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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Discpline for Kids Who Refuse to be Discplined

I am sure that many of you read the title and thought to yourself, there isn't a child who can ever refuse to be disciplined because you're the parent, yada yada yada. Well, you can come and live at my house and your tune will change rather quickly.

Yes, I live in a home where 3 out of the 4 children are bad kids. Bad how you ask? They are rude, ignorant, disrespectful, hurtful, spiteful, mean, lazy, rude, and they lack appropriate manners. Oh wait, I am sure you are once again thinking, "Well, that's your fault, those types of behaviors / attitudes / etc are supposed to be instilled by you because you are the parent." Nice try, but unfortunately it doesn't quite work that way.

Firstly, we are a blended family. It's a his, mine, ours setup. He has his two boys, I have my daughter, and we have a 2-year old together. So of course, there is a lot of opposition already. Secondly, the kids (minus ours), all are "special" and by special, I mean that we have hit the jackpot of mental illnesses / behavioral problems, etc. Thirdly, past experiences and situations while three of the children were young have really shaped them into who they are as well as their behaviors & attitudes. When done at a young age, it is hard to reverse the "damage" that was done.

I don't make excuses, but I will offer a very quick bit of advice, when something happens to your children or they have to go through something terrible & messy, like a divorce for example, the worst thing that you can do for them is spoil them, excuse their behavior as being the result of the divorce, and let them get away with murder. I tell you this now to save you a lot of agony and strife later. Do not spoil your children with material things thinking that this is your way of apologizing for whatever event happened. This is not what children need. Do not be their best friend either, you are not there to be your child's friend, you are there to be their parents. Of course you want them to respect you and to come to you with things, problems, issues, or whatever, but when they think of you as a buddy, then you lose that respect and your life will become miserable.

In this household, the children get crummy grades, they have no responsibility, they have no work ethic, and no respect. I can ask them to do something until I am blue in the face and it is met with hostility, resentment, and laziness. And don't give me that, "you can reward them" nonsense. We've been there, done that, and epically failed. We have encouraged good grades by offering incentives as well, FAIL-DOZER (beep beep).

Nothing works in this house. So you can only imagine that it is filled with stress, lots & lots of it.

So where am I going with this? I don't know, it was all planned out in my head, but it soon took flight. But tonight, there was an incident with one of the children & it involved baby gates getting knocked over and using one's foot instead of their hands to pick it up. I asked once for him not to use his foot, he used his foot anyways, and this repeated for a few minutes until after knocking the gates over and having to pick them up, he finally got it (or was sick of looking at me). Then said heathen child wanted to stomp around like a jerk out of being angry. So he found himself putting on his shoes & coat and then began stomping outside. Of course at first he didn't want to stomp, he wanted to march, so we had to wait until he was stomping like he did in my house in order to start the one minute timer.

Unconventional, surely. But I will tell you this, I have been through plenty of the behavioral management stuff. The 1-2-3 Magic is nonsense, time outs are pointless, taking away privileges, whatever. It does not work in this house. Therapy, medications...been there & do it all, only to end up in the same situation every day.

It's insanity, it really is. It gets tiring & boring & beyond stressful. Oh and please, I don't need to hear "the kids have issues, they need to be dealt with differently" because that is a total crock. The kids have zero when it comes to any type of morality, ethic, etc. I try to enforce it and make them realize that they are making poor choices, lay out what the consequences will be, yet they seem to think I am stupid.

But of course, we are always met with "that isn't fair" & "my friends don't have to do ZYX" & "you treat me like a baby". Of course I treat you like a baby, because you cannot show that you have any sense of responsibility or consideration in attempting tasks/chores/behaviors that prove otherwise.

However, you must be thinking...she didn't mention Pinterest this time, what is going on? Well, never fear. I found this resource that I shall be employing in this household, from Pinterest. It is called 21 Creative Consequences. It it supposed to be directed toward Tweens, however a lot of the methods & suggestions apply to younger children as well.

