A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ritz Mock Apple Pie, Baby!!

What do you do when you want to find something to do besides going out drinking? You start making the recipes off of the back of boxes. Nikki and I (with Scott supervising) created in infamous RITZ CRACKER MOCK APPLE PIE. Ever heard of it? It's on the back of the Ritz boxes a lot of the time - and the FEATURE it boasts is that you don't need apples! VOILA! Apple pie from crackers!

Here is the first stage - combining the ingredients in the bottom of the pie pan.
Then you top it with a lovely crust - and pinch it! This pie was ridiculously simple to make. The recipe can be found at Back of the Box recipes.


Surprisingly, while it baked it smelled like a delicious apple pie baking.
When it came out of the oven, Scott took the first bite and started laughing - and confessed "It tastes like apple pie."
We're not sure what insane person thought this up......but it was actually good in a creepy frightening sort of way. We're now going to try to figure out what sort of other pies we can mock. (My husband's input is that the MOCK is his least favorite kind of apple).
And if you are wondering what IBP is......well that's Scott's Imaginary Band which is a whole other story.......

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

You Don't Know the POWER of the Dark Side!

Don't Make Me Destroy You!
ObiWan never told you what happened to Harpo and Zeppo.........

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Where was this Information in 1987?

In a fortune cookie opened today:
Your Lucky SAT answers are:
a, c, d, a, b, b, c

Hope this helps.

Kentucky - Part two with the Pix

This is the famed Kentucky Hot Brown that Elizabeth over at Table for Five was wondering about. Here it is in all of it's glory. I looked up several recipes for it online and was going to link to them but none of them were quite right in my opinion, Bobby Flay's being the least right of all. So without a real recipe, let me say that a Kentucky Hot Brown is essentially this: Bread, ham, turkey,sliced tomatoes, smothered in a cream sauce that is cheesy, covered in shredded cheese (Bobby Flay alleges Parmesan cheese - I have never seen this) and then bacon. They put it in the oven until the bacon crisps and the shredded cheese on top melts into a crust. Can you FEEL your arteries hardening?
I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the much longed for beer cheese as well. Oh well.

This is me on our Friday night excursion to SHAMROCKS with one of my favorite people in the world Tom. Tom used to be our boss at Galls and now he's the Grand Poobah at Aramark Uniform Services. He's also an honorary Uncle to my boys, along with Paul and Scott - yes Uncles I WILL get their hair cut some day. My pictures of Paul and Scott didn't turn out apparently (I took them with Michele's camera and they were apparently too dark). That's what happens when you start taking pictures after the Makers and coke get flowing.

And so there is no doubt why I was there, this is the memorial at the airport. I wasn't sure what to think or feel standing there. It seemed surreal and made me terribly edgy to be there. I suppose you aren't supposed to feel comfortable at a place like that.

Blogger continues to try me, so I will post up one last set of pics on one last post!

Fisher Price Aquarium - You Soothe Me So

I'm not sure when this happened, but at some point during the past four years, the song that the FISHER PRICE AQUARIUM plays has been a source of soothing for me when I sleep.
I'm sure that it started when my oldest finally learned to turn it on and used it to soothe himself back to sleep.  The change from "Oh crap the baby's up" to "oh, the baby turned on his aquarium.....I can go back to sleep." was pretty dramatic.   I love the song.  I don't know what the tune is - something proprietary or a Standard that they're using.  But it's like being asleep in a cave where Vangelis is performing. 
Not really the most calming of metaphors to some people I'm sure, but it does relax me.
The twins have started adjusting the volume, so it can be a START to be jostled awake if Vangelis is performing at volume 10, but mostly it's calming.  If they go from jabbering and making noise to turning on the aquarium and I know that I can roll over and go back to sleep.  
Which is priceless.
Play on Vangelis.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Like a Wedding without Ham and Biscuits

