Saturday, December 8, 2012

Great, Easy, Christmas-y Caprese Appetizer!

Best simple app idea ever - and looks adorable for a holiday party!

Buy a couple contianers of those little fresh mozarella balls. A container of red grape tomatoes. A couple packages of basil, if you don't have your own growing.

Grab a package of toothpicks.

Stab end of basil leave. Stab tomato. Stab cheese. Stab other end of basil leave.

Arrange on platter. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper. Drizzle some olive oil and quality balsamic.

Delicious. And festive!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

The End of November?!

Sorry it has been a while since my last post... Time gets away from me.

Things got a little crazy the last couple weeks. I accepted a new job. It wasn't particularly planned, I was contacted by a recruiter and the job sounded really exciting. I had thought I would start looking next Spring, so I just sped up my plans. But that means I'm leaving a company I've been with for 13 YEARS. I basically grew up there, career-wise. I started as an entry-level coordinator (who probably wasn't even qualified for that job) and am leaving as a Director with responsibility for 6 major lines of business. So even though it is time for me to do something new, and I'm excited about the move, I'm leaving lots of people and projects I have strong ties to. I'm grateful for the opportunities I had and the people I met, and I'm ready for the next challenge.

I gave more than 2 weeks notice, because I wanted to see my old company through Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And what fun that was!! As is the case every year, Marketing did everything they could to take the site down with huge email sends and crazy, convoluted promotions. Infrastructure blamed applications for the poor performance (unoptimized queries) and applications blamed infrastructure for the poor performance (inadequate server sizing). Whatever, I'm pretty sure they were both at fault. And I don't really care who is to blame, I just want it fixed. So tweak the stored procedures and add another blade to the database box, and let's get going!

We also got to go to J's parent-teacher conference this week. It's so interesting to hear how someone else sees your kid. And, I suppose, to get a view to how he acts when he's not with you. Nothing terribly surprising - he's super smart, he doesn't test all that well because he rushes, he makes friends easily, he's funny. His teacher seems to really enjoy having him in her class, which is nice to hear. He loves school, so I certainly can't ask for anything more.

We had our last week of soccer. Both of them had a great time, both of them are among the better players on their teams. It remains to o be seen if G plays next year. After all the drama of this season, she sometimes says she loves soccer and other times says that she would rather not play any more. I guess we'll see what her mood is next year - no need to worry too much about it now!

Next up, I need to do some posts on food. Thanksgiving gave me lots of material!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Best Carrot Cake EVER

Right up front, I'm going to say this: This cake is not good for you. You will feel your arteries twitch as you read it. But it is absolutely, positively, freaking fantastic.

Cake

3 sticks, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter three 9 inch round cake pans with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside. (I use parchment paper usually - they seem to stick a bit more than other cakes.) 

With your mixer, cream the butter. Add the sugar, and beat. 

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and mix well.

 Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar, alternating with the eggs, beating well after the addition of each. Then add the vanilla extract and mix. Finally, add the carrots and beat on medium speed until well incorporated. If you are using pecans, fold them in now, manually. 

Divide the batter (it's really thick, that's fine, don't panic!) between the 3 cake pans and bake until set and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean (usually about  25 to 30 minutes). 

Remove from the oven and let rest in the pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, remove from the pans, and let cool.

While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. 

First, in a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, beating constantly. Then add the vanilla. If you're using pecans, you can fold them in now... Or you can use the nuts to decorate the frosted cake.

When the cake is cool, stack and frost. Then let the frosting harden slightly before serving (I put mine in the refrigerator). 

Kids love it. Adults love it. Dogs love it. Your cardiologist probably loves it, but won't say that on the record. 

(Don't be thrown by the picture - I doubled the recipe and made a two layer 9x13 for a very large group.)


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Scavenger Hunt!

Last weekend, I took the kids to the zoo. G had earned the trip awhile ago, and we had been trying to find a good day. Finally, I just decided that we had to go for it.

We have a membership, so we have been fairly often and the kids know the general layout. It also means that we pretty much end up going to the same sections every time, as they have their favorite things to see and do and that place is just too big to cover the whole thing in one day with small people.

I came up with a plan - scavenger hunt! I made a list of 20 things to find and wrote the list out twice. I wanted them to be able to easily check things off, but clipboards would be too big and awkward for them, I thought (plus, I'd be lucky to find one of those in this house, never mind two). So I glue sticked (that's a verb, right?!) the papers to cardboard and attached pens.

