Thursday, December 16, 2010

Of sickness and the power of Christmas

The one time I pledge to do a daily posting commitment like #reverb10 and our household comes down with the stomach plague*. I will be back to my regularly scheduled reverb-ness, once I get this past weekend/week out of my system.

Don't worry, none of the gory TMI details about the plague will be shared. I'm just going to tell you how pathetic we were all weekend.

Peanut kicked off the happy fun sickness party! for us on Friday night (on our way to visit a family I haven't seen in 3+ yrs...uh, yeah, trip was instantly cancelled), ShankRabbit was stricken by Saturday night (the night of the big snowstorm. Needless to say no snow got cleared), and by Sunday night I thought I should join in! Oh joy! By Monday we were all dehydrated, delusional, and downright diseased.

Around 4am on Monday morning, I was trying to grab a few moments of rest with Peanut on the couch. She was proped up on a couple pillows, looking just as tired as I sure felt (and probably looked, too). She insisted I turn on the Christmas tree and sing her Christmas songs** while she tried to sleep.

I wanted to cry for two different reasons:
1) This was the first night of the plague for me (and by far the worst) and I was running on no sleep 2) Peanut wanted me to comfort her by singing. She usually says "!" when I sing to her. Ok, so maybe I get all vaudeville with it most of the time, but it is common knowledge that she'd rather have her dada sing. And with his voice, I don't blame her.

As I quietly sang every Christmas song I could think of and petted her hair, my daughter - looking angelic in the glow of the tree - drifted off to sleep. *sob*

- -

We were worried we'd have to take her to urgent care that day because she was becoming seriously dehydrated...but after a regimen of 2 sips of watered down juice every 10 minutes, she kept it all down and started to perk up.

* * * * *

Last night was the first real meal we all had. We had been eating small bits of plain rice, toast, and the like when we could handle it, but we ate CHICKEN SOUP last night. Such a colorful and flavorful meal after so many days of blahness. Ah, food heaven.

So, now that we are almost healthy, I will get back to that #reverb10 thing I was working on. And maybe get some humor back into my life, too. That'd be nice.

* Every time we get a major sickness in our house, I hear "yeah, it's just that nasty bug going around." Is this just a canned answer or are people seriously all sick at the same time? Do these bugs travel like frickin' Santa Claus? I swear someone on the East Coast can have the exact same symptoms as we do in the Midwest. How is that possible?!

** Funny moment - after a particular awful "spilling" (a.k.a. vomiting, to Peanut) episode, she looks at me and starts singing "simply having a wonderful Christmas time!" If it wasn't so sad, I probably would been on the floor laughing.

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's funny what happens when you finally let go.

Day 3 of Reverb 10

Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year.

During my September/October can't-get-out-of-my-head period, I came to a lot of conclusions about my life and the relationships around me. Once I accepted where some of those relationships would stay, no matter how hard I tried to change that, I felt at peace.

I realized how lucky I am. I have an outstanding support system.
At the very core of it, an amazing husband and a beautiful daughter.


I needed to accept and embrace the love I have around me every single second of every single day...not try and hold together what was ultimately never there.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Writing - no, scratch that - Creativity

Day 2 of Reverb 10

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

I am going to modify this prompt a little bit as it doesn't pertain to me (I'm not a writer. Plain and simple). Here's my edited version:

What do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your creativity - and can you eliminate it?

Honestly, there is a lot of creativity in each day. Having a toddler almost demands it. While there are times I wish I could spend more time in front of my sewing machine or holding a paintbrush, I cherish being able to break out some Playdoh and making funky creations with my kid. Or playing a modified game of hopscotch through the mall while window shopping. Even making dinner can tap into my creative side (especially when I'm too lazy to go out to the store and we have limited supplies in the house).

There is nothing to eliminate...well, aside from the need for sleep. If I can just get rid of that then I'd be able to get so much more done (like my business that I still need product for. UGH!).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I am participating in #reverb10 this year (thanks for the idea, CallMeCate!)

One word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

My word for 2011 is unicorns! I have a disturbing lack of unicorns in my life and I feel 2011 needs them.

Contentment and love can wait until 2012. I need some unicorns. Stat.


See what happens when I try to be all serious and introspective? :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap

Overall, our first hosted Thanksgiving went well.

1. We didn't have to travel

2. ShankRabbit had the day before Thanksgiving off, so he could help me clean the house and prep the food.

3. Each dish we made turned out fantastic (recipes below).

4. We ordered an all natural turkey from our local health food store. Fantastic flavor, wasn't frozen, and only cost us about $2.69/lb.

5. I deligated the desserts to my mother-in-law, who showed up with 8 (!) pies and a tray of pumpkin bars. We only had 9 adults and one child.

6. We're still eating pie.

7. A wet kitchen sponge was thrown at my head. That's how you know your kitchen is the fun place to be.

8. On Friday, we packed up our Thanksgiving leftovers and went to my brother-in-law's house. Another fantastic meal followed by some Kinect playing, where my sister-in-law tried to pull one over on my husband. Little did she know that he is super-competitive and knows how to drop it like it's hot.

The not-so-positives
1. The turkey took over 4.5 hours to cook, as opposed to the 2.5 our recipe claimed. My entire food timetable was thrown off. Boo! But hey, it was a darn tasty turkey.

2. We ran out of clean - and dry - dish towels, so by the end of the night we had to just leave the dirty dishes on the counter. We don't have a dishwasher (or a dryer), so we resorted to doing a drying-rack full of dishes and waiting for them to air dry.

