A blog is born.
Welcome to my musings on pop culture and parenting. I am the Pop Mama and this is a safe place to steal away from your screaming child and get your fix on what's up with Beyonce and great poop stain remover tips.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pray

For today, I'm changing my tone.  I'm not going to be sarcastic or irreverent or focus in on the minutiae of reality television or parenting a toddler.  I'm going to start out by saying a prayer.

Please God.  Please.  Put your arms around those mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts, uncles and cousins, husbands, wives and partners who just lost someone because a psychopath decided to take many many lives before taking his own.  Keep them safe as they wade through their grief.  May these taken lives not be forgotten and may things in this world change one painstaking step at a time.  May we all remember to always be kind to those around us, never knowing what that individual may be thinking or feeling.

As I sit here keeping one eye on the horrific coverage of the Newtown, CT elementary school shooting, I am disgusted.  This carnage is the work of one man with two guns.  He murdered children and adults. People are going to rant and rave about gun control now.  People are going to wonder if we should have metal detectors or guards at every school entrance.  People aren't going to want to send their children to school for fear of this happening in their community.  I think about this shit every time I go to the mall or the movies -- just for a second until I tell myself that it will never happen to me -- the odds are just too great.  There is logic for you.  But is that what the people in the Oregon mall, minding their own business, Christmas shopping told themselves that day?  Will these acts ever stop?

I don't know the answers, no one does.  The news pundits are going to analyze the situation, the motives, the victims, etc. for the next few days until we are all sick of it and forget the real gravity of the situation.  My heart is broken for the families of the victims, the town and the world.

The bottom line is that LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL and A GIFT and REALLY THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS.  Why people keep forgetting that is what we should be analyzing...only when people focus on that will things start to change.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Just pointing it out...

Back again so soon?  Well, here I am.  I had a few extra minutes to write today and thought I would toss a few thoughts out there.  The blog topic I teased yesterday - stuff I do that is really white.  Here goes, no one get offended now...

If you have met me you know that I am as frightfully pale as a Cullen and despite having almond shaped eyes and getting asked if I am of Asian descent every now and again, I am pretty much epitomize the white girl next door.  I was just saying the other day how I envied those born into a big _____(fill in Italian, Greek, Purple, etc.) family.  I do have a huge extended family, but when we get together the food is pretty much standard American fare and the music is generally played from iPod speakers and not a family band.

Anywho, this past month my husband and I did something that made me feel particularly white.  We purchased tickets (pre-sale no less) to an event called "An Evening with David Sedaris."  Yes, we joined the hordes of gay men and people wearing hipster black eyeglasses to listen to an author read aloud for 1.5 hours.  Besides being aware of how white I was, it was increasingly clear how much of a geek I am.

If you have ever been on the blog stuffwhitepeoplelike.com then you will know that liking David Sedaris is near the top of the list of what white people like.  Now, I am NOT saying that no people of color like Mr. Sedaris or his works, but I will tell you that the packed audience of people sipping Merlot and wearing either a: 1) pashmina / scarf, or 2) a nifty hat was pretty much composed of 50 shades of Caucasian.  If you don't know who David Sedaris is or haven't read one of his books, I would highly recommend it, he is, after all, pretty hysterical.

I also blog...about pop culture and parenting -- and I link the blog to my FB page.  Make of it what you will.  I would like to be less of a stereotype and any suggestions on how to do that are welcome.  However, I think that just by putting that out there, I just became one.  Oy.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Back Again...

My goodness, has it really been almost a month since I posted?  Wow.  Well, I have been thinking a lot about what to post and truly there has been a drought of pop culture / television stuff to talk about.  My friends and I were at a loss as to what to watch.  Some even ventured into uncharted territory and started watching shows like Jungle Gold with their husbands...I'm not naming names.  But now, there are a few things starting back up to give me a little fuel for this fire -- Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Sister Wives.  I am still watching Parenthood and it has basically devolved into my husband and I making fun of each story line and coming up with really bad and politically incorrect jokes.  At least we make each other laugh.

So, I am watching the Bev Hills housewives again and realize that each episode is exactly the same...one of the housewives throws a party and doesn't invite one of the other girls and then at the party someone else does /says something offensive to start a whole new line of drama.  Yet, I still soak it all up.  However, a Maserati?  Really Kyle?

Kody and his cache of wives are back for what I believe is a 3rd (?) season of Sister Wives and things are starting to get a little more interesting.  We find out that Robyn has bad credit and some debt-- which she took on as part of her divorce in order to keep the peace with her ex.  Great decision.  This factors in all too anti-climatically when the 4 wives have to apply for home loans.  The deal is that if one of them is not approved for financing, then the other 3 will also not go through with it.  The suspense of whether Robyn will be approved is dragged out until the bitter end when magically, she is approved!  Could it be the fact that she is bringing in income through the show?  Perhaps.  So, now the family is going to continue moving forward with building 4 McMansions on a culdesac outside Vegas. I have also figured out that a main plot teaser for this show is the idea that one of the wives (either the 2nd, 3rd or 4th) could walk at any time and the producers are always dangling that one out there for the viewers.  Of course, we know that none of them will ever walk -- not only because they have a show and for the children's sake, but also because of something that is not shown very much...their religion and religious beliefs.  If they truly believed in this lifestyle enough to make it for almost 20 years, those ladies aren't going anywhere.  

And, okay I was one of those ladies who decided to check out shows like Moonshiners and Bering Sea Gold and Jungle Gold.  These are the shows my husband litters the DVR with, so I thought I may give them a chance while there was literally NOTHING.ELSE.TO.WATCH (and no, I didn't want to watch yet another episode of Love it or List it).  Through my pop culture research, I discovered a few things...

1.  The Discovery Channel loves itself a show where idiots do something completely risky, impractical and nonsensical to make something like $8,000.

2.  Men love these shows.

3.  Those who watch these shows generally feel somewhat superior to those who regularly watch E! or Bravo, although I did point out that at least on E! or Bravo the people aren't participating in life threatening activities to make a few thousand dollars  -- the people on those shows have actually figured out how to make millions without risking life or limb and not breaking much of a sweat (except in the obligatory s%x tape which is leaked between seasons).

4. The shows are kind of (and I truly mean kind of) interesting.  Especially Jungle Gold.  This show is basically two beefy down on their luck American Realtors who are in a mess of debt and decide to leave their families and go to Ghana to mine for "jungle gold," albeit with NO real experience mining.  This premise alone may suck you in.  I have only seen one episode and it was pretty ridiculous, which drove home the point that the Discovery Channel is the Bravo for men.

Okay, so I am off to quiet down Cam who has been standing at his gated doorway whining for the last 1/2 hour and try to get him to actually NAP!  SILENT SCREAM!!!!!

Next blog topic - things I do that are really white.




Monday, October 29, 2012

It isn't supposed to be EASY

If raising kids were easy, then every moron would turn out the next Nobel Peace Prize winner.  People always tell you that having children "changes everything," and it is the "hardest job" you will ever do.  When you are pregnant you choose to ignore this and believe that, oh no, not my child.  My child will be perfect and say please and thank you every.single.time and probably potty train himself and sleep through the night at 6 weeks old.  I can't say that I thought all of that, but I certainly thought -- look, I'm a moderately intelligent, strong, self-aware person, I can certainly raise a successful member of society and hey, I can probably do it without all of the tips, tricks and trappings that my parents had to use.  Hmmmm...who feels like the moron now?

We moved Cameron to his racecar bed last Monday and the first few days were smooth sailing.  Then we got to the weekend and Cam threw a humongo fit on Saturday and would not nap in his bed.  Bedtime wasn't a huge deal, but he did get out of his bed in the middle of the night and show up in our room (turns out he had an ear infection) completely ignoring his stoplight alarm clock, which was clearly still RED -- which means "STAY IN BED!!!"  Anywho, the night time thing didn't bother me as much as the refusal to nap in his bed, which he did again on Sunday.  This time we employed the gate at his bedroom door and he literally shrieked and howled for about 1 hour until he finally passed out sprawled at the end of his bed and slept for 2 hours like that.  Clearly he still needs the nap.

Right now I am listening to him yell for me, then cry and then plead for me to let him out of his room (yep, that gate still works) and I am trying desperately to ignore him.  Don't get me wrong, I am TOTALLY fine letting him work this out on his own and learn that he is not leaving his room during naps, so it is either sleep or read books, but what I am NOT okay with is him waking Henry up in the process.  Poor H didn't get a good nap yesterday or the day before because of his crazy banshee of a brother.  The white noise can only drown out so much and Cameron is VERY loud.  For instance, right now he is screaming and playing a tambourine that he found in his room (note to self: clean out his room of anything FUN or noise making).

So, here I am, wondering how long this stand-off is going to have to go on for...3 days, a week, two weeks?  Anyone go through something similar?  The gate keeps him corralled, but he is still loud as anything.  Oy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Making My List.

Everyday when I open up my mailbox I am amazed at how many trees were killed to bring me the catalogues I NEVER ASKED FOR.  I understand the marketing strategy of sending a catalogue to everyone who ever bought anything from a catalogue or website, or somehow got his or her name on some kind of mailing list, but the strategy is wasted on me.  Basically I buy everything on either: Amazon.com, websites or in the actual store.  It is rare that I see something SO special in a catalogue that I have to buy it, so please stop sending me wasted paper that goes into the recycling bin straight out of the mailbox.

