My husband rose to the challenge today and created this holiday masterpiece.
My kids loved it and at this point he has a pancake portfolio that could land him a guest spot on Martha Stewart. Or at least a temp gig at IHOP.
But there is a dark side to this type of picture perfect cooking, and I feel the need to shed light on it. This type of artistry takes time. There is planning. Sketching. Fruit slicing. For the love of breakfast pastries, I think the man had to julienne some carrots to make those turkey legs.
My children and I were beyond hungry by the time those cakes were done. My daughter shoveled that cake into her mouth so fast she almost choked. Know that for every beautiful recipe creation you see on Pinterest, behind the scenes there are famished families desperate to eat that damn food. Ask yourself – is it worth it? Or should I order them a pizza while they wait?
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.
* 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.
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
* 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.
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!
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!
*The marriage part is optional.
6-year-old: “Why do they say the little one is the ‘fun size’? I think the big one is way more fun.”
Fair point, child. Fair point.
I was tagged by Leigh Ann to write a post with 5 random facts about me. Let’s just say I am grateful for the prompt during my NaBloPoMo drought.
1. I come from meat. My dad worked in the meatpacking industry. He literally brought home the bacon. I grew up in a small Midwestern town where everyone we knew worked in meat. They sold it. Or bought it. Or produced it. It was the thing to do. I tried to order a ‘veggie burger’ off the menu at a restaurant in my hometown after college, and when it arrived it was a huge beef patty with lettuce and tomato on it – hence the ‘veggie burger’ label.
Now that I live in the land of clean eating and kale consumption I don’t often discuss my meat roots so as not to offend someone, but I am still a devout consumer of bacon.
2. I like to eat cheese? Also I’m a procrastinator. I’m a procrastinating cheese eater.
3. I probably won’t do NaBloPoMo again next year.
4. When I was a senior in college I studied abroad in Southeast Asia. I spent three months living with a fabulously quirky host family in Thailand where my host father would routinely grill me with questions about American pop culture. My favorite: “Who’s more popular – Arnold Schwarzeneggar or Sylvester Stallone?” It was my honor to inform them about the movies, music and celebrities that entertained our great nation in the early 90’s, and I took that responsibility very seriously. There could not have been a more perfect host family for me.
5. I have cousins named Olaf, Solveig and Thor. I always feel like this one gives me street cred when I’m explaining my Norwegian heritage.
I tag anyone else who is desperate for NaBloPoMo fodder to use this prompt and crank out a post.
Maybe some lessons, like the fact that you shouldn’t drink toilet water, should just be learned the hard way?
Day 3 of NaBloPoMo and I have resorted to posting toilet photos. It’s going to be a long month.
In my last post I warned that I tend to make bad decisions this time of year. In keeping with that tradition, I will once again attempt to post every day this month for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). Considering the fact that I have been blogging once every 2-3 weeks lately, this is going to hurt.
Then why bother? Because I need a challenge and I like to make a fool of myself, apparently. I am also giving into peer pressure. Last year I signed up thanks to the encouragement of a friend who did NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I wrote 30 mediocre posts about things like my dry hands and puzzles. Meanwhile she managed to write an entire sci-fi novel, which she was selling on Amazon by March.
She gave me a gentle nudge again this year and informed me that she will be using this month to write another novel. So! I shall use it as an opportunity to update the internet about the status of my dry hand condition.
If you have complaints about my posts this month, please send them all to her. And feel free to just come back in December when the pain is over.