Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's Raining, It's Pouring...and Pouring

Ya know how sometimes people say things and you think they are full of it? Or at the very least, they are seriously exaggerating the situation?
For example, if someone says, "my kids scream all day long", obviously their kids don't literally scream all day every day, else they would not be standing upright.
Or if they say, "all I ever eat is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches"...okay, that's kinda true for me. But you get the point.
So before I moved to Florida someone told me that they hoped I liked rain because it rains a lot in Florida. I did that awkward thing where you smile and open your mouth just a little bit but you don't actually say anything. Please. It's the SUNSHINE state. Rain. Pft.
When we got here (in December) it didn't rain much. In fact, it rained less than in Virginia. Ha.
But I started to hear rumors...rain rumors. People, actual Floridians, started telling me about how in the spring and summer it rains every day. EVERY day. Every.single.day.
And I thought they were exhibiting those extreme exaggeration techniques we were discussing earlier.
They were not.
It rains every day.EVERY day. Every.single.day.
Not just rain like, "oh look it's raining." This is more like "batten the hatches, get to higher ground, someone round up two of each animal, we're going to need a bigger boat" type of rain.
It is insane you guys.
So I'm going to go eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while my house floats away.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Some Days...

So far today my day has looked like this...

If this trend is holding true for the eldest Ramseys, I feel for their teachers. Actually, I lied, I'm just happy it's not me.
If you need me, I'll be hiding under a bed with what's left of my bag of mint Milanos (thanks Kelli).

Thursday, April 18, 2013

When Husbands Go Out of Town...

I am a really lucky woman. My husband rarely has to travel. Well, up until this point in our marriage at least. Since we've moved to Florida he has had two trips to Texas. Each has been six days and five nights long.
If you don't have kids you're likely rolling your eyes at me. One week? Big deal! Not even a FULL week! Cowgirl up woman!
If you have kids you are probably doing this...

When my husband travels I go through stages...kind of like the stages of grief. Here's how it breaks down.
Day 0 (the day before departure): This is the "denial" day. The day where I try to pretend like he isn't really leaving. I imagine all sorts of scenarios. The plane won't start because a chicken got stuck in the engine. They call and say they forgot to register him so he is going to have to go another week. He is tricking me and any second he's going to say "just kidding! I could never leave you!". This stage lasts right up until I get the phone call that he has landed in wherever he is going.
Day 1: The "crying day". This is the day where I start to panic. How am I going to do this? What if everyone gets sick and I need to go to the ER and I have to take everyone with me because he isn't here? What if someone breaks in and drugs me and kidnaps all my children to sell as child slaves? What if every single one of us evaporates during the night?
Day 2: The "I can do anything" day. I did it. I survived the first night. No one died. No one threw up. No trips to the ER. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...oh there's 6! Whew. We're all here and we are all alive! I can do dishes. I can fold laundry. I can get the kids to school on time. Watch me rock this week like Alice Cooper.
Day 3: The "I think I can" day. Okay two nights down. This hasn't been too bad. So the football coach changed practice to the same night as soccer resulting in two hours of carting six children to various fields, running out of water and eating dinner at 9:30 pm..no biggie. I got this. I'm a train baby, a train, just chugging along. One day at a time. I think I can...I think I can...I think I can.
Day 4: The "is it really only day 4?" day. We could also call it "groundhog" day, because I swear it repeats itself at least seven times before it's over. Seriously. It has to at least be day five. Only four? Really? Okay. I can still do this Just think, tomorrow I will be able to say that he's coming home "tomorrow". I can sing the song too! This is going to be okay! I think I can...I think I can...I think I can.
Day 5: The "I am so over it" day. This job isn't worth it. No amount of money is worth it. I can live in a tent and take a shower in a river of giardia and last month's spotlight creature on "River Monsters". What I cannot do, is go one more day without him home. I haven't showered since...never mind. Dishes are piling up, my kids wore dirty clothes to school and if I don't have five seconds by myself soon someone is going to die. I'm this close to sitting in a corner rocking back and forth singing to the musical creatures who hide among the flowers.
Day 6: The "tranquility" day. We have lived. He's coming home. Everything is beautiful and bright. And have I introduced you to the musical creatures who hide among the flowers? They are so pretty. Come meet them...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Best Conversation I've had Today