With that being said, yesterday I got a catalogue in the mail that made it past the recycling bin based solely on its name -- Magic Cabin.  Has anyone else seen this one?  It looks kitschy with a photo of elfin dolls on the front, but seriously, Magic Cabin just sounded magical to me.  Turns out, it is pretty damn magical.  Magic Cabin carries just about everything a child would need to pretend that he or she lives in a land full of fairies, elves, forest people and woodland creatures.  It.Is.Awesome.  Even my husband appreciated how cool it is.

For example, here are some product titles straight out of Magic Cabin:

  • Classic Cloaks -- just what they appear to be...in "Floral Pink, Little Red Riding Hood, Celestial Blue, or Teal Leaves."  I'm asking Santa for one in Teal Leaves.
  • HugglePod --  a hanging cocoon for kids.  It holds up to 175 lbs. so I should be good.  See below. 
  • Play Silks - let your imagination run wild.
  • Kirin the Unicorn - yes, please!
  • Bilibo - literally the description says "It's whatever a child wants it to be!"
  • Ladybug Thumb Piano - for making fairy music, of course.


I reviewed this catalogue more carefully than I have reviewed legal documents and I was entranced.  Where was this mystical vendor when I was a child?  If I had seen this catalog when I was a kid, I would have gone ape and probably circled every single thing it as a "need."  Call me a nerd, but I was pretty upset that the Harry Potter series didn't come out when I was a kid.  It would have seriously changed my childhood and probably would have made for more than a few Hermione Halloween get-ups.  I mean, I already had the hair.

Check out Magic Cabin, even if you don't have kids. magiccabin.com  You won't regret it.  I'm trying to figure out just what Henry and Cam need...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm so hip.

I was a big fan of the show Up All Night when it first aired, but now in season 2, I think they have jumped the shark a little bit and the story line is struggling.  Basically, Ava's show got cancelled, they got rid of Jason Lee's character and although the writing is still good, the plot has fizzled.  Anyway, I was catching up on it last night (it is basically my DVR filler) and it was the episode where Reagan and Chris steal their neighbor's babysitter.  I hear this happens, but I have never done it (nor have I had the opportunity to, since my mom is typically our go-to babysitter).  So, towards the end of the episode my husband turns to me and says, "Hey isn't that girl the smoothie lady from Fresh Beat Band?"  He was talking about the actress playing the pilfered babysitter and he was dead on right.  I knew that she looked familiar, but couldn't place her...yep, she also plays Melody on Fresh Beat Band.  It was incredibly satisfying and SAD to realize this connection.  Clearly, Nick Jr. is on too often at our house. I have found myself absentmindedly humming "It Was a Great Day."

Is anyone else watching Parenthood?  Does anyone else think that there are too many things going on and that it is becoming somewhat ridiculous?  I still really like the show, but seriously, what other major life issue are they going to bring on next and I totally called Amber getting set-up with the soldier...it was too easy.

I am also being pounded by campaign calls and sometimes, just to play I answer the polls differently if I get more than 1 call in a day.  What can I say, I'm a tricky Ohio "Walmart Mom" (but I typically shop at Target).

It has been a big week so far at our house and I am a bit discombobulated... Henry had ear tubes put in on Monday morning (at 7:30am - oy) and Cameron started climbing out of his crib.  The ear tube surgery was no big deal and seeing as how it was our third time doing this (Cam had two sets), we were like old pros.  The worst part was just leading up to it -- getting the pre-op physical done and then actually waiting at the hospital for the procedure.  We had to get there by 6am...and we did, lattes in hand.

So, Cameron started climbing out of his bed.  I knew that this would eventually happen, but for the longest time he wore a sleepsack, which acted as passive restraint and deterred the act of climbing.  Then, he started saying "No sack," and we relented.  He stopped wearing it months ago and only just now figured out he could get out of his crib.  On Sunday morning he showed up in our room at 6:30am saying, "I got out of my bed."  Yep, you did you little...  Anyway, I went on a mission to get a toddler bed immediately and found a very nice Little Tikes race car bed on craigslist.  We picked it up Monday afternoon and he has been raving about it ever since.  Now, let's just hope he stays in it!  We are trying a nightlight/alarm clock that is a stoplight that goes to green when it is time to get up.  He has "obeyed" it for two mornings now and I am praying that the novelty doesn't wear off.  Fingers crossed.

Today is abnormally warm (around 80 degrees), so we went to the park this morning to play.  My boys love the slide!  Could Henry get any bigger?  He is 10 months old, 24 pounds and walking.  Although Henry adores Cam, I am anticipating the day when Cameron takes away one of his toys and Henry just decks him.  The other day Cameron took all of the toys away from him and I said, "Cam, that wasn't very nice, what is Henry going to play with?" Cam looked at me and said, "Henry can play with a shoe."  I had to cough in order to hide my laughter.  What a clown.









Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A little bit of this, a little of that.

Last night I cuddled up on the couch with some Ben & Jerry's, a blanket and my husband (who was surfing the iPad - I just needed to clarify so that there is no mistake how little interest he has in my TV choices) and the second installment of the Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion show!  It did not disappoint.  First we got to see my favorite day player, Rosie!  Her hatred for Teresa is palpable and her relationship with Kathy never stronger.  Go Rosie!  Next we got to witness a ton of yelling, mainly between Melissa and Teresa, over who said what and yada yada yada.  There is NO mistaking the fact that Teresa stirs crap up, makes up stories and is a flat out liar...very interesting to watch it all burn down on national TV...  My favorite part of the whole show was when they brought stone-faced Joe Giudice on to fess up to his sins.  I seriously felt like he was coached and the entire thing was forced.  When questioned about the infamous phone call in which he calls Teresa some choice names and forgets he is miked, he feigns remorse and says it "cost him a lot of money."  Andy Cohen jumps on that and it is clarified that in order to get out of trouble with Teresa, he had to purchase some jewels for her.  Healthy.  Those two make me ill.  I'm just gearing up for the showdown next week when they bring on the men (sans Albert Manzo who has too much common sense and apparently a great contract loop hole) on the show.  I'm waiting for some good one-liners from Richie.  Question of the day -- how can I get a Real Housewives of Cincinnati started?  Without being rich or catty?  Hmmm...

Fall weather has officially touched down here and I am loving the jeans, sweaters and vest attire.  I even broke out the Uggs this past weekend...soooo comfy!  I have also taken an interest in fitness again and have started going to Zumba class.  If you would like to see a bunch of 30, 40 and 50 year old women awkwardly break it down to Latin inspired tunes, come and watch -- on second thought, don't.  The space where I take the class does NOT have mirrors, a fact for which I am most thankful as I have zero interest in catching a glimpse of myself sweating up a storm and shaking my toosh.  Oy.

In addition to Zumba, I have started (kind of) training to run/walk/stagger a 5k.  I don't have one booked yet, but I am thinking about doing our local Thanksgiving Day 10k and just walking/jogging it.  My goal is to actually run a 5k in the next 6 months.  The other day I went jogging/walking with Henry in the stroller around our neighborhood and I thought I was going to die, but you know what they say, you have to start somewhere (and that Henry is HEFTY).

I have had a lot of random thoughts lately, one of which came to me at around 5:45am the other morning while I was up feeding a sick child -- 80s and 90s pop culture really overused the word "Cop."  Think of all of the movies with "Cop" in the title or the television show Cops.  Off the top of my head I can name Robocop, Cops and Robbersons (did anyone else see that one?), Beverly Hills Cop, Kindergarten Cop and I am sure that there are more.  Deep thoughts for a Tuesday afternoon.

Back to work.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tardy to the Party (yes, I used that as a title)

On Friday night my husband and I settled in to watch our DVR'd lineup of Thursday television (the old standards of Up All Night, Parks & Rec and The Office).  We were all geared up to see the season openers and started with Parks and Recreation.  The old characters are still doing their thing, but Ben and April are no located in D.C. and it wasn't really explained what was going on...I mean, we remembered that Ben had taken a job there, but April?  So, we were a little confused and I felt late to the party.  Next up was The Office and it jumped right into Roy's wedding and also some plot line with these two characters I have never seen, and Kelly and Ryan were inexplicably gone.  What?  Somehow, in my sleepy "Friday is finally here" daze, I just accepted this and moved on.  I was certain that by the end of the episode I would get an intro of these two new characters.  Uh, nope -- but it didn't really bother me so I popped a zzzquil and went to sleep.  Fast forward to Sunday night.  We started watching the DVR'd episode of Up All Night and were wholly confused.  There is a new character who is in business with Chris and Ava's show is cancelled?  WTF?  I reached for the iPad, looked at the episode guide on-line and realized -- we were a week behind.  We had completely missed the season openers of all our Thursday night shows.  Pop culture fail.  Thank goodness for On Demand to assist in catching us up.

Although the story I just relayed was pretty boring, it kind of tracks with how things have been going lately...FAST and I'm continually feeling as if I'm playing catch up.  On the work front, life is fine and manageable, but on the family/house/kid front, things are clipping along quite quickly.  I would kind of like it to switch and for work to be busy and the family front to settle down a bit...keeping my fingers crossed.

