Tag Archives: food

Will There be Canned Cranberry, or Should I Bring My Own?

**This is an excerpt from a post I wrote last year and a few people liked** Happy Thanksgiving.

The Thanksgiving Sandwich 

I know that the Thanksgiving day meal gets all of the hype but come this time of year I start to crave one thing.  The Thanksgiving sandwich.  Either that night or the next day, cramming as many leftovers that you can fit between two slices of bread is the way I like to usher in the Holiday Season.

I am taking a break this year as I have been the CEO of the bird for the last 6 or so years.  Cooking the turkey can be one of those manly culinary exhibitions like making a pot of chili or grilling.  Last year I put a turkey on a giant Foster’s beer can and cooked it on an open flame just like baby Jesus intended man to cook.  But this year I am taking it easy.  So, since I don’t have to worry about targeting that 12 hour window far enough before Thursday that the store still has fresh sage but not too soon that it goes bad, I thought I would offer a couple of Turkey day tips.

1.Small servings.  I don’t mean, limit your intake all together but don’t fill up on the first pass.  There will be aunts people there that will measure their happiness and possibly some portion of their self-worth on who goes back for seconds on their dish.  So be a hero and start small and make several trips.  It isn’t like the extra walking is going to hurt.  Speaking of needing exercise, if you are a dude that could stand to drop a few lbs, this is even more important for you.  No reason for someone to feel like a failure because the fat guy didn’t even want seconds.

2. Get a can of cranberry.  It may not look too fancy jiggling there with its can lines wrapping around it but nothing goes better on a thanksgiving sandwich than slices of canned cranberry.

3. The sympathy scoop.  Don’t let anyone take home a dish that was barely touched.  I don’t care if you are 90% sure you see hot dogs and marshmallows in there, get a spoon-full.  Leave it for last then spread it out on your plate so it looks like you ate it.  Remember, these are the people you love, or at least pretend to once a year on this day.

4. Keep it classy.  Wine should not be opened before the Turkey float goes by on the parade.  (exception: if any part of the menu is being cooked outdoors an open beer is the most important cooking utensil regardless of time of day)

5. Wardrobe selection. You don’t need to go over the top here and show up in a Biggest Loser sweat suit but at the same time think ahead enough that you at least pick those pants that you are still “growing into.”

Last of all, say “Thank You”  and have a great time because eating until your left leg starts to go numb is totally sweet.

*note: not to brag but that is a picture of a turkey I cooked. (actually, that was totally to brag)


Minimal Effort

Sweet and Weak

Knock Knock

I have read a lot of blogs lately discussing things being slower during the summer.  Less to write about, busier schedule, taking a break etc.  I am not sure if all of those apply to my but I have definitely been posting less often lately.  I have still been writing, just with a lot fewer words and a lot less effort.  Mostly what I have been writing are jokes or punch lines that still need some detail added to them to get the full effect.  Last week Sweet Mother dedicated the week to jokes on her blog.  She posts everyday and is kind of blogging all-star so I have no qualms about shamelessly stealing her idea.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right?

I am working through a real blog post in my head and will write that soon but in the meantime, here is a handful of what my brain has leaked out over the last few days.  I am removing the usual wholesome filter that I write with and just posting these as is.  (My apologies in advance)

My written vocabulary would be better but my spelling is so bad I usually just choose a synanym, sinonim? synonyme? I usually just choose another word.

Just handed out a bunch of “Life is Good” shirts to the homeless. I like my philanthropy with a twist of irony.

Yesterday, I accidentally searched for something on yahoo. It was like putting on an old sweater and realizing it was ugly and doesn’t fit anymore. 

“Don’t worry guys, everything’s going to be OK, she’s dropping a stick and a leaf in here.” -said no lightning bug in a jar ever.

All I’m saying is, if they want the jumbotron to be family friendly, they shouldn’t have put the Kiss Cam on me while I had a funnel cake. 

Argentina’s bikinis and USA’s turtlenecks in beach volleyball may be shedding some light on the anti-America sentiment I have heard about. 

