Who are these Critters you speak of?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Paging Betty Crocker, Paging Ms. Betty Crocker

Why would I title a blog with Betty Crocker and then show a picture of Duff Goldman you ask? Well, because its my blog and I can. Also Duff looks quite a bit tougher than Betty.

Sunday was the big baking day at the casa. Good thing I was a little hung over from the night before, nothing goes better with baking cookies than a queasy stomach. Don't worry I power through, doin' it for the children.

We decided that we would make Candy Cane cookies and Gingerbread Men. Prep work was the easy part, mix everything and then let it sit. An hour or so later we rounded up the Critters and lined them up on the bar stools. The Gingerbread Men were up first. Brother and Hadley were big helps with using the cookie cutter. CarCar was not so interested in helping at the time. The Gingerbread Men were popped in the oven and were done in no time. The Candy Cane cookies not so much.

With these cookies I had to split the dough equally and then mix red food coloring with half of the dough. Guess who didn't have any latex gloves, oh yea, this guy. I got a few puzzled looks from the Critters as it looked like I was just involved in a massacre.

To distract the Critters from the bloodshed, Rian got out some frosting and decided to see if the Critters would like it. Really? Did you think that they wouldn't like green sugar goo? Needless to say it was a rather large hit. CarCar even decided to lick the remaining frosting off of the counter.

Luckily the baking went off without a hitch and the Critters got to enjoy cookies and milk with red food coloring it in. Why you ask? Because Rian thought it would be cool to give them red milk with their cookies, unfortunately it turned more pink than red.

After a massive clean up and defrosting of the Critters we were off for dinner.

Here are a few pics from the show:

The Critters helping with the Gingerbread Men. (Notice Carson with the big grin. Every time we seem to pull out the camera she seems to know its go time with the smiles.)

Powering through a lite hangover.

Here comes the frosting!

Frosting induced craziness!

Need. More. Frosting.


We load up on oat bran in the morning so we'll live forever. Then we spend the rest of the day living like there's no tomorrow. ~Lee Iacocca

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy (really, really)Belated Birthday Abbey

Happy Birthday Putties (Abbey)! The big four in human years, and the big 28 in doggie years. Apparently Abbey hit the Tennessee Strip again this year (last year she did her waltz for her big 2-1 in doggie years. We had a small party, heck its always a party with the Critters, for Abbey. We didn't get a dog cake this year, we just went for human cupcakes, yellow cake for Abbey of coarse.

Here are a few pics:

Abbey some what patiently waiting for her cupcake.

First bite.

Second bite and its gone.

As you can see CarCar got a chocolate cupcake.

Brother just eatin' away.

Hadley definitely enjoyed it.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Step Aside Dan Marino

Now I know that Dan Marino was the celebrity endorser for Isotoner gloves (I am not sure if they even still make these.) Back in the day these were apparently THE perfect stocking stuffer, or so the washed up former Dolphins quarterback wanted us to believe. I'm sure he had a whole closet full at his house in Miami. I mean it does get quite cold down there.

Now to my point, Carson has decided to become a celebrity endorser. Wait you say, CarCar is not a celebrity. Well she would beg to differ and she believes that CarCar mania is about to go worldwide. She has decided to start small but with a product she really seems to like, Dearfoam slippers. What? Yes, Dearfoam is proud to announce that their new celebrity endorser is CarCar Jane.

I mean come on, who is not gonna by a pair of Dearfoam slippers now?

Even the dog likes them.

Enough with the pictures, I'm off to hair and make-up trailer.


O Tannenbaum

Living in Northern Florida we do not have the opportunity to cut down our own Christmas Tree (I know there is a Christmas Tree farm in Havana, but their not the type that I like.) I guess the red clay beneath us is not friendly to the spruces. So instead of heading to the non-existent mountains, the over-priced boy scout lot, or the similarly over-priced roadside stand, we headed off to Lowes. Nothing says Christmas like you neighborhood hardware store.

Apparently we picked a popular day to go because it seemed reminiscent of my Black Friday experiences. While there was no running or ripping open glass display cases, people were not in the best mood. It can get a little testy picking out the perfect Christmas Tree. The biggest challenge seems to be standing with a tree long enough to let the stupid branches fall to see if it is full enough. When someone did find a nice tree they would suddenly have 5 people ask them if they were going to buy it.

"No, I don't think I will buy this perfectly shaped tree that I stood with for 20 minutes while the branches dropped. Why don't you take it so you can cut out the tedious work. I'll head back over to the huge pile of trees to try and find another one."

I mean are people really that stupid?

It was tough work finding a perfect suitable Christmas Tree. As you will see from the pictures I was ready to go.

After we got the perfect suitable tree home, I realized that we had thrown out our old non-LED lights. Apparently I was going to buy some after I threw them out last year, but I guess I skipped that step. After some more digging in the very well organized holiday closet I did end up finding one strand of new LED colored lights. It was not enough for the tree, so I decided to go to Home Depot. On my way out Rian said that she wanted clear lights, I said, "I don't think that that will look right with colored lights up top and clear lights on the bottom, actually it will probably look stupid." No she said it would look good and she wanted the clear lights. I confirmed once more and got the same answer, so off to the store I went. After heading to Home Depot and Lowes I found some C5 Clear LED lights and put them on the tree when Rian was working.

