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November 2007
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December 2007

The Best and Worst

The holidays have that way of bringing out the best and worst in us, and that is definitely amplified in our children. I have yet to stand in line waiting for Santa and not see at least one child having a complete melt down. Christmas dinner is inevitably interrupted by one child reaching their breaking point. The presents, the parties, the cookies and candy, staying up late, getting up early, the expected and comfortable schedule gone until the new year - it can be recipe for disaster. My boys, like so many other kids, having been showing their best and worst colors.

The Angels
1. Trouble said to me the other day, "Christmas is tomorrow and Santa's going to bring me presents. But you know mom, Christmas isn't just about presents. It's about giving."

2. LT knew just which presents were for his friend Dominique and smiled ear to ear while he gave them to her.

3. According to Mooma, the boys were angels at church. I'm dubious. I don't think she's a reliable source. Or maybe she drugged them first.

The Demon Spawn
1. Auntie brought the boys one present to open on Christmas Eve, they each got a DVD. LT took the present, looked at it and said,"It's too small," and threw it on the floor and walked away.

2. LT reached critical mass at about 3:30 right after we sat down for dinner. Auntie carried him upstairs kicking and screaming where he promptly fell asleep on the floor at the top of the stairs.

3. Trouble threw a fit when told his Spider Man PJ's were in the wash and he'd have to wear something else. He went upstairs to his room and proceeded wailing, "Nobody loves me!"

4. Yesterday, someone scratched the coffee table and poured water all over Trouble's bed.

How much longer until school starts? I've had about all the vacation and holiday I can take.

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Whooping It Up at Mirabar

MirabarThis month has been full of dinners, parties and good times and our night at Mirabar was a blast. No better place to dress risque than the gay bar. The musician we went to see was very good and the dance club down stairs was wild. I've never see so many shirtless men. And the pre-pubescent waiters in underwear, well that would take a little getting used to. I can't remember the last time we went clubbing and didn't get home until three in the morning. We were way overdue.

While my four inch heels aren't terribly uncomfortable for four inch heels, I'm not sure I'll wear them dancing again. I'd had them on about eight hours by the end of the night and my arches were cramping. I'm not so sure I want to sacrifice time on the dance floor in the name of fashion again. Back in our clubbing days, I always wore jeans and Sketchers out. I was pretty smart back then. But Sketchers really wouldn't have gone with my outfit.

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Dirty Little . . . um perhaps we won't go that far

Before you read this, you may want to ask yourself - How well do you want to know me?

I am a victim of my hormones today. It happens every month around this time, when I ovulate. I see red. I can't concentrate on anything and all I can think about is sex. I dream about sex, obsess about it, fight to keep myself from looking at porn on the internet at work. I can feel desire in every pore of my body. Every nerve ending is on fire. It is all I can do to keep control of myself during the day. To wait until I can get home to my husband, to wait until the kids are finally asleep. Sometimes I can't wait until they're asleep, and just distract them with a movie with the volume turned high. Of course, tonight I have to take a final in this state. That should be fun. Forcing the ongoing video of all the places, times, ways I've had sex over the years out of my head so I can focus on programming techniques and logic. I am not in a logical place right now. Sometimes I wish there were a pill I could take to temporarily abate my hormone driven state. Funny, really. All the poor souls out there taking viagra, hormones, looking for ways to stimulate their slackened libido and here I am wishing for a way, just for a few hours, to squelch mine.

Not that a libido on over-drive can't be alot of fun. I just wish I had more control over when it happened. Like say, a weekend when the kids are at their grandparents. Not today, when I'm at work, on a day when I have a final to take. Today, is not the day for my sexually heightened state. Today, the incessant throbbing is torture. Today, I feel like someone slipped me a hit of E without warning and then told me to go to work and pretend like it didn't happen. Not that I've ever taken E, but at least that's what I hear it's supposed to do, right?

Now, don't go getting the idea that I walk around like this all the time, that I'm always ready for sex at the drop of a hat. Nope, that's not the way it works. At least not for me. Some days I'm way too tired, stressed or busy to think about or want sex. Some days I'm searching for that inner-harlot that went on vacation right when I needed her most. Damn, her.

But today, this is not my problem. Today, through my hormone-glazed vision, every person I see, I see in sexual terms. Today, my body is constantly trembling on the verge of orgasm. Today, my panties are wet, my nipples hard, my pulse is racing and there isn't much I can do about it for the next eight hours or more. Today, it's a good thing men can't look at me and see the truth, smell the desire on me, because the will power is seriously low and I'm an honest and monogamous woman. Today, seems like it's going to last an eternity.

