Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Snippets

~itty bits not worth their own posts, probably not worth mentioning at all, but all the same~


I like my rain boots and am glad to have ‘em, but I was getting tired of wearing them.  Very, very tired. (Very.)



Did I mention the weather has been a bit zany this spring?  Yeah.  Hail.  It was not a big deal, but I had a hard time convincing Cole to hurry up and get in his carseat so Mama would be able to stop being pelted with ice nuggets.



On a whim I bought some regular popping corn and made it old-school, on the stovetop.  My family is riddled with full-on popcorn junkies now.  For the past month it seems that a day rarely goes by when I am not shaking a pot (or 3!) of kernels in the afternoon.  In related news, butter consumption has also risen, since that is the only way to go.  Hoc-tuey to the faux butter on popcorn.  (I do like butter spray on corn though!)



You’re looking at a stymied squirrel.  This booger has been poaching seeds from the bird feeder for the past few weeks.  I don’t really mind him taking the odd seed now and then, but he has gotten damn picky and taken to tossing pawfuls of the smaller millet seeds for the song birds as he cherry picks for sunflower seeds.  So, last time I filled the feeder I moved it over to a new hook out of reach of branches or the screens.  He no likey.  I have to admit to a smug feeling of, “Take that, you rodent!  My superior human brain has foiled you!  Hahahaaha!”  Mr. Squirrelly Man (my daughter’s moniker for him) tried from every angle, including hanging upside down from the gutter, but had to settle for some nut from a tree nearby.


The birdbrains show no appreciation, but are pretty to look at.




The other evening Bunny performed a complex hair transplant on Cookie Monster here.  She named it the “Bunsley Hair Clinic.”  After the procedure Cookie declared, “Me ready to rock out with me cookie out, thanks, Bunsley!”  Sadly, by the next morning, his luxurious locks had fallen off.  Bunsley Hair Clinic has no comment at this time.



Recently Cole sat all by himself—nearly motionless, except when the clippers got close to him—for the first time getting his hair cut.


He’s getting to be such a big boy, and is starting to look forward to preschool next fall.  Cole says he’s not ready yet for me to go away and leave him there, but he will be “when brother Carter goes to big school.”  For now, he says, “I’ll stay with you Mom, okay?”  No problemo, Buddy.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Though the weather is not agreeing with me yet, I’ve been in the mood to move on seasonally with the cooking.  It’s not time to grill out yet, but that looms.  There’s a reason Cinco de Mayo is such a big deal here.  Okay, two reasons.  The reason I look forward to May 5 is it’s a perfect first BBQ kind of holiday here.  (It’s a nice excuse to whip up some Sangria, too, don’t get me wrong!)

Anyhoo, I’ve been wanting braised wintery sides less and summery dishes more… crunchy, fresh tasting stuff.

One of my favorite barely any work at all dinners is Crock Carnitas.  I love a meal you slam in the crockpot in the morning and, to keep the lazy vibe going, I decided to make a  no-cooking side last time.  I love Carolina bbq with creamy slaw, so I thought I’d take that idea and change it a little. (Note: perhaps it’s my crock pot, but I find the above recipe comes out a little soupy.  It’s easy to ‘fix’ that, though – I take off the lid and let ‘er rip, cooking down on high while I prepare the sides and toppings.)


This was super simple, and great with the carnitas.  I took a bag of broccoli slaw mix, added a couple of cups of sliced snap peas, some lime juice, cilantro, and perhaps 1/2 c jarred salsa verde and mixed well, then added a little plain yogurt to cool it down a little bit.  I find I like slaw to sit a little while—just 15-30 mins—to loosen up, so I made this first, then prepped a few toppings for the carnitas wraps.  This is a great ‘serve yourself’ meal for the older kid and adults, making for even less work in a ‘be lazy’ dinner.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Big Trucks, Long Ladders

A while back Carter’s class had a field trip to the neighborhood fire station.  Since it was “Winter Break” for elementary schools, and because Cole is my 24 hour a day buddy, the kids and I all tagged along for the fun.

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For the past 50-60 years, this squad has called themselves the “animal house.”

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The trucks were out of… well, let’s call this garage.  The fellow here who gave the first part of the tour called it something technical, but I can’t remember his term at all.  :)

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What I can say, is most of the gear was kept here, hung up or in lockers.

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Up high, a reminder of selfless heroism and danger.

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We were treated to a tour of (almost) the entire station.  [The locker room was… occupied…]

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The squad is divided into three teams/shifts that overlap in a complex way to ensure adequate day-to-day coverage, meaning the firemen spend a lot of time on duty away from family.

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Be it wrong or right, shallow of not, I love their mess table.  There’s a tradition in the city that, whenever a bowling alley removes lanes, the wood goes to the firehouses.  This huge table is covered in the thickest coat of... oh, I have no idea – it seemed like plastic, but was glass smooth.  It’s also 4” thick.  It must weigh a ton.

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Want!  How does one get a bowling alley lane table for their home???  Of course, in my house, the kids would be sliding on it on sock feet, and one crazy 5 year-old I know would be trying some daring slides off the top.  Then, maybe we could call the fire EMT to come and splint his leg, completing the circle.  ;)

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After more inside stuff, which I think the adults liked more than the kids, we went out for the best part—if you’re a kid: the truck tour!

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Cole’s obsessed with letters and numbers, so he mainly amused himself telling us what letters he could find everywhere—and making faces at himself in the shiny chrome.

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I was busy helping 3-5 year olds out the back door of the truck, so I am not sure how Bunny finagled a front seat tour.  She loved it, though.

