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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Here's Lookin' at Y'all: Oreo Eyeball Treats

I'm in trouble with Bean because I made her take her nap instead of going outside to play with the kids, who were across the street whoopin' it up at the time. Now they've gone back inside, so when Bean wakes up, she's going to be FURIOUS WITH MAMA because you know, I went out there and CHASED them, growling and frothy-mouthed, back into their house and told them NEVER TO COME OUTSIDE AGAIN because my job, it is to make my daughter's life as boring and miserable as possible.

So as a pre-emptive peace offering, instead of takin' this time to read a good book or take a shower or make up the beds or take a nap, I've been workin' on these:

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I know! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeew! But Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I'm calling these Oreo Eyeballs. They're a creepy take on the ever-popular Oreo Snowball, also know as Oreo Truffles, and they're pretty easy to make, alhough I will admit that working with almond bark is about as exasperating as plucking your eyebrows with a pair of kitchen tongs. (Not that I've ever tried to pluck my eyebrows with kitchen tongs, mind you. Have you?)

Here's how you do it.

Oreo Eyeballs
Ingredients:

1 18 oz. pkg. Oreo cookies
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
24 oz. vanilla almond bark
M&Ms
Red sugar
black frosting (I bought the kind in a tube.)

Directions:

Process cookies into crumbs in food processor. Add softened cream cheese and process until well-blended. Roll into balls a little bigger than a nickel. (Mine are too big, in my opinion.) Chill for at least an hour, in several small batches.

Melt almond bark in microwave according to package instructions. Remove one small batch of Oreo balls from the fridge and begin carefully dipping them into the almond bark. Allow excess bark to drip back into pot. Carefully plop eyeball onto wax paper and sprinkle liberally with red sugar. Mush a colored M&M into the center of the eyeball. Repeat about 9,000 times until you think if you see another Oreo ball or M&M you'll BARF. (Trust me.)

Finally, add black frosting pupils to eyeballs.

Easy, right?

Here's what Bean's gonna see when she wakes up and comes down from her nap.

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Man, I hope these get me off the hook!

Okay, time to clean up the kitchen. I feel like I'm bein' WATCHED.



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Monday, October 27, 2008

For All the Complainin' I Do, I'm Also Completely Overjoyed to Be Their Mother, No Kiddin'!

Next time I'm whinin' about how tired and put out I am by these chiddren of mine, y'all send me back here, okay?

Would you LOOK at this boy?

Sometimes I have to grit my teeth to keep from biting him, he's so cute!

Ooof!

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We had a great weekend here, y'all. My husband, bein' the saint that he is, took care of Peabody ALL WEEKEND LONG, so Bean and I got to have some girl time together (we went out to lunch and then shopping, of course!).

As we sat together in a booth (she sat beside me), eatin' our sandwiches and listenin' to some live acoustic guitar music, my heart got all happy and achey and my eyes welled up with tears as I looked over at my sweet, sweet daughter, clearly delighted to be with just little old me, sharing chips and a drink and chatting about nothing in particular.

I looked at her face, her beautiful, sweet face, beaming ear to ear with excitement and fun, and I grabbed that child up close to me and kissed her cheeks. Then her nose. Then her forehead and her chin. And then, as she giggled and wiggled in my arms, I squoze her REALLY REALLY TIGHT for a long time. As long as she'd let me.

"MA-MAAAAA!" she laughingly exclaimed, "What was all THAT for?"

"I just love you so much Bean. I love spending time just the two of us like this. You're the coolest girl I know, and I'm so amazingly lucky that I get to be your Mama." (Choke choke swallow sniffle blink blink.)

"Aawwww! I love you too, Mama. Looks like we must be best friends!"

"Looks like, baby. Looks like." (Sob.)

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Seriously. These two are the best things that ever happened to me. And their little Daddy makes three.

Above all else, I am so, so grateful for these blessings.

