Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Gotcha! Did you think for 4.5 nanoseconds that this was going to be a post about how allofasudden we were going to be one of those no-TV-no-computer families? Hah! I would die, literally, I think, if I couldn't plop the munchkins down in front of the TV while I got dinner ready, did laundry, cleaned up, etc. etc. ad infinitum ad nauseaum. And if I didn't die? For sure I might kill something. Especially on a real rat's ass difficult day like today where Boy Wonder (the artist formerly known as A, my 21-month-old son) refused to nap, refused to play, refused to act anything like human. We had a wonderful morning playing at the park with a friend, had an almost civilized lunch, and then WHAMO as soon as we got home he was clingy, needy, whiny, etc. in other words thoroughly 21 months old and I am, right now, taking a well-deserved, well-earned break by allowing them (yep, D too) to watch Hi-5 until dinner time. Now, lest you think the kiddos are just watching any old thing, I do have rules. They are only allowed to watch what I record for them on TiVo or on PBS or other commercial-free channels. I draw the line, as faint as it may be, at Disney, Nick and the Cartoon Network.

Oh did I mention how D is currently exhibiting behavior that, if she weren't only 5-1/2, I'd be tempted to call P.M.S.? Moody, oversensitive, crying, grumpy, it's all there folks, except for that fun bloated feeling. I know the signs. Unfortunately, she's not old enough to be offered any of my go-to home remedies: shopping trip, new shoes, chocolate, or a cold beer, not necessarily in that order. So I am trying to talk her through it. While cooking dinner. A dinner that will be almost wholly unappreciated by the kids, but that I will thoroughly enjoy much later with M.

Oh, yeah, ok, back to unplugged. So. Basically, I'm making ice-cream manually. Because while as much as I love my KitchenAid and also it's ice-cream accessory bowl, it's a bitch really difficult to use when your ice cream base is really chunky or thick, as was the case with my latest batch of coconut-cherry ice cream. So, I'm freezing it old-school with a bowl of ice, sea salt and lotsandlots of stirring. I may have to invest in a free-standing ice-cream maker (since I pretty much make all my own now) and save the KitchenAid for plain flavors or thinner custards. But in the meantime, I've got semi-frozen coconut-cherry ice-cream all over the kitchen because the darn dasher splattered it everywhere. Everywhere including into a bowl which I happen to be eating RIGHT NOW (yep, kids, it's a prerogative of mommy-hood. So sorry! Now go watch TV.). After which I'll get back to cleaning, and cooking dinner, consoling D and keeping half an ear on Boy Wonder as he watches his third episode of Hi-5. Just as soon as I finish this post. There.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dinos for a day

April has been a busy month at school. The Kindergarten moms have been in charge of teacher treats all month and today is Paleontologist Day. The kids are beyond excited -- even my very, very girly girl who refused the offer of work shirts, desert boots and pith hats but was happy to wear a pink t-shirt and bright pink bandanna. She wanted to wear a skirt, but I was able to talk her out of it. They will get to measure dino "fossils," read a dino story, make a dino print and I'm in charge of the "hatching" station involving both papier mache eggs AND real hard-boiled ones that the kids will get to peel (and eat?!).

A is saying 2-3 new words a day now. I've actually started calling him "This" because it's the word he says the most. He's also started saying "no" -- to everything. This morning I had to take him to Mom's Morning Out (since I'm helping at school) and even though he hasn't been there since December, the second he saw the building he started to cry and say No NO NOOOOO. Do you hear faint screams? That's probably him. It broke my heart. For about 3 seconds. Then I rushed home to enjoy my hour of total quiet, uninterrupted alone time. Yay me!

I can't believe summer is right around the corner. I'm sorta dreading the days of "what do we do now?" but it is tempered by not having to get up at 5:30 a.m. and rush around every morning. Plus, this year D will be doing swim lessons and a bunch of camps so it's mostly just fun.

I'm off to Dino Day!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Must. Post. Soon.

After a frenzy of activity last week: baking up Chocolate Goodies for my Pay it Forward packages, helping with Teacher Treat's for D's school, and finally heading out of town for my Bro's 40th birthday party, it has occurred to me that I've not been posting as regularly, frequently or as lengthily as I'd like. (Although it probably suits you just fine.)

