Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It might be time for my husband to get a job.  
Might?  I think it's time.
He had what I like to call (with sweet affection, of course) his Jerry Maguire moment about two weeks ago.  He left a job without one waiting.  Yep.  Since, he's been searching for work, resting, and kickin' it with me and our kids.  It's been nice, actually.  
But the honeymoon might be over.  Not that I'm sick of him. Or, that the kids are done -- because they are even more obsessed with him now than before.  But, he's getting a jobless man's version of cabin fever.  There needs to be a term for that.  (note to self -- make up a new, important word for the world to use....)
He was "bored" on Saturday -- so he built a sandbox.  I upped the ante and asked that he put in a permanent lemonade stand, too, so little Josie could pretend waitress in the backyard.  
Done and done.  
He dug out half of the rock under our deck.  He poured 30 bags of sand inside the enclosed area. He went a little crazy with the hooks, but now each shovel, rake and bucket has its own spot.  He found little bubble blowers shaped like ice cream cones and popsicles.  He found watermelon-patterned fabric for an awning.
This is my husband.  A man who appreciates the details -- which no doubt comes from his mother, a member of the Martha Stewart nation.
And, now we play this game.  Josie gets behind the counter and asks "What do you want?"  Dominic was her first customer.  He wanted a mint cone.  Poor guy didn't know it was pretend.  He didn't care, either.
Too bad millions of people don't need highly-detailed sandboxes built.  Joe would have a job. He'd "pimp your box..."  He'd have his own show.  If Ty Pennington could do it......

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On the surface, it looks like my children enjoy beer.
Of course, they don't.  Who do you think I am?  Some Jerry Springer cast-off?  An episode of Cops?
For one reason or another, both Josie and Dominic have taken, early on, to beer bottles.  Josie always grabbed the bottle from our hands.  No small talk -- just give me the bottle.  She wouldn't do anything.  She's just have her hand on it.  Now she's a huge fan of tossing them into the recycling bin, or sitting on the 12-pack in the grocery cart.
Wow -- this is totally starting to sound Jerry Springer-ish.  
Dominic is working hard on his first tooth.  For months this kid has been drooling like a St. Bernard.  Soaking shirts.  Spitting.  Just straight dripping.  
Tonight he decided his teether would be the cold bottle holding my Miller Lite.  And when it was "my turn" to have a drink (I had to pry his Kung-Fu grip off the bottle) -- he let me have it. Big, fat tears.  Screams.
So, I had to give him back his beer bottle.  Right?  Any good mom wants to stop her child from crying.
I guess the only question is whether it's CPS-worthy to allow my child to teethe on a cold, empty beer bottle?  Or, is it just trashy?  Or, is it simply giving my little kiddo options?  
I'm going with number three.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I was exposed yesterday.
One of my closest friends had a baby about a week ago, and we're all chipping in by bringing over meals for a while, offering to help with her two other children, etc. until she's back up and running.
It was my day to deliver food.  I know her husband is a "meat and potatoes" guy, so I whipped up meatloaf, baked potatoes, a salad for everyone but the husband (by "whipped up" I mean I bought a salad kit and dropped it off), and I tossed in some fresh baked cookies.  
Don't be too impressed, I told her husband, they're break-n-bake.
"What's that?" he said.
OMG. Really? What's break-n-bake?  Only one of the best inventions in the world.  This man's wife only makes stuff from scratch?  I knew she was a good cook and enjoyed baking...but break-n-bakes are a lifesaver. They're a staple.  
It reminds me of a recent visit to my grandparents, who live on a farm in Michigan and had never in their lives (they're both 80) eaten store-bought garlic bread.  NEVER.  Never popped in a loaf of frozen Mama Bella bread.  EVER. Blew my little mind.
Back to the cookies...
The cheapo that I am, I tried out a Kroger brand package of Snickerdoodle (for which I've never before seen in break-n-bake but was likely inappropriately overjoyed about) and they were awesome!
They tasted delicious -- and that's what I sent to my friend's family.
I had to deliver the break-n-bake disclaimer, though.  I couldn't pass them off as my own. The cookies didn't fully bake out of their square shapes -- so each had little squares on top.  They looked funny but tasted delish!
Who cares if I break-n-bake, right?  I'll never do the cut-n-bake-n-decorate ones that are out at Christmas time.
That's where I draw the line on authenticity. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I should probably explain.
It wasn't a victim of a grease fire.  It isn't under construction.
It's just not a priority.
Poop is.  Yep, poop.  Pretty much everyone's poop but my own, because let's be real.  With two kids, a dog and a cat...I'm forever on poop patrol.
But, I'm not the only one scouting it out.  The dog is, too.
To him, it's a snack.  I know...stay with me.
I've seen my dog eat my daughter's poop off the family room floor.
Right?  This is what I mean.  Horrifying.  But, this is my life.  That's my new catch phrase, by the way.  It kind of erases the disgusting thing you've just said, even if it was the wrong time and place, when you tack it on the end of a sentence.
You're at a dinner party.  You smell something funny.  Ah, it's upchuck on your shoulder from the baby.  You announce to everyone you've located the source of the rancid aroma.
"I have throw-up on my shirt," you say. "This is my life."
Back to poop....
Background: My two-year-old daughter, Josie, was potty training at the time (not yet long enough ago for my scarred memory to forget it -- now wondering if I EVER will).  She was wearing only a nightgown.  She announced her intention to "poop," but I wasn't fast enough.  She was already going...and it was all over her.  She stepped in it.  Thus, it was all over the carpet.
I raced, gagging, to clean her up in the bathroom, not once thinking of the mess on the floor. Ah, but my dog didn't want me to worry my little head.
He cleaned it up for me, which I discovered to my horror, when exiting the bathroom with my now-clean daughter.
Breakfast was officially over.  Dumped it in the trash.  Not that it was fancy -- just the usual corn muffin.  But there was no going back after seeing something like that.
This was just one, 15-minute snippet of my life.  I have several of these types of snippets every day.
This is why my kitchen is a disaster.
Josie has graduated past pooping on the floor.  Thank God.  My son, Dominic (who's six months) still needs diaper changes, as he should.  
Here are the cute culprits with repulsive habits.

The dog, Rudy, will get sick about once a week from something.  Who knows?  And, the cat that everyone hates but can't seem to get rid of, Oscar, is always ready to come off the bench with a clutch hairball if nobody else had an accident that day.
It's a team effort.  At least we have that.  
So, I look for things that make my life easier.  And, cheaper.
I'm pretty cheap.  And, not lazy, but possibly overbooked?  Does that work? 
I work from home as a writer, squeezing in assignments while the kids sleep or play with bowls of water (my go-to kid distraction).  So, I juggle.  
And, the kitchen comes last.
I need to go find a kid-friendly cleaning product so I can exploit Josie's eagerness to help me. When I find one, I'll let you know.  Such a good mom.