Auld lang syne


RRRRRRRRRRRR (tornado siren)
Me: Oh, the mailman is out there. I'm going to ask him if he wants to come in until the storm is over.
Nick: That sounds like the beginning of a porno.
Me: How would you know?
Nick: Research. Lots and lots of research.
Me: What were you researching?
Nick: Interesting scenarios of how I might find myself in a porno.
Me: Did it work out?
Nick: No. Turns out if you show up at someone's house to fix their plumbing and make a couple of sexually charged comments they usually call the police.
Me: Let's just go to the basement.

In what might have been the best Christmas present ever known to man, Nick's brother and sister gave us a date night last night. She babysat while he acted as chauffeur.

And it was glorious.

This morning was not so glorious.

And I know what you're thinking.

"Geez - all she does is talk about how much she drinks and her horrible hangovers and poopy diapers"

Well, ok. I have nothing to say to that.

To add insult to injury I had a dentist appointment this morning. And I came to realize mid-scrape while I was told that I have three cavities and the beginnings of some gum disease thing that will require a deep cleaning so horrific that I'll have to have someone punch me in the face to knock me out for it that there is no hell greater than someone scraping your teeth with a hangover.

Wait, there is one thing worse. Getting your teeth scraped with a hangover and a tornado warning outside.

And I woke up this morning with some sort of stye in my eye.

I can smell a New Year's resolution somewhere in all of this.

Second born

A lot of people have asked about what was going on with Lila in this pic from my 'Tis the Season video.

Well, in case you were wondering, it was taken about a millisecond after the napper she was hanging in broke and started crashing down to the ground. Luckily her fall was broken by a pile of diapers underneath it. Don't worry - they were clean.


And then we have this gem from when we went to see Santa. Lila was cool but her face told us she's about had it with this dude.

She truly is the girl with 1000 expressions.

Unfortunately her life so far has been such that 998 of them are her looking really freaked out.

Such is the life of the second born.

The Painin'


There is a point in the night that everyone who has ever overindulged on alcohol is very, very familiar with.

It's the point at which you go from being blissfully buzzed, best dancer ever, in fact I think I might quit my job and go on tour because no one my age has moves this raw to a blubbering, incoherent, oh god what did I just give birth to in the toilet I think it just started clucking, raccoon-eyed homeless woman barely capable of brushing her own teeth.

This entire transformation takes less than a millisecond and only happens while you're fast asleep. Sort of like a magical visit from Santa Claus on a crisp winter's night.

Except instead of a fluffy white beard he has a greasy salt and pepper molester moustache, and instead of a hearty "ho ho ho" he makes a noise that's a cross between an alarm clock and a dentist's drill (sorry Vicki but no matter how much you try to glamorize your job getting your teeth scraped sucks) and instead of a bag of shiny new toys he has a pillow case filled with bars of soap that he uses to flog you over and over and over in the head.

In some sort of mystery that baffles even the most respected scientists, babies have an uncanny ability to pinpoint this exact millisecond and begin screaming their balls off loud enough to make sure everyone in the house wakes up to celebrate the momentous occasion.

Last night I met my friends Jamie and Elizabeth out for a nice laid back sushi dinner, which turned into martinis, which turned into after dinner drinks at a bar with people half my age on college Christmas break stumbling around looking for something to take home or at the very least rub up against.

It was all fun and games until on our way out I promised Elizabeth I would meet her this morning for a Turbo Kick class. Also known as Oh God Please Please Please Just Kill Me Send An Air Bubble Into My Artery Or Throw A Blood Clot At My Brain And Just Make It Really Quick And Painless Please God class.

And of course like clockwork Lila sprung to life at 4:22am to celebrate The Point.

And of course when I got to the Turbo Kill Me Class Elizabeth was waiting for me in the front row.


Close enough to the mirror that I could fog it up with my heavy martini breathing and when I got to jumping really fast I actually knocked it with my meat apron.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to go throw some corn into the toilet. That clucking thing is still in there and I think it's hungry.

