Saturday, January 5, 2013

Snotty Soap, Anyone?

I have a great prejudice against bar soap.  This is partially because of the filthy hands of certain other (male) members of my household who use the bar soap and leave it looking dirtier than the hands it's supposed to clean.  And partially because I'm lazy and don't want to have to work up a lather all by myself from such a hard and unyielding soap.  Doesn't the soap know that I only have ten seconds to wash my hands before the toddler whacks the baby with a shoe horn and all hell breaks loose in the living room?

Inconsiderate bar soap.  Making me do all the work.

So I'm all about the liquid hand soap in the dispensers.  What I am NOT all about anymore is strong fragrances.  Ever since being pregnant with Charlie, I've been much more sensitive to anything with a strong fragrance, and boy howdy, do liquid hand soaps ever stink.  They stink pretty, to be sure, but it is just too much for me.

I have not yet found a liquid soap that doesn't knock me back with its Rain Fresh scent or whatever the hell. And so, of course, I decided I had to make my own.

Because what I needed was one more thing I make myself rather than buy at the store like a normal person.

I used this method, with a bar of Ivory soap.  Because there ain't nothin' in Ivory soap, thank you Ivory people for resisting the scented bandwagon.  My bar of soap was only half as large as the one used in the recipe, which makes me wonder why anyone would need an eight-ounce bar of soap.  That's a really big bar of soap.


Since my bar of soap was half as big as the behemoth bar called for, I adjusted the rest of the ingredients accordingly, got the soap bits all melted, and left it to cool overnight.

In the morning, I checked on it and found that the consistency was way too thick for a soap dispenser.  Luckily, the recipe addressed this, and said it can be made thinner by adding more water (quite a lot more, in my case) and blending it all up with a hand-held blender.

Which is why I was beating soap in a cooking pot with my blender at 6:30 this morning while Cubby sat at the table eating his oatmeal and interrogating me about what I was doing.

I'm being crazy, okay, son?  Get used to it.

I did get it to the right consistency eventually, and that consistency is . . . snot.  For real.  It is snotty.  It's all gloppy and makes ropey little strings when it's poured and . . . well.  It's kind of gross.  But it does work, and it doesn't stink to high heaven, and it's cheap.  And now I have half a gallon of it, which is going to last a really long time.  So it's snotty hands for me for the foreseeable future!

(I'm weird. I know.  I've made my peace with it.)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Adventures in Electricity

We've had a very electric kind of day so far today.  And not really in the fun way.

This morning as I was putting away Christmas decorations, Cubby grabbed one of the cheap-o glittery stars that were hung on the bottom of the tree this year (for obvious reasons of unbreakability) and pretended it was a cookie.  He was rolling the cookie out and mixing the cookie and so on.  It was all very cute and I was glad he was entertaining himself while I got on with the hateful chore of disentangling the lights from the shedding Christmas tree.

Then he decided to warm up his "cookie" in the microwave.  I did not know he was doing this until I heard the crackling sounds of microwaved metal coming from the kitchen.

Did you know that metal ornament hooks will burn a hole through the glass in a microwave turntable in less than twenty seconds?  Neither did I, but I do now.

At least he didn't burn the house down.

So now I have to find a replacement turntable, which apparently are not stocked in any store anywhere but must be ordered online.  Super.

But the excitement doesn't stop there!

The electrician showed up late this morning to fix the upstairs hall light fixture, which stopped working about a month ago.

Promptness!  I am all about it!

You know that electricians use lots of tools, right?  And you know how my older son feels about tools, right?

Right.  Besides the hall light, the electrician was also replacing the old, loose outlet in Cubby's room in which a plug would never stay without being propped up with lots of stacked books. So Cubby sat on the chair in his room and watched the (very patient) man do this job.  And that child never stopped asking questions the whole blessed time. "What's that?  Where's the screw?  How does he cut that?  Why is he wearing a measuring tape?  What song is he singing? (the man was humming to himself) Why? Why? Why? Why?"

I figured it wasn't really part of the electrician's job to answer a barrage of questions from a two-year-old, so I did my best to answer them myself.  The man told me I was doing a good job.

Thank you, sir.  You have no idea of the random topics on which I have been forced to discourse since birthing my own personal interrogator.

Anyway.  We now have a new light switch in the hall to replace the ancient push-button one that was the source of the problem.

