Archive for July, 2007

The Fluffy Mackerel Pudding might be my favorite

July 31, 2007

Okay, I’ve got plenty of other stuff to post about, like the delicious goodness that was Will’s birthday cakes (yes, cakes plural, but at least he didn’t get THIS, you’ve got to draw the line somewhere), and that magazine is now out on newstands everywhere, and it’s not everyday your hands are shown LARGER than LIFE size on the pages of a magazine.


Today instead I share with you this tour of original 1970s Weight Watchers cards, brought to you by the hilarious Candyboots, who was smart enough to get a book deal out of these culinary horrors. You have NEVER laughed so hard, I assure you.

For example:


These are the saddest diet beverages ever.

The one on the right is skim milk and orange pulp. The one on the left is made with water, sherry extract, and two beef bouillon cubes.

No, really.

Well, there’s also celery in it. Oh, and SELF-LOATHING.

Or this one:


I hope that you can see that this is a jellied salad. Do you see it glisten? Do you require a close-up to understand that these beans and mushrooms and pimiento strips are one solid, glistening mass?

See how the Ceramic Mushroom Family has gathered to show their children what happens to bad little mushrooms.

Be sure to click your way through the whole tour, you don’t want to miss Candyboot’s delicious commentary on the food AND the insane props (The time you spent eating these is time you’ll want back at the very end of your life. That’s why they’re served with a clock.) And you SURE won’t want to miss the Chilled Celery Log, the Snappy Mackerel Casserole and the (what?) Caucasian Shashlik.


Have a compelling desire to make these recipes and photograph them?

You aren’t alone!


If they only had an outboard

July 30, 2007

We’re at that point in the summer when it feels like these long, crammed-full-of-activity summer days have always been here and yet September is still too far away to bring those Gather Ye Rosebuds As Ye May, For Time Is Fleeting kind of pangs about summer’s end. It’s a good feeling.

Here’s a slice of our summer, and my post for Best Shot Monday.


And before you lift the phone to call child and family services about these unattended children floating around in a boat, here’s the next one in the series:


Rats! Foiled again. Though they did their very best to make a clean getaway.

Hope you had a chance to read and pass on (or post on your own blog) this information from WhyMommy. Thank you.

Breast cancer? Not just for lumps anymore.

July 29, 2007


Forgive the flippant title of this post, but I was just trying to get your attention. And if I did, well then, I’m doing my job.

Some of my readers might also read the writings of Whymommy at ToddlerPlanet. And if you do, you know she was recently diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), a particularly insidious form of breast cancer.

Whymommy could be me or you. She is 34 and has two little boys, one born just seven months ago. What she is going through is hard and horrible, but she’s fighting this like a champ. And that’s not all she’s doing. She has asked all her readers to take her post on IBC, and post it on their blogs, in hopes of saving even one person from this disease.

As she says, “I’d be happy for anyone in the blogosphere to take this information and put it on their site, no questions asked. Dress it up, dress it down, let it run around the place barefoot. I don’t care. But I want the word to get out. I don’t want another young mom — or old man — or anyone in between — to have to stare at this thing on their chest and wonder, is it mastitis? Is it a rash? Am I overreacting? This cancer moves FAST, and early detection and treatment is critical for survival. Your blog reaches places and women that mine doesn’t. Your blog can be part of this effort to save someone else’s life.”

In the words of Whymommy:

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

Thank you.

Okay, now it’s your turn. Spread the word.

Heart? Melted in a puddle on the floor.

July 26, 2007


All throughout the twos, people with far more experience than us in this parenting game warned us, “Terrible twos? That’s nothing. Just wait til they turn THREE!” So it was with more than a little trepidation that I anticipated this summer, but one week into the dreaded age, things seem to have taken a different turn and I’m wondering if we’ve been given some kind of cosmic pass, one that will surely come back to bite us when Will is 16 and wants the keys to the car.

Not to say we haven’t already experienced some…difficulty.

Two and a half? That was challenging. That was the beginning of “I do it myself!” which really should have come with subtitles: “I DO IT MYSELF…

…even if I end up pouring a jar of BRIGHT PURPLE poster paint on the floor!

…even if I strangle myself in my own pajama top!

…even if I fall into the toilet because I refuse to sit on the potty seat designed for skinny two-year-old bottoms!

…even if I spill a jug of liquid gold organic milk all over the table!

And two-and-three-quarters? Now THAT was challenging.

But the other night with two sleeping boys upstairs and, oh joy, a box of Dove bar miniatures on the table in front of us, we dared to voice what we each had been thinking: “He has been SO good recently!”

