Thursday, November 8, 2012

Puppies and Arsenic Filled Gumdrops

Along with the infuriatingly GLACIAL PACE OF MOVEMENT that came along with Chris was a fluffer nugget puppy named Snoop. D-O-Double-G.

Snoop is the kid that gets in trouble in class because he's too smart for basic multiplication tables. He needs to juggle bone China with one paw, perform long division with decimals with the other, and jump up in down in concentric circles all at once to be adequately entertained.

God love him, Snoop is one enormous pain in the ass.
At the mere sight of a shoe or the reach for a set of keys, he loses his composure. Barking and whimpering and jumping and totally losing his freaking marbles. We have tried pheramone collars and mists, Quiet Moments calming tablets, a bark collar, and putting him in a different room while we work. A ROOM you proper dog owners say.
Why yes. Because two summers ago, during a thunderstorm during which Chris and I were away, Snoop took his tiny teeth and tried to chew himself out of his metal crate. Not only did he wreck his teeth, but he tried to jam his head out of the opening and instead pierced his neck with broken metal.
Sad and tragic, yes. But more than anything, infuriating and idiotic.
We moved him to the kitchen and put up a baby gate to keep him in. We then came home to find that he chewed the buttons and knob off of the dishwasher.
Chris and I can't sit next to each other on the couch, no. Snoop doesn't like it when people touch. Not when they touch anyone/thing that isn't him, anyway.
Snoop is an attention whore.
He's a 16lb ball of fluffy love and over enthusiasm. Surely, he is more human that canine.
He understands calendars- predicting which days and times we will leave for work. He anticipates goodbye kisses in the morning and bedtime cuddling. If Chris and I scoot too close?
Snoop will throw his entire body down in between mine and Chris's. No joke. A canine cock block.
Guys. Real dog owners. Miracle Workers. Save me. Snoop is the asshole step child I never really asked for and now have to deal with his bad behavior. I love him endlessly: he's funny and loving and full of character. But his bad behavior actually changes the tone of our day. Snoop is our fur baby- the most doted on member of our family trio-- but another decade with this snippy, yappy, chaotic interruption of human life is unfathomable.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Warm Your Bellies With This Liquid Gold

About a year ago, after one of those I simply cannot stand you Sundays with Chris, we tromped into a Panera Bread where the mere thought of speaking with him about what I was going to order raised my blood pressure. In an attempt to send one of those I'm too angry to eat temper tantrums messages, I ordered a cup- not bowl, CUP- of tomato soup knowing I wouldn't like it and then could slam down my spoon, food uneaten, and glare at him while he consumed his Cuban sandwich.

Much to my surprise, I did like it! I did like tomato soup, Sam I am!

Since then, I've discovered that Costco makes a delicious version, only it leans on the salty side. I have tried a couple of homemade versions. Buttery ones. Creamy ones. Backyard herb garden basil-y ones. Even some with silly French cafe names. All were meh, but none that tickled me quite like that Panera Bread cupful.

Then THIS happened. And why I am surprised, I don't know. Of course Ina Garten would come up with a blue ribbon worthy version of such a simple, comforting meal.

Yes, I do recognize that the term "grilled cheese croutons" implies a certain amount of Laissez Faire-ness towards any sort of dietary consideration. But people! The winter months are upon us, the days are brief and cloudy, moods lethargic and anxious for something sparklier and more festive than the lingering days of Fall.

For a mere 4 cups of stock and just one simple can of San Marzano tomatoes, this recipe produces quite a lot of soup. And that orzo? OH, THAT ORZO! I questioned it initially, but it truly does change the landscape of something that could otherwise be consumed by straw. So fire up your giant soup spoon, folks, you're going to wish you had a shovel for this one!

Picture of Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons Recipe

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pink Peonies Go With Everything if You Want Anyone With a Penis to Sleep in Your Bed Never

Since the chances of me marrying a man that will allow pink and purple and orange FLORAL BEDDING are absolutely nill, I shall instead pin this beautiful bedding and quietly pout about yet another Pin that I'll never have.
Dear Pinterest,
You have ruined an entire Nation's concept of real life. I hope you're so pleased with yourself that you go bake yourself an Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookie marshmallow and go eat it at the table you whittled yourself from the organic Sugar Maple trees you grew in your raised bed backyard forest.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

If I May Speak on Behalf of Your Children, They Want You to Know that Youre Too Old for that Top, And Also....

