Sunday, February 28, 2010


My sister told me the other day that one of her friends (who has been made privy to some of LM's finest moments) would like to hang out with him someday. And although I've never met her, I smiled at this because it's true that LM is a great source of entertainment (in the privacy of our own home). You just never know what's going to come outta his mouth. And that is part of the fun (and fear) of being with him. But he's not the only one....

1. Hubby: (flustered by the kids' bad behavior in the car, he gets his mords wixed up) "There are other more important things than getting there safely!"
( what? World peace?)

2. LM: "This house is just too much. We need to blow it up."
(Note to self: lock up flammable chemicals and matches. And remind hubby to not be so free about verbalizing his home improvement frustrations.)

3. Ruby Jane: (singing a pre-dinner prayer, but spontaneously changing the last word) "Thank you Jesus for this food, it looks palatable!"
(Jesus and I thank you, sweet child.)

4. LM: (tugging on my sleeve urgently as we navigated through busy downtown) "I need to tell you somefin'!"
Me: "Okay, go ahead."
LM: (pulling me closer so he could whisper) "I just saw a man who should go on The Biggest Loser."
Me: (whispering back) "Thank you for not sharing that out loud, LM."

5. LM: (discussing girls with his sister, and how to tell which ones like him) "So, she likes me?"
Ruby: "Well, what kind of 'like' do you mean?"
LM: "You know-- the one that starts with 'L'."

6. LM: (dressed in earmuffs and swinging a cane around while singing his heart out-- mimicking Gene Kelly) "I'm singin' in the rain! What a loooovely sight! My favorite day is rain day!" (Then stopping abruptly) "Okay, show's over."

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Progress Report

Well, the cat's out of the bag. The kids found out we're on a "diet". You see, I had to tell hubby about it. I needed a co-conspirator, after all. But when hubby told his buddy, who then asked (in front of the kids), "how's the gluten-free diet going?" Well.... The kids got all wide-eyed-- which was immediately followed by copious moaning and whining. And it had been going so well! (Sort of....)

In case you're curious, I'll go through a brief run-down of what we've been eating this week. (If that sounds like a dull read-- you might as well abandon this post right now.) For starters, I recently hit a big cereal sale at a local grocery store. Fortunately, it's a pretty "earthy" store and they had a good supply of gluten-free, organic (bonus!) cereals. I stocked up. Spent a small fortune, in fact-- but I saved even more than I spent (whoopie!). So, breakfast is taken care of.

Lunch.... Now that's a whole other ball game. I think it's the hardest meal of the day to maintain our wheatlessness, actually. When you think about it, lunch usually involves a lot of gluten (sandwiches, mac and cheese, crackers etc.). And while I thought I could easily replace our whole-wheat bread with a gluten-free sandwich bread-- turns out I was incredibly naive. Gluten-free bread is disgusting. At least, the two incredibly expensive varieties we've sampled thus far are. (By the way, many thanks to my health-foodie cousin who has once again come to my rescue-- as she did in the past, with that other diet that shall remain nameless-- and given me a website with recipes to try.) You see, lunch has been a bit interesting around here lately. I like to call them "snack lunches". For instance, today I packed LM sliced peaches, veggie sticks, a juice box, gluten-free cookies, and a slice of Colby Jack cheese. Ruby Jane nibbled on a gluten-free granola bar, some dehydrated fruit, and a smoothie I made from strawberry yogurt, peanut butter and bananas. And fortunately, I have not received any complaints about these lunches since having omitted the nasty bread substitutes.

Dinner is much easier to manage than I thought it would be. If worse came to worst (or is that the other way around? I never can remember...) I could always fall back on seasoned chicken breasts with steamed vegetables and a fruit salad. Maybe with some quinoa or rice on the side. But that's boring, right? What I've found is that Asian food (which I adore) is very conducive to a gluten-free diet-- and much more interesting indeed. So one night we ate Chinese, to everyone's delight. Another night I whipped up a Pad Thai with shrimp-- the kids were not fans of that one, however-- they're crazy. But what I really wanted to try was Italian food. (Why not make a challenge even more challenging, I always say. Not.) I found some gluten-free spaghetti noodles and decided to make a really nice, robust sauce to go with it. Guess what? Nobody noticed a difference! They're so used to the whole-wheat or multigrain noodles I normally buy that the funky gluten-free noodles didn't even phase them. Add a nice Romaine salad and you have yourself a fine wheatless Italian meal. Who woulda thunk it possible? Next up on the docket for dinner are a curried soup and a baked apple-cinnamon oatmeal (breakfast for dinner is a favorite of ours). And if any of y'all have some other great dinner suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

But don't get the wrong impression, please-- this week hasn't been a cake-walk, that's for sure. It's hard to control what the kiddos eat when they're not at home. (I don't believe for a minute that they'd forego a cupcake at school if offered one.) And unless I can find a truly delicious gluten-free bread recipe, I don't know how we will survive much longer. What can I say? We like bread!