And a microwave without a turntable, but let's focus on today's positives, shall we?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Best Years: A Drinking Game for Parents

There are some inevitables when you become a parent: You will never again get enough sleep.  You will spend far too much time focusing on the excrement of your children.  And way too many people will tell you these are the best years of your life.

Let us take, for example, a random moment on our recent road trip.  On our way home, we stopped at a Waffle House in Delaware for breakfast, because we are ALL ABOUT the class.

A. and Cubby went inside while I nursed Charlie in the car.  Then I changed him on the seat of the car, discovering as I did so that he had soaked through to his onesie (damned disposable diapers) and so needed a complete outfit change.  As I was doing this, an older couple came out of the restaurant and got in the car next to me.  The man in the driver's seat rolled down his window and called out, "You won't believe it, but these are the best years of your life."

Now, in the drinking game I just made up, hearing these words means you take a shot of the liquor of your choice.  One shot for each child you care for.  That means that in this instance, I should have taken two shots of gin.  Had I done so, I would've been much better prepared for the fifteen minutes after we got back in the car, during which Cubby screamed and cried because he only had one shoe on*, and Charlie screamed and cried because he was in the car and he doesn't like the car.

Sadly, I had not had any shots whatsoever--it being ten in the morning and all--and so I just had to turn the radio up in a futile attempt to drown out my screaming progeny.

But remember: These are the best years of your life!  Made better by liquor.  And a seriously resilient sense of humor.

* I don't know either.  He didn't want me to take the other shoe off; he only wanted me to put the missing shoe on.  Something I was unwilling to attempt while traveling 60 miles an hour.  Such is the irrationality of toddlers.

Health, Wealth, and Happiness Coming Right Up

Happy New Year, poppets.  The black-eyed peas are simmering on the stove. The collard greens are cooked.  The biggest damned pork loin roast in the history of hogs* is in the refrigerator, ready to be put in the oven shortly.

New Year's Day at Blackrock, full steam ahead.

* Seriously.  This thing is over ten pounds.  The MiL bought it at the butcher yesterday, and possibly she went a little overboard.  I will be cutting it in half before I cook it and freezing one half, because not even we--prodigious meat consumers that we are--can eat that much pork.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Making Christmas Memories

Memories of the Small Children Christmases, that is.  Which are not, unfortunately, always sugar plums and shining faces.  Take this past Christmas, for example.

My brother-in-law made the very large and nice midday meal on Christmas morning.  Charlie fell asleep right before we ate.  It was almost Cubby's naptime too, so I figured he could eat, then I could put him down and the adults would have a few minutes to enjoy our food (and wine) without the company of little hellions.

HAHAHA.  It's just so amusing when I'm so foolishly optimistic, isn't it?

Cubby ate about five bites, then climbed down off his chair and lay down right on the floor.  Okay.  Hint taken.  To bed with you.

I got him upstairs and into bed, then sat down on the edge of the bed to tell him his story.

And the bed broke.

Well, actually, the mattress sort of slid through the frame, which was loose or something.  I couldn't lift it back up by myself, so I called A. up to help me.  He discovered the screws on the frame needed tightening, and asked me to find an allen wrench.  My brother-in-law left the table to find an allen wrench and help A. fix the bed.

So, at this point, my sister was sitting alone at the table with our Christmas feast.  Great.

I decided my help was not required upstairs and went back to my food.  And wine.  Especially the wine.

About two minutes later, I realized it was suspiciously quiet on the Cubby front.  But I thought maybe he was just absorbed in watching the handymen fix the bed.

HAHAHA.  There I go being foolishly optimistic again.

I went upstairs just as my brother-in-law was removing Cubby from Charlie's room.  Cubby had opened the closed door--I had not been aware he could turn the knobs, clever boy--pulled a rolling office chair over to the Pack 'n' Play, and climbed right in with Charlie.

I'm pretty sure he was not planning on snuggling up with him for an adorable double nap.  In fact, if I had to guess, I would bet on some injury occurring to the unsuspecting and defenseless infant.  Who was, of course, now fully awake thanks to the toddler.

So I put Cubby down for his nap in his fixed bed and brought a very tired and bewildered baby downstairs with me so we could all finish our now-cold meal.

And the wine. We finished the wine, too. Which should surprise no one.

Merry Christmas, kids.  Next year, just get Mommy a whole case of wine, okay?  Thanks.