And here is who made our Thanksgiving possible...the recipes (all gluten-free):

Roast Turkey
We mostly used Alton's brine, with some added tweaks from Gluten Free Girl's brine recipe. Also, we used butter to coat the bird instead of canola oil. BIG MISTAKE. The butter sizzled and smoked through the whole 500 degree portion of cooking (we had to make some temp and time adjustments...which may have been the reason why our turkey took so long to cook).

Udi's Gluten Free Stuffing
We stayed true to the recipe and it came out beautifully. Because our turkey was taking so long in the oven, our stuffing did dry out a bit waiting for a final warm up in the oven. I think next year we'll add a bit more moisture.

Gluten Free Dinner Rolls
I can't begin to describe the amazing flavor these rolls have. Yes, they are a little dense in the middle, but not at all like the hockey pucks most GF folks are used to. These were a big hit with everyone!

Biggy's Sweet Potato Casserole
The only change we made was to cook it in the CrockPot. About 20 minutes in, we added the mini marshmallows so they could melt. Yum.

Honey Glazed Carrots
We used regular carrots and cut them up into circles. A simple, yet flavorful dish.

Green Beans Almondine
Perfect as is.

Mashed potatoes were made by my sister-in-law. I don't know what she did or how she did it, but they rocked!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Random Thoughts: November Edition

1. When I was a kid, I remember learning proper letter writing in school. I was taught when it was OK to have a more casual correspondence and when a more formal letter was required.
Now that email is part of our daily lives, do they teach proper email etiquette? Are future employers going to receive an email like this from their employee:

so i was all lolz cuz i thought OMG i forgot the deadline! but DOOD...totes dun!

I think the intricacies of forwarding and cc/bcc should be covered as well.

2. I saw some brand new (in the bag) halloween costumes at Goodwill today for 75% off. I wanted to grab all the cute baby ones - ladybug, bumblebee, football - but my 2.5 year old is no longer a baby. And she's a 4T. Maybe I can put the bumblebee one on her leg and dress her up as a beekeeper next year? Though a giant bee attacking the leg of a beekeeper might be more of a beekeeper FAIL.

It's a good thing Peanut tells me exactly what she wants to be for Halloween.

3. ShankRabbit brought up the baby topic last week. I think we're rounding the corner from "ohgawdnowaynobabiesanytimesoon!" to " wouldn't hurt to revisit the 6 months..." It's all about progress, right?

4. My grandmother had a funny quirk. Whenever we'd sit down for a family meal, our forks would mysteriously disappear. Turns out she would grab the nearest fork to serve dishes, cut meat, etc. and not notice which one she grabbed. We'd all laugh when she'd say, "goodness, how did I get 3 forks?"

Why do I bring this up? Because I have developed a similar flatware-related quirk. I use so many knives during the day that I can easily use every single one we own in a day. Putting butter on toast, making sandwiches, the time we sit down for dinner they are all gone.

I've secretly started using disposable plastic knives on occasion. Shh...don't tell ShankRabbit. He thinks I've gotten better with my knife usage.

5. I had a very introspective September/October. Mostly, I was thinking about family (probably a post for another day). Blah blah blah...I decided somewhere in there that we should host our own Thanksgiving.


Did you catch that? I am hosting one of my all-time favorite holidays. I will be cooking. For other people than the husband and the daughter.

If you've never cooked a full turkey before, do you make a practice one a couple weeks before or do you just hope for the best the day of Thanksgiving? I did find helpful tips from a couple of "never let me down" sources - Alton Brown and The Gluten-Free Girl.

6. I'm so happy November 2nd is over. I don't mind the political ads (yes, annoying...but whatever). You know what bothered me? The "AAAARGH! GET OUT THERE AND VOTE!"

Did I vote? Yes. But I didn't make a big deal out of it.

7. Medical update: still broken. The doctors have no idea what's wrong...still. I think I'm done trying to figure this out. I've been on a gluten-free diet since August and this seems to help with most of the problems I'm dealing with, but no concrete answers.

8. 2010 seemed to be the year of "frustration." Can 2011 be "contentment," "love," or even "unicorns?" Let's make it happen.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A rant. And a lesson about Laundromat etiquette.

Instead of trying to stretch a couple more days out of our dwindling clean clothes selection, I decided to do laundry today instead of Friday (my usual day of laundered fun).

This particular laundromat has several washers and dryers (single and multiple load capacity) and 4 tables for folding. 1 is at the back, 1 in the middle, and 2 right by each other in the front. All of the tables were being used except for the 2 in the front (right by where I was sitting).

My clothes had about 15 minutes left in the dryer when a couple of ladies walked in. Upon getting all of their clothes in the washer, they sat at a round table nearest the 2 empty folding tables and placed a purse on each of the folding tables. Considering there was absolutely nothing in front of them at the round table they were occupying, I could only assume they were "reserving" them for when they were ready to fold their clothes.

Say what?!

Hold on, these ladies want people to wait for a) another folding table to clear (by the looks of it, the other people were doing laundry for half the county) or b) wait until their clothes are washed and dryed?!

Oh, I don't think so!

Just ask my husband, when I'm on a mission to get something done there better not be a soul in my way.

I swear these ladies were out to annoy the holy jebus out of me. In addition to the purses, the one lady was standing in front of an open dryer waiting for the other to fill it with clothes. Normally, not a big this case, the open door just happened to be blocking access of the dryer my finished clothes were in AND their washer was not done...completely oblivious to my presence at the dryer. I didn't want to wait around, so I finally said "excuse me," pointed at my dryer, and moved their door just enough to get my clothes out.

