Monthly Archives: January 2013

Blood Orange Figenza and My Husband’s New Balls

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My husband’s new balls were finally ready to use today. He’s been anticipating tonight for a while.

I think it was back in November when he first mentioned that he wanted to replace what we’d had. We call them ‘cubes’ but geometrically, that’s inaccurate, I suppose. He said that in addition to being the wrong shape, they were also too small. He promised that new, big, round ones would have more staying power.

He found the perfect ones on Amazon.

The “package” my husband wanted arrived yesterday. Of course, it takes a while for these things to get set to use. He was right, though, he went three rounds on his first one. (Typical female, I only got two out of the first – always slower it seems.)

I’m very pleased with his choice. They do last much longer and are very aesthetically pleasing, as you can see from the picture.

If you want them yourself, freeze the water in something called “sphere ice molds.” They come in a set of two so you’ll have two icy balls in 4-6 hours.

Even if you don’t have large, perfectly round ice cubes, though, I think you’ll enjoy my drink of choice tonight.

Figenza is a fig vodka my husband brought home. He brings home lots of flavors, but this one he’s been going on and on about.

Finally decided to give it a shot and for a mixer I went with the only soda we have in the house – Blood Orange San Pellegrino (how classy am I? Or was it just on sale at BJs in giant packages over the summer?). You know that it’s good soda because it says “Aranciata Rossa” right on it, which must mean “Awesomest Soda,” in Italian.

Seriously, though, the result is fantastic. For a whiskey girl to dig soda and vodka, it has to be special. And this is; it’s sweet but complex. There’s something Asian and Mediterranean about it. I LOVE it.

You should try it with a ball in it sometime. Or regular cubes, even.

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I Think It’s Time For YOUR Checkup, Doc

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Time for Doc’s checkup! Don’t worry, it will only tickle a little.

I could tell things weren’t looking good by the look on her face. She’d just taken my temperature via ear. “What is it?” I asked her.

“Two ounces,” she told me.

I was in the middle of an exam by Dr. Princess.You see, I, like many other dolls, stuffed animals, baby brothers and pets in our home, had fallen victim to a mystery illness.

Ever since a certain show starring a young girl who talks to and fixes sick and broken toys started on Disney, my house seems to be full of germs. That show is Doc McStuffins. (Click the link to learn more about the show if you’ve never seen it). Coincidence or disease-spreading-over-TV-waves plot?

“I’ve never had a temperature of two ounces, what is it?” I implored.

“You’re sick,” she stated. Truth is, I wasn’t even feeling bad. That’s the scary part.

Nervously, I inquired, “Really? What do I have?”

“First, we have to check your blood pressure. Then, I have to listen to your heart beep,” she replied.

She unceremoniously velcroed the pink Barbie-adorned cuff onto my lower arm. After a couple of squeezes she looked at the dial, shook her head and told me the result. “Fourteen ounces.”. A quick listen to my heart and she was able to convey the grim diagnosis. “You have gwideallatosis.”

“Oh no!” I exclaimed. “What are the next steps?”

Pulling out a pink and blue page covered in ducks, she tells me, “I have to check my map.” A moment passes while she stares at the page before she begins loading her syringe from her infant’s sippy cup and tells me what is next, “Lemonade shots.”

I bravely comply as she asks me to open my mouth so she can shoot the liquid in. I ask her hopefully, “Am I better now?”

“No,” she brusquely responds. “Come on, we have to go to another doctor. This one has candy and better stickers.”

Silently, I thank God our health insurance deductible has been met. There is no telling what that kind of specialist would cost.

Update: A recent exam shows I am gwideallatosis-free! But others in my house haven’t fared so well.

Bunny needs repeated shots. Gordon the dog has required bandages for months. My son’s blood pressure is consistently in the 13-16 oz. range. Barbie and the Lalaloopsy girls have been affected, too, along with numerous other toys. Quite frankly, they’re all sick of being sick.

Are you finding more illness in your home since Doc McStuffins showed up on your TV? Please write your experiences in the comments below and share it with friends who may have the same issue. If enough of us get together we can let Disney and the CDC know that if we really want the healing to begin, the Doc is OUT.

 

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Today Is My One Year Anniversary As A VEEP CFO

housewife [derogation]

Housewife (shaking salt? where’s the margarita?)

It’s official.  As of today, a full year has passed since I hugged everybody in my office, shook my bosses’ hands and left the world of being paid for work.  I’m not sure if they miss me, but good God some days I miss them.