I built the list to have a variety of animals (I looked at the zoo map online and listed ones that we don't always get to see, but could be found along a route rather than sprinkled all over the place), words for them to find that I knew would be on signs, and sights we were sure to see ("crying baby").

 The kids were very excited about the plan. They got dressed, I packed lunch and snacks, and we were ready to hit the road. We left the husband watching football, and headed out.

It was SO much fun. And showed me just how observant and creative J & G can be. They saw stuffed animals in the gift shop window and thought they should be able to use that for "koala bear". Sure! (And good thing - the koalas are off exhibit right now.) They convinced me that the sky tram could be a "swing". (I had been thinking of the monkey enclosure, but the tram works, too.) J spotted a display at a food stand and told me that they were obviously trying to make the plastic look like ice around the beverage display, so that should count. (Saved us walking all the way up to the polar bear exhibit - sold!)

They worked as a team, pointing things out to each other. We saw sections of the zoo we haven't seen in many trips. They were completely engaged. I got no complaints about being tired and needing to be carried. They carried their own boards the entire time, even figuring out that they could hang them around their necks and clip the pen to the string to carry them. All in all, a huge success and a great way to see things in a new way.

Looking forward, I think it would be fun with two adults to split up and see how many things each twosome could find in a set amount of time, too. We'll have to try that some day.

J already wants to do a scavenger hunt the next time we go to the Midway. That will definitely require some time on their web site, figuring out what planes to list!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Romance -- Done Our Way

We don't have a babysitter or family around to take our kids off our hands occasionally. So everything we do, the kids do with us. If we want to do something that doesn't allow for a 4 and 5 year old to tag along (concerts, watching a football game at a bar, etc), we have to agree which of us would enjoy the experience more, and the other parent stays home with the kids (usually me, since the husband is with them a minimum of 50 hrs a week (and usually more) while I'm working). This means we really never have 'alone' time with one another.

Recently we discovered that on one Saturday each month, our YMCA does a 'Parent's Night Out'. For two kids, it's a little expensive ($50), but if you think about getting a babysitter for two kids for 5 hours, it's probably comparable. Not a lot of detail, but they promised activities and dinner and the kids liked the sound of it, so we decided to give it a try.

Last night was our first night out. We dropped the kids off at the Y at 430ish (we were running a little late because G had the usual wardrobe issues of trying to find an ensemble she considered appropriate for the event), and we were off for a night of adult fun.


Yeah, right. This is us, remember?!

First stop: Costco - admittedly the long wait in the gas line was more enjoyable without moaning from the back seat, and we got through the place in record time without having to stop at each and every sample station. We did walk down the wine aisle, if that counts as romantic at all? (Though the husband noted that the aisle with beer on one side and auto supplies stuff on the other side was really more romantic. He sure knows how to make my heart flutter.)

Back home to drop stuff off and get the cold things into the freezer/refrigerator, then back out. Next stop: Big Lots. Yep. Big Lots. I needed a set of plastic drawers to store all the random kid's stuff you want to save (art projects, favorite toys they've outgrown, etc). I already have a couple large flat bins int he garage, but need something more convenient in the house - otherwise, the papers just pile up on my desk until I'm tempted to throw them all straight in the trash.

And when we left Big Lots, I saw that they put a Carter's outlet in that strip mall since the last time we were there. So, a quick stop to pick up a few pairs of tights for G, since he favorite fall/winter outfit is a denim skirt, tee, sweater, and patterned tights.

Finally, we got serious about doing something we wouldn't do with the kids, and went to a nice steakhouse for dinner. And felt guilty the whole time, because the kids would have loved it - the ambiance, the filets, the fancy potato options... All right up their alley.

And I don't know about you all, but we talked about the kids the whole time, and I was just fine with that. I don't really understand those people who say you shouldn't talk about the kids while on a 'date night'. The kids are a huge part of what is US. And a chance to have honest conversation about where they're excelling and where they're driving us nuts - without them listening in and getting a big head or hurt feelings - is priceless!

After dinner, we went to the Y to get the kids, even though we had an hour left on the allowed time. But the kids were in the middle of a movie, and basically (politely, I'll give it to them) told us to go away. Ha. So we went to a restaurant/bar nearby until the time was up.

The kids had a good time and said they'd like to do it again. We are already planning to use the next one to do Christmas shopping (more heart-stopping romance, for sure!). All in all, a successful night for everyone - if not exactly the date you might dream of!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween - The Aftermath

J and G had a blast on Halloween. This was the first year they were both old enough to really 'get' it and enjoy the whole experience. They had awesome costumes made by Nama (as usual): J was Spiderman, and G was a water fairy. Neither of them were scared by people in masks (previously a major source of terror for J, especially) or by lawn decorations. They blended right into the gang of kids in the new 'hood, and went hard all night long.

