Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dye, Eggs! DYE!!!!

So, this year the boys and I decided (read: I decided for the boys and I) to try a lot of different ways to dye our Easter eggs. There were some seriously differing levels of success with these experiments, and I've learned a lot of Do's and Don'ts which I shall now - wanted or not - pass on to you!

Hot Glue Eggs - NOT recommended for the kiddos
This turned out awesome but is a HUGE cheat - I did the decorating with the hot glue, then dropped the eggs in the dye after it dried. It dyed the egg shell but not the glue so I think if I were a little more adventurous, we could've tried to peel off the glue and the pattern would have been in white underneath - but I was afraid of cracking the shell so I just let the kids mess it up - uh, I mean pretty it up - with paints and glitter.
Striped Eggs - you just put a couple rubber bands around the eggs before you drop them in the dye.
The little "egg-droppers" that we made from pipe cleaners were a bust. We had much better luck just using plastic spoons to drop and fish out the eggs.


The striping turned out pretty good. It was not as easy as you'd think to get the rubber bands around the eggs - some fell off once they were dipped, and some just refused to stay on even before they got dipped. After they dried - check out my ghetto egg stand, I just turned a Styrofoam cup upside down and ripped out the bottom :) - the boys decorated them with glitter glue sticks.

Glitter Eggs - glitter is from the Dollar Tree, they have them in little packs of 5 colors in a mix of small and large flakes

This was a huge bust. I used an adhesive spray - we got more glitter on our fingers than on the eggs. Then, it took forever to dry. And then, they wouldn't dye. The spray  - or maybe the glitter? - somehow prevented the dye from sticking to the shell. Maybe rubber cement would have worked better. I dunno, not trying this again.

Two-faced Eggs - massively easy and pretty darn cool-looking, if you ask me.
Yeah, so, it doesn't take a genius to figure out how we did these. Just used shallow dishes and laid the eggs in on one side for a while, took 'em out and let 'em dry a bit, then put them in a shallow dish with another color.

Tie-dyed Eggs using veggie oil - major bust. For some reason, the oil made whatever color we used turn this poopy brown color.

This was one of those pinterest fails. Yes, I followed the directions precisely. It said:
For these just add a tsp. or two of oil into your food coloring mixture
& then dip your egg into 1 color & remove.
 Gently wipe off the excess oil and then dip into another color! 
Dip into as many colors as you like for a cool marbled effect.
Yeah, right. The oil made the dye super slimy and each dip made it more and more poopy brown.
 
Tie-dyed Eggs using dye dropped onto paper towels - SCORE!
These were our biggest success - the boys were able to do it all themselves and they turned out awesome. All they did was put different colored drops of food coloring directly onto a paper towel, then put the egg in the middle, wrapped the paper towel around the egg and dropped it into a plastic bag. We kept it in the plastic bag for maybe ten minutes, took 'em out and got these! So easy and really cool looking! No poopy brown here!
 
Sticker Eggs - no good.
 
Didn't even bother taking a picture of the final product for this one. The stickers came off while the eggs were in the dye. Might have worked if I had better stickers maybe?

 
Fail or not, we had a lot of fun trying these different methods of dying eggs. Now I gotta get off the computer and make some egg salad!

 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Happy Easter/ Passover/ Persian New Year!

Happy Easter everyone! And Passover. And Persian New Year. Yeah, all of that. I really love this time of year, starting with daylight savings and going all the way through to Sizdah bedar. Um, yeah, maybe I should back up a bit and explain some things.

You know how this country is called a melting pot? Well, I got your melting pot right here, baby. My mom is Jewish, family's been here for a couple of generations but before that they were from Russia. My dad is Muslim, born in Tehran, Iran - although he's been an American citizen four times longer than he was an Iranian one. I married a Christian - although I'm not sure what kind of Christian, since Rob doesn't practice, so I know it's not Catholic and that's about it. His father's family is mostly Sicilian and his mother's is mostly Cherokee. So the boys are straight up everything. They truly are the "other" choice in that optional part of a survey where I warily check off "Caucasian" if for no other reason than "other" seems more like "nothing" to me.

So, this time of year, we celebrate Passover by going to our Jersey relatives and eating a fabulous meal - Gefilte fish, Matzoh Ball soup, Lamb and Brisket - hells yeah! We read a couple passages from some Passover pamphlet that reviews the "cool parts" (my opinion) of the Old Testament - you know: mean-old Pharaoh in Egypt, let-my-people-go Moses, the plagues ending with the killing of the first born, the mad dash through the parted red sea - that cool stuff. We at the "cool table" (the second generation) generally crack obnoxious jokes and drink copious amounts of wine through the whole thing and chime in mostly to sing "Dy-Dyanu" at the top of our lungs. Yeah, we ain't coming from no synagogue, brother.

Around this time is also the first day of Spring, which is the Persian New Year. You know, when all of Mother Nature's plants and creatures which were dead or hibernating through the winter begin their life anew? Makes so much more sense than celebrating a new year in the dead of winter, don't it?

Anyway, there's a lot of really awesome customs associated with that as well. The most fun one for the boys is Chaharshanbe suri (literal translation: Wednesday Feast) which the boys know as "the one where we jump over fires". The Wednesday before the first day of Spring, we set fires (usually just some twigs, accelerant & balled newspaper in large pan roasters set along the middle of the driveway) and we jump over them while reciting a rhyme that essentially says the fire will burn away all the bad from the past year and set us up fresh for all the good in the coming year. Pretty awesome - but, man, does it freak out the neighbors! :)

There's also a huge party on Nowruz (New Year) - lots of dancing, lots of drinking and a Santa-type guy named Haji Firooz that gives presents to the kiddos. And then, 13 days after the new year, there's Sizdah bedar (literal translation: Getting rid of Thirteen) where all Iranians go to the countryside - we usually go to Ridley Park - and have a picnic. It's really, really wonderful to have cultural traditions that aren't "American" and I'm very thankful that my family keeps those traditions alive. And again, the religious aspects of the culture are non-existent in our family - ain't nobody going to no Mosque over here!

