Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WINNER WINNER Chicken Dinner!

So, remember when you voted eight hundred and forty-kajillion times on The Bump and it totally didn't matter? Yeah, we do too. Good times.

But, as promised, we drew names of the winners today. *TA-DAA!!!!!* Which really means we acted stupid on camera. Usually we just do it live and there's no repeats.

You'll notice that our amazing technical skills with Kate's Precious made it so the last thirty seconds are out of sync. Which just goes to show that Kate should never have the job that she does. We also swing the camera around like a dad who just took a baseball in the jewels, so if you're slightly prone to nausea, you might wanna skip that part. Again, Kate's total inability to edit. Really? She works in television? [Editor's Note: We have editors. I'm the producer. I'm totally extraneous to the process. Duh. - Kate.]

So, here's the awesome video...with the weird Japanese Kurosawa bad dubbing whacktacularness at the end:

Or, if you just wanna know if you won, here's the list with times and dates of your comments:

Pottery Barn $50 Gift Card: Mary Kate (November 14th at 10:27pm)
Custom Designed MommyLand Store Item: CapaGrl/Theresa McCloskey (November 14th at 9:56pm)
MommyLand Store Item: Photo Mom (November 15th at 9:03am)
MommyLand Store Item: Shultz Family (November 15th at 12:40am)
MommyLand Store Item: SassyShortGirl (November 15th at 8:36am)
MommyLand Store Item: Maura Woodard (November 14th at 10:25pm)
MommyLand Store Item: Lisa Ager (November 15th at 12:11am)

Winners...e-mail us at lydia.and.kate@rantsfrommommyland.com and we'll get your prizes to you! Congrats to the winners and thank you to everyone who voted. And now we're off to the free clinic for some good antibacterials after all that hooking we did. They didn't cover this part in Pretty Woman.

Kate & Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tremendous: Funniest F**king Thing I Heard All Day

Kate was riding in the elevator at work. Her building has a lot of international people in it, particularly Brits. Which she loves because of the accents. And they seem so sophisticated. Which she tries to be. Except when she hears stuff like this and then falls on the floor.

And then they sigh and probably say to each other how happy they are we don't belong to England anymore.

Man on Elevator: I thought to myself, I'd just shake his hand and be a sport about it all. I mean, who hasn't she shagged? He scoffed me off. [shakes head in disbelief] A tremendous douchebag.

Friend: Well, if you're going to be any kind of douchebag, a tremendous one *is* the way to go.

Man: Too right. [sighs] Too right.

The. End.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Christmas Toys from HELL

This past weekend, I asked my children to write their letters to Santa. After reading them, I was struck by three things:

(1) Essentially, their lists were comprised entirely of whatever useless crap they had just seen advertised on television.
(2) My children are not sweet and charming Norman Rockwell-style angels who understand the true meaning of Christmas – despite multiple viewings of the Charlie Brown special where they appeared to have absorbed something. They are in fact mercenaries. They want everything and may be ruthless in their efforts to acquire their objectives. If there were a way for Hawk (age 5) to receive the entire Toys-R-Us Christmas catalogue – he would rub his hands in Mr. Burns-like satisfaction and cackle.
(3) Most of what they want sucks monkey balls, and I am not buying it for them.

 These are are some of the things they asked for and my thoughts on whether I will allow them those items into my house.

A Puppy: I need a puppy like I need a bigger ass. Our much beloved geriatric dog died last summer, and you know what that experience taught me? I am the only one in our house who picks up poop. And I am currently potty training a 2-year old half monkey and there is a limit to what my gag reflex and patience can handle. Yay or Nay: NAY. An all–caps NAY.

Pillow Pets: My children love Pillow Pets the way Ryan Seacrest likes dudes. They go ape-schmidt for the damn things. They yearn for them. My 2-year old freaked out every time she saw the ladybug one, screaming “MINE PILLOW PET! MINE! MINE!” like a tiny blond German dictator regarding Poland. My 5-year old son wants the dog. And my oldest daughter has to have the frog. The frog Pillow Pet is the Edward to her Bella. She does not think she can live without it. She is willing to give up every other toy on her Christmas list for this frog. I assured her that wasn’t necessary but let her know I was sorry she would be learning about diminished expectations and kissing frogs at such an early age. Yay or Nay? Yay (reluctantly).

Barbie Glitterizer: This genius of a toy basically blows glitter all over the place. Who in their right mind thought this was a good idea? I recently heard glitter described as the herpes of crafting supplies. I didn’t even think that was funny because I’m still dealing with the aftermath of “Glitter Parenting Fail '08”*. Someone even emailed me a description of this product several months ago, and I thought it was a joke. BUT IT’S REAL, and now she wants one. Yay or Nay? Hell nay.

*Glitter Parenting Fail '08 refers to a misguided project involving glitter glue and valentines. Two years later I am still finding glitter glue in places that it should never, ever be.

Barbie Totally Stylin’ Tattoo: Here’s the product description: “This trendy Barbie® doll comes with over 40 tattoos! Using the enclosed tattoo stamper and stickers, girls can wear the designs or use them to decorate Barbie® and her fab fashions. It’s hours of temporary tattooing fun!” Several of my best friends have tattoos and piercings. I understand that it’s fairly normal – even for moms – to decorate one’s body in this fashion. But 40 separate tattoos? Seriously? Because who wouldn’t want their daughter to grow up looking like the smelly pirate hooker who broke up Sandra Bullock’s marriage. Yay or Nay: NEVER EVER EVER EVER.