Every interaction for the last six months has resulted in some kind of negotiation, and using those parent superpowers of Redirection and Distraction just plain wears down your battery if you’re using them, say, EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY.

But now? Maybe we’re in the eye of the storm or something, but the inevitable negotiations and meltdowns and poking of brother just aren’t happening every day. And not even every week. And he’s making reasonable, measured statements to me before I have a chance to say them to him, like “Okay Mommy, maybe we’ll have ice cream ANOTHER DAY.” Or, “Okay Mommy, maybe we can go to the pool TOMORROW.” (I’m starting him young on the overuse of capital letters, what can I say!)

In fact, he’s just so darn agreeable and cute right now, I can hardly stand it. Like last night, when he took the hand of a new friend looking for a wayward toy and said, “Let’s look for it together as a TEAM!”

And the best recent quote from Strangely Agreeable Boy? On the way home from grandma and grandpa’s this weekend, Henry reached across the abyss between their two car seats, and Will, instead of batting Henry’s hand away or squeezing the heck out of it, just reached out and held it for a minute and said, “Look Mommy! We’re friends!”

If I could just figure out how to bottle this

July 24, 2007

Emily at Not that You Asked poses an interesting question

How is it that they go to bed with hair looking like this:



And wake up looking like this?


Because? I’ve tried it, and all I get is that “My, your hair sure looks like you brushed it with a porkchop” kind of day.

And without that sweet baby smell, too.


And congrats to Emily on her brand new blogging gig at, go check her out!

Harry Potter and the Pile of Cash

July 23, 2007

Estimates are coming in that more than 8.5 million copies of the final installment in the Harry Potter series were sold this weekend, and while I don’t have a copy (yet!), I got a good immersion in it from Will and Henry’s cousins, Jenna and Nora, this weekend and it sounds like a good one. I also heard this weekend that J.K. Rowlings is RICHER THAN THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND. Now THAT is a pile of cash. I wonder if that includes the value of the crown jewels. And the collection of hats.

So Jenna not only came with Harry Potter in hand, she came dressed from head to toe as Hermione Granger, which I just HAD to post for Best Shot Monday. I bet you’ve never seen a better Hermione anywhere!


Jenna as Hermione Granger. Funny, she didn’t mind posing for these at all.




Jenna/Hermione, sans wand. She left it at home.


And not to be outdone, her equally Harry-besotted sister Nora

How about you—are you reading HP and the Deathly Hallows yet? And do you remember where things ended up in the sixth book? And if not, what’s the best Internet summary site, since I don’t have the luxury of assigning a written brief on the series to my summer interns as one of my friends did a few summers ago! (And if she had a blog I would so make her tell you the story.) And do I just wait at this point until Will wants to read the series, which will be tonight, I’m sure, since he was so fascinated by “Jenna’s grownup book?”

More on the big birthday later this week, thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes for Will!

Time Warp

July 19, 2007


Can anyone POSSIBLY tell me how this little guy


Will, three days old, July 2004

grew into this little fellow,


Will, 18 months, January 2006

who then decided it would be all right to grow into this big boy,



Will, ALMOST three, July 2007

who thought it would be fun to TURN THREE TODAY. Because I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see this coming AT ALL.



Also? Does anyone know how he survived this long with us as parents?


Will in the hospital pram, about to head home, July 22, 2004.

Number of layers of clothing he is wearing, including blanket: 3

Outside temperature: 88 degrees.

Happy Birthday today, July 20th, sweet William. We love you!

Dairy Queen

July 19, 2007


No, I haven’t been sleeping off the after effects of a three-day dairy bender, I’ve just been busy, busy, busy.

You know, trying to decide between Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream or a Friendly’s ice cream sundae for my two dairy servings a day. That takes TIME, I tell you.

But here we are on day four of dairy, and all systems seem to be go, so far. (And thank you to the kind folks (and Rush, you aren’t the only one!), who have inquired about MY system after such a long dairy hiatus—it is amazing how rich dairy products taste to me now, and I don’t have the desire to eat very much at once, but what I have tasted is GOOD.)

And what have I had so far, you ask? It’s been one giant gastronomic delight after another this week. Even if this doesn’t work out for Henry, and I end up losing dairy privileges in a few days, it’s been a heck of a ride.

1. A turkey and CHEESE bagel sandwich


3. My favorite Greek YOGURT, the full-fat (23 grams per cup) variety. I know, I should just eat a scoop of ice cream. Oh, but I did. Which brings us to

4. A scoop, okay, maybe two of Ben and Jerry’s NEW YORK SUPER FUDGE CHUNK ice cream, a surprise in my freezer from my thoughtful husband.