Thank you Kelly at Love Well for this reminder:

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious -- the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

- Philippians 4:8-9, The Message


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Shakin' Hands and Kissin' Babies

I'm over at 5 Minutes for Parenting runnin' for office. Come vote for me.

Y'all can subscribe to FriedOkra's feed here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Boing! Boing! Boing!

That's the sound of Y'ALL, bein' bounced over to Chic Critique where I'm finding out I've been livin' a lie for forty one years.

(You'll note from the pictures that this was really not the best time for me to be puttin' any kind of spotlight on my pooped-out lookin' eyes, but I did it anyway. Oh! And BONUS, you also get to see my new very short hair, too. My friend Maha the Hair Genius is back in business and has cleaned up all the damage done by the Angry Prairie Dawg. And since then, I've been wearin' a colander on my head at night so when he climbs into bed and starts trying to nibble on me, the entire household's (theoretically) awakened by a tremendous CLANKITY CLANK CLANK.)

(Not that we're ACTUALLY asleep anyway.)

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You See the Irony Here, Don't You? Mama Spends All Her Time Giving Baby Nature's Perfect Food; Consquently The Rest of The Family Eats Garbage

From my pal Julie:

My question is about food.

We all know how much you love cooking in your kitchen. With everything else going on around you (like the kids) what if anything has changed about your action in the kitchen?


The kitchen... hmm... the kitchen. Let's see now. That's the room downstairs with all the countertops and the big box that makes hot and the other big box that makes cold, right?

Since Peabody arrived, my kitchen has suffered some, um, neglect. Ahem. Now as you'll recall, my neighbors took darned good care of us in the food department for about a month after the little chap was born. And my mom and sister visited, too, and the two of them whipped up enough food to feed us for weeks on end, because they are women, and they are Southern, and that's what they do.

But long about mid-September, the food well? She started to dry up. And I was faced with the task of feedin' this family on my own again, handicapped as it were with a baby slung over my midsection, fussily demanding that I remain in motion at all times.

Have you ever tried to dice an onion or grate a carrot while waltzing bouncy circles around and around your kitchen island?

Well, don't.

(Holds up several bloody finger-stumps.)

So. In the interim, we've eaten some of those questionable boxed one-dish "meals." (New! Sodium Stew! Just add Hypertension Meds!)

And we have pizza and Chinese on speed dial. Numbers 1 and 2. (Aha, Mrs. FryOkra, hello again. Driver already on way now with regular order. How did we know? Oh, just call it lucky guess.)

And I try to do some ACTUAL cooking when I can, but y'all? You gotta know your culinary skills have atrophied when you're completely stymied as to what to make for dinner because there isn't a can of Campbell's Cream of Whatever soup in the house.

Hmm. (Roots around in fridge and pantry.) Got chicken. Got rice. Got veggies. OH NO. No soup! We'll STARVE! I can't make a darn thing out of this without a can of Cream of Sump'm!

(Punches #2 on phone.)

Also, I don't relish the idea of going to the grocery store lately. Wonder why? So we find ourselves making do some days. To a very, very large degree.

Hmmm, anybody know what to make with a can of green chile enchilada sauce and a half a bag of stale Donettes?

Right, then.

(Picks up phone.)




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Monday, October 20, 2008

Now If I Could Just Find 5 Minutes for Hygiene

Howdy!

Bean had a superfantabulous birthday weekend and I'll share highlights and pictures and laughs with y'all in the next few days.

Today I'm at 5 Minutes for Parenting, talking about business plans, of all things, and a little proposal I made to Al over the weekend.

See y'all over there! (I will, won't I?)

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Friday, October 17, 2008

FOUR!

It's a special day today at FriedOkra Manor, y'all. Our little Beanie turns FOUR at 3:06 this afternoon.

Happy Birthday, Bean!




Here's to a great year gone by and an even better one to come.

I love you, my sweet little crazy, goofy girl!

