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Making Plans for 2008

As is customary on New Year’s Eve, I’m wide awake with my laptop warming my lap thinking about what I plan to do in the coming year.

I could start with the ones I want to do and probably need to do, like begin an exercise plan and actually stick to it. However, I should tell you that as I formulate this from my ever-so-comfortable sofa, in the wee hours of the morn, I am also eating gummi bears from a 3 lb. bag that Santa left. So I really don’t see that one working out too well.

I really hate that I feel the need to start out the New Year thinking about losing weight. Well, not so much losing weight as just working out to put things back to where they used to be. Or even just close to where they used to be, because unless Dr. Rey is gonna hook me up with free lipo and a boob job; it’s gonna be awhile before things find themselves back to where they used to be. Even funnier is that I’m the only one who cares. The Hubby likes me in any way, shape, or form.

I also wish I hasn’t turned on Access Hollywood, because all they are talking about it celebrity weight loss. Ugh.

So! This year, I’d like to do something different. Something that I’m fairly certain I have the ability to accomplish. Baby steps, people. Let’s start with a few attainable goals and go from there. Who’s with me?

Five things I plan to do each week in 2008

  1. Write out a weekly to-do list, right here on this blog. I read blogs every day, and I use my blogroll to check out my reads, so it’s definitely a place I will see it. I will also mark off the items I accomplish. Also, by posting it up here, ya’all will be holding me accountable in a way. Also, I won’t lose it somewhere in my house which I usually do.

  2. I would like to try a new recipe for something that strikes my fancy each week. It might be family-friendly, or a dish just for me and The Hubby. Either way, I think I would like to cook more. I enjoy it, and everyone can benefit if I post the best received recipes.
  3. Start power walking in my neighborhood again. You know, the combat the gummi bear addiction.
  4. Learn to say no. I tend to spread myself kind of thin a lot, and I need to learn to stop doing that. I thrive on stress, and it’s probably not helping my health.
  5. Go greener. Bring (and remember to bring!) my own bags to grocery shop or even just to Target. I wash my clothes in cold water already, and I do other things to help the environment, but I want to try to do more. Working 5 minutes from home definitely helps.

    Daisy mentioned in the comments a great blog to check out: Green Boot Camp. I have signed myself up and look forward to being even greener in 2008!

I think this is a great start. I’d love to hear what other people are resolving to do. Leave your blog address in the comments and stop by BlogHer’s 2008 New Year’s Resolution Blogs.

Starting January 1st, look for my list and hold me to it!

Thanks, and Happy New Year!

Posted by Shash @ 5:21 am | 3 Comments   | December 31, 2007

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We’re lighting these babies off!

Every year, sometimes twice a year, we head across Florida to Cocoa Beach to get some fireworks from our favorite store, Phantom Fireworks. Every time, The Hubby gets excited because he has to sign a waiver absolving the store for any responsibility if injury occurs. I suppose the old adage about men and their toys is SO true! Scamp and Spiff like picking out the huge sparklers. This place is HUGE, and the Cocoa Beach store is in what used to be a car dealership.

So, on New Years Eve, at the stroke of midnight, we’ll be lighting these babies off in our cul de sac. Our neighbors have requested it. We’ve all noticed LOADS of pesky birds in our trees, and they need to be removed.

On Monday night. At midnight.

One night only.

(This is so we’re all legal-like)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


Posted by Shash @ 3:39 pm | 1 Comment   | December 29, 2007

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Post Christmas Wrap-Up (Now with a Festive Bow!)

Some signs it’s time for the New Year to arrive:

  1. Teen spends the rest of Christmas Day exclaiming he’s bored after opening his presents in 2.2 seconds. AND after getting video game HE HAD TO HAVE or his world would end.

