September 30, 2007

Rate the Hate 4 the I Busted Out My Camera edition

What's better than spaghetti on a Saturday night? Chinese spaghetti, that's what. You only need one pot and one small mixing bowl to make the whole thing. It takes about 25 minutes, start to finish. I heart this dinner.

You boil about 1/2 pound soba noodles (I just use spaghetti noodles) in a medium pot. While the noodles are boiling, chop 3 big stalks of fresh broccoli (keep them long; it's easier!).

If you love onion, you could also chop an onion into long, thin pieces, but personally, if my kids see onion in dinner the next thing they want to see is PB&J. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 cups beef broth with 2 tbsp Black Bean sauce and 2 tbsp cornstarch (no cornstarch? Use flour).

You get this stuff at Safeway or whatever regular old store you shop at. It's in the aisle with the teriaki sauce and stuff. It's, like, $2 and keep forever. Anyway, whisk it all and set it aside.

The noodles should be done by now, 6-9 minutes later. You want them almost but not totally chewy. Drain and rinse them fast with a little bit of hot water. Don't rinse them too much or you'll wash all the starch off, and that's what's going to make the sauce stick. Put the pan right back on the burner.

As you can see, there's still a little broccoli in there from rinsing that. It's totally ok; it's all going to end up together in a minute anyway.
Add about 1 tbsp olive oil to the bottom of the pan and throw in between 1/2 and 1 lb. stir fry beef (you buy it that way right next to the ground beef). Cook that on hot heat for a minute, add the onion if you're going that route, and cook it for another minute.

Dump the broccoli right on top of the beef and add 1/2 cup water. Cover and let cook for about 2 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green.

Re-whisk the sauce you'd set aside and then pour that on top. Stir it well and bring it to a boil. Add the noodles to that, stir it up and let it cook for about a minute. You might want to add a little soy sauce, or you could just let everyone add it as they want to.

Spoon the whole thing into your pretty little Asian bowls, brew some green tea, and you, my dears, have dinner.

I got these bowls for my 23rd birthday. I have had them longer than I have had my husband or my children. I LOVE these bowls.

If you're really feeling it (or if your children had arts & crafts day all over your dining room table),

you could do what we did and sit on our knees in front of the coffee table. You know, teppanyaki style. We keep it real.

Notes: You could also use chicken broth and sliced chicken instead of beef. I just like beef. You could also throw in water chestnuts or those little mutant corn things that my kids still think you can't eat the middle of. Or you could put rice on it and have for reals beef and broccoli. That's the beauty of it; it's versatile.

The question is: Do you think they ate it? Or, to make it easier, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you think they hated it? 1 being Best. Dinner. Ever. and 10 being We're Called Child Services and the Food Network to tell on you, you horrible, horrible woman.


September 28, 2007

Come one, come all

You are hereby cordially invited to a birthday extravaganza on Sunday at 3 pm for the world's cutest baby girl. There will be blue jello in tiny fishbowls with gummy fish in them, there will be pretzel fishing rods with Powerbait gummy worms attached, there will be jellyfish floating above and blue sea at your feet. There will be goldfish. Most importantly, there will be CAKE. Lots of cake.

Please RSVP by Saturday evening at 778-846-1....oh, who am I kidding? There will be pictures on Monday. She's going to be 2. I am totally going to cry.
(I just have to throw in here that I actually bought scrapbooking scissors in order to make those invitations, and I am having a hard time reconciling myself to that fact. I also completely ruined my best little pair of super sharp scissors. But they're totally cute, no? Really, I've lost all hope of being cool.)


September 27, 2007

Jerry Lewis, Meet Jerry Lee Lewis

When you make a big pot of chili for dinner, and when your husband dices up a serrano pepper to add to his chili for a little extra kick, you would do well to remind him to wash his hands before he goes tinkle after dinner.

"Goodness, gracious! My balls are on fire!"


September 26, 2007

Another meme I didn't get tagged for

I'm trying to read more mommy blogs. See, I just don't, really. But I should. I found this one and she'd written a lovely little post about boobies and so OF COURSE I had to sign up to be interviewed. She has boobs. To share.

Here goes:

Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.” I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions. If you don’t have a valid email address on your blog, please provide one. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Interview Questions:
1. What do you do to make yourself comfortable enough to fall asleep at night?
Oh, the possible ways I could go with this....I suppose I'll take the boring old honest route. I am a tummy sleeper. You can always tell when I'm about to fall asleep because I will roll onto my tummy. Before bed, I have to have a cup of tea. I like to have a cookie, too. I have to have something on top of me (*snicker*) like a blanket or a throw. I cannot ever sleep without a blanket. Also, I have to be totally dressed, and not just in a nightgown or something. I have to be in a SHIRT and BOTTOMS and SOCKS if it's chilly enough*.

2. What are 3 nice things you can say about your physical appearance/body (These should be real compliments, not criticism veiled as compliments :))
I have great calves. Really, I do. They are one of the few areas on my body that survived the recent war on my uterus. I also have great eyes. You can't tell as much now that gravity has had 32 glorious years to work it's magic, but they point up, not out or down like normal eyes do. I like it. Oh, I have to best lips in the whole wide world. I could be a lip-model or a blow-job stunt double. Did I just go too far? Yep, sure did.

3. Who would you rather kiss? Bill Maher or any woman in the world of your choosing?
Oh, shit, this is hard. There are a few girls I'd give my left kidney to make out with, but I don't know if I could pass up a chance to kiss Bill Maher. There's something compelling about the cocky, arrogant, famous, small-penis sort of man**. (And, between you & me, he is crude and obnoxious and uncouth, but I think at the heart of it he's really smart and incisive.)

4. Why do you think some guys put truck balls on their trucks? (We're driving through Indiana and are behind a huge orange truck with the balls swinging from the trailer hitch. It's so bizarre.)
I truly, with all of my heart, hope to hell they do it to look at the faces of the people in the car behind them. Because honestly, if I thought that there were a group of people in this world that thought that was cool, I just don't think I could go on.

5. From Scout: Bowling: Is it just an excuse for guys to go drink on Friday nights, or is it a legitimate Olympic Sport?
Don't you be talking smack about the bowling. If you don't think bowling takes muscles and skill and a vast knowledge of geometry, GO BUY A Wii. Your world will never be the same. And your body will never ache so badly.

*This answer, sadly, give you no clue as to how completely neurotic I am about going to sleep. There can be no lights or noise of any kind, my hair cannot touch my neck or face and has to be tucked in behind my ear on the right side ONLY, my pants legs have to be pulled down to an even and equal length, not too far below or above my ankle. My right arm has to be behind my head until I roll on my tummy, at which time BOTH arms getting crossed under my boobs, left arm on top of right arm always, and the blankets have to be above my shoulders but not touching my chin. You're never going to sleep with me now, are you?

**Yes, I have a crush on Bill Maher. I also have a crush on Drew Carey. Don't you judge me.

Since it is Wednesday, and I tried and failed to take pictures of the body parts laid out in question #2, but now can see lots of lovely spots, I will instead give you a picture of my best friend Jessica (who just went back to Costa Rica yesterday and who happens to be 4 months pregnant now) with me, in Durango, CO, at a wedding, sweating our asses off, a bit drunk and truly, madly, deeply in love.

