Thursday, April 10, 2014

peasant bread for idiots

We interrupt this scattered blog that in 13 years has gone from an angsty college girl to a I HAVE KIDS LOOK AT THEM ALL THE TIMES blog - with a recipe.

I know, I know, I am the LAST person on earth who should be giving out any advice about food.  But if you think about it, if there is one recipe out there that even I can do, it has to be foolproof.  I am awful at cooking and eating everyday food - most of my few successful food thingys are party appetizers.  You can't live on appetizers (I've tried).  But I can do bread!  Not healthy bread, but yummy nonetheless.  So when I saw this recipe on Pinterest for peasant bread that was supposedly supersuper easy, I had to try it.  The blogger goes into such detail it almost overwhelmed me, but she was thorough enough that I have become an expert at it.  That whole artisan bread in 5 minutes thing seems nice, but it still feels like a lot of prep to me.  Yes, I'm that lazy.  But this is no-knead, done in 2 and half hours from start to finish.  And it's so flipping good.

But not healthy.

If you want to learn how to make it all fancy-like, go check out Alexandra Cooks where she goes into every detail possible and has way more appetizing photos.  This is how a super lazy person does it. With a coupla iPhone pictures because yes, I'M THAT LAZY.

1. Lightly mix 2 teaspoons active-dry yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 2 cups of warm water in a bowl.  Set your timer for 5 minutes  because there is nothing more annoying that finding a bowl of hyper yeast that you forgot about an hour ago.

2. After 5 minutes,  add 2 teaspoons salt and 4 cups of flour.  What kind of flour?  Who the heck knows.  I use the white stuff I find at Aldi.  That's how I roll.

3.  Stir up the everything till it's all blended in one unattractive blob.  Put it in your oven and turn it on for 350 - for ONE MINUTE ONLY (I recommend the timer too).  This just gets the oven nice and slightly warm enough to help the bread rise faster.

4.  Let it rise for at least an hour.  2 at the most.

5. Get a 3 quart pyrex bowl ( or a few small ones, I don't care) and SLATHER the inside with butter.  Coat it nice and thick.  I use margarine because I'm not a butter snob.  I'm actually butter illiterate and I'm cool with that.

6. Get the risen dough out, deflate it a bit by poking it for a sec (the professionals say "punch it down" but that has always seemed weird to me.), then scoop it out with a big spoon and plop it in the buttered bowl(s).  This is what it'll look like:


7.  Let that rise for about 30 minutes.  It'll look like this:


8. Take a small amount of kosher salt and sprinkle it over the top.  Not a thick layer, just enough to add some flavor to the top since the sides are gonna be SO BUTTERIFFIC.

9.  Put it in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then down to 375 for another 15 or so.  It'll look like this:


10. Flip the bowl over and plop it out onto a cutting board.  If you did you buttering job right, it'll slip out perfectly.  THERE IS NOT SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH BUTTER/MARGARINE.  It'll have the most awesome buttery crust on it:


11.  Slice and eat.


It is so good with fondue, actually.  And the next day grilled sandwiches are divine.  I like to butter one side and fry it up in a pan for a toast-y breakfast the next day too.

If you try it, you gotta tell me how it went.  WonderGirl begs for me to make this all the time - which makes me happy, since the other thing she begs is for mac and cheese out of the box instead of my homemade stuff (which is one of the few things I know how to make from scratch, sob).  Anywho, back to the I HAVE CHILDREN LOOKITLOOKITLOOTKIT tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

this is my day job.

I think it is all important that everyone know that this picture is all Thing 3's fault.

Because of his raging toddler ways, violin and piano lessons have been almost impossible.  He climbs on top of the keyboard whenever he hears it, and has figured out how to grab a downbow and has almost managed to run off with one.

BUT THEN.  I CAME UP WITH THIS.  And we cranked up the keyboard stand so you can only play it sitting on a stool - the one sitting device Thing 3 can't climb.   Mwahahahaaa!!!!!  Violin and piano are back, baby!!!  EVERYTHING ROCKS.

Yeah, I know. I need another outlet.


Monday, March 31, 2014

what YOU doin'?


