Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Nothing is guaranteed in life, except YOU KNOW the minute I get my errands and chores (blogging!) done, settle down on the couch with a cold drink, a tasty snack and the latest issue of Vogue, Baby A is guaranteed to wake up from his nap. Sigh. Such is life. I remember when my lunch break was actually a break.

Monday, May 21, 2007

"No" man's land

Baby A has entered the "no" stage - where it seems like all we tell him is "no" - no crying, no hitting, no licking your sister, no chewing shoes, etc. He's also teething. One of his big old top front teeth is just sitting there, almost ready to pop, creating a huge red bulge on his gumline. It looks incredibly painful and I really do feel badly for him, just less so when he's screaming bloody murder at 2:30 in the morning. Or again at 4:00. Poor baby.

It was lovely here this weekend, very un-Florida-y, with cool temps and a nice breeze and low humidity. It made me temporarily forget that summer is pretty much here. Every year at this time I try to remember why we didn't put in a pool last year, or why we don't have a playset for D yet, or why we don't really have any grass or shade in our big old yard. What we do have is a virtual, miniature Florida prairie habitat with wild native grass (re: scrub), little shade, and birds, lizards (EEEEK!) possums, squirrels and snakes galore. National Geographic could do a show on us. But it doesn't make for a very nice or inviting place for the kids to play. So off to the water park we go!

My other favorite thing about summer - no cooking in the oven!! I take a break from baking, roasting, braising and broiling during the summer. What's left? Well, sauteeing, crock pots, pan-frying, take out (ha) and of course the grill. Besides grilling, one of my favorite summer meals is make-your-own omelettes. I basically use the same ingredients as I would for a winter make-your-own pizza session: peppers, spinach, mushrooms, onions, sauteed turkey sausage, canadian bacon, and lots of cheese(s). It's a hit with everyone. It's too hot to eat heavy stuff anyway. So three cheers for easy, breezy summer living!

Friday, May 18, 2007

What Trish needs....

The eloquent Libby over at A Study of Schoolbooks and Shoes had a fun little game a few days ago. What you do is google the phrase "[your first name] needs..." and see what turns up. So here's a sampling of what I found:

1) Trish needs a makeover.
Well, you don't say. I thought the no-makeup, ponytail and baggy post-baby shorts and stained t-shirts thing was working for me.

2) Trish needs some help at UCSD.
And also at home, doing some cooking and light cleaning. Also organizing. And help finding a reliable architect.

3) Trish needs to always be in control of the situation and her men.
So sue me. It makes things easier around the house. (For a supposedly random search, these results are pretty accurate.)

4) Trish needs an acting coach.

5) Trish needs a kidney transplant.
Before or after I start acting?

6) Trish needs to come back SOON she is my favorite Diva.
Apparently, #4 and this one pertain to a retired WWE lady wrestler.

7) Trish needs her own, original weapon.
Doesn't every girl?

8) Trish needs about 8 days ...
Of vacation, with her husband, in Tahiti!

9) Trish needs to go on hiatus and take more vocal lessons.
I guess in case the acting thing doesn't work out.

10) Trisha needs assistance getting up from any sitting or lying position. ...
Maybe a sign that it's time to get back to gym?

Let me know what you find!!

Third Friday

Every third Friday of the month I clean up D's art room. Today is that day. I don't really tell her about it before hand as she is a bit of a packrat and tends to obsess over every scrap of painstakingly colored paper and every random pinecone, acorn, or other "treasure" she's collected over the past month. But I can't stand the clutter and she gets to start fresh every four weeks. Today, amongst all her little girl beads, baubles, crayons, etc. I found a pair of unused ear plugs, the kind that you use to block noise on planes. Thank goodness they were unused, but I have no idea where they came from. Ewww. The one thing I'm on the fence about tossing is an old licorice tin, long since devoid of licorice, but still bouncing around the house storing one thing or the other. M collects and stores old shoeboxes, so I shouldn't be surprised his daughter hangs onto candy tins (she also likes empty tissue boxes). Maybe if the shoeboxes or tins held something, I'd be more appreciative of their recycling, but so often they just rattle around, using up valuable storage space, completely EMPTY. So, I spend a fortune at the Container Store and Pottery Barn on cute storage totes, only to have them filled up with empty boxes, jars and tins. Don't even get me started on M's collection of empty baby food jars -- which he claims to collect to store his fishing flies, currently housed in a (youguessedit) shoebox. I'm not sure what's in his actual tacklebox.

