Thursday, June 30, 2011

Check Your Control At The Door

Uh oh.


I went to Trader Joe's for almond butter

and somehow three bags worth of food wound up in my cart.

I hate when that happens.

I got some fun stuff, though.  Well, depending on your definition of FUN.

Yellow zucchini is fun, right?

Not to be confused with yellow crookneck squash.  Caroline doesn't like yellow squash much, but she loves zucchini.  I think they're pretty much the same thing, but she notices a difference.  Perhaps yellow zucchini will suit all of her veggie desires?

I fed Caroline and her friends some Spaghetti Os for lunch the other day (classy, no?) and they acted like it was the best lunch ever. 

I'm glad they're so easily amused.

Caroline and friends might have fallen in love with Spaghetti Os (or their organic counterpart), but I can't help but be attracted to baskets full of little plums.

I'm easily amused, too.

I'm going crunchy again; I bought some vegetarian friendly protein today.

I've cooked both tempeh and tofu once before with extremely unsuccessful results.  I'm hoping these tasty looking sauces help me whip up something a bit more palatable.

ugh! sorry for the fuzzy, crooked picture

I'll let you know how that turns out.

In other news, I'm doing a two-a-day at the gym today.  Because I'm hardcore like that. ;)  My gym is introducing a new 30 minute core workout called CX30; there is a sneak preview class this evening.  I didn't intend on going because 1) I never exercise in the evening and 2) I would hate to drag Caroline there after a full day of camp.  One of the trainers convinced me I should give it a try, so I asked my 12 year old neighbor if she'd like to earn a little extra cash by keeping an eye on Caroline.

Naturally, she agreed.  Who wouldn't want to earn a few easy bucks?

Caroline is an easy charge.

I actually have Sarah lined up to kid-sit Caroline a few days next week so I can go to the gym.  I'll end up paying three times as much for Sarah's services as I would  for child care at the gym, but it's a better fit. For all parties.   Everyone wins!  Hooray!  Caroline doesn't have to go to the Kids Zone, Sarah earns a few bucks and I can exercise guilt free.  The only one who loses is Craig because I'm paying Sarah with his hard earned money.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

And What Is The Lovliest Four Letter Word In The English Language?



It has a lovely ring to it, no?

I have myself a reprieve from summer chaos this week.  Amen and hallelujah to that.

Back in the spring, Caroline's friend, Alayna, chose this Extreme All Girls camp out of the parks department catalog.  Alayna and her two brothers each got to pick a camp, and this is the one she chose.  Alayna's mom approached me with the idea of the girls doing it together; there is a daily swim time in the Olympic sized indoor pool and Alayna's mom felt more comfortable sending her daughter if she had a buddy to hang with, especially during swim time.

Caroline, an adventurous girl who is up for anything, immediately agreed.  So I signed her up. 

Two weeks ago, Caroline's friend Rachel expressed interest in attending the camp, too.  The girls were all fired up about the idea of the three of them going together.  However, Rachel's mom is a busy woman and hadn't had the time to register her. On Sunday, the day before camp was to start, Rachel was still gung-ho with the camp idea and all we needed was for her mom to actually register her.  In the mean time, their friend Bailey also expressed interest, so I emailed the info to her dad.  He quickly said no, because the camp is pricey at $255 for the week.  I can't say that I blame him. 

And this is where my Sunday afternoon took a turn for the dramatic....

Since Bailey couldn't go and would (naturally and understandably) feel left out if the other three girls went to camp without her, she somehow managed to convince Rachel that if she went to camp, there was no guarantee that she would be in the same group as Caroline and Alayna.  Immediately, Rachel called her mom and told her she didn't want to go to camp any more.  I then got on the phone and told Cindy that I was 100% certain that Bailey had done something to change Rachel's mind.  Come to find out, Bailey also told Rachel that if she didn't go to camp, her dad would take the two of them to Busch  Gardens some day this week!


I'm so not capable of dealing with all this girl stuff.

