Thursday, November 27, 2008

Just under the wire

Whew, looks like I made it just in time to post this Thanksgiving blog. When I woke up this morning, I laid in bed thinking about the things I was thankful for. For starters I was awake, lying in my own bed and nobody else was awake! Anyway, anyway, I thought about all the standard things people are thankful for. Then I heard The Dude let out a loud snort and started snoring like he was trying to wake the dead. I realized something. I'm thankful to wake up and hear that snore. There was a time when I didn't know if I would ever hear him snore again. A lot of women's husbands didn't come home from the desert. Instead they got a visit from a chaplain and a folded up flag. So I am thankful to be able to listen to my husband snore.
I am thankful for the baby waking up at 3 am, because somewhere, someone's child did not wake up this morning.
I am thankful for the damage that is still evident to our home from hurricane Gustav. For starters we HAVE A HOME. Damaged or not, it's still ours. We still own it. Something I hope people don't take for granted in this time where so many people are losing their homes to foreclosure. Another reason I'm thankful for the damage is that it made me realize what's really important. My first thought upon returning home a week and a half after the storm and seeing all the damage was, "It's just stuff."
I'm thankful for all the extra crap I have to do at work these means the business is doing well, even in this crap economy. It means I still have a job when so many have lost theirs.
I guess my point is, even the stuff we think we hate and drives us nuts at times is really something to be thankful for.
Much love peeps.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Crazy is my middle name.

Ok, so that's a lie. My middle name is actually Bob. But you can call me crazy. The Dude and I decided it's high time to lose the baby weight. We have started our own weight loss journey. Yes, we're absolutely friggen nuts to start this the week of Thanksgiving. Oh well.
Don't get me wrong, we aren't morbidly obese but we see a problem. I/we feel more tired (yes, I'm aware that having 3 toddlers could very well be the reason behind that but go with me here), and can't quite keep up with my little munchkins.
I used to be skinny. Stop laughing. I did. But I've always been the chunky monkey of all my siblings. They used to make up songs about it. Remember that song "Everlasting Love," well they changed the lyrics to "Everlasting Lunch," just for me.
Around the time I graduated high school I decided I was ready to make a change. I started working out with my sister. I also started taking herbalife. Don't freak out, this isn't a sales commercial. I'm just telling you what worked for me in the past. I got skinny. Don't believe me? Who would. Anyway, here are some old pics:
Halloween 2001

New Year's Eve 2001 (pictured with one of my sisters)

"Secret" elopement with The Dude . What's with the huge shirt he's wearing?! Oh yeah, I sent him to the store by himself....MISTAKE.

Me, this morning (ignore goofy face). No spanx on, but those are tummy control jeans. Gawd, did I just admit to wearing tummy control jeans?!??!?!? Oh. yeah. I did.

I am now a size 10/12. The previous pics, I was a 5. I have no aspirations of actually fitting into my size 5 pants. I'm a realist. A few things I would like to achieve are to have more energy, "the girls" to get smaller (sorry Dude), and to just feel comfortable in my own skin .

I am again turning to Herbalife. #1 reason being that I have found success with it before. #2 reason, The Dude bought a bunch of it from some guy over the phone (he's a total sucker for telemarketing). I plan on getting some exercising in there too. The Dude and I are trying to work out at lunch and/or alternate working out after work.

I'm also gonna try and cut portions. I love food. I love to cook. I love to bake. That ain't gonna change. We've started fixing our dinner plates using dessert sized plates versus dinner sized. I'm also ever on the hunt for TASTY and healthy foods. Tonight I'm trying out a recipe for Chicken Shawarma, it's a Lebanese meal. Had it at a restaurant and thought it was soooo yummy. I was certain it had to be unhealthy. Low and behold, it's pretter darn healthy. If it's any good, I'll post it tomorrow.

So here's the deal. I need to be held accountable. I need people to say, "Hey tubby. How is the weight loss going?" Mmm-kay?! Thanks.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The B.I.