Creepy Crawler Bug Makers: This is a product where you form slimy bugs made of gelatinous goo that spurt more slimy goo when you squash them. Then you get to do it all over again. With increasingly dirty goo. Or you can spend more money and buy replacement spooge. So let’s see… It’s completely disgusting, it creates a huge mess that I will be required to clean, the bugs can be used as biological weapons against sisters which will invariably lead to ear-piercing shrieks and it costs almost $50… Yay or Nay? Never-in-a-million-years-are-you-out-of-your-damn-mind

Moon Sand Ice Cream Shop: If glitter is the herpes of crafting supplies – Moon Sand is the chlamydia of Play Doh substitutes. And the best part about this particular toy? IT LOOKS LIKE FOOD. And yet, it is not food. So if I were to buy this product, I would spend hours of my time trying to keep my toddler from eating it, nagging my older children to clean it up, and approximately 90% of it would end up inside my vaccum cleaner by the first of January. Also, I understand from Stark Raving Mad Mommy's awesome list of crap she won't buy for her kids, that her family actually got this at one point and it sucked. Yay or Nay: Nope.

Ripstick: This product is sort of like a skateboard, except that if you have excellent balance and technique, it becomes self-propelling. It should come with knee and elbow pads and a slot to store your insurance information because this device has a fairly good chance of causing a trip to the ER. However, it is an outside toy that encourages physical activity, and it is gender neutral, meaning it will get a lot of use by multiple kids. I may have to wrap my children in bubble wrap, but at least they won’t be watching TV. Yay or Nay: Yay, I guess.

Nintendo DSi with seventeen trillion games: My 5-year old wants a DS. I’m not even sure he knows what one is. But he wants one BAD. And this child is totally obsessed with Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, and Lego Indiana Jones as it is. Hence, we had to make the Wii contract. Plus, it costs a damn fortune, and he wants every single game known to man along with it. Son, you’re five, and I am neither a famous rapper, Tori Spelling, nor insane – so you are not getting expensive electronics for your birthday that you will break within days. Yay or Nay: Maybe next year.

iPod: My 7-year old daughter wants an iPod or better yet, an iPhone. And she’s not kidding. Because one of her friends has one. First of all, you're seven.  You're not getting a cell phone.  And while I might be inclined to get a you an MP3 player that is cheap or a hand-me-down, I don't think I will because you have a tendency to lose things like your shoes. And your jacket. In between the house and the car. Yay or Nay: See above. No way.

Baby Alive or any toy that poops: Last year for Christmas, my daughter Thumbelina received a talking, moving, deeply frightening “Baby Alive” doll, which was immediately christened by my husband as 'Creepy Robot Baby'. The worst part? The doll urinates and defecates. I had to change that doll one time, and a new rule was instituted that my children can now recite: NO TOYS THAT POOP OR PEE EVER AGAIN. And this year, there is a robotic dog that eats and then poops out its food. And my children see it advertised and they say “Oh! Mommy can we have… Oh that’s right…” and they hang their little heads because of my rule. Yay or Nay: N-to-the-AY.

Gorilla that sings Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” when you squeeze its paw: Target has a big shelf filled with stuffed animals dressed in holiday garb that play Christmas carols when you poke their bellies in a special spot. They are pretty annoying and absolutely cacophonous when my children reach the shelf and then gleefully turn them all on at the same time like crazed chimps and then jump around hooting. But there is a special one on that shelf. A female gorilla that plays the Ke$ha song "Tik Tok" when you squeeze its paw. Because nothing says “the season of perpetual hope” like a primate singing “…before I leave I brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack." Yay or Nay: Don’t even ask.

This is a truncated list. There’s a lot more. Perhaps you have some additional items you'd like to share.  Feel free.  And while I’ll get my children stuff that they want for Christmas and hope that those gifts will not turn them into little crack-heads, there’s always the fear... The fear that a relative will give in to their bad judgement and send a Bratz doll and then my head will explode. Happy Holidays.

xo, Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our Very First Caption Contest: Turkey Say WHUCK?!

We let Grandmere pick because Kate & I were too busy laughing like a couple of crazed hyenas.

We are so in love with the crazy Thanksgiving turkey that Kate's mother-in-law made in the murtherfurkin dishwasher that we've decided to have a little caption contest.  Take a good, long look at the turkey's "face" and if you have an idea for a caption for this truly whucktastic photo, leave us a comment and we'll pick a winner and announce it Sunday night. 

So... What is this turkey saying to you?  We are dying to know - as most of the time the comments on this blog are funnier than the posts. The winner gets three things:
  1. Recognition as being the most clever and funny girl in MommyLand (we will even put up your picture if you want)
  2. Gets to come up with any topic she wants as a challenge post for us to write
  3. Will receive a special treat in the mail from Kate & Lydia just in time for the festive holiday season!
xo,  Kate & Lydia

PS: Also, we should say that we are fully copying the idea of a caption contest from the hilarious and awesome Mommy Shorts, who you should totally check out if you have a minute.

Here's the turkey and the winning caption. 
Grandmere roasted the turkey in the dishwasher 
and then she picked the winner of this contest.
And we let her do it...

Here are some other captions that we feel deserve recognition (and had us dying...)  Thank all of you SO MUCH for writing these. We completely loved this contest and how brilliant you all are.  And Leigh Ann, send us an email at lydia.and.kate@rantsfrommommyland.com

Best random movie reference: "There is no Turkey, there is only Zuul." - Melanie C.

Best use of the word contortionist: "Contortionist turkey had never lost a drinking contest.. till she met Kate and Lydia." - Cherie

Best True Blood shout out: "I think Lafayette says it best:"B*tch, you come in my house, you eat my food the way i f***ing make it! You understand me? Tip your waitress."  - Mama Chaos

Best use of total freaking randomness: "Don't ask me why I was stringing the lights naked, just help me get my knees outta here." -Penny Broom

Best reference to the underworld: "Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial." - Kimberly

Best UsWeekly exclusive interview caption: "First mistake - I go into a hotel room with Charlie Sheen. Next thing I know, I wake up in a dishwasher with my legs in my mouth a chatty older woman in the next room and my picture on a website. Good Gobble, no more celebrities." - Anonymous

Best alarming and somewhat threatening caption: ""My giblets are probably frolicking somewhere with your pelvic floor. So wipe that smile off your face, snitch."  - MLV

Best translated caption and also Best Star Wars reference: "Achute, my pee kasa Jabba. Ha, ha, ha!"
~spoken in Jabba the Hutt's voice...and yes, I Googled how to say "Hello, my name is..." in "Huttese".  - Kim

Best naughty caption: "Is that a baster in your apron or are you just happy to see me?" - Jet

Best Chuck Norris reference: "This photo was taken 30 seconds before dinner at Chuck Norris's house. On Thanksgiving, the turkeys give thanks to Chuck Norris or he cooks them instantly with his rage." - Kate in Michigan

Best responsive after dinner caption: "Do you have a mint?" - Erin Jones

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Letters from Offspring #1: The Bruise

We're thinking we'd be rich if we made desk chairs with seat belts. Because when we get notes from Offspring 1, we need to buckle up first. If you'll recall her last missive, she mentioned she had gotten a bruise. Kate decided to ask why...well, after they talked about shoes.

