So, I am in the midst of preparing for a hurricane. Are you jealous?
My son is two-years-old, and this is his second hurricane. We were without power for nearly one week during the last one, and it was beyond belief bad. I know you love me because I can bitch like a champ, but, seriously, dealing with a teenager detoxing from all things electronic and changing a cranky baby’s crap by candlelight nearly sent me off the edge. I made it through by taking out my frustration on National Grid’s automated voice messaging system (I can get really testy with those computerized assholes in a way I’d love to with many real people without the fear of repercussion). A steady supply of Mommyjuice and earplugs to block out the agonizing hum of our
annoyingly prepared neighbor’s generator helped, too.
So, here I am–again. But this time I am smarter. I am more prepared. I am on it, baby. Here are the Confessions of a Hurricane Mommy:
– I am incapable of spending less than $250 at the grocery store in anticipation of a natural disaster. I get wrapped up in the frenzy of overflowing carts. I walk around with a little more pep in my step to grab (forcefully as necessary) the last loaf of my family’s favorite bread. I bribe my toddler with cookie or two so I can buy shit I
definitely probably don’t need. That’s just how I roll in a hurricane. I am not going to deny it anymore.
– I use hurricanes as an excuse to buy snacks and sweets I normally leave on the shelves. If we’re dealing with the apocalypse, who the hell wants to go out eating rice cakes? Bring on the chips and salsa…and the chocolate.
– My husband gets off on preparing our home for said apocalypse. A hurricane is like porn for Mr. Safety. Batteries, flashlights, candles, lanterns. Cue the Bomchickawowwow background music, please.
– My Mommybrain often screws with my ability to locate my keys, but it doesn’t interfere with my ability to learn from my mistakes. I booked a shitty hotel near my house several days ago with the enthusiasm of making reservations at The Ritz just in case I wind up being trapped in a cold, dark house eating PB&J with smelly kids in TV withdrawal.
– I look forward to the first weather-related school closing of the year like I am still a kid. Am I the only Mommy who still gets excited waking up at the crack-of-dawn to turn on the TV to look for the announcement from my town? And it’s still such a buzz-kill if I just miss the listing and I have to wait FOREVER for it to come around again.
– The only thing I am missing right now is feetie pajamas. Next time. Next time…
I just got a perplexing letter from a reader. I nearly fell off my chair. Who am I kidding? I hit the ground hard–with a big fat thud courtesy of my lingering post-preggo poundage. (Sidebar: cheers to Christina Applegate, who recently admitted she just gave up maternity jeans and her daughter is almost Alex’s age. Take that, Gisele. You best own up to getting one freaking craving with this pregnancy or you will remain on my shit list. Ask anyone in my life–it’s definitely not the place to be).
Anyway, here’s the letter (below). Steady yourselves…
I have recently discovered your blog and find it very interesting to read, so I thought you would be a good person to seek advice from. I hope you don’t mind me contacting you in this way.
I have a four-year-old daughter and she can be, shall we say, quite a handful! Don’t get me wrong, she is very loving, but a lot of the time she is hard work and is very disobedient. I have tried timeouts and taking things away and also taking to her about her behaviour but it doesn’t seem to work. What works in your home? What is your secret because your family seems so happy and well balanced. I appreciate any advice you can offer. Thank you and God bless you and your family.
Do I come off as someone who has her shit together? Some days my car sends me a panicked message– “— until empty”–because it’s running on fumes. I don’t have time to stop because my son fought me like a ninja warrior to avoid getting dressed, I burnt my English muffin, and I forgot my cell phone so I had to turn around at the end of my street to get it. Or I spilled my coffee trying to place it in my passive-aggressive cup holder and I needed to change
for the tenth time because all of my clothes look better on the hanger again for work (sometimes I’ll act like my java jolt happened at the office to avoid squeezing into a new outfit, but don’t tell anyone). Whatever.
Bottom line is I am a hot mess who has the ability to fool many people into thinking I am on top of everything (remember when I paid the ridiculous rush fee and almost took a Granny out trying to score a parking space at the mall to get custom holiday cards printed on time for New Year’s?)
