Friday, December 31, 2010

happy new year!


After seven breakfast suckers and the upteenth gift, Moose is too weak to lift his head off the Christmas football...

Even Milo had candy canes for breakfast.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

christmas '10

1.   You know you are in possession of all your girl hormones when you can't watch Kermit the Frog as Mr Cratchit and Miss Piggy as Mrs Cratchit talk about the loss of their little piggy/froggy love child, Tiny Tim, without crying.

Other things that choke me up:

Game shows.

Winners of reality shows.


The last sentence of a good book.

A song on the radio that would be really good on a slide show at my own funeral.
What?  I'm the only one who does that?
Nevermind.  Forget I said anything.

Most movies of the animated kind.  Small striped fish who are lost in the sea and their dads are searching for them in spite of being scared themselves?  Gets me.  Old men in flying houses with small boyscouts?  Don't even go there.  Dogs and wolverine/hamsters reunited with their owner?  Sniffle.  Toys that band together to fight an evil purple teddy bear, only to be DONATED BY THE BOY WHO HAD THE AUDACTITY TO GROW UP?  I don't wanna talk about this anymore.

2.  Christmas here was quite nice, though different.  I am accustomed to spending the holidays with my nutso extended family so there was definitely something missing.  Something of the crazy kind.  Something of the Mama-does-all-the-cooking-and-I-sit-back-and-munch-on-salt-and-vinegar-potato-chips kind.  I now know what it's like the be the matriarch of the whole fam damily: you spend upteen hours preparing food that everyone is too full from snacking to eat.  I don't wanna be the matriarch anymore.

3.  However, ham gravy?  Oh my stars and garters.  Seriously, folks.  Give me a bowl and the largest ladle you can find.  I will never go back to turkey.

4.  Evidently, it's some sick kind of April Fool's Day equivalent in Mexico today.  So, if you too, have smart alecky Mexican friends who post things like, oh, I don't know, THAT THEY'RE PREGNANT, do not believe them.   Very funny, Lori, very funny.  My neighbor thinks she's funny.  I was already online onesie shopping, living vicariously through her, picking out paint for her nursery, and naming them.  Them, because they were going to be twins.  Rosalie and Ricki...I thought it had a nice Spanishy flair.  My hormones don't know how to handle the switch now.  Not kind, evil woman, not kind...guess I'll go back to naming my niece/nephew now.  Humph.

5.  Anna was quite happy, even thrilled, with her generic knockoff el cheap ghetto Target brand doll this Christmas.  Everything that came with it broke within nanoseconds, but hey, that's why hot glue guns were invented.  No, Schroeder, hot glue guns were NOT invented for you to hot glue everything in your room to everything else in your room.  Note to self:  hide hot glue gun.

6.  My luvah boy took me to see True Grit last night.  Fanfreakintabulous movie.  Whatshername will most certainly get the Oscar, which is exciting for me because I don't remember the last time I have actually seen a movie that was nominated for anything. 

7.  We introduced Provolone (who would like to be referred to as "P.J.s" now because it took him 16  years to realize his initials spell that) to our particularly strange and odd Christmas traditions, and it spite of what he will tell you, he totally enjoyed them.  Here's a rundown of how my Christmas Eves and Christmas go (remove the parts with my extended family - WAAAA!):

Christmas Eve:    Eat clam chowder and cornbread (incidentally, I have now perfected my cornbread recipe....if you're lucky, I'll post both recipes.  Ya know ya want em!)
                          Open one gift.  Surprise!!  It's pajamas!  It's always pajamas, silly pickles.  I got scotty dogs ones this year.  We got all the group home kids pjs and slippers.  They rather liked this part.
                           Read two poems:  The Cremation of Sam McGee (cuz nothing says Christmas like cremating corpses) and Jabez Daz, which is like the best poem in the world, especially for you Santa haters out there.  I think it would make the most perfect Tim Burton movie.  Does anyone know how to get a hold of Tim Burton?
                           Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.  This year he had orange bundt cake.  We enjoyed it for him.
                           Send small children to bed, where they are for once, happy to go.
                           Forget to be the tooth fairy for the FOURTH night in a row.  I'm not sure what would happen if the tooth fairy and Santa crossed paths out in the flight plan there anyway.
                           Stuff stockings with beef jerky, chips, toothbrushes, chocolate, and anything else small.  Anna got bacon flavored chapstick.
                           Giddily wait until it's time to put out other sneaky ghetto el cheapo Target knockoffs of American Girl dolls...
                          Wake kids, because my kids are weirdos in the grand tradition of me and my sister, who always had to be woke up on Christmas morning.
                          This is the part where my sadistic mother takes as loooooooooooong as is humanly possible to "put in her eyes."  Translation: contacts, cuz she's well, as blind as a bat without them.  She's gonna smack me for telling you this, but I think she does this on purpose just to make us wait.  Then she has to make her tea.  Then she has to find her camera.  The she has to find the film for the camera.
                          Four years gifts.  Revel in the crass commercialism.
                          Eat scrumptious orange rolls.
                          Eat candy all day.  Never get out of pajamas.  Never brush teeth or hair.  Watch movies.  Eat more candy. 
                          The end.

