There’s a spider in my kitchen. It’s been peeping its ugly little head and a few of its legs out from the crevice between my refrigerator and my spice cabinet. I am sure this larger-than-life spider is devising some diabolical plan to sabotage my plans tocook dinner because surely Mr. Spider knows I am terrified of spiders….like run-run-out-of-a-friend’s-bathroom-with-my-pants- down-because-there’s-a-flipping-spider terrified.

I don’t know why these eight legged friends creep me out. I mean, I sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” with my preschoolers. I even do the hand motions in which my hands look like a spider. I’ve shared 5 of the Miss Spider books with the kiddos too.

miss spider

I really don’t think I’d be too terrified if my kitchen spider looked like Miss Spider and wanted to have a tea party with me or introduce me to the A, B, C’s, but I have a sneaky suspicion that my kitchen spider doesn’t have plans of the sort. Heck, I don’t know if he has plans at all…but I do….

slippers

My weapons against the peeping spider.

You see, I put two shoes near my cooking area. And once I gain enough nerve to go back to the refrigerator and stove area of the kitchen, perhaps I will use my deadly weapons to save myself and my pooches from the likes of Mr. Peeping Spider.

My plan right now is to watch diligently from a safe distance (my office on the other side of the kitchen) for the spider to rear its fuzzy little head or even a leg. Then I am going to use my Hello Kitty slipper to swipe the spider from the crevice and once I confirm that there’s no chance in Hades that this spider could be a relative of cute Miss Spider, I am going to squish it with my flat. (Hopefully this time I won’t break my finger trying to end the life of the creepy spider.)

I am so glad the boys are at practice so there’s no video of what will soon be occurring in my kitchen…..

Wish me luck….I am going back to the kitchen to finish the chicken tikka masala that I promised E I would make tonight. If you don’t hear from me over the next few days, I more likely than not broke my finger(s)……

It’s a rare occasion that all the boys are in the same house. Even rarer when they all want to enjoy a meal at our table rather than sitting in front of computers, phones, televisions, and tablets. This morning was one of those rare occasions…and I feel so blessed!

This morning I tried out a new recipe with a few tweaks to make cheese danishes and chocolate chip cheese danishes. Taking in consideration our son E, the injured one who has declined anything sweet since January besides the occasional strawberry lemonade at a restaurant, I cut the 1/3 C sugar in the recipe to 2 TBSP and relied on the lemon zest to help with cutting some of that ‘cheesy’ taste that some danishes have. I found the recipe through Pinterest (of course I was only looking at the pictures at the time). The link to the recipe is on Lick the Bowl Good.

chocolate chip danish

Chocolate Chip and Cheese Danish

First, let me tell you about my love for puff pastry. Sure, I cheated and bought it at our local commissary rather than making my own. I’ve never tried to make my own, by the way, but I hear rumor that there are recipes floating around somewhere. This stuff is so easy to use…as long as the dough is kept cold. If you leave the dough out at room temperature, the dough gets slimy and hard to work with. (I wouldn’t know this by experience or anything…) The flakey-ness of the dough when baked won my husband over and there’s not a giant CRUNCH sound when devouring  eating the pastries, so I won’t be adding this to my list of foods never to buy again.

The boys really dug the chocolate chip and cheese Danish. E ate two of them and even thanked me for not making something that he couldn’t eat. The others remarked about how tangy the filling was even with the chocolate chips. C, our Senior, dissected his pastry making remarks about how he thought the layers of the bread was ”pretty cool.” I’ll take ”pretty cool” any day!

cheese danish

Cheese Danish

My husband really enjoyed the plain cheese danish. Although, it’s not as pretty as the chocolate chip ones, but they were just as tasty. I enjoyed listening to the boys add suggestions about fillings. But, honestly, I just really loved the opportunity to enjoy a little time with all my handsome boys in one space before they all scatter back to college, their rooms to finish homework, and off to hang out with friends.

There are some days I really wish the boys were all little again, so I would have more days like this. But, then I realize as they grow and leave the house how precious having them visit, hang out, or just call is. Today this mom feels blessed.

Today, I beat our six foot 225 pound man-child to the mailbox to retrieve the mail. I thumbed through the mail, separating the junk mail from meaningful. Lo and behold there are four more acceptance letters for our soon-to-be high school graduate. Smiling from ear-to-ear, I read the envelopes again. “Just what you’ve been waiting for C!” “We await your acceptance by May 1!” and a couple other exciting eye-grabbing quotes. Then, my eyes travel to the left corner. Three are universities from our state and one is from Texas. WHAT?!! Texas?