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September 25, 2007

Tales of crazy screaming mullet pirates

First things first: I'll average the reaction to the scampi and give it a solid 8. (I KNOW; I can't believe it, either.) 1of3 vowed to eat not one single bite, but I have that nasty-mom-'take-one-bite'-rule, and it turns out he lurves it. 2of3 liked it, but mostly just liked the pasta. 3of3 ate broccoli and pineapple. She's refined like that. All in all, it was a hit.

And now I will bore you with stories of my retarded family.

Josh took the boys to get haircuts. 2of3 sits down in the chair to get a cut and the lady asked what grade he was in. His reply, in one breath with no pauses at all, was, "I'm in 2 I was in grade 1 so now I'm in 2 I'm seven I hate my older brother it SUCKS to be seven." The lady laughed so hard she had to walk away for a minute. She came back and asked him how he liked his hair cut, and he told her he wanted a mullet.

I have no response to that.

Josh got a haircut, too. He's trying to grow it out after 35 straight years of the exact same cut, and so he has to re-train it. Re-training it means he has to walk around all day with a do-rag on his head. The only thing we have that even comes close to working for this is a Tiger Cub bandanna, and so he has spent two full days with a bright orange rag on his hair. He has decided that this makes him Captain Jack Sparrow. He runs around saying arrrrgh. He calls me matee. It's funny. We were on the deck and he flicked a bee, mid-air, away from us and said, "You know why I can flick a bee while it's flying? 'Cause I'm a pirate." Another bee landed on the floor by his feet and he kicked at it. He missed, and as he jumped into the air to stomp on the bee, he exclaimed, "Argh! I am a PIRATE!"

*splat* Pirate: 1 Bee: 0

While they got haircuts, 3of3 and I were getting groceries and as we walked down the aisles, we passed a man who gave me that look; that look that either means, "Isn't that baby cute? I have a baby, too. Maybe they could be friends" or "Isn't that baby cute? That chic sure does make a good looking kid. Maybe I could procreate with her, too". Those looks are hard to distinguish. Anyway, shortly thereafter tiny little aliens flew their tiny little mothership into my daughters' nose and started eating through her brain with razor sharp tiny teeth (well, that's what it sounded like; maybe she just wanted candy) and the same man passed us again. He stopped, turned to my little banshee and me, and said, "Wow. She sure is cuter when she's not screaming."

I agree, fully.


Let's have a moment of silence

...for Marcel Marceau , who died today, and no one heard a thing.


September 22, 2007

Rate the Hate the Third

We're trying to eat seafood at least once a week, since we love it with a capital L and who knows if we're going to get transferred to Des Moines or something next year. We gotsa squeeze it in while we can.

This week's dinner is Shrimp Scampi, which is so much more unbelievably easily to make at home than you think it is. The thing is, it cooks up really fast, so you have have have to prep everything first. No exceptions.

First, set 1/2 pound linguine to boil. Angel hair is nice, too.
You simply take a pound of raw shrimp and toss it with 2 tsps of your favorite seafood seasoning (gratuitous Emeril Essence plug again). Add 2 tsp of olive oil and 1/4 cup butter to a skillet and heat on med-high (um, I never, ever use high heat. For anything. Ever.) Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes, turn them, add 1 1/2 tbsp garlic and 1 tbsp capers (which I usually skip unless Josh is home) and cook for 30 secondsish. Now you need liquid. White wine is yummy, but I use 1/2 chicken stock or vegetable stock instead, 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons squeezed) and 2 more tbsp butter. I like butter. Sue me. Cook that for about 1 1/2 minutes. Sprinkle on a little salt, a little more pepper and some fresh parsley on top. Put the cooked pasta on a platter and dump the whole saucepan on top of it.
That's it. It takes less that 10 minutes.

The question is: Do you think they ate it? Or, to make it easier, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you think they hated it? 1 being Best. Dinner. Ever. and 10 being We're Called Child Services and the Food Network to tell on you, you horrible, horrible woman.


September 21, 2007

I am a twelve year old boy

While I was in Denver a few months back, Josh went out to get bottles for the baby. See, she only takes a bottle at bedtime and on the rare occasion that she consents to a nap. So I only have 2 bottles. It's fine, really; I don't need anymore than that. But, truth be told, her bottles were getting a little ratty from wear and they did need to be replaced. And good on Josh for taking the initiative there.

I don't think he's ever bought bottles before.

They don't sell the brand of bottle she likes here, and he was forced to get something new. One of the boys used Playtex bottles, and my guess is that he saw the name and thought that would be right. My guess is that he's also never heard of a drop-in bottle. I get home and he tells me that he bought her bottles, and showed me them

He said, "I don't get it. They have a bag in them. She hates them."

Why, of course she hates them. She hates everything. But, he'd bought them and I figured we'd give'm a try. These bottles come with a liner that drops into it. It's supposed to cut down on the air in the bottle or something, and it makes cleaning them much easier. I ran out to the store to get a pack of liners for this thing so we could try to use it. I got the box of liners

brought it home and opened it up. Brace yourselves. This is where it gets good:

Remind you of anything? Here. have another look:

Yes, some sicko said to his wife one night, "You know, dear, these things really aren't working out for us, but I bet they'd make a lovely liner for a baby bottle." Now, I get it that when you're on your 4th month straight of post-partum depression and no sleep, you need nothing more than a good, hearty laugh every now and again, but seriously; nothing that looks even remotely like this is coming anywhere near my daughter for the next 30 years. Period.


September 20, 2007

The baby's side

(Shhhh....I'm supposed to be sleeping right now, but what that old hag don't know won't kill her...)

Hey guys. My mom's been talking some smack about me and I think it's my turn to get my 2 cents in. First, the stroller. She's raging on and on about how I snuck some lipstick and she couldn't see me because I was in the stroller. Well, I didn't even want to be in the stroller. She put some stupid belt around my waist and buckled it, and I had to attempt a jail-style prison break. I really did! I even managed to get one whole arm free, but a leg got stuck in the loop instead. Hey, I'm short; it happens. It's not my fault she made me sit in that thing.

And let's talk about that stroller. I did not want that stroller. We went to the baby store for one and I found the stroller OF MY DREAMS. It was HOT pink and had Dora the Explorer all over it. It was beautiful. She found this piece of crap.

Look at's HUGE. I mean, she can strap my 7 year old brother into it, too. And no trace of Dora anywhere. Dumb, huh? I told her not to buy it. I said no, I grabbed at the Dora stroller, I hollered and pointed, I tried to climb the display rack. What part of me throwing myself on the floor screaming doesn't this chick get? The Dora stroller didn't even have a canopy on top, so she totally would have seen me getting her lipstick if she'd only bought the right stroller. Not. My. Fault.

And the lipstick? Pink. Pink is MY favorite color. Hers is orange. If she buys pink things, I naturally assume they are for me. What, does she want me to ask nicely? Um, please is for candy. Period.

