More pointless than usual

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, out of the blue: “Daddy, you look a lot like Mommy!”
Five Things I Can’t Tie Together but Which May Make You Smile:

1.  Vincenzo now prefers to be referred to as Fighting Flying Doctor Ninja Turtle. 

2.  Kevin walked in the house after work and said to hold dinner for five minutes because he “had a couple turtle heads poking out.”  Then he disappeared into the bathroom.  I’m not sure what this means in lieu of my son’s own identification with turtles.

3.  When I put Vincenzo down for a nap today he instructed me to play doctor while he slept.  He’s actually outsourcing his playing now.

4.  I’m very strict about no guns or violence in the house (if you remember, we call them “shooters” and they usually expel marshmallows or pudding).  Yet I actually taught Vincenzo how to pretend-saw Kevin’s head off with a sword last week and now sawing off body parts is a source of much glee.  And for some reason, that feels okay.

5.  When I look up “corned beef” in my recipe book, it takes two lines to tell me “Refer to beef–corned” instead of just telling me it’s on page 211.   I don’t know why it has to get so passive-aggressive on me.

Lime cilantro burgers
Potato salad
Grilled mushrooms with pancetta
Salad with blue cheese and apples

Bad Bunny!


QUICKIE: Vincenzo, with me in the bathroom: “Mommy, your potty sounds like music.”
This year for Easter I was so proud of myself.  In the past I’ve bought the big bags of Easter candy, put one handful of each kind into Easter eggs for Vincenzo, then been stuck with several pounds of chocolate/jelly beans/weird coconut egg-shaped things to eat on my own.  Every solitary M&M I ate raised cardinal sin amounts of guilt, as I am one of those people always trying to lose those “last five pounds.”

This year, though, my plan was so brilliant I almost wrote myself in to Parents magazine.  Instead of buying eight big bags of candy I bought eight little handfuls from the bulk bins at the grocery store.  I filled all the eggs on Easter eve and tucked them away, nary a stray jellybean to be had.  I went to bed dreaming of carrots and lettuce and other happinesses Easter bunnies dream of.

The problem arose on Easter morning.  I woke up at 5, excited that the Easter bunny had come in the middle of the night, and I ran out to see what kind of foil-wrapped goodness lay snuggled in the Easter basket.  Of course, there was nothing.  Not even a stray friggin’ jellybean.

Then I heard sounds of my son stirring in his bedroom so thinking quickly, I dashed to his bedroom.  I told him the Easter bunny hadn’t come yet and is probably on her way at this very moment and if Vincenzo didn’t get back in bed she may never ever come to our house ever EVER again.  He jumped in bed and fell asleep faster than you could say “Mommy’s not up to anything at all.”

With Vincenzo safely sequestered away, I had the living room to myself.  I quietly went around finding the eggs I had hidden, opening each one, and taking out half a handful of whatever was inside.  Then I ate it all.  I *may* have even gone overboard on an egg or two and had to refill them with Grape Nuts and Wheaties.  And I learned something very important that I will share with all of you: The thrill of stealing candy from a toddler overrides the guilt of eating chocolate!! 

But don’t take my word for it; try it yourselves.  I don’t even think it needs to be your own toddler.

Going out!

P.S.  This all happened yesterday morning.  Do you think I should tell Vincenzo it’s safe to come out of his room now?

Potty mouth

QUICKIE: *Vincenzo to me: “Mommy, tell me and Daddy to go into a pretend cave, and then I’ll say, ‘We have a system here!'”
Is tending to nature’s call this fun at your house?  The other day, Vincenzo and Kevin went into a public family bathroom that had two toilets.  Vincenzo sat on one and looked over at the other toilet.

V: Daddy, that toilet looks lonely.
K: What do you mean?
V: It looks lonely for pee pee.
K: Oh.  I see.
V: You go do some pee pee in it.
K: I don’t have any pee pee.
V: Then go do some poop in it.
K: I don’t have any poop.
V: [Has mini “tenter tantrum” while still on toilet]
K: Let’s go find your mother.  She’ll want to know about this.

