Saturday, December 30, 2006

Passion Faux Pas

Or this could be entitled "Things you post when it's really late" but I didn't want to steal from Ian.

It's about 12:30 am, and I just got home from a Passion Party in Topeka, which is about an hour away. What I was thinking when I booked a party that far away, I will never know. I most decidedly was drunk on red wine. But I digress.

Tonight, I made my first large error when doing my presentation.

I was holding up Tighten Up cream, yet I was describing Numbit cream to everyone. The reason this is so comical is because Tighten Up cream does just that - it tightens you up to a virgin-like state. Numbit helps numb the area for anal sex. (I don't even want to think about the search engines I'm going to come up on after this post.)

Anyway, imagine me talking about anal sex while holding up a cream that tightens you up. People seemed horrified. I was over halfway done with my spiel before I realized why all of the women had an extremely pained look on their faces.

Oops.

Needless to say, I didn't sell any Tighten Up or Numbit tonight. *sigh* Maybe next time.

Friday, December 29, 2006

The world of make-believe

My son is at the age where he loves to pretend. I think that’s great. It encourages creative thinking, yada yada yada.

His creative skills really spark when we go anywhere with a drop box, such as the bank, post office or library. He loves to drop his “pretend” letters in the mailbox at the post office, and even held up a line of extremely annoyed people last week so he could mail five pretend letters to Sportacus. I considered that better than the time he actually gathered a bunch of scrap paper and trash off the floor of my car and mailed it before I could stop him. But, I digress.

Today, we went to the library, and I just didn’t have the energy to go in and chase Georgia around, so we went to the drive up drop box to drop a few things off.

After I dropped off our stuff and drove away, Eli flipped out because I forgot to drop off his pretend DVDs. To avoid any tantrums, I circled back around, and rolled down my window. Eli handed me his three invisible DVDs, and I had to drop them one by one into the dropbox, and check after each deposit to make sure they actually went down. It was at this point that I looked in my rearview mirror. And saw two cars behind me waiting.

Oh jeez. You should have seen the extremely perplexed look from the woman behind me, which I caught in my rearview mirror. I am sure these people wondered what the hell I was doing. I thought about how this looked to an outsider.

A woman drives up to the drop box, rolls down her window, drops off three invisible items, and then drives away. Classic!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

13 Things Said Over Christmas Weekend



1. I didn’t know you could get clothes for Christmas! Eli’s very perplexed response when opening gifts at my parents’ house.

2. BLACK CAR! Eli’s new game is to shout out “BLACK CAR!” every time he sees a black car . . . or dark blue . . . or green for that matter. He now has Georgia screaming it, too. It’s nice to see them working together to raise my blood pressure.

3. DORA! I don’t know what it is, but my 18-month-old daughter can spot any picture of Dora from a mile away. We walked into Wal-Mart on Christmas eve, and she spotted a Dora coloring book and just about leapt out of the freaking shopping cart. “DODA! DODA!” WTF? I just don’t get it.

4. I am sooooo getting you back! This is what I told my sister-in-law after Eli opened his gift from her – a 48-piece tool set. My niece's birthday is in March. That gives me time to find an appropriate gift to give in return.

5. This is the best Christmas ever! (upon opening Prison Break) I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying my Wentworth Miller Prison Break marathon!!

6. Eric was afraid I would buy everybody a vibrator. Yes, this is what I told everyone who was surprised they didn’t get any Passion Parties stuff for Christmas.

7. Where’s my calendar? Every year, we get our parents a calendar from Shutterfly with the children’s pictures on them. This year, the godblessed calendars didn’t come before we left town. Oh sweet googly moogly, our parents were not happy when they didn't get their calendars. Lesson: Don't screw with grandparents when it comes to pictures of their grandchildren.

8. Can we get out and pet the cows? I mentioned previously that we pass a gazillion and one cows when traveling through Kansas. Some of them are surprisingly close to the road. At one point, Eli wanted to get out and make friends.

9. I am not watching It’s A Wonderful Life again. It’s A Wonderful Life is not Eric’s favorite movie. But I about choked when he turned it off to watch A Christmas Story. Again!

10. No Georgia! That’s MINE! I have heard Eli say this so many times over the last few days that his voice is starting to give me cramps.

11. I have bath germs! Eli has uttered this phrase about every half hour since opening his bath crayons. He is trying to convince me he has millions of germs, so I’ll let him take three baths a day. At least the child is clean.

12. Don’t you people have any chocolate in the house? I said to my diabetic mother. Next time I travel while PMSing, I’m bringing my own stash of Hershey’s Kisses.

13. Is she naked again? Over the last week, my daughter has developed a sudden fondness for being naked. She opened her Christmas presents naked, and now just likes to strip her clothes off and roam around the house. I can't keep pants on her now matter how hard I try. This does not bode well for the teenage years . . .


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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Drowsy and bug-eyed

Okay, I know I’m tired when my four-year-old son just kicked my ass at air hockey. Eli spent a long time practicing by himself, so when it was my turn, the puck went click, click, zoom, and then he was yelling, “Yay! I’m really good at this, mommy!” What the hell? I used to be good at air hockey. I must be slipping in my old age.

Now that Christmas is over, the theme for the day was back to my normal theme of being tired. On Christmas, I actually got a chance to rest. Maybe about once a month that actually happens – I get caught up on my sleep. Then Christmas night came with a baby who wouldn’t sleep. I do okay when she’s up in the night, and there’s a resolvable issue, like hunger or a dirty diaper. But last night, she was up from 3:00 – 5:30 am for no other reason than she just didn’t feel like sleeping.

So, this morning, my well-restedness was long gone and I was sucking down my Caribou coffee. I did not feel like attempting to organize all the new toys. I gave cleaning a half-hearted effort, but by mid-morning, we were already missing balls for the Play Center and 1/3 of the train track which Eli decided to set up in the middle of the kitchen floor. Maybe I will try organization again tomorrow.

Tonight, I had every intention of being productive. Then Eric turned on the TV to the Disney channel. High School Musical was on. Apparently, I am waaaay behind. I had no idea this thing was such a phenomenon. The kids loved it. They were both up dancing. And I have to admit, I really liked it too. Has anyone seen this? It was really pretty good. Apparently it’s also a stage show? I had no idea.

Anyway, tomorrow I have to re-focus on work. I have a Passion Party on Friday night in Topeka, which is more than an hour away. I’m not quite sure what the hell I was thinking when I booked that party. . . okay, yes I do. But those dollar signs lose their shimmer a little bit when you’re lacking sleep.

Now, I am going to pop in a Prison Break DVD and wind down. Hopefully I will get a couple of hours of sleep before the baby alarm goes off.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Christmas Miracle


Do I really need to say more?

Probably not, but I will anyway. After reading my blog last week, my mother-in-law, who is one of those people that finish their Christmas shopping in July, went and bought me Prison Break. She gave it to me last and wrapped it and put it in two gift bags. I was shocked when I opened it. It is almost sad how incredibly happy I was. I felt I was 8 years old opening my Red Ryder BB gun.

