Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tweet! Tweet! July 2008:
Guy just tried to sell me a set of knives for $15 discounted from $75. Said he gives them as wedding gifts. Cheap bastard! Told him so too. 5:07 PM Jul 31st from txt
Feeling stuffy and sneezy. I will NOT be sick during my b-day weekend in Chicago! Nooooo! 7:58 PM Jul 30th from txt
The genius who invented Nestle Toll House cookie dough in a TUB deserves a raise and a special place in heaven. 8:40 PM Jul 27th from txt
Brooke very much enjoys tormenting and pushing every botton of her big sister until she screams. It's going to be a very long 17 years. 11:35 AM Jul 27th from txt
After a diaper change, Brooke walked me to the trash can and opened the door so I could thow it away. How sweet! Next up? POTTY TRAINING! 9:47 AM Jul 27th from txt
Maddie was hysterically angry when after plotting to ambush Zak with water balloons, our mission was accomplished. "You're being mean!!!!" 12:24 PM Jul 26th from txt
Little black bugs in my pantry! I swear the pest guy AND the plumber put a hex on me. Never had any problems until I called for a check up. 8:03 PM Jul 24th from txt
Ginger bok choy chicken with carrots and fried rice for dinner. Then, I'll be hungry 30 minutes later. 5:22 PM Jul 24th from txt
ANOTHER leaky pipe. This time under my kitchen sink. I swear, I am not in love with the cute plumber. I've called him 3 times this week! 3:38 PM Jul 22nd from web
Just applied for a passport. At age 32. That's kinda pathetic! 3:08 PM Jul 22nd from txt
Brooke rubs banana all over her face and in her hair just before we leave for school. 7:52 AM Jul 21st from txt
Just drove for four hours. We heard no whining, complaining, or crying. Oh yeah, that's because we left those cute little monkeys at home! 2:09 PM Jul 19th from txt
Just left the girls with Zak's mom. Going to a wedding in Galveston. Say a prayer for my MIL (and the nervous groom)! 10:50 AM Jul 19th from txt
Tidbit: In the year Brooke was born, 2007, there were 4.4 million babies also born. It was the largest Baby Boom in United States history! 9:15 AM Jul 18th from txt
Brooke sees a bruised spot on her banana on her plate, wrinkles her nose, points at the dark spot and say, "eh eh eh" and pushes it away. 5:52 PM Jul 17th from txt
Maddie is learning about the solar system in PRE-SCHOOL! I didn't learn about it until.....college? Jeeze. 8:27 AM Jul 17th from txt
Brooke cried so hard at her ENT follow up that she puked on me, the nurse, herself, the floor, the table. Just missed the Dr. Oh the stench! 4:42 PM Jul 16th from txt
Brooke "talks" non stop. She tells us lots of animated stories that we can't understand. Maddie encourages it by asking What next? 5:39 PM Jul 15th from txt
I'm going to Chicago ALONE for my birthday weekend! Yea! 12:39 PM Jul 15th from txt
FOUR holes cut from drywall to find the leak. $320 to repair it. I need to google, "dry wall repair" to figure out how to patch holes. 2:13 PM Jul 14th from web
I think we have a leaky pipe in our bathroom. I see dripping water outside near the room. Plumber on the way here, money on the way out. 12:44 PM Jul 14th from web
Maddie puked for the second (and third) time in her life tonight. My stuff from last week must have been contagious. Uh-oh...Zak's next! 9:40 PM Jul 13th from txt
Just did yard work. It's 98 degrees outside. I'm not talking about the boy band either. Not a good idea (the yard work or the band). 4:38 PM Jul 13th from txt
Brooke has two monster molars coming in. You can see half tooth/half gum on both sides! That explains all the whining. Poor baby (and me). 10:25 AM Jul 13th from txt
Decided that we shouldn't eat a whole cake, so gave half to the family of 7 next door. Realized half a cake wasn't enough to feed them all! 9:27 PM Jul 12th from web
Baked a cake with Maddie today just for fun. Am I supposed to have a reason to bake a cake? It's SATURDAY! How's that? 4:38 PM Jul 12th from txt
Just had Sashimi for the FIRST time. This virgin says: awesome! 8:20 PM Jul 11th from txt
