Thursday, September 26, 2013

Friday Round-Up

Won't You Be My Neighbor?
WE HAVE NEW NEIGHBORS!  Eek, I am so excited.  Wanna know why?  Because not only are they our age, but they're pregnant with their first child, and guess what?  IT'S A BOY!  This means instant best friend for Miles.  Also, because they bought the house, that means they're locked in for a long term commitment with us as neighbors.  It'll be just like a TV sitcom!  Yay!

My current concern is how long to wait before I begin the stalking.  Also, what's an appropriate food item to welcome them to the 'hood?  What if they have a food allergy?  Or can't eat chicken on Saturdays because of some religious belief?  What if they only eat organic apples washed by the tears of happy apple picking children?  I thought about baking banana nut bread.  Or maybe something pumpkin, since the calendar tells me it's Fall (although the weather does not).  Does it need to be gluten free, dairy free, vegan friendly, kosher and smell good?

Help me out here, people.  I don't want to offend the parents of Miles' future BFF.

Side note: Evan has met Cameron (the husband) and says he's super nice.  They have two dogs.  Last night, one of the dogs came into our yard (TO POOP!!!) while they were probably lugging boxes inside.  Evan advised me of the dog's (POOPING) presence by saying, "HONEY THERE'S AN ANIMAL IN THE YARD!"  This is not how you tell me there's a dog (POOPING) in the yard.  If you tell me there's an animal, my mind sees a grizzly bear or a sixteen foot alligator or a sharktopus (Google it).  I have a legitimate fear of zombies coming to my front door.  Ask my husband.  So the best way to tell me there's a dog in the yard is to say, "Hey, there's a cute, sweet, harmless looking dog in the front yard."

I went to the window and peeked through the blinds.  The dog looked up (FROM HIS POOPING, IN MY YARD!!!) and we made eye contact.  And we both stood there, frozen.  I did what any rational adult would do: I stuck my tongue out at the dog.

The dog proceeded to bark hysterically at me.  I closed the blinds.  Right now I'm iffy about the new dogs next door. 

Reduce, Reuse…
Most of you know I am big on taking care of Mother Earth.  After all, what we do today is the legacy we’ll live our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren…and I would like to make sure there are still some trees, estuaries, wildlife, and other cool stuff left for them to enjoy.  I don’t drive a Prius (yet) and we haven’t gone totally organic (yet) but I do enjoy hugging trees, picking up garbage, cutting the plastic rings from six-packs so ducks don’t get stuck, and recycling.  I have always been quietly proud of my recycling efforts, until my husband jumped on board.

There are a few things I refuse to reduce, reuse, recycle:

-          Cat food cans
-          Jelly jars
-          Salad dressing bottles

The effort to clean these things is more than I can muster.  Also, cat food cans are smelly…I freak out if any of the cat food juice gets on my fingers (like, flailing because I touched a spider web freak out).  I am darn sure not washing the turkey giblets out of it.  Ick.

If Evan catches me discarding any of these items, he will remove them from the garbage (no matter how deep I’ve buried them) and proceed to wash them.  It’s not unusual to find a jelly jar soaking by the sink when I get home from work.  Even if I try to sneak said item into the garbage can, his Captain America senses tingle and he runs to the rescue.  If I try to beat him to the garbage can, he foils my attempt in QB sack fashion.

In 2009, we took a 4,000 miles road trip from FL to Washington DC, New Jersey, NYC, Niagara Falls, and then west to Kentucky for my brother’s graduation from basic training.  Side note: Does it count as cross-country if it was mostly north to south traveling?  I mean, we did go to Kentucky, which could really just secede and become its own country (sorry, Kentuckians…) so cross country it is.  We traveled for 15 days.  Evan kept every single water bottle, napkin, newspaper, coffee cup, flyer, take-out container and plastic utensil we used.  When we arrived back in Florida, we had two black garbage bags full of recycling.  Evan would have left luggage in Ohio if it meant we could squeeze more recyclable goods in our truck.

We’ve been to parties and cook-outs where folks weren’t recycling their bottles and cans.  People: don’t do this around my husband.  Do you know what he’ll do?  Turn into a raccoon and start rummaging through your garbage cans to remove all of the recyclables.  Then we have to take them all home.

Please, for my sanity, recycle.

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…
Floridians, what is up with this weather?!  It’s like the clouds have us confused with Seattle, and have sent all the grungy, depressed, flannel wearing rain to our neck of the woods.  Not cool.

This week alone, I’ve seen three accidents (minor) on my way to or from work.  The weather has brought the following to my attention:

-          Leaving adequate space between my car and the car ahead of me is something I view as a safety precaution.  Everyone else on the road believes I’m just leaving enough space to let six cars cut me off.

