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Cereal Killer

“Mom, why is my cereal moving?”wfmwsmall.jpg

That can’t be good.

After further inspection, I discovered tiny black bugs, slightly larger than the head of a pin, in the Cheerios. And it’s not like this box of cereal had been in the pantry since the 1980’s either. Twenty year old cereal was not an unusual breakfast in the grandparent’s house. If it was on sale at the Piggly Wiggly, then it was coming home. And stored for leaner times. But no, I’ve resisted that particular thrifty gene. The cereal in our house is no more than 7 days old.

I began noticing these pesky bugs all over the kitchen. And to add insult to injury, they flew too. I was rightfully disgusted. Our pest control service was due for the annual visit. They explained to us that these tiny bugs come neatly packaged inside the cereal, and other dry goods. The FDA allows a certain amount of larvae to be present in dry goods. (I’m still researching that factoid.) The larvae then hatch and the small weevils will find their way out by eating through the packaging. Sometimes you can find tiny pin holes in the box. They are not harmful, just a nuisance.

And gross.

“But how do I stop the madness?”

Our intrepid pest control expert told me to place unopened dry goods in the freezer for 48 hours. This will ensure the untimely death of the larvae. Which are too small to see. Until I got a separate freezer for the garage (smartest thing I’ve ever done next to marrying Fiddledaddy), I would date the packaging, put as much in the freezer as it would hold, and rotate my dry goods every two days.

Well worth the effort.

Breakfast simply should not ever become a moveable feast.

For more Works For Me Wednesday tips, head over to Rocks In My Dryer.

The Reception

At cliffhanger’s end yesterday, we were at the photo opportunity portion of the wedding. All of Fiddledaddy’s family were asked to pose for a picture with the bride and groom. Somebody quipped “I hope they brought the WIDE angle lense.” The comment was representative of the NUMBER of us, not the SIZE we are.


Mercifully, I handed Jensen over to his father. The boy has been known to wrestle me to the ground, and considering the length of the skirt I was wearing, and the fact that we were standing on a Catholic alter, it was a good call. I guess one who maybe has a degree in Psychology might say that I was lashing out at my parochial school upbringing by wearing such a short skirt to a Catholic service. Come to think of it, I have a degree in Psychology.

Take that Sister Loretta Thomas with your angry old ruler.

When the family was suitably smooshed together to fit into the photograph, I positioned myself in the back. I’m one of the shorter members of the family, you see. Years from now, no one will remember the skirt (complete with side slits for comfort). All they will see is me from the eyes up. And as far as the eyes go, they may or may not have been crossed.

When the photographer seemed suitably frazzled, he called it a wrap for the Fiddle side of the family. We all dashed out to our fleet of mini vans. The reception was to be held at the Yacht Club. Which was everything I hoped it would be. I said to Fiddledaddy as we entered, “I want ot join the Yacht Club.” Trish had procured us all seating by the food table. Because she’s smart. We kept Jensen trapped in his stroller for nearly the entire reception. Only because we kept throwing food his way. And enough of his female relatives stopped by to entertain him with compliments on his dashing handsomeness. I told all of my children to be sure and stuff themselves, as it was unlikely I would be doing any cooking later.

Mother of the Year is just within my grasp.

The food was delicious. But then, I was so hungry I could have been eating eye of cat and not cared. My BIL watched me inhaling some puff of something that held an hors d’oeuvre that was completely unrecognizable. “What are you eating?” “I have no idea,” I answered with my mouth stuffed full.

Then the dancing began. People. It was all I could do to keep from shaking my groove thang when the DJ played KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight.” But I feared that if I were to “get down,” I may never have gotten back up. That whole skirt business was slowing me down. So, I remained near the food trough. Grazing.

At one point, Fiddledaddy asked me where Cailey was. I glanced underneath the table, “Well, her shoes are still here, so she can’t be far.” Sure enough, I looked out onto the dance floor, “She’s leading the train dance.”That’s my girl.

We stayed just long enough for the cake. Which should come as a surprise to no one. But then, we made the mistake of setting Jensen free. All of a sudden I noticed all the lit sterno cans keeping the food warm, and the sharp knives kept near the ham and turkey table. Time to call it a night. I grabbed three more chicken strips for the road (for the children, NOT ME) and we made our exit.

