A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Friday, June 30, 2006

The Bake With Your Child Challenge


I get a lot of Meme's and hell I even do some of them. I've done Oddmix's Weekly Words Challenge once, it was cool and I should do it more. But I want to throw out the gauntlet to everyone I know and all of you lurkers.
Bake something.
With your child/children.
Baking is great. Baking is something that you don't have to be able to cook to do. You see, I cannot cook worth a crap. But baby, I can BAKE. Baking is awesome, because unlike cooking - there is no intuition, there is no tasting and testing that is really involved (there is one exception and I'll get to it). Baking is a very specific set of instructions. Do step one, do step two. Etc. If you can follow instructions, you can bake. When you are done, you have a sweet treat to share, and how much fun is it to sit down with a treat with the person/persons you love most in this world?
I think that sometimes people are intimidated by baking because COOKING can be so complicated. Don't confuse the two. Like I said, I cannot cook. But my mom taught me to bake and if I can do it ANYONE can.

So here is the challenge. First of all, I challenge you to make PART of your item from scratch. Nothing is wrong with a cake mix, but for God's SAKE make your own icing. No break and bake cookies or cookies from a roll. Everything has to AT LEAST be mixed up by you. And seriously, buttercream icing is easy (my completely not scientific method - one stick of unsalted butter, one bag of powdered sugar, a splash of vanilla, a splash of milk, put in some powdered sugar - about a fourth of the bag - then using a mixer and keep adding more until it just looks right. And tastes right. This is the only unspecific thing I do when I bake. And it is always delicious. Just have plenty of butter and probably an extra bag of powdered sugar around. And yes - I always make too much.)

The most important thing is to let you little person help. My oldest helps me pour in ingredients and stir, and then he is specifically in charge of putting on sprinkles in all sprinkle possible situations. If we are rolling something then he does the rolling. Sort of. But he is completely IN to it. And the joy is worth the mess.

I think that this will cause chaos and fun in your kitchen. But I am anxious to see how many of you will take up the challenge to create something with your kids in the kitchen.

Here is our creation. It is a devil's food cake (from a mix) with buttercream icing. Covered in, pink and purple sugar sprinkles. And nonpariels. And these little sugar flower decorations.

I didn't say it had to be good.

The gauntlet has been cast down. Let's see what you guys can do!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Change of Perspective

When we were in our early 20s, my friends and I used to howl at stories of people's parents who had witnessed or DONE disgusting body function things to one another. The story of your mom's tampon getting stuck and your dad going to help her get it out.......you get the picture. Horrifying, hilarious, such intimacy. We knew we would never engage in such revolting body things - and certainly not in front of other people. My boss once told me, back then, that she'd had such a bad migraine that her husband had had to put her suppositories in.........which we retold over beers - HOWLING! Old married people, you disgusted us! It was very nice and comforting to know that we would never be icky, "body function doing in front of other people", sort of individuals. Surely this ailment was generational......right?

This was before we had our own long term relationships, or given birth where against your will you poop in front a of a bunch of people.......so these sort of things seemed so alien. But I was reminded of how far away I am from that person last night.

You see, my oldest son just discovered that he is male and cannot poop in public. Previously he could poop in public, with the help his little take along toilet seat insert, we could manage just fine. But yesterday, after not pooping for two days, he realized he had to go. Then, when we got to the stall at Epcot ladies room......he discovered his inner MAN. And couldn't go. We had multiple attempts. He truly HAD to go. But after the tears and so much drama that I won't even go INTO it here......he begged us to let him wait until we got home.

We drove home convinced he would poop his pants and we weren't going to punish him....after all, it's hard to be three and he's a very good little guy. He was very upset about the whole thing.

As soon as we got home we rushed him to the bathroom and after a couple of minutes I popped in to check on our progress. He looks up wide, teary eyes and whispers "It's stuck Mom, help."

You know what happens when you don't poop for a few days? Your body make a large rock like product.

