Archive | March, 2012

Where did my “Give a Fuck” go?

31 Mar

Fuck. My brain hurts from all this homework.

I’m finishing up my Master’s degree in Administration. Literally, finishing up. I graduate in six weeks, and you bet your ass I’m counting down every second, every class session, every assignment until the end.

Why the fuck am I doing this? I don’t even want to be an administrator one day! That job sucks. How did I get here?

A few years ago, my dear friend and mentor, Super Teacher, encouraged me to apply for a Master’s program. At the time, I was a fledgling first-year teacher. I had no kids. I rented a home, didn’t own. I really had nothing else going on in my life aside from my easy, carefree marriage. I thought, “Why the hell not? I can do this. I’ll sure as fuck take the pay raise!” I researched different graduate programs, and determined that a) I’d make a kick-ass administrator, as I’m a Take-No-Shit kind of gal, and b)  the Administration degree looked easiest; it has a final portfolio in lieu of a Master’s Thesis. So I applied for the program (even though the requirements stipulated that I had to be IN my third year of teaching), and I was accepted.

I charged ahead. I took a heavier-than-average load. I rocked straight A’s for the first time in my life. I was kicking grad school’s ass and making it my bitch.

And then I got pregnant.

We weren’t deliberately trying to have a baby, but it happened none-the-less. My trimesters and semesters aligned a little too perfectly. My first trimester, which was a fall semester, I was useless. I was tired and cranky and über hormonal. Staying awake through evening classes after teaching a full day was nearly impossible. I received my first A- that semester; bye bye, 4.0 GPA!

My second and third trimesters were during the following Spring. I was large, I was hungry, and I was still a cranky bitch. I was finding it impossible to schedule my ever-increasing OB appointments around work and school. My blood pressure was skyrocketing from the stresses of teaching and being a grad student. And let’s be honest: even as a pregnant mother, my priorities were shifting. My “Give a Fuck” was almost nil. I earned my first “B” that semester. Bye bye, Magna Cum Laude.

After the baby was born, I took the summer semester off to be with her and recuperate. Once the next fall arrived, I was back in the swing of things: teacher by day, student by night, and Mommy whenever the hell I found a spare moment. With my “Give a Fuck” completely gone, I wondered why the hell I was still working toward my Master’s. I definitely didn’t want to be an administrator now. I barely even wanted to work. I just wanted to stay at home with my Pterodactyl and be a full-time Mommy.

Then Daisy reminded me of something: I had spent an ass-load of money on tuition and books, not to mention thousands of hours studying and in class. I had dedicated too much of my life to this program to back out now. I looked objectively at what I had accomplished and what I had left to do. I was one semester away from graduating. I decided right then, come Hell or high water, that I was going to finish this fucking degree and graduate.

So here we are. I’m six weeks away from graduation. My internship is almost over. I have two classes left to attend. There are about 5 or 6 assignments, collectively, left to submit. My cap, gown, and hood have been ordered. Shit, I even got to order an honors medallion, something that undergraduate Violet only dreamed of. (That’s right, Friends: I’m graduating Summa Cum Laude!) I’m writing this post as a way to procrastinate from doing some research for a paper I’m writing, and guess what? I don’t Give a Fuck. What I’d rather be doing is visiting the local pool with my little one, taking her swimming in the infant pool, which is only 6 inches deep. THAT’S how I want to spend my Saturday; not cooped up in front of my computer, but experiencing life with my kid. Every instinct in me is telling me to close the laptop and play with Pterodactyl, but then I have Daisy’s nagging voice in my head: “You’re so close! Buck up and finish, already!”

Thank you, Daisy, for keeping my lazy ass on track.

Thank you, Super Teacher, for inspiring me to start my Master’s degree in the first place.

And fuck you both for not letting me quit.

Celebrity Parents

30 Mar

Celebrity culture has always been somewhat of a twatwaffle to me. I don’t get into the drama; I don’t understand the hysteria. I don’t follow Perez Hilton’s blog. For all intents and purposes, I think celebrities are a bunch of middle class morons who happened to fall upon fame and wealth because they were either a) favored with big tits or b) can make themselves cry on cue. (Daisy and I are blessed with both of these attributes. Where are our millions?) At some point in their journey from mediocrity to internationally irrelevant, someone issued them all (collectively) a license for weirdness.

