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Preview: The Modern Housewife

The Modern Housewife

Formerly Bananas and Toddlers

Updated: 2018-03-13T21:17:08.355-05:00


How time flies


A year and a half. That's how long it's been since I last posted anything. Wow.

It's not you, it's me...


I've had this rolling around in my head for the last several weeks, ok... months. 

Perhaps I'm just too busy living my life to worry about writing about it.  Looking at my feed reader now over 1,000 posts that I haven't read, I'm just not that into it.  It's not that I don't care, it's just I'm having a hard time making time.  And me?  Truth be told, what I have to say isn't really that interesting.

Busy, yes.  But interesting?  Not for many, and those of you that know me on facebook and get the info anyway.

So I guess this is good bye.  At least for now.


All I want for Christmas...


Maybe it's just me...  I don't have good luck with can openers.  In the last 14 years, I've had nearly a dozen of them - every size and shape - and I can't find one I like or that works for more than six months.

The other day, I was driven to desperate measures:
I went old school on the can of beans.  All I wanted to make was a pot of chili for the crockpot.

Any suggestions?




Why is it you can never find the right box when you need it?This went in the mail earlier this week:A childhood friend and his wife lost their baby at 27 weeks.  This is the second son they've named and buried.  Seeing a picture of an 18" casket about did me in.  Another friend lost her 20 year old son to suicide a few months back.  As a parent it is hard not to internalize 'what it if were me'.   Both are too far to deliver a meal or a shoulder to cry on.  It is hard to know what to do when tragedy strikes.  Hard to know what to say.  But still wanting to do something,  I sent a care package of something I hope will bring some small measure of comfort....On the upside - things have been a bit busy around here.  I never thought I'd be one of those moms - running three directions at the same time, but here I am.  Tonight we have: 3:45 - 4:30 - Oldest has Math Club at school4 - 5 Youngest has dance6 - 7 Oldest had dance6 - 7 Youngest has Soccer (just a few more weeks!)6:20 - 7:20 - The Boy has hockey.Thursday has therefore been dubbed "Crock Pot Night".  While the kids were eating breakfast, I was busy browning meat for chili.  Meat, seasoning, tomatoes both as sauce and diced, and a couple cans of beans - though by no means gourmet, it is something hot and ready from 5 - 8.  ...Finally - after six long years of being home, I am now employed as a substitute teacher!  Whoot![...]

The one where they take our parenting license away


This summer, we took our kids on vacation. From the left, chairs three and four:
(image) Something to note, my six year old is 52" tall. There was only one ride she couldn't go on. I bet she's the required 54" by next summer.
Until then, the memories of the Giant Barn Swing will have to sustain.
I never understood as a kid how my mom could sit on the sidelines and watch us. Really, I mean, there's fun to be had! How can you sit? Why don't you want to go?!?
Now I get it. I am good for 4 or 5 coasters, then I'm fine to watch.
There's something to be said for being able to send your kids on a ride and just watch. Don't worry, Mom, we watched very carefully.

Pink and Brown Butterflies


One of the hockey moms is expecting #3. After two boys, she is having a girl. I asked her what the plan was for her nursery and she replied "pink and brown with butterflies." I dug through my stash and came up with this:
(image) She loved it!
I love it when a plan comes together. I know the back isn't quite centered, but it's done.



When my oldest was in second grade, my mother donated her hair to Locks of Love. So inspired, my seven year old daughter decided to do the same.


Three years later, she finally had enough to donate.


Who is this grown up girl of mine?!?

Though not totally unplanned, one day she looked at me and said, "If I cut the ten inches off, what will be left?" I got a ruler out and showed her. Thirty minutes later we were getting it cut. They did a fantastic job and ended up taking off nearly 12 inches.


For what it's worth, she now has the bracing off her teeth from the trampoline incident. She was a champ while they were grinding it off. The dentist said he wishes all his patients were so... patient. The oral surgeon gives her a 50% chance of keeping the tooth for the long haul. The bills are still coming in, though.


August 17th was a great day


(image) Back to school! First, third and fifth grade.

In case you're wondering, I've been having some internet/gmail issues, hence the slack posting. Not like I was ever really on top if it, but...

Hope you are all doing well out there.

Promises, Promises


Here I sit, making another list.

Things I didn't get done this summer and I probably coulda/woulda/shoulda:
Clean out the cabinets
Sort last year's school papers
Paint the last bedroom
Finish sorting the basement
Go through the Miscellaneous boxes in the basement
Have the kids read more
Re-seal the granite countertops
Sort the kids' art supplies
Make a new duvet cover/curtains for my bedroom
New quilt for my Oldest Daughter
Clean out my closet
Clean out the kids' closets.
Get rid of the clothes that don't fit.

