Category Archives: Quick takes

New year quick takes: now with less quickness!

1. I tried to do that questionnaire thing that was circulating involving year-end recaps and blah di blah, but by the time I was 2/3 of the way through, I couldn’t stand the thought of reading it back over. And if I didn’t want to read it, I knew YOU didn’t want to read it, so you can go ahead and thank me for that when you finally make your way to the bottom of this post and the comment form. Not yet, obviously, because you don’t want to miss any of the rest of my piercing wit. BUT! When the time comes, you can feel free to thank me. 2011 was a DOOZY of a year, to put it mildly. I’m trying to focus (now that it’s OVER MUAHAHAHA I WIN 2011!) on the blessings from last year — like the ice cream that came in the mail from Maureen and, you know, the baby — instead of plotting ways to destroy the life of Evil Pharmacist.

2. Which … did I even talk here about Evil Pharmacist? From the Evil Compounding Pharmacy? If you follow me on Twitter, you saw me have this breakdown involving probably seven straight hours of shouting. <LONG RANTING RANT REDACTED> I just deleted a good 600 words that basically boil down to: the pharmacy said they were giving us corn-free medicine, but they were not. We stopped giving him the medicine, his eczema stopped flaring up constantly, he caught up on motor skill milestones, and now I can eat almost anything so long as it’s corn-free (so almost nothing but it feels like almost anything). I wish I could somehow get that pharmacist to understand what she put us through. MONTHS of eating the way I was eating, and it was all because he was continuing to ingest corn. I’m furious, more furious than I have EVER BEEN, so furious I can’t even think of an ironic sort of thing to put here in second place, like AND I AM A JOSS WHEDON FAN SO I KNOW ANGER WAH DOLLHOUSE or whatever, because I AM JUST THAT MAD. I almost quit nursing him! DEEP BREATHS WHILE ALSO FANTASIZING ABOUT FORCE-FEEDING THE PHARMACIST THREE MONTHS’ WORTH OF RICE AND OATMEAL.

3. Don’t we all feel better now, having that off our chests? Let’s just relax for this quick take. You don’t even have to read this one. Me mentioning Dollhouse got me thinking about Paul Ballard, though, so that’s another thing you can thank me for in the comments.

4. The actual reason I sat down to write this post today is that the housework is just out of control now. It’s smacking me in the face with its not-doneness pretty much constantly. Every time I think, “Let’s do all the laundry!” I start with the kids’ laundry, because they get one hamper between the three of them, and of course it is always full. Especially in “winter” which means putting one of our two long-sleeved t-shirts under a short-sleeved t-shirt and applying one (1) extra hoodie/sweater for each 10-15 degree drop in temperature, meaning we dirty all of the things on each of the days. [ASIDE: Where would we even be as an internet right now if not for Allie Brosh giving us the phrase “CLEAN ALL THE THINGS”? What would we even SAY? She’s defined a generation! Or at least an internet meme cycle!] Anyway, I always start with their laundry, but by the time I get to the end of their laundry, there is no more time to do other laundry. Then the next day I feel like “WOW! I did so much laundry yesterday I won’t need to do any today!” so I don’t do any and then the next day I STILL feel that way because I’m still folding the 900 pairs of pants and socks and onesies that fit into a single hamper at which point the laundry is even more out of control and I think “NOW LET’S START WITH THE CHILDREN.” If I keep putting their laundry’s oxygen mask on first, I’m going to be naked and WITHOUT AIR.

5. The actual reason I sat down to write Quick Take #4 was to tell you the actual reason I sat down to write this post today and I am now actually going to tell you what that reason was which is that I think maybe it’s gotten to the point where I need to make myself some sort of CHORE CHART. Like I am five. But basically breaking down the things that need doing and then assigning them to days of the week. For the most part, I manage to keep up with the kitchen and sort of the laundry and a good chunk of the tidying, but you don’t want to know how long it’s been since the mopping or the sweeping or the other deep-cleaning things that need doing FAR more often than we do them. So something like a laundry schedule where I always do linens on Tuesdays and whites on Wednesdays and then always do floors on Fridays and dust on … well, let’s not get out of hand. Do any of you do that? Or are you just really awesome at remembering what needs doing? WELL GOOD FOR YOU I NEED A CHART.

