The only party I'm hosting this season.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


The Eagles will probably start out confident,




but won't know what hit them during the second quarter.



They'll likely continue to take a beating during the third quarter.



However, the Broncos will tire out quickly in the 4th, bringing a smile to the Eagles, once again.




I better hurry up and preheat the oven for the cocktail wieners...

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thursday night I was awake from 3-5am. I was stressed about the upcoming day and our appointment to get holiday/birthday portraits at Sears. I hate going by myself with the kids. After many prior stressful experiences, my husband flat out refuses to go with me. At the same time, though, I continue to fork up the money instead of doing portraits at home because I know I can't get them set up and take the pictures on my own.

It was as bad as I expected it would be. Timmy broke out with a rash all over his face right after lunch. He had cheese curls and I think that it may have just been from the rough texture getting rubbed into his face. Since of course, they were all over his face. Our appointment was at 4:30pm. We arrived to almost emptiness with only one person ahead of us. She got taken right away and we got to wait until after 5:oopm. How lucky for her! She was so thrilled that she didn't even have an appointment and they fit her right in. She did have an appointment. She had MY appointment!

As soon as our "photographer" approached me to say she was ready I knew it was going to be bad. She was the typical holiday time hire, who knows nothing and doesn't try at all. She was teeny, young, and oh so soft spoken. Damn it! I told her to stay behind the camera because I knew Timmy was going to be difficult and she would have to snap quickly. I posed them and then jumped back to try to get his attention. It was not a good game plan. He wouldn't stay still (or even kinda still). He wouldn't look up. He wouldn't smile. I was sweating SO bad. Partially because it was 10,000 degrees.

I actually feel like almost every picture session goes this way, but I always do wind up getting a bunch of good pictures. Not this time. I ran out of patience and didn't even get all the backgrounds I wanted. I was so frustrated that the photographer was completely incompetent in even attempting to squeeze a squeaky toy or any other form of attention getting. Katie was getting frustrated that it was taking so long so that even if we did get Timmy to look, she had started to clown around.

When I was viewing my pictures I complained. A lot. The very nice and helpful lady offered to reshoot our pictures, but I insisted that there was no way I could go through the process all over again. She said, no we could grab an empty room then and at least shoot one of the other backgrounds. She added that she was known to be the best photographer there. I figured, "Why not?" My kids already hate me and I'm already frustrated to the point of tears. Can't hurt adding to it now. And she WAS good. She had me pose the kids and then stay right by their side to keep Timmy comforted. She did ALL the work of getting him to smile. And she did. She had him CRACKING UP! Unfortunately, I got nothing but cheesy smiles and wide armed poses from Katie at that point. Ugh!!!

From there, we went to see Santa while we waited for Chris to join us for dinner. We had already seen him once, but the kids weren't dressed for pictures. I was sure Timmy would burst out crying since he was so tired. But he didn't. He was very interested in Santa and had fun playing with his beard.
And although he was so very tired and hungry and sad, we did get him to look at us for a picture. And get another cheesy smile from Katie.

And just to completely illustrate how frustrating kids can be...Katie spent the day with her Grammi yesterday and got to see Santa TWO more times. And guess what, no cheesy smiles for Grammi's pictures!
It really is a good thing that I've learned to expect the worst so as not to be surprised. And looking on the bright side, I did get a helluva good work out.

Debi is hosting Baby Picture Sunday today at Who Says 8 is Enough? Click on over to see who else is playing along and getting into the Christmas spirit!

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Fun, fun for everyone!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Two weeks ago we celebrated Timmy's 1st birthday party. Everyone had a blast. I generally go a little nuts with the parties at my house. We're heavy with the themes and coordination around here. I was pretty good this time and just kept it to "1st Birthday", "Cupcakes" and "Music." Not like Katie's "Teddy Bear" party, or "Mickey Mouse" party, or "Dora Cowgirl/Diego Cowboy" party, and ESPECIALLY not like this past summer's "Max & Ruby" party. They were all monumental and still deserve posts in their own right. But we did have face painting and a super sing-a-along. All the kids got to select a harmonica, recorder, or microphone (a la the $2.49 bin at Target) as a take home favor. And without further ado:







Check out Candid Carrie today to see who else is playing along with Friday Foto Finish Fiesta!