Being the narc that I am, I told Cindy all of this.  She said she'd talk to Rachel and give me a final answer that evening.  At 9 pm, the phone rang and it was Cindy telling me that Rachel would not be going to camp, not because of what Bailey had done, but because her husband also felt the $255 camp fee was a bit steep.

It was a long day of roller coaster ups and downs.

Which does nothing for my feeble attempts to become zen.

I don't know much, but I do know this:  parenting is not conducive to zen-like living.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Need Some Pasta?

Please do not submit my name to that Hoarders show.

Relax, it's just 27 boxes of pasta.  Twenty seven FREE boxes of pasta.
No big deal.

I'm waiting for a food drive to donate most of it, but how could you reasonably expect me to pass over a free pasta deal?  I mean, really?  Free!  Pasta!  What could possibly be better than that?

Except free chocolate and coffee.  Wouldn't that be sweet?

In other news, I'm losing my marbles.  I'd tell you all about it, but it's really quite ridiculous and I fear that upon this realization, one of you might have me committed.  Then I'd have to change my blog name from the Neurotic Housewife to the Medically Sedated Housewife. 

I don't want to change my blog name.

And I most certainly do not want to be medically sedated.

I do, however, wish I didn't spend the majority of my days worrying about ridiculous things which are all beyond my control.  You'd think after nearly 35 years on this planet I'd have given  up by now, but it appears that my desire to waste my life worrying, fretting and over analyzing EVERYTHING has only accelerated with age.

I would really hate to see what my insides look like.  A lifetime of guilt, worry, fear and anxiety coupled with hundreds of gallons of ingested caramel colored, chemical laden diet soda has probably rendered my insides unrecognizable.  Hopefully all the exercise I do has reversed some of that damage. 

In an effort to, you know, not die young, I've been trying to take a more 'zen' approach to life, but that only works when I'm in between things to worry about. Evidently, I cannot be zen when I'm actually worried about something, which totally defeats the purpose.  Green tea isn't helping, either.

I'm a zen failure.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Big Berries. Crazy Carrots.

I feel like I've been neglecting ye olde blog lately.  When you see what I'm about to blog about, you'll know why.  I have NOTHING to say.



Zip.  Zero. Zilch.

So, I took pictures of my mutant blackberries.

I'm not sure what the blackberry farmers sprayed on their blackberry bushes to achieve such enormous berries.  Actually, I probably don't want to know.

Ignorance is bliss.

Especially where pesticides, miracle grow and mutant blackberries are concerned.

In other anomalous food tales, I found something interesting in my shredded carrot bag.  I know it's a total rip off and frugal failure to buy pre shredded carrots, but I like them.  It's easy to throw them in salads and I don't have to locate my vegetable peeler or risk grating  the skin on my knuckles on the box grater

Look what I found in the bag!

How did that squeak by quality control?

In other news, I have no other news. 


Friday, June 24, 2011

Pool Crashers

Guilty as charged.

We're pool crashers.  Twice in one week.  Twice in two days, actually.

Our subdivision has a pool.  It serves its purpose.  It's wet, refreshing, maintained and safe.'s boring.  Just a rectangle, with a 'deep end' which doesn't exceed a depth of  five feet.  Regardless of our pool's size and excitement factor, or lack thereof, we go there frequently.  I mean really?  What else are we going to do?

But see, the next subdivision over has a big pool, with a REAL deep end.  And the lifeguards play music.  The grass is always they say.  Or in this case, the pool is always cooler in the neighboring subdivision. 

Well, lucky for us, we have friends who live in this subdivision and they have guest passes to the pool.  On Wednesday we met our friends, plus another set of friends, plus Caroline's two friends who tagged along and we had ourselves a great time.  Maybe it was just our rowdy bunch, or perhaps the lifeguards were whistle happy that day, or in the mood to enforce the rules, but for whatever reason, our kids sure got the whistle blown on them frequently.

