Okay, okay, yesterday’s post was full of partial truths.  Yes, Jnott did elope and go to Hawaii, but no those weren’t their actual wedding pictures.  Here is an actual picture of their wedding day.


What yesterday’s pictures were really from was a a zombie walk we did on Friday night to try to take back the Guinness Book of World Record title.  The evening was rife with fake blood, bad jokes, and, of course, BRAINS.

Driving there, we stopped at an intersection and looked over to see another zombie driving to the march.  We both rolled our windows down and he asked, “Pardon me, do you have any Brain Poupon?”  Like I said, rife with bad jokes.  Once we parked, our friend Erica retouched everyone’s hair/faces with flour, as she was the official Flour Girl of our party.  Most of the zombie walk involved standing in line trying to register.  The line-standing was occasionally punctuated with the chant, “WHAT DO WE WANT?” to which everyone yelled, “BRAINS!”  This was followed by, “WHEN DO WE WANT THEM?” to which everyone yelled, “BRAINS!”  Zombies.

The march took place in a part of Seattle called Fremont that has a very colorful community–so colorful that at times it was hard to tell the undead from the not dead.  Here are pictures of both, for your viewing pleasure.



Not dead.




Not dead (but quite possibly bored on the job).




Not dead.


Undead.  Definitely undead.

I’m not sure if we broke any zombie records but even if we didn’t, at least I’ve had something to blog about this week.  Tomorrow it will be back to writing about pantsless mannequins and small fundus size, so I hope you’ve made the most of this mini brain-cation.

Braised chicken with dried plums
Roasted potatoes
Asparagus with balsamic vinaigrette

Do you smell something, or is it just me?

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, in the bath, pouring water into his “lap” area: “Look Dad, I’m pouring water into my drain!”
So last weekend we went to a birthday party at a local bar/restaurant.  I kept smelling hops but everyone said no, this bar doesn’t brew their own beer; I must be going crazy.  Until one friend remembered that about five years ago this restaurant was a different bar and that yes, they did brew their beer, and in fact they brewed it in the very room I was standing in.

Pregnancy.  It really F’s you up.

Chicken cornbread taco bake
Home-canned peaches
Homemade ricotta with honey and raisins

My Jugs

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, in an elevator: “Mom, isn’t this music pretty?”
A week ago Friday I got an idea for an activity using milk jugs, so I started saving the used ones in our house.  Now, it’s true I’m prone to exaggerating and/or completely making things up for the sake of my blog, but I tell you what you’re about to see/read is the truth.

Fact: Kevin has not had a single glass of milk in the past week
Fact: I have not had a single glass of milk in the past week
Fact: Vincenzo is responsible for every empty jug in the following picture


This picture was taken 7 days after I began collecting.  Let’s see…7 days in the week divided by 4 gallons equals…CHRIST IN A SIDECAR!!*  Why did I ever wean him off breast milk?  It’s too expensive to buy 4 gallons of organic milk a week so we buy the regular, but now I’m conflicted because my son seems to be fueled solely by hormone rbST.  (Though that explains why he snaps into violent rages when we run out of bendy straws and why his belly button is beginning to resemble an udder.)

My other issue with Vincenzo’s milk drinking is that he demands his milk warmed up.  I do not like warming milk up, especially since he only drinks out of sippy cups that cannot be put in the microwave.  At the end of every day the dishwasher has no room for real dishes for all the coffee mugs/sippy cups in it, and Mbungo has already developed a twitch from all the time I spend absorbing radioactive waves or whatever it is you absorb when standing in front of the microwave. So I made a plan.

We always warm the milk for 30 seconds.  Tomorrow I’m going to warm it for 29 seconds.  Monday for 28 seconds.  And so on.  Exactly one month from now my son will be drinking cold milk straight from the fridge and we can go back to washing other things like plates in the dishwasher.  If, that is, the experiment doesn’t send Vincenzo into a hormone-induced rage in which he destroys the entire family and all the plates too.

*”Christ in a sidecar” expletive borrowed from Mindy Roberts

Ham and swiss quiche
Tater tots (left over from T week)
Grilled potatoes with blue cheese


Breakfast for dinner

Kevin gets licked

Kevin and I have been having a debate for quite some time.  I think our cat has a problem.  He doesn’t.  Finally, to settle things for all times while also proving once again that it’s impossible for Kevin to win an argument against me, I started a chart. 