Then, somewhere in the middle of all this, we do Easter. For us, Easter is about egg hunts, ham dinner and baskets of candy. Don't mean to upset the "true believers" out there, but nobody in my family is going to a church outside of a wedding - so all that's left for us on Easter is the Pagan stuff :) Speaking of which, I did ALOT of Easter egg dying with the boys this year. So much so that I'll be posting all the different techniques we tried on a second post. So, for now, I leave you with some of the Easter-themed delicacies I created this year. Happy Spring!!

Got this off pinterest. Out of a dozen eggs, these were the only two that I was able to use - no matter what I tried, I could not get the shell to peel away from the egg without massacring the white.


My most popular Easter creation - and one that I came up with on my own - is Easter Bark. I laid out Matzoh on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Then, I melted a bag of white choc chips in the microwave and poured them over top. Then I scattered jelly beans on top and put it in the fridge for a bit. Easy peasy. 

I put a can of white frosting into separate cups and used food coloring to make the different colors. I cheated this time and used a Pillsbury sugar cookie dough instead of making my own, and I free-style cut the dough into the shapes. Used some mini-choc chips and a few marshmellows as well.

 
 



Thursday, March 28, 2013

99 problems and this b*^&ch is one

Well, here is the first of what I'm sure will be many apologetic posts about being too busy/ sick/ depressed to write. As often happens with writers, I went through an extremely busy couple of weeks, followed by a couple of weeks of rebellious "I'm just not in the mood to write", followed by a couple of weeks of sheepish "I just can't seem to get myself to write". It seems I have 99 problems and this b*^&ch is one. But now I'm back, so here we go again.

After being terribly sidetracked, I am back in "diet" mode. This time, I have a juicer. I have lost - wait a minute, lemme just run to the scale - 7 lbs in 7 days. I am still not under the 200 lb mark - I am soooooo looking forward to that, though! - but I'm extremely happy with my progress so far. I spent about two & half days "detoxing" - nothing whatsoever but fruits and vegetables from the juicer (well, and coffee). The next couple of days I added solid fruits & veggies - salads mostly - and then I gave myself dairy back - a hard boiled egg, some cheese. Also, the weather has improved a bit so I went jogging the past couple of days.

Juicing has been fun and makes me feel so healthy but it is very time-consuming and quite expensive. It's definitely not something I can maintain long term. But, while I can sustain it, I have discovered some great things.
Here is the result of my first shopping trip before the detox - these two large boxes cost me $80 and that was at a Mexican fruit & veggie stand with insanely low prices compared to the grocery store! Some of the non-veggie/ fruit items included here: Coconut water, agave syrup and coconut milk.
First, there is a huge difference between a juicer and a blender. Juicers have this centrifuge thingee (kinda like the Gravitron at the carnival that spins fast and pulls you against the wall) that pulls out the pulp. Makes fantastic pure juice BUT the amount of juice you can get vs. the pulp you make from one fruit or vegetable is enough to make you cry. Luckily, our compost pile is the richest that it's ever been.  Also, some fruits & veggies can't (or shouldn't) be juiced. Bananas can't. Broccoli shouldn't.

This was my first combo - in the blender, before I got the juicer. I added coconut water & a little agave syrup. What I learned - grapefruit is really strong, if you use more than a half, all you taste is grapefruit.
 
Here's what it looked like. It tasted better than it looked :)

Next, ginger makes everything delicious. I never had fresh ginger at home before, and I still don't know what to do with it besides put it in the juicer, but I'm gonna start looking up recipes 'cause I love, love, love ginger - ah, that ZING! I have also discovered beets - never EVER had beets before - and they are LOVELY but make your poo red (which can be quite disconcerting).

Last, if you put more than three different fruits & veggies together (in the juicer or the blender), you're really just wasting money, 'cause the taste is gonna get all muddled. KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) is definitely the way to go. 

Also, the time-consumption is not just in preparing the fruits & veggies, but the clean-up afterwards.

 
Ok, while I am still motivated, I'm gonna get the boys together, go for a jog, then start some Easter/ Passover dessert-making. Will post more later (I promise)!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Be Nice, for God's Sake

So, on Valentine's Day I spent the day refereeing between my 4 year old and our 3 year old neighbor. I really don't know what it is, but they sure do have a love/hate relationship.
 
I am fairly confident in saying that Kyle isn't an aggressive kid. He went full time to daycare up until this year and his nick name was "The Lovebug". And although Jack and Kyle do a lot of wrestling that inevitably ends with someone crying, they don't beat the crap out of each other out of malice or anything. In fact, for three years apart in age, I think they play pretty well together most of the time.
 
But there's just something about this neighbor's son that turns Kyle into a real jerk and it worries me a little. The kid can be a little annoying, but not any more than any typical three year old - he looks for attention by doing things like standing right in front of the tv so nobody can see and then he'll smile & refuse to move until the fourth or fifth time he's asked to. Or he'll want to play with anything Kyle has in his hands but he'll refuse to let Kyle play with anything he happens to have his hands on. Again, typical three year old behavior, in my opinion.
 
But, I feel like Kyle's reaction to this boy's little annoying tendencies is a little extreme. Kyle spends most of the day trying to get away from this boy, which of course causes the boy to try harder to pursue Kyle. He'll actually get physical with this boy, I've seen him push and kick him away from him when the boy tries to lean into him or sit next to him. And before you start judging me, it's not like I'm just sitting there watching this without intervening - I have done a lot of "You guys have to learn to share", "Please take turns, guys" or just plain "Be nice, for god's sake!".
 
