Thursday, January 31, 2013

Isn't that Pinteresting?

I shall change it to Isn't that Pinteresting Thursday, since Wednesdays keeps not happening!!!

I've had some Pinterest fails lately. Like "omg I am so excited to blog about this, its going to be so healthy and delicious and everyone will love me like they've never loved anybody before."  Or "ZOMG-this is the housecleaning tip that will not only rock MY world and save me hundreds in home repairs, but will rock everyone else I know's world TOO!!!" And then? Womp womp womp. Pinterest fail.

Case in point: Steel cut oats in the crockpot overnight and you have a wonderful and healthy breakfast to wake up to. I am still cleaning my crockpot 5 days later.

Case numero 2: Using dishwasher cleaner to remove Formica stains. I think my assy looking Formica might actually look assier?

Which led me to try something that had so many less chances for me to screw up, but a very very very bossy and picky subject to try it out on: Rylan. Kid LOVES popcorn. Problem with this? Microwavable popcorn all has dairy. I found one kind with lime and salt that is super good, but super expensive.

 So, I tried out this little puppy. Worked like a charm.

Get a brown bag and plain old popcorn kernels. 1/4 cup of kernels in the brown bag, fold bag over twice. One time I only folded it once and it didn't work as well, twice is magic.

Push popcorn button on your microwave (note: coral painted, unchewed nail, resolutions)

This is my attempt to try to be as cool as Kate Plus 8, in the years when Jon was there and they acted like a kind of semi-normal family that liked movie night, before they got famous and thought we wanted to watch them gripe at each other and haul their poor 8 children all over the place. Kate put "surprises" in the popcorn (I'm sure sugar free, organic something or another). I choose Best Choice dino gummies.

Voila!!! Popcorn dino suprise. Happy movietime, Rylan.

Rylan LOVED it. Max dumped his popcorn all over my carpet and turned our vacuum into an infomercial of the "how much can this vacuum pick up" variety.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


....Sometimes you let your kids play outside in the dark and you make them happier than they've been all day...

Sometimes you catch your sweet four year old giving you love

Sometimes bathtime is the best thing that has ever happened, ever

Sometimes your newly freed from a crib, toddler falls asleep during his travels

Sometimes you walk out in the living room and find your two children in a random cuddling-passed out in the middle of the floor-moment

Sometimes you get this look......

Sometimes you take your kid out of the pricey, swanky school that promised to turn your kid into a genius and instead, taught your kid that if you tell someone "I"ll cut your head off" and make a slit across your throat, you don't get put in time out, and you realize your have the tools to teach them right here at your house. This day we learned about rows vs. columns and sorting colors in said rows vs. columns. And how delicious Sonic drinks are. Dollars to donuts he remembers that bit about the Sonic drink and forgets the rows vs. columns business.

I'm not pretending I'm turning him into a genius. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Well Isn't that a Pinteresting Wednesday? Except on a Thursday?

As part of my new, better me in the new, better year, I decided I would cook/craft/do something that I had pinned on pinterest and blog about it. I like reading other people's blogs when they blog about it, and OMG I am a mad pinner and a not-so-mad doer of the pins.

I had let my sister pick out whatever she wanted from my pinned Pinterest stuff for me to try and blog about. She picked a good one. An emergency binder for my family. It'll be awesome. But, it was not to be this week.As previously mentioned, my body failed me and got the flu.  I took too much Nyquil, and I'll be honest, I rubbed Vick's Vapo rub on my feet because someone told me that would stop my coughing and I would have given birth out my right nostril to JUST. STOP. COUGHING. So, there was no way I was putting together an emergency book. Howeva, yesterday morning, I took a shit ton on ibuprofen, rubbed my feet with vapo rub, put on a heating pad, and drank a load of tea and honey and lemon and something in that concoction was a game changer. I slept a beautiful 4 hours and woke up not coughing till I wanted to cry or pee my pants or both.

And that, my friends, is a beautiful feeling. A feeling worthy of making good on my promise to try one Pinterest thing a week. So, I quickly scoured my Pinterest trying to find something doable on a (slightly) Nyquil high, and with the resources I had on hand. Here you go:

Crockpot Chocolate Lava Cake (as skinny as I could get it AND dairy free)
adapted from this recipe

For the cake
1 cup splenda brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp low fat margarine
1 tsp vanilla

For the pudding
3/4 cup splenda brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 cups boiling water

Directions:   For the cake: Mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in milk, melted butter and vanilla until combined. Spread the batter over the bottom of a large crockpot.

For the fudge topping:  Mix together the brown sugar and cocoa. Sprinkle mixture over the cake batter.
Pour the boiling water over the top. DO NOT STIR! Cover and cook on High for 2 - 2 1/2 hours.
Cake will be very hot! Turn off heat, and remove lid. Let sit 20-30 minutes before serving, so its still warm but wont burn your mouth : )  ENJOY!!

*I loved it, Rob thought it was "pretty good" and Max gave it back to me. Rylan didn't eat enough of his dinner to get dessert**, I'm mean like that. My kids are weird. They don't like chocolate. Max likes chocolate milk, but a brownie? Chocolate cupcake? No thanks.