Henry is officially WALKING.  At nine and a half months.  He still falls down A LOT, but he is able to get himself up and across a room unassisted.  He is very proud of himself, not to mention ADORABLE.  Cameron is learning new things by the second and talks up a storm.  Constant questions, constant repetition (Mom has to watch what she says!) and lots of funny quotes...such joy!  Cameron and Henry are up in each other's business all the time and I know it is just the beginning of a lot of squabbling, loving and craziness between two brothers, but it is kind of driving me nuts already because Henry is still too little and Cam is unknowingly too rough.  Just yesterday we took Henry to the doctor because I suspected an ear infection (and was correct) and so all day Cameron was saying, "Henny's sick."  Yes, so leave him alone.  But no, last night after dinner my husband found Cameron  wrestling/playing with/smothering Henry and when asked what he was doing Cam replied, "Henny's sick."  Yeah, so was Cam trying to put Henry out of his misery?  Two year-olds.  Oy.

Cameron is also growing a bit of a 'tude, which shouldn't surprise me seeing who his mother is, but seriously, at 2 years old?  We are working on time-outs and consequences (like taking toys or other privileges away), but he persists in his behavior and I really don't know where to go with it...is it just age 2, or is there something I am missing?  Most of the time during his time-outs he gets up and just smiles at me, which causes me to have to stifle a laugh because of his precociousness.  His favorite phrase is "No way," and just the other day he crossed his arms and he said "I'm mad," when we wouldn't let him do something.  Please, other parents, I need some tips!

Did anyone watch the first installment of the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion show?  It was gold, but it is bound to get better because -- dum, dum, dum, they are bringing ROSIE out on the next one!!!!  After hearing her crazy, enraged outbursts coming from backstage, I cannot wait for them to bring her out, although not to disappoint all of you, she is not wearing one of her signature caps.  Damn.  P.S. - Teresa is a pathological liar or a Fabuliar.  Kisses.

Okay, must go jump on a conference call.  More later...I have some awesome crock pot recipes to share which are just in time for fall weather.  Happy Tuesday!  


  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Food for Thought.

Happy Tuesday!  I went on my much awaited girls weekend to Florida and got home late Sunday.  It was very relaxing and besides indulging myself in seafood and cocktails, I realized how unburdened one can feel when she is not constantly fetching juice, packing diaper bags, fastening car seat buckles and reminding (yelling) one's two year-old not to smother his brother.  Ahhhhh.  It was a beautiful thing to just care for me and me alone this weekend, but of course I ended up missing the little maniacs and by Sunday night I was anxious to see them.  My husband fared well in my absence and I was happy (overjoyed) to miss a very messy potty training fail by Cameron...yikes.  Oh, and Henry is now basically walking -- at 9 months.  He actually tried to scale the safety gate today, something that Cameron has still never attempted.  My husband put him "baby jail" in order to keep him from destroying everything at the grandparents house...

So, a few things I have been meaning to post about:

1.  Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, or "Rake" as I now am calling them.  Ummm...what?  They got married.  I barely knew they were together, but of course, I have been been a little preoccupied.  I am a wee bit worried for Ryan because he seems to always choose women who are about 10 years his junior (besides Alanis Morissette) and then it doesn't seem to work out.  I know plenty of 30-35 year olds who are single, beautiful and hilarious -- if only he would have met them first.  Anywho, good luck to the newlyweds.

2.  I toughed it out until the finale of this season's Real Housewives of New Jersey.  I am solidly Team Melissa and am wondering if the rumor mill is correct in that Teresa is getting fired from the show.  For any of you who watched, how over it is Caroline Manzo (not to mention Albert Manzo)?

In the finale, Joe Gorga flies to Melissa's defense when she is accused, once again, of being a stripper and he brings Ritchie Wakile with him.  I love this duo, especially their age inappropriate outfits, but more I just love that they were ready to do some business at the Posche fashion show (which is a sh*t show every.single.year.)  My husband and I were talking about who on the show would be most likely to help you bury a body if you needed to (and be discrete about it).  We decided that although most of the husbands on the show would probably help you, most wouldn't be discrete and the one you should really go to is Albert Manzo.  Of course, you may owe him a favor one day, but I think he would be the one to get the job done and keep it quiet.  Random thoughts from our couch.

3.  I promised recipes and recipes are what you shall now get, like it or not.  When I was first married I did not care much for cooking, but in the past few years I have really started to get into it and I credit one source -- Real Simple Magazine.  I love love love this magazine and get most of my recipes from it.  I have some old standbys and some new ones from Pinterest, but that magazine is the source of much of my inspiration.

I thought I would start with two easy recipes and then add more on different posts later...I'll try to keep it interesting.  I chose these recipes for today because they are "no-cook" recipes that are really healthy and delicious and can be made in less than 20 minutes.

Beet and Carrot Salad (from www.cmbm.org)
Serves 4
2 tablespoons OJ
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons EVOO
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger (I use this ginger paste that I found in the herb section of my grocery)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup peeled and shredded carrot
1 cup peeled and shredded raw beet
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Whisk OJ, lemon juice, EVOO, ginger and salt together in bowl.  Put carrots in mixing bowl, drizzle with 1/2 of dressing and toss, put on one side of serving dish.  Put beets in mixing bowl and drizzle with other 1/2 of dressing and toss.  Place beets on other side of serving dish.  Sprinkle mint on top before serving.  Delish!

Sesame-Lime Chicken Salad (from Real Simple Magazine)
Serves 4
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar (I used Splenda)
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (I have another recipe that uses this and will post next time so you can use this pricey ingredient again)
1/2 red chili pepper (such as jalapeƱo), sliced
kosher salt and black pepper (I used sea salt)
1 small head romaine lettuce in bite sized pieces (I used a bag of romaine, prewashed and cut up)
2 carrots, grated (I actually bought a bag of shredded carrots which I used for this recipe and the one above on two separate nights)
1 2 to 2.5 lb rotisserie chicken, meat shredded (about 4 cups) -- I used leftover roasted chicken and I bet any kind of chicken would be fine.
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (I forgot these and didn't notice)
1 cup crispy Chinese noodles (in Asian section of grocery store)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

In large bowl, whisk together the canola oil, lime juice, sugar, sesame oil, chili, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.  Add the lettuce, carrots, and chicken and toss to combine.  Serve the salad with the sesame seeds, noodles and cilantro sprinkled on top.  Just like a restaurant Chinese chicken salad, but much healthier!

Good luck chefs!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One week later.

This past week has been weird.  I have been a combination of busy, introspective, serious, joyful and stressed.  Besides being obsessed with childhood cancer for the last week, I have been working on business ideas for my consulting business, taking care of babies and cooking up a storm.  I am putting the obsession with childhood cancer away for now because I had Henry's 9 month well check-up (remember word - "well") and I talked to my pediatrician (the amazing Dr. M.) about my fears.  Her response was "that is my life."  She is a mother of three boys and she got it...although it is rare and my anxiety about it may seem irrational and crazy to some, it is a valid fear that she herself had had.  It made me feel better that I wasn't alone and made me feel even better when she explained what she looks for in children when examining them -- and that Henry was A.O.K.  Exhale.

In order to distract myself from the big "C," I watched some new fall television.  I caught The New Normal last Tuesday and it is set to record tonight too.  I don't know how I feel about it yet.  I wanted to love it right away, but then when I was watching it, I started to pick it apart.  The characters need some fine tuning, especially Ellen Barkin's racist grandmother character.  She is such a great actress and was doing a great job, but the writing seemed a bit over the top at times (and I get that the show is supposed to be a bit over the top), but it felt like it was pushing it.  Rein it in a little and be a little more subtle and perhaps the character can develop a bit more.  I also watched the season premiere of my old favorite, Parenthood.

Okay Parenthood, what are you doing with Ray Romano?  What is going to be his function?  Are you,  along with what seems like millions of shows before you going to get rid of Jason Ritter and replace Lauren Graham's love interest on the show?  I hope not, for Jason Ritter's sake...that poor guy cannot stay on a show for the life of him -- and I think he is a pretty good actor.  And, although I love this show, I am kind of in disbelief as to the Julia and Joel adopting a 8 year old boy on the fly story line.  It is freaky and poorly developed.  It is making me mad because there is so much that goes into adoption and to think that the adoption agency showed up in the middle of night with an older child and made them make a decision on the spot is RIDICULOUS!  My husband and I just roll our eyes whenever this story line comes on.  Over it.

In other news, I watched Kourtney Kardashian pull her daughter out and Bethenny's talk show got picked up!  Yippee.  I am counting down to Friday when I fly to Florida to meet up with some of cousins for a much needed girls weekend...I am looking forward to: the beach, wine, hors d'oeuvres, laughing (a lot), sleeping in, eating, wine, wine and warm weather!

I must go back to cooking now, as my children and hubs are on their way home...more on my go-to and favorite recipes later.




Tuesday, September 11, 2012

No fair.

I am literally sitting here at the computer with tears streaming down my face and a tissue in hand.  I just finished listening to Taylor Swift's song Ronan.  She played it first on the Stand Up to Cancer special this past weekend and I missed it.  I heard about it via Facebook and then my husband told me about it and how he listened to it at work out of curiosity and was basically in tears at his desk.  If something can make my logical husband cry (or at least tear up), at work no less, then it has to be absolutely heartbreaking.  And it is.  The song is crafted from the words of a mother who lost her four year old son to neuroblastoma in 2011.

The words of the song were written on a blog by Maya Thompson, the mother to Ronan.   She wrote the blog to work through the pain of parenting and losing a child with cancer.  It is a tribute to her baby and it is heartbreakingly beautiful and simple.  Taylor did an amazing job of captivating the story and a mother's pain.  It isn't cheesy or trite and I have been thinking about it all day.

