True Love is…a smoldering dishwasher, puking child, & exhaustion!?!

Based upon the title you might be thinking what kind of twisted freak is this woman? Lol! And trust me; I would have thought the same thing just days ago, Sunday to be exact. On Sunday life was perfect but of course I didn’t realize that because I was frantically getting ready for the week, meal planning, doing laundry, helping kiddos with their Valentine’s, etc. I am a sucker for all holidays and Valentine’s Day is the Olympics of holidays for me. I find so much joy in smothering all my sweethearts with love, heart shaped everything, gifts, surprises, and of course a fabulous meal. I had everything planned out perfectly, this year I was going to surprise the kids after school with balloons in the car, take them to a movie, and come home to a dinner table adorn with heart shaped waffles, eggs, strawberries, X & O shaped bacon (yep, I am that mom…coming to terms with it is the first step), chocolates, etc.

valentines204

It was going to blow them away; it would be my best surprise yet (even better than taking them to Boyd’s for the Retro candies for school), we are talking Pinterest Perfection!  But life had other plans, turns out the surprise was on me!

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Sunday: Nothing like traumatizing the kids during bedtime!

Sunday night the kiddos headed up to bed after dinner and I prepped leftovers in the kitchen for lunch the next day. I was standing by the sink and suddenly, out of know where, the dishwasher made a spark followed by a sizzle, and then started smoking. The darn thing wasn’t even running!?! I called in my husband for reinforcements and rushed downstairs to turn off the breaker. (Something about water and electricity just didn’t sit well with me). Apparently like most things in our household the circuit breaker is a bit wonky when it comes to the labels. What seemed like a minute to me must have felt like an eternity to my husband because he frantically yelled down, “just turn it off!”.  So naturally, I panicked. I just started flipping switches two at a time, including the one to the upstairs and basement. The high pitched screams that pierced my eardrum were clear indications that I flipped the wrong switch and now not only were the children freaking out in the dark upstairs, but, I too was in the dark downstairs.  Meanwhile the dishwasher continued melting & smoking while my husband stood by helplessly. I eventually managed to manipulate the switches in the dark, turned off the electricity to the kitchen, and turned back on the electrically to the basement and upstairs. As I made my way back up to the kitchen I could hear the dog’s paws rushing down the stairs from above, he had left his post upstairs with the kids to check things out. After knocking a few things over with his cone of shame that he obtained thanks to double ear infections he came barreling around the corner to a dark kitchen with one path of light streaming from a flashlight on the floor that illuminated the cloud of smoke coming from the dishwasher. Once he saw that smoke he started barking ferociously which resulted in the kids practically sliding down the stairs in fright. And there the entire family stood at 9:30pm assembled in the dark kitchen in shock and amazement. It felt like a dramatic scene from a play. The flashlight gave the dishwasher the perfect spotlight and the smoke added a nice dramatic effect.  The smell of plastic burning began to fill the room. Thankfully my husband was able to pull the dishwasher out from under the counter and unplug it, but when doing so the dog saw this great beast of a smoking appliance as a threat and tried to attack, retreating in fear each time but none the less barking his cone of shame head off. Crisis mostly averted.

 

Monday: She’s upstairs puking!

Monday night after dinner I cleared the table and carefully stacked the dirty dishes on top of the other dirty dishes…I am getting quit good at balancing them; it’s almost an art, lol! And then I sat down with my 5th grader and we put the finishing touches on their Valentines for school the next day. valentines201All three kiddos were super excited for their Valentine’s Day party the next day, since they kind of got robbed of their party at Christmas time due to a snow day their anticipation was super amplified. They checked the forecast for the next day and let out a huge sigh of relief when they saw that fog, snow, and ice were nowhere on the radar. Each sat out their clothes…pinks, reds, and even a tutu with gold glitter hearts was the preferred apparel for our little fashionista.

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Everything was going so smoothly and then it happened. My husband came downstairs to let me know, “She’s puking upstairs”. My heart sank. I knew what that meant; someone wasn’t wearing her gold glitter heart tutu tomorrow, wasn’t passing out Valentines, and wasn’t going to be attending her Valentine’s Day party.

Tuesday: Calgon take me away!

So here I sit, Tuesday morning and I am absolutely exhausted after getting up 8+ times with my poor baby girl. My kitchen counters are filled with mountains of dirty dishes, laundry needs to be done, rooms need to be cleaned (and sanitized), that darn dog just managed to annihilate his cone of shame, and my Valentine’s Day plans that I was so looking forward to are a bust. And yet I am over the moon, and no, that’s not just the ridiculous combination of exhaustion and caffeine talking.