I didn’t used to mind the weirdness. Tom Cruise wants to put his money in a tax shelter and call it religion? Fine. Follow that up with a critique of psychology as a legitimate medicine practice? He’s an asshole, but I didn’t give him enough credit to care. Fergie wants to pee-pee in her pants without a Huggies, then shower in champagne to cover it up? Have fun! But then these weird-ass movie stars decided to tell the world how to parent. That’s when I became annoyed.

First, we had Mayim Bialik telling us that we need to breastfeed our kids until they’re five. (Anyone else think of the movie Grown Ups when you hear that?!)  January Jones, of Mad Men fame, wants you to eat your own placenta after you deliver your afterbirth. (And I know that in some less civilized cultures, that’s acceptable, but I’m a middle class American. We don’t cannibalize our extraneous organs.) Now, Alicia Silverstone wants us to feed our children like we’re pigeons by chewing our food and spitting it into the waiting infant’s mouth. Oh, hell no.

Here’s my problem: for one, parenting is a completely individualistic practice. No two mothers are alike, and no two children are alike. Prescribing any parenting practice is risky business (haha, Tom Cruise joke!) because methods that worked in one family may fail in another, and who will the failing family blame? The person who offered the advice in the first place. Not a wise idea if your income is based on your likability. My other problem with this celeb-mommy-culture is that too many people put these assholes on a pedestal. For these people, anything a favorite celebrity spews from her mouth is scripture. Cameron Diaz wants me to exfoliate with llama fetus eyeballs? Sounds great! Jack Black suggests I huff Dorito Cheese dust to make my hair grow longer? Yum! So when the Hollywood-types tell you that you should cover your kid in olive juice every day to prevent AIDS, some ignorant imbecile will take that to heart and buy a Costco-sized jar of olives.

Weirdo celebrity parents: keep your strange-as-shit thoughts to yourself. If you want to name your kid Pilot Inspektor or Jermajesty, be my fucking guest. No skin off my back. But to promote your strange (and possibly harmful) parenting tactics to your unassuming, impressionable fan base is wrong. You’re fucking with a child’s well-being when you tell his parent to eat a lock of his hair every year on his birthday, or whatever unusual shit you do with your children. Just like with politics, Hollywood Freaks, keep your nose out of shit you don’t understand, and stick to acting/singing/slutting.

Don’t judge me.

29 Mar

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Please?

-Daisy

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Fun with Texting: 03/29/2012

29 Mar

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It Tastes the Same

29 Mar

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(if you close your eyes.)

A picture isn’t worth a thousand words. Sometimes.

29 Mar

Before Violet and I began this blog, we spent many hours discussing it and what it would consist of. We discussed having a cute “getting to know us” page, (About Daisy & Violet) as well as a “Mission Statement“. We thought those would be fun ways for ourselves to set the tone for our blog before we even wrote a post.

We also discussed privacy. We decided to not use our real names, or our spouse’s names, or our children’s names. We gleefully discussed our blog pseudonyms, which are our nicknames from high school, and concocted names for our family. Along with our name discussions, we discussed the issue of photographs of our children.

I read many, many mommy blogs. I enjoy seeing how other families work, and how other mom’s balance life. I read a pretty nice variety of blogs, from Super-Christian Mommy bloggers, to Gay Dad’s and their adventures. What can I say? I enjoy reading and learning about different people. One common denominator in all of these blogs is the pictures. Pictures of their children doing silly things. Pictures of family excursions and vacations.

Now look at our blog. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Yeah, no pictures of ourselves and families. Text messages and occasional random shit that we see, but no precious snapshots.

Why?

We decided that we wanted a sense of anonymity. Not so much for ourselves, but for our children. We think that our children are quite possibly the cutest in the world. We would love to heavily season our blog with photos of our collective brood, but alas, the internet is a fucking scary place. People search for (and find) all kinds of crazy shit. Personally, I don’t want an innocent photo of my kids turning into something naughty, and I can say with certainty that Violet doesn’t either. I’m not looking down upon anyone who posts photos of their children on their blog. I love looking at other people’s photos. Kids are cute. They do cute shit.