-          No one uses their headlights when it’s a monsoon; however, if it’s a light drizzle, at least two people will turn on their hazard lights and drive 25mph.

-          I never need to replace my wiper blades until it’s raining.

-          I never need to pump gas until it’s raining.

-          Umbrellas are stupid.  I am positive I get more water on me, in the car, in my purse, down my shirt and on Miles if I try to use an umbrella.  Is there some magical umbrella trick you can use to get in your car without soaking yourself?  Because it if you look at me after I’ve used an umbrella, you’d think I’m just standing outside, holding it upside down.  UMBRELLAS ARE STUPID.

-          No one remembers they needed to turn righthererightnowohmygoshhereicome until the very last minuteAt least I’ve given you plenty of space in front of me to attempt vehicular homicide.

-          The reduction of driving skills exhibited by the motorists on Del Prado is directly proportionate to the increase in precipitation.

Rain…please GTFO.  Thanks.

Happy Weekend!

Doing Well vs. Doing Good

When I saw this quote posted on Facebook, I initially gave it just a cursory glance and moved on (there were recipes with chocolate and things about Fall fashion in my newsfeed and those things were important)  But something made me go back and read it again, and that same something made me start to actually consider the words.

If society has taught us anything, it’s that doing well is of the utmost importance.  Go to school, get a scholarship, go to college, get a degree, start a career, climb the ladder, buy a nice car to park in the garage at your nice house that has plenty of room to fill with lots of nice stuff.  He who dies with the most toys, right?  The idea of “toys” applies to lots of stuff; not just actual toys.  The most money, the most popularity, the biggest stock portfolio, the most trips around the globe, the best dinners at the finest restaurants. 

At the end of the day, this stuff is exactly that: stuff.  And you can’t take that stuff with you.

Listen to George, folks.

A former pastor gave a sermon once in things with “kingdom significance.”  The sermon was essentially about the stuff in our lives, and its importance (or lack thereof).  She asked us to go home, and place a Post-It note on everything in our house that had kingdom significance.  Think about each room, and the stuff in it, and whether or not at the end of the day that stuff is important.  If you’re like me, you wouldn’t have many (if any) Post-It notes attached to your stuff.

That isn’t to say we shouldn’t do well; we absolutely should, and God has given each and every one of you gifts, talents and abilities that will help us to do well in life…but they will also help us to do good.

I like to think that in our home, we do keep it pretty simple.  I have learned that stuff isn’t all that important (and trust me, this was a lesson that took a while…you can ask my husband about the $95 blue jeans – OY!)  As I simplified, life became easier.  There was less stuff in the way.  Less stuff, more room for good.  More room for God.

Opportunities to do good present themselves each and every day.  No, it won’t always be rescuing a baby from a burning building, or landing a plane on the Hudson River, but the moments are there if you’re paying attention.

My husband is constantly on the look out for ways to help others.  One of his favorite things to do is pay the toll for the cars behind him in line at the bridge.  It’s just $2, but it’s also an act of kindness that maybe the person behind him needed right at that very instant.  One of the very small ways I do good is letting folks cut me in line at Publix.  Sometimes I have to insist to get them to accept the offer, but I know deep down there’s no way they wanted to wait behind me with my 72lbs of produce, 20 cups of yogurt and crate of pet food, when they just have a simple basket of items. 

I like to imagine that one act of goodness will encourage a “pay it forward” that just keeps going.  Showing kindness, goodness and love to someone else has a lasting effect, and could be planting the seed for future great acts.  Faith in action.

About six years ago, Evan and I went out to lunch at a little pizza joint near my office.  We enjoyed our slices, and just sat there, talking to each other.  When it came time to get the check, our waitress informed us someone had already paid our bill.  I was in such shock that someone would be that generous (lunch wasn’t expensive, but the act itself was generous) and that was a reminder to me that again, there are lots of little ways to do good if I just open my eyes.

There’s and old song called, “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love.”  Just that simple phrase serves as my reminder of how important doing good really is.  I want someone to ask us why we did ____________, and I want to be able to respond with, “Because we love you, the same way Jesus does.”   

Like I said, it’s not a bad thing to do well in life.  But for me, the ultimate measure of how well I’m doing is actually how good I’m doing.

Planting seeds,

We are one in the Spirit,
We are one in the Lord,
We will work with each other
We will work side by side

And they will know we are Christians by our love.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Round-Up: The Heathen Edition

I had originally thought about including a blurb about The Heathens and golf clubs in a Round-Up edition, then I realized that I've never actually introduced The Heathens.  This post is dedicated to the little terror suspects living around the corner. 

Everyone has neighbors that maybe they aren’t too fond of.  Sometimes those neighbors are the ones who play their (horrible) music way too loud and way too late; other times, those neighbors are the ones who insist on mowing, weed whacking, trimming and using their leaf blower at 6:30am on a Saturday.  The neighbors that I’m least fond of happen to be a trio of boys in the 6-8 year old range.  In our house, these neighbors are affectionately referred to as, “The Heathens.”