  2. Teen and Kindergartener spend the next few days fighting about everything under the sun. EVERYTHING. (and absolutely nothing)
  3. You wonder if Santa needs a couple more elves up in the North Pole. Prepare to send whiny, ungrateful kids. In shorts.
  4. You get your period. The big, huge crampy kind that make you want to rip your uterus out. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME!
  5. You spend ALL DAY in your pj’s. And the day after that, and the day after that.
  6. Decide that gummi bears for breakfast is part of one the food groups.
  7. Decide that you HAVE to clean behind the stove RIGHT THIS MINUTE because the Turkey juice spilled down the crack between the counter and the stove, and quickly realize that it has been QUITE AWHILE since you have cleaned behind your stove. Make sure to do this WHILE ALL THE RELATIVES ARE PRESENT so they can see your mad cleaning skillz. Die on spot.
  8. Serve white wine at dinner so mother-in-law, who usually drinks red wines, gets a migraine and has to cut the evening short. See last sentence of #7.
  9. Decide that menstrual pain is too much and go to bed, leaving stressed-out husband with 2 fighting and whining kids ALL BY HIMSELF. With a guest. A teenage guest.
  10. Feign shock and surprise when stressed out hubby punches hole in wall in frustration over his teenage son who didn’t follow his simple directions. Mentally plan to put spackle and trowel in stocking for next year. Or plan trip to Maui like Greeblemonkey did.
  11. Remind self that it’s not a holiday without something happening. Feel grateful that this is all that happened. Remember that for the most part it was a good Christmas, and that I may or may not be using poetic license for this post.

How was it for you? Did you have a good Christmas?

I’m going back to bed.

Posted by Shash @ 5:26 pm | 4 Comments   | December 27, 2007

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My Christmas Gift to You. It’s Oprah Approved. You’re Welcome.

Fisher Nutty Bacon Cheese Ball
Made by Paula Deen on Oprah
From the Artisan Mixer and Use Guide
From Behind the Scenes of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2007

INGREDIENTS

• 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup milk
• 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 1/4 cup (1 ounce) blue cheese, crumbled
• 1/4 cup finely minced green onions (white part only)
• 1 jar diced pimento, drained
• 3/4 cup Fisher pecans, divided (Of course, any nut will do!)
• 10 slices of bacon, cooked, drained, finely crumbled and divided
• Salt and pepper
• 1/4 cup minced parsley
• 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds

PREPARATION

Place cream cheese in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to Speed Two and mix 1 minute. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to Speed Two and gradually add milk, mixing until well blended about 1 minute. Stop and scrape bowl. Add cheeses, onions, pimientos, half of the bacon and half the pecans. Turn to Speed 4 and beat until well blended, about another minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap. Form into a ball and wrap tightly.

Repeat with the remaining mixture. Refrigerate (or freeze) at least 2 hours.

Combine the remaining bacon and remaining pecans, parsley and poppy seeds in a pie plate. Then, remove the plastic wrap and roll the cheese ball lightly in the bacon/nut mixture until evenly coated. Wrap it back up in plastic wrap and refrigerate again until ready to use.

____________________________________________________

This went over really well at a Holiday Party I was just at on Friday. I made enough for two, and plan to serve the second one to my family on Christmas during all the bowl games. Incredibly easy, and incredibly delicious!

To all my old friends, my new ones, my Twitteristas, my BlogHers (and BlogHims!); I am so glad to have spent this year with you, and I look forward to spending more time with you in 2008. Thanks for everything!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Love,
Shash


Posted by Shash @ 5:35 am | 2 Comments   | December 24, 2007

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I Blame It On the Oppressive Heat

The CrazedMommy clan met up with the NinjaPoodles clan at the Happiest Place on Earth. (Except for Belinda right now. Note foot at end of her post. Yikes!)

We had a blast. Took them to Joe’s Crab Shack, where Alex got the best shirt I have ever seen! The kids got to play at the playground while we ate and Alex’s mom was (is!) awesome. And Bella? Well, Belinda and I might have been discussing a trade where she gets one of my boys in exchange for Bella. I was gunning for the tall one.

Bella strongly disagreed with this theory, going so far as to vomit her dinner in my van. I guess that means a big NO from Miss Bella.

No matter. She and the boys hit it off like a house on fire. Alex made me laugh until my sides hurt. Belinda and I talked while I drove them all over Disney property and off it. Belinda noted that at least here I knew where I was going, as opposed to Chicago.