The Dude has not taken to big-brotherhood gracefully, but I do not give up easily.  So when I caught them playing on Sunday - together - I freaked out.  Little victories.  I take 'em.

On kind of the same topic (not really, but kind of in my head it works) - have you ever been really disliked?  As a grown up, I mean - not as a kid (that's too easy).  And you ran in the same circles?  I have.  I actually don't blame them - if anything I'm always amazed at the caliber of people who are willing to love me.  There are more than enough reasons not to and they are willing to look past my obvious flaws - amazed every time.

It hurts, right?  You make yourself scarce around them and try to be as invisible as possible, and it puts a knot  in your stomach every time.  I'm not perfect at it, but I manage okay when I find myself in that place.  Now here's the question - what if there is someone YOU can't abide?  And you know how crummy it feels to be excluded and frozen out - and can't stand the idea of doing that to someone else?  Just curious - how do you manage your feelings in a situation like that?  I don't want to make anyone have a knot in their stomach because of me.  Fake it till you make it seems to work.  But what if you are having trouble doing that?  I remind myself that people are children of our Father in Heaven and he loves each of us - and it's my job to do the same.  That works most of the time but there are some people who blindside me and I get worn down.  Anywho, what do YOU do?

Also - I'm not talking about YOU.  I love you!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

have an awesome life

How did we ever live without All The Informations All The Times?  And heck, how do we live with All The Informations All The Times?  I lovelovelove things like Pinterest where I can come with a question about something and come away with the coolest solution and visuals.  My FHE prep is like 5 minutes, thanks to that and my handy dandy color printer.  But then there's the dark side.... the self-important Facebook links to top ten lists of what you are doing wrong or should be doing differently or why-the-heck-aren't-you-doing-this things.
 
It's a lovely double-edged sword.  The latest thing that got under my skin about 3 minutes ago (hence this quickly worded post) was the one about how we are an overprotective society and ruining our children.  Lovely memes about how "we survived childhood back in the day, what's wrong with your kid??" - and how living in our culture of technology is dooming their brains and it's all our fault.

All I have to say is...

Good for you.  You are alive and a functioning member of society.  I'm very happy for you.  

I don't have much more than that.  Wait... except for this...

Parenting is HARD.  Most parents have no training whatsoever for this.  It gets harder and harder.  I refuse to feel guilty because I protect my children.  I refuse to feel guilty for allowing them to be tech savvy.  I'm not even going to hedge that with how I only let them use computers and handheld devices for short periods only on even numbered days that land on a Wednesday - because you know what, I don't have to defend myself.  I refuse to demonize other parents for their choices.  Parenting is hard enough.  I refuse to make it harder for anyone else.

We are all in this together.  I support you and will keep my parenting tips to myself, unless it's a girl's night out and we are begging each other for parenting advice, since that's basically the topic of every GNO - that, and birth stories.  We do love to talk about childbirth in public over dinner, am I right?

So dear human, this is for you:




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

hey there mom

How do you de-stress?  The normal mom probably wants some pampering, some peace and quiet, but me?  I just had the best weekend off ever - back to back gigs with my 2 Celtic bands down in ATL.  All that  traveling, time with my fiddle and my favorite musicians on earth was just what I needed.  The husband kept watch over the 3 mini humans and cleaned the kitchen.  He is so flippin' hot.

I woke up yesterday to 3 very happy kids and felt so incredibly blessed and at peace.  I called my mom to get filled in on her latest news, since I'd called her up during the weekend glowing about my own time.  And you know what I found out?

She broke her leg.  Last Thursday.  Skiing.  She didn't want to distract me from my weekend away so she didn't tell me.  How thoughtful and insane is that woman???  She swears all is fine but being a mazillion miles away and having kiddos in school, I'm feeling pretty useless out here.  So I'm going to do my darndest to blog more regularly to distract her.  She likes my blogging and I like that she likes my blogging,  So mom, here's the weekend through camera phone pictures!


My first flight was awesome - window seat with an empty seat next to me and a handful of magazines.  Good omen for the weekend ahead!


Michael always gets me the most awesome gifts - and this was no exception.  How perfect is this shirt??  I wore it for both gigs.  We don't have any Irish heritage, right Mom?  I'd hate to think my t-shirt was a liar.


