Monday, February 27, 2006

Weekend Recap

February sucks.

Peaches, who is only a year old, no longer wishes to nap in the afternoons. She has been screaming her displeasure for a week. This won't do.

I have officially eaten my last Girl Scout Cookie. I can't stomach another one.

Instead, I've switched to this: In case you can't read the description on the bottom, it says, "Thick Buckeye Fudge Flowing Through Peanut Butter Ice Cream Loaded With Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Buckeyes." If you put that quote to porn music, LOOK OUT! Ice Cream Porn. Now that's some porn I could get excited about.

Making and eating 45 a few fried crab rangoons because one doesn't know how many a recipe makes (they were supposed to be an appetizer--not a meal) do NOT cause a heart attack. Yet.

The Constant Gardner: Wow Wow WOW!

Mr. & Mrs. Smith: Not so much.

Milestone in Baby Girl's Life: I took her to see her very first movie in a theater this afternoon, Curious George. Of course, I started to get misty-eyed and weepy the second I heard Jack Johnson's sweet voice starting the movie; I think because I usually listen to Jack Johnson on a Friday evening with a frosty cold Red Stripe in my hand realized how sweet and special this moment was for my little girl.

Herr's Interview Update: Things are progressing nicely. Herr had a telephone interview with a Pharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, MA on Friday and has another one scheduled for Tuesday with a company in Wilmington, DE. I only spent 4 hours on crying looking at the cost of real estate in those two locations, as opposed to the 12 or so hours I spent on last weekend.

My friend Amy is in town until Friday!!! Yippee! We'll put our three-year-olds in charge at home and we will go hit the mall.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Weekend Recap--President's Day Weekend Version

Herr Hausfrau and I had an enjoyable President's Day weekend, despite the fact that we had gotten "the news" of Herr's impending unemployment. We ate a lot of food and drank a lot of beer. Some of you may be thinking, "How is that different from any other weekend at Hausfrau Haus?" Well, you would be quite RUDE to think that, now wouldn't you? In particular, we ate our weight in Girl Scout Cookies as they came delivered by our sweet Girl Scout Cookie Sales Consultant "Amber" on Saturday afternoon. Some of the GS Cookies were eaten in conjunction with the Edy's GS Cookie Ice Cream--awwyeah! Herr had ordered the cookies awhile back one day and we had been chomping at the bit to get them and eat them. After Amber the GSC Consultant delivered the cookies, I got ready to tear into them.

"Here Herr," I said. "Here are your Samoas. Oh wait, I'll have to call Amber because there are Thin Mints in this bag instead of Tagalongs."

"I didn't order Tagalongs," came the reply from the living room.

"What the fuck do you mean you didn't order Tagalongs?! You KNOW those are my FAVORITE Girl Scout Cookie--the same way Samoas are your favorite. We have been together 15 years and you FORGOT that my favorite Girl Scout Cookie is the Tagalong?!?!?!? That's something that any good spouse knows about the other. I believe it is covered on the second date! I don't even know who you are anymore!"

"I'm sorry Hausfrau, I forgot. But you like Thin Mints, don't you?"

"Ppffft, NO!" I said, my cookie-full mouth spraying Thin Mint crumbs across the kitchen. "Pppfft You Suck!"

After I ate an entire box of Thin Mints (there might be 12 cookies in the box) I called Amber's mom and left a message to get more cookies if they had any to spare. Within 30 minutes we had four more boxes of cookies--two Tagalongs and two Samoas. Because that's just the kind of wife I am.

Since it was a long weekend, Herr wasn't really in a position to do much job hunting since no one would be receiving the resumes until Tuesday. Besides, his boss told his group that all ressearch stops as of now and that all the employees need to do from now until June 30 is finish up any publications they might be working on, and look for a job. Currently, job hunting is not taking up too much of his day at work. But that didn't stop me from looking for him. I can't help it--it's the HR in me. I'm a recruiter by trade, so I basically live on the job sites for work. I need not have bothered, as he pretty much knew about all of the existing openings with every major pharmacutical company in the country. Herr has a good reputation in his field and has a lot of contacts, including his former boss in New Jersey. In his type of field, you never get a job from You get it because someone knows you. That doesn't bode well when one has a meddling recruiter wife who wants to help.