In the end, I guess what I'm most concerned about is that Kyle doesn't turn into a bully. I hate bullies. I was bullied in both elementary school and middle school and I would be so disappointed if one of my kids did that to someone else. As bad as it made me feel, I would much rather my kid have to go through the bullying than to find out that he's the cause of some other kid's misery. I am hoping that this will be less of an issue with boys than it is with girls - everyone knows that girls are so mean to each other, although it's not like boys can't be bullies. But, I gotta have some kind of advantage for not having girls right? I keep getting told, you just wait until they're this or that age, then you'll be glad you don't have girls. So I'm hoping that their gender will pay off in school with nice, uncomplicated relationships with their friends - you know, the kind of thing girls can't seem to manage without back-stabbing, belittling and the general serious psychological damage that females can do to each other.
 
But, from what I can see so far, it's just a poor dynamic with this particular child, so I'll just keep my eye on him and try to keep reminding him to be nice, for God's sake. In the meantime, I managed to make 29 Valentine Owl puppets for Jack's classmates. Yes, there are 30 kids in Jack's first grade class. But I'll save my complaints about the poor state of our educational system for another post.
 
I got a bag of felt Valentine shapes - hearts and flowers and words like "kiss" & "love"- from the dollar store. God bless the dollar store.

I cut foam into the shape of a heart and glued it upside down to a craft stick.
 
The little note on the back I got off of my friend Jenny. Dunno if she made it up or got it from somewhere else.
 
When we move into our new house, I definitely want to make a decent, well-organized crafting space.
 
 

I didn't include any candy, which I suppose I could have but I decided not to. I mean, I honestly do not remember getting any candy with my valentine cards when I was a kid. When did Valentine's day become another Easter?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Daddy-Fest at Casa de Bad Mom

I am starting to get horribly jealous about how much my boys worship their daddy. For the first time in the history of my motherdom, I find myself wishing I had girls. But, to be honest, knowing my luck, the girls would prefer Rob over me, too.

It's just so frickin' frustrating. I spend so much more time with them, and quality time too. I'm constantly carting them around to this or that event - bouncing, playdates, ice skating, you name it. And I'm the one that feeds them, buys them stuff, cleans up after them. Really, the only thing Rob does for them on a regular basis is put them to bed.

And yet it's a constant Daddy-Fest at Casa de Bad Mom. Especially Kyle, the four year old - everything's about daddy, daddy, daddy. I try not to express my bitterness, especially considering that Rob never had a dad growing up and all he ever wanted out of life was to be a good father. But I do catch myself sometimes saying things like "Daddy doesn't make you dinner, mommy does" or "When was the last time Daddy took you to Chik-Fil-A?". And then I just sound like an ass.

Anyway, this past weekend we had a huge storm so it was time for stuck-inside-all-day-let's-do-a-craft-so-that-we-aren't-watching-t.v.-literally-24-7. My mother (the Good Mom) had gotten the boys mittens that they had considered "too girly" to wear - they were covered in skull-and-crossbones but the eyes of the skull were heart-shaped so that was just too feminine for my little homophobes. So, I broke out the hot glue gun, a pack of colored foam sheets that I got from the dollar store, some googly eyes and a black marker. Here is the result:

Unwanted Mitten Finger Puppets
Kyle requested animals.
Despite what it looks like, I am not an artist, so I had Jack on google images bringing up pictures for me to use.

Jack is very into monsters - we just rented Hotel Transylvania so I think that's where this comes from.  My Frankenstein and Wolfman are inspired but my Dracula is just awful - what's with his hair?

They really did seem to enjoy playing with these puppets and it kept the television off for a good hour so that's something. 
 
Meanwhile, my diet has been completely sidetracked by events that came up in the past two weeks - Superbowl, Moms' Night Out, celebrating a friend's birthday - so, I put back on 2 of the 15 pounds I lost since I started the diet last month. *sigh* I wanna buckle down and get back on the horse but Valentine's Day is this week plus we have a big snow tubing event planned for the weekend, which means drinking - because that's how Bad Mom rolls - which means diet-out-of-window for another week. *reiterated sigh* We'll see how it goes....
 

 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

5 Signs That I Have Been Married Too Long

Don't get me wrong, I like being married. I love my husband. His contact info is stored in my cell phone under the name "True Love" so that's irrefutable. And nothing makes me appreciate my marriage more than my single friends. Oh, the horror stories I hear from them about the dating world, if my husband heard them he'd never doubt my faithfulness or commitment ever again, not that he does now. But, after a decade of marriage, there certainly are signs that we ain't newlyweds no more. So these are 5 of them.....
 

1. I have not owned a set of matching bra and panties in years.

In fact - as I have what the biddies call "an ample bosom" - all of my bras are the matronly, underwire, three-pronged kind. All undergarments are reasonably colored in either black, white or beige, without any patterns or lace. I have a basket of lingerie somewhere in the back of my closet of frilly, flimsy things that are gathering dust.

2. PDA is strictly done to gross out the kids.

I try very hard to remember to kiss the hubby when he gets home from work, but I admit that even that doesn't happen some days. Certainly, when we are out and about, there is rarely any public displays of affection. Even the hand holding - I mean, really, is it necessary? I don't need a sweaty palm in mine to know that my husband loves me. However, giving a big smooch just to hear "OHHHHH GROSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! That's so disgusting!" when we are in the middle of a packed restaurant, now that's priceless.

3. Farting.

I remember an extremely short amount of time in our dating history - perhaps no more than our first 2 months together - in which I "held it in". When the farting in front of my dear one actually happened, I remember feeling - and I still do feel this way - that this really could be "the one". Yes, my test of whether or not it is true love is the ability to fart without hesitation. 13 years later, however, it is getting to be a little ridiculous. Especially in the car or in bed - Rob's farts can be so bad in a confined space that my eyes will actually tear up. Mine, of course, smell like perfume.