Strap in girls...though, for the record, there's nothing we can do about the bees.

xoxo, K&L



I was just wondering if Lydia had seen THESE? Cos they are MADE of awesome. And wood, but mostly awesome!

Love, Offspring

Offspring #1!!

Kate here...I have to say even I think those shoes are awesome. Feathers have that effect on me.
We want to post, with your note. But, in addition...would you like to tell us about The Bruise?? You mentioned in in The Badger Incident and now our readers want to know all about how Offspring got injured. Plus, only you can tell such a story...

Please please let it include these shoes and possibly marshmallows and bees would be fantastic, though not totally necessary. OH! And maybe a collander.

xoxo Kate



Wow. So if we made say, heels out of loads of feathers would you be really really epically happy even though they tickle your feet like nothing on earth (but hey, at least they'd be better than lego! Lego shoes = BAD PLAN, been there.) (Have you ever tried making six inch stilettos out of lego? Cos if you haven't, I can tell you it is HARD) (Even when your feet are roughly the size of an average lego brick, but anyway MOVING SWIFTLY ONWARDS)

Oh my, The Bruise! I would very much like to tell you about the bruise and bees and marshmallows and collanders and those shoes! It was a pretty epic bruise even if I do say so myself (and I just did.) I will get right on it, as soon as I have beaten this sociology essay into submission. Using this keyboard. If I don't reply in a week, assume it killed me, ok?
Offspring #1

Listen, three eyes, don't try to outweird me, I've had stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal.

Hi Kate and Lydia! Sorry I'm slower than a tortoise in treacle (NOT A GOOD DESSERT.)

There are random men in my house.

Now, before you lovely people begin The Flailing Extravaganza that happened when I said this last night and start demanding I call some variety of Authority to come and GET THE PEOPLE OUT RIGHT NOW THIS SECOND, I should mention they have destroyed the kitchen. That’s right; there is now an empty space where the… everything used to be.

Isn’t it weird what you pay people to do for you?

I offered to do it myself with a sledgehammer, a piece of string and seventeen small pieces of cheddar, but everyone yelled NO at the same time and now my ears are ringing and apparently the reason for that is because we want to be able to put things back where the things were in the first place and still have the rest of the house standing and everything to not be decorated in various shades of yellow. I like various shades of yellow, but there you are. I also like crawling around in cupboards and rainbows and that feeling you get when you get rid of the sleep in your eyes first thing in the morning because ahhh, it’s so satisfying! Even more satisfying than yelling at the gerbils in my brain and having them actually listen to me. Geraldine says hi.

Geraldine is the gerbil in charge of my balance (and lack thereof) (and I just used thereof in a sentence. I feel knowledgeable! YAYNESSITIES!) Geraldine is a pain. And responsible for Oh. So. Much. Including the reason why I am no longer wearing my one pair of smart, fancy shoes. They have heels. They make me feel like a giant. They are hard to walk in. MADE OF ORSUM They are also not these shoes! https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=688e3ca9c2&view=att&th=12bf966297df4c15&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=f_gfvft1k90&zw (and yes, it is a big link because I know NOTHING about technology that can’t be told with a hippo analogy. Seriously. Ooh, and glitter! Glitter’s great, it’s like little speckles of happiness and mini stars created by duck babies because they get bored and have to make something. Like ducky arts and crafts! (I’m distracted by shiny objects. You can tell, can’t you?)) ß And by the way can I draw your attention to the double brackets? I’m getting all fancy with punctuation!

Our oven didn’t work, and the cupboards were falling off. *ahem* ANYWAY MOVING ON!

Yes, back to Geraldine and her asshattery. (A favourite word of mine) Because I briefly touched on the subject I was kind of going to talk about and went off on a tangent like they taught us in Maths, I hate maths, Always hated maths. My maths teacher was one of the most awesome human beings in the history of EVER I swear he had giraffes in his brain instead of gerbils. That HEIGHTENS the awesome. By oh so much. His head wasn’t even weirdly elongated or anything, so I think it was a TARDIS, which adds doctor who to this festival of awesome (or the more awesome spelling of awesome which is orsum and oh yes so much orsum in one place I may have to move on before the world implodes from a too great concentration of the word orsum, oh yes, moving swiftly forwards!)

What was I going to be talking about? Oh yeah, bruises! Or more specifically, The Bruise. The Bruise was cause by Geraldine and also the little imps of chance! Now, usually I love the little imps of chance, especially when I have the exact money for, say, those gummy bears I’ve been craving all day (who cares if I can no longer get the bus home and it’s raining? GUMMY BEARS, people! You have to have priorities!) or that I have not finished that sociology essay because it has been kicking me six ways to Sunday, but we get help on it in class anyway! There’s something to be said for leaving your homework to the last minute… Because homework is like a marshmallow. No, really. It’s all squidgy and sticky the night you get it, but after say, a week of sitting there it’s rock hard and… and this is a really bad analogy.

Homework attracts less bees at least. But only just. I like bees! They’re all buzzy and happy and don’t sting you unless you bite them first. Or sit on them, like Offspring #2 did that one time. And I’ve read the secret life of bees and therefore I know you have to love bees because they are awesome! And also so they don’t sting you, but how could you be afraid of something fuzzy in a yellow and black stripey jumper? Except wasps, but that’s because wasps are mean. They’re like the mean kids in the playground. The sweet little kids look all cute and fuzzy and only kick you/go tell on you if you’ve done something. The mean kids kick you whatever.

