Easter Egg-citement … and a Life Lesson on the side

Oh that title is sooooo cheesy, but it’s late & you get what you get at this point. And by the by – this post has not been “proofed.” I still have to make a basket, hide eggs tonight, and gnaw out chunks of a carrot that The Boy left for the bunny.

On Thursday, The Boy & I made Chickadee Cupcakes!

chickadee_cupcakes_platter

 

I was inspired by this post.  Mine are nowhere near as perfect & pretty as hers, but then again, I’m just a “fairly good mother,” so what do you expect?

Let me see if I can impress you with this little tidbit of info:  I did all of this WHILE working from home, juggling calls, making deals & doing laundry, AFTER running errands in the morning.  Impressed?  *huffs on knuckles & brushes off the shoulder dust*  Yeah, I’m a badass mama sometimes.

We took the easy route – got a box yellow cake instead of making from scratch, BUT I did make whipped cream frosting (my own concoction using heavy cream & powdered sugar & vanilla – don’t measure, just add to taste,) and then added yellow gel.  I bought pre-made eyes & used some orange icing that was leftover from Halloween.  It was Wilton’s – the kind in the air canister & it had a mind of it’s own, very difficult to deal with! I piped on some frosting to the sides for their wings.  Note: You need to refrigerate these because of the cream frosting.  Just let them stand at room temp for 15 minutes or so before you scarf one down.

The Boy had fun making some of the chickadees into “silly chickadees” with one eye or three, and since I didn’t want 2 dozen chickadees, so we used the rest of the batter to make a mama chick.  We used chocolate chips for her eyes & The Boy, my little choc-o-holic, ate enough chips to make 5 more chicks!

mama_chickadee_cakeWe took some of the cupcakes to the neighbor kids & then went to karate.

On Friday, we tackled the eggs!  And let’s be honest here, it was a less than perfect undertaking.

Take one rambunctious 4 year old, add 6 flimsy PAAS cups filled with colored water & of course your chances for a disaster are like 97% … Add to that the fact that I had dressed him in a new outfit that was partially white & the chances increased to 99.9999%.

No worries, I’m a chilled out mama regardless of my self-diagnosed mild OCD.  I had prepared for this event: laid out paper towels & put an apron on him.  But two seconds after this picture was taken …. the green egg disaster commenced.

Green will be all over the kitchen in 5-4-3-2 ...

Green will be all over the kitchen in 5-4-3-2 ..

The Boy accidentally tipped over the flimsy PAAS cup (we were using the whisk to hold the egg since that’s an easier way for kids to maneuver the eggs.)

The Boy immediately freaked out & hopped off his stool to retreat in the far end of the kitchen.  Before I even went to clean it, I consoled him.  My little sensitive guy was obviously pretty upset that he had spilled the green all over the counter, cabinets & himself.

“Guess what?”  I told him … “Accidents happen & I’m not mad.  I know I told you to be careful, but it’s no big deal – do I look mad?  No.  I’m not mad at all & it’s ok!  Let’s take off your apron & get you a new one.”  But he was still pretty shaken by the whole thing & ran off to his playroom.  This was a great teaching moment (yes, those are actual real things for the fairly good mothers of the world.) I went to get him & we had a nice little talk about how important it is to forgive ourselves when we’re not perfect.

He came back to do a couple more eggs, but I could see that he was a little timid & still pretty mad at himself, and it broke my heart into about a thousand pieces when I asked him why he was still upset & he said “I’m mad at myself for making an accident & I don’t want to color eggs anymore because I’m afraid I’ll do it again.”

I choked back my tears.  Give me a break, friends, I’m PMDD’d & I love this kid.   I got right down next to him & told him “hey it’s totally ok if you do it again … I might even do it this time!  I’m not perfect, no one is.  If we make a mess, we’ll clean it up!  No big deal.  Right?   And listen to me … You know when a friend does something that makes you sad & they apologize to you & you say ‘I forgive you?’ well, it’s important to forgive yourself when you do something that makes you sad or frustrated.”  He got that.  And we finished the eggs.

