Monday, July 27, 2009


Ever run across one of those recipes that seem SO simple, you just wanna say...DUH! Well I had the experience recently and have added it to my repertoire. But here's the kids LOVE it. All 4. LOVE.IT. And as much as I'd like to take credit for it, I'll give credit where credit is due...Tams...we're forever in your debt. What is it that will have the gods singing? Shrimp Salsa. And it's easy-peasy.

Here is what you need:
2 jars of your favorite chunky salsa (I use a Mexican brand Herdez, and I use mild because medium is more difficult to find...and I can usually find it for about $1.70/jar)
1 lb peeled, deveined and cooked shrimp (I'd say size doesn't matter, but it really does, as we well know. I've done this once with precooked frozen shrimp, and once with uncooked frozen shrimp that I boiled til JUST done...and I think I preferred the texture of the uncooked shrimp that I cooked myself. They were sized at 40-60 and I cut each one in half after cooking)
jalapenos (to taste...this time of year, I find that the smaller and darker the jalapeno, the spicier they are. I picked up giant ones last week and they tasted exactly like green peppers) at least 2-3 (3 is probably the tops I'd do if kids were eating it), cleaned and cut into small dice
cilantro again, to taste. I use about half a bunch cut up finely
juice of 2 limes if the limes are at room temperature, they juice easier
1-2 avocados diced depends on how much you like avocados.

Combine everything but avocados and refrigerate. Before serving (I do this mostly to keep the avocados from turning brown), add avocados. Serve with Tostito Scoops (so that you can get a little bit of all the flavors on one chip).'ll LOVE this. Bring it to a party and you will be a ROCK STAR!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

When Furniture Fights Back

Up until recently, Beanie had been sleeping on a twin over full bunk bed that was given to us by moving neighbors. We only needed to add the required mattresses. And it had served us well. But lately, I've noticed that the bed seems wobbley. And squeaky, making noise with each move. When Beanie started bringing screws to me, screws that had worked themselves out of the frame, I knew it was time to replace her bed.

But who replaces just a bed? Right. That's my juicy rationalization for purchasing her a "new" bedroom set. The reality is, the only dresser in her room was the maple baby dresser that each child had used. It had 3 drawers, which is fine for a baby/toddler but we were finding that dresser real estate was at a premium and something needed to be done.

So, I started scoping out Craigslist. Why not new? Well, Beanie has a penchant for markers, sharp objects and anything that produces a sticky residue so I deemed her not yet ready for new. I found a set that was perfect but waited too long and it had been sold (how come the items I put on Craigslist don't sell that quicky?). It took me about a week to find a different set that we thought would be perfect for an 8 year old girl. A twin 4 poster bed, a dresser with mirror, and a night stand; all pieces were a white washed pine with some flower embelishments on them. So last weekend we went and purchased it. Not one to let grass grow under my feet, I tackled her bedroom. OY! I pulled 4 big rubbermaid bins of CRAP out of her room. I got the bedroom all set up, the bed washed and remade. We were all set for her first night in her new bed. And she did great.

Then, the second day she did what I expected. She fell out of bed. Let me preface this; she slept on the top (twin) bunk that used the wall on one side and the guard rail on the other to keep her in the bed. She is also a thrasher. The new bed is open on three sides so there is no "protection". Apparently in the midst of her thrashing she fell out of the new bed and popped her cheekbone on the nightstand. Hard enough to leave a lovely lump on her cheekbone, which promptly turned into a shiner under her eye with the cheek bruise appearing 2 days after the fall.

The bad news is, we had a few nights post "fight" of her not wanting to sleep in her own bed. The good news is, she's now back in her bed and seems to have come to detente with her nightstand. Or maybe she is just plotting her revenge. I just hope it doesn't include markers.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Not to Know

My oldest and youngest had physicals yesterday. I'm not normally good at getting them done on time, but my son required one as a sports physical so he can play sports for his last 3 years of HS. My youngest was due too so I had them both together. She was easy. No shots, this time, but we will have to go back for a lab appt to have a few boosters. My son...OY. That one had me reeling.

First and foremost, at 15 he has officially surpassed me in height. I'm 5'9 3/4 (I'm shrinking...I used to be 5'10) he is now 5'10. But that was pretty much to be expected (me...with a dad who is 6'4). It was the "questionnaire" that had me flummoxed.

He was given a questionnaire to fill out and I was given a consent form to complete. Telling me that this questionnaire is confidential between the Dr and patient and they, according to MN state law, are bound by Dr/patient confidentiality. I had been officially cut out of the information loop and I had issues.

My son is 15 and all in all, a good kid. We talk about a multitude of things, some of which he finds embarrassing, some of which he feels comfortable enough to discuss at length. We've discussed most of the things that are readily covered in school but with a more conservative slant. Sex, for example, we've discussed what has been taught at school. But I've taken it a step further and spoken to him about yes, there are ways that CAN help prevent disease/pregnancy, but there is only one fool proof method: abstinence. Schools don't teach that. So, we've had many discussions along these lines.