Mama

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Adding Up The Total of a Love That's True, Multiply Life by the Power of Two [Well, in this case, Four]

Overheard in the car last night on our FDANB. (First Date After New Baby)

M: It's just an adjustment phase, honey. It won't be like this forever. We've added a whole 'nother human being to our lives. Other than subtracting a human being, that's surely the biggest adjustment a family could ever make, right?

A: Oh, yeah, I know it's an adjustment phase.

M: Well, I guess I just have to keep reminding myself of that more than anyone else. Sometimes I get panicky thinkin' it's gonna be like this forever.

A: Nah, it won't be like this forever. (Reaches over and holds my hand.) Another 17 years and 10 months. (Pause) And then we'll be back to normal again, just like that. (Snaps.)

But I'm fine y'all. Seriously! We're all fine. I don't mean to worry you. I just mean to share the ups and downs and ins and outs and the humanity (OH THE HUMANITY) and the vulnerability and, well, the temporary insanity of our lives right now. If I got on here every day and told you everything was hunky dorey, easy peasy, peachy keen, you'd know for sure I was shoveling you some, uh, MANURE, right?

And you'd also start to wonder what or who you might find dissolving in some 50 gallon drums in my basement. (Ooops! Too macabre? Well, it IS October!)

I firmly believe you'd have to be crazy not to be a little crazy in this particular stage of parenting.

So if you're worryin' about the residents of FriedOkra Manor, rest easy. We're 100% all good.

What? You want proof?

Okay then.


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See? All Good!

(But thank y'all for praying for us and giving us so much empathy and love lately. What a huge blessing you are on our lives right now!)



*Title adapted from Indigo Girls' Power of Two



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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No Animals Were Harmed in the Writing of this Post, But I Seem to Have Broken a Nail and There's Something in My Eye

Y'all? It has come to my attention that I may need to learn a new skill. One that I have somehow avoided learnin' in 41 years. Yep, I may be long in the tooth, but I am way, way short in a little thing called STRESS MANAGEMENT.

I believe it'll come as no surprise to y'all that newbornhood and all of its trappings STRESS ME RIGHT OUT TO THE END OF MY TETHER. Probably does that to all mothers to a certain degree, it's just that my particular degree happens to be BOILING OVER AND SCORCHING ONTO THE BURNER.

But I do already have some STRESS MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES. In fact, I've spent my whole life practicing these techniques and lemme tell you, practice makes perfect, people.

Here's how I currently cope with stress in my life:

1) Lie on my bed (actually any horizontal surface will do, up to and including my desk at work back when I was gainfully employed) completely unresponsive to any/all stimuli, and shiver.

2) Hate everyone around me with the fury of a pit bull* who's just been given a rose-and-peony scented bubble bath in a pink claw-footed tub using a wise-crackin' cat** for a scrub brush and then gotten out of the tub to discover that same cat has tinkled on his Kibbles-n-Bits.

3) Google things. Mostly things directly related to the stress trigger but sometimes I just type in "AAAAAAAAAAAAGH!! Make it STOP!" or "This cannot be happening to me!" to see what'll come up. Sorta like a Google-ish Magic Eight-ball type of a thing.

and finally, my favorite

4) Stand at the kitchen island and eat. Everything. Yesterday Bean's little friend Bubba fell and smacked his forehead on the sidewalk in front of our house, and while they rushed the sweet boy to the emergency room (he's fine, thank God), I stood at my island and ate the rest of a box of garden herb croutons, half a bag of chili flavored Fritos, a Dagwood sandwich and a quarter of a cherry pie, all of which I washed down with a liter of Gatorade consumed directly out of the 2.5 liter jug. Bubba and his family were already back home, every inch of exposed skin on Bubba's body covered with CARS stickers, and standing on my front porch by the time I wiped my mouth on my sleeve and belched an "Okay what's next" belch that rattled every window in the neighborhood.

So. Are you thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?

