Funny kid stuff

1. Yesterday we heard a radio ad for Tully’s where they talk about how they listen to the sound of the beans popping to know when the coffee is roasted just right.

Radio: “…at Tully’s, we roast coffee with our ears!”
Vincenzo: “Oh, YUCK!”


Rocco, looking out the car window on the freeway: “Car!  Car!  Car!  Car!”
Vincenzo, drily: Thank you, Captain Obvious.

3.  You all remember how I let Rocco’s hair get so long this summer that people started mistaking him as a girl?  Well here’s what happens when you let the same thing happen to your five-year-old and then it’s picture day at school.



I can just see the photographer making “I can’t believe this kid’s lousy excuse for a mother sent him to school looking like this” eyes with Vincenzo’s teacher as he pulled out his black comb and went to work.

BTW, I showed the picture to my mom and she thought it looked nice.

Spinach and cheese ravioli (store bought)
Salad with apples and blue cheese

Stress-free Thanksgiving. Errrr…

For those who care, my cold was mostly under control by Thanksgiving Day so thank goodness I have nothing to report about gravy popsicles or turkey ice cream. 

Actually it wouldn’t have mattered that much because, being a person driven largely by anxiety, I spend most of November eating all the foods that will be served at Thanksgiving so that come the big day, I don’t need to worry about how to fit as much food as my brain the size of two fists wants to eat into a stomach that is the size of my fist.  Cornbread stuffing instead of white bread?  No worries; I already had my fill of white bread stuffing the week before.  No room for yams on the plate?  I’m still digesting the yams I ate yesterday.  Rocco melts down before dessert?  No problem—I ate an entire pumpkin pie myself earlier this month.

Doing all the eating prep should have given me a lot of time to think about what I was going to wear to Thanksgiving but apparently I dropped the ball on that one.  I wore this dress, which from now on I will be referring to as “shirt.”:

(Not me in picture, but thanks for asking.)

Anyway, as I learned on Thanksgiving, the shirt should have come with these arrows:


I was boobalicious there in front of my parents, my siblings, my kids (but not my husband, who called in sick to Thanksgiving).  Just to clarify, my boobs are a size B—a small size B—and only because I’m still nursing.  (After nursing ends I get to go down to an “almost A,” and did you know you can still be saggy when you’re an “almost A?”)  In my family, however, a size B is big enough to warrant a breast reduction.  It’d be like if Dolly Parton was sisters with Kate Moss.


Fortunately we had made these owl placecards:


And Vincenzo for some reason insisted I wear an owl right in the V part of the neckline.  Kids are so intuitive.  I wore my Thanksgiving Owl of Modesty.

Back home that evening I sealed up the last of my Christmas cards because I like to spread the Christmas stress out slowly over two months instead of saving it for just one.  Now I will sit on the addressed, stamped, sealed envelopes until the first week of December because I hate to stress other people out by sending my Christmas cards out before they’ve even bought theirs. 

You’re welcome, from my anxiety to yours.

Breaded cod or halibut—I can’t remember which one I got
Rigatoni in brown butter sauce
Roasted asparagus

Can you die of a sore throat?

My throat hu-u-u-u-uuuurrrrrtttts.  It feels so good to type that because it hurts too much to say it out loud.  If I could talk I’d spend the day telling everyone who looks my way how much my throat hurts.  Seriously.  It feels like I swallowed a neck-shaped piece of burlap, followed by a box of burning matches, followed by a little guy who rubs the burning burlap all over my throat every time I swallow or talk or whisper or eat anything that does not come in a carton and is not kept in the freezer.

The kids have been troopers through my involuntary vow of silence.  Rocco speaks a lot of sign language and Vincenzo mostly just needs to be whacked with various bats and swords periodically in lieu of being spoken to.  Kevin’s as sick as I am so he’s okay with the temporary break from my daily debriefing of  all the things I could have bought but didn’t that day and whether or not we got just the right shade of cream for the bathroom and if he thinks the cat likes me or him best.

