Thursday, March 31, 2011

Another Dream, Another Name

I hesitate to write this post, but I can't contain it any longer.  I had a dream two days ago, but not just any dream.  I had a name dream.  As in a name dream like the one I had toward the end of last November.  Yeah.

That dream last November filled me with ridiculous hope and for good reason.  I actually was already pregnant when I had the dream.  In fact, I was so newly pregnant that I couldn't even take a pregnancy test yet and hope to get any results. 

In the dream I had two days ago, someone handed me what looked like a blank sheet of paper.  I looked at the paper and suddenly realized that a name was written on it.  It was written in my own script.  I was puzzled because I hadn't written the name (indeed, I don't think I've ever written that name in my life) and I looked up to ask what this was about.  That's when I sat up in bed. 

Sounds easy, right?  I suppose so, but when I woke up, I had an entirely different name in my head.  So I guess you could say that two names were given to me in this dream.

I don't think this means that twins are in my future, but I do think that I dreamed the first and middle names of the next (and likely last) child I have.  I only base that on the syllables contained in the two names.  I'm fond of the 3-2-1 syllable flow and that's part of the reason why I agonized over coming up with my son's name.  Well, I just dreamed a 3-2-1 syllable flow that will make it plenty easy to name my next baby.  So easy that it's already done!

Do I sound convinced that I'll be having another baby?  I am.  As with the dream last November, I believe this dream is telling me that I will fall pregnant again and that I will have another baby.  So here's to enjoying the journey along the way!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

He's Becoming One of Us!

I freaking love my husband!!!  LOVE HIM!!!  I'm sure we seem like we're an odd couple to a lot of people, but sometimes I'm shocked at how well we get along and how we get each other.  That last bit is something that I never, never, never thought that I'd experience because I'm a weirdo with some crazy ideas.  My hubs may not always agree with my opinions (I think we're around 90-10), but he gets where I'm coming from and he understands me.

I confessed that I'm officially a hippie just last week.  It looks like living with me for nearly eight years has started to rub off on my hubs.  No, he isn't creeped out by meat and dairy products.  He isn't railing about the big business of childbirth and baby feeding.  And he certainly isn't eschewing deodorant and wearing patchouli.  But he totally supported me and my hippie tendencies this weekend.

We've resumed house-hunting and I always choose to wear our son when we walk through any property that is currently inhabited.  My thoughts are that it is far easier to focus on the faults of the house if I don't have to divide my attention to keep an eye on him.  Yes, I look for the problems in a house before I look for things that I might like about it - I waste less time that way.

Anyway, we popped in at a couple of open houses on Sunday; one we specifically planned to check out and one was spontaneous.  We aren't particularly looking in the neighborhood of the second house because it's geographically less desirable to my way of thinking, but we had time and we spotted the sign so we stopped.  I wore my son on my back in the Boba at the first house and I pulled out the pouch to let him ride on my hip at the second house.  I never have a stroller on-hand (since he outgrew his stroller), but I always have at least two carrier options in my car.

The agent opened the door and looked surprised to see my son was cozied up on my hip in the pouch.  She commented that the pouch was an ingenious way to tote around a tot and keep my hands free.  She wasn't snarky or anything; she just seemed to think that it was pretty cool that I was wearing my son.  I told her that I agreed that babywearing is a smart way to keep your kiddo safe and out of mischief.

My husband chimed in. . .

"This is normal in most parts of the world."

Awesome.  Totally awesome.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recipe: Egg Pie

This can be assembled the night before and stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to cook in the morning.  It's also very good with the addition of sliced mushrooms and I suppose that ham would be tasty as well.

Egg Pie
4 eggs, beaten
1 16-oz. container fat free cottage cheese
1 10-oz. package of frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, well drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced (can also chop several ounces of jarred roasted red peppers)
3 Tb plain dry breadcrumbs
Seasonings:  salt, pepper, onion powder.
Non-stick cooking spray

Mix all ingredients until blended.  I usually reserve a little of the cheese to sprinkle on top. Pour into 9-inch pie plate sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until center is set. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serves 6.

This pan represents nearly triple this recipe.

Even kids seem to like this - veggies and all!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Conviction is Good

I'm not all that well-versed in religious matters, but I'm forever amazed at God's timing and His love.

My church offers The Lord's Supper (Communion) only a few times each year.  My pastor's feeling is that doing it rarely, like a quarterly basis, emphasizes that it is a sacred thing.  I agree that it is sacred and should be treated as such.  I think that, more important than treating the act with reverence, is the condition of the heart in those who choose to partake.  That's where this blog post was born, but more on that later.

For those of you who don't know, The Lord's Supper (also called Communion) is the act in which the congregation mimics the final meal that Jesus shared with His disciples on the eve of His sacrifice.  We share bread, crackers, or wafers (depends on the church) as a symbol of His body. . .the body that was broken for our sins.  We also share wine or juice (again, depends on the church) as a symbol of his blood. . .the blood that was spilled as a once-and-forever sacrifice to lift away our sins and reconcile us to God. 

I won't even begin to try to tackle whether the bread is the actual body of Christ or whether the wine is the actual blood of Christ because I don't want to start a Holy War.  Different denominations believe different things on that matter.  Let's just let that discussion lie while we move right along, shall we?

The Lord's Supper was offered at my church yesterday and I felt bothered when I noticed the platters of broken matzoh and the communion cups of grape juice.  I was surprised at my negative response because that had never happened to me before.  I actually wanted to leave the sanctuary and excuse myself from the entire service.

My pastor explained the history of this act and the reason why Christians do this in remembrance of Him.  He also included some verses that helped enlighten me.  Specifically, he spoke about unconfessed sin as it relates to the condition of the heart.

Then it hit me.  I didn't want to cast a light on my heart.  I didn't want to do any reflection or confession. 

Why?  Because I wanted to cling to the sins that had taken up residence in my heart and that's why I was bothered at the notion of participating in The Lord's Supper.  I knew that I should not partake if I was still willfully holding those sins and I understand the importance of asking God's forgiveness for any and ALL unconfessed sins.  It only hit me yesterday morning that I had a lot of unconfessed sin in my heart. 

Sure, sins of the heart might seem like lesser sins than sins of the flesh, but the Bible is very clear on this:  sin is sin is sin.  Sins of the heart are weighted as heavily as sins of the flesh.  Both are sins and both need to be confessed.

For various reasons (travel, illness, nursery duty), I've been away from church for a few weeks.  It seems like an odd coincidence that my first week back to church is a service built around The Lord's Supper and the need to sweep sin from your heart.  But is it all that odd?  No, not really. . .it's just God's perfect timing at work.

I needed to be reminded that the smallest bit of sin in the heart can spread and grow if left unchecked.  I needed to confess and turn away from that sin that had taken up residence in my heart.  God, in His perfect love, gave me the conviction that I needed and I needed that conviction to get right with Him.

It's been a rough several months for me.  Physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  The other two are directly impacted by my spiritual health.  When my spirit is nourished, my emotions are positive.  And, when I feel good in my mind, my body follows. 

