Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Challenge

Remember? I challenged you (twice)to write with me this National Poetry Month? Post a poem-a-day. I'll be doing it. Mostly original stuff, is my plan. You too. Leave a comment if you're in so I can follow you okay?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Some Thoughts About Food (just to warn you)

The other day I saw an ad for a pizza that was absolutely blanketed in pepperoni, and I had mixed feelings. The pizza looked... good? I guess, but I didn't want it exactly. I didn't want to eat pepperoni, but I did want the satisfied feeling I used to get from eating pepperoni. I realized then that I had been feeling a little lost. It seemed like all I was eating was beans and rice and veggie burgers, and frankly, that's boring. You know? That's not all I eat, but it felt that way.

And then I checked my email and I had a fantastically well-timed note from my friend A-ME, who is way better at Being Vegetarian than I am because she's been doing it longer. The note was all full of advice and resources and exactly what I was needing. You know the biggest thing I got from her email, though? I should buy a vegetarian cookbook. Duh! How am I supposed to know what to eat? I have never been a big vegetable eater. I like grains and legumes, and every day I find that more and more vegetables aren't as gross as I thought they were (like mushrooms), but I have very little experience with most of them and so felt lost. Not lost enough to want a ham sandwich (even an accidental one), though.

Husbandguy and I had some nice time to ourselves this past weekend. Moomie took the girls for Friday night and all day Saturday so we went to the bookstore. Usually this is kind of a production unless we end up just spending all of our time in the children's section so it was nice to be able to browse the cookbooks without having to say every 10 seconds, "Just a minute, sweetie. Mommy is looking for something. We'll go look at your books in a minute." And I found a useful volume with a ton of information about the different whole foods vegetarians eat and a lot of yummy-sounding recipes that are cross-referenced in the info section. So if I happen to have an eggplant on hand and am wondering what I can do with an eggplant and why I should eat it in the first place, I can look in The Vegetarian Cook's Bible and learn all about eggplant and quickly flip to recipes in which I can use it. Who knows if this is the best vegetarian cookbook or not. At least I've got some help now. And I feel a little more confident. Thanks, A-ME, by the way.

I still don't want to eat pepperoni. I'm not grossed out by it or anything, but it doesn't look like food to me anymore. My family loves it, and HG would live on it if he could, but I'd as soon pluck the leaves off the holly bush by the driveway and eat them. So there's progress!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

LL Says:

LL to HG: I'm going to sing "Let's Shake Our Hips with Rags the Dog." Okay?

HG: Okay.

LL: 1... 2... 3... GO!

... ...

LL: Sing, Daddy!

Friday, March 27, 2009


I was short on stuff and found this in my drafts. Enjoy! And please steal it from me (leave me a comment if you do).

1. YOUR REAL NAME: Mommys Nintendo (yeah-huh!)

2. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME:(mother and fathers middle names) Beth Harris (but don't tell anyone, okay? or "They" might find me...)

3. NASCAR NAME:(first name of your mother's dad, father's dad) James Joseph

4. STAR WARS NAME:(first three letters of your last name, first three of your first name) Ndomom

5. DETECTIVE NAME:(favorite color, favorite animal) Blue Elephant (Blue Elephant to Red Bobcat... The duck has landed. Repeat: the duck has landed. Over.)

6. SOAP OPERA NAME:(middle name, town where you were born) Carole Columbus (it's really spelled that way too!)

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd fav color, fav drink, add "THE" to the beginning) The Red Lemonade (what would my super power be, I wonder?)

8. FLY NAME:(first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name) Modo (bzzzzz)

9. STREET NAME:(fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie) Mint Peanutbutter

10. ROCK STAR NAME:(current pets name, current street name) Vermilion

11. PORN NAME: (1st pet, street you grew up on) Chelsea Wetmore (ooo... that works...)

12. YOUR GANGSTA NAME:(first 3 letters of real name plus izzle) Momizzle

13. YOUR GOTH NAME:(black, and the name of one of your pets) Black Molly

14. STRIPPER NAME: (name of your fav perfume/cologne, fav. candy) Dewberry Chocolate (that, however, doesn't work...)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is It Normal...?