Once all 3 loads of laundry completed their tumble in the dryer (pretty much done at the same time! hooray for laundromats!), I wheeled them over to one of the "reserved" folding tables, ignored the presence of the offending purse, and folded my laundry. These ladies were sitting a mere foot away from me. In my head, I dared them to say anything to me or each other about where I was folding.

Maybe it's PMS. Maybe I'm just easily aggitated when people aren't mindful of others around them. But c'mon...laundromats will forever and always be first come, first served*.

* - the only exception to the rule are wheeling carts. If you're injured, pregnant, or otherwise physically limited, go ahead and lay claim to one of those bad boys.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Recipe time!

I have had luck with a couple of recipes recently that I wanted to share.

Pulled Pork
Let me give you background on this one. I had a recipe for pulled pork sandwiches that I wasn't all that crazy about (too much brown sugar and ketchup made it really sweet). I wanted to try it again, but I couldn't find a recipe that I liked. So, I turned to the BBQ extraordinaire, NukeDad, and asked what he had in his arsenal. He didn't have one of his own, but he sent me to this pulled pork recipe. Go ahead and take a gander at those lovely pictures. *drool*
My only changes were brining for 12+ hours and using my CrockPot instead of the oven (on high for 6 hours).
This recipe will be etched in stone and saved for all eternity in this household. It's that good.

Egg Salad
This one I can actually take credit for (which, as someone who is just getting into this cooking thing, makes me really happy).
Background: There is (was?) a little coffee shop/deli near my fosterdad's work that would serve the most YUMMY egg salad sandwiches ever. I interned at his office for a while and used to get that for lunch most days. The trick was to either get there just as lunch was being served or call ahead to have it waiting for you. They would only make so much egg salad and once it was gone for the day - it was gone.
I have no idea why, but I had a craving for it the other day. So I turned on my laptop to see how difficult it was to make. Most recipes I found had the basic ingredients of eggs, mayo, mustard, salt & pepper. Sounded simple enough to tweak.

Because I was so in love with what I made, I wanted to share it with you all.

(Pickle on the side. Toasted Udi's bread. Heaven)
6 jumbo eggs, hard boiled and peeled
4 tablespoons mayonnaise (the real stuff...not that low fat tasteless excuse for mayo)
1 teaspoon horseradish mustard
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
4-5 drops of Frank's Red Hot (or more if you're feeling saucy...)
Dash of celery salt
Dash of freshly cracked pepper

Are you clueless on how to hard boil eggs? Go to the American Egg Board and look up their recipe. These people know what they are talking about (much more than I do).

Now, chop up the cooked eggs (to your preferred texture) and put in a bowl. Add 2 Tbsp of the mayo, horseradish mustard, yellow mustard, and the Frank's Red Hot. Add the celery salt and pepper. Add the rest of the mayo if you feel it needs it (I certainly did).

I probably would have added a little celery for a bit of crunch, but we were out. Oh was still yummy.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Let's say you are listening to music in your house and your favorite song comes on. Are you one to turn the song WAY up and sing/dance/become-a-rockstar-in-your-head? I'm so with you...minus the music blasting.

Just like every little quirk in my life, this one stems from childhood. I'll spare you from the emotionally scarring back story and just say really loud music irritates me. It makes me slightly edgy and uncomfortable. If there are other noises in addition to the loud music, I go into a panic. Something must be quieted A.S.A.P!
My ears are pretty sensitive as it is...loud music makes it 1,000 times worse.

Side note: Live concerts don't count. Except for that one small bar venue in Chicago where I saw Murder by Death with some friends. My ears were stuffy and ringing for days after that...worst feeling ever!

My husband loves his music loud - in the car, in the house (in a box, with a fox...). He enjoys rocking out, but knows that if I'm in the vicinity, I will more than likely turn it down to conversation-level. This frustrates him a bit, but he's gotten used to it (I think).
The only other person I have to work on is Peanut. If we're in the car and she hears a song she loves, she says, "Mama...button!" Which in her language means, "turn up the volume,'s time to ROCK!"
Most of the time I'll do it, because I can control just how loud it gets. At home is a different story since she knows how to do it herself.

In this situation I have two choices:
1) Let her turn it up to her volume and just grin and bear it (or hide in another room of the house until she's done enjoying the song)
2) Fight with her over the volume and be subjected to the ear-piercing screeches she can produce.


She's only 2. I am fearing her teenage years.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Accountability: an update

Remember the post from June 2nd (you know, the last time I posted) where I was all "I need to do all this now. No excuses?" Well, here's an update -

1. I will get up earlier in the day...before the hubby and child are awake. I will work on all of my business obligations at that time. This will also be my time for running...bad shoes or not. If I do 3 weeks of consistent running, I will reward myself with new shoes.

This earlier time of day has given me great uninterrupted work time. Work = yay me!
I did really well with about 3 weeks of running. However, I had a laparoscopic procedure on July 1st* and can't do any strenuous physical activity for 6 weeks. So, let's just say this has been deferred for the time being.

2. My business will be up and running by my birthday (August 5th).

My logo is done. Website design ideas are down on paper (virtually) and discussions with my web developer (a.k.a. that sweet piece of keister I call my hubby) will happen in the near future. Also, as far as product goes, I started over with a new larger pattern and have had better results.

3. Once the business is established (and hopefully making money? :) ), I will join a fitness class (not sure where/when/what just yet).