And to show you how different a person I am from the person who once cracked up over beers at stories of bodily functions, I'll tell you I didn't even think twice. I grabbed some toilet paper, grabbed the offending object and pulled.

Some day when he's being 16 and giving me attitude, I'll threaten to tell the story of the time I pulled the poop out of his butt. That should straighten him right up.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Saturday Night Frolic


Okay so while in the hurried frenzy of baking a cake for Kurt's birthday at work (he requested carrot cake apparently just to be a pain in the ass. Note to all co-workers, if I offer to make your birthday cake -the choices are white, yellow, chocolate) the hubby says to me "you know you bake for everyone except us."
Oh crap.
He's right.
I've turned into my grandmother. Pies, angel food cake, Watergate salad, persimmon pudding, choclate cake, buckeyes, for the Martha Circle at church, for the Walnut Street club, for the Women's republican club, for the Past Matrons and Patrons of the Eastern Star, for the various homes of the recently dead........for everyone.
Except us.

I am not my grandmother.
Here is my first step in the road to making sure that the majority and the BEST of my baking efforts are for my family, who deserve them more than anyone else in the world. Little Sacthmo and I made what are probably the best SIMPLE chocolate chip cookies I have ever made, nothing much in them except the dough and the chocolate chips. They are wonderful, and as always, I had the best assistant chef ever.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

There is an "O" In the Word Peony


This is from Indy, a friend there sent it to me. Apparently it took about 45 minutes before someone actually pulled over, went inside, and helped them out with their spelling.
Good Times.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

BEST SEARCH TO END UP HERE IN A WHILE.......

 

"CAN YOU LIVE WITHOUT A WANG"

 

Why yes, yes you can.  Anything else I can help with, please let me know.

 

 



 

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Wine Tasting Adventure






I am a beer drinker at heart. Wine has always been something that I never really could get a taste for, anything that I ever tried that was "good" always tasted like crap. I've been pretty secure in the knowledge that like my food palette, I have no real wine taste. But there is a little local restaurant where I've been a few times that offers a weekly wine tasting for $10, which includes appetizers.
So last week a few of us decided to give it a try. We had such a good time that we went back this week and good grief for the great time we had we all wish they would do it every week. Don and Marquis were particularly fond of the food!

We tried a pinot grigio from Voga, a sauvignon blanc from someone we didn't like.
We tried this one which we did like and a merlot we REALLY liked and wanted to buy a bottle.

But alas......they didn't HAVE the Merlot that Marquis was going to buy for the table. So he settled for the Voga from the first round. Thanks for the wine Marquis!


All in all it was a really nice social evening. The appetizers included calamari, shrimp bruschetta, foccaccia bread pizza and fried eggplant sticks which were right up AJ's alley since he's decided to be vegetarian.
Wine tasting has turned into a really different festive social occasion for us. It gives everyone a chance to talk and snack, plus most of us who don't actually have a clue about wine get to LEARN something and try them without committing to a bottle which we may not like.

Cute Shoes with spikey heels $15
Wine Tasting at Paesan's $10
Having drinks and nibbling on fantastic food with your friends, PLUS learning about wine without being made to feel like a cretin? Priceless.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Three Wick Candle