I have all the faith in the world that Herr is going to find a great job and we are going to be fine. We always have been. It's just that I am a wreck because all I can think about is that we have no idea where we will be living in 4-6 months. While that may seem like a long time, it's not. After Herr told me where all of his contacts work, I spent the rest of the weekend looking at houses on to get a feel for each market (New Jersey, CT, Boston, Raleigh, San Francisco and Ontario, Canada.) We've already agreed that if he gets his old job back in New Jersey, we would live in PA. If he gets a job in Boston, we'll live in New Hampshire. etc.

I realize that I need to calm the hell down. My perpetual state of obsessing over the uncontrollable will drive all of us nuts. I am hoping that going to the gym more will help relieve some of my stress. One of the plus sides to the layoff announcement is that Herr no longer needs to get to work at the ass-crack of dawn, so I can go to the gym every morning before he goes to work. Well, every morning might be a bit unrealistic, but three days in the same week would be a good start. Unfortunately, any one who really knows me know that I am not happy unless I am worrying or obsessing about something. Because that's just the kind of wife I am.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Misfit Proverb

Give a child a toy, and it will become lonely and abandoned in the toyroom.

Give a child carte blanche with one kitchen cabinet and they will be happy for hours playing, "Shopping at Target," "Shopping at Kroger," "Let's Play Cooking Show," "Let's Ice Skate (with Tupperware Lids)," and "Baby Girl's and Peaches' Club House," complete with doors.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Herr & Misfit Hausfrau's Friday Night Lay-Off Pity Party Recap

Number of Sierra Nevada Pale Ales consumed: 12
Number of Tyson Buffalo Wing Chicken Strips eaten: How many are in a 2 lb. bag?
Number of Tater Tots: 1 lb. bag
Hidden Valley Ranch: 1 bottle
Edy's Girl Scout Cookie (samoa) Ice Cream: 1/2 carton
Number of times the word "fuck" was part of a statement: Lost count after 10
Number of times Misfit said, "We are going to be just fine!" and Herr said, "Oh, Yeah, we're going to be OK.": Lost count after 10
Number of lists created to start getting the house ready to sell: 1
Number of Times Baby Girl asked, "What are you talking about?": 3
Number of Times Misfit wanted to consult with her secret friend Virginia Slim on the deck when no one was looking but didn't: Lost count after 10
Number of hours watching the Olympics without really watching it: 2
Number of tears shed: ZERO

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Fucked Up American Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a family living a good life in the suburbs of New Jersey. The husband was a scientist who wanted to discover a drug that cured cancer, or AIDS, or even herpes. He worked hard, as did his wife, to provide for their growing family.

After awhile, the family decided that it was too expensive to live a decent life in New Jersey. As long as they lived there, they would always have to worry about their financial futures. The family also wanted their children to know their grandmothers and cousins. The way to do that was to move to the Midwest. The problem was, there were only four companies in the Midwest that did the kind of work that the husband did--and three of them weren't hiring. The husband interviewed with a fantastic company in the Midwest that offered him a promising career track and interesting projects. The company was a huge international consumer products company that had a small pharmaceutical arm. It was perfect! He was promised a ton of exposure for his work, rapid promotions and a lot less corporate bullshit because the group was small, but had the comfort of a large corporate umbrella for things like benefits and reputation.

And so they went. They bought a beautiful house. A house they NEVER could have had on the East Coast. They had the luxury of the wife being able to stay home with the children. They opened up a couple of 529Bs for the kids--something they wouldn't have been able to do without a lot of sacrifice. They paid off their debts, leaving only a house payment. They were hardly wealthy, but life was good.

The first week the husband was in his new job, he found out that an announcement had been made two weeks prior to the move that the pharmaceutical division was going to restructure. The wife was surprised that no one had bothered to pick up the phone to let them know prior to the move. The husband said that it probably didn't apply to him since they just paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to move him and several other scientists to this town to work. They had told him they were expanding, after all. But then he was told he wouldn't get the associates that he was promised upon joining. Scientists who had been there for years started applying for positions outside of the pharmaceutical division so they wouldn't have to leave the fair city and work for another company. Since there was a hiring freeze, the husband had lots of work piled up on him.