4. Open-door Bathroom Policy.

This is along the same lines as reason #3 but carried to the extreme. We have one bathroom and it is closet-sized, no exaggeration. I remember distinctly the night - approximately three years ago - while I'm putting on makeup at the mirror, which is inconveniently located inches from the toilet, and Rob is taking a whizz. And I realize that I am getting splashed. *sigh* Rob is also a "lazy flusher", so even the "if it's brown, flush it down" rule doesn't seem to apply to him. I am even at the point in my marriage where pooping is not a private affair. Rob has to take a long, hot bath every night to relieve his joint pain and it's just the one bathroom so, if you gotta go then, you gotta go. But it is definitely a sign that there is no shame left in me whatsoever.

5. Forget Santa, I buy my own presents.

It's a matter of practicality but it's also a clear sign that I've been married too long. In our first few years together, he would get me presents but they were not to my taste, and therefore, a waste of money we don't have. The next few years, I tried the giving-him-a-list thing but he still managed to f*%k it up. At this point, I don't ask him to do anything in terms of presents - why bother? I know what I want/need & I know where to get it. For my birthday, anniversary and Valentine's day, all I ask for is a card with something personal written in it - and he does that. For Christmas, I buy my own stuff, wrap it myself and put his name on the label - he doesn't even know what he got me until Christmas Day. Hell, at least it's a surprise for somebody. I, of course, still buy presents for him though. The man would be naked if it weren't for me.

So there you go, 5 signs that somewhere along the line I became very, very comfortable - some would say complacent - with the person I love. It would be nice, I suppose, if we made a concerted effort to change some of these things. If, say, I ask him to buy me a nice matching set of undergarments for Valentine's day, that could actually knock out signs #1 & #5 at the same time. But here's what I envision: he gets me some ridiculous outfit from Victoria's Secret that doesn't fit but I squeeze myself into it like an overstuffed sausage & then I look at my reflection with ass fat and back fat and side boob all bursting the seams of this stupid lacy piece of fluff and burst into tears. And really, who needs all that? So, instead, I will add the moniker of "Bad Wife" to "Bad Mom" and be done with it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Moustache is Back

I think I'm officially calling this one - the moustache is back. Finished my sixth and (supposedly) final round of laser hair removal on my upper lip from a Groupon I got a while back. It's been about a month and, yup, looks like I'm gonna have to dig back out the hot wax. Luckily, my faith in lasers was not as solid as my last big weight loss and hence, unlike last year's bag of fat clothes, I did NOT throw out my unwanted hair removal accessories. *sigh* One of the many trade-offs of being a half Middle Eastern sasquatch - bimonthly, I must layer up so much wax on my body, you could stick a wick through my skull and light me like a godd@mn candle.

I am, however, delighted with my highlights - yes, another Groupon or possibly Livingsocial deal, ah who the hell knows? Anyway, one of the few positive genetic gifts passed down to me from dear old dad is the lateness in life in which my hair will turn gray. I have to this date - I'm six months away from 40 - only had three gray hairs. This is the God's honest truth so shut your cakeholes. I gleefully lord this over my younger, thinner, smaller-nosed sister regularly, she who would be fully nanny-gray if it weren't for expensive dyes. Tee hee hee. But, for the past three years, I have decided that some blonde streaks would do me nicely. And my hair is extremely thick, like a brillo pad, so it takes a good 2-3 hours normally to get my hair did. Despite my bad-momishness, I can really only justify 2-3 hours of "me" time once every six months. Got the deed done last weekend and, as I said earlier, my happiness with my hairdo does balance out the realization that I will be ripping hair from my upper lip in the very near future.

Last night, in an attempt to NOT have the boys spend the night a) watching tv or b) wrestling/ beating the crap out of each other or c) spending money buying toys that they will destroy faster than you can say "What the f&ck was THAT?!", I broke out the hot glue gun. I really think I'm going to edit my blog to read "Bad Mom" with the subtitle "How a Hot Glue Gun Keeps Me From Killing my Kids". I was putting away laundry and decided that the unmatched socks I was keeping in a little basket in the kids' room had gone unpaired for long enough. So we made these:

 SOCK MONSTERS (I wanna call them SOCK INSECTS but spiders are ARACHNIDS)
The idea itself was NOT mine. I got it from frugalfun4boys.com - wonderful website, I highly recommend it - although I didn't follow the same directions as that mom suggested (as she suggested sewing which I DO NOT DO).

 
All I did was cut the socks in half, cut up the one half of the sock into strips and stuff the other part of the sock with them. Does that even make sense? Then I hotglued the sock closed, glued some pipe cleaners for legs and cut some felt to make eyes & fangs. We made two spiders and two ants.
 

Believe it or not, the boys played with these sock animals for an hour straight without fighting, turning on the t.v. or destroying them and scattering the ripped-apart pieces all over the house. Go frickin' figure.

I am now going to get in the shower to get ready to go to the Bottom Dollar to get supplies for the meals we are bringing to Super Bowl at my sister's. I am making my awesome guacamole and my cousin's awesome buffalo chicken dip. Yes, I will update with pics and recipes later. For now, Bad Mom must wash....



Friday, February 1, 2013

I Guess it's Better Than Eating Them

Just weighed myself - 207.4. So, if I keep losing a pound every other day, it will take approx. 4.5 months to reach my goal weight. Not bad. Gotta start exercising though, I'm not doing any of that so I'm really flabby right now. Signed up for two 5K's in June (insanity!) so I've gotta start running. As soon as the weather gets better.....

Today I had both boys at home 'cause Jack's school had an inservice day so we did a bunch of chores in between a few crafts and watching a movie. At one point, while the 2nd load of laundry was in the dryer and we had finished the valentine wreath, I sat down with the kids on the couch and put on the movie we'd rented the night before. Kyle was next to me and he was stroking my leg. After a while, I looked down and realized what he was really doing. He was wiping his boogies on me. I guess it's better than eating them. Which he also does. *sigh*

Here's the Valentine Wreath project. I got all the stuff from the Dollar Tree - four bucks.


The boys were a little put off by all the pink. What a bunch of homophobes!
The bag came with 20 of these for $1. Kyle took them all apart while I was gathering up the rest of the supplies. So Jack & Kyle's whole contribution to this project was putting the hearts back together.
 


