Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oh, The Heart-Stopping Goodness

Artichoke~Cheese Dip

~ 1 small jar artichoke hearts
~ 1 16 oz container sour cream (I use light)
~ 2 cups shredded cheddar
~ 1 brick cream cheese
~ 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
~ freshly ground pepper to taste
~ 1 medium to large loaf round bread, any type (I prefer sour dough)
~ 1 loaf French bread

~warm refrigerated cream cheese in microwave for one minute, in medium mixing bowl
~finely chop artichoke hearts and add to softened cream cheese
~add all other ingredients and mix well with mixer (explain when son asks what mixer is)
~pour into hollowed out bread bowl and replace "cover"
~wrap bowl in aluminum foil and place on cookie sheet
~cook in preheated 375 degree oven for 1 hour

~serve with cubed french bread and this

For Nancy, who asked for the recipe. I could eat this stuff for dinner.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Potty Mouth

Psst, Clorox:

Wanna make a mint? Invent a non-toxic, drinkable bleach product. And here's why:

Item 1: We are at my sister's house and RC has just completed his first successful peep of the new potty-training season. Manic Mommy is at the sink washing her hands after assisting with said endeavor. RC spies the plunger parked next to Auntie's toilet. Before MM can reach him/screech loud enough to wake the dead, RC has upended the plumber's helper and licks. it. Various washing and rinsing ensues. But where's the bleach?

Item 2: First Day of preschool. Andy has taken the day off to accompany RC to orientation while MM attends HRH's Welcome Mass. After we pick up HRH, we take the boys to Friendly's for an ice cream. Except for RC, we each order what turns out to be a pretty meager portion and consequently begin taking little bites from RC's massive make-your-own-sundae.

It is with the taste of hot fudge and Reeses Pieces still upon my tongue that Andy suddenly remembers the men's room incident that had taken place not ten minutes earlier:

RC is standing in front of the toilet having already fondled caressed lifted the toilet seat and is attempting to simultaneously hold the seat up, keep his shirt tucked under his chin, and aim. He is one hand short, and so, he leans forward and places the edge of the toilet seat between his lips to hold it up and proceeds to urinate.

Andy acted fast but of course, the damage was already done. He proceeded to make RC rinse his mouth out and wash his face/lips/hands with Friendly soap. But again, where's the bleach?

Did I mention that I was eating RC's ice cream as the story unfolded? What's a mom to do? I buy fluoride-free toothpaste for him because that's dangerous if ingested. How about the most germ-laden surfaces know to mom?

Please tell me your worst. Am I the only mother with a really, gross little kid?Let me know that his immune system is strong enough to handle it - and that it. will. stop.


Manic Germaphobe Mommy

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Remember

My first "I remember where I was" moment occurred when the Challenger exploded just after take-off. It was January 1986. A nor'easter was blowing into Massachusetts and my school closed early to make sure everyone got home safely. A bunch of us rented some movies and headed to my friend, Joe's house to watch. One movie was Thief of Hearts. I can't remember the other one. My friend Michele called her father to tell him where she was. I can remember her saying, 'What?!" and to us, "the shuttle exploded! Turn on the TV!"

There are others now. But seven years ago,

I was sitting in my office in Andover and Andy called me when he got into his office in Cambridge. He commented he'd just heard on the radio that someone had just flown into the World Trade Center. We both thought it was some poor idiot in a Cesna. We both thought it was an accident. We hung up and I ambled into my boss, Lee's office and told her. She tried to get onto and couldn't. Then another co-worker ran in to say a second plane had just hit the other tower.

Not an accident. An attack.

We were in a new building and didn't have a TV so all over, small groups of people gathered around small images on computer monitors. Everytime someone managed to get some news, it spread as horrible rumors through the office. As we learned about Flight 93, my friend, June got a panicked, crying call from her college-aged son. His dad was flying back from PA today. Had she heard from him? She had not but later learned, thank God, he was not aboard that flight.

Finally, Lee and I left the building to run to a local Best Buy to get a TV. Going home would take too long. It was in Lee's Jeep that we heard that the first tower had fallen. We saw the second tower fall standing among strangers in front of a big-screen TV in Best Buy.

We spent a longer while at work, eventually leaving to watch the horror unfold from the comfort of our own homes. There, I pleaded with Andy to leave the job he had just started a few weeks before. He worked in Kendall Square, where MIT is located. I was sure if there were more attacks "they" would target the academic centers soon.

He didn't leave until 5:00 and was home in record time. He found me in front of the TV exactly where I had landed when I arrived home hours before. We watched more. We headed to his mom's to wish her a happy birthday - yeah, 9/11 bummer. More TV, bed, God-Bless-America-sex, sleep.

In the morning, we woke up back to the bad dream that was our new reality.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

This is 40

And so is this

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Mom that Roared

I should have seen this coming. How could I forget who I am? As each of you has blogged, tweeted, and commented your anxieties about your babies going off to school, I sat here in my little haven I like to call De Nile and pondered if I was the bad mom who couldn't wait for school to come.

