Monday, August 31, 2009

From the old blog...Merry Christmas!

I bring you a blog from my old myspace blog. If you don't know or remember, I'm bringing some of my old favorites over to this blog so I have them all together. I picked this one to share because Neil & Vicki delivered their baby boy, Tyler, last week. He was 11lbs 12ozs, NOT a c-section. Let's all give it up for superwoman, Vicki! Anyway, I picked this because Neil always enjoyed it. Let's hope you do, too...

Let's talk about Christmas. Thanks to baby Jesus, we have a ton of stuff in our house. I've found that my calling in life is playing Mario Kart. Kinda sad when you think about it, but I kick ass at it. I've found that my son loves his vacuum more than anything else in this world, & that I'm fairly sure he'd trade me in for more hours in the day to be able to vacuum. We have a donut maker, because I'm pregnant & my parents don't know what to buy me, so they got me that. Which is cool with me, I'm not complaining. Otherwise my mom may have gotten me some ill fitting white stretch pants like she did a few years ago. I've also found that we can never borrow anything from my parents we don't want to own, as my dad gives Adam any tool he borrows at any time. We're now the proud owners of a saw like Adam borrowed when cutting the wood for our hard wood floors. So, uh, if we ever do that again we have the saw needed for that. Like either of us will make that mistake again. My
inlaws...HAHAHAHAHAHA.

*deep breath*

Out of everything though, we'd decided months ago that if people asked what Adam & I wanted, we'd ask for cash to put towards a new TV. Our dream TV was one to hang on the wall, so it'd be out of our way. Well, that was my dream, Adam wanted a TV because he's a man. My parents took that as, "Oh, let's buy them a TV!" So here was the main gift from my parents...

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And it even came with a super cool wall mount. Here it is, upside down...

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It was heavy, turn your head if you really want to see it that bad.
I'd hoped that Christmas magic would install it, but the elves never came, so Adam took it upon himself. Yes, you should be scared. I was very scared. So I decided to document it from my couch, starting around 1am. I did want some help from him, like I wanted him to hold up things for pictures. Like I asked him to hold up the stud finder & he did this...

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Then I asked him to use it so I could complain about how the fucking thing scuffed up my walls as we used it earlier, & he insisted on posing like this to pretend he was working...

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Please note the upside down tape measure. But actually, that was pretty much how it went. FOR HOURS. Our house is wonderful. Studs should be easy to find. With a stud finder they should be even easier. Adam would "test" to make sure that a stud was really there. By "test" I mean he put holes in my wall...

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Of course, OJ the kitten tried to comfort me...

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It didn't help though.

The whole time I'm freaking out, because sure holes can be patched but we have very very very little of the special matched paint for this room, there was no room for mistakes. Silly me, I should know there is ALWAYS room for lots of mistakes! But finally, a stud was found, as was another. We were joyful...

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Then Adam wanted me to tell him where on the wall it should hang, how high or whatever. I'm a girl & can't imagine things, so I made him hold this...

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a pop up room from the baby's ball pit fort, to pretend it was the TV as I stood across the room & tried to pretend I was watching Family Feud on it. That was my way of being helpful. But, again, we were joyful because we figured it'd be over soon! And note my home version of Family Feud in the picture as well. I'm telling you, I'm an old person.

Of course, the joy quickly turned to sadness because as he drilled the 2nd hole on the final side, he hit steel. Of course, being a man he refused to admit defeat & kept drilling until his drill bit broke. It didn't make sense, nothing about this house makes sense but the studs should, dammit. Then I did research. According to that, some older houses may have less than standard studs & some may even have steel or partly steel studs. My house built in 1929 fit into the time period that was fairly common according to directions & websites. I guess in 1929 they didn't think TV's would hang on walls, so why need studs.

At this point, I personally said fuck it, I'm pregnant & had leftovers as I cooked a 20lb turkey for Christmas dinner that day. So I did what I do best...I hunted for food. Of course it was easy to find & I decided to nom...

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Nom nom nom nom nom nom nom....

As I took this picture I felt sad, because I know Liz will read this & the animal lover in her would hate me for posting this. So I'm sorry Liz. I really am. But I was hungry & I'm an awful person. But I own 345345734 cats, so that should make up for the turkey killing.

