Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Epic Fail! Part 3! Including fire!


Another installment of Bad Mama's Epic Fails!

This time, our adventure includes fire. 

And for added suspense, this episode will be posted in installments! (The natives are up early - I'll try to get the whole story posted today, but - we'll see.)


Just about a lifetime ago, Hubs and I were living in a cute little apartment.

It was his birthday, and I decided to make him his favorite dinner - turkey burgers and oven fries.

We had a wee little hibachi on our wee little porch for the burgers - but the burgers, my friend, the burgers were not the problem.

It was the fries.

To make oven fries, one slices potatoes into fry shape, tosses them with olive oil and seasonings, places them onto a cookie sheet, chucks them into a hot oven, and flips them over after 20 minutes or so.

What could possibly go wrong?

Check back later for Part 2.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I appear to have blinked and missed the entire weekend.

I hate it when that happens.

Apparently, we drank hot chocolate - there's photographic evidence to prove it.

I also seem to recall a trip to Wal-mart - I have a box of diapers to prove that. 

And we definitely went to the grocery store. 

Yep, pretty awesome. 

How was your weekend?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Moments

Friday Moments with Soule Mama again today.

If you have a moment to share, please leave a comment with a link!

Yesterday, oddly enough, it was Spring here.

I hear that it's going to be winter again today, so we took advantage of the moment.

"Dis dump twuck dwivin' in da mud!"

Grouchy child refused to look at the camera.
"Whatcha doin' bud?"
"Can you look up here and show me your smiling face?"

Happy Friday dear friends.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Oh, the screeching

Does anyone have any idea what's going on with the Wee One?

I think he might be a werewolf.

Or something.

Though Charlaine Harris tells me those pesky werewolf symptoms don't manifest until adolescence.


Seriously though, he's bad. 

Super bad.

This child is hitting the terrible two's with such force and vehemence that I am going to the library  to obtain some advice on child rearing.

Our conversation every stinkin' morning: 
Him: "Kin I have a pancake?"
Me: "Sure Bud" (I head to the microwave, beeping ensues)
Me: (Approaching were-child with pancake) "Do you want me to cut it up? Or do you want it big?"
Him: "I want it in pieces!"
Me: "You want me to cut it up?"
Him: "Yes!"
Me: "You don't want it big?" (I know where this is headed, but I try, oh do I try, to avoid to inevitable)
Him: "No!"
Me: (Placing the knife on the pancake) "You want me to cut it?"
Him: "Yes!"
Me: (Resigned sigh. I cut the pancake and walk away)

He throws.

He hits.

He is not at all intimidated by me.

He has two volume settings: whining and screeching.

He is a tough fellow to live with.

He is full of such angst. The mere inadvertent knocking over of a block tower causes a deluge of rage and violence.

He's clumsy and reckless. Always traveling at a full run unless I'm in a hurry and then the word dawdle doesn't even begin to describe his behavior.

He's also clingy - stalking me like an irritating heat seeking missile.
"Kin I sit in your lap?"
"Kin you pick me up?"
"Mama? Wheah ah yooo?"


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Spring" Cleaning

I have done some major purging and reorganizing around here lately.

We had a few unseasonably warm days and I think it may have triggered Spring Mode in my medulla oblongata or something.


Nothing was safe. Shoes, purses, clothes, books - it all came under the radar.

While purging, I discovered a bunch of interesting things about myself.

Once I got rid of all the clothes I never wear, my closet has more than enough room for everything.

Neat closets make my heart happy.
Things I got rid of:
* a pair of "clubbing pants" from college
* a dress I wore in 1999 to a college awards ceremony
* a purse with a coupon inside from 2001

I did make progress with the shoes.
Really. I did. 
The truth:
* I own seven pairs of flip-flops and three pairs of black flats
* I'm pretty sure those birkenstock knock-offs are over ten years old. 

On to my "office"

Yes I sit on a stool while I work. No, it's not comfortable. 

While purging my "office" area. I came to the conclusion that although I do dearly love Mr. Stephen King, I do not need to own his entire collection of writings. He's never going to stop by and be impressed.

