Sunday, November 30, 2008

we're doomed.

so we flipped on the news last night and were laughing at something together when the teen caught a glimpse of her beloved jonas brothers.

"turn it up, turn it up, turn it up!"

and as they panned over a row of tents, we found out via the reporter's voice-over that there were some die-hard (mentally challenged, according to the hub) fans who'd been camping out at the hollywood palladium for tonight's concert.

um, since fucking WEDNESDAY.

holy shit. these people sat there in the parking lot, camped out for a concert, through thanksgiving.

and now we're trying to decide what time to head down there and get in line. damn. and it's not like we can eat or drink much for fear of having to head to the restroom and losing our spot on the floor when we finally get in.

holy effing shit. DOOMED!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

the holidays have officially begun

thanksgiving was celebrated at the ILs' home up in the mountains this year. it was nice to bust out sweaters and uggs and get all snuggly and stuff.

when we got up there, it WAS quite chilly, and it was nice to walk into the house and see this:



and then my tummy growled at the sight of this (yes, enchiladas are always, inexplicably, part of traditional thanksgiving dinner with the wans):



immediately followed by the smell of all this:



the bean got a "happy thanksgiving" present - a cabbage patch doll in her very own stroller, which she was happy to push around the living room. MIL also busted out some toys, including this fun relic (from 1985!). i pulled the string and giggled at the safety-related topics.

"i never cross the street by myself. i always wait for a grown-up to take me."
"never take candy from a stranger. just say "no" and walk away."
"i don't play with electric things. they could hurt me!"
and so on.



and the teen wasn't left out - MIL slipped some cash in her pocket. you can see what she thought of that.



just before we started chowing down:



along with cut-up turkey, green beans, and a taste of sweet potatoes, the bean (with her festive turkey bib on) feasted on her own version of thanksgiving dinner.



i enjoyed my holiday coke and the teen snacked on some olives, just like she used to do when she was six. heh.



afterwards, as she sank down into the couch in a tryptophan-induced coma, the teen perked up considerably at the football game on tv. but not because she particularly enjoys watching grown men dressed in tights and pads, beating each others' asses in frigid temperatures. oh, no. it was the upcoming halftime show that caught her interest and rendered her absolutely useless. behold:



meanwhile, the bean amused herself by "cleaning" the sliding glass door:



the teen has taught her well. when those brothers jonas took the stage at last, she made a beeline for the tv and was absolutely transfixed.



and then the entire house cracked up as she danced along.



the teen was quite proud of her little sister. and you know what tomorrow is, right? of course you do. and you know you can't wait for the recap. let's just hope that everybody's short, and the teen and i will be able to actually see the stage. say a little prayer for my sanity tomorrow at about 5, will ya? kthxbai.

dessert time! i made these peanut blossom cookies, while the hub's gram brought homemade cheesecake with cherry topping, along with pumpkin and french apple pies. this is the BEST cheesecake EVER, and i was happy to see that that dreadful cherry crap was optional. they're always so thoughtful.



the hub's gram cracked us up when she announced that she'd be hitting up jcpenney at 5am the next morning - "i need new underwear DESPERATELY, and i always wait for the day after thanksgiving to buy it. it goes on sale!"

the hub does NOT believe in getting up early for black friday sales. actually, neither do i. i hate big crowds, pushy bitches, long ass lines, and coming to blows over parking spots and the last pink sweater in my - er - someone else's - size. in fact, from now until about mid-january, i'll be avoiding retail stores as much as i possibly can. all my christmas shopping will be done online, and if i do need to enter any brick-and-mortar stores, it'll be during the day when it's less crowded. ah, the joys of being a SAHM.

sooo...thanksgiving? check! now that we've paid our respects to the turkey (um, well, before we ATE him), we've got the green light to commence with the christmas decorating. yee-haw! it's the most wonderful time of the year.

