Mommy’s Little Helper Monday (Royal Birth Edition)

July 2013 141

Pip! Pip! Cheerio! Jolly good! God bless the Queen!

Ok, now that I’ve used all the stereotypical English terms I’ve heard in movies and most likely insulted all of my British friends in the process, let’s get on with it. Congrats to William and Kate on their eight pounds of precious Prince George! I will admit that I was hoping for a little princess but I’m obviously not good at influencing the sex of babies with my wishful thinking as I am the mother of 3 boys.

Anyway, I figured  the fact that dear Kate chose to push out the little royal on a Monday was a bloody good sign that I needed to pull myself out of my current project and post a blog. Needless to say, this will have an English flair to it. The problem with this endeavor is that outside of watching Love Actually about 20 times, reading ALL of the Harry Potter books in two weeks, and being able to name at least 3 of the Spice Girls…I know very little about British culture.

Sure, I’ve been to London, but it was a 24 hour stop on our way to Italy. If it hadn’t been for my husband’s lovely cousin, all we would have seen was our hotel and the Tower Bridge. But with a quick trip on the tube (ooo…be amazed by my London slang) we were whisked away by our generous family for a whirlwind trip that included Abbey Road and the house boat Richard Branson began making his millions from. Now, it wasn’t the Jack the Ripper tour I had my heart set on (have I mentioned I studied forensic psychology?), but it was a blast that I can’t wait to do again.

My resource, Sam, cooking fish and chips for their annual St. George's party.

My resource, Sam, cooking fish and chips for their annual St. George’s party.

So, since my knowledge is limited on all things across the pond (outside of 19th century serial killers and the Bard), I have turned to my amazing, wonderful, genuine, kind, beautiful, hilarious, creative friend–Sam!! You may think that I’m just buttering her up with all those compliments so she’ll help me out, but it’s all true. She’s also ADD like me and often makes me feel better by falling short in the “keeps a perfect house” category. She also loves wine, belly dancing and swimming naked!! She even has an honest to God pub in her house!!!! And the cherry on the top of this awesome friend sundae–she’s British!!!

Now don’t get any ideas and try to come kidnap her. I found her first!!! But tonight I am willing to share her knowledge with you to make this royal edition the best it can be. Pip!! Pip!! And cheerio…again!!

The Libation (the pint):

Sam informed me that when a baby is born in England the father will often head to his “local” (pub) and buy everyone a round of drinks. This is called “getting the baby’s head wet.” Now, I figured the baby came out pretty wet but apparently amniotic fluid doesn’t substitute for a good ale. I’m not quite sure I can picture William doing this but I bet Harry would gladly do it on his behalf.

Our "local"-- The Aidan Arms. It just happens to be in the home of our lovely friends, Bret and Sam. The beer is lovely but it's the friendship that makes it special.

Our “local”– The Aidan Arms. It just happens to be in the home of our lovely friends, Bret and Sam. The beer is nice but it’s the friendship that makes it special.

Now, I think this is a grand (that’s sounds pretty English to me) tradition…for the father. But what about the mum? When does she get her chance to “get the baby’s head wet” outside of pushing him out and giving him a bath? Sam has assured me that Brits aren’t as stodgy when it comes to drinking some wine when you’re pregnant or nursing. Her midwives even prescribed her a large glass of red wine every night to help relax her irritable uterus. Hell, that idea sounds so good I think I’ll go get some wine right now to relax my uterus (nevermind that I don’t have one).

So, where is the libation recipe in this dribble? If you aren’t good with downing a yard of Carlings or a “dirty chicken” with your closest mates at a local pub, or maybe even kicking back some wine with some ladies with grumpy reproductive organs, then maybe these classic English cocktails will do.

pimms-cup

The Pimm’s Cup:

Sam said this is something like a British Sangria in that it’s basically liquor with fruit floating in it. All you need is some ice, Pimm’s, lemonade (the British word for 7up, Sprite, or ginger ale), cut-up fruits and veg, and some mint. Sam says that mint was too posh for the concoction they made at her old pub in London, and I say that cucumbers are just gross. I mean, if I want a salad I’ll order a salad, but it’s up to your taste buds.

