Wednesday, April 29, 2009

back atcha

In preparation for the advent of summer (which will have to come, one of these days) I bought new sunglasses today. They are red.

I think they are cute.

When the Oldest Carrotstick saw them, she laughed at me. A lot.

I still think they are cute.
However, the Oldest Carrotstick's uncontrolled mockery, laughter, and ridicule is making me wonder about how cute I think she is.

I am posting these pictures to try to remind myself that she is, in fact, cute. And sweet. And kind to others.

I am trying to remember that it is a unwritten rule that it is a teen-ager's job to mock her mother.

It is also an unwritten rule that it is a mom's job to embarrass their teen-age daughter. I think I will wear my red sunglasses, the ridiculously ugly gold floral D.I. housecoat I bought as a joke, and possibly some pink fluffy slippers when I go to pick her up from school tomorrow. And I will make sure I go right to her classroom door, and walk all the way out to the parking lot with my arm around her shoulders, as she, dying from embarrassment, looks down at the floor hoping not to be recognized by anyone she knows.


"Just doin' my job, mom. Just doin' my job."

(And why I added a caption under that picture, I have no idea. It's starting to be a frightening trend. Please excuse me. )

Saturday, April 25, 2009

cast your vote

The Oldest Carrotstick has decided to run for next year's Student Council. 'Cause it'll look good on her college application, don'tcha know?

Because she didn't find out until yesterday if she qualified, we put off making posters for her campaign until today. (Thankfully, they were limited to a total of 3 posters.)

And since I am totally in love with the Powers of Photoshop -- and against sloppy, crooked, hand-lettered Vote For Me posters that never quite turn out as well as you hope they will (I really try not to be a control freak. Really, I do. But sometimes it's really hard.) It meant that today we were outside taking pictures of her for her campaign.



In the rain.

And then the snow.

(It's April, right?)

I kept telling her "It's ok, rainstorms never last very long in Utah."

And on and on it rained.

And then snowed.

Finally, we got all our planned shots. Then we ran home, I photoshopped, and then ran to Costco to get them printed up before they closed at 7:00. Why in the world does Costco close at 7:00 on a Saturday night? Don't they know they are supposed to stay open until 12 for all the last minute won't-shop-on-Sunday-Mormons?

Anyway. Here are her posters.

(Can I just tell you, I love the balloon one!?)
This one is supposed to be a take off of the Arby's "I'm thinking Arby's campaign" -- you know, with the little cowboy hat over their head. I know, it's a bit of a stretch. Use your imagination.

This was the last shot of the day. Her hair is totally soaked. But she had an amazingly good attitude. So unlike the time I wanted to do a photoshoot of the kids for our Christmas cards. It's all about motivation, I tell you.

I really like the balloon one. Here it is without the words.
So great!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So far, the trip is going well. The Oldest Carrotstick got a few catcalls yesterday, and today she was lucky enough to find her knight in shining armor. It was a small consolation for being drug through the Art Institute of Chicago. (Why this picture is so small, I don't know.)

We saw the original American Gothic and discovered that the lady in the painting was supposed to be the farmer's disappointed-in-love-and-life maiden daughter, not his crabby wife, like I always thought. Here's a picture of the O.C. with a giant 3-D reproduction of American Gothic standing in a plaza Downtown. If you look really close at the bottom of the farmer's pitchfork, you can see the Oldest Carrotstick hanging on it. It is huge!!!

I am posting from my cell phone and I can't figure out how to do a title. Sorry. If you care.

The Oldest Carrotstick and I are in Chicago visiting my sister Competitive Kate and her Smarty Pants Husband. Kate lives right by Lake Michigan, just up the way from the Prez's Midwest White House. The O.C. is experiencing a little bit of culture shock being here. Things are very big and very busy. However, she felt right at home shopping on the Magnificent Mile yesterday. Just give her a 2 story Forever 21 or H&M and she's back in her element.

Friday, April 10, 2009

egg salad sandwiches with a twist

The other day, our nephew Alex received his mission call. He wanted his family and friends there when he opened it. Needless to say, we were happy to oblige. All except the Oldest Carrotstick. She had "made plans with her friends" and being 13 and all, she couldn't quite get the concept that mission calls trump hanging with friends. In the end, she went with us, but not without being a pain in the end.

