Monday, November 19, 2012

The Day My Sports Bra Failed Me

Yes, that day was today.  I was running along, my inner monologue belting out "Blown Away" by Carrie Underwood when I felt the snap.  And immediately, I heard my sports bra begin so sing, "I wanna, uh uh uh uh, undo it!". 

What do you do? I'm not gifted with the ability to run under any and all circumstances, and apparently, my wardrobe had had enough. I'd been telling my hubby all weekend long that I just KNEW that I had gained about 4 pounds in the last four months. He was so kind to tell me that I was crazy, he loved me just how I was, etc.  My sports bra called bullshit on that.

As I continued to run along, my right arm held heroically still beside my right side, I wondered why I kept on running. Why not just admit defeat, stop the treadmill, hobble off to the locker room with my face downcast? Because I'm stronger than that! I might not be able to do a fist pump right now because of the fear of what will happen when I raise my right arm, but I am strong... and I can survive this.

And maybe I'm known to go a little overboard with the heroics - like the time in college where I thought I needed to drop a few pounds, and quickly.  For my summer job, I was a lifeguard at the public pools in Oktibbeha County. Little kids can be mean, and I wasn't in the mood to hear some 7-year-old ask me when my baby was due 'cause I had a bit of a stomach pooch.  So I did what any normal, college girl would do when she needs to be in a bathing suit, all day, every day :

I wrapped myself in Saran wrap and hit the gym! 

Yeah, it didn't take me long to realize 1) that doesn't work and 2) that is not what normal people do.

So, fine. Enough with the heroics. I'll give myself and the treadmill a break and just stop.  But, don't you worry, I'll be back and I'll be running - right after I make a very important purchase.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is she really five?

Five years ago, I waddled into Inova Fairfax hospital and told a nice lady that I was in some serious pain and thought I was going to have a baby.  She kindly checked me in and took me into the back. Thirty minutes later, my doctor told me to call my husband - we were going to have a baby!

I was in shock to say the least. She wasn't supposed to be here yet, and her daddy was traveling! But she was following her own plans - not mine - and this should have been my sign of the years to come!

More than twenty hours, three epidurals, two rounds of petocin, and one push later, she was here and we had our baby girl! 

We brought her home one week later, and our lives have not been the same since. She is funny and silly and everything that is right in the world. She can be a little sassy (that may be an understatement) but she is the best big sister her little brothers could ask for.  She has the most gorgeous blue eyes and the longest eyelashes. She is seriously smart (everyone says it, but we really mean it! :)). And her nickname is Turkey.  She's our little girl, and she's perfect!

Madison Elese Waters
October 24, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Art of Baking Brownies - with kids

Cooking with your kids can be loads of fun! But it can come with a little bit of stress. After a few years of practice, I am willing to throw it all on the line and suggest that I have come up with the very best operational plan for success. Keep reading.

1. Check the clock - this adventure needs to start between 10 and 11 AM. This will be made clear very shortly.

2.  Grab your ingredients:
  • Little Kids
  • Mom/Dad attempting patience
  • Box of Brownie Mix (yes, the box - if you suggest that you would make them from scratch, you either have too much time on your hands or are trying to one-up another poor mom)
  • Water, Oil, Eggs (or whatever you use to make your brownies - I won't throw any punches if you try to make them more (add chocolate chips or toffee pieces!) or less (cook with applesauce?) fattening)
3.  Pre-heat your oven and start making the brownies according to the package directions. I've learned that everyone needs "job".  My daughter prefers to pour the water and the oil.  My son prefers to crack eggs.  Expected, no? :)

4.  Get out a hand-mixer and use it! Yes, I know that the package says something like 50 strokes, but I've found that some sort of "electronic device" really gets the kids attention. Since you can't use a Wii control or an iPad, a hand-mixer is the next best thing.

5.  Pour most of the batter in a greased pan and bake.  The rest will come in handy in just a second.

If you have two children, the next part works well.  If you have more than two children, or an anxious batter-frenzied adult, there may be more compromise that will need to happen. 

6.  Give each kid a beater from the mixer.  This will get them started with the batter-licking phase.  Once those beaters have been licked clean, give each child a spatula and let them work on the rest of the batter in the bowl.

7.  Grab your camera and take some pictures - cause those kiddos are dirty and cute! And they smell like chocolate - who doesn't love chocolate?

And this is where the importance of Step 1 comes in.  By now, it's time for lunch.  And what's for dessert? Those more-than-delicious brownies! But wait, there's more!

Each kid, having happily had a brownie and in need of a nap, waddle off to their rooms for sweet slumber.  (If this isn't a part of your daily routine, add it in!)  And you, the patient adult, get your reward:

8. Grab that pan of brownies; get comfy on your couch; put on an episode of Law and Order, NCIS, an old football game replay, or some HGTV episode that makes you happy (don't even pretend it's not a guilty pleasure!); and dig in!  Your afternoon will pass in a wonderful haze of sugar, chocolate, and bliss. And that dirty kitchen won't matter in the least...

Now, some of you may be thinking, "What about the kids? They only got one brownie at lunch!".  Here is how I see it: at this age, they don't really seem to know just how many brownies they made.  Be generous and cut them each one for later.  And if you're really feeling guilty, just make some more tomorrow, starting with Step 1.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sheer Genius - Harris Teeter Online Shopping

You have not lived until you have tried online grocery shopping, and this is saying alot, coming from the girl who firmly believes that life begins when one introduces pretzels to Nutella!

We just moved to Charlotte from Atlanta - and I'll be honest, I thought Atlanta had everything - some would say it's a pretty big city. But they did NOT have Harris Teeter, and they did NOT have online grocery shopping.

Sheer Genius!! And yes, it is as easy as it sounds. You just point and click, bada-bing, bada-bang, select your pick-up time, and pull up to the very special Express Lane just for you!  My kids love this new experience - and I no longer hear, "Mom, let's not get too much, okay?"

Before this experience, I used to pray that all three of my kids were well enough to go to pre-school when our pantry was depleted just so I didn't have to take anyone with me.  Any mom with young kids knows that grocery shopping isn't actually like the commercials: together, the mom and the kids place all of the necessary sundries to make homemade chocolate chip cookies into the buggy; they arrive home; make said cookies; and there isn't a tear shed or a frown on a single face.

Nope, not in my world.

Yes, they may get a free cookie, a balloon, or even a sticker.  And yes, random people may tell me that my kids are adorable and well-behaved (READ: these proclamations are a serious ego boost that moves me from Aisle 9 to Aisle 10 - without that, I would collapse in a heap among the fruit snacks).

Now, my world has been transformed!  I shop when they are in bed, having naps, or even during breakfast. I run through the Express Lane when I am on the way back from dropping them off at school. Or I may (gasp!) make a special trip to that yellow painted lane to get my goodies.

It's amazing, and it's sheer genius! 

Round two!! Ding, ding, ding!

It's not that I think I have that many important things to say, I just need an outlet.  Spending all-day, every-day with three very small and vocal children certainly increases that need... And I think my hubby is a little "over" my rantings and ravings on matters such as online grocery shopping.

Facebook and Twitter's character limitations can only handle so much that I have to say, and it seems I have to say alot. I know that I am going to enjoy sharing these stories, thoughts, and ideas, and I hope that you will enjoy reading them! 

And as far as "Round Two" goes, check out my earlier posts on  My joke is that I have one follower there, my hubby, so I figure it's the site functionality and not my postings... :)