Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mom Car

We bit the bullet and bought a mini van. This is a very serious milestone in the world of adulthood and parenting, I think. I have been told that it is image suicide and been given looks of disbelief by people who have known me since before I had kids. Of course I said I would never drive a mini van! I didn't have any kids or a dog or luggage, but things change. I am pretty sure that every mom, before she became a mom, uttered the words, "I will never drive a mini van." Who dreams about that? The thing is a little bus. Literally, schools use them as little buses! Before I had kids, a husband, a dog, a house, a life, I'm pretty sure I saw myself driving a Porsche with camel leather interior.

But no, I drive a mini van with greyge leather interior. And it is by far the nicest car I have ever owned. Could I have put up a fight? Gotten another Highlander? Pushed for the environmentally menacing Sequoia? Probably. But somehow sacrificing your image is a noble trade-off for slowly destroying the Earth with your car. And we still have a Prius, just to balance out our carbon footprint.

The truth about the mini van...it isn't a mom car it is a kid car. With a widescreen, dual playing DVD player, reclining captain seats in the back, and doors that close with a tiny push of a button-- I'm simply a chauffeur for the tiny bosses in the back. And, I would just like to point out, I am a mom. Besides car seats would be just as detrimental to my image if they were in the back seat of a Porsche. Seriously.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The F Word

Now that Natalie is a "first grader" in a class with second and third graders, no less, I am finding that she is is really growing up faster than I want her to. She is the youngest in her class, and I am learning that she is quite impressionable. Because she is the youngest, all of her new friends are older than she, and many of them have older siblings, therefore, she is being exposed to words, phrases, songs, etc. that I wasn't really prepared for. "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg..." I know it is harmless, but it is a gateway tune to a maturity that I want to selfishly prevent. My bubble has a very slow leak.

So the other day, while sitting at the breakfast table, Natalie looks at me quite seriously (because she is a serious kid) and says, "Mommy, you know the f word?"

I quickly retorted with a "What?!" without trying to sound too alarmed, so has not to scare her into not continuing what she was going to tell me.

"You know, the f word," she says with a little more emphasis.

I was draining of color because Batman smelling is one thing, but swear words...that might be worse than the stomach bug. Furthermore, I know for a fact that she did not learn this word from me.

Calmly, "I'm sorry, Nat, I am not sure what 'f' word you mean."

"The secret f word, Mommy. Fairy."

Parenting bullet dodged....for today.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Culinary Underground

The first rule about the Culinary Underground-- You don't talk about the Culinary Underground.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself; it was just set up for me. I don't know if you know this, but I cook... a lot. More interesting is that I used to not cook at all. I didn't like it; I didn't know how to do it; I didn't care about it. And then, one day, I had some free time on my hands in our tiny, little apartment in Brighton. Dan was given a really beautiful cookbook (at the time it was understood that he would be cooking-- I'm pretty sure that he was also in charge of the laundry, so things change) called Food For Life. I love this cookbook and if my family members were as willing to eat everything that I eat (read: mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, beans) I would cook from this book all the time. It has relatively simple recipes and gorgeous picture for every single one of them. Why on earth would anyone cook without a picture? Anyway, tiny kitchen, Brighton, and I decided to cook. I started with a garlic chicken stir fry and from these to grilled Tikka Masala (on the George Forman gill, might I add). Success and success and my inner cook was born.

Since I have been a professional homemaker, my cooking has gone to a new level (at least I think so) And whenever I drive down Rt 9, I always see a sign for "The Culinary Underground" for home chefs. So, for the holidays, Dan was kind enough to gift me a "Knife Skills" class. I soooo wanted to take this course and leave Julia Childs. Or at the very least, re-enact Meryl Streep's onion scene from Julie and Julia. (Ahem, if you don't understand that reference, do yourself an ENORMO favor and watch it.) I roped my friend Jess, as she is a family chef, into coming with me. The two of showed up with our own aprons-- we went business. Well, I meant business, and I may have brought Jess along for the ride.

The class was super fun and after two and a half hours we made some yummy stuff. However, in terms of actual chopping skills, my take away was this:

1. I know how to cut things pretty well, form and uniformity included
2. I now know how to properly sharpen my knifes. I also know that my knives need to be sharpened, badly.
3. I have learned a technique for making carrot matchsticks that I didn't know before.

I could have practiced deboning a chicken, but the truth is, I find "deboning" to be an extremely vulgar cooking term, and I'm just not that type of girl.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Kindness of Less than Strangers

We are in the process of a "small" home renovation. Small meaning one room, "small" meaning the only full bathroom in the house. Tomorrow it will be a full week that we have been without a shower. And, yes, I have been known to go without a shower for a couple days, but a week...that's gross. Since Dan and I have chosen to live 200 miles away from our entire family, that leaves us with no one, who because of blood, must take us in. This is certainly one of those moments when I wish that I, too, lived just two miles from my mother as my brother does. Because four people, two of whom are tiny and one of whom manages to make a mess out of everything he touches, need to bathe with some regularity.

I know when this project is over, it will totally be worth it and I will want to spend all my waking hours in my brand new bathroom, but until then I am eternally grateful for that family we have chosen--our friends who have welcomed us into their homes, when they aren't even there no less, to use a shower. I am sure it is kind of win-win. I mean, really, who would want to hang out with a stinky Rabs?

In all seriousness, I know, without any reminders, how lucky we are to have these people in our lives.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I've decided to come back to blogging seeing how this is the year the world is going to end and all, I thought I would get some thoughts down before the 12-12-12 date. I did a poor job of blogging in '11 and just in case I wasn't feeling badly enough about it, I was reminded, regularly, that I wasn't blogging. You know who you are. Yes, I mean you, too.

But I think I really did miss it. I am not sure what happened in 2011 that made me stop. I want to say that I was busy, but that is super lame. I also want to say that I ran out of things to talk about due to the cyclical nature of my life, but Joey managed to poop in a pool and Natalie broke her arm, so right there I have two things that were totally worthy of sharing. The truth is, dare I say it, I was lazy. LAZY! Me! I can't believe it either, so rather that say I was "lazy", let's just say I was cooking. Which, let's be honest, we all know is really what I was doing for most of the year. Am I busy? Sure, but not too busy to blog. Am I tired, of course, but I still stay up too late and wake up too early, so somewhere in there I could have blogged, but I didn't.

Today starts a new year, and if I love nothing else about the hype of New Year, it is that we all have a chance to start fresh, decide who we want to work to become for the next 365 days. I love resolutions. I resolve to do something at least once a day. Last year, I think I resolved to do eleven things... pretty sure I only did three. And by three, I mean two and a half. This year I thought really hard about what is is that I really need to do better. So this morning, while enjoying my coffee, I decided that in 2012 I am going to spend more time loving me. I am convinced that if I follow through on this resolution, it will behoove the entire family. When I fail to meet my own outlandish expectations, our household can have a bit of a black mommy cloud over it. Does this mean that I am going to be a better blogger in 2012? I don't know, but I might cut myself a little more slack if I don't get to it.

Happy 2012, everyone! Keep reading and keep commenting... it helps.