We joined the throng of people crammed into Alex's family room, all gathered there to support and celebrate the advent of such a life shaping event with him.

We held our breath as he opened the big white envelope and began to read. And then he came to part that said, "Nebraska Omaha Mission," and we all exhaled and smiled. His mom was especially relieved.

Eventually, people made their way back to their regularly scheduled lives -- except for our family and a group of Alex's close friends.

The Middle Carrotstick and the Youngest Carrotstick disappeared to play with Alex's little brothers, whilst PB&J and I visited with Alex's parents and grandparents in the front room. As we chatted, I kept expecting the Oldest Carrotstick to come in and pester me about leaving. I waited and waited. No Oldest Carrotstick. Figuring she was barricaded in a corner, texting, I went to find her and assess her irritation level.

Instead, I found her smack. dab. in. the. middle. of. Alex. and. his. friends. All boys. All 17 and older. And shockingly, she wasn't just there as an annoying little eavesdropping cousin. They were talking to her. And she was laughing.



All of the sudden I understood how a momma bear feels when her cub is in danger.

I was ready to:

Somehow I managed to control myself. Since then, I have come up with a devious way to deal with such issues in the future. Which brings me to todays Good Food Friday recipe, in honor of the forthcoming holiday, and the eggs I just hard boiled for said holiday.

I call this:

Hungry Boys Easter Egg Salad Sandwiches

Here's the general recipe. Warning: I'll include my special Hungry Boys Variation at the end.

4 slices bacon (about 4 ounces), cut ino 1/4-inch pieces
2 large shallots , chopped medium
6 large eggs
1/4 cup mayo
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup watercress , leaves chopped coarse
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
ground black pepper


1. In medium skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon with slotted spoon to plate lined with paper towel; pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from pan. Add shallots and sauté until softened and browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Place eggs in medium saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with 1 quart water and 1 tray of ice cubes (or equivalent). Transfer eggs to ice water bath with slotted spoon; let sit 5 minutes, peel and dice medium.

3. Mix all ingredients, including bacon and shallots, together in medium bowl, including pepper to taste. Serve. (Can be covered and refrigerated overnight.)

Hungry Hormonal Adolescent Boys Flirting With My Very Young Daughter Variation:

After mixing all the ingredients together, place bowl in warm sunny location for a day or two. Then use to make sandwiches to serve to any boys who are giving the Oldest Carrotstick a little too much attention.

JUST KIDDING!!!! I don't really mean it. Well, maybe a little. But I would never do it, because leaving eggs in a warm sunny place is a breeding ground for bacteria and that could give you (or any flirtatious teenage boy) food poisoning. DO NOT DO IT!!! IT IS DANGEROUS! And bad for you.

A good Lunch Lady would never advocate or do such a thing.

But just in case:

Dear Alex,

Keep your friends away from the Oldest Carrotstick.

Oh, and have a great mission! We are so proud of you!


Aunt Lunch Lady

Happy Easter!

Happy fresh, refrigerated Egg Salad!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Dyslexic SIgn
Originally uploaded by The Other Dan

Yesterday, a bedazzled twentysomething salesgirl was trying to help me order something for the house.

She had to write down all my important information in triplicate. I watched her write, peering over her shoulder, waiting for her to stumble over the spelling of my name. I pretty much expect everyone to mis-spell my name -- as everyone with a non-traditionally spelt name does by the time they are 400 years old, like myself. True, I could just spell it upfront, but I don't. I always wait to see if, by some chance, some freak roll of the dice, someone will get it right.

They seldom do. She was no different. There were neither flashing lights nor the electronically enhanced rapidfire ching-ching-ching-ing of nickels falling out of the slot machine, as she botched the spelling of my name and I, swallowing the "Jackpot!" waiting at the tip of my tongue, proffered the correction instead.

She moved on to the next blank on the form. "What's your phone number?" she asked, pen poised.

With the watchful eye of a bankrupt gambler, I dictated, "8 - 0 - 1 . . ." She wrote "801." So far, so good.

I continued, "4 . . ."

