Friday, December 14, 2012

The Sweetest Thing

Henry, my little bear, I'm about to make it rain with a simile so meaningful that it's going to knock your size 3 diaper off, so get ready:

To me, Henry, parenting is like.. baking a cupcake.

First, you have to bake the cake.

And that cake? If you do it right, it's delicious.

But man. They're easy to mess up. And I do. A lot.

And there are all these recipes on how to bake the best one. And if there are a million recipes, how the heck do you know which one is best?

And sometimes.. I bake the exact recipe twice and one time it's perfectly happy..gregarious, even, and the next time, it's moody.

..You misunderstand..

I'm not saying you're moody.

I'm saying that baby Harper prepared me for moody cake.

I'm saying that she is the cupcake. 

And in the weeks leading up to your birth, I prepared myself.

For a cupcake who didn't sleep..ever, who wanted absolute. constant. contact. For a very, very loud cupcake. For an unpredictable cupcake. For a cupcake only Daddy and I understood. Usually. Hopefully.

A big cupcake? A little cupcake? You never really know until it's time to pull them out.

In my vast baking experience, all I knew is that if I tried really, really hard and I never gave up that the cupcake would turn out great.

You know.. after the colic subsided. And I learned cupcake language. And the cupcake learned to walk. And choose her own clothes.

Now it might sound like I'm talking down on the cupcake, but hear me out:

When you've never made a cupcake? Never even changed a cupcake's..liner? Cupcakes are scary and hard!

Just keep cuddling the cupcake.

Laugh with the cupcake.

Cry with the cupcake.

Read to the cupcake.

Kiss the cupcake.

Chase the cupcake.

Teach the cupcake.

Keep. Cuddling. The. Cupcake.

That was my plan for cupcake #2. In it's entirety. Plus handy acquired knowledge such as the expert wielding of the bulb syringe for snotty cupcakes and immobilizing, yet humane holds for dressing squirmy cupcakes.

That's how to make them great.

Because that's what happened with your sister.

(Your BFF, who, much to my delight, has taken to kissing you and hugging you many times a day. And my Lord.. When you lean your head down for her to kiss it? I die. Right there. Every time.)

But sweet Henry, here I was, preparing for a cupcake for nine whole months. . .

Fretting about the symphony of ingredients and how to measure them perfectly...when to add them.

And how on Earth I was going to bake two cupcakes at once.

I didn't have a double oven and everybody knows you can't just throw them in there together and hope for the best.

I didn't have two recipes and the recipe I have takes so much tweaking.. so much trial and error.

And sleep? That's not an ingredient.


What I never, ever expected, is that 365 days ago, I wouldn't get a cupcake.

At 5:55 p.m. on December 14th, 2011,

I got the icing.

Happy 1st birthday, sweet, sweet, sweet, smart, easy, happy, funny, fearless, excited, loving, cuddly Henry.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming to us.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I just swept up more food from the kitchen floor than I've eaten all day.

I delayed the start of the 2 Day diet for a day, because we took Henry to the doctor for shots yesterday morning. And that was just not something I could face with a smile and green tea. Or a smoothie. Who has time for that, btw?

And then I may or may not have had a bowl of Lucky Charms when we got home. ..But Harper changed up the marshmallow to oat ratio for me, so that wasn't as bad for me as usual.

..That girl, always thinking of me..

So this morning, I started.

I waited until 10:30 (because that was the first time I had 5 seconds to myself after feeding Henry and cleaning up after Harper..and finding the Rapunzel dress.. and the glass slippers.. and then "shivery socks.") to make and drink the smoothie.

1 cup unsweetened almond milk,
1 cup ice,
1 cup blueberries,
1 tsp peanut butter (seriously. why bother.)
1 dash of cocoa powder..

I'm happy to report that the immersion blender worked beautifully and didn't even make Henry cry.

I took a sip and gagged.  It was something about the texture and that it looked like black bean soup from Panera. Normally, stuff like that doesn't bother me at all.

Like any good blogger, I took pictures. But they're too gross to show.

I added two Splenda, put it in a cup with a lid and a straw and just.. did the damn thing.

It seemed.. too big. Like.. way too much. (TWSS?...anyone? c'mon!)

but I was hungry 1.5 hours later.

I had my first snack of a cucumber in balsamic vinegar and a cup of green tea. Which was filling and not gross, although the 'no salt' hurdle is..well.. hurdleish.

When Harper asked for her usual - turkey, ham and cheese sandwich on white - around 12:30, I wasn't hungry. Which is weird. B/c dude. I love sandwich time. I was kinda 'bleh' because I knew I had to eat:

raw greens
4 oz lean meat (omg I picked shrimp. WTH was I thinking.)
1 tsp. oil

So I made the salad. And put the shrimp on top. With the oil.. and balsamic vinegar.. and a little lemon juice. and some Mrs. Dash salt-free seasoning. And took a bite. And gagged.

But really? Not that awful. Boiled shrimp is just a terrible choice. I could totally do chicken. Totally.

So I took all the shrimp out, ate the salad and then, in my first cheat move of the two day diet, dipped the shrimp in a tiny bit of cocktail sauce.

This afternoon, Mom mercifully bought me an unsweetened black tea from Starbucks, which, so far, has saved me from eating the aforementioned floor food.

A bit of motivation, though - my black leggings are far less constricting than when I began the day.

..Clearly, I need to begin searching for a permanent solution, as I doubt I will be able to pull off a flannel shirt and leggings come April or May.

Next up, a treat of 10 stalks of blanched asparagus and the same dinner as lunch.

If I make it through that.. I'll update tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

too jolly.

