Thursday, December 31, 2009

The second tooth is through. What a great way to end the year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First night in the big girl bed went wonderfully. First nap is leaving a bit to be desired.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sam is a crawler. I took the computer power cord out of his mouth and he turned a full 180 and scooted a foot to try to get it back. Look out world. Ninja destruction approaches at ground level.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Every time the track changes on the CD Froggy runs in to show me how to dance to it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We have a tooth!

Friday, December 18, 2009

If a laundromat, a cafeteria, and a toy store had a tequila fueled night of wildness my house would be the result.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

We're all going to starve to death naked if I don't get a move on this housewife thing.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

When I see a well put together woman in the middle of the day I immediately think tranny.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Reindeer poop

Recipe / story goes here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I realized today that I'm an optimist. Not only is the glass half full but my free hand is on the tap. It's all good baby.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

When traveling, always have the kids outnumbered by at least one adult. Or bring sedatives. Either way.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I have a new stove and oven. Woo hoo. If Juergen gets around to fixing the water coming out of the light socket I may have to stop calling him a slumlord.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Me: Do you want Cheerios or MiniWheats for breakfast?
Froggy: Meatballs.
Me: Ketchup or mustard?
Froggy: Yellow ketchup.

And I wonder why I'm tired.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Note to my kids:

Neither of you is an only child. Sometimes you will have to wait and sometimes you will have to share the lap. It won't kill you but you are making me deaf.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sometimes good things happen to good people.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jambalaya Muffins

I should have known better. Much like the cool guy in high school that everyone later realized was just an alcoholic bully reading this recipe after the fact is a smack in the head. Diced meat? No spices yet called Jambalaya? Doom.

I considered linking to it but since I have almost nothing nice to say I'm going to do the honorable thing and say it behind her back. I will say that it can be made in stages which is always a good thing at my house. The meat was diced while my daughter was coloring. The veg were diced, break for a diaper change (and hand wash) and then sauteed. Once you start combining the wet and dry ingredients it's all systems go but up until that point it's pretty easy to take breaks as needed.

The basic cornbread recipe is sound. It should be. It's the one on the back of the box. The jambalaya additives are not OK. The first bite immediately brought to mind vomit. I don't mean it reversed my gears into the technicolor rainbow but the combination of meat flavor and grainy texture was devastating. I kept waiting for the burning sensation of tequila to follow the taste. Really, how often do you have a mouthful of tiny bits of pork and it's not because you horked? The green pepper and onion added a bit of flavor, but they were the flavors of green pepper and onion not jambalaya. It would have been easy enough to throw in some of the cajun seasoning that every home has but never uses but I had recipe tunnelvision. Surely it would be good. It was on the internet.

The final result did inspire one of the longer sentences my daughter has ever spoken. "I don't want it." The child loves bread, pork, and things that fit well in her hand. These should have been her new favorite but she's savvy. She knew that meat should not be pureed. Ever. Even mincemeat pie has evolved to meatlessness.

Should your family need to be punished or you want to inspire greater communication with your toddler, here's the recipe. You were warned.

Jambalaya Mini Muffins

3 T butter
1/2 c onion, very finely minced
1/2 c green pepper, very finely minced

1 c cornmeal
1 1/4 c flour
2 t baking soda
1 t salt

2 eggs
2 c buttermilk

1 c cooked ham, very finely minced
1 c cooked Italian sausage, very finely minced

Preheat oven to 400°.

Melt butter and saute onion and green pepper until softened, then let cool slightly. In a large bowl whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt. In a large measuring cup beat eggs into buttermilk. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients all at once. Stir until just combined, taking care to break up any clumps. Gently fold in ham, sausage and vegetables.

Grease mini muffin pan (I use Pam!) Scoop a generous tablespoon of batter into each cup. Bake 15-16 minutes until tops starts to brown.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beaten by Butter

My moms' group made cookies in a jar today. One of those allegedly simple recipes where you just add the wet ingredients, pop in the oven and wait a few minutes and savor the delicious treats. As you may guess from the title, it was not to be.

At 2 I took out two sticks of butter in anticipation of afternoon cookie fun with Froggy, my toddler. Five hours later I finally got a chance to make the cookies. Froggy's job was to unwrap the butter and put it in the bowl. Mine was to run the mixer to combine the egg and butter into a light creamy blend. She completed her part and even put the wrappers in the trash. I couldn't get past runny and lumpy. I decided the bowl should have had high scrapable sides instead of being wide and deep but my proper cookie bowl was already involved in another project. Ah well, we're going for it anyway. In went the dry mix.

It mixed... not so nicely. I added 2T of water just to get everything wet. I rationalized it as margerine offset. The batter looked fine so we proceeded with an absolute absence of caution. With my skilled leadership Froggy was able to coat the sheet in cooking spray. Translated, she pushed the button and I moved her hand. Then she counted while I scooped. We popped the first trays into the oven. It seemed as if cookies were imminent.

