Enchiladas on the Wind

OK, which do you want first? The really awesome, super yummy, super calorific and not-so-healthy enchiladas recipe? Or… the really healthy, super yummy, lower-fat, whole grain enchilada recipe?

Yeah. I though so. Tomorrow, my friends… I promise!

Random Crap

So Abby’s birthday went well- there are pictures to prove she had fun, and it was a madhouse of little boys (and even two girls!) running around the backyard. We opted for books for gifts, and the 30 or so people (!) that showed up seemed to have a good time. I made tacos and enchiladas- remind me to give you my enchilada recipe- easy and yummers.

I’m being taken to lunch today at the culinary academy for their annual finals- it ought to be fun. I just hope it’s not icky things with tentacles.

Some ladies in my ward are hosting a brunch and seminar at the local continuation high-school for high-risk girls. I’ve been invited to help. The seminars will be on dressing for job interviews, make-up and hair care, nutrition, and self-esteem. These are girls that are either teen-mothers, are stuck in abusive or unhealthy homes, or have dropped out of regular school. I hope we can actually do something to help.

Nothing yet on the job front. It’s coming… it’s got to be coming soon. Right…?

I’m taking you all’s advice and keeping the fence up between now and my past. A quick “hello” over the wall, and then on with regular life. It was Mo’s long answer that did it: NO. But thank you all.

Occasionally I think about getting a dog. Then I regain my sanity.

My cousin is doing a seven day, 500 mile bike-ride to raise money for AIDS research. This is Crazy-Chicken-Annie’s daughter, and I love her to pieces. She is an amazing woman, and I love her and wish her the best success. I also covet the amazing legs I’m sure her 500 miles of riding are going to garner her… But that’s me being shallow. Go H!

Jeffrey told me the other day he really really needs Dad to get a job, because he needs  some new Lego. Yeah, buddy, me too.

Beanie has lost his voice of late. Not sure if it’s because of his constant screeching, or if it’s a Tender Mercy. He is totally annoyed, but it’s pretty cute to see him yelling at me, and nothing coming out. I’m a bad mom.

OK, spring. Any day now…

Complicated Pasts

So today I got an email from someone waaaaaay back in my past. A little back-story- oh crap, there is no human way to make the back-story on this one little. She is an ex-girlfriend of my husband’s. And, she is now married to the man I was seriously involved with for over three years. She and her husband are hosting a wedding for… wait for it…. the man I was dating at 17, who introduced me to my husband. Yeah. Really.

See, long ago, David and I ran with a, um… looser crowd.  To be fair, I’m certain we aren’t the only ones who’ve grown up. From her email, it’s clear they are now much like us- married, kids, house- all that.  But it’s still weird.

For close to ten years, this woman’s life and mine were painfully intertwined. We ran in the same social circles, we dated, and in some cases, loved, the same men, and I can speak with all certainty, we caused each other much heartache. And yet… I was oddly pleased to see an email from her.

Has enough time gone by, water under the bridge, all that, that we can reminisce? Really, there is no one in my current social circle that knows my history, knows what my life used to be like, except my husband. This woman was there for many life-changing events- she was a part of some of the most tumultuous times in my life. We knew each other as teens, into our twenties and we grew from girls into women during that time.

Were we friends? No. I could never claim that. But… there was always something there. We were fascinated by each other. The men who loved her ended up loving me, and the men who loved me, ended up loving her. On quick glance, we couldn’t seem more different- and yet, I suspect we were more alike than anyone knew. 

It’s been- holy cow- maybe 13 years since I’ve seen her. I think, think, the last time was when my recently broken-up boyfriend came to my house to take our dogs from me. She was in the car. I remember hating her. Not only was the man I had loved taking my beloved dogs, but she was there to see my pain. She’s married to that man now. They have two kids. He belonged with her.

See? Complicated. What think you? If you had the ability to reconnect with someone from your past, someone like this, would you?


One Happy Girl

I just had to share this picture I took today. This is my girl. She’s TWO now- and she spent the day doing what she loves- she played outside all day, in the garden, ate banana and avocado, and wore Beanie’s stocking cap. Her new dress is trashed, her face is covered in dirt, and I couldn’t care less. Because the look on that face? It’s worth all the treasure on earth.

Happy Birthday Abby!

Two years ago today, (To this exact minute! -totally random- I just glanced at the clock!) my sweet, wonderful, delightful, happy, full of joy, girl child was born.

She came into the world with a lot of people waiting for the news, and she was greeted by family, loved ones, and wishes sent from kind hearted people she may never meet or know. Her entire life is documented in this blog- from the day I took the pregnancy test, to the sonigram that dubbed her Maybe, to right this minute, pushing her little scoot-bike into the piano, and hollering ” ‘duck, mama, ‘duck!”. Yes, the bike is caught on the piano bench, and I must go rescue her.

Someday, I hope she treasures this record of her early years, and the life her family has lived. I hope she values knowing what her Mama thought and felt, and that maybe, someday, she will find hope and solace in her own journey as woman in the words I’ve put down.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl. You have been an unimaginable blessing in my life, and I love you more than you will ever know.

Overheard in our Car

“Mom?” Beanie queries from the backseat, “Are pigs vegetables?”

Me: “Hmm? Pigs vegetables? Nope. Vegetables are plants that grow in the ground that we eat. Why?”

Bean: “We eat pigs.”

Me: “Yes, some people do eat pigs, but pigs don’t grow out of the ground like a carrot.”

Bean: “How come some people eat pigs, then?”

