Wednesday, November 7, 2012

decision 2012

Ah, the election.  What is there to say, really, that hasn't already been said?  It came, it went, and here we are.  I'm glad it's over.  And now we can all smoke a doobie [in my state and Washington] to help shake off yesterday's stress.  My sentiments on the whole ridiculous ordeal can be summed up, in #somygeneration style, in my Facebook status:
"I guess it's true: once you go black, you never go back. 
And all you republicans need to relax -
we're all gonna be dead in like two months anyway."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

kitchen lessons

Note to self: always stay current on running the garbage disposal.  Because if you don't, you are inevitably going to drop something valuable down there. And guess who's fishing around for it in three days' worth of rotting leftover food goo.  THIS GUY.
Garlic Quinoa Eggs Benedict Fingers

Friday, November 2, 2012

a hairy subject

Well, it’s fall.  And apparently hurricane season, too.  (#frankenstorm!)  All this wackiness in the air has me in the mood for change.  Methinks it’s time for… 
Here's where I'm at: I’ve been trying to grow my hair out for the last, I dunno, three years or so.  It started when I moved to Colorado.  Before that, when I lived in Florida, my hair was very unhappy – I mean that state is like 97% humidity; you’re basically living in a soup can.  And my hair, which is somewhere between naturally wavy and chemically fucked, just cannot stand up to all that moisture.  My only defense was keeping it short. But when I moved to Colorado, a state as dry and square as a piece of toast, I discovered that (gasp!) my hair was not actually the dime store Halloween wig I thought it was.  It could actually behave; it could SUBMIT!  So I started to let it grow.  And it has grown, albeit very, very slowly.  And it was looking pretty good for a while.  Last year was a high point - a cherry cola red with blunt bangs.  But these days it’s looking a little… bleh.  It’s kind of damaged, kind of thin.  It just hangs here on my shoulders, all dull and sad.  Longish, but really rather pointless.  Honestly, I wear it up most days.  I’m definitely in a rut.  And what's the point of long hair if it looks like crap and you have to "fix" it every day anyway?  So I'm thinking...

And dare I maybe even...
 Like, with a pretty brown up top and my red at the ends? 
Heh?  Heh?  Whatcha think?

Friday, October 19, 2012

reading = winning

So I just spent an hour on the floor of Annie's room, doing crafts and listening to her read.  The last ten minutes was me reading to her, during which she fell sound asleep and the buzz I began to feel while she was reading turned into a full-blown drunk.  Except I hadn't drank anything - it was just the mystical, calming effect of actually reading a book.  Apparently, quiet, unplugged evening activities are relaxing.  Apparently they're healthy.  And unlike my usual nightly iPhone Pinterest sesh, it's left me feeling pretty good about myself - instead of hungry, out of shape and feening for a multi-million dollar shopping spree. 
Nighty night, nerds.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

call me macaulay

Through some mystical turn of events, I'm home alone for a few hours tonight.  Well, Estie's here... but she's ass-up in her crib, snoring like a fat little puppy and dreaming of delicious finger foods.  So I'm alone.  Which is RARE.  Like, unicorn sextuplets-rare.  And you know how excited I get about my solo time.  All alone in a big, quiet house... the freedom is intoxicating.  I can do anything - naked pedicures, gluttonous snacking, mindless interwebbing - and no one's around to judge me.  Tonight I'm going with ice cream on the couch, peeing with the door open, and a thirty minute scalding-hot shower in which I will shave every hair below my neck and emerge like a brand-new baby seal, ready to be clubbed.  The hubs will come home to a fat, sleepy hairless mammal, curled in a ball on the couch next to an empty ice cream container.  What a lucky, lucky man...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

walk, walk it out

So did I mention that Estie learned to walk over the weekend?  That's right people, WALK.  On her FEET.  Moving forward, like a real person who matters and does stuff.  It's pretty cool. 
Oh, you're in trouble now! say other moms.  She'll be into everything!
Yeah, well.  This little ginger gets into just about everything already, crawling and climbing and moving along furniture to reach things that look important and fun to break.  So really, what's the dif at this point.  Plus, she gets so stinkin' frustrated when she can't run around with the big kids in the yard/ at dance class/ on the playground, etc.  So the convenience of her finally being able to do all that stuff (and me not having to restrain her from crawling places she shouldn't, which results in one pissed-of little Dorito head) far outweighs the power trip she'll likely be on for the next few weeks.  Besides, she's entitled to a little swag in her step.  She learned to walk upright, for God's sake.  What have YOU learned lately?
my shining star was not really in the mood to perform today.

some of Honey Boo Boo's Go Juice in her bottle, perhaps?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

a bestie for estie!!!