Based on how flawlessly I just put the baby in her crib and snuck out of the room, my ninja uniform is probably in the mail. 

I Called McDonald’s to see if they had a lost and found today. How would you describe dignity? 

My daughter just climbed up on the coffee table and tore her diaper off. Does this mean we have to change her name to Cinnamon?

Hand sanitizer dries fast but not near fast enough when you spill a big drop on your crotch right before walking into a meeting. 

Hey people really good at Excel, what is that one formula that populates the past 3 weeks of work I didn’t do into these cells? 

I don’t know if he was a Sommelier but the clerk at the 7-11 suggested pairing this Boone’s Farm with my loneliness and ineptitude.

I don’t litter unless there are inmates picking up trash on the side of the road. Then I just toss out a bottle as I drive by and yell “missed a spot”

I generally think Golden Coral is gross but if they ever add toaster strudels to the buffet, I will probably go ahead and have my mail forwarded there. 

I just mixed two different Axe body sprays and grew an Ed Hardy T-shirt and a faux hawk. 

I like how at IKEA the paper ruler and golf pencil are free. Especially since the marriage counseling will be so expensive. 

I realized I’m just not cut out for Facebook after saying Happy Birthday Karen to that girl named Sharon for the 3rd year in a row. 

I think it’s neat that people my parent’s age suggest talking to the pharmacist like the Internet doesn’t even exist.

I was feeling used but after therapy it is more like certified pre-owned.

This morning, the only soap in the shower was apricot melon body scrub. I think I just synced cycles with the wife. 

Jokes can be hit or miss so if these were completely weak, I will try to do better, if you thought they were sweet, thanks for not un-following my blog.


Pizza Soup

Sweet

Family Tradition  

I have a propensity to blog about food a bit more often than other topics.  I guess that you are supposed to write what you know so it is likely that my mediocre ramblings about Christmas candy and  bread bowls is as good as it will get.  Sorry guys.  I think, though, that another reason I use food as a topic is because, like smells, food has a way of being nostalgic.  If you have read even just a few of my posts you probably know I am a perpetual kid so this kind of makes sense.

The best food related memories I have are not in the eating but in the preparing of food as a kid with my family.  The worst memories are things like always forgetting to shake my Yoo-Hoo and feeling sad when I had gotten every last bit of cheese off the red handi-snack stick.  I guess the emotional tie is as evident as ever in the term comfort food.

Preparing food always brought us together as a family.  We didn’t eat out very often and even when we did, I didn’t consider a restaurant fancy unless I got to choose biscuits or cornbread.  Most of the time mom would cook but when everyone pitched in, we made more than dinner.  We made memories.

I like that I get to experience that with my family now and if I had to name our tradition it would be called pizza soup.  You see, my wife’s family used to make pizza together,  before we had kids we would make it together, and now it is a full blown 2 on 2 pizza competition.  At the risk of some horrible pun, it is rather cheesy and like something you would expect to see on a poorly written sit-com.  That doesn’t matter though, at the end of each competition when the pizzas go into the oven we split up the remaining sauce, cheese, and toppings into tiny ramikens and enjoy our amuse bouche of pizza soup.  It isn’t really about the pizza or the dinner at all but about the laughter and the giggles and the occasional sauce smeared on daddy’s nose that make pizza soup totally sweet.

 

Weak

I Can Do That 

image via Ronco

I am a man.  As a man, I am impressed by very little.  Or at the very least, I can’t let on that I am impressed.  This personality trait often bubbles to the surface in the kitchen.  I like to think that I can handle my own in the kitchen and  at times I cook pretty well.   The problem is that sometimes I may talk a bit too big of a game.  I am not one to brag but every time I start to make hamburger helper I expect Bobby Flay to walk in and ask if I am ready for a throw down.  I like to cook and you can bank on the fact that anytime macaroni and cheese is made in our house, I will be eating the last 3 bites from the pot standing by the stove relishing in each lukewarm mouthful of salty regret.

