March 4th, 2013

We have quite a few Andersonisms here at the Casa. You know, those things your family says regularly that only you understand and people who don’t live with you look at you like you’re a mental patient when you accidentally say them in public.

When I feel the urge to curse (which is often) and the kids are around (which is also often), I say “son of a biscuit!” Since I’m in the South, I also use my children’s full names as curse words. There’s a lot of “Madeleine Louise!” and “Samuel Gerald!” around these parts. Last week, Sam was drinking out of a big boy cup and spilled water all over himself and the floor. From the other room I heard him yell “SAMUEL BISCUITS!!” Once I stopped laughing hysterically, I called Gerald to tell him. From then on, “Samuel Biscuits!” is the entire family’s exclamation of choice.

When Maddie was little, she couldn’t pronounce the name of our grocery store, HEB. (It’s simply the letters said, not “hehb.” She called it “A B Chee,” and five years later, that’s still what we call it.

There’s an old South Park episode where Cartman turns his hand into a puppet of Jennifer Lopez. Since Gerald and I watched it, we have to say “taco keeses” every time we have tacos. Of course, we said it to both Maddie and Sam, too. These children are now incapable of eating any kind of taco dish without asking for “taco keeses!” We have to smooch them at least three times a meal when tacos are on the menu.

When Maddie was two or three, she accidentally mispronounced slippers and called them “snocks.” No one in the house has worn slippers since. We all have “snocks.”

Sam is into puzzles with shapes lately and his favorite shape is the parallelogram. He calls himself Sammy Square and me “mamallelogram.” Maddie is “madazoid.”

I chase them around the house saying “I most keese you!” in a crappy accent and then cover them in ticklish kisses. One day, Maddie came home from pre-k and said, “Mom, Lily didn’t know about kisses! I said ‘I most keese you’ and she didn’t know what to do. How can she not know about kisses?” She was truly dumbfounded that not everyone in the world plays that game.

Sam’s favorite song in the whole world is Brass Monkey by the Beastie Boys. One day I called him a “funky monkey” and he was in a pissy mood and shouted “I AM NOT A MONKEY!!” at the top of his damn lungs. So now the entire family will just randomly shout “I AM NOT A MONKEY!” However, Sam does like to call himself  “brass monkey, funky spunky bunk monkey” since he sleeps in a bunk bed now. It sounds like a prison bitch name but does that stop us from using it? Have you met me? Of course it doesn’t. It’s an encouragement. We’re not the most appropriate parents you’ll find.

I would love to know some of your family’s particular isms. Do share, won’t you?

It’s February!

February 2nd, 2013

I sort of didn’t notice that yesterday was the first day of February, what will taking Sam to the pediatrician AGAIN and waiting around for Rx’s to be filled and hosting a pity party for the two of us. So, I missed my act of kindness straight out of the gate. This is pretty typical, if I’m going to be painfully honest.

*Brisk hand clap* Well, let’s get this party started today, shall we? I’m not sure what my act of kindness will be today. I’m hoping something will present itself while we’re out running errands today. I’ll be paying close attention as I’m out and report back later with what I did. Leave yours in the comments and we can “steal” ideas from each other!

Go forth and spread kindness, my lovelies!

** Today was a hard day with solo parenting, a sick toddler, a clingy 6 year old and a shitty attitude (mine), so I wasn’t terribly clever with my kindness and simply paid for the person behind us when we stopped for lunch on the way home from grocery shopping. The best part was Maddie’s reaction and her immediate desire to participate on her own at school and with me.


Project Kindess

January 24th, 2013

(Listen, we’re just going to gloss right over the fact that it’s been well over three months since I’ve posted. It’s my blog; I can do that if I want to and I don’t owe and explanation or apology. This is all said in a self-soothing tone as I get fretty about this sort of thing.)

I am entirely too self-focused and selfish. I complain too much and see the flaws in everything well before seeing the positive. I know this, I accept it, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to change it. I’m going to actively seek ways to be kind and selfless in the hopes that it will become a larger part of my nature instead of something I have to work so hard to achieve.

For the month of February, I am going to complete one random act of kindness per day. I place no monetary value on the acts or strict rules that I have to follow. The only guidelines are:

1. I have to go out of my way to do this act of kindness. It cannot be an act of convenience.
2. It has to legitimately help another person and not myself by extension.
3. I’d like it to be anonymous if possible, but I will do kind things for people I know and love and won’t hide that it was me.

I’m posting this not to boast, or pat myself on the back, or to get you to praise me. I’m posting this to ask if you want to participate. If you’d like to be a part of Project Kindness for the Month of February, you can either comment or drop me an email (erica @ andnoplacetogo . com). We can share ideas with each other and encourage one another if the going gets tough. More importantly, I’d like there to be more kindness going on than I can do all on my own. Together, we can be a force to be reckoned with.

