Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Whatcha' Cookin' Wednesday - "Night Before" Blueberry French Toast

Those of you that know me well may fall out of your chairs when you discover this recipe has sugar in it. Not honey or molasses or maple syrup but honest-to-goodness sugar. (Albeit BROWN sugar.) Sometimes you just need the sugar. Especially after a long night of New Year's Eve hi-jinks... (This is awesome hangover food.)

(yields about 8 servings)
6 eggs
3 cups of milk
1 t. vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup walnuts or pecans
2 cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Sliced French bread (about 1" thick)

Lightly spray 13 x 9 pan with non-stick spray. Line bottom of pan with French bread. Combine eggs, milk and vanilla and pour on top of bread slices. Cover and put in fridge overnight. In the morning top bread slices with sugar, nuts and blueberries. Bake at 350 for about 45-60 minutes or until bread is puffed up and golden.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Whatcha' Cookin' Wednesday - Hot Spiced Cider

The weather here in Miami is awesome but I know that most of my Atlanta peeps are a little chilly these days.. Wouldn't a cup of hot cider hit the spot right about now? A little Christmas Eve treat?

This recipe uses an automatic coffee maker to brew the cider. If you don't own one, heat it in a slow cooker or a saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop. (Be sure to clean your coffee maker according to the manufacturer's instructions before using for coffee again. Apple cider + coffee = bad.)


1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less... season to taste...)
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 large orange, quartered with peel
2 quarts apple cider

Place filter in coffee basket, and fill with honey, allspice, cloves, cinnamon stick, salt, nutmeg, and orange wedges.

Pour apple cider into coffee pot where the water usually goes.

Brew, and serve hot.

(Think of me on the beach in Miami... Hee!~)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A diversion... Monkey-style!

And now a break from road trip preparations:

I give you....


Show me your MONKEYS!!!

An early Christmas present... They may be the perfect road companions for my little monkeys. (S has already named his "Bucky.")

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tunes to Survive By

"We are driving." he said. "If we fly we won't get the adventure."

Oh nooooooooooooooo....

It's official. We're driving to Florida for the holidays. South Florida.

10+ hours with 2.5-year old toddlers.

I plan to reach the stage of "acceptance" any minute now.

Since I'm a big-time music lover, I figured one of my survivial tactics to bring along some really fantastic tunes. For the kiddos that we could also enjoy. (ENJOY, not tolerate.) I cast the net (i.e. sent e-mails) to the various parent groups that I belong to and waited for the suggestions.

My request was specific: I need kid music that isn't kiddie music.

None of the "WHEELS ON THE BUS GO 'ROUND AND 'ROUND" stuff...

Absolutely (bleepin') not.

I got some GREAT feedback. (Thanks, everyone!)

Here's a sample of the set list:

The entire album "No!" by They Might Be Giants (all I had to do was listen to "Robot Parade" and I was hooked)

Octopus' Garden - The Beatles

Yellow Submarine - The Beatles

Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles

HoneyPie - The Beatles

Blackbird - The Beatles

Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da - The Beatles

Various Jack Johnson tunes including some the Curious George soundtrack (minus "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." That one makes my ears bleed... Ah, c'mon, don't look at me like that...)

Dancing Queen - ABBA (No, Danger Dad doesn't mind listening to ABBA for short periods of time. Another good reason to stay married to him.)

Waterloo - ABBA

Mama Mia - ABBA

Take a Chance on Me - ABBA

Super Trouper - ABBA

Boogie Oogie Oogie - A Taste of Honey

How Sweet It Is (to be loved by you) - James Taylor *and* Michael Buble versions

Groove Me - King Floyd

Entire Album of Muisiques Pour Mon Bébé (a great classical mix given to me by a dear friend that lives in Luxemburg - fantastic for winding down or napping)

Shake Your Groove Thing - Peaches & Herb

Boogie Shoes - K.C. & The Sunshine Band

Various Ben Folds (and Ben Folds Five) - (but not as much as I would like since he's a big fan of the F-word.)

The entire album of "Philadelphia Chickens" by Sandra Boynton. (Yes, this is technically "kiddie" music but it is fun and sweet and smart and idd I mention fun? And we can turn it off when we feel like our brains are going to explode.)

Any other suggestions???

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Whatcha' Cookin' Wednesday - Crock-Pot “Rotisserie” Chicken

Who loves those rotisserie chickens you can buy at the market, all salty and juicy and yummy... Perfect for flaking on salads or making chicken tacos.. WE DO! And who needs an EASY meal around this time of year? WE DO! Who knew you could make one in a CROCK POT?!?!? WE DO! I totally ripped this recipe off from this wonderful gal but switched up some of the spices to better suit our tastes.

Crock-Pot “Rotisserie” Chicken

--1 whole chicken, skinned (4-5 pounds)
--2 tsp kosher salt (if you'd like it as salty as the ones in the store, add another 1 tsp.)
--1 tsp. garlic powder
--1 tsp onion powder
--1 tsp Italian seasoning (or poultry seasoning)
--1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
--1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
--pinch of chili pepper (probably not necessary)

--2 whole garlic cloves
--1 onion, quartered

Spray 6-quart crock-pot with non-stick spray.


Skin the chicken and get rid of the neck and other stuff from the cavity.

In a bowl, combine all of dried spices. Rub the spice mixture all over the bird, inside and out. Plop the bird breast-side down into the crockpot.If desired, put 4 whole garlic cloves and a quartered onion inside the bird.Do not add water. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8.

The longer you cook it, the tenderer the meat!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Train, planes and well, nothing but trains…

Last year around this time some very dear pals gifted us with a BOX of Brio trains and tracks (and some Thomas stuff too) that were no longer desired by their growing-up son.

We were thrilled. The kiddos were a little young for it then so we carefully stored it away until the right time. (We had this Christmas in mind.)

Meanwhile I’ve spent the last year becoming an expert on train tables.

