Dodge this!

Every day when Kevin gets home from work, Vincenzo runs up to him and yells, “Let’s fight, Daddy!”  They used to use foam swords but their fights have evolved beyond physical weapons, into the cerebral.  Instead, one person throws an imaginary object at the other and the other shouts out his defense then throws an imaginary object back.  Vincenzo has invented all but one imaginary weapon in this game.  How, we don’t know.

Vincenzo, making a throwing motion: Cactus ball!
Kevin: Duck!  Cannon ball!
V: Jump!  Cactus ball!  Cannon ball!
K: Duck!  Dodge!  Angry kitten!
V: Protective shield all over my body!  Electrician!  Zip!  Zip!
K: What?
V: Electrician!!!  Zip!
K: Uh…shell? 
V: But there’s a hole in it!  Heart attack!  Heart attack!

I’ll go make that call to the family therapist now…

Scotch salmon
Lime-cilantro sweet potato fries

All things Idahoan

QUICKIE: Search engine traffic term of the week: “naked pregnant large stomach.”  Thank you, whoever found me that way.
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:


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


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:


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.

2 packages of peanuts

Believe it…or not

QUICKIE: Vincenzo to Kevin: “Remember when we had a whole day full of fighty-ness?”
Kevin worked on the playground all week, sometimes getting up at 5:30 to start on it and coming in after 10PM, even though the box claimed, “EASY ASSEMBLY!  4-8 HOURS!”  Either my husband is a little s-l-o-w or the box really meant to claim, “EASY ASSEMBLY!  48 HOURS!” in which case that hyphen between the 4 and 8 was put there by a disgruntled, underpaid employee who wanted to take out his revenge on some unsuspecting, first-world, (possibly s-l-o-w) dads.

Either way, I can’t believe it!  I can’t believe this is in my backyard now!*


It goes right into the file of other things I don’t believe, such as:





A Very Speidi Wedding

Copper River salmon with tarragon cream sauce
Grilled squash and mushroom skewers
Salad with honeyed rhubarb and goat cheese

*Not pictured: 20-foot drop off to a set of train tracks just feet from the end of the swingset

I heart Kevin

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, trying on his new swim trunks: “These are too cool even to LOOK at!”
We have this ravine behind our house that is awesome because we own it, but not so awesome because it is full of things that either scratch you, sting you, or suck your blood.  But, like I said, it’s OURS!  And we’re going to own it since we, you know, OWN it. 

Over the six years we’ve spent in this house we’ve been slowly taking over the ravine.  Take, for example, this little corner:



In our latest installment of Take Back the Ravine, this weekend Kevin leveled out an area and started building a playground set on it.


It took a couple trips to the hardware store and a borrowed truck, but the good news is that the playground instruction booklet was 40 pages less than the instructions for Vincenzo’s castle Lego set. 

My favorite moment was after I called in Kevin’s sister’s boyfriend* (because Kevin, in his infinite cuteness, insisted he could do it by himself but I, in my infinite wisdom, knew better) and he commented, “You know, Rome wasn’t built in a day.”  Kevin answered, “No; it was built over Memorial Day weekend.” 

Kevin worked all day, every day on the playground until I started to worry that all these projects I dream up are going to “use up” my husband and I’ll be left alone by age 40.  This thought was really bothering me until we pulled into Home Depot Sunday morning and I saw a whole bevy of men whom I could pick up any given weekend, any one of which would make a seamless replacement for my husband.  You know–the guys standing around the entrance looking eager to drain your septic tank or caulk your tub or unscrew your pickle jars, depending on your going rate?

Anyway, readers, after three days of toil and sweat–not mine, of course–I present to you…ROME!


(Rome will be complete with a slide, swings, climbing walls, etc., shortly but give my husband a break already.  Rome wasn’t built in a 3-day weekend, you know!)

Heartburn-inducing pizza (for him)
Freezer-burned garden burgers (for her)
Potato salad (for both)
Raspberry lemon bars that I’m totally excited about–thanks Kristen!

*If you’re reading this, Kevin’s sister’s boyfriend, just PROPOSE already so I can write BIL instead and save everyone the confusion!  Okay??!

