Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kitchen staff

One boy in the backpack on my back, one whining at my feet while clawing at my pant leg and one running laps around the kitchen. This is my kitchen staff. I know someday I will look back and crave these days, so I am smiling and counting myself blessed, because I know I am, even if simultaneously overwhelmed.

Dinner was an experiment that turned out!

Curry Chicken Salad
I cooked an organic whole fryer chicken for 1.5 hours at 350. Then, pulled about 2 cups meat off and mixed in Kitchen Aid until shredded. Then I added:
1.5 teaspoons curry powder
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup raisins (I would have used grapes, instead, but didn't have any)
2 Tablespoons orange juice (I just squeezed it from an orange I had)
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 apple finely diced

Friday, January 18, 2013

Crazy like a white dog

A famous phrase in this household. Whenever anything is "crazy", it's either "crazy like a white dog" (the good kinda' crazy) or "NOT like a white dog" (the bad kinda' crazy). This all means something to those of you who have met the great white dog in our lives; and to those of you who haven't... well, you'll just have to meet her to see what we're talking about! She's a whole lot of wonderful with a little bit of crazy (in a good way, of course) mixed in. She's our shepherd dog who takes her charges (Lions, Tigers and Bears) very seriously, but she has a goofy side which sometimes erupts when she gets excited or disciplined. :-) She has a obsession with chicken and if she smells it, her manners go by the wayside.

She is barn-dog-turned-house-dog and has made the transition brilliantly. Sometimes when she does things that are just not kosher for a civilized household, I just look at George and say, "Two words: Barn Dog". This dog is such a blessing in our lives and I know I sleep better at night knowing that she is watching over my little pack of boys. Here's to you, Sabina!

Barn Duty

Dog and her boy (man)

I love my white dog.

"Mom, don't take a picture. It's embarrassing"

Bundle stealing cookies with a little help.

My action man and my thinker...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It takes three to juggle (well)

I realized today that our (daddy + mommy) life together is something like a juggling act... it is an act still in progress, very much imperfect, but with lots of fun! There are three primary components which require constant attention and focus. There's never a dull moment and just when you think you've got the hang of it, something gets out of sync and makes it all completely unpredictable again.

Today's Comic Corner: 
When Tiger went in to wake up his oldest youngest brother, Pauge was delighted. In a few moments, though, Pauge was in a fit of tears. I went in to investigate and asked the Tiger if he knew what had happened. He said very matter-of-factly: "I didn't hit Paugie in the head." Hmmm.

Pauge was playing with some Uno cards, and I said, "Declan, those are Uno cards." He looked at me thoughtfully and then said, "Oh No! cards".

Notable Notes: 
Baby Lochlan rolled himself from front to back all by his onesies AND is sitting up on his hands, looking around when he's on his tummy! Go big man! He's still smiling... he rides in the backpack on our outings around town and charms everyone who glances our way. One of my "precious moments" from today was when Madigan snuggled up next to Lochlan, kissed him on his nose, then ran over to get a blanket for him. He covered him up gently and laid his face right next to Lochlan's, much to the littlest brother's delight and smiles! Oy, my heart melteth.

Madigan is a man of activity, as we all know and his latest and greatest is running around the kitchen island saying, "Mommy, I'm running fasto and fasto and fasto!" (Translation: faster and faster and faster!) He has become a master of excuses and last night it was cracking me up! As I was leaving their bedroom to bid them goodnight he blurted out: "I'm hungry. (pause) I'm thirsty. (pause) I'm hot. (pause) I'm cold. (pause) I need to go pee-pee. (pause) I need a tent." Alas, it was to no avail due to the cruelty of motherdom. He is ever the observant one, always lending a helping hand. He even designed his own coffee filter (see below), modeled after his daddy's (see below) and explained to Paugie during bathtime that it was a "slow stream coffee filter for Daddy". Where does he get this stuff?

