Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Beets Me

I may have mentioned once or twice that, by education and until recently also by profession, I am a nutritionist. I've spent many a year studying nutrition and so I know quite a bit about food. However. Apparently there are new things for all of us to learn, so I am now passing on my knowledge to you guys.

First, some background. I am not a picky eater. Never have been really. I remember as a kid, I didn't like onions- I'd even pick out the tiny little ones in a McDonalds hamburger Happy Meal on those rare occasions we were lucky enough to eat out at one of those high-falutin' restaurants. I also didn't like zucchini, unless it was in my aunt's zucchini bread which is basically banana bread with zucchini instead of banana. Moral of the story- sugar makes everything better.

There was just one other food that I knew of that I DID.NOT. like. The culprit: beets.

Beets were one of those tricky foods- they look so gosh darned purdy with their purpley purpleness oozing out in a, "Hey baby....you should taste me because I'm purple and you know you can't resist purple so why don't you take a nice, big juicy bite out of my tasty purpleness. You know you want to. Baby," sort of way. Apparently beets are also quite the sleazeballs of the tuber family.

(An aside: My mother-in-law's first language is not English, so she sometimes still to this day will have very amusing turns of phrases. This past Thanksgiving, she was talking about a really unsavory person she once knew- a real jerk. She said, ever so seriously, "He was a really big squeeze-ball!"  Oh dear me...I don't think I'd laughed so hard in a really long time.)

The only problem with beets is that they kinda sorta really taste like....well, like dirt. Or at least what I assume dirt tastes like because that is not something I'd know from experience. Nope. Surely not.

So, I pretty much have avoided beets, no matter how purpley they were nor how much my coworkers told me they tasted good and were good for me. Yes, I'll grudgingly admit that they are indeed a very healthy food. But still. DIRT.

HOWEVER. At a work conference I attended two years ago, there was a beet and walnut salad available on the buffet and, since my coworker told me that it was a really good salad, and since I was a new employee and wanted to look tough and adventurous, I decided to try that darned salad. If anything, it would test my acting ability- could I get it down without making an, "EWW GROSS!" face? 

Much to my surprise, that darned purpley salad tasted as good as it looked! Well blow me down and call me Popeye! I couldn't believe it! Beets that didn't taste like dirt! They had some sort of vinegar on them, that I knew- whether balsamic or red wine, I don't recall- but ever since then I've been on the hunt for the pretty, non-dirt tasting beets but to my dismay have not been successful.

Until now. I found a recipe on Epicurious for Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges and Beet Greens and it had decent reviews, so I thought, "I am going to try this one more time and if they taste like dirt, well, at least I'll now know what dirt tastes like because I have never tasted dirt before in my life. Ever."

So I made the salad with a few modifications- I didn't have the sweet onion, so I omitted that, and I really just wanted the beets and not the oranges, so I used a little bit of orange juice instead of the orange slices.

OMG. I don't remember dirt beets tasting so good! I really really REALLY enjoyed them. My Mister...not so much. He thought they were good, but they didn't float his boat. HOWEVER. He's not writing this blog so his primitive taste buds don't count. I really liked this salad A LOT. A lot, a lot. I ended up eating most of it last night and then finished it off for lunch today. That's right- I, an avowed beet hater, ate beets TWO DAYS IN A ROW!

And now comes the, "Wow- I did not know that," part. I feel like I should have known this since I am a nutritionist, and I may have learned it many years ago but may have repressed that knowledge along with any memories I may or may not have had about eating dirt. I'm also sure that had I been a beet eater all my life I would have also known this so my ignorance is justified.

Apparently, what goes in purple.....COMES OUT PURPLE. There is no need for alarm. You are not dying. Your intestines are not falling out and you don't have cancer of either the urinary or digestive tracts. There is absolutely no need to call your husband over to take a look and see if he thinks you are dying, as well. NOPE. All completely normal.

And you can take my word for it because I'm a nutritionist. A really really edumacted one. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

'Twas the Day Before Christmas...

...and all through the house, Gege was crocheting, with a baby under her blouse...

Oh yes, my friends. Even though I've been crocheting quite a bit in the last few months (though not quite getting the whole "finishing" thing), I brought out my hooks on Christmas Eve because I was on a mission. An important Christmas mission to save our poor little Charlie Brown tree from looking entirely sad and dejected, not to mention naked. We had the lights. We had the bulbs, though not the hooks for the bulbs, so, you know. We had the lights.

We even had gifts. Or, at least I had some gifts. My Mister didn't because he was married to a Grinch this year who hadn't wrapped any gifts yet. She's just lucky there is something called "expedited shipping," otherwise she would have had a large I.O.U. to give her wonderful, thoughtful, Christmas-loving husband and then have to look at his large, blue eyes, brimming with disappointment, and feebly say, her voice cracking ever so slightly, "Surprise...? Heh...heh.... Ummmm...thank you for all the thoughtful gifts that you bought for me ages ago....yours are on their way....heh! Ummm.....Look what I can do!" and then try tap dancing, but since she has dance moves akin to Elaine on Seinfeld, she just ends up looking like a deranged woman in the midst of a grand mal seizure.

Ahem.

As I was saying. Something we didn't have was a tree skirt for our tree. However! I do have yarn- lots and lots of yarn and so, being the easily distracted innovative girl that I am, and to do some stash busting as well as show Big Mister that having a ginormous yarn stash is actually a good thing, I decided to crank out a Christmas tree skirt. In just over 24 hours.

A largish crochet project? With little time to complete it? And a grumpy, hungry baby to feed all day long, as well? Oh yeah, baby. BRING IT.

I actually started it the night before Christmas Eve, thinking I'd have loads of time to get a huge chunk of it done while Little Mister was sleeping. Especially since we still had some last minute shopping to do on Christmas Eve, including grocery shopping for the amazing Christmas meal that I had not yet planned. Hey- I thrive on stress and am so much more productive when I've procrastinated until the very last moment. Or so I like to tell myself. And I usually believe me, even though I know that I will usually lie to myself in order to make myself feel good. "Oh no, Gege. Of course breastfeeding means you can eat dessert every night without gaining weight since you're burning so many calories. Besides. Nutella and crumpets are healthy. Says so on the container."

I figured I'd use up some of my cotton yarn since I had quite a bit and, if it got too hot under the tree, it wouldn't melt like acrylic. Brilliant! Or so I thought.

You see, I've been crocheting an awful lot of lace weight stuff recently. I have just discovered lace weight and I'm in love, but I'll go more into that later. The point I'm trying to make here is that my fingers have gotten used to luxuriously soft lace weight alpaca and, as such, have become quite the prissy little digits. They scoff at anything so thick and blundering as sock weight, much less the hefty boorishness of worsted weight, so the choice of a worsted weight yarn was bad enough, much less that the yarn was also cotton. *shiver*

You see, crocheting with worsted weight cotton yarn is....oh geez. I can't come up with a metaphor strong enough to convey the torture my poor hands went through while trying to create a little Christmas cheer for my naked little tree. Crocheting with cotton is dumb. And extremely painful. And the fact that cotton becomes like a Chinese finger trap when it is wet making it near impossible to crochet with it at all, much less crochet quickly under pressure when your hands are so wet and clammy because you are afraid you set yourself up an impossible goal and yet you so desperately want some Christmas cheer in your house and so you are going to make this tree skirt RIGHT NOW because the Baby Jesus didn't complain about being wrapped in swaddling clothes, so stop complaining and work those fingers, monkey!

And so I crocheted with the stupid cotton. I could have stopped and used acrylic since I had all the colors I needed, but, what can I say? I'm stubborn and just a wee bit mental, so I continued on and on with the stupid cotton. Did I mention it was stupid?

I restarted 3 times the night before Christmas Eve because I couldn't figure out the right color combination I wanted to use. I had a lot of colors so I thought I'd use them all so that our little tree would look like it threw up a rainbow which was why it had no color on it's branches. But, it just didn't feel right. And My Mister said, "Well, it's nice, but it's not Christmas." So, I decided to do something much more simple- a dark berry red, black, and white to resemble a Santa outfit. Brilliant! (Truth be told, I was stuck on the rainbow throw up...it was My Mister who suggested the red/black/white combo because he wanted a tree that didn't suck.)

First try with a rose color- beginning of rainbow puke

Christmas Eve morning, I was out the gate with 10 rows (out of 30) down. (I'm making a 9-point star, or round ripple, but without closing it.)

Christmas cheer- can you feel it??

Then I had to take a break and go last-minute Christmas shopping (picked up some paperclips to use as ornament hooks, too- take that, Scrooge!), scare Santa, 

He has his mother's Christmas cheer. *wiping tear* That's m'boy!
eat lunch, and feed Little Mister a few times. I crocheted a little bit in the car, but still only completed 5 more rows.

15 rows down and a blister starting to form on my thumb. Hard core crochet, y'all.

