It’s Just Another Mango Monday

Wouldn't that be great? I bet I wouldn't have an ex-husband if I had background music. Just sayin'.

Yes, you should be humming The Bangles’ Manic Monday based on the title of this post alone. It’s Monday morning, and I am not that clever yet, so I have to offer up some background music as a distraction. You can thank me when it’s on Top 40-like rotation in your head before you try to goto sleep tonight.

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.

Lucky me!

Anyway, I wanted you to know that I have officially made it as a Mommy blogger. Because of you, my fabulous readers, 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 super freak and you know it wee bit too excited about my mangoes! Did that sound dirty?

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!

I know you’re sleepy, but, please, rock the vote: Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Mango Muffins with Crumb Topping

Muffin Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup of diced mangoes

Crumb Topping Ingredients

Crumb Topping:

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!

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RIP Orangina

She was Alex's favorite pillow.

How am I supposed to explain death to my two-year-old?

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.

Alex and Orangina looking out our bow window, in happier, healthier times.

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.

Orangina loved all of Alex's pint-sized furniture. He always let her curl up on his stuff.

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?

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Adios, Taco Packets!

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.

Classy broad shot. Put that one in the scrapbook, LiLo, and never look back.

Normally, when a problem like missing seasoning arises, I view it as an opportunity to scream vulgarities in my head experiment with my own creation, and I usually come up with something tasty. Given that I can’t stand for long periods of time without feeling like I am going to pass out a la LiLo back in the day (hoping she doesn’t relapse now that her middle-age-crisis father knocked up a woman younger than me who happens to have a restraining order on his a$$), I had to work fast. Scott had one foot out the door to go out and buy seasoning. Hell no, Scott, you will not go. Don’t mess with your loving wife when her Percocet is wearing off.

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

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Homemade Taco Seasoning


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!

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Payback Is a Bitch!

This is what my ear looks like...just flip the image sideways. The green sh*t is my wayward ear.

Payback is, indeed, the biggest bitch ever.

This was our terrace. Don't hate me. I am already hated enough by the universe, apparently.

You know those “cha-cha-cha-Chia” Pets that you’ve surely mocked on TV (disclaimer: don’t even tell me if you bought one because I am in no mood and will mercilessly make fun)? Okay, well, my ear is now a Chia Pet–it keeps growing and growing, all because I had a great time in the gorgeous waters of Puerto Rico. Oh, and I had a lot of fun in the private hot tub on our terrace, too.

Besides one small snafu--our beach bag was stolen with our car keys in it (thanks, Chef Julie, for bringing our spare set to the airport), we had a magical vacation. The rabbit wasn't pulled out of the hat until the day we returned home.

Naughty me. And, now, I am paying with a proper bitchslapping by the Energizer Bunny (how’s that for back-in-the-day-cafe?). It keeps going and going and going. Don’t you worry.

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.

Pretty girl, but she has some ears to be reckoned with. Just sayin'.

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.

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Anal-Retentive, Greasy-Haired Prom Queen with a Southern Belle Twist

This week, I am Princess Claire (minus the bob).

Somehow, I’ve morphed into an anal-retentive, greasy-haired prom queen with a southern belle twist in anticipation of my departure to Puerto Rico. I am driving everyone insane…everyone, except for me. All’s good in my little warped world.

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!

Will you play with me in the pool Mommy? Uh, no. Sorry, kid. I may melt.

Southern belle twist: All of my primping and pampering has put me in a position where I am Katie Holmes and water is my temporary Tom Cruise. If I submerge myself in water, I will, in fact, melt. My perfectly-straight-hair-as-of-tomorrow will frizz, and my fake tan will fade. Basically, I eff myself over if I play with Alex in his kiddie pool, splash beside him at his water table, or give him a bath. I have become one of those proper southern belles who serves lemonade while her guests have fun frolicking in the pool. All I am missing is one of those hand fans (give me time–I don’t leave until Tuesday morning).

At the rate I am going I need one in every color.

It’s comical, the way I am acting. I am going away for four days. I just had to tell you what a fool I am making of myself in the hopes you have some insight into my anal-retentive, greasy-haired prom queen with a southern belle twist behavior.

After reading this, I bet you could use some refreshing lemonade! Go ahead, make yourself a glass, and please give me a click while you’re at it (click the brown box–that’s it!):
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I made up for my melting issues by making lemonade with Alex. He loved helping me with the juicer!