Should we buy one? Should Danger Dad build one? Should it fit over an existing table? Or be free-standing? Used or new? Permanent or fold-away?

It was decided that the perfect table needed to be only one thing…

FREE. (Or near to free.)

I scoured Craig’s List. Nothing. I asked friends if their kids had outgrown one. Nope.

Then I discovered Freecycle.

I LOVE Freecycle. In short, and in their words, “it's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.” I LOVE Freecycle.

And people who give away train tables via Freecycle.

A lovely family that was looking to make room for their soon-to-be born third child and gave us their perfectly good train table. Thank you, God.

Since we are heading 600 miles south for the holidays (BY CAR… Yes, we’re going BY CAR…) we decided that we would give S & J’s this as their Christmas NOW instead of lugging gifts with us. (Don't worry, we'll still bring a few things "from Santa" for them to unwrap .)

This morning we revealed the table and all (or most of) it’s goodies.

S played with it for nearly 3 hours STRAIGHT. ("Mama! Look at the trains! We have trains! Let's play trains!")

(J had fun too but was mostly interested in stealing S’s trains or reconfiguring the track (let's make all the trains CRASH!) or using the drawers to make a bed for her beloved monkey, Baby Henry.)

I can unequivocally recommend the train table. A smashing success.

One last note: The friends that gifted us with the trains gave us what we now know is invaluable advice: only introduce 3-4 cars at a time per kid and a very simplified track. That way kiddos don’t become too overwhelmed or even bored… Wonderful advice.


Since before Halloween, my lovely daughter J has insisted that she is a rabbit.

When people ask J her name she confidently, and pleasantly, says, "Rabbit." When I call her my "sweet baby girl" she corrects me: "Rabbit." (Sometimes this is said under her breath and sometimes she just says it in a very matter-of-fact tone. Duh, mom.) When I ask her what she'd like to wear she says, "A Pink RABBIT shirt."

(She doesn’t own a single piece of clothing with a rabbit on it. It seems all shirts are "rabbit" shirts.)

She was THRILLED when she discovered that she would be able to dress as a rabbit (A PINK RABBIT) on Halloween. And all the parties surrounding Halloween.

On Saturday she declared that she’s a dog.

No more rabbit.

I already miss rabbit.

(It’s worth noting that my son S claims to be “Fireman Sam.” Yesterday, though, he asked to be called an “engineer.” Might have something to do with the new train table, y’ think?)

All the clichés are true: they grow up too fast, you blink and they grow two inches, they look different every day…

A good friend gave me some awesome advice shortly before I had S & J: She said to take pictures CONSTANTLY. Don’t stop. Even if you think the moment is not worth capturing, just everyday happenings... These images are the only record of how quickly time passes. As a result I take my camera everywhere and always have it charged and at the ready.

I want to remember when J changes into a princess or a giraffe or a flower. Or if she becomes a rabbit again.

I want to somehow capture the changes.

I may never get used to them changing so much, all the time, but I want to remember those changes and enjoy HOW they are changing. It's a never-ending, fascinating, and absolutely lovely sight.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hittin' the road... or skies.

Road trips suck.

(Unless you’re 17 or 18 and young and dumb and with a bunch of girlfriends getting crazy and listening to Journey and Prince and The English Beat REALLY LOUD and contemplating what to do with your lives and are actually excited about your final destination… Not that I’ve ever done that…)

I’m good for 3-4 hours TOPS and then I start to lose my mind. This, however, has not stopped us from planning a road trip to Miami for the holidays.

Which is a 10-11 hour drive from our house.

I can already feel the crazy creeping up…

I created an “Adventure List” with all that we’ll need to survive the journey and the subsequent 5-day stay at DD’s brother’s family house. I got all set and organized.

I decided to embrace the road trip.

Then yesterday Danger Dad announced that he’d found some fantastic airline rates and we may be flying to Miami instead of driving!


I hesitate to get my hopes up but I am totally stoked at the possibilities. As long as we plan to take it slow and not get caught up in the holiday airport crush it might actually be fun. The kids would be so curious about the security line (all those people in uniform!), the subway train to the terminal, the boarding process, the take-off and landing… And it’s only a two-hour flight. Nice.

S & J frequently talk about going on an airplane ride, especially since we’ve had many visitors that have taken planes to see us and I’ve lately traveled to SF for work via airplane. (Of course.) We live just 15 miles or so from the airport and I’ve taken them to meet friends that are on layovers, plus our neighborhood is sometimes is in the flight path so we can see lots of planes in the sky on a clear day. They love airplanes.

They don’t like the car so much.

They’ve never really traveled more than 2 hours in the car. And it always gets somewhat painful although I know they are doing their best. Let’s face it: Car travel can boring. And when you’re 2 ½ it can be really, really boring despite all the fun music and games and books and distractions. Who wants to be belted down? Confined, feet hanging down, sitting straight up? Not ideal positioning. I lobbied to rent an RV when we first started entertaining the idea of a Miami road trip. I figured then at least the kiddos could lie down, run around, etc. and it wouldn’t be quite so unbearable. A traveling party! Yay! But RV rentals are expensive (wow, are they expensive, even the smaller ones) so we crossed that option off the list and decided to bite the bullet. Our mini-van is quite nice and comfortable and God knows our parents made us do road trips in far less style so we could definitely survive.

But now I have visions of air travel in my head. I wonder if I can even consider a road trip now.

Think I’ll go blast some Journey to get in the mood... Just in case…

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Whatcha' Cookin' Wednesday - Turkey Tetrazzini

All of us were felled by a terrible 36-hour or so stomach bug on Thanksgiving Day but wonderful Danger Dad managed to get a brined turkey perfectly cooked as soon as we were on the upswing of recovery. Needless to say we didn't have our usual appetites but we were thankful that we had lots of leftovers. Especially after I discovered this recipe, which I modified from Family Circle Magazine. This one is a real keeper. I made two large pans. I might make another one tomorrow. I am officially addicited. It's GOOD.