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Look alikes

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My cousin, who recently saw my daughter for the first time in a long time, told me she thinks Katie looks like Violet Affleck. Ha!
Clearly it's because Chris and I look SO much like Jen and Ben.

Debi is hosting Two for Twos-day at Who Says 8 is Enough?

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Dear Katie

Monday, November 30, 2009

Yes...they ARE both blue and they DO both have flowers, but they STILL don't match.

P.S. Please stop scratching your face so we can get your Christmas portraits and Timmy's 1 year pics done. And tell your brother to stop falling down the steps and splitting his lip open.

P.P.S. You are a very gifted video game playing trash talker, but you should just stop. I don't care that you are smaller. I will always be better than you. As long as the game is comprised of balls or cubes that must be shot at or grouped together. You are no match for me.
Ask Aunt Chris!

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From his granddaughter

Saturday, November 21, 2009

He was a brother. A Marine. A NJ Transit bus driver.
He was a husband. A father of seven. A grandfather of thirteen.
He was a great-grandfather of six.

He was a great grandfather. My grandfather. My son's namesake.
He was my driving intructor. My cleaning conscience. My partner in crime.
He gave me away at my wedding.

He was a joke teller. A ball-buster. A nickname-giver.
He was a beer drinker. A cigarette smoker. A heckler.
He was the life of the party.

He was a fix-it man. An overseer. An instructor.
He was a football fan. A debater. A card shark.
He was a tour guide.

He was proud. Generous. Honest.
He was smart. Crafty. A catch-phrase creator.

The life of the party

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This past Saturday was Timmy's 1st birthday party. Post to come. However, in the meantime, I thought I'd tell you about the entertainment. It was incredible. I found a company online and a very talented woman came and painted faces AND led a sing-a-long with her guitar. We were really impressed. Her painting and singing were both really good. She was patient and creative.

But the REAL life of the party was after almost everyone was gone for the evening. Only the extended Bouf family remained and we got some free entertainment from Katie and Emma.

How they knew how to strike the appropriate "bluesy" position was beyond us. Personally, I think we should stick them out in front of the Philadelphia Zoo with a hat to collect money.

Debi hosts "Two for Tuesday" at Who Says 8 is Enough? Go visit!

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Happy, happy, happy Birthday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I tried all day. I wanted to get that perfect picture of my handsome birthday boy. I worked against a quickly fading camera battery. You slept so much of the day because you're not feeling your best. I did acrobats throughout the day to wipe your nose and then jump back to snap a picture before it started dripping again. You're on your third cold in a row, with only 1-2 days of reprieve between each. But son, you are an overachiever. Noone said you needed to cut all of your molars before turning 1.

This is the image of your baby days that I will forever remember. Your ear is your lovey, your comfort. You can tell us you're ready for night-night quicker than any words can.

This past weekend you were at your girlfriend's 1st birthday party and her shoulder-length hair and walking ways made her seem quite the big girl. But I love that you're not quite there yet. I love that you still have your baby short hair. I love that I can pretend you're still my little baby just a little bit longer. You know, you're not really even close to walking, I'm sorry to say. This past week you just started taking some first steps, but I have a mother's intuition that it'll be some time before you master those feet. You are a master climber though. You are ready for mountains. You've taken on the chik-fil-a playground. You've found your way up a full size slide. Coffee tables are child's play; the steps are your playground now.

