Friday fun for everyone

What a week! Here are some things I liked about it:

This holiday gift guide, which has gifts that give back to the women who made each item, who are all survivors of abuse, conflict or disease.

This sweet and funny story, which hits close to home as someone who is often telling my oldest child to ‘hurry up.’ (I’m working on it.)

Another round of celebrities reading mean tweets on Jimmy Kimmel, which never fails to make me chuckle

This post about the unquenchable thirst of kids these days, which I swear I was just thinking about last week as I was washing my children’s 472 water bottles.

This great post by Wendi Aarons about how to write a funny post.

I also read Amy Poehler’s new book on the plane last weekend and I loved it. She can do no wrong.

Happy weekend!

Adventures in sci-fi, part one (Trilogy #2, Series #4, Book #3.2)

The friend who convinced me to do NaBloPoMo is currently writing her second science fiction novel. When I went MIA last the weekend she assumed I had thrown in the towel on NaBloPoMo, so she generously sent me a few post ideas, and she even wrote me a guest post in an attempt to resuscitate me.

Talk about friendship. Or maybe she just felt guilty for roping me into this. But I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. She also said it was a good way to procrastinate writing her book.

As it turned out I had already written a post on the plane so I didn’t need to use hers. But now here I sit four days later, with no post in my brain and I can no longer use hers because it was only applicable to my first day back in the saddle.

So I’ll borrow her procrastination tactic and try my hand at science fiction writing instead. Here goes:

Marstark was traveling through time when he realized he had forgotten his laser sword back on planet Arfdrart during his battle with the fishling king, Wanooknen.

“Oh snardbart! I better use my zoinkstaffin to hit warp speed and get back there before the death swell hits land.” 

He shot some fire out of his fingertips to re-start the blaster engine, and then shot ice out of his toes to prevent it from overheating. Then a little more fire. Just a hair more ice. Fire. Ice. Fire. Ice. 

Marstark then combed his beard, tucked his tail into his leather pants and snapped himself into his Graco* 5-point harness car seat. Re-entry was going to be rough.  

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* Shameless attempt at a big brand sci-fi sponsorship. Pretty sure I nailed the demographics on this one. Graco – have your people call my people and we’ll talk.

Adventures in food blogging, part deux

When I was away last weekend my husband took the opportunity to step up his pancaking skills and debut the next animal in his series. Behold, the bull:

Bull pancake

Honestly I worry he might be peaking too soon. Where do you go from here? Surely a pig or cat would just feel like child’s play at this point. If you are going to showboat like this then you need to be prepared for the consequences. The children now have very high cake expectations, and I think I speak for the entire internet when I say, Show Me The Manatee.

Also, clearly weekend breakfasts are in good hands around here so I see no reason why I should not be able to sleep in. Wake me when there is an edible marine mammal or forest creature on my plate. Extra syrup, please.

How to end a friendship with a single friend

I’ve done it. I crossed that sacred line in a friendship with a childless friend and I asked her to babysit.

This friend adores my children – probably in part because I’ve never left her alone with them – but tomorrow that may all change. She has graciously agreed to help me out in a pinch and watch my kids for a few hours while I go to a meeting because my husband is out of town and every other sitter was booked.

After fielding questions from her like, “Do I need to feed them?” I assured her I would give her an exact play-by-play. I don’t want to insult her with my directions, but I also don’t want to leave her guessing. She is that super fun pseudo-auntie who never ceases to give my kids candy right before dinner, accidentally drop an F-bomb in front of them, get them riled up right before bedtime, and leave them begging to see her again.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • Don’t give them any candy.
  • Don’t hang them upside down by their ankles after 8 pm.
  • Don’t let them run around outside alone at night.
  • Don’t give them cigarettes.
  • Don’t listen to them when they say their bedtime is 10 pm.
  • Don’t let them watch The Walking Dead.
  • Don’t let the toddler poop on the floor.
  • Don’t feel bad if the toddler poops on the floor.
  • Don’t bother trying to brush the toddler’s teeth. Save yourself.
  • Don’t feel bad if you can’t get them to go to sleep.
  • Don’t feel bad if you can’t get them to do anything.
  • Don’t feel bad.

I’m going to save a copy for myself as well.

I went on a friend bender. A friender.

I took a hiatus from NaBloPoMo. I am doing NaBloPoMo Light,* which allows you one break midway through the month so you can take a quick trip and not have to worry about posting while you travel, or worse yet, writing posts in advance like some sort of super organized and efficient person. That sounds hard.

I spent the weekend in Minnesota, where I attended a 40th birthday party for one of my best friends from high school. She didn’t know I was coming, and she hates surprises. So of course I nearly gave her a heart attack and jumped out of a hotel bathroom right into her face. Because I am a good friend. She screamed. She cried. Good times were had and it was a great night reminiscing and celebrating with some of my oldest friends who knew me when I had big, terrible hair.

As luck would have it, I was also able to get together with a gaggle of college friends on Friday night. I don’t know the technical definition of a ‘gaggle’ but in this case there were seven of us. I love those girls something fierce and it was so fun to spend time together. They knew me when I had short, mushroomy hair and they still befriended me, so I’ll never let them go.

Yes, my life story is punctuated by a series of horrendous hair choices.

I am still high on friendship fumes, which I’m hoping will sustain me through the winter. Quality time with lifelong friends is invigorating and soul-filling. I need to do it more often. One year ago I wrote about the challenge of finding new grown-up friends in this weird world of parenthood. Not surprisingly, that post also had a photo with an atrocious haircut.

BFFs

Such a warm and friendly smile. I still think I should put this photo on a business card to hand out to potential friends, or drug dealers, at the playground.

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* I made this up but I do think it’s a solid idea to offer tiered NaBloPoMo plans to remove some of the guilt and failure for we flaky people. 

Adventures in food blogging

I don’t usually write posts about cooking or baking because I’m an oaf in the kitchen. But today I had a breakthrough so I’m going to try on my Martha pants and see if maybe this is something I’d like to write about on a regular basis.

This morning my children enjoyed a fun and delicious breakfast of panda pancakes. They squealed in delight at the sight of the precious panda face and talked about it for hours afterward. Even my husband could NOT STOP raving about the craftsmanship of those cakes!

panda pancakes

Here is a step-by-step tutorial for how to make panda pancakes based on my personal experience:

Step 1: Marry someone who knows how to make panda pancakes.*

Step 2: Let that person make panda pancakes.

Step 3: Sit down and eat the aforementioned panda pancakes with your kids.

I hope this tutorial is straightforward and easy to follow. Feel free to pin it on Pinterest. I’d provide a link but I’m a social media oaf as well. Bon appetit!

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*The marriage part is optional.