Sunday, February 28, 2010

Random Musings From This Week

1. The view from my corner is pretty rad. Yes, I said, "rad." I think that if I lug a camera the corner, in sweat drenched clothes and poop covered shoes, I'm entitled to 90's slang. I'll let you fill in whatever lame, (but please, at least grace me with amusing) story you like for why I was dressed in such a manner. (Note: Dog for sale, cheap--free cat included).

2. I'm a bad parent because I've allowed my child to reach the age of (nearly) three, and I have yet to purchase the basic art supply called: safety scissors. We were bored the other night and there was junk mail laying around and I thought, let's see if he can categorize pictures. "Collin, cut out 'nature,' Go!" Well, finding "nature" wasn't a problem. "Cut" was a problem. What, what, what was I thinking?! Stabbing, slicing, maiming, killing, all risks I was exposing his cute little body to. He did well. Amazingly, actually. Still, an investment in the craft aisle will be made soon.
3. My kid is darn cute. And, he looks a little like a bad ass sometimes; even if he is feeding duckies.

4. Gracie and Collin follow the age-old rule: a little for me, a little for you; no matter what. Thankfully, we were not feeding them stale, moldy bread this time, but fresh bread. Note the "stuffing of face" Gracie is doing, and the "chipmunk cheeks" my dear boy is doing. Collin kept saying, "just one for my mouth" and "one for the ducks' mouth....just ONE!"

5. Geese are darn ugly close up. I'm concerned about the bulbous thing that nature felt inclined to put in the top of their head. Clearly, other types of goose or duck evolutionarily speaking, felt disinclined to develop with them, yet this species thought, heck, it's worth the ghoulish appearance. And, since I'm not obtrusive enough with my huge size and obnoxious, in your face, behaviour, I might as well HONK when I approach. Geese. They are the best. My favorite part of the goose is the indignant attitude with which they seem to prance about, as if to say, "What? you think I'm absurd? Have you looked at you?" I mean, look at this guy, he seems pretty proud to look like that, doesn't he? Makes me wonder why I ever question my ass in any jeans if this guy is proud of his face hump.

6. It may be possible that seemingly innocent moments like this (mother and son bonding over browsing the J. Crew catalog).....
are leading to moments like this.....
7. And, that maybe he should be exposed to more stuff like this?
8. Although, the nanosecond he spent at each game made me glad that each one only cost one token and glad that we only had 25 of them to spend. I remembered Chuck E. Cheese as being fun and I'm sure he will too. Today, I had a totally different experience as an adult. It was fun, but I don't remember it being 850 degrees in there. When did that happen? I also don't remember it being akin to a VIP club. When was there a line out the door with a waiting list to get in? Thank goodness we were with a birthday party!
9. Chuck has changed. I know he's got to have street cred to be accessible to the youth of a different generation but Collin found him, understandably, disturbing. I think it had something to do with the level at which Chuck tried to "reach" him.
It's okay lil man, Mommy will protect you from the weird man in the mouse suit. Always.
10. My boy was certainly not switched with any other baby at the hospital. If Bryon had turned the camera just a little to the left, I was making this same face. Is there anything better than cake, anywhere, anytime?
Collin, clearly agrees with his mommy. He had two pieces. They cut really, really small pieces! Had to let the boy have two!
11. It's possible for other people to make babies that I find almost as adorable as my own. Look at these two poster children for perfect American children. Happy Birthday, Austin! Our leaving your party at the end, melting down in screaming hysterics has nothing to do with you, the fun of Chuck E. Cheese or with life in general, as you well know. It has to do with being three years old, having no nap and having too much fun in one afternoon.
12. Balloons are stinking great! Everyone loves balloons! Well, except cats, but who cares about them when kids are around?

13. Group photos of kids are always awkward. Brothers choke one another. My kid doesn't look. Someone walks out of the shot. But heck, at least we have proof that no one was snagged by Chuck. 14. Gracie loves Collin. Despite her misgivings and protests to the contrary sometimes, I have proof right here; she doesn't play hard to get all the time.
15. My son is going to be a terrible driver; yet another way in which he takes after his mama. And, that game is nauseating. Oh, and wow am I glad we don't have any kind of gaming system in our house. Phew, that was horrible.
16. The best smile of the day is always the last one. You're welcome for not taking any pictures of the actual restraining we had to do to remove him from the place because he was kicking and screaming not to leave. Yep, we were "those" parents with "that" kid having a complete and total wack-a-doodle meltdown. It was great. It was a memory for the scrapbook. Oh, and 300-lb lady with the skin-tight jeans and gold dangly chain belt, four inch finger nails and pink hair weave, thanks for rolling your eyes at me while my kid was having a meltdown. You seemed just like the kind of classy lady who would never ever have a problem with her kids. I'm trying not to judge here, but I'm just saying....I'll leave that hanging or I'll get in trouble.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Maybe Daddy Should Try Harder to Be Home for Dinner

Gramps, I think you'd have liked our dinner tonight. Mostly because I emptied a bottle of curry powder into the pot. Dinner was fan-freaking-tastic if I do say so myself. It also required naked from the waist up-ed-ness from the boy, as I didn't want to risk staining his uniform shirt. Sure, it's navy blue, but still; we all know what curry powder does to clothes. It ain't pretty folks.

