Strange how the definition of luxury changes after you have children. They are still asleep. Highlander pushed the button on the coffee maker, let the big dog out (oh, that's right. I need to not forget that he's outside) and asked me three or four questions that I'm pretty sure I answered but can't remember. Then he left for work. That was an hour ago. I listened for the kids and decided to take a nap while I waited for them to wake up. My half asleep mind wandered back to the olden days of yore in 2007 (also known as The Worst Year Of My Life) when they used to never ever ever ever sleep past 6:15am and I cried all of the time about the stay at home mom angst (Am I good at this? Why is my house such a mess? What the hell is wrong with me? Remember when I used to get a Paycheck? Yada Yada Yada.) My self-imposed cure for the post post baby blues was to rise earlier then my dear sweet children, sneak downstairs to get a cup of sugar laced coffee, and crawl back into bed with a stack of gardening magazines from the late 90's that my parents bequeathed to me. By spring of that year, poor Zoe was sharing a room with her sister and her former spot in the house was dedicated to growing heirloom tomatoes and an impressive array of herbs. I think we ended up with 218 viable plants that year. By the time it was time to put them in the ground, I had stopped crying. Yep. Growing things from seed makes you stop crying. I've done the study. Now the results have been published.
Anyway, I was mentally trolling those waters this morning at 7:18 and then I smelled the coffee. It was like a Folgers commercial from the 80's. I rose, stretched, put on Highlander's robe, and snuck downstairs in my bare feet. Five minutes later and back in bed, I'm curled up with my Wi-Fi googling anything that comes to mind. And that, my dear sweet friends, is Luxury. Or rather, this is. This is the paycheck for the puking flu and the arguments over whether or not Zoe is going to eat her supper. This is the Good Stuff. I don't take the fact that my computer isn't "plugged in" for granted. I know. Easily amused.
Which reminds me....the thing about Zoe not eating. I made a new form of "crapola" in a desperate attempt to ascertain whether my four year old was sick or just being picky. She stopped eating supper and started complaining loudly about absolutely everything I put in front of her about a week ago. She eats eggs for breakfast, clementines for lunch, and makes a mighty fuss about supper. We (and by "we" I mean Highlander) usually manage to get four or five bites down her whiny throat before we (and by "we" I mean me) give up. A couple of days before Christmas at supper, I pulled out the big guns and started describing the super fun time those two munchkins were about to have a bath time that night. What with the colored water and foamy purple spray soap...the array of new and exciting bath toys that were patiently waiting to be used up. The girls were Very Excited. Tori ripped through her dinner. Zoe ate one bite and exclaimed, "Oh Yuck! I Hate It!" She folded her arms across her chest and stared at me. Battle. On. I turned to Victoria, "You ready, honey?" We went upstairs without a word to madame pouty face. About three minutes later, I heard a tiny cry from downstairs, "Mommy! I'm finished with my supper!" Ah, victory for Mommy! Zoe came upstairs and climbed in the tub with her sister, who by now was covered in purple foamy shaving cream like soap and pretending to swim in the bright pink water. I went downstairs to work on the kitchen and noted that Zoe had in fact licked her plate clean. Wait. Licked? Charlie (suitably nicknamed the eight pound security system) was sitting in the corner with a big smile plastered on her face. That was a pasta-buzzed doggy if I've ever seen one. Ah, victory for Zoe.
Later, when Highlander questioned her about feeding her dinner to the dog and then lying about it, she said, completely seriously, "It was Charlie's idea." As if that would be the answer that would set her free.
The stunt put her on the naughty list for the day. The revocation elves showed up while she was neck deep in pink water and her stocking ended up disappearing. Before you gasp and judge me, know that my seemingly brilliant parental move ended badly for me. Victoria was the child most traumatized and apparently was deep in thought about what to do about her naughty sister while she was sitting on the toilet an hour later. She called me into the bathroom and earnestly pleaded, "Mommy, please put me on the naughty list and take Zoe off. I'll take her place. She's little." Meanwhile, Zoe was playing quietly; happily singing Jingle Bells to herself in their bedroom. Enter: Mommy-Guilt. Creative parenting is a minefield.
Here's how to make Tori and Charlie's favorite pasta;
About 2 inches of a Velveeta loaf (I won't go into why that's in my house right now. Different post for a different day.)
2 cups uncooked Bow-Tie pasta (or whatever you have on hand. Zoe picked Bow-Tie the night of The Incident.)
1/4 cup cooked and drained ground beef
Cook the pasta until it's about a minute from being done.
In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt the Velveeta and about a cup of the hot water from the pasta until it's creamy. Stir in one tablespoon of tomato paste and the cooked ground beef.
Pour sauce over cooked drained pasta and stir. I think I put in a little bit of dried oregano and a pinch of garlic powder in a vain attempt to make it more food-like. But that's totally optional.
Watch the dog.