Saturday, February 28, 2009

Family, What doesn't Kill You Just Makes You Stranger.

I apologize profusely if you have read this topic before. But it is one that continues to fascinate me. The topic I am referring to is, how we all survived into adulthood in one piece??

Don't get me wrong I am a firm believer in carseats, sunscreen and soap when it comes to my kids. But when I was growing up carseats and sunscreen weren't that common and soap wasn't anti-bacterial. My mom was more on top of that stuff but my parents divorced when I was 3 years old and my younger brother and I saw our Dad every other weekend. Those were the Wild Card Weekends, anything goes. My Dad fed us, made sure we got sleep and had good manners but after that we were wild and free. And we turned out pretty good. We aren't the Obamas but we are better than the Osbournes. And we had a lot of fun!

My kids have the safest carseats imaginable but I would often ride in my Dad's bronco sitting on the cooler between the 2 front seats, or in the back of his pickup safely ensconced in the camper shell with roof shingles, nails and fish bait. When we were camping, and I wasn't underage driving, we sat perched on the tailgate holding on for dear life.

For years my Dad owned this orange Dodge van with a dark blue interior. It was so ugly, but comfy and fun. The only seats in that van were the two front bucket seats which were occupied by my Dad and his wife. So me, Bill and my step-mom's 2 daughters sat on the carpeted floor or on the bed in back. All 4 of us could sit on that bed, it was really comfy, but safe it was not. This van also had a fridge (mostly full of fish bait) and a sink with running water. My Dad, like most Dads I have ever met, has a serious time-line when it comes to road trips. So whenever any of us had to pee instead of pulling over we would just pee in that sink and rinse it down with water. I am so glad we never got in any accidents especially when I was sitting on that sink. Flying through a windshield is bad enough but doing it with your pants down would add insult to injury.

We were outside a lot as kids and I barely remember putting on sunscreen. I will be sending my Dad my dermatology bill. I can understand why just a little bit because after I finish lathering up my 3 monkeys almost 30 minutes has gone by. Dad was great about bug spray but hair and teeth brushing and baths, too time consuming. I have very naturally curly hair that my Mom insisted I wear in an afro style. Very traumatic hairdo for a white girl to have in the '70's but I would fight tooth and nail whenever a brush came my way so it had to be kept short. Now that I have kids of my own I have forgiven her for this. My Dad had no desire to waste his precious weekend time fighting with me about brushing my hair, so it just didn't happen. By Sunday
night we would return to our Mom's house sunburned, smelly and I would have dreadlocks.

When my Dad's 2nd wife's daughters first met me they thought I was a mentally retarded boy. Sad because I was already sprouting breasts but I covered those up with a couple of tank tops under a baggy shirt. While meeting Ana and Rachel for the first time, they were so girly and pretty looking I was mute with shyness. So they thought I was a mentally retarded boy who didn't talk. Nice.

Of all the moms I know the quickest way to strike a look of fear in their eyes is to mention drowning. But growing up there seemed to be ungaurded standing water everywhere. Pools without fences, plastic kiddie pools left out in the sun to warm up, (I empty mine immediately when the kids are done), and when camping with my Dad we often went to campgrounds with rivers and lakes. We were free to wander for hours and he would even let us take out his aluminum fishing boat with an outboard motor. My step-sister cured him of that when she dropped the motor in the middle of the lake, Doh! But nobody ever drowned. So am I completely paranoid ? Because I have a barely 2 inch creek behind my house, which my kids would need to scale a 6 ft. fence to get to and I am not going to let them go back there unsupervised until they are in their late teens.

Ok I can go on and on about all the wondeful and highly dangerous activities that we enjoyed as kids but I want to hear other moms' stories. What crazy stuff did you do as a kid? What stuff are you willing to let your kids do? What is an absolute No-No for your kids?

I have to say that I am very strict about water safety but I let my kids climb on everything and get really dirty and they eat random stuff off of the ground all of the time. Gross but basically I can't get to them fast enough and who knows what stuff gets in their gullet when I am not looking. I will let my kids shoot a gun but only under the supervision of my brother Bill or my brother-in-law Chris. Bill is a Navy Seal and Chris has been safely shooting since a child so I trust them.

Feel free to share in the comments section. Of course the funnier the better.