Sometimes we watch cooking shows and I never shy away from saying that something doesn’t look that hard or that I could do it.  I remember saying something similar once about a show on food trucks.  The great part about making ridiculous assumptions about that kind of thing is that I will never actually try to start a food truck and as long as it looms in uncertainty I can claim victory.  In actuality, if I started a food truck it would probably be known as that weird guy trying to sell peanut butter and jelly sandwiches out of the trunk of his 97 Corolla.

I like to dream of being on a show like Top Chef and while I do have some background in restaurants and a few signature dishes, I think the reality might be something like this:

I proudly walk in with my Ron Popeil 6 star cutlery and wastes the first 3 minutes of the challenge arranging all of the knives in the butcher block that was a free gift because I ordered within the 20 minute window on the commercial.  Not phased by the equipment the other chefs are using, I set out to the pantry wondering where they have hidden all of the box dinners.  With time quickly ticking bye I overcome the panic, find my center, and go about my culinary business.  At the judges table, I step up and trying not to stare at Padma Lackshmi I announce, “today I have prepared for you cheese 3 ways.  grilled, toast, and mac’n.  Bon appetit.”

So maybe I over sell myself a bit and hide in the safety that some of my claims will never be tested but  you can’t blame a guy for dreaming.   Who knows, maybe making that cinnamon toast with chili powder that one time really was a fluke and I am better at this than I think.    I may make a serious pot of white chili but the hollow braggadocios claims of my kitchen prowess are totally weak.

 


He Who Holds the Hose is King

Sweet

Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy 

I would say this is a sign of a job well done.

Well maybe not easy with all of the SPF 401K and Citronella smoke flumes, not to mention the hideous sight of dudes in those big leather Velcro sandals; but even though the season presents a few obstacles to avoid, it is totally worth it.

Who doesn’t love cooking meat over an open flame and being barefoot 93% of the time?  We had some people over to the house last weekend and I had a hard time being a grown up.  That slip and slide was like some kind of tractor beam sucking me in.  We ate and drank and talked and drank and had a great time with friends.  I like to think that I am just the biggest of the kids but after seeing how fast my 30 minute investment in filling water balloons was squandered by greedy children with poor aim, I had to fight the urge to use the situation as their first lesson in supply and demand economics.

When a kid is waiting for you to fill a water balloon the anticipation is almost palpable.  It is like little snippets of Christmas eve standing right in front of you in dripping shorts and covered with grass clippings.  I don’t think it is a secret, but the two most important ingredients in water balloon fun are mischief and someone dry and unsuspecting.  That person is usually a grown up and you will often find them on a power trip as they escalate the water fight to the next level by manning the water hose.

The night was basically all of the good things about summer wrapped up in bacon and tossed in a deep fryer and then dipped in ketchup. (I was going to wax poetic there and say something like “dipped in giggles” or “dipped in the setting sun” but let’s be honest, ketchup stands alone.)  In short, it was awesome.

Summer also brings with it one of my favorite words: vacation.  I am looking forward to heading down to the beach next week so I can update my summer wardrobe.  Embarrassingly, I have been stuck in “past season” Corona wear for way to long and it is time to style up and get my boogie board on.  Summer is totally sweet.

 

Weak

All Good Things Must Come to an End 

“The Sad Clown” is a painting of Emmett Kelly by artist Barry Leighton-Jones
(because I guess you aren’t supposed to just say “image via the internets.”)

I am a pretty mild-mannered guy but there is a good 45 seconds every Sunday night that I seriously contemplate burning my office to the ground.  What is that?  I thought that I would have outgrown that by now.  I may not spend half of the night moping around like I did when I was a kid in school, but there is no escaping that separation anxiety and postpartum weekend depression can be just as real in your 30’s as it was when you were twelve.

I don’t think that grown-ups are supposed to admit that kind of stuff out loud since life is so much bigger than just waiting for the weekend to get here.  I enjoy my career, work hard at it and sometimes it doesn’t stop to observe the Sabbath.  In a lot of ways I am lucky to enjoy what I do and for it to be bigger than just punching a time clock everyday.  I am grateful for that but at the end of the day, the reality is no one has to pay you for what you do on the weekend because it is the stuff that we would do for free that yields the largest return on intangible investment.

