October 31, 2007

Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little boy like you

(I know, I used the same title last year. It's a good title.)

First, Andy:

Happy birthday, dear. It's been 3 years now that I've known you. Wowzas. You have been my constant friend, and stood by my side through one of the hardest times in my life, for absolutely no good reason I can think of. But I'm lucky, and glad for it, and always grateful for your friendship and your Tron fetish and your links. You make me want to be a better writer, and a better woman, and a better mother, and most of all, the thing I ain't never gonna forgive you for...you make me wish I lived in Thornton.

I wish you beers and smiles and trick-or-treats and all the happiness ever. I wish a little more I could do all of that with you. Maybe someday, maybe someday......

Second, Josh:

Today you turn 35, and I seriously cannot believe that you are actually 35 full years old. You were just a kid when I met you, all those years ago. I guess you're not a kid anymore. It's been 10 years, today, that we have been really, not so much on-again-off-again together (we're just not going to count last year) and though you have changed almost entirely and grown and learned and tripped and fell a few times, each time you get back up the core things are still there. The donut addiction, the love of all things shoe and eBay, the fact that you cannot not laugh at a fart, your taste in books and music, your obsession with Cholula and hair products....all that is still there and in a weird way defines you more than your role as a father, or someone's boss, or your demons ever will.

Your life thus-far has been some great ups, some big downs, and through it all you just keep trying to do it the best you can, to be a better man every day, to be graceful through it all. I am honored to have gone this far through it all with you, and I am more happy than I will ever find the words that my babies look like you and walk like you and burp like you. Thank you for sharing the past 12 years of your life with me.

I love you (both). Happy Birthowe'en!


Choose your poison

As I have said before, I am going to fail participate in NaNoWriMo as well as NaBloPoMo. That means that my laundry will fall sadly behind, my husband may finally catch me in the act of blogging, and you will have to sit through 30 days straight of bad, reaching posts. In the interest of consideration (and because I like this little gizmo), I thought I'd let you choose what I'm going to write about.

See, I crave structure. In my shirts, in my daily schedule, in my blog. I like to know what I'm doing, to have a central theme to write around. So far, that theme has been "Embarrassing myself and my children". Count your blessings, if you are a new-comer....the old blog's theme was "Pour my poor, broken heart out on the sidewalk and watch it ooze slowly into the cracks.

(Between you & me, I kinda liked that blog better.)

Anyway, we have 4 long weeks together, and so your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to choose 4 topics (one for each week) from the list below. If you have any other suggestions, leave them in the comments. I'll totally consider them.


October 30, 2007

Decision '07

I need your help. I have to order school pictures by TOMORROW and I can't decide which ones to go with. We all know how serial-killer-esque beautiful my boys look in pictures. Please, vote. Today. Baby books and Gigi's are counting on you!

Your choices are 1:
2:3:And 4:

Choose one shot for each kid. Voting made easy here:


October 29, 2007

On footwear, or the lack thereof

These are all of the shoes I own:I know, you're waiting for the other pictures. There are no other pictures. That's it; just those. That would be totally fine if I were a beach-bum in college, but I am a mother of three in Vancouver, British Columbia where it rains like crazy. Britney Spears crazy. I need shoes.

Today, Josh took me out to fix this little issue, and bought me these:I paid more for those than I did for all over my other shoes. Combined. I'm dead serious; I did the math.

It's not that I couldn't have more shoes, it's just that I am a penny pinching cheap bastard and every time I think I could squeeze in a pair of shoes I then think about next stupid school fundraiser or the impending diaper purchase or replacing the area rug that I have had since I was single.

Anyway, now I have a decent pair of shoes and my husband totally has a crush on them. He's got a shoe thing. Someday I'll show you how many pairs of shoes he has.


October 28, 2007

Rate the Hate the two-part edition

First, breakfast.

The worlds' best french toast, ever. Add eggs, a hint of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, a big ol' pincha brown sugar and a splash of vanilla. Whisk.Dip some Texas toast or sliced french bread in that and cook in a frying pan on medium heat. Meanwhile, whip up some heavy cream with a good, big splash of vanilla (almond extract is yummy, too, if you have it), a tiny little dash of cinnamon, and an equal mix of white sugar and powered sugar. Whip that up until it shows stiff peaks. Plop the whipped cream on top of the french toast and put a bottle of sprinkles in the middle of the table.Healthy? Hell no. Delicious? Oh yeah. Pictures of kids mid-bite crack me right up.

Second: Damage control.

Ingredients: one copy of Babe, one DVD player, one TV, one very, very large box of animal crackers, one potty chair, one naked toddler. Place the movie in the DVD player, turn TV on. Place cookie box next to potty chair. Place toddler near the ingredients. Walk away. Go have a smoke, fold some laundry, whatever. Return ten minutes later to find the ingredients nicely combined.

Warning: Subsequent attempts at this will, in all probability, not be as successful as the first try. Enjoy it while it lasts.


October 26, 2007

There's something in the water

My family is growing.

No, no, not me. The factory is closed, thank you very much. But nieces are a'brewing, and I have one shiny new lurker.That would be Ms. Q, born on Wednesday, happy and healthy and still tired after the big move. Q, your momma is my #1 lurker. You have some big shoes to fill, my dear.

