Don’t Pass the Peas, Please

Sweetman and I recently started plotting a way to get the kids to eat more veggies. Allow me to rephrase that, please.  Our children don’t eat cooked vegetables.

An intervention has become necessary.

We’ve tried a few popular methods for Operation Eat Your Vegetables, already. Sneaking shredded zucchini into their favorite pumpkin bread? Been there. Wouldn’t eat that!  Put shredded carrots into their spaghetti sauce or mashed potatoes? That would work great… if either one of them ate red sauce! Or mashed potatoes! Make vegetables look Super Fun and Exciting, a la Pinterest?  Sweetgirl asked if we could keep it on the counter for the week because it was “just too beautiful to eat, Mama!”

You can see why plotting is involved, right?

I fear that my children are going to end up going off to Harvard eating applesauce with their dinner every night. As long as I send them off with the twistable kind that they can open themselves, I guess we might be alright. (P.S. Regarding college: I’m totally kidding! We are actually praying that the Good Lord will see fit to motivate them to go anywhere for college!)

In all fairness, Sweetboy will eat raw baby carrots.  He really likes them, actually. Sweetgirl will even nibble on two or three, once in a while, as well.  Corn is another “vegetable” that we can get Sweetboy to eat – as long as it’s on the cob, freshly shucked, and from a local farm.  (I can thank Sweetman for passing on the Food Snob genetics!)

Beyond those few items, though, there is a strict Ain’t Gonna Eat It policy in place, here in this house.

And we didn’t enact it!

Last night, I attempted to re-introduce peas.  Both children ate them, joyfully, might I add, when they were under two. Sadly, they are considered enemy number one, at present.

We decided to go the Matter of Fact route, this time. “I’m giving you each a small amount of peas.  They are good for your body and you both need to eat more vegetables.  Also, if you don’t eat at least three bites AND swallow it down, no dessert for you.”

This conversation went over like a lead balloon, as you can imagine. Sweetboy, bless his heart, said, “Okay Mama.  They’re not my favorite, but I’ll deal with it.”

The other child?

There was a whole lot of weeping.

And gnashing of teeth!

And when I finished, she proceeded to do the same.  With some major foot stomping, chair rocking, and negotiating thrown in, for good measure.

I will say this, the child can pull The Pouty Face with the best of ’em!

After I literally held her nose (she requested this) so that she could down one blessed pea at a time, and gag with every. single. one., we both felt like we’d run a triathlon! Not to mention that my own gag reflex was now fully engaged.

We were both so traumatized by the ordeal that I told her she didn’t ever have to eat peas again… until she was 12.

Or, maybe 6 and a half. (I thought I said that last bit under my breath.)

But, little ears are always listening to every wee word we utter.

And, I know this because, this afternoon, Sweetgirl popped off the bus and squarely faced me to say, “Mama, you said I don’t have to eat peas again until I’m 12.  Or 6 and a half.  I want it to be 12.”

Please, don’t pass the peas.

I think it’s safe to say, it’ll be a few years.

Oh, yes indeedy!

Lay it on me! What trickery have you used to get your littles to eat their vegetables?


Basically, Fish Tacos

One year, while Sweetman and I were visiting Captain Ahab and The Nana down in Florida (before children – Sweetman calls them The Ignorance Is Bliss Years), we went out for dinner.  We all agreed we were in the mood to hit our favorite Mexican joint.

As we went around the table giving our orders to the waiter, there was a surprise order. Nana’s. She ordered “Fish Tacos”.  I choked on my Margarita. Sweetman spewed his beer.  We both looked at each other in horror. Ahab just shook his head sadly.

Now, I grew up in sunny South Florida.  I ate fish here, there, and everywhere.  I did not, however, grow up eating fish in my tacos. This order took me so completely by surprise that I didn’t even know how to process it.

“When did you start eating fish tacos, mom?” And, more importantly, WHY?”

“People change, dear. I really like them. You should try them.”

We agreed to disagree.

By having more margaritas.

Later that night, Sweetman and I awoke to the gentle soothing sounds of The Nana hurling. All Night Long, as Lionel Richie would say.

“It was that Margarita, I tell you!”, she kept insisting.