My son is a perfect little angel at school. He charmed his teachers, the administrative staff, and his classmates in two-seconds flat. He is the center of attention wherever he goes, has dance moves that rival early Michael Jackson (pre-moonwalk–can’t do that yet, but give him time), and has killer dimples. He holds hands with my teenager’s friends in the back seat of my car and has no fear of rejection when it comes to kissing girls full on the lips. He’s a player with mad game, and he knows it–at age two.But he still backhands me when he doesn’t want his diaper changed, or
Time-outs do nothing. My evil Mommy look does nothing. I am completely ineffective.
And my teenager? She can have a major attitude, too. Don’t even get me started…
I am with you, dear reader. No advice here…except to Google it. And hug your daughter extra tight when she lets you to make up for all the times she makes you get on your knees and pray for bedtime. Treat yourself to a glass of Mommyjuice/bar of chocolate (the good kind–you’ve earned it) to take the edge off when she kicks your ass. Relish the few hours of sleep you do get and dream of a better tomorrow. That’s all I got–and it blows.
Does anyone out there have any real idea on how to discipline their young children effectively? Beuller? Beuller?
I have been MIA on Mommy Dish for awhile (not like me–I am sorry I suck right now). But, no worries, I can give you a recap on my life based on my Google searches. I am obsessed. Maybe I’ll Google naughty Mommy blogger. Or staying sane while your favorite Mommy Blogger goes insane (thanks for your emails asking for a post, loves). Or both. When in doubt, Google it, right?
Anyway, here’s my life, Googlified:1) Shoplifting teens: Yup, I was the lucky Mommy on pick-up call at the mall when one of Ashley’s friends stole Hanky Panky thong underwear from Nordstroms. No, “friend” isn’t code for Ashley. I tell it like it is, and would own up to it if my kid had sticky fingers. Anyway, I had Alex in tow and, somehow, I was the bad-ass adult who had to deal with this whole clusterf*ck of a situation. Local cops, disappointed sales staff, a cranky manager, a crying teenager caught on surveillance…and me. I had to call the girl’s Mom, who I adore, and tell her that her daughter has been banned from Nordstroms for two years and may be prosecuted. I had to calm Ashley and her other friend who didn’t pull a Winona Ryder down. And, yes, I had to bribe my impatient two-year-old with a $7 smoothie to buy some time with the men in blue so the alleged thief could be released into my custody (fun ride home, let me tell you). According to Google, stealing for the thrill of it is not uncommon in teenage wasteland. Yay me.
2) How to do it all and not be overwhelmed: I am working and Mommying now. It’s really freaking hard. I am exhausted. I’ve gone through two $25 under-eye concealers in one month, and I still look like a celeb on the verge of a mandatory rehab stint without the benefit of airbrushing. I miss getting up with my baby and figuring out what our daily adventure will be over coffee and a sippy cup. I miss yoga pants, park dates, “aha!” moments, and cuddle sessions with no time constraints. I miss us. According to Google, I am definitely not alone on this one, either.
3) Peeing toddler: My son’s teacher mentioned that Alex was soaking his diapers to the point they were going to burst. With concerned eyes, she told me Alex’s ghetto diaper was weighing his pants down due to a daily peeing frenzy (well, maybe she didn’t say that exactly, but you get the gist). I’ve tried time and time again to resist the urge to Google every single ailment that affects everyone in my life. But I just can’t stop. Thankfully, the Google matches for diabetes and all sorts of sinister diseases did not apply here. My husband was pumping Alex full of juice (and water, though I am sure it was more juice) before drop off because he didn’t feel like he ate a big enough breakfast. One day after I reeled Daddy in on his “Hey, Mommy’s gone, here’s the good non-organic sugar-laden juice she doesn’t let you drink!” offers to Alex, the ghetto diapers disappeared. Whoomp there it is!
I Googled National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in honor of my Mom, a ten-year survivor who’s still fighting, and dedicated one million hours to the cause (feeding my under-eye concealer addiction). Learn the symptoms so I can get some rest, okay?