What would Octomom think?

QUICKIE: Me to V: “Tomorrow is a Haylee day and an Abby day and an Ian day and a Grammy day.”  V: “Then tomorrow is my lucky day!!”
Ever since I’ve been with Kevin the world has become a stranger and stranger place for me.  I used to think a surprise, for example, was a vase of flowers randomly showing up on your doorstep.  Now I know that a surprise is merely a fart with a lump in it.  I used to correct people when they typed “teh” or “whut” or “injekshuns,” but now I understand they are simply typing in LOLspeak.  I now know that “dropping the kids off at the pool” involves neither kids nor pools, but does involve the bathroom fan and a magazine.  I call people jibrones. 

Last night Kevin opened my eyes once again as we were watching a hockey game on TV.  The fans all threw their hats on the ice after some guy from some random, non-important team playing some random, non-important game scored a goal.  Kevin told me that if the game were in Detroit, people would be throwing octopuses on the ice.  I totally didn’t believe him.  Really?  Really?  Does everyone already know this?  Please tell me I’m not the last person in America to learn that after that National Anthem or after a goal is scored in Detroit the ice is suddenly littered with octopus bodies.

Wikipedia has this to say about octopus-throwing etiquette: 

It is never acceptable to aim for opposing players. Beforehand, octopuses are usually boiled to reduce the amount of “slime” coating and facilitate the time it takes to clean up the ice and prevent further delay. Since Joe Louis Arena does not condone the throwing of any foreign objects onto the ice, fans often sneak the sea creatures in wrapped around their bellies in trash bags.

Hm.  I used to think all those people at Detroit hockey games were fat.  Now I know they’re all just a bunch of octopus-throwing jibrones.

Oh, and in case you were wondering:

Al Sobotka [was] the man responsible for removing the thrown creatures from the ice. He [was] known for swinging the tossed octopuses above his head when walking off the ice…Zamboni drivers [are therefore forbidden] from cleaning up any octopuses thrown onto the ice…because “matter flies off the octopus and gets on the ice” when Al Sobotka does it.

Feta and cheddar omelet
Pan-fried hashbrowns

A picture is worth 1,000 posts

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, after I tossed a pair of his undies on his head: “Mom, we don’t throw my undies on people’s heads because my poopy bottom has been in them all day.”

I somehow accidentally zoomed in my computer screen so everything looks like this now.  The Internet seems like an elementary school primer and I am confused by the lack of rhyme and customary set of multiple choice questions that should come at the end of everything I read.  If you or your friends (Dick and Jane, I presume) know how to fix this problem, please send help.  K thx bye.

We now return to our normal blog posting.  Here are a few shots from around the house this past week; hopefully one or two will make you smile.

Vincenzo, pointing his shooter at the TV during a Muppets pirate movie.  He stood there for about 1/2 an hour, then slowly backed his way to the couch, only to jump up and resume position during the next sword fight.


Vincenzo’s new snail watering can.  Something about it seems not right, but I can’t quite figure it out…

I asked Vincenzo to help me make a chore list on Monday.  He had two suggestions…can you tell which ones?


Kevin’s new mouthwash claims to have “6 Benefits in One!” but I’m claiming that because it’s purple, it’s just 6 kinds of wrong.


This is from our trip to the zoo.  I like it because it appears some kid is beating the peacock with a stick.


Vincenzo, missing the mark in trying to look cool.  (They’re upside-down.)

Breakfast for dinner!!

MrsMouthy, MrsMouthy, HOW does your garden grow?

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, after asking for and receiving a second piece of candy, but before eating it: “Mom?  It takes a long time for your teeth to fall out, right?”
This weekend was a perfect one for gardening, so we spent almost all of it outdoors.  Usually when I weed it’s meditative and mindless.  When I weed with Kevin, it’s a bit different.  About every 20 minutes he comes up to me and says, “You know, I was thinking…” then presents some charming but grossly under-informed new method for pulling weeds.  “What if we just cut them back instead of doing all this digging, and if they came back we’d cut them again, and we’d keep doing that until some other disease got them?”  I’d love to see him out there, cutting the tops off of the 10,000 weeds no taller than my pinky nail like he was pruning 10,000 itty bitty roses.  I also love that he’s spent a total of two days of his life weeding and he’s pretty sure he has an idea that no one has tried in the thousands of years humans have spent gardening.  Isn’t he precious?

