Thursday, January 31, 2008


See, someone sued the milk manufacturer so now they are forced to put this ridiculous warning in bold letters on the side of the milk carton. And insult MY intelligence as I am getting the milk out this morning for breakfast.

Can you imagine how that phone call went down?

"Law office of John B. Suen, can I help you?"

"Uh, yeah. Um, I got sick real bad from like drinking some'n that musta had milk in it, 'cause I got like a milk allergy and all, and like I wannna sue the company 'cause I didn't know it like had milk and all in it."

"What did you consume?"

"Um, like, milk. But like I didn't KNOW it had milk in it. Didn't nobody tell me."


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mexican Cooking 101

Andy made chicken enchiladas the other night. They were delicioso. And pretty too. Which is important. Because presentation is 9/10 of the law. Seriously.
Follow the link above to find the recipe and try it yourself. Es muy bueno. Vamanos!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Surf and Turf

Andy went hunting last weekend. Even though I'm a girl raised in the south (I refuse to call myself a breakfast food) I was never exposed to the hunting world until I met Andy. My Dad and brother never hunted, and the closest I'd ever been to deer was sitting plastered to the TV watching Bambi over and over and crying. In fact, for years after we were married, Andy would cook up some venison from some poor creature he'd maimed and killed, and I'd turn my nose up, saying I'd NEVER eat Bambi.

Until one day I had a piece of tenderloin wrapped in bacon and I told him to go hither and get me some more meat!

So this past weekend I agreed to let him go hunting, because we'd just run out of our freezer stock of venison. And even though I'd been quarantined alone inside with sick kids for weeks, I let him go and said once again "Go hither. And don't come back without a deer. If you have to stop and buy one, don't walk back in this door without some meat!"

And so he went. And I'd rather not think about how it all went down, but I was glad to see that once again our freezer will be stocked.

So no sooner had he walked in the door than he got an invite to go fishing. Still dressed in his camo, he exchanged the pistol for the pole and this time took at least one child (the only one potty trained) with him. Only reason he didn't take William hunting is I have a rule that no child of mine will go until he's old enough to call 9-1-1. I don't mean to sound sexist here, and I don't know why I said "he." Because judging from her emerging personality, Catherine is probably more likely to maim, torture and kill than William or Stuart. But she's gotta get out of diapers first.

Anyway....Andy took William on his first fishing trip. And our 4-year-old fished like a pro and caught his limit in redfish in less than 2 hours. He put dinner on the table last night.

I asked him this morning when he got up if he dreamed about fishing last night. He thought about it and said "Nah." Then a few minutes later he said "I dreamed about the kids across the street." Mmmkay.

Anyway...Here are the pictures from the expedition.

Friday, January 25, 2008

House Arrest

Well, I apologize for the lack of blogging but I've been a little busy with sick kids. It all started when Stuart fell a couple of weeks ago and had to go to the ER. I think he brought home something other than the blanket we accidentally stole from radiology and shared it with everyone else. I don't want to be Debbie Downer, because if I really share what my life has been like the past two weeks it would sound something like, "whine whine whine everyone sick, whine whine whine no sleep, whine whine whine can't go anywhere, whine whine whine poopy diapers, whine whine whine." So I won't even go there.
But here are a few pictures from playtime in the playhouse this morning. Notice how nicely Stuart's bobo is healing...I don't think we'll have to call on Dr. 90210 after all!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Good News

I just read where a new study shows that drinking caffeine may lower your risk of getting certain cancers. The same study shows that drinking wine will not increase your risk.

Woo-Hoo! I'm already ahead of the game.

Now if they would just come out with a chocolate cake diet that would reduce the size of your butt, and a magic vitamin kids could take that would make their whining, fighting, name calling and shrieking only audible to cats, rats and dogs, I'd be a happy girl.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Manners 101

We've been trying to teach the kids how to have good table manners. We try to stay positive and emphasize the "do's" such as do sit up straight, do chew with your mouth closed, do say please and thank you. We try, as often as possible, to avoid too many "don't's" such as don't put your stinky feet on the table, don't scratch your back with your fork, and don't stick jello up your nose. We (more specifically I) take exception to the kids complaining when the food is presented. After slaving over a platter of toast for hours, the last thing I want to hear is "oooh I don't LIKE toast!"