Those methods really aren't all that healthy. Thus, wishing to to avoid getting to the point where I'd hafta employ any of 'em, I've carefully managed life - people, events and resources - in such ways that stress has rarely come a'knockin at my door.

'Course that's required a whole 'nother set of skills - my stress avoidance techniques - all of which can be summed up under two very effective, very simple main categories:

1) The Don't Bite Off Even Remotely As Much As I Can Chew Method
and
2) The Bury My Head and Most of the Rest of Myself in the Sand Method

Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that a woman with two smallish chiddren and a husband who's only content when he's burning the entire candle - both ends and everything in between plus whatever else he can find to douse with kerosene and set ablaze - isn't gonna be able to avoid stress, no matter how little she personally bites off or how far into the sand she burrows herself.

(The little people, they WILL find you. Kids LOVE to dig in the sand.)

And we've seen now that my stress management techniques are, well, not exactly family-friendly.

So I guess I'm gonna have to woman up and figure out some way to deal with your garden variety daily pressure and angst without having to lie down and quietly hate the world.

Hmmm.

Anybody got a bag of Cheetos?


* To the pit bull owners out there, my apologies. I used pit bull for the sake of vibrant imagery only. I am certain your little Pookie Bear is just as sweet as the day is long. Just please don't sic him on me send him over to my house for a cuddle.

** I seriously don't recommend attempting this type of thing with a cat. I can't imagine it going well for you. I haven't personally ever TRIED to scrub a dog or anything else with a wet cat, wise-cracking or otherwise, but my considerable experience with felines (and water) leads me to believe you would almost certainly be seriously injured. And the dog, too. The cat itself would escape unscathed and you'd find it hours later, sitting damply in the middle of your new cashmere sweater licking its nether-regions. Cats pretty much always win. Just don't go there.




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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On A Completely Unrelated Note, Did You Ever Imagine Doogie Howser MD Was Gonna Grow Up to Be So Handsome?

Somedays I just can't come up with a suitable title, you know?

My mom got her a computer yesterday. Now she's had a computer before, it's just that she moved into a new house and then hadda wait awhile before she got all hooked up and back online again. We all know how THAT goes, don't we?

But can I just tell you how strange it is to hear my Mom say "DSL" (which she pronounces, because she's Southern an' all, Dee Ayess Ayull)? I mean, my Mom is no dummy, people, but we're talkin' about a woman who didn't get a Mah-crowave Oven until the late 1990s. Mom's never cottoned much to The Advanced Technology. Her sayin' Dee Ayuss Ayull, or even Eee Mayull is prob'ly always gonna make me do a full-on double take.

HUH?! WUT DID SHE JUS SAY? DID SHE JUS SAY DEE AYESS AYULL? OHMYGRANNY!

And then she got on instant messaging and shot me a "Megan? Are you there?"

I wasn't, of course, because nothing I do around here is ever instant anymore except diaper replacement after that unmistakeably tell-tale sound of another, um, eruption from the boy.

Oh yes, and falling into comatose sleep the nano-second my head hits the pillow.

You coulda knocked me over with a feather when I saw Mom'd successfully navigated instant messaging because frankly even I find instant messaging mysterious and I can't actually INITIATE a conversation on there myself. I just have to wait around for someone to say sumpm to me and then I go, "Hey, look, a new window opened and somebody's talkin' to me in there! How'd that happen?" I gratefully converse with whoever's magically appeared on my screen until they "hang up." And then that illusive window disappears and I go about my business again.

But anyway, my point bein', I got an Eee Mayull from Mom later in the day and thanks to her hasty composition (none of her emails are longer'n 2 lines, but somehow she packs about 10 days worth of news in there. How does she do that?) I will forevermore correlate Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden's resignation with a nearly 1000 point rebound in the stock market.

I don't think I'll be the only one makin' that connection, though. You get into a certain area in South Carolina and you learn Right Quick that As go the Tigers, so goes the rest of the world.

A-yup.