Also, my littlest sister, my step-sister T, is 20 weeks pregnant. She found out yesterday that she's having a baby girl. Of course she is; there hasn't been a boy born on her side of the family for two generations. Little Gracie Lynn is due to make a grand appearance on 2of3's birthday, the day of Relativity, the birthday of the great Albert Einstein.

There's one more, and this one is the one I am the mostest excitedest about. Of course, I can't talk about it just yet. Soon, though.....soon....


Bluer than Bleu?

I almost forgot about this weeks' dinner....they loved it. They love it every single time I make it. And why do they love it? Because they have absolutely no clue what goes in it. If I ever actually showed them a chunk of bleu cheese, I have no doubt that they would hop on the internet and find 5 different languages in which to tell me where I could shove that dinner. . Yes, that would be an empty plate that did not, at any point, contain chicken on frwaunch fweyes. (I feel like this is a great place to mention that my computer's screen saver is a slideshow of all of the pictures saved on it. Why would I bring that up? Because my husband has never once read this blog and the other day he looked at me and asked why the hell I would have taken a picture of pasta. My reply? "It's a long story.")

In case you're playing along, you have 5 days left to enter the recipe contest. FIVE days, people. Looking for more thrills and chills? The Retropolitan has way too much time on his hands a whole slew of creepy, cookey contests for Halloween. And better prizes. Check it out, if you dare.


October 25, 2007

Second verse, same as the first

So, yes; we had a bad go at the store last week. That little incident, however, seems like a nap in a field of lilies compared to the very next day at Ikea. See, I eventually figured it wasn't so dreadfully important to get baskets right then, in the middle of a temper tantrum, and I did take her home and list her on eBay give her a bottle and put her to bed. I thought that we could try again, the next day, after a good nights' sleep and a yummanummy breakfast.

Wanna guess how well that went?

We tried Ikea. What kid doesn't like Ikea? My kid, that's who. If you haven't been to an Ikea, how is works is that you find the thing you want and then you go pick it up at the stock area right by the checkout. 3of3 found this: It's cute and she really could use something like that to lug around her permanent markers and dead insects. And she had a blast pushing it around while I looked for something to get the boys to put their bags and mittens and hats in, because I LIKE the floor in my front entry way and I would like to see it again sometime this century. I was totally going to buy it for her.

Have you ever tried explaining to a toddler that they have put a toy away and go get another one, in a box, somewhere else?

Um, that doesn't work. She screamed for 30 minutes straight.

The difference between Walmart* and Ikea is that no matter where you are in Walmart, you can find a straight line out in 5 seconds or less. Ikea, however, is a labyrinth. You cannot take a straight line anywhere in Ikea. A full grown adult comes out of Ikea looking like this: Try getting out of Ikea with a demon-possessed kid flung over your shoulder (because that's the only way to protect your face from punches and kicking and stuff). It's not the funnest fun ever. It took me 30 minutes to get out, but at least this time I started for the door immediately. At one point, we passed a mom with a small baby and, I'd guess, a 4 year old. The 4 year old pointed at my ape of a child and said, "Mommy, look at that baby!" The mom did the embarrassed-shush-her-kid thing and I looked at the little girl, smiled, and said, "See, honey, this is how not to act at the store." She nodded a very serious nod to me and that was that.

We made it out basket-less, toy-less, and almost in tears.

I tell you that all to tell you this; you won't be seeing me in public for a while. This kid is officially grounded until college.

*Shut up; I know. But I'm in Canada. We don't have Target.


October 24, 2007

Wait....Do I have to actually write? Something meaningful?

PSI: Blog Day for the Mothers Act
Stay tuned for something profound....

Ok, here goes....

I think the theme of this is Post Partum Depression. I could be wrong, but I'm running with it. I, like most of North America, dabble in the depression. I have a good dose of the PTSD, and whewey does it ever mess with me. I talked to a doctor once about it and let's just say that I didn't much agree with the end result of that conversation. I have never really discussed it with anyone since. I take the very stupid 'tough it out' approach, and someday it's going to bite me square in the ass, I know.

Needless to say, when the parasites moved out I crashed hard. The birth of each child, in some way, coincided with a truly horrible turn of events in my life. It was tough; I, but for the grace of some very good friends, barely got through all of it.

I'm no doctor, and certainly no expert, but I'd be willing to wager that most women (and men, too) experience some degree of PPD after the kid comes home, whether or not you gave birth to the child or adopted it. Is is the one common link between most moms, and the one we least discuss. Almost a decade after I had my first child, here's the prescription that I have come up with for it:

