Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to confuse netflix

So I don't know if you to have the wonderment that IS Netflix, that handy company that mails you movies in order on your "queue", with nary a late fee, keep the movies as long as you want... the whole thing's genius really. [Side note: have you ever checked out the word "queue"?? Doesn't it seem like there's too many "u's" and "e's" in there? Like it could be pronounced que-you....But I digress] Anyway I just got a good chuckle when I read our "recommended titles" from the company. That's where they take the movies you've watched and make future viewing suggestions on things you might like based on that. Well I'm sure they must think we are insane, bi-polar, or crazy, because their suggestions look like somebody threw darts at a board to pick out what we might like next.
Well hubby loves movies, especially horror movies. I can't even watch one scary episode of Little House on the Prairie, so I can never watch all the stuff he gets. The only thing I ever rent from there are for the kids. All preschool type shows, music, Baby Einstein, etc. So when looking through our queue today I guffawed out loud. These were the suggestions: Dawn of the Dead, Tinkerbell, Halloween, Psycho, Fisher Price Little People, and The Legend of Hikimo #3, Sword of the Seven Blades. (That last one there is a throwback to when my stepson use to rent a zillion Japanese anime movies every summer). I love it. Horror, babies, anime...I think we've thoroughly confused the netflix master computer. Throw in an "Abba's greatest hits", Pokemon and the Orange Island II (cause they couldn't cover it all in Orange Island I?), and "Xanadu" and you've got yourself a swirling vortex of a movie mind jumble.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tainted Ariel

Ok so I haven't blogged in a while... since Summer to be exact. In my defense the wee ones around me have been keeping me running in circles for the most part. I'm always on the verge of putting two coherent thoughts together when it's interrupted by a cry, a poop, a scream. Finally tonight I got them all asleep at the same time (a planet aligning event for sure) and thought hey, in lieu of a shower, paying bills, or catching up on some shows, I'm gonna blog darn it. So be happy, and let me tell you the story of the "Tainted Ariel".

So we got these juice things at the store, they are part sippie cup, part juice box, and part greatest invention ever. Mostly because they are reusable, almost completely unleakable (sure it's a word), 98% indestructible, and are topped with kid-friendly characters from Disney and PBS for starters. Plus, what kid alive doesn't want to suck juice right out of the skull of their favorite childhood hero? They are ingenious really. The character at the top spins freely, so that little hands can't take off the lid, thus preventing the spilling 8 ounces of juice all over your recently steamed-cleaned carpet. Once you drink the original apple juice you can refill it with water, sugar-free juice. Just pop um in the dishwasher and they're good as new! They last for a long time too, we have some over a year and they're still going strong. The kids love them. They are narrow, providing easy grip for little hands, AND they slip into overstuffed diaper bags nicely.

So you're probably saying to yourself... what's the bad 2% you speak of? Well kids have probably found the one loop hole in this otherwise unleakable (I'll say it again) product. They have found if you shake it REALLY hard, juice will come flying out of the top in a nice spray. This albeit fun and festive practice has been nipped in the bud, so to speak, so we're good there. This was a mommy thing that in one fell swoop, ruined one of these juice sippies forever.
Well poor Ariel was being washed in the top rack when somewhere in the initial rinse cycle, plummeted to the bottom of the dishwasher and landed (I think) on the heating element. Whilst unloading I found her in the bottom of the brink and twisted her back up on her sippie pedestal and stashed her in the cupboard. The next day at lunch things were going great. One had Elmo, the other, Ariel. Suddenly there was a shriek from the table and Ariel was tossed quickly to the ground (Did it leak when it hit you ask? Nope, aren't they great?) Upon closer inspection the front of Princess Ariel was A-OK! But turning her around it was the back of her head, which I hadn't noticed before was melted into a black lump of goo. It looked like a demented mini beehive and it freaked my 4-year-old out. I tried to "reason" with them, showing that Ariel still worked just fine, but the damage had been done. They won't even look at her now, so I'm going to have to toss her, even though she's only a few months old (sniff). Here's her new song (singing dramatically): Down where they slip, down where they fall, down where their head melts into the wallll...... lumpy and wild, frightening the child, and leaving their world...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Brought to you by the letter "H"

So, I suppose we have a little Zorro bandit among us. She's tiny, she's blonde, and she loves loves loves the letter H. Don't know quite why this is her favorite letter, it's not in her name, it's not the easiest letter to make, but still she can't seem to stop making it. Every piece of paper she can get her hands on has a letter "H" on it... and it doesn't stop at paper. She has decorated numerous other household objects including a chair, a pantry door, even made an "H" out of left over jelly from her PB&J. Even though I am very careful to put all the crayons high, up and away, and out of reach, one must of slipped under the radar because after being alone for mere seconds she was able to scrawl giant 3-foot high tribute to "H's" all the way up the staircase wall in blue crayon. That's right, that was plural "H's"... as in more than ONE. Matter of fact it was three blue "H's" and then some kind of large "Q" and "V" together. On the one hand I was quite proud, impressed even. Here she is only three, we've been working on our letters for only a little while, but she's making some mighty fine "H's" and with such a boldness to boot (as in the 3-foot height). Then again, it WAS on the wall. Not so good. Thank goodness for the magic clean eraser or we'd be in a lot more trouble than we already are.