He didn't mind. Can you tell? He also did not mind the Hot Madras Curry powder either. Yummy. Thank goodness it wasn't too spicy because when we ran out of regular curry powder, had to use a good amount of that in a pinch. Yep, we the McClains, the curry capital of San Pedro, ran out of curry powder.

The lil man has taken on a fair number of responsibilities as well. One of them is "setting" the table. He's so darn cute doing it that I've been meaning to take some pictures of him at work. There's nothing like him setting the table for ninety when it's just the two of us. He gets so into the task that he just doesn't want to stop. If only he were actually capable of real work, I could really use that drive. I love this "please stop thinking I'm cute" face.

He's also pretty convinced that we should eat with our serving platters and bowls every day. He brings them to me every evening and tries to get me to eat out of them. I know he's a big eater, but still, that's a little odd. He's also suggested that we use the china EVERY DAY. Ah, my boy. The other day, we made a pit stop at Tuesday Morning and he took a deep breath after gazing at probably the ugliest cup on a shelf of crap, which is saying a lot for our ghetto Tuesday Morning and then said, "Mommy, can I have this? It could be my China pattern." Seriously. I'm beginning to wonder if it's possible for mother and son to spend too much time together.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What did YOU make this Weekend?

'Cause we made a baby! Just kidding!

No, that would really, really suck because thanks to selling ALL the baby things over the past few months, we had enough cash in the clip on our refrigerator (yes, I know, a safe place to keep wads of twenties), to buy a new BBQ. Boy, oh boy did we need a new BBQ. I'm telling you folks, there are occasions when holding a chicken breast aloft against the Santa Annas would cook it faster than using our BBQ. Anyway, a new baby would not exactly like sleeping in the BBQ and the pack and play is gone, baby gone. So, this is Bryon assembling his new toy because heck, I refused to settle for the the already assembled ones outside because they had birdie poop on them and when you pay for something new, bird poop isn't okay with me.
Me, I "made" (or, am making) an old table new. Five years ago, I bought a table for $15 at Kmart. That is the last time that I truthfully remember walking into a Kmart. Anyway, it's the weirdest thing in my house because it never has a good place to go and every time we move, we are greeted with this table that I forget I have after X number of days on the road, and we look at each other and go, "where do we put this stupid thing?" It usually ends up in the bathroom holding nothing and gathering a weekly accumulation of dust. Anyway, since it's expendable I had a project idea and I'll keep you posted with the "after" pictures as the project comes to fruition. What you don't get pictures of is the whole can of primer that I spilled on the garage floor. I'm pretty good at home improvement projects, eh? Hey, I'm told that unless you make two trips to the hardware store, you aren't truly engrossed in a project. Picking up more primer was my second trip then. I'm good.
And, we also made hamburgers on the new grill. They smelled like mushroom burgers because my awesome hubby made me a vegetarian portobello burger that he spotted in a gigantic pack at Costco. Thankfully, they were delicious and we aren't stuck with thirty dozen patties of disgusting mushiness.
Sorry grandparents, no pictures of Collin today. We forgot to pick him up at school on Thursday and we've been passing a pretty quiet weekend without him.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Send Donations

This is Collin's telethon face. This mug is so pathetic, it reminds me of the kind of face you see taped to the side of a coffee can at the convenience store begging for coins with a paragraph on the side about how this kid needs a spleen and six new hearts to make it to his ninth birthday and how his story will be featured on the next Easter Seals Telethon. Needless to say, he's sick. Well, whatever that means. He woke up every hour on the hour last night and cried relentlessly, yet refused to tell us what was wrong. Repeat said description of the previous night during the day. It's been a wonderful day.

What better way to spend the peaceful moments than engaging in a torturous idea that I've been brewing? Can you guess what it is? He doesn't look the least bit nervous, does he?

Yeah, it didn't go all that well. Although I do think that it doesn't look awful. I think it's rather even at least. My goals were simple: presentable, still longish, and that he be able to see. I think I accomplished that. If it was relatively even, I was even more satisfied.

