Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Little People Renaissance

I have a tender spot for the Little People. While they're not the same as when I was a kid (they were perfect choking hazard shape then), I remember sitting for hours playing with the house and the 'people'... so I have been collecting them for my kids since Bunny was about 9 months old and she got 'her' own house. Little People-ville has grown over the years to include a house, barn, zoo, train, preschool, garage, and many large and small vehicles.

Recently Carter has really gotten into playing with the house. It's so much fun to see him using his 'magining' as his play develops. But he is all boy. Guess what's the first thing the 'Daddy' needs to do everytime we put out the house? Go potty. Sometimes that's all that happens -- different little people going to the potty. Little People-ville really needs a public restroom, heh heh.

(Might also be a reflection on his potty training, which is still 'going', obviously, but I think he just likes the toilet, honestly!)

Where did September go?

This last month flew by for us here... so many new routines and changes with the new school year. October always seems like such a crazy month, too, and then it just gets more hectic until after New Years. Phew. I'm tired thinking about it all.

I need to stay on the ball around the house so I don't add to the craziness that way. Unfortunately, I have Mt. Fold-a-me on the going on here, and I have been able to ignore it, LOL... I need to finish feeding the baby, and get 15 mins of folding done so I feel less overwhlemed! Bunny has had a couple of accidents in her bed two nights in a row, which makes for a lot of laundry added to the norm. (She's either growing or stressed by school, and I fear it may be the latter, but that is not this post.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Menu Monday, Sept 29

I guess I am having greco week here, haha. Two 'greek' meals in a row.

Sunday: undone cabbage roll skillet (didn't make Saturday as planned)
Monday: Sausages & Peppers w simple tomato sauce
Tuesday: Roast Chicken w/Acorn Squash and salad
Wednesday: Grilled Beef Kebabs with Yogurt Sauce, butternut squash
Thursday: Greek Scampi, salad
Friday: Five-Spice Coconut Chicken
Saturday: Meatloaf, fauxtatoes, snap peas

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge 09-08

Phew! Got it done today. This month was Lavash Crackers and Toppings.
I have never made crackers before so this sounded like it would be fun and challenging.

My trusty sous chef, Bunny, was on hand to help out in any way I would let her. :) Here she stirs the dry ingredients together.

Needs a little more water, and then...

Knead, knead, knead! Once I felt it was not very sticky anymore, I let Bunny take over and learn the push-pull-turn rhythm. By the way, I have to say, I think, for a 6 yr old, she did well taking instruction, and ALSO taking these photos. :)

Time to rise.

90 mins later...

RISEN! Hallelujah. Sorry, bad joke...

Rolled and cut, and sprinkled with sesame seeds in one batch, and with pumpkin pie spice and sugar crystals in the other batch.

I rolled the sesame batch SUPER thin, to see if I could not get a really crisp cracker.

You can see through it in places, it's so thin.

UNFORTUNATELY... the oven must be running hot. Because after 10 mins (and the baking time states, 15-20 mins)... I got some REALLY brown to the point you could call it burnt crackers. Boo. I made a simple hummus, which was good, but, well, you can see:

Not what I had hoped for.

The sweet batch came out much better, though. And they're good, too.

And, they're also very crisp.

In fact, I would say they're a very good substitute for biter biscuits, and not nearly as messy.
Bottom Line: I would not bother to make these again. It was a fun diversion, and nice to do with Bunny, but all in all, crackers are cheap, and there are a lot of nice crackers to be had out there.

To see a listing of all the many, many, MANY people out there who participated in this month's challenge, see The Daring Bakers' Blogroll.

P.S. For a recipe I really was THRILLED with, see my post on the blog I share with my sister. That one I will make many a time again--pasta carbonara. Mmmmmmmmm.

Daring Bakers Sept 2008 - Lavash

Quickie post under the wire for today's deadline. I'll post more when I have a chance...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dear Kenley Collins,

I love your style. Your dresses are so classic and probably flatter a lot more women than a lot of what is 'current' out there now. Your hair? Shiny and gorgeous. I loved you from episode one of this season. I'd dare say you were by far my favorite.

Things changed. Whenever you receive criticism, you bray like a donkey. It's weird, because I kind of hoped you'd be eliminated last night just so I won't have to hear your voice make that droning sound, or see you childishly laugh at someone else receiving a critique. News flash: other people have feelings the same as you do, and I somehow think you'd be insulted if one of your fellow designers heehawed while you were being dressed down.