You are drawn to danger. You loved your first birthday present. Aunt Kari brought you over a spiderman cupcake (which your sister ceremoniously smashed...sorry). I'm not sure whether it was the bright colors or impending mess that got you so excited, but I suspect it may have been the fire. Between this glimpse into your teenage years and the knowledge of the stunts your father used to pull, I am afraid. Very afraid. You squeal with delight when we carry you down the stairs quickly. You shout out "bump" when we go over speed bumps. You love to be swung around in a circle and throw yourself backwards for maximum enjoyment. You've been a merry-go-round riding champion since early summer, but you like the fast rides the best.
Finally, we were able to get through to that happy boy. You are generally a sweet, happy, silly, social little guy. While you may not be walking yet, you use so many words. "Hi" is still your favorite. You get a little bent out of shape, though, when every stranger that you pass doesn't immediately come over to play just because you flashed your smile and whispered "Hi!"
You love music and love to dance. You love to make us laugh. Unfortunately, you love tv. Already. Anything with lots of music is your favorite. The music from Sesame Street, the Wiggles, and Yo Gabba Gabba will stop you in your tracks and draw you in like a fly. You love junk food. We have to order you your own meal most of the time we go out as a family. You crack us up when we're out to eat and you gaze longingly at all the tables around us who already have their food. You try so hard to get the strangers' attention to convince them to feed you their meal. Your favorite food, without question, is blueberries. You are a blueberry eating machine.

You are your sister's shadow. You do everything you can to keep up with her. You clap at her soccer games and bang on the wall at her gymnastics class to get her attention while she is on the balance beam. You call for her now. You say "AA-ee" instead of Katie and it is so darn cute! Your dad is your hero. You beam with pride when he picks you up and you pat him on the chest in excitement.
You are my favorite hugger. You frequently come to me seemingly sleepy. You put your head down on my shoulder and give me a good hug. Then you're good to go. You don't like to snuggle; you have to much to do to dawdle. Any attempts at snuggling you in my bed begins with a good hug and usually ends with you attempting to kamikaze jump off of my bed. You love to be chased, especially when you think you're doing something naughty. It is your favorite game. You can't contain your giggles. I love you so much and I will chase you to the ends of the earth. I will be there to catch you throughout the years. But please, lets do it in baby steps because you can be a little exhausting.

Happy 1st Birthday, Timmy! You long to be a big boy, but you will always be my baby. I hope you have a great time at your party this weekend.

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Thanks Aiming Low

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I've been all set to write about my fantastic night OUT OF THE HOUSE Wednesday night, but you know, in true Aiming Low style life has interupted. A little procrastination here, some Halloween blog obligations there. Throw in some swine flu* for good measure. (*My daughter had a fever for 24 hours, but aren't we calling all fevers along with cold symptoms swine flu these days?)

I was already planning to throw in this picture of me and my pal Lisa. Even if my face is three times the size of hers. Even though I look pregnant (I'm not!!!). But on the upshot, I'm actually tanner than someone. I was all set for the embarrassment since I was so grateful to Lisa for taking a trip to NYC with me. I was ready to throw caution to the wind.
And then, yesterday, Lisa sent me this link From Aiming Low's Flickr uploads.

So thankyou Aiming Low for the night out and the snacks and drinks. And THANK YOU for posting this picture of me. Because seriously, my face has never looked thinner.

Now let me back up a moment and start over.

Once upon a time, I found a link to the amazing blog Aiming Low. I felt like I found my true parental sorority. Women who love their kids, but may not be as crafty as some, or speak as quietly as others. One day I noticed that they were coming to NYC to visit and I felt a tickle in my tummy. I really had no idea what to expect. I had never been to a single "blogger" event before. But I immediately called my husband to see if he would be able to come home early just once so that I could travel to NYC, meet some great bloggers, and perhaps come home with a goody bag or better yet a new printer or laptop from HP. Next, I e-mailed Lisa, a good friend since middle school, a dedicated blog aficianada, and recently author of her own blog. It took some convincing, but she was in!

I decided to drive in, all the way in, and valet park at the hotel. I was convinced that I would be winning one of the rumored fabulous prizes and was concerned that it would be difficult to lug my huge prize home on the train or ferry. I figured $40 in valet costs would be a small price to pay. But something awesome happened. We got there an hour late and when we told the bellman we would be back within 3 hours he looked at us like we were nuts and asked "Why would you pay $37 when you can just leave it right here and I'll watch it for you?" Um, ok! Sure. Here are my keys, kind sir. Now before you mock me, at my willingness to have my car stolen, what the hell is the difference between leaving my car there with the employee of the hotel or having him drive it to another secret valet location? Unfortunately, when I met Marinka I was a bit tipsy and she had me so convinced that my car was already in a chop shop that I couldn't muster that argument then. So there I was, chugging gallons of water so I could sober up and leave to check on my car.