I have found a class I want to take in the fall. I'll let you know what happens come August/September.


* - there will be a post about the surgery at some point. I promise.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


It's hard to admit...but I let excuses get the best of me.

"I can't start the Couch to 5K program because I have a terrible pair of running shoes."

"I really want to get up earlier in the day to get stuff done, but I'm afraid my alarm will wake the slumbering child. And once she's alone time for me."

"If I only had a few more hours in my day, I could really get going on my sewing goals"

"I prefer work out classes to working out by myself. But those cost money..."

Honestly, just typing this all out makes me want to slap myself. I sound like a whiney beeotch and I hate that. Not to mention all these excuses put me in a funk that I'd rather not be in.

So, I am declaring this to the intarwebz because that makes it all kinds of official (...right?)

Here is what is going to happen. right here. right now.

1. I will get up earlier in the day...before the hubby and child are awake. I will work on all of my business obligations at that time. This will also be my time for running...bad shoes or not. If I do 3 weeks of consistent running, I will reward myself with new shoes.

2. My business will be up and running by my birthday (August 5th).

3. Once the business is established (and hopefully making money? :) ), I will join a fitness class (not sure where/when/what just yet).

I thrive on schedules, routine, and established goals, so I'm hoping this will get my bum in gear.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More random

1. Our van succumbed to a faulty ignition coil...again (there are 6 on this vehicle. This was #3 to replace). For the first time it broke down in the state of Wisconsin, so we were able to send it to our favorite mechanic. He fixed it all up nice and purty and it's back in our hands.
(I'll skip over the part where ShankRabbit had to walk 2.5 miles to the nearest car rental place in dress shoes. Yeah...that's more his story to tell)

2. My brother-in-law and his wife are on a lovely vacation in Mexico right now. Aside from being super jealous, we get to watch their two bundles of snuggly doggy love while they are gone.
2b. I still can't believe dogs crap this much
2c. I do not care for 5:30am wake up calls
2d. No soft paper product is safe in this house
2e. But they are soft and it's ok

3. My kid has phased through several favorite movies. We were on a constant "Tinkerbell" kick for a while. Now we've moved on to "Toy Story." Every time I watch it I think back to the days when my cousin (who is a day away from coming home) was obsessed with it. His mom and I even made a birthday cake with Buzz Lightyear on it...complete with army men accents.

4. I'm hoping to report back soon on the status of our garden. We've spent the last several weeks trying to make seeds grow in our house for transplanting, but they are in a sorry state. I'm hoping we have more luck with seeds planted outside...which will happen by the weekend I'm guessing.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Several bits of, random.

1. I am working on Craft Hope Project 7 (educational bean bags for schools in Liberia). I am having serious issues with odd numbers of bean bags. I can't make 9 or 11 bean has to be EVEN! So off I go to find suitable additions for the shape collection.

2. Today is my kid's 2nd day of dance class. I had to go out and buy a larger size leotard because the size 2-3 was way too small (what can I say? I gots a big kid). More fun stories to come about this class.

3. The day of my great uncle's funeral, I was talking with some of my relatives about being pulled over. They were telling me how they got out of tickets in the past (interesting what some people will do).

A few days later, I was pulled over and told the honest-to-jebus truth about why our plates our expired. I got a warning (and a firm reminder to get our car fixed and plates renewed). See?...telling the truth pays off too.

4. Remember about a year ago I shared with you the results of my medical mystery? Well, after a follow-up ultrasound it looks as though nothing has reduced in size (it's "persistent," as the nurse said). Now I'm scheduled to speak to my doctor next Wednesday about possible surgery. Ugh.

5. Ah ha! CRESCENT! And a 12th shape has been found. Happy dance!

6. My kid, my baby, my Peanut turned 2 on Monday. *tear*

7. I really really want to put our various vegetable seeds in the ground, but we still have some time to wait. Stupid frost times.

8. What purpose do slugs serve? I have found a couple in the soil of our future vegetable garden. Ew. I can handle earth worms...just not slugs.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

So, I have this sister...

It all started Sunday.

My brother-in-law and his wife stopped over (and their two little lumps of doggy love). We made a great dinner and relaxed around our new fire pit. At one point ShankRabbit went to check on the kid (she was whiny) and it was just the three of us outside. My phone made a noise, notifying me of a new message on Facebook. Normally I wouldn't have looked at my phone while people were over, but my great uncle passed away on Friday and I figured it was one of my family members giving me details about the funeral*.

I received a friend request. At first glance, her name was not familiar, but had my maiden name as her last name**. She wrote a note with the request:

"Hi, I am your older half sister. I would love to get know you and your brother. I am older than you both. I have prayed for years to be united with you all and that is the primary reason I started my Facebook page. We can build a relationship independent of our father...".


My parents told me of possibly having a sister (my father's child with a different woman...before my mom came along), but at the time their words could not be trusted (substance abuse played a role in this distrust, among other things). Upon questioning other relatives, I was told that this was untrue. Many years passed...and so did the memory of this conversation.

Now I know that I really do have a half sister. Someone who I regret not knowing about sooner, but so happy she wasn't a part of my dark childhood.

"a relationship independent of our father..."

I know she knows.

After a few days and a stream of emails, I've gotten to know my sister.

Gosh, even saying "my sister" and not referring to an in-law or a friend is weird.

She has a 12 year old daughter (I'm an aunt?!) and a great career. She lives on the west coast.


I'm still processing this whole thing.


