Gifted

QUICKIE: Vincenzo: “Mom, I want to change my shirt.”  Me: “Why?”  V: “Because this one has a sticky booger on it.”
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Kevin went down to Vegas last weekend, which stirred up some mixed emotions within me.  Last time he went to Vegas and came back with this Louis Vuitton bag that I tried on with every pair of sweats I own, but it just wasn’t the right color of eggplant to pull it off.  I promptly returned it. 

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But then just last month Kevin came home from a business trip laden with gifts for himself and Vincenzo, but absolutely nothing for me?  I tried to return it, too, but apparently it didn’t come with a receipt.

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This time, though, he struck the perfect balance.

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Shirts.  I love shirts!  But the shirts weren’t what got me excited…it was the bag they came in that did.

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(It got you excited too, didn’t it?!)  Won’t the other kids at the playground be jealous when Vincenzo pulls his PB&J out of this wonderful display of…of whatever exactly this is?  He’ll probably crack a joke or two about how smoothly yo’ mama spread the peanut butter his bread, give himself a high five, then run off to try his hand at the monkey bars. 

It just seems like the next logical step for a kid whose splat mat promotes booze and cigarettes, don’t you think?

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Teriyaki chicken
Rice
Something else, too

Walkaway Joe

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, smiling at me: “Mom, I can’t keep my happy face on forever!”
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You know that guy who you really tried to fall in love with, I mean who you really wanted it to work out with, but who you finally had to end it with because his jaw always clicked when he was eating or because he spoke French with a Texas twang or because he foamed at the mouth a little when he ran?  But he was really, really nice and would have done anything for you?  And your mom loved him too?

Well, I used to hang out with this guy Joe.  We spent time together every morning and some afternoons, too, and our time together always felt luxurious, sacred, and almost perfect…except for the sudden, pressing need to brush my teeth the minute he was gone.  But let me tell you, he was hot!!  And black!  And his name—his name—was Coffee.

I hate coffee when I’m pregnant.  In fact, the very first indication I’m pregnant is that I give up my morning cuppa and declare coffee the most disgusting substance on planet earth.  (And I should know—I’m addicted to Planet Earth and just this week have seen birds building nests entirely out of spit and glow worms reeling lines of gooey saliva laden with writhing moths back into their mouths.  That’s Kool-aid next to coffee.)  I hate the smell of coffee, I hate the taste of it, and I especially hate Folgers commercials when I’m pregnant.

But the thing is, despite all this, I really miss coffee.  Nothing can replace those sacred moments in the morning when it’s just me and my coffee.  The guilty pleasure of buying a second Starbucks in one day.  The thrill of saying “yes” to a cup of espresso after 7PM.

Now don’t get all Dr. Phil on me and suggest I have a nice cup of tea instead because you know as well as I do that that’s like eating fruit for dessert.  To stick with the dating metaphor, it’s like substituting Brad Pitt with Mr. Bean, or at least substituting Brad Pitt’s teeth with Mr. Bean’s teeth.

I’m 34 weeks pregnant today, and since my OB is inducing labor early, a mere five weeks stand between me and my joyous reunion with coffee—which makes me incredibly nervous.  What if I can’t conjure up those old feelings of amore?  What if Starbucks’ special blend has changed since we last hooked up?  What if I like coffee but coffee doesn’t like me?  I think I’m less afraid of labor than of my first sip of coffee after labor.  At least for labor I can get an epidural to block the pain, but no epidural can block the pain of losing my coffee love.

Well, if worst comes to worst, I guess there’s always Bird’s Nest Soup

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Maple glazed salmon
Roasted potatoes
Salad with strawberries, goat cheese, and toasted almonds

The only personality test you need to take

QUICKIE: Me to Kevin: “I forgot to water the flowering currant and I think it died.”  Kevin: “So does that make it a ‘flowering past?’”
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Renee over at MommyBlogYay took that Myers-Briggs personality test so I took it again too (it had been 15 years) and found I’ve changed from an ENFJ to an ESFJ.  The S stands for “sensitive,” and it comprises a mere 1% of my personality, so please come to me if you need some empathy and understanding but don’t expect too much because I’ll probably be busy judging you, as the J makes up a significantly larger portion of my personality.

Anyway, I feel the test itself asks the wrong questions.  Like, how do you answer these ones without writing explanations about which situations they apply and don’t apply to:

*You often do jobs in a hurry
(Okay, but name one mom who DOESN’T.)

*It is in your nature to assume responsibility
(It depends if assuming responsibility means fessing up to using the last square of toilet paper (then YES!) or if it means joining PETA and giving up aerosol hair products to assume responsibility for mankind (then NO!)

*You tend to rely on your experience rather than on theoretical alternatives
(Are we still talking about aerosol hair products?)

So since we all agree that the Myers-Briggs personality test has some apparent flaws and oversights, I came up with my own personality questionnaire.  Complete at your leisure and check the comments for my thorough analysis of your personality.  Please respond to the following statements with either “yes” or “no.”