The song touched me deeply and I couldn't look at Cammy or Henry today and not think about how precious my time with them is and how dirty laundry or toys all over the house don't mean a damn thing when it comes down to it.  It is so easy to get caught up in the crap of everyday life and the doldrums of parenting...yesterday was one of those days for me.

After the kids went to bed I was in a foul mood because the house was trashed, Cam was a wee bit difficult that afternoon and I was just plain tired.  I also felt gross and squidgy because I haven't exercised since Henry was born and I never pass up a cookie or handful of M&Ms.  I was irritated and snarly and just needed some time to myself.  So I think that is when God decided to nudge me back to reality and I heard the song for the first time.  As I was crying, I felt like a complete a-hole, which only made me cry more.

I cried because as a mother I can only imagine how deep the hole would be if one of my boys passed away.  I cried because I have two gorgeous, healthy and lively boys of my own who I get the incredible gift of parenting everyday.  I get to be their mom and I needed to remember how lucky I am.  I cried because the lyrics and music are the perfect storm.  I cried because I ache for Maya Thompson and I ache for her other children who lost their brother.

Because I am a glutton for punishment and apparently like crying, I visited Ronan's mother's blog: www.rockstarronan.com  It is beautiful, sad and hopeful and brings awareness to neuroblastoma...which I didn't really know about or what it was until just now.  I don't want to go all medical on you, so basically it is a childhood cancer that develops from tissue in the sympathetic nervous system.  It sucks.

As I get older cancer becomes a real fear -- not only for me, but for my loved ones.  I have family members battling cancer right now and I feel like it is everywhere -- family friends, neighbors, sorority sisters and co-workers.  I know plenty of survivors, but I also know of so many who have been taken too early by this horrible disease.  It is maddening to me that there is no cure.

All that crying was cathartic, but it was also a reminder that life is so very short and each minute is a gift.  It sounds morbid, but this has been on my mind so much lately, even before I heard Ronan.  Maybe it is getting older and watching my parents get older -- or maybe it is having kids and wanting to protect them -- whatever it is, I'm trying to live with intention everyday and be present every moment.  Easier said than done, but worth a try.

Good night.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ready or Not -- Here She Comes...

Another TRAIN WRECK!  TLC's new series, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is a slow motion, slow drawling train wreck you cannot tear yourself away from.  At least I cannot.  My husband is disgusted by the show and was getting kind of judgey about my DVR-ing it.  Whatever, just because I don't watch the History Channel 24/7 like him does not mean I am totally ridiculous...I am totally ridiculous for a host of other reasons.  Moving on, I have been DVR-ing Honey Boo Boo and her freak family for the past few weeks and am once again impressed by TLC's reality programming vision.  That channel goes from wholesome and touching (think Duggar) to trashy and trivial in a heartbeat -- and I LOVE IT ALL.

So, for those of you who have not had the pleasure (or pain, depending on how you look at it), I will give you the low down on Honey Boo Boo.  Apparently this show is a spin-off from Toddlers and Tiaras (on the trash side of the TLC spectrum) and features a small-town Georgia family of all girls with little nicknames (with the exception of the baby daddy, affectionately called "Sugar Bear").  The youngest daughter, Alana, also known as Honey Boo Boo, is an aspiring (and when I say aspiring, I MEAN ASPIRING) pageant princess.  The matriarch (AKA Mama or June) is a 300 lb (literally, she weighs herself on the show) 32 year old extreme couponer (another TLC tie-in) mother of 4 daughters -- the oldest being a pregnant 17 year old (AKA Chickadee or Anna), two other teenagers (Chubbs and Pumpkin) and then little Honey Boo Boo, age 6.  I should also mention that there is a miniature pig named Glitzy -- no, I'm not kidding.

The show chronicles the family during a heated Georgia summer during which the clan takes part in the  Redneck Games (think belly flopping into a mud pit and bobbing for pig feet), washes their hair in the kitchen sink, toilet papers their own home, exhibits several bodily functions and gives a how-to lesson on a redneck slip-n-slide, all while finding time to prep little Honey Boo Boo for a big glitz pageant.

I am fascinated by this show for a myriad of reasons which include:
1.  Mama June is MY AGE.  Need I say more?
2.  The regional dialect is amazing.  I have never heard beautimous used so freely.
3.  The family is on a "diet," but still appears to buy copious amounts of discounted junk food.
4.  Alana is a rare treasure who screams everything she says for emphasis.
5.  I can't wait to see how the big glitz pageant goes...
6.  Sugar Bear's love for June.
7.  June's "neck crust."  I did gag when this was talked about.
8.  The fact that there is a new baby coming very soon...Alana will be an AUNT?!
9.  June blowing kisses to the camera.
10. Imagining what the crew of this show did to get punished this badly.

I have the newest installment waiting for me on the magical device that is DVR and I hope my husband won't look down on me too much for soaking it in while I sip a SkinnyGirl.  Love!

Have an awesome rest of the week!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Potty Diaries: Day 3 in Potty Prison

Here we are on Day 3 of potty training lock down and it is going O.K.  It really isn't that bad, but I am feeling a little like a prisoner in my own home.  I'm thinking of venturing out to the driveway and maybe for a SHORT walk with the kiddos later today.  Maybe.  Saturday and Sunday were fine, with Saturday definitely a learning day with many accidents and Sunday getting better.  I also had a partner for those days and today I am flying solo with a crawling 8 month old maniac (no, really, he is a maniac) and a 1/2 naked toddler.  Sound fun? 

Today really hasn't been awful, although there were moments of horror...which I will not go into for the sake of decency, but let's just say I have played my part in keeping Clorox wipes in business.  Cam seems to be catching on and when he isn't too distracted, he does pretty darn well.  I make sure to give him plenty of props, dances and hugs and he is proud of himself when he does the deed in the proper place.  He is also EXHAUSTED, which leads me to believe that his brain is working overtime processing all of these changes and some of it is sinking in...he is typically better at it after rest (morning and after nap).  After nap today I myself was coming out of the bathroom to find him sitting on his little potty peeing all by himself.  SUCCESS!  He must have thought we won the lottery or something with the joy I was oozing, but instead of joining in the hype he simply asked for Dora and some fishies (goldfish) and turned back to his blocks.

I watched the Kardashians during nap and here is a new word that Kim came up with, although I think she thought it was actually a word, "precautious."  Using it in a sentence, "We want to know what you are planning on doing with Mason if you die because we are being precautious."  Ahh, the Kardashians.  Oh, and I forgot to blog this other prize dialogue that was featured on a different episode, but it is amazing...
Summary: Rob was being a you know what to Scott (the whole scenario reeked of set-up) and Kim is talking to Rob about it and explains it as Rob being insecure because "his sock line hasn't come out yet."  Rob has a sock line coming out?  What?  AMAZING!  These people never cease to surprise...and keep me entertained...which explains why they are gazillionaires.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Potty Diaries

Yes, things are a changing and Cam is getting potty trained!  This post is a true parenting post and doesn't reference pop culture, unless you count the Huggies "Potty Dance," plus I will get into some information that only a parent of a toddler can appreciate...so I won't be offended if you decide to leave the page because potty talk just isn't for you.

Here goes:
We started the process in earnest this morning with about $100 in "big boy" undies at the ready, two potty chairs (one upstairs, one down), a potty bell, full juice cup and a prayer.  So far we have two successes (number 1) and a few accidents.  He is napping now in a pull-up and as soon as he gets up we will plop him down on that potty chair and start the whole process all over.  I decided to do this on a whim when I bought a potty training book to prepare myself for what I thought would come months down the road.  After reading the book "Toilet Training Without Tantrums," I decided that now was a fine time to employ the "Naked and $75" strategy touted by the book and get down to it.  Luckily, my husband was amenable and we didn't have any plans this weekend.

Basically, we let Cam hang out in undies and a t-shirt, drink his signature cocktail (90% water with a splash of white grape juice -- how sophisticated!) and set a timer for him to keep him sitting on the potty in regular intervals.  When the potty bell rings, he has to sit on the potty until he goes and then he can empty it out in the big boy potty and flush (what a reward!).  I also have a little chart where he can add a sticker for a success.  He LOVES stickers, so that is also a reward for him.

There have already been some "shake your head moments."  One was when he was standing in the kitchen eating a banana and just let loose on the floor and proceeded to stomp around in it like a rain puddle, saying "Wook Mom!  I peed!"  Thanks Cammy.  I'm hoping we get the hang of sitting on the potty sooner than later, because I only have so many paper towels...and so much patience.  I am counting on this taking more than a few days for him to master it, but I'm committed, so away we go!

Any advice on potty training or words of encouragement welcome!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Water Birth Witness Etiquette

I just watched last nights episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians and I am still giggling.  The episode is totally ridiculous (like the entire series) and features Bruce Jenner visiting a sleep clinic, Kris and the girls going to visit her mother in La Jolla and, wait for it, Kourtney and Khloe witnessing a water birth.  Yes, some soul actually let them come to her house and witness her giving birth in a blow up pool in her living room.  Pregnancy can make you do CRAZY things.  Sheesh.

