YOU: Say, how’d your haircut go?

ME: My head was pillaged.

YOU: Um. (Raising eyebrows — I can sense this over the Interwebs so watch out.) Huh?

ME: My head was pillaged. As in raped and pillaged.

YOU: Oh.

ME: Yeah.

YOU: What does that even mean?

ME: It means that my head was ransacked. That she cut off all of my hair. All of it. It’s gone.

YOU: (Giving me that look you give me when I’m being melodramatic.)

ME: I am not being melodramatic. I told her to cut 3-4 inches off. And you’ve seen how long my hair is. Well, now it brushes the tops of my shoulders. And even though I am 29 years old and should know by now that every. single. time I let someone give me layers I hate hate HATE them, I was seduced by the hair lady’s cute shiny hair and all those cute shiny layers and when she asked if I wanted any layers I was all, “Yeah, but not too short” as if I had, like, planned it all out before hand that I was going to get layers even though I had actually practiced what I was going to tell her and it did not include layers.

STILL ME: (Taking a breath.) But so anyway my point is that I let the cute hair lady give me layers and so it makes my tiny hair look even shorter because some of the hairs only touch the bottom of my chin.

STILL ME: My chin. (For emphasis.)

YOU: Whoa. But surely it can’t be that bad.

ME: Midget hair.

YOU: What?

ME: Midget hair. I have midget hair.

YOU: (Laughing) Is it cute at least?

ME: When the hair lady did it, it was kind of cute, but when I dry it at night and then wake up in the morning, it goes straight into a ponytail because it is not cute. But that’s not the point. Because my hair looks like that wool sweater you washed in hot water. (Come on, you know you’ve done that.)

YOU: Well, I’m sure it’s fine. Now let me tell you about my day. (Insert random topic here.)

ME: (While you’re talking, and sort of quietly…) Midget hair.


Wheeeeeeeeeee!

19May08

No sucker for cheap and easy tickles, my babe requires us to work a bit for our giggles. While the occasional thigh pinch, appropriately placed, will elicit laughs, most often the way to make Evan writhe in hysterics is to appeal to his mind: give him something to anticipate and he will laugh before the laughing part has even arrived. “This Little Piggy” sends him into quiet fits not because of the piggy who goes wee wee wee all the way home but because he knows that that little piggy, last of all the piggies, will go wee wee wee.

Similarly, the best daddy tickles aren’t the ones that land but the ones that don’t — the ones that fly in on wiggling fingers, with an “I’m gonna getcha” soundtrack, but backtrack before reaching their destination, only to start their flight back in towards Evan’s little giggling body.

A current favorite game that brings out the cheeriest of shrieks is Chase. I chase Evan while he walks (races!) behind his push-wagon; he chases me back as I take shuffling little Geisha steps (small like butterflies) or crawl madly towards the opposite wall. This little game is, for Evan, far better than any raspberries, any pinches or squeezes, any gyrating fingers. His little legs pump up and down — stomp stomp stomp — and his mouth is open the whole way across the house as he squeals.

Today I’ve been wondering what adult trait this preference will turn into. Will he, like me, be immune to horror movies that simply spray blood across the screen, preferring instead the psychological thrillers that keep you guessing and mentally tense? Will he shy away from cheap attention, like his gramps, but revel in playing practical tricks and weaving impossible but believable stories? Will he become a daredevil, like his dad was as a kid, seeking new and difference sources of excitement?

Oh, I hope it’s not that last one. He’s only not-even-eleven months old and already able to give me a run for my money every single day. I need to start taking some of those crazy supplements you buy in tubs at GNC — you know, the ones that high school athletes take behind their moms’ backs? Anyone know a good one you could recommend?


Well, I said I was going to do it and despite a long list of things I should have been doing instead, I did it.

I made a key lime pie. And I made it so that I could eat it, no less. (Since I’m lactose intolerant, key lime pie has long been off my list of Pies I Can Eat because of the sweetened condensed milk (read: more milky evil per square ounce).)

But I enjoyed every morsel of this pie. Yum, yum, extra yum.

So, without further ado, here’s a tasty recipe, good for the lactose intolerant or anyone wanting a key lime pie made without sweetened condensed milk, but also good for anyone. It honestly tastes just like a regular key lime pie.

If you’d like a printable pdf of the recipe, you can get that here.

Lactose-Free Key Lime Pie

Tastes Like Regular Pie, But Less Evil (For The Lactose Intolerant, That Is)

Prep time: about 35-40 minutes
Bake time: about 5 minutes (at 425 degrees F)

** SPECIAL NOTE: Once you start making this pie, the steps roll right along. Be sure you have everything measured and ready before you begin the first step (otherwise you might burn your filling or it might get lumpy).

