Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Someone needs to be the adult around here

Here's the thing peeps.  I am easily amused.  Particularly in a 12 year old boy kind of way.  It totally cracks me up when my kids say things that mean something different to adults than they do to kids.  MD and I like to then repeat these statements for our own amusement. I present to you a few examples of late:

G realizing she forgot her silverware, "Oh my fork and knife!"  Say it just a bit faster now... that's right, hee hee.

The other day, P talking about a kid on the bus and wondering about his bus stop. "Where does he get off?"  Now say it like you're a member of Jersey Shore.  Now say it like that to your child, "where do YOU get off?"  Of course they don't get it and say something like, "You know, at the corner where you pick me up."  Oh right, I remember, I'm an adult.

Today, while snipping apart grapes, "Mom, you've got a little cluster there."  Oh G, if you only knew the number of little clusters going on in my life right now.   Of course it only reminds me of Fantastic Mr. Fox referring to something as a "cluster cuss" instead of the real term, and then I'm doubly amused.  Are you cussing me?   Tee hee. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grumpy time

Oh "not me" I hate you.  I'm not a fan of your friends "I didn't do it" and "I don't know" either.

So there.

Grumpy April is taking her short arms and going to bed now.  Right after I clean up the hand soap that is covering the bathroom mirror.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

30 minute meal? HA!

Just once I'd like to see Rachael Ray (who I adore) have to cook one of her 30 minute meals while actually dealing with everything else that happens in people's homes just before dinnertime.  You know, having to help with homework, unload the dishwasher so yet another dirty dish doesn't end up in the sink and negotiate a small, healthy snack since the jackals children can't possibly wait 30 minutes for dinner.  She'd also need to put the cans from the beans/tomatoes/vegetables into the recycling container, wipe up the spot where the chicken dripped on the floor before someone steps in it (of course using bleach spray, which you have let sit for 2 minutes in order to kill the germs), realize that the person who is supposed to be doing homework is actually hiding in the bathroom and get them back on task all while not burning the onions she's trying to saute.  Don't forget to set the table and pour milk and cut fruit and try to be attentive to another child who is attempting to tell you a story.

Even before those things take place she'd probably need to go to her pantry to make sure she set everything out that she'll need to cook dinner.  At this point she might discover that she has only 1 Tablespoon of a critical ingredient when the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of it. 

Not that any of those things happen at my house right before dinner.  Oh no, certainly not.  I'm just saying they might happen.  You know at someone else's house.  At my house the missing ingredient would smartly have the words "more in freezer" written on the lid.  So I would confidently go to our freezer, pop the door open and proceed to spill a cookie sheet full of corn kernels all over the floor.  (12 ears worth of corn kernels that had been blanched, cut off the cob and frozen on a tray, if you must know.)

Sorry Rachael, we had cold cereal instead.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First day of school

Hey there!  Today was the first day of school.  Cute pics were taking of the children and they were sent off with shiny happy faces.  G started first grade this year and I was curious as to how the whole full day plus after school care would go.  When I picked them both up at 5 everyone was doing OK. (Yeah for small victories!)  On the walk to the car G began to fall apart.  I think she was holding herself together as best as she could all day and as soon as she knew the day was done the wheels fell off the wagon.  Well, they actually were kind of hurled from the wagon.  After being fashioned into a spear of some kind.  Metaphorically of course.

So, if you saw me in the parking lot today with my child standing outside the car screaming about wanting a drink of water RIGHT NOW you don't need to ask how my day went.  BUT, if you did ask, I would say it was really not a bad day overall.  Because while she was yelling and stomping and just plain being mad about being mad, I was sitting in the car.  With the air conditioning on.  Playing solitaire on my ipod.  I'm mean like that. 

Once the storm clouds passed she calmed down, apologized and we went home.  I sent her upstairs to shower, cooked dinner (breakfast for dinner!  A favorite around this house!) and my guess is we will both be asleep in about 15 minutes. 