So years ago, either before we had our first or directly AFTER we were at a breakfast buffet on Father's day. At all the tables around us dad's were opening gifts of various sorts but the one we noted with shock and horror was the dad opening a big box that was filled with a big ass THREE WICK CANDLE, and a flower garland to go around the base.
Because THIS is what Dad wants for Father's day. A Three Wick Candle. I think we all know how much Dad's LOVE three wick candles. Dad's all across America will say this very night "Sweetie, since I didn't get a three wick candle for Father's day this year, why don't you host a Party Lite candle party so we can earn one with party credits?".
At that time we were horrified - how had MOM let this happen? And she was clearly pleased, like she didn't care because hey she got a new three wick candle out of the deal! The kids were pleased, beaming across the table "oh Daddy we knew you'd love it!"
So we made a pact. We would never let the three wick candle happen. No matter what that meant, we'd be strong and guide our children to REASONABLE gifts. Gifts someone would like. (okay I would like a three wick candle........it's become a metpahor now). But you get the point. No Metaphorical Three Wick Candles are to be given.
I learned this Father's Day shopping trip WHY the Three Wick Candle happens. As I was shopping for the new Paul Simon album, my son picked up a Bob Seger album and some Musica Latina CDs. "No honey, Daddy would really love this."
"No he wouldn't -he wants this!"
"No baby, Daddy loves Paul Simon - this will be a great surprise, we'll get him this, we can listen to it in the car!"
"NO! I want to get him THIS!"Hold up Bob Seger.
"No sweetheart, we aren't getting that."
And the tears start, the broken heart, the near tantrum.....I threaten a public spanking, the tears dry up to choked sobs.
I think of the three wick candle. This is how it happened. The mom said EFF IT and said "okay you can give daddy the three wick candle."
So we go stand in line to check out, and they have various novelty snacks and treats on a big display "Honey would you like to get Daddy some candy or something for Father's Day?"
"YES YES YES YES!"
And that is why in addition to the new Paul Simon CD and Galactic Civilizations 2 - my husband is also getting a cookie that is iced with an image of BRIAN from the FAMILY GUY whizzing on a fire hydrant.
Happy Father's Day Baby.
Hope you enjoy your three wick candle.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

So on this Father's Day I'd like to talk about the Father in my own house.
The Father of this family is unique because he is that rare kind of dad, the stay at home kind.
He stays home and read stories and plays games and teaches manners. He makes sure they start their day with a banana and get enough protein. If they are sick, he takes care of them all day. Many times he takes them out of the bedroom so that the rest of us can sleep when someone is up fussing. So that I can sleep.
When people look at us out in public and toss off one of the usual trite sayings "Oh my honey you've got your hands full" I've given up explaining that no, indeed I ESCAPE every morning and that in fact - HE has his hands full. When people come by to tell me how well behaved they are, they look at us like they we are alien if I explain that it's thanks to their father who stays at home.
My children are happy and laugh most of the time. This is because they are so well loved all day long.
Their father never assumes they can't understand things, he explains complicated things to them all day long. Ask my three year old about evolution or the great meteor impact which killed the dinosaurs.
I'm not sure that he ever wanted to be a father. I know that many days he wants to pull his hair out, join the circus and never look back -from the stress. I think it's worse for him, because people EXPECT mom's to feel like this. It's as though people think the work isn't hard for him. People will actually say "but don't you want to get a job?" to him.
Unbelievable.

As if raising decent human beings isn't the MOST important job on the planet.

Eventually our children will go into preschool - and he'll go to work. And I'm sure he'll be glad to get back out into the world. But I will miss the security of knowing someone is guarding the homefront, and that my children are safe within his reach.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Friends We Leave Behind