What was I supposed to be writing about again? Um… oh yeah! Bruise! So there I am, minding my own business (of which I have much, oh yes, it’s not mostly schoolwork (which has been kicking my arse recently) at all… nope…) talking to my friend, She Who Wears Hoodies, and going to buy some Underage Teenage Girl T boxes, which is what I’m calling mars bars and lucozade nowadays, when kabam!

Hello ground, you look odd up close. How did I get here? Why? What is my purpose in life?


Well, thanks. Aside from that?

Get off me before I bite you again, hear? Snitch…

The ground is very territorial. Only small things are allowed on it and I am five foot six and a half. (The half is very important. It makes me feel like a supermodel, despite the fact I have curves and eat chocolate.)

I got off the ground.

It turned out my bag strap had broken and tangled around my legs, and then my shoe had come off and tripped me over and straight into a puddle of ooze. Oozeish ooze. So, while She Who Wears Hoodies laughed, I assessed the damage.

Incorrectly apparently. Because while I’d realised I had a grazed foot (?!?) three scrapes on both elbows and a pretty impressive bruise on my arm, I did not find the enormous blood stained bruise on my knee until that night. During dinner.

Offspring #2 was NOT amused.

I even have PICTURES of this epic bruise, but they cannot convey the sheer awesome that was the bruise, at least the size of my fist – which means at least half the size of my HEART (there’s some trivia for you,) – and oozing. Oo. Zing. There was not much ketchup eaten that night.

Another reason for not showing the pictures is that some people may be eating. But I have to admit, if you still eat or drink when reading The Kate And Lydia Awesome Blog you are either a) New, in which case hi, how are you? Sorry, scuse me, don’t mind me, coming through or b) a braver person than me.

The next day at school I was walking down a corridor when I showed my friend, She Who Wears Hoodies the bruise and it actually caused a crowd. Not just because my legs look like they belong to King Kong on a bad fur day either. Because it was EPIC.

And that, my friends, is why bruises are awesome. Especially the way they turn every colour of the rainbow in reverse before they leave you. Oh. Even. Yesser. Stop looking at me like that. What? Dear Maude.

Ah, the things you find in cupboards at church.

Offspring #1

(P.S, Sorry it took a while. Life is kicking me twelve ways to Sunday which you wouldn’t think was possible BUT IT IS and yes, things. Including spending almost three hours in specsavers. Seriously. You’re quite possibly GAINING awesome, btw. Just so you know! And congrats on the Best Miscellaneous Blogitude! And good luck on the shredding! And have another exclamation mark!)

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

The RFM Thanksgiving Crossword Puzzle! Woot!

So, now that everyone is either watching football, napping or wishing the holiday were over already, Kate and Lydia thought it was time for a little distraction. In the form of an awesome interactive crossword puzzle. That's super hard [that's what she said!] and requires you to be expert MommyLand spies. Or, here's a printable version if you're a pencil-y kind of person.

If you clink the link above, we've saved it in our Google Documents file...which makes us sound super important, but really it's just a bunch of saved emails that K&L sent to each other. We're pretty sure it will be used as blackmail someday.

Kate also got all link happy, so if you're stumped, click on the clues below and it will send you to a post that has the answer...see? Spy work. We're expecting our night-vision goggles to come any day now.


3. So called Perfect Mommy. We love her not.
6. From one of Kate's postcards; claims to be Lydia's hometown
8. What moms and Aunt Mary's give to Lydia because her house isn't quite clean
9. Kind of church where the McLovin miracle happened
11. Big tube that was suspected to be on Kate's messy desk; she texted the wrong person about it
14. What you do right before you kick someone in the taco
17. Randy and Dickie's brother; he owns The Bouncy Haus of Horror
21. Name of Thumbelina's soon-to-be band
23. Kate's favorite singer even though he kills her tomatoes
25. Patron Saint of MommyLand
27. What Kate sends to Lydia when she's away for work
30. Kid vernacular that describes the Macy's Thanksgiving Day march down a street
32. What Lydia becomes when she tries to get fancy for TV
33. Kate's favorite TV show; also, a game and punishment for the IHPs
35. Lydia's Kids are these; also, Molly Shannon
40. Where Kate had Tea with the Queen
41. Puppet that McLovin bought at a street fair because it can swallow
42. Country where McLovin goes; named by Happy
45. Name of Lydia's dining room rug
46. To make a face like Kristen Stewart; uninterested, and possibly smelly
48. Vote winner for Kate and Lydia's enrichment program
50. Restaurant where Lydia should never return
51. Holiday that is always a disappointment


1. Event Spy Kate and Spy Lydia have to save
2. Mixture of Ranch dressing and Tobasco Sauce
4. Lydia's preferred type of clothing
5. Also known as Emma on the blog, even though we prefer this semi-naughty nickname
7. Part evil, part elf celebrity; makes Lydia say "whuck??!"
10. Creator of The Bump voting buttons of awesomeness
12. Which shoe department Lefty was when he was given his name
13. Subject of the third Completely Imaginary Celebrity Advice Column
15. Part-Jedi and part-Sith exercise teacher
16. Cap'n Coupon's preferred brand of tea
18. Wears velour tracksuits and has blonde chest hair
19. Lydia's relative who sent us a gift that proved we were spies
20. Describes anything that is both strangely odd and yet compelling
22. Where Lydia took her kids to milk a fake cow
24. The name of Kate and Lydia's "child" who speaks of Badgers
26. More than Kate's daily itinerary, it's the Grand Itinerary of all the others
28. Lydia's response to "would you like more wine?"
29. Award we give out for the Worst Mother who isn't a Felon
31. Cap'n Coupon's occupation
34. Condition where the "twins" aren't looking so uniform in size
36. First person to get Maude-faced
37. So-called clothing that combines sleepwear with Levis
38. Friend of Kate and Lydia's who sings in Wegmans
39. McGee's boyfriend
43. MiniMiniMe is a [blank] baked by the devil
44. Name of Lydia's iPod and Kate's phone
47. Name of Hawk's soon-to-be band
49. Kate's preferred brand of shoes

xoxo, K&L

PS -- Kate caught two mistakes when she was playing link-every-mur-thur-fur-kin-clue-to-a-post...Number 51 Across...there's no such thing as a "Holdiday" but now we're thinking there SHOULD be...like a holiday that puts your life on hold. Also, Number 10 Down, the awesome button designer didn't do it for the Blur. She did it for the BUMP. Kate, clearly, is in the blur...and on holdiday. So, fail.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Oven-Roasted Turkey?: Funniest F**king Thing I Heard All Day