Conversation I had this morning:

Me: Boy, last night was rough huh?
Myself: Sure was. How many times did the kids get you up?
Me: I think five. You?
Myself: Don't know, lost count.
Me: This is going to be a long day.
Myself: Yeah, I could go for a cup of coffee...or ya know, seventy eight.
Me: You don't drink coffee.
Myself: Oh right.
Me: You could try a soda?
Myself: I don't really drink caffeine and I don't like soda very much.
Me: It might help though. Just this one time?
Myself: I'd have to take the kids to the store. I'd probably use up more energy than the soda would give me.
Me: Fair point. Chocolate?
Myself: Meh, it never works.
Me: Tastes good though.
Myself: That's true, it does taste good.
Me: It makes you happy.
Myself: **giggle** yeah, it does.
Me: Chocolate it is then.
Myself: Okay.
Me: Although you really don't need it.
Myself: No, I really don't.
Me: And it will probably just make you feel icky later.
Myself: You're right, it...hey wait a minute, it was your idea to eat the chocolate in the first place!
Me: Well I know but I just think maybe you can do without it.
Myself: Well of course I can but you brought it up and now you're trying to talk me out of it. I hate it when you do that!
Me: I'm just trying to help you make a good choice. Leave the chocolate alone.
Myself: But I wants it, I needs it, MY PRECIOUS!
Me: Eat the chocolate.
Myself: Thank you.

So I talk to myself. I'm sleep deprived and I'm a little crazy, so sue me! Actually, better yet, have me committed. I hear they put you in a nice white room, with a bed, and encourage you to sleep a lot. That could be just what we I need.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What is a Princess made of?

Any of you who follow me on Facebook had to know this post was coming. Everyone has issues that they feel are important. And we all have our soapbox moments. But me? Well, I like to perch up on the soapbox and make myself comfortable. I like a nice, long stay. It's cozy up here, after all.

So here is a soapbox moment(s) from yours truly...and it has to do with Princesses and the modern notion that it is somehow subservient or old fashioned to believe in these fairy tales. I disagree with this idea. In fact, I am not sure there is anything more feminine than our Disney Princesses. They exemplify everything that is beautiful, strong and pure in womanhood.

Let's take Cinderella. Here's a girl who spent the better part of her life as a servant...practically a slave. She was afforded very little by way of material things, yet she sang a song every morning, optimistically hoping for better times to come. Most of us would just wallow and complain about all the things we didn't have. Not only does she refuse to succumb to that mentality, she is patient and endures the criticism of those who should offer her love and support. She forgives. She demonstrates self control and poise in the face of her adversity. And when the opportunity does come for her to break free and find a new measure of happiness, she takes it. She doesn't stubbornly shun it, playing a martyr. She doesn't allow her resentment and her past to hold her back from a happily ever after. She is offered a happy ending and she embraces it. Good job Cinderella...oh, and Prince Charming has a horse. SOLD!

Okay, how about Ariel. Now here is a headstrong girl who has never been satisfied with living the life her father has planned. Talk about being a liberated woman! And of all things under the sea, the thing she loves most is to sing. Yet she is willing to give up her voice (read: her dream to be a pop star) in order to be with the man she loves. After rescuing him from a hurricane at sea (no small feat...one word, Katrina), she falls for him and is willing to sacrifice her family, her voice and the life that has been planned for her, to be with her love. Sometimes loving someone else means giving something that means a lot to you for something (or someone) that means more. Since the present day sixteen-year-old is mostly preoccupied with texting and twittering, I don't think that taking a page out of Ariel's book would be a bad idea. Just sayin.