Suburban Style 2009

This is Jake putting fashion first. I am really proud of him because it took at least 5 minutes of screaming fits to put that boot on all by himself. He is almost 2 years old so I wasn't allowed to help, this was a moment of pure autonomy. He is squinting in
the glare of the paparazzi flashbulbs.

Jake's really voguing and striking a pose on our version of the red carpet. He is standing in our wreck room and yes we do live like slobs.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Toyes- Smoke Two Joints

It's 5:05p.m., and it's Friday.
You are in the bay area and you are listening to KFOG.
Need I say more?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Depression Kills

I just heard that a local mom may have committed suicide. I would never sully her family's name by mentioning her on my smart-ass blog. I am writing this only to remind, mothers/parents/people to take care of themselves. Suicide should never be an option.

Here are a list of local resources for Contra Costa County:

NAMI National Alliance for the Mentally Ill is a wonderful resource for individuals and families. Our closest office seems to be Concord.

U.S.A. and California Suicide and Crisis Hotlines Scroll down this site for a list of hotline numbers for every county in California. I have not called these to verify, of course I wouldn't want to tie up their lines, but remember we are in a economic crisis in California. If any of these numbers don't work due to budget cuts DO NOT GIVE UP! Call the next closest county, somebody who cares is waiting to listen to you.

Child Abuse Prevention for Contra Costa County Before you gloss over this thinking you don't need this let me point out that they have a list of links on the right side of the website, the first one titled Surviving Parenthood. Hello! Everyone I know needs to read that! In the less than 10 minutes it took for me to write this my 3 year old stripped naked and unrolled a roll of toilet paper and she is my easy kid!

Also the women that work at this place don't get a lot of funding but they work their asses off. I know because I have been to their office in Concord to donate a crib and a Bjorn, there were no fancy cars in the parking lot and they were ridiculously grateful for the donation.

I wish I could post more resources but I gotta go get Mike from Pre-K and I need to help Bekah put her clothes back on and wipe Jake's nose.

Remember, take a deep helps you yell Help a lot louder.

Weekly < 30 minute Recipe #7

I always thought pizza dough was complicated. I assumed you had to let it rise and roll it out and toss it up in the sky (which Michael begs me to do). But you don't have to do all that. If you just want some straight up, no fuss pizza then this recipe is for you. This will not be less than 3o minutes but if you hustle you can make it in 30 minutes.

I will have the pizza dough recipe for you below but I will leave toppings up to you. I use Contadina Pizza Squeeze for sauce. Just grab the bottle and spttt, squeeze it over the crust, super easy. And I just use a pre-grated Colby Cheddar-Jack mix, go easy. The beauty of this crust is that it makes a ton! I roll mine out into a huge square broiler pan (minus the broiler grate thingy) and it feeds me, Erik, Jake and Bekah for Friday and Saturday night (Mike doesn't eat pizza, he just likes to help make it).

I am going to base the Weight Watchers points on this for 2 squares of cheese and veggie pizza (veggies are zero points). A square serving being the size of your palm, 5 points each square for a total of 10 points. Eat some salad to fill up, trust me I can eat 6 squares with parmesan and Ranch dressing but I am trying to behave.

INGREDIENTS 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast 2 tablespoons olive oil1 teaspoon salt 1/2 Tablespoon white sugar 1 cup warm water (110 degrees, I never measure personally)Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water. Dust your hands and rolling pin (or wine/beer bottle) with some flour and spread out on a large pizza/broiler pan. Top as desired.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes on top rack of oven.

Topping suggestions: red pepper rings, thinly sliced onion rings, fresh tomato slices, mushrooms, etc.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's a new day at The White House

Guess what? Earth, Wind and Fire are playing at The White House tonight. Remember this song Boogie Wonderland? Can you imagine this band playing at The White House when Bush was president? Yeah, me neither. See the sexy moves that the singer in the white leisure suit with the cut-out chest is doing? Those moves make me feel kind of funny in my tummy.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Chandra Levy

I realize that the Chandra Levy case really has nothing to
do with being a Not Easily Offended mom but I just wanted
to comment on it anyways.