Kate woke up to the smells of the Thanksgiving turkey slowly roasting in the oven. Because she's made it a *policy* to not cook Thanksgiving dinner, she cleans up. A policy her mother-in-law, GrandMere, is more than happy to employ.

So, when the dishwasher stopped running, she decided to make herself useful and empty it.

Kate: Umm, GrandMere?
GrandMere: [from other room] Yes?
Kate: Umm, the stuff in the dishwasher? I'm not sure about this...
GrandMere: Oh, leave it in there. It's not done yet.

Kate: Are you drinking?
GrandMere: Yes.
Kate: Uh, the dishwasher?
Kate: [worried] It looks -uhhh - alarmed.
GrandMere: That's because I gave it a face. See?

The. End.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's a quick bit of Thanksgiving cheer from Kate and Lydia.  We would have written a real post but we're up to our elbows in giblets and gravy and the house smells amazing and there's more dirty dishes than there are actual dishes (how is that possible??).  And our kids are all jacked up because they don't have to go to school and today is SPECIAL so of course they got up at the crack of dawn. 

So enjoy! Because no one can say grace before a big family meal like Ricky Bobby...

We are grateful for our families, for healthy kids and for all of you... Thanks for everything, MommyLand.

xo, Kate & Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stuffing Your Innards: A Thanksgiving Recipe

Mrs. Darling joins us again.  Our fabulous literary friend has written our Summer Reading List and all about her time at the beach.  Also, she has more Sharpies than anyone - even Kate.  And she hosts the best playdates ever.  I mean EVER.  And they consist of basically letting kids run around her backyard and play with stuff from the Thrift Store while eating clementines.  We adore her and are so thrilled to share this! 

Happy Thanksgiving!
This is about my family’s stuffing recipe.

It’s basic stuffing - no sage bells and chestnut whistles- but I label it fabulous.

It disturbs me how long it took me to write this. I started writing about my mother’s past as a city girl plunked into rural nowhere with two young kids. Then I started to do some Important Work detailing my Great Grandmother’s desperate search for food for her babies and my Grandmother’s thwarted dreams of stardom and how they all lead to the magnificence that is this stuffing… Fortunately, I caught myself before I really began to really lose it. Some people (Hi Kate!) can merge the side splitting funny with a side of pathos and throw in a library metaphor for good measure. I am not that person.

Instead, let me set the scene for this stuffing of triumph.

My family’s stuffing recipe is the easiest ‘festive-family-dinner-oh-hell-who- invited- them- over- do-we- have-enough-chairs? dish that you can possibly make with fresh ingredients (save the bad bread- more on that later) because I come from a long line of women who had absolutely no interest in cooking. Shared genetic makeup made them family, but true apathy in creating any foodstuff that wasn‘t necessary for survival was what bound them together as sisters united against the kitchen. It’s because of this mutual hatred for special dinnertimes that my Great Gran’s exalted stuffing recipe has stood the test of over a century of time. The stuffing tastes great because if my Great, Grand, and semi-sainted Mother were going to actually have to cook an extra meal than by Maude they were going to get as much praise as they could from their ungrateful families. Their vastly different life stories- Depression era mother to six, glamorously frustrated mother of eight who missed her calling in Hollywood, hippie mom parked in the ultimate of backwoods living with no fast food to bribe her shrieky kids (um, one of them would be me)- all merged into one glorious mission. That mission: making the simplest stuffing known to man

 How simple is this? I’m giving you the ingredients because I want you to fully appreciate the ease of this operation:
  • Two loaves of really bad cheap bread. You know the squishy white bread that wants to be Wonder Bread but isn’t and is sold at the 7-11 for a $1.89? Pass it by- as a matter of fact get out 7-11 and their quality products and instead go to the no name store by the Texaco station- the one where you would never in a million years go use their bathroom. Find the dusty loaves wedged in between the ice scrapers and strawberry flavored male enhancement fruit leathers and BUY THAT BREAD. The pedigree of the bread is meaningless- I have tried every single type of bread-sourdough, whole grain, cornbread, homemade- and absolutely nothing comes close to really bad squishy bread. In an age of artisan rosemary scented boules going for seven dollars a piece, I urge you to take a minute to revel in that.
  • Two large onions, chopped. Not the sweet kind but the ones that make you cry. Maybe someone passing by the kitchen will feel sorry for you and offer to take the kids out.
  • Celery chopped. Nothing special- celeriac or Pascal root should be avoided at all costs in favor of the standard bag o’ celery that you can find anywhere
  • Butter- lots of it. It’s Thanksgiving, you can shred/diet/keen tomorrow.
  • Water Put some salt and pepper in it if you’re feeling creative.
  • A turkey. Actually, you don’t need the turkey- you just need those little paper bags full of body parts that are stuck inside the turkey. If that last sentence has given you pause you might want to give the rest of this a miss.
As for the turkey. Roast it, fry it smoke it….. can’t give any advice on that end as I mainly see turkey as a vehicle to enhance cranberry sauce. If asked, I’d probably place myself in the ‘roast- until- the- plastic- thingy- pops’ school of thought.
  • Tear up the bread the day before and let it sit out to dry.
  • In the morning, throw every bit of the turkey parts into enough water so that it covers up everything. Cover with a lid and simmer for… I don’t know, three or four hours?
  • Get some coffee and call everyone who’s coming and instruct what they need to bring because, having made the turkey and stuffing, your work is done.
  • Go on your laptop, read a book, study your toes but do not leave the kitchen or people will know how easy this is.
  • Take the now completely mushed turkey parts out of the’ innards water’ (this is the exact phrasing my Great Gran used in this recipe in 1917) and cut it up- yes even the neck - into such small pieces that your guest will probably not recognize what is once was. Boil down the water until it’s reduced into a thick (ish) liquid. This isn’t necessary, but it buys you more time while you order gifts on Amazon..
  • Pour melted butter (lots of it) over the torn up bread. Pour innards water. Throw in the raw onions and celery that you cut up last night to get out of giving the kids a bath. Throw in turkey bits. Look around to make sure no one is watching and then mix it all up with your hands.
  • Dump it in one or two buttered dishes and bake until it smells good.
What I love about this is that the ingredients themselves smack of each mothers’ world. My Great Gran was famous for never letting anything go to waste so every blessed internal organ of whatever poor bird she could find for her family of six was used up until nothing semi-edible was left to be found. My Grandmother never met a meal that wouldn’t benefit from more butter and excelled in shoving onion laced meals into a hot oven until the smell wafted through her house. I think that my Mom made the smartest move in that she knew if you handed two bags of bread to kids and asked them if they’d like to tear it apart while watching Brady Bunch you had a least one chapter and a half a can of Tab before any more mothering was needed. Clever woman.