He doesn't know he looks kind of stupid. The "after" shots are awful, I know. He refused to sit even remotely still while I was taking them and I figure there's plenty of time in the next few days to see the haircut in all it's glory. You get the gist.
Oh, and a brief moment of sleep that he blessed me with today, I broke out my new angel-winged feet (new shoes came--hooray!) today. Check them out, and my freakish camera angle that makes my legs look weird. They are "resting" here after their little joyful run and the rest of the raggedy running that the boy has been having me do for him all day. "I'm thirsty," "I want crackers (that I won't eat but instead, push around a bowl for three hours,), "I'm tired, hold me," "I'm hot," "I'm cold," "Get me my monkey." Grrrr. They test our love when they don't feel good, don't they? Oh but it's all worth it because he asked me to rock him today for about thirty minutes, actually rock him in the big ol' Lazy-Boy. Nothing beats snuggling with your baby boy when he's actually a big boy, and rocking with him like he's still the little bundle you brought home from the hospital, even if his hot breath on your neck smells like barf. I could've done it all day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

When the Cat's Away...

...the family gets to play! And eat dinner together! And just, in general, remember what it is Daddy looks like. Daddy's "cat" is away this week, so he's been leaving the office at around five, which puts him, with L.A. traffic, home around six. With the crazy hours he's been keeping, seeing him before eight or nine feels like he's breaking some sort of rules, and I half expect his Blackberry to burst into flames with the influx of messages he's left unattended to be with us.

Alas, Collin doesn't understand Blackberries, and all that they entail, except to say, "put the phone down," something he says to both Daddy and Mommy. Instead, he's just enjoying the spoils of Daddy being home this week. Can you tell he's happy Daddy took a bath with him last night? Ignore the crusty booger on his nose. Clearly, Daddy did the washing last night. Why don't things get done properly when Daddy does them?

Mommy is happy that Daddy is home too. I got to have a conversation with my husband last night that did not involve me poking him in the eye to keep him awake during it's completion. I got to watch my men play together instead of seeing my son push him away because he's too upset by the routine being disturbed. I got ten minutes to myself while they splashed away and tonight, I'm thinking I may take ten more minutes, as at 4:37, he was on his way home again. A girl could get used to this. I don't even mind going to cook dinner, because for a change, we all get to eat together; as together as 2/3 of us eating the same meal can be. Daddy and Collin are having a beef stir-fry and Mommy is having leftovers from last night's yummy green bean pasta.

I don't have a good explanation, by the way, for this no more meat thing. It's something I kind of have been thinking of for a while. In principle, I don't like the idea of eating animals, but I get it. I'm not against it, but I don't love it. Heck, leather boots are like heroin to me. And, I have wanted to try cutting back on red meat for a while, then other meats too, to see if it helped with some tummy issues I have (read: my pooper ain't what it used to be--too much for you?). It worked. Each little cut back was easier and easier and helped more and more and then suddenly, there was no meat. I've got a weak explanation but my body feels good. Even my headaches have been more mild. I'm not going to go around toting a poster with a little lamb with a teardrop telling everyone, or anyone for that matter, that they shouldn't eat meat because heck, we are omnivores by nature; but, for now, I'm not going to do it. My mother-in-law, in fact has a great point about how we are pretty much equally as cruel to migrant workers who pick the vegetables that the veggie-eaters on high horses think they are saving animals to eat. Alas, I'm a mild vegetarian at the moment. And, if chicken broth makes its way into a recipe, I'll probably eat it, but maybe not so much the chicken.

Grandpa and Nana Debby, thanks for the world's messiest sucker :) Seriously though, he loved it. He's giving you his "here's lookin' atcha!" grin with the wink. What a stud muffin, eh?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love, True Love (or...wuv, twu wuv)

In the interest of Valentine's Day weekend, it's important to talk about love, right? I love, love, love, LOVE Valentine's Day. Sure, we can talk about all the commercialism, and how it's just a ploy to get flowers, cards and candy sold. We can talk about how if we loved one another, why any random Tuesday isn't good enough to express our love. Of course it is. In fact, I have a hubby who brings me flowers and cards and does little sweet things all the time. But, boxes of conversation hearts and flowers at the store bring me joy and make me feel all tingly inside and it's just a sweet day that reminds people, en masse to be sweet for the heck of it anyway; friends, family, lovers, everyone. I like it. I'm a mushball for it. What's wrong with everyone joining together all at once to be sweet on one day too? Nothing in my book.

And, in the interest of being a mushball, look at what my supportive mushball was willing to eat. Well, I guess, I should say, what he "tried" to eat.

