Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Classic vs. Speckled

The other day I encountered a blog post that considered the merits of each holiday's unique candy offerings. This is my type of thinking....politics and current events are indeed important, but have the potential to incite contentious debate. Candy is nothing but happiness. How could anyone not want to talk about candy? Unless you're one of those weirdos that doesn't like candy. The very idea of not liking candy is a foreign concept to me. Likewise, I never trust anyone, and feel a fair amount of pity for, those who claim to not like chocolate.

As if that's even possible.

If it's chocolate coated, filled with nougat and/or potentially harmful to the fillings in your teeth, I'm game. With the exception of chocolate covered cherries and black licorice.
I do have my limits.

The author of the blog candy conversation claimed that Easter has the best candy. Aside from marshmallow Peeps, I'm inclined to agree. I used to really like those Cadbury creme eggs, you know, the ones in the commercial with the clucking bunny. They're a little too sweet for me these days, but I do remember then fondly.

I'm a big fan of jelly beans. An old Easter candy stand by.
I know you can buy jelly beans any time of the year, but there is something special, and dare I say it....magical about Easter time jelly beans. All the joys of childhood compressed into a chewy, waxy, candy coated bean of jelly goo.

In the past week and half I've purchased two bags of jelly beans: classic jelly bird eggs and the speckled variety.

After spending way too much time taste testing the two varieties, because it's blatantly obvious that I have too much time on my hands, I've determined that I like speckled jelly bird eggs better than their classic counterpart. And why, you must be wondering? Well, the speckled beans are softer; still chewy, but softer at the same time. I found the classic version to be harder and jaw-hurting chewier.

Clearly this was not a scientific experiment.

Also, the bag of the classic version includes black jelly beans. I do not like black jelly beans. Not on a train. Not on a plane. Not ever. If Craig were here, this would be a moot point because, despite his many endearing qualities, he likes black jelly beans. Since Craig and his questionable tolerance for nasty black licorice is not here, I had to throw away a good portion of the vile black beans. I couldn't stand the thought of them tainting the rest of the bag.

My love for jelly beans is boundless, but I would be remiss if I did not include the ultimate Easter candy: Cadbury mini eggs.

Yes, I have seven bags of mini eggs in my pantry. I've accrued quite a stash, but I've only eaten one bag so far. I'm rationing them; saving them for dire circumstances.

Now, if only I can get Caroline to forget they're there, I'll be good to go.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gettin' My Hairs Did

I think I've written about my dislike for getting my hair cut before. I searched, in vain, for that post, but I've written 320 posts....the chances of finding it aren't that good. Unless, of course, I put tags on my posts or titled them with obvious titles. Those are super ideas, but, well, I'm a little unorthodox. Besides, I generally title my posts something or other and then blabber on about other things not at all related to the title of the post. If I could stand the phrase "that's how I roll" I'd type that here, because that is how I roll. However, "that's how I roll" has made its way onto my no-no list. It's right up there with "date night." Immediately after I wrote about my distaste for the term "date night" last week, three blogs I read mentioned "date night." Seriously, I kid you not. Like right after I hit the publish button, I read "date night" three times on three different blogs.

Anyway, I don't like getting my hair done. I'm not crazy about sitting in front of a mirror watching a stranger hold the fate of my hair in her hands. I worry about the pre-cut conference where I tell the hairdresser what I want. I worry that I won't fully describe my hair related wants and desires in a way that she'll understand. I hate when they ask what shampoo I use because I know they won't like my answer. I don't use salon quality stuff, I use whatever is on sale with a coupon. I fear that they'll tsk tsk me when I answer with the name of some random drug store brand of shampoo and then bully me into buying their hoity toity shampoo.

It's been way too long since my last foray into the hair salon. My hair was heavy, shaggy, too long and in desperate need of some attention. Today was the day. I sent Caroline off to the neighbor's house to play and off I went. The stylist and I had a good conversation and I'm happy to report that I actually like my hair cut. Score!

