Category: Yes, I am a dork.


Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Dan and I have a financial advisor to help us plan retirement and all that good stuff.  It’s cheaper than having 10 children and crossing our fingers one will be the next big tween money-making machine.

Our advisor is a guy around our age who’s been married forever, has two kids and couldn’t conceal his displeasure when I mentioned wanting Em to attend a particular Catholic school.  His assistant is a slick young guy who has been told way too many times he’s good looking even though I don’t consider it so.

But, no matter what they say or recommend, I always think…

Your Mama’s on Craft Rock

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

I have DIY envy.

I’d love to be able to whip out my husband’s sewing machine and slap together something fabulous.  Yeah, my husband’s machine. He’s tall, frugal and industrious, so he decided to teach himself how to hem pants.  He’s a pro.  I have no clue how to turn the damn machine on.

I look longingly at Silhouette Cameo and Cricut machines even though I have no idea what the eff they really do.

I’m obsessed with paper punches.  It started when I  fashioned some ghetto cupcake toppers for Emme’s 2nd birthday using a flower punch, round labels and lollipop sticks:

After seeing how easy (and cheap) the Gymboree art projects were, I called shenanigans on their $80 monthly class fee.  I began stockpiling kiddo art essentials (poms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, tempera paint, cheap paper plates, craft sticks, foam pieces, etc…)

Yeah…I didn’t consider how nice it was to having Gymboree clean up the mess or being able to say “Oh we only use paint at art class.”  Having craft supplies in the house means I have a toddler who will throw tantrums when I deny her “ALL THE GOOGLY EYES!”  She is not a fan of the term “some.”    She will awake from a nap screaming two words that make me shudder: “WANT GLUE!”   I may have been premature in my purchases…  But we’ll get to that point soon enough.  We’ll bond over cotton ball Santas and construction paper jack-o-lanterns.   Ya know, when she’s 18 and stoned on Vicodin following wisdom tooth extraction.

Still, I won’t let the lack of ability or kiddo willingness stop me.  If some Modge Podge hodgepodge grabs my eye online, I pin it.  I have a Pinterest board, Sew You Think You Can Craft, that’s 95% comprised of to projects beyond  my current capabilities.  A Sharpie-painted ceramic mug?  Easy breezy.  Crochet baby espadrilles? Ummm…etsy!

I hold hope that I’ll have the time to gain the Martha level know-how I seek.  It will happen one day, dammit.

Even if it’s during Arts & Crafts hour at my old folks home.


Monday, April 7th, 2014

I’ve decided to own my seafood scorn.*

I have a history of seafood aversion.  Back in June 2010, I discovered I’d outgrown a childhood shellfish allergy.  I did this via food challenge, whereby I was forced to eat boiled shrimp over a period of hours at my allergist’s office.  I cannot tell you how many times I came close to tossing my crustaceans.  I’ve not had shrimp since that challenge, and have no desire to ever consume it.  The smell, the texture – you name it, it all repulses me.

Over the years, I’ve tried to embrace the equally popular salmon.   I’ve Bubba Gumpishly had it baked, steamed, blackened and grilled in sushi, salads and stir fry.  Regardless of the cooking method, temperature or seasoning, it’s so…fishy.  Tonight’s Fresh20 dinner, Citrus-Ginger Salmon, pushed me over the edge.  I barely downed half before gagging.  I decided enough was enough.  I know I dislike salmon, so why do I insist on trying to embrace it?  Life’s too short.

But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop cooking it.  Dan enjoys it and Em’s had a few bites here and there.  On the nights that salmon is on the menu, I’ll just double up on the vegetables.  It’s like how I add pre-cooked shrimp to Dan’s jambalaya but omit it from my portion.

And when it’s time to cook up kiddo numero two, I will revisit my nightly cocktail.   Yeah, the thought of downing that stuff again makes me realize I should make myself a real cocktail.

Flaming Mr. Fish, anyone?

* This scorn does not extend to tuna salad or fried cod/haddock, which I find super tasty when slathered in tartar sauce.


Staph Sargeant

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

In January, Emme developed a freakish infection under her right arm. She had what we thought were infected ant bites, but as one healed another worsened.  I took her to the doctor thinking we would get a steroid for allergy control only to receive another diagnosis.