Dance monkey dance


Wow - it seems like only yesterday that I was a lost little lamb, fumbling my way through my newfound job at stay-at-home momdom, staring out the window mentally willing Nick's car to pull into the driveway as I self-medicated with a stack of pancakes and a bottle of Old Crow.

Wait, that WAS yesterday.

But it's hard to believe that as of today I've officially been doing this job for a whole year.

Really? Has it only been a year? Seems more like two. Ten.

Career highlights of my job as full-time Mom include:

-Mastering the art of macaroni and cheese (tip: dump the water BEFORE adding the powdery stuff... you're welcome)
-That one time I cleaned the bathroom. Thought about cleaning the bathroom.
-Cultivating positive and mutually beneficial working relationships with the voices in my head

As 2010 draws to a close I can't help but to reflect on the past year, a majority of which included me ignoring Nick's pleas to stop airing my dirty laundry on this blog. But I can't tell you how awesome it's been to have connected with so many other people out there who like pancakes and Old Crow as much as I do.

I spent some time perusing through some past posts and reminiscing about old times spent debating the pros and cons of electing to do a c-section vs. pushing Lila out of my business, the rude and awkward comments made to me as my belly overtook the world, exploring my rib cage through the crack in my nipple... good times.

And it got me to wondering... what's YOUR favorite post? I installed a 'Like' button to appear at the bottom of each story a couple of months ago so I can get some sort of a gauge of what direction you want this monkey to dance but maybe there's an older post that you really enjoyed?

I would love for you to comment on this post and let me know which has been your favorite. I'll take nominations until some time early next week when people stop commenting and then I'll make a little poll like I did with the nose ring.

If you don't remember the specific title of the post you can just tell me what it was about. And you'll have to be more specific than "baby drowning in explosive poop", "old balls" or "wine". That would just about cover the whole thing.

Welcome to Pottersville: Population me

Yesterday was a long day filled with many screaming children (well, ok, technically just two but it seemed like many more) so when Nick got home I told him I needed to tap out and spend some time alone at Target.

I needed to get a lamp shade, notebook, baby wipes and vodka. Before you go getting all judgey-judgey the baby wipes weren't even for me.

Anyhoo, I stepped out of my car in the parking lot and heard the woman next to me yelling "I ain't EVEN done yet! I ain't EVEN done yet!" over and over to her son as she opened the back door and pointed for him to get in.

Stuff like this is like fingernails down a chalkboard to me. I mean, TURKEYS are done - PEOPLE are finished. Doesn't she know anything about grammar? And don't even get me started on ain't.

But I resisted the urge to correct her because she looked very preoccupied with slinging verbal insults at her poor son.

Then a few cars up I saw a woman putting her younger baby in the back seat of her mini van as she yelled to the older girl standing on the other side "NOW DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT MOVING! YOU KEEP YOUR ASS RIGHT THERE!


Finally, the cherry on this sundae of festive holiday cheer was as I was walking inside and there was a typical teenage boy (hood, dirt lip - you know the type) standing there with his head down as his father yelled "... WELL THIS ISN'T ABOUT YOU. THIS IS ABOUT MOM. AND YOU NEED TO STOP BEING A LITTLE PRICK..."

Well then. Fa la fucking la.

I don't have any more specific examples but all throughout the store it felt like I had been transported to Pottersville. I tried to stay oblivious to the negativity as I floated on a billowy cloud of childless bliss, lingering in aisles I don't even get to go into any more like the deodorant.

But there were people huffing here, shoving ahead there - am I the only one noticing this?

On a lighter note, I saw a guy drop a piano on his foot yesterday. Wow, that was a pun and a sort of relative oxymoron all wrapped up into one nice little package.

Anyhoo, it was sort of my fault. I was walking out of a strip mall craft store, Ellie in one arm, Lila in her heavy ass car seat in the other, and he was moving a piano into the business next door. Of course man moving piano has the right of way so I stepped aside and let him go first up the little walk way. It was freezing so once he was up I squeezed in behind him and he sort of turned to look at me and lost his footing and down it came.

