Friday, May 27, 2011

I think their faces say it all




Here's to:

No more tornadoes
sleeping in
fun vacations
lazy warm afternoons at the pool
ice cold diet cokes
and the inevitable, interminable humidity.

Welcome back, summer. We've missed you, sister.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shamelessly promoting myself

Just a quick note:

Go take a peek at the fun things happening here.

I must tell you though: You may want more babies once you get there.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

As you were.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How-To Tuesday: How to clean your microwave

image via

Today's post comes to you courtesy of my children and their inability to cover things when heating them up in the microwave.

You know that popping sound you hear when heating up leftover pizza? It seriously sends terror and chills down my spine.

Sort of like that scene in Sleeping With the Enemy when Julia Roberts' character hears the Symphonie Fantastique and just knows that she has been found by her brute of a husband and is about to be killed.

Yeah. Cheese exploding in the microwave does the same thing to me.

And since I figured out a solution that was better than death to the children, I will share it with you here. So that your children may also live to see another day.

Step one: Microwave some water in a cup for 3-4 minutes. More if your microwave is like mine especially disgusting.

Step two: Let it sit without opening the microwave door for 2-3 minutes. Choosing to spend this time lecturing your children on the importance of paper towels over plates they heat up might be a good idea.

Step three: Open the microwave, and wipe it down. You'll find the melted food comes right off.

Step four: Lecture the children one more time in the vain hope that this time it will sink in. Then find a strange desire to re-watch Sleeping With the Enemy.

Your turn. What you got this week?

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Resistance

Have you heard? The world is going to end tonight. The righteous will be taken up to heaven, while the rest of us will be left here to burn with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bernie Madoff.


I have every confidence that I will NOT be taken up to heaven with the righteous, as my sins are quite grievous. Just ask Hannah. She reminds me of them daily.

In fact, she started a club in our family a few weeks ago which she named The Resistance. There were only two in our family worthy enough to be granted admission into The Resistance - herself and the Husband.

They had many secret meetings in which a charter was offically drafted. Rules were made and promises of loyalty were said, the breaking of which would result in death and chastisement from Hannah (a fate probably worse than death).

The rules of The Resistance are this:

1. No swearing EVER.
2. No use of substitute curse words (like frick, eff, beyotch, and crap)
3. You can like Lady Gaga's songs, but not her personality or her clothes
4. No eating any food from McDonald's (especially diet cokes)
5. No repeating words or lingo from the old tv show Battlestar Galactica
6. No wearing of immodest clothes

Since I am pretty much guilty of at least four of the six cardinal sins of The Resistance, there is little chance for my salvation. And as the boys are guilty of violating rule number five on a daily basis, that leaves them behind for the burning, too.

Instead of crying repentance and begging her forgiveness, I'm stocking up on ice, diet coke, People magazine, and preparing myself for the worst. While I don't think it will be entirely pleasant to sit in a burning pit of fiery damnation for all eternity, I kind of picture it won't be all that different from Missouri in July.

In a way, I think eternal damnation for me will be quite familiar and homey.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Poison ivy is the devil incarnate [Updated]

Right now, both of my boys have a wicked case of poison ivy.

Funny how army crawling on your belly through the backyard woods will do that to a person.

A trip to the doctor resulted in prednisone and some steroid cream, though tragically not the kind of steroids they were hoping and dreaming of.

Chase is a few weeks ahead of McKay in the healing process, and finally seems to be clearing up. McKay, tragically, is not there yet. The worst of it is on his face and neck. It's hideous and all I can do to keep his scratchy fingers away from it. I keep saying words to him like permanent disfigurement and scars, but sadly, to no avail. The boy likes himself the scratching.

But that is not the problem I'm whining writing about here today.

The problem, my friends, is the prednisone. And its disgusting, nasty, two-seconds-on-the-tongue-feel-like-twenty-to-my-boy-with-the-ridiculously-sensitive-gag-reflex. The first time McKay took the pills, he threw them back up before he'd even swallowed.

And let me tell you what a treat that was.

Especially the part where he walked the LONG way around the kitchen island, barfing into his hands as he went, to finally find his way into the bathroom and finish up there. (Jessica, we need that training video, stat!)


But I digress. My question for you wise internets is this: Is there a way to get those suckers down his gullet without him gagging and puking every time? Any tricks you've tried that helped your sensitive gag reflex kids?

Because yelling at him to not throw up just isn't working.

Please help.

I am well past the stage as a parent where I can nicely clean up after him in a case like this.

Also? In related news, my mother of the year banquet is tonight. I'm really excited.

