Oooooh the Pressure… Of a Name.

28 February 2011 | 19 Comments

It took us forty one weeks and FOUR days to name Finnegan.  As in, four days after he arrived, four days of the birth certificate lady stopping by our hospital room gently reminding us that we could not leave the premises without a name for our child.  {And can anyone verify this because someone recently told me you CAN leave the hospital without a name on the birth certificate, of course if we had known this Finn might still not have a name.}  My aunt and uncle actually pulled out the phone book to start giving us name suggestions.  My mother was mortified that her first grandchild didn’t have a name.

“Yes, TEN pounds TWELVE ounces!  Um, no he doesn’t have a name yet.” 

Everyone thought WE were nuts until my cousin saved us… by using popular vote to name their baby.  Twice.  And they are pregnant again, due three weeks before us.  So there will be a third boy for their family, and likely a third popular vote.  By the way, if you have some fabulous boy names, they are taking suggestions.  Really.

Dave and I figure that this time, we’ll be proactive.  We’re going to start talking about names and we’ll have a short list!  Well… technically we had a short list with Finn too, except we didn’t end up with anything on our short list.  Finn was supposed to be his middle name. 

Proactive this time though!  We’ll have some concrete ideas!  Yes, that is just what we’ll do!

This time though my short list?  It’s VERY short.  As in only ONE name I can see for our baby.  Sure, sure there are others that I like, but only one that I love.  Nothing else even comes close.  Not even remotely close which is weird because I’m a believer in waiting to see the baby and making sure it fits.

ONE.

And Dave loved it at first.  Then hated it.  But now, I think it’s growing on him again because he calls her that.  And so does Finn.

What do you do in cases like this?  We are in full agreement that no one else gets a real opinion on what we actually name her, but what if the parents’ opinions differ?

 

Oooooh the pressure!  Of a name…

I’ve got it!  Cinda-fucking-rella.

{PS. If you name that movie, you can be my favorite commenter of the day!}

 

Speaking of commenters… the WINNER of PW’s book is #9 Rachel!  Send me an email with your address Rachel and congrats!!!

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Giveaway!

25 February 2011 | 41 Comments

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Last weekend during our Ree visit, I picked up a copy of her new book, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, for one of you!  It’s all autographed and waiting for its new home.  Oh yes, I love you guys that much.

So how do you win?  Leave a comment telling me your weekend plans! 

We’re going to be baking homemade Samoa cookies, making hot chocolate, curling up by the fire, and cleaning up after a whole mess of snow.

I’ve gotta say, a beach is sounding like a really wonderful idea right now.

I will pick a random winner on Monday morning.

Happy Friday and good luck!

3 Years of Staying Home

24 February 2011 | 15 Comments

and mostly I still don’t know shit about balancing life, keeping a clean house, raising upstanding lovely human beings, cooking dinner on a regular basis, or being a hot wife to my husband.

But I try.  Mostly.

Some days, it’s all you can do.

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

23 February 2011 | 13 Comments

I feel like it has been ages since I posted a recipe!  Let me just assure you, it is leaps and bounds better than anything you could find in the frozen section.

Speaking of frozen section… this was the view outside my window this morning.  That is layers and layers of ice coating just about everything with a nice 4 inch snow chaser, just for good measure.  Oh, did I mention that we’re supposed to get another 4 inches tomorrow night?  Last week it was nearly 60 degrees and every bit of our snow had melted.  Spring, I’m ready for you.

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When I was busy shopping and carrying on with my girlfriends and Pioneer Woman, Dave was home with Finn roasting a chicken.  I can’t even make this stuff up.  What dad decides to make roasted chicken when frozen pizzas, takeout Thai, and mac n cheese exist?  Only my Dave. 

Needless to say, we had loads of roaster chicken left over and I decided to make a homemade chicken pot pie with the leftovers.  Now, to keep this EASY on yourself, if you don’t have a bunch of leftover chicken from a weird husband, just pick up a roaster from the grocery store already done.  If you want turkey or beef pot pie, use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or leftover pot roast.  You could even double the veggies and make it meatless if you’d like.  Whatever works for you.