Tomorrow is the first day of school, with that, summer is over no matter what the calendar says. I guess that throws this list to "What I do all day with the kids gone since I don't have a 'job'".

When Mother Nature Interferes


The kids came home yesterday. What should have been a 3 1/2 hour journey was closer to 6. Both the highway and interstate were closed due to flooding. (image) My peeps. I missed them so. Home safe and sound, we offered parents refuge from the rain that is supposed to happen the next three days. Undeterred, they headed home.

At some point, they'll have to come home


With summer in full swing and the days until school starts dwindling, it's been a busy couple of weeks around Cow Town.

In the last two weeks, I have spent precious few nights in my own bed. Two weeks ago, we took the kids to Hill Billy Central for vacation. At least that's what I call it - you might know it better as Branson. The kids had a great time at the amusement park, water park, and corresponding activities. It's not that I didn't have a good time, it's just this time it was about the kids. We headed home on a Friday to regroup, do laundry, and re-pack. A week ago today, I made the three and a half hour trip to my parents. The Suburban loaded with three excited children, I was taking them for their week-long odyssey of fun at their grandparents. I spent the night and headed home Tuesday.

Fortunately, the laundry was done as I started packing again. This time - for me. Hubs and I took off early Wednesday morning headed West.

What is it that seems almost magical about heading West?

As the miles clicked by, I tried to rest, to recapture some of the lost sleep from the week before, but I found myself staring out the window watching the scenery slowly change. Yes, slowly, as Kansas seems to stretch forever. Once we entered Colorado, the corn and bean fields made way for grazing fields. Less tilled and slightly more wild, I kept scanning the horizon for the mountains. As long a Kansas seemed, Colorado that much more as the anticipation grew. At some point, I did fall asleep. It wasn't more than 30 minutes (though my husband claims much longer), but it was enough. As I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, my husband motioned forward and told me to look ahead. Finally. The Rocky Mountains. We kept driving. Though Denver, along I-70, twisting and turning, up the side of the mountains until we reached our final destination: Vail.

Yesterday it took ten and a half hours to make it home. I didn't drive a mile. Though I don't mind driving, we make much better time when my husband does.

At some point this week, the kids will come home. Though I miss them, I do enjoy the time today to get caught back up with things before they storm the castle.


With the days of summer winding down, what are you most looking forward to about Fall?

Another Hot Saturday Night


It's 10:20 and I'm in bed. Catching up on my computer time, I'm listening to David Gray on Live from the Artist's Den on PBS.

Yes. Public Television.

I may have mentioned a time or two that we don't have cable, direct tv, dish, DVR, or any channels that can't be picked up on an HD Antenna.

Yes. Antenna.

This afternoon I tidied the bedroom to Antiques Roadshow. Later, I folded laundry to The Lawrence Welk Show. That took me back to sitting on my Great Grandmother's floor, eating an ice cream sandwich and drinking a strawberry or grape pop. Or sometimes, if the fates were with us - a Dr Pepper.

When we were younger, we'd go play in the basement, careful of her wintered plants, crank up the gramophone, and jump on the spare bed. As we grew, we'd greet her with a hug and a kiss, inspect her insignificant flaws in her thread crochet, and then ask if we could change the channel. Mom would sometimes object, but Gram over-rode those objections and we'd find ourselves watching MTV - something it seemed that everyone but us had. Yes, country living even then.

There were three things I could always count on when we visited Gram: syrupy sweet pop, ice cream sandwiches, and Lawrence Welk.


What to do today...


The older two are at church day camp this week. Gone from 8 to 3, they leave the youngest at a bit of a loss. Last night at bedtime, she informed me that I need to wake her up so she can tell them goodbye. Even though I knew what would happen, I still woke her up.

I woke her up and carried her downstairs while she asked me how long they'd be gone. Hours or minutes? How long Momma? How long? She solemly hugged them each goodbye and then raised her arms to be held. With big tears, she stood at the door waving as they left.

The tears left as quickly as they came. She's 'recovering' now on the couch, able to watch whatever she wants while I figure out the plan for the day. It won't be as willy-nilly as the rest of the week as we have an oral surgeon appointment for the oldest in the morning and a regular dental appointment for the rest of us this afternoon.

What to do, oh what to do.

There's laundry to be done, drawers to be cleaned out, and toilets to be scrubbed. There's also a baby blanket to be made and curtains to be figured out for the kitchen.

Sew or clean...


Summer Living


I'm as tan, blonde, and thin as I've ever been. Not trying to gloat, but...
For me losing weight, though not easy, isn't the hard part. Maintaining it is. I promised myself once I got back to 175, I'd keep myself in the 170's. Right now I'm 184.

What does that mean?