8.  I had pictures to go with, but the dumbo uploading refuses to upload.  It took 20 minutes of my life I will never get back, time that could have been spent licking the ham gravy off my plate.  But if you want to know what our Christmas photos look like, just look at a Gap ad, or maybe Ralph Lauren.  We look just like them.  I'm the tall, willowy blonde.

9.  I don't appreciate the hysterical laughter.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

the stockings were hung

We lost our stockings in the move.  Yaah for $12 at the Dollar Store, some crafty kids, and a hot glue gun! They have been replaced...probably just in time for me to remember exactly where I put the original ones.  I think they turned out nicely, if I do so say myself!  And I do.

Cora and her friend, Lydia.  She's very shy, the poor kid.

If you've already watched the holiday classic, It's a Wonderful Life, then go rent this fabulous movie.  It's the same director and has old mean Mr Potter, except he's the jolly old grandpa in this one.  It's such a good movie.  And wonderful for watching during stocking making.  I love the batty ballerina sister and the romance novelist mom.  I want to be a lily of the field! 

Sorry.  No one got that reference.

I adore Jean Arthur...she was cute as a button and had great comedic timing.  And she got to act with Jimmy Stewart AND Cary Grant, the lucky duck.  If I can't be Julie Andrews or Angela Lansbury, then I'd like to be Jean Arthur.  The clothes, the glamor, the heels!  Jury is still out on that 1940s hair though; that was one unfortunate decade for women's hairstyles.

In other news, most of the group home kiddos have gone back east to see family.  It's practically quiet around these parts.  Except for those Williams' kids.  Gianni was in the bath yesterday and here is a snippet of our conversation:

G sticks his tongue out and says,
"Guess what this is, Mommy?  It's on my tongue!"

Actually, since his mouth was open and he was trying not to drop the object off his tongue, it sounded more like,
"Dess what dis is, Mommy?  Iz on my tund!"

I squint and peer closer.  Whatever it is, it's not very big and kind of looks like a tiny peice of yellowish/greenish ... food?

"I don't know, what it is?"

"It's a booger."

Then he closed his mouth and swallowed happily.

The End.

Friday, December 17, 2010

How Not To Make Christmas Candy

Because the world is just a nicer and more organized place when it's listed in numerical order, and also because it's easier for me to jump from bunny trail to bunny trail without thinking of an appropriate segue, here's the latest posting - in numerical order, if you please.

1.  There is a black hole of moving from which precious things never return.  Sucked into the latest one are one pair of Anna's snow boots (which probably wouldn't fit her this year anyway, so no loss), the left boot of MY snow boots (big loss!  BIG LOSS!  My feet are cold!), my jewelry box with all my expensive, priceless family heirlooms jewelry (bought at KMart), my homemade birthday calendar (so don't be surprised when I forget your birthday), and all five of my family's Christmas stockings.  I think I will make new stockings, but I'm trying to figure out how to do so without my holiday elves's help.  I know, I know.  Terrific mothering.  But nothing brings out my OCD tendencies like a craft project.  They'll hot glue the snowman hats on crooked!  They won't use the right colored ribbon!  The letters won't be symmetrical!  Yes, I know it would be even cuter that way, but you don't have to walk by them on the hearth every year and wince at the mistakes and try to peel the dried glue off and redo everything when they're not looking.  Maybe if I tell them it's part of their Christmas gifts then I would be free to work on them alone?

2.  Another year has come and gone and the holidays have somehow snuck on me again, in spite of me looking forward to them all year.  Suddenly, it's too late to learn how to knit and make homemade potholders for everyone!  What the hey??  I barely got my cards out in time and it was by the skin of my teeth, I'll tell you.  By the way, when you ask your hubby to pick up the cards at Walmart don't be surprised when he returns with three things you didn't ask for and no cards.  And I forgot to take the red eye out before I hit the "I have edited my photo" and "proceed to checkout" button, so please be aware that although I tease my kids about being demons at times, they aren't literally red eyed demons.  At least I don't think so. Photographic evidence says otherwise.

3.  I have had in my mind for several weeks to do a super duper cute blog about my marriage, complete with lots of older photos, but I had to wait until I could buy an ink cartridge for the printer.  So I bought one.  But now the printer is broken.  So never mind.  Maybe for my next marriage.

