Monday, March 31, 2008

The Way The Day Has Gone

Dear DH:

When you call home at 4 p.m. and ask what's for dinner and hear me say salmon, don't sigh heavily and say you just had tuna for lunch. Cuz first of all, I have no flippin' clue where you were at lunchtime, much less what you ate.

Second, I co-opped at preschool this morning. On the first day of school after spring break. With a group of four-year-olds who apparently had quite the productive run-in with a crack dealer between their homes and the classroom. That's the only thing that explains their behavior today (highlight: standing atop the five-foot-high loft and trying to decapitate their classmates by chucking three-foot-long wooden blocks at them). It was either cocaine or froot loops and pepsi for breakfast.

And third, dude. I have four weeks until the beach trip. My first foray to the beach in about 11 years. With a group of women who make Cindy Crawford look like the "before" photo in a Jenny Craig ad. Love these girls to death and really excited for a super-fun getaway with them (and without your or the kids, but who's keeping track?), but boy, are they skinny. It's pretty much protein and veggies around here for awhile.

Suck it up or hit McD's for dinner on the way home. More for me, honestly. But ixnay on the sighing. Seriously, it's just not the day.

Much Love,

Your Wife

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Define "Sniper Fire"


That's not a mistake. That's a lie.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Traumatic Flush

My children have become obsessed with the toilet.

I have no idea how this happened or who put the idea in their heads, but they're suddenly convinced that flushing the pot will cause it to overflow, sending poop and pee cascading through our house in a nasty tidal wave. DD, to date, simply refuses to flush (and yes, that's fair warning for those of you who know me and might pop by). DS...well...that's a whole 'nother story.

He does his thing and then flushes. And then then bolts through the house screaming like Freddie himself has clamored through the window to snatch him up with his metal hinged claws and take him home to shred for dinner.


After about four days, you'd think I'd be prepared for this. But I'm not. It gives me a start every flippin' time. I just about give myself whiplash trying to find the source of the hysterics.


Oh dear god. This again.

He's naked. He always gets naked to use the toilet. I have no idea why this happened either, but it's the way things are. I only have so much energy and this is not a battle I'm ready to fight. So he comes flying through the house, cupping his personal prizes like a porn star, shrieking like Nancy Kerrigan. Because the toilet is about to flood the house and kill us all and drown his Leapster for the love of god, woman, get up and fix it!

I try very hard to neither laugh nor scream back. "It's fine," I say. "It's not going to overflow." I know this because two of our toilets are the original American Standard models that were installed in this house in 1949. Potties on steroids. I'm pretty sure NASA could use my toilets to suck the space shuttle back to earth in an emergency, although that'd be a matter of national security and I wouldn't be allowed to tell you about it if it happened.

Our third toilet is a low-flow model. Those of you with newer homes are nodding. I know. This damned thing couldn't flush down an amoeba with a single push of the lever. Really environmentally friendly since you have to flush a good three or four times to be sure your gross national product makes it wherever such things go (and I know it's the water supply, so you can stop telling me. Shaddup.). No chance in all of Hell that this particular toilet is going to overflow its boundaries, much less flood anything beyond a thimble.

Anyway, I've spent a lot of time the past week flushing toilets, standing over toilets, and reassuring the short people in my house that they are not going to drown or lose all their worldly possessions from showing Mr. Hanky the way to his final blessed reward. And I've spent even more time contemplating my heart and wondering how many of those earth-shattering, eardrum-splitting screams I can handle. Not to mention the therapy the kid's going to need from my busting out laughing at his nakedness bouncing through here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Sorry for the silence. The stomach flu got me for a few days. Crossing my fingers that nobody else gets it.

Not much else to report. Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Life's pretty good right now. Everybody's healthy and relatively happy (constant midget fighting notwithstanding). Spring Break is here, which is making some of us more excited than others. And summer's coming!!

Still, I have issues...

  1. I've been assigned to bring a vegetable to my mother's for Easter. She's making shrimp creole as the main dish. Yes, I know we live in DC. Yes, I know this is extraordinarily odd. But there it is. I cannot think of a vegetable that goes with shrimp creole (somebody else already has a salad assignment). Maybe a corn pudding? Anyone? If I don't come up with something, we're doing roasted asparagus and being done with it.
  2. This sugar thing. It's killing me. I eat well all day until about 3 p.m. and then I crave sugar. Chocolate and cookies and pre-packaged chemically things, oh my! How do I get over this?? (And don't say fruit. Fruit doesn't cut it.)
  3. What do I get DH for his birthday in a few weeks?