Little Mister was having a Dickens of a time with his teething and was a complete Scrooge the rest of the afternoon. (HA! See what I did there??) Thankfully Big Mister was home so we could take turns pacifying the beast the poor little guy. However, since I alone have the ability to feed him, I ended up not having much crocheting time, no matter how hard I tried learning how to crochet with my feet.

20 down! THE REST OF MY LIFE TO GO.

By the end of the night, I had run out of the berry so I had to start the white a little earlier than I had anticipated. But, I ended up having 5 rows left when I started the white, so my OCD with numbers was appeased. 

I had to stop crocheting and wrap presents so that My Mister wouldn't have that sad, puppy dog look in his eyes as he looked at my ever growing pile of presents. Oh yes- that hard lump of coal where my heart should be had started to soften.

We woke up Christmas morning and I had only one thing on my mind- NEED TO FINISH THAT TREE SKIRT! Who could think of presents when there was crocheting that needed to be done? PUT DOWN THAT STOCKING, MONKEY! No unwrappy until I finish! HI-YA!

I had just over 4 rows to go and crocheted while we watched the online Christmas Eve service of our old church in VA and while Big Mister played with Little Mister and while I ate breakfast and after I fed Little Mister for the second time. Crochet, crochet, crochet!
And finally....I finished!

CHRISTMAS! And Santa! And CHRISTMAS!

So then we could put the presents under the tree.

My Gummy Bear!

Although Little Mister was ashamed that I had not weaved in the ends before putting it in use.

Ughhhhh. What am I going to do with her?


But Santa Koala approved.

I'm a koala and I approve of this skirt.

Merry Christmas, y'all!


Friday, December 23, 2011

All I Want For Christmas Is My Gummy Bear

So I woke up this morning and was snoozily feeding Little Mister in hopes that he'd fall back asleep but instead I startled him awake with my own ear splitting screech because the little turd my dear sweet darling had gummed me really, really hard. He of course then looked up with me and smiled his heart melting, little gummy smile that he reserves for me alone during feedings. The smile that says, "Oh there you are mama! I missed you!" as well as, "TEEHEE! I'm a carnivore! NOM NOM NOM!"

It's been weeks since he started teething- or at least what I assumed was teething. He has had the droolies, the gnawing on everything in sight, the grumpiness and the clinginess going on. He's been inconsolable at times- usually in the evenings when his daddy gets home which means poor Big Mister rarely gets to see the happy, smiling, laughing little baby I get during the day. Well, for parts of the day, anyway. There are so many times when I know he's tired. I know he's hungry and that nursing him will help make him feel better as well as knock him out cold, thus making me feel better. But he does not want to eat. Nor does he want to sleep. He wants to fuss and be an all around grump for an extra 30 minutes before he finally relents and believes me when I lovingly coo to him, "You're sleepy tired and mama needs you to go to sleep now before her head splits in two and then you'll have to live the rest of your life with the guilt that you killed your mama and you don't want that hanging over your head, do you sweetie pie?"

I've been hoping that his tooth/teeth would hurry up and poke through so that he wouldn't have to greedily shove my hands in his mouth whenever he got them in his iron clad grasp. I've given him all sorts of teething rings and suckers and even tried an icy sock, but all to no avail. The only teething relief he enjoys is human flesh, and as my friends, in-laws, and his doctor have all found out, he latches really well. In the midst of a particularly furious hand-gnawing session, my father-in-law even asked me, "Has he ever...uh....hurt you....uh........," and I let him know that I've been very lucky in that respect. 

It's mine! All mine!!

As the days turned into weeks and no teeth showed up, I started second guessing my assessment- perhaps he wasn't really teething, after all. Perhaps I just do have a slobbering grump as a baby who is only truly happy when he's eating or otherwise gnawing on human flesh. Perhaps he's a vampire. I knew I shouldn't have read the Twilight series while pregnant. Wait a second. Does he sparkle in the sunlight? 

And then this morning, when I was Skyping with my sister, she took a screenshot of my little Dracula taking a bite out of my hand, which she thought was very funny.

She's so gorgeous that it looks like she's posing even though she's merely laughing at me being turned into the undead.

It was right after this picture was taken that I realized there was a sharp thing in his mouth that was poking me and it kinda hurt. I hope he didn't swallow one of my toenails or something. And then it dawned on me. My Little Gummy Bear finally got his first tooth. 

*Quick inhale while fanning my face* 

He's growing up too fast!! 

*sobbing*

*dawning on me that he wasn't gumming me this morning as he was nursing*

My poor, poor booblies. 

I miss my Little Gummy Bear already.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Time is Here...Happiness and Kangaroos

We’ve finally unpacked just about every single box and I’ve been trying to get things placed where I think an organized person may put them- not an easy task, let me tell ya. I must admit that getting things situated is a lot easier when My Mister is around to help entertain Little Mister, especially now that he’s discovered a brain splitting, glass shattering, high-pitch squeal and, even more importantly, that he likes it. I put him in his reclining seat with a pile of toys smothering him- most of them playing some sort of musical something or other to try and entertain him for 2 minutes so I can get a few books put away or load the dishwasher or sit like a slack-jawed lump on the couch and try to escape to my happy zone. He LOVES the musical toys- especially my Sing-A-Ma-Jig. He thinks its open mouth means, “Kiss me!” and immediately starts making out with it in a way that makes me veeeery wary of his teenage years.

Because he needs constant entertainment, and because he usually takes 30 minute naps, it’s taken me 2 weeks to finally get my bookshelves in order- alphabetized by author and then by title, unless it’s a series of books, of course. I have really been in a Hercule Poirot mood and bought an extra copy of Hercule Poirot’s Christmas a few weeks back since I knew my original copy had been destroyed many moons ago. Placing my whole collection on the shelves made me wish I could just sit and read a whole book cover to cover in one sitting. Dang- if only Little Mister would react better to the bourbon in his bottle and actually sleep. Ha! Kidding! He doesn’t take a bottle so I drink it first.

So, today I finally became desperate enough to keep him entertained and to keep my eardrums from splitting from the “I AM BOOOOOORED!” screeching that I…..oh man. I can barely get it out. I…went…to the mall. EEEEEP!

As I was walking around, I came to the conclusion that I don’t think I’ve ever been to a mall by myself during the middle of the day. At first I thought I had never been to a mall by myself, but I do remember a Christmas 3 years ago when I had to get My Mister something specific and I knew I would find it there. Shopping. Alone. At a mall. At Christmas!! I’m still in therapy over it.

As I mentioned, our house hasn’t exactly been full of Christmas cheer this year. Even now it’s not very noticeable. Our tree finally arrived on Friday so we put it up and got out the decorations that I bought. However, we really didn’t progress much farther than that. Unfortunately, due to my amazing shopping skills- which actually consist of me seeing something and, like an impulsive 6 year old, throw it in my shopping cart and then dash to the cashier before the anxiety sets in- the bulbs I bought don’t have hooks with which to hang them on the tree. They have these highly annoying silver strings, as if the shiny silver will distract you from the fact that you have to tie 100 little, teeny, tiny strings in order to have some sort of Christmas Cheer in your dry, shriveled, little heart. So. We have 600 cool L.E.D. lights, a string of silver beads, and 10 purple and silver bulbs haphazardly strewn around the tree. Oh- and a silver star because we are Scrooges, not heathens.

I was in such a frenzied state when I went to the mall that I didn’t even remember to pick up a pack of paperclips to use as hooks. All I could think as I carried Little Mister in our Ergo was, “When is he going to start screeching so I can get out of here and go home??”

And then I saw it. The most amazing thing that instantly brought cheer- nay- CHRISTMAS Cheer- to my dry, shriveled little heart. And, I would never have had this miracle happen had I been in the States!

That’s right, folks. It was Santa’s sleigh with his 6 Magical Flying Kangaroos.

Christmas Cheer accomplished. 

Now, Russel! Now, Hugh! Now, Nicole, and Keith!
On, Naomi and Tito! Hop away, Hop away, Hop away all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Team Effort

Oh dear internetz full of people who are well rested and ready to face the day. How I envy you. As Little Mister keeps getting bigger and bigger and the months roll by, (seriously?!? Christmas is THIS weekend?? Oh crap.) I can’t help but wonder WHEN THE HECK IS HE GOING TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT?!?

The night before last, I put him down at 6:30 like normal and then he was fussing and wanting to eat at 9:30 and then every hour and half after that. You could set your watch by it. EVERY.NINTEY.MINUTES. Even with his earplugs in, Big Mister was having a difficult time sleeping through the constant noise and earthquake shaking I made getting in and out of bed. No matter how much shaking I make, I know it cannot possibly be as bad as when My Mister moves in bed. I am always afraid that he is going to do his mega flop from his back to his stomach and catapult Little Mister to the ceiling fan.

So, last night we were both so exhausted that we thought we’d be smart and actually go to bed early, though this never seems to work out whenever we try. I don’t know why it is, but we seem to never be able to go to sleep before 11:00. Last night, though, we took our showers at 9 and were in bed by 9:30 and drifting into dreamland by 10. Not as early as we were hoping (we had said we’d be in bed by 8- HA!) but still, an hour earlier than usual is a start.

