Monday, September 20, 2010

Lordy-Be, Lordy-Be, How'd I Get to Be Forty-Three?

Since we went away this weekend, today (my birthday) is just a normal Monday and I'm at home with just my sweet little itty-bitty boyfriend, doing laundry. Except WHOOPS! I spoke too soon, because ju-u-ust as I finished typing up that sentence, the doorbell rang and on the other side of it stood a delivery guy with GORGEOUS flowers from Al and the kids. So a normal Monday (and I love Mondays anyway!), but with a touch of brilliant color and amazing fragrance. AWESOME!

While I sort, wash, dry, fold, admire and sniff, y'all can hop on over here to my normal Monday 5 Minutes for Parenting post. This week I'm outlining the 10 things we did to help make our Overnight Birthday Sleepfest as smooth and painless and FUN for our kids as possible. If you'd love to get away with your lovey sometime soon but feel nervous about how your child(ren) might handle it, I've got some thoughts for you!

Y'all have a beautiful Monday!

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Three (Very Quiet) Cheers for the Magic Nap-Wagon

Pajama Bottoms and All

Maybe if I just jot down a few thoughts when I have a minute (literally JUST a minute!) I'll get back into the blogging habit. I've examined the WHY of NOT blogging lately from every angle and I think it all just comes down to having impossibly high expectations of myself in EVERY. SINGLE. AREA. OF. MY. LIFE. Including blogging. Which may come as a surprise to any of you who've read me lately.

Or, you know, EVER.

I still owe y'all an account of Bean's kindergarten advent. I so want to write all about it and post a million pictures! She was mighty cute, and I'm not just sayin' that because I'm her stylist.


I have a ton of stuff on my mind lately with regard to my little smiley mischief-maker boy, too, and really? I could gush over him for hours on end even though he's systematically ruining everything in my house and taking over every moment of my whole entire life by being DETERMINED to kill himself and others (jovially, of course) in the most creative and surprising ways imaginable. And I'm not just sayin' that because I'm his parole officer.


Al and I are going away for an overnight stay very close-by to celebrate our birthdays. We are going to sleep. And sleep. And sleep some more. And the part of all that which makes me happiest is the part about how we're in a place marriage-wise, after a couple years of really, rilly NOT being in that place, where planning to go somewhere alone together and just *sleep* is FINE and non-disappointing to both of us. The pressure to connect and re-connect and be very, very intentional with our alone time *blah blah blah* is OFF because we've been working on that for a year now and we're CONNECTED and we're HAPPY. So now? WE CAN SLEEP. And I'm not just sayin' that because I have cute new pajama bottoms I seriously crave to wear for 36 hours straight. (Even though I do.)

(Well, I do.)

I'll see y'all when I get back.

Pajama bottoms and all.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This Is Why I Can't Blog Anymore

Heck, it's why I can't go potty anymore.
(Srsly! Where is the off switch on this thing?)


What NO Actually Means in LittleBoy-Speak

(It's true what they say -- if you want to learn a new language, go live where they speak it. I've picked up this language VERY quickly now that I'm dwelling with a native of LittleBoyLand 24/7.)

"NO!" = "Giggle all cute and wide-eyed over your shoulder at Mama and ___________________!"

Run faster!

Take off!

Bang harder!

Splash bigger!

Dig deeper!

Fling farther!

Cling tighter!

Climb higher!

Smear bigger!

Pull harder!

Staple more body parts!

Squirt more!

How 'bout you? What language have YOU learned lately?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bringing Chicken Stock Back.

I wrote this post puuuuuuurty much a lifetime ago, and so much has happened, and everything has changed so much, and I'VE changed so much, but I read it just now and you know what?

Turns out: NOT REALLY! (Clicks heals.)

Not really at all! I'm still that me! Or I'm BACK to that me! And I love that me! And I'm seriously not being narcissistic here, I'm just saying that a very few days (FOUR) after I wrote this post I found out that I was pregnant with my Peabody, and then I was SIIIIIIIIIIIICK, and then I was DEEPLY, DEEPLY, PREGNANT, and then I had a newborn, and then, and then, and then, and on and on and on and on, and I wondered, "Where'd I goooooo? Who am I nooooooooow?" and frankly, I worried. I did. Have y'all ever worried about YOU? Where you were? Where your YOU mojo'd gotten to?