My husband and I met in Modesto, Chandra's home town. A year after Erik graduated residency we went
on a 2 month cross country road trip. It was early on this
road trip that we heard about the case of the missing
intern. We were relaxing in a hotel room after a day of
driving and heard Modesto on the t.v. We turned up
the volume and were stunned as the story unfolded. Erik
knew of her father, because Dr. Levy worked at the
hospital that Erik did his residency at. Doctor's Medical Center. I had just taken a political science class at the
local junior college and our teacher mentioned Gary Condit all of the time. We were so far from Modesto and here it was on the national news.

As Erik and come up to our 9 year dating anniversary (we have been married 5 years) it's amazing that this
case is back in the news. Amazing but wonderful if
an arrest can bring some peace to her family. It
can't bring back their daughter but I hope this offers them something. And even if Gary Condit
is not guilty and the media coverage ruined his career.......I just can't get that sad for him. Chandra Levy was not the only woman he was cheating on his wife with........justice works in
mysterious ways.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mind Dump

bungee sheep no electronics jake light saber blue brother bill iraq soldiers sand food dessert rice pudding legalese love me time out.

The above is a one minute mind dump. My friend Clare did one at her blog for 25 seconds and she came up with way cooler words than I did. She must be more creative and type faster.

What can you come up? Leave it in comments or leave a link to your blog.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I figured out that linky thing!!

Holy Shit!! OMG!! I figured out something technically hard all by myself!! And it was soooo not hard, but my lack of technical savvy made me fearful of even trying to learn. So after a couple of beers and some severe concentration (which the beer didn't help) I figured it out!!

So if you haven't already guessed what it is that I taught myself, I will tell you; I learned how to do that link thing. You know where you just turn one word into a link for a whole other website. I have just always thought that was such a neat trick and now I know how to do it! Pretty good for a chick that only has a high school degree.

This is my hobby so this would be like somebody learning how to crochet a special kind of stitch or something. Or learning how to make a souffle if you cook as a hobby.

Ok onto another topic. I need to talk about that Nadya Suleman chick again. You know the octuplet mom? The house she is living in with her 6 kids is owned by her mother but will be up for auction in May because it's being foreclosed. Nadya was also in Nordstrom's buying M.A.C. lipgloss today. She is not a N.E.O. Mom.

My husband had a late meeting tonight and I did bath and bedtime by myself. Made more fun by my 4 year old screaming, "I want daddy, I want daddy!". Dude I want daddy too! I didn't say that, I somehow remained calm. My point is that bathing 3 kids at the same time without accidentally drowning them, getting them all in their p.j.s, brushing their teeth, combing their hair and then reading stories and then kissing them good night and then getting them cups of water. You get where I am going right? How the hell can this chick do this with 8 infants? She has 14 kids all under the age of 8 years old. Which means the majority of her kids cannot feed, bathe or dress themselves. I think I am going to go donate some money on her website so she can get herself a nanny.

Bodylines and Va de Vie-My Opinion Only

So in less than 10 days my household suffered 3 bouts of stomach bug, the croup and an ear infection. 2 of the cases of stomach bug were my three and four year old and we know how unsuccessful toddlers are in vomiting where they are supposed to vomit. The first case of vomiting and diarrhea was me! And when mom ends up in the emergency room getting 2 liters of I.V. fluid then everyone suffers. My husband and I were exhausted.

Our Valentine's Day was spent sipping champagne between loads of barfy laundry. So by President's Day we were ready for a break. I begged our sitter to come that Monday afternoon and I scored us 2-60 minute massages at Bodylines Day Spa in San Ramon for only $149.

My husband got an excellent massage but the girl that I had was way into deep tissue and I now have a giant bruise on my calf. She was at least 6 inches shorter than I am but this chick was tough! But a mediocre massage is way better than no massage. My husband and I showered there (not together) and then headed to Walnut Creek for dinner.

We went to Va de Vie, for our first visit. This is a small plates kind of place so you can order many dishes and share. Erik and I have big appetites and ordered a lot. I could have ordered more but I decided to enjoy the 4 pounds I lost after the stomach virus.

Va de Vie has an amazing wine list and you can order 3 glasses at once (a flight) or by the glass. So you can pair different wine with different dishes. The wine list is interesting enough to read if your date is boring. I ordered a flight of sparkling wine and tried not to chug-a-lug them. Erik got The Bailout which was a flight of red for $9.99! 3 glasses of wine for $9.99 is a good deal and they were tasty.