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She’s getting to be so big, but looks tiny here.  Fire trucks be big.

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Fire fighters have cool tools.

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I must brag a little and say Carter was the one who guessed correctly why they might use an axe.  It seems obvious to us adults, but many of the kids went right for the one thing they knew an axe was for (tree chopping:: “Only if the tree were on fire,” was the nice fireman’s answer).

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More cool tools:  jaws of life.

Near the end of our time at Fire House 9, another mom asked how quickly the fire fighters can get into their gear.  He laughed and said, “If I had a probie on hand, I’d have him do it, but I don’t feel like getting sweaty right now.  You want to put it on?”  She declined, but we had one person who is generally game for anything fun: Bunny!

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It was hysterical to see her all smooshed inside the suit, boots and all.  It appeared as if a shrink ray had zapped her.

After that, it was time to go, as a call came in for them to do their jobs.  We scurried off the lot before the trucks had to rush away.  One of the men there explained that they used to have over 100 schools come to visit their fire house annually, but, due to budget problems, they’d had to curtail the public elementary school field trips in past years.  We really appreciate their time, and their invaluable contribution to our city.  Thanks, Engine 9!

Friday, March 25, 2011

{this moment)


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Restaurant Ready

We only go out to eat once or twice a month.  For starters, I like to cook, and have a spoiled husband who often comments that what we paid up the wazoo for was not as good as what I make at home.  I don’t really care about that – I like to sit down and be waited on now and then, like anyone else.  Give me refills of diet Coke and I’m happy with a ham sandwich and chips as long as I don’t have to get up dozens of times to fetch this or that. 

However, I do get tired of constantly telling the 3 year-old how to behave.  I can’t sit idly by and let him pester the nice couple behind us who made the mistake of saying, “Hi,” to him the first time he peeked over the back of the booth, etc.  It’s important to learn how to behave, but there is a lot of impulse control lacking when you’re three, and sitting waiting for food to arrive is b-o-r-i-n-g.  You know what else is boring?  Saying, “No, no, no…” 1,000 times in an hour.  I don’t relish it, and it’s simple as this: three year-old boys—at least this particular one—are not as easy to amuse for a long time with crayons and play doh or books as ‘they’ say they are. 

Parenting experts may disagree, but I’m keeping this kid home for most meals until he’s ready to sit still like his older siblings do perfectly well, in spite of my not taking them out much when they were terrible three year-olds, either.  (Actually, I must give Bunny credit here:  she was always great at three, and I enjoyed taking her out, but perhaps that is because it was often just her and I eating as a treat.)

Last week the kids and I had a surprise dinner out at a order at the counter and serve yourself kind of place, and I wanted to catch up with friends more than I wanted to teach manners to the uncivilized in my family, so I admit it: I let Cole have a lot of leash and largely ignored his behavior, since it was 5:00 and the place was nearly empty.

I appears my son thought I needed salt and pepper.


…and many, many napkins.


That’s only about half of the napkins he toted over from those bare tables in the background.  He also brought us a lifetime supply of ketchup and barbeque sauce.

Oh, well.  He had fun, and I had a few moments of conversation that were as uninterrupted as it gets when you have 6 kids at the table with 3 adults.

And, Cole might have a future as a bus boy in high school.  :)

(Don’t worry, we put all the napkins, etc. back in their more-or-less proper places before leaving.  No table setups were permanently harmed in the making of these photos.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

{this moment}

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quick, Easy Craft I had Everything to Do RIGHTNOWMOM


Ah, the used toilet paper tube saves the day—or a short part of it—once again.

Sunday, March 13, 2011



… good thoughts to Japan and beyond as they continue to assess and cope with Friday’s events.

Inspired by Alica.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Can’t, Won’t, and Don’t Stop


I have a strong impulse to teach him some Beastie Boys lyrics when I see him in the sunglasses he chose—and loves.

On location, touring around the nation
Beastie Boys always on vacation
Itchy trigger finger but a stable turntable
I do what I do best because I'm illing and able

Friday, March 11, 2011

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Captain Carter

Did you know Carter can fly?

It’s true.


He doesn’t only fly, though.  He is captain of a spaceship, defending the galaxy against “bad aliens.”

Pshoo, pshoo, pshoo!


It’s hard work defending the galaxy!

Friday, March 04, 2011

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

This guy here…

…woke at 2:15 this morning.


He needed a full change and was wide awake when I got him into new dry jammies.  I was not quite ready to get up for the day, so I hoped he’d snuggle up against me and sleep.

2:20     I very love you, Mama!  (I kiss him and say, “Let’s rest some more.”)
2:23     I need to rock!  I need to rock!  (This, complete with horizontal dancing.)
2:25     Fake snoring noises.
2:30     He knocks on the head board and says, What’s that noise??
2:45    I… can’t sleep!   IIIIIII can’t sleep.  (Sung, naturally.)
2:45 – 3:15:  more of the above
3:15     We get up and I take his little butt to the living room, put on Oswald on Noggin, and I try my damndest to doze.

4:15     This time, Carter.  He’s had an accident and joins the party after Paul helps him change.
4:20 – 5:00  Kill me now.  The only thing that makes me smile, briefly is remembering a line from Dharma & Greg where Greg thinks the song from the 80s goes, “I want to rock all night, and PART OF everyday.”  That is how stupid-tired I am at the moment—I’m thinking about terrible 90s sitcoms.

Miraculously I did catch a final hour of sleep before 6:15, but damn.  Now, of course, both boys are asleep.  They seem to have not gotten as much rest as they needed last night for some reason.  ;)


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