I thought stuff like that only happened in cartoons.

What's the proper etiquette when you may or may not be partially responsible for someone dropping a piano on their foot and you're holding two heavy ass kids in the freezing cold?

If you said put your head down and ignore his screams as you make a break for your car, then I hit it spot on.

Over and out.



Perhaps the most interesting thing about this abomination called dinner is that it actually smells edible.

Next time I'll work on mastering at least two of the five senses.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

'Twas the week before Christmas
And as generations of past
We took the kids to see Santa
With a line out the ass

It was nearing their bedtimes
When children are mopiest
To get through this hell
Mommy popped a few opiates

The doubt rambled 'round
So loud in my brain
Please tell me why
We're doing this again?

My hand stealth in Nick's pockets
I snuck out his cash
"Welp... smell ya later!"
I said with a dash

Ellie's curiosity piqued
At faint screams from afar
Mom was curious herself
Why Dad smelled of a bar

Merchants taking advantage
Of us captive in line
No I don't want to try your god damned hair straightener
For the millionth time

Like a thug on death row
Her number was up
The kicking and flailing
I prayed Santa packed a cup

His teeth told a tale
Of countless menthols
His suit smelled of Old Spice
His beard of old balls

Upon meeting his gaze
Ellie cried "KILL IT WITH FIRE!"
Decapitate this demon
With knives and barbed wire

Arms flailing so crazy
Her trust was forsaken
But her hair a nice mix
Of a pilgrim and Kevin Bacon

So here's the picture
Kids with possible molester
Ellie screaming her balls off
Lila channeling a most regal Uncle Fester

We drove off into night
Horrible parents so mean
Ellie whispered "Payback's a bitch, you jerks
When I'm pregnant at sixteen"

Sweet Baby Jesus

In her first lesson about gender equality Lila is going to play baby Jesus in our church pageant this Friday. Don't worry - now that you know we go to church I'm not going to go and get all preachy and judgemental on you.

First of all, it's been so long since we've actually been to church that it would be totally hypocritical if I did. Second, if you want to perish in the pit of despair while being licked by flames from Satan's tongue, well, my sinner friend, be my guest.

Just joking. Except that part about Satan's tongue. REPENT!

Anyhoo, Lila is going to be baby Jesus. Which I'm pretty sure guarantees me a condo on the beaches of heaven if I die. And that's a big IF.

But this whole celebrity thing presents a couple of problems:

1. She actually has to go a whole ten minutes without douching herself or shitting up to her neck
2. My parenting skills are going to be put on public display as others judge whether or not I'm a good Mom and have raised a baby who can go a whole ten minutes without screaming her balls off
3. Somebody else has to hold her. And walk with her. A (probably) clumsy 15-year-old girl covered in germs and spit and cells and puberty particles and where the hell have those hands been and then she has to walk with her down an aisle then up some stairs and AAAAAAHHHHHHH!

Sorry. My head just exploded.

So yesterday we went to the rehearsal and the minute we walked in the door a couple of angels ran over to see the cute little baby. I quickly realized as I pulled her out of her car seat that she had shit up to her neck. Oh well, at least we got that out of the way. However, the smell interfered with the oxygen supply to these untrained angels' brains and they immediately passed out on the pew.

Now that I think about it they were still laying there when we left so I think they may actually be dead.

Despite my procrastinating it was time to hand her over to Mary. Once I showered Mary with a whole bottle of hand sanitizer, did a background check, got three references, performed a field sobriety test and made her run a ropes course.

Now, in situations like this I really try to be the cool Mom. The laid back Mom who chats it up with the other parents, oblivious to the fact that someone else is holding her baby. The Mom who doesn't play out every horrible scenario like Mary tripping and dropping her, coughing in her face, rubbing her germy teenage sex particles all over my baby and AAAAHHHHHH!

Sorry, my head exploded again.