Old-Fashioned Lemonade

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.

Posted in Baby, Beach, Food, Kids, Life, Mommy, recipes, Thoughts, Uncategorized, weather | 1 Comment

Bye Bye, Baby

The remnants of my morning project.

You know something major is happening in my life when I don’t sleep all night, and I break out my cookie cutters at the crack of dawn. Oh, and when I make sure my makeup is prom-perfect before I leave the house. Strange reactions to stress, I know, but I am out there. At least I admit it.

Did I go overboard?

Anyway, today I dropped Alex off at school for the first time–with stylin’ supplies and a heart-shaped PB&J sandwich. Well, it wasn’t just me alone–Scott knew better than to let me handle that Lifetime moment solo–but I did it. I cut the cord. And, this time, without the drugs and the euphoric high of giving birth to my BFF, it really hurt.

Alex ran into school this morning….yay!…so excited to play. I’ve taken him there several times, and he’s always had great experiences with me cheering him on. I almost expected him to say, “Bye!” with no fanfare because he’s so social, confident, and friendly–but I was quickly b*tchslapped back into reality. I explained to him that Daddy and I would be leaving, and I saw the message register on his face…that “a-ha!” moment I will never forget. He ran over to me yelling, “Mommy, Mommy!” and clung to my leg (something he never does). Hot tears sprang to my eyes. I tried to stop them, but there was no way. I would’ve had a better shot at clicking my heels together three times and losing twenty pounds.

I managed to remain Mommyesque so Alex would follow my lead, but lost it as soon as I was out of his sight. Dignity is overrated. The receptionist gave me a knowing smile–at least that’s what I think I saw through my mascara haze–and my husband walked me out, blubbering away, trying to quietly reassure me that Alex would be okay. I also ran into a group of Mommies (not literally, I wiped my eyes enough to see immediately in front of me) who had already been through the torment of leaving their babies for the first time, and they were amazingly supportive. But, again, it still hurt.

Give me four hours, and I can remove that lightening bolt of contention and free your girl up, Kanye. Give me a call.

After today, I am pretty sure I could solve the world’s peace problems in four hours–or, at the very least, get Kim and Kris to hammer out a divorce agreement so Kimye can get hitched. Four free hours seems like eternity for someone who hasn’t peed without an audience in a couple of years.

I was smart, if I do say so myself, and brought lots of stuff to keep myself busy after I left my son. I took dresses to the tailor for some Puerto Rican TLC, bags that needed to be returned to the mall, and exercised my credit card during a self-pity shopping spree. Even so, I suffered from empty car seat syndrome running from errand to errand, and I spent my last half-hour of freedom stalking Alex’s joint. I drove up and down side streets aimlessly, until I gave in and pulled into the school parking lot fifteen minutes early. A quick email and Facebook check ate up another seven minutes or so. But that was it…I had to go in.

My little man was at the door when I peeked in on him. He didn’t see me, but I saw him, and his sweet face. I waited for a moment so I could copy what the other Mommies did (I had no clue if we walked in to get them, or they came out), and, finally, got my baby. He yelled, “Mommy! Mommy!”, this time with a smile. I was so happy to hold him, and he hugged me tight. I felt like a celebrity walking to the car.

I asked Alex how school was and he answered, “Crying, crying” (I checked on him during his stint and his teacher said he carried on for a half-hour before he got distracted by having fun, and she posted 100 pictures today to prove it :)). Still, his answer tore at my heartstrings. We both cried today, and it hurts. Actually, knowing he cried for me and I wasn’t there stings.

How long does it take for kids to fully adjust to going to school? Alex is going for half-days–starting with two days per week–but will soon be there five days per week. How long will it hurt?

***In honor of my beloved boy, I made some Strawberry Shortcake (which would also make a nice 4th of July dessert). Have a wonderful holiday, everyone, and, please, give me a click! Just one click counts as a vote–it’s very easy, I promise. It won’t hurt at all!***
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My dinner...paired with Mommyjuice, of course.

Strawberry Shortcake

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1 pint fresh strawberries

Whipped cream (I always make my own–worth the extra step of whipping cream and Confectioner’s sugar together)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter the loaf pan; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar for 7 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute in between each addition. Beat in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir half of the flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in sour cream and then remaining flour mixture. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in pan on a rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely. Slice cake. Spoon strawberries over each slice (Mommy Dish tip you can sweeten the strawberries with a little sugar and let them sit for a little while at room temperature to create a little juice). Top with whipped cream.

