Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Apparently...

... I married Ron Swanson.

I've put away the Nair. If I have to kiss someone with a mustache, so does he.

Christmastastic

Matt refers to this as Jane's "Las Vegas Showgirl Headpiece." He really hates it. I refer to it as "Christmastastic" and then I told him that when she turns 13 he can start having strong opinions about her headgear/clothes. Because I can only imagine what the current clothing fad will be then. From the looks of what 13 year olds are wearing these days, I'm guessing floss. Then I'll be super supportive when he stands to his full height, puffs out his chest and blurts, "NOT HAPPENING."

Until then, I told him, I reserve the right to stick gigantic bows on top of her adorable fuzzy little head. Then he frowned and I reminded him about the 11 hours of labor and natural delivery I went through to get her into this world. Then he frowned again and I say one word, "crowning." He gave up instantly (because he was there).

I win.
After all, she seems to like this whole Christmastastic thing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Operation "Liz Learns To Cook Without Poisoning Her Family": Easy Apple Dumplings

Oooh ladies. These are good.

If I do say so myself, this was a success. And it was easy. Which meant a happy time in the kitchen tapping my foot to Rosemary Clooney instead of throwing pots around and yelling, "Why can't I cook like a normal person? Matt, what's wrong with me? NEVERMIND, don't answer that question."

Easy Apple Dumplings
(Thanks for giving me baby-step recipes Mom)

2 medium Granny Smith apples
1 (8 count) package of refrigerated crescent roll dough
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8 inch square baking dish.
2. Peal/core apples. Cut each apple into fourths. Un-role and separate crescent roll dough.
Wrap each apple section in a crescent roll. Place in dish and sprinkle with cinnamon.
3. Combine butter, sugar and orange juice in a medium sauce pan. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over dumplings. Sprinkle with pecans on top.
4. Bake 30 minutes or until crust is golden and beginning to bubble and apples are just tender when pierced with fork.
5. To serve, spoon some syrup from baking dish over dumpling. Serve over vanilla ice cream.

Also:
1. Thanks for Rachel, Annalea, and Trish for featuring my book. Love you ladies!
2. Jenny at The Bloggess listed my book as a sponsor on this post. She's one of those bloggers I follow and read while simultaneously hiding my eyes (which sounds counterproductive, but you know what I mean). She's hilarious and brilliant and totally eccentric. She also uses curse words the way I use turquoise paint. I appreciate her shout out very much.
4. For anyone that wants to find me on Pinterest, I'm here. But for those of you who don't know what it is or haven't started, don't. Don't even click. Save yourselves.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pinterest Might Be Endangering My Marriage. Just Kidding. *Fingers Crossed*

*just a sampling of my latest addiction

Matt: "Liz."
Me, staring at the computer, totally checked out, "Mmm."
Matt: "Liz."
Me, still staring with glazed eyes, "Mmm."
Matt: "LIZ."
Me, finally looking up, "What?"
Matt: SIGH
Me: "What?"
Matt: "How can I explain this in a way that you will understand?"
Me, bristling at the hint that my gray matter might not be up to task of comprehending his thoughts: "Excuse me?"
Matt: "You're ignoring me again. You're on Pinterest aren't you?"
Me, "Yeah. So?"
Matt, shaking his head: "You wouldn't notice an atom bomb while you're on there."
Me: "Well, that makes no sense. I'm pretty sure I would notice, I mean, my flesh would be burning off and..."
Matt: "You're missing the point."
Me: "What is the point? Really, I'll try super hard to comprehend it."
Matt, tapping his chin: "OK. Let me see. OK. Pinterest is like fantasy football for girls."
Me, slamming laptop shut immediately: "I'm so sorry."
Matt, hugging me: "It's nice to have you back."

This Thanksgiving

I bought an old feather hat and wore it around with the tags still on. I've officially become that woman. The woman that yells down the sidewalk to get her sister's attention while people stare. The woman that tries on shirts over her own shirt in the middle of an aisle at Target. The woman who wears hats despite the tags. This does not bode well.

We took a family portrait in which Jane was happy in her froggy so we didn't disturb the force and include her. Because we all wanted to eat without the soundtrack of screaming. Which makes us awful people.