Tie_DyeEasterEggs

We used the PAAS Tie-Dye Easter Egg Kit, which I have used in past years, and had so-so results, but apparently my fairly good brain forgot that we tried this before & I bought the kit again.  This time they had included this gloss to polish the eggs, which seemingly made some difference.  And I guess I perfected my technique … or maybe it was just luck 🙂

 

I think I like this one the best: Pink_TieDyeEgg

Or maybe it was the super bright pink egg that I did just for The Boy since it’s his favorite color & I knew it would make him happy.

And we read this book before bed – one of MY childhood faves: The Country Bunny & the Little Gold Shoes.

the country bunnyIt’s about a Country Bunny who becomes one of the 5 Easter Bunnies.  Was written in 1939 & still holds up seventy-five years later!

I hope you have a great Easter, and I hope you can remember the wonderment you felt as you woke up on Easter morning to discover a basket filled with goodies & eggs hidden around the house.

Childhood is a magical time where reality is kind of suspended … at least if you have fairly good parents who will do that for you.

I hope The Boy looks back on his childhood and forgets the accidents & the struggles, and only remembers the magic, the wonderment, the joy of his life.

P.S. Tell me that the addition of the text to my pictures was worth it! Thanks Picmonkey.

xo 🙂

 

 

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2 Shakes of a Lamb’s Tail

Ok, so WOW, that was one slow lamb, right?

Awa ... how cute is this little lamb?  He shakes his tail slowly :)

Awa … how cute is this little lamb? He shakes his tail slowly 🙂

Well, I sort of fell down the rabbit hole of wanting to add text to my pictures I’m about to post, which led to asking my very best friend about the free online picture editing programs she had told me about, which led to me finding out that my browser was too old for the program, (what?! I have a 3 yr old macbook for pete’s sake!) which led to me updating my OS to Mavericks, which took 6+ hours & 2 chat-sessions with Apple, and resulted in my iPhoto needing to also be updated, my internet being messed up, and … ok, are you asleep yet?

Sorry.  I just wanted some sympathy.  Can’t a girl just make a damn post anymore?  My plan was to put up my Easter Post yesterday … But you get what you get, (which will be momentarily.)

I’m not perfect, but you still love me 🙂 And, maybe this cute little baby lamb will make you smile.

Tumbleweeds

 

 

Cue Western Gun Song from The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Cue Western Gun Song from The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

 

Hello?  Anyone here?  *Looks around, almost gets knocked down by a tumbleweed.*

Wow, hang on a sec, let me dust off the monitor and pick out the bramble from between my keys  …

Oh, my poor little blog!  You are so neglected!  I’m so sorry … but it’s not you, it’s me.  It’s my fault & my crazy working-mom-running-a-household schedule & my awful procrastination & all of my many excuses.  I think about you all the time, I even have a vault of half-cooked posts!

I just backspaced over my lengthy, in-depth excuse, because I respect you enough to not  to play you like that.  You already know how challenging it is to juggle being a fairly good mother, a fairly good wife, a fairly good daughter, a fairly good worker & a fairly good friend, so I won’t repeat myself.

You’re so sweet to forgive me for abandoning you for so long … It reminds me of the time that my bikini waxer looked at my own bushy bramble in horror after 2 months of neglect & went to work anyway.  Too much information?  Yeah, I thought so.

I’ll be back with a new post in two shakes of a lambs tail …

Happy New Year!

It’s the first day of a whole new year … lots of life waiting to happen.  2013 was fun, interesting, full of growth & discovery … but I’m ready for a new blank book to make fresh memories & create more traditions.

Last year I created a new tradition for our family: The Good Memories Jar.  Every time one of us had a fun day, we wrote it down & put it in the jar.  Then, on December 31st we read them, remembering all the fun we had this past year.

The Good Memories Jar

The Good Memories Jar

Another tradition is our NYE Dinner: Shrimp Cocktail, Filet Mignon, Burgundy Mushrooms, a Wedge Salad & bread with Champagne Cocktails beforehand & a beautiful Syrah or Cab with dinner.  Then more champagne as we ring in the new year.  Most years we celebrate the east coast new year, but this year we went all out & stayed up past midnight!  (I’m paying for it dearly this morning)

So I took a look at my Bake-It List & looks like I came up short!  Well, guess what?  One of my resolutions, (which I don’t generally like to subscribe to,) is I’m not gonna sweat the small stuff & I won’t be too hard on myself.  I will roll over the things I didn’t bake in 2013 to 2014!  Yes, I will make an updated Bake-It List soon!  Stay tuned 🙂

I got busy in 2013 – I unexpectedly started a new venture & had to figure out how to juggle being a working mom.  It was not as easy as you working moms make it look!!!  I think I finally got into a rhythm & figured out how to fit everything in … things that fall to the last on the list?  Things for me.  And that’s just not cool, but that’s what good moms do.

