Saturday, December 20, 2014

Magical Chicken Noodle Soup

Note: I wrote this a while back, but I have more draft blogs than posted ones, so I'm using them to keep you (and me) entertained. 

I've been known to misuse the words "epic" or "magical" or even "amazing", but this is not the case here.  You'll see why...

I also don't dabble in the "Dark Arts" at all ever, but somehow I made a MAGICAL chicken noodle soup the other night.  No, really. 

It was one of those nights where I didn't know what to make, so I came home, stared at the contents of my refrigerator, and settled on chicken noodle soup.  No recipe.  No expectation of it turning out delicious. 

So, the family sat down to their steaming bowls of soup (which I did not eat - that's how I can confirm that it's magical.  You'll understand in a minute.), and ate.  My little one had one bowl, my older daughter had two bowls, and my husband had three bowls.  Some amalgamation of the stories of The Three Bears and Little Black Sambo has popped into my head, but anyway...

Next thing I knew, both kids were asleep before bedtime, and my husband was passed out on the couch.  I was the only person awake at 8:00pm.  **Magic** is the only explanation.  That. Never. Happens.  The dogs were bugging me, and I considered feeding them some to see if they'd also go away and fall asleep, but I decided against that. 

You know you want the recipe, so here it is with pictures of all of my magical ingredients. 

Disclaimer: If you don't make it exactly to the recipe, then you might not have the same results.  Even if you do, results may vary.

First, get your magical Rachel Ray stainless steel pot.

Make sure you have a magical bamboo spoon. 

Finally, gather the following magical ingredients.

Once you've done all of this, do the following exactly how I tell you - or there will be no magic.  Trust me.

Step one: Chop everything that is choppable except the noodles.  Spend as little time as possible doing this step. 

Step two: Drink a glass of wine.

Step three: Put everything but the noodles in the pot, cover, and let it cook until it's finished.  Season to taste.  

Step three-and-a-half: Refill wine glass.

Step four: Add noodles and let it cook until they're done.   

Step five: Serve. 

Wooden Spoon: Use to stir AND to threaten your children if they come in the kitchen to tattle ONE. MORE. TIME.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My Kids On Voting...

I have plenty to say about voting, but you'd probably rather hear what my kids had to say about it.  I'll sum my opinion up at the end. 

My kindergartener reminded me last night that I needed to vote today, and she and her big sister had plenty of advice on who I should vote for.  When conversations like this happen, I kick myself for not having an always-on GoPro in my car or on my person, but I'll do my best to capture the spirit of the conversation:

Note: ALL CAPS is more enthusiasm than yelling.

A: Mom, You know you need to vote for governor tomorrow.  I think you should vote for GEORGE WASHINGTON! 

E: NO!  He takes your money!

A: No he doesn't.  He'll make a GREAT governor.

Me: Uncle Sam takes your money, not George Washington.

E: Why would our uncle take our money?!  (We don't actually have an uncle named Sam in our family).

They argued about who will make the best governor in a heated "Nuh-uh!" "Uh-huh!" exchange...

Me: Actually, neither George Washington nor Uncle Sam are on the ballot, so I can't vote for either of them.  (I had to explain what a ballot is.  If you need my explanation, just ask for it in the comments.)


Me: Well, George Washington is dead, and...

A:  WHAT?!  George Washington DC is dead?  I mean, George Washington FROM D.C. is DEAD????  What happened to him?

Me: He was born like 300 years ago.  He died a long time ago.  Dead people make terrible governors.  And Uncle Sam isn't a real person.  He was a character created for...

A: I know how to spell H.E.B.!  H  E  B.  hehehehe

Well, I lost them after that, but I'm encouraged that they recognize voting as an important thing at such an early age...even if they DO want to vote for dead presidents and cartoon characters.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I'm so OVER the Easter Bunny!

And the more I think about it, I'm over Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, too.  (Elf on the Shelf is real, so I'm not including that guy in my rant.)

I would consider my past self as someone who believed that children should hang on to those magical, mythical present depositors for as long as possible.  But now that I'm a whole eight years into this shit, I'm ready to break the news to my kids. 

Before you blow up my comments with how and why I shouldn't shatter their magical childhood, don't worry.  I want to, but I won't.  Not yet anyway. 

So, as I'm planning the Easter baskets for the kids this year, two things happened. 


 I told Jay how stressed I was about all I had to do this Spring including the baskets, and he said, "Oh.  Those are easy."  To which I replied, "Great.  Then you are assigned Easter basket duty."  He said, "Fine.  I'll just go to Walgreen's and get one that's already made and ready to go." 

I didn't say anything back, but you know I cringed.  Because you just cringed when you read that.

Um, no.

I made a list of what I wanted to put in their baskets.  I was going for simple and fun.  My list included sidewalk chalk, a birdhouse that they can paint, some seeds to plant, etc.  You know, crunchy mommy things.  Anyway, I started thinking about how creative and wonderful I am and how much they'll LOVE these baskets...that they get...FROM THE EASTER BUNNY?!  And I realized then and there that I'm completely over busting my ass to make this magic on behalf of someone/thing that doesn't even exist! 

They'll grow up remembering that they had great baskets and gifts, sure, but they won't be able to thank me on the spot for the things they love.  Selfish of me, I know, but those suckers are a lot of work, and I've done my time!

In conclusion, I'll probably let my husband buy the crappy baskets from Walgreen's...NEXT Easter.  This year, I'm going to let the Easter Bunny blow their mind one last time and look surprised at how amazing and creative that jellybean-pooping, boiled egg-dying, candy-hiding, spotlight-stealing rabbit is!