Any mention of the word “staph” sends a panic through our household. We know one person who died suddenly from a quick-spreading staph infection and another who has endured multiple long-term hospitalizations for MRSA. Em was diagnosed with MMSA, a mild, topical antibiotic-friendly form. The substitute pediatrician we saw was very positive, noting that tons of kiddos get staph and that Em was likely to see a greater recurrence.   She gave us a topical antibiotic prescription and told me to bring Em back if the infection spread to a second location.  Much to our relief, the wounds healed quickly.

At the end of February, an ominous sore on her lower back had me running for the antibiotic cream.  As it started healing, another one emerged behind her right knee.  Second location panic ensued.    Not only did this one grow rapidly, but, unlike the others, Em really let us know it hurt.  When she refused to walk down the stairs, I knew something was terribly wrong.   I took her to see Dr. F (her regular pediatrician).  After draining the abscess, Dr. F. diagnosed her with MRSA, prescribed an oral antibiotic and outlined what would become Bleachfest 2014.

I’m not a fan of harsh household chemicals or slathering kiddos in antibacterial goo, fearing both cause more harm than good.  I have no desire to put her at risk for autoimmune disorders, blood cancers or antibiotic resistance.  (Yeah, I own my paranoia!)   When using bleach, I’ve opted for Seventh Generation’s Chlorine-free version.   Dr. F. told me those days were over.  I needed to buy a massive bottle of Clorox and not only clean with it but bathe in it also.  Yes, bathe in it.   Twice a week, Dan, Em and I are to bathe in a full bathtub with 1/3 cup of bleach, recreating a pool environment.  (Bring me a frothy drink with an umbrella, Sven Diego!)  For the first 6 days of each month, we all have to put Bactrim cream in our nostrils.  The purpose is to reduce staph bacteria in Em’s environment so she’s able to stave off future infections.

During those first couple of days, I went on a crazy cleaning spree.   No surface went untouched.   My house could have doubled for an operating room. Since then, I’ve become slightly insane about regularly wiping down door knobs, light fixtures, toilets and toys.   I now wash all towels in bleach, even the ones with color.  Sure, they’ve faded a bit, but oh well!    Towels are easily replaced.

Should you come to my house and notice an overwhelming smell of Clorox cleaning products, now you know why.

And if you’re looking to invest in the market, now would be a good time to buy CLX.



Bunny Bait

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

When making my Halloween pumpkin wreaths, I got the idea to use the remaining orange tulle for Easter carrot wreaths.

I’d seen plenty of these online:

While I respect the crafthusiasm that went into those wreaths, I wanted foof-free carrots.   Zip it , spell check, “foof” is too a word.

I went to a crafting megastore for Styrofoam rectangles, plastic greenery and floral wire. If the rectangle forms didn’t work, I would just fashion my own frame from the floral wire.  Easy breezy beautiful cover girl!  Bless my little heart.

During my first attempt, I learned:

  1. Thick Styrofoam sheets aren’t so easy to cut, whether using a serrated or utility knife.
  2. Styrofoam sheds like a bitc…bunny.
  3. Tulle sticks to Styrofoam like a bitc…dust bunny.
  4. The tulle was too tranparent.  No matter how many layers I used, Styrofoam was visible.  No problemo!  I whipped out kiddo’s orange tempera paints and slathered it on.
  5. Styrofoam sucks up paint like Justin Bieber inhales Crunch ‘N Munchies at truck stops. AKA a bitch.
  6. Wet Styrofoam brings a wreath project to a grinding halt.

The paint looked ridiculous, and I needed a barrier between the Styrofoam and tulle.  A quick trip to Arne’s scored a $1.99 disposable orange vinyl tablecloth and a tulle alternative:  sparkly orange mesh for $5.99.

During my second attempt I learned:

  1. Orange table cloth material is awesome and easily staple gunned into Styrofoam.
  2. Sparkly wire mesh is awesome but would trump a staple gun in an expanded version of Rock-Scissors-Paper.  I could wrap the mesh with ease but couldn’t attach it.

That’s when I turned to the interwebs.   I read traditional wreath tutorials and uncovered the secret:  pipe cleaners.  As a toddler wrangler with delusions of grandeur, I have a gazillion colorful pipe cleaners.  I wove the pipe cleaner through, corseting the mesh and creating a hanging loop:

I inserted the greenery, made a second wreath, attached the greatest invention since running water (Command Hooks) and voila!

Bring it,  Eassa Bunny.  Bawk! Bawk!