6. Another thing we’ve had going on around here lately is teething. I am not even talking about THE BABY exclusively, because all three of my children are cutting teeth right now. All of them. How. How did they coordinate this? I mean, for the love, Vio is cutting her first 6-year molar at the age of 5, and Roo is cutting her last 2-year molar at the age of 3, so they really REALLY had to work to line that up. AND AND. They are in the same place (upper left) in their mouths. Leo is working on cutting his first tooth, one of the bottom front ones as babies are wont to do, which is the exact tooth Vio just LOST, so she is cutting her first ADULT tooth in that EXACT SAME SPOT. I can make Venn diagrams with overlap on the teeth my DIFFERENTLY AGED children are cutting.

7. Today is my half-birthday! I mentioned that on Twitter this morning, and it is something that stupidly excites me (on the years I actually notice the date, anyway. Usually I’ll find myself on January 7th or 8th REALLY REALLY bummed that I missed it.) Another reason I love my half-birthday is that it is on TOPSY TURVY DAY. If you don’t know what Topsy Turvy Day is then you aren’t as big a fan of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame as I am which basically means you don’t know what Topsy Turvy Day is because I have never met ANYONE ELSE who actually liked that movie and SO WHAT if I was 14 when it came out IT SPOKE TO ME GOD HELP THE OUTCASTS etc. etc., but in one of the songs they sing, “Scurvy knaves are extra scurvy/on the 6th of January/all because it’s Topsy Turvy day!” Really though the best part about it being my half-birthday is that that means tomorrow is Leo’s half-birthday, making him a ripe old One Half years old. I am really really excited about age one-half, you guys. So! Be extra scurvy for me, won’t you?

(More quick takes here.)

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Takin’ it quick in a number of times approximating 7

1. Well! I am 35.5 weeks along with this here baby boy, and I have yet to take a single belly picture. I keep MEANING to, but then I think, “It’s not an actual week marker! I’ll do it on Tuesday when the week rolls over!” But I think Tuesday must be my Dirty Day. (We’ll pretend it’s just Tuesday and not that I feel too gross for pictures every single other day of the week. Also huge.)

2. Seriously, with the hugeness. This baby is up in my rib cage. And also doing headstands on my pelvis. My midwife was all “yeah, he’s gonna be long” and then I cried because HAVE YOU SEEN MY HUSBAND? He is nearly a foot taller than I am. Let’s just hope it’s a SCRAWNY long baby, to match him. (Vio was super long at birth, too, but Roo was smaller. I never felt like I got all that gigantic when pregnant with her. I assumed this was because I had DONE the whole pregnancy thing and was totally an expert and knew what to expect and yada yada but GUESS WHAT NO SHE WAS ACTUALLY JUST SMALLER.)

3. I’m going to be shocked when this baby is unlike both of his sisters in whatever ways in which he decides to be. We keep saying things like, “Oh, I hope he sleeps more like ___” and “I hope he nurses as well as ___ did!” without regard for the fact that he may do these things in a completely different THIRD way. Really, are there three different ways children can be? You have one and you assume they’re all the same; you have two and you realize that opposites exist. I don’t know how to find a third opposite. That involves, like, triangles. It sounds pointy.

4. I cannot even talk about how bummed I am about not going to the Blathering. Cannot. Too bummed.

5. The girls’ latest favorite pastime is putting on shows for me during the day. I’m guessing this is a result of Vio practicing and practicing at school for the graduation program and now having no outlet for her NEED TO PERFORM. (In front of us. In front of everyone at school I held my breath the entire time because she kept flashing the Panic Eyes and I was convinced she was being scarred for life.) They all begin with Roo standing up on a bin shouting, “Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girrs! Presenting …” Then they argue.