Matter of fact, I am typing this very blog on a computer monitor that is now scribbled with letter "H's" in pencil, as she recently discovered they write just as good as crayons on things. Underneath the monitor is some scribbles and also the first four letters of my daughter's name. Again, impressive, it's the first time she's put all the letters in order together by herself. Sometimes I wish I was three again, the whole world my canvas. When I summoned her to ask "who did this"... I got the innocent look and the shrug... "I don't know"... then when I looked at her more quizzically she fessed up. I then have to give the obligatory mommy lecture on "we only write on paper", while never letting on I'm just as equally impressed with her first and hilariously brazen attempts at the English language. It's quite the double edged sword. A sword that scrawls an "H".

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Folk Guitar Hero

So shortly after purchasing the Wii, I received Guitar Hero, legends of Rock as a birthday present. Being a musician I thought, hey, piece of cake. Well the first couple of plays were embarrassing at best. Turns out plasma's can throw off the audio/video sync and you need to calibrate the lag for your specific TV. Once we did that, it was like a new game! I got 145 notes in a row on the very next song. It really felt like I was really playing the song now. Then I made quick work of the different levels, passing all of easy, all of medium, and most of hard. I am a guitar genius. Woo and who. Look at me beating Slash and whoever the heck Tom Morello is. Look at me dropping to hell and beating Satan (Lou they call him) on his own turf! That is one of the minor draw backs of the game. They are all rock songs (not my favorite genre) and though most of the songs are catchy and fun, others are a little too "heavy" for my tastes. Oh the other trouble is, just ask my three year old what her favorite new songs are now... she gleefully pipes up every time, "Paint it Black" and "Welcome to the Jungle". Argh! She thinks the first one is about arts and crafts and the second one is about animals. She has a very eclectic repertoire now thanks to us (even though we try to play after bedtime or when they are preoccupied). She just picks up music so FAST. I was thinking of making her a CD of all her favorite selections and boy would they span the gamete. From Cedarmont Kids Jesus love's the little one's like me, to country, to Sesame Street, to her new love of classic rock. When we first pop on the Wii she happily asks... Mama, are you going to rock?? While my 2 year old find's the guitar and hands it to me, my personal little roadie and groupie, ain't they cute?

So this leads me to plead with the fine people at Nintendo to make up some different genres for this very very cool game. They could do a country one, an 80's one, even a Christian one or a Disney one for families. I'm terribly torn here. The game is rockin and so fun... I'm waiting for that fateful day when I see "Folk Guitar Hero" on the shelves. Come on science.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Play-doh the clay of Satan

If there is one toy I could pin point as pure evil in this world, it would have to be my nemesis, play-doh. Oh sure, it looks harmless, it's colorful, the kids adore it, what on earth could I have against play-doh? Well many things. First, it has it's own smell. Back in high school I worked at a daycare. They had elevated play-doh to an almost worshiped substance there. It was revered and utilized daily... which meant I was cleaning it out of the carpet fibers and little bitty plastic kids chairs, and tiny fingernails daily as well. Back then it seemed play-doh had a much stronger scent, and it was quite overpowering. I think those fine people at Hasbro have toned it down a bit because when my kids cracked open their first play-doh (a gift mind you that I had set aside to take back but but the box was gleefully ripped open when I wasn't looking and therefore we had to keep it) I was expecting to be blown away by the stench, but alas it was more a mere gentle whiff of the play-doh of yesteryear. It seemed softer and more pliable too. Back then the nasty stuff would leave a chalky residue on your hands when you were finished, but this seemed less powdery, perhaps I should give it a second try. I thought hey maybe times have changed, technology has caught up with the preschool set... but indeed, I was wrong.
It's still the same old clay. It gets hard and crusty within days of hitting the open air, begins to crumble on contact, the colors get mixed up, it falls on the floor collecting hair, dust, crumbs, only to be scooped up and mixed back in with the parent ball so by day three you've got this dense dry cluster of floor garbage mixed in (a thought that gags me for some reason) and a clump so hard your 2-year-old can make a ball out of it. Then there are the accessories. Many times it comes with some sort of device meant to smoosh the play-doh through a tight space, to make hair, legs, squiggly things, although the brainiacs at Hasbro headquarters must never spend time playing with their product because they leave no easy method for prying the play-doh OUT of the contraptions. It gets stuck in there and hardens making it impossible to use it again. It makes one want to pitch the entire disdained lot out the back door. Grrrrr.
So apparently I am not the only woman to suffer from a hidden play-doh hatred. Just the mere mention of play-doh to a group of tired mommies will bring out cries of anguish and disgust. I have yet to cross one mother that does not detest the vile stuff. How is it that a toy that is loathed by one set (the grown ups) is adored by the small fry? It's the first toy they ask for, the first one out on the table with these little faces looking up at you saying mama play with us. How can you resist? So you cave fully knowing you'll be crawling around under the table in a few minutes dabbing the crumbs and sweeping the rest. I must love my kids a lot because I let them use play-doh. I should be nominated for saintly mother of the year for that one alone. I'm pretty sure the devil sits on a giant dry, cracked, hairy crumby throne made of multicolored play-doh, just another reason I'm not going there in the next life.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


