No! Not Even a Bite!

My husband is a sick man. He has a sick sense of humor, and thinks it’s totally cute when I’m fire-spitting mad. Do you know how totally annoying it is when you are mad and the one you are mad at is grinning and smiling and totally absorbing all of your vitriol and nastiness?

I hate sharing food. Hate hate hate it. All day, every day, I share everything I have with my kids. At night, when I sit down with a meal everyone else turns their nose up at, but I have prepared especially for me, the last thing I want is DH begging for a bite.

Thus the stage is set…

Tonight, the kids had leftovers, and DH had an EQ meeting (a committee he is on at church). When he got home, I offered to make him some dinner (he is a holy horror in the kitchen; it’s better if he doesn’t even try), but he said not to worry about it. OK, fine. Eat whatever you want, then. He did. He ate the rest of two pies leftover from Thanksgiving- I know, I told him I would make him something! Again I offered, but he said now he was full of pie. Okie dokey.

So I putter around the fridge, and find some sun-dried tomatoes and some basil and some good cheese, and decide to make me some pasta- I put the noodles on to boil, and start to cut up the fixin’s for my dinner. The kids won’t touch anything green, so this was a treat just for me- and I only boiled enough noodles just for me- I asked him if he wanted any, and he said NO. Some garlic, some olive oil, some parsley, a little sea salt, a sprinkle of sheep’s milk feta- yummmmm!

Like a ghoulish phantom, just as I am pulling my hot, steaming pasta from the water and tossing it with my tomato butter, he appears over my shoulder…

“Mmmmm- that looks good, babe” he sniffs the air.

“Go away.”

He leans over one shoulder, “Whatcha got there, babe? A little butter?”

“GO AWAY! I offered to make you something!”

Leaning over the other shoulder now, “That smells great- I just wanna look…”.

Guarding my bowl of pasta with my elbows, I attempt to move the large water buffalo that is my husband, while protecting my tender victuals at the same time. “It’s MINE! You ate pie. Go Away!”

He starts to laugh, now pretending he has a movie camera and is narrating a food show…”This is my girlfriend’s butter snack…”

“Girlfriend?!” I elbow him in the gut “Shut up! Girlfriend… you wish!”

Grabbing my bowl, napkin and fork, I head to the playroom to hide, followed by his laughter. He knows exactly how to totally annoy me and push all my buttons.

Under my breath but loud enough for his ears I grumble “I hate you!” to which he bursts out in mirthful belly laughter, and continues to laugh for a good five minutes.

I huddle over my food two rooms away, and secretly smile. I love him.

(He just came into my office and read this over my shoulder, and as he was sauntering away, chuckling, he says, “Go ahead, make up lies about me…”. Buttons, buttons, buttons. I hate him!)

Victoria’s Secret

You simply have to read this. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages, and if you’ve ever struggled to with a thong, a wet swimsuit in a locker room, or wanting to “save” your marriage, you will roll with laughter.

Oh, and it’s this woman’s very first blog post ever! Check it out.

Oh Christams Tree, Oh…

Well, I finally broke down. I swore I would never do it, I swore I was a purist, and I could never abide anything less than the forest-fresh boughs of pine on which to hang my precious ornaments, and yet I have caved. It seems to be the year of caving. First, I settled for carpet instead of hardwood, then I let there be a TV in our bedroom, and now, now most heinous of all; now we have an… I can barely say it… We have an… artificial Christmas tree. AAAAAAGH!

Loud stage-whisper: Shhhhh! And do you know what? I LOVE it!

It doesn’t shed needles all over for the newly (barely) mobile baby to shove in her mouth. It is not a fire-hazard. It pops out of the box in three pieces, and opens like a Dr Seuss umbrella, lights and all! It looks darn real, including pinecones on some of the branches! My ornaments remain happily sap-free! I didn’t cut my hands to dickens putting on the strings of lights! I don’t have to remember to water it, which I never did with the real ones, anyway!

All my life we have cut out tree down- it’s a serious family tradition, and one I really wanted to carry on with my children. Ah, but reality comes crashing in- I grew up in California, and when you go cutting your tree, you take a pretty drive in the mountains, put on a windbreaker with your sunglasses and saw your pretty tree down. Here, in the great northwest, when we headed out early Friday morning to cut our tree, it was below freezing, we had a 5 year old, a 3 year old and a baby with us, and when we got to the tree farm, there was ice on the puddles, snow on the ground, and we had to hike about a mile to get to the area of trees. DH and I looked at each other, put the saw down, and got back in the warm truck.

So off we went to Lowes. Where the tree’s were $59! DH and I looked at each other, looked at the kids bouncing around like wild beans, and got back in the warm truck.