I was not once asked to carry a bag of candy (and they were huge and heavy by the end!) or a child. Thank goodness... They're getting so big, I really think they should be carrying me.

 We tried hard not to get too far off schedule, seeing it was a school night. We had the kids in bed less than an hour past their normal bedtime. Then let them sleep about 15 minutes later than usual in the morning. But, still.

The aftermath.

How long does it take post-holiday to get your children back?? For us, it's usually about a week before they're normal...

Last night they were both almost falling asleep in their plates at dinner. (A new meal, and one with which I was exceptionally happy, but the way. I'll post the recipe sometime soon.)


They're cranky and surly and crazy.

And now we're in that time of year where you barely recover from one holiday, and another one is staring you down.

I cleaned up most of the Halloween decor while they were still sleeping this morning, since it was easier than dealing with the drama of them arguing to keep it up. Of course, as soon as they woke up, they wanted to know when we were going to put up the Thanksgiving  stuff. Good lord...

Which reminds me. I need to start planning the menu. Yay! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!!!!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Plum Tart Thank You

We have friends, S & P, who have no children but always welcome us to their house to use their pool. The kids love going over there - there is a hot tub, a slide... And they're the only kids in the pool, so they get all the toys and floats to themselves.  I usually bring a dessert when we go by, as they have many times commented on how much they enjoy my baking, and do not make such things for themselves.

The other night, S delivered a huge bag of plums to the husband when they met up at their weekly softball game.

I can take a hint. 

I let them ripen for almost a week, then got up early today to put together a tart before the football games started (we have company coming over).

2 cups flour
3/4 cup finely chopped almonds (walnuts are probably more common, but I don't like them)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg yolk
2 pounds ripe plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the flour, almonds, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and the egg yolk. Mix by hand until crumbly.
Press 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of a tart pan. Arrange the plums on top, skin side down, to form a flower pattern (it works best if you begin at the outside and work your way in).
Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the plums. Bake the tart for 40 to 50 minutes, until it's lightly browned and the juices are bubbling. 

Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer the tart to a flat plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Now to talk the husband into delivering it, once it has cooled...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What Happened to Basic Human Decency?

I frequently wonder what happened to respect in our society. We can blame many things, not the least of which is reality tv. 

But, in all seriousness, it is a direct reflection of what we teach our children. Not only that we tell them to respect their elders and treat all people with kindness, honesty, and respect. But that we model that in our interactions with the people we work with, our neighbors, the guy emptying trashcans at the park... We all know, whether we want to admit it or not, that kids pay far far far more attention to what we say than to what we do.

And right now, the examples are voluminous and unavoidable. That's right, it's election time.

Seriously, how am I supposed to teach my kids to treat other people as they want to be treated, to offer dignity and respect to every person they meet no matter what that person looks like or sounds like or does, etc, when these people and their 'advocates' are being, to be blunt, absolutely abhorrently vile to one another?!

But a particularly horrible example happened last week. You may have already heard about it. Ann Coulter sent a reprehensible tweet (now is not the time or place for one of my Twitter rants, but damn I want to go there!):

"I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard."   

It hurts me just to type that.

I don't care if you're a Republican or a Democrat. I don't care if you would bear Romney's children or think Obama is the greatest man to ever walk the earth. That statement is completely unacceptable, and if Americans can't see that and call her on it, I fear deeply for our society and children.

But then the light broke over the horizon, and my sadness was dispelled by one of the most beautifully succinct and well-considered responses I have ever seen to a grievous injustice. From Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens:

Dear Ann Coulter,

Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren't dumb and you aren't shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

I'm a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public's perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.

Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.

Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.

Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are - and much, much more.

After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.

I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.

Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.

No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.

Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.

A friend you haven't made yet,
John Franklin Stephens
Global Messenger
Special Olympics Virginia
 
Kudos, Mr. Stephens. You have touched my heart. You have exemplified what I hope my children become. I will read your letter to them, and continue to read it to them, and hope that they grow to be as smart, articulate, generous and considerate as you.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Easy Potato Soup

Today was a slightly rainy, cool football Sunday. Soup was the obvious dinner - something warm and hearty, but since I was looking another work week in the eye and needing to still get through my list of weekend chores, something easy.