Now, when we took Little Mister a bath, we had noticed something different….down there….but we didn’t think we should panic just yet- it could just be normal. Just to be sure, My Mister suggested that we (read: Your’s truly) should change Little Mister’s diaper in the middle of the night just to be sure. Since I knew I’d be up anyway, and since I wanted to make sure my little Snuggle Bug was ok, I steeled myself to take one for the team.

After being jolted awake at 11 for his second feeding (first was at 9, before we went to bed), I felt his diaper and thought he could go another few hours before needing a change. Then, at 1:30, I brought him back into bed to feed him again. I was so dang out of it that I decided that, of course he was normal down there, I didn’t need to check. Who needs grandkids, anyway? So I started to crawl out of bed to take him back to his, but I couldn’t get past the foot of our bed. I laid there, curled up in the fetal position at the foot of the bed while Little Mister slept with his arms straight out taking up my whole side of the bed. And I didn’t care. I was falling asleep with all of my body parts to myself and it was OH CRAP. I was jolted out of my sweet slumber by the worst sound possible at that moment. The bubbling farts had sounded the alarm.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I waited a second and thought, it was just one round of bubbling farts. It’s ok for him to sleep in his poop for a few hours because I am so tired and really don’t care if he has poop plastered to his butt in the morning. Sleep now. Chisel poop later.

And then the second round of bubbling farts erupted with the force of Mount St. Helen. And kept going. And going. And then the third wave.

I bounded out of bed and ran to the bathroom to put eye drops in since I fell asleep with my contacts and my eyes were pretty much little raisins in my skull. Then I ran back to the room and shoveled Little Mister off the bed and was about to put him onto his changing table. Big Mister was now awake and dangling from the ceiling fan.

I was too late. The Yellow Spot of Doom had made its presence known and was traveling up Little Mister’s back and down my arms. Worst of all, it had invaded our sheets and was trying to make it to the mattress, but I had anticipated such an attack and had fortified my side with a waterproof mat. Ha! Take that poop!

It was a two-man diaper change emergency. My Mister had to come and put a layer of paper towels down as the first barrier on the changing table. I then was able to put Little Mister, who had still been bubbling in my arms, down and strip off his PJ bottoms. I was about to go for the diaper, but yet ANOTHER round of bubbling farts erupted from Mount Doom. It went on and on and ON. While I was waiting for Shock and Awe to die down, I thought I was having a sleep deprived hallucination when I saw Big Mister spraying the pooped stained sheets with Windex. I’m still not sure why he chose that particular cleaning product. He was either sleep cleaning or he’s possibly part Greek.

The bubbling farts finally ceased and I was able to try to take off his diaper. As soon as I had the front panel down, Fount PeePee decided to help me wash the area. I then knew that everything was a-ok in that area and we could someday have grandkids who will one day avenge us for this fecal attack. Oh how I look forward to that day!
 
With my poop and urine soaked arms, I decided that it was now or never and called My Mister to help me with the careful extraction of the fullest diaper ever in the whole world. I knew you had to be careful with the fresh, very wet poopy diaper and not just whip it off which would allow the poop to pour out of the diaper and all over Little Mister’s legs and stomach. I am a good student and learned that lesson the first time around last week.

As I finished up with El Pooper, My Mister changed the sheets and we both were finally able to crawl back into bed. I brought Little Mister with me since he was now wide awake and chatting up a storm and could use a nursing nightcap to help him wind down. But, no. He wasn’t hungry and just wanted to babble and giggle and then punch his daddy in the nose. And we laughed.

My Mister: You are just lucky you make us laugh.

Little Mister: *giggle* *cooo*

Me: curled up in fetal position at the foot of the bed.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cockroaches and Spiders and Toilets, Oh My!

Great googally moogally. There be some big and scurry critters up in this place. If you follow me on twitter (which you should totally be doing, by the way. All the cool kids are doing it and you want to be cool, dontcha? DONTCHA?!? Peer pressure. Best.Invention.Ever.) Where was I? Oh yes, twitter. If you follow me on twitter, you would have seen pictures from my house of gigantic cockroaches and scary black Red Back spiders that have made me scream loud enough for my mom in New Mexico to perk her ears up in a, “HARK! My baby calleth! She must have seen a bug!” sort of way. Mommy-ears. I now totally get it.

TWO INCH FLYING COCKROACH!! I think it ate my cat.

ANYwho. The important part of that paragraph (other than the peer pressure you feel to follow me on twitter, like all the smart, good-looking, cool kids do), is that I am from New Mexico. No. I am not Mexican. Nor do I speak Spanish. Except for the two years I took in high school and the one semester in college that I took with My Mister when we were still dating so that we could have a class together. All together now: Awwwww.

Actually, that semester in college really came in handy for both My Mister and me when we were in Spain a few years back. We were with his parents and had stopped at a nursery for some long-forgotten reason. No- we were not trying to buy a Spanish kid- we could have done that in NM. It was the kind of nursery where you buy trees. Work with me here. 

All I remember is that I had to pee like RIGHT NOW and pulled out my, “Donde esta el
baño?” from my high school Spanish days. The lady behind the register told me it was around the side of the building and then continued with whatever she was doing. What she failed to tell me, and even I with my limited Spanish would have known if she had, was that you didn't need a key to get into the bathroom, but she had to give you the freakin’ doorknob in order to exit said establishment.

OH YES. The understanding. It dawns on you.

I did my peepee dance on over to el baño and thought it was weird that there was no doorknob but only hoped that nobody would walk past and look into the hole where the doorknob should be and see my, “This is how I spell relief” face. Once I was done and was ready to exit el bano, I then noticed that I WAS LOCKED IN A BATHROOM IN SPAIN.

I started looking around me to think of ways to MacGyver my way out if needed, but was hoping that someone would walk by and I could get their attention and not need to knock down the bathroom door. As if on cue, a car pulled up and my would-be saviors got out of the car. HOWEVER. I did not call for help. It was a car full of four, young Spanish guys and I decided I would rather die of starvation in the Spanish bathroom than die of embarrassment from calling them over. Egads.

About 10 minutes later, just as I was about to use the plunger to knock out the small vent on the bottom of the door, along came my Knight in Shining Armor. My Mister came along and was calling me. I guess he finally figured out that I said I needed to pee, not that I had Montezuma’s revenge which necessitated 15 minutes on the toilet. Besides- that’s from the wrong Spanish speaking nation. Not every Spanish speaker is from Mexico. Racists.

A few moments later, My Mister arrived with the doorknob and let me out of my Spanish prison.

After thanking him and kissing him profusely, I asked how he was able to get the door knob and he very proudly replied that he told the cashier lady, “Mi esposa esta en el baño y no puede abrir la puerta.” Which very roughly translates to, “My wife iz purdy but she sho’ iz dumb.”

ANYwho. That whole long digression brings me back to New Mexico where our first rattles come from snakes and giant wolf spiders, great big grizzly bears, and black widows are found in our backyards and we eat scorpions for breakfast. Hey. Anything with green chile on it is cool in my book.

That being said, I must say that I have only ever seen a black widow spider maybe five times in my entire life. They are very venomous- a bite can be fatal- but I never ever feared going outside barefooted and running through our barn or climbing trees, having rock fights, or riding bikes down stuckoed stairways on the side of restaurants. (Yes- I did do that. My 7th grade yearbook picture shows the large head wound I incurred from that not-so-bright decision. My brother still laughs at me to this day.)

THAT BEING SAID.

I am SCARED OUT OF MY WITS to go outside in my backyard and into our shed. The exterminator came by yesterday and found 3 Red Back Spiders (the Black Widow’s Australian cousin) on my backyard gate alone. There was another 2 that came out of hiding outside my living room window. I’ve seen five of those scary man-eaters in 10 minutes versus five Black Widows in my ENTIRE LIFE.

I feel a little safer now that my house has been sprayed down, but still. DUDE. If there was a Red Back Spider in that Spanish bathroom, I could guarantee that I would not have needed anybody saving me- I would have had that door down in a minute flat and barreled my way back home to NM where the chile is hot, the girls are dumb, and the spiders know to stay out of sight.

Red Back Spider from outside my living room window. ALL THE BUGGIES DIE!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Memories from The Grinch

I finally did it. It was under threat of family abandonment and after a flurry of increasingly urgent emails, but I finally did it. Last night, I made up my Christmas wish list. Whew!

At risk of sounding Grinchy, I have not thought a whit about Christmas and to say I do not have the Christmas Spirit this year is like saying Santa has Type II Diabetes due to eons of gorging on cookies and milk set out by greedy boys and girls around the world. Yeah- that's right. Go ahead and continue stuffing him full of cookies- what's it to me if he goes into a diabetic coma while flying over Sacramento? I'm the Grinch! And I like my itty bitty teeny tiny heart! BAH HUMBUG!