The first gig was a heavenly 3 hour set with the Blarney Girls.  How weird to see your face all big up in a window like that?  Especially because the pic Michael used was from a selfie we took back in October.  We tried to take a selfie of us in front of the giant selfie of us, but my arm just wasn't long enough.  I'll bet you and your monkey arms could have totally managed it, Mom :)


You wear steel toed Docs, you just get the urge to kick things.



I took this selfie during the Collies gig.  Playing with them is like buttah.  Do you realize this fall will be my 10th anniversary of joining the group??



Homebound.  I had to wear these shoes all Sunday because there was no room in my luggage.  At least they're fun to look at.  Mom actually has a pair of red Docs that are like these but a little taller.  I'd steal them, but my mom in her 60s can still pull off an outfit with those boots better than I can.  Aside from the broken leg, that woman is perfection.


Another bit of good luck - on the way home I got a window seat with an empty seat next to me.  What did I do to deserve such awesome legroom??


And then, back home to my favorite mini humans.  While I was gone, the husband made the long overdue switch to a normal carseat for Thing 3.  He thinks it's the coolest thing ever and I am wondering how he got so ginormous??

Also, I texted this to mom because it made me literally laugh  vocally (JUST SAY NO TO LAUGHING ACRONYMS) but I think it was too small for her to really appreciate it, so here's another shot at it.  I love you, Mom!!!!!!!!



Friday, March 7, 2014

Letters to my daughter #2

The last one was more more planned out - I'm just going to shoot from the hip on this one.

This morning as you raced out of the van for school, I forgot to give you my traditional send-off because I was looking to make sure you were crossing the street safely so the Dude decided he'd do it for me and yelled out from the back seat: " Make good choices!!"

If I really think about it, that's the most important thing I want you to learn.  That's just about all - MAKE GOOD CHOICES.  But for the sake of a decent read, I'll elaborate.

You chose this life.  You chose to come here, to be subjected to the good, the bad and the ugly.  I even believe you chose our family and me as your mom (although in reality, I probably was begging you to be my daughter).  You have made some massive, mighty choices that you don't even remember, but you did. As future WonderGirl, you owe past WonderGirl a huge THANK YOU.  And you owe it to past WG to to use this life you chose wisely.  I thank my younger self for her choices ALL THE TIME.

I thank her for practicing the violin, even though she hated it (playing is fun!  practicing is ugh... but you can't have playing without the practicing).

I thank her for developing good habits and skipping out on the bad ones.  I've got my fair share of vices and flaws, but I'm thankful I don't have bigger ones with consequences that get in the way of my present.

I thank her for listening to my mom.

I thank her for reading her scriptures and writing in her journal.  And for blogging.

I thank her for choosing to get an education - and, not just any education - but pushing to get as much as she could handle.  Now that I have far less personal time, I'm so thankful for the things she learned that I can use now.

I thank her for having really great girlfriends and cultivating some wonderful relationships.  Can you imagine how dull life would be without Aunt Dani??

I thank her for the dumb things she didn't do.

I thank her for listening to a LOT of good music and reading a few really great books.

I thank her for doing hard things.  For not letting the jitters and doubts win.  For apologizing.  For admitting when I had made a mistake.  For getting on stage and pushing through the fear.  I know I didn't get every time right, but those times that I did the hard thing - I grew.  I became someone who I could respect just a little more.  I got a little more confidence so the next time it was easier to do the hard thing.  The moment before I opened my mouth or played my first note - I wanted to run and hide every time - but as soon as it was said or played, the feeling was amazing.  I felt like the floodgates of heaven had been waiting to give me this massive pile of love and peace, but all I had to do was take that one step.  And after I had, I'd look back and wonder why I hadn't done it sooner or why I'd dreaded it so much.

I thank her for listening to my dad.

I thank her for trying lots of things.  For being in the high school musicals, for joining bands, for writing stories, for traveling, for doing open mics, for going swing dancing, and trying out lots of hairstyles.