We bid adieu to our “family”, and set off for some inexpensive (read: free) fun to be had at Disney. It is there if you look. We found it upstairs at the Monorail Platform. Stephen hooked us up with a front row seat on the blue monorail, and we took off for a “grand circle trip around the Magic Kingdom”.

This was Scamp’s first time in the front of the monorail, and he was psyched. We stopped at the Magic Kingdom, and headed toward the Contemporary Resort. I peppered our conversation with tidbits about the parks I recalled from my youth and from working there when I was a teenager. I guess you could say for many who grow up in Orlando, Disney is somewhat of a “Family Business”, and for me that was no exception.

Scamp marveled at how the monorail went into the hotel, and was surprised when we stopped yet again and didn’t get out. (truth? I didn’t want to lose our great spot; and because we were three, they couldn’t take on anymore people unless it was just one more)

A new guy joined us up front to drive the monorail, and asked the boys if they wanted to drive part of the way to our final destination. Two boys eagerly jumped at the chance and had the best time “helping” drive the monorail around the loop. As we departed, he gave both boys a monorail driving license. Scamp immediately said “Mom! We have to frame this!”

In the meantime, while I look for a suitable frame, here are some of the photos of our day:

The rest can be found here.

Posted by Shash @ 6:03 am | 1 Comment   | December 11, 2007

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Lovely Latkes

mmmmmm….latkes.

Culturally speaking, this is the best time of year to be Jewish. We light candles, we share and sing, and make huge meals that bring friends and family together. Best of all, we fry potatoes in oil. Now, I know what you’re thinking, um, Shash? Them’s french fries.

Trust me, no they are NOT.

They are more like hash browns, but thicker and way better

Latkes can be made so many ways. I’ve had them thin, I’ve had them thick (like a potato pancake), but I’m biased, and I think the way I make them is the best. No offense to anyone else, of course, but they are.

So my gift to you today is my super-secret latke recipe. You’re welcome.

CrazedMommy’s Latkes
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

4 to 6 large potatoes
3 eggs
salt to taste
pepper to taste
4 tablespoons flour
1.5 tablespoons grated onion (more if you like onions)
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 teaspoon chopped parsley
Oil for frying (I use canola oil)

Prep:

  • Peel and grate potatoes. (I use a Cuisinart to grate my potatoes. It’s faster, and the kids like to see the potato get swallowed up by the blade.)
  • Rinse the potatoes and drain the liquid.
  • Beat eggs and add to potatoes. Add all the other ingredients except the oil.
  • Speaking of the oil, heat that up in a large pan or wok. Put enough in to almost cover the potatoes when you drop them in.
  • Drop a serving spoon size of the potato mixture into the heated oil.
  • Brown on both sides, then place on a paper towel on a plate to drain and cool. Eat while still warm!
  • Serve with applesauce and/or sour cream on the side for garnishes. Or, just eat them plain like I do!

You can also grate a batch of potatoes ahead of time and store in your refrigerator in a bowl of cold water. Just squeeze out the excess liquid before using them. This also makes the latke crispier on the edges, and as The Hubby would say, much more delicious!

Now go forth and embrace your inner Jew. It’s in there, I promise you!

Posted by Shash @ 1:54 pm | 4 Comments   | December 6, 2007

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Ghetto Fabulous for the Holidays

Exhibit A:

Sorry about the out of focus shot, but I might get a little mesmerized by the fiber optics of this Dollar Store gem. It has a place of honor in my family room, and I have to admit, I get excited each year when I know it’s about that time to bring it out and set it up. I picked it up a few years ago when I went to the Dollar General for some sidewalk chalk to give as classroom gifts to Scamp’s Preschool class. I saw this tree, all sparkly and shiny, and I had to have it. Ten dollars later, and I had a little bit o’ bling for the family room.

Tomorrow starts the first night of Hanukkah. The Menorah is ready, the candles ready to be lit. The mantle is dressed, the candles are in the windows (New Englanders know what I mean) and my wreath is on my door. I have a few finishing touches, some Luminarias to add outside and a Hanukkah Bush to buy. Ornaments to hang, and meals to prepare. Holiday Cards to mail, and friends to spend time with.

