One little brown spot and suddenly it’s a Poison apple.

Recently I was watching Cinderella- the original cartoon version, not the whacktacular version with Brandie and Whitney Houston (speaking of cracktacular whacktacular). You know the one in which Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Garner’s dad on Alias mate to produce a Filipino son.- anyway and as always happens I got angry that the stepmother is evil.

It’s well known that the Grimm brothers didn’t do much to advance respect and reverence for stepmothers. Those bastards will forever be on my shit list for coining the “wicked/evil stepmother” phrase. Where’s the disdain for the fathers who left their children in the care of these women and who let themselves be controlled so easily? But I digress.

There are several theories as to why fairy tales are filled with evil stepmothers. One is that it is more believable that a stepmother would be trying to off the kids than a mother. Maybe, but most stepmothers I know are just as horrified at the thought of hurting a child as are mothers. I have my own theory as to how fairytale stepmoms got such a bad reputation. These stories are told from the child’s side. Did anyone ask Snow White’s stepmother for her version of the events? Everyone knows kids are prone to exaggeration (I never knew until just now how to spell exaggeration. Two Gs. Who knew?) and even outright lying. Here’s my theory on the origins of some well-known “wicked” stepmothers.

Snow White– In Snow White’s version, her stepmother gives her a poison apple to try to kill her.  Now, I recall one time when my stepson accused me of trying to kill him because I suggested that he drink water from the tap since we don’t keep bottled water around the house. We live in an well-populated suburb of a large America city, not in a third world country or even somewhere with well-water. So the idea that tap water would kill him is a bit of an exaggeration (Two Gs!) don’t you think. Is it really a far stretch to believe that Snow White’s stepmother told Snow White to go outside and take a break from Facebook and gave her an apple. In all her teenage brattiness,  Snow White huffed out and examined the apple which just happened to have a tiny brown spot. Looking for any excuse that she could to hate her stepmother, Snow White declared her horror at the brown spot and that she had been given a POISON apple and chose to stay outside and sulk.  The dwarves that took her in? They were actually the quiverful family down the street that simply didn’t notice that she wasn’t one of theirs.

Cinderella– Poor Cinderella forced by her stepmother to do all the chores around the house while her daughters did nothing. I know this one too. My stepson has two chores when he is at our house, setting the table and making his bed, yet I can’t tell you how frequently he bemoans having to do EVERYTHING around here. You see when Cinderella lived alone with her dad, things like eating at a table and basic sanitary conditions went out the window. Men do not see mess, so Cinderella’s dad couldn’t have told you if Cinderella even had sheets on her bed much less whether or not it was made. And dinner, he just wanted to eat it in front of the TV. Then in comes the horrible stepmother with her family dinners and hygiene requirements and suddenly Cinderella’s life of sloth came to an end. And those ugly stepsisters, obviously when they weren’t willing to put up with her attitude and complaining about all. those. chores., it was because they were jealous of her beauty. Too bad they didn’t write a follow-up to Cinderella after she is married and has kids and then finds out what it really means to have to do everything around here.

Hansel and Gretel– Hansel and Gretel’s single dad liked to do whatever kept his kids happy and out of his hair. If that meant playing with dwarf figures (or whatever the old time equivalent to video games would be) and eating junk 19 hours a day, so be it. When his new wife moved in she was appalled at H &G’s pasty complexions and rotund figures. So  she took it upon herself  to make some changes. Some might say she was overstepping, but she really had their best interest at heart and quite frankly the family couldn’t afford to keep buying all that junk food after the snack tax was instated. First she started making them eat vegetables, which really pissed H&G off. They were used to getting their way all the time with their dad. So they were none too amused when one sunny day, their stepmom had their dad make them go outside and not come back….for at least an hour. In desperate need of a candy fix, H&G went off to steal some candy from the old lady down the road, home invasion style. The joke was on them when the old lady turned the tables on them. By the time their dad found them, they had revised their story so that “they had been deserted and the old lady had candy on the outside of her house. We thought it was free and then she just went crazy on us.”

OK. I got a little off topic in that last one, but those two German brats (ha ha)  have always seemed a little shifty to me. And what about the mysterious death of their stepmother? Seems fishy to me.

So remember, next time you hear someone complaining about their evil stepmother, there are two side to every story. And one little brown spot won’t kill you.


I’ve been touched by fame

OMG. I’m so excited. A comment I made yesterday on this post at Rants From Mommyland, got quoted today in this post!!! I feel like I have been called out by movie stars. Kate and Lydia’s blog absolutely cracks me up. And they are extra famous now after being published on the Huffington Post Blog.

It’s almost like the time when I was kid and a girl that I took dance lessons with had a bit role in a made-for-TV Jane Fonda movie. I was so close to fame then.

