Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Buzzing the neighbors

MiniMe has been practically assaulting the UPS man this week. While I may love a man in uniform, her reason for giving the man in the big brown truck extra attention is that she ordered something online and is more than anxiously awaiting its delivery.

She saved the money she got from grandparents and great grandparents and used it to purchase an electric Razor scooter. I knew she wanted one, but I had a problem with buying her a scooter that did all the work for her when she has a perfectly good regular scooter and a new bicycle that she hardly ever rides. But it is her money and if she wanted to blow it all on what was apparently the most popular item for adventurous kids between the ages of 8 and 12 this holiday season, who am I to stop her?

I checked every store in the two-county area online and by phone and no one had a single one of these scooters in stock after Christmas - not even a scratched and dinged floor model. In fact, the over-tired customer service reps that answered my calls all laughed when I asked.

So now that it has been ordered and we've gotten notice that it has shipped, MiniMe practically launches herself into the truck of all delivery men and women who enter our neighborhood looking for the anticipated Razor scooter. My neighbors will not know what hit them when this scooter finally arrives and MiniMe goes zooming all over the neighborhood like a white-blond-and-freckled-bat-out-of-hell.

While we didn't have electric scooters when I was a kid, my dad made sure my sister and I had a chance to aggravate the hell out of our neighbors. He built us a two-seater go-kart with a 4 horsepower engine. The thing probably sounded like a lawnmower on steroids, but we thought it sounded like a whole lot of fun! While the go-kart did have a roll bar, it had no seat belts and we wore no helmets. Those were the good old days when kids were bulletproof and parents were more relaxed. I think my sister and I with that go-kart were probably responsible for the early loss of hearing of many of our senior neighbors. Well that and the fact that my dad had a rail dragster that he used to run up and down the road for practice. I bet we had more than a few neighbors who would have paid for us to move!

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth

In addition to all the clothes and techno gadgets I got for Christmas this year, I gave myself a gift that is long overdue - braces. That's right, I'm a 40-something year old woman sporting braces. Apparently adults are the fasting growing consumer segment in the orthodontic industry. Perhaps it is a mid-life thing? A way to return to my youth? I think next I'll try out for the cheerleading squad, develop a crush on a senior boy and lament the fact that I have NOTHING to wear this Friday night! You know, the usual teen angsty thing.

Beloved laughs at me whenever I rush off to brush my teeth after eating anything. I'm so paranoid I'll have food in my braces. Gross! My girlfriends all promised me that they would be true friends and be the first ones to tell me if I have spinach stuck in my braces . . .after they take a picture and post it online of course. Gotta love good friends.

My orthodontist (I can't believe I have my own orthodontist - how retro!) gave me a waterpik to use when she put the braces on. Only I'm so uncoordinated that when I try to use it, I soak down the entire bathroom. I now only use it in the shower to keep from having to break out the mop.

I think after a couple of weeks now I'm getting the hang of the braces thing. Only, there's one question I have not been able to solve. Since my braces are silver, can I still wear gold jewelry or is "mixing medals" a fashion faux pas?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from my new netbook!

I'm blogging from my new Samsung netbook, which was my Christmas gift today! That means you'll be hearing from NativeMom from anyplace I happen to be. I'm mobile!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Very Mutzy Christmas!

I got a Christmas card today from someone I was not expecting to hear from and it made my whole year! 

We were fortunate to have the opportunity to foster a shelter dog here at Casa NativeMom this year. And even more fortunate that this dog found a great, loving home. The family that adopted Mutzy (pictured on the left) took the time to send us a very nice note thanking us for helping them become a forever home for her this year. Receiving that card, with Mutzy's happy fuzzy face, along with all the other continued communication that the adoptive family has generously provided to us along the way, made our first experience in fostering a shelter dog a truly rewarding one. 

Peace, Love, Paw - Adopt a Shelter Dog!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mother's Hall of Shame

So I was reminded this afternoon that I won't ever be inducted into the Mother's Hall of Fame. I'm probably a much better candidate for the Mother's Hall of Shame. Here's why.

I get an e-mail from a very creative friend. She has designed little ready-to-print gift tags that say "To Kevin, Love Santa" with a picture of Santa and the tag written in "Santa's handwriting."

