Monday, February 25, 2008

Real Friends Share


Of course. THIS little guy is now making me feel like ass on a cracker.

Too bad Caleb and I can't enjoy having the boys at Grandmother's house. We're too busy running 102 degree fevers and aching so much it hurts to lie down. Or sit up. Or walk. Or look anywhere but straight ahead.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

So What Have YOU Been Up To??

What do you get when you have a Caldecott Award-winning children's book author/illustrator, an elementary school with 700 frenzied students & teachers, and a three year old with a perpetual fever?

Apparently, you get NO time to blog about it all.

We've been so lucky this year. Last year Finn & Eli battled The Ick from November through March, and Eli, especially, operated in a vicious circle of fever and antibiotics. The nebulizer had a permanent place plugged into the living room. We had a daily routine of pinning Eli to our chests and forcing the plastic mask to his face so he could breathe in the medicine, holding at bay the threat of asthma from our pediatrician. He hates that vile thing with its painted on fish face.

So I still count us lucky that it is only now fever has paid a visit to our house, this time with Finn as its victim. It's that frustrating on-again-off-again fever too, the sort where Tylenol barely touches it for the four hours it promises, then rages again almost immediately. Finn is scarily glassy-eyed and lethargic. If you know him, you know how out of character that is for him. And now Caleb's got it. Hooray!!

The library hosted a great author/illustrator in Denise Fleming this weekend, which kept me hopping and away from home most of the week. All I can say is I work with the. most. amazing. people. ever. Lipstick Librarians are people you certainly want in your corner.

And how cute is Diablo Cody?? I'm watching her win this Oscar and thinking of that fabulous article she wrote about a New Kids On the Block reunion. I loved the way she was so sincere and nervous and jerked the envelope from Harrison Ford's hand... now that I think of it, SHE would make a perfect Lipstick LIbrarian!

Still working on that volitile post. Call me lazy, call me scared, call me wishy-washy. It's all correct. But posting something on SAHM's vs. Working Moms is always going to be a doozy.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I am saltwater taffy.

I am a wad of asphalt chewing gum on a July day.

Just call me Mary-Kate...

I've been stretched pretty thin the past week or so, hence the lack of posting. I've also been struggling with a post I can't decide if I should make official or not. Partly because it's in such a fluxuatng limbo from day to day... mysterious, much??

Got belated Valentine plans tonight so my usual Weekend Blog Hopping will have to wait until Sunday.

What did you do for V-Day?

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Little OT: Music Funk

I know I'm supposed to be trying to keep this blog about the kiddos and family, but occasionally I want to write about some off- topic things. So I will. So there.

I've been in a music funk lately, listening to same ole stuff over and over. Caleb has satellite radio in his truck and he gets to hear the new bands much more than me, so if I want to know what's out there I usually ask him or go to some of the music reviews at EW.

That's where I came across Vampire Weekend and this review: "Imagine New Order sitting down with Paul Simon and talking about the first Talking Heads record, while Pavement plays over the cafeteria loudspeakers.''

Intriguing, right??

Oh... it is SO good it hurts. Smart, upbeat, witty, and GREAT to work out to. The whole album is the perfect length for a 40-minute eliptical course, and just the right tempo. And it's happy but not overly so to where its saccharine or pretentious. I highly recommend it. I also discovered Brooke Waggoner for anyone who is into the piano girls... I'm an old-school Tori fan and she is similar, but throw in some folky tones and there Brooke is.

So what are you listening to now? I love recommendations, and my iTunes finger is itchy...

another favorite of mine...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Big Fat Tuesday

Our church has a big Mardi Gras party every Fat Tuesday and it's lots of fun. I've got a big pot of crawfish etoufee on the stove now and we're making praline brownies to go with it.

If I were nice, I would take some down to the voting polls and be all festive... I'll see how realistic that will be after the boys wake up. Here's how it turned out:

nom nom nommmmm

Crawfish Etouffee
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2003

1 stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 1/2 cups shrimp stock or water
1 pound crawfish tails
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
Cooked long grain white rice, accompaniment
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, to make a light roux. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, green onions, garlic, bay leaves, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the sherry and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and crawfish tails and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice.

Stir in the parsley and remove from the heat.
Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Serve over rice, garnished with additional parsley.

In other news, the winds of change are a-blowin here at Hotwheel Hacienda. I'm not quite at liberty to say just yet for fear it may or may not happen, but I look forward to posting about it in the next few weeks.
And no, I'm not pregnant... (YAY Mirena!!!)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Boy Briefs, Chocolate Covered

We're watching Food Network in the rocking chair before tucking Finn in. They're doing the Valentine candy special.