But I'm not the cool Mom. I'm the Mom who stood two inches away from her face, barking orders in her ear.

"Oh honey, she likes to be held like this"
"Now slow down... this isn't a race"
"Watch out for all that frankincense and shit at your feet - don't forget about it and trip"
"Don't look her in the eye! You think you're good enough to look my baby in the eye, Stop looking her in the eye!"

But I handed her over. And actually, to my surprise things went rather smoothly.

Well, except for that one time five seconds after she got on stage when she decided she was hungry and started screaming like a banshee and tried to suck a horrified 15-year-old Mary's nipple through her robe.

I really need to have a talk with Lila about sucking other people's nipples in public.

But nobody dropped anything and so far Lila is showing no signs of whopping cough or any other communicable diseases. Besides, even if she did fall I'm pretty sure that when you fall in church you land on a billowy blanket of angel's wings made out of kittens and puppies.

But I'm not going to think about that right now. Right now I'm going to get back to designing the floor plan for my liquor cabinet in my heavenly beach house.

It's a major award


Me: Mom! My blog won a major award!
Mom: Wow Hannah, that's great! I'm so proud of you! That's wonderful! What did you win?
Me: Well, I didn't actually win anything... it's more like a recognition thing.
Mom: Oh, well, I'm still proud of you anyway.

Me: Beth! My blog won a major award!
My Sister: Oh god. Now the world is going to know about my explosive diarrhea. (yells to husband) HANNAH'S BLOG WON A MAJOR AWARD!
(husband in background): Oh god. Now everyone's going to know that I'm married to the girl with the explosive diarrhea.

Ok, so maybe I was the only one swinging around the room on the ceiling fan while Ellie danced at my feet to the hypnotic Latin beats of Dora the Explorer from our primitive sound system.

But I found out this morning that I'm one of 10 big winners on the Momversation Fresh Voices search. I don't want to brag but basically they crowned me Grand Master Lord Most Beautiful Blogger Ever. Along with nine other people.

And as I told them, I would like to dedicate this award to the most horrible person I've ever met in my life - my high school bully. Had it not been for you constantly knocking my books out of my hands in the hallway and telling me that you were going to kick my ass FOR NO REASON if you ever saw me outside of school I would have actually made friends and had something to do every night other than my English homework.

You can suck it.

Just kidding - please don't kick my ass.

Sophisticated lady


Awww... they grow up so fast.

Before we know it she'll be switching her menthols for reds with her morning coffee.

Day Four

Well that was awful.

That may have been the sickest anyone has ever been in the entire history of the world. Why yes, I do have a flare for the dramatic, why do you ask?

At one point on Monday night I was laying in bed praying to god to just drop an airplane fuselage through the roof onto my head and put an end to my misery. I realized this would probably also kill my entire family, and everyone who happened to be on that plane, but I figured we could work out the details later.

Being sick is so different with kids. They totally expect you to still care about keeping them alive and stuff. But Ellie went to my mother-in-law's house on Monday and luckily Lila doesn't expect that much out of me yet and she was perfectly happy with laying on the couch all day and watching an Intervention marathon for eight hours straight.

I'm clearing the mantle for my Mother of the Year trophy as we speak.

But Tuesday it was back to the grind although every time I even thought about being in the same room as some food my stomach started picketing. As of Tuesday night the only thing I had to eat in 72 hours was the water that accidentally made it past my lips in the shower, which I promptly threw back up, so my breast milk was virtually non-existent. I'd been pumping them non-stop (I was too afraid to get Lila too close) but the only thing in the bottle was a little saw dust and part of my left lung.

On Tuesday night I was feeling better and so I dove in head first trying to get my calories back up and ate some fajitas followed by a little egg nog ice cream. It all sounded good so I decided to go for it.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Nick, Ellie, Lila, my neighbors, my neighbor's dog and the family of chipmunks that live under our house for the wrath that those fajitas and ice cream unleashed on my delicate stomach Tuesday night and yesterday morning.