My throat has less than 24 hours to heal itself before Thanksgiving dinner or I’m going to have the quietest, raging temper tantrum ever because my brief Internet searches have yielded results about Ice Cream in Turkey but haven’t found a single thing about Turkey in Ice Cream.  I could,  however, make my own sweet potato ice cream or get some green bean ice cream imported from Beijing.*

Chocolate moo’d shakes from Jamba Juice

*No gravy ice cream, however; Ben & Jerry’s has apparently discontinued Wavy Gravy Ice Cream.  Though I’m pretty sure I could make a gravy popsicle in time if anyone has one of those insta-freeze thingamajigs…

Eggnog, My Love


The lifejuice of my soul.  Why do you have to be so seasonal?  Is diet Coke seasonal?   No.  Lemonade? Nope.  Crack cocaine?  Hu-uh.  All of these are offered all year round.

But alas eggnog is here just long enough each year to make us fall in love all over again, only to break the hearts of each one of our taste buds two months later.

During the months of January to October I make myself a cup of coffee at home in the morning.  But when Starbucks rolls out the eggnog I have to get myself to a Starbucks every day.  It’s not the same to put eggnog in my coffee at home; that’s like sprinkling Molly McButter on your potato and pretending it tastes just like that real thing.  Try it.  It’s not the same.

Like any addict, my life has become a web of lies based around getting myself more eggnog.  I usually use the baby as an excuse to hop in the car for my daily Starbucks drive-through run.

Me: Kevin, I’m taking Rocco out for a drive.  He seems a bit fussy.
Kevin: But…he’s playing happily with his toys!
[Sound of car starting]


Me: Kevin, I’m taking Rocco out for a drive.  He seems a bit fussy.
Kevin: But he’s asleep in his crib!
Me: [Sound of nursery door opening]
Rocco: [Sound of crying]
Me: See?  Gotta go.

As if it’s not hard enough when Christmas is over and you don’t have any more chestnut roasting or hall decking to do, they go and pull the eggnog plug too and glug glug, suddenly that coffee you make at home that you used to enjoy tastes like ass.  And suddenly “ass” doesn’t mean a noble donkey in a stable, either.

Eggnog is like that ex-boyfriend that you keep hooking up with. You know how it’s going to end every time but yet you–

Wait!  Do you hear that?  Harken!  I hear the joyous sound of Rocco fussing! 

I’m going to go change my panties and head out.  L8r!

Boeuf bourginon soup (I apologize for the  snobby spelling of “beef”—just copying from Martha Stewart)
Roasted butternut squash
Chocolate cake with milk chocolate and caramel krispie filling

Not much doin’

1. I’m feeling really weird about having this month’s WIRED magazine on our coffee table.  Is it just me?  (And is it just a coincidence that the word “weird” can be spelled from the letters in “wired?”)


2. I love that my kids are still young enough that I can do 90% of my Christmas shopping at Bartell’s near my house.  I’d like to give a special thanks to Mr. Bubble.

3. Kevin went on a business trip for a few days so I spent a night with the kids at my mom’s.  It felt so luxurious to have time to actually finish a book I was reading, all in one sitting.  Granted, I only had fifteen pages to go, but I got to read those fifteen pages all at once!  Without anyone crying in the background!  (Thanks for holding it together, Mom.)

Vincenzo: If a person hurts his leg he can get a robot leg.
Me: Yup.
V: And if he hurts his foot he could get a robot foot.
Me: Yup.
V: But a person could never get a robot head.
Me: Right.
V: Because the eyes wouldn’t be right.

Miso-marinated salmon
Roasted asparagus
Parmesan Risotto
Pear Tart (What can I say–pears were on sale.)

