Sep 25, 2014

A New Recipe

9/25/2014 — cori

I made this delicious new recipe tonight called, "Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce".  The picture looked delicious even though I hate mustard.  Proof that we eat with our eyes first.  I even received many accolades among my toughest critics over the scrumptious quality of said recipe.  I might have even started feeling a tad bit proud of myself.  Not to worry...it all came crashing down rather quickly.

Chloe kept sitting at the table holding her head in her hands.  I thought maybe she had a headache.  I finally asked her what was wrong and she said, "It's strange, but I'm dizzy."

Hmmm....we all said aloud.

Then it dawned on me.  "Um, it might be my fault. The reason you're dizzy is because you're drunk."

WHAT???...the collective group said aloud.

"Let me explain.  See, I was supposed to put the white wine in at the beginning and let it deglaze over high heat (meaning cook out all the alcohol).  And I did that.  But....I thought it needed a little more later on in the cooking process.  So....there might be some wine in there that never deglazed, meaning it's full of alcohol.  Meaning, I got Chloe drunk.  I'm sorry Chloe."

"I think I'm drunk too" adds Bennett.

Great.  I just unwittingly inebriated my family. This should be a fun night.

I think I'll start working on my Mother Of The Year Award acceptance speech now.

Sep 22, 2014

Just In Case

9/22/2014 — cori
After 'getting ready for the day' at 6:45am (meaning I put clothes on), I went back out to the kitchen to make some tea and spend some time with Gavin before he left for school.  I am attired in the typical fall fashion of a t-shirt and jeans.  As I'm making my way around the kitchen something just feels 'off' with my jeans but I can't figure out what it is.  I finally reach behind me, because the 'off' feeling was being generated from the back of my right side,  and pat my butt.  What do you know there is a wad of something inside my jeans.  How could I not know this?  I have been walking around for 30 minutes already with additional material stuck in my jeans.  My booty does NOT need any extra enhancement.  I do very well in that department all by my self.  So I do what any normal person would do next, I shove my hand down my pants and feel for the wad.  It's too late to back out now, I'm committed.  Gavin is watching and is curious.  Out comes my hand and.....an extra pair of panties. If Gavin was embarrassed, he didn't show it.   He even had the remarkable ability to make a snarky comment on my behalf, "Never know when you need an extra pair, huh Mom!". 

This scenario would have been completely feasible and not at all surprising when my children were small and I barely had time to put make up on and brush my teeth all day.  I get it when it happens to moms of littles.  But me?  I pulled underwear out of my butt in front of my 15 year old!  Who does that?   And worst of all, I'm the one who does the laundry and puts everything away so I can't even blame Chuck for pulling a prank on me. It's my own clueless fault.  The only silver lining in this whole escapade is that I had not yet left the house.  Had I been walking around town with an extra pair of underwear shoved down my pants all day .... that definitely would have been worse.  

This brings back memories of the time I wore a dress backwards to work - all day long.  And I didn't even have kids yet.  Obviously it wasn't a nice fitted dress...rather the kind that were popular back in the late 90's that were long sundresses.  The only way to tell the front from the back was that the tag was in the back and the back came up a little higher while the front of the dress scooped down. Apparently I didn't bother to look for the tag that day.  I had many appointments with many clients that day plus an after work dinner party.  Talk about a confidence booster!  Fashionista - I am not.

Sep 16, 2014

Willfully Stupid

9/16/2014 — cori
Last night we were reading the Bible together.  We were reading in Matthew 15 from "The Message" version of the Bible. Apparently, Peter didn't understand something Jesus said to the Pharisees and asked Jesus to "put it in plain language?"  Jesus responded, "You too?  Don't be willfully stupid....".

We thought this was HILARIOUS!!

If Jesus can tell his people not to be willfully stupid....so can I.  And oh, are there so many opportunities to quote this precious phrase.  It will never get old.

Sep 9, 2014

De Ja Vu

9/09/2014 — cori

Seventh grade must be the year of Creative Hygiene Techniques.  At least all my experience with seventh grade boys points to this conclusion.  And even weirder is the fact that both of my boys at the same age have done the exact same thing - with deodorant (and I'm not talking about it's 'normal' usage).  This is weird.

As soon as Bennett told me his predicament, I was instantly transported back in time to Gavin's deodorant story.  I do not understand our family's fascination with deodorant.   Really I don't.  I personally have a fetish that requires I re-apply a few times a day so as not to come anywhere close to smelling anything less than "fresh" and "mommy-like".  Trust me, my kids do not share that fetish.  If they did, I would be thrilled.  I also tend to brush my teeth 10 times a day.  Another odd habit I would be happy to see emulated in this household.  But no, there are definitely no brushing teeth fetishes at all.  Sometimes there is no brushing teeth at all.  But that's a whole nother blog.  Back to deodorant....