And, of course, because I'm ridiculously shameless, I hosted an impromptu post-hair cut photo shoot in my bathroom. Before you take a look at my crazy pictures, I should add that it is WINDY outside, so my nicely styled hair did take a bit of a hit as soon as I stepped foot out of the salon. And also, there are a few pictures in which some fuzzy spots on the mirror are blatantly obvious. I'll try to ignore them as long as you promise to do the same. Deal?

Ah, the spots! Sorry, I tried, but I simply cannot ignore them.

As if I haven't embarrassed myself enough, I'll end this with a completely unrelated, yet entirely relevant, picture.

That's how I roll.
True. So very true.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Good News

Well, the good news is that I'm no longer feeling frustrated over Caroline's friend situation. Saturday's frustrations were short lived. In fact, they're a distant memory, because today, in my usual capricious fashion, I've done a 180 and would much rather Caroline not have any friends.

At all.

As I sit here, on my bedroom floor,watching the Food Network, my house is filled to the brim with girls. Cranky, disagreeable, loud, hungry, monster girls. Five of them. One wants to blow bubbles. One wants to roller skate in the basement. Another wants to play soccer outside.
They ALL want to play hide-and-go-seek/tag/run up and down the stairs whilst screaming like a bunch of girls INSIDE the house. But of course, I have a brain and therefore have outlawed any game in which five girls scream at the top of their lungs in unison. I've also banned any game involving running, thumping or sliding down the stairs.

I welcome any and all outside activities, but in the interest of maintaining any semblance of sanity, I've unilaterally put the kibosh on the indoor screamfest they're so eager to start.

Ah, spring break.

Can't say that I'm a fan right now.

The monsters girls just ate through half my pantry and then barged into my room asking for smoothies. It's cold, cloudy and rainy. 50 degrees outside. And they want smoothies.

I ran out of my cheater smoothie mix, so I said no. But, as my quick witted and very observant child pointed out, we have frozen strawberries and peaches, plus bananas, yogurt and milk. Thanks, Caroline. Thanks a bunch.
I suppose I *could* make smoothies from scratch, using our overflowing bounty of smoothie ingredients my child was so quick to remind me of, but it's cold and rainy.

And they're bugging me.
I don't like to make smoothies for kids who are bugging me.

That Yoplait frozen smoothie stuff is great. And so easy, too.

My neighbor, the mom of two of the girls who are always at my house, often repays my kid watching/child feeding efforts with food. Once it was 4lbs of chocolate chips. Another time it was a huge bag of the Yoplait smoothie mix. I currently have 4lbs of butter in my fridge, as well. I guess it's safe to assume that she shops at Costco!

The smoothie mix is NOT AT ALL economical. But sometimes you have to pay for convenience, right?

However, I draw the line at this: McCormick's Recipe Impressions.

Premeasured spices!?! I realize that people are busy and don't have a lot of time to set aside for getting dinner on the table. But paying $2 for premeasured spices is ridiculous.

Anyhoo, Monday is almost over, which is a pleasant thought. Only six days until school starts back up!

Sadly, and not too surprisingly, we don't have any exciting or ambitious plans for the week. Tomorrow I'm going to try and get my hairs did. It's been too long since my last cut and I'm looking a little shaggy. Actually, once I stop blow drying my hair because it takes too long, I know it's time for a hair cut. I stopped blow drying three weeks ago. That'll give you an idea of how badly I need this cut.

Wednesday we have the excitement of a dentist appointment to look forward too. Oh, and soccer practice.

Thursday we're going to see the cherry blossoms in DC.

Living it up, man.

Living it up.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Thoughts

Saturday thoughts: the frustrated version.


Yep, that's me. Frustrated.

Frustrated because I cannot for the life me string together enough coherent sentences on any given topic and call it a blog post. I have started and deleted several posts lately because I'm having a heck of a time trying to weed through my brain fuzzies and write something articulate.

