Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Might Make Really Good Stuffed Tomatoes, Seriously, It's a Recipe-Ish People

For those of you that have been reading for a while, you know that I have a deep, profound love of songs that make me shake my booty. My favorites are hip-hop or rap, particularly with some racy language if I'm trying to exercise to them.

I think that if I had been born in to a slightly more "street" family I would have been some sort of rap video dancer or fly girl. I would have been amazing.

But, that doesn't happen a lot in suburban Indiana to young white girls with only marginal amounts of rhythm. It particularly doesn't happen if she primarily focuses her energy on just wanting to be a good tap dancer, but mostly quitting and playing tennis.

Tennis is surprisingly not something that catapults you toward the hip hop world. It's strange like that.

So, my new found love is Pitbull. I'm not sure if you are familiar with him or not, maybe you've heard him sing I Know You Want Me? It's a pretty jazzy (in a Latin sort of way) tune, the best part when he counts in two languages. He's a genius.

He's also a smash hit on that song with JLo On The Floor.  My personal favorite right now though is fun.
I couldn't get him out of my mind yesterday so I just went ahead and wrote a recipe to him.  Of course.

Dear Mr. Pitbull,

I'm a HUGE fan. A new fan, but I can't get enough of your booty shaking tunes.

Yesterday, I was running on the treadmill to several of your tunes and started to envision you there singing? rapping? for me.

(Yes, running is sort of like doing drugs for me, complete with a very vivid imagination...some might call them hallucinations. I saw in your Wikipedia entry that you used to be a drug dealer so perhaps you are familiar with the feeling that you are on drugs, or actually being on drugs.  It can make you a bit odd. We could so hang out and chat about drug use.  I have zero experience so I'd love to hear about it.)

When you were performing for me, I must admit that I envisioned an African-American man in a wife beater tank and low jeans, boxers exposed...a very classy ensemble. So, imagine my shock when I googled you and found you were a Cuban immigrant, fully clothed in every image.

Muy impressivo.

Yep, I could talk to you in some pretty elaborate spanglish.

Do you know Gloria Estefan? Elian Gonzalez? Are you Elian Gonzalez?

When I discovered you were from Cuba, I knew I should share with you my stuffed tomato recipe.

Fine, stuffed tomatoes has nothing to do with Cuba but I made it a few nights ago and sang your tunes for the majority of time I spent doing this. When The Bachelorette came on, of course I had to ditch you, you can't push out my devotion to quality television.

I'm not sure if you cook a lot? It's probably tough with your busy schedule since I saw you are working with P Diddy, Sean Combs, Puff Daddy...what do you call him?

It also might be tough for you to prepare food wearing sunglasses all the time. What's up with that? I heard it was to cover up your blue eyes since the hip hop world didn't think you were enough of a bad ass when you were showing them off, but it would be difficult to cut things and read recipes while wearing them.

You've been warned.

Your songs talk a lot about women's bodies, particularly boobs and butts so I'll try to put things in terms you can relate to in order to ease the challenge of cooking.

Here's what you are going to need.

3 or 4 big-ish tomatoes - like the size of a small A cup breast

1 pound ground beef - organic or any woman's boobs could fall off if she eats it

1 large onion grated - large A cup to small B

olive oil - this would be a poor oil to use for love making, not that I would know, but it seems like sex would be the first think that would come to mind when you read the word oil

grated Parmesan cheese, about a handful?



oregano (this looks like weed so you will like it)


white pepper

I also recommend you have a loaf of some sort of French or Italian or possibly Cuban bread. Does Cuba have a bread? They should, you should use your fame to make this happen.

I additionally recommend making my Greek Salad with this because it's really good with the stuffed tomatoes and the bread.

First, slice the tops off of the tomatoes and dig out the flesh of the tomatoes and put them in a bowl.

Is the word flesh wrong to use with you? I feel like you seem a little sexually charged, I don't want to overdue it with you.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Take a skillet and dump some olive oil in there with some garlic. Oh yeah, you need garlic. You seem like a man with means, I hope this doesn't throw you off too much.

Heat the pan on medium-low. This is very unusual for me to go low, not high, but it helps keep things soft and not over cook the meat.

Heat the garlic and oil and then add the grated onion. Saute these until the onion is very soft. Add some salt and pepper. Add some white pepper. I have no amounts for you, get wild.

Add the ground beef. Break the meat apart a lot. Don't let any big clumps get in there, it would be so embarrassing and would make it difficult for you to sing things about asking women to bend over and other such bold requests if you couldn't even brown meat properly. Right?

Take all the tomato flesh, sorry, insides, and put them in your Magic Bullet.

I'm assuming a man like you, rolling with JLo and Diddy, has one of these amazing devices.

Puree the tomato insides, but they don't have to be completely smooth.

A few lumps are nice. Right Pitbull?

As the meat is browning add some salt, pepper, white pepper, allspice, and oregano. Add a lot of oregano.

Do NOT smoke the oregano. It will not be as great as smoking weed.

Side note: Do you think that the fact that I have very small breasts would immediately eliminate me as a potential love interest for you? Does it help that I do in fact have some junk in my trunk? This is pure curiosity by the way, I'm quite happy with my current love interest.

I also think your need to wear shades all the time would be tough for me.  We aren't well suited.

Anyway, after the meat has browned, add the tomato puree and stir it up.

That's a good title for a song, no? Stir It Up. Go with it. Maybe it sounds hotter in espanol?

Now let it simmer for a while so that some of the liquid goes away. 

Oh.  Let It Simmer For A While....clearly you might want to hire me to give you song titles.

Meanwhile, today while I was trying to wait out my three year old's fierce tantrum during his timeout, I was dodging pull-ups he was attempting to throw at me, but failing miserably because he has really horrible aim, I was wondering some things about you....

  • I can't get over you talking about unsnapping bras with your teeth. My childhood dentist, Joe Forgey, told me that I should NEVER use my teeth to open anything. I can't imagine it would be a good idea to use your teeth on the wire of a bra hook. Please be careful!
  • I notice you wear a suit a lot to perform, which is really hot. I don't understand how this works though because although aesthetically pleasing, it has got to make you sweaty, no?
  • Have you considered remaking Will Smith's smash hit, Welcome To Miami?  I love that.
  • I noticed you have a Pitbull app that people can purchase to learn more about the making of you as a super star.  I find this annoying, interesting and more annoying. An app?  Really?
Check on the meat.  It should be liquidy, but not soupy.  Spoon the meat mixture into the tomatoes, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and then put them in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes. 

This would also be a good time to warm up your Cuban bread.

I like to serve this is a big bowl because I'm so awesome.  (I too am coming out with a Leslie app, it's currently in the very early stages of development.)  One tomatoes, a huge heap of Greek Salad and a few slices of bread with some red wine.  The ladies will come running. 

I'm guessing you need some help in that area since men in your occupation usually have a rough time with chicks. 

Good luck!  Keep rapping/singing and I'll keep shaking my booty...just probably really far away from you because your lyrics really make me think you are too dirty to shake around.  I still love you though.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Brotherly Love

She loves her big brother.

It's About Time I Find 10 Things To Smile About

Part of trying to grow a blog involves a lot of discovering other blogs you want to read and connect to via comments, etc.  Mostly this is really enjoyable and inspiring.  It also can wound your self esteem and basically make you think you would NEVER be able to write as well as this or that person and it can leave you feeling inadequate and completely devoid of any talent.

But, mostly it's just super.

I've been in such a funk lately with feeling overwhelmed by all that I feel I have to do that I'm really starting to annoy myself.  It's really quite ridiculous.  Am I really exerting this much emotion about not being able to put away the laundry or finish the dishes or respond to emails? 

Perspective Leslie, perspective.

I'm not good at admitting that lack of perfection is exactly what is needed sometimes. I want things in place, I want things accomplished....but sometimes you have kids that need to poop and apparently it's really important that everyone eat EVERY day, so some times stuff is going to be left undone, which is OK. 

(Still totally doesn't feel OK but one of those tips for happiness is to fake it until you feel it so I'm faking my satisfaction with being all over the place.  Totally cool with it.)