Speaking of being a good mom — here are some things I’m looking forward to doing with The Boy this coming year:

  1. Take him to see the snow (this is difficult when it’s so warm here!)
  2. Finger paint more often & do more crafts
  3. Write more books with him (he just finished two picture books all on his own!)
  4. Go on more hikes with him & explore the outdoors
  5. Star gaze & cloud burst

What are you looking forward to doing in 2014?

Zucchini Bread

I’m looking around to make sure we’re alone & my mom isn’t anywhere within earshot … Somehow or another that woman always knows what I’m up to.  She used to claim she had eyes in the back of her head.  Ok, I think we’re alone … You’re not wearing a wire, are you? Cuz I’m going to do something that she has forbid me to do:  I’m going to share one of her recipes & DO NOT TELL HER I TOLD YOU.

I promise, I will deny it, I will say I don’t know you & that I heard you used to reside in Danvers State Insane Asylum after you were caught walking naked down the highway claiming you were Emeril Lagasse’s lover …  and I’m a pretty decent liar.

My mom is very protective of her recipes & I get that, but I’m also a pretty good judge of things, and I know which ones I absolutely CANNOT share, (like her famous potato casserole & the addictive cheese ball – both of which always ensure I am invited to lots of parties & pot-lucks,) but this one – well, this one is kinda standard, and I suppose you could find a similar one on the web somewhere, (though I’ve never bothered to look.)  Plus, I’m still feeling in the holiday spirit of giving.

A Family Favorite (see my photo note at the bottom of this post!)

Zucchini Bread: A Family Favorite (see my photo disclaimer at the bottom of this post!)

Zucchini Bread.  The beloved bread of Christmastime – the one little loaf that will make you want to be my friend forevermore.  Now, I suppose it makes sense that if YOU could make the zucchini bread yourself, you wouldn’t have much use for me, but did you know that I’m a ton of fun & I pour really healthy glasses of wine when you come over to my house, and I’m the world’s best secret keeper?  Well, besides this bread secret, I am.

Why now, you ask?  After all of these years of me coveting this precious recipe all to myself, why am I finally unlocking the recipe box and laying it out there for the entire world wide web to find?  Well, more than one friend of mine has made the comment that mine is the best.  And, I hate to brag, but yeah, it is.  I’ve tasted other breads and they’re dry and flavorless.  That makes people grumpy.  And I can’t have people going around all grumpy during the holidays because their zucchini bread doesn’t taste as good as mine, so here you go.  And you’re welcome 🙂

Zucchini Bread
(makes 6 small loaves)

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups grated zucchini (do not peel)
3 cups of flour (unbleached)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup walnuts (chopped)

Method:
In a big mixing bowl (I use my badass standing mixer for this) combine eggs, oil, sugar & zucchini.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder & baking soda & gradually add it to the zucchini mixture.  Mix thoroughly & then add the vanilla & the nuts.  Bake in greased 3×6 loaf pans at 350 degrees for about 35-45 minutes (I check after 35 & then always end up baking them 5-10 mins longer.)  If you use the larger loaf pans, bake for an hour (but check after 45 minutes if you’re neurotic like me.)  And I have also made zucchini muffins in the large muffin pan (makes a dozen) and those take about 25-30 minutes.

These make great gifts for neighbors & friends! But The Husband & The Boy like to eat slices fresh from the oven with a little butter or cream cheese … YUM!  And I mean, they are healthy – they have zucchini in them, so how can they be anything BUT healthy?

Now, for my photography disclaimer: I take all most of the pictures myself, and as you can clearly tell, I’m no pro.  I’m a multi-tasking mom with a mixer & a hungry family.  Most of my food photos are taken with my iPhone, right before I sit down to devour my meal.  This one happened to be taken with my Cannon Rebel because it was sitting out waiting for Christmas to arrive.  My food photos are inferior,  just look at my bestie’s gorgeous website, The Kitchen Snob & you will see why I feel like the ugly step-sister.  She spends countless hours with in her semi-professional studio, gently massaging crumbs off of cookies & perfectly placing them so that your mouth will water when you browse her site.  Ok, enough whining — I”m going to go heat up a slice of zucchini bread & have my coffee now.

