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My Punny Valentine February 11, 2015

Filed under: Getting my Martha On — booksunread @ 12:48 pm

I was inspired to get my Martha on for Valentine’s this year by this post by Heather Spohr. I took her idea and gave it my own twist.
Miguel thinks this is the last year for this type of cutesy stuff. Guess it’s stupid Transformers or Star Wars cards next year. Sigh.

Weenut’s Kgar party is today and I’m volunteering. In deference of him growing out of the cutesy stuff, I got him a red MineCraft t-shirt with a creeper on it that says “Be Mine.” I’m all about the puns this year!


Weekend November 14, 2011

Filed under: Daily Grind,Getting my Martha On,Schmooper — booksunread @ 6:27 pm

How is it that I spent an hour plus in the grocery store, with a list, filled an entire cart to the brim and still managed to forget a number of key items? One of which was eggs. So yeah, no baking this weekend. I did manage to get the bulk of the shopping done, make and freeze sweet potatoes, dressing, an appetizer, a stash of sautéed onions for various recipes and some turkey sausage for lasagne next weekend.

And I ran one day and worked out the next. But I also went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel and to a Mexican place for dinner so I think that cancels it out. (The Weenut’s* reaction to CB’s giant roaring fire place? “FIRE! AHHHH!” So fire safety week at day care was apparently effective.)

Then the dryer broke. And the sump pump. WTF? Both are new since we bought the house five years ago.

Oh, and then we had arts and crafts homework for DAYCARE. They sent home two pieces of construction paper taped together with instructions to make a “Family Banner” by writing our name at the top and tracing and decorating each of our hands. And you know I couldn’t just scribble some shit on there with a crayon and call it a day, right? I must say I’m quite proud of my handprint turned flower pot. Weenut’s artistic vision needs some fine tuning as he just covered his with scribbles and Cars stickers. But he stayed in the lines, so win!

Another precious memory to record: My MIL bought him a totally age inappropriate but beautiful ABC popup book for his first Christmas. Each letter reveals an amazingly detailed die cut tableau of an animal that starts with that letter. I’ve just finally started reading it with Weenut, at bedtime, when I can stop him from ripping the heads off the Okapi and Quetzal. Anywho, as we went through it Friday night, he started asking me if they have each animal at the zoo. (Although he skipped it on dinosaur, was just waiting to have to explain that one. Unconscious genius, I tell you.) When we got to panda and I was struggling to remember if our zoo had any, and started to answer, yes, he cut me off and said “No, they’re ‘in danger.’” I guess I’m getting my money’s worth out of the day care or my cable bill, because I certainly didn’t teach him that.

*Like I said, squidgy doesn’t really work now, so Weenut it is, because he’s still my little peanut weenut even if he’s not a squidgy baby any more. What? Shut up?


Turkey Time! November 11, 2011

Filed under: Getting my Martha On — booksunread @ 2:30 pm

Whee! It’s that time of year when I get my Martha on and start feverishly planning my assault on Thanksgiving. After a break last year, we are hosting Spam and Slobetta again this year, now with an extra spamlet.

While it wasn’t Spam and Slobetta last year, we did have company and by the time all the food was on the table, I didn’t even care about eating. All I wanted to do was go out and buy a pack of cigarettes and smoke them all with a jug of wine chaser. So I’m racking my brains with ways to keep it simple this year, which is causing my inner Martha quite a bit of cognitive dissonance.

Since our guests this year are far from gourmands, I thought about just making potatoes and stuffing from boxes. And then someone on Facebook pointed out the chemical ingredients in these things and I feel kind of grossed out now. I may just go ahead with the stuffing and just not eat it myself, because I guarantee I’ll be the only one at the table that ever gives a thought to processed foods.

I’m going to try to make some stuff ahead and freeze it this weekend. My Memere’s traditional dressing freezes well and I always make that ahead. I’m going to roast and mash my sweet potatoes. Was thinking about making the cake part of some pumpkin whoopee pies. Chocolate chip cookies hold up pretty well. Oh, and my over-ripe banana stash in the freezer is starting to get full so I thought I’d do some banana zucchini bread muffins.

I’m starting this weekend rather than next because my inlaws have FINALLY decided that maybe they’d like to come spend some time with their grandson. (For the first time since his first Christmas. Even then, that trip was probably 75% motivated by the fact that the favorite grandchild was going to be there.) Anywho, in deference to suiting the schedule of said favored grandchild, they have chosen the weekened immediately before Thanksgiving to come visit. Convenient. So I have to plan meals and entertainment for everyone that weekend too.

I’m sure in a week I’ll be all stressy exclamation points up in here, but right now, I’m kinda of excited and all festive-y. I can’t wait to bust out my mini cookie cutters and start stamping out leaf, acorn and pumpkin shaped butter pats. (OH YEAH, I DO!) I also have a rather insane cookie idea that would be so. fucking. awesome…if I pull it off, but is more likely to end in tears. Stay tuned!


