Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oh Gross!

The FS Blog Round Up is back and will henceforth be referred to as the FS BRU. The BRU isn't gross, it's fabulous! This weeks topic is gross though. Vomit. Yuck.

Jill from The Perlman Update is hosting, be sure to check in with her blog on Fridays to read the BRU. If you are familiar with her family you know that she has the WORST luck when traveling. All of her kids are prone to motion sickness. It's not a question of IF someone will get sick. It's more a question of which kid will hurl first. She is a strong woman. Freaky frightening animals I can handle. Barf not so much. I still have nightmares about the tire swing at the camp where I was a counselor. The kids would take turns on it turning and spinning until the inevitable happened. We called that thing the Vomit Comet.

I am assuming Jill is asking for vomit stories just so she knows others feel her pain. Sadly even though my kids are pretty good travelers and don't seem to suffer from motion sickness, we have had our fair share of barfy experiences. There are a few rather horrible experiences that stand out in my memories. Experiences so nasty that time hasn't dimmed the impact of the event.

Lists aren't my usual thing, I'm not that organized, but for post this I think I will borrow the idea of the list as a blog post from my BFF Monica. She will probably remember a few of these.

1. Projectile Vomit at 75 mph. Back before we packed up to wander the world, back when my kids were toddlers, I was one of those moms who ran to the doctor every time the kids looked a little off. Then 3 year old Alonzo was running a fever and wasn't keeping anything down. I packed up the kids, strapped everyone into their carseats and headed out. About half way to the doctors, while doing 75 mh down I10, I heard what has to be one of the worst sounds you can hear. The sound of a small child gagging behind you. About a second later a flood of vomit hit me square in the back of my head. I managed not to wreck the car but I have no idea how. I also managed not to barf myself, I think because I was afraid I would kill us all if I did. The up side is if you arrive at the doctors office dipping vomit you would be amazed at how fast they can get you in and out.

2. Barf + bunk beds = nothing good. When Navy boy Dakota was in junior high he woke up in the middle of the night overcome by nausea. He tried hard to get out of his bunk bed but just as he stepped onto ladder he lost the fight. The spray pattern from that height is impressive. I don't think he missed a square foot of carpeting. Carpet should NEVER be used in kid's bedrooms.

3. Bunks beds take two. Colin and Alonzo had low loft bunk beds meaning Colin's mattress sat in a frame on the floor and Alonzo's bed was about chest height. Colin went first in this instance. Just as I finished up changing the sheets and wiping the vomit off the floor and bed frame I heard Alonzo's tiny voice above me "My tummy hurts." Before I could scramble up off the floor I was hit with a shower of vomit. Drenched from head to toe in barf, and the bed I just finished cleaning up? Covered in splatter. Bunk beds are evil.

4. Blueberry Pie + stomach virus = new carpets. Purple vomit all over the carpet. Did you know blueberries stain, even when partially digested? Did you know that Colin had seconds? That was a whole lot of purple. I may never eat blueberry pie again. Enough said.

5. Mosquito nets + stomach virus = disaster. You know how mosquito nets look all romantic in the home design magazine? Yeah, not so much in real life. Grayson woke up in the middle of the night with stomach cramps. As he started to gag he tried, he really tried to get out from under that mosquito net and to the bathroom. I know he tried because he pulled the net mount right out of the ceiling. I woke to a loud thunk as the frame hit his bed and the sound of someone hurling. We found poor Gray sitting in pile of vomit completely tangled on his mosquito net. Thankfully the wooden frame that holds up the net managed to miss him.

I think that is enough barf for one day. Hope I didn't gross you too badly.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Wild Alligators In the Bathtub

On Wednesday I posted a picture of an alligator in the bathtub.

For those of you that asked, No it's not real, it's one of the boy's toys that has been periodically scaring the pants off me for years. That thing is at least 15 years old and yet every time I catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye I jump. I used to feel pretty silly about it until the boys left it on the back step in Jakarta. Dwi, our wonderful pembantu, came to me in a panic, "I think there is a snake by the backdoor!" I peeked out the back window and for a moment my heart began to race and then I realized what I was seeing was the tail of that stupid plastic alligator. We had a good laugh.

I didn't stage the bathtub picture. I think Grayson left it in the bathtub, although it is possible that one of the older boys was deliberately trying to scare me. If so, it worked. I walked by and out of the corner of my eye I saw the alligator. For a second I totally panicked. Then I dissolved into almost hysterical laughter even before I realized it was just that stupid plastic alligator, again. All I could think was where did Colin find THAT thing? You see just a few days before that picture was taken I had posted this comment on Facebook,

My kids have decided I am the meanest mom ever! I have declared a technology vacation today. No wii, no iPads, no computers. I expect them to go OUTSIDE and play, or play boardgames TOGETHER.

To which the fabulous Donna replied,

Somehow I sense your next blog post will tell the story of how they get back at you by releasing some sort of a wild alligator in your bathroom. You might want to give back that iPad before it's too late.

Not only is she a talented writer but apparently she can predict the future. I'm just glad the croc was fake, this time anyway.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ain't Worth the Clean-up

What does making bread in a food processor have in common with Christmas? You got it! Right now I'm thinking both things just ain't worth the clean-up.

We have officailly reached the point where I am sick of all the Christmas decorations and they really gotta come down. Soon. Like yesterday. Traditionally we leave the stuff up until the kids go back to school. This year the kids don't head back until the 9th. I don't think I can hang in there that long. However trying to pack up all those breakable things with three wild children trying to help guarantees something, usually something of great sentimental value, will be broken beyond repair. So I guess Christmas stays for one more week, but I am really looking forward to having it all packed away, and the house cleaned, and put back to rights. I am not looking forward to all the work. No matter how I look at it I have at least two days of work getting it all boxed up. Sigh. Currently I'm not convinced that it was all worth it, that's a lot of cleaning up to do.

One of the best presents I received this year was a much longed for food processor. It's a thing of beauty. A sliver Cuisinart all shiny and new just waiting for me to try out everything it can do. Most things it does wonderfully. Nearly instant strawberry ice cream, fantastic. Bread crumbs, perfect! Chopping vegetables to make the mirepoix for the black-eyed peas for our New Year's Day party, so easy and so fast. I can't wait to make a carrot cake just to see how well it does shredding all those carrots. The one thing I have found that it doesn't do well well is knead bread dough.

Now I know this seems obvious to some, it is after all a food processor, not a bread machine. But here's the thing. It came with a dough blade, and there are recipes for bread in the cookbook that came with it. It should make bread dough. I figured I had to try it out at least once. In fairness it did seem to do a good job of kneading the dough, but holy cow what a mess. That was the first and last time I'm trying that. It just ain't worth the clean up. The dough managed to work itself into every hard to clean crack of that machine, I spent more time cleaning that thing than if I had just mixed and kneaded the dough by hand. And to top it off I had to hold the base while it was kneading the dough or it started to walk across the counter.

Now unless I am really in the mood to mess with bread dough all I want to do is dump all the ingredients in a machine and go have a cup of coffee while the machine does the hard stuff. Then I can just yank the dough out, shape into a loaf, and bake it up. I do not want to have to baby sit the machine to keep it from committing suicide by walking off the edge of the counter. Sadly my bread machine disappeared during our first international move 6 years ago, I really miss that machine. Happily my KitchenAid stand mixer does a pretty good job of handing the messy part of making bread. I guess I will stick with the KitchenAid unless of course I get a bread machine for Mother's Day. (Yes Babe, that was a hint!)