Friday, November 28, 2008

SO worth the wait.

after a couple of obstacles, the teen and i finally got to see twilight on wednesday.

and it was TOTALLY worth the wait.

i have a couple of good friends who read and loved the books, saw it last weekend, and thought it was a super cheesefest. i place a lot of trust in their judgment, and was desperately hoping that this would be one of the rare times that i disagreed with them. and as you can see from the title of this post...whee!

we sat down just as the previews started. there were so. many. stinking. previews. good lord! the teen hissed "just show us twilight already, nobody cares about these." i laughed and crunched on my nachos, but i was on the same page with her. we giggled together as we watched and waited, and then finally, finally:



the teen was dancing in her seat and silent-squealing with joy.

i love peter facinelli, even though he looks weird with that hair:



so, a few thoughts:
  • i still don't care for rob pattinson. after reading the books, i had the character of edward cullen on a really high pedestal (as most twilight readers do, i'd think), and poor rob wasn't even halfway up it. he did an okay job, and i resigned myself to the fact that he wasn't going to be replaced in the sequel(s). he looks a'ight from the side, but that full-front view just doesn't do it for me. and after watching and listening to him on the tonight show (um, personal hygiene, rob. fo' real. get some), ew. EW.
  • while a lot of folks didn't like kristen stewart, who plays bella, i loved her. she played the part exactly as i'd imagined as i mowed my way through the series, and she even looked just as i thought she would.
  • jacob. JACOB! can't. wait. for. new. moon. team jacob, holla!
  • i was thrilled that the movie followed the book pretty closely. the teen was bummed that there were lots of parts missing, but i explained to her that cramming a 500-page book into a 2-hour movie wasn't really feasible.
  • there were, indeed, some uber cheesetastic parts. i won't lie. but i didn't care - i looked past them and just LOVED this movie. hell, we wanted to plant our asses in the theater and watch it again, right away. and as it wound to a close, i knew this would be one DVD that we'll buy on the very day it comes out.
it was a nice way to kick off our thanksgiving holiday. yay for twilight!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy thanksgiving to all!

as millions of others do every year on the fourth thursday in november, i'm counting my blessings.

and there are many.

aside from being grateful for my health, my family, my friends, and my wonderful life, i'm thankful for:
  • the hub's creativity and innovative thinking that keeps him a busy bee, even in the current craziness of the economy.
  • the teen's dedication and determination about keeping her grades up this year. this is new for us, and i'm just so excited that she's working so hard and taking pride in her schoolwork.
  • the bean's smiles, giggles, and watching her toddle around on her own two feet, like a big girl.
  • mollydog's warmth when she cuddles up next to me on the couch as we watch tv together.
  • candy cane joe-joes.
  • the promise and hope that our country is celebrating with the election of our new president.
  • reconnecting with old friends. thank you, facebook!
there are lots and lots of other things that make my world the happy place that it is. and it only gets better and better with every day. what are you most grateful for this year?

happy turkey day, everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

smitten

so the other day, my friend lilcee forwarded me an awesome link to a high school musical 3-themed party. it was fantastic, and i can't wait to show it to the teen.

but then i started perusing the rest of the site, and somehow stumbled upon the most fabulous food blog - smitten kitchen. i ended up bookmarking so many recipes, and drooling over the delish-looking entrees and desserts that are featured.

last night, i decided to tackle something easy - chicken marsala (photo courtesy of smitten kitchen, since i wasn't able to take my own, as usual). i've tried to make this dish before, but it never turned out very well. and i also had to laugh at my wine-ignorant self as i asked the dude at trader joe's to help me find marsala wine. i seriously had no idea what kind of wine it was, and smirked when he presented me with two bottles with "marsala" in big ass capital letters across the label. i even had to choose between sweet and dry - i just crossed my fingers and went with the latter.

