Friday, October 31, 2008

All Hallow's Eve

Halloween is my favorite holiday. How many holidays are there that your entire family leaves you alone for an hour? I'm sitting here stuffing Reese's cups in my mouth as I ruminate on the beauty of this special day.

Tim took the kids, and the dog, trick or treating. It's a tradition in our house and I look forward to it every year. The kids get home from school and drive me crazy for 2 hours. That part I don't really care for. But I know eventually they will leave and I will be ALONE. That's always a beautiful thing. So Tim leaves, and I stay and enjoy the quiet of my house. Sure the doorbell rings every 2 and half minutes but that's ok. I can handle the interruption because when I answer the door it's somebody else's kids and they're not saying things like "Mom, Isaac won't stop saying blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."

I have Whoppers, I should go eat a some Whoppers now.

The dress code for Halloween is completely optional. There's not a church service to attend and chances are you're not presenting yourself in front of family that you only see twice a year so you can do Halloween however you want. I'm wearing jeans and a t-shirt and makeup that has mostly worn off and mascara under my eyes because I'm to lazy to do anything about it. But it's All Hallows Eve, scary is good.

Twizzlers are good too. Not the cherry ones but the original.

There's no big fancy meal to be prepared. No pie to bake or 12 dozens cookies to slave over, just prepacked chocolate candy goodness. Yum! In fact, there doesn't have to be a meal at all. I considered feeding my kids candy for dinner. But I caved and we had spaghetti and a couple leftover meatballs. A little pasta might go a long way in staving off the sugar over load later.

Now I'm eating a brownie. It's not really a Halloween thing but I made them yesterday and for some reason I can't seem to stop eating.

Amazingly Hallmark has still not come up with a way to turn Halloween into a gift giving holiday. A couple bags of candy, preferably chocolate like Kit Kats and you're good to go. All the gifting required. Mmm, yes, Kit Kats are tasty.

So there you have it. The best holiday of all short of Flag Day. Now, I'm feeling a little lightheaded and I keep hearing this strange ding dong sound in my head. I might need to go lay down for a minute. I'll just take a couple Double Bubbles with me...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I hate chicken. I love chickens though. There's a difference. When I say I hate chicken I'm talking about those huge chicken breasts I buy frozen at the grocery and then spend an hour defrosting, cutting, chopping or dicing, flattening, marinading or dredging. Some days I feel it's a position I should list on my resume: cooker of many (many) chickens. The only thing I spend more time doing is laundry (see previous post) and ok, (yippee!) dishes.

I like chickens. You know the original live ones, the ones that cluck and peck. I find them funny and entertaining with their little chicken walk and big chicken attitudes. They come in so many different colors and interesting plumage. I've also toyed with the idea of using chickens in my decor but I don't think I can look at a chicken cookie jar while I'm chopping up a once real live chicken. Nor could I have them as pets or I would never be able to look a chicken breast in the ah, breast again. It would be chicken sacrilegious or rather chickrilegious. And let's face it, it would be just plain wrong. Chicken wrong.

I use to buy more pork but I find it unappetizing when I cook it. I don't like the smell. And then there's the fact that pigs are suppose to be smarter than the family dog and Jewish people don't eat pork so I thought maybe I shouldn't eat it either. It's believed that my great-great grandmother was Jewish, so there you have it, somewhere deep in my genetic makeup is a chromosome saying "don't eat that sausage!"

Then there are cows. They're not smart like pigs or pretty like chickens and cow comes in lots of different varieties. My favorite being meatballs. Although beef is red meat and red meat has a lot of health stigma right now. Not that I think we should avoid it altogether but chicken is generally cheaper and the pan doesn't fill up with grease when I cook it. That makes chicken more appealing. And I don't eat veal because I figure you have to give an animal a chance at some kind of life before it becomes a la something. Right?

Then there's fish. I like fish. I'm leary of fish though. I've eaten some less than stellar fish and that's never a good thing. Fish aren't animals they', I think. So I don't have a lot of sympathy for them when I'm frying them up. Of course, I don't really need to be around when someone is cleaning fresh fish. I'm not a pioneer. They're not cute and I could still decorate my kitchen in fish and eat fish.

I really don't know. I'm torn I guess. There are parts of me that could do without eating meat (mostly the part that has to prepare and cook it) and then there's the part of me that doesn't want to live on beans and bean curd. There's the even bigger part of me that doesn't even want to attempt to get my kids to eat even a single bean. I'd rather chew tinfoil.