Here is the stack of books that came off the bookshelf and
on to my nightstand for reading.

I also got new nightstands thanks to beloved Miss Kristin, but I didn't get a chance to take a photo.

I also can't take a photo of the under-the-sink bathroom cabinets I purged and organized with little plastic shelving units. But let me tell you - they're pretty sweet.

I am really feeling "less is more" right now.

I feel like I'm making some elbow room in my existence. I quickly noticed that the things which are surrounding me and not representative of me anymore.

I may not exactly be sure what does represent me, but I know for a fact it isn't black pants from 1998 or 30 paperback novels I read in high school.

It feels good to make some space, some breathing room. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gender Stereotypes

Here's what happens when your cousins are girls and you need to borrow some outdoor clothes ...


The Big Boy went for a slightly more understated look. Pink patriots hat and vest with pink logo.

Do they make girl's clothing that isn't pink?

Even when you get your own coat and hat, you still have to ride a pink and purple bike.

It might be pink, but I can still ride like the wind. 

And you might have to ride a pink bike while pushing a pink ride on toy that your younger brother has abandoned.

Always cleaning up his brother's messes. 

And then there's the one thing that unifies children of all ages and genders. 


Pink shovel? Really? Come on toymakers.

Somehow she managed to snag the only non-pink outerwear in the entire house.
Though, I wasn't going to call her on it, she's a formidable one. 

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wine Making

This weekend some of my co-workers and I were treated to a "team building" activity by our employer.

We went wine making and then out for dinner.

Wine Making Step One: Enjoy the scenery.

Mmmm wine.

Wine Making Step Two: Decide White or Red?

Kitty flavored wine.
Don't tell PETA.

Wine Making Step Three: Look at these cute corks!

Wine Making Step Three: Tasting. 

Go ahead, try to get 9 women to agree which one they like best. 

Wine making Step Four: Add grape juice to a bucket on the floor  primary fermenter.

Mmm grapey. 

Wine Making Step Five: Add water. 

Whilst stirring. 

Wine Making Step Six: Add clarifying agent (looks like kitty litter). 

Vigorous stirring!

Wine Making Step Seven: Add yeast!

Our favorite microbe.

Wine Making Step Eight: Seal up bucket  primary fermenting vessel and top with an air lock. 

Bubbles = success! 

Now, in 6 weeks we go back for bottling. 

Go little yeasties, go!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Phone calls from teachers



For those of you with older children this post will be melodramatic.

But I don't have older children, and therefore lack perspective.


Yesterday I got a phone call from the Big Boy's preschool teacher.

This isn't the first time.

BB's transition to preschool has not been easy.

Thank God for his preschool teachers. They have worked with us showed us how it's done, and our boy has made crazy-amazing progress.

Alas, you know how it goes:

Two steps forward, one shoving-incident-where-a-preschool-friend-lands-on-a-table-and-gets-a-fat-lip step back.

Incidents like this land like a death blow to my parental self esteem.

I know, I know - you seasoned mama's are killing yourselves laughing. A pushing incident at preschool? Bah! Just wait until you're bailing him out of jail!

Perspective: I have none.

I am earning it. One slow, painful inch at a time.

My sister (smart and with about 1,000 yards of perspective) told me that our children's paths are their own. We can guide and help, gnash our teeth and pray - but in the end, this is their experience - not ours.

I have to extricate my self esteem from my son's behavior.

Am I good parent even if he makes mistakes?

That's what they tell me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's recap

We took the Big Boy to his 4 year physical yesterday.

He was not exactly  cooperative.

But we did manage to weigh him, measure him, get through the eye exam, physical exam and vaccination.

Success, in my book.

Both boys earned new Thomas the Tank Engine toys for their good behavior at the doctor's office. 

Then they proceeded to fight over James, the red engine, for the remainder of the day. 

Check out the number of layers I am wearing in this photo.
Black tank top, blue t-shirt, peach fleece, and hand-knit shawl from beloved sister. 

The remainder of our Valentine's day included pizza and rolls from Bertucci's, a lovely bouquet of red roses, and a fab new organic maple beer enjoyed while watching the Bruins.