Elf Enmity

There sure are a lot of Elf Haters out there … It’s kind of baffling to me.  And also slightly amusing that my posting elf pictures to social media sites creates such a strong reaction in people.  I guess it’s the part of my personality that wants to keep poking you when you ask me to stop poking you.  I’m not hurting you, but it bugs you & seeing your anger rise gives me a sick, twisted thrill.  I’m evil.

I love the magic of Christmastime, this we already know.  I enjoy it even more so these days because The 4-year old Boy is wide-eyed and imaginative when it comes to discovering the intricacies of this holiday.  Believing in Santa is fun.  It’s a choice.  I still believe — not in a big fat smoker who breaks into your home to leave you gifts in the dead of night, but I believe in the spirit of Santa Claus: spreading joy and happiness to friends, family & strangers even.  It’s nice to be nice.

So why are a big chunk of my, (mostly childless,) friends so scrooge-like when it comes to this little elf?  The Elf On The Shelf has caused a big divide amongst friends – you’re either Pro-Elf or Anti-Elf, and it has spurred on many a facebook post/rant.  It’s funny to me, too, that the majority of the friends who are so irritated by the elf are the same ones who will post political memes ad nauseam for months leading up to an election.  I don’t (usually) whine about it, rather, I quietly remove them from my news feed.  They are my friends, after all – I like them for many other reasons besides their backassward political views – and they are free to post whatever they wish on whatever social media platform they choose.

And I’m free to post what I want, too … like pictures of our elf, Kermin!!  So, bring on the elf!  I love this guy … another Christmas character to amuse the little one & feed my creative appetite.  I will admit that there are nights where I feel like it’s just another responsibility, another christmas chore that needs to be handled.

elf_forgot_to_move_him

But usually I look forward to conjuring up some fantastic scene that The Boy will just go nuts over when he wakes up the next morning.  I do it all (ok, mostly all) for him.  One thing a friend of mine suggested is that the elf be a “kindness” elf & give the kids tasks to complete that involve doing kind deeds.  I like that & tried to incorporate it into our elf experience this year sending notes from Kermin to The Boy.

I don’t think that the elf should be evil or naughty – I’m trying to teach The Boy good manners & destroying my kitchen to make cookies is not good manners!  Kermin is an elf who is a lot like The Boy: kind, funny, silly, and always up for playing with friends.  As The Boy gets older, I can see myself doing more sinister elf set-ups – another friend of mine does this with her teenage boys & it’s pretty hysterical.

Here’s Kermin & A Few of His Shenanigans This Season:

Did you know that elf pee smells like peppermint & they poop marshamallows?

Did you know that elf pee smells like peppermint & they poop marshmallows? Of Course, Sniper The Cat needed to check out the situation 🙂

elf_candyland

Playing Candy Land with Friends

elf_gone_fishing

Gone Fishin’

elf_halloween_candy

Found the stash of Halloween candy & sampled one of each!!

elf_midnight_snowball_fight

Snowball Fight with the Toy Story Crew!

elf_nightmare_before_xmas_scene

The gang from Nightmare Before Christmas came by with Elf Cookies!

elf_note

Wrote a note to remind The Boy to be good … a little reinforcement never hurts 🙂

elf_on_toaster

The Husband conjured up this scene … I think Kermin is warming his buns upon returning from the freezing North Pole

elf_snow_angels

snow angels

elf_sunburst

another one The Husband came up with … I’m not quite sure what is going on here 🙂

So tell me … how can someone be annoyed with something so fun?  I’m reminded of one of my favorite Christmas characters, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  At first, the other reindeer didn’t like him & wouldn’t let him play.  Awa – how sad.  So people, don’t be a hater, it’s no fun … instead spread a little cheer this Christmas & find it in your hearts to enjoy this little elf and his elfkin games.

Merry Christmas!