This is the kind that won't get scrapbooked because I like to keep the illusion of the smiling-faces-all-the-time going in my albums, but I wanted to write it down.  To share it.  And to say, in the face of yelling and stomping, I kept my cool.  I didn't yell back.  I didn't hiss at her with clenched teeth.  I let her do what she needed to do, while I did what I needed to do.  Not surprisingly, after her tantrum passed,  I felt much better than I usually do at the end of these exchanges.  I guess everyone has the chance to learn something on the first day of school.

P.S. Not to short-change him in terms of blog fodder, P had a great, drama free day at school!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Confessions from the laundry room

Nothing too earth shattering here. Although I'm beginning to notice that several of my posts have something to do with laundry and/or how much time I spend doing laundry due to a variety of circumstances (mostly) beyond my control. I guess we write about what we know...

Anyway, I was washing clothes last week and I noticed my daughter's shirt still had a sticker on it from her day care. When I pulled the sticker off I realized that it left a small circle of white, which in turn made me realize that the whole shirt was supposed to be white. She had gotten so dirty playing in the sand at the park that the rest of the shirt was gray. Sad face.

Luckily I sprayed the whole thing with my little container of stain remover and once it was washed we were back in business. But before I knew that all of the dirt would come out I was thinking, "Really? Come on. This is why we can't have nice things."

And then I looked over to the rest of the laundry where I noticed the sweatshirt I had bought for my son a week earlier at a garage sale. It's a great sweatshirt, hooded, with my college's logo on it--something that normally costs $35-40. I got it for $6 and I was super excited at the time. I usually don't buy the kids sweatshirts with school logos because they are so pricey, but I knew this one was a great bargain and could be worn by my daughter once my son outgrew it.

And then, standing in the laundry room, I realized the flaw in my thinking. Something I overlooked. The thing I should have noticed if I hadn't been in the middle of my "feeding frenzy" as MD calls it when I get super focused on a bargain and miss critical details about the item I'm about to purchase. (Side note--this same feeding frenzy once influenced me to buy another great sweatshirt for myself, only to get it home and realize it said "Grandma" underneath the college logo. In my defense, "Grandma" was in pretty small letters and I was carrying a lot of other things so I couldn't really hold the shirt up with both hands to see the entire front at one time. Lesson learned: It doesn't matter how much a person "saves" on an item when they have to give it to Goodwill after wearing it zero times.)

Anyway, sorry for the tangent--back to the laundry room. I realized that I had overlooked one critical piece of information when buying this great bargain of a sweatshirt. What was the problem you ask? The sweatshirt is white. White! Good Lord I just bought a white sweatshirt for a 10 year old boy! A boy who plays tackle football during recess. A boy who rolls around in the mud. A boy who probably invented a game called "who can get the most dirty in the least amount of time" with his buddies. And I honestly thought he would pass this sweatshirt down to his sister. You know, old gray shirt. The girl who quite literally pours sand out of her shoes before she comes in the house. Clearly, mistakes were made. I was obviously blinded by the bargain. Now, does anyone know where I can buy a case of Shout Advanced Stain Remover?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Camping. And germs.

We went camping this past weekend. Well as close to camping as I care to get, we stayed in cabin type place in a state park. Mother Nature and I have a bit of an "agree to disagree" relationship. I try to stay out of her way and she helps make sure I'm not eaten by bears. (Side note, a couple of weeks ago we were on a nature hike, surrounded by tall trees in a totally gorgeous setting. Rather than simply marveling in the beauty and enjoying the moment, I actually caught myself pretending to stretch so I would look taller, just in case a mountain lion was behind me, thinking about attacking. It's totally a legitimate technique they teach when you're going into the woods, by the way. And yes, I know I need help.)

Anyway, the place we stayed had electricity but no running water. We had a camp fire and used it to cook all of our meals. We had s'mores, tried our hand at fishing and went canoeing. It really was quite lovely.

One drawback was the, ahem, facilities. There was an outhouse (shudder) nearby and further up the road there was a flush toilet. The general lack of running water was a bit of a nightmare for me the certified germaphobe. However, in my quest to not pass on my issues to my children I tried to roll with the punches. We had a water jug, I put some soap near it, encouraged the kids to wash--especially before eating, and hoped for the best.