When you get that first real job, your first real entry level job where the rest of your career grows from, you make friends. They're entry level friends, and you lunch with them, and have Mary Kay parties and Party lite Parties and you date boys and some people fool around with executives and some people don't and you go to parties, and bars and time goes by. Eventually people start to get fired or quit and other people start the slow ascent up the ranks into management. And some don't, and we leave them behind because suddenly we're lunching with different people and going to different Mary Kay parties and fooling around with higher level execs and dating different boys and MORE time goes by and you suddenly forget to remember that you previously had different friends. You see them in the halls, in the lunch room. You smile and wave and pass pleasantries but things changed and they didn't come with you on the path.
When I started out as a CSR on the phones I had a lot of friends and this is the story of me, Christy and Darla. It was a lot of fun on the phones at Lane Bryant Customer Service. Darla and I ended up making the trek up the corporate ladder and Christy stayed behind. But back in the 80s when they didn't have 800 numbers or caller IDs or recording systems on your phones, there was a carefree attitude that went with being on the phones. Big Brother was NOT watching. Christy and Darla and I all worked together on the phones taking calls, eating lunch, going to Mary Kay parties, going to bars to do the Electric Slide etc forever. On the day that I had the BIG job interview for team leader no one had told me it was scheduled, so Darla and I went into the bathroom and switched clothes so that I would look more professional.
I probably owe my entire career to that morning in the ladies room as we giggled and tossed clothes over the tops of the stalls to each other. And while Darla and I dated boys and had social lives, Christy was the girl who wished she did. Christy was a bigger girl, your friend who is always available to go out because she isn't dating.
But that makes her sound pathetic, and she wasn't. Christy was funny and warm, she'd help you to her own detriment at any time. She made people laugh and feel good when they didn't feel that way at all. She was fun to work with and she was LOUD. She didn't give a fig if she was fat, she'd laugh and call herself "a big old gal."
One of my favorite memories of her was of a freezing cold Indiana winter where Christy, Darla and I had been out to a bar and were freezing cold and HUNGRY. No place was open to eat so we went to Krogers and bought STEAK and some Larry's Potatoes (Christy's insistance on those, she loved them) and a bunch of other stuff. We made a huge dinner at 2am and feasted like kings (poor Kings, but KINGS nonetheless). I remember how much we laughed at ourselves for cooking such a big meal. And we talked about boys, and Christy talked endlessly about some DJ that she talked to every night, who she had never met. And Travis Tritt - because she thought he was the cutest thing ever.
We also went to the Limited Stock Holders Meeting in Columbus Ohio together. It was there that I made friends with a lot of the people that helped me in my career, I made friends, I drank with people, I chatted with people I had never met. I don't know what happened to Christy while we were there, I just know that at some point in the festivities she was gone- probably back to her room. I never thought to wonder if she felt left out or that I was ignoring her as I was being excited that management people were talking to me.
Christy had health problems, some of which were of such a horrifying nature I have told the stories out of some mean spiritedness in me that enjoys a shocking TRUE medical story. But I won't tell them here, or probably ever again. She was someone who really was always going to DO something about stuff. Like her diabetes, she was going to start eating right, although I never knew her to. She was going to lose weight, she was going to get her life under control.
Last year I got an email, out of the blue from Christy. She had heard from Darla, who I am STILL in touch with, that I was in Florida. Surprise, she was living quite close and wanted to get together.
She was shocked and amused that I have so many children and wanted to see them. She said she couldn't imagine me with children. We kept talking about getting together but she would hedge on coming to meet me for lunch which made no sense to me.
Until she told me that they had just amputated her leg. So she wasn't getting around so well, could I come see her?
We never made plans, we talked about it. Maybe I could come this time or that time but I just never committed. I am probably selfish and lazy in this way, I am slow to commit to things somtimes.
But regularly I enjoyed opening emails, some just to catch me up and some that are jokes or funny pictures from Christy. My relationship with her was re-established and I guess I was comfortable that I had time to amend the wrong I had done by ditching her on the way up the ladder.

But Christy died May 19th of a massive stroke. 20 miles or less from my house.
I never went to see her. I never let her meet my children. I never showed her that I was sorry for being an asshole.
At the age of 34 the friend I left behind was dead, and cremated for two weeks before anyone thought to tell me. I don't fault anyone, especially not Darla who actually was a good friend and was invited to the funeral and all. I could have made an effort and remained in touch. I could have tried. But I didn't.

It's just a reminder to me. Time isn't infinite.
And we all need to remember that.

So I'm sorry. And it doesn't matter at all, because sometimes being sorry fixes nothing.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Oddmix's Weekly Words Challenge

I decided to Play this week.