Months passed, and the company's main focus was on the purchase of another company. A company whose newest product is a razor with 5 blades. The pharmaceutical division plugged along. The husband was growing increasingly frustrated with the situation, but was hopeful that the reorganization would bring welcome changes. First the company said they would detail the reorganization at the end of January. When January came and went, the company said the announcement would come at the end of February. Then they said the announcement would come on February 17.

The husband went to the meeting. The powers that be announced that the entire Pharmaceutical R&D team will be dissolved, affecting 300 people. Gone. Buh Bye. The last day will be June 30. The husband will receive three months severance since he has only been there less than a year. He also received an invitation to apply for exciting R&D positions in areas such as diapers, toothpaste or laundry detergent. The husband is going to find out if groups will be gradually let go or if everyone's last day is June 30.

So now, the family will be preparing to move elsewhere. They've done it before. St. Louis, Maryland, Pittsburgh and New Jersey. While the family never really thought they would live there forever, there was power in thinking that they would be leaving on their own volition.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hausfrau Product Review

Recently, we purchased our fourth coffee maker in twelve months. As a matter of fact, I am guessing that we are on at least our 25th coffee maker since we got married in 1994. Part of the challenge is that we are power coffee drinkers. We drink ALOT of coffee--especially on the weekends. And if we have friends over on the weekends? Fugetabout it. It runs all day for three days. Another challenge is that we are klutzy. We have broken so many coffeepots, and wouldn't you know--it's always the one with no replacement carafe available. Thirdly, they are all crap with a capital C. We are always amazed when we stay with friends who we've not seen in a year and they still have the same coffee maker. I just don't understand.

We've purchased them all (except a Bunn and those coffee makers with coffee pods). Proctor Silex, KitchenAid, Krups, Mr. Coffee, Delonghi, Braun, Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart. We've purchased Melitta coffee presses (love them but they don't make them large enough for a power drinker.) We've spent $20 and we've spent considerably more. We've had the most basic of models and the models with all of the bells and whistles (except for the grind and brew--our friends HATED it.) We've studied consumer reports and we have flipped a coin to choose one. It doesn't matter. They always let us down.

We currently have these two little gems in the basement collecting dust:

I ordered the white one from JC Penney days before we moved into our new house so it would be waiting for us when we got there. Our previous coffee maker bit the dust after a particularly rough but memorable "Goodbye New Jersey Party Weekend." We were minutes from a Starbucks, so it wasn't a hardship to get coffee until moving day. I thought that two carafes and the $100 price tag would mean lots o'coffee, despite the fact that nowhere on the website did it list the cup capacity. I was wrong. Those two sizeable carafes make a whopping 4 cups each. It took up too much space on the counter to be useful. Why didn't I return it, you ask? The freaking movers took the box it came in and JC Penney wouldn't take it. Bastards. The other one is a Hamilton Beach Stay & Go. Love it. Too bad I shattered the glass liner inside the stainless steel carafe when I dropped it a few weeks ago. Guess what? They don't sell replacement carafes. I've been trolling Ebay too, to no avail. I usually have a spare Gevalia in the basement to use, but I was fresh out. Don't act like you've never ordered a Gevalia. We've ordered so many that we have even used
our dogs' names for creating new accounts to get the coffee makers. They are just as good as the rest. We are no longer conveniently close to a coffee shop, so I went to Target.

I was getting ready to purchase an old fashioned stovetop percolater when I happened upon this:
Sweet! No more carafe to break. It makes 12 cups. It stays warm for two hours. And it was on sale for under $40. Who cares if it looks like the pop machine in the McDonalds drivethru?! We've had it for almost three weeks and it's still working. Just to be safe, I will check out Gevalia's latest offering and order it under my husband's middle name.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Funk That is February

Oy to the Vey! We are in a dismal funk at Hausfrau Haus. The four of us are sick of the weather, sick of our surroundings and sick of each other. Due to a spending oversight on my part, we are on a forced "austerity plan." This means that we will be going nowhere until Herr gets paid at the end of the month (don't get me started on how he gets paid once a month.) Sure, there are all kinds of free things to do around here, but Herr and I are lazy. I am so lazy that I walked on the treadmill for over an hour at the gym yesterday so that I could watch "Charade" with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. While walking for that length of time may seem admirable, it's not. I was too caught up in the movie to move to the elliptical machine(which had a television as well) or do some aerobics. And I think the highest speed I programmed the treadmill was 3.7 miles. Fortunately for me, no one seemed to need my treadmill. What's really sad is that I have seen the movie about six times. It wasn't as though I didn't know how it was going to end.