Maddie wants a "ball of snow" to make a bruise on her leg feel better. Where do we get one? "From WINTER!" Of course, that's a long wait. 8:13 PM Jul 10th from web
Just met a 25 year old mother of two who lost her husband in Iraq. Heart breaking. What a pointless "war!" 12:01 PM Jul 9th from txt
Maddie was mad at me and called me a "Poo Poo Butt." It was the first time she's ever called me a name, but sadly not the last. 8:54 AM Jul 9th from txt
Home sick. Have had a migraine that won't die and have puked a few times in the last 24 hrs. Parenting is REALLY hard when sick. Zak rocks. 11:48 AM Jul 8th from txt
90 minutes of Bikram Yoga (100 degree plus room). Feeling pretty crappy. Need to do more. 11:50 AM Jul 7th from txt
Creamer explosion: Thought the lid was on. Shook it. Lid wasn't on. 32 oz. of creamy French Vanilla all over the kitchen. STICKY! 8:35 AM Jul 7th from txt
4th recap: Maddie saw fireworks for the 1st time. TALKED NON STOP about them during the show. Family came to visit and I FORGOT my camera! 9:36 PM Jul 6th from web
Should I wear my Obama t-shirt around my conservative right wing father-in-law? I really want to! 10:36 PM Jul 5th from txt
Just went to Wal-Mart for the first time in TWO years. Bought a BOAT. Who knew? 11:47 AM Jul 3rd from web
IKEA rocks! They have the best marketing plan ever: "Trap customers in our maze like store and they won't stop shopping!" 12:18 PM Jul 2nd from txt
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Check out this frighteningly large centipede that we found hanging out in Brooke's room. It was about 6 inches long.
Maddie says to me, "Mama! There is a huge snake like giant bug over here." Yeah, okay, I'm changing a diaper, hold on. "Mama! It's moving, and it has pinchers!" I turn to look over my shoulder, and nearly climbed the wall in fear. I actually thought it was a fake bug planted by Zak (much like my dad used to do) to freak me out.
I immediately made the Girls leave the room (because that would somehow help?) while I tried to figure out what to do with it. I didn't want to try to squish it (into my carpet? Eww!), and was scared of its stingers anyway. So, I did what any normal woman would do, I trapped it under a glass bowl, and waited for Zak to get home.
I called my pest guy to see determine what this prehistoric looking creature could possibly be, because, dude, we just found a dinosaur! He assured me it was a centipede and the spraying we did a few weeks ago probably made the centipede uncomfortable enough to "come out from the structure" to get away. So, Mr. Centipede decided he wanted to hang out in Brooke's room because toddlers are really easy to manage.
Monday, July 28, 2008
In true Paula Deen fashion, there is some fat. However, there is no nutritional information at the bottom, so that means there are 0 calories and 0 fat grams.
I've modified it a bit (sorry Paula) to suit our tastes.
Amanda's Spicy Green Beans (serves two):
2 slices of bacon
1/2 chopped red onion
1/4 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 handfuls of fresh green beans or snap beans, trim edges
dash of salt and pepper
dash of red pepper flakes
In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Remove and place bacon on paper towel. Crumble it. Reduce heat to medium, add onion, jalapeno and garlic to leftover bacon grease, cook 2 minutes until tender. Add green beans, salt/pepper, pepper flakes. Toss gently to coat. Cook 6-8 minutes until desired firmness. Throw in crumbled bacon in last minute. Serve immediately, and try not to moan when eating it.
The original recipe calls for 16 oz of frozen green beans and an extra two tablespoons of vegetable oil. I prefer fresh beans, and the extra oil is unnecessary as the bacon grease is plenty. It also says 1 small onion and 1/2 a jalapeno. The absolute best part of this dish are the little mouthwatering burned bits of garlic, jalapeno, and onion.
I've had these green beans with salmon and steak, but it could honestly go with anything. This is the perfect recipe for Zak's bacon inspired restaurant concept.