So I've barely blogged this month. Of course I could throw blame towards the wee ones (don't get me wrong, a good enough excuse in itself), in all actuality it's because we purchased a Wii. A magnificent specimen of video game greatness.
It all started back at Christmas time when my father (now apparent Wii-trendsetter of the family) brought it over to add to the Christmas festivities. He left it at our house for what was going to be a few weeks. When he finally wanted it back, wii were hooked. Wii had to stalk a few Gamestops to actually procure the unit. It was way back in March when they were rarer than a clean toilet seat at a seedy trucker rest stop. Since then wii have really embraced all that is Wii. Wii got into the sports, bowling especially, and who knew I could be a pro golfer let alone a tennis star? Then I found a rather amusing side light of the game, the art of Miis.

The Mii is a tiny avatar or cartoon representative of yourself. We started out they way most people do, which is to make a little you (mii) and then play the games with them. Well I started to make everyone in the family, then extended family, then friends, then extended friends, then random celebrities (Michael Jackson, Sally Jesse Rafael, GWB, and Jesus to name a few), then obscure celebrities (food network stars, late night talk show hosts, a blind Mary Ingalls) I just couldn't stop. Wii have a whole practical army of little Mii's now. They are cute, they are many. My favorite aspect of this side hobby is a game of Wii baseball, where a random group of Mii's is assigned to play on your team. In what other situation would you be playing a game with the following: An alien, Minnie Mouse, Conan O'brien, Weird AL, Lionel Richie, Mr. Potato Head, Alton Brown, and Mr. T? It sure makes for strange yet hilarious bedfellows.
So in short, wii will try not to let the Wii interfere too much with my blogging extraordinaire... at least wii hope so...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dogs are dying every day!

You see, when I was back in high school and finally got to take the bus (I was a deprived walker from K-Jr High) see here:

Anyway, the bus use to drop me off a few blocks away from my house. As I would pass this one house there was a giant German shepherd dog (I nicknamed him "Killer") who would aggressively cross the street, bark, nip at me, and generally scare the crap out of me daily. I begged the bus driver to take pity on me and drop me off a block early BEFORE his house but she never would. My dad decided if the dog knew me he wouldn't try to attack me, so we went over to Killer's house one day when the owner was home. Well Killer turned into a friendly, happy, perfect, smell your crotch and lick your hand dog whilst the owner was there... it was only when he wasn't home and I was walking alone he turned into a raving barking growling terror.
Fast forward to a few months back when my hubby and I were driving near my folks house. We drove by Killer's house and there he was, still sitting in the same place, looking mean. I say to my husband evilly... ha ha!! I have a car now, maybe I'll just run over that scary Killer now that I have the upper hand (I'm an animal lover, mind you, so you PETA people CHILL OUT, I'm being momentarily maniacal here). My hubby pauses for what seems a few minutes when he quietly says... that's not the same dog. I'm like.. YES it is. Sitting in the same place, looking mean, come on!! He says mildly... think about it. WHEN did you go to high school? Then I had to stop and think (while cocking my head to one side and squinting, knowing my math skills are fuzzy at best) Um, 10 years? NO WAIT... it can't be... 18 years??!! He's like Yes. Obviously that is NOT the same Killer seeing that dogs can't live that long. The dog you're about to run over an innocent dog, a replacement dog. If your Killer were still alive today he'd be over 140 years old in dog years, he says (momentarily impressing me with his mad math skills). He'd be toothless, harmless, and probably rolling around in a little doggie wheelchair and at best would gum you to death. I couldn't believe it. Has that much time passed since high school?? Holy smokes. I'm old. Dang it. My birthday is tomorrow too. Come to think of it, I'll be 252 in dog years. Where does the time go?? Well I guess it's gone to the dogs.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

One, OK - Two, Bad - Three, FUNNY

 Hubby and I have this little philosophy about kids. We have three under 3 1/2 and most of the time things are ok. However, if one of them start's crying there is now some kind of Murphy's Law or mathematical equation that spins into effect that there's an equal or even greater chance one or both of the other two will chime in as well. The other thing we've discovered is that math in this instance rarely adds up to the correct sum.

It's like my sister (mother of three) always says, add more kids, and the parenting gets easier. EASIER?? Yes. Ironically if you are overwhelmed with three, adding 2 or three neighbor kids (which sounds insane on a surface level) will actually DECREASE the chaos around you, not multiply it. Wacky but true. The added children, though increasing your numbers two-fold, will infact keep your children busy and out of your hair more often.

