Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You don't even have to tell me. I know.

Here's where I've been:

Awesome Job   
Scott & White, FTW  


Awesome Baby 

Kisses


Awesome Boyfriend
Hot, too. Three months in. And counting.


Everybody is happy and healthy. There's other news, and maybe there are questions. But right now, things are so busy I barely even had time for this insultingly short thing.

Dan would like me to state that "that's not even the good tattoo" and also that I made him do that. He doesn't generally flex in front of mirrors. (Yes he totally does)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I'm Officially a Dick.

But I don't feel bad.

First, let me acknowledge the fact that exactly NONE of my scheduled posts actually posted. Wait, I lie. One of them did. The rest are just sitting there, mocking me. I'll post them manually in the coming week since most of them are crafty and can be translated into the Christmas season.

But before I try and behave like a responsible blogger, let me tell you about something that just happened which makes me feel like both a genius and a jerk at the same time. But mostly a genius.

Emma has reached the irrational, hysterical tantrum age. If she doesn't get exactly what she wants, or is told she needs to be patient, or something doesn't work the way she thinks it should, or she has to do something she doesn't want to do, she will fling herself down on the floor and pitch a total rager. Par for the course when you're 3, really, but when you've spent 4 days cooped up in the house with a baby exhibiting the symptoms of needing to be placed on a 5150 hold, you start to question your ability to allow your 3 year old to age to 4.

Today the random meltdown was so incredibly random that my mind broke just a little bit. You know in the old cartoons, when Elmer had had all he could take of Bugs' bullshit, and as he snapped you heard breaking glass? I'm pretty sure I heard that noise. Emma was sitting in her tiny recliner, with her feet up, watching cartoons. She was ready to get out, but instead of a)climbing the hell out of the chair or b)asking for help, she started to whine and fuss about wanting me to carry her out of the chair.

Well, I had my hands full at that particular moment, and said to her, "Climb out by yourself, big girl. You're not buckled in."

That did it. She started throwing a screaming fit because, get this, she wasn't strapped into the chair. I guess she'd rather I restrain her more. I was about to bust out the Mommy Voice and send her to her room for time outs (which never work, btw) when the phone rang, and inspiration struck.

"Emma! Oh no!" She stopped mid-screech. "Santa knows that you're being bad, and he's calling to give you a warning!" Her eyes got huge. I picked up the phone (it was a telemarketer. I think I'm going to do this every time they call, now, no matter what time of year it is.) and said, "Hello, Santa. I guess you heard Emma's temper tantrum." Confused telemarketer is confused and stammering. "Yes, I'll tell her. I hope so, too. Bye Bye."

Emma's eyes are wide. The crying has stopped, and her little hands are clutched to her chest. Quietly, she asked, "Santa onna phone? Emma was cryin... Santa comin?"

I told her that when she started to throw her tantrum, it activated Santa's Naughty-Meter, and he knew that he needed to call and remind Emma to be a good girl. But he'll only remind her a few times, so she needed to try and remember to be good all by herself. And then he told me that if I needed him, all I had to do was call him.

Worked like a fucking charm. We had another tantrum at nap time, because she was given the choice of laying on the couch or on the floor to watch Sesame Street before bed, and instead she chose to run around like a nut and have a sassy mouth, so she went to bed instead of finishing her show. I had to "call" Santa again to give him an update on Emma's behavior.

Then we talked about rewards for good girls who follow the rules and are good helpers, and no rewards for bad girls that don't mind their mommies and are mean to the people who love them. I invented a new aspect to the Santa story, and told her that Santa was very nice, and he wanted to come down our chimney and give her presents on Christmas, but that if she was naughty, it would clog up the chimney and Santa would get stuck. And she didn't want to get Santa stuck in our chimney, did she?

I know, it's a dick move. But I'm at my wits' end, and what's the point of Christmas if I can't use it to make my kid behave? I won't get to do it for very long, and if nothing else, it's a great way to deflect telemarketers.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The easiest thing you'll ever make

Welcome to the first installment of my pre-scheduled holiday posts. Today, I'm going to gift you with the best and absolutely most simple recipe I have ever encountered in all of my cooking life. 2 ingredient pumpkin muffins.