OK, so that's it. Nothing earth-shattering. Nothing major. But questions nonetheless. Feel free to provide answers, my dear friends.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Just Plain Wrong

For weeks, I've heard that Weight Watchers was coming out with a line of soft-baked cookies. When I saw them at Giant this morning, I gleefully snapped a box up and raced home to open it up. Cooooooooookies!


"Small" doesn't begin to cover it. These are the most pathetic little cookies I've ever seen. Wrapping them individually is an insult.

They taste OK, but you know what? I did some checking.

Each WW cookie is about 3/4 the size of a Chips Ahoy cookie, and they have 10 more calories each than the Chips Ahoy!!!


I done been duped.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Weekend Recap

  • Friday night and Saturday were the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby races. Such fun! The kids all did a fantastic job, and I was so impressed with the way they all cheered for each other, encouraged one another, and supported even their racing rivals, no matter how old they were, what den they belonged to, or whom they'd just lost to. Scouts rocks.
  • Yesterday, DS marched in the national St. Patrick's Day parade down Constitution Avenue. The boys did a great job despite freezing cold and brutal wind. (Photos are on my other blog--email me for an invite if I know who you are are you want one--kimthe writer at yahoo dot com).
  • Went to a really fun party Saturday night. Stayed stone-cold sober all night b/c I thought I had to drive our babysitter home. Then found out she'd driven herself. *sigh*. Ah well.
  • Our former dream house had its price dropped to our range. Then we found out some things about the condo complex across the street that killed the deal for us. I'm a little heartbroken over it--I loved that house--but glad to know the info ahead of time and very very glad we didn't just jump. The hunt continues.
  • Spring Break starts Wednesday at lunchtime. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Note To Self: Win Powerball Before Summer

July 16, 2008, Michel Richard to Serve as Guest Chef Aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises Alaskan Cruise

Cruise Holidays announced that Chef Michel Richard has agreed to serve as Guest Chef on a 7-night Alaska cruise aboard the Seven Seas Mariner of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Aboard this Seward, Alaska to Vancouver, Canada cruise, Chef Richard will be hosting two cooking demonstrations and preparing a 5-course degustation menu that will be served in the ship’s Compass Rose Restaurant. For more information call 703-706-0011 today or visit us online at

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tame the Snake, Boys

Another politician, another sex scandal. It's becoming routine.

You know what struck me this time, though? This.

From the Gary Hart hoo-ha to the Clinton debacle, I don't think I've ever seen a political spouse look so drained and so overwhelmed at the obligatory "I'm wrong and I'm sorry" press conference.

That's not a bad thing. All these women (It's been women to date) who've stood behind their men at the podium and held hands and smiled have put out the wrong message, I think. That it's OK for their spouses to dip their toes into other women's pools. That they're strong and they can handle this. That it meant nothing, really.

I don't think that's a good lesson, especially as the mom of a little girl who, I hope, will grow up with a strong sense of self-worth and self-respect. We do deserve better. Fidelity is important and it is valued and it is demanded--or it should be. Marriage is still valued and still deserves every ounce of respect that we as a society used to put into our vows. And monogamy is a very, very good thing.

My heart broke a bit for this latest political canoodling victim. Maybe she's a witch. Maybe she's had her own "alternative engagements." I have no idea. Until yesterday, I'd never heard of her. But as a wife, she deserves better. As a mother, she owes it to her children to teach them to demand better in their own lives and relationships. And as someone in the spotlight, I have to say, I was relieved to finally see one of these spouses looking like yes, this does bother her. It is wrong. It's a horrible injustice to her and her family, and it's just plain wrong.

I hope she continues showing her emotions and letting us see the toll this takes on their family. I think it's a lesson that's been sorely lacking in recent years, and one we could all use a reminder on.

(ps--for the love of god, gentlemen, keep it in your pants!)

Monday, March 10, 2008

For The Record

I strongly support these folks. ("these folks" is a away). DST is outdated and pointless and makes me tired and screws up my kids' bedtimes and makes them tired which really irritates me. If you agree, go visit.



Much preparation went into the Gala and Auction at DS's Catholic school on Saturday night. We took the kids to my mom's for the night and I spent way (waaaaaaayyy) too much time obsessing over what to wear, what to accessorize with, how to look, and what to say to perfectly-coiffed people who generally intimidate me.

The hour finally came. Feeling like I was going to vomit (I have social issues if you hadn't noticed), I got in the car, wrung my fingers over there, got out of the car, and trudged inside, trying very hard to smile. Ran into a friend on the way in and started to relax. Got a compliment on my outfit and relaxed a bit more by the time I checked my coat.