Hot glue is my best friend.
Not bad huh? Now, could I have bought a Valentine wreath like this for less than the $4 I paid for dollar store supplies? Perhaps. But how much does that smug feeling of accomplishment cost cuz I made it myself? Priceless, b*&ches. Priceless.

 
I am going out for a girl's night with my mom's group tonight so I'm gonna take my dinner in liquid form. And, because I am low on funds, I will be filling the purse with mini-liquor bottles of flavored vodkas. No, I do not consider this cheating the club out of any money because
1. I tip the bartenders really well even if I'm just ordering diet soda and
2. I bring a lot of ladies with me (who are much less frugal than I). 
 
These girl's nights out are essential for my happiness & sanity because
1. They only come once a month (as decided in the Huge but Inevitable Married Couple Battle #103 wherein I may go out and get plastered with my friends even though I am almost 40, married almost a decade and have two children BUT only if I do so once and only once in a month's time, hereto ever after).
2. I LOVE TO DANCE
3. I have a reputation as "the life of the party" that pride and immaturity dictate I must uphold, regardless of the stray gray hairs that I have plucked out of my head lo these many years.
 
We also managed to bake some cookies today. It snowed for about two hours in the morning so we made some snowmen.
 

Baked some sugar cookies after using different sized glasses to cut the dough into circles.

Jack & Kyle spent most of the time eating the decorations and I spent most of the time yelling at them for eating the decorations. I knew it was time to quit when Jack said "Just take a picture for your blog so we can go back to watching the movie." Little f*%ckers!

 
Tomorrow I gotta get up extra early (after my girl's night out, don't forget) and drive to the city with my boys, my mom, my sister, her two girls & my inevitable hangover and see a children's show at the theater. But for now, time to make dinner for the rats. Bad Mom goes dancing tonight!!!!

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Adventures in Reupholstering (or how I learned to stop worrying & just cover the crap up)

If you are following this blog and you're wondering how the diet is going, I weighed in this morning at 208.0, so I'm 15 lbs down in 30 days. Not too shabby.

Managed to accomplish some of my other goals this week too. I started the Herculean task of reupholstering my couches - but before you look at the pictures, let me give you some background on this particular subject. We have the house up for sale and, although it lacks a lot in terms of square footage and location, the house itself is adorable - and almost entirely due to the home owners who came before us. The couple we bought the place from took it from a shell to an adorable cape cod with all of these cute little touches - crown molding, wall treatments, Romanesque pillars, homemade window valences - gorgeous stuff, and none of it our doing. Here are some pictures:

 
They put in the hardwood floors, those pillars, the wife sewed those window treatments. See the crown molding that they put on the walls - isn't that a nice touch? And the shutters they put on the bottom of those windows, oh and the door with the curtained glass that leads to the front room was a "found" item that the husband refurbished and installed himself.
 
 
 
They did all of these built-in cabinets, the sun lights, light fixtures, really - all we did was put some Persian rugs on the floor and move in our furniture.
 
And the couch & love seat are naturally the most used pieces of furniture in the house - not counting the beds I guess. But I am the titled "bad mom" and so I did not make nor enforce strict rules about living room vs. dining room behavior. Hence, many a drink or food item got spilled onto the couch over the years. We also have gone through different animals in the past - fostering and so forth - so there are rips, tears, stains from a variety of dogs and cats. And upon putting our house up for sale, besides a little touch-up paint and some minor repairs, the only thing that was not show-ready were these tremendous eye-sores in our living room.
 
 
 
There's no point in buying new couches just to struggle to move them when we sell the place, so I got some cheap fabric - ridiculously cheap, there's a fabric store that just "LOST OUR LEASE!" down the street from me so I spent $27 for 18 yards - ridiculous. Now, before I show you what I did, let me remind you, the purpose of this whole venture was to make the couches less distracting to a potential homebuyer - not to refurbish the couches to keep them when we move. I do not sew. I hot glue. And - don't laugh - that is what I did to reupholster the couches - hot glued and stapled fabric to the thing.  Before you express your horror and disgust, let me show you the result of the love seat next to the still-to-be-done couch:
ADVENTURES IN REUPHOLSTERING
(or how I learned to stop worrying & just cover the crap up)
 
 
What do you got to say now, haters? Amazing what a little hot glue gun will do.
 
 
Here are a couple of pics of my handiwork during the faux-upholstering process:
 Yes, Kyle helped me. I didn't let him handle the staple gun....much.....
 
Again, remember the purpose - it's a short term fix - and remember how it turned out in the end before you scream bloody murder about my upholstering techniques.
 
For those of you who actually want to know how to reupholster furniture the right way, I did find a fantastic tutorial from allthingsthrifty - great blog BTW - that you can access
 
Okay, today I attempt the couch which will be MUCH more difficult as it does not have removable cushions and the ends recline - this is gonna be a sh!t show, I'm sure.....
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bitter, party of one, your table is ready.....

I am done with cooking. Seriously, why the hell do I bother? My sons & my husband don't eat what I cook and I'm on a diet so who am I cooking for? And just when I was making some real strides in the kitchen too. I mean, I have never had any talent with cooking but in the last couple of years I have slowly gotten better at it. But there is nothing more disheartening than working my ass off for hours over the stove and then sitting at the dinner table while my sons cry - sometimes even shouting things like "that's disgusting!" or making retching noises (those little f%&ckers) - when I put the meal in front of them.

And yes, I am not a natural cook - I HAVE to follow the recipe, I don't have any instincts about what items would thicken or thin a gravy, what spices go best with which meats, etc. - but I DO follow the recipes, so I know my food doesn't taste like crap.  And I am aware that children's palates aren't exactly broad so I really do try to keep it simple - a meat, veggie & starch usually, or a casserole or something. In the last week or so, I've even gotten a little inventive with my low-carb diet. This past week I made twice-baked cauliflower and sautéed Taiwanese cabbage. They both had bacon in them - what more do these bi*%^ches want?! I am including the recipes in case you're interested because they really did taste good, not that my ungrateful family would know that though. Bitter, party of one, your table is ready....

