Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Surprise Surprise

Well yesterday I was feeling a lot better. I was able to maneuver myself with very little pain. I was hopeful and optimistic. Which of course led to some bad decisions. I stopped taking the vicodin because it gave me crazy itchies that made me feel like I was headed straight for an episode of Intervention. I also decided that it would be a LOT easier if I just went grocery shopping... you know... I could use the cart like a walker.

Long story short I'm in bed for the day.

I told the doctor, yesterday, "I'm an antsy type... so you need to be VERY specific... can I actually make this worse?" Apparently yes. He told me to refrain from sitting as much as possible and just stand. That gets old. And once you're standing it's not too big of a leap to stand in front of the stove... making dinner... which leads to lifting pots and pans... and making grocery lists... and going to the grocery store. You get the picture.

Mr F is big on the feigned reprimands all the while moving out of the way and disappearing to another room to check email... not to be seen again. I can't blame him... but I can't blame myself for thinking that maybe the frozen foods should get put in the freezer... and so I did start unpacking the groceries.

Not being able to do things on my time table is the equivalent of Hell for me. If there is a Hell it is having to wait around while your ADD husband gets things *done* (or not) and having to just sit with it. It's enough to make you yell "Spine Be Damned!" and jump (or slowly roll yourself off the couch wincing... but whatever) and hobble into the kitchen to serve your children some actual vegetables.

The good news is that it doesn't look like I will need surgery. The bad news is that I'm in for a 2 -3 month recovery. The doctor said that while many people hobble in saying they broke their tailbone almost nobody actually does. I'm something of a medical marvel.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back In Time

Little did we know what was in store for us...

Don't let my mobility and jovial disposition fool you, I am barely holding it together for Kid's benefit...


Mrs F looks at Mr F with caution and says...

"I know this is hard for you, but it's almost time to make lunch."

Mr F begins to laugh nervously.

The Downside (or at least the one that involves my vanity)

Remember when I said I wasn't going to let this derail me? Yeah well I lied. I got up this morning and dutifully weighed in and was horrified to discover I have gained another 2 pounds in 3 days.

I had kind of pictured myself at the end of my 6 week recovery with Linda Hamilton-esque arms and Kate Moss's atrophied back side. Instead it seems I'm turning into Jaba the Hut.

And while I confess that I did call Mr F around 4 pm yesterday and whisper into the phone "Boston Creme cupcake"... that's not even particularly unusual for me... and I didn't eat it all (although I did also have the white half of a black & white cookie..). The thing is I'm not eating more than I was, say, last week... or the week before that... less, really, I can assure you of that. And yet my weight has suddenly and menacingly spiked higher than it has in a year and a half.

So I'm finding the motivation to stick to a calorie limit, when my bottom side is obviously decided the only way to protect itself from sheer agony is to fatten itself up, hard to come by. In fact I think for the sake of my sanity I should just let this one go for now.

I blame the vicodin.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's Official

I broke my coccyx right where it joins the sacrum ...aka... I did indeed fracture my tailbone. Pretty badly. No little spidery fracture for me... oh no... I had to break that baby straight across. Awesome. They told me I might need surgery... I'll find out this week when I see the Orthopedist. Until then I've got some Vicodin... which should be kicking in anytime now (Thank God). Don't worry I've only got a good 6 week recovery ahead of me...

Laughing, Crying, And Sometimes Both

Thank God for Baby's potty seat:

This makes the difference between being paralyzed with pain and fear and being able to... well... use the facilities.

Oh, make no mistake, I'm in some kind of serious pain. It has not abated. Of course the very fact that it is my butt is hilarious and not lost on me even as I hobble around screaming. I haven't had this level of pain since the initial incision pain from my c-sections. And I don't have the serious meds they give out with those.

I spent the night in great sympathy for paraplegics as I had to maneuver myself in bed (and in and out of said bed) with only my upper body strength. While I'm furious that this would happen when I was finally ready to start back into some serious exercise... I guess the only upside there is to be had out of this is all the unintentional strength training. That and the fact that I don't have to change any diapers.