Snakes In The Mouse House

GreedyMcGreedersons: 1 / Disney: 0

I found out today that Disney is changing their “Disability Accommodation Pass” Policy thanks to the greedy actions of some wealthy asshats & morally bankrupt disabled folks.  Thanks a lot, jerks – way to ruin it for the rest of us.  And thanks Disney for punishing those of us who genuinely need this to enjoy your park!  I was actually looking forward to taking The Boy to the Halloween celebration at Disneyland, but now, I am going to have to reconsider.

You see, before I knew what an accommodation pass was, we had a handful of stressful experiences at Disneyland, and I figured that Disneyland just wasn’t going to be something The Boy, The Husband & I could enjoy as a family.  It saddened me, because growing up 15 minutes from The Happiest Place On Earth, Disneyland was such a part of my childhood that I naturally assumed it would be the same for The Boy.

It was a sad realization that he wouldn’t have the same experiences I had there … until I had heard about the “accommodation pass” from a woman who runs a non-profit group for families of kids on the Autism Spectrum.

Waiting in line is hard for The Boy.  Much more difficult than it is for a typical kid … And being over-stimulated by all of the crowds, the fanfare, the parades, the noises, the characters — it’s a lot for a little Aspie to deal with.  It’s a lot for the mom of a little Aspie to deal with, but then I was told about the “accommodation pass.”  This changed everything!!

With the accommodation pass, we only go a couple of times a year & even then, we plan it out for a day that will likely be less busy, with less over-stimulation, and hopefully with less judgmental eyeballs on us, sizing up HOW it is we three can cut to the front of the line because we all “look” so “normal.”  We never abuse the pass & if there is an occasion where he can tolerate the line, we wait like everyone else.

And to be clear, you don’t get anything for “free” – you still pay for your ticket.  Having an accommodation pass doesn’t mean that you get to cut in front of the line and breeze on to the ride, but it does trim down on the wait times & takes you out of the regular line so that a meltdown due to overstimulation from crowds, and / or waiting is a lot less likely to occur.  It allows us to have a more “normal” & easy experience.

You cannot use the accommodation pass to cut down the wait time for dining, so there’s that barrel of monkeys to contend with, and you also can’t use it to cut into the line to meet with the characters, so we don’t get to do a lot of character meet & greets, (except recently I made friends with the character guide & asked him when the next time Sully was going to make an appearance so that I could try to time it out perfectly.  I ran with The Boy & his tow-headed girlfriend, so that we could be the very first people in line.  We almost made it, but we were like 5 people too late.  However, thanks to the sweet stranger in front of me, through a natural conversation, I briefly & quietly explained our situation, and she was kind enough to let us go in front of her & her son.

I certainly don’t expect preferential treatment, but I definitely appreciate any accommodations that kind, compassionate people are willing to bestow upon us.  It’s hard enough to confide in someone that my kid isn’t “normal,” even though he may seem to be at first glance.  I truly appreciate the courtesies that are afforded by understanding strangers.  And on the flip side, the glaring looks from those judgmental asshats anger me to no end.  You want to trade me?  I’d gladly take waiting in line for 45 minutes if that meant my son didn’t have to struggle with  Aspergers Syndrome.

No, I don’t think it is fair that other kids – “normal” kids, “typical” kids –  have to wait in long lines to go on rides.  I know it’s tough for any kid to wait, and I do think that adults with light disabilities should let all kids go first.  They’re kids after all!!  BUT, kids with mental delays, kids who are not neuro-typical, kids who have any disability or chronic disease — well, they should go straight to the front of the line.  If for no other reason than this: LIFE IS HARD when you have a disability.  And Disneyland is a magical place where that is all somehow erased … it’s a special place where not being “typical” doesn’t mean anything other than you’re super cool … At Disneyland, the playing field is leveled.  Everyone is SPECIAL.

So … some idiots totally ruined this for those of us who were just cruising along enjoying the brief respite from the storm of spectrum disorders as we meandered down Main Street.  I’m so annoyed I could rip their heads off and roll them down the crest of the Matterhorn!  (Of course after hours when the kids wouldn’t see this!)

Truly, I don’t mind proving The Boy’s eligibility with an IEP or a Dr’s note if that means that people, like us, who genuinely need the accommodation pass will still receive it.  But taking it away completely is a real tragedy.  It makes me angry that these selfish idiots have ruined things for those of us who have come to rely on this to enjoy Disneyland.   Sadly, I know it doesn’t phase them one damn bit.  There are no sleepless nights for them.  They don’t give a crap that my kid is going to suffer.  They’ll find another scam … and I’ll probably write another pissed off post.

