Monday, June 29, 2009

A Potty Post

Yep, here it is, the ol' standard of a mommy blog. I'm feeling a little mommy-blogger-y today.

What I really need is advice. See, my boys have just started to pee standing up. Exciting, right? Ha, everyone with boys knows it's not's messy!

So my question is: is it fair to require TK to wipe up the disaster of misses every night since it's his Y chromosomes that are causing this "pee standing up" mess? I feel like since *I* contributed the X chromosome, which everyone knows is the "pee neatly sitting down" chromosome, I should be excused from the endless cleaning of the 5 foot area surrounding the potty...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

An Eat Local Challenge

For anyone who browses my "favorite blogs" list on the right side bar, you may have stumbled upon the Reduce Footprints blog. I love this blog...I get lots of good ideas and learn new things all the time.

Every Wednesday, Small Footprints has a new weekly challenge. I missed the first two, and boy, I'm glad I didn't miss this one! Check out this week's challenge:

For one full day this week, eat only local foods. No tropical fruits from across the world ... no veggies that traveled hundreds of miles to get to your table ... only locally grown foods (this includes meats, dairy products, etc., if you eat them).

Cool, huh? Right up my alley! I wonder, though, how much fudging is fair for the boys. I don't think their morning Cheerios are local. I also haven't found good local sources of cooking oil (though I could just plan to use local bacon on my 100% local day and cook in the grease, or use butter, or, gasp, plan meals that don't need any sauteing), salt, or grains. I can probably do without those for a day, though it's the staples like these that keep me from ever attempting a more extensive local food challenge.

Anyone else want to play along? Head over to Reduce Footprints!

I'm going to cross post this on the How Does Your Garden Grow blog as well, I think, and see if I can get others to join in!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I knew all that cleaning was dangerous!

So, N-man got another concussion yesterday. He slipped on the wet kitchen floor and banged his head. We were getting ready for showing the hour notice. On Father's Day. Right at dinner time. Convenient, right? Sorry, homemade Father's Day dinner was canceled!

We headed out to dinner instead. N-man wasn't in a great mood since his fall, but didn't seem too bad when we left the house. We got to the restaurant, and he broke down crying and grumping. TK walked around outside with him (in the rain!), but he didn't calm down, so we got our meals packed to go, drove around until the people were out of our house, and were going to eat at home. We finally got the call from our agent that they were done. N-man was whimpering in the backseat by then. We pulled into the garage and ACK! He vomited EVERYWHERE in the van.

I ran inside, called the emergency pediatrician line, and got new clothes for N-man. TK got everything vomit-related out of the van and onto the floor of the garage. (This is on Father's Day, remember? Do we know how to celebrate, or what?) We got N-man in clean clothes, threw the boys into TK's non-vomited on car, and headed to the ER.

Which was packed.

Full of sick people. Have I mentioned I have a touch of hypochondria? And germophobia? And there were sick people all around? I'm getting skeeved out just thinking of it. Last time we went to the ER, it was almost empty, giving us lots of space to stay away from other sickies. Not this time!

We waited, and waited, and waited, and weren't even being seen by the triage nurse or the check-in people. N-man was getting sleepy, I was getting really nervous. Then N-man threw up all over the floor and started shrieking.

Tip for getting seen immediately in the ER: throw up all over the floor and start shrieking.

My poor little guy! We were put back in a room pretty speedily after that. It was still a pretty long wait to see a doctor, but at least we were comfortable and away from all the sick people. And N-man finally started perking up and acting more like himself. By the time the doctor saw him, he was doing much better, and it had been over 4 hours since his head injury (the amount of time they usually like to observe them after a head bump). So they made him eat an ice pop, and since he could keep that down, we were released at 10pm.

The ER doctor wasn't even sure it was a concussion. He said it might have been a very coincidental virus or stomach upset that just happened to hit at exactly the same time as the head bump. That sounds crazy to me, except that N-man had been saying his tummy hurt even before the head bump. (I try not to spend too much time talking about potty stuff on my blog, but N-man has many issues with constipation so complaints about tummy pain are reasonably common here, which is why it didn't register as possibly related to the vomiting). I still suspect it was a concussion since it was so similar to what happened last time, but luckily it was minor enough that we can't even be sure that's what happened.