I'm embarrassed to admit that I had been feeling spiritually barren for several weeks.  Not neglected or unloved by God. . .almost the opposite.  I felt more like a snotty teenager who doesn't want to do what their loving parents say is the right thing to do.  My spiritual drought allowed me to ignore what I know was right and contemplate whatever the heck I wanted.  Naturally, that lead to further feelings of separation and spiritual dryness.  It quickly became a never-ending cycle that repeated over and over and over again.

Christians, is there something weighing heavily on your heart today?  Don't try to deal with it alone or give in to spiritual chaos.  Take it to God and feel at peace once again.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Did I Just Say THAT?!

My hubs and I are currently watching Chinatown.  If you've never seen this modern-ish film noir (feels weird to call an over 30-year old film "modern"), I highly recommend it!  Director Roman Polanski is most definitely a creepy fucking rapist and sodomizer of severely underaged girls, but that midget sure could make a freaking movie!

Anyway, we were watching the scene where Jake arrived at Catalina.  His contact at Avalon harbor was driving a woody.  My husband said, "That's a nice woody!"  My response was a classic and one that I'm sure you can see a mile away. . .

"I'd rather ride on a woody than in a woody."

Yeah, I'm classy in that way.  I always knew there was something he liked about me!  I'm sure that my hubs found my admission tremendously amusing and enlightening.  At least, I hope he did!  haha

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Recipe: Crock-Pot Pie

This is a lot like a pot pie filling with mashed potatoes instead of pastry crust. I guess it's also like a chicken shepherd's pie. . .

Crock-Pot Pie
Non-stick cooking spray
2 cans of cooked chicken, drained & flaked
3 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 small cans sliced mushrooms, drained & chopped
4 cups of frozen mixed veggies (the carrot, pea, corn, & green bean blend works well in this)
1 1/2 cans of water
4 cups of mashed potatoes (instant works fine)
Seasonings:  I use onion powder, granulated garlic, salt, pepper, a dash of red pepper flakes, and a sprinkle of cinammon. Yeah, cinammon sounds weird, but it tastes really good with chicken. And I usually top the end result with a pinch of paprika.

1.  Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
2.  Pour chicken, soup, veggies, water, & seasonings in slow cooker and stir together.
3.  Cover crock-pot and set on LOW for 4 - 5 hours.
4.  Ladle into bowls and top with 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes.

Note: Since everything is cooked, you can eat this whenever it's warmed through. I wouldn't keep it in the slow cooker much longer than 6 hours or so. This makes a lot, so be prepared for leftovers or cut the recipe in half as best as possible.

This is definitely a comfort-food classic in my house and it's one of my son's favorite meals.

Friday, March 25, 2011

My AquaTherapy

I recently took a trip to Vegas and my hubs unexpectedly upgraded us to a suite.  I've stayed in suites plenty of times before and didn't think it would be any big deal.  I mean, it takes an awful lot for me to feel impressed by any hotel room - no matter how well appointed it may be.

The bathtub made it a big freaking deal!

I love relaxing in water. . .I absolutely love it.  I'm constantly disgusted by the fact that most bathtubs aren't deep enough or long enough to enjoy a good soaking.  I'm so desirous of a fantastically wonderful bathtub that I'll do darn near anything to get one.  Heck, it has become a requirement that I need fulfilled when we buy our next house.

How much do I enjoy soaking?  Enough that I spent nearly two hours luxuriating in this wonderfully deep and long tub.  Two freaking hours!  Yep, I spent almost 120 minutes doing absolutely nothing, but sitting in a tub full of water.  Such decadence is unheard of for me these days and I enjoyed every single second of it!  I'm most happy that I didn't suffer even the least amount of guilt over my indulgence.

I filled that lovely basin with warm-hot water, disrobed, and slipped in.  The water licked my thighs and swallowed me up. . .I knew then that I was in for a special treat.  My laptop was playing an eclectic mix of musical selections that I chose specifically for my listening pleasure; Gordon Lightfoot, Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell, and Guns & Roses.  The bathroom quickly became a humid slice of Heaven here on Earth.

The heat of the water raised my core body temperature and made sweat begin to bead up on my body.  Before long, every bit of exposed skin began to shimmer.  Though my hands were out of the water, the backs of my hands were totally wet.  The nape of my neck was hot and my hair frizzed up until I shook it loose from my clip and let tendrils fall into the water while I leaned back and relaxed.  Rivulets of heat-induced moisture drizzled down between my breasts.  I wet a washcloth and used it to wipe away my salty sweat. . .mainly so I wouldn't look like some sweaty beast in case my hubs decided to join me.

I wondered at a certain point, an hour in, how I would make it from the tub to the bed.  If you've ever used a deep bathtub, you'll know that it is impossible to enter or exit in a dignified fashion.  Dignity went out the window for me a long time ago (thankfully, my hubs still likes me for some reason!), but it's ridiculously difficult to exit after your muscles have been softened to the point that they are floppier than overdone pasta.

Turns out that I didn't have to worry about looking like a clumsy buffoon in front of my fella since I heard his snoring from the main bedroom.  I drained the bathtub, feeling sad that this special time was nearly over, and found a way to push myself up and out.  Thank goodness for somewhat strong triceps!

My skin was a deep shade of pink and felt incredibly sensitive to temperature and touch. . .bliss.  It was absolute bliss.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vegas, Baby!

A few days ago:

As is customary, my son ran to my room and stood next to my side of the bed while saying, "Oh!  Hi Mommy.  Good morning Mommy."  I barely opened my eyes, cracked a lazy smile, and replied, "Good morning, Sweetheart." 

He crawled up in my bed and snuggled with me for a few minutes and I asked if he knew where we were going to go that day.  His response was priceless.  He said, "Vegas, Baby!"

He's definitely my son, isn't he?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Okay to Cry

I sometimes think that our tears refresh our dusty spirits in much the same way that raindrops refresh living plants. . .I often forget that I don't have to be this rough & tough bad-ass (okay, I'm never that, but you know what I mean) and that it's perfectly acceptable to let my soft & gooey insides show up.  Thanks, Nikki, for giving me the stated permission to break down and cry out my heartbreak over my brother and my baby.  I've cried it out dozens of times previously and I imagine that I'll do it dozens of times more.

This week would have marked the 20th week of my pregnancy.  I would have been at the half-way point.  I would have known the baby's gender with reasonable certainty.  I would have already had the child's name known completely. . .I know that I've blogged about my baby's name, and it was a feminine name, but I did have a masculine name in the hopper - just in case.  I would have been counting down the next 20-weeks. . .waiting to meet the little one who would be my last baby.

I tell myself that I would have had the birth that I have always wanted; the birth that I was denied with my son.  Instead of waiting hours before seeing my sweet child, I tell myself that I would have been able to put this baby to my breast within minutes of the birth.  I tell myself that I'd never wish away the days, hours, and minutes of this child's infancy because I know now just how fleeting those moments truly are and I realize now how much you miss them when they are gone.

Of course, we all know that my baby died and that this darling and precious baby was expelled in the most spectacularly painful fashion that I could ever imagine.  I expect that I'll cry an ocean of tears this August. . .particularly around what would have been my estimated due date.  I don't really believe in astrology, but I do wonder how my lil' bull (my Taurus son) would have reacted to my little Leo lion.  He's so sweet and empathetic toward babies that I'm sure he'd make a wonderfully protective and loving big brother.