I have already watched two episodes (one with commentary), and hopefully I can squeeze in one more before bed. There are 22 total, so I have a long way to go. I am really trying to get my husband into it this time around, but he just pops up in the family room occasionally throwing out little snarks about implausibility, then goes back to his room to watch Arrested Development, Season 3, which I got him for Christmas. The killjoy.

Aside from my wonderful Christmas (and I’ll tell you more about the whole Christmas trip and the tour of the state later), the children highly enjoyed their Christmas, as well.

Here is Georgia enjoying a couple of her favorite toys.

Hammer Away – yes that’s a Discovery Toy, not a Passion Toy – was a big hit, and so was the Circle Time doll which you get a brief glimpse of here.



I would post some more pictures of Georgia, but she decided early on that she needed to take off all of her clothes and unwrap her Christmas gifts while naked. I got some really cute pictures, but since my blog is already considered pornographic by the Johnson County Library, I’ll refrain from posting them.

Everything worked out perfectly, though, because Eli’s favorite gift was bath crayons.



Immediately after opening gifts, Eli wanted to take a bath, so he stripped down as well, and he and Georgia had lots of fun coloring the bathroom walls.

Christmas is now drawing to a close, and I am completely exhausted. I would blog more, but after a long day of putting cars together, reading new children’s books, doing puzzles, constructing Play-Doh towers and setting up an air hockey table, I want nothing more than to take a nice hot bubble bath and settle down in front of the TV to watch some more Wentworth Miller.

I hope all of my wonderful friends in the blogosphere had a very Merry Christmas!!! Ho Ho Ho!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Meowy Christmas!!

Okay, I told you all a while back that I wrote the Christmas letter every year from our cat, Coconut. This is the 13th year I have done this! I thought I would post the letter I recently mailed out so you all can see how bizarre I am (as if you don't already know). I will probably be out of the blogosphere for a couple of days as we continue our Christmas tour of Kansas. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and a very Merry Christmas!!


On to the letter:


Dear Friends and Family,

Hairballs and Hallelujah! What a Meowy Christmas it is!

Tidings to all! It is I, Coconut the Christmas kitty back for my 13th annual Christmas letter! Wow! How time flies. The torment I have exuded on the humans over the years . . . ahhhh, what wonderful memories! Let me fill you in on what they have been up to. It has been quite a busy year around this place!

Eric just celebrated his seventh anniversary at American Century Investments (ACI). This year, he is looking forward to his one-month sabbatical, in which he plans to take the family on a vacation to a beach somewhere. Eli wants to see the ocean, and Neila wants to lounge on a beach and have a hot guy in a Speedo bring her margaritas, so they are still debating on where to go. I’m sure Marcel and I will be left at home. We never get a vacation, but now we will be free to unleash many hairballs all over the house.

Eric was rewarded as one of the top performers in his company this year, which provided him with new opportunities to explore leadership positions within ACI. He also got to have lunch with Lance Armstrong (that's my husband in front standing right next to Lance. I thought it was interesting that they were exactly the same height.), ACI’s new collaborator, but despite Neila’s urging, Eric refused to ask him what really happened with Sheryl Crow.

Neila has been ultra-busy this year. She was matron of honor in August for her friend Heather’s wedding. Heather got engaged in May, so it was a whirlwind of a summer with lots of wedding activities. Neila even wore a strapless dress down the aisle, and subsequently burned all existing pictures of herself in the dress.

Neila’s book on mommy life turned into a mommy blog this summer when she started Blog That Mommy! at http://www.blogthatmommy.com/. She writes much better when she has people expecting to read something new each day. Neila began Blog That Mommy! in June and updates it daily. It has gained popularity in the blogosphere and now gets several hundred hits a week.

Neila’s other project has been to take on more of a part-time job in addition to her Web editing. She began selling Discovery Toys earlier this year, and then decided to get into Passion Parties. (What, no cat toys?!) With Passion Parties, Neila has truly found her niche. She does in-home parties selling sensual and adult products for women and couples. She truly loves it, and is having an awesome time! You can check out her Passion Web site at http://www.passionsbyneila.com/.

With the children getting older, the humans have been involved in a lot more activities this year. The Wiggles came through town in May, and Eric and Neila took Eli as a special treat. Subsequently, Neila became a bigger Wiggles fan than Eli and secretly listens to their CDs in her car when she’s alone.

Georgia started Gymboree and Kindermusik over the summer. She loves to stay active! The humans enrolled Eli in swimming lessons this year, and he passed with flying colors! After that, he attended British soccer camp. His coach was American. I still don’t get that. Aside from that, he absolutely loved it and has been asking to go back to soccer ever since.

Eli has really come out of his shell this year. He has gone from being a little shy to taking quite the leadership role. He is very computer savvy and at four years old, is quite the whiz at several computer games. Eli is in his second year of preschool, and it’s always fun to hear what his teachers have to say about him. Last month, we heard, “He is so creative and he has a great vocabulary.” Uh-oh. Luckily, they meant this in a good way. He says things like, “Mama, I’m feeling a little apprehensive.” Or “I know what picture I’m going to draw because I had an inspiration.” Or when he gets in trouble, “Mama, I acknowledge what you’re saying, but my feelings are telling me I need to do it anyway.” Sometimes it’s hard to argue with a kid who is that logical.

Eli also likes to take everything apart he can get his hands on. If he finds a screwdriver, we’re in big trouble. Marcel and I watched him locate Eric’s screwdriver and take apart two bar stools one day. Neila thought he was content watching Noggin. Little does she know we have been helping him perfect his destructive side. The humans have been trying to counteract this by enrolling Eli in the previously mentioned constructive activities.

We just have to work hard on keeping Eli from pushing his sister or taking things away from her. That little girl is already learning to fight, and can let out a scream that can shatter glass when someone takes something away from her. Not cool. I have had to hide in the basement many times.

Luckily, Georgia is very cat friendly. She doesn’t pull our tails like Eli used to. She has learned gentle petting and nice hugs are great for kitties. She even had a Hello Kitty party for her first birthday in June. It just warms my feline heart.

We really have to keep an eye on this little go-getter. She wants to do everything her brother does, which is not always a good thing. Georgia’s vocabulary has really started improving lately, too. She was walking before she was a year old, and now she is talking up a storm. We are hoping to start litter box training . . . I mean potty training sometime soon since she will go tell mommy every time she makes “Poe.” Neila is none too excited about potty training again. She still hasn’t figured out if that is worse than teething.

It’s amazing how quickly the kids are growing up. Georgia is already very into shoes. She loves everyone’s shoes. She will carry them around and try them on. *sigh* That does not bode well for the teenage years. She is also very into 80’s music, and particularly loves Asia (Heat of the Moment anyone?) She must have been an 80’s groupie in a past life. When she’s not head banging to Asia or Def Leppard, she loves her books and she loves playing with cars! I have never seen a little girl so into cars.

