Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fun With Hats

The weather turned nice and I have just now realized that Bobo is of northern-European ancestry. The boy has strawberry blonde hair and turns blotchy red at the mere hint of it getting above 70 degrees in the house. And he started getting itty bitty baby beads of sweat on his nose. It's only April. I think he may spontaeously combust come July. Perhaps we can harness his power and gain our energy independence by August.

Chuckles noticed that there was no frost on the driveway and wanted to be outside in shorts and a T-shirt and mom-can-we-use-the-hose-and-get-all-wet. So, the kids are....differently suited for the seasons. Chuckles is a year-round hearty type. I think Bobo may prefer the more indoor pursuits. Time will tell.

I was cleaning out the garage (see also glorious weather) and came upon a hat box (do you remember hat boxes?) from Marshall Fields (do you remember Fields?). In the box were three high-fashion hats (one green velvet with a pheasant feather, one black with some kind of protruding protuberance, and the 3rd looked like something Barbra Streisand would have worn in a movie) from the 50s or 60s, one pair of ladies evening gloves, wrist-length, black, covered in rhinestones, and a black dress purse with change purse inside. Chuckles and I then proceeded to garden while wearing fetching hats.

Our older lady neighbor thought we were lovely, and told us a story about the last hat she bought in 1974. Mr. Long-Suffering found it tolerable and funny, and my mother-in-law thinks I am trying to turn her grandson gay. As if you can turn people gay from hats! Obviously, it's not the hats that turn boys's playing with dolls. I jest. Anyway, we looked lovely. And now I miss my grandmother less since the hats still smelled like her dusting powder after 11 years in my garage.

In other news, I am very thrifty and someone was about to throw away 3 pounds of perfectly good meat, so I took it and brought it home and cooked it up and that is why we had spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner. (I know....they were throwing away perfectly good meat!)

Bobo is turning 4 in about 10 days. Next weekend is the party. Today, I made a pinata out of a Trader Joe's paper bag with handles reinforced with duct tape. The bag is filled with fruit leather, Matchbox cars, assorted balls, whoopie cushions, stickers, and a few pieces of candy. An odd assortment to be sure. Hopefully, next week I can write that a good time was had by most if not all.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Three-Minute Blog Post

Did you know that it takes Medela microwave steam sterilizing bags 3 minutes to sterilize your pump and bottle parts? Well, it does, so I have 3 minutes for this.

Back to work and I have only cried in the office once. I have pumped at my desk 26 times already. Time sure does fly.

Time being what it is (finite and linear....time travel be damned), I don't have much time to blog these days, but I do want to fill in some gaps.

Highlight: It's not meningitis.
Lowlight: It's strep.

Chuckles is sick. He picked it up at school. Kids are sick all over the place there. He's on antibiotics and is no longer contagious, the good pediatrician doctor tells me. But in the condition he was in Saturday, I never would have sent him to school. Why do other parents do this? (and I know that some people just cannot afford to take off of work for a sick kid, but dude, your sick kid is getting my kid sick. I'm looking out for number 1.)

Well, the microwave has dung, or is it dinged, so I must go dump the parts to cool and dry, pack the pump for tomorrow, lay out clothes, fix my lunch, brush my teeth, and fall into bed so that I may be reawakened in a few hours for the all-night, all-you-can-eat buffet. Peace, out.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Five Black Bags & a Sad Ending

Back to work means the mornings are a mad-dash to get people dressed, brushed, lunches, shoes on, coats on, in the car, c'mon let's go!

Anyway, I never want to be half way to work and look in my mirror only to realize that I forgot to drop the kids at day care. Likewise, I don't want to be half-way to work and realize that I lef tthe computer with the baby and have a bag of bottles with me (I also just realized I spelled halfway three different ways in this paragraph...whatever).

So....I have this little counting ritual I do as I set off in the morning. I count my five black bags. And if I have all five when I pull out of the driveway, everything is going to be OK.
  • purse (including phone, keys, wallet)
  • milk bag with freezer pack to transport pumped milk home from work
  • laptop bag
  • bottle bag (containing 3 bottles, each with 4 to 5 ounces of hard won human milk)
  • Medela Pump-In-Style Advanced with handy shoulder bag

If I can count to FIVE, I'm stayin' ALIVE.

Speaking of Alive, my grandmother is no longer living. It's not terribly sad. Were she still with us, she'd be (hmmm, carrying the one) 96. She passed away in 1994 at the age of 81. She was pretty well up until about a year before her death, which is really quite good. I miss her.

Anyway, my point is my granmother could cook. She had several things that when I eat them, I think of her. Oh, and we always got to pick our own birthday dinner and she'd fix it for us. I always picked steak and sweet potatoes (she'd make filet mignon). The smoke detector always went off when she made it, but it was always perfect. I think her broiler and smoke detector were just having a turf war. She always served a salad course before dinner and she'd always tell us what was in her dressing (oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, and "a pinch of sugar to cut the vinegar"). And for your birthday dessert, everyone chose angel food cake with Grandma frosting. And she'd tell us how she'd doctor up the store-bought cake mix to make it her own extra-special most awesome cake. And I say this part sobbing, "I cannot remember how she doctored up the cake mix so I can't make her cake and it's so good and I miss her." So, anyway, I decided I would make her cake for Easter since I was in charge of bringing dessert. I just made the angel food cake per the Duncan Hines directions. My instructions for the frosting are on a slip of paper and it says this:

1/2 cup milk

2T flour

Cook. Cool. Add:

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 pound butter

Not very descriptive is it? But I tried my best and improvised and the flavor was perfect, but the consistency was too thin, so I don't know what I am supposed to do...more butter, more flour, more sugar, less milk, cool it more, maybe cake flour, or granulated sugar instead of the powdered I used? No idea. And my cake was ugly. My grandmother's cakes were always attractive and even with a flat top and I have no idea how she did it. Angel food cake doesn't have a flat top so you can't set it upside-down and you can't frost it right-side-up, and I guess maybe she took a knife and evened it out, but I just don't know.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm open to trying to contact the dead if that's what it takes. Also, grandma always served the milk with dinner from a Blue Delft pitcher with a cow on it. She did not heft the plastic gallon up on the table. Grandma was a class act all the way. And I wish I had that pitcher.

The End of an Era

Things here have been hectic with my return to work. But, things are good.

Highlight: Both kids are going to bed between 7:30 and 8:00
Lowlight: Both kids need bedtime rituals at the same time (we had one-at-a-time before).

Highlight: Bobo is taking bottles and napping at day care.
Lowlight: Chuckles is not napping and is a raging terror by 6:30. A cute terror, but a terror.

Highlight: Bobo is learning all about other babies and sharing.
Lowlight: One of the other babies shared her cough with Bobo (he seems fine except for a hack...must tell him to quit smoking....Mr. Long-Suffering calls it the "kennel cough").

Highlight: Bobo rolled over tummy-to-back twice yesterday.
Lowlight: We only got 6,512 photos of it. Would have preferred 7,000 photos.

Highlight: Chuckles had an unprompted, spontaneous outburst of love for us. "I love you, Mommy and Daddy...and Bobo and Lisa too."
Lowlight: Bobo had an unprompted, spontaneous outburst of poop for us that caused emergency laundry.

So, all-in-all, a good time. Hectic but good. Dinner has turned into something of a circus, but we'll probably hit our stride in a week or two. Hope you're all doing well.