The only thing my son knows about Texas is that we lived at Ft. Hood many years ago. I am not even sure he remembers much of living in Texas. Shaking, I knock on his door….”C, your mail came. Um…one’s from Texas.” C responds, “Okay, slide it under the door. I’m working on a paper for my class.” I slide the mail under his door. I can hear the squeak of his desk chair as he gets up to head for the door. I knock on the door again…”C, you applied to a school in Texas?” My son responds, “Yeah, Dad knows.”

Now my mind is reeling. Dad knows?!! DAD KNOWS?!! Texas is like a bazillion miles from here! I don’t want my child to live that far from us. All the what if’s invade my mind. I feel like crying. Then, my man-child walks out with an unusual bounce in his step. He announces, “All four of my letters were acceptance letters. They all have merit scholarship offers, too.” I said congratulations and I told him how proud I was of him. He looks at me weirdly and says, “Thanks, but I didn’t expect any of the schools turn me down.”

With that, I have to shove my fearful feelings aside and watch him as his beautiful smile graces his face. Slowly he walks over to me and hugs me and says, “Everything’s going to be okay, Mom.” I fight back tears as he turns and walks back to his room to finish his paper.

nuts and botls

I love my husband. I really do. But I hate to hear him eat anything that can make a crunching sound. This morning he is nomming on his favorite cereal….in the same room as I type this. I am fighting back the urge to take the bowl away, march to the kitchen, and pour his cereal down the disposal.

Sometimes I swear he has had a tiny megaphone surgically installed into the back of his throat that amplifies the noises as he masticates his food. He can even make peach yogurt and a banana have crunch as he eat either of them. It’s a gift, I am sure. But a gift, I would love to return to the Giver.

So far, this Spring Break I have made a list of items I will not be bringing into the house again: doritos, tortilla chips, oil (to fry anything), yogurt, bananas, CEREAL (his favorite just SCREAMS, “Hey I am a loud cereal” as it has Crunch in the title), apples, peaches, watermelon, chocolate chip ice cream, and frozen pizza (unless I am the one that bakes it-he likes to eat things baked until they are hockey pucks). I am sure I am missing a few things, but my running list is on the fridge and if I pass my husband while he’s eating, I may or may not be able to resist the urge to ask him if he’s eating nuts and bolts for breakfast

.

Oscarthegrouch     This is Oscar. Oscar is a five pound four year old rescued Maltese from the ”pound” on post when we lived in South Korea. Oscar is full of energy, likes to run under people’s feet, could be compared to Harry Houdini in the fact that Oscar can escape from almost anything. In fact, recently, Oscar has dug holes the size of larger dogs under our privacy fence to escape our back yard. (He was in the backyard all of 10 minutes to use the potty.) Oscar stops when I or anyone else says the word, “Freeze!” in a loud tone. At least, he does for now.

Every morning, it is the same routine. Our 12 year old Pomeranian, Othello, crawls out from under our bed and scratches on our bedroom door. Oscar then crawls out from under the bed once the door opens and bum-rushes Othello and they both end up in a race to the back door to be let out to use the potty.

Most mornings our elderly cat, Jynx, is awaiting at the door to sit on our back porch for a bit. Today was no different. Oscar made it to the door and looked at Jynx. He starts trying to chase her. Jynx smacks at Oscar with her front two paws (which were declawed by previous owners.) Oscar does this small-barking hop and dance around Jynx. Jynx hisses and growls at Oscar. All while Othello sneaks out to do his business. It’s an exciting wake up, to say the least and can be quite frustrating when one has partaken in one or two adult beverages the night before.

Today, I am determined to devise another routine to let all of our fur-babies out so that our old girl Jynx doesn’t have a heart attack one morning while simply going outside to enjoy the lumen on our back porch.

Our youngest son who is a Junior in high school fractured his tibia in January during his choice sport conditioning. He spent the next 6 weeks on crutches, attending every practice, and soaking in as much of the coaching as possible.

During his 6 weeks of no conditioning or playing, he decided that he was going to start eating healthier. This typically would make any parent proud being as most teenagers that I know enjoy many sodas, some candies, and the more than occasional fast food meal. E, well he was an exception to that ‘rule.’ Ever since his sophomore year and the health class that included lessons from a local chef, E has been paying attention to his food intake and even added more vegetables to his plate.

crutchesWhen E started using his crutches, he announced he wasn’t going to drink anymore orange juice. He said, “There’s too much sugar in each serving.” Thinking that the boy that went through a pitcher full of orange juice in two days was just talking, I waived off his statement. The orange juice sat, and sat, and eventually was drank by one of the older brothers and my husband. He cut out eating bread with his pasta and turned down the occasional cupcake or brownie I baked for bake sales. I started to worry as I noticed he was cutting his caloric intake because, as he said, “I am not doing as much cardio right now, so I don’t need the extra calories.” He didn’t take in account for the energy he expended using crutches everywhere he went.