One day my daughter might read this when she is twelve and push it right back into my face saying  “AH HA! I knew it.”  Sorry about that fellow grown-ups, I know that this was supposed to be our little secret.

Weekends are great and time with friends and family invaluable, but that little moment on the occasional Sunday night when you have to swallow the dread and carry on like a grown-up is totally weak.


Breaking Up is Hard To Do

Sweet

Not the Man I Used to Be 

Most of this post are jokes but the lady bug towel really happened. I didn’t look quite as cute as my kids with the hood over my head and it wrapped around my shoulders.

I tend to carry a few extra lbs around the mid-section.  I find that it helps quell some of my unbridled sexuality and generally puts people at ease.  Let’s face it, if my physique paralleled my charm and charisma people might need one of those eclipse viewer things just to look in my general direction.  It is a selfless act but I am standing at the sink eating a hunk of leftover birthday cake at 11:45 pm for the people.  Unfortunately, as well as I try to sell that line of B.S. no one is buying, especially me.

I think when your daughter affectionately calls you “big fella” it is a good time to begin standing your ground in the battle of the bulge.  It may not be the easiest thing in the world but seeing your hard work pay off is totally sweet.  Sweet like chewy brownies or a pint of butter pecan ice cream; sweet like fruity pebbles with rainbow milk, or a Little Debbie Swiss Cake roll you have delicately consumed layer by chocolaty layer.  Wait, what was I writing about?

I am cutting portion sizes and putting my relationships with Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers (JBC) and peanut butter and rainbow sprinkle sandwiches on a break.  I am hitting the gym and hard work is yielding results.  This process, though, is not without perils of its own.  I have had to navigate the embarrassment of being the guy in the gym with a lady bug towel because he grabbed it in the dark and due in part to my overall lack of planning, I have forgotten some key items after a workout and gone commando more than once (I don’t know how  guys do that by choice, especially in slacks).

The hardest part may be sticking with it but it is a pretty good feeling for your wedding ring to slip off in the shower or for your belt buckle to take up residence a new notch.  I am not claiming any victories yet but you may want to check if they sell those eclipse viewer things on Amazon.   The taco shell made out of Doritos may be hard to pass up (God Bless America) but seeing the number on the scale go down and knowing that you did it by yourself is totally sweet.

Weak

Bloated Regret  

Realizing you still haven’t lost your baby weight is pretty tough, especially when you are a man in his 30’s.  You know how when you are driving to a new place that you have never been, the way there always seems much longer than the way back?  Losing weight is nothing like that.  The way there is just a downhill blur of joy and Funyuns and when you finally turn to go back you can’t believe how far you have gone.  The way back is longer and harder and the whole time you are wishing you had realized how far you had gone and turned back sooner.  When I look back, there were some key indicators that I must have overlooked while I was busy cleaning the Cheeto dust from my chubby digits.  If you think you may be missing some of those red flags to stop licking peanut butter off of the knife, please let me share some of the signals that I overlooked.

  • When the cashier at the grocery store puts a box or Oreos on that little ledge like it is a pack of gum you want to keep separate.
  • When you actually agree to have a hot apple pie with that.
  • When you get another order of fries just for eating in the car (because some kind of golden arched magic just makes them taste better when one hand is on the steering wheel) .
  • When you start to wonder if you kept those extra links that came with your watch because that sucker is getting tight.
  • When you find that the majority of the lies you tell yourself are in that 30 second span in the Arby’s drive through tightly wedged between excited hunger and bloated regret.
  • When you hope your kid doesn’t finish their dinner so you can handle the leftovers.
  • When your Goggle search history includes 3 different types of gravy.
  • When you decide that “The Cheeto Glove” is the best idea ever and research patents.
  • When Little Debbie herself sends you a hand written thank you card.
  • When the only ads on the right hand side of your Facebook are for marshmallows.

