Thursday, May 31, 2012

some scary shit

I have been feeling startlingly domestic lately, and frankly it's really creeping me out.  I mean first with the cooking yummy dinners and actually enjoying it (whaaaat?!) and now I keep thinking up little treats to make at home for my little family to enjoy.  It's awful - both for my waistline and for my snarky disapproval of domestic duties.  How the hell am I supposed to make charmingly ironic digs at my own stay-at-homedom if I actually start DOING the things I make fun of?!  I could lose everything here.

My most recent embarrassment are these homemade frozen yogurt blobby things.  I mean they're retardedly easy to make, so I didn't stray too far out of my comfort zone, but still - what am I doing?



They're pretty delish, I must say.  I'm always on the hunt for healthy kid-friendly snacks, and these fit the bill.  Annie loves them.   Plus they satisfy that "must pop crunchy yet creamy snack foods into my mouth all the time" urge.   (That I have.)

I actually made mine using Activia, since our lives have recently been completely transformed by the stuff.  (The hubs has a bit of tummy trouble from time to time.  Let's just say we talk about poop alot in our house.)

Exhibit B in the case against my sanity:  Annie has a picnic-in-the-park/dance-recital thing tonight, and I packed a really impressive spread for it.  Like, we're pretty much going to have the best blanket meal there.  Everyone's gonna want to get in on the action, you know what I'm saying?  Like chicken salad and shit.  Various diced meats and cheeses, a myriad of crackers, hummus, fresh fruit, et cetera, et cetera.  What the hell?  And also, ALSO, I'm currently planning a baby shower for God's sake, the ultimate ovarian event, AND, I actually have some really cool non-cheeseball ideas for it, straight out of my very own gray matter.  If it goes off like I think it will, it's gonna be some Pinterest-worthy shiz-nit.  Crazy, right?  I know!  There has clearly been some kind of terrible cosmic shift, and I really want to be upset about it.  I really do.  But the problem, the really scary thing, is I think I'm actually beginning to enjoy being a [fitting word for a witty and intelligent gal who has other aspirations but is happy being a stay-at-home mom for now because she is so awesome at it, and who looks cute on the rare days she gets dressed and does social things, thankyouverymuch].  I'm gonna go bake some cookies or something.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

babies are people?!

Earlier today I was discussing exercise with my sis-in-law.  She's doing it; I'm not.  We share a mutual dislike for gym-based activities like lifting, squatting, and anything involving a machine you have to wipe your sweat off of when you're done; but my personal aversion to physical activity extends beyond the gym and into my own home, where I dislike doing any other kind of exercise either.  Sis told me she has found success lately with running - she's discovered  it's the only thing she actually enjoys doing and feels good about afterwards.  To which I said well, yeah... running is just walking, only faster.

I'm telling you this because it gave me insight into something else.  It's totally unrelated to exercise, but just humor me here:  I've thought a lot about this tonight, and I have realized... BABIES are PEOPLE, only SMALLER.  It's true.  And more specifically, baby GIRLS are merely very small, very bald WOMEN, which explains why Estie can be totally awesome one minute, and then totally SUCK the next, just like me!  I mean she'll be crawling around, happy as a clam, chewing on a flip flop or something, and suddenly she'll sit up and just totally freaking SNAP, and start crying for no reason at all, balling her little fists up in red-faced ginger rage like a miniature lunatic.  It's the baby version of PMS!  And actually, it's exactly what my adult PMS would look like if I had no social filter or moral conscience.  I'm kind of jealous, actually, of her complete emotional freedom.  Can you imagine getting pissed off one day and just pooping your pants to spite everyone else in the room?  I'd kill for that liberty.  I'd also love to eat whatever I want and have everyone tell me how cute I am for getting fatter, but I digress.  Basically what I'm saying, I think, is that my baby is the woman I wish I could be... only smaller.

Mommy's little manic-depressive


Monday, May 28, 2012

What a weekend!  Not really.  I mean it was nice but pretty laid-back.  Some highlights:

Bowled a 37.  Didn't even know that was possible.