I am not letting this derail me though, people. It would be easy to do... since I can't workout, I can't prepare food, and well Mr F is challenged in that last department. I'm also craving soda like never before. But I'm not going to give in. I'm still weighing myself every morning and counting my calories. I might not be able to workout to burn any of those off but I can control what I put in. That's pretty much all I can control right now.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

It Is All Fun And Games Until Someone Gets Hurt

This is Kid showing off her newfound independent skating abilities:

This is us almost an hour later right after our horrific wipeout:

We were finally in a pretty good skating groove when some kid skated straight in front of us and knocked Kid off balance. Of course I was holding her up so by chain reaction I was knocked off my feet. Kid slammed down on her hand and I actually caught some air before slamming down so hard on my tailbone that I actually couldn't get up. (I should note that I have a very prominent tailbone... it's practically a deformity) There I was in the middle of the ice with Kid crying hysterically whispering to her "Mommy is really hurt. Mommy is really hurt. I can't help you up just yet." I felt really badly for her since it looked like she might have broken her hand... but I was in no condition to help her. It was taking all of my inner strength to hold myself back from crying and vomiting (yes I hit the ice that hard) and drag us back up and off the ice. Turn in our skates the whole nine yards. I was in so much pain that I couldn't stand or sit without whelping softly. Of course no one seemed to notice or offer any help. I had to call Mr F to pick us up since I knew I couldn't drive home. He wanted to take me straight to the ER but I'm stubborn in the face of pain and wanted to come home and eat first.

So I'm here on the couch trying not to use any of my muscles. I fear I may have actually fractured my tailbone. We saw tons of people fall and get back up and continue on. Damn my genetically flat buttocks... they offered absolutely no protection! If I hadn't been motivated by pride I'd probably still be lying there.

If this derails my workout efforts I'm going to be pissed.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Linkety Link

Haley was kind enough to steer me toward THIS article on maintenance after weight loss. There is lots of interesting information... check it out!

One tip for success:
"Instead of trying to eat less for the rest of their lives to bridge the energy gap, these people exercise more."

I love when my ideas end up being backed by real tangible evidence!

I'm Not Messing Around

I'll be back with something more profound ... or at least try... later on. First I'm off to go break a hip on the Civic Center ice rink.

But here are the highlights:

I ate 8 iced sugar cookies yesterday... for a snack.... enough is enough.
I'm done with the treats.

I'm going to be in the best shape of my life in 3 months. That is my pledge to you.
Stay tuned for before pics and measurements.

I am working out for 60 minutes every freaking day for 14 straight days to get myself back in the game.

I am calorie counting (for real this time) and sticking to 1500 calories. My one exception is vegetation. I'm not counting the calories of fruit or vegetables. Butter and oil on said vegetables?... yes.

I'm making 2 week challenges at a time.

Play along... or just wait and see what can happen in 3 months.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Stockings Were Hung By The Chimney With Care

Christmas Eve Wrap Up

Cookies for the mailman... delivered:

Skirts are... finished:

Presents... wrapped:

Kid's letter to Santa... written:

"Dear Santa,
I've been very good this year. And I want a Snow White Playmobil sleeping princess with glass coffin. I want a china doll, that I saw in a toy window, dressed in green with orange, long, curly hair. I want some Barbies, the kind that is not poisonous, just like the old ones that I used to have. By the way, also, the sleeping princess I also forgot the little elves with that, the little dwarves. And don't forget there are seven dwarves.
Love, Ruby"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Nutcracker Ballet... In Pen

One More Christmas Craft

Kid received a soft fleece blanket with fringe cut on one side when she was Baby's age. She still has it and loves it. It is always in the car on road trips; it's always snuggling on the couch on sick days. I'm not sure why the fringe was only cut onto one side but I will say snuggling up to the non fringe side is a little less annoying.

I thought that maybe Kid would like to make one for Baby for Christmas. She did. She did not want to fringe it on both ends for aesthetics sake like I did. You know how kids are... this blanket had to be a carbon copy for fairness sake.

You will need 1.25 yards of fleece fabric (you might want to go 1.5 in case you need to straighten the cuts as I did)

We had the top and bottom of our blanket at the selvedge ends (top and bottom of fabric bolt). The blanket is 1.25 yards wide. We cut off the selvedge ends (very noticeable in fleece). Then we marked a line 8" up from the bottom end of the blanket and snipped fringe to that line. Then we tied each fringe in a knot. That's it.

