October 24, 2022

Favorite things: the incomplete kitchen edition

I owe you a solid post recapping our ND tailgate. Think food prep, guests staying at the house, and an unexpected, game-day dramatic flare. I've given you a break from tailgating to share my fav things . . . 

I'm calling this incomplete, because I know there are things I'm going to forget. I've been trying to keep a mental list in the last few months. 

Key word here:  mental. 

My mind cannot be relied upon to remember all of the things. Why not jot thoughts down on paper? Well, I do that, sometimes. My kitchen counter is a cluttered tangle of bills, calendars, and grocery lists. No interest in adding to that. Type lists in my phone? Well, let's just say that I have a reminder in my phone to see my therapist, who I no longer see and I have no idea how to turn it off. 

So, we agree - incomplete works. 

My kitchen:

stacking toddler chairs:

Not exactly the dream of every 51 year old woman, but here we are. I'm managing the largest group in my daycare to date. When I realized that I needed more small-people seating this school year, I turned to Facebook marketplace. I watch 11 children this school year, not all at the same time, mind you. 

Tuesday is my biggest crowed. The morning is not too bad. I have 6 littles. Ages 16 months thru four years. At 11 am two kids get off of a bus from preschool and another 3 year old arrives in a carpool from his preschool. From 11 -1 the place is hopping, literally. At 1:00, everyone naps except for a pair of four year old girls, who play together quietly in the basement. 

See what I did there? I got off topic. 

The fact that these chairs are perfect for bigger kids combined with their stacking ability makes me very happy. On weekends, I shove high chairs and junior chairs into my dining room. Stacking chairs take up little space, which makes it easier to scoot past them to access my dining room fridge. 

The green and white stacking chairs (one at the head of the table by the window) are intermingled with 3 wooden chairs. At the top of the photo there are 3 tots in high chairs. Hello, Tuesday lunch bunch.

The first pair I purchased were located in a classy, very pricey neighborhood not far from my home. I picked them up and wished I'd worn plastic gloves. Was it so hard to wipe down the chairs before selling them? Sheesh. Anyway, I cleaned them up and scoured FB marketplace for another one. I think I paid $10 or $15 each for these. I love a good deal and these were a tad more than I'd like to spend on a daycare that I'm hoping to retire from in the next three years or so, but they stack nicely and have made feeding the masses easier. Plus, I might hang on to them for future grandkids. 

chair condoms:

OK, so this is not what these little chair leg-covers are called, but if the name fits - why call it by something more appropriate? 

Since we moved into this house 14 years ago, we've always had difficulty keeping those little fuzzy, sticky pads on the bottom of our kitchen chairs. Our chairs scratch up the floor if the pads come off. When we did the kitchen addition and got a new table and chairs and redid the floors, I'd hoped the new chairs wouldn't require fuzzy pads - but alas. 

Aw, look who is pretending
to be such a good boy. Finn is
 sitting next to a chair decked
 out in chair condoms.
A few months ago, Lad mentioned these to me. I didn't know what he was referring to, but finally I took the time to look them up on Amazon. These stretchy plastic slip-ons fit on the bottom of the chairs and there is a cork-like bottom piece that glides on the floor. 

We won't talk about the dog hair that collects under the cork-like bottom part, but I've assigned the 'wipe off bottom of chairs' to Lad. Occasionally the chair condoms pop off or roll when a chair is being pushed, but the result does not lead to the same panic-stricken feeling brought on by an actual condom. *couldn't resist* In general they stay in place and do a great job of protecting the floor.


I could write a whole post on the glorious things that I've bought second hand. I almost bought a Vitamix second hand.

Total crap.

Tank was with me at Costco last fall. The glass container to my blender broke AGAIN and I was about to lose my mind. I was tired of replacing it. For all the money I was spending to keep that cheap thing functioning, I could've bought a top-of-the-line blender. 

Tank saw me eyeball the Vitamix one and ordered me to put it in my cart. I did. Then I looked at the unopened box for a week or two at home, feeling guilty. 

The Mercedes of blenders.

I searched on FB marketplace and finally decided to buy a used one. I was going to pick up the used one while Curly was in Irish dancing class. Hard to believe that Irish dancing was still a big part of our lives at this time last year. *shudder* The seller lived near dancing.

That afternoon, I headed back to Costco while Coach was home with the babies. I remembered to bring the Vitamix to return. When I got to the service desk, the woman pointed out that the Vitamix  I was returning had gone on sale. It was now going to cost only $50 more than the used one I was about to buy. Hmm. 

I decided to keep the new one. The warranty was a bonus, plus Costco has good customer service. I messaged the seller and apologized for changing my mind. 

I love my Vitamix. I admit that while it isn't recommended, I do occasionally load it in my dishwasher. It's a Bosch and it doesn't melt things or destroy things. 


This post is getting lengthy, but I'm gonna toss in a shout out to Tank's Alexa. As you know, I'm not a music officiando. I do enjoy calling out different 'radio' requests to Alexa and seeing what she comes up with. I was on a John Denver kick for awhile. Then Neil Diamond. Then 80's music. Then The Cure. 