1 Tsp. olive oil
10 oz. white mushrooms, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. *each* of salt and black pepper
2 Tbsp. flour (I use unbleached organic white)
6 oz. of egg noodles
14-15 oz. of low-sodium turkey stock (you can also use low-sodium chicken stock or broth)
3/4 cup of milk (I use whole milk, you can also use light cream for a heavier casserole)
10 oz. of turkey, chopped (white, dark, whatever)
10 oz. (1 package) of frozen peas
2 cups of water
1 cup of swiss cheese, small cubes
1 cup of parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion to pot. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring every 7 minutes or until tender.

Stir in flour and cook one minute. Remove mushroom mixture from pot and set aside.

Return pot to stove on medium-high heat and add noodles, broth and milk and water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes or until tender.

Stir in mushroom mixture, turkey and peas. Stir in swiss cheese. Add remaining 1/4 salt and pepper to taste. (You may not need it...)

Pour entire mixture into lightly greased 9 x 11 pan and sprinkle parmesan cheese evenly over top.

Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and parmesan cheese is browned.

Monday, December 8, 2008

How Sweet It Is

I might be the neighborhood freak.

I don’t allow my kids to eat sugar.

Sure, they eat fruit, and I use honey and maple syrup to sweeten breads and granola bars and such, but I absolutely don’t allow them to eat processed sugar. So… No cupcakes, cookies, popsicles, etc. They’ve never had a Coke or a candy bar or even an M & M.

They had their way with homemade cupcakes when they turned one…

…but none since. (And, quite frankly, I’m not sure how much of the cupcake actually made it down to their tummies. They were more interested in the Mess Factor then the Eating Factor.)

Please understand that I’m not passing judgment on folks that choose to feed their kids sugar; we just don’t feed it to our kids. My reason is simple: I want to keep their little bodies as pure as possible; for as long as possible. I’m certain there will come a time (especially if they attend a traditional school) when they will trade meals and end up eating something that I would never offer. (And they will survive it, I’m sure.) But for now I’m in control and I choose to leave sugar out of the equation.

We’ve never had an issue with it because we’ve never introduced it into their lives. People seem to be amazed at this. “How do you do it?” they ask. I guess we’ve never really thought about it. We’ve never offered so they don’t ask. Easy peasy. For instance, on Halloween this year they collected “treats” (we didn’t call it candy) and did not ask to eat anything even though they were allowed to play with their loot afterwards. They were curious about the packaging but didn’t understand the “candy” thing.

I had a moment of pause this Saturday. We attended a small birthday party for a neighbor kid friend and I was a little concerned about what to do when it was “Cake Time.” We’ve been to plenty of parties but they’re usually large, crazy affairs and the cake seems to be lost in the birthday whirl of chaos. This was the first time that they were just two of maybe 7 kids, the cake would take a much bigger spotlight than ever before. As the cupcakes were being handed out a neighbor mom mouthed to me. “How are you going to handle this?” I didn’t know… (Praying?!?!) Turns out I didn’t need to come up with a game plan… I gently steered my kiddos away and they bounded down the hall to play with balloons. They didn’t ask about the goodies, or seem to miss not being part of the sugar-eatin’, cupcake-enjoyin’ group.
Crisis averted.

For now.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the “No Sugar” dictum will do once the holidays hit with full force.

We’re headed down south to spend the holidays with Danger Dad’s family. They are big Gingerbread House folks. Making it, decorating it, EATING it. It’s a HUGE tradition and I don’t want my kiddos to miss out. DD’s mom even suggested decorating the house this year with dried fruit but, really, even I can agree that's just sacrilege.

So, I will go with the flow and see what the kiddos want to do. I wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t interested or maybe took a small bite and decided, eh, it’s not that great. (Gingerbread is a bit spicy and they may not like it, who knows?)

Stay tuned. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hope in an Aquarium

I am rallying for a Divine 2009.

Mostly because 2008 has been rough. (O.k., maybe the worst on record.)

I am not a Debbie Downer, I don’t generally feel sorry for myself. I don’t blame God or the full moon or Mercury when it's in retrograde.

But, geez, it’s official.

I’ve had enough.

One of our rentals burned nearly to the ground night before last. Probably a 90% loss. Our renters had a grease fire. Nice. (I guess that’s one more reason why all of us should lay off the trans fats.) The mother and her four children made it out with the clothes on their backs. No one was hurt.

This is the latest in a long string of frustrating ridiculousness regarding our rental properties including someone stealing all the pipes out of a house (yes, they actually yanked them out from the crawl space beneath the house), a tenant moving out without notice (we found out three months later, after the druggies, homeless, bored teens and inclement weather had their way with the property), and miscellaneous missing HVAC systems. (Here in Atlanta they steal ‘em for the minor amount of copper wiring inside.)

Danger Dad is in real estate. The market is dismal. 'nuf said; you can imagine the gory details. The lucky thing is that DD is one of the most hard-working and scrappy folks I know. He’ll turn it around. But now? Things are tough.

We relocated from the city to a beautiful new home in a great suburban neighborhood only to discover that the developer had not been 100% honest about upcoming plans. It seems we moved into a construction zone, with light industrial warehouses and office space popping up all around. The excavators and other random loud construction equipment fire up around 7 a.m. and are non-stop until 6 p.m. or so. Napping in the back half of the house is futile.

Our entire house was felled with the flu on Thanksgiving. The beautiful dinner that we had planned with S & J was majorly postponed while we tried our best to not pass out or ruin the carpets.

Danger Dad had another episode and needed to call 911 for help. First one in 5 years. We still don’t know why his brain just up and stops working correctly. Stress? Diet? A mystery… And I’m scared that there’s been a reoccurrence. With no answers.

I know that with all bad comes good and there's been plenty of good (potty training in 4 days - yeah!) but I just want some balance and, well, a bit of a break from all the bad luck.