I know, I'm showing amazing growth in a few short days.  I'm remarkable.

The whole point of this is that when reading all these blogs, a lot of bloggers give inspiration to other bloggers for things to write about and Emmy Mom has again put out there her 10 Things to Smile About request. 

Honestly, it could not have come at a better time.  I am desperately in need of forcing myself to find some things to smile about amongst the chaos here.

Here's what came to my mind:

My Kissing Santa and Mrs. Claus

I love these guys.  I use them year round because there is nothing more fantastic than kissing fictional characters on your table for seasoning dinner. I used them at Easter because they make me so happy.  They were my Grandmother's and it thrills me that she had such fun taste. 

The Person or Persons Whom Created The Term Organic

I love this.  Regardless of how crappy I feel like I have been acting to my children, no matter where I am falling short in my parenting, I always have the power of knowing that I'm spending twice as much on most products to give my kids the best. 

Even if we find out in twenty years that it really doesn't matter, which I honestly don't think is going to happen, but if it did, I still had that term to give me something to excel at while I was raising children. 


This company will not give up on me.  Regardless of how long ago it was that I was willing and able to overspend on bed linens and dining room tables, they still are committed to sending me 5 or 6 catalogues bi-monthly filled with things that there is no way I could possibly afford.  I've asked them to stop, even informing them that their marketing efforts are going straight in to my recycle bin, but they keep them coming. 

I can only assume that they so believe in me as a consumer that they are not willing to give up.  Each time I get one of these catalogues now I just smile and know someone out there believes in me.

Counting Crows

I first heard them back in 1994 while cruising in my Honda Prelude and honestly the music from their August and Everything After album is still my favorite to sing along to when I need a lift. Well, that and Pitbull, or JLo. 

I have a pretty amazing voice so I try to keep it on the down low.  I only belt it out when I am alone, or with my children whom are threatened to have food withheld if they make disparaging remarks about my vocals.

This Picture

I should be awarded something for posting this photo.  I mean, I look ridiculous, but it's hilarious.  What was I doing?  Can not believe I'm sharing this voluntarily...perhaps I'm chemically unbalanced?

An Impending Haircut Appointment

It's been about six or seven months since I have had my hair cut.  I keep it long so that I can go that long between haircuts, but it's time.  I made an appointment for this Thursday with a new stylist that is actually a friend of a friend.  I am elated about going for a few reasons. 

First, it just feels good to get my haircut. Second, I haven't had anyone color my hair in years and I have all sorts of visions of getting extravagant highlights and low lights and tints and things I don't even know about, could I be blond?  Finally, I really want this woman to be my friend.  She's arty and talented.  She hosts a craft night at her house that I got to go to one time and it was magical.  I need more of that around me and I think she should like me. 

Squeezable Baby Food

This is convenience like I have never experienced.  Stella eats table food 95% of the time now, but when we are on the go or she hasn't been wanting to eat her vegetables, I give her one of these and she squeezes a serving of green bean, pear, pea right into her mouth and begs for more. 

I have a secret theory that they are probably really filled with high fructose corn syrup, or maybe just Fun Dip mixed with water, because why else would she want them all the time?  Either way you don't have to refrigerate them and the package says organic and vegetables so I am not inconveinenced at all and I feel awesome about myself.  Isn't that what's really important here anyway?

The Disgusting Heat

I really despise how hot it has been here lately.  It is uncomfortable and paralyzing in that it's tough to do much other than sit around and perspire.  The really amazing thing about it though is that in a little over a week I'll be in Indiana, and this horrible ball of fire where I live is going to make the weather there feel all that much more amazing. 

I've heard of friends in Indiana wearing jeans over the last few weeks.  No one here would ever attempt to put them on for fear of our legs igniting in fire, or the inevitable problem of some sort of female infection. 

Can I also be smiling about air conditioning?  Where would I be without it?


I feel like this is almost too obvious to put on the list, but geez I love that place.  After swim lessons yesterday I went through the drive through for an iced grande chai, no chance of a hot drink these days, and drinking it absolutely made my day.  It's a $4 cup of peace and excitement in the midst of a lot of chaos and frustration.  Why don't they want to pay me to talk about them all the time?

The Library

I try to take my kids to the library every few weeks, but that's a lot of work these days so it hasn't always been happening.  I was able to sneak away with Cole on Sunday afternoon though and came home with two huge bags of kid books and three movies which have given me many moments of peace.  In particular, the library had several Star Wars books that I now use as leverage to get my children to behave. 

I find myself saying things like, "Do you want me to be able to read the Darth Vader book tomorrow?"  Then magic cooperation follows.  There is power at the library....and the best part was that it was free.  Well, at least until one of my children drops a book in the toilet or rips the cover's inevitable.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Really Only Want To Watch The Bachelorette

It's Monday.  Do you realize what that means? 

It means that tonight we get to watch The Bachelorette further her spiral into having zero men left to love her during her season finale.  She is really jacking things up, right?

Who would like to go punch Bentley in the face with me? 

I would also like to take Ashley out for coffee and explain to her that her decision making skills are so off that this is probably how she landed on a show like this (twice) in an effort to find a husband in the first place.  She needs a life coach and a therapist, not a man. 

I can barely contain myself though, I can't wait to see how it all unravels.  There were lots of tears in the previews, which surely means this is going to be an enjoyable episode.  I'll have my wine and ice cream ready and it's basically what's pulling me through today. 

I've been in a funk the last few days and even writing is a challenge.  Words are definitely not flowing. 

In real life I have been thinking a lot about how I need things to change around here.  I have decided I want to run a tight ship.  I want to be organized and on top of things.  I want to be a meaner Mom. 

Well, maybe not meaner, just more firm about holding them to the line, regardless of how lazy I am feeling in the moment, or what else is going on in our lives.

Last week we spent a good amount of time with my sister-in-law and she runs a tight ship. She's all sorts of organized and entrenched in routine.  She's decisive and clear so no one has to wonder about what is expected of them.  She's not mean, she doesn't have to be, she just leads and leads without question.

I can be swayed.  I am horrible at thinking of punishments in the moment. I can be lenient when I don't feel like doing much myself.  I think I'm just taking a break, but I really think I'm making it more difficult for all of them when my expectations are really much higher than their natural inclination to do nothing.

As I mentioned yesterday, since we have been home we've been cleaning and powering through tasks.  It has been so therapeutic for me.  I also am stealing Sara's methods of routine, punishment and the expectation of their assistance with regular life chores.  I love it.

Basically, I think things would be better if my children went to live with Sara for a few months and then I could get them back "trained."  This could work like doggy training camp, but for kids, and with less treats.

You know what it really is though?  It's training me.  It's me getting my butt in gear and remembering that I expect them to make their bed after they brush their teeth in the morning....which I often forget to tell them to do also.  Turns out I'm sort of a gross Mom too.

It felt good to put their folded clothes on the dining room table this morning and tell them to come pick up their stuff and put it in their drawers....and they did it!  It was nice to see them working together to make their beds and have Aiden help Cole with his toothpaste. 

They still have not earned that elusive slip n' slide, but someday I'm sure they will stop whispering words of hate to each other and they will slip and slide all over the place.  Granted they might be 25, but it could still be a good time.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Kids Bowel Movements Rule My Life

I know you've all been sitting on the edge of your seat to find out how the ride home went from Houston so I'll put you out of your misery first.  It was fine.  It wasn't three kids sleeping while I memorized the poetry of JLo and Pitbull, but it was fine.

We were delayed leaving due to Cole's need to poop, then my children's bowel movements worked against me again when we had to stop for Aiden to poop.  Stopping for a public poop is no fun. 

Stella slept a lot in the car though and the boys were mostly amused by their songs and asking me a variety of questions about the how's and why's of the world that I am inadequate at answering.  Lots of.... how does a car start? Why does someone give you money when you pay for something?  Why is it called change if it's money?  Is a Stormtrooper a person?