  • Exercise. Not necessarily gym exercise, because, well, fuck that. I didn't have time to do laundry, let alone hit a gym. But walking is exercise, too. Buy yourself a jogger stroller and get outside. Walk anywhere. Just walk. Forget the dishes and the phone calls and the groceries and go stroll around the neighborhood. Shoot for 2 hours. Why? Because A) babies LOVE it and won't cry if you're walking them and B) it helps. No matter how sleep deprived you are, you will feel better after a walk. Mr. Lady promises, you will.
  • Buy yourself something pretty. Often. On my walks with 3of3, I passed a shop on the corner called Wild Flowers. It was chocked full of exquisite little pretties. At least once a week I went in after my walk and picked up a little something for me. Why? Because I was a hotel for 9 months and then I was a full-service restaurant, and I thought someone ought to do something for me occasionally. It helped.
  • Do it. I know, I know, yuckyuckyuck. The last thing on Earth you want to do after what just happened to your hoo-haa is the sex. Do it anyway. Why? Two reasons: 1. Your husband is freaking the fuck out. His whole world just fell apart, too. He is the person you're going to see the most of for a while, and you want him to be in a good mood. 2. It's funny. Pregnant sex is funny enough, but now your boobies have a new trick they want to show off. There is not one thing on the planet funnier than trying to be all serious and sexy and then suddenly squirting your husband in the face with milk. Nike was right, Just DO it. (Helpful note: unless you have a laundry service or a maid or a fetish for Tide, do it in the shower. Trust me.)
  • Do not read parenting books. DO NOT READ PARENTING BOOKS. Read mommy blogs if you must, but read the funny ones where the moms can laugh at themselves. No one can tell you how to raise that kid but you. You have a pediatrician; he will tell you everything you need to know about birth and growth and development. Call him 15 times a night if you must....DO NOT READ PARENTING BOOKS. That includes websites, you cheaters. Why? Nothing will make you feel more inadequate. Nothing will make you worry more. Oh, and that chick at the mall/church/your playgroup/the bar who is always going on and on about how advanced her kid is and how smart and pretty her kid is? Yeah, don't be friends with her anymore. She's just bringing you down. (Personal admission: I have never read one stinking parenting book, and I manged to keep all 3 of mine alive, and actually grow them a little. Many of my friends did read them, though, and I stopped being friends with every single one of them really fast.)
  • If your mother-in-law comes over to play with the baby...LEAVE. That's right, leave her there with your kid. I don't care if that kid is 3 days old and still a bit damp; this is your golden opportunity. They stop coming over once the kid learns how to curse. Take full advantage while you can. Why? Because you need to get out already. You're starting to look pale. And do you really want to listen to your mother in law tell you about how she gave her babies evaporated milk and used cloth diapers and how she didn't have the internet or plumbing or language or oil or fire? No, you don't. If you are lucky enough to know she's coming before she gets there, leave your dirty laundry out, too. She'll do it. She's secretly cool like that. Don't worry about leaving the baby with her; she's done this a few times already, and she will do the most amazing job ever caring for your child, if no no other reason than to show your ass up.
  • Watch TV. Find a show, get hooked. Like, crack hooked. The catch is; the show has to air only between 2-5 am. Why? Because you will be up between 2-5 am and if you don't have something to look forward to, you will go batshit crazy and start singing inappropriate songs to your baby and wander all the way to the grocery store in a nightgown and one slipper because you are too delirious to remember what clothes are. I personally went with Law and Order re-runs. Law and Order (back then there was just the one) has 9,241 3/4 episodes. Every channel this side of Ursa Minor airs them in syndication. I saw every single one, in order. I loved the 1:30 am feeding because I got to see my show. And every time 1of3 heard that DaDum Da Da DadaDum, he'd try to nurse. It was gorgeous.
  • Drink. Yes, drink. Red wine and Guinness are totally good for you and if anyone tells you otherwise they are not your friend. Drink a glass of wine or a Guinness about an hour and a half before you'd theoretically, in a perfect world, like your kid to go down so you can do it/watch Law and Order/take a nap/shop. You'll see. Nurse that baby after the 1 1/2 hours and someone will go ni-night. And maybe a taller someone will, too.

And that's all I've got. Oh, except call your freaking doctor already. Don't be embarrased or ashamed and certainly don't convince yourself that there's nothing at all wrong with you that a good nap won't cure. Call your doctor. That's what they're there for. Or call me. I'll totally walk you through it.


Just hear me out

You know what I hate? I hate it when people let there kids scream and scream and scream at the store and don't do a damn thing about it. Like the other day; I ran out to the store to grab one quick thing and as I walked through the store I got to listen someone's screaming child. Kids cry; I get it. But seriously, this woman and her kid were making their way through the entire store while that kid was rolling around on the floor in her designer shoes and her Hanna Andersson coat and her little pigtails that supposedly made her cute, screaming bloody freaking murder and the woman with her, decked out in all of a hoodie and yoga pants, did absolutely nothing about it. She kept handing her toys and candy and then, oh, and then...she started rationalizing. With a toddler. Come on now, that child barely speaks english. This woman clearly thought it wasn't really bothering anyone. Lady, just because your kid looks good, that doesn't make her cute. It just makes her outfit cute. And if I know anything, it's that if your kid looks that much better than you, something's gone wrong on your priority list. The woman didn't do a lot of things, but the worst thing she didn't do was dropping what she was doing and taking that freaking kid out of the store, even though I bet it was past that kids' bedtime and they really shouldn't have been there to begin with. That child obviously didn't want to be there, and that woman obviously had no control at all over what was going on.

But you know what I hate the very very most? I absolutely flippin' HATE it when that woman is me.


October 22, 2007

An open letter to my minions

Dear children,

Let me preface this by saying how much I love you. My life got a little better on the days each of you were born. I have relished every moment with you so far; every nose-bleed and poopey diaper and science project. You are my whole world.

Got it?


Stay the fuck out of my room, already. I know that you ache for me when we're apart, and I miss your precious little faces, too. But dears, from 9 pm until 7:30 am I am not momma. I am donut-eating-tea-drinking-tv-watching woman. My shift ENDS at 9.