This morning I found some hope. And it all started with a simple trip to the aquarium.

It was beautiful.

All of it.

The water, the animals, S & J’s wonderment at the utter majesty of it all... It was so peaceful, and a needed reminder that we are a small piece of a really fantastic place.

Simply put, it just made me feel better. Like we can get through this... That there is great beauty in life and nature and family and this crap is just temporary.

It will pass.

And that will be beautiful.

Here’s to ’09!! (Only 27 days to go!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Whatcha' Cookin' Wednesday - Veggie Burgers

With Thanksgiving under our belt (literally) and Christmas gluttony right around the corner I figure it's the perfect time for a vegetarian option. These burgers are easy to make and keep well.

Yummy Veggie Burgers
Modified from

I recommend using sprouted garbanzos but if you can't find them, canned or cooked garbanzos (chickpeas) will work great.

2 1/2 cups sprouted garbanzo beans (chickpeas) OR canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed

4 large eggs
1/4 cup of fresh parsley, chopped (you can substitute cilantro)
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
Grated zest of one large lemon
1 cup micro sprouts, chopped (try broccoli, onion, or alfalfa sprouts - optional)
1 cup toasted (whole-grain) bread crumbs (my fave is Ezekiel, a sprouted bread you can find at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's))
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or clarified butter)

Combine garbanzos, eggs, and salt in a food processor. (If you are using sprouted garbanzos, steam them until just tender, about 10 minutes.) Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the parsley, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. Form into twelve 1 1/2-inch-thick patties. (If the patties are too moist to form a patty, add breadcrumbs. Too firm, add water or more egg.)

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium low, add patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Keywords - what what??

I’m a tech-friendly kind of gal, but most of the time I still find technology totally mind-blowing. And maybe a little scary… Seriously, when someone from 18-years ago can find me online it gives me pause. (This has happened more than once in the last week and a half. Hello, Facebook.)

It’s also enabled me to take my journal online (hello, Blogger) so that I have a record of this time in my life, and so do my kiddos.

I started this blog for a bunch of reasons. Mostly for the aforementioned record of history but to also let other parents of multiples know that they are not alone. Our stories are largely the same and I thought that even if one mom or dad found some support that it was a good thing. Since I co-founded a large “parents of multiples” club in my area I knew that our members might read my stuff. But I guess I never really thought that complete strangers might stumble across my blog, or even find it marginally interesting. But they have. And they’re from all over – Vancouver, Michigan, Florida, India, etc..

Today I thought it might be fun to see how people find me on the web. And I pulled up the keywords that people have used in Google that direct them to my blog.


The goods:

"do chickens like to play with toys"
“coke boston butt”
“she skinned her knee”
“daycare sick”
“hairstylist coke blog”


Some of these might make a little sense (I did write about J skinning her knee, a recipe about Boston Butt and the Mommy Wars as they relate to daycare) but really, someone was searching for “chickens that like to play with toys?” Someone actually put all those words together and plugged them into Google? And MY BLOG came up? Weird. (And maybe a little awesome.)

There's no doubt that the “hairstylist coke blog” search is super-crazy weird, right? For Pete's sake... That's not even CLOSE.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Whatcha' Cookin' Wednesday - Chocolate-Chunk Oatmeal cookies with Pecans and Dried Cherries

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving... And despite all the turkey and stuffing (or here in the South, dressing) and cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole and corn casserole and on and on and on... We all need a really good COOKIE.

So here ya go. You can thank me in gold bullion.

Chocolate-Chunk Oatmeal cookies with Pecans and Dried Cherries
(Makes sixteen 4-inch cookies)

1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
1 ¼ rolled oats (old-fashioned)
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 cup of dried cherries, coarsely chopped
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks about the size of chocolate chips (about ¾ cup.)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar, preferably dark
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. In second medium bowl, stir together oats, pecans, cherries and chocolate.

In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat butter and sugar at medium sped until no sugar lumps remain, about one minute. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low speed until fully incorporated. About 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl; with mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture; mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running on low, gradually add oat/nut mixture; mix until evenly incorporated. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide dough evenly into 16 portions, each about ¼ cup, then roll between palms into balls about 2 inches in diameter; stagger 8 balls on a baking sheet, spacing then about 2 ½ inches apart. Using hands, gently press each dough ball to 1 inch thickness. Bake about 8 minutes, rotate sheet, bake another 8 minutes until the edges have begun to set but centers are still soft – cookies will seem underdone and will appear wet, raw and shiny in cracks. DO NOT OVERBAKE.

Cool cookies on baking sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hair Raising

When I was about 7, I got a HAIRCUT. The long, blonde hair I'd had for all those years:

...came off in one fell snip.

I think the new style was meant to be some sort of modified Dorothy Hamill cut only it didn’t turn out so cute.

But apparently was really good for dance class.


I don't remember much about getting the haircut but chances are I was told to sit in the chair, get my haircut and keep my mouth shut.

End of story.

Now there are special salons just for kids.

Holy. Mackerel.

The last time the kiddos needed a trim we just popped into Fantastic Sam’s on a whim and that was that. But this time I thought it might be fun to try the neighborhood “kid salon.” Why not?

This place was a scream.


It was LOUD and colorful and crazy-looking and full of sparkly stuff to buy and FULL of flat-screen TVs that were blaring some sort of hair salon-branded cartoon show. Yup, the place had it's very own CARTOON SHOW.

The kids froze.

I instantly had a headache.

When they got in their chairs they were handed bubbles and a computer mouse so they could "control the action" on the aforementioned flat-screen TVs.


"Control the action?"

When did haircuts become entertainment?

And why do we need to hypnotize kids just to their hair cut? (Old lady question: Did we need such distractions when we were kids?)

I guess the important thing is that we got the deed done:

And they had a good experience, I think, although they had that "deer in the headlights" look almost the entire time.