This fabric was a designer pattern so it was about $8 total. Of course this is a project that could be done for a little as $4 depending on the fleece (even less if on sale).

Monday, December 22, 2008

This Week The Plan

Last week I got so caught up in trying to get stuff done that I failed to plan. You know what they say about that. Two days last week I ate nothing but White Trash which I washed down with coffee. That stuff is made out of Crack. It is ridiculous. It's the kind of thing you just can't stop eating even while you think... "that's it! I'm making myself sick... okay maybe just one more chunk" and then you quickly shove in as many pieces as you can fit.... only to come guiltily crawling back for more in 10 minutes. I don't know who invented this stuff but I'm glad they used their addictive and manipulative powers for good and not evil. (The White Trash recipe is in the comments of this post)

This week I have a plan. I don't plan on being perfect. I do plan on not making any more White Trash until next December... of that I am certain. I also plan to do a little something I've practically forgotten I know how to do... exercise. Believe it. I also plan on spending about twice what I have been on groceries. With Kid home all day and Christmas eve and Christmas day meals to make I'm not cheaping out. We don't have any family events to attend and I need to make things a little special around here to make up for the LONELINESS.


Monday - Salmon Noodle Casserole, Green Beans

Tuesday - Shrimp, Ginger Sesame Rice, Broccoli

Wednesday - Filet Mignon, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus, Panettone Bread Pudding for dessert

Thursday - Chocolate Croissants & fruit; Tomato & Meatball Soup w/ crescent rolls; shrimp cocktail, crudite & roast beef sandwiches... I like easy virtual no work meals for Christmas day so that I can enjoy the festivities too!

Friday - Brown Sugar & Ginger Salmon, rice, Broccoli

Saturday - Spaghetti w/ Turkey Meat Sauce & salad

Sunday - frozen pizza & tomato soup

Errands & Chores:
I'm done shopping and all I need to do is wrap the few gifts from us and assemble Santa gifts. I also need to help Kid finish up the fleece blanket she's making for Baby (super easy just cutting fringe) and make their peppermint candy skirts. I'm going to make the skirts this afternoon (I hope).
I would like to clean the house up on Tuesday night so I don't have to do that on Wednesday.
We're taking the kids to a Children's service at the Episcopal church at 3:30 so I don't want to have anything left to do when we get home other than cook.

Diet & Exercise:
I plan to actually workout. Outside of Christmas eve and Christmas I don't have any legitimate conflicts. In fact since Kid is out of school and we can be more flexible about bed time I have NO excuse not to get some workout in. I'm also planning to finally set up my pilates reformer & trap so I can get back into that too.

Gift Giving Review:
Overall I have to say that I feel better about the gifts I gave then ever before. I enjoyed making things and designing the packaging more than I've ever liked shopping or wrapping. The only stress involved was trying to get things out fast enough that the cookies would still be fresh. My first sets of boxes delivered really fast but my Dad just got his and I sent it LAST Tuesday... so I'm kind of bummed about that. I usually feel the gifts I give him are inadequate... so maybe I'd feel this way no matter what. I didn't give everyone the gift boxes. My youngest brother got a BustedTees shirt in his box of goodies and my littlest sister got a boxed set of my favorite Amish books... I didn't go much over my box price with those and honestly they are both single and young and the gift box is kind of the wrong gift for them. My grandparents and mother also got different gifts. More on all that later. I'm also really happy with the way the cousin's envelopes turned out. We used the priority mail flat rate envelopes (the firm ones) and filled them with the capes, stickers, felt framed photo, 3 CDs, and a drawing for the boys and the doll, a bib, framed photo and CDs for the baby girl. I think that all the kids will be happy with what they got... and even though we may have spent less they are actually getting so much more than they would have.


"Do you want this cookie?" Mr F asks

"What?" Mrs F replies.

"Do you want this last cookie?" He asks again.

Oh yeah I forgot... he actually went out this morning and bought break apart cookies... and brought them home to the house wherein I have been baking factually good Christmas cookies nearly every single day.

"NO... I shun non Christmas cookies during the week of Christmas!" Mrs F retorts.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Better... Right?