But you're young. I can excuse this. Just please grow up. Lest I be forced to root for Korto and Jarrell.

Still love your stuff, sis. Just never try to tell LL Cool J that crazy and ill fitting high waist pants (with UGLY buttons!) and a flowery shirt is hip hop. Yeah, you got the worst judge to have on that day of your career, but take it like a man. Or Heidi will auf wiedersehen your butt back to 1947.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Kitchen

Heidi tagged me to post about my kitchen... photos and a little description.

Well, let me start by saying, I am lucky she did it Monday of this week. My father in law had been here just the day before, and while he was being mauled by playing with the kids, I caught up big time in there! Otherwise it could have been much less pretty, though having a baby who sits and tries to figure out how to put Cheerios into his mouth all by himself *and* a child in school all day has given me more opportunities to clean and I have caught up a lot in the past month. I took these photos Monday, but haven't had time to post until today.

Having said that! Here is my little kitchen.

First I tried to just get it from one side.

Then I decided to see how the panoramic shot mode of my camera works.
Well, my ceiling is not curved, but you do get the view from the fridge, haha! The pan in the sink left from the prior day is just there for effect (or because I hate washing pots--you choose the answer that makes you happy).
Until very recently I had a large cutting board on the counter where the placemats are, but I needed the room for the kids to eat breakfast and lunch. Plus I get to use my seasonal placemats, so it's functional decoration. :)

Here is where my clutter lives--the kitchen clutter, at least. The one corner by the microwave is where I keep fruit, onions, avocados (top of nuker), winter squash (in season again, yaaay! hey, I get excited about weird things, I know), a mini prep food processor, and the toaster. I used to try to put away the toaster when not in use, but we use it at least daily now, so I leave it out. That's my determining factor for 'show or stow': if I would have to take it out daily, it belongs out. That cool hanging spice rack is a gift from my sister. I thought she was out of her mind when I opened it, but grew to love it as it really is great and keeps the things I use all the time at reach but not in the way (and it measures 1/4 tsp increments at a click!).

The basket by the coffee maker has assorted junk and hair fixing 'stuff'. I can't take Bun back to my bathroom to do her hair unless I want to have bedlam going on, so I keep it all handy. Bit of function over form, for sure, but I can't be picky. Speaking of picky -- the oatmeal by the stove drives me crazy. Crazy, I tell you! But Paul makes himself oatmeal every morning and begged me to let him leave it out. So I pretty much let him. These are the things you do for familial harmony. ;)

The fridge. Top is mine -- grocery pad, 'to do/buy' pads. Lower part is the usual gallery.

Quick peek inside. I do my weekly shopping on Sundays, so it's fairly well stocked. Extra food lives in garage fridge until I am ready to bring it inside, since I buy 4-5 gallons of milk at a time, and I figure we average 15-20 lbs of meat a week. My family EATS. Confession time: I turned a few things so the labels were front-facing. Looks nicer that way, haha!

This is the most important thing in the kitchen for me sometimes -- the calendar! I put EVERYTHING on it, meals, appts, whatever. Paul, by the way is allowed to use it, but has been strongly autioned to NOT use half a whole day's square just to write two freaking words (ahem).

Cabinet space is VERY limited, so this lazy susan is a wonderful thing to have. Looking at it yo ucan deduce two things: I use a lot of tomato products and I buy things in multiples. Oh, and I also have a hard time remembering if I need more whole tomatoes... so I buy far too many of those. If I turned this and took a photo, you'd see even more of those puppies.

Under the sink. More of my tendency to stock up on things here. 3 cans of Ajax for a buck? Sure! I keep a stack of kitchen rags handy and also the baby bibs. The only things that doesn't 'go' her is the clear storage box under the box of trash bags. That's my clipper set. Since I trim my husband's hair nearly weekly, I like to have it handy.

So, there you go. My kitchen.
Now, it's YOUR turn. Please feel free to link back to me or Heidi's post, and let's see how far this goes. Could be fun!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Recipe Verdict: Chicken Slaw

I have made Chicken Slaw a few times, and it's becoming a favorite here. Bunny actually gobbles it down, which is kind of hysterical, because the first time I made it, you'd have thought I gave her a plate of poop by her blunt refusal to eat a bite. Paul was not having her attitude and there was a real struggle for her to eat, encompassing HOURS, because she can certainly choose to not eat. But then she is choosing to be hungry or eat that very meal later. Anyway, when she relented, the little so and so declared it delicious. Laugh or cry, laugh or cry...