Is it normal to dream about accidentally eating a ham sandwich a few weeks after giving up ham? I bet it's not uncommon...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Teaching My Kids to Share

This morning I made biscuits for breakfast because I really wanted to try the veggie sausages I had in my freezer, and I thought a sausage biscuit sounded like a good way to do that. I knew Lulu was going to want to try it too. She usually eats about half of my breakfast, and she looooooves sausage. So when she said, "What's that?" all interested and hungry-sounding, I simply said, "It's made out of vegetables..." and that settled it. She didn't want any.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pete Says:

Pete is peeved that I haven't shared my new DS game with her yet. I told her she could play it when I am finished, but she's gotten tired of waiting and told me this:

"If you don't share, that's your moral fiber breaking down."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bye-Bye Big Bed

You have to promise not to judge us if you read this, and if you do judge us, with your perfect parenting prowess, you have to come here and be us for the past 2 weeks and then you'll change your mind. Got it. Good. Here we go:

Yesterday, Husbandguy put Lulu's crib back in her room and propped her big-girl mattresses in the corner. See, it wasn't working out, this sleeping on real mattresses. She hated it; she said she was scared; she woke up EVERY NIGHT (starting before we put the bed in her room) screaming herself hoarse, inconsolable, miserable, 4 or 5 times a night. And during the day she was impossible, difficult, mean, cranky, tired, just generally unpleasant. So Saturday night, after both HG and I had gone in to try (without success) to calm her a couple of times, HG asked her if she wanted her crib back. This is not a question I would have thought to ask because I'm all stuck in what-the-experts-say land, and They say not to go backward. But it was the best choice, turns out. Thank goodness HG doesn't read or heed parenting advice from strangers. She helped him rebuild the crib while I was at church and then was a different kid after that. She still doesn't listen well (because she's 2), but she has been more cheerful and easy-going and relaxed. She napped peacefully in her crib after lunch, and she did wake up once last night (yelling, though, not screaming), but she went right back to sleep when I reminded her that we'd changed her bed back so she wouldn't wake us up all night. It worked.

She had been excited about the mattresses, said she wanted them, told her teachers and friends and everyone about getting them, but the reality was apparently different than she was expecting. So this is going to be like the potty I guess. The mattresses are there when she's ready, but it's going to need to be her choice entirely because it's too exhausting for everyone to try to force her to like it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


2 things today. just random. about people you don't know. for the most part...

A male friend and I were talking and he commented on how he doesn't mind when his kids call him Mom because that just indicates to him that the care-giver role is blurred in their family. I'm not saying that clearly, but you get what he means, right? Mom and Dad are interchangeable and so both fill the same role. Anyway. I was thinking about that later and remembered that there were a few times, when we had Howie, that Pete called me Howie and I wish I'd remembered that when my friend and I were talking because I would have liked to know what he thought that indicated about our family. What do you think it means?

(I guess this second thing is actually about Husbandguy and me, but it starts with a story about someone you don't know) A different friend got her hair cut recently, and she told me she was angry about it because the stylist cut it too short and took a really long time doing it (so long that my friend had to miss her yoga class). My reaction to her story was, "That sucks!" and I offered to be angry about it with her if that would help. When I told HG about it later, he had a very different reaction. He said, "Why didn't she stop her from cutting it so short?" again demonstrating how different we really are. Me: I'm sorry that happened to you. Him: It's your own fault. In this situation it was funny. When he does it to me it drives me nuts!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Can It Still Be Called a Coffee?

Remember last month when nobody knew about the Principal's Coffee and only 1 person showed up? This morning was the next one. To avoid a repeat of last month, I sent out a note on the message board last week, which was picked up by the PTA communications person and forwarded to everyone, and our principal mentioned it in her newsletter last week instead of this week, giving everyone time to plan. And it worked. There were quite a few parents and grandparents there. Except, this time? There wasn't any coffee! AAAAAAA!!! Well, at first there wasn't. But I tracked down our FANTASTIC, life-saving head custodian, and he had it brewing in minutes, and it was ready before most of the people showed up, although not at the beginning.

My fear-of-failure problem, which we've talked about before (just click the PhD label below to read more about that), made it difficult not to blame myself for the lack of the second main ingredient at these gatherings (the principal is the main ingredient). Damn it! I screwed up 2 months in a row!! But I think I'm the only one who blames me because it's not actually my fault, and I was able to fix the problem this morning without any actual trouble (thanks to Mr. M). And just like last month I have learned from the mistake and left Mr. M a note with the date of the next coffee before I came home, which will go perfectly because what else can go wrong? Uh-oh. I bet I just jinxed it...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Where'd I Go?