* - I'll save the story of my great uncle's funeral for another day. But I will tell you that this person is indeed my sister, as confirmed by my father who was in attendance.
** - She only put that (somewhat unique) last name so we'd recognize it as a possible family member.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Garden 2.0: A New Year, A New Attitude

The previous owners of our home built a 7' x 24' raised bed in the backyard. In the back quarter of the garden (in this picture that would be to the right) are everbearing raspberry bushes.

I was going to leave it be and figure out what to do with it next year, but I started to feel guilty. All this space is just begging for seeds. care. life in vegetable form.

I failed miserably at our herbs and tomatoes last year, but after quite a bit of research on vegetable gardening, I know my mistakes. I know what I must do to give my plants a fighting chance this time.

I did hours of research. I tested the pH level of our soil. I plotted the garden (using a loose interpretation of square foot and companion gardening). Now all that's left to do is buy some supplies and get some of the seeds started.

I will take you all on this journey with me - the ups, the downs, the dirt, and the laughs (c'mon, this is *me* we're talking about here). And hopefully share the fruits - er, vegetables - of my labor.

Oh we go...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Laundry Adventures

Ah, Fridays. My newly dubbed Laundry Day. Some of you may think this is depressing, but I enjoy doing laundry. Even more so when I can take a couple hours out of my morning and get all the loads done at the laundromat.

(side note: we did our budget for April and looked at the monthly cost of taking our laundry to the laundromat. My goodness, it's a lot of money! It doesn't seem like much at the time, but it really adds up!)

Fortunately, I found a laundromat that's nearby, in good working order, and barely has any patrons on Friday mornings. I'm selfish antisocial cool like that.

The first time we showed up, the laundry attendant came over to us with a small basket full of toys. Peanut's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree and she said quietly under her breath, "wow."

These toys aren't anything special. A lot of them seem to be happy meal toys from various establishments, but by Peanut's reaction you'd think I just gave her the keys to a toy store.

Now that we've been going to this laundromat on a regular basis, she has developed her "favorites" from the toy bin. Let's look at the cast of characters (pardon the photos, but these were taken with my phone under the wonderful fluorescent lighting):

By far, one of Peanut's favorite toys. This toy car has taken many a journey across plastic chairs, washers, and occasionally off-roads on the buttons of the soda machine.

Another car. Not as big and impressive as the first, but this little guy can CRUISE! Often seen on adventures with the one pictured below.

This is the creepiest choice, but she loves it all the same. I get what it is supposed to be [Padme in a royal cruiser (I think? Forgive me if I botched my Star Wars vehicle labeling)], but it's a bobblehead. In a space ship with wheels. No matter...Peanut uses this as her "Super Why!" vehicle.

"Super the RESCUE!"

And no adventure would be complete without a ragtag group of heroes! I give you...
Angry Man!
Condescending Military Guy!
(*pat* *pat* "that's OK tried your best")
Spider Man!

And where does this group hang out in between daring adventures?

On the bible, of course.

When the last item is folded and we are ready to go, Peanut and I put the toys back in the bin and return them to the attendant. Once handed off, I am given this face in protest:

"Mama...I don't wanna GO!"

Though today was different. I think she has figured out we will come back next week (at least until we have a washer of our own).

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A short post

What we did this morning:

What do you think the dirt smudge on her shirt means?

A. She's having fun playing "gardener" and asking for more water for her "wah can"
B. She tasted the fruits of her labor...even if it was only the dirt she was digging in
C. Water + dirt = fun mess
D. All the above

* * * * *
The kid is awake from her nap. Time to go play outside some more!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When saving money on a store brand was not worth it

This post was in no way dramatized. These are real events, real thoughts, real action.

Some things that must be said:

1. I adore the CrockPot Lady's recipes - Rotisserie Style Chicken is one of my favorites.
2. I have the memory span of a goldfish.
3. I don't cook very often.

Ok, now that those are established, let's continue with the story...

The first time I made this chicken recipe, I bought a Purdue brand whole chicken. Skinning the chicken was gross and cringe-inducing, but I made it through (the CrockPot Lady recommends this step. It takes a while, but it's worth it).
Fast forward to a week ago. While perusing the meat section in our grocery store, I saw whole chicken on sale and thought, "man, I could really go for some of that rotisserie style chicken again." It was store brand, but I thought that wouldn't matter. Oh man, was I ever wrong.

Now, on to last Friday. Peanut just went down for a nap and I had a cutting board, the chicken, and a sharp knife at the ready.

I open up the plastic and remove the little goodie bag of gizzards from the inside. I double-checked to make sure there was nothing else in there. I happened upon an appendage of some sort. I freed it from its enclosure and mentally screamed (the kid is sleeping, remember),
"EWWW! This chicken has a penis!"

I quickly surmised that this was, in fact, the neck (that'd be one hung chicken, I tell ya...)

Now, how do I go about removing the neck? With the Purdue chicken, this was removed for me and neatly placed in the gizzard bag. I've never encountered this problem before. Due to my hands being saturated in raw chicken grossness, I couldn't turn to my trusty intarwebz for instruction. So, I guessed and cut off what I thought was appropriate.

Back to skinning...

It was pretty routine at this point, though I found this chicken to have quite a bit more junk in the trunk fat than the Purdue chicken.

Once I was close to done, I decided to look the chicken over and be sure it was pretty clean. I glanced on the inside toward the bottom (which could have been the top at this point...who knows) and I noticed a section of darkness. Another gasp and internal screaming, "this chicken still has ORGANS attached? SERIOUSLY?!"* Again, the Purdue chicken had this removed.