When we arrived home though I immediately felt stressed.  My children's poop delays forced me to miss a baby shower of a dear friend  which made me feel like my children ruin everything. 

Yes, that is a totally rational statement.  They sort of do.

I realize this is mainly my fault for not leaving even earlier from Houston and anticipating that there would be at least two stops and that each could last up to 30 minutes, but geez.  That's how they roll though.  They're totally free.

I felt disappointed about missing out and it quickly turned into an overwhelming feeling of frustration about not being able to ever get my shit together lately.  I like to blame my kids because that makes me feel a little better, but the truth is that I'm the adult and I'm in charge and if I want anything to happen, I'm in control of that. 

I actually sort of think that's a lie. Can I control when they poop?  No.  Can I continue to pray for regularly scheduled, fast bowel movements aided by a high fiber diet?  Yes.  Will even regular and fast poop change how they will continue to make things much more difficult?  Hell no.

I'd like to say I wouldn't have it any other way, but the truth is I would.  I would really like to have it another way. I know one day we will be there and I won't be singing the ABC's and random camp songs in a Starbucks bathroom for 30 minutes while one son dances, one son poops and I pretend to be happy dancing with a baby in my arms.  I want it to be a little less work to drive 175 miles.

They're kids though, they are going to jack me up here and there, and they are definitely going to need to poop at inopportune times, but if I don't get over feeling like my tasks are too many and my moments too few, I'm going to scream. 

Or start doing meth.  I probably could plow through my to-do list and my want-to-do list with some meth.

(I feel like this is my "thing" to mention now.  Please do not be concerned that I will actually be approaching anyone to purchase meth or googling "how to make my own meth" any time in the near future. It's my lack of creativity rearing it's ugly head in that I keep mentioning my belief that starting this handy drug would solve my problems.  I'm still not saying that it wouldn't though.)

I feel constantly behind, the to-do list far too lengthy for any true progress in and amongst all this keeping my children alive and well stuff and well, there's also The Bachelorette.  Where would I be without the knowledge of Ashley's intricate decision making process on her journey to find true love? 

I'll tell you, more lost and cranky than I am even now, or potentially more productive and less stressed because I would finally figure out in the hell to add, design, and change a button on my blog. 

It's so painful for me to figure these sorts of things out in the stolen moments.

After being away for five days, coming in to my house I felt this cloud of doom fall over me.  I felt like I was smacked in the face by the amount of dust and grime and clutter which has been accumulating in my home over the last few weeks.  My hours spent blogging and child rearing and that hour, fine two hours, devoted to TV had caught up to me and I felt like I weighed a million pounds in tasks left undone.

I fought the urge to get weak and teary and instead went the other way, which is so much more fun for the family, and turned into a bit of a bitch.  Alex, my gorgeous and sweet husband was waiting happily for our return and would have done anything I asked, but instead I mumbled cranky statements of martyrdom alternated with silence that reeked of undeserving ill-will when he graciously took our family out to lunch or asked me over and over what I wanted.

Dear God I love this man.  When I am in this state he is always the perfect balance of patience mixed with "buck up sister," that I need.  He waited out my toxic mood as I silently stuffed my face with Chick-fil-a and complained about....well, everything. 

I finally did buck up a little and told Alex that what I needed was a weekend of getting some stuff done.  I needed us to hold our children more accountable for cleaning their stuff up and helping.  I needed my van to not look like some sort of toy or snack factory had exploded, because I'm already driving a minivan, having it littered in raisins, gum wrappers and toys is like pouring salt on my raw transportation wound.

So we did it.  I dusted and scrubbed and vacuumed and pathetically still didn't clean the whole house but I felt a lot better.  Alex and the kids tackled the van and this is what came out of it.

Despite appearances, Aiden was really helpful.  Stella was a horrible help but did provide much amusement.  Cole mainly cried. 

I think I have been feeling like there is no way I can commit to cleaning the house, cooking, darning Alex's socks*, taking care of the kids, blogging, sewing the kids clothes*, reading and trying to grow the blog, laundry, responding to emails, making our soap*, setting up play dates, exercising, and just keeping up with life without my head exploding.

(*These were added for affect.  I felt they added a certain amount of impressive challenge that not every woman has to take on and in that way made my plight sound more dramatic than people with just normal life.  In actuality I am only filled with normal life frustrations.  Praise God.)

I have a to-do list that I make every morning and the last few weeks I have barely marked off one or two things.  It's a pretty sad display of productivity....but I feel like I never stop.  How can this be?  Am I really spending that much time picking up random things I find around the house and folding laundry that I can't make it to number three on the list?  Ugh. 

Saturday night we went out for a friend's birthday dinner and being amongst adults came at a fantastic time.  It make me feel human again.  Church Sunday morning did an even better job of helping me refocus and recommit to just pulling myself out of my whiny funk of tasks.

I decided I just need to get more adequately organized.  I also decided that most or all of my problems could be solved this this popular kitchen tool you might have seen on late night infomercials a few years back.

I agree, it's a horrible picture, but one element of my reorganization is managing my expectations.  Or just straight up lowering them.

Yes, we are now the proud owners of a Magic Bullet.  It's going to be life altering, I can feel it. 

It really doesn't have anything to do with me getting my shit together but it was pretty exciting for me, which is sort of sad. I already used it to make milkshakes this afternoon for the boys.  Fantastic.  I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more about the ways the Magic Bullet is changing me in future posts.

Please don't stop reading.  

I also finally organized my desk area so I could write there and post important things like quotes from Oprah.  It also gives me a place to keep my to-do list that haunts me every day.  I feel like I can make things happen there.  I'm going places now people, I have a desk.

Remember, we lowered our photography expectations, right?

It's nice to end the weekend feeling a little hopeful.  I feel like I might be able to scratch a few things off the list tomorrow, like taking my defensive driving papers to the courthouse and conquering my pile of laundry. If not, at least I'll have a big ass pile of clothing to hide under when the police come to arrest me for skipping out on this ticket.

Maybe slacking has it's perks?

Either way, I have got to get it together and stop feeling so overwhelmed by this blog, by my kids, by my's sort of pathetic and ridiculous. 

I sort of feel like I could write a book called that, It's Sort Of Pathetic and Ridiculous.  I'm totally adding "write book" to the to-do list for tomorrow.

Just a general FYI, if you have taken the time to send me a comment or an email, thank you!  I cherish hearing from people and it makes this whole thing worth it. 

I try to respond to everyone that comments, but some of you have your emails on your blogger profile marked as private, which makes it tough for me to hunt down how to get a message to you. 

Sometimes I can do it by going to your blog and searching out your email there, but some of you are so darn sneaky I can't find it there.  If you have even a slight desire to hear from me will you allow your email to be connected to your comment?  It doesn't show on my blog, but it means I can reply to you.

Also, sometimes I read them and am swamped with stuff and then I am a horrible person and forget to go back through all my emails to reply.  Horrible excuse.

So....I read and cherish them all, never do I not smile or feel slightly lightened by your words. 

Well, unless you are being really cruel, but I haven't had one of those for a while...maybe I'm off my game?


Bobbi, your comment brought me so much joy!  I can't figure out how to contact you though!

The Round Rock Mom that just moved here? I'd love to email you so get in touch with me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Five Question Friday: Answering The Tough Questions In Life

Fridays are my day to cheat.  I don't have to think of anything because Five Question Friday takes care of all my inspiration for me.  I love cheating! 

Whomever said "Cheaters Never Win" probably weren't blogging. 

You can check out Five Crooked Halos's full site here.

1. What is your current favorite TV show?

Oh TV.  That's a tough one. 

On one hand there is The Bachelorette for it's trashy drama and always painfully awkward moments of first kisses, rejected love, and fights.  Oh, and something exciting always happens in a pool.  It's tough to compete with that.

But, there is also Friday Night Lights.  Oh, my love for this show runs almost as deep as it did/does for Entourage.  This show is just good writing, great characters and football. 

OK, I really hate football, but that should actually be a testament to how fantastic the show is since football is a major part of every show.  If you haven't checked this out you should hop on your computer and watch it from the beginning.  This is the last season so each episode should be cherished.