Anyway! I don't make it the same as the recipe. Any surprise there? I omit the radishes, which are too peppery for our tastes, and I add perhaps 2-3 T of mayonnaise, some chopped apples, and some chopped almonds. Additionally, I bake cornbread fresh (box of Jiffy, come on, easy--just adding about a cup of frozen corn kernels to it to make it seem fresher) and leave off the cheesy topping.

It's awesome, a meal all in one, and a keeper. Try it out sometime! Mess around with the ingredients--because this is cooking people! You can play with it. Baking is chemistry, and you better know your stuff if you're going to make alterations. Cooking? Play around and add what sounds good to you.

FYI, will be unable to get photos and possibly more for a while, as Paul steals my laptop for something. Here's hoping he doesn't reconfigure my hard drive or something...

EDIT: I'm back. Paul had decided late yesterday (after the Adderall wore off, LOL) that he would completely change the operating system for his computer, and long story short, you need to be 100% sure you know which hard drive you are configuring and/or deleting. Cuz if you're not, maybe you will delete your C drive instead of the external hard drive you *thought* you were changing. Thank heavens I have two places I store photos on the web, cuz, I think all my photos/videos have been vaporized. *sigh* But anyway, we're moving on. Who needs baby photos, right? *sob* Anyway, this is why, if you're inattentive by nature, Adderall can be a good thing. And late night decisions about 'blowing up' a computer (apparently that is the technical term when you make a massive change) are not prudent...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Don't Know Much About History...

2008-09-21 002, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

Well, actually, I know quite a little bit! In my head, I sound like Edie McClurg there. Just thought you'd like to know that. ;)

Bunny is a little bored with what she is learning in school. Not that it's too easy, I don't think... just... it's not what floats her boat, so to speak. I get it. Learning to spell and do simple math is not all that exciting. We talk about how these are the building blocks so that someday she will read harder books with much more interesting things in them, and how one must know math to do science (which she likes a lot), how you can't be, say, a world famous Egyptologist on the Discovery Channel (her current plan) if you didn't get the fundamentals down. I also explained that college, yes, it's hard, and it is a lot of work, but here's the treat -- to a great degree, you CHOOSE what you study! But, here;s the catch: gotta learn to spell first. Gotta crawl before you walk, sister.

Anyhoo, I am by no means a homeschooler. For one thing, I lack the training. For another, I lack the patience. However, I do love the classical education of 'yore'. Which, sadly, is lacking for the first few years of elementary school. I don't blame the teachers for teaching to the tests, because they have to meet the standards of learning, but as a result, education is not a 'choose your own adventure story' largely.

So I got the 'first grade' level of what is considered by homeschoolers to be a good text for history and the accompanying workbook.

It's called The Story of the World, and I have Volume I: Ancient Times - From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor. Instead of covering one geographical area at a time, it covers major periods of history chronologically. So, you learn about the world as more of a whole, in theory.

We read the first part of it this weekend, and I think it will really give Bunny that little extra she craves without going overboard. This is the girl who wants me to read The Once and Future King to her -- she likes things with more body, and, I think, to let herself become immersed in the other world of history and literature. So, I can't wait until she is able to read and truly learn what joy it is to sit with her nose in a book, oblivious to the world around. In the meantime, I'll help her augment things. And go over her 'boring' spelling lists, too. Crawl before you walk...


Bunny and her friend were doing homework together, working on spelling. It's a list of 10 words, and on the first day of the week they copy it, sound it out, spell it out loud, then write it once more. I hear F say, "I'm on 7," and Bunny reply, "I'm on 8." F then says maybe she will do 10, then work backwards (probably so she 'gets' to 10 first, hee hee), and B objects, "That's cheating!" while giggling. A little more back and forth on whether it matters what order you do the words in, and they got to finishing up the last couple so they could go to Bun's room to play Barbies or Little Pet Shop (they were trying to decide last I heard).

It was humorous to hear them debating whether there is a 'right' way to do a spelling list. I guess we can see who is the free thinker in that duo. For all her stubbornness at times, Bunny is very into THE RULES. Guess that's why she was a Safety Marshall last year. ;)

Menu Monday, Sept 22 -- HAPPY FALL!