Let Annie and her friend dunk their heads in buckets of water to cool off on our front porch, while our neighbors looked on quizzically.

Went to Hooters.  Don't ask. 

Busted the myth that men go there for the wings - they suck.  The boobs were good though.

Got to see my bestie twice in three days, which is twice as much as we usually see eachother in a month.

Took the girls to the pool on a day that kept getting cloudier and windier, til Annie's lips turned blue and I made her get out.

Held a bearded dragon.  (That sounds like a bachelor party dare.)  It's name was Norman, and it was a girl.

Soaked up some Memorial Day rays on my back porch while Estie chilled in her bouncer.  Viva la three-day weekend!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

more yummies

I can't even believe I'm about to share ANOTHER recipe with you guys.  Not because of the sharing part, but because of the recipe part.  I guess my uterus is really coming into its own these days.  I can't get it out of the kitchen.  Remember the other night when I mentioned coming home and not being able to resist making candy bark?  Well, this is it.  I made it for the first time this past Easter and haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.  It's super easy to make, so it's a great kid project, and it only has five ingredients, so it's a great lazy-ass mom project.  Right up my alley!  It's also delicious, if you like crunchy/creamy/sweet/salty treats, and really, who the hell doesn't?  The ingredients are almond bark (white chocolate), pretzels sticks, golden oreos, M&Ms and sprinkles.  During Easter, it looks like this:

Original recipe here.

Any other time of year you have to use regular M&Ms, and it looks like this:

I call this version Eighties Cake because of the gaudy primary colors.  It's the same stuff of course, just way less visually appealing.  Either way... ugh, it's so damn good.

bowled over (and dinner)

Did you watch Unlce Buck like I told you to?  Good.  Now mentally rewind to the scene where little Miles and Mazie are telling their bitchy older sister that Uncle Buck is taking them bowling at a place that has rent-a-shoes, and the older sister goes, “Yeah, and rent-a-foot disease.”  Awesome.

Relevance:  last night we took Annie and her friend on a dinner and bowling date as kind of a going-away thing for Annie, since she leaves next weekend to spend the summer with her dad (it's a yearly thing).  While we didn't pick up any fungal infections (so far), we did have a pretty comical time.  Sadly, my iPhone was being weird with the lighting in the bowling alley...

What form!  What grace!  Pretty sure that ball went in the gutter though.

Spoiler alert: I did not get that spare.

Look at my score!  Pro status, don't hate.

Wee-ee are yuh-ooung
So let's set the world on fi-ire
We can burn bri-ighter
Than the suuuh-oo-uh-oo-uh-uhn

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Sometimes (more and more often, actually) I have the kind of day that really drives home the fact that I'm a mom/ wife/ responsible adult person - a day where all I do is run errands and spend time with my little family - and I realize I am totally and completely okay with it.  Today was one of those days.  It went something like this:

7:15 AM:  Wake Annie up for school.

7:16 AM:  Realize the two of us are going to have a "morning," meaning she woke up on the bitchy side of her bunk bed, and I'm going to have to put her in check before we even eat breakfast.

8:15 AM:  Send a crying Annie out the door. 
"I'm gonna miss the bus!" she whines.  "Well then we're just gonna have to take a nice little RIDE together, AREN'T WE!" I say, and she backs off the stoop looking scared.

8:15:30 AM:  Annie catches the bus.

Then til 9ish:  Try to get clean and dressed with Miss Estie on the move upstairs, reaching and wrapping her drooly little paws around everything within two feet of ground level and stuffing it straight into her mouth.  She is clearly on a total power trip after learning to crawl yesterday.

9:30 AM:  Buy a giant mylar balloon, tie it to a bag of Skittles and head to my nephew's pre-school graduation.

10:30 AM:  Sit straddling my brother-in-law's backside on a picnic blanket with the rest of my in-laws and about 200 other moms/dads/grandparents in the gym of the pre-school.  It was tight quarters, and we were asked to stand and sit again twice for patriotic gestures during the America! themed program.  Awkward?   Nah, I always like to wrap my legs around people I'm related to. 