You can order all your dishes at once and they come out willy-nilly, whichever gets cooked first. And you can order stuff later too if you are still hungry. The first dish to arrive was the Miso Beef Salad. More greens than beef, just 4 very slender slices, with some thin noodles as well. Delicious but not exceptional. Pomme Frites, basically garlic fries and of course they were awesome. Erik got the Ahi Tartare, all for himself because I am not that into fish. He said it was amazing, and it looked very pretty. Then came our Mushroom Gnocchi. My second favorite dish of the evening. It tasted like a gourmet Stroganoff. The Gnocchi were not too chewy, the mushrooms were very flavorful, and the rich, creamy sauce I wanted to drink. But my overall favorite dish was the Duck Confit. The duck was not gamey at all, the skin was crisp, the meat was falling off the bones and it came with plum sauce and steamed buns. (like Dim Sum) Wow! That was sooooo good.

Dessert was a mini pecan pie for Erik and I got the profiteroles with vanilla gelato, you just can't screw that up and they didn't. The service was excellent and it's both a romantic and casual bistro.

My only complaint was the bathroom. It was dirty. Not gas station bathroom dirty but fast food restaurant dirty. I was really surprised and grossed out. They weren't that busy that evening so I didn't understand why it was so messy and why nobody could pop in there and clean it up.

But seriously after the couple of weeks Erik and I had we would have been happy eating at Burger King if it meant some time alone.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Father at 13

This story is down-right creepy! A boy in the U.K. was 12 when he knocked-up his then 14 year old girlfriend. He is now 13 and she is 15 years old and they are parents! There are so many disturbing components to this story:

1. I have to say in my personal opinion I would be less disturbed if the boy was the same age as the girl or 2 years older. Girls mature so much faster than boys and a 12 year old boy and a 14 year old girl just seem to be completely different animals. To make it worse he is only 4 ft. tall and looks like he is 10 years old. Ewww.

2. They were allowed to spend nights together.

3. The boy's father has 9 kids of his own.

4. When a reporter asked the young father how he was going to financially support his family he answered, "What's financially?". That is scary.

5. Two more boys have emerged claiming to be the father of this child.

Please feel free to comment.

Weekly < 30 minute Recipe #6

Ok I realizing it's freezing and raining outside but I had a craving for this salad. This recipe is for 2 people but you can double it if you have guests or your kids eat salad.

1 skinless, boneless chicken breast (pre-cooked grilled chicken )
as much lettuce chopped as you want ****
fresh tomato, chopped as much as you want (optional)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 of a (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
4 Tablespoons Fat Free Ranch dressing *****
4 Tablespoons barbeque sauce, your fave
A handful of crushed tortilla chips per person

Preheat the grill for high heat. Place chicken on the grill, and cook 6 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. Remove from heat, cool, and slice. Or use pre-cooked/grilled chicken.

In a bowl mix tomato, cilantro, corn, and black beans together and put on top of lettuce. Top with the grilled chicken slices and crused tortilla chips. Resist grated cheese but if you have guests over they might like it.

In a small bowl, mix the Ranch dressing and barbeque sauce. Serve on the side as a dipping sauce, or toss with the salad to coat.

6 Weight Watchers Points per serving. So that would be 1/2 a chicken breast, 1/4 of a can of black beans, 1/4 of a can of corn, 2Tbs F.F. Ranch, 2 Tbs. BBQ sauce and a handfull of crushed tortilla chips is about 6-7 chips crushed. I have big hands.

***** Making salad is boring and tedious. Eating salad is essential if you want to remain healthy and lose weight. A sad, sad truth. So I have a giant tupperware container that holds 3-4 heads of chopped lettuce. And at the beginning of the week I just chop a whole mess of rinsed and drained lettuce and throw it in the tupperware container and put in fridge. Nothing fancy, no carrots, no tomatoes just lettuce. So when I need to eat my salad the lettuce is already there and I can grab a handfull and put on some dressing or add other more exciting ingredients. The main point is to get greens in my gullet without a lot of fuss.