Along the way we got to play with some products. I took the opportunity to print out some of the first snapshots from my new Nikon D40. We got to peruse some crafts made on the HP website by the Aiming Low writers. My favorite was the recipe cards. LOVED them! If I can gather up the motivation, I can finally fill up my recipe holder box with pretty recipe cards and toss all my wripped out notebook pages of recipes.

As I mentioned, I really had no idea what to expect at my first blogger event. I had a vision in my mind of mingling with lots of people, but it didn't really happen that way. We kind of fell into place at a specific table, but we made some new friends and had lots of laughs. Perhaps too many laughs. We were getting odd looks.

I found myself to not really be myself. It was the booze. I only had one drink but it was STRONG. It made me laugh. A lot. And act like a moron. The HP cameraman was so impressed with my ability to print a picture that he interviewed me throughout the entire process. I couldn't stop laughing. I really could be great on tv or in a commercial. I swear. Just don't ply me with liquor first.

Besides the Aiming Low team, I wasn't really aware of any other bloggers that I am a regular reader of who would be there. Except Marinka. I was really excited to meet her in person. At the same time though, I was really nervous that she would just make fun of me and I would cry. And then I was there and realized I really didn't know what she looked like. I've only ever seen her arm online. I did look around to see if I could find someone I thought might be her, but my eyesight is terrible, even with my glasses and I felt ridiculous at the notion of going up to every person to look at their name tag. But she found me. She was incredibly nice, except for trying to convince me that my car was being stolen while we spoke and that perhaps that would gain me more readers. I was giggly and awkward the entire time we spoke. Again, the booze. I beat myself up about it the whole way home and Lisa was kind enough to agree with me, that I was as bad as I thought I was.

Everything wrapped up much earlier than I expected. Screw the baseball game, didn't they realize we had traveled 2 hours to get there? I was delighted to find out that my car was still in front of the hotel and even with a good tip, we spent half the amount we otherwise would have. We hopped in and hit the road. And then as soon as we were driving through Times Square, in the rain, we thought "Crap! We forgot to walk around a bit and use my new camera to snap some pictures." Not that I haven't been there a zillion times, but never with my new camera. So to pass the time, Lisa played a game to get the best picture she could, in between the swipe of the windshield wipers, without smeary rain all over, and without getting the dashboard in the picture or a flash reflection.

Not too bad, huh?

So we tossed off our glass slippers and headed home. Away from the bright lights, the video cameras, and authors extraordinaire. Back to reality. To NJ. Knowing that the next day we would have a very early wakeup. But it was worth it to get a night OUT OF THE HOUSE!!! With adults. Funny ones. Thanks Aiming Low!

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A Day Late and a Candy Bar Short (or several candy bars)

Sunday, November 1, 2009





Playing along this week with Baby Picture Sunday at Who Says 8 is Enough?

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He does all of his own stunts!

Saturday, October 31, 2009



Doesn't every kid have two costumes?


(This being the other one.)

Come back this evening (or tomorrow if I'm too tired) to check out Dr. Katie and Supergirl!

Happy Halloween!!!

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Interview Prep

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's been a long time since I went on an interview. In my last few years of employment, I had become much more accustomed to actually being the interviewer.So last night I mentally prepared for today's interview. Instead of counting sheep I thought up the Top 10 answers I probably shouldn't give when asked the infamous "What do you consider to be your biggest weakness?"

1. I’m frequently late.

2. I don’t drink enough water.

3. Cheese!

4. I get sick a lot.

5. I’m generally a very tired person.

6. I am easily frustrated by stupid people.

7. I’m pretty sarcastic.

8. I tend to be passive aggressive at times.

9. I spend too much time on Facebook, Twitter, and blogging.

10.My kids get sick a lot.

And what answer did I wind up giving? Would you believe they didn't even ask me this question? But if you are hiring and would like to give me a call, I would be more than happy to discuss it with you. My answer will knock your socks off and I guarantee that you'll want to hire me on the spot.

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What are Little Boys Made Of?