I realize that I have created this problem by allowing you to sleep with me when you were little. But you're old enough to know something...I did that for me. I am totally incapable of walking anywhere at 4 in the morning, let alone into a nursery to pick up a 7 pound human. You slept with me so that I could nurse you at any hour without stubbing/breaking/decapitating something. And none of you did it past age 1. I can't remember what I did a year ago, let alone 9 years ago. There's no WAY you remember sleeping with me.

I know that I have a nice, big, cozy new bed and that no mortal can resist a little nappy-poo in it, but I slept on a concrete slab with the same bedding set on top of it for 9 1/2 years straight so that you could have legos and happy meals and skateboards and nice, cushy mattresses with soft, fluffy blankets. It's momma's turn now. And I spent a small chuck of your college money on that new bed and the one and only thing that seems to assuage my guilt over that is a good nights' sleep.

And remember that tall guy who smells good and pays the bills? Yeah, he sleeps in the bed with me. You know that drawer in the desk in my room that you're not allowed to go into because daddy's things are in it, cleverly hidden under some burnable CD's and a few cables? The same reason you can't see that stuff is the very same reason you cannot come into my room at 2:43 in the morning when the door is closed. I promise you, whatever nightmare you were having will be greatly increased if you open that door. Besides, that door is only closed every second full moon following 3 1/2 days exactly of rain showers when the moon is in the second house before a golf tournament. Isn't not all the time. You'll manage.

The thing here, kids, is that momma cannot sleep if you are anywhere near her. Jesus Christ could drive a Mack truck into my room blasting Kanye West and momma would keep on dreaming of unicorns and Johnny Depp, but if you so much as scratch your nose, I am wide awake and googling leprosy. Momma needs her sleep. Momma is a very, very ugly woman when she is tired. And you people sleep like you're auditioning for Cirque De Soleil. It's not gymnastics class; it's rest.

No, little darlings, not just one of you can climb into my bed. If 1of3 gets in, 2of3 senses that his monster-guard is missing and wakes up and climbs in. 3of3 then senses that someone in the world is being paid attention to instead of her, and then it's with the screaming and the kicking and the popsicle requests.

I love you guys, I really do, but the getting into bed with mom has to stop. You have your own beds. They're nice beds. They smell like you. You also have a very comfortable couch with an exquisite blanket your grandmother knitted on it. Sleep there. Or learn how to brew a pot of coffee.

Your lovin',



Yep. Pretty sure I still love'm.

Right behind me, right now, is this:He's been like that since 6. At dinner, he said he didn't feel well which, in 9 year old, translates into, "I had my first sleepover in Canada last night and ate my body weight in candies and Dr. Peppers and slept exactly three whole minutes last night".

Poor thing, he's tired.

You know how, when you first get them, how you stare at them while they're sleeping and you just want to die because they're so sweet and chubby and yummy? Yeah, that doesn't ever go away.


October 20, 2007

Rate the Hate Operation Get You Laid

Once upon a time, Mr Lady worked at a little Italian restaurant. It was kitchy and cheesy but every single thing in the place was made from scratch, fresh, every day. From the ravioli to the pizza crust to the salad dressing, it was all homemade. Now, some of it was average, some of it could've used some improvement, but some of it rocked. Hard. Of course, that place changed a lot shortly after Olive Garden waged full-out warfare on America's suburbs; they started ordering in pastas and cutting corners and then one day they closed shop and left Denver and I think that place is now a very depressing Mexican joint. There are still two locations in Nebraska. If you're ever there, check it out and let me know how it goes.

One of the cooks from there ended up staying my friend long after we left the restaurant. Many years ago I asked him if he knew the recipe for one of their signature dishes, the one that I can blame 20 pounds and the cottage cheese thighs on. He didn't remember the quantities of the ingredients, but he did recall the gist of what went in it. He gave me a shopping list and I went to work. Two years later I got it all right. And now, I share it with you.

If you ever come over to my house, and I am hoping to sleep with you, this is what I'm going to cook. If you have a date night coming up soon, print this recipe. You'll thank me in the morning.

I need to warn you that the amount of sauce you will make is grossly disproportionate to the amount of pasta you will have. The good news is that the sauce is almost better on day two, so save the leftovers.

First, boil some penne pasta.

While that's going, you need to make a Mornay sauce. Here's how you do that. Melt 2 1/2 tbsp butter on med-high heat. Add 3 tbsp flour to make a roux, stirring until the roux is pale yellow and frothy (about a minute). Grab a whisk and slowly whisk in 2 1/2 cups of warm milk. Continue whisking it until it comes to a boil (about 2-3 minutes). You use warm milk so it won't clump and you have to continually whisk it or, well, if you don't believe me, try it. You'll see. Once it boils, bring the heat down and add 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper and a decent pinch of nutmeg. Let that simmer for 2-3 minutes and them add your cheese. Add 1 ounce (about 6tsp I think) grated Parmesan. And then you add 8 ounces of Gorgonzola cheese. Add it 4 ounces at a time, and taste it before you add more. It doesn't matter, really, if you get the crumbles or the wedge. It melts beautifully. Stir it, don't whisk it anymore, until the cheese melts. Cover it and keep it on a simmer, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick.