***** In my opinion Fat Free Ranch dressing tastes like ass. That is why in this recipe I reccomend mixing it with your fave bbq sauce. Tastes really good that way.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Follow-Up to Mom of 14

Ok so I watched that interview with Nadya Suleman on Dateline. She is the mother of the longest surviving octuplets and mother to a total of 14 kids.

The interview is as disturbing as I thought it was going to be. She is clearly a little nutsy cuckoo. Maybe not completely nuts because she is able to hold down a job, complete a degree and attempt a graduate degree and apply for student loans. She currently doesn't have a job though and all the loan money is gone. So she is using food stamps to support her kids but $490 a month is not enough to feed 14 kids. I have 3 kids and our grocery bills are $150.-$250. a week. And I use coupons and with the exception of beer, and that we do eat meat, the rest of our groceries are not expensive convenience or gourmet foods. So she is going to need to get a good job or live off the public teat.

Another thing I found disturbing is her comparison to Angelina Jolie. I had read about that but I thought it was silly until I actually saw her interview. Holy Crap! She has had lip work done quite similar to Angelina's and even kind of talks like her. Nadya Suleman denies she has had cosmetic work done, but she is lying. Dateline showed old pics of her and it's fairly obvious. If she hasn't had work done then neither has Michael Jackson.

Those babies are so damn beautiful, I really hope the absolute best for them.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Oy Octuplets

As a mommy blogger I would be remiss in my duties if I did not discuss this woman who had 8 babies. Do I really need to give you history on this? I am sure you are practically sick of hearing about it now that the octuplets are 2 weeks old. But just in case you have been living in a cave.

Nadya Suleman, age 33 already has 6 children all conceived by I.V.F. using sperm from an ex-boyfriend who has never met the kids. She used 6 more of her frozen embryos and had them implanted to have "...just one more child.". Well that didn't happen, all 6 embryos survived and 2 of them split into twins givng her 8 babies. All of this adds up to 14 children. All of them under the age of 8 years old. Nadya also lives with her parents in a 3 bedroom home, is single and is unemployed.

Shocking isn't it? Now I know that I have stated before that I don't care what other mothers do as long as it doesn't harm their children. I try my hardest not to be judgemental of other parent's choices. But having 14 kids under the age of 8 years old in a 3 bedroom house while you are unemployed and don't have a partner to help you is harmful!! How can she possibly give each one of them the attention they need and deserve. She can't.

At one time in my life, not too long ago, I had 3 kids all under the age of 3 years old and all in diapers. That was a one-way ticket to the funny farm. And I ain't talking funny ha ha, I am talking funny in the head, drooling in a corner. I had a husband, a nanny, friends, family and a mom's club to support me and it was still not one of the shining moments in my life. It was really hard. Nadya Suleman is single, and has no job, and her mother called her daughter's decision, ".....unconscionable.". If she successfully pulls this off then she is a far better mother than I am.

This same mother of 14 has also been quoted that she is going to breastfeed the octuplets. How? I nursed my youngest and he took his time eating and the other 2 were neglected. I can't do everything one-handed, and they are either watching too much t.v. while I was nursing their brother, or they were getting into trouble. To nurse 8 babies is logistically impossible.

The link I included below takes you to the interview of Nadya Suleman that will air on Dateline on Tuesday night. I have already read some of the interview and she talks about the desire to have a big family because she was an only child and her family was dysfunctional. I was listening to my favorite talk show guy Ronn Owens on KGO this morning and more than a handful of people were saying she did it to make money. I really don't care why she did it, and I do want her to make money. She needs cash to feed all of those mouths. As much as I disrespect her choices, I will buy her books, or watch her shows, because I don't want all those kids to go hungry, but I don't want them living off my taxes.

Turns out the medical board will be probing the fertility specialist who implanted 6 embryos into a mother under the age of 35 who already has 6 kids. Good! Maybe he can support those babies. Being married to a doctor though I can tell you with certainty that he can't afford to support 8 kids let alone 14.

Weekly < 30 Minutes Recipe #5

Everything is better with bacon.

