How to Properly Use Alabama Jell-O Molds.

In a huge announcement of unprecedented importance, Jell-O proclaimed that they were releasing University of Alabama Jell-O Molds.

(Along with molds for 22 other Universities, but I’m positive none of them took it nearly as seriously as Alabama fans.)

Because I love my husband and I’m a sucker for a good Jell-O mold, I immediately went to my personal shopper (named Amazon) and bought a set for my family.

University of Alabama Jell-O Molds 6

However, my purchase was made amidst great state controversy.

Not only was this exciting news for football fans, it was also exciting news for the Alabama political machine. Because, you see, at least one lobbyist immediately condemned these Jell-O molds for fear that they would encourage underage drinking.

Yes, drinking.

I would like to say a few things to this lobbyist.

1. I’ve seen a lot of people slurp down Jell-O shots on Alabama Football gamedays. A LOT. And not a single one of them was actually a *student* at the university. In fact, most were over 50 and probably never even attended the University. Perhaps your concern might also extend to Alabama Football Fans with no educational ties to the University?

2. “I wasn’t going to drink while underage, but now that there are Jell-O molds for my University, well, that changes everything!”, said no college student ever.

3. Silly Lobbyist, Jell-O Molds are for Kids. Err, kids too young for underage drinking, that is.

To prove it, I present to you, my children.

There’s nothing my kids enjoy more than preparing for a Football Party, so I gave them the beautiful new Jell-O molds. Because football is upon us, y’all.

I wanted to delve into all the ways these molds could be used, so I bought chocolate, my favorite candy melts, and had the Jell-O that came with the molds. I also figured we could use the molds to create ice cubes.

There were two molds, which were apparently quite stuck together.

University of Alabama Jell-O Molds 1

But that did not deter the palpable excitement in my home.

University of Alabama Jell-O Molds 2

Okay no really. Were they superglued??

University of Alabama Jell-O Molds 3

Noah even got in on the action. At least in moral support.

University of Alabama Jell-O Molds 4

Finally, my daughter found the strength within herself to pull them apart.

University of Alabama Jell-O Molds 5

They wanted to start with candy melts, and I didn’t blame them – it’s the purest form of sugar, and it seems to travel straight to the blood stream.

Using Melting Candy with Children

It can even be absorbed straight through fingers!

Using Melting Candy with Children 2

We melted and poured, then dropped the mold on the countertop a few dozen times to beat out the bubbles.

Uses for University of Alabama Jell-O molds

After refrigeration, they came out beautifully, although next time I will fill the molds halfway to prevent the messy bottoms and make the serving size of straight sugar a little less coma-inducing.

University of Alabama Candy 2

Next came Jell-O.

I’m always amazed at how quickly Jell-O cooks, as opposed to my childhood when it seemed to take five lifetimes.

Noah, however, did not agree.

University Jell-O Molds 1

He aged fifteen years in that two minutes.

University Jell-O Molds 2

While we’re waiting for a boiling point, let’s talk about the background of my picture, also known as Random Clutter on Rachel’s Kitchen Table (RCoRKT).

What's in the Background

A: Two pairs of Noah’s Toms (my hypocrisy grows daily) and my running knee braces. Because that’s what belongs on chairs.
B: Running Socks. Hopefully just washed and laid out to dry, but there’s no guarantee that they hadn’t been sweat in.
C: Sunblock. Which is puzzling since I nearly never sunblock my children. Because hey – skin grows back, right?
D: A really unique sunset canvas. There’s this site where you can get one of your own…or use it as an excuse to come see me in person!
E: An Underwear Chart. Need I say more?

You’re welcome.

The water finally boiled, and Ali immediately volunteered to stir in the Jell-O. Noah, meanwhile, had moved onto other pursuits.

Making Jell-O with Children 1

But he’s never one to turn down a chance to splash and spill hot liquid, so he did take his turn.

Making Jell-O with Children 2

We pulled out our Lego and Magic Wand molds and filled nearly everything we had.

Making Jell-O with Children 3

The Jell-O came out just as beautifully as the candy, albeit harder to photograph.

University of Alabama Jell-O 1

University of Alabama Jell-O 2

And, although we haven’t melted our chocolate yet or made our ice cubes, we’re ready for tomorrow.

University of Alabama Candy and Jell-O

Because really, snacks are football’s redeeming value.

To some of us.

Disclosure: Jell-O did not sponsor me or this post. Nor did lobbyists, Alabama Football, or children. Okay – maybe the kids did. They did get a lot of sugar out of it, after all.

A Public Service Announcement, for Parents.

I have been up front and honest with you many times about all of the things I forget to do, put off doing, or downright neglect when it comes to my role as a mother.

I’m not the most thorough, organized, on-top-of-it person out there, and my parenting is no exception. It often looks as messy as my office closet, and I hope that one day my children can forgive me for my grievous sins against them. By my practice of exposing of my shortcomings here, I also hope that perhaps I can help one of you remember something you might need to take care of.

Which is what brings us to today’s PSA. Quite accidentally, I discovered a giant, moon-sized hole in my parenting.

One of my children – I won’t say which to protect their identity (let’s pretend I have twelve children for the day) – has had a problem for quite some time. A rather embarrassing problem – one that Chris and I couldn’t seem to get this child to stop doing.

There was an issue of constant fidgeting and picking at a certain item of underclothing.

After weeks of reminding – nay even nagging this child to please refrain from this activity, said child looked me in the eye with a kernel of wisdom beyond their years and said, “I think it’s because they feel so tight all the time. Could they all be too small for me?”

My eyes widened, stunned by the logic and insight pouring from such a tiny mouth.

I had never bought this child any new underwear. Since this child was potty-trained many years ago, they had been slowly growing out of their provided underclothes, just as a tree root slowly grows through a sidewalk.