Things will probably get worse before they get better as it is a short week for D at school and I'm heading out of town again (I think) and I still have the normal range of household duties to perform/manage/ignore. Since Tuesdays are our busy day around here, I got dinner ready this morning instead of waiting until after school & swim lessons. This will, I hope, relieve some of the stress of getting dinner ready and on the table while the whippersnappers whine for snacks and I whine back that there are NO SNACKS before dinner and if you ask me one more time I will [insert empty threat]. Hopefully, having dinner PRE-pared will allow me to be the gracious and loving mom I want to be, offering up constructive ways for the kids to occupy themselves for 15 minutes while I boil pasta and not the royal bitch crabby and yelling mom I can be when I'm trying to whip up a healthy interesting dinner in the 15 minutes before everyone dies of hunger and that I highly suspect no one is going to eat anyway. Sigh. Is there an upside to having one of the world's pickiest eaters?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cooking away

I've got half of the goodies for my Pay it Forward boxes ready! Woohoo! And it only took me four days to get to it! That would be two days of planning, two of shopping and now today -- cooking. If all goes according to schedule (both mine & A's) the goodie boxes will be on their way to the winners first thing in the morning. The two "easy" goodies are done -- I just have to bake cookies and get everything all packed up.

Have I mentioned that A is now only napping about every other day? And has decided to start "talking?" What a big boy!! Here are some of his favorite vocabulary words:

"meeeeees!" - please
"moh" - more
"cuk" - cookies
"Mah" - my beautiful, wonderful mommy

"meeeeees!" - please
"meeeee" - I (not to be confused with "meeeeees")
"juh" - would like some juice
"Dahhhh" - like my sister D
"gaaaahhhh" - although I won't drink it

"meeeee" - I
"gu" - am going
"dun" - downstairs
"aaaaaaahhhh" - NOW! With or without you!

"meeeee" - I
"bis" - am going peepee (we think he's actually trying to say penis. Whatever. At least he knows where it's coming from.)
"Dahhhh" - on D in the tub
"hahahahahaha" - isn't that funny?!

"play bead" - please let me play with the super-dangerous, major-choking-hazard, must-be-supervised-at-all-times bead set.

Friday, April 11, 2008

And the winner is....

Thank you to Texas Preppy and Cindy for entering my Pay it Forward contest!! I had A (my 21 month old assistant) "help" me draw names, and maybe it was the sight of just those two lonely entries sitting in the basket, but he steadfastly, repeatedly refused to draw just one. So... I declare you BOTH winners of my Pay it Forward (w/Chocolate!) giveaway! I'll be sending you an email shortly to get your shipping info.. or if you read this before I get around to it, please email me. And of course now you get to host your very own Pay it Forward!

Thanks for playing! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pay it forward.... with Chocolate!

I'm still on Cloud 9 after winning the Grosgrain Garage pincushion Pay it Forward contest! And yes, I do sew... or actually embroider... once in a great while. I'm also campaigning for a sewing machine, so I can start making cool things myself -- although, as I don't really have the "eye" for pattern, color or design, my creations may be for My Eyes Only. We'll see.


As part of my winning, I've agreed to host my very own Pay it Forward. So if you win mine, you agree to host your own. And so on and so on. It's the gift that keeps on giving! As I mentioned yesterday, I'm a decent baker/cook so I've decided to give away a Chocoholic Basket o' Treats! Items may include:

Homemade dark chocolate pudding mix (just add milk),
Dark chocolate bark, and
Decadent double-chocolate cookies

So, please leave me a comment before noon tomorrow (Thurs. 4/10) and I'll announce the winner on Friday! I'd do it earlier, but I'm committed to making a pile of wrap sandwiches for the teachers at D's school for tomorrow so, between grocery shopping, making sandwiches, taking sandwiches and all the other stuff I have to do I know I won't get to it before then.

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Pins(cushions) and needles!

YIPPPPEEEEEEE!!! The most un-winningest person in the Western Hemisphere has WON something. I'm the Lucky winner of the Pay it Forward contest over at Grosgrain Garage! Thanks to the unbelievably talented and stylish Lisagh, I'll be receiving this very, very soon...

(Sorry Cindy!)

So! Check back later today... or maybe first thing in the morning.... for the details on my own Pay it Forward giveaway. I sure don't have Lisagh's talent with needle and thread, but I'm a pretty decent baker/cook! So I'm thinking of something along the lines of a custom care package.

Stay tuned! And thanks a million Lisagh!

Friday, April 04, 2008


Yay Friday! A whole long family weekend ahead! Hurrah! In a perfect world, the kids would sleep until 7:30 tomorrow, wake up in a great mood, we'd get to my favorite Italian market by 9 and they'd have a whole tray of freshly-baked cannoli muffins (think jumbo muffin with ricotta, almond, cinnamon and a chocolate streusel swirl --or just take my word that they are the best muffins in the world), then we'd get some cappuccinos, some juice and head to the beach for a picnic breakfast and kite-flying session.

I'm feelin' my oats this morning, the happy happy result of three consecutive nights of unbroken sleep! (I hope I didn't just jinx it.) Kids, dogs, everyone. Yay!

