Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I can feed an army

I successfully hosted my jewelry party last night. Fun! Or at least I had fun. And all the ladies seemed to have enjoyed a little "me" time on a Tuesday. I was glad some left without purchasing a thing - I never wanted it to be about the pressure of buying, just the opportunity to hang with some fabulous ladies.

However, as usual, I now have enough leftovers to feed the National Guard. In my mind I had convinced myself that everyone would arrive at 7 p.m. starving. I knew a couple of ladies were coming straight from work, so they'd be hungry. So here is what I prepared (should have snapped photos but that may have scared some folks away):

Chicken Parm calzone cut in pieces
Ham & Cheese puff pastries
Various cheeses, crackers
Hot artichoke dip
Beer bread in pieces for dipping
Salami, prosciutto, pepperoni
Various olives
Sliced roasted red peppers
Marinated artichoke hearts
Tortellini salad
Crazy cake (recipe below)
Edible Arrangement fruit basket

See that last one? I typed this out I realized I am - NUTS! I have SO much food in my refrigerator it's insane. My attempt at tapas/antipasti ended up as buffet, Vegas style.

Next time. One cheese pizza, delivered!

Crazy Cake: Family recipe!!

1 box Devil's Food cake mix
1 box chocolate pudding (heat and serve kind)
Chocolate chips
Chopped walnuts

Make pudding. Add directly to cake mix (JUST the mix). It will be almost rubbery but don't worry! Spread in 9X11 pan. Sprinkle nuts and chips on top. Bake according to directions.

Crazy easy, right? You can bling it up with other toppings but we stick to the originals. My mom cut it up into small pieces and served in baking cups. She taught me how to cook for an army - and we were only a family of 4.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

I think I've created a monster. Or monsters to be exact. I'll admit I sported the Obama t-shirt around the election but have put it away except for the occasional showing at the local gym. I swear I haven't brought up your name much in the house lately, but that hasn't seemed to quell my children's delight in uttering your name.

Case in point. Sunday morning as my husband and I were emerging from our slumber the kids had started their morning by playing school. They would move between bedrooms and coordinate snack time, play time and learning time with their imaginary students. They were obviously the teachers.

Apparently the bus had arrived to drop off the students to the after-school program (a little art imitating life) and my son shouts out,

"I have to go get Brack Obama (he calls you Brack) off the bus. I'll be right back after I get Brack."

His sister replied,

"Ok. Go get Barack Obama and I'll be up here."

My son returned a few minutes later proclaiming,

"I had to get 5 Brack Obamas off the bus."

It appears you've multiplied.

So, I just wanted to apologize if they start sending fan mail and requesting your presence at birthday parties. They do feel like they know you and yesterday, all five of you, behaved very well at their school.

Mom of the Barack fan club

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Drugs, please!!

Crap. Woke up before the sunrise to a layer of snow and slush so I could drive 2 hours to the "office" and as I am heading out the door my daughter wakes up in tears "My ear hurts"...cough, cough, hack, gag, sob, sob...

Trade off this time - Daddy works from home and takes her to the doctor while I stew over it the whole drive west.

Maybe that cough I've been treating with nasal decongestant and cough medicine should have been treated with antibiotics. Diagnosis: Ear infection. I see adnoid removal in her future. I think the tube fell out and now she's on her 2nd infection this season. We shall find out at the ENT on the 27th.

Bad Mommy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Do you smell smoke?

OK. Just relax. No problem - you've done this a half dozen times over you lifetime. No big deal.

The brand new offices do have a nice view. The Merrimack River rushing by outside the floor to ceiling window. Hmm. It's rushing kind of fast. Wow. If you watch it for a while it's kind of nauseating. Refocus. Don't watch the river.

OK. Relax. Already said that. I hear footsteps.

Him: "Hello."

Me: "Hi."

Him: "I haven't seen you in a while."

Me: "I've been here, where have you been?" OK. Kind of rude. Didn't mean to be rude but I show up every 6 months and most of the time he's on vacation or something.

Him: "I guess you're right."

Enough of the chit chat. Let's get this sucker novocained up so I can get out of here. I'm such a hypocrite when I tell my kids "There's nothing to be afraid of at the dentist. It doesn't hurt." Bull.

OK. He's starting. Close your eyes because you don't want to see the needle. OK, pinch. Oww. Mmmm? Isn't he done? How much is he putting in there? Good God, I'll never feel my face again.

Him: "OK. A few minutes and I'll be back."

Few minutes? Let's get drilling, dude. I have an eyebrow wax at 4:00 and it's 11:00 now - do you think I'll be out by then? Ok. Rude again. Good thing that stayed in my head. I think.

Cool. He's back.

Him: "Ok. I'm going to put one more dose in, okay? Do you feel that?"

Me: "O" which is supposed to be "no" but with a huge needle and little feeling in your face it's hard to get the "n" out!