I travelled to Lexington on September 15th 2006 to mourn the loss of my friend Bobby and to be wrapped up in the support and love of my friends that I left behind. It was one of the best and saddest trips I have ever taken.
I stayed with Scott Hardy for the three days, who graciously let me sleep in his bed (alone people, alone) while he spent his nights "farming" and pretending not to surf porn.
We're close - but not surf porn together close, so that is probably for the best.
The first day we got there I had the luxury of walking around a place I used to work being loud and disrupting people from getting their work done to force them to visit with me. It was terrible fun. And joyous.
I thought my heart would burst when I saw Paul and Scott ambling around the back of the building inspecting the ceiling that is still leaking - three years later.
Michele Kocinski and I headed over to SHAMROCKS to make sure tables were available. And of course I had to hunt down the beer cheese - I MISS KENTUCKY BEER CHEESE. Waitress bring this woman BEER CHEESE! Man, it is good stuff. I highly recommend it. I just wanted a vat of it for myself, and a spoon. Before long the old crew started to gather.
It was sort of funny how it didn't actually take more than a few minutes for old crew and new crew to segregate into their own pods, but maybe that had more to do with senior managers hanging out on the old crew side. Regardless, by 8ish the Galls team had almost completely taken over the patio of Shamrocks, and the cigar smoke was choking the air and it was Makers and Coke all around.

Saturday it was the memorial service which was truly so beautifully done. It was presented as a celebration of the people's lives. It was very hard but so thoughtfully done. I was able to hug so many people and tell them I love them, I think some of them were probably faintly horrified as it's not something I just go about bandying about - but I couldn't help it. I felt compelled not to let my chance go by. I talked to Bobby frequently, but I don't know if I EVER told him I loved him and I did love him so.
Probably the thing that had me choked up the most was that the Capitol Police from the US Capitol had flags flown at Half Mast at the Capitol for everyone from Galls who died on the plane - and had those flags sent to be presented to the families. It's such an honor - the highest honor that department can bestow on someone. I was seated between Scott and Tom and I thought that me keening and sobbing might just be too much for them, as they were maintaining their composure.
I had a surreal Kentucky moment during the time after the service when the catering was brought out and everyone was visiting. Once, when we still worked together we were talking about something that wasn't right or that didn't make sense and Bobby said to me "Lord that's like a wedding without Ham and Biscuits." I had later brought this up at dinner with Scott Hardy and his girlfriend at the time who concurred - you couldn't have a wedding without ham and biscuits. The husband and I were like baffled, what the HELL were these people talking about?
But when I looked over at the catering table.......what did I see?
You guessed it.
Ham and Biscuits.
I wasn't even hungry but I had to eat one.

I spent the late morning and early afternoon at Danna's catching up and gossiping. Danna's got her groove back. She made steaks for lunch and then I went and met up with my family who brought me sweet little niece down for me to meet for the first time.
I introduced my family to the joy of the Kentucky HOT BROWN at Ramsey's. Plus we feasted on Missy's Pie.

And we all nearly burst from it.
Since Blogger won't let me post more pics.....looks like I'll have to do a very short part 2.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Parenting Magazine Thou Hast My Rancor

This has been bothering me for a while. So I thought I'd take this moment to bitch about it.
Parenting Magazine's Tag Line is "What Really Matters Most to Moms".
Wouldn't that really be "MOMMYING"?
I know this is a little soap boxy of me, but it irks me in the same way most articles about babies refer to the baby (especially if unborn) as SHE do. THAT particular practice annoyed the living shit out of me when I was carrying ONE male of the species and doubly so when I was carrying TWO males. SHE? WHERE IS THIS SHE YOU ARE SPEAKING OF? I'm carrying TWO HUMANS AND BOTH ARE MALE. But I digress.
I don't know where this practice comes from, assuming that the parenting is the female responsibility but it just infuriates me.
My husband is a stay at home dad but even if he WASN'T he's a very very involved parent. To belittle that and his dedication to his children would be the equivalent of me being assigned to also fetch coffee for the boy execs when I wasn't busy doing my cute little Director of Operations gig. It's bullshit.
My husband stayed home when there was one newborn. My husband stayed home when there were TWO five week old newborns and I slugged down some Starbucks (okay a LOT of Starbucks) and drug my ass back to work because I hadn't been there a year and wasn't protected under FMLA.
My husband initiated and completed potty training of our oldest.
He timed adding new foods to their palettes based on content and texture as the progressed through the Gerber Stages into table food.
I'm sure articles that weren't so completely based in the "how to get your husband to run the vacuum and not demand blowjobs 24-7" mindset might actually be beneficial. I know he reads this stuff, but I also know it alienates him in a culture that already looks at him like he's insane because he chose to make sure my children were safe and well cared for vs. making enough money to cover day care.

Parenting, you provide valuable insights into our children and their development. But please get with the program. Parenting is a two person job, and about 99% of the time that person CAN read and would absorb more information from your media if it weren't so biased AGAINST him.