Before burning the place to the ground. And polishing off the last of the meatballs.

You just have to know when you’ve outworn your welcome, I always say.

Fiddledaddy and I reminisced on the way home about our wedding reception.

“What did people eat at our wedding?”

“Pot luck.”

“And what kind of cake did we have?”

“Sheet cakes from Costco.”

Now that was a classy reception.


The Wedding

The last wedding I attended was my own. Four hundred years ago. I simply don’t know anyone of my generation who is single. Fiddledaddy and I were the last hold outs in our family. We like to think of ourselves as late bloomers. Which is why we are in our mid to late 40’s and still changing diapers.

And why we are certain that having children is for the young.

Some of our smarter siblings and in-laws, who had their act together much younger than we did, began their families before they needed reading glasses to check the dosage on the Infant Tylenol bottle. They are now facing an empty nest. Sending their children off to college, and then thankfully, marrying them off. Those particular siblings and in-laws now sit back and laugh at us chasing diapered toddlers, as we reek of Ben-Gay.

And they boast of quiet Sunday mornings, reading the newspaper in their underwear. A visual I’m still trying to erase from my head.

We attended the wedding of the oldest niece this weekend. I had plenty of warning for this wedding. And I intended to go shopping for something suitable to wear. But, I plowed through excuse after excuse, and the day arrived, and still I had not gone shopping. I vowed not to buy another article of clothes for myself until I finished losing all my baby weight. Which may be when I marry off my own children at the rate I’m going.

In desperation, I pulled out the purple suit on the day of the wedding. The purple suit has been my standby dress up outfit for the last 5 years or so. It’s made of a wonderful lycra type material that hides what needs to be hidden, and stretches where it really ought to have another 6 or 7 inches of material. And it zipped. The advantage that this suit has over, say, a potato sack, is that the label tells me I’m a single digit size.

In other words, it lies to me.

I even broke out the control top panty hose in honor of the grand occasion. I don’t think I’ve put on a pair of panty hose in this century. And I thought I had it goin’ on.

Until I climbed into the van.

The skirt was, um, a tad bit shorter than I remembered. To test this theory on the drive to the wedding, I discovered I had to climb over the passenger seat to the middle aisle of seats where Jensen was strapped in. Because he spotted the yogurt that I had brought for lunch. And keeping the boy fed when we have such a long afternoon ahead of us was more of a priority than my hunger issues. Which are considerable.

Fiddledaddy, trying to keep his eyes on the road said, “You’re not climbing back there are you? There are cars behind you and that skirt……” Before he could finish the sentence I had kicked off my black pumps and started the ascent. I had one leg swung over, completely missing Fiddledaddy’s head, but my foot got caught in the DVD holder strap. I tumbled into the back seat, while managing to keep the yogurt righted. And everyone within a car length of us got a story to tell around the office water cooler this week.

I make it a practice to always do all of my own stunts.

We made it to the wedding on time and were seated at the end of the family pew where we could make a hasty exit if when Jensen lost his composure. I saw my brother-in-law, poised at the threshold of the aisle, his baby girl hanging onto his arm. And I no longer envied his empty nest. Looking at my own two princess girls, with their eyes shining, watching their cousin get married, I could not imagine the day, many years from now, when we hand them over at the end of the aisle. It is beyond my comprehension.

I blinked back my tears.

The wedding was beautiful. And no, Jensen didn’t make it through the vows. The picture taking at the end was a bit of a struggle. Especially when I had to race down the aisle to tackle Jensen, keeping him from making a spectacle of himself on the alter during the professional photography session.

In my micro-mini skirt.

Which in hindsight (no pun intended), the only spectacle was me. Thankfully, the family is use to me. Besides, a promise of an open bar at the reception awaited us all.

Stay tuned for “The Reception” tomorrow. I can only handle so much public humiliation in one post.

Black Friday

This morning I grabbed my vat o’ coffee and bolted out of the door at 6AM. mbe0003.jpgWhich was late by my estimation. I’ve never done the whole “shop on Black Friday thing.” I KNOW! How did I make it to my mid-to-late 40’s without this experience. I mean, I had heard about it. But was too chicken to try it.

Until today.

My only planned stop was Bed, Bath, and Beyond, to take advantage of their “20% off your entire purchase extravaganza.” Because Fiddlemama’s cookware was looking rather sad. And I’m a new Calphalon believer. So, I was all “Merry Christmas to Mama!” Ho, ho, ho.