I adore my little boy and my love burns for him like the fire of a thousand suns.  I just would really, really, really like to give him the joy in life that only a sibling can offer.  I loved having an older sister and brother - absolutely loved it!  Once there were three. . .and now there are only two - my sister and myself.  But, growing up, my brother and sister were phenomenally wonderful and I'm so thankful that I wasn't an only child because my siblings were fantastic. 

I want to give my son a similar experience and biology seems to be stopping my efforts.  Indeed, my reproductive organs appear to be giving me a very pronounced "F-You!"  Next month will mark two-years of trying to conceive a sibling for my son.

I have the green-light to try again and, due to my age, I am not interested in wasting any time getting to it.  I'm sure some will think that I should completely mourn and process the grief associated with losing this last baby, but I just don't feel that I have that luxury of time.  It'll happen if it happens and, if it doesn't happen, I'm still so thankful for the beautiful boy that I already have.

And I'll remember that it's perfectly normal and natural to cry over babies who were never to be born.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm Definitely a Hippie

I wrote a post nearly a year ago in which I wondered:  Am I a Hippie?  My hubs could be called The Man and he often laughs or rolls his eyes while groaning at my hippie tendencies.  Thankfully, he's mainly just amused at the things I do, say, and think and he gives me the freedom to march to the beat of my own drum.  Thanks to a few recent conversations, I'm reaching the conclusion that I'm becoming more of a hippie by the day.

~ I had a lengthy conversation just yesterday with my sister about my feelings on breastfeeding as it relates to raising my own child and, as you might guess, I sounded like a milkalicious mama because I regret not breastfeeding my son until he was at least 18-months.  Assuming that I have the same enviable milk supply if I have a second child, I will absolutely nurse until they are 1 1/2-years old.  It's really not all that long and breastmilk is still beneficial to toddlers, so why wouldn't I want to offer him the best if I possibly could?  For the record, she thought I was a weirdo for nursing my son until he was just about 13-months of age and implied that he's breast-obsessed because I nursed him too long.  If that's the reason, I want to know why my non-breastfed husband also likes boobies.  Hell, I was breastfed until I was nine-months old and even I like a nice set of boobs!

~ I've had enough friends remark that I should make my son walk or sit in a stroller (rather than wear him on my hip or back in a carrier) that I realize I am a little out of the mainstream when it comes to my parenting choices as it relates to restraining my child and keeping him safe in a crowd.  I don't see the difference between wearing him in a carrier (pouch, SSC, and ring sling are my favorites for my lil' 30-pounder) and pushing him in a stroller.  Why is it considered okay to put him in a stroller, but not let him ride on my back?  Perhaps a choke-chain and leash would be more socially acceptable?  If that doesn't work, I also have a shock-collar that worked beautifully on modifying the behavior of our 90-pound GSD. . .

~ A friend remarked on Facebook that she'd like to have chats with other mamas in person rather than over the computer.  She added that it would be nice to have these conversations while we were all preparing community meals so that we could work out our conflicts with self while actually feeding the entire tribe.  I have to admit, this appeals to me on so many levels.  I'm a very social individual and I frequently feel tormented with middle-aged angst so I'd love the opportunity to rap with women on a deep and meaningful level every single day and so much the better if real work were accomplished at the same time.  I also don't mind working hard for the benefit of others besides myself or even my own family.  I know that I sound like I'm just a few steps away from embracing communal living arrangements (if you know my hubs, you'll know that this will NEVER happen!) and I know that hippie communes ended up presenting their own specific sets of problems (as one would expect in most communistic environments, the shirkers piss the hell out of workers), but the freedom and the sharing aspect certainly appeals to me.

I think it's pretty clear:  I'm definitely a hippie.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Poem; Sans Poeticizing

I've always liked writing and there was a time where I wrote a lot of poetry.  Well, I probably did more poeticizing than actually writing poetry, but that's angst-ridden teenaged girls for you!  I ran across a poem that I wrote last Summer and it's just as true now as it was then. 

What I Want for My Son
I want my son to climb. . .even if he might fall.
I want my son to fall. . .so he'll learn that it hurts.
I want my son to learn what hurts. . .so he'll be more careful.

I want my son to try new things. . .even if he might fail.
I want my son to fail. . .so he'll learn to try harder.
I want my son to try harder. . .so he'll excel.

I want my son to explore. . .even if he might get lost.
I want my son to get lost. . .so he'll learn to stay close or at least learn directions!
I want my son to learn directions. . .so he'll be able to find his way around town.

I want my son to fight if he has to. . .even if he might lose.
I want my son to lose. . .so he'll learn how to win.
I want my son to win. . .because I love him.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I wanted to title this post, "My Faith in Humanity Has Tentatively Been Restored." 

If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you'll realize that I don't have a lot of patience or tolerance for racism.  To be perfectly clear, I think that racism is completely and totally stupid and ignorant.  I'll go a step further and say that I think that racists have some sort of an inferiority complex and the only way that they can feel better about themselves is to lash out against members of races other than their own.

Why do they feel that way?  I have no freaking idea.  It makes absolutely no sense to me.

Racism is stupid and short-sighted.  Racists are ignorant fools who are content to live in their own state of foolishness.  I can't understand why one person would, based solely on race, form any opinion about another human being.  We are all part of the human race, people!!!  And we are far more similar than different. . .why focus on our differences?

Over the years, I have noted a fair amount of e-mails and Facebook statuses about how upset the writer (or sharer) is about funding or aid that the United States has given or pledged toward impoverished nations or nations who are wounded by natural disasters.  Most often, I chalk those statuses up to racism because they are often focused on countries that are full of so-called "icky foreigners" and there is no real substance to the complaints.  It's just people feeling disgruntled over money given to people who don't look like the complainer.  I've yet to read a complaint about the US offering aid to predominently English-speaking countries. . .just sayin'.

I'm cautiously optimistic about humanity in that I've yet to see a Facebook status complaining about international aid that is being given to our friends in Japan.  Please understand that our Japanese brothers and sisters are dealing with a disaster of epic proportions.  It would be heartless and inhumane to expect them to suffer alone without our care or assistance.  YES!  IT WOULD BE HEARTLESS AND INHUMANE TO EXPECT THEM TO SUFFER ALONE!!

As I've said countless times before, our poor in the US are far richer than those who are in the midst of suffering.  I am extremely libertarian and somewhat conservative from a political standpoint, but I believe this to be true:  It is our duty and privelege to give to those who need it more than us!  Thank goodness for our forced taxes and our volunteered charitable giving is what I say in these situations!  Thank goodness indeed!

Are you on Facebook complaining about the international aid being given to Japan?  THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS!!  It could so easily be you in the throes of one natural disaster after another. . .followed by the threat of a nuclear meltdown.  Join me in praying for the people of Japan. . .they will surely need the hand of God in the midst of this crisis!

On a personal note, my sister-in-law is Japanese and her entire family still resides there.  She is a lovely woman and I ache for how she must hurt over the devastation suffered by her homeland and her countrymen.  I can't imagine how pained I'd be if anything happened to my beloved California while I was living abroad. . .