There are plenty of things that I wish she had done differently, but the good choices have been enough to keep me aimed towards happiness.  Really, my life now is pretty darn awesome, but I couldn't have done it without past me making some really, really good choices.  As I get older and I see how the lives of my peers are turning out, it amazes me how much those choices mattered, how much their effect has on a person for years and years and years.  You can't see where the choices you make will lead you, but you know the difference between good ones and bad ones.  Just trust the that the good ones are worth it.  And that future WonderGirl will thank you.*

*and if you are lucky enough to be a mom, your future children will thank past WG over and over and over and over for the good choices you made.  You aren't just doing all this for you, you know.  So many people are impacted by your choices!  We are all in this together, sweetie - so let's do this right!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

instead of sleeping

Oh, hi. I didn't see you there. Probably because it's 4:55am. I probably should have seen you since I've been awake since 3 and my eyes should be so used to the dark that I should be able to see like I'm wearing night vision goggles. My brain won't hush up. Blarrrrg. I tried listening to General Conference talks, but that just woke me up even more. 

You guys, I need spring in the worst way. I don't even like spring because it's all mushy out and I never have rain boots for me and the kids at the same time, but I'll take anything at this point. This winter has been so brutal in so many ways it needs. to. stop. 

Sooooo cold. I've never had so much cold in my entire life. The wind chill has been below 0 so often that the kids rarely get recess outside.  We had days like that last year, but they were a handful in January. This year the carnage started right after Thanksgiving. I'm done, just DONE. 

It didn't help that the husband had a migraine for the month of January and a Thing 3 started walking in December. The poor guy wants to explore, and he's never walked outside because his toes would fall off. 

But on the positive - he's going to be one year old next week. Did we seriously survive a year already?!  I shouldn't celebrate just yet because his current obsession is to climb into the dishwasher and hug all of the knives, or reach into high drawers and even the counters and get All The Things. Who can blame him? The world us full of amazing discoveries and there are violins everywhere, if he could just get on a chair to reach one.

It's handy that he loves all humans and will quickly forgive the mean ones that snatch away pencils or other fun pointy things that he has found and is trying to stick in his eye while sprinting across the house. Because those smiles - agh!  They slay, really. People fight over who gets to hold him at church while I'm racing around because he will flirt with all the humans. And sometimes the piano. 

But he is asleep and I am awake, having panic attacks about every possible thing. The topics include:

I played violin in church on Sunday and I really dislike doing that for many reasons.  This time I was insane enough to play unaccompanied so I had no place to hide if my bow arm started shaking, which it did. I was blessed to have the strength to keep it on the string, but it's just traumatic, y'all. Still freaking out over that one. 

We have a church thing where I have somehow been put in charge of Mod Podging. The fails have been epic and I have to get this right by Thursday. Save me, internet tutorials!!

I am raising the Dude. 'Nuff said. 

Even though she's doing great, I still worry about the choice to put her ahead a grade. Did I make the wrong choice?  I know I didn't, and she loves not having to be taught separately from the other kids anymore, but the first graders just did a pottery thing in art that she missed out on so there's a good chance this trauma will haunt her for the rest of her life. Or me, whatever. 

Did I mention I'm raising the Dude? His current obsessions are maps and poison ivy. You haven't lived until a 4 year old crawls onto your lap and asks you to tell him all about deadly plants. 

It's 5:40am now, so I guess I could hit the showers. Tuesday, please be kind. 

Thanks for listening, interwebs!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Letters to my daughter #1

I have a super awesome daughter who comes to me with questions and insights that make my heart feel a little too large for my body.  I love her honesty.  I love having the chance to explain things I've learned and have her listen to me - really listen.  She talks about how she wants to have children someday and share these things she's learning with them and this bogglesBOGGLESboggles my mind.    My first few years of parenting would have been SO much easier had I looked past next week or beyond my own nose.  So besides being too smart for her own good, she also has a perspective I wish I'd had.  Teaching moments blindside me - catching me off guard and scrambling to remember my own childhood and how my mom navigated that minefield.  So I thought as a bloggity vehicle I'd incorporate a series of posts on lessons I wish I'd known and/or need her to know.  You can join in - chime in, listen in, whatever.  WonderGirl - this is for you.

#1.  THIS IS BEAUTIFUL:



The world will tell you beauty really comes from a few inches smaller here, a little more skin showing there or spending a pile of money on designer-whatevers.  If you look a certain way that attracts others/blends in, then you are beautiful.