Him: "Ok. Few more minutes and you'll be ready."

Are you effing kidding me? I'm nauseous from your "beautiful" view. I can't feel anything to the right of my face. I am starving and won't be able to eat after this. And you want a few more minutes?

Me: "OK, flanks." Hmmm. Guess it's kicking in. That didn't quite sound like "thanks".

Ah. He's back again. Let's get the show on the road.

High pitch. Not a pleasant sound. Can't they make these sound nicer? Don't feel anything. Good. Good. OK. Can't swallow. Dry mouth. Um. Smoke. Hello? Smoke. Why isn't the nice lady pouring water in my mouth to put out the fire? Hello?? Nice lady.

There. Can't feel it but I know there is water in there now. Still can't swallow.

Him: "You okay?"

Me: "Up"

This seems like the end. Oh, he wants me to bite down. That's tricky. How do you bite down when you can't feel the inside of your mouth? Here goes.

Him: "Oops. I think you bit your tongue."

Nice lady: "Mmmmm. Yeah. You did. That will sting later when this wears off."

What? First my mouth smells like it's on fire, the drill is sending shivers up my spine and now I somehow bit my tongue without feeling it. What is going on here? You have access to my tongue, couldn't you have moved it out of the way?

Him: "Ok. We'll see if this helps and if not you'll need a crown. Good to see you again. Enjoy your 40th in New York City."

Ow, that stung. Numbing my mouth up beyond normal limits so I can't speak and then throwing in the 40th birthday jab. Who are you? Satan?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try and sip some water past my bloody tongue and see if that takes the edge off from being STARVING! Not to self - only do dentist appointments at 8 a.m.

Idiot Nation

This post has nothing to do with Michael Moore so if it came up in your Google search, go away...unless you want to partake in the upcoming rant. Sorry friends and family but I am on a tear today and it's all aimed at mass emails!

True or False:

  • Licking Swiffer WetJet on the floor killed a German Shepard.

  • Cell phone users need to register their phones with Do Not Call before Wednesday to avoid telemarketing calls.

  • Microsoft and AOL are going to pay you every time you forward an email.

  • A fifteen year old boy named Evan Trembley is missing.

  • Entering your PIN in reverse at the ATM will summons the police.

  • Coca-Cola used to contain cocaine.

  • Of all of those email headlines only this one is true.

    I know this fact not because my friend's Aunt Sally sent her an email and then she sent it to me, but because there is a whole site dedicated to hoax emails. And just like the old adage that says, "You can't believe everything you see on TV", same is true for everything you read in email, or online.

    PLEASE - if you feel the need to forward that ridiculous email about how the eagle faces backwards on the Presidential seal when we are at war, feel the need to check the facts, first. It's so easy. Enter your "warning" into Google Search and you can pretty easily find out if it's fact or fiction, or go straight to and look it up. They even offer a service to alert you to hoax emails if you are too lazy to check it out.

    I've had about enough spam lately from outside sources, I don't want any more from people I actually love and respect.

    I'll step off my box now. Thanks for listening.

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    Hold the drugs, please

    We were doing incredibly well this winter and then at some point I must have opened my mouth and said that out loud, because now we are listening to "Sschhllerp" every 5 seconds from my children who refuse to blow their stuffy noses! Exhale into a tissue, kiddies, and you'll be able to breathe again.

    Approximately 10 days ago I shuffled my youngest to the doctor's office because his cough was keeping me him awake all night long. Having been scarred by trips to Children's Hospital when he was younger because of frequent pneumonia and mysterious white lines on the CT scan for his lungs, any time he starts to clear his throat I rush to the pediatrician. And, like clockwork, they tell me his lungs sound clear but order antibiotics for the sinus infection, or large tonsils or some other non-chest related issue. Maybe by the time he's 25 I'll stop panicking when he coughs.

    His sister, however, has become my motherly experiment. How long can a child go without a trip to the doctor if the only symptoms are stuffy nose, honking cough, and bad attitude? No fever. No strep. No earaches. No coughing at night - just random during the day.

    Several times since Saturday I've contemplated a trip to the Pediatrician but then I decide she's just not that sick and I'd rather use the fifteen dollar co-pay towards this week's bottle of wine groceries.

    But seriously, I have started to really struggle with dosing the kids up with Arithromycin or Amoxocillin at the first sign of trouble. I'll admit, I love and need my sleep, and a good dose of drugs will return all of us to our resting slumber. But for now, I think a few doses of nasal decongestant and a little "I know you have a cold but you better watch your attitude" might be all the Doctor orders.

    If you're over 30 and you know it, clap your hands.

    [If you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious - or sadly accurate. I stole it straight from one of those mass emails (apologies for all the ! and typos), but got quite a chuckle out of it.]

    When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning... uphill... barefoot... BOTH ways.