On one of our walks to the flush toilet, we passed a golf ball in the parking lot. P wanted to pick it up and take it back to his dad. I said he didn't need to pick up parking lot leftovers and that I didn't think MD needed a random golf ball. P rolled his eyes and said, "If I got some tongs and washed off the tongs and the ball and my hands could I pick it up?" Hmmm. Busted.

I joked with him about then needing to sterilize the the parking lot and let it go. On the last day of our trip P slept in until 10. Not a good sign. This is a kid who is up at 7:30 everyday. Unlike his mother, this kid is a go getter, he is up and at 'em in the morning. The only time he sleeps in is when he's sick. I noticed he looked a little flush and when he declined bacon for breakfast I knew we were in trouble.

So we packed up, got him settled with some water, a pillow and a book in the car and started driving home. About 2 miles outside of the campgrounds I turned around to check on him, just in time to see him gag once, twice and then spew vomit all over the car. Not to be graphic, but I do mean ALL over. It was rather spectacular. On his sister's leg, all over the library books he had on his lap, on MD's seat, on the console, down his own legs. We pulled over, and both MD and I hopped out. MD grabbed a towel and started wiping things up, while I grabbed my stomach and tried not to add to the vomit situation. We realized that it was going to be quite a mess to deal with, so we headed back to the campsite so P could use the showers and change clothes. On the way back we tried to figure out what might have happened that could have made him sick--especially since he was the only one who was sick. Then MD said, "well, P was the only one touching the fish we caught, and I don't think he washed his hands afterwards."

Oh karma! How you like to bite people on the backside sometimes! I tried not to be too I-told-you-so when I pointed out that maybe hand washing isn't such a bad thing and perhaps you shouldn't mock your mother when she suggests it (over and over), but I don't think P heard me since I only said it in my head. Sometimes vomiting everywhere is enough of a lesson.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Oh hey, hi there

So. Is anyone still here? Yeah, probably not. Clearly I stink at this whole blog thing--sorry friends! I was thinking about it today and I realized I'm a fan of instant gratification. I like to tell stories and get the immediate reaction of a laugh and then follow that up with a friend telling me another story. This is also why I think if I work out once I should suddenly lose 10 pounds. Rather than working out once a day for a month and maybe losing 3. (You know, because in my mind I CAN have that extra something something "since I worked out today.")

So here I go, trying to to update my bloggy again...back on the horse...trying not to go 4 months without adding anything...

As always happens this time of year, the swimsuits my children started out with back in June have frayed and thinned, the elastic is shot and it's shrunk a bit while the children have grown a bit. In response to this, I took G to the local big box store for a new suit. Two problems with this plan:

1. Despite the fact that it's August and 92 degrees outside, all of the big box stores think it's October. Seriously, they have Halloween decorations out. Stop the insanity! They are also fully engaged in their "back to school mode" so all of the summer things are now squeezed into one aisle. Boo. Finding the silver lining though--it is all on clearance now, and you know how I love a bargain!

The 2nd problem with my plan is that I'm not raising a tart. Or a tramp. Or Lady Gaga. I'm raising a girl. Someday she'll be a young lady. Right now she's 6. She likes Sid the Science Kid and Arthur books. I swear I'm not trying to sound like a Duggar here, really I'm not, but I was quite surprised by the ahem, style of many of the suits. Is there a fabric shortage I didn't know about?

There were about 20 different types of suits hanging on the wall. First I eliminated the ones that didn't have a back (it hooked at the neck then was an open oval down the sides of the body and then just barely covered the bottom). The ones that had a back, but had large cutouts on each side from the ribcage to the hipbone also stayed on the rack. Goodbye to the two piece numbers that hooked at the top and then just hung down, open, in the back, and so on. Finally we found 4 (only 4!) that might work and even some of these were just awful. One had glitter all over it. One had sequence forming triangles around her (non-existent) breasts (did I mention she's 6?). Two seemed like they might be a bit low cut, but off to the dressing room we went. Despite twice a day applications of SPF 50 my girl is quite tan, which means you can roughly see what the new suit covered compared to the old suit. Or should I say what the new suit didn't cover. With every suit I could easily see an extra inch of white on the top and most were also cut much higher up her thigh.