And then my precious child threw a small rock (as a part of a game they were playing) which hit the metal railing by the stairs you use to enter and exit the pool.  The noise that rock made magnified throughout the entire pool area and scared my poor friend who, happened to be sitting next to the railing.

Sheesh almighty!

 Caroline stood there, completely paralyzed by fear.  If you could have only seen the panic stricken look on her face; it was priceless.

No one was hurt, thankfully, but I sure was afraid we were going to be asked to leave....and to never return.

Despite Caroline's act of delinquency, it all ended well, and we were not banned from the pool.  In fact, it went so well that we fully intend on crashing that pool again and again, until our friend's guest pass card is all filled up. 

Yesterday, we kept with the theme and crashed pool number two.  But no rocks were thrown.

This time we visited my friend, Mandy, who just moved into the area.  Her house is very conveniently situated right next to her community's brand new pool.  Talk about prime real estate.

Anyway, Caroline and I spent the afternoon at Mandy's pool.  Caroline swam with Mandy's kids while us moms gossipped under an umbrella and shared the woes of our tragic white girl problem filled lives. 

Fun was had by all!
And today, believe it or not, we're not at the pool.  Caroline is attending a friend's birthday party; it started at 1pm and is a sleepover, so I pretty much get a free day.  And what did I do to celebrate my afternoon of freedom?  Well, I went to Walmart for computer paper and to Safeway for .99/lb grapes and tomtatoes.  And a great deal on Goldfish crackers:  four bags for a total of $1.80!

Living it up!

I actually thought about going out later on, like in the early evening, you know, to spice things up a bit and make use of my free evening, but that seemed too strange.  Only cool people go out on Friday nights.  And I, as you very well know, am not cool.

Not. At. All.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tired Week

I've had a strange week.  A LONG, strange week.  It's only Thursday, but my energy is spent and I feel like this week has lasted a month.

That's summer break in a nutshell, I suppose.

Because of this crazy week and an all encompassing feeling of exhaustion, I'm having trouble thinking of things to blog about.  You've heard enough about my whining about summer break.  You've heard my cries of desperation and my general feelings of doom, gloom and malaise.  What more could I tell you?

The truth is, at this moment, while I physically feel like I'm in my usual spunky, fighting mode, emotionally I feel spent.  I realized this week that 1.) I am way too invested in Caroline's friendships, which is neither healthy for me nor Caroline and 2.)  You can't always be a people pleaser.

As the parent of an only child, I worry that Caroline will always have good, solid, healthy friendships.  Because if she doesn't, then she'll be lonely and it'll be my fault because I chose not to give her any siblings.  Therefore, I worry incessantly about these relationships, which is dumb.  And also?  Caroline doesn't give a flip about any of it; she just wants to have a good time.  So I spend my time worrying and fretting and beating myself up and she's off having the time of her life.

It just makes me very tired.

But on the other hand, we have a neighborhood full of kids and other friends just down the road.  She's not lacking in the playmate department, but since I'm a Chicken Little-Eeyore hybrid, I still worry. 

Because it's just what I do. 

And you never know....the sky just might fall one day.

Along with learning that I cannot be a people pleaser all the time, I'm also learning the value of keeping my mouth shut.  I was in a situation this week where I wanted to say some things that I knew I'd eventually regret.  It's hard to filter your words, especially when you're both mad and hurt. 

Practicing restraint is tiring.

In other news:  can you believe it's 9:22 am and Caroline is STILL sleeping.  This is a Smith Family record!  We spent a ton of time at the pool yesterday; all that swimming and the scorching sun must have really wiped her out.  It's good that she's catching up on sleep this morning because we're off to the pool again today with a friend, followed by a sleepover birthday party tomorrow and another birthday pool party on Saturday.

Caroline's life is tiring.


EDITED to add:  Caroline woke up a few minutes after I published this.  When I asked her what she wanted for breakfast, she requested pancakes.   And then she said, 'can you make the pancakes soft, light and fluffy, please?'