So I guess I'm back to chicken. I'll just have to sharpen my butcher knife and grease up my meat mallet, refresh those finger-licken good chicken spices and cut, chop and pound out a little chicken a la something. Mmmm-goood.

Monday, October 27, 2008

If You Give A Mom Some Dirty Laundry

I'm declaring a moratorium on laundry. I've done 3 loads a day for the past 4 days. The kick in my clean undies was when I opened the door to the laundry room this morning to find 3 more loads piled up in front of the washer. I'm going to have to regulate. Our laundry, like other critical jobs, needs the powers that be to set some rules, provide some standards or we're going to lose our pants. Well, our clean pants at least.

I'm going to have to be the laundry police. I'm no stranger to law enforcement as I'm also the homework police, the "turn the bathroom light off for pete's sake!" police, the "why is there dirty underwear in your closet and a candy wrapper under your bed?" police and the "wash your hands before you eat that" police. And now this. There are going to be tight inspections and more regulatory controls. Every piece of clothing will be inspected for filth before it is washed (underwear not included). Pants can be worn more than once, sweaters can be worn more than once, as a-matter-of-fact everything can be worn more than once except socks and skivvies unless you've got a fever or are spewing large amounts of mucus out of your nasal passages and wiping it on your sleeve. In that case I'm going to have to re-establish the snot police. (I thought we got away from that.) Our new household motto is going to be "Wear it again for pete's sake! You're not Governor Palin!" (That's just a joke, honey.)

This reminds me of the day when my kids were younger and the feat of a load of laundry was far too great for one very flustered mom. If you've ever read the book "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" or one of the sequels "If You Give A Pig A Pancake" or "If You Give A Moose A Muffin", then you will appreciate my own version. Here's one from the archives:

If You Give A Mom Some Dirty Laundry…

She’ll feel the need to wash it. On the way to the laundry room she’ll realize her house is a pit. As she stops to contemplate how she’ll ever get it clean she’ll notice the dog scratching and whining at the back door. She’ll wonder why she ever got a dog. While she’s staring at the dog pondering why she ever got her she’s bound to notice the dirty, filthy window the dog has been putting her slimy nose against. Again, she’ll wonder why she got a dog. Since she is momentarily standing still her 6-year-old twin daughters will have to find her something to do like fixing them lunch and cleaning up the marker they left in the carpet. While she’s fixing lunch she’ll realize she never cleaned up after breakfast. Ignoring those dishes she’ll go to the refrigerator to find some lunch food. On the way to the refrigerator her sock will get stuck to some partially dried baby spit-up on the floor. She’ll wonder again why she got a dog. While fixing lunch for her twins her 6-month-old baby boy will begin to scream for his bottle. Being a good mom she’ll proceed to fix a bottle, make the twins lunch and stuff chips in her mouth so she doesn’t pass out from hunger. After feeding the twins and the baby she’ll start to doze off while burping the baby. She’ll be awakened by her fighting twins. She’ll yell at them to be quiet. Yelling at her kids will wake up the baby. All the screaming will remind her that her twins have to be at school in 10 minutes – THANK GOD!! She’ll load up the van with kids, backpacks and show-n-tell items. Loading up the van she’ll notice the crusty English muffin on the floor of the van. She will remind herself that she will clean the van – someday. Since she has paused too long to reflect on the English muffin the baby will begin to scream because he doesn’t want to be in the car seat. She’ll quickly remember that she’s going to drop off her twins at school – THANK GOD!! She’ll drop off the twins at school – before anyone gets hurt. She’ll drive home with a sleeping baby. She’ll leave the baby in the car seat hoping he’ll stay asleep. Thinking of sleep she’ll relax and realize she hasn’t peed in five hours. She’ll go back to the bathroom; there she'll trip over the other piles of dirty laundry she meant to wash 4 hours ago.


I'm thinking of turning it into a picture book. Here's my first illustration for it.

Or perhaps I'll just stick to doin' the laundry.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vote Early and Vote Often!

No, this is not a slogan for the democratic party. The air is brimming with excitement isn't it? People will cast their votes and in just a few weeks we will finally know. I know you are as excited as I am to find out the next champion of Dancing With The Stars! (Cue music.)

I love this show. It's the only show I watch religiously. Actually it's the only show I watch at all. (That doesn't include the occasional Oprah show I watch out of morbid curiosity.) I discovered after last season that I had a serious problem. The problem being that I was actually addicted to this show. After the season had ended I found myself in a funk. A "There's no more DWTS and now what am I going to do with my life?" funk. Yes, it was serious. That's why I was so stinkin' excited for a new season to start but only after the second show did I realize I was in worse trouble than last season. Monday was great, Tuesday was good (it's the results show you know), Wednesday - instant funk.

