Friday, July 31, 2009

Gluten Free Farmer's Market Marinated Salad- low fat weight watchers version

I could not resist the Amish Organic cucumbers at the market. They were right next to the heirloom cherry tomatoes and were begging to come home with me. I envisioned a marinated salad and went with a combination of flavors that packed a ton of taste with barely a drop of fat. This recipe is gluten free as long as you use apple cider vinegar, and gluten free mustard. Obviously this works best with the finest tomatoes available-


Ripe heirloom tomatoes (halved)
red onion (paper thin slices)
green onion stalks (snipped)
peeled cucumbers (sliced thinly)

dressing:
zest and juice of lemon
fresh dill
1/2 cup whole grain brown mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
2 cloves crushed fresh garlic
1 TBSP honey
1/2 cup fat free mayo (or regular mayo if you like)

Assemble all the prepped veggies in large colander over the sink. Add salt and pepper, let stand while you make the marinade. This will draw out the water from the cucumbers.

In a pyrex mixing cup add all the dressing ingredients and pulse together with a stick blender. The dressing/marinade will be thick but the extra water from the cucumbers will thin it as it chills.


Assemble the veggies and marinade in a large glass bowl or ziploc and chill together all day- or overnight. Toss again before serving.

Happy Summer!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

OMG We have created a monster...a straight haired monster that is!

Our favorite three year old diva was treated to some special time with her older sister. This included Amanda taking the flat iron to Natalie's hair and completely straightening it. I am sure Amanda thought of this as bonding and quality time together.

This salon like experience has created a monster. I am quite certain that Natalie will want this kind of hair-do daily, and since I barely have enough time to do my own hair, I doubt this will ever happen again anytime soon- if ever. I will be the first one to admit seeing her sans the curls was breathtaking,

she really looked so much older and more mature. With long straight hair she looks like 3 going on 30. God Lord what have we done? I am seriously scared to see the reaction when her hair returns to curly after the next shower.


ETA: Blogger has been all ferklepmt about uploading video clips for two days, so hang tight the video interviews with the kids are up next!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nesting

In preperation for the big surgery slash Vacation next week, I am nesting. I am whirling around the house cleaning and organizing so that everything will be in order when I am gone. This is so unlike me. I must be secretly needing to do this or something. It must be hormonal. Ackkk.

So I am checking things of the list and the one item that is left unchecked is posting some cute sayings from the mouths of my babes. The kids have been coming up with some good ones lately and I need to document them for posterity.

I have some videos to upload for the blog but sorry folks, I have too much laundry and nesting to do. Check back tomorrow.

Love,
the Queen

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just Keeping it Real

So the cat is out of the bag. I am having a hysterectomy next Thursday. In all honesty I am looking forward to it. Really. I am just keeping it real. Some would see major surgery as worrisome and frightening, I on the other hand, choose to see this as a real vacation.

I will be away from my "job" for 3 plus days. When I am back I will have "work restrictions" sort of like a claim of disability or workman's compensation. I will be sleeping in my 1500 thread count covered bed with the help of pharmaceuticals. My husband will be at my beck and call-(right Jeffie dear?)and I will be forced to take it easy regardless of the chaos around me. I will need special clothing for proper recuperation and of course, no vacation is complete without 24 hour room service.

As you can plainly see, this is more of a vacation than the trip to the beach last week. And there is none of that pesky sand to contend with either. You know you are the mom of a bazillion kids when you view a hysterectomy as a vacation, but oh man oh man this is gonna be great!

I am making to do lists like nobodys business. I have a lot to complete before I leave on vacation. As you can imagine it takes a bit of planning to coordinate my temporary replacement(s), I need to fill the house with supplies, I must clean and detail my future post op oasis, and like all Jappy patients- I can't go in for surgery with my hooves looking haggard, so I absolutely have to schedule time for a pedicure. No one wants to see my nasty feet in stirrups. So much to do, so little time.