This year I finally get it! I finally realize the true treasures of Valentine’s Day, granted I had to go on one twisted, crazy, exhausting scavenger hunt to find them but find them I did! And it turns out they have been here all along but I have been so distracted by my own expectations that I couldn’t see them. The dishwasher dying it’s slow smoky death revealed a part of my husband I had taken for granted, he is not only our family’s provider but our protector, he is willing to risk his life for our family…there is no amount of roses that can equal that!  I learned that in my regimented ways I have missed out on precious moments…sitting with my 5th grader and putting together Valentines while talking about life brought me more joy than a million boxes of chocolate.  But the biggest take away from this crazy week (thus far-God may have more lessons in store!), and it was something that dawned on me when I rushed to my daughter’s side for the 5th time at 4:30am, I learned that I am enough! My children don’t need fancy balloons, food shaped like hearts; the best gift I can give them is my unconditional love, day, or night, no matter the circumstances, no amount of store bought anything or fancy food can replace a mother’s love.  Thus I am over the moon, bursting with blessings & love sans the typical Valentine’s Day garb.

I know it sounds so cliché but this Valentine’s Day the gifts I am most thankful for is my husband, children, my family’s health, and all the amazing people in my life…dishes be damned! 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day, loves! Cheers to finding the REAL treasures in your life!

 

 

30+ Acts of Kindness in 1 day! (Cool Video)

 

This is how I spent my  birthday……it was amazing!!!!

 

What I absolutely adore most about this experience is how many people said they were going to pay it forward. And the fact that when I logged onto Facebook that night a friend had said that someone paid for her coffee and she paid it forward with the customer behind her…I can’t help but wonder if she wasn’t somewhere in that same drive-thru line as us.

Want to see change in the world? You can! It all starts with you! I challenge you to do an act of kindness each day and see how your world changes, see how many people you can touch…who knows, maybe that simple smile and a quick hello was all a person needed in order to rethink something drastic they had planned on doing…sometimes we never know the extent of our actions which is why it is so important that we make them positive, good, kind!

So, are you up for the challenge? If so please feel free to share your acts of kindness…or perhaps a way someone else’s act greatly impacted you.

 

Valentine’s Day….Hello Kitty Cookie pops…Lego men, and more!

I realize I have been M.I.A. but we have been busy.  So busy that I am tired so I will keep the typing to a minimum and let the pictures speak for themselves.

I recovered from the whole cake pop incident and moved onto cookies.  Instead of Hello Kitty cake pops my daughter was quite pleased with the idea of a cookie on a stick (honestly, I think if you put anything on a stick a kid would eat it, I think I might try Brussels sprouts on a stick ). So we made Hello Kitty cookies on a stick and attached cute Hello Kitty valentines to each.

Our son is in preschool and he was excited about giving Lego Men chocolates to his friends. So Friday night we (mommy) and made Lego Men Chocolates from a Mold. I had a tough time keeping these little tasty men out of everyone’s mouths (again, not meant to be dirty, what is my deal!)

Then it was onto the next exciting task, the 100th day of school, 100 things (kindergarteners bring 100 things to school).  We talked for a little while about what she wanted to bring in and we decided we would see what options the craft store mihgt have. I have made the mistake of walking around in a craft store with my kindergartener, miss crafty kiddo herslef, a few times.  She and I are double trouble when we walk into Hobby Lobby. We often walk out 3 hours later, with three times the amount of items we initially planned on purchasing. My husband jokes (kinda, although I think he is partially serious) that all of our money goes to that darn store. So this time I was smart and discussed various ideas before I went, with my mom, while she attended a Toledo Walleye Hockey Game with the rest of our extended family.

I purchased my first hot glue gun, an exciting moment in a mom’s life (especially a mom that can’t sew, but I am hoping to learn). I also purchased a youth shirt and 100+ jewels to glue onto the shirt, it looked cool and our daughter was ecstatic and eager to wear it to school.

When I picked her up from school today she had a 100th day crown (again, something kids love so much) on her head and a huge smile on her face. She informed me that 7 of her jewels fell of but she still liked having the shirt (so much for the glue gun, looks like I will have to bite the bullet and learn how to sew. No more duct tape and glue guns).

The kiddos are so excited to pass out their valentine’s and have their parties; I can’t wait to hear all about their days when I pick them up tomorrow. God, I love being a mom and thank you for entrusting me with these 3 amazing blessings. Each day brings new adventures and much gratitude.

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Kat

 

 

 

 

Mommy vs. the Cake Pops!!