And then yesterday, Vincenzo ran out of the living room yelling, “I have to change my undies!” which is code for “I did a little potty in my underwear and there’s a whole lot more where that came from!”  Kevin went to the bathroom to help and Vincenzo explained why his underwear was really wet.  Apparently he was attacked by flying water bottles and they squirted him, but it was okay because he managed to beat them off with his turtle wings.  Which, apparently, is code for “I went potty.”

So the next time your toilet looks lonely, just beat your turtle wings at it and WATCH OUT for flying water bottles!

Same as Monday

The new missus

QUICKIE:  Here’s the first thing you would have seen in your living room today if you were me:


We spent last weekend celebrating my birthday.  (I turned about three years younger than you, in case you’re wondering.)  Kevin told me he wanted to get me the counterpart to the personalized swimsuit calendar I gave him for Christmas: he was going to buy a Chippendale calendar and stick pictures of vacuum attachments over the models’ faces.  He apparently didn’t want me getting any notions, though, because he got me something different.

Instead, Kevin gave me the promise to thoroughly clean one thing a month.  This may sound like an insult to my housekeeping skills, and it probably is, but WOOT WOOT for other people cleaning my sh**!  There are no limitations on what I can ask for, so it could be something as simple as a toilet or as big as, say, THE ENTIRE HOUSE.  Ooo–maybe one month I’ll ask him to clean the WORLD!  But I think I’ll just start small and work up to it.  Maybe the first month I’ll just ask him to brush my teeth for me.

Anyway, you know how Kevin got into some really girlie books a couple months ago, and then he started buying Nads and helping with the laundry?  This weekend I found him laying on the couch looking miserable so I asked him what’s up.  It was his stomach, apparently.  It was kind of like a stomachache but more like…cramps.  In fact, he told me, he’s been getting these same pains–“cramps”–about once a month for quite some time.

So K laid on the couch while I tiptoed around him and tried not to say anything that might be interpreted as an insult or which may reveal my lack of sensitivity and understanding as a mere female.  I was very helpful, actually.  I kept offering to run out and buy him some Pamprin, and every time he went to the bathroom I asked if he had any signs of vaginal discharge yet.  (Nothing so far.)  The next day Kevin took two showers because even though the cramps were gone he felt “extra gross.”  Then he went out and bought these:


A $100 pair of shiny, red Pumas shoes.  He’s discovered retail therapy.

I shouldn’t laugh.  I’d feel really bad if his monthly stomach pains turned out to be a serious illness.  You know, like endometriosis or something.

Lemon chicken with basil dressing
Balsamic-glazed asparagus
Home-canned peaches

Let’s Zelebrate!!!

QUICKIE: We read a book about ninjas this week, so now Vincenzo runs around with a sword saying he is a ninja turtle.  He also eats an insane amount of pizza.  I told him that if he had put all that together 30 years ago, he’d be a millionaire by  now.
O frabjous day!  Callooh!  Callay!  The ABC activities are OVER!!!!  I feel bad being so excited because it really was fun until we hit U week, when Vincenzo started responding to any ABC-related questions with “mew-mews” and also started thinking of anything art-related as being the devil’s work.

For Z week we went to the zoo.  I know, I know, who would have thunk?  My favorite part was when Vincenzo played “vet” with Abby in the indoor area.  (They’re not supposed to play doctor yet, but vet is okay, right?)  Vincenzo  held a stuffed gorilla baby, put the stethoscope on its chest, then looked up at me worriedly.  “I don’t hear anything Mom!”  After I assured him that’s perfectly normal for stuffed animals, he decided the gorilla was hungry so he fed it a bottle.  Never mind that he applied the bottle directly to the top of the gorilla’s head–his previous interactions with dolls all involved him throwing the doll off the top bunk of his bed and yelling, “SWIM, scoopa diver, SWIM!”  I was thrilled, of course!  I didn’t know Vincenzo would be able to babysit Mbungo so soon!

Here’s our Z craft.  The zipper really works, and now Vincenzo is also now trained to tell people to “X-Y-Z” and start cracking up when their zipper is in the down position.  It’s really charming.


Beef tenderloin with figs in a cream brandy sauce
Grilled asparagus with basil sauce
Carrot cheesecake

It’s in my jeans!