I'm experiencing a HUGE bout of mom guilt today. The only-by-choice guilt is amped up and in over drive this afternoon. When the playmates aren't plentiful or the playtime seems contentious between Caroline and her friends, I feel bad. Caroline and her pal have been bored and gripey all day. It eats me up. It makes me feel bad. It totally alters my mood. I invest a lot of thought and emotional energy into making sure Caroline has plentiful friendships and playtime. Her personality demands it and when things aren't going as smoothly as one would hope, I feel an enormous load of guilt. If only I had provided her with a sibling. She wouldn't be lonely, then. The feeling that you've shortchanged your kid, because of your own selfishness, can be overwhelming at times. Of course, I know full well that siblings don't automatically get along and a brother or sister isn't a guarantee that your kids will best buds.

The girl that Caroline plays best with and most often with has been a little out of character today. Come to think of if, Caroline was a little gripey herself, today. I hope it's just a fluke, because spring break has just begun. It'll be a long (and painful) week, otherwise.

I feel completely ridiculous for getting so wrapped up in Caroline's friendships; typically, I'm not the hovering type. I just want her to be happy and to cultivate friendships with nice, kind girls. The thing is, there aren't that many nice, kind girls out there. Not many over the age of 8, it seems. Girls get snotty and moody. It's bound to happen to Caroline, I know, but for now she's still pretty innocent on that front. Her friends seem to have entered that phase of life a little earlier. It's not ALWAYS the case, but it seems that way today.

I'm sure tomorrow will be better. I hope so, anyway. I may not survive spring break if it isn't.

I'm a bundle of nervousness today. Jittery and unfocused. Fuzzy and discombobulated.

It's probably a combo of not enough sleep and too much caffeine.

Unfortunately copious amounts of caffeine are required when you're sleep deprived. I woke up at 2:30 am and couldn't fall back to sleep. I ended up watching back-to-back episodes of Property Virgins on HGTV. At 4 am, when the HGTV graphic said "good night" I took that as a sign to try sleep again. Sleep finally came and then I had a dream about missing an international flight because I kept trying to clean up the house before we left. The more I cleaned, the messier the house became.

Unfortunately, we had an 8 am meeting with the "Croc Trotters" running group, so sleeping in, while most desirous, wasn't an option. It was cold this morning and Caroline had a minor breakdown over her chin being cold, but she carried on like a good little soldier. That girl has some legs on her and ran with ease, once her chin warmed up, that is.

The day is winding down and I couldn't be happier. To say that today has been a blah day would be an understatement. Even the handful of jelly beans and four squares of extra dark chocolate I ate had little affect on my mood. I have great hope that tomorrow will be more pleasant on all fronts.

As for now, Caroline has found her way to another friend's house and I'm sitting on my bedroom floor, watching a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond, waiting for my butternut squash to finish roasting.

I hope your Saturday has been less fuzzy and more enjoyable than mine.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Got A-Got A-Got A-Got A Garmin

Remember the Garmin Christmas commercial sung to The Carol of the Bells?

I liked that one a lot; I'm a big fan of commercials with catchy tunes. You know, the kind that immediately boost your mood even IF the catchy jingle does get stuck in your head, on a continuous loop, all day long. Much like the local radio ad for Hadeed's Carpet Cleaning service I hear daily.

"For all your oriental rug cleaning needs, just one call to Joe Hadeed. If you stand ON IT, we stand behiiiiiiind it."

Ahem. Sorry about that.

The Garmin commercial jingle said give a-give a-give a-give a Garmin. Only, I wasn't given one; I bought one for myself.

Of course, the commercial was for the Garmin GPS systems for cars and boats, I think. While, my directionally challenged self could surely benefit from one of those car devices, the Garmin I purchased is for outdoor running purposes only. It won't help me navigate through the scary Capital Beltway system, but it will tell me how fast and how far I'm running. I don't go anywhere, anyway. So I suppose I don't really need a navigational system in my car.
We've been a Garmin Forerunner family for quite some time. Well, I should clarify and say that CRAIG has been a Garmin Forerunner owner for quite some time. He's on his third GPS and I'm just starting out.

I've been wanting one for a while now; since the weather is warming up and I'm not confined to running indoors on the treadmill any longer, I took the plunge. Thanks to an gift certificate I received from some credit card points I accrued (I'm sure if Dave Ramsey were to read this, he'd be shaking is head at me), I scored a good deal plus free shipping.