Just thought of this:
The flash is giving too much shadow on the lashes since they aren't sewn down... they look better in real life.
I'm not putting them on this one because I think it is more babyish without, but I'll definitely do it on the ones I make my girls. I'm going to make bigger throw pillow sized versions of the girls for their beds (no I won't be doing that in time for Christmas). I'm just going to make them with an overlapping slit in the back and make them as covers for the pillows you can buy uncovered at the fabric store.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's Been A Crafty Crafty Christmas

This year, as you know, I've tried to give consumable gifts... or at least handmade and useful. I tried to think of things that Kid might be able to do (or help do). One of the things I thought of was fleece scarves. Essentially a skinny 1/4 yard of fabric (that I painstakingly straightened at home using my wood floors as a guide... because if you've ever bought fabric you know that that is NOT how the fabric ladies cut it!). In theory this could have been a no sew project... but we embellished ours (and by we of course I mean me... Kid just told me where to put things). I thought Kid would have even been able to cut the fringe but I miscalculated both her hand strength and her attention span. She did *help* me cut by placing her hands on top of mine in the big sheers and applying pressure as I cut (yes this was very annoying... but I summoned the patience to push through it because I wanted her to feel involved). She did like going to the fabric store and picking out the fabrics and buttons.. boy did she like picking out the buttons... a lot of editing had to go into a kind of cohesive theme for each scarf. These scarves could have been 75 cents apiece... but Kid's expensive button taste pushed these up over 6 bucks a pop. She is quite proud of them as you can see...

Ah yes... there are buttons for everyone... even the men in your lives.

I also made this little felt baby doll head (with bells inside) for Mr F's baby niece. It seemed like a cute toy that a baby could poke and chew and rattle with out fear of Chinese poison (I jest... kind of).
I'm not loving it to be perfectly honest... I would make some changes to it next time. I didn't have pink felt or I might have made some rosy cheeks... I think it's missing that. The bangs didn't come out looking the way I wanted BUT Baby grabbed it out of my hands as soon as I was done stitching it closed and yelled "My baby!" and ran off with it. So I guess it looks enough like a baby for a baby. And since a baby is my intended audience I guess it's not so bad after all.

This is the back... like the bangs I topstiched texture to make it look like hair. I hand sewed the facial appliques and machine stitched it together. I didn't use a pattern I just traced a saucer and went from there and used up little bits of scrap felt.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Life Coach

So tonight I was pretty tired and just plain old emotionally exhausted. I was lying on the couch refusing to get up and put the kids to bed and letting them watch organizational and cooking shows with me while a lay like a lump.

After a while I said to Kid "Don't you think if you are mad, you should be allowed to be mad, and if you are sad, you should be allowed to be sad?" "YES!" she responded emphatically, which made me smile and give a little silent cheer... at least I'm raising them right.

A little bit later she got off the couch and went to her desk and came back with a sheet of paper and a crazy princess pen.

"What are your problems?" She asked.
Where to begin?!! I tried to think of things that wouldn't be too traumatizing...
"I don't exercise enough, I've been eating too much unhealthy food..." I started.
"What else?" She said sagely
"I'm worried about whether I'll get everything done before Christmas."
"What else?"
"I don't read enough books" I replied trying to fish for more neutral issues.
"How is that a problem?" Kid responded some what baffled.
"Well... I spend too much time online and then I don't have time to read." I explained.
"Anything else?" She asked.
"Nope that's it."

She was quiet for awhile and then stopped writing stood up and said (verbatim):
"Workout more, eat more healthy foods such as: broccoli, green beans, and salmon. At dessert eat only a little unless you are particularly starving." She stated. Then she paused and said "I have one more recommendation: go online less, which means, stay away from your desk... unless... you need a stamp for a letter."

God, she's good. I should know, too, I've had a lot of therapists in my time.
If you need a session let me know... she'll probably be booking up pretty fast.

Oops I Did It Again

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ready To Relax

This week has been intense. I had my big round of boxes to go out (you should be getting them today or tomorrow!). Then I had Mr F's party and the turkey (third one... and let me tell you the brining and high heat is no fail!). Cleaning the house for the new sitter (which went GREAT!!!). Shopping for fabric and last minute gifts. Three loads of laundry and four trips to the post office... two of them today... as well as two batches of cookies for teacher gifts. I have hardly sat down all week. And while I've been subsisting off of caffeine and cookies (seriously folks I've had nothing but White Trash all day)... I think I might have actually lost weight. Being on your feet all day will do that (thank God for small favors).