Like I said, I am not messing around. The disrespect for me is going to stop and not listening to anything I say is going to stop. Now usually this is not an issue for Richie, as the kids will usually do what he says without much of an issue, but for me, pshaw. They need to learn that I am not acting like a psycho because I think it is fun, but because I am trying very hard to instill some important things into them, like taking pride in one's work, some sort of work ethic, respectfulness, and making good choices.

Who knows where this shall lead, but I am glad that I finally stumbled upon some discipline tips that are different from the traditional

My Uberly-Expensive Camera Died

I have mentioned prior that I have had an uberly expensive, Canon 60D DSLR camera, which brought you some semi-spectacular images about the food & such that you have pondered and ogled. I am sad to say that said camera has died. This is deeply angering, mainly because I have only had the thing since March of 2011. Now before you ask, I did make sure to purchase the extended warranty for it, for an additional 2 years. But this process is rather slow, as I had to take the 60D to Best Buy, show it to them, stand there for about 10 minutes while they looked at it and typed some things into the computer. I then proceeded to get lectured on how it would take 2-3 weeks because it needed to be shipped out, however if I was approved for an exchange, then they would contact me immediately and let me know.

This was pretty disheartening, especially since I have all sorts of fun food & crafts that I want to attempt and post pictures, then pin them on Pinterest so tons of people will swoon over my awesomeness (I mean c'mon, this already happens with everyone I already know anyways, so I might as well continue the trend right?).

But what really made me mad is that I felt as if all was lost. See, I made this amazing breakfast and I thought to myself, "Holy crap Carly, get our your magical camera and take pictures of this", and so I did. I managed to snap 2 pictures without event, but that third picture, which I thought was my gem, killed my camera.

You shall rue the day evil breakfast toast bowls, when you took the life of my Canon 60D DSLR that is more camera than I know what to do with. Now how will I ever make anything awesome or crafty when I do not have a camera to take the pictures with? How will the people swoon when they don't see that blur that really makes a pictures?

What am I to do?

All is not lost because I do have a point & shoot that I can take pictures with, but it isn't the same. You won't be able to see every sprinkle, the small little flaws in my cooking, or anything else exciting. I feel as if that evil breakfast toast bowl has consumed my motivation & desire to become artsy-fartsy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Apparently The People on Pinterest Need a Bath

I haven't been on Pinterest much, mainly because there was a situation in where my missing cat was found, nearly dead, apparently hit by a car, in someone's yard that lived close by. Needless to say, there hasn't been much that I have wanted to do, as this was rather unexpected and I wasn't fully prepared to grasp the entirety of the situation. That even had made for a rather melancholy and unproductive weekend, which translates into, no Pinterest.

But today, this was my first day back, if you would like to call it that. I looked briefly, and found something that seemed rather interesting. What you ask? Some bath fizzies that are apparently very easy to make. So I happily clicked in deciding then, at that moment, I would like to make some bath fizzies.

But that is as far as I got.

However, I did decide to check my email, and instantly I received the "XYZ has repinned your pin on Pinterest" and so I clicked the email to see what exactly was repinned, and surprisingly, the bath fizzies are a huge hit. This has lead me to form a hypothesis:

The people of Pinterest need a bath.

But then I wonder, how many will actually proceed on following through with said pin? I am also willing to bet that a majority the the people who pinned it have these illusions of grandeur, like myself, and imagine relaxing in a nice bathtub, delighting in the joys of their homemade bath fizzies. 

I am not lying when I say that this is a brilliant idea, and I have pinned it for the sake of pinning it. Will I ever make these bath fizzies & delight in their fizz magic? Probably not. 

However, this has little to do with my motivation and desire to create something exciting. No, the refusal to create bath time fun comes from the fact that I hate my bathtub. It is tiny, uncomfortable, and there isn't enough leg room. Thus, my once pleasurable enjoyment of a warm bath has been overtaken by hot showers. I have had to learn a lot since being forced to convert, such as shave my legs. I have never been able to force myself to shave my legs in the shower, however facing the dilemma of having hairy legs made me rethink my position.

The boycott of said bathtub was decided upon finding myself suction cupped to the back of my bathtub. You see, instead of giving me a few extra inches of tub space, the idiot creator of my tub decided that they would create this decline, so you would be able to relax and lay back. Obviously in theory this is a wonderful idea, but not when you have to be a midget to enjoy the bathtub. 