When Declan isn't charming us all into oblivion with his toddler walk, curly locks and unforgettable smile, he can usually be found pining after steamed milk (I have become a regular barista in these parts) or putting on his dance moves to finest Celtic tunes Pandora has to offer. His favorite game is hide and seek where Mommy hides and Mommy seeks and he tries to dodge kisses. He pretty thoroughly melted my heart when I asked him what he wanted to sing last night as he went to bed and he said, "Away" (Away in a Manger).

And some great news on the Mommy front: I'm not pregnant. Yep, but that's not the news.... just wanted to clarify.  I found a local farm where I can get raw, organic milk! AND, it's only $5/gallon with a share in the herd. It tastes so incredibly delicious and I feel like I'm drinking liquid gold. :-) Hooray!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hurricanes and Mary Poppins

Hurricane scene 1
In this household, we have differing ideas about organization and cleanliness. The little men prefer more of the hurricane look. In order to preserve my general sanity, I decided we would have to compromise. We have 2 "pick up points" throughout the day: right before naptime and right before bedtime. They are welcome to spread their toys far and wide whilst they are awake, as long as they are willing to return the toys to their designated abodes at the appropriate time. Sometimes, I wish Mary Poppins lived with us, because to be able to clean up with the snap of my fingers would be delightful.

Hurricane scene 2

Where in the world is Lochlan?

Bear adapting to the Hurricane

Mary Poppins comes to visit, scene 1

Mary Poppins comes to visit, scene 2

Mary Poppins comes to visit, scene 3
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Baby, it's cold outside...

It's a proven fact that snuggling keeps you warm.

It's always a good time for chai!

You know it's cold when your wet clothes stand on their own.
Maybe I need to get a dryer... sigh.

Lions love hats!
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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Start of 2013

A few noteworthy items to mention from these past few days... 
  • Made pumpkin muffins - yummy! 
  • Tiger nearly lost a finger in a duel with the bookshelf. Finger still intact minus a nail. THAT we can handle. 
  • Brined a turkey breast - takes planning ahead, which I'm not good at, but makes for a really tasty dinner. 
  • Crazy white dog started sleeping in the boy's room, much to my delight. I always fret about "intruders" in our house, and there is something so comforting about having our very own personal polar bear watching over the little men. 
  • Baby Lochlan, the Lion, has a ferocious smile and uses it to his advantage far too often. He even laughed out loud last night at Mommy! He's pretty much irresistible... just sayin'.
  • Made our first batch of maple syrup for the year from our very own maple tree in the yard! Yippee! Lookout waffles, here we come!
  • Undecorated the Christmas tree, and moved Christmas into the boy's room! Now their room is lit up with colored Christmas lights. AWESOME. 
  • Planted tulips in the front flower bed, just because I can. :-)
And baby steps for McGary Boy 1, 2 and 3:
  1. "The Man" is so grown up! He is not yet three years old, but he takes his big brother role VERY SERIOUSLY! He frets over Pauge more than any parent would (or should), freaking out if he thinks we are falling short on our responsibilities to his younger brother. His cooking skills are the envy of many... we mailed several packages of his famous chocolate chip cookies to friends/family today. He still has a driving determination to be a helper, in any/all ways possible and it is my constant challenge to "channel that energy" and make sure his many skills are well utilized/appreciated.
  2. Pauge is a big helper these days, unloading the dishwasher, putting away the silverware, counting garbonzo beans and putting them into a muffin tin (oh yeah, jealous, aren't you?) and wiping up the water he spills right after her intentionally spills it. He is a little lover and frequently walks over, lays his head against me and puts his thumb in his mouth (his gesture of contentment). He could cuddle all day long, so when he seems like he needs some love, I try to stop what I'm doing, sit down on the floor with him and just hold him. It's the best therapy ever!
  3. Our little Lion has been sleeping through the night for 1 whole month now! I know, he's a genius. He has THE GREATEST sense of humor and if he's awake, you're sure to catch that grin that lights up his whole face. He has a raspy little deep voice and loves to "coo". I'm in love! He's trying to catch up with his brothers, so topped the 95th percentile in growth/weight this week.
And we're just gettin' this year started! 

Tuesday, January 01, 2013