Ah dang- getting my Christmas villains mixed up. MUST.SLEEP.MORE.

This holiday season has been the farthest thing from my mind, especially since I know that Santa doesn't deliver sleep on Christmas morning. I spent way too many years as a kid forcing my parents' eyelids open so we could unwrap our loot to ever think I'd be able to sleep in on Christmas morning. One year for my birthday I received an AM/FM microphone where, with the correct frequency, you could turn your radio into your own personal record studio. I'm pretty sure my parents really regretted that present on Christmas morning when their bedroom radios were playing non-stop, "IT'S CHRISTMAS!! IS IT TIME TO WAKE UP YET?? IT'S 4:30!!!!" and then, "HOW ABOUT NOW? IT'S 4:35!!!!!"

Of the three of us siblings, being the oldest, it was my duty to get the ball rolling whenever questions needed to be asked, boundaries needed to be pushed, and presents to be discovered and covertly unwrapped/wrapped back up prior to Christmas morning.  I think the only year I was unable to locate our presents was the year our mom hid them in the barn. I always wondered why our gifts smelled slightly of animal poop. Dang- she was a genius.

I was a pro at sllllooooooowly pulling the tape off of the wrapping as to not tear it and then rewrapping it once we found out what it was. My sister, unfortunately, could not keep her 4-year-old trap shut and would rat me out if my mom asked her point blank if we found them. I remember being so mad at her and saying, "I told you you got Bianca the Mouse and you still told on me?? I will remember this and blog about it someday so that everyone in the world will know what a Christmas ruiner you are!" 

Ok, maybe I didn't say the last part, but it really was Bianca the Mouse- a detail like that is seared in my mind after such a heinous sisterly betrayal. And then my brother and I would shun her and she would cry and then my mom would get mad at us and take away our presents so that she was the only one who would have any since she was such a reliable rat so honest and pure.

As we got older, our love and impatience for Christmas morning never waned and we all would try to catch our mom filling our stockings in the wee hours of the morning and always just miss her. Each year promising that we would not attempt to wake them up before 6am and each year say, "Well, 5:45 is almost 6!" Each year dumping out our stockings so we could chew a piece of Double Bubble while sorting out our gifts into piles so we could count who had the most gifts and each year my bro and I would gripe that our sister once again had the most.

Those Christmas memories are some of my favorite memories and I must admit to being transported back to our childhood where we three were always cooking up something mischevious and fun. Ahh- to have the childlike love and purity during this season. That's what's been missing. I thought it was the weather that was missing- how can it be Christmas when it's 100 degrees outside? I thought it was the lack of Christmas music blaring in all the stores since October. I thought it was the lack of Christmas decorations since My Mister decided at the last minute to put all of our decorations into storage* which means we have no evidence of Christmas AT ALL in our house as of yet.

Yes, it is a little of all of those things, but it's mostly that I've grown up and have grown up worries and stressors and have lost my focus as I wearily stumble through my day. I just need a change of focus right now. Instead of being the little girl who tried catching her mommy fill the stockings, I'm now the mommy and will one day have stockings to fill for my Little Mister. So, even though I'm not currently bursting at the seams with Christmas joy at this moment, I do now have a little child in my life who will one day try waking me up at 4am to open up his gifts and who CANNOT.WAIT. for Christmas to get here. I'll get to relive some of my memories as he's making his and I must admit, that does fill me with joy.

So, for that chubby-cheeked, almond-eyed little boy, I'm not letting this Christmas sneak past me, no matter how warm the weather or decoration-less we may be. My wish list was filled with things for him (and a little for me- that greedy little girl hasn't completely disappeared) and it'll be fun to see him playing with the wrapping paper and taking pictures of him with bows on his head (no matter how much his dad may complain). We ordered a tree online and will hopefully get it this week. I've scored some decorations that were on sale while grocery shopping the other day, so we'll at least have a little evidence of Christmas fairly soon. And I've got the best husband in the whole world who has been mischievously giggling as boxes come in the mail since he hasn't forgotten about Christmas this year and has been buying me gifts for a while. (I know- how does a Grinch like me deserve a Who like him?)

So, with only 12 days left til Christmas, I'm going to try to bring back those childhood memories, starting with all of our favorite Christmas cartoons. Bring on Rudolph, Charlie Brown, Garfield, Frosty, and even The Grinch! I'll leave you with one of my favorite scenes from A Claymation Christmas- makes me laugh each time. :)



* Even though I griped at him when our stuff got here and I realized that we didn't have our Christmas decorations, I really can't blame him for this decision- Australia has some of the strictest import and quarantine guidelines in the world. We didn't have time to go through our decorations to ensure our stuff wouldn't be delayed because we didn't take out the wreath that had a pinecone in it. Also, our lights wouldn't have run without using a transformer, anyway, so we would have to buy new lights regardless. All this to say, we'll begin making new Christmas memories this year, which is a good thing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Welcome Home

Thank you to all you fellow mothers who have been giving me encouragement during these sleep-less days and reinforcing the fact that these days only seem interminable but will in actuality eventually end... one of these days. One of these long, long, never ending days I will indeed get more than 1-2 hours of sleep at a time. The crazy thing is that, cumulatively, I actually get around 8 hours of sleep. However, the constant waking up and never getting into a deep sleep really takes its toll, ya know?

These last couple weeks have been some of THE.WORST. in the sleep department. Whenever I hear, "He's 4 months old and still eating every 2 hours? Really? My little angel was sleeping 12 hours straight at 3 months. *smirky smirk*" I just want to ever so maturely, in my best grown up voice, tell them, "Yeah. Well you're ugly and so is your kid." And then moon them.

Even though I've been the embodiment of The Walking Dead, these last couple weeks weren't as bad as they could have been. My in-laws came for a 10 day visit for Thanksgiving which ended up being a huge blessing. Little Mister started waking up at 6am and wanted to tell us all about the awesome raves he attended in his dreams- complete with all the dance moves he learned- and I would weep as I realized my baby had better dance moves than me. My Mister would take him to the living room and let me sleep for an hour at which time Little Mister was ready for his early morning nap. He would eat and then sleep until 9am. This is his longest nap of the day and the only time I can "sleep when he sleeps." (And, yes, I may be a new mom, but I do know that I should attempt to "sleep when he sleeps." However, he takes 30-60 minute naps during the day. As soon as I close my eyes or get into a deep sleep (which is usually the same thing), he wakes up and I get a pounding headache. I feel more groggy and less rested than if I had just stayed up. Argh.)

Once he and I woke up, I'd bring him into the living room and let Grandma and Grandpa play with and entertain him until the next feeding time. I was able to get a little "me" time and for that I was very thankful. It was also nice to have help in the kitchen to prepare the Thanksgiving meal. I knew it was going to be a challenge not only because of Little Mister being a new addition to the equation, but also because all of my kitchen stuff was still en route and I had to do the best I could with very limited tools. It was quite funny, actually. We had to use the same pot- including washing it in between each dish- to boil the sweet potatoes, the regular potatoes (for mashed taters), the spinach (for creamed spinach...which I ate a little bit and then paid for it with a humungous diaper explosion from Little Mister the next day), and the brussels sprouts. It was also funny planning out how to cook/bake everything in the little teeny tiny hot-box they call an oven over here. (For reals- I had to use my neighbor's oven to cook the sweet potatoes since only the turkey fit in mine.)

The day after they left, another huge blessing occurred- our household items FINALLY made it here!!!!  WHOOOO HOOOOO! For the first time in 3 months, we were able to sleep in our own bed and eat on our own plates and even use our own toilet paper. Yes. We shipped over some Charmin since we learned the Aussies are not privy to the opulent, spongy, cloud-like pleasure wiping one's butt can be. 

So, we've been unpacking all weekend long and are just about finished. I must admit that it's kinda fun deciding where our stuff should go and it was like an early Christmas as we opened up boxes and said, "Why did we bring this crap?"

The best thing of all is that my yarn is back home!!! YAY!!! Ahhh....How I missed my precioussss. However, I was very distraught to learn that not ALL of my yarn made it here. I have A LOT of yarn. A lot, a lot. But, I also know what yarn I have and I could definitely tell that some of it was missing. I had quite a bit of brown wools (used to make several of my purses) as well as a great stash of the pink yarn for my Felted Watermelon Tote. They didn't make it. (Well, some of the pink did, but not all of it.) Honestly, had it not been some of the yarn that I use most often, I wouldn't have been so upset, but those happen to be the two colors that I use the most. A.R.G.H.

Another HUGE bummer- one that I don't know if I'll ever get over- is that a selection of my favorite books did not make it. I had set aside a collection of my favorite books to be mailed here when we packed out of our house so that I could read them during our 3 month wait time. Well, due to time and weight constraints, those books ended up having to be shipped here. HOWEVER, much to my dismay, that box must have gotten mixed up with the boxes sent to storage and now I don't know when I'll see them again. Many of them were my comfort and escape books- ones I've read numerous times like Jane Eyre, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. I AM SO BEYOND UPSET ABOUT THIS.