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

  • {2} potatoes which yielded about 3 cups of cut up pieces
  • half a large onion {I used white but red or yellow are just fine}
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped up carrots or parsnip
  • 2 cups of frozen veggies, thawed {peas, corn, green beans, whatever your family likes}
  • 2-3 cups of cut up chicken
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock {use something GOOD here, it will make a difference}
  • 1 cup cream
  • {2} homemade or ready made pie crusts {Trader Joes has the BEST in the frozen section!} –OR- {2} cans of buttermilk biscuit dough

Start with prepping the veggies.  I’ll fully admit that I am LAZY so you could potentially stand there for an hour and sautee all of the veggies instead, but I prefer to cut everything up and roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  I used half a large white onion, two potatoes, & carrots because that is what I had on hand.  If a special trip to the store was involved, I probably would have added a parsnip to mine.  Basically, you cut it all up into bite sized pieces, slap on your favorite seasonings {be liberal with the spices, it will add to the flavor} and a little olive oil & throw it into the oven.  Pull it out when it is just fork tender and let it cool while it makes your house smell heavenly and your husband will think that you spent all day slaving. 

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When you throw it all in the oven, you can also take 2 cups of frozen veggies out to thaw in the fridge.  If you happen to be super lazy and forget to take the veggies out, you could also potentially microwave them just for a minute or two so they aren’t frozen.  Ahem.  I used peas and green beans.  I did chop up the green beans a little to make them the same size as everything else.

Now you’re going to make the sauce.  In a heavy pan, melt the butter, then shake the flour in and start whisking until it turns a very light golden color, then continue to whisk while adding in the chicken stock.  As an aside here, try to use a homemade stock or at least a good substitute.  I used chicken demi glace that you reconstitute into stock, using the good stuff will make a huge difference in taste.  After the stock is fully incorporated {you don’t want any lumps} and the sauce is thickening, you’re going to whisk in the cream.  Allow this to cook for a minute or two to thicken.  Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit or if you are impatient like me, you’ll just pour it over the veggies & chicken.

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At this point you can cover the bowl and pop the whole thing into the fridge for later use, or continue with making the pie.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  When you’re ready to assemble, dump the bowl of mix into a pie crust and top with another pie crust.  You will want to do this on a cookie sheet, in the {extremely likely} event that there will be some spillage during assembly or cooking you won’t have a mess to clean up.  Some of you might be fancy pie crust workers and some of us, as evidenced by these photos, are decidedly not.  If you can, go ahead and make it pretty.  If you can’t, no worries it’ll still taste divine.  Poke a hole or two in the crust, especially at the top so you get some vent holes for the hot filling.  Throw the whole thing in the oven and turn it down to 350 degrees.  Bake for one hour.

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Alternatively, if screwing with pie crust is not your thing, you can also pop the mixture into a glass baking dish and top with buttermilk biscuit dough from a can.  As you can clearly see… pie crusts are decidedly not my forte and next time I’m going to be doing this instead!

One thing I absolutely love about this, aside from the fact that it is mouthwatering, is that everything could potentially be prepped the day before or in my case, the morning of, to make dinnertime easier.  Plus it uses up all of the leftover stuff.  It is really delicious, Dave was surprised at the flavor and remarked how good it was even if it looked like a mess coming out of the pie tin.

Pioneer Woman in Columbus.

22 February 2011 | 6 Comments

My friend Emily told me several weeks ago about Ree Drummond, coming to Columbus to sign books.  For those not in the know, Ree is the author of the Pioneer Woman blog and a cookbook and now a new book detailing her courtship & marriage to her husband.  She is tremendously successful.  If you still don’t know who she is, I am sure you will, the book about her love story is being made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon. 

Did I want to go?  Yes, yes, hell yes. 

Until I realized which Saturday it was.  I was lamenting the fact that Dave’s friend, whom we haven’t seen in ages, was going to be in town the same weekend and I didn’t want to miss his visit.  Two and a half hours each way and a midday book signing would mean being gone all day Saturday.  And so, I decided to stay home.