And reading books of course. Well, reading the same book.

Hey Hubs, remember when Valentine's day meant candlelit dinners and long conversations? Yeah, me too. 

But, whatev. Vaccinations, pizza, and the adventures of Gus the Firefly are just as sweet. 

Hope you had some sweetness in your day as well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentines

Happy Valentine's day, Gang.

Yesterday we had a "Valentine's Social" at the Big Boy's preschool.

In a classic Bad Mama Moment, on the way to the party, I realized that Valentines would be required at the, ahem, Valentine's Social.

Here's an accurate description of my face upon realization:

Dang it!
Anyway, the Wee One and I made a rapid dash to CVS. 

Valentines were folded and labeled in the parking lot of the preschool, making us, of course, late. 

But it was fine.

Someone got spoken to by one of the
preschool teachers for running. 

Handling these two boys at a social event is a bit like herding cats. 

We made a rapid exit.

Largest expanse of kissable cheek surface area,
in the world. 
When I was a kid, my mom used to leave Valentine's gifts in the mailbox for me to find on my way home from school. 

I remember vividly that one year it was a box of chocolates and we went home and stuck our thumbs in the bottoms, eating only the good ones, while watching soap operas. 

She didn't let me down this year either - she sent my dad up with a cake and M&Ms for the boys. 

They were psyched. 

What do you mean, no more M&Ms?

Today I hope to appreciate all the love in my life, in a completely non-commercialized way (back off, Hallmark). 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Listen, Monday

Listen up, Monday, we had a great weekend - so I really don't appreciate you barging in here like you own the place.

Especially since you're all, "Get up early!" and "Work!" and "School!"

You're just gonna have to back the heck off.

We're still in weekend mode.

Exhausted boys + Thomas the tank engine video. 

So, what was so great about the weekend? 

Well - I taught my first yoga class. 

It was awesome. 

I will spare you an in depth, pose-by-pose breakdown and analysis. 

Then we spent an evening with great friends. Good food, lots of laughs, and staying up late. 

And the entire weekend was rounded out by a Sunday afternoon family birthday party with comfort food, cake, and lots of loving attention lavished on the two boys (by someone other than me). 

So, I'm sure you can see why I am a bit reticent to plunge headlong into Monday morning. 

But plunge I must. 

How was your weekend?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Moments

Friday moments with Soule Mama again today.

If you have a moment or two to share, please leave a comment with a link!

Yesterday it was warm enough for some outdoor play.

There was bike riding, fort climbing, and squirrel chasing.

Then the Big Boy says to me, "Would you like to cuddle on the grass with me?"

Oh, I love this kid.

"Sure, Bud."

Sorry for the iPod photos - but I had to seize the moment. 

Happy Weekend. 

Thanks, as always, for stopping by. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

1:1 time

Yesterday a change in schedule allowed me to have a chunk of time to dedicate to hanging with the Wee One.

We dropped the Big Boy off at school then we went to the bank and the consignment store (where he earned a cool wooden car for good behavior while I dug through the racks for his big bro).

Then we came home and for ninety minutes I dedicated myself to providing him my undivided attention.

He always has to share me with his bro, so I decided to sit on the floor and give him some 1:1 time.

And little dude did not miss his opportunity, it was a jam-packed 90 minutes.

First, a snack.

"Kin I have a waffle?"
"Sure, Bud."

Then, hide-and-seek. 

Hey, bro - that waffle just isn't providing adequate cover. 

And of course, we read books. 

Okay, well we read our one Thomas the tank engine book 5 times in a row. 

"Toot toot"

Then there was spinning in circles and demolition of block towers. 

Busy, busy morning. 

I think 1:1 time ought to be a little bit more of a priority. 

Our life is full, full, full - but I think we can make room for some more undivided attention.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Babies Babies Everywhere

A beloved cousin had her baby yesterday. (Congratulations!)

I think that's probably the best thing about Facebook - I get to see this little love's face instantly.

He's super cute.

Yesterday, while at the library there was a mama with her two week old baby girl. So cute. 