TWICE-BAKED CAULIFLOWER

 
(Makes 6-8 servings; recipe adapted slightly from The Low Carb Gourmet.)

Ingredients:
1 large head cauliflower
4 oz. low fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
1/2 cup low fat sour cream (do not use fat free)
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (If you only have finely grated Parmesan, use a bit less)
6 slices bacon, cooked until very crisp, fat blotted with paper towel and then crumbled
1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
(I used Kraft 2% milk sharp cheddar)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Cut out stem and core from cauliflower, and cut into small pieces. Cook in large pot of boiling salted water until cauliflower is tender, but not overly soft. Drain well and mash with potato masher, leaving some chunks. Mix in light cream cheese, light sour cream, green onion, Parmesan, and 3/4 of the crumbled bacon.

Spread evenly in a medium-sized glass casserole dish. Sprinkle with low-fat cheddar cheese and reserved bacon. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

 This printable recipe from
KalynsKitchen.com.
 
Now, tell me - does this not sound fantastic? And, I swear to God, it tasted better than mashed potatoes. Swear. To. God. But the boys wouldn't touch it. It's friggin bacon, cheese and sour cream for chrissake! Tonight I thought, well, they're kids, what matters to them is how it looks. So, lemme work on the presentation. I made tandoori chicken with rice. Let me reiterate: I AM NOT A COOK, NOR am I Indian, NOR do I have a clay oven, so this was quite a feat. My kids love Indian food - in an Indian restaurant - so I thought I'd scored with this meal. But to make it extra special, I molded the rice with a gingerbread man cookie cutter and then broke apart pieces of the chicken to make the rice-man's eyes & buttons. STOP LAUGHING! And, no, I'm not including a photo - my cell phone needed charging & wouldn't take a picture. But my effort was for naught, they made me take off the chicken & immediately mashed the rice-man with yogurt. Jack even had the gall to critique my presentation "Doesn't look much like a gingerbread man to me", "Where's the smile?", and so forth.
 
In an earlier post, I talked about visiting an Asian market with Jack. Well, one of the things I picked up was a head of Taiwanese cabbage. What? It looked interesting. I found this recipe and followed it as closely as I could, with the exception of sesame seed oil - didn't have it so I sprinkled some sesame seeds into olive oil and cooked that on low for a while.
 
Taiwanese Cabbage Sauté Recipe
 
Yield: Serves 2-4
Total Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients:
  • About 3 slices bacon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seed oil  
  • 2 -3 cups chopped cabbage
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2-3 shallots, minced or 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • fresh herbs: mint, cilantro, parsley or basil

Directions:

  1. Heat pan, add cut bacon. When bacon is cooked to your preference, remove from oil and set aside. If you are not using bacon, add sesame seed oil to hot pan.
  2. Add shallots/onions and garlic. Cook till crispy and fragrant. Add chopped cabbage, toss to coat with oil/shallots/garlic. Add black pepper & soy sauce. Cook for about 30 seconds till cabbage begins to soften.
  3. Add egg and mix with cabbage. Cook for about another minute , or until cabbage is cooked.
  4. Toss with fresh herbs of choice.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.
 
It really did taste great, but as you can see from the photo above, it didn't look very good and the boys screamed bloody murder when forced to try it. So, I'm really, officially, thoroughly done trying. I will continue to make low-carb meals for myself. I will make small portions just for me. And I'll microwave up some chicken nuggets and a can of corn and bake some frozen fries and CALL IT A DAY. Kitchen is CLOSED, bi%^ches, Bad Mom strikes again.....

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Urine-soaked Lemons

Penises are freaking awkward. They're like the mistake that God fixed with Eve. I love having boys but I am definitely not a fan of the little boy penis. The other day I'm cleaning the bathroom and the smell of piss is just not scrubbing away. I realize that it's soaked into the wall next to the toilet. What the hell? I don't understand why they can't aim those things better, I mean, they're shaped like arrows so point those suckers! Jack's problem isn't even the aim, it's the flow. When he goes, the pee comes out like a high-powered fire hose. I am constantly yelling through the bathroom door, "Control your flow, dammit! You're not putting out a fire!!!!"

So, now I've decided to make some lemonade out of these urine-soaked lemons. I'm working on my latest invention: Little Boy Penis Backsplash Protector (patent pending). I will make millions. Perhaps the name needs a little work, I dunno. I'm willing to hear any suggestions if you got em.

While we're on the subject of pee, Kyle is STILL wetting himself at night. His fourth birthday is at the end of this week and I am so ready to be done buying diapers. He was potty trained relatively early for a boy - no accidents at all during the day from the time he was 28 months. But he will NOT get up from sleep to pee. We did all the things that I read from somewhere that we were supposed to do - stopped giving him liquids after dinner, made him pee right before bed, put him in underwear - but none of it worked. I was washing his bed sheets 3-4 times a week, even while he was wearing pull-ups, mostly because I wanted so much to be done buying diapers that I was getting the extra-cheap ones from Bottom Dollar (the extra-leaky, extra-don't-worky kind). Oh, and by the way, those plastic bed sheet leak protectors, yeah, they don't work. I really should throw his mattress out and get a new one but I don't wanna while he's still wetting himself at night. So now there's two areas in my house that are permanently urine-soaked. Makes you wanna stop over for a visit, I'm sure.

Okay, and since this post has completely gone down the toilet (quite literally), I will now move on to my older son's complete inability to wipe his own ass. This really bothers me, and not in a cutesy, slightly annoyed way. If I don't follow him into the bathroom when he's pooping and wipe it myself, he will let that crap lay and then flat-out lie to my face if I ask him whether or not he wiped. WTF?!! How can you go around all day with poop in your crack? You know that's gotta get itchy. Why would you want an itchy, poopy crack when all you have to do is reach around with a handful of toilet paper and make a few swipes? Is he honestly that lazy? I just don't get it. But what I DO get is the honor of washing his crap-streaked underwear.

