Monday, January 31, 2011

Projectile Pukies

Warning: This is a first time parent discussion of a sick baby. It's gross. Really gross. You probably don't want to read it. (Unless you've ever had to, or will have to, care for an ill infant...)

Last week Jax turned 1, and got his first stomach flu. If you are wondering how much fun it is to have a baby who channels exorcist style up-chuck*, the answer is: none... unless you're the spouse watching the other lucky parent be baptized in vomit.

There is something so sad and so absurdly funny about trying to plan your life around a baby who has been reduced solely to a random cookie tosser. How long can you hold him? What can you afford risking to wear? How many towels should you stack under him at night? Is double folding said towels really creating twice the amount of bile absorption, or should you discard both layers with each attempted stomach evacuation?

It is just so sad when your sweet baby suddenly smells more like he's been worshiping the porcelain god at some frat house rather than smelling like a parcel of angelic goodness soaked in unicorn tears of blissful joy while swaddled in the virgin linens of the fairies of light. I mean, how can a child who has had his diet completely reduced to a few minutes of nursing at a time ingest enough to produce a bathtub's worth of toxic waste?

Did I mention poo? I should bring that up. See, if your baby's "tummy" doesn't feel good, and there is barfing, it often means the sh*t is about to hit the fan. (And, because of the projectile nature of these issues, it just might). I mean, if you think your baby is impressive when he Ralph's across the room, just wait 'till you see what the other end can handle. I admit that since we EC with Jax, I get to *literally* see and feel the wrath of the intestinal track with more visual acuity than most, but I'm pretty sure no one could miss the Dante's Inferno of smells that would accompany even the most contained of said fecal explosions. I think it is entirely possible that my son has expelled the entire range of possible combination of road kill entrails decomposition gases whilst maintaining his vegetarian status.

In case our first fight with force migration of stomach contents wasn't exciting enough, the whole thing seemingly stopped for eight hours only to return with an obscene vengeance. You start to relax, you do things like start to get ready for bed in your room again, cuddling the child you only recently reclaimed from possession by the spirit of the Chunk Blower... only to have him channel said spirit all over your fresh clean nightgown, his pajamas, your sheets, your pillows, and, your sanity. No, dear reader, he did not just "lose his lunch," he eradicated in a way that makes the idea of Taco Le Bell's "fourthmeal" seem like a reasonable nutritional option.

Add to this the amazing feat of producing gallons of frothy green turdlets, and the hilarity of AGAIN mistakenly thinking your son is cured, letting him snitch a minuscule tidbit of black fondant from his penguin-themed cake (in case you were wondering, one micro gram of "black" food coloring can produce an entire night's worth of blue and aqua excitement), and you have a techni-color nightmare meant for the historic annals of parenting.

Apparently, you also have a Top 11 blog post for regurgitation. WIN!

* Top 11 Puke Terms used:
Cookie tossing
Stomach evacuation
Worshiping the porcelain god
Forced migration of stomach contents
Blow chunks
Lose your lunch

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Top 11 Rockin' Names for a Horse

For Christmas, Aunt Sweet Sweet and Uncle Mean Mean gave Jax a lovely wooden rocking horse. He's a little small to really use it on his own, and it got left at Granny's because it wouldn't fit in the car, but we've been working on a fitting name for this awesome heirloom. "Horsie" was arleady taken by a tacky car toy, so, here's our current Top 11 Rockin' Names for a Horse.

11. Dust Devil - much much smaller than Zorro's Tornado.

10. Concorde - the name of the page who walks along banging coconuts to "sound like a horse" in Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail

9. Foggy - NOT of Chincoteague

8. Shadowemail - way more modern than Shadowfax.

7. Wood Ugly - doesn't quite have the same impact as Black Beauty...

6. Hippocampus - this is the name of a sea horse that pulled Poseidon's chariot... plus it sounds like a different animal... plus it's part of your brain!

5. Giggle-Maker - a nod to Pecos Bill's Widow-Maker

4. Whacka - it's funnier than Flicka

3. Good-Horse - the opposite of the "thoroughbred of sin" from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

2. Tin - you know, for when you can't afford Silver? (The middle name of The Lone Ranger's Horse with the last name, Away)

1. Hi Ho - The first name of The Lone Ranger's horse. (this one is, secretly, my current favorite)

Of course, if you're actually looking for horse names, there are whole sites to help you out:

Names from Cowboy Movies
Pictures of Movie Horses
Fictional Horses

It goes on and on... just Google it.