    And I remember promising myself that when I grew up,there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it! But now that I'm hitting the ripe old age of forty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy. I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

    And I hate to say it, but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it!
    I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!! Can you say papercuts? And after walking all over the library to find the book you needed, it was usually already checked out.

    There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter, with a pen!
    Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to reach them.

    Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! No where was safe!

    There were no MP3's or Napsters. If you wanted music, you had to find a way to the record store and buy it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when it finished and the tape would come undone and you'd try to wind it back up with your fingers so it wouldn't sound all wobbly next time you popped it in.

    We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting. If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either. When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your Bookie, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances.

    We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever. And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

    You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on TV. You were screwed when it came to channel surfing. You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel! There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons.

    And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove ... Imagine that! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids
    today have got it too easy. You're spoiled.. You guys wouldn't have lasted
    five minutes before 1980!

    Circa. 1974 - Check out the TV in the back! On the top is the box to move the antenna on the roof.

    Thursday, February 12, 2009


    I went to the library today. Without the kids. I don't think I've been alone in a library since 1991 when I graduated from college high school. Usually, we enter it's stoic doors and head straight to the basement where the children's section is located so my children can grab books off the shelves, games off the tables and puzzles off the bookcases and scatter them in a million pieces on the floor. I had no idea how gorgeous it was up in the Adult area.

    Our router broke, died, crashed at home and after 90 minutes of language I can't repeat on this blog, I decided to hit the library because the wi-fi is free. And it is closer than a drive to the local Panera Bread where I might be tempted by the creamy, fatty, broccoli and cheese soup - digressing and drooling - so I approached the reference desk to find out where the "free wi-fi" was located.

    Me: "Hi. I am here because I need to connect to wi-fi for my laptop to do some work."

    Her: "I'm sorry. What? I didn't hear you."

    Me: (Obviously scarred by childhood memories of being told to be quiet at the library) "Oh-uh-well-uh. I just want to use the wi-fi. Can I connect anywhere?"

    Her: "Yup. On this floor or upstairs."

    I turned to enter "this floor" and was taken by the neatly lined books on these cathedral tall bookcases, and the deep green walls on the left and right side of the room, with light streaming in from the huge windows. There was even a conference room, a few scattered cushion chairs and wooden tables with those cool, green desk lamps like out of all of those movies where the spy's meet in the library to share government secrets at the big table with the cool, green lamps.

    Once I settled into one of the world's most uncomfortable chairs I was taken on a time warp back to the late 80's and the hours, and hours, and hours I'd spend in the downtown bars library at Ithaca College and how it would suddenly be 1:00 a.m. and I'd be rushing to finish that last paper for my mid-term or final. Sitting in that library chair put a smile on my face, and a pain in my aging back, but I think I will be heading there when I need a change of scenery and a break from my home office. I just can't believe it's been 21 years since I sat at those same hard chairs overlooking Cayuga Lake:

    Friday, February 6, 2009

    Hanging by a thread

    Dear Dog-lovers...don't hate me.

    Our dog stands about 5 inches from the ground. If you recall, this is what he looks like when he is in trouble for being on the couch.

    Well, with all this snow piling up, there have been fewer and fewer places for him to do his business. He's very particular that nothing touching his butt. Even when he sits, his ass is always elevated off the floor. We tend to clear out a section in the backyard for him to conduct his daily dropping and then in the spring we scream to the kids "STAY AWAY FROM THE WINTER POOP AREA!" as they head out the door.

    Well yesterday the poor guy was all out of sorts. It was not only STILL snow-covered out back, but it was icy AND about negative 5 degrees with the windchill. The little guy has discovered that under the slide to the swing set the snow doesn't pile up like the rest of the yard, so guess where his new dropping spot is...Bingo. This spring we'll be screaming "STAY AWAY FROM UNDER THE SLIDE ON THE SWINGSET!" Gross.

    Anyway, as I was watching him do his duty from the warmth inside the living room, I noticed him spinning in circles. And walking around a lot. And lifting his poor frozen paws off the snow time and time again. What was wrong? What should I do? It's freeeeezing out and rushing to his aid wasn't on my top list...sorry.

    Then I realized what was happening. Just dangling. Wouldn't come off. Literally by a thread, or hair, or string. What did you expect me to do?? Rush out and pull it out for him.

    I watched as he's done something I've ever seen before. He dragged his ass on the snow and then ran into the house at rocket launch speed. Momma loves you puppy, but not enough to pull a poop string out of your ass.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    Do you see what I see?

    I'm the world's WORST when it comes to guessing what my kids have made at school. Case in point. What is this?

    If you said "Chinese Gong" you'd be wrong. I figured maybe they were studying the Chinese New Year. Nope. Hot air balloon.

    And this?

    Looks pretty obvious sitting on my counter, but when it was flailing about I had no idea. Snowflake.
    And this is from my daughter.

    Baffled. Until I asked her what it was and she turned it around.

    Of course. A heart for Valentine's Day.