You have the right to market to any damn demographic you like. But really, isn't it time to pave the way and embrace the fact that dads ARE contributors to the parenting of their childen these days? They really are. I don't ACTUALLY know of any Dad's whose sole contribution is a paycheck. I want Parenting articles that are just that, Parenting articles. Not mommying articles.

And, stop calling unborn babies SHE.

Annoying as hell, that is.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

You can get here by Railway.....

Or apparently by Googling the following things.....
* The Advantages of Having a Large Family is still fairly popular. People - just make your bowl of WORMS IN THE DIRT, quit trying to justify it.
* Sarcasm in Margaret Atwood - ummmm, I'm a pretty big Atwood fan and not sure how this fits in with any posts......but, okay.
* Zoo Lane Coloring - more buttholes being referenced thanks to Sarah no doubt.
* Devra Wang - Devra, explain please.....
* SEASONED HEAD IN A BOX (what the hell is WRONG with you people)
* Biggest Zit - yes, yes, that was me. World's biggest zit factory one week.
* Making Body Scrub with Sand Bad for Shower - Ummm, are you an idiot? Salt or sugar for exfoliating there, chief. Okay?
* Astornomy - YES THANK YOU! THANK YOU IDIOT AT NASA FOR THE TYPO you are now bringing people TO my blog. God bless.
But the GRAND PRIZE WINNER of all searches that landed you here........is.....

I have tons of stuff to write about my trek back to the memorial in Lexington, but I have to put it all right in my mind before I write it down.

Here is one more nugget for you godless sinners out there.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

All You Need Is Love.....

It's Love Thursday.

These are some people I love that I will be seeing and putting my arms around tomorrow afternoon. And one of you will not be there.
And it will be the most wrong thing in the world.
I love you guys, and I can't wait to see you all.

The Final Stage.........Finding Humor

I'm not sure about the stages of grief. I know that there are seven of them but are they, and I could probably GOOGLE them and find it out but who fucking cares? I think that one sign that you have gotten a grip on your grief is humor. If you can laugh, you're probably okay. As long as it's not maniacal handwringing laughter.......that is....
When my Uncle George died my mother and I were faced with a situation that required either hilarious laughter, or hysterical sobbing. Uncle George was a vain man. He wore a toupee that he himself (a stylist) had fashioned from his own hair. It actually looked remarkably good and I promise you, you NEVER saw him without it. He had two pieces, one styled and ready to wear, and one that was washed and brushed but not styled - ostensibly to wear while the first one was in it's washing process(whatever THAT is).
My Grandmother Drake took the wrong piece to the funeral home. She took the flat dull but recently washed piece. Not the fluffy "this is how I wear my hair and this is how I want to be sealed up eternity" piece. When we looked into the casket.....we nearly choked. Oh christ it's the wrong piece. And people WERE ARRIVING.
As the people passed us by saying "oh he looks so good" we'd laugh and say "no he doesn't he looks like hell". George would have thought so, and if he'd gotten attend the funeral of someone with the wrong piece attached to their head for all eternity he'd have told the story till your ears bled. He would have laughed his ass off. So we laughed. And laughed. And if we talk about it now, we still laugh.
I wish I had a picture.
In thinking of Bobby and thinking of things that make me laugh, I was looking over the pictures of the memorial of his desk. And instead of sobbing I looked in shock and said OH HELL! And knew that Bobby would have laughed.
Because there, on his memorialized desk......
is a damn bottle of Equate brand cough and cold medicine. Cherry Flavor.
And in my mind, when I saw it, I heard Bobby say "What the hell, you people gotta immortalize me with some DAMN WALMART PRODUCTS ON MY DESK? GOOD GRIEF bad ENOUGH a brother gotta DIE IN A DAMN PLANE CRASH but now I am memorialized with my ghetto version on Nyquil on the desk? Can someone PLEASE TAKE THAT OFF MY DESK?" and I laughed until I cried.
I'm flying home Friday morning (note to the FAA and Bluegrass Airport - can we get the updated runway maps to AMERICAN AIRLINES PLEASE YOU ASSHOLES) to grab and hug and kiss all the people I love and miss. And to grieve with them about what we all lost and probably to be reminded that this is not a dress rehearsal. When I get home again to Florida, I expect to be someone else entirely.