Today was the first day that I had the opportunity to test out my new purchase.

This afternoon, I strapped on my new gadget. And this is where I refrain from telling you how long it took me to figure out how to input my stats. I'm a serious technology failure and kept hitting the wrong button. Thankfully I figured it out, or I would have added nine years to my age. For some reason I kept inputting 1967 as my birth year.

Please ignore the the lint on the face of the watch. I'm trying my best to ignore it as well, but, well, it's kind of bothering me.

Go figure.

Since I'm still in very dire need of a hair cut, I went with pig tails again.

Look how (extra) creepy I look in this picture. That's the blankest stare I've seen in a long time. Makes you wonder what's behind those crazy eyes, eh?

With watch ready to go and hair all done up, I set off on my run. And as I ran, I battled the elements.

And by the elements, I mean...


WIND! And lots of it.

If I hadn't been so eager to try out my new toy, I probably wouldn't have even tried to run. Wind makes me mad. And it makes my hat fall off.

But, there were other elements, too.

You're probably wondering why I'm labeling pretty little flowering tree buds as elements that wreaked havoc on my run. Normally, I'd think that pretty flowering tree buds were gentle and harmless, but they're not. I know better. They're allergy inducing, sinus clogging buds of doom.

The last picture of the purple flower isn't part of the doom group; it's just pretty so I thought I'd include it.

But I foraged on. Battling the elements. Holding on to my hat.

As it turns out, I run faster outside than I thought I did. OR the presence of the Garmin made me run faster? I'm not sure. Anyhow, I ran a 5k, up hills (both ways!) and through a wind tunnel in 26:50.

So, take that, wind and blooming buds of doom!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let's Talk About Feet, Baby.

Well, that's what I initially intended this blog post to be about. Yep, feet. But the more I started typing, the more ridiculous the whole thing sounded.

The thing is, I have feet that are in DIRE need of a pedicure. BUT, the very thought of having anyone come near my feet with their hands or whatever torture devices pedicurists (?) use, sends shivers down my spine.

Yes, I have a problem with the feet touching thing. Craig, a fan of foot touching, can't understand my problem. In fact, on more than one occasion, he has suggested that it's probably some sort of psychological issue. My sanity may be questionable at times, but it has nothing to do with my hatred of the foot touch.

If I were a terrorist, you wouldn't need to waterboard me. You'd just have to threaten to touch my feet. I'd spill it all in the blink of an eye.

I first thought to blog about feet because Caroline has grown accustomed to shoving her feet in my face and demanding that I rub them, while we watch TV at night. She thinks it's funny. She actually enjoys having her feet touched. I, on the other hand, find it entirely unamusing. Because, really....feet? Touching? Um, not my favorite.

Anyway, I erased all that I previously wrote about feet because it was utterly ridiculous. And yet, I still managed to write about feet.

The truth is, I don't really have much to say right now. Life is, as always, a little uneventful. My brain seems to be on spring break, but spring break doesn't start until next week.

I haven't an original thought in my head right now. Nothing deep (as if!). Not even anything shallow.
No news is good news, right?

I'm sort of on autopilot. The days are all the same. Same routine. Same food.
Same. Same. Same.

Don't get me wrong, same is good. Same is comfortable.

I like same.
The problem with everything being the same is then you haven't anything to talk about.

I haven't baked in ages so I can't post pictures of my tasty treats.
I could talk about the weather. But you don't care about that.
I don't even care about the weather. Just don't tell Caroline. She'd disapprove.

I could tell you that I've recently come to realize that I hate the term "date night." I'm not sure why it bothers me so much, but it does. "What should we do for date night?" Ugh, it just totally bugs me. Instead of saying "we're having date night" why can't you say we're "going out to dinner?" Or "watching a movie?" Just because you're watching a movie with your spouse at home doesn't qualify it as "date night." You're watching a movie. If you're watching a movie at 1:30 on a Saturday afternoon with your spouse, it's just a movie then, right? It's not "date afternoon." It's a movie. A movie is a movie is a movie. It's not "date night." Gah. I don't know why this annoys me so much.