Curtain Call

I have been looking all over on-line for a shower curtain for our remodeled bathroom.  The problem is that I know exactly what I want—a cream colored curtain with a little bit of sheen to the material and a wide chocolate band at the bottom.  (You know, because that should look great next to the mustard walls.)  I can find lots of things that are close that that but not quite it.  I have spent hours looking.  All the letters that spell “shower curtain” are rubbed off of my keyboard I’ve looked so much.  I’m getting bed sores on my bottom I’ve looked so much.  Rocco has started referring to the computer as “mama” I’ve looked so much.

So on Saturday I decided to get my butt off the couch and go to an actual store.

Can you imagine my elation when I walked into the first store I came to that day (Restoration Hardware) and saw this?


Angel of mercy, a cream colored curtain!  With a chocolate band on bottom!  And just a little bit of sheen to the material!  Halleluiah, my long journey is over!  I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and it is…

It is made of Thai Silk?

It costs $400? 

Per panel?

It’s actually dry-clean only living room drapes, not a vinyl shower curtain?


So I went home and searched some more and now I’m thinking I might get this shower curtain instead, just for spite.


Remodeling a bathroom is not as fun as I thought it would be.  Next time we have a few thousand dollars to spend I’m just going to give it all to Africa.  They need Thai Silk shower curtains there more than I do anyway.

Make-your-own pizzas
Pear tart

Things that make you go ARRRRGGGGHHHH

1.  Stubbing your toe twice and slamming your finger in a door once before 8AM.

2.  Realizing you scheduled a 9:00 doctor’s appointment for your baby that day and knowing that he naps at exactly 9:00.  Every day.

3.  Getting to the doctor’s office and being told you’re an hour early for his 10:00 doctor’s appointment.

4.  Everything that happens in that extra hour.

5.  Spending a couple hours at your Hispanic friend’s house and realizing on the car ride home that you said things such as, “Rocco is very size for his age,” and, “Vincenzo hoards babies.”

6.  Coming home to discover you must have signed some paper somewhere that made the bathroom remodelers install this in your new bathroom.


(Seriously, didn’t they stop to think when they were replacing my white baseboards with brown ones that maybe, maybe, there was some misunderstanding?)  (I mean, I know leg warmers and blue eye shadow are back, but I’m pretty sure brown baseboards aren’t???)  (The worst part is we probably paid $800 to have poop brown baseboard installed.)

7.  The baby skipping his 2:00 nap.

8.  Feeling like the only thing holding you together is the babysitter coming over at 4:00.

9.  Getting a phone call from the babysitter at 4:00 saying he’s not coming. 

10.  Going to make a butter cream sauce for dinner and realizing you have only shortening in the fridge.

11.  Your cat cuddling with you while you fold laundry, sitting on all the various piles, then as he walks away, noticing a gigantic dingleberry that explains the poop smell all over your now dirty, neatly folded laundry.

12.  [Insert heartwarming anecdote about how it’s not really all that bad here.]

Baked potatoes

The good, the bad, and the barfy

We got our bathroom remodeled this week.  The down side of hiring out is that it cost probably four times as much as if we had done it ourselves.  The plus side is that we get to keep being married.  Here’s what we started with.

Lavender.  Because I sometimes forget I am a grown woman.

I don’t have a final picture of the bathroom yet because there are some finishing touches to add in, like, oh, the TOILET, but you know.  Here are some of the details. 

Oooooooooooo, granite countertops!


Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, old school hardware!


Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, detailed doorknobs!


Mmmmmmmmmmm, subtly unique floor tiling!


Ooooooooooo, walls the color of…


HOLY MOTHER OF MUSTARD SEED, what have we done?!!  Why can’t I just choose a nice color like “Bagel” or “Calm Air” instead of “Hubbell House Golden Maize [after the Dijon Incident of 2010]?”

I am not okay with this.  My son is not okay with this.  My sisters are not okay with this.  In fact, the only person who likes this color is the guy who painted it.  My husband.  He is, coincidentally, the one who will be repainting it if I do in fact go the Bagel route.

Blog readers, speak now or forever hold your peace.  Is this the absolute worst color ever, or is my bathroom going to rock it?

Pasta with chicken sausage and butter cream sauce