The specialty pharmacy that I have to use to get my MS medication faxed a refill request to my doctor's office the other day and got this response: "Not our patient." Yeah. Um, nooo. That's not right. I've only been your patient for the past 13+ years and you've only been faxing this prescription to this particular pharmacy for 2(?) years (and other pharmacies for many, many more years).

What gets me, though, is that clearly there was a mistake made and no one bothered to double check or get in touch with me, not the doctor's office or the pharmacy. If they had done either of those things, it would have been straightened out lickety-split because nobody knows how to advocate for me better than I. Practice makes perfect, you know.

So I told Husbandguy that I'm just going to have to get cured of this pain-in-the-brain disease because that would be the easiest and best thing to do. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What if Someone Asks Me Why I'm a Vegetarian All the Sudden?

So I was thinking, what do I say when someone asks me why I'm suddenly a vegetarian? Nobody has asked me that yet. Well, except for Pete. She said, "Why don't you eat [meat] anymore?" and I said, "Because it's gross," and she said, "Oh." But someone who has already been 7 years old might need more of an answer than that so I've been thinking.

It started as kind of a personal challenge. And it really was all-of-the-sudden in that I didn't say to myself awhile ago, "I'm going to stop eating animals in early March." But I had thought about it here and there. Mostly I thought, "What will I eat if I don't eat meat?" or "My family won't give up meat so how can I?" But then I talked to Meme who said that I don't have to eat meat just because Husbandguy does and a couple weeks later I stopped. And my reason was simply to see if I could do it. That's how I quit smoking too, but that was harder.

The more I think about it, though, the more reasons I find for why this is a very good thing. First of all, I feel better. We talked about this a couple of days ago. Remember? It's nice to feel clear-headed most of the time instead of muddle-headed all of the time. Also, I can have carrots and peanut butter for a snack (I could before, but now I justify the peanut butter as needed protein and feel better about it). Another reason is that I was always worried about undercooked meats and stuff. HG will testify that it was especially tricky to cook chicken for me; if it was even slightly almost pink looking, it grossed me out and I couldn't eat it because I didn't want to be poisoned. Hamburgers were the same way. I did like my steaks cooked medium, but if they bled when I cut them, I couldn't eat them. Also, when you're eating that stuff, sometimes you take a bite and get a chunk of something, gristle, bone, goo, whatever, and there's no way to know for sure what it is and that always grossed me out too and made me have to stop eating whatever it was. And now I don't have to worry about that, really. Vegetables don't have bones. Some have goo, but I just don't eat those vegetables.

Randomly, I have learned a few of things that probably won't interest you, but here they are anyway.

  • You can't really replace the meat in sloppy joes with lentils unless everyone is on board with that because it's hard to pretend like they're not lentils. It's good if you like that kind of thing, but not if you're HG ("It would be good as a side dish," he said). Plus, it's kind of wet and might make the bun soggy, but it's tasty if you mix in some rice.
  • I don't like eggplant. Not yet. I'll keep trying.
  • HG and I thought a good name for tofu bacon would be tofakon, but I don't know anything about tofu or whether you can make it look like bacon so I'm not inventing that today.
  • I hadn't planned on giving up fish, but I really don't like fish and so have given it up along with all the other animals. But not eggs and milk because I'd really miss ice cream.


Oh, by the way, I am disappointed in the lack of response to my poetry challenge from the other day. Mommy T is my only taker so far (Yay Mommy T!). You don't have to commit to a daily poem, but come on! You can try to write a little, can't you?

Monday, March 16, 2009

One Less Sippy Cup for Lulu

This morning, Lulu was playing in the play kitchen and reached into her microwave and pulled out a sippy cup. A sippy cup that wasn't empty. And had clearly been in the pretend microwave for a while. Ew! I'm not sure what had originally been in the cup, but whatever is in it now is solid, yellowy-orange, and has mold on the top. Like Dial soap with fur. Apparently we need to do a better job searching for dishes when we clean the real kitchen. Or be better about encouraging Lulu to return her dishes when she's done. Needless to say, I'm not interested in cleaning the cup (or experiencing the smell when I take the lid off to clean it) so we now have one less sippy cup. Oh well.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is It All In My Head?

I used to blame the fact that I always felt dizzy to some degree (anywhere from just mildly foggy all the way to nauseating vertigo) on my MS. It made sense. It seemed like it was probably neurological. You know? But I noticed today, after not eating meat for almost 2 weeks, that I feel WAAAY clearer all the time. When I'm upright and all normal and stuff, I actually feel normal. Not like I'm underwater or just getting off a roller coaster or any of those other ways to feel that had become "normal." And I have to wonder: was it what I was eating? There's no way to test it. I'm not going to Arby's just to see if a beef and cheddar makes me dizzy. I suppose I'll just enjoy it and hope changing my diet really has changed my life (more than I expected it to).