After making me wait for like TEN MONTHS, my very dear friend Lauren finally had a beautiful baby girl for me to play with!

Miss Elliot Grace
Photo by Elliot's daddy, Robby
A natural-born shot-caller, Elliot stubbornly refused to come out on the day her mom's water broke, choosing instead to wait for a C section at 2:30 AM the NEXT day, on her predicted due date. As Lauren's cousin put it, "she knew her rent wasn't up yet."   Baby Elliot was maxing out her lease on Lauren's uterus, like the savvy little boss she's clearly meant to be.  She and Estie are going to be quite the team, as soon as Elliot learns to hold her head up. 
Friend!  Friend! 
Let me get on top of her!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

mommy math

As a parent, it's easy to feel like a failure sometimes.  There's a lot to do and never enough time to do it.  It'll seriously drive you insane.  (Think about your mom - you think she was always that crazy?  No.  You made her that way.)  But I've discovered that the key to keeping your sanity often comes down to basic math. On any given day, if you subtract your "fails" from your successes, things don't seem so bad.  Take for example my day today: I didn't do laundry, my kitchen floor is sticky, and our dinner tasted like Auschwitz rations.  BUT... Annie, her best friend who slept over, AND Estie are all still alive, and relatively free of bodily injury.  For those of you unfamiliar with addition,
3 fails
       -3 living kids

          EVERY TIME.
YAY, FORTS! Clean living rooms are over-rated.

Friday, October 12, 2012

i'm baaaaaaaaack!

So let’s just go ahead and address the elephant in the room here:  it’s been like a month since I’ve blogged.  I know.  I’m an ass.  And I’m not going to make any excuses.  All I’ll say is that I’ve had some pretty serious personal issues going on recently.  It’s bad.  A death in the family.  A couple deaths, actually.  And a missing person.  Also a sex tape scandal.  A rather large fern in our living room is wilting.  Plus, I’m growing my bangs out (can I get an amen?!).  Shit’s been ROUGH.  And when your dad and grandma die [twelve and five years ago, respectively] and there are leaves all over your living room and your bare ass is on the internet, it’s kind of hard to churn out light-hearted quippies about ginger kids and ice cream orgies.  Just sayin.
Please inbox me for a mailing address if you would like to send a card.
But seriously...
My loves, I'm sorry – I let ya down. 
I’ve missed you. 
Thank you for missing me back :)  
*Okay, after fielding two separate inquiries from concerned friends, I feel this post requires a disclaimer:  IT'S COMPLETE BULLSHIT! I mean, except the deaths; those people are really dead.  But they've been dead a long time now.  You don't have to feel bad.  Kthxbye!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

i just gotta dance

So excited.  After a four-month hiatus, my little family is going back to dance class tonight.  And by "dance," I mean clogging, which my sis-in-law teaches and I would LOVE to make fun of - but the truth is, it's crazy fun, family-friendly, and a fantastic workout.  Plus, I love the other ladies that dance with us.  So I shut up, strap my taps on and play along.  I'm awful - but it doesn't matter.  It's still fun.  And the hubs, who tries to hide the fact that he's been clogging since he was four and is AMAZING at it, is going to come dance with us!  Have you ever danced any kind of synchronized jig with your spouse?  I highly recommend the experience.  It's mortifying, and therefore bonds you for life.

We talked B. into performing at the last recital.
He looked like he was in a gay pride parade, which I found strangely attractive.

Pinterest: teaching the estrogen-challenged to cook, one board at a time. 
Tonight's lesson:
 "Man pleasing" dijon chicken (their words, not mine)
We're on a mission to find healthy substitutes for our standard kid-and-husband- friendly fare around here, and these dishes fit the bill.  Quinoa is packed with fiber and protein, unlike, say, chicken-flavored Rice a Roni.  (I did substitute organic chicken broth for water to boil the quinoa, which added nutrition and a substantial amount of flavor.)
The verdict:  I'm not sure what man they cooked this chicken for, but it wasn't my husband.  He and Annie did not enjoy this dish.  The dijon sauce was too strong for their little unrefined palettes.  (Welcome to my life.)  I thought it was delicious.  But I agree the sauce is strong - it's definitely not fit for a meat-and-potatoes crowd.  "Man pleasing" my ass.
The quinoa, on the other hand, was a hit.  Well, sort of.  They ate it, which is better than I expected.  I'll definitely be using quinoa to replace white rice in some of our staple recipes.  In fact I made a bunch this time and I'm using the leftovers to make fried "rice" tonight.  We'll see if I can "please my man" this time.