5. A decaf iced coffee with HALF AND HALF

6. A thoroughly delightful ice cream sundae at Friendly’s with two thoroughly delightful friends from work.

7. And these. HAVE YOU HAD THESE? I could run away with a box case of these and be happy for the REST OF MY LIFE.

Want some fries with that shake?

July 16, 2007


Thank you all for your wonderful, delicious suggestions—after Henry’s appt. today, I am now eligible to eat my way through that lovely list of dairy! Or to quote Henry’s doctor, “Go on, get out of here and go get yourself a milkshake!”

At least for the next five days, anyway. It is all just one big test, so I am completely aware this could be a temporary visit to the land of milk and honey ice cream if things don’t go well for Henry. But a bountiful visit it will be!

Though I haven’t exactly started it out with a bang. I’m a little ashamed to admit the first thing I had was an iced decaf coffee with real half and half.

I KNOW. It’s not like I’m even a big coffee drinker, really.

But I was in a strange city with no obvious ice cream parlor beckoning me, and I had Henry with me who gets NO dairy until I’m up to four servings a day (I almost asked the doctor to write it out on his prescription pad, so I could say I have DOCTORS ORDERS to get a milkshake. Four times a day.) and I had to race back to the office, and besides, I’ve waited ten months for a milkshake, what’s one more afternoon?

And hold on tight as I change gears going 60 miles an hour, but it is Monday, which means Best Shot Monday, and this is mine:


Lovely Lydia languishing in the lagoon.

Go to Picture This for more Best Shot Monday “In the Water” photos!

And then think of me having a milkshake. Doctor’s orders!

It’s so close I can almost taste it

July 13, 2007





Are you as tired of looking at that manic clown face as I am? How’s this instead? I thought so. I have either 30 seconds or an hour before someone wakes up looking for me, so let’s see if I can accomplish enough blather to make that clown move far enough down the page that we don’t have to look at it anymore.

One thing I thought I could write about would be a simply fascinating update on Henry’s food allergies. As per his GI & allergy team, we’ve been trying soy for about a month now—first me, then Henry, with no blatant adverse affects—no rash, no eczema, no obvious GI distress.

One of the things we’re supposed to watch for is increased irritability, so every time Henry crabs about something my husband is fond of saying, “Uh oh, soy!” And I say, “What fussing? I didn’t hear anything!”

But it is hard to make out exactly what I am saying, because I usually have one of these crammed in my mouth. And before you shake your head in pity for me, go out and get a box of these sweet treats, because they are GOOD, and they are one of the things I dreamed about during the lean no soy, no dairy, no egg days of this past year. (Thanks to Elke for first telling me about them!)

So I’m pretty much in hog heaven these days, because believe me, soy is in EVERYTHING. Any food that is dairy-free usually has soy in it, or else it isn’t worth eating. Just TRY having your morning coffee with rice milk, for example. But soy creamer? Not that bad. Seriously.

BUT. Guess what. Henry has his soy follow-up appointment on Monday. This is big. His doctor could say:

1) Soy isn’t working out for Henry, sorry about those Tofutti Cuties, mom.


2) Great, Henry has outgrown his soy sensitivity, and let’s start DAIRY!


I do have to say, with the introduction of soy I don’t really feel like I am missing so much from my diet. (I know, again with the pity and the head shaking, but honestly, as long as I never have to have any rice milk again for the rest of my life, I ALMOST don’t care about the rest.) And the whole dairy thing? I would never have said this last October, but really, you can get used to anything. And you’re talking to someone who is WELL acquainted with cheese, butter, milk, yogurt, and of course, ice cream.

But if the doctor says DAIRY!, well then, TWIST MY ARM—I might be adding dairy to my diet next week after nearly ten months of being dairy free. So, my question for you, my readers, is what should I try first? What is the first thing YOU would have after having no dairy for ten months?

And do you think they have a soft-serve machine RIGHT THERE at Children’s Hospital?

(Two kids awake. Gotta go. I look forward to your suggestions!)

Oh you crazy eights

July 11, 2007


So I’ve been tagged by Abby at Blogging Hallie, one of the moms of the amazing Hallie, who was born at 23.5 weeks on the same day Henry was born. Abby tagged me with the Crazy Eights Meme, which is like those cool lists my friend Melissa is so good at answering. I wish Melissa were here to write this one for me, because who knew how hard it is to talk about yourself. Oh, except on the pages of the website you have VOLUNTARILY PUBLISHED ABOUT YOURSELF (and kids.) Well, anyway.