I can't wait to see all of you. And Bobby I'm stealing your Equate cold medicine if someone from your family didn't take it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Rudy Guiliani - 9/11 and Sesame Street Hero

Because I am a protective parent (as is the spouse) we protect the small ones from the horrors of the world by watching ZERO regular television in front of them. The stuff we do watch we watch on delay so we can fast forward through the commercials in case of questionable content. The sum of our annual "regular" TV watching would be NFL games and American Idol. That's about it. Other than that, it's documentaries (nonviolent, non WAR related, non sex related), travel or food shows or kids shows. This might sound extreme, especially if you don't HAVE kids, but preserving their innocence is a losing battle and I will fight that battle as long as I have to.
So in the wake of our 9/11 anniversary we were ever watchful of what was on, not wanting planes slammimg into sky scrapers to fill little heads with nightmares that many of us are still recovering from the reality of.
During the Colts/Giants it was particulary difficult, as it took place on Sept 10th.
But we did a pretty good job and I was proud of being quickdraw on the remote during commercial breaks.
However, at the beginning of the game they showed Guiliani in the crowd at the game and my three year old says "Oh look there's that guy."
It gave me considerable pause........HOW WOULD HE KNOW GUILIANI?
"What guy sweetie?"
"You know Mommy that famous guy, that guy right there."
"Why is he famouse sweetie?"
"He was on Sesame Street mommy."
I got choked up and answered "That man used to be the mayor of New York."
To which he answered "That's where Sesame Street is. That's the guy from Sesame Street."
Guiliani, from now you will forever be the guy from Sesame street to me. Well done.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I watched the shuttle go up from work this morning. I'd like to say that I'm completely plugged into world and local events and KNEW it was going up, but that would be a lie. I happened to notice that it was set for a 11:15 launch on MSN at work (I was going to look at our corporate website for a problem, no REALLY I was) and thought, hey, that's cool. Shuttle launch.
Shuttle launches give me a little bit of nerves but still it's pretty freaking cool stuff.
From our distance it's really like seeing a BIG jet trail, you can't SEE much of the shuttle at all, just a bit of the exhause flame (looks like a bright light) and all of the exhaust. As we watched and waited looking in the general direction it should be going up everyone was trying to remember exactly where, and the unfortunate point of reference in the group was Challenger. "We could see Challenger over here....."
And we watch and check timepieces.....and wait and then, more northerly than expected
Freaking cool.
Jets sometimes don't really look like they are hardly moving way up in the sky. Not so the space shuttle. That bitch moves. HUGE billows of exhaust come out as it flies into the sky faster than anything else we can see (we're by an airport so we do have a point of reference on objects in flight) and the group becomes like little kids - all big grins and happiness that it went well.
It's gone in seconds, it just vanishes into the atmosphere and we vanish back into our workplace........a return to the Hive.

In completely unrelated news.........the spouse sent me this site which I think it a riot.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Wither Vanity ?

I used to have time. And there was a lot of it. I spent it in dubious ways, drinking, reading, going to places, talking to people, and pampering myself. Yes you heard me.
PAMPERING myself. I would get things cut, colored, waxed, filed, filled, painted, massaged, scrubbed, aromatherapied and exfoliated. I paid other people to do these things. Generally just three people, a stylist, a nail tech and an aesthetician. If you've added the last of these three to your playlist let me tell you now, this is the one you'll miss the most when one day it's not feasible due to time constraints.
You can get your nails done in an hour. You can find a place that does it cheap. You can get your hair cut and colored in about an hour to an hour and a half, and again - we all know where the SUPERCUTS is located. Cheap can be obtained.
But the aesthetician.....ah. There is no bargain basement aesthetician. She performs rituals on you, beauty rituals, that there are no cut rate deals on. She costs. She does things to you that you do not need but once you've had them done, man do you want them. Full body sea salt scrub? That's your aesthetician. Pore treatment with a steam tent? Same person. Marvelous person. This person puts the gloss on the lipstick, the icing on the cake.......she is what is the difference between the gorgeous and the rest of us and you love her. (Or him, it could be a him.)

And then you have kids.

Kids aren't just a financial burden. They are a burden on the entire space time continuum. I love my kids, don't get me wrong. But just the TIMING of getting all the beauty stuff done I want done is like some great game of master scheduling. Forget getting it done outside the house. The four hours they want from you at the day spa could be spent getting the laundry done. People, I can't get four more hours behind on the laundry, I assure you. The mismatched jammies we have going on tonight are more than evidence of that (mismatched jammies are a bugaboo of mine).