As I contemplate how I'm going to survive without some of my best literary friends, I can take comfort in knowing that our new home is starting to truly feel like "home" now. It's weird seeing our stuff in new places- and I'll readily admit I became a little weepy as I was unpacking and picturing each item in its place in our old home- but it sure does feel good having some familiarity around me now.

So, as I'm off to face another night cycle of sleep-wake-weep, at least I can do it on my own bed, snuggling next to My Mister while holding our new baby. Welcome home, Gege. Welcome home.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mommy Time

Sorry for the sporadic blogging as of late. It goes with my sporadic mental and physical capabilities, not to mention my sanity. Dude. How can such a little person demand so much time and energy? I've just spent the past 3 hours trying to get him to take a nap. I tried nursing him, rocking him, singing to him, downing a fifth of whiskey....NOTHING WORKED!

I know he was tired- it wasn't just my wishful thinking- yet he just refused to sleep unless it was in my arms. The kid weighs 19 pounds (yes, at 4 months- I wasn't kidding when I called him my Baby Huey. The kid can eat.) and I've got a crick in my neck from holding and jiggling him around for the past 13 months (heck yes I'm counting pregnancy! I'm not letting him live that down!)  Although I love him to bits and I love him when he's a happy baby (which, thankfully, is more often than not) and I enjoy playing with him and finding new tickle spots to hear him laugh with his gummy little mouth, I am ashamed to admit that I can't help thinking, "How can I knock him out so I can have some ME time?!?"

I have discovered that I am the most selfish person in the whole world and am obviously not cut out for the very selfless occupation of motherhood but it's too late to give him back and I don't think I can shove him back up the way he came down even if I tried. And then I think how precious he is and how much I love him and how the heck can I possibly think of going back to living without him in my life and I end up flogging myself for being the worst mother in the whole world. AND THEN HE STARTS TEETHING. Oh dear God the crankiness and the clingy-ness. I'm nursing around the clock to try and pacify him only to discover that he'd rather suck on my fingers than my boobies and I wish I would have discovered that before he started reacting in fear whenever I whip out a boob because even babies can get scared of the deranged topless woman chasing them about saying, "Just put it in your mouth and go to sleep!!!"

AND NOW HE WOKE UP! Three paragraphs! That's all I got out before The Cranky Wonder woke up from his "nap." More like a "I'll-close-my-eyes-for-a-minute-to-trick-her-into-thinking-she-can-have-time-away-from-me-and-then-I'll- yell-SURPRISE!!!-I'm-awake-and-there's-nothing-you-can-do-about-it!"

(I just placed him on his playmat so I can at least hopefully finish this blog post. I'm also ignoring his fussy "almost" cries but will leap into action when they turn into "for reals" cries.)

Oh crap. The "real" cries.

So much for Mommy Time.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Sleep Disturbance In the Force

Ok. I’m back from my mini-blogging sabbatical. It was a necessary break, especially since I’m not sure if my fingers would have been able to get out any coherent words from my extremely sleep deprived brain. I wasn’t kidding when I said this lack of sleep thing was getting to me. I’ve been speaking to people and have been at a loss for words- common words like “book” and "the"- and have had a very difficult time keeping track of the days of the week. However, when Big Mister asked if I wanted him to hold Little Mister and walk him around since he was being fussy and not falling asleep and my reply was, “I don’t know. Just throw him in the river,” and then burst into tears, I realized that I REALLY needed sleep.

I’ve been “surviving” on one hour chunks of sleep at a time for the last (almost) 4 months. The crazy thing is that Little Mister has been a good sleeper; however he likes to eat. A LOT. He’s been doing great sleeping in his crib from around 7pm to midnight or so, but as I said before, I’ve not been going to bed until 11, so that is the first 1 hour chunk of sleep. Once I bring Little Mister back to bed with us since I’m so tired and groggy, he likes to eat every 1-2 hours until Big Mister’s alarm goes off. I AM DYING.

In a moment of lucidity, I wondered if the fact that I was keeping him in bed with us was part of the problem. I mean, he couldn’t really be STARVING every 1-2 hours, right? He’s just sleeping and bumps into me and realizes how convenient it is to have his food right there. Think about it- if you were sleeping and had a jonsing for a midnight snack but were too lazy to get up and get one so you turned over in your sleep and Hallelujah! There's a Snickers bar poking you in the eye! Wouldn’t you just thank your lucky stars, open your greedy little mouth, and chomp away? Exactly! So I can’t blame the little guy for eating all night long when my Snickers bars keep poking him in the eye every time he turns in his sleep. Light bulb moment, folks.

So, this past week I wised up and thought I’d go to bed at 8 to try to get in a good 4 hour chunk. As I laid in bed with my eyes closed and my brain refusing to shut down until 11, I couldn’t help but think of all the things I could be doing since I didn’t have a baby attached to me. (I also dreamt up many new designs…one of which I finished yesterday and am starting the second one to test the pattern. Kuddles- you up for testing sometime in the next couple weeks??). When I finally fell asleep, it was time to bring little Mister back to bed and feed him. He ate and fell back asleep and I put him back in his crib, hoping to cut off his Snickers addiction. I blearily got back into bed and was trying to fall back asleep when this horrendously loud snarling Tasmanian Devil war cry started reverberating around the room. How was I going to fall asleep with a warring faction of Tasmanian Devils on the loose in my room??? When my brain kicked in, I realized it was my Mister who was snoring like he was out to win a snoring competition.

AND INHALE *snort up living creatures and gargle with them* AND EXHALE *bark like a seal and blow raspberries on the windows*

OH DEAR GOD IT WAS LOUD.

I remembered I had bought some Breathe Right strips at the end of my pregnancy since My Mister said I started snoring at night. So I crept into the bathroom and dug around until I found them. I then tried to stealthfully ninja attack Big Mister’s nose with one of the strips. I peeled the backing off the sticky side, placed it on his nose and then pinched it with all the strength of millions of sleep deprived mothers everywhere. IT WORKED! The awful sound stopped! Big Mister jolted out of sleep scared out of his wits and was pawing at his injured nose. I swatted his hand away and stage whispered, “LEAVE IT ON! YOU WERE SNORING AND THIS WILL HELP YOU SLEEP!” because I’m a good wife and only care for his health and well being.

He must have believed me because he turned over and fell right back asleep. NO MORE SNORING! Score one for ninja nose pinching!

I crawled back in bed and finally started dozing off when Little Mister realized he didn’t have a Snickers bar in his eye. GAH!

I persevered this week, however, and continued to put Little Mister back in his crib after feeding him. It seems to be working- the last few nights he woke at 12:30, 4:30, and then 7:30. (!!!!) AMAZING!!!!

I’m not rejoicing just yet, however, since he’s done this before- had a “routine” for a couple days and then WHAPOW! Let’s change it up just for the heck of it!! HAHA! Sleep depriving mommy is fun! Teach her to take away my Snickers!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Anywho…hopefully things will start to improve this week. I truly am an addled brained mess right now but I’m going to try and go to bed at 8 at least once or twice this week and will be back with my Weekly Meal Planning next week. (As an aside- this dairy free thing is working so well! No more bloody stools and even the frequency of Little Mister’s marathon pooping has decreased! Although, it might have been better when he pooped all day long rather than in just a couple bursts throughout the day since he’s now having diaper blowouts nearly everyday. Like this past Friday at my Friday Fibre Friends group. It wasn’t too terrible until I realized that I pulled my favorite noob mommy mistake and didn’t pack him an extra pair of clothes….AGAIN. When will I learn???!?)


Just because I'm wearing a cute beanie doesn't take away from the fact that I'm naked, mother.

* NOTE: Just because I know Big Mister will be mortified to know I told the world he sounded like a Tasmanian Devil in heat, I want to let y'all know that he does not usually snore. But when he does, he wins competitions. He's THAT good. (War cry...in  heat...same diff.)

*Double note: Cute green knitted beanie was made by new Fibre Friend Miranda who is one heck of a talented, crafty lady!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Things to Do In the Car

Today I spent the day sticking bamboo shoots in my nail beds. Oh wait. I mean cleaning my house. So I spent the evening crocheting (finishing up a möbius wrap for my sis- need to mail it soon!) and then started back up on damnyouautocorrect. I LOVE THAT SITE! This one just cracked me up b/c it's something that I might say....for reals. Teehee!





Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Best Laid Plans and All That

So, I planned my weekly menu yesterday counting on being fed tonight but, being the ravenous smart girl that I am, I planned for some sort of cheese heavy meal and ate dinner prior to going. Well, I ate a bowl of cereal, actually, just in case there was some delicious dessert that would be offered and I could snarf it down guilt-free. (FYI- I've been using rice milk in my cereal and I must admit I really really like it. It may be a challenge for me to go back to skim milk once Little Mister outgrows his allergy. Rice- it does a palate good.)