So you would think, one kid crying ok, two kids crying, bad, three kids crying, head for the hills! Simple logic decrees that the more crying children the less likely your sanity will remain intact. HOWEVER, hubby and I have found a loop in the system. Yes, one child crying (especially the infant) can cause one to sweat profusely and increase your speed to appease the child and get it what it needs to calm down. Now TWO kids crying at the same time is actually the worse kind of parental stress, even more than three would be. You see, when all THREE kids start crying... well then it actually becomes funny. On more than one occasion if all three are wailing at the top of their lungs, tears streaming, snot flowing, red faces... well just once glance across the room at the other hapless partner and the seemingly endless chaos suddenly becomes humorous. You can't help but laugh. Maybe it's a stress coping mechanism, maybe we're crazy from lack of sleep, but I know hands down I'd prefer all three crying to two any day... but then again I've never really been that good at math anyway...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Watch this.. you naughty monkeys!

See this man? Do you know who he is? If you don't know who he is, you should. He is Craig Ferguson, Scottish-born comedian who recently became an American citizen. But more importantly, he hosts "The late late show with Craig Ferguson" on CBS at 12:35am.

Now if you're saying.. AM??? I'm not up that late (and or early). If you're one of those terribly dull folks that goes to bed at 9 or 10pm or so then the whole world of late night talk shows might be a bit fuzzy for you. I'm sure you've heard of Jay Leno and David Letterman... now they are funny mind you but they've been around too long if you ask me. If you commit to staying up an hour later you'll be rewarded with even more hilarious programming.

There's Conan O'Brien (my love before Craig) and then if ya flip it over to CBS you'll find my "Craigy" as I affectionately call him. He is a stinkin laugh riot. His monologues are off the cuff and he goes off on the craziest tangents, all in the greatest Scottish brogue. My hubby and I constantly find ourselves guffawing out loud. Whether he's accusing Bob Barker of being a vampire, talking to his imaginary side kick Davis that appeared one night after he'd been taking cold medicine, or telling you why it's a great day in America, it's all funny. His skits/segments are wacky and he takes email questions from real viewers that just plain rock. He has zany sound effects and calls the audience things like naughty donkeys, cheeky monkeys, filthy pigeons. That's right, I said filthy pigeons. When he talks to his celebrity guests it is not "scripted" like on Jay or Dave.... they start gabbing like old friends and the celebrities really open up and tell you all kinds of things I don't even think they meant to say.

Anyway if you have NOT had a chance to see him I beg you to TIVO him or record him. You will be so glad you did. I will be so glad you did, HE will be so glad you did. As a side note I'm not on any backdoor commission from CBS either... so don't be a naughty monkey and check this guy OUT!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What time is it, Mr. Fox?

So we use to play this game when I worked in a daycare back in high school with the afore mentioned name, a kind of red light green light but a heckuva lot more fun. One person was the "fox" and the others all lined up down field. They group would ask, "what time is it Mr. Fox?" and the fox would answer "three o'clock, or 7 o'clock, or whatever o'clock"... and then everyone would take that many steps towards the Fox. The goal of the Fox was to get everyone close enough to grab them and the group could control how big or little their steps were depending on how scared of the fox they were. Finally they would ask, "what time is it, Mr. Fox?" and the Fox would scream "MIDNIGHT" and then all the kids would shriek and run back to the starting line. The fox would chase and try to catch someone to be the next fox.

So yesterday was a weird day. Easter had passed, spring had sprung, flowers were blooming, then, snow started falling. Later that evening, we lost power. Now we don't live where it snows buckets and you lose power. Our snow is light, minimal, pretty much uneventful. I'm not even sure the power outage was related to the snow. It was about 9pm and we were sitting in the family room with the three girls when the whole place went pitch black. The 3-year-old froze in her tracks, the almost 2 year old grabbed onto my leg, and the 3 month old in my arms had eyes a big as saucers when hubby lit a candle to shed some light into the room. We lit some more candles and soon it was dim enough to make out other objects and people in the room. It's pretty hard to explain to the little ones what just happened. The almost 2-year-old kept saying "TV broken" and pointed the hapless remote at it repeatedly. We turned on the gas fireplace and read bedtime stories at the table by candlelight. It was quite fun actually. Everyone went to bed early since it was so dark.