So grab your pitcher, dump in some ice, pour in one cup of Pimm’s no. 1 Cup, 3 cups of your “lemonade”, and a whole bunch of chopped-up fruit (apples, oranges, lemons, berries, and cucumber and mint if you must). There you go! Easy! The perfect drink for the old trouble and strife while she’s on the dog and bone (that should make Eliza Doolittle proud).

If you're still holding a grudge over that whole taxation without representation thing and need to "Americanize" this drink--serve it in some mason jars like they did over at Brooklyn Supper.

If you’re still holding a grudge over that whole taxation without representation thing and need to “Americanize” this drink–serve it in some mason jars like they did over at Brooklyn Supper.

(For a more proper recipe go here or over to the above mentioned Brooklyn Supper.)

The Duh-I-Alread-Knew-That Helpful Tip:

Me and Sam at my birthday party. She made it more special than I could have imagined.

Me and Sam at my birthday party. She made it more special than I could have imagined.

Find a good friend. Seriously. Find one amazing friend who absolutely won’t bat an eye if you show up at her house wearing your 8-year-old’s field day t-shirt and your husband’s swim shorts because they are the only 2 items of clothes that aren’t attracting flies. Have a friend who is able to recognize when you are teetering between an overdose on your homemade cocktail of wine, “borrowed” ADHD meds, and chocolate and beating the shit out of people with an umbrella. This is the friend who laughs with you, cries with you, and helps buy the plastic tarp and shovels when you’ve “accidentally” back-over the neighbor who keeps releasing his dog into your yard to crap. And when you find this friend, make sure you reciprocate. LISTEN to them. SUPPORT them. Make sure you extend the same kindnesses they do to you. Don’t just talk to them when they call you–call them. It seems like common sense, but eventually people notice when they’re the one making all the effort. Make conversations equal. Don’t say “hello” and immediately turn the conversation into something about you. Love and connection is what every single human needs and craves so if you’re lucky enough to find someone you click with, cherish them.

The Funny:

Well, I spent a couple of hours making a funny little bit in photoshop only to realize I was using a Getty image for the base. I’m all about paying people for their images but they need to make it more affordable for bloggers who are making approximately Jack shit off their blog. There are also little rules about not manipulating the image once you buy it. Maybe one day I can afford to do the same shit Perez Hilton gets away with on his page (and mine will be funnier). Unfortunately there are too many bloggers I’m hearing about getting lawsuits slapped on them to take the risk. My personal Facebook friends can see my little invention on my personal page but the rest of you will just have to rent Austin Powers. Until then, a photo I cannot be sued over. This is the sign that hangs over Sam’s amazing stove.

Sam's sign

Amen!

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Mommy’s Little Helper Monday: 4th of July Edition

Yes, I realize it’s Wednesday Thursday! I’m all confused because my husband is home and my brain has turned to something resembling a disgusting gelatin salad. Why? Because this thing called “summer break” happened. If you’re a teacher or live in a state with year round school (lucky bastards), then you were overjoyed by this occasion. If you are like me and have too many little boys and not enough meds, then you probably felt like you were dropped into the middle of Apocalypse Now. It took some time, but I’ve finally crawled out of the trenches and I’m back at work, spreading my bad advice to the world of frazzled moms.

Crap! I think Charlie the kids are coming.

Crap! I think Charlie the kids are coming.

So, let’s get down to business…The 4th of July. Honestly, I’m not even a big fan of the holiday. I like to refer to it as National Rednecks Blow Shit Up day. You see, I live in Texas. Texans like to use gunpowder to make things go “BOOM”. It doesn’t matter if it’s a string of firecrackers in a metal trashcan or a bullet in a deer. They like loud noises and if there’s some blood or something dies–all the better!! Now you won’t see this down in Highland Park but I don’t live there. I live up in “horse country.” There are plenty of wealthy folks out here, too, but as they say “you can take the redneck out of the trailer park but you can’t take the trailer park out of the redneck.”  Anyway, fireworks are prohibited in our neighborhood, but rednecks who’ve weaseled their way in here don’t give a Roman Candle full of shit about no damn ordinances. “By God, this is America! George Washington and all his folks didn’t blow the shit out of some indians and redcoats AND pour coffee in a lake just so we couldn’t set off some firecrackers in our own damn yard!” And because this is the mindset of a few of my neighbors, they will set those damn bottle rockets and Black Cats off until 2am. It makes me crazy. It makes me want to go out there and strangle them with their wife-beater, but there’s another damn ordinance against that , too.