Oh yeah, and since we are keeping it real, I did have a consult with a plastic surgeon. I am trying to work out the details so that I can have my "front tushie" vertical c-section scar removed. This along with some muscle repair (Diastasis) will be a hysterectomy with fringe benefits. If I can pull this off it will my all time BEST hair brained scheme ever! Sort of like killing two birds with one stone, only way better since there is time off and pain meds involved.

I am debating whether to post a photo of my current front tushie....since we are keepin it real. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Monday, July 27, 2009

An Open Letter to my Uterus

Dear Uterus,

Thank you for 40 years of service. You have recently done your duty carrying four babies to viability and for that I am quite thankful. I could not have done it without you.

Lately you have been troubled with pesky fibroid tumors and have grown to mimic an 18+ week pregnancy, so although I am not with child, I look as though I am due in 5 months. I am not sure you understand the importance of this, but suffice it to say, since I am not expecting a child, appearing pregnant is not fun anymore. This is a customer service issue that I can no longer tolerate.

I have made an important decision for the both of us. Consider this your termination letter with 10 days notice. Your services are no longer needed. As of August 6, 2009 we will be parting company and I wish you all the best in your future.

Please see Dr. Bokor for your exit interview.

Thank You,
Helene

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Another Plan "B" kind of Vacation

I was hell bent to get that family beach portrait on the trip to Virginia Beach. I had methodically planned our matchy matchy coordinated outfits, picked the precise spot on the shore and timed the sky for a brilliant sunset and yet I never got the nerve to tear the kids away from making sand castles and enjoying themselves. Sometimes you have to go with the dreaded plan B and sacrifice of yourself and your needs. At least that is what I am telling myself today as I finish downloading all the photos- except for a perfect family portrait.

Each evening as it grew closer and closer to photo time the kids were engaged and playing so nicely. I kept thinking that I would take them back, change their clothes and it would be SHOW TIME at sunset. But I just COULD. NOT. DO. IT! The photograph I envisioned was for me. The children could have cared less, in fact if I had pulled them off of the beach for any reason it would have been punishment in their minds. Clearly the kids would thank me when they were older but now...not so much. Okay, not at all.

So we drove home and all the while I wished I had that magical image of our darling brood. I know I did the right thing but I am still longing for that sunset shot. I had planned to frame it 16x20 with our new mission statement and reflect on that when the kids are driving me to drink. I guess Plan B prevails, and I will have to get cracking on Plan C- which means scheduling another beach opportunity.

My welcome home includes spending some much needed time snuggling Lenny and the mandatory fun of doing 14 loads of sand crusted laundry, re-stocking the fridge with perishables, and detoxing the mini van of cheese puffs, raisins, tortilla chip crumbles, wrappers, flattened juice pouches, and more sand.

Is anyone really, really, gifted with photoshop? Perhaps my Plan C should be to create the perfect beach photo from my computer? I am sure the kids would cooperate for that!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The New and Improved Slutsky Family Mission Statement

When the kids were first born I created a family mission statement so that even under the most sleep deprived of days, I would not lose my focus. I used our family mission statement as my mantra and it worked, I survived infant triplets and lived to tell about it. The original statement went something like this: Our family is dedicated to creating rich traditions and extraordinary experiences with our children. As parents we feel that with our connecting children leads to positive and strong memories that will help us develop a strong sense of belonging and individuality. We strive to achieve this goal by doing the least amount of psychological damage to their spirit.

After day three in Virginia Beach we need a new mission statement. The above bullshit is no longer cutting it and I have witnesses. I am considering a brand new and improved mantra to help me get through the long and trying days when the kids desperately need but boycott their nap. I am officially changing the statement to read:

Our family is dedicated to getting from one day to another without doing physical, emotional or permanent damage to the children and their parents.

I could blow smoke up your ass and show all the sunshine and rainbow photos we took at the beach



but let's face it, some days just crash and burn. The kids were basically one meltdown after another and it was sheer torture. They all had sand in every possible crack and crevice, including in their ears, noses, and lady parts.
CJ's hair was crusted with wet and dry sand. It was like a beach day gone horribly wrong.