6. I had to get up about 12 times while writing this, but it was for a VERY GOOD REASON and now I will share it with you for making it all the way through the billion takes above … the Most Delicious Peanut Butter Cookies I Have Ever Personally Consumed.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

(adapted from Food.com)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/8 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) natural (read: gritty) peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (all purpose would be fine)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins (I’m guessing … I tossed in a few handfuls)

1. Preheat oven to 350. In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugars using the paddle attachment. Add heaping half cup of peanut butter and mix again until fully incorporated. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in oats and raisins. (I threw them in with the mixer going as low as it would go. I didn’t want smoosh raisins.)

3. Drop 1 1/2-inch rounded balls of dough onto cookie sheet. (I baked mine on a Silpat and used a medium cookie scoop. If you don’t have either of those things but like to bake then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR GO BUY THEM. Those aren’t, like, affiliate links, by the way. I’m way too lazy for all that nonsense.) Bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Allow to firm up a bit on the cookie sheet before moving to cooling rack. (Twelve minutes will make a pretty soft cookie, and they will crumble if you try to transfer them without letting them sit a few minutes.)

Yield: 2 dozen

7. These cookies are for realsies amazing. I added raisins specifically to scare away all the tasteless people who think raisins in cookies are evil. RAISINS IN COOKIES ARE DELICIOUS.

(More quick takes here.)

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7 Quick Takes – Anniblogary edition

1. I’ve been at this for one whole year. Way to go, blog. I now have slightly more memories of the past year than I do of the ones that preceded it! Well, except for the middle and high school years. I kept journals. There is a very large Rubbermaid tote marked ANGST in my closet, and opening it would probably be a very bad idea.

2. We are taking Vio to see Toy Story 3 tonight. It will be her first movie-going experience. From what I’ve heard about the movie, I’m packing tissues, a blanket, and my mommy. I already have issues with feeling like the toys have FEELINGS, and these movies do nothing to quell that nonsense. I mentioned this on Twitter last night, and I got this response:

PSYCHO CREEPY BABY DOLL.

I’m going to have to be swaddled.

3. Matt and I are going to Busch Gardens this weekend with my brother and his girlfriend. And NONE children! I fear they will talk me into doing this again:

If she’d snapped the picture one half-second later, for the actual 90-degree 200-foot drop, you would have been able to see my life flashing before my eyes in mpeg form behind my glasses.

4. I sure am painting myself with the bravery brush today, eh? Well I took a spider outside today ALL BY MYSELF. So there.

5. Fine, it was the size of an obese ant. And when I was at the front door turning the knob with the paper-covered cup o’ spider in my other hand, Vio rolled a block through my peripheral line of sight and I AUDIBLY GASPED and scared the poor child because I somehow thought I’d dropped the spider and outrun it in the process.

What a block posing as a spider may look like.

6. I forgot to mention a vital bit of information in my traumatic grocery store trip post — namely, that I was caught without my wallet between leaving it in the pee-car and being defenseless in Publix. I took Vio to the mall this weekend to pick out a birthday present for her great-grandmother, and had to leave the gift at the register. So there is seriously no excuse for the idiocy that befell me that day. THAT FATEFUL DAY.

7. Really, a year of this nonsense? Thanks for reading, beauties. You deserve prizes and your own personal Santas to deliver them.

More quick takes here.

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7 Quick Takes – Summer is here!

1. How are we already halfway through June? In the next two and a half weeks, we’ve got Father’s Day, my blog turns 1, my marriage turns 7 (anyone else feeling itchy?), I turn 29 (for the FIRST time, thank you very much), and the US turns, like, a million or whatever. Mostly I’m interested in the fireworks and perhaps a cake in the shape of a flag. I’m a little bit tired just thinking about it.