And then there’s me. Now that the humans stay busy with the children, Marcel and I pretty much run the household. I have perfected my middle-of-the-night hairballs to an art, making sure to spew them in the doorway to the bathroom or on the new loveseat in the living room. The humans’ reactions are always priceless. I also love to meow loudly right after they get Georgia to sleep. That one is a little risky because I have to run quickly enough that I don’t get caught or else I get locked in the utility room. Hmmm . . . New Year’s resolution - must get into shape.

We hope all of you and your humans are doing well this holiday season, and that you find joy in all the things in your life. Meowy Christmas! And Happy New Year!

Coconut & Marcel
Eric, Neila,
Eli and Georgia

Thursday, December 21, 2006

13 Things About Our Christmas Road Trip (#19)


Every year around Christmas time, we loop the state of Kansas, stopping off to visit everyone’s families. On Wednesday, we drove down to my parents’ house, which is about a 3 ½ hour drive. With children, bathroom breaks and stops for lunch, it is well over a four-hour drive. Here are a few things about our trip so far:

1. Rain – It was raining buckets. It can be perfectly clear for 30 days out of the month, but it either rains or snows the one day we travel. Every freaking year.

2. Sleeping hand – My daughter was very fussy on the trip down. The only thing that calmed her was if I reached back and patted her rhythmically. If I stopped, she began screaming. By the time we got to our destination, I could no longer feel my left arm.

3. Email addiction – Okay, I may officially be an email addict. I checked my email twice on my phone on the way down.

4. DVD addiction – My son is a DVD addict. He came equipped with a portable DVD player, six DVDs and earbuds. And he’s only four. I know this is really my fault, but it makes the trip much smoother.

5. Evil McDonalds – A few months ago, I related how the McDonald’s on the turnpike refused to sell me a four-piece chicken mcnuggets for Georgia. They said they did not have a four-piece. Grrrrr. . . Today, we bought her a Happy Meal. Guess how many chicken mcnuggets came with it? FOUR! The bastards.

6. Lack of sleep – I always have the delusional hope that Georgia will sleep in the car. Well, she did finally fall asleep. Ten minutes before we reached our exit.

7. Kakuro – I love to play Kakuro, and car trips are the only time I have time to do it. I was patting Georgia with one hand, and filling in numbers with the other. I’m great at multi-tasking.

8. XM Radio – Eric loves his XM Radio. I get to listen to it when we go on car trips. I love the Satellite Sisters! I might have to get my own XM Player just so I can hear them on a regular basis.

9. Cell phone ringtones – I have programmed my cell phone so that each person in my phone book has their own ring. I have tried to fit each ring to the person’s personality. When people call me in the car, this always creates a lot of discussion with Eric. Sometimes amusement, and sometimes he just doesn’t get the correlation between the ringtone and the person. It's always fun when he attempts to figure out how my mind works.

10. Cows – I always think you can predict the weather by looking at what the cows are doing. (Travelling through Kansas, you pass a lot of cows.) Eric disagrees with me. I think we argue about this on every single road trip.

11. Potty – Every time we come near a bathroom, I ask Eli 10 times if he needs to go. He always says, “NO!” And then the second we pass the rest stop and the sign that says, “Next exit, 33 miles,” I hear, “Mommy! I need to go to the bathroom!” It never fails.

12. Moose Forest – You can’t even imagine the number of deer crossing signs on the highway. (aka Moose signs) This sparks a lot of animated discussion from Eli about all the “Moose Forests” we’re passing.

13. Luggage – At Christmas, it’s always a fun challenge to see how much we stuff in our car. The real challenge doesn’t come until we drive home with all the presents. We can usually barely get the trunk shut. Maybe on the way home, we'll strap one of the children to the roof.



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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Frustrations (aka Borders is the devil)

This morning, I made the very bad decision to do a little shopping for myself. You all know my obsession with Prison Break. I desperately want the Season 1 DVD, but with two children and this being Christmas season, I just can’t bring myself to shell out $40 for something I don’t need. I know no one got me Prison Break for Christmas because yesterday my husband came to me with a coupon from Borders good for 40% off boxed sets of DVDs!! 40%!!! That’s all I needed. I may not be able to spend $40 on myself, but I can spend $20-something.

I looked online last night to make sure they had Prison Break in stock at the Borders near me. It said they did. I saw they had the regular price listed at $47.99. I did the math in my head. (Okay, I really used a calculator, but work with me.) With the coupon, that would be $28.79. Still under the $30 mark.

So, I drug Eli out of bed this morning. Georgia had risen at 5:3o, so she was already up. Eli was not pleased that he had to get up to look for a Christmas gift for mommy, but I promised him a coffee drink at the Border’s CafĂ©. For him, that means hot chocolate. We rushed to Borders and got there six minutes after they opened. We ran in and searched for the Prison Break DVD.

When I saw a big blank space on the shelf in the P’s, I knew I was in trouble. I had the Border’s guy look for me just in case I missed it, and he had another woman look for him (because it showed in the freaking system that they had one somewhere). Grrrr!! They couldn’t find it either, so the guy proceeded to call all of the other Borders in the city.

He finally found a Borders clear across town that had one Prison Break DVD left. However, because of the coupon, they couldn’t hold any boxed sets. What did this mean? This meant the Borders employees were shouting “Good Luck!” as the kids and I dashed out the door. On to the next Borders.

Two interstates and several minutes later, we got there and rushed inside. Again. This time, I found it!!! My joy didn’t last very long because I soon saw the price. The “sale” price was $49.99. The actual price was $59.99!! I went up to the information desk and asked if the 40% was good on the sale price or the regular price. Well of course, it’s off the regular price. Mother f*ck! That made it $36, which was above my price limit, and the exact same freaking price I could get it on Amazon anyway, which I told the guy.

These employees weren’t nearly as nice. He started giving me a big speech about the cost on overhead, yada, yada, yada. What the f*ck ever! I just ran my ass all over town with two small children. And at least with Amazon, I get points back because I have an Amazon credit card.

I was so upset. And for the record, when I checked Borders.com after I got home, it did say $59.99, which means the f*ckers raised their price for the sale!!! Borders is EVIL! I must be PMSing.

Anyway, when I grudgingly put the DVD back on the shelf, my sweet little boy said, “I thought we were buying you that for a Christmas present, mama.” I said, “Oh honey, mommy doesn’t need it. It’s too expensive.” His response was, “That’s okay, mama. You can get it anyway.” I gave him a kiss and told him I didn’t need it that badly. He said, “Well, then we’ll go look for it someplace else where it’s not spensive!” My sweet boy! He is going to grow up to be such a wonderful man!! I bought him his hot chocolate, and myself an Irish Cream white chocolate mocha (not bad), and we went home.