And then last Thursday night we were out to dinner with my friend Stephanie and Dave told me that his friend wasn’t able to make it.  Something came up last minute.  And Stephanie immediately asked me to go with her & Lisa to Columbus for the book signing.  I told her there was no way I could go last minute, excuse excuse excuse… pregnancy, being on my feet all day, possibly waiting hours and hours, blah blah blah. 

And that is how it was left until 10pm the night before…

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I thought about it.  I asked Dave what he thought.  I was texting Stephanie.  I thought about how fun it would be. 

And then Dave told me to go.  He said that it was stupid for me not to because he could tell I wanted to.  He assured me that he had everything under control with Finn on Saturday.  He pointed out that we didn’t have any plans.  He and Stephanie both said I would be kicking myself in the ass if I didn’t.  I totally would have too.

I am PRETTY sure he was just trying to make up for that one time when he lost me hanging out with the Pioneer Woman all thanks to a warthog, but I digress.  Whatever the motivation behind his plan, it worked and I am so happy he talked me into making the trip.

We left early Saturday morning for Columbus and Nick, awesome sauce cousin that he is, went over first thing in the morning to score tickets for us.  I am pretty sure he thought {and still thinks} we’re all nuts because he didn’t know who Ree even was or why he had to get into line at 8:30 in the morning to wait for tickets to see her.  He *may* have been the only dude in line… and he came through with the coveted RED card so we’d be in the first group to get our books signed. 

Most fabulous guy on the planet?  I’m pretty sure he is.

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Can I just tell you how ridiculously wonderful Ree is?  She had a smile for and talked to every single person she encountered.  It has to be completely exhausting and she makes it look effortless.  I have no idea how she does it.

We had such an amazing time.  Lunch at Cap City Diner, laughing at with Lisa, catching up with Lauren {I haven’t seen her since she was probably 10!}, shopping at Easton… oh how I love thee Anthropologie, Sur La Table, et al.  I am also really glad I don’t live closer because I am pretty sure my wallet couldn’t handle it. 

So many thanks to Stephanie for planning everything and coaxing me to go, you are amazing, as was the trip.

It’s a…

21 February 2011 | 24 Comments

I have to admit, when we first decided to start trying for baby number two, I really wanted a girl.  We both did.  After almost a year of fertility treatments though, then the hospital, the exhaustion and on and on and on… I just wanted a HEALTHY baby.  Seeing the ultrasounds each time with strong heartbeats and a wiggling little being brought tears to my eyes.

And that right there is what we have.  See?  A healthy fabulous baby… that sort of looks like an alien.  Maybe I should be worried?

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So, for as much as I have been dying to tell you, I’m not going to. 

 

I decided that since I get to pass on the news of a healthy perfect baby to you, I’m going to let someone else tell you the BIG NEWS.

 

Ree?

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A special thank you to Ree for participating in our reveal.  She wrote “it’s a girl” so huge and then made sure I actually wanted her to sign the book before adding her name.  HA!  Now looking at the pics and that giant belly {where did that come from?!?} I can see why she wanted to make sure I wasn’t in labor right then.  I also can’t wait to tell you all about our adventure meeting her later this week.

I have to admit that when I told you all I was pregnant, we also knew what we were having.  My ultrasound tech is a rockstar who has been doing this for almost 30 years.  She told me when I was just 15 weeks.  It’s something that I wanted to hold onto a bit longer though.  We wanted to make sure that everything looked well with the baby.  We wanted to let it sink in a little and process things a bit.  We also wanted to be sure that a vagina indeed was present at the big ultrasound before we told the world.

And we’re thrilled.  Absolutely, positively thrilled.

Stay Tuned.

20 February 2011 | 6 Comments

For baby gender news in the morning.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Mine was filled with lots of adventure, napping to make up for the adventure, and an awesome husband.   

Friday Randoms

18 February 2011 | 4 Comments

I am half way through this pregnancy and it doesn’t even seem possible that twenty weeks have passed.  We are so excited to meet this little person who has been flipping and flopping and kicking the hell out of my insides lately.  After almost a year of fertility treatments I can’t tell you how fabulous that feeling is.  You know what else is fabulous?  Having amazing fingernails & the second trimester sex dreams.  Woo hoo!  The big ultrasound is on Monday.  Place your bets.