Of course I Googled at least one hundred more topics, but I can’t share them all with you. Google probably knows more about me than my husband! ; ) So, an inquiring Mommy wants to know: Google, friend or foe?
By now, you must know I attract drama. I couldn’t repel it with a lifetime supply of Off! Of course my town is the superstar of this shit show.My freaking Footloose town–a town where you will miss the whole center if you blink. Somehow, those lethal little shits think it’s the place to be. They’re pulling all-nighters, using my citronella candles for mood lighting at their raves. Really, they’re the only ones who party it up in Easton on a Monday night
The state has labeled us as a “critical alert” town (there are only three others with that designation). There have been times that you can smell my son from a mile away because I have hosed him down with herbal insect repellent in a state of Mommy panic. The streets are empty from dusk until dawn–the peak hours of the mosquitoes’ drunken binges for blood. If I venture outside during prime biting hours, I beg for mercy during my 11:11 prayers if I stay up late enough to make them. What else am I supposed to do?
Tonight, Alex fell asleep to the loud hum of another aerial spraying of poison. I had to lug in all of his toys, create giant condoms for my herbs, and shut all sources of outside air off on a humid night to keep us pesticide-free. I love dealing with this after I work, cook dinner, and clean up my house that stays tidy for less than one minute on a good day. It’s just awesome.
Die, mosquitoes. Die.
It’s just another Manic Monday…oh oh oh oh…I wish it was Sunday…oh oh oh oh…that’s my fun day…oh oh oh oh…my I don’t have to run day. It’s just another Manic Monday.
Now it should really be stuck in your mind. Maybe it’ll drown out your to-do lists and your oh shit replays (Did I pack the towel in the camp bag? Did I reset the dryer? Oh shit I have to go check!) so you can fall asleep faster. You can thank your favorite ’80s girl later.Anyway, I wanted you to know that I have officially made it as a Mommy blogger. Because of you, my fabulous readers, Mango.org sent me six mangoes to make some dishes. You’d think I got six pairs of Jimmy Choos hand-delivered by The Bangles themselves if you could have seen my face opening the package. I am just a
I am offering up lots of mango goodness this week in celebration of my sweet and succulent shipment. My son has loved mangoes since birth because I ate his weight in them during my pregnancy, and I am not ashamed to admit it (though I may shy away when asked how many ice cream sundaes I consumed, but that’s another story).
I made Mango Muffins with Crumb Topping with Alex this morning (he gets up early and baking is a great way to start the day in my house!). Both of my kids wolfed one down before camp, and loved them! Happy Mango Monday!
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup of diced mangoes
Crumb Topping Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. In a small bowl, beat egg with a fork. Stir in milk and oil. Pour all at once into the well in the flour mixture. Mix quickly and lightly with a fork until moistened, but do not beat. The batter will be lumpy. Stir in the mangoes. Pour the batter into paper-lined muffin pan cups.
Prepare the crumb topping by mixing the brown sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon together with a fork or your hands. It should look like crumbs when thoroughly mixed. Sprinkle over the muffin batter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Enjoy!
This morning, I had to put my beloved cat, Orangina, to sleep. The scrappy little stray who stole my heart many moons ago in Burlington, Vermont–before I met my husband or kids–lost the fire in her eyes. She was a cat who refused to budge from my back porch, camping out on a rain-soaked chair covered with fallen leaves after a bad storm, compelling me to give her a home. Verbal, animated, and often a little too frisky, she was always up for a fight. I opened my door, and she walked right through it with no fear, knowing she found her Mom.When I placed her in her cat carrier, I knew with every fiber of my being that she wouldn’t be coming back home. In a way, I think Alex sensed it, too, because he climbed up and sat in our bow window sill with Orangina this morning. And, today, he closed the curtain. He said, “No Mommy!” when I wanted to move him, and, for the first time in a week, I heard my kitty purr softly. I let them have their moment, grateful that my rambunctious little boy is also incredibly intuitive, sensitive, and loving. He knew. And he cried when I left with her to take her to the vet.