No, I’m not sure I’ll be coming back to Disneyland if it means merely getting a “fast pass” for us.  Do you know how difficult it is for a 4 yr old Aspie to grasp the concept of “later?”  “No, sweet Boy, we cannot ride the Radiator Springs Racers right now, but in 45 minutes we will be able to.”  No, it’s impossible to understand if you A) are not an Aspie Kid; or B) are not a parent or caretaker of an Aspie Kid.  And I’m actually surprised that Autism Speaks was ok with this change.  What was their payout to get on board with this bullcrap?  They sure don’t speak for me!

Let the 56 year old lady on the little rascal wait in line with her leach family  – Let the spectrum kids, and the cancer kids, and the cerebral palsy kids and the kids who are 16 and under with ANY disability get on that ride FIRST.  END. OF. DISCUSSION.

And I’m pretty sure that Walt would agree.

And yeah, I can say that because I worked at Disney for a large chunk of my adult life & know a lot more about the Disney culture, what Walt believed, and the vision that he had for Disneyland than most of the losers who are making decisions up there now …

Punishing kids with disabilities for the bad behavior of the rich & entitled was NOT in his vision.

End Rant. (for tonight anyway.)

Garden Delights!

Have you ever seen a zucchini this big?

the fairly good zuke!

the fairly good zuke!

THIRTEEN INCHES OF DELICIOUSNESS!

It was just the perfect size for stuffing … So I got some garlic, onion, red bell pepper, some chicken sausage (if you’re a veggie, you can leave this out or opt for rice instead – I will try that next time.)  I grilled up the sausage and set that aside, halved the zucchini & scooped out the insides, then put a little oil in the pan and browned up some diced onion & garlic, added in the zucchini innards, then added in the bell pepper, added back in the sausage & cooked for a few more minutes.

Meanwhile, I dunked the halved zucchini hallows into a boiling pot of water to get them a little softer than just raw.  I poured some marinara sauce in the bottom of a cooking dish, then placed the zucchini halves in there, and stuffed them with my mixture.  Then, I topped mine with mozzarella cheese & parmesan cheese, (skipped that on The Husband’s zuke,) and baked them for about 30 minutes or so.  Voila!  Easy peasy din din.

The World's Biggest Stuffed Zucchini!

The World’s Biggest Stuffed Zucchini!

Then, today I made little caprese bites – they were so good!  Look how cute they are:

Everything came from my garden, except the mozzarella ... and the toothpicks :)

Everything came from my garden, except the mozzarella … and the toothpicks 🙂

These little delicious cherry poppers are the only tomatoes the pests have not destroyed.  I am in a battle & I will prevail!  I could have eaten every last one of these, but I was nice and shared them with my Fairly Good Father In Law 🙂

Where does the time go? And how does my fairly good garden grow?

I cannot believe it’s been over 30 days since my last blog entry! That’s simply unacceptable. It’s a good thing I’m not getting paid to do this 🙂

Seriously, June was a busy month, (and that’s a good thing!) I started working again … freelance & from home for the most part.  I make my own hours and can still make certain that my family is the NUMBER ONE priority. So far, it’s been really great, very lucrative & exciting.  The Husband is super supportive & that is really the secret to my success.

Why did I get a job?  Because I have home improvement projects that I want to get done & I don’t want to put a burden on our household finances.  Next up: A fence between us and the neighbors to the east.  Fences make good neighbors.  I hope they get on the ball with us & get this accomplished before the end of summer.  I’ve already had 2 conversations with this guy & he strikes me as a “Guy’s Guy.”  Translation: He doesn’t want to discuss fences with the Fairly Good Mother.  He wants to talk fences with The MAN of the HOUSE. ~Insert EyeRoll Here~

So, I’m busy & making money for fences and gardens and drapes and entertainment centers … but at what cost?  No cost to the family – they’re good, well fed with delicious organic treats from my garden, but you know something’s got to give.  Well then, what suffers? Writing. Blogging. Cooking. I’m seeking to find that balance. It took me a minute to work back in the exercise, but that is a necessary thing!  I can’t deal with myself if I’m feeling bloated and creaky.  Pilates is my savior.  I love it.  And thankfully, it feels like July will be less hectic and so I’m glad that I have a chance to catch up.