So, the reason I am still giggling is that during the water birth, while Kourtney (the pregnant one) watches the woman labor and asks inane questions, Khloe (the only sensible one in the family) gets so uncomfortable that she starts cleaning the woman's kitchen and house.  I don't blame her...she isn't pregnant, she isn't interested in a water birth and she DOES.NOT.KNOW.THESE.PEOPLE, yet she is there for one of the most personal, intimate experiences one could have.  She does NOT know what to do with herself and is totally uncomfortable.  Seeing her put her head down and start cleaning cracks me up and I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing if put in that situation.

Meanwhile, Kourtney is front and center checking the whole process out and the poor laboring woman, who had no idea what she was in for (it was her first child), has to have the E! camera crew in her living room and Kourtney checking out her lady parts.  Oy!

There was a time when I myself was interested in and was prepping for a natural birth, which did not end up happening for a variety of reasons, but in the planning stages I did not even want my mother in the room for it, much less a camera crew and Kourtney Kardashian.  At least she didn't bring Scott with her...I can just imagine the inappropriate jokes and comments that he would have made during the entire process.

Knowing his antics, he would probably have tried to get into the birthing pool, just to try it out and see what it felt like.  Which leads me to wonder, if you buy your own water birthing pool and don't rent one, what do you do with it afterwards?  Do you keep it for your little one to paddle around in later in life?  Do you look at it with fond memories while it is stored in your basement or garage?  I bet most people rent, because really, what are you going to do with it?

Anyway, I loved Khloe's fight or flight instinct to remove herself from the situation and start cleaning and I am still chuckling over it.  Happy Monday y'all!



Friday, August 3, 2012

YOLO and other things I learned on my summer vacation...

Last week the boys, my mother and I drove to New York and New England to visit family for our summer vacation.  I have said it before, and it still rings true, a trip with children is not a vacation -- it is a relocation.  That being said, the trip was lovely  -- really lovely.  We left at 3am on Thursday and drove straight through to my aunt's house in New York.  Stayed there a few days and then went on to Boston for two nights and then back to her house before starting home again.  We covered a ton of ground and felt like we toured Massachusetts.  The kids were troopers.

I wasn't sure how Cameron was going to fare being that he is two years old, but he was actually an amazing travel companion.  He was down for whatever, was the life of the party, and had only a few moments of two year old behavior.  Cam embraced his cousins (actually second cousins) and showed me that he didn't really need me around that much (tear).  The car ride was doable and I have to thank the good Lord for the built in DVD player!  Although I said I would NEVER.EVER.OWN A MINIVAN, after renting the luxurious Town & Country I am considering it for our next car...especially if we need three car seats someday.  We shall see.  After that, I'll just get some Mom Jeans and a short haircut.

We spent oodles of quality family time and I even learned what YOLO means. Thanks Emma!  I didn't watch any Olympics and didn't keep up with any pop culture --- although I did see Page Six of the New York Post and caught some gossip about Taylor Swift and one of the Kennedy boys.  My only message: STAY FAR FAR AWAY FROM THEM TAYLOR.  No good luck ever comes their way...

Other things I learned:
1.  When traveling with a baby, get a suite at the hotel so you can put him in the other room so he doesn't wake your two year old up in the middle of the night.

2.  Always pack Clorox wipes, extra diapers, wipes and a change of clothes for any extended car ride.

3.  Bring a lot of DVDS, "car presents" and snacks!

4.  Make sure that you are up to code on your pilates and yoga poses because they will come in handy when you are crawling from the front of the minivan to the back while it is moving.

5.  The stow-n-go feature is hands down one of man's greatest inventions.

6.  My son has an innate love of teenies (Hugs) and fits right in with our family tradition (see picture below).  For those of you that don't know what a "teeny" is, I feel sorry for you.



7.  My extended family loved and took care of my children immediately after meeting them.  I am blessed to call them my aunts, uncles and cousins.

8.  Boston traffic still sucks at 11pm.

9.   Making the effort is worth it.

10.  Cam is afraid of bathroom hand dryers.


All in all, the trip was amazing, I introduced my children to my beautiful and amazing extended family and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the entire journey was.  For those of you out there afraid to take a road trip with young ones, it is completely doable with proper prep and planning...just make sure you have a good team mate at your side.  My mom was the biggest trooper of them all!  Thanks Mom / Mimi!

And, here is a shot of fat baby, who despite a double ear infection was still charming and smiley as ever.  Love you Henry!





Tuesday, July 10, 2012

2002

As I turn 32 years old today, I think back on where I was, and what I was doing ten years ago.  One could do this every year, but this year is significant for me.  Ten years ago I had just graduated from college and the whole world stretched before me.  I made a choice to attend law school in Los Angeles, never having visited there before, and was ready to take the leap into the great unknown...imagining the reality of it to be a cross between Legally Blond and Pretty Woman (without the prostitution, of course).

In July of 2002 I was turning 22 and I wasn't even dating my future husband...I wasn't dating anyone.  In fact, on my 22nd birthday I was working at Outback Steakhouse and was the last one to leave.  I remember I was so annoyed because a party of 10 came in at around 9:45pm and they were super ridiculous and let their children (toddlers) order from me, even though NONE of them knew how to read or what was on the menu at all.  It was torture standing there waiting for a 4 year old to decide what to order for dinner at 10pm.  I mean, who does that?  If you have ever been a server, then you will understand.

The next morning I was set to fly out to Los Angeles, to find an apartment and visit my law school for the first time.  The goal of the trip was to secure a residence and figure out the lay of the land so that when I moved out there in August to start school, I would be ready.  I had no fear -- I just knew that I was supposed to take this journey and I was focused.  I was renting a car for the first time, driving the Los Angeles freeways for the first time, renting an apartment for the first time...it felt like a coming of age movie and it was thrilling.

So, on my 22nd birthday I collected around $100 in tips, showered the restaurant funk off and turned into bed ready to face my future, which I believed would start, in earnest, the very next morning.  And it did.

I have been with the man I ended up marrying ever since July 11, 2002 (to be clear, I knew him before that, but we did not really start dating until that day).  I have circled back to the Midwest by way of Beverly Hills and now live even closer to that particular Outback Steakhouse than I did the summer I worked there.  The last ten years have gone by in what feels like a mere moment and so very many blessings have come my way.  As I watch Cameron and Henry, I pray that I can be present in the time I have with them -- that I don't constantly look to the clock to gauge how long it will be until we move on to the next thing.  I strive to savor each little laugh, spontaneous dance move and milestone of their lives as I know their childhoods are a blip on our timeline.

My work has taken on a mind of its own and for the first time in a long time I am excited about the future of my career.  I have taken the wheel, received some true blessings from unexpected sources, and have no fear about the course I am steering.  I don't think it would have worked this way a couple years ago, but at this point in my life I am ready to leap.

This birthday crept up on me and here I sit, thankful for the past and present and dreaming once more about the future stretching out before me... As Cam would say, "It's Mommy's Happy Day!"


Friday, June 29, 2012

Are we surprised?

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are calling it quits after 5 years of marriage.  She filed for divorce in New York and he was apparently "blind sided."  Uh, hmmm, yeah, okay... Their union always seemed random to me and was baffling not only because of their age, but also because of his highly probable still-closeted-to-the-public love of men folk.  Let's be honest with ourselves people, this was a sham from the beginning (even if Katie wasn't necessarily in on it at that time).  Take it from me who has had at least one or two boyfriends who later came out, this break-up was always in the cards.  I feel for Suri as the child left in this situation, but I think Katie will bounce back and all will work out in the end -- for everyone.  Tom can move on and find another clueless bride in the next few years and continue to try to make the same movie over and over again.  I think I am just a little tired of him, although I will always love some of his earlier films.  He turns 50 next week, which makes me feel old too.

There are plenty of fish in the creek, Katie.  Benefit for her, if she has another child, it doesn't have to be by a scientology approved "silent" birth...

If I get any more reports, I will update asap, but for now -- Happy Friday!!!!  Enjoy the weekend and we can all sleep more soundly knowing that the mystery of that marriage has ended.  Peace.

For pics of Tom and Kate through the years visit:
http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/29/showbiz/cruise-holmes-split/index.html

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sum sum summertime

I drink a lot more in the summer.  There, I said it.  In fact, I am writing this with a marg in hand.  It's true, I love having a cocktail / glass of wine on a summer evening and was a wee bit disappointed when I couldn't drink last summer because I was pregs.  This girl loves a chilled bevie al fresco.  Generally, I'm not a huge drinker -- my husband and I rarely drink on the weekdays at all, but this summer I have stocked the fridge with SkinnyGirl and Pinot Grigio and have not been holding back.  It doesn't hurt that I am currently sans employment and don't have to rush out the door in the morning anymore.  Which brings me to my other drink of choice -- a sugar-free vanilla latte made with skim milk (aka the skinny vanilla latte).  My in-laws so generously gave us an espresso machine and my husband gave me a tutorial on making lattes and now I make one.every.single.morning.  It is saving me the $3.25 Starbucks would charge and I get to enjoy it in the quiet (yeah, right) of my own home...and reheat it in the microwave about a billion times before I finally finish it.  Really, the fact that I can have a margarita in the evening (with only about 100 calories!) and a  skinny vanilla latte each morning puts me in a fantastic mood.  So, my drinks, the fact it is summer, the pool is open and some job/work leads coming through, I am in a pretty good place.  Simple joy.

In other news, I have been catching up on Sister Wives and a teensy little bit of Teen Mom (the final season, gasp).  Loving my Sister Wives, but not liking how long they are dragging out the question of whether Robyn will serve as Meri's surrogate.  These ladies are all under 40 (I'm actually not sure about Janelle), and if Meri wants another baby, just go for it!  We shall see what happens.