Is this what people are buying? Am I so very old fashioned? These are swimsuits sized for girls ages 4-12. What's left for her to wear when she's 16? But I knew her current suit wouldn't last. I had her try everything on again. It was even worse the second time around. Then, inspiration struck! I called my mom. Here's how it went:

Me: Hey mom, have you been to Costco lately?
Mom: I'm at Costco right now!
Me: Great! Could you see if they have any one piece Speedo swimsuits left? (As a side note, she currently has a two piece Speedo and part of the problem is that the bottoms keep scooting down, giving her a bit of a plumber's crack situation.)
Mom: Sure hang on. I just had a yummy sample of the mango salsa with tortilla chips and now I'm walking over to the suits.
Me: OK. (Thinking to myself, as I have many times, if my parents had a blog it would be all about what they just ate.)
Mom: They have two in her size, should I get both?
Me: Yes please!

And today my mom arrived with the suits. G tried them on and delight of delights, they matched up with her existing tan lines quite nicely. And they are covered in sweet, adorable pictures of watermelons and flowers and lemons. Very appropriate for the 6 year old crowd. Best of all, not a speck of glitter in sight.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A little fun...

Friends! For the first time in 3 weeks I slept with my down comforter on Monday. It was lovely. It had been in purgatory in the basement while we dealt with our um, bug situation. I had missed it's delightful comfort more than I would have thought. Oh, sweet sweet down. So much warmer than a towel! If the down people are looking for a new marketing slogan, I probably should copyright that right now, otherwise you may be seeing that phrase in your next issue of O Magazine. "Down. So much warmer than a towel."
And now on to other matters. We have a room in our house that we call the "Christmas tree room." While it is the room where the Christmas tree is on display in December it is always called the Christmas tree room. It could be the middle of summer and I'll ask the kids to take something to the Christmas tree room. Right now the Christmas tree room is proudly displaying a few Easter decorations:

Cute huh? I know, I know, it needs some height, and a few more items, but I'm typically only willing to buy holiday decorations when they are on clearance, so maybe next year...
Let's take a minute and admire the adorable carrot wagon shall we? Sassy and purchased around Christmas time--hello discount!!
So I breezed by the Christmas tree room this afternoon, and then paused for a slightly closer look when I noticed this...
A few rebel soldiers from the ice planet Hoth. Why yes, I do live with a 10 year old boy. Why do you ask?

Evidently those Rebel soldiers were on to something--there's Lord Vader. Look out guys!!

And this guy...he looks like trouble. I'm not exactly sure who he is. 5 minutes into the latest and greatest description of the most recent episode of "Star Wars Clone Wars" my eyes begin to roll to the back of my head, I start to hear a faint buzzing noise and part of my brain oozes out of my ear.

This last one really cracked me up. Nothing says "Happy Easter" like a duck packing heat.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just crying into my towel over here

Totally left you all hanging there didn't I? So sorry. I had a big ol' post written in my head about how we met our frugal February goals (woo hoo!) and even some inspirational nonsense about how just sticking with something, seeing it through to the end was the real reward. And about I used my share of our FF savings to buy some crazy craft stuff my friend AC talked me into. (I think it was about a 30 second phone call, but do you see how I like to blame someone else for my purchases? It feels like it lets me off the hook.)

And I was ready to write all of those things. It was Monday, March 1. I was working from home on papers and since I wouldn't spend my day on the computer I was ready to spend my evening typing up my little posts. However, a fateful phone call changed all of that. And now, to protect the innocent (and because I'm not really sure how to use real pictures) I present to you a bit of Short Arm Theatre. (Spelled theatre because I'm fancy.)
Please enjoy the following (clip) artist rendering of the events...

Here I am on the phone earlier in the day...

Feeling a bit smug because thanks to my dialing quick fingers I had just won the following:

...to our local movie theater. And a gift certificate to a local restaurant. I was sure it was going to be a great day. I was wrong. Here I am 45 minutes later after another phone call...

And 25 minutes after that phone call at the local big box buying...

And 15 minutes later I picked up my precious bay-bee from school. We went home and I spent the next 2 1/2 hours doing this...

