Thursday, July 29, 2010
Thanks for all of your kind words regarding our beloved beagle, Bailey. If it's possible, today has been even worse and we are missing her a thousand times more. She is EVERYWHERE in this house, as it hasn't known a day without her. I can't bring myself to pick up her dog bowls or clean out her cage. Maybe in a year.
Those of you who have had to put a pet down...and then got yourself another dog/cat/hamster/snake? How did you ever find the strength to do that? I'm pretty sure I never want another dog again. Ever.
I am suffering from what feels like combination of like post-traumatic-stress disorder and hormone-instability *usually* associated with menopause. I slept for, maybe 2 hours at a time last night. Mostly, I feel like I am going to throw up, until I spontaneously burst into tears and mucous. Over, and over and over.
Many of you asked how the kids are handling it?
Pretty great. Though, I'm fairly certain only G truly "gets" it. They are asking a lot about Bailey today, if they can feed her, if she's sleeping, if she's coming home. Unfortunately, they like to ask these questions in the grocery store, and when I begin to weep I feel a bit like a weenie that appears overwhelmed by shopping with 4 children. Please. I mastered the art of military-style shopping trips and am unafraid to use frozen veggies and/or french bread loaves as weapons.
I have not mastered the art of missing my dog. But if you know how frozen veggies or french bread would aid this process, I am all ears.
To add insult to injury.
We couldn't find L's glasses this morning. You know, the teeny-tiny, doll-sized glasses that cost $300?
We asked L where she put her glasses. She didn't know. Duh.
We texted the babysitter (as she was in charge yesterday morning and throughout the Bailey fiasco). She replied that she last saw them being pushed around in the "little car thing the kids drive around".
That's when my head *almost* popped off my body. Almost. Because you might remember my post a few weeks ago, about attaching emotions to material items? If you are thinking I went all Incredible-Hulk by channeling my dog grief into those glasses?
You would be correct.
I looked everywhere for them. EVE-RY-WHERE. Not a trace, not a clue, not a single ounce of help from the young terrorists that lost the glasses to begin with. Shiz-nit.
Fast forward to our pool time today, at my in-laws with our cousins who were visiting for the day. I am endlessly lubing the children, assigning gear and goggles, etc...when I notice...the red torpedo... is missing. You *might* recall my obsession with pool toys, torpedoes specifically, and the ways you have to go all Hitler like by watching them with the eyes on the back & top of your head to make sure you know their locations. At. All. Times. Non-negotiable. You CANNOT let the big kids at the public pool play with them, unless you are willing and able to dive 14 feet down to the bottom of the deepest part of the pool in a strapless bathing suit. Good luck.
Our babysitter (whom I love, but let's face it, she is taking the brunt of my grief) took the kids to the pool yesterday morning, to escape the sick dog.
Oh my god. Torpedo lost, I had an aneurysm.
After nap time. I CAN'T FIND BIG J's GLASSES. The universe officially hates me.
Mike scours the house and finds them in the boy's room. BROKEN. In two-pieces broken. Though, luckily, they are under warranty for a few years. Know why? Because shiz-net like this frickin day happen all the time.
Boom. Head officially explodes.
Mike does happen to find L's glasses behind the cushions in the sofa. In-tact. I am less green and muscle-y and vein-y. I am calming down. I am beginning to envision a life without the red diving torpedo.
But I am nowhere near ready for another day without my beagle. Or her dog bowls, or her cage, or even the hair she left behind. It's going to be a rough for a bit.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Today was a terrible day.
That started off as a really good day.
Until I got a call from our babysitter, that our dog was "really sick".
So, I rushed home, and she was alert and *somewhat* herself, except that she couldn't stand up, and she was lying in a pool of her pee.
I picked her up and took her to the bath, where she let me wash her, sweetly licking my face and not trying to get away, because she just didn't have it in her.
And Mike and I took her to the vet, expecting to put her down. Only to be told that we needed to try giving her some insulin by I.V. because this was probably blood-sugar related. We ASKED if it was time to put her down. They said to give it a day.
Until they called a few hours later and told us she was continuing to have seizures, and it was our choice, but we'd have to send her to a critical care clinic and try to sort it out. Knowing that seizures weren't normal, and should have stopped with the hours of insulin and fluid.
So we made the call to put her down. Which really sucks. REALLY.
And we went back to the vet and she was brought into us, so weak. But desperate for us to pet her. She kissed us and snuggled into us. And she was so much like herself, because Bailey has never been anything but sweet and tolerant. We were told she was on Valium and that she would be out of it. She wasn't. And that made it infinitely harder.
But we stuck by her and kissed her and hugged her and said goodbye to her and it was all over in less than 3 minutes. And I miss her terribly.
Even though she sat here all these years, without doing much, because she was a *little* low on energy. We've had her almost as long as we've been married, so it's hard to remember a time when she wasn't around.