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Monday, October 13, 2008

I'd Love to Tell You It was a Quiet, Peaceful Weekend at FriedOkra Manor, But

I'm over at 5 Minutes for Parenting today asking for help saving my marriage!







What?

Oh, alri-i-i-ight. My marriage is fine, but I got your attention, didn't I? Now git on over there.

I'll be back here later today, I hope.



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Friday, October 10, 2008

But I'm STILL Wonderin' Who's Holdin' Donna Now.



I don't know why, people. I have NO IDEA why that song popped into my head a minute ago. But it did. And I happened to be on Twitter, so I typed in a few lyrics and asked if anyone could name the artist.

I honestly didn't think a single solitary soul would be able to get it. But in less than a minute, the Queen of Music tweeted back, "UM, El DeBarge. Thank you. Thank you so much."

Honestly, I believed even way back THEN that I might be DeBarge's only actual fan.

It had to be BooMama, y'know? Had to.

I may have to make this "Name the Artist" game a weekly gig. It maketh me happy, happy, happy.

Follow me on Twitter from over there in my sidebar and you can play along too!



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Happy Friday, Y'all. Oh, And Lock Up Your Daughters.

From this


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to this

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in just nine weeks.

Check out that half-smile, ladies. He's gonna break a heart or two.

(I just hope mine isn't one of 'em.)

Have a great weekend, everybody.

I'm over at Chic Critique today, talkin' about some products I've found particularly helpful as a new Mama. If you or anyone you know's expecting or expecting to BE expecting, go check it out.





Y'all can subscribe to FriedOkra's feed here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

But I Won't Be Hidin' ANY of It Under the Mattress, So Don't Bother to Look There.

Hey! My subscriber numbers have gone up. I just noticed. Welcome y'all! Nice to have you.

As much as I would love to report otherwise, that porch up there is not any part of my home. But it's become my happy place, and lemme tell you, you can find me there A LOT lately. It IS pretty, isn't it? I'm trying to figure out how to decorate it for the holidays. Lemme know if you have any ideas.

So I paid three bills today and then went out to retrieve the mail and got 4 more. Apparently, in answer to the question about what I'm doing differently in this freaked out financial climate, is I'm giving out Al's hard-earned money to every Tom, Dick and Harry who asks for some. Mostly Doctors Tom, Dick and Harry, though. Having a baby is expensive, people.

Also, and this'll answer the question about my next decorating/home improvement project as well as the financial one - two birds, meet one stone - instead of finishing our basement at the end of this year (which is what we'd planned on doing before the entire economy saw a big old hairy mouse, screamed like a girl and climbed up on a chair in terror with its skirt wrapped up around its knees) to accomodate this boy-child who in the not-too-distant future's gonna be needin' somewhere to be staked up and allowed to run off his tiny little testosterone, we will be shovin' everything down there up into one corner or the other and rentin' a shop vac to clean up the dusty yuckiness leftover from construction, layin' down some of those squishy interlocking foam thingies on the floor and littering the whole area with some dump trucks and Lincoln Logs and miles of train tracks and what-have-you so Peabody can go down there and ignore every bit of it and spend his time turning the circuit breakers off and on and distributing the contents of Al's toolbox to the four corners of the world.

Just like any other red-blooded American boy would do in the same situation.

Also, I won't be gettin' a pedicure anytime soon and Al has informed me that I need to learn to love and embrace my P-Dawg cut because that pesky rodent is as close as I'ma get to a stylist again until the market does some serious recoverin'.

He also informed me quite excitedly that he understands there is a strong and lucrative market out there for (avert your eyes, men) breastmilk. I saw him out on the driveway later with my Medela up on blocks, tinkering away and muttering something about "much more suction, much faster pump action, dude" and the next time I turned that bad boy on it sucked up all my bathroom towels and a couple rooms worth of berber carpet.

Also, I've noticed that when we finish up a gallon of 2% lately, Al rinses out the jug and puts it up on my bathroom counter with a little Post-It stuck to the side that says, "Got Milk? Ahem?"