Enter potato soup. I microwave the potatoes in the afternoon, then leave them on the cutting board to cool. When I'm ready to start dinner, it's all of a half hour of putting it together, and the kids and husband are happy to sit down and inhale it before moving on to packing backpacks and taking baths. (And going back to football, of course.)



What you'll need:

4 slices of bacon
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cups chicken broth (homemade is best, but canned will work just fine - this is 1 1/2 cans worth)
2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed once they're cool
1 cup half-and-half
shredded cheddar cheese
minced fresh chives (if you happen to have them laying about)

First, cook the bacon In a large saute pan, until it's crisp. Set bacon aside and chop it, but keep the fat in the pan!

Now saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender - it will only take a couple minutes. Then stir in cornstarch, salt, basil and pepper and  mix well. Gradually add the chicken broth, stirring to bring up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring broth to a boil, boil and stir for 2 minutes.

Turn the heat down to simmer, and add the potatoes, cream, and bacon. Heat through but do not boil.

Garnish your soup with cheddar cheese, and chives if you have them.

(If I want a much thicker soup, I use one additional potato and mash it before adding it to the broth.)

There you have it - easy peasy lemon squeezy, as J would say!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Meal Planning

I'm trying something here... Let me know if you like it or not.

I spend time every weekend figuring out the dinner menus for the upcoming week, and planning my shopping list, and collecting my coupons. I thought I would share the results with you, in case it could help save you some time.

If you like this, let me know, and I'll try to do it more frequently!


First, I check the calendar to see if there are any nights where someone won't be home, or we'll be unusually late for dinner, or anything I need to work around.Then I check the grocery store deals, see what is scheduled for my CSA box that week, and double-check what is still lingering in the refrigerator and pantry. With that in mind, I start building out menus. Once I've got them, I make a grocery list and go through and pull any coupons I have.

This week, we're getting beets, green beans, mei qing choi (think baby bok choy), potatoes, bell peppers, butternut squash, and fennel in the CSA box. And I got a good deal on pork tenderloin, apples, and grapes at Costco. There's leftover cauliflower, cheddar cheese, kale, and romano cheese that needs to be used. And the grocery store has discounts on pasta and pork chops...And I know I've got stock, goat cheese, chicken, and bacon in the freezer. So...

Tonight I'll use the pork tenderloin I got as Costco and use up the cauliflower and some cheese that's in the refrigerator. Marinated pork loin with pan sauce and roasted cauliflower it is.

Tomorrow will be potato soup. And since the husband is sure to be sitting around watching football (and I'll join him for a bit, of course!), I'm going to make a bunch of almond crusted goat cheese & grape balls.

Monday will be a cajun chicken alfredo and crusty bread.

Tuesday will be an egg and kale casserole - that will use up the kale and cheddar cheese, and some of the bacon left over from Sunday's potato soup, and the half & half leftover from Monday's alfredo. J has gymnastics til 530, and the husband plays softball later. This will be a pretty quick and easy dinner in between!

On Wednesday, a chicken and sweet potato and apple one pot mix. I'll probably even throw in some of the bacon that will still be lingering.

Thursday is soccer practice, so the kids will be getting home late and everyone will be tired. A pasta with green beans, bell peppers, and goat cheese sounds like just the thing... And I can use up the goat cheese left from Sunday's apps.

J has gymnastics again on Friday. And we're all exhausted from a long week. I'm thinking asian noodle soup with the mei qing.

Finally, Saturday. Broiled chicken thighs with mashed potatoes and veggies will use up lots of stuff: chicken thighs, potatoes, bell peppers, fennel... And be nice and warm and filling after the usual crazy Saturday of multiple soccer games and gymnastics practice.

That means my grocery list (after buying grapes, apples, and pork at Costco) is pretty wonderfully small: a piece of ginger, a package of chinese egg noodles, some yellow onions, the pasta and porkchops that are on sale, a small container of half & half, a pint of grape tomatoes, and a sweet potato. Maybe some brussel sprouts if the price is reasonable.

And, last but certainly not least... Costco had a killer deal on a pretty good Chardonnay. I'm usually more of a pinot noir girl, but you can't beat 50% off quality wine. White will go just fine with each and every one of these meals!

(If you want my recipes for any of these posted, please let me know - I make most stuff up as I go along, but I'm happy to share what works for us!)

Beef Tangine

I woke up today thinking about Beef Tangine.

And then I remembered I had promised to post that recipe.

Well, today is the perfect day for such a dinner. Beef Tangine lends itself to fall - warm, comforting, fragrant. 