So how does it taste? In a word (s), really good. By boiling the innards water (again not my phrase) down until it’s almost a syrup , the stuffing itself has an intense turkey taste to it. The bread, which has the consistency of Styrofoam when it stays out for the night, manages to soak in enough flavor and yet not get too mushy. Onions and celery add flavor and, more importantly lets you forget the fact that the bread and innards goop would actually have a pretty high ick factor. And the butter? The butter is was and always shall be the shortcut to culinary splendor. And the way it allows the crust of the stuffing to brown…wow.
What’s best about the stuffing is that in eating it I am reminded of all the women in my family who faced down the ‘must-make-family-feast’ gauntlet with grand aplomb. I can almost hear the ancient words of my family’s women as I allow the Darling children third helpings: "We don’t like to cook. We are too poor/uninterested/far away to shop for anything resembling fine food. Yet we are going to triumph and make a stuffing that will knock our beloved families on their sorry little bumkiesters.” A rallying cry that I never fail embrace during the festive holiday season. 

Book Time! When I’m locked in the kitchen this Thanksgiving, I will be reading…"Tinsel: The Search for America’s Christmas Present" by Hank Steuver. You think it’s going to be some smug hipster’s take on the season, but a few chapters in you see the humanity and ultimate dignity of the celebration. "Ghost at the Table" - Masquerading as a cozy little Thanksgiving story, the real delight is the realization that the main character- the one we are supposed to like and would be probably be played by that cute Renee Zellweger- is driving herself insane and taking us with her. Lastly, a series of short stories called "Wolfsbane and Mistletoe" because, umm…there’s Sookie Stackhouse with a highly desirable Were-Faery. Enough said.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mrs. Darling

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Voting is Over but the Buttons Continue...

Amy of "famed" Pregnant Chicken made us a bunch more buttons last night and just because the voting for The Bump's Best in Show Mommy Blog is over (oh thank Maude it's all over) doesn't mean we shouldn't share them with you.  Because these buttons and all the other amazing shows of support we received have been the very best part of this contest.  Yes - we got our aces kicked and lost by a landslide -- but that doesn't even matter. 

Thanks for helping us out and please know - our hooking days are OVER.  We're so grateful for your votes and the time it took you to click 'em but this blog is about what we can do for you - not the other way around.  Also, it's about keeping our sanity when we feel overwhelmed and unappreciated and like nobody else gets it.  The idea that you guys get it and don't think we're crazy and can laugh with us...  That's more important than any popularity contest.  Besides, we've spent our entire lives being dorks and it's a little late to change that now.

Anyway, here are the last of Amy's awesome blog buttons - enjoy!  And you don't even have to click on anything!

xo, Kate & Lydia

PS: Thanks again, Amy.  You're the coolest, most talented, hilarious and generous person we've never met and we can't believe you're friends with us.  You should be hanging out with an international group of hipsters.  It should be you, David Sedaris, Alexander Skarsgaard, Flavor Flav and Carla Bruni.  And you'd all go on vacation together and work on projects and have cocktails at trendy hotspots.  With us on the outside staring at you with wide, sad eyes - wondering why you won't return our emails now that the cool people have discovered you and stolen you from us.  Also, we want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving but we can't because you're Canadian and it's against the law.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

It's Coming From Inside My House...

Lydia and I wake up every morning ready to go into battle. Depending on the seasons, we could be going to war against squirrels, the Ice Cream Man, people who use lawn movers or leaf blowers or snow machines at 7am on a Saturday.

We also fight ticks, mosquitos, colds, flu season, holiday season, end of the TV season and seasonal allergies. The point being, we're ALWAYS in full gear, weapons loaded and ready to kick some a$$ the minute we head out the door.


It seems that we may have missed something *very important* about where those battle lines between moms and our domestic enemies lie. Because I always thought my house was the Green Zone. Switzerland. The equivalent of yelling "Base!" right before you're about to get tagged. 

Oh, stupid Kate. I should have known better, because just as in any good horror movie, I'm slowly finding out that there are acts of evil and treachery happening inside my house.

