Monday, January 25, 2010

I Am Committing Myself!

It has snowed again in our little part of Germany!  Hooray! 

It's funny - since Hubby has been using my car, (his little Nissan Micra refuses to start), I have felt uber trapped in the house.  Frankly, this has made me a bit of a crabby mommy...and no one likes a crabby mommy.  It snowed, the road conditions were dangerous, so the meeting that I was scheduled to deliver a craft tutorial on HERBAL EYE PILLOWS was cancelled.  Normally, this would really bum me out.  However, today was the perfect day to be snowed in, because I am truly exhausted.  Bundling the kids up in their snowsuits is such a task.  First, I suit up my almost 3 year old.  Then, on to the the 15 month old...only he is making it extremely difficult for mommy by writhing his miniature body, thrashing this way and that way in an attempt to make it all go away!  He is screaming bloody murder (he hates feeling like the powder puff blue version of the Sta-Puff Marshmallow man)...and hats - forget it, he simply won't wear 'em.  I turn around and the older toddler is already out of his coat...sigh.

My friend Teresa and I recently discussed how wonderful it can be, "committing", to the idea of staying at home .  The best example of this is snow days.  On an average day, at home with the kids, with nothing special planned, you can easily become bored or irratable.  If it is a snow day, on the other hand, suddenly it is a reason to celebrate.  We believe that it is because you are COMMITTED to staying home and determined to make it a fun day.  It is all about your outlook. 

This leads me to MY new and improved outlook on stay-at-home-motherhood.  I am committing myself to the idea of being at home, changing my frame of mind  to a more positive one - despite Germany's dreary, gray weather, and planning on having more fun everyday.  In order to accomplish this feat, I am trying to tackle new projects, crafts, and activities that will really engage my little boys.

Today, for our exciting project, we made red, heart ice-cubes and set them in the brilliant, white, snow.

This project was adapted from an idea that a friend, who was a school teacher before becoming a Mom, passed on to me. She used cookie cutters, rather than ice cube trays. This method will create a bigger frozen shape. She used an old aluminum pie tin, molded to snugly fit the cookie cutter, to hold the water in. I think aluminum foil would probably work just as well. Before freezing - she would place dental floss in the water at the top. When frozen, the hearts could be hung from trees, railings, etc. outside! What fun!

 We did not go through the hassle of putting our coats on.  We ran outside, and plopped our craft in the snow, and ran back in the house. I can't wait until my husband comes home, to see these sweet, little, decorations sprinkled on our snow-covered lawn.  They are sure to make him smile.  My older toddler LOVES eating ice - so I gave him half of the cubes that we froze to eat.  He munched away, happy as a clam, telling me they were delicious!  Heeeheeee...a little food coloring and some dollar store , novelty, ice cube trays can score you some major points with the toddler set!

Now I need to start thinking about what fun is in store for us tomorrow!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Soft-Pretzel Envy

What do you do when your toddler has a melt-down, because his friend has a soft-pretzel and he doesn't?  Imagine the scene - an almost 3 year old playing tug of war over a bakery bag, that is not his, with a 7 year old girl.  How embarrassing, but really, can you blame him?  Isn't everyone willing to put up a good fight for a soft-pretzel?  I know I am. 

You think, no biggie, we'll go to the bakery and buy some. 

Then you remember that you are not only without a car this week, but since your double-stroller is in the trunk of that car, you are also stroller-less.  This does not make a trip down to the village bakery very easy.

Older toddler, (2.75 years), would refuse to hold my hand, run out into the street, laugh, and think it is a game of, "catch me if you can".  All the while, I, Mommy, would go into full-blown panic mode.  I  envision myself charging down the hill after him, giving whiplash to the 15 month old strapped to my chest, in an infant carrier, that he outgrew about 6 months ago.  All the while, German onlookers would shake their heads in disgust, thinking to themselves, "Why can't those Americans control their children"?  I know these looks firsthand.

Then I thought, let's bake our own soft-pretzels!  What fun!  I have been wanting to try my hand at baking pretzels, lately.  This was the perfect opportunity.  A recipe for Bavarian Style Pretzels had been floating around my kitchen for a least the last month or so.  Good thing a fresh package of dry-active yeast was purchased on my last commissary run. 

The ingredients were measured, mixed, rested, kneaded, divided, rolled, bathed, salted, and finally, baked.  The aroma that permeated my haus... WOW!  It smelled like a bakery in my very own, funky, little kitchen.   I should have started baking my own pretzels eons ago.  Oh well, now I know how easy and quick (sort of), it is to enjoy delicious, warm, soft-pretzels in the comfort of your own home!  My little boys were VERY happy...and that makes this Mommy, ecstatic.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Yummy Weekend!

It has snowed several inches in our part of Germany and we are committed to staying at home all weekend!  Also, we are BROKE from ordering oil for our heater, so it helps that we enjoy spending the weekend cooking, baking, playing, snuggling, and movie watching!  On the agenda this weekend:  snowman building - with our new Snowman kit - (what fun!), White Wine Cheese soup cooking, Kalamata Oregano Bread baking, movie-watching, Pumpkin Pie baking (hubby's fave), a bit of sewing (curtains for the kitchen, and MOPS craft preparation), and a teensy bit of knitting (finishing up baby booties for a new baby gift)!

This is my idea of a dreamy weekend at home.  Since we moved off-base into a quaint village named Weilerbach - we have the space to really stretch out and be ourselves.  This makes us want to stay home, instead of run out the door!