Posted in Baby, back to school, celebrity, Dishes, Exercise, Family, Food, Holidays, July 4th, Kids, Life, Parents, peanut butter, recipes, Thoughts, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

SAHM Fess Up

Nineteen more days. That’s all the time I have left as a SAHM. I am ripe and ready to fess up about the past two years, don’t you think?

– I use my sunglasses as a headband on bad hair days.

– I like to play a game I call, “Invent an Errand” when Alex gets pissy.

– If he’s kicking my a$$ and screaming while I try to wrestle him into his car seat to go on the fake errand, I look forward to shutting his door. I thoroughly enjoy the 30 seconds of muffled cries as I slowly walk around to my side of the car.

– My internal dialogue has an R-rating–on my good days.

– I freaking hate housework.

– I stuffed my washing machine with so many towels that it began to smoke and set off the fire alarm. I tried to cover the burnt rubber smell with spray, but the flowery burnt rubber smell was even worse. Alex walked around screaming, “P-U!” for a good hour as I openly begged the laundry G-ds for mercy (it magically healed itself without the $100 an hour service call).


– Mommies who like housework must take happy pills my doctor will not prescribe.

– That said, I am super-fast at surface-cleaning my house ten minutes before my husband comes home in a lame attempt to make him think I’ve got it all together.

– I don’t have it all together–and I can’t stand those who pretend they do.

– I just met a Mommy at the playground who said, “I hope your son hurts my Type A bully kid so she can see what it feels like. Let’s not supervise them, okay?” I instantly liked her.

– I lick the peanut butter knife.

– I’ve taken up online shopping. Uh-oh is right.

– There are days when I wish I could slam my door and blast my music just like my teenager.

– I’ve missed sick days.

– I adore nap time.

– Hate me if you want to, but I don’t subscribe to the SAHM=sweatpants and no makeup.

– My son knows how to use an eyelash curler because he sees me do it every morning. That’s quality mothering right there.

– I will never make peace with the after-effects of my C-section.

– I always feel overwhelmed with things to do.

– Sometimes I can’t believe the sh*t that comes out of my son’s a$$. Immature, I know. But it’s true.

– When he throws food at the table, I have to resist the urge to throw it right back at him.

Wasn't I just pregnant--yesterday? Where did the time go? Courtesy Stefanie Lynn Photography

– There are moments when I look at my son, and I still can’t believe I made him (with hubby’s help, of course).

– Being a SAHM has been the toughest job, but I have loved it. I have never laughed so much!

One of my favorite pregnancy photos...courtesy Stefanie Lynn Photography. We did not know how incredible our baby boy was at that moment, but we were so excited to find out! He did not disappoint at all.

– Alex James, I’ll always cherish every second we’ve had, just me and you, and I look forward to being your co-pilot as you take flight, my precious baby boy. I love you beyond measure, to infinity and beyond, and am so proud of you I feel like I could burst.

Feel free to add your own confessions in the comments section. It’s liberating, let me tell you. And, while you’re at it, please give me a click. Thanks!
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Dallas stars Jesse Metcalfe as Christopher Ewing. Try to look away from him.


Love. Honor. Betrayal. And a catchy theme song.

Are you hooked yet?

I am not a TV addict by any means–I like to watch shows, not just have the thing on. During the summer, I miss my standbys (i.e. The Good Wife) because, despite hundreds of channels, nothing is ever on.

Until now.

Dallas returned to the small screen the way all remakes should–pick up as if the whole made-up melodrama is real and continued when the TV cameras packed up twenty years ago. Keep the oldies but goodies, toss in a few hotties, stir up the still-simmering plot lines, add some some new twists and turns, and you’ve got me glued on Wednesday nights.

Maybe his eyebrows are part of his scheming to distract his enemies? I can't think of another reason why those things aren't cut and groomed. NOW.

J.R. Ewing now has wiry, old-man eyebrows that make me want to long-distance pluck them, but he is still so devilish I can manage to not go all OCD on his a$$. He’s hell-bent on reclaiming Southfork, the family ranch, and will stop at nothing in his quest for power. He drops delicious one-liners: ” “Blood may be thicker than water, but oil is thicker than both,” and “Son, never pass up a good chance to shut up.”