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Recipe: Colcannon

Here are two colcannon recipes.  One is reasonably healthy (and vegetarian) and one is waaay unhealthy.  Both of these serve a crowd - perfect for family St. Patrick's Day celebrations!

Bloggy McBloggerstein's Reasonably Healthy Colcannon
1 brown onion
1 head of green cabbage (traditionally it calls for kale, but I prefer cabbage this time of year)
1/2 pound carrots (not a traditional ingredient, I just like the orange flecks of color)
8 cups mashed potatoes (I make them with fat free milk and without butter)

1.  In food processor, pulse onion, cabbage, and carrots until they are the texture of coleslaw. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may have to work in batches.
2.  Pour a little oil in a big skillet and add onion, cabbage, & carrots. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may have to work in batches. If you find that you need a bit more oil, you can add a bit of water and cover to steam the veggies a little bit instead. Cook until veggies are soft.
3.  Add to mashed potatoes and mix well.

* * *

Bloggy McBloggerstein's Very Unhealthy Colcannon
1 package uncooked bacon
1 brown onion
1/2 head of green cabbage
1/2 pound carrots
8 cups mashed potatoes

1.  Cook all bacon, save grease.
2.  In food processor, pulse onion, cabbage, and carrots until they are the texture of coleslaw. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may have to work in batches.
3.  Pour bacon grease in a big skillet and add onion, cabbage, & carrots. Depending on size of your skillet, you may have to work in batches. You can also add a bit of water and cover to steam the veggies a little bit, but why bother when you're adding a package of bacon to the final product? Cook until veggies are soft.
4.  Chop bacon.
5.  Add veggies & bacon to mashed potatoes and mix well.

I'm pretty sure that a big pot o' colcannon will be found at the end of a rainbow

Colcannon and salmon patties to celebrate St. Patty's Day!

I'm hungry just looking at these pictures - yum!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Packing and Moving with a Toddler

Working is completely and utterly impossible when you have a busy toddler underfoot!  I've often thought the previous statement when I'm trying to do things like cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry, but it has really become quite clear as I'm trying to declutter our house and pack up.  No, we haven't quite bought a house yet and our house isn't listed yet.  It's just that we have soooo much stuff that we need to get started right away.

I'd really like to begin working in the black hole that is our garage, but I can't let my son run around in that mess because I'm sure he'd get hurt or get into dangerous stuff (like poisons, pesticides, gardening tools, etc.) that we store in the garage.  So I'm forced to work in the house instead.  That sounds easy enough, right?  Wrong! 

My son will ignore me whenever I want his attention and, naturally, he's all over me when I want him to play on his own.  I've decided that the lazy Mom's babysitter (television) can deal with him while I try to work, but he doesn't want to watch TV.  He wants to play with Mama.  He wants to play with anything that I'm trying to go through.  He wants to mix together everything that I'm sorting.  He may not want to be a roadblock to my progress, but his actions are sure making it difficult for me to get anything done.

Have you ever packed up and moved with a toddler in tow?  How in the heck did you do it without going bonkers??

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'm Very Flexible

Chill out, perverts, this isn't a sexy post.

Someone (I'm not mentioning any names, but it was my fault!) forgot to pick up a brisket so I couldn't serve corned beef and cabbage tonight.  I usually serve this meal with potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions every St. Patrick's Day so I was sad to break with my tradition.  However, I'm flexible and I like to cook so I started thinking outside the box.

I pawed through my pantry and fridge and swear that I saw a tumbleweed blow through my kitchen.  We're looking to move within the next several weeks so I haven't been doing a lot of stocking up at the grocery store, Costco, or Sam's Club lately.  I've been specifically working through our non-perishables so that I won't have to pack up, move, and unpack a fully-stocked kitchen pantry.

I had a carton of instant potato granules in the pantry, a brown onion in my hanging veggie basket, and a bunch of curly leaf kale & some carrots in my vegetable crisper.  All the ingredients to make a delicious colcannon.  Awesome!  I also had a bag of frozen mixed veggies; great!  The entree gave me cause to pause because it appeared that all I had were some fish sticks, one chicken breast, and a couple of cans of tuna fish.  I grabbed the tuna, wondering if sandwiches would be too lame, and then noticed that I had two cans of salmon next to it.  All I needed was a couple of eggs and some breadcrumbs and we'd be grubbing on salmon patties for supper.  Jackpot! 

Mixed veggies, colcannon, and salmon patties. . .sounds like a perfectly acceptable and festive St. Patty's day meal to me and it certainly was tasty!

* * *

A couple of funny notes about my dinner preparation this evening:

~ My son noticed that I pulled out the instant potato granules and he pointed saying, "Mashed potatoes."  Yeah, yeah, so I love to cook and all that, but that doesn't mean that I want to waste my time if no one notices my efforts.  No one in my house gives a rip if I peel, chop, boil, and mash actual potatoes or if I whip up some instant taters so I choose to serve up the easiest option.

~ When I pulled the bunch of kale out of the refrigerator, my son pointed and exclaimed, "KALE!!"  Then he added, "I love kale."  I love kale too and I thought, "That's my boy!!"  I shared this vignette with my husband and he shook his head while saying, "You two are a couple of hippies."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thirteen Days

It's not a post about a crappy Kevin Costner movie, it's about my period.  On the upside, I might win if there is a contest for the most days spent on the rag by any one individual woman.  On the downside, I might win if there is a contest for the most days spent on the rag by any one individual woman.

I had a brief chat with a friend today about menstruation and I think she cursed me with The Curse.  I had the joy of experiencing my period while I was battling the yeasty beasties a couple of weeks ago so I've had one complete cycle since I lost my baby.  Aaaand, though it's only been thirteen freaking days since I last bled, I started another flipping period today!

Look, I acknowledge that I get my period a lot and I certainly have shorter than average cycles.  I've had a gynecologist drop her jaw at the frequency of my regularly scheduled visits from my least favorite relative and I realize that a twenty day cycle is woefully short.  I know that Aunt Flo, uh, flows frequently for me, but only having a thirteen-day break is just ridiculous!

I have the green light to start trying to conceive next week. . .wish us luck - if for no other reason than to give me at least 18-months without my period! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I've probably mentioned how much I hate shop and I'm not exaggerating when I say that I HATE TO SHOP!  I can tolerate grocery shopping since, well, my family needs to eat.  Other than that though, I can think of dozens of activities that I'd rather do than shopping.  I know that a lot of women are shopaholics. . .I guess I'm more of an alcoholic - haha!  Just a joke, people, lighten up!  Anyway, circumstances beyond my control are forcing me to do a fair amount of shopping lately and it is totally getting on my nerves.  So wish me luck and send prayers that this particular bit of shopping is over for at least thirty years.  ;-)

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm Not a Medical Professional

Plenty of little girls dream of being nurses or doctors, but I wasn't one of them.  This might surprise some of you, but the human body and it's disgusting functions has always grossed me out.  It's true that I've always liked watching those real-life operation and autopsy shows, but that's just television and I'm pretty sure that I'd faint if I had to see any of that mess in real life.  I even felt a little skeeved out while hanging out in the morgue at a hospital. . .and all the stiffs were locked up!