So maybe when I win the lotto, build my awesomely fantastic farm home that will have a fantastic bathtub, I may be able to enjoy a bath. But it looks that after I age a little bit more and I develop the lunch that elderly women gradually get, I will be able to bust out the good ol' Pinterest and follow the directions for making said bath fizzies.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pinterest & Weddings

So really, what is it about weddings that make women go crazy? So, I must admit that I personally don't think that I have ever been this girly girl, into fashion and all of that crap. I mean sure, I like pretty things, I like fashion, but when it comes to gettin' my hair did, or finding something fashionable to wear, you can mount me on the wall of shame.

But you can ask Richie, I still have expensive taste.

Okay, but now back to the real point at hand. I am not engaged, I have no immediate plans (that I know of at least) to get married, but Pinterest as turned me into this psycho about weddings and cute things. It's sick. I keep envisioning this huge soiree and how awesome it is going to be. I can only imagine what Richie has to say or think about any of this, nor do I care, because this is my fictional dream wedding that will never be and will lead to some type of disappointment, probably ending up with me getting married at the courthouse and having my reception at the VFW.

On a side note, there is nothing wrong with having your wedding wherever and your reception at the VFW or Moose Lodge, or those Mason guys, or Elks, or whatever. I'm not just saying, that's not me. I would rather not serve my guests Old Style from a can. (Again, totally a joke). 

Oh, I probably offended someone. Really, I don't mean it like that, I just don't want a wedding like that. I mean isn't that what all little girls dream of? Granted I am a big girl now, but I still have that hope in the back of my head. This is rather amusing considering I am also a huge pessimist.

But really...what is it about weddings & Pinterest? I have all of these awesome things pinned on this wedding board and women (I'm assuming they are women), are flocking to them like pigs to a mud puddle on a hot summer day. Hilarious. This makes me envision some wedding, and all of these people getting married on the same day, or around the same day, and these weddings are similar to those fancy townhomes and houses in those gated communities, they all look the same, just the color is different. Hopefully when stumbling your way home from drinking, you find your house, and not your neighbor's though. I can imagine that would be rather awkward passing out drunk on a floor or couch that isn't your own.

I have noticed this a lot more lately though, I browse through Pinterest and it is likely that I will see the same thing pinned, and repinned, and re-repinned 4-5 times.

I guess it fills that void in our lives for desiring all of the things that we want, but probably will never have. One person's motivation serves to completely demoralize the majority of the rest of the population.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dinner With a Smile

I hate to cook. I hate everything about it. I have no real reason for my disdain for cooking, I just don't like it. But every once in a while I do it, mostly out of necessity, but nothing amazing or that involves a lot of work. Once again, I don't get the tingles when I do it.

Maybe it's because the kids always piss and moan about what I am making, someone has to complain, even though they have never tried something ever in their life, they "don't like" whatever it is that they see. It's tedious & I hate it. If I ever acted like that when I was little and my mom made dinner, all holy hell would break loose and I would end up starving. I never got "catered to" in regard to food... but that there is a whole other story, post, whatever.

The thing is, I made dinner and it was fan-freaking-tastic. Of course it was based off of a picture that I saw on Pinterest. Go figure right? It looked good and when Richie & I sat there trying to decide what we were going to have for dinner, we decided to just go to the store and find something.

And that is when the picture pinned onto my virtual pin board popped into my head.

It was pretty darn good. Although, once I got home I realized that I didn't have all of the ingredients that we needed, so we had to improvise. Oh, I also hope that you aren't expecting pictures because I didn't take any. I wasn't quite in the mood to infect my camera with raw meat and let whatever gunk there was develop into some crazy infectious disease that would more than likely turn into some crazy pandemic.