So this morning, I had assembled oatmeal for everyone, and was really proud of the fact that I'd thawed out some yummy strawberries leftover from our strawberry festival last spring (refer to earlier post). Either he took issue with the oatmeal, or the strawberries on top, or both, but when I sat the bowl in front of him William looked up and said "Hey......what kind of sick joke is this?"

How's that for gratitude.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's Just Hot Chocolate

Often in the afternoons while all the kids are napping, when I'm not catching up on 43 loads of laundry or scraping hundreds of dried-once-soggy Cheerios off the floor, I will actually make me a cup of coffee and sit down for a few minutes. But today when I opened the cabinet to get out the coffee I noticed a variety box of flavored hot cocoa mix that we got for Christmas and decided to try some. But then I was further intrigued when I noticed the promise in bold letters on the package: A Luxurious Hot Chocolate Experience.

Really. It's just hot chocolate. Unless it's going to massage my shoulders and give me a pedicure, what could possibly be luxurious about it. The way I see it, it's only going to add a few more pounds to my already oversized rear end, but after hauling all three kids to Wal-mart a while ago, I'm willing to try anything.

I'd rather be horsewhipped than take two preschoolers and a baby to Wal-mart. But it was either that or split a garlic sandwich between the 4 of us for lunch.

We got up to the store and since Stuart has now outgrown his infant carrier, I was holding him on one hip, giant diaper bag slung over my shoulder, and holding Catherine's hand with my free hand. William was holding her other hand. I herded everyone in the door and guided them over to one of those giant 18-wheeler buggies with the double jump seats attached to the front of the cart. William and Catherine climbed into the two front seats to get buckled in and I put Stuart into the little seat at the front of the buggy, just behind them. But I noticed that his feet weren't going through. I pushed and pushed until I realized there were no leg holes!

What the.... I felt around trying to figure out if it was a trick cart. Until one of the sweet little greeters came over and said "Oh yeah, those don't have holes for the legs." Like it was no big deal. Or I should have known. And there was no other contraption available for me to cart my crew around the store, unless I got one of those motorized scooters and put everyone in the giant basket in front. Which is probably illegal.

So poor little Stuart was all contorted in the cart as I stuffed him in the best I could, which made him cry, so I knew I was really short-timing it. I yelled to the kids "Hold on, everyone" and I took off. The thing is though, the faster you go in those things, the harder it is to stop. So I just flew up and down all the aisles, with one arm out to grab things and toss them in the basket. I took out an old couple and a family of four along the way, but I had all my shopping done within 15 minutes.

I picked the shortest checkout line, threw everything on the belt, and realized that the man in front of me was having trouble with his credit card. He just kept swiping it and punching buttons while the clerk stared at him not saying a word to hurry things up or fix the problem. The lady in back of me had already unloaded her cart too, so there was nowhere to go. I was stuck. William and Catherine were within arm's reach of all the goodies surrounding them at the checkout corner.

"Can I have a Winnie the Pooh pen?"


"Oohh....Mama....M&M cookies. I want one!" "Me too!"


"What's this....I want one of these!" (a lighter).
"Can I have this whatever this is?" (a lint brush).
"Ooohhhh...let's get some of these!" (beef jerky).
"Hey....what are these?" (something by Kotex or Playtex or something like that but I was too horrified to look closely as I tossed it back and told him it was chalk).

About that time, the mute, I mean, girl behind the counter breaks her silence and reaches over and taps Stuart's hand saying, "Oh what's wrong little dude....why ain't you happy?"

Why do you think he's not happy? His feet are crammed all the way up behind his ears! And we've been waiting in your checkout line so long it's almost time for him to start kindergarten. Geez.