So Wonderful, So Marvelous is in need of a little blog makeover.  I want to find a visually creative designer, I want to stay on Blogger for at least the next six to eight months so they have to be able to accommodate that, and I definitely am not interested in having a typical mommy blog layout.  I have been looking for the last two months, it is proving much more difficult to find someone than I had anticipated.  If you have a recommendation, please shoot me an email or leave a comment.

I was able to have lunch with one of my BFFs this week.  When all three are out of town it makes these moments few & far between.  It makes me feel like I don’t even need to say a word, she just gets me, she’s lovely to Finn, and the laughter and the conversation flows freely.  She just got back from a MONTH in Paris and Italy.  Oh to be able to do that right now sounds absolutely heavenly, doesn’t it?  If you could travel overseas for a month, where would you go?

I have the itch for something creative.  I would love to re-do the dining room or the living room right now, but I don’t think the Davester is enthusiastic about that plan as I am.  I’m pretty sure it’s because aside from having ‘the plan’ there isn’t a whole lot I can do to help make it a reality so painting would fall in his lap.  Someone {ahem Dave} doing all the work kind of reminds me that I still haven’t posted the after photos of our bathroom remodel a year ago.  I should probably get on that this weekend.

Oh lookie up there… the RECIPE tab is back and functioning, so take a little visit and make something yummy.

Now I’m going to get out and enjoy some more of this unseasonably warm weather & enjoy the snow melting before it turns freezing again this weekend.  Happy Friday, hope you have a great one!

Quit being a jerk to yourself.

17 February 2011 | 16 Comments

I’m nicer to myself than most I think. 

My friend Danielle once, in the middle of a conversation about self esteem, told me that I have something that most women don’t.  That conversation was almost a year ago and it sticks with me even now.  I was sitting around the the table with a group of fabulous women, great friends of mine.  Every one of them, by anyone’s standards, are much more gorgeous, thin, younger, and more stylish than myself and I was the only one who wasn’t picking at my flaws.  More than that, I could not fathom how it was possible that they didn’t see magnificence in themselves.

Oh, I have flaws and I recognize what they are.  I’m fat.  I’m bossy.  Pregnancy makes my usually flawless freckled skin break out.  I wear pajamas half the week.  My house is tiny by most standards.  My feet are big.  I’m a loud mouth.  My hair is usually a freakish mess.  I try to constantly fix things that sometimes can’t be fixed.  I have a short fuse.  I’m stubborn.

And I still LIKE LOVE myself.  Every single bit, even the wobbly ones.

I am a good mom despite having bad days.  I am a loving, endlessly devoted wife even on days when I want to strangle him.  I have a husband that would go to the ends of the Earth for me.  I have pretty blue eyes.  I look hot in a dress and makeup… fatness and all.  I am growing a human being in my uterus.  My house might be small, true, but people feel at home here.  That tiny house payment also makes it possible for me to stay home with Finn.  I’m intelligent.  I’m funny.  I am amazing in bed.  I am honest.  I have loads of friends who would walk across hot coals to be there for me.  I am a great cook.  Want me to go on?  Because I really like myself. 

Why wouldn’t I?  I’m fucking fabulous. 

AND SO ARE YOU.

But, if you don’t believe it, who will? 

Open your mouth, even if you’ve never commented on anything before and tell me… tell the world… what do you love about yourself? 

Never Can Say Goodbye.

16 February 2011 | 9 Comments

Allow me to share with you the story of Old Stinky, also known as Daddy’s Work Car.  It’s a 1994 Chrysler Concorde.  Count ‘em, that is SEVENTEEN years old, though he has only owned it twelve of those years. You’re wondering about Old Stinky’s name, aren’t you?  We both used to smoke and that smell, even after five years smoke-free, just never comes out of a car.  It currently has 203,000 miles and most of those came from God-knows-what trips taken in it during college.  Finn is obsessed with this stinky heap of junk mostly because he never rarely gets to ride in it, he gets to help ‘fix it’ fairly often, and daddy drives it to work every day.  It’s like an enigma to a three year old… I am pretty sure if he was sixteen it would be a different story.