Saturday, October 24, 2009



Frogs and Snails and Puppy-dogs' tails!

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A day in the life

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Being a "Scary Mommy" doesn't really seem like a title to be vied for. Nevertheless, "the" ScaryMommy is holding a contest to find another blogger that best personifies her idea of what a Scary Mommy is. And guess what: if you're a mom and you don't think you fit the role of Scary Mommy I think you're either a liar, in serious denial, or a tv character.

I thought long and hard about this post and decided that the best way to share how I am a Scary Mommy is simply to share a day in the life of JulieBouf. I’ve decided not to embellish any facts in order to be more humorous since that could possibly land me a visit from DCS.

I’ll begin sharing my day from about 11am since my parenting prior to that point isn’t really fit to be read. While Timmy was still asleep for his morning nap I got myself up from my morning nap and showered. I really didn’t have a choice. It had been a day…or two and I was going to be out in public later in the day. Don’t worry about Katie. She was watching a movie while I rested with my door open. If you can consider laying in bed while being visited every 5-10 minutes to be resting.

The first trip for the day was to the public library. Timmy napped a little too long (this ONLY happens when we have to go somewhere) and we didn’t really have time to go and get back before Katie’s afternoon pre-K school bus would arrive. But I really needed a specific book. I had just finished the first Vampire Diaries book (possibly why I was so tired that morning) and when I went to read the second I realized I had borrowed the wrong series. Now when we were there last week, I hadn’t scanned any of Katie’s choices and she wound up coming home with a book about divorce that was her “most favorite book ever” and had to be read by both mommy during the day and daddy at night. So as not to make the same mistake, I reviewed her choices and was the meanest mom ever to make her put back “Saying Goodbye to Daddy” and “It’s Just Mommy and Me Again” (incidentally one of those was from the author of “Why Does Daddy Drink So Much?”As we switched aisles in hopes of finding more appropriate choices, Timmy started ripping books off the shelf from his stroller and I had to wrestle him to put back “Saturdays With Daddy.” Let me remind you again, I am not exaggerating or making anything up. I really hope this isn’t a sign. We gathered our final choices and checked out. My book wasn’t even available and I wound up driving Katie into school 10 minutes late.

I really don’t have any problems with the kids watching tv or Katie playing on the computer, but it was an absolutely beautiful day outside, the first in over a week. So after Katie got home from school the three of us went for a walk. When we got home I even pushed both kids on the swings. But then I got tired and convinced Katie to push her brother for awhile (so that I didn’t have to keep pushing her 50lb dead weight.) I also convinced her that watching her go down the slide was the highlight of my day.

Later in the day she told me her “heart hurt. Or no, maybe it was her belly.” I gave her some more cough medicine and packed the kids up for Katie’s dance/gymnastics class. I got us all McDonald’s for dinner on the way there. Katie’s no longer allowed to have French fries in the car due to a recent trash excavation from my car, but I do let her eat her nuggets. They were hot though so she put them on the seat between her and Timmy to cool off. Only he grabbed the whole box and she couldn’t reach them back from him and I had to listen to her scream and cry the rest of the car ride while handing her some of mine to hold her over until we arrived and I could get her box from Timmy. Only he ate 4 of the 6 nuggets in the 10 minutes it took us to get there. So, she got more of mine and I filled myself up on my 6th diet soda of the day.

On the way home Katie asked me “How much longer?” I said “Till what, we get home?” I suppose I should have known that not being able to read her mind would cause an explosion. We went back and forth with “No! HOW.MUCH.LONGER?” and I replied, “TILL.WHAT? We will be home in 2 minutes if that’s what you want to know.” And then from Katie, “NOOOOOOOOO. I SAAAIIIDDDD – how much longer?” Thankfully after a few more rounds we arrived home and I sent her in to watch tv and ask daddy for a piece of candy.

I wouldn’t really consider this day to be a bad day by any means. No. THIS was a bad day. This was just a day in the life. I don’t always react the way I would like to. My kids don’t always behave the way I would like. My house is definitely not as clean as I would like.