Let’s get one thing straight…I am not a person who can’t stand kids.  In fact, I love kids, especially when they’re moderately well behaved and not totally covered in stickiness (what is that kids roll around in that causes the sticky shield?)  But if you’re kid is a jerk, well, chances are I’m probably not going to offer to babysit.

The Heathens live around the corner from us.  Their parents, from what I can tell, work from home.  This means they are present for a majority of the heathen behavior, which as far as I can tell, goes unpunished.  Visits from the Heathens to our side of the neighborhood are frequent, because the land across the street from our house is a “park.”  It’s a preserve the City of Cape Coral bought about 20 years ago because it runs along the Rubicon Canal.  Fun fact: our neighbor’s house was on that side of the street when it was first built in the early 90s, and when the City purchased the land, they actually moved the house to our side of the street.

Lots of folks in the neighborhood use the park to run their dogs, throw the football, or go fish in the canal.  We all have a mutual respect for each other; if the guy down the street is throwing the tennis ball with his Rottweiler, I’m not going to take my below average intelligence Collie across the street to play.

One Saturday afternoon about two years ago, I was in the living room reading (my favorite thing to do BC: spend six hours on Saturday laying on the couch reading Stephen King novels).  Our living room window faces the park.  I could hear some commotion, and I saw the Heathens running around like they’d chugged sixteen Monsters and eaten nothing but Pixie Stix for breakfast (side note: this is the glitz pageant standard breakfast).  I could feel my annoyance level rising.

The park has about a dozen or so trees.  Some are older, and some were just planted about five years ago.  The Heathens zeroed in on one of the younger trees.  They proceed to jump up, grab branches, and swing from them like the apes they are.  Branches were ripped from the poor tree.  I contemplated going outside, or calling the police (yes, I will be that lady one day) or squirting them with the water hose.  But in my laziness, and assumption that this wouldn’t last long, I just went back to reading.

About half an hour later, I got up to make some tea…and I saw the remnants of warfare.  These Heathens had managed to rip every single branch from the tree.  They had also disappeared, leaving only their path of destruction behind.

Two days later, the City of Cape Coral sent some workers out who had to cut down the tree and grind the stump, because the Heathens killed it.  Yes, those little terror suspects had committed arborcide.  And if that’s not a word, it is now.

There are a lot of things that break my bleeding, liberal, love everyone, tree hugging heart.  Like those ASPCA commercials with the Sara McLaughlin song in the background (you KNOW the ones), people who litter (especially from their cars – you give me road rage) and people who kill trees. 

The following weekend, the Heathens were playing football across the street.  

They looked something like this:


Seeing the Heathens made me feeling something like this:

Damn straight. 

I refrained from marching over there and starting this:

 Sorry, ran out of images from 300 I found acceptable.  But this is pretty accurate, too.

The Heathens managed to avoid causing any loss of life to plants, animals, small children or elderly folks enjoying the beautiful afternoon.  But, they did leave their football behind.  Once the coast was clear, I marched my happy butt across the street and stole their football.

Was it mature?  No.  Was it honest?  No.  Was it what Jesus would have done?  Probably not.  Probably.  But it made me feel better, and Evan was super excited to have a new football.

Last week I saw the trio loading up into their dad’s SUV, and they were wearing karate uniforms.  KARATE.  Yes, the battle continues…

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Vacation Freak Out

In October 2004, Evan and I made our first trip to Bryson City, NC.  We were celebrating our recent engagement, and my 21st birthday.  We stayed in a little cabin way up in the mountains, with no cell phone service and no internet.  It was awesome.

That trip started our annual tradition of vacationing in Bryson.  Then about three years ago, we went a little further west, and now stay in the Nantahala National Forest.  We like to head up during mid-October, so we can see the leaves change and enjoy what folks who live north of Orlando like to call “seasons.”  (also, trees that don’t have fronds)

Just leave me here.  Thanks.

No fronds, no snowbirds, no problems.

Our last trip was in April 2012.  We took a spring trip because at the time, we were working on getting knocked up (stop doing the math, Miles wasn’t a vacation baby – we finally hit the jackpot in July 2012) and we assumed that we’d be preggo by fall, so a spring trip made the most sense.  And of course, because I’m a baby genius, it was perfect timing.

It’s been almost 18 months since we’ve set foot in the woods, hiked our faces off, seen a mountain, got stuck in a hail storm, eaten the best barbecue on planet earth, sat on the deck under the stars and just unplugged from the world of Corporate America and The Man.  We are loooong overdue for a trip away.

