31 December 2007


Jonathan and I finally rented "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" Saturday night. The movie was really good. I thought the director did an excellent job of condensing the story and moving it along at a good pace.

But it makes me wonder. Will Blue and the Lion see these movies before they ever read the books?

And I seriously hope not. I don't ever like to see a movie adaptation before reading the book first. I think it limits my ability to imagine the characters and settings for myself. And I just love to read a book, see the movie and then sit on the couch with Jonathan and analyze the hell out of the movie adaptation, critiquing everything from the casting to the costuming.

But in this day and age, will it be possible to protect my children from exposure to the Harry Potter films until they are old enough to read the novels for themselves?

i'm lovin' it

Blue calls this place "Old McDonald's"

29 December 2007

Welcome to Hell, I mean CandyLand

I hate CandyLand. Santa brought this game for Blue, and I thought it would be so much fun to sit down and play this game with my daughter... WRONG.
This game merely serves as an illustration of how freakin' impatient I am. I felt like such a crappy mommy sitting there with Blue:

Blue, pick a card. It's your turn. Bluee, pick a card, please. Blue? BLUE, PICK A CARD! No, just one card. Okay, now put the card down. Put the card down now, honey. Blue, stop kissing the card! Put the card down! No, Blue, the card doesn't go in that pile, it goes in this other pile. Please pick all the cards up, honey. Now let's move your man two green places! No, that one is Mommy's man. That one is your man. Your man is blue, remember? Move your man. Move your man, honey. No, the other way. Onto the green space. Now onto another green space. No, stop there. Just two green, remember? Put Mommy's man down, honey. I don't remember where it was. It doesn't matter. Just put him down somewhere. Pick up all the cards again, please.
AARGH! And this game, this sick, sick farce of a game goes on for ever. Just as Blue got close to the finishline, she drew a card with a gingerbread man on it that sent her all the way back to the beginning.

I wonder how many millions of times I will play this game. Because after Blue comes the Lion...

28 December 2007

on cooking, Corningware and conversation skills

I have no idea why I am in such a culinary mood today. Maybe because it is such a crisp, grey, English-looking day outside. Maybe I am just sick of eating leftover chips and dip and cookies all day.

Jonathan did make some delicious scalloped potatoes and (more of the leftover Christmas Day) ham yesterday, but we fell upon it like ravenous lions and it is gone, baby, gone.

So I made the soup. Which is alright. Jonny claims it is good enough that he would actually order it in a restaurant, but he is my husband so it is in his best interest to be complimentary. The rice pudding is in the oven right now and it is making the house smell fabulous.

Did I mention that I received about 1000 pieces of Corningware this Christmas? Well, I did. So I am putting it to good use.

I have to go. The Lion just asked me, "Canyou help me wif dis, Mommy? Canyou open dis, Mommy?" and I am so blown away by his conversational skills that I of course have to go and help him open whatever it is. Just my heart, probably.

Sigh. I love that boy so bad.

rice pudding made with the rice left over from our Chinese food

1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup raisins

Combine ingredients and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

split pea and ham soup

I am making soup, using the ham bone from our Christmas ham. I have never made split pea and ham soup before and I'm not even too sure if I like split pea and ham soup, so I'll let you know how it turns out!

But here is the recipe for a basic, supposedly delicious split pea and ham soup, courtesy of allrecipes.com:
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound dried split peas
  • 1 pound ham bone
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a medium pot, saute onions in oil or bacon grease. Remove from heat and add split peas, ham bone or chopped ham. Add enough water to cover ingredients, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover, and cook until there are no peas left, just a green liquid, 2 hours. While it is cooking, check to see if water has evaporated. You may need to add more water as the soup continues to cook.
  3. Once the soup is a green liquid remove from heat, and let stand so it will thicken. Once thickened you may need to heat through to serve.

27 December 2007

back in the saddle again

It is hard to return to the mundane life after Christmas. What a wonderful holiday... It was very weird not seeing my sister-in-law, Leila. I think this was the first Christmas in like fifteen years that I didn't see her and exchange hugs and presents. It is very unsettling having her in Iraq. I have not been blogging about it, because I know my niece, Emily, reads my blog and I don't want to make her sadder than she is already. But it really is very weird that so much time has gone by without talking to her. I miss her a lot.

She gave Jonathan and I (most of the family, really) an American flag that flew over her base in Iraq. So that is a very cool, very priceless gift.

