Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Femur = Female?!

The kids and I took the dog to the vet yesterday. I have no idea why I booked the appointment when the kids would be home from school. It certainly made the visit more chaotic when I was joined by “He’s touching me” “He’s tickling me” and “She’s talking too loud.”

As soon as “He’s touching me” and “She’s talking too loud” – that would be the boys – got into the examination room, they immediately spotted a diagram showing the anatomy of a male and female cat.

“How can you tell the boy from the girl?” Chris immediately asked his brother. (Because Drew is one minute older, he’s apparently the expert on such things.)

Drew started giggling as soon as he spotted the labels on the diagram. Apparently seeing the “P” word at the vet’s office is the height of humor for a ten-year-old boy. Lauren, on the other hand, was playing with the dog and asking me in a horrified voice, “Do you think people can hear them?”

Probably so, but I’d forgotten to pack the muzzles.

Drew proudly pointed to the “P” word so his brother could share in the hilarity. “See, Chris. The boy cat has a boy part. And the girl has a…um…”

Drew stared at the girl picture searching for the right part. I’ve always used the anatomically correct word for these things and since we have a girl in the household, I knew he’d heard the “V” word before. So imagine my surprise when he pointed to the picture and proudly told his brother, “And the girl cat has a femur.”

Kind of sounds female, doesn’t it?

“Actually, the boy has a femur too. It’s a bone,” I pointed out while Lauren rolled her eyes and asked, “Is the vet EVER gonna come in and look at the dog? And by the way, was it really necessary for me to have TWO brothers and not even one sister? Kind of seems unfair, doesn’t it?”

Then the boys saw the real girl parts on the diagram and started a long discussion about the uterus and how glad they were they didn’t have one of those. Which is what they were talking about (loudly I might add) when the vet came in.

“How’s the dog doing?” The vet asked.

Like he was getting off that easy.

“Fine.” Drew pointed to the wall. “Do you realize you have a picture of a cat’s boy part on your wall?”

Which is why I now need a new vet.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Either Santa came or someone snuck in and upended a trash truck in the middle of our living room.

Wii fishing - so much better than the real thing.  No worms to dig, no getting wet standing outside in the rain, no smelly fish to clean.

Wii football - so much better than the real thing.  No 300 pound linebacker knocking you to the ground, no mud splatters on your uniform, no noisy cheerleaders distracting you from the game.

I can stare down a dog ten times my size, but those singing penguins are just pure evil.  Make them go away.

A fashion designer is born.

Grandpa and the boys.

Chris and Grandma.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Going Green

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Consider this your Christmas card since I didn’t get any sent out. It’s not because I’m too lazy - even though it IS a lot of work. First you have to buy the cards. Then you have to write the braggy Christmas letter lying about all the wonderful things your kids have done in the last year.

In 2009, Chris finally mastered the art of armpit farting while Drew learned every joke ever thought up concerning bodily functions. Lauren learned to sneer and look bored every time we asked her to do a household chore. She’s only eight, but already she’s acting like a teenager. See how advanced and wonderful my children are?

Then you have to take the Christmas picture while yelling cheerful holiday slogans to your children to coax just the right smiles.

“Chris stop giving Lauren horns.”

“I don’t care if they’re reindeer antlers and not horns, we’re still not using that for our Christmas picture.”

“Drew, stop yelling Fa La La La in your brother’s ears.”

“I know it’s from a Christmas song but hearing it at THAT decibel is not making anyone feel festive.”

After ten hours of photo-shopping, you finally get a good picture to send out. And you’re still not done with the holiday card. You have to address them and stamp them. And don’t get me started on the paper cuts and yecky gummy taste from sealing all those cards.

But that’s not why I failed to get the Christmas cards out in the mail. Nope, that’s not it at all. It’s because I care about the toll on the environment from all the paper that went into making the cards and the fossil fuels used in delivering them.

I’m going green. Yeah, that’s it.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Tradition Continues

I just made about 150 cookies with my kids, my three nephews and a niece.

Making Christmas cookies with the kids is a joy my husband just doesn’t understand. Maybe because when he first walked into the kitchen in the middle of us cutting out the dough, the kids were fighting over the cutter shaped like the letter “E.” Thanks to a recent gift exchange, I now have almost 200 cookie cutters of all shapes and sizes. And everyone wanted the E?! Not the cute snowman. Not the jolly Santa. Not even the gingerbread man. The E??!!

I taught the kids a lesson in sharing as Bob left for a while. When he came back two hours later, we’d moved on to icing the cookies. There was icing scattered on the table, on the kids’ shirts, on the ceiling. Well, you get the picture.

“Let me know when you’re done,” he said as he walked out of the kitchen and waited in the living room until the mess was gone. When he tasted the finished product, I think he finally figured out the joy in the Christmas cookie process.

Making Christmas cookies has been special to me for a long time for a different reason. This was a Christmas tradition I shared with my grandma. Even when I left for college, she’d wait until I got back home so we could do this together. We’d laugh at our misshapen Santas (there were a lot of them), which had to be eaten hot out of the oven because they weren’t fit to be put out for Christmas. We’d smear the “wrong” color icing on the Christmas trees so those would have to be eaten too. Grandma would tell me of Christmas from years gone by and I’d tell her about what was going on in my life.

I no longer have my Grandma to make cookies with me. But I have her cookie cutters and I have fourteen hands helping to cut out misshapen Santas and to smear pink icing on trees. And it’s good.

Making Christmas Cookies

I’ve done the impossible. I’ve finally cured myself of my uncontrollable urge for all things sugar. How you ask?

My mom and I just finished making about 150 Christmas cookies with my kids, my three nephews and my niece. That’s a total of seven kids or if you’re using kitchen math – seventy fingers flinging around flour and cookie dough.

Here was the finished product:

Now here’s what the table looked like fifteen minutes later after the kids and I finished feasting.

Just kidding. There’s still a nibble or two left for Santa if he doesn’t mind crumbs. And if we need to, we’ll make another batch. Here's the recipe if you're interested:

Stick of Butter (melted)
One egg
One Cake mix (any flavor)

Combine all ingredients.  Chill for two or more hours.  Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes or until done.

Two cups powdered sugar
3 t. meringue powder
Enough water to make a glaze.