What about the next cut? Not sure. I'm doing my best to raise kids that enjoy the experience for what it is... Does something as benign as a haircut need to be masked in such drama and sensory-overload? Maybe. Maybe that's what a haircut experience looks like these days and I should lighten up and enjoy the ride. Maybe I'm raising myself as much as I'm raising S & J.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Whatcha' Cookin' Wednesday - Pumpkin Bread

In honor of Thanksgiving, and in honor of keeping things SIMPLE at Thanksgiving (don't we get a little wacky with the food, people?), posted below is the yummiest, easiest and healthiest Pumpkin Bread recipe around. Most pumpkin breads are no more than glorified cakes with cup and cups of sugar to each loaf. Not this one. Only ONE cup of honey for two loaves.


The kiddos LOVE it. And we do too. And it freezes well. (And did I mention it's really, really good?)

Enjoy. :)

Pumpkin Bread
(yields two loaves)

1 cup honey
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
16 oz. of fresh, roasted pumpkin (or one can of solid-pack pumpkin) [ed. note: Roast fresh pumpkin by halving and removing seeds then place flesh-side down on cookie sheet lined with foil coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for one hour or until soft and mushy.)
4 eggs
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In Cusinart or blender mix honey, eggs and butter. Add pumpkin. Blend well. Transfer mixture to big bowl. In seperate bowl sift together dry ingredients. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Divide batter equally between two well-greased loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let loaves cool in pans for 10 minutes; invert pans to remove loaves and allow to finish cooling on racks.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The End of the Poop Initiative - Cheerio!

For those of you that want an update on The Poop Initiative:

I've estimated that over the next year we'll save about $438. in diapers.


I would HIGHLY recommend the "No Pants Day!" strategy and go cold, um, turkey for a few days until, um, success is had.

The kiddos wear diapers at night and naps and have the occasional slip during the day but I think we can safely call The Poop Initative a done deal.

Now to get Sam to aim for the Cheerio....

A mother's work is never done...

(I can't WAIT for them to read this blog someday... WAY more embarassing than naked baby pics in the bathtub. Maybe I can arrange for this to be played during their respective wedding receptions...)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Twice as Aware

As a child, death was an unreal concept to me. I was absolutely, positively convinced that someone would discover a way for people to live forever. Maybe it was a pill. Or a machine. I just knew that I would live forever.

I can tell you the exact moment I realized I would die.

I was a freshman in high school and was sleeping over at Alison's. We were watching some funny TV show, stretched out on those comfy, expensive-feeling couches in her den and it hit me. Like a ton of bricks. I have no idea what spurred the thought. A cold chill ran through my body and I absolutely froze. I literally felt ice-cold. I remember thinking that one day I would not be on this earth. And I was absolutely terrified.

And then I quickly pushed the thought out of my head.

In the years that followed I didn't really think about death much, in fact, I’m not sure I thought about it again until I turned 21 and was quite surprised that I was still alive. I rarely said no to a dare. I took lots of chances. I didn’t follow instructions. I didn’t listen. I had FUN. All the time. I made bad decisons to see what would happen. (Usually nothing too bad.) I experienced all I could. I drank it all in, I lived life fully. (Some people might tell you TOO fully.) I never did anything illegal (not entirely true, let's just say nothing FELONIOUS) but I didn't always put safety concerns at the top of the list. I had no fear.


Everything changed after the twins were born.

I was suddenly aware of death again.
Twice as aware.

This morning, at daybreak, a fried of mine died. For 16 years she fought a brilliant and brave battle with cancer. She was at home, surrounded by her husband of 43 years and her loving children and their spouses.

Death seems to be very much around me these days. We lost someone we knew in that horrible train wreck in L.A. in September. A neighbor's cancer has returned.

Having children paired with recent death experiences has made me more aware than ever

And I think it’s good that I have this awareness back.

Despite the extreme exhaustion and lack of brain power these days, I try my best to live my life fully and yearn to experience everything. My “life” motivation is different than before. It’s not because I know I will die one day. It’s because I want show our children this incredible world before I die; I want to share all that I have… I want to make a difference, if only in their lives, but hopefully beyond that too.

I am aware.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Whatcha' Cookin' - Coke Butt

Seriously. Coke Butt. As promised last week, it's Wednesday so we're cookin'. (And, no, this recipe is not meant to go with the past few days' theme of potty training. I swear.)

So, back to Coke Butt. Not a very appetizing name, I know… Perhaps "Boston Butt ala Cola" is better? Or "Butt Surprise"? "Butt Bonanza"! O.k. whatever… Call it what you like, just call it GOOD.

I made this last week and it almost changed my religion. It was amazing.


4-4.5 lb. Boston Butt roast
1 – 12 oz. can or bottle of Coca-Cola
½ cup of soy sauce
1 Tblsp. oil
1 medium onion, peeled and halved, then thinly sliced

Trim excess fat then salt and pepper meat and sear/brown all sides in hot oil in a cast iron pan or Dutch oven, about 3 minutes each side.

Take meat out and put in 6-quart crock pot.

Sautee onion in pan with meat drippings until clear. Add coke and soy sauce and scrape all the brown bits on bottom pan.

Pour coke/soy sauce/onion mixture on top of meat, put lid on crock pot and set to low for 10-11 hours, turning twice.

Take meat out and pour liquid in Pyrex cup to cool so you can separate fat. After skimming fat strain the mixture and use as “au jus.”

This makes great BBQ (just flake apart and add fave is Montgomery Inn, you can sometimes find it at Wal-Mart of all places) and is also good in soft tacos.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bring it, Day #4

Reporting from Day #4 of The Poop Intiative....




Wonderful successes so far and now can see the light at the end of the, um, tunnel.

More inspiration:

(Thanks to Guy Kawasaki...)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Selling Our Souls for Health

(We now take a break from potty training to bring you a message about germs and Hell... Oh, don't worry, poop talk will continue soon. MUWAHAHAHAHA...)