Now that you've got the base of the sauce, you have to make the chicken. Melt 1/2 stick butter and 1/2 stick margarine in a saute pan (trust me on this). Once melted, add EITHER one small red onion, finely chopped, or 5 large cloves of garlic chopped with your handy-dandy chopper thingy your friend Hannah got you 10 years ago that you can never, ever live without. (I don't need to tell you the 'smack the garlic with the side of a wide knife to get the peels off' trick, do I? We all already know that one, yes?) I think the original recipe called for onion, but I've done it both ways and both are just as good. I go garlic, because I ALWAYS go garlic, but the onion does compliment the cheese well and looks really pretty in the sauce. Your choice. Either way, add that to the butter and saute until fragrant. To that, add a good pinch of parsley and around 3 tsps fresh rosemary. One stalk is about 1 1/2 tsps, so just chop up two stalks. (I don't have to tell you the 'pinch the top of the stalk and slide your fingers down to get all the herb and none of the stalk off' trick, do I? We all already know that, yes?) Be careful with the rosemary; if you add to much, you'll be eating a Christmas tree for dinner. Add the herbs to the butter and then add Worcester sauce. Usually, about 10 good shakes from the bottle will do the trick. Taste it after 10, and if you want more add it 2 shakes at a time. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.

Once it's a bit cool, whisk it up and then pour 2/3 of the pan into your Mornay sauce. Stir it up really well and re-cover the sauce. You want this to sit for a little bit so the flavors mesh. In the saute pan, add a pound of chicken breasts , sliced into strips (I buy them already in strips), to the remaining 1/3 rosemary butter. Toss the chicken around to coat with the butter and the saute that until the chicken is just done. In a mixing bowl, toss the penne pasta with enough of the sauce to generously coat it. Spoon the pasta onto a plate, top it with the chicken strips, top that with fresh diced tomatoes and garnish the whole thing with a bit of Parmesan. If you're going for pretty, throw a rosemary sprig on the plate. If you're going for 7 year old, you can skip it. This goes really well with steamed broccoli or sauteed green beans or even a thick, rustic, and perhaps rosemary bread. It sounds like a lot of work, but I timed it and the whole thing takes less than 30 minutes, start to finish.

Do not under any circumstances surprise your brother in law with this dinner until you've checked to make sure he is not deathly allergic to rosemary. You'll waste your time and annoy the pig brother in law.

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.


Democracy in action!

I'm taking a vote. What the hell should I do with these?

Your choices are:

A) Move into the 21st century. I mean, who really has VHS tapes anymore? I could easily toss them or donate them to Children's Hospital or something. But then, of course, Children's Hospital would be stuck with VHS tapes. Maybe I could throw in some sweet 8-tracks while I'm at it.

B) Accept that I am an old fuddy-duddy and buy a VCR. They're, like, $5.99 at Walmart and one of my favorite movies is in that pile. 22 tapes at $30/dvd is around $500 dollars. That's almost my grocery budget for a month. But then, of course, I would have to own a VCR.

So, which is it? You vote, I do. And if you'd like to vote for "Mail them to me", that could be option C. Maybe two of you could fight for them. In Jello. Or MUD.

Perhaps I've said too much. Vote away, people!


October 19, 2007

Ok, Bye!

My daughter has never gone to bed without milk. For her first 14 months, it came from her portable keg* and since she's taken it in bottle form. My sons were...well, crap; they still take a mug of warm milk before bed every now & again. Anyone have a dairy farm that needs investors?

Anyway...bottle, bedtime. It's her thing. Anyone who would like to tell me not to do this can piss off take a flying leap kindly keep their very valuable, educated opinions to themselves. And besides, all my kids did it; none of them have rotten, bucked out teeth. That bottle lasts 3.67 seconds anyway, I'm sure. My kids find something they like and they finish it as fast as humanly possible.

Their poor, poor wives.

And hell, the bottle thing works. She actually goes down without a fight. This, coming from a kid who fights everything.

(A quick aside: I've changed my share of Huggies in 32 years, and I know one thing....normal children enjoy diaper changes. My kids? It takes both arms, a knee, the opposing foot and a Ouija board to change her butt. I kid you not; I had to call her father in to help me the other day. Who fights a fucking diaper change? My kid, that's who. I keep trying to tape a change to show you how awful she is about it, but I can't quite figure out how to operate a camera with my left ear. I'm working on it.)

So, tonight it was time to put her down and I had NO MILK. Jesus M*%^$#F@#$^$NG Christ. Me? Screwed. We'd had the day from hell and she's two there was no nap and she's two and it was getting really late and she's TWO. What did I do? I gave her potato chips instead. We cuddled on the couch, watched some tv, I brushed her hair and we read a few books. And then I just told her it was bedtime. She said, "Ok", and walked upstairs.

She. Said. Ok.

We said goodnight to the moon and the pretty bowies** and then I put her in her bed and kissed her and gave her a baby and walked out. Really, really quietly. I got almost out the door and she said, "Momma?" to which I answered, "Uuuuuh...huhhhh?" and she repied, "Ok, bye!"

Of course, all of this happened at 12:30 in the morning, 3 1/2 hours after using the last of the milk and trying to get her to bed. Hey, we can't win'm all.

*Yeah, that would be ME.
**Bonus Points to the first correct guess as to what the hell a Pretty Bowie is.


October 18, 2007

It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Josh and I lived in a really awful little duplex in Denver. We lived there until just after 2of3 was born. We had these really cool neighbors in the house next door to the awful duplex, and when they sold it, we were sad. They moved away and the new owners moved in. They were a young couple and after a little bit we realized that they rocked, too. And then we moved away. Bygones.

Fast forward 7 years.