She comes out and was like 'what is that, it looks awful.' "Why did you get clear lights?"

This is where my palm met my face. "Really, I don't think I could confirm the fact that you wanted clear lights any more."

These were her exact words, "Oh, I wanted clear lights sprinkled throughout the tree and colored lights at the bottom." Maybe you all can clear up my misunderstanding from what I described above.

So there I was trying to figure out the Christmas light origami to get the stupid clear lights back on the plastic clips and into the box.

Back to Lowes. "Sir, is there anything wrong with these lights?" "No, I just apparently don't understand the English language as my wife sees it and I though clear meant clear lights, not colored lights." All I got from the girl was a puzzled look. Oh well, the great light caper was finally over.

Here are some long awaited pics from the tree pickin':

Let me tell you how easy it is to traipse through piles of trees with a Brother strapped to your back.

Peach in her 'elf' baby legs.

I think we finally ended up with this one.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Wisdom of Twain

I stumbled across this on the interweb. I don't think that truer words have ever been spoken, and they were of coarse spoken by Mark Twain. It is a long read (I know the paragraphs are long, I cut and pasted it exactly as it appeared) but well worth it. I have highlighted the part that pertains to the Critters.

The Speech on the Babies


The fifteenth regular toast was "The Babies--as they comfort us in our sorrows, let us not forget them in our festivities."

I like that. We have not all had the good fortune to be ladies. We have not all been generals, or poets, or statesmen; but when the toast works down to the babies, we stand on common ground. It is a shame that for a thousand years the world's banquets have utterly ignored the baby, as if he didn't amount to anything. If you will stop and think a minute --if you will go back fifty or one hundred years to your early married life and recontemplate your first baby--you will remember that he amounted to a great deal, and even something over. You soldiers all know that when the little fellow arrived at family headquarters you had to hand in your resignation. He took entire command. You became his lackey, his mere body servant, and you had to stand around, too. He was not a commander who made allowances for time, distance, weather, or anything else. You had to execute his order whether it was possible or not. And there was only one form of marching in his manual of tactics, and that was the double-quick. He treated you with every sort of insolence and disrespect, and the bravest of you didn't dare to say a word. You could face the death-storm at Donelson and Vicksburg, and give back blow for blow; but when he clawed your whiskers, and pulled your hair, and twisted your nose, you had to take it. When the thunders of war were sounding in your ears you set your faces toward the batteries, and advanced with steady tread; but when he turned on the terrors of his war-whoop you advanced in the other direction, and mighty glad of the chance, too. When he called for soothing-syrup, did you venture to throw out any side remarks about certain services being unbecoming an officer and a gentleman? No. You got up and got it. When he ordered his pap-bottle and it was not warm, did you talk back? Not you. You went to work and warmed it. You even descended so far in your menial office as to take a suck at that warm, insipid stuff yourself, to see if it was right--three parts water to one of milk, a touch of sugar to modify the colic, and a drop of peppermint to kill those hiccoughs. I can taste that stuff yet. And how many things you learned as you went along! Sentimental young folks still take stock in that beautiful old saying that when the baby smiles in his sleep, it is because the angels are whispering to him. Very pretty, but too thin--simply wind on the stomach, my friends. If the baby proposed to take a walk at his usual hour, two o'clock in the morning, didn't you rise up promptly and remark, with a mental addition which would not improve a Sunday-school book much, that that was the very thing you were about to propose yourself? Oh! you were under good discipline, and as you went fluttering up and down the room in your undress uniform, you not only prattled undignified baby-talk, but even tuned up your martial voices and tried to sing! --"Rock-a-by baby in the treetop," for instance. What a spectacle for an Army of the Tennessee! And what an affliction for the neighbors, too; for it is not everybody within a mile around that likes military music at three in the morning. And when you had been keeping this sort of thing up two or three hours, and your little velvet-head intimated that nothing suited him like exercise and noise, what did you do? ["Go on!"] You simply went on until you dropped in the last ditch. The idea that a baby doesn't amount to anything! Why, one baby is just a house and a front yard full by itself. One baby can furnish more business than you and your whole Interior Department can attend to. He is enterprising, irrepressible, brimful of lawless activities. Do what you please, you can't make him stay on the reservation. Sufficient unto the day is one baby. As long as you are in your right mind don't you ever pray for twins. Twins amount to a permanent riot. And there ain't any real difference between triplets and an insurrection.

