Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Jingle jangle

There are certain toys of E's that I have a deep disdain for. The Learning Puppy is pretty high on that list. Nothing says freaky like hearing "Hug me!" or "That tickles!" coming from a box in your packed up house in the middle of the night.

However, one other particular toy ranks just a little higher on the annoyance scale than that song filled pup. The Clink 'N Chew Keys are the most annoying things in my house right now. If you so much as breathe in their direction, this fake jingling sound keeps playing. Over and over and over. And there is no off button. Heaven help us if E is almost asleep and I don't notice them on my way to put her down. That is one of her favorite noises. "Jingle jingle jingle" go the keys. "Play!" goes E, eyes wide open, ready for action.

Even worse though, is when those stupid keys become a new play toy for the cats. Sitting alone, in the faint glow of just the computer screen, and hearing "jingle jingle jingle" coming from under the dining table is enough to make me just about jump out of my skin. Clearly their basket full of feline appropriate toys is no longer appealing.

When they start playing with the toy piano and stacking rings, we may have to have an intervention.

Wordless Wednesday - Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from the cutest confectionery colored canine impersonator around :-)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In the holding pattern

So . . . . . .

I am not a wuss.

According to the tech at my MRI that I had today, I'm in for a bit of a recovery time now, due to multiple fractures of my pelvis and sacral region.

I knew it.

Now, it's just a waiting game to see what goes down when the full report from the scan shows up at my doctors. Not that there is much that can be done besides chilling out and not doing anything dumb to hurt myself more. But, there is a possible silver lining to all this, which I may or may not be getting my hopes up about. Further posting on this subject will come once there is an outcome. I'll either be really really pissed, or really really happy.

In the meantime, E and I are hanging out around the house, both slightly cranky (a combination of teething and boredom on her part).

I cannot put into words how much I have missed my broadband. Cable, eh, I can do without. But man, it feels like I'm flying through the internet world again tonight.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I'm still here. Daily cursings of dial-up internet, hard chairs, two flights of stairs, acrobatic 6 month olds, and quack doctors is occuring.

I still can't walk, can't pick the kid up without being afraid to drop her in pain, and still can hardly sleep no matter how I lay.

In short, this blows.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Why I will not be a bull rider any time soon

Getting tossed to the ground from a live, bucking animal hurts. Like hell.

This weekend I came out to my mom's and we had another sleepover (there's something about getting fed real food and having someone else to play with the baby for a bit that does wonders for the spirit). So, on Sunday I decided to ride the horse for a while before we left. I've been meaning to jump on him for weeks now, and it was a beautiful day, so I hauled the saddle out to the barn and tacked him up.

Now, this horse has a very ornery streak to him. For years we've been working with him to not buck when he starts off loping. Not big bucking, just a little annoyed kick of the back feet. On Sunday, he was an angel. Not one buck, did everything I asked him to. And then, I made the mistake of thinking "just one more time around." Apparently he had had enough and made sure I knew it. He bucked and lurched and jumped all the way across the damn pasture. And I hung on almost the whole way. Until he headed towards the fence. I'm pretty sure I started to bail off, and got tossed at the same time. And I hit the ground hard. No tuck and roll here. Though I did roll as fast as I could in hopes of not getting stepped on, as I had visions of hooves smashing into my skull. That's always a pleasant thought.

Anyways, I was yelling as I went down and mom came running with E. She couldn't get me up, so I laid there trying to catch my breath while she caught the horse and stuck him in the barn (cause a loose horse was the last thing we needed). Eventually I crawled my way into the house and collapsed on the couch. Standing up made me blackout, and when I was still that way an hour later, we realized there was no way my mom was going to get me into the car and to anywhere to get x-rays, so we called an ambulance and I got my first ride in one.

I spent forever at the hospital - they forgot I was even there in the first place, forgot to put in orders for stuff, etc - and got sent home with a diagnosis of "contusions on the kidney and other bruising" and was prescribed nothing. They were kind enough to recommend some over the counter Motrin.

So, here I am, camping out at my mom's house for a while because I can't walk without supporting myself on something, can hardly pick E up and still almost pass out from time to time when I move. It took me 10 minutes to get from the bedroom to the kitchen this morning. I'm not a wuss or a hypochondriac, but I'm pretty sure this is not simply bruising when I can't put any weight on my one leg and have to shuffle everywhere cause I can't pick my feet up.

