Sunday, March 31, 2013


When I met you I was instantly drawn to you and had no idea why.  At first, it was really annoying that you were always on my mind because I KNEW you were not "the boy" I was supposed to love, so thinking about you all the time was quite the nuisance.  Once I finally got over my own ridiculousness, I started seeing you for who you really are.

You are the kindest man I have ever met.  You are the only person I have ever met that genuinely cares for every human being that you meet.  Your love and patience for our girls melts my heart every day and the way you whole heartedly accepted me is something I will never forget.  

Because of you I strive to be a better person every single day.

There are few things in this life I can give to you but I can promise you this:

I can promise you that I will always take the cheese and ice cream from your hand.

I can promise you I will always be grouchy until I have had my first cup of coffee.

I promise to always understand that if the Bears are playing--You are not listening.

I promise we will never ever have the cleanest house on the block.

But most importantly, I can promise you that I will always be your life partner, and I will love you with my whole heart for the rest of our lives.  

 Happy Anniversary, to my one true love!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Give a Little Love

Everyone is working on their own journey in this life.
Right now I am trying to work on my lack of patience. 

To be perfectly honest, most days my kids drive me crazy.

Like yesterday.

So I kicked them out.

It seemed to do us all a bit of good!

Happy Humpday!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Easter!

The Mister and I celebrated Easter at our house this weekend.  

We are aware that it is a week early but we have good reason.  Plus it helped us not have a meltdown.  

Let me explain.....

  1. We are not religious, so who cares when we celebrate a giant bunny/egg dying day anyway?
  2. Real Easter actually falls on our wedding anniversary, and that is a bit more important to me.
  3. The park by our house had an Easter egg hunt on Sunday.
So.......the park by our house had an Easter egg hunt that I was really excited to take Clara to.  They were supposed to have games, music, the actual Easter bunny, etc etc.  

Clara was very excited to go on the egg hunt.  

I vividly remember how my Easter egg hunts went as a kid.  All the kids lined up until the person in charge yelled GO! Then you ran over the hill and looked for all the eggs, hidden in the grass.

 (Of course this was after church service.  Everyone had on their pretty new dresses and it was all very festive.)  

This is not how this hunt went at all.
The people who put together the hunt grossly underestimated the amount of children who were going to show up.  

Waiting in line and SO EXCITED!

By the time we made it to the gym (where the "hunt" was scheduled) there were no eggs left to find.  

This was after we waited in line for 15 minutes promising our 3 year old  candy filled eggs. 
Where are the eggs at, Mom?

Anyone who has ever had - or known - a 3 year old can probably imagine how that went down.  

We decided to go to the other side of the building where the Easter bunny was taking pictures with the kids.

This was as close to that bunny Clara wanted to be. 

So we left with a very disappointed child.

Then my Mister had the most fantastic idea EVER!  He told Clara that the Easter bunny was actually going to come to our house during nap time and hide her egg hunt eggs in the basement, but ONLY if she napped.      

Seriously.  Why do kids always fall for the magical creatures bringing you crap - but only if you sleep first bit?  

I will never understand it.  Nor will I question it because it worked!  

No muss no fuss at going down for nap-time AND not a single tear shed over the lack of egg hunting.  

That Mister, he sure is a smart one.  

Look at all my eggs!
Nap time over!

After she had found all of the eggs the Bunny left for her we spent the rest of the afternoon doing this....

Some of my favorites......

Clara designed this one.

In case you cant figure it out, here are some kitties that are about to be hit by rocket ships.  

But don't worry because the firemen will rescue them.

This one was made for the Mister.......

And these were made BY the Mister. 

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend filled with as much basketball as we did!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Story Time Win!

Clara and I had a huge breakthrough today which I will get to in a minute.  I first have to say something about a pretty disgusting and disheartening post that popped into my facebook news feed a few times today.

I notice that lots of people have been brought over here by a "Chicago Now" blogger's post about "Mommy Wars".  

Let me assure you that this blog post is not written to start a mommy war.  

Only to throw out a few suggestions on how people can still celebrate the "silly" hallmark holidays with their children without breaking the bank or making crazy crafts that would take days to conduct.  

Like paper-mache earths.

Carry on.

(Before I say my piece, we all know what opinions are like and that we all have one.  This is just my opinion on this subject.)

If you don't want to read the article I will summarize it for you.

This mommy blogger is pissed off because her oldest child wants to help her and her husband make St. Patrick's day fun for his younger siblings by asking her this.