I have put off writing this post since this weekend out of the sheer exhaustion I’ve felt every single night. I used to think it was just me, but the blogger company I keep has led me to believe I am not alone in feeling motherhood is like a serious case of mono that just can't be overcome. I say that with the utmost love and devotion for my 2 cherubs. And while I was led to believe that I might get more favorable treatment in this contest for locking my kids in the play area downstairs while I take the time to write this entry, I did not. I waited until they were both fast asleep - baby passed out on breast milk and LOTS of Pizza Hut and the 4-year old passed out on Pizza Hut bread sticks and chocolate dunkaroos.

I am convinced that the 50's-era portrait of motherhood was contrived by the same people that brought us Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. Houses could not have always been that neat, food always cooked from scratch, and children always well-behaved. Or maybe there was just a fantastic underground drug ring supplying those moms with the extra little oomph that they needed.

PS. Check out my link to ScaryMommy's post to see what she considers a Scary Mommy to be and then leave a comment on my blog supporting my claim. Help me win a video camera! That means YOU family/friend stalkers who visit and never leave comments. Just sign in as "Anonymous" if you want or choose the Name/URL option and you can simply type in your first name. There is nothing to sign in/sign up for.

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40 Days & 40 Nights

Sunday, October 18, 2009

That's how long it will take us to eat all the Bigos I made. Bigos, you ask? Well, I had never heard of it either until I came upon this captivating post by Pauline at Classy Chaos. I adore Pauline and even though she makes it sound like a dirty thing to feed your kids pizza, I still respect her. Chris and I enjoy ethnic foods. And we love pork. And sauerkraut. We LOVE sauerkraut. So with her endorsement and direction along with my full-fledge excitement over all that pork and sauerkraut, I set out. To make my own Bigos. I hastily wrote out the ingredients and intructions on paper and put them aside to shop in the afternoon, at about 4pm, when Katie would get home from school.

Chapter 1 - Dried Plums

The recipe call for dried plums. Under the surface, I felt a nervousness throughout the day. Where the heck was I going to get dried plums? I tweeted to OHmommy (Pauline) begging for her assistance and was ignored. Probably because she didn't think it was a question worth answering. Or maybe she though it was a joke. Later in the day I tried again, something to the tune of "Dried plums. Where to buy? Respond. Can raisins be used instead?" She finally sent me a direct tweet "My girlfriend did use plums. Can you find prunes? Like bigger raisins. Let me know how it works out."

I believe she sent me a direct tweet so as not to mock me out in public. Because guess what? Dried plums are freaking prunes. A wave of embarrassment washed over me as I found myself in the raisin aisle at the supermarket and found bag after bag that said "Dried Plums". All of them prunes. But guess what? Marinka didn't know either. I had mentioned my Bigos w/ prunes on twitter. With all of her quick wit, I naturally assumed that she was making fun of me when she asked me why I didn't just use dried plums. And then, completely out of character, OHmommy chimed in and laughed at us both for not knowing that dried plums were prunes.

Chapter 2 - What was I thinking?

When I read Marinka's post here about starting her new crockpot recipe, I laughed about her being so excited to use her new crockpot that she began to cook at 8pm. Yet, I chose to go to the store at 4pm to shop for ingredients for a stew. I figured, home by 5pm - food done by about 7:00 or 7:30pm. The kids won't want to eat it anyway. We can have a nice luxurious meal once the kids are in bed. Little did I know that the luxurious meal would be hastily eaten at 10pm prior to me passing out from starvation. I failed to take into consideration that I would need more than 1/2 hour between steps of the recipe to cart groceries in from car, feed the kids dinner, keep a teething crying baby happy, reset the tv with a new show for Katie every 25 minutes, AND actually do the meal preparation.

Chapter 3 - More Doubts

Chris hates stews with fruit in them. Will he even eat this, with all the dried plums? I'll put in a little less than the picture shows.

Why oh why did I embark on a recipe without actual measurements? I am a CPA - was an auditor for 8 years. I need rules. I need to follow explicit directions. All I have to go on is pictures! How many pounds of pork is that OHmommy? I longed to e-mail and ask, but was so embarrased about the dried plum/prune debacle that I didn't dare. Is it 4 lbs? That's what I got. Oh, and equal lbs. sausage to pork? Another 4 lbs. You say just a dash of each of the spices, but it looks like so much in the picture. Was that just for picture taking effect?

