Friday, February 26, 2010

It's Pretzel Time Somewhere and They are 100% Better than Mine

I think it’s strange that I had an uncontrollable urge to make soft pretzel and Martha Stewart was making them on her show. Unfortunately, I wasn’t watching so I didn’t get to use her fabulous recipe. Instead I used one I found in one of my recipe books. They are still quite edible, but nothing like I have hoped.

I only had unbleached whole white flour. Perfect. This will help my people to get more fiber.

My mom bought me a huge package of yeast. Oh, the lovely gifts she gives. I'm used to the little packets that contain a pre-measured amount. This mystery amount is not in the recipe, it called for a packet. So I had to look this up and a packet contained 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast. Just so you know. Look at the lovely yeast proofing.

So the dough gets to rise for and hour and some. Great project, because you have time to clean up the kitchen before you completely trash it again.

A beautiful dough appears ready to be made into pretzels. (Paparazzi didn't get pictures of this.) Then they get a boiling bath.

Next they are glazed with a bit of egg white and toppings added and then baked. I made salt, poppyseed and garlic. Personally I think they look like casual old men sitting around with their legs crossed.

I will be trying Martha's recipe, because I wasn't smitten with this one. But they are a nice fiber rich treat for the kiddos after school


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Olympic Hopefuls, This Way

This has been the first year the boys have really gotten into the Olympic spirit. The last time it came around; Gus and Griffin had just turned 7 and 3 respectfully and Will was 5. They weren’t that interested. However now, every night we’ve watched whatever we can before bedtime and several nights we’ve watched well after bedtime. With the time change in Sochi for the 2014 Olympics it will be interesting how that plays out for viewing. By then the kids will be 15, 13 and 11 and hopefully even more involved and hyped up then now.

They are, of course, in love with Shaun White, Bode Miller and Apollo Ohno. I love listening to them talk about how fantastic they are going to be when they’re in the Olympics. Please note they do not skate or ski. They do sled . . . bobsled maybe? Who knows. I will not reserve a room in Korea, French or Germany for the 2018 Olympics just yet.

I do remember dreaming of standing on the podium to receive my gold medal as I built snowmen and igloos in our backyard as a kid, just as I practice my acceptance speech all the time for an Oscar or Emmy or Tony or whatever. One must be prepared. But there weren’t any snowmen or igloo events. Alas, my Olympic dreams were squashed before they could really take flight.

In an attempt to keep our little brood’s dreams flying high we took them skating.

I love how Joe's holding them up.

Gus has been inline skating and it really helped. He was able to hit the ice and take off. But he got a hold of a little “walker” thing and used that to speed skate all over the place. He’s decided to make a new sport with the “walker.”

Griffin was less fortunate and a wall clinger. Joe was able to get him out onto the ice, but he was very wary and wouldn’t straighten up. The walker did help him, but he was determined to skate without it, having used it before. He wanted to skate like a pro, but found that doesn’t come from pure determination, but actual practice is needed.

Meanwhile, Will . . . oh Will. Will was not going to skate. He had no interest and didn’t even want to try. The whole morning before we went he kept telling, I’m not skating. Fine. He’s the kind of kid I was. Hang back, watch the crowd, see if they die, if not, join in. Luckily no one died and he joined in. And he had a blast. Will expects to know how to do everything perfectly the first time and tends to flip out if he doesn’t. Maybe he's growing up a little, because he didn't flip out, in fact, he fell and got up and kept going.

This is a picture Will requested of him going really fast.

We enjoyed the fact that there was no flipping out, no tears. There were kids crying and carrying on all over the ice, but our guys just went out there and had a good time. So did Joe. Here's a lovely fuzzy picture of Joe skating.

I do love skating. But, with Joe going on the business trip we decided I didn’t need to risk any major damage and I enjoying watching. Next time I’ll be able to participate.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Gifts of TP

I finished a series of Bradley Method® Childbirth classes last night and one of my couples was so sweet and brought a gift. A lovely gift of toilet paper, because the mom had used sooo much of ours. Griffin thought this was a great gift and wanted to make sure we save it forever. So he made a sign for it to keep it safe.


And here's what happened . . .

And here's what happened . . .

The week ended up a little weird and awkward, but I believe the issue is put to rest for now.

On Wednesday when everyone returned to school after break, the principal talked to the two boys involved with the playground incident and deciphered their tales and Gus'. He believes Gus was definitely telling the truth and I'm happy to hear that. I was worried he was getting overly upset.

Boy (B) did see the accused (A) flip my son and drop him on his head. Unfortunately B is also afraid for A. He told the principal he's been tried to not be friends with A, but he hasn't been able to. B ended up being a great resource for our little case, because he was really scared by the way Gus was being treated and wanted to tell, but wasn't brave enough.

On Friday the principal had everyone get together for a little summit. A, B, and Gus talked about what had happened. Before school Gus was concerned B would change his story in front of A and then things would get much worst. Yet he was still determined. B didn't cave. He stuck by Gus. Gus said a very adult thing later, "I'm really surprised by B. I thought he'd change his story, but he didn't. He really showed me what kind of guy he is."