Most days when we left the house, she just laid around in her cage, never seeming to give us a second thought. But if you paid attention, as you were pulling into our driveway, she would be laying in our dining room with her head on our window sill, just waiting for us to come back to her. By the time we'd get out of the car and into the house, she'd be up and in her cage, or in the kitchen to say hello.
We went straight from the vet to my in-laws house for dinner (previously planned). It was a great distraction.
Until we came home to a dark house. And dog bowls. And an empty cage.
And no Bailey.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Exhibit A. Fruit gummies, liquified in a DISGUSTING, solar powered slow cooker on wheels(translation: my mini-van). Once reaching the consistency of water, they did a little happy dance and congealed into one, solid mass.
Coincidentally, I imagine that this is how ebola was created. So, if there is a black market for highly-contagious and fatal diseases, we've got it covered.
At *some* point, it escaped it's sippy-cup holder, though I am unsure if it was during a game of "who-can-throw-the-biggest-loogie-on-their-sibling", OR if the gummie-amoeba grew millions of tiny, hairy legs.
In any case. It mated with the carpet in my mini-van. For one month straight, that hooker.
But now she needs to be destroyed, because word has spread of her promiscuity, and I just can't handle a hairy gummie/chip-crumb/cheese-it/glitter/granola super germ with legs.
My only question.
Who's gonna eat it, and how much do I have to pay you?
P.s...the picture above depicts her CLEAN side.
And also...tonight was L's VERY FIRST day of soccer camp. Her cleats come up to her groin and she's the tiniest peanut there, but boy is she scrappy. And she jumped right into the opening huddle as if she had ACTUALLY played soccer before (she has not).
She has mastered the art of jumping right in and winging it.
I probably should have mentioned to someone that she has a bit of a vision problem? But it doesn't seem to slow her down one bit, and as she failed to come home with a serious brain injury, I *think* we're good. If only her cleats stretched a little higher, say to her upper forehead?
Sunday, July 25, 2010
We ALMOST changed our minds when we were informed that the movie was being shown in 3D at the theatre of our choice. HA! Introducing eyewear to our many small children (two of which have visual handicaps ANYWAY), had the potential for constant reminding/borderline yelling/temper tantruming/inappropriate singing/threats of punishment/multiple snack spills/15+ trips to the bathroom written ALL over it. Spontaneously bursting into flames on the surface of the sun (translation: being outdoors in St. Louis this weekend) sounded more fun and manageable.
Turns out it was fine! Wha-da-ya-know?
What I did learn, however, is that I am NO WHERE NEAR emotionally stable enough to handle the content of this movie.
If you have ANY tendency to want to hoard things, well, Toy Story 3 will be your biggest enabler and greatest nightmare when it comes to the general (healthy) purging of stuff.
I already have a generally disturbing/unhealthy relationship with inanimate objects that cannot return my affection. Or so I thought. But now, I am learning that toys have FEELINGS that get hurt when you abandon them. Like I did, 16 years ago.
Coincidentally, my mom has informed me that she is having a garage sale, and wants to know which toys I want her to keep.
Strawberry Shortcake figurines? Yes.
Fisher-Price Barn? Yes.
Rainbow Brite? Yes.
The smurfs (plastic AND plush)? Yes and yes.
Bernice, the ugly orange lion I earned after a tantrum in some airport? Yes.
Cabbage Patch Dolls? Do I even need to answer that.
That's a general list. But Mom, add to it, if you happen to come across them: jelly bracelets, garbage pail kids, old chalkboard (and chalk), random shoe boxes that might have housed animals, anything stuffed, my California Raisins, My little ponies, and in general any toy or common household item that was ever played with or brought me any sort of joy/entertainment as a child or young adult. Come to think of it, if I ever LOOKED at it, it should probably stay.
I think that should cover it.
Honestly, I would rather build an addition on to my house than have to pay the counseling bills associated with this movie and the psychological effects my actions *might* have on the stuff I get rid of. Can't handle that kind of guilt, people. No. Can. Do.
Also. The dog in the movie is TOTALLY our fat, lazy, diabetic beagle. Which only proves that animation IS real life.
And. My in-laws own at least 8 of the 12-15 scary toys depicted in the movie. Seriously. One year for Christmas, Mike and I even went on ebay to purchase "the monkey" for them. It's kind of a running joke, because during the holidays, they display these *toys* which give children and most adults nightmares. Let's see, there's the monkey, and a bunny with fangs and a clown that has LOUD and spastic seizures. Recently, a scarier version of "big baby" was recovered. But mostly, after seeing Toy Story 3, I am convinced that NONE OF OUR TOYS must ever, EVER end up at my in-laws house.