Monday, September 3, 2012

a baby shower

Last year around this time, I was preggo and my friend Lauren co-hosted a fantastic baby shower with my sister.  The theme was "Prohibition" and we all dressed like flappers and gangsters (it was co-ed), shower games were outlawed and the boys played poker in the basement.  There was also booze, which of course I couldn't have but everyone else appreciated.  Now THAT'S a shower. 

Fast forward twelve months and it was time to return the favor, since Lauren is expecting her own little bundle of responsibility, Elliot Grace, in October (SO EXCITED!).  So I did - I threw her a shower.  Except that we had it at her aunt's big, beautiful house, and Lauren's big, beautiful Italian dad did all the cooking.  So WE threw her a shower, really.  The experience taught me many things: 
1.  I suck at organizing.
2.  I suck at budgeting.
3.  I suck at time management.
4.  I don't suck at crafts nearly as much as I thought I did, but I still hate them.
5.  I suck at public speaking.
6.  I make freaking excellent blondies.
7.  Someone else needs to do the rest of the cooking.
8.  Champagne bellinis are awesome.
9.  With much help from friends and family, "I" (we) can throw a pretty decent party.

This is what it looked like: 
The invite - Lauren and her hubby are photographers,
so I ran with the "Picture Perfect" theme.

Photography-themed onesies I rigged up in "Polaroid" painted canvases. 

A memory board I made to match the baby's room.
Guests took Polaroids of eachother and wrote messages for Elliot on them.

There was apparently a color scheme, and we nailed it!
 I am seriously gonna kiss that baby's face off when it gets borned.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

how to properly love your child: a DIY

I can’t tell you how often people say to me, “Leila, your kids are fantastic.  Annie is sprightly and precocious, and little Estie is so well-adjusted for a nine month-old.  I can tell that when she shits her pants, she’s only doing it out of lack of bodily control, and not out of spite like my kids.  How do you do it?” 
Well, I say to nobody at all, it's pretty simple:  I love my kids the right way.  It’s easy to fuck up, and you’re probably doing it wrong.  Here are a few simple steps to ensure that you stop the cycle of hate you've created:
1.        BE AFFECTIONATE.  Most parents think that hugs are enough, but they’re not.  Hugs say, "I like you, but I don't LIKE YOU like you."  In order to make your child actually feel loved and not grow up to be a murderer, you need to kiss them - often and passionately.  To do this, start by getting right up in your kid's face for at least thirty seconds.  Touch your nose to her nose until it seems like she has one giant eyeball.  Try not to blink.  In a firm voice, say, “I LOVE YOU, [insert name]."  Be enthusiastic, but don't patronize – she can tell when you’re lying.  Now for the kiss:  make a sexy pouty face with your lips.  This is not meant to turn your child on - it's to allow for proper latching.  Suck in through your mouth to create a vacuum.  Aim for her cheek, and attach yourself to the fatty puff like a leech.  Remain there long enough to make an impact, but not leave a hickey.  It’s a delicate balance, and the length of time may vary depending on the thickness of your child's skin.  (Do a test patch first.)  When you release, do not wipe your saliva away.  It’s a representation of the DNA you share with your child, and it will remind her of your unending connection as it dries and forms a crust on her cheek.
2.       GIVE PRAISE. I’m not talking about the generic auto-response you mumble when she shows you some abstract stick figure artwork she did at school.  “That’s nice, sweetie” is not enough.  “That’s nice” is bullshit.   Truly effective praise comes at unexpected moments.  You want your child to know that she doesn’t even have to be doing anything awesome – you’re still CRAZILY proud of her.  Tomorrow, when your child is playing peacefully on the floor with a dinosaur or a tea cup or an electrical outlet, approach her quietly from behind.  (Really quietly.  The element of surprise is key here.)  Crouch down so that your face is right at her eye level, and make sure to smile REALLY big.  Cheshire cat big.  Now shout your child’s name loudly, right into her ear hole.  This lets her know that SHE is the special kid you’re about to praise.  When she jumps up and pees her pants in terror, just keep smiling.  Embrace her, and tell her that even though she’s six years old and still pisses her pants, you still love her.  She is wonderful and has the most pleasantly-scented urine you’ve ever laundered.  *I highly recommend indoor/outdoor carpeting for this step, or some kind of mulch.
3.       CREATE MEMORIES.  Going to the park is fun.  Going to Disney world is MORE fun.  But dressing up like Mickey Mouse and climbing into bed with your child so that a huge, freaky mouse head is the first thing she sees when she opens her eyes: now THAT makes a lasting impression.  She won’t forget that.  Just an idea.
4.       CHECK IN.  Many new moms go into their baby’s room at night to check on them, just to make sure they’re breathing.  This is good.  But why stop when they get bigger?  What kind of message does that send?  “You’re old enough to wipe your own ass, so I no longer care if you live through the night?”  Stop being so selfish.  You need to go into your child’s room every hour to check on her during the night.  And don’t just sneak in like some creepy burglar – turn the light on so she knows it’s you.  Put your hand on her back to make sure she's breathing.  Then pinch her nose to REALLY make sure.  If she hasn’t already woken up at this point, shake her a bit so she knows you're there, and you care.  In the morning, the dark circles under her eyes will remind her that she is loved and properly looked after.
5.       FEED HER.  You’d be surprised how many parents forget this one.
6.       BE THERE.  You can never be too “present” for your child.  Volunteer at her school; go on her field trips.  Take her to the movies.  Hold her hand.  Carry her over puddles.  Listen to her conversations.  Follow her into the bathroom.  Set up cameras in her bedroom.  Hide in her closet.  After all, you can’t really love your child for who she is unless you know EXACTLY who she is at all times.  The same is true for your spouse.
Remember, the damage you’ve already done to your child is irreversible.  But with these steps, you can at least stop screwing everything up and hope they forget your mistakes by the time they're old enough for therapy.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Holy crap, I actually have a second installment of my Last Days of Summer photo series!  Way to follow up, I say to myself!  Back: patted.
Here are my girls, playing in the yard while daddy grills dinner.  I didn't get a chance to capture our steaks and chicken kabobs before we tore into them like starving primates, but it's just as well - you'd've been totes jelly.  <--- Did I get that right, anyone under twenty?
I think it's funny they're in the same position, making the same face!

