Homemade pizza with my girl

I picked up my girl last night from her friend’s house at 6 pm. We were both starving. I asked her what she wanted for dinner and she responded “let’s go buy some healthy stuff at the store and cook.”
Pretty sad when your nine year old daughter needs to endorse such an idea.
We walked into Kroger’s as we goggled “healthy chicken recipes”. We were coming up with too healthy of recipes – salads and fruit – and we didn’t want to quite go to that extreme…. Then I saw Naan sitting on the shelf near the donuts.
Ahh, donuts….
But no, we need healthy.
I remembered my girlfriend heating up a homemade pizza with naan bread at work a couple of weeks ago.
“How about homemade pizza?” I asked Ri.
She was all in. And God love her – she agreed to broccoli and peppers and mushrooms on her pizza.
We gathered all of our ingredients and snagged a Luna bar on the way out to tide us over. Maria spread the pizza sauce and pesto on our naan. Then cheese. Then chicken and the veggies. Ri got out her mittens and slid the baking sheet into the oven. Ten minutes later, ta-da!

They tasted heavenly. Ri made a video as we ate about how good the pizza tasted. She wanted to send it to all her family to let them know how to make it (little does she know all her family knows; its her mom that is behind the eight ball a bit…!).

We finished our pizzas and walked upstairs to get in our pjs. I was darn proud of myself for cranking out a healthy, wholesome meal with my girl. Yea, Ri only had to wait nine and half years but it was worth it, baby!

Girls lunch out

Ri wanted to take some girls out to lunch for her birthday this week and the only day we could do it was today. I thought rather than spending $100 on Panera (which is seriously what it would have cost between smoothies and meals and desserts), I’d buy a pizza and take them back to the house.
What a hoot it was to watch them. They are a more calm goofy than Mario and his buddies. One thing that both cracked me up and scared me too death was this scene:

These are Jon’s old beer cans he has collected since he was in his 20’s, and they found it hilarious to act like they were drinking out of them. I have a feeling I may get a photo just like this one when they are home from college and having a summer reunion.
I loved that they devoured the entire large pizza and them devoured the candy and cookie jars while we sang happy birthday to Ri. They have no issues with taking down some grub and I hope it stays that way.


They still enjoy playing with barbies, and we’re laughing about how messy Ri’s room was – I told Ri it’s pretty telling when her friends say her room is messy! Still didn’t faze her a bit though. We topped off the lunch with candy and leis, modeling, and lots of laughter and singing in the car on the way back to school.

Got ’em back to school a few minutes late but I have a feeling that they will be able to schmooze their teacher and avoid trouble….>

Wednesday night pizza and brownies

I discovered tonight that Papa John’s Pizza is horrible. Maria begged for me to order it since we were having the neighborhood kids down for dinner and play time. I was thinking Papa John’s was Little Ceasar’s and would be cheap so I agreed. Oops. $22 later I had a large and medium pizza from Papa John’s, and was soon to be royally disappointed.

We were greeted by the neighborhood kids when we pulled up. The kids were like alley dogs when I opened the pizza boxes ripping slices away from the cardboard and going to town. After a five minute dinner, the girls went outside to the trampoline and the boys went up to Mario’s room. Soon I was greeted by two Spidermen and a laser shooter.



They were only outdone by the chocoholic girls who ravaged my brownie mix bowl and looked like savages in the wild.



Probably a mistake to combine nasty Papa John’s pizza and garlic butter with brownies but it was if my body needed the sugar and chocolate to soak up the grease. The kids decorated the brownies with icing and sprinkles while I just continued to cut and eat small slices until there were no brownies left.


Just so we could ensure belly aches for the evening, we played Twister. Ri lasted a few minutes, Sophie and Quinn a bit longer and Mario forever. He was a machine. He only ate a bite of pizza but had 5 brownies so maybe that’s his trick.


When the kids’ mom texted to have them come home, I was relieved to have some quiet and just two kids in the house. Of course by that time, Mario was so jonesed up on sugar that he was running around the house like a mad man taking off his shirt and singing “I know I’m sexy…!”

I’m ready for bed.

Thank God For Friday…and pizza…and cousins…and head massages

Between fighting the flu early in the week and fighting work insanity late in the week, I am relieved it is Friday night and I am able to sit in front of my computer and eat a DQ blizzard.  We received a treat tonight with Maggie and Laura coming over for pizza and hair brushing.  Yeah, that’s right – not together though!  We ate pizza (before pizza, Mario said grace and stated he was thankful for his cousins and his family and won Maggie and Laura’s hearts forever).  Maria hung on Maggie’s and Laura’s every word; she looks up to them like I looked up to their moms.  