My feet, my bro-in-law's ass.  Just another Thursday morning.

Noonish:  Celebratory lunch with the fam at a place that also has a ball pit.  Sadly becoming one of my favorite restaurants.

1 - 3 PM:  Errands with the hubs.  Grocery store, etc.  Usually I hate this part of my day,  but when B. is free to come with me, well...

It's not so bad.

3:30 - 5:30 PM: Leave the groceries scattered on the kitchen floor while I drive across town to grab Annie's bestie for dance class - our Thursday ritual.  B. stays home to play with Estie and be here when Annie gets off the bus.  I shamefully feed the girls freezer pizza before we all load up and head out.  I am excited because I'm bringing my shoes to dance tonight for the first time in about a year (baby brain did not bode well with my already nonexistent feet coordination).

6:00 PM: Realize the night before a recital is not the time to casually pick up the new routines.  Resign to watching the hardcore rehearsing, hoping in vain to pick up the steps through osmosis.  Happy to join the group for a bit when our instructor (my sis-in-law!) throws me a bone with some older songs I already know.  Am shocked at how rusty I am.  Put Estie in the Johnny Jumper and live vicariously through her joyful, unselfconcious bounce-dancing.  Wonder if they make bouncers in my size (my sis says they do, but they're sold in shops with blacked-out windows).

9 PM: Get home, put the girls to bed and, to recoup the calories I burned during a total of ten minutes of aerobic excercise, make delicious bark candy involving M&Ms and golden oreos.  Eat alot of it.  Feel shame and joy at once, which of course is the basis of all eating disorders, none of which I have. 

10:15ish PM: Sit down to write this post, saying it'll just take a second.

11 something, what's it really matter:  Wink at my patient husband, who is sitting right next to me on his own laptop, pretending this is an acceptable way for us to spend our evening.  He's so cute.  I'm gonna go kiss him now.  Look away!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

on the move

Three cheers for baby!  After weeks of scooching around like a pudgy pink inch worm, Estie has finally mastered real crawling!  We are so proud.  And to reward her for all of her hard work, we took her to get shots.  Awww!  Seriously though, her immunizations happened to already be scheduled for today, so... yeah.  But I think she must have still been on an adrenaline high from the crawling accomplishment, because she was SUCH a trouper for her shots.  She only let out a little yelp for the second of three shots; I gave her a pacifier and she was fine, bless her brave little heart.  She did, however, scream like a banshee when B. removed one of the three band aids the doc had stuck to her thigh fat.  We both felt like crap after that and decided the other two would just have to stay where they were until they fell off on their own.  Hey, I never said WE were brave. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

say cheesy!

I am notoriously awful about having family photos made.  I find posing for staged pictures to be one of the most awkward, unnatural things in the world, and I think most family portraits are kind of cheesy and, if you'll pardon my twentysomething vernacular here, ghey.  That explains why I have ZERO professional photos of myself or Annie from the first eight years of her life.  You can imagine how popular this has made me with her various grandparents!  I pretty much suck as a mom.  But then I moved out here and became besties with a ridiculously stellar and creative chick - I'll call her Lauren, because that's her real name - who has a photography business with her equally talented hubby.  I now find myself at a photoshoot every few months or so.  The mere fact that I keep signing up to have my awkward picture face caught on camera is evidence of how fantastic my dear friends are behind the lens, but I digress.

Anyway, B. and I did maternity photos, which were really sweet and I'll be happy to share when I figure out what I did with the disc they're on.  Then we did one-week photos of Estie, which was the single worst experience of my entire life (and I've given birth twice!).  Our brand-new infant who normally slept twenty hours a day suddenly came to life for her big debut, and she was PISSED.  She peed, puked and shat all over every prop and surface in the building.   Our friends are awesome, so they didn't care - but as a mommy, it was a stressful experience.  We tried the whole thing over again a few weeks later with pretty much the same result.  Lauren somehow managed to get some wonderful photos from both shoots because she's amahhhzing (again, if I can only find that disc...) but the hubs and I both agreed we wouldn't be trying that again any time soon.  I guess five months was long enough to get over the trauma though, because we got talked into yet another session yesterday, this time with the whole fam-damily.  Estie did much better this time around, but it was definitely still a challenge getting her to cooperate.  But hey, she's a baby, she's teething, and she pees her pants every few minutes - how good of a sport can we really expect her to be?  All things considered, it was a really fun shoot.  Than again, pretty much any time I get to hang out with Lauren is a good time - fussy baby or not. 
Here are some behind-the-scenes shots we stole on my iPhone. 
I'll share the final pics when we get 'em!