Not on the list: Work and laundry

There is something about Fall that brings out my inner Martha Stewart. Unfortunately, between working full-time, commuting an hour each way and taking care of an 8 month old, it’s a miracle my house hasn’t been picked for Hoarders and my family actually gets recognizable food. But if I had the time I wish I could:

Clean: Like big time. I have never been a compulsively clean or neat person but there is something about not having time to clean that makes me crave it. Not even just the finished product (though if that’s all I can get, I’ll take it) but the act of cleaning. Who have I become? My kitchen floor is so absolutely disgusting that I won’t let my baby crawl on it, but in my all or nothing world, there is no point in cleaning it in any other way that hands and knees scrubbing. Who has time for that. I want my house to smell good. I don’t think it stinks (except for where the cat peed on the stairs) but it doesn’t smell good no matter how many truckloads of Febreeze I buy.

Yes, I would have someone come to clean it for me but I don’t have time to clean it up first.

Cook: Dinner at my house is usually some Foreman grilled meat and steamed veggies. Because it’s quick. And easy. And my husband can do it. Since I only see my baby in the evenings from 5:00-6:30, I refuse to spend that precious time cooking for other people. I would like to though. I dream of making big pots of soup, warm, welcoming smells in my kitchen and working my way through the entire Pioneer Woman collection. I do cook on the weekends but it’s not enough.

Craft: I crave this. Ignore the fact that I have never so much as scrapped a single photo. In my mind if I had this handy little machine I could make all kinds of artsy, fartsy things. I would make my own Christmas cards (even though I have a hard time even sending out store bought cards) and invitations and decorations and t-shirts and well all sorts of things. Or it can sit in a corner gathering dust like so many other things I just had to have (sewing machine, balance board, etc.) When I was single, I would have just gone out and bought it. Now I’m married and I have to justify shit like this. Some days I miss being single.

Run: I posted here about running. I have gone a couple of times but I just don’t have the commitment or urgency that I once had. I used to run even when I didn’t feel like, because I felt an obligation to it. I HAD to go running. It was just what I did. Now anything and everything seems more important.

Read: About 10 years ago, I didn’t have a car and I took public transportation to work everyday. I trained myself to be able to read while in a moving vehicle. It was hard and sometimes I still got a little nauseous but I managed to read 64 books in one year. It was Awesome. I’ve never come close to that number again but I would like to be able to raise my number above 4, which is the current total for this year. On my current want to read list:

  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  • The Girl With the “whatever” series by Stieg Larrson
  • Carpe Diem by Julie Kenner (with a thanks to this post at Rants From MommyLand for alerting me to the existance of this book.)
  • Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

Look I know most of these aren’t deep and thoughtful but I like to read fluff . Sue me.

So when I win the lottery and don’t have to spend the bulk of my day with that annoying work thing, this is what I ‘ll be doing. OK, I’ll probably pay someone to do the cleaning.

I’m a fashion don’t

Every morning during my commute to work I listen to a radio show called Wake Up With Taylor. It’s on Cosmo radio which is a  radio station run by Cosmopolitan magazine and they talk about the same issues that the magazine covers. It’s light and humorous and it entertains me during the long drive. Two of the hosts are young women who live the NYC lifestyle and frequently discuss fashion- fashion by New York standards, which are standards most of us in the rest of the country find both ridiculous and intimidating. So most of the time when they are discussing fashion I listen in a detached sort of way.

For the past week though, they have been going to shows at fashion week and there has been lot more conversation about clothes, shoes, etc. than normal and it has me thinking about my own wardrobe. I have a closet full of clothes, most of them acquired before I got married and I was thin. While they are not Prada, neither are they Walmart and I loved to wear nice things that fit well, and shoes, I’ve got some shoes. Boxes and boxes and racks of shoes.

And then I thought about what I’m wearing right now. Pants from Target (I love Target but these pants can hardly be described as well-made and well-fitting), a shirt that is completely shapeless from some cheap store that I don’t even remember, and shoes that can only be described as comfortable. The worst part is that I don’t care. Well I do care but I’m not ashamed and I should be.

The obvious problem is that none of my old clothes fit. Though I am working on it (sorta), I am still quite a bit fatter than I was pre-marriage/baby. When I buy clothes now, the criteria is that they be cheap and that I don’t have to try them on.  I always think I’ll lose weight and I don’t want to spend any more money than necessary on clothes because I hope I won’t be in this size long enough to make it worthwhile. And dealing with a dressing room is just not something I have been able to do to this point.  My shoes don’t fit either. I had giant feet before I got pregnant, now they are giant +1, making it that much harder to find cute shoes in my size in the store. I’m stuck shopping the Sasquatch women’s line.

It is something I think about though, a lot. When I’m in the elevator with someone who is nicely dressed, I feel envy. I worry that people think that I think that I look good. I feel like wearing a sign that says, “I’m under no impression that I look at all stylish right now”. Because, don’t you wonder sometimes, when you see someone dressed horribly, if they think they look good? I don’t want anybody to wonder about me.

I want to change it. I need to wrap my mind around the idea of going shopping, for me, and taking the time and money to do it right.

Saturday night, I am going to the bachelorette party of one of my best friends. There is a dress code (don’t get me started) that I can’t meet with my current options so I will have to go shopping. I am resisting the urge to say that since I am fat I can’t look good so it doesn’t matter what I wear. I’m going to embrace it and try to look my very best. I can do this.