I love the Holidays…

Posted by Shash @ 5:03 am | 1 Comment   | December 4, 2007

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History Repeating

This is Scamp’s Kindergarten report card:

I know what you are thinking, it’s not that bad. And really, it’s not. Boys are generally tough on their school supplies. Boys can’t keep their hands to themselves. “Directions? What are those?” “Oh, you wanted me to finish that?” “Huh? Were you talking to ME?” You know, the usual. It’s a boy thing and I totally get it.

I just wish his teacher did too.

I’m not surprised about some of the other things marked N either. Participates in Group Activities? Not Scamp. Not willingly, anyway. Never really has. Expresses Feelings in Acceptable Ways? Unless whining and temper tantrums is the new communication in Kindergarten, but if not then we might have a problem. Follows Rules Without Constant Reminders? Um, yeah….about that. His middle name should be “Needs Constant Reminding”. Then again, so should his older brother. You know, the one with the Asperger’s label?

And that is my point.

Yes, my son is brilliantly smart. Precocious, too. Funny. Cuddly even. But his older brother has Asperger’s Syndrome. And while he is very different from his brother in many ways, he is obviously very similar in others. Other ways that over time will make or break his educational future. Other ways that are ever so slightly beginning to break his spirit because he is noticing the differences between himself and his classmates.

“Mom, I can’t go to school. I scribble. Only babies scribble.”

“Mom, you like it when I scribble? Am I good, mama?”

“I don’t want to go to school. I hate school. Can I stay home?”

Unless I do something to help the people who work with him understand that many of those N‘s don’t mean anything, and that in time it will all work itself out.

Before they break his spirit. Before they break his heart (and mine).

Before they break him.

Posted by Shash @ 3:33 am | 2 Comments   |

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He’s Making a List, He’s Checking it Twice

…and he doesn’t care if he’s naughty or nice…

Scamp came home from school today and immediately announced that he HAD to have an XBOX 360 for Christmas. Had to.

He wants to get one so he can play Halo3. Where did he learn this, you ask? His older brother? No. Neighbors? No.

He learned it from this.
(watch the reruns during the holidays. Don’t watch it online, the writers receive no residuals when you do that…yet. I gotta support the writers!)

*Going to check prices on the XBOX now*

Posted by Shash @ 10:42 pm | 1 Comment   | November 30, 2007

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The Day Before the End of NaBloPoMo Deserves A Meme

So Daisy tagged me for a meme….

Here’s the rules:

1) Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself.
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven Random (Holiday) Facts About CrazedMommy and Her Family
by Shash
  1. I haven’t even started my Holiday Cards yet. Usually I’m done by now.
  2. I’m almost done with the shopping of the gifts. Yes, feel free to hate me.
  3. I get kind of upset when I have people tell me that Hanukkah isn’t really a holiday, and shouldn’t be lumped into the season. ANY holiday that promotes spending time with family, sharing a meal, and potato latkes should be celebrated, AND shared. With everyone. Tis the season, after all!
  4. My kids light the Menorah, but we do not open our gifts, one each night. Actually, we GIVE gifts during this time to our friends, our neighbors, people in our community.
  5. We open our gifts on Christmas Day, because that is what happens when a nice Jewish girl marries a nice Episcopalian boy; also when religion doesn’t play a huge role in your decision to marry, this is what happens. I think it is a lovely tradition that has served our family well.
  6. We also have a tree. It even has ornaments. We call it a Hanukkah Bush. It is a tradition my mother started, and you just don’t mess with Mamma. Or her traditions. Besides, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think she’d be proud.
  7. Hanukkah begins at sundown on Tuesday night. Latkes at my house!!!

So there it is. Now, the next seven people who read this have to go and do the meme on their blog and post back in the comments so we can all go see what your 7 facts are. Easy Peasy!

Hey!!! It’s almost December 1st!!!

Posted by Shash @ 7:30 pm | 1 Comment   | November 29, 2007

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