So they all left the meeting knowing the fierce play was over. "A" lost playground priviledges for a week. They all understand any retaliation will be swiftly and painfully dealt with, expulsion. The principal stressed with them that Gus did the right thing and I hope they realize that and don't beat the crap out of him. I wish Gus could have done it without a screaming flipping out fit at 10:30 on the night before a five day break from school. But that's just me.

I'm really proud of Gus. I don't think I could have done what he did, stand up to bullies. It's not just that he told, but he had to sit down with them. Facing your enemies is a very, very brave thing to do.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's Bullysh*t

Last Thursday night I the whole family vegged. With no school the next day, the kids and I caught up on some Idol and Joe poked around on the computer. Around 9 the boys wandered upstairs to watch something else and apparently slam bedroom doors. Joe dealt with the door issue and came back down. A couple minutes later Griffin appeared to let me know Gus was hanging from our canopy bed. This is a capital offense. Joe I believe took the stairs two at a time and pulled the plug saying, "That's it!" Everyone was going to bed. Typical kid responses ensued. But it was Gus that stood out of the crowd.

The kid completely lost it. Screaming bloody murder and throwing himself around, it was a full-fledged fit. A conniption fit. A conniption fit of grand proportions. I have been privy to these before, but this even shocked me. A good portion was used to inflict great harm upon Griffin by screaming, "I hate you!" Griffin was thoroughly and completely devastated. Meanwhile I must note Will, brushed his teeth, put on his pajamas and got in bed, no questions asked.

We were able to get Gus calmed down to a snivelling, quaking, pile of boy in the fetal position in his bed. I knew this had nothing to do with the bed or Griffin tattling on him. We made him apologize to his brother who was still crying and saying, "Gus broke my heart." Just the saddest thing. With Griffin accepting the apology and feeling a little better he was taken to bed by Joe and I attended to Gus who was now bawling on my shoulder. I told him all the things you're suppose to tell someone who's freaking out and he started to talk. The first words out of his mouth really got my attention if everything else hadn't already. Through his tears he said "Do you realize I was tombstoned like five times today?"

O.k. sidebar if you aren't sure what tombstoning is, here's a video.

We freaked. If you had seen Gus' you would have joined us in our freaking. He was terrified. Gus is a little kid. He's more the size of a third grader, than a fifth grader. The kid that he is accusing is 3-4 inches taller and bigger "all over" Gus said.

We asked, where were the recess ladies? They were all gathered together talking by the building. He said the kid tackled him and wouldn't let him go and how was he supposed to get help if he couldn't get up. Meanwhile if he did tell, he would be a "baby" for the rest of his life. All of this was told to us through tears and sobs. Then came the worst part, when he said, "What am I going to do if those kids come to school with knives?" What? What kids? I thought it was only the one. Well, actually he's been having major trouble with a group of four boys. He listed them all off and I have to say he's had trouble in the past with these guys. One of the kids caused us major problems in kindergarten.

Obviously, we're was going to the principal, (and we have) but I wanted to know what Gus wanted to happen. It's a very delicate thing. As a 5th grader you tell on some kids you may just make matters worse. He wants the kids to lose recess for a week, I'm thinking if there's any witnesses, which he gave me a couple names . . . it's gonna be more than recess. But I was impressed that even after I told him I'm not sure the principal can keep his name out of it and these kids are going to know he told, he still wanted me to talk to the principal. It's bad enough to take that risk.

As a parent that always assumes my kid is guilty, before proven innocent I'm so worried he is embellishing. I don't want anyone to get in trouble that shouldn't be, but at the same, if this continues we could have a much bigger situation. Joe took away from Gus' raw emotion and what he said, that he's totally scared.

After hearing everything that happened we got Gus calmed down and I started thinking. How long has this been going on? I know he's been getting comments about his height the last couple of years. We given him strategies to deal with it, but who knows if he used them. But the insomnia since before Christmas break, the mood swings, the falling grades . . . aren't they all signs of emotional distress? Oy! We've been talking about it, but he's never brought this up before.

It's going to be an interested week. I was able to get in to see the principal on Friday . . .were on break until Wednesday, so nothing can be done until then. He's bringing the boys in one at a time and seeing what they have to say. I hope there's a kid in there that caves! Oh it would make it sooo much easier for us.

Meanwhile Gus had a good weekend. I think it helped to get everything off his chest. He knows we're gunning for him and his grandparents are too.

One more thing . . . .Have I mentioned how much I hate WWE? I hope those assholes visit all the kids they unintentionally paralyze.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

He's Done!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Parts and No Stuffing

Snow day for the kids, but I'm missing some white stuff so my new doll lays on the craft table incomplete. I think when I get to the store I will purchase two bags and keep one in reserve for days just like this.
This doll was supposed to be completed and ready for listing last weekend, but I'm having fear of failure issues. Sometimes it's hard to got the mojo going for fear it will all be for nothing. Oh the horror! I should remember that in every failure there's a lesson to be learned. Sometimes that lesson is, don't do that again. I feel like the guy in Field of Dreams. What if I build it and no one comes? Eggy Babies look on in delight.