So yeah, no more bucking animals for this girl for a long time. There is nothing that makes you realize just how mobile you have to be with a 6 month old until you can't do anything but lay next to her on the floor and hope she's content to play like that for a long time.

20 years of riding and this is a first, so I suppose that's not too bad.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I worked out with Courtney Love today

Running down the path today in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, I saw an odd sight. Pre-kinda-cleaned-up-her-act Courtney Love. Lumpy, stringy and pasty. Shuffling down the path in all her indecent glory. Dirty, chunky blond hair, dingy and see-through wife beater, blood red lipstick, see every cellulite lump tight jeans, and a messy tramp stamp.

Of course, it wasn't really her. But the spectacle left me wondering what exactly this look-a-like was doing there. Exercising? Enjoying nature? Lost?

I encountered her three different times. The first time, I ran by while humming Celebrity Skin and making up a hilarious narrative in my mind (that I do wish I could remember - it really was funny).

The second time almost ended in disaster. I was on my way down the monster hill and deep in concentration. Fresh asphalt, a rainy day and falling leaves does not a safe trail make.

For those unexperienced in the science of asphalt, I'll break it down for ya. This awesome little reaction occurs when blacktop gets wet, and a nasty, slick, oily substance emerges as a film on top. A highly slippery film. Personally, I was schooled on this phenomenon when I was 15 and my boyfriend smashed into the car in front of us on a rainy day. Apparently, he was unaware of the dangers then as well. Now, add some damp leaves into the mix, and you've got a recipe for fun. And running shoes with no traction? Even better. And trying to desperately hang on to 35 pounds of baby and stroller before they go hurtling down the hill, dragging you behind by the safety strap? Absolute excitement. Thrills. Chills. And unstoppable forward motion.

Moving at a barely controlled slide/shuffle, I came careening around a corner and happened upon none other than Impostor Courtney. Smack dab in the middle of the trail, bent over, and tying her shoes. Nothing like a little excitement a la person dodging. After today, I'm convinced strollers need hand brakes. Just like a bike. Oh, how I needed a brake today.

Nonetheless, the dodge was successful, though something explicit may have come out of my mouth. (Shh, no one will ever know. At least, not till my little parrot starts talking ;-) We made it back to the car unscathed. Loaded up and headed out of the parking lot, only to encounter Impostor Courtney yet again. This time, I'm sure she was lost. That's the only conclusion I can come to given the fact that she was standing in the middle of the drive, glazed look, and stared me down as I approached her. Only when my car was within 10 feet of her did she shuffle off into the woods.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

6 Months Old

She's getting to be such a big girl. Finally she sits unassisted, and that just opens up a whole new realm of photography with her. This afternoon we had a couple of sessions, which she tolerated nicely. Some in the living room, some on the balcony (in her Halloween costume - which won't be posted till M sees it. Surprise, surprise!), and then packed up the backpack and headed down the power lines to find a good spot for some outdoor ones.

After we were done, I headed up the road to grab something to eat from the local grocery store. Apparently quite the sight, with E tucked in the mei tai and my tripod sticking out the top of my backpack, I got plenty of looks from people driving by. Babywearing, walking instead of driving, and camera equipment plant a big, old "Gawk at Me!" sign on my back.

Wordless Wednesday - "You don't say!?"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Where have all the candles gone?

Where, oh where?

In the old house, I had candles on every surface - bookshelves, TV stand, coffee table, kitchen table, console table, dresser, night stand, even the bathroom counter. I was prepared. When the power went off there, the only thing I had to search for was that pesky lighter that was never in the same spot.

I have absolutely no idea what happened to them.

Perhaps I sold them at the garage sale (though why would someone buy mostly burned candles?), or tossed them during my fits of de-cluttering (though, why would I toss something I use all the time?) or . . . they're in a box at the very bottom of my 6-box-high stack in the closet. Yes, I have at least 5 boxes in there that I have no clue was the contents are. Someone wasn't thinking ahead by just writing on the tops of the boxes, now was she?

So, here I was, plunged into darkness and candle-less.

