The gift of guilt

We love holidays in our house.  We celebrate everything from Cinco de Mayo to St. Patrick’s Day.  We have been known to have Flag Day Barbecues, and once a Ball Voyage party for my cat’s little snip-snip.  We celebrate every holiday the year has to offer.

Actually, there are two exceptions to our holiday celebrating.

Mother’s Day and my birthday.

I really should not complain.  Kevin is treated like more of a manservant around here than a husband most days and he builds me a vegetable garden or finishes a reduction sauce for me at the drop of a hat.  It’s kind of like when you’re a kid and it’s Mother’s Day and you whine, “When is it going to be Kids’ Day?” and your mom says, “Every day is Kids’ Day.”  That’s how I feel—every day is Mother’s Day.

So yesterday I was morning I was awoken at 6AM by not one, not two, but FOUR hungry kids (we had our first slumber party).  By 8AM I had made two kinds of cookies, emptied one load of dishes, run two loads of laundry, made a batch of waffles, given the baby a bath, and sent my husband off to hot yoga.  It made Mother’s Day feel like every other day and, as per the above paragraph, thus feel like Mother’s Day.

(Giving you time to process.)

Actually, I had more fun playing with my husband’s guilt at forgetting Mother’s Day than if he had actually remembered.  Like at 7:30AM, when he was looking at the door in that pitiful way he looks at it when he wants to go to Hot Yoga but doesn’t want to ask.

Me: Do you want to go to Hot Yoga?
K: I’d like to…but it’s Mother’s Day.
Me: Go ahead.
K: Are you sure?
Me: Darling, it’s Mother’s Day, and I want to honor all the plans you made for this day.  So if you planned to go to hot yoga for me, then go.

When he came home he spent a frantic hour researching  DIY plans for building me a path in the garden, then ordering hardwoods for the bedroom I want to redo, then clipping coupons for a romantic getaway to Cancun.  And while he didn’t exactly step in and take over laundry and dishes for me, he did rub my shoulders while I folded the laundry and scrubbed dishes.  That’s something, isn’t it?

In conclusion, a husband’s guilt is the best gift he can give you for Mother’s Day.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Chicken in mole sauce
Crockpot beans
PB Munchie cookies
Cappuccino caramel oat bars

They don’t make ‘em like they used to

Things that last for one child but not for two:

1. The Diaper Genie.  The top of ours completely broke off a few months ago, so we MacGyvered it into a working condition and kept using it.  However, now there is a new Diaper Genie II with its own new bag inserts that cunningly don’t fit the Diaper Genie I model so we had to buy a new one.  And that stinks.  (Even more than what goes inside it).

2.  The car-seat-to-stroller stroller.  One day we were walking Rocco in it and the thing completely snapped in two.  It kind of felt like a metaphor but we were too on shaken up at the time to think what the metaphor was for.

3.  The crib.  Ours has since been recalled for its deadly drop-sidedness, yet we continue using it because we want all the haters to lecture us about drop-side cribs in my blog comments.

4.  The book “Tails.”

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We still have one; we just now call it “Tailless.”

5.  Patience. 

It has instead been replaced by a house full of Legos, toys that shoot, marbles, open bathroom doors, the use of the word “butt,” dropped pieces of popcorn, and hundreds of other evils we would not let our older child lay eyes on until he was the age listed on the side of the box.

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We all know that every baby is a miracle.  But it’s even truer that every second-born child who survives beyond the age of 3+ is an even bigger miracle.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Costco dogs (cut into esophagus-sized chunks)

Thoughtless Thursday: Big G, Little G

I have this friend with a beautiful home (with pillars!) (inside!) full of beautiful furniture (also inside!) and tastefully decorated with her two beautiful little boys.  Last week she let me come take pictures of them and this week you get to look at them.

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WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Cinco de Mayo appetizers and drinks

Home Improvements

All my friends are buying new houses this month.  I keep whining to Kevin about how I need a new house too, and he keeps doing that one-eyebrow-raised, “all your friends?” thing, to which I adamantly agree, then sigh and go back to scrubbing marinara out of the living room carpet. 

So.  Since old sour puss won’t let me buy a new house, I’ve been going around our old house making little improvements.  Toward the end of my improving I remembered about my blog and took a few pictures.

I officially acknowledged the addition of a third child to our family:

Before:                                 After:

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I reorganized a cabinet (I swear, I really really did):

Before:                                 After:

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And for my crowning achievement, I de-sodomized the picture of two rocketships Vincenzo had made:

Before:                                After:

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Yup.  Feels like a brand new house.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Spice-rubbed pork tenderloin
Mexican corn cakes
Rice
Dulce de leche cookies

The full package

Okay, I usually restrain myself from blogging about friends/family but my in-laws have left me with no choice.

My MIL loves sending things in the mail.  The best I can figure is that going to the post office for her is like going to the movies is for most people.  And she likes to watch movies.  A lot.  We get at least a package a month, not including the little packages we get for each holiday and birthday.  The contents this month are pretty typical, going from bad:

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to worse:

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to head-scratching:

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She always includes this assortment of catalogues, many of which we received from our own mailman just the week previous.  My favorite pick from this selection:

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The United Mileage Plus catalogue.

She also included three other things, I guess to legitimize the $10 in shipping.  A plaque with Kevin’s name on it that he doesn’t remember receiving:

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A program from an event at Kevin’s college in 1997 that he is not mentioned in:

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And this Ziploc baggie of sugar cubes.

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Maybe she’s trying to send us a message in code.  Something like: “My son is sweet as sugar and even if he’s not mentioned in some dinky college brochure he’s certainly worth his weight in Plexiglas plaques so go out and buy him something nice or I will force you to read all these Enquirer magazines while I keep all the much classier Star magazines to myself.”

Did I get it right?

Anyway.  In other news, Kevin’s grandma calls me every year the week before my birthday nearly in tears because she forgot my birthday.  This year, for the first time ever, she actually was late remembering my birthday but she made up for it with the card.  It included this picture of Brenda Strong  that she clipped from one of her magazines because she thinks looks like me:

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The best part, though, is the card she chose to include the picture in:

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If that’s not ironic, I don’t know what is.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Beef empanadas
Black bean salsa
Salad