29 July 2009

The Chick-fil-A Way

Ever had a day that you were just blown away by the customer service everywhere you went? I had one of those days yesterday. Maybe I was interpreting adequate service as exceptional because I was in a good mood. Maybe everyone was just in a good mood because the weather wasn't stifling.

Whatever it was/is, Bill and I call this kind of service "the Chick-fil-a Way". Anytime I stop and take notice of how well I'm being treated, it makes me think of my favorite fast food joint. Seriously, I don't know what's in their training manual, but it works. Perhaps it just says, "Treat every customer as if he or she is the only person in the restaurant...and your long-lost grandma."

Of course, when a Chick-fil-a experience goes awry, it is all the more noticeable. But those instances are rare and easily forgiveable.

And I even won the "every 100th customer free meal" the other night. And and they gave me a sticker. The actual conversation went a little something like this:

Chick-fil-A Chick: Oh! I have some good news for you...

Me: (gasp!) Am I the 100th customer? Am I? Am I?

Chick: Yes! (whispers) We have to ring the cowbells, is that okay?

Me: Uh, YEAH!

Chick: (Rings cowbell, other employees join in) Oh, and could I ask you to wear this sticker?

Me: Uh, YEAH!!!

And I wore it all night so that the other Harry Potter movie-goers could be jealous of my free Chick-fil-A 8 count nugget meal. Nom nom nom.

27 July 2009

What is WRONG with me?

The Pea gets up at 6 a.m. He does this every. single. morning. (except for when he gets up at 5:45)

And every morning, I swear that I will go to bed early that night.

It's 11:09. I am not even getting ready for bed yet. Plech. Night Karen wins again.

How 'bout an old school stink eye Pea pic?

25 July 2009

She's Got the Look

I'm having a very meh week, wardrobe-wise. I suppose it started with the tinkle incident last Saturday. The thing is, I just don't care. I hate that feeling of "letting oneself go". And I'm really not intending to. It's just kind of...happened.

Case in point: I am out of hair gel, almost out of a makeup, need a haircut, have a 3 month-old pedicure, and am suffering from serious clothes envy every time I hang out with one of my friends who wears cute little skirts to go grocery shopping (ummm...and that feels like all of them). All of these are highly fixable. It's just that most days, the Pea is either going to pee, spit up, drool, or worse on said clothes before lunch.

I think I need to have a pamper Karen day pronto. Not so much because I desperately want one. In fact, more because I don't.

20 July 2009

Cuteness Strikes Back

It occurs to me that I promised a lightsaber pic and never delivered. I give you...the Pea-duan:

(note the lazy ton-ton in the background)

18 July 2009

Piddle Puddle

Why, why, why do I stray from Pampers Cruisers?  WHY??

I noticed on my last trip to Sam's that the cost per diaper difference between Pampers and Huggies was noticeable.

Mistake #1:  "How different can Huggies be?"

Immediately, I noticed that they didn't have that Pampers fresh smell to them and didn't quite hug him like the ol' Pampers.

Mistake #2:  "Well, that's just aesthetics.  I'm sure they work just as well or they wouldn't be a top-selling brand.  I like their wipes."

Flash-forward to this afternoon when I decided to kill a little time with the Pea in a new doggy boutique while Bill sold back some DVD's to Vintage Stock. 

Mistake #3: Okay, I don't even know how this happened.  All I know is that one minute, I was looking at custom doggy thongs (DO NOT ASK!!), and the next minute, there was a puddle of Henry's pee-pee on the floor and my pants.  The bizarre thing was that the diaper wasn't all that wet, and he didn't pee on his clothes at all.  Thankfully, with that many quivering little dogs around, there was already a lot of mopping going on.

And I will never buy anything but Pampers again.  This time I mean it.

17 July 2009

Like Mother, Like Son

This child would happily subsist on nothing but cheese and carbs for the rest of his life.


15 July 2009

A Lock for the Whosie Whatsie?

It is a whole new world in Chez Pea on the babyproofing front.  And I don't just mean "it's a whole new world now that he's mobile" (which he is).  It's a whole new world since the last time I ever looked at so much as a baby gate (hmmm...when my little sister was 2 years old?)

Did you know there are toilet locks now?  Toilet locks.

And outlet covers that have a little push button in the middle so you don't have to ruin your nails.