As for Teen Mom, let's start with little Miss Portwood.  What the french, toast?  How can this gal be any more of a train wreck?  She is at a rehab center in what looks to be Malibu and she has some strange jewelry/piercings going on about her face and she can barely get herself out of the dumps.  Seriously lady, this is a chance of a lifetime -- to heal up in Malibu, have the opportunity to talk about yourself even more than you already do (I mean, there was a reality show following you for a few years, so it was pretty much all.about.you.) and get paid for it!  As we now know, she can't even pull it off and has recently been sentenced to 5 years in prison for breaking probation.  Okay Amber.  Whatever.

My favorite cast members on this particular installment of this ridiculous series have always been Catelynn and Tyler.  Well, imagine my dismay and horror when I saw the cover of In Touch at the grocery store this weekend and it screamed out that Catelynn was pregnant again.
Speechless, I held it up for my husband.  He just shook his head.  That is all America can do.  I guess better her than Snooks though.  I'm just sayin'.

I did just read on-line that Catelynn has spoken out and said that she is NOT in fact pregnant...who to believe??? We'll give it a few months.

That's all for now.  Enjoy your Monday!




Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Stuff

Random musings for a Friday afternoon:

1.  I caught myself mindlessly watching Tia and Tamera (who seriously fight all the time and it is exhausting) and Empire Girls (don't ask) while folding laundry and then I had to literally wikipedia the ladies on Empire Girls to figure out why they had a show.

2.  The men in my life are very difficult to shop for.  Case in point -- Father's Day.  What in the world am I supposed to get them?  My husband says not to get him anything, but I know that there would be a look of disappointment on Sunday if I didn't come out with something.  So, I did do something, but feel that it is lame and then I also forced him to purchase Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter on the iPad.  He probably wouldn't have done it himself and goodness knows when he will have time to read it, but still, I felt better knowing that he now had something fun that he didn't have before.

3.  I have a slight addiction to Cracklin' Oat Bran cereal.  I've had it since I was a child, but I didn't buy it for years and now I am back on it and thoroughly enjoying it. Every.Single.Day.  I'm not even going to look at the nutritional information.

4.  Last night after dinner we took a walk and Cameron rode in his "dragon" (what he calls his wagon) for 1/2 of the ride and then insisted on pulling the wagon for about 1/4 of the way home and then decided that he wanted to push Henry's stroller.  He literally pushed me away and said, "No Mommy, my baby!"  Well, at least he loves him.

5.  For both my kids it has been like flipping a switch when they finally sleep through the night.  Henry turned 6 months old and literally started sleeping through the night that day and hasn't gotten me up in the last week.  I don't get it, but I do appreciate it!

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend and Father's Day!  Cheers to the guys in our lives!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Adventures in Parenting - Dinner edition

Tonight my son got a spaghetti noodle stuck up his nose.  To be specific, it was a linguine noodle because I had run out of regular spaghetti noodles.  Anyway, the night started out rather innocently...Cameron was eating his favorite meal of spaghetti (or if you want to split hairs, linguine) with meat sauce, sitting at his Little Tikes picnic table on our new deck.  He seemed to be enjoying the meal and kept getting up from the picnic table to bring handfuls of spaghetti over to his father to share, which his father naturally appreciated.  Then, it happened -- he sneezed with a mouthful of noodles and apparently one went directly from his mouth into his sinus cavity.  We didn't realize it at the time, as we were too busy trying to prevent him from finger painting our clothing, chairs and sliding glass door with marinara.  I first thought it was cute that Cam requested to eat outside at his picnic table and honestly, any other meal would have worked, but allowing a 2 year old to eat spaghetti without the restraint of a booster seat or highchair is NOT something I recommend.  There will be a dry cleaning bill to prove my point.  Also, I had to throw buckets of water onto the deck to wash away his mess.  Lesson learned.  Okay, now back to the nose noodle.

As Cam is climbing up on my husband's chair, face looking like it has been war-painted with marinara, I notice that something is hanging out of his nose.  The child is a complete booger factory, so this is not surprising and he does get passionate about eating, so I just thought it was a gross mucus trail -- at first.  Then I realized that it was the exact shape and color of a linguine noodle.  Horrified, I immediately died laughing.  I could barely get the words out to my husband, "he has a noodle hanging from his nose," to which my husband also died laughing.  Then, feeling bad, we both tried to get Cam to stand still for a second so we could get it out.  Not wanting to be touched, but not acting unlike his normal self, he scampered away and sniffed the starch right back up out of sight.  He continued with his meal, taking handfuls of noodles, stuffing them in his mouth and then running around the deck in his diaper and shirt (the bib was long gone), but we could tell he was uncomfortable having the pasta in his nose.  If you have ever had something stuck in your nose (which unfortunately, I have), you know that I am talking about.

Over the course of about 10 minutes the noodle continued to peek out of his nostril and he would continue to suck it back up -- unintentionally, I'm sure.  He would rub his face and nose and look at us confused.  He really did not know what the sensation was and how he could fix it.  I have to hand it to him, he did not cry or freak out, he just seemed a little uncomfortable.  So, at the point when Cam climbed up on my husband, pointed to my husband's undershirt which he had covered in spaghetti sauce and said, "Daddy made a mess," we decided to end the dinner and hopefully take care of the noodle situation.

As we were cleaning up, I saw my opportunity.  The noodle had made another appearance and this time I was not going to let it go.  I made a grab for it, held Cam's head still and pulled it out.  It kept coming and coming.  There was at least a few inches of noodle in there...which baffled me because I HAD cut Cam's spaghetti up into little pieces.  Regardless, I got it out and Cam immediately seemed relieved and proceeded to sneeze.  Success.  


Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 2 of officially being unemployed (the weekend does not count).  Lesson 1: Mondays are not good days for job postings.  I figure most people don't have their you know what together on Monday and don't get around to posting anything until later in the week.  So, nothing new on the horizon yet.  Also, I got my first rejection from a job that I applied for in desperation on Thursday afternoon -- a position at a casino.  Yes, I know -- WTF?  For those of you who know me personally, you probably would not in your wildest dreams picture me at a casino (especially one in the Midwest), much less working at one.  But, then again, for those who know me personally, you also are probably aware that I am pretty much up for anything.  That being said, it was a risk manager position, I thought it would be fun and I imagined Ellen Barkin's character in Ocean's 13 (?)...you know, wearing tailored dresses and Louboutins.  Only problem is that I am completely over-qualified for the position, it is in small town Indiana and there is no way in hell that I can afford Louboutins now...plus, although George Clooney is from Cincinnati, I seriously doubt that he, Mr. Pitt and Mr. Damon will be frequenting any pop-up Midwest casinos.  Drat.


In my last post, I forgot to mention how obsessed and delighted I am in with the new HBO series, Girls.  I just finished watching the episode in which Hannah visits her parents in Michigan.  My husband and I were laughing out loud at some of the moments.  The writing is spot-on and relatable, not to mention hilarious.  The dialogue is amazing and I love Hannah's character...back in the day I felt like Hannah.  I didn't do all of the messed up crazy sh&t that she does, but I too fancied myself a writer, went to a small Midwestern liberal arts college, was somewhat serious (read neurotic), had experiences just to have them, and had at least 1 confirmed gay ex-boyfriend (although I found that out much later).  I wanted to live in NYC upon graduation, but decided to forgo the stress of never.having.any.money and went to law school in LA, where although I never.had.any.money, I knew that there was the promise of it a few years down the road.  And now I am almost 32, married with two kids, unemployed and writing again.  Ahhh, life's little twists and turns.

Today I had one of those days when time feels like it is standing still.  I couldn't quite pick myself up out of the funk and I literally couldn't get out of the house with the kids because my husband accidentally took the baby car seat to work with him.  I'm one of those people who likes to be out and about, running errands, taking the kids places, driving through Dunkin' Donuts...and today, I had to be creative with my time at home with two little guys.  All in all it wasn't a bad day -- Henry took three naps (as he should), Cam colored, directed me in playing trains with him, read books and hung out with Dora and Caillou when Mommy needed a few minutes peace to check email, do the dishes or cook dinner.  

Has anyone else noticed that SO much of children's television programming is filmed or produced by our neighbors to the north?  Canada has the children's programming market cornered, which has me wondering if Dino Dan is a celebrity up there...and what kind of name is Caillou?  French Canadian?  Tons of HGTV is also filmed up there and you can always tell it is Canadian when they use terms like "washroom" or "en suite" or "open concept."   

Here is the recipe for the chicken dish I made tonight which is my go-to dish because it is super easy and extremely delicious.  

Parmesan Chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Caesar dressing
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
some basil or tarragon...or whatever kind of spices you like

Marinate the chicken breasts in Caesar dressing overnight or all day.  I typically forget to thaw the chicken until the morning, so I do the all day option and I bet it doesn't taste any different.  Crush the sleeve of crackers.  I do this in a baggie and let Cam pound the hell out of them.  Mix the cracker crumbs with the Parmesan cheese and spices.  Dredge the chicken in the mixture and bake in oven uncovered for 30-45 minutes (test chicken center).  I spray the baking dish with cooking spray to make sure it doesn't stick.  Voila!  It always comes out tasty.  

Time for bed.  Henry has been getting up twice each night this week because he is rejecting the bottle throughout the day and knows that I am too lazy to make him a bottle at night and will revert to nursing when needed.  He is a gamer and he better shape up or else he will feel what sleep training is like pretty soon.  How can you say no to a face like this?