She blasted a copy of the tag out to all her friends offering to create tags with their children's names on them for all of us lucky parents to use as we wrap our holiday gifts. We simply had to e-mail her back with the list of our children's names.

Now that is a VERY generous offer and the tag really is adorable. I'm sure any child would love to have a gift addressed specifically to him/her from Santa under the tree this year.


The e-mail might as well have read as follows.

Dear (slacker mom):

Merry Christmas! I have finished all the shopping, baking & shipping and hand crafted ornaments for the tree. As I sip my chamomile tea, relaxing in my artfully decorated home, with my beautiful, smart, well-behaved children sleeping snugly in their beds, I am anxiously awaiting the glorious Christmas morning that is to come in just a few short days. While I'm baking dozens of homemade gingerbread men for all my friends and family tomorrow, I'd be happy to create one-of-a-kind gift tags for all your children. Simply send me your list and I'll whip up these artistic tags so that you too can experience the joy of seeing your little darling's face light up as he or she opens her gift delivered straight from Santa on Christmas morning.

She found the time to design personalized Santa gift tags?!?!? (By the way, this UberMom works and has two children). Up until this moment, I was proud of the fact that I'd actually spelled all my kids' names correctly on the sticky, cheapo, store-bought tags on their hastily wrapped gifts. Heck, let's be honest, I was actually kinda proud of the fact that with 4 more days to go until Christmas, I've gotten every one's gifts bought, wrapped, and placed under the tree. I even managed to ship all the gifts to family without having to resort to taking a loan to cover overnight shipping costs.

Yes, I was feeling kinda proud of myself. Until Miss Handmade Children's Gift Tag had to remind me that I'm really just a slacker mom

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Welcome to the World!



My sister and brother-in-law welcomed a 5Lb 10 ounce baby girl at 1 a.m. this morning. While baby (no name yet) was early, everything is good.

Sissy made birthing a baby look like a walk in the park. Overachiever!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas at Epcot

This week MiniMe, Beloved and I went to see the Candlelight Processional at Epcot. First of all, the park is decorated beautifully. If you've never been able to visit France, England, Morocco or Germany during the holidays, you can experience a taste of it at Epcot. Walking through them all is a great way to learn more about holiday traditions around the world.

We started our evening with dinner at Marrakesh in Morrocco. Everyone had to put on their "try new things" faces as the menu at Marrakesh is a little different than what we're used to. MiniMe, who usually has no problem trying new things, was being a little stubborn. So when the salad and appetizer came and I couldn't get her to give it a try, I let her know that they wouldn't let her ride the camel after dinner if she didn't give everything a try.

"What camel? Is there a camel? Can we really ride it?" she asked.

"There's a camel," I replied. "But I doubt they'll let you ride it if you don't participate in the meal."

So wouldn't you know it, she gave a few things on the menu a try. And wouldn't you know it, I made up the whole camel thing. Well kind of.

She was not amused. 

But we all thoroughly enjoyed the Epcot Christmas experience!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Vegetarian Lite

I rented a documentary this weekend I'd been wanting to see, Food Inc. I transitioned to a vegetarian lifestyle about a year and half ago, and while I don't push it on others, I did start watching the documentary on Saturday while everyone else was home. So of course, MiniMe came in and plopped down to watch TV with me for a while.

I tried to explain to her what the documentary was about, which is the the affect of factory farming on our society and health and the control of the nation's food supply by a handful of multinational companies. This is not one of those shock-value PETA type movies. There aren't any video/photos of animals being tortured, just a real look at the machine that feeds America. 

After only about 20 minutes, MiniMe says "Ewww, I think I may have to become a vegetarian."

To which I reply, "Well, that's a choice everyone has to decide for themselves."

"I could live on macaroni and cheese I think," she says a few minutes later.

Finally, she gets tired of watching the documentary and heads to the kitchen. I hear the fridge open and the sounds of lunch being made. 

"What are you eating MiniMe?" I ask from the living room.

"Lunch" she replies.

"What are you eating for lunch" I ask.

"A sandwich"

"A vegetarian sandwich?" I inquire.

"Kind of," she replies.

"What does that mean?"

"A sandwich with only two pieces of ham on it."