For over 250 menu ideas, please click on the image above. Here is what we're having chez moi--and there are mostly favorites in here this week.

Sunday: Taco Salad *or* burritos, depending on what person wants with what I made
Monday: Chicken Slaw (didn't make last week so it's on deck), corn bread
Tuesday: Sausages and Peppers with simple tomato sauce
Wednesday: Crispy Yogurt Chicken (already a favorite!), Butternut Squash, Salad
Thursday: Undone Cabbage Roll Skillet
Friday: Ham, Cheese & Broccoli Quiche, salad
Saturday: Low Carb Picadillo and Spaghetti Squash

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What? What's this?

It's lunchtime on a Saturday afternoon, and... it's so quiet here! The 'big kids' are playing at a the house of a family who have kids both their ages, and Cole is asleep (knock wood). I was making myself brunch--forgot to eat breakfast--and noticed Pingu on the TV, which I had forgotten to turn off as we left the house. Fixed that--turned on the Alternative music channel and Mommy is chilling. Sometimes it happens! Not often, but, sometimes! :)

In a couple of hours, I retrieve the kids, do a status check on whether Carter is really up for the birthday party he is welcome to attend this afternoon (but to which Bunny was actually invited), then hop over to stage 2 of the day. Hey, if Carter does need a nap, then I can probably drop off Bun to the party and continue with my relatively relaxing day. It's not the same as 'pre kids', when I could do literally anything I wanted, and never would have peppered catching up on laundry in with 'relaxing', but ya takes what ya gets.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Imaginary 911 Call

911 Operator: Hello, 911. What is your emergency?
Me: I think I am being followed!
911: Are you in a safe location?
Me: Yes, or I should be. I'm home!
911: In the house?
Me: He's coming down the hallway! I hear him breathing and moving. He's close!
911: Can you lock the door?
Me: Yes, but then he'd cry, I think.

Hahaha... of course my stalker is my baby. Gone are the days of slipping out of hte living room to go potty really quickly without him moving away from the toy he was banging on. Now, since he's also got a raging case of good old separation anxiery, he lets out a quick, anxious yelp and then doggedly pursues me on all fours.

Poor little guy... he's a good crawler considering he's only been doing it aobut 2 weeks, but he's still slow, and obviously much slower than me when I am darting about putting away laundry and generally trying to stave back UTTER chaos in the house (not like the house has been close to really clean since, um... probably when Carter learned to crawl, but I do try to keep some semblance of hygiene here). So anyway, he gets 60% of the way to me, then I zip past him in the other direction. He turns and continues in the world's slowest chase, undeterred, and not even complaining. Eventually I decide I've accomplished enough and that it's time to pick him up, of course, and it's sooner than it might be for some people, since I think the little guy is pretty adorable and deserves to be rewarded for being such a great baby by getting what he wanted, which was just to be in my arms or for me to sit and play with him.

I am enabling my stalker, I guess, haha.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Awkward Neighbor Girl Meets Some

Neighbors, that is. Hey, it takes me a while to warm up, haha. We met our 'new' friends at a 'new' park today, and had a lot of fun. Another parent on the block also came to the park, so I really upped the number of people I know in my immediate area today. Everyone had a nice time, we went on a very mini hike up to a meadow where we feasted on wild blackberries (not really, but we did have a few) and watched dragon flies, which were numerous, and the two little boys, Carter and new friend Hudson, poked sticks into the water. We also had the world's smallest wild plums. Who needs to pack a snack when you can live off the land like that? (Not.) I am excited to bring Paul to do a real hike, as the trails link up to the LG Open Space and miles and miles of other trails--all a very quick drive from home.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Daily Randomness

Lunch poaching is an age old sport in some offices. It's a common problem, though I was lucky enough to not suffer from it; I like to think it's because my office was an honest lot, but perhaps my lunches were just not all that appetizing. ;)

However, there is a solution that is both ingenious and revolting at the same time! (And who doesn't want that?!?) Enter the moldy sandwich bag. It's a perfectly clean sammich bag that has been doctored to look like its contents are inedible--or perhaps contain the cure to pneumonia. I'm not kidding. Here, see:

I guess it'd be effective. Unless you forget about it and leave it overnight or have an overzealous fridge cleaner in your midst. Then your lunch is trash!

Personally, I am not sure I could get over the appearance of this. I would just keep an insulated bag at my own desk if it were that big an issue.

