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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone…!

In a not-so-freak accident, I cut the tip of my index finger pretty much off on a piece of broken Pyrex- while reaching for a bundt pan.  So becareful around your bundt pans, people! I also can’t type very well at all sans a finger- lots of mis-keys! So have a fabulous day, and get the Christmas music out for doing dishes on Turkey Day- it’s a family tradition, you know… Happy Eating!

Oh MY!

OK, so the other night, we had some friends over, and they have boys that match up with ours, age-wise. They have a ball together, and there was riotous and raucous noice a plenty.

The two oldest boys, 4 and 5 respectively, were playing Buzz Lightyear with the half dozen or so Buzz dolls -er, pardon me, action figures, we have been given. They came in the kitchen and asked for the scotch tape, and since Mo Mommy and I were busy yacking and the dads were busy watching some important football game, we really didn’t notice, and they took off with the tape.

You might recall, in the original “Toy Story”, towards the end, Buzz and Woody are taped together by the evil Sid, and they are trying to get back on the moving van? Well, evidentally, that was the scene our boys were playing- they ran screaming down the hallway, our Buzz and Woody action figures taped and flying through the air, calling “Not today! To infinity, and beyond!!!” Hooray for happy boys, I say.

Later, after it was quiet, and the Mommy’s had gone home, I went in Jeffrey’s room and Buzz and Woody had been carefully placed on his dresser, still taped together.

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I don’t really think there is much else to say.

How Dad Rolls…

It’s no secret daddies and mamas do things differently… sometimes very differently. This used to stress me out, thinking if my husband didn’t do things my way, there was something wrong with him- turns out, there was something wrong with my thinking. I know I’m not the first woman, who as a new mother, shoo-ed her well-intentioned husband away from taking care of baby.

Well, new-mamahood was 5+ years ago now, and boy howdy, have I learned my lesson. When my husband offers to help, I don’t think twice- sure he does things differently- but instead of stressful, it actually has become quite entertaining.

Like almost every human with a “y” chromosome, he is constitutionally incapable of choosing an outfit that matches. Not gonna happen. Especially when he dresses Abby, it’s a riot to see what he comes out with- sometimes he purposefully makes horrid choices, but other times, he really tries, and yet the outcome is the same as the horrid choices. I’ve gotten a lot of good laughter from his fashion “sense”.

DH has a phobia of baby-barf, which is ironic, since Jeffrey was the king of Barfers. Dear Husband totally geeks out if barf or even drool lands anywhere on his person. So he has developed a coping mechanism: He puts Abby is clothes several sizes too big that cover her hands, so when she chews or drools, the extra fabric catches the overflow. He calls these shirts and dresses “Self-Soppers”.

Changing diapers. He’s actually quite good at it, and does it frequently. However, he is terrified of getting poop anywhere on his body. Totally grosses him out- “poop finger” is something he cannot handle, so when he changes a baby, the wipe container will be lower by about 25 wipes- each and every time. Small price to pay for a DH who changes babies.

Baths: The water is always either too hot, or ice cold. For some reason, warm just doesn’t compute- but they’ll survive. That, and he uses about 15 squirts of Johson’s baby wash, per kid. But hey, I have a husband who helps, so I’m not complaining!

Laundry.  When DH does some laundry- everthing gets washed in HOT and everything gets a splash of bleach. Everything. I won’t even explain. No laundry for you!

He’s a great vacuum-er. Better than I am, actually, because, a la Mr Incredible, he lifts the couch with one arm and vacuums underneath with the other. I can’t do that.

Dishes: Will, in fact, run the machine when only half-full. And will, in fact, always use 5 times the soap called for. But they are clean, dang it!

The other day, before leaving for work, he made our bed. It was the better than a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates. I felt soft and squishy towards him all day. What a good man!