M&M with their cousins

As we ate pizza, Mario began fidgeting in his seat and jumping out of it to dance around.  Jon and I told him to sit down and eat.  He kept talking. Maggie and Laura have always teased us about how lenient we are with discipline and we have always teased them about running a tight ship.  But, I have always admitted that a little bit more of that “hard ship” attitude would be helpful, especially at dinner. Laura took his arm and firmly stated “Mario, your dad spoke to you and asked you to sit.Sit.”  He sat.  We completely ignored him until he began eating his pizza.  He finished it in 5 minutes.  Laura figured out that his one “treasure” that would hurt him the most if taken away was attention.  He lives to be the life of the party.  Take that away, and he is bored.  And that is what we did when we ignored him and paid him no attention – he was forced to eat his pizza to get that attention back. Genius!  

After pizza, Maggie started a bath and Laura got hair products to comb out Maria’s knotty hair.  Maria’s hair looks like strands of gold when it is fully combed out and only Laura has the ability to get it combed to that level without Maria screaming and carrying on like an insane person.   After Maria’s hair, Laura combed mine, and if that was not heavenly, she massaged my head.  I sat at the table lost in another world while Maggie kept the kids busy and Laura kept my head amongst the clouds. 

After dinner, they helped clean up and wrestled with the kids.  They called it a night around 9 pm since they had to take a shower and get ready to hit the bars!  Oh, to be young again.  Jon and I are seriously contemplating paying them a salary per year to live in our attic; I do believe it is the only way that M&M will learn their manners, pay attention, and behave appropriately in society.  Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit but they are good and on Friday night when Jon and I are exhausted, they are awesome!

Shopping Country

Mario doing his model pose before he leaped off the tree stump

We braved heading to Polaris last night.  Polaris is a little city in intself with strip malls on one side of the street and a shopping mall on the other.  It’s north of the city and takes about 25 minutes to get to it on a good night.  I purposefully left at 6:30 pm with the hopes we would miss traffic but cars were braking constantly creating walls of red in front of us.  When we finally arrived at the lighting store, it felt like midnight and I had lost all enthusiasm for picking out lights.  I got some of  my enthusiam back when Maria and Mario discovered a playroom in the showroom, which allowed me to spend more than two seconds looking at lights.  Shops that contain kids’ playrooms rock this Earth and I just want to kiss all over the owner for thinking of us crazed parents that need to bring our kids with us to shop.  

The showroom overwhelmed me.  Lights hanging everywhere – silver, bronze, chrome, gold, amber….   I am finding that I need a limited choice of things when I go shopping or I get overwhelmed and cannot make a choice.  Not like I can make a quick choice between two things but 100 things just make my brain freeze.  I could have stayed at the showroom for hours, though, because Maria and Mario were content in the playroom watching Ariel with a new friend whose mom was enjoying a reprieve, too. 

We hit Great Indoors next.  That store looks like it is going downhill.  It used to feel more perky and alive.  We walked in and there were hardly any people, aisles were practically empty of items, and the mood was dejected.  But, they did have some pretty lights.  Luckily, they also had a mattress section right across from the lights that kept M&M busy (they loved the remote-controlled adjustable beds, of course).  I fell in love with one but it was not in stock.  I want the light before Thanksgiving so that I can show it off to my family.  Of course,  the practical right-minded part of me is saying that I should order the light and not care about getting it up before Thanksgiving since I will have it forever and I will love it.  But the anal, perfectionist that I am wants to have my lights installed prior to Thanksgiving so that the house can be in order, and that part of me prevailed.  I left the store with no lights but an idea of three or four that I would continue to consider until I went back to the store by myself on Friday afternoon. 

Maria "flirting" with Jack Hanna

About ten minutes prior to us leaving for the Playland, Maria walked over to me and begged for us to go. “Mom, I am ready to die.  I am so so hungry!”  Mario, on the other hand, begged to go to the Playland first.  Maria conceded as long as we got pizza and an Oreo brownie afterwards.  As we passed mannequins in the Ann Taylor store window, Mario looked up to me and whispered “hot girls!”  He is so wrong.  He acted like a wild man at the play land leaping off rocks and animals.  Maria ran around with him for about ten minutes and then her growling stomach forced her to stop.  It took us ten minutes to round up her insane brother but we finally got him to go by telling him that he could hop all the way back to the Food Court. 

We took down some pizza and an Oreo brownie at the Food Court.  While we ate, I asked M&M what lights they liked best at Great Indoors.  They ignored me as they ate their pizza but then Maria finished her food and began to lecture me. “Mom, you WANT new lights but do you need them?  There are things that we want but that we don’t need.  Do you think the lights are something you want but you don’t need?”

Huh??!  Where did I get this little minimalist, philosophical girl?  Oh yeah, she’s my daughter and I helped raise her to think just like this.  Meanwhile, Mario sat in his chair making strange faces and putting the remainder of his pizza on his head and stomach to try to make us laugh.  Where did I get this over-the-top, comedian boy?  Oh yeah, he’s my son and I helped raise him to be insane!   We drove home and called Jon to wish him sweet dreams good-night, laid down in my non-reclining bed, and fell fast asleep.