2. Then August comes, and August is just a parade of birthdays. Vio shares hers with two other relatives, and it’s the same week as Matt’s and about two weeks before my mom’s. We like to call it Cake Week. Also, apparently by Matt’s birthday, I’ll be able to run 30 minutes without stopping. If you’ll please excuse me, I will spend the next 30 minutes laughing without stopping. Which is probably just as good, you know?

3. But then! The worst thing happens! In that my baby, my Vio, who will be 4, will be starting pre-K. I don’t have any idea who authorized this. I have a whole post written in my head about how this is Making Me Feel (which is mostly: Old, and also: Sad) so look for that some time around … well, I hit publish on it in my BRAIN like a week ago.

4. Speaking of posts written in my head, I have a whole one about Roo and her talking. Her non-stop always talking that makes me want to freeze time just so I can sit and listen to her. Everyone told us to expect the second to be far less verbal, but so far she is giving her big sister a run for her money. Last week Vio spent a good 15 minutes just asking Roo yes-or-no questions to see what she would say. Conversations! Between my children! I’ve wiggled my nose and clicked my heels and all those other magic things, but so far the time just keeps moving.

5. Vio started swimming lessons this week, which was LONG overdue. I was nervous because parents sit in Another Room, and she hasn’t really done anything without us yet. If she’s not with us, she’s with another adult who would throw himself in front of a bus for her, so she’s not really used to being only a semi-precious snowflake. She did amazingly well, though, which is helping calm my fears about pre-K in the fall.

6. For once in her sweet life, Roo fell and smacked her face the day AFTER a doctor’s appointment instead of the day before. Right into the molding around the bathroom door. So it looks a little bit like she got into a scratch fight with a wombat or maybe got slapped by someone with a doll-sized hand. Then she stepped on a dollhouse table and scraped the bottom of her foot. Sorry, sweetie, but you got your mama’s grace.

7. For a very long time I thought I didn’t like dark chocolate. That was really stupid of me.

More quick takes here.

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7 Quick Takes – Sisters

1.

2.

I am pessimistically suspicious of the possessed floor fountains …

3.

4.

… but I will go anywhere if my big sister holds my hand.

5.

6.

7.

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7 Quick Takes – Picture takes, to be exact

And, to be EVEN MORE exact, picture takes taken by Vio with her very own little kid camera. They come in several varieties.

We’ve got:

1. Pictures that are so indecipherable, even CSI’s magical ENHANCE would do nothing.

So CSI:FL’s filter is PINK. Good to know.

2. Artistic self-portraits.

Preschooler Twitter avatar.

3. Pictures I’m pretty sure Roo took.

NOMMABLE TOES OMG.

4. Pictures of us making ridiculous faces.

I have about 800 pictures of this exact face.

This picture tells you everything you need to know about my dad.

5. Pictures utilizing her camera’s janky stamping/effects feature.

That’s a whole lotta me, first thing in the morning.

She literally laughed for 5 minutes after taking this one. “She looks like a BABY!”

6. Pictures that I will treasure forever.

My mom and Roo.

My dad’s toes vs. Vio’s toes.

Matt making breakfast.

7. Pictures that are inappropriate for one (or more) of several reasons.

First of all … yeah. Second: How many dogs, how many cups?

******

More quick takes here. Cheers!

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7 Quick Takes – I haven’t done this in a while edition

1. The girls are playing together on the floor and they’re having a picnic and Roo doesn’t get the point of the game which bothers Vio TO NO END but they are PLAYING TOGETHER and it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen.

2. Sorry for the run-on there, but goodness! I had to get it all out before they stopped adoring one another (which, consequently, HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.)

3. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here, with Matt working overtime and through the weekend and in the evening. Translated: I have been parenting overtime and through the weekend and in the evening. I love my children dearly, but CALGON TAKE ME AWAY. Heck, I’ll settle for Mr. Bubble. (Except not, because Mr. Bubble will burn you. And your most sensitive bits. Trufax.)

