I’ve always been afraid of it. I don’t really know why. Frequently maligned and mocked things can come across as scary. It was with great trepidation I even gathered the courage to…

put it in my grocery cart.

But I did it.

Steeling myself as I reached for what I assumed was gelatinous goo, I set it on the counter to open the packaging. The label said “extra firm” but I could hear the sloshing of liquid inside. Frustratingly, the label offered no window with which to peek.

“Deep breath,” I told myself.

Gently peeling back the label, I was greeted with nothing more than a simple white rectangular prism sitting in its own nice little pool of water. No mold, no worms, no other disgusting materials of which nightmares are made. Just a rectangle of white.

I poked at it with my finger, curiosity overcoming my trepidation. “Hmm, it IS firm,” I thought, and proceeded to follow the directions for my breakfast scramble.

The white rectangle stared silently as the other vegetation warmed itself by the fire.

I crumbled it in, added garlic and tuneric, cooked and stirred. “It really resembles scrambled eggs,” I told the kids who really couldn’t care less.

Bottom line: It really DOES take on the flavors it is cooked in. With a bit of salsa and in a tortilla, it could easily be a delicious breakfast taco. Ahhh, the possibilities are endless. Like most scary things, the anticipation was far worse than the thing itself.

One thing I did learn through this recipe is that I’m not a huge fan of turmeric. I don’t mind it in tea, but in my scramble it wasn’t my fave…..but I’m excited to experiment more!

What is your favorite way to make tofu? Were you ever scared to try it? Tell me and share your favorite recipes!

via Daily Prompt: Impression


Preschooler Stream of Conciousness

In our daily routine, my daughter and I play family. A lot. Everyday. Pretty much it’s the only thing she wants to play. If I have other things to do, it becomes ‘Doing-The-Dishes-Family’ or ‘Laundry-Folding-Family’. It’s fun for her as she loves to role-play, specifically when she gets to be in charge. Go figure.

This afternoon we were in the middle of ‘Church-Family’ when she decided that she was going to play our pastor from our church in Oak Harbor. “Let me go get my Bible!” she announced suddenly. With her Bible storybook in hand, she bounds back into the “church school”, aka my bedroom, to read me a story.

What ensued can only be described as a hilarious stream of consciousness.

“Hello class. (speaking to me and the dog) I’m Pastor Spencer. I’m going to read you a story today. This is church school. We learn about God here. And we go to school. ” (Her last preschool was at our church.)

“Let me see, where was I?” she asks as she flips through the glossy pages and rearranges the ribbon bookmark. “Oh! Yes! Chapter Oregano.” (Wait, wha–? Right! We’ve been cooking a lot lately.)

“God was on a ship. With Flamingos. They are pink which is my favorite color. And a snake. The snake wasn’t pink. And it ate a bunch of animals. Then they went to find a rainbow.” Turning the page she exclaims, “Yay! They found the rainbow!” Now breaking into song she sings, “Red-orange-yellow-green-and-blue-and-don’t-forget-purple-too!”


“Then the pirates came and cleaned the ship. They were pirates on the ship, then they became human. God was there, too, but he fell out of the boat.”  The dog decides at that point to get up and lay back down in a more comfortable position. “Buck, you aren’t listening. You get a color change – you are on yellow!” (Her school has a behavior color change system; Green=good, Yellow=warning, Orange=Time Out, Red=Principal referral.) “No, Buck. This isn’t the time to play fetch!”

“Now where was I again?”

This girl seriously cracks me up. She has a crazy imagination and will talk to herself and all her menagerie of characters for hours. More often than not, I can gather what she’s really saying and identify exactly where in real life she’s pulling it from. Today? I am sure that our pastor, as well as her previous preschool teachers, never talked about God falling out of the Ark, a snake eating people, or chapters of the Bible being labeled as spices.

I can’t wait to see what happens at church tomorrow!

This Day.

It can only get better. It can only get better. It can only get better.

