Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Is the Internet Making You Stupid?

Yesterday, a FB acquaintance of mine posted about a wonderful new cleaning solution she had concocted that got her shower whiter than it had ever been before, with NO SCRUBBING!

Naturally, other friends asked her for specific details about what she was using, so she came back a while later and posted the "recipe" - powdered comet, vinegar, and bleach.

The recipe was met with further "I can't wait to try that!" comments, which sounds like a logical following for a recommendation that will take precious minutes off of a cleaning routine. Unfortunately for these excited posters, mixing bleach and vinegar is a dangerous thing to do. What happens when you mix bleach and vinegar? Why, you get chlorine gas.


Then, of course, you get someone else who comments on your warning comment that that really isn't the case, and that the only thing you have to worry about is mixing bleach and ammonia. Unfortunately for her, my materials engineer husband and Dr. Google both confirmed that mixing bleach and vinegar does, in fact create chlorine gas. Guess I wasn't sleeping through all of high school chemistry, after all.

So here's my daily tip: Don't take random internet advice at face value. Do your own research, especially when it comes to things like mixing household chemicals and things like that. Otherwise you'll just end up hurting yourself.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Goodbye Dear Friend

On Saturday I had to say goodbye to one of my oldest and dearest friends, my 17-year-old kitty, Einstein. I always wanted a cat when I was little, but dad didn't like cats, so we had a dog, instead. I loved our dog, but I still wanted a cat. For my 12th birthday my parents surprised me with a pair of black and white kittens. I was about to start 7th grade, and was eagerly looking forward to my new math class, so I decided to name them Einstein and Algebra. Sadly, Algebra was only with us for a few short weeks (the dreaded feline distemper). But Einstein was perfectly healthy, and remained that way for the next 17 years.

Einstein was there for me through all of my biggest life changes. Starting junior high, becoming a teenager, moving 600 miles away from all of my friends and family. He was there when I started high school and at the foot of my bed throughout my parents' messy divorce. There through fights with friends, breakups with boyfriends, and all of the happy times, too. He wasn't able to stay with me in my first college apartment, but re-joined me when I moved into the second. I got married and had a baby and Einstein was there for all of it. And now he's not, and it's weird.

Not only is it weird, but I feel like the decision to let him go was the biggest and most difficult decision I've ever had to make. It was absolutely heart-wrenching, but I knew I was doing the best thing for him. When I got home from work on Friday he could barely walk, and he had gotten much much worse by Saturday morning. We lost our fair share of pets growing up, but I've never had to be the one to decide when it was time. The saddest part is Toddler Charlie, because he keeps asking where Einstein is. I've been able to redirect and distract so far, but that's not the right thing to do. I can't put it off forever. This is just another big bullet point on why growing up really sucks :(

During the day I keep expecting to see him sunning by the back door and running over to snatch up the tasty bits dropped from Charlie's chair. That night, we took Charlie to a baseball game that we had tickets for. It was a nice distraction to be in a crowd and among friends (and the mini bottle of wine that Alison brought for me didn't hurt, either!), but once I was back in the car driving home I was a total mess again. It seems like the dark makes it worse. It will obviously get easier over time, but right now it just totally sucks.

Poor Einstein. Best kitty I could ever ask for. He was very well-loved and I will always miss him.

(Photo by Steph Carson. How fortunate that she snapped this one a few weeks ago when we had our family session.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments is brought to you by Mrs4444!

Mommy's Idea

We celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary yesterday. After a week full of tax bills, broken down cars, and large vet expenses, we canceled our dinner out and just met for a nice lunch, instead. After Charlie went to bed we had some Ben & Jerry's and watched the old X-Files movie. It was just perfect.

I might be biased, but I think we live a very lovely life :)

Speaking of movies, do you know how hard it is to actually find a movie at a brick-and-mortar store these days? I called more than ten stores in our area looking for the X-Files Blu-Ray, and no one had it. No one even had the DVD version!