Lately though, I call out:  ALEXA, PLAY BOB DYLAN RADIO. Quite enjoyable. My favorite:  LIKE A ROLLING STONE. 


What are you loving at the moment?  Do you like Bob Dylan? Would you like to join us for lunch on a Tuesday? If so, pack your own lunch. I'll let you sit in one of the big people chairs though. 


Nicole MacPherson said...

Oh, I love my Vitamix so much. I get so much use out of it! I also have the attachment that does dry items, so if I wanted to I could blend my own flours. I don't do that much, mind you, but it came with it. In any case, I love how well the Vitamix works - it's pricey but with such a long life!
Your Tuesdays sound insane! That is so many little people!

Jeannie Bruce said...

I have been on a big CCR and Otis Redding kind of kick, just mellow music I like to listen to when sitting outside at a fire. At work I tend to listen to the same soundtracks on repeat, just background noise for my ADHD brain most days, so I listen to Hamilton or the Mary Poppins soundtrack on repeat lately.

Pat Birnie said...

Isn’t it amazing when we finally splurge on a high quality item...then wonder why we waited so long!! After 40years of baking I finally bought a KitchenAid stand mixer a few years back. It is fantastic but I’m kicking myself that I used a crappy hand mixer while I had a house full of kids and baked all the time! I cannot fathom managing all those wee ones. You are truly gifted.

Ernie said...

Nicole - I also love my Vitamix. We got a blender when we got married. We rarely used it back then and it broke early on in our marriage. I've had a few ninjas and I thought that was the best thing since sliced bread, but they didn't last long. Glad to finally have this one. Fingers crossed that it keeps working. Blending your own flours? I did not even know this was a thing. ;)

Yes, Tuesdays are hectic for a few hours. It is doable with zero infants.

Ernie said...

Jeannie - Mini added a list to my spotify that I listen to in the car sometimes and there is a lot of CCR on there and Fleetwood Mac. Some of the Fleetwood I can do without.

I just saw on the news today that there is a new documentary out about ADHD. It looks very good. I can't wait to watch it. I've drafted an email to my dad, asking him to watch it. I will have Coach or Mini review it before I send it, because in my urging him to watch it I point out a few of his not-so-thoughtful moments when it comes to ADHD and his grandsons. Hmm. Will keep you posted.

Ernie said...

Pat - Oh, I hear you. It is hard to spend the extra on the finer things when our kids are young and outgrowing shoes in record breaking time frames. I love my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and have upgraded that one over the years. My current one is like commercial grade or something. Recently one of my kids brushed up against the plug when they squeezed past the open dishwasher and the third prong broke off. It still works, but it is no longer grounded from power surges or something. I think that is the difference. I wonder if I can get the cord replaced.

My secret is routine. They know the drill. Clean up toys before lunch. Sit nice at the table. The older ones are expected to throw away their garbage or clear their places and put their lunch boxes in a mud room locker. Anyone who is old enough to lean over and doesn't bother, gets the pleasure of wiping up the floor under their chair. Then play after lunch - either outside or inside depending on the weather. Clean up again. Book or game of memory or a hokey pokey dance, potty and nap time. The days are flying by probably because there is not a moment of down time.

Kara said...

I saw Bob Dylan play at the University of Rhode Island in 1998 or 1999. He's not great live. But on the radio he's good. Billy Joel is my favorite background music. There's variety in tempo and styles, but nothing too exciting to really break my concentration.

We have a Ninja Blender. It's used daily, and has held up really well. I like that it has single serving cups, so I don't need to make a full pitcher unless I want to.

I'm loving the weather! Summer finally broke in Phoenix, and it was 55 degrees this morning at 7 AM! I got to wear a sweater!

Kari said...

We used to have an Alexa when Ella was younger. Then she started asking her for homework help...:) But I liked it for music. I like Spotify and Apple Music because I make my own playlists like the music nerd that I am.

We need a blender. My friend has a beautiful one, but it's not a Vitamix. I cannot remember the name, but it's also very high-end. We require high-end appliances because they break easily here. 😂

Suzanne said...

I do not care for Bob Dylan but I also enjoy asking Alexa to play various music stations. Currently I am listening to 90s alternative. There are some bangers from that era! I wonder how much my neighbors love it when I am singing along to Say It Ain't So and All the Small Things?!?

Beth Cotell said...

Chair condoms!! What a hoot!!

Jenny in WV said...

The little chairs are cool!

IF I did the math right, that is 9 little ones at once! I think I'd be ready for a nap after that!

I've never used a Vitamix but I've never heard a bad thing about them, so probably a good investment.

Any updates on the microwave?

Nance said...

I am blissfully past the toddler/littles stage of my own children and have zero desire to return to it in any way. I briefly considered elementary education but realized it was so custodial--lots of marshalling and parenting.