Hey, I’ve got an idea! You go home with the kids, I’ll take this awesome coupon for this national craft store, and I, alone, will go and buy our tree! Great! It’s a deal!

And that’s how we ended up selling out, and saving a tree. I figure in about 4 years, the Faker will have paid for himself, and he already has, 3 times over, in my sanity.

The Sound of Snow

Today, the first fluffy snowflakes of the year blanketed our neighborhood. Growing up in California- it only snowed once in my life- when I was 4, and it was more of a “light dusting” than an actual snow- I never knew what magic snow can bring.

Oh, sure in a few months- or even tomorrow morning when I’m getting three kids in the car to run carpool- I will be sick and tired of the white stuff, but for now, the first snow of the season is just magical.

The first winter we lived here, I remember waking in the middle of the night, and being confused by the strange glow coming from the windows- when I looked outside, the whole world was silent, glowing and sparkling in the luster of the full winter moon. When it snows, the white reflects light all around, and night doesn’t really get dark- it was a wonderful surprise, and one I still appreciate.

The other surprise was the way it sounds when snow is falling. It’s like a downy cotton quilt setting around the sleeping world. Sounds are softer, muffled- you can hear yourself think. Falling snow invites introspection. Watching the flakes softly fall from the sky and catch on your eyelashes is a dizzying experience, and makes one feel like a child.

Speaking of children, as soon as we left church, Jeffrey pelted Beanie in the face with a big ol’ snowball, bringing on serious indignant tears from the offendee, and a time-out for the offender.

Maybe tomorrow we’ll make a snowman. Maybe. But I’m way bigger on looking at the snow and waxing poetic than I am at actually playing in it- don’t even get me started on sledding!

What to do with Sucky Mashed Potatoes:

Mo Mommy has pictures up of the potato snowman and his unfortunate demise… er, as well as a blurry shot of my burnt foot- I dropped a stuffed mushroom, hot from the oven on my foot, then kicked it off, since it was BURNING my skin! Punting mushrooms around the kitchen- bad idea. Making snowmen from sucky mashed potatoes- too much fun.  (I did quickly pull the knife from the little guy’s head when the kids came in the kitchen to see what the mommies were up to…)

Trusting the Spirit

My goal this holiday is to step outside my comfort zone and try and be a better example for myself and my family of caring for others. This year I want to make Christmas about loving and caring for others, and about honoring the teachings Christ. 

Sometimes I get an idea, and I am afraid to follow through with it. I second guess myself, over-think the whole thing, and maybe chicken out, even if my intentions are noble.

Today I got such an idea. A good idea, I felt-  and instead of thinking and wracking myself, and trying to figure out what the other people would think, I took a leap of faith, packed my family in the car, and tried to do something good.

It didn’t go perfectly smooth- and I admit, even after the good deed was done, some doubts crept into my heart- I wondered if I had stepped on some pride, or inadvertently overstepped a boundary. I’m not so good at boundaries- kind of like a big water buffalo, and sometimes I inadvertently step in someone else’s carefully tended pastures.

But I’m tentatively pleased that I followed my heart anyway, hoping that my friends love me enough to forgive any big footprints in their flower beds.

Thanksgiving Redux

The Good:

Having a holiday with friends- and their boys who are such good buddies with my boys. Yay for no stress! It was the best Thanksgiving I can remember in a long time, especially since I don’t get to have the holiday with my family anymore. The turkey came out moist and delicious, thanks to a salt brine and a mayonnaise bath, pre-baking (a little trick of my mom’s) and we had four different jello salads, none of them lime! No one got hurt, no one cried (except with laughter) and not one awkward family tense moment happened. A rockin’ holiday, as far as I care. Oh, and I made the best gravy ever, thanks to Cooks Illustrated.

The Bad:

Well, we forgot to even put the rolls on the table. Beanie didn’t eat so much as one single bite. The crock-pot stuffing I tried for the first time all ended up in the el-garbage (so, so bad) and two of our other friends cancelled due to family obligations.

The Ugly:

The mashed potatoes. Oh, the agony. How does one mess up mashed potatoes when one can throw down a rockin’ bird and gravy? I don’t know, but I managed to do so- horrible, horrible, lumpy, hard, cold potatoes. Inedible potatoes, and that’s hard to do, my friends! Mr. Mo Mommy actually bent the steel on my ricer trying to rice the dang things! They were so SO bad- even with hot butter and cream mixed in, they were awful. Mo Mommy and I ended up dumping them on the counter and playing in them, after dinner, much to the kids’ delight. We made a lovely, possessed “snowman”- and she has pictures to show- Beanie opened my camera and ruined the ones I took, unfortunately.