I congratulated the mama on her awesome status (at the library with older child and baby, fully dressed, no baby puke visible anywhere, awake).

The proximity of all these babies makes a mama think.

My babies are so big. 

I said to the Wee One yesterday, "Good morning, baby one" (that's what I call him, "baby one").
And he says, "I'm not a baby! I'm a yiddle boy!".
And I said, "You're right, Bud, you are a little boy, but you'll always be my baby one".
And he countered with, "No".
Touche, little guy, touche.

Now don't get yer knickers in a twist - there's no 3rd baby on the horizon for this little family - but sometimes a mama gets wistful, you know?

For me, it has been some of the longest, hardest, most humbling days of my life - but at the same time - I blinked and it's over - they're big boys now.

Not a shred of babyhood to be found anywhere, except in a mama's memory.

Congratulations, cuz - smell that baby's head for all us wistful mama's, okay?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


It's been a weird winter here, yes?

Temperatures all over the map - warm, then arctic, then warm again.

We've had a little snow, a bit of ice, and lots of rain.

The robins and the geese are confused - flying back and forth Canada? No, Florida! Wait, Canada? Definitely Florida!

The squirrels look like furry sumo wrestlers - having put on their winter blubber weight but then not having to face ... well ... winter. Food has not been scarce, and they have certainly not had to struggle to maintain a comfortable body temperature.

Anyway, this ain't national freakin' geographic, Melissa. Get to the point.

The point is that Hubs is not letting this wishy-washy winter stop him from winter activities.

You know we've been hitting the trail for long walks. 

He's also been taking our big boy to the local outdoor ice rinks for "hockey".

Mostly our big boy walks around in his sneakers, but last weekend he managed to get his skates on.

Sorry for the insane flash - this moment only lasted a
second or two. 

We may not be buried under a foot of snow at the moment, but it's still winter here in good ole NH, and Hubs is making sure our kids enjoy it.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Oh it is a dark, dark day in this house.

Our shoulders are hunched.

Our spirits broken.

The face of defeat.

There will be no victory parade. 

There will be no cool new t-shirts.

Trying to put on a brave face. 

Here, we live and die by our teams, and last night we died. 

Brought low by that little twerp Eli friggen Manning. What is with the shape of his head anyway? 

Moving on. 
Alas, wallowing in my murderous rage for Eli Manning  disappointment will not bring back our chance at Superbowl glory.

Today, we grieve - and it is my hope that from grief an all consuming quest for vengeance is born.

Touche Eli. Enjoy your moment. We'll see you and your malformed head next year. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday moments

Friday moments as usual with Soule Mama.

If you have a moment to share, please leave a comment with a link!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The view from here

Did you know it's February already?


Don't get me wrong - nothing makes me happier than slow and steady progress towards spring, but time just seems to be flying lately.

So let's pause and take a look around at where we're at right now. 

The Big Boy got a hair cut.

This face is priceless, no?

As usual, the hair cut was not, shall we say, a delightful experience. There was crying and gnashing of teeth and generalized horror and mayhem, but we survived.

And the result is so darn cute it's totally worth the tears.

In other news, both children have discovered the joys of the telephone.


Having a telephone conversation with the Wee One is absolutely priceless for two reasons:
1) He has the attention span of a gnat.
2) He has that classic male brain-mouth connection - so anything that goes through his brain, comes out his face.

A typical conversation with the Wee One (I have no idea what Grammy was saying):
"Hi Gwammy!"
"We watchin Thomas!"
(Painfully long and awkward silence where he is distracted by a dust mote and leaves the phone dangling by his side.)
"Hi Gwammy!"
"No! Dat's MINE!" (Tug of war ensues with the Big Boy over one toy or another)
"Hi Gwammy!"
"Kin Kin Kin Kin Kin Kin (he's been stuttering lately) Kin you read a book?"
(And then the coup de grace - with some prompting)
"I wuv you! Bah-bye!"

The Big Boy on the other hand loves to make plans.

"We come ovah your house tomowoah, okay?" 

Good, good, stuff. 

Okay, now that we've taken a good luck around - I feel more comfortable welcoming February.