My insides are now so empty that if you put your ear to my stomach and listen real hard you can hear the ocean. And every once in a while what sounds like a pod of orcas making a snuff film will swim by.

But this morning I woke up feeling ok and I think I'm finally ready to reimmerse myself back into society and actually leave the house for the first time in four days.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to get back to combing my beard so we can go to Wal-Mart.

The Time

Beth: I can't believe you told the world about how I had explosive diarrhea on the side of the highway.

Me: Don't worry - it's only a few thousand people and at least I didn't tell them about the REALLY embarrassing time.

Beth: What time is that? The time it happened in Florida by a swamp and I almost got eaten by an alligator?

Me: You didn't almost get eaten by an alligator. I guarantee the alligator has a much scarier story for his friends than you after that little episode. I was talking about the time that you were in the middle of a home visit for one of your special needs kids and you had to throw your business card at them and run out the door with your laptop but only made it about 1/2 mile from their house. Then they went out for groceries and pulled up behind you and stopped to ask if you were ok and you hid your head under the car and waved and yelled for them to go on.

Beth: Oh yeah, thank god you didn't tell anyone about that time.

I told you that one day I would exact my revenge for pouring a container of salt on my banana cream pie when I was 15.

Now we're even.

The Hangover


On Saturday night I went out for my friend Amy's bachelorette party, or as my single friend Carrie kept referring to it: Who Let The Moms Out?

Topics of conversation at the pre-party included "how to maximize your breast milk" and "awesome casseroles".

Yes it's true - we are officially the old women on the dance floor who scream and jump up and down when the band plays Fat Bottom Girls that I used to feel so sorry for when I was in my 20s.

This type of night always leads to a couple of problems:

1. My college friends and I get together so infrequently that when we do go out we go balls out crazy
2. Our livers have forgotten how to metabolize balls out crazy so there is always hell to pay the next day.

So balls out crazy it was.

And hell to pay there was.

A mere four hours after our DD pulled into my friend Sheila's driveway I was doubled over sweating martinis on her toilet while something that looked like an otter tried to claw its way out of my ass and something that tasted like enchiladas launched out of my mouth into her cute bathroom wicker trash can.

All at the same time.

It crossed my mind that this punishment was a little harsh for a few drinks and a shot or two but whatever - it's the price you pay for going balls out.

A couple of hours later I was finally able to peel myself off of the blow up mattress and crawled home at 15 miles per hour through a snowstorm as the rest of the otter's family tried to tunnel their way through my lower intestine to reunite with their little friend.

There were several times on the drive home that I thought I was going to have to pull over and take a Beth. My sister Beth has some sort of IBS spastic colon thing and when it hits her it hits her, no questions asked.

The most memorable Beth might be the time that she had just started dating my now brother-in-law and they were driving up to visit for the weekend. They had to pull off the highway onto an on ramp in the middle of the city while she let it fly next to the car. He got out and tried to cover her with his coat but he started dry heaving so hard at the smell of her explosive diarrhea that he had to get back in the car and let her ride it out solo while the nice people from Creve Coeur honked and yelled at her out their windows.

He married her even after that so we all knew it was true love.

But taking a Beth on the side of the highway when it's sunny and 75 degrees is a lot different than taking a Beth on the side of the highway when it's 7 degrees and the 60 mile an hour wind is pelting snow and ice in your face.

I decided death was preferable to pooping in 7 degree snow and hit the gas. By the grace of god I made it through the door and into the bathroom just in the nick of time.

Now, in days of yore this whole hangover situation would have been handled in a very different way. I would have slept at Sheila's until about noon and returned home to my nice quiet bed, sleeping the day away, only waking up to eat some Taco Bell and hit replay on my 25th anniversary collector's edition Dirty Dancing DVD.

On Sunday as I ran through the door at 8:30am holding the seat of my pants there were screaming kids hurling themselves at me from every direction, clinging onto my legs as I frantically unbuttoned my pants and dove onto the toilet.