Forcing Myself to Write June 27, 2011

Filed under: Daily Grind,Getting my Martha On,Schmooper — booksunread @ 12:29 pm

Boy, that sounds fun. Force yourself to read along with me, won’t you?

I don’t really have anything witty, intelligent or even interesting to share today.  I just want to kind of shake the dust off and get back in to the habit of writing again.

Work has calmed down to some extent, but I still should be working that rather than doing this.

Outside work, I’m busily planning a 3rd birthday party. THIRD. Am enjoying the fun of getting my Martha on. For now. Ask me again when I have 4 dozen cupcakes and cookies to bake, eight wooden model trains to assemble, a pile of treat bags to collate, balloon garland to string and two days to do it in.

I think my little guy needs a new name, “Squidgey” doesn’t seem to fit any more.  But I can’t think of anything better right this second. Whatever you call him, I lurve him a bit more every single day, which I didn’t think was possible.  He is at such a great age-a real little person with thoughts and some grasp of logic and critical thinking.  Mostly, he’s well behaved, and when he’s not, it is written all over his face that he is just testing you.  He looks at you as he’s doing something naughty, and you can just tell he is thinking, “What will you do if I do this?”

Back in March we moved him from his home sitter to a daycare center. And the things he learns, being in a curriculum-based environment with all kids right about his own age, are just amazing. Not all of it’s good-the other day he told me peas would hurt his tummy if he ate them. He had to have picked that up from a classmate with older siblings. And that fake little “hmph” he does when he doesn’t get his way now-clearly that seems to be working for one of his little friends so he thought he’d see how it goes over at home (answer: mommy is not moved at all, now do what I asked you to do).

But mostly he is sunny and loving and just a touch mischievous. Every night before bed now, instead of reading books, he wants to “talk about [his] day.”  I don’t want him to ever grow out of asking me to snuggle him up when I tuck him in at night, offering me one last kiss through the bars of his crib. (Yes, He is still in the crib, we have a tall piece of furniture that needs to be wall anchored before we turn him loose, plus, not going to lie, there is a measure of peace in knowing that even if he is not napping, he’s at least confined to bed, where he has a much better chance of falling asleep.)


Trot out the Turkey November 18, 2009

Filed under: Getting my Martha On — booksunread @ 3:06 pm

Yay! One more week until Thanksgiving. I’m actually really excited this year.  We’re having company (my sis, Salsera and our traditional Thanksgiving guests, Spam, Slobetta and their spamlet) and I’m looking forward to getting my Martha on (albeit in a limited fashion). 

Last year, with Squidge still so little and needy and unpredictable, Thanksgiving was more stressful than anything else. By the time dinner was finally ready, Squidgey was well into evening fussy time and the whole thing just tasted like sawdust to me. 

While Squidgey is a ton easier this year, I’m not fooling myself into thinking that I can throw myself into elaborate cooking, food arranging, decorating, etc. as I have in years past.  So, I will be getting my Martha on, but will definitely be taking shortcuts. 

I went back and forth about whether to order an already cooked turkey or not and decided against it since it still needs to be heated/take up space in the oven.  No point paying all that money if it’s not going to save me anything but a few hours of me doing nothing with the bird in the oven.  Now I can’t decide between a breast or a whole turkey.  Again, my roasting pan is going to take up the same amount of oven space either way, but a breast would cook faster and cleanup would be easier vs picking the whole bird clean of leftovers.

I am going to take shortcuts on all the sides though: Sweet potato soufflé and cornbread stuffing from Honeybaked ham. Already peeled/chopped steam and mash potatoes.  Instead of slaving over my sausage, apple and cornbread stuffing and then also making Stovetop for the picky eaters, I’m just making the Stovetop.  Skipping the green bean casserole-nobody ever eats much anyway. I might do just a small batch of lemon butter steamed ones so we have some green on the plate.  Oh, and I will be doing my grandma’s traditional dressing which I can make ahead this weekend and freeze. 

Then I can focus all my energy on appetizers that I can make ahead and decorating.  I’ve already fulfilled my Thanksgiving Martha obsession. One year, I was obsessed with finding molds to make leaf-shaped butter, the next it was faux acorns to make place cards.  This year I was possessed of the certainty that I needed new white dinner plates.  I did not register for china when I got married and my blue everyday plates really clash with the autumn theme.  Originally I just wanted to purchase 8 individual dinner plates, salad plates and bowls since I didn’t want the mugs/saucers that come with most sets. However, I found a big set that was an absolute steal at Kohls for which I had a 30% coupon and $20 Kohl’s cash. Score!  Now I just need a set of gold chargers to go under them to complete the look.

The day after we will be hosting a “Taste of Chicago” party with Chicago dogs and all the trimmings, Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza, and Italian Beefs.  None of that is really any work, I just have to shop for the stuff we haven’t already imported.