So, let's all pretend for a minute that my laundry is all folded and the dishes are stacked neatly in the cupboards and that my bedroom floor does not have a large sticky spot on it caused from what I can only pray was a popsicle and therefore I totally have my shit together and am left with tons of spare time.

In my excessive amounts of leisure time, I have signed up to do a few things. One is NaNoWriMo. I tried last year with Andy, but damn that sweet sweet wine. If you could write a novel full of giggle-giggle-giggle, Andy and I would have Pulitzers. But this year, I'm doing it. I am going to write a very stupid book in 30 days. And no one will read it. But I'm writing it anyway. You can mock my failure here.

I am also doing NaBloPoMo. That's a really hard way of saying National Blog Posting Month. I will bore you to tears for 31 straight days in November. I apologize, whole-heartedly, in advance. The NaBloPoMo site is here. Today, I got a friend request on that site (it's like MySpace for real people) from someone. That someone didn't know me, I didn't know her. She just wandered past me online and asked to be my friend *Gush*.

This is where it gets good.

I clicked on her link, and I'll be a greased Jesus...I totally know her. She is the very same someone who bought the house next to us 7 years ago. She is the same someone who I ran into on my kids' school playground last year because she and her husband, well, they went and had a kid, too. And very unknowingly, just this very day, she stumbled across yours truly.

Does it get more random than that? I think it doesn't.

Anyway, here is her blog. It's seriously good. Like, it's way better than mine.


October 17, 2007

I wanna be a cowboy

I have this picture sitting in a box.

I have one of my brother, too; same day, same spot. My dad had a thing with Cowboy hats. He had tons of them. My mom had a thing for black & whites. She took tons of them. When Josh's dad died, Josh inherited his WWII pistol and his collection of Cowboy hats. So naturally, I asked my dad for some of his old ones, too. And now, we have a lovely collection of old hats.

They're all dusty and smelly and old and I never, ever thought I'd need to look at them, but I whipped on out today. I learned two things. One: My father has a freakishly small head. Two: I was much cuter at 5, bucktoothed and all.


October 16, 2007

How to be a very bad cool parent in 10 easy steps

1. Promise your kids you'll take them to an amusement park all summer, but don't do it. Because you're horrible parents, that's why.

2. Take them to a Fright Night thing like Six Flags parks do. Make sure it's one who's website cautions, "Not recommended for ages 12 & under, Seniors 65+, people with sensitivity to strobe lighting, people with high blood pressure, pregnant women or scaredy cats." Make sure they hear the sales lady, the neighbors and the parking attendant say, "You're taking them there?" Take them anyway.

3. Talk it up so much that by the time they hit the main gates, the kids are scared to death.

3. Do easy things first, like the Super Scary Maze of Doom and the swings.

Get their defenses down.

4. Walk them past all the Haunted Houses in the park. Try to drag them in, because you LOVE the Haunted Houses. When they refuse, take them on the whip-you-around-in-a-circle-going-3-bazillion-miles-an-hour rides. (NOTE: if your child is just barely tall enough to ride the ride, he is also just barely short enough to almost slip through he guard rail, and it's really hard to take a good picture going 3 bazillion MPH.

5. If it's your kids' first time being tall enough to ride rides, take them on this first.

The Hellevator. It's that slingshot thing where they shoot you up to the outer layer of the Earth's atmosphere and then pull you down again. Say goodbye to 3/5 of your family, who you are sure were all about to die a fast and fiery death, and hold your breath. Make sure you hold their hand reassuringly when they say to you from 5 miles up in the air, "Dad, I don't think I can do this."

6. Now that they have the cheat-death buzz, take them on roller coasters. Take them on every one they're tall enough for. And maybe one or two they're not quite tall enough for. It's almost more fun if you're trying to hold your kid down in a seat. Once they get this look on their face...

...you know they're hooked.

7. Smile and console when your son, at about this point, confesses that he peed his pants a little on the Hellevator.

8. Find something, anything, called Baywatch, and ride it.

No man can resist Baywatch. Ride that thing over and over again. Let it spin you and whip you around until you remember A)what you had for lunch and B)your chiropractor's number.

9. Meanwhile, the other parent should be walking the toddler around the park. Make sure your baby knows what scary is. "SCARY! Momma, no SCARY!" Watch as the toddler figures out that Scary isn't going to bother her if she looked at Scary (man in Texas Chain Saw/Demon costume) and says, "Bye Bye Scary!" in her really really cute voice. Your toddler is brutally smart, that one.

10. Do ALL of this on a school night. Get them to bed 2 hours past bedtime.

The very next night, also a school night, let them stay up until midnight so they can watch the (expletive expletive) ROCKIES WIN THE PENNANT!


October 15, 2007

This means I'm pushing 33, doesn't it?

Dear Auntie N,

Your birthday was yesterday (yes, I am aware that I suck and that I'm a day late). I just wanted to say happy birthday.

You know, I have a couple sisters already. I've got that one that looks just like me but it blissfully unaware that her mom & my dad got it on 28 years ago or so. I don't think she even remembers me anymore. I've got the batshit crazy one that I haven't seen since she was 11 and I'm quite happy to keep it that way. And there's the one who I have known, on and off, for her whole life; the one who isn't actually related to me but we sorta grew up togetherish just because her mom married my dad. She's 22. I'm 32. Need I say more?