And what grown woman takes a toddler shopping? For UNDERWEAR? There is nothing shiny in that store, there was not one puppy for me to look at. No one offered me a lollipop or a book to read or anything. The last thing I want to do on a perfectly good Monday afternoon is look at old women's knees while they buy black pieces of string sewn together that they call underwear. People, I know underwear. I have underwear. This is what underwear looks like:

That junk was NOT underwear. And to top it all off, Brainy Smurf over here gave me chocolate ice cream. Um, I'm one. You may as well hand me a 6 pack of Red Bull and a White Cross. Of COURSE I needed an apple. She gave me mall lunch and then ice cream. Duh. Apples make my teeth strong and make me poop in one big turd instead of that goo she's always bitching about. Woman, I suggest you start picking your battles better.

And thank you, blog readers. for hearing my side, too. We all know you just come here to look at sweet pictures of my beautiful face anyway.

Your Loving,



I almost forgot!

It's Wednesday. I owe you a picture. This one is of me, very f*#ing pregnant, and my goofball, greaser kids. I post it only because of how big my boobs were in this picture, and we seem to be on boobs this week. Trust me, they needed their own satellite system.


September 19, 2007

Victoria's Secret needs a produce section

The other day, 3of3 and I went to the mall. To buy bras. See, I only own 2 bras. I just never think to buy them and when I have to, inevitably someone needs a new backpack or track shoes or another brand new set of golf clubs. Again. Bras are expensive. They have to be budgeted in. And I hate spending money on myself. Anyway, I finally decide that it had to be done, no matter what, so the baby and I head off to the mall. We stop for lunch first and then pop into another store to pick up a pair of pants for me because I am now wearing a size of pants that I ain't never gonna tell you, and then she starts screaming. Ugh.

What stops screaming? Chocolate ice cream cones, that's what.

We head to the undie store and she is now fully chocolate dipped, but she's happy. I have no idea what size bra I'm in these days, so it takes me a minute to look around and grab a few that look like they might work. She's still quiet, and so we press on.

About this point is when I start noticing a few women giving her looks, and then giving me looks, and not the "oh isn't she sweet" looks, either. A salesgirl walked by us and said "GOD. What happened to that kid?" A little toddler hand shoots out from the stroller and not only is it chocolate brown, it's pink on top of that. The little hand grabs a bra beside her. Her little hand leaves what looks like a paint print on the bra. I look in the front of the stroller and holy god in heaven the kid is up to her eyeballs in filth. It appears that she has gotten into my purse while I was looking at undies and grabbed my lipstick, lipstick that costs more than she does, and smeared it all over herself. Her eyelids, her ears, her whole face, the front of her shirt, her Crocs, everything is covered. The stroller is covered.

I. Could. Die.

At this point I decide that I have come this far and I am seeing this shit through. We go into the changing room and I get my top off and a bra on and she starts screaming at the very tip top of her lungs. SCREAMING. BLOOD F*#ING MURDER SCREAMING.

Nothing will stop her. I try to ask her please, to let momma do this one thing, that it's really important and that momma's boobies are so saggy that she's going to start wearing them as boots soon if she doesn't get a new bra or two and dear god child will you just stop with the crying for 2 more minutes and here's another tube of lipst......

And that's when I stopped. Sagging boobs be damned. I cannot replace that lipstick. They don't sell my brand in Canada.

I totally started crying.

What's a girl gotta do to get a bra around this joint?

She screamed all the way out of the mall, across the parking lot, into Safeway where we had to pick up some milk and the screaming continued without letup or sympathy from passers-by until we passed the apples.

*sniffle* Appool? Momma, appool. Wan appool." And that was it. No more crying, no nothing. Especially no bras.



Arizona passed a new law today. It's a big enough deal there that my sister in law called to tell me about it.

Beginning Wednesday, new penalties include mandatory ignition-interlock devices
for first-time offenders, increased fines and a minimum of 45 days in jail for
super extreme DUI convictions.




September 18, 2007

It's time to play Ruin My Kids' Life!

(First things first: Popcorn? Big fat Zero. They hated it. It gave them The Pukes.)

Being a housewife and a stay-at-home-mom gets lonely. Eventually it starts to wear at you, and you find yourself doing things, private things, things you are ashamed of, things you don't want anyone to know you've done.

Like watching SuperNanny. Please don't tell anyone.

So, I'm watching SuperNanny last night, and though I don't agree with a lot of things on that show, I always find something that makes me say "Huh?". Like last night, and something about chores. I had a whole post written about how I am struggling in the chores department and how maybe I needed some advice. And then SuperNanny came to the rescue.

She set up this system for the family in question with a fishbowl full of felt fish with magnets on them. Each one had a chore written on it. The kids took a homemade fishing pole (stick+magnet+string) and went fishing for chores. They each got 2, and then they did them.

It's brilliant.

My struggle is in assigning them chores and keeping it balanced. It's tempting to give 2of3 the easy ones, because, well, he's short. He's always going to be short. And 1of3 is really, oddly tall. They get a little pissy with me for picking chores that they don't think are fair. But this way, oh this way, this way it's off of me and onto fate. *clouds part, angels sing* I am SAVED!

So here's my question: What kinds of chores are good for a 9 and a 7 year old? It's not that I didn't have chores as a kid, it's just that my brother and I did EVERYTHING. We did all the cooking and all the cleaning and I don't think that my worldview on chores is realistic for normal children. And here's where you come in. I need to put, oh, 6-10 chores in this fishbowl and I would like to offer you the chance of a lifetime! The chance to make my poor, abused children suffer with HOUSEWORK. What chores did you do at that age? What did you wish your mom made you do when you became an adult and suddenly realized you had no clue how to do it?

Rules: I am never going to let them cook more than tacos. I will not let them use strong cleaners, like bleach or lye or anything. I can barely change the baby's diaper, so that one's out for the kids. Aside from that, it's open season on the boys' Wii time. Have at it.


September 17, 2007

45 kids are missing, and no one's talking

If any of you have, or know someone who has, gone through the process of international adoption, you will know that it ranks right up there with full-tilt Spice Girls in the world of inhumane torture. The pay off? Huge. The getting there? Horrifying. If you haven't, or you don't, please, just for today, throw away your preconceived notions about it. It's arduous. Not only do you end up paying the cost of a small civilization, you wait. And wait. And wait. Your country of choice just doesn't tell you anything, and they don't tell you anything for what can be years. The people who sign up for this do it for their own very personal reasons, reasons that are not ours to judge. In the end, they just want to be moms and dads. They just want a child. It's an uphill battle that I am watching a few friends go through right now, and I am totally in awe of those people.

Now, just've decided after a long and exhaustive process to adopt from, oh, say, Guatemala. You do everything you're asked to do, gotten all the proper DNA testing, things move along slowly, and then you finally receive word of your child. You start getting pictures. You put together the baby's room. You have a date set to go meet your son, and a date following that to bring him home. And then, one day, you find out that the government has raided the orphanage and are blocking the entrance, with assault rifles. And then you find out a week later that someone has come in the night and taken all 45 children out of the orphanage.

And that's all you hear. The children are just gone.

Until, of course, you hear that 9 of the babies have shown up in hospitals.

