Wednesday, October 29, 2008

(Not) Wordless Wednesday: Halloween '08

Dear Mom,

I know you think this costume would be so cute if I'd just wear that ruffly collar around my neck. Since my Grandma made the costume for my cousin a few years ago, I'm sure it would mean a lot to her, too...if I'd just wear that collar.

The thing is, mom, that collar creeps me out. I can see it out of the corner of my eye when it's around my neck and it makes me claustrophobic. It might scratch me or rub up against my cheek, or the ribbon might rub my neck. I really can't take that chance, mom. And honestly, I think it makes me look even more like a girl than my long hair (which you are not cutting anytime soon, by the way). I think I was nice enough to let you put some clown cheeks on me with makeup, which in itself is a mystery to me because doesn't it just make me look more girly?

So you will have to settle for the collarless, ruffle-less clown this year. Sorry. At least I let you talk me in to wearing the darn thing.



Dear Mom,
"I want to wear this football uniform every Halloween. Forever."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Last post on purees...promise

After this I promise to move this blog on to another really. It's possible the holidays will give me something else to post about besides which fruit or vegetable met an untimely demise in my food processor.

But until then...

I have one more recipe to review: it's the big kahuna of puree recipes. The most unbelieveable of them all, at least in Deceptively Delicious. It's the one where people say "ewwww" and "no wayyyy" when you tell them what's in it. If I hadn't seen Jessica Seinfeld on Oprah talking about how convincing this recipe is, I'd have never tried it.

"It" is a recipe for Brownies. With spinach. And carrots.

And it rocks.

I have a palate that can detect the tiniest smidgeon of vegetables or any other "grow food" in any recipe, so I was skeptical from the git-go. But I could not taste either carrots OR spinach. And I closed my eyes and concentrated. And the only thing my taste buds met was chocolate. And lots of it. The recipe itself calls for baking chocolate as well as cocoa...probably to beat down that veggie taste as thoroughly as possible.

But the real test came when I cut "rownies" for the boys.

(Lettuce and tomato, anyone?)

I rest my case. And they asked for seconds.

You can check out the recipe in its entirety at Oprah's site. I guess Ms. Seinfeld thought it was too good to make us all pay for it.

To wrap up the pureeing chapter of this blog, a thought did occur to me: if they're lucky the boys might get a scant tablespoon of each vegetable I add, since most recipes only call for a half- to one cup of puree. But in the past two days, I've completely disguised three different purees in foods they love (and I did it in front of them).

Maybe one day they'll eat those foods in their recognizable form, but until then every little bit counts.

Here's what I'm doing today

Bloggy Giveaways is hosting another giveaway carnival. No, I do not have a giveaway here...why break my streak of not participating? But I do plan to spend today perusing the growing list of sites who are giving away stuff on theirs. During the last giveaway carnival, I won a set of cleaning supplies (and boy do they look nice in my cabinet) and a children's Christian music CD which my boys love.

So ya'll take some time to check it out...and let me know if you win anything!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You're not alone

In case you've had trouble posting comments here lately, don't give up. I understand Blogger has been temperamental today and lots of people have had trouble with that on other blogs.

So please be patient while they figure their...stuff...out. I'm sure it will be working properly again soon.

It's Thursday. And that's about it.

Update: I almost forgot! I'm posting over here today.

My goodness! I don't have much to say today but I really need to get that bathtub post further down on the's too disgusting to see on a daily basis. And the tub itself is still disgusting, by the way. Maybe this weekend I'll get to it. Maybe.

So since there's not much else going on here, I will relegate my content to the weather. Last night the temps here in Tulsa dipped down to...well I don't know exactly but it was a chilly 68 degrees in my house this morning. So for the first time this season I dressed the boys in jeans and long-sleeved shirts. And I guess Alex doesn't remember what long sleeves feel like: he kept stretching his arms out like he was trying to get them to scoot up his wrists.

And since the leaves are creeping ever closer to being in full fall bloom, I'm also keeping my camera charged and ready to photograph the boys outdoors; just maybe I'll get a keeper for Christmas cards. There's a park about five minutes from my house that every photographer in town is closely monitoring right now. The very day the leaves get to their peak vibrance, the squirrels will have to move aside for the onslaught of photography sessions. I heard once that the park is so much in demand for commercial photographers that some sort of permit is required to shoot there. Let's hope that doesn't apply to me and my point-and-shoot Canon.