It means I need to get back to the 80/20 principle. Do good 80% of the time, and the other 20% will work itself out. I found that for the first couple weeks I could do well Monday through Friday and then have a little slack Saturday and Sunday. (Or use Sunday as my "reboot" day - with Friday and Saturday as my slack days.)

For the last several weeks, I found that I can barely eke out one good day, let alone five. It's not that I can't, I just choose not to. And by choose, I mean I grab a bag of chips versus nuts/cheese/veggies. Pizza instead of a salad with a little pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. Crispy tacos instead of a taco salad (no shell). Two bowls of cereal instead of two eggs.

I'm owning these choices.

But it has. to. stop.


As of today, I've had three good days. With the stress of the dentist/oral surgeon Monday, freakishly following my oldest on Tuesday, and now today - I've strung together three good days.


I promised myself once the kids are back in school I'd kick the workout routine in gear. I found that once I dropped the weight, 6 - 8 miles wasn't a problem. I'd like to get back there again.

For now, I'm following my friend Tree's lead... And taking it one more. Let's call it the 3 x 100 Challenge - three exercises, adding one more each day, until I reach 100. Today: one push up, one sit up, and one burpee. Tomorrow - two of each. And so on. See you on Oct 21st...
Now. To find a race to train for...

Lest we forget - Before:
(image) Let's not go back there again.

Please. I beg you.


If you do one thing the summer...


I'm begging you.

Watch your kids when they're on the trampoline.
(image) Accidents happen. Trust me. I know.

We spent a super weekend visiting friends in Minnesota. As we were getting set to leave, Big Girl bonked her knee to her mouth, knocking one of her teeth (adult mind you) out of place. We iced it best we could and got an appointment first thing at the dentist Monday morning.

The dentist quickly referred us to an oral surgeon. He set the tooth to rights and braced it with wire and bonding agent for the next six weeks.

Six weeks. Like a broken arm.
(image) I spent the day yesterday with a shadow. Or a tail. She didn't get much further than five feet from me. I'd leave the room and hear, "mom, where are you?!?" Most of the day was spent on the couch with her.

Today she's off all pain medication and seems to be doing better. She's still pretty much on 'baby food,' but is handling it better than I would.


Of all the things to miss...


Having been here just short of a year, I find myself longing for my clothesline.
(image) A year? As of July 16th, we'll have been in Cow Town for a year. Where, exactly, does the time go?

The days go slow, the years go fast


What greets us when my husband and I slip out on the deck after the kids are in bed:(image) It's quite the life I lead here.

End of the year quilts


For the end of the school year, I finished three quilts.

For the Kindergarten teacher:
(image) For the second grade teacher:
For the fourth grade teacher:
(image) This one proved a bit more of a challenge, as I gave them a square (rectangle actually) and let them design at will. Some ended up "tall" and others "wide". It was a bit of a challenge, but she really liked the end product! As usual, I didn't have enough backing, so I pieced one together.

I think all the teachers really liked them, so much so I've been trying to think of a way to market these for next year...




It's that time of year again: falling back into the pattern of three meals (plus snacks) to keep three kids running.

One of the kids' favorites is gorp. Those of the camping set may already know what I'm talking about - Good Old Raisins & Peanuts. To many, it is simply trail mix. We took it every time we went camping and it was always a hit. The mingling flavors is something I associate with summer.

The great thing about it, is it can contain just about anything:
cereal - regular or sweetened, whatever you have on hand
crackers - goldfish are great
nuts (peanuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds, etc)
seeds (sunflower!)
dried fruit (raisins, cherries, cranberries, apples, etc)
and maybe even a bit of candy (we prefer M&M's because they don't melt in your hands - or turn your mix into a mess).

It is shelf stable and travels well. It can be as upscale or pedestrian as you like. I also like it because it is something the kids can put together on their own.

Our biggest battle is whose turn it is to decide what goes into it. I try and have several options on hand - and inevitably the m&m's are a big hit and get eaten first. It's great to take to the pool and the kids make a bit deal of letting me know when they are eating something other than the candy!


What are some of your favorite summer foods?

My how time flies...


It's been awhile, I know. Things have been a bit hectic and heavy around here.

First off, the kids are out of school and now in summer school! It's not as bad as it sounds - at least for me! We had a week off, it should have been two but had to make up 6 snow days, and back they went. For the week off we hosted a neighborhood boy that had a gap in child care. It was really fun and they were all well behaved. We went to the pool multiple times, painted bird houses, and tye-dyed t-shirts. This week, though, my husband has been dropping them off bright and early at 8 am and I pick them up at noon. It's only for three weeks, and they're doing quite a few fun projects.

Secondly, I made a quilt for each of my kids' teachers - so three if you're keeping track. Hopefully we'll have Internet back at the house soon and I can post pictures. Yes - we're having Internet problems that are keeping me from the rest of the world so I've come to the library to catch up. Even my phone Internet is acting up! You'd think I'd get more done around the house, but there are so many better things to do - like go to the pool!!!