I guess that's her version of vegetarian lite? In one ear and out the other I guess.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bad Toys Hall of Fame

Blogger Extraordinaire Lenore Skenazy shared a list of toys readers submitted that WILL NOT be inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame this year or any year, as published in The Week magazine. I just had to share!


Recently, the ball was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame — really! — along with other classics like the jump rope and bike. We asked you to predict a toy that will nevermake it into the Hall of Fame and you sold us on:

 The E-Z Bake Electric Chair
Bruce Meyer, Carlsbad, Calif.

SECOND PRIZE: Mr. Potato Head’s neighbor, Mr. Crack Head
Ed Markarian, Santa Monica, Calif.

 Text ‘n’ Drive Big Wheel
David R. Tune, Hagerstown, Md.


Strawberry Shortskank
Bill Muse, Seattle

Obstructive View-Master
Bill Hutton, Winchester, Va.

Jihad Joe
Keith Newman, Athens, Ohio (and others)

Don’t Tickle Me There Elmo!
Dave Zuda, Worth, Ill.

Free-Range Ant Farm
Mimi Hassett, Housatonic, Mass.

Hamster Embalming Kit
Daisy Michael, Westminster, Md.

Abandoned Refrigerator Secret Hideout
Eric Peterson, San Jose, Calif. (and others)

Co-Dependent Ken
Sean Osborne, Cross Plains, Tenn.

Dart Board with an Automatic Return
Ken Hussar, Lancaster, Pa.

Ginsu Hula Hoop
Francesca Kranzberg, Washington, DC (and others, similar)

The Hula Square
Chuck Gaston, Lancaster, Pa.

Subprime Monopoly
Valerie Potter, Albuquerque, N.M.

The Solid Color Rubik’s Cube
Steve Kaplan, St. Louis Park, Minn.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Amazing jumprope girls!

The Firecrackers are a performance jump rope team made up of talented 4th-8th graders from the Kings Local School District in Ohio. Coached by Lynn Kelley, they perform at venues across the country. 

Amazing Jump Rope Girls!!!

This wore me out just watching it!!! Thanks for passing this along Tigger!

Weird Holiday Traditions

Everyone has their own holiday traditions. I have a few, but I don't seem to be able to keep them alive this year. One of my traditions has always been going to see the Nutcracker ballet. This year, I just haven't been able to work it into my schedule due to holiday parties & other obligations. But, keeping flexibility in mind (I've decided flexibility will be my new thing), I may have to watch it on TV. 

Another holiday tradition that was dashed this year involved decorating the christmas tree. For years, I've enjoyed having the kids around to help me decorate the tree. This involves forcing them to stop what they are doing and grudgingly come help me hang ornaments on the tree. But the really fun part is that we watch the Jurassic Park movie while we do it. Nothing says "holiday" like a few hundred genetically engineered dinosaurs! 

This year, I was only able to force MiniMe and Beloved to help me decorate the tree. And when Beloved put the Jurassic Park VHS tape in to play, the player ate the tape. Now it is a 15-year-old VHS tape, so it's amazing it's lasted this long. And I've been watching the movie during the tree decorating exercise every year. Just cause I'm weird like that. 

So with the Jurassic tape broken, and only one of my kids around to help me with the tree, we had to be flexible and find an alternative for our traditional holiday tree-decorating movie. Buffy the Vampire Slayer seemed like a good substitution.

I missed seeing the dinosaurs this year, but forgot how funny Buffy could be, especially the part where she realizes the secret weapon she possesses as a vampire slayer . . .PMS!

I'm putting the entire Jurassic Park DVD series on my Christmas list this year. Just in case . . . 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Brussel Sprouts, by request

Ok, here is the Brussel Sprout recipe. 

1 lb fresh brussel sprouts
Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic
Salt & Pepper

Trim the brussel sprouts and slice lengthwise in half. Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add 2 cloves garlic and stir until it begins to brown. Remove garlic from pan. Place the sprouts cut side down in the garlic butter in a single layer. Cook without stirring until the sprouts begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Drizzle olive oil over the sprouts and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place skillet in 425 degree oven. Cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Toss with more salt & pepper to taste and serve warm. 

What makes these good (besides all the butter) is that the sprouts sear on the cut side then roast in the oven, which locks in flavor.