Anyway, I was just going to nom some, but then I decided to make a plate....

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YUM!

Stuffing & turkey. And gravy, of course. And because my mind wonders, I decided to take this time to yell into Adam to ask whose idea it was to stuff bread crumbs up a birds ass & eat it. Seriously, who thought of that? Whoever it was, was a genius. That stuffing is great.

Of course, I shouldn't talk. As I was trying to baste my turkey, I was finding it was very hard to do with just a spoon due to it's large size that was basically too big for the pan I had to cook it in. So I got out this...

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BEST IDEA I'D HAD IN YEARS!! In cause you're wondering what it is, it's the giant syringe the vets office gave me to add water to Oliver's medication bottle. Don't freak out, it never touched an animal & was just used for water, so I felt safe doing it. But I didn't tell my mom, as she'd freaked out. But what she doesn't know doesn't hurt those of us who have to put up with her. But I was happy to get more use out of something from that $200 vet trip.

I go back to my place on the couch, as Adam pretends to know what he's doing to nom on my leftovers. Of course, eating in this house is kinda scary. Within a few minutes this was what I was surrounded by...

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And it always gets worse before it gets better, but thankfully I was done by the time they got closer...

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Adam announces eventually that it is time to move on to mounting the...uh...mount. Hooray! But then I saw the parts...

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I wanted to scream, because this looks hard & it's like 3am.

But Adam is still going strong & wanted to take a funny picture, which is my fault because I was the idiot who said, "Hey, want to pretend to wear them?"...

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Then I yelled at him because that looked awful & I figured Liz would yell at me for animal abuse, since even Betty White in the background is upset. So then I took this...

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Liz, your Christmas card is at the top of the Christmas card...uh...hangings. So you're important! Don't yell at me. If you're even still reading after the turkey...
Anyway, he attaches the mount onto the wall rather quickly....

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Again, I felt that thing called hope. Then he told me he was all done & was going to get the TV.

When he left the room, I looked down & saw the parts remaining...

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He swears those are for different TV's, walls, mounts, people who knew what they were doing, etc. , & that I should just ignore them like I've ignored his hopes & dreams. OK, I can do that.

He brings in the wonderful TV which has for my parents, bought his love. Or at least like. He sits it down & I want to read the side of the box. The side in front of me is not English, so I ask him to turn it. Earlier he was talking about how light & wonderful it was. He basically wanted to carry it around & make out with it. But I want him to turn it around & suddenly it's 500lbs & he's too old to even lift it even a little. After some discussion (read: me whining), he turns it around...

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And I doubt you can tell but...

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That side wasn't English though either, & I laughed & laughed. Because it's like 4am at this point & it's funny at 4am that I can't speak Spanish.

He opens the box like Ralphie on Christmas day with his Red Rider BB Gun...

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Oliver looks on, praying it's not anymore kittens. Then, right as I was online posting pictures & making a comment on one of them how I was the only one in the house who reads any paperwork or anything, he does this...

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See?! It's all my job. Nothing would get read if I didn't live here, nor would any bills get paid because he doesn't even know where the check book is. Of course, we don't get mail so I guess that doesn't matter anyway...


I continued my reading through the warnings, when I found this...

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In case you can't tell, it's info on how NOT to set your TV on a milk crate.

Seriously. That's even what's in the picture. To which again I laugh & laugh because it's after 4am at this point & the thought of someone buying a flat screen TV & sitting it on a milk crate, to me, is hysterical. Of course, after watching everything to put it on the wall, I guess I can understand the milk crate idea.

Then I look up & it's over. TV on said wall, hopefully in studs...

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Of course, I like how AFTER it's done, Adam appears to be reading the instructions. That's helpful. Adam is confident, but the guy on the TV isn't as impressed...

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Then I was left with a living room even more full of trash...

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And the time on the clock, kids? About 5:30am!

TV is still on the wall. Law & Order appears to look good on it. So I'm pleased.
And with that, we are fancy people with a TV on the wall. I can't get my mail, but we have a TV on the wall. I guess it's the important thing, right?