i'd picked up a bag of this at the grocery store last week:

and i was excited to give it a shot. i've never had chicken marsala with anything but mashed potatoes, and although the hub had given up carbs till thanksgiving, i made an executive decision on his behalf and popped the bag in the microwave. i don't have a hand mixer, nor a potato masher, but i busted out one of my whisks and hoped for the best.

as the mushroom-and-wine sauce simmered on the stove, i added milk and [way too much] butter to the steamed potatoes and found that my simple balloon whisk did the job quite well. i tossed in a little salt, took a taste, and made a mental note to pick up another bag (or two) of the magical potatoes. talk about easy - the part i like the least about making mashed potatoes is peeling and cooking. this is fabulous.

i placed fluffy mounds of potatoes on our plates, nestled chicken cutlets into the center, and topped the whole thing with gobs of mushrooms and that yummy sauce. the hub proclaimed the dish "really, really good," the whole house smelled lovely, and the bean enjoyed her bites of chicken. even mollydog got in on the dinner, as the bean snuck pieces down to her under her high chair. ha!

so if you're looking for a yummy, easy dinner, this one is highly recommended. mmm, i almost wish there were leftovers. and i hate leftovers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

aw, crap.

the hub cheerfully informed me that this is his last day in the office for the week. and what does that mean?

"we're gonna clean this house from top to bottom! whoo-hoo! aren't you excited, babe?"

:|

i don't know if you know this about me, but i fucking hate cleaning. like, i despise it. with a passion. i'm a terrible housekeeper and always have been. in my defense, though, it's what i like to call "organized chaos." i know where all my shit is, even if i have little piles of stuff here and there. ask me where this month's electric bill is? i'll pull it out within seconds. the teen's most recent school pics? easy peasy.

but the hub, who's completely anal about keeping everything neat and dust/cobweb-free, goes absolutely nuts over this. this is the man who's got his closet organized by type AND color. the very same man who i dubbed "groomzilla" when we were planning our wedding, as every. last. detail had to be run by him for approval.

i often remind him that he knew this about me when he married me. and his usual comeback is "well, that goes the same for you." and then we're at a deadlock until he finally starts cleaning and i follow suit, grumbling and bitching and moaning the whole time (me, that is).

and i love, love, love when he has time off from work and can spend it with us. but knowing that he's going to be on my ass to clean the fridge/kitchen/hall closet/whatever else isn't up to his pristine standards, i'm gonna try and gear up for it and get all my whining and grumbling out of the way. heh.

give me strength.

Monday, November 24, 2008

this time, the mail = epic FAIL.

the teen turned in her application for the washington, d.c. trip with her school for spring break last week.

the lucky travelers were going to be selected randomly from the pile.

on friday, letters went out to all 120 applicants. for 40 spots. the teen only had a 1-in-3 shot at being included.

i just ripped open the self-addressed envelope, and as you can tell from the subject line, the letter began with the word "unfortunately."

dammit. she's gonna be bummed.

a small part of me is kind of, sort of selfishly excited because this means that WE'LL take her to d.c. for spring break instead. but i really wanted her to have the experience with her classmates, on her own, with no parents. boo. now if we're lucky, some kids will bail and she'll get a second chance.

cross yer fingers.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

endless pride

i opened the mail yesterday and squealed when i unfolded this:


hell yeah!

now i've gotta hit up michael's for a magnet cartridge for my trusty xyron machine. hmm, maybe i'll laminate it, too. and then this baby's getting slapped on my hoopdie. oh, yes.

i'm so proud of the teen. yay!