So I've worked out a system of working in my own beauty upkeep with my time with my kids at night. Gone are the days where I can leisurely give myself a nice long pedicure and really work those feet over. Now it's speed and the window of opportunity I'm embracing.
Let's say I'm working on my feet.
While son is on toilet - remove nail polish.
While oldest son is in bathtub, paint toes - FAST - don't do a good job, just get the paint on, slap on some QUICKDRY.
While kids play before bed, sand feet FAST.
While I'm blogging at night,slather on really thick lotion and put on white socks.
The next morning I can close the drain on the tub so that the water fills up around my feet during my shower, and then pick off all the excess nail polish.
Guess what, it looks perfect.
Pedicure. Over the course of about 12 hours.
I can accomplish a lot while number one son is in the tub. I can use depilatory, do the microderm abrasion, a face mask, tweeze eyebrows, paint toes, sand feet. Not all of these things at once, but usually I can accomplish one or two of them if I try. When the little ones bathe I can do Mary Kay satin hands or feet (gotta keep a much closer eye on them so I can't be too self absorbed).

I'm accomplishing almost all of the same effects without the hundreds of dollars dropped at a nod at the day spa. My feet don't look like hobbit feet, and my skin is clear (okay the eyebrows need a wax I really DO need to get over to the Day Spa de Sade for that one) but all in all.....it can be done.

But man do I miss that aesthetician.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Inspirational Posters I can REALLY get behind

The spouse found these and I thought everyone could use some inspiration after a long weekend of celebrating Labor Day. You DID celebrate, didn't you?

Live Long and Prosper , and email this guy if you download his stuff. He wants to be friends.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bullet Points

Is anyone else as annoyed as I am by my inability to use bullet points in the previous post?
I couldn't get the damn things right.

And gave up.

AHHHH I figured it out.

And fixed them.

So there.

A Few Housekeeping Items in Lieu of a Real Post

I'm still in a bit of a mental trough after the plane crash, so instead of waxing morose I thought I would toss a few pieces of random whatnot into the blogosphere.

  • In the google Searches - HEAD IN A BOX is coming up way too frequently and getting you to my site. I promise you that there are NO pictures of heads in boxes on this site. Although I am a fan of making people watch BOXING HELENA and pretending it's good and I like it a lot and then laughing my ass off after they've sat through the whole thing (you are welcome, my latest victims Scott and Nikki.)

  • Why do the damn pens on the Aquadoodle not adhere to the righty-tighty lefty-loosey rule for unscrewing and screwing them on? What twit devised them that way and WHY?

  • Big Ass Fans said that they would send me some BIG ASS SWAG for blogging about them (see Draft Day Suit: I'm Not Here To Start No Trouble......) about them. I would like to go on to say that I think that BIG ASS FANS is the BEST FREAKING FAN COMPANY ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET and I hope that if they send me a t-shirt that they psychicly know that I am a BIG person (they are probably AVID WANG readers so this shouldn't be a problem) and would know that my giant hooters really require like an XL.

  • I am going to start minding my Weight Watchers points again next week as I think that one week of gratuitous face feeding justified by grief is probably enough. I also think I put on like 10 pounds.

  • Just for the record, for those of you eyeballing the mad number of kids I have, no I'm neither Catholic Nor Mormon. But thanks for being a bigot. I'm sorry if this seems to come out of no where but I guess I got it back on my mind from the The Queen's
  • post and figured I might as well put it out there. The quantity of children in my house has no religious mandate behind it. It does make me laugh, however, that some poor sap Googling "the advantages of having a large family" over in the UK kept hitting my blog piece about making a vat of worms in the dirt. GO FOR IT. HAVE MORE KIDS to JUSTIFY that vat of WORMS IN THE DIRT. You know you want it.

    I have a lot of things swirling around my heart. I'd say swirling around my mind, but that implies direction of thought and coherence. I don't really have any of that right now. I saw crash pictures online and on TV that were more emotionally devasting that the news itself, I think. And the one question that troubles me every time I open up my address book in email is this. What is the appropriate etiquette for the email addresses of the departed? I now have email addresses in my address book of two people that died. Is it appropriate to delete them? Should I do it symbolically at some point to signify to myself the end of grieving? They seem to be reminding me every time I see them that these people aren't there, but I haven't deleted them. Christy passed away in MAY and I still have hers. Hell I saved her last email for a long time and finally realized that it meant nothing to save it and let it go. I didn't feel better or worse for it.

    That probably meant it was the right time to delete it. I know I said I wasn't going to get morose.........sorry....