Monday, August 25, 2008

(Alcohol-Free) Rum Syrup

3/4 cup raw (turbinado) sugar
3/4 cup water
4 capfuls McCormick rum flavoring (Yes, I was too lazy to use an actual measuring spoon. Just use the cap)

Combine in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the syrup has thickened somewhat. (It will coat the spoon.) Let cool and pour into a squeeze bottle; store in the fridge.

Use in your coffee, chocolate milk, pineapple smoothies, ice cream sundaes, etc.

You're welcome.

Friday, August 22, 2008

but how do you get crayon out of upholstery?

It should go without saying that a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can get crayon off of windowsills and windowpanes. But did you know that it can also, quite easily, wipe crayon off of a window screen?

The lesson: don't leave a 2-year-old alone in his room with a box of crayons.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I only have three more months to plan this thing!

It shouldn't be surprising that I'm already trying to plan Brandon's birthday party. (His birthday is at the end of November.) I say trying, because we haven't decided on a theme yet. I was so sure that he would want a Mickey Mouse party...but all of a sudden, he just isn't into Mickey Mouse anymore. I can't remember the last time we even watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It kind of makes me sad.

Well anyway, I often ask Brandon what kind of party he wants for his birthday: Mickey, Blue's Clues, Elmo, Yo Gabba Gabba, or trains. He usually says trains. At various times today alone, he said he wanted a train party; a train cake with Lion King balloons (you may note, I never offered up Lion King as an option, he came up with that all on his own); and a Yo Gabba Gabba dance party (he came up with the "dance party" part himself - which, coincidentally, is what the Nickelodeon website suggests).

While I was reading him his favorite book at bedtime, I got a fantastic idea - a Green Eggs and Ham party. A cake that looks like green eggs and ham! How awesome would that be? And the colors in that book are awesome. I pitched the idea to Brandon but I don't think he really understood what I was talking about. He was also a little distracted, asking me to lay the baby on top of him again and again - "Again, Mommy! Again! Eat Bennan hair!!" (He just thinks it's the funniest thing ever when the baby tries to eat his hair - which he invariably does when I lay him on top of Brandon, tummy to tummy.)

I'm still pushing the Blues Clues party - I actually think a big blue pawprint would be the easiest cake (and look the nicest), and I have such an awesome idea for an invitation. Although I could have a lot of fun with a Yo Gabba Gabba dance party, too. Just picture it - a cake shaped like a retro 80's boombox! I'd be buying party favors at Hot Topic!

The little bugger is probably going to insist on a train party, though. Ah, well, I have at least two parties to go with Jackson where he has no idea what's going on and I get to do whatever I want.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

let me be immature for a minute

When, on Saturday, I saw that there is an Olympic trampolinist (trampoliner?) named Dong Dong, I naturally went right to Google to try to find a picture or something to post as a comment on my husband's Myspace. Because that's the kind of thing he would find hilarious. I mean, after all, he has a Yankees jersey on his Amazon wishlist with the comment, "The word WANG is on this shirt!!!!" So...a bouncing Dong Dong? How could I not let him know about this?

Well, anyway, I googled this guy, and this article came up. The headline is...well, pretty darn hilarious. I have nothing else to say about it. It needs no comment. Just click on the link.

Monday, August 18, 2008

at least he understands the concept of "two"

The leaps of logic that it takes to understand a toddler's vocabulary sometimes border on mind-reading. For example: "two-ies" means "sandwich"; as in "two pieces of bread with stuff in between them." Twoies. Of course.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

at least it's only two weeks every two years

What I'm thinking while I watch the Olympics: "Wow, I really should get back in shape. I'm going to start actually exercising. I'll do some yoga every day and some other kind of exercise at least three times a week...I should start going to the gym again. Maybe I should start swimming laps?"