Oh, oh, and ridiculously expensive retractable gates that allow you to guard your wonky stairs.

Toilet locks.  Seriously.

Happy Harry Potter HBP Release Day!

I'm not going to be able to see it for a week and a half, so I don't want to know ANYTHING! It does help that it's based on a book series that I practically have memorized. At this point, they can't change too much.

...and then Harry recognized his true calling as a litigation attorney. The End.

13 July 2009


The Pea seems to have an almost mutant superpower of rapid healing. He scratched his face yesterday, and by this afternoon, it was almost gone.

10 July 2009

Cool T-shirt for a Great Cause


Some friends of friends are selling these way cool t-shirts to benefit an orphanage in Malawi.

This is the design, available in different colors:

Get a shirt, you all everybody!

09 July 2009


If any of you know Bill and I personally, you know that we live a fairly quiet, peaceful lifestyle.  This is helped by the Pea going to bed at 6:30, our shared love of reading and movies, and our fat lump-of-a-dog sleeping almost as much as the baby.

This week, the nephews are visiting.  They are sweet, fun children (toddler and 5 year-old).  However...in the course of one afternoon, every toy in the house was spread out across our living room.  The toddler managed to set off the carbon monoxide detector during the Pea's nap. (youch!)  At one point, five different noise-producing toys were going off at once.  And 5 year-old decided to engage the Pea in a light saber battle.

Pea's first light saber pictures to follow!

08 July 2009

Wow, I'm Exhausted...

I've been running around like a madwoman for the past 48 hours trying to get my house/pantry/life ready for a visit from Bill's family starting tomorrow.  Thankfully, my mom (aka "Oma") has been here to help take care of the Pea...okay, and me.

So when I start saying scary, stupid, nonsensical things like, "Oh, I should try out this new recipe from Fancy-Pants Chef magazine but first let me finish this batch organic carrot puree for the Pea", she says things like, "No, grill hamburgers and make taco soup in the crockpot.  Now go to bed.  You're not getting enough sleep."

I love my mom.

06 July 2009

Ode to a Dying Camera

This was the last picture taken by our old camera before it went kaput a few weeks ago. I was always the lady saying, "Could you take a picture of us? You have to hold down this button a l-o-o-o-ng time." And then the person would hit the on/off switch (located ever so conveniently next to the shutter button). Pictures at night were but a blur. Action shots? What do you think?

Our new camera has a "rapid fire" button that takes a bunch of pictures in succession to make sure everyone's eyes are open...not that we'd ever need that feature (***cough...Pea***). It even has a feature that detects when a person is smiling and automatically takes the picture. I AM NOT KIDDING. This camera could revolutionize my life. Until it breaks in four years.

05 July 2009


Last night, Bill and I were driving around singing old Michael Jackson tunes (and who hasn't for the last week?)  The conversation evolved to trying to remember the names of all the Jackson 5:  Michael, Tito, Jermaine, Shmerm(cough)...and the other one.

Bill thinks the band Dixie-Chicked (and he's trying to coin the phrase now, thank you very much).  Basically, any time the focus on a band's lead singer takes on such a life of its own that the remaining members become a vague buzz in the background, the group has officially Dixie-Chicked.  No Doubt.  Genesis.  Oh...old school...The Band.

Obviously, Michael Jackson took it to the extreme.  Which bands do you think Dixie-Chicked? 

04 July 2009

FYI: New Blog

I've started a new blog:  Novels During Naptime.  It will focus on the challenges, joys, and hazards of writing and momming simultaneously.

I'll still be snarking over here, too...just wanted to give a head's up.

Homemade Yogurt: Epic Fail

Riding on my Amish Friendship Bread high, I decided to listen to my older sister once again when she assured me that I can, indeed, make my own yogurt.

No, I can not. (Apparently, I managed to buy the one type of milk that you can't use to make yogurt...ultrapasteurized.  Pleh.)

03 July 2009

Om Nom Nom...Amish Friendship Bread

My older sister gave me a baggy of Amish Friendship Bread starter, and it is so yummy--the bread not the starter. (And foolproof, which is a good thing for anything involving me being in the kitchen.) I'd post the recipe, but the thing is that you have to have the starter to make it. You squish it around and add flour, sugar, and water to feed it (like a pet that gives something back in return). On the tenth day, you use some of it to make the bread and some, you give away to friends. And you keep some for yourself to make more yummy Amish Friendship Bread.