Dave is obsessed too.  I am pretty sure he’s got it worse than Finn.

I get it.  Sort of. 

Twelve years is a long time to own something.  Nine years ago, we had our first date in this car… a date that I was sure wasn’t a date and that he was hoping was a date.  {It totally was not a date, it was lunch.}  We also had our first real {confirmed} date in this car.  There was an incident involving activity, that I probably shouldn’t admit to, where a certain someone {me} might have accidentally knocked the gear shift out of drive while driving and a certain someone {Dave} banned me from said activity ever again in life because he was a little too preoccupied to think quickly and we almost got into a wreck that would have been very tricky to explain to a police officer.  We took our first weekend away in that car.  We did not in fact, bring our son home in that car because dude, it’s a death trap… despite the romanticized version of it that Dave has. 

We decided that if the car died we would just say screw it and buy a new one because we’ve been talking about a new one for ages.  AGES.  Neither one of us was looking forward to even a small car payment after being car payment free our entire marriage, but we knew it was coming.  The new car will be mine and Dave will get his beloved Chrysler 300 back.  The back seat will finally be crumb free. 

And then it died. 

The starter went out one cold ass morning at 7 am when Dave stopped for coffee on the way to work.  “Let’s scrap it!” I said.  Dave felt ill, but he agreed. 

Until he didn’t agree anymore and found someone to fix the car much cheaper than the original quote and all of a sudden we were keeping Old Stinky as a member of the family. 

What!?!  {Yeah, that was my reaction too.}

Valentine’s Day Desserts

14 February 2011 | 8 Comments

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Every year, my step-dad treats the family to an insanely decadent Valentine's Day dessert-extravaganza.  It is his pride and joy to make everything from scratch & treat us to all kinds of goodies.  This year was no exception.  On the menu?

Earl Grey Chocolate Crème Brulee.  Raspberry Almond Cake with a rich chocolate drizzle and tons of fresh raspberries.  Chocolate Covered Strawberries covered in dark and milk  Ghiradelli chocolate.  And last, but not least, melt in your mouth truffles and sea salt caramels from Flying Rhino.  If you’re local & you haven’t already, you need to partake in some of the loveliest chocolates in the city.  Trust me, make sure you get the caramels… you can thank me later.

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Everything was absolute perfection.  I can’t wait to see what next year’s menu brings and to partake in a champagne cocktail or two since those were sorely missed this year.

So tell me what treats would your ideal Valentine’s Day Dessert Extravaganza include? How do you celebrate?

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My Valentine wish for all of you is that today {and everyday} is filled with lots of mushy love junk.

And pssst… Dave… I like you and hope you’ll be my boyfriend forever.

Valentine M&M Cookies

13 February 2011 | 4 Comments

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We decided to make these chocolate chip m&m cookies for Valentine’s Day.  The thought of giant whoopie pie sized cookies for little mouths didn’t seem like a good idea so we made ours in mini muffin sized pans.  It made exactly 6 dozen {2-3 bites sized} cookies.  The only changes I made to the recipe were to add a full tablespoon of vanilla to the batter and I added a bag of mini chocolate chips right there at the end and just barely mixed them in.  I filled the mini muffin tins with the chocolate chip dough and Finn counted out m&m’s to add to the top of each before baking.  This was a great counting project and the cookies {baked for approximately 7-8 minutes} turned out perfectly.

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Hi, My Name is Michelle & I’m Afraid of Nasal Irrigation.

11 February 2011 | 23 Comments

Being sick when you are pregnant is a whole new level of suck.  Not quite the suckiest suck that ever sucked, but close. 

The worst part for me?  Not being able to make sweet sweet love to my Advil Cold & Sinus, with an evening chaser of Nyquil.  I maintain that it’s the only thing that works.  {Um, yes Advil, I would LOVE to be your spokes-blogger, but no they didn’t pay me to say any of this.}

So what are my pregnancy cold & sinus relief choices?  Sudafed.  Does a whole lot of nothing other than making EVERY part of me dry except my nasal passages.  And Tylenol cold stuff that never manages to make a dent either.