Fish in a bottle

2008-09-08 072, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

Been meaning to put up this photo from the Monterey bay Aquarium. This fish was so weird! It backed into and emerged from this bottle over and over, and I assume it's doing it now as I type, a week plus later. There was so something so fascinating, yet ICKY about it. This feller was part of a large exhibit showing how marine life overtakes the debris that falls into their world. He had a neighbor in the adjacent bottle condo.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Menu Monday, Sept 15

Below is mine for the week. Click the image above for over 300 menus that people all over are making this week. (Man, this Menu Monday thing is on FIRE!, isn't it?)

Sunday: Homemade Bolognese Sauce w/angel hair
Monday: Chicken Slaw (didn't make last week) and corn bread
Tuesday: Sausages and Peppers (Trader Joes has the awesome Hoffbrau brats again, yay!)
Wednesday: Crispy Yogurst Chicken and Acorn Squash with salad
Thursday: Undone Cabbage Roll Skillet
Friday: Pizza Quiche *or* CORN (Clean out refrigerator night)
Saturday: Spare ribs, butternut squash, salad


When I was a kid, those scratch and sniff perfums samples were out of control. Upon opening a magazine (probably my mom's issue of Town and Country), a sickening mix of perfumes would waft out. My mother loved heavy perfumes, which I believe was to cover the smell of tobacco as much as anything--can't smell the pack of cigarettes if you put enough Poison on! So those samples were always opened. To this day I have practically ZERO tolerance for heavy perfumes. Musky ones in particular hurt my throat and give me a headache. No wonder I almost never wear any, and if I do, the scenta are citrusy.

Magazine samples have evolved a LOT since then. Teeny dabs of actual lotions or whatever are now in the mix.You can practically give yourself a minimakeover while reading a fashion magazine!

Now, looks like we may get a snack, too! Just what was missing -- peel and taste advertising. I guess it'll increase sales, but my first reaction? Ewwww.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

You can take the girl off the farm, but you can't make her 'neighborly'.

Growing up, I did not really want to be on a farm. I wanted a 'real' address--one with a STREET NAME and not a mail route and box number. I wanted a paved driveway that I could skate on, or draw hopscotch on, or hell, just not get gravel scrapes on. I wanted neighbors...and yeah at some point a family built a house like 1/4 mi from our house, but that's not exactly what I wanted. I wanted, *gasp!*, suburbia. But those are not things you get when you live on a farm. You get 55 MPH no-line-in-it asphalt roads at the end of your looooong gravel driveway, and corn fields around your house. Now, don't get me wrong! There was a lot of good I got, too. I generally enjoyed it on the farm, though I suffered from a bad case of not-green-enough-grass-itus.

In college I finally had the 'normal' address. And cable. And the houses, I swear, had to be on 1/8 acre lots, if that. Fast forward a bunch-a-buncha years and I live in a very densely populated area in one of the largest cities in the country. I have neighbors out the wazoo.

Oddly, I'm not as interested in them as it seems like people assume I would be. I have puzzled over this from time to time. When we moved into this neighborhood, I was 7+ month pregnant with Carter and it was summer. We had already been active in a playgroup, which was in its heyday at that time, so I suppose I did not want for activities, and when we were home, I was unpacking, mothering, or resting...or in the pool. We made the acquaintance of our neighbors across the street and to both sides of us, but they are all older, with adult children. So, time passed. And we played with the friends we had already.

My husband's one somewhat irrational fear also came into play. See, he is NOT a fan of front yard playtime. It's silly, and feels REALLY silly typing it out, but here it is: Psychos have, on occasion, chosen prey when driving around, iresistably drawn to a child or children after seeing them. As I said, irrational, but Paul can't bear the worry that I and the kids will be in danger from being in the front yard. My gentle reminder that our street is not a through street meets deaf ears on this one. Paul's generally laid back and gives me a lot of leeway, so I let him have this one. While chuckling to myself because, well, ya know, it's a bit coo coo, but then again in the same chuckle I remember he just loves us and if keeping it to the backyard makes him sleep better at night, then it's a small price to pay.

However, it does contribute to my lack of neighborliness. We're not out there, so we probably miss a lot of opportunities to meet and play with the children on our street of the same age. And there are a few, I am sheepishly learning. As in, oh, like 4 of her classmates in her grade alone and many more older and younger. Whoops!