Bedtime Stories (Mine, not the Adam Sandler Movie)

I was in bad need of some me-time tonight, so I tried to cut the bedtime routine short.  I skipped baths, cups of water and reading a book.  BUT, they insisted on a story.  (For those who don't know, I have two girls.  E is 8 and A is 5.)  So here's how it went:

A: Mom!  Read me a story.

Me: I'll tell you a story.  Once upon a time, there was a girl named Aubrey who didn't go to bed like she was told, and she stayed up too late, and the night monster came and ate her. The end.
A: Really, mom?  That's not a real story.  Tell me a REAL story.

Me: Okay.  Once upon a time, there was a...(looking around her room for inspiration) dinosaur who lived in a cage.  And that made him very very sad.  So he bit through the bars, ran to the forest, and now he lives on our lot and eats all of the bunnies.  The end. 
The Inspiration

A:  Grrrr.  That's terrible!

E: Tell ME a story.
Me: Okay.  (Looking around her room for inspiration)  Once upon a time, there was a little girl who sewed.  And she sewed and she sewed and she sewed and she sewed and she sewed.  Then she stopped sewing because she realized she was hungry.  But when she stood up, she saw that she had sewed herself to the chair.  So she starved to death.  The end.

The Inspiration
E:  Ugh!  You know that's really going to happen to me now, right?  Tell me a REAL story about something REAL!

Me:  Okay.  Once upon a time, there was a mermaid...


Me:  Okay.  Once upon a time, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus went on vacation...

A: And Jack Frost and the Sandman and Elsa and Ana?

Me: Yes.  All of those people and all of the other Disney characters.  And they went on vacation to Mexico.


Me:  And they all went to dinner at Carlos & Charlie's.  They drank margaritas and ate Mexican food and sang all of their songs.  They all ate lots of chips and salsa.  What they didn't realize was that the salsa was made from ROTTEN TOMATOES!  So they all go sick and had diarrhea for a WEEK!    


Me:  But they're all better now.  The end.  Goodnight.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Last Thursday Morning (two months ago)

Hi!  I've been a little uninspired and/or inspired-but-afraid-my-post-might-land-me-in-jail for the past two months-ish.  I'm back now.  Calm down.
You may be wondering what could possible bring me out of hiding.  How fantastic could it be.  Brace yourself.  I had a morning last Thursday (two months ago) that left me so inspired, it only took me 6 days to put my experience into words.  And two months to post it! 
The Bus Stop driveway is the bus stop.  I spend as much time as possible out there bossing around other people's children when no other adults are around, and yet the children still like me.  Take my little neighbor girl:  We'll call her Suzy (because I like replacing s's with z's).  Seven-year-old Suzy ran to my door and hugged me as soon as she saw me.  Sweet.  She was excited to tell me about her new puppy:
S: Hi!  We got a new puppy!
Me: Oh yes.  I saw him.  He's cute.  He's a pit bull, right?
S: Yes!  His name is TITAN!  He has a brother at my cousin's named DEISEL!
Me:  Oh, he has a brother.  That's nice. 
S: Well...His name WAS Budweiser, but we changed it to Titan because my cousin's dog was named Bud Light, and he changed it to Deisel.  So when he did that, we changed our dog's name from Budweiser to Titan.
Me:  I think Titan is a much better name for a dog.  I'm glad you chose that name. 
S: (Proud as any snaggle-toothed 7-year-old can be) YEP!  His full name is Titan Budweiser Scotch. 
WHA? WHY? WHO?  Our dog's name (Schatzi Annie Cupcake Sprinkles) is ridiculous and long, but it's kid-appropriate, people!!!!
Estaban's Monte Carlo
On this very same day, I picked up my intern to take her to work, and on leaving her drive way, I backed into her neighbor's Antique Monte Carlo (before you get to gasp-y, we're in our mid-thirties, so shit we used to drive around in in high school almost qualifies for antique plates).  DOH!!  She told me, "His name is Steve, but his REAL name is Esteban Smith."  Really?  So I got an image in my head of what "Esteban" might look like.  And then I met him (to pay him for damages).  Here are the before and after pictures (neither are really Esteban, but you get the idea):

Esteban in my head

More accurate, but he was smiling
because I paid him $300 to fix his fender.
There is an obvious lesson here.  If your baby doesn't look like an Esteban, don't name him Esteban and get all of our hopes up.  Oh, and his last name is not Smith I later found out...Added comment bonus: What would you have named this guy? 

Fat Vegetarians ROCK their Blood Work!

So, I'm almost a year into my vegetarian lifestyle, and I'm thrilled to report that I'm in the excellent range for all of my stuff.  Stuff = blood sugar, cholesterol, liver function, IRON (for you haters), metabolism, etc.  NOW, if I only I could master the equation that is:

But, for now, I'm healthy, y'all!!  I'm not saying I haven't lost weight, but it's unclear if it's stress or the fact that I'm feasting on more plant-based foods.  If only Oreos and wine weren't accidentally vegan.  Well, most wine.  It's at least vegetarian if not vegan.  And I don't buy Oreos.  (How do my posts always end up with confessions??)

This is all excellent news.  Now for the bad news - for my husband, at least.  The doctor did not test my sanity.  I admit, it is probably not in the "optimal" range...but I urge you to ask yourself, "Would I REALLY like Jennifer if she wasn't bat-shit crazy?"  If you answered "Yes," then maybe you should ask yourself, "Would her blogs be worth reading if she wasn't bat-shit crazy."  I'm guessing that is a 100% "No."  See!  Crazy, but smart like a human!
There is a logical conclusion to this post coming riiiiiiiiight now.  Since A) I'm a fat vegetarian, and B) I STILL want to be a hipster, I'm going to go design my own ironic t-shirt.  If you want one, just let me know.  Here's my first draft.  I'll probably try to sweet-talk my brother into some fantastic artwork.  Sorry, Barrett.  I can only pay you in hummus.