So I got everyone fed and in bed for naps in record time. And at this point I'll take luxury in whatever form I can find.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tell It Like It Is

I'm not sure, but I think Catherine has been trying to tell me something lately. The other night, just before bed, we were all gathered in William's room to read a book and I was sitting on one of those little bouncy jumpy balls with the handle....William got one for Christmas. I didn't see a weight limit posted on it, but it looked sturdy enough to hold me and I thought I was balancing on it quite well. Catherine looked up and said flatly, "I think you're too big for that."

Excuse me?

"I SAID, I think you're too big for that. Get OFF, Mama. You'll break it." And with that she walked over to me and pushed me off. Little Hitler.

So then this morning I was getting her dressed for school and out of the blue she said "You're big and Daddy is little."

Well good for him.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Evil Knievel

Ok so I'm still traumatized from Stuart's nosedive off his changing pad onto the hardwood floor last Thursday night. I'm happy to report that he is doing fine, and will recover from this much quicker than I ever will. But there are several images I don't believe I'll ever get out of my mind. Such as me, rushing out of the house barefoot and in a tank top and pajamas bottoms with my diaper clad screaming, bleeding baby to jump behind the wheel of the car with him in my lap (ala Britney and Sean P).
Did you know that when you run into the hospital emergency room looking like that screaming "My BABY!!!!" they see you right away? Funny that.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Kind of Mom

Kudos and more kudos to this Mom who loved her son enough to take his car away. If you missed the story, you can read it here. Apparently she and her 19-year-old son had an agreement when she gave him his car that if she found alcohol in it he'd lose it. She found it, he lost it, and she's selling the car.

I bet he doesn't want to be her friend anymore.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I'm a little sad right now. Not because my daughter wears toiletneck sweaters, but because I ate the last of my Honeybaked hambone soup tonight. I have to admit I cried harder when that chocolate cake was gone a few weeks ago, but I'm blue nonetheless. See, there's a story here.

When we were in Atlanta for Thanksgiving I got my first taste of the hambone soup from Honeybaked hams. They sell this soup mix for $2.99 and the idea is to pick up a pack when you get your ham, then after your ham is gone and you're left with the bone, you make the soup. There's no waste. It's a great idea and the thing's so darned good. So I'd been craving that soup since late November.

But we weren't planning on getting a ham ourselves for Christmas. So I didn't know how I'd be able to make it. But then I heard that you can buy just the hambone from Honeybaked. They don't have more than about one a day, so you have to just get lucky. Reallllll lucky.

I first dropped by the store one day around 11:00 and they told me you have to be there when they open, and it's first come first served. Great, I said. What time do you open? 10:00. Perfect. I'll be here.

So the next day I show up at 10:00, only to be told it was already gone. GONE? Did it put on some Nikes and escape out the back door? No, they said, a lady already came in. You gotta be kidding me. It was 10:02! So one of the girls who works there looks around, beckons me closer, and whispers "You gotta call. Early. Like around 9:00." Alrighty, I said. Will do.

Next morning I glance at the clock, see that it's 8:55, which is most certainly "around 9:00" and I call. The phone rings and one of the girls answers and when I asked for a hambone she told me the one for that day was gone.

!^&*@ !^@&*! !^@&*!!! Vast right wing conspiracy. I asked her if they had a back room I could sleep in because I was bringing my toothbrush and pajamas up there to spend the night to get me a bleeping hambone the next day!

Well the planets must have all aligned the next morning because I got someone on the phone, who told me they had one and they would hold it for me. And so they did. And as they brought it from the back I expected to hear stringed instruments and see a halo of golden light surrounding it. It's a stinkin' PIG BONE, people! Not the Hope diamond.

So after all that, I wasn't about to make my soup on just any night. I wanted to wait until just the right time. I put my treasure in the freezer and waited. But a few days later, Andy was making red beans and rice and had the unmitigated nerve to ask me for some of my hambone to go in it! After all I'd been through... "GET YER OWN HOCK," I hollered at him. "You lay a hand on mine and you'll be drawing back a nub!"