Well. The "food" offered? CHEESE AND CRACKERS! With some cream filled cookies to tempt the gourmands in attendance. Smart girl, indeed.

So, this means that we weren't able to eat dinner and I had to move up my plans for the Thai Basil Beef meal I was planning on cooking tomorrow. This happened to be the best decision EVER! That meal was DA BOMB and I don't usually say DA in real life unless I'm in a wool induced coma and am all, "DAAAAAAAA," with drool dripping down my chin.

We got home later than our usual dinner time and I was really afraid that Little Mister was not going to handle it well. He has his cranky time around 6:30/7pm if we don't nail his nighttime feeding just right and he had already fallen asleep in the car after sucking his poor little fists at the "party" until they were little bitty nubs. My poor poor hungry little nubby-handed boy.

FYI: I am totally blessed with my Little Mister. He is actually a really REALLY good baby. He only gets fussy when he's hungry, but if he's tired and hungry, he transforms into El Diablo. Takes after his mom in that respect. Because of that, I get VERY anxious if we are out anywhere during The Cranky Hour because he's such a happy little chap if I feed him right away and he will actually fall asleep by himself in his crib without fussing IF I time it just right. Well, at least that's been happening for the last few days. With his track record, that may very well change tomorrow. The only thing predictable about him is that he's unpredictable. So, as you can imagine, I was getting just a wee bit anxious the longer we stayed out tonight. Thankfully I didn't insult anyone we met (I hope) but I know I interrupted a few people while I tried to get Big Mister's attention as Little Mister's hand started disappearing down his gullet. ("Honey? I think we have to leave pretty soon." "Uh, Mister? it's almost time to go." "HEY! WE NEED TO GO NOW. Thank you. Teehee."

So, we finally get home and Big Mister is hungry so I start making the Thai Basil Beef meal since Little Mister was still asleep in his car seat. I was able to get a pot of water boiling and put the meat in the pan when the frightened, panicked cries of my sweet Little Diablo let me know that we would have to wait a little longer for dinner.

Well! Big Mister was way too hungry to wait for me to finish feeding our little guy, so I told him what to do- just follow the recipe and make the dinner. (He ran interference for me and changed Little Mister's diaper and put his pajamas on which gave me enough time to get the asparagus washed and trimmed, but not cut, so Big Mister had some prep work ahead of him.)

Now, just so you can understand the magnitude of this: Big Mister does not like cooking. DOES NOT. I would ask him to help me make a lasagna by grating the cheese for me, you know- thinking it would be all romantic and stuff. He ended up buying the cheese that was already sliced just to get out of it. The closest he gets to "helping" me in the kitchen is tasting the food for me for Quality Control. This is why his offer to help me cook our Valentine's Day meal is such a huge, romantic ordeal. It's a real big sacrifice on his part and I love him for it. (That being said, he does do the grilling. Must be a man thing.)

JUST SO YOU KNOW- as a testament to both how hungry My Mister was (although he doesn't transform to a murderous snarling creature from the underworld as I have been known to do), AND how very easy this meal was to prepare, HE COOKED OUR DINNER TONIGHT!!

DUDE!!!!

Granted, he did have to go back and forth from the kitchen to the bedroom to ask me questions, but the fact remains that, when given enough motivation, My Mister can cook me dinner!!! DOES HE REALIZE THE POWER HE'S GIVEN ME?!?!

Thai Basil Beef...totally DA BOMB.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekly Menu

Alllllrighty then. So my menu planning is a day late, but it ends up being a good thing for me since I would have planned a meal for tomorrow night but found out today that we have a thing we have to attend at which they will be serving food. FREE FOOD. Oh yeah, baby. I’m all up in that bizniz. I don’t have to cook and it’s FREE. However, if it is free and full of cheese, I may very well become very cranky and make a terrible first impression on these people and that would be….not.good.captain.

I can just see it now- I’ll be tired and starving- already a recipe for disaster- and they’ll serve pizza and cheesecake and say nice things like, “So nice to meet you!” And I’ll reply, “Whatever, queer. This party blows and I hope you choke on your delicious pizza and gooey cheesy goodness. Loser.” And then My Mister will be ashamed and shout to the heavens, “WHY?! Why did I have to marry a cheese lover?? WHYYY???” while shaking his fists in despondence.

So, in other words, please pray that they have some dairy free foods for me because seeing My Mister shaking his fists in despondence may make me laugh and that won’t be good for our marriage since you should never laugh at your husband when he is despondent.

ANYwho… I’ll only be cooking twice this week, which is awesome. Although I do enjoy cooking, I also enjoy spending time with both my Misters while relaxing and letting the microwave do its magic, ya know?

Tonight we had leftovers from the Lecso I made on Saturday. We loved it! Definitely going into my regular rotation- thanks Kara! I used both red and green peppers, canned tomatoes, and ended up using brown rice instead of Jasmine since I ran out of Jasmine when I made the paella. For those of you who don’t think you’ll like brown rice, try making it with chicken or beef broth for some amazing flavor. Seriously- every time I make brown rice, My Mister always mentions how good it is. Give it a try! For those vegetarians out there, instead of chicken or beef broth, you should probably suck on some rocks because what good is life if you can’t eat dead animals? I’m already giving up the cow juice but it will be a cold day in hell before I give up the entire cow.

For Wednesday, I am going to try Thai Basil Beef with Rice Noodles from Cooking Light. (OH LOOK! A cow!) Looks promising and I have been in the mood for Asian food lately, so crossing my fingers that this will be a winner.

For Friday, I’m breaking out the slow cooker and making a beef pot roast. (MORE COW!) I’ll trim the fat and then season it with salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and garlic and brown it on all sides before placing it in the slow cooker. I’ll cut up some potatoes and add some baby carrots and sliced onions and then place the beef on top. Throw in a couple bay leaves and about 1/2C beef broth and set it on slow for ~6 hours. I’ll serve a side salad and some bread to sop up the juice. I’ll also make a packet of brown gravy…hopefully I can find them here. No added fat and VERY tasty.

I’m always on the lookout for some good crock pot recipes. Have any to share?? Also, I’m really looking for a good meatloaf recipe. I remember how my mom would make them when I was a kid but, even though she’s an amazing cook, meatloaf wasn’t one of my favorites. I’ve actually never made one since we’ve been married and I’d really like to give it a go. So, if you have a good meat loaf recipe, please let me know!!


Til next time....

Sunday Randomness

So my Weekly Meal Planning is going to be a day late since I didn't have time to get my menus ready. Ok, that's a lie. I had time but I actually spent the evening on DamnYouAutoCorrect and have been dying of laughter. Seriously- if you are having a bad day, just go to that website and I dare you to not feel better.


* Friday Fibre Friends was fun. I learned how to make felt out of wool roving using a wet felting technique. In all honesty, I'm not exactly sure what I would do with a piece of felt, but I'm very proud to say that, being the neurotic competitive quick learner that I am, I totally made my piece of useless felt faster than anyone else. OH YEAH! And, if my new Fibre Friends are now reading this, BOO YAH! If you're going to party with The Gege, you have to BRING IT! *touchdown dance*

Ahem.

I mean, that was fun, girls! We should totally do it again sometime!

* In exploring our new town yesterday, we found this little Fish-n-Chips joint which had some great traditional British Fish-n-Chips run by a Vietnamese family in the middle of Australia. My world has gotten bigger and smaller all at the same time. The best part was being schooled by their cute little 4-year old girl on how to speak Australian properly:

Girl: (eating fried egg with ketchup on it) Do you like egg?
Me: I sure do! You like it with ketchup?
Girl: It's tomato sauce
Me: Oh! Tomato sauce.
Girl: NO! *rolls eyes* To-MAH-to sauce.
Me: *dying of laughter*

(That's how Australians say ketchup- don't say you never learned anything on this blog!)

* I'm working on my Peppermint Hat pattern because it's been requested by one of my long-time readers. I'll hopefully have it ready in the next couple weeks. (Once I'm done, she will be testing the pattern for me- Thanks, Brooke!) I also noticed that an anonymous reader left a comment about my Holy Julie Newmar cat hat pattern and requested a video on how to do it, so that will be coming down the pike, too. Although, I think we shipped our video camera, so videos will have to wait until our stuff comes in. I can't believe how long it takes for things to get here! I mean, come on people!! 2011!!! Shouldn't we have that teleportation device working by now?!?

* I'm loving the daytime television out here. It's like I teleported back to 1992. Murder She Wrote (I LOOOOVE THIS SHOW! It's my all-time favorite. Not even kidding. Talk smack about J.B. Fletcher and I will cut you.), Animaniacs, Diagnosis Murder, Perfect Strangers (DANCE OF JOY, BALKI!) and my personal favorite, MacGyver. YUM. When we were younger, my sister thought I had the worst taste in men when I told her I had a crush on MacGyver. I thought that it was again proof that she was adopted until she pointed to the TV and said, "REALLY?? Him???" and I died laughing because we were watching COLUMBO at the time. Now, I'll admit that Columbo has that sexy lazy eye thing going on, but nothing can beat the MacGyver Mullet!!!  How she got the two mixed up, I'll never know, but I wasn't able to look at Peter Falk the same way again.