How can you not love it?! It's live, it's funny, sometimes it's hilarious. And my favorite part- people are dancing. It's inspires dreams of dancing in me. It also inspires dreams of a large disco ball hanging from my living room ceiling. It inspires dreams of Maks. If you don't know Maks you should. I've posted a picture of him next to my bed. :) Here's a picture of him:

And here's another:

And another:

And while we're at it here's Curtis Stone...

He's the Take Home Chef. He's from Australia. He has an accent. It's an Australian accent.

Where was I? Oh yeah. I've made it through a few weeks of shows now and I'm trying to get my DWTS funky moods under control. That being said, it isn't working. A person should never be so excited to see a Monday. And Wednesday feels more like the beginning of a life sentence than hump day. It's sick. I have a sickness. A disease. It might be time for a twelve step program. Well, maybe not right away. There's always next season.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

January Ax-To-Grind

I'm looking for a job. A part-time job. It's not just a sign of the times it's a sign of my mental stability. It's starting to feel like life is full of laundry and dirty dishes. I know there's more out there in this great big world but right now my world is full of spin cycles and dish soap.

I'm turning into June Cleaver. I should just wear an apron all day except I don't even own one. I'm really more like June's alter ego - January. January does most of what she's suppose to but she does it in a snit. Her undies get in a bunch because she finds that her Wally and Beaver are actually 3 kids that don't help at all around the house. And if The Beave doesn't learn to pick up after herself soon she's going to be living with Eddie and Eddie's mom has to be worse than even January. Right?

January's house is never actually clean like June's but she's always picking up her kids things and turning off lights. Yesterday she walked around the house 32 times turning off 12 lights. There aren't even twelve lights in January's house. She put in three loads of laundry but folded six. She prefers to ignore the dishes but finds herself doing them anyway. After she's done doing the dishes someone puts more in the sink to do. January would rather spend time plucking her nose hairs than doing more dishes.

January doesn't bake cookies for her kids she bakes cookies so she can eat the cookie dough. Sometimes she can't eat it all so she makes cookies with the rest.

Sometime after the cookie dough lunch January finds herself face down on the sofa sleeping off the sugar high. She wakes up with brown sugar in her hair and Olive (her dog) licking her ear.

January rushes off to volunteer at Scooter's (that would be January's 3rd kid) school. She can only get one eye open and she has mascara under her eyes but no one says anything to her because well, she's scary.

January gets home in time to do more dishes before the kids get off the bus. January is sure that her house is part of some secret underground railroad because she doesn't know how the dishes got there.

Wally and The Beave get off the bus and begin complaining about homework. January loves her kids but she really loves Eddie more because even though he's a conniving little weasel he doesn't ever whine at her.

The Beave gets herself worked up into a convulsion because she has a test tomorrow and tests are so unfair. The Beave has been in school for six years but still hasn't come to terms with it. The Beave has six more years of school to go plus college. January is considering becoming a missionary and moving to Africa.

Amazingly the Beave didn't remember to bring home her study guide for the test. January makes the 25 minute drive to school and back just like she did for Wally the other day. January counts the dollars as her gas meter goes down.

January wishes she smoked. January is also a strong believer in cocktail hour although unfortunately she doesn't drink. She vows to make drinking a goal next year.

January waits to the last minute to make dinner. January believes in the dinner fairy appearing at 5:45pm. She's never ever seen the dinner fairy but she still believes.

After dinner January dreams of going to Meijer to buy groceries so she can avoid homework and bedtime.

Ward is always waiting up for her.

January is thinking she needs a full-time job.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Growing Pains

Isaac is learning how to read. This morning he was sounding out the words on his box of cereal. "Fr-u-te-ee Cob-b-les". That would be Fruitty Pebbles. He also wants to bring his picture of a dragon for "j" day because it sounds like "j - j- dragon mom". I tried to explain the difference between the "dr" sound and the " j" sound. Giving Isaac advice is kinda like telling Oprah to vote for McCain. As far as the Cobbles go I don't want him to know that Cobbles are really Pebbles that would mean he's growing up. I'm hanging on to the Cobbles as long as I can.