Everyone had been sleeping a while when the power eventually came back on. I'm a light sleeper and woke up with a start to the sound of David Letterman's voice coming up loudly from down stairs and the lights in the hall on. I went downstairs to turn everything off and I happened to look at the only battery operated clock and noticed the hands were directly on 12:00am. The funny thing was, when you lose power, the clocks always come back on and blink at 12:00 and count up from there, so usually you can tell how long the power had been out. But since the power came ON exactly at 12:00am, the clocks all were blinking 12:00am and continued to tell the right time. When one of the girls woke us up a few hours later hubby noticed his cell said 2:44 and the blinking clock said 2:44 too. I explained the power went back on precisely at 12:00am. He thought that was pretty cool. Now what are the odds of that??!! I felt like saying, What time is it, Mr. Fox?" Then saying "MIDNIGHT", then screaming aahrrhhrhhhh!!!! It's like one minute off either way and it wouldn't of worked. I just thought it was pretty cool to be so exact like that. Plus all those technologically impared people that have trouble setting their digital clocks would for once be perplexed, confused, and relieved all at the same time.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Snail Nail

 So today's a special day... ok not so much "special" as it is an anniversary of sorts. Now if you ask my hubby he'll tell you it's the one year anniversary of us buying a plasma TV. But in actuality, there is another, more horrendous anniversary. One not for the squeamish. Ok brace yourself but this is the one year anniversary of me ripping off my big toe nail. Ouch, right? You ain't jokin. 

It started as a regular day. I was in the middle of my many domestic goddess duties when it happened. I had both kids napping (back when there was only two of them) and the littlest one sleeping in my room. I started a load of baby laundry and remembered I had a few extra stained things soaking in my bathroom sink. My thought was to run in there, grab them still wet, run them to the already running laundry and wash them together. Well I grabbed them just fine, dashed across the bathroom tiles and in mere seconds had slipped on the wet floor and rammed my foot under the 1 inch opening under the bathroom door. Remembering the sleeping baby I bit my tongue to keep from screaming in pain. I was actually writhing and crawling around on the floor thinking I had just broke my big toe. 

After a few minutes of sheer pain I finally sat down to look at my injury. Much to my surprise there was blood everywhere and upon closer examination, my big toe nail was popped up like a car hood (still hinged in the back). UGH! (Shudder) Now What?? What followed at first was a few painful days of hobbling around not even able to wear shoes. After a while I could cover it with some groovy Jesus band aids (donated by a friend and heck I thought it would speed up the healing process) but still no shoes. After that all I could wear for a while was sandals, even though it was early spring and still a bit cold around here.

So how long does it take an adult toe nail to grow back? Slower than you think. My friend's son ripped off his toe nail and I guess it only took a few months to grow back in... for me it took a couple of months for it even to fall off. All summer I had, what I referred to as, a "freak toe" where all the toes had polish on them but one, which didn't even have a nail. Sometimes I considered painting the skin with the polish just so they'd blend in but always decided against that at the last minute. Sure, I was freakish, but not desperate. To make a long story short it is just NOW that I have a full grown toe nail. That's right, it took one whole YEAR to grow back. Now that's some snail nail. In sort of a victory celebration and a simultaneous nod to my Irish heritage I have opted to paint them green for St. Patrick's day. Hey I'm just thankful to have options. Here's to cute toes this summer though...

Monday, March 03, 2008

The best $2.79 I ever spent

 In an age of battery operated EVERYTHING I am a big fan of classic toys. Things that spark imagination and spurn creative play. Before my first child was born I had a gift certificate to babysrus and one of the things I bought was this terrific stack 'um buckets. Who knew then they would be the greatest toy ever to grace the face of the earth? Out of all the toys we have, this one is the most toted around, most knocked down, most played with. Matter of fact the more I think about it they're almost like the "baking soda" of all childhood playthings see here:

So what's up with baking soda?

It's uses have become somewhat endless. Let me name a few:

You can stack them
You can nest them together
You can knock them down
You can hide things underneath them
You can use them in the bath (they have holes in the bottom)
You can put snacks in them
You can use them to count (they are numbered too)
You can make a pyramid
You can use them in a sand box
You can make them hats for small toys and animals
You can put a toy between two of them and make a maraca
You can beat them with a mallet and they become drums

It seems age has no limit to these buckets either. At 6-8 months we would stack them up and they would crawl towards them and knock them down. They would laugh hilariously if we perched them on our or their heads. Some of the more creative uses we've found are, well my children for one particularly like the fabulously LOUD sound they make when you throw them against a hardwood floor. Also they like to "bounce" them down the steps of the stairs in a mad slinky-type experiment gone awry. All this people AND they are dishwasher safe! Could there BE a more perfect toy?! So next time you're shopping for a new baby, or toddler, don't be tempted with that tacky tickle me Elmo, or a modern battery operated rattle... Go get yourself the amazing Stack 'um buckets. You'll be GLAD you did.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fruit and Meat - an abomination

So I have a little rant here, and I wonder if you can guess what it is? Well if you look to the picture on the right here and say to yourself, "My, what a delectable looking pizza" then you really won't appreciate what I'm going to say next. Fruit and meat. Meat and fruit. Sweet and savory. Repeat after me people, they do NOT belong together. I feel almost as strongly about this as I do about the fact that KFC and Taco Bell should not be available in a single restaurant form.