* I made the mistake of telling My Mister that I had a crush on MacGyver. Granted, I've told him that numerous times- like when we see MacGruber on SNL, or if we use duct tape, or if Columbo is on- but now he seems to get a wee bit jealous just because I told him I had to get off the phone with him because MacGyver was going to start. He actually turned the channel this weekend when he saw it was on but he turned it back when I threatened to rip his arm off pointed out there was nothing else on. Oh dear silly Mister! You're the only mullet...err I mean man...for me!

* Gotta go to bed now- My Mister Mullet is waiting for me. ;)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Unicorn Farts

In my quest to start looking on the bright side of things (Egads! The Light! It burns!), I must admit that I am happy to be in the southern hemisphere at this time of year. While I love autumn- the crisp cool air, the gorgeous colors as the leaves turn- one thing I really missed this year was summer. I kinda was a huge, angry, depressed pregnant woman for the beginning of summer, and an emotionally unstable, freaked out, new mother for the second half. I didn't get to enjoy the sun and warmth and swimming pools and summer camp with the Middle School Youth Group, which was the first camp in 5 years I missed. (When I realized the first group of Middle Schoolers I had in my cabin are now in college, I felt REALLY REALLY OLD.)

However, now that I'm in the Land Down Under, I GET A DO OVER!!!  It's now spring and getting warmer as summer is quickly approaching. I get to enjoy the sun and warmth AND the really cool aquatic center here in town. I'm actually quite looking forward to taking Little Mister for swimming lessons. Granted, my Baby Huey is slightly on the large side so he'll either sink like a rock or float with all of his cute baby blubber. Either way, I'm hoping he'll be like his mom and dad and be an adept water baby.

Another good thing is that I received a special package today- an important package that will help me get back to a more familiar Normal. Oh yes, my friends. I received my sports bra in the mail today. Woot. (Not WOOT! just quite yet....baby steps, people! Baby steps!) Right before we left, I went to Nordstroms and got measured for a proper fitting nursing bra. Since I'm an odd size, I've not been able to find a proper fitting nursing bra at the regular stores, which may have contributed to my emotionally instability, but for sure contributed to my quadroboobs. After finding my proper size, which made me giggle in astonishment and text furiously to My Mister and my Sister, "YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO BELIEVE THIS!" and then I promptly fainted when I found out the price of a properly fitting nursing bra at Nordstroms. I may have mentioned once or twice before I DO NOT LIKE SHOPPING. I am soooo not a shopper and thus, very much NOT the type of person who buys things at Nordstroms on a normal basis....or ever. I think my most expensive piece of undergarments was my sports bra from Walmart which set me back a whopping 10 bucks. Yeah. Not a shopper.

Anywho, once armed with my proper bra size, I really needed to find  a properly fitting sports bra since my Walmart brand specials were no longer able to contain my newly acquired boobage. So, for those of you who are also odd sizes, I really recommend www.herroom.com. I SO much prefer shopping online to an actual store. I spent the same amount on my sports bra as I did with my Nordstroms bra; however, since I bought it online, it was like pretend money since real money can't go through phone lines. Sillies.

ANYwho, now that I have my properly fitting sports bra, I can now start exercising again, and that, my friends, is a very good thing. The unicorn farts are coming.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Just So You Know

I was talking to my sister today which is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. She is quite a talker and is quite possibly the funniest and wittiest girl I’ve ever known. She has the ability to be entertaining without being annoying and she has the best superpower ever- she can totally put a person down hardcore and yet still have people laugh and love her. I don’t know how she does it- I make fun of someone’s hair and people call me mean. She does it and they love her, buy her things, and make her queen. It’s the most awesome ability and I’m quite jealous about it. (For those of you who read my blog and know my sister- am I right or am I right?? Oh forget it- you’re the ones who made her queen- of course you’ll agree she’s awesome.)

One of the hardest parts of this move for me was that I couldn’t stuff her in one of my luggages and bring her with me. I do miss her so! Thank the Lord for Skype since we’re able to text and talk to each other regularly. And now that we finally have our internet service hooked up, we can do video Skype, as well! Yay! Although, it’s usually during the afternoon for her and bright and early for me which means she’s looking all kinds of beautiful and I’m a bed-headed bedraggled mess. There was an episode of The Jetsons where Jane Jetson talks to her friend bright and early in the morning and says, “I need to put on my face,” and she pulls out this mask which conforms perfectly to her face transforming her from a morning mess to Beautiful Jane Jetson. Yeah. I so need one of those.

So my Sister tells me she read my blog yesterday and it made her laugh (especially since she knows my cat) and that apparently folks at our church have been reading it, too. (HELLO ALL! I MISS YOU!) So they ask her how we’re doing out here- if we like it and are adjusting well- and she tells them, “Yeah! They’re doing great and loving it!” But, since they’ve been reading my blog, they give her this look like, “Uhhh…you haven’t been reading your sister’s blog, have you.” Then she apologetically tells them, “Even though she’s been a Debbie Downer lately, they really are doing well. I think.”

Ooof. Debbie Downer. Not good, captain. And to think I've never once mentioned Feline AIDS!

Hey- I’m not going to lie. It’s been tough getting here and adjusting hasn’t been the easiest for me, but I know a big part of that is my fault. Well, a big part of that is the fact that I was 2 months post-partum and still reeling from all the hormonal ups and downs while dealing with a huge international move- JUST SO YOU KNOW- and that wasn’t easy. But, another big part is the fact that I was being a lot like Lot’s Wife (from Genesis in the Bible- she’s the one that got turned into a pillar of salt) and kept wanting to look back at what I was going to miss rather than looking ahead at all the adventures in store.

Being the natural optimist that I am, I know you really can’t live life like that. Yes- I had a fabulous life with a great job, wonderful house, and awesome friends and family (and access to millions of yarn stores….just saying), but, truthfully, I still have those friends and family, I get a new shot at keeping a house organized (HAHAHAHAHAHA!), and I get to live in Australia! I’ve always wanted to live in Australia- ever since I was a little girl and saw The Man from Snowy River and thought, “Dang- if they have men like that out there, SIGN ME UP!” (Btw, Sis- still looking for your Aussie. I told Big Mister I was going to be checking out the men at church last weekend [didn't specify for whom] and he gave me a stink eye, especially when I told him he needed to help me.  Also, for MsEdwards, still looking for your more mature Keith Urban, too.)

As things are settling down for me, I’m starting to look ahead at the possibilities out here. I’ve already gotten connected with the local arts center and have my Friday Fibre Friends group (which I knew would be an anchor for me during this time- never underestimate the power of yarn!) and now that I have a vehicle, I’m able to go out and get to know my new town (and hopefully NOT the local lawmen anymore). Although, honestly, I’m really relishing the days where I don’t have anything to do and can just snuggle with Little Mister. He’s now figured out that if he can break his concentration from all the eating (he is a VERY serious eater), he can look up and SURPRISE! There’s mommy! And he smiles and coos and flirts and oh.my.lanta- I’m actually tearing up just thinking about it. So, I’m getting plenty of cuddling time rather than exploring time and I’m VERY happy about that.

I’m just trying to find my new normal and with so many changes that have occurred all at once, it’s not exactly the easiest thing in the world. And, honestly, my neurotic insecurities as a new mother would have been a reality no matter where I lived. However, I do have My Mister (who has been so wonderful through all this! If it wasn’t for his organizational skills and levelheadedness, we’d be living in a van down by the river right now) and we have our family all safe and sound. (Seeing Big Mister love on Little Mister has been the most awesome thing. He's the one who got him to laugh the other day! I have a great husband who is an amazing father, as well.) Besides, like I said-I am a natural optimist. Sooner or later the sun will shine and the unicorns will fart rainbows again. So, all things considered, I’m doing…all right. Things are looking up. Just so you know.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One of Those Days

A warning from My Mister: This is the longest post IN THE WORLD!

So, this lack of sleep thing is really starting to take its toll on me. I really wish I could get more than 1-2 hours of sleep at a stretch and….no. That’s it. MORE SLEEP PLEASE. I’ve been putting Little Mister in his crib after his first night feeding around 8pm and he’s been sleeping around 4 hours before needing to eat again. Now, this would be awesome if I actually went to sleep at 8pm to take advantage of those wonderful, glorious 4 hours. But, you see, those are 4 hours where I can be baby free and actually do things like BE WITHOUT A BABY for a few hours. So, I’ve been going to sleep around 11pm. That means 1 hour, 2 if I’m lucky, of sleep before he starts waking up again to eat. Dear Lord can that boy eat. And poop. Did I mention the poop? (Which, for the last 2 days has been a dark green and has been freaking me out once again. Yes, I’m doing research and it seems like it could be foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, which makes sense since he went from eating every 30 minutes to every 2 hours which means OH.MY.LANTA MY BOOBLIES ARE FULL.)