Santa was very good to me this year. I actually received 4 dinner plates from Emma Bridgewater's Toast & Marmalade line that I posted a picture of a few months ago:

I am in such shock, really. I never, ever imagined Jonny would actually track some of these down for me and as they are rather expensive in the States I feel a bit pretentious and snobby even owning them. But, God, they are perfection...

I am really very content right now. I got a gift card to Target from my Aunt D and I cannot imagine what to buy with it--which is a first for me. I feel like I have everything I could ever want.

Alright, this is a very funny story. And anyone within hearing distance of me all week has heard it a million times already. Sorry! But it's so funny I have to tell it again.

I bought a little jar of cat treats for my Aunt D's cat for Christmas.

Jonathan saw the treats while unloading our groceries and he thought we had gotten someone else's grocery bag by mistake. He was holding them up and I said, "No, I bought those."

"Why?" he asked, since we have no cat.

"They're for my Aunt D," I told him.

"Your aunt eats cat treats?"

22 December 2007

what am I going to do

when Christmas is over and I can no longer threaten to tell Santa about all of Blue's transgressions?

Because a year is a verrrry long time to a three-year-old. The constant heightened state of alert would get old.

things i love - #33

this cookbook
(thank you, Adrienne!)

20 December 2007

right about now

I am curling up on the couch. Jonny gave me 2 Christmas presents early! I was feeling a little blue and he wanted to cheer me up. So we are going to watch Persuasion,

which is my absolute favorite movie ever (yes, Katherine, that means I got 2 copies! I love you both! Thank you thank you!) and we are both drinking coffee out of matching disappearing-wives-of-Henry VIII mugs!

I love my husband!

These mugs are so cool. The wives really do disappear!

17 December 2007

more and more about me:

copied from Katherine who copied from Adrienne...

What is your favorite word? Mommy
What is your least favorite word? blog
What turns you on? my husband's eyes
What turns you off? Republicans
What sound or noise do you love? my children's laughter
What sound or noise do you hate? windchimes
What is your favorite curse word? the f-word
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? author
What profession would you not like to do? gynecologist

a new cd and a new crush

I am so happy and I have a new crush. It's on my friend, Adrienne. Her blog link is over there on the right if you are interested. She's funny. She doesn't write enough, but when she does, it's funny.

Anyway, she made me a mix cd. And I love it. Love it. Love it. Love it.

I am forever making mix cds and no one ever makes them for me. Seriously. And I am someone who would love to receive one.

Making a mix cd is a huge deal for me. I have to be sure the song's lyrics are a perfect reflection of whatever it is I am trying to convey. That the order of the songs tells a story. I don't understand people who can like a song but not know the lyrics. Or what I mean to say is they don't care to know the lyrics. How can you like a song and not know what it's about?????

Anyway, Adrienne made me this mix cd. And it is awesome! She made it for me, chocked it full of sad, crazydepressing songs because she calls me Emo-Girl.

This cd rocks. I was sitting in my car in traffic, cracking up as each song came on. "I Am the Sun, I Am the Air" by Morrissey is on there and when it came on I laughed so hard I peed a little. It is so nice to know that my friends "get" me! I want to copy this cd for everyone I know. It is that good. Maybe I'll send copies out in my Christmas cards next year.

Thank you, Adrienne. Sigh. You're the best. You or Amy Winehouse, that is. It's a toss up.

16 December 2007

Happy Birthday, Jane!

"The person, be it gentleman or lady,
who has not pleasure in a good novel,
must be intolerably stupid.

To celebrate this most austentatious day, DWAFS is meeting at my house to watch a Jane Austen biography and eat English goodies. I am serving cucumber sandwiches and a deeeeelicious trifle and making a batch of very extremely fabulous and potent egg nog. Cheers!

15 December 2007

recipe for freakin' delicious Oreo Balls - these are no Chocolate Schwetti Balls but they're still amazing

Kathy Davenport's Oreo Truffle Balls

1 (1 pound, 2 ounce) package Oreo cookies
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
2 (8 ounces) packages semi-sweet
chocolate chips
8 ounces white chocolate, optional

* Use a good-quality chocolate. The taste and quality of these truffles are dependent on the quality of chocolate you start with.

Line two large baking or cookie sheets with wax paper or a silpad; set aside.

