Friday, August 31, 2007

Do not try this at home

So (see previous post) I made the cupcakes. Thought I was clever using a long serrated knife to cut off the excess before I took them out of the pan. Thought I was fabulous because Pam with flour made them slip RIGHT out of the pan.

Thinned down some frosting with milk, and dipped them in.

They looked like CRAP. Almost all the detail was lost. The frosting was a bit too thick. Apparently people who READ DIRECTIONS make a glaze and brush it on with a pastry brush, but I am Smarter Than That.

I got the idea to press some fondant into the bug outlines (in the cake pan) and overlay it on the frosting. I have some very mutant looking ladybug cupcakes, let me tell you. Pink with green spots. Do not adjust your monitor! I will grace you with some pictures at some point. Y'all need a good laugh.

After much muttering and monkeying I rolled fondant very thin (marbled some colors) and pressed it into the shape of each bug in the pan, and then fitted it over the cupcakes. Some stretching, tearing, and swearing. Some dots of frosting as feeble accent lines. Yup - good enough!

Brother and sister in law, who came to help put the new gas grill together (because hey, the party is actually within 24 hours, so as the Blue Man Group proclaims... "it's time to start"...) swear the cupcakes are cute. I'm feeling "Hey, it's cake, we're going to EAT it, who cares, but they're fugly."

Fugly fugly. Really. ;-)

Always the same

Right now this



and this





are busy overflowing in my oven.



yeah.... it's party day tomorrow and I have 10,000 things to do... so OF COURSE my bathroom light switched picked today to go snap, crackle, and pop while providing a spectacular light show. Ever try to find an electrician at the start of a long holiday weekend? Mmmmyeahright.

Never mind that I can plot a timeline for which of my beloved relatives will exhibit specific behaviors, like clockwork. (Arrive early, late, emptyhanded, etc....)

Is it Sunday yet????

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Good For You = Expensive

Last night I had a nutritionist visit us (friend of a friend). Here are the reasons:

  • my teenager is quite thin and eats very few things due to braces and a moderate case of finicky-ness. I worry about her being healthy, etc
  • my 10 year old is very active and ALWAYS hungry and I get tired of him asking for MORE to eat every two hours
  • I eat cereal for breakfast, and I'm starving by the time I get to work. I hate bringing a sandwich for lunch. I swear on my iPod that I get sick from the cafeteria food in my building, every time I make a salad, or buy one of their mayo-loaded paninis. It's just not good.

So she came to see us and we sat and talked about options for each of us. She stayed for almost 2 hours and I paid her roughly what I make in two hours, having consulted my friend before hand. So it seemed like a good deal to me. The kids loved her and were very actively involved in thinking of things they like and discussing things to try.

Here are some of the ideas she gave us, which will seem basic to anyone who actually eats well, but then there are the rest of us... haha.

For my daughter:

  • waffles with peanut butter, which we were already doing fairly often on school mornings
  • a sub with (only) cheese and lettuce and some mayo is actually OK, which I hadn't thought. (You should see the looks the poor kid gets when she orders that. She just doesn't LIKE lunch meat.)
  • cooked carrots and/ or broccoli (soft for braces) with ranch dressing
  • peanut butter and banana sandwich, which she's never tried and I'll have to sell her on that idea Friday morning.
  • avocados, which I never knew were a source of soft protein(my kid won't eat eggs, no matter if they're boiled, scrambled, etc)
  • string cheese, yogurt, the usual dairy snacks like that
  • smoothies for breakfast - yogurt, frozen berries, banana, a bit of juice. The kids are pretty excited about this one and have decided we need to do this every wednesday, to break up the middle of the week.
  • hummus... this got the most extreme reaction when mentioned. However she tried a smidge today on a cracker and decided it's not bad. However the one I bought has a ton of lemon and has tahini in it. What is that, and is that why it's so spicy? I need to google. My son hated it.
  • wheat bread... which I had them eating, until a certain spouse took over most of the grocery shopping a few years back. So I need to get that back as our habit

For my son the biggest problem seems to be that he snacks on carbs only, and needs to have protein (yogurt or cheese or cream cheese) with those carbs to make them stick and avoid the blood sugar spike. Better snacks, like apples & lowfat cheese, or some other fruit combination. Also we're trying to get him on veggies and ranch dip instead of chips or those damn goldfish crackers. Now I know, what I send to school won't necessarily be what he eats, but I can encourage those things on the weekends when he's right in front of my eyeballs.