“Mom, I had the Margarita, too.”, I tried to remind her.

No matter. She wasn’t having it. It just could not be her beloved fish tacos.

That night held many lessons for us all.

The Nana is a horrible liar.

Sweetman and I would never be interested in “trying” fish tacos.


Margaritas are evil.

Take your pick.

So I found it surprising to be having this conversation with Sweetman last night:

“Honey, what do you think about trying… now keep an open mind here… black bean and salmon tostadas, one night?”

And just when I I thought the recipe couldn’t get any worse, he started rattling off the list of ingredients, prefacing almost each new one with “Now, we don’t have to add that one.”, or “That one might not be a good addition.”.  He mentioned words like “cabbage” and “pickled jalapenos” and some other things.  I think I tuned out after “salmon tostada”, to be honest.

But this is how it goes around here between he, who cooks, and me, who… well… doesn’t.

If he thinks that being adventurous is adding cabbage to a perfectly good tostada, who am I to judge?

Engineers do those sorts of things.

“So, basically, you’re asking me to eat fish tacos?”, I challenged.

“Yeah.”, he admitted.

“Only if you serve it with Margaritas.”, I demanded. “Then, I’ll have a culprit.”


I guess people do change.

And, once again, my mother is right.

Yes indeedy.

*And, though my stomach turns even as I write this, if this is your cup of tea, Sweetman found the recipe for these “Black Bean Salmon Tostadas” here. You’re welcome.  Or… I’m sorry.*

I Like To Guzzle Hot Tea

After it has completely cooled and almost every positive effect has worn off, I like to guzzle hot tea. Clarification – it is good.

Sweetman decided, approximately 12 months ago (not that I’m keeping track – because love never does that), to introduce a cup of hot green tea to our evenings together.  And he was determined to add it to both of our nightly routines.

I must give him props for this.  He married the girl who is also in love with The Devil Dog (Oh, my sweet Devil Dog – you have finally returned to me!) It was a mighty undertaking on his part.

I wasn’t sold on the idea, at first.  I mean, we’re talking about something that threatened to come between me and my other nightly ritual, which is decidedly unhealthy.  Not on my watch, people. Not. On. My. Watch.

Not one to give up easily, however, Sweetman made himself two cups each night and plunked one just close enough to me that I could easily grab a hold of it, should I get the wild hair to do so.

He’s wily, that one.

You see, he also assailed me with articles and studies about the benefits of drinking hot green tea.  Of course, he knew good and well that he had me from the moment he explained how a cup of green tea can potentially erase the negative effects of one of my beloved Devil Dogs.

I wisely decided to give the hot green tea a go.

And, SHOCKER! I didn’t hate it. (I try to keep things positive around here.)

So now, I sometimes have two cups of green tea a day, depending on the kind of day it’s been.  Some of you know exactly what I’m talkin’ about here, don’t you! I did the math, you see.  1 devil dog + 1 cup of green tea = 0(Aren’t my math skills somethin’?)

To recap, a steaming cup of hot green tea is set before me each night by the one who loves me.  And, my heart is forever grateful.

Yes indeedy.


Are you a tea drinker?  Got any delicious flavors or brands to share? I’m all ears… now. 

Donut Theology

That delectable chocolate-glazed donut was calling my name.  As I rounded the last aisle of the grocery store for my weekly Big Grocery Run, I decided to throw caution (and my cholesterol count) to the wind and go for it. Go big or go home, I always say.  (As long as “home” isn’t my eternal home. Amen?)

Loading the trunk of the car with the groceries, I removed the beloved donut bag and stuck it in the front seat of my car to eat on the way home.

Only, I forgot how crumbly and messy those blasted donuts are. And how white shorts and chocolate glaze and… me, are never a good combination.

I almost giggled at the obvious comparison to my spiritual life.  The very act of living life can get messy.  And people crumble. And there will be those that smear their own “goodness” all over your white-as-snow self. And it’s not until I’m willing to get messy that I get to taste the actual fruits of faithfulness.

Pulling out of the parking lot, I reached for the bag. I was about to bring the first delicious morsel to my lips, as I saw another mama from town coming in.  She waved enthusiastically.  I, however, stashed that donut down below the steering wheel so fast it would’ve given you whiplash!