The gym's walls were lined with tables that were about to collapse under the weight of silent auction items. We grabbed a beer and started perusing, jotting down a bid here or there.

After about 10 minutes, a DJ took the stage. Greeted everyone, welcomed them to the St. X Auction, and hoped everyone would have a great night.

Gimme a beat!

A drum started thumping.

DH looked at me cock-eyed. "Is that..."

She was a fast machine
She kept her motor clean
She was the best damn woman
I had ever seen
She had the sightless eyes
Telling me no lies
Knockin' me out with those American thighs

I grinned "Yep." Finally relaxed all the way, kept the beat tapping against my leg, and checked out the auctions.

After a few songs, it was clear we were back to 1986. And everyone loved it. Scorpions. Flock of Seagulls. Van Halen.

You can't get romantic on a subway line.
Conductor don't like it,
says you're wastin' your time.
But ev'rybody wants some.
I want some too.
Ev'rybody wants some.

By the end of the night...some five hours later...I'd had a blast. Chatted with people, laughed a ton, enjoyed the company and the atmosphere, watched the school raise a ton of money for a new gym floor. Didn't win anything in the auctions despite my best effort (that $750 credit at the Apple Store really wanted me to have it!), but really had a great night.

Finally, when all was winding down, we got our coats and started saying goodbye. I looked back into the emptying gym in time to see our Irish (as in, from Ireland) custodian leap up onto a table and use his broomstick as a microphone.

Are you gonna take me home tonight
Ah down beside that red firelight
Are you gonna let it all hang out
Fat bottomed girls
You make the rockin world go round

I looked at DH, more than a little beer coursing through our veins (and everyone else's, clearly) and cracked up. "We have GOT to get this guy's number!"

Friday, March 7, 2008

Recipe for the Weekend

One more and then it's back to regular posting for me. I doctored up a healthy blueberry muffin recipe last night...enough to pretty much call it mine...and had one for breakfast today. YUMMY!! They really are good and only 150 calories and 3 grams of fat in each. I recommend baking them, cooling them on the counter, putting them in a closed Ziploc bag in the fridge overnight, and heating in the microwave in the morning.

And yes, the kids devoured them.

Healthy Blueberry Muffins

1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup Splenda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup lowfat milk (I used 1 percent)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/8 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 more tbsp all purpose flour

Heat oven to 425. Grease the top of a 12-muffin pan and line cups with paper liners.

Combine oats, flours, Splenda, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar in a bowl with a whisk. Make a well in the center.

In another bowl, whisk together milk, egg, oil, applesauce, and vanilla.

Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until combined.

Toss frozen berries with 1 tbsp flour to coat. Gently fold into batter. Spoon into muffin cups until they're about 2/3 full.

Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Let cool.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I roasted a turkey breast for dinner last night, steamed some broccoli to go with it, and tried this recipe from the Food Network and Ellie Krieger to go alongside. All I can say is that I could happily eat only these potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for several weeks at a time without getting sick of them. Enjoy.

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Ellie Krieger

2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt (I left this out)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces and put into a baking dish (I used a foil-lined cookie sheet sprayed with Pam). In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey, and lemon juice. Pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and bake 1 hour, stirrig occasionally, or until potatoes are tender.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Yes, But...

We ran into one of DD's teachers at Target yesterday. I was paying for the cart o' stuff that's so easy to accumulate under the red bull's eye, and DD suddenly shrieked "There's Mrs. X!!" The three of us chatted for a moment and then went our separate ways.

Mrs. X, though, went back to school and told the other teachers that she'd run into my little girl. "Actually," she said, "I heard her more than saw her."

This prompted the school music teacher to ask if the other teachers thought DD needed a hearing test. Because she's constantly yelling in class, even if the object of her attention is right next to her.

Her regular teacher thought that was hilarious. "There is nothing wrong with that child's ears," she said, conveying the story to me today. She's right--DD doesn't miss a trick. She can hear someone whisper "Dora" two houses away in a hurricane.

But life with her is at top volume. It's been that way since she started talking at nine months old. LIKE THIS!!! ALL THE TIME!!! Every detail is earth-shattering. Every piece of information is absolutely vital and you need to hear it and memorize it right now or the world might just end, all kidding aside.