As for me, she gave me some good ideas that break away from the sandwich rut that I hate. Pasta salad with veggies and chicken, tuna, or shrimp (lite italian dressing). Hummus on a wrap or a bagel(which I had today, whole wheat bagel, not bad with a little garlic mixed in but you wouldn't want to kiss me right now - if you ever did... ) Also the protein + carb thing for a midmorning snack, which will hopefully help me at work since my boss thinks 11 - 12:30 is a PERFECT TIME for a staff meeting.

The only downside is that I just spent $200 at the market, between getting hummus and boca burgers to try, and dried fruit and nuts to make trail mix, (watch out for banana chips, they're actually DEEP FRIED... wtf ??? ) and all sorts of things that I need for our family cookout this weekend. :::thud:::

SO when I'm broke, at least we'll all be healthy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I love buttercream frosting


Made with half lemon, half vanilla extract.... which made producing this a near-coma inducing experience.

So summer is over (sigh), as my father would say. I am bummed that I didn't get to the "diamond mine" with my kids, or drag them on a hike around the nearby state park, or various other things that were on my list. I also have several projects I was going to "catch up on" this summer. Oy vey.

note to self: I need to stop making lists that are longer than I could possibly ever finish

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More Adventures of RealMom

The scene: Carly is sitting in her room, casually flipping through a Silpada catalog to circle hints for her upcoming birthday.

(She's mad about certain nonsense she's putting up with from people she doesn't talk about here, in her happy place blog, but that's beside the point. Sort of. Because each time they annoy her from here on forward, she's adding $5 to the amount of jewelry she's going to buy herself.)

Suddenly, a bloodcurdling scream echoes through the house: "Mommmmmmmmmmmm!" Small feet that no longer pitter-patter are charging toward her.

Sobbing Child bursts into the room, exclaiming that a ring part thingie (technical stuff) has popped off her tooth but is still attached. She opens her mouth slightly, and it seems to be full of blood. She can not fully close her teeth.

Weeping, sobbing. Hysteria.

RealMom springs into action, dragging her into the bathroom(don't bleed on my rug dammit, I can't afford to replace it), dispatching menfolk to get a cup of water (do something useful, and get out of the way...) and generally making soothing remarks that sound nothing like "Oh damn, I already had my jammies on, now I have to go out tonight."

Rinsing with water yielded... dark brown muck. Gobs and gobs of muck. RealMom couldn't quite figure out how so much muck could have been used to attach one tiny little piece of braces or why it would be that awful color. Or, why everything smelled so much like Oreos.

Oh. Wait. (Did I mention this was after 9 pm?)

She was eating oreos, then went to brush her teeth, and the thingie broke.

A call to FriendlyHandsome Orthodontist (who is smart enough to give out magnetized business cards for each client's refrigerator) reveals that he is apparently away, but Other Friendly Orthodontist (sadly, not quite as handsome) will take emergency calls.

OFO returns call within 5 minutes (barely enough time to bitch and moan and indulge in self pity while putting on jeans) and explains to RealMom that she could just clip the wires herself if she wants. Hahaha. Oh. He was serious.

Negative, Ghost Rider, as Suzy would say. (or is it Ghost Writer?)

He then explains how to get to his office, which he is already at, because somewhere, some other girl is sobbing hysterically in HER house too, and she called first. Hah! We beat her there. In less time than it took to play phone tag, the offending ring is removed. It broke. Broke! Sigh. Now it's in RealMom's purse.

I'm pretty certain it still has Oreo gunk on it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

This is a real mom

Yesterday was a banner day. Well, take that and make a statement meaning as much of the opposite as possible, and then you have the actual story.