What I'm actually doing: staying up late, sitting on my ass, watching the Olympics. Possibly eating ice cream.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

in conclusion, ergo, thus, moreover, stay in school

While looking for recipes for strawberry shortcake in layer-cake form, I found this recipe. Being an obsessive reader of reviews, I clicked on the "Reviews" button and found this gem from Pablo from New York:
"DID NOT ENJOY THE CHUNKS OF MEAT....the jell-o mixd with baking powder instigated a poultry-like benign mass. THe one plus to this recipe is that it was SO VERY MOIST, or so it seemed. that is the one compliment i kept getting from my pirate guests. They were all like "Woah, this strawberry pie is so moist" and I was all like "Woah, Thank you kindly". However; after furthermore refridgeration the moist seemed to designate like a fog on its way to mass. IN conclusion, ergo, thus, moreover, this cake are good"

Wait... what?

  1. There's no jell-o in this recipe. There's a bit of a difference between jell-o and gelatin.
  2. The gelatin and the baking powder aren't supposed to be mixed together. The baking powder goes in the cake, and the gelatin goes in the frosting.
  3. Pirate guests? Does he mean polite? Or was he really serving strawberry shortcake to pirates?
  4. Wait, strawberry pie? I thought this was a recipe for cake? I guess that's what happens when you just throw all of the ingredients (or approximations thereof) into a pan together without reading the instructions.
  5. further+more = a completely different word that means neither "further" nor "more".
  6. I hate it when my moist designates. Especially when it designates not only like a fog, but like a fog on its way to mass.
  7. That last sentence almost made my brain try to escape through my ear. Do you think he typed "in conclusion" into a thesaurus and when 3 alternatives came up, he couldn't decide which one to use, so he just used all of them?
I think I'm going to try this recipe, despite the meaty chunks that might be instigated. I'm pretty confident that if I follow the instructions, it might just come out like a cake.

Friday, August 8, 2008


I can't believe that I haven't gotten around to mentioning this yet, but Brian's orders got changed. We're still going to Japan, but we're going in April instead of December. Those four months actually make a really big difference - I think that moving with a one-year-old will be a lot easier than moving with an eight-month-old would be. For one thing, we won't have to deal with his swing and exersaucer being in transit for two months (which is how long it takes for your stuff to get there) because he won't need them anymore. And he'll be old enough to use a CARES harness on the plane instead of a carseat, which is a pretty big plus if you ask me. (Even if it means that we'll have to spend the money to buy a second one - it is worth it.)

Having Christmas here will be much better than spending it in a hotel in Japan. (Even though we already sold our tree at our garage sale - we will just have to get a real one this year, I guess!)

Of course there are a couple of things about it that are a PITA. For instance, I had originally planned to sign Brandon up for preschool starting this fall. I was going to get him registered around April or May...but then we found out we were transferring in December. I didn't want to start him in school if he wasn't going to be able to continue in the spring, and the preschool on base where we're moving has a September birthday cut-off date. (So he won't be able to start there until next fall.) So I didn't sign him up.

But now that we're not moving until the end of April, Brandon could attend preschool for almost the whole year, and with him in school two days a week, I could go back to teaching music classes. (I can manage it with one child with me, but not with both of them!) But you can guess how possible it was to get him registered for preschool a month before it starts. He's #14 on the waiting list. "A spot might open up for him in December when all of the military families move," the lady told me. Yeah, that really helps me out. Thanks. Stupid Navy, always changing things around on us. Grrr.

But at least I have an extra four months to get ready to move. And another year before we have to get winter clothes for the boys. We'll probably miss the cherry blossoms, though. Bummer.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

a little bit of random bitching

I am so sick and tired of the theme song from "My Friends Tigger and Pooh". Aside from just being fairly annoying, there's one line in particular that really makes me wonder if anyone was paying attention during the production process: "Eeyore has a paw to lend."