You see, I had forgotten that I was at the grocery store at about the same time as roughly half of the other mammas in our sleepy little town – and most of them with kids at the same school as mine attend.

While I consider myself quite confident in my person, I’m not so confident that I will blatantly each a chocolate slathered donut in the car while sidling up next to other moms at a stoplight.

Others, whose opinions sometimes matter far more to me than they should.

It was then that lesson number two hit hard.  Am I living to please (wo)men? Or my God?

Where has my focus been lately?

Clearly, it’s time to refocus on what Who is important.

And it ain’t the donut.



It’s a Good Day When…

So, you may remember that Sweetgirl took off for Kindergarten yesterday. I survived. She thrived.


Pretty great story, huh?

But wait! There’s more…

I was cleaning out the refrigerator and  freezer (because HELLO! You can totally do things like that when the house is quiet.  Don’t ask me why the house has to be quiet for me to be able to clean out a fridge.  I don’t understand it either.  But it does. And it was. ) And a couple of interesting things happened.

First of all, I know you are So Stinkin Stoked to read on.  Who wouldn’t want to know more about what some random person that you “know” on the Internet found while cleaning out their fridge and freezer.  I mean, could it get any better than that??


So, while cleaning out the fridge, I came across this lovely thing:

Cracked_Up_Fridge_MissindeedyNow, my fingers were Oh So Glad that they didn’t find this before my eyes did. Since I am prone to passing out at the sight of my own blood; and I was home alone at the time… Are you tracking me? I could have bled out, for crying out loud! And we’ll just leave it at that.  God is good.

Moving on…

I found something truly special, though, stashed in one of Sweetman’s frosty mugs in the freezer.  Not. Even. Kidding. And I know he didn’t put them there, because he doesn’t even like these things. I blame genetic free-fall for forgetting I’d hidden them there.  I don’t even care how long they’ve been in hiding.  They are mine. All mine.


Guess what mama’s havin’ for dessert tonight?!?  Thin Mints, I heart thee. Oh, yes indeedy!

AND AND AND, Sweetman just leaned over and delivered The Most Delicious piece of news! DRAKE’S IS COMING BACK IN SEPTEMBER!  People! This is a miracle of epic proportions! My beloved Devil Dogs are coming back!  Back from the dead! They are coming back for me! (No exclamation points were harmed in the making of this paragraph.  Overused? Yes.  Harmed? No.)

I could die happy.

After September, of course.

Happy Hump Day my friends! Your welcome.

We Are Family

You’re singing it in your head right now. Aren’t you.  Yes, you are.  Admit it.  It’s practically an unwritten rule that when anyone hears the words “we are family”, they will spontaneously burst into song followed by the words, “I got all my sisters and me.”  Id stake my last Devil Dog on it.  Oh, yes indeedy!

Chatterbox, in Italian, is pronounced “Yak-uh-share-owna”.  This, I learned, among many other things this weekend. It was chock full of long-overdue time with my brother and sister-in-law and their kidlets.  My own children were fairly bouncing off the walls at the opportunity to see their beloved cousins.  They love them dearly.  And Sweetboy, in particular, has a deep and abiding affection for family members who do not live in this house.  That is not to say that he doesn’t have an affection for family members who do live in this house; just that he loves those who do not extra, with jimmies on top.  (Or, sprinkles, as those of you below the Mason-Dixon line call them.)

Just how much does he love them? He was so excited to have a “sleepover” with the long-lost cousins (we saw them at Thanksgiving), that he sacrificed his bed, for three nights, for the camp cot (in the same room, of course!) While his older cousin, let’s call him Buddy, got to snuggle down into the cozy fleece sheets on his bed, Sweetboy enjoyed, and I truly do mean this, a sleeping bag spread out on the cot.  I asked him how he slept after that first night’s slumber.  His response?  “Fine. Great.  I was with Buddy!!”   ‘Nuff said.

