Monthly Archives: March 2010

Offline

I need a break.  A break from all the crap that happens online.  A break from the obligations of trying to keep up with all the blogs and twitter and facebook peeps I follow.  I have too many things to do, and I get too easily distracted by the computer.

The sun is shining.  I have a beautiful daughter.  Life is good.  I just need time away.  I will “see” everyone this weekend.

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30

My husband‘s birthday was today.  He is no longer a twenty-something.  There are no words to describe how much he means to me and how lucky I am to have him as a part of my life.  He is my best friend.

Happy 30th birthday, babe.  I love you.

A few bits and pieces to round out the week:

  • It seems that Lorelei has begun teething.  Or else she is just a whiny little bitch sometimes and the only thing that calms her down is sucking on her frozen teething toy, go figure.  There went sleeping through the night.  Sigh.
  • I found out last night that American Girls discontinued the Kirsten doll.  The news was completely devastating to me.  I’ve had my doll since the early nineties and I really wanted to be able to (now that I’m older and a little more able to afford it) buy more of her clothes and accessories and stuff and play with her with my daughter.  It sounds weird, but there you go.  The stuff on eBay (for the non-knock off original items) is crazy expensive (although we scored a pretty good deal today on one outfit – and yes I bought one even though my doll is still at my parents house and Lorelei won’t be old enough to play with her for awhile).
  • I’m about ready to leave bags of flaming poo on my neighbor’s doorstep if she blasts her car stereo one more time.  I almost had a complete nervous breakdown because I was exhausted (baby teething, no sleeping) and really wanted to be able to take a nap today while the husband was home, but I couldn’t sleep because it sounded like the stereo was in my own house.  Ugh.
  • Apparently, despite calling twice, the cops don’t give a shit about noise complaints and never showed up.  I realize, in my neighborhood there are probably more important crimes to be dealt with, but I am sleep deprived, hormonal and not well-medicated (cause I forgot my pills yesterday, oops).
  • Baby laughs can cure anything:

Sunny Day…

Sweepin’ the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet…

Now that the weather is not so nasty, I have been trying for several weeks to make it out to the botanical gardens.  Today I finally succeeded.  Even though it is officially spring, a lot of the garden is still dead from the winter; but there were a few bright spots of bloom.  Here’s a few pictures from my brief jaunt:

Bloom inside the Linnean House

Early Blooming Tulip

The sun is bright Mommy!

And then when we got home, baby girl showed me how good she was at getting at grabbing her feet.  She can almost get them in her mouth now!

This is Me

I know what everyone thinks about me.  I can hear tiny whispers of conversation.  From friends, from Brian’s coworkers, even my family.  The all ask, “Is she working?”  And then they seem surprised when the answer is no.

When I was growing up, I never really thought about what I would do when I started having kids.  Would I want to continue my career or did I want to stay at home?  As I got older, high school maybe, and I began to realize that boys weren’t into the nerdy girls, I figured I would never have to make that decision.  No one was going to want to marry me anyway.  And then I met Brian.  Not to get all sappy and gross, but I always knew that when we had kids, I wanted to be able to stay home and take care of them.

I never judge the women who maintain a career and a family.  I am in awe of their ability.  I don’t think I could work a full-time job, come home and spend all my evenings and weekends taking care of the kids.  I think I would start to resent not having time to myself.  Not that I have any now.  Fortunately for me, the choice of career over family was made even easier for me by the fact that I didn’t really have a career.  I had a job.  A job which I hated.  A job which made me so stressed out that sometimes I would have to call in sick because I was sleep deprived and having panic attacks (getting up at 3:45 in the morning five days a week will do that to a person).

So, no.  I don’t work.  And I don’t want to go back.  Not anytime soon anyway.  There are days when I feel like tearing my hair out because I don’t know how to keep Lorelei entertained all day long.  She’s a baby and she can’t really tell me what she wants to do except by crying.  But just because I have the occasional bad day does not mean that I want to give up and ship her off to daycare and go back to work.  I like being at home.  I like doing the stupid boring housewife-y things I do.  Making dinner in the crock pot, doing laundry, cleaning up the house.  Just because it isn’t a real job, doesn’t mean that I don’t take pride in what I do.  I know that she will appreciate the fact that I’m at home just like I appreciated the fact that my mother was a stay at home mom.

My ambitions don’t lie in the corporate world.  I would love to just sit here and write.  Or become a (better) photographer.  Please stop judging me.

Add One to the Fail Column

I’m trying to be less and doom and gloom over here.  Unfortunately, there are just some weeks that can only be described as FAIL.

Like last week for instance.

Oh, it wasn’t all bad.  The weather was fairly nice.  I managed to go most of the week without having a major meltdown.  I broke out the homemade stock and made a delicious soup over the weekend.  Side note: I’m tempted to never use store bought stock again, homemade is so much better.

In general, however, it was just crappy.  I didn’t get nearly as much done as I would have liked.  My house looks like it was hit by a laundry tornado, the living room is strewn with baby blankets and baby toys and burp clothes.  The kitchen is in desperate need of a cleaning.  And as I mentioned before, major holiday planning fail.

What’s worse, however, I was completely unmotivated to cook.  We had fast food twice for dinner and Chimichangas for lunch one day.  Half the time, I didn’t even feel like making myself anything to eat.  I would scrounge up whatever I could just shove directly into my pie hole.  Or I just wouldn’t eat anything at all.  Until Brian came home and forced something on me.