Silly farm girl, I am, I forget there is a populated world outside my door when I close it. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. Time to try to learn a few new tricks, I suppose. to that end, a friend of Bun's lives ~6 doors down, and we're going to meet her at the park in a couple-few days after school. Who knows, maybe we'll even meet *all* the kids on our street someday, haha.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I love NY, originally uploaded by Enricco Benetti.

Who doesn't today?

Seven Years

Seven years ago to the day... it's rare that you can remember a whole day, you know?

So much of life blurs. We wake, we eat, we work, we love, we sit in front of computers. Then there are those days you feel jarringly alive and alert. Hopefully it's for a good reason, such as your wedding day or when a child is born. Sometimes it's really because the day was just SO random (a couple of days in college come to mind), or a really great day on vacation. I can playback my wedding day or the days my children were born at will -- much like a movie with meaning only to me and a very select audience. I'll never, ever forget the crack in Paul's voice, and the utter amazement as he held Bunny the first time and said, "She's so pretty!" Nor will I forget a certain Saturday when Paul was in graduate school (and I was in limbo, more or less) when we were sitting on what passed for a deck at the Armpit, eating corn flakes for breakfast, and Casper popped his head over the fence asking if we were going to the kickball tournament that morning. The rest of that day was insanely fun and memorable.

Then there is a that day. This day. September 11. Ugh. No need to put it down in detail... everyone has their own version of that day. The weird part is how I imagine pretty much everyone who was not too young (or too old) also remembers that day all too clearly. All the flags at half mast displayed on houses are evidence of that one.

An interesting compilation of personal stories about that day can be found at

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

*blink blink!*

Yesterday I was pretty pooped by the time I sat down to watch TV with Paul. Bunny had the day off from school and we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is a haul, and then a lot of walking. I have a nasty head-migrating-to-chest cold that the boys also have (Bunny? Had it last week.). And I was FINALLY flipping through the September issue of Real Simple, which came 3 weeks ago.

So I was not fully paying attention, since what was on was not interesting to me (something about the Civil War--Paul's choice, of course!). But I perked up when I *thought* I heard some CRAZY nonsense on a commercial. The scene was a man and a woman, and what I caught was a man saying how natural HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP was and then a website ( to check out for more.

Kristianna: Whaaaaaaa?
Paul: Sorry, what?
K: Was that commercial for corn syrup?
P: Yeah, weird, huh?!?
K: Weird? Weird? That sh*t is terrible for you, because of how it metabolizes in the body! Sugar sucks, but damn, corn syrup is awful comparatively! How can they have commercials FOR that stuff?
P: Well, they used to have cigarette commercials...
K: Urging people to choose products that could put people at risk for diabetes and liver stress to name but two is not much better than pushing cancer sticks.

Blah blah blah....

The point is!! Um... that is WHACK. I stopped buying Yoplait because of HFCS. Ditto for many things I liked until my eyes spied the label--and I was SUPER bummed by the Yoplait, I tell you.

I guess the good thing is people must be paying attention and choosing products without HFCS, or why else would they have ads?

Oh, and the ads were oversimplified and condescending as hell. As if people who are anti HFCS have no clue why. Were I the person in the commercial being asked why they don't want something with HFCS, I'd have had an answer!

Saturday, September 06, 2008


I just figured out what I will do if SIL is so kind as to grace us with her presence and gives me any static.

I will holler out, "I ain't no swagga-jaggah!" and put on my hatah blockas. That outta confuse the hell out of her.

Thank you to Barry for inspiration on this one -- via Eleanor.

It was the best of songs, ir was the worst of songs...

There is a meme going around about the best/worst song in the history of civilization. I read about it HERE...

Best and worst of songs would have to be one of the more subjective things possible... I'm going to narrow things down a little, because I have a lot of favorites in this world, and because I can flipping write whatever I please, I am going to go with this: What is the best and worst song in the history of The Rolling Stones?

Ah, much more manageable. But of course no less controversial. So many ways to go for the best. Should I be conventional and just say Satisfaction? I mean, that riff... come on. It's arguably the best rock song period. Sympathy for the Devil has been mentioned, and it's got many merits. I personally can not resist torturing people with my singing to Woowoo along with it. Time is On My Side is good, but ever since that Denzel Washington movie where posessed people sang it, it's too creepy. A VERY highly ranked one, to me, is Under My Thumb. It's an odd choice, perhaps, but I just love that song. I don't believe for a moment it's really sexist as much as a response perhaps to a very pushy girlfriend, etc. However there is one ultimate song that, when I hear it, it just lifts me.