In a food processor or blender, process and crush all of the Oreo cookies into fine crumbs. Add cream cheese and process until thoroughly mixed (there should be no white traces of cream cheese). Using your hands, roll into walnut-size balls, approximately 3/4-inch diameter. If the mixture becomes too soft to work, place the remaining mixture back into the refrigerator to slightly harden. Place Oreo Balls on the lined baking sheet and refrigerate or at least 45 to 60 minutes.


  • The Oreo Balls may be stored in the freezer for up to 1 week.

  • If you put the Oreo balls in the freezer for a short time before dipping in chocolate, this helps keep the balls cold longer. I also put the cookie sheets in the freezer first so they are really cold when I place the chocolate covered Oregon Truffle Balls onto the cookie sheet.

Using one of the below methods, melt the chocolate chips:

Double Boiler:

In the top of a double boiler over hot water, not boiling water (don't let the bottom of the bowl touch the water, melt chocolate; stirring until smooth. Be careful boiling water may cause steam droplets to get into chocolate which can result in "seizing," when the chocolate becomes stiff and grainy. NOTE: If you don't have a double boiler you can improvise one by placing a glass or stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. Remove from heat. Let the chocolate cool slightly, but it should not set.

Microwave Melting Chocolate:

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips using either the defrost setting or 10-percent power in the microwave. Microwave for 1 minute, then check and stir. If you need more time, do it in 10 to 20 seconds intervals and check and stir after each addition of microwave time. Remove the container from the microwave and stir the chocolate until completely melted. Baking chips and baking chocolate may appear formed and un-melted after heating but will become fluid after stirring. Blend in cream, brandy, liqueur, or coffee

When ready to coat with chocolate, remove the chilled Oreo Balls from the refrigerator. Replace wax paper on baking sheets if they are not clean. NOTE: A small fork, toothpicks, or chopsticks are great to use as dipping tool. Dip each Oreo Ball into the melted chocolate, allowing the excess to drip back into the pot. Place the Oreo Truffle Balls onto the wax paper. NOTE: If the chocolate gets too hard to dip well, reheat it over the double boiler or in the microwave.

Optional: In a separate bowl either melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. When melted, using a fork, drizzle white chocolate over the harden chocolate balls to decorate.

Let Oreo Truffle Balls harden and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes 40 to 50 candy balls, depending on the size balls you roll.

14 December 2007

"Long, Long Time"

My current random old song obsession is "Long, Long Time" by Linda Ronstadt. Damn. That woman can wail.

I have heard this song a million times in my life, but why have I never really, really listened to these tortured lyrics before? I cannot get enough of it now.

I'm actually glad I never really paid attention to these lyrics before. I tended to get ubergloomy and play songs on repeat when I was suffering from an unrequited crush.

Jesus. If I had known about this song when I lived in Richmond, I might have never recovered!

Anyway, this brings to mind all of the sad songs I played on repeat over the years. I'm forgetting a lot of them, I'm sure, because as I said I love to play songs ad infintum. But here is a random sample:

A List of Songs I Played on Repeat When Suffering From Unrequited Crushes:

"God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys
"One Fine Day" by the Chiffons
"I Know It's Going to Happen Someday" by Morrissey
"Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O'Connor
"Pictures of You" by The Cure
"And So It Goes" by Billy Joel
"Cry Baby" by Janis Joplin
"Language or the Kiss" by the Indigo Girls
"Never is a Promise" by Fiona Apple
"Untouchable Face" by Ani diFranco
"Last Goodbye" by Jeff Buckley

meeting Santa

Santa Claus came to Blue's school to have lunch with all of the children today. What a guy!

The preschoolers all sang songs for him and for their parents and then each child had their picture taken with Santa.

I was a mess. I just kept tearing up. It was worse than that scene in "Steel Magnolias" where Sally Field is at the funeral losing her shit and everyone watching the movie loses their shit... I couldn't stop the tears. It was so just. So. Sweet.

The Lion was tearing up, too, when I handed him over to Santa. He is just like me.

toodlers sitting on the steps together

I know Jonathan will see this picture and ask,
"Why is my son wearing those godawful bright red socks?"

13 December 2007

my personal DNA:

You are a Visionary:

Your imagination, self-assuredness, and knowledge of the world combine to make you a VISIONARY.

You have clear notions of how things could be, and the confidence to try to make them that way.