I just wanted to be done. I wasn't sure how to get rid of said organs, so I completely cut that part out - spine and all. In my flurry of cutting, I nicked my finger with the knife (no surprise there). A minuscule cut, but it still hurt.

Now I really went into panic mode. I'm furiously trying to be done with this gawdforsaken chicken and now I have salmonella coursing through my veins via the cut on my finger!**

I scrubbed my hands no less than 3 times with antibacterial soap, threw on a temporary band-aid, and got to work on the seasoning. After throwing the bird into the Crock Pot, I cleaned up and hopped into a scalding hot shower (because at the time that made total sense). Though not before sending the following text message to ShankRabbit:

I went all Silence of the Lambs on the whole chicken. You can't unsee what I have seen. ((shudder)) Time for a hot shower...or cigarette...or both.

When all was said and done, I had 3 sections of chicken left - the breast/wings/remainder of back and two thigh/leg sections. It may have been in pieces, but the chicken still tasted just as good as the last time I made it.

Let's hope I remember all this the next time I get a craving for rotisserie chicken.

* I did a little online searching and found out these still-attached organs were its kidneys. Ewwww.
** I'm a wee bit dramatic in situations like this. Can you tell?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Coffee Conundrum

Wrote this last week during one particularly intense headache. Couldn't think clearly enough to hit "publish post." You'll see why...

Typically, coffee fits into my routine like this:

8 - 8:30am: household is awake and getting ready for the day. We all grab breakfast. I enjoy half of my first cup of coffee (the other half is either enjoyed in the car later or dumped out/warmed up in the microwave because it got cold).

9 - 9:30am: we drop ShankRabbit off at work and it's time for me to run errands with Peanut.

10am - 11am: Home (arrival depends on what errands need to be done). If I do have the luxury of a second cup, it is consumed during Peanut's play time.

On the days we happen to get up later, I don't have time to make coffee before we head out the door. This pushes my coffee intake until after we get home from errands. With all the hustle and bustle of the afternoon, I don't have a chance to actually make coffee until after 1pm. At this point, the headache has already set in.

This is a critical moment in my decision making. Do I make a pot of coffee just to kill the headache that rocks my brain (subsequently drinking more than I need and go to bed later than usual)? Do I pop some Advil and take a nap (this doesn't guarantee the disappearance of the headache. It just means I don't have to deal with it for a couple hours)?

I haven't quite figured out what to do. And here I sit with a nasty headache and no coffee in my system. This is a baaaaad time to try and make decisions.

Do you have any ideas?

P.S. No need for recommendations of Red Bull or similar substances. I can't stand the stuff.
And if you say I should switch to decaf, I'll pummel you.

Friday, March 26, 2010


I've mentioned many times how I should not be allowed to handle sharp objects (I've mentioned this before, very briefly). Accident prone is quite an understatement.

Peanut and I went outside to enjoy the beautiful weather on Monday. She took charge of the sidewalk chalk while I donned gardening gloves and went to work on our flower beds.* I wasn't sure what to clear out, so I pretty much made it look like I was being productive clipped dead plants and gently raked up leaves (as the new plants have already broken ground).

Look, mama...soil. shovel. It's really not that complicated.

I was making quick work of the dead plants with my gardening shears (inner monologue: Lalalala clip clip clip lalala hey look, I'm gardening!). I cleared up the brush and put away my tools. It wasn't until I took my gloves off that I noticed a "vent" in the thumb of one of my gloves.

I had clipped the thumb tip right off. If it wasn't for a slightly larger pair of gloves, I'm confident there would have been blood. Lots of blood.

For all the times a sharp object has met my finger(s), I'm thankful this one proved to be a near-miss.**


* - the previous owners were into perennials. Score 1 for the incompetent gardener!
** - When telling this story to ShankRabbit (I mentioned a "funny" incident with the gardening shears), he immediately sighed and said, "now what did you do?!"
I tell ya, my injuries are legendary!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Census. Cultural Background. Panic.

I love filling out forms. I don't know why, but any time I have the opportunity to fill one out, I jump at the chance (4 patient information forms, front and back, in a doctor's office? OK!). So imagine my glee when we received our 2010 census form.

I was disappointed when I looked over the form. I thought there would be more to fill out than name, address, age and race of each person in my household...but that was it.

That wasn't going to kill my buzz though. I still had a form to fill out!

As I happily filled in information and made neat little X's in the appropriate boxes, I screeched to a halt when I reached the "race" portion in my section.

Such a simple question, not so simple an least for me.

I have a very mixed background, but the main ones are Sicilian (at least 25%, if not more), African American (25%) and Native American (not sure exactly how much - I'm pretty sure it's not 25%, but could be close).

Now I know when they say "Caucasian," this could describe I was covered there. But do I make an X in the box next to African-American? And if I fill in the box next to American Indian (is that even a PC term?) they ask you to name your "enrolled or principal tribe." Uh...I'm not official with a card or anything, I just know it's in my background. Do I put an X next to "other" and make up some craaaazy new name for my mixed heritage, like Cablinasian (except, you know, with my it'd be like Cablinducilian...or something)?


So, after much deliberation, I put an X next to Caucasian and an X next to African American.

Alright...moving on. Next up: Peanut.


Geez oh Pete! What do I put for HER?!

(Another tense deliberation)

I left her portion with just an X next to Caucasian.