When we booked this year’s trip, I knew Miles would be six months old.  Still a great age to hang out in the Baby Bjorn so we can hike.  I hear that once they hit that toddler stage, you could still hike, but it’s not what you’re used to.  We’ll cross that adventurous Temple of Doom swinging rope bridge when we get to it next year.

We’re now in the 30 day countdown for vacation.  Before Miles, I’d be popping champagne and getting ready to tell corporate to kiss off, I’m in vacation mode.  But now that Miles is here, and the reality of vacation is setting in, I am starting to get a little nervous.  No, a lot nervous.

People: I am fuh-reaking out.

We’re going to load our sweet little 17lb meatloaf up, along with his 4,287lbs of stuff (because you have to pack allofthethings), and drive 12 hours north.  A trip we normally do in one day.  Oh. Em. Gee.

Because I’m super OCD and I like to plan things, make lists, make lists about making lists, and just write things down in general, I’ve done the following over the past few days:

-         Diagrammed how to pack the truck.  Twice.
-         Visited, and five times, creating three separate carts of baby clothes, totaling $457, only to then unload the cart because I’m terrified that if I order the 12 month clothes, Miles will grow five inches the day before we leave.  He’ll have nothing to wear, and his cute little pudgy toes will freeze.  Also, Evan will kill me if I spend that much on fleece pants, thermals and Sherpa jackets.  BUT THEY ARE SO CUTE.
-    Visited and Swain County’s websites to see the “average” temperatures for October, multiple times.  Even though we’ve been visiting the area the same time every year since 2004.
-         Spent a good hour daydreaming/obsessing about managing the ride up, with a mental picture of Miles and the “nopenevernappingagainladyahahahahaha!!!” face.

This is normal, right?  To totally freak and not actually look forward to vacation?  I mean, don’t get me wrong, we are super excited to arrive at our cabin.  It’s more the trip up I’m nervous about.  Other things I am nervous about:

-         What if bears are attracted to the smell of poopie diapers?
-          What if Miles gets constipated and there are no poopie diapers?
-       What if there’s a freak cold snap?  True story: this happened on our October 2011 trip.  We packed for the normal low in the 30s, high in the 60s weather.  Two days in, we woke up to 19 degrees.  Also, it snowed.  So there’s that.
-    What if all of Miles' teeth decide to come in at the same time?  INCLUDING MOLARS?!  This could happen, there are babies born with teeth...

Here’s what I love about Bryson/Nantahala…it’s right smack dab in the middle of two national forests.  There’s a ton of hiking, kayaking, rafting, tubing and biking to do.  It brings in a ton of young folks, hikers, and families.  And lots and lots of the people I wish I could be: the crunchy, granola, tree hugging, earth loving hippies.  These parents throw caution to the wind.  Pop the kid in a Bjorn, hit the trail, no worries.  My gosh, they worry about nothing (trust me, I’ve seen their armpits) and that’s awesome. 

So, in the spirit of parents with poor judgment who choose to thru-hike the AT with their three month old (seriously, maybe bears don’t like poopie diapers but I bet they like breastmilk and can smell a lactating woman fifteen miles away…crazy hippies) I am going to chill the heck out, and just RELAX and have confidence that this trip will be amazing.  It’s Miles’ first vacation, how could it not be amazing?

I’ll never be a true hippie, because I love things like The Gap, Dippin’ Dots, deep conditioner and Toddlers & Tiaras.  But I can, for a week every year, get closer to that carefree lifestyle.

Fun fact: Hippie vacation is what inspired Evan’s beard.  I believe 2011 was the “Vacation of No More Shaving!”  For Evan.  Not me.  That’s gross.

Organic wine hugs,

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Friday Round-Up

Friday the 13th, muahahahaha!  Ah, this is a day that – ten years ago – probably would have brought on some late night celebration of murder themed drinks and a Jason movie marathon.  But we’re adults now; and not only are we adults, we’re parents, so let’s keep it together here, people.  If I make it through two glasses of wine and the season premiere of Boardwalk Empire (which has been sitting in our DVR since S-U-N-D-A-Y…) we’ll call that a wild night at the Coke House. 

Those of you who have/had children in daycare (or “school” as we call it around here) from the age of diapers probably know all about the “Infant Daily Sheet.”  These are the little sheets that our teachers use to keep track of what goes on in the kiddo’s day.  What time he ate, napped, etc.  It’s all on the sheet.  For someone who is super OCD and tends to worry more than necessary, the IDS is totally awesome.

These sheets also have a place for “fun activities”, which is where Miles’ teacher will usually jot things like:

-          Tummy time!  Smiley face!
-          Buggy ride around the courtyard!  Double smiley face!
-          Pulled off our left sock and tried to eat it! Superextrabigsmileyface!
-          Parker licked Miles on the face.  Not so smiley face.

