It wasn’t the tryptophan that got us…

It was the croup.  Poor Vincenzo ended his Thanksgiving night in the ER because his throat had swollen so much he was struggling to breathe.  The doctors had him breathe a cool mist for about an hour then take some steroids, and he wasn’t too happy about it.  That’s not what got his heartrate up, though.  It wasn’t until Kevin said he was going to head out that the heartrate monitor went from “beep…beep…beep…” to “BEEP!BEEP!BEEP!”  It was cute and sad at the same time, and it really showed me that when he has his temper tantrums at home over things like Daddy leaving for work, there’s a lot going on inside his body.  His mac ‘n cheese rages are actually biologically fueled.

I am so thankful for modern medicine all the time.  When my kids start coughing I don’t think, “Oh crap, this could be the end of it for all of us.”  Instead I think, “Oh crap, he’ll have to miss preschool tomorrow.”  There really was a time in history when a cough could have led to death, and not just for the kid but for the kid’s entire family.  Crazy, isn’t it?

Anyway, we’re all up and running again and Vincenzo is back to jumping around the house in his underwear, yelling WHA-BANG at everyone, being a human neck rest at times, pretending to be Daddy’s “Boy Cape” at others, and trying to teach Rocco to jump off the couch.  When, that is, he’s not screaming about the lack of mac ‘n cheese around here.

All-day minestrone
Homemade bread
Brownie pops

Who IS this kid?!

QUICKIE: V: Mom, is this milk cold?  Me: Not really.  V: Can you colden it for me?
I kid you not, this all happened in the same day.*

I was driving back from the bookstore and from the backseat Vincenzo piped up, “Mom, if Daddy, Chuck Norris and me had a race, who would win?”  After a long discussion of roundhouse kicks and ninja turtle shells, we discussed the meaning of a “no-win situation.” 

We got out of the car and Vincenzo aimed his battery-powered toy drill, which he has been calling a “blaster,” at the sky.  He fired off a few shots and said something like, “I just shot God.” 

When we got home, the contractors were pounding away at the deck and Vincenzo said, “Look, Mom!  They’re using a staple presser!”  I asked if he meant a staple gun and he said, “No, Mommy, we don’t say the word ‘gun’ in this house.”  So to clarify, this child who just shot God will not say the word “gun” for fear of being struck down where he stands. 

At dinner that night Vincenzo thanked God for “blackberries, raspberries, and BOM!” and Kevin pointed out we should maybe pray for God’s quick and complete recovery, after today’s shooting incident.  After dinner Vincenzo handed me and Kevin each a penny, then held up his own penny.  “I’m going to use this to buy a Spider Droid at the Lego store!” he informed us.  I couldn’t hug him big enough.

Then I went to find Rocco’s SSN to set up his college account and Vincenzo asked what I was doing.  When I told him he said, “A college account?!  I don’t think Rocco will be too happy about that.”

Then I bought this picture from Vincenzo for a penny:


(He had put on his shorts backwards, looked behind him at the opened zipper, and said, “Mom, I’m too big for these shorts!  They won’t close in the back!”)

Today at lunch Vincenzo told me that for his next birthday he thinks he’d like an I-Phone.

And you know?  I think I’m so confused after all these conversations that I just might get him one.

Kevin’s Surprise


Food Fight

Why do I think Kraft mac ‘n cheese is the evilist of all evils?  Why did I spend a half an hour last week pretending like nothing was happening as my son kicked the cabinets in the kitchen, fake-punched me, slammed his bedroom until he felt it was loud enough, and ripped things off the wall all because he asked for mac ‘n cheese and I said no?  And why does that only further convince me that Kraft mac ‘n cheese is inherently corrupt?

I’ll tell you why:

1.  I think it has artificial coloring in it
2.  Uhhhhhh…
3.  Something about sodium?

As you can see from this list, this is clearly a food I should not be feeding my child.  And yet, I have no qualms about feeding him a sandwich with these ingredients on it twice a day:


No, you don’t need a new contact prescription; that really is a picture of peanut butter, jelly, mustard, pickle relish, and cheese.  Oh, and also there should be a tub of butter, as the proper way to eat a peanut butter, jelly, mustard, pickle relish, cheese sandwich is, obviously, grilled.

The little tupperware pictured was a special addition of chicken Vincenzo said he wanted on this particular sandwich.

And here’s the chicken…ON his sandwich.

IMG_6446 .

(He did that, not me.)

(Because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

But I digress.  Please tell me, is Kraft mac ‘n cheese the work of the devil?  Should I hire an exorcist to undo any damage that has been incurred unto this point?  Or are these raging temper tantrums really just a result of my parenting and I should just man up and own them?

Beef and cheese manicotti
with a side of beef and cheese manicotti

True Stories

1.  A conversation between Kevin and Vincenzo that shows how smrt he is:

V: Dad, when we get home I think you know what I’m going to tell you.
K: No…what?
V: I’ll give you a clue.  It rhymes with “hunk.”
K: Chunk? 
V: No
K: Monk?
V: No
K: Funk?
V: Nooooo….
K: What else does it rhyme with?
V: It also rhymes with snack!
K: …
V: It’s “I want a grilled cheese sandwich!”


2.  A conversation between me and Vincenzo that shows how far he will go to always be right:

V: Girls don’t hammer very well.  It’s kind of a guy thing.
Me: That’s not true.  Aunt Jnet is really good with a hammer.  She even went to carpentry school to learn how to use hammers.
V: Nooooo!  That’s not what I’m saying.  I’m saying she’s not good at clothes.
Me: Sure she is!  She sews her own clothes too!
V: Nooooo!  But I’m saying she’s not good at making clothes of wood.