I think I’m done braving the stores this holiday season. My birthday is right around the corner. (February 22 for anyone who wants to write it on their calendars), and Prison Break is high on my list of birthday wishes!!

Now, with all that talk of Prison Break, I feel the urge to post a photo of Wentworth Miller, which I shamelessly stole from Wet for Went. I love that damn site, even though my husband teases me mercilessly!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Seasonal Outings

I really despise going out in public in the days leading up to Christmas. Isn’t the holiday season supposed to make people kind and generous? Apparently, you only have that feeling if you don’t leave the house. Once you hit the mad rush of traffic around the mall or the post office, all bets are off.

Today, we had several errands to run. We live very close to the big mall here in town, so any time we leave the house is an opportunity to curse other drivers and wait in a long line of traffic. I really try desperately not to curse in front of the children, but after I was cut off by some woman in a mini-van who almost hit us (!!!), the children learned the new phrase, “stupid b*tch.” *sigh*

Anyway, we made our weekly trip to the library. Eli got some new DVDs and Georgia snagged a Dora book. She is becoming very attached to Dora, by the way. She went into convulsions when I had to take the book away from her for two seconds so the boy at the desk could check it out. Thank God she didn’t spot the Elmo books or we would have never gotten out of there. He’s the one thing she loves more than Dora. Every time she sees him – “MO MO!”

But I digress. Earlier in the day, Eli had been asking me questions about strangers, so we had a discussion on what constitutes a stranger, and how you shouldn’t talk to strangers or open the door to strangers. On the way down the stairs of the library, Eli passed a man and gave him a good once-over, and said (loudly), “Mommy, is that a stranger?!” Before I could even reply, the man smiled and said, “Yes, I am a stranger.” Eli was very proud of himself. Much to my embarrassment, he was spotting strangers all morning!

Another thing Eli seems to be noticing lately are the deer crossing signs. I don’t know if you all have these signs where you live, but here in Kansas, it seems you can’t travel more than a few yards without coming across a big yellow sign with a deer on it. Eli, however, has decided they are not deer signs, they are moose signs. Every time we pass one (which is often), he quietly says, “Shhhhh! Mommy, we have to be very quiet. We’re entering a moose forest.” J That child certainly keeps me entertained.

Our last stop for the day was the post office. I was expecting a couple of Passion packages from the UPS man so I could mail them out to my customers in an attempt to get them there before Christmas. The UPS man finally came today at 3:3o. The post office closes at 5:00. Georgia was napping. Crap! The only option I had was to wake up my tired (and now very cranky) little baby to go to the post office.

When we arrived, the post office was so packed that you couldn’t even get into the parking lot. We had to park across the street and walk over. Then we had to stand in line for ½ an hour. That’s a lot of fun with two small children, in case you were wondering. We finally made it up to the window at 4:54. Whew! I asked the woman if they were going to close at 5:00 since the line was still going out the door. You could tell this poor woman had had a very long day. She responded, “Oh, you bet we’re closing at 5:00. In six minutes, one of us is going to leap across this desk and lock that door!” I can understand how she feels.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Cheer

This weekend, we seemed consumed with making Christmas cookies. After Friday’s batch of Christmas pumpkins, we felt compelled to make some “Christmas” cookies. I found a kick-ass (!!!) recipe for cream cheese sugar cookies that I will share here in a moment.

Eric hid the pumpkin cookie cutter, so we were left with mostly Christmas cookie cutters, along with a couple of heart-shaped cookie cutters, but I figured hearts could really go either way. Eli’s obsession this time around was mixing the food coloring to see what color of frosting he could make. He mixed so many colors together, he was very excited that he got black frosting. Here is a green and black star that he made and frosted all by himself:

He was so proud!


We also made headless angels and Valentine’s cookies:


But I think after four dozen, we have just about every holiday covered, so we’re going to call it quits on the cookie making for awhile.

If anyone is making Christmas cookies this week, I really hope you will try our recipe. It rocks! I coupled it with my white chocolate frosting. Yum-o!! It tastes especially good with a cup of Caribou coffee!! Fa la latte!

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg yolk. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for 8 hours, or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 1/8 inch thickness, refrigerating remaining dough until ready to use. Cut into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Leave cookies plain for frosting, or brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with candy sprinkles or colored sugar.

4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light and golden brown. Cool cookies completely before frosting.

White Chocolate Frosting
Ingredients:
3 (1 ounce) squares white chocolate
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:
In a large bowl, heat 3 oz white baking chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted; cool to lukewarm. In a medium bowl on medium speed, combine melted white chocolate, confectioners' sugar, butter, water and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Bean until smooth and of spreading consistency.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Weekend Vignettes

Psycho Trauma
I took the children to Target yesterday to do a little Christmas shopping. Georgia is getting continuously worse about riding in shopping carts. Yesterday, when I was attempting to put her into the shopping cart, I was reminded of that scene in Norma Rae.

You remember the one. The police were taking Sally Field away and trying to get her in the police car. She was screaming to high heaven, kicking viciously, and grabbing every object in sight in an attempt to anchor herself so they couldn’t shove her into the police car.

That was mild compared to my daughter when faced with a shopping cart at Target.




Christmas Cookies
Today, the children and I spent the day making Christmas cookies. Eli had been so excited about making the cookies all week, so I got out all the cookie cutters and let him choose the ones he wanted to use. You can definitely tell he was in charge as evidenced by our Christmas Pumpkins.

Eric knew we were spending the day making Christmas cookies, so he was extremely surprised when he walked in the door this evening and was faced with countertops full of pumpkin shaped cookies with orange frosting, decorated in black M&M’s.




The Bullet
My father called today. He said he was thinking about getting a bullet for my mom for Christmas and wanted to ask me some questions about it. He began asking me questions about how you wash it and how strong the motor was.

Thank God he couldn’t see me blushing over the phone. My response was a lovely, “Ummm, ub, I uhhh, well, hmmmm . . .”

Then it finally occurred to me that while I was thinking about this bullet:

my dad was talking about this bullet:



Jeez! I swear he did that on purpose. Thank God he’s interested in making my fabulous guacamole and not . . . oh, Christ. I don’t even want to go there.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Christmas Sing



Today was the Christmas Sing at Eli’s Preschool. There is nothing more entertaining than watching a bunch of 3- and 4-year-olds singing Christmas carols. They only lost four kids this year, who ran off the stage at various times crying.

Am I completely warped that I find that incredibly funny. I am, aren’t I? I don’t even know what made the children cry. But, it really is amusing, when in the midst of Jingle Bells, a girl runs off the stage toward her mother in terror. It’s not just me. Eric’s twisted, too. You can hear him laughing on the video.

Eli is always fun to watch because he acts the same when being watched by 100 people as he does when he’s by himself. You have to admire that. At one point, he was turned around backward, bent over, with his shirt half off, trying to reach an itch on his back. I think that was during “God is so Good.”