In some ways it feels like yesterday. But it feels like a different life. I was a different person.  I had clothes that fit, could afford makeup, and had a W2 to value (even if undervalue) myself by.
I was also delusional.  I was just entering the third trimester of pregnancy, so perhaps that explains why I believed these things about my future life as a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM, by the way how lame is that acronym?  Why not VEEP (voluntarily-eschewing-employment-parent?)  I’m using VEEP from now on):
1.)  My house will be cleaner.
Yes, because a house that is empty 3/4 of my waking hours will be much neater when I and two small children now occupy it constantly.  Of course, I’m home to clean it, right?  I wish I could find the original quote to properly attribute it, but I read somewhere cleaning a house with kids in it is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.  That’s true.
2.)  I’ll at least have finally have some time to do a few creative things I’ve always wanted to do.  Kids take naps and watch TV sometimes, right?
Ha!  Want to know what writing/crafting/freelance/etc. is like for a stay-at-home-parent of more than one child?  Try this experiment:  Set a timer for 5 minutes.  Start on the project of your choice.  When the timer goes off, go feed something, clean poop off something, or hold something that is screaming loudly for no reason or a combination of these for the next hour or two.  Repeat 3-4 times until you just bang your head against something for the five minutes on the timer instead.  That’s what it’s like.  By the time another adult arrives home, trust me, all you can handle is a stiff drink or to lie prostrate, whimpering, on the couch for a few hours.
3.)  I’ll be able to slack a little some days.  I just won’t brag about it or anything.  I’m sure that’s what other VEEPs do.
Do you know what kids do to parents who try to read, watch TV or anything else unrelated to their immediate needs or desires?  They torture them. They destroy their most prized possessions.  They eat them alive.  (They do the exact same thing to sick parents.)  If you want to stay alive, you have to stay one step ahead of the little shits (see #4 for details about why this is an appropriate moniker for them).  Lunch better be ready before the thought occurs to them to be hungry. You better have another project ready to go before they notice how boring the first one is (approximate timeframe for that is under 5 minutes, FYI).  No demon born of hell can devise torture that compares to what a bored toddler whose blood sugar is starting to dip will do to you.  Do not test this, just believe me.  It’s for your own safety.
4.)  There won’t be that much poop.  
(Okay, I didn’t have this exact thought, but I never thought about how much of my day will be about poop).  My sense of humor has always been similar to that of a little boy in that I found poop very amusing.  Maybe my life now is punishment for that.  I have an 8-month-old boy and a 3-year-old girl.  And a cat.  And a dog.  If someone were to accurately title my current position, it would probably be CFO- Chief Fecal Officer.  My entire day’s timing revolves around when other creatures evacuate their bowels.  Except the cat; he’ll let me scoop his littler box whenever I want.  He’s just proud that someone knows even his stool should be preserved forever in a plastic bag and wonders where I keep the pile of gifts he makes me that I scoop out and take away to enjoy.
The boy is on no regular elimination schedule.  His ass will explode with  putrid-smelling shades of green and brown any time.  If I were to keep a chart of the times, I would guess that we would find a direct correlation between his bowel movements and my dining.  When he blows, though, it needs to be addressed immediately.  Otherwise things get more than a little messy.  What’s funny is as I write this (on my iPhone word pad while standing in the middle of my living room watching my son cruise around my living room) the boy is obviously grunting one out.  In his usual style, he’s following it up by sitting down and bouncing up and down a few times to make sure it does indeed spill out up onto that chubby little back of his that I bathed roughly 15 min ago.  I will BRB after I avoid this affecting my carpet.  (Note: See #2. It’s been a full 24 hours later before I could type another word.  And that’s only because the girl is with Grandma and Grandpa and hubby’s downstairs with the boy. Anyway, got lucky yesterday and poop only penetrated one layer of clothing.  Yay for absorbent fleece sweatshirts!)    (Another quick parenthetical interruption; the boy’s nursery is across from the office where I’m typing and I can hear his daddy saying “Oh, God, it smells so bad…”; Daddy is now stopping in to tell me that we should get the boy back on a strictly formula diet, the solid food is making his feces too odiferous.  Mental note:  This will be my last post involving poop as it seems to spur the boy on.)
Our dog is only 10 months old, has special needs, and is still “learning”, so I have to take her out at 7:30 am and then again every half-hour from 10 am on until she poops again.  If I don’t, she finds the dining room most convenient for depositing her ass’s contents.  She’s noticed I don’t like the dining room defecation, though, and tries to eat it all up before I notice. “Yes, this is actually  your life now,” I tell myself.
The human girl typically goes in the morning.  If we were to chart her poops, there would likely be a correlation between her events and her brother’s dining.  Yes, she is potty-trained and even though she can’t wipe herself, smearing some poop off a tiny ass and flushing isn’t that bad.  But, when you’re three, “things” happen.  Poop in a diaper is supposed to happen, thus there are a variety of ways even spill-overs can be easily handled.   Tiny onesies can be rinsed or thrown away.  The soiled diaper and any cleaning supplies can be deposited in a magical genie. Come to think of it, though, dragging a thin plastic sack of baby’s eliminations that is secured only by my own not-so-nautical knots to the garbage outside provides some less-than-magical moments and is yet another responsibility of myself as CFO. (Run on what?! Too many parentheses what?!  Seriously, back to the girl..) “Things” that happen to a three-year-old don’t happen in conveniently absorbent, disposable packages.  These “things” can ruin several layers of clothing, furniture and a young girl’s sense of pottying self-esteem.
Now, though, we’re mostly past the accidents, so furniture has been spared lately. But, last Thursday, she missed the hole.  In the toilet, that is.  She went in while I was outside taking the dog out and got her little Lightening McQueen padded seat on there, hopped up, and missed the hole when the poop came out.  When I came in after bagging the dog’s deposits, everything seemed normal.  Princess was screaming “I made a poopie, you have to wipe it!!!” at the top of her lungs.  When I entered the bathroom, I knew something was amiss.  “Mom, I got a little poop on my pajamas.  But I did NOT have an accident,” she told me proudly.  At least I think that’s what she said; I was gagging.  There were chunks of solid brown poop hung up on the handle of the padded mini-seat.  (She’s a log-maker, regular and healthy for sure.  Probably unrelated to her diet.) Her pajamas and her were entirely covered in similar chunks and smears.  I will stop describing there.  But no, this was no accident.  It was another incident the CFO handled readily and without complaint.
5.)  No matter what the sacrifices, at least my children will receive the attention they deserve instead of spending the entire day with strangers.  
For the first two years of my daughter’s life, I worked full-time.  Luckily, much of her daycare was provided by her grandparents.  About a year before I quit my job, though, my mom was all, “Jenn, I’ve finally found a job after looking for one for several years in this terrible economy, isn’t that great?”  And I was all, “Really, where?  No seriously, I need the phone number.  They need to hear about your embezzling habit and deviant behaviors.”
But, she wouldn’t give me the number and went on to join the ranks of the employed.  Like others their age, my husband’s parents winter in Florida. So, my precious angel went on to spend her days with strangers at a daycare.  You know what those strangers did?  They created an entire day that revolved around her learning, socializing, arts & crafts, exercising and sleeping properly.  Never once did they do the things that a parent would do, like dishes.  Or laundry.  Or grocery shopping.  Or cursing while paying bills online.  I bet they never once said, “I’ve got to go handle your brother’s diaper blowout.  Sit in that chair and watch TV until I get back.”  Or, “Please, honey, mommy’s ears are tired.  Can you just stop talking for five minutes?  I’ll give you a cookie.”
So, if you are one of those women who is jealous of me, you should be; I hang out with kids and spend my husband’s money all day.  Still, while you’re out to lunch complaining to your friends how you’d like to be a VEEP like me, just look at your friends while you’re talking.  Be grateful that you don’t have to start writing a blog to replace the conversations you have with them because otherwise you don’t get to “talk” to grownups.
And look at your clothes.  Do they fit?  Are they covered in poop?
And when you get home from your job and hug your child/children and they see that “You are my world.  I really missed you,” look on your face, know that my children probably received a “You are my world.  I would trade my right arm to leave here for just 10 minutes,” look about 15 times throughout the day.
But I am proud of my current position.  I love those little shits (much better than the big ones they do).  I’m Jennifer Greenberg, a VEEP CFO, and tomorrow I will enthusiastically report for doody. (So punny, right?  Tired of parentheses yet?)
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Whiskey’s In The Cabinet