Several years ago, my husband had a hernia operation.  He had the poor taste to ask me to check his wound and change his dressing.  I tentatively peeled back the tape and recoiled like a snake was lurking underneath.  I swear that it looked like they installed a zipper and my tummy did flip-flops whenever I had to look at it.  He was annoyed with my theatrics and he took over his own nursey duties as soon as he was able.

My husband recently had back surgery.  That means that he had an incision on his back.  He can't change a dressing on his back.  Guess who gets the honor?

My heart started pounding in my ears when I only looked at the skin surrounding the bandage.  It was such a deep shade of purple that it almost looked like our son had colored on his back with markers.  I readied my supplies, took a deep breath, and went for it.  I yanked off the tape, quickly swabbed it down with whatever the heck it was that they sent him home with, and covered it with gauze as soon as I could.  I had faced my fear (aversion is probably a better word) and I felt excited that it was almost over.

For some reason, I was holding my breath through all of this and I exhaled in a rush of relief.  My breath made that stupid gauze roll off his back and I was forced to see the incision again.  The floor felt like it shifted under my feet and I tossed the gauze back on his wound.  I yanked off several lengths of tape and pressed it to his back, being gentle while desperately trying not to get my fingers anywhere near what I knew was underneath that gauze pad.  I know it makes no sense. . .it's not like something would jump from his incision and pull me in, but it really freaks me the heck out!  Finally finished, I wandered out of the room to rest for a few minutes.

So, my friends, don't ever think you can count on me in a medical crisis!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Klutzy McGee Strikes Again

"It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins."
 - Chinese Proverb

I've always been a clumsy person.  How clumsy?  Well, did you know it was physically possible to FALL OFF a big wheel and skin the heck out of your knees?  I can assure you that it can happen.  As proof that I have always been accident-prone, I broke my arm before I was even two years old.  Seriously.  And I won't even start talking about the time I split open my head or the myriad bumps, bruises, and whatnot that I suffered as a kid.  My mother affectionately (I guess) called me "Grace" in an ironic nod toward my klutzy tendencies.

I'd like to say that I outgrew all that childish awkwardness as an adult, but I didn't.  I've been in countless car accidents and all but a couple were totally my fault.  In what might be the most lame accidents ever, I have crashed two cars into buildings. . .buildings that weren't moving or anything.  See what I mean about being accident-prone?

While working, I was nearly crushed by a ginormous fire-rated file cabinet.  I also nearly set my office building on fire while grilling up some burgers on the barbecue.  I wish I were joking when I say that my nickname at work was "Calamity."

My latest stunt happened last night.  I ran to my bathroom to grab a clip for my hair because I was in a hurry to jump in the shower in the other bathroom.  This is something I do every single night, unless I happen to be washing my hair.  It's something that I've done thousands of times over the last eight years and I've never had a mishap occur.  Until last night.

So I ran in to grab a clip for my hair and I ran right back out.  I ran right back out and smacked the middle of my face into the edge of the door!  Stunned and seeing stars, I cried out and put my hands over my face.  I was sure that blood would start pouring out at any minute.  I hit the door so hard that I worried that I may have broken my nose.  When my husband finally got my hands away, he said I was fine and dismissed my concerns about my nose.

My nose and the space between my eyebrows ached all night long.  I kept jolting awake because I apparently touch my face a lot in my sleep and touching my nose makes me want to jump out of my skin.  I eventually was not able to breathe out my nose because my sinuses feel inflamed.  That means that I have been forced to (ewww!) breathe through my mouth and, naturally, now my throat feels dry and irritated. 

I wasn't eager to see my face this morning and I cautiously peered at a mirror.  You know, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought.  Don't get me wrong, it hurts like a mo-fo. . .it just looks better than I expected.  I don't even have a black eye and my forehead isn't bruised.  My nose is pretty freaking effed up, but it's not as bad as it could be.

Why did I run into the door in the first place?  Uh, I didn't bother to turn on the light because I'm "saving energy."  It would appear that I am both klutzy and stupid.  Yay me?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Recipe: Slow Cooker Meatloaf

I make this fairly frequently and this is my go-to entree when we are entertaining couples with young children.  I know that most people will balk at making a meatloaf in the slow cooker, but this comes out very moist and delicious.  As a bonus, it doesn't heat up your house because you don't need to use your oven.  It also allows you to have fun with your friends instead of fooling around in the kitchen!

Slow Cooker Meatloaf
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped (I pulse them in the food processor; I hate chopping carrots)
2 whole dill pickles, finely chopped
3 lbs. ground beef
3 beaten eggs
1 cup milk
Around 3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
Seasonings to taste:  I use salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, & crushed red pepper flakes.

1/4 cup ketchup/catsup
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 Tb yellow mustard
1/2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce

Aluminum Foil
Non-stick cooking spray

1.  Spray inside of slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
2.  Tear two long lengths of aluminum foil.
3.  Fold foil into two strips that are at least three foil sheets thick - you'll want this to be sturdy because you're going to use it as handles to lift out your completed meatloaf.
4.  Lay one of the foil strips in the bottom of your slow cooker, making sure that both edges are able to extend out of the slow cooker.
5.  Lay the second foil strip in the slow cooker, perpendicular to the first strip. You want it to look like a big + in the bottom of your crock pot.

6.  Combine all meatloaf ingredients in large bowl.
7.  Mix well and shape to fit your slow cooker (oval, round).  Add more bread crumbs if you need more to firm up the meatloaf and help it keep it's shape.
8.  Place meatloaf in prepared slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours.
9.  Combine sauce ingredients and pour over meatloaf.
10.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 15 minutes.
11.  Carefully lift meatloaf out of slow cooker using the foil "handles."
12.  Slice & serve.

*If you prefer it a little on the spicy side, you can add crushed red pepper flakes and/or Sriracha (find in Asian foods aisle-I've found that the green tipped squeeze bottle with the rooster on it is tastiest for cooking) to both the meatloaf and the sauce.

Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli =
YUMMY Comfort Food!

Up Close and Personal with My Meatloaf

Friday, March 11, 2011

Nazi Farm & Other Fun Stuff

~ What would you think if your toddler told you that they had a good time at a Nazi Farm??  Yeah, me too.  My son spent the day with his maternal grandmother yesterday since hubs had to be at the hospital at 5:00 am to begin prepping for his surgery.  Though my lil' guy cried because Daddy wasn't coming home last night, he was so happy to see me and he chatted excitedly about the day spent playing with his grandmother and her little dog.  Then he said something that mystified me.  He told me, "Had good time (at) Nazi Farm."  I shook my head, certain that I had misheard what he had said and I asked him to repeat it for me.  He repeated, "Good time (at) Nazi Farm."  At first I was thinking, "WTF did you guys do today?!"  Instead of flipping out, I asked what he had done at the Nazi Farm and he replied that he rode in a blue car, a truck, a train, a balloon, and a roller coaster.  He forcefully added that he WILL NOT ride the school bus.  Nazi Farm. . .that's apparently how he pronounces Knott's Berry Farm!