Seven years ago today, I reluctantly accompanied my then best friend to the Brandin' Iron (more affectionately referred to as The B.I *must have strong southern twang when you say that) for her birthday.
"Seriously? That's where you want to go?! Why? All they have there are "cowboys" and Marines."
Friend, "Yep, that's where we're going."
Me: "Damn."
My other friend and I sat at our little table and scoured the place for any decent looking guys.
"That one, there. He's mine," I say.
"Fine, I'll take his friend," she concedes.
Total hottie. Blue sweater that hugged his ripped up body, blue eyes and a killer smile. I totally threw THE LOOK at him for what seemed like forever. He wasn't making a move. What the crap?!
So, I took matters into my own hands. Another friend was gonna ride the bull (yeah, it was THAT kind of place), which was directly behind The Dude's table. I "accidently" shoulder-checked The Dude as I walk by, flash a smile and a wink and perch myself in front of the mechanical bull.
A few minutes later he comes over and rattles off some lame pick up line...crickets...
"Good Morning Beautiful," by Steve Holy comes on. I LOVE that song. I told him I was going to dance and he could come too, if he wanted. So that is "our song" now.
At the end of the night he asked for my number. I gave it to him. You should have seen the looks on my friends faces. I didn't give out my number, ever. He was convinced it was a fake. I assured him it wasn't. He gave me the sweetest kiss on the cheek and the rest is history.

I love you Dude.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My own woo-sah

I sewed last night. I needed it. A bit of wooo-sah
I decided to make a hostess gift to bring to Thanksgiving. Yes, despite the rice incident {seriously?!?! Instant rice mix?!?!??!}, I wanted to bring something special. This may even prove that I am capable of handling things slightly more complicated than Uncle Ben's Long Grain Wild Rice.
I made some trivets. What is a trivet you ask? It's what you put your hot pots/dishes on. But this one is oh so special. When you put a hot item on it, wonderful scents of apples and cinnamon are released. It looks like this:
My super duper Aunt used to have a pretty nice home-based business making and selling these things. She has now gone on to other successes, but I have always liked this item. Shout out to my Aunt! Thank you for the instructions!!!!

These are our materials. You may also find a funnel useful, but it's not necessary.
1. Cut the fabric 9 x 22
2. Fold in half and sew 2 long sides together, right sides in
3. Turn right sides out and sew in 4 “channels”, 3 seams the long way
~Each trivet gets 1 pound of rice mixed with a couple of drops of scented oil. I guess you could use any scent you fancy, but she always used Apple Cinnamon. I suggest this sent, especially if you'll be gifting them during the holidays.
4. Fill each aunt used a large funnel, but if you’re just making a few you can make do with an empty toilet roll or something. Make sure you pack the rice tight enough so that you have about 2” left at the top for sewing it shut.
5. I folded the top twice, about ¼ inch, then fold again. Pin it shut and sew it shut. Be careful of your needle breaking on a piece of stray rice. My aunt used to wear protective glasses!I rolled it up and tied it with some gold ribbon-y stuff. Ya know, fancified it. I plan to make a little tag to attach too.

Another thing I remembered was my aunt stored them in ziplock bags before giving them out. Presumably this is to either A.) preserve the scent or 2.) keep the scent level to a minimum in your home if you're making a bunch. In either case, I did the same. Several will fit nicely into a gallon sized bag.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Show me them pearly whites.

I went to the denist today. I hate the dentist. Well, going to the dentist. I actually like my dentist, nice guy. I'll continue hating going to the dentist, mostly because of the dental hygenist.

I thought she looked nice enough...WRONG. As I'm looking around the room as she jabbers on about who knows what, I notice a bunch of pictures drawn by kids. Awe, how sweet...WHAT THE?!?!?!?!??! There is one picture that reads: "You may think you have a nice hygenist, but look out." The pictures accompanying this text are a gun firing a bullet at a duck and a huge foot stepping on a bug. These are the times I so wish a I had a camera phone.

#1, what did she DO to this poor kid?

B. Why would she put that picture up?

Pink. Why is this woman allowed around patients???

Is it part of the job description to make you feel like crap?
"Oh, mmmm, gee, are you sure you floss enough?"
Lady, I floss as much as I can. It isn't that high on my priority list. Yes, I know, bad me.
I think she was disappointed that she didn't find my mouth in such bad shape considering I hadn't had a cleaning in a year and a half. But oh, she kept lookin.

"And your wisdom teeth???" she chirped.

"Do I have wisdom teeth?" I wonder aloud.

"Oh, it's very rare to not have them.

"The Dude doesn't have any."

"We'll see about that when he comes in later," she said, almost in a rather condesending manner.

When I tell her they've never bothered me, she found that unbelievable.
"Well you'll have to have them out right away!!"
What the hell? She was just hell-bent on finding something that had to be fixed. She was also absolutely certain I had a cavity but when the dentist came in he said I didn't. She even argued with him until he got out this super-duper-hi-tech cavity finder thingy-ma-bob **actual, technical name**. She also swore up and down I had gingivitis due to my gums bleeding. Well duh lady. You just flossed my teeth with embroidery thread. You read that right. This stuff:

This stuff is easily 10Xs thicker than regular floss. No joke my gums bled. I brought up that I had recently quite nursing The Pickle and that (the hormones and such), coupled with the embroidery thread led the dentist to conclude no gingivitis.