They all seem so obvious now, but when you are too busy developing your snacking prototype or hoping that the button on your pants can hold that last bit of icing, you simply miss the signals.  So feel free to print those out and use them as a cheat sheet to help you know when you have gone too far and it is time to turn back.  Standing in the glow of your refrigerator light in the middle of the night treating yourself to a home-made Vegas buffet may seem awesome at the time but nicking yourself when you are shaving because the other chin got in the way is totally weak.

 

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Thank God for Little Bags of Shut the Heck Up (Parenting with Fruit Snacks)

Sweet

Teach Them Well and Let Them Lead The Way  

I couldn’t agree more with those lyrics from the late Whitney Houston.  Creating a person is one of the greatest things of all.   As with anything though, eventually the new wears off.  Once all of the awe and splendor of creating human life finally begins to fade into the background you realize that there is a whole lot more to this thing than just keeping them alive long enough for them to be able to actually sleep with a pillow or blanket without risk of SIDS.  The fun part begins when they begin to walk and talk and are basically your very own DNA Play-Doh that you get to shape however you like.

At 20 months old, our youngest daughter is a lot like one of those smart phone apps you say something to and it repeats you in a cute funny voice.  She is learning new words and phrases everyday and it is obvious that no member of our family is passing up the chance to leave a few thumbprints in her molding process.  Last week while driving a squeaky little voice from the back seat piped up and said “WATCH IT DADDY!” followed by an eruption of giggles from her big sister.  Our oldest has come to the conclusion that teaching her little sister new phrases is the funniest thing ever, especially when they are phrases that she doesn’t have the guts to say out loud herself.  Her mom teaches her to say sweet things like “love the baby” and “I am one years old.”  It may not have been until last night though, as she wandered through the house yelling “BACON IS AWESOME” that I realized how sweet this new little game could be.

Yesterday I watched her drag the stool from the bathroom into her room and proceed to climb up onto her changing table and then climb back down.  This newly discovered talent also explains the bowl of apples in the kitchen full of mysterious little bite marks.  When you reach that point of realizing you did your job keeping them alive this long and now it is time to really turn them into someone cool, it is totally sweet.

Weak

Armed with Snacks 

Sometimes it is like watching Gizmo turn into a Gremlin.  From adorably cute to little monster in 3.6 seconds.  Most of the time we realize it is part of the gig and take it all in stride.  Other times the cries of our children have the ability to reduce us to begging pleading shadows of our former self.  Often, our transformation can be just as rapid as theirs.

Sunday morning I found myself trying to rationalize with my one year old, “Yes sweetie, your daddy is very handy but even he cannot fix a broken banana or put it back into the peal so please for the love of everything holy just stop crying.”  Yeah, it was like that.  There are times though, when the humane and sensitive options of soothing are exhausted, that parents are forced to go to the silver bullet in the battle against their little weretoddlers.  That’s right.  Fruit snacks.

They may be disgusting little gummy sugar wads but there is no doubt that they have been blessed by some great shaman or created by a wizard.  When readying ourselves for a day out in public with our little ones, I am often reminded of that scene in Rambo when he straps weapons onto his arms and legs and then rises tying the red band around his head.  Usually, I leave with pockets full of goldfish and Cheerios and emergency fruit snacks strapped to my ankle (stuffed in my sock).  I am locked and loaded and ready for battle the grocery store.  It may sound like taking the easy way out but I have found that sometimes, a stern tone or empty threat simply do not have enough fire power and the only way to shut their mouths is to give them something to chew.  Every now and then, I feel like just tearing the bag open with my teeth and lobbing them in her general direction like a little grenade of shut up.  The bonus with that tactic is that it takes extra time for her to wander around finding all of the gelatinous nubs of artificial flavor and strengthens her immune system since she will be eating from the floor.  Kids are one of the best things to ever happen to me but fruit snacks as a silencer is totally weak.