Other shows I watch often? 

(Did you see how I just made up my own question within the question?  I'm CRAZY!)  30 Rock, The Office, and Modern Family. 

I also adore American Idol when it's on and any reality show that can come close to the joy that Paradise Island brought me about 8 years ago.  That was some good stuff.

2. What's the worst haircut you ever got?

In the third grade my Mom thought it would be a good idea to chop all my hair off and then perm it.

(Or maybe I asked for a Grandma haircut, but I prefer to blame my Mom,)
I looked like a 9 year old that belonged under one of those huge hair dryers in a beauty shop after every wash.  It was horrible.  I think it was made worse by my enormous buck teeth.  It was rough. 

The pinnacle of this haircut was getting my third grade pictures taken in a white collared blouse (this word barely exists in the 9 year old sized clothing market, for good reason,) and a plaid tie.  I was very professional looking, but perhaps confused about my place in the world.

It's actually a miracle that I could over come the third grade year and rise to super stardom in the fourth grade with the formation of The Pinky Club, my peak in social status.

3. What was something that you did as a child that you thought you were so cool for doing?

Wow, perhaps I am psychic?  I believe I just answered this above before even viewing this question. Please send me any questions about the future, I apparently am qualified.

(I don't pre-read the questions I just answer right after I read it initially, it's my method people, it works.  I'm something of an artist.)

So, in the fourth grade I started a club with some of my friends.  We had strict rules that you had to wear pink every day, we had a sign up during indoor recess one day to be in the club and then changed our minds because too many people signed up, we had dues.  It was serious.

Eventually the PTA dis banned our group because we were gaining too much momentum and fourth grade just couldn't handle us, but we had a killer pizza party to celebrate the end of the whole thing.  We even had pink balloons that we stuck down our shirts and pretended were our boobs.  We were involved in a lot of high level problem solving and philanthropic work. 

Oh and we all had jean jackets.  It ruled.

That philanthropic stuff is a lie.  We did nothing for anyone but ourselves. 

4. Do you have any GREAT frugal family fun tips?

I have zero frugal family fun tips.  I especially don't have any GREAT ones. 

I might have thrown out a few lame ones like never order drinks when you are out because they cost too much or search for free or half off days for local attractions, but once I saw 'great' in all caps? 

I'm out.  I have nothing that profound. 
I'll read your answers and then steal them for next time I'm asked such a question. 

See, cheating DOES work.

5. Would you drive across country if you had the money to fly?

Well, that depends.
With the ages my kids are now?  I would love to fly, forget being trapped in a car. I also have the money to rent a van when I get there?  Because if I don't then I just flew across the country to be stuck at an airport with my three kids. 
Wait.  Do I have to take my kids?  If not, then I would totally drive because I would probably be gone longer.
If we are talking about any time, I would love to drive across country sometime. 
I think the idea of driving sounds fun possibly with older kids.  Possibly when they are less likely to pee their pants or scream for long durations of time over which spider man picture they have to color or over having to watch Peter Pan instead of Aladdin or the fact that there were zero orange fruit snacks in their packet or that some one is, oh my freaking Lord, touching them.
But, that's assuming that some day I won't be faced with those problems with my children and right now I would not bet that they will out grow these things because if I assume that then they will continue to do them forever in order to prove me wrong and make me sad.
Have a great weekend everyone!
This would be a good time for you to go to that icon for Top Mommy Blogs on the right side of my blog and just click on the icon.  That's all you have to do.  You don't have to find my blog on their site or type in a magic number or anything. 
It's idiotically easy and it would make me happy...and who wouldn't like to do that? 
Oh and allegedly you can do it every day.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Threads Thursday - Oh Kohls....I Like You

I love clothes.  I tend to have a lot of them and get really excited about new ones. 

Unfortunately my love for clothing does not translate into an ability to actually afford them right now.  So, I usually avoid the cute boutique stores that I love, also all that is Anthropologie, or the amazing love I have for Nordstroms...and I often head toward the more affordable. 

Like places that usually have a coupon.  Ugh.

Lately I have not been disappointed.  Remember my new found love for the JCP?  Or Penny's as the older crowd might like to refer to it?  I talked about it in this post here.

Well, last week I rediscovered Kohls.  You might be familiar with your Mother or Grandmother's love of every Wednesday being Senior Day?  Or perhaps you might be thinking of the large formerly Britney Spears, now Vanessa Hudgens, Candies posters in the junior department?  There is also a good chance you get a lot of coupons in the mail from them.

Getting a coupon in the mail is equal parts exciting and depressing.  I'm excited because I might be able to get something for 20% off that I would really like, but depressing because I need to shop at places that regularly circulate coupons to move merchandise. 

With the boys in VBS last week, I decided Stella and I were going to take the first day and rediscover Kohls.  My Mom periodically picks up some fantastic things for me in the Vera Wang line there....I mean, Vera Wang is designing clothing there so it must be sort of cool.  She's very hip.

Full disclosure though, if you think Vera Wang is going to make you a wedding dress at Kohls, you will be very, very disappointed. You might find a nice dress for your shower though.

You know who else designs clothes for Kohls?  Daisey Fuentes. I do not remember why she is famous but I think she might have played professional volleyball?  Or been an MTV VJ?  Or in a Coca Cola commercial?  Any way she makes some cute clothes and clearly at one point in time she was a big deal.

She's definitely not a big deal now though since I have no idea who she is.

Also making clothes for Kohls?  Elle.  It seems absurd to me that a magazine could design clothes, but apparently it's happening there.'s just a line of clothing with that name and it has nothing to do with the magazine. 

I'm more comfortable with the idea that a publication is designing cute clothes for me to wear so I'm going with that.

All the previously mentioned "people" are reason enough to pop in to Kohls, but you know who the kicker is?  Good old Lauren Conrad.  You know, LC.

If you don't know who Lauren Conrad is, you are probably a better person than I am.  You probably could tell me all sorts of more important information that I sort of wish I knew, but I will tell you that you are missing out on a gem of a product from reality TV.

See, Lauren started on a little show called The Real OC, not to be confused with The OC....a highly intellectual TV drama about a rough kid from Chino that is adopted by his lawyer into a wealthy world of priveledge.  Damn that was a good show.

The reality show, though also quality TV, was pretty ridiculous.  Anyway, Lauren was on the show fighting for boyfriends and making poor choices and then got her own spin off show, The Hills where she fought for boyfriends and made poor choices.  She's a peach.

Oh, and she also wrote a book, LA Candy.  I think. 

Actually, that could be totally false and I just gave her a book title.

I must say though, little LC can design some clothes for Kohls. I love them.  I find that the majority of them fit my style perfectly.  I have no clue what my style is, but apparently it's Lauren Conrad for Kohls. 

Everything is trendy without being too much so.  Many things make me feel like I could go to the beach, (most likely inspired by all her time on the beach fighting for Jason,) but know they are only going to the grocery store and playdates and fit very comfortably into their less exciting life. 

Here is a dress I purchased from the Lauren Conrad line that I have been wearing quite often and feeling pretty excited about it.  Especially since it was about $25. 

  In real life it makes my boobs look bigger and I don't look like my legs are 5 inches long. Oh, and I still have a head!

One of the dangerous things about Kohls is that you find things like this on your way to checkout and they only cost $17 so you have to buy them immediately even though they are from the Juniors department and no one famous had any part in designing them.  Not even Vanessa Hudgens or Britney.

I am wearing the hell out of this though and I feel overjoyed about it.

So the moral of the story is, stores with coupons can be really fantastic if you're on a budget.  Secondary moral of the story is that if you are currently famous, watch out, you soon might be designing clothes for a store with coupons.  Third moral of the story, if you fight a lot over boys and make poor choices, you might make really good clothes someday so don't loose hope.

FYI:  Despite appearances to the contrary, this post was not sponsored by Kohls OR Lauren Conrad. 

Linking up to Fashion Friday with Musings of A Houswife!  Check it out here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Might Make Really Good Soup - It's a Recipe-ish People.