I could talk about vegetables. And jelly beans. I like jelly beans. But not the spiced ones. I bought speckled jelly bird eggs last week and have them hidden in my secret pantry candy stash. It's taken a lot of self control, something I sorely lack, to refrain from eating the whole bag.

Let's see...what else? Oh, I got some new running shoes. On clearance. I actually had Craig order them for me from his (not so) exotic deployment locale because he is sole possessor of the VIP number required to get the sweet clearance deals and free shipping from our favorite running shoe purveyor. The shoes arrived yesterday; they're so pristine looking. And they smell good, too. I love the smell of new shoes.

Alrighty then.
This post is as disjointed as I feel.

Maybe I need some jelly beans to give my brain a boost?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday With Caroline

Sunday with Caroline was much like Saturday with Caroline, with the exception of the car washing, the walk and the treats at 7-11. So, it really wasn't anything like Saturday, except for the fact that the weather was mild and spring-like and Caroline was once again without any playmates.

And we all know what that means.

My only hope for the Sunday was to be able sleep in a little. And by a little, I mean past 7 am. 7:30 would have been great, but I wasn't pressing my luck. I know better than that. When I woke up at 6:50 am and didn't fall back to sleep right away, I knew sleeping in wasn't going to happen. My thoughts were reconfirmed when I heard Caroline rustling around at 6:55. She then found her way into my room, climbed under the covers and promptly said, "Can I have breakfast at 7 ?"

Sleeping in. FAIL.

Restful sleep has eluded me lately. I fall asleep easily, but wake during the night and have a hard time falling back to sleep. Meh.

After I made the queen her breakfast, sufficiently caffeinated myself and did some laundry, it was still only 7:45. It had the makings of a very long day.

Lucky for us, we had an afternoon of big fun planned. Just the two of us.

In our house, Craig is solely responsible for taking Caroline to the movies. The thing is, I don't really like kid movies. I can't say that I dislike them ALL, but for the most part, I'd rather not spend $9 on a movie ticket for something I have nothing but ambivalence for. The only movie the three of us have seen together was Beverly Hills Chihuahua. I may not dig cartoons, but I do have a special place in my heart for talking dogs....especially those with a Mexican accent.

Craig enjoys kid movies and he enjoys taking Caroline to see them.
They're entertained by computer animation and I get a few hours of weekend silence.

It's a win-win situation.

However, when your child's primary movie escort is halfway across the world, that winning situation is suddenly not such a winner anymore.

Would you care to wager a guess as to where we went on Sunday?

Ah, yes, the movies.

We saw The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Caroline is in love with the Wimpy Kid books, so naturally she was quite eager to see the movie. I'm pleased to say that the movie was cute and entertaining and I wasn't bored at all. Yay.

Before the movie, we went to lunch; McDonald's for her, Subway for me. And since we had time to kill between lunch and the movie, we also had ice cream. The ice cream shop is *conveniently* located next to the movie theater. We got ice cream cones and ate them on a park bench in the lovely sunshine. I think whoever decided to put a frosting ribbon running through cake batter ice cream is an absolute genius. GENIUS. And of course, in typical Neurotic Housewife fashion, I beat myself up on the inside for giving my child both a chicken nugget happy meal AND ice cream all in the same afternoon.

The plagues me.

I'll tell you what, that kid of mine is a persuasive little thing. Without any playmates to go home to, Caroline was looking for someway to waste a little more time after the movie and suggested a trip to Wal Mart. I wonder how she ever came to the conclusion that shopping is a good way to pass the time? Those kids have sponges for brains, I tell you.

I would not have agreed to a Wal Mart trip on a weekend afternoon (read: WM is a crazy busy madhouse) but Caroline really did need a new bike helmet. She has a gigantic egg head, you know.
Well, not really, but it was time for a size upgrade.

Reluctantly, I agreed.

A helmet was bought, as was a super bouncy moon ball. I told you she's persuasive.
I feel sorry for her future husband.