And then, everyone told me to get a neti pot or a sinus wash bottle.  Have you seen these things?  A whole new level of scary.

Basically, you take the pot or bottle, fill it with a solution of mild temperature water & salt, then shove it up one nostril, pour the water in and it drains out the other nostril.  Allegedly.  I’m pretty sure it just a way to drown yourself on perfectly good dry land.  Or end up in the hospital like Bobby from Cougar Town.

But after four consecutive days of complete sinus pluggage and emptying my second box of tissues I decided something HAD to be done.  Since the possibility of maiming the baby with my Advil/Nyquil option wasn’t the best choice, I went with the squeeze bottle.  I thought maybe the neti was a bit out of my realm of coordination level… trying not to spill a teapot of salt water while drowning myself probably wasn’t in the cards.  The squeeze bottle eliminated the spillage factor and for that I am grateful.

My fears were as follows: vomiting, swallowing snotty salt water THEN vomiting, drowning, drowning then Dave finding me drowned and covered in snot on the bathroom floor, the water going in but not coming out, water going into my ears via my sinus cavities and causing an ear infection, choking, coughing, asphyxiation, crying, ending up calling the ambulance, or otherwise making a total ass out of myself.

OK, so it takes some coordination, but I did it.  And it wasn’t a miracle worker by any stretch of the imagination, but it DID help.  The first couple times I did it in the shower because I felt like it was easier to work out the coordination piece of it before spilling water all over.  Basically, you look down into the sink with your neck bent, put the bottle in your nose, tilt your head to the side and squeeze.  One thing that is really helpful to remember is to remain bent forward and to keep your mouth open… you know that breathing thing is more important than you realize.  It takes a second but it’ll start coming out the other nostril.

I don’t really have allergy issues, but I’ve heard it is a kick ass solution for that.  I’m thinking about going to get one for Dave.

So tell me if I am the only freak who was deathly afraid?  Do you use one?  Is it a daily routine? 

If Kay Jewelry is on your list of wants this Valentine’s Day, we can’t be friends.

09 February 2011 | 24 Comments

I apologize in advance if this post makes any of you want to hurl.  I had to choke back the gagging as I was writing it.  I couldn’t even re-watch the commercial to make fun of it.

Do people REALLY buy this shit?  I am pretty sure I’d quicker buy something “diamonique” off the shopping channel than to waste perfectly good cash on crap from Kay.  Or any of the mall jewelry stores.  Call me a snob, but WHY would you want one of the hideous twisted heart things that a washed up tv star is peddling?  I don’t get it.

I thought the ‘storm’ commercial was bad {play at your own risk} but last night it was topped by a monstrosity that isn’t even up on YouTube yet.  Maybe you’ve seen it?  I like to call it, TEAPOT.  It’s cringeworthy.

Allow me to set the scene for you:

A man & woman are talking about their first Valentine’s Day together.  He buys her a teapot {for one} that she is apparently pissed about.  He vows never to buy her another teapot.  Ever.  Flash forward three years… and you guessed it!  Another teapot only this time, hidden inside is a P.O.S. piece of jewelry from Kay.  She loves it.

Fess up, do you have one of the hideous twisted hearts?  Would you ever buy one?  Do you feel like Kay Jewelers believes that their target market are a bunch of fucking idiots?  For the LOVE of all retail therapy, I can not WAIT for Valentine’s Day to be over just for the hope that these commercials will go away.

Mojo. Sometimes You’ve Got it & Sometimes You Smash the Antenna.

08 February 2011 | 8 Comments

Ever since the hospital stay and subsequent painfully slow recovery I’ve felt pretty close to mojo-less.  I’m pretty sure that if you’ve been reading for any length of time, you know I don’t like to sit around or to half ass things and I rarely know what my limits are.  This whole thing has been agony.  It was really hard watching my husband do everything around here, work from home, AND take care of me better than you would ever believe.  Taking it it easy is for the birds and so is feeling like an 80 year old woman.  Keeping quiet about a pregnancy that we’ve been wishing and hoping for months to shout from the rooftops sucked.  Mojo-less.  Tired.  Sucksville.  And my eyebrows are in desperate need of a good wax.