[[**Edited to add: He normally has NO trouble taking pills. Takes his allergy medicine every night without any problems. I think the prednisone has a terrible taste that just simply makes him gag the minute it hits his tongue. Any helps on that end, oh wise internet?

Just wanted to clarify that my 13-year-old is very capable of taking pills.

As you were.]]

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How-To Tuesday: How to save your hair from utter destruction

My hair dresser has been telling - nay - begging me for years to stop washing my hair every day. The very idea of that grossed me out beyond belief and I always smiled, promised, and left the salon with no intention of changing my ways.

My newest stylist finally got through to me. Her persuasion was much more effective with the idea of a dry shampoo. One that would help remove dirt, sweat, and oil, making my hair actually feel clean, even when it wasn't. Just think -- not washing your hair every day saves you at least 182 blow dries, flat irons, and wear and tear per year. (How sad is it that I had to get a calculator for that number? Math be not my strong suit. English either, from the looks of that last sentence.)

ANYway. Here's what you do: First, get this product. It is not cheap, but well worth the price. (And goes a lot further if your boys don't mistaken it for hairspray and slather it all over their mohawks. Bad boys.)

Second, pull all your hair up and out of the way. Take a picture of your unmade-up face and quickly put it on the internet before you change your mind.


Next, shower as usual, washing all your body parts with the exception of your hair. Keep that dry and unwashed.

Then, get dressed (properly. Not like this.) and let your hair down. Lean over and spray dry shampoo at the roots all over. Run your fingers through your hair to work the product in.


Lastly, style as desired. Voila! Non-greasy, non-grimy, clean feeling, soft hair without the damage of a blow dryer, flat iron, and shampoo.


I am telling you, I was a very big skeptic on this concept. But really? My hair actually looks cuter on days that I don't wash it. What they have been saying to us for years is true. Don't do it every day. Save your hair. I have noticed a huge difference with less damage and breakage. It really works, and with a good dry shampoo, you will never notice the difference.

Your turn. Teach me.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Five years running

It is that time of year, my friends.

The time of year where we pull out the shorts, wash the swim towels, and prepare to spend a fortune in keeping the pantry stocked.

It is also the time of year when we celebrate the impending summer with a little trip to the barber's chair.

As you can see, this handsome shag dog was beyond ready for a trim:


As was his brother, Justin Bieber McKay, whose hair was getting so big that his father threatened to trim it for him daily.


It is time to once again embrace the mohawks. Five years running now.

Yeah, baby.





I love it.

And, apparently, so does half the girls in the eighth grade. It has put our boy smack dab in the middle of a whole lot of female attention, and he has proclaimed the mohawk to be his new haircut of choice.

Here's to summer and her long absence from our lives.

[If only the weather would look at the calendar and catch up already. Sheesh.]

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Inadvertently working the assets

This morning at the unholy hour of six-forty, the phone rang.

Cursing and stumbling, I answered the call.

It was our [soon to be] new plumber. The one we asked to come give us a bid on some work we're doing on the upstairs of our house. Big work. Messy work. Work that will ultimately result in very good things [eventually].

He was calling to let me know that he was five minutes out. As in, I will be at your front door in five minutes. No matter that you're still in bed, sporting the filth that is morning mouth, and you are not dressed.

I flew out of bed and scrambled to throw some clothes on. Opting to spend my time brushing my teeth in lieu of putting on a bra, I went for the multi-layered/here's hoping it's enough to hide the girls look. My tops felt a little twisted, weird, and out of place, but the doorbell rang, and I had no more time to worry about it.

Plumber came and went. Gave me just the news I was hoping to hear: Yes, what you're planning here will be fine. I can totally do that.

[Still waiting on the news I don't want to hear: The cost.]

But a few minutes later when I happened to walk by a mirror, I nearly died at the sight.

Apparently, as I was hurriedly dressing, I missed the sleeve hole on one of my layers, resulting in a tangled mess of shirts on my torso.

Aaaaaaand it was configured in such a way so that the only thing standing between the plumber and one of my bosoms was a thin layer of cotton.

A very see-through layer of cotton.

[Apparently, I have the subconscious desire to show off my bits and pieces. Remember the horror?]

Do you think it will be enough to at least get us a discount on the plumbing?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How-To Tuesday: How to fail utterly at your own blog carnival

Step one: Be swamped every second of the day on Monday until the moment you collapse into bed late at night.

Step two: Sit bolt upright in bed on Monday night and realize you did not do a how-to Tuesday post.

Step three: Collapse back onto your soft pillows and decide that it's okay.