And if you've actually read this entire thing, good job. And I'm sorry for whatever you read that could offend you, from animals to the idea of the TV on the wall, to the idea that we're up way too late to be responsible adults, or god only knows what else.

I will now go play Mario Kart...meaning, I'm going to go beat Adam at it. Happy New Year & stuff.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Three.

On my part of the world, it is August 26th, 2009.

Three. It's been 3 months. Three months that feel like years. Sometimes in good ways, but usually in bad ways.

It was 3 months ago today that we found out we lost Joel. Three months ago today we made our way to our 40 week prenatal appointment, I felt him moving on the drive there. I sat on my midwifes couch, making small talk about things. Got weighed, got measured, everything was peachy. Went to check the heartbeat, the student midwife did at least, she couldn't find it. Since then my midwife told me she actually wasn't concerned at that moment, it wasn't until a few minutes later when she tried that she became concerned, but I knew. As soon as the student tried it and got nothing, I knew. It was a sinking feeling I couldn't avoid. More checking, nothing found, trip to hospital. Before we go, my midwife knew I knew it was bad, we exchanged some glances and I know she knew that I already knew. Before we left, I asked what I knew, "It shouldn't be this hard to find if it was there, should it?" She paused for a second, but realizing she promised me nothing but honesty & knowing that I already knew, she confirmed that if it was there we would have heard it.

The story plays out in my mind over & over again, the result never changes of course. I wonder sometimes if I relive it just because that's normal or if it's my sick way of torturing myself. We couldn't get ahold of my parents when we found out, I called several times but finally left a message on their machine telling them "we lost the baby." As I said it, thunder hit. A perfectly timed storm. Adam once blogged, I believe, that it was then I said the words we'd stumbled around all night, but I don't remember it that way. I remember being in our living room, him in the kitchen calling the vice principal of the school to let him know that he wouldn't be back in for the rest of the year, & at the end saying "we lost him" in a voice I hadn't heard him ever use before. The message for my parents wasn't received until the next morning. My mom told me a couple weeks ago that for weeks after, she would listen to my message over & over, as a way to punish herself for not being there when it happened. I guess it finally got so old it deleted itself. Oh, how I'd love to delete memories. I don't ever expect to forget, but I'd be content with not living it day after day.

We went from talking about a baby to talking about a funeral, all in just a couple short hours. Looking in a phone book to see funeral home ads, picking one just because it listed "infant services." Never got around to picking out his first outfit, instead we went into his room that night and picked out the only outfit he would wear, complete with a hat and fuzzy socks. I insisted on the fuzzy socks. Two blankets, one to leave with him and one to bring home. Only thing I knew for sure we'd be bringing home. I'd been holding onto a 50% off coupon for Sears to get the boys pictures made in a matching outfit. Instead, I threw it away & went on to call Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, because those would be the only pictures I'd ever have.

Women talk about what gets them through labor is thinking of little toes, little ears, holding their babies...all that jazz. In between my morphine induced naps, I talked to my midwife about what our baby may look like and to my husband, who as a child wanted to grow up to be a dad, about if we should have our son cremated.

I never felt like I did something to cause Joel's death, but instead I felt guilt for everyone else. I felt guilt that because of this Jules was screwed out of a little brother, that my husband was screwed out of his son. My family were cheated another grandson. I even felt bad for the student midwife, only her 2nd day ever & that's what she gets to deal with. Even my own midwife, I felt bad because I knew she'd feel guilty & this was the 3rd baby she'd ever lost in her career. That wasn't a stat I wanted to help her add to. I even felt guilt for the poor resident I dealt with at the first hospital, because I was intent on checking out AMA because I didn't want induced & I know the actual OB was giving her hell because I wouldn't stay.

Yes, I thought all of these things & never once thought about myself. Maybe I just didn't want to though. To think about myself would mean I'd have to put myself into the grief. I'd pass on that as much as I could, for as long as I could.

Three. I've always been a bit OCD about numbers, I hate even numbers & I've been so obsessed in the past that I've counted words when spoken & tried to rearrange other peoples sentences in order to hit a correct number or words. Yeah, I've got issues.