Things we learned from this: dental hygenist chick needs to get off her power trip and that she doesn't know all she thinks she knows.
I think I need a recipe. Well, YOU need a recipe. This comes from my girl Katie...actually her mother in law. This is not a diet recipe AT ALL, which translates into yummy. This is the recipe EXACTLY as it came to me. My little changes will be noted at the bottom.

Mexi-veeta Spaghetti

1 rotisserie chicken- de-boned and shredded
1 lb. spaghetti
1 stick butter
1 pk. McCormick mild chili powder
1 onion- chopped
1 cup celery- chopped
1 bell pepper- chopped
½ can mild Rotel tomatoes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 lb. Velveeta cheese
1 box chicken stock/broth
1 ½ cup half-n-half

1. De-bone and shred chicken. Set aside.
2. Boil spaghetti in half salted water/half chicken stock. Don’t drain spaghetti.
3. Chop onions, bell pepper, and celery.
4. In a skillet, melt stick of butter; add onions, bell pepper, and celery. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add soup, chili mix, and cheese until melted.
5. In a large casserole, mix noodles and water, skillet mix, chicken, and half-n-half. Stir together.
6. Bake covered at 300°F for 45 minutes.

Mamma Ducky changes: I cut the butter to 1/4 cup, didn't use bell peppers (was out), and I used 2 % Velveeta. Another thing is The Dude HATES spaghetti noodles so I used penne. I felt they held up better to cooking. Also, I didn't realize that the recipe was calling for McCormick chili MIX until I was already elbow deep in this recipe. So I just added some chili powder, cumin and black pepper.

This really makes TON of food. Divide it in half before baking and slap some in the freezer for another meal. That is, unless you're feeding an army, not the small kind either.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Boobies beware!

I decided that it was time to wean Pickles completely. He had already self-weaned during the daytime so nighttime feedings were the obvious next step. He's 15 months old. I must say, I lasted longer than I thought. I thought I'd make it to a year (maybe) and end it. But I couldn't. I loved that little special time with him. I didn't have him during the day, so him waking up at night and being with him was our time. But alas, all good things must come to an end. Yes, I'm talking about you, boobies.
Let's just start with the fact that I was never small busted to begin with. I got the lion's share in my family. Trust me, I would have totally preferred them to have been more evenly distributed. I have even been known to receive the awkward "nice wrack" (or is it rack??)comment from other people's hubbies (bahahaha! S, would it SOOO make him blush if he knew I'm bringing that up on my blog?!?!).
With pregnancies and subsequent nursing, they have increased in size. Their actual size is now, "ginormous." You know it's bad when they girl at Victoria's Secret whispers to you, "Honey, we don't make them that big." Oooooo-kay. Anyway, I'm actually looking forward to them shrinking some (sorry Dude). They are an absolute pain in the neck back. Finding clothing to fit properly is a nightmare. I know I know, you itty-bitty-titty-committee girls are boo-hooing me. Hush, this is my blog.
I'm hoping, lets all cross our fingers, that they don't wind up at my knees. That would be sad, and lets face it, disgusting.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, I bought some sassy NON nursing bras. Woo! Watch out! I think people noticed. Went to lunch today with one of my bosses/The Dude's aunt, and a group of hot young lawyers totally cat-called me. Maybe it was the new pair of spanx/new bra combo. We'll never know. I DO know that I have an email in my inbox that says "someone is searching for you." Inappropriate, lawyer dudes, I'm happily married.

Edited to add: I'm such an arse. I almost forgot to add this part! I was gifted with my very first blog award by the fabulous Jamie over at stampinmom. It's the "Snazzy Blog Award."

"This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Aww! She's such a sweetie and makes such cute stuff! Check out her Etsy shop.

I need a bit of time to pick my eight, mmm-kay?!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Turkey Day insults.