Friday, March 13, 2009

I tried to turn this into a cute. clever story, but I just couldn't come up with anything so here you go:

Lulu gets her big girl bed tomorrow.

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's Coming... DuhnDuhnDuuhhnnn...

April is coming. Are you ready? Got your quills and ink pots ready? I guess a regular pen would work too. Or your keyboard... You're doing this with me, right? We've got a whole month to explore together. All the different forms, themes, topics. Did you know that you can find rhyming dictionaries online? Wanna challenge each other? A little friendly competition? Who can write a sonnet first? Better yet, a good sonnet. You know. Or something obscure. Will you make this pledge with me?

I pledge to post a poem a day in April.

Your turn. Are you in?

I'll remind you later...

2 Declarations, a Confession, and a Wish List

Hi! I'm ready to tell you these 2 things. I believe I am actually committed to these 2 things.
  • THING 1: Lulu is Potty Trained. She has accepted that Pull Ups are only for sleeping in and abandoned her lunch yesterday for an unprompted potty break. She needed to go and she went. And now the Grandpa will babysit for us!
  • THING 2: I don't eat pigs or cows anymore. I had hesitated to mention that I was considering this before now because I wasn't sure I could do it, but I've been red and other-white meat free for a week now and am really enjoying it. HG and the girls are not with me on this. Well, they support me. But they're not joining me. That's okay. It's not about them. For the moment I still eat poultry and fishy-things. Baby steps, I say. Although I've had several meals in the past week that were totally animal-meat-free. Eventually I should be able to declare myself a vegetarian, but I don't think it will be so easy to become a vegan. I like dairy too much.

And now I must confess that I had pudding for breakfast this morning. Rice pudding. Actually brown rice pudding with maple syrup and vanilla. Homemade of course. That's okay, right? It's breakfasty.

Now for the wish list. I would like to have:

  • berry bushes in my yard
  • a food dehydrator
  • a rice cooker (because I never get it right on the stove top unless I use the boil-in-bag kind, which are actually very convenient for rice pudding cravings)
  • many, many yummy, high-iron, meatless recipes (if you've got those, will you share with me please?)
  • another visit with the Grandpa and Meme (I'm working on that - the snow days, all 3 of them, are making it hard to plan).

I hope your day is productive and healthy. And fun! Now I'm going to go vacuum. WHO AM I?!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Reprint From Last April 20

The big
Of never saying 'no'-
They don't ever listen to you.
Yes Man.

I'm needing to repost this today. I would like to add that if you're going to tell the child that she has until the count of 3 to do what she's been asked, then you need to count all the way to 3, not stop at 2 and negotiate while you wait for the other parent to follow through with the promised time out.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Vegetarian Burritos (with a side of steak)

I'm trying to have more meatless meals. It's difficult. Mainly because Husbandguy believes he will die of deprivation if he doesn't have some kind of meat for his meals. But during a recent discussion with Meme and the Grandpa, I realized that just because he eats meat, doesn't mean that I have to too. I just need to make sure that everyone has something to eat that will satisfy them.

It's also difficult because I'm only just recently learning to like vegetables. And there are some that I just don't like no matter how many times I try them.

And also, I really like smoked sausage...

So but tonight I made black beans and brown rice with peppers, onions, and tomatoes, and then I George Foreman-ed a skirt steak and cooked some peppers and onions fajita-style. And we made burritos. Mine had beans and rice with cheese and shredded carrots and HG & Pete's had EVERYTHING and Lulu's had cheese and carrots. You know what's weird (other than the cheese and carrot burrito)? I think HG liked my vegetarian meal better than some of my other "real" meals. Probably because I "grilled" skirt steak, which I don't think I've ever done before. He agreed that the side dish* I made this time was one of my best.

I bet he encourages me to make more vegetarian meals with meat on the side.

*the steak

Bread Bowls and Truancy

I have been looking for an excuse to keep Pete out of school on a day when Lulu has school so Pete and I could spend some time, just us. I didn't want to just give her a day off because that would send the wrong message. Plus she's been having some trouble focusing at school and didn't really deserve a day off. But an opportunity presented itself the other day when I was picking her up for her piano lesson and one of her teachers mentioned that she had been complaining that her ears seemed clogged ("It sounds like I'm talking out of a speaker," Pete said). Ah-ha! This cold that's been hanging on to her for the last 2 or 3 weeks has finally done some real damage. Ear infection! Woo-hoo!! Oh wait... That's not actually a good thing. Is it?