And, I must admit that I love my Sweetman’s brother and his wife somethin’ fierce.  And not just because my sister-in-law is first generation Italian and teaches me all sorts of fun phrases that make me snicker.  I genuinely enjoy them. We love nothing more than sitting around the table enjoying a delicious homemade meal, a nice big juicy Cabernet, and a rousing game of Spades. (The girls won.  The girls usually win, don’t we, Sweet Sister-in-law? And it has nothing to do with the fact that we always sometimes give each other a head’s up when we have a bad hand. Ahem…)

My niece, let’s call her Bia, is on a new-to-her gluten free diet.  Whenever we get together, The Gammy makes a delightfully delicious 2-layer chocolate cake with a whipped frosting in the middle. (Now that I think of it, it’s an awfully lot like a gigantic circular Devil Dog!)  Everyone enjoys this cake, but Buddy and I have been known to engage in some Dueling Forks over the last piece.  I sometimes always let him have it, of course.

But, with the snow a blowin’ and the winds a howlin’, The Gammy and The Grampa weren’t able to make the hour and a half drive up to see all of the grandkids.  Everyone was crushed. God is good, though, because at the grocery store the day before, I noticed that good ol’ Betty Crocker had come out with a Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake boxed mix. And the angels – they were singing. So, I bought it, because, HELLO?  Have you met me? I don’t bake!

It turned out to be a really tasty cake.  And that there is not only my professional opinion, but that of all the kidlets under 40, too.  Here’s a picture for those of you so inclined to check it out.  (We used traditional frosting in a can, because we live high on the hog around here.)


The kids sledded, built a snowman, rose each morning far earlier than any child should be allowed, set up a grocery store in the playroom, and snuggled in and watched a movie together, among other things. There was a little Texas hold em’ goin’ on, a rousing game of Yahtzee (man, I love that game!), and we ate like “gabones”, as my sister-in-law would say.

The most comical (and there were plenty!) conversation of the weekend, however, went a little like this:

Sister-in-law (to her husband): “How come you never tweet at me?”

Brother-in-law: “Um, you have to have a Twitter account to get tweets.”

And the best one-liner went to Sweetboy.  “Sissy, you’re da bomb diggety, you know that?”  (Man, I love that kid!)

Let’s close out this sweet little familial recap with some pictures, shall we?

We shall.





Five Minute Friday – Again

No, really. It’s time for Five Minute Friday over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog , today. And I couldn’t help but chuckle/snort at the prompt -as you will see from my picture. So appropriate…

Here’s how it works: Everyone who wants to write along spends 5 minutes of uninterrupted writing time on a one-word prompt. There are no edits, although some of us can’t help ourselves where the grammar or spelling is concerned (’tis true), no re-writes, and no over-thinking.  Sharing? Yes indeedy! There is plenty of that.



Today’s prompt is: AGAIN



This morning, this happened. Again. It’s aggravating – this over pouring. It leads to extra time spent cleaning. I have to wait while the waffle iron cools so that I can get any assortment of scrapey tools into the crevices to undo the messy mess I’ve created due to my negligence. And I was negligent.
You see, I was busy. I was busy nuzzling noses with a hot-pink, Minnie Mouse-pajama-clad, four year old who is growing up much much too fast for my liking. Oh. Yes. I. Was. And when I turned around to check the waffles, I realized my mistake.
Too much attention being paid to this Sweetgirl of mine. Not enough, unfortunately, to the waffle maker. Also mine.
And the mess, now, also mine to clean up.
I find it ironic, though, that I just received a beautiful print that I had ordered in the mail yesterday. I almost couldn’t wait to get it into a frame and put out. It reminds me of what my waffle maker reminded me of this very morning.
my cup overflows_blog
And once again, I find myself counting my blessings. Chocolate-chip waffle batter splattered and all!

Diet Math

I’ll keep it short and sweet.  My patience is thin and my brain is still working out the fuzzies.  Apparently, “carbo-loading” is only for athletes. Not for mothers of 4 year olds who insist they are 13 or 9 year olds who insist that 7 x 8 = 46, despite how many ways of Sunday you attempt to show them otherwise. Who knew?


I am attempting to detox from All Of The Deliciousness that took place last week.  We are leaving for Disney World in T minus 2 weeks and 3 days.  I feel it necessary to walk around the parks in something other than my largest pair of yoga pants and baggiest sweatshirt.  Who’s with me?