The problem here is that this is not a hypothetical situation. It's very real and very happening right now. How does this affect you? Not one bit, probably. But 9 out of 10 of you, dear readers, are in Denver and this is really affecting one Denver man, who happens to be one of my very best friends. 9News has run a story on this. You can also watch the interview here. Another families' story is here.

Casa Quivira is the adoption agency in question, and since this event there have been many statements coming out about how the children housed there were obtained illegally, how the care of the children is substandard, and so on. Now, there is precious little coming out of Guatemala about this, but the parents who have already adopted from there are saying loud and proud that these allegations are false and that their children were healthy and loved and cared for. Like this family:
With regard to the allegations that the children were in poor health before
"bienestar" took over - while I know that data is not the plural form of
anecdote - my pediatrician described my son (home from CQ in July) as "one of
the healthiest internationally adopted kids I've ever seen."
There is a battery of DNA testing run on the children, and I can't speak for anyone else, but I know that Russell's child's testing all matched the proper people.

The long story short is that 40-some children were taken in the middle of the night, and no one knows where they are. One of those children has a home in your community, with a wonderful man who just wants to be a dad. There is almost not one thing we can do about it, but we can
contact the Guatemalan Ambassador to the United States and ask questions. We can start talking about this. We can make a stir. Maybe we can spread the word through the Internet and get some answers. Even if they end up being the answers we don't want, some news is better than no news and missing children. And so, I guess I'm asking for your help in getting this around.

Here's the letter Russell has sent out to his elected officials. It's much more eloquent than I could ever hope to be.

I ask your help with a frightening and urgent situation. My name is Russell
Johnston and I am adopting a baby boy from Casa Quivira in Antigua, Guatemala.
Casa Quivira housed 45 babies and small children, and provided a peaceful and
loving sanctuary and exemplary care for these children, including formula, food,
medicine, and most of all, individual and specialized attention. The care Casa
Quivira provided our children has been witnessed by other adoptive parents that
have visited Casa Quivira personally, along with video feeds and pictures we
have all seen of the orphanage.
On August 11, 2007, the Guatemalan government
conducted an unannounced, forceful and violent raid on Casa Quivira, and are now
standing outside the orphanage doors with assault rifles. The government took
over complete control of the orphanage and it’s inhabitants and arrested
orphanage attorneys illegally. Subsequently, the care and attention to the
children and cleanliness of the orphanage has deteriorated rapidly since the
government took control. The President’s Office on Social Welfare refuses to
allow orphanage workers to administer such basic things such as medicine, food,
formula, and hygienic care. These children were perfectly healthy in Casa
Quivira’s care before the government’s raid. Since the government took control,
9 of the 45 babies have been hospitalized.
Last night (August 23, 2007) the
situation became even more frightening. The Social Welfare Department removed
all children from Casa Quivira and have taken them to unknown location(s) –
nobody knows where they are. Most of these babies legally belong to their
adoptive families here in America, including my son, Luis Alberto Hernandez.
They also removed all the caretakers from Casa Quivira. This situation continues
to worsen daily and now seriously threatens the innocent lives of 45
I desperately need the following help from you. Please contact the
Guatemalan Ambassador to the United States, Honorable Guillermo Castillo, and
specifically ask Mr. Castillo the three following questions.
1. Why were the
children removed from Casa Quivira?
2. Where specifically were they
3. What is being done to advance the investigation of cases at Casa
Honorable Castillo’s contact information is:
Fax: 202-745-1908
If Ambassador Castillo hears from our
elected officials repeatedly, hopefully he will take action to obtain this
This is a dire and urgent situation. I ask that you, as my
elected official, do something in your power immediately to locate my infant
Parents involved in apotions in Guatemala are sounding off here.


September 16, 2007

Rate the Hate the Third

(The I only cooked dinner once this whole week edition)
Hey mom, what's this?

Um, popcorn.

No it's not; this is popcorn.
Oh, sweet children, come sit on your momma's knee and let her tell you a story....

A long time ago, back in the Stone Age, when your mother was young and Michael Jackson was black (*gasp*), the world was a very different place. TV was, like, four channels (one child passes out). We all had overdeveloped Extensor Digitorium muscles from changing the channels and using the phone by turning a dial. There was this noise in the phone if someone you were calling was on the line already, and it sounded like Armageddon. Computers were boxes the size of Topeka in rooms that your grandfather worked in. A few people got to have computers at home, like your grandfather, and they weighed more than the 3 of you combined, but had a handle and so they felt convenient, and if you wanted to play chess you had to write the code in DOS (which I could, because I rocked), and if you looked at the screen for long enough the whole world turned black with hot green dots. People had as many remote controls as they had children with hands, and there were NO MICROWAVES.

Yes, dears, people actually took dried up bits of corn and put them into pots with scorching hot oil in the bottom and waited. And then the kernels popped, higher and higher. If you were smart lazy, you just bought Jiffy Pop, but most people did it this way. One day someone invented an air-popper, and then later came the glorious microwave. All so you could have a snack, dears. The world loves you.

But, mawwwwm, what did it taste like?

Wanna know? I'll make you some right now.

(pop poppedy pop)

The question is: Do you think they ate it? Or, to make it easier, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you think they hated it? 1 being Best. Snack. Ever. and 10 being We're Called Child Services and the Food Network to tell on you, you horrible, horrible woman.


September 15, 2007

Hi again

So, here's the deal. I cannot handle the comment thing anymore. So I moved the blog. But in the interests of not making you all move with me, AGAIN, I am in the slow, painful process of cutting and pasting all of the old posts over here. (Blogger really like to make you WORK for it.) I redirected you all here. Yes, the colors are different, but when you are going back and forth and back and forth from tab to tab cutting and pasting, you need it to look a bit different or, well, things go wrong. Things like no comments.

If, for some very strange reason, you find yourself unable to go on any further in life without my previous 98 posts, or you have a green deficiency that only I can fill, the old blog is all still there. Just click here.


September 14, 2007


I've done the breakdown of you, my dear readers, based on the comments left last week. It's pretty interesting, those results:
  • One guy is trying to make atonement (it's made, by the way)

  • One guy was surfing for blue-collar porn

  • One dad has a Tron fetish (we'll lump that in with the porn)

  • One guy apparently likes prolonging torture

  • One guy tripped and fell on me (like I've never heard that before)

  • Two dads who are contractually obligated to read this mess

  • One mom is plotting to steal my kid

  • Three moms think I'm funny

  • One chick just loves me

  • Two single, hot, kidless chicks fueled by jealousy

That totals 14 readers. There's no way that's right, but heck, lurkers lurk. Lurk on, lurkers.

50% of my readers are men, 28.57% of whom are perverts. 35.71% of my readers have no children. 22.22% of you have no children and no uterus. 14.2% of girls have no kids, and 100% of those girls have dogs the same way I have kids. Not that they got them the same way, because that's just gross, but that they adore their dogs and they walk them more th....oh, you get it. I should also mention that my cousin Kathy reads it, and she is A) related to me, B) a mom and C) and this is the whammy....CANADIAN! That means that she is the one person reading that really, truly fits what should be my target demographic. Hi, Kathy!

That's right; I showed my work. That gets me a 1 grade letter higher test score, thank you very much. Thanks for playing, those who did. Those who didn't, and you know who you are, go play now!