My mother-in-law, Bonnie, is a genius at making up meals using whatever she has. She could actually be given any 5 random ingredients from the kitchen and work them into something. It's freaky.

She also can not stand to see a bit of food be wasted.  Many of her concoctions are fueled by her desire to not waste a bit of anything, which makes things extra interesting.  She belongs on a food game show. 

This past week I was gone a lot and not doing much cooking, so a lot of vegetables I had sat without use.  This makes me sad, not as sad as being unable to pee alone, but sad. 
When I was packing for my trip to Houston on Monday I immediately knew I should bring all my leftover vegetables to her so she could use up all of the unwanted produce. 

I knew she'd use it all so I even brought these.

I would consider these to be rotting, she simply sees dinner.

In an effort to not let food go to waste, and to participate in my own little rotting-food-use experiment, I brought it all along. I feel like I dropped a huge puzzle on her counter.  I see her picking them up and circling around them in deep thought. 

Next thing I know a bunch of them will be gone and we'll be eating a salad filled with rotting food....but somehow everything tastes good and actually looks appetizing.

She has made all sorts of things since I arrived, including what she simply calls root vegetables, but tonight she put a soup in front of me.  She called it potato soup.

I did in fact see her peeling, boiling and mashing potatoes, but that's not what it tasted like.

It was delicious, though I was a little scared to ask what was in it.  I couldn't think of anything that I had brought that could make soup like this.  I'm always a little frightened that I might be eating some version of Fear Factor soup, but it was good. Really good.

Now, if you think the way I write my recipe-ish can get convoluted, ask my mother-in-law how she prepared something.  She's very...little of this, little of that, found this in my freezer, I made a casserole with this last week so I put it in.  It sounds confusing and disgusting, but it always seems to work.

Here's what she said when I asked her how she made this soup:

There were squares of cabbage left from that salad, sliced zucchini without the skins, and boiled potatoes from Monday night's dinner.

All of those were in salted water on the stove.

Then, I added that round looking squash you brought, maybe it was an acorn squash?  (It was actually a patty pan squash.)  I baked it because I wasn't sure what it was or what to do with it, but it went into the soup nicely.

Then I found half a stick of butter and a half a cup of milk leftover from the kids' dinner last night in the fridge, so in those went.

Then I added that spice (serious hand motion demonstrating a difficult time turning something,) you know, that was really tough to open.  (Seriously...that's all she remembers about what it was.)

Then I threw in the corn that had been cut off the cob for Stella to eat the previous night.

Then I used that thing my mother had (emulsion blender) to make it into a soupy mixture once everything was soft.

I topped it with grated smoked Gouda cheese and served with the bread Cole and I got at Target.

I wish that I had added onion and garlic because they make everything better.  That and olive oil. 

Olive oil makes everything better.
I'm sure that clears it right up for you all.

I could have translated the whole thing more for you, given you an ingredient list, etc. but that would have taken away from the brilliance of Bonnie's ability to pull seriously anything out of the fridge and make something I actually would want to eat.

I think you'll agree that this was also more fun. 

Go see what's in your fridge.  Bonnie could probably serve twenty people a scrumptious dinner out of it....what are you making?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tell That Dancing Girl Her Future

Currently I'm drinking a large glass of white wine (previously frozen so it tastes a little off, but I am in no way deterred,) and eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, because my children have conditioned me into thinking there is no reason to eat anything else.
Cole is sitting on the floor next to me singing "This Little Light of Mine," and explaining to me that the light actually symbolizes God's love.  Not kidding, he used the word, "symbolizes."

This is the same person that shares his spoon with the dog and frequently throws a massive tantrum when asked to use a toilet that flushes by itself.  His ability to dig deep into Vacation Bible School songs does not carry through to his comprehension of it being impossible for him to be sucked down a toilet. 

I'm feeling drained by my children.  They have a tough time relaxing on a vacation and resting an adequate amount. I just want them to go to bed and get a good night's sleep so they can function "normally" tomorrow. 

(I put normally in quotes because I am a little afraid that their tantrums, whining, and general attitudes of torture might, in fact be normal, and my dreams of perfect children will be shattered and I will be forced to wonder what the hell I'm doing if these kids are just going to keep jacking up all my hard work on them?)

Both boys had massive tantrums today and Aiden has basically decided that nothing is good enough for him.  It's a huge ball of fun. I'm not sure I can hang with that another day. 

I want them to calm down and cheer up and shut up. I don't want to be restraining people and making up consequences, primarily because I don't think I'm very good at either and I like to stick with what I can excel at in life.  It's a really healthy way to live.

I am not a very strong person and my 55 pound kid is starting to be tough to physically force into anything.  If I were good at restraining people I would have gone in to law enforcement, or I could have been a bouncer.  I would be a killer bouncer.

My consequences are usually made while I am a flustered mess and usually make zero sense.  I'm sure some day I will learn that I should wait to spout off punishments until I have relaxed a little but in the mean time I will continue to threaten the following:
  • to never letting the boys sleep in the same room every again (they share a room so this is rough)
  • to never allow gum in our house again
  • to chop up and burn all light sabers (this could happen though)
  • to never take them out any where, ever again...dare to dream

In an effort to escape reality I was going through old photos on my computer and came across this.

This was in Chicago at two friends' bachelorette parties.  I believe I had fallen off a trolley car sometime right before or right after this.  I don't even think I was really drinking that much, I was just awesome.  Not awesome enough for a shirt with two straps, but awesome all the same. 

I wish someone could whisper in this naive dancing girl's ear that sometime in the next 8 years or so you will be involved in the most important and rewarding opportunity of your life, and it will involve a lot of poop and screaming.  It will hurt far worse than any fall off a Chicago trolley and it will be worth it, but some days it will suck like nothing has sucked before. 

I also wish someone could whisper the words to the book below because they are hilarious and I would be famous and rich now if I had written it.  I'm sure most of you have heard this by now, but if you haven't it is a rare gem of simply hilarious stuff. 

If you are a parent of young children and this doesn't resonate with you then you have had it far too easy and you need to come borrow Cole for a week, at least.

Check it out.

Seriously, funny.  Thanks Samuel L Jackson for reading so well. 

( also has a free download of the book which I believe shows the pages turning in the book.) 

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Basically Prove The Existence of God and Cole Draws Jesus A Friend Named Richard

If anyone feels troubled about the existence of God, I was given undeniable proof today that's he/she's for real. The information is so powerful that it would be next to impossible to refute it.

Are you ready for it?

All three of my children slept in their car seats for 2 hours and 15 minutes of my 2 hour and 45 minute drive to Houston this afternoon.  All three.  Total silence.  Absolute peace.  It was profound.

Everyone was reasonably fussy for the first 15 minutes or so and then I popped in a children's CD and everyone began to zone.  I soon found myself in a silent car singing along to a semi-creepy song about the Ten Commandments.  Seriously, that song is really scary and makes me a little afraid.

Here is a horrible picture of the knocked out kids, well parts of the boys and a portion of Stella's carseat since she's turned backward still and I can't photograph her while driving.

I immediately noticed that my shoulders weren't tense and my usual death grip on the wheel was relaxed without the normal fighting and cries of my children.  This was awesome.

Here is my reaction to the sleeping children.

Every moment felt like borrowed time so I immediately took care of the change in music and decided this was the perfect moment to dedicate some time to something I've been wanting to do for the last few weeks....memorize the words to that JLo On the Floor song. 

You all know it's my new jam, but I still could not get all the names of the cities correct and was saying all sorts of wrong versus.  It was shameful, and it needed to be corrected.  The silent car was just begging for some JLo.

After listening to the song about 5 times I decided that my time might be better spent listening to songs I already know by heart and rarely have the chance to belt the words out to them in peace.  I commenced listening to Counting Crows, Paul Simon, Cake, Spoon, and Dave Matthews. 

Oh it was nice. My rapidly churning brain raced with all the thoughts that normally are interrupted with cries for juice and questions about number sequence and the definition of words like "tonight."