I love the “fun activities” section, because it puts my mind at ease knowing that Miles is practically having a sunshine-unicorn-magical-cereal marshmallow party at school every day.  Seeing how happy he is when I pick him up (I mean, happy to see me of course, but to see that he’s happy at school as well) makes my heart feel good.  Working parents, you know it’s tough sometimes.

The IDS also records the time and type of each diaper change.  “W” for wet, and “BM” for, well, you know.  Now we’re going to talk about poop.  Do you know what a diaper “blow out” is?  Yeah, me either.  Then one day, after I picked up Miles we were settled in the truck, I checked out his IDS.  I noticed that one of his diaper changes said “BM!!!!!”  And I wasn’t quite sure what the five exclamation points meant.  We got home, and I started unpacking his diaper bag, when I noticed a plastic Target bag tied up in there.  Still clueless.  I open said bag and holy shit (literally).  I learned what the exclamation points were for.

Miles has only had this happen three times, and never at home.  The last time it occurred, which was earlier this week, there were only two exclamation points.  And guess what?  Less poop overflow.  This means that I can judge the BM explosion by number of exclamation points.  Seems rational.

Also this week, I came down with a wicked 24 hour stomach bug.  Do you know what it’s like to try and vomit quietly?  Let me clarify…to try and projectile vomit quietly?  It was Wednesday, and I was feeling icky.  Around 8pm, I told Evan I really thought I was going to hurl, and that I should probably go lie down (this means go to bed; it’s the same as when I tell Evan that I’m “resting my eyes”) Miles was already asleep for the night, so I felt okay hitting the hay a little early.

11:00pm.  I wake up, all of a sudden, with that feeling.  You know the one.  I lie there for a minute, waiting for it to pass.  It does not.  I make it to the bathroom, and it begins.  TMI: I was vomiting with so much force that it was actually splashing back up into my face and hair.  More puking ensues.  Evan comes into the bathroom to check on me.  Through flailing, I manage to communicate, “please don’t watch me hurl, even though we’ve been together over ten years, I’m not ready for you to see the romantic mystery that is the worst stomach flu, ever.”

The only thing worse than relentless hurling is trying to relentlessly hurl quietly.  No way was I taking the chance of waking Miles up with the horrific laser light show that was my toilet at that moment. 

This is incredibly accurate.

Miles, naturally, slept through this entire spectacle.  And every spectacle that followed.  Every hour, on the hour.  


I. Die.

Evan took Miles to school the next morning, and I got to spend the entire day in bed, which isn’t nearly as awesome as it sounds.  Thankfully, by Thursday, I was feeling much better.  When I dropped Miles off at school, his teacher told me that two other daycare moms have had the same stomach bug this week – but none of the kids.  Sacrifices, people…that’s what parenthood is about.

And finally, these have been floating around our office for the past week:

Turn your head and cough.

No one will claim them.  I mean, we’re a strange group in our office, but I didn’t think we were latex exam gloves strange…

Happy Saturday,


Monday, September 9, 2013

Little Ditty 'Bout Jeffrey and Denise...and CCPD. And Fire Rescue.

Truth: I had originally intended this to be part of the Friday Round-Up (still pending better title, have received some excellent submissions…) but as I started writing I realized that this deserved its very own space.  There are lots of words.  Read them and don’t complain.

Saturday night.  Even BC (before children) we weren’t really “wild and crazy weekend” folks.  Well, not in a looong time.  So our typical Saturday night routine includes making a pizza or grilling steaks, unloading the DVR, me drinking half-ish a bottle of wine, and falling asleep on the couch.  Be jeally.  (Actually, I think it’s totally awesome and love that our weekends are low key…less things that button, more yoga pants!)

This weekend’s Saturday night was no different.  We ate dinner, Miles went to bed around 8:30p, and we watched some college football.  Evan asked if I wanted to watch, “Hell on Wheels.”  Side note: this is an insanely awesome show on AMC about the railroads and if you aren’t watching it, you need to…Evan loves Oregon Trail and I love rugged, handsome cowboys (hello, Anson Mount!), so this is win-win in our house.  Also, it’s a really cool part of American history.  And we all know that I am better at learning historical facts when there are handsome cowboys involved (with beards…did I mention Anson Mount has this insanely awesome beard?)

Giddy up!

I digress.  I agreed to watching the show, even though I knew it was already 9:19pm and there was no stinking way I’d be staying up until 10pm (wine, remember?)  By 9:23pm I was already responding with, “YES, I AM AWAKE” and “Yes, I saw the handsome cowboy shoot the donkey that was stuck on the train tracks.”  To be fair, I always pick on Ev when he falls asleep during a really good show, but that’s because it is literally every show we watch, ever, even if it’s like 2:30pm on a Saturday.