Once he wakes up to eat, he then eats every two hours until 4am at which time he eats (snacks, really) EVERY FREAKIN’ HOUR. Thus he’s back in bed with us which means the whole putting-him-in-his-crib-so-we-can-have-the-bed-to-ourselves thing isn’t working the way we were hoping it would. THUS, my brain is NOT working to its optimal capacity which, as I found out yesterday, REALLY REALLY SUCKS.

Let me back up a bit…. This weekend was the first weekend since arriving in Oz where our family is complete. We’ve been missing our little girl since she’s been in quarantine for the past month. I was so concerned for her since she is old, arthritic, and quite possibly possessed by Lucifer himself when in the presence of a vet.

Our darling little girl finally arrived home safely on Saturday and I was hoping to bring her straight home so we could conduct an exorcism she could de-stress from all she’s been through in the past month. Unfortunately, due to a urinary tract disorder she has to eat a special food that you can only get at a vet, and, as I found out on Friday, the local vet won’t just sell me a bag- they need to see her first since it’s a special food. Argh. I warned them about her special…uhh…personality quirk…but they still insisted they needed to see her prior to selling me some food. Ok, bub. It’s your funeral. So we headed to the vet straight from the airport.

Well, due to a lack of communication on their part (the turd heads didn’t tell me they charge an extra $30 for a Saturday visit), I opted to take her Monday. The thing about this decision is, Big Mister was with me on Saturday and Little Mister was well fed and sleeping so seeing the vet with our demonic spawn wasn’t going to be such a horrifying ordeal, especially since she was already safely in her cage from the plane trip and I didn’t have to wear my garlic and crucifix so I could wrangle her in there as her arthritic hips rotate like pinwheels made of sharp talons as she releases the deep throated YROOOWOOWWWWWWL call to her underlord master.

I set her appointment for early afternoon, giving myself 2 hours from my much needed chiropractic appointment to get in, get adjusted, get back home, pick her up, and then get to the vet. Factoring in a hungry baby? Nope. Didn’t do that. (That’s called foreshadowing, FYI.)

SO. Due to a rather unfortunate lapse in my New Mother Superpowers (WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME NOW???), I slept in with Little Mister trying to squeeze as much brain power as I could in those 1 hour chunks. Not only did it NOT boost my cranial capacity, but it also left me with only 30 minutes to get us both ready to make it to my chrio appointment. I’m still not exactly sure what the heck happened in those 30 minutes- I have vague memories of boobs and poopy diapers but curiously none of toothbrushes- but we somehow made it in the car and were barreling down the road in record time.

Now, it’s tough enough driving on the wrong side of the road when I’m well rested and not running late for an appointment; when I’m bleary eyed and not exactly sure when was the last time I shaved my legs and wishing I wasn’t wearing shorts and hoping beyond hope that I put on deodorant so that this new chiropractor wouldn’t have to put on toxic waste gloves to adequately adjust my poor crooked back, let’s just say driving on the right side of the road would have been a challenge. So, it really shouldn’t have come as such a huge shock when, after I blew past yet another non-descript white SUV (heck, even my car is a non-descript white SUV), it just so happened to be a non-descript white SUV with flashing lights and a siren. (Note to Little Mister: This was a lesson in things you should not do. You should not drive over the speed limit EVER but especially when you are in a foreign country and unsure of which side of the road you should pull over when chased by a cop. You should also never be chased by a cop. You should also never use those words you heard your mommy shout. And you should never leave the house without an extra pair of undies because you never know when you may soil them as you are breaking the law and cursing like a sailor.)

After quickly assessing whether or not my boobage would counteract my lack of grooming enough to get out of a ticket (why oh why didn’t I put on mascara at least? Or brush my teeth??), I resigned to my fate knowing I’d have some ‘splainin’ to do to My Mister when we got the arrest notice in the mail. After informing me that I was going 100 in an 80 zone (it sounds so much more impressive in miles than kilometers), the cop, whether because my boobage worked or because he could smell the stench of rabid desperation of an unbathed new mother running late, let me off with just a warning which made me think that this day was not going to be as bad as I first thought it was. Yeah. Optimism is stupid.

When we finally made it to the chiro and were only 15 minutes late, which is practically on-time in New Mommy Time Zone- I quickly shoved a piece of gum in my mouth and breathlessly let the receptionist know how sorry I was for being late but then the room became a little dim when she told me, “That’s ok- your appointment is actually in an hour.”

ARE YOU FLIPPING KIDDING ME?!?!

I had to reschedule since I had an appointment for my darling demonic cat at the stupid turd head new vet, so my poor crooked back remains poor and crooked still.

As we headed back home, I noticed a semi in front of me (in the left lane) with his left blinker on but thought it was just a silly Australian driving with his blinker on since he was pulling into the right lane. So we continued on, my lead foot helping us to pass on the left side when OH MY GOD WE’RE GOING TO DIE!!! You know how in the US the semis have a sign that says, “WARNING: WIDE RIGHT TURNS”? Well, in Australia, THEY DRIVE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD which means a semi with a left blinker pulling into the right lane IS GOING TO SMASH US DEAD!

After slamming on my brakes and once again educating my son on what words he should not say (EVER, Little Mister!!), I jump started my heart, thanked the Lord there were no cars behind us, and shakily made it home safely.

The one bright spot in this scenario (there I go with that optimism again), was that I got to feed Little Mister prior to going to the vet. Yeah. Well. If he only could stay full for any amount of time, I’m sure this bright spot would have been really really swell.

So as to not have a repeat of my morning, I got my garlic and crucifix ready with 30 minutes to spare and started hunting for my cat. Surprisingly, she actually got into her cage very easily. After wondering if there was a newly possessed herd of swine nearby, I took advantage of my good fortune and quickly locked her up and sprinkled her with holy water. Now it was time to put Little Mister in his car seat so we could get a move on. Well. He was peacefully sleeping and had no intention of peacefully waking up. HE WAS THE HERD OF SWINE.

He started wailing as I put him in the car which unfortunately clued in my cat that EVERYONE MUST DIE so she also starts up with her YYRROOOOOOOWWWWLLLLs. I jump in the car and start singing “JESUS LOVES ME” at the top of my lungs and praying that the moving vehicle would lull Little Mister back to sleep. Thank the Lord- my prayer was answered!

We finally made it to the vet and thankfully did not have long to wait before the vet called us back. (A really sweet vet who had just moved here 3 weeks ago, so she was not one of the Turd Heads.) I warned her about my cat and offered her my crucifix, but she wisely let me handle Little Beezelbub while she gently felt her tummy and listened to her heart.

Vet: “Oh, how sweet- she’s purring.” *pause* “And growling.”

The appointment didn’t take too long, but it was long enough for Little Mister to realize he was no longer in a moving vehicle AND WHY IS THERE NO BOOBY IN MY MOUTH??

I quickly wrangle the both of them back in the car and started heading home, but in a moment of sleep deprived lunacy, decide that since the vet is so close to the Post Office, I should probably stop by and quickly get the mail, especially since we are expecting a box. I get my mail and see there is no notice that we have any boxes, which is just as well since I don’t know how much longer I have before all hell breaks loose. As I’m leaving, a man I have never met before calls me from behind the counter and says, “Wait! We have some boxes for you. A LOT of boxes. Let me get a dolly and wheel them out to you.”

REALLY????

We had 3 HUGE boxes and 5 smaller boxes to load Jenga style in my car as Little Mister starts crying again. The strange man tries making small talk about babies and I was biting my tongue so hard so I wouldn’t yell, “SHUT IT, STRANGE MAN OR I WILL SIC MY DEMONIC CAT ON YOU!”

We are finally on the road home and I’m hoping beyond hope that there are no flashing lights and sirens behind me because, thanks to our loot, I cannot see anything out of my rear view window. And then Little Mister chimes in. WAAAAAAAAAAAH! And then Little Girl starts harmonizing, “YYYRRROOOOWWWWWWL!!!” So I just say, to heck with it and join them in the chorus. WHHHYYYY MEEE?????

I got them in the house which instantly calmed my cat but had no effect on Little Mister, so I plopped him on the bed and nursed him to sleep. Blissful sleep. How I miss thee.

Once he was asleep, I got the boxes out of the car and started opening them. It was like Christmas! Q-Tip brand q-tips! Bounty brand paper towels! A new book! A new food scale! WAIT. What was that one? OH CRAP. That must be the Christmas gift Big Mister was telling me he bought for me when he said, “DO NOT open a box from Best Buy that is addressed to me!” and now I JUST RUINED CHRISTMAS.

Actual reaction when Big Mister saw the open box:

Mr: Why did you open it?? It was addressed to me! YOU ARE A CHRISTMAS RUINER! 


Me: YYYYRRRROOOOOOWWWWLLLLL!