Oh no, the meat is already taking up half of my pot. Ok, I'll use about 3lbs of each. I don't know why I do this-cook enough to feed 20 people every time I'm cooking from scratch. I suppose it's because I really want my efforts to be appreciated. Over and over again.

OHmommy used 3 pieces of bacon, but it looks like I have more meat; I'll use 5 pieces to compensate. Oh wait, am I supposed to cook the bacon first to make it crispy? She didn't say to, I'll just cut it up and put it in raw.

Chapter 4 - Smoked sausage and other mistakes

I've also never bought smoked sausage before. Recently I've begun trying to be a little more conscious of ingredients and staying away from corn syrup, especially high fructose. However, I learned that there were only 2 types of smoked sausage offered at my supermarket. Those with corn syrup and those made with cow heart's. I opted for the corn syrup.

When realizing I still had to get a separate dinner prepared for the kids and that I bought way too much pork and smoked sausage I decided that the kids would have "hot dogs" (smoked sausage) for dinner. No complaints from them. I knew the stew would be done much later than expected since the pot was full to the tippy top. While I was waiting, I ate half of a leftover cooked smoked sausage. Mistake. I am certain that I tasted minced bone in there and spit it all into the garbage. Blah!!!

I also freaked for the final hour or so because there was so much in the pot that I could barely stir it and I was convinced that it would all burn on the bottom.

This was the period of time that I began tweeting of my error in judgment and my fear of a disastrous outcome.

Chapter 5- Bigos is Ready!

It was pretty yummy!

I chose to add cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. It was a good thing since the mushrooms served an important role of disguising the mushy rubbery bacon as a possible mushroom. The crunchy sauerkraut disguised any bone crunch of the sausage. Chris loved it! Timmy loved his meal of leftovers the following day. I know enough to not even attempt offering it to Katie. The texture hodgepodge would be her mental undoing.

Epilogue

We have been eating leftovers for days now. Or rather, I should say that Chris has. Although I did quite enjoy it for dinner that first night, I can't let go of my flashbacks of eating the smoked sausage on it's own. I've actually had a nightmare about it, so I can't bring myself to eat any of the leftovers. Since Chris and Timmy enjoyed it so much I may try it again in the future. Maybe with kielbasa instead of the cow heart-free smoked sausage. I may fry up the bacon a little first, too. I think I'll use a bit more dried plums. Oh, and maybe not rinse off the sauerkraut. I missed it's yummy sour taste.

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11 Months Old - Monkey Man (*Edited)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I'm really not too sure how this baby manages to get cuter and funnier every single month, but I swear he does. He thinks he's hilarious when he puts his soft balls in his mouth and crawls over to show me. He must be acknowledged, giggling the whole way over and erupting into fits of laughter when I tell him he's not a doggy. He loves to be tickled. His laughter melts away any frustration or fatigue I may be feeling.


This month has been all about motion. He is obsessed with balls and all toys with wheels. He's still not walking, but he did begin to take some steps with the help of walking toys and he loves it...until he runs into a wall.
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He climbs anything he can reach (like the steps in the Chic-Fil-A playground) and goes bananas on the trampoline. He's already started to perfect the "hang on to something and throw my head backwards and upside down move." Interestingly, Katie has always been the biggest daredevil, sensory-seeking child I have ever met. I'm pretty sure I have now met her match.
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His favorite phrase is "Hi": first thing in the morning when we take him out of his crib, throughout the day when he catches our eye while playing, and strolling in the cart around Target trying to get the attention of every person he passes.
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Timmy is so in love with his sister and she him. He loves to play with her and her big kid toys. He doesn't take no for an answer.

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We do have one behaviour issue though. Socks. And shoes. We went from infant footy clothes to summer toe freedom. But now he's getting close to walking and it's cold outside. Tim is not a happy boy when they are on and has naked little feet before I can blink. Onlookers think it's cute and precious. It's not. I may have to send him to baby bootcamp.