Belle. I love Belle. Belle is probably my favorite. Belle doesn't follow the crowd. She loves to read. She longs for adventure. Seriously, you want to see a brave woman? Show me one who is more concerned with being true to herself than being true to the trends of society. Belle isn't out there looking to land a nice cushy life complete with a cookie cutter home filled with pottery barn furniture. In fact, she turns down the town hunk because he happens to be a total doopy. After this she takes off to rescue her father facing down wolves and talking kitchen utensils. I don't know about you, but that would about do me in. Then she not only looks beyond the image, she also overlooks an awful temper (confronting it only when needed) and through patience, tolerance and long suffering, she finds her truest love. Not every prince comes in the same package. Relationships take patience and forgiveness and time. Belle knew that and exemplified it.

Mulan...not a princess, but a pretty tough chick. For real. Risking your life to save your father? Most of us struggle to remember to call our dad's on their birthday. Not only that, her dad had pretty much told her he was ashamed of her because she hadn't landed a guy or won over a crabby old woman. And she STILL risked literally EVERYTHING she had to save her dad. Color me impressed. PS. Her man also rides a horse...bonus points.

I'm sure that Snow White has many amiable qualities (not the least of which is that her Prince rides a horse) but her voice annoys the ever loving daylights out of me so we will skip her...Rapunzel and Jasmine both fell in love with a poor man on the run from the law. Aurora's true love was enough to wake her from a coma and Tiana worked her buns off, only to realize that nothing can be more fulfilling than building a family.

The bottom line is that Disney has given us a legacy of amazing ladies for our daughters to respect and admire. I am not sure when it became so sub-par to simply choose love over living the "dream". When did we decide that a girl has to be single to be strong? I haven't been married for a long time. I still consider myself a newlywed (11 years, in the grand scheme of things, is pretty small) but I can say that, in my limited experience, it's not always an easy thing to be a wife and a mother. Sometimes love, even true love, is hard. It takes strength and patience and forgiveness and sacrifice. And THAT, my dear friends, is what princesses are made of.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

An Uncommon Post...Sort of

I typically don't blog about food that I make...which is sort of weird, because I love to cook and I love to eat. Also, I love to blog. You'd think that those things would make a delightful pairing. I love to read food blogs but I rarely write them. I think it stems from this post that my brother-in-law once wrote on facebook about how it's so obnoxious when people post pictures and comments about what they are eating. He's cool and I always get nervous around cool people...middle school haunts me. No judging.

So anyway, I don't typically blog about food. Today, however, I am breaking free of my fears. I am pushing myself to the limit of self-discovery. I am unlocking a new side of bravery. I am...okay, I'm actually just blogging about these amazing life-changing muffins.

I found the recipe on Pinterest. Pinterest recipes, and any recipe really, can be a bit hit or miss. This is especially true when they try to combine sweets with "health" food. "Healthy" sweets is another way of saying...gross. Sorry, it's true and you know it.

BUT, in the interest of trying to force anything that is even remotely healthy into my incredibly picky daughter, I decided to give these muffins a try. They look yummy right? Then I started to read the ingredients. I tried to stay optimistic but a muffin that requires a blender? And no flour? And no oil? Okay, what are they trying to pull? I was skeptical.

BUT, I am a mama on a mission. I will totally make blender muffins if it means my daughter will eat something containing applesauce...which is a derivative of apples dontcha know. Apples are a fruit and therefor, these muffins are like eating a fruit, as far as I'm concerned.

I did make a few small changes. The recipe calls for artificial sweetener, which I am avidly against. Before you go patting me on the back for my devotion to living the organic life, it has nothing to do with that. I buy the cheapest sugar I can find, mix it with water and drink it for breakfast...and I don't think twice. I just think artificial sweeteners are a. disgusting and b. cause cancer. Need less to say, I substituted with real sugar instead of stevia. Also, I added a splash of almond extract just because I can.