So yeah, I have a few sisters running around, but I've never actually had a sister before. I always assumed that the whole giggling, secret-sharing, cooking yummies in a kitchen thing was something that happened exclusively in movies. And then I met you. And the giggling started. And then there were a few recipes exchanged. And then a couple shots later and our dirty laundry took a cycle in each others' washers.

Dude, I love you so much I don't know what to do with it. It's no accident that you came into my life. You crack me the hell up, you inspire me, you're not afraid to whack me in the head when I screw up. I wish I'd known you before the marriage and the kids and the real world all set in. I wish I knew you in college or high school or from a ridiculous job in our twenties because I imagine we would have some fabulously scandalous stories to tell our grandchildren later. But instead, here we are with life to deal with and kids to chase and dinners to cook and jobs to do and I think we will never, ever have enough time together. Me moving to Canada certainly didn't help that at all, did it?

At the end of the day, though, I am grateful for every minute I have had with you. It's really rare for me to meet someone I can relate to on any level, and yet in you I am reminded so much of myself, but not the right now myself; more like the myself I could be. We grew up in different universes, led very different lives, taken almost opposite roads, and kind of ended up at the same place within ourselves. If I can look in the mirror and even catch a glimmer of the woman you are, I am doing something very, very right.

I think that you very well may have been my Missing Piece. And so, on your birthday(ish), just know that someone out there in the Great White North really, truly, with all her heart, loves you and misses you and wishes you all the happiness in the world. And her kids do, too.

For always & ever baby....


October 14, 2007

One more thing

Occasionally, over there where the dreaded ads are,---------------------------->
there's a little heart thingy that asks you to take some survey if you love me.

Would ya? You know, if you love me.

(OK, I really just wanted to know what the deal was with that, and I saw it on a blog I read and clicked through. Now I know; now you're off the hook.)

Free stuff!

This would be the official link to the recipe contest going on over here...

Here's how to play: email at heymrlady [at] gmail [dot] com or post in the comments a favorite holiday recipe. Hell, you could submit a regular old recipe for all I care. I'm going to pick my favorite one every month and cook it. The first Saturday of the month will be Rate the Hate the Let Them Judge YOU edition. And the winning recipe? Will TOTALLY GET A PRIZE. A kitchen prize. A sweet kitchen prize. And maybe, just maybe, if we can keep this going for a year, if enough people play along, maybe I could throw all the winning recipes together into a little cookbook or calender or something.

This is a audience participation sort of thing, so spread the word. Tell your friends. Seriously, the prizes will ROCK YOUR WORLD.

October's entries so far:

The Retropolitan entered Retro's Mexican Chili. No surprise. He's hot; so is his chili.
Molly entered Molly's Amazingly Rich Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes. I have heard tales in far off lands of these potatoes. I think there are a few odes to them out there.
Ducks Mahal submitted his version of Maque Choux, which he has cleverly re-named Maque Choux #2. It goes in a rice bowl. He's singing my song.
Katharine submitted Black Bottom Pie, which she borrowed from Martha. If I know anything, it's that Kathy steals the very best recipes. I had a scandalous one-night-stand with this apple pie she made one Christmas.
Andy entered a Krispy Kream bread pudding recipe he got from Food & Wine magazine. Which sounds like a contradiction. But also sounds freaking awesome.

See, that's not so bad. There's plenty of room for other recipes. Play along, if you dare...you've 18 more days to enter!


October 13, 2007

I was going to let this one go

I really was. I mean, one can only hear so much of the 'my kid is so cute and lovely' blahdidie-blah-blah before grows tired of it. I tried to spare you from this, but it just can't be helped. I could have, I suppose, gone the whole rest of my life never mentioning to you that my teency wittle baby wrapped her legs around my waist the other day, squeezed my neck as tight as she could and said, "Happy, momma" *sniffle* but then it wouldn't make sense, context-wise, when I told you tonight (and I have to tell you tonight) that just now, not 2 minutes ago, I laid that same angel straight from heaven down into her bed and kissed her ni-night and then started to walk out of her room, like I always do, and she looked at me and said, "Momma?" I stopped, walked back over to her and said, "Yes, baby?" And she, oh my, she looked up at me and said, "I love you, momma." *sob*

She said I love you. To ME. I can die now.

(In case you're wondering, she's never said that before. We're not exactly at sentences just yet.)


October 12, 2007


I believe in scientific exploration. I am driven by the endless pursuit of knowledge. I stand for hypothesis, for theorems, for causes and affects. I agree with weighing and measuring and calculating and observing. Bunsen Burners are sexy. So are Bunsen Honeydews. I want to understand the mysteries of life, from birth to death to the meaning of it all. I believe that true learning is a slow, arduous process and that you should never rush it or you'll miss something. Something key. You know, key to your theory.

It is for this reason and this reason alone that I have left this horrible, disgusting, rotting corpse of a fish on my kitchen counter for 3 weeks straight now.

I'm not forgetful or lazy; I'm practicing science, bitches.


October 11, 2007

Don't ask

I wish the hair on
my head grew as fast as the
hair farther down south.


I'd give it a 7.5

Let's not forget about October's recipe contest. There are 5 strong entries so far. One includes donuts. Mmmmm, donuts.

I ought not skip a day on the blog...it totally screws me all up. Last week, the kids had Jambalaya. How did it go over, you ask?

Well, no one was all too excited about it. 3of3 tried it, with great trepidation:

and I'll be damned if she didn't declare it a YummaNummy.