Shoes off in the grass - that's the Georgia in them! 
(Estie's pants being off... that's just me.)

My little ginger and my Mexican.  So pretty!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

the dog days are (almost) over

I don't want to disappoint you, but there are no dirty words or food-sex references in this post.  Sorry.  I do curse like a sailor and make sweet, filthy love to my food on a daily basis - it's just that sometimes I like to keep that stuff private, for my kids and husband to enjoy.  There are a few money shots, if you will, of the delicious edibles I enjoyed this weekend, but it's strictly PG.  For today :) 

Behold, the first (and maybe last, with my record of inconsistency) installment of my "Last Days of Summer" photo series.  I just love how bloggy that sounds!  Really it's just snapshots of my weekend, which was spent mostly at my in-laws' enjoying the kids and having a BBQ while it's still nice and sweltering outside.  Fall is just around the corner!  I cannot freaking WAIT.


My mom-in-law's homemade peach pie - shut your face!

Grawing happily on her new favorite teether - a carrot!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

why we're soulmates

So the initial feedback on that last post was less than stellar: the hubs thought perhaps I went a bit too far this time. A little too Fifty Shades of Party Cake.  A tad too porny.  And since I respect his opinion and  his morals, I was thisclose to having a crisis of conscience and taking it down.  But then a funny thing happened.  The post, which I'd shared on my Facebook, pretty much blew the EFF UP.  Friends and friends-of-friends were re-sharing it, and discussion threads were forming.  Discussion threads!  From strangers - about my silly little blog!  As a result my readership sky-rocketed to a record number - the highest so far for a single post since writer, interrupted began.  And if you know me at all, dear friends, you know that readership and popularity win out over morals in my book.  E'ry time.  So I left the post alone (DUH) and it continues to gain views.
So what has this experience taught me (aside from "never listen to my husband")?  It has taught me, once again, that you, my readers, are some seriously sick and filthy human beings.  You will read anything, and have no dignity, no morals.  You crave smut and profanity, gobbling up every last bit of obscene, immoral trash I feed you.  You are human compost heaps, and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Best friends forever?!  Yesssssssss.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Have you ever had an experience so profound, it completely changes the way you see the world, rearranging all your long-standing morals and values?  Something like that has happened to me.

