Friday, February 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mr. Blue!

One year ago today I was greatly relieved to have brought a son into the world. It's almost impossible to believe that he was once so tiny and helpless (well, helpless--at 8 lbs. 14 oz., he was never all that tiny) and now he's a walking, talking boy.

Here are some of Mr. Blue's accomplishments at one year old.

  • walks everywhere and is learning to go up and down the step in our living room

  • is still saying "thank you"

  • refuses to let you feed him anything with a spoon except ice cream

  • steals Miss Pink's sippy cup and cries stormily when it is taken away

  • loves opening and shutting doors

  • favorite activity: taking a bath (he's his father's son)

  • giggles when Daddy throws him high into the air

  • plants open-mouthed kisses on me and won't move his mouth

  • throws his sippy cup when finished with it

  • shakes his head "no" and thinks he is being funny

  • eats any food offered to him including bits of steak; although he did spit out meatloaf and we were shocked

  • dances to his Elmo piano music (we plan to work on his musical taste)

  • puts a small basketball in the hoop over and over again

  • finds any toilet with an open lid faster than you can believe

And so many more...I pray for blessings and protection on you, my son. I love you.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Freakish Eyebrows

Yesterday, I finally bowed to the inevitable and performed eyebrow maintenance on myself. Let the torture begin! But it was necessary. I like people to see my eyes, after all, and if I don’t pluck my eyebrows every couple of weeks, they don’t resemble human eyebrows so much as two dark muppets clinging to my forehead. Sort of like this.

You think I’m exaggerating. But that could be me, in that picture. Except that my hair only looks like that when I first wake up, and my skin is not the color and texture of old leather, and, you know, the thing about NOT BEING AN OLD MAN. But other than that, the resemblance is eerie. So you see, desperate measures are called for.
I don’t mind the pain of plucking so much; I’m used to it. It’s all the decisions involved that get to me. Easy decision: all the hairs between the eyes, on the bridge of the nose. No unibrow. But what about these poking up here, here, and here? If I pluck them all out, will I have a bald spot there? I find hairs that were supposed to belong to the eyebrows an inch away from their friends, growing alone on my temples—that is weird. And what about the arch? Underneath the brow is, to me, the most painful part to pluck, yet it must be done.

Why don’t I go to a professional? Well, I did, for a while. She has waxed my brows quite a few times, and she knows I don’t want a super-thin eyebrow. That would send me into shock when I looked in the mirror; you’d find me clutching my face, wailing, “WHO IS THIS WOMAN?” But the last time I went to her, when she was done, I couldn’t tell any difference. “What about these growing right above the normal brow line?” I asked. “Most people don’t want me to touch the top of the brows,” she said. I had her get what I was talking about, but for $20 my eyebrows didn’t look any better than the plucking and trimming I can do for myself.
I hear that the "fuller brow" look is in right now. Maybe that means I can wait two extra days before deforesting the top half of my face.

Friday, February 16, 2007

More Questions

A couple of questions from the book If…(Questions for the Game of Life). I’d like to add, after you who commented said that I covered the question so thoroughly that there was nothing left to say, that you have to remember I’ve had longer to think about my answers than you have. I promise, not all my answers will be so serious; plus, some of the answers are highly individual.

So here goes: If you could be physically transported to any place in the world at this moment, where would you go?
Normally I’d say Europe, hands down. (That’s Western Europe, as in England, France, Germany, Italy.) But I’ve been cold all week, so I’ll say Hawaii. Specifically,
the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. Go ahead and make it all expenses paid, wouldja?

If you could have lived through any war in history (without actually fighting in it), which would it be?
World War II. There was such an optimism and patriotism in America then, plus no one doubted that we were fighting a just and necessary war. Also, I really like the music.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Remind me of this when he's 2...and13

Mr. Blue (who'll be 1 next Friday) has all kinds of new accomplishments: he's walking very well now, and he can say a few words. Dada was first, of course; and then Mama--usually in the form of Mamamamama when he's upset and/or wants to be held.

The next thing he has learned to say is, "Thank you." Well, it's more like "Dack uh," but it is very clear that he means thank you, since he only says it when you give him something.

This is one concept in which he is way ahead of his sister. She is very polite now, but when she was a toddler I used to joke that she would think "Thank you" was something you say when you're prying something out of someone's resistant hand, since that's what we did to her all the time.