* * * * *

I'm sure I will leave some census person confused when they read:

Head of household: Caucasian
Spouse: Caucasian and African American
Biological child: Caucasian

Yep. That's us.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm too young for hot flashes

It was nearly 8:30am. I was cuddled on my side of the bed, amazed that the kid wasn't awake yet and loving every moment of half-sleeping in. Just when I thought I could drift back off to sleep, ShankRabbit rolled over and cuddled up next to me. No...let me clarify...he draped himself over me.

He was trying to be sweet and lovey. I get that. And for a while I used to enjoy that all the time. I am usually cold and he is usually warm. It worked out perfect.
But now, to the woman whose internal temperature gauge is forever broken (thanks to housing and birthing a child), this loving gesture turned into me feeling like I was thrown into a kiln. In less than a minute, I had to throw the covers off. About 2 minutes after that I shrugged him off and began the "getting up" process (which includes checking my phone for emails, twitter, etc).

ShankRabbit sits up and says, "I just don't get you. One day you're all 'why do you just jump out of bed and not looooooove me?' (true. I did say this) and the next you're all 'my emails and twitter friends are SO much more important than you.'"

I responded, "you're 1,000 degrees! I felt like I was being baked from the inside. I couldn't take it!"

In a compromise (and a half-apology) I put my phone down, rolled over and rested my head on his chest. He accepted this gesture by putting his arm around me. Fiery kiln instantly ensued and I had to hop up.

Hey, at least I tried.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I suck at putting 2 and 2 together

Just a couple days ago, ShankRabbit and I were praising the brilliance of Alton Brown while enjoying his Praline Bacon. I decided to drink a glass of orange juice to balance the guilt of not eating anything else for breakfast. Maybe I had a half piece of toast...I don't know...I can't remember anything past the BROWN SUGAR AND PECAN-CRUSTED BACON! Seriously! Go make it now!

Anyway, that's not what this post is about. I just get a little carried away by bacon. Mmmmm...bacon....

So, my stomach felt a little funny later in the day. Knowing that my grease intake may have been a little more than usual, I made sure my food choices were much healthier after that.

Next day, enjoyed a small glass of OJ with my breakfast. Same funny stomach feeling. "Oooh, so maybe it's the orange juice." ShankRabbit is not having any problems with it, so I know it must be me ( juice is doing me in?! Whatever!).

We visit our local Sam's Club later in the day and spend a fortune save money on our necessities. One of our purchases? Emergen-C. A family go-to for hangovers keeping our immune systems in tip-top shape. If you've never heard of it, all you need to know for the sake of this story is that it's like drinking a bazillion glasses of orange juice. That's a direct calculation.

I find this stuff quite yummy, so I prepare a couple glasses for myself and ShankRabbit before he hops on a plane to attend a fantastically geeky conference with some coworkers.

All is well (or so I thought). This morning, my throat felt scratchy. Not wanting to succumb to sickness while the hubby is away, I down a glass of Emergen-C with my breakfast.

If you haven't been keeping track, I now have over 2 bazillion glasses of OJ in my system.

Now let's talk about what my digestive system must have been thinking. The first glass of OJ was like a little kid tapping on her shoulder saying "mom mom mom MOM MOM MAMA!" repeatedly. She gets irritated. The second glass of OJ - same situation, a little more irritated. The 2 bazillion glasses of OJ is like a country full of 2 year olds- in dire teething pain - trying to get her attention in the same way but adding a little screaming, wailing, and tugging on her shirt. She was having none of that and unleashed her ultimate fury.

You are smarter than I, dear reader. I'm sure you would have figured this out after glass two. I didn't figure this out until about an hour ago, when my digestive system said "hey numbskull...DON'T DRINK ORANGE JUICE! CAPICHE?!"

Yep. I get it now. Thanks for the punch in the face.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You want more...what?

Waaay back in the day (OK, like 1.5 years ago), we were trying to find healthy, tasty, baby-friendly finger food options for Peanut. We were avoiding products with gluten until her first birthday, so the choices were rather limited. We happened upon something called Veggie Booty.


photo courtesy of

It's perfect - gluten-free and full of veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli, and carrots. The texture is just like a cheesy poof, but better.
The veggie flavor is not too common around these parts (the cheese ones are made with "Wisconsin aged cheddar," so of course that's the one you find everywhere), but we've found a few places that always carry them.

Peanut LOVES them...and has ever since that first bag entered our household. Given any snack option in our house (no longer restricted to gluten-free), she will always choose these. We've tried the other flavors, but the family favorite is Veggie (even ShankRabbit gobbles these up).

[back to the point of this post]

Peanut is at an age where she verbally truncates her requests. For example, if she wants string cheese, she'll just ask for cheese (and is very clear with her displeasure if you pull the wrong cheese out of the fridge). If she wants a banana, she'll ask for a nana. Basically, asking for whatever the last word (or portion of the word) that comes out of your mouth.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

So, Veggie Booty...

"More booty?"


At times, it sounds like she says "more buoy?" but she is working very hard on perfecting her pronunciation. 99% of the time her t's are crystal clear. I've tried changing the name to "veggie puffs" or "veggie nummies," but no such luck.

Someday soon I'm sure we'll be in a large, public place and she'll announce "more booty?" And in true toddler fashion, if it's not provided in .005 seconds, she'll repeat her request louder and clearer, "MORE BOOOOOTY?"

And what will my response be? "You mean, 'more booty, please.'"

Monday, February 22, 2010

House thoughts (not the TV show)

We will be closing on our first home in about 60 hours. We will be moving into said house in about 118 hours.*


* * * * *

ShankRabbit and I spent this past weekend packing, sorting, organizing, packing, laughing, packing. This state of "half-moving" that we are living in has made for one emotionally-fragile Peanut and mama. Throw in some serious teething and you've got a barrel of fun.