Guacamole should have been here

This is a molcajete

It should have been picture of a molcajete overflowing with the most delicious guacamole ever but once I started making it my mind went blank of everything except eating it and didn’t clear up again until I had licked the bowl clean. So I forgot to take a picture.

The recipe I use is from Williams and Sonoma.  It came with the molcajete, which was a wedding gift. I mean I registered for it but I never would have bought it on my own. I registered for it because a) it looked freakin’ cool and I could imagine having it setting out on display in my kitchen and b) the best guacamole I had ever had to that point had been made at my table in a restaurant using one of these things.

I’ve tried a bunch of different recipes for guacamole since acquiring this gadget but have never come across any that consistently turn out this delicious. I thought I would share so that you might enjoy too. You don’t need the giant mortar and pestle but it doesn’t hurt.

1 ripe tomato- diced

2 tbsp finely diced white onion

1-2 (depending on taste. I use 1) serano chiles, seeded and finely chopped. Note: You will want to use goves when working with these little f’ers. No matter how many times you wash your hands, the burn stays and god help you if you touch your eyes. I had to be especially careful last night since I knew I could have to tend to a baby at any point)

1/2 tsp sea salt (I use more. Much more)

1 tbsp fresh lime juice (Fresh dammit)

Combine the above items in the molcajete and grind them into a paste. If you don’t have one, you can use a blender or if you like things chunky just leave them as is.

Add 2 avocados and cilantro (I use this because when I buy fresh herbs I end up wasting half of them and this is really quite good. )

Mix, mush, stir, pummel whatever to the consistency you desire. I like mine a little on the chunky side but I know a lot of people who like is smooth.

Finally, and this is crucial, serve it with Hint of Lime tortilla chips. You won’t be sorry.

Make this for someone you love and they will love you just a little bit more, in return.

Happy New Year!!!

I’m cross-posting with my other blog today.

Happy New Year! No, I’m not Jewish but it is New Year’s around my house. Sure we celebrate January 1 and some of us even celebrate the beginning of the school year but today, this is what is all about. Only some years it is yesterday. It is the beginning of the Baltimore Ravens football season and in my house it is what the year revolves around.

I wasn’t much of a football fan when I met my husband but he is passionate and a season ticket holder so my choices were to either continue to ignore and spend September through January (or February!!) not being able to talk to him about the thing most on his mind or I could learn to love and enjoy it with him. I chose the latter and have never regretted it. It is so much fun to enjoy football with him. Plus football= fall and what is there not to love about fall.

So tonight we’ll put the baby to bed and I will whip up some superfantastic guacamole (another reason to love football) and we will celebrate the New Year. Who needs a kiss at midnight when you can kiss at the first touchdown of the year.

And of course:

What better reason to have kids than to use them as banners to support the team.

Goodbye Hank, Hello Dirt Girl (and your annoying accent).

In preparation for the upcoming fall television schedule, I have to do my annual re-evaluation of the shows I watch and decide whether they remain DVR worthy or if they will have to be cut adrift to make room for something new and wonderful. In doing this I’ve realized that motherhood has ruined my ability to watch certain shows. I think I’m kind of pissed about it.

Law and Order: SVU. Man I loved this show. The story lines are so good and engrossing. It also has Ice_t and that allowed me to frequently make jokes about Coco T. That’s a plus in any show. However, frequently the episodes feature characters guilty of doing horrible things to little girls. And now I have a little girl and a brain incapable of not connecting the two. Watching that show reminds me of what sick fucks there are in the world and puts me one step closer to locking Buttercup in her room until she is 45.  So goodbye SVU, you will be replaced by Running Wilde. Will Arnett and David Cross, I’m giddy just thinking about it.

The ID channel. OK, not so much a show as an entire (freakin’ awesome) channel. See, I love (love) shows about true crime and murder. I don’t know what that says about me, but Dateline, 48 hours, City Confidential, you name it. I can watch it all. That’s what is so great about the ID channel. That stuff is on 24 hours a day. Up with insomnia in the middle of the night? There’s something worth watching on ID. Bored on a Sunday afternoon? Sick of reruns? You get my point. I could watch this channel for hours. But now I live in a house with ground floor windows and sometimes I’m home alone with a baby to protect. Suddenly everything I’ve learned about the Nightstalker comes rushing back and I realize that I’ve got to stop letting these shows into my brain. I’m also a little afraid that if I watch too much of that stuff around Buttercup she’ll become desensitized to the horrors and end up like Dexter (which I’m totally not giving up).

Californication: This one hurts. This show makes me laugh like no other but I’m afraid of watching anything so dirty within a one-mile radius of my daughter. (Are there any real people that actually have that much sex? That much freaky sex? It exhausts me and makes me glad I live on the uptight east coast.) Even if she is sleeping, it would just feel very, very wrong. I think that show can actually corrupt a young innocent mind just by showing up on the guide listing.  I would also like to prolong the time until she meets guys like Hank, very bad men who are very, very charming. Collini, out!

I’ll miss these shows but I guess it’s best that I start making room on my DVR for the part of parenthood I’ve been dreading the most; children’s television, like Dirt Girl and her creepy, creepy grub friend.