Sidenote:  Can we talk about how difficult it is to define words and phrases like "tonight," "this afternoon," and "next week" to a five year old that doesn't have any concept of time?

While listening to my tunes, here are the primary topics which my thoughts drifted off to...
  • For a long time I have believed that the Lamar name I have seen on billboards refers to a popular landscaping company, but their ads never seem to mention landscaping, which I find ineffective and odd.  Today I realized that Lamar actually rents all these billboards and the world seems to all make sense now.
  • I don't understand how I used to wear really dark lipstick and now I feel like a clown if I wear anything more than a pale pink gloss.  Explain this, please.
  • I could totally have a fruit stand and be happy.  I would sell watermelons and beets and rock it. 
  • I really need to make a haircut appointment with this woman that I am determined is going to be my friend.  She's all arty and creative and I want her to like me.  I figure paying her will be a good first step toward a solid relationship. 
They are all still asleep.  I'm seriously giddy.

  • Why are there so many shirtless men driving trucks around here?
  • Would I ever be able to remain attacted to Alex if he had a tendancy to go shirtless when cruising around town in his 4Runner?  I would like to think so, but I'm not confident.  Is this foreshadowing for some impending relationship doom?
  • Call Alex.
  • How do my five year old's feet smell worse than my husbands?
  • I feel desperate to make Stella walk prior to our car trip to Indiana in a few weeks. How do you force a kid to walk?  Contemplate calling Alissa to talk about pediatric physical therapy exercises for this purpose.  It wouldn't hurt, right?
  • How do I convince Alex we need another dog?

How is this possible?   The deafening silence in my car is starting to worry me, because I can't enjoy anything too long without making it into something bad.  What is going on?  Is some sort of exhaust fume permeating my car and putting them into some sort of como-like state? 

Could I learn how do to this again?

You know what was the real kicker that God was riding in my van?

Everyone woke up right as we were approaching a Starbucks.  I mean, talk about Divine intervention!

This was good car ride folks.  Amazing.

Also amazing?

Here is Cole's picture of Jesus hanging out with his friends.
Am I the only one that thinks that Cole drew three penises for Jesus to hang out with?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Five Question Friday

Remember, I don't make up these questions or this would be sort of weird. 

I don't want to be weird. 

You can find the questions here.

1. What is your favorite summer time activity?

Back in the day when I was cruising around in my 1991 Honda Preluede, singing Counting Crows and Dave Matthews Band I would have said hanging out with friends, going to the pool, outdoor concerts with friends, weekends at the lake, late night dinners and making out with my boyfriend.  Those were fun summer activities.

Now?  Post kids?

Eating.  I simply love all the fruit and vegetables. 


I've sort of lost all the summer excitement. It's a lot of time with my children without the relief of school and an extreme amount of sweat induced crankiness. 

I do go to Indiana for three weeks each summer to be with my parents and best friends and it is basically the highlight of my year.  That is a very good aspect of summer.

2. Do you have one laundry soap you stick to, or do you buy whatever's on sale?

During normal times I try to stick to Costco's Kirkland lightly scented detergent.  If I am buying at the grocery store though I usually get the Seventh Generation detergent. 

For some reason I choose to be very environmentally and family health concious at the grocery, but not when shopping in bulk. 

Everything is OK at Costco, even the environment.

3. What is your favorite dinner to make in the summer?

I knew my love of summer food would come in handy.

Lately I am infatuated with an eggplant parmesan with baked eggplant and then sliced tomatoes, fresh basil and cheese. I love how fresh everything tastes without the heaviness of a tomatoe sauce.  I'm making this tomorrow with homemade basil my neighbor made for my yesterday.  I can't wait.

See, I'm most excited about my food for tomorrow. 


4. Do you have any talents?

Where to begin?  Where to begin?

What...are we talking about actual talents or perceived talents?

Let's go with perceived talents.

I am extremely talented at dancing at weddings.  I can get a party started on the dancefloor. 

Speaking of...I am dying to get out and dance to JLo's new On the Floor featuring Pitbull so if you are getting married soon and are having a DJ that is willing to play that, I'd be willing to purchase a gift from your registry to attend AND make the party more fun. 

OR, if anyone just wants to go clubbing and dance to this song, please contact me. 

OR, if anyone wants to come over and drink wine while I play this on my iPhone, I could probably at some point drink enough so that I would be willing to dance. 

Lots of options.

What was the question again?
Oh yes, I also am talented at complicating the simplest of situations, being late regardless of how much extra time I give myself, and archery....I am an ace with a bow and arrow.*

5. If you could instantly be an expert in something, what would it be? Why?

This questions presumes that I am not already an expert in something.  Do you mean, if I could be an expert in something else, other than the long list of things I am clearly an expert in already, what would it be? 
I guess I would be an expert in food because it seems to be all I really have going for me these days anyway....other than the JLo song of course. 
I'm not sure what that means though to be a food expert. 
I guess I'd just know what every type of produce is, when it's in season, how long you could leave a jar of salsa open in the fridge before it goes bad, and how to make complicated and strange things like creme brulee. 
This is going to be conveient.  Where do we go to become instant experts? 
Happy Friday everyone!  Have a great weekend!
*This is simply a lie.  I know nothing about archery.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Target Is My Crack and Thursday Threads

It has come to the point where I must once again attempt to ban myself from Target.  It is dangerous there.  It feels so good, but it's ruining me, my family, my marriage, my ability to work and function in society.

(There is a small chance I am being a little dramatic, but I have seriously considered the idea that an addiction to heroin might fit better in to my life than my weekly (FINE, sometimes twice weekly,) trips to The Target.)

It always sounds like a good idea.... We'll just go pick up some new markers.  The boys have been so in to coloring and our marker selection is pretty sad. I would hate for them to have to function with  inadequate marker options, let's just pop in Target and buy a new pack so no little people around here have to suffer. I hate to see my little people suffer.  Do they sell ponies at Target?

I can make a list for Target which includes no less than 5 absolute necessities, any day of the week.  It's a talent really.  I create need to help fuel the economy.  Really, I'm basically an economist. 

So today, I made the following list:
  • Baby veggie pouches
  • padlock
  • Parmesan
  • milk
  • raisins
It sounds so innocent.  It sounds so very clearly less than $100.  It sounds less than $50. Nothing on that list costs more than $5, well except I was buying 3 half gallons of milks at $4 a pop so that's $12....see, I'm a math whiz too.  Let me continue to wow you. 

Those baby veggie pouches are almost $2 each and I planned on buying about 10 so now that's $20.  I'd still bet on being able to leave with less than $50 spent.

What kind of fool am I?  A Target fool. 

So we go to pick up these things and on the drive there Aiden and Cole start their car fighting.  Cole makes some sort of proclamation that does not sit well with Aiden and it's on.  We then have a "YES!" and "NO!" battle that is really quite remarkable.

Cole remains calm and firm in his position, despite the fact that it is usually incorrect.  Aiden, unable to stand the idea that Cole is on the side of incorrect goes quite rapidly from simply speaking to fully freaking out. 

This annoys me.

So, I add a slip n slide to the list.  I know that sounds crazy, but my plan was to buy something fun that I can prominently place in our house to remind them that there is no way they will ever have it if they can not be nice to one another and quit whining. 

Cole could totally pass for an Asian boy, but not a blonde.

See, economist, math whiz, and parenting genius.

Once in the store we see Father's Day cards.  How can I not buy a Father's day card for Alex and my Father?  Aiden picks out a beer can card for my Father and Cole grabs a squirrel card for Alex that tells him to feel free to "Play with his nuts!  It's Father's Day!  Nice. 

We pick up the markers then successfully navigate by the clothing section without a single purchase.  I am amazing!  Next is baby food, Slip N Slide, padlock for gym, then on to the grocery. 

It's tricky in the grocery.