Now normally I save my blog for more amiable musings however the horridness of mixing fresh fruit and cooked meat in the same dish makes me want to gag. Get that pineapple out of my pizza, get those walnuts and strawberries out of my salad, your apples and raisins out of my stuffing, and for gosh sakes get your stinkin mangos out of my salsa! All I can say is WHAT UP PEOPLE? If you are going to go to all the trouble to heat up fruit then it must be paired with sugar and... let's say a crumble crisp topping for starters. Fruit is naturally sweet and therefore predestined to be enjoyed in dessert or treat form. Mixing it with cooked flesh could be considered in bad taste at best or an abomination at worst. Meat on the other hand is savory. An earthy, scrumptious, canine tearing sustenance. It screams for spices, rubs, sauces, and especially gravy. Why go and muck it up with some poor hapless fruit that would be much better served in a cobbler or pie?

If you are one of those people (and you know who you are) who actually enjoy the aforementioned combination and have no compass of what it tastes like to me, I shall give you an example to best describe it's assault on my taste buds. Remember the episode of Friends where Rachel tries to cook a trifle? The pages of the cook book have stuck together and she accidentally makes half trifle, half shepherds pie? I think the exact layers are, lady fingers, peas, strawberry jam, ground beef. When Joey takes a big bite he declares it "TASTES like FEET". Now you know what fruit and meat do to my pallet. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Golden Boy Comes in Handy

My wedding anniversary is coming up in a few days. It will be seven years. He's the greatest really. Funny, kind, hilarious, eternal optimist, hard worker, the ethics of Gandhi, and the patience of Job. So it's no wonder that he's been given the title of "Golden Boy" by friends and coworkers alike. Things always seem to go his way if you know what I mean. Some have even accused him of living on or under a rainbow. He has a knack for tact and timing. Where I'd jump in and mess things up, he'll wait til just the right time and things will go exactly according to plan (It's almost annoying actually). He's patient too. He's very good at planting seeds in those with authority over him, cultivating them for very long periods of time, and by the time they come to the conclusion he had already engineered out for them they are whole heatedly on board and think it's their idea to boot. Not to mention they feel an teensy bit smarter because of it. It's like "dang that was a splendid idea, so glad I thought of it."

Just this week it was proven again in the form of a free plasma. Heck not only was it free, but they paid him $34 bucks to take it off their hands. How is this possible you ask? Well it's all in the day of the life of a Golden Boy my friend. OK technically it wasn't "free" but pretty close.

We bought a plasma last March (with a 3-year warranty) and last week the analog cable channels and some of the inputs just stopped working. They don't make replacement parts and instead wanted us to bring it in to swap it. Then it turns out they don't carry that particular model anymore (perhaps because it's prone to break in under a year?) so they were going to give us store credit. There was a better brand on sale which we considered upgrading too, but the day he called there were none in stock. He decided to wait (patience again) til Saturday because they told him they might be restocked then. He pops by the store on a whim and someone had returned that same better brand and now it was "open and out of the box" and discounted $300 LESS than ours. So he runs home to rip our broken plasma off the wall and in the 25 minutes it takes to get back to the store they had already sold it. 

Now I'm sure you're like... WAIT a gosh darn minute here. If he's really the "golden boy" like you claim why was it gone when he got there? Well don't worry kids, this of course has a happy ending. Well since our plasma was off the wall and ready for exchange he had to basically exchange it for one in the store. There happened to be another great plasma perfectly new and in the box that would fit us to a "T". Turns out our store credit not only covered the brand new plasma, but the warranty on the plasma was cheaper than our original warranty, so all in all he walked out of the store with a brand new plasma AND $34 bucks in his pocket as they paid HIM the difference. Our new warranty by the way will last til 2011. So we have a year newer TV, an extended warranty, and they PAID us to take it home. Incredible, isn't it? Feel free to shake your head in wonder at the amazing powers of my Golden Boy. I'm just glad he's on my team...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bag O' Plagues?!?

So I was wandering through Party City today on a reconnaissance mission to scout out Elmo options for my daughter's upcoming 2nd birthday in May, when I happened across one of the oddest things I've seen in a long time. I literally stopped dead in my tracks... dead being the operative word here. 


Across the top was a catchy, albeit, disturbing title...

THE BAG OF PLAGUES. I gasps audibly and looked around to see if anyone had seen it too. I approached with great caution, head cocked to one side, perplexed look on my face. HUH? I looked around with great concern. What section was I in, anyway?? Turns out I was in a small (but interesting) Jewish section for the upcoming passover. Intrigued... I pressed on. What could be more fun than a bag o' plagues? Inside the bag was a treasure trove of wonders I had yet to behold. A sack of suffering if you will... a... oh heck, just check out this picture just so you know I couldn't even begin to make something like this up:

Ok, so let's peek inside and see what you get. Well it's all 10 Biblical plagues (or representations of them in fun learning toy form) that God and Moses rained down on those naughty Egyptians for not letting the Israelite people go. I remember the story well from Sunday school. Each plague got worse and worse until finally the stubborn pharaoh let everyone get out of Dodge. So here's a complete list of what you'll get for your money:

Blood: Fake blood
Frogs: Plastic frogs
Lice: Small black bug
Wild Beasts: Animal finger puppets
Cattle Plague: Cow mask
Boils: Sticky hands with boils
Hail: Plastic ice cube
Locust: Large green locust
Darkness: Sunglasses
Death of the Firstborn: 9-pc. puzzle

My personal favorites? The sticky hands with white boils (cause, you know you want your kids playing with boils), the vial of "blood" (love the disclaimer cause real blood might be straw that crosses this camel into "creepy" land), and of course the giant scary louse. The sunglasses (for the darkness plague) add a nice touch and can be used later for "Risky Business" floor slides and Secret Service make-believe games.