And Chuckles the Clown (pictured) totally stole the show for me. Love him. And surely, I will buy him and make certain he is never thrown away or put in an attic. Or donated to day care (shudder). Kids you are welcome (in advance) for the clown you will one day inherit and proudly display on your bookshelves.
Along with the psycho monkey and the bunny with fangs and the exorcist clown.
Friday, July 23, 2010
We have a turtleneck SITUATION.
I found this little gem on my Yahoo-oooooo home page this morning.
Totally. made. my. day.
If you don't know why this is funny, I can't help you. Wait, yes I can. Turn on MTV. Like right now, because they are running all kinds of crazy Jersey Shore marathons. Don't have cable? What the? How do you keep up on the life of Ray J?
Lets bring it back to the SITUATION.
He makes me want to stick my face in a bag of super-cheesey, cheese puffs. The goal being, to turn myself a very unnatural shade of orange.
Also, it makes me want to have ab cleavage.
OMG. I would DIE if I saw Snookie in a turtleneck that wasn't patterned after an animal skin.
Sidenote: I once bought Mike a turtleneck. He wore it reluctantly. When he returned home, some hours later, it was stretched out and rolled as far-down to his collarbone as he could get it (think clown collar-like). He cried actual tears about how it chaffed his skin. It was our version of a SITUATION.
It actually went EXACTLY like this:
Can I get a fist pump?
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Okee-dokey. Here's the before shot of our family room wall. Bleh. Boring. Off-center. Crooked. As a side note, I hate our family room walls, because they are all BIG. Three huge wall spaces. What do I do with that???????
Also, we have this really expensive family portrait that was taken 2 years ago, and has yet to see the light of day. It belongs in here (somewhere), but currently resides in our basement, where I am sure many a sewer rat have birthed tiny, rat babies upon it.
After yesterday's post, I decided not to use any math skills to complete this particular project, because math can kiss my arse. I decided to wing it. With a hammer. And nails.
If you are laughing at my CERTAIN failure, then you can shut your cake-hole too. Because I am Bob-the-Builder's-three-times-pregnant-female-equivalent. Who doesn't use MATH or any kind of measuring equivalent, which I'm *pretty* sure qualifies me for GENIUS status as far as home building and remodeling goes.
Meet my new wall:
I like the randomness. A LOT. If you are visually anal, and would like to see me place something in the upper right hand corner, well, go take some meds cuz that's ri-donk-ulous. But also know that I have a plan. It's just that once my ideas are 95% done, I tend to lose interest/focus...so that corner may be naked for a bit. You better medicate.
Today the family room. Tomorrow, an entire kitchen powered by the movement of my basement sewer rats. Sans measurements, of course.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Back in 2003, we bought some couches that are an olive green color with red piping. This was back in the day when I thought that I was most defined by deep, dark colors, red tones, ginghams, large florals. You get the picture. I must have seen the look in some 75-year-old woman's home and thought it looked hip and current.
Though, in my defense. I know LOTS of you have previously decorated in deep greens and reds and khakis. Some of you might even own a plaid couch in those hues.
Now. There's no need for name calling.
But, I am finding it hard to update that color palette without a budget that requires selling myself into prostitution (or some other suitable job that pays in currency other than poop and boogers).
And this is, once again, where the holy spirit spoke to me in Hobby Lobby. With the 30%-off all artist canvases sale. Bright light. Cloud of smoke. Fabric. Black? Acrylic paint. Freezer paper.
Enter chorus of angels. Behold! The freezer-paper-stencil-canvas.
Now, I am no freezer-paper expert. But I bought a whole roll/box of it at our local grocery store last year, and it will last me for the rest of my life. Basically, it is waxy on one side, and like paper on the other. This allows you to draw and cut a shape or letter as a stencil on the paper side, and then iron the waxy side onto whatever item you want to decorate. Google freezer-paper stenciling...you'll get a million tutorials that explain it in coherent sentences.
I wanted to stencil some twill fabric with LARGE letters and symbols. So I jumped into Microsoft Word, typed the single letter I wanted and enlarged it to size 600. Then I hit print, and cut the letter out, to serve as my stencil template. I used a scissors, but if your font or object is small or precise, you may think about an X-acto knife.
Once my letter was cut out, I placed it on the paper side of the freezer paper and traced it. Then I cut it out, and VOILA! My stencil was ready to be ironed on to my fabric.
Once it was attached by iron, to the fabric, I painted it with black, acrylic paint. Since these are pieces that are going to hang on my wall and never be washed, I went with acrylic, but if this were a wearable item, I'd probably be safe and use fabric paint.
Then I waited (impatiently) for it to dry.
Once the paint is dry, you can peel the freezer paper off...it comes off smoothly, like butter. And I have heard rumor that you can use the same stencil multiple times.
Next, I centered my letter on to the blank canvases. I left plenty of space on all sides of my newly-painted letter, so that my fabric could adequately wrap around the canvas frame. For reference, I am using an 8x10 canvas for the letters and a 16x20 canvas for the "&" sign.