But I relented, and we enjoyed the red beans one week and my fabulous soup the next. All from the same hambone. And now it's all gone. And I'm so sad.

I think I need to get a life.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What Is a Hat, or a Brooch, or a Pterodactyl?

Things Catherine can make of her potty. She wears it well, don't you think? This is about the most useful thing she's done with it. And don't be appalled that she's wearing a potty around her neck. It's perfectly sanitary because it's NEVER SEEN A DROP OF PEE OR POOP! She sits on it all day long, but waits until no one is looking and goes in the floor. Surely you must be joking, you say.

No I'm not, and don't call me Shirley.

There are just some phrases that I shouldn't have to utter. Ever. Such as "Get the potty off your head." Or, "Please don't pee on the telephone." Or "Who put toothpaste on the dog's butt." Oh wait, that's a different subject. But still....

While we're on the subject of potty talk, though, did you know that the word "Poo" or any form thereof is about the funniest word in the English language? At least to my kids. I overheard them singing their favorite Christmas songs the other day, but as I listened a little closer I realized they had taken some poetic license and changed them up a bit. WARNING: IF YOU LOVE CHRISTMAS MUSIC DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER.

Here's what I overheard:


"Deck the halls with boughs of Poo Poo..." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

"You better watch out, you better not poop, you better not cry I'm telling you why, San-ta Clause is poo-pooing in town." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

And my favorite:

"I'm dreaming of a white....poo poo." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

At this point I'd settle for any color as long as it's IN THE POTTY!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The M.E. List

Everyone who knows me knows I'm a big fan of Oprah. In fact, it's been suggested that the real reason I took a leave of absence from law practice was to watch Oprah and eat bon-bons, which of course I do all the time. But I've always loved the "O" list. A whole list of Oprah's favorite things. Although I've never been inclined nor able to purchase things like cashmere underwear or Burberry sweaters for my psycho dog, occasionally I'll find something useful and fun that I want to try. So I thought it might be fun to share my own list of a few of my favorite things. So here you go. The Mommy, Esquire list. This might become a regular feature!

1. Trader Joe's.
No, we don't have one where I live. But I discovered it in Atlanta (the closest one to me...grrrr) and I've already written the company asking, no, begging for them to put one here in Mayberry. All organic, natural, delicious and (unbelievably) affordable food and drink, including my favorite new find: Two Buck Chuck wine. That's right, wine connoisseurs. Good (at least I think so) wine for $2.49 a bottle. A case for less than $30. It's great to just keep on hand at home to have a glass (or two or three depending on Sybil's moods) at night with dinner. Or lunch. Or breakfast. (Just kidding). (Not really).


I found this at Target and it claims to be the most astonishing hand cream ever. It's a pretty bold statement. Not sure it would win an academy award, but I wash my hands so much from changing diapers and wiping runny noses all day that I only have about one very dry layer of skin left on my hands anyway, and this stuff performs better than anything else I've found. And it smells fabulous.

3. Quaker Oatmeal.

A strange thing I know to have on my list, but I've been cooking up some yummy oatmeal every morning lately. Here's my new favorite recipe:

Cook your oatmeal as usual. (I do the 1/2 cup suggested serving, mixed with water and microwaved for 3 minutes). Then I add milk, a little honey, about 1/2 tsp. of splenda brown sugar, dash of cinnamon, 2 tbsp. milled flax seed, handful of walnuts and 1/2 banana. It's so good, so filling and good for you.

4. My iPod.

I'm a little behind the times, but I'm just now learning how to work my iPod and I love it. I am addicted to iTunes. Especially the podcasts. So many of them are free, too. Santa left me some very comfy earbuds in my stocking, and my new running shoes will be arriving any day now, so I have no excuses not to get moving. Well actually I have three little excuses, but since two of those are in school three mornings a week, and I can put the other excuse in the baby jogger, I really have none.