The Girls like to eat this too, but I just rinse off the spicy bits, and they gobble them up. When I'm really thinking ahead, I just make this for Zak and I after they go to bed so we don't have to share with the monkeys. Because that's the kind mother I am.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Today's "What the hell am I gonna do with that?" item is: BOK CHOY. I'm sad to say that I didn't even know what it LOOKED like (when it wasn't chopped up in my Asian stir fry). It's kinda like a mini (but fatter and shorter) celery stalk. I intend to make this recipe here sometime this week.
A funny thing happens when you see real live veggies that come fresh from the field. They don't exactly look the same as they do at your local grocery store. The produce co-op just provides what is fresh, in season, and organic, so I never know what to expect.
What I'm really trying to say is that there are sometimes some bugs on this produce (proof of it's organic-ness?) and also dirt (proof it is really fresh?). There are no bugs on grocery store produce because that would be gross, and so they douse them with chemicals to assure we're not offended. And dirt? Never because dirt is dirty, people! DIRTY!
Have you ever noticed that organic produce is never really very big? Take strawberries for example. Organic strawberries are really little compared to those mambo jambo ones at the store. Also, the berries are softer, darker, and sweeter...just like the ones that my dad and I grew when I was a kid
on the farm in the little makeshift garden by the pool.
This week's box 'o goodies contained:
bananas (Brooke is gonna be in heaven!)
green snap beans (I saw a little green worm)
package of baby carrots (WTF? Packaged!? There goes this post!)
real carrots (looking like they were just plucked from the earth and also prior to some machine turning them into "babies")
russet potatoes (covered in soil!)
Well, I guess I need to get on the ball with gardening so my Girls don't think produce comes from the store. Damn this parenting business, and all the blah blah blah lessons I'm responsible for teaching. Sheesh!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
This game can go on for hours and Maddie has been playing it since she was about a year and a half old, and now Brooke does it too (minus the hilarious dialog). If you want to play, you need to learn the rules, so here goes:
Usually the first step is to find a baby and blanket. No baby or blanket? Okay, a dish towel and animal like toy/bear will work just fine. No blanket or dishtowel? Then your baby is just gonna have to deal.
I sometimes have to intervene in this game when Maddie gets too carried away with being the "teacher" and speaks harshly to her babies. She can get pretty mean, and when I ask her who talks like that she usually ignores me. I'm guessing some of her teachers at school do when they get frustrated that they can't get twenty 3-year olds to fall asleep at the same time. I would get pretty frustrated too!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
We had a little ant issue a few weeks ago, and then some estimates from pest guys about how to kill the ants. These pest guys are the best sales men on the planet. They go into the attic, oh and awe and cough, come out to tell you that "you've got a major ant problem, ma'am."
I would hardly call it 'major' Mr. Exaggerator. Then they tell you all the gross things in your attic. And I'm all...right, that's why we don't go up there. It's hot and there may be BUGS! Duh.
So one very nice pest guy from ABC Pest and Lawn wanted to charge me ONE THOUSAND SIXTY SEVEN dollars to kill everything. (I shit you not....$1,067!) PLUS $67 every month for maintenance (that could be conveniently withdrawn from my checking account). Apparently I'm in the wrong business!
Um, I think I need a second opinion.
Second pest guy owns his own business and is six foot nine inches tall and is over three hondo. Screw those little ants, I was a little scared to open the door for this guy! He was referred to Zak by a colleague at work, (since Zak's eyeballs had to be surgically re-implanted after I told him about the first guy's estimate) . The Giant Dude agreed with the Pricey Dude about the ants but left out all the drama about the ants eating the house for a snack this year. His fee was $40 for the first visit, and $80 every three months.
The catch was that the Giant Dude wanted us to do some serious yard work. Like trim bushes! ICK! Make sure no plant life touches the house! AHHH! AND....take down this lattice and jasmine plant jungle that the ants use as their personal escalator to my attic. Um....we don't really to "construction work" around here, but we'll do the best we can.