She's a Rainbow

I lovelovelovelove this song! Probably, given the 'she combs her hair and colors fly out of it' lyrics, and that it was recorded in 1967, it's a wee bit acid induced in its imagery. If so, then I am glad they did enough LSD to come up with that gem. :)

Worst? Meh, probably Honkey Tonk Woman. What WERE they thinking?
Oh, I and since I am in an arbitrary mood, I'm pretending the Rolling Stones never recorded a thing after say 1985. Once you're post Harlem Shuffle, it's just not worth it.

57 Channels and There's Nothing On

Way back in a time known as the 1980s it was hard. See, there was MTV, but I didn't have it. I actually looked forward to piano lessons more for the hour of cable before my lesson than the lesson itself... Oooh, Downtown Julie Brown, you rocked with your dumb British accent and worse than average fashion!

At home, we had 4 channels until FOX, then we had a whopping 5. Which was a huge improvement, since it opened up more than 25% more choices, since PBS was not the one I chose to watch on my own. When I went to college, we had cable. And I learned that you can have endless options and still not find anything good to watch.

As a mom, I marvel at times at the choices my kids have for TV *just* for them. There are a good 12 channels devoted to kiddie programs, not counting that PBS seems to have educations childrens' shows on about 10 hours each day (and we have 5 PBS stations broadcasting at the same time, plus their 'extra channels'). Endless choices, right?

So why is it that on a Saturday morning my kids can't seem to find ONE thing that is actually being aired? Okay, then there's On Demand. My word, with that entered into the equation I estimate there are fifty gabillion options. And to its credit, generally there is something they like. But On Demand is like an onion--you have to navigate down through layers and layers to see what a certain channel has to offer and if you come up lacking, then you have to try another layer, and another. And another.

I hate On Demand. I hate using it! I wish there was just 'kid crap' as a menu to go through, like there is for what's being broadcast 'live', so I could use that time spent trying to find something my picky angels find acceptable to do something else, like sit and stare at a wall. But I also hate using DVDs, so it's probably me.

I think I *kind of* miss having 4 channels. Naaah. Not really.

Friday, September 05, 2008

About 13 months ago...

fairyland 025, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

My 8 month old was in my belly, and my 'baby' looked like this! I can't believe how much Carter has grown in the past year. No more toddler 'bubble butt', when he runs, he almost doesn't bob up and down anymore...and look at the shape of his face in this photo. It's all thinned out and not so smooshy anymore. *sigh* This all happens way too fast. Soon Cole will be the toddler in the house. Egad.

This heat is cramping my style, yo.

I was going to start something new this week. The couch to 5 K challenge, not to really run a 5 K (I don't think) but to just get something new that I can do with 2 small kids in tow. It seems like the only way I can exercise is if I act like a fool playing in the pool with the kids or push the stroller. Playing for an hour in the pool is fun, but really it's not exactly melting these pounds off me.

So, I decided to start the couch 2 5K. It looks totally doable. But not in 100+ heat. So I'm holed up in the living room (the meat locker, as we call it, since it's the only cold room in the house and the blast of cool air when you enter is A LOT like entering a walk in fridge).

I want fall! But we have a good 6-8 weeks of summer here still. Booooooooo.
Oh well, there is the pool at least.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


So, my sister in law dislikes me. I'm not sure exactly why. I've seen her in person exactly 3 times over 4 days, and I really don't recall anything all that interesting happening. Nevertheless, she's told my mother in law that she doesn't want to make efforts to see me or my husband because she doesn't know or like us (she used the words, "I didn't like what I saw.") I'm pretty sure I didn't poop on the Thanksgiving dinner table or call her kid ugly, but I was jet lagged so...

Now, without going into a lot of somewhat boring details, since family drama is often only interesting to those in it, there has been tension about birthday parties. Who invites whom to what... she thinks I didn't invite her brood to Bunny's this spring (I did!), she didn't invite us to her 2 yr old's party (claimed to simultaneously not think of it and also pointed out I didn't invite them when I sent the invite to her husband, Paul's brother), and now there are two more birthdays looming. Her eldest turns 4 in a couple of weeks and I would be pretty surprised if we're invited, given the whole vehement "I don't like them" thing. And there is Carter's birthday right before Halloween. I will invite them to that, since it's the right thing to do.