I have concocted the following formula to help me in this endeavor:



No, no, no.  I jest.  My formula is more along the lines of simply eradicating Devil Dogs from my diet.  I figure that should net me a 10 pound loss in 2 weeks.  Not unreasonable, right?(Believe me! If you could see the rate of my Devil Dog consumption of late?  You might be tempted to agree. Sadly…)


This mad-hatched formula was introduced on Sunday evening.  I’d like to state, for the record, that so far, everyone in my home is breathing and no one has threatened to turn me in to the Diet Police for infractions involving Devil Dogs.  It has required much restraint on my part. Just, you know… for the record. Oh, yes indeedy.


To recap:


Goodbye to these:

For now! Of course, only for now…


And hopefully, hello to a far friendlier number on the scale.  Soon.


Like, maybe tomorrow?


Too hopeful?

What healthy habits are you picking back up now that the Triptofan Oblivion has worn off?

Rega, Mega, And Ultra

We are so exciting around here that we make three differing versions of dip for dinner. Each one less healthy than the last.  Hold yourselves back from all of the exclamatory praise. “Wow, that’s… pretty lame, actually.”, will suffice.  I feel the need to share with those of my dip loving friends, because, HELLO! It’s College Football season.  And as a Bama Alum, let’s just admit right now that there’s a whole lotta “ROLLLL TIDE, ROLL!”, goin’ on around here for the next few months.  And dip is about as necessary as breathing. True story.


Anyhoo, about those dips. Let me elaborate.  As you salivate.  However, if you are not into processed foods, you should just look away right now, because it’s about to ugly up in here. Velveeta and Hormel chilli-kinda ugly.  You have been warned!


Rega Dip

1/2 a block of Velveeta cheese (an extra 5 points if you can find Velveeta Mexican!)

It’s how you say, “ooh-la-la!”, in American.

1/4 cup of milk

Microwave the above in a microwave safe bowl until melty (about 2 minutes, give or take)

Add 1/2 a jar of your favorite salsa

stir well

microwave again for another.. eh, 30 seconds to heat it up.  Viola! Rega Dip.  Now go get your favorite dippin’ chips and go to town.


Mega Dip

1/2 a block of Velveeta cheese (an extra 5 points if you can find Velveeta Mexican!)

1/4 cup of milk

Microwave the above in a microwave safe bowl until melty (about 1 and 1/2 minutes, give or take)

Strangely familiar sounding, no?

Now, add in one can of Hormel No Bean Chilli.  Awww, yeah!                                                                                          

stir well

microwave again for another.. eh, 30 seconds to a minute to heat it up.  Viola! Rega Dip.  Now go get your favorite dippin’ chips and go to town.


Ultra Dip

Get out a round cake pan.  Set the oven to 375. Prepare your arteries.

One block of Philly Cream Cheese

One can of Hormel No Bean Chilli (Sometimes we shake things up by making the uber-healthy Hormel No Bean TURKEY Chilli, instead)

One 2 cup bag of shredded cheese of your choice.  (We like Mexican Taco Cheese – and sometimes I get crazy and use Weight Watchers’ brand.  I know, I know… it kind of defeats the whole purpose of the dip.)

Spread block of cream cheese along bottom of cake pan.  Pour Chilli on top. Spread around.  Open Bag of Shredded Cheese.  Dump it on and spread it around. Cover with tin foil.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.  Get your favorite dippin’ chips and go all crazy on that bad boy dip.   (Share it with another if you’re feeling magnanimous. LOOK at that there education I received courtesy of The University of Alabama! Can I get a ROLL TIDE?!)


Now, I’d tell you that I intend to make one of the above for “dinner” tonight, but I don’t have to. You know why?  Because I am going to one of those Fan-Cee Chocolate Parties at a neighbor’s house.  There’s no finer dinner folks. No, indeed. Except maybe a Dip Dinner.  But, then again, there’s always tomorrow.


And, yes, my yoga pants and I just became besties again.  That’s alright.  We’ll be extra tight tomorrow.  Seriously. Extra extra tight.


*Disclaimer*  I do NOT accept phone calls or emails from Cardiologists.  I believe I know just about where I stand with them already.