I can not believe what I accomplished today. No wonder I am exhausted! The kids were gone, but I woke up aching. I wanted to sleep later, but my back is out of whack and it was so achy. Whenever I get out of line I start to have lots of arthritis problems and sometimes pinched nerves. Never had them before the double-whiplash car incident where I was rear-ended in something like 2001, but have them ever since. I ended up getting up around 8:30 and then laying down on my stomach for another 30 minutes trying to stretch my back out a bit.
Evan has been feeling better but wasn't feeling fabulous this morning so he went back to bed and I ran around like a madwoman. I spent several hours in the morning- wait - my mom swears that my kids are going to read this someday. Let me start all over.
This morning Santa called and told me that Mrs. Claus had finished getting all the Christmas Presents ready. Back in 2007 I sent her an email, explaining that I would really prefer if the gifts that Santa would bring the kids could be void of all packaging, cardboard, tape, twist ties, and plastic hang tags. I also wanted fresh batteries in everything. I knew that it would save time and precious "joy" on Christmas morning. I knew that the kids would be elated to find that the elves had manufactured their toys right at the workshop and that they were right there under the tree to play with - sand unwrapping, un-packaging, and battery installation. So anyway, Santa said that by noon Mrs Claus had all the presents sorted and prepared to go into the sleigh. I feel really bad for Mrs. Claus, because I just KNOW that Santa stayed up to late and that he was sleeping and snoring on the couch while Mrs. Claus took care of everything.... and he never once considered that Mrs. Claus probably had things to do like cleaning and holiday baking and her own gift wrapping. Oh well. Santa also said that she ran all the duplos from eBay through her dishwasher and steam cleaned some toys.... so I am sure that he helped in the end.
So anyway, yesterday with the kids gone I got a ton done away from home, and a bunch of me time in. I was able to redo my friend Stacey's Facebook Page for her business, because she increased the product types she offers and therefore changed the business name (It's Sew Cute, Check it out, it's the one with the Tutus as profile pics) and that was great because I had needed a few quiet minutes to get that switched. Well, it took me more like an hour or more, because I had to upload all the pics again, but still. It's done.
Today I picked up the living room, front porch, Ardyn's room, and the kitchen. The kitchen was a wreck. I ran the dishwasher and hand washed those evil utensils that aren't dishwasher safe. I can say that I have quite a few Pampered Chef products that I haven't been really satisfied with. It seems like suddenly they are falling apart like RIGHT after the warranty expires. I really have to say that I hate the clear acrylic measuring cups. Or should I say EASY READ MEASURING CUPS. I have all of them, even the tiny one, and they wash terribly. The acrylic gets these spidery cracks all over them, that aren't actually cracks clear through, but like acrylic surface cracks. Everywhere. And they get more and more difficult to clean and won't come clean in the dishwasher as a result. I love that they nest, and that is the main reason that I did away with my pyrex measuring cups, but I am so tempted to toss these things it isn't even funny. Especially not funny considering that four of them cost $29, plus tax and shipping. Not funny.
One of my favorite favorite newer products just cracked on me. And I mean cracked in like four places. I am referring to the Microplane Grater. I was so disappointed. Of course I earned it as a consultant before I retired, and so it's just about 5 years old now. It would be one thing if I had frequently used it for 5 years, but seriously I was so burnt out on cooking I didn't even open the box until after Ardyn was born. So it hadn't even been used for like 2.5 years, and it's one of those items that you rarely use. Especially when you already have the rotary grater and the Ultimate Slice and Grate (the original.) So if I had used it 10 times I would be surprised. But it worked FABULOUSLY and I adored it. Especially for zesting oranges. But alas, it seemed to have cracked in the dishwasher. I used it, and it was fine, and when I took it out of the dishwasher, it was cracked in like three places. The worst cracks were around the metal plate, in the plastic frame. They make it not so great to use anymore. And I am not spending $27 to get another one that will eventually do the same thing. Then tonight I noticed when putting away my Double Burner Griddle (Professional Cookware, $145.00, and less than a year old) has three little areas that look like knicks, but not like metal utensil knicks, but like blips in the coating where the coating is coming off. Grrr. It has a lifetime warranty, and I have NEVER used metal utensils or knifes or anything on it, and I am the only one who uses it... to cook breakfast for the kids. SO frustrating. This has a lifetime warranty so I am planning on contacting them for a replacement.... but in all the years I sold and used Pampered Chef very heavily, I never had this many product issues. It makes me wonder if their quality is declining. Warren? Are you listening?
Well, tonight my stove cooked it's last meal. We bought the Tappan Electric Stove about 10 years ago at the auction for Mother Superior. (Michael Michlig's Grandma) in Manlius. I think we paid like $25-50 for it.... and I think I would have gotten it for less except that a relative was bidding against me to drive the price up so it wouldn't go so low. It has been a good stove, and old one but it has worked well up until about the last year. We noticed a few burners starting to not heat up right, and now the oven has stopped working right. For Thanksgiving I had to keep re-arranging food and racks because it wasn't cooking evenly. Tonight, 10 minute garlic bread took 35 minutes on 400 degrees. And I had to turn it on preheat for the last 5 minutes to melt the cheese on top because it wasn't heating evenly. We ordered the new stove about two weeks ago. A snowstorm kept the delivery truck from getting it to our area last week, and then when it did finally arrive on Monday, we had discovered that Evan had H1N1 so we talked to the salesperson and decided to delay the delivery while he was contagious. So tomorrow, FINALLY! the stove is going to be delivered at 10am. I am so excited I can hardly stand it! I want to bake all day tomorrow! I chose a Samsung (like our fabulous French Door Bottom Freezer Fridge) and ordered black. It's electric, flat top ceramic with 5 elements and it is convection. It also has a hidden element (yay!) and not only is self-clean but has a 20 minute quick self-steam clean that cleans up quickly after a spill or drip (yay! yay!) and here it is! Ten AM will be here before I know it! Whoooo! So. Excited. I have lots of baking that I wanted to do, but have put some of it off because the oven wasn't up to par. If I have been successfully baking breads and rolls in that old thing, I can't imagine what this new one will do! It even has a proof setting! yay!
okay. So I did a ton today. And I am so exhausted. And I need to go to sleep, so that's that.
Ardyn did get in trouble at dance tonight for pushing... the teacher! WHAT will we do with this child? Tonight we had a long discussion, and I showed her just what it feels like to be pushed down when you don't expect it. We talked about how it makes you feel to be pushed down and when I asked her why she doesn't push mommy she said "Because I love you!" and then we talked about reasons not to push friends, especially teachers. And then we discussed the consequences if it ever happens again. Man I hope something sinks in!