Combing and combing and combing. Quite literally with a very fine tooth comb. You could say I was...

Oh yes. Somehow, over 9 years of daycare and public school my peeps had avoided the head lice. But that record was over. I thought I was going to die. I was totally grossed out. The school nurse was very nice, with lots of "it happens to everyone at some point" and more "it's really common and hard to avoid once someone else gets it" and an extra helping of "it's nothing to be embarrassed about." Still I was mortified. Needless to say my OCD kicked into high gear. After a bit more of this...

there was lots of this...

And when I realized exactly how many blankets and pillows and car seat covers and stuffed animals and bath towels and sheets and clothes and bath mats we have/use on a daily basis, I collected all of these...

(Wasn't it so handy that we just ended frugal February so I had a few "extras" laying around?)And I went here:

Where I proceeded to use 12 washing machines and 9 dryers and washed every single thing I could jam into a machine. I'd like to also let you know, at no time did I look this relaxed. Just as I was finishing getting the last load going, the first one finished. And just as I'd finish folding the load from one dryer another one would beep. It's been a loooooong time since I was in a laundry mat. Let me save you the suspense--they haven't changed much.
Everything that couldn't fit in the washer went in the basement. Like this...

I'm pleased to say after much checking and lots of vacuuming and lots of spraying and lots of hot water we are all clear. Thankfully no one else got them. (Knock on wood.) So please do forgive me for not writing for a few days. I was a smidge busy.
And finally, this last picture? Well this was what I used as a blanket and a pillow for the first 3 nights of this adventure.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The one where April makes excuses

Well. It's official. Frugal February blows.

It's been a few days since I posted because I wasn't really prepared to admit the truth. The frugal wagon and I have separated. You could say I fell off it. Payday was a couple of days ago and my plan what to transfer the full amount of one check to our savings account. But we had friends over for Valentine's Day brunch (and I felt obligated to buy tasty treats and few decorations). We also had a bill I wasn't expecting (what??) for our CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture)--essentially we needed to pay for all of the vegetables we'll get from May-October this month. I didn't think they would take too kindly to me calling them up and saying, "hey guys, I'd love to pay the bill right now, but I'm in the middle of this crazy experiment, so can I wait until March?" And I like to pay extra on our mortgage. Again, I'm not going to skip paying extra on the mortgage just so I can fulfill the terms of an experiment I've set up for myself. (Did you like how I justified my choices right there?) And it was Tuesday. No seriously, Tuesdays kill me. I get in the car at 2:45 and proceed to spend the next 3 hours shuffling the kids around town to various activities. By the time I pick G up at 5:25 I'm done. If I don't have something in the crock pot it is very hard to resist the siren call of pizza. And from my last post, you know getting something in the crock pot sometimes means tardy slips for the peeps.

So, I'm resolving to keep trying. A small amount of glory is better than no glory, right? I have resisted many things. I keep reminding myself that the things I want are big ticket items (a new car, a laptop, a Kindle) which will require giving up lots of small ticket items. I also keep reminding myself that the things I want are only "wants." Not needs. We're good. We've got a roof over our heads, food in the pantry, jobs to go to and our health (knock on wood) and I'm grateful for that.

The month is halfway over and there's still time...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 7 update

Frugal February is going fairly well so far. Today was the real challenge. We went to my version of the happiest place on earth. My mecca. My little spot of sunshine. Costco. Oh Costco, how I love you. I mean really, what's not to love? Delightful prices, great options and lovely social policy. Plus free samples! (Side bar, what is up with those samples? I do wonder about them sometimes. Are there honestly people who don't think a Milano cookie is delicious? Or tortilla chips? Or chocolate covered almonds? Do these items require a free sample to convince people to buy them? Really?)

The biggest negative in Costco's corner is that I love their products too much. It's gotten to the point where I just automatically allow myself one impulse item, knowing that there will be an impulse purchase regardless. This is where I knew Frugal February would met its match. Costco vs frugality. Who would win this showdown?

Call me a coward, but I didn't want to find out. So I went to lunch with a friend and sent MD. The only items purchased were those on the list! So impressive! Someday I hope to be this strong. I'm working on it, I swear. For now, avoidance seems to be the best (and most frugal) policy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another excuse for being late!