We are also one day from the one-year anniversary of Alex's unplanned dip in a fish pond. Back then I thought, wait till next year. Next year I won't have to worry so much about him running off. He'll listen and he'll stick by me and he'll come when I call him.

(sigh) Maybe next year.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday: CLR Bath and Kitchen

Today I'm participating in Tackle It Tuesday over at 5 Minutes for Mom for the first time...mainly because I've not tackled anything until now.

But this is a fun little event: I signed up for today's TI...wait, maybe I'll just spell it out...Tackle It Tuesday solely to see if I could get my tub clean. I can't really believe I'm posting pics of my filthy tub for all to see. I'd almost rather put my social security number on here. I promise most of my house is pretty clean, but don't we all have tasks that we put off until we can't stand it anymore and so then we tackle it and it takes us three hours to perform the task?

That's my bathroom.

Okay, so the girls at 5 Minutes for Mom had a wonderful Tackle idea where they sent Tacklers a free bottle of CLR Bath and Kitchen in exchange for bloggers' accounts of how the stuff works. And of course there are prizes involved!

So here's my account. Avert your eyes if dirty tubs make you squirm.

But first, since the product says it can be used in the kitchen, I decided to give that a whirl. You will notice that my kitchen sink is pretty shiny, and you'll wonder why my tub doesn't look like that. But the night of the testing, I did have some scratches on it from a pan that are kinda hard to scrub off.

BEFORE CLR Bath and Kitchen:

AFTER CLR Bath and Kitchen:

Like the instructions said, I let CLR Bath and Kitchen hang out on the stain for a couple of minutes. Then I got a damp sponge and got to scrubbing. And scrubbing. The stain did come off pretty well, but no easier than with Comet or baking soda. C- on the kitchen test.

Now, let me say before you witness the site in my bathtub, that we do not take baths in this bathtub, only showers. Our feet don't care if they're standing on a stain. And I don't wear my contact lenses in the shower so the place looks pretty clean to me no matter what. The boys take baths in another bathroom in a CLEAN bathtub. Trust me on that.

So now that I've given you all my excuses, on with the testing.

BEFORE CLR for Kitchens and Baths:

AFTER CLR for Kitchens and Baths:

I used the product both on the tub area (in the corner) and on the fixtures. I let CLR sit for a few minutes, then got a damp sponge and tried to wipe off the grime. If you think the before and after pics of the tub look the same, you're not the only one. I kind of expected it to be difficult, but I hoped the scum on the fixtures would be gone. Instead of the shine I was hoping for, it's just mildly better. Could be I was asking a little too much from the product, although right on the label it says it attacks "soap scum." C- on the bathroom test.

Bottomline, I think CLR Bath and Kitchen is better suited for areas that are, shall we say, used to being cleaned.

For more accounts of CLR's performance and Tacklers who had better luck with this product than me, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

Overheard: cracked up by both boys in one day

Mickey and I were discussing yet another crafty thing he produced for his daddy to take to work with him:

"I want to give these to Daddy to take to work."
"Honey, Daddy doesn't really have much room for more stuff at his work..."
"Okay, well, he can just keep them here at home on That black thing."

And with Alex, today we went to a little grocery store that had prominently displayed three little signs, one for Visa, one for MasterCard, and one for Discover.

Alex points to the MasterCard sign:

"Mamma, is that dot com?"

Holy cow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm so stinkin' tired...

I can't even really think straight right now, but I'm not delirious enough to forget to tell you I'll be taking a bit of a bloggin' least until Monday, or Tuesday, or something. You know how I hate deadlines. And self-imposed deadlines make me want to curl into a ball on the floor. No, on my bed. My very soft and inviting bed... Bye.

Field trip to 918moms

It's Thursday...time for your outing to my post at

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"That thing" landed in my mailbox today

The same day I mentioned a piece of kitchen equipment my mom used to use, Chef's catalog turned up in my mailbox, with this on page 65:

No, it is not a "triple digital timer," but a "chinois with pestle and stand." And that's pronounced "sheen-WAH." I gotta say...I don't remember my mom ever using that word in our house. But we had one of these things and I can remember her putting persimmons and other stuff I wouldn't eat through it. And I really have no idea where the puree ended up once she pressed it through this tool.


Did my mom food-deceive our family thirty years ago?


That sneaky woman...

Why I'm not Pioneer Woman

So last week I got all excited about starting to sneak vegetable and fruit purees into my family's meals. Right about that time I saw this post from the queen of instructional cooking: Pioneer Woman. I've never made any of her recipes, but I figured the pumpkin puree would be easy enough...since it only had ONE ingredient. How hard could it be?