That's right. 2 ingredients. Absolutely only 2. Unless you decide to fancy them up.

You Will Need:
one box of spice cake mix
one large can of pre-made pumpkin pie filling. Not the plain puree, but the kind that's ready to pour into a shell and go.

Then:
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Open the can of pumpkin pie. Open the box of spice cake mix. Get a big bowl and dump them into it. Stir.

Now, you can either put this in a muffin tin (line your cups, though. It does not release easily at this size) or spray down a loaf pan and pour the batter in.

Bake until the top begins to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only sticky crumbs, not batter. No matter what you do, it won't come out clean. They're just too moist.

Let them cool all the way before you try to take them out of the loaf pan or peel the cupcake liners off. They're incredibly moist, and if they're still warm, you'll lose half your pumpkin bread.

These are so simple to dress up. Sprinkle the top with pumpkin seeds before you bake. Add some pecan pieces to the batter. Dark chocolate or semi-sweet chips are tasty, too. They don't need icing, but if you choose to, cream cheese is awesome. I have that long, pointy piping tip, so I like to inject my icing right into the center. You could also line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper, bake, and the spread the icing over it once it's cool and roll it up. That could be really phenomenal.

That's what's so awesome about this recipe; it's so simple to execute, and there are so many ways you can fancy it up. I think this is going to be a Thanksgiving morning breakfast staple.

The girls at work call them crack muffins.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gone, but not forgotten

Yes, I know. I did it again. By now, everyone should really just come to expect this from me. Disappearing for small periods of time should be part of the routine. I always come back, and generally with lots and lots to say. And this time is no exception.

First of all, Emma is three! We had her birthday party, and I managed to live through it, though only just barely. Shockingly, the person that pitched in and made it possible for me to get everything done that I wanted to do was my sister. WTF is that shit all about, man? Apparently, poverty is good for her. When she has money, she's a bitchy, poser douchecanoe. Take all her cash away and she becomes a reasonable, stable - dare I say it -  fun person to be around. I actually got to say the words "I couldn't have gotten any of this done with out help from my sister". It was surreal. At some point in the future, I'll do a post about every nuance of the party, but not today. I'll give you a picture of the birthday princess, though.

Self-Rescuing, of course.
Work is going well. I'm settling in , making friends, easing into an actual social life with people who go out and do grown-up things, and then maybe come over and bring their kids over to play, because they're the same age(ish) as Emma, and we've got some Martha Stewarting or Paula Deening to do. I'm still far nerdier and book-smart than my new friends are, but that's okay, because they don't judge me for it. If I start to geek out over something they will either ask me a question about it if it's interesting to them, or roll their eyes and say, "There she goes again with the nerds." It works for us.

Shekky, I've found someone even more inappropriate than I am. It's strange not to be the most outspoken and filthy person in the room. I'm not used to being the mild version of someone.

We've had more than our fair share of actual drama around the house, though. About a month ago, Papaw had another attack of atrial fibrillation in his heart that kept him in the hospital for more than a week. The doctors decided that it was caused in part by his medications, which they tweaked, and also in part by the fact that he's an 87 year old diabetic man. So they threw out the idea of a pacemaker. Papaw talked to my uncles about it (he didn't bother with Mother and I until later on, because I've learned that he's not just a racist and a bigot in his old age, he's also sexist. Neither one of my uncles has anything to do with Papaw's daily life. One of them lives literally down the street, but the only time he sees Papaw is when Papaw invites himself over.) and they both said that the thought of him with a pace maker made them uncomfortable. So he decided that he wasn't going to let them put one in, even though it was the safest choice.

I was pissed off. I called each one of my uncles and tore them a new one, and then I packed Emma up and took her to the hospital with me. I put her on Papaw's bed and said, "Would you like to see her grow up? Would you like to be around for her first day of Kindergarten? To watch her learn to ride a bike? To see how much more she looks and acts like Meme? Or would you like to die in your sleep because your heart gave out during a nap?" He opted for the pace maker.