I barely slept the night before for a few reasons, one of whom snores. So I started with only half a tank, physically. Off to work I went, dreading a meeting where I was bracing myself to keep quiet lest I literally get punched in the face for speaking the truth.

I found a few too many voicemails and emails from Friday indicating that there was a problem with a program and Department X was involved. (You don't want them annoyed with you.) For about 10 minutes after I figured out the root cause of the problem, (me, I made a small mistake - it took less than five minutes to actually do) I truly thought I might get fired. So I wrote the description up, emailed it to them, and thought, well, if you're going to can me over this, let's get it over with, and forwarded the email to my boss too. It was pretty much the lowest feeling I've ever had in the 20 years there, except for the day of the merger we had with another company, 14 years ago.

The phone seemed to be ringing whenever I was out of my cube and I didn't catch it. At one point I had 7 voicemails. I couldn't even really sneak out at lunchtime, which really sucked. Lunchtime is when I recharge, if I can. Fresh air and sunshine do wonders for me. Everyone should have at least an hour, and be required to leave the building.

So finally I left about 5:40, which is almost an hour late. I had to be somewhere at 6:30 and I looked bad, felt bad, and was hungry. So I settled for a bagel and some (surprisingly good) fire roasted tomato soup, both of which I grabbed after literally going into a drugstore, buying some makeup and hairspray so I wouldn't look like death warmed over, and fixing myself in my car. (I left my makeup bag at home, so after the "oh my god I'm going to get fired and be broke" crying I was pretty pale, and pulling out my hair left it a bit messy.) It was class all the way; I dumped some of the makeup in my car and had to clean it up with baby wipes. This is NOT how you want to live your life, trust me.

The capper was driving up a major road in the area and trying to dunk the bagel in the soup so I could it actually eat it, because I had NO TIME to sit there and use two hands. I figured if I used my cell phone too, I could be a complete loser.

Today has to be better, right?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

How


...I spent my afternoon (yes, that's me, waaaaaaaaay up in the air, on a VERY windy afternoon. Eeek.)
We went back up to Lake George today and parasailed. My son and nephew tried it but were NOT fans, probably because it was much bumpier than I'd promised. Too many lurches. Ooops.

Friday, August 17, 2007

More google searches

(all the kids are doing it.... here are more google searches that led to my own little pothole on the information superhighway )

  • Transition lenses suck - sorry you think so! I don't.

  • being 40 - I get this one in my sitemeter lists all the time. I am NOT 40, people. (F*ck, I'm 41.)

  • Tiffany Granath boyfriend - Ms. Granath is married to NHL defenseman Brad Norton. (Try wikipedia once in a while.) He's pretty hot (duh, he's a hockey player!) - - oh, and if you listen to her show you know he's not in Detroit anymore. SO hopefully he will stop by someday soon when Paul Hughes is on Tiff''s show and kick Paul's smug obnoxious ass....

  • Quotes speak with unlocked hearts - this one kind of makes me sad. Sorry.

  • words to a song sung in hee haw - hopefully my blog has never been QUITE that bad...

  • cornish game hens desperate housewives - um, well, I've got nothing on that
Aaaaaaaand, my favorite recent search referring some helpless internet user to my blog:

  • igallop hurts butt - try a trot. (Actually I was dismayed to discover that I DID once blog about the igallop...I need to go lie down....)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I wonder




  • if Bevin has her swim fins on already?

  • if I can get away with posting the photo of me, holding my brand new baby nephew, with him immediately picking his nose? (ok, he wasn't, but it sure looked like it)

  • if I can lock myself in the bathroom for MOST of the HSM 2 premiere tomorrow?

  • if Collichio really thinks that highly of himself?

  • who has more std's now, Brit or Kenny Chesney(see photo above)?

  • who let this happen? Whyyyyyy?


what do you wonder?



Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New Stuff

In increasing order of happy

  • Knee pain has been added to my daily nonsense... which ranks right over there on the waaaaay negative side of the scale. Yesterday's fire drill did not help (walking/ limping down 4 flights of stairs) - but the woman I felt worse for was a former state worker who was new to our building and didn't realize it wasn't real. (The loudspeaker ALWAYS plays a recorded drone reciting "there HAS been an emergency reported in the building. Please leave immediately...") She was bugging out until someone realized, and told her "We do this 4x a year, it's a drill." Egads. Understand, I'm not making fun of her at all. Six years later, I still instantly think of one day, every time I see a plane fly sideways.
  • Matchbox twenty has new music out (I almost saved this for last on the list but what kind of Aunt would I be?) - I'm not happy that the next album(Oct 2) will be "a retrospective hits collection" but hopefully there will be enough new stuff to make it worth my while, and I definitely like the new song.
  • Kanye West, Stronger, (video link) is even better, based on my highly scientific rating scale--how many times I replay it on my Sirius radio. Me raving is a death knell for his career, right?
  • New nephew! (Names & details not to be provided here, because, um, they don't know I have a blog...)

Monday, August 13, 2007

When the stars go blue

Well, I set my alarm clock for 3 AM, so that I could look for meteors. Carly is no longer typically awake at 3 AM; this should be obvious to anyone who's read me bloggin'.

When the alarm went off, I stood up, put my shoes on, donned my funky Supergirl glasses* and staggered out onto the deck, to find...

clouds.

Complete cloud cover.

I guess I'll have to stick to Perez Hilton for my starwatching.


*Seriously. People react differently to me in the glasses, what is that? ;-)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bring That Beat Back To Me Again

Listening to Dave Matthews Band (Old dirt road) - "...the first time I kissed you, I lost my legs"

I feel strangely like I have lost my running legs. I think I pulled a muscle or two. Something's not right; when I try to run I feel like my entire left leg is jarring, from hip to knee, and I am lurching. So I quit, wait a week, try again, same result. It's been 3 or 4 weeks now.

I miss running! Yesterday it was gorgeous, and I couldn't run. Dammit. Then in the pool, I jumped up to hit the "volleyball" and I can't recall whether it hurt more to leap up, or to land, but it was not a good thing.

The disheartening part is that my primary care physician thinks I shouldn't run at all. He didn't want to hear anything about how slowly I'd started, or gradually increased. I said, well, eventually I'll probably just go back to walking. Nope.

Swimming. That was the only exercise that he felt was apropriate for me. Yeah. Um, no. I can't really swim.

SO, now I need to find a doctor who will diagnose whatever I did to myself, and give me some treatment advice. I'd like to be able to run again, but I'd be happy to take a long (30 - 45 minutes) walk without pain.

:::::sulk:::::::

If you haven't seen it

G0 watch the Post Secret movie....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6rTkp1dek4

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fon-don't

The new Wilton Yearbook is out. Ten years ago, that sentence would have had me in my car immediately, on the way to Michael's.

I got into cake decorating while I was trying to get pregnant. (It's a long story, and a whole lot messier than that one tidy sentence lets on.) At any rate, it was a diversion, and those weekly cakes I worked on in class for 3 months made me pretty damn popular at work for a while.

I fell away from cake decorating a while after trying my first "paid" cake. It was a birthday cake for my friend's daughter, and had Aladdin's blanket, and some figures from the cake store. It cracked across the middle, in a very bad, noticeable way, and the repair didn't hold.

After that I stuck to making cakes for family parties. I made a solemn vow to Never Make Anyone's Wedding Cake Because I'm Not a Professional, and I've stuck to that. Shower and anniversary cakes, yes.

Every year Wilton puts out their yearbook, a magazine showcasing whatever new shaped pans they've created, and various designs using other existing pans. I stopped buying the Wilton yearbook for a while, because it was too heavy on fondant. Rolled fondant, if you don't watch Ace of Cakes, is something of an edible clay made of sugar and water, but it doesn't really taste very good. It's gluey, more like a marshmallow than a regular frosting.