Tis the season for holiday parties ---> holiday dresses ---> Spanx. But y'all.


They don't even make me look better.

They just.. squeeze the wobbly bits into a different space. So I still look fat, but.. more smooth and round.

And forget having more than one cocktail. It won't fit in.

Is this really preferable? Is that worth a night of near asphyxiation?


All this time and fret-eration I spend on an outfit that doesn't make me look fat (I love this. Like something actually makes you look fat when you are not.), undergarments which do not holler across my butt and shoes which do not accentuate anything unfortunate.. well. I could have lost weight by then. It's so.. simple.

As it were, I only have a few days until the first party.

Ironically, as I was perusing Pinterest for some cupcake ideas, I stumbled upon a two day diet (Lord, if I cannot do a 2 day diet in the middle of the week..) that'll shed a little water weight.

Please no one actually think that this is going to be any sort of permanent solution.

It's called the Look Better Naked Two Day Cleanse.

Which is funny, because really.. I'm just trying not to bust out of my dress on Friday night.

What I like is that this is not some expensive ridiculous diet for which you must purchase innumerable 'supplies.'

Ok ok.

So the diet.

I perceive three problems:

1. I broke our super nice blender making margaritas a mere month into marriage and, a few years back, I broke another doing the same. Which I don't get, but.. alas, I am the greatest common factor and I will admit that it probably had something to do with tequila.

So. I hope an immersion blender will do. That, I have in working order. And has only been spared as it is not ideal for margarita-making.

2. It's clearly under 1,000 calories per day and looks to be specifically designed to help shed water weight. Heads up (or down between your legs and breathing into a paper bag): This is a recipe for fainting during daily rounds of toy pick-up. Leave the blocks. Just leave them. Pick them up on Friday.

3. I'm concerned that there are no details. I need details! Like.. how much water do I drink? Can I add spices (gag.. plain chicken)? Can I have coffee (after 11 months with a babe who likes to check on me a few times every night to make sure all is right with the world, I do not know what will happen if I don't have at least 1 cup of coffee in the morning. The result would be worse than death by Spanx or the low-cal spins.)?

I'll report back tomorrow.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Catch Up.

Hank the Tank AKA Felix Baumgartner AKA Henry is napping. 

And now that he's decided to do that a little more regularly, I might have a minute or two to blog occasionally. Until he decides he wants to jump out of the crib. It won't be long.

Harper hightailed it out the door when Brandon said he was going to Gander Mountain. 

She likes to worship the taxidermy from afar.

He thinks he's also going to lure her into the car wash with a blue raspberry Dum-Dum. HA. 

This is the sound of silence. 

So, a random catch up.

Henry is 1 year old in 2 weeks exactly. I can not believe it. I'm going to try to post something sweet about him, but I can't do him justice. Thank goodness he's the best baby in history, because...

Harper is a threenager. OMG. Much like Feist, she feels it all.

I had laryngitis for the first time last week. There were two days when I could not make a single sound. This is scary when you have kids in Wal-Mart. For the life of me, I do not know what I would have done if I needed to yell. I do not know. I carried around a three-foot glittery plastic candy cane in the hopes that I could rap it against the floor or wave it like a crazy old lady if I had to.

Yesterday, I had to yell at Harper because she had a time-out that resembled a WWF wrestling match. Sometimes, a measured cool-as-a-cuke chat just won't get the job done. Especially after she turned over her bookcase in a fit of rage related to a Christmas tree lot she didn't get to visit because she was acting the fool on the way there. Whew. I used to judge parents by the behavior of their children. If this were true, I'm probably.. an axe murderer or something.

Oh Lord am I good at driving a manual transmission, now. (See? Random.) I've posted before that I had some misgivings about it. ..but. Now, I could..fry an egg over easy in the passenger seat at the same time I change gears. I am excellent. Sometimes, when I switch from first to second, Brandon's fuzzy dice don't even move. 

Something that really needs sharing and is unrelated, except for the fact that when I drive Brandon's car, I have to beat the guys off with a 3 foot plastic candy cane: I've known some women in the past who were perfectly nice, attractive, smart and all-around great catches. And damn, did they complain incessantly about not being able to find a suitable boyfriend or husband. Well, here's what they need to do: Move to a military town. Seriously, it appears to be like shooting fish in a barrel. I saw a girl get hit on in Wal-Mart by a perfectly nice looking guy and she had on sweatpants with peep toe flats and no make-up with an un-brushed ponytail.

Harper doesn't give a hoot about that Elf on a Shelf. I brought him out among all the hoopla. She named him.  Owie (Oh-wee). Which she names everything. I have yet to identify the origin. And then? She was over it. She's all, "He sat there all day and didn't move. He's not real." And I'll be damned if I'm moving him more than once a day. So he's now hugging the Firefly bottle on the bar, where he'll probably stay until Christmas...or until the vodka is gone. I don't blame him. 

I have a moderate chevron obsession, which has manifested itself in drapes, rug and pillows. Bless Brandon's heart. He even says he likes it. Harper does, too. "My house looks like a funhouse. A circus of zig-zags!"

My great and talented friend, Tiffany, just started a nail blog. We share this obsession, though she's much more talented and creative than I am. 

I make cupcakes every Sunday night. I'm trying to learn to bake. As a good friend says, "It's not rocket scientist." It just can't be. It's just following directions. So then I send them to work with Brandon. He says they're getting eaten. I say he might be fibbing. 

And with that, Harper and Brandon have returned victoriously. Ammo and pink camo. And in the words of the great David Allen Coe, "If that ain't country, I'll kiss your..

Time for cupcakes.