Do you know the Seinfeld episode where they keep saying "these pretzels are making me thirsty?" Well, in the same tone say "this frugality is making me tardy."

This morning I was made aware that there really weren't enough leftovers from dinner last night to make 2 lunches for today, let alone enough for tomorrow (I was at PTA so MD cleaned up and put the small amount of leftover chicken in a container for one lunch). I remembered that I had planned breakfast for dinner tonight (a favorite around the short arms house) but breakfast for dinner doesn't give you any leftovers for lunch the next day. So my first thought was, "I'll just swing by the grocery store, pick up some turkey and some rolls and we can have sandwiches for lunch tomorrow." My second thought, "Really? You can't go one day without buying something?" Then I remembered I had a crock pot recipe that called for frozen chicken and BOOM, problem solved!

Not so fast. I don't usually (ever) allow much spare time in the morning. AND I hadn't set anything out the night before. Cut to me trying to find the cans of beans in the pantry, splashing myself with chicken broth because I'm trying to pour it too fast and realizing I only have one cup of salsa instead of the two the recipe calls for. (Believe you me, I was thinking of another word that goes along with Frugal February.) But I persevered. Everything was in the crock pot, ready to go, I quickly packed myself a lunch and then looked at the clock. Hmmm, suddenly I had two minutes to make the seven minute drive to school.

So, the peeps were a bit tardy, but dinner was tasty and they will also be delicious for lunch tomorrow.

Since we're all being honest here I did spend one dollar today (on a package of M & M's from the stupid vending machine). I wanted the 90 cent package of cookies so I could have 1/2 today and 1/2 tomorrow. However, when I (repeatedly and aggressively) pressed its number I kept getting the "make another selection" message. Then when I pressed "coin return" it wouldn't give me my money back. Then the nice person behind me offered to push the button and it didn't work for her either. So her friend offered to push the button, no dice. I contemplated asking them to just give me a dollar and they could use mine which was already in the machine, but I try to avoid being looked at like the crazy lady at the vending machine. Hence the M & M's. Next time I'll just have a piece of gum.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February is Frugality Month!

Back in January, after the bills had been paid from Christmas gifts and all of the holiday fun, I started thinking about February. And how it might be time to buckle down on a few things. Every now and then I like to set a challenge for myself, plus I'm a big fan of alliteration, therefore I have declared February to be frugality month. Frugal February.

This month I have decided we will live on just one income, just to see if we could make it. Thankfully, this isn't a necessity. So far both MD and I have managed to survive the numerous layoffs that have occurred at the company we work for (knock on wood). However, it has been stated that another 13 million dollars in cuts will most likely need to be made this year, and we all know you don't cut 13 million by just eliminating pens and copy paper. So I thought it would be good to see if we could survive on less. We've done this before. Years ago, before I got pregnant we did the same thing, just in case I decided I wanted to stay home with the baby we (I) needed to know if we could pull it off. It worked out OK. Not great, just OK. Even for a cheapo like me, sometimes it was a bit too much. The fact that I knew we could do it was comforting though. I've always liked working for pay so I returned to my job although I've now worked half time, 75% time, full time and 80% time trying to find the right balance. I also don't want to turn this into a post about working at home vs. working for pay (I would be the first to tell you working at home as a "stay" {ha ha} at home mom is HARD, HARD, HARD work).

I digress. Back to the challenge. I decided we would start the month with whatever money was "left over" in the checking account. Side note--I love that idea--"left over" money. HA! It reminds me of the days in college when people would ask you if you had "any extra beer" like the case suddenly came with 25 or 26 instead of 24. Not that I was drinking a case of beer, or with people who were doing such a thing mind you, this was only an example...

ANYWAY, I figured the "left over" money would be enough to make it to payday on the 10th. Piece of cake. Most of our bills are due after payday and I really couldn't see any surprise expenses in the next couple of weeks. Only January was kind of expensive. Insurance was due. We also typically pay the full year of our shared cell phone in January. We had a date night at a fancy restaurant. A deposit on Boy Scout camp in the summer was required. After making our usual transfers to the savings account and minus a donation to the Red Cross, it appears that our "left over" funds total...gulp, $42.40.