Score one for mom. 1of3 was also a little more wary than I'd have liked, but went into it with an open mind:

Score two for mom. Not two very high scores, but two it's alrights.

2of3 was just mad about the whole thing. He tried it, very very cautiously, but he had his mind already made up:

I asked him to rate it one a scale of 1-10, 1 being better than a Happy Meal and 10 being dog poop.

He replied with a hearty Dog Poop.

And I learned something from this. I learned that one should never say Dog Poop in front of a two year old sponge. Someone has a new favorite phrase. Honey, come meet daddy's boss. DOGPOOP! Baby, say hi to your brothers' principal. DOGPOOP! Sweetpea, come shake the hand of the President of the United States. DOGPOOP!

(Well, maybe she's on to something there...)


October 10, 2007

*Warning* Extremely Boring

Wow. I went one whole day without looking at my computer. Excuse me for any typos; I kinda have the shakes a little.

Thanksgiving was super fabulous. Of course, my meat thermometer broke and I broke the Cardinal Rule of turkeys: Never, Ever guess the temperature of your turkey. I think I only overcooked it by 30 minutes or so, but I've made better. It was all super yummy, especially the cheesecake which 1of3 made, and since he's 9 he didn't exactly cut up the ginger right, so it's got little chunks of ginger throughout. YUM, says I.

I meant to take pictures, but I was 40 minutes late getting everything out and had 4 boys and 1 very hungry girl and by the time it hit the table, the carnage had begun. I did get to bust out Josh's parents wedding china

which I took from my mother in law with the sole intent of putting in a box for the next 25 years until my daughter gets married, but it's brutally pretty china and why the heck not, really.

Josh's friend Chris came over and we drank way too much of this

which is totally autographed by the maker and you can't even think about getting that bottle up here in British Columbia, and yes I know I should have saved it for some bigger deal, but we had stayed up until 1am the night before playing Wii and drinking a bottle of Argyle and we were a bit hungover. Whoever figured out that whole drink-what-you-drank-the-night-before bit is a flippin' genius. And that bottle of wine up there? It was like angels peeing on my tongue. Pick one up sometime. You'll be glad you did.

We played so much Wii in at 24 hour span that we all ache. I managed to bowl four strikes in a row and now I feel very geeky smug indeed.

My plan for the next few days is to see how many dishes I can secretly incorporate turkey into before the children stage a coup. I have already been instructed to see to it turkey does not make another lunch box appearance.

Your picture for this week is of my ridiculously cute kid and me at her first Thanksgiving. Perhaps, tomorrow, I wll try to actually post something of substance.

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October 08, 2007

On Food and Timelines

Times when Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday:
  • When I have a house full of company

  • When I have everything done a week in advance

  • When I have most everything I need already laying around

Times when Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday:

  • When the toddler will not get off my right shoulder

  • When I have made 3 international moves in one year, and have no good spices left because of some silly rule involving food and the border

  • When Thanksgiving dinner is 22 hours away, and I have cooked a grand total of ZERO things

The good news is that Josh's friend is coming for a sleepover tonight, and I have had no company at all since I've been here, and I have 3 bottles of wine I have been waiting for an excuse to drink. Oh, and dinner will also rock.

But really, I have to go cook. In case you're wondering, here's what we're having:

  • Cranberry brined turkey

  • Gold mashed potatoes

  • Green beans with creme fraiche and cremini mushrooms

  • Chevre and cranberry salad

  • Rolls and stuffing, of course

  • Pumpkin pie ~and~

  • Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • And I almost forgot....spiced cranberry sauce!

This years' theme is cranberry, in case you couldn't guess. My favorite theme is pear for Thanksgiving, but cranberries just sound good this year. Tomorrow is the big day, so pictures will come on Tuesday, and don't forget,

There is a recipe contest going on over here.

So far, Andy's winning, and just because he's the only one to offer up a recipe. We can't let Andy win. He'll get all smug. So help a girl out & enter already.


October 07, 2007

6 going on Lawyer

Dear 1of3 version 2.0,

I talked to you on the phone today and nothing anyone will ever tell me will convince me that you are not 10 years old. When I asked you how old you were, you said 6. When I said no way, and that I was sure you were starting college, you said, "No Auntie, I just started Kindergarten." No giggle, no nothing. Just a smug little 'You poor, stupid woman'.

You have always been smarter and witter and funnier than a kid has a right to. You remind me of your dad when he was that little, just without the angst. I love you for that; for showing me what my brother should have been, what he was inside if just someone had ever been nice to him. You made him a daddy, and that was what he was born to do, and so I owe you one, kid. You got a dad, I got my brother back. Thanks.

I don't have a lot to say to you today, on your 6th birthday, mostly because I don't think even you can read at this level just yet, and I'm betting you're way too busy playing with your Transformers or torturing your little brother to read your old Auntie's blog, but just know this, little man...

You auntie loves you. So bad. I don't care at all that I've seen you three whole times in your life, and I don't give a dingo's kidneys that you wouldn't know it was me if I bumped into you at the mall. 'Cause kid, you're my family. You look like us and talk like us and walk like us and geek the hell out just like we do.

I am so proud that my kids have a cousin like you.

And maybe, just maybe, if you promise not to EVER show anyone this god awful picture of me,

maybe I'll tell you some really juicy stories about your dad someday. I love you little man. Happy birthday.

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