Bigger than my stomach

You guys! I’m going to redo my entryway! Today. Like, this afternoon. Like, while I care for an 18-month-old, and gestate a fetus, and recover from the holidays, and also vacuum (because my house totally needs to be vacuumed) and do a load of whites.

Adorable nook, all by removing closet doors. – http://pinterest.com/pin/163888873913876375/

That. That is what I’ll do. And it will be so cute, y’all! Even though that also means I have to buy and install all the bench/shelving stuff. And throw out like half my coats (which, I have a lot of coats, but most of them don’t fit any more. Having too small coats is depressing….I prefer not to deal with them. Aaaaaanyway….) And also find a new place to keep my vacuum, and tv trays, and a half dozen board games and other random stuff. Oh, and remove a door + hinges from its frame. And probably spackle and paint.

I’m going to do this! Totally! I will follow through with it and not leave board games with choking hazard-sized pieces lying around on the living room floor when I give up halfway through. I will not make a half-finished eyesore that will fill my husband with frustration and regret every time he opens the front door after a long day at work.

And, oh my god, you guys, can you just take a moment to feel sorry for my husband, who was at work when I thought of this idea, so won’t know about it until he reads this on his phone during a much needed break. He’ll be like “oooh, she blogged. Maybe there’s a cute picture of my daughter.” And then he’ll read with mounting horror because he knows this is exactly the kind of thing I do.

Like, he’s hoping, based on my description & post title that I’ve talked myself out of it, but he also knows he might have to come home to just utter chaos, and possibly take off work to drive me to the hospital for exhaustion/stupidity. This is the life he lives every day, folks.

He could walk in the door to find his daughter coloring on the walls while I play candy crush (I was too tired to stop her, I’ll clean it up later) and also I didn’t make any food and there are no clean clothes. Or she could be peacefully napping while I prepare an elaborate dinner, and the laundry is folded, and I made the bed and put away the dishes. Or the entire living room could be covered in fabric and glitter because I had a great idea, I’ll clean up later, ooh, but then I wanted to make a cake and somehow used all the dishes we own. Wanna order takeout? I didn’t make any actual dinner, just cake and a mess.

Utter laziness, beautiful domesticity, creative madness. This is the roulette wheel that spins every day at my house.

Oh, and just to be clear, husband, I’m not actually going to take the door off the hall closet or paint anything. I might go to Target and buy a shelf with little hooks on it to hang my purse, though. Ooh, and I’ll think real hard about throwing out the extra coats, but I probably won’t get to it. I will wash the whites.

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The Cheesecake

I often feel very good about my cooking skills. I feel one of the things that makes me a good cook is my ability to go beyond a recipe. I’m pretty good at whipping things up on the fly, adjusting recipes to suit my needs, and in general just improvising.
Anyway, it’s all well and good for me to brag about my mad kitchen skills. Until I make something great, and want to make it twice.
Then I suck, and have terrible kitchen skills because, where is the recipe? Oh, right IT DOESN’T EXIST! You, Bethany, with your tinkering with things and not having any time to write down what you did because you’re too creative, by which I mean, you’re terrible at following instructions and have just learned to hide it from everybody. And now you can never eat those cookies again. Or, in this specific instance, cheesecake.
Last year for Thanksgiving I made a cheesecake. It was good, and it had a shortbread crust and a delicious caramel sauce to go with it. But I don’t have a recipe for cheesecake in my recipe box. I DO have a recipe for cheesecake in the dessert cookbook that also has the delicious caramel sauce, and the page was bookmarked with a handwritten recipe for…um…something. Cupcakes, possibly? I have no system.Actually, there are two recipes for cheesecake. One on each page, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the first one. I think last year’s cheesecake might be at least related to the second recipe, but I’m also pretty sure I merged it with a recipe from Food Network’s website. Which I did not pin or bookmark or save in any way.So I guess what I’m saying is, maybe I should learn to follow a recipe.

So close…

I’m hoping we can get Zooey potty-trained (during the daytime, at least) before Newbie is here. She’s interested in potty-related things, and seems, at least sometimes, to be aware of when she has to go potty. Last night, she told me she had to go potty, and I took off her diaper so she could sit on the little potty we have downstairs.

Except she didn’t want to sit on it. She immediately wanted to move on to washing her hands. So I sat on the big potty to demonstrate how “big girls go pee-pee.” And she did go pee-pee.

On the floor, by the sink.

And then she wanted to wipe herself and wash her hands. So really, I should be proud, because she’s got almost the whole routine down. Except, you know, the important part.

Halloween (after the fact)

So, Halloween.

It’s pretty much my favorite holiday. I don’t know if you know that, but it is. You know why? Because it’s awesome. Christmas has a lot of expectations. I’ve got hundreds of dollars of presents to buy for dozens of people and WHAT IF I GIVE SUCKY PRESENTS EVERYONE WILL HATE ME!  And it goes on forever!!! It’s almost two months away and everyone is already trying to get me to celebrate it. Bah, humbug.

Thanksgiving is fine, and there’s stuffing, but it’s still a lot of running around trying to see everyone and not as much relaxing with my belt off as I’d really like. And my team never plays during the football game.

Halloween is really the good stuff. It’s a celebration of chocolate and pretending to be someone else all night. Also The Nightmare Before Christmas. No one expects me to buy anything more than a giant bag of fun size Snickers, and maybe a couple pumpkins. I also like making costumes and carving pumpkins. Wheeee! Low expectations/high reward. That is the holiday for me.