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A Little Bit of Heaven

Here it is. My much sought after Enchilada recipe. I just had to type it out for my mother, so I figured I'd be benevolent and share it with you all. 'Tis the season and all that.

This recipe is the artistry of Blackstone's oldest buddy, and has become a family favorite. I warn you though, be careful who you serve these to. They will immediately become addicted and will do anything to get you to make them. Use your power wisely.

Chicken Enchiladas

5-7 lbs chicken breast, cooked and shredded

15 oz. can chicken broth

½ cup water

1 onion

3 jalapeños

2 – 16 oz. Bags shredded Mexican cheese

2 pints low fat sour cream

1 ½  cups flour

1 can sliced olives

1-2 tomatoes seeded and diced

24 large tortillas (or thereabouts)

olive oil

Seed and dice jalapeños. I recommend rubber gloves and dicing the peppers before the onions. You get the pepper juice near your eyes or in your cuticles, you’ll be hurting.

Let jalapeños simmer in chicken broth and water for 30-45 minutes.

Dice onions and brown in olive oil. Add sour cream and flour, stirring frequently. Add chicken broth and jalapeños to sour cream mixture and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in one bag of cheese. Take one cup of the sauce and put aside to top tortillas. Stir chicken into the remainder of the sauce.

Place several spoonfuls of the mixture in tortillas and fold. Top with some reserved sauce. Place tortillas on a baking sheet and cook for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from oven and top with diced tomato, olives and cheese. Bake another 5-10 minutes.

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Snow, Snow and More Snow

Well, you may have heard NE's been getting clobbered by snow, along with other regions of the country. The storm on Thursday was real doozie. I've lived in southern NE my entire life and I've never seen a storm hit this fast and this bad before.  We knew we were forecasted for snow. Big deal. This is RI. We get snow. Most of us even like some snow. Any forecasts for less than six inches don't even cause my eyebrow to raise. I don't start making a run on the bread and milk aisle unless we're getting over a foot, and then only if we're out of  bread and milk. So when they forecasted six-nine inches starting at two o'clock, we paid attention. The schools had already planned to dismiss an hour early. I planned to leave work as soon as the storm started. Now, in the morning, they did start moving the start time to noon-ish. The reality was that the storm started at eleven in the morning, and like they had predicted, it hit hard and fast. I left work by eleven-thirty and hit back-up from an accident ten minutes in. There was barely any snow on the roads yet and already the accidents had started. My normally thirty minute commute took over two hours. And to make matters worse, all the coffee and water I drank that morning started to hit  my bladder thirty minutes in. After an hour and a half, I had to pull over to the side of the road and pee in cup. Don't be horrified. I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

I considered going to pick Trouble up at school so he wouldn't have to take the bus, but at one when he was supposed to get dismissed, I was still stuck in traffic. I got home in time to go stand and wait at the street corner for the bus. I considered taking the car, but didn't want to be in the way of the plows or risk getting hit or stuck. So I bundled up in my snow pants, Sorel boots and all and headed for the corner. I stood out there for over an hour waiting for him. I was so relieved (AND FROZEN!) when he got home. I figured he'd been stuck on the bus for two hours, but really he'd been stuck at the school. The buses couldn't get back from the high school run. I felt so bad for other parents. Kids in Providence were still stuck on buses at eight-thirty that night. They had to send out police to unload them from the buses and bring them home. What a horror show. That should have been done hours earlier.

I've never seen anything like it. When the roads jammed at eleven-thirty, just as the snow started, they couldn't get the roads plowed. It just got worse and worse. Cars ran out of gas on the highways. The buses with the kids coming home from school, people trying to get home from work. I hear this is how the blizzard of '78 was, but I was too little to remember that. Of course the snow went on for days then, and this time it was over by nine at night and we only got about nine inches.

Blackstone hunkered down at his parents, since he was working up that way. I put the kids to bed and went out and started shoveling at about nine-thirty. He got home around ten-thirty to help. Our neighbor was shoveling too and we drank rum and cokes while we shoveled. LT wouldn't go to sleep and ended up out with us playing in the snow. It was that real serene quiet you get after a storm. So white and peaceful, when somehow it doesn't feel quite as cold as it actually is.