This is what I will tell you:  Your body is a temple.  A wonderful, amazing but temporary temple.  Never take for granted how amazing the human body is and how fortunate you are to have one that works so well.  It is an amazing vehicle to navigate this mortal existence in, and in the driver's seat is YOU.  Not this appearance that others see, but your soul, the daughter of our Heavenly Father who was ecstatic to come to earth, put this body on and learn all that you could.  When your trip is complete and you return to your heavenly home, you get to take that pile of information, lessons and wisdom that you've gained.  That's the whole reason why you are here.

The world will tell you that your beauty is here, on earth, and that it exists on your outside.  I want you to know what true beauty looks like.

She risked life and limb to save others and never gave up, even when she was told she had no worth, beaten and had no right to act for herself.  I look at this picture and see a woman who used everything she had to help her fellow men.  THIS IS BEAUTIFUL.

At an age just a little older than you when she could focus on anything, she set her sights on education.  She insisted that she be given a chance to learn, and was brutally attacked.  And then got back up and kept fighting.  THIS IS BEAUTIFUL.

Aside from her amazing achievements and humility, I also love that she was Polish and devoted to her roots, like your Grandpa K's side of the family.  I love that I can see our Polish features in her face, along with wisdom and courage.  THIS IS BEAUTIFUL.

Remember the story of the Little Red Hen and her friends who claimed "Not I!" when it came to helping her?  How easy it would have been to turn a blind eye to the horrible reality of the Nazis and just focused on saving herself.  Instead she risked everything for others - strangers. Saved thousands of children and gave everything she had to serve others.  THIS IS BEAUTIFUL.

When I pass through the veil and return home, I want to be able to share just even a 1/100,000th of what these women learned and did.  I want to be able to show my Heavenly Father my treasures - my accomplishments, my knowledge.  I won't be able to show them how I painted my face or poured myself into a swimsuit.

BE BEAUTIFUL.  Learn everything you can, bring as much good into the world as you can, and give everything you can and the beauty will shine out of you like a blinding bolt of awesomeness.  Let others know that you see their beauty.  If you are always looking for the good in others, you will always have a reason to smile your beautiful smile.  And the world desperately needs your smile!

When I think of beauty - this picture* sums it up:


Quiet acts of kindness while the world rushes past you.  LOUD acts of kindness while the world whimpers past you.  THIS IS BEAUTIFUL.

*I was racing all over the house last Easter morning trying to get everything ready for church and perfect Easter picture-ing and Thing 3 was laying on the floor yelling because babies want attention but attention is hard to give while you are trying to find a 4 year old's dress shirt and make pancakes - and all of the sudden, the crying stopped, and I saw WonderGirl leaning over him, singing to him.  Thank heavens this picture came out, because I couldn't see through the camera... something in my eye, or something like that.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WARNING: GROSS STUFF


There is no point for this picture, other than to distract you from all the vomit in this post. 


I have ARRIVED, people. Picture this: I'm laying in bed this morning, when the wee ones came to snuggle up with me like they do every morning. 

The Dude hugged me and sighed - "I love you."

WonderGirl leaned in close and said -"I threw up last night."

Huh?  "When??  Did daddy come help you??"

"It was around 11.  I just threw up in my bucket and went back to sleep."

I climbed up the ladder to her bunk bed and sure enough, there it was, sitting neatly in her puke bowl next to her pillow.*

My angel child threw up in the middle of the night and there was no groggy wandering around the house, throwing blankets into washing machines and throwing kids into showers.

Typing that out now - I got a little sad. I remember when I thought if arrived when my poor 2 year old had to sleep inbetween us and when she started coughing, we'd put the bowl under her and when she was done, she'd squeak out a request for water. Parenting is SO weird.   

I still have two more chances to clean up puke. Yay!  ?  

* Ever since her very first night on the top bunk when she christened the bed with the vomits while she was trying to climb down, there has always been a puke bowl. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

NINE.

I currently have 4 unfinished posts just sitting in Draft status because I never have enough time to sit down and coherently form anything. I never like to post and dash - I spew things out, then stop and comb them over until I feel like what I meant can be heard though all of the letters and commas and gobbledygook.  So for now, they are unfinished.  I'll get there.