As requested by Mrs. de Miranda, here is a fantabulous recipe. This is what I'll be bringing to the family Thanksgiving, despite being told we'll have "too many desserts." Is that even possible? I think not. You know what you can have too much of though? Dried out re-heated turkey on Thanksgiving day *blech*.
I could never figure out why The Dude hated turkey so much until my very first Thanksgiving with the family in New Orleans. Come back with me on this walk down memory lane...
**Picture Wayne and Garth doing their "doo-do-do-do-loot. Doo-do-do-do-loot" as we fade to a dream sequence...**
The Dude and I were newly married and stationed in HELL 29 Palms, CA. His family wanted to meet me (I had only met his Dad at this point) and I thought it sounded great! Silly me. We caught the Red Eye out of The Vegas and got into New Orleans around 7:30am on Thanksgiving Day.
The inlaws met us at the airport and shuttled us to a hotel across the street so we could freshen up and rest a bit. By 10am, they were ready for bloody Mary's. I know what you're thinking, virgin right? WRONG. Welcome to south Louisiana people. They drink, A LOT.
By this time, I'm totally starving and can't wait till the turkey is served. We get to The Dude's great uncle's home (amazingly huge old house in a historic part of New Orleans) and I notice something. Well actually a lack of something. I didn't smell turkey.
More drinks...bloody Mary's, white wine, mimosas...cripes. It's getting hot in here. When are we gonna eat?!?!
Dinner is served. Yeah, we totally had to sit at the kiddy table. Whatever, I'm hungry. I make my plate. Hmmm, no Thanksgiving staples. No mashed potatoes, no green bean casserole, no cranberry sauce, not even a pumpkin pie. At least there is turkey!!!! *Bite* Thoughts are racing through my head...Why does this taste like two day old turkey?? Why is this gravy tasteless??
As I'm helping clean up I discover the problem. They didn't cook this turkey! They bought a fully cooked turkey in advance and just re-heated it! *Light bulb* This is why The Dude hates turkey. He's never had a real, fresh cooked turkey. Of course I have since cooked him a proper Thanksgiving meal. I do it every year now, about a week after Thanksgiving since we always go to the family Thanksgiving in New Orleans.
This is my first year being allowed to bring something to Thanksgiving. The hostess (The Dude's great aunt) always tells me not to worry about it, since I have "all those babies." I was adament this year. I just got my dinner assignment. Insult of insults. "Can you handle some Uncle Ben's long grain wild rice? Two boxes, thanks doll!" Gag. Whatever. I'm still making my dessert. People will eat it and they will love it. Uncle Ben's rice, please.

Pumpkin-Gingersnap Tiramisu
3 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin (appr. 1 1/2 envelopes)
2 T water
6 large egg yolks
1/4 C plus 2 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 C plus 1 T sugar
1 quart whole milk
15 oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1 T pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1lb mascarpone (2 cups)
3 T Calvadoes or other apple brandy
1 1/4 lbs gingersnaps
*1/4 lb finely crushed

1. In small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand 5 mins. In large bowl, whisk yolks, cornstarch, sald and 1 1/2 C sugar until sugar is moistened. In large saucepan, heat the milk until just steaming. Now we temper the egg yolk mixture. We don't want to cook the eggs so we pour about a cup of the milk and whisk. Now you've tempered your yolks, yay! Pour the egg mixture into the milk saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until boiling and thick (5 mins). Whisk in the pumpkin puree and cook, whisking for 1 min. Remove from heat, whisk in the gelatin, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk in the mascarpone. Apparently I love to *whisk!*
2. In small bowl, microwave the apple brandy with remaining 1 T sugar for 10 seconds, or just until the sugar dissolves.
3. Arrange one third of whole gingersnaps in a 9 x 13 x 2 1/2 inch baking dish. Lightly brush with some of the apple brandy syrup and top with 1/3 of pumpking custard. Repeat twice. Sprinkle half of the crushed gingersnaps on top and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Freeze overnight.
4. Let the tiramisu stand at room temp. for 6 hrs, until thawed (or overnight in fridge). Sprinkle with remaining crushed gingersnaps.

BONUS: it can be made up to a week in advance!

Monday, November 17, 2008


My inner Texan emerged this weekend. I was a grillin' machine. The weather was friggen awesome so we took advantage and spent the weekend outside playing and cooking.

Now, my Dad would probably have a heart attack if he knew I "smoked" a brisket on a gas grill *gasp!* But that's all I have so I made the most of it. I'll give you my instructions for doing a brisket on a gas grill, followed by my Dad's own humorous rendition of smoking a brisket authentically. BONUS: you'll be gifted with my Dad's recipe for BBQ sauce. The best sauce you'll ever taste. Waaay different and better than any of that store bought crap.

Gas grill smoked brisket

~A brisket (dur!) my Dad says to never attempt anything smaller than a 10lb-er. So in addition to cooking my brisket on a grill, I also used a 4 lb-er.

