Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Is there anything more annoying than an almost 5 year old who has just learned the repeat-everything-you-say game? "Stop doing that". "Stop doing that." "I mean it". "I mean it". "You're a knucklehead". "You're a knucklehead".

Is there anything better than 49 cent tacos from Del Taco?

Do you really not know what you've got 'til its gone, as Cinderella suggests?

If the Beavers were going to the National Championship game would Bentley's name a martini after them or do they have a Duck bias just like the Statesman Journal does?

Why do my kids ignore me when I tell them to do something but won't leave me alone in the middle of the night?

Speaking of the middle of the night, why do they come to my side of the bed to tell me they need water instead of Jeff's side?

Why hasn't Mitchell tracked me down yet?

Why do my favorite shows take such a long break during the holidays AND in the Spring?

How's this new daycare thing going to work?

What's 2011 going to bring? Will there be more joy than disappointment?

Why do I mistake silence for criticism?

Is Ella ever going to give me some decent dirt next Spring?

What's with my reoccuring dreams about celebrities?

Are my women's retreat dramas going to be a flop?

If I wish hard enough and believe deep enough will the laundry fairy start coming?

What are your questions lately?

Monday, December 27, 2010

It Comes With an EKG

Hot Jeff and I have decided, along with 75% of other Americans, that we are going to lose a few pounds come January One. We're going the Weight Watchers route which means we'll be shying away from all things deep fried and cheesy.

Before I continue, I just have to say, I understand that no one is leaving comments because you're trying to teach me a lesson for going on such a long hiatus. However, if one person leaves a comment even implying the question, "Why does Hot Jeff need to lose weight?", I will hunt you down and kill you. And trust me, it won't be anything fun like death-by-chocolate. Are we clear?

So before we do the January-One-Weight-Watchers bit we have decided to go on an eating binge and eat whatever, whenever we want. It's been fabulous. Melissa's tacos, Jana's pizza quiche, holiday beer, donuts, mochas, butter, bacon, candy, even candy wrapped in bacon.

A couple of nights ago we were laying in bed watching 'Man vs. Food' and the host went to Springfield, Ill and tried a bunch of different restaurants. One of the places he ate at was D'Arcy's Pint, famous all over Springfield for the Horseshoe.

The Horseshoe originated in Springfield and was named because it had a large piece of ham on it that was shaped like a horseshoe. It is served on two thick slices of toasted bread, then french fries are added to it and then topped with a cheese sauce. It is pretty much insanity on a plate. It is a cardiologist's worst nightmare.

Modern Horseshoes often have a hamburger patty replacing the ham and Horseshoe cheese sauce recipes are all over the internet.

Over Christmas dinner I told my mother-in-law about it and horror crept across her very thin face. Her appropriate disapproval helped me decide that I just had to make it before the end of the week.

I decided to make it for dinner tonight. Today was our last day of Stay-cation and we had a rough day of shopping with the kids so comfort food was definitely in order. I pattied hamburger, heated oil for fries and went to work on my cheese sauce. The recipe for it follows:

2T butter
2T AP Flour
Make a roux and then add 1 C. of shredded white cheddar and 1 C. of milk. Stir thoroughly and quickly so you don't have any lumps. Then add 1/8 t. of white pepper and 1/4 t. salt. A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce finishes it off. Add more milk if the sauce is too thick; it should be the consistency of gravy. (Mmmm gravy, I need to make something with gravy before Saturday!)

To put the Horseshoe together, toast a piece of Texas toast. Put it on a plate and add your cooked hamburger patty (seasoned the way you like it). On top of that, add crinkle cut french fries. In my research of Horseshoes I found that most bloggers wrote the crinkle cut is the fry of choice as the crinkles add more "divets" for the cheese sauce. Finally, top the heap with the cheese sauce.

I'll be honest, I was disappointed with the Horseshoe. At least my version. Everything I read said the secret to an awesome Horseshoe is the cheese sauce and I didn't think mine was all that great. It was missing something and I'm not quite sure what it was. Hot Jeff on the other hand thought the Horseshoe was pretty much why God made Lipitor. He ate his right up and used the last bite of bread, burger & fry to mop up the remaining cheese sauce on his plate. And just in case you eat like my mother-in-law and don't know, mopping up sauce with bread is the highest compliment you can give Gigi or any other fat girl who has just prepared you a meal.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

An Oldie But A Goodie

Tonight it is Christmas but I'm trying to blog more so instead of coming up with something new I'm giving you one of my favorites from the last year. You may remember the day my children fell out the window... I did but just rereading it made me laugh out loud enought to cause Hot Jeff to ask what I was up to. Enjoy.