Once the fabric is in place on the canvas, staple that baby down. You will need a staple gun, and here's where you go crazy, tacking the fabric to the wooden canvas frame. Watch the corners!!! The only place you want to really pay attention to is the corners, and the way you fold the fabric...you'll want to keep it tight and neat, because it will affect the look a little. Think of wrapping the ends of a present...try to keep it all tight and uniform. Pay ZERO attention to the way the back looks. Unless you are super anal, and cannot handle not having straight lines and 90 degree angles on the back of a picture that no-one-will-freaking-ever-see. Then you have problems, and I cannot help you because I am only clean and tidy for the sake of appearance. Hence, the basement that feeds sewer rats and eats small children.
When it's done, it looks like this:
I'm putting the couch color scheme in there, so you get a feel for what I'm working with. I *think* the start white, black and gray brings something modern to the table. But who knows.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I was bored one day, and it might have been raining, and so I loaded the kids up and took them to Hobby Lobby. Because chances are GREAT that they will go all Lord-of-the-flies on me and kill each other with soft cheeses if I keep them penned up here.
True story--Hobby Lobby was having a sale on fake flowers.
That's funny, because Hobby Lobby is ALWAYS having a sale on fake flowers.
And on a WHIM! (mostly out of boredom), we bought some and decided to wing it. Though I will tell you, I am not the biggest fake flower fan. Nate Berkus once told me not to EVER buy them, via the prophet Oprah. But sometimes, I think she is the devil because her favorite holiday things would cost me $100,000 to add 57 pounds to my ass, what with all the suggestions of caramel cakes and popcorn and cashmere lounge-wear. No thankey.
And by association, I just have to assume Nate Berkus is COMPLETELY out of touch with the American Housewife, her love of Hobby Lobby and her inability to say no to their everlasting sale of fake foliage.
Also. I was inspired by this blog and all the COLOR! And I think this gal is so cute, that I decided Nate Berkus could eat my 40%-off-any-single-item-at-Hobby-Lobby-coupon. Get off me, Satan! HISS!
Now. I'm not sure where I am going to put this, as my house has very little color (I'm trying to change that). Once upon a time, I painted a room pepto-bismal pink...though in my defense, I was trying to match a comforter cover. Unsuccessfully.
Another time, I painted a room peach. Thinking white furniture would be nice. Nope.
So now, I am color shy. But hoping to change that by killing Nate Berkus and wallpapering my house in fake, 50%-off flowers.
Monday, July 19, 2010
One of two things has happened: One of my children has eaten a hamster oat snack, or there is a rodent with opposable thumbs living in my home. Either is totally possible...and it's a toss up as to which is grosser.
Last week, while in the care of a babysitter, L opened the hamster cage, caught one with her bare hands, and man-handled it into it's exercise ball. This could have been a disaster on SO MANY levels.
Today, I violated a rotisserie chicken, in a medieval kind of way. Discuss.
Corn dogs are saving my life this summer.
Our local library re-opened this weekend (after a year-long construction project). Based on the number of people there, I *think* they were giving away free samples of crystal meth, though, I failed to find that line.
Do tumors hurt? I'm working on a theory to diagnose rogue stomach pain.
What are the chances my appendix was improperly formed on the left side of my body? In case my painful-stomach-tumor proves untrue?
The damage to my van, following the unfortunate garage-disaster-of-2010 (not to be confused with the stupid-stucco/foam-garage-disaster-of-2007) is $5,000. In case you are thinking of hitting brick with a vehicle, I will tell you this is a bad, BAD (expensive) idea.
Frozen yogurt is laced with marijuana.
In case you are LAME and don't watch t.v....or too-cool-for-school and you own a tivo, you might not recognize THIS GUY. Google "The Old Spice Guy" right away. He's made of marijuana too. Just kidding, that's impossible. But he might be smoking it.
My in-laws have lost a cat. L believes she might be in: Hilton Head, Kansas City or a dark, scary cave.
I started a new book today, it's over 500 pages. And it's set in Poland and the U.S. in the early 1900's. I'm already bored. But hey, I once thought the Twilight series was going to be stupid and it wasn't. OH MY GOD, it wasn't.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
This is a dog with life-threatening gas. In her bladder. Which, apparently, is HIGHLY unusual.
It's causing all kinds of issues, but is also primarily responsible for the pee-to-blood plague we have been witness to. Which I had to suck off our deck with a medicine syringe and store in our refrigerator for an hour.
Oh, yes I did.
So for the moment, Bailey is okay and on a new antibiotic. And diagnosed with, YET AGAIN, another odd and possibly treatable disorder.
In other news: If you've ever looked at your son's hair and thought, "Hmm. This might make an excellent faux-hawk!".
No, just me? Weird.
