Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Betty Crocker I ain't

I think I've mentioned before that I'm not very domestic. Not that I don't want to be, rather it doesn't come naturally. I can't sew (not even a hem, my mother-in-law thought I was kidding about that one), I am a garden killer and I don't craft, knit, scrapbook or bake. I know what you are thinking... I mean, seriously. What the hell DO I do? Well, I pour a mean glass of Merlot, I love reading and writing, and I like THINKING about being domestic.

So the other day when my in-laws came to town, I felt the need to show my value around the house -- i.e. I baked. Banana bread. For the VERY FIRST TIME. And, it didn't suck. Color me surprised honestly. I did it while chatting with my mother-in-law in the kitchen and truly the only "duh" moment happened when she asked me if I was just going to stir all that dough by hand, or maybe use the actual mixer sitting next to me on the counter. Huh. No shit, THAT is what that's for? I thought it was for Ben to make cookies and mashed potatoes in. So I even used my mixer for the first time, and that bread turned out just, well, like it was supposed to. I mean, I kept saying "Hey, this is pretty good, right? I mean, RIGHT?" and everyone was like, "Liz, it tastes great, but I mean, its BANANA bread. I think they do this for a learning activity in like, KINDERGARTEN" and I'm all, yeah, yeah, I hear you, but it tastes like REAL banana bread, I mean, RIGHT?!!?

So of course I get all high and mighty on my domesticity and decide to anoint myself #1 mommy and baker extraordinaire. And while high on all this power, this AWESOMENESS that is me, I decided to combine these two titles into one amazing afternoon for Kate and I. We went shopping and got all set up in the kitchen to make pumpkin bread, you know, to celebrate fall with a little orange yumminess.

Well, the story just goes downhill from there. Because my banana bread experience was a fluke, and of course the REAL me decided to show up to this little pumpkin party. First off, I forgot butter. A kind of necessity for bread. But did that stop me? Nope, I just threw in some cream cheese, because, um, same consistency kind of. Right? And then Kate "helped" by stirring the flour so vigorously that half of it flew out of the bowl, but instead of re-measuring I just tossed in a handful of flour and THERE. That looks about right. Throw in a little extra pumpkin to make up for skimping on the cream cheese (I didn't have much left), and I had myself some fairly good-tasting dough. I didn't exactly follow the recipe per say, but, eh, I'm sure it will bake fine.

So I poured that lumpy (LUMPY!?!) goodness into a bread pan and popped it into my toaster oven (don't ask).  It puffed up on one side, then started to burn in the little tinderbox of death (my new sweet nickname for our toaster oven). I panicked, and despite a full HALF HOUR left on the timer, I took the bread out and did the old stick a toothpick in to see if it is done trick. Came out fine. So that other half hour of baking was, like, optional -- right?

But fast forward to bread-breaking time, and guess what turned out to be raw in the middle? I mean, yeah, I ate some around the edges because it was like a pumpkin brownie that hadn't cooked all the way yet and YUM, but it certainly wasn't bread. And it certainly wasn't edible after that first gooey bite.

Luckily, Kate didn't know that our afternoon adventure had a disastrous ending, she was just stoked to be making a huge, mother-approved mess. And that was fine by me.

Kate wasn't sure what we were about to do, but she had a banana, her Dora cup and
my approval to STAND ON A CHAIR. So, we were pretty pumped. 

Notice how clean her face is? This did not last long. 
Raw flour is a fine accompaniment to a fresh banana. Yummy.

Kate not only ate raw flour, she decided it was a good look to wear as well.
Such a trend setter, for Fall 2010 flour white is the new black.
We love, love, LOVE making a mother-approved mess.
Although we do it with a death grip on our banana.
After drenching ourselves in flour, we decided to take a turn on the catwalk.
With a weird hippie headband. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

You are joking me!?!?!

I was just in the middle of an extremely interesting, witty, poignant post about what I don't know as a parent. It was maybe the best thing I've ever written. Nobel prize worthy possibly. You would have LOVED it.