Also, I have come to a realization with someone in my life. This is how it has to be for awhile. I never again want to find myself standing again in a store, mouth hanging open having just been bitched out, swore at, and left. The hits just keep coming and I'm sick of it. How many times can you kick a dog before it flinches every time you walk by? Mad doesn't come close to describe how I'm feeling. Having a relationship that goes from almost daily phone calls to terse texts and knowing that I don't even warrant a phone call is painful. Hurt. Hurt pretty much sums it up. I've been told I just need to "get over it and move on." Easy to say, harder to do. Normally I think I can bounce back pretty quick, but this has cut me to the quick. At some point, the feelings I have will loose intensity and we may be able to at least talk again, but I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to the way things were. I've just been hurt like this one too many times. I know I'm not blameless it this, and have been given plenty of food for introspection.

Finally on the up side, I've managed to maintain my weight pretty well (good?!?). For the first time in more years than I can count, I'm wearing a two piece to the pool. An honest to goodness two piece - no tankini for me - with plenty of (now tanned) tummy showing. And I look so good, I may even post a picture - then again - maybe not!

Happy Friday all!

Memory Quilt


Made this for a friend, whose nephew was taken too young by cancer:
(image) It was a bit hard, knowing that these shirts and sweatshirts once belonged to a promising young man.
(image) I took care to outline each design, holding the quilt together a bit better than if I'd just stitched in the ditch. The final measurement was 64" x 80".

(image) It was an emotional one to put together, I tell you. But getting a phone call saying it was more she'd dreamed of made it all worth it. I hope it brings the family some peace, if nothing more than to hold.


Time keeps on slipping... Into the future


Here I sit, wondering how this happened...
(image) My boy turned eight.
(image) Eight years ago, on Mother's Day we thought our family was complete. (Little did we know we'd have another addition in just two short years, but that's a story for another day.)

(image) Happy Birthday my boy. I love you more than words can say.



I'm at a point right now I never thought I'd be.

I hit my goal weight a couple weeks ago.

In my wildest dream I never thought I'd get to my goal weight. When I started this journey, I would have been happy to drop 20 pounds or so (get below 200). As it went, the weight came off fast and furious and in about 5 months I lost 45 pounds.

Forty five. Never did I think I'd hit 175 again.

That's what I weighed when I graduated from high school.

Right now my goal is to maintain that within four pounds. That keeps me in the 170's. This morning I woke up and wasn't a bit startled when the scale said 179. Rather than sigh and get dismayed, I knew I'd just have to watch it for a few days while the scale inches back down. It's a balance.

The past couple weeks have been an experiment in 'good' eating days and 'bad' eating days. Like I tell my kids - there are no 'bad' foods - just 'always' foods and 'sometimes' foods. You can always have celery sticks, carrots, apple, etc. You can sometimes have candy.

Not that I've been eating candy or anything. ;)


I can hear my husband snoring in the other room


It's early. For me. I've been up since about 3:45 am. The incessant coughing of a five year old will do that. I gave her some medicine about 4:15 and made myself lay back down until 5.

After that? What's the point. If I manage to get back to sleep, it will be painful when the alarm goes off at 7. I'm better off trying to catch a quick nap somewhere in the mad dash that is Saturday.

Today's going to be a busy one:
The boy has a hockey game from 9 - 10,
the Baby has an extra dance class from 11 - 12,
the oldest has softball practice from 11 - 12:30,
the oldest has dance from 1 - 4 (normally 1 - 2)
the oldest has a birthday party at 2 - 4:30.

Right after hockey, my husband and son are going to the Indy car race. That will help - the boy won't be whining about having to be away from home. He'd rather be home that driving his sisters to dance class.

I am compromising with my oldest about the dance class/ birthday party debacle. She received the birthday party invitation over a week before we knew of the extended dance class, so I am having her stay until 3, and then she can catch the tail end of the party. Also, they will be having another extended dance class before the recital.

We should be home around 4:30 or 5. I'm hoping for a quick nap before the sleepover - two 7 year old boys - starts. Oy. Their parents have a party, and I offered - no sense paying a sitter when they have been begging for a sleepover.

The month of May is just plain busy. Fall activities are winding down and spring/summer activities are starting up. Soon enough dance and hockey will be over and we'll be left with softball and baseball. My weekends clear up after the fourth of July, pending we don't have to make up any games due to weather. Right now I have five open weeks at the end of summer before school starts and I'm sure looking forward to it.


Take your child to work day


Last Thursday was take your child to work day. My husband took them for the morning, we met for lunch, and I took them for the afternoon.

After finding out what they would be doing, my oldest opted to go back to school.


I wonder why?!?