~1-3 Cups BBQ sauce (recipe to follow)

~Adolph's meat tenderizer (or similar brand using papain)

~lots of heavy duty foil

~aromatic wood chips (mesquite, hickory, pecan, you get the jist)

Pat your brisket dry. Trim off any weird hangy fat, but for the most part you want to leave it all on there. Hey, nobody said this was diet brisket! Turn brisket fat side up, score lines 1/2 " to 3/4" apart through the fat, down to the meat. Here's my own little tip ** score the lines against the grain, as this is how you'll want to cut it once cooked. Sometimes it's hard to tell which way the grain runs after all is said and done. Generously rub BBQ sauce all over that puppy, both sides. Place in large baking dish/roaster/disposable foil pan. Cover in plastic wrap and put in fridge to marinate overnight.

In the morning, wipe off the excess sauce and keep for later marinating. Sprinkle meat with tenderizer and poke the sun of a gun all over with a fork. Now we cook.

You need at least a dual burner gas grill for this. Light the left side ONLY. We want a medium lowish setting (180-225 degrees is optimum). You have a couple of options for the wood chips. Make a packet out of aluminum foil and puncture it with a fork, or pour some wood chips into disposable aluminum foil pan. Place your chips on the left side (over flames). Wait until they start to smoke. Place your brisket on the right side. Options: use heavy duty foil on grill or place your brisket in disposable aluminum foil pan.
**That's not my grill, my picture just didn't show exactly what I wanted it to**
Close the lid! No peeking! Find something to do for 2 hrs.
I worked on my chip shot for a while...(note to The Dude: you probably thought getting me interested in golf was "cool." Mistake. I am now bound and determined to whoop your booty all over the golf course, ~Hearts!!)
then, when the kids woke up from nap, I rolled on the floor and the 2 hrs passed quite quickly!
Open lid, slather that baby with some sauce. Close lid again. Check it about every 45mins, slathering it down each time. At around the three hour mark, you may need to change your wood chips.

For a small-ish sized brisket, you're looking at 6+ hrs of smoking. The time may go up to 20hrs for a biggin'. You want it to be fork tender.

Once removed from the grill, leave it be for about 45mins. Don't skip this step. The juices need to redistribute.

Serve with coleslaw, some mac-n-cheese, potato salad, beans white or corn bread slathered in some honey butter (add about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of honey to my butter recipe), and some tea. Mmmm, I'm drooling now.

You're in for a laugh now. My Dad's recipes are hilarious.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Twinkie Story

Today, my twinkies turn 3. Hard to believe it. I will warn you now, this post has A LOT of pictures and words. So if that's not your bag, quit looking. This is their little story.
The Dude had just gotten back from his second tour in Iraq. We knew we wanted to work on a little family right away, and we did....right away! According to the dates, we conceived the girls about 4 days after he got home. Yeah, I need one of those, "My husband went to war and all I got were these babies" t-shirts.
I couldn't believe that I could possibly be preggers, so my friend Krista demanded I take a test, as she was leaving soon and needed to know before she was gone.
The Dude was out golfing and refused to come home, despite my pleas. He later explained that he knew I was testing and didn't want to be broken hearted if the news was negative (we tried a lot between deployments).
Since I couldn't tell him, I called my bestie and told her. She was also pregnant at the time. We couldn't have planned it better.
The Dude finally made it home. I took him to the kitchen and asked if we could make the 1 1/2 hr. drive to my Mom's.
"Why?" he asked.
"So we can tell her in person."

I think he was happy, lol.
We took the token "before" picture. Damnit if I don't wish I still had THAT body.

Here we are outside my sister's house, about to tell her the news. Aw, we're so young looking...and well rested.

We were transitioning out of the Marine Corps at the time. We moved back to his home town. My new doc wanted to do an ultrasound to ensure everything was alright and to get a baseline since I was a new patient.
This is what we saw:

Myself, The Dude, and the doc all noticed at the same time. The Dude repeated "You're kidding me!" while grinning like a little school girl, I burst into tears and the doc said, "Hold on, let's look for more."
Uh, what?! No stop!!! There were just the two, lol.
Here I am at almost 4 months. Man, my belly is bigger than that NOW. I kidd, I kidd.

This is late August of 05. The day before hurricane Katrina hit actually. We painted the twin's room that day.