~ My son was distressed that Daddy wasn't going to come home last night and I asked if he wanted to give something special to Daddy.  I meant like a fun snack or maybe one of the lesser members of the lil' guy's stuffed animal entourage.  He did want to give hubs some "pretzel snacks," but he also wanted to give his Daddy an "appie."  My son has had at least one burpie near him at all times (he calls them appies) since he was brought home from the hospital and he turned out to be such a little puker.  His appies are as essential to his well-being as water and air are to you and me.  My heart was warmed that he wanted to share one of his beloved appies with his Daddy and I believe that hubs was equally touched by his son's heartfelt gift.

~ I usually play music from youtube when my son takes his bath at night and he definitely favors the music that his mama likes:  folk music, 70s singer-songwriters, and anything with beautiful harmonies.  My laptop was unfortunately killed when it crashed from the counter to the ceramic tile floor so I had nothing to play for him last night.  He kept begging for "songs" so I, uh, treated him to some a Capella selections.  I hesitate to say that I treated him and, if you've ever heard me sing, you'd agree!  I finished singing and he asked for "more songs."  When I asked him what he'd like to hear, he replied (clear as can be), "Our House."  Ha!  What great taste; that's my boy!  I'll also add that he knows the entire chorus and he laughs maniacally at "two cats in the yard. . ."

~ Mother of the Year forgot to send shoes with her son yesterday (because he was in jammies when we dropped him off at 4:00 am) so he was forced to spend the day running around like a barefoot hillbilly in his grandparent's backyard.  Naturally, his feet were filthy come bathtime last night.  He was splashing and having a good ol' time in the tub when he noticed his cruddy-looking feet.  He pulled his feet up by his face and then exclaimed, "Oh, poor feet!"  I guess he didn't realize that we were going to wash them before he exited the tub - haha!

~ My husband apparently spends far too much time at work because, upon learning that Daddy wouldn't be home last night, my son replied, "Daddy's (at) work."  Well, kid, he's there a lot, but he isn't sleeping there. . .yet!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy 10th Un-iversary

Happy un-iversary to me!  Today would have been my tenth anniversary had I not somehow found the good sense to flee my first marriage.  I'm a little surprised that it has already been ten years.  I would have bet money that it was only a few years ago that I first walked down the aisle to completely give myself to another human being.  It really is true that the years seem to fly by as you grow older. . .

What about that marriage?  I went from being optimistic about the future with the person who is my ex-husband to having my spirit so totally crushed and broken that the only way to escape the pain was to drink myself unconscious every night.  I rapidly became the very definition of a highly functioning alcoholic.  I would think about drinking when I wasn't drinking and I started drinking from the moment I walked in my front door until I blissfully passed out at night.  There reached a point where I didn't even bother with a glass because it was just one more thing that I'd have to clean and it wasted time to pour.  Eventually, I simply disappeared upstairs with my booze and didn't go back downstairs until it was time to go to work in the morning. 

I did little more than work, laundry, housecleaning, cooking, and hard drinking.  More than hating him, and I burned with a furious hot anger toward him, I hated myself.  I hated my life.  It was only natural that my mind frequently dwelled in the darkest places one can go and my introspection only led me to one conclusion. 

I hated my own cowardice that all I could bring myself to do was fondle and mouth my cocked revolver.  How I longed for the guts to pull just a little more on that trigger!  I can still recall the weight of that gun in my hand, the fear that it might slip and I'd only receive a non-fatal wound.  That led me to snake the weapon down from my temple, across my cheek, and pushed firmly into my open mouth.  I'll never forget what that cold metal barrel felt like resting on my tongue, against my teeth and lips.  It's something that I hope to never taste again.

Being full of "her body, her choice," I felt it was my right to take a life that was in my control - my own.  Thankfully, there was another option - divorce - and I took it.  I've often referred to divorce as "the atomic option" and it really is. . .every now & then it's necessary to drop an atomic bomb.  Sure, it burns you too and leaves you suffering with radiation poisoning, but it beats the hell out of the casualties associated with fighting a more traditional marital war.

Interestingly enough, I knew from the wedding night that I had made a huge mistake.  And that is all I will say on that.  I realize now that it would have been easier to simply annul the marriage the following Monday, but I am not a quitter and I hate failing so I tried my best to stick it out.  I figured that I could make it work.  In my naivete, I didn't realize that it takes more than just one to make a marriage work.

I lasted until December 30, 2002.  That's the day I reclaimed my spirit and I filed for divorce.  I was so miserable being married that I swore I would never do such a stupid thing again.  I wasn't swearing off men, of course, I just wasn't going to tether myself to them and was definitely going to keep my options open.  That lasted exactly one date. . .that's all it took for me to know that my hubs was someone special, someone to cherish, someone to love.  Yes, I married my rebound guy.

I find it odd that I cried the day that the State of California recognized the dissolution of my first marriage.  I wasn't sad that I was divorced; I was sad that I had failed.  I sobbed in the arms of the man who I would marry just two short years later.  Hubs didn't judge me for my tears and he actually encouraged me to continue processing the grief that accompanied the loss of that marriage. 

I must confess that I do kind of have mixed feelings about this being what would have been my tenth anniversary.  That's not to say that I regret my decision to burn that marriage to the ground.  It's just that I realize my happiness with my hubs and our son would have never been possible had I not suffered through that dark and helpless period of time.  I don't think that I could have appreciated what a wonderful man I married had I not first married a less-than-wonderful person.  The years have allowed me to look back and give thanks for even that misery. . .it is so true that everything - everything - can be used for good.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Something's Cooking

Just once it would be nice to have every aspect of life clipping along on cruise control, a relaxing drive in a sweet ride.  However, my husband and I don't live like that.  I suppose we need to feel the action to continue propelling us forward. 

We apparently think nothing of extending ourselves in fifteen different directions and this week is no exception.  My husband is having spinal surgery tomorrow morning, but we put something in motion today. . .something big and exciting.  No, it has nothing to do with penis; though that's big & exciting too - haha!  In addition to this particular thing we were working on today, there is another fantastically unique opportunity that is simmering quietly while he patiently awaits a response.

I can't specify exactly what it is that we're brewing and the ball is in someone else's court at the moment.  I know that I'm ridiculously superstitious, but my fingers are crossed.  More importantly, I'm praying that all this works out in a truly spectacular way.  In the meantime, the suspense is driving me insane!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pondering Preschool

When should a kid go to preschool?  My son will be three-years old soon and I've found myself wondering about such things.  I'd like to say that it's because I'm already thinking about his academic career, but it's really that I'm selfish and I'd like a few hours to myself each week.  Yeah, Mother of the Year just put that bit of selfishness in writing.

A friend told me that I shouldn't worry about sending him to school this early since he knows numbers, colors, shapes, and alphabet.  I'm a little concerned that he still can't properly hold a pencil and he sure can't write his own name, but then I remember that he's not quite three yet and I figure he has time to learn those skills.  He's also still very young and very attached to me and I wouldn't want his first educational experience to be traumatic.  I clearly recall howling and crying when my own mother took me to preschool. . .that loneliness and fear of abandonment has stuck with me all these years later.