If you read her post, you will think that making your own pumpkin puree is the easiest thing in the world. I still believe it is, unless you're me. And my oven.

Everything was going just fine (with the help of my Curious Georges)...

...until I got to the puree part. The critical part, I suppose you could say.

My little mini-Cuisinart started tripping over large chunks of pumpkin that didn't get cooked through during the roasting process. A little like driving along a smooth highway and then hitting a speed bump. Then another, and another, and another. I had checked the pumpkin to make sure it was soft enough, but apparently I shouldn't have taken the word of just one sneaky piece:

So I figured, well, that's a problem, but not unfixable. I'll just strain the puree through my colander. Riiiiight.

The puree was too thick to fall through the holes. It needed a little coaxing, only I couldn't quite find the right coaxing tool. I was really wishing I had one of those things my mom had (has?) when we were growing up...that thing with the wooden thing that pushes stuff through holes and then it falls down the sides into a bowl. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, so I tried a rubber spatula to push it through. Effective but slow. I tried pushing a small saucer down over it. Pumpkin smooshed out around the sides. A mess (ya think?). Then I tried a pasta scraper thingie...a bigger mess.

So I looked at Mickey, who was watching the process unravel the whole time, and said "...there's only one more tool I haven't tried..." I turned to the sink and washed my hands WITH SOAP, then dove them into the puree. Messy? Yes. Slow? Yes. Effective? Finally. And entertaining for little boys.

I was left with a bit of a mess...and since the process, started right after breakfast, took a mere three hours longer than I expected, I had to fix the boys lunch amidst it all. That was fun.

But by golly I got my pumpkin puree in little half-cup portions. Which will be consumed by members of my family in one way or another.

So who knows if I'll ever have the courage to try another one of Pioneer Woman's luscious recipes...I may need therapy first.

Updated: Yes, you may purchase one of these half-cup beauties...for $137.50. Each.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Shhh! And let the deception begin...

In an effort to get fruits and vegetables past the lips of Mickey and Alex, I've borrowed Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld from a friend. The basic principle of the book is to incorporate pureed fruits and vegetables into recipes, unbeknownst to anyone but the cook. (And yes, put the real thing on their plates, too, since they still need to learn to eat the non-pureed stuff).

Over the last few days my kitchen has been in a pureeing frenzy: pumpkin, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, and carrots have all been spun to smoothy goodness in my mini-Cuisinart (the pumpkin was difficult, to say the least, but that's another post).

In fact, the other night I incorporated cauliflower puree into a mac-and-cheese dish I made with boxed pasta, mixed veggies, and kielbasa sausage. It's always been a favorite of Mickey's and Pete's (and Alex is working on his issues with food containing more than one ingredient).

So that night as Pete and I cleared the dishes from dinner, I rattled off my list of upcoming pureeing tricks to him, to which he groans and says, "I don't know if I'm ready for all that..."

He still doesn't know I've already begun the only kind of deception acceptable in a marriage.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pumpkin patch pictures

Because pumpkins are for climbing, right?

Only 80 degrees...where is the cool of fall?!

Keeping four little hands off this table was not easy... I gave up.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Home Team plays an away game

My first post at is up; check it out here. And every Thursday. 'Cause today's...Friday.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Fear not...

I posted the other day about my big debut as a blogger at today. Only my big debut turned into big technical problems, so that's why my inaugural post isn't out there yet. Seems Opening Day at the new ballpark was a bust for The Home Team (who is Late Blooming Mom over there. Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it...)

However, my bio is out there, so skip on over and read things about me you already know. Something about seeing them on that fancy web site makes them a little more...fancy, don't you think?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sixth folder, sixth picture

You may have read about Mary at Owlhaven's recent 30 Days of Nothing, a challenge I knew better than to try so I just watched her in admiration.

This time, however, she and her friend Sara at A Shower of Roses have thrown out a challenge even I can handle:

Access the My Pictures folder on your computer. Go to the sixth folder. Go to the sixth picture and publish it on your blog.

Alright, ladies, here you go:

Wow, and ain't it a beauty.

It was taken in January of this year at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas. The boys and I tagged along with Pete on a business trip to the area and took advantage of the indoor water park for a day or so. Rather than risk getting my real camera wet, I purchased a waterproof disposable camera, with which I took this picture. Even though it doesn't show any of my peeps, I wanted a shot of where we spent almost the entire time while we were there.