While he was getting it put in, I was kind of scared. What if something happened and he died? For some reason, I voiced this fear to my sister, as she was the only other person in the waiting room with me. Her response, "No matter what, I'm glad you got him to do it. If you hadn't, I would have brought Maddie and Major up and used their puppy dog eyes on him til he agreed." I felt better. I've decided that if she and my brother in law start looking like they might get back on their feet again, I'm going to sabotage it. I'm getting attached to having a sane person as a sister.

Papaw is now fine and is thankful that I, in his words, kicked his butt. He feels good, has more energy, and doesn't have to worry about his heart any more. He says that he never realized how much he worried about it until he didn't have to anymore. So, I guess score one for bullying?

Now then. I'm going to share something with you guys... something that I'm not proud of, but something that I think I've kept you all hanging on over for far too long. When I did it, I thought it was a great idea, and the best option for the parties involved. Now, after I've had some time to live with my choices, I see that I've made a horrible mistake. It's easier to show you than it is to tell you, so... here.



And there it is. My secret shame. My terrible choice... in paint colors.

Dude, this isn't the way it was supposed to look, this god-awful salmon color. It's like living inside a watermelon. I can't relax in it, I can't accessorize it, and nothing I've gotten matches it one I get it home. The pieces that I've bought in attempts to coordinate are, for the most part, pretty fantastic. I like my bedspread, though it's another hurdle I've thrown into my own path because it's so busy and the pattern is so particular. I love the silk peonies I found for my shelf, as well as the wall art above my bed and my turquoise Buddha. That mirror on my dresser? It's a real antique from a great-great aunt, and it's fantastic. But together, they're a nightmare, I feel.

So, I'm re-vamping. I've got a plan, I've got an inspiration, and I've got a direction to move in. I've picked out my new wall color and gotten fabric to use in a new bedspread. I've learned how to take the horrible 1980's texture off the walls, I'm planning shelving and storage and rugs, and I intend to photograph every project and post it here.

Speaking of posting, you all know that we're entering the month of Craftathon, which always keeps my hands too busy to type up a post. Since I don't end to really get into it until closer to Thanksgiving, I'm thinking ahead and creating a bunch of posts that I'll schedule ahead of time to run once a week. I've already got 2 of them: one crafty, and one recipe. I've got a handful of other stuff planned, tutorials and life hacks and whatnot. Things that are half-written and just need finishing or photos or something. I intend to do periodic updates on what's going on around the house, but, well... you know how bad I am with those schedules.

I'll do my best not to go weeks without an update through the holidays. But there's your quick-long update.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Whew!

Crap, what a ride the last two weeks have been. Everybody fell behind at work, so I've been working 12 hour days and a Saturday shift to help get everyone caught up. We have a turnaround time of 5-7 business days that we're contractually obligated to keep, and we weren't sticking to it. There's been sort of a ridiculous upswing in requests for medical records because of the beginning of the school year, and it piled up.

That was tough. I've been exhausted, I started getting sick, developed a cough and some crazy fatigue, but I pressed through it and came out the other side only slightly worse for wear. Then, on Thursday, just as I was rising to the top of my giant pile of work, Emma got sick at school, and I had to miss work to stay home with her. Mother co-oped with me so I only missed one day instead of two (which my boss appreciated openly), but then on Friday, Papaw had me take him to the ER.

His heart rate had dropped perilously low and stayed there, he felt unreasonably exhausted, and couldn't catch his breath. He was convinced that it was time for him to die. Turns out they just had him on too high a dose of amiodarone, and he had to spend a couple of nights in the hospital until his doctors decided that he was safe to send home. But, this is the second time he's had this sort of heart trouble, and while he's fine now, I'm afraid that pacemaker surgery might be lurking around the corner.