I'm of two minds on preschool.  One is that I think that academic philosophies in certain preschools are nothing but a glorified daycare.  My kid does not and will not go to daycare so it seems like I'd be wasting my money by sending him to that type of preschool.  The other is that I think that a more academically driven preschool might put too much pressure on such a young little person.  He will be in school at least until he's in his early- to mid-20s so I feel like I should let him enjoy these carefree days since they truly are the last that he'll ever have in his entire life.  I know that sounds soul-crushing, but it really is the truth as I see it.

If you sent your child to preschool, did you think it was worth the expense?  What type of preschool did your child attend?  At what age did you send your child to preschool?  What did they specifically gain/learn by attending preschool?  If you could change the past, would you make a different decision?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Recipe: French Onion Soup

I love French onion soup.  It is so warming and comforting on a cold day and it has a pretty presentation too so it's even suitable for company.

Cheap & Lazy French Onion Soup
Non-stick spray
2 big brown onions, roughly chopped
3 Tb. butter
2 beef boullion cubes
6 cups hot water, divided
Salt & Pepper
Rothbury Farms Cheese & Garlic Croutons
Shredded (or shaved) parmesan cheese

1.  Spray crock-pot with non-stick spray and set aside.
2.  Add butter and onions to a standard skillet - you do not want to use a non-stick pan.
3.  Cook on medium-high heat, stirring somewhat frequently. It's okay if the onions begin to brown and it's good if you can see that the pan is getting little browned bits stuck to the bottom.
4.  Cook until onions are golden-brown and very soft.
5.  Pour onions, boullion cubes, 5 cups of hot water in crock-pot.
6.  Pour the remaining cup of hot water in skillet and turn heat to high. Using a metal spatula, begin to scrape up all of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
7.  Empty the skillet into the crock-pot and add salt & pepper to taste.
8.  Cover crock-pot and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours.

* * *

9.  About ten minutes before mealtime, set oven to broil.
10.  Ladle soup into oven-safe serving bowls, top with croutons & a hefty sprinkle of cheese.
11.  Set bowls on a baking sheet and broil for a couple of minutes until cheese is bubbly. Be sure to keep a close watch on the soup because things burn fast under the broiler!
12.  Remove carefully (bowls will be very hot) and serve with caution- the soup will be like lava for several minutes.

Note - I usually double this recipe because I don't have a small crock-pot and we usually eat the leftovers for lunch and/or dinner the following day. I specified the type of croutons because they add a particularly nice taste to the soup, much better than just plain toasted baguette. I know that french onion soup typically calls for gruyere (perhaps swiss), but I never have any on hand and parm seems to work well.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Christmas Letter - II

Here is the Christmas letter I never sent out last year.  No photos, of course, unless you'd like to see some awesome pics of our family.  Let me know if you'd like to see some pics and I'll send them via e-mail. . .I have an entire year of my lil' guy and his super-cute photos.

* * *

"We ended 2009 full of promise and hope, sure that 2010 would be our year.  Sometimes life just doesn't work out the way we expect.  This year has been wildly difficult and, as a result, this Christmas letter is far more somber than one I'd normally write.

Where to begin?  For starters, it's important to say that Bill, Heather, & (our son) are all enjoying good health at the moment.  Our family is together and healthy and that is really the most important thing in life and it's what we are most thankful for every year, but especially this year.

We've attended eight funerals this year; we lost close friends, Bill's last grandparent, and, most painfully, we suffered the loss of Heather's only brother who died unexpectedly at age 41.  One of Heather's family members endured six surgeries this year and very nearly passed away on two different occasions.  There is a particular type of turmoil on two fronts that has been on-going since early this year and there is little chance for a rapid resolution. 

It might sound like this has been a terrible year for our family.  And, yes, it has been very difficult at times.  Our faith has been challenged often in 2010.  But these challenges have only served to push us closer to God, to lean on Him, and seek comfort in the shelter of His loving arms.  I find it hard to say that I'm thankful for the pain that we've suffered this year, but I am thankful that I can always fall on my knees in prayer when I can't possibly stand on my own two feet - and 2010 brought many days just like that.

Our little (our son) is 2 1/2-years old now and, if we do say so ourselves, he is so smart and adorable.  He was fully potty trained just before his second birthday and he transitioned out of the crib soon after to help curb night time accidents.  His verbal communication isn't always clear, but he has a lot to say and he's become quite the chatterbox.  Of course, being a typical toddler, some days are better than others.  Most days are a joy and Heather stays busy taking him to playdates, pre-pre-school, and other activities with friends.

We are very happy to announce that (our son) will get a sibling next year.  Yes, after 19-months of trying, Heather is eight-weeks pregnant.  This baby has already brought us such happiness and we're eager to meet the final member of our family next August.  (We lost this baby in the first trimester. . . )

If I've learned anything in this year, it's that life is fleeting.  We might not see you as often as we would like, and some of you we haven't seen even once this year, but we still do care about you and want you in our lives.  In the end, nothing else matters except the love we have for and demonstrate toward each other.

We end 2010 full of promise and hope, sure that 2011 will be our year.

"For unto you is born this day in the City of David
a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:11"

Aw, well, we lost that darling baby. . .one day, God willing, we will give our darling boy a cherished sibling.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Best Vibrator in History!!!

The title is a fair warning, right? 

I guess that I'm as qualified as anyone to give sex toy advice and here is mine:  Don't waste your time or money on bullets, rabbits, alligators, or butterflies.  Go directly to the big gun of quivering pleasure and buy yourself a Hitachi Magic Wand.  Click the link to the left and buy it now!  NOW, I say!

I've discussed vibrators at length on three or four occasions in the last couple of weeks.  I don't know why my friends seem to think that I know about such things, but I suppose that I do so they aren't wrong to seek my opinion.  A convo I had on a friend's Facebook wall led to the creation of this post. 

My friend and I were discussing the benefit of having a snorgasm before going to bed at night and I inquired if she had a Magic Wand in her sex-toy arsenal.  She did not and I suggested that she really should cuddle up with one to experience the "magic" for herself.  I told her to beg, borrow, cheat or steal, but find a way to get a Magic Wand of her own.  It truly is magic!  And I am sure she will send me a thank you note after she receives what is sure to become her new best friend.

Readers of this blog realize that I freely speak my mind on most topics and this will not an exception.  This is a post about the best vibrator ever invented.  It is the vibrator that I will forever measure all other vibrators against.  It is a vibrator that is so wonderful and so fantastically exciting that I rave about it to every woman who asks me about my thoughts on vibrators or sex toys in general.  I really can't say enough good things about it.  From a personal satisfaction standpoint, it just might be the most important invention ever!

My husband works a lot and, in his absence, the Magic Wand is my magic man.  The Wand can make me come within a minute. . .two minutes at the very most!  Did you catch that?  I can usually get The Big O within a minute when I use the Wand!  That's only sixty-freaking-seconds!  Oh, Magic Wand, I love you so much and wonder how I ever lived without your delightful ministrations! 

Why am I in such a rush to have an orgasm?  Because I'm a busy mama and I usually don't have a lot of time to make love to myself.  And, really, I see no point in screwing around with a weak vibe that takes ten minutes when I can finish in a tenth of the time.