So please wish us luck, if you think about it. My family does not enjoy these little dietary experiments as much as I do. What a bunch of pansy party-poopers! Where's their sense of gastronomic adventure?? Ah, yes, there it is-- over in the bread aisle next to the bagels....

Monday, February 15, 2010

Is Japan For Sale?

I think I could buy a small island nation for what I paid for two loaves of gluten-free bread. Tiny loaves. Must find recipe soon!

Valentine's Day Leftovers....

Maybe the furnace repair guy didn't notice the red satin bra flung provocatively over the stair rail as he descended to the basement. His mind was probably too focused on furnacey things. And he probably didn't see it as he came back up, then back down, then back up, then back down, then back up again either. I mean, it would take more passes than that to catch a glimpse of the shiny red fabric. And, anyway, those repair guys are very business-minded. Yeah. That's right.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wait For It, Wait For It....

FYI: I'm going to start a new experiment on February 15th. We're going to go gluten-free in our house for 4 weeks, and I ain't gonna tell the fam! Oh, they've heard me talk about the prospect of a wheatless diet lately, and you can believe the whining has already started. (They remember the raw food experiment all-too-well....) But I've already started substituting certain foodstuffs and guess what? Nobody's noticed! I figure, sheesh, maybe I can get away with implementing this newfangled diet without the hubs or kiddos suspecting a thing. Game ON!


Why gluten-free? It's supposed to make a significant difference in autistic kids. And, heck, I'm always up for a fun food challenge!

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Presto Chango!

I don't know about you guys, but sometimes I get songs stuck in my head that I'd rather not be singing. You know, songs that are either idiotic, too difficult for my novice abilities, monotonous, or...naughty. Don't judge me! I don't like listening to naughty songs! But some of them are terribly hard to avoid unless you live in a bubble. I've heard them at wedding receptions, on teenagers' stereos, restaurants, and basically anywhere there's a radio playing. Some of them are quite catchy, too. But I have a solution to the problem of getting a naughty song stuck in my head. I'd like to share it with you, in the off-chance that any of you are as much a dirty sinner as I am.

It's simple: change the words to the song, and then sing your little heart out! (You may want to do this only while you're alone, as engaging in this activity will make you look like a fool-- guaranteed.)

Allow me to give you an example. Take Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" for instance. Kissing girls is not something I'm interested in nor do I particularly enjoy singing about it. But dang it if that's not one of the catchiest tunes out there! Ah, but apply my solution and, voila, you have an innocent little ditty you can sing for hours on end-- guilt free!

I Kicked a Squirrel

I kicked a squirrel and I liked it!
The sound of his peanut cracking.
I kicked a squirrel just to try it,
I hope his squirrel friends don't mind it.
It felt so wrong, it felt so right,
Don't fear-- the squirrel is alright!
I kicked a squirrel and I liked it!
I liked it!

See, that's really all you need. You don't actually have to continue with the whole song (unless you're enjoying yourself that immensely). Usually a few rounds of the substituted lyrics gets the job done before you start feeling like an idiot and decide to move on to a different, more wholesome song. Works every time! The key, however, is to keep most of the lyrics the same or at least very similar, or else you'll never remember them.

Oh, the lengths I go to to help those I love! And, hey, if you ever find yourself stuck on a song with lyrics you're having difficulty changing, give me a call. I'm always here to help. And my mind is just twisted enough to come up with just about anything. (Try, "Tux on Fire" by Kings of Leon, or "Thanks for the Hemorrhoids" by Fall Out Boy. See? This is gonna be easier than you think!)

Happy singing!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Party Planning 101

As the mother of two elementary school-age children, I am getting a fair amount of birthday party-throwing experience under my belt. In fact, I now feel qualified enough in my proficiency to start handing out advice for event planning. Recognize wisdom and heed it, dear ones.

1. Start with a theme, and preferably let your child pick it. Let's face it, their ideas are superior to yours. Like, say...the Voltron theme picked by my son. Who is Voltron, you ask? Why, he is a cartoon character from the late-70s/early-80s, of course! Everyone knows about Voltron! (Which makes finding appropriate Voltron party-favors an absolute breeze! And every mother knows just how important that is!) See, deciding on a theme is an important beginning to the whole party-planning process. So go with something easy like Voltron!

2. Set the date. Set the date far in advance. This will give you a false sense of security with which to avoid some of the next necessary steps (like cleaning, food prep, game planning, etc.). You will be lulled into believing you have plenty of time, and then before you know it-- BOOM-- the party is the day after tomorrow and you haven't even shopped for balloons! So give yourself lots of time for this step, you're gonna need it.