There's a warning on the recipe to not give away your last bit of starter because only the Amish know how to make it. They would tell you, but then, they'd have to kill you.

I've always been a sucker for all these chain letter type things: recipe exchanges, memes, panty exchanges (this was going around when I was in junior high...was I the only girl out there who bought a package of adorable panties for another girl in hopes of getting 36 in return and got SQUAT?) This is the first one that's worked. Yay, Amish!!

02 July 2009

What Would You Do Differently...

If you could re-do your college years?

I ran into two former classmates from my small, liberal arts alma mater (Go Gender Neutral, Ethnically Ambiguous, Non-militaristic Warriors!) this afternoon. One was a doctor. The other, his receptionist. As I drove away, I realized that there is absolutely nothing that I would change about my life right now. But if I could go back in time and relive those college days, I would:

1. Major in History, not Psychology
2. Start a petition to improve the cafeteria food
3. Put on my big girl panties and ask a few guys out my senior year (no, I'm not telling who)
4. Lay out in the sun and read every waking moment more
5. Join Phi Beta Kappa when I was invited (don't ask: it's a long, annoying story)
6. Watch more movies in my friend Finley's room (he had a ginormous T.V. and this crazy newfangled thing called a DVD player)

What about you? What would you do differently?

Thank You, Mr. Google.

Over Christmas, my little sister introduced me to the joys of Google Reader. I had absolutely no idea what "RSS feeds" were before then.  And, to be honest, I still have no inkling how they work...gnomes?  Evil movie computers?  Don't know.  Don't care.  All I know is that I can read 5 times the number of blogs than I did before in half the time.  Even as I write this, baby zoo animals and drama queen dolls could be delivered to my reader.  And then, if something tickles my fancy, I can easily e-mail it to others or share it with a comment.

Good work, gnomes!

Of course, she also introduced me to bubbleshooter, the biggest time blackhole of them all.  Boo hissy, Sara!

01 July 2009


I went by Plato's Closet this afternoon to sell back a few clothes that no longer fit, post-Pea.  My sister had warned me that they're picky about what they'll take, so I only took in things that were in good shape and (what I thought were) good brands.  J. Crew, Banana Republic, Gap, Harold's, Express, Guess (okay, that one might be stretching it by a decade or two, but it was a super-cute jean jacket!).  Looking back, I should have gotten a clue when the guy walking in before me was wearing a trendy t-shirt with a band that was doing a reunion tour before he was born.  But I toddled in with a 20 pound Pea on one hip and 20 pounds of clothes in the other.

Second moment I should have gotten a clue...
Snooty 19 year-old guy checking me in (not to be confused with snooty 19 year-old guy standing in front of me or snooty 19 year-old guy standing behind me):  You're supposed to bring your items in lying flat in a bag or basket.

Me:  I'm sorry.  I didn't know.

S19YOGCMI:  Meh.

Final moment of shame (after running to Wal-Mart and back, with ice cream melting in the car and the Pea melting down in my arms)...
Snooty 19 year-old girl checking me out:  Ummm...yeah, we looked through your stuff, and we can't take any of it.  The styles are just so... (she trailed off with a look of disgust).

Me:  (((mortified look of shame)))

S19YOGCMO:  They were just so outdated...

Me:  (((praying she will STOP TALKING)))

S19YOGCMO:  Ummm...if you wait a little while longer, you might be able to bring the jeans back in as "vintage"...

Me:  (((grabbing the clothes...contemplating leaving them in the parking lot for wild animals to nest or burrow in)))

Oi.  That process made a form rejection in the publishing world look like a kiddie pool full of marshmallows and kittens.

Whatever happened to, "I'm sorry, but these items don't fit our inventory needs right now"?

Helpful Idea

I was shocked the other night when some of my more seasoned mom friends (the ones I always call in an "Is this normal??" panic) had not heard of this tip:

For slippery finger foods, coat them with ground up Cheerios dust.  I just toss some in a plastic bag, pulverize it with a rolling pin (which is kind of satisfying in and of itself), then sprinkle it over the diced whatever and toss it around a little to coat it.


It even got the Pea to eat avocadoes.  Now I have to share.  :(

On a side note:  the Pea keeps trying to nurse and suck his thumb at the same time.  The results are highly ineffective on both fronts but also quite hilarious.