Classic movies on TCM aside, there is NOTHING on TV. What's that? The Olympics, you say? Blech. Aside from the brilliant two hour season finale on Arrested Development Friday night, I haven't watched any other TV at home. But all is not lost, I have a huge stack of books that I could be reading right now. What's that? Oh, right--the children. It seems that they are bored too. Any other weekend, Baby Girl would be THRILLED to rot her brain with hours of Dora. We finally let her this weekend so that we could read or stare at the idiot box. Unfortunately, Baby Girl wants to play her favorite games, "You Need to Tickle Me," "You Need to Chase Me," "You Need to Help Me Play Pla-Dough," and the always fun, "HELP!HELP! I am stuck in the SPOOKY FOREST! SAVE ME!" Peaches, who is no different this weekend than she is any other time, walks around the house screaming at us.

After I put the kids down for a nap this afternoon, I decided to do something useful. I realized recently that we don't get any type of family newsletters from our relatives during the holidays. As a matter of fact, we are lucky if we get cards from most of our family. My immediate family is scattered all over the world. Our distant family is HUGE, as are most Polish immigrant families. I think my mom's family is related to half of Chicago. Yet, we are close to virtually none of them. The blame is laid squarely on my mother who pissed off most of them over the years and shunned the rest, thinking they were trash. It's a sad state of affairs to realize that of my 14 first cousins, I would recognize only three of them if I saw them on the street. And one of them is dead. So, in the spirit of nosiness I thought I would Google some family members to see what they have been up to over the past couple of years. Here's what I found.

One of my cousins was quoted on Fox News stating that she wanted to see Tim McGraw's bare ass on film.

One of my cousins plays recreational squash in New Zealand.

One of my cousins attended a roast at MIT last year.

A couple of websites are monitoring my cousin's college visits to see where he will be playing football this fall. My guess is Princeton, but I hope Northwestern.

My nephew won first prize in a science fair. Damn my sister for forgetting to tell me.

One of my cousins went to the Indiana state finals in wrestling.

My uncle went on Lou Dobbs Tonight in December to straighten Lou out on some allegedly shoddy reporting concerning a study my uncle's trade organization did. Apparently Lou was surpised by how classy he was and intimated that while my uncle was on the show.

My ex brother-in-law is a grown man who plays with Legos. A lot. To be fair, I already knew that. He's even gone to a convention (helloo, Star Trek!!) I just didn't know the evidence was on the internet.

My second cousin (who is closer to my age than my mother) is on the Village Council where he lives in Michigan.

A distant cousin is playing Minor League Hockey.

My sister has been VERY busy on some geneaology message boards.

After awhile I got a little bored with Googling my family. I decided to check a couple of people from college whom we've not seen since we left. I didn't find many, but one that I did was absolutely hilarious.

One of the people Herr and I worked with at the restaurant in college was a very cordial and mature individual who was a couple of years older than we were. He had an adorable little girl from a previous marriage and an annoying girlfriend named Trish. He also had a fatal flaw. He was an absolute horndog. Bar none. He wasn't quite a predator, but he was close. Imagine my surprise when I looked him up and discovered that he is now an abbott for a Buddhist Zen Center (Mark and Laura--if you are reading this--there are even PICTURES of him!!!!)