We didn't go to church yesterday. In fact, I don't remember when we last attended.

I think it was when S & J caught an awful cold from some snot-nosed kid in the church-provided daycare so we decided to take a "church break" until cold season was over.

O.k., that's telling... So, clearly (since FALL is cold season) we maybe haven't been in a year.

I suddenly feel even worse.

We had a good run there for a awhile but the church we attend really doesn't enforce the "no sick kids" rule and time after time we brought home some Super-Horrific-Sticky-Green-Mucus-Pukeazoid-Bug that felled the kids, and sometimes us. And to say that it's tough to deal with sick twin toddlers when you are also sick is a massive understatement.

Like saying that breastfeeding twins is a gigantic freak show.


And now I'm feeling so guilty.

And now I feel like maybe I have to make a choice: Eternal damnation or healthy kids?

S & J aren't in regular daycare and very rarely have a playdate with more than 3 or 4 kids at a time. As a result they aren't little petri-dishes of Cholera but also maybe don't have the same resistance to all the Kid Krud that most daycare kids do.

I've talked to other "no daycare" moms and they don't take their kiddos to church daycare during cold and flu season.

So at least I'll have people I can share recipes with in Hell.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Holiday Fun

Holidays can be either fun, fun, fun or totally unbearable.

Same goes for potty training.

Um, NO. Maybe the latter but definitely not the former.

They were all over it back in MAY but since then they won't even discuss it. They enjoy the books. They enjoy the fun underpants. But peeing in the potty? FORGET IT.


Since Easter was fun, July 4th was a hoot and Halloween went really well I decided to try the "holiday" strategy (everything's MORE fun on a holiday!!!) with potty training to see how it goes.


Today is "No Pants Day!"

YAY. (No, really. YAY.)

We refuse to bribe with candy or food but have promised copious amounts of monkey, elephant and excavator stickers.

A picture of after a successful, um, deposit:

J in all her sticker-fied glory. (Tally included a monkey, two elephants and one giant excavator.)

It seems that S has other uses for the potty:

At least he's creating SOMETHING.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Whatcha Cookin' Wednesday" Debuts

I am a food LOVER.

I'm often asked to share my recipes and such so I'm dedicating my blog a day each week to food (my favorite thing next to my kiddos and Danger Dad and maybe warm, sandy beaches) and share some of the stuff that goes on in my very busy kitchen.

I plan to call it "Whatcha Cookin' Wednesday."

(If you have a better name PLEASE let me know. The current title beat out "Sustinence Saturday", "Tuesday's Table" and "Friday's Fare." Yeah. My brain is on vacation.)

I think featuring this sort of thing in the middle of the week makes sense since that will give you time to get all the ingredients and such and perhaps make this a weekend meal.

Moving forward... Today I need comfort. LOTS of comfort.

And comfort = Crock Pot. As soon as the leaves turn I find that I use the Crock Pot about once a week, maybe more.

Here's one of my fave recipes. It's so easy it's crazy. (Crazy GOOD.)

Chicken a la Herbert

2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (I use Wolfgang Puck organic.)

4 medium-sized chicken breast (frozen or thawed - I usually use frozen)

1 jar of roasted red bell peppers (julienned, I get mine from Trader Joe's)

one medium onion (chopped)

2 cloves of fresh garlic (chopped)

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until clear then add to crock pot. Add soup and peppers and give a light stir. Layer chicken breasts in the soup mixture, spoon some on top.

Cook on low for about 8 hours. Enjoy over rice or noodles.


And for more inspiration check out these awesome food blogs:
Bread and Honey & Crockpot 365

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bunnies and Firemen

(In light of today's election I need to think happy thoughts and there's not much that's happier than kiddos dressing up for Halloween. Right? Right. So here's a post-Halloween post to keep things light and HAPPY. Gosh darn it.)

I think that all parents must think this at one time or another,

"Did we really make such cuteness?!?"

Holy mackerel. I just can't stand it. The cute factor is WAY off the charts.

Up until about a week before Halloween Sam was asking to be either an excavator or an elephant. (Just for the record, I'm always up for a challenge and am pretty crafty but for the life of me I could not figure out how to make an excavator costume.) Janie also wanted to be an elephant for a short period of time but then insisted on being a Pink Bunny. Not just a bunny. Or a rabbit. But a PINK BUNNY. But she wouldn't wear ears. And, up until Halloween night, wouldn't wear a nose or whiskers. So basically her costume was "Cute Little Girl in Pink Leggings with Matching Pink turtleneck."

With a pom-pom on her butt.

Sam's "Fireman Sam" costume consisted of about a roll and a half of yellow duct tape and a navy-blue oxford shirt that was about 2 sizes too big. Voila! Fireman's coat!

It was a hit, and Target was selling Fireman rain boots this year which completed the outfit perfectly. Danger Dad added the soot (yes, it's actual soot, OF COURSE) as a final touch.

As with nearly all aspects of our life, I totally forgot about me. (Which is clearly evidenced in the above pic.) This happens with doctors appointments, eating, and well, just about everything else. I tend to take care of everyone else and put myself last. It's a good thing that I have an abundance of dress-up stuff and general junk. And magic markers. (Couldn't find any eyeliner.) Instant bunny.

I think Danger Dad missed his calling. He is one hot Fireman.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Way scarier than ghouls and goblins

You know by now that I'm terrified by this year's election.

I have friends (literally) shouting the praises of Obama but can't explain why he is their choice to run this country.

They say, "We just don't want more of the same!" but their research is thin and flimsy.

They say, "I want change!" but they can't tell me why.

They say, "Palin is a joke and I don't want her to be one heartbeat away from the presidency!" but not one single person I spoke to could tell me about her voting or leadership record.

(They could, however, recite recent SNL skits nearly word for word.)