In my random mood tonight, I just wondered about the number three. I found that three is the first number to which the meaning "all" was given. Well, all has been given the past 3 months. I don't feel like I've got much more to give.

Three is also birth, life, death. It is the beginning, middle & end. Does the order life, birth, & death count? Because we had that. Joel was also the beginning, middle, & end of various things. The end of our lives as we knew them than, the beginning of the new lives we know now.

The astral or emotional body stays connected to the physically body for three days after death. According to the interwebs website about numbers (and crystals, but lets not go there), there is evidence that the brain, even when all other systems are failing takes three days to register complete shutdown. I don't claim this as fact or actual medical opinion, I'm too lazy to google & I don't care to try to counter it, but maybe in some weird way he was with us for 3 days after. He wasn't born until the 28th, we kept him with us through the 29th. So maybe in some hippy world, we spent the time with him as alive as we could.

Three seems to be the given number of wishes you're magically granted. I'd love for that to happen, but I won't be holding my breath for that one.

There is also apparently a thought that once you've done something 3 times, it's connected to this world. So I now announce, that even though my state doesn't believe my son was real or that he was born, that he was only a fetal death, it's been 3 months. I'm invoking the power of 3 at this point & my son is now officially connected to this world, despite what this dumb country thinks. My son being able to get a birth certificate has nothing to do with fetal rights. I'm pro-choice, I think abortion should be legal, but for my right as a woman I'm owed a birth certificate for my son. I didn't go through anything for "fetal death" than someone who had a healthy happy baby they got to take home from the hospital. Oh wait, yes I did. I went through everything they did, only I didn't get the happy ending. I labored, I pushed, I cried, but for different reasons. I left without a baby, came home to a new baby room that is still empty. If I'm not owed a birth certificate as part of my rights as a woman who went through pregnancy, labor, & delivery, then no one else should get one either for any baby ever.

A person has a body, mind and spirit - 3 planes of existence. My son, a PERSON, had those three things, though he didn't get to experience his life. But he existed in those three ways, the most important three ways I think he could have existed.

The number three represents permanence. That’s why we do things in threes, since it adds strength to our acts.

After 3 months, am I any stronger?

Ask me on different days, I'm sure you'll get different answers each day.

It's funny how life turns out. Our "plan" was to try for our final child this month of this year. Yes, right now I should be trying to get pregnant, but thanks to an "oopsie" it happened last August instead. We shouldn't have this pain to cope with, but until those 3 wishes come through we're stuck. My inlwas were also suppose to be the "easy" to deal with family though, so we obviously are bad at predicting how things will turn out.

In these 3 months, what have I done?

Cried. I've cried a lot. I've told my parents I love them...more than once even. May seem like nothing, but trust me when I say it is. I try to communicate with my extended family more. I've realized that if I've had to go through this hell, there is no one other than that guy I married that I'd want with me through this. I've tried to be a better person, a more patient person. I've tried to be a better mom, a better wife, & even a better house keeper (I DUST THE COUCH!). I've enrolled in grad school. I'm a little put off that my classes are "GPSY," which may stand for graduate psychology, but for me it means gypsy. I'm not sure what I'll do with it or when I'll do it, but I plan on doing something with it. At least I'll be able to tell my aunt I'm in grad school when she ask "Are you ever going to work...don't you have a degree?!" like she ask every single time we see her. I have mentioned I'm trying to be more patient, right? I'm doing good on that one, trust me, it's been tested.

Three has always been a number I've been alright with. And today, since I'm able to attach it in ways that aren't depressing or make me want to throw myself in front of a train, it will continue to be a good number. I find comfort in the fact that I've survived three months. That's about three more months than I thought I'd survive back on May 26th. And, like I've done the past 3 months, I'll continue to move forward. The next 3 seconds, then minutes, then hours, then days, then weeks, then months and finally years. And even though some days are bad and I do consider throwing myself in front of a train from time to time, I know I can take some deep breaths (3 maybe!), then wait until 3 more seconds, minutes, hours or however long I need to know I'm going to be alright. As usual, I'm trying to keep faith in myself. It's hard, but I have to admit I'm impressed with myself more everyday.