I was so enamored with this little bag of God's wrath that I HAD to share it with my zany friends, so I clicked a quick cell pic of the bag with matching title and sent it off with the caption.. What the?!? A few moments pass and I get an overwhelming response. Where ARE you?? Another wrote, "that's hilarious, but where the hell are you?" I replied... I'm at the passover section of Party City... talk about a fun theme party, my friend. It's not a party til someone cracks open the bag of plagues. Let the death and mayhem begin.

But before you guffaw yourself silly, BEWARE! This is serious Jewish business here. One google of the Bag of Plagues will call up hundreds of sites offering passover "fun" and educational tools that help little kids learn about their faith. Like the passover bag of frogs seen here:


I'd like to state for the record here that I'm not at all dissing the Jewish faith. I was just surprised to find such a wonderful little abstract item tucked between the Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day party supplies. The more I think about it the more I want to go back and get myself a bag O' plagues. Hey I think the Jews are on to something. Heck more power to them. Especially this time for thinking outside the pox.

When Gallbladders attack...

So up until now, me and most of my internal organs have been getting along splendidly. It's probably the same for you. Heck, if they are working just fine, no one really probably gives them a second thought. Well, a few weeks back, my gallbladder got peeved and decided to give me the what for. This might be on the most part a tiny, understated, rather forgotten organ but when it gets pissed off all hell can break loose. What IS a gallbladder you ask? Well it's this little sac that sits under the liver and stores extra bile for a time when the liver needs a little extra help on digesting big meals. If you are so inclined there's a retired general surgeon that explains it perfectly here:
So my attack started as an aching pain in the center of my back which increased in pressure then shot through like a samurai sword to the front of my chest under my sternum bone. From there it got progressively worse and more intense. I felt like my heart was going to explode. I can't even describe the pain really, although most people say it's worse than childbirth. Well I've had three babies and they ain't kidding. That's practically an understatement actually. I literally thought I was going to die. We eventually called 911 (a first time for everything) and I was brought to the ER.

Long story short, I had stones and I had to have it removed. Where did these stones come from, you ask? I guess most people have them. Most of the time they hang out in your innards uneventfully. Sometimes eating a high fat or greasy diet can cause them to crystallize, OR, and this one is ironic, weight loss and a low fat diet can also cause gall stones. It's like, damned if you do... damned if you don't. I just lost 45 pounds this year, while pregnant mind you, and in a slow and healthy way to boot. Then I had baby #3 seven weeks ago. Well turns out having three babies in short succession doesn't help either. Our good buddy "estrogen" (the bitty) likes to contribute to making the stones get harder faster. This is the kind of stuff other people don't tell you and you only find out after you have kids. So this prize combination of winning factors caused my gallbladder to revolt and try and kill me (Well at least it FELT like it was trying to kill me. He really gave it the college try, although I'm still alive and kicking).

So besides my c-section scars I am now sporting a sexy four-hole addition to my mid section. Sometimes I'm afraid to drink water for fear I'll start leaking like a sieve. Luckily they are pretty small and should heal up nicely. Matter of fact medical science is a stinking miracle! Here it's been a week since they removed an ENTIRE organ from my body and I'm pretty much ok. Walking around (with some pain mind you) but not too much worse for wear. It's amazing if you think about it. So that's it for now, but try and be nice to your innards... just in case.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Who's afraid of a Christmas card??

See this pretty Christmas card? Does it frighten you in anyway or cause you to be suspicious of the sender? Does it cause you a panic attack or a sense of anxiety? Well it scares the living crud out of me... but then again I'm warped. I'm so jaded now when it comes to opening simple emails and attachments now a days and it's not even my fault. What pray tell, happened you ask?

OK so maybe six months back I got an email. It had to do with mazes. I love puzzles so I clicked innocently on the site and started maneuvering my mouse through a series of mazes. The instructions said to turn the volume up so I did. About mid way through the third (and progressively difficult) maze the screen changed to a horrific picture of the girl from the exorcist with the green eyes and the loudest scream you ever heard. I literally jumped out of my skin and freaked out...heart pounding and chair rocketed back two feet I could barely click on the mouse to turn the darn thing off. (Darn and I would of won a LOT of money on America's funniest home videos if anyone would of thought to tape me)

I HATE scary movies. I never watch them. I've never seen the exorcist. I've never seen Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Aliens, Saw, Hostel, anything scary. I don't go to haunted houses put on by radio stations. I can't even watch "the rapist" episode (as my sister and I call it) of Little House on the Prairie. Even if I catch a small part of a scary movie or TV show I'll replay that one scene over and over in my mind. My dad use to scare us just for fun growing up. I use to joke with my husband my home growing up WAS a haunted house, so I don't need to visit one voluntarily. I think the one scary movie I did see in a theater was Arachnophobia. What did dear old dad do? Well while we were at the movie he went and put 100 brown plastic spiders all over our house so when we got home we were already jumpy from the movie and come to find "real" spiders all over the place. NICE, right??!! Took weeks for us to find all those little buggers.