So, I'm sitting in the next room with the youngest when the nurse comes in and tells me that I have forgotten to sign the consent form. To which I replied, no, I didn't forget, I have chosen not to until I speak with his Dr. I seem to have surprised her (the nurse). I then went in to speak with my son and ask him if there was anything on that form that he would not like me to see. He said no. I asked if he was completely honest on the form and he said yes otherwise the questionnaire is pointless. He handed me the questionnaire to read his responses and I chose not to. After the youngest's glowing physical, I asked to speak with the Dr regarding the consent form and my reservations.

Don't get me wrong, I do not have my head buried in the sand with regard to our family not being like all families, but in my opinion the state is now pandering to the lowest common denominator. I think there are a small percentage of children who might be in a position of bodily harm from a parent who may not agree with the child's choices. The majority of the parents, who have their child's best interest at heart, are inconsequential. But as a parent, I am emotionally, physically, spiritually, morally and financially responsible for my child until they are 18. That gives me a vested interest in being involved with all decisions regarding my child. ALL decisions. Some I may not like, but I will ultimately do what is best for my child. If I have to abdicate the decision making process with my child, what I would like to know is, who then picks up the emotional, physical, moral and financial responsibility of which I have been so carefully and purposefully excluded? Or does the state just get a say in their physical (and possibly emotional) well being without realizing that they are all intricately tied together?

The issue is not a tangible one, at least for us. Instead it is an issue of principle. I do not need, nor want, a nanny state telling me what can and cannot be discussed about my child and his/her physical health. *I* am responsible for that child so it is my RIGHT to know what drugs are being prescribed, what tests are being performed, and what issues my child may be faced with in order to help my child come to a safe and informed decision.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fashion Accessory?

I know this is stupid but I just gotta have my say. Maybe putting it out there in black and white will make it quit buggin' me so much.

When exactly did lingerie, specifically bras, become fashion accessories? Seriously. I'm not talking about the bra straps that peek-a-boo out from the little teeny boppers cami tops that everyone wears (including my own daughters). I'm talking the full on, hook and eye back strap that holds said garment on our bodies?

And here is where it really caught my attention: I am a fairly avid watcher of Sex and the City (the cut version for TV) and on NUMEROUS occasions I've seen Carrie wearing her bra as if it were a fashion accessory and my first thought is always...WTH? When she attends Smith's opening of his play with Berger in a stunning Prada dress...with a bra strap (again the hook and eye version) across the back of her open back dress. When she visits Big in the hospital after he has his "heart thing" (moment of pause for uncontrolled weeping), she has on this gorgeous plaid sundress that criss-crosses in the back and there again...that big ugly strap marring the whole effect. And finally (or to my recollection) when she attends Enid's party with the Russian, again wearing a backless (and sideless) dress with a bra visible in both back and sides.

So, what exactly is the point. Somehow I suspect that when Prada (or the sundress designer) designed the dress, it was not with the intention that the wearer use it as a frame for their underwear. And it's not even the pretty part of the underwear! Does it do anything for the overall effect? Yes, IMO, it looks tacky and ruins the designers "vision". Like...I'm not going to take the effort to provide the proper undergarments for this dress but rather, I'll "make it my own" by having my big ol' bra strap showing.

Carrie gets away with a lot in that show. Some fashion statements that were better left "unsaid", but for some reason this is one that I just can't seem to let go. I don't consider myself a prude (what with 1029 in my past, who could?) and yet this pushing the fashion envelope gives me pause. Oh, I'll let this one go, someday, because I know, someday, there will be something that pushes that envelope just a bit further.

Something like thongs...with charms...but I'll save that for another day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It's My Lucky Day

Those were the words my youngest sang as she ran into the house last night. In her little black dress...that was 2 sizes too small...but I digress.

"I found a 4 leaf clover!" she proudly proclaimed.

"But, one of the leaves fell off", she added with a pout.

Carefully controlling our smiles, we asked to see said Lucky 4 leaf clover of the missing leaf and she produced a beautifully shaped, evenly spaced 3 leaf clover, with a 4th leaf that was slightly bigger than the other 3 and still had part of the stem attached from where she peeled it off (obviously) another 3 leaf clover.

"Um, Beanie, you know this fourth leaf just doesn't seem to fit anywhere on this 3 leaf clover", her dad said, biting his cheek to prevent the bubble of laughter threatening to erupt.

"But Daddy", she stomped her foot in mock frustration at having been outed as a fraudulent four leaf clover finder, "it DID fit."

We all took a step back, not wishing to get hit with the inevitable strike of lightning that would undoubtedly hit her in retribution for her OBVIOUS charade.

Then, she giggled and replied..."It's STILL my lucky day".

THOSE kind of bubbles, I'm not willing to burst.