Girls. I apologize

Why? Because my sons are going to make terrible husbands someday. They will not help around the house. Even if you pay them.

I PAY them to make those beds. Looks like I just saved a buck today. And, um, the laundry basket is TWO inches from the newly formed pile of laundry. Two whole inches.

They are not toilet trained. This I can understand

But this? Come on. #1, seat UP. Period.

And while I'm at it....did you know that Sharpie makes a super permanent industrial strength permanent marker?


did I.


September 13, 2007

I'm too hot for the PTA

2of3 is, by being two-of-three, the middle child. This is a role that he embraces whole-heartedly. I swear he's got a check list of house rules that he keeps stashed under his pillow, and every night before beds plots full-fledged warfare on another one. His favorite (and my least favorite) to break is the "You MAY NOT ask for playdates rule". We have this rule because he will ask anyone within a 5 mile radius for a playdate, regardless of their schedules, our schedule, or their level of body odour. It's seriously the single most annoying thing he does. And he's really convincing in his requests. He will convince a full grown adult that his mother and he and the child of the adult in question have taken thorough steps to plan the world's best playdate ever, ensuring that the parent will say "yes" without a moments hesitation, because they naturally assume that they have forgotten some key element of this arrangement, they must have just forgotten, if this kids mom is in the know.

Dear Vancouver Parents,

I am NOT in the know.

This little tick my son has causes me to have a house full of children all the time. In Denver, it caused my son to go home from school with a random assortment of other parents. Like I said, he's convincing. So convincing that school administrators fall for it.

Yesterday, as the boys were coming in the door from school, 1of3 ran upstairs to tell me that 2of3 had made a new friend at school and that they wanted a playdate. He then told me that the kid was here, and so was his dad. I go to the door and there, sure enough, is a random child, with his random little brother, and his random dad, too. 2of3 had totally convinced this guy that his son was due for a playdate at Chez Mr. Lady and that his mom (me) was totally ok with it and that the kid was to just walk home with my kids. At least the dad had the sense to walk with them. But he really believed that this was a planned thing, and maybe he'd just forgotten about it somehow.

What's fun about this is that we were going out for fancy-pants dinner last night and I was just about ready to leave for the dinner when the boys came home. And so, unlike a normal mom on a normal afternoon, answering the door in yoga pants and a ponytail, I answered the door in this...

With the hottest red lipstick you've ever seen. With my strappy red heels. With my hair all done, curled in that way you can curl you hair in a few random pieces that makes it look as though at one point it was perfectly curled and then you spent a very engaging afternoon in the naked company of someone else.

I looked, hot. Way hot. Way too hot for a mom at 3:30 in the afternoon. I wish I had a camera in my hand so you could see the look on this guy's face as I opened the door.

I cannot wait for the first PTA meeting.


In the kitchen

I am tired. Why? Because yesterday after 12 hours and 4 airplanes, Josh came home. And he liked my hair. And we stayed up awwwll night long....
Watching Top Chef.

Do you ever watch that show? I, personally, have never missed an episode. I heart it. I don't love how the producers get to keep some people who clearly need to go, just for dramatic flare. But otherwise, I think it's fun. I like to think of how I would do on the challenges they give, and usually I'd do amazingly, astonishingly badly. Last nights', however, I instantly had a really great idea for. It was upscale BBQ. I think I'd have won that one, for sure. The only other one in the history of the show that I knew without a doubt I would have nailed was the one where they had to cook a meal and the only ingredients they could use had to be purchased at a convenience store. Kwik-E-Mart cooking? Yeah, I've got that.

And so, in honor of my very hot welcome home night with my husband, today's picture is of me. In a kitchen. It's killing me to show you this, by the way.

This was taken by my friend Jen, and I think that maybe I'm just 21 in it? Why, yes, my shirt DOES say "Oregon Makes Me Wet". How kind of you to notice! (It's a pun, a play on words? Get it? Dude, that was seriously my favorite shirt. I said I had a great ass; I NEVER said I had taste.) I had this habit of running around, vacuuming, answering doors, whatever, in nothing more than a t-shirt and a pair of undies. Just ask the-other-Josh. He and my friend JD came over to say hi one day and I answered the door in a different t-shirt, but dressed just like you see me up there. Fun part? I locked myself out. Funner part? Josh & JD had to scale my townhouse to try to get on the roof to try to break in a window. That failed, but we did find some G.I. Joe paratroopers on the roof whose parachutes had never been used and ended up having a grand old time waging warfare on each other. Of course, I was wearing next to nothing at the time, and I'd be willing to wager that Josh and JD had a significantly better, if not less self-conscious, time than I did.

Anyway, I like to cook, it rains alot in Oregon, Josh and I have been married way too long. And there's your Wednesday dose of pictorial horror.


September 11, 2007

Coffee, anyone?

My friend once pointed out to me that I took my coffee like I take my men; white, with a lot of shit in them. It's not actually so true anymore; I just take it white now. But a lotta white. Like, Gap Khaki white. And that is just about dead on. (I don't mean that so much in the skin color way as I do the sterotypical behavior sort of way. I back that with the fact that if I were to ever run into this guy in a darkish alley, I'd have to spend a considerable amount of time after in one of those Catholic Confession booths. Oh, how he makes me swoon.)

I think about that sometimes, and I wonder if that analogy works for other people, too. I know that The Retropolitan takes his coffee hot and ready in less than 30 seconds. And his women. So we're 2 for 2. I think Molly takes her coffee straight, and if I compare that to the one boyfriend of hers I've ever known, I'd call that a match. Dark, steamy. Yup, that's him. My friend S likes decaf, and just like the men in her life, she likes them, a lot, but there ain't no way she's going to let them make her all high-strung and crazy. Josh likes his coffee at really inappropriate hours of the day, and if I say anymore, I'll cross that imaginary line we have set up.

So, what about you? I think I know you all just well enough.....tell me what kind of coffee you drink and I'll over-psycho-analyze it.

Update: Hubs likes bad coffee. Bad, evil, naughty coffee. And Alison, have you every considered tea? Sarah likes hers, um, well, just like mine. It's a good thing I'm taken have my own coffee pot, 'cause I think we'd be fighting over guys cappuccinos. Molly occasionally likes hers hammered (don't we all) and Blake likes his fast and artificially sweet. Blake, have you ever tried to meet Britney? I think it might be destiny. And my brother, well, if I read that right, I think he was trying to say that he's a no-nonsense coffee kind of guy. And that is about right. His wife? Awesome. But not one to be fooled around with too much.

You Are an Espresso

At your best, you are: straight shooting, ambitious, and energetic

At your worst, you are: anxious and high strung

You drink coffee when: anytime you're not sleeping

Your caffeine addiction level: high



Oops #1: apparently, I can't keep my quarts and my ounces straight. Thanks, Andy Bortong, for setting me straight.

Oops #2: I was trying to talk on the phone tonight, and 2of3 needed help getting onto some website or the other. Rather than set the phone down, I sent his 9 year old, supposedly literate brother to help him. I guess there's a site called Addicting Games dot com or something, and the boys like it. Just now, I checked my brower's little history thing and saw this, and I quote...