Well, this is the result. It's about 3,000 beats shy of cool.
Male model #2. Who, strangely, resembles Pebbles Flinstone. And often drives a car with his feet.
Friday, July 16, 2010
$1 buys 40 minutes of independent playtime. When used in combination with your average garden hose.
Introducing, our first experiment with shaving cream goodness.
I used some of my cookie sheets/baking pans to pile the shaving cream into, because I followed the lead of another blog I read. However, the cookie sheets are somewhat unnecessary, and tend to conduct heat in the blazing sun, which acts as a gi-normous, flaming heat source.
In case you want to avoid tears and potential 2nd degree burns.
And now my baking tools will be in my yard, which will be really inconvenient in 2 years when I decide I need to make a sheet cake. Tangent: I registered for TWO of these cake pans, and rarely do I use them. Nor do I own anything that even closely matches the blueberry/boobie plates and bowls that we use EVERYDAY. Or the crystal stemware that could have financed a swanky Parisian vacation. 23-year-olds are way to dumb to choose pieces of lasting significance...best to stick with gifts of booze and money. Or crack, I hear that's awesome.
Mess is not limited to metal baking containers. But that's kind of the point. When I *plan* on being all-out-messy, I can handle it. It's those Sunday mornings when my children are bathed (within the last 12 hours), dressed in their seersucker AND 4 minutes to the start of our church service when a milk spill *accidentally* soaks our clothes/hair/shoes/breakfast./5 toys and 3 books (minimum)..that really throws me into a tizzy. Which is code for raging bi-atch that eats small children.
And just in case you are wondering--this is how you remove shaving cream. At thy brother's mercy, with a garden hose. I was smart *enough* to switch it from laser stream to gentle shower. Or we could have added retina puncture/potential blindness to the list of possible injuries. I mean, I might not have known that the sun is HOT, but I am on top of all highly improbable medical disasters involving water.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Friends, we have done a little crafting over the past couple of days. The primary material needed for this endeavor is the tube that comes inside a roll of toilet paper--so I am currently thanking my lucky stars that I have a young poop-er/pee-er who finds it appropriate to use half a roll of tissue per visit, in the name of bathroom hygiene (heavy sarcasm).
Paper towel tubes work too. You just have to cut them down smaller, or make freaky big flowers.
Take your tube, cut some slits. The longer the slit, the longer the petal. That's what I like to call toilet-paper-tube-flowers-101.
Lastly, I waited for the paint to dry, and then I added some Mod-Podge, with a side-salad of glitter. Also, I did cut some strips of scrapbook paper and glued them around the flower "stems", but as this part of the project is mostly unseen, I find it kind of useless.
The picture above also shows you where I poked a hole through the flower stem, very close to where it meets the petals. I did this, because I added it to a garland I made, thereby making it EASILY displayable.
Here is where I tell you that I LOVE my kid's artwork, but I have a hard time with it, if it's not easy to display nicely. Most paper mache falls into this category. Okay, most projects that are not flat fall into this category. Quite the dilemma.
So today, I am going to show you one of my favorite solutions for odd-shaped art.
Enter: The garland.
Can you even find our flowers?
Peek-a-boo. Using the hole you cut into the flower stem, pull one of the fabric ties (which are already knotted on to the ribbon). That's it, done. I didn't knot the flower on to the fabric, I simply made sure that the hole on the flower was somewhat small, so that it doesn't slip off the fabric strip.
Obviously, we made 963 toilet paper tube flowers, but you could add VARIOUS, non-matching art items to the garland. The bright colors help it all to blend in, and look really cute. GREAT idea for kids rooms, to sit on a shelf, or a curtain rod, or simply hang it vertically against a door. Think about photos, the fake-plastic (beloved) medals your kids get at sporting events, clay ornaments...all would do great on a garland.
I prefer not to think of it as hoarding...but as creative, artistic expression.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
"I blinked back tears. "Compromise, eh?" Isn't it sad, growing up? You start off like my Charlie. You start off thinking you can kill all the baddies and save the world. Then you gt a little bit older, maybe Little Bee's age, and you realize that some of the world's badness is inside you, that maybe you're a part of it. And then you get a little bit older still, and a bit more comfortable, and you start wondering whether that badness you've seen in yourself is really all that bad at all." -- From Little Bee by Chris Cleave
One of the things I have been doing A LOT of this summer, is reading. Which I love. Infinitely inspiring, because I have read a lot of great stuff lately. At some point, I'll publish my 2010 list, but I'm hoping to add to it a little first, as January--March were sssssssllllllllllllllooooooowwwww reading months for me.
Anyway. I picked "Little Bee" up at Sam's Club a few months back. The write-up on the back sucked me in...if you see it in the store, give the back cover a read and I DARE YOU not to buy it.