Feeding Caroline is tiring.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NOT The Happiest Day of the Year

I think she's mocking me.

Or, maybe that's what kids these days call 'dancing'?

Whatever you call it, Caroline was in fine spirits this morning.

The sky may have been grey and dreary,

but Caroline's spirits were soaring.

Who doesn't love the last day of school?

After a quick trip to the gym and an even quicker trip to the post office to mail Craig his running shoes, I met Caroline after school dismissed at 11am.  Naturally, she was filled with excitement and came bearing a report card full of Os.  Next year they move to letter grades.  That's a big step in one's elementary school career.

Good news!  Caroline is moving on to the fourth grade.

To tell you the truth, I was a little worried she might not make it.  ;)

Wait....that was only if she were being promoted to the next grade based on dance moves alone.

I started wondering this morning if perhaps my expressed verbal displeasure regarding the end of the school year might give Caroline a complex.  I think she knows I'm (mostly) kidding with her, but I'd hate for her to get the wrong impression.  And then I started remembering that my mom also mourned her freedom lost at the end of each school year and then a few months later, vociferously celebrated her renewed freedom on the first day of school.

And look how normal I turned out.


Monday, June 20, 2011


The trifecta of yum.

Caroline and I went to Target yesterday.  I needed to buy just 'something' because I needed to use my debit card to get cash back.  I ended up buying $80 worth of somethings, but that is beside the point.  It was all necessary, though:  stuff to send Craig, a birthday present for Caroline's friend, a 4th of July tshirt for Caroline.  And some other stuff, too.  Like a Nerf gun.  Because every nine year old girl needs a Nerf gun.  Anyway, for reasons still unknown, I saw a jar of marshmallow creme and without thinking, I put it in our cart.

Impulsive to the max.

Like, totally.

I can count on half of my hand how many times I've purchased marshmallow creme in my life.  Two times.  Yesterday was the second time ever that I purchased marshmallow creme.  The first time was for a recipe, I think.  And today?  Well, who knows why.

Caroline was excited by the purchase.  She's a big fan of sugary fluff.  I told her we'd make fluffernutters.  Because every kid needs a fluffernutter.

Except, instead of a fluffernutter on bread, I got out the graham crackers. 

And before I did the peanut butter/marshmallow combo, I spotted the Nutella and went a different direction.  A direction towards yum-ville.

Behold the Fluffer Nutella.  Or the Fluffer-ella?

Ooooh.  Ahhhh.

We went the traditional route, too.

I think next time I'll combine all three for a fluffer-nutter-ella.

And then the world can end.  Because, it couldn't really get any better than that.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day All Star Soccer Tournament

We had so much fun at Caroline's All-Star soccer tournament this weekend. 

Even though it was hot.

Really.  Hot.

Like, super duper, we just may melt, HOT.

Even still, Caroline still showed us her moves.

Did I mention it was hot?

We were still smiling, though.

You know what makes playing two games in the scorching summer sun all day even better?

A ball on a string!

Who needs a dog when you have a ball on a string.  Hey, Caroline, go walk your ball.

The Purple Patriots won both of their games on Saturday.  Caroline scored a goal in the second game.  She's not generally a goal scorer, so you can only imagine her delight in being able to help her team out.

This morning we met on the field again, at 8 am.  The clouds blanketed the sky, which made the conditions so much more favorable.  Even the steady, light drizzle was okay.  Compared to yesterday, ANYTHING was more enjoyable.

It's so much easier to run when you're not at risk for heat stroke!

Even with a wardrobe malfunction,  Caroline was able to show off her skillz this morning.

This isn't a great picture (need a better zoom lens), but this direct kick Caroline took (due to the opposing goalie's hand ball violation) resulted in her second goal.

In the end, the girls lost this morning's game, so their tournament is over.  Had they won, they'd be playing again at 1:15.

It would have been nice to win it all,  but the girls had fun, and that is what matters most.  As a plus, we met some great new friends.

Hopefully we'll do it again next year.