February 5, 2010

I had given a clear warning of what was going to happen on Friday morning last night. And yet my children still decided to act like 2 and 4 year olds and ruin all the fun.

It started by them letting me sleep in. Yes, you heard that right. They let me sleep in. Jeff snuck off to work (lucky dog) sometime around 7ish. Samuel was up so Jeff put a video on and gave him a cereal bar. I was unaware of all of this, (because I was in the middle of a weird dream about losing my chap stick in a hospital cafeteria) as Jeff left for work, Samuel got bored and decided to let Mama sleep in. Now I know that sounds sweet but almost-4 year olds aren't sweet. They don't know how to put another person's needs first. They are sneaky and clever and coupled with a mother who can sleep through Disney World that is a dangerous, dangerous combination.

So Samuel got bored, came upstairs, shut my bedroom door, went and woke his sister up and down the stairs they went. For the record, I am just putting this all together from clues left for me because I was STILL SLEEPING and don't know any of it for a fact.

Some time around 8:15 I woke up with the refreshed feeling of I-can't-believe-the-kids-slept-so-late. I rolled over to see my door was shut and immediately panic rose in my chest. I crept down the stairs, frightened of what I would see. I rounded the corner in to the family room to see my kids happily eating cereal bars and watching Tinker Bell. Awwwww.

I got them some fruit, yogurt and water. I turned the video off and told them I was going to watch a "Mama show" with ear buds in and that they could play with the couch cushions. Its a small price to pay for an uninterrupted 47 minutes with Chief Shepherd and I was willing to pay it.

I snuggled down in my favorite chair with the kids in eye shot and got lost in my favorite hospital drama. With only a few minutes remaining Emily ran by and instantly a rank odor pierced my senses. It went up through my nose and penetrated my core. I recoiled and like any good mother said, "Roo, as soon as this is over I will change that wretched diaper".

Only seconds later Samuel tattled from the bathroom around the corner, "Mama, Emily took her diaper off". I paused Derek's meaningful speech to his staff and put Ruby down on the chair. I walked in to the bathroom; the air had turned a putrid green from the stench and fumes were wafting out. Emily was standing there with her pajamas around her ankles, her holocausted diaper lying in a child-thrown heap next to her with an enormous smile on her face. "Hallelujah" I said under my breath, thankful that she had done it in the bathroom and not on the carpeted floor. I turned my back to grab the wipes when she slithered past me like a stealth bomb; she traveled like an invisible dark angel the 3 feet to the carpet where she laid herself down and spread her legs awaiting a wipe all while spreading poop on my light beige carpet with her crap-covered hiney.

Sighing, I cleaned her up and sent her on her way. As I walked in to the kitchen to get the spot cleaner I saw what they had been up to while I watched Grey's in my McDreamy induced coma...they had spread animal crackers all over the kitchen floor. I vaguely remembered Samuel asking me if they could get some and me grunting "yes, just a few".

Surprisingly, I wasn't angered as I knew I couldn't expect too much from them as I had just been ignoring them for the last 45 minutes and that it was somewhat my fault. I began putting my full attention and elbow grease in to the butt shaped poop stain before me.

I was just starting to see an improvement when I heard Samuel say, "Mama, Emily just pee'd on the floor". Seriously. I had left her diaper off of her thinking that as soon as I got this stain up I would just go give them a bubble bath. They didn't have one last night and its a great time killer on a Friday when there isn't anything to do but wait for Daddy to get home so the weekend can start.

I got up from the stain and walked in to the kitchen. Urine soaked animal crackers danced around Emily's wet feet. She stood, smiling, with a remnant of pee trickling down her calf, onto her ankle and ultimately to the pool below her.

Sighing, I tip toed through the urine, crackers, and urine crackers and grabbed the naked toddler before me. Somehow I had the wherewith all to grab the dishtowel hanging over the sink and put it down on the carpet as a sort of arbitrary protector from Emily's sodden feet.