For a while, every Wilton yearbook cake had the stuff on it. This year it's nice to see they've gradually returned to the more traditional methods, like making flowers from royal icing and using 10,000 stars to cover a cake with frosting. (Fun unless it's YOU doing it... )

Pay no attention to the tacky "castle" pieces on the cover. It's not their best yearbook ever, but some of the cakes are cute. Just stay away from that fondant!

Friday, August 10, 2007

No more posts...

I am starting to really HATE post-bound scrapbook albums. The back cover tends to rip off the posts if you put too many pages in. Annoying! Also, I can't possibly fit a year into one. (I have all of my pages for 2005 sitting on my kitchen table in page protectors, and the stack is almost 5" high. The perils of having a digital camera...)

For a while a local scrapbook store had Hiller "ring" 12x12 albums (aka We R Memory Keepers, which seems to be wildly sold out) . They have a leather cover with metal binder-type rings. I loved the way they looked, and the kids can easily browse through them. Michael's had them too, but now effing Martha Stewart scrapbook supplies have taken over that store. I don't want to buy her stuff just on principle (she's a snooty hag!), and who the FUCK needs an 18 x 18 " post bound album??? Can I express how STUPID (not to mention expensive - $80 for 20 pages...) they are? That's enormous. A small child can't possibly sit with it on their lap, and kids love to look through Mom's scrapbooks.

So tonight I found these and now I am HAPPY. They were only $20 each and shipping was about $3 each.

Now that I've changed your lives (ha!).... have a nice weekend.

A quiet kind of happy



I'm in love...


Isn't he the cutest little guy in the world? I heart you, N. (He was fascinated with that necklace. You probably can't see the tiny ring he's wearing, with an "N" engraved on it.) Just so adorable!

(I feel the need to explain that I don't USUALLY have twelve chins... as far as I know...)

Today is a quiet kind of day. I took yesterday off because my daughter needed to go get more parts to her braces (on the side teeth that are FINALLY growing in) and she was crying, and asking ME to bring her. Oy. So she is still in pain... that stuff hurts! My son is in bed sleeping (it's the middle of the afternoon) because he's had golf camp all week, and now it's rainy and perfect for napping.

This morning at 7 a.m. I found myself in the dentist's chair getting a cavity filled. So much wrong with that, I can't even start. ( A. Jovial dentist with growling stomach. B. My face was numb until 1 pm... scary)

Now, however I am listening to Sirius (Jazz Cafe), enjoying the rain and cool breezes, and just generally mulling over how to spend the next few hours. Scrapbook time!

I could definitely be a housewife... so why am I negotiating to work longer hours? Money. Ugh.

Yesterday D. assembled shelves that sit right in front of my treadmill. They are now holding a small TV and DVD player, just above eye level. Perfect - NOW I can watch every episode of Sex and The City all over again this winter!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Rocking old memories


I'm a rocking girl, according to Beth.
Thanks Beth!!!I would have to nominate Sarah, and Sassy Blondie -oh, and Cecily. I'd nominate Poly just to give her this pretty pink button but you can't read her blog. Sorry. It's just for special people -- I think she lets me read it just out of sympthy for my dorkness.


Now for my acceptance speech. Hmm.

I got to thinking about various speeches I have given in my lifetime.

High school graduation. I was the Salutatorian. You don't have to give a speech about world politics if you're #2. Everyone knows you're kinda smart, but not the smartest kid on the stage, so there is no pressure to awe your listeners.

I spoke about the fun we'd had all senior year (a little trip down memory lane) with the sole goal of being able to mention the names of the boys who wore skirts on Dress Up Day of senior week.

College. In college I had to take all sorts of random General Education requirements even though I was studying Math with a minor in Computer Science. No lie, I took children's theatre*, religions of the world, water color painting, all sorts of shizzle. Except no one said shizzle then, because it was 20 years ago, and I don't think anyone says shizzle anymore, so my daughter better not catch me using that expression.

Anyway.

I also took a Nutrition class because it was an easy way to get the science credit I needed. So one week we all had to do a report in front of the class. We each were randomly assigned a diet and had to report on the pros/cons. I got Ayds. Remember Ayds? They were badly named diet "candies". You were supposed to eat one when you got hungry.