I didn’t feel the least bit guilt ridden, as the rest of the people in this house benefit GREATLY from my cooking. And a good cook needs good tools.

I can justify nearly anything.

It’s a gift.

I did end up in A.C. Moore’s with a 50% off coupon (plus my 10% Teacher Card) to pick up a little something for the kids. Because I’m not heartless. And then I sauntered into Wal Mart to see what the fuss was about. I walked out of there with two cartons of milk. And my dignity. Regular price.

I plan on making this a yearly event. Any tips? Ideas? What kind of finds did you all score?

Coming To You Live, From The Ocean Bottom

It figures. As soon as I opened my mouth about not getting sick, and how if the Mommy were to get sick, the whole boat was sunk.

Well, there you have it.

All five of us are now quarantined. And it just goes against my nature not to whine and complain about it. Did you all know that you can get a hangover from Nyquil? Apparently yes. Yes, you can.

We had to miss our Homeschool co-op Thanksgiving feast. Which was really a shame. The girls can cook! Emme was particularly devastated. After throwing a suitable fit, she began the negotiating process. Which she is perfecting. She batted her blue eyes at me, “Mom, if we can’t go today, then I think we should order takeaway from Carrabbas tonight.”

I pause for dramatic effect. Heavy sigh, with hands on hips, “Well, all right then. Carrabbas for dinner it is.”

Because I’m just that selfless.

She’s really good, that 8 year old. And she’s had years of practice.  Just after her 4th birthday, she went to see the dentist for the first time. The dentist told us that she needed to give up her binky, or her teeth would be misaligned. Thoughts of my own adult orthodontia hell raced through my mind. That night, well before bedtime, we broke the bad news. Pink Binky had to go. It was heart wrenching. We took a very very long time tucking her in that night. Reassuring her. Letting her know without a doubt that we loved her, and everything would be okay.

Fiddledaddy stayed in her room a little longer. I noticed that the sobbing had ceased. He came into the kitchen where I was slaving over the dirty dishwater. “Well, we’re going to Disney World tomorrow.”

I stopped washing. “Whose idea was that?”

“Hers,” he admitted.

Impressed, I resumed with the scrubbing. Oh yes, she’s good.

The other night I was tucking my now 8 year old into bed. The same 8 year old who is nearly as tall as I am, but still holds my hand in public, and thinks nothing of climbing into my lap. Unexpectedly she looked up at me and said, “Mom, sometimes I still miss Pink Binky.”

I brushed the curls from her face, “Me too baby girl, me too.”

Boogers Are Not A Good Source Of Protein

I’ve been trapped indoors with 3 sick children for going on 6 days now. My sense of humor has taken quite a hit. And my sanity is nowhere to be found.

Last week, Emme woke up complaining of a scratchy throat. We never know when to really believe that she is truly sick. Sometimes a scratchy throat is her feeble attempt to score a cup of crushed ice. Something her dentist has recommended she not eat. Since she dearly loves crushed ice, she has been known to play the sore throat card.

But I wasn’t playing.

“No, Emme you cannot have any ice.” She clutched her throat, gargled a pitiful moan, and fell to the floor. This scene was replayed a couple more times during the day, and each time Fiddledaddy walked past me with, “I hope you see yourself.”

What. Ever.

By days end, I came to the realization that she was really getting sick. And then Jensen had joined in on the action. He had physical evidence. His nose was running like an open faucet. Which became a exciting and fun game for him. The rules were something like, quick, stick your tongue out to slurp up the boogers and run like mad when Mommy chases you with the kleenex. Most rounds, he won. Honestly, I think all of his brain cells were running out of his nose as well.

But then, I was a notorious booger consumer in my youth. Or so I’ve been told.


By the next day, all three of them were hacking, coughing, and spewing snot all over the place. I placed us all in quarantine to end the suffering as soon as possible. Well, the suffering of those outside of our home. Socially, we have a very busy Thanksgiving week, and I’m squirting X-Clear into everyone to aid in the process of healing.

Fiddledaddy was not immune to the contamination. He came down with this plague on Friday. But he’s out of the mix since he had to work over the weekend. But he’s no trouble since he actually wipes his own nose.