1.  You have lost either your glasses, cell phone, or car keys within the past hour.

2. You sign up for lots of things, then complain endlessly about all the things you have to do, then you quit a bunch of things and complain because you never do anything.

3. You have the patience to cut out itty bitty chipboard letters using eyebrow scissors for a scrapbook page, but you don’t have the patience to clean the pink mold out of your bathroom tile.

4. You spend hours every week working out so that you have a rockin’ hot body, but wear only baggy, mismatched sweat suits.

5. When your son runs out of underwear, you do a load of laundry of just his underwear, even though there is a huge pile of dirty laundry that could have easily been thrown in at the same time.

6. If your spouse asks you to sew a button on his shirt, adding, “WOMAN!” you do so…and he goes to work the next day wearing a shirt with a hot pink piggy button on it.

7. You would enjoy political cartoons a lot more if they all made at least one reference to poop.

8. You worry often (quite often) about Yellowstone National Park exploding and exterminating all human life everywhere.

9. You always answer the phone on the first ring, provided no one else is at home, it’s not dinner time, it’s not an “unknown number,” you actually feel like talking, you didn’t accidentally leave it on “do not disturb” mode for the past three days, and you can find one of the three phones in your house before the caller gives up.

10. You feel the need to rewrite the answers of this personality test to more accurately analyze your life.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Someone else’s food…and it ends with homemade coconut avocado ice cream, so I’m super excited!

A picture is worth 1,000 swear words

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, placing a hand on my boob: “It feels like Mbungo’s head is right about here today…”  He followed it up a couple days later by placing a hand on my thigh and saying, “It feels like the baby’s getting bigger.”
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Here are a couple shots from around my house this week.  It feels weird because I only have two pictures, and I always post things in threes.  Maybe by the time I’m finished writing this, a third thing will pop up?

1). I found Vincenzo’s garbage truck set up this way a couple days ago.  What does it say about you when your child’s imaginative play starts including road rage?

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2). Vincenzo actually colored a picture, of his own volition, on Sunday.  He calls it “The Cave where Turtles Get Lost.”  The purple part is a series of slides, apparently, and a rocket ship (don’t even THINK about calling it a space ship) so the lost turtles can get out.

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Not 3). Yeah, nothing’s popping up for a third image…other than my belly button, and I’ll spare you the visuals on that one.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Grilled mahi mahi with avocado mango salsa
Pasta with walnut parsley pesto
Cucumber salad

Rocking the fun-a-thlon

QUICKIE: Check it out–Vincenzo’s habit of not wearing pants is finally catching on!

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Not sure how all of you spent the weekend, but guess who I was hanging out with?  Does anyone recognize…THIS guy?

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No?  Well then maybe you’d recognize THIS chick?

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Still no?  Can you still find it somewhere in your hearts to feel jealous that I spent an afternoon with these 30-second-famers anyway?  They were hosting a fun-a-thlon for kids, the point of which we could not determine but the highlight of which was a piggy back race.  Vincenzo does not do piggy back rides.  He never has.  But with a little persuasion (“Look, honey!  The turtle races are starting!  Quick!  Daddy needs his shell!), we managed to participate.

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That’s them, coming in next-to-last place.  (Dead last was an 8-year-old kid carrying his dad who was carrying his baby brother.)  Kevin claimed Vincenzo kept yelling, “Slower, Daddy, slower!”  Because it was Father’s Day, I let him think I believed him.

But technically speaking, Vincenzo and Kevin were the only turtles in the piggyback race, so technically I guess that makes them…first?

Then again, knowing who the host is, the gold medal probably went to the person in second place.  Ouch.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Cilantro turkey burgers
Twice baked potatoes

All things Idahoan

QUICKIE: Search engine traffic term of the week: “naked pregnant large stomach.”  Thank you, whoever found me that way.
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Kevin went on a business trip this week–to Idaho, the lucky bastard.  (It’s the only place he ever gets to go.)  He came back bearing gifts, as always.

For himself, this pink, huckleberry-scented t-shirt:

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For Vincenzo, this almost-pink t-shirt and two packages of honey roasted peanuts:

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And for his lovely wife, who spent most of the time he was gone puking in the bathroom while still lovingly tending to their son:

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I mean, throw me a friggin’ bone already!  My son got a t-shirt and two, read that as TWO, packages of peanuts!

But he should know by now, I always get the last laugh.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
2 packages of peanuts

Oh, Canada

QUICKIE: Vincenzo: “Mom!  Canada has a swimming pool!”
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Now here’s a question for you: If you’re vacationing in Canada and a seagull lands outside of your hotel room window, what should you do?  If you’re from my husband’s family, the answer is a no-brainer: you feed it.  (And to answer your next question: dark chocolate glazed raspberry granola bars.)

Coincidentally, this exact situation occurred just this last weekend when we took a little jaunt to Victoria, BC.  At breakfast the next day, Vincenzo decided to draw a picture of the seagull.

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Let me interpret the drawing, as dictated by the artist himself:

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And that, my friends, is you to draw a picture of a Canadian seagull.  Pretty swell, eh?

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Still not up to me!