Step four: Fall fast asleep.

Step five: Apologize, beg the internet's mercy, and plan a really great post for next week.

Forgive me, will you? [And still feel free to share your brilliance here.]

I know. I am so lame it's ridiculous.

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Monday, May 9, 2011



Mother's Day for me was one of the best. With church at nine a.m., I woke early to breakfast in bed and four smiling faces. The presents they gave me were much more than I deserved and proved definitively that diamonds really are a girl's best friend.

Leaving for church, I glanced behind me with a smile at the spotless kitchen that I had nothing to do with cleaning.

Lunch and dinner were made while I sat on the couch in my bare feet with the iPad. Diet cokes were topped off and treat samples brought to me for tasting.

I tried not to laugh too hard at the sight of the Husband decorating the coconut cupcakes. Somehow a pastry bag does not look very much at home in his big hands. But they were as delicious as they were beautiful.

I was pampered and loved, and felt utterly appreciated.

These four fantastic people in my life are a miracle. I love them with the whole of my heart.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Redefining classy


Chase has recently begun sprouting the beginnings of a mustache on his upper lip.

It is thrilling to everyone, of course, except his older brother, who - for reasons known only to the gods of manliness - is lacking a mustache of his own.

[That, and the fact that Chase is now taller than him, has become the bane of his very troubled existence.]

Last night at dinner the ever-palatable topic of the 'Stache came up yet again. Chase was asking me if the Husband has to shave every day, and how quickly the stubble grows back in. When he found out that it indeed does grow everyday if you don't shave it, he seemed pleased.

Then he said, "Yeah, I think I'm going to grow a two-foot long beard. They're just so classy."


Classy? Probably not the Vogue magazine definition of the word.

But I'd say it definitely suits him.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How-To Tuesday: How to make homemade pitas

Today's How-To post comes to you in one of my all-time favorite forms: The Carbohydrate.

Making your own pitas are so simple, you will never buy the cardboard tasting ones at the store ever again. Seriously. Stop buying that crap. They're gross and full of all kinds of preservatives. Spend a half hour or so making these and thank me later.

[I accept all forms of thanks, including, but not limited to: diet coke, cookies, and/or cash.]


Here's what you do: Take 1 1/4 cup warm water and add 2 1/2 tsp. yeast. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the yeast is bubbled up.

Then add: 3 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. sugar, and 1 Tbsp. oil. Mix well.


Turn the dough onto the counter and knead well, adding flour as necessary. Divide the dough into eight equal parts. Roll each part into a ball, then flatten into a six-inch circle with your rolling pin.


Put circles on heavily-floured foil or parchment paper. Let rest for 30-45 minutes, until dough starts to slightly rise.


Then gently peel off each pita and place onto an ungreased baking sheet. You need to do this step; otherwise, they will stick to your pan as they rise in the oven.


Bake in a pre-heated 500 degree oven for about 3 minutes per side, turning halfway through. The pitas will puff up while baking. This gives you the hollow center for filling with deliciousness later.


Remove from the oven and stack pitas on top of each other, gently covering them with a towel. Let the pitas rest, and as the steam gradually escapes, each pita flattens out.


Slice in half with a serrated knife.


And, voila! A lovely little pocket just waiting to be filled with good things.


These are fantastic right out of the oven, can be made hours ahead, and even freeze well. Look at all the lovelies just waiting to be consumed:


Here are some of our fillings of choice.

[Not pictured: some chicken breast that I sauteed in a little bit of Italian dressing. Drizzle a little dressing onto your filled pita and you have a feast. (Though I am thinking Linsey's homemade hummus would be delish with these bad boys. Note to self: Get to the store ahead of time).]


And for a more printable version:

Pita pockets
1 pkg. yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. oil

Sprinkle yeast over water in large bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly. Add flour, sugar, salt, and oil. Mix well. Knead dough until soft; divide into 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a ball and flatten into a six-inch circle with a rolling pin. Let rest on floured tin foil for 30-45 minutes or until slightly puffy. Peel off foil and put onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 500 for 4-8 min. flipping halfway through. Stack on top of each other and cover loosely with dish towel to let steam escape. Slice in half and enjoy with your favorite salad or toppings.

And that's it. Your turn.

Teach me. Teach me now, dammit.

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Monday, May 2, 2011


More often than not, I have my camera packed away and I miss the opportunity to capture forever things that totally make me laugh.

Like this, taken moments after Hannah popped the lid off her pudding:


Unfortunately for her, I had the camera out and totally caught her in the act.


Don't worry, baby girl, I always lick the lid, too.