I formulated a plan, I would clean up the crackers and pee with paper towels, then mop, then sweep and then mop again. Samuel asked if he could get naked too so that he and Emily could do the "naked dance", a ritualistic, tribal bedtime routine our kids perform every night. I said yes, basically to get them out of my hair so I could go to task on the floors before me.

I started getting my mop water ready, the mix of Pine-sol and urine began to gag me so I opened the family room window for fresh air. The ground was soggy from the Oregon rain but the sun was shining and the temperature was climbing despite that it wasn't even 10 o'clock yet. Samuel and Emily were happily doing the naked dance, oblivious to the fire storm of annoyance brewing in my heart threatening to bubble over on to them.

As I finished the floor I realized I had done it backwards and now was on the other side of the floor from them. They were dancing in the family room and I was on the side of the dining room. The damp kitchen floor separated us and I exhorted, "Stay in that room. The floor is wet and I don't want you to slip".

The freshly mopped floor separating us felt like a beautiful metaphoric chasm. I took a deep breath and wished for an escape. Just for today. Just for today, I thought, I don't want to be a Mommy. I just want to go away and be Jeff's lover. I want to listen to music while we drive to the beach. I want to eat at Mo's and then walk on the beach. I don't want to just "get away"... I literally don't want Samuel and Emily to exist today. Just for today.

I love being a Mommy. I adore my kids. BUT, just for today if I could totally escape, I would. I began to formulate a blog post all about my day dream and thought about how you would all comment on how you have those days too and how you just loved the post and... a symphony of screams broke my reverie.

The shrieking was coming from outside. My mind raced and questions rose as I ran from the living room, over the still-wet floor to the family room. As quickly as it registered in my brain what had happened I saw the screen from the window I had opened earlier hanging by a bent frame, the bottom pushed out. I leapt up on to the couch and peered down out the bare window (about a 4 foot fall) to see my naked children lying in a tangled heap, bruised, covered in bark dust and howling like they had been drug behind a speeding '87 Chevy.

Pausing for a split second to wonder if I should grab the camera, (relax, I didn't) I rushed out the sliding glass door to their sides. They were fine. Pissed but fine.

I ushered them inside the house trying not to notice the enormous trail of bark dust they were leaving on the carpet. I soothed them as I calmly and sympathetically said we were finally going to head upstairs to take the long awaited bath I had promised 23 years ago. They both were lurching from the fright, pain and shock when the totally unbelievable happened. Yes, they both simultaneously wiped out on the wet kitchen floor. Their screeching reached deafening levels and I wondered if everyone in our neighborhood couldn't hear the chorus of chaos chiming loudly from the open window they had just fallen from.

So there you have it. The most unbelievable but true story of how things went utterly wrong in my world this morning.

I have since given them a bath, given them tylenol, fed them, put them down for naps, cleaned the house, got them up from naps and am now feeding them again. They are having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

This is where our story ends because I AM NOT KIDDING YOU, Emily just got up from the little kid table in the kitchen, pulled her bread apart and stuck a piece to my kitchen floor. She is smiling. She is the source of all evil.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nothing Says 'Merry Christmas' Like a Dead Pet Story

Before I spread a whole lot of Christmas cheer by telling you our dead hamster story I have to just tell you my wonderful Mommy story. This just happened and it seriously validated me as a mother.

We had just put the kids to bed and I went downstairs to get Ruby. While I was down there I got a Mike's Hard Lemonade and a glass of water. As I was making my way through the kitchen and living room, here came Samuel wondering what I was doing. Heaven forbid I go downstairs if he is upstairs.

I started back up the stairs with my hands full with the laptop, my Mike's and a glass of water. Samuel was a stair ahead of me and turned and took the water from my hand and said, "Let me help you Mama".

Ok seriously, how sweet is that? My heart just flip flopped that Samuel would be aware of someone other than himself and jump right in and help. It was this little glimmer of promise that he is going to someday grow out of this egocentric, albeit developmentally perfectly normal, stage and be a fully functioning person who doesn't throw a fit if you give him a blue cup instead of an orange cup.

And because I make everything about me, I also felt like maybe I am doing something right! Ok, so maybe I was heading upstairs to drink a hard lemonade while watching "Celebrity Rehab" but my kid is thoughtful! Yes, I am definitely doing something right. I also feel like I'm modeling responsible drinking. Like you know, drink as much as you want as long as you don't end up like those fools on Dr. Drew's show!!