Reminder: this chart was to document the cat, not Kevin.  Please note that the first column was originally titled simply “LICKS BUTT,” but Kevin started getting technical so we had to add the clarification.  The chart itself is hard to maintain as the cat spends 3.75 of its 4 waking hours under our bed, so this is a week’s worth of tallies.  As you can see, it appears he licks his badonkadonk (thank you, Internet) twice as much as his other cat parts, which is pretty amazing considering he has such a large variety of other cat parts to choose from.

But that’s not the most disturbing part of our non-scientific study.  THIS is:


For some reason, the minute you start petting Clyde, he starts licking you back.  In the middle of the night he hops on our pillows and attempts to groom our heads, even clamping down on imaginary fleas and ticks to wrangle them out.  I think he once ate a mole off Kevin’s neck.

Anyway, now I know that every fourth time Clyde licks me, he has most recently been polishing his end piece.  Buttering his biscuits.  Brown-nosing himself.


The inside scoop

I am so relieved to be able to write this post.  I don’t think my blog has been up to par for the past couple months, and I can finally come out with what’s REALLY been going on.  I’ll make a list and let you do the inferring.

1.  I started hating coffee
2.  I started hating all food
3.  Except salt & vinegar chips
4.  I started hating all smells, too
5.  I feel like puking all the time
6.  I spend most evenings lying on the couch, crying

Yup, I’m pregnant. 

Now before you type a congratulations, you should know that my standard answer to a cheery, “Congrats!” is, “Well, we’ll see.”  I spend a lot of my time thinking about dead babies and imagining full-blown scenarios where my baby dies.  It’s like General Hospital 24-7 inside my head.  Sometimes my baby dies of a chromosomal problem, like Angelo; sometimes of an infection; sometimes of a random heart defect; and every day of cord strangulation.  That’s the scariest one to me because there’s no way to know it’s coming, and no test can prevent it or even cue you in that something might be wrong.  It just happens, and it could happen next month or it could happen the morning I go into labor.

I am not good at pregnancy.  In fact, I suck at it.  I get sick early on and the sickness lasts until the day after I give birth.  Heartburn started up weeks ago.  I’m depressed.  I can’t cook because even the smell of an empty oven turned on gives me fits.  I don’t scrapbook; I barely exercise; I can’t rough-house Vincenzo.  I won’t go to the mall or Chuck E. Cheese or anywhere that’s not in my house because everywhere else STINKS.  And being trapped in my own house for months stinks, too.

When I went to the doctor for my 10-week appointment, it didn’t help that they decided to overrule my carefully charted ovulation calendar and declare I was only 6 weeks pregnant.  This (still) pisses me off to no end, as it means my nausea set in at 4 weeks instead of the usual 8, and also that it knocked me back to the beginning of 1st trimester instead of almost out of it.  When I went in for my 12-week appointment this week, I felt like I was pleading my case to a grand jury–I brought even more evidence this baby is more cooked than they say, but the doctor wouldn’t budge.  I think I’ll bring a lawyer to my next appointment.

The good news is that she said that they’re going to “pull the plug” on the baby at 39 weeks due to a blood clotting condition I have.  That’s great news to me because I feel like as long as the baby is in my body, his or her life is in constant danger.

Anyway, I do want to issue a huge apology to anyone reading this who is trying to get pregnant–especially if you’re having trouble.  I know you’d trade places with me in a heartbeat and I should be grateful, and deep down I am.  The problem is that for me, pregnancy does not equal baby.  It does equal sickness, depression, strain on my marriage/family, and did I mention depression?  But I just can’t physically crack a real smile until, if I’m lucky, I am holding my own newborn baby this August.

So sorry if my blogs haven’t been up to par.  I just need to get a few more of these Eyore posts out of my system and I’m sure I’ll be back.  Thanks for bearing with me!  (No pregnancy pun intended.)

Losing my Senses

QUICKIE: Vincenzo decided to run around the house yelling, “Libido!  Libido” as soon as the babysitter showed up today.  Grammy, I want answers!