I still can't do good desserts though. I may just go back to cake mixes for those.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A shameless plug.

I will now use my blog to be one of those mothers.

You know the mothers who enter their kids in things & then expect everyone they know to care enough to vote & have others vote so they can win some lame prize package that they aren't even sure what's included in it?

Well, I don't care about a prize package (which is good, because I have no idea what's in it anyway), but I do care about victory. I'm competitive like that.

We entered Jules in a contest with a local radio station, voting started today & ends this weekend. Seeing as I've never won anything before, I'd like to start him on a better path of winning things, so if you could please vote for him I'd appreciate it.

The link is...

RIGHT HERE!

He's about half way down the page in the center, listed as Jules C. He's the cutest kid ever, so don't worry about having any obligations to look at other pictures & try to make the right choice.

I'm ashamed of myself. Really, I am.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Well, I guess I can mark "pastry chef" off my list of things I can be when I grow up...

I love to cook. Really, I do. I'm just not very good at it.

Don't get me wrong, I can cook SOME things, but just average, boring things. And let's not even talk about my great job at toasting buns. But, in effort to make myself proud of, well, myself, I do try to make things. I like to try to make desserts. I'm not sure why, I just do. I like to pretend I'm on Martha Stewart's show & she's all impressed with me.

Thankfully, I have a vivid imagination.

My dear wife, Liz, has a blog where she shares her domestic life. Recently, she posted something called cake balls. I thought they were adorable & from that, I decided that is what I would make & take to Adam's back to work picnic.

OK, let me be honest here, I was beyond angry at Adam for telling people we'd bring soda & dessert. First of all, I hate to be the soda person. I never know what to get, how much to get, anything. And I'm not that great of a pastry chef, so dessert wasn't exactly something I wanted to make to take to people I hardly know as a way to impress them. Of course, I wouldn't just go buy something. That's worse than making something that is a failure. So I decided to make two lovely things. The first were the cupcake pops & the second was these things called cigarettes russes that I found in my Martha Stewart cookbook. Mind you, I didn't find the reviews talking about how impossible these were until after I started working on them.

God, how I wished I'd looked it up before using a dozen eggs for a recipe, but we'll get to that soon enough.

Decided in advance that I would my my cake a couple nights before, since I had to chill things for hours on end & such. I wanted to do this at my leisure, not get all stressed out because of them. So, on Wednesday night, I made my cake...

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I plopped my devils food cake out & cut off the edges, I'm guessing I do that so the hard edges don't make your pops, well, hard inside. I don't know really, I just follow the instructions. And when I say "follow" I mean I try to read them a few times & leave my laptop in the living room while cooking in the kitchen.

Anyway, next you're suppose to use a food processor to crumble your cake. I have a food processor...

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But it's way up high. I found the method of "squishing with a fork" worked just as well...

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Of course, left over is a nice mess for me to clean up in the wee hours of the morning because I decided to do this all at like 2am...

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After I crumble my cake up with my fork processor, I then add frosting...

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I went with butter cream because I think it's great. Know how I said cheese was made by baby Jesus? I'm pretty sure butter cream frosting is also made by little baby Jesus. So I dumped in my 12oz container & mixed it into my fancy old lady bowl containing my cake...

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Then, because I'm suppose to add 2 cups, I open up a 2nd container & dump some more frosting in...

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Have I mentioned I love me some frosting?

Well, I do.

I then get to this little mixture, which is kinda gross looking to be perfectly honest...

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I was having a hard time believing this was going to turn out very well looking at that. I kinda sorta felt like I was playing in a little box. Thankfully, Adam came along to help me clean up my cake mess...

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I guess he likes cake & frosting, too.

And while he eats, I make balls. Lots & lots of balls...

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At this point I'm happy my parents buy food in bulk so I have a box big enough to place my cake balls in...

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Of course now that I've used that box, I have no where to put my 24 boxes of animal crackers they insist on buying my son, that he doesn't like to eat. Great. After I finally get all my balls done, I go to scrub up & attempt to get the cake & frosting off of me...

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I'm not big on touching things. Another reason I'd make a bad pastry chef. But finally, at...