E was cleared by his doctor and played his first 10 minutes of a game. He came off the field wobbly, but in good spirits. Second game, he played 2 rounds of 10 minutes in each half of the game. Third game, E played 10 minutes and requested not to go back in. He was feeling pain again in the same spot. He came to the car in tears for the 2 hour ride home from the game. We tried to console him. He got angry and began to shut down putting his earphones into his ears.

We took him to the doctor the next day. He was put in a cast and told not to put any pressure on his leg at all for 8 weeks. It hit E hard to hear that he wouldn’t play anymore during his Junior year. E tested out his cast for one day. The next morning, E needed to take a shower before school. My husband and E wrapped and taped the cast with towels, a trash bag, and my classroom Superman duct tape. The effort proved to be futile as I received a frantic call at school about the cast being soaked. The amazing duo next went back to the ortho doctor and E was given a boot.

boot  E’s spirits seemed to had risen once that cast was off. His eating habits and his moods have not improved though. It’s Spring Break here and E refuses to leave the house. It’s a huge act just to get him to come watch a show, play chess or checkers, or even connect 4 launchers. I worry so much about this boy who once was the life of the party.  I have done some research and I have read that this is normal–the moodiness and the  tantrums/lashing out and the living hermit-like. I hope that in two weeks when E goes back to his doctor, he hears what he needs to and can start physical therapy.

But for now, I have talked him into going to the home improvement store to purchase flowers, a couple of trees, and look a vegetables for our garden. He just doesn’t know that we will be going to the next town over to do our shopping.

Mattress stores are grown up playgrounds.

Mattress stores are grown up playgrounds.

Last Saturday, my husband and I visited a mattress store. We finally decided that the Great Divide in our king mattress and springs poking us as we rolled over to our sides had to go. The salesperson, “Jimbo,” was slick and a fast talker, but we did get to lay on the mattresses to test them out. Admittedly, some mattresses, I laid on much longer than I probably should have.

I had no idea of all the fandangled bells and whistles that some of these beds come with. One bed, which was pretty spectacular had a night light, a massager (which actually reminded me of those heart-shaped beds that vibrate that I have only seen in movies), and speakers (so that you can have your music and alarm play from your bed). Many of the beds we tried were adjustable. Some were not. Some had coils, some had coils and foam, some had a special kind of foam that “Jimbo” couldn’t even tell us what it was made of.

So, we made our purchase and bought an adjustable bed despite the fact we had previously discussed that we weren’t going to purchase one. As soon as “Jimbo” told us that we didn’t have to get rid of our own bed frame (which was the first purchase of furniture my husband and I made together as a married couple), we were sold. As we were leaving the store, “Jimbo” called to us, “Get ready for the best sleep you have had in years.”

Yesterday, two young gentlemen delivered our bed, set up everything, gave my husband a crash-course on how to raise and lower the bed, then made him the bed remote control king. After the kind gentlemen took our old mattress and box-springs off to mattress hell, my husband and I broke out the new bedding and sheet set we had purchased for our bed. We made the bed, sat on it, and even called two of our teenagers from their caves rooms to test out the bed (which in theirs and my husband’s minds meant ride the damned thing like it was a roller coaster at Disneyworld).

We professed how there would be no eating in the new bed. I mean, I had saved over half of my teacher salary for several months to pay for this purchase. (I was really saving to pull the carpet from the house and replace it with wood flooring but this was a much-needed purchase since my husband and I were complaining of aches and pains.) Anyhow, that profession of never eating in the bed was broken as soon as soon as the RED BOX movies were dug from my husband’s briefcase. He ate popcorn and raisinets in the bed!

Once the movies were over, lights went out, the adjustable head area was lowered, and we said our goodnight. The novelty of the new bed soon wore off as I began flopping around to find a comfortable spot. I unknowingly volunteered myself for sleep hell. I remember “Jimbo” telling us that it can take up to 30 days to get used to a new bed. But I can tell you one thing, last night was not the best night of sleep I have ever had. insomnia

I know I should be thankful….but I am struggling to be anything but a boo-hoo baby on my three hours of sleep that I finally got….on the sofa.

Hello world!

Posted: March 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

Hello! My name is Rogue. I am an early education teacher, wife, and 4 handsome boys. I’m am a 40 something individual who has finally taken the leap to start writing my experiences and thoughts as an outlet for my own therapy. Some days may be exciting, some may be more frustrating than exciting, but in the end the goal for each day is just to make it through with a smile.

Come along with me and share in my adventures.