I fall asleep on the couch, snuggled under a quilt and Pookie.  Yes, these are the things the most epic naps in the world are made of.

You know that horrible feeling when you’re startled out of a really awesome, deep sleep?  Where you get the shakes, and that hot prickly feeling on the back of your neck and in your armpits?  Just me?  Whatever.

Evan comes into the living room, and instead of choosing to gently awaken his slumbering Princess Bride, he chooses to announce in a quiet-stern-don’t wake the baby voice, “HONEY, THERE IS A PROBLEM OUTSIDE, BUT DON’T WORRY…SOMEONE HAS CALLED THE POLICE AND I HAVE IT UNDER CONTROL.”  Then he vanishes, all Batman-like.


Was that a dream?  No, I think I’m awake, and my armpits feel like ants are biting them, so this is probably real.  Plus, I didn’t finish my third glass of wine (typical new mom problems) so I’m pretty sure I know what’s going on. 

I walk through the kitchen and into the garage, since I’m certain that’s where I saw my Caped Crusader disappear.  No one in the garage, but the side door is open.  I venture out the side door, not knowing what to expect (Joker?  Riddler?  Danny DeVito in like, my favorite DeVito role ever?)

Now you'll have nightmares, too.

It’s dark; the street light is on, but our outside lights are off.  All of a sudden, I see a large, ominous figure walking barefoot (sigh, I should have known then…) down the street.  Where is this person going?  Is it a man or a woman?  I can’t tell, but they look scary, and maybe a little dangerous.  This Sea Monster (that’s what it reminds me of…that sea monster from the 50s sci-fi flick…Creature from the Black Lagoon) opens his/her/its mouth and says:


Emphasis on the !!!!!!!!!!!

What?  Too much Google imaging for one post?

Holy cow, now I’m starting to freak just a little bit.  Did Evan say someone was calling the police?  Who?  And where is Evan?  Did I dream that?  I hightail it back inside, and call the police.  The super friendly dispatcher tells me that someone has, indeed, called to report the disturbance.  Phew, I feel a little bit better.

I check on Miles and he is (naturally) sleeping soundly in his crib.  Now it’s time to hunt down my husband.

I step out the front door and onto our porch; the light is on, which is a good sign (right?)  It means we aren’t hiding from a chainsaw wielding murderer or hoard of angry killer tomatoes or space slugs from outer space. 

I see Evan walking through the front yard with a flashlight and a nine iron.  I see a car parked across the street at the park, with four people (two Sea Monsters, one young guy who seems like a Jersey Shore knock-off, and an older dude with a ripped t-shirt).  Evan proceeds to tell this mob that “no one is doing anything” in a very Jersey-commanding voice.  I tell Evan I’ve called the police, just to be safe.

More expletives from the Sea Monsters and Jersey Shore Knock-Off.  Ripped T-Shirt is sort of wandering around the car, stumbling into the street.  I’ve gone from nervous to verging on panic, but keeping my cool because my nine iron wielding superhero husband has reassured me that everything is under control.

So what happened?  Evan heard a ruckus outside, and did what us Nosey Parkers usually do: take the dog for a walk across the street.  Sea Monster 1 and Jersey Shore were arguing with Sea Monster 2 and Ripped T-Shirt.  Thing 2 tells Thing 1 that she will, “Never, ever get her daughter back!” to which Thing 1 responds with, “She’s my flesh and blood!” and general chaos ensures.

Jersey Shore starts fistfight with T-Shirt McGee.  General chaos continues.

Thing 1 and Jersey Shore start walking down the street, followed by Thing 2, yelling more expletives.  Thing 2 tells Evan that Thing 1 and Jersey are “on drugs” and “homeless” and they do not have custody of their daughter because the grandfather (yes, T-Shirt McGee) does.  Thing 1 and JS were, apparently, going to sleep under the bridge at the park.  Oh-hell-to-the-no.  This is around the time Evan came it to tell me there was a problem outside.

Anyway, the yelling and punching and swearing and throwing things wasn’t nearly as entertaining as when the police finally (!!!) showed up.

Three police.  One ambulance.  One fire rescue truck.  Yes, it was flashing lights and men in uniform as far as the eye could see.

T-Shirt McGee goes off in the ambulance.  The police attempt to question the Sea Monsters and Jersey Shore.  This does not go well.  More yelling.  More swearing.  More, “SHE’S MY BABY!!!”

"You are NOT the father!"

Anyway, all of that wasn’t really as entertaining as the actual arrest.  Because finally finally finaaaaaally, after half an hour of this, they take Sea Monster 1 and Jersey Shore into custody.  Conversation yelled between the two police cars as follows:


Jersey Shore: I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, DENISE!!!!

Thing 1: Baby, we will be together forever!  Ain’t nothin’ gonna stop us! (ahem, maybe the police…)

JS: DENISE!!!  I’m scared!  What are we going to do when we get out of jail?