It doesn't actually go to anything, that GOD, but can you just imagine? Really?? That nearly really, really sucked.


Rate the Hate V 2.0 results

Um, you guys totally aren't playing along, here. Hey, I'm someone's mom and someone's wife. It's my job to nag.

So, they actually kind of liked it. 3of3 ate ALL the corn, 2of3 ate everyone's sausage, and 1of3 even ate a little crab. I totally overcooked the shrimp, though.

And now, a question for you. Josh left the day before our anniversary for a business trip. He's been gone 5 whole days. He comes home tomorrow. My hair is significantly darker than it was before he left*. Do I tell him before he gets home, or just let him find out the hard way?

*If you ever go 5 whole days with almost no adult contact whatsoever and use up every board game and flash card pack you have with your kids and really need something to entertain both you and them, I highly suggest buying a hair dye kit at the store and giving your kids the plastic gloves and letting them go at it. It's freaking hilarious.


September 10, 2007

Manic Monday

I like to tell stories. It's sort of my thing. Almost anything is funny if you look at it from the right angle.

As a mother, though, there are just some stories you really don't want to tell. Because they're unexplainable.

For example, I'd really like to tell you how, after dinner, the kids were playing in the basement and after I heard the thud *Thud!* and the scream *Bwahhh!*, I went running down to the basement to find my little baby girl in her cute little pink outfit and her sweet little ponytail standing in the middle of the floor with her hands over her face and so much blood oozing from in between her tiny little fingers that I figured her eenice little nose had to be broken. I'd like to tell you how, as I pried her fingers away from her face, that I saw more blood than I thought her whole body contained smeared up her nostrils and in her mouth. I'd like to tell you about wiping away the blood and watching her baby lip swell up to the size of, well, honestly, a big grape, but it seemed more like a baseball at the time. I'd love to explain that I finally, after a fudgesicle and a bottle, got her to let me look in her mouth and realized that her perfect little razor sharp baby teeth had made a grand entrance into her little upper lip at a shockingly bold sort of angle, and how she fell asleep right after all this, at about 7 o'clock, and has been asleep ever since, leading me to believe that she may very well have sustained the first of what I'm sure will be many concussions.

But, see, if I tell you all that, then you'll ask me how it happened and I will be left with no choice to tell you the answer, that answer that I will, myself, never fully understand.

Her brother, very unintentionally, dropped a mattress on her.


Rate the Hate V. 2.0

I forgot to post this yesterday, and now it's Sunday, but let's just ignore that, K? The boys had their very first sleepover last night and we were totally busy having a Home Alone marathon. (Insert pity here)

This week's edition is a crab boil. Crab boils are super easy and if you happen to be a great big seafood freak like, say, Josh and I are, they are something you'll want to perfect. When Josh and I were dating and living with the 4 other guys, we always had "House Dinner" on Sunday. What can I say, we lived in a house with 6 people who were all freakishly outstanding cooks. We hated each other, but we sure liked to eat together. We did crab boils the old school way, where you lay a ton of newspaper on a table and dump the pot onto the table and everyone ate with their hands. It's a great party dinner. It, of course, is sorta impractical with 3 small children, though. So use plates.

Anyway, recipe:

You boil a ton of water in a big ass pot (a 12 oz. stock pot is perfect, ifin's you have one). You then add seasoning of some sort. Old Bay is the standard East Coast seasoning, but I am sold on this stuff. It's versatile and yummy and a good seasoning to have on hand, just in case. You dump what should be around 3 oz. into a cheesecloth and tie it up to make a seasoning pouch. Pu that in the boiling water and add a pound/a pound and a half of red skin potatoes. Boil it for 10 minutes or so. Add to that a pound or so of sausages (I like hot Italian) chopped into 2 inch pieces, 2 ears of corn cut in half, 2 quartered lemons, a quartered onion if it sounds good to you (I tend to skip the onion and instead throw in a few cloves of garlic). Boil that for 10 more minutes and then remove the potatoes, corn and sausage. Then you add a pound of shrimp to the boil. Some people throw the crab in, to, but I have one of those stock pots with a steamer on top, and so I boil the shrimp and steam the crab. You do as much crab as you like for how many you're feeding. I try to make sure everyone gets one leg at least. And don't do snow crab. Do a harder shell, like dungeness if you can get it or king. If you like mussels, which I do, steam some of those, too. Steam and/or boil it all for 3 to 5 minutes, until the shrimp is pink, and then throw the whole mix on the table, or in large serving plates. Sprinkle a little more of your seasoning on top of the whole thing. Add some hearty bread on the side, open a nice medium dry white wine, and you have a fabulous dinner for 4. At least for 4 grown-ups.

The question is: Do you think they ate it? Or, to make it easier, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you think they hated it? 1 being Best. Dinner. Ever. and 10 being We're Called Child Services and the Food Network to tell on you, you horrible, horrible woman.

I should mention here that, with the exception of pastries, I tend to not cook in measurements, per say. But, if you really like the idea of something you read here, it would be really easy for me to turn it into a proper recipe for you, complete with measurements and everything. Just let me know!


September 08, 2007

I have a favor to ask

But first, before I take my leave for the weekend, I have to mention that today, for the first time in the history of my mommydom, I am letting my children walk themselves home. They each have a toonie in their pocket

so they can get a treat from the corner store on their way home. We have rehearsed this walk a thousand times. It's safe, the other kids go home that same way, it's an easy downhill walk. I know all of this.

I am totally freaking out.

Anyway, I am going to ask you all for an eencie teencie little favor this weekend. See, there are quite a few of you who stop on by my silly little blog on a regularish basis, and I thought it might be fun if I actually knew who all of you were and how you stumbled upon my site. And so, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to click up there on the title of this post and say, "Hi, my name is Babelshneed and I tried to google Worst Mother Ever and here's where I ended up."

Or something like that. I'd love it if you did. All of you. Even you, Veronica.


September 07, 2007

On Anniversaries

9 years ago today, in a backyard in Arvada, Colorado, Josh married some girl named Lori. And in the end, it didn't count, legally speaking, and he had to marry me again later.

My wedding made very little sense. We are both Atheists and not only did we have a Jungian minister officiate, I made my very best friend in the whole world read all of the filthy passages from the Song Of Solomon at the ceremony. In front of her mother. Dude, I totally apologize.
She's so freaking hot. So is the guy, but he is a Buddhist minister and it's just not nice to say those thing about a man of the cloth. Even though I kinda accidentally saw his wiener the morning of the wedding. Another story, another day.

(It was 237 degrees out that day and everyone but me was dressed in black. Ouch.)

My dad, who, by the way, looks incredible in a tux. walked my to my doom.

I'm sure you're wondering what sage bits of wisdom he's imparting to me on my last walk as a single girl right there. He said, "You know, we don't actually have to do this. We could just turn around right now and go get a cheeseburger. It's your wedding; no one could stop you."

No, he wasn't getting off that easy. He handed me over, however begrudgingly,

and the ceremony began. Vows were exchanged. And Paige, the minister, Josh's mother's close friend, asked if he, Josh, took Lori to be his wife.


