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:
(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....


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

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)

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
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

  • 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


  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:
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


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....