  • 3 half gallons of milk - list!
  • bagels - desperate for breakfast ideas, impulse purchase
  • Parmesan cheese - list!
  • 3 pack of vanilla milk - actually saving money by not purchasing at Starbucks twisted logic
  • raisins - list!
  • Honey Mustard pretzel pieces - too delicious to resist
  • Squeezable applesauce - everything is starting to look good, been in Target too long
I quickly try to wrap things up and get to the aisle where I am met with the most frivolous of my purchases, but the item to which I feel the most emotional connection and therefore can not resist....

Oh Ashley, I do too.

At the checkout I add a pack of gum, because it doesn't count if it's less than $2, and am shocked when the total is $101.50.  I wanted to punch the Target employee in his scanning arm for incorrectly tallying all my merchandise.  How does this happen? 

I'm not going anymore.  EVER!

FINE.  Not until next week. 

But not without a list.


One of my favorite things at Target is the affordable clothing, because I love clothing.  It makes me happy and it can completely alter the way I feel about myself. 

Some might say that this is shallow and materialistic. 

(I bet you think I'm going to give a counter to that statement, but no, I accept it.)

I have been wanting to start a weekly post about clothing in some capacity for a while but nothing really felt right since I'm not an expert by any means.  I also usually buy cheap clothing from Target and Old Navy so I'm not particularly style savvy in that I'm hitting the designer labels.

I have to pay for Target people, I have no money for designer anything.
My InStyle magazine has a feature though where their editors will show an outfit they are loving, their go-to outfit.  I thought it might be fun to show what my go-to outfits are, regardless of style factor or price point.  

Also, this is my blog so I can basically make up whatever I want so I wanted to do it!

I'm going to call it Threads Thursday and regardless of what else I ramble on about, I'll show you an outfit or something I'm loving that I managed to work into my closet.

I'm starting with my going out outfit that I put on when I am invited basically anywhere these days.  If you invited me to dinner, a movie,  a PR lunch for Stoneyfield Farms, date with the husband...whatever, you could expect me to arrive in this.

But I would look more tan. I would readjust my shorts ban to not stick out at my belly under my shirt.  And you would see my head, probably.

Shoes are from JC Penny - Remember that post?  Find it here.
Shorts from NY& Co
Shirt from the legendary Target
Necklace from my favorite do-good while shopping organization Noonday Collection

Happy Thursday Everyone!

Linking up to Serenity Now - A Mommy's Solution to Staying Sane Weekend Bloggy Link Up

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Might Make Really Good Apple Chicken Sausage and Veggies - It's a Recipe-Ish People

I have a feeling you might have heard about Anthony Weiner and his trouble with, well...his wiener? 

This man has some serious problems, it really isn't funny. 

But, it is sort of funny.   Wienergate?  I mean, that's funny.

The simple fact that he claimed he could not identify if a picture of his crotch was his or not is just fantastic. Great comedy writing.  It almost made me like him. 


But then I saw those photos of him in the House gym with just a towel covering his private parts and him taking a photo with his Blackberry and I had to immediately stop laughing.   Ugh.  So many pictures that no one wants to see. 

So, I think there is little debate that he is going to need to know how to cook for himself because there is little to no chance that anyone else will be wanting to do it for him for a while.  I felt like it was imparitive that I help him out.  I'm just that kind hearted.

Dear Tony,

Can I call you Tony?  Anthony just seems way too formal and mature for you.

Wow, you have really gotten yourself into quite a pickle here.  I don't need to tell you you're an idiot, I'm sure you know.  At least I hope you know. 

Fine, idiot.

Are you aware that your last name is Wiener? That alone should have made you think twice before engaging in this type of nonsense.  You can't get away with this shit and have the last name Wiener, you're too easy of a target. 

Thank goodness your parents had the foresight to not name you Richard.

I know you probably have a lot going on right now with your sex rehab, cursing your inability to use Twitter properly and apologizing to everyone, but I thought you might like to have something to eat and I think the perfect meal for you involves sausage.

No Tony, I am not looking to engage in any type of sexting or picture exchanges with you. I don't have any interest in any photo of you, or your crotch, I am seriously just talking about food to eat. 

I saw that mom with her gum chewing and inappropriately large earrings during the interview with ABC News.  I like to think that I'm too intelligent for you if porn stars (no offense porn stars, you seem to be doing very well with Charlie Sheen and Tony but I am forced to question your intelligence,) teens, and gum smacking Moms are your style.

I figure with all of this simultaneous hilarity and sadness you are probably a little hungry, and a little bit short on people that want to share a meal with you.  I saw a few pictures of your wife.  She is beautiful!  She also sort of looks like she could be really angry with you. 

You know what's good for you though?  She works with Hillary Clinton. For your sad, pathetic sake, let's hope she's advising your wife on how to proceed with you, because I'm pretty sure every other woman would tell her to RUN!  Hilary might be telling her she could run for president one day after a scandal like this!

Let's move on...I'm going to teach you how to make Apple Chicken Sausage with Vegetables.

It's a great summer meal after a day at the pool. Are you getting to the pool much lately?  It's good clean fun, and I think you could use some clean fun.  Do not wear a speedo though.  It would just be in poor form after all your current over exposure. 

Please also do not approach any of the women, especially young girls there. 

Please also try to stop taking so many damn pictures of yourself.

It seems like you really like your wiener, but you are really confused about women wanting to see it, or your hairless chest. See, most women don't really like the look of a penis, it's just not that fantastic. Not even through your boxer briefs, or the outline of it under a towel, is it ever a good idea to send a woman a photo like this, she just doesn't want it.

Am I further raining on your penis parade? Sorry Tony.

After the pool, you should drop by the store and get the following:

1 package Applegate Farms Chicken Apple Sausage
1 medium zucchini squash sliced
1 patty pan squash - it looks a little bit like a boob so try to contain yourself
1 medium yellow squash
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, sliced
olive oil - some  (It's important to be clear Tony.)
1 pound self respect
chipotle chili powder

You also could consider ordering groceries in if you are embarrassed to be out in public right now.  You seem very confident in all your photos though so maybe you just aren't that self maybe you're cool with all this?  Maybe?


First, you need to find a skillet.  Do you cook a lot Tony?  I bet you can look up a picture of a skillet on your Blackberry if you need some help, it's good for a lot more than taking pictures.

Put the skillet on the stove over medium-high heat.  Put a little bit of olive oil in and then put the sausages into the pan.  Try to turn them every few minutes so that they brown all over.  These will need to cook for about 8-10 minutes.

During that time I have some things for you to think about regarding your hobbies. Why don't you do something more productive with your extra time?
  1. Since you like taking photos, perhaps you could take a photography course?
  2. You could shape balloon animals for little kid's birthday parties.  Not my kids party, ever, but maybe somewhere really obscure that doesn't know you're a dirty man yet, you'll have to do some serious research.
  3. Take a class on manners, or tweeting.
  4. Read a romance novel and learn to have a real affair, sexting is just lame.
  5. Begin to knit so you have something productive and non offense to do with your hands.
Did you sautee the sausage? Now take them out of the pan and put them on a plate with some foil on top so they stay warm. 

Do not photograph the sausage!

Take the same sautee pan and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Now put all the squash and onion into the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper, chili powder, paprika, and cumin.  I would give you definite amounts, but I just can't say with certitude (I heard you use that word in an interview and thought you sounded smart, until I realized you were talking about your inability to identify a picture of your crotch,) the amount that I use.  Just sprinkle a little bit around and then build from there.

Let's face it, if you totally screw up the spices it's not that big of a probably have plenty of time to remake it all.  You can perfect this dish while you contemplate whether you should resign or not (YES) and how you are going to give up all this awesome sexting.

Sautee the squash until it starts to feel slightly soft.  You want to be able to stick a fork in it relatively easily, but you don't want it to be mushy. Mushy is bad....I'm sure you would agree.

Now put all the squash in a bowl, then slice the cooked sausage and mix it in to the bowl.  I usually just slice the tomoatoes and serve them on the side with salt and pepper.  Yummy, doesn't it look delicious?

Oh, I almost forgot to congratulate you on your wife's pregnancy.  You're going to be a Dad! 

I hope you have a sweet little girl to put things in perspective for you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rockin The Bump

Shell over at Things I Can't Say currently has a link party going on to show off your baby bumps. 