I’m taking off Tuesday to clean and do as much prep as possible while Squidgey goes to the sitter as usual.  Wednesday, Salsera arrives and we will enjoy lunch and a pedi before picking up the Squidge, who will be so excited to see his auntie!

Now I just have to make my menu lists and shopping lists.  Oh and gather all my coupons. I am obsessed with “couponing” now. That’s a whole ‘nother post.


I’m Baaaaccckkk November 12, 2009

Filed under: Daily Grind,Getting my Martha On,Schmooper — booksunread @ 3:43 pm

So where have I been?  Well, the week of Halloween, I had to go to London for work.  The week leading up to that, between me and Squidgey, we had SIX doctor appointments. Just happened that his 15 month pediatrician and PT checks fell on that week where I went for the annual poke and scrape, plus saw the hand specialist, had to get new contacts and OH, yeah got fucking SICK with a sinus infection and had to go procure drugs so that my face would not explode during the nine hours of flight required for my trip.  Oh, and also, we had a houseful of guests that weekend immediately before I left and once again, hoopty Halloween costumes to sew for Squidge and the dog.  On top of obsessively preparing to leave Miguel vice president in charge of Squidge for the week-I had to pack his lunches in advance for the sitter and write many instructional post it notes.

So yeah. Busy.  The Sunday before I left, we had tickets for the Bears v Bengals game-Miguel’s sis and hubby and his BFF and fiancé came in for a visit and went with us.  We had a sitter and shuttle to the game lined up, it was absolutely gorgeous weather and so sick or not, I wasn’t going to squander the opportunity to really kick back and relax.  Needless to say, I was a wee hung over on top of still sick as I headed out at noon the next day for my flight to Chicago. (Yes, CHICAGO, because no one flies direct London to Cinci anymore).  I arrived in London at 7 am (3 am my time-for some reason, they do daylight savings a week ahead of us and the time difference was only 4 hours that week) and headed straight to the office for a full day of work.  And no, I did not get to use my mileage to upgrade to business and therefore did not sleep on the plane.

Luckily, the time there went fast and before I knew it, it was Friday and I was on my way home.  Which only took roughly SEVENTEEN hours from hotel door to front door when you factor in the extra hour it takes to fly east-west, and the Chicago layover for the connecting flight to fly BACK east to Cinci, PLUS the time sitting on the runway in Cinci, waiting for someone to come out and move a god.damn. bucket out of our taxi path.  And this was actually pretty much the shortest itinerary. I could have gotten up at the crack of ass to leave two hours earlier, but I would have ended up getting home at the height of rush hour on a Friday night, and would have probably arrived home at almost the same time.

Unluckily, when I arrived home, Miguel promptly stumbled up to bed, claiming sick.  Which over the weekend turned out to be Strep, with a side of Scarlet Fever.  Whee. So my jetlagged, still not 100% feeling great myself ass had to jump in and single parent Squidge all weekend.  (Who I missed dearly of course, so definitely wanted to be with, but would have liked the option to delegate some of the more menial/trying shit to someone else who had more ten cumulative hours of sleep that week.)  On the bright side, neither one of us caught Miguel’s crud.

Squidgey’s red m&m costume was completed before I left, so I used precious afternoon nap time to rig up the dog’s yellow peanut m&m companion costume, with dubious results.  Squidge’s was easy, and came out pretty well, I think. Dog’s not so much. Thank god for next year, I have a hand me down giraffe costume for Squidge and can purchase a coordinating jungle animal costume for Dog for 10 bucks from Target.  (But god help me, I’m already sort of thinking about taking up felt, Velcro and sewing machine again the next year to turn them both in to crayons. Send help.)

 mm blog



It’s like he doesn’t know me at all July 10, 2009

Filed under: Getting my Martha On,Schmooper — booksunread @ 12:32 am

So Miguel and I were discussing plans for our NOT AT ALL getting out of hand Squidgey birthday party, when suddenly his face lit and he said, “Wanna get a piñata?”  [Little confession, I’ve always had a burning desire to have a birthday piñata (right up there with my weird obsession with having a name long enough to be shortened to a nickname), but my mom was sooo not the piñata party type.] I expressed disappointment that he hadn’t mentioned his piñata interest earlier as just last night I saw a perfectly matching one on the site where I had ordered the plates, but dismissed it as going overboard for a one year old who couldn’t even swing a stick.  Hey, but if Miguel was in…

Then I said, that’s alright, I can just order it tonight, we’ll pay more shipping than if we had ordered together, but oh well.  To which he said, “Or I can just go out and pick one up at the party store.”

Oh hellllls no, we are not having some random party store piñata that Miguel, he of the miami vice furniture up in here.  He would so come back with some random wrong colored wonderpets shit. If it doesn’t match the décor, it stays at the store!