I know that it looks intimidating and I held off on asking for one for a looong time because I was a little embarrassed to own a vibrator that actually plugs into a wall socket.  I mean, that just seems so hard-core to me and I'm kinda traditional & old-fashioned.  Looking back now, I can say that the Magic Wand has probably paid for itself in battery savings alone!

I also didn't think that I could handle the 5,000 to 6,000 rpm that the Wand provides.  It really does pack quite the punch and the high setting is just too strong for my taste.  Of course, if I keep cozying up to the darn thing, I'll probably develop a callus and need the high setting to feel anything down below.  Um, that's totally just a joke; all is well with my ladyparts now that the yeasty beasties have been eradicated.

I have found that it's necessary to keep a thick layer of something (a hand towel, for example) between my own skin and the head of the Wand or my girlie bits end up over-stimulated.  Yes, that is possible and it doesn't exactly feel good to be engorged down below for hours afterward.  From personal experience, I will caution anyone using a Magic Wand to limit themselves to no more than five to seven minutes of direct clitoral playtime.  Don't worry, that should be enough time for anyone to peak at least twice.

Remember that, although there are several after-market attachments available for internal use, the Magic Wand itself is for external use only so you will also need to invest in a dildo if you like being penetrated while enjoying a little self-love.  Yeah, it sucks to spend more money on another sex-toy when you've already dropped at least $60 on just one vibe.  It might make you feel a little better to know that the Magic Wand is truly a double-duty appliance because it not only can make you come within two minutes, but the tennis-ball shaped head can also be used to effectively massage the knots out of any sore muscles in your back.

Besides, I think it is money well spent if it brings such pleasure and joy to your life.  Don't you?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Thoughts On Wine

Like any alcoholic (kidding-ish), I have strong opinions on my liquor.  Here are my 7 Points on Wine:

1.  Wine drinkers are often pretentious douches.  That's not to say that they aren't fun, but they usually are pretty full of themselves. . .and guy wine aficionados are the worst!  Seriously, guys, stick to hard liquor like whiskey or gin because you often sound like asses when you pontificate about wine to the ladies.  If you're going to drink wine, just enjoy it and don't try to show off.
2.  Wine coolers ARE NOT WINE!!!!!  End of story!
3.  White Zinfandel is what high school girls drink.  Seriously, it's exactly like boozy punch and it's friggin' awful!  And, I should add, the hangovers are dreadful on this sweet dreck.
4.  Chardonnay is a nice wine-y transition to adulthood.  I actually liked Chardonnay for almost ten years, but now I'm put off by it and I find that most Chardonnays rely too heavily on oak-y tastes to make a positive impact.  Indeed, oak-y tastes turn me off completely these days.  I feel that the oak taste tries to mask that it's an inferior wine.  Yes, my hubs hails from OK and he's an okey, but I don't mind his kind of taste!  haha
5.  Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris is a nice and light white wine that often has fruity undertones without being too terribly sweet.  It's fun for a lazy afternoon with friends or with dinner.  I liked this varietal for quite a long time too.
6.  Sauvignon Blanc is frequently a grassy or minerally wine and it has a crisp finish.  This is my current favorite for a wine to relax with and enjoy.  I would not have liked it even five years ago, but I tremendously enjoy it now!
7.  Reds aren't for children!  Honestly, reds are great and there was a time that I was all about the Cab and the occasional glass of Merlot or Pinot Noir, but understand that you can easily end up feeling way more tipsy on reds than whites.  At least, that's my personal experience.  I'm totally gauche, so I usually put an ice cube or two in my wine, but I still found myself struggling to find a way to straddle the red wine line without falling over to the drunky side.

Do you like wine?  Have your varietal preferences changed over the years?  What are your current favorites?  Cheers!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Have a Housework Solution!

I decided to earn my keep the other day and perform some very neglected housekeeping.  I'm sure that I've previously complained about how much I detest cleaning the house and it really is my least favorite part of my "job" as a SAHM.  I'm fine with cooking, laundry, childcare, and husbandcare (heh!), but I sure hate cleaning.

My Swiffer mop head had broke in half (no, I didn't intentionally break it to get out of housework!) so I pulled out the steam mop to finish the floors.  My son FREAKED OUT when I walked in the front room while mopping.  He actually started screaming and running away.  As he ran, he was yelling, "No mop!  NOOOOO!"

I momentarily thought about chasing him throughout the house with the hissing mop in my hand.  Yes, I do know that I have an odd sense of humor and I'm a bit of a jerk at times.  However, in the interest of not inflicting severe emotional trauma on my child, I decided to mop as far away from him as possible while telling him that he had nothing to fear from a mop.  He eyed the mop from a distance and didn't settle down until I unplugged the hissing beast.

His nervous response got me thinking. . .dangerous, I know.  But I started wondering what would happen if I were afraid of the mop?  I couldn't really be expected to use the damn thing if I had a mop phobia, right?

I casually mentioned to my husband what had happened with our son and the mop and that I could have a budding fear of the mop.  He laughed at the boy being afraid of the mop, but ignored the statement about my own potential fears.  That tells me that he not only wasn't buying it, but that he wasn't even going to bother with telling me to stop making excuses for not doing my job.

I guess it's back to the drawing board to come up with reasons to shirk my duties. . .

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

When Is Nudity Inappropriate?

I've always been pretty comfortable with nudity.  I was that kid who would strip off her clothes and go running down the street anytime supervision eased up just a little.  My brother and sister surely chased down my naked butt at least 100 times.  And that's just when I was a toddler! 

I regularly walked around the house wearing only underpants until I was nearly nine.  I began frequenting nude beaches in my late-teens.  I've never been to a Jimmy Buffett concert where I haven't flashed my boobs.  I think nothing of hopping into a hot tub with friends wearing only my birthday suit and a smile.  And then there were those pictures. . .I guess I'm saying that I'm okay with being naked and with other people seeing me sans clothing.

Naturally, my son has seen me naked plenty of times throughout his life.  I mean, he nom nomed on my milkalicious boobs until he was almost 13-months old and he's bathed or showered with me plenty of times.  He often sits on my bed and watches me while I dress in the morning and he usually sees me disrobing as I get ready to jump in the shower each night.

My son will be three-years old in a few months and I'm wondering if I should begin to exhibit a little more modesty around him.  He understandably used to light up and smack his lips when he saw my exposed breasts.  I get that and it makes sense.  Now he is very curious about my pubic area and I'm not sure what to make of that.  He's asked why I don't have a wiener, which I think is kind of funny, but he also runs up to pat my pubic hair anytime I don't slip on underpants fast enough, which I do not find very humorous. 

I know that he isn't looking at me in an inappropriate way or sneaking touches to be sexual, but I don't know when or if his natural curiosity should be curbed.  I do wear all of my clothes when he's around so he probably thinks it's funny or interesting that I look different than him when undressed.  I absolutely do not want him to develop any weird feelings about the human body and I want him to feel comfortable in his own skin.  But I also don't want to raise Oedipus. 

Are you a parent of a boy?  How old are they now?  Did they see you naked in their early years?  When did you stop letting them see you naked?  Are they funny about nudity, their own or anyone else?  Do you have any suggestions, thoughts, or advice?