4. This has been a strange week of people in the outside world (the English, as I like to call them) coming to my house and causing havoc that disrupts our slovenly hermit lifestyle. Some fine gentlemen from the power company came and knocked OUT A TUNE (not kidding) on my door the other day, and then informed me THROUGH GIGGLES that they would be shutting down the power for about 40 minutes. Effective within the next five minutes.

Um. It’s not like I could say no, so I explained to Vio the best I could that there would be NO NUMBERS on the front of the VCR (yes, we have a VCR set up in our living room, that we don’t use except for its digital clock capabilities. Why don’t DVD players have clock displays? THESE ARE THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS.) Party people, she is obsessed with the numbers on that VCR. It’s never, “What time is it, Mommy?” It’s always “LOOK AT THE NUMBERS, MOMMY. There is a four! That means it’s time for Martha!” (Speaks, not Stewart. Calm down.) (Also, it doesn’t matter in which position she sees that four; if there is a four on the display, it is clearly time for her stories.)

Looking at this here number 4, it seems I’ve strayed from the point a bit, and also that maybe this should have been a post itself. TOO LATE NOW, we’re all going down in this together.

When I saw what those power men were doing, I knew, Internet. I knew there was no way they’d be done in 40 minutes. They were clearing out all the trees that had grown up around the lines since the last time they cleared them out, which I’m guessing was around when electricity was invented. And they were doing it with horror movie prop saws on sticks. I didn’t mind so much, because the girls were ENTRANCED with what they were doing, and stood at the back window for a good half hour just marveling over their work. There were three of them: white hardhat, red hardhat, and black hardhat. Except Vio didn’t call them that — THAT would have been too simple. And classy. Instead it was “MOMMY WHAT IS THE WHITE GUY DOING?” and “MOMMY WHERE DID THE BLACK GUY GO?”

So, at first I felt bad for me, what with the lack of power (not that we use it for a darn thing all morning, aside from reporting my every move to Twitter. Surely that was missed by all.) Then I saw what they had to do, and I felt bad for them. And then two hours passed without signs of it stopping, and I decided I felt bad for EVERYONE. Because now it was lunch, and lunch means we watch an episode of Word World or Clifford, and it is a ROUTINE, and you do not MESS with the ROUTINE, GOODNESS. But, mess with it I did, and found some episodes of Dora on a flash drive that I could play on the laptop and there was peace throughout the land.

5. That one was getting a little long, but there is still MORE to the story, and I am nothing if not thorough in presenting all the details of an otherwise mundane blip in Planet Earth’s history. The girls went down for naps just fine, except Roo does this thing where she wakes up at some point, but if I nurse her and let her snuggle in my lap, she’ll sleep a whole lot longer. Given the choice of snuggling on the couch with my baby and remaining silent for an hour or chasing her around the house unable to get anything done ANYWAY, I’ll take the snuggling every time.

The power came back on shortly after I had to fetch the baby, and oh how these hills rang out with the sound of the refrigerator bursting back to life and chilling my precious, precious meatballs. They had finished cutting down six forests’ worth of tree branches, and were busily dragging them from the backyard to the driveway. I wondered to myself just what would become of all these branches. Would they clear them out? Would they sit in our yard for days awaiting the special roughage-gathering-truck? No no.

They brought a wood-chipper.

To my house.

And then started using it during naptime.

It was all Fargo up in here.

6. Though, at least that made sense. Because yesterday? YESTERDAY, some dude, who will heretofore be referred to as G.I. Joe, came and banged on my front door during naptime. During the stuck-on-the-couch-boob-out-baby-holding portion of naptime. Then banged on it a second time, for good measure, I guess because both children slept through the first one? What I could see through the window, though, was a tall buff dude, shiny bald head, and a green Jeep.

7. That’s pretty much my week, in way more nutshells than you could shake a squirrel at.

(More quick takes here.)

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