(And if this goes well in February, then who knows? Maybe we’ll keep going on a smaller scale. I don’t know that I can commit to one act per day for the foreseeable future, but surely we can come up with a reasonable plan.)


December 11th, 2012

When you’re in the midst of a depressive episode, everything is so damned hard. Little things that you know aren’t really hard are suddenly these insurmountable obstacles that are only in your path for the sole purpose of fucking up everything but good.

When you’re in the midst of a depressive episode and really are dealing with situations that are taxing to people who aren’t depressed, well, let’s just say the urge to crawl into a hole and hide from everything and everyone is Very Strong.

Sometimes I just get so tired of trying so hard all the time. Trying to be a loving and supportive wife. Trying to be a patient and attentive mother. Trying to be an effective and motivating boss. Trying to make sure everyone will be pleased with their Christmas gifts. Trying to make sure we get where we need to be when we need to be there. Trying to keep this house out of a hoarders show. I feel like all I do is try and I’m never really successful at anything. I’m just sort of half-assing my way through everything.

I want to be a whole-asser.


August 30th, 2012

Maddie’s first week of kindergarten has been all kinds of awesome. She loves it and seems to be thriving with all the play and social interaction. She adores her teacher and has made friends in her class already… including a new Best Friend. (Not “new” as in replacing her previous Best Friend, but “new” as in additional. She wanted me to be sure and make that distinction, lest anyone think she’s not still going to marry her Best Friend, Lily.)

As a reward for following the classroom rules and making good choices this week, tomorrow after we pick her up, we’re going out for snow cones and then a trip to a new park for some playing. As a reward for me having to get up early and packing a week’s worth of lunches, we’re having pizza delivered for dinner tomorrow night.

A surprise bonus has been spending so much one on one time with Sam. I’ve always known he’s awesome and he’s ALWAYS been my favorite son, but getting to spend so much more time with him is just reaffirming it. His talking has even gotten a tidge better seeing as he can now get a word in edgewise without Chatty Cathy doing all of the talking. He does have moments of missing Maddie and wanting her to come home, but mostly he’s having a blast.

I’ve had some weird and unexpected issues with authority. I guess I’m used to being one of only two people who decide what Maddie’s allowed to eat, wear or do. Suddenly, there are all these rules I have to follow for my own kid. It’s no longer just me and her dad who decide what’s acceptable. It was a bitter pill to swallow at first, but I’m dealing with it. I just keep reminding myself that she’s going to have to follow rules and submit to authority figures for the rest of her life and it’s a normal part of growing up. I still get pissy about it in my head, though. I’m not gonna lie.




August 1st, 2012

Did you know that Coach has launched their Color Collection? Did you know that you could win a Coach gift card?

Tag your favorites on your blog and invite your readers to share them across the web, from Facebook and Pinterest to Twitter and beyond. The blog that generates the most ColorTags could win a $2500 Coach gift card this summer.

Caramel Apple Turnovers

August 1st, 2012

I was sitting on my couch, craving a caramel apple and … a pie. A whole pie. It’s been a rough week. But, I digress. In my kitchen I had a tube of crescent rolls, apples and sugar. Tada! I invented caramel apple turnovers.

2 apples of your choice (tart is good)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
crescent rolls

caramel sauce
8 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp water, cream or half & half

Preheat the oven to 350.

Core and slice your apple and then peel. Roughly chop and add to butter over medium high heat. Stirring frequently, cook the apples for about five minutes until they’re beginning to brown and have softened. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg and the brown sugar and stir to coat the apples. Cook for another minute or so, just to melt the brown sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and just set it aside.

Remove the crescent rolls from the tube, being careful not to rip them along the seams. Separate them into four rectangles and smoosh the perforations together with your fingers. It’s ok if they’re not totally sealed. Spoon about a quarter of the apple mixture onto the crescent roll rectangle and fold it over. Use a fork to crimp the edges closed. Repeat on the remaining three rectangles. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Just until the crescents are golden brown and delicious.

While the crescents are baking you can make a simple caramel sauce for the top. Heat the caster sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat until it melts. (It takes mine about four minutes.) Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until the sugar is the color of honey. Remove from the heat and CAREFULLY add the water/cream/half & half. IT WILL BUBBLE AND HISS LIKE MAD. Just keep stirring and stay calm. After a minute or so, the liquid should be incorporated into the caramel.

When the turnovers are done, plate and top with as much caramel as your heart/blood sugar can stand. Enjoy!

Gettin’ Crafty

July 25th, 2012

Suddenly, I’m crafty.

Ok, it’s not suddenly and I’m not all that crafty. But I’m way more crafty than I was just a year ago.

I thought I haven’t had much at all to share with you via the old blog lately, but I do. It’s just different from my usual bitching and complaining. I’m going to start writing about the small home improvement and craft projects that I’m doing; It’s pretty much a whole new direction for the blog. I’ll understand if you stop reading because that’s not really your thing. It’s cool. I hope that we can still be friends and still hang out on twitter together where I’ll be my usual, foul-mouthed self.