The Christmas push is over and I feel relieved. I have two more gifts to ship out but I can get them together this weekend and get them out Priority on Monday. I picked up Priority envelopes for Mr F (still helping... I can't help myself) so he can fill them up with the kids this weekend. I've got most of what I need for the kids and Mr F and the sitter is coming back next week (that's my plan anyway) so I can get those without companions and without the weekend rush.

I put together gift bags of goodies for Kid's teachers with cookies and stationary I have collected (one from India and one from Italy... hey hoarding pays off when it comes to obligatory gifting!). The class parent had said that the teachers wanted money (yes actually said this) and I was bullied into contributing a financial gift as well. Who doesn't want money?!! But my thought on teacher gifts is that it be something that the kids could have (in theory) made/picked out. Last time I checked she doesn't earn any money. I still wanted Kid to give something to her teachers. So I made gift bags at the last minute today and she went through them gave her seal of approval and wrote a card. A mom I've befriended called out "brown noser" from her car window when she saw them.

I'm in the home stretch. Today was Kid's last day of school and I'm really looking forward to a more relaxed schedule. I'm looking forward to two weeks off. I'm looking forward to not having to get up and make Kid's lunch every morning. I'm looking forward to having time to finally clean off my desk... and maybe read a book. Soon, soon, I can feel it.

Here are the things I have left to do:
Make the girls xmas skirts... I got really cute peppermint candy patterned fabric
Get Baby's jewelry box and jewelry (so she'll finally leave Kid's alone) and more high heels.
Help Kid make Baby a fleece fringe blanket (only cutting involved)
Help Kid make gift for The Cougar
Fix Baby's stocking
Get last two gifts mailed out on Monday
Take Kid shopping to pick out Mr F's present (always interesting... and usually a nutcracker)
wrap gifts for kids and Mr F... assemble Santa gifts


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Post Wherein I Explain The Capes

Okay let me break it down "feelings style". You may recall that the shit hit the fan when I blogged about my in laws during their visit to Michigan back in May. Some crazy stuff went down. Crazy. And things have been pretty fucked up ever since. (don't worry I'm almost done swearing) Well time has gone on and not much has changed. Sure they drove 14 straight hours in order to ambush Mr F with a bizarre intervention... but other than that weird display of completely inappropriate boundaries... nothing has really changed.

Oh... wait.... wasn't this supposed to be about how I'm the "bigger person"? My mistake. Let me get myself more composed.

I was left feeling that the only answer to the situation was to remove myself. The problem with that is...well... my involvement is complicated. Without my involvement there is no involvement. Of course they don't want to know that (not that I blame them) or acknowledge it. So much so that they have quite a revisionist history going on. You see, from their perspective, I have been single handedly driving a wedge between Mr F and his family. Apparently that has been my sole desire since we first met.

I wish someone had filled me in on that. I could have saved myself quite a bit of time and trouble. Not just the nearly 10 straight years of stressing over how to get Mr F more involved with his family. The endless nagging to make a phone call... ask about his sisters. The planning of trips. The buying of gifts and wrapping and shipping. But also the 3 day drive alone with an 18 month old so that I could make a wedding cake. The giving of all our baby things and furniture (which we could have sold... and certainly could have used the money). These things I did to unite the family. These things I did because they are what I would have done for my own.

I needn't have bothered. I needn't have hand tied every one of those wedding programs. These things that I didn't do for any other motivation other than to be involved.

Apparently I didn't like a set of coasters someone gave me enough.

And so I have feelings. Hurt feelings. Victimized, overlooked, demonized feelings. What did I do... but marry a man... who didn't care to love you more. What did I do... but try. Try to love you. Try to make him love you more. Try to be involved. Only to be ignored. Only to be treated with a standoffish hand.

I made one mistake... one... mistake... and that was to trust. To trust that my space was mine. I was wrong, but I wasn't in the wrong.

And so I made capes. Three red satin capes with silver cord. With my hands. With my time. Because I can't be as cold as they need me to be. In the end it just isn't my nature.