So, got a suggestion? A favorite? I'll post back when we finally commit!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What I Learned During NaBloPoMo

So this post wraps up my one a day posting marathon. I survived. I wrote, mostly crumby, some funny, even some really good stuff, but I wrote. Here's what I learned.

11. I can sum up pretty much everything in a Top 11 List.

10. Not a single person batted an eye lash at my choice of 11.

9. Real people comment if you make it easy enough, but so do Chinese porn spammers.

8. I may have 900+ friends, but only about 10 are gonna read my posts.

7. I feel better when I crank out something, even if it's just short thoughts.

6. Reading old blog posts isn't as cool or arty as reading old poetry, but it still makes me smile.

5. The habit has been started, I might not do every day, but I'm gonna at least try to keep a couple posts a week.

4. I wanna read other people's blogs, but it's so hard to keep up.

3. Statistics are totally addictive. I spend more time analyzing my blog than writing it.

2. No real promotion still gets readers. It's nice to know I have a core of people who care what I think.

1. People LIKE deep stuff, but SHARE funny stuff.

What was your favorite post? What do you think should be my next topic?

Monday, November 29, 2010

11 Words or Less: Pregnancy (Puking Redacted)

11. Ovulation

10. Confirmation

9. Heartbeat

8. Movement

7. Contractions

6. Pushing

5. Holding

4. Nursing

3. Cuddling

2. Sleeping

1. Knowing

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dreaded Decorating Doofiness

I am a big fan of expressing individuality, I mean, I haven't worn matching socks in well over a decade, I have shaved my head squeeky clean bald, and I rocked Flamboyant Fridays in college... however, my dislike of Christmas has lead to a tertiary concern with bizarre decorating trends and themes. Don't take offense, don't take it personally, I'm glad folks groove to the season, but still, some of these seem, well, Doofy. (And, no, I'm not getting an Amazon kick-back, but I'm linking in case you're feeling cheeky and decide to purchase something).

Top 11 Doofy Decorations

11. Big Blow-Ups
This is my husband's pet peeve. They are loud and generally tacky. My least favorite would be the 6 foot snow globe with actual carasol inside. If you're going to that much work to decorate, can we seriously think of some better outlet? Only $329.99. (Side note: I'll be installing my mom's tomorrow. It's giant penguins with doctor accessories. It's super duper tacky... and I love it.)

10. Bottoms of Tree Toppers
I cannot possibly be the first person to feel weird about cramming pine needles up the dress of an angel. Is no one else confused by the symbolism of sticking the pointy tops of trees up the bums of a variety of toppers? I'm sure someone in the marketing division of stars should get on that. It's probably more creepy than doofy, but today, we're doing doofy.

I think it's nice when decorations and ornaments can reflect your personality. Here's a tip: TV is not your personality. Seriously, this is marketing on a whole new level. Not pictures of your kids, or even pictures of yourself singing, or, for Pete's sake, pictures of you watching the show. Just three judges watching someone else. To recap, that's a memory of you watching TV of people watching someone else. Doofy. (If you should choose, you can purchase the above ornament for $13.50 from Amazon.)

8. Icicle Lights
If you plug it in and it lights up? Not ice. Not even close. Sure, they are pretty and twinkley and give you more shimmer per square foot, but icicles they are not. 'Nuf said.

7. Faux Popcorn
Seriously? Fake strands of popcorn? If I hadn't helped a preschool teacher return sewing machine needles prior to attempting to thread garlands of the salty stuff, I'd find this UNBELIEVABLE. I guess it doesn't go bad? Why?! 9 feet of fake buttery goodness can be yours for $6.99.

6. Random Acts of Weirdness
Again, individuality is awesome, but I'm often confused by this. What does that giant wooden Barney have to do with the holidays. How about the giant elephant? If you're looking for more examples, I'd suggest for further amusement.
5. Anachronistic Nativities
Maybe it's my love of open ended play being crushed by single use bizzaro-ness. Maybe it's the whole cave vs. stable argument. Maybe it's the part that angels don't sing... Let your kids play with whatever you choose, but if you're going to decorate? Maybe this is not the least doofy choice. (Having had personal experience with this set, the sounds when the batteries wear down are well worth the $44.99).

4. Highlighting Horribleness
If your home has a less than perfect feature... or a REALLY bad code-violating type issue. Trimming in lights is a poor choice. I can't think why folks would do this. Check it out this year whilest driving around. You will be amazed by the lovely hanging gutters, rotting porch railings, and other architectural sadness which is now enhanced by having small electrical devices stapled
to them.