I mix up the batter and my skepticism grows. It's the consistency of syrup. Not even nice thick, viscous syrup...like Hershey's syrup. It's like liquid you guys. No kidding. And this is the part where I pat myself on the back. See? I told you that you couldn't make a good muffin without flour or oil.

But I've made the batter, might as well bake it. So I dish up the muffin syrup and stick it in the oven. And then something amazing happens. Something magical. They fluff up and become delicious, chocolaty, food of the gods muffins. They are pretty little things. And even more amazingly? They taste good too. Like GOOD...not "healthy" food good, but honest to goodness, promise-you-on-my-southern-soul good. Mind. Blown.

And here's the part where I eat a big ole piece of humble pie muffin because my skepticism was completely biased and un-founded. So sweet muffins, I apologize. I misjudged you. I was wrong. I admit it. Please forgive me as I eat you all.

So do yourselves a favor and go make these muffins. You will not be sorry.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


This morning something happened. I asked my oldest child if there were any songs he wanted to listen to on the way to school...like I do every morning. I let them all put in a request for a song and we sing and dance and act ridiculous on the way to school. Because we they are kids and kids like to sing and have fun. But this morning my oldest didn't pick a song. He said he didn't care, that he didn't like listening to music.

First of all...what? Everyone likes music. Toddlers and grandparents and athletes and serial killers and fishermen...EVERYONE likes music. Second of all...WHAT?!?!

I didn't push the matter, even though I wanted to drop him off on the side of the highway and force him to sing his way home. I just thought maybe he was grouchy. That's where the thought train left its station. Then it went something like this...ya know, he has been kinda grouchy lately...actually he's been REALLY grouchy lately...he refused to tell me he loved me when I dropped him off at school the other day...he always gives one word answers when I ask about his day...now he doesn't "like" music...

And this is the part of the story where my thought train slams into its destination...

OH.MY.GOSH.   ...  My son is growing up.

Not growing up like, "aww, he says 'puppy'!" And not growing up like, "man, he can tie his shoes all by himself!" But like GROWING UP!

Growing up as in away from me. Away from being a kid into being a young man. Away from "I love you" at the carline. Away from picking "Elevator" or "Firework" to sing on the way to school in the morning. Away from giving me a detailed description of his day.

Up until this point, I've always thought that I loved every age and every stage. Each one has had its own challenges and its own excitement. But the thing each stage had in common was ME. I was still a major part of every stage. That is changing now. It's not all about being with mama anymore...and that just plain bites. It bites hairy monkey tails...STINKY hairy monkey tails.

I think I'm finally starting to truly understand this notion of "enjoy them while they're little because it goes by so fast." We ALL say it. We say it ALL the time. I've said it thousands of times..."they grow up so quickly." But I never really GOT it, because mine were still small. Growing, changing, developing but still just little kids. Little kids who needed and wanted me, no matter what. That kind of growing up is fun. It's fun watching them learn to crawl alone, walk alone, get dressed alone...going potty alone is SUPER fun. It's exciting the first time they get on that big yellow school bus. It's exciting when they give their first talk in Primary or when they play in their first soccer game. Milestones are exciting because they are growing up...but not away. They want to share every new development with you and it is so freaking fun and incredible.

This new growing away thing? I do not think it's freaking fun or incredible.

Now I know this is going to happen and I know it's the way it works but I am not sure I was ready for it and now that we are on this path, I am feeling pretty sure there aren't any U-turns. We are in it now...the growing away stage. And all I can say is...WHAT-EVER!

***PS. I decided, after having an adequate pity party, that I wasn't just going to roll over and take this. Who's driving this bus anyway? That's right, I AM! DAGNABIT! I will decide when this little wolf cub leaves the den, ME! And I am happy to announce that I got an "I love you more" this afternoon. Yes, I did. I am still in the game. Bow-chick-a-wow-wow!