There will be no differential effect. No one will say anything. No one will thank me. No one will change their opinion or their view. Three little boys who don't know any better will have a moment of happiness. That is all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One Down... Two To Go

Roughly a 30" square piece of polyester satin lining fabric. Side edges hemmed. Top hemmed to make a drawstring pocket.

1 yard length of silver cord.

No need to hem that bottom edge... leave that salvage (if in good condition) as intentional fringe. No one will know the difference.

Knot the ends of your cord so they don't unravel.

Ta Da!

1/2 a yard of fabric for $1.25, 1 yard of silver cord for $2.
Super hero cape (or devil, or magician, etc) for $3.25.

More on all this later. Seriously. A lot freaking more.

It Was A Judds Emergency

And like a ThunderCat I could see the call for help in the sky. It was coming from Alaska.
A quick email confirmed the worst.... MegO was in fact living life without Christmas Time with The Judds.
I couldn't stand by and let that happen.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sugar Cookie Icing Tutorial

I couldn't think out a better way to show this. I think when I make them this weekend I can get Mr F to photograph each step while I do it. It was pretty hard to do it and video it at the same time. Even harder with Kid bashing into the table.

I will answer your questions if this doesn't help you out enough.

Basically make royal icing in whatever manner you'd like.
Make a thicker icing for piping an outline of your cookie shape. This will serve as a dam for your thinner "flooding" icing. Outline cookies inside of the outer edge. Let icing dry a bit. Make a looser icing. If you stick a knife in and make a dollop it should drop back down to a smooth surface (you kind of need to watch the videos to picture what I'm talking about) in 3 seconds. That is thin enough to flood while not being so thin that it is a glaze. You can either use a piping bag (and I suggest a #3 tip for the outline and a 3 or 4 for flooding) and fill your cookie in. Or you can dollop the thinner icing in the middle of the cookie and push it to the edges with the tip of a butter knife (or similar). Let your cookies dry completely before packaging!!!

Busy Bee

I've been a little crazy trying to tie up all my loose ends for this batch of gift boxes.

It's actually quite hard to find a photo with the girls heads close enough together to fit in these ornament frames... even harder to find one where they are both smiling.

I've also got Kid's first holiday performance tonight (she's an her request. She has informed me that there are three angles. Guess which one she is? Yes the one that stands over Jesus, Mary, and Joseph... how fitting). Then tomorrow I will hopefully have all these boxes shipped out! I ran out of popcorn so that's holding me up. Then I start brining the turkey for Mr F's office party. Yes it's a potluck. So far I haven't attended an event in Asheville that hasn't been (someone tell me what's up with that?).

Off to go stress inordinately about which shipping arrangement is cheaper....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

O Tannenbaum

We got our tree last night at an impromptu lot set up next to a gas station. What it was lacking in atmosphere it made up for in perfection. This tree is over 9 feet tall. Check out it's majesty.

We typically have gotten our trees at big box home improvement stores. We paid a little bit more for this one... but Mr F didn't have to lick a finger. They hoisted it up on the car and off we went. Plus when shopping in the garden department you miss out on some of the atmosphere of being 12 feet off of a major 4 lane road. Because nothing says "holidays" like losing sight of your nearly 2 year old in a maze of trees and panic strickenly screaming "WHERE IS SHE!!!!!" as you and your spouse set off like crazed lunatics running through the trees praying you catch her before a speeding car does. Yeah that was magical. You should have been there. It put a serious dampener on the whole event and we pretty much picked the next tree we saw and got the hell out of there.

Having said that we would go there again next year. I mean our tree is beautiful. And it was cut the day we bought it... which means it will still be alive past Christmas... and that is worth a few bucks more.

When we got home and were setting it up something truly magical happened.

A bunch of bona fide carolers knocked on our door. Believe it. Sometimes (if you look past the graffiti and occasional loose pitbull) our neighborhood can have a real small town vibe to it. Last night was one of those nights. The night last week when the cop car drove by each house very slowly was not.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I Guess He's Not Done

This Little Pig Went Downtown

Well I'm back. Red for Christmas.

Baby doesn't know what to think... I guess that says a lot about my lack of beautification since having her.