So, while we were out of town this past weekend, the kids stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's.  Bennett came back from Basketball tryouts and immediately took a shower.  That by itself is impressive people.  That he would walk into a bathroom on his own accord to shower without any adult suggestion or manipulation is miraculous.  I was very proud to hear of this account.  We are definitely showing progress in the Maturing To Adulthood Phase.

As the story goes, Grandma meant to put some soap in the shower earlier that day but had forgotten. She asked Chloe that night if there was any soap and Chloe told her "no" so she immediately went to get her some.  But this caused a little consternation for Grandma who remembered her 12 year old grandson showering in that same bathroom earlier in the day.  "Hmmmm", Grandma thought to herself, "I wonder how Bennett got clean if there was no soap in there?"  A very good question in deed.

The only way solve the mystery of how Bennett got 'clean' would be to ask him since he was the sole participant.  He proudly announced that since he didn't see any soap and didn't feel the need to ask for any, he was looking around for something to make him 'smell clean'.  And lo-and-behold what did his eyes fall upon but....his deodorant.  He thus commenced 'cleaning' his body with deodorant, rubbing it upon every service where the lost bar of soap should have gone.  This was after he was out of the water.  Water does wonders, but it does not always help you smell good, especially after playing basketball for 2 hours.  In steps "Sport Smelling Deodorant" and voila.  You now have an awesome smelling kid who may also be a genius for coming up with such a creative plan.  Oddly enough, he was complaining to me this morning about a mysterious "rash" that is popping up all over his body.  Hmmmm....I wonder why?

This may just be a good case-study for geneticists.  We still have one more kid to make it to 7th grade, so we'll get back to you in two years to find out if we're 3 for 3.  Then it would definitely be genetic.  If not, I conclude it is just a 12 year old 'boy thing'.  Just for the record, my hypothesis is it's a 'boy thing'.  Chloe wouldn't be caught dead now at 10 years old doing that. She would use her hair shampoo as soap instead of go without it.  So, gut reaction is...boys do weird things.  Especially with deodorant.  End of story.

All Of Me Loves All Of You

9/09/2014 — cori

This weekend we celebrated our 18th anniversary.  Every year I'm amazed at how it just keeps getting better and better.  This year Chuck put so much thought and planning into a weekend get-a-way for just the two of us.  The kids stayed with Grandma and Grandpa while we stayed at the W Hotel in the Foshay tower in downtown Minneapolis.  We explored the city and all it had to offer. The time together was priceless.  I can't believe I'm this lucky and this loved.

We always have a song each year.   This year's song was "All Of Me".  The part of the lyrics I love the best say, "All of me loves all of you, all your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections."  Isn't that what love does best...takes the good with the bad and loves you anyways.

The kids had so much fun that they announced upon our return, "We could do this every other weekend!"  I'm seeing many more boutique hotels in my future.

Sep 3, 2014

Back To School

9/03/2014 — cori


Gavin - 10th Grade

It doesn't seem right.  Time can't really go that fast.  Can it?  I swear, I still feel this age every single day.   This must be some cruel joke time is playing on me.  My baby becoming a giant.  This year involves 2 AP classes, a trip to Germany and a possible summer internship at a company in downtown Minneapolis.  This adult who has inhabited my son's body is hyper interested in programming and learning all he can as fast as he can.  He checks out books called, "Hacking for Dummies" and "The Linux Bible".  I have to ask him to dumb things down for me once in a while so I can understand parts of our conversations.  He's in the process of creating for me a databank of all the popular texting and teenage acronyms so I can better follow along and look less confused.  He's ever so kind.  Don't even get me started on his love affair with the Science Channel.  We have half of that channel on our DVR so he can learn more and more science.  He is my chauffeur and my friend.  We have deep, wonderful conversations.  Then there are periods where we don't say more than 3 words to each other most of the day.  We are both processing this thing called Growing Up. 