Lately though, I feel a bit more myself.  Everything is looking great with the baby, I am relieved to have told everyone now and I don’t have to strategically plan outfits around disguising my expanding midsection.  I’ve been making a conscious effort to write more, even on days when I don’t feel it.  I started working on Finn’s birthday stuff… now switched from cowboy to {shoot me now, I know even less about} superhero.  I’ve gotten out a bit more and we’ve had a couple playdates so life is starting to go back to normal.  I still miss seeing my friends, but slowly that is going back to normal too.  I’m starting to feel good.  I’m starting to feel NORMAL.  Things like laundry & cooking, that Dave has been doing by himself or at the very least helping with for months, are starting to get easier for me to manage on my own.  {I am quite sure he’s happy about that too.}  I like being the one taking care of Dave, not the other way round. 

And I was just thinking that damn I am finally, two and a half months later, myself again.  Five minutes later I wanted to watch Oprah and accidentally smashed the hell out of the tv antenna.  A quick text to Dave, “Yeah.  It is destroyed.  Um.  Fuck.” 

And that confirmed it… Mojo or not, things are definitely back to normal around here.

Living Will

07 February 2011 | 9 Comments

In my family, we talk about things like what we’d want done if something were ever to happen.  We’re practical like that.  We also joke about things like colonoscopies, my Meme is a colon cancer survivor and she passed on the sweet ass need for everyone in the family to get them earlier than the average Joe.  We are weird.  I know this.  My grandfather, my mother’s father, died of a massive heart attack in his forties.  I have to guess that when something like that happens to a family, you look at death at that early age, and you realize it could happen to anyone.  I lost a good friend when I was in the eighth grade.  She was a freshman in high school when she was hit by a car and brain dead from the injuries she sustained.  In the midst of all that, her mom selflessly donated her organs. 

It made an impression on me, a big one.

This weekend, we were watching CSI and there were, as usual, a bunch of dead folks they were attempting to solve murders for.  It reminded me that I wanted to remind Dave about my living will.  If something were to happen right now, while baby numero dos is brewing, in the event that I was brain dead, and the baby was ok, I’d want him to keep me on life support until he or she arrived.  I told him it was all in writing, but I was just giving him a little reminder, just in case, since it was much different than how I normally feel about things.  Yes, I want them to try to save my life, but if I was not going to recover, I don’t want to be kept alive by machines and never get out of a hospital bed again.  That isn’t the quality of life I want, nor do I want my family or friends to be unable to move on.  I’m also an organ donor because dude, you can’t take it with you.

He looked at me completely horrified that I would throw that at him during CSI.  His family?  Not so much with the talking about stuff like that off the cuff.  He responded with a, “Michelle, I thought you were going to put your mom in charge of that.  I have a hard enough time getting rid of a car that I have had for twelve years.  What the hell would I do if I needed to get rid of you??”

“Um, I would be brain dead Dave, not there.  You’re my husband so it falls to you now that we’re married.”  We talked about it before we were married when I had the papers drawn up & notorized.  We talked about it a few months ago when the giant suck of a hospital stay happened and things were dicey in the ER and they asked if I had a living will.  Yes, there are probably more appropriate times than in the middle of CSI, but the talking about it is the important part.

Death sucks, it is awful and you never ever want it to happen.  Ever.  But it happens.  It blows and it’s often inexplicable, painful, and awful for those left behind.  You don’t have to be as open about discussing it as we are, but someone should know your wishes.  Don’t leave the people you love most agonizing and guessing how you feel about things in a moment like that.  Do you want life saving measures taken?  What if you were brain dead?  Do you want your organs donated?  Do you want a funeral?  To be buried?  Cremated?  Only you can answer those questions.  Hopefully, none of these answers need to be utilized until you’re into your nineties and you’ve lived all the life you ever wanted to live, but someone should know.  And even better… put it in writing!