One very smart, dear friend, a schoolteacher, told me she can't support McCain because he doesn't support teachers. I couldn't find any evidence of this so I asked her to show me where she saw this (there is NO WAY I would support a candidate that doesn't support teachers) or to send documentation. I haven't heard from her in nearly 2 weeks.

I have friends that believe McCain will raise taxes for the poor (he won't) and that he will keep the war going indefinitely (he has said he won't) so they want Obama in office so he can "CHANGE" things.

Not one single person has been able to tell me what that "CHANGE" is.

And now it just got much scarier.

My mother-in-law is a pollworker in Miami. Yesterday she wrote this to me:

I have been working at the early voting polls for this past 10 days, and I am watching busloads of the elderly, blind, homeless brought in to vote for Obama.

I have had to help people who cannot read English; I have watched the Creole interpreters (whose language I cannot understand – so I do not know if these interpreters are telling the blind, and those who seem to have no awareness of where they are, how to vote); I have watched while the interpreters have filled in the ballot with their own hands while the “voter” stands by with a cane or wheelchair and says nothing much that is intelligible. Is this even legal? A barely alive body with a”maybe” legal card having their ballot filled out by an openly biased interpreter?

I have seen VERY few voters who know what is going on – who have given thought to the issues and who are voting with their intellect.

I HAVE seen thousands ( literally-since we process about a thousand per day) of voters come in just to vote for Obama and say they do not care about the rest - and make loud remarks about it to the crowd. These voters are not voting for the issues –it is for racial reasons.

There is an assumption that voting for Obama is what black people MUST do - no matter if they understand what is at stake or not! Someone has relieved them of the responsibility to think about the issues and told them they will be “taken care of” it they vote for Obama!

It is appalling to watch how the voting is being manipulated.

I am not sure how these people who are barely alive – coming in to vote in a country where they have not bothered to learn English, or to learn about how the government works, and who would not be otherwise voting - [would be voting] were it not an issue of RACE!

I am sick to my stomach.

My worst fears are coming true. This is firsthand info from someone I know very well. Not from a second or third party. She saw this with her own eyes.

More than a few people I know are excited about Making History. They are preserving thoughts and memories so that if Obama is elected they can share that monumental moment with their children when they get older.

Unfortunately, for many of us, this election may go down in history as a moment when someone was voted into office for the color of their skin not for ideals, morals, values or experience. It will be known as a time when the presidency was a "Popularity Contest", when the popular candidate won over the best candidate.

It will be known as a time when the fabric of our country was ripped to shreds.

Racism will get worse. It will. The resentment in this country will grow to epic proportions.

It's a slippery slope and I'm not ready for the ride.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The obligatory "100 things"

In keeping with bloggy tradition here is my “100 Things About Me” list. It might explain some of the stuff you read here every once in a while.


(No promises.)

1. I’m from a small town in Northern California.
2. I am the youngest of two.
3. My family had a red VW bus.
4. We went camping a lot.
5. And traveled Europe.
6. Also in a VW van.
7. I’m a Gemini.
8. My favorite color is red.
9. My nickname in Jr. High was “Hollywood.”
10. In 8th grade I was voted “Most Likely To Be A Solid Gold Dancer.”
11. I was proud of this honor.
12. I’ve always been very social.
13. I went to nine proms.
14. I *did not* put out.
15. I kept all the corsages.
16. I never took the SAT.
17. I was very good at soccer but chose dance instead.
18. I was a cheerleader.
19. I sang in a band.
20. We called ourselves, “Rapid Fire!”
21. We weren’t very good.
22. But we did awesome Pat Benatar covers.
23. I was the only freshman in the high school talent show.
24. My first rock concert was the B-52’s.
25. I broke my toe while slam dancing to “Rock Lobster.”
26. It was totally worth it.
27. My high school drama teacher told me that I didn’t have any talent.
28. I sent her a thank you note after I got accepted to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.
29. My nickname in college was “Gidget.”
30. I lived near the beach and went nearly every day.
31. We used to bring kegs home on my skateboard.
32. I once fell asleep while riding my bike to work.
33. I worked at a coffeehouse in college and had to bake muffins at 5 a.m.
34. I think I was still drunk.
35. I fell out of a two-story window.
36. And only received 5 stitches.
37. I think I was still drunk.
38. I was on “The Dating Game.”
39. I won.
40. The prize was a trip to Xtapa, Mexico.
41. I went on the trip but ditched the date and stayed for 3 weeks.
42. I attended the Academy Awards in 1986.
43. Bette Davis was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Oscar that same year.
44. Bette Davis is my all-time, hands-down favorite actress.
45. I own Bette Davis’ brass headboard.
46. I bought it at her estate auction while living in NYC.
47. My roommate and I brought it home on the subway.
48. After that purchase I ate Top Ramen and beans for nearly a month.
49. I once passed out from dehydration while in the middle of a play.
50. I was playing Cinderella.
51. I got a standing ovation.
52. I have tattoos.
53. One of them is on top of the other.
54. I had a pierced nose.
55. And a pierced belly button.
56. I’ve had many jobs.
57. I used to sell digital printing services.
58. And manage an eclectic restaurant.
59. And run a flower stand.
60. And for a little bit I sold beach glass jewelry at craft fairs.
61. And I had a great run as an actress.

62. I got my first acting job when I was 9.
63. My longest career has been in public relations.
64. I’ve done that for 13 years.
65. I worked for the agency that launched the iMac, Yahoo! and Pixar during the dot com heyday.
66. It was awesome.
67. We didn’t know that we were making history.
68. I married my husband nearly 11 years after we first met.
69. His nickname back then was “Malibu.”
70. We call him “Danger Dad” now.
71. We met while I was performing in a show in Galveston, TX.
72. He was my boss.
73. He had no idea what he was getting in to.
74. *I* had no idea what I was getting in to.
75. We took a 4 year break.
76. It was fun but I missed him.
77. We got married less than one year after we started dating again.
78. We’ve been married for 9 years.
79. Some people say that we look alike.
80. I used to climb rocks. Big rocks.
81. I’ve climbed in the ‘Gunks, all over Northern and Southern California, Texas and many places in between.
82. We have a climbing wall in our basement.
83. I’m a self-professed Foodie even though I hate the word “Foodie.”
84. I’m a recipe tester for Cook’s Illustrated magazine.
85. We spent two weeks with Tony Robbins in Hawaii. THAT Tony Robbins.
86. He’s a giant weirdo.
87. I’ve spent some time with BB King on his tour bus.
88. He’s awesome.
89. I read the obits every Wed.-Sun.