Sick, sick, and still sick.  All airways leading to my nose have been sealed off—orange CAUTION tape and all.  I have to breathe through my mouth at night, causing me to drool as much as when I had neckgear in junior high (which, btw, is waaaaaay cooler than headgear).  I’m floundering without my sense of smell.  I can’t smell-test the damp undies laying around the house before I put them on Vincenzo.   Kevin dug out a bag of moldy grapes in the car that I had no clue was there.  I have to judge if the past-due milk is good by gauging the expression on Vincenzo’s face when he drinks it.  There is only one scent left that I detect, and it’s the smell of brain-rot that has settled in after two solid days of watching movies and “Signing Time.”


I haven’t tasted anything in a couple days either, other than the NyQuil that I would rather not have tasted.  Bleh.  I think NyQuil might be its own category in the science of tasteology—which, by the way, has changed since my grade school years.  Do you remember learning about the 4 kinds of taste buds?  Sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.  Yeah, well, apparently now there are 5 kinds once you count “umami,” the taste of “meaty.”  I was fed LIES by my grade school teachers, and it’s left a BITTER taste in my mouth.  I’ve also been told there are only 8 planets in the solar system.  How will I ever unlearn my mnemonic device?  You can’t just erase from memory “My Very Eccentric Mom Juggles Spoons Under Naughty People.”


With all these changes in elementary education, I’m just not sure what the experts are going to say next.  What, that we lost the Vietnam War?  Ha!


Thai Beef Salad (that I couldn’t taste)
Beans in Orange Marmalade Vinaigrette (that I also couldn’t taste)
Rice Pudding (that I also couldn’t taste)


*Kevin made me stay home from cooking class last night, so revise last night’s extravagant seafood menu to “Corn Pops.” 

Nuclear Medicine Part II

Okay, turns out I should have been afraid of the needles.  Dr. Curly, I’ll call him, was fresh out of med school (or maybe not quite yet).  One glance at his baby face and I understood why parents used to hold their children closer when they saw me standing in the front of the classroom, looking like a 14-year-old teacher.  Dr. Curly positioned me in a chair with my arms on a machine and then crouched on his hands and knees, angling his head under the machine, to attempt a foot IV.  For my wrist problems.  Sadly, it didn’t take.  More sadly, my vision got all spotty and my face went numb and my stomach flipped and I uttered meekly, “Going…pass out.”  I spent the next 20 minutes with my head down, bringing it up only long enough to whisper the same sentence and think how lovely Earth was when I was still on it.  When I was ready again, Dr. Curly apologized as he stuck an IV in my arm and, seeing my face lose all color, kindly brought me a garbage can, “just in case.”  Aw, Curly.  You shouldn’t have.


I was right to bring Mom with me, even though it became apparent she only scored one point higher than me on the Placement Test for the Directionally Dumb.  Still, she yelled appropriately when I almost went through a stop sign, inches away from a biker.  We both made a lot of wrong turns once out of the car but finally made it to the elevator.  We pressed the down button, waited patiently, got in, and pressed floor two.  The doors promptly opened, letting us know we were already on floor two.  “Idiots,” it said as it closed went off to do loftier things, I suppose.


Can’t wait for tonight…we’re inviting the neighbors over to watch me glow in the dark.



Nuclear Medicine



My mom is spending the day taking me to doctor’s appointments for my wrists today.  Yes, I know I’m a 30-Something and I should be taking my mother to her doctor’s appointments instead of the other way around.  I’m just freaked out about the appointments.  It’s not the NUCLEAR MEDICINE or needles that scare me—in delivering two babies, I got five epidurals without so much as a flinch (and only one of them kind of worked).  What I’m terrified of is: driving in Seattle.


Based on past driving-in-Seattle experiences, there’s a 20% chance I’ll total my car, a 50% chance I’ll get so lost I’ll have to abort plans and come home; a 20% chance I’ll actually find my way home, and a 10% chance I’ll accidentally stumble upon set destination.


Stay tuned for updates today…


Breaded Prawns
Grilled Chicken with Tarragon Sauce
Fusilli Carbonara with Fines Herbes

Dangling Cysts

SITSAS–Thanks for checking me out!  I just have a few people/entities I’d like to thank for getting me where I am today.  First, thank you to the Internets and all their tubes.  Thank you to my cat for not blocking those tubes today.  Thanks to my husband for letting me constantly take 40 points off his IQ in my blog posts.  And as my son prays every night, thank you for thank yous.  Oh!  And thank you Heather and Tiffany, our SITSAs House Mothers!