"MMMmmmm... choc-o-late! I looovvvee choc-o-late!"
smack smack goes the mouth

"Mmmmmmm. I eat it UP. All that choc-o-late. I EAT it."
more loud smacking, followed by happy wriggling.

"Mommy, it so yummy. So, so yuuummmm-ME!"

My genes run deep.


We were invited to a grown-up Super Bowl party on Sunday and left the boys at home with my little sister. I was really looking forward to it, mainly because of the promised Guitar Hero tournament slated to take place during half-time. I had never played before but was giddy with the thought of giving it a whirl, but some part of me knew it was a very bad idea...

I am a recovering addict. Video games and me have a long and obsessive past, and my ability to stay on the wagon has only been kept intact because I distance myself from them on purpose. It all started with Zelda so many years ago and spiralled out of control.

Back to Guitar Hero. It's chocolate covered crack. The more you play, the better you get. So, thanks Liz. You are single-handedly responsible for my demise. I must have it.

Guitar Hero


As previously stated, Eli is our rocker. The boy can cut a serious rug, and music makes him happy. He likes just about everything, but if it's got a mean beat he has a special place in his heart for it. We checked out this CD from the library and it resides permanently in the car for the morning commute.

Sufjan Stevens. The FemBots. Apostle of Hustle (Eli's personal favorite). The first song is titled "Be Nice to People with Lice"... "Back at school everybody calls me names/They scream, 'Hey, it's lice boy!' then they run away."
Let the children lose it, let the children use it, let all the children boogie!

And boogie he did. Eli got so caught up in the music this morning I looked in the mirror and saw him swaying back and forth, with his eyes closed and a beautific grin spread across his baby face. He stayed that way throughout the whole song.


For dessert, I leave you with Nigella, the goddess of all things choc-o-late:

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Why I'm a Better Boy-Mom

Just like Amy, over at the Brat Pack, both times I was pregnant, the thought of having a girl filled me with anxiety. I don't think I would make a very good girl mom, mainly because I can't handle the prissiness and all that pink and the would-be cattiness that girls are prone to dish out. My own experiences growing up are the basis for this fear, especially when I think about my high school days.

Back then, (a few years ago, ahem and cough cough) before I was comfortable in this skin, I had a handful of girlfriends. At that time I thought they were the BEST friends EVER, in that all-caps way teenage girls think. I was devoted to their cattiness, even participating most times in order to stay accepted. Because you did not want to cross these girls. While their friendship was hard-earned and seemingly loyal, to be shunned by them carried the hot winds of hell on your head. Let's refer to them as the "Heathers".


I didn't always run with the Heathers and had other friends outside of their circle, but I was certainly the exception to their rule and it didn't turn out too well. Possesiveness ran rampant, and I was eventually ostracized - I OBVIOUSLY felt like I was superior since I didn't spend every waking minute with them being mean and making fun of people. Looking back I see I didn't like who I was when I hung out with them but couldn't verbalize it or even understand it. I just drifted farther away from the Heathers and made stronger friendships with other girls, most of which I still have today.

A few years after high school I found myself at a pretty low point. After a terrible boyfriend situation ended, I swallowed my pride and moved back home to start over. I had been there a week when I got the news that said boyfriend had gotten married. To a friend of mine. Like a month after we called it quits. This news was hard to digest, and I was hashing it out with another friend on the phone when my call waiting beeped in. It was one of the Heathers, the nicer one, and I had not heard from her in years.

I couldn't handle it. I couldn't mentally manage an awkward conversation at that moment. I was obviously distressed and didn't want to explain to her the long drawn-out story of it all, much less the anxiety I had just talking to her again. So I gave her a lame excuse, told her I would call her back, and promptly never did. I felt bad about it even when I did it; for all I know she was calling to make amends and renew a friendship.

The past few weeks I've had dreams of this particular Heather and it's made me wonder how she is, how she's different and the same, how I could have handled that situation SO much better had I not been so self-centered. How she was probably just as uncomfortable and eager to please as I was back then. I even mentioned the dreams to Caleb and how weird it was she was on my mind so much.

Today? I saw her and her family at the movies. I saw her and panicked and turned away before she spied me. Even after all the dreams, I blew a chance to potentially make right a wrong I had done. She had her kids with her and looked happy and completely harmless.

So... let's play "Choose-your-Own-Adventure" Hotwheel Hacienda style. Was it meant to be? Should I look her up and see what happens? Or am I borrowing trouble and would be better off letting sleeping dogs lie? What say you?

Because I still care what people think, and apparently haven't learned a thing.
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