Christopher Ewing and John Ross are fighting over oil, land, and a girl.

The cowboy hats, sex, intrigue, backstabbing, dirty dealing, scheming, blackmail and family secrets are intoxicating. We’re only three episodes in and there’s brother vs. brother, cousin vs. cousin, a love triangle, a new bride with a dark secret, a shady brother, a cancer diagnosis for a still-good-looking Patrick Duffy (brows are under control), and a long lost relative threatening to throw another wrench in the oil field.

Even if you were still sucking your thumb when the original Dallas debuted, you can still follow along. If you have trouble keeping up, they make Jesse Metcalfe walk around half-naked as much as possible, so you really won’t give a sh*t. It’s mindless entertainment. Hallefreakinglujah!

So, are you watching or what?

In honor of Dallas, here’s my recipe for Texas Caviar…

Texas Caviar


1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, plus 1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/4 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2-1 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and chopped (adjust according to your preferred heat level–I use a whole pepper)
1/2 cup cooked corn
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 (8 ounce) bottle Zesty Italian dressing OR Red Wine and Olive Oil dressing–your choice (I mix the two together!)
1/2 can black beans, drained well (Mommy Dish note: you can add all of the beans if you want to up the protein–it will just dilute the spice a bit)
1/2 can chick peas, drained well
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
A few dashes of cumin (I use more)
Hot sauce, if desired (I use it!)


Mix all ingredients together, pour dressing over it, and mix again. Marinade for several hours or overnight. Mommy Dish note–cherry tomatoes, salsa, or lemon juice are all delectable additions to this dish. Anything goes, and it will be good!

Please click the big brown Top Mommy Blogs sign right below this sentence…it takes one second. One little click will do a lot for me! Thanks, cowgirls (and some cowboys,too)!
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Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot!

It's hot out there!

Scott and I took two teenagers (Ashley and her friend–hangin’ with us alone would damage her rep, ya know?) and a toddler to the beach in 100-degree heat. What were we thinking?

We started out by stuffing the car with chairs, toys, buckets, towels, shovels, changes of clothes, baby necessities, snacks, a cooler, and a tent. I waited until the last moment to slip on Alex’s Little Swimmers diaper, knowing they always bite me (oh, and him) in the a$$.

We sat in beach traffic for a good hour, paid $20 for a sh*tty spot that required us to drive on an unsuspecting man’s lawn; demanded our money back (which included me running after the attendant–it’s okay, I have always been a Charlie’s Angels wannabe); broke up backseat fighting (Alex pinching Ashley and her screaming “ow!” every single second); sat in more traffic; called/texted everyone we knew who lived near the beach to beg for parking mercy; experienced epic fail finding anyone who remotely cared about our plight; circled around a few more times with Alex yelling, “Up! Beach! Uuuuuuppppp!” repeatedly; and, finally, paid $7 for a spot that really wasn’t a spot, but Scott’s a master at maneuvering.

I got Alex out of the car and, sure enough, he was soaked with pee. My brand new, overpriced cover-up I was going to debut in Puerto Rico was also soaked with pee. Stupid Little Swimmers strike again. I checked my iPhone quickly for a mental break/pee escape, and saw Ashley live-tweeted the entire car ride. First tweet: “Backseat bonding with Alex. #SiblingBonding.” Second tweet: “I am constantly getting beat up.” Third tweet: “He’s stronger than you think for a two-year-old.”

Serenity now.

And then we had to unload everything.

By the time we got there, it was high tide.

It was awesome.

The day was so fast-paced, I could only take one photo, but didn't have the time to get my stupid finger out of the shot!

Ashley and her friend bailed on us, as teenagers do, and had a ball swimming to the “wall” to scope out boys. When they returned, Dad slipped them a $20 to get some pizza and Vitamin waters by themselves. Alex was lovin’ life, running at full speed into the ice-cold water and swimming until we dragged him out, shivering with blue lips. He played with everyone’s toys but his own, forcing himself on every group of kids trying to build sandcastles along the narrow beachfront plagued by rocks. I kept reapplying Alex’s sunscreen like a neurotic freak, afraid he would burn, and Scott kept trying to de-sand him as best he could, but the kid delights in getting every grain in every single crevice of his body every single minute. Neither of us sat down once. We looked at each other, with knowing smiles, pretty much saying this sucks for us, but it’s great for them, so that means it’s great. That means we’re good parents, standing up all day, sweating our faces off (it would have been worth it if I could literally sweat my a$$ off), doing the best we can to give our kids a good time.

