Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Don't Ask Me to Host Thanksgiving Dinner

Dinner stresses me out possibly more than the thought of what college will cost when Monkey Man gets there. Or if I’ll be able to afford to even drive to the grocery store to get food for dinner because, sorry, this week the cost of gas is so high that I’m not going anywhere that these two feet can’t take me.

The thought of what I’m going to prepare the family for a nutritious and delicious meal has been cause for me to consider asking my doctor for some anti-anxiety meds. I don’t care about dinner for myself and thankfully the hubby doesn’t much care either. I’m a cereal or peanut butter and jelly girl. And I ate GREAT meals growing up – my mom made roast beef, mashed potatoes, chicken parmesan, turkey, stuffing, and kick butt beef stew (she rocks, but that's for another post). For me, the thought of figuring out the meal, having all the ingredients for the meal, and then putting these ingredients together to come out a certain way is just more than I care to deal with. That kind of time and energy spent just to eat? Cheerios and milk will do just fine, thanks. Throw in a banana and let’s call it well-balanced. (Now cleaning is a different story. I'll happily clean a toilet before I cook a roast. I'd swap cleaning services for cooking services. I might be on to something. The old barter system. Any takers?)

I remember vividly a near-nervous breakdown I had when Monkey Man was about 10 months-old. He was happily eating solid foods for over 4 months. Life was going along smoothly in the pureed food department. He joyfully ate his apples, peas, chicken, squash, sweet potatoes, and green beans (all looking oddly the same except for color) served simply on a spoon while Hubby and I indulged in grown-up fare such as leftover cold pizza or cereal. When all else failed, there was always cereal.

Then I did it. I read a dreaded parenting book. I kept it on my nightstand to help give me heart palpitations just before drifting into slumber. It stated that at 9 months-old babies should be starting finger foods and any baby food should have texture and chunks. If not, the baby might refuse food with more texture as he gets older. Oh no, I thought. I ruined this child's chances of ever eating like a normal human being. My child might never pick up a fork, develop his "pincer grasp" or know what an actual potato looks like. He'll be eating liquefied turkey for the rest of his life and know no use for his little fingers except to poke at the dog's eyes!

Shortness of breath set in. Thoughts of standing at a stove and preparing a week's worth of family menus danced - no, stomped - through my head. I don't cook. Well, I cook, but that's if Boboli pizza and any skillet dinner that comes out of a box counts. What will I feed my child when Beech Nut and Gerber are no longer an option? I'm lucky if I eat an apple or a banana in a day, but Monkey Man was guaranteed 3 servings of fruit and 2 of vegetables EVERY DAY thanks to jarred baby food!

I’m happy to report now that Monkey Man knows how to use a fork, but frequently chooses not to use it because he’s 3 and has his own mind that tells him he’s not eating dinner that night. He also has a finely developed pincer grasp, albeit a selective one, that is excellent at picking up a cookie, but not so good at the broccoli. Fortunately, he knows darn well what a potato looks like, but prefers it crinkle cut with a little ketchup “dip” on the side. My mind is at ease because they are sweet potato fries.

I still loathe the chore of cooking, but I try. I try because: I want what’s best for Monkey Man’s health; family at the dinner table is important to me and take out 7 nights a week is neither healthy nor financially sound; and quite frankly, I don’t want Monkey Man to one day look back at his childhood dinners and want to vomit.

(Photo: Monkey Man is enjoying homemade whole wheat chocolate chip pancakes in the shape of hearts for Valentine's Day. Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorites. For some reason, it just seems easier!)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday Funnies

Wendy, you hoochie, don't you know fast food is bad for you?
For more Pop Culture Shock Therapy comics, visit

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I Think I'll Keep Him

Said just moments ago:
"Mommy, are you a princess? You look like a princess."
Thank you, Prince Charming. Looks like it's ice cream for you tonight!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Side of Fries with that Order of Empathy

As is the usual behavior for an ailing man, my guy continued to milk it nearly 5 hours after it happened. Okay, fine, he's 3 and it was his first skinned knee. I kissed him, I hugged him, I gave him a purple ice pop because don't ice pops heal skinned knees? But, really, he can't walk? Suck it up, bub. And then when I finally convinced Monkey Man that his leg, indeed, was intact he proceeded to walk tippy-toe as if the slightest bit of pressure on his right knee would cause him to buckle over.