How can you tell if you've been infiltrated? Here are some of the clues:
  • The toilet seat is up. And you only find out when your keister winds up in the potty water because you sank too far into the bowl. At 3:00am. In the dark. 
  • The cereal box in the pantry has no cereal in it. In the mad dash to get people out the door and to school on time, you grab the nearest box of empty. Who wants a big bowl of air for breakfast?
  • The phones have gone missing. The children all want to say hello to Nana or Auntie or Lydia, but don't want to share phones or wait their turn. So they each grab one and dash off. The phones, never to be returned to their cradles, are found days later, batteries dead, in their closets. Now Kate goes around her house yelling, "Where are all the Tom Cruises? Go find Tom Cruise, all of you, and put them away!"
[Editor's Note: It isn't just the phones that I call Tom Cruises - it's anything I find lurking in the closet that shouldn't be there. I know it's pretty random. The other day I was battling Dickie the Yard Fairy and my four year old son Happy came outside, phone in hand and saying, "Mommy, the Tom Cruise is for you." It was my boss. So I was all: "Oh, haha, no, we don't call you Tom Cruise, we call the phone that becau-- never mind." That doesn't necessarily do good things for one's career trajectory. I think he thinks I'm either overly, or under-ly medicated. - Kate]
  • Your bras have been re-purposed. Apparently there was a raid on Barbie's mansion and all the GI Joe's had to parachute in. And daddy has already made it very clear how he feels about using his handkerchiefs. Also, it seems they make impressive dual-fire slingshots. Which you discover when you find them in your now leaf-less trees. 
  • Your Internet has been hacked. You sign on and find this on the screen:

and the shaving cream and little paper cups you keep in the bathroom gone and then you go upstairs to find out that your guest bathroom is the Manhattan Project.
  • Clearly you've been robbed. That Costco sized tub of cheese balls that you hid where the Crock Pot normally goes and that you save for True Blood nights -- because, well, what blood is to them is fluorescent orange cheese powder to you -- is gone. Devise plan to trap suspected thieves. Then devise better plan to figure out way to coat Eric Northman in fluorescent orange cheese powder. Even yesser.
  • The vacuum cleaner has been killed. While performing the Hoover autopsy, you discover the culprit. Ponytail holders. That Target special of 100 elastic bands in every color that you bought last month has been whittled down to just the crappy dull brown one your wear around your wrist because it's the only. one. left. You would peel them out of their lint and fuzz web, but for the fact that last week you vacuumed up a huge bug and you're afraid it's still there. Waiting to exact revenge.
  • Emeril Lagasse has been kidnapped. And clearly, those responsible are hiding him in your kitchen. There's no other way to explain that one minute it's a normal kitchen, and the next BAM! there's peanut butter coating the faucet, a jelly pool slowly oozing its way down that space between the countertop and the refrigerator, eleven butter knives has been conscripted into duty and the floor not only adheres to your feet, but also provides a lovely crunch to entertain you while you plan your escape. There's a decent chance you'll be chewing off your own feet. 
  • Geneva Convention of Toothbrushes has been violated. You spare yourself a Full Surrender by opting to brush your teeth before heading off to school, only to find it's been *gasp!* dropped into the weird space between the sink and the toilet. There's only one solution for such horrifying treatment. A proper funeral. Your backup toothbrush is in your toddler's mouth, clearly violating the One Mouth Rule, and right as you relent and shove your kid's toothbrush in your mouth (gross, but necessary) said child says, "Oh, hi mom! Is that the toothbrush that was in the toilet last night?"
  • The Remote Control is -- well, remote. Where does it go? Isn't its prime location usually within about 10 feet of the television? Even better, it's stuck on Nick Jr. You can't change the channel, and Dora and that stupid monkey are on.
And there you sit, unshowered - well, except for the bum bath in the toilet - no breakfast, no phone to call Lydia and complain, the lack of bras and brushing of teeth have led to a Surrender, Eric Northman has been traded away for that little girl and her *mostly* naked primate, and your kitchen and bathroom are about to be declared official disaster zones by some guy with too little hair, too much Brill Creme and a carrying a clipboard.

And that's when you know the little terrorists have won. For now...

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Voting and Hooking and An Awesome Poll

So, we've spent the past two weeks hookin' it like we're Julia Roberts, minus those boots, which were totally fierce despite being held up by a safety pin.

And even with all that spectacularness, it looks like we're gonna wind up being a little less Vivian and a little more Kit. You know, heavy breathing on countertops and letting old ladies watch.

We LOVE the Bump and we're all WOOT-y! that they let us be Most Miscellaneous in their Bloggy Beauty Pageant, but we're totally not going to win. We -- as they say in Spinal Tap -- go up to eleven. And then no more.

So we want to first, CONGRATULATE the soon-to-be-named winner. And second, send out a huge THANK YOU! and air kisses and fist bumps and not hugs and high five a million angels that voted again and again and again for us.

We would so only be at zero without you.

But, as Guru Louise so assiduously pointed out, you all went out and contracted Clicker Finger Disease for us, and *wow* we really did just stick at eleven, didn't we?

So, she told Kate -- which is dangerous to do, by the way -- that she wanted a new poll that would...well, here's what she said:

I've voted so much over at The Bump that my laptop crashed. And I'm getting miffed that your percentage isn't leaping up after all my effort. Grrrrr....
I'm not saying you aren't going to win...BUT, if you don't, I propose you create your very own poll on the blog next week to satisfy your voting readers. We need a poll that will show results that will make us all happy, Maudedammit! A poll for the RFM people. Do this: 

How do you think Lydia and Kate should celebrate coming in third (second/fourth, whatever) for Best Overall Blog?

And this is what she sent us. So, ummm, Guru Louise, you're welcome. And, thank you. Because you're pretty much awesome all the time. [Editor's Note: Especially when you order Kate around. You ballsy, girl. It probably helps that you live far away. - Lydia]

It should be noted while you're voting that while Lydia can mainline espressos, Kate never, ever, ever has caffeine. Which is good, because she's whack enough without having any extra energy.

And, for one last time, here's our final Button of Awesomeness created by the one and only Pregnant Chicken...BAWK!

Oh, and as for your case of CFD, we recommend tapping a t-box. Because that only requires a thumb.

xoxo, Kate and Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Kate & Lydia Tackle Home Improvement

The house that I live in has reached a certain age where it needs a lot of tweaking and upkeep. The kitchen sink had been dripping for ages and driving me crazy. In fact, it's in danger of becoming the soundtrack to - and cause of - my next nervous breakdown.  So Kate offered to fix it for me. Because apparently among her various skills, she is also awesome at plumbing. I appreciated her offer but was initially a little skeptical.