Thank you so much for doing what you do. As a former Mom Who Worked Outside The Home, I relied heavily on my in-home child care provider. She was a terrific woman who allowed me to focus on my job and never have a moment's worry about my sons in her care. I'm sure that's how your clients feel about you.

What you do is hugely important. Again, thank you.

Cindy said...

Our chairs do the same thing to our floors so I bought chair socks. Little knitted 'socks' that fit snuggly over the legs. But they're not as snug as they should be and they come off constantly. I wonder if washing them might shrink them a little? We'll see. I don't think I'll join you on Tuesdays. :) Looks like you have your hands full!

Ernie said...

Kara - I am not one to go to concerts, so my expectations would be very low - if I ever saw him live. I dated a guy the year I lived in Ireland who was really into Bob Dylan. That was a century ago.

I'm glad that one of us in excited for the colder weather. If I lived in AZ, I imagine I would embrace sweater weather too.

I loved my Ninja for awhile too, but the pitcher broke a few times and then the power part broke more than once. I'm guessing that we are just too hard on our things. Shock.

Ernie said...

Kari - My microwave was high end and it broke after like 3 years. Go figure. I'm laughing at the Alexa homework help. Some people know what music they like and then there are some people (pointing at myself) who hear songs that we like and moments later cannot recall what song that was or who sang it. There must be a name for this disorder.

Ernie said...

Suzanne- I do get that Bob is an aquired taste. Lad carried a wireless speaker all the way to our tailgates spot from our hotel. He was blaring traditional Irish music. I love that music, but Ed was like DUDE, ENOUGH. Not everyone's jam. I am unfamiliar with 90s alternative, but I am familiar with having neighbors who think I'm crazy.

Ernie said...

Beth - If the name fits . . . hee hee.

Ernie said...

Jenny - I should mention that the chairs are originally from Ikea - a store I've never entered.

You are correct. 9 on Tuesday. Three arrive between 11 and 11:40 from preschool, so the craziness only ensues for 2 hours . . . then it is glorious nap time. I try not to nap during nap time. I like to get my stuff done.

A good investment - that is a good way to think of it.

Funny you should ask about the microwave. It was installed TODAY. Not without a little drama. I think my Wed post (yikes, tomorrow) will provide an update.

Ernie said...

Nance - So funny you should mention that you considered teaching the younger kids. As crazy as I am about babies and tots, when I thought about being a teacher I knew it would have to be high school kids. I shuddered to think of teaching preschool. I didn't ever go back and get my teaching certificate, but I laugh now. How is what I do all that different from preschool teaching? Well, diapers - there's that.

Thank you very much for the kind words of gratitude, even though I didn't babysit for your guys. That warmed my heart. I have had moms tell me that people ask them how they're holding up at work after dropping off their first little one here. They tell me that they respond with: I KNOW HE/SHE IS IN GOOD HANDS, SO I'M JUST FINE. It means a lot. My job is exponentially better when the moms I sit for show gratitude and appreciation. Go figure.

Ernie said...

Cindy - When our kitchen was complete, we put actual socks on all of the chairs until we could get our hands on some felt fuzzy thingies. These rubbery things have been working great. They're stretchy so they stay put, usually. Occasionally when a chair gets dragged they will start to come off but it is very obvious because the chair won't drag well all of a sudden.

I do have my hands full on Tuesdays. The best is when they ALL bring a cutie for me to peel, or when they all bring microwave mac and cheese.

Busy Bee Suz said...

If you get to comments for me, I apologize.

Stacking chairs and chair condoms. Do you ever put chair condoms on the stacking chairs? I love the stacking chair idea, it gives you much more room for extra appliances if you might want to leave those in another room as well.

I’d pay money to be a fly on the wall at lunchtime with all of those toddlers

Look at Finn, posing like a proper good boy!

I have often thought about upgrading to a vita mix then wondered if I would benefit from it since I only use it 3 to 4 times a week. But now I’m looking at my third or fourth Neutra bullet that is starting to have issues. Maybe it’s time?

Ernie said...

Suz - I will never complain about extra comments from you . . . I might worry that you are losing your marbles, but I'll gladly take your comments.

Don't tempt me to move another appliance in there. What would it be? Oh, I know a tanning bed - not exactly an appliance, but then I wouldn't feel so bad about winter.

Be careful what you wish for, I might zoom you during lunch so you can see the nonsense first hand. Today was one of the worst sitting days on record for me. No one was hurt but there are a few very short people who will be damn lucky if I extend an invitation to allow them back into my house come Monday. Just saying.

You will not regret a Vitamix purchase. I approve the purchase even if it is only used 3 times a week. Still - life changing.

Ally Bean said...

I'm not familiar with chair condoms, but if they were sold with that name clearly on the package they'd sell more. Too funny. As for Bob Dylan, not really a fan. I'm more of a Jimmy Buffet girl. I ask Alexa to play him often.

Ernie said...

Ally - You make a good point. The people that make these chair leg covers are going about their marketing campaign all wrong. What did we do before Alexa . . . well, I for one, didn't listen to music in the kitchen very often.