A Handful of Spaghetti and Other Toddler Delicacies

Sweet

Well, At Least She is Eating 

I wonder how much it would cost to get a drain installed in our kitchen floor?  I could probably justify a couple of benefits of having one but the primary reason is that more often than not, our little one needs to be hosed off before leaving the table after a meal.  She is learning to use utensils and it is great to hear her gurgle out an “I got it!” as she bites down on a fork load of food.  Let’s be honest though, she might as well be eating soup with a slotted spoon.  Last night we had spaghetti and we are perfectly content with robbing our second of the cute picture of spaghetti all over her head and face.  We let it happen with our first and there are just some things that you learn from aren’t worth repeating.

She was bibbed up and things started well as she managed to keep some cut up noodles on her spoon.  Flash to 15 seconds later and she is downing sauced up pasta by the handful.  The horror recedes from her mother’s eyes as we both realize that she is in fact eating and we know that utensils and cleanup are only battles but nourishment is the war.  We try to help a bit but accept the mess she is making.  That is, until our united family front begins to crack in weakness.  Our well-behaved 5-year-old makes the mistake of laughing at the little one and one little chuckle is all the encouragement our little ham needs before she attempts her best spaghetti juggling routine and delights in the laughter of her sibling.  Before long she has her parents laughing as well and she is relishing her role as the star of the show.  We manage to get a few more bites down her hatch between giggles and then flip a coin to see who gets bath duty and who gets to clean up the dinner massacre.

I got kitchen cleanup and asked myself what  CSI’s David Caruso would do?  After taking my sunglasses on and off a few times and squinting my eyes to survey the damage I went to work.  A roll of paper towels later we were finished and our freshly bathed kids still had a case of the giggles.  It may have been an epic mess but at least she was eating and even if you have to navigate nostril peas and hair dipped in yogurt, knowing your kid is fed is sweet.

Weak

My Greatest Fear Has Become the Rogue Sippy Cup 

Is there anything worse?  You find a sippy-cup under the couch or behind the toy-box and your prayer begins.  Dear Heavenly Father, please show me your grace and mercy and let this cup be full of water, and if it has to be full of milk, please give me a sign so I can throw it away when my wife isn’t looking so I don’t have to wash a white festering clump of rot out of this thing.  In Jesus name, amen.  You may start and end your prayer differently or address it to someone or something else but there is no mistake that in that moment we all hope for some kind of divine intervention.  You try to remember the last time you saw the cup in the active rotation and what was in it but it is no use, the princesses and the Dora’s and Minnie Mouse’s all run together you don’t have a clue.  You walk to the sink and play a version of parenthood roulette as you twist open the lid and pray for the best.

I used to think that finding a forgotten sippy-cup was the worst thing possible, until last week when our little one upped the ante of horror and disgust.  She walked into the living room holding a sippy-cup that neither of us had just given to her.  My wife and I exchanged glances and like a scene from a movie both lunged as the word NOOOOOOOOOOOO bellowed out of each of us.  Diving to save our little one, I batted the cup from her hand but it was too late.  The sip of septic gross combined with the scare of having her dad punch a cup millimeters away from her face may very well result in a hefty therapy bill one day.  Not sure if this one had juice of milk in it but the sour odor was already escaping the nozzle and the fruit flies swarming around it made the decision to throw it away an easy one.  Contrary to any opinions that may be forming, we are not unfit parents and go through lots of wipes and elbow grease  trying to maintain a suitable living environment for our little mess machines.  Cleaning a house with little kids in it is like tossing buckets of water over the side of a sinking boat.  No matter how fast you go or how much headway you make, you are still taking on water.  Most messes are all in a day’s work and just part of the gig but the rogue sippy-cup is totally weak.


If Time is Cyclical, at What Point does Late Become Early? (or: I wish I had posted this before Mothers Day)

Sweet

Say Hello to Your Mother for Me  

It would have been neat if I had put together some great touching blog post that would have made my wife and mom tear up and exclaim that my words were more precious to them than any gift they had ever received.  I guess in a perfect world those heartfelt words of adoration would have also populated paper and screen before Mother’s Day was over.  To be honest though, I was lucky that I wasn’t asking the clerk at 7-11 if they carried greeting cards on Saturday night.