4.  I really was a slacker when it came to homemade gifts this year.  I'm feeling rather guilty about it.  Normally I bake a ton.  Remember those truffles?  Oh, I know you do, my little friends, I know you do.  But like I said, somehow December snuck up on me.  I did make some peanut brittle for family, but it was causing me major anxiety.  Every year, bout this time, I desperately want to own a candy thermometer.  The problem is, I never remember I need one until I'm in the thick of making candy.  So, I do the ol' drop a bit into cold water trick, but I gotta say: not the most reliable method in the known universe.  So half the time my fudge won't fudge and becomes  ice cream sauce and my divinity is simply something you pile on spoons and feed to your kids for breakfast.  I meant dessert.  So this year, I decide to do peanut brittle, because that just sounds like a manly man candy that would be appropriate for the Papas and Papa-in-laws and Brother-in-laws in my life.  Oh, you didn't know that there is feminine and masculine candy?  Well, you are welcome for that knowledge.  Men don't want petit fours and lavender infused truffles, silly ones.  And girls don't want peanut brittle because - well, OK, we might want peanut brittle.  Anyway, though, my sauce took flippin' FOREVER AND EVER (welcome to the Department of Redundancy Department) to come to the hard crack stage.  Hard crack stage is evidently somewhere between a few minutes of boiling and Christmas of 2012.  And of course I was making it at the last possible second - basically when I was supposed to be at the Post Office mailing the said peanut brittle, not sweating over the stove whispering desperately, 'Come on, baby, come on, cook, drat you, cook!'   Needless to say I stopped a few scant moments before I should have and the brittle turned out less brittle than say, chewier than gnawing on decade old candy corn.  While I was frantically trying to boil the sugar syrup, I was also trying to make penuche for my mommy.  Penuche is like a brown sugar fudge.  Again, a time when a candy thermometer would've come in real handy like.  But fudge only has to reach the soft ball stage, so that's not quite as time consuming as the sugar syrup for the peanut brittle.  However, attempting to make both at once, keep a nekked three year old out of the vicinity, pack boxes for mailing and do all the other tens of hundreds of things that need to be done, is a bit redonkulous.  It's not easy to make fudge in a hurry too.  Well, the marshmallow kind with the sweetened condensed milk - that one can be done speedy like, but I prefer to really torture myself at Christmas and not cheat with the easy recipes.  So anyway, my penuche got to the appropriate stage and being in a hurry I didn't want to wait for it to come to room temperature all by itself, so I stuck the pot out in the snow.  Then when I brought it back for it's beating it was still too hot so I stuck an ice pack under the mixer and then I really did cheat: I let the kitchenaid beat the snot out of it while I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to salvage the peanut brittle.  Now even when penuche is exactly perfect, it still looks like a pile of poop.  Baby poop mostly.  But when I don't have time to let it set perfectly and then slice it neatly into tiny little squares, package it into a pretty Christmas tin (only one with a Norman Rockwell scene on it will do), label it with a gold sparkly pen "To Mommy", and then carefully place it into the box of Endless Delights (which is what I like to call the box of presents I sent), then here is what I actually end up doing after the whole snow and ice pack debacle:  toss the pan into the van and when I've gotten to the UPS Store, attempt to slice it in the parking lot with a plastic knife someone left in the backseat.  My fingers froze.  It didn't have enough time to set.  It looked like baby poop and not even pretty squares of baby poop, just a steaming pile of baby poop.  So I slap it on some aluminum foil, while muttering henious curse words like "son of a nutcracker!" and "oh, sugarplums!" under my breath.  During this special holiday season, it's important to keep your cursing Christmas friendly.  So, Mom, when you receive your box of Endless Delights, I do so hope you enjoy your steaming pile of baby poop, because it came from the heart from me to you.

dear santa

Dear Santa,

If it wouldn't be too much trouble, and if you have room in the sleigh, big guy, I'd really like new carpeting.

Actually, it doesn't even has to be new.

Just not pink.

With raspberry mauve faded spots.

And if you're so inclined I wouldn't mind trading in the circa 1987 pink plaid couch for something...oh, I don't know...something that's not circa 1987 pink and plaid.

I've been a fairly good girl all year for the most part.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Last

Last movie I watched at home:
Coal Miner's Daughter.
Gosh, I love Tommy Lee Jones.
Incidentally, did you know that Crystal Gayle is Loretta Lynn's sister??  How come I didn't know this?  Crystal Gayle was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen as a child.  I daydreamed about her hair.

Last movie I watched in the theaters:
I forget the name.  It was at Northern Lights in Nampa, Idaho before I moved, and we went for Mariah's birthday.  It was totally rash.  But terribly funny.  Not recommended.  But terribly funny.