It started last night, when Annie mentioned that we have "nothing good" for dessert in the house.  Screw watermelon (fruit, bleh!) or dark chocolate, or gay-ass peppermints, she needs something GOOD.  So today at the grocery store I grabbed some random kid-friendly-looking ice cream for her. 

Party cake, you say?  Looks festive.  I like cake.  Never heard of Turkey Hill, but what the hell, right?  I decided to take a test bite when we got it home, just to be sure it wouldn't poison my child.  So with a giant serving spoon I partook right out of the gallon container. 
BOOM.  Ice cream-gasm, right on the spot.  Socks: knocked the fuck off.  I didn't even know how to handle it.  I lost my damn mind.  I'm talking laid out on the floor with the ice cream container on my face, making animal noises into an oozing mound of frozen dairy deliciousness.  Don't you judge me: this is velvety-soft vanilla ice cream with BUTTERCREAM FROSTING all swirled up in it, amid pieces of candy-colored CAKE, for Chrissake.  It's a birthday party in your FACE.  This shit is so good, it will make you SICK.  If this ice cream were a dude, I would have extramarital, unprotected sex with it. I would let this ice cream do things to me that my husband has only seen on the internet.  I would make horrible life decisions with this ice cream that would destroy my family and haunt me for the rest of my life, in the form of illegitimate party cake ice cream babies.  I'd give up my kids for this ice cream.  I'd live on the streets.  I'd sell my body just to earn enough scratch for an eight ball of this ice cream, which I would mainline in five minutes and then prostitute myself again for.  I'd get AIDS and not seek treatment, for fear that the AIDS medicine would interfere with my enjoyment of this ice cream.  I would die in some greasy back alley, shriveled and alone, with a brain freeze, for this ice cream.  It's that good. 

It really is.

So I hid it from Annie.  That bitch can eat peppermints.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

summa time, summa time, sum-sum-summa time...

I know, I know - it's almost over.  But at my house we are still enjoying the last fruits of summer.  Yesterday Annie came home from the park with a bike helmet full of goodies she'd helped pick from the neighborhood garden, including a watermelon!  That's right - she used her helmet to literally protect her melon.  That's my shining star...


We had yummy squash and zucchini for dinner tonight, with watermelon for dessert.  Tomorrow's lunch: flowers!

Monday, August 20, 2012

pictures i'm in

Go to YouTube.  Pull up one of the following songs, and turn up your volume.  In the words of Father Leahy at my best friend's Catholic church when we were ten, "Do this, and think of me."

1.  "I Miss You" by Incubus
2.  "Missin' You" by Trey Songz
3.  "I Miss You" by Blink 182

(I've missed you.)

Here are some thing's I've been up to while I was gone:

Bachelorette Festivities

1. A brewery tour in Denver. So many pretty ladies!  2. Rickshaw, bitches!   3. I think Denver recruits out-of-work hipster models to pedal their rickshaws.  These cuties were everywhere!  4. Possibly the hottest facility I have ever stood in for 45 minutes.  5.  BEER.  6. The panties I made for the lingerie party, featuring the bride's beloved German Shepherd.   7.  She loved them.  8.  Out on the town.  9.  Warm milk nightcap, courtesy of the cow in the lobby of our hotel.

A Wedding

1. The hubs and our nephew, Miles.  2. Estie and Grandpa.  3. Nuptials.  4. Drake, the best man (see panties).  5. The happy (and so gorgeous) couple, Madeline and Stefan Runstrom! *Photo credited to the groom's sister, Monika.  6. Wildflower centerpieces.  7. Annie and Miles.  8. Us.  9. Sunset at the loveliest wedding site, the bride's family's ranch.

It's been a crazy few weeks, but much fun has been had and I've made some wonderful new friends.  Annie is back from her summer in Georgia, just in time for school to start.  Tonight we go meet her teacher, and tomorrow begins fourth grade!  She's ready and excited.  I just feel old and confused - where the hell did the last nine years go?  I couldn't tell you.  But that's how it is when you have kids: the days are long, but the years, they fly.  And baby Estie is no exception, of course.  Her first little tooth finally popped through, bringing with it restless nights and an awful cold.  But she's still our happy little chunk, busy and nosy and so close to walking I feel like it could happen any day.  She's also saying dada, nana, and heeeeyyy (accompanied by a baby bird-esque flapping of her hand - SO cute!).   She's basically ready for college, which is both thrilling and horribly depressing.  No turning back the clock now, though.  Onward we go, brave soldiers.  Onward we go.