This morning I actually took the time to put on an outfit, fix my hair and slap on a bit of makeup. Some may view it as a spring cleaning effort, or a celebration of our glorious, brief Florida spring weather, but really I think it's because at the Library on Tuesday night the librarian called me "sir." By mistake. Cause I really am female. Now, I have really short hair, but I've never thought of myself as "manly" looking. Really! M (sweetly) pointed out that it was at the end of a long tiring day, with my getting little sleep for the preceding couple of nights, I had on no makeup, hair was a disheveled mess, and I was dressed in one of my ratty t-shirts with a pair of old khaki shorts and flip-flops. I don't even think I was carrying a cute purse or bag or tote or anything. D and I just rushed off to the library to do the research for her April Fool book report. So. Rather than have my children exposed to anymore guessing games regarding Mommy's sexuality, I've decided to clean up my act and dress like the lady I am. So there, Library Lady!

Plus, you can't help but look cute and girly in seersucker and a little lip gloss, which is exactly what I've got on today.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I'm not an indecisive person by nature and I can be short with people who are. EXCEPT when it comes to decorating our new casa. Maybe it's the fact that we know, God willing, that we'll be here for a very long time so there's no rush to getting things done. Maybe it's that with more than double the sq ft of our old house I can't think of how to fill it up. I do know that part of the problem is that I haven't really found furniture that I love. The formal dining room and living room are all courtesy of Ethan Allen. I found an awesome solid wood kitchen table and chair set at Target (or all places) that are perfect for the breakfast area. But other that, and especially with our new master bedroom, we might as well be living on futons and milk crates. Perhaps I need professional help. But again, there doesn't seem to be any rush.

That said, I have been setting up the kids bedrooms and playrooms slowly but surely. They had all their old furniture (D needs a dresser - still looking for that, this week I want an antique, next week it will be Danish Modern or something) and I found some great stuff at Land of Nod for the playrooms. And just today I was finally able to decide on floor rugs for the playrooms! Whew -- the last hurdle (besides figuring out what to do with the lighting.) Now we'll have comfy, cozy spaces for both of the kids to play in - and for D to use for overnights or whatever in the next few years. M wants to install a chalkboard door between the playrooms - cute idea, great for leaving messages, but we have to wait until A 1) no longer eats chalk and 2) can be depended upon not to color on the walls. Although we'll let him and then I won't have to worry about artwork.

Managed to read this far? Sorry for such a boring post -- sometimes I just need to work things out by writing them down. Also helps me when the packages start arriving to remember what I was thinking when I ordered stuff. Cause honestly, sometimes I just don't remember!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Hump day

It's totally Wednesday around here. M had to be up at 4:00 (yes, AM) today to fly to Miami for a couple of days. Being a morning person anyway, I rarely go back to sleep on those early days and today was no exception.

We're still recovering from a few of the illnesses that graced our March Malady Month. A is down to about 1/2 a box of tissue a day, I'm down to one Benadryl a day and A has only gagged-up once today! Hooray! Of course, Fize the Wonder Dog was up at 5:30 barfing in the kitchen, but hey that's what you get when you eat every piece of rubbish you come across.

To add to the challenging fun of getting a five-year-old ready for school by 7:30 each day, D has requested NO SANDWICHES for her school lunch. NO PROBLEM, I reply, but you're going to have to eat something besides fruit. So our new lunch schedule for the remainder of the school year is:

Monday - pasta day
Tuesday - stir-fry day
Wednesday - burrito day (this may not stick since she hates beans and I feel like she should have something besides cheese)
Thursday - chicken day
Friday - pizza day (this is the only day I let her buy school lunch)

For the record, I wanted a seafood day - D loves shrimp and almost all fish - but M nixed it as being too smelly and raised some important food-safety issues, i.e., how to keep shrimp hot/cold until lunchtime using only a Thermos container or ice packs.

For tomorrow's chicken, I'm roasting some mini-drumettes with a plum-hoisin-oyster sauce. I'm going to start sending her with tiny cups of salad in addition to these goodies. Or maybe broccoli or asparagus spears, both of which she loves. Because she needs her fruits and veggies.

And because I rarely practice what I preach and I'm also not a big fan of sandwiches, for my lunch I'm having a delicious dish of Talenti Caribbean Coconut gelato. Low fat! All natural! Yummy! With just enough coconut to make you feel like you're on vacation. It's a little hard to find, but I got mine at the local natural grocery just up the street.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Such a geek

So on D's homework sheet tonight one of the assignments was to do a research report on chicks, due Friday, 3-5 pages with illustrations and a bibliography.

So after swim lessons and dinner, I rushed A into bed so that we could get to the Library before it closed and get some good reference books. I spent a solid hour with her there, teaching her about call numbers, the Encyclopedia and - God help me - how to cite. (Not for nothing is she the daughter of an English Lit major and a lawyer - we cite everything around here.)

On the way home, it occurred to me that this might be a bit advanced for a Kindergarten class. I re-read the homework sheet when we got back and there it was in teeny, tiny print at the bottom: "April Fools!"

I've been HAD.

What's more geeky... that I fell for it or that I was pretty excited about the project? Perhaps I need a hobby....