This. THIS is the kind of sub-par crappy parenting that I bring to the table.

Guilt agitated my soul like a washing machine set on stain-removal. And I immediately set out to Target to correct my grievous sins.

But which underwear should I buy? I hadn’t bought any children’s underwear in this particular gender in many years. Which were most comfortable? Which would provide greatest ease in wear? Which would abolish wedgies?

So I bought them all.

Because a guilty conscience carries a big checkbook.

A guilty conscience also needs a safe place to seek reassurance, so I texted my friend Katherine and confessed my Sins of Motherhood. Her response was triple antibiotic on my wounded soul.

Oh that? Yes. It only cost us four separate co-pays and a visit to Children’s Hospital South for a GI scan to rule out colon cancer. Sorry – I thought ALL families did that before they bought their children new underwear.

Everyone needs a friend like Katherine.

I pursued her on this issue of negligence. Upon which of your four children did you commit this omission?

[Kid X] got the four visits and GI scan, but we also made a doctor’s visit for [Kid Y] as well.

If Katherine can make this mistake twice, then I can make it once. Right?

I came home from Target with a fresh spring in my step and presented my wise, neglected child with an armload of underthings and explained that if said child would track the efficacy of the different types, I would make sure to buy more in the best variation of underthings to properly ensure that comfort could finally be had – something denied to that child for far too long.

I then explained the meaning and importance of the concept of Unbiased Scientific Analysis. Because the thing was, some of the items of clothing in question had favorite cartoon characters on them – but this fact should not afford them a greater review than a pair that was, say, a solid color. Scientists must not be driven by the wind. Or by Elsa, Queen of the Wind.

The child looked at me with those same serious, wide eyes, agreeing to the importance of the task at hand.

“But how will I remember which were best? How will I keep up with such important information?”

“Don’t worry, dear child. I will make you a chart.”

And I did.

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Again showing my egregious negligence, I did not take time to find a ruler for a straightline, nor even did I simply draw slowly enough to have consistent lines. But I am what I am. And thankfully, the child was pleased with the chart and excited to get to work on the research project.

(Although the child was a bit critical of the fact that some of my questions were rather redundant.)

The child filled out the chart with the care of a Ph.D. candidate, even caring enough to count the number of wedgies created by each variety in a 24 hour time period.

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I wish the first line wasn’t filled out in pencil so that you could see the reasoning behind the sad rating of 1 – “I got up in the middle of the night to change” – yes, they were that bad. But this vital piece of data is why it was worthy of its own chart.

But most importantly, all embarrassing habits ceased immediately upon the reception of these gifts.

Dearest friends, this is your wake-up call. Buy your children new underwear once in a while.

Why I Homeschool.

Reasons I Homeschool

 

18. If my kid is going to pass notes in class, they’re going to have to be to me. And I DO love getting a good note – especially if it’s creatively folded and contains at least twenty hearts.

17. I like being able to answer the question “When are your kids starting back to school?” With “I have no idea – whenever we get around to it.”

16. Because I never want to get a Lice Letter. The paper it was written on would make me itch.

15. Because I don’t believe in alarm clocks. Or brushing a seven-year-old’s hair first thing in the morning.

14. If I don’t like how my kid is progressing, the entire school changes curriculum.

13. Back-To-School shopping means new pajamas for everyone! Because school uniforms should always have stretchy waistbands.

12. A trip to the mall can count as math – “Find Mommy the best deals, students!”

11. No one is getting duct-taped naked to a flagpole around here (because that happens at every school and not just in Veronica Mars, right?)

10. It’s super easy to pick out who gets to be the Teacher’s Pet.

9. Because evenings are for eating, playing with Daddy, and going to bed promptly so the teacher can clock out – not for homework.

8. Because I never find out about a class project the night before it is due. Or have to take home the Class Tarantula for the weekend. Or feel guilty because I have absolutely no desire to be a Class Mom.

7. The Teacher/Student Ratio is an efficiency bomb: we spend approximately 75% less time doing school.

6. Because I find sleeping with the principal to be fun.

5. Because I can go to a coffee shop by myself anytime I want and call it a PTA meeting. And “Meet The Teacher” consists of me treating myself to a Mint Chocolate Chip Sorbet.

4. I never have to wonder what kind of junk my kids are buying in the Cafeteria. All their junk comes STRAIGHT FROM ME. Nor do they have to wonder about the ominous lunch lady or the equally dubious mystery meat.

3. Because packing lunches is, on a misery scale of razor burn to abscessed tooth, a solid C-Section without an epidural.

2. If the classroom feels claustrophobic, I can decide that it’s time for a Science Day and we can take a Nature Walk. Also known as a walk.

1. If I get really fed up, I can declare it PE and tell my kid to clean her room – with vigor.


Nine Reasons Why I Sometimes Wish I Didn’t Homeschool.

9. QUIET. There could be quiet. Like real, live, honest-to-goodness SILENCE.

8. I’d have a totally legitimate reason to put my kids to bed even earlier.

7. Someone else could take a turn at answering my daughter’s 500+ questions a day.

6. I could get my hair cut and colored. Without having to find a babysitter.

5. Long division.

4. Laundry could be a task that could be focused on and completed, rather than shoved into every empty second of the school day.

3. I’d get a break from the Mommy Guilt of “Am I doing it right? Am I doing enough? Am I making my kid stupid?” …. just kidding, then I’d just have Mommy Guilt of “Is this school the right choice? Am I spending enough time with my kid when they get home? Is someone else making my kid stupid?”

2. My kid could make all of those cutesy crafts and I wouldn’t have to be the one with glitter up my nose.

1. Did I mention that there could be quiet? Without even hiding in my closet.