5. The Puff rocker. I love this chair. I got one for my birthday and it's the perfect little chair to rock a baby (which I do often) or take a nap (which I do seldom). Regardless, it's my favorite place to perch when I get the chance.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Girls Night Out

I received a very exciting phone call a little while ago. A good friend who I haven't seen in a while called to see if I wanted to come to a Mexican themed Girls Night Out Game Night at her house. One of the regulars had to cancel at the last minute so she wanted to see if I could come? Even though it's a little like being chosen last for kickball during recess...actually not even....more like being called out of detention to play when someone else gets hurt. At any rate, you get to play. Which is a good thing.

But what it is with us Moms that makes us feel so guilty about doing something like that? Before I could say yay or nay to her, I was quickly running through my mind thoughts such as....but it's Friday night....can't leave the family alone on a Friday night...can Andy handle all three kids....what will they eat....can I get at least one or two to bed before I go....and bathe them too...oh this is awful to run off and have a great time and leave them...etc. etc. etc. So I told her I'd talk to Andy and call her back.

So I told Andy about my parole, I mean invitation, and prefaced it with "I hate to do this to you" as I told him what I wanted to do and promised to have everyone fed, watered and bathed before I left....and then ended with "I'll make it up to you."

Why oh why?

When he wants to go to golf tournaments, football games, or a week at the Grand Canyon, here's how he does it:


I could take lessons.

The thing is, he is happy for me to get to spend a fun night with my friends. And he doesn't expect me to make it up to him. And he'll be fine with all three kids and in fact will probably even have fun.

As long as they all go to bed at 5:30.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Finding Frosty

We have this silly Frosty windsock thing that we hang on the back porch during the holidays. It's the closest we come to building a snowman here in the deep south. The kids love him and he brings us good cheer blowing around outside our back window and greeting us as we pull into the carport, the jolly happy soul.

A couple of weeks ago, however, a strong north wind blew in overnight and apparently carried Frosty off to parts unknown. But I didn't know this as I was returning home one morning after dropping the kids off at school. I came around the corner, nearing our house, as I saw a familiar looking character hanging on a neighbor's mailbox. Not just any neighbor, but a neighbor whose son had bullied William a little too much about a year ago so we parted ways. As much as you can part ways from three doors down.

As I slowed down to peer at the mailbox, I was thinking to myself, Hmmmm....that's odd....they have a Frosty just like ours but on the mailbox. What a strange place to hang a windsock. Hmmm....I continued thinking as I pulled into my carport, got out of the car, glanced back towards the porch and realized that there wasn't a carrot nose blowing in the wind. I stared at the empty spot on the porch, looked down the street at the Hatfield's mailbox, back at our porch, back to the mailbox and all of a sudden (I'm not too swift these days) realized it was OUR Frosty strung up on THEIR mailbox.

Now, had I really connected the dots, I would have realized that the strong wind probably blew Frosty down the street, he landed in their yard and they just hung him on the mailbox so the rightful owner could claim him. Had it been any other neighbor I might have just run down there, grabbed him, waved at his rescuers, wished them a Merry Christmas and brought him home. But I couldn't. know. So I formed a plan to sneak out after dark, get in and out real quick, rescue him and bring him home where he belonged. Willing him to hang on and hang out for just a few more hours until sundown, I was ready.

But I got busy and forgot. Until the next morning when I let the dog out and saw Frosty laying out on the adirondack chair. On our patio. What in the world? Did they return him in the middle of the night? What if I'd been dressed in black with night vision goggles, on my way to rescue him and we'd collided in the middle of the street? Can you say awkward situation?

I ran upstairs to relay all of these events to Andy, who was getting his coffee, and as I started my long tale (drove by...mailbox....Frosty....gone....abducted....plan to and sound...blah blah blah), he said "You watch too much Dateline. I found him in the middle of the street on my way home last night and threw him on the patio."

So there you have it. But it still doesn't explain how he got from the patio, to the mailbox, to the street, and back to the patio. And he isn't talking.

Guess if he told us he'd have to kill us. Now that would make Dateline for sure.