This starts at about 6 a.m. (which is a vast improvement from the 5 a.m. that kicked off our days a year ago). She busts out of her room, flinging the door as wide as its hinges will allow, and starts pacing. My bedroom door, her brother's bedroom door, her own door. Mine, his, hers. Over and over, until either DS comes out to play with her, I walk downstairs to start making lunches, or somebody yells at her to be quiet already and go back to bed.

We're pretty well Velcro'ed together, this little loudmouth and me. She loves to follow me around, chit-chattering all the while, no matter what I'm doing. I try to remind her to inhale from time to time, but for the most part, she's just talking away about everything you can imagine, from the TV show she saw last night to the birds on the maple tree in the yard to whatever I'm planning for dinner that night to the underwear she chose that morning.

It's cute at the beginning of the day. As the hours go by, though, it gets less and less amusing. And I'm not proud to say that I've snapped at her more than once by about 4 p.m. My ears and brain go into overload and I just can't take it anymore. Not one. more. word. And she, by her nature, tries to sneak in another tidbit or question or two, and I lose it. My volume goes up. She bursts into tears, sniffles for awhile...and then is right back at it, like nothing ever happened.

Her teacher calls it spunk. "I hope nobody ever squashes that in her," she said today.

"That's because you don't live with her," part of me thought. But then the rest of me grinned. "Yeah," I said. "She's going to run the world one day. On her terms. I guess the rest of us better invest in some good earplugs."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Naughty Realtors

I've gotten pretty good at reading real estate ads the last couple of months. I've learned that Realtors have their own language, and that with a little practice, you too can translate it to English.

  1. Anything "sweet" or "cute" or "cozy" is tiny. Move along.
  2. Anything "convenient to everything" is on a busy road and/or in a more-urban neighborhood that we suburbanites might like.
  3. "Original features" means outdated. Ditto for "rare opportunity."
  4. "Eat-in kitchen"s usually aren't unless you mean standing over the stove. Or, they've sacrificed counter space to smash a table in there.
  5. "Reduced!" translates to "formerly (and quite possibly still) overpriced."
  6. "Upper brackets" is pretty clearly "you can't afford it, peasant."
  7. "As-is" means "wreck."
  8. Any ad with a picture that doesn't show much side yard of the house means there's something offensive where that side yard should be. Might be a highway, might be a school or church, might be a prison. There's something there that isn't another nice house. And contrary to what listing agents seem to believe, you most definitely will notice it when you actually go to tour the property. Duh.
  9. "Cul de Sac" is dead end. And seriously, get over it. Ain't nothin' wrong with a simple dead end.
  10. Ads that claim houses are in "North [town X]" or "South [town Y]" are generally very close to those towns, but in less desirable neighborhoods than those towns actually present. Around here, it's North Potomac. That's Rockville, boys and girls. Perfectly nice, but not Potomac in the cache department. (And Wheaton is quickly becoming "upper Silver Spring." Not the same. At all.)

So those are my lessons. I'm sure there are more coming as the search progresses. This house looking business is brutal.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Cliche is True

You know the get what you pay for?

I get my kids' shoes at a specialty children's shoe store nearby. We started going there because DS needed orthotics and they were recommended to me by his physical therapist as being honest and good fitters, and we've stayed because the service has always been excellent. Nobody's ever tried to sell me anything I didn't need and they've always been straight-up with me about whether my kids needed new shoes or not.

I took DD there today because she came home from school on Friday with blisters on her pinky toes. "Shoes too tight," I thought. She wore her slightly-larger dress shoes all weekend, and we took the offending sneakers in today for a fit check.

They're still the right size. The gentleman who was helping us sort of shook his head and went and got a manager. She looked. Yep, right size. She felt all inside the shoe, looked at DD's socks, the works.

"I can't explain it," she said to me. "They fit. But they shouldn't be giving her blisters." I pointed out that the shoes are nine months old (my kids' feet grow in massive, immediate spurts about once a year). She shook her head again. "Doesn't matter," she said. "Shouldn't happen."

She then took my daughter over to the rack of pink and sparkly sneakers and they chose a pair and fit them. Same size as the others. "We're going to take half off these for you, OK?" she said.

Um, yeah OK! New shoes at half off because these relatively ancient ones are falling apart? You bet!

You see why I'm loyal to this store. Yeah, I pay a little more--about Stride Rite prices. But you don't get that kind of service just anywhere. They stand behind their stuff, no matter the age and no matter the condition. And without me asking them to.

Too bad the rest of the world doesn't work that way, huh?

For those in the area, the store is Shoe Train at Cabin John Mall. They're fantastic.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Can't Put It Down!!

Seriously...this book rocks.