Five months:

It just gets ugly from there on, so we'll skip to baby pics.
I made it to 35 wks 3 days. I was scheduled for an induction at 36 wks, so I did pretty well considering.
I did the whole bedrest thing for what seems like forever. Two bouts of premature labor, stopped with meds, thankfully.
It was Saturday morning and I had had all I could take of bedrest. I already had a round of steroids, so I knew the girl's lungs were more than likely mature. I begged hubby to let me go out for an hour. He took me to the town's fall festival. I ate a chili dog and went home.
The Dude went back to the festival to watch the LSU vs. Alabama game. An hour later, it was time to go.
The doctor, The Dude, and father in law stood in front of the tv in my room watching the game. Yeah, more than a little pissed.
The Dude and the father in law then took to watching the contraction monitor and keeping score on how big they were. "Oh, that one wasn't too big." Come HERE and say that!!!
The doc sent everyone home (except me of course) saying the twins probably wouldn't make their appearance till the next day at the earliest.
No less than a half hour after everyone left, one or both of my waters broke.
Oh crap, this really hurts now!!
No, like REALLY hurts. In addition to the labor pains, ya gotta understand, one baby is pushing on the other baby, pushing into...well, I'll stop there.
Drugs! Drugs!! I need drugs!!! It seemed like it went zero to sixty in a minute, but I actually labored for 7 1/2 hrs before the drugs.
When the anesthesiologist walks in and a nurse whispers, "Who is that?" run. Run very fast.
Run even faster when said mystery doc looks at instrument tray and says,
"Hmm, I've never used this type of set. I'll make it work."
I get into the position, leaning on The Dude's shoulder. Mother in law (a former L & D nurse) is next to the anesthesiologist.
"Why does it feel like there is something hot dripping down my back?"
"Pull it out!!" yells the mother in law.
Random nurse says, "Man, I haven't seen that in a long time."
"Um, let's try to sit her up."
Oh god! Oh god! The pain!! My eyes roll back into my head and they quickly turn my bed head down.
Crap! Now I've got blinding pain AND I can't breathe.
I start freaking out.
The shit has officially hit the fan.
Nurses are running and yelling into phones.
I hear, "Emergency section. Call everyone in."
The doc isn't there. They decide they'll start without him.
Twin A is having decels. I can't breathe. The pain in my head is so bad I can't see.
They whisk me out of the room, leaving The Dude scared and confused.
On the way out the door, The Dude's mom (who has now kinda taken over the situation) tells him to get bring the anesthesiologist, who was apparently oblivious to the fact that they'd need him int he O.R.
I'm told the doctor ran in without scrubbing and was about to cut when they told him Twin A's heart rate was ok now and he could scrub.
I don't remember the girl's birth. If I was conscious, my brain has blocked it out.
I woke up later in this heater kinda thing in a dark room, alone.
They brought me Twin B 3 hrs later, but only for a few minutes.
I didn't see Twin A until about 12 hrs later, and I couldn't hold her, just look
But, they got better. I got better. I had had a "wet tap." Essentially, the anesthesiologist pushed the needle a little too far in and punctured the dura, leaking out a significant amount of my spinal fluid. Your brain floats in the stuff. Let your imagination run with that one. It happens about
1 % of the time. Yay for me.
Mine was so severe, they did a blood patch, which is injecting my own blood into the spinal space to block the hole and aide in recovery. I had the headache for a few days. But oh, it was worth it.
So teeny!! 4lbs 1oz and 4lbs 6ozs at birth. Look at me, so puffy, ick.

Five day stay for all of us. The girls went home on apnea/bradycardia monitors, weighing in at a whopping 3lbs 14oz and 4lbs 1oz!

2nd week home.

Contrary to my thoughts (are they ever gonna grow?!) they grew.

And grew.

They made our lives wonderful.
They made us laugh, A LOT.

At 22 months old, they became some awesome big sisters!

"Mamma, are you bringing that home?!"

First cotton candy.

Happy Birthday my girls!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Princess party a success...and some caramel corn

The girl's party was a success! Except for the migraine Mommy was courting through the day, and the debris from the Magnolia tree being cut down, it was perfect!
Here are my two little princesses patiently waiting to open gifts.
The kids LOVED drinking their strawberry lemonade from the royal goblets (*plastic disposable wine glasses embellished with stickers and glitter pen*). They thought they were so cool. All the kids were running around toasting with each other.
We danced with Daddy.

We enjoyed cake. The girls each had their own individual princess cakes while the rest of us dined on the castle.

I guess my little Pickle enjoyed the cake too!