Great idea Shell!

Here we go:

Eight months pregnant with my first - Aiden.  Wow it's always funny to look back.

Eight months pregnant with my second - Cole.

Eight months with the third - Stella.  Clearly by the third there are no candid, fun shots of me by myself, who has time for that with two other kids around?  I couldn't even find one where we were all looking and you could see my belly.

Stella and I Go to Starbucks And Discover A Hate Group Against Us!

I used to stop by my local Starbucks every Tuesday and Thursday after dropping the boys off at preschool.  I would park rather than use the drive through because I really like going inside if I only have one child.

Stella and I would be greeted by the Starbucks team and soon they came to know my order and start making it once I walked in the door.  I love that.  They would even save a blueberry scone for me, which is love through baked goods. I love having a place know me, feeling that I belong there, despite my inability to afford their drinks.

Since school ended for the boys almost a month ago now, I haven't been inside the Starbucks.  I loathe the idea of taking all three in and spending $15 on drinks and snacks and chaos.  It isn't pleasant and it ruins my image of that Starbucks location. 

After dropping the boys off at Vacation Bible School this morning, which was a peaceful and happy time contrary to yesterday's drop off, I decided Stella and I would go to Starbucks.  I was craving my chai tea and figured it would be the perfect accompaniment to my time with the online defensive driving course I have to finish this week. 

(Please note how well I am doing with said course...I'm writing about it, which unfortunately does not give me any credit with the state of Texas, bastards.)

As Stella and I walked through the outdoor dining area I noticed the usual grouping of elderly people at a table in the corner.  They have been there every time Stella and I have walked in to this Starbucks, but I have yet to get one of them to say hello to me, or my usually crowd pleasing baby.

I have no clue what this group is all about, but I can only assume they meet every morning to discuss their hatred of women in their thirties, and their cute babies.   There is no other explanation since I know at least some of them can hear and I have actually made eye contact with several of them.  I tried for weeks to shout a very pleasant, "Good morning!" as I walked by, but after a while it started to feel a little sad so I stopped with my joy spreading.

This morning they were all tuning in to hear what a man at a table, also outside, across the way was discussing.  I must say, I was intrigued as well.  This man had, what appeared to be the lid of a large trash can, turned upside down on the top of his table with a hairless duck/bird creature inside.  All I heard of his preaching was, "mainstream media wants you to believe these creatures can help us, but they will do no such thing." 

The old people were enthralled and, as usual, no one gave a shit that Stella and I were walking by.  I can only assume this man was of course just preaching to the Elderly Who Hate Women and Babies Group of Round Rock about how to further their group's mission of hatred. Of course.

One person that did give a shit is a man that has been there every time I have stopped at this Starbucks before noon.  This man is a little off, has slurred speech and apparently has only one set of clothing because I have never seen him in anything else. 

I guess that's an assumption, he could have a large number of the same shorts and shirt, or perhaps this is his Starbucks outfit and actually has tons of clothing at home that he changes in to after his time there, or perhaps his clothes actually are different and I am missing the slight variances in one outfit to the next? 

I like the idea that this is his Starbucks outfit so let's go with that.

I believe he is some sort of war veteran due to his hat and several pins that he wears. I did try to ask him one time about it and thank him for his service, seriously thank the people that fight for us because that is one seriously difficult position, but I couldn't quite understand what he said back to me.  I'm going to assume he is a veteran though and didn't just steal the hat and pins.

This man is always sitting outside in his Starbucks shorts and tee outfit, regardless of temperature, drinking his coffee.  He always has his black sunglasses on and his veteran hat and he ALWAYS gets up to open the door for Stella and me.  He does not walk quickly and some times I have to slow my pace to allow him time to open it for us. 

I love this man.  As we pass through the door I always stop and hold Stella out to him so she can giggle at him, in a nice way, I think.  She always says hi to him and he gets really excited to see her and tries to talk to her in that voice you use to talk to little babies, but his speech is so impaired that it mostly just sounds awkward....but Stella does not mind at all and he doesn't seem to mind either.

When we go inside the four or five Starbucks employees all greet us, OK fine, mostly Stella.  She is quite a hit. The three women all discuss the fact that she doesn't have a bow in her hair this morning.  Two proclaim her as their "favorite baby," and I find myself turning to glance at the third woman, wondering who has beat out Stella as her "favorite baby?" 

I quickly realize I am crazy and move on to ordering.  One of the men working tells me Stella is like Helen of Troy and will be starting wars with her beauty, or bringing international peace with her cuteness. I don't think Helen of Troy bought international peace so why was that included? Which is it buddy?  War or Peace? 

As I am waiting for my drink, a woman sitting at a table next to me asks me how old Stella is and laughs when I answer "one."  She goes on to ask me if she has tried coffee yet.

Surely I have misunderstood this woman.  Why would my one year old have tried coffee?

I tell her that we're starting her slow and she only has Coke and Mountain Dew right now, with a periodic Xanax to take the edge off.  You really have to balance their drugs for them at this age, so annoyingly dependent.

OK, really I inform her that actually, Stella has not yet tried any coffee, and that even my three and five year olds have not drank any coffee...I'm soooo conservative and strict.

She laughs, for some unknown reason and informs me that her daughters, now eight and twelve, love coffee and have since they were little.  She says she let them try it when they were really young and ever since then they were sneaking drinks or consuming espresso beans behind her back.

They also started smoking weed behind the garage around 5 and taking small shots of vodka (no smell you know, how handy!) around 6...those crazy kids! 

I want to ask her if she has ever told her doctor about her daughters' "addiction" to coffee as she called it, because it seems sort of off to me.  But...what the hell do I know?

I smile and pretend to think the whole thing is as hilarious as she does since she can't seem to stop laughing.  I'm wondering how many espresso beans she's had this morning?  I'm hoping a lot. 

I explain to her that I don't even really like coffee and usually only have about 1/4 a cup in the morning and only drink chai tea at Starbucks, but she just laughs and I start to feel a little nervous like she might start throwing coffee beans at me or something or try to steal Stella. 

I find comfort in knowing the Veteran is outside and he'd totally have our back if shit started to go down.  Even with his slow pace, I'm confident he could take this espresso lady down. Unfortunately I think that those old people, accompanied by their man with the hairless bird would relish the opportunity to bring harm to me and my baby so all of them would probably over take us.

I attempt to wrap up our discussion and curse my idea to order a breakfast sandwich since they take FOREVER to be ready, forcing me to stand right in the line of fire of this woman's craziness.  She begins to tell me that she tries to limit the amount of coffee her girls have, which does give me a moment of peace, but then she proceeds with her crazy as she informs me that if the girls are going to their Dad's house she always gives them espresso beans and coffee just before she drops them off.

That's great lady. I rarely do this, but I begin to get a little snippy back to her because now I think she's just jacking with her daughters' bodies in order to get back at her ex-husband and I can't stand when people are this toxic. 

I quickly say, "Wow, well that doesn't sound too kind to anyone." 

I know, you're thinking I'm so bold. You're probably wondering why that lady didn't get up and just punch me in the mouth after such a violent verbal assault. I can only assume she was intimidated by my braid.  That's right, I braided my hair this morning. Bad-ass.

As we say our goodbyes to the Stella fan club and crazy coffee lady and head to the door, I see veteran guy get up to open the door for us so I slow down a bit so he has time to open it for us.  He's so great.

As we pass by I tell him to have a wonderful day, to which he replies, "You have a better one!" 

I love nice strangers.

But seriously, I'm thinking I should just stick to the drive through for a while, particularly if those old people are outside, definitely if the bird man's there. 

What was going on there?
Speaking of nice strangers Wonderdads is currently running a contest to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation and I thought I would share it with you, because who doesn't want to help a kid have their wish?

Simply register for their free weekly email featuring the best dad/child activities in your city at Whatever city has the most sign-ups, WonderDads will donate $1 for each person that signed up from that city to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. So share this on your pages, get your friends to sign up and let's make some dreams come true!