I guess next time we want to watch a movie we'll just have to plan ahead and order online. Luckily for us, we were able to borrow it from some friends. When did the Suncoast Videos of the world go out of business? I know I've been an Amazon/Ebay purchaser, but how did I not notice that these stores were shutting down?

The friends that let us borrow their DVD are also the friends that we're going to the baseball game with tomorrow night. That's right, Charlie is going to his first baseball game! I'm kind of sad that it's not a Yankee game, but I guess I'll take what I can get. At least the Reds are doing well. He will definitely be wearing his Jeter shirt, though. Sorry Alison :)

I keep catching Husband Charlie trying to teach Toddler Charlie to say "Yankees Suck." I've been able to restrain myself, but it's very difficult not to teach him to say something even nastier about the red sux. I'm sure Charlie will grow up knowing exactly what team he should be rooting for. After all, I've created the perfect environment in which to socialize him in the Yankee direction.

Over the weekend I discovered that Toddler Charlie knows the words to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," and it just might be the cutest thing ever.

Never thought I'd be this parent, but I'm about to buy the Yo Gabba Gabba! CDs to listen to in the car. I can't figure out if they're more for Charlie or for me. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle... hold still!

Have I mentioned that I hate Gillian Anderson?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I look around at my life and find it hard to believe I'm an adult. Do I really look and think like all these people around me? I'm at a mini-conference right now full of people buzzing around with real jobs and responsibilities, and sometimes it's jarring when I re-realize that I'm a part of that world, too.

And that's my random thought of the day.

Oh, and last night we were back to potty training success. Here's to hoping it stays that way.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Potty Training Update, Again

I thought we were making pretty decent progress toward being fully potty trained, but this weekend was a total disaster. He didn't go on the potty a single time. He sat on it quite a bit, but after five times of Charlie calling wolf while his friends were over I let the sixth potty request go about 10 seconds too long and ended up with a mess. Then yesterday evening he asked to go potty so we ran in the bathroom and as I stuck my hand in the waistband of his pants to help him get them off a little quicker I felt the unmistakable squish of a hand that had just been plunged into, well, you know what. No need to share the details.

Anyway. It's a little discouraging, but at least both of the big failures came while we were at home, and not out and about in public. He still did ok holding it (or whatever he's doing) through a trip to the store and the mall on Saturday morning, and for our weekly park and grocery shopping outing yesterday. He even sat on the big potty at the mall, which I think is progress even though nothing came out.

Is there a potty episode of Yo Gabba Gabba!? I'm going to have to do some research.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments is brought to you by Mrs4444!

Mommy's Idea

My friend Lynn found a dancing Brobee at a thrift store and gave it to Charlie. It's his new favorite friend. He went from having absolutely zero interest in any TV to being completely enthralled with Yo Gabba Gabba! I love that show. It's not that I'm encouraging my kid to watch TV, just that having something to distract him with for 15 minutes while we make dinner is a helpful thing. That and we had a great time dancing along with Elijah Wood in the living room.

Tried a new Ben & Jerry's flavor: Boston Cream Pie. It was just ok. I've been kind of disappointed with the recent flavor rollouts, with the exception of Mud Pie. Full review to come soon.

I laugh every time I hear or see an advertisement for the cheesy movie of the summer: Piranha 3D.

"There are thousands of them! And they're pissed!"

How awesome is that?

Old Navy had a 30% off everything sale online yesterday, so I did some e-shopping and thought I was going to get Charlie's fall wardrobe for about $60. Not so much, because when I put in the code it turned out that it only applied to one item in my order. I was very disappointed.

I've tried to order Charlie a Star Wars lunchbox twice now, and both times my order has been canceled. I'm disappointed.

Speaking of Star Wars, I want the new R2D2 Droid phone! Too bad I have to wait another 18 months before I can get a new one.