But there's the hours of a day spent picking up, practicing instruments, wiping bottoms and cleaning vomit off of small humans, and those few precious minutes after they are asleep where the husband and I bake chocolate chip cookies and watch a show or two together - they all add up so that there's very little time for combing and clarifying.

This I CAN do though - post my yearly anniversary video with little explanation beside how this year, like every other year, I vowed would be my last year to slave in front of an angry computer and fiddle with timing and pictures, and then when it FINALLY came together, decided it was all worth it.   OH - but this year there is something different - I used Animoto to change up the appearance.  I still had to use Windows Movie Maker to patch and tape everything together, but I was SO glad to have more options than the 90s era video effects WMM still uses.  So, shiny!

The first song is one we've loved together since we've known each other but never felt like it belonged to a year until this one, and the second is a fun song the kids are obsessed with.  Enjoy, dang it!!


Nine. from Reva Kuzmich Paget on Vimeo.

. . . .

Also, I just have to share this brilliantly written post by Meg Fee.  She is a fabulous blogger in her mid-20s living in New York, and she was supposed to go to Paris last weekend but she didn't.  Her post about it is just amazing.  I want to send it to all my single girlfriends and save a copy to show WonderGirl when she's older.  And maybe find a time machine and send it back to my own mid-20s.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

craftermath


You know how people keep going on about how we should simplify Christmas because they do too much and it's just too busy and crazy?  I'm not one of those people.  Keep everyone's expectations down, that's what I say!  So Christmas is always rockin'.

Although Christmas Eve was a little more hectic than usual.  Thing 3 is 9 months - already walking halfway across the room - and is only just now getting his two front teeth, but it's going so slowly the poor guy has back and blue gums and something called an eruption cyst.  Nice, huh?  So he was hysterical, and it was the saddest kind of hysterical you've ever seen.  Then out of the blue, the Dude got a crazy high temperature and was out like a light.  He was shaking and breathing hard, so the husband slept on the floor next to his bed to keep an eye on him.

THAT is the kind of crazy we have.  Thank heavens it was just us this Christmas.

Okay, I did one semi-intensive thing - I sewed the kids jammie pants like I do every year because they are easy enough that I can do one pair in less than 30 minutes (this tutorial is da bomb).  But yesterday WonderGirl started begging me to do an applique type thing with the extra material and a t-shirt.  Usually I'm pretty honest about my lack of ability, but she was seriously persuasive (read: big eyes) so I attempted it, and from a distance, it doesn't look like a blind person did it.  My sewing machine is not the dainty type so it spazzed out and tangled and broke thread over and over, but I managed it (plus a generous amount of Heat n' Bond) and am overly impressed with myself.  The poor machine was $50 and spazzes out because I treat it poorly, but in a pinch it attaches one thing to another and that's all I needs.



You know what needs to happen?  An instagram to blogger app.  You hear that, internets??  DOOO EEET.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

gndfcj

OH HI, INTERNETS.  I DIDN"T SEE YOU THERE.

I missed the last day of NaBloPoMo because we were trekking it from CO to WI and then my in-laws were here for a week and we were in full ENJOY IT mode and now I have nothing to blog about.  Really.  <crickets>

I'm very honest about my mental state.  I take medication and will take it my entire life, but it's what keeps me going, and I'm at peace with that.  But there are just some times in life that the pills can't do the whole job.  When some random comment, encounter, or happening happens and I can't stop crying for two days because I CAN'T.  Mental illness is not kosher, people.  I can choose the big stuff - I can choose to keep myself from doing anything drastic, but I can't stop the tears.  Especially the ugly ones.  This displeases me.  For you non-mental illness folks, you should give all of us crazies a hug because somehow we function while an angry monkey that lives in our heads is bashing our brains in all the time.

In other news, WonderGirl had a friend over today who begged to play her violin, and then was so impressed by how she could pull the bow across the strings and make noise, she followed me around for what seemed like forEVER so I could witness how great she was.  Scratchy 1/4 sized violin E-string over and over and over and over and over.

Not cool.  Not cool.