That is why I'm so freaking pissed that I apparently hit a weird key and it deleted half my post. And frankly, I'm spent. I have no energy left to write anything or rewrite the post because OH MY FREAKING GOD I ALREADY SPENT HALF AN HOUR AND HALF KATE'S NAP WRITING SOMETHING AND IT IS GONE ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

With that, I'm going to call it a day and go drink my coffee while staring angrily at nothing at all. Maybe by the time Kate wakes up I'll be over it.


Grammy, Kate and I in happier times.
You know, before the computer had to go and act like such a bitch.

Friday, September 24, 2010

At my table

This morning at breakfast, as we both enjoyed our first cup of coffee and Kate threw her pineapple to the dogs, Ben casually said, "So, I measured my tongue the other day..."

Which in most NORMAL households would elicit a rather dumbfounded response. But in our household? At our breakfast table? I simply asked how he measured it. Like, with a ruler? And from where, like, did you stick the ruler as far back in your mouth as you could? I'd think that would make you gag.... I was assured that the proper measurement of a tongue is from your lips to the tip as far as you can stick it out, NOT from the back of your throat as one my think.

Hm. I nodded as I finished my coffee. Made sense to me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Family planning, the Edelbrock way

As a child of the 80s, I didn't grow up with technology being an integral part of life -- I mean, I actually DID learn the Dewey Decimal system (at least I learned what it was) and did research in the library with an actual CARD CATALOG, you know, with actual cards. Like... get this... noooooooooo computers. Well, I mean, we used them for Oregon Trail naturally, but that was about it.

But now, I use technology every day, and sometimes it amazes me at the sheer panic I would feel without it. Seriously, as a new mom, I researched damn near everything, from "What is that weird smell" to "If the baby won't stop crying, when should I call the doctor?" and my favorite "What does sort of white-like poop mean?" How comforting to know that a click away there are a million and one resources for moments of stupidity, laziness and tackling the unknown.

So obviously, when I found myself looking at infant clothing last time I went to the mall, instead of talking to my husband about our family planning, I asked the Internet. Did you know (DID YOU!?!?!) that if you want life advice, Google will spit out the answer like a very detailed Magic 8 Ball? And if you don't like the answer you first clicked on, you can just shake that bad boy again and soon enough an answer you like will pop out -- source very likely not credible, but still. Tada!

So obviously, when I Googled "When to have a second child" I was all set to be given the Magic 8 Ball treatment, you know, clear answers like, "Now, In Two Years, Future Unclear, Try Again Later." Instead I was forced to sog through a million forums where people blabbed on about their decisions, why their timing worked for them, how lucky they are about their family, blah, blah, blah. I mean, nice anecdotes, but I needed ANSWERS not FEELINGS. Not a single medical professional weighed in on the discussion, other than to suggest that to have a second baby nearly on top of the first might be a bad idea because, um, you know, you might lose your F-ing mind. (This is a paraphrase. I must say that a medical professional did NOT say F-ing in their article. Although I'd be more likely to take their advice if they did. In actuality, I think the reason is your body needs time to heal or something but we all know its because if I had two children a year apart I would go for a long drive while Ben watched the kids and would never, EVER come back).

Anyways, a long story to tell you that for the first time in my life, the Internet failed me. It took my breath away. Instead of giving me a concrete answer, the Internet is FORCING ME to have an actual grown up discussion with my husband. Which will likely (if I know my husband at all) lead to an excel document, some spreadsheets about budgets and other mumbo jumbo, followed by a nervous breakdown and potentially a vasectomy. 

F-You Internet. F-You.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


My life has been blessed. I think that underneath all my imperfections (and there are a lot of them!), I am a good person. Well, most of the time. After I've had my coffee.

However, once in awhile a regret from my life pops up and and I find myself working it over and over in my mind. These things that I can't let go of, even years later, because they should have turned out differently. I think of friends lost, relationships damaged, words that can't be taken back. I think of people I let take advantage of me, and of people I've taken advantage of. I think of how things could have been handled differently if I had been older, wiser, more mature or just more comfortable in my own skin.