Such a ham.  Ain't he cute?

Even glamour girls gotta eat.

My girls and our Lauren.
PS - we found out there's another GIRL in that belly!!!
I cannot wait to spoil a little princess I'm not responsible for!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

let them eat balls

So, I can't cook.  We've discussed this.  But I'm really making an effort to be better; take more risks, have some fun with it, don't cry when the roast comes out dry, etc.  And what I have found is that the more I experiment, the more I learn to trust my budding abilities.  In other words, when you burn the chicken parm, don't stop cooking altogether - just don't bake it so long next time.  DUH. 

My most recent experiments were two recipes from Pinterest that I have been salivating over for months and finally decided to try.  Both were originally pinned from a really cute site called Six Sisters' Stuff, which features gobs of family-tested recipes from, you guessed it, six sistersNeither recipe is something I would normally make, since they're not exactly "light" or "clean" eating (read: no veggies, lots of butter, DELICIOUS).  But apparently that's another trick to enjoying the process:  make yummy stuff your family actually wants to eat.  And boy, did we eat!  Both of these treats in one night, too - how DOES she do it?! 

Stuffed Pizza Rolls!


These were pretty ridiculously tasty, and SO easy to make.  Fool-proof, really (I would know!).  And you can stuff 'em with whatever you please, so they're really only as un-healthy as you choose to make them.  We went pretty unhealthy with mozerella and pepperoni, and they were divine.  I would have liked some onion or artichoke in there too, but the hubs and Annie probably would have gagged.  I used pre-made Catalina pizza sauce for dipping and pre-made Pillsbury pizza dough.  Both worked great.  I had some extra dough in the end, so I just twisted it into strips and tucked it next to the pizza rolls in the pie dish.  (I believe that's called improvising!)  The twists made for yummy dipping.  The original recipe can be found here

Cake Batter Truffles!


Yeah, these shouldn't even be legal.  They're that good.  And the best part is there's no raw egg in the cake "batter," which means no baking and no family-killing bacteria.  Score!  These ranked about a seven on *my* difficulty scale, but only because of the last part where you dunk the truffles in the melted almond bark to coat them.  It's tough because the truffles need to be chilled enough to retain their shape, but the bark needs to be warm enough to be a liquid - it's kind of a contradiction.  It's not rocket science, but with a screaming baby in the living room the process is a little maddening.  I tried using a fork, a toothpick, and then finally drizzling the coating over the truffles.  In the end the originally-suggested fork method worked best, even though the fork tends to break the dough balls in half.  Let's just say some of the truffles were less than picture-perfect.  But Lord were they delicious!  Original recipe here.  If you try them and figure out a smarter way to do the outer coating, let me know!  I want to make them again but would love to save the frustration.

*It has not escaped my attention that both these foods are ball-shaped.  While I did not intentionally seek out recipes which resemble male anatomy, I can't help but notice how fun they are to eat.  I might have found the key to my success in the kitchen!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

gone too long

So I kind of took a week off there, didn't I.  Sorry about that.  We were travelling/ hosting a small houseguest/ passing a stomach bug around/ trying to keep from shaking the baby as her teething experience rages on like an hateful, incurable cancer.  I guess I kind of lost focus for a spell.  All better now!  Well, except the teething.  She's still doing that.  She hates us.