Me, thinking uh-oh: “Well… some people like to eat meat. You like bacon, don’t you?”

Bean: “Where does bacon come from?”

Me, ugh: “Well… bacon comes from the pig after they kill it and cut it up. Then people eat it.” (I mean, was there a better way to say this??)

Bean: “So you take a piece of pig, put stuff on it, then put the bread on top and you have a hamburger!”

Oooooo-kay. Not sure he got the gist, but I think that was enough nature for the day- especially from his vegetarian mother.

(I was a vegetarian for 17 years, and took a brief break between Beanie and Abby, but have since resumed my natural eating habits. I do not however, care what anyone else eats, nor do I have, anywhere in my vast arsenal, have a soapbox emblazoned with “vegetarianism”.)

Cleaning Like a Madwoman

My new visiting teachers are coming over this morning- (for non-Mo’s, those are the ladies assigned to me to see how I’m doing each month; we all have someone we see, and someone who sees us) – and I’m panicking. My new VT is the woman we bought this house from! So now I have to run around like the Tasmanian Devil to make sure the house is spotless and perfect. She is a decorator, for heaven’s sake, and this house was a palace when she lived here!

The funny thing is, I adore her- and am really glad she’s my VT now. I just don’t want her to walk in and think “Oh, what a pit- why did I sell my showplace to this swine-like family?”.

Also, her companion is new in the ward, and she has a baby who is DEATHLY allergic to peanuts. My kids practically bathe in peanut butter, and I’m sick with the idea there might (certainly) be peanut butter molecules on the couch or the chairs or toys. Peanut butter is the only thing Bean eats- what do I do?? I may meet her at the door and offer her a large plastic bubble in which to place her baby. I don’t want this poor child made ill by my kids’ adoration of all things peanutty. So, where did I put my large plastic bubble…?

Off to clean everything with a toothbrush and bleach… Cause really, what else do I have any control over? 

Options for my Girl

OK, this insanity has to stop. My life? No, not that- I can’t do anything about that. I meant the horrendous offerings in the toy department for children of the female persuasion.

Abby’s second birthday is fast coming upon me (can you believe it?!) and I ran out today to try and find her something to unwrap. Holy. Crap. We don’t even need to delve into the sad pickings for non-hoochie clothes for little girls- but the toy offering, people- the toys– they are horrible.

Let’s see… She can play with dolls that look like hookers, she can use pretend make-up to make herself look like a hooker, she can use dress-ups with heels and hoochie clothes to pretend she is a hooker, or she can have things that mimic housekeeping and being a maid. Hmmm. What do I want for my daughter? What do I want for my daughter….?

Now in all fairness, Target did have some cute gardening tools and non-specific-sex colored learning toys. But they were out of almost all of them. When you compare the things offered for boys with that for girls, it’s really disheartening. While I haven’t been a bra-burning feminist for a loooong time, I am dismayed that my daughter’s choices, at least in the marketing department of the big toy companies, is so sadly limited.

Why aren’t dart-tag games and gliders and active toys packaged to appeal to girls too? Why do the games that require running and jumping and using their wonderful little muscles right next to the glitter and pinkness of dollies that poop and eat and make my girl a mama long before her time? (oh, I know- girls like playing house- that’s all good; my boys love to iron, and I encourage it…)

Anyone have any suggestions? Or just want to rant with me?

Dear Friends

You know you’re really screwing-up when you find this:

“I hat it whin you aregyou!”

…on yellow paper, in a child’s hand, on the floor outside your bedroom door.

Yeah, so it’s probably no surprise that things aren’t going so well. The lack of a job is only part of it- there are things more difficult to deal with than lack of employment. Trust me. Things like the agency of others, our own vulnerability, how loving someone is just not a choice, and what I want for my life. You know, small things like that. Oh, and no job.

Beanie and Abby have been trading the stomach flu back and forth- and my Little Green Clean Machine has been getting a substantial work out. Between the barf and the diarrhea- yeah. I broke down last night and put Beanie in a pull-up at 1 a.m. after his third towel and my second round with LGCM. Nothining sucks like sucking barf out of the carpet in the middle of the night.

The kids do have health insurance now. For that I am grateful- at least the kids are covered.

In the middle of this dark cloud where I’m living, the blessings have been pouring down. Phone calls, letters, cards, pizza delivery, dinners, even random envelopes of cash showing up- people finding creative and abundant means of letting me know they love us. It’s humbling, and my heart is swelled with gratitude.

At this point, that’s really all I can say. Stay tuned for my review of my Rocket Chicken Hairdryer- coming soon. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

DevaSun Dryer

Lookie what came in the mail today!

Ok, I know it looks like a strange chicken hat on top of a rocket- but it’s not. It’s the hottest (ha ha!) hairdryer out there, the DevaSun dryer and DevaFuser- sent to me by it’s creator, Lorraine Massey of Devachan Salon in New York. Getting to test it out and write a product review should be fun…

“You’re not relying on the heat source to dry the hair,” explains Shari Harbinger, a partner at Devachan Salon. “You’re relying on an ionic generator, which has the power to actually evaporate the water molecules so you don’t necessarily have to set the heat so high. By keeping the heat setting lower at 275 and using the ionic technology, you’re not only drying the hair faster but you’re not expanding the outer layer of the hair, the cuticle, from the heat, which would then give the appearance of frizzy, lackluster hair. Instead you’re getting a very closed cuticle and a very shiny curly hair.”

Well, we shall see, shan’t we? ( My nonchalance is affected- secretly I’m tickled pink and being chosen to receive and reveiw a $200 hairdryer! )