Is Roger Clemens going to jail? I think he's a giant toolbag, almost to brett favrererere status. I think he was a great pitcher, steroids and all, but come on. Man up to the fact that you enhanced your performance. Stop being a liar. Give your kids someone they can look up to.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Recipe: Nutella Cookies

Last week my co-worker sent out an email to tell us that there were Nutella cookies in the lunchroom. What? Nutella Cookies? I LOVE Nutella! Unfortunately, I was off-site for the day so I didn't get to try them, but she sent me the recipe and they're freaking delicious.

Chocolate Nutella Cookies
Source: Simply Recipes, but those are my cookies in the picture

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1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of white sugar
1 cup of Nutella (this is where a WonderCup comes in handy!)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts (I added a whole cup because 1/2 cup didn't look like enough)


Cream butter in an electric mixer for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and Nutella and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each. Add the vanilla and mix for 10 seconds.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda (do not skip this step as sifting eliminates clumps of cocoa). Mix into the butter mixture on low speed until fully incorporated, scraping down the bottom and sides at least once to ensure even mixing. Fold in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and refrigerate the dough for ten minutes. (Preheat oven to 350F while the dough is chilling, otherwise you're just wasting electricity)

Spoon tablespoon-sized drops of dough onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on the sheets for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes 6 dozen. (Depending on how much dough you eat)

The good thing about these cookies is that they're so rich that you can't eat too many of them at once. Well, you probably could find a way, but I wouldn't want to. And they have nuts, so they must be healthy, right?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I guess I made the mistake of not turning on ESPN Radio yesterday afternoon, because apparently I missed the start of favrererere-watch 2010.

Imagine my surprise when I turned on PTI after work (at Charlie's insistent request, of course) and found that the topic of the evening was effing brett favrererere.

This about sums it up.

Just go away already! Please!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Potty Training Update

Since I don't want to be an obnoxious parent and post these updates on Facebook for the whole world to see, I'm just going to post about them here, instead. On Facebook you're bound to what the site shows you, but I'm assuming anyone who stops here is here of their own volition. So that's what you get - potty training posts.

We've been working on the whole potty training thing for a few weeks now, and while I like to feel as though we're making progress I'm just not really sure. He's still in diapers at daycare, and he goes on his "normal" schedule while he's there. At home (evenings and weekends), we put him in undies except for naps and bedtime and he goes the whole time without any accidents. We even take him out in public with undies - we do our grocery shopping, run errands, and go to the park all without the diaper for backup. And he's never peed anywhere.

So that progress sounds great, except when you look deeper it turns out that he really doesn't go AT ALL. He'll pee on the potty just before bed, and occasionally at other times during the day, but for the most part I think he's holding it until he gets a diaper. Is that even physiologically possible at this age? We have his 2 year checkup on Wednesday, so I'll definitely be asking about it then, but this isn't exactly how I was expecting things to go.

Should I just be happy that he "gets" that he's not supposed to pee in his pants?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments is brought to you by Mrs4444!

Mommy's Idea

I'm going to make an effort to stop complaining so much about Cincinnati. It's not like there's a lot that can be done to change our location anytime soon, anyway. Besides, we have great friends here and Charlie's future girlfriend lives 15 minutes away! There are many people in my life that I would miss greatly if we were to leave.

Charlie hasn't been sleeping well for the last few weeks. I don't know what his deal is. He wakes up multiple times a night, either because he needs a tissue, or needs a cup, or is done with the tissue and wants it out of his bed (although why he doesn't just reach out and drop it is beyond me), or because he needs to be re-covered with his blanket because he can't find his way back under it, or because he's bored. I'm sure the problem is magnified because I've been out of town and not very well-rested, but the last few nights have been absofreakinglutely horrible.

Potty training didn't go so well while I was gone. We're back at it again, though, and I have great expectations since we were seeing improvement up to that point. Every time he successfully uses the potty I want to shout it from the rooftops, but I'm able to hold myself back from posting about it on Facebook because I don't want to be one of those parents.