I have about as much patience for this as I do a 35 year-old man asking me if he has a fever. But my heart softened when, after screaming in the bathtub because the WATER WAS EATING AWAY AT HIS TIBIA he looked me in the eyes, all teary and nose drippy and ridiculously, sadly cute, and said, "My boo boo is sad." And I think I heard him add bitch at the end.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday Funnies

It was going to happen sometime so here it is - the shameless plug for my husband’s comic, Pop Culture Shock Therapy! I will feature one of my favorites every Sunday from his 6 year archive on my blog. You are also welcome to check out his website,, for a new comic 6 days a week (Monday-Saturday). You can even subscribe to be on his free email list and get each new comic sent directly to your email.

I'm kicking the first one off with my all-time favorite comic. Luckily, I have connections and I have the original hanging in my office! And it's signed! And I had his child! And I get to pick up his dirty underwear! Being a groupie ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mommyhood - It's in the Bag

How did I become this person who lugs all of this stuff around? I'm not a stuff person. I'm a just the basics person. Before Monkey Man, I had cute purses, purses that matched outfits (and shoes! How I love shoes! Back in the day, I would buy the shoes first, and then find the outfit. But now I have a mortgage). Back to the topic.

Before mommyhood, I owned purses that couldn’t fit more than keys, a small wallet, and a lipstick. Now I TOTE things. I am a toter. And since I tote things, I find myself ditching matching bags to my outfits and carrying a plaid tote bag everywhere (I “splurged” – it’s J. Crew – I figured if I’m going big, I’m at least going cute). Even when, like today, horrifyingly enough I was wearing plaid Bermuda shorts! In a different print! The horror! Who am I kidding, I don’t care. My brain has other things to think about like how the hell am I gonna pay for gas this week (the “cheap” station just went up to $3.27!) So, here’s a look into the contents of my life carry-on:

  • A deposit slip and checks for the bank that have been there for 3 days because I keep forgetting to go to the bank
  • A wallet with $4 in it – I really need to get to the bank
  • Measurements to windows I will probably never cover because I am window-treatment challenged
  • Coupons to Bed, Bath & Beyond that I’ll never use because do I really need THAT MUCH STUFF to keep up with the 3 they send me per week? If I could only find curtains at this store I could get rid of 2 items from my bag in one shot! In my clearing out the clutter and checking things off the list world, that feat would be nearly orgasmic.
  • The torso of a Superman action figure
  • A sticky straw from a juice box
  • A Pull Up diaper - clean, thank God
  • A goldfish cracker
  • A container of baby wipes without the wipes
  • A package of Wet Ones with one dry Wet One – very useful
  • 2 small bottles of Purell (found to be very effective given that I got the flu and have had about 4 colds since October)
  • Cinnamon Trident
  • A Go Diego Go DVD because you just never know when you're going to need it
  • Clear and TINTED lip balm (oooo, sometimes mommy is adventurous!)
  • A cell phone that is rarely charged and even when it is, it’s never answered (it does, however, give me laughs when I finally check voicemail and I have 7 from the month before. If you know me, you know not to leave a voicemail otherwise you will wind up calling Missing Persons on my behalf because that voicemail will not get returned).
(Please note strategically placed hair clip on outside of bag so I can fashionably throw up my hair in a jiffy in that, "I just threw up my hair in a jiffy" sort of way.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We interrupt this program for a special news announcement…

Monkey Man ate his dinner last night! And we got in some major nutritional components – Iron, Protein, Vitamin C, Oh My! Top that off with a belly rub and an, “Mmmmm!” What was my culinary delight that won a belly rub? Pizza Meatloaf (vegetarian) Muffins and salad made with baby spinach – spinach, SPINACH! That alone made my day. But I can’t help but wonder, “Will those vitamins last him 6 weeks until he decides to eat a well balanced meal again?”