3.  A Vincenzo statement that shows how practical he is:

V: I don’t like to eat lamb because of all that wool.

Sweetie Pie

My man has gone done me proud once again.  Check him out:


That’s Kevin after he won yet another eating contest.  (His other wins include the donuts, pizza and burritos, the latter of which caused some irreversible damage to our marriage and the ozone layer).  There were only two other guys in yesterday’s pie-eating contest and they both used their hands to eat, but Kevin was smarter.  He brought the entire Costco pie to his mouth and just kind of moved his head back and forth in it until a significant portion was gone.  The judges said he didn’t necessarily eat more pie than the others, but he definitely wanted it more.

Kevin’s recent victory brings to mind a famous Helen Keller quotes: I long to accomplish a great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.

I’m so proud.  And I will be even prouder of my man when he cooks up the 23-FRIGGIN’-POUND TURKEY he brought home for winning the contest. 

The only chance we have of eating all 23 pounds of turkey is for me to trick Kevin into thinking he’s in an eating contest at dinnertime.  It’s bound to be ugly, but at least with all that tryptophan making him drowsy, his eyes won’t look so crazed in the “after” shot.

Pasta with roasted vegetables and fresh garlic
Whatever is left on Kevin’s chin for dessert!


My major complaint as of 8AM this morning was that I had nothing to blog about.  Whine moan Vincenzo hasn’t said anything funny whine complain I haven’t returned any Louis Vuitton bags lately whine whine where’s that cyanide tablet when you really need it? complain whine blah.

But then I opened my computer and noticed Kevin installed Windows 7!  And now I can’t open Windows Live Writer because I can’t get past the part where it requires me to recite the entire atomic elements chart in backwards order by memory!   And so I have to write my posts through WordPress!  Which is a problem as I never did find out how to upload pictures to WordPress!   And holy crap, like, I actually have to write things now?!

Oh!  But this is not a problem, as my husband works at Microsoft and can solve all software problems!  I can get help without even calling India!  I called Kevin and asked for the fix.  He knew just how to solve my blogging problems: “That’s easy,” he said.  “If you can’t insert pictures, why don’t you just  describe the pictures in your post?”

Then I was all, “Operator?  Operator?  Can you put me through to India?  K thx bye.”

Kevin tried to cheer me up by telling me to minimize any window on my screen, put my mouse on the title bar, and shake it vigorously.  I did so and felt signifiantly not cheered up.  He said, “Isn’t it cool?  Did it minimize all the windows on your screen?  Wasn’t it fast?”

I decided the best way to cheer myself up at this point would be to hang up on Kevin.   As I did, I could hear him asking, “Do you know where Clyde is?  Maybe he’s blocking the tubes…”

Hey, does anyone know how to say, “Mail order bride” in Hindi?


WANTED: Someone to stand beside baby’s crib all night and replace binky on demand.  Preferable if he/she lactates as well.

WANTED: Someone to play SpaceShip from the hours of before sunup to after sundown.  No experience required.  IQ of less than 10 is preferred as this position will report directly to Captain Turtle.

WANTED: Someone to follow Mom around and tell her her house looks clean enough, her cooking is delicious enough, her body is thin enough, her blogging is funny enough, her parenting is awesome enough, and that it’s really only her self-esteem that needs improvement.  He/she should also should never touch her except when giving frequent back rubs.

WANTED: Someone who speaks fluent Cat to explain to our own cat that it’s just not okay to drink out of toilets.  People poop in there.

WANTED: Someone to do a mediocre job of repairing things around the house.  Workmanship must be good enough that it doesn’t need to be done over, but shoddy enough that it definitely doesn’t look right.  Will be provided with shapeless, XL t-shirts with pre-stained armpits.

WANTED: Unsolicited comments


Salmon with Chambord sauce
Salad with pancetta crisps
Buttered fingerling potatoes

Design our deck!

So we’re getting a new deck installed this month (woot woot!) and this company installs a lit-up panel anywhere we want on the deck with any picture we want in it.  For example:

hot tub

Here are the ideas we’ve come up with, based on our family’s passions/interests:

Chuck Norris’ beard
A zombie
An energy-efficient, high speed dishwasher
A big messy fight
A photo of what would be below the square if it were see-through
My boobs (Rocco can’t talk, but we’re pretty sure that’s what his vote would be.)  (Kevin’s too.)
A chia pet**
Kevin’s eyebrows and/or Charlie Sheen
This picture of Vincenzo:


So…are we on the right track?  Which should it be?  Or is there a better idea we haven’t thought of?

Grilled pear and blue cheese sandwiches
Silky leek and red wine soup

**Nicole, Jenn, and Melinda, that one’s for you!

Kevin’s Eyebrows: The Real Story

I feel like I could have done that post about Kevin’s eyebrow wax a little better.  So here it is, the right way:

Kevin’s “before” picture


(I told him to smile but he said no one ever smiles in “before” pictures.)

Kevin browsed through some magazines while waiting for his appointment, trying to choose which eyebrows would look best on him.  He chose these ones.



Mm-hm.  I, however, picked out these ones for him:

Not only are they more age-appropriate for him, but with these eyebrows he could also take my look of admonishment with him wherever he goes.


Enter: comic relief:

Now we know what they do with all that cholesterol they’re cutting out of food products!  Waste not, want not.


And now…for the eyebrow waxing!  Wait a minute, that’s not my eye– #@!&%



And finally, the “after” picture:

See adjacent text.
Just kidding!  That’s the Mona Lisa.  (Betcha never noticed that about her eyebrows, did you?)


Okay, here’s the real “after” picture.

Kevin sent me this picture from work.  I’m taking him at his word because hey, he looks like an honest guy.  Or is it just the new eyebrows?

Same’s last night