Well, actually, I had one candle. My mother-in-law pawns off all the disgusting smelling ones she receives as gifts. On Sunday she followed me out to my car to hand me one. It's light blue. All light blue candles smell the same to me, and I always wish I had remembered that and not bothered to open the cap and take a whiff. I was sneezing for a good five minutes. I haven't tossed it yet, so, in theory I did have one candle.

Instead of subjecting myself to another sneezing fit, I did what any other good little outdoors-woman would do. I strapped my headlamp on my head and went on about my business. Important business, like reading the newest Backpacker magazine. Not frivolous stuff like actually folding those clothes in E's room (which have now relocated from piles on the floor to a giant pile in the rocker).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The newest trick

So, E's newest trick is coughing. Lord help me, my baby loves to cough. I'm going to take her places, she'll be hacking away, and people are going to look at me like I'm that horrible mother dragging around her sick child.

My mom was getting over something this weekend, and was coughing a lot on Friday. On Saturday, the first thing I heard from E was her lovely imitation. She thinks it's hilarious.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

You wouldn't catch me trick-or-treating there!

There is a house that I often drive past that has always gone all out with their Halloween decorations in the yard. For years they have always covered the trees in cobwebs, had the white sheets for ghosts and the gravestones and such.

This year they have far exceeded all the past years. On one side of the yard is a Jason scene - mask, bloody chainsaw and dismembered bodies on the ground around him. The other side they have a circle of what appear to be spirits worshiping or something - white figures with white faces around a body of a person lying in the middle. And then in the middle of the yard is a complete Dracula scene - Dracula with fangs and blood dripping, woman dressed in white lying on an altar-type thing with her arms up as though she's shielding herself from the vampire hovering over her, candles and minions all around the altar. Strewn throughout all this are open coffins with bodies inside, gravestones and other decorations. These figures aren't your run-of-the-mill scarecrows or stuffed clothing. They are life-size and life-like mannequins. I would go so far as to say they could be mistaken as real people upon first glance (or as one drives by).

I wish I had pictures, but I haven't been talented enough to snap one while driving past yet. If I remember tomorrow, I will.

So tell me, what's your take on this? Is it appropriate for a neighborhood, front yard decoration? Or should graphic scenes like this stuff be kept for the haunted houses or other locales where impressionable children won't see it out of the car windows?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Nothin' doing

What I am supposed to be doing:

Folding E's clothes (yeah, I got so annoyed at digging through the clean clothes basket, I vacuumed and tossed them into piles in hopes it would motivate me to finally fold them. Doesn't look like it's working, now does it?)
And, cleaning the fish tank. (though, with the shock they got when the heater was out last night, a clean tank just might finish them off!).

Clearly, I am not doing either of these things :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

We are getting so old!

25 today for me.

The other day I was sitting on the deck with my mom, chatting away, enjoying the sunshine. She stopped mid-sentence and started staring at me like I had sprouted horns or something. Slowly she reached over to my head, plucked up a piece of hair, and lovingly yanked it out of my head. Gleefully she dangled the offending gray hair in front of my face. And told me I was officially old now.

She's been warned against bringing any more of these offenders to my attention for at least 10 years.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I feel like I'm 16

The in-laws brought me these this morning per the request of M. Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to mee-eee, happy birthday to me (in three days :-)

I hear MTV's "Sweet Sixteen" in my head every time I look at them and it makes me laugh. They smell absolutely wonderful, which makes up for the fact that I a) hate roses and b) hate pink roses. The comical part is that M specifically requested anything other than roses - I love that he knows me so well. And I love that when I said all I wanted was flowers for my birthday, he jumped right to it. Brownie points by the pan-full! (Have I ever mentioned how much I love that man?)

This morning when the in-laws called, they did the classic "Where are you? At home? Good, cause we're on our way there now." Which buys me exactly 22 minutes. I decided this morning that I am superwoman. In that 22 minutes I managed to finish nursing the baby, clear the kitchen, hide two baskets of laundry I have been thinking about folding for a couple days now, pick up all toys and baby clutter, take a shower, brush my teeth, find some non-wrinkled clothes, change the baby and find her a clean shirt. As I picked her up from the changing table, the door buzzer rang. Yes, this morning I was superwoman.