This picture, not mine of course, is what dinner was supposed to look like:

My recipe was modified from Sunshine & Bones

But this is what I did & my recipe re-over

1 package of 6 sub rolls
1 1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 small shallots minced
1/2 can of diced tomatoes (I used the zesty chilli kind)
1/2 cup whole or lowfat milk
6 tablespoons ketchup (hot & spicy)
Regular ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Garlic salt and pepper (eye balled)
Steakhouse seasoning grinder (eyeballed)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
shredded cheddar cheese
cheddar jack cheese

Step One:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Step Two:
I took the bread I bought and halved them. The bread was actually pretty soft, so that wasn't much of a problem. I then lined my large cookie sheet with tin foil and placed each of the halves down on it. After it was halved and on the cookie sheet, I popped them into the oven for 5 minutes.

Step Three:
While the bread was toasting, I took a bowl and mixed in the meat, an egg, bread crumbs, the minced shallots, milk, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, diced zesty chilli flavored tomatoes, salt & pepper, and seasonings, and kneaded it all together. Richie made the comment that it looked like we were making meatloaf. I never made meatloaf before, so apparently that is what it is like.

Step Four:
I took the scoop that I purchased for making cake balls, and I scooped out the meat mixture onto the bread, end to end. I then popped it back into the oven and cooked it for 22 minutes (or until the meat reaches a temperature of 160 degrees, which is roughly around 20-25 minutes).

Step Five:
After I took them out of the oven, I took regular ketchup and squirted some on each of the sandwiches. I then topped it with my cheese. Throw it back in the oven for 4 minutes, and viola, dinner is served.

The kids loved it and the bread will be really toasty and hard, but where the meat is sitting on it, you can scoop out the soft bread and eat it with the meat topping. Yumm-O.

And also, you do not have to pre-cook the meat before adding it. Mine cooked perfectly. The hot & spicy ketchup & the diced tomatoes did not make any difference in terms of heat, but when you get a bite with the tomatoes, it was fantastic!

Like I said, the heathens children ate it all and I even got "this is the best meal I ever ate", and coming from them, that is rare.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cake Ball Improvement

Well, I cannot say that I have completely scored in regard to this cake ball making nonsense, however I can proudly boast that my second go-around wasn't as terrible as the first one. I mean after all, I used sprinkles this time, chocolate sprinkles. So boo-yah, in your face cake balls.

This time I used my Babycakes cake pop maker because I am way too lazy for that handmade, cook the cake, crumble it, freeze in, mix some frosting into it, and then use that scoop that I swear does not work properly, and then dip it. Yes, I am lazy & I have not the time nor the patience to sit there and do all of that.

So whatever. Don't roll your eyes because we have all been in that spot at one time or another, for me it just happens a lot more frequently because I don't find myself getting all giddy, shooting rainbows and sparkles out of my butt over some crafty nonsense that ends up somehow ending up in a huge mess that I will have to eventually clean up.

But none of that is the point. I made some cake balls, frosted them (or whatever you call it) and added some sprinkles for the last few. That right there is crafty. 

However, when I do something, I like to do it perfectly. I don't half-ass things and now my new obsession is going to entail making those cake balls look p.e.r.f.e.c.t. You know, just like the ones that you see doing some Google search or browsing through Pinterest. I even Googled "how do you coat cake balls perfectly" and I have yet to find an answer. There's always Wikipedia.

Right now my balls are in the freezer though. I had one ball turn out as a phallic object rich served as a more amusement for me than for Richie. I tried to photograph it, but it was shy.

Me vs Cake Balls - Round 2

Well, after making a trip to Walmart yesterday to pick up a few "crafty things", I stumbled upon what I thought would make my life is a Wilton Chocolate Melter. I gave the finger to the microwave and decided that now I would be reveling in cake ball success and those owl cake balls will be within my reach and I will be the hero after all.

We shall see though. I am not sure when I will be tackling this cake ball fiasco again, as I really want to avoid creating the Great Cake Ball Debacle of 2012.

Of course I shall document this rematch with photos.

Oh, and if you were asking...this is the perfect I hope to obtain by teacher appreciation week...(whenever that is)

(And yes, I know that those are cupcakes, but making cake balls like that can't be that hard can it?)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Easy Breezy Coupon Insert Organizer

Amongst the other things that I dabble into, couponing was one of those things I did do. With school, I dedicated less time to doing it and eventually got a little of a culture shock when I noticed that I was out of toilet paper, paper towels, and laundry detergent. Of course, Amazon's Subscribe & Save helped out a little bit, but I totally need to get back into the swing of things.