Goodnight!



Friday, June 1, 2012

Shake it up!

Here we are and it is June.  My little world has changed a ton since I last posted at the end of April...for starters -- we MOVED!  What a process.  If I don't move again for 10 or 15 years, I will be happy.  I love love love our new house and I am trying not to let the unpacking mess get to me.  The kids have adjusted well and I am easing into our new suburban life.  Cameron turned two and is a MANIAC (amazingly sweet and funny, but a wild man) and Henry is just a little sumo wrestler.  See pic:




Change 2: My kids switched daycare centers and I am so very happy with the new one versus the old one.  Let's just say at the old one I began to feel like Cam was being jumped into a gang on a daily basis with all of the injuries he was having.  In the first few weeks at our new center he has already blossomed and comes home much happier and without any battle scars.  Our new center gives more detailed reports and one of my favorites is: "Cameron participated A LOT in circle time today."  Is this code for: "We could not get him to shut up"?  Probably, but at least I get good reports on his behavior and he seems to love it there -- plus the food is fancy.  For lunch the other day he had Chicken Alfredo with penne pasta.  Yeah, he's two and it is rough.

Change 3: My position at work got eliminated...yesterday.  I kind of saw it coming, but was hoping that it wasn't true.  I'll rebound, but it still sucks.  I'm going through the stages of grief...you know, yesterday I was shocked and in a little denial, today I am ANGRY.  I think this stage will last the longest and I don't see myself getting to the bargaining stage, because what is there to bargain about?  I do want my iPhone back...which actually may be the most annoying part of this entire thing.  I just hate having ANOTHER change to deal with right now.  Oh well -- at least it is summer and not winter.  Trying to keep my chin up and my mantra of "If God will lead you to it, God will lead you through it."  If you see me on FB and Pinterest a lot more now, you will know why...oh, and keep me in mind if there is a job out there for a compliance/risk manager/corporate attorney.  I will be having margaritas tonight...

That is enough about me --no more pity party.  What about Beyonce?  Just kidding...there is nothing new with that chick except that now she and Kim Kardashian can hang out on the regular since Kim is with Kanye and Kanye is up Jay-Z's you know what.  I would like to attend a couples dinner party with that crew.  Courvoisier all around!

What am I watching?  Well, probably a lot more now that I am unemployed.  Unfortunately most of my shows have ended for the season.  Did anyone else think that the Modern Family season finale was kind of LAME?  Really, Gloria is pregs?  Really?  I'm not sure I like that story line.  I also did not like the mock Mexican soap opera that they did for Mitchell and Cam trying to adopt a baby boy.  WTF?  Tighten it up Writers.

I still have a few Bethenny Ever Afters to catch up on and I need to get back to Game of Thrones.   Thank goodness for DVR and HBO On Demand.  Really, with all that has been going on in my world, I have been completely out of the loop and more focused on drawer organizers than on E! ...I know, what is the world coming to?  Don't worry, something will bring me back...a new celebrity baby or divorce.

As we ramp up to summer, I wish everyone a safe and exciting one.  It is my favorite season.  Later gators!



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Who Needs Sleep?

Hi!  Wow, it has been a crazy couple of weeks.  My children have teamed up against me to ensure that I never sleep again.  I was so lucky for the first few months of Henry's life and now the sweet spot of Henry's sleepiness is over.  As he turned four months old (see pic below) a switch went off and he decided that he was no longer content sleeping through the night and going down without a struggle.  He now fusses and struggles and wakes up a few times a night to eat.  I'm chalking it up to a growth spurt and praying that it will end soon.  On the nights that Henry does sleep, Cam inevitably gets up crying about some issue or another (which we can never figure out).



Last weekend as Henry slept peacefully Cameron was up and down all night.  My poor husband took the hit that night although I was up a few times to help out.  As much as I just complained about Henry's sleep regression, I would rather deal with a 4 month old at 3am than a toddler any day!  My new mantra for raising Cameron as he turns 2 next week (!) is "We don't negotiate with terrorists."  Just like a terrorist, my toddler is unpredictable, irrational and generally difficult to deal with -- there is no such thing as a "win" -- just mere survival! 

That being said, my Cammy is also a loving, silly, and smart little boy with a huge personality which makes laugh most of the time.  For instance, today at Target we were looking for the milk and he was saying "Milk?  Where are you?  Milk?"  He had me cracking up...until he started screaming in a high pitched voice and thinking it was FUNNY when I told him to stop.  Let's just say he is testing his boundaries.

There has been a lot going on in pop culture recently and sadly, I have fallen off the grid.  I have been keeping up with my idol, Bethenny and have been watching the new season of Game of Thrones (amazing), but that is pretty much it.  When you go to bed by 9:30pm, there is only so much time to devote to Bravo and E!.  However, I was thrilled to hear yesterday (or Monday, I can't even remember), that Giuliana and Bill Rancic are expecting via gestational surrogate.  After all that she has been through in the last few years with a miscarriage, infertility, breast cancer and a double mastectomy, she deserves this fabulous news!!!  Congratulations to the couple!

Bill and Giuliana Rancic

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Number Four? Cheers!

I just read that Tori Spelling is expecting her fourth child!  She just gave birth to her daughter Hattie in October and is now expecting another little bundle.  Wow.  Brave woman.  Mazel Tov!  Cute family pic...

When I think of having four children under the age of 6, that seems pretty scary because I am feeling slightly overwhelmed with two under two.  Of course, I don't have a baby nurse that stays for a year and I don't have a full-time nanny.  But, while I do believe that those resources help a lot, I don't think that the pressures and worries of being a mom ever go away.  I bet that Tori and I worry about the same types of things -- whether the children are eating enough or the right things, whether there is too much television watching going on and whether we spend enough time with each of them.  I looked at Henry this morning as I was rushing around getting ready to go to work and I felt so badly that I didn't have the time to just sit and cuddle with him for a while.  There he was, sitting in his bouncy seat playing with his feet and "talking" and all I had time to do was give him a quick hug and kiss before loading him into his car seat to go to daycare.  Mornings suck.

I cannot imagine being pregnant again in the next few months...I still need to lose some of the pregnancy weight I put on with Henry and I am just now starting to be able to enjoy a cocktail now and then.  This past weekend I even sipped my first SkinnyGirl Margarita of the season!  My grocery store now stocks the entire SkinnyGirl line -- Sangria, Margarita and Cosmopolitan.  I am definitely going to sample them all this summer.  Yum!  We also taught Cam how to "cheers" with us -- his sippy cup of milk to my "wawa."

Have a great Monday!

 

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Spring Baby!

First, congratulations to one of my favorite celebs, Reese Witherspoon on her third pregnancy!  What an exciting time for her and her new husband.  Reese is 36 and has two children from her marriage to Ryan Phillipe.  I wish her the best. 

It is spring again and I feel like babies are everywhere...people are either pregnant or giving birth.  I have three friends who recently gave birth to their first children and it is so fun to check out all of the pictures on Facebook. 

What is going on in my world?  Well, I'm not pregnant, but I am parenting.

A Scene From Our Car:

7:10am - Tuesday morning on way to daycare and work.

"Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mom--"
"Yes, Darling?"
"Coat!"
"Yes, you are wearing your coat." It's actually a hoodie, but I'm not going to split hairs here.
Silence for 10 seconds.
"Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Momm-"
"Yes, Cam?"
"Shoe!"
"Yes, that is your shoe.  Very cool."
Silence for about 5 seconds.
"Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, MOMMY!"
"Yes?"
"Baby!"
"Yes, that is our baby.  Is he sleeping?"
"Baby seeping."
"Okay."  Looking back into the jerry-rigged mirror that doesn't quite fit correctly in our SUV, I see that the baby is indeed "seeping," slumped over, with his head hanging precariously over the edge of the carseat.  I immediately feel bad that I can't reach him to tilt his head back and then forgive myself by remembering that Cam did the same thing and he turned out just fine -- a little loud and demanding -- but just fine. 

This is my cool guy Cameron -



This has been life recently.  Two boys, one chattering all of the time and asserting his independence ("No bed." "No house." "No Milk.") and the other just smiling and playing with his feet.  I love it.
When I consider the "are you guys having any more kids?" question, my heart says "absolutely," my head says "not for loooong awhile," and my husband says "we'll see."  The point is that no matter what kind of day or week we are having with the kids, we enjoy every second (sometimes in hindsight).  I am so very thankful for my healthy boys and being a parent has taught me to not sweat the small stuff.  It is so cliche, but true.  The other day I found myself fretting about some stupid work issue and I had to talk myself down by reminding myself that I could die at any moment and what really matters are the relationships I have in life...not the neighborhood I live in, not whether I have the newest iPhone, and not whether there are crumbs on the floor and dishes in the sink (because there will always be).     

Happy Friday! Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, March 9, 2012

March On.

The house purchase fell through in the inspection stage so now we are back to square one...I am so frustrated!  We have seriously been searching for our next home for over two years now and I am ready to be done with this process.  At least we sold ours...even if we took a hit and are now living in an apartment, it still feels good to have let that albatross go.  So February was pretty crappy - I started back to work, we spun our wheels in the housing market and Cam had another ear infection.  March started with Cam having  his adenoids taken out and new ear tubes put in.  He did well with the surgery but then got a virus which turned into a pneumonia and so he has been sick this entire week.  He is sleeping right now -- thank goodness.  Needless to say, life has been chaos around here.  My saving grace has been my little Henry, who has been sleeping well, eating well and smiling a ton!  He turned 3 months old this week!  Time is flying.