5:15: “Mom! I’m cold. There’s not room for me in the bed. I’m coming in,” says dear son.
5:16: Roll over and realize daughter is also in bed and sleeping. When did she climb in? Roll over and pretend to still be asleep. Curse loudly in my head.
5:22: “Mom! There’s not room. Hannah won’t move over and I’m afraid I’m going to fall off the bed.” Think to myself that perhaps sleeping in his own bed would eliminate the problem entirely. Curse again. Also thankful that I went to bed at 9pm so at least I got some sleep between nose-blowing, mouth-breathing, and snoring because I can only breathe out of one nostril currently. Still irritated.
5:25: Dog licks my face telling me he has to go out. Silently shake my fist at the sky. Why must they all conspire against me?!
5:29: Come back in with the dog and sneak over to Jacob’s bed and lie down. Perhaps if I’m really quiet, they’ll think that I’m still outside, thus buying myself just a few more minutes of snooze time before I really have to get up and moving.
5:30: Damn. They found me.
5:31: Give up and get up since I have to blow my nose (again).
5:32: Hannah peels a banana in the kitchen, while peeing. She laughs. I, however, do not find this funny because on top of all the other morning activities – mopping was not on the top of the list. Mopping is now priority numero uno. (silently growl about the fact that I JUST mopped this entire floor 2 days ago.) When asked why she didn’t go to the bathroom she replied that she was just too hungry.
5:45: Shower a resisting daughter, son gets dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast consumed and out the door we go to school. Drop them off. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for the wonder that is school.
8:01-10:45: Enjoy a walk with the dog, a strength workout, and some quiet. Head off to pick up daughter from school.
11:30: Arrive back home, am told by daughter that she’d like yesterday’s lunch again. Heat it up, devour a bowl of it myself, daughter’s gets cold as she sits not eating it. She says she’s full, but this is not my first rodeo.
11:45: “All Finished” she says. I set it aside because like clockwork…
11:55: Dear daughter says she’s starving and wants something to eat. I kindly offer to reheat her lunch. She throws minor fit, but gets over it. She has no choice. We aren’t wasting food, especially when it was her choice.
12:00: She’s eating happily. I go put laundry away and discover a “rip” in my favorite comforter. Initial thought is that the dog must have ripped it. I say out loud, “Oh, man! My favorite comforter is torn!” Daughter enters the room and informs me that she cut the comforter with scissors she found and that she was sorry. I ask her when and she tells me it was the other day when dear hubby and I were hanging curtains. (And the scissors were out providing way too much temptation to resist, apparently.)
12:15: Celebrate the idea that bedtime is less than 7 hours away. Wish it was now.
12:16: Fold laundry and consider running away from home. Far, far away to a land where I can breathe, my throat is not sore and I have 24 hours to sleep in a comfy bed where the comforters are not cut by minions.

Me in my own timeout, rueing the day.
Me in my own timeout, rueing the day.

I’m ready for do-over. Wait, scratch that. I don’t want to do this day over. I’m ready for evening and bedtime and for THIS day to be in the books!

PCS Like a Four Year Old

I wrote this post a few weeks ago as a submission to another blog. They have passed, so I am posting it here.

Sitting in the Navy Lodge smack dab in the midst of house hunting in our new duty station, it would be so easy to have a pity party. I want to have that party. I want to roll around in the “Ugh, not again!” and the “Oh my goodness we have so much STUFF!” I want to cry because we’ve left everything familiar, just when it was getting familiar (AGAIN). But I have little ones who are watching and gauging just how to process this life-upheaval, so I can’t stay at the party for long.

We all handle a duty station transfer differently, but I’d love to experience it like my 4-year-old. This is what a military move looks like to her:

The Pool


Hotel stops along the way are all about the pool! Does this hotel have a pool? Can we pleeeeease get a hotel with a pool tonight? When will we be going swimming? Can we swim tonight and tomorrow before we leave? Please, please, please?! You’d think she was part mermaid or something. Perhaps being born in Hawaii has something to do with it…

Sleeping Whenever, Where Ever You Are



A nice air-conditioned ride, just enough road noise to dull the senses, a full tummy and a well-timed potty stop all coincide for the perfect nap! Swimming goggles are optional.

Make It An Epic “Adventure”


“Camping at a KOA along the way?! No problem! I’m so up for that Mom! I love the tent! I will run around like a crazy person with my brother while you and dad try not to scream while putting it up!”

Stairs (and other ‘inconveniences’)

IMG_6648And I quote, “This is the best day ever!” as she was lugging up our toiletry case up stairs in a hotel that had multiple floors with no elevator. (Seriously?! Why are hotels with multiple floors built without elevators!?)

Throughout this transition, she has never once worried about where we will stay, how house hunting will go, or what life will be like when we get ‘there’. She’s in the moment, enjoying what comes her way. Instead of her watching me, gauging my reactions to life’s upheavals, perhaps I should take a cue from her:

1. Enjoy the ride

2. Take what comes, even if I don’t like it or think it’s inconvenient and make the best of it.

3. Get up each morning excited about what ‘adventure’ may await.

4. Sleep like the dead.

5. Swim every chance you get!

PCS – Permanent Change of Station

PCS season is upon us and this time around it’s our turn. (Anyone else find the humor in that acronym? PERMANENT Change of Station…It’s anything but permanent!) Well we are down to just days before the packers come to remind us of just how much stuff we have (and how much crap we don’t need). The process of gearing up for a cross-country move/family vacation/trip to visit family/house hunting leave also brings up all kinds of other types of “fun”, outside of the actual moving process. Here are a few of our favorites and some of the not so:

1. The Cleaning
I’m a decent housekeeper, but there’s nothing like a move to make you feel completely disgusting. My personal favorite – after the cleaning is done! Nothing better than shiny windows and uber clean floors, to enjoy for the 5 minutes before handing over the keys!