Sunday, April 13, 2008

At Least I’m Not Sporting the Mom Jeans

Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, I am going from driving a mini-van to a station wagon. Unfortunately for the sake of your funnybone, it’s not a station wagon with wood panels on the sides. Fortunately for me, if there can be any fortune in driving a station wagon, it’s a Toyota Matrix which isn’t quite a station wagon, but classified as one. It’s a nice looking car, as station wagons and safety, cargo space, and fuel efficiency go. Things I have to care about now since I’m a mom and all my extra spending money goes to college savings and IRAs and, oh, the little things like FOOD and SHELTER. The hubby and I decided that feeding our family 3 meals a day plus a snack thrown in once in a while was more important than paying Big Oil Company a bajillion dollars a week for a tank of gas. Now at least we’ll only be paying half a bajillion dollars. Take that, Big Oil Company!

So when you see me whizzing around town in my Phantom Gray Matrix, just give me a sympathetic wave and know that I really was cool once. A long time ago. Like when I wore Cavaricci's.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Hangin’ Tough Until the Fall

The teenage girl living inside of my not-so-teenage-girl looking body (read: I’ve had a kid, things shifted, I cannot eat French Fries like they are the 6th food group) is now adding another “oh my God” moment. If I knew how to text message, I’d let all my friends know this: OMG NKOTB IZ BACK! But I don’t know how to text message and I rarely even charge my phone, so this post serves as my announcement:

New Kids on the Block are touring in the fall!

Jordan, Jon, Joey, Danny, and Donnie are working on a new album and are back together! And guess what, I’m legal now!

The news got leaked in People Magazine and then the 5 appeared on the Today Show on Friday with the official announcement. I will admit that I have not been a consistent fan. This is nothing like Rick Springfield. I was a New Kids groupie when I was 14 but once the New Kids on the Block turned into NKOTB and tried to persuade us that they were actually talented, my friends and I were so over them. Major backlash from Pam, Juliann, Sharon, Jenny, and Dana – my best friends from kindergarten all the way up. We went from planning our weddings to our respective favorites: Pam (that’s me) loved Jon, Juliann loved Jordan, Sharon loved Danny, Jenny loved Joe, and Dana loved Donnie to “New Kids who? Ugh. Ewww.” I don’t know how it worked out that each of the 5 of us liked our own New Kid, but it worked out well for us and no one had to IM the other or text the other – oh, wait, it was 1988 and we had these things called house phones – call the other and threaten to not talk to that person if she didn’t back off her man.

I don’t know how many New Kids concerts we went to but some of them included going to Six Flags (for those not in the know, in 1988 it was simply called “Great Adventure”) and standing in the rain (some of our parents included) for 14 hours, backstage passes at Brendan Byrne Arena (now Continental Airlines Arena) where we were supposed to meet all of them but only Donnie came out, and front-row seats at Nassau Coliseum. Our parents were very good to us and drove us around to these concerts and endured the ear-piercing screams of thousands of pubescent girls.

The New Kids on the Block will be appearing again on the Today Show on May 16 to perform a few songs. It’s hard for me to keep that inner 14 year-old at bay, and I think I may need to camp out to see this for myself. The fall is just too far away and I’m already close to needing therapy for regression and delusional thoughts after that Rick Springfield concert last week, might as well add this to the bill, too. After this past week, I won’t be surprised if I get a few pimples and start slamming doors and refusing to talk to anyone. Adolescence – I’m back!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mr. Peanut, You're No Friend of Mine

It’s official – Monkey Man will never know the simplicity and comfort of a PB&J sandwich. He’s allergic to peanuts and we’re now the proud owners of an Epi-Pen. I grieve for Monkey Man's loss because I want him to know the deliciousness of two thick slices of bread spread generously with creamy peanut butter and jelly and a cold glass of milk. So now I can’t even feed this to Monkey Man when I’m having my “what are we going to eat for dinner, I don’t feel like cooking, I’ll have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich” days. Damn you, Mr. Peanut.