In the 1 hour or so that I have each night I try to relax, shower, visit with my husband and get organized for the next crazy day -- and sometimes I get to watch a little television.  We have been tuning into the usual Thursday night line-up on NBC and Modern Family on Wednesday night.  I religiously DVR Bethenny Ever After and find myself wishing that I: a) had her clothing, b) had her as a friend, and c) had a bottle of SkinnyGirl chilling on ice at all times.  Which reminds me, I need to pick some up next time I go to Sam's Club (it was about $11 per bottle there).

Although I don't want to rush anything, I do want to get into a house because it will signify that we are finally settled somewhere.  Living in the apartment, albeit a great space and location, was always a temporary solution and now I am ready to leave it behind...just need to solve the pesky house purchase problem.  I'm also debating how long to breastfeed this time around.  I went six months with Cam and it was difficult because I was working full-time.  Right now I am still on a part-time schedule and only have to pump three days a week at the office, so it has been easier.  I definitely will go through this month and into the next, but once I start ramping up my schedule at work I may have to reevaluate.  Pumping is nothing I enjoy doing, especially since I have to essentially do it in a bathroom at work.  Right now when I go to work in the morning I am a pack mule - I have the pump bag and all supplies, the diaper bag for Henry + bottles, my work laptop, my work bag (which I could probably ditch) and my purse.  On the days I have to take diapers and wipes to daycare for the kids I feel like I am packing for a cross country trip.  Ladies, how do you slim down the luggage with children???

On a positive note, the weather has been fabulous here!  I am loving the early spring but I keep waiting for it to get cold and snow again...just the Cincinnati girl in me.  Have an amazing weekend and stay well!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Baby Products and Medieval Fantasy Series?

I have been MIA and I blame it on the babies.  I can't believe it has been over a month since I last posted -- the shame...
This post is going to be a smorgasbord of random things that have been on my radar lately -- some parenting related, some pop.  Enjoy!

1.  Bamboobies.  Yep, you read that right...bamboobies are reusable breast pads for nursing mamas.  These things are the real thing -- environmentally friendly (reusable and eco friendly), leak proof and very comfortable.  I know all of this because I purchased some and have been testing them out.  Another plus is that bamboobies were invented and are produced by a small mom-founded company.  Support other moms!  I give them a thumbs up for customer service too -- the product was shipped same day and when I one of the pads went missing, they replaced it for free!!!!  I mean, if you want something done, ask a MOM!  http://www.buybamboobies.com/

2.  Game of Thrones -- This is a series on HBO that I just finished watching.  The first season has wrapped and the second season is in production.  I found it On Demand one day while I was nursing Henry and decided to give it a whirl.  I was immediately sucked in...it has been called "the Sopranos of middle earth," and it definitely lives up to its reputation.  My husband got sucked in too and I became a little obsessed -- googling the actors, etc. The series is based on the book "Game of Thrones" which is the first in a fantasy series "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R.R. Martin.  I must admit the HBO series is a little intense -- the violence and nudity can get a bit gratuitous -- but it is sooo good.  The characters are awesome and there are about a million different story lines going at once.  Not child friendly, so watch after bedtime!

3.   Bethenny Ever After is BACK!  At 7:30 am this morning I watched the first episode of this season and I was not disappointed.  Her brand is blowing up (I can't wait to try SkinnyGirl Sangria), she is freakishly busy and she and Jason bought an apartment -- an amazing apartment.  They are also "talking" about baby #2...although it was revealed this week (separately, not on the show) that Bethenny did have a miscarriage with a second pregnancy.  I cannot wait for the rest of this season as I LOVE her and find her honest and hilarious!

4.  The Daycare vs Nanny Debate -- The good news is that we are in the process of buying a house after selling ours this summer, not finding a new one and moving into an apartment for the fall/winter.  We are very excited and looking forward to the new adventure (which has me obsessed with Pinterest looking at design ideas).  The not so awesome news is that it is farther away from my work and I am ramping up my schedule to 40 hours a week from 30 hours, so we are considering whether a nanny would be a better option than daycare.
Pros - timesaver since we wouldn't have to get the kids out the door in the morning, they would be at their own house which means better naps, more control over schedules and activities, and I could probably get the nanny to do the kid's laundry.
Cons - Cam loves the socialization at daycare, a nanny is more expensive, the trust issue, not much flexibility whereas now I can drop them off at daycare any day of the week.

Well, we'll see what happens when we move and what we want to do but we are definitely researching all options.

I promise to post again soon.  In the meantime, here is a "Brotherly Love" picture!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Drunk in Beverly Hills...

On Sunday night my mother, Henry and I watched the Golden Globes coverage.  It was fun to see the red carpet and all of the glamour of the evening.  If I had a choice of an awards show to attend, it would probably be the Golden Globes...it is more casual, you can drink at the table and everyone seems more relaxed (most likely due to the alcohol).  Everyone looked beautiful, but I'm not sure what the nude color trend was this year...I don't think it worked for most people who chose to wear it, but I am no Brad Goreski, so who knows...

Enough about the Golden Globes, let's talk about what else is going on in Beverly Hills...with the Real Housewives of course!  Henry and I just finished watching this week's episode and I feel like I just ended a therapy session.  This week was bananas.  Basically it was the opening of Lisa's new lounge at her restaurant Sur (which apparently stands for Sexy Unique Restaurant...stupid), and everyone decided to treat it as their own drama filled therapy session.

First, Kim Richards, as we know, is all sorts of CRAZY and it was more than clear that she regularly operates under the influence of something -- be it pills, alcohol or drugs -- the woman was literally holding an unmentionable "toy", trying to find jewelry on the floor of a bathroom and ordering her creepy boyfriend Ken around like he was a servant.  This was all while she was trying to get ready for the party and a preview for the evening...

Here are the events of the evening at Sur:

1.  A server at the lounge happened to be a woman that Brandi's ex-husband (Eddie Cibrian) cheated on her with.  Lisa ended up asking the server (named something like Scheana) to go home for the night in order to make Brandi feel comfortable.

2.  Ken confronts Brandi about her referring to him as a "gay bull mastiff" while they were in Hawaii.  She totally owns up to it and Paul (Adrienne's husband) literally laughs in Ken's face about it.  Classic.  Gotta love Brandi...and Ken kind of does look like that (whatever that looks like).

3.  Cedric the leech shows up at the party and says he wants to "be there for Lisa." Cedric was a day player from last season who lived at Lisa's house and apparently tried to get money or something out of them in the end, thus souring their relationship forever.  There is a small and VERY AWKWARD altercation between Cedric and Lisa and she asks him to leave, which he does only after kissing each of the other housewives.  I would like to say that the Bravo producers set this one up, but I also wouldn't put it past Cedric to just show up as he is a fame whore.

4.  Kim shows up after a very strange limo ride that could have been a scene from Intervention.  She is literally pushing all of the buttons in the limo, picks out and examines trash from the limo's trash can, takes off her bra and almost falls asleep.  Ken is trying, unsuccessfully, to manage her and as sad as it is to watch, I CANNOT WAIT for her to get the actual party to see what she will do next.

5.  Kim doesn't disappoint...she makes the rounds to all the ladies and is a little too exuberant.  She then tells Adrienne that she is "moving out."  Adrienne's face is priceless and it is clear that she really doesn't know what to do with Kim because EVERYONE knows that Kim is under the influence of some kind of substance, is crazy to begin with and is totally unpredictable.  So, what does Adrienne do?  After a quick trip to the ladies with Kim (who still has the unmentionable toy with her), she passes her off to Kyle.

6.  Kyle takes a moment to pull Kim off to the side and chat.  Kim goes on a rant about how Ken "puts her down" and that it isn't working out.  Then she fights with Kyle for a few minutes about how the Hawaii fight (over Kim being 36 hours late for the trip) was a big one for her and they get no where with it.  The topper is when Kim says that she is "late, late, late"...as in 3 months late and that she may be pregnant.  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.  This lady is amazing.  She goes on about how she is having another baby, but then says she doesn't want one and that she may want a puppy.  She hasn't taken a test and Kyle even suggests to her that perhaps, "no offense," it is menopause.  HA!  I loved every millisecond of this scene.  However, I just wanted to reach through my television, cut Kyle's hair and hug her saying that she can't fight with crazy so she should just let it be and go along for the ride.

7.  Next, we see a group therapy session occur when Taylor shows up with her therapist (that isn't inappropriate or anything) and a black eye.  Her therapist then somehow gathers all the ladies (sans Kim who is having a freaking breakdown in the bathroom) and allows Taylor to "tell her story."  So she goes on that she and Russell were fighting, things got physical, yada yada yada and that she has been in an abusive relationship for too long and that they are getting divorced.  Adrienne doesn't let her get away scott

8.  At the very end of the episode we see Kim finally emerge from the bathroom followed by Estella (Mauricio's mother) and Dana (day player housewife) looking haggard from having to deal with her.  Kim looks oblivious and gleeful of course.

The end.

I am seriously exhausted from typing all of that.  Henry is also spent and has decided to go back to sleep in order to avoid having to absorb all of that drama.  Smart baby.

P.S. - Kim has since gone to rehab.

Have a great day peeps!