You enjoy having a routine, and prefer comfort and familiarity to risk and adventure.

Not needing others' approval to forge ahead, you are confident in your designs for the future.

Your imagination allows you to envision the world as a better place.

You're better at thinking of the big picture than you are with details, and you can see wonder in abstract things.

Style and appearances are important to you, and you have a good eye for beauty.

You are somewhat rigid in your beliefs, which comes from both confidence and an aversion to change.

You are good at creating works of art in forms with which you're familiar.

You're not one to force your positions on a group, and you tend to be fair in evaluating different options.

You're not afraid to let your emotions guide you, and you're generally considerate of others' feelings as well.

You prefer to have time to plan for things, feeling better with a schedule than with keeping plans up in the air until the last minute.

You have a strong sense of style and value your personal presentation - friends may even seek your style advice from time to time.

Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

You are Benevolent:

You are a great person to interact with—understanding, giving, and trusting—in a word, BENEVOLENT.

You don't mind being in social situations, as you feel comfortable enough with people to be yourself.

Your caring nature goes beyond a basic concern: you take the time to understand the nuances of people's situations before passing any sort of judgment.

You're a good listener, and even better at offering advice.

You're concerned with others at both an individual and societal level—you sympathize with the plights of troubled groups, and you can care about people you've never met.

Considering many different perspectives is something at which you excel, and you appreciate that quality in others.

Other people's feelings are important to you, and you're good at mediating disputes.

Because of your understanding and patience, you tend to bring out the best in people.



I am going to the doctor-wink-wink in about five minutes and I am just d-r-e-a-d-i-n-g it.


Afterwards I always have the same feeling of "checking off a duty in my appointment book" that I feel after having my oil changed or voting or getting my teeth cleaned.

07 December 2007


I found a free coupon to the movies on the floor in Michaels. I didn't turn it in.

What a moral dilemma. Should I have turned it in? But then the clerk at Michaels probably would have kept it, right? And now maybe Jonathan and I can go to the movies. The last movie we saw in the theatre was XMen 3, I think.

I felt so guilty. I tried to look all nonchalant, like it was something I had dropped, all the while wondering if this was some kind of morality test. Like I was secretly being filmed and the people watching were thinking, Thief.

Whatever, man. I'm going to the movies.

I just hope I don't sit there the whole time, feeling guilty. Wondering if some usher is going to come over, tap me on the shoulder and announce (loudly enough for all the other audience members to hear), "Excuse me, ma'am, but your free pass to the movies was reported as stolen. You are obviously morally bankrupt. Please leave the theatre. And leave your big tub of popcorn at the door, too."

05 December 2007

people that look like my dad


We have returned home from North Carolina and are starting to feel a bit better. I am the last one returning to normal, as I was the last to fall victim to this winter's plague. I just hope that we all stay well (knock on wood!) until at least after Santa comes. The kids are getting so excited about Christmas!

I think I am almost done shopping. I bought one little thing for Adrienne today. (You're going to love it, A--it's on one of your many registries!) So now I have to get her something else so I don't look stingy and something for my mom and my dad and stepmother and I am finished! I think...

Blue is getting a dollhouse and some furniture for it. I finally found the bathroom set today. Which is a good thing. She would totally notice if her doll's house had no potty.

And she's getting a bunch of wooden food. She loves to cook.

All of the Lion's presents are based on tv characters. It's a little embarrassing. It's all Elmo, Diego, Little Einsteins, Wiggles, Nemo, etc. He is such a tv junkie. He is going to be so excited. When we are in the store, he points to all the characters on all of the products (and they are everywhere) and yells out "Dora! 'Ego (Diego)! Elmo!"

Hahahahaha Jonathan just walked in the door. He gave Blue a kiss and said, "Hey! Guess what?" and the Lion said, "Chicken butt!" He has trained them well.

We had such a wonderful time at my grandparents. Jonathan and I were pretty ill, and I just hope Grandma and Pop don't get sick. But the kids had an amazing time.

Lion was a bit crabby and whiny because he wasn't feeling well, but Blue was the star of the weekend. She helped Pop roll meatballs:

Actually, she made little caterpillars and lily pads and a big meat volcano while Pop made the meatballs, but it was very cute. She made a chocolate pudding pie with Grandma. She drove Pop's golf cart:

She went to the beach twice with Daddy:

She had the time of her life!