Speaking of around the corner, Emma is three in 10 days, and I can hardly believe it. I swear I was just putting things together for her second birthday a couple of months ago. Last year, we had her party at the splash pad, but it's during the height of pop-warner football season, so everything was really crowded, and all of the good picnic areas and parking spots were taken. So this year, since I've put in enough work on the house to feel like it's finally worthy of company, we'll be having her party here.

In the hopes of making life easier on myself, this year instead of hand-making her invitations, I just designed the image and sent them to the printer. Dude. If you have a professional printing company in your town, and are in need of birthday invitations, I highly recommend using them. I send the image, the wording for the inside, and the font file that I wanted, told them how many I wanted (30), and when I needed them by and 12 dollars later, I had my invitations. Worth it.

What do they look like, you say? Why, like this:


Adorable, and only slightly soul-less.
I've done my test cakes, and Emma will be having a white vanilla cake with cream cheese icing, and strawberry mousse between the layers. Even though we're doing it at home this year, I don't feel the need to hassle with a fussy, tiered cake. Those take forever and are so stressful to pull together when I've got a bunch of other stuff to take care of. So this time, I'm just going to do a sheet cake with a simple scallop edging in icing, and these little guys in gum paste, dusted with pearl powder in the middle. I can work on the gum paste over a series of evenings and really fuss around with it.

The only problem I'm facing now is wtf to do with a room full of three year olds for 2 and a half hours.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I'm running out of clever post titles

You know, sometimes those things come easy, and other times, not so much.

First of all, the skinny on the new job. It seems to be going well, though at times I'm convinced that I'm doing everything wrong and any minute now, they're going to figure out that I have no idea what I'm doing and can me. Then, Chelsy will ask me to do a quick project for her because I'm fast and not as behind as some of the other girls, and I feel better. She's checking my work every day, so she knows what I'm doing, and I don't seem to be making any huge fuck ups. So, there's that.

Now, on to the subject of New Guy. He's not as nice to talk about right now, because things have gone and made themselves complicated. I think the last time I mentioned him was about 2 weeks ago, the day before Clan Bitchface descended on the household. Well, I talked to him on Friday, and when I told him I'd gotten the job, he was appropriately stoked. Then, on Saturday, he started acting weird. He wasn't as chatty as he has been, and he was starting to question the meteor shower date. His main concern: it was a 45 minute drive to my place, and he'd never "dated" anyone before.

On Sunday, he didn't answer the two texts I sent him. On Monday, we talked for about 20 minutes before I went to bed, but he was distracted and not really talkative or interested in anything I had to say. On Tuesday, I cancelled our date. Yeah, I did it via text, which was a little tacky, but I don't have any interest in being jerked around. And I was nice about it. "I'm going to do us both a favor and cancel Saturday night." I got no answer from him.

In fact, I didn't hear a breath of a word from him for two weeks. Then, on Friday morning, I get a random text asking me how work was going, and did I want to give him a call at lunch time. My curiosity got the best of me. I don't really care whether or not he and I date, but I do care if I still have a friend, so I called him. And we talked for the majority of my lunch break. Here's what I learned: He got cold feet, because he likes me, but I live farther away from him than he thinks is wise. If we got together, he felt like we wouldn't see enough of each other.

To be honest, I don't really know what to do with this information. I wasn't married to the idea of us dating - though I wouldn't have resisted if it had gone down that road. But I do miss having a friend that's in my same area code, so I told him that he needed to relax and just let things happen if they're going to happen. I proposed meeting for coffee, and at first he was good with the idea, but by the end of the phone call, he seemed very noncommittal. So, meh. We'll see what happens. Wishy-washy is not my bag, and its p[art of the reason I've stayed single for so long. I can barely deal with my own indecision, let alone someone else's.

Tuesday is my birthday. I'll be 31. In 9 more years, I'll begin to age backward.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Working is hard, y'all!

I saw your question, Lori! You're not forgotten, it's just been a long week of learning and my brain feeling utterly fried every night when I get home. I'm sure that will get better as I stop learning a million new functions every day. I'll do an update over the weekend. For real.