This is a very small sampling of the stuff we unloaded from our car.

After Alex skipped his nap, officially going off the grid–joy, joy!–we took fifteen trips back to the car; sweated some more; piled all of the necessary beach sh*t into the trunk (this time, it was completely disorganized, sandy, and smelly); listened to more backseat fighting before Alex mercifully crashed for a half-hour; got home; unloaded the car; and loaded up the washing machine.

All on one hell of a hot day.

So, tell me, what’s the magic age where beach trips become fun for all? Don’t get me wrong, it was amazing seeing the smiles on their faces, but it was definitely more work than fun!

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Posted in Beach, Family, Kids, Life, Mommy, Thoughts, Uncategorized, weather | 1 Comment

A Mom’s Case of Porn Star Knees

I never expected porn star knees two years after having a baby.

A belly that requires a spray painted six-pack? Sure. An hourglass figure that looks more like a wine glass? Of course. But porn star knees? Are you effing kidding me?

At first I thought I was nursing two bruises from spending lots of time on my knees (stop laughing, b*tch)–looking for stray toys that like to hide under the farthest end of the couch just to torment me, scrubbing the remains of Alex’s thrown meals off the floors (I predict he will win the javelin in the 2024 Olympics), peeking underneath Ashley’s door to see if she’s really asleep or texting by screen light. You get the idea. I am on my knees. A lot.

But bruises heal, and my black-and-blue beauties haven’t gone away! I slathered my knees with cover up (seriously, who has to do that?), before I finally asked my husband to examine them. Black-and-blue knees “covered” with the wrong shade of makeup is a real turn on, I am sure, but I was beginning to convince myself that I have some horrible disease. I needed some reassurance before I did a Google search for “bruises that don’t heal” and found out I was in deep sh*t.

He looked at them, without making fun of me (I know I wouldn’t have been as mature if the situation was reversed–hell no–my bruised knees are great material), and gave me his diagnosis: “They’re callouses.”

For the first time in our relationship, I screamed, with enthusiasm, “You’re right! Completely right. Of course you’re right!”

I may have thrown myself at him and told him he was brilliant, too. Forget Jodi Does Dallas, it’s more like Jodi Does North America with these knees. But I’ll take callouses over the Google alternative.

Post-Scott diagnosis, I made a trip to my local pharmacy, without Alex in tow so I could really concentrate. After a tireless and fruitless search, I was forced to embarrass myself and ask the young pharmacist for knee callous remedies (my luck…why couldn’t the old guy with kind eyes be there during my moment of need?). He’s paid not to laugh at me, right? Apparently not. While mocking me in his head–my Mommy M.D. is not just limited to physical diagnoses, I’ve got the mental sh*t down, too–he simply said, “No, there’s nothing for that. Are you sure you’ve got callouses on your knees?” I saw that smirk. He’s a dirty bird who will high-five my hubby next time he goes through the Drive-Thru to pick up his prescription. No doubt about it.

“Uh, yes, they are” I stammered. “I assume the same stuff that works on feet will work on my knees?”

Please, God, please make sure no one I know overhears this conversation.

“I don’t see why not, though I have to say I have never advised someone about knee callouses.”

Okay, big shot, fresh out of pharmacy school, I get it. You’ll make everyone laugh with tales of the circus freak with knee callouses. You’ll do a Google search for knee callouses as soon as I leave to see if I am off my rocker. You’ll smile at the memory of ringing me up for $60.00 worth of every callous concoction ever produced when you cash out tonight. But I’ve got your boss’ number. The old guy with the kind eyes…I’ve known him for years…and he’s not an a$$ (though, admittedly, I’ve never confronted him with knee callouses).

So, now I am slathering solution that smells like rubber cement on my knees and sticking foot cushions on top of them in an effort to coax stubborn layers of skin off before Puerto Rico. Add my diet in there, and my countdown to Alex starting “school,” and I am one pleasant b*tch to be around.

What’s your funniest injury on the job? Mommies get hurt in the strangest ways, don’t we?

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Posted in Baby, Beach, Kids, Life, Mommy, Parents, Thoughts, Uncategorized | 1 Comment