Not really.

Our daughter has made it known that in this time of boxed-up chaos, any teeny tiny change in her routine will send her into meltdown mode.
(see: Bedtime routine. ShankRabbit skipped over the short game of tag they play every night and went straight to story time. The world ended.)

* * * * *

I've had my issues with this house we are currently renting, (you can get an idea here) but I'm sure going to miss it. Every time I feel the least bit emotional about moving (this is the only home our daughter has ever known WAAAAHHHH...) I think of all the positives of the new place (um, hello FINISHED BASEMENT!).

So far, it's working.

* * * * *

Confession time: 95% of our bathroom items are packed up. This includes replacement cartridges for my razor (and the scary Cheapo Razors of Death. I'll tell you all about that another time). The one that is currently on my razor has seen better days. I'd probably get a closer shave with a spork.

Thank goodness it's winter. No one** has to be subjected to my hirsute chicken legs.

* * * * *

And with those pleasant thoughts, I bid you good night.

* - please don't hold me to those numbers. My math is not the greatest.
** - aside from my poor husband.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Crazy is normal for me

Lots of stuff floating around in my head recently - some of those items, in no particular order:

1. A House of Our Own: we put an offer on a house. Offer was accepted. Loan application well on its way. Closing date set.

2. My cousin's send-off party is Saturday. He's going to join the ranks of the United States Marine Corps. Military service is common in our family, but hasn't come up in our generation. He's the first. My little cousin...well, not so little anymore. I don't think my brain can process this properly. He's old enough? Seriously?! It seems like just yesterday we were watching Barney together.

Here he is with his sister in '96 or so. I'd show you a pic of him now, but he'd probably stop speaking to me if he knew I posted it on my blog. So, I'm using my favorite one of them as kids. Muhahahaha!

3. I had a very rare snowball of anxiety clobber me a couple weeks ago that I couldn't shake before bed (oddly, not related to either of the items mentioned above).


* * * * *

I have this weird thing going on with a few of my toes. After ruling out poor shoe choice and bug bites, I turned to my trusty intarwebz to see what this could be. It left me with more questions than answers. ShankRabbit is convinced I have "the gout" (said in a very crotchety, old-man voice). Thanks for making me feel SO much younger, dear husband.

I'm convinced my second toes are protesting any and all shoes. They are the longest of the bunch - why do they have to be scrunched while the other toes get ample space to move around? Equal rights for ALL TOES!



Wow. I started this post talking about my moments of crazy and end with anthropomorphizing my toes.

This would be a good place to stop before any more crazy comes out.

(Let's hope the next month brings better topics of discussion)

Friday, January 8, 2010

It's starts early

I have a more meaningful post in the works about my experience the last 3 months, but it still needs some tweaking (a.k.a. I got a little long winded). Instead, I want to share a couple of funny tidbits from ShankRabbit during this time.

#1. This was one of his Facebook status messages:
There's so much of me that I see in her. Yet she thinks she can get away with using my tricks. I don't think so, sweetcheeks. Now go eat your toast or I'll throw you in the snow.

#2. An excerpt from an IM chat we were having. I really don't know how to set this up other than saying she's my kid - through and through.
I sit down with Peanut this morning in front of the open fridge
and I pull out the juice pitcher and the milk.
"Peanut... which one would you like... milk or juice?"
(.... = baby decisions)
As i'm putting the milk back, "no no no no..... mill"
um... okay... "you want milk?"
as i'm putting the juice back, "no no no no.... ju"
"so you want juice?.. not milk? just juice?"
"ju. OKAY!"
So I'm putting the milk back and she smiles at me... "no no no .... mill"
So i said to her, "look... keep this up and I'm mixing them... then who will be smiling? huh? daddy will, that's who."
She looks at me with her frowny face... "no. mill."
and she let me put the juice back and pour her milk.
The end

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm baaaaack!

I'm finally shaking the lazy dust off from the holidays. My last day at work was the 28th and I was as lazy as I could be* until this past Monday. ShankRabbit threw a curve ball at me on Friday when he got such a bad headache that he spent all day and night Friday and most of Saturday holed up in our room with the shades drawn and the door shut.
He rarely gets headaches - and never had a migraine before - so I am ordering him to the doctor (under the guise of him needing a physical anyway. If it was an appointment just for this headache he would never go).

* * * * *

It's official - we will be (hopefully**) buying our first home in a couple months. I've been looking at houses online for months now, but this is the real deal. You know, with loan people and real estate agents and such.

So...wish us luck!

* * * * *

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that Peanut is continuing to grow like a weed - both physically and developmentally. My favorite at the moment: she grabs my hand and says " 'mon...go walk?" [translation: C'mon. Let's go for a walk] and leads me to whatever she wants at the moment. 90% of the time it's for a cookie or cracker. Ah, she's so my child.

* * * * *

We're supposed to get 6-10 inches of snow on Thursday. I don't have much money to offer, but I'd be willing to make some awesome baked goods for anyone that would like to shovel / snow blow our driveway for me (ShankRabbit will not be here to do it). Any takers?

* * * * *

Time for coffee, y'all. I'm not making any promises, but I'm hoping my blog posts become a regular thing again. Wouldn't that be nice?
* - I'm the mom of a toddler. "Lazy" doesn't have the same definition as it did when I was single.
** - I'm sure things will go as planned, but I don't like to assume...lest Fate punches me in the face.