Lastly, I got myself signed up for BlogHer advertising, as you can see up there in the corner and I expect the checks to start rolling in any day now.

I'll be rich, I tell you. RICH!












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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Make it half a banana and a Sunbutter spoon, kid, and you've got yourself a deal.

So I can keep on whinin' 'bout these kids and y'all won't bang on the Unsubscribe button until your index finger fingernail turns black and falls off?

Actually I am not so much whinin' about the kids themselves, personally, as I'm whinin' about the condition of bein' Mom to two small people, generally. Of course MANY people, including y'all, warned me that this adjustment'd be HUGE and make me want to pull my hair out.

(My hair, which if y'all could see it you'd immediately come to the same conclusion that I have, that the angry prairie dog has in fact finally found his way into my house and shimmies up the bedclothes to gnaw off hunks of my tresses in those otherwise fortunate few moments in the night that I fall into a drooling, comatose sleep.)

(I no longer have a mullet. I have a P-Dawg. At this point, makin' me pull my hair out may be the biggest favor my kids'll ever do me.)

Hello distractability and short-term memory loss! Hmm, now where was I?

Oh yes. The chiddren. Preppy Pettit asked yesterday if Bean's jealous of Peabody.

I'm gonna go with YES, but I think bein' just under 4 years old, Bean doesn't necessarily feel or express it as jealousy of the baby so much. Oh no, Bean places the blame where it ultimately belongs, squarely on the shoulders of the woman who produced the boy in question, Yours Truly. To wit, yesterday over lunch she directed a white-hot angry glare at me and asserted, "You need to move to another house."

"Why?" I asked innocently. (One day I will learn, people.)

"Because I don't want you HERE anymore. And NEITHER. DOES. DADDY."

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I just went with a slump-shouldered blank stare, which of late is my default disposition anyway, and so required no effort on my part. Later, as I was snuggling her in her bed, I told her calmly that what she'd said had hurt my feelings and she replied, "Well, YOU can stay here, Mama, but the mean monster has to move."

And then, you know, I felt OH SO MUCH BETTER.

By contrast, Peabody would prefer I remain affixed to his personage at all times. In my waking hours, I am required to wear him vertically on my front in the Snugli or be subjected to first, his absolutely heart-breaking pouty face followed immediately by blood-curdling wails. Mostly I'm okay with this although I have to admit it seems strange to me that this person for whom standing on his head was the position of choice 8 weeks ago is now so resolutely determined to be upright and only upright.

But who am I to argue with Brutha Naycha?

So I wear him in the Snugli, all day long, just like I did his sister before him. And I rock and bounce to quiet him so much that it's become second nature. Heck, the other day I let a neighbor hold him when we were outside one afternoon and he started fussing, and I started rockin' and bouncin'. Another neighbor happened along right about then who's hard of hearing. After she'd stood there a few minutes, she looked around and asked, "Are you guys listening to some music that I can't hear?"

"No," we asked her, "Why?"

"Because Megan's dancing!"

Oh yeah. That.

----------

I took both kids grocery shopping this morning.

(Stop laughing.)

I did. And Peabody cried, even though he was in his Snugli as directed, THE WHOLE COTTON-PICKIN' TIME. I don't know about y'all, but for me, the sound of my own child crying makes nails on a chalkboard sound like romantic violins playin' on the shore at sunset. Seriously. And he screamed. And screamed. People were staring at me with that, "Woman, what on earth did you do to that poor child?" look on their faces.

I'ma tell you right now, people, and I know you will be able to relate, that if I were a smoker? I'da forgotten all about the zucchini and the dishwasher soap and the coffee filters and I'da gone up to the VICES AND OTHER SUNDRIES counter and bought myself a carton of the strongest brand they had, sat down in a corner, stuffed a cigarette in every orifice and sat there puffing away until the authorities came and hauled me away.