Crappy Days Need Presents

July 17th, 2012

It’s time for another Crappy Day Present Exchange over at Am Doing My Best’s place. I’ve been the recipient of some awesome crappy day packages and jumped in with both feet at the opportunity to send a package to another fantastic blog/twitter friend.

In order to help the person who got my name, I’m posting my answers to the questions that Rachel provided.

  • What is your favorite color? I truly like them all. If forced to pick just one, I’d have to go with red, though.
  • What is your favorite season? Fall. I love anything pumpkiny, caramel appley, cinnamony, and Autumnal-colored.
  • What is your favorite treat? Fruity, chewy candy. (jelly beans, Mike & Ikes, Hot Tamales, orange slices, etc.)
  • What is your favorite scent? Depends on the vehicle for the scent. For home scents like candles and such, I like apple cinnamon. For lotions, I prefer light fruity scents like citrus, basil, and fig.
  • What is your favorite ice cream coping mechanism? Yelling and then apologizing and feeling ashamed. Seriously, though, I love to bake.
  • What do you like to do in your free time moments? Read ebooks on my iPad, scour Pinterest for crafty and cheap ways to decorate my house, or paint my nails.
  • What do you not enjoy doing, and why, but have to do anyway? Mopping. I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns.
  • If someone gave you money with the instruction that you had to spend it on something frivolous for yourself, what would you buy? Nail polish or accessories/tools for my nails.
  • Do you have any decorating themes in your home/office? Children’s toys. Does that count? I collect wall crosses and shot glasses from all around the world. I also love fun fridge magnets.
  • Is there something that you REALLY, REALLY like?  (Burt’s Bees, horses, cats, fairies, unicorns, birds, patriotic stuff, babies, chocolate, Diet Coke, etc….) I adore all Burt’s Bees products, diet Dr Pepper, glittery nail polish, fun and colorful cases for my iphone and pretty scrapbook paper.
  • What is the VERY! BEST! present you have ever received and why was it the best?  (The purpose of this question is to give people another idea of the sorts of things that make you happy.) A very wonderful lady from the internet made me the prettiest, softest blanket I’ve ever seen. The work and sentiment she put into it was awe-inspiring and I am touched by her generous and loving spirit every time I see and use my blanket.

God is love. Just not gay love.

May 9th, 2012

Today President Obama made the statement that he thinks gay couples should be able to marry. Of course, this set off a social media storm. It seems everyone has something to say about this topic, whether they support the President’s belief or not, and they wasted no time posting to Twitter and facebook. (Myself included. Duh.) The tweets weren’t a problem for me at all. I pretty much only follow people I know and like and 90% share the same moral and ethical beliefs. Facebook? Yeah, that’s another matter entirely.

Apparently, some of the people I’ve allowed to be my “friend” do not share that same belief system. And the majority of those people are self-professed Christians who regularly post about their great love for God and Jesus. The stunning revelation is that they absolutely do not feel that same love for their fellow man. They cast aspersions, judge, and condemn simply because they don’t agree with someone. Whether that someone be gay, a woman who chose to have an abortion, a Muslim, or a different color. The hatred these so-called “Christians” feel is astounding. Christianity is a religion based on love. The bible mentions how much God loves us untold number of times. And this one time, He loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us. That’s a lot of love, right there, folks. In the New Testament, Jesus repeatedly teaches love, tolerance and forgiveness. There is no hell fire and damnation. And in case you didn’t catch it, “CHRISTianity” is based on the teachings of Jesus. So, whatever the Old Testament says isn’t really what we’re about. We need to be using Jesus as an example for our lives. Giving selflessly, teaching, mentoring, helping, loving. You cannot sing “Jesus loves me” and add your own line that says “but not the gays.”

All that said, gay marriage is not a religious issue. It is absolutely absurd that in 2012 there are Americans that are denied rights that they are entitled to as citizens because they’re gay. We wouldn’t, and didn’t, tolerate that when it came to segregation, women’s rights, or those that are disabled. What if suddenly someone said that people with Down Syndrome can’t marry? Or women had to be forced into marriages arranged by the men in their families? Would we tolerate that based solely on religious beliefs? Not for one hot minute. The simple fact is that all Americans are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are all entitled to worship in the way that is right for us. We are all entitled to marry and make financial and medical decisions with our spouse. Gay Americans pay taxes and vote in elections; it’s criminal to declare them second class citizens because some religious beliefs decry them as an abomination. Fine. Call them abominations. Hate them with the fire of a thousand suns. But do not try to deny them their rights as citizens.

And don’t post that hate-filled shit on facebook or I will unfriend you so fast your head will spin.

    Syle Lush

    BlogHer Book Club Reviewer

    I'm a featured blogger on Mamapedia Voices