It was incredibly enjoyable. Even Georgia did fairly well. That could be because we brought a bunch of suckers with us and kept poking them in her mouth so she wouldn’t scream. Yes, I bribe my children with candy. It works. Sue me.

Afterward, we went down to Eli’s classroom where the parents got a “treat” before taking our kids home. I think Eli managed to shove five Christmas cookies in his mouth before I tore him away. Then, he was running around the room playing with all the girls. At one point, he was on the bean bag with the little girl who I mentioned in a previous blog got so excited because she kissed Eli on the tummy.

I pointed her out to Eric, and said, “That’s the little whore that kissed Eli on the tummy.” Unfortunately, I didn’t realize her mother was standing right next to us. Crap. I really need to learn to control my thoughts before they come spewing out of my mouth. And it’s probably just a good rule of thumb not to use the word “whore” while at a church preschool.

Anyway, by the time we got home, the kids were completely worn out. Apparently, performing just took it out of our little star.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thirteen Movies I Love To Watch At Christmas


I will warn you now. Some of these are not Christmas movies. Bear with me. I’ll try to tell you how they relate in my head. And I’m doing it as a countdown. Here we go:

13. A Christmas Story – I actually hate this movie. With a passion. So, why did it make my list? It is worth it on Christmas Eve to see my husband watch the 24-hour Christmas Story marathon and watch the complete and utter joy on his face. Maybe it’s a guy thing. But he loves it.

12. Scrooged – I love the story of A Christmas Carol, and Bill Murray is at his deadpan best in this remake.

11. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – I’m not a huge fan of the Vacation movies, but I find myself enjoying this one every year. My favorite part is when the grandmother rings the doorbell. It starts off ding-dong. Then goes to diiing doooong. Then goes to the death toll – Boooong Boooooong. Classic!

10. When Harry Met Sally – Okay, work with me here. They go through two Christmases together, and it ends on New Year’s Eve. This is one of my favorite damn movies of all-time! Plus, it has the line that I have probably used 100 times over the years: "Do you really want to go through the rest of your life knowing someone else is married to your husband?"

9. Serendipity – I would watch John Cusack in anything, but I just love this one. Yes, it’s a little sappy, and not really a Christmas movie, but they DO meet on Christmas. It’s a great movie for everyone who believes in fate.

8. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Aside from the fact that I feel like Bridget Jones 90 percent of the time, I also love any excuse to see Colin Firth. Particularly in a reindeer jumper. Plus, it has the greatest ending line of a movie.

Bridget: "Nice boys don't kiss like that."

Mark: "Oh yes, they f*cking do."

7. Elf – Will Ferrell makes me laugh until I just about pee my pants. I remember seeing this movie when Eli was just a baby. We actually took him, and he slept on my lap through the whole thing so we could enjoy it. Plus it's got so many great quotes. "You sit on a throne of lies!"

6. An Affair To Remember – Yeah. Yeah. Not really a Christmas movie either, but it does end on Christmas day. I can watch this movie over and over again, just to see Cary Grant take Deborah Kerr into his arms at the end of the movie. It doesn’t get any better than that.
"I was looking up. It was the nearest thing to heaven. You were there."

5. Die Hard – Hopefully, I don’t have to argue that this is a Christmas movie. That’s pretty much a given. And it’s one of the best action movies of all-time. Plus, Alan Rickman is deliciously evil. Love it! "Yippee ki-yay . . . "

4. Sleepless in Seattle – I know most people think of this as a Valentine’s Day movie, but I like to watch it around Christmas time. The whole thing starts on Christmas Eve when Jonah calls the radio station. Plus you have the shots of the boats sailing by decorated in Christmas lights. And Meg Ryan in her car singing along to Christmas music. “Horses, horses, horses, horses . . .”

3. The Ref – Oh Lord, black comedies just don’t get any better than this. Denis Leary takes a couple (Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis) hostage on Christmas Eve, and ends up having to deal with their whole dysfunctional family. You find yourself rooting for the bad guy and wanting to mame the couple’s family. Ohhh Christmas! Fa la la la la.

Best line of the movie: "You know what I'm going to get you next Christmas, Mom? A big wooden cross, so that every time you feel unappreciated for your sacrifices, you can climb on up and nail yourself to it."

2. Love Actually – I think I’ve already watched this twice this year. What a great Christmas movie. Christmas miracles and love conquers all. It has so many wonderful intertwined stories, and each and every one draws you in. I can’t even tell you which one is my favorite, because they are all wonderful. I love love love this movie!

1. It’s a Wondeful Life – Apparently, I’m a traditionalist. I watch this movie every year, and I cry . . . no, make that sob . . . every single time. Jimmy Stewart is a true American classic. He is amazing in this movie, and it always makes me appreciate every single person in my life. Every year, I think I’m not going to cry, but every year, the same line at the end gets me.

“A toast to my brother, George – the richest man in town.” And then George Bailey opens up his Bible and reads the inscription from Clarence, “No man is a failure who has friends.”

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hunky Santa



Good Lord! I saw this story this morning on Good Morning America. It makes me want to move to Beverly Hills.

If anyone lives in the Los Angeles area, someone go pinch his cheek for me.

Christmas Treats

I always love Christmas treats - as if I need a special reason to make treats. Anyway, there are a few things that I only make around Christmas that I don’t make any other time of year.

The first one is Kix Party Mix. I freaking love Kix cereal! This is the recipe of my godmother who died when I was 11 and she was in her 90’s. Needless to say, it’s an old recipe. I’m going to post it exactly as it was given to me:

Party Mix

1/2 box Cheerios
1/2 box Corn Chex
1/2 box Kix
1 box thin pretzels
2 cans Mixed Nuts
1 cup Wesson oil
2 teaspoons Tabasco Sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

Mix together and spread in pan. Bake at 200 for 1 hour and stir every 10 minutes.


The problem here is that cereal boxes today are four times the size they probably were at the time this recipe was written. And pretzels don't even come in boxes anymore. That makes it a little difficult to get the measurements exact, but I think I am getting closer. It’s still really good, even though my measurements are off. I made a huge batch, and Eric chowed down on it the moment he got home. A winner!

Next up were Muddy Buddies, or Puppy Chow, or one of the 50 million other names there are for this recipe. I try desperately only to make it around Christmas time because I make a double batch, and can eat the whole thing in one sitting. It’s dangerous. Especially if you are PMSing.

Crispix Mix

Ingredients
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
6 cups Crispix cereal
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions
1. In large microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate on high for 1 minute. Stir and heat 30 seconds longer on high or until melted when stirred. Sir in peanut butter. Gently stir in Crispix, until evenly coated.

2. Place powdered sugar in 2-gallon zipper plastic bag. Add coated cereal to sugar and close bag. Gently toss cereal mixture until evenly coated.