The biggest hit of the party was my caramel corn. I almost didn't make it. It was kinda a last minute addition to my list of treats. I used my Mom's recipe. The Dude swears I've never made it for him...he lies. Anyway, I thought I'd share it with ya.

Mamma Cat's Caramel Corn

Air popped popcorn or stove top popcorn (just don't use microwaved)

1 Cup butter

2 Cups brown sugar

1/2 Cup Karo Syrup

1 tsp. Salt

1 T vanilla

1 tsp. baking soda

I honestly don't know the exact measurment of popcorn. I always just make enough to fill a roasting pan 3/4 of the way to the top. Pop your popcorn and pour into roasting pan. In medium saucepan, melt butter. Add Karo syrup, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 5 mins without stirring. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and baking soda. **When you add the baking soda, it's going to look like it's out of control, calm down, it's normal**. Pour mixture over popcorn, stir to coat. Place in pre heated 250 degree oven. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes. Stir every ten. Pour caramel corn out onto waxed paper or newspaper to cool. Enjoy!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Princess shoe favor box

**Ignore the UGLY desk and crap in the background. I'm at work still**
These are the little lovelies that I used the spray adhesive on.
The twins' 3rd birthday party is Sunday. It is princess themed (or queen themed if you ask Twin A). I saw a similar version of this shoe favor box done up to be a witch's shoe for Halloween. I thought they would be awesome made over into princess shoes! I was right.
They aren't 100% finished, hence the untrimmed edges and whatnot. I won't be able to post for the weekend as I'll be busy but wanted to get these up. The shoe template can be found here.
The shoe lining template here.
I cut the shoes out of white poster board and the lining is just colored paper. You can certainly doll these up depending on what papers or card stocks you use.
I did a few with spray glitter and was not impressed with the results. Enter the spray adhesive. I used that and some glitter. I liked the results.
I added a little gem to each shoe to finish them off.
Me-thinks 3 yr olds will not really appreciate the effort that went into these, but I had fun.
I will hopefully be able to post what I'm filling these little lovelies with later.

Spanx, the arch nemesis of the Muffin Top.

I should have crawled back into bed this morning. Yeah, and then I wake up. Like that is ever going to happen in my life again. Yes, as a Mom you just have to get up and do it.
First thing I noticed this morning, it's pouring rain. Awesome. That makes getting the kids off even that much more fun.
Second thing I notice: um, why is the boat parked in front of my kitchen window??? Oh wait, tree cutting guy is was coming today. Ok, that little mystery explained.
Third thing: what happened to the sugar cookies I baked last night? Why are there only pink and green crumbs left?! Realization: I ate them all.
I have a dinner party to attend tonight. I'm SOOO not getting dressed twice today. I'm currently fully dressed (fancy jewelry and all) for said dinner party. I looke "fancy." Probably too fancy for work. Whatevs.
My stupid Spanx are total quitters. Spanx are a beautiful thing. Usually able to conquer the muffin top without any sit ups! Unfortunately they are not holding in that muffin top quite the way they used to. Hmm, perhaps this has something to do with the sugar cookie incident. Must investigate. *note* put "lots of Spanx, no not that kind" on wish list.
At least it's Friday!
**Edited to add** Fourth thing I'm just now noticing: the weather man lied. The temp. just dropped ten degrees. I'm not dressed for cool weather, crap.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dear fellow employee...

When my little sign says, "Employees must present receipts for reimbursement," what do you think that means? Oh yes, it means SAVE YOUR FRIGGEN RECEIPT! How many companies pay for their employee's lunches? Hmm, not too many. The only thing I ask is that you bring me a receipt. No receipt, no money. Hey, I don't make the rules, I just enforce them. Ok, so I made that rule. Whatevs.

P.S. Telling me "That's bullsh*t" and demanding I just give you the money doesn't really make me want to do you any favors.

This is the door and this is me saying, "Buh-bye!" Come see me again REAL soon....with a receipt.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

