Things That Are AMAZING

I have insurance, you guys. For reals. All of a sudden, insurance. The tricky part is, I just started a new job. And I just felt a catch in my throat when I thought about missing time at work, especially after I have worked hard to get a smooth flow, to get "my kids" comfortable with me, in a rhythm... So more waiting. But hopeful waiting. There is light at the end of this tunnel, y'all. I am EXCITED.

I am NOT excited, however, that Josh just got an email telling him he is going to boot camp November 11th. November 11th means he misses Thanksgiving. And Christmas. Someone forgot to tell the Air National Guard how Terrible Important The Holidays are to me. I told Josh I don't know if I could stay married to someone who puts his military obligations before our Family Holidays. But he is a good drywaller. And he gives good back rubs. But another dreary, alone, sad Holiday Season? There isn't a good insurance plan that covers that one!

In addition to all of that amazement, I would also like to fill you in on a little update of my new, working lifestyle. Spending the last couple weeks in some of The Worst Pain Of My Life, which I blame on Josh for no reason in particular other than I can't find anyone else to blame, I have come to realize that even though I wake up in Quite A Lot of Pain, if I don't get something done in the God Awful Early Morning Before School, it will apparently not get done at all within that 24 hour time frame. This translates into me getting up earlier. And earlier. And even earlier. Especially when Terrible Children decide to turn ten and it rests on my pain-wracked shoulders to Make It Happen. This is the second morning in a row that I have been making cupcakes before 7 AM. Did you even know that ovens WORKED before 7 am? I had no idea. Two mornings because of course, it being the school year, and of course, me working at the school now, the only excuse that I had to not provide birthday cupcakes to her entire class was that I was too lazy and wanted to sleep a reasonable number of hours. Clearly not acceptable. So I am now on batch number two, and a massive bowl of manicotti stuffing, which she wanted last night for dinner but I somehow convinced her to have left overs - ok, I just forced her, basically, even though last night was her "real" birthday. So, to avoid the same avoidance of Doing Anything tonight, I made the manicotti this morning.

Two things about making manicotti: don't let husbands or kids make it, they will mess it up. Also: always cut the olives, in the can. If you don't do this already, you should. My friend Trish taught me the trick and then I taught her little sister and took all of the credit myself. It worked out pretty well. All of the angst that you develop when trying to slice a thousand round and rolling olives is equivalent to the amount of angst you will expel when stabbing a knife into a can repeatedly, with or without curse words and graphic visualization. It's theraputic, in a way, and it gets the olives chopped up. Without fail, one or two escapes the frantic blade, which leaves a couple whole olives for gleaning from the recipe. You might not get this, but olives and manicotti stuffing are delicious, even before 7 am. If you think I am crazy, ask my sister. There is nothing quite as delightful as eating the gooey, unmelted cheesy glory off of your fingers after mixing a bowl of manicotti with your bare hands. I tried to use a spoon today, because hand mixing seemed somehow inappropriate before 7 AM (I know, as if ANYTHING is appropriate before7), but it just wasn't working out. Tradition prevails, and I had manicotti stuffing and olives for breakfast. With a tiny bit of cherry chip cupcake batter.

Aspen wanted chocolate and cherry chip cupcakes. Or at least I think she did. I didn't really ask her, because that's what I wanted. What I really wanted was that Giant Chocolate Cake from Costco, but A) no one was going to Spokane in time, and B)Josh would have freaked if I spent $20 on Aspen's second birthday dessert this week. So I made cupcakes. I made jumbo cupcakes because I forgot to get regular cupcake papers. So I borrowed a jumbo cupcake pan from a buddy. Then when I went to make batch #2, I only had 5 jumbo papers, so I said screw it. Aspen and her friends are having decorate-it-yourself cupcakes (thanks for that idea, Kat) WITHOUT any papers. Because before 7 AM, that's just what happens. Now that I have successfully removed the need for Josh to make cupcakes OR manicotti, both of which he was volunteering for (a terrifying thought about a man who puts ketchup and hotdogs in EVERY recipe), and I can have him focus on the important things, like wrapping presents. I probably shouldn't be trusted with a pair of scissors, or any blade outside of an olive can, before 7 AM. It's just the harsh reality of Liv and mornings. Especially considering I had Just Enough cream left for my coffee, and it may or may not have been Almost Rotten, but I decided to mask and potential rottenness with cinnamon and call it good. It was pre 7 am, and I wasn't about to try to tackle anything coffeeless.

Today: Get cream so that I don't kill someone in the morning. Get frosting so that I don't make the kids decorate their cupcakes with powdered sugar and Nutella since I can't bear the thought of making frosting after work, when I am scheduled to die. Get tomato sauce so that I don't have to resort to using stewed tomatoes on manicotti again and ruin it. GET DRESSED FOR WORK!!

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