Then we got more snow yesterday. I can't remember when we had this much snow in December. It's been years. We've been busy shoveling out, sending out the Christmas cards, entertaining, babysitting and partying. I have my finals this week. I've already ordered the roast for Christmas dinner and I have so much to do this week it makes me want to hurl. We're already going to have a White Christmas, so I'm just hoping we're done with the snow for now. It can snow next week, after Christmas. In fact, next week would be perfect. So, I'm putting in a request. My Christmas Wish. No more snow this week, please. I just can't handle it right now.

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Dinner Party or Social Torture

Two holiday parties down. The decorating is done and the wrapping is started. The newly re-ordered Christmas cards should be arriving in the next day or two. The impetigo is being treated. The house has been cleaned and the source of the fruit flies located and destroyed. One project and two finals left in the semester. Yes, I can almost breathe again.

Our first grown-up party of the year left me with a bad taste in my mouth. We had the unfortunate luck of being seated across from the two most boring people on the planet. Now, I'm not Suzy Sunshine when it comes to making conversation with people I don't know, but I can make an effort at these company parties. Blackstone on the other hand, can talk to complete strangers like they're his new best friends. Even he couldn't set off a spark of life in these two. The couple, the Goomba and his wife, could have been attending a funeral according to their bored, depressed stares. The Goomba is in construction and seemed incapable of forming a sentence that did not include "excavator", "bulldozer", or "snow mobile." His wife spoke even less. When you attempted to converse with her, she would respond with a pleasant, vacuous smile. Good heavens, this isn't a dinner party. Someone dumped me in the middle of a bad movie and ran off with the script. I would have preferred to stay home and settle in with a DVD and a glass of wine. Seriously, I did my hair and put on nylons for this? Too bad, really. In the past this company's parties have been a good time, complete with rowdy people dancing on bars. Hopefully, it was just an off-year. And on the bright side, the party this Friday just has to be better. It couldn't be worse. Well, not unless someone died or something.

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Impending Joy

Ten Things I Hate About Christmas

1. Commercialism. I hate that the stores are now decorated for Christmas and advertising Christmas wares before Thanksgiving.

2. Shopping. I'm not that big on shopping to begin with, and it becomes a chore come the holidays. I hate fighting the crowds and whatever I buy seems to be on sale somewhere the following week. The internet is fabulous, but generally only when you know what you want and it will ship easily.

3. Decorating. Is decking the tree ever NOT a pain in the neck? The Light Keeper Pro was an enormous help this year when the tree didn't light all the way. Of course, my boss tells me its probably a fire hazard. I'll let you know if my tree burns my house to the ground. If I ever just put the tree together, plugged it in and it lit completely, I'd die of a heart attack on the spot.

4. Obtaining babysitters. All the holiday parties and festivities require a babysitter at least one night every weekend in December. My family helps, but damn that can get expensive.

5. Chrismas Cards. I send more cards to people I don't even know. Mostly, my husband's family that's all over the country. It costs a fortune and takes forever. Not to mention, mine already arrived defective and I'm waiting to hear back from the company.

6. Food. There is just too much food in December. I love to eat and that's the problem.

7. Cooking. I don't like to cook. I'm not bad at it, but I don't enjoy it and finding the time to do it requires strategic planning during any month. During the holidays, cooking becomes an Olympic event.

8. School. How the hell am I going to manage to finish the two courses I'm taking, work, take care of my kids, and do all the afore mentioned shopping, card sending, parties and cooking? By not sleeping and losing my mind, that's how.

9. Toys. There are too many toys at Christmas. I need to start sorting through the old toys and disposing of them covertly, so my kids don't throw fits. Otherwise, we won't have room for the new toys. I make an effort to convince Santa not to buy too many, because the grandparents already have that covered. But if Santa didn't buy any toys, well I'm sure I'd have two very unhappy kids on my hands.

10. Sniveling Noses. I think I'm fighting off my second sinus infection and so is Blackstone. And I could basically permanently attach tissues to my kids' faces. LT's finger seems to have taken permanent residence in his nose.

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Ten Things I Love About Christmas

1. Getting Presents.

2. Watching my kids open presents.

3. Looking at the pretty lights.

4. Going to the holiday parties.

5. Opening Christmas Cards.

6. Eating way too much.

7. Having people over and not having to cart the kids around to various relatives.

8. Uh, I got nothing.

9. Kids busy playing with their new toys.

10. Again, nothing.

Yeah, me and Christmas, we have issues.

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