me green. However, when she asked what colors she should use, I told her she could use whatever she wanted since it was HER alligator after all. The resulting alligator is green, brown, yellow, orange, pink and purple.

After completing that, she wanted to look at some phonics letters. She chose A and L. She's getting pretty good at using the mouse, just needing help once in a while. She amazes me with how quickly she learns all the time!

Ben got home early today (which is an entirely different story that I will let him tell), so we spent the after-nap-noon taking care of errands. We dropped by the AmFork DI and I found some lovely treasures there in the form of children's books.
On a previous trip to the Provo DI, I had acquired some Christmas books, Dr. Seuss books, The Velveteen Rabbit, Goodnight Gorilla and a replacement copy of Love You Forever.

This time, I picked up (at significantly lower prices) Mother, Mother, I Want Another, Bangalee (A Serendipity Book), Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, The Runaway Bunny (I heart this one), Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (the inspiration for the movie), If You Give a Pig a Pancake and Chickens Aren't The Only Ones. I also found a few more Christmas books including a BEAUTIFULLY illustrated version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

I'm afraid that I will never be happy to pay full price for a book ever again. The good thing about not having a whole lot of children's books is that it's much easier to find ones that I don't have!

In case you're craving a Henry Moment: We went to Chili's while we were out running around. While we were trying to give the waiter our order, Henry was reaching for a fork on the table. He pleadingly cried out with his own special diction, "FORK!" I looked up at the waiter, who had a look of complete shock on his face. I smiled and told Henry that he couldn't have the fork until we had our food. The waiter laughed, looking amused and slightly relieved. Ben enjoyed explaining Henry's little foul-sounding words to him.

Today hardly turned out the way I had anticipated, but I feel good about it in spite of it all.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Brand New Adventure

I decided a few weeks ago that Audrey needs more enriching education in her life. She gets to go to her preschool group once a week and she learns about the world around her simply because she's in it and pays attention!

I figured that with a few weeks of preparation, I'd be able to teach her something every day. I knew I'd get bored quickly if I just did worksheets and the occasional craft. I found a website in my online searches called The Perpetual Preschool . I liked their themed lesson ideas and started planning. I liked how simple some of the suggested themes were.
So, today was the first day of Audey's one-on-one preschool with me. Our focus today was on Strawberries.

First thing this morning, I made her a Breakfast Split. Instant Oatmeal (sugar & spice), pineapple, a drizzle of chocolate syrup, a dollop of whipped topping and, of course, strawberries! (I didn't think anything of the fact that it was called a split in spite of having no banana.) The picture to the right is similar to what I served her, though I didn't use blueberries.
She was skeptical when I put the bowl in front of her and insisted that she didn't like it. I told her to try it and see. Needless to say, she ate it all. I also gave her strawberry milk to accompany her breakfast split, but oddly enough, she didn't like it much.

For lunch, Aud had a PBJ (strawberry), raspberry lemonade and goldfish crackers.

After lunch, I had Audrey guess where she thought strawberries grow. She guessed that they grow underground like carrots or radishes. I showed her pictures of strawberries growing in their little bushes. I asked her what the little yellow spots were on strawberries and, to my surprise, she told me they were seeds. I told her that strawberries can have as many as 200 little seeds.

I read her a cute story called Cook-a-doodle-doo by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel. It features the great-grandson of the Little Red Hen, Big Brown Rooster. He wants to eat something other than chicken feed and sets out to cook himself some strawberry shortcake! Audrey really liked the story and loved looking at the illustrations!
I gave her a strawberry coloring page and let her watch the Strawberry Shortcake movie! She almost completely ignored the coloring page. I'm going to have to get her a book to put all her coloring sheets in so that she can color them whenever she wants.

We had lasagna, garlic bread, raspberry lemonade and strawberry Jell-o with pineapple and strawberry pieces in it. Everyone ate rather more than should be advisable. As people were starting to drift away, I quickly hearkened them back for dessert: Strawberry Short Cake.
The angel food cake I got at the store turned out to be strawberry angel food cake, which I had never heard of before today. Sugared strawberries topped the cake and Cool Whip finished the whole thing off. Again, rather oddly, Audrey wasn't fond of the cake, but ate the strawberries and Cool Whip.

After dinner, my mother asked what the theme is for tomorrow, obviously excited for another yummy meal. With a smile, I sweetly responded, "Alligator Day."


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...