So fast forward to this last holiday season. Someone sent me a Thanksgiving email link that played this beautiful holiday table with candles and lovely music. I watched it four feet away from the screen, volume down, and through both hands over my eyes. My husband thought this a laugh riot but I was seriously scared something bad would pop up. During Christmas I got this lovely e-card. It featured an interactive Christmas wonderland where you could click on different parts of the picture and make it snow, light a gazebo, it was very nice. 

I was so scared to click on anything I made my husband do the whole thing first to make sure it was "safe". If someone sends me a video file I cringe and make him look over it first. How stupid is this? But I can't help it... my online trust has been shattered. I'm not quite sure how to get it back. Most people actually find this story funny. Heck you should hear what happened the other day during a pottery barn delivery... ok well nothing happened technically but the potential something in my head was very amusing. I'll blog about that next time. Stay safe out there people.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Disasters... horrors...

This could also be called the "kitty litter clump story"

So I have a disgusting story. It has to do with toddlers, and cat feces. Yum. Still want to listen? OK, but I warned you. So like I said I'm a mom with three girls under three. It can get quite tricky at times making sure they are all happy and well taken care of. My three-year-old, the most clever of the bunch, will actually wait until I am completely indisposed, like feeding the newborn to come up with her most devious tricks, and loves to drag her younger sister in on all the high jinx. Let me tell you she is lightning fast too. By the time that "hey the kids just got too quiet" moment of silence, followed by an urgent sense of panic, it's probably too late.

So in the two minutes it took for me to start feeding the baby, the oldest and the middle child have slipped out of range, down the hall, and have fallen immediately silent. The first time I check on them they are playing nicely in their room. Phew. False alarm. After a few more minutes I notice it has grown quiet again. By the time I set down the baby and walked down the hall to find them (literally a two minute window we're talking) they have made their way into the bathroom. They have uncovered the top lid of the kitty litter tray and the 19 month old is playing with the poo and litter like it's a sandbox. Litter and chunks are all over the bathroom floor. What's the three-year-old doing you ask? Well she's smearing/spreading litter on the middle child's head... and in the mean time has also pooped her pants. It's takes a good 15 seconds for me to absorb the horrible scene before my eyes before I start shouting NOOOOOO! Where does one start? The poo on the floor? The 19-month-old covered in litter? The 3-year-old with the poopy diaper with the proud triumphant grin?

I start with the most mess, which happens to be my usually sweet middle child. I try to brush off as much loose litter as possible then strip her naked and run the bath. After putting her in the water I immediately try to rinse out some of the litter from her hair. Instead of washing away it begins to clump and cling harder to her head! I realize now (two seconds too late) that litter is formulated to CLUMP when WET. Uh-oh. Now there are huge chunks of litter stuck to her hair and head. GROSS. 

I try a comb to scrape it out... no luck. Finally I find a nail-scrub type brush and start to rub the litter out of her scalp. It finally starts to break apart and the bath water turns an eerie gray color. After what seemed like forever her head started to look like regular ol' wet hair again. I drain the tub, put in fresh water, then give her bath number two. By then the newborn is crying so I hurriedly get the 19-month-old dressed, change the 3-year-old poopy diaper, and rush down the hall to feed the baby. I didn't even have time to clean up the bathroom, just left the poop and litter all over the place and closed the door behind me. Matter of fact I didn't even venture up stairs for the rest of the day.Later that night that turned into a little present for daddy when he got home. Ah the joys of parenting... I think I need a vacation, um and it's only January.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Happy 2008!

So I only have a few moments to myself here to welcome you to 2008! You see I'm the busy mother of three girls under three. Yes I'm crazy, yes I'm fertile, yes as I'm typing this I'm afraid that it just suddenly got quiet in the next room and all manner of disasters could of occurred with the oldest two even though they are 20 feet away and within earshot. OK, I'm back. False alarm. The oldest one has crawled into the crib with the middle one and they are singing and jumping. Hey at least they are self contained.

So even though I really love blogging the actual odds of getting to chance to do it are slim to none. Well if the planets aligned and the gods looked favorably on me (thus in that maybe 2/3 of them were napping) then I might jump in here to share a wacky story or two, then of course I will. Probably the time would be better spent grabbing a bite to eat or going to the bathroom or throwing the laundry in the dryer but alas I must make time for ME too... right?

Anyway hello to you my blog, my sanity, my 2 minute escape. I hope we can continue to entertain each other. HAPPY NEW YEAR
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