Funny, I was so nervous when Alex was born. Orangina was a little old lady by then, but she still had lots of vim and vigor, and would swipe if you rubbed her the wrong way. You can take a girl off the streets, but can’t take the streets out of the girl. But she surprised all of us, tapping into restraint we didn’t know she had when it came to Alex. My son draped himself all over her, laid on her stomach, pulled her tail–and she took it. Time after time after time. Like Alex, she was such a kind, sweet, and instinctual little thing. She knew he was just a baby, and defended herself only once (I was mad about it, but I understood why).
Saying goodbye to a pet who has hogged half of my pillow every night for more than a dozen years is heartwrenching. Sure, she drove us crazy when she woke us up before the baby for a nasty-smelling can of Fancy Feast, but my husband and I let her sleep with us regardless. We knew she was gravely ill when she stopped jumping up on our bed at night, as that was her favorite time of the day. She purred so loud that it was initially hard for Scott to get to sleep, but it soon turned into a lullaby for him, too. My husband wasn’t “a cat person” when we met, but she transformed him. He brushed her every day, affectionately nicknamed her “Chickie” (an abbreviated version of “orange chicken,” his first term of endearment), and looked for her when he got home from work. Ashley also loved Orangina dearly, and let her cuddle up next to her on her bed, even though she would shed ridiculous amounts of fur on her new comforter (true devotion for a teenager!). There was just something about her that we will never forget.When I returned from the vet empty-handed and broken-hearted, with puffy, tear-smeared eyes and a fake smile on my face (for Alex’s benefit–though he is literally a part of me, and saw right through me), my son asked, “Where’s Kitty?” Scott replied, “At the doctor’s,” which is true–for now. Alex, with hope in his eyes, said, “Check up?” and my heart fell to the floor. No, honey, she’s checked out of this world, and I don’t know how to tell you, to make you understand.
Have any of you lost a pet member of the family when your child was so young? If so, how did you explain it to him/her?
I am still struggling with my Kate Hudson/Dumbo/Urkel ear, but I wanted to make dinner last night (yes I have a problem resting/being sick/feeling useless–add it to the colossal list of things I am working on). I reached in my cupboard
to sturdy myself for something easy–taco seasoning mix–to add to ground chicken (for Scott) and meatless crumbles (for me), and it wasn’t there. I looked everywhere, in all of the nooks and crannies of my kitchen, swearing at the universe for cursing me with no effing taco seasoning. Of course it wasn’t there. I forgot I was sentenced to Puerto Rico Payback Hell this week.
Anyway, I am generally an organic, chemical-free kind-of girl; I do my very best to feed whole food to my family. I’ll make a batch of cookies any day to spare them from preservative-happy packaged cookies, but, still, I do use the taco seasoning packets in a pinch.Normally, when a problem like missing seasoning arises, I view it as an opportunity to
I Googled homemade taco seasoning and identified the best one, in my opinion. It’s courtesy of a fellow blogger, Rachel Cooks. Her seasoning blend was easy and delicious, without the chemicals, preservatives, and mystery “natural flavorings” of the packaged variety. Trust me, I will never, ever buy packaged seasoning again. I am saying this on straight 600-mg Ibuprofen–no perks involved. Not yet today, anyway.
Give me a click on the brown box below before you check out the recipe. Okay? xo
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1.5 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt (more or less to taste–I used 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon black pepper
In small bowl, mix all ingredients and store in airtight container. (Or you can quadruple the recipe and mix it together in the airtight container you are going to store it in–-just give it a shake, and you have homemade tacos in a pinch!).
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of this mixture plus 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water to one pound of cooked meat (of your choice). Simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until there is very little liquid left in the pan.
Serve with your favorite taco toppings! I always make fresh guacamole, even when I am dying from an ear infection. Serve with lettuce, cheese and tomato…salsa, too!