*Edited to add a few more things I forgot about this morning:

-Poor guy just cut his NINTH tooth...a molar. No wonder he has been anti-nap the last few days.

-The clapping. It's a way of life. Ask Timmy a question that he is happy about and you will get a "Yay" to the accompaniment of thundering applause.

-Tunnels. Everything with a top, that he can fit under is now a tunnel. But he doesn't realize how big he is and he gets stuck a lot. I think he gets that trait from me.

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Please! I've never asked for anything before!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In my endless search for children's clothing, I came across a current modeling contest for GapKids. I've entered both of my kids and would be forever appreciative if you could click over and vote for them. They are competing in the same age group, but that's ok. You can vote as many times as you'd like (at least once a day).

Just go to http://www.gap.com/castingcall/ and enter their id# (below)

I have several reasons for hoping that they win...


Kaitlyn B.
ID: 317168298


1) Look at her poor hand-me-down t-shirt. Doesn't this girl deserve to win some new clothes? (ahem...no comments from the peanut gallery concerning the fact that she has more clothes than she could ever possibly wear)

2) It would create very interesting fireworks to force Katie into a certain hairdo and outfit for a winning photo shoot. I've read the fine print and the rules do NOT state that the child has to be cooperative. Boy would they be in for a suprise!

3) Amazingly, as horribly as I feel any planned photo shoot has gone with Katie (ie. at a portrait studio) we do always wind up with at least a few fantastic shots. They should be so lucky as to have her in their ads.

Timothy B.
ID: 857168866

1) Timmy should win to prove to the modeling community that it is not nice to discriminate against large-eared babies. They deserve their day to be in print, too. Perhaps, if nothing else, the current president can set a trend to bring Dumbo ears back into fashion.

2) He is a ray of sunshine. He would be all smiles for a photo shoot and full of personality. Keeping his thumb out of his mouth and his hand off of his ear may be a problem, but I'm sure if I dangled a donut in front of him he'd be fine.

3) He fits in baby clothes. Although Katie fits the age criteria for "Baby Girl" she won't fit in any clothes smaller than a size 6. That could present a problem.

Disclaimers:

*Yes, it will make you "register" to vote, but you will get a 20% off coupon (I think) as a thank-you

*If clicking the link above and then entering the ID is too much work for you, but you are willing to register and vote, let me know and I'll send you an e-mail with a direct link to vote for them.

*# of votes does not ensure that they will win, but those with the highest votes will get a second look from the judges.

*Don't even THINK about entering your kid instead of voting for mine. I asked first!



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Clothing abuse

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Green and white striped t-shirt (Lands' End)
perfect for summer with white shorts or cute in spring and fall with a nice pair of jeans

Green "cake" long-sleeved tee (Gymboree)
fabulously adorable with its matching pink "cake" appliqued skort

Lime green stretch pants (Hanna Andersson)
the height of child fasion with a matching purple, lavender, and lime green dress

***

Fashion according to Katie (prepare to cringe)...



Katie and I have come to a sort of compromise. I threaten to throw out all her barbies let her pick out her own clothes each day with only appropriate seasonal restrictions (like no shorts when it's too cold) and she tries her hardest to give me heart palpitations...with a smile.

She works very hard to match appropriately and despite lots of tears and pleading gentle advice from me she is convinced that "matching" means wearing varying shades of the same color. My tutorial on picking out accent colors fell on deaf ears today.

I'm probably the biggest fan of the color green in the entire world and even I feel like I need medication to look at this outfit without wincing.

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For the modern art enthusiast

Saturday, October 3, 2009

When driving, stay on the road!

Katie tells me that is the title of her newest piece of bathroom art.

(Yes, it's bath crayon.)


I'm pretty sure I see a "F#$% Mom" in there. We were taking a little too long to get Timmy ready for the bath and when we finally made it in to the bathroom we found Katie standing on her stepstool and the bathtub ledge working fast and furiously like an art prodigy. Of course her pronouncement of the piece's title led Chris to ponder - "Why is she drawing about staying on the road?" And in case you have the same question - the answer is I have no freaking clue. And PS. she tells me the red thing is a skunk on the side of the road. So really, you can see the mind at work here.

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