I am so so sorry if you just read through this post while eating, or right before or after a meal. I had no intention of getting this gross with this latest rant but that's where it went, so what can I do? Ok, I am done & I think the laundry's ready so I have to fly. Goals for next week: still plan on reupholstering the couches, gotta choose a recital song & choreograph it for my Broadway Bound class, and need to put a whole mess of stuff on ebay. Next post will include pictures, I promise!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A little "flabby" around the middle

Yuck, three days of rain in a row and three more predicted to follow - a black cloud of miserableness has enveloped the household and there's little I can do about it.  I guess I could exercise. I really should exercise. Ok, after this post I'm gonna do an aerobic routine off of OnDemand. Maybe.

I bought a round of 6 B-12 shots off of Groupon over the holidays & got my first shot this Monday. It's supposed to be a metabolism/ energy booster. The only effects I felt were a slight tummy ache Monday night and an increase in appetite :( Well, I'm still keeping to low/no carbs so I'm still losing weight - down to 212 this morning - so I'm not gonna totally discount the shots yet. Exercising would probably help the effectiveness of the shots but this weather has got me in a funk - yeah, let's blame it on the weather. 

Jack turned 7 last month & I was still trying to squeeze him into his size 6 pants, sending him to school with the pants unbuttoned (yay, me - Mother of the Year!). When the kids are young the hand-me-downs come from everywhere but the clothing donations have dried up for Jack for the most part. So, I finally broke down and bought 3 pairs of size 7 pants and, Christ almighty, they're pretty damn snug on him. Rob has mentioned a few times now that Jack's getting a little "flabby" around the middle. *sigh* This is NOT something I want to deal with. I have so many personal issues with weight, and the last thing I want is for my son to have them too. But, really, what can I do?

Jack doesn't seem to eat too much to me, but yes, he's not a fan of vegetables. I always serve some kind of veggie with dinner and he's always forced to eat some but it's a struggle. We only have dessert on the weekends, and he's very active at school but he's not in any after school sport right now. I'm planning on signing him up for baseball next month but it's hard to fit anything into our already packed schedule. I tried to get him to exercise with me the other day - just a 5-min ab routine of different sit-ups, and he whined and bitched through the whole thing. I don't want to make a big deal out of the "baby fat" but I also don't want Jack to be the fat kid at school - kids are so damn cruel and that's the easiest thing for them to jump on.

I remember when I was young - but not Jack's age, more like middle & high school years - my dad would always make comments at dinner about what I ate - do you really need butter on your bread? how much spaghetti do you think your stomach can hold? He even called me "cow" as his idea of a pet name - as always with my father, his intentions are good, it's just how it comes out of his mouth that's bad. I do not want to make the same mistakes with Jack, especially since it seems like I'm turning out EXACTLY like my father despite my desperate intentions to not do so. So, this is my dilemma, how do I get Jack nice and trim (and healthy, isn't that what it's supposed to be about?) without giving him a life-long complex about his self-image? Man, I hate this.......

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Blood, fish guts & random animal juices

It's been 13 days since I started my low-carb diet and I have lost a solid ten pounds. I am spending all of today cooking low-carb meals for the week. I got a whole load of veggies and meats from this awesome-looking Asian supermarket while I was driving through northeast Philly with Jack. He loved it - the whole ducks hanging from hooks, the strange-looking exotic fruits, the pig snouts & hooves - but he was bowled over when we arrived in the seafood section. Most everything was still alive or freshly dead - even the fish on ice were still opening & closing their mouths and gills. There were buckets filled with crabs crawling all over each other, even a bucket full of bullfrogs - I wonder how they're cooked? I guess it's a blessing that I'm not much of an animal activist because it all looked pretty horrible - all the tanks were stuffed to the top with fish, eels and lobster fighting for space - but Jack was riveted. We spent a good fifteen minutes in front of the counter where the Chinese men in white coats were chopping and descaling the fish. After a while, I realized that my ankles were wet and I looked down. We were standing in several inches of blood, fish guts and random animal juices and the bottoms of my yoga pants were soaked with the mixture. Time to go....

My big DIY job for this week is to reupholster the couches. I got a step-by-step tutorial off of pinterest and some fabric for an incredibly good price at a store that "lost their lease!". We shall see, it's probably gonna be a huge bust but I've been having some relatively good success with DIY projects off of pinterest lately so I'm optimistic. Here's a sample of a couple DIY projects I've done in the last few weeks:

Windowsill Herb Garden

 
After I painted, planted & watered, I covered the pots with plastic wrap secured with rubber bands. That's the trick that nobody tells you - it's a mini-green house - and once germination happens then you take the plastic off. If you've never been able to grow stuff from seeds in containers before, try it. And you're welcome.
 
 
Santa Handprint Ornaments
 


 
First I traced Jack and Kyle's hands onto some cardboard then I cut them out.
I made salt dough using this recipe:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup or less of water
 
 
I rolled it out with a rolling pin until it was about an inch thick give or take. Then I put the cut-outs on top and cut around them into the dough.
 
 
I used a straw to make a hole at the top, put them on a cookie sheet and stuck them in the oven at 220 degrees for about an hour. The only paints I had around the house were oil based and that's when the whole project went from easy to pain-in-the-a$#%. Since it'd been so long since I'd painted, I'd forgotten that it takes forever for oil-based paints to dry. I should have just stuck them back in the oven for a bit but I was afraid that something would catch on fire or I'd fill the house with noxious fumes so instead, I practiced the little known art of patience. It took a full week until the paint fully dried.
 