So, if you're bored and trapped in your homes due to finances, laziness or the BLIZZARD that is kicking the Northeast's ASS, go on. Google your family. You might turn up something interesting. If not, than you will have at least fittered away a couple of hours.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was one of the better weekends we have had in recent Hausfrau Haus history. Friday was the birthday bash for Peaches. It consisted of Gramma and some red velvet cake. That was it. Peaches got a couple of gifts that Baby Girl has claimed as her own, which was to be expected. Initially I was going to give Peaches a cupcake that had been in the freezer since October. Then I felt a twing of guilt for not making more of an effort. In addition, I got a verbal ass-kicking from my friend on Thursday after I told her about said frozen cupcake. That sealed the deal for me to get off my ass and get baking.

Since Gramma stayed the weekend, Herr and I were able to go out on a date for a movie and dinner. We saw "Good Night and Good Luck." Not a bad movie. It was interesting to learn more about the McCarthy witch-hunts, but I was puzzled by the lack of character development and a seemingly unnecessary subplot that involved Robert Downey Jr. Perhaps it would have made more sense to me had I known a bit more about the part of our American history. Nevertheless, I was at a movie, eating popcorn from a container the size of a bathtub. I would have been happy to see Porky's 12.

The pièce de résistance of our weekend was the obvious. The Steelers winning the Super Bowl. We were incredibly hung over this morning because of all of the crap we ate--not because of anything we drank. In an unprecendented move, Herr Hausfrau (who NEVER picks up the phone willingly to call ANYONE except his mother) started dialing all of our Pittsburgh friends after the win, hoping to engage in a play-by-play discussion and some manly crying. Alas, most of our friends were already walking around the South Side, no doubt trying to tip cars over. He did get in touch with one of our friends who answered the phone by screaming.

When I woke up early this morning, I realized I didn't want the weekend to end, so I ate some leftover chili and velveeta dip on top of my eggs. That's some good eating right there--a little hair of the dog, if you will. It will be worth the extra 30 minutes on the elliptical machine when I go to the gym tonight.

In unrelated news, I took Baby Girl to her Monday Morning Art Class with Miss Sue. Out of the blue, Baby Girl announced that Krishna, the sweet boy sitting next to her, is BROWN and that she is WHITE. I've NEVER heard a room become so quiet, so fast. Discuss.

Friday, February 03, 2006

First Birthday!

This is a photo of two kids who REALLY want birthday cake. Actually, it is a picture of a big sister who really wants birthday cake. She has been dreaming of birthday cake for days. She can't stop talking about the birthday cake that she had two months ago. She has been trying to explain to her sister the joys of the birthday cake. But baby sister doesn't listen. Instead, she chews on a Tupperware lid.

No, this isn't a crime scene. It is merely a red velvet cupcake that I made for Peaches. As you can see, she totally went for it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


This whole blog thing has been great therapy for me. I don't have time to go see a shrink (or a dentist or a gynocologist for that matter,) so that has been a nice alternative for me after the kids go to bed at night. Writing on this has often times been cathartic, creative and enjoyable. By putting what I say "out there," it has allowed me to think things out big and small that are normally jumbled up in my head along side my grocery list. The one thing I never really expected to learn was that there were people in the blogosphere who would not only read what I write, but care enough to occasionally comment on what I say. It has been reassuring to know that I am not always alone when it comes to my doubts in my ability to parent. I haven't had the opportunity to get much hate mail since I don't think I really write about controversial topics, but, you never know. All in all, it has been interesting and fun to communicate with people to whom I have a lot in common, yet we have never met.

One individual who frequently responds to my posts is Jenette. After reading each other's blogs, we realized that we live quite close to each other and have written emails back and forth trying to figure out when we should meet because we think our kids would play well together. Jenette was also such a great help to me when I asked her for advice on local preschools. As a teacher, she was able to give me really good advice on what I should look for in a preschool. I NEVER would have asked the questions I asked at the open houses I attended had it not been for her. As a result, I think I have applied for some really good preschools for my daughter, and I hope she will get in to one of them.

To say that Jenette is going through a tough time is an understatement. After a couple of years of trying to have a second child, Jenette got pregnant last fall after a couple of months of fertility treatments. This week she found out that her child has Potter's Syndrome. Simply put, the baby's kidney's never developed. Because of this, there is no amniotic fluid. The baby will not survive. Jenette and her husband have been placed in a terrible and heart breaking position.

Go. Visit her site and give her some love. If you know someone who has been through this, maybe they can give her some advice.