I don't like being hot. It was over 100 degrees in DC and it's pretty close to that here, too. Remind me of this when I'm bitching and complaining about being too cold and hating the ice and snow a few months from now.

Someone at work made Nutella cookies yesterday and they were amazing! I think I might have to make a batch for a party we're going to on Sunday. I really haven't had the chance to bake much of anything lately, and my poor mixer is looking neglected.

I'm obsessed with Chocolate Raspberry Luna bars. They are the best ever.

I'm lunching with two of my old co-workers today and I'm really excited to see them again! I'm also excited to have chicken tortilla soup and a chocolate chip cookie from Apple Spice. Yum!

I haven't had my coffee yet. Need to get on that right away.

I rode the third-longest continuous span escalator while I was in DC, and it was scary. I rode it coming out of the Rosslyn Metro station with my luggage and my laptop and my purse, and I held onto the railing for dear freaking life. I couldn't bring myself to look up or down. I'm not even afraid of heights!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Scoop Shop

So the best part of my trip to DC? BEN AND JERRY'S SCOOP SHOP!!

I FINALLY got my hands on the new Bonnaroo Blast ice cream that I've been pining after since they sent out the email describing it. Holy cow, it was heaven in a freaking cup! It has soared to the top of my list. That second scoop in there is Chocolate Therapy, another classic. Who wouldn't love chocolate pudding in their ice cream?!

I'm once again cursing Cincinnati for so many reasons, the lack of public transportation and Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops being two things that I really hate.

Every time I travel to an urban destination it just further cements my belief that I'm not cut out to be a suburban person. I wish I could raise my child in an area where we could visit six museums every day if we wanted to and send him to the Smithsonian summer camp. I want him to be in an area with a diverse culture, surrounded by different types of people and experiences. I spent the last three days riding public transportation, within spitting distance of museums and landmarks and phenomenal restaurants, and wishing that I could transplant myself to the DC area. Or the NYC area. Or Chicago. Or Rhode Island. Or anywhere on the Northeast Corridor :(

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Holy Cow

It didn't sink in until just now, when I'm hundreds of miles away and can't give him a huge bear hug, that I have a TWO YEAR OLD. Yes, I know I just blogged about his birthday, but I changed my birthday ticker over for my message board profile and did a double-take when I saw that big "3" at the end.

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

I can't freaking believe it. I'm sitting in a hotel just across the river from DC, worn out from meetings but too wired to sleep, thirsty but not willing to spend $2 on bottled water, annoyed that there is no MLB Network, and on the verge of tears because my baby isn't really a baby anymore.

I'm very tempted to walk to the gas station for some cheap wine to drown my sorrows, but there's another early-early morning in front of me followed by a loooooong day. I'm expecting to pull into my driveway right around midnight, and I fully intend to pay a visit to Charlie's room as soon as I walk in the door. I visit him on my way to bed almost every night. I look at him all sprawled out in his bed and try to picture the little burrito baby that used to take up a much smaller footprint.

I don't have to travel for work very often, but it's been almost a week since I've been home (with the exception of a very brief stay on Saturday night in between trips) and it's starting to wear on me. I think the wedding made it worse, but it was definitely worth it to celebrate with husband C's oldest and dearest friend. Oh well. 25 hours and I'll be back in my own bed. I think I deserve a late morning on Thursday and a family trip to Dunkin :)

On the bright side, this trip has reaffirmed my belief that I made the right move when I decided to take a chance on this job. There's no way that I would have been willing to be away from home this long if it was for my old company!

Monday, August 9, 2010

School Birthday Parties Working Mom Style

Poor Charlie. His mom can't even find time to bake cupcakes for his school party. How tragic. SO deprived.

Luckily he loves Munchkins more than anything in the world!

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sorry Charlie, you'll get cupcakes for school when your birthday falls on a Friday or Monday.


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