Saturday, December 17, 2011

I've Come to a Decision

I buy quite a few things in the generic brand, because I really don't care whether my toilet paper has a picture of a cuddly (and WOW so annoying) little bear on the packaging. But I have decided that one thing I will never again buy the generic version of is cotton swabs.

Generic cotton swabs suck. They're all bendy. Especially in the summer when the humidity in our bathroom reaches rain forest levels. I find it unreasonably irritating to try to clean my ears with a buckling cotton swab. I buy cotton swabs about once a year. That means buying generic ones has saved me maybe two bucks a year. I'd rather spend the two dollars and get the Q-Tips.

Life is too short for generic cotton swabs. You heard that bit of life-changing profundity here first.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Birthday Food

Beth asked yesterday if A. got his favorite meal and cake on his birthday. Of course. I mean, doesn't everybody? Isn't that an inalienable right, akin to the pursuit of happiness?

In A.'s case, that meant he got a roasted leg of lamb, of which he probably ate about two and half pounds of the meat because that man is ALL ABOUT THE MEAT, plus roasted potatoes and a yogurt sauce made of yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic.

That yogurt sauce, by the way, though it is ostensibly for the lamb and is of course delicious with that, is one of my favorite things in the world when drizzled over roasted potatoes. I may have eaten an unholy amount of potatoes with yogurt sauce last night. To each his or her own.

We also had chard, but that wasn't so much because A. loves it as because it's his least-detested of vegetables. That's really all I can ask for when it comes to forcing a vegetable at a meal.

The MiL made his cake. It was a chocolate roulade. That's a flourless cake batter baked thin and flat, then rolled around a whipped cream filling. It is awesome.

We're going to be driving home from Washington, D.C. on my birthday this year (December 27--you still have time to get my present!), so I probably won't be having a birthday meal on the actual day. And anyway, my preferred birthday food is always pasta, which doesn't sit well with most of my gluten-sensitive household (do not even speak to me of gluten-free pasta on my birthday). Which is why A. and I always go out for my birthday to a restaurant. The MiL does always make my cake, though. Any kind I want. Even this (DELICIOUS) pain in the ass.

I haven't decided on my cake for this year yet. It will be a chocolate cake, because it's always a chocolate cake of some kind, but I'm waffling between peanut butter or coconut frosting. Oh, the agony of indecision.

So what about you, duckies? Do you have a meal and a cake that must be served on your birthday or heads will roll?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Woodchuck Man Gets Older

Were I more organized or less addled in the brain, I would have thought up some fun new verses to A.'s birthday song. But I'm not, so I didn't.

He'll just have to be satisfied with re-reading last year's song and a simple happy birthday.

So happy birthday to my entirely unique husband. And many more.

Edited to add: Uh, that's many more birthdays, not many more husbands. Just thought I should clarify . . .

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


A few days ago when I asked Cubby if he wanted a cracker, he asked for peanut butter. So I put some peanut butter on a cracker. He then proceeded to lick the peanut butter off the cracker and hold out the now-sodden and pretty nasty cracker for more peanut butter. So I figured, if the kid wants peanut butter, I'll just give him peanut butter.

He ate about four spoonfuls of straight peanut butter. It was kind of gross.

A couple of days ago we had some cranberry chutney with dinner. He ate a small bowl of that, straight. Also kind of gross.

Then this morning, we had fried eggs for breakfast. He wasn't really into the eggs, so I asked him if he wanted salsa on his eggs. He replied in the affirmative, so I put some salsa on his egg. Which he then licked off, leaving the egg behind. So, just as an experiment to see just how far this weird love of condiments goes, I gave him a spoonful of plain salsa. He ate it. And then several more.

Weird kid. Seriously. Just weird.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pictures and Wit

Well, pictures, anyway.

So check out what Nana sent as an early Christmas present for A.

It's a gigantic toddler in a backpack! Just what he needed!

Actually, it is just what he needed. A. has been complaining pretty much since Cubby was born that we didn't have an appropriate backpack to carry him with us hiking and stuff. Since I don't really like hiking and stuff*, I was not too motivated to remedy the situation. We tried a couple of different carriers loaned to us by friends, but they weren't comfortable for either A. or Cubby, so we didn't use them.

Then my mom mentioned this wonderful carrier my brother got for his daughter and asked if we might want one. About two weeks later, the Deuter Kid Comfort II arrived.

Cue the angel music.

A. loves this thing. It's a serious pack, built just like real hiking packs for adults. That means it fits his big frame and has enough support and straps that A. can strap Cubby to his back with a minimum of discomfort.

Cubby also loves this thing. We took it out of the box and he immediately tried to climb in it. "Pack?" he asked, right before scrambling into it on the living room floor and falling over in it.

There was no injury to either Cubby or the pack.

So where did we take this wondrous contrivance on its maiden voyage?

How about a bucolic hike through the countryside?

To dig out a well.

That's right. We strapped Cubby into the pack and carried him through the fields behind A.'s grandma's house so A. could dig out her well and fix her slow water problem. That is, A. carried Cubby. I carried that long-ass shovel you see there.

It was approximately 20 degrees with a stiff wind when we did this. Cubby was not amused. He watched the digging for about thirty seconds before he hid behind my legs and repeated, "Cold? Cold? Cold?" (Translation: GOD, MOM. IT'S COLD, OKAY? GET ME OUT OF HERE.)

Luckily, it only took about five minutes for A. to clear the well, and then he carried Cubby back to Grandma's house, where we went inside and luxuriated in her 75-degree house for half an hour while Cubby played with her walking canes.

A. also used the pack the next morning to take Cubby out when he went out to do various chores. It was even colder then, and Cubby was even less amused. But despite our questionable choice of activities with the pack, Cubby still loves it and I foresee much use of it in the future.

Good job, Nana.

* AT ALL, which is just a cruel joke, since I married Mr. Outdoors and then gave birth to Mr. Junior Outdoors.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I have some pretty good pictures from this weekend, which was a classic Blackrock family weekend (meaning hard labor and cold temperatures), but they're still on my camera. And my witty written explanations of the pictures (what? they ARE SO witty) are still in my head. Because the time that would have been spent uploading pictures and being witty was instead taken up with setting up and decorating the Christmas tree.

That was not such a witty activity. More frustrating, as we discovered more than one string of lights was only half working; I didn't get all the boxes of tree decorations out of the crawlspace because I was trying to avoid moving all the rest of the house decorations last night in favor of focusing on the tree stuff (read: I was too lazy to make more than one trip up and down the stairs); and the MiL and I--the resident tree decorators--were both really tired.

But the tree must go up, because a certain small child in residence will probably lose his damn mind with joy when he sees it. So it's up. It's not perfect--the lights are a little bit sparse, some of the MiL's nicer ornaments are still M.I.A., and I haven't found the star for the top yet--but it's a tree. And it's jolly.

So pictures and wit tomorrow. For today, we have some Christmas cheer to view in our living room.