Lime Filling Ingredients Meringue Ingredients
  • 3 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup key lime juice (about 8 key limes or 2-3 regular ones, or you can get key lime juice at the store)
  • zest of one lime
  • 3 egg whites (use the saved whites from the filling)
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 6 tbsp sugar (9 tbsp for sweeter meringue)
Crust

You’re on your own for the crust. I used a ready-made graham crust because I am lazy. You can make a pie crust and pre-bake it or make your own graham crust or whatever.

Directions

  1. Separate the eggs, beating the yolks in a medium bowl and setting aside the whites in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened (about 5-6 minutes).
  3. Reduce heat to low and add the beaten egg yolks, still stirring constantly. Cook (still stirring) about two minutes then stir in the butter, lime juice, and lime zest. Once everything is nicely combined and smooth, remove from heat and let cool slightly while you prepare the meringue.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. (You can do it at the beginning but I prefer to wait until I’m about ten minutes away from needing it.)
  5. To make the meringue, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar and beat until the meringue is stiff and glossy. (When you think you’re done, give it another minute or so to really make the meringue stiff and glossy.)
  6. Pour the lime filling into your pie shell (if you’re using a pastry crust, it should be pre-baked). Top with meringue, spreading it evenly and to the edges of the pastry to prevent shrinkage.
  7. Bake pie at 425 degrees for 5 minutes or until meringue top is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour then chill 3-6 hours before serving. Cover for longer storage.

It’s best if you make it while wearing a key-lime apron.

I’m just saying.


Signing up for swaps is fun, but it seems to me that there comes a time in every swap where you think, “Why did I do this? I have too many things to do already.” But then you finish your item and you like it (hopefully) and it seems better. Then a few days later, you get yours and you’re suddenly thinking, “I need to find me some more swaps.”

I’m trying to resist the urge but this cute little purse from my swap partner is making it hard.  Dontcha just love the big ol’ button?  I never think to add things like buttons because I’m afraid it’ll look too, I don’t know, embellished?  But this one’s perfect.  And really really perfect with the fabric, right?

My partner also sent me some limes and a recipe for key lime pie. Stay tuned.


When I was in high school, I wouldn’t have wanted to do my homework in front of the TV, not that my mom would have let me. And in college? Not once. In graduate school, there were times when the reading was so intense I couldn’t even listen to music while studying, and other times when I had to use classical music piped through my earphones just to drown out the noise in my office at school (which I share with 16 people who hold office hours and talk with students… oy…) if I wanted to get anything done.

But now? Now I sometimes find that the only way to get working is to plop myself down on our bed with nothing but a pen and my notes and the television set to a crime-related hour-long drama (Law and Order, Without a Trace, CSI — all available hourly on cable). This morning, for example, I tried to write for awhile (read: type) but wasn’t really getting anywhere. I spent more time thinking about how when you have bare feet, you never feel like your feet are sticking to the floor but when you are wearing socks with a hole in them someplace, it always feels like that one bare spot is sticking.

The best hour of the day (if by best you mean most productive and most clear) was the hour when I had Crossing Jordan on A&E in the background. Not only did I learn about meningiomas but I also finally found some kind of order for my current chapter.

Unfortunately, this tactic seems to have diminishing returns and eventually the television takes over my brain and I have to turn it off and get back to slogging quietly through it all.

(I didn’t quite finish the draft last week, by the way. I got something rough done for the encyclopedia article but the draft of the chapter still remains unfinished, though not for lack of hours spent.)


Pictured here: Pea Anderson, Amanda’s Hand, and Pea Missy.

So, a while back, I wrote about how you can have a font made from your own handwriting for just $9. Well, now I’ve found a place where you can (possibly) have it done for free (assuming your handwriting is selected for fontifying).

Even if you don’t want to have yours done, you can download all the handwriting fonts for free and then use them in Word and stuff. It’s freaking COOL.


Anything. Yup. I won’t be doing anything.

And why is that? Because this little boy, all 20-whatever pounds and ten-and-a-half months of him, kicked my ass today.  Kiddo’s got a minor cold, nothing big, but boy oh boy was he a sad, sad little fella.  And what do sad, sad little fellas need?  Their mamas.  And how much do their mamas get to eat?  Very little.  And how much do sad, sad little fellas weigh when they finally, finally drop off into sleep after an hour of crying, exasperated face rubbing, and moaning?  About a million, gazillion pounds.

Well, I guess I will be doing one thing tonight.  And if you don’t think it involves chocolate ice cream and oreo cookies, well then you’re just wrong.


Day-After Day

12May08

I don’t know why I didn’t post yesterday. Something about it being Mother’s Day just paralyzed me. I mean, talk about pressure, right? All the blogs I read were all waxing eloquent about mothers and motherhood and I just stood there staring into their eloquent, eloquent goodness going, uh, wuh?

Maybe I should just say “what she said.” What she said is so nice.