What do you suppose this is? Does the "cooked" version help you identify it at all?

Yes folks, it's "bacon." Well, it's what I'm deeming fakon. I'm having very little trouble missing chicken, steak, beef, et all. But, man do I miss the lovely processed stuff like pepperoni, breakfast sausage and yummy stuff like that. Heck, I'd crave a piece of bologna if you waved it in front of me and I can't tell you how long it's been since I've had a piece of that disgusting crap. So, when I saw this stuff, I thought, "huzzah! Perhaps I can get my sizzlin', oh so salty, fatty fix!"

Um, Bryon's taste test reaction may sum up the taste.

The idea was to chop it up and put it in the salad we had with dinner (Bryon's as a side salad, mine filled with yummy tofu). The whole plate of it, and the rest that we didn't cook, hit the trash. Actually, someone (crazy boy below) ate a number of pieces because he was fooled and thought it was delicious. I thought it tasted like someone flavored cheap potato chips with bacon flavored oil. Terrible. Just terrible.

Bryon thought that since I was the "crazy person" willing to subject myself to this torturous food to begin with, I was the one that should have to stand over the stove to prepare it and he refused to be a part of it. Nice, huh? Love. I love that they look like weird fruit roll ups. If only there was smell-o-vision. They sort of smell like gourmet dog treats because truly, they have a bacon smell, but like there is just something not quite right about the bacon, like it's just a leeeetle off.

Bryon was also wildly amused by the marinating rack of lamb right next to the fakon cooking. Ahh, amusement. Admittedly, it was a little funny. We are making a pretty odd pair lately at the table (when we are at the table together that is).

Know what tasted better? Tater Tots with ketchup the next day while my Valentines and I watched Iron Giant. Putting up with Mommy for the wild diet she's imposing on the family, letting her stink up the house with fakon smell, still snuggling up to her to watch a movie and not thinking she's lame when she makes a ketchup heart on your plate of tater tots, now that is true love.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Carnage that Results from Cockiness

I was feeling a bit, I don't know, like I wanted to create a stinking memory, like I wanted to be the kind of mom that make crap out of twigs and berries and twine a-la-Magyver on the fly when Collin had that look of "wanna watch t.v." in his eye yesterday afternoon. So, we made crayons. Well, that's what I'm calling it, despite the fact that the crayons were already made if you will, and we just made them into different shapes: muffin shapes, since that's the only silicone mold I have.
We had fun. I even managed to keep Collin away from the sharp knife to get the wrappers off the broken, crappy crayons.

I did learn something from this project. They weren't kidding about selecting your colors carefully. You end up with some pretty ugly crayon molds if you don't. And, since we were using muffin molds, we pretty much had hockey pucks.

I was feeling a little emboldened by my craftiness, by my "look-at-me-I'm-one-of-those-women" when I tried to make dinner. You know that little, itty-bitty, (not so itty-bitty) etched line on the bottom of Pyrex that says, NO STOVE TOP? Well, they aren't kidding about that either.

I tried to save time (and a pan to wash) by melting the butter that I would need in the bottom of said dish in the actual dish over the stove top while I cut chicken. It did NOT save time, as you can imagine. I'm using this incident as another tick in my "reasons I don't want meat anymore almost killed me today." Ha. Clearly, it was the butter, but it was the chicken's fault, right? Right?

After ten minutes of knee shaking and trying to hold down my vomit, I could start the cleanup. I mean, I almost killed us, and I maimed my child, sort of. Forty minutes of burned butter, scalding hot glass and itty bitty, shards of glass cleanup later, I remembered something: I still had to make dinner. Ahhh, the life. I thought to take pictures after I'd already been cleaning up for twenty minutes or so, so this is what it looks like to explode a Pyrex and then half clean it up; which, is what any rational person would do so they could avoid cooking. Kidding of course. Anyone who knows me, knows I love to cook and am pretty darn good at it. Pyrex explosion incident excluded.
The boom, the flame, the flying glass. It was carnage I tell you, carnage. The small little voice that shouted from ten feet away, "Mommy, I have a boo boo on my chin! What happened?" He was bewildered as to why, he was bleeding and didn't do anything to deserve it. Well son, your mother is an idiot, that's what you did. I am just thankful that I didn't let Collin help in the kitchen yesterday, like I normally do. Phew.
Poor kid though, he's attracted to shiny objects, kind of like his mother, (and her penchant for anything in a little blue box from Tiffany's) and he picked up the single, solitary piece of glass I missed from the cleanup, and sliced his fingers open. He's a band-aid company's dream at the moment.