I know he's going to stop saying it (and probably start with "Mine!") but for now it's adorable.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Questions for the Game of Life

I have a little book called If…(Questions for the Game of Life). The questions are often thought-provoking, so I thought from time to time I’d post my answers to some questions. The questions are random, so I’ll answer them that way. The only ones I refuse to post are the ones about sex—they’re about things like your worst sexual experience and if you had to sleep with someone not of your preferred gender, who would it be—and things like that are way outside the scope of this blog and in fact, outside the scope of my brain, okay?

Anyway, if any of these strike a chord with you, I’d love to hear your responses. I believe it’s the little quirky things that reveal a person’s character, and nothing interests me more than how people think.

The first question is: If you were to be granted one wish, what would it be?

As tempting as it is to answer, “I want a million dollars a year for the rest of my life,” my thoughts actually went to my children first. I’d like to ensure that they be people who seek to make right choices. Notice I didn’t say, like a lot of parents would, that they be happy. Of course I want them to be happy—and successful at whatever they choose to pursue. But I know that they are far more likely to be happy if they put God’s way first in their lives; if they are loving and kind to others; if they will not lie, cheat and steal; if they honor their commitments; and if they take responsibility for themselves. That is what I wish for them. Since it’s not enough to wish it, however, I will have to teach them these values. (Crap, now I have to live up to my ideals! Just kidding.)

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Warning Label

We at HairlineFracture, Inc. would like to apologize for the previous post. It has come to our attention that it is too boring for reader consumption. Reading that post is dangerous to your intellectual health, as it may cause the reader to enter a narcoleptic coma. We regret any boredom we may have caused you and promise to upgrade the quality of our posting in the immediate future.

Thank you,
The Management

Monday, February 5, 2007

Behavioral Modification

I've mentioned how my kitchen floor remains perpetually dirty? Well, on Saturday my husband swept, mopped, and scrubbed the really dirty spots on his hands and knees. I was mystified but grateful.

Of course, after three meals today, the space around the high chair looked like the bottom of a monkey cage. Justin cleaned up the high chair and the floor--again. He said he just didn't want his work undone so fast.

How can I get him to clean the floor next weekend so he takes pride in his accomplishment again?

Thursday, February 1, 2007


I’ve decided that from time to time, I’m going to post a recipe. I love to cook. For some reason, I don’t say that a lot even though it’s true. In a playgroup I once belonged to, every other woman said she didn’t like to cook and avoided it whenever possible. I felt shy about saying that I do like to cook, but I’m saying it now: I like to cook. I like watching the Food Network and actually trying some of the recipes. I read cookbooks for fun. I covet everything in the Williams-Sonoma catalogue. But most of all, I love preparing something tasty, even if it’s far from gourmet, and bringing a smile to the faces of the people I love.

What I don’t love about cooking is the cleanup. If I were rich, I wouldn’t hire a cook; I’d hire someone to do the dishes. When my kids get old enough, this will be one of their mandatory chores. I think I’ve done my share of dishes.

All that said, this is one of our family’s favorite meals. My husband is always happy to hear that we’re having homemade sloppy joes. I didn’t even like sloppy joes (made from a can) until I tried this recipe. It’s easy and comes together in 30 minutes or less. I will confess, though: it’s Rachael Ray’s recipe and I didn’t do a thing to change it, because we like it exactly this way.

Super Sloppy Joes

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. ground sirloin
¼ c. brown sugar
2 tsp—1 Tbsp. steak seasoning (such as McCormick or Emeril’s)
1 med. onion, chopped
1 sm. red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 c. tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
4 kaiser rolls (This is important—they are much better than hamburger buns)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add meat and stir it as it browns to break it up. Add brown sugar and steak seasoning; stir to combine. When the meat has browned, add onions and red peppers to the skillet. Reduce heat and add red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Cook mixture for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, split and butter (you can use lowfat margarine—I use I Can’t Believe it’s not Butter) the Kaiser rolls and toast under the broiler. This makes the dish! Spoon the meat on the buns and serve.

Serve with chips, oven fries, or potato salad. When you can get really good ripe tomatoes, a slice of tomato is excellent on these. (I can’t believe I’m saying that—I used to hate raw tomatoes.)

Oh, and an extra tip: I used to hate buying tomato paste and throwing away 2/3 of the can every time. Even though it’s only 50 cents or something, it bugged me. So I read about this and it works: Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and spoon out extra tomato paste in tablespoonfuls. Put in the freezer. Put the frozen paste in a freezer Ziploc and when you need a tablespoon of tomato paste, pop one of these into the pot straight from the freezer.

So that was Alison’s housewifely tip of the day. Don’t expect a post on how to keep your bathroom tile mold-free, though.