We all have colds, so after breakfast, we got a huge stack of books from the kids bookshelf and went into our big bed and settled down for a nice lazy day of book reading. I am not sure where this plan got derailed, but somehow I found myself doing dishes, making snacks and lunch like a nice normal mother instead of the lazy, book reading one I had aspired to be. That is okay, because I certainly felt better about myself having a clean kitchen than I would have otherwise.
Orianna reading comics
Gilbert needing his picture taken too.
Gilbert brought me a box of pasta around 10, looking like he just found the secret to happy Saturdays. I decided to get a jump start on lunch and make it at 10 for him, warming some up at 12 when it was actually lunch time. Clover has made me Ranch Mac & Cheese from noplepig.com blog, but I had never made it. It seemed like just the thing for turning Gilbert's box of noodles into lunch. And it was.
Ranch Macaroni and Cheese
1 16 oz box of pasta (I didn't have elbows, so I used small shells)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, cut up
1 envelope Ranch dressing mix (or 3T of the canister of dressing mix)
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp garlic pepper blend
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
2 c (8 oz) cheese (calls for Monterey Jack and Colby, but I only had cheddar b/c I am boring like that)
1 c sour cream
1/3 c parmesean
crushed saltines is desired (I didn't desire)
Cook the pasta as usual, but without salting the water. Mix everything else, but the cheeses and sour cream AND saltines if you are like that, in a saucepan on low or medium (actually the recipe says dutch oven, but I have no idea why. Maybe Noble Pig has no saucepans). Once hot, stir in cheese. Once that is melted, shut off heat and add sour cream. The parmesean is supposed to be sprinkled on top with the saltines, but I just dumped it in with the sour cream, since I am uninspired about sprinkle-y stuff on my kids macaroni.
Drain pasta. Mix. Enjoy.
It was yum! The kids loved it, with the exception of Orianna who thinks PB&J is the epitome of culinary excellence and doesn't suffer foolish recipes like this gladly.
For my lunch, I jazzed it up a bit. Some leftover chicken, black beans, chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (I might have a love affair with those puppies), some frozen corn, some about-to-go-bad homemade croutons and some cilantro on top. It was SCRUMP-tious.
And if you question why a gestational diabetic is making a lunch of a big plate of pasta, I would have to say, that is between me and my blood sugar monitor, so never you mind. Actually, my blood sugar has been perfect, with slight abberations after chinese buffets and large amounts of chocolate or birthday cake. But I read that eating chocolate every day while pregnant makes your baby more relaxed and happy. Who am I to argue with science?
Then after the noodle thing, I started thinking about Valentines for Orianna. I will admit it--I am a cheapskate. And the idea of going to town to spend $3-$5 on a bunch of silly pieces of paper for kids to throw away is not my idea of a good time. Clover (Clover's ideas were popular today) told me about secret agent josephine's free valentines, so I went to check them out. She has several different years worth on her blog.
Ca-ute! And they are free. Unfortunately, after the last batch of color ink dried out from not being used, I stopped buying color ink. So our printer is just black and white. This is never a problem, except when you want to print out free valentines. Fortunately, there is one page of valentines to color, so that is what we ended up doing.
These were the coloring ones.
And ones that are just adorable woodland ones
I envisioned a happy afternoon with Gilbert napping, two girls, a new box of crayola crayons, valentines and precious memories in the making. Instead I got a bee in my bonnet to open up the closet and sort it out. It has been 6 weeks since our lice episode, so I thought it was probably time. I set the girls up and went to set the closet to rights.
The table from the kids room broke (it was a freebie and couldn't keep up with the dancing and jumping from it) and the top is very handy to flop down on the floor for a hard surface to color on, as a stage, and as a way to contain toys--Keep them ON the table!!!
This is what my house looked like before I got into the closet mess. I don't know why I didn't clean this all up before pulling more out, but that never seems as interesting. Oh and see my new rug? I ordered it last fall, but never put it down because I was saving it for a mythical someday when I needed a new rug. Justin hates me doing this. He is of the opinion that you buy something if you intend to use it now, not three years down the road. Just ask him about our nice silverware that has never seen the light of day since being purchased in 2008. So on one of his days off, I came home from a doctors appointment to find my rug all rolled out. I love it.
This was the mess that was the closet. After removing the sofa and chair cushions. Since we shoved stuff in here willy-nilly at 10 PM on a Saturday night, I couldn't put clothes away that were done after discovering lice, so several loads of clothes were stashed here, as well as bags of toys, oodles of blankets and pillows, way too many winter coats, and the girls little chairs.
This was the living room 10 minutes later. It was depressing. Too terrible to think about. I went and got a glass of water and stood there contemplating the mess. I heard Orianna and Lily talking in their ususal way " 'tend it wasn't there and you didn't know where to look for it." I don't know what they were talking about, but 'tending this mess wasn't there really resonated with me. I thought about running away. I thought about ignoring it. I thought about setting it out by the curb for free. I thought about donating it all to the Salvation Army--if we have lived without for 6 weeks, do we really need it? I thought about just putting it all back in the closet--who needs a place to put clothes anyway? But unfortunately, 6 weeks of not having laundry baskets in my living room and no where NEAR this many toys laying around has made me a softie in regards to messes. I don't LIKE it. I bothers me. Oh how the mighty have fallen. I used to be able to ignore messes like no ones business. So I just decided to deal with it. Three rubbermaid totes of toys were stashed away, a rubbermaid of winter coats was packed away (We have WAY too many of those apparently), and everything else was sorted and put away.
Pollys came back! The girls are extremely happy about this.
Gilbert likes to get in on picture taking now.
Sleeping with the shark that has been AWOL for six weeks
My nice boy!
And this is the current state of the living room. All gone. Except for the box of Polly's. They are back, like it or not.
On a totally different note, my chirstmas cactus is about to bloom! I have had this for a year and a half and it has never bloomed. I am a failure with houseplants. Mom always had great plants inside, but apparently I did not inherit that trait. Lindsey got it in spades and I kill anything that is not a cactus.
This was the end result of coloring valentines.
Orianna had a lot to color, so by the end, these were her valentines. I told her these were scribbly and she couldn't give them to kids in her class and she broke into tears asking me why I didn't like the way she colored. I told her I liked the way she colored, but not the way she scribbled. Turns out she had seen the Polly's coming out of hibernation and no longer cared about coloring valentines. We have enough other ones to give out without the scribbly ones anyway.
All in all, it was a pretty good Saturday.