As Kate gets older, I've started worrying about the future regrets she will have. I think about the life lessons I will  share with her and how I will try to help her heal the emotional wounds she will inevitably suffer. Sometimes, like today, I think about what an enormous job we've been given as parents. To raise someone to be good, and kind. To have fewer regrets. To cause less hurt, and to hurt less. When I look at Kate, I think of her future and I pray that she ends up a happier person, a better person.

But no pressure.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mommy must-have: Sorrisi Tooth Fairy pillows

One of the benefits of writing a blog is that I'm made aware of really cool products I might not otherwise find. The good folks from Sorrisi Decor recently shared with me their pretty fantastic Tooth Fairy pillows, which I love, love, LOVE.

Not only are their designs too cute to stand, the company has an amazing philanthropic angle too. Sorrisi (which means "smile" in Italian) donates 50 percent of their profits to send dental professionals to Liberia and Mali to address children's dental needs. 

Check out Sorrisi Decor yourself to find a design that you just can't live without. 
Sorrisi Bird's Nest Pillow is beyond cute.
And perfect for Kate's room. I. MUST. HAVE.

Friday, September 3, 2010

An open letter

Dear Sir,

I do not know you. I do not know your background. I don't know the color of your skin, or your eyes, or your hair. I don't know if you are left-handed or right. I don't know if you are married, divorced or maybe just in one of those "its complicated" situations (eye roll).

What I do know is that you are a complete ass bag.

Because my daughter got this close... THIS CLOSE... to grabbing your used condom from where you left it... you know, right there on the PLAYGROUND. Where children PLAY.

I swear to everything holy, you are one lucky guy. Because if she had touched it, if she had been so unlucky as to come into contact with your filth, I would have spent as much money, time and resources as it took to TRACK YOU DOWN like a dog. And while I'd like to wring your neck, I would probably just sue you. And recommend to the judge that you be castrated. And then kicked in the groin every time you even THOUGHT about a playground.

Now THAT would be justice.

A Really, Really Angry Mother

PS -- If I ever actually catch you doing the nasty on a playground, I WILL run you over with my car. Okay, I won't, because I'm not some crazed lunatic, but I will call the cops and maybe tase you for the fun of it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Summer sabbatical


Yeah... so it was kind of like that this summer. Which explains, and with good reason, why this is my first post in two months. Some people take a summer vacation. I took a summer blogging sabbatical. Because when you live in Texas where it is 100 degrees on a cool day, and you don't have Mother's Day Out to give you a few hours of sanity a week, and you only have two TWO friends with kids and they are all, like, traveling and busy and stuff, you will very nearly lose your mind. Where did it go? I don't know, I think Dora or Elmo or those damn Backyardigans ate it. Yum, yum, yum, yum. Muy Delicioso!

But with joy, happiness and just a bit of desperation, I formally announce summer is over. And in celebration, I am posting a summer recap/update so we can all catch up and be friends again. I hope you enjoy my "Suck it Summer" photo album.

Kate is 17 months old. SEVENTEEN! She will be driving, like, next week. She is amazing, wonderful and hilarious. Her favorite foods are plums, tuna and green beans. She will stick a crayon in your coffee, throw a toy in your face and then hug you so hard you forget what it was that she did wrong just a second ago. And check it out, she is so responsible she already has her first job as a gas attendant. Atta girl!
I went to Las Vegas. Without a baby. I stayed up until 2 a.m. I am a rockstar AND a mommy. Holla.
For everyone waiting with baited breath to find out how my public humiliation diet has been going, well, um, yeah. Its going. My goal was to lose 18 pounds and that hasn't happened. Because when you are slowly descending into the hot, sauna like hell of Texas summer, there is nothing that can save you but a cold beer and some nachos. But I HAVE lost 12 pounds in three months, so I'm not going to crab about it. We are eating much healthier than previously, and while I cheat weekly (it keeps me going, don't judge!) We kind of feel like we've made a lifestyle change, not been on a three month diet. So, yay me.

My brother-in-law got married in July (so happy for you guys!) and Kate was a flower girl with her older cousin Lily. They were pretty fantastic, although Kate was slightly confused about her role. She was more a flower picker upper than a flower tosser. Maybe it was because she couldn't stop hugging her cousin to pay attention during rehearsals. Amateur.