It was nice to get downtown. Really, really, nice. I know I have my issues with Asheville... but I've always maintained that the downtown is really nice (well minus the panhandlers... but it's cold out so they are not quite as plentiful). And when I'm there I usually start wishing we had bought a loft apartment and returned to our city living roots. I'm just so much more comfortable walking down a city street than a neighborhood one. Blame it on spending my formative years in NYC.

Despite living within a couple miles I don't go downtown very often. We live in another city neighborhood that has all it's own services and going down and paying for parking and all that hoopla has kind of been a compacting "no no". There isn't much to do there that is free. I've actually been 4 times this week... and one thing always leads to another. Go for the museum... stay for the cupcakes. You know how it is. I don't seem to be able to go in and get out for less than 10 bucks. It's also one of those cities that is heavy on the cute shops and whatnot and I find if I stay away I don't know what I'm missing. The more I go the more I kind of think I should only wear one-of-a-kind handmade dresses. And that's not in the budget. One-of-a-kind handmade cupcakes aren't even in the budget these days.

But I digress...

It was also nice to get out of the house. And even better to get out without the kids. I don't do it enough.


Is anybody there?! Bueller?! Bueller?

Okay I need to know how much you tip for a pedicure? I'm being taken to get one this morning. Thank you Supermom! But I'd like to pay the gratuities. I have no idea how much the pedicures are to begin with.

Any ideas?


P.S. My Snapfish book arrived. Anybody else?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Here's The Deal

We need a sitter. Badly.

We don't know anyone and we can't really trade sitting since... well... I don't really want to spend an evening sitting someone else's kids. I did that in Ann Arbor and most of the time I kind of felt like shelling out $20 was worth not having to babysit. You know what I mean... my nights out are few and far between... I'd kind of like them to be "no strings" attached style.

Okay so all you moms (and dads) with sitters... how in the hell did you find them? How much do you pay? How did you insure they weren't crazy?

Remember we, quite literally, don't know anyone. The few people I have met don't use sitters. Someone in Mr F's office is willing to sit... but... we need a sitter for the office party so that isn't going to work out this time.

Plus we really can't use a high school aged sitter because of Kid. They need to be able to handle the stress of a medical emergency should one come up. See why we've never had a sitter?!


Believe it or not I got a sitter! Huge relief. She works at Kid's school so she's already had background checks and CPR and all that jazz to boot!

Off to get Kid and meet her new eye surgeon. Let's all hope this goes well. Nothing like sitting through the 2-5 hour eye appointments. Fun times. Pray for me...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mr F's Drawing Distress

"Just say it... you were going off the deep end of crazy." Mrs F implores Mr F

Mr F laughs nervously and says "I couldn't handle the pressure."

Ah... just as I thought.

Well If This Isn't Depressing I Don't Know What Is

When I was searching through my photo archives, to find a link to some cookies, I stumbled upon THIS:

These shost are from exactly one year ago. I had just gotten my kid's jeans. Check out the fit.

This is what I looked like in the same damn pair of jeans a few weeks ago:

Yeah it appears I really, REALLY, need to pull my shit together! I'd actually forgotten how much better they used to fit. I mean I almost can't believe they are the same pair of jeans (sadly they are).

Oh and while you're here lay your BL thoughts on me! It looks like good vs evil will be going head to head at the finale.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Compacting Christmas Recipes

Okay I'm adding in the recipes and instructions in the little snipets I can get tonight. Scroll through and you'll see them pop up over the next couple of hours!


Cooked Playdough

2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups water (mixed with food coloring)

Cook in pan over medium heat until it feels like mashed potatoes. Let cool before kneading.

*I made mine without the food coloring and then kneaded it into the cooled dough. That way one batch could yield three colors. This recipe made enough to fill 4 tins (4.5"). I used Wilton gel food coloring (available at Michael's).


taken from Food & Wine November 2001

2 c flour
2 t baking soda
1 t ground ginger
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
1/4 t salt
3/4 c solid vegetable shortening
1 c sugar, plus 1/4 c for rolling
1/4 c unsulphured molasses
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350.
In a bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the shortening with the 1 c sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. beat in the molasses, then beat in the egg. Add the dry ingredients and beat at a low speed until blended.

Roll level tablespoons of the dough into balls and roll the balls in sugar. Arrange the balls 1 inch apart on 2 large ungreased baking sheets (I actually find I need 3 and that they need to be 1.5-2" apart so they don't join).

