So for the holiday weekend Chris has been either upstairs on the PS3 or downstairs on the computer playing video games, and Karenna and Jude have been playing together outside, leaving me to find something to do.

Every once in a while Karenna has come into the house and begged me to pay attention to her, at which point, I put down the computer, and we find something to do.  She has gotten out paints, we have watched movies, etc.

Before we get too far however, I find that Jude and Karenna have scampered off to do cartwheels in the living room or to run across the neighborhood and I am left to cleanup what was supposed to be mother daughter time.

Fast-forward to this morning when Karenna decided that I spent too much time on the computer and should pay attention to her.  We decided on a Netflix movie, an animated movie in French with subtitles.  (She even yelled at me as I checked email while it loaded.)

Not 5 minutes into the movie, I noticed that she and Jude were fighting and that they each had a PS3 controller in their hands...

Me: Karenna, you're not watching the movie!
Karenna: Yuh-huh.
Me: What's that in your hands?
Karenna: I'm playing the game and watching.
Me: It's subtitled so you have to read. You can't just listen.
Karenna: I'm watching.
Me: No. [Turning the movie off.] I'm not going to hang out and be ignored again.  I'm going to find something else to do.
Karenna: No Wait! I'll watch with you.
Me: I've heard that before.  What part of my job of mommy means I have to spend time with you attention to you while you ignore me?  Why don't you ever do that to daddy?  Go get him out of his basement hole.
Karenna (begging): No! I don't want to play games with Jude.  I want to play with you.
Me:  I'm not angry and I'm not disappointed.  But if your going to just go play with your brother, just go play with your brother.  You are getting along, and that never happens.
Karenna: I don't want to play video games. Please don't make me play video games!
Me: You're just saying that because you think my feelings are hurt.  They are not.  You are just driving me crazy.  Really just go play with Jude.  Or daddy.
Jude: Karenna, mom doesn't want you. Play with me!
So for the holiday weekend Chris has been either upstairs on the PS3 or downstairs on the computer playing video games, and Karenna and Jude have been playing together outside, leaving me to find something to do.

Every once in a while Karenna has come into the house and begged me to pay attention to her, at which point, I put down the computer, and we find something to do.  She has gotten out paints, we have watched movies, etc.

Before we get too far however, I find that Jude and Karenna have scampered off to do cartwheels in the living room or to run across the neighborhood and I am left to cleanup what was supposed to be mother daughter time.

Fast-forward to this morning when Karenna decided that I spent too much time on the computer and should pay attention to her.  We decided on a Netflix movie, an animated movie in French with subtitles.  (She even yelled at me as I checked email while it loaded.)

Not 5 minutes into the movie, I noticed that she and Jude were fighting and that they each had a PS3 controller in their hands...

Me: Karenna, you're not watching the movie!
Karenna: Yuh-huh.
Me: What's that in your hands?
Karenna: I'm playing the game and watching.
Me: It's subtitled so you have to read. You can't just listen.
Karenna: I'm watching.
Me: No. [Turning the movie off.] I'm not going to hang out and be ignored again.  I'm going to find something else to do.
Karenna: No Wait! I'll watch with you.
Me: I've heard that before.  What part of my job of mommy means I have to spend time with you attention to you while you ignore me?  Why don't you ever do that to daddy?  Go get him out of his basement hole.
Karenna (begging): No! I don't want to play games with Jude.  I want to play with you.
Me:  I'm not angry and I'm not disappointed.  But if your going to just go play with your brother, just go play with your brother.  You are getting along, and that never happens.
Karenna: I don't want to play video games. Please don't make me play video games!
Me: You're just saying that because you think my feelings are hurt.  They are not.  You are just driving me crazy.  Really just go play with Jude.  Or daddy.
Jude: Karenna, mom doesn't want you. Play with me!
Jude's party this year was a PVZ (PLants vs. Zombies) themed party.  You would think that since the game is fairly popular on a number of platforms and it features common plant, I would be able to easily find things to meet the theme.  I t was a bit more challenging than I thought.

Kudos to PopCap for giving a free template for party invitations, envelopes, and thank yous instead of licensing them.  I took there design and modified my own in Photoshop:
pvz.jpg
My sister Lisa couldn't resist buying Jude this shirt as a birthday gift. This photo, as well as others of the partygoers (with PopCap zombies showing up) were our thank you notes...
jude039.JPG
We also had road cones (which Aunt Cathie enjoyed) for conehead zombies and attempted a game...
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Cathie was responsible for the brain jello mold.  She said the invitation said we were having ice cream and brains, so we had better deliver...
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The cake was created with food-colored pistachios, walnuts, hand-dipped chocolate sunflowers, gummy cherries, and gummy chili peppers.  Party favors included similar items...
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As I mentioned back with the White Chocolate Blueberry Pancakes, Chris loves to tease me that my pancakes are too much like candy.

I decided to make this flavor like his favorite brand of ginger snap.  He likes Stauffer's Ginger Snaps for two reasons: first is the last of preservatives and second is the addition of chili powder and red pepper for extra kick.

Dry Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp table sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1 pinch chili powder
Wet Ingredients, Beaten Together
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar

This recipe was a combination of traditional pancakes, gingerbread cookies, and a the inspiration from the Stauffer's bag.  It's got a kick, so serve with milk or whipped cream.
I think that what we get for putting up with all the other stuff of Central Pennsylvania (like the allergens) is that we have Gardner's Candies

If you have never had a Garnder's peanut butter meltaway, I feel very, very sad for you.  If you have, but have moved far away and know what you are now missing, I feel worse.

So here's a pancake to make you feel better...

Dry Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Wet Ingredients, Beaten Together
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Mix wet and dry together.   You may need to mash down the pancake batter as it is rather thick. 

And if you think this recipe is just a tad to sweet, the next recipe kicks it up a notch with crushed red pepper and chili powder...

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