90. I do a crossword every day.
91. I always knew that I would have twins.
92. My grandmother is a twin.
93. My maternal grandmother has twin brothers.
94. My cousin has triplets.
95. My nephews are twins.
96. I am surrounded by twins.
97. I co-founded the Parents of Multiples Club in my city.
98. We have about 130 paid families with at least 2 new families joining every week.
99. I tandem breast-fed my twins.
100. It was a freak show.

101. But totally worth it.
102. I worry about being a good mom.
103. I’m just now realizing that there are way more than 100 things to list so I’m going to list 110 things.

104. I thought I would have at least five children.
105. I want my children to have an awesome childhood.
105. And overall awesome *life.*

106. I am certain that I could kill someone with my bare hands if they ever laid a finger on either of my children.
107. I hope to be my children's friend some day.
108. I really love being a mom. It's magic.
109. It's the hardest thing I have EVER done.
110. I want to make a difference. (That's kind a trite way to end this but it's true.)

What are your 100 things... (or maybe your Top Ten...?)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hacks R Us

I have a million simple parenting tips (or hacks) that make our twin life a little easier. It's not that I'm super clever or smart. It's called "survival." (Mothers are the necessity of invention, right?)

How to get your kids to wear band-aids? I've got the answer.

How to carry that basket at Target and push a double-stroller? We know how to do that too.

Yesterday I finally compiled one of our recent tips/hacks and sent it into Parent for consideration.

Stay tuned. :)

And just in case they don't post it, here 'tis:

How to distract kids after bath so you can dry and comb their hair, etc. *and* get their teeth brushed at the same time!

My 2.5-year old twin monkeys, er, kiddos are rarin’ to go after bath time and it’s almost impossible to corral them so we can dry them off, comb out their wet, tangled hair and also get teeth brushed. The solution? After removing/extracting them from the tub we wrap them in towels and sit them on the edge of the bathroom sink, feet first. We immediately give them one of our toothbrushes and a small cup with a little water and let ‘em have at it! They LOVE brushing their teeth with Mama and Papa's toothbrush and we can dry and comb their hair (and just about anything else) while they brush away. We’ve been doing this for weeks now and the ruse still works. Double-duty!


(Please note that the monkeys aren't hanging from chandeliers.)

Chalk one up for the parents. :)

p.s. Note the glass of red wine in the lower right of the frame. That's probably my all-time fave hack.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Common Thread

One absolute common thread I see in all twin moms: They are do-ers.

And they’re almost always over-achievers.

Big-time over-achievers.

Like “volunteer-for-every-committee-in-the-neighborhood” kind of over-achievers. And “it-doesn’t-exist-and-I-need-it-so-I’ll-create-it” over-achievers. But mostly “just-because-I-have-twins-it’s-not-going-to-slow-me-down” kind of over-achievers.

We get it done.

This seems universal. I have yet to meet a twin mom, and I know a TON of twin moms, that doesn't fit this bill.

Yes, we are overwhelmed and tired and wondering and doubting and hoping that we’re doing it all right but it seems that the one, big truth with twin moms is that we’re incredibly capable in one form or another.

Are we over-achievers and capable because we are twin parents? Or has being a twin mom brought that out in us? (Which can happen in a very Hulk-like fashion... but in a good way.)

I think that somehow having twins lifts you up and enables you to do things that you never thought possible. At least that’s how it is for me. I was always a do-er but after having twins it seems I clicked into overdrive. An overdrive that is mostly exhausting but always, always a good thing. Sometimes I can’t believe the fullness of my days. It’s amazing. And I hear the same things from other twin mamas.

We need to celebrate this.

I’m not always successful. Ha. Not even close. But I try. I try hard. And I’m incredibly motivated to stay on track and keep achieving, especially since it’s a good model for S & J.

Can we have it all? Not sure about that yet… But we keep achieving and striving and doing. And living very full twin-dom lives.

It’s awesome.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


(I am almost certain that I will lose some readers with this post.)

I am terrified that:

…some will vote along color lines. And use color as their only deciding factor.

…people are voting with their emotions instead of their brains.

… some Americans are more concerned with “making history” than making a good decision for the country.

… most are cutting off their noses to spite their face.

… some Americans are so fed up with the Republican party that they will choose the opposite candidate just to make a point.

…most don’t know the issues, won’t find out the facts and are choosing not to listen to all sides because it’s not the popular thing to do.

…people have shut down. And are becoming sheep.

…most don’t even know what “change” means.

…most are afraid to speak up.

…a person that doesn’t value human life will get elected.

…feminists refuse to applaud or even recognize a woman that was made from a mold that they created and fought for. (Self-made, educated person from middle-class family that has a long-term marriage, mom to 5 [including one with special needs] who has kept her sense of humor and looks… Capable, smart and willing to serve… I don’t get it…)

…that the vitriolic and hateful comments that are being slung these days are going to continue for some time. Maybe four more years.

...peace, love and understanding will become things of the past.

(Stepping off soap box now.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bunny Balloon Love

Red balloon = unbridled happiness.

Halloween came a little early this year. I believe that J may choose to wear the pink bunny costume (sans ears, of course) until maybe Christmas.

Fine by me.

Seriously, is there anything better than this?!?

Maybe this:

Fireman Sam and Pink Bunny's Excellent Adventures circa 2008...