T1: Go to New York baby, screw all our friends and family down here!  We don’t need them as long as we have each other! (obviously)

JS: OWOWOWOWOWOWOW!  You’re hurting me!  Stop it!  I’m not resisting!  I’m going to sue you!  DENISE!  Did you see this cop knocked my tooth out?! (he did not; T-Shirt did…also, just get in the stupid police car and shut up)

This episode of Maury Povich went on for another 10 minutes or so.  Evan had to give a written statement (after I reminded him to put the nine iron down), then these two lovebirds were hauled off to the slammer.  And, not a moment too soon...because if those police didn’t get them to shut up, I was going to be the first one arrested for THROAT PUNCHING ALL OF THEM.  Do not wake my baby up, jerkfaces.

Sea Monster 2 spent the next hour or so sitting on the hood of the car at the park, because T-Shirt McGee actually had the car keys with him.  Evan stayed up to make sure that she darn sure GTFO’d as soon as someone showed up with spare keys.

Yes, just a peaceful, quiet Saturday night with my Dark Knight, a nine iron, and the Cape Coral Police Department and Fire Rescue.  Oh, and Miles never opened his sweet little peepers once.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Friday Round-Up

Lots of interesting and/or humorous things tend to occur during the week.  The problems with writing about these weekday occurrences are as follows:

1.            Sometimes the topic isn’t enough for me to base an entire post.  Okay, I could, but some of you have already complained about my wordiness in previous posts (side eye…you know who you are).
2.            Miles usually hits the hay around 9p.  This leaves me with a couple options: I could write; or, I could flop on the couch and watch all the TV programs that have nudity, swearing, vampires, zombies, toddlers (and their tiaras!) with the volume at a normal level and without having to mute anything, or worry about whether Miles’ first words will be, “SPARKLE BABY, SPARKLE!!!”
3.            I’m tired.  Like, a lot.
4.            Wine.

So, in an attempt to share the fascinating things that happen in our day to day lives during the week, I thought I’d start a “Friday Round-Up.”  I am also accepting suggestions for a better post title.  Now, on to the good stuff…

This week, Chobani tried to poison me.  I am a huge fan of Greek yogurt (and not just because of the John Stamos commercials).  Recently, Chobani came out with a line they call “Flips.”  They have that little separate cup on the side, full of delicious, crunchy, sweet things to dump into your yogurt.  It is awesomesauce times a million.  I’ve been eating them for breakfast every day this week.

On Wednesday, I decided to try the banana yogurt.  It had almonds and dark chocolate chips to dump in.  I just knew it was going to be delicious.  I took a bite, and it was not at all what I expected.  Greek yogurt can be sour, yes…but this was like kick you in the teeth sour.  It was weird.  I asked a co-worker of mine to taste my yogurt (WITH MY OWN SPOON – that’s how you know this was serious) and she said it seemed okay, just tasted extra sour.  So I ate it, because I’m cheap and don’t like to waste food.  Also, I had Mylanta in my purse, just in case.

Thursday, I decided to try the key lime yogurt.  It had graham crackers and white chocolate chips.  It was like pie for breakfast.  I started to open the yogurt, and noticed the peel-off top seemed a little puffy.  Whatever, I was hungry.  I opened the yogurt, and noticed some seemed to have leaked out the side.  Whatever, I was hungry and now I could see white chocolate chips.  Then I looked at the yogurt, and saw what I thought could be mold, but decided must be pieces of key lime.  I ate the heck out of that yogurt, and it was wonderful.

Friday, my co-worker (who told me the banana yogurt was safe) saw on Chobani’s Facebook page that they had issued a recall on “certain” yogurts with a particular lot number and expiration date.  I went to the fridge to check the yogurt I brought for that day’s breakfast…contaminated.  In fact, all of the yogurts I had purchased (and subsequently eaten) for the last five days were from the recall batch.  Every.  Single.  One.

I still almost ate the blueberry yogurt, though.  I was hungry and figured since I hadn’t gotten sick yet, what would be the harm?  Instead, I settled on an English muffin.  I have seven yogurts sitting in the fridge, waiting to be returned to Publix.  Damn you, Chobani.

Also this week, I’ve found our daycare parking lot turns into a demolition derby once you get too close to 8am.  You know that scene in Fried Green Tomatoes where Kathy Bates’ character beats the stupid college girl in the VW to the good parking spot at the Piggly Wiggly?  You know, “TOWANDAAAA!” and “Because I’m older, and I have better insurance.”  Yes, that’s our parking lot at 7:58am.