Masculine




And Feminine

Here we GO Here we GO Here we GO AGAIN

Stupid Hurricane Season.
Stupid Tropical Storm Alberto.
I swear to you when I moved to Florida I had hardly ever even noticed the hurricane tracking. Or maybe it's just gotten better and more detailed.
I can tell you that yesterday my obsessive daily checking of NOAA began yesterday.
Tomorrow at work we will kick into emergency recovery mode, verifying alternate route plans for our phone systems, verifying that all employees have the emergency phone number and who is going to do what in case of emergency. I fully expect the generator to be kicking when I pull in, making sure it's operational - and sometime a fuel truck will arrive to fill that big monster up.
If we don't get fuel tomorrow, there will BE no fuel to be had.
According to the www.NOAA.org website, the tropical storm will hit the west coast of FLA. Probably won't be a hurricane. Well......it MIGHT be a 1. Or not.

AH Hurricane Season.

At least this year I don't have to stock up on craploads of canned liquid formula, eh?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Bagheera - We, LOVE You!



Two Bagheeras make for two happy boys, when one of them isn't hogging both of them.

It's difficult not to hog them, as they ARE SO CUDDLY!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

OMEN 666

There was a lot of evil at work in the AMC Theaters yesterday.  I went to see Omen 666 on 6/6/06 with two of my most evil friends (okay they're not evil that's a joke).
 
The evil at work reminded me of the evil done by Crowley in GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman.
 
Little evil.  Annoyances.
 
The man on his NEXTEL who Won't STOP TALKING.  The cell phones that keep ringing.  The people who keep OPENING their cell phones, so that their screens light up like little BEACONS IN A STORM.  I guess they were texting (Which is quieter at least) or checking the time, or to see who called etc etc etc.  Then we had a narrator behind us.  She was really helpful.  She had a lot of insights into the film.  Such as, she knew when people were bad.  Or when bad things had happened.  Mostly because they had just happened on the screen.
 
Evil all around us in the movie theater.  Little evil.  But evil nonetheless.

 

 



 

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sting - Now Working for the CIA

Okay so I admit it, I'm a little punchy from kayaking all day down the Weeki Wachee (pictures to come later). It was sunny and great, etc etc etc.
But....in even though I know that I'm brain dead and sun fried - this is the headline I read on AOL.
"Sting helped nab terror suspects" and I swear to you my first thought was "Well that can't be a good idea, it's one thing to be a goody-goody about the environment but you can't just go messing about the Al Quaida.........."


Needless to say, there was nothing about STING in the story.
But the byline said "Police supplied the chemicals."

I suppose now Andy and Stewart are up to terror fighting as well?

I think someone is having fun writing AOL headlines.......or am I JUST this tired?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

PORK BUTT ON A STICK

I am so intensely happy that the only picture my FLICKR account seems to be picking up is the PORK BUTT ON A STICK sign from the Florida State Fair.......I am considering NEVER adding more photos.

Kidding.........kidding.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A Few Random Items

So did you ever think you did something but didn't do it?
I am constantly doing exactly that, but today I realized that I read blogs in an order. Mine - check for comments, Xta, read comments, Sarah, read comments, flip to QOS, read comments, flip back to Sarah, Becky, read comments ....and on down the line. I might not comment myself but I am a reader (I'm TRYING to comment more but I have get interrupted a lot people)....but anyway suddenly it occured to me.
I'm always reading QOS from Sarah........I thought I added her to my blogroll months ago. WAY before Lumpyhead's mom.
So I check.
No, she's not there.
Ummmm......sorry.

You're there now! Ooops!

In completely unrelated news Louis informed me that they put a picture of a chocolate shake and an ice cream sundae on the front of the chocolate syrup bottle "because that way it's okay if you can't cook. You can just see the picture and know what to make."

I think he might have just been patronizing me when he told me I make the best spaghettios in the world........


Oh, and...someone hit this site googling "Hot Mom Miss Bridgette"

RIGHT ON BABY!