3. Inappropriate Santas
Believe me, you can find the creepy old elf doing just about anything. I guess it's amusing, but why would you decorate to celebrate a holiday with this? Why? If you know, well, for $6.95 it can be yours.

2. Multicultural Atrocities.
Let me start this rant by pointing out that my family is fond of appropriating a wide variety of holidays. I'm all for sharing in a lovely tradition, I just feel like the forced overt PC-ness is a bit much. Celebrate your holidays, make them personal, but don't feel like you have to mention and mix them all lest you offend someone. Seriously, the Kwanzaa dreidel feels a little forced guys, especially if it's not pictured next to my Festivus Pole.

1. Terrible Trees
Can someone tell me why this product exists? It's a Whimsical Yellow Laser Artificial Christmas Tree... ARTIFICIAL?!? You mean it's not a REAL whimsical yellow Christmas tree? You can get similar ones in a variety of flavors/colors/painful horribly doofy styles. If you'd like this one, it can be yours for $8.05, that's right, this 30" beauty is on sale!

Got a favorite pet-peeve decoration? Know a place for specialty doofy products? Wanna share YOUR horror stories? That's why blogs have comments!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Creepy Christmas Carols

I'm not a big fan of Christmas... I know, I know, Bah Humbug! Anyhows, the part I do like is family and tradition. In that vein, I was helping decorate the tree at my mom's house today with my sister. We put on some "holiday" music, and soon we were giggling gleefully at the horrible irony of so many of the lyrics. In honor of the weirdness that is Christmas music, here are my Top 11 Creepy Christmas Carols.

11. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
Pretty self explanatory, I mean, seriously? A song about family whose drunken matriarch is trampled by a beloved myth... yep, automatically included.

10. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
OK, here's my issue. I know we're going for cute, but this is either Daddy dressing up knowing he'll be seen by the child, in which case the make-out break is a little creepy; or, the dress up is solely for the benefit of Mommy, in which case, that's a little weird kinky if you ask me. Or, I suppose, it's a song about how the beloved jolly fellow is in fact an adulterous fiend and Mommy is a hussy. Creepy.

9. I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In
My theory here is that this a song about an awesome heist. I mean, it smacks of Ocean 26 type planning. Christmas day... the only day when the guards are on lower alert... yeah, it's not a Christmas song, it's a song about thievery. Maybe more amusing than creepy, but amusing none the less.

8. Twelve Days of Christmas
It may have been said before, but this is just a bizarre dance of materialistic insanity. (No, it's not a memory aid.) It's just a creepy idea of what someone wants for Christmas, or at least, what they got from their insane "true love." I think this is one creepy display of capitalistic affection.

7. Some Children See Him Lily White
The song is pretty much randomly racist. I guess it's supposed to be how we all see God in a different way, but I can't help but think it's just a way of legitimising misconceptions and stereotypes. I'm just sayin' I'm pretty sure he was an Arabic looking Jewish fellow. Just sayin'.

6. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
This choice amuses me based solely on the ability of the lyrics to effectively summarize many creepy holiday themes: dangerous pyromaniac tendencies romanticized, scary mythological entities harassing innocent victims, simplistic ethnocentrism, and the theme that everyone should know and approve of these ideas. Ahhh creepy.

5. Little Drummer Boy
The whole thing is just an unsupervised child apparently busking for a living, not sure why he's headed to visit the baby, but it seems no one is interested in caring for him. Sure, it's a nice sentiment that he wants to bring the gift of music, but is anyone gonna help out the young street musician? No. No they're not.

4. Mary Did You Know
Let me just cut to the chase. Yes, she did. I'm pretty sure we're clear on the whole angelic messenger explaining it. Plus, having recently been a new mother, the last thing I'd like is generations of folks harassing me to see if I'd done my home work on parenting. It's not like there's any pressure for her, raising God incarnate. Oh, and you think God was going to pick someone who didn't get it? Really?

3. Frosty the Snowman
Mythical anthropomorphic characters are the hallmark of creepy holiday songs. I think this fellow embodies the whole idea to a tee. Sure, sounds nice to have an enchanted friend, but the next time a giant snow demon bangs on your door after chasing your children around, let me know how lovely you find the sentiment.

2. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Stalker. Voyeur. Sees you when you're sleeping. Knows when you're awake... Suppression of feelings: Better not pout, better not cry... really? This is supposed to be a happy song? It just scares the goodness outta me.

1. Baby It's Cold Outside
This was the most disturbing song of the afternoon. It pretty much reeks of a very uncomfortable intimate power/control situation. The lady says repeatedly she'd like to leave. She says "no" more than once. He tries to give her more alcohol and take away her coat. He uses verbal coercion to let her know that her reputation is already ruined. Seriously creepy.