Maybe not every parent realizes this, but toddlers/young children are short.  Like, barely taller than the tires on your super obnoxious Hummer that you park at the very front and take up two – sometimes three – parking spaces.  Even though your child, who is FOUR YEARS OLD, can walk perfectly fine leaving you know real reason to take the spots that parents with children in carriers/strollers would really appreciate having.  Hummer McDouche has nearly backed over a child three times in the past month, because of she’s always running late and always has to park thisclose to the school.

No one likes inconsiderate drivers, I get it.  But they really, really irritate me.  To the point that I would like to carry a dozen expired eggs around with me at all times, hurling them at drivers who make selfish decisions on the road and in parking lots.  The only thing stopping me (besides my husband, who reminds me I could get shot and/or arrested) is asking myself, “WWJD?”  Jesus would not throw eggs at bad drivers.  But maybe, just maybe, Jesus will make sure they get six red lights on their way to work.

Finally this week, Miles has continued his attempts at crawling.  He’s getting really good at working his back end, getting up on his knees and sometimes up on his feet with his legs locked (imagine a horse with its front end asleep and its back end totally ready to run the Derby).  He moves himself forward, but he hasn’t quite mastered the arm movements.  So most of the time, he ends up shoving his face across his floor blanket.  He’s also gotten his Army crawl/pull down, and will drag himself forward by pulling on the blanket.  If he has a toy just out of reach, he’ll use the blank to pull it closer.  Lazy kid.

I have said it 10,786,455 times (and I’ll say it a lot in the future, too) but it is so super cool to watch your child learn, discover and grow.  Every time he figures something out, the expression on his face is amazing.  We could just sit and stare at him for hours, if he didn’t think it was so creepy.

Alright, it’s feeding time at the zoo.  Happy Saturday, y’all!

Not throwing eggs,


Thursday, September 5, 2013

So...this is happening.

So when I started this blog almost three years ago, I had a pretty clear set of objectives:

  1. Drink wine.
  2. Cook things.
  3. Bake things.
  4. Drink more wine.
  5. Tell you about it.  While drinking wine.
And then something happened.  Something magical, miraculous, and most importantly, life changing…we got knocked up.  I mean, we got knocked up on purpose, but still, it’s a game changer in the world of blogging about food.  Although, not so much while I was pregnant…and while I could have continued writing, it just got in the way of more important things.  Like my desperate need for sleep, relaxing, foot massages, naps, dozing off, keeping my DVR at less than 90% full and all things DIY Frozen Yogurt.

Then, 40 weeks and five days later, our world was officially rocked.  Miles Clark arrived.  All bets in the kitchen were officially off.

I wanna rock 'n roll all night...literally. 

The first six weeks were a blur.  We no longer slept; we just napped.  Life existed in three hour shifts.  There was a week where I didn’t shower for four days straight.  Then, at week seven, something equally as miraculous occurred: Miles slept through the night.

Now, the first time a newborn “sleeps through the night”, it’s really more like an 11pm until 5am thing, but y’all…let me tell you, it’s a BFD.  Like bold and underlined BFD.  And all of a sudden, I started to feel like a human again.  Well, not the first few nights he slept through.  Those were the nights I went into his nursery every hour to stand over his crib and stare at him in a very “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” way.  Making sure he was breathing, hadn’t wedged himself underneath his crib mattress, and that one of the cats wasn’t sleeping on top of him.  Yes, new parents are totally nuts.

Back to feeling like a human.  Suddenly, brushing my teeth and wearing a bra was moderately important.  Yes, life was starting to get a semblance of a routine.  Time progressed, and suddenly we were sleeping through 7, 8 and sometimes 10 hours at a stretch.  The new normal arrived.

As Miles has gotten older and settled into more of a schedule (for now), I have found more time to write.  But instead of writing about a new recipe, or slicing my finger off trying to make the most gawdawful “healthy” brownies ever, the only ideas I can come up with are about Diaper Genies, daycare, almost brushing my teeth with Icy Hot, forgetting to put the coffee cup in my Keurig, and all of the 10,487 awesome things that Miles does on a daily basis.  WHERE DID MY CULINARY MASTERPIECES GO?!

Life is totally different today than it was when I started writing, but different in an insanely awesome (and hysterical and exhausting and amazing and loving and delirious) way.

Right now, it’s 9pm.  Miles is sleeping soundly.  I’m sitting at my laptop having my first (and undoubtedly last) glass of wine for the day.  I have unexpectedly entered the land of mommy blogging – something I didn’t anticipate, given the number of whackadoo mommy blogs out there.  But, there are also some insanely good blogs.  Clever, witty, sarcastic moms who get it the same way I do.  So, maybe it isn’t a bad thing.

Sometimes I’ll write about cooking.  Sometimes I’ll write about our awesome cats.  Most of the time, I’ll just write about Miles and this new adventure we’re taking.  No matter what I fill the pages with, it will be entertaining.