And rather than sleeping the day away we went to a kid's birthday party.

At a place called Pump it Up.

For those who haven't been to Pump it Up, it's basically like a giant vasectomy. You should, under no circumstances, take someone there who you are trying to convince to have kids. You should also under no circumstances go there if you have been to a balls out crazy bachelorette party the night before.

I was able to pull myself together to take one single, solitary picture which happened to be about a mili-second after Ellie was plowed over by some kid all hopped up on cake and black soda. Notice how calm Nick is walking over to her, slowly rolling up his sleeves, while I sprint screaming from the other side of the room despite the fact that I'm on my death bed.

Other than taking this picture, I spent the entire time in the bathroom under the guise of changing Lila's diaper. Which actually did happen once, during which time I considered crawling up into the ceiling tiles to take a nap until the party was over.

Anyhoo, mid way through the screaming running bouncing I started to feel mind numbing, horrific abdominal cramps which rivaled labor contractions and I knew that we were dealing with something way worse than a simple hangover.

There was a whole town of otters trying to get out of there.

We ended up leaving the party early and I spent the remainder of the day in bed thinking only four things:

1. How in the world am I going to take care of two kids tomorrow?
2. Please lord don't let my children get this
3. I never knew you could dry heave out your ass
4. If nothing else, please at least let this virus bring me one step closer to fitting into my Pants of Truth.

'Tis the season

Did you know that there are over 50 million blogs out there? 50 million! That's about the number of times I talk myself out of eating butter right out of the container every day.

What I'm trying to say is that I know there are a lot of other blogs out there and I want to say a big thank you for choosing to hang out with me.

In appreciation, I've decided to give you all a big Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/National Twinkie Day gift. But what do you get for the people who have everything? Well how about a smile?

Holy shit that was cheesy.

I made you a video. I hope you like it. And share it with your friends.

Go ahead and crank it up and go full screen. Screw the lady in the next cubicle.

Happy holidays.

Road Apple Crisp



These cookies were supposed to look like the picture (right). A nice festive bunch of appetizing mint chocolate chip delights I baked for my neighbors to prove I'm not a total loser despite the fact that our house has more weed than The Yin Yang Twins.

Instead they look like what was left on the street after the State Fair 4th of July parade of horses.

But at least they taste ok, right?


I don't know how, but I managed to burn the shit out of the bottom while the tops are still doughy.


F. F. F. F.

The Ritual

Lila passed the twelve week mark on Saturday and I finally feel like the Mayer household is settling into some semblance of order. This is important to me because I am a creature of habit and I've heard that it's crucial to get kids on a strict routine to give them a sense of stability so a schedule has been my top priority for the past few weeks.

I think we've finally found something that works.

8:00am - Realize that the past hour of screaming in my nightmare was actually real and get out of bed regretting the bottle of wine I drank last night. Vow never to do it again.
8:05am - Open bottle of wine
8:30am - Feed baby, praying wine which seeped into breast milk will only do minimal mental damage
9:00am - Weigh self at gym, cry
9:05am - Run on treadmill long enough to mentally formulate a plan to develop an eating disorder to get down to pre-baby weight
9:10am - Grab defibrillator machine off wall and use on self
12:00pm - Take temporary hiatus from starving self to eat leftover chicken strips off Ellie's high chair tray. And by leftover strips on tray I mean grab strip out of her hand and quickly stuff into mouth.
12:15pm - Fix Lean Cuisine
12:16pm - Finish Lean Cuisine
12:17pm - Fix second Lean Cuisine
12:18pm - Finish second Lean Cuisine
12:19pm - Call Lean Cuisine headquarters to complain about how calling such a scant amount of food a meal might lead to a 34-year-old woman driving down to the 7-11 with a hand gun, two kids in the backseat and sketchy plan for escape
12:25pm - Decide to delay plan for starvation until tomorrow and drive to Taco Bell for real lunch
12:30pm - Drink Diet Coke to cancel out Taco Bell Grande Burrito
1:00pm - Think about cleaning
1:05pm - Decide against cleaning and watch Ellen
2:00pm - Rifle through refrigerator looking for scraps
2:03pm - Eat jar of peanut butter and six slices of cheese
2:05pm - Press nose against window in remote chance Nick will be home early
3:30pm - Remove nose from window in disappointment
3:31pm - Throw toy into playroom at children, tell them they're boring
3:45pm - Drive to Target to buy something to make myself feel better about my life
3:46pm - Pull through Wendy's drive through for shopping snack
3:47pm - Finish fries before pulling away from window
3:48pm - Pull through Wendy's drive through and tell them they forgot fries on previous order
5:00pm - Think about fixing dinner
5:01pm - Decide against fixing dinner and watch Say Yes to the Dress
6:01pm - Call Nick and tell him to bring home some dinner
6:30pm - Hear garage door open and throw kids at Nick. Complain about how hard my day was while opening second bottle of wine.