QUICKIE: We read a book about ninjas this week, so now Vincenzo runs around with a sword saying he is a ninja turtle.  He also eats an insane amount of pizza.  I told him that if he had put all that together 30 years ago, he’d be a millionaire by  now.
I hate almost everything about being pregnant.  Last week, a baby magazine told me something like, “At 20 weeks, you’re past the nausea/fatigue of first trimester and you haven’t yet hit the heartburn of third trimester.  You’re feeling pretty good!”  It came off like a bad knock-knock joke.  I’m STILL nauseous, am exhausted because I CAN’T SLEEP, and I have had heartburn for FOUR MONTHS STRAIGHT.  Not to mention that the minute I eat something I feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach for the rest of the day, and unfortunately I wake up at 6AM and have to eat something RIGHT THEN.

But!  All is not lost!  There is one thing I love about being pregnant, and that is clothes shopping.   Normally buying a pair of jeans can take days or weeks as you go from store to store trying on different styles, putting some on hold, buying some then returning them, dragging along various friends/family members to weigh in their opinions, and researching gyms in your area because you swear you will not stand in a dressing room again until something changes.  You have so much to consider before finally committing to a pair.  Like:

1.  cost of jeans
2.  whether or not the same jeans will be in the store, in your size, when the store sale starts in three weeks
3.  number of shoes you have that you could wear with this particular hem length
4.  if God will laugh at you for thinking you could pull off skinny jeans
5.  the approximate size they make your butt look

None of this trips you up when you’re pregnant, though.  It’s like this: you go into the only store in the mall that carries clothes that fit you.  You see their jeans section, and there is choice A or choice B.  Even if you try them both on and like them both, you only have a 50% chance of being wrong.  You don’t need to worry if the cut will only be in style for one season or if you’ll be able to wear them for years to come.  You don’t need to check your butt size in the mirror because you’re only 20 weeks pregnant and you’ve already gained 20 pounds, so at this point anything you put on your butt can only make it look smaller. 

And the best part of shopping for maternity jeans is that there are no belts, zippers, or buttons to contend with.  You can actually pull a pair of maternity jeans off quicker than you can pull your underwear off (not that that’s a very helpful skill when in your current condition).  (Unless, of course, you’re one of those second trimester ladies who feels SO GREAT that she feels a surge of love and passion toward her husband. In which case I hope both option A and option B make you look like you have a small waterbed stapled to your butt.)

Lots and lots of crab–but I’m not cooking one claw of it!
Carrot cheesecake (that I am cooking)
Turtle cake (also me)

Search me!

QUICKIE: Vincenzo: “Mom, I just ate a lot.  Does that mean I’m going to grow?”  Me: “Yup.”  Vincenzo, after a quiet moment: “But I don’t feel anything on me moving!?”
The longer I blog, the crazier are the search engine terms that bring traffic to my blog.  The most recent onslaught has inspired me to write a short conversation using some of my favorite terms, which I’ve capitalized in the dialogue below.  Enjoy.


Archie: “No, but I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I TOUCHED CAT POO before getting into your car.”

V: “How many times do I have to tell you to use the CATBUTT PLUG before you go messing around with your cat?”

A: “CHRIST IN A SIDECAR, Veronica!  I was just gathering inspiration for my special VACHERIN WITH CHAMOMILE-POACHED NECTARINS!  It’s a Martha Stewart recipe!”

V: “Well here–at least use some sanitizer.  I picked it up from the XXX bookstore the other day.”

A: “For the love of RYAN SEACREST, what were you doing in a XXX bookstore?”

V: “I was researching HOW TO PAINT A WINKING WHALE.  The regular bookstores didn’t have it, so I figured–“

A: “Never mind.  Let’s say we blow this HO DOWN and go take a look at my SPOTTED DICK.  It should be hot and steamy by now.”

V: “That’s what I’m talking about!  Let’s go!”

And a few after thoughts:

My favorite part about all this is that someone managed to correctly spell “vacherin” and “chamomile” but couldn’t spell “nectarine.  I’m also pretty sure that Ryan Seacrest is the one who searched for “Ryan Seacrest.”  And also maybe “catbutt plug.”