3. Hand out invitations. 1-2 weeks before the event, get those invitations out! The sooner you get them out, the sooner you are committed and there's no turning back. (And this also gives your wee guests plenty of time with which to lose the invitations or for their parents to forget them beneath a pile of junk mail.) Oh, and make sure you include that all-important RSVP section so that you can wait for all those responses you're never going to get. It makes event-planning much more exciting if you don't know who's coming until they show up at your door!

4. Contract an illness. You may be surprised to see this step, but hear me out! Getting sick a few days before the party affords you an excuse to take some time off from thinking about the whole affair. And it really forces you to get your booty into gear the minute you start feeling an iota better. And who can't use a little extra pressure before a big event, huh? I know I enjoy it!

5. Clean and decorate the house, bake the cake, plan all the games, make last-minute runs to the store, and stuff goody-bags. I included all these things in one lump step because at this point you have 2 hours before the party begins. Better get crackin'!

6. Watch all of your planning unravel in the hands of 5 first-graders who, immediately upon entering the door, have made their own plans. The games you had prepared? Out the window! They're busy playing tag outside, you fool! The cake you baked? They don't like chocolate! Better start digging in your cupboards for some candy-- or at least sprinkles for the ice cream they've only eaten one bite of. The house you just cleaned? Trashed. In the span of 2 seconds, give or take a millisecond. The helium balloons you bought for each kid? They don't like that color! Didn't you buy any other colors? Like green?

7. See as your son basks in the glory of his birthday party. Listen to him giggle with uncontained glee as he runs around with his friends. Watch as he devours all his favorite foods that you so lovingly prepared for him. Smell the scent of a 7-year old boy's happiness (it smells like outside). Feel your heart nearly burst with joy at the delight you know he is experiencing in these simple 2 hours.

8. Realize that it was all worth it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quotes From Big Mouths

Look at that mouth! Look at how un-streppy it looks after 48 hours of antibiotics! Tonsils have returned to their normal size, the throat is no longer red and inflamed but a nice shade of pink.... Ahhhhhh, relief!

But my mouth has nothing to do with this post. Instead, I'd like to draw your attention to the quotes I've collected in the last week or two.

So, take one last admiring look at my mouth before we continue. Okay, that's enough! Let's move on....

1. LM: "Mom, when I get to Heaven I'm going to be God's helper. If I see a girl sinnin', I'll bring her to God and say, 'God, can you talk to her please? She sins a lot!'"
Me: "But there's no sin in Heaven."
LM: "Hmmm. Maybe I'll be a toy seller."

2. LM: (watching hubby exercise) "Keep on doin' that, big guy!"

3. The Bopper: (witnessing her brother's nether region, er...standing at attention while his mom changed his diaper) "Mister has a snowman peepee, right mom?"
(What kind of snowmen do they make at their house?)

4. LM: "You know what they say: 'if you marry that guy he'll burp on your kids'."
(Ummm. I don't even have a response to that.)

5. Teacher: "LM had pickles in his pants today!"
LM: "No I didn't! My butt just itched!"
Teacher: (bowing her head and covering her mouth) "Please put that one in his scrapbook."

6. LM: "Then anudder one bites the dust! Then they all bite the dust! Then they eat the dust! They LOVE the dust!"
(My only answer is that LM is too deep and profound for the average person to "get".)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Booty Mouth? Butt Throat?

I was just trying to think of a better name for Strep Throat. See, I was learn that the bacteria which causes this lovely illness is the same one that resides in, well...Uranus.

So what's it doing in my mouth, huh?? Yeah-- apparently the darling little vermin are to blame for the unbelievable pain in my throat. I've never had Strep Throat before. Heck, I'm not even positive I have it now-- the doctor didn't even do a culture. (Say what?!) Now, normally I would insist that all the t's be crossed and i's be dotted before accepting a prescription for antibiotics. But you see, I probably would have gone along with it if she'd told me I had Purple People Eater Disease for which the only cure is rubbing mango on my feet and chanting "hoo-ha!" while hopping in a circle-- downtown. Just make the flippin' pain go away!

Apparently I have a lower pain tolerance than my birthing stories would suggest. Either that, or Migraines, Pneumonia and Strep Throat truly are the suicide thought-inducing experiences I believe them to be. And I don't even get a baby out of the deal! (Oh, wait-- that's a plus at this point.)

But, really, isn't the whole concept of streptococcus multiplying in your mouth disgusting? Why don't they just stay in your booty where they belong? Was it just time for their yearly pilgrimage or something? Hmmmmm.

Oh, look at the time!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Serious Question

Okay, here's the deal-- I've been battling one of the worst sore throats for the past several days. And after being a good girl and religiously gargling with salt water, drinking myself silly, getting lots of rest and taking my zinc I'm finally going to break down and steal some of Ruby Jane's mega-pain killers (the special "elixir" the doc gave her after surgery). I'm desperate here!

So my question is this: since having consumed several hundred gallons of water today (or something close to that...), will I be in danger of peeing the bed after sending myself into this drug-induced coma? It may be worth it....

I'll keep you posted.