Yeah, yeah I know it’s morbid, but have you ever thought about it?  Do you have a written living will?  Have you made your wishes known to your family? How do you feel about sharing your wishes with others?  By the way, so you know, they are extremely easy to do and you can find directions on completing them online.

Brie.

04 February 2011 | 11 Comments

Oh stinky cheese.   

HOW I love thee.

You are creamy and delicious.

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My favorite way to prep brie for one? 

Take a slice of baguette, spread a little apricot jam on it, a slice of brie and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Serve with red grapes for a yummy breakfast, or lunch, or snack, or really who needs an excuse for brie?  Deliciousness on a plate, I’m telling you!

Small word of caution, let it cool for about 5 minutes or the hot jam will scald your tongue… not that I know anything about that.  Um.

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I’ve Always Wanted to be One of the Boxcar Children.

01 February 2011 | 10 Comments

When I was a kid, I used to make my sister Lyndsey and my cousin John play like we were poor and had to fend for ourselves.  My Meme had an old heater in the basement that looks like a stove, it was usually the basis for our house… either that, or we’d make the area behind the bar our ‘house’ and I’d cram them both onto the shelves underneath it like they were bunk beds.  Good times.  Sometimes we let John be our younger brother and sometimes we’d strong-arm him into to being our dog.  We would wear old towels… you know, for warmth.  And to eat?  We’d catch fish in the form of old wooden clothes pins that we would throw on the floor and use the shuffle board sticks as fishing poles.  It was endless entertainment. 

Oh sure, they went along with me because I was the oldest, but I have to think, they probably thought I was fucking nuts when we had tons of real toys to play with and yet, there we were huddled around a fake campfire pretending to be freezing.

How did it start?  The Boxcar Children, of course.  It was a story about four kids who were orphaned and to stay together, they run away and just happened to find an abandoned train car in the forest to live in.  They furnish their ‘house’ by using stuff that is thrown out at the dump and forage for food, able to barely scrape by because Henry the oldest, did odd jobs to make a few cents.  They even take in an old dog as their pet and name him Watch because duh, he’s a good watch dog and protects the kids.  It was all quite dreamy to a second grader.

Why am I bringing this up now?  The snowpacalypse is descending upon us and dude, we’re prepped just in case the power goes out and we have to live like the Boxcar Children for a day or two.  It’s not the foot of snow I’m worried about, it’s the possibility of an ice storm.  And so far, it’s like our weather people have a snow boner and don’t know what the fuck to do with it.  We just don’t know what we’re going to end up with and so, I prepare.  It’s what I do.

“Ahhh the good old days when people died of Polio & got eaten by wild buffalo on the prairie.”  -my husband on being without power in a winter storm

Dave, of course, does not find the scenario of living like the Boxcar Children nearly as dreamy as I do.  It’s like he enjoys ruining my childhood fantasies, but totally wants me to still fulfill his adult fantasies.  FAIR?  I think not.

If you’ve ever been trapped with a three year old anywhere without food, a drink, or entertainment, you’ll know there is just no hell like it.  Add in a healthy dose of negative degree weather and a husband who’s going to have to snow blow up to a foot of snow off of 120 feet of driveway and you have yourself a recipe for disaster.  So, I’ll be the alarmist crazy person, I’m not one of those assholes taking my chances in the name of bravado.  No way. The reality is, if we do lose power it really will suck, but we won’t be completely screwed. We have a full fridge, a gas fireplace in the living room for heat, a power converter in the car if we need to charge cell phones {or computers for movie viewing}, we have a battery powered lantern and flashlights, and a full propane tank on the grill for cooking.  We’re also probably in the minority here, but dude we’ve still got a landline. 

My sister?  She’s coming to stay at my house with the promise of a full pot of Meme’s Beef Stew, biscuits, and many many years of playing like we were poor under her belt.  We’ve got Girls Just Wanna Have Fun on dvd and a full Netflix queue… along with hot chocolate and laughing and pointing at Dave snow blowing out the window for our entertainment.

And if the power does go out?  She knows there will be old towels to wear and a watch dog named Monty to keep her feet warm. 

How is the weather where you are?

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