Sunday, April 10, 2011

How to Make Successful Children and African Peanut Soup

This week I am going to make an African Peanut Soup.  I am going to attempt this dish for two reasons: 1. I received ginormous sweet potatoes in my co-op and 2. because I am still hoping to obtain a reader from Africa.  It's the only continent that I have not had a reader.  (If you can believe that.)  So I am hoping someone over there decides to Google African Peanut Soup and stumble upon my blog.  I just think it would be neat.  Realistically, I will probably just have to wait for one of the 30 or so followers that I do have to visit Africa.  Then I have to hope that they have some moment of down time in an area with wi-fi and that they are bored enough to peek into my life.  This is a small little goal of mine in some pathetic attempt to feel like I am a successful blogger.  That goal is a little more exciting to me then my daily goals of catching up on laundry, running the vacuum, cleaning the kitchen, etc.  Also, not to yell at my children.  Those goals are real and important but so boring. 

About a month ago Aaron came home to fill me in on his stellar evaluation at work and announced that he got a bonus.  I think I've already admitted it in a blog but it still shames me to say; it sort of pissed me off.  I was happy for him and for what it meant for us as a family but I was jealous that he gets recognized and rewarded for his hard work. 

There is no quarterly evaluation for Mothers.  No one sits you down and says, "though you burn dinners, have little patience for your children, and have yet to remember to make iced tea for your husband (though oft requested) the company has been very pleased with the way you defended your sons at school, how you get them ready for their day and help with their homework.  You went above and beyond with that whole State Cupcake thing and in light of that we are going to send you on a vacation to Europe."  That would be awesome. 

Feeling low on the totem pole of life, I complained to my sister.  She wisely reminded me that my success lies in my son's success.  When they achieve goals, like using the toilet on their own and a tissue for their nose instead of a sleeve, then I have too.  That is my pay day.  My European vacation will likely have to wait until they graduate high school (at the very least.) 

I had this in mind when, earlier this week, Drew tied his own shoes for the first time!  I was so proud of him!

Way to go Mom! I said to myself. 

We had been working on this since Christmas.  I think the delay in achievement was due to having to wear snow boots more than half of the time.  I took a picture of the tied shoe and sent it to every relative on my phone.  The caption read: "Drew tied his shoe!"  But I meant: "Look what I did!!!" 

Drew was proud and Gabe was proud.  He grabbed a hairbrush.  Holding it under his chin like a microphone he said, "Drew!  Drew!  What are you going to do next?"  He thrust the "microphone" in Drew's face.

"Um..." he answered.  The mic was pulled away.

"Are you going to pull your tooth?"  prompted Gabriel as he thrust the mic back at his brother.


I have no idea how I ended up with such dramatic children.

Yesterday I checked the mail and was thrilled to see a big manila envelope sticking out.  I had been waiting for the pictures from the Senate meeting to arrive and was certain this was it!  It was!  I have to say they went all out.  Inside were two matted pictures of the boys with Senator Williams and another Senator whose name I did not catch.  The mats were signed to the boys by both Senators.  There was another envelope with several pictures of the kids posing with various Senators; including the bunny ear pics!  Also included were two red folders with the gold state seal on the outside.  Inside were copies of the cupcake resolution.  Very nice!  We will have to frame them.  I re-read the resolution. 

The day we were there I was so excited for the boys and paying much more attention to their adorable antics then actually listening to the resolution's reading.  As I re-read it yesterday I realized that the cupcake is not even mentioned!  We were jipped!  Resolution No. 574 tells of the boys efforts and praises them for it.  There are about 4 paragraphs of accolades and then it ends with: "now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Senate of the State of Texas, 82nd Legislature, hereby commend Gabriel T. McDowell and Drew C. McDowell on their initiative and resolve and extend them best wishes for continued success in their quest for knowledge."

What?!  We basically just have a resolution from the State of Texas acknowledging that my sons are kick ass.  I'm disappointed and will be looking into this further but I'm not gonna lie...I'm still pretty thrilled!  I don't know any other parent who has such a document to prove their child's worth.  Ha!  It's sort of my job evaluation.

My next blog will include the recipe for African Peanut Soup and of my results.  Please check it out Africa!

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