And now for a random thought. I haven’t posted a video in awhile. For some reason, I was thinking of bizarre movies today, which may have been inspired after I saw the trailer for Rocky Balboa, or as I call it – Rocky, the Senior Years. What is he? Like 70?

But I digress. This is a great trailer for The Shining, but it has been recut and presented as a family movie. You may have seen it. I believe it has been floating around for about a year, but I just came across it again. It’s freaking hysterical!

YouTube is down right now, so I will just post the link.

Here it is! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Flu shots

Today was one of those days I dread as a parent. Shot day. Jeez. I should have started my morning with a shot of tequila to keep in the theme.

It was time for Georgia’s 18-month check. (My baby is 18 months old!!!!! *sniff sniff*) And while I was at it, I decided to schedule Eli’s flu shot at the same time so I could just take care of everyone’s shots in one fell swoop.

Here’s the mistake I made. Eli got up this morning and asked, “Mommy, what are we doing today?” Apparently I hadn’t had enough coffee because I responded without thinking, “We’re going to the doctor today to get flu shots.” The second the words were out of my mouth, I was mentally bitch-slapping myself. I got the normal response any 4-year-old would give.

Wide saucer eyes and, “I am NOT going to the doctor! I don’t like shots! I am NOT getting a shot!”

Crap. There’s really not much you can do to repair that slip of the tongue. Our appointment wasn’t until 11:30, so this conversation lasted all morning. In case anyone was curious, it is impossible to reason with a 4-year-old who knows he is going to get shots. He looked like one of those activists who was going to chain himself to his bed because he didn’t want to go. I had to bribe him with McDonald’s, candy and a trip to the library just to get him in the car.

When we finally made it to the doctor, I was already exhausted. Amazingly, Eli perked right up. The have automatic doors, an elevator and games in the waiting room. He was in heaven. Until they called our name.

He started fake sneezing. He kindly informed the nurse that shots made him sneeze. Okay, that’s funny!

Anyway, we did Georgia’s exam first. After the whole Santa Claus incident yesterday, she was very leery when a strange man came at her with a stethoscope. Then they informed me that she was to get four shots today. Oh yippee.

Eli was up first. I truly admire my son. He is a remarkable kid. He barely flinched when they gave him his shot. All he had was a quick intake of breath, and then he was fine. Not only that, but then he helped the nurse and I hold down a screaming baby girl while they gave her four shots in the legs. He was trying to soothe her by saying, “Look Georgia! You get Dora band-aids!!!” My sweet sweet boy!!

Georgia unfortunately, was having none of it. She was bucking, screaming and crying in true fashion. It didn’t help that the nurse was the slowest person I had ever seen at giving shots. It also doesn’t help that I am on the verge of tears every time we get shots. It just about kills me to hold my baby down while someone inflicts pain on her.

I finally got her somewhat calmed down, then the nurse offered her a sucker. That was all she needed. Candy cures everything! One Dum-Dum, and she was happy as a clam.

On the way out, we were waiting at the check-out desk, which also has a huge bowl of suckers. There was a mom in front of us with two kids who wanted suckers. This woman hemmed and hawed about even letting them have one. And when she finally let them choose a sucker, she told them they couldn’t open it, and threatened them within an inch of their lives.

Maybe I shouldn’t reward my kids with candy, but Christ, that woman was just mean. When Eli asked if he could have a sucker, I said, “Honey, you did such a good job, you can have two. And get one for your sister.” Evil stare from bitchy mom.

Come on!! The kids just got shots. If I just had someone poking needles in me, I would want candy, too!! Is this woman on crack?!

Anyway, Eli ate the suckers, and then we went and devoured McDonald’s. Unfortunately, things went downhill from there as they often do on shot day. Everyone was fussy and a little sore. Luckily, both kids went to bed early, and Eric came home tonight with two bottles of wine.

Mmmm . . . maybe shot day isn’t so bad after all.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Santa Experience


That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? Every year, it’s an unwritten rule that you have to take your kids to see Santa. Eli has been asking before Thanksgiving, and since we are running out of time, we figured we had better just do it. We waited until Sunday night because we figured it would be less busy. It actually wasn’t too bad. I think there were about ten families in front of us as opposed to about 50 families in front of us last year. We were off to a good start. I should have known better.

When you get there, they have a maze of roped-off poles surrounding Santa. It’s like the freaking lines at DisneyWorld. You have to zigzag your way through to get to Santa. Since they weren’t horribly busy, we zigzagged all the way toward the front of the maze and began trying to decide which ridiculously priced photo package we were going to buy this year. That was when this bitchy little elf woman came over and said, “Excuse me, ma’am (grrrrrr). You need to move your stroller off to the side so we can condense the line.”

Condense the line?!! I looked around. There was no one behind me!! Before I said “Are you freaking kidding me?” Elf woman tromped off back to her little photo station.

When we go to the mall, we are blessed with very little “good” Georgia time. She doesn’t like being strapped into the stroller, but it is really the only way to attempt to contain her. Now, we had to take her out of the stroller and I had to wind my way back through the maze of ropes and chains to park it off to the side. So, now the line that was somewhat short seemed to move much more slowly when we tried to keep control of an 18-month-old who desperately wanted to run free.

Eric tried to hold her. Needless to say, screaming and crying ensued. By the time it was our turn, things were snowballing downhill at a rapid pace. It took every ounce of willpower I had not to get downright bitchy with the elf people. I figured karma might come back to bite me in the ass if I made an elf cry. So, I kept my mouth shut. They lucked out. The smarmy little bastards.

We sat both kids on Santa’s lap, and tried to get them to look somewhere near the camera. Georgia took one look at Santa and burst into tears. She sat there the whole time crying with her arms outstretched to me or Eric. Eli didn’t want to look at the camera because he was way too interested in telling Santa that he wants bath crayons, Play-Doh and a juicer for Christmas. (Don’t even ask.)

We finally went with the photo pictured above because Eli actually has a decent smile on his face, and it’s the only one of Georgia that didn’t look like she was desperately trying to escape. A winner!

Eli finished talking to Santa, and we went over to pay. They had a big sign up that said they were out of $1 bills, quarters, and dimes. Ooookaaaay. Why didn’t they just put up a sign that said they couldn’t make change?

To top it all off, Santa gives out candy canes every year. Every freaking year since we have had Eli, he has gotten a candy cane. Today, when Eli was being mean to his sister, we used that as a threat. “You better be good, or Santa won’t give you a candy cane.”

Well, guess what? Santa wasn’t giving out any f***ing candy canes this year. He was giving out little books. Eli was pissed. He wanted his candy cane, and we had to hear about it all the way home. Personally, I think Santa and the wicked little elves have formed a conspiracy against the parents this year. No strollers. No candy canes. And no freaking change. Perfect. Combine that with a huge line of screaming, impatient children, and that should just about send all the parents over the edge.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Running On Fumes

I am such a bad blog buddy. I have not had time recently to visit my favorite blogs, and for that, I truly apologize. Every week, I think I am going to have some “me” time, and every week turns out to be just a different shade of crazy.