*Feel free to leave your web address with your comment, as I seem to be the only person in the world who doesn’t run my blog through blogger.  🙂


QUICKIE:  During a quiet moments at Staples yesterday, Vincenzo looked up with me with his finger up his nose and yelled, “MOMMY, GET YOUR FINGER OUT OF YOUR NOSE!”


I had an MRI on my right wrist today.  To bring you up to speed, the MRI from my left wrist showed that I have some torn ligaments and a ganglion cyst (which Kevin gets great joy in calling a “dangling cyst”). 


I was kind of excited for today’s MRI, mainly because I get to wear scrubs and they make me feel about four years more educated.  The scrubs are ingeniously designed to fit anyone from size “petite woman” to “300 pound man,” and I fall somewhere on the scale.  You can imagine my disappointment, then, when Mr. MRI (Dr. MRI?) handed me only a pair of scrub pants and told me I could just wear the T-shirt I was already wearing.  I came out of the changing room feeling like a med school drop-out—one who had made it far enough to earn pants but not the shirt.


The MRI was otherwise fine.  Inside the MRI tube I made myself promise not to look at the MRI slides when I get home for fear of panicking.  As soon as I got home I took the MRI slides out and held them up to the window.  I quickly panicked.


Now, I’m not an expert.  The only MRI I’d ever seen before was a week ago when my doctor pointed to a bright white mark and called it a ganglion cyst.  As I looked up at the MRI of my right wrist and saw not one white spot but seven or eight!  Unfortunately, my doctor’s appointment is one week away I’ll have to remain in this state of panic for six more days.  That’s plenty of time for this colony of ganglion cysts to develop intelligence, organize a local government, and decide to overthrow my ligaments or something.  I can only hope that the ganglion cyst on my left wrist will work as some kind of a check-and-balance system.


Anyway, between the radial tunnel, carpal tunnel, torn ligaments, and ganglion cysts, I’m pretty sure the doctor is going to use the word “amputate” at least once in our discussion.  But here’s the bright side: without my arms, I’ll finally be within striking distance of my target body weight.  There I said it.



Layered Tuna and Pasta Salad

Homemade Buttermilk Bread

I’m still alive

QUICKIE: Vincenzo’s sippy cup fell to the ground.  I asked where it was and he answered, “It went to a meeting to get pregnant.”  Good thing, too; we’re almost out of sippy cups!  

Looks like I survived the MRI.  I was strangely comforted by “Mr. MRI” when I told him my concerns and he said, “Well, we haven’t lost anyone today…”  He also told me of one MRI patient who had heard of chickens that, when given MRI’s, completely disappeared halfway through.  The woman needed to be assured that she would not, in fact, be propelled to an alien planet during her MRI.  Mr. MRI told me he was tempted to walk into the room halfway through Chicken Lady’s MRI and call, “Mrs. Smith?  Are you there?  I can’t see you– Mrs. Smith?”  Cluck, cluck.
Thanks to all of you for all the phone calls, cards, and gifts in support of my MRI.  I’m just finishing off my last box of bon-bons today.  

In other news…  

In preparation for the Fourth of July, I decided to make a craft from Parents’ Magazine called a Parade Stick.  Parents Magazine has now earned a “wag of my finger.”  In cutting through the 40+ sheets of newspaper as shown by children in the step-by-step guide, I broke a pair of scissors right in half.  So I got my industrial-grade kitchen shears and managed to cut through the newspaper, ending up with a gruesome bloody bruise on my stomach where the scissor handles snapped together.  The bruise is ruining what’s left of my bikini body that was already ruined by two pregnancies. 
I finished the Parade Stick anyway and triumphantly handed it to Vincenzo.  He waved it excitedly in the air, causing the tin-foil star to shoot across the room like a Chinese ninja star.  Parents Magazine, shame on you.  If you had a retail store, I’d march in there right now and somehow get myself and my family banned for good.  

Whatever they’ve got at Teatro ZinZanni!