Forget no more. The name on the blog ain't Manic Mommy for nothing. And today, it hit me.

Today was HRH's Welcome Back Mass with the entire school present. I attended the mass because families were invited and I couldn't chance HRH being "the only kid whose mommy wasn't there" even if he didn't even know I was. So as I'm sitting in the back of the church with a few dozen other moms and two dads, I peered around to see just how small HRH looked next to his eighth grade assigned "buddy". His head barely cleared the back of the pew. My boy, my baby.

I began thinking about his anxieties about school (his perception of three timeouts on day one), about the things I'd heard about his teacher (all work, no play...not overly warm...), and about my own ideas of what his educational experience should look like. And the more I looked at Mrs. Smith with her dark corkscrew curls tied back in a severe ponytail, the deep set eyes, the unsmiling mouth, she began to morph into The Wicked Witch of the West or maybe just Miss Gulch. She held all the cards in deciding whether this first year of my child's formal education would foster his nascent love of learning and nurture his spirit.

I don't effing think so.

My protective instincts came screaming to the fore. This is my son. I am his advocate. He is brilliant and sensitive and thoughtful and mine. He is capable of great things.

I believe in our choice of school - the principal sent us a quick email day one to know that he'd visited the kindergarten classrooms and all was well. The faculty and facilities, the activities and the community are what drew us to the school. This environment is one in which HRH can thrive.

I have some qualms about his teacher but I am willing and hoping to be wrong.

I will work with or against anyone to ensure his education and his educational experience is everything he deserves it to be.

And so, Mrs. Smith and the rest of St. Somewhere, remember my face. You'll be seeing a lot of it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Trying to Reason with the Hurricane Season

Full Jimmy Buffet download to follow but for now, Kristen, this one's for you:

Send more business cards. Everywhere I wear these, I always get complimented and questioned.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Potty Whisperer - A Fable

You know how our brains forget the pain of childbirth as a way of ensuring the propagation of the species? There are some other things that our brains hide from us because if we remembered the trauma, we'd never willingly go through it again. For me, it's potty training. I suck at it. It's been two weeks and one day and as I look at RC dancing around in yet another pair of Diego big boy underwear, I think it might be okay to talk about without fear of breaking the spell.

Two Thursdays ago, as I was stepping into the shower HRH screeched upstairs at his most ear-splitting decibel that RC had just peed on the living room rug. Same shit, different day or something like that. I stood in the shower trying to calm down, taking deep yogic breaths, and reviewing my options.

I could-. Tried. Failed.

Maybe if-. Tried. Failed.

What about-? Tried. Failed.

Post shower and no more prepared to deal, I went into RC's room and grabbed two pair of 'big boy underwear' from his drawer. I stomped into the living room (avoiding the pee spot) and held up both pair. "Is it going to be Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Speed Racer?" Huh? "Because I'm throwing all your diapers away. We. are. done."

I then proceeded to take every diaper in the house and toss it in the trash. I wasn't enthusiastic, I wasn't encouraging, I didn't begin to address the rug incident. And I would brook no argument. I resigned myself to never entering a bathroom alone until we were done, packed up seven or eight changes of clothes, and left the house. The boy went about six hours without peeing before finally giving in - in the potty.

Initially, I thought my timing was way off. We were leaving the next day for Storyland. But wait! Daddy would be along for this ride. And so it was, like so many other projects in our marriage, I started the ball rolling and my husband, God bless him, carried it through to completion! He nagged, he cajoled, he sat on the lip of the bathtub and read endless books and offered encouragement. And in the end, my boy was trained! He got his bike last Saturday.

My husband, The Potty Whisperer.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten Tidbits

Damn you Anymommy! How about nearly showing up late for my son's first day of Kindergarten because I was so caught up in your garage trials and tribulations?

Scene: Leaving new school schoolyard. MM holding a barefoot RC in her arms, crocs in hand.

MM to HRH: Did you have a good day, Buddy?

HRH: The best! Did you know we have a basketball court, and a library and a food court?

MM: A foot court?

HRH: No, Mom a food court. You know, where we'll eat lunch.


Scene: An hour or so later. Daddy calls for update. MM puts him on speaker.

Daddy: Hey, Buddy! How'd Kindergarten go?

HRH: Great! I loved it!

Daddy: What'd you do?

HRH: Well, I got three timeouts.

MM/Daddy: Wha????

MM: What happened, HRH?

HRH: It's too difficult to explain.

I'll point to this post to help illustrate the reasoning behind our total shock. HRH is an in-the-box kind of guy. He likes the box. When K-A and K-B were told to line up to go into school, HRH got in line.

After subtle, thoughtful prodding (involving a 90 watt bulb and promises of a puppy), Andy and I were able to glean that HRH was actually reminded that he needs to raise his hand before asking a question and to stop speaking when his teacher was reading a story.

Tomorrow? Day 2.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Et tu USAA?

The gist: Buy our life insurance in the next six days or it'll cost you a bundle you nearly old bat.

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