Georgia has had some severe diarrhea the last two days. Nothing else is wrong with her except diarrhea. That doesn’t seem worth dragging her into the doctor, because I know from experience, they will tell me absolutely nothing.

I feel so sorry for her. I changed five poopy diapers today, and no matter what I do, her little bottom just gets redder and redder. By late this afternoon, she was just walking around aimlessly screaming. I finally just took her pants off and let her walk around naked, crossing my fingers that she didn’t pee down her leg. It was the only thing that calmed her down. We were good until bedtime, when it was time for another poopy. Red face and screaming. And Georgia was bad, too. (ba boom ching) It took me about ½ an hour to get her to stop screaming after I changed her. My poor, poor baby.

I think it’s time to pull out the Passion products. Numbit, which is used for anal sex, is also great to numb diaper rash. I can’t believe I am just freaking thinking of that now. I am so tired, that didn’t even occur to me earlier. (Insert head slap here.)

Last night, Eric got to deal with the crazy children while I went to Let’s Dish. It’s one of those places where you go and prepare your dinners and bring them home and freeze them. We now have 20 dinners in our deep freeze ready to go. They look really good, too. Tonight we had Beef Roulade. Tomorrow night, I think we’re having the cheese tortellini in walnut sauce. Yum-o!

I was invited to a Let’s Dish party by a friend of a friend, so there were about a dozen of us at the place “dishing.” It turns out the friend of my friend is a lawyer, and so was about every other woman there. That was interesting. I have never been around that many lawyers at one time. Some of them said they were lawyers, and some of them said they were “attorneys.” Since we all know I don’t have a filter on my mouth, I asked WTF the difference was. I got – Blink. Blink. “Nothing.” Uh-huh.

It was even more interesting when they asked me what I did. “I’m a Passion Party consultant.” This usually caused a noticeable pause before they responded. I got a lot of “Oh. Really?” and “Do you like doing that?” For some reason, I get so entertained when people obviously don’t know what to think of me.

Anyway, the appointment wasn’t until 8:00 last night, and I didn’t get out of there until after 11:00. I was exhausted! Sure, they promote it as fun, but it’s honestly three hours on your feet, working your butt off, making 20 meals. I don’t know if it was the exhaustion or what, but I had a major Lupus flare-up today. Which reminds me, if I lose consciousness during mid-sentence, it will be my two Percocet kicking in.

But I’m not complaining. I have 12 individual molten chocolate cakes in my freezer. That makes it all worth while! And another good thing happened today. Remember the sadistic credit card people? Well, I finally got my flipping money! It only took a month. Grrrr . . .

Happy Friday, everyone!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

13 Things You Probably Shouldn't Say To Your Doctor


My old doctor recently retired, so I went in today to meet my new doctor. She looked to be about 12. And I don’t think she got my sense of humor. Here are 13 things I said to her, several of which were probably not a good idea.

1. It’s “Nee-la”. It’s not that difficult.

2. You look really, really young.

3. I’ll bet you still get carded for beer.

4. Your scales must be off. They weigh heavy.

5. I don’t really weigh that much. My new jeans must be at least 10 pounds.

6. If I need drugs, can I just call you or do I have to come in?

7. My blood pressure only goes up when I come to the doctor.

8. I’m interested in a breast reduction. After two kids, I now have to fold my breasts up to put them in my bra.



9. After two C-sections, my stomach looks like the skin on a Shar-Pei.

10. Oh really? Do you have kids?

11. That depends on what you consider too much caffeine.

12. Water aerobics, my ass.

13. Seriously, how old are you?


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Accidents happen

I am so tired today, and it just occurred to me that I am way overdue on a Christmas song meme. Crap. I’ll bet I can finagle that into a Thursday 13 if I try hard enough. Hmmm . . . I shall work on that tomorrow.

Today was spent on the phone with PayNet Systems being as polite and courteous as I possibly could while I was mentally kicking the living shit out of them. Still no money. Grrrrr . . .

I won’t even go into the rest of my day, but it involved the Mall (oh yeah, now you get my mood), an ill-fitting bra, a surly Kinko’s employee with a British accent, and a very pissed off baby who was tired of my attempts to keep her in the stroller.

When we finally got done with our errands and went to pick up Eli at preschool, I was greeted by a little blond girl from Eli’s class who was leaving with her mom. She ran up to Eli and said, “Eli! Remember! We kissed!”

Excuse the hell out of me?!!

Her mom laughed and said, “Oh yes. Charlie (the girl) said she kissed Eli on the tummy.” WTF?! It’s a church preschool and the children are stripping off clothes to kiss each other’s body parts?! Dude! Eli is supposed to be learning his ABC’s, and now I have to worry about some promiscuous 4-year-old coming onto him. I am sooooo not down with this. Eric says I overreact. What the f*%# ever!

After that, I was ready for a break, so I went to shell out an arm and a leg to get my hair done. I decided on the spur of the moment that I needed a change from my summer blonde. My stylist has dark brown hair this week, which appealed to me. I said I wanted that color. She said no. *sigh* In the long run, this is why I love my stylist. She knows when I will regret something. She ended up doing lowlights in a brownish red, which mixes in nicely with the blond. On the way home I called Eric, and attempted to explain what lowlights were. He didn’t get it.

At that point, I felt I needed a treat, so I stopped at Sonic to get some of those cheesecake bites. Damn! Those things can take the edge off of anyone’s mood.
As it turns out, I needed the treat. When I got home, I was expectedly underwhelmed by Eric’s reaction to my hair. “Oh. It’s darker,” he said as he reached for the Sonic bag. Hmmm . . . maybe shaving my head would get a reaction.

No sooner had I finished my cheesecake bites, than in runs Eli naked from the waist down, screaming “Mommy!” I put my arms around a split second before he said, “I had an accident.” And my hand landed in poop. Oh, double crap! Literally. I then had to get myself and Eli cleaned up, which was not cool because he had eaten corn.

I am now going to go to bed and dream of that beach where I plan to vacation. There will be hot men. Thongs. Margaritas. And warm weather. Mmmmm . . .

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Festivities

Okay, being a businesswoman has its drawbacks. I have decided that PayNet Systems is the devil. I ran over $400 in credit card transactions last month for Passion Party purchases, and I have seen nary a dime in my account. No matter who I call within the company, I get transferred to the same sadistic customer service reps who can tell me nothing more than, “Oh, just give it a couple more days.” Grrrrrr!! I am seriously about to open a can of whoop-ass on these people!

I tried to comfort myself by getting in the holiday mood. Eli desperately wanted to make a gingerbread house this year. I had never made one before because my mom always said, “We’re not doing that. It’s too messy.” So, I went out and bought the kit, and we sat down yesterday afternoon to make the gingerbread house.