It dawned on me the other day that I had a special spot to store all of my inserts from the papers. I went through it and threw out everything because they were all very expired. I still need to clean out what is left of the binder, which is probably bare bones now, but that is a whole other adventure.

But I have been asked a few times how I stored my coupon inserts. It's quite simple really and there is a variation of different ways to do it. But what I have used is my trusty pink box...

This was a filing storage box that I found at Walmart over the summer. It is pretty large (well, it is really long) and it was drawer-like so that I could keep it away from the crawling baby that was able to get into everything. It also fit very nicely under my desk and wasn't really in my way.

I just purchased some hanging file folders that were on clearance (but make sure that you have the right size, there is a regular size and some sort of legal file size) and viola, I tucked my inserts into each one of the hanging file folders.

I went in chronological order, by date obviously.

So for each folder you could just put all of the inserts from one date together, and then the next week, put all of the other inserts in the next folder, and so on and so on.

Why did I do this? Because when I found a deal, I could just go look it up and cut only the coupon I needed out from the insert instead of having to find time to cut out every single coupon from every single insert weekly. For me, it just worked better that way.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Another DIY Valentine's Craft for the Home

Alright, here we go again. I had a wonderful idea of making a Valentine's Day mantle. Now, it wouldn't be a mantle just for Valentine's Day, but it would be used to decorate for all holidays. So of course, the next upcoming holiday is Valentine's Day, so this is what I decided to do.

It's rather easy, and I have some ideas to improve it, but here is the jist of it.

  • A picture frame. I personally used a black frame that I picked up at Walmart that was $3. It was an 8x10 frame that was matted to 5x7. Similar to this one here at Walmart.
  • The printed out Valentine's Day art. I got it at this wonderful site, The Bonjour Family
  • Some scrapbook paper that I purchased at Walmart for another crafty project.

So what I did was click on the color I wanted. I chose the white / transparent paper and I printed out the awesome artwork on my piece of scrap paper, and then I threw it in the frame. It looks a lot better in person.

I am thinking about going off and using that recipe for the homemade Mod Podge and taking some accessory scrapping paper and putting it over the white matted part. I think that would look pretty darn awesome.

But it is rather funny...I have some "artwork" to go on the mantle but I have yet to get a mantle. Yes, I like to do things backwards.

The Cake Ball Experiment

So, here I sat the other day, repinning all of these awesome looking cake balls. I did some further research and looked at a few videos on YouTube to see how exactly these all went together and looked so wonderful. Hell, I even made these big plans on how I was going to make these cute owl cake balls for the Teacher Appreciation week at the kid's school and I would be the hero.

So at first, everything was going pretty well. The cake baking was no different than what I was used to. It cooled, I crumbled the cake, added some frosting, froze it. But what was to follow became my nightmare. You see, in the videos I watched this chick threw some chocolate chips in her microwave to melt them and coat the cake balls. Easy enough right? WRONG. The first one went okay, it melted, but obviously not enough because I had a mess. A mess on my hands, a mess on my clothes, the countertop, in the bowl. What a disaster.

Then I thought to myself, Carly, maybe you should make some more melted chocolate chips and then you'll have plenty to dip your balls in.


Instead I had some glob of globiness.

So for all of you out there who think that making cake balls is easy and nothing could possibly go wrong, think again. I followed those YouTube videos, read the instructions, and did all I was supposed to. I even bought one of those small ice cream scoopers to make perfect balls, you hear me, PERFECT BALLS? And they came out anything but perfect.

Of course I thought this was an appropriate situation to take out my camera. Richie just laughed away at me coming up with the Great Cake Ball Debacle of 2011.