Bennett - 7th Grade

Ever the happy, smiling, optimist.  Everything he does (excluding reading a book - unless that book is Calvin and Hobbes) is done with a huge grin on his face.  He radiates joy.  He is a loyal friend.  He's comfortable enough in his own skin to not worry about fitting in with the popular kids.  He has a strong moral compass but isn't self righteous or condescending to others who don't see things the same way.  He still has a heart for the underdog.  We even joked together at the beginning of this school year wondering which bully he was going to befriend this time.  The last three years he has ended up 'the friend of the bully' and I'm sure this year will be no exception.  Befriend as in: love him anyways, be patient with, stand up to, earn the respect of and help whenever possible.  Basketball is still his life and every lesson in life can be related back to basketball in some form or fashion.  He even wrote on an "About Me" back to school paper that his favorite quote is: "I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." - Michael Jordan



Chloe - 5th Grade

My baby is now at the highest ranks of the Elementary ladder.  It doesn't seem possible.  She was attached to my hip for years and now all the sudden this.  It just can't be.  I'm in denial.  Happy for her, sad for me.  Life is so exciting at this age.  She chose to go to a new charter school that opened up this year in our community.  It is small, project based and housed in one of the oldest school buildings in our city (which is a good thing since she loves all things old).  It is a perfect complement to her personality.  She is continuing horseback riding this year instead of gymnastics.  She realized that being with horses was in her blood and she has to spend her time at the barn with them each week.    Gymnastics was too competitive for her.  I love that she is learning this about her self and able to make decisions to stay true to her self.  She inhales books.  She reads faster than me!  She's become quite the fashionista but prefers the 'a la natural' look with her hair.  She's got friends all over the place and not enough time to play with them all.  Best of all, this is her very first year to ride the bus and to her ultimate joy she gets to ride the same bus as Bennett, her best friend. 

On A Wing And A Prayer

9/03/2014 — cori
We tried desperately to squeeze every last drop out of summer break this past weekend.   In order to do so that means you must oftentimes come up with plans on the fly.  Especially if you live in Minnesota during this, The Summer That Wasn't.  I think we've had maybe 2 days that hit 80 degrees. So when the sun comes out, rain stays at bay and there is a tinge of heat in the air, you drop all plans and invent one that involves outdoor activity.  This is just how we roll up here.  We make the most of our outdoor time.  That is how this came to be our Fun Family Activity for Sunday.   We decided to load all our bikes up and drive into the City to ride around the Chain of Lakes and over to our favorite pizza joint, Punch.  Life just doesn't get much better than this for us.  


This is the back of Chuck's car.  I gave him that bike rack for Father's Day a year ago.  At around the same time, his trunk broke and has never opened since.  He felt he would not be able to use the bike rack with a broken trunk.  However, I was (rather surprisingly) able to attach the bike rack on all by myself (okay...with help from Gavin) without ever attempting to open the 'broken trunk'.  Being that I so economically purchased this little amazing piece of equipment off of Craigslist, it did not come equipped with installation instructions.  But it seemed rather straight forward to me.  I can't imagine how else it could have hooked on to the back of his car - with or without a functional trunk. Nonetheless, I was holding my breath the entire drive as I followed Chuck watching to make sure the 4 (way too) small hooks stayed attached.  The last thing we want is for me to run over the boys' bikes after they catapult off the rear end of Chuck's car sitting on a structure that I so securely attached to it. I had a lot riding on my pride.  I felt like the bikes were tied on with paperclips, some shoe string, gum and a few straws.  That's how much confidence I had in this contraption.


But miracles never cease.  We made it all the way into the City with all our bikes in one piece.  I am the slowest bike rider ever.  Part of the reason is safety (I fall off more than I stay on, so if I go slow reason dictates the fall won't be as severe).  The other reason is that you never know when you come upon a beautiful photo op.  Seriously, I stop all the time while I'm driving (bikes or cars) to take pictures.


We made it around Lake Calhoun and found our way over to Punch Pizza.  We were at the top of our game here.  Laughter, good food and warm weather abounded.  We discussed where we were going to zip off to on our bikes next.  Minneapolis is such a bike friendly city that there are bike trails going absolutely everywhere and bike racks all over the place.  We weren't the only ones who rode our bikes here and stopped in for a bite to eat on this sunny, warm day.  


As I was taking this picture of all of us getting ready to get back on the trail Chuck is saying, "Where is my bike?"  It didn't really dawn on me until I went over to him and he actually said, "Someone stole my bike."  Collective Gasp!  Noooo!  As high as we were earlier, we all came crashing down when the harsh finality set in that Daddy's bike was truly gone.  And there wasn't a thing we could do about it.  I know I instantly felt sick to my stomach.  So much for our Fun Family Activity.  Granted, none of us have bike locks.  We never felt the need to lock them up.  We've left them on public bike racks before with no problem.  But not today.  It was devastating.  That was a very special bike all of us (including all the extended family) went in on together to buy for Chuck for his birthday a few years back.  

Sigh.  Huge highs.  Deep lows.   As the four of us rode our bikes back to where we parked (probably a mile or two away), Chuck jogged along side us.  Always fun after ingesting a whole pizza.   

Summer sure went out with a bang for us. 



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