Unfortunately, the idea of making a gingerbread house was much more fun than actually doing it. First you have to mix up the glue frosting, and then cement the pieces together. Holding them together until the icing “set” was the hard part. Why is that always when I have an itch on my nose? Anyway, Eli wasn’t interested in that part, so I put the house together by myself. Then you had to wait four hours for it to completely set before you could decorate it. Dude! Seriously? Four hours?!

I told Eric that he was up for the decorating because I had enough “fun” with putting the house together. Eli was anxious to decorate, so the boys got out all the candy, and Eli took a handful of gumdrops and went off to the family room, leaving daddy to decorate the gingerbread house all by himself. After much cursing, Eric was finished, and I personally think he did a great job. Are you ready? Here it is!



Eli is very proud of the gingerbread house he made all by himself. Uh-huh.

Then came the Christmas tree. We decided to forego the usual giant Christmas tree this year for a smaller one. That way, it shouldn’t cause as much damage when Georgia yanks it over on herself. The kids and I decorated it this morning, and the top half of it looks awesome. I don’t do the bottom half. Having two children has taught me that you don’t put ornaments within their reach. Unfortunately, Eli will probably be taller than me by next year, so that doesn’t really work with him. But Georgia is eyeing those breakable Hallmark ornaments like they’re a freaking candygram.

Hmmm . . . I know she is planning to climb the tree. I just know it. Maybe a baby gate around the tree would make a nice festive decoration.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Coffee Talk

I have made a new discovery! Actually, I was informed of this heavenly development by my friend Aaron, and it’s something I have to share with my readers. Are you ready?!!




Oh yeah, baby! Coffee-flavored gum! It really is Christmas! Give me that and some of those Sonic cheesecake bites, and I am in complete heaven. This gum reminds me of the Brach’s coffee candy I used to have when I was a little girl. Plus, the flavor really lasts. Some people like gum that gets rid of coffee breath. Whatever! This gum is great for us coffee-lovers!!! Apparently, it is being distributed at 7-11’s nationwide, so be on the look-out!

While I was at Aaron’s last night, I chewed his gum, drank his wine, and ate some of his homemade truffles before his Passion party started. It was definitely a fun one! Some of the girls were sitting there blushing and open-mouthed, but they seemed to have a really great time!

In blogosphere news, I talked to Morgen today from It’s A Blog Eat Blog World. I called the Wren’s Nest to order a Christmas gift for Eric, and talked to Morgen for about 40 minutes. Oh, he is so much fun. I really need to take a vacation to Dowagiac and hang with Mo. We would have a great time! Everyone remember to shop the Wren’s Nest for some great Christmas gifts this year!!

To segway into some sad news, we have spent the rest of the weekend mourning the retirement of Greg, the yellow Wiggle. You all may know that I became a huge fan of The Wiggles after taking Eli to their concert when they were here in KC back in May. We all fell in love with The Wiggles, and I was truly upset to hear that Greg has to retire because of an illness. He will be handing his yellow shirt over to a new Wiggle named Sam, who has been a back-up singer with the group for many years. *sigh* I’m sure Sam will be great, but I will forever miss Greg. He is such a main part of The Wiggles – the group just won’t be the same without him.

Luckily, I still have Anthony, my blue Wiggle hottie. I don’t know what I’m going to do the day he retires.



My goodness. Hot Wiggles. Hot Lazytown guys. I do not remember children’s programming being packed with man candy when I was a kid! I’m certainly glad it is now. We are the lucky moms!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Snow Days

“When life hands you snow, make snow ice cream!”


That is what Eli and I did Thursday night after eight inches of snow fell in our neighborhood. That is called making the best of it, because let me tell you, I enjoy eight inches of a lot of things, but snow is not one of them. (ba boom ching)

We were unable to leave the house for two days because of the ice and snow. Preschool was cancelled, and I was stuck enjoyed a lovely time at home with the children. For two days. Eric drove my SUV to work both days because it has four-wheel drive, so we really had no chance of escape. I was so screwed.

So, the kids and I built a fire in the fireplace, and went out and scooped up a gallon of snow to make snow ice cream. In my opinion, snow ice cream is the one and only good thing about snow!

Neila’s snow ice cream
1 gallon snow
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups milk

Place bowl outside and collect snow (or just scoop it up, but avoid the dreaded yellow snow). When full, stir in sugar and vanilla to taste. Then stir in milk for desired consistency. Serve at once!


I remember making this when I was a little girl. Eli absolutely loved it! One of these days, I will have to analyze why all of my traditions revolve around food.

By Friday night, I was more than ready to get out of the house, so I was happy that I had a Passion Party scheduled. It was supposed to be a big one. Unfortunately, because of the bad weather, only seven people showed up. Boo. Hiss. To top it off, it was a group of nurses, who seemed to take everything very clinically. Dude! It’s a party! Have fun!

Anyway, tonight I am doing a Passion Party for Aaron, my main gay, and all of his friends from Caribou coffee. I am very excited about that one. It should be lots of fun. I just hope to God some of this ice melts today. Carrying in three big duffle bags full of merchandise is not a fun experience when faced with a sheet of ice.

Tomorrow, I’m hoping to do the Christmas song meme! I was tagged by Sadie, and haven’t forgotten. In fact, I have had the Charlie Brown Christmas theme stuck in my head for four days. I just need to put it all down on paper . . . er . . . screen!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Christmas Letter

I am trying to get in the mood to write our annual Christmas letter. This is very difficult because I have just had to change two very poopy diapers, so I’m not in an extremely festive mood. The good news is that Georgia’s vocabulary is really improving. She now walks up to me and says, “Pooooooo,” with her mouth in a perfect O shape. This would actually be very cute if the smell didn’t precede her before she walked into the room.

Anyway, the Christmas letter. Every year, our cat Coconut writes the Christmas letter. The first year we were married, we just thought it was really funny, and most everyone got a kick out of it, so we just kept doing it. Daphne and Merlin should really enjoy Coconut’s letter.

What’s even funnier are the people who don’t understand it. This will be the 13th year we’ve written the Christmas letter from Coconut, and I have one aunt in particular who still doesn’t get that it is written by the cat. Priceless!

Unfortunately, this also means that everyone expects a Christmas letter. Over the years, our Christmas card list has really grown, so we have tried to pair it down. If someone didn’t send us a card, we didn’t send them one. The first year we tried that, there was a complete uproar.

What I loved is that people didn’t call us, they called our parents. I had distant cousins, former employers, and friends of my parents whom I hadn’t seen in 10 years, calling wanting to know why they didn’t receive a Christmas letter. Are you freaking kidding me?! These are the same people who never send me a Christmas card! I get nothing! But there’s pandemonium if I don’t send them a frakkin' Christmas card. Jeez!

Luckily, I can save a few stamps by emailing the Christmas letter, so we have now paired the list down to about 75. I really hope we didn’t forget anybody. If we did, I’m sure we will hear about it.

Meowy Christmas!