So...two weeks went by and although the ants were not in the kitchen anymore, I could practically hear them in the attic. "The ants go marching one by one, hur-ah, hur-ah! The ants will eat your house today, hur-ahhh, hur-ahhh!"
We decided to just do it, and Zak (with his muscles, sheer determination, and electric buzz clipper thingy) attacked the yard. I served as the official
It didn't move much, but was fun.
So after we tried to knock it down, we discovered we needed to disassemble it piece by piece (four of them) and remove the 4X4's that held it up. Once we did it that yard was totally opened. The previous owners originally put it there for privacy (we assume), but since we don't really hang out nekkid outside
anymore, we decided it would be best to take it down.
We now have another view of my favorite little shady garden that I used to only see from inside the kitchen:
So, Giant Dude came back yesterday to spray for ants, and was very pleased with all the progress we made (and I didn't even tell you what we did in the front yard-when it was 100 degrees outside). He sprays inside and out with an 'organic' ant killer. (Not sure how anything that KILLS can be 'organic', but whatever). *Cough Cough*
During spraying, he goes out a back door (that we never ever use) from the laundry room to a deck, and sees some water on the door jamb and a wet foundation under the deck. Well, it hasn't rained in weeks, and the sprinklers don't go that far, so he informs me that we must have a leaky pipe.
I call a plumber to check it out (who was so sweet and very cute!). He agrees that there must be a slow leak (since the drywall inside the house isn't wet), and begins to saw his way
to China through the drywall to find the leak.
1. Under my bathroom sink is the least invasive--easy to cover up the hole by shutting the door....NO wetness.
2. Under the vanity is the second least invasive--drywall work would be needed, but painting such an area would be simple...no wetness, but he can HEAR dripping!
3. Above the laundry room door--drywall work and painting would be required. WETNESS! Problem found, but he can't reach the pipe that needs the be fixed. More sawing in the same spot, but wider. Nope. Maybe he was trying to be artistic with this hole?
4. Ceiling--this is your laasst chance, cutie. Found the leaky pipe and can reach it! Horray!
He fixes it in a few minutes, charges me $320 for his sawing and fixing and looking cute fees.
THEN, another man was invited into my house to see how much moolah it would take to patch up the handy work of the Plumber-Gone-Wild. That will be about $300, but hasn't been scheduled yet cause I'm outta dough.
I'm sure this post is particularly interesting only to my father. Who probably is sitting there reading it saying, "That's ridiculous, I can't believe the plumber cut all the drywall...he shoulda done XXXX instead." And, "$300 to repair drywall, CRAZY!" Dad, you're right, now move your little butt to San Antonio so they only handyman I have in my speed dial is YOU.--Love, Mandi
Monday, July 14, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
We didn't do much the entire weekend, except eat and hang out, which is exactly the way I like it. Maddie stayed up late (for the first time ever) to see fireworks (or sparklies as she called them). The girl had a running color commentary of the fireworks. She would go on and on about each one and describe it and tell us that it was her favorite and when are their going to be more, and can she stay up later, and ......are there going to be more sparkles in the sky tomorrow?
Next year! But it better not be that long until we see Terry and Mary again....are you two listening?!?!
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
It's down right SHOCKING to look back at pictures of Maddie two years ago, and read her "dear Maddie letters" that I wrote. I think she looks a lot like Brooke does now.
While sorting through and organizing my pictures today, I found this very important video that I don't think I ever have shown on my blog before. It was pre-YouTube, and I wasn't posting videos back then (I was trying but the Internet was not cooperating). Take a look:
At the very beginning of the video when I'm talking to Maddie, I am all breath-y and my voice cracked. I'm still surprised to know that Zak really didn't realize what Maddie was holding in her hand. It took him several minutes to see it was a pregnancy test. We had been trying to conceive for a couple of months, but he was getting ready for work (actually he resigned that very day from his Chicago job after just days before accepting the San Antonio job) and it was obviously the last thing on his mind!
Please don't be confused...this video was taken in June 2006 when I told Zak we were going to have Brooke. I am NOT pregnant, but simply wanted to preserve the video here on my blog.