We giggled, everyone giggled, and he said yes.
And then I signed the marriage certificate on the wrong line, the groom's line, making the form null and void. It takes a while to get a new one, and so we weren't officially, technically. as far as Colorado the State was concerned, married for a few weeks after.

Afterwards, we took some pictures of everyone, and Josh's best friend, the guy on his knee, right there in front of Josh and god and everyone, stuck his hand straight up my skirt and grabbed my ass.

That's one of those things you totally forget about unless someone snaps a picture.

Josh's entire family on his mother's side showed up. Distant cousins and aunts from Canada flew in. People from Oregon and California came.
My family picture? Slightly smaller. And why on Earth my dad's wife though that a 1960's living room curtain was an appropriate wedding outfit, I will never know.
My very good friend, and florist for the day, announced to every one of our mutual friends that he had AIDS. Right there at my wedding. My sister-in-law brought an 8-ball to the reception. My dad made my brother stand behind a video camera the whole time. The guys all lit up huge cigars and huger joints in my step-grandfather's camper. One of my bridesmaids cheated on her boyfriend of 5 bazillion years with the hot Buddhist minister, also in my step-grandfathers camper. Josh and I got into such a fight that night that I packed my bags that night at our hotel and left.

Not your typical wedding. But that's the stuff that memories are made of, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
UPDATE: Blanks kindly filled in by Molly. I knew I was forgetting a few things.


September 06, 2007

Total Humiliation

I thought that in honor of back to school, I'd post this picture I found of me in kindergarten. It was my very first school picture day, and I had freshly cut hair thanks to my budding dreams of becoming a necklace designer and a very large piece of Hubba Bubba gum. I was wearing one of those little house on the prairie dresses with a red and white design that someone got the brilliant idea in 1979 or so to make fashionable, much to the dismay of many a thirty-year-old-girl today. I think I was missing at least one tooth. It's a freaking adorable picture.

I lost it.

And so, with a head hung in shame, I offer you the only other school picture I could find; the dreaded Senior Picture...

It's awful, isn't it? It is about the most ghastly thing I have ever seen. Nice hair, huh? You can thank my dad for that one. I asked him to trim it, and I ended up with something so wrong on so many levels that the hairdresser said she couldn't even save it and it all had to go. My friends called me Luke (as in Skywalker) up until I graduated. But on the bright side, just look at those collarbones. I love collarbones.

So there. I have sunk to almost my lowest depths for your reading pleasure. There is one worse picture, one picture that, like, two people ever have seen, but I'm saving that one for when the time is right.

On to the next: Today just so happens to be one year to the day that I took off in the middle of the night. I really have a bunch of profound shit to say about that, but I almost don't care. What a change has come over the past year. I do know this, though...I know that nothing like that is ever going to happen to me again, because I know I'm not going to let it happen. I learned that I don't need to be coddled, and that clingy gets me nowhere, and I know how to see when I'm being nothing more than a wretched little enabler, and I know that I will be totally ok even if it all falls to pieces tomorrow. I'm not afraid anymore. That's a big something coming from me. I am starting to understand that thing they say at AA about "detaching with love". That just means that yes, I love this alcoholic and yes, I care what happens to him but it has almost not one thing to do with me and my life. It means that I get to live my life and take care of my shit and though I can be kind and supportive and realistic about the recovery process, it no longer is dictating my daily existence. It's OK to not think about it. It's OK to just sit back and watch. And it's absolutely OK to do what I have to do, when I have to do it. Those are hard lessons for Captain Control Freak to learn.

I also learned that I have really close, supportive, loving people in my life that honest to god, I swear on the Bible, feel like family. They ARE family. I love them in a way that I didn't ever think I was capable of loving people. I love them in that hard way where you worry that you're a disappointment but you don't worry about your hair being a mess for dinner because you know that they know that sometimes, you just can't brush your hair. You can screw up the coconut cream pie and everyone giggles and moves on but you think a little harder before you go out for a night with the girls, because seriously, you don't ever want to let these people down. I think that's what family is all about. It's about silliness, and comfort, and compassion, and keeping your ass in check, even when life gets nuts and you don't much want to be in check. I learned a completely unbelievable thing, and that thing is that the girls who are your best friends in high school, when you're all hormonal and zitty and unsure and crazy, can not only stay your best friends but actually grow with you and walk your paths in life with you and share the rest of your life with you, and bring amazing, beautiful new people in with them. High school people. It's crazy.

Lastly, I think I learned that of all the things in life I bang my head against a wall for, my family is the most important. I learned that family can be whatever it has to be, but that for now, this family with these people is worth the anguish and the hardships and the fighting for. 'Cause, see, right now, everything is just fine.


September 05, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

First things first:

They hated the brownies. Like, took one bite and no more. Even Josh. Which left me, trying to cut out the carbs, with a whole pan of brownies to eat (I only ate half).

2of3 got himself a spanking. I mulled it over, I tried to talk myself out of it, but in the end I was left with no other options. He took it like a champ, and tried not to cry, and I tried not to cry, but we both did. And now I understand what they mean by this is gonna hurt me more than you. It really was no big deal, 'cause honestly I could barely bring myself to do it, and we had a good long hug afterwards and a few sniffles and he gave a grandiose sort of apology. His dad grounded him for the rest of the day and the next day he checked with me every single time we went on to a new thing. He even asked for his watch so he could keep track of the time he was out. I congratulated him over dinner on his excellent behavior and for showing so much responsibility and he said, "Yeah, I don't ever want to get a spanking again."


And that's all I have to say about that.
And now, the important stuff. Today was the Best. Day. Ever. Know why?
Back to school, baby. It was just an hour-long orientation, with all the new kids in the library. They made little "About Me" posters.

3of3 made one, too. She's got this school thing down. I guess there is something to be said for selling your soul to the PTA. It preps your kids for school, if nothing else.

Tomorrow they go full day, and all week they are spilt into "family groups" where the kids are mixed with other kids from all grade levels and they spend the week doing fun activities. I can only guess that this is to give the school administration time to sort the classroom. Not like they didn't have 2 whole months to sort the classrooms, but heck, this is Canada. Things just happen differently here. It is annoying me mildly, but the boys think it sounds like the funnest fun ever, so I'll roll with it. I'd have to roll with it anyway, so I might as well smile while I do it, eh?

So, Monday we'll meet the teachers. And then real life begins. And then I have to learn the metric system. To be perfectly honest, I am totally afraid of the metric system. We'll see how it goes.

But, for now, here we are in the land of sack lunches and pencil shavings in the carpet, jackets for the cooler weather, sneakers squeaking on linoleum floors. Ahh, school. It never gets old.


Longest. Sentence. Ever.

Don't you just hate it when you've known for a long time that you want something, like, say, a fancy new purse or a hot pair of red shoes, but you can't quite figure out exactly what it is that you specifically want until one day when it's just, like, it's BAM, right there in front of you, and is the most totally obvious thing ever and you can't even believe it took you so damn long to put your finger on it but then you realize that time and age and perhaps, in some small way, the prejudices of others are, now that you've got it, defined it, named it, going to keep you from it even just temporarily and now that you know with all your heart, with perfect clarity, what it is and that you must have it the thought of waiting for it is sheer agony as every slow, long minutes passes by without it, that ONE thing that's going to fill your heart with true joy?

