Tuesday
Aug232016

The Good Days are Good

Have I mentioned that I love age 2? Because, man. Every day is a great day with Mila, even the days that aren't. Two is the age that is all about telling it like it is. When Mila is miserable, she puts it on display. When she's happy, that gets displayed as well, but she can't stand to feel things alone. Mila always takes you with her.

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Mila is absolutely playing it cool in that photo, but when that little car hit the curve and spun her around, she giggled with glee. Then she would hit a straight-away and turn all serious again, only to be all of the happy when it came time to spin again.

I could watch her discover that rides are fun for hours.

Which, for the record, I did. Somehow I was the kind of crazy that purposely takes four ten-year olds to an amusement park. But we're not talking about just any ten-year olds - we're talking about Alexis and her friends. They're all basically incapable of doing anything bad, so they can be trusted in all sorts of situations. I mean, if you were to do the marshmallow test with any one of them, the marshmallows would still be there. Guaranteed.

I'm pretty sure the fact that all of the girls are so ridiculously good is the reason another mom volunteered to go with the crew to Kennywood. She gets fifty gold stars for accompanying me as I let the big kids run around like fools, especially because she took on full responsibility for them a few times so Mila could visit Kiddieland.

While the big girls took on giant coasters, Mila took on Lil' Phantom and the Kiddieland Whip. Over and over. Which, thank goodness. At some point in recent history, Kennywood changed the height rules in Kiddieland. Mila is about a foot too short to ride most everything. Fortunately, she will ride the Whip 40 consecutive times, if given the opportunity.

Mila will probably be tall enough for the swings in Kiddieland at about the same time she is starting kindergarten. When that day comes, she's going to be the kind of happy that adds years to your life.

Monday
Aug222016

The Suspense. It Burns.

There is very little about Alexis' grade school experience that matches mine. I went to a tiny school with just 34 kids per grade, which means everybody knew everything about everybody no matter what. Cliques were formed early, bus rides were long, and you always knew what to expect as the new year started.

Alexis, on the other hand, lives a life full of suspense. There are four classes for her grade and she doesn't find out who her teacher will be until a few days before the year starts. Once that teacher assignment is confirmed, it's a mad dash to find out who else will be in the class. There are always a few familiar faces, but there's also sure to be a new face or two.

The whole process leaves me sitting atop a fence. Half of me hates the whole thing because ZOMG JUST SEND THE STUPID TEACHER ASSIGNMENTS. I'm relatively certain there's no honorable reason they withhold them until the week before school begins. I'd bet it's so people don't have time to complain and demand a change. Which, whatever. It's not like the teacher assignment is what determines what the school supply list will be. Who needs a supply list before school starts?

Oh, people who like walking into a store where things are readily available and on sale, that's who. Last year I ended up paying $$$$$$ for a stupid binder because everybody was sold out of them except the office supply store who knew I'd pay five times what I should have.

Not that I'm bitter.

(I am. Very.)

The good news is that the supply lists get shorter as kids get older. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Back to that fence ... while I hate that we can't know who will be in class together and what they will need in time to buy it, I am a bit jealous of that whole suspense thing. It's kind of fun watching Alexis furiously rip open that teacher assignment letter each year, which is only possible since it doesn't show up until the last minute. It's even more fun watching her take to social media to try to piece together her classmate list. There's a lot of cheering and jeering as names fall into place. It always works out no matter what, so as far as I'm concerned, it's fine.

Alexis hates it. Alexis hate it with the fire of 2462432 suns. She hates it so much that I'm gaining confidence that it's the reason she hates surprises. She used to like it when we would pile in the car and wind up somewhere fun without warning, but now she gets mad. Very mad. She wants to know all of the details as soon as possible.

So when the therapy bills start coming in when Alexis is older, remind me that it's not my fault that Alexis hates surprises. It's her school district. The school district who can't seem to figure out teacher assignments until the bell has already started to ring.

(Is this last second thing just our district? Or do other districts do it, too? I have no idea. North Dakota schools sure didn't do it.)

Sunday
Aug212016

Grilled Crescent Dogs

All of the things have started back up, which means I'm only home one night per week. It's kind of the best, but it also means I'm focused on things that do not involve being in the kitchen. BRING ON THE SHORTCUTS.

Fortunately, I had questions after making these. Like, why don't I put EVERYTHING in crescents? I mean, really.

LET'S PUT ALL OF THE THINGS IN CRESCENTS.

First up, hot dogs! And cheese!

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And let's cook them on the grill because summer can't possibly be over yet. NOPE.

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Total win.

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Grilled Crescent Dogs

6 hot dogs
1 package Pillsbury Crescent Dough Sheet
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
Jalapeños
(optional)
non-stick spray

1. Heat up the hot dogs however you see fit. I used veggie dogs, so the microwave worked fine as far as I'm concerned.

2. Spread out your dough sheet and then place the hot dogs on it.

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3. Sprinkle some cheese on there.

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4. Cut the crescent dough and then wrap those happy little hot dogs. Try to keep the cheese on the inside.

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5. Spray with non-stick spray then cook on the grill until browned. By the way, at first it looks like it won't work and the dough is going to melt off, but if the heat is high enough, it will set and all will be well.

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6. Go shove more stuff in crescents. Trust me, it's a good choice.