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That above time, I had cake balls...

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Lots of them. I didn't keep track, somewhere around 60 I'd guess.

Next I needed sticks for these things. I tried to find sticks, but I wasn't dedicated as i should have been so I decided to just get kabob sticks & cut them to size...

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Of course, the real problem with this is that I guess I never realized how strong kabob sticks were, because all I managed to do was break my really nice kitchen scissors....

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I'm very sad over this, just because I really liked those things. And I won't buy another pair until I buy new knives in like 12 years. Great.

Adam comes in & out, rambling from time to time, I'm not sure what about...

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But I wasn't exactly listening to what he was saying. But finally, I was done with my 60 some sticks & quit for the night. Hooray!

Then today came. Thursday. I decided to work on my stuff this evening as the baby napped. First, I got out my handy dandy cookbook...

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I was really looking forward to making those things because, well, they looked tasty. I had my batter made up from the night before, like it suggested...

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Again, in my old lady bowls. I prepared my pans....

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And attempted to do as Martha told me, to make these dandy little wafer cookies...

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I was still hopeful at this point. Looking back, I'm not sure why. But as those cookie things cooked for the few minutes as required, I got my balls out & put sticks in them...

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Aren't you impressed by my non-uniform sticks?

I also got my candy melts out & my magic shell...

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Yeah, alright, you aren't suppose to use magic shell. But dammit, it seemed like a good idea, way better than melting down chocolate. I want to cook things well, I don't want to be all crazy serious about these things.

At that point, the timer sounded & my wafers were suppose to be done...

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Bad. Just bad. Very bad. I lost hope then, but gave it another shot. This time, thinner as Adam was telling me to do because he'd watched Top Chef the night before & after he does that, he thinks he's some sort of chef mastermind.

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How did that work out?

So badly I forgot to take a picture. Seriously. It was bad. Shameful actually. I quickly gave that up, but since I had all this batter ready I decided, what the hell, I'll try to do SOMETHING special with it, so I did this...

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I had plans for that thing. You'll see in the end.

So since I'd moved pass that dreadful experience of cigarette russes (and seriously, should I be taking something with the word "cigarette" in it to a back to school picnic?), I threw all of my energy & hopes into my cake balls.

I'm a huge fan of I Love Lucy & I kinda felt like I was in that episode where Lucy & Ethel worked in the candy factory...

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Dipping, sitting, dipping, sitting...on & on & on...

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Dipping in candy melts, which was good but kinda hard to work with in my opinion. But, again, I'm not pastry chef. I'm using magic shell, for the love of god. But they turned out kinda cute I thought...

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I figured since I had nuts for those other cookies, I'd put them to good use. Hope that was a good idea, guess I'll find out tomorrow, huh?

Anyway, I went along my happy pastry chef way, making tons of these things, wondering why on earth I didn't just buy a cheesecake at Sam's Club & call it done...

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But slowly & surely, things got done. And eventually, I was done...

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Want to see up closer? Of course you do!11!!!1

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Of course this is what was left of my lovely kitchen...

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And here is the trash pile, along with my "wafers" I attempted to make...

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I really want to pretend I didn't even attempt to make those things.

And while I was slaving in the kitchen, my son was playing in the clean clothes in the laundry room...

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Because there wasn't 3485734589347 things Adam could be doing productive. No, never!

And finally tonight, I tried my magical cake balls...

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Nom nom nom...

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They were very tasty. Very. Totally worth the headache...now that the headache was over at least.

And want to know whatever happened to that wafer batter cake thing? Well, what else could I do?

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I think I have a new banner for my blog now.

But at least my cupcake lollipop ball things are good. And I've got soda to take, too. I guess I'm set. As long as my things above don't melt in the heat. Not sure how great they are as picnic food.

I should really think these things out before I do them. I'll try that one of these days.

EDIT! That wasn't the fail of the night it turns out. I just opened my fridge to see the turkey breast that was never put in the freezer like I asked has now THAWED and dripped all it's bacteria onto all my cake balls. Fabulous. Just fabulous. So no cake balls tomorrow. I'm crushed. Why do I try?

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