This morning N-man seems fine. He's eating, running around, playing normally. I'm worn out by the whole thing.

Two more house showings today. Of course right at dinner time. I'm NOT washing the kitchen floor.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yet another new blog

A friend and I started a new blog about eating locally in New England. We're going to post recipes, and probably some reviews of local foods (mmm, yes, I'm planning to take advantage of this and try every local cheese I can find!), as well as other local food related stuff.

This should also keep some of my endless CSA stuff off this, my more personal blog.

Anyway, if it's of interest, stop by How Does Your Garden Grow and say hi, or just find some recipes. I'm in the process of moving my CSA recipes from last year over there so they'll all be in one place.

For all you New England readers, we're also looking for writers. If you're interested in contributing, either on a regular basis or just occasionally, shoot me an email at

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fine moments in WhatACard parenting

Good parenting: going to the store because you're out of milk and bread.

Great parenting: being out of milk and bread for over a day, and only going to the store when you realize you're also out of ice cream.

Good parenting: Dressing your kids in the morning.

Great parenting: Dressing your kids in shorts and t-shirts when it's only 53 degrees out. Then taking them to the grocery store before realizing it's freezing so they cling to your legs saying "I'm SOOOOOO cold, Mommy!"

Good parenting: Take the kids to visit the grandparents.

Great parenting: Take the kids to visit the grandparents because you're absolutely sick of cleaning up your own house and keeping it "open house ready".

Good parenting: Give boo-boo kisses

Great parenting: Having to give two consecutive kisses to two different children, both of whom ended up with a black eye. Special great parenting bonus: being secretly glad each child was responsible for his own black eye, so no one had to be punished.

Good parenting: Expose children to a variety of different music.

Great parenting: Wonder what your children are talking about when they want you to sing the rose song, until you finally realize they're talking about Poison's Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Special great parenting bonus: Have child ask later that same day what Red Hot Chili Pepper's Suck My Kiss is about.

Hope this helps my Mother of the Year application!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Extra stuff from the CSA

Yesterday, Ms. Sotorrific Twins asked a question about what you should do with stuff you get from a CSA that you don't want. I was going to just email her, but then I decided this could be part two of my CSA decision making series. Whoa, don't get me going, I might just post once every 6 months about CSAs!

The fact of the matter is, with many CSAs, you end up with vegetables you don't want. Some CSAs are structured where you get to choose what you want, but many just give you a box of whatever is ripe on the farm that week. So what do you do with the vegetables you don't like?

The first thing I'd suggest is TRY THEM! Search around for a different recipe that uses the vegetable in a way you've never tried. You're getting the most fresh of the hasn't been trucked across the country or sat in a warehouse for a week. You might be pleasantly surprised by a vegetable you thought you didn't like.

But, there's probably no way you're going to like everything. Kohlrabi is my veggie I don't want anywhere near me...I tried it a few times last year, and never liked it. I'm not sure yet if I'll even bother taking it at this year's CSA pickups. Icky! So here some ideas of what to do with those extras:
  • Talk to your CSA about setting up a "trade table", where people leave things they don't want and take something they do want. I mean, you're probably never going to find the popular veggies on the trade table, but you may be able to swap out your kale for kohlrabi or something. The CSA I belonged to tried this one week last year, and unfortunately, at least when I was there, the "trade table" just became filled with kohlrabi. I guess I'm not the only one who isn't a fan! But in theory this might work.
  • Talk to your CSA about the possibility of organizing a donation to a local food pantry or hunger relief agency (if any can use fresh veggies). People can just leave whatever they get too much of, or don't want, and then a volunteer (probably you, if it's your idea!) can deliver it to the charity. Our CSA donates to hunger relief agencies, and I absolutely LOVE this about them, and it was one of the main reasons I chose them. If there's stuff in our pickup I don't want or know I won't be able to use, most times I just don't take it and know it'll go to good use.
  • Offer the vegetable(s) you don't want to someone else who is there picking up at the same time. One week last summer, a family with a child with soy allergies offered us their edamame. I love edamame, so was quite excited! That vegetable you hate may be a favorite of the person standing next to you.
  • Bring the vegetables home and offer them to friends/neighbors/coworkers/family. Someone will probably want it.
  • If all else fails, start composting. I mean, I would never take veggies with the intent of just throwing them on the compost pile, but if all else fails, and despite your best efforts you can't get rid of them and just can't eat them before they go bad, well at least with a compost bin/pile, it's not a complete and total waste.
One of the things I love about a CSA is getting to try all different veggies and getting a big variety. I think a traditional CSA works best for people who aren't overly picky about their vegetables. If you and your family are exceedingly picky, then a CSA that offers you choices of what to take would probably be the best bet for you. Or shopping the farmers' markets, where you have total control of selection and quantity.