Ok, on an unrelated note, I took a Tylenol PM right before I started writing and mixing that with a Mike's may have not been my best idea--I'm getting sleepy! Last night I could not sleep because Hot Jeff was putting on a show with his snoring. It sounded like a plague of locusts. Well tonight, thanks to my little Tylenol cocktail, he may think he's Moses.

The more tired I get (and Hot Jeff just put Avatar on and thinks I am going to be able to stay up fr 2.5 hours?!) the less I feel about writing about Riley. Sorry. You're going to get the short-I-feel-a-little-buzzed version. (How funny is it that I'm a little buzzed off half a Mike's and one Tylenol PM? Can you slur your typing?)

Last weekend Coach Riley the hamster died. We were sad.

Oh ok, I can do a little better than that.

I'm not really sure what happened to her but when I got home from work last Friday she was lethargic and way tame. For example, usually when we open her cage she would run (she was far from tame) but this day she as just lying in her wheel, motionless. Suspecting she didn't have much time left I told the kids & Jeff that I thought she was going to die.

We held her (usually when I held her she kind of struggled so we just hurry and put her in her ball and let her cruise around) and her little listless body just rested in our different, gentle hands.

Sometime in the night little Riley died; Samuel had decorated a little box with a cross on it and Jeff put her in it. We said our goodbyes and Jeff put the lid on the box. Precious, tender hearted Samuel said, "Dad, I need to see her one more time". Jeff patiently took the lid off and Samuel looked down on her and with tears streaming down his face said, "I wish you could have lived forever. You were the best hamster but you will have a good time in Heaven being with Jesus on His birthday".

So precious. It really was so tender and sweet and I was so proud of him.

That same night (we buried Riley in the backyard) we got a new hamster. Her name is Molly. The funny thing about Molly is that she is super fun. She seems like she is a lot more active and comfortable with us. Watching Molly has made us wonder if hamsters really do have different personalities or was maybe Riley sick from the beginning??

So that's the scoop. New hamster and a life lesson: don't drink Mike's Hard Lemonade and take Tylenol PM. You're just asking for trouble and just asking to not be able to get through Avatar.

Man, I'm tired.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Naughty List

So it turns out BlogHer is paying attention. After a whole month of not blogging, BlogHer contacted me by email. In the subject line it said, "We've Missed You". Isn't that nice? Don't you wish that every time you were a month late on something you were reminded in such a kind way? Nevertheless, I think I am on BlogHer's naughty list so I'm putting out a blog post to try and get back on the paycheck list.

So here it is...the long awaited post. Last week Shannon told me all she wanted for Christmas was a blog post. So I took back the diamond necklace I had gotten her and am giving her what she wanted. My Mom asked me when I was going to post again. Even Karen Garcia asked me when I was going to write again and I didn't even know Karen Garcia read this blog.

Its shameful really. November was blog month and so all my blogging friends were blogging once a day and I only blogged once the WHOLE MONTH. I think it was a sub-conscience defiance against National Blogging Month. I think it is similar to how I refused to read the Harry Potter books when everyone else was reading them. And the Twilight books. Well actually I refused to read the Twilight books because I don't have braces anymore. I believe only girls who are young enough to have braces should read the Twilight series. I sort of feel this way about Taylor Swift as well. And Justin Bieber.

Does anyone else think Taylor Swift's music all sounds the same? I really like her December something or other song but I pretty much break out in hives when I hear most of her music. And don't even get me started on that song of her's about Tim McGraw.

Since I posted last Samuel has gotten over Liesl and now is in to Jessie from Toy Story. At least Samuel had good taste. Speaking of Samuel's good taste, the other day I could hear him in the bathroom going number two and singing a Lady Antebellum song. From the downstairs bathroom I heard, "Its a quarter after one, I'm a little drunk and I need you now". I know I should be a little mortified that Samuel is singing a song with the word 'drunk' in it but I was just so pleased that he was singing a great song and got the words right.

Also since I posted last our hamster, Coach Riley, died. It was a freak thing and is accompanied by a funny story. I'm going to try and shock the world and write about it tomorrow. You're welcome.