If you could see me now

You would probably laugh your ass off. After doing so, I would smack you in the face, thus entagling you in my sticky mess. Ha ha! Gotcha biotch!
So, I have this can of spray adhesive. I figure, work is slow, I'm gonna work on this here crafty project. I think the work gods were watching and are punishing me (although they don't punish me for blogging on company time, hmmm). First few sprays go well. Hey, I like this stuff. Wonder if I cand attach this little thing over here and....oops. Little overspray on my fingers there, no biggie. I spray on. Wow, this IS sticky. You would think I would stop, but I don't.
Spray, spray, spray, spray.
Phone rings. Hey, ha ha, my hand is kinda stuck to the phone. Ha ha. Hmmm. Handy Wipe! Glad I saved you. Ah, see there, hand free. Oh look, the glitter! Wow, this glitter really adheres to the spray glue on my hands. Let me read the back: "If comes into contact with skin wash with soap and warm water." So I trek off to the bathroom.!
OOoo, maybe I shouldn't have touched that stack of papers. Aaah! They won't come off!
Carefully take candy bar that has been hanging in my mouth out of mouth. Try to throw away candy bar and wrapper. Candy bar slides into trash. Snickers wrapper remains.
Well, that's embarassing.
Made it to the bathroom. Warm water, soap, repeat. Reach for paper towel. Damn, it sticks.
Back to desk. I grabbed some cotton balls from the bathroom cuz I remembered I had some nail polish remover at my desk (yes, I do A LOT of work). In addition to the glue, glitter, paper bits, candy wrapper and paper towel, my hands were now fuzzy from the cotton balls. But hey, at least I'll have this stuff off soon. Ugh, nail polish remover is STRONG in small space.
What the crap?! STILL STICKY!
I give up. I'm less sticky, but sticky none the less. My fingers are actually sticking to the keys. The brainiac in me also just tried to adjust my ponytail. So yes, now I have my own hair added to the sticky mess on my hands.
Is today over yet?!
**Little bit of fun: I think I'm a little high from the spray adhesive/nail polish remover combo**


Able to create huge messes in a single pass!

Able to leap over younger brothers in a single bound!

Only slightly scared of heights.

Not quite able to skip naps without driving Mom nuts!

Yesterday I had a "free day" of sorts. The sitter had a family emergency so I took full advantage and got some stuff done. Baked, cooled and froze the birthday cake for Sunday's party, worked on the favor boxes, and made the roses that will go on said cake.
I have an unnatural fear of buttercream roses. Not eating them, but making them. I won't even attempt cuz I know I'll fail miserably.
With wee babes in the house, I'm pretty damn good with the playdough. Enter candy clay.
To make the clay: melt a 14 oz. bag of candy melts as per package directions. I always do a double boiler as microwaving is too risky. Nothing is sadder (more sad?) than burned chocolate/candy melts. Anyshway, remove from heat source and stir in 1/3 Cup of caro syrup. Pour out onto waxed paper and let set. Wilton says overnight, but with the cool temps mine was set in a few hours.
Now we knead.
If you want to color your clay, now is the time. I wanted purple (or sterling) roses as a nod to a special someone (hearts!), so blue and pink is what I used. The clay will be hard. Work it/knead it in your hands. The warmth will soften it. If it becomes too soft, pop it in the fridge for a few mins.
We start our rose. Start with a small cone of the clay. Roll a piece about double the size of a pea and flatten with thumb or forefinger. Shoot for about an 1/8 inch in thickness. Wrap this "petal" around the cone, creating a bud.
Continue making petals and wraping them around the flower. Bend and tweak the petals to resemble a real flower. The imperfections make it more lifelike, or at least that's what I tell myself.
I made a few different sizes, including leaving one as a bud. I had plenty of clay left over to do other things with. Should keep a few weeks in airtight container.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Syrup in my pocket

Me: "Dude, why is there syrup in my pocket?"
*cheesy sitcom blur to past events*
Dude: "Are you seriously going to give them syrup for their pancakes?"
Me: "What?! I give you syrup for yours."
Dude: "Point taken."
Weekends are my big breakfast days. It's a fun thing for me to do it up big. Sunday wasn't so big, just pancakes and bacon. Ah, but they were SPECIAL.
Since it's fall (forget the fact that the A/C was cranked at the time) I use this time as an excuse to work in pumpkin as much as possible. I mixed in about 1 Cup of pumpkin puree into my favorite pumpkin mix. Add more or less liquid to make it the right consistency.

I had a big helper. He was fabulous at stirring. Ok, that's a lie. But he was cute.

I whipped out a Christmas present of yore, never utilized until now and cooked those puppies up.

Here is where I made what some (Dude) may call a mistake:

Do you see that little medicine cup filled with syrup? The twins love to do things on their own. In all of my genius I figured it would be safer to fill a medicine cup with syrup versus letting them attempt to pour straight from the bottle. Twin A did great. Twin B, not so much. I'm not sure how the syrup ended up in my pocket, but it did.
I didn't cut up the hubby's pancakes (although I probably should have). This was his plate, complete with Maple bacon, mmmmm.

Do yourselves a favor and use REAL maple syrup on these bad boys.