As requested by M, the following are completely unrelated pictures of E enjoying her new highchair/3-in-1 Booster Seat/whatever you want to call it. I like it, she likes it, I cook, she watches me and tosses her toys on the ground.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Step away from the stove

Two reasons to step away from the stove. I can cook, and I can't cook.

I can cook: I've been grazing all night on the juicy Burbon Chicken and rice I made earlier. That, along with some easy Chicken Parmensan, was meant to be taken to my mom's tomorrow and plated up for my grandma. Put down the fork!

I can't cook: I nearly cried as I tossed out two yummy sounding new recipes I tried out. Layered Pumpkin Loaf and Cheesy Beer Soup both bit the dust. Hard. The pumpkin stuff was burnt to a crisp on top, and uncooked mush in the middle. And the soup was curdled and smelled so rancid I almost lost my breakfast. That's what I get for actually following the recipes, unlike what I do for any other thing I cook ("a little of this", "little of that", "stir a little", "maybe that was cooked long enough", "think I'll cook it a little longer").

No more cooking this week. My fridge is stocked to support the Deployment Diet - grapes, string cheese, yogurt, jello, and Eggo waffles.

The winners:

Bourbon Chicken

4 servings
time to make 35 min 15 min prep
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce

1. Heat oil in a large skillet.
2. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.
3. Remove chicken.
4. Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium Heat until well mixed and dissolved.
5. Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.
6. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
7. Serve over hot rice and ENJOY.

Easy Chicken Parmesan
(5 min. prep)

1 Jar (26 oz) spaghetti sauce
6 Tbsp Grated parmesan cheese, divided
6 small, boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb)
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375*F. Pour sauce into 13x9-in. baking dish. Carefully stir in 4 Tbsp (1/4C) of the parmesan cheese. Add chicken; turn over to evenly coat both sides with sauce. Cover with foil.

Bake 30 min. Uncover.

Top with mozzarella cheese and remaining 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese; continue baking 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted. Serve over hot cooked pasta, if desired.

The losers:

Layered Pumpkin Loaf

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 egg whites, divided
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp. CALUMET Baking Powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese, softened

PREHEAT oven to 350ºF. Grease a nonstick 9x5-inch loaf pan; set aside. Mix pumpkin, 1 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 3 of the egg whites, milk and oil in large bowl. Add flour, baking powder, pie spice and salt; stir just until moistened. Set aside. Beat Neufchatel cheese, remaining 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar and the remaining egg white with wire whisk until well blended.
SPOON half of the pumpkin batter into prepared pan; spoon Neufchatel cheese mixture evenly over the batter. Cover with remaining pumpkin batter.
BAKE 1 hour to 1 hour 5 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Run knife or thin spatula around edges of pan to loosen bread; cool in pan on wire rack 10 min. Remove bread from pan to wire rack; cool completely.

Beer and Cheese Soup

5 tablespoons butter
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
One 12-ounce bottle amber beer, such as Dos Equis
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 3 1/2 cups)
Croutons, for garnish

1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the carrots and leeks, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until soft, 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
2. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the beer and mustard and bring the soup to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking, until creamy and thickened, about 10 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the cheese 1 handful at a time until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the croutons.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


We're getting sick. Aside from getting up every once in a while to shush the stuffed up baby back to sleep, I've been making a nice indent in the recliner tonight. Me, a down blankie and a purring kitten. And mindless television. The only productive thing I've done tonight was to pick up E's big play blanket off the floor so that the cats wouldn't sleep on it.

My body aches, and my throat hurts, so . . . peace out. I'm going back to cuddling with a kitten.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sweetness. And niceness.

I'm nice :-)

Okay, okay, so I fooled someone into thinking that. Sarah at In the Trenches of Mommyhood gave me this sweet little thing and now I'm happy to pass it on. So, BurghBaby and Tattoos and Drool this here is for you.

Photo shoot

Saturday was a gorgeous day, so we decided to have our own little photo shoot in grandma's backyard. Three things to note before the massive show of pictures - I'm too tired to edit so no touch-ups, even though the lighting stinks in some of them; I'm too tired to make witty captions, so make your own; and well, I can't remember what the third thing was. So here they are :-)