This year I was really excited to make a costume for Zooey. I’ve been planning to make her Boo from Monsters Inc. basically since I could put little pigtails in her baby hair. I made a costume that I’m pretty proud of:

boo costumeThough, you may notice, there’s not little Boo in the costume. She would not wear it. Or pigtails. But it’s cool. I had a backup:

owl_costume1

owl_costume2

4-hour owl! And she actually let me put it on (kind of, there was some freaking out when I attached the wings, but she got used to them). And, I carved a pumpkin to match:

owl_pumpkin

the new kid

Hey, guess what y’all?

big_sister1 Someone’s going to be a big sister! She’s as excited about it as a 16-month-old can be, inasmuch as we now spend more time talking about babies, and even though she doesn’t understand exactly what we’re trying to tell her, she likes to talk about babies, or at least say “Baby!” very excitedly. The new kid should be here at the end of April (I’m 15 weeks right now, if you were interested) and we should know next month if we get the boy or girl variety.

Everyone is very happy about it, including me, when I’m not barfing. Which can stop any time now, please.

shortcut

The past couple of times I’ve made cookies, I haven’t baked the whole batch together. Instead I portion out the dough, roll it into little balls & freeze it on a cookie sheet. Once it’s been in the freezer a few hours I move it to a zip top bag, and voila! ready to bake cookies, in whatever number you need.

They don’t last as long as I’d really like, but I think they last  a bit longer than three dozen cookies sitting on my counter begging me to eat them before they get hard. (Chocolate chip cookies should always be chewy, if you don’t agree, we can’t be friends. Sorry.)

Anyway, so maybe you do this same thing, or maybe you buy the pre-made dough they sell in the refrigerated section by the cinnamon rolls in a can. And maybe you’re like I was this afternoon, and you want cookies, but just one or two. And maybe it seems like a waste of time and energy to heat up your whole oven for two measly cookies, so maybe you think “Hey, I’ve got this toaster oven that is almost exactly the right size for two cookies.” And so if you’re thinking that might be a good idea:

image

I already thought that. It’s not a good idea. The cookies will burn on the top, while remaining raw inside. Also, they kind of look like biscuits, instead of proper cookies.

[Cue music for “The More You Know”]

Professionals & Princesses

I’ve been a little sick this past week, and when you’re sick, but your toddler is healthy, things can get kind of sideways.

I’ve been coping the best I can, playing games like “Let’s Sit and Read a Book” or “Bring Mommy _____! Now Go Get _____!” (fun fact: she will only comply with toys. she will not fetch a sandwich, or the box of tissues.) or the very popular “Here is a Sticker. Enjoy While Mommy Plays Candy Crush.”

We’ve also been watching more TV than is typically allowed; specifically Doc McStuffins. If you are not aware, Doc McStuffins is a six-year-old girl who fixes toys. They come to life and complain of some kind of toy ailment, she gives them a checkup, and fixes them and we all learn a fun, song-filled lesson about the importance of hand washing or to be careful around sharp objects or something.

Zooey loves Doc. She has a Doc doll, and a Doc bag and a Doc book with Doc stickers. when we go too the store, she points out the place in the toy aisle with Doc toys by yelling “Doc! DOC!!! DocDocDocDoc.” When the show comes on, she flips her little baby lid.

I like Doc too. She’s much less annoying than Dora because she doesn’t yell questions into the fourth wall and then stand there staring in awkward silence. She also doesn’t repeat everything she does four times.

I like her better than Princess Sophia, because she is not a princess. She is a doctor. Well, a pretend doctor, but her mom is a real doctor, and she’s got career aspirations.

Don’t get me wrong, Sophia is fine, but she is the gateway to Disney Princess worship, which is annoying to me. I like Mulan, she never gets included in the princess lineup. Know why? Because she’s good at fighting and riding, but hates makeup. That’s not princess-y.

It’s cool to like princesses and pink and sparkles. It’s cool to think dressing up is more fun than mud puddles. But then the shit hits the fan and you and the prince are stuck in the cave/castle/evil forest fighting the bad guy, and what’s not cool is crying with your back to the wall when this happens. That is my number one irritation with the princesses: the moment in the movie where the battle is raging, and the magic orb/sword/gun slips out of the hero’s (Prince’s) hand and falls to the floor eight feet from our leading lady and she just stares at it all horrified.

Even when I was a kid, that shit drove me up the wall. I remember being like eight and critiquing The Princess Bride scene in the Fire Swamp in pretty much this exact way. “She just stands there! Why doesn’t she help? God. She’s the worst.” Even in grown-up not princess/animated movies that happens all the time, and I cannot handle it. Grab the gun, shoot his face. Don’t just stand there.

And I could discuss this more intelligently by talking about agency or lack thereof in female roles, and gender stereotypes and societal norms and how they are internalized by our children and blah blah blah. But my overall point is this, girls: Liking pink sparkle stuff is awesome. Liking other stuff is awesome. The more stuff you like and feel passionate about, the more awesome you are. But just standing there is not awesome.*

 
*And I realize the irony of this message coming from someone who just admitted they tried to get their one-year-old to make them a sandwich out of sickness/laziness. Let’s gloss over that. I’m feeling better and made my own sandwich today.