I have to admit: I don't even know if I want them to come! The detached part of me that is trying hard to be mature says it's good for the kids, it's better to be the bigger person, yada yada. The part of me with FEELINGS is scratching and clawing and saying, "I don't want to willingly ask someone who dislikes me into my home! It's my son's birthday and I want to enjoy it!" I suppose there are 3 options: they don't come at all, the boys come with their father only, all of them come. #2 is sounding attractive to me, frankly. I like BIL (brother in law). I'd enjoy him there, and I know that since Paul's mom and stepdad *and* Paul's dad will also be there that the odds of them not coming at all are slim.

If it turns out that they all come, and SIL is here, I'm going to be beyond tense! I'm already tense thinking aobut it. While I'd like to say she can jump off a cliff and I don't care what she thinks, I know I'll be trying to make everything perfect. Perfectly clean (impossible with my kids and husband), perfectly planned (impossible with my me-ness, which always lets something fall through even if I try not to)... I don't know. I guess either way I will have other friends there (mom friends) and I will probably enlist them to 'have my back'.

Ugh. If I'm going to be disliked, I wish I could have at least done something, haha! I mean, heck, if there were a way-back machine, maybe I'd throw a few handfuls of mashed potatoes in SIL's face or something.

Chose a book...

I decided to use the random integer generator on to pick a book off the 'bucket list'.
I told it to choose a number from 1-1001 and it picked 817.

The People of Hemș РAugust Strindberg

Hmmm. I kind of want to do-over, but that's not the point. :) I will check and see if the library has it.

First Grade Update...

FYI, Bunny is now walking the campus (such as it is, haha! -- seems big to her, I am sure) of her school and knows her way around now. Phew! Carter wants very much to walk to her room to pick her up, but I'm trying to get us to hang back and let Bun spread her wings a bit.

Still no homework. Bunny says that she'll begin with that next week or maybe the one after that. Otherwise, it's a pretty easy morning here--I'd worried it would, well, SUCK, haha, but it's been not so bad. I wake her about 45 mins before we need to leave if she doesn't get up on her own, and she is resisting waking less and less. I do breakfast in two waves so far, since Carter is not hip to the new morning routine and prefers to just drink some milk for a while then have food when we're back after drop off (BTW, I am LOVING car drop off in the mornings--I park and walk or push the stroller from home in the afternoons).

This evening is 'back to school' night for parents, when I go to her room and get the list of supplies they will ask for from each student, etc. That's a peeve of mine. For about a month before school, the stores are CHOCK full of supplies on sale. Many school send their lists to Target, etc so that families can stock up. Our school waits until everything is back to full price, and also harder to find before asking. I knew they'd want a few things, so I bought those to have on hand, but I know there will be some surprises I could have bought for $1 or less that I'll be spending 300-400% more on now. Oh well, can't fight city hall, as they say.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Eclairs -- Daring Bakers, 08-08

The August Daring Bakers Challenge was Eclairs... Mmmmm. Like the donut's regal aunt.

The recipe chosen for us to do this month (my first!) is from Chocolate Desserts By Pierre Hermé. A lot of elements to put together on a Sunday morning when your baby is teething and in a back carrier much of the time, but my faithful sous chef Bunny was there to help make sure no ingredient was forgotten, no eclair undipped, and no spoon unlicked.

The dough came together wonderfully! It was very dry here today, so it actually took an extra yolk for it to seem the right consistency, but thankfully I'd made choux before and knew what to look for. I tried to get a nice photo of my hand cracking an egg into this, but I am a sucky left handed photographer. :)

Fresh from the oven. So light they felt weightless.

Sous chef Bunny stirs the chocolate sauce.

And dips the eclairs. Oh la la! You shoulda seen her shirt after she was done, BTW. Not a good call to let her wear white this morning. Not that I thought about it until I was telling her to change and let me have it to douse with a gallon or three of Spray & Wash.

Gooey on my hands... Mmmmmmmmm. These are good! This one was from the second batch in the oven. I got bored of straight eclairs and made some "s" shapes as well as some cream puffs. So sue me.

One last peek. Blurry again, because of my passenger on my back.

At least I tell myself it was him. I took this later, and you can see that he's very active lately. But it's also a little blurry where it should be sharp. Sooooo, I think my lens is greasy.

Anyway, that's my first DB challenge. Whee!
Other participants listed at The Daring Bakers BlogRoll


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