The same cannot be said for the rest of the family. I’ve become nothing more than a human kleenex. Which makes no sense really. I mean, I go the extra mile to purchase the really good soft tissues. With added lotion. The anti-viral ones even. Those have to be softer than my grungy old t-shirt.

My favorite moment in this whole debacle happened Sunday morning. My alarm clock was a very dramatic Emme, waking me out of a wonderfully sound sleep with, “MOM! COME QUICK! CAILEY’S CHOKING.” Using the same tone she would use if she were saying, “MOM! CAILEY’S ON FIRE!.” I flew out of bed and down the hall in three bounds, fully prepared to perform the Heimlich Maneuver, a tracheotomy, or last rites. Whatever the situation called for. Cailey was fine. Just coughing up a lung. She has two.

Really, it’s a small miracle that I haven’t caught this thing. Yet. But I don’t look any better than the rest of them. I caught sight of myself in the mirror. Evidently, when quarantined, I forget how to use mascara, and haven’t seen a tube of lipstick in days. Also, my beloved Chi has sat unused, collecting dust, under the bathroom counter. In other words, I have witches hair.


The only thing that has saved me has been the children’s stash of Halloween candy that they’ve completely forgotten about. Out of sight. Out of mind. Sometimes their pea sized attention span works in my favor.

Mommys can’t get sick, it’s in the by-laws. If I go down, the whole ship sinks. So, I’m off to pop a few Vitamin Cs. Followed with a Hershys Kiss chaser.

Never underestimate the healing properties of chocolate, I always say.

Rest In Peace At The Happiest Place On Earth

This story made me snort my coffee drink this morning. You know I’m known for inappropriate laughter, and all. I’m a huge Disney fanatic, but having my ashes14611495.jpg scattered off of my favorite ride is an extreme. Even for me.

And which ride to choose? The possibilities are endless, you know. I’d have to say The Tower of Terror. Except that my ashes would end up in Fiddledaddy’s hair. Or, the Rockin’ Roller Coaster. Considering the ups and downs of life. It’s A Small World might be nice. I hear it’s been revamped. The Haunted Mansion is completely out of the question. Too macabre. Again. Even for me. What ride would you chose?

Oh well, food for thought.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I’ll be back tomorrow with Saturday Stirrings. Unless I just ruined your appetite.

Face Up: A View From The Floor

Fiddledaddy received a package today. The Heelys arrived. In all of their size 10 glory. The children were dancing around him as he tried them on. With wheels locked firmly in place, he stood. And took a few tentative steps. When he wasn’t immediately zipping around the house, threatening the priceless family heirlooms, the children lost interest and wandered off.

He followed me out to the mailbox. Where he positioned himself at the top of the driveway between our two cars. And rolled down slowly. I lost sight of him for a moment, perhaps because I covered my eyes with my hands. But he remained righted. Later in the kitchen, he used me as his fulcrum as he glided deftly across the linoleum. Holding onto my arms. Which he nearly broke off. “The 8 year old who lives here makes it look easy, huh?”

A mid-life crisis usually involves something to do with wheels. Such as a fancy sports car convertible. Or as in the case of three of my brothers-in-law and one SIL, a motorcycle. I think I’m getting off easy. Not that we’re dealing with a mid-life crisis around here. No siree. I’m just speaking hypothetically. The only way we’re scoring a convertible is if Fiddledaddy takes a can opener to the Prius, and a motorcycle is completely and totally out of the question. Unless it has a sidecar. And airbags. And cupholders.

Secretly I love that my husband has gotten Heelys so that he can bond with his children. What an awesome Dad my children got. And I’m not all that worried about him. He’s agile. And fit. And just anal enough to practice until he gets the hang of it before taking them out for a public spin.

And besides, the insurance premium is all paid up.

The children started telling me how superior Heelys were to, say, roller skates. And I found myself pronouncing with confidence, “Sure pal, I tell you what, we’ll go to the roller skating rink and I’ll show you how it’s done.”

The words just hung there in the air, never to be retrieved. The gauntlet has just been thrown down. And run over by a pair of wheels. Now I have to put up, or shut up.

So, next week, it should come as no surprise to anyone in this house when the UPS guy delivers a package. A little something in a size 8 for mommy. And I won’t rest until I can find pink and white pompoms to decorate the laces.

To Be Continued…….