Perhaps I’m just a crazy lady, and I shouldn’t over think things, but “not-nice” things have happened. I’ve read that a blogger posted photos of her infant that passed away, and it was discovered that someone stole those photos and used them in.. less than admirable ways. There is a very popular mommy blogger that often posts photos of her children in various states of undress and occasionally some questionable positions and tags them with “pedophilic key words”. That is just asking for trouble. Why do that to your children? (Granted, this mommy blogger is “two pieces of bread short of a sandwich”, and I enjoy reading her “naysayer” blog more than hers. Anyone wanna guess who I’m talking about?)

Maybe we’ll post a picture of ourselves, with a little facial blurring. We did it on twitter.

Maybe one day we’ll post a photo of our kids. Maybe we won’t.

What WILL we do? Continue writing and sharing funny photos of other stuff, and hopefully, you’ll continue reading and commenting.

Do you think I’m crazy? What are your views?

 

-Daisy

Cloth Diapering by Guest-Blogger Frenchie

29 Mar
I’m Frenchie, guest blogger for Daisy and Violet, most likely chosen because I’m a bit opinionated, sarcastic and cynical. I’ve been married for 6 years to a great guy (we’ll call him Gamer Boy) and we now have a little ankle biter of our very own who we’ve dubbed Raptor Baby. We waited a while to jump into the family end of the swimming pool, and honestly if I had the choice we’d have had a baby long ago, but as we all know, sometimes men are a little slow to jump on the baby train, or at least Gamer Boy was. Now that we’ve had one, Gamer Boy is wondering why we didn’t sooner. *face palm*
So I’ve been thinking ever since Violet asked me to guest blog about when I turned into a crunchy, granola, tree-hugging mom. You’d never know it by looking at me – I dress professionally daily, like great shoes and purses, not much of an outdoorsy type at all. I’ve never particularly been the Berkeley type – never once have I owned a pair of Birkenstocks, have not shaved or gotten waxed (there is a place for hair, but IMO not on the female body – but that’s my own weirdness)  protested about anything, or truly been politically active beyond voting in general elections. I don’t even know that I would have considered myself crunchy/granola until she actually pointed it out, maybe I was only slightly west of crunchy by my own admission at the time. To tell the truth, it’s been driving me nuts ever since she told me because I’m obsessive like that. I went through all the typical phases: Shock and denial (What? ! I’m not fucking crunchy!), Anger (Who are you fucking calling crunchy?) then Reflection (Am I crunchy? Holy shit!) , then Acceptance (Yeah, that’s right I’m fucking crunchy. Damn it). However, I think I’ve finally come to terms with it – kind of like in high school when, if you were a nerd (which I was), and you realize your place on the social hierarchy of popularity and you try to fight it, doing everything you can to be more popular to just finally embrace the nerd within and realize all the popular kids are douches anyway. I’ve decided to embrace the crunchy for my own sake, because I just don’t have the will to fight it, and in the end it’s not so bad.
So what makes me crunchy? Well, a variety of things really – we grow our own veggies when we can, I’m a Bradley mom (we’ll that one for another post if I’m invited back), I’m still breast feeding my kidlet and she’s almost 11 months old,  but I guess my choice of cloth diapering and making my own wipes is what pushed Violet over the edge. Yeah, that’s right – judge me – I cloth diaper and it’s 2012. Am I doing it because I’m some tree-hugging environmentalist not wanting to leave my kid’s carbon footprint and turd filled diapers in landfills? No, I’m honestly not that altruistic. It was more the fact that I didn’t want to put all kinds of chemicals I can’t pronounce on my kid’s butt and I wanted to save some money.
What brought this on? I think when I was pregnant (or as Gamer Boy would say – pregnant and nuts) I was trying to figure out ways that I could stay home longer with Raptor Baby, because, unfortunately I’m not a stay at home mom, but I wish that I was. Much like Violet, I torture teenagers on a daily basis and get paid for it – I do love what I do, but I digress…where was I? Ah yes, cloth diapers. So I’m only slightly granola in the fact that I do in fact pay for a diaper service – I don’t wash shit-filled diapers myself – though I was open to the idea until I started dealing with the day to day reality of 3-4 poops , dodged that bullet didn’t I? Anyhow, how did we as parents get to this place? The discussion with Gamer Boy originally went something like this:
Frenchie: (reading Baby Bargains) Hey, do you even realize the amount of money we could save if we used cloth diapers and wipes?
Gamer Boy: (playing a video game) No, how much?
Frenchie: A lot, especially if we buy them and wash them ourselves. The wipes alone would save us a night or two out minimum.
Gamer Boy: (Actually stops playing game for a moment) Wait a second, you want to put shitty diapers in our washing machine? I’m not washing shit in our washing machine, our clothes go in there! I don’t even want to touch shitty diapers anyhow, much less wash them. Are you out of your damn mind?
Frenchie: You don’t even do the laundry, how do you get a vote as to what goes in the machine?
Gamer Boy: I am going to be changing diapers and I don’t want turd stains on my work pants or shirts.
Frenchie: You are? Oh that’s good, if not I was going to put them in your lunch or leave them under your pillow. It’s good that you’ve decided to participate – for your sake. How about a diaper service instead?
Gamer Boy: (Back at game again) Is it expensive?
Frenchie: No more than disposables every month.
Gamer Boy: (Playing game) Sure, if you want.
Frenchie: What about the wipes?
Gamer Boy: That’s all you, babe.
So, in the end I ended up getting what I had originally asked for without having to wash poop-filled diapers myself. Kind of a win-win if you ask me. Am I glad that it’s better for the environment? Yes, actually I am. To be honest, the wipes quite honestly don’t take that much time out of my day and I know what is being put on my kid’s skin. I’ve also realized that I’m kind of lucky because I’ve not experienced the poop blow outs that some of my other mom friends have experienced with disposables. As a matter of fact, the only time my kid has ever exploded into an outfit is when she’s been wearing disposables. (We do keep a small amount for emergencies). Have people thought we are nuts for doing it? Probably, but I’m a bit of a bitch – and usually ignore what people say when they are criticizing me anyhow. There’s not much of a learning curve once you figure it out. We had some fun at the start, but now it’s gravy. So cloth diapering, is it easy? Totally. Especially when someone else is washing the poop out.