Also, afterwards my brother-in-law Shane asked, "Was that the fun picture?" And we were all like, "What?" To which he replied, "The one where we all make faces?" And we said, "What?" So he looks awesome all by himself.
And Jane filled the week with burps, laughs at her own burps, and polk-a-dot outfits that were all soiled and stained by the end of the vacation. Also? There were four dogs in my parents house. Mabel waited it out under low lying pieces of furniture, staring out from under like a demented little Quasimoto.

That is all. Any funny Thanksgiving stories out there?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Things I Would Rather Do Than Shop On Black Friday

1. I would rather touch my own eye.

2. I would rather jump headfirst into a swimming pool full of White Diamonds perfume.

3. I would rather duck tape myself to a tiltawhirl, with no vertigo medication, while an ear piercing stream of Mariah Carey music plays on a loop.

4. I would rather have an oyster dressing dinner while seated between Nancy Grace and Rush Limbaugh.

5. I would rather walk up to a bee's nest, naked, and hit it with a baseball bat.

6. I would rather meet the Queen of England with a gigantic green booger hanging from my nostril.

7. I would rather give up Nair for a month and grow a mustache and then dye it pink.

8. I would rather have an open casket funeral while all my southern friends gather around and say, "Aw, she looks so natural, just like she's asleep." And then my friend Deletta would snap, "She does not look natural nor asleep. She looks dead."

9. I would rather invest my retirement fund in t-shirts that read "Team Jacob."

10. I would rather never eat cheese for the rest of my life.

No wait. That's going too far.

But you get the idea.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Baby's First Thanksgiving


Me: Here Jane, eat some of these awesome baby carrots.
Jane: (inner monologue because she's only seven months old) No.
Me: But they're really, really good.
Jane: I suspect you're lying. Mabel's dog food smells better than this.
Me: Just take one bite.
Jane: *taking bite*
Me: See? I told you they were good.
Jane: *gag reflex goes into overdrive*
Me: What? You don't like them?
Jane: *gag*
Me: Just try another bite.
Jane: You're *gag* the *gag* worst mother *gag* ever.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

* Because somebody will ask: I'm wearing sunglasses to hide the purple circles that live under my eyes, mmmkay?

I'll be honest. Life was really scary for a long time. But now it's getting better.

I've hesitated from jumping up and down and screaming at the top of my lungs, "I feel normal! I feel good!" I was afraid I'd jinx it or something. Plus, what is normal? It's different for everyone. But for me I went from sitting silently in the corner to babbling so much that now Matt asks sweetly, "I love it when you talk, but could you please let me stare at the ceiling for ten minutes?"

I believe God has answered my prayers. He has healed me. I go back to work very soon. I am excited. I am happy. I am thankful. Have a wonderful holiday week.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mary Steenburgen Is A Super Duper Nice Lady. And Pretty. Duh.

So last week I realized that Mary Steenburgen is the only celebrity I follow on twitter. Mostly because she's my hero. She grew up in North Little Rock too.

Once, Matt spotted her in Wal-Mart.
Of course I asked, "What was she buying?"
And he said, "I don't know. Paper towels?"
"You think she's beautiful, don't you?" I asked.
Matt stared at me, "Duh."

Last week, on a whim, I tweeted at Mary. I told her it was my Christmas wish that she read my book. And she messaged me back. I fell off my chair when I saw the email. Long story short, I sent her a copy of my book.

So follow Mary on twitter at @MSteenburgen. She's a super duper nice lady. And pretty. Duh.

Come Home Becca (Sometime Within the Next Century)

Thanks to a generous gift certificate from my lovely small group friends (see book party), I got some goodies from Anthropologie. It was a surreal feeling, actually acquiring something from the store that I mostly stand outside of and press my nose to the glass like a fat kid outside a bakery. Actually, I am that fat kid outside a bakery. I loves me some bear claws.

But mostly I'm just posting this necklace so that Rebecca (my long lost sister in China) will see
it and be jealous. And then after she stops being jealous she'll think of how much she misses Rachel and me. And then she'll think of Jane. And then she'll think of how Jane won't remember her by next summer. And then she'll think of how Mabel might also forget her. And then her thought process will make a full circle and she'll be jealous of this necklace again.