What other suggestions do you have for using up those unwanted veggies?

So who else is CSA'ing this summer? Or farmers' market'ing? Yay, I love summer!

Monday, June 8, 2009

House update

Well, I guess it's time for an update for where we are on the attempts to move. It's been pretty slow going, and boring, and annoying. Not great fodder for blog updates, though it takes up all my time so I don't have much else going on recently.

Oh boy, I've really talked you all into reading the rest of this post, haven't I? Do I know how to sell it, or what?? This blog post is just for anyone who's actually interested in our house search, or who has insomnia.

Okay, here's the deal: we found a house we love. It's out in one of the further-from-Boston suburbs, but it only adds two miles (or about 5-10 minutes) to TK's commute. How awesome is that? Pretty much all the houses we've been looking at add more like 30 minutes to TK's commute, which I was not looking forward to. Plus, it's a beautiful house, in a neighborhood, in a good school district. Just what we were looking for. It's not ridiculously large, but it has plenty of storage space and more than enough living space. Technically, it's not much bigger than our current house, but it's better laid out and has an attic for storage. It's a ranch, so the partially finished basement is also far larger than our current basement...more storage!! Have I mentioned storage yet? Yeah, that's because our current house has almost none. It's the one thing that drives me mad with our current house, so I was absolutely drooling at the thought of an attic and a basement, not to mention closets bigger than 2 feet wide! Mmmmm, closets!

But you haven't missed any exciting posts. We're still dealing with the biggest problem: our house hasn't sold.

Again on the plus side for this house we found: it's not at the top of our price range! That meant we had more wiggle room on what we sell our house for. So we took the plunge and slashed the price of our house. We slashed it low enough that I think it's a great bargain. It's hard to tell. I thought our house was pretty well priced before, but obviously if it's not selling, it's not good enough. Our problem is location: our house was certainly nicer than other houses in our town that were priced the same, but the location is on a busy street, so people were picking not-as-nice houses in better neighborhoods. Which I totally get. So we dropped our price, and now our house, in my opinion, is not only far nicer than the other similarly priced houses, but also in similar neighborhoods. But we'll see if anyone else agrees!

We put an offer in on the house we love. They accepted it, but with a kick-out clause. They're leaving the house on the market listed as "accepting backup offers". If they get a different offer, we have 48 hours to decide if we will match the closing date. Of course, if that happens and our house hasn't sold yet, we're out of luck since we can't afford to buy a new house before our existing house sells. So we need our house to sell fast, or we'll probably lose this house, hence the reasoning behind dropping our house price.

We went ahead and did a home inspection on the new house, despite the fact that it's far from a sure thing. We also have to go ahead with a P&S, which means paying a lawyer. So we've sunk a bit of cash into this house. It'll be a bummer if it falls through.

We had an open house yesterday for our current house, and FIFTEEN couples showed up! Usually we only get 2 or 3. So I suspect that people are noticing that the price is really good. Now one of those couples just needs to fall in love with our house. Someone has already scheduled to come back for a second look tomorrow.

It's just a waiting game, and while it's pretty stressful, it's not all that bad in the big picture. I mean, we don't *hate* our current house. We actually like it quite a bit, it just isn't perfect for us and we figured it'd be a good time to get that perfect-for-us house. I know how lucky we are for this to be our problem! And, I firmly believe things will work out for the best. If our house doesn't sell, it wasn't meant to be and we'll try again next year.

But if this house falls through, we're done for now and will take our house off the market. I'm worn out trying to keep a perfect house. TK has been working crazy hours, I'm tired from the pregnancy/chasing two crazy-busy kids who don't go back to preschool until September (honestly, I'm not sure which is the one wearing me out more!), and if we're going to stay in this house, we need to commit to it and get some stuff set up for the new baby.