And easy. If you're like me, Saturday is full of soccer and laundry and errands and house cleaning. While entertaining the monsters. So this is perfect!

 Beef Tangine

You will need:
 
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb beef shoulder roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes (I've used about every cut there is - they all seem to come out tender and flavorful!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 shallots, quartered
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups cubed (about 1" size) peeled butternut squash (it's about 1 lb) 



Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add beef and toss well to coat.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and shallots; cook about 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 30-60 seconds, til fragrant, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cook 5 more minutes. Then add squash; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until squash is tender.(This takes about 20-30 minutes, in my experience.)

I like to serve mine over couscous. A couple times, when I've discovered I'm out of couscous, I've added a bit more broth and served it with crusty bread, more like a stew.

Either way, it's always amazing.

Enjoy!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A trifecta!

Do you have a child who ends up in your bed most every night? Do you dread waking up with a toe up your nose, and elbow lodged in your ribs, a finger in your ear? Come on, 'fess up. Judging from the number of Google search results, this isn't just a phenomena of my house.

J never came in our bed, not even when he was really little. G, though, from the time she was out of a crib, would end up in our room most every night.

As I've mentioned before, she dealt with night terrors for a long time. So, admittedly, we were not very strict about putting her back into her own bed when she showed up in our room. And, really, we didn't mind. As long as she just climbed in and went back to sleep and wasn't fussing or talking, it was no big deal to have her there. Some nights the kicking and flailing got pretty annoying, but we survived.

But now she's getting pretty big. Between the husband, me, the dog, and a 4 yr old, even a king bed gets a little crowded.

So I've been trying to get her to stay in her own bed for months. I've threatened. I've bribed. Nothing has worked.

Then, the other day, I had a burst of brilliance.

Okay, no, I totally didn't. I just threw something out there.But...

I told her that if she came into our room that night, she should bring her pillow with her. Because she would need to sleep on the floor. She was welcome to come into our room if she was scared or whatever the excuse was, but she wasn't going to sleep in our bed anymore because there wasn't enough room now that she's getting so tall. She would be welcome to sleep on the floor, though, right next to me.

We didn't see her that night. I was merely cautiously optimistic, since she does occasionally stay in her own bed all night. But then we didn't see her the next night, either. I knocked on wood. And now we have been G-free for THREE NIGHTS in a row. That has not happened. Ever. In her mobile life.

I would love to announce that I am the most brilliant parent alive. But I've got to be honest. I just stumbled on it, and it worked.

Now I must share... Spread the word, my friends. And yourself. Reclaim the portions of the bed toward center of that edge you've been hanging off all this time.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dirty Underwear

I have reached a new low as a mama.

Yesterday, I went to get the kids' soccer uniforms out and ready for them to change post-breakfast. To realize that they hadn't been washed since last weekend's game. Oops. Even worse, I also realized that G didn't have any clean underwear.

This would be no big deal for J. Wear dirty underwear? Okay! Wear no underwear? Even better!

But G is a different story. Whether it's personality or simply being a girl, I'm not sure. But she will NOT wear dirty clothes. And the thought of being without underwear would certainly cause drama.

So I intentionally misled my children.

While they were happily eating pancakes, I grabbed soccer shirts, shorts, and socks out of laundry hampers. I snagged a recent pair of underwear off the top of G's pile. I ran to the garage, and threw the whole bunch into the dryer, ran it for 2 minutes, and came back in with warm, fabric softener smelling clothes. (Except for the socks. Thank goodness they did not sniff the socks. There was clearly no way those things had been washed.)



J pointed out that his jersey was still stained. I 'admitted' to having forgotten to pre-treat it, and promised to do better this week.

They got dressed, oblivious to the fact that Mama is a liar and a failure as a domestic goddess.

But then I went another level down on the ladder of Mamahood.

I totally forgot all about it.

So this morning when G went to get dressed, she realized she had no clean underwear. Cue the epic meltdown.

Lying is a slippery slope, people.

I had to tell her that her laundry was almost done, and I would go get it out of the dryer momentarily.

And then I ran to the garage, grabbed a pair of her underwear from the pile on the floor of STILL unwashed clothes. (Hey - they were sorted and pre-treated. I had made some progress!) I threw the underwear into the dryer that was already running with a load of towels, and let them go for a couple minutes.

Then brought them in triumphantly, as fresh from the dryer panties. (Which is true. They were. Just not fresh from the washer AND dryer panties.)

I will note that I picked a different pair than yesterday's, so she didn't in fact wear one pair for three days.

I suck. But my kids are happy.