Pardon our dust..

28 Mar

 

As you may have noticed, we’ve been messing around with a few layouts/designs to make things a bit more “homey” around here. We have also added a tab up top for

 

“A Half-Baked Pear”

 

Which is our chance to share some tasty and easy recipes with you. These posts will show in the regular old blog homepage, but if you’d like to go directly to the recipe posts, feel free to give

 

“A Half-Baked Pear”

 

a little click.

 

As always, thanks for reading and commenting!

 

-Daisy

Crescent Roll Thingies

27 Mar

We’re not only splendiferous Mommies; we’re tigers in the kitchen, too!

I’m usually the last person to find out cool shit. When the word is spreading about some hip, new trend, I’m at the back of the line playing Words With Friends. Imagine my surprise when I (with the help of the creatively-inclined Daisy) learned about the concept of stuffing foods into Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. Holy cow! Think about it: it’s hand-held, which kids love. It’s changeable, so you can make it dinner-ish, breakfast-ish, kid-ish, dessert-ish, whatever! And for those of you with older kids, think about how much fun it would be to actually have a meal that the kids can help prepare! I have begun to experiment with this, and I have some ideas for future nom-noms that I want to try. Have you done this before? What combinations have you rolled up?

Some Brilliant Permutations:

  • Gorgonzola cheese, deli turkey, and asparagus
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and artichoke hearts
  • Pepperoni, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese
  • Scrambled eggs, bacon, American cheese (courtesy of Daisy)
  • Chocolate chips, diced strawberries (or any fruit, really.)

Directions:

  1. Unroll your crescent rolls from the little tube.
  2. Insert your stuffing permutation of choice.
  3. Roll it up according to the package directions.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes (the more stuffing you have, the more time you will need to ensure the dough is baked all the way through.)
  5. Enjoy like a fat kid.

[insert hash drug joke here]

27 Mar

My father, The Irreverent Reptile, is a whiz in the kitchen. He treats cooking like an art form, and will labor intensively over a dish all day to ensure it’s perfect.