I don’t like it when I do this.  I want to cook.  I want to eat better.  I want to have a clean non-national disaster area house.  It just didn’t happen.

Today is Monday, however, that means a fresh start.

Surprise Ending!

A new video for you all (apologies for the poor quality).  I know it’s not real content, but what are you gonna do?

Holiday Planning Fail

So, I’m a little bit Irish.  Not in the way that some people are a little Irish.  I don’t walk around proclaiming my Irish-ness, but I’m also not one to get shitfaced on Guinness only once a year.  I’m an equal opportunity alcoholic.

Our usual St Patrick’s Day routine is wearing a bit of green and then going to the “pub” for some corned beef and Guinness.  This year, that probably was not an option.  The going to the pub, that is.

So, there was no corned beef and cabbage in our future.  And I kind of dropped the ball on planning a sufficiently Irish-y meal (I was going to make another batch of Guinness stew, but I didn’t make it to the store in time this morning).  But the worst part is, we didn’t buy Lorelei a St Patty’s themed outfit.  I know!  We are terrible parents.  Call child protective services!

Today I headed out to Target (and then Babies ‘R Us) in search of some (possibly discounted) holiday themed baby clothes.  I swear, it’s like they hide all of that stuff on the day of and then bring it out the next day and put it on sale.  They’re trying to thwart us last minute hoping it’ll be on sale people.  The only thing I found which was acceptable was also much more than I had planned on spending.

And then I got home and realized that I already had a green dress.  Oh well, she still looked pretty cute.

Yummy!

So, after like a gagillion tries of embedding this from flickr, I gave up and uploaded it to YouTube.  Ugh.  Anywho…

If we could bottle this cuteness, I think it would solve a lot of the world’s problems.

Guinness Stew

…or the greatest thing in the history of ever.  According to my husband.

A couple weeks ago, I was really inspired to make me some chicken noodle soup.  What does this have to do with stew?  I’ll get there, you just have to stick with me.  I knew exactly where to turn for a good recipe.  AndreAnna is my crockpot hero.  I have always been reluctant to use them and I only had a tiny one person version that came free with our George Foreman grill.

Where was I?  So, I made the soup with store bought stock.  It was fine.  Very good, even.  However, I aspire to be the kind of housewife that has homemade stock in her freezer at all times.  To do so, I needed a real crockpot.  I went online, did research, asked for advice on Twitter.  Despite all that, I went to TJ Maxx and used my giftcard on what they had there.  Which was a 4-quart model.  I only paid three dollars of my own money for it thought, so I consider this an excellent deal.

I decided to test out my mad crockpoting skills on a recipe that is loosely based on the one you can find here.  I won’t leave you hanging though, I’ll tell you exactly what I did so that you can enjoy it as well.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp canola oil (cause I can’t read recipes apparently and thought the original said 4 Tbsp when in fact it said teaspoons)
  • 1 lb stew meat
  • 1/2 lb sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp (rounded) all-purpose flour
  • 1 bottle Guinness (divided)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add stew meat and brown on all sides.  Transfer to your crock pot.  Return the skillet to medium heat (do not drain any fat or juices).  Add the mushrooms and saute until they look deliciously brown.  Sprinkle with flour, stir to form a roux.  Add half your bottle of Guinness.  Stirring to reduce foaming, bring to a boil.  Cook until thickened, a few minutes.  Transfer mixture to the crockpot.

Add remaining ingredients: onion, garlic, carrots, mustard, bay leaf, S&P.  Pour in the rest of the beer.  (Side note: I wasn’t thinking when I made this and when everything went in it seemed like half the bottle wasn’t enough so I put the whole bottle in.  It’s going to be a bit more soupy with the whole bottle, so don’t add the extra if you want it thicker.)  Cook on low until beef is very tender, approx 6 hours.  You can leave it on warm for several more hours and it will just keep getting better.

Serve over mashed potatoes or chunk some red potatoes and throw those in while you’re cooking along with the onions, etc.

Then call and thank me for the deliciousness you have just consumed.

 

Modern Woman

I was thinking about this recently and maybe when I don’t have a baby demanding all my attention, I will talk more about it, but here is a poem I wrote junior year of college. Ages ago.

Do you see me? I live, unashamedly, with my boyfriend
In a shabby apartment with two cats – I never do dishes
My hands turn bright radish red and burn when I scrub
The remnants crusting along the bottom of pots, bowls.

I learned how to knit this weekend – I’ve always known
I think, something ingrained in my fingers which proved
Unsuited for musical instruments, a failure at violin
Barely passable at piano, enough for a girl like me.

I was never meant to have a 4.0, never meant to go to
This school, I’ve been found to be unoriginal
Not remotely interesting. I was meant to make small talk with
A cocktail in one hand while my husband made business deals.

I bake cookies, brownies and muffins for fun instead of
Reading Nabokov or learning about Attitudes Based on
High Consumer Effort – I prefer to sew, knit, embroider
While watching TLC’s Trading Spaces.

I think I will be a housewife when I grow up – marketing
Is not for me. I will put up with dishpan hands, clean up
After two cats and send three kids to school, hoping they will
Do something with their lives – I will become my mother.