**How weird is Rylan? He didn't eat SLOPPY JOES!!! That is what we had for dinner. What kid doesn't like sloppy joes? At least enough to get dessert? If he wasn't Rob's clone, I'd send him for a paternity test.

Its starting to look like Hot lava isn't it? Hot lava. Those words make me giggle.

I wouldn't be my mother's daughter if I didn't put a giant dollop of Cool Whip on it. Yum.
(note sparkly not chewed fingernail above plate)

According to My Fitness Pal, 1/8 of the recipe gets you 332 calories. 
And just for your viewing pleasure, here is a video from a birthday party we went to a couple of weekends ago. Not only did our kids sit down and take down their cupcakes BEFORE the birthday girl even got in the room, we had this:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I need some nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, best-sleep-you-ever-got-with-Flu A medicine"

This is me. In a nutshell. I don't have a purple chair, though. I wish I had a purple chair. 

I got a flu shot, but, apparently, it didn't take. I better have, at minimum, a six-pack after all this coughing. You know that freaking awesome daycare from yesterday's post? They've agreed to take my kids, because I'm hiding and hoping they don't get this business. Maybe their flu shot could have kicked my flu shot's ass!!! One can hope.

In New Year Resolutions news, particularly number 5, I'm kind of being a rock star about my nails. My sister gave me this gigantic thing of Sephora nail polish sample bottles. I repaint my nails every 3 days or so. It seems that if I have them painted, I leave them alone so much more. I still find myself picking at the skin, which is such a disgusting habit (I read its a sign of OCD, yay I have issues!!!! Thanks Dr. Google) but I am seriously better about stopping as soon as I realize I"m doing it. A 30+ year habit it hard to break. The funny thing about me painting my nails, is that the box of nail polish literally had 20 colors minimum in it. And I feel like wearing them all. Usually I would save the crazy ones for my toenails, because crazy colors seem so less crazy on your toes, but I'm owning this nail biting quitting Resolution and I wear my mint green and purple sparkle and hooker red like nobody's business. I am currently, sick as a dog, with Flu A, wearing a wife beater and maternity pajama bottoms, but I am ROCKING some Perfect Pink nailpolish.


So, my nickname at work is Boomerang. Because 2.5 years ago, I tried to quit. I took Rylan out of Tiny Town, the daycare he'd gone to since he was 8 weeks old. They talked me into working every other Monday and when someone was off for vacation. Boomerang, I tried to leave and got lured back.  I did this and it worked nicely. I had a person that I traded babysitting with, so that Ry didn't have to go to daycare. Until I got pregnant a minute after "quitting" and my pregnancy was very painful and walking/standing all day with a split pubic bone and constant contractions turned impossible. The place for me to be was home.

So, from June 2010 until February 2011, I did not work at all. In February, I was ready to get out of the house a bit and feel like a member of society again. The hospital I was working for had been hit by the economic crisis, so they couldn't let me work much and I went back on Thursdays only from 9am-1pm. \Some people thought this was silly. Stupid even. Not even worth the cost of daycare and gas. Except......mental health is priceless. Every mommy needs a break, so instead of mommy's day out, I went to work a little bit.  Boomerang Kids II. And my kids went back to Tiny Town.

Last May, we were having trouble with the therapy evaluations going on with Rylan. In short, they took f-ing forever and finally told us he qualified for speech and developmental therapy, but it was May and they were taking the summer off. Bhhhhhhhttttt. We found a school that was perfect for Rylan. They worked very hard at socializing the kids, they taught Spanish and sign language. Even without therapy, Rylan could get tons of socialization just by changing schools. We hated to leave Tiny Town, they truly took good care of our children. But, we felt it right to take Rylan to a school school, where he could blossom more. Only problem? It costs alot. And they didn't want to do the one day/week thing that Tiny Town was open to. So, they started going Monday/Friday and I started working Monday and Friday as well. Boomerang III for mama.

At first we loved the new school, the teachers were great and involved and coming getting our kids was a treat. We got a report on how they were and all was good. Fast forward to August. The new school year required a move to older classrooms for both kids. Rylan's age and developmental age are two different things. He is still mastering things that come easier to other kids, like counting, recalling songs, doing the ABC's. They moved him up two grades to be with other kids his age. Where he became lost and sad.  The teaching was above his head. He was coming home and telling me what county he lived in, but he still couldn't count to 10. This doesn't seem right.

At the same time, Max started hitting like a crazy person at home. We never, not one time, were told that Max hit at school. While I would hate to get a negative report about my kid, I'm not silly to think that he was acting like an angel at school. So, if they aren't telling me that he is not acting right, that means they aren't talking to other kids' parents if their children are acting wrong. Not good. We never got a report about Rylan doing better in school or things that we could work on at home. He started saying "shut up", calling us stupid, and not listening AT| ALL. The kid that we knew and loved kept disappearing.

In August, Rylan started speech and developmental therapy. He also started preschool at home, called HIPPY. A lady brings us course work on Tuesdays and picks up last week's course work to look at. Everything we do with HIPPY is so Rylan appropriate. They focus on the basics: shapes, colors, counting, art work, getting physically active, reading reading reading.