We've been travelling and busy this past week, but we've planned an excellent family weekend. I'm making my famous sauteed chicken with mustard sauce for dinner (chicken fingers for the kids, natch), and we're going to rent a bunch o'movies and just hang out. Tomorrow, M is taking D to the zoo for a special daddy-daughter day. It will be nice to have a Saturday to myself, especially since school is out next week. Yikes. Since Baby A was born right before school started, I've never had both kids at home for any length of time. I'm adamant about limiting TV time, but finding stuff to do for a 10 month old and an almost-five-year-old can be challenging. Talk about your different interests! But, she'll go to Vacation Bible School at church in early June, and then we're leaving for a month in the mountains with M's parents. (Wish M could get away too!!) By the time we get back, it's only about a month until school starts so I can probably handle that.

Hope you all have a nice weekend too!

Friday, May 04, 2007

A pastry a day

Keeps the doctor away, or don't I wish it did anyway. Yesterday I made some fab low-fat cranberry scones. I'm experimenting with a no-butter recipe for scones, since most call for at least a stick of butter and if you're going to be eating a pastry a day, that could quickly add up to pounds of butter a week if you don't watch. Or some rationale like that. Anyway, M loved them so I think that's a keeper recipe. It's incredibly easy and you can pretty much add any fruit, chocolate, flavoring, that you'd like.

Today I made Incredible Exploding Cherry Turnovers. They exploded, I guess, because something went awry with my filling -- it was very liquidy. Maybe I should have drained the cherries after they thawed? Maybe I shouldn't have thawed them? Maybe I should have made apple? Well, they taste yummy anyway and I will definitely try again. I think I might play around with different types of puff pastry too. Apparently you can find "all natural" ones that are really close to homemade. Not that I'm masochistic enough, or have the time, to make homemade puff pastry.

For the weekend I'm planning something with buckwheat and blueberries tomorrow and on Sunday I'll probably do another batch of scones -- maybe cinammon? Maple? Something spicy-sweet.

D has a half day today so we're headed to the zoo for the afternoon to see the animals and play at the kid's water park. Tomorrow I'm getting a pedicure in the morning - hurrah! - and afterward may stop by the local kiddie consignment shop to look for onesies for Baby A. He's getting ready to explode out of his 12 month ones.

Have a super weekend!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Three strikes?

So we had our third meeting with Builder yesterday -- the preliminary design review and budget estimate meeting. It was exactly like dating someone who previously had "potential" but then pulls some bonehead stunt on that crucial third date. Maybe he gets raving drunk, flirts with a waitress behind your back, or maybe you start talking dreamily about how your goal in life is to settle down, buy a house and have kids... either way something goes awry and you start wondering what it was you saw in them in the first place. So that's pretty much what Builder did on our third meeting - first the prelim budget estimate was $15,000 above our top number. Hello! At least match our top number and then go over after we've started talking about hardwood floors and tile and other specifics. Second, and almost more importantly, the design was utterly hideous not what we had expected, especially for the price per square foot we're talking about. The interior was great, really lovely, but the outside elevation, and especially the roofline, were all wrong for our cute little bungalow-style house. It made the addition look tacked on and unfinished. The other huge problem was because of the unusually high pitch of our roofline, the interior attic rooms were quite a bit smaller than we had thought they'd be and, more importantly, none of the rooms had windows!! Can you imagine kids bedrooms and bathrooms without natural light and ventilation? YUCK! Anyway, we'd have to smack on a couple of dormers and even that would 1) ruin our cool peaked roof and 2) only allow one teeny-tiny window for each bedroom. There was no way to get one in the bathroom. All in all, we are a bit disappointed which to me means they better try a little bit harder to woo us if they want a fourth date. M, on the other hand, wants to break up and move on. Sigh.

Between you and me, if the housing market here was showing any sign of life at all, I'd rather move.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Never on Thursdays

Back in the day, when I was still working as something other than a mom, we used a cleaning service to keep our house clean. Over five years, we tried about five different services until right after Baby A was born. Yes, just after bringing our new baby home, that's when I decided that I was sick of cleaning services -- must have been something to do with all those new-mom hormones. But really it had more to do with them breaking things, or showing up late, or not showing at all, or constantly changing the time they would come, or doing a really poor job on the bathroom tile. This was last fall and because I had a newborn and D was still coming home for lunch, I was adamant that they get here by mid-morning and be gone by lunchtime. A three-hour window. It didn't seem too much to ask, but it was more than they could handle and after three weeks in a row where I had to send them away and clean the house myself anyway, I fired them altogether.

So fast forward 8 months and now one of my big weekly struggles is to get the house clean. I wipe down the bathrooms every day, but try to limit vacuuming to twice a week and I only mop every 10 days or so. That little schedule may change drastically now that A is starting to get mobile. He's almost crawling, but can also quickly scoot across the floor on his tummy or his butt. The last few times I've noticed dustbunnies on his tummy, dog hair sticking to his legs and I shudder to think what's on his hands and feet, which are always in his mouth. When he's on the floor in his room he immediately scoots off under the crib to play with wheels -- and comes out looking like a used Swiffer. So, looks like I'll be vacuuming every day now too, at least until he's properly walking.