Bacon, Corn, and Clam Chowder

Campbell's 98% Fat Free New England Clam Chower (not condensed) 1 can
1 8.75 oz. (or the closest size you can find) can of corn with diced red pepper, do not drain
2 slices bacon (freeze the rest of the package so you aren't tempted to eat it all)

Fry up your bacon and drain on paper towel. Drain grease from pan but don't wipe it down, a little bacon flavor won't kill ya. Open cans, dump into bacon pan on medium heat. Dice your crispy bacon and add to soup. You can simmer it for a few minutes or just eat it. Serves 2.

1 cup of this soup is 4 points. 5 saltine crackers are only 1 point so go nuts.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Little Star Cafe

For all local NEO Moms there is a new place to take your monkeys on a rainy day. It's an indoor play place with monkey food, adult food and drum roll And wine if you like that kind of thing.

More Blogging Nerdiness

I was reading my horoscope in the S.F. Chronicle pink pages from Sunday and it actually mentioned blogging!

"Sagittarius (Nov.21-Dec. 20) Who knows you may become the world's best loved - no. Best hated? No, again. Let's settle for best-read blogger. As 2009 progresses, Jupiter acts as an executive secretary, adding zip and zest to your communications. You're already a top contender. Now take a shot at the title. In other news: Mars adds muscle to your bustle. No, it's not too late for resolutions."

All Sagittarians who don't blog were probably annoyed with that horoscope, but I am stoked. I realize that blogging is just a hobby, and I am not going to get rich off doing it. Even though that's my husband's fantasy, I am more realistic about it. So hobbyists still set goals even though it's just a hobby right? Scrapbookers make a goal to finish the Christmas album from 1998, a cook will set a goal to learn how to make Sushi, some moms make it a goal to talk as much shit as they possibly can about other moms to make themselves look better, etc. etc.

I have goals for my blog stored in my polluted brain but now I want to put them out to the universe:

Goal #1 Six months from now I want 10 followers for each one of my blogs.

Goal #2 By Jan. 2010 I want an average of 100 hits/readers to NEO Moms everyday. I now average 15 for NEO Moms and about 25 for You Sure Do Have Your Hands Full. I know this can be done because when I blew up my old moms club I was averaging 60 hits a day. I do not want to go through an experience like that again, I want people coming here for positive reasons. Most of those hits were from scabpickers who would read my blog and then call each other on the phone and be like, "Oh my G-d , you won't believe what that bitch is saying now! She is a horrible mother and her kids are going to grow up to be crack-heads.".

Goal #3 Be more tech savvy. I want to learn how to do that thing where you put a link in the middle of a sentence. I don't even know what is called. For example in the sentence above it would be fantastic if crack-head was a link and if you clicked it a picture of Whitney Houston would pop up. How cool would that be?

Help me achieve my dreams.

Weekly < 30 Min. Recipe #4

Beans make me happy. They are filling and warm and have lots of fiber. My husband makes me sleep on the couch if I eat too many, but then I don't have to hear him snore so I don't mind.

Black Bean Chili

2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 cup diced onions (buy them pre-chopped)
1 garlic clove pressed (feel free to use more I have a slight allergy to garlic, so even though I love the stuff I have to go easy or my tongue swells)
4 tsps. chili powder
2 tsps. cumin powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (trust me)
3 cans 15 (or 15.5 oz) cans black beans, drained
2 cans 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes in juice
dashes of Tabasco to taste
hefty scoop of Fat Free sour cream
chopped fresh cilantro if you have it

Heat oil over med-high heat in large saucepan and add onions. Saute 5 min., mix in garlic and spices and then add beans and tomatoes. Simmer at least 15 minutes. Top with sour cream and cilantro if you want, resist the cheese!

One large cup of black bean chili is 2.5 points. Check the label on your fat free sour cream but the brand I use is zero points for one serving. That would be Naturally Yours Fat Free Sour Cream. So if you want you could add some grated cheese, let's say you use 1 oz. cheddar-colby mix which would be 1.5 points, that would bump up the total points to 4 points. Add a lite beer and you are still only at 6 points. Party on!

Weekly < 30 min. Recipe #3

Bell Pepper-feta Pasta Toss
Ok sorry I took a week off to visit with family and make a pig of myself. So now this week you will get 2 less than 30 minutes recipes, including the Weight Watchers points. This one is riduculously easy because you basically use the boiling hot pasta water poured over the red pepper to soften them a bit.