What I would have written though, if I hadn’t spent 25 minutes Saturday night looking for scissors and scotch tape (because she is the only one that knows where we keep that stuff ) would have been a simple thank you.

I would have thanked the moms for rescuing their kids from dripping banana splits even if it did mean having to take her clothes off in the garage (and not in a good way).  I would have thanked moms for notes in school lunches and clean rooms when we got back from summer camp.  I would have also thanked them for remembering to get extra napkins and being the one that signs permission slips and makes sure our kid doesn’t show up at school dressed for pajama day when it is really hat day.

I try to do my fair share to create a solid foundation for our family but let’s be honest, if we are going for a house metaphor, mom is obviously the nails.  Mom’s are the heart, moms are the love.

I would also thank the moms for the prayers and the worries.  I didn’t see it as much as a kid because I was too busy being the source of said prayers and worries but I see it now.  That stuff matters, it matters a lot.

I would tell moms that while we seem pretty good at taking for granted all of the behind the scenes stuff they take care of, we know there is a lot and we are grateful that they are always behind us picking up what slipped from our carry and reminding us to watch our step.

I don’t know if it is the hardest job in the world but I do know that it is the most important.  Yep, if I had made the time, I would have written those things and then I would have also told them that I loved them.  I would thank them for letting me live wrapped up in their love, and offer mine in return.

I should have written those things and a bunch of other things to tell moms how special they are.  I would have also thanked moms for staying and waiting even when I was running late.  Even if it was a whole day late.

This blog thing I started a few months ago wouldn’t be very complete if I missed the chance to mention that moms are totally sweet.

(One more, I would have also thanked them for suggesting I start writing a blog and then reading and laughing and telling me good job in a way that only a wife/mom can do)

Happy Mother’s Day (early or late, you decide)

 

Weak

Breakfast in Bed with a Side Order of Terror  

It really is a cute idea and I can remember being excited as a kid helping dad and sister make breakfast in bed while mom pretended she didn’t hear us dropping stuff and fighting in order to keep the surprise alive.

Lets be honest though, I think mothers and fathers can agree that breakfast in bed is simply way more trouble than it is worth.  Especially since you can now google image a luxurious Eggs Benedict with fresh-cut fruit and steaming hot coffee and paste it right into your Facebook status.  (At least I assume doing something like that would be easy.)  Breakfast in bed means a couple of things.  First off, mom or dad is a prisoner in the bedroom until the big reveal.  Also, nobody ever writes: congratulations on getting to change the sheets tonight before bed because of all the crumbs and spills, on the inside of a card.  Lastly, kids aren’t good at cooking so you let them help with the creative stuff like cards and flowers while you oversee the mechanics of toast burning.

I do love the Americana of the whole thing though, and the big reveal is certainly fun.  Sometimes though, even in your best dad effort to create a meal and presentation worthy of Pinterest with fresh-cut flowers from the backyard and everything, you don’t notice the spider.  Yes, that happened.   That’s right, the flowers came from outside.  Guess what also lives outside?  Ding Ding, spiders!  Spiders give my wife a major case of the heebie jeebies, so you can only imagine how overjoyed she was to make her discovery while she was holding a cup of hot coffee and her legs were pinned down under a tray of breakfast complete with crystal vase full of flowers and water.  Fun times right there.

She may have done a good job pretending she had no idea what we were up to but in the end we got to see the difference between fake surprise and real surprise.

Spiders are totally weak.

 

 


Is it super lazy to Reblog something you wrote months ago? Well if the shoe fits I guess I will wear it. I like the idea of having interesting funny insight to write about on a fairly steady schedule but (insert excuse here).  I woke up this morning at 3:12 thinking it was time to start the day.  It reminded me of this.  It was one of the first blogs I posted.  Also I have never pushed that reblog button and my Y chromosome will only let me ignore a button for so long.