"Can I help you guys hide the gold coins?" he asked. The WHAT?  "The gold coins. I know the leprechauns aren't real. I know it's you, like Santa. So I want to help you. I can make the leprechaun trap, too."

Then she tells you how when her kids woke up disappointed, they threw fits and she didn't care because every holiday under the sun has been over-commercialized.  She also tells you she is a real life mom who doesn't "pinterest" all holidays for her kids and is happy that she can just get everything she needs to done in a day including spending bathing her kids, helping them with homework and having normal quality time at the dinner table with a homemade meal every night.

After reading the article I immediately didn't like the woman.  

The tone she set in this article wasn't funny. 

It was mean.  

And directed at her children.  

For all the world to see.

This person's comment towards the article is exactly how I feel as well.

Yeah, it's weird how like when kids are born they like have these needs and we're like supposed to take care of them and feed them and then they like grow bigger and we have to like read to them and help them with their math homework and play outside with them and even give them baths...and like sometimes we even have to do silly things for them because they are children and they like to be silly and enjoy their childhood before the actual stress of life kicks in and they are forced to deal with situations and events that are not silly or fun. Seriously, all we need is one more HuffPost blogger complaining about the horrors of being a parent!


Suck it up, Kristen Howerton.  Go give your kids a childhood.  

I am a single mother turned into a stay at home mother.  I understand that sometimes you feel worked to the bone.  I understand that this role as a mother may feel like a chore.  However if you live in America, like me, then you have the the choice to have, and/or, keep your children.  

It's not like you are the first person in the face of the planet to have children.  You knew what you were getting yourself into.

I'm sure you knew before going into this lifelong, exhausting wonderful job, that it is in fact a life long, exhausting and wonderful job.

So suck it up.

 Pretty soon your children will be as old, cynical and bitter as you, Ms. Howerton, and you will miss their wide eyed wonder.  Instead of seeing - and turning -  these little moments as negative, why not give them a few positive experiences and help them grow WITH their imaginations? 

It does not have to be pinterest board worthy.  Really!  I promise your kids are not looking for a grown up expectation of any holiday!  This problem she has is not hard to fix.  It can be incredibly cheap and painless to give kids an imaginative filled childhood.

  • Do your kids want to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?  Spray paint a few quarters or pennies gold and have a freaking gold hunt with them when they wake up in the morning.

    If they want candy, let them use their gold coins to get some bubble gum at the super market. 

    Or go outside for a freaking leprechaun hunt.  

Cheap.  Easy.  Painless.

  • Oh, your kids want to celebrate Pi day and you make a homemade dinner every night anyway?  Chicken pot pie for dinner it is!  What's that?

    You don't cook?  I'm pretty sure your grocery's freezer section sells really cheap pot pies.  Don't like pot pies?  Real pies work too.  

    Even semi-burnt ones.  (Take that pinterest!) 

Cheap.  Easy.  Painless.

  • So your kid wants to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday?  That's easy.  Read them a book.  Make up a new book by rhyming silly phrases and words.  Or take some tape/staples and make a hat.  Hell, they can even do these (make hats/book) while you make their homemade dinner.

Cheap!  Easy!  Painless!

I understand that in the age of Pinterest we all sometimes feel like we are not doing "enough" because someone is always one-upping you but let me let you in on a little secret.....

Your kids don't give a shit if you spend your money on these holidays.  They only want your time.  Make sure you are spending it with them - while they still want to. 


Clara voluntarly interacted with other children today.  She willingly walked away from me and sat in the front row during story time.  And she had a fantastic time while doing it.

Thank all the gods!  There is hope for preschooling yet!

Happy Humpday!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spin Cycle

Did you know that THIS weekend is St. Patrick's day?  We are so excited to go downtown to see the river dyeing in the morning!  

Also, after experiencing last year's living in Lincoln Park on St. Patrick's day fiasco of people puking/fighting/throwing up/throwing their booze bottles/all of the above in our yard (We had a freaking gate!  This didn't stop them!)...... 

I am excited to spend Saturday OUT of the city! 

(After we see the infamous green river, of course.)

Rhiannon seeing the green river for the first time in 2010

Today I was introduced to what you "normal gym people" probably call "spin class"

I like to call it "hell".

Seriously, I thought I was going to die and/or puke the entire time.  

BUT I DID spin 17.5 miles in 45 minutes which is pretty awesome, since that is exactly how many miles I am going to be riding in the upcoming triathlon   

I am excited for warmer weather so I can just ride my real bike on the  lakefront instead of in a stinky room with a bunch of older people (who are so much better at spin class then me!)