And so this concludes the (not-so) dramatic retelling of our Sunday. I suppose I should have taken some pictures, but you have to actually bring your camera with you if you want to document your daily activities.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Yesterday, at precisely 1:32 pm, spring arrived. Why 1:32 pm EDT, you might ask? Well, I'm not really sure, except Caroline, Weather Channel enthusiast extraordinaire, told me. And believe me, if a tidbit of information has anything to do with weather and/or numbers, you better believe her.

And so I did.

I don't need Weather Nerd Girl to tell me that spring has arrived; I just need to look out my window.

There's green stuff growing!

And daffodils blooming. Or, as Caroline has been calling them, daffodilias. Because, really? Made up names are much more fun than their boring official counterparts.

We had a busy Saturday. Or, as I like to refer to it as, the day that went on and on and on.
We woke up early and nearly bright eyed and bushy tailed for our weekly jaunt around the neighborhood with our fellow Croc Trotters. The weather was cool, but much more enjoyable than last week's cold, wet, rain.

After we cooled down with the group and brought home our post-run snack of itty bitty clementines, we came home. Breakfast was had, showers were taken, coupons were clipped. You know, standard Saturday morning stuff.

After lunch we set out to wash my car.

Car washing doesn't seem like work to a kid when a hose is involved.

She's finally earning her keep!

After we washed the car, Caroline played outside for a bit. Her best bud is away this weekend and another is grounded. The third was able to play for a bit before she had to go to gymnastics. I seem to suffer the most when Caroline's playmate choices are so limited. It seems that when she doesn't have anyone to play with, she wants ME to entertain her. The problem is, I'm not very entertaining.

So, we took a walk.

More daffodilias!

In Caroline's eyes, a walk isn't worth taking unless there is some sort of refreshment involved. And I'm NOT talking about a bottle of water brought from home. Suggestions like those are met with an eye roll and a loud sigh, as if you've sufficiently ruined their whole existence by suggesting that water from home is an acceptable substitute for a drink from the store. In Caroline's defense, I remember not appreciating my own mom's suggestion of getting a drink from a water fountain when I was DYING OF THIRST and in DESPERATE need of a drink, that wasn't from a free, communal, germ infested water fountain.

Behold, our walking destination.

And look! Chicken burrito rollers 2/$2! SCORE.
Actually, um, no. As happy as I am that 7-11 is taking great strides to provide the public with a variety of good eats, there is no way I'd eat a chicken burrito roller from 7-11.

Slurpees, however, are an entirely different story.
On the walk Caroline informed me that because she is 8, she is therefore qualified to have a medium Slurpee, as opposed to the small, she usually gets. I shouldn't say "usually" because I think she's only had maybe three Slurpees in her entire life. Knowing full well that she cannot even finish a small, I obliged her request, in the spirit of good will and springtime frivolity.

I like a Slurpee as much as the next mom, and they did have an intriguing blackberry lime flavor, but instead, I opted for my classic standby. The Super Gulp. If I had been feeling especially frisky, I may have opted for the granddaddy of them all...the Double Gulp, but I decided to take it easy this afternoon. I'd say that 32 ounces of caramel colored, carbonated, cancer causing chemicals is sufficient. Wouldn't you? If only I could think of a synonym for sufficient that starts with a "c"....then I'd have one awesome sentence of alliterative genius

Pardon the gnarly bandaged finger. I had a problem getting the hose off the spout after we finished washing the car. Righty tighty, lefty loosey can get kind of confusing sometimes.

As it turns out, I should have gone for the Slurpee because my soda was undesirably flat. The ice melted too quickly on our walk home and it was an all around unappealing and downright disappointing beverage experience. It's a shame to waste good chemicals, but I wasn't enjoying my flat soda; down the drain it went.

Caroline enjoyed her Slurpee. The 1/3 of it she drank. I knew finishing a medium Slurpee would be too much of a feat for her, but that's okay. Some things aren't worth fighting over.

It was only 3pm when we came home from our walk. Still playmate-less, Caroline found something to occupy her time, but she did get me to take her to the school playground after dinner.

All in all, it was a good day.

Good, but LONG.