Upon baking they flattened and spread. When removed from the sheet I could read through them. I don't mean they were paper thin, that might have been an achievement. I mean they crumbled and broke. My two year old is equally delighted by cookies or cookie bits. My husband, God bless him and the Army, will eat just about anything I put in front of him. Regardless, I will not be attempting cookies in a jar again for a while.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Caramel Popcorn

I'd make a terrible superhero. I have far too many weaknesses. One of them is seasonal merchandise. I'm sure I could buy caramels any time of year if I tried but at Halloween they put them in a pretty display at then end of the grocery aisle just to tempt me. As I said, I'm weak and this year they're new and improved. Caramel BBs, for easier melting. Who can resist weaponized candy?

After a few days of pondering I decided to take the easy route and pull a recipe off the Kraft website. They should know what to do with their freaking caramel ammo. Turns out they really don't. Their recipes focus on the 12 oz bag of individually wrapped cubes. The bag of BBs is an ounce short. Oh well. We're making caramel popcorn anyway.

Here's the recipe as presented by Kraft. They don't come close to telling you everything you need to know.

1. Buy an air popper. A year ago I never ate popcorn. Now I have a toddler and it's a regular occurence. Microwave popcorn has made me Orville Redenbocker's rugar mama. No more.
2. Pop a batch of corn. The recipe says 12 cups. That's more than one batch in my popper and more than my biggest bowl will hold. Less corn = more caramel per kernel. I see no problem.
3. Decide that pecans are a much better choice than peanuts and have the added benefit of already being in the house.
4. Melt the sack o' caramels, 1 T water, 3 T butter. Stir often. Decide you should have used less butter.
5. A bit at a time mix the ridiculously hot and sticky caramel into the easily shattered popped corn. Curse often.
6. Fight your demons. You do NOT want to try to eat the corn after it has been in the oven for ten minutes. Really. Sugar which has been in a 300 degree oven is now 300 degrees. Skin from your tounge or fingers will ruin the taste of your corn.

Once done it's a tasty treat. Thank goodness I only buy caramels seasonally.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Inconveniently Clumsy

I'm two days from my due date so of course I'm peeing constantly and my belly is huge. Last night these two things combined in such a way that I crushed my toe with the bathroom door and fell hard onto the doorknob. My belly button was dead center of the hit. When I mentioned that at my regular OB appt this morning she sent me upstairs to L&D to be monitored just to be sure all was OK. She said it would take about 20 minutes.

It took 20 minutes just to get set up. I had my 23 month old with me and while she was somewhat delighted to watch TV the remote was broken resulting in me trying to talk her into liking some odd things as they crossed the screen. The nurse also brought me ice and juice. It was supposed to get the smaller baby moving but instead it made the bigger one hold still. The funny part was the baby's responses to my parenting of M. He liked it when I fussed at her and he liked it when I pointed out things to her. I think he'll do fine around here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Get your butt up

The argument was raging in at least two languages and the old woman was going to win. I didn't have a good view of what was going on or who the other parties were, but the old woman had that certainty that comes with age and being a native in a tourist town. She also had back-up. There were two other women, also past 70, standing beside her as she sat in her chair.

All three turned and pointed to me. Uh-oh. One said something in Portugese and I responded the only way I could, in English, "I don't speak Portugese." I was told in English, "You want to sit." As a modern woman, well trained that pregnancy is not an illness, I said, "No. It's OK."

The old women were having none of it. The bus was well past capacity and I was in my third trimester and getting elbowed in the belly every time the bus lurched. Everyone was apologetic but the elbows of standing adults are at belly height and I was less than well balanced. I was told, "You sit." My husband said, "They aren't going to give up." I stepped toward them and the young man reluctantly got out of his seat.

The old woman who'd chased him out of the seat for me then proceeded to work on his girlfriend. Next to my seat were signs I'd become familiar with in Portugal. Much like we have the white wheelchair on blue backgroung sign to mark handicapped spaces the Portugese mark spaces with a three part sign of white outlines on blue. Part one is a man with his arm in a sling and a cane. Part two is a pregnant woman. Part three is a man holding a baby. All three are displayed together and much like Americans avoid the handicapped bathroom stall the Portugese avoid these seats on buses, trams, and trains. At one point I'd been holding our daughter and sat my big ol' pregnant booty down in one of these on a train. When my husband sat down beside me a local told him to get up. I handed him our 20 month old and then he was allowed to sit without complaint, handy since my belly is so big I had no lap for her to sit on.

Back on the bus, the old women were repeatedly gesturing to the signs and pointing at the woman sitting across from me. They pointed to my husband who was holding our young daughter as well as the two older women who were standing. They thought she didn't meet the standards of the seat.

It's entirely possible she had some sort of not readily visible handicap but she came across like an entitled beast. She made it clear than in her opinion my seat was marked handicapped but hers was free for the first person who took it. She told them assorted versions of no in Spanish, adjusted her D&G sunglasses so she wouldn't have to make eye contact, primped her expensive haircut and generally disdained their attempts to move her. She and her boyfriend successfully overcame the language barrier to convey how annoyed they were to be three feet apart instead of seated together.

The Spanish woman eventually yelled, "STOP!" I guess English is the universal language for ending arguments because they did stop.

The next 20 minutes proceeded quietly but I almost fell over with laughter when we reached the end of the line and stood up to exit. Upholstered on the seat she refused to vacate were three basic motifs: man with a sling and a cane, pregnant woman, and man with a baby.