6 ounces uncooked linguine or fettucine
1 large yellow or red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)
salt to taste
1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese with basil and sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced olives, drained (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Put Pyrex measuring cup in sink, put colander over cup. Place bell pepper in acolander; drain pasta over bell pepper. Combine pasta, bell pepper, tomatoes, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently and thin with a little reserved pasta water if desired. Serves 4

1 serving is 5 points so you could have 2 servings if you have had a good day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Inaugural Hangover, In-laws and the Super Bowl

I obsessively watched the inauguration almost 2 weeks ago. And I have been crazy busy since then so this is going to be a long read for you. I had a friend and her 2 kids over that morning of 1/20/09 and we feasted on bagels and donuts. As soon as Aretha, in her fabulous hat, started singing I was teary and sniffling and it lasted all day long. That evening Auntie M and I tried to come up with our own version of the inaugural feast for our dinner.

We ate shrimp cocktail, rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, green salad and apple pie and vanilla ice cream. And lots and lots of champagne.

The next day I had a teensy bit of a hangover and I am so jaded from the last administration that I just assumed Obama would take a few days off to play golf. He actually went to work after staying out all night dancing. And every time I see him sit down and sign a new pledge to the American people with his left-handed scrawl, I want to make-out with him.

Soon after the inauguration my inlaws came to town from Arizona. Must people would shudder at a week long visit by their inlaws but mine are really cool. We visited and ate and took pictures and celebrated my FIL's 60th birthday. That is the picture below. My children don't sit well for pictures, they are the squirmy ones. Don't worry that's just water on Jake's pants, he has a hole in his lip.

Right after that party was SUPER BOWL. I could really care less about the game but having 55 people over to party on a Sunday was very exciting! I made 2 huge vats of nacho cheese sauce and we had a make your own nacho bar. It was a potluck too so we had a variety of toppings, plus hotwings, taquitos, several desserts and tons of beer. Good times!!! I think Bekah basically ate a dozen cupcakes by herself as much as I tried to stop her. Well at least she didn't go to bed hungry. That's her picture below with the evidence on her face and trying to put her 3D glasses on for the halftime show.

Our other halftime show was my dear husband and his buddy playing guitar. They sounded way better than Springsteen but the video I took turned out really shitty so I didn't post it here. They also played a post-game show that included Uncle Chrissy singing made-up blues songs that were, uhm, very interesting.
We did some betting with squares and I am not even going to pretend how that works but some squares were empty and since the game went long everbody decided that Erik and I would get the cash from the 3rd and 4th quarters and the rest would go to the N.E.O. Mamas party fund.
Speaking of my new and improved mom's club. When the universe slams a door shut she opens a window. I feel bad for blowing up the last club but everyone seems happier and far more entertained and we get almost one new member a week. There is obvioulsy a need for a group of women that aren't easily offended, and their husbands like it too. I know because a couple of husbands have told me to my face that this club is better.
I also heard that a couple of scab pickers are still reading my blog/blogs. What I mean by this is that there are some women who read my blog only to get mad or to confirm their suspicions that I suck. Hey if that floats your boat be my guest. I personally avoid stuff that pisses me off or makes me feel bad. Life is way too short.
Even though I just said I avoid stuff that makes me feel bad, I do have to take a minute to get personal and talk about feelings. So skip this part if you want, I am fine with that. So all last week and yesterday, people kept commenting on how brave I am (and maybe a little crazy) to host a super bowl party with 55 guests. Most of these guests were under the age of 5 years old.
Let me tell you why I don't mind doing this. I grew up in a house with an asshole, alcoholic, drug addict. That would be my mother's current husband (sorry mom you might want to skip this part). Even though my friends were welcome to come to my house, they often did not want to because they were scared of my step-father. They told me this then, and they tell me this now as adults, how they felt as children. So don't think I am just projecting my feelings on others, this is a fact.
This is why I don't mind hosting parties, playgroups, potlucks, etc. I won't lie it's a killer on my carpets and I spent a huge part of my morning cleaning, and I am not done yet, but it's so worth it. To have a home where not only my kids feel safe, but where other parents' kids feel safe and have fun, is something that is very, very important to me.
Uh-oh now I am having some deep feelings so I better go eat the leftover pork ribs in my fridge until these feelings go away.