And so we begin. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Half full? Or half hairy?

So. Peeps. I was in the shower this morning and thought to myself, "Self, you actually got up early enough to shave those legs and since it's been a day or two (or 4-zip it--it's winter here!) you should do that." So, I squirted the shave gel on one leg, shaved it and then realized that I was entirely. Out. Of. Shave. Gel. None hiding in the closet. None in the travel bag. Even MD's wasn't available because he has started to shave in the other bathroom because I complain it takes him too long and I need to get in the shower and now I'm going to be late. (Yeah right, like it's his fault I'm running late.)

But back to my troubles. Essentially I'm walking around with one stubbly leg and one smooth leg now. And I have to tell you, it's a bit unsettling.

But it made me think of the old saying about the glass being half full or half empty. I think I'm going to try to change that saying to. The new check to see if you're an optimist or a pessimist is: "Are you one leg shaved or one leg hairy?" Oh, yeah, that's got a super catchy ring to it! I'm sure it's going to be sweeping the nation any day now. And you can point to this blog and know where it all started.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Slow cooking update...

I made the Salsa Chicken with Black Beans soup. I should have used canned beans or cooked it on high the entire time because my dried beans didn't get quite soft enough in time for dinner. (Dudes, we've got some seriously hard water here in P-town and it's impacting my beans!) Even with slightly crunchy beans it was delicious. The very best part was the fact that I used uncooked and completely frozen chicken breasts--take that lack of meal planning! The second best part was me trying to convince P that the "green stuff" in the soup *might* be celery, despite the name of the soup being "Salsa Chicken". Hee hee.

Another friend I showed the site to made the Pot Roast with Cranberry Sauce last night. Her report back was "incredibly easy and delicious." I'm looking for other suggestions of winners if anyone tries anything else!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Is it just me or does cumin smell like a construction worker's sweaty armpit? I'm trying a new recipe today, from a blog I've recently become obsessed with (it's actually a blog from two years ago--yet again proving my T-Rex like prowess when it comes to this thing we call the internets). I'm sure that the cumin will add that "certain something" to it but it totally grossed me out when I sprinkled it in.

I'll be sure to let you all know how it tastes. And the blog, it's here: crockpot365.blogspot.com. The author took on the challenge to make something in her crockpot every day for a year. Every day, man. Every day. And many of her recipes have been put into a book called "Make it Fast, Cook it Slow." Perhaps all of my 3.5 readers will find something in her recipes that tickles your fancy as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Winter musings

I love winter. I really do. I love the sweaters and vests you can wear to hide an extra Christmas cookie (or twelve). I love the way the house seems like there's a giant muffler on it when the snow comes down, quieting all of the outside noises. I love the look of the flakes falling. I love the idea of going sledding. I love to bundle up with a good book and stay at home, out of the cold. I love the possibility of a snow day. But, if we're really being honest here, I only love it for a brief period of time. Like 20 minutes or so. Then I'm pretty much done with it. It was snowy over break, but it's melted now and I couldn't be happier.

However the snow got me thinking. I was trying to decide: is snowy weather the bane of every mother's morning or is summer weather? Winter with the snow pants and the boots and the hats and the gloves (which are always getting lost) and the potential to lose a finger or toe if you stay out too long. Or summer, with the packing of lunches that can stay cool for hours while at camp and the applying of sunscreen, and the bags packed with a swimsuit and a towel and swim goggles and another bag inside your bag to keep your stuff dry on swim days (don't forget if you have a kid with slightly long hair you'll also need some conditioner and maybe a pick or brush). Plus the potential to have your kid get skin cancer years and years from now, and know that it was (maybe) because you got a little lazy with the sunscreen one day. I'm exhausted just writing out the lists! Is it just me? Is it because I work outside the home? Is it because I still have fairly young kids? Is it because I would rather sleep-in for an extra five (OK, 35) minutes rather than do anything else? I'm not sure, but I'm thinking I am really starting to love fall. And spring. Spring is nice too.