Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth it....

So about a year ago I got the bright idea to start making homemade pizza. I could control the ingredients, my kids could have fun picking their own toppings, and it would be a fun family night for all. I bought a pizza stone and peel, loaded up on ingredients, and set out to make our first pizzas. After a little to-do with the yeast (I had to rush out at the last minute and buy more) we were successfully baking our own pizzas. And they were pretty good! The kids thought the crust was a bit hard, so I messed around with temperatures and baking times, and all in all we were doing pretty well.

Over time, pizza night devolved into me making them, and then hollering down to the basement play room for the older two to come up for dinner. We never ended up eating together because Matt and I had to wait 20 minutes for our pizza to cook after theirs was finished, and then it was so scalding hot we had to wait to eat it. And then there's the fact that the dough was never, ever the same twice. Instead of nice round pizza-looking pizzas, they were always kind of square-ish. I found that as long as I didn't vary from pepperoni or mushroom or black olive toppings, things stayed together pretty well. Well - as you can see from the photos, I may have finally found the straw that broke the camel's back. We had some Canadian bacon left over from another meal as well as a pineapple, and knowing that my husband likes Hawaiian pizza, I thought, great! We're all set! So I dice up the pineapple and load up my first pizza with half pepperoni for William, and half pineapple for Evie. I place the stone in the oven, and away we go! Everything went perfect until I went to pull it out of the oven. My guess is that the juice from the pineapple made that half soggy or whatever, and when I tried to pull it off the stone the whole thing just fell apart. All over my 475 degree oven. That I had just cleaned 2 weeks ago. So. Since the pepperoni half was still good, the little ones dined somewhat halfheartedly on that, and Matt called up Mario's and ordered a pizza for the older 2 and a stromboli for himself. I was so mad I went down and did the FIRM for an hour. Nothing like a 'ham-tap-repeater' series or 'tall box climb' to work off some steam. And once the oven cooled off I had the lovely task of scraping burnt cheese and pineapple off the bottom and hoping I didn't set off the smoke detectors when I turned it on again.

So, will I make pizza again? Yes, I'm going to try another dough recipe from that I can make in my bread machine (another piece of equipment sitting on my kitchen counter from an earlier bright idea). I'll be sure to let you know how that turns out. =-)

Our tumultuous life with a seven year old

So I was going through a pile on my kitchen counter this morning (more on the piles in my kitchen another day) and I ran across this note from my 7 year old. She wrote this on the last day of school before Christmas because we were punishing her for some reason that I'm sure she deserved. So much for the fear of coal and no presents from Santa for inducing good behavior! Anyway - Evie was sent to her room, and a little while later I found this note on my bathroom counter. I find it funny on so many levels - there's the anger that comes through for us 'bossing' her around, and then there's the love - 'but here's a Christmas present...I love you'. And then the closure - she really obviously wanted to write hate. I remember writing notes to my parents and sneaking them to them when I was little and I'm pretty sure I was apologetic in them. I have other notes from Evie that run in the same vein.

I think one of the hardest things about having 6 people in your house is all the different personalities and individual agendas that go along with it. Very rarely does everyone want to do the same thing together so that we can all have a good time. There's always an element of ying and yang going on with Evie and William; when one is pleasant and cooperative, the other one is angry or miserable somehow. I'm hoping the holidays next year are a little more relaxed, but I'm not counting on it. It's probably going to be more like Mr. Toad's wild ride. Should make for some good stories.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This is what happens with #4

Lots of people, mainly those with three children or less, have asked how you manage with four. Here's an honest answer: by number 4, all of your baby things are at least 6 years old and falling apart. So the safety latches you installed on your cabinets when you moved into your house 6 years ago have now become brittle and are all breaking. Or, your boy children are more mechanical than the girls, and have figured out how to open them by 14 months. Regardless, by number four, you have been reduced to allowing this to happen while cooking dinner or dealing with other various tasks:

Yes, that's my darling son helping himself to the cheerios, something he manages to accomplish several times a day. Sometimes his sister joins him and they have a cheerio picnic on the rug in front of the refrigerator. This morning I caught him toddling around (a new trick) with a fistful of them which he proceeded to snack off of. So, there you have it. An honest look at where you end up with four. Crumbs everywhere, and very little control over anything. Thank God the latches under my kitchen sink are of a different type and are still intact.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

An Introduction

Welcome! Here you will find the neurotic ramblings of a stay-at-home Mom who can't seem to get a handle on keeping the house neat what with the 5 other people living here with me. I cook, clean, shop, and shuttle 4 kids aged 7 and under to where they need to be; add to that some time to exercise and my internet addiction, and you can see how it all slips away from me. Luckily, there is my other favorite addiction:

Coffee! Warm, sweet, compelling. I was up at 6:15 this morning, in the shower, and all I could think about was getting downstairs for that first brain-stimulating cup. Yum. I never understood until now why my father drinks it all day long. I'm trying to hold myself back to 3/4 of a pot at the moment. Our current grind is Mayorga's Organic medium roast. I haven't found anything I like better as of yet. Anyway - thanks for joining me here; come back now and then (I can't promise regular postings!) and I'll give you glimpses of our life - maybe you will then feel better about yours!

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