I haven’t written much on here lately. This is mostly because the Greenbergs have acquired a dog. She’s a gorgeous Llewellin Setter. She’s at least part deaf but loves to give kisses and snuggle in your lap. She and needed a home and we needed a dog. We love her.

Like a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, she is black, white and carmel-colored. We named her Whiskey, which, we explained to Princess, is short for Whiskers. Princess put up a small fight for her chosen moniker- “Puppy The Puppy” – but she finally came over to our side and agreed Whiskey was a great name.

I still think it’s a great name, but I probably should have foreseen some issues.

Last week was my husband’s vacation. We’d initially planned a ski vacation and bought discounted lift tickets to Jay Peak. For a bunch of reasons, including the prohibitive cost of ski area day care and the new dog, we decided not to go.

At the last minute my father decided he was taking vacation that week and would be able to care for our infant. I found a reasonably-priced pet-friendly cabin 12 miles from the mountain and the trip was back on. I asked Princess if she was excited about our trip to Vermont and she replied, “YES!!! We’re going skiing and we’re going to stay in a cabinet!!!”

I laughed so hard it took me a while to explain it was a “cabin” not a “cabinet.”  I think because everyone laughed when she said it, she seemed to prefer calling it a “cabinet.”

Everything in this post up until now should have been included in a handout I gave to anyone within earshot of Princess on this trip.

Ski school instructors, waiters, water park life guards, lodging proprietors, bartenders (hey, the laws are apparently different in Vermont and I wasn’t winning “mom of the mountain” anyway), and fellow visitors might have overheard these nuggets from the ringlet-framed face above the bubblegum pink jacket in an angelic voice from Princess, to which my only follow-up could be a meek, barely-believable “it’s a dog.”

1. Did we leave Whiskey in the cabinet?
2. Can I take Whiskey out of the cabinet to play when we’re done skiing?
3. Can I have Whiskey in my bed tonight?
4. Sometimes Whiskey makes me turn in circles and fall in the snow.
5. Are we bringing Whiskey skiing?
6. Can we bring Whiskey to the water park?
7. I can’t wait to see whiskey in the cabinet.
8. Are we going to bring Whiskey home in mommy’s car with us?
9. I’m so glad we got Whiskey.
10. I love Whiskey.

Me too, kid. But keep your voice down!

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