Last year, when I first started blogging, I wrote about how I had one lofty goal for the year, and that was to wind up the hose whenever I used it.  (Sorry you can’t read it–I never transferred all my posts from my old blog site.)  I hit that goal with about 80% accuracy (there was some gray area about whether or not I had to wind it up after someone else used it).  This year I have a new goal, and it is to stake my plants before they have buckled under their own weight and/or sheer neglect.  If I don’t pull another weed this year; if I don’t water even once this summer; if I let the stinky groundcover I accidentally planted make a comeback; if I do all or none of that, it doesn’t matter.  I may have low ambitions, but you have to admit it–I’ve got high stakes.  (Or at least I will have them.)

Orecchiete with sausage and broccoli rabe
Gado Gado salad
Lemon poke cake

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

I married him so you all don’t have to

QUICKIE:  Vincenzo: “Mom, when I’m four I’m going to be happier because four-year-olds don’t cry as much as three-year-olds.”
Things you miss if you’re not married to my husband:

Me, opening the door to our office: It sounds like there’s a squirrel in there.  What are you doing?
Kevin: Pretending to be a squirrel.

Kevin: I’m going out back to take out some bushes.  Wanna come?
Me: No thanks.
Kevin: What?!  And miss the gun show?  [rolls up sleeves and flexes muscles]

Or there was the time we were walking side by side and let one rip, simultaneously jetting a few steps ahead of me.  “Propulsion farting,” he explained.  (I would have spent the rest of the walk a few feet distanced from him, had I not been downwind.)

Of course, the topic of farting always reminds me of the first time we ever said “I love you.”  We had been dating for a few weeks when Kevin explained his theory that when a girl first farts in front of a boy or vice versa, it’s a confession of love.  It shows that the girl (or boy) is comfortable in body, mind, and spirit when in the presence of the other.  After he explained this, Kevin sat back and waited.  He didn’t have to wait long.

The next week we went on a walk and I swear I had NO SIGNS that there was anything brewing in my nether regions–no pressure, on pains, no nothing, when suddenly ZZZZPPPPT!  There it was.  Kevin flashed me a most amorous look, took my hand, and let out an equally impressive ZZZZPPPPT right on the spot.  “No no no!” I protested.  “That was premature!  I didn’t mean it!  I take it back!  Can’t gas just be gas?

But the damage was done.  I realized then that I would someday sound like Marty’s mother in Back to the Future when she tells the story of her peeping tom husband and says something like, “And that was when I knew I’d spend the rest of my life with him.”

Gobs of leftovers

We all can has funny!

QUICKIE: Mom, can I have a milk?  ALL turtles love milk.
So we’ve been working on the cannibal and other home-brewed jokes this weekend.  Kevin and I challenged each other to come up with a joke using Vincenzo’s favorite word, “BANG!”  Here’s what Kevin came up with:

Q: What did the cannibal say when he was eating an arm?
A: Could I have a hand with this?  BANG!

He claimed it was funny because I thought the original joke was funny, and if he added the word BANG to it the joke would still be funny.  Plus, he pointed out, I laughed.  I immediately disqualified it and told him the joke I thought of:

Q: Why did the fire cracker blow up at the end of his opera performance?
A: Because he wanted to go out with a BANG!  Hahahahahahaha.

Vincenzo really took the cake on this one though.  He followed our jokes with one of his own.  There’s some extra dialogue because that’s how jokes go when you’re three.

V’s Q: What did the elephant say when it was BANGING the fireplace?
Me: I don’t know…what?
V: You have to tell me.
Me: Um…this chafes?
V: YES!!!!!  Hahahahahaha!

Chicken Marsala (dinner can’t come soon enough!)
Crab cakes a la Bill
Cucumber Salad
Chocolate Torte a la Michelle