Except honestly? I sort of don’t see myself in this long line of mothers. I see myself in a line that starts here with me and ends with my mom, or I guess that should be vice versa. I didn’t know her mom — she died months before I was born — and I wouldn’t say there’s this whole big feeling of tradition or of wisdom being passed down through the generations. I’ve written before about how much I learned from my own mom, and I’ve written a little bit about my paternal grandmother, but really I just sort of think of me and my mom and my sister as this little unit. A little wooden puzzle box.

As for motherhood, it still feels pretty new. Aside from assorted moments of clarity, it still feels like something I can’t understand well enough to explain to you in a nice little post. It feels hard in a way that’s not a lot of work yet. Hard in a way that’s so easy. Hard in a way that requires energy but not effort. I feel like that will change and in a strange way I almost feel eager, almost feel nostalgic (even though that makes no sense) for a kind of motherhood that requires more labor in the day-to-day and not the first-day-of-your-life kind of way. The kind of motherhood that kneads and scrubs, maybe?

There’s also this whole Ph.D. thing. For me, being a mom feels so tied up with the being in school thing, the dissertation writing thing, and something about all that makes me feel even more isolated as a mama. Not isolated from people but maybe isolated from people’s experiences. The work I do isn’t the work of washing windows and hanging laundry on a line. But of course neither is the work of most of the moms I know.

I don’t know. Now that I’m writing I feel less and less sure what I mean to write. And there it is again: the paralysis. The not knowing how to explain what it means to me to be a mom, to have a mom.

Hmm. Maybe I’ll go back to saying, “uh, wuh?” and then “yeah, what she said.”


Mmm.

This has been the longest 45 hours ever. Like, longer than a British film about rich people living in the countryside with servants. Longer than a flight from Korea to Washington, D.C. with 5-month-old twins. Longer than, oh, OK, get to it.

Brian passed the New York bar exam. Like as in passed.

I feel like running around to random people and saying, “Isn’t my husband so smart?”

We found out unofficially on Thursday at about four and didn’t get the official letter until just now. Finding out was torture because when I found out I was in the car with Evan and couldn’t go look online and then once I got home to see for myself I couldn’t even tell Brian because he was on lock-down in this conference he was at and so even though I called him every 2.3 minutes between 4:00 and 5:20, it just kept going straight to voicemail.

Thank god Brian just got a blackberry on Wednesday. “Thank god” and “Brian got a blackberry” are phrases I never thought I would utter together but this was serious because I remembered I could email him. I tried to find a good mix between urgent but not panicky for my subject line (CALL ME NOW meets Hey, If you get a chance) and he got it and stepped out of his thing and called me and I told him and it was freaking awesome.

Then Evan and I continued our dance party until he went to bed and all I wanted to do was put it on the blog but they emphasize up and down on the website that this isn’t official and sometimes there are mistakes and ohdeargod. pleasepleaseplease. don’tbewrong.

Well, it’s not wrong. In fact, it’s RIGHT.

Our good friends are watching Evan so that we can celebrate tonight. WHEEEEEEE!

Mmm.

Yes, actual smarties were eaten in the making of this post. PETS (People for the Ethical Treatment of Smarties) have been notified and the decision has been made: it is ethical to eat smarties since they are candies. In fact, it is unethical to let smarties sit on your desk uneaten.


It’s a marvel to me that I ever sustained a long-distance relationship in my life given my general distaste for the phone. But yup, there it is, that high school-turned-college relationship that lasted through freshman year past graduation (with one breakup — granted I did graduate a year early). It wasn’t really all that long ago but it was long enough that we didn’t have cell phones or unlimited long distance. We had phone cards bought at warehouse stores.

The hardest part about the long-distance thing, for me, was always this: when he’d call me (or vice versa) and I’d be in one mood and he’d been in a completely different mood and we’d try to talk and all but by the end, really I’d just be more annoyed than anything else. Sometimes I’d hang up and say, to myself, “God, sometimes I hate you.” I didn’t mean it, of course. You know how it is.

Maybe it’s because I no longer have to rely on good phone conversations to sustain a meaningful relationship or maybe it’s because I’m older and crankier or maybe it’s because we do have cell phones and blackberries and laptops and all these convenient ways to communicate fast but I sure couldn’t do the long-distance thing now, boy. My husband’s been away two days and every conversation has felt rushed and intruded upon and annoying. Every one has left me thinking of a way to say, as nicely as possible, “How about we just catch up when you get home?” or, worse, “How about you just not call me while you’re away?” Every time I’ve called him I’ve thought, just a moment too late, “Doh! I shouldn’t call while he’s away.”

It seems terrible thinking that, but there it is. And really? It’s not that terrible at all. I’m just so used to having Brian’s attention, to seeing his face. I’m spoiled, really. And lucky.

Besides.  If he didn’t call the whole time, well, I’d be sad on top of annoyed.  So there’s that.




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