So if you remember, we took a little road trip last weekend.  We drove about 300 miles south to visit both sets of Benjamin's grandparents.  It was about as exciting as anyone else's family vacation - here are some things I learned along the way:
1.  Road trips are exciting!  Unless you have children.  Then just don't leave your house.  Five adults and four kids careening down the highway in a two-truck caravan for five hours is not anyone's idea of a good time.  Add in two hours of stop-and-go city traffic and the ride goes from un-fun to a torture that rivals water boarding.  Did I mention one of the children is an infant, and she was in our truck?  It was a long ride.

2.  Hotels are exciting!  Unless you're an adult and you're not on your honeymoon.  Then it's just a bad night's sleep in a petri dish of other people's dirt, with not enough towels in the morning and a free breakfast that is SO not good enough to make up for the bed bugs.

3.  It doesn't matter if we're leaving for a week or for an overnight trip - Estie requires no less than three bags of necessities. 

4.  No homes in Colorado have air conditioning.  I'm just saying.

5.  Old people are really just young people like me, but trapped in little wrinkly cages.  No snark here - I'm serious.  I love old people.  They have the best stories and are always looking for someone to share them with.  And if you're really nice, they usually send you home with something.

6.  There is only so much visiting a five month-old baby can handle.  The exact amount is eight hours, actually.  That's it.  No more.  Time to go home.

 The ride down

The hotel

Estie's first pool experience. Look at her face!

We told them to make the Facebook face. 
I was so sad that they both knew what we meant.

This is how real women make breakfast.
This skillet is from the Oregon Trail.
My mother-in-law's mama is 81, has had eight children, eats this for breakfast and is still svelte.
What the hell are we doing wrong?

Three generations of gingers!

My sis-in-law, whose insanity keeps me sane at family fuctions.

Lupe, the farm dog.

What, you don't see bufallo on your road trips?

Time to go home.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

To make up for the fact that I'm barfing more than I'm blogging, please enjoy this video of Billy Eichner on Conan, which had me laughing like a stoned hyena on the couch last night.  It was a rerun, but whatevs. 

I tried to embed it, but it said nuh-uh.  So click this:

Stomach. Flu. 

On the bright side, I am gonna be sooo svelte when I finish throwing up...

Friday, May 11, 2012

travel fail

At a hotel out of town visiting family. Thought I would do like a little travel journal thing... but as you can see, things don't look quite right when I do this on my iPhone. I can't even change my font - it's actually pretty comical. So I guess I'll have to catch up when we get back on Sunday... I'll post pics from our adventures then. Have a beautiful weekend my loves!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

silly children

Ah, youth.  When the novelty of staying up late outshines the promise of a good night's sleep. 

Annie has a friend staying over tonight.  It's 10:30.  The girls just came downstairs to watch a movie, and B. and I are going to bed like the old, wise owls we are.  Long day tomorrow, and the next will be longer still.  More later.  Til then, my little owls.  Goodnight.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

how do i love thee, juliet

So the hubs and I just watched The Voice finale on DVR.  Spoiler alert (if you've somehow managed to avoid every news program for the last 24 hours): the black dude won.  And good for him - he's got an amazing voice and a beautiful family to feed.  He's awesome, seriously.  Kudos, Jermaine.  But more importantly, at least on my radar, bon voyage, Juliet, you fabulous, exotic flower you.  We won't discuss her performance with Flo Rida - we just won't go there.  I will however touch upon her ever-changing mane throughout the season, from dishwater to platinum to the eggplanty ombre concoction she was sporting last night... I dig it, all of it.  She is a divine chameleon, a canvas for color and clothing and shiny, spiky things.  I will say that I prefer the original, blind auditions version of her coif above all others, but no matter.  She works it all and works it well.  And the fashion - my Gawd!  From full-body feathers to tip-to-tail sequins to linebacker-meets-Gaga shoulders, SHE wears that shit.  It doesn't wear her.  And did I mention she can SING?  Like, I now believe in reincarnation because CLEARLY Janis Joplin = Juliet Simms.  Do you hear me?  This chick has literally changed my religious beliefs.  So here's to you, Juliet, you beautimous, anthem-belting, badass bitch.  I know we have not seen the last of you.

O.G. Juliet.  Instant love!

Gypsy Juliet.  I die.

She shoulda won.  There, I said it.