When you last saw my fledgling little fairly good garden, it looked like this:

the fairly good garden

the fairly good garden

Here’s what it looked like just 3 weeks ago when I fully intended to write a blog post updating you as to the condition of this garden:

the fairly good garden | June 2013

the fairly good garden | June 2013

Seriously – that was taken ONE MONTH after I planted the dang thing!  I’ve reaped the LARGEST zucchini I have ever seen from this beautiful bountiful garden.  I’ve eaten the sweetest strawberries, I’ve made pesto with my basil, I’ve made salad with my salad mix … and I just clipped off a brand spankin’ ruby red Habanero Chili and I cultivated a little baby artichoke, but I feel like it was the runt of the ‘choke family & so it did not get eaten.

prolly should have cut this guy when it looked like this, but I wanted to see if it would get bigger ... (that's what she said.)

prolly should have cut this guy when it looked like this, but I wanted to see if it would get bigger … (that’s what she said.)

and these weren't even the largest of the zucchinis!

and these weren’t even the largest of the zucchinis!

gardening is fun!

gardening is fun!

Things that are not going so well in the garden (*PLEASE, Tips, Tricks & Suggestions are ENCOURAGED!)

  • I have a Very Hungry Caterpillar roaming around the garden … Or perhaps there are two.  I’ve met two of them and moved them to another area of the yard.  They have wreaked havoc though!  I used something that was non-toxic, all organic & totally safe – it was literally like pepper and $h!t or something … I cannot remember the name. It was a powder and I used it all in two applications.
  • HOLY Zucchini & Squash Leaves, People!  I know for sure that Adam & Eve must have used these leaves as primitive undergarments.  These are the LARGEST Freaking Leaves I’ve ever seen!  And they’re prickly as f^ck.  Seriously, get your damn gloves on before you go trimming them up!  They crowd all the other veggies in my garden.  I trimmed about 20% of the leaves back with no clear repercussions.  Still got a massive zuke off that thing.
  • Cilantro is gone.  It took off when the temperatures soared here last month & I’m sad because I was planning on making a kick-ass salsa with my tomatillos, tomatoes, chili peppers & cilantro.  It went to flower, I cut it back (probably stupidly.) and 1 out of 2 of my plants is straight up dead.
  • Arugula went to seed.  Also a victim of the 100+ temps here & I read that I should stop watering it and let the seed pods dry out then cultivate them for next season.  Sound right?
  • Basil is stunted & I don’t know why.  I snap off the tops when it starts to flower.  Again, I think that the heat + the Very Hungry Caterpillar has something to do with it.
  • The strawberries aren’t producing as much as I thought.  Same with my cucumber plant.
  • I think I over-planted … Oops!  Live and Learn.

So there you have it, my dear friends … That’s what’s happening right now.  I will snap more pics.  I’m waiting for my tomatoes.  Patiently.  And the only one I saw had a nice little caterpillar hole in the bottom which made me want to put on my magnifying glasses & go on a Caterpillar hunt!

Oh, one last thing … what was for dinner tonight?  Well, I have to share because it was so good … Another awesome find from Oh She Glows!  Veggie Spring Rolls (vegan-dish.) It was light, it was easy & it was so delicious!  I licked the last of the peanut sauce off the blades of my food processor & no, I’m not joking.  My dear friend had made this during her visit in April & I have been meaning to make it ever since then.  So good.  And perfect for not wanting to cook in 100 degree weather.  And yes, I used my basil … but no, sadly, I had to purchase the cilantro.

Wanna be a mom??? BIRTH-CONTROL HERE!!!

All the commercials & all the reality shows & all the magazines make motherhood look so absolutely adorable, perfect and happy.  It is actually NONE of that.  And I’m not exaggerating.  I mean, NONE.  It’s not adorable, it’s not perfect and it’s rarely happy.  It’s stressful, hectic and insane.  Arguing with a 3 year old is the definition of insanity.  And I find myself doing that DAILY.

Wanna be a mom??  Let’s review some facts …. Gone are the days of sleeping in. GONE.  Despite what your husband promises you.  GONE. Gone are the days of perfectly coiffed hair, adorable, stain-free outfits & languid lunches, with giggling girlfriends.  GONE GONE GONE.