Friday, November 21, 2008

i'm a baby carrier whore, part 2

so, a few months ago, i dedicated an entire post to my love for baby carriers. at the time, i had four different styles, with yet another one somewhere in the UPS delivery system. heh.

and since then, i've actually added another
THREE to my stash. i swear, i'm like a drug addict. and my poison is baby carriers, of all things. good lord. i never really considered myself to be the earth mother/granola type (still don't), but it seems that a number of the things i do qualify me as such: babywearing (yeah, i said it), breastfeeding, co-sleeping (which totally happened by accident, yet i can't seem to stop), feeding the bean organic products as much as possible, making her pureed food myself. although i sure as hell don't plan on a lot of the other things, like homeschooling (hell no), delaying/opting out of vaccinations (no way in hell), or cloth diapering (ew). i'm not that crunchy.

but as i mentioned in my last post, i'm currently in the process of selling off the carriers i either don't use or didn't care for (thanks to those of you who have inquired and/or actually bought some of them!). i'm hoping i can send them off to happy, loving homes where they'll get lots of use with cuddly, cute wee ones instead of sitting in a drawer, sad and lonely.


now, on with the reviews. let's go:


eden baby carrier: this is an asian, "mei tai"-style piece made of canvas (well, mine is, anyway - it also comes in velveteen and organic cotton). it kind of, sort of reminds me of an apron - there's a rectangular-ish body with a set of straps to tie around the waist and another set that goes over the shoulders, crisscrossing the back, and finishing at the waist with a square knot. i thought it was an interesting blend of the moby wrap and the ergo (which is still my favorite).

as it turns out, i'm not really a big fan of it, as i've gotten used to the ease and simplicity of the buckles with the ergo. i only ended up using it once. i thought the material was a bit stiff, and the bean simply didn't
look comfortable in it. there are hordes of folks (women AND men) who love mei tais, but i sure ain't one of 'em.

zolowear ring sling: while on our hawaiian vacation this summer, i found myself wishing i had a lightweight carrier that i could wade into the water with. and when we stopped for lunch in kailua, i wandered into a cute little store called baby showers hawaii. when i explained what i was looking for, the owner and her daughter immediately pulled out this sling. i'd always avoided these types of carriers after not loving the peanut shell, but as they draped it over my shoulder and showed me how to put the bean in it properly, i was totally sucked in. it was made of a really cool material called solarveil, which is really light and airy and even blocks 70-80% of harmful UV rays. but i balked slightly at the $69 price tag, knowing that i'd get an earful from the hub over the purchase of yet another babywearing device.

so instead, i waited till i got home, searched for it on the internet, and discovered that the damn thing had been discontinued. the company that manufactures the solarveil material went out of business last year. but i managed to find one on clearance - in pink, no less - although it was a size too small. i convinced myself that it was adjustable and that it would be totally fine - and i bought it.

of course, when it arrived, it was definitely too small, and it wasn't as easy to adjust as i'd remembered. ugh. and instead of calling the company to see if i could return it, i tossed it in the back of a drawer in the nursery and promptly forgot all about it. it's one of the two i put on
craigslist last night. hopefully some new mom who's smaller than i am will see it and decide that she absolutely HAS to have it. yeah, wish me luck on that one.

rockin' baby sling: when these came up on mamabargains, i managed to convince myself that i totally needed to give ring slings another shot. after all, the regular price on it was somewhere around $100, and here they were, in a really cute print, for the bargain price of $35.50!

but then my order arrived, i pulled it out of the box, and spent the next half an hour trying to figure the damn thing out. it's a long piece of thick, pleated fabric, with two rings on one end and a nicely sized pocket at the other. you thread it through like a belt, put it on, spread the material evenly across the rings and over your shoulder, and then put the baby in. i followed the instructions, adjusted it for my height, and carefully plopped the bean in the resulting pouch.

she looked up at me like i was nuts, yo. like, if she could talk, she'd have said "mom, WTF? how many of these things are you going to stick me in before you realize that we already have a great carrier (that ergo)? i mean, sure, it's ugly as sin and it looks like the fat suit that daddy calls it, but it works and it's comfy. give it up already!"


so i let out a big sigh, refolded the sling, put it back in the box, and stuck it in the back of the closet. i really just don't have the patience for something that requires that much adjustment.