2. The Thought of Other People Touching Your Stuff.
This is a weird one for me. We pack some of our clothes, but there’s some stuff that the packers will be boxing up. Random people touching unmentionables is just, well, eww.


3. Stuff Gets Packed That Shouldn’t
No matter how well you separate, close off a room, repeatedly tell the movers, some or all of the “do not pack” pile will find it’s way into the sea of cardboard. Every. Single. Time.

4. The Paper
Paper paper everywhere! Ugh. When you move yourself, you wrap your stuff in your dish towels, throw it in a box, and off you go. Not so much with the professionals! Who knew it took 267 pieces of paper to wrap up one of Grandma’s plates?! With that much paper, you’d think nothing would get broken.

5. Something Inevitably Gets Broken
Every single time. With the sea of paper our belongings are wrapped in, it’s entirely shocking how every move, something ends up biting the dust. Never fails. It’s up there with death and taxes, really.

6. New Digs
I love setting up a new joint! Imagining where the furniture will go, figuring out the kids’ bedrooms…it’s all an OCD mom’s Disneyland! Yay!


7. Learning a New City
I actually really love exploring a new place. Getting out and about either in the car as a family or with my own two feet in a pair of good running kicks! Although, we are going to Texas. In July. I may have to do some running exploring in the winter!

8. Hangers
Who knew you owned that many, right? Too many – and they usually end up in a tangled knot that has no hope of ever being used for it’s original purpose. I know! Let’s go pick up some more hangers!

9. Clean
When you get to the new house, it’s all clean! Usually this is the cleanest my house ever is in the 2-3 years we stay there. Freshly unpacked, fresh house, ahhhhh. Enjoy that. You know, for the 1 day that it lasts!

10. It’s Part of Military Life
Might as well embrace it. I have yet to absolutely hate any place we’ve lived. Every duty station is what you make it. No sense in being miserable for an entire tour! Instead of resisting what we have no control over, make it an adventure! Home is where the military sends us!

Bring it on Texas! Let’s do this!

Traveling Practice

We went for a weekend to Portland to visit with friends and it turned out to be an opportunity for practice. With our upcoming “adventure” (what else can you call driving across the country with a 3 and a 5 year old?) packing for Portland opened my eyes to a couple of things:

1. Always check the kids’ suitcases. Always.
1.5. Even when you tell said kids what they need to bring, check.
2. Realize that I am the world’s worst packer and have the hubby double check me…because he really is a master and recognizing any and all conceivable needs on a trip.
3. Apparently all you need for a fun vacation is a bathing suit, pajamas, and a Star Wars Lego book.
4. Or perhaps a hulk mask, bathing suit and a foam sword.



Thank goodness for a nearby Target! I think we’ll let Eric pack next time!

Spiking My Coffee

There are days. And then there are those kind of days.

Slightly drowsy from last night’s cold medicine, I was suddenly jolted awake as the warm pee seeped onto my side of the bed. “Gonna be a good day!” I thought to myself. “Cause it can only get better from here!” Ever the Positive Polly, I loaded up my arms and headed to the laundry room. Plopping the peeing offender into a bath, I got the other minion dressed and fed and then got myself assembled to head to the gym.

Luckily for me, I glanced at the preschool calendar before I stepped out of the house because, SURPRISE! It’s our snack day today! We are celebrating Hannah’s non-birthday! Yippee! (Our preschool has birthday celebrations for the kiddos with summer birthdays.) Fantastic idea, and as a summer birthday person myself, I often lamented not being a “cool kid” that brought the yummy treats to share with my class.  Good thing we were a bit early – cause it was time to hit the grocery store for non-birthday treats.

Despite the level of snot that was attempting to escape my sinuses, I managed to get through leg day, shower, and pick up the kiddos from school. Hannah became enraged by her inability to “beat me” in the seatbelt buckling race I didn’t know I had signed up for, and threw a prize-winning tantrum. The screams were awesome, from “I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND” to “I DON’T WANT TO TAKE A NAP!” and my personal favorite, “I HAVE STOPPED CRYING!!” All while scream-crying and kicking and practicing for the Oscar that she is sure to win someday.

At decibel levels no human should have to endure, we head home. When we were pulling up our road, she peed. In her pants. In her carseat.

At this point, I have a choice. I can either go to bed and as Bill Cosby always threatened “let them have the house”, or I can try to get them to take a nap after lunch. I attempted for an hour. No go. After an hour and a half of reading kid books the only person I’ve successfully made drowsy is myself.

I am making the executive decision to wear these kids out. As I type this, they are putting on their coats and rain boots and I’m going to run them all over our neighborhood. I’m going to run them to the playground. I’m going to chase them until they beg for mercy. Luckily for me, I’ll get to go for a run and burn a few calories myself. But my primary mission is to make. them. tired. Like 6:30-7pm bedtime tired.

Wish me luck!

These are the days when I wonder why I don’t spike my coffee.