Lydia:You’re good at plumbing?”
Kate: “Yes and this is an easy fix.”
Lydia: “Have you done anything like this before?”
Kate: “Of course. You can’t just call a plumber every time your sink drips – do you have any idea how much they charge to fix something stupid like that?”
Lydia: (dumbfounded silence)
Kate: “I’ll come over tomorrow morning after I get the kids to school.”
Lydia: “And you’re sure you know what you’re doing?”
Kate: “Hooker. COME ON.”

I don’t think I was unreasonable in being surprised that Kate could plumb things. I was also flabbergasted by her reasoning. This is the logic that I used to reach the conclusion of “huh?”
  1. Kate owns many, many pairs of shoes that retail for more than what I paid for my first car.
  2. Kate feels that cheating on your colorist and hairdresser is tantamount to the biblical sin of adultery and is subject to eternal damnation (or loss of fierceness - which according to her may be the same thing)
  3. Kate feels no such qualms about cheating on her plumber in order to save $50, notwithstanding the fact that plumbing is sort of an important part of a house.
But I trust her and I know her to be an extremely competent and conscientious person. Though I thought it might be best not to mention any of this to my husband, the aptly named Cap’n Coupon. She arrived the next morning with a large toolbox and got to work. She’d already been to Home Depot to buy a kit to replace the handles of my sink. My confidence rose – they made kits for this! It was going to be great!

But then she couldn’t figure out how to shut off the water. Perhaps because there is no shut off under our sink – you have to go downstairs and shut it off for the whole house because my house is special. But I didn’t know exactly where the whole house shut-off thingee was so I texted my husband.

8:31 AM Lydia wrote: Good morning! Where is the water turn off valve for the whole house?

8:33 AM Cap'n Coupon wrote: It’s a little disconcerting to receive a message like that while in rush hour traffic. Please tell me everything is OK.

8:34 AM Lydia wrote: Don’t be silly! Everything is GREAT. Kate and I are fixing the drippy sink. She’s a crackerjack plumber!

8:36 AM Cap'n Coupon wrote: This concerns me.

8:39 AM Lydia wrote: Nothing to worry about. We know what we’re doing. Kate has done this before and I am assisting. Also, don’t worry about telling me where it is because I just found the water turn-off. Bye!

8:41 AM Capn Coupon wrote: I am concerned that this whole endeavor is going to be the plumbing equivalent of a ponytail haircut because upon occasion the two of you have been known to get ideas about yourselves. You know that you’re not plumbers?

8:43 AM Lydia wrote: What are you even talking about? Kate wants to know too.

8:44 AM Cap’n Coupon wrote: Specifically? That you could be semi-professional tap dancers. Or that time you were both convinced that you were engaging in espionage. You know that you’re not spies, right?

8:45 AM Lydia wrote: I know what we are.  *Do you?*  I’ll text you later after Kate fixes the drip. Bye!

By that time, Kate had finished the sink. It worked great and didn’t drip at all. She even installed it with a special Kate flourish. The hot water and the cold water knobs have to be turned in opposite directions. It takes a little getting used to but she assures me that it's very awesome.

Later that day, I turned on the dishwasher and went to spend some valuable time facebooking doing important internet research when I noticed that the dishwasher was being awfully quiet. Too quiet. I checked. No water was reaching my dishwasher. Shizz…

I immediately texted Kate:

2:43 PM Lydia wrote: Problem. There’s no water in my dishwasher.

2:45 PM Kate wrote: There’s two handles under your sink – one looks like it should be outside of your house and like, used for hosing – that’s what she said (!!)

2:45 PM Kate wrote: The other handle is sort of oval and silver. Turn the oval one.

2:47 PM Lydia wrote: I did both still no water.

2:49 PM Kate wrote: Crap.

2:53 PM Lydia wrote: I have to get the kids in ten minutes and then go to Girl Scouts and I won’t be home til 5:40.

2:55 PM Kate wrote: I have to get the kids at 4:00 and feed them and then we have karate at 6:15.

2:57 PM Lydia wrote: You know what I’m worried about? The ponytail haircut.

2:59 PM Kate wrote: Yes. I’ll meet you at your house after Girl Scouts and before karate. Don’t be late.

2:55 PM Lydia wrote: Affirmative. The Cap’n should not be making contact until at least 7. We should be able to complete the mission without fear of derisive Ponytail Haircut comments now or in the future.

I got home at 5:41. Kate arrived two minutes later. [Editor's Note: I was *not* late. I was merely waiting around the corner, not looking like a stalker. Not looking like a stalker at Lydia's house. -Kate] While all six of our kids romped around my house wreaking havoc, we got to work under the sink. It turns out there was a third knob under there that was neither ovaly nor outdoorsy. That was the one that we needed. But it took a little while to clear out all of the plastic Target bags and old sponges and stuff that I had crammed in there and then find the right knob and then cram everything back in. Then all of a sudden, it was time for karate and as fast as they arrived, the McLovin family had left the building. The dishwasher was running, the sound of water whishing through it.

Two minutes later, the Cap’n came home early and was greeted with a chorus of “Daddy! DADDY! DAAAAD! Daddy!” and I started to get scared that the kids would rat me out that Kate had just been there and under the sink and then he would know there had been a problem.

So I started screaming: “WHO WANTS TO PLAY Wii?!”

The kids looked at me like I’d lost my mind (since we have a firm “no Wii on school days” policy) but they saw their chance and took it and disappeared downstairs. This gave me the chance to show off Kate’s plumbing skills. I led the Cap'n into the kitchen.

“It looks great!” He said, “How much did it cost?”

“Thirteen dollars at The Ho Depot and Kate’s time,” I stated proudly.

He smiled and said: “Well, be sure to thank her for me. What’s for dinner?”

And with that change of subject, the ponytail haircut bullet was dodged. And he says we’re no good at espionage…

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

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