BUT, if you like frazzled, sleepless nights and hurried showers followed by mismatched outfits & no time for eating your own breakfast, well, you’re in luck!  Perhaps motherhood is for you.  Do you like poop, piss and puke?  Oh, you do?  Well, then, sign up right here – because we have plenty of that to go around!

We’ll skip right past pregnancy where shit, piss & puke are a regular occurrence, and we can fast forward to you having the baby & having a gaping hole for a vagina, (well, unless you have my OB/GYN who will stitch you up with an extra “virgin” stitch if you ask real nicely, or your hubby slips him a fifsky.) Or, perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to have major abdomnial surgery and get a c-setion!  Good News: Your baby will have a nice, round head!  Bad news: You’re connected to a catheter for 3 days & you can’t laugh or roll out of bed without feeling like your intestines are going to fall out for 14 days post surgery!!!!

No seriously, there are some upsides to being a mother …but, hmm … right now, I’m at a loss.  I’m sorry, I’m looking through the Victoria’s Secret catalog at udder covers for my 36D’s!!!  Before I gave birth I had B’s.  Perfectly pert B’s – the kind that looked perfect in every shirt WITHOUT a bra.  They swelled to C’s in my pregnancy & then The Boy claimed them as his own when they became full of milk and turned into D’s.  They deflated after he finished nursing, but not without my warwounds: STRETCH MARKS.  Yippe freakig skippee!  No stretch marks anywhere else but on my boobs.  I cried many nights about that, but I guess I should be thankful because every time I look at them I’m reminded that I was lucky enough to have a child and nurse him.  A fleeting moment of gratitude, but gratitude nonetheless!

Now back to my poop, piss and puke rant … So, if you still need reasons to NOT get pregnant, here are a few more:

I thought that I had already experienced the grossest part of motherhood back when The Boy was nearly 3 months old.  It was Christmas morning and I had us both all dressed in adorable Christmas outfits, (because motherhood is adorable, remember?!?) And I was playing with the baby and laying on the floor, holding him above my head and giggling at him as though we were in a Johnson & Johnson commercial, when SPLAT!  All of the sudden, he spit up, or down, rather – ALL OVER ME — IN MY MOUTH, ALL OVER HIMSELF – All over EVERYWHERE!  How much breast milk did this kid drink!?!?  It was so gross – I gagged and thought I was going to lose it.  So, I thought that had to have been the pinnacle of gross mom stuff I’d deal with in his early youth.  Oh, how wrong I was …

... said no person ever

… said no person ever

Cut to Wednesday, after his swim lesson … when he crapped in his swim diaper & in an effort to clean it up I proceeded to, as gently as possible, pull his swim diaper down.  This swim diaper is not the disposable kind – it’s the reusable kind, but for a moment there, I thought about trashing that thing since this was the 2nd time in a week this had occurred.  I’m pulling it down and out plops the warm, wet poop right into my hand.  Gag reflexes kick in and I’m in shock.  WHAT DO I DO WITH A HANDFUL OF SHIT???????  Well, what would you do?  Probably what I did.  I freaked out!  I said a few choice curse words under my breath – not the bad ones, (well, depending on who you are – but they weren’t any of the top 5 ones that the FCC banned.)  And then as calmly as possible I walked that handful of poop over to the trashcan.  I tell you … THAT right there, folks, THAT is the grossest thing I think I’ve ever done in my life.  Carrying someone else’s poop in my hand.

Holding poop was by far worse than being spit up on, or being puked on (I forgot to regale you with that little story of the stomach flu,) or having a booger wiped on your arm, (which oddly enough happened to me today.)  Oh, the things we do for love.

So my point here is this: Motherhood is a dirty job, baby.  A dirty job with crappy pay and no vacations or sick days.  The perks are where you find them … in the hand-picked flowers that are held out by a small, chubby little hand attached to a three-year old who says “Here mama, it’s ‘just because I love you day.'” Or the out of the blue, impromptu kisses and hugs … or the long gazes with the sweet smiles.  Those are actually worth it, and now that it’s been a couple of days, I can say yeah, it’s worth holding someone else’s shit in your hand in order to get the sweet little perks of motherhood.  free happy snoopy.jpg