Last book I read:
Like Water for Chocolate.
So odd!

Last meal I ate:
Linguine with spicy sausage, zucchini, corn, and diced tomatoes.
You know how you can slurp one side of a linguine noodle while someone else slurps the other side and you end up kissing?  I do not want to be alive the day I realize my son is too old to do that with anymore.


Last dessert I ate:
Super yummy custard coconut thingamobob.  Tasted just like something my mommy would make.  And should make.  And should mail to me.

Last thing I commented on on Facebook:
Congrats for a new baby.
Me want new baby.
Stop it.
All of you stop having babies right this instant!

Last time I got to use the little girl's room in private:
July 18, 2000.

Last time I wore a dress:
Cuz I'm Baptist and that's how we roll.

Last time I annoyed my boss:
Yesterday when he sent an email that instructed 'Please let me know you received this,' and I replied with an email that said, 'I did not receive this email.  HAHAHAHAHAHA!'

Last time my boss called and informed me that I am a smart alec:
Yesterday after emailing incident.

Last thing I bought:
Well, Mike bought groceries yesterday.  He keeps doing that!  He is excellent at it.  This worries me to no end.  What if he starts being all nurturing?  Braiding hair?  Painting toenails?  Cooking?  Will I no longer be needed?  I need my grocery shopping back.  I'm supposed to be better at it then him.  Why are you calling me a control freak?

Last time I threatened my first born with ripping off my second born's leg and using it to smack her with:
I would never do that!
OK, I may have said something to that effect.

Last time I had a date with my hunk of man candy:
Last week for our dozen year anniversary.  We ate prime rib and informed the waitress she may as well get comfortable as we were not exiting the premises until we absolutely had to.

Last time I decided I didn't want to homeschool anymore:
This morning.

Last time I decided I loved homeschooling:
This morning.

Last thing I used in the shower:
Baking soda as a facial scrub.  Ingenius and inexpensive.  And scrubby.

Last time I was in a car accident:
If the whole deer debacle doesn't count, than that time that mountain jumped in front of me in Idaho City.  It came out of nowhere, I tells yous!

Last sport I played:

Last sport I watched:

Last tv show I watched:
The Biggest Loser.
While eating cake, naturally.

Last place I went:
It's a lot like Spam-A-Lot.
'Tis a silly place.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

To Do List

1.  Finish laundry.

2.  That was meant to be funny.  Is the laundry EVER finished?

3.  School children.  They've got to be around here someplace.

4.  Buy groceries.  Stretch a buck and I do mean streeeeeeeeeeetch.

5.  Pack for weekend get-away.

6.  Leave no forwarding address.

7.  Accidentally lose cell phone.

8.  Clean out van.

9.  Google search how many pounds a small child must be before you can move up to using the lap/shoulder belt and get rid of the five point harness.  It's coat season, people, trying to buckle Gianni in is like stuffing a turkey.

10.  Mmmmm, turkey.

11.  Wash sheets in cottage.

12.  Stock cottage with Cheezits and books.

13.  Make lunch.

14.  Go to mom's group.

15.  Dust.

16.  Clean bathroom.

17.  Write change-over notes for our splendid relief house parents who are taking over tomorrow. 

18.  Buy dog food.


20.  Fill their stockings with coal.

21.  Rob Piggly-Wiggly for cash with which to buy my lover boy a Happy Anniversary gift.

22.  Explain to Moose that nice boys wear underpants at all times.

23.  Take Cora swimming.

24.  Take Teen Queen and Provolone to basketball.

25.  Pry remaining teen eyeballs away from too much Facebook.

26.  Make dinner.

27.  Help with homework.  Hope desperately that I am smarter than a fifth grader.

28.  Put out fires.

29.  Avoid catastrophes and chaos.

30.  Pick up athletes.

31.  Supervise chores.

32.  Stuff whoever forgot their laundry THIS time in the washer/dryer's laundry under their sheets and cackle with mirth.

33.  Get disappointed when they don't notice and just sleep with it.

34.  Bathe a Moose.

35.  Explain once again as I do nightly, that 11 year old boys are very, very close to Stinky Mandom, and therefore must shower every single night from here until eternity.  At eternity, he may take the matter up with the Lord.

36.  Pack small cooler with coconut milk and coffee creamer.  In case we get stranded on a desert island.

37.  DVR Castle.

38.  Pull down winter bedspread from tippy top of closet.

39.  Pack car.

40.  Write logs for each child.

41.  Go to bed.

42.  Put pillows over my head every time the motion detectors go off.  Unless my boss is reading this, and then I meant to say, pay strict attention to every time the motion detectors go off.

43.  Wake up.

44.  Start four days OFF.