Rob and I made the decision to take the kids out of the awesome school with its college educated people, and take our kids back to Tiny Town, where they will be loved and cared for and "shut up and stupid" get you in time out and hitting is reported to parents. Boomerang Kids III.

 Doing my best to keep the smiles on these kids' faces
I pray we've made the right decision. Based on the last week and a half's behavior, we did. All the knowledge in the world does nothing for you if you cannot act like a decent human being. I'm here to teach him and therapy is in place to help where he is needing it. And Max? Well, Max got a 50-something black lady with white hair that does not put up with that hitting business. She is as sweet as can be, but he is scared enough to act right. Relief.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Christmas 2012

And now, on the evening of January 18th, I shall document our Christmas. You know, the one that happened 21 days or more ago. I've just been so busy trying to blog about weight loss and decide what to blog about from Pinterest, and trying to grow my nails out, since I blogged about that, that I completely forgot to blog about my family enjoying a very lovely pre-blizzard jolly good Christmas.

Christmas #1 Qualls side. 
We traveled to Batesville to Rob's parents house, where his sister and her kids and his 2 aunts met us. One of Rob's aunts, Becky (pictured below in the black shirt standing, I apologize about the quality of the pic) moved to Equador and was back in the states for the holidays and able to spend Christmas with us. She brought us all presents. It was so sweet. 

Yes, mom, Grandma got me a super swesome Darth Vadar ornament and I'm going to show it to you, but not smile for the camera.

Rob, his sis, and his parents. His mom had surgery on her toot (that's Max speak for foot) a couple weeks before the holidays. Bless her.

Aunt Becky brought him a tiger hat and Grandma gave him a book to eat

Christmas #2 Rohr side

Mom holding Angie's dog. She doesn't love dogs. I think she looks quite natural here.

A try at a grandkids shot. Who brought the grumpy kid in the front?


Much better

Christmas isn't complete without putting the smackdown on Clay



Rylan's awesome pirate ship

Sister Tammy and Robert Eric McQuallster

Sister Angie and Clay (no idea what my mom is finding so funny in the back)

My parents. 42 years together and they still like each other. Crazy talk.

Our 8th Christmas together, I still like him okay

Max figured out how to take a pic. And document his pacey addiction

Cutting the prime rib. Delish.

We woke up Christmas morn to warnings of snowfalls, so we hightailed it back to Little Rock in time for freezing rain to start. We woke up the next morning to find over 8 inches of white fluff on the ground. And no electricity. We were some of the lucky ones. We lost power for 24 hours and right when we started calling hotels and phoning friends, the lights turned back on. I love electricity. I really love love it. I love a hot shower, a heater, and I really love tv.

Even though he proclaimed snow angels to be girly stuff, he still enjoyed them.

This is our last pic with Max in a crib. Before he turned all Climy Climberson and now he's in a toddler bed and he shows up in the middle of the night holding random objects from his room.

The week between Christmas and New Years, a doctor that I work with shoves about 3x the normal number of patients into 3 days. Being the idiot that I am, I had offered to work extra, to help pay off Christmas and such. Then it snowed. And the school lost power. And we had to beg a friend, pay extra for my work daycare, and slide all over Little Rock to get the kids taken care of so that their (mostly) stay at home mom could work a few extra hours. I will NEVER. EVER. offer to work extra again. EVER. Not at this job. Not at this time of year. Not with the asthma twins as my kids. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Well, isn't that Pinteresting?

As part of my New Year, New Me, I've decided to try something off Pinterest every week and blog the results. Basically, I stay at home with my kids and I need more people to talk to, you know, other than the ones that talk about pee pee and tooting at the dinner table, so....Congratulations!!!!

Basically, Pinterest is as addictive as pizza, ice cream and booze. In that order. And just like losing weight, I am bad about reading about things and talking about things, but NOT ACTUALLY DOING THOSE THINGS. So, I pin things like a madwoman and I do a few of them, but not nearly enough. And, some things on there are really really awesome.

Because, I am in a weight loss frame of mind, I'll try to mostly post recipes that are "skinny". I also have a million things pinned to clean my house and make it beautiful.'s Pinteresting Wednesday Part 1

Scrumptious Cinnamon Pecan Granola
adapted from this recipe
4 cups rolled oats (I used quick oats)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup brown sugar (I used Splenda brown sugar)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup applesauce
1tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins or craisins or dried blueberries

Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl combine oats, flaxseed and pecans. Stir until combined.

In a small saucepan, combine honey, brown sugar, applesauce, salt, and cinnamon. Cook over low heat while stirring until the brown sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour the honey mixture in with the oat mixture and stir until the oats are coated. Add raisins, stir to incoorporate.

Put entire mixture on a large cookie sheet and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring at least once. Granola should be browned, but watch for burning.Store up to 10 days in an air tight container. *

*10 we could make it 10 days before we ate it all.
This makes 10 servings, according to My Fitness Pal, one serving =258 calories

We like it with milk or over yogurt.