It's all part of my master guilt plot to make her come home sometime in the next century.
And if that doesn't work, maybe this picture of Rachel and me crawling all over her car will. Once Matt threw the remnants of a slushy on her windshield and her head rotated and turned backwards.

And if all else fails, maybe this picture of Jane will do the trick.

Yep. That ought a do it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Zirberts and a Liz Quiz

I used to get excited about new outfits from Target. Now I get excited about giving a 7 month old zirberts. Motherhood has made me a dork. A very happy dork.

1. How long were you married before having Jane? Did you and your husband have infertility problems.

We had Jane in April, we celebrated our 10th anniversary in May. And not that we knew, but we suspected infertility might be a problem in the future (although we did not want children for a long time). Thankfully God blessed us with Jane.

2. Are you writing full time now?

I've been on temporary disability from work, but am going back soon. I'm also writing.

3. How much money did you make on your book? How did you find your agent?

Email me directly and I'm happy to discuss book related advice. I also recommend the website agentquery.com for agent searches.

4. Are you a professional blogger?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. No.

5. How much traffic does your blog get? What do you charge for sponsors?

Email me directly, but I'm cheap. I mean, I don't charge much for sponsors. Not that I'm cheap as a person. Obviously. OK. New topic.

6. Did you gain a lot of weight during pregnancy?

Yes. I gained 56 pounds, and I earned every one of them like a badge of honor.

7. Does your family mind you writing about them in your book?

Thank goodness no. If they did I'd have nothing to write about. But I do get permission first.

8. Is that you on the cover of your book?

I wish. Let's pretend that it is, shall we?

9. Do you have any advice about daycare?

Yes. Don't settle. Especially if you live in a big city. There are lots of daycares, and every one of them is different. I recommend avoiding the gigantic ones, if only because your child will come into contact with a lot more illnesses. Find one where there is a lower rate of child per worker and where they hire full time workers vs. part time. And no matter what, trust your instinct. I rejected a couple of good daycares simply because they gave me an inexplicable bad feeling in my stomach.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Drop Toilet Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Last weekend our church group went camping. Matt went. I did not go. This probably makes me a bad sport. But I'll explain and then you'll say, "Oh, I totally get it. She's not a bad sport at all."

When I was a youngster my parents packed us up and drove to Colorado, dragging the trusty pop-up behind our suburban (this was back in the day when filling a suburban up with gas didn't cost the same amount of money as a root canal). This was in June. We wore shorts. As we climbed higher into the mountains, it began to sleet.

Have you ever been freezing cold day after day after day? So cold that your behind starts to feel like a ham in a deep freeze? I have.

One morning Mom said, "Elizabeth, take Rebecca to the bathroom."

So we wondered over to what could only be described as a wooden port-o-potty. We squeezed inside. I lifted the lid to the "hole." A frigid hurricane force wind rushed out into my face and blew my hair straight up into the air.

Rebecca began to scream. Mostly because the rushing wind was so loud it was the only way to be heard.

"NO, I don't want to sit on that."

"Fine," I screamed back, "Then you'll have to go outside."

Rebecca weighed the options in her mind, and decided that finding a hill and peeing in public wasn't the way to go. I grabbed her arms and she did her best to angle her body over the dark blast of mountain air.

"It's freezing!" she screamed as I tried to brace myself and hold her body weight to prevent her from falling into the depths of the icy, poop filled cavern below.

The rush of wind around us, the knowledge that a frozen lake of sewage lurked just below the darkness, and the longing for a hot shower overtook us, and both of us began to cry.

I'm not even going to get into telling the story of how later that week Rebecca and Rachel would expose an entire naked Asian family to a KOA campground.

And so, I submit that I'm not a bad sport. I'm not some gilded suburban lily who shrieks at the sight of a fire arm. I just suffer from drop-toilet-post-traumatic-stress-disorder.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Signing Pics. I'm Gonna Be An Aunt!

Well, maybe not technically an aunt. It's my cousin's baby. But still. His name is Jonah and today will be his birthday. Everybody wish my cousin Emily lots of luck, because we all know that moment is coming where she'll think, "Surely no other woman on the face of this planet has ever been in this much pain."

Oh but we have. Oh but we have.

Now here's a parade of pictures from the book signing. Thank you so much to everyone who came and made it a fun party instead of the paralyzing fear-fest I had expected. The Books-A-Million staff was awesome!