The book was really good. I mean, not "Twilight" good, but I'm pretty sure no author can drag out foreplay for FOUR LONG NOVELS, like Stephanie Meyer. Being able to do that with words makes her my HERO.
And because I played some really bad golf in 90+ degree heat today (walking AND carrying my bag, no less...cue the violins), I am brain dead AND tired. So what you get, is someone else's words tonight. But I'm also curious to know if any of you have read anything good lately, because I am stalking my local library and taking my hoarding obsession to a new, public level!! So if any of you have suggestions (because I feel like lots of us are ALWAYS looking for good reads), leave them in the comments and share the love. I would love to add your favorites to the growing list of books I plan to hoard from my local library.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Now that we are free from the rigorous morning schedule (Mid-August is going to be a ROUGH wake-up call. For all of us.), we have the ability for more spontaneous play. It's my goal for the next 6 weeks, and *hopefully* just the thing to cure me of my perpetually snappy mood with the kids as of late.
My plan is to post pictures of our fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants kind of fun. Because up until now, I have about 10,000,000 photos of kids semi-floating in various pools. And they are getting kind of sick of it. For now, here's some of my favorite summer shots!
(the city garden. it is flat-out awesome.)
(frozen yogurt. new obsession. thank god its fat free. but not if you make it your meal replacement plan.)
Monday, July 12, 2010
Would anyone think I was cute, if I pulled out this trick at the pool? Essentially shoving my stomach skin in my cheeks? Just curious.
FYI, this picture was shot behind TWO layers of pink plastic. If you have a problem with that, talk to Jack Hanna or any wildlife specialist and see if they will capture a candid portrait of hamsters the size of ping-pong balls, that are genetically equipped to survive in the Siberian dessert. I'm pretty sure they will gnaw my pinky toe off as food in the middle of the night, should they ever escape.
FYI x2, I believe an adult pinky toe would feed these things for an entire lifetime. If they are in possession of a meat preservative and refrigeration.
Oh! As sleeping on two, tiny little feet is somewhat of a balancing act, they have a tendency to sway and topple. Which makes them SO cute I have an overpowering urge to monogram them. That is 100% pure Robo Hamster belly, courtesy of The Brain, I think.
On an unrelated note. I am out of razor cartridges.
And this is a big problem. Because I don't know if I have a Venus, or an Intuition or a Fusion or a Quatro or a Silk Effects or a Lavender Ocean or a Lady Gaga. The names alone are ri-DONK-ulous and they kind of make me want to puke.
Also. Based on the artist-drawn rendering that appears on every brand, of every box (seriously, an actual photo would help), THEY ALL LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME.
A name on the non-disposable, razor handle would help.
All of this was no big deal, because I figured that even if I bought the wrong one I would: a)just force it on there (totally safe), or b) make it work with duct tape (even safer).
Imagine my surprise, when I brought them home, only to realize that the "Intuition", my choice, after an eenie-meenie-minee-mo decision process, is basically a razor embedded in a bar of soap.
I mean, I think they sell it as a "moisturizer", but still. I want the plain-jane razor once sold in drug stores, circa 1999-ish? No moisturizer, no scent, no birthday-cake-baking ability or talent for interior design. Just a freakin razor. With a PICTURE on the box. Minus the RIDICULOUS name. Or any sort of contraption that looks as if it is going to leave a slug trail on my legs.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Yes. It is amazing that I manage to keep 4 kids, one dog, one toad and two hamsters alive, thank-you-very-much.
And here is also where you are going to play along and pretend you didn't know that already.
Because today, I hit my in-laws HOUSE with my CAR. Technically, this is the second time I have crashed a vehicle into a house that they own.
Though, the first time, I was driving a golf cart. But that house (in South Carolina) is made out of foam (translation: stucco), so it did leave quite a mark. QUESTION FOR HOUSE BUILDERS: Who the hell thought to create a house out of FOAM (stucco)??? Dumbest idea. Ever.
Well, besides driving a car into a house made out of foam, that is. Or brick, apparently.
Here's the deal. Their driveway is tight and since I am a weenie, I won't attempt it in reverse. Which means I have to turn it around Austin-Powers style, but give myself enough turn radius to clear the corner of the house.
On a related note: During a visit to St. Louis, when I was in college, I had to drive to an interview. As I didn't have a car, my mother-in-law (my boyfriend's mom, at the time), let me use her LEXUS to get downtown, in a city I had NEVER driven in before. It took me 20 minutes to get out of the garage, as I attempted to avoid the brick garage, that I now know, I was always DESTINED to cream with a car.
I don't know what it means, if I can't drive a car and THINK at the same time. But it can't be good.
Unfortunately. I let a little expletive fly as I was heading with G to a birthday party we were running late for. So I headed off, WITHOUT MY CELL PHONE, which meant I had a full 25 minutes to think of all possible ways Mike was going to kill me and the various side dishes he would serve with my thinly sliced and grilled flesh.