I have to post these rules before I give you the skinny: Each player starts with eight random facts or habits about themselves. People who are tagged are now obliged to write an entry telling us eight things about themselves and post these rules. At the end of your blog entry, tag eight new, unsuspecting bloggers to get tagged and list their names. (Oh, and leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged JUST IN CASE they missed that day on your blog.)

Okay, got all that? Well then, in the immortal words of Simon Cowell, off we go.

1. If I didn’t do what I do now, I would like to be the successful owner of one of those amazing ice cream stands you find way out in the country with a line 100 people deep even though it is in the middle of nowhere. I would have farm animals for the kids, beautiful gardens with benches in shady places, I would sell gorgeous hanging plants and incredible ice cream, and people would travel for miles to get a cone there.

2. I find cleaning out the fridge very cathartic. In fact, I would even go out on a limb and say I enjoy it.

3. I once offered to write a check at a toll booth, because I didn’t have the toll fee. (It was an unexpected toll at the end of a long trip, give me a break.)

4. I was an extra in the Steven Spielberg film, Amistad. Wait, it gets better: I played a New Haven Prostitute, and had to wear a low-cut (for the 1800s) dress. It was a cold day, and while all the other female extras could wear layers underneath, I couldn’t, since the neckline would reveal my non-historic undergarments. Then the production team decided I had been seen on camera too much and they changed my costume to Southern Belle—a very high neck, and I added lots of layers underneath—heaven. Morgan Freeman? Very much of the people, talked to us “background artists” between scenes and was extremely pleasant. Matthew McConaughey? Not so much. He walked around muttering his lines while looking at the ground, and didn’t speak to anyone but his assistant. Even when I was in the hair and makeup chair NEXT TO HIM getting my ho-doo (prostitute hairdo.) Oh, and Steven Spielberg touched my shoulder when he was arranging us extras for a scene. And YOU ACTUALLY KNOW ME.

5. I have been in presidential candidate Gov. Bill Richardson‘s apartment in the Waldorf-Astoria, when he was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. I’ve also been alone in a room with him when he was Energy Secretary in the Clinton Administration. (I know just what is going through your dirty minds, and honestly! What’s wrong with you people? I was WORKING, I was in PR, these were at events or preparing for media interviews! Sheesh!)

6. Between 1994 and 2004 I attended what I think was 42 weddings. Good thing I love weddings.

7. I see absolutely nothing wrong with mixing a few chocolate chips with a spoonful of peanut butter and eating said concoction.

8. I was a biology major in college, and I worked in a cancer research lab at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York before joining the madcap world of communications. Among my responsibilities included injecting the prostate glands of live mice, which is about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. And yet, I could never deal with a dead mouse in a trap, and some years back, when I was living two states away from my future husband, I called him from my perch high on a chair, after seeing a mouse scurry across the floor of my apartment. It’s all in the context, folks.

Okay, enough about me! I would like any reader of mine to consider themselves tagged, and if you don’t have a blog, leave your juicy facts in the comments.

But since I actually have to tag some real live bloggers, too, I tag the following unsuspecting people:

Mike, who is completely big time, because he is getting tagged with a meme AND has been a guest blogger all in one week (plus he irons! Too bad he’s taken, ladies!);

Jess, who is planning a wedding and doesn’t have time for this nonsense, but has to do it! Because I tagged her!

Molly, who can NO DOUBT give us eight seriously crazy facts about her trip to Vegas when she gets back;

Christine, who is a brand new blogger, and if you had a trip like this, you’d write about it, too;

Rush, who can tell eight great stories off the top of his head, and I hope one of them will be about Car Talk;

Stacy, who just might share her secrets to those gorgeous photographs and Maile, who also might talk about her gorgeous photographs or perhaps her most creative pedicure, which I love;

and finally, Jessica, who is way too busy to do this, plus she is a FAMOUS and ESTABLISHED blogger, so I think this might be breaking some kind of blogging social climbing rule, but while she may be famous, she is so down-to-earth that she has emailed with me MORE THAN ONCE, so just maybe.

And there you have it.

Here’s your evidence

July 9, 2007

Ha! How much do I love my readers!

My friend delivered up this piece of evidence in response to yesterday’s post:


I think I’ve made my point.

And how’s this for a segue? (Did any of you know that was how it was spelled? Thank you, Internet dictionaries.)

See if you can follow me for a moment here. The clever reader who sent me the photo above is also the mother of Tommy, this delicious baby pictured below. Because Tommy is so darned yummy and because he is five whole months old today, I have chosen him as my Best Shot Monday. (CD of the shoot coming soon, mom!) Happy five-month birthday, Tommy!

For more Best Shot Monday photos, head on over to Picture This!