She wrote "7."

Slightly louder, I repeated, "Four . . ."

With a quick, slightly flustered, laugh she scribbled out the seven and wrote "4" instead.

Nodding, I continued slowly, "6 - 3, " and paused. She was keeping up. Feeling encouraged, I was ready to lay down all my cards: a straight flush.

I played my hand. "5467," I said.

She wrote: "4-5-7-6."

"Uh," I said, "It's 5-4-6-7."

"Oh! Whoops!" she exclaimed, with embarrassed smile and an apologetic shrug of her showgirl shoulders, "I must be a little anorexic when it comes to numbers!"


Saturday, April 4, 2009

This was a total experiment to see if I could post blog fodder from my phone in a different way that I have done it before. I am so excited that it worked!!! I am technologically challenged, so I am grateful for any little breakthroughs that I make.

This is a picture from the Littlest Carrotstick's birthday dinner. He chose this restaraunt solely for that number 7 pizza.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless mobile phone

Greetings from my personal manifestation of he11.

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

Friday, April 3, 2009

your questions, final installment


Are you crazy? Asking me for parenting advice?

Do you not remember this -- the whole your-kid-breaks-his-finger-and-you-never-treat-him- for-it incident????

It's like hiring the lol cats to teach your kid to spell.

funny pictures of cats with captions

But since you asked, I can haz answerz. And I'll even throw in a recipe at the end.

I will try to refrain from supplementing each answer with a lol catz picture. You can thank me for that later.

And now, my Dr. Spock's two cents worth.

Get out your notebooks and prepare yourself to take copious amounts of notes to review at your pleasure.


Are you ready?

Question #1 from Bonnie: "okay, here's my question: how do i get my baby to sleep through the night?"

Seconded by Kellie: "Well right now as I am trying to ignore my screaming baby who doesn't want to go back to be I am think of the same question as bonnie jack."

Bonnie and Kellie, are you ready for this?

Here it is, everything I know about getting babies to sleep through the night:
Did you get that?

Listen carefully, and I'll tell you again:What? You only heard crickets?

Ahh. That explains it. All I can say, is good luck. And don't be afraid to let them cry. And maybe a warm bath before bedtime will help. Either for you or for the baby. Baths used to wear my babies out. Other than that, I recommend you read here for more information.

Kellie also asked: "what is a good way to get my boys to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner when we are eating those meals?"

Kellie, a sure-fire way to help your cute boys eat is to feed them only candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But really, who's to say when breakfast is? In the lunchroom, we love to have waffles for dinner -- but usually only when PB&J is out of town. He's old-fashioned that way. Not quite what you were hoping for, I know. And I'm sorry. But good luck with that!

And finally, The Daily Family implores:

"Please, please tell me what is the secret I have missed to successful potty-training??(since we're talking about potties and questions, that is)"

Here in the Lunchroom, potty training never really worked until my kids were 2 1/2. After that, everything came out ok. I tried it earlier than that with the Oldest (when I was still ambitious and full of dreams) but 2 1/2 seemed to be the magic age in our family. I don't know why.

So there you go. A whole bunch of completely unsatisfactory answers to the hardest job on earth.

I just hope and pray everything will work out ok and my kids won't be totally messed up when they are grown.

Please join me in a moment of silence.
For the children.

And the mothers.

Thank you.

And now, to reward you for your good behavior, here's a crazy recipe from the Pioneer Woman that my blog friend Allyson pointed me to. Apple Dumplings made magical through a can of Mountain Dew.

Speaking of caffeine, I was in a store yesterday that had a sign up that read:

"Unattended children will be given a Red Bull and a free puppy."

If that's not a threat . . .

Anyway, back to the recipe. Yes, you read that right. Mountain Dew. Now, I am not a connoisseur of Mountain Dew, but I am willing to give this a try, just because I like a good miracle. And if these are half as good as Allyson says, I think they would rate as a miracle in my book.

Have a look at the recipe:

Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 small can Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

And here's the link, so you can admire Pioneer Woman's photography.


And enjoy the challenges of being a mom. I wish I was more help. I really do.

Have a great Good Food Friday!

meadow picture by dr3wie

cricket picture by benM135
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