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.'"