I had some leftover steak lying around, and I knew that it was destined to become beef hash. My daddy has an amazing corned beef hash recipe (which really applies to any meat you want to use.) When I asked for his recipe, here’s the email response I received:

“As promised, corned beef hash. Read it all the way through, first:

Make corned beef for dinner. Just get a corned beef from Publix (it comes sealed, already spiced with pickling spices, and all one has to do is cook it, in water, simmering after it has boiled (and, covered) , with the spices and the rest of the stuff (cabbage, little potatoes, carrots, all that stuff that them Irish like) till it’s really tender; and it’s not an expensive cut of beef. A three or four pound cut will cost maybe six or eight bucks at most.). It wouldn’t hurt to by a bottle of pickling spices (in the spice section) and add just a little more; but, it isn’t necessary, and not too much. Eat dinner. Unless you want to use all of the corned beef for hash, in which event: fuck the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes, and just do the meat. Go to the next step.

While at Publix, in the cold potato section (usually, somewhere around dairy and milk and that stuff: it you can’t find it, ask) get a package of something called “Simply Potatoes,” but, there are three or four varieties. For this, one wants” “Cubed (maybe, “diced’) Potatoes with Onions.” Otherwise: take three baking potatoes (unless you like more potatoes in your hash, in which event, use another, or six, or thirteen, or however many you want); cut them into ½” to 1” cubes; and parboil them for 15 or so minutes (almost, but not quite, fork tender. Not quite).

Back to the meat: when it’s cool/cold (like, the next morning or day, or in a couple of days: it’s corned and boiled. It’ll keep for a while), using either a good, heavy knife or a processor, cut it into something between rough-cut cubes and a chop. Not a puree; not hamburger; something a little thicker, bigger. Cubes (did I say that?), but no too big. And not too small (did I say that?). Way smaller than the potatoes, but not way too much smaller.

Put about six tbsps. butter (Smart Balance; ICBINB) into a large skillet for which you have something that will cover it (large plate, platter are best but not for the cooking process: for actual cooking, a lid from something else, flat snake, sleeping fat person, whatever . . .). Meanwhile (actually, before you start with the non-butter), rough-chop one big (pretty big) or two medium (medium is medium ) yellow (not red, not sweet/Vidalia) onions. Rough chop like, say, if you were going to use them in a dip or spread. Not runny, soup chopped. Rough but not-too-big chop. Onions go in, even if you’ve found the “Simply Potatoes” with onions. By the way: do not use the so-called “southwestern-style” version. Just, don’t.

When the butter has melted, bring it to medium-low heat. Onions in, for about 5 or so minutes, till they begin to soften. Then, potatoes in with the onion, stirred/tossed. Bring the heat to medium-medium high depending on how hot your stovetop is. Salt it all a little.

Cover the potato-onion combination, turning the potatoes every four to six or eight to nine minutes (to keep them from burning or getting too terribly brown but just a little browned) for about nine or ten or twelve minutes or something. Then, when they begin to brown add the meat and mix it all well. (Sometime in advance of that, probably while you’re still at the onion stage, if you like a little green or red pepper with your hash, do the same thing to one red pepper or one green pepper or something less than one of each (like, maybe, a half, or three quarters of each), after cutting them in halves and taking out the seeds and the veins or internal ribs or whatever the fuck they’re called) and mix them with the onion, so that when you’re sautéing the onion you’re also doing the peppers.)

Turn the heat up a little and cook for another three or five minutes (careful) till the bottom side is down, kinda. Then, take the big platter, cover the skillet with the serving side of the platter down, as a lid (duh!), and with pot-holders or mits or Buddy’s hands (just kidding), quickly flip it over till the food’s on the plate (the skillet would be upside down, no?); then, slide the hash (yes! By now, it’s hash!) back into the skillet, with the brown side up (I knew you’d gotten there without me). Cook over medium-high heat, un-covered, till it’s as brown on the bottom as you want (or, as brown on the bottom as it is on the top, unless it’s not very brown on the top (which used to be the bottom), in which event go back a few steps and make it a little browner).

Poach an egg or two per person. For “How to poach killer eggs, the right way,” see, “Eggs, poached, killer,” or query here and I’ll give you a response that’s as quick and as sensible as this recipe. If you dare.

Uhm – – eat, eat already.

Here are some cook’s notes:

Remember, the meat’s already cooked, so you don’t have to worry about cooking it this time.

Take what’s left over and seal it in individual-sized thingies of Saran wrap (or any other clear plastic sticky wrap you use: the brand’s not important here. It’s more a generic term by now) or sandwich-sized Zip-lock or self-sealing (see note above about brand names) bags, and freeze. It makes a great breakfast over and over again. Better still with poached eggs . . .”

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