Yes, it was high time for a toast-master to recognize the importance of the babies. Think what is in store for the present crop! Fifty years from now we shall all be dead, I trust, and then this flag, if it still survive (and let us hope it may), will be floating over a Republic numbering 200,000,000 souls, according to the settled laws of our increase. Our present schooner of State will have grown into a political leviathan--a Great Eastern. The cradled babies of to-day will be on deck. Let them be well trained, for we are going to leave a big contract on their hands. Among the three or four million cradles now rocking in the land are some which this nation would preserve for ages as sacred things, if we could know which ones they are. In one of them cradles the unconscious Farragut of the future is at this moment teething--think of it!--and putting in a world of dead earnest, unarticulated, but perfectly justifiable profanity over it, too. In another the future renowned astronomer is blinking at the shining Milky Way with but a languid interest--poor little chap!--and wondering what has become of that other one they call the wet-nurse. In another the future great historian is lying--and doubtless will continue to lie until his earthly mission is ended. In another the future President is busying himself with no profounder problem of state than what the mischief has become of his hair so early; and in a mighty array of other cradles there are now some 60,000 future office-seekers, getting ready to furnish him occasion to grapple with that same old problem a second time. And in still one more cradle, somewhere under the flag, the future illustrious commander-in-chief of the American armies is so little burdened with his approaching grandeurs and responsibilities as to be giving his whole strategic mind at this moment to trying to find out some way to get his big toe into his mouth--an achievement which, meaning no disrespect, the illustrious guest of this evening turned his entire attention to some fifty-six years ago; and if the child is but a prophecy of the man, there are mighty few who will doubt that he succeeded.

-Mark Twain


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rave on at The 409

It started out as a normal Monday, I went to work, came home, Rian went off to her Junior League meeting (buy a cookbook), and I started the Critters dinner. This is were the night took an interesting turn. CarCar said that she was on the interweb and did some research on raves. She decided that we would have one in the living room. Unfortunately, I found out that we were ill prepared for such an event. We didn't have the obnoxious house rave acid punk music, glow sticks, hundreds of hopped up teenagers, smoke machine, illicit drugs (hopefully you all know this is a joke, we abide by the lovely Nancy Reagan and "Just Say No"), and laser light show. CarCar pondered for a minute, went and dug around in the magical toy box, and came back with her laser globe thing that Grandma Kate got her.

CarCar told me to hit the music. "What music," I ask? She told me that Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon would have to do. I comply and walk back into the room to this:

Crazy Globe o' Light.

Hopefully this won't turn out like those Japanese cartoons.

Peach was raving like no other.

After a couple of minutes and with a strong push by Brother to eat, we ended our rave. It started as quickly as it ended. Unfortunately some of the Critters wanted the rave to last long into the night, but it was not to be. Back to the real world of dinner, baths, and bottles.

It just doesn't have the same effect with the lights on.


Friday, December 3, 2010


This image is just more proof that CarCar is definitely Rian's 31 inch clone. This is exactly how Rian lays on the couch (minus the lovie) and I must point out that just like Rian, CarCar does not share the blanket.


Thanksgiving - Slightly Belated

Well better late than never. We had an eventful Thanksgiving weekend in Orlando. It started off with a bang with 6 hour car ride down. This traumatic event lead to a pretty interesting Black Friday for Rian and I.

I'll start off by saying we got two, yes two pictures on Thanksgiving Day. To boot they were taken on my iPhone so as you can imagine the clarity is second to none. It is hard lugging around the ole Canon while trying to corral the Critters. Rian and I have vowed to get more pictures as we only have one shot at this raising kids thing. Hopefully Rian will find a Canon point and shot camera under the tree this year.

Thanksgiving was quite a relaxing day down in Orlando. Rian and I had a few things to make but overall the stress level was close to nil, especially comparing it to the drive down. While thumbing through the ads I noticed that Target had a portable dual-DVD player on sale on Black Friday. The only catch is it went on sale at 4am, and it had the following ever so lovely words printed below the picture, "While supplies last." Translation, we have two in the store so your butt better be here when the doors open and you better be able to throw some 'bows' to get this damn thing.

I am really not sure why we decided to get up at 3:30am to get this, aside from saving $75 off the regular price. We pull into the Target parking lot and I realize that we did not plan this jaunt too well. "Wow the parking lot is pretty full." I am not sure why I said this due to the fact that I knew it was going to be a mad house. What I didn't realize was that the line ended behind the Target by the loading docks. It was also not very well light behind the Target, I guess it just added to the Black Friday ambiance. I will say that once they opened the doors, the line moved at a rapid pace, I'm talkin' it was hard to keep up with the person in front of you. By the time we hit the front doors it resembled what you see on the evening news when three people where trampled trying to save 50 bucks on a TV. Once people crossed that threshold of the door they began sprinting. I'm sure you all can guess where everyone was heading, yep, the electronics section. Somehow I hit the right aisle on the second try. I look down and the woman who got there ahead of me had ripped the glass doors open and grabbed three of the DVD players. I quickly boxed out any other people and grabbed two so I could check the boxes. I am not quite sure how this woman got this case open but she definitely saved us a step by having to get an associate with a key to open the case. I have heard of instances where people get superhuman strength to lift a car off a child, but I can now say I have seen super human Black Friday get that damn glass case open strength.

After that the rest of the weekend was pretty tame. We headed over to the Healey's house to watch the absolute beat down of the Gators (6 years in the making), and then we headed to Mellow Mushroom for dinner. I forgot how good the pizza is there.

Here are the two pictures from Thanksgiving:

Brother decided to eat all of the leaves that Grandma B cut out and put on the pie.

What? You said I could have dessert.