Eeyore doesn't have *@#$%^& paws. Donkeys have hooves. $#@&^%$#!!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

it's been a while since I've talked about knitting

So I was perusing the KnitPicks website to try to figure out how much the bag I've been meaning to make for ages now would cost. I recently got new suitcases at a Sharper Image store-closing sale (my old one was literally held together with duct tape - that's what happens when you buy your luggage at Walmart) and I want a sharp new carry-on to go with them. I was planning on knitting this bag in two strands of worsted weight yarn, one dark gray, one in a dark gray/light gray twist; and I was also going to throw in a strand of blue/indigo heathered fingering weight yarn (this is probably my favorite yarn color EVER - it looks almost iridescent - and I have two balls of it, but I have no idea whatsoever what to do with it). The effect was going to be kind of tweedy - dark gray with flecks of light gray and indigo. Beautiful.

But doesn't it just figure that the dark gray/light gray twist has apparently been discontinued. So since Knitpicks has been adding new colors like hotcakes lately (so much for the dozen or so swatch cards I bought last year) I figured I'd see if any of their new colors struck my fancy.

I clicked on Shamrock, a heavy worsted weight wool yarn that's kind of tweedy thanks to the one strand of hand-dyed yarn that's twisted into it. Each colorway is named after an Irish clan. It's a nice yarn but I've never been really crazy about any of the colors (at least not for myself - this hat was double stranded Shamrock, but it was a gift) - but I figured hey, let's see if any of the new colors are any good.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that the name of one of their new colors is my maiden name! And get this, it happens to be the exact colors from my high school.

Unfortunately, I don't want a red bag so I'm going to go with Beckett, since it is pretty much exactly what I want! Dark gray, with flecks of my favorite colors. Brilliant!

Of course, I am so incredibly backlogged with projects that I have no idea when I will be able to get started on this one. I am not even close to being done with my MIL's Christmas present from last year. I may or may not have it done by Christmas this year. "A lace scarf?" I thought. "That shouldn't take too long! I mean it only uses one hank of yarn, after all." Riiiiiiight...

ETA: which fabric is better for the lining?

(or I could go to Walmart and get one of the hundreds of aloha prints [aka Hawaiian print] that they have for dirt cheap)


Monday, August 4, 2008

because I like to get a jump on things

Me: "Brandon, do you remember Halloween? Remember when you dressed up like a bee and went from house to house getting candy?"
Brandon: "Yes!!!"
Me: "Okay, what do you want to be for Halloween this year? Do you want to be Mickey Mouse?"
Brandon: "No."
Me: "What do you want to be?"
Brandon: "Hmmmmm...let's see...a cup!"
Me: "You want to be a cup for Halloween?"
Brandon: "YES!!!!"

I think I'll ask him again in a month or so.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

we're home...again

It may be a while before I'm able to post the whole story, because it's a long one, but we're home and Brandon is watching Noggin and eating grapes (which he asked for, completely out of the blue), after eating only raisins for two days. The symbolism there is pretty compelling, I think.

Friday, August 1, 2008

terrible twos so bad, it requires hospitalization...literally

I am home tonight for the first time since yesterday morning, and I figured that while I am waiting for the washer to finish so I can put Brian's uniform in the dryer, I might as well let everyone know what's going on.

I brought Brandon to the ER Wednesday morning because he'd been refusing to drink anything and was clearly dehydrated. (One wet diaper in 24 hours = very very bad.) We got there around 8am and got called back around 10. We got admitted to the Peds ward around 6pm and he is still there. (Brian is with him tonight. Jackie and I were at the hospital for almost 37 hours by the time we left.) We probably won't be able to bring Brandon home until at least tomorrow afternoon. He's basically not allowed to leave until he's drinking normally. And you can probably guess how that's going.

The infuriating thing is that he's eating, just not drinking. So it's not that his throat hurts too much to swallow or anything like that...he's just being stubborn.

I will have so much to write about when this is all, so much. Right now I'm going to go finish packing my bag for an indefinite stay, because I'm going back at the asscrack of dawn tomorrow so Brian can go back to work. At least this time I'll have deodorant and a toothbrush with me.