Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The dreaded call...

No working mom wants to see the sitter's phone number pop up on her phone at 4:30ish just before leaving work...

Especially when the sitter NEVER calls. A picture every once in a while, maybe. But a call? Never.

Hi. It's Sitter*.
Hi, Sitter.
Um. Your child has a boo boo.
Is he ok?
Well, he's dripping blood and I can't really see where it's coming from...

:: at this point we continued to talk, but I haven't the slightest clue what I was saying. Something about being on my way while I threw snacks, a diaper, wipes and my wallet in my purse. Dashed off a note to my boss and darted out of there.::

Brian? It's me. I'm leaving work right now. Sitter just called and Ben got hurt.
Is he ok?
He's not crying, but I don't know. Please let the dogs out in case we have to go to the emergency room.

Ben is fine. Yes, he has a boo boo. It's on the crown of his head. It gushed blood everywhere. His head, his neck, his back, his shirt, the Easter eggs he was collecting. (Apparently he was egg hunting and likely scratched his head on a branch.)

The lesson learned?
- Always have at least enough gas in your car to get you to the hospital.
- When making emergency phone calls, always lead with either: "everyone is OK" or the action you are taking and the action the person you are talking to should take.
- Wash blood-stained clothing immediately (I'm hoping it will wash out.)
- Your child will milk you for all you are worth. Even if he is only 21 months old, he knows this to be possible. DON'T give in.
- Expect more calls like this one. Thankfully, we didn't need to go to the ER, but someday we will.

*I haven't asked the sitter's permission to blog about her. So humor me.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Beer margaritas. Trust me.

I am a margarita loving gal.

I LOVE margaritas... especially with chips and salsa and refried beans.

But if there are only margaritas, I won't complain.

My sister-in-law introduced me to this recipe and, though it sounds icky, it is FAB!

Trust me on this -- buy enough for multiple batches.

Here's the recipe:
- 4 light beers
- 1 cup of tequila
- 1 can of frozen limeade
Stir everything in a pitcher and serve w/ ice. Or not. I don't judge.

And for those of you watching your calories, I discovered whilst* on vacation that even the most flavorless beer makes a good beer marg: Bud select 55. So that means these margs have GOT to have, like, NO calories. I mean, if you are dancing and drinking -- they may be a negative calorie food, like celery. Right?

Don't judge.

*I recently fell in love with the word "whilst." Don't ask me why. It's now my second favorite word. If you don't know what my first favorite word is, you didn't have Ms. Merrill for high school English and you don't know me that well. Just kidding, you may know me well, but you haven't been with me when I get to use it and I get VERY excited. Intrigued yet? (No, it's not "intrigued.") I'd be interested in hearing your guesses...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Doggie decor

This was a super easy and speedy project.

In fact, the project from start to finish to blog post was completed in one nap time -- with time for me to shower! Everyone is still sleeping, and I'm just waiting for Brian's reaction. (I'm sure it will be something in the neighborhood of WTF?!) But I just couldn't look at this any longer:

You see that little hallway right there? That's our doggie dormitory. They sleep there during the work day, but when we're home it's nice to have the gates open so that we don't always have to go through the dining room to get upstairs.

Brian came up with the genius bungee cord idea, but it's UGLY! So I whipped up these.

Better, right?

Just trim scraps of fabric to about double the length of the bungee.
Hem the short ends. Sew the long ends together, right sides facing. Turn the tube. And thread the bungee through.

Ahh... much better. And, the house is still asleep.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Necessity is the mother of...

Peanut butter and sprinkle sandwiches.


Steel cut oatmeal with sprinkles.

Disclaimer: This definitely falls into the category of "this is how I do it" and that doesn't necessarily mean this is how I think you should do it.

But. It. Worked.

It all started innocently, with yogurt in a tube and a coupon.

Hmm. I thought to myself. This is convenient. And with this coupon, these yogurts are only a dollar. And there's no high fructose corn syrup in these. These will be a great product!

Well, people (especially parents of toddlers asserting their independence), do not make this mistake. Leave the coupon right there in the dairy section for someone else to pick up (like a parent of a child that can be reasoned with). I repeat: put down the coupon and the tube yogurt and walk away!

Or else your child will demand to eat only tube yogurt for DAYS at a time. He will sit in his booster seat and wail and point at the fridge whilst a perfectly delicious (and balanced) pasta bake meal goes cold. He will turn up his snot-dripping nose at your pancakes with (pricey) all-natural fruit-only jam. (3.99 per 12 ounces?! Come on, Smuckers. You admit on the label it's only one ingredient. It can't be THAT hard.)

So, when all else fails and you can not get your child to eat something else, I've learned that letting them "help" cook works. And in a pinch, that means "helping" spread peanut butter on bread and letting them decorate their sandwich with a few sprinkles. Then, he happily munched that sammie right down.

Same goes for the oatmeal -- sans sprinkles, he DEMANDED more and more yogurt. Be-sprinkled, the oatmeal was miraculously edible.

And now that the tube yogurt is gone (never to appear in our household again) I am praying that tomorrow we resume our normal eating routine.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kale chips -- try 'em!

Sorry I've been MIA for so long. I was in Florida on vacay, but I'm back and cooking and crafting up a storm!

I've heard of these, but never tried them until my sister in law mentioned that her fam's been addicted. We have very similar tastes, so I knew, I'd love 'em. I'm sure you will as well.

Even better news: only three ingredients!
  • Kale
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt
Preheat your oven to 350. While that's warming up, wash your kale and pull the leaves off of the thick stems. Throw the stems away and dry the leaves REALLY well. (I smooshed mine between a clean towel, but a salad spinner would work as well.)

Lay the kale on a single layer on a cookie sheet, then spray it well with cooking spray and add salt .

Bake for 10 mins. And DEVOUR.

The kale may be a little brown around the edges and it will be crispy and salty. I'm sure I'll be making variations on this recipe... chili powder... garlic salt... the possibilities are endless...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Identity crisis resolved!

My fav joke when I was little was:

A guy walks into a doctors office and says "Doc. I'm not feeling well. I was up every morning and think, 'I'm a wigwam. I'm a tee pee. I'm a wigwam. I'm a tee pee.' What's wrong?" And the doctor says, "Calm down, sir. You're too tense."

Get it? Ok. Lame. Please excuse everything prior to this line.

I had this shirt dress thing. You see, I could never decide what it was. (In fact, one day that I wore it downstairs with tights and boots, Brian looked at me and said that it looked like I forgot to put on pants. I agreed.) Too tent-like for jeans, too short to be a dress. But I LOVE the color, the pockets and the trim... so after a year or so untouched, I decided to chop it.
First, I removed the bottom trim with a seam ripper.

This took FOREVER! Like an entire episode of Bang for Your Buck. Under normal circumstances, I would have cut it off, but I wanted to preserve the trim for something else. (Don't know yet, but I am certain I will need it someday.)

Then I hemmed the bottom with this hemming foot thingy on my machine. This meant reading the horrible directions and looking up a tutorial online. Totally intimidating, but easy(ish) once you get the hang of it. To keep it real and make sure you know I'm no expert, this happened three times:

But, I learned something. And it was worth it. Here's the finished product.

See? Definitely a shirt.