But I read this post today and finally. FINALLY. I recognize me as THAT person again. I'm not so tired I can't laugh. I'm not so sick I can't think beyond the next hour. I'm not so emotionally drained that I can't enjoy my people, and situations, and LIFE for the crazy, fun, heart-filling ride that it all is, together.

I'm ... I'm ... free again.

And ... I have an undeniable yen to make homemade chicken stock.



I'm not posting another recipe today because I'm guessing by my stats that we've reached Recipe Critical Mass now and it's time to put Betty Crocker to bed for a few days.

I mean, not that I ever look at my stats.

(Hold please.)

(Clickity click click.)


Where was I?

Oh! No recipes, but I am gonna confess to you right now that I make REALLY EXCELLENT HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK. I mean like chicken stock that causes that stuff in those boxes and cans turn 400 shades of red and rush to hide behind the institutional-sized jugs of Hellmann's™ Real Mayonnaise and dill pickle chips when I turn my cart down its aisle. Yeah, THAT good.

When I am all stocked up with homemade chicken broth, I feel positively RICH. This may explain my propensity to over-produce in this area on occasion.

Which brings me to the point of today's little yarn.

One day a few months ago, I'd just finished brewing up "a little extra" chicken stock when I discovered, much to my dismay, that I had brewed up about 2 quarts more stock than I could feasibly store in my freezer. What would I do with the excess? I puzzled and puzzed 'til my puzzler grew sore, and then it came to me! I'd give it to Nicki (My Boys and Me), who loves to cook, and does so frequently, in large volumes and also! Also, she owns a large chest freezer!

I dialed her up breathlessly, poised to spring this piece of fantastic news on her and then stand WAY back for her excited, enthusiastic reception.

"Nicki! I've just made some homemade chicken stock and have some left over that won't fit in my freezer. Would you like to have it?"


And. She didn't want it! Didn't know how she'd use it. Thanked me profusely for my kind offer but turned down. that chicken stock. flat.

I was crestfallen. Not only because Nicki didn't WANT my chicken stock, but also because it meant that I was going to have to (and it pains me even now to write it out, months and a couple of counseling sessions later) pour homemade chicken stock DOWN THE DRAIN.

GASP! Quelle horreur!

I know. Are y'all crying yet?

We have mended our fences, though, and all has been forgiven. It's been hard, but we're neighbors, you know, and we have to see each other pretty much daily, so I thought it best to just apply a generous helping of grace to the situation so we wouldn't become like the Hatfields and the McCoys and end up duking it out over the porkchops-on-a-stick and sweetcorn at Bubba and Bean's wedding.

A little foresight goes a long way, even in the face of snubbed chicken stock.

Today I had to go get some Design Assistance on a little project I'm working on from Nicki, so Bean and I ran across the street to her house for a minute. When I'd finished picking Nicki's brain, I mentioned we were headed out to the grocery store next to pick up a few last minute items for Thanksgiving dinner.

And there was a little pause... a quiet, thoughtful, calculating pause... in the conversation.

"If I give you some cash will you buy me two boxes of chicken stock?" Nicki spat out.

"Absolutely! You don't even have to give me cash, you bought me onions a few weeks ago, remember?"

And then.

I remembered The Chicken Stock Incident.

"You know, Nicki, I seem to recall a phone conversation..." I laughed.

(And her eyes said, OH, BOY. HERE IT COMES!)

"...not too long ago when I offered you some of my homemade chicken stock and you just couldn't think of why you'd ever need it."

"Yes," she giggled back, "I seem to recall that conversation too, and I KNEW you were gonna bring that up when I asked you to buy me some."

And she was right.

And I am vindicated.

And the next time I make chicken stock, you can bet I'll be making a half a gallon extra.

Originally posted November 20, 2007 - a short four days before Peabody made made his first line on a stick.

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