Yeah, I hate that, too.


September 03, 2007

Houdini Stikes Again!

2of3 disappeared again. He's done it a few times since the last biggy, but I'm learning how to handle it. There are a series of kids he like to play with, and usually by just peeking in the carports of those kids, I can find a skateboard or a bike that looks familiar and hence find my errant son. I've figured out all the "cool" spots in the woods, and now I know where best to shout.

The difference is that today, his dad was home to see it. It's not such a big difference to him, but it does give me some credence with daddio.

Today, the boys were going to run errands with their dad. 2of3 was out skateboarding and dad told him he had 10 minutes. 10 minutes came and went and when dad and 1of3 went out to find 2of3, well, he was no where. They looked in all the carports, they checked all the hiding spots. No kid. Dad got that look in his eye, the oh shit maybe we should call the cops look. We checked our carport and the skateboard was back, but the bike was gone. And that's when I had him.

The kid 3 doors down is 14 and my boys adore him. He takes them (with my permission) on bikes rides outside of our little neighborhood. They love it. Mr. 14 is soon to start babysitting for us; he's a really good boy and unbelievably nice to my kids. Anyway, missing 2of3 + missing bike = excursion with Mr. 14. And just like that, I found him. Across the big street, in the neighborhood over there, out of earshot, having a grand old time.

This has happened too many times. I do not ever want to be the parent who is used to the idea of not knowing where her kids are. Part of me says that I know he's going to do this and that maybe I should just work around it. You know, plop a cell phone in his pocket or something when he goes out to play. (I have actually done that a few times, withmy cell phone, and it does have its advantages). And then the other part of me says that I have this one little tiny rule for him, this don't leave the neighborhood without asking me rule, and there is no reason on Earth he can't follow it.

I have tried everything. I grounded his ass for a week solid, I have taken away allowance, tv, the precious Wii. I have reasoned with him. We had the stranger danger talk. I have cried. I have hollered. None of it is sinking in.

It appears to me I have only a few options:
  • Buy the kid a god damn cell phone
  • Ground him until he's 17
  • Give him a screwdriver and make him take the bike apart, piece by piece, and hand it to the trash collector in a bag on Tuesday
  • Spank his butt.

Ok, I'm not buying him a cell phone. I'm just not. He's SEVEN, for Christ's sake, and dad's saving up for 3of3's pony.

Grounding him sounds great, on the surface, but he will make sure my life is a living hell until I throw him outside by the collar of his shirt. And the last thing I want is a little 7 year old inside glued to a damn tv all day.

Taking the bike apart would be devilishly fun, but it's his dinky old bike and he's got the world's best bike in Denver which will be here shortly. Wasted effort is all that would be.

Spanking his butt is what I'm down to. The problem is that I don't want to spank his butt. I don't believe in spankings. Sure, they've both had them before, but I hate hate hate them. I think they should only be used in emergency situations, like skinning the neighbors cat or playing doctor with the girl all the boys have kissed. But what else can I do? Nothing, nothing is getting through to him. Something has to sink in or he's going to disappear for good one of these days and I will die a thousand horrible deaths because I was too chicken shit to spank my kid.

He's going to be home in an hour or so; I have until then to decide. Sometimes I hate being the parent.


September 02, 2007

Rate the Hate the 1st Edition

We're starting with dessert, because, um, we're grown ups. We can start with dessert if we want.

Josh has a brownie problem. Read: He stopped drinking and took up brownies. I decided to bake him some this week. Now, I bake a fine brownie from scratch, and sometime they're fun to make, but truth be told, these brownies are so freaking much better than almost every brownie I've ever eaten and are so easy a kid could make'm that I hung up making them from scratch a few years ago.

Buuuuut, I wanted to make something nice, not just out of a box, and so I decided to throw a cheesecake-ish topping on them. It's super easy, really:

For every stick of cream cheese you use, you add 1 egg and 1/3 cup white sugar. You could add a little vanilla or a raspberry swirl or chocolate chips if you wanted to, but I like it plain. If you're doing an 8X8 pan of brownies, just do the measurements for one stick. A 13X9 takes two. Blend the eggs, cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl (not too much or it'll get stiff, just enough so it's not lumpy and workable). Spoon it on top of the unbaked brownies, spread it around gently to cover the whole top and cook it at 400 for, like, 45-50 minutes. You know, toothpick check it at 45 minutes. Let it cool all the way and then slice it.

It's my favorite "you think I worked my ass of on this dessert, but I didn't" dessert. It's totally good.

The question is: Do you think they ate it? Or, to make it easier, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you think they hated it? 1 being Best. Dessert. Ever. and 10 being We're Called Child Services and the Food Network to tell on you, you horrible, horrible woman.


September 01, 2007

Ode to Carbohydrates, on this, the last day of our aquaintance

Oh, carbohydrates, how I love thee.
Your versatility,
baked, toasted, smothered in cheese
You, oh carb, bring me to my knees.

I am of Irish decent, as you can plainly tell from my
freckled skin and absolute refusal
to tan.
you and I share a deep-rooted bond, a chemistry
created in history
handed down
through the ages
from man
to man.

You and I, we go
like Mr. Prosser and Genghis Khan,
a bond genetic and subtle.
Michael to the Don.

If there has ever been found a better vessel
for transporting butter to
my waiting mouth,
I have not met it.
My motivation to see this through is quickly heading south.

The way you caress every condiment and topping
thrown your way
olive oil
Is a mystery
a riddle
whose answer I cannot say.

Alas, dearest carbs, there is a problem deep at the heart of us
Against the laws of nature
fighting everything good and true
Something in me doesn't

The word allergic
too severe
but something is amiss;
I cannot deny
that my tuna sandwich is a TKO but my
tuna salad, delish.

I believe the word is sensitive
to carbs
battling nature and heredity
throwing caution to the wind
a love/hate affair:

my tongue loves
the rest of me hates.
Explain it? Accept it? I almost
don't dare.

My morning oats, sweet, creamy, good
Knock me out flat,
My energy straight down the drain
much like a tranquilizer
from the lips of an aborigine
straight into my neck, dead into a

How will I survive
the coming fall
my favorite season; the changing leaves
crisp, cool air
children in overpriced
begging for candies
without my annual pumpkin
all full of sugary goodness...
please, tell me the reason!

Some would say, "Use Splenda!"
That I cannot do.
Splenda tastes like old rich
New York women with big
at the mall shopping
for a cat named Mr. Pookie-Doo.

Dear Dr. Atkins, who told us it was
to live la vida low carb
would like me to abandon you
Straight protein? Too hard.

I can only imagine the smell
under my arms, in the pit of my knees,
that would come
with that
And the challenge pooing would bring.

Dearest carbs, I do not
abandon you with the intent of
weight loss
as it is so trendy to do.
There is nothing about my
cottage cheese
or my thighs that caution me against
that cannot be fixed in a
walking my kid through the zoo.

I take my leave of you with a heart
wondering how many
of whipped cream I can knock back
before I realize that
bowls of whipped cream do not
will never
constitute a sweet, tasty snack.