beco butterfly: my friend mommybelle (also known these days as paperella) sent me a link to this carrier a few months ago, damn her ;) and i managed to avoid the temptation for a really long time. i mean, the last thing i needed was another carrier, right? especially considering the fact that it's quite similar to my beloved ergo, although the beco is much cuter and way more stylish due to a panel of designer decorative fabric on the body.

in reading user reviews, i learned that the biggest difference is for back carrying - the baby is securely buckled in the carrier first, and then you pick it up and put it on like a backpack. with the ergo, it takes some careful (and not always easy) maneuvering - and without a second person to help out, there's always a good chance that the baby could slip out and fall right on the floor. this is why i'm not that experienced in carrying the bean on my back.


until last week, when that damn mamabargains put up a bunch of them for way less than retail. i swear, that site (along with babysteals) is going to be the death of me. i'm actually quite relieved when i check them and find that the current "steal" is something i have absolutely NO use for. but this day - not so much. i settled on the adorably pink "martini" print, entered my payment information, and hit "order now" without so much as a second thought.

i received it two days ago, and as the teen shook her head in disapproval, i excitedly pulled it out and got busy adjusting the straps and strapping the bean in. it's just as cute as i'd hoped, and after the initial adjustments, is equally as simple to use. i've read reviews about how the detachable sleeping hood sucks ass, but we don't really use the hood all that much anyway. the bean always yanks it off in annoyance. and i'm pretty stoked over the ease of back carrying with it. i'm looking forward to trying it out on longer walks than just trotting back and forth in the house, but even just the sheer cuteness of this carrier has already won me over. i'm totally leaving the ergo fat suit for the hub's sporadic babywearing episodes.



see how cute and girly the print is?



i love it.

okay, that just about covers it. and if i ever end up writing a THIRD post containing baby carrier reviews on even more styles (because believe me, even after all of these, there ARE still more out there), i hereby give you permission to smack me upside the head.

twice.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

omg, i did it!

my google reader is officially wiped clean. i'm at 0 unread posts!

and i even commented on all the posts!!

sorry, i had to commemorate the event. it's been a loooooong time, folks. i'm going to savor it for a moment.

whee!

day two of nothingness

hmmm. is that even a word? well, if it wasn't before, it is now.

seriously, folks, my life is so blah right now. i guess that's better than having any bad shit going on, though, right? i mean, really - the most exciting thing i've got going on right now is listing my unused baby carriers on craigslist. i have so many of them (um, and i just acquired yet another one), and they're just sitting around, unloved and unused.



i've also finally put up the bassinet attachment for the stroller on there. my original plan was to use this in the bedroom when the bean was a wee one, but the hub nixed that idea real quick.

"you want to put the stroller in our room? that's ghetto."

so this thing has been sitting in the closet for months. i'd tossed the box and receipt, so i couldn't return it. hey, it's made a cool drawer in the hallway closet for my towels.



in other news, i thought i was going to be able to share a fun story about taking the teen to a midnight showing tonight of "twilight" - but the hub voiced his concerns about the two of us being out after midnight by ourselves, and so i decided not to go after all. instead, i'll take her when i pick her up next week, the day before thanksgiving. the custody agreement grants me her time from 4pm that day until 4pm thanksgiving day. sweet.

god, i'm boring. i better quit while i'm ahead and take winnie's advice - here's a couple of cute shots that the teen took a couple of days ago of the bean.



hey, at least i can provide a happy ending to an otherwise lame-dash-o post.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

so i've been brainstorming all day

and...yeah.

i have absolutely NOTHING interesting to say today.


i am sad.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

trader joe's, how i love you

on sunday afternoon, while the hub relaxed at the cigar club, the teen, the bean and i headed off to trader joe's to find some snacks.

and boy, did we.

the bean and i are currently addicted to these:


while the teen is rather stuck on these:



and we all love these:



you'd think i'd have learned my lesson before, but nah, not so much. and in an hour, we'll be headed to gymboree - which is just a few doors down from...yup, you guessed it - trader joe's.

uh-oh.
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