Here is where we are going to keep it REALLY real. Because I learned some things today.
Like how you should NEVER drive a car into a brick house. Or a foam house, for that matter.
But here it is. I speak the love language of "gift-giving". I'm being dead serious, if you're not familiar with the book "The Five Love Languages", RECEIVING GIFTS is a way that people express and feel love. It is mine. And simply admitting that makes me feel like a shallow, materialistic tool.
Though in all honesty, if you ate fiber and purposely pooped into a polka-dotted cellophane baggie AND tied it with grosgrain ribbon? I would *probably* interpret that as love on your part. And then I would go and get a Hepatitis shot.
The downside to having gift giving/receiving as a love language? When you destroy something material, and the anxiety is so great that it reminds you of the days when your twins were on life support in the NICU.
Because if part of me defines love by gifts, then another part of me defines disaster by the damage, or loss of possessions. In my 25-minute-car-ride-to-my-own-emotional-hell, I will tell you that I imagined Mike PISSED. Because, I am costing us money. And I have such an ungodly and totally inaccurate view of money that in my mind, within a span of 90 seconds, I could justify to you how this is the end of our world. Literally, I believe that I am destroying some part of my life and my marriage because of body damage to my car.
It's 10 hours later, and my husband LAUGHED within seconds of seeing the car/house. Not one bit of anger, or guilt, or anxiety on his part. When I asked what he has to do to keep calm, under these situations and we talked about it for a bit, I realized he just doesn't put that kind of weight in things. He doesn't feel my love in my ability NOT to hit a house with my car.
He can love me, aside from my things.
But I cannot love me, apart from my things.
And the reason my husband is the love of my life, is because he knows that I don't know how to judge my self worth apart from my stuff. And he loves me by showing me, in all honesty, that my value to him goes way beyond any of the dumb stuff I hide behind. My house, my car, my kids, my clothes...its how I pictured myself, at the age of 34, and the mom of 4 kids. But what happens if you don't have it, or you lose it or you stain it or you scratch the HELL out of it by running it into a brick wall? Does it ruin you?
It does, for me.
I have eaten two cookies and a cupcake SOLELY out of nerves and anxiety alone. I might need to slaughter a goat as a guilt offering, Old-Testament style, yo. Anything to shake the feeling that today's mishap is as devastating as Jesus on the cross.
I told you. PROBLEMS.
And if you happen to have any stories about how you ran a car into a house, or opinions on why stucco is the WORST BUILDING MATERIAL EVER, please feel free to leave a comment.
Friday, July 9, 2010
I can officially say that I tried something new today. Called Banana Cupcakes with French Vanilla center. Topped off with icing and the best sprinkles OF ALL TIME.
If you are a sprinkles hater, then you haven't tried these. Because they is C-R-U-N-C-H-Y. I purchased them at our local grocery store (Dierbergs). But, as they are made by that drug dealer, Betty Crocker, and I am *pretty sure* you can track some down in whatever city you call home. Unless, maybe, you live in Hawaii. Because it took UNTIL 2001 (or somewhere around there) for Hawaii to get an Eddie Bauer. For Reals. J. Crew just came to town in 2005. EVERY SINGLE local Hawaii resident, that I know personally, comes to the mainland and heads straight for Bath and Body Works!!! I mean, I'm pretty sure we have 7 of those stores in our mall alone. Totally serious.
Prior to acceptable, mainstream fashion, I existed on Wet Seal and Contempo Casuals. Don't blame me, it's fairly OBVIOUS that the local mall developers were to blame for the fashion disaster Hawaiian's call The '90's. Though in fairness, I will say that Prada and Louis Vuitton have existed on Oahu, since the original Hawaiian monarchy, I think.
Normal, average trends do not tend to hit the islands with any kind of, um...efficiency. Unless, those trends include some form of neon lights on an Asian-made car OR slow-jam music by boy bands. Mom, good luck finding these sprinkles.
Anyway. Here is where I am going to give you the recipe(s) to the best cupcakes of all time.
Banana Cake (for our purposes, baked as 27 individual cupcakes):
2 and 1/2 cup flour
1 and 2/3 cup sugar
1 and 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 and 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup soft shortening (Crisco)
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 and 1/4 cup mashed bananas
2/3 cup finely chopped nuts (we ALWAYS omit this step)
Heat oven to 350 degrees, and grease and flour your pans...typically, I bake this recipe in three layers of round pans. For our purposes today, I used a muffin tin and liners, so no greasing/flouring needed.
Mix dry ingredients. Add shortening, 1/2 of the buttermilk and bananas and beat for 2 minutes. Add eggs and the rest of the buttermilk and beat two minutes. Fold in nuts (gag) and pour into your pans/muffin tins.