Olive has made great progress in the house breaking department. The other night she squatted right in front of the TV. I yelled "NO!" and threw the remote at her rear end. She stopped midstream and looked at me like the sky was falling. No, Olive that's just what happens when you urinate in the house. TV remotes just randomly fly in the air and hit you in the butt. I even got dog pee on the remote. I was pretty proud of my aim and the fact that she actually stopped peeing. Of course, she's a bit of a weenie so she may not pee at all for a couple days. It's a learning curve.

I'm putting down my foot. This whole getting out the door in the morning is making my head spin. I find the more I do for my kids to make sure they get out the door in time for the bus then the more I do for my kids. Ironic huh? So I'm making a list and they better be checking it twice. It's going to include things like clean up your breakfast dishes, make your bed, pick out your clothes the night before, brush your teeth (even though you've known you have to do this every morning for the past 8 years, EVA!!) I'm thinking they just need to miss the bus and maybe Eva just needs to get a cavity or two, or three.

The thing is, Eva is more than willing to walk out the door without her glasses, without her homework, with witchy-poo hair, one shoe on and no jacket and really nasty Olive breath. I can't allow that. For the sake of her teachers, I can't let that happen. So I'm thinking there's going to be a check off chart that must be checked every morning or something terrible happens like their Nintendo DS disappears for a day or they have to do 3 hours of homework or they have to brush their teeth FIVE times a day.

Now that would be painful. :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Olive Schmolive

Right now Olive is eating something. Olive is always eating something. I no longer stick my finger in her mouth to find out what it is. I just decided if it's on the floor then we must not care if Olive eats it. It's all less disgusting this way. Until we scoop poop, then we know what she's be eating and we're disgusted, especially if we want it back. She's eating the tennis ball in this picture. You probably thought she was playing with it. You were wrong.

Right now she is also filling up this room with her maloforousness. It's the raw hides. Makes her gassy. Makes us wonder what we were thinking when we got another dog. Makes me wonder why I buy her the raw hides. Oh yeah, because she'll eat everything else if I don't.

Olive is at a point in her life that we all just have to get through. I think in human years she is about 4. Much like children at this age you have to constantly remind yourself to take the higher road, to ride this storm through because it's the right thing to do and because of Child Protection Services. With a puppy this is when we have to remind ourselves that in another year this will all have been worth it. Unlike my children she can be trained. Just one more year. I think we can make it.

She's certain she's a couch dog. I keep reminding her she is not in fact a couch dog. At first she started sneaking up on the couch when I wasn't in the room. She got up there and alligned herself with the 4 American Girl Dolls that were lined up sitting properly on the couch. Olive didn't pass for a doll so she got busted. But then the gutsy little sh... dog started jumping up on the couch WHILE I was sitting on the couch. I kept shooing her off. Then she jumped up and just sat there and I stared at her not knowing what to do. So she barked at me. OK, that does it. YOU are NOT a couch dog. Nobody is going to call Doggy Protective Services for you sweetheart.

Among some of her other favorite activities besides eating everything she can swallow are digging in my flowerbeds, tearing the flowers out of my flowerbeds and barking because I'm ignoring her. At first I was worried that she might ingest something that might be poisonous like a poinsettia or something. Now I'm planting poinsettias in my backyard...

The best way to describe Olive is ornery. I know we'll get through this because our last dog Phoebe, went through the same thing. I was fit to be tied with her antics and misbehavin' when she was a pup so my mom took her for a weekend while we were out of town. My mom was sure she would have her ship shape by the time we got back. Sometime during the weekend Phoebe jumped up on the guest bed in their house and peed in the middle of it. I'll never forget it. I don't think my mom has either. That's ornery.

Olive's not peeing in the house as much as she used to. She did poop in the girls' room though. I think she did it in the morning and we didn't realize it until the girls got home from school and went in their room and screamed at me that Olive had pooped in there. All day long I just kept thinking gee, I really need to clean my house, it stinks. What a relief to know I didn't have to clean after all.

I'd like to give a big shout out to Mr. Keibler for providing Olive with a nice big dog cage. The 24 inch dog cage we had was no longer big enough for our 32 inch dog. Phoebe was a long dog as well. I guess we like long dogs here. I'm just going to leave the rest of this paragraph to your imagination...

Anyway, we should be good with the 84 inch cage. Ok, it's probably not that big but I do know it holds Olive and all 3 kids comfortably. And I'm not going to reveal how I know that. I think we've changed our tornado safety place from the bedroom closet to Olive's cage. I'm pretty certain all 5 of us can fit in it and who knows, in another year if a tornado touches down in our neighborhood, we might let Olive in too.