Meatloaf Day

Yesterday was the annual meatloaf day at our house.  My kids love meatloaf, so there are lots of days during the year we have meatloaf, however, August 10 is one day meatloaf is guaranteed to be in the menu.

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It was the idea of a friend almost four years ago.  On August 10 four years ago I fixed meatloaf for dinner (please don’t ask me any other meals I’ve made on a specific date in history.  However, it is possible I could tell you what I made for breakfast this morning.)  I planned ahead that day because we wanted to get to the library and get library cards.  So I stuck that meatloaf in a slow cooker knowing it would be ready for us when we got back.  Only we didn’t make it back as scheduled.  My body decided it’d be better to get to a hospital rather than go home and eat meatloaf.  Which is really messed up, because I make good meatloaf.  (Every one in my family likes it, which is a feat in and of itself.  Each child has requested it for their special birthday meal at least once.)  So I went to the hospital and had a preemie baby two days later.  My husband and older two kids made it back home that night, but the meatloaf was more than done, apparently.  It had moved well past the edible stage to the science-project-gone-bad stage.  (After that event I was a bit scared something traumatic would happen every time I made meatloaf.)

So in honor of a poor meatloaf gone bad we have meatloaf day every year.  Actually, it’s more to honor the very stressful beginning of my son’s life just a couple of days later.  Born too early too far from home.  But despite his rough beginning he is doing fabulously and meatloaf day helps me remember how far he has come and what God has already done in his and our lives.

This week we celebrate my youngest son’s birthday.  He is a sweet, smart, energetic boy.  He is a classic little brother who both loves to be with and loves to torment his siblings.  He is full of life and love and stubbornness.  It’s amazing to think how fast four years has gone, but I look forward to many more watching him grow.

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Swiss cake rolls

As I type I’m eating a swiss cake roll, otherwise known as a little piece of heaven.  They’re my weakness, my kryptonite.  I can keep chips in the house, candy, soda, etc. and they can sit on the shelves for weeks or months.  Swiss cake rolls last at most a week, and then only with lots of will power.  Why are they my favorite?  Got me.  Maybe the luscious combination of cake + chocolate.  Maybe it’s the throwback to my childhood.  I prefer to eat them when the children are sleeping so I don’t have to share.  I know, I know, I probably sound very selfish with my swiss cake rolls.  Yes.

This week one of our family members celebrated a birthday.  The queen of the family members, to be exact.  It was a very good day. Time with friends, lots of birthday wishes, and even a surprise by my husband.  S helped him carry it out.  All I knew was not to cook dinner.  Excellent.  Sounds like a good surprise already!

Since we have children, surprises are difficult to implement.  But they make for precious moments where Mom can chuckle to herself:

1. Mom picks that day of all days to look for some missing emery boards.  Clearly you can see the importance of this.  While looking I stumble upon a box swiss cake rolls!  AHHHH!  How could I possibly have missed this!  (As previously mentioned, these little guys rarely last a week here.)  I see birthday cards in the bag too, and I try to remember if I got them for my birthday last year.  How on earth did I forget about them!  However, I’m on a chocolate fast, so I can’t eat them.  I-can’t-eat-them.  *Sigh.*  So I quickly move them aside and return to my critical task of locating emery boards.  Within seconds I have an “aha” or “duh” moment…those are part of my birthday present…for that night.  Oops!!  Quick, practice fake surprise! (Thankfully I don’t have to practice my happiness in receiving such a gift!)

2. While Dad is at work my ten year old is in charge of coordinating the events for the evening.  He did an outstanding job, but he felt the pressure.  At one point K wanted to tell me what the surprise was and she and S argued about it.  Generally, when they argue it leads to K running to Mom in tears.  This time was no different and S was extra stressed she would blow the surprise.  I talk her down and explain she can tell me later (when it’s no longer a surprise, preferably). Throughout this entire exchange S is sweating it out and trying to interrupt so the surprise isn’t broken.  I promise him I can handle it but it takes several minutes of talking to each of them to calm the situation.  They finally are settled and Mom is non the wiser about the surprise.  Until minutes later when S blows part of it.  I laughed and laughed (to myself).  He was so worried about the three year old blowing the surprise and then he blows part it.  Oops!