I baked the cupcakes for approximately 16 minutes? I dunno, watch it people.
Also ahead of time, I made the pudding, a recipe I got out of a magazine MONTHS ago. Apparently, the magazine is the publication of an online recipe sharing service, called MixingBowl.com (link HERE). I'll post it here, but if you are looking for a great recipe, I would suggest hopping over there and checking it out.
1 3.4 ounce box French vanilla pudding
1 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1 cup whipping cream (now we are talking about some SERIOUS fat)
1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste
So basically, you are making pudding with really fat milk. I couldn't find vanilla bean paste, but I looked it up online, and basically it's the same as extract. So I used 1 Tbsp. of vanilla extract. No one died.
Mix it according to the box, and add the vanilla. Chill for at least 20 minutes, or until you are ready to serve the cupcakes. I did not pre-assemble these puppies...rather, I cut the cupcakes open, layed a glob of pudding and iced them RIGHT BEFORE I served them. Not as complicated as it sounds, remember I am incapable of 1st grade math (or anything requiring more than 45 seconds of my attention).
Last thing...the icing. You could probably buy it in a can and it would be just as good. Or maybe add some lard to the prepackaged stuff, because well...I just don't think this recipe has enough fatness in it.
1/3 cup soft butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. cream or milk
Mix. Add the milk gradually, though, I usually end up adding another 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. of milk, because as it is written, I think the icing is a wee bit thick.
So, now you have all of your pieces, all that's left is to assemble...cut the cupcake in half, and go to town. And Dear God, don't forget the sprinkles. Unless you have gross, regular, mushy sprinkles, because then, what's the point?
Happy Friday, people.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
We have discovered a 2-3 year-old boy in our backyard. Just sitting in one of our kid's riding toy cars. Didn't recognize him, not one bit. Knowing this was ODD and probably (hopefully) sending some parent into panic attacks somewhere, Mike proceeded to walk him down our street. To his HYSTERICAL dad. While the police were combing the large pond that sits behind all of our houses, on the golf course. Totally, horribly, true.
Dad and child do not live on our street. Just in case you think we are totally unobservant and complete idiots. I *might* be somewhat oblivious, but that is because I single-handedly serve as the common sense for five human beings. I do, however, know the names and homes of all children currently residing on our very small street.
I went out to my garage for a Diet Coke.
At which point, I found this friend (pictured above). Just sitting in the passenger seat of my mini (van). No one on our street has a Jack Russell terrier. Coincidentally, I also know the identities and homes of all pets residing on our very, small street.
Yes, I do leave my van doors open ALL THE TIME. Even when I go to Target, on occasion. We have dismantled the feature that keeps the lights on while the doors are open, if you are wondering how I am able to start my car without the use of cables. And this is how "Scout" came to find my rolling garbage dump as shelter, during a short-lived rain storm.
His tags gave me a phone number, and it turns out, he belongs to friends-of-friends of ours, but he had to cross a BIG street to get to my mini (van). As he wouldn't willingly leap down from the seat, I kept him in the car for about an hour, at which time I put my big girl pants on and carried him inside. Hey! Rabies is a silent killer. And I am paranoid about random, unlikely medical issues.
Temporary pet tally: TWO dogs (one diabetic), TWO robo hamsters, one garden toad, one box of loud crickets (soon to be toad food).
Pretty excited to see what else I am going to find in/around my house this week.
Also, if you are missing something, chances are it will turn up here. Possibly, the crap in my basement has gained so much power that it now sucks animals and children away from their homes with its electro-magnetic pull. And probably, it is working with my iphone, because it seems to be the kind of nasty thing an iphone would do.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
A few weeks after discovering the furry, fat heads at our local PetSmart, we are now proud owners of twin robo hamsters. Unofficially, Pinky and The Brain.
G, who has worked WITHOUT COMPLAINT at a rate of $2 per hour, has finally earned her percentage of monetary responsibility for the rodents. This has been BRILLIANT for the general upkeep of my home.
We actually went to PetSmart today thinking we would prepare in advance for their homecoming. After perusing the rodent section, there were no robo hamsters to be purchased. Until we asked, and it was discovered that there was a litter of 6 fat-heads in the storage room. Since we wanted two, and they need to be from the same litter to avoid hamster gang violence, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to pick our robos.
Project for the afternoon: Building the cage that would contain said rodents. HUGE stress on my part. HUGE. This was like building with Legos, only with the possibility of setting small, furry animals free in my house.
I *think* I got it. But time will tell.
G is good with the name Pinky. She isn't so keen on The Brain.
Currently, they are freaking out in our kitchen. I kind of thought these cages with the tunnels, and the wheels, was overkill. Oh, but they are ALL over it. One of them has logged 20+ miles on that darn wheel, I guarantee it.
Current pet tally: One overweight, diabetic beagle, one garden toad, two robo hamsters.