But instead I bounced and I rocked, bought Bean some candy she picked out in the check-out line (which I HAVE NEVER DONE BEFORE) and paid for my groceries with great big tears in my eyes after she said, "Thanks Mama. You're the sweetest Mama EVER."

Amazing how that one little bribe-driven compliment after all that screaming and embarrassment was enough to completely undo me.

I do NOT feel like the sweetest Mama ever these days, to say the very least.

And we walked out to the parking lot, me sniffling, Peabody wailing, and Bean askin' me "Mama, can I just have a half a banana for lunch today? I need to save room for my candy that my sweet little Mama bought me."





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Monday, October 6, 2008

Methinks It's Time to Restock the Reader Mailbag

Are y'all tired of readin' all about how hard my life is lately with my two kids?

Well, I sure am tired of writin' about it. It's just they THEY'RE ALL I HAVE GOIN' ON!

Is it too soon to solicit more questions from y'all? To give me sump'm else to think and write about?

It isn't?

M'kay then. Ask away in the comments!

Seriously. Help a girl out here.

Oh, and lest you think I've given up writin' altogether, I'm up over at 5 Minutes for Parenting today! I wrote about how I'm havin' to come to grips with my obsession with perfection lately. I bet y'all can relate, so make sure to leave your thoughts on the matter in the comments over there.



Y'all can subscribe to FriedOkra's feed here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday, I Love You More than a Nutella and Cheeto Sandwich

Ever'body's still alive here at FriedOkra Manor. We've had a busy week although if pressed, I doubt I could recount exactly what we've been s'busy doin'.

I do seem to recall a particularly frantic moment crammed between the kids' carseats in the back of my vehicle feedin' Peabody in the preschool parking lot, though. Nothin' like nursing a squirming peanut under intense pressure in a drafty car in broad daylight to make a noteworthy impression on your child's teachers, don't you know?

I am so put together lately, people! SO FANTASTICALLY PUT TOGETHER!

We're off to tour a PUNKIN FARM today with Bean's preschool class - at 8:45 in the morning. I wonder if the PUNKINS'll even be awake yet? I have not even TOLD Bean about this trip because THAT CHILD LOVES HER A PUNKIN so if she'da known we had a PUNKIN PICKIN' adventure in our future she'da been askin' me "Is it TIME yet Mama?" every 9.62 seconds until this morning. And since her sweet little mouth rarely ever closes as it IS, I didn't think givin' her additional chatter fodder would play out in my favor. Plus, now won't it be fun to pop her in the car thinkin' she's headed to preschool and then arrive at the FARM and surprise her? Oh, the joy.

Peabody will accompany us on our PUNKIN ODYSSEY in his Snugli (which is where he lives now except at night, when he reluctantly and with much persuasion and coaxing allows himself to be placed in his bed, as long as I follow the rider he's provided me which lists all ten thousand and fifty nine crib-sleep rules TO THE LETTER and do it at exactly the right moment in his very, very complicated two-month-old sleep cycle.) I am slightly worried about how I'm gonna get myself up into the back of the wagon for the hayride (yes, I do believe we'll be treated to a hayride at the farm. At 8:45 in the morning. I wonder if the HAY'll be awake? You know, I guess I kinda hope not. The thought of riding around in a truck bed of AWAKE HAY kinda scares me, actually.) while wearing a 13 pound sack of very cute potatoes around my neck, because as I may have mentioned before, I possess as much coordination and grace as a dizzy elephant wearing 4-inch heels.

So it could be a very interesting hayride for the preschoolers and my fellow parents.

Hmmm... maybe I won't take the camera, after all.

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It's officially fall here. I can tell because there's a nip in the air. And the local beauty "salon," which makes its home in a little portable trailer up on cinder blocks along the main drag, has sign out front that says, and I quote:

FALL IS HAIR
LOW LIGHTS


I strongly recommend that you call ahead for an appointment. With a smart, savvy marketing plan like that, they're gonna be VERY busy, people.



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