So since she's not sick-ish except for the speaker thing and a cough and runny nose, I thought about sending her to school and just picking her up early for her doctor appointment. I considered it for just a moment because that's what a responsible mom would do. And sometimes I'm a responsible mom. But here's the thing. Ever since Pete turned 3 and started going to Montessori schools (school-for-real, in other words), I feel like I've been missing out on those days when we would just hang out together and read or paint or go shopping or whatever. We still do that stuff, but now Lulu is with us all the time when Pete's not in school, and you're really not supposed to just take your kid out of school to hang out with you because you miss them. But if she's sick or has a doctor appointment or something? Then it's okay, right? So, again, yay for ear infections... but only minor ones that don't hurt and stuff. I get to spend the day with just Pete and no one else. The morning, anyway.

We shuffled Lulu off to school first, and then we spent the morning visiting the doctor and doing some shopping, then went out for lunch. The lunch thing was very important, to me at least, because Lulu and I have lunch out every other week or so, and Pete always looks disappointed that she missed it and that makes me sad and so this time she didn't miss it and that was fantastic. Plus, she got to pick the place (she wanted broccoli soup in a bread bowl from Panera). Then we picked up Lulu together.

It wasn't an extra special Pete-Day-of-Play or anything. In fact, aside from the visit to the doctor, it was pretty much just a normal Mom-Day (plus lunch out), but she seemed content to be tagging along and we had a very sweet time. It was better than when she was little and I would blow off work to keep her home from daycare just to be together because she's that much bigger now.

The next day, she didn't hesitate at all to go back to school. In fact she seemed kind of refreshed. I think she needed the day off as much as I needed her to have it. Apparently 7 year-olds need Mental Health Days as much as grown-ups do.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Who the Heck Bought All This Pumpkin?!

When I got home from the grocery store this morning, I was putting the black beans in the pantry and noticed a can of pumpkin sitting where the beans should go.

That's not right, I thought. The pumpkin goes over there behind the 2 cans of tart cherries.

This sounds just like your pantry, right? Everyone keeps pumpkin and cherries on hand for pie emergencies, don't they? They're staples. Right? Like milk. Or flour. Or grapes. Right? (Just say, "Right.")

When I reached to put the pumpkin where it goes I found 2 more cans of pumpkin!

Who bought all the pumpkin and what kind of emergency were they planning for? Seriously. I don't remember buying all that. If I had, I would have thought at some point, You need to stop buying pumpkin. You already have 3 cans. And I definitely did not think that (before today).

I worried for an instant that maybe I was turning into one of those crazy old ladies who hoard strange things like newspapers or slippers or cats. But see, I'm in therapy and the biggest thing I've learned there is that it's usually best to say, "So what?" about situations that worry me. So I did. I thought, So what if I'm the crazy pumpkin lady? and then I made cookies.

4½ dozen pumpkin, raisin, chocolate chip cookies with walnuts. 4½ dozen. Now I'm also the crazy pumpkin cookie lady? So what?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Oh Yeah. In Case You Were Wondering

We learned last week that Howie has already been adopted by "a wonderful couple with a back yard."* He was homeless less than a month. I'm not surprised. He is adorable.

*according to his foster mom

Pete Made a Snowman!

(image almost actual size)

The tiny snowman is in proportion to the tiny snow we got. It sure was pretty, though.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

That's Not Right!

Okay. I live in The South, you know? But I used to live in The Northeast, grew up there, really. I learned to drive on snowy streets and am familiar with snow in March, even April, possibly early May. However, I have been Here for almost 16 years and have been comfortable with spring coming early and winter weather ending the instant we change the calendar from pink hearts to green shamrocks. I have even declared, out loud and confidently, that "winter" is over on March 1st around here.

Now, check the date on this post. See? It should be spring, right? If you go by me. Tonight, though, my seasonal truths have been shattered. Smashed. Crumbled into a million tiny pieces. Look at that picture. I took it just now. The white specks aren't dust on the lens. Those are more snow falling. And it's going to keep falling for the next 6 to 7 hours! Today. The unofficial first day of spring at my house.

And tomorrow will be an honest-to-goodness snow day, for sure (not like last time). At least that will be fun. If not quite right...
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