I think $6.99 camera was a wise purchase, don't you? I know you're marvelling at the photo's detail, the crispness, the vivid color of the...lockers. And notice how the shot shows the contrast of the outdoor wintry mix that was falling (you can't see it? It's there, I swear) and the blue of the 18-inch-deep water. And the moms and dads who look pretty much bored out of their minds...see how the lens captures the skin tones only mid-winter in Texas

So there you have it, Mary and Sara. The challenge is met. I hope my readers survive.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Little things can make your day

While shopping at The Gap:

"Ma'am, I just got a call from an associate who told me everything on sale was just marked down another 25%..."

While doing housework (what! It happens!) while Mickey played with his toys by himself:

"Mom, is it okay if I organize these?"

I seriously cannot decide which one I'd rather hear more often.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Is nature too mature for a child?

Tonight Mickey and I sat on the sofa and channel surfed to the Discovery Channel's Planet Earth. I'd heard about this acclaimed series before...some comedian said it had been nominated for an Oscar, but wondered how hard it was to film grass growing.

Thankfully, however, tonight's episode was all about ocean life. The film, even on our not-flat-screen, not-plasma, really-wishing-it-would-die television, was absolutely mesmerizing, to me and to Mickey. Even Alex paused for a nanosecond to watch schools of colorful fish and swimming bunches of snakes (yes, SWIMMING). got interesting. The scene turned to sea lions hoisting themselves up on a beach to acquire a dinner of fresh penguin.

The sealion's teeth went around the penguin's neck and then the thrashing began. I was hoping it would be over in a flash and go back to the little baby whale and its mamma, but the carnage continued for several seconds. I finally turned the channel amid protests from Mickey. He wanted to see the rest of the show in spite of his DVD of Happy Feet sitting on the shelf next to the TV.

So when are little kids mature enough to see examples of the circle of life? At what age is it okay to let them see lions attack a baby water buffalo? 5? 7? 19? Did your kids ever see something similar on TV and get upset over it?

Sigh...yet another parenting issue to ponder, for sure. That, and how to answer him when he asks if the chickens he saw in the petting zoo at the fair are the same kind as the chicken that ends up in nuggets.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


The other day I alluded to a bit of news. For those of you who had some pretty wild ideas about what I could possibly want to announce to the world, well, just have Diet Coke (or a cup of coffee, or something stronger if needed) and calm down. Here's the deal:

Beginning next Thursday, October 9, I will be a weekly contributer to the blogging section at The site is focused on local issues for moms in the 918 area code here in Oklahoma, which is basically the eastern part of the state.

But of course, we all know that "internet" is synonymous with "everywhere," so even if you're not a 918er, feel free to visit us from time to time (and especially on Thursdays!). The site also has sections, such as the Forums, where moms everywhere can find useful information and chime in on discussions.

At I will be focusing a little more on parenting issues from both a local and global standpoint, and not so much on how I get out of drying dishes. But fear not, I will still be updating this blog whenever the mood strikes.

(And by the way, my ID on 918moms will be Late Bloomin' Mom. But if you think that means I can't hold my own in chasing a toddler through Target, just try me.)

So there's the news: now go check out 918moms!

Stephanie Brings it On

Need a lil' pick-me-up this morning? Go visit Steph at Adventures in Babywearing today. She just had a baby a couple of weeks ago, a girl, and she already has three boys. Go ahead, take ya about 30 seconds.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The "What's up with you?" post

It's October! It's October! It's October! I sent Mickey to school with a sweatshirt on this morning...ahhh, fall. The cool temps in the morning and the crisp evenings are almost enough to help me get over summer being over. Maybe by the end of the month I'll be okay.

First things first:

-- I've got some news that is burning a hole in my pocket but I want to wait just a few more days before divulging. Stay tuned!

-- My roommate at BlogHer '08 (Mary of Owlhaven) just completed 30 Days of Nothing, and managed to feed her family of twelve on $194 during September. Read about how she did it and see if you're not just a little inspired.

-- This week I found a new way to season my one and only healthy addiction: edamame. Sprinkle on a mixture of equal parts chili powder and Lawry's seasoning. Used it on shelled or not shelled. You shall be amazed.

-- When we went to the fair the other day, the boys (and Pete and I) were captivated by three of these guys. Even the website is fun...

That's it in the what's-up-with-you department. Don't forget, check back for some news around Friday-ish.

Wordless Wednesday: Fleeting Friend at the Fair

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.