I felt sorry for our friends who had to deal with the aftermath in their home at dinner. CJ could not quit touching every inch of their breakable things, Eli just whined and complained about each choice we made, and Natalie who napped like an angel just hung out with the adults and was civilized. I wish I could say the same about the other demon spawn kids. I should have shot video of the temper tantrums so that you could feel me but no one needs or wants to see that. It was like a bad car wreck, you know you are not supposed to stop and gawk. So just move along.

So tell me....do you have a family Mission Statement I can borrow? I am not completely convinced our new and improved mantra is gonna cut it!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dawn to Dusk in Virginia Beach

No stone was left un-turned in Virginia Beach. My poor kids (sarcasm) were busy from sun up to sundown. They have recently learned the terms dawn and dusk thanks to Aaryn, and now that we are partying it up from dawn to dusk and later. The kids are pointing out the sky and telling everyone the difference between the two words. Good times.

We started the day at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. My kids adore anything blooming and green in a outdoorsy, natural setting so when Evin mentioned this local venue we were chomping at the bit to go there. I was even more thrilled when I discovered that my Franklin Park Conservatory family membership was reciprocal- BONUS! We got in with the card for FREE! Even if we had to pay it would have been worth it, so if you are taking your own family freak show to the area, I highly recommend it.

The tram took us on a twenty minute speed tour through the entire place. The grounds are as beautiful as you can imagine

it was sensory overload with sights and smells as we toured the enormous rose garden.



We jumped off at the Kids WOW area and spent over an hour splashing in all the water park like fountains and squirting statues.







The kids would have been fine to go back to the hotel after the garden tours but I insisted that we re-fuel with a nice lunch first. We stopped at a great Sushi place and ate more than our fair share of spicy tuna rolls, unagi, and sashimi.
I have the most ethnic eating kids around- seriously, how many 3 year olds eat BBQ eel and raw tuna? Do most toddlers like the taste of ginger and wasabi? I was laughing when the waitress brought Eli a fork and he said, "Excuse me, could I please have chopsticks?" I swear she thought it was a joke. I know she went back to the kitchen area and told all the Asian staff that there was a table full of American kids eating sushi and using chopsticks because throughout the remainder of the meal a stream of employees kept walking around us in disbelief. It was either my weird children or the fact that I have four kids under four dressed similarly. Who knows, Who cares, Where is the Yellowfin?

After napping the kids we schelpped them back to Evin's beach. They spent the remainder of the daylight hours with their toes in the sand.



In fact, when you are three and a half years old, there is nothing more hilarious than burying your babysitter in the sand. The kids played and played until it was practically dark!



and they would have stayed longer if we did not have to hurry back for dinner.

We devoured the amazing meal Sheryl cooked for us and since the kids were already showered post beach and dinner, we just continued to display the freak show on the Boardwalk at the Oceanside area. There was a concert featuring the Vinyl Headlights and my little rockstars rocked on until past 10:30 on a school night. The little people fell into bed and were asleep in 30 seconds. BONUS!

Tomorrow we will get SERIOUS about the family photo because up until now we have been having too much fun to pose for the good stuff. Perhaps I will report back after dusk and I will have my sunset Slutsky shots.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Beach Babies

Beach baby, beach baby, give me your hand




Give me something that I can remember
Just like before we can walk by the shore in the moonlight
Beach baby, beach baby, there on the sand







From July to the end of September
Surfin' was fun we'd be out in the sun every day





Beach Baby there on the sand gimme something that I can remember!

So here are your beach memories my children- right here on the blog. I hope you had as much fun as I did.

Note to self, and others: Virginia Beach is for lovers. While it is a beautiful beachy scene, bringing 4 kids under 4 kind of nulls and voids the slogan. Las Vegas has, "What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas!" and Virginia Beach is for lovers....I need some middle ground folks!

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