On Saturday we went to a first birthday party. This was her second cupcake.

Immediately following this picture she was hurled into hyperactive speed by an unseen force called diabetes.

Then light speed.

Then ridiculous speed.

Then ludicrous speed.

By the time we peeled her off the roof of the car and put her to bed she had hit plaid, where she stayed until we unstrapped her from her crib the next morning. Before Saturday I had never actually seen anything levitate.

Deck the halls. And the walls. And the ceiling.


Every year I overestimate the size of the tree we'll need and every year Nick talks me down from the ledge.

However, when we went to get our tree from Lowe's on Sunday it was cold as a witch's tit outside so he waited in the store with the girls while I ran outside and picked one out. With no one to hold me back I picked a big ole honker that threatened to crumple my meager Accord on the drive home.

I think there may be a small family of Chinese gymnasts living in there.

She's a maniac

This morning our playgroup went to Pottery Barn Kids for a free Babaloo concert.

Notice how Ellie is commanding the dance floor as the others just look on in confused horror. Half the time he's not even singing.

When it comes to dancing she is definitely her mother's child.

Hannah Deen

Despite the countless atrocities that have been born from my oven, the boredom that accompanies a cold winter's afternoon has forced me to take up a hobby that doesn't involve spending our retirement fund shopping online, smelling anyone's butt, building a time machine or pressing my nose against the window for hours on end waiting for Nick's car to mercifully pull into the driveway.

So yesterday I went to the store and bought some ingredients. And, like clockwork, two hours later I was feeling like a complete failure while sobbing over a pile of chicken covered in a sauce that smelled like feet.

In hindsight, though, I've come to the realization that my inability to cook is not my fault. Recipes, while simple instructions, make a lot of assumptions. For instance, the recipe I was making last night simply said to "rinse chicken in cold water, dip it in the mixture, then cook until each side is brown, probably 5-6 minutes." Ok, simple enough, but it never told me to DEFROST the chicken. So I was left with chicken that was smoking and black on the outside and pink and icy on the inside.

There really needs to be two versions of recipes - one for those experienced chefs, and one for those who have had more important things to do with their lives than waste time cooking.

Spell it out for me people - I'm not too proud.

1. Walk to freezer. Take chicken out of freezer. If chicken is not in freezer, skip to #3.
2. Defrost chicken. The quickest way to defrost chicken is to XXX (I can't even speculate how to do this for this post)
3. Put chicken in a pan that is XXX (again, not the foggiest but tell me the size of the pan, what color it should be, if I'm supposed to put that spray stuff on it - don't hold back).

etc. etc.

Actually, what would be even better is if the instructions for dummies started with the list of ingredients. This would save me a significant amount of time zig zagging back in forth in unfamiliar grocery store territory while Ellie chews through a hot dog wrapper in the front of the cart.

Unfamiliar territory being any aisle that doesn't have wine or peanut butter.

Like, when you list corn starch as an ingredient, give me a little hint as to where that might be located. What the hell is a grated orange rind???

It's going to be a long winter. Back to the time machine.