My love affair for Cake Pops started when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter.  It was a mid-morning and I needed a little pick-me-up, as most preggos do. So I drove through the local Starbucks drive-thru and to my delighted they had these things called Cake Pops.  Cake Pops? Do I dare? I do! So, I figured why not try them out; I am not one to pass up anything with cake in the name.

Starbucks Cake Pops

So I order up a Birthday Cake Pop and pulled around.  After receiving the Cake pop I pulled into a parking spot not far from the drive-thru to give this thing a thorough review. It looked gorgeous, a beautiful pink hue with small little white dots sprinkled on top.  I started to hear a voice coming from the backseat, I think my newly potty trained son had to go pee or something, but I was too distracted by this delectable delight before my eyes.  And then I took a bite. Hello! The moist texture of the cake, the crunch of the chocolate on the outside and sweet taste of this treat ranked right up there with what initially got me into this preggo mess. It was pure bliss. Once the bliss passed and the cake pop was gone I came to, back to reality, and realized my son was not saying he had to go potty but please mommy, please mommy, please mommy.  I felt horrible; I had eaten this cake pop right in front of him.  So, what is a mommy to do? That’s right, back through the drive-thru we went and this time I got two!

Since our first encounter I have tried to maintain a distant relationship with the cake pop out of respect for my thighs, but it isn’t easy.  They are at most children’s birthday parties and, after all, I don’t want to be rude.  I however have not personally attempted to make a Cake Pop, that is until last night.

My daughter has decided to hand out Hello Kitty Valentines and along with each, thanks to a search on the internet, we are including Hello Kitty Cake Pops.

This website has amazing Cake Pops. Source: http://www.bakerella.com/here-kitty-kitty/

I have friends that have made cake pops and they always look amazing and taste fantastic. Granted I am not in the same baking caliber as they are but I figured I would give it a gander. Why? Maybe it was my newfound confidence in cake decorating since receiving my certificate for completing the cake decorating class? Maybe it was because I did not want to disappoint my daughter? Maybe it was the 3 cups of coffee I had that afternoon?  What ever the reason, and I still can’t quite figure it out, I said yes to what would become a hot mess.

I started making the cake pops around 9pm, after the kiddos went to bed.  I had hoped to be done around 10pm so I could get a much-needed shower.  I was a little over-confident in the beginning.  I had no problem crumbling up the cake and mixing the frosting.  I had a tough time determining the actual size of the cake balls. I knew if they were to big they would not stay on the stick yet if they were to small they would just look weird. 

After I went through and resized the cake balls what seemed like seventeen times or so I finally arrived at what I felt was a structurally sounds size.  So I melted the chocolate, dipped the stick in the chocolate and then placed it in the balls.  And then watched them fall right off the balls.  I finally figured out that I would have to leave them ball side down with the stick standing straight up (this is not meant to be dirty, sorry). I placed them in the refrigerator for a few minutes then got them out to place the chocolate chips on the sides, which would help resemble Hello Kitty’s ears. That was a piece of cake (no pun intended). 

This is the image the website offered. Source:http://www.bakerella.com/here-kitty-kitty/

Then the most complicated step of the night, dipping the cake balls into the chocolate.  By now it was around 10:30pm.  So, I had to determine where the cake pops would stand to dry, the website recommended a Styrofoam block, I did not have a Styrofoam block. So I got the next best thing, I took apart our Thanksgiving Gratitude Turkey and used the Styrofoam ball from it, yes, I said ball, round sphere, not block, as recommend.

Cake Ball Down....Medic

On to the most tragic part of the evening, casualties, I had casualties left and right. The first one fell into the chocolate, the second stayed on the stick for a few minutes then fell, this continued for the next half a dozen or so. And yes, I ate the casualties, it was so hard just seeing them sit there, so sad.  

I can’t just leave him there!

Once I got the chocolate to the right consistency I managed to actually make 11 cake pops, ate roughly the same amount but 50/50 isn’t bad for the first time around, right? I finally gave up, I know when to admit defeat and that point is when I am in the kitchen at 11 o’clock at night sipping a glass or wine and crying over cake balls swimming in a pool of chocolate.

Stay….stay…..stay……NO!!!!!
11 out of 45, my precious 11

The current state of my relationship with cake balls is a trial separation. I really can’t stand to look at them, it reminds me of that night.

Thankfully a few did turnout great….

A few of them turned out great; it’s like, Hello Kitty.
Then there are those where it’s like, HELLO kitty? Eck!
The lucky 11 went off to the Girl Scout meeting today.

 

 

Have you ever made cake pops? Or maybe you have had to admit defeat? Please share.