3. A little later S calls my friend (while I’m in the room) and ‘gracefully’ asks her as soon as she’s on the phone, “Are you coming?!”  Gotta love Mr. Suave.  Then he camps out at the window and waits.  And waits.  He wouldn’t leave that window for anything!   The second he sees her car he tells me we have to go on an ‘errand.’  At which point we reach the part of the evening which Matt did not prep S well for: give Momma time to get ready.  (Matt told me I’d have time.  But S did not know these details and was pushing me to get out the door.) My friend comes to watch J while the rest of us go out to a restaurant.  One without slides, to Kianna’s disappointment.  A grown up one.  (One in which it would be hard to contain a one year old, thus the reason for my friend watching J.)  We had a lovely dinner.  Other than K crying most of the way to the restaurant because she “misses J” (awww…poor overtired girl!)  Finally I won her over when I explained we were going on a date with Daddy and S.   She still talks about how nice the date was at the restaurant.  *Smile.*  Yes, yes it was; even without slides.

Thanks to those who worked to  make my birthday special.  Surprises or no surprises I felt loved and cherished.  Now that’s a good birthday.

Today the chocolate fast is finally done.  I waited a whole hour after the end of the fast before diving into that box of swiss cake rolls. I know, my fortitude is amazing.  Feel free to stop by for a visit, I’d be happy to share…some chips.  Or a sandwich.  (My kryptonite will be in hiding.)

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What a bag of crap

It came!  For two years I’ve been trying to get a Bag of Crap.*  You’d think I’d have enough crap living with a husband, three kids, and two cats, but no, I wanted more.  One friend has gotten a bag of crap at least five times, which is a lot.  I’ve been SO jealous of all her crap!  But this time it was my turn.  

Some of you are still confused.  Understandable.  Most people don’t do a blog post about the joy of a bag of crap.  Well, as you know I am not most people.  I should qualify, this is not just any crap, this is the creme de la creme of crap.  (For which I paid three dollars plus five dollars shipping.)  When I purchased it I knew it might be crap.  Or it might be…something amazing. The mystery is part of the fun.  

And today the mystery was solved. 

I had seen the tracking info, so I knew it’d arrive today.  Of course the mailman came while the kids were napping, so I had to wait to go get it.  When S got home from school he offered to get the mail.  He loves to get the mail.  There are two perks in getting the mail: a.) he can see if there is anything for him.  b.) he can get a cookie from the office (they usually have cookies and the mail room is attached to the office building.)

So S set off to bring me my bag of crap.

And here it is!:

It’s a really nice drum set.  We have seen it on Woot twice before and debated whether or not to buy it for S.  It’s worth quite a bit more than eight dollars!  

There’s only one glitch.

No, you’re not looking at mirror images.

We purchased the exact same item for S a couple months ago.  For his birthday.  Which is in two days.  The original drum set came in a brown box.  The “crap” drum set did not.

Did I mention S went to get the mail?

Did I mention his birthday is in TWO days?

Should I mention how excited he was to see this item?

Should I mention how upset I was to find out our great present for him was ruined???
(Maybe ruined is a bit strong of a word, but the fun surprise was definitely blown.  TWO days before his birthday.  Grrr.)

So S got to have his very cool present without opening it two days before his birthday.  He was excited about it and happy he got it early.  I can imagine how thrilled he would have been if it truly had been the surprise it was supposed to be in two days.  So it’s okay, but still a bummer.  Grrrrr.  (Seriously, I think I would have preferred crap this time.  Deep breaths, Chel.  Yes, I’ll be fine.  grr.)

We now have two drum sets.  (“Crap” cannot be returned.  It is our ‘crap’ to keep and deal with it as we may.  Those are the terms at purchase.)  The ‘crap’ item would have been AWESOME if we hadn’t purchased the first set for more money a couple months ago.  Do we sell it?  Share with K and J?  Share the love with another friend or relative?  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Will I try to get another bag of crap?  Definitely!!  But maybe not right before a birthday!

This is a great site Jen G. got me hooked on a couple years ago.  They sell one item per day.  That’s it.  The next day they sell another item.  Sometimes it’s not interesting, sometimes it’s a great deal.  And sometimes they have a Woot-Off.  This is where they sell a bunch of items (one at a time) for a day or so. Once during every woot off they sell a bag of crap.  People work REALLY hard to get this, because it is often something good.  It’s very hard to get one, because the servers often lock up and the bags of crap sell out QUICKLY.  
Now you know.  But don’t get in the way of my bag of crap.

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