After the class I went to the kids room to pick up Clara.  

I asked them if she was good and if she cried.  

(We had a deal  no tears = a piece of gum for her.)

She didn't cry, but apparently she said this to the woman in charge... 

"You don't touch me!  I don't like you!"

I'm sure I turned beet red while I started to stammer out an apology but the lady stopped me saying it was okay.  

Two minutes later Clara had come back up to her and apologized.  

Now I'm not sure if I should tell her to be nicer to people or congratulate her on not letting a stranger touch her...........

Regardless, a deal's a deal and as soon as we left she looked up and said, "Where's my green gum, Mama?"

Between the green eyes and green nails, nobody better pinch me!!!!

Happy St. Patrick's day weekend!!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


How is it Wednesday already?  

I have been in a completely different place this week. 

Did you know that Depeche Mode is coming out with a new album?

I wonder if it will be as sexy as this.

(As if that is possible)

Happy Wednesday! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Gluten & Dairy free Fried Chicken / Home

Everybody deserves to eat comfort food sometimes.  Whether it's pizza, cheesecake, pie, meatloaf, chicken noodle soup, spaghetti, mac and cheese, cookies, cake, (or salad if you are my beautiful sister in law).  Sometimes it is nice to eat something hot, delicious and glutinous when you have had a shit day.  

However, if you are like my Mister and are allergic to gluten and dairy you can't have ANY of the above plus much much more.  It has been a very hard diagnosis for us to become accustomed to.

Since his diagnosis he has been very good about keeping the grumbling about his new diet to a minimum.  

(At least to me.)  

However, he did tell me the other day about how sad he was that he can never ever have fried chicken anymore. 

Seriously, my Misters new diet sucks.  

(I am on it with him, so I should know.)

  But I can go out with friends and cheat if I want.  I can still eat whatever I want and know it wont make me sick.  

He is not so lucky.  

The man deserves some fried chicken.   

I felt so bad that I did something I never in a million years thought I would do.  

I went to target and bought a Presto deep fryer.  

Deep fried food = gross.  

Deep fried food smell in my house = grosser

The Mister eating a meal that doesn't taste bland, boring or just plain gross = priceless.

Crystal's Gluten & Dairy free Fried Chicken

*It has come to my attention that Bob's red mill gluten free flour actually has gluten in it.  (WTF??)  Please don't use it if you have celiac disease!

I have replaced my flour mixture with Nameste foods perfect flour blend and like it even better.

  • 3 lbs drumsticks (They are cheaper and my family likes them more then white meat.)
  • 4 C almond milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 T hot sauce (We use Franks)
  • 2 C flour* (I use Bob Red mill gluten free all purpose mix)
  • 2/3 C Tapioca four/starch (Or some other form, potato starch should work too.)
  • 2 tsp salt* (I personally felt like it could use more salt)
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 T pepper
  • 1 T oregano 
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 T Garlic powder
  • Vegetable oil
  1. Put your chicken and almond milk in a container.  Let chicken soak for one hour.

2.  In a bowl. beat your hot sauce and eggs together.
3.  In a separate bowl mix your flours and seasonings, (next time I make this I am upping the amount of seasonings I put in.  It was a little more bland then we like in this house.) 
4.  Drain the chicken and pat off well.  You can salt and pepper them if you want at this time.
5.  Take your chicken (one piece at a time) and dip in your egg mixture.  Then put the chicken in the flour       mixture, coating it well.
6.  After coating all pieces let the chicken sit for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes re-coat them with your flour mixture.  (Not the egg mixture, just the flour.)  

{Now I know that frying foods is a weak point for me.  This is why I chose the fryer I did.  1. It was only $30,  2. All I had to do was plug it in for 15 minutes (with the oil poured to the line) and then it magically kept the oil at the correct temperature for as long as I had it plugged in.} 

This next step is for people who have a cheap and magic fryer like I do.

7.  Put four pieces of chicken in your fryer at a time and cook for 13 minutes.
8.  Put your chicken on a rack in the oven (preset to about 275) to keep warm while you finish cooking the rest of the chicken.

Instant Happy Husband!

Instant children who "get along" with each other!

(Don't they look happy?  Two seconds later I think Clara pinched Rhiannon.)

Happy Hump Day!

This is the song the Mister and I walked out of our wedding to.  It's one of my favorites.