So that's it. I know. Pretty boring. Don't say I didn't warn you! Here, I'll leave you with a few funny things:

  • We saw a house where they'd paved the ENTIRE backyard to put in a regulation size baseketball court. I mean, they paved it from corner to corner of their lot. Who paves their entire backyard??
  • We saw a house that was SOOO country. I expected a cowboy to jump out of the closet. They had posters up of country music stars. It was really weird. We've looked at tons and tons of house (probably at least 100, plus all the houses we looked at before we bought this house we're in now), and we've never seen anything like it!
  • We saw a house with a horse barn right next door. I want to get out into the country, but do you have any idea what it smells like RIGHT next door to a horse paddock? I do now. That house did NOT smell good!
  • We saw a house where the finished basement ceiling was less than 6' tall. Luckily TK and I are not that tall, but it was incredibly clausterphobic. In that same house, to get to the boiler/heating equip, you had to crawl through a section of the basement less than 3' tall. The homeowner had left a sign to watch your head. We decided against crawling through someone's gross basement, though not before making some Being-John-Malkovich-seventh-and-a-half-floor jokes.
  • Someone called up our agent and actually did make an offer on our house. For $110,000 LESS than our asking price. That is not a typo. Now I know house prices in the Boston area are high, but we're not selling a million dollar house where maybe, just maybe, you could see offering a hundred thousand dollars less. No, someone offered a ridiculously low amount. And they were serious. People suck, and that guy can bite me.
That's it for now. I'll try to update with something more interesting soon. Our CSA starts this week... ;)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Java chocolate chip cookies

Me? A sweet tooth? You don't say!

I made cookies the other day. I figured I better post the recipe, 1) because they are awesome, and 2) because I made a number of changes to the recipe and if I don't write it down, I'll never be able to replicate these.

I started with a recipe from the December/January 09 Taste of Home magazine for Java Cream Drops. The recipe seemed kind of fussy (making two different doughs and pressing together for each cookie), plus, it contained walnuts. But come on! Coffee, chocolate, and chocolate chips? This was still worth trying! The recipe also contained a typo (it said "cream" in one spot instead of "flour"...TK took one look at the recipe and figured it out in a minute though it had me flummoxed while I was actually cooking), so I was having trouble figuring out the quantities needed and just had to wing it. So here it is. My adapted version of the recipe:


2 Tbsp. instant coffee granules (I'd use more in the future...3 or 4 tablespoons. The coffee flavor is very mild)
1.5 Tbsp. half-and-half cream
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
3/4 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the coffee granules and cream. Stir well and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and coffee/cream mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Mix. Gradually add to the creamed mixture, stirring well.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

These are good cooled, but hot out of the oven, I think this is my all-time favorite cookie. So make sure you plan to sample a few before they cool!


So I feel like I should explain about my last post, given how many of you commented that you didn't immediately get why it was a rated R post. See, the thing is...I have a dirty, dirty mind. It's totally my mom's fault (really, she reads this and will probably be the first to admit it). Had she been there when I was reading the book, it wouldn't have been ten minutes of laughing, it would have been half an hour! I'm sure I've made my mom proud!

Monday, June 1, 2009

An unexpected insult from a children's book!

I must start with a notice that this post is far naughtier than my usual offerings. You're intrigued now, aren't you? Well, don't say I didn't warn you about a rated R post!

So, this all starts with a book the boys just got as a hand-me-down from their cousin. It's called Mix and Match Villains. It's one of those book where each page is split into thirds and you can mix and match the pictures and words, creating new and often funny composite villains and nonsensical sentences.

B-man is especially diverted by this book, and since he's a touch OCD, he's intent on making his way through every possible combination. "Mommy, read this one!" "Mommy, read this one!" I hear this all day now. It was getting a little annoying, to tell the truth, until he presented me with the following:

I tried my best to keep a straight face, but I must say I lost my battle and laughed for about 10 minutes. And then decided I had to share it with you all. Have I mentioned I have the sense of humor of a 14 year old boy?

I'm sorry, give me a minute. I'm cracking up again. Just look at Alice...doesn't she look terribly insulted and embarrassed? She should be! But I think pink-flamingo-croquet-dude is pretty amused by mix-and-match Jafar/Frollo/The Queen of Hearts, at their shocking over-share here!

And *this* makes my Monday!