Sorry if I've ruined a little part of your holidays. Got another creepy hit that amuses you? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Penguin Cherpumple

This Thanksgiving, I was finally able to slice into my very own cherpumple. Cher-wha? Last year I was introduced to the fabulous idea of the cherpumple via this video:

I knew I must have one! Basically, it's a cherry pie baked into a white cake, on top of a pumpkin pie baked into a yellow cake, on top of an apple pie baked into a spice cake, all frosted into one amazing three layer cake of AWESOME.

Here's how I made mine. I started off with lofty goals of going all from-scratch... but I'm not that awesome. Did I mention I have a 10 month old? Anyway, started off with the apple pie filling.

Most of my recipes are really annoying to share since I fake my way through it. Here's my best guess:

4 Granny Smith Apples, sliced up
4 tablespoons orange juice (I usually use lemon, the idea is that the citrus adds a little punch and keeps the apples from browning)
3 tablespoons of flour (to thicken it up)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

I put all of this into something that seals, stir, then shake it up. (This part is a great little release of angst). For the other two fillings, I did store bought; the pumpkin required adding evaporated milk and and eggs.

For the pie crust I went with a basic crust for all three. Here's my guess at about a pie's worth of recipe. (So I made about 3x as much).

2 cups flour
2 1/2 tablespoons of Oil
1 teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of water (or how ever much you need to get the right consistency)

Next, I poured the fillings into each pan. (The trick here is to get pie pans smaller than your cake pans. I did this by buying 8 inch disposable cake pans to use as pie pans, thus fitting nicely into the nine inch cake pans.)

Then I added lattice to the cherry pie and a cover with pricks to the apple pie. Neither of these is really needed, but I figured it would make flipping them into the cake pans a little easier later.

Baked all three pies at 350 degrees for about a half hour... until they looked golden brownish.

I let them cool over night.

I also opted for super easy on the cakes, by using mixes; in this case, white, yellow, and spice. I literally bought the cheapest kinds. They each required three eggs, 1/3 cup of oil, and a cup and a third of water. (The white one just used egg whites).

I spread cake batter over the bottom of the pan, about a centimeter thick. Then flipped the pie into the batter. It sorta didn't go all in one piece. Luckily, I just kinda smushed the rest back down into there.

Finally, I spread batter to fill in around the edges and cover the pie. *Note that there is A LOT of batter... too much really*

I spread the extra batter into another cake pan to make a mini-pie-less cherpumple... which wouldn't really have any of the reasons for the name... If you were making nine inch pies to go into twelve inch cake pans, I'm guessing you'd have just the right amount of batter.I repeated with the Apple pie in yellow cake. (I only had two cake pans, so I only did the first two.)

Into the oven they went at 350 degrees... for about fifteen minutes... when I smelled the smoke. You see, they were totally too full and dripped. This was a total fail since it was Thanksgiving morning and the turkey was very shortly going to bake in that oven. GRRRRRRrrrrrrr!

Took the cakes out, cleaned the oven, then finished baking. Next, went about making the third cake. I was a little more careful not to over-fill. We baked that bad boy next the turkey. Here's the drippy cake:

At last, it was time to assemble this behemoth. I had to de-pan the cherry/white layer to bake the apple/spice layer. It just popped right out. The apple/spice layer was a tad more difficult. It seams I didn't grease the pan as well since I was in such a hurry. I ended up breaking the whole darn thing in half.

Luckily, I used a spatula to loosen up that bad boy, and just set it right on top.

I cut around the edge to trim it into a circle. The bottom was also slightly burnt, so I just scraped off the darker/burnt part since I'd be frosting it anyway.

I frosted the bottom layer. I cheated here too with a store-bought frosting. It took three cans total.

Next I sliced around the edges of the pumpkin/yellow layer and placed it on top.

I frosted there as well.

Finally I added the third layer.

I frosted all the way around.

And on the top, if you're generous, it's easier to spread the frosting.

Because it amused me, I added some silly safety green decorations. My sister also let us put the mini-cakes she had brought around it. The whole thing was in a large tupperware dish because we needed something really sturdy... the thing weighed 8-9 pounds.

After an incredible feast, it was time to chow down. It takes a bit to slice, and you don't want to make a large slice as it is already pretty tall with all those layers.

I found out it was easier to dish up with a spatula AND the knife. Here's a few more pictures of the glories of our cherpumple success.

What do you think? Have you tried it? Are you going to?