Again, defeat came by way of Pinterest.
For your amusement, here is the pictures of the cake ball incident:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Tales of a Camera

So sometime in 2011, I had this other wonderfully, brilliant idea that I needed a DSLR camera. I had my point & shoot with some nifty color options, but that just wasn't doing it for me. I wanted that cool blur (which I think is what they refer to as bokeh or something of the sort (see what having an uberly expensive camera does...well, maybe you do cause I still surely don't).

But anyways, I wanted an awesome camera to take awesome shots. I mean c'mon, there are like four children in this house, one of which is actually cute, so why not spend a bunch of money on a camera. So I have it and I managed to take some pictures with it. Some turned out great, but most of them sucked terribly
Oh I dunno, maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have no damn clue as to what I am doing with it. It's not like you can just Google, how do I use this awesome DSLR that is way too advanced for me.So instead, I sit around and take pictures of random things around the house, like that pumpkin for instance. It's face is totally peeling off, but whatever. I still like the picture, and the fact that it is a cat is pretty awesome as well.

What's the moral of the story? Hell if I know. But maybe if there had to be one, you should really consider your purchase before buying a DSLR. The pictures look awesome once you know what you are doing, but at other times,'d be better off with a point & shoot.

My Attempt to Be Organized

Well, I know that I went off on a little bit of a tangent about random things, especially the craftiness that exists on Pinterest. However, it doesn't mean that I absolutely shun the site. I mean after all, everyone and everything is so disorganized in this house, I have to do something.

So I decided to start with something that is rather easy. See, I had this dry-erase calendar thing that I purchased from Walmart. It was alright, but the week always started with Monday and to be quite frank, I became too lazy to figure out what was going on. We always had appointments added, if Richie didn't bring in the cards for the boy's appointments, then it was absolutely pointless. Plus, when it comes to hand writing, I am quite anal and the spaces to write in were just too small.

It wasn't until I saw this clever idea on Pinterest, that the wheels began spinning. This was my inspiration:

the original idea came from: Next to Heaven

And basically, I attempted to recreate the same exact thing. It isn't as fancy, but I did it none-the-less.

I purchased this collage frame from Walmart (and although their website said they didn't have it in stores, they lied) and it was cheaper than what was listed on the website. I only paid $10 for it.

Then I purchased some scrapbook pattern packs from Walmart as well. They were only $5 a piece and they have 25 different patterns (2 of each pattern), for a total of 50 pages. I got two different packages of it and I figured that would be enough for whatever craftiness I decided to get myself into. 

And it was pretty easy I must say. I just used those picture holders for those insanely happy people that are the placards for where a real photo would go, and was able to cut it out from there. So very high-tech, I know. I also threw my crummy handwriting on it to mark each of the days of the week. 

Now, I could get even more creative and write something or do something fancy above the frame thingy, but for now, this will just have to do.

The Problem with Pinterest

So here I have been sitting for hours upon hours for the past few days, supposedly enjoying what little I have left of my winter break before returning to classes on the 17th of January. I have become immersed in all things Pinterest and quite frankly, this pisses me off.

Why you ask? Because I keep seeing all of these awesome things, all of these fun things that I could do at home, and for once, I feel inspired. After Richie bursts my bubble in the magical way that he only knows how, I get pissed and realize, I am not that person, I am not that mother.

You see, I like crafty things, I like awesome looking things. I enjoy being creative, but everything around me stifles me greatly. From kids, to school, and even my own rather large ass. To me, this is disappointing. And please, if you are sitting there reading this with some holier than thou attitude, you can quietly proceed to clicking the close button on your browser and go back to where you came from.

I am not some alien entity and I am not the only person in the world that feels way. Look at some of those awesome creations on Pinterest that are meant for the home and look at how AWESOME those homes are that have that. Trust me, making some of those fun, crafty things are a lot more than just buying the materials to make the crafts. Some of that involves heavy restoration and remodeling. Yes, you know that is true.

Sorry, unfortunately I do not love the house that I live in that much, plus, I am going to be stuck here for at least 2-3 more years until I finish with school. So what do you do?

Well, I'll tell you what I won't do. I will not sit here and feel guilty about not taking on this awesome-mom role making everything rainbow and cupcakes. Sounds harsh? It's really not, but it's just the way I feel.