When Earl Ray accidentally breaks bottle for launching rockets, Jimmy Wayne steps up and offers his ass crack like a true American.

When Earl Ray accidentally breaks the bottle for launching rockets, Jimmy Wayne steps up and offers his ass crack like a true American.

Ok, enough bitching. Let’s focus on the fun things about the holiday. My husband’s family always invites us to come out to their land so my boys can indulge in a redneck-lite version of the holiday. Their older cousins take them to the dock of the pond and help them shoot off lots of fireworks. It satisfies their deep boy craving for explosives, and I get to watch it from a “farm-house” that’s nicer than my real house (these are Highland Park people). The best part about the time is that my husband’s family likes to drink. This year’s theme is “Chili dogs and Champagne.” Now, tell me you aren’t jealous.

Speaking of liquor….

The Libation:

I know that you’re probably expecting some fancy red, white and blue layered drink called an Independence Bomb or Liberty-loda or Screw John Hancock Against a Wall. But all of those require way more effort than I’ve allotted for this little blog. I have to save my energy for breaking up fights, washing off marker tattoos they’ve drawn all over their faces, and requesting that every dinner conversation does not start with trying to slip some reference to balls or nuts in (I know, it’s a bad habit I’m trying to break).

july drinkIf you’re expecting something fancy like above, head on over to RollingOut and get the recipe. If you’re in Apocalypse-Jello-Brain world like me, stick around. The OCD Martha Stewart part of me would love to make those beautiful drinks, but my reality is making the half-ass Martha side of me give you this…

One of the best summer beers I've had!

One of the best summer beers I’ve had!

Shiner’s Ruby Redbird has become one of my favorite summer beers EVER! And it is a perfect drink for my 4th of July libation pick. Why? There’s no fancy glasses required or layering. It has the word “red” in it so it qualifies as patriotic. And when you see your neighbor trying to use his ass crack to shoot off rockets you can take one of these over to him, saving him a trip to the ER and you a trip to the therapist. I’m not going to get into all the details of what makes this beer taste yummy to me. For that I’ll send you over to the folks at Summer Beer Review. Why them? Because when I was looking for photos of the beer their’s had flamingos in it.

Now, if beer isn’t your thing, you need help; but until you get that help, I’ll give you one more idea. Make a simple drink (cranberry and vodka, margarita, champagne, martini, straight ethanol) and sugar the rim with Pop Rocks. Yep, Pop Rocks!! Who wouldn’t have fun with that? In fact, I’m even making Pop Rock truffles today to take to the family shindig.

Snap! Crackle! Pop! your way to sweet oblivion.

Snap! Crackle! Pop! your way to sweet oblivion.

Go to Pizzazzarie to get the good on this mouth-full of fun. You know you want to.

Duh-I-Already-Knew-That-Helpful-HInt:

I have to change the title of this little bit because it’s just a bitch to type out. Anyway, here’s that hint: DON’T LET YOUR KIDS SHOOT OFF FIREWORKS!!!! I know this is a ceremony for entering manhood (turning 6) in many parts of the south, but it’s stupid. I admit I have an extreme phobia of fireworks, but it’s with reason. I actually know people who have been badly injured by fireworks. A good friend of my god-daughter had a massive hole blown in his thigh. I have the picture on my phone and show it to my older boys so they understand these aren’t Nerf fireworks–they don’t bounce off. I may scar them emotionally by doing this, but they can hide those scars for a therapist or horrible girlfriend to dig up later. Finger stumps and melted ears are harder to hide. If you have a tough gut and no gag reflex from years of cleaning up puke and patching up your kids after they shank each other with Legos they’ve melted down, then go Goggle “firework injuries” for a very blunt reminder of what they can do.

The Funny:

I know, I was going down a depressing path there, and I’m trying to remedy that. But what can I post for this 4th themed bit to make you giggle? If rednecks shooting bottle rockets from their asses didn’t do it, I may have to dig deep. Hmmm… I’ve searched and searched and found some pretty disturbing stuff but nothing that really made me laugh. Oh, well. I guess that means we should use this time to reflect on the sacrifices our forefathers made to form this country. Let’s take a minute to be thankful for all of the blood they shed so that we could have the freedom to do this in their honor…

God bless America

God bless America