Simon C. Holland

Sweet

Waking up before the alarm 

I am not talking about 10 minutes before the alarm goes off, everyone hates that.  That is like being robbed of your last ten minutes of sleep which are usually the best.  It is that part of the dream where you find the pot of gold or save the day and the distressed damsel.  What is totally sweet is when you wake up feeling like you have slept all night and it is time to start the day and you look at the clock and it is 2:42.  SWEET!!  That is almost like getting two nights sleep for the price of one.  Inevitably you will wake up late from your “second night” and not feel near as refreshed as you did at 2:42 but that is a small price to pay for that moment when you flip to the cool side of the pillow…

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Twelve Dollar Popcorn

Sweet

Checking the Rule Book 

OK dad, you can’t step on the floor because it is lava but it is OK to step on the rug because it is magic and you can throw pillows on the ground and walk on them.  Also, you are the trapper…..wait, no.  I am the trapper and you are the tickler but you can’t tickle me if I have you trapped.  Ok, so I will hide this plastic Easter egg and you close your eyes and count to 1 million.  Then you have to find the egg but keep your eyes closed and I will tell you if you are hot or cold.  AND NO LEG TICKLING!  Also, you can’t tickle my armpits.  Only my tummy and I get to keep this pillow shield in front of me.  Wait hold on (runs to room and returns with crayons and paper)  first though, we need to make our badges.

If you are a parent this might sound familiar.  If you aren’t, think back really hard and you might remember playing this type of game when you were little.  I smiled last night as my oldest daughter took the rule making to the next level and almost got downright bossy about it.  I remembered being a kid expertly stacking smiles on top of joy on top of anticipation as I prepared for my next adventure.  Planning, setup, and rule making / explaining, often holding more fun than the game itself.

Floors made of lava and alligators are totally sweet.

Weak

Thanks for the Effort Dad 

image via pinterest

I can’t seem to turn around these days without hearing the latest feats of some crazed over-achieving supermom talking about carpool and soccer practice and the seven layer rainbow cupcakes they made last night for their kid’s entire school.  You know the ones, can’t have a 2 minute conversation without mentioning Pinterest and the 1001 things they can’t wait to do with mason jars.  I suspect that we are subjected to each detail of their crafting triumphs but always spared the detail of their failed attempts.

While I may not have a 12 course gourmet meal bubbling away in a crock pot at home, dads are out there trying to make an effort too.  Sometimes, we don’t always get it right the first time, but unlike our pinterest mom counterparts, we aren’t afraid to share the story of the not quite perfect moment.

A couple of weeks ago in an effort to create some dad magic of my own.  I bought my daughter a banana split.  To go.  I imagine there are moms that just read that and shuddered.  You should have seen my wife’s face as we walked back to the car where she and our napping little one waited.  Look, it came in a plastic thing and you should have seen my daughter light up when I said yes to her request.  Sometimes I am so blinded by the glory of the moment I fail to consider the details.  Halfway home the treat had been passed to mom and my daughter was complaining about how sticky she was.  By the time we got home there was a river of ice cream in my wife’s lap and every time the car turned it seemed like another levee broke and the mess amplified.  There were a couple of tears, a yell or two, finally some laughter and embarrassment.  In fact, upon arriving home, there was such a mess that clothes were removed in the garage and the once glorious treat that had been reduced to a sticky mess machine was tossed in the trash.  Seats were wiped down and chins and elbows cleaned off and then we had a Popsicle from the freezer.  Finally a recipe that didn’t come from Pinterest, too bad it turned out to be a recipe for disaster.

I am not saying that all of my efforts turn out this poorly.  I consider myself a bit of a veteran dad now and I don’t even wince at the twelve dollar popcorn they sell at the circus.  But man is it fun seeing new dads swallow that reality for the first time.  I know I probably should have made the banana split at home with all organic ingredients and served them up in re-purposed mason jars but I am pretty OK with how it turned out and not even afraid to share the story.

So  remember all you dads out there, sometimes the glory is worth getting blinded for and we appreciate the effort.  Also, here is a little free tip.  If you ever decide to surprise your kids and tell them you are taking them to Disney on Ice, you better get that “on ice” part out pretty quick.  That was totally weak.

(Note: After writing this and looking around the web for pictures, Pinterest had banana splits in mason jars, so much for it being a joke.  Unreal)


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