On the back of each of the Santa hands, I recorded the boys' names and ages, and this little poem:
 
This is to remind you
When I have grown tall,
That once I was little
And my hands were so small
 
Not such a bad mom after all, eh b*%tches? :)
 
 


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Breast-feeding Nazis

So, on one of the mom blogs I follow, a reader who can't breastfeed asked a question about generic vs. store brand formula. 500-plus judgmental, ignorant comments later, the breast-feeding Nazis have their say. Made me F&*%^king FURIOUS!!!! Here is one of the many self-righteous postings:

"Your milk WILL come in. Its what your body was made to do. I think women use it as an excuse to not breastfeed. There are so many herbs, supplements, and ways to stimulate milk production. Women who adopt can stimulate milk without ever having been pregnant and successfully nurse a baby. Breast is best. Healthiest, free and always available. I will never understand why someone would choose not to do it. Laziness? I work full time and nurse and pump for her when I'm at work. No excuses. It can be done."

It's not even the fact that she's so friggin' stupid and misinformed. There are ABSOLUTELY women whose milk will not come in, or it will but it's not enough and they have to supplement because the baby's underweight. Or the baby has some allergy to breast milk, or the mom is taking some prescription meds or whatever. But that's not the point. What makes me so mad is the belief this woman has that she can determine what is best for someone else - and then pronounce it like she's God on high, passing judgment on the ignorant masses. And her authority to know what's best is based on what, do you think? A medical degree? A license in nutritional health? No, she read a bunch of stuff on the internet and plopped out a couple kids and that makes her an expert. Here's what another "expert" posted:

"If its possible for an adoptive mom to produce milk without ever being pregnant then a woman who gave birth can't say she doesn't produce milk. Men can produce milk for Gods sake! And it can be done NATURALLY with no hormones.  Unnecessary is the use of formula when science has proven over and over that breast milk is healthiest. Powdered milk produced in a factory? Seriously? Would YOU drink that? My children also don't eat processed, preservative filled baby food from a jar. Only homemade from organic fruits and veggies and meats. It's my responsibility to give my kids the best start and that isn't done with unnatural nutrition."

First of all, where are men making milk?! I looked it up, it is technically possible. There are no actual recorded cases, of course. But it's technically possible, just like it's technically possible to fart from your eyeballs if you train yourself to for years (look that one up, lactation Nazis). But what really cracks me up about this sanctimonious scumbag is the whole "I only feed my children homemade foods" crap. Well, aren't you just the perfect little mom? I bet you fart perfume and shit gold bricks too. You mark my words - MARK MY WORDS - one day, this holier-than-thou I-live-and-breath-for-my-children mother's kids will grow up and move away and write a book about how much they hate that b&*tch. BET IT.

As for me personally, when I was pregnant with Jack I couldn't wait to breast feed. I took a breast feeding class. I signed up for a visit from a lactation nurse. I joined the La Leche League. And when Jack was born, he wouldn't latch. WOULD. NOT. LATCH. But I didn't give up on breast milk, I pumped. Like a damn cow, I was - even ordered myself a contraption off ebay that allowed me to pump hands-free so I could still type on my keyboard while being milked. I did it long after I had to return to work, pumped breast milk on my lunch break at my desk, did it as long as I possibly could and do you know why? BECAUSE IT WAS FREE. Because I am one cheap mother and formula is damn expensive. No woman would choose to feed her baby formula if they could breast feed. For some women, for some reason, breast feeding just doesn't happen. And it's not anyone's right - certainly not these smug goats - to determine what is best for someone else. Stick that up your home-made-baby-food-making a#$ and choke on it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

223.2

So, a new year has begun, and just to be sure that I am truly as mediocre and predictable as possible, my new year's resolution is to lose weight. A lot of it. 75 pounds to be exact. Shut up.
I have always been a yo-yo dieter - worse than Oprah in the 80's. The fattest I ever got up to was 225 lbs but that was when I was in my last trimester with Kyle. In my in-between faze I usually hover around 170. After my second child, I went on Medifast and went from 225 to 152 - almost 75 lbs - in a little more than 8 months. It was a freakin' miracle. I stuck to the program like nobody's business & it worked like a charm. I ate 5 of their meals a day, which were almost all mixes that became some tasteless goo with water - soups, shakes, puddings, etc. - and then one "lean and green" meal for dinner - like chicken with asparagus or salmon with broccoli. I didn't drink - and that was real tough because I'm a very social person, I mean, that's part of being a bad mom, right? Not letting them take away your life (and by them I mean my precious little boys), right? But I did what I was supposed to do, ordered my diet sodas at mom's night out instead of drinking my buddies under the table like I usually did. I drank so much water I sloshed when my husband and I got intimate at night (ew, that's a bit much, don't you think?). I exercised pretty regularly - aerobics mostly. I didn't eat any sugar, and my carbs were at less than 10 grams a day - no lie.
When I got down into my 150's, like the goddamn idiot that I prove myself to be on a daily basis, I gave away all my fat clothes. Because, like a country, I learn nothing from my past. I think I might have been a size 10 for 8 days legit. And then the numbers on the scale began their inevitable climb. I mean, once I went off the program, if I touched a piece of bread or potato, it was like I just absorbed a pound right there on the spot. And after I'd gained back 10 lbs, I tried to go back on Medifast but I didn't have the same resolve anymore. Then, things at work started getting really bad - I have the she-devil boss from Hell, but that's another story for another post - and I started packing on the pounds like it was a second job. Finally, I decided to quit smoking - which was/is a really good decision and I've been smoke-free for over 6 months now - but that made the weight gain lightning quick.
So now, I find myself almost back where I started 3 years ago. I weighed in at 223.2 this morning. And this time, I don't even have a child in me so that's pure fat. And I was hung over from the New Year's Eve party the night before but I had made the resolution and I could not wait another day. So I had a protein shake for breakfast and two cups of coffee with non-fat dairy creamer & splenda. Drank a half gallon of water, had a little left-over meatloaf for lunch & a salad for dinner. According to the scale I got on just now, I am down to 222.4 since this morning. Tomorrow, I am planning to make my dinners for the week & put them in little Tupperware containers, and start an exercise program - probably an aerobics routine on tv if I can find one. I've been down this road before....