I bought a box, and tried one, and read the materials that came with it. On class day I brought the box to class, and passed it around, and offered one to each student. As they were chomping away I let them know that the primary way this diet worked was that the candy contained a small amount of local anaesthetic. That's right. Your tongue and part of your mouth goes a little numb, and then the effect is supposed to spread to your stomach. That's the plan anyway. I got queasy. I got a couple of the prissy little rich girls pretty annoyed too. Haha.

*I was in this play about some stupid mouse with a dumb name that I can't remember (it will come to me), and Pete the Cat was after me, and we performed this play for a bunch of preschoolers, and one literally walked up to me and was yanking on me, screaming "Turn around! Pete the Cat is right behind you and he's going to get you!" Sit down, you little crumbsnatcher. Shaddap.

That's pretty much the extent of my formal speech giving, although I spent a couple of years as a corporate trainer. (For example, Introduction to DOS. Type dir a: and press Enter. Joy joy.) It was boring but got me to Seattle, which is a great city, and up to Maine, which I enjoyed a great deal. Beautiful places.

In a world where Chacchi is a stud(WTF????), and people seem to care more about where Lindsey Lohan is in Utah than finding six hard working miners, I'm not sure that this award means much more than validation that I've got a couple of nice friends who appreciate me for who I am. But isn't that a lot?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Penguins are Killing me

Class, let's discuss Club Penguin.

This site is insanely addictive among young elementary school kids... the hook is that you CAN sign up and get a screen name for free. You can play games. You get a running tally of coins you win. You can "buy" things for your penguin with those coins.

Except.

Some things, you can't buy. Because you're not a MEMBER. As in, someone who has badgered their Mom for weeks, nay, months, to please, please PLEASE, sign me up for $6 a month. So I can buy my penguin a different color shirt. Just like all of my friends.

Today, I caved. The night before school starts, I'm killing a penguin. (it's still a month away here, FYI to my southern friends).

Where I wanna be....

Friday, August 03, 2007

Programmers are stupid

(And, I am one.)

For a while now I haven't been able to switch to the Edit HTML tab. Because for some reason on my PC, if I click on the WORDS "Edit HTML" the tab ignores me. But if you click just BELOW the words, barely on the tab at all... you suddenly feel the urge to thwap a developer on the back of their head.

Grrrrrrrr.

For your amusement

Try out Tun3r

The squares are all radio stations. Click anywhere to get started, or drag the orange needle.

Below the grid of squares is info on whatever station you've clicked on...

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Today

was a come home, put on shorts and a cool tank top (it's about 92*, more in my house), light a candle, open a bottle of pinot grigio, light a scented candle, cut a thick slice of "tuscan" bread a la Hannaford, and sing along with the part where Fergie's friend says "f--- you, b--ches....."

and how was YOUR day?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Target is on his forehead

Today in Target (where I spend altogether too much of my time AND money) I was waiting for my offspring to use the restroom.

I watched while someone ELSE's stupid boy wheeled a cart down an aisle near me. There were a few shirts on hangers that had fallen off of a stick/rack (because they always put too many on each one, but that's a rant for another day). This guy ran RIGHT OVER them with the cart. I swear. He was at least 15, and had to have seen them a mile away, and could have avoided them by putting the cart 6" to his left.

So I walked over and started picking up the shirts and putting them back on the hook. (Because I am a mom and it is a Pavlovian response, to pick shirts up off the floor and hang them back up. Okay? whatever.)

I was not huffing or sighing or anything Mom-like, untill he starting backing up the cart right AT ME. I snapped "Don't run me over, I'm picking up the stuff you already ran over with the cart." He just jerked the cart a little to the side and said "Yeah. See you later" in that endearing monotone and walked away.

So help me. If my son ever pulls that crap he will need to have his jaw wired shut. WTF? It was just so obnoxious that he didn't even care he ran them over (probably ruined them, I didn't really look ) and didn't care when I called him out on it.

But that's ok, you little shit. I can guarantee you'll fail your driver's test at least twice.