Over the years, one of the most valuable lessons in parenting I have come across is to recognize that, oh, how do those Christians say it?-- judge not lest ye be judged.

That's right. KEEP YO' MOUTH SHUT. (please ad lib your own colorful curse in place of the one you feel I would most likely place here)

This lesson applies for a bountiful number of reasons, but the most notable of them is to know that wonderful parents have really rotten kids, and really, super piss-poor parents end up raising Ivy League do-gooders. image

HOWEVER. Life lessons are reserved for books and hindsight: this is real life, folks. And the one lesson that I, Megan, Uberest Uber Nanny of All of Time, most want parents to recognize is the following horse-pill to swallow:

Children are not soldiers. Indeed, the trouble with kids is that they are, in fact, tiny humans.

GASP you say. TYRANNY!

No, Grown Up People, not tyranny. Truth.

Children are real life people with real life feelings, thoughts, temperaments, and actions. They are independent in motivation and fear of consequence. Or lack thereof. Of all the many children I have encountered and the variety of parenting atrocities I have endured, the truest of troubles is the power struggle that arises when a parent clenches so tightly that a child is left with no choice but to crumble to the ground or fight back in resistence.

And what the hell kind of choice is that?

We, Grown Up People, are not here to brow-beat children into compliance or to raise them to be so afraid to fall out of step with the masses that they never discover their true self. It is not our job to shame a child for squishing the yellow Play Doh into the blue and jamming it through the green spaghetti stringer. And I know, that makes my skin crawl, too. But how can anyone look at a child and not see joy?

So stop it, fellow adults. Stop squashing the spirits of tiny humans that are merely in search of themselves.

Get Familiar

Promoting products and brands is something I find tough to do. Mostly because I see not a nickel for my kind words but more so because there simply are not that many products or companies worth getting behind these days.

HOWEVER. I need to send a mad shout out to my pals at today.

I first ordered from Zappos five years ago when it was only shoes. Five years in the land of technology is like 35 human years.

In fact, it was so long ago that I hear you can even get your transmission fixed by the Zappos wizards these days.

I kid, of course, but they're seriously selling absolutely everything over there. It's the Amazon of every woman's dreams.

Five years ago, I can recall feeling really wowed by their 365 Day Return Policy. Particularly since I was an unemployed party girl that ordered 7 pairs of shoes and proooobably needed to send a few back.

Today, they still have this awesome and easy return policy, plus free return shipping. Oh yeah, AND FREE EXPRESS SHIPPING.

I placed an order at 8am yesterday morning and when I came home from work today, there on the doorstep before 5pm was a beautiful white box stamped ZAPPOS.


Their customer service and prefab confirmation emails even have a bit of sass to their wording and boy, do I like a little free sass with purchase.

In addition to Zappos, I have to say HOLLA to my pals at Brooks running this evening.

My feet happen to be a circus side show- much like my insanely callused hands. The right foot is 3/4 of a size larger than the left- which is technically not considered abnormal until they are a full size different. It is so like me to not be entirely normal but just miss the mark on being entirely unusual. The right foot is also wider, which has been the real buzzkill. In spite of ordering custom shoes the last two times around, though the length is adequate, the width has become uncomfortable and aggravating. My mom used to grouse at me for wearing impossibly high and pointy shoes- those awesome stilettos of the early 2000s. Now, as I stare at the busted up mess that is my feet, I recognize the extreme correctness of her bitching advice.

Add in about 10-12 hours/week in the gym, a handful on my bike plus an unbelievable amount of stair climbing, baby hauling, and stroller pushing at work and my feet are the clydesdales in the stable. I've been wanting to try the barefoot style to help strengthen my foot and reduce some nagging foot/heel pain, but I didn't want to go that disgusting and disturbing TOE SHOE route. I'd read good things about Brooks and resisted since I scoff at "runners."

Everything I was finding had toe slots or pukey colors though, and I like fashionable funtion. In addition to my Innov-8 cross-fit shoes for lifting, I grabbed a pair of Brooks Pure Connects in a real dope neon orange. At $90, they're about half the price of my previous custom kicks and that's quite nice given that I burn through gym shoes about every 3 months.

Kids... this shit is on point. Room in the toe box for my hooves and cushion in the arch in a barefoot style. I am currently rocking these kicks with my pajamas and I'm even considering running laps around the house just to take these babies out for a spin.

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