Bake on the lower and middle racks of the oven for about 15 minutes (in my oven that is 13), or until the tops are cracked; shift the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking (this is actually very important for even baking). If you are only doing one sheet at a time use the lower rack and turn the sheet around halfway through.
Transfer to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 3-4 dozen.

Sugar Cookies

Cut Out Sugar Cookies

3/4 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 & 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1 t salt

In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and the 1 c sugar until creamy; beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, blending thoroughly, to form a soft dough. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour) or for up to 3 days.
On a floured board, roll out dough, a portion at a time, to a thickness of 1/4 inch (just less than a cm), keep remaining portions refrigerated. Cut out with cookie cutters and place slightly apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 8 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn golden.
*I like mine soft, so I try and get them out just before they develop any color, this a batch to figure out exact timing (6-8 min)

Makes about 2 dozen.

Rolling tip:

Use two pencils or 1/4" dowels if you've got them to keep your rolled dough even and a consistent 1/4" thick!

Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn
This recipe came to you courtesy of fellow blogger Amy. I'd seen her post about making this with her sister last year and filed it away as a gift idea. She was generous enough to share it with me... and now you. Thanks again Amy!

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6-8 quarts of popcorn (about 2 potfuls) (1 c of kernels)

Before starting, sift popcorn to get out all kernels, then take out 2 large bowls and 2 jelly roll pans (rimmed cookie sheets) for a single batch. Spray the jelly roll pans with non-stick cooking spray. Then preheat your oven to 250◦. Arrange the rack so that both sheets fit at one time.

Then combine everything but soda and popcorn in a medium saucepan on the stove. Bring to boil and boil 5 minutes, stirring the whole time. Take off heat and add soda.

Pour over popcorn in large bowls (I used one large 6 qt bowl & a 5 qt pot). After mixed, pour it onto a greased piece of tin foil laid out on the table. With buttered or sprayed hands (popcorn is hot so you don't want it sticking to your hands), separate the popcorn until it is loose, dry. Leave it to cool Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes. Makes 24-32 cups.

Dipped Cookies

White Chocolate Dipped Candy Cane Joe Joes

One box cookies ... Candy Cane Joe Joes (from Trader Joe's) or mint Oreos
One 12 oz bag of white chocolate morsels

Melt white chocolate in microwave in 15 second intervals. Stop heating when chips are mostly melted and stir until smooth.
Using a knife dollop a generous amount on each cookie (holding over the bowl) and spread over edges. Place on parchement or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with decorations. Repeat. Let rest until chocolate cools.

Ding Dong

It's time to open your Furious Box Of Holiday Cheer!

[warning: if you are getting your box this week you might want to move along now before your surprise is ruined!]

Okay back to the cheer. When you get your box you should be just a little excited. You might want to put on some Christmas music before you even bring it inside. We here at the Furious house suggest something moving like the Nutcracker... but we're partial to nutcrackers.

Your box will be a feast for ALL your senses... so be sure you have your glasses on... and have blown your nose.

Okay begin!

Clear off some of that popcorn (I know genius... it's green too... or you could string it up for garland... or eat it... or feed it to the birds)

Hey what's that? Check out those cool vintage style looking gift tags!

The first thing you'll do is take out that bag of delicious looking caramel corn.

Then you're not going to be able to resist the cookies much longer so you'll take those out of the tissue paper.

Now if you've got kids you might want to take this out and hand it over... that way you can hide those dipped oreo's while they're not looking.

If you don't have kids you might unwrap one of these and breathe in the scent of Christmas.

Wait there's something else in there... I did say a gift for ALL your senses.

Average cost per box $5.50 (for what is in the box that is!)
I got all the wrappings, etc at Michael's for less than $30 and I'm sending out 12 boxes. The rest is the cost of ingredients. Labor is free... you might want some sangria on hand though...

A shipping box at USPS is $1.79 with shipping of between $5- $9 for priority mail.
If using a flat rate USPS Priority box shipping is $9.80 (the box is free).
The weight of these boxes was 2 lb 8 oz. You will want to log onto USPS site and punch in the zip codes. For most destinations it was cheaper to buy a box and ship priority rather than use the flat rate boxes.
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