Since I returned from my trip, I have been to the Emergency Room twice, ENT once (with another appointment Friday), and had two procedures–one involving a wick, the other a vacuum (an exorcism, really)–trying to tame a mother effer of an ear infection. I am looped up on Percocet. I walk like I have a pole up my a$$ because I am so afraid of falling from the dizziness. I am a hostage in my home because I can’t drive (I already hit Scott’s car in our driveway on my first trip to the ER). It’s ugly.Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner, Lyle Lovett, and Steve Urkel got nothing on me. My ear can take all of their ears down. Seriously, it is DOUBLE the size of my other ear, and has its own heartbeat at this point. I listen to it all night long, so I know it’s alive! It’s ALIVE! ALIVE!
To add insult to injury, I was supposed to start my new part-time job yesterday, but I had to delay everything–including a physical which includes an audiogram and drug test. Yes, let’s hire the Mommy with the perk addiction who can’t hear out of her right ear. YESSSSS! Sounds like a good plan.
I can’t believe this payback. I never take drugs. I never have drug tests. I haven’t worked in two years. I haven’t been away in three years…and this is what I get for a few nights with my hubby in Puerto Rico? Bitch! WTF?
Give me a click on the big brown box below, please. In addition to growing a cyclops ear, I have dropped in the Top Mommy Blogs ranks. I know you guys read my blog…just give me a little love, and click. That’s all you have to do. Thanks.
Let me give you the low-down…
Anal-retentive: I typed up a five-page guide to caring for Alex James in my absence for my Mom and Mom-in-law. Five pages…typed and double-spaced, submitted to them last night via email, hand-delivered in print today, and hung on my refrigerator this evening. Just in case there’s any confusion for women who have both raised two children and know my little guy pretty well, too. Why wasn’t I this meticulous in High School? I couldn’t even remember my No. 2 pencil back then.
In addition to my missive, I have reorganized all of my kitchen cabinets, done tons of laundry, re-folded all of Alex’s clothes in his drawers, re-stocked all of his butt-changing necessities, pre-packed his bags for camp, changed the sheets, and emptied out aisles at Whole Foods and CVS.
I am also stalking the resort I booked, calling and asking questions in different voices (they’ve probably put a big fat asterisk next to my reservation and/or have the restraints ready for my arrival), based on my new obsession with reading Trip Advisor reviews. While most of the reviews are amazing, I’ve called a few
dozen times following up on complaints from strangers. Yes, I am busy, but I can squeeze these crazy calls in whenever the mood (or my insomnia) strikes, as they answer 24/7.
Greasy-haired: It’s been smack-yourself-in-the-face humid here, the type of weather that gives me a frizzy ‘fro the moment I walk out the door. I don’t know if it’s part of my ongoing post-pregnancy curse (my hands have been asleep for two years, my stomach refuses to flatten), but I have nicknamed my hair Sybil this summer. I’ve been walking around with my sunglasses on top of my head, trying to rock the insta-perm look, but it’s not working. So, I decided to get a formaldahyde-free Brazilian Blowout. The only problem with the natural version of the real thing is that it takes four days to sink in. I can’t put my hair up or wear a hat to cover up my greasy goodness because it may leave a crease while the magic potion takes its time doing its thing. I am on day three of no shampoo and, let me tell you, I am looking fine. F-I-N-E.
Prom queen: It’s a toss up, really…a prom queen, or a bride-to be…but my behavior is borderline diva. I have gotten a mani/pedi, eyebrow and bikini waxes (at different places…you don’t sh*t where you eat, right?), teeth whitening, and a spray-tan application. I’ve traveled near and far to find bathing suits that make me look like I didn’t
inhale enjoy pasta tonight, purchased new outfits and tailored old ones, and visited makeup counters for waterproof everything. No raccoon eyes for me as I emerge from the ocean with my hair slicked back a la Bo Derek. That’s not in the fantasy!
1 3/4 cups sugar (Mommy Dish note: lemonade is very personal–adjust sweetness and tartness to your liking–just use this method as a guide if you haven’t made it before)
1 cup hot water
2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 gallon cold water
1 lemon, sliced
In a 1 gallon container, place sugar and hot water, and stir until sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice and cold water to render 1 gallon. Stir until well mixed. Pour lemonade over glasses of ice, and garnish with a lemon slice.