26 March 2012

What do you expect after a two week absence?

So the weather has been beautiful in Liverpool recently…which was really annoying during the period of time when this household was under quarantine. Now that we are all mostly better (I promise you my son is not suffering from a smokers cough) I’ve been trying as hard as I can to get out and enjoy it- which mostly means copious amounts of trips to the park. When that gets boring (there is only so much fascination in looking at a duck) and the time until Henry goes to bed is still ions away, I hop on the bus with Henry and go somewhere. You know, just because I’m a stay at home mom doesn’t mean I actually have to stay at home.

Our trips out can be really pointless. I could say to myself, “You know, I am running out of deodorant, I better pick some up.” Now, my Tesco down the road sells deodorant and they actually sell one brand that is half decent but since I have time and it’s a nice day outside I’ll take Henry out for 3 hours to buy a single stick of deodorant at the Mega Boots downtown because they have three brands of deodorant that are half decent. For clarification purposes, I do not actually spend 3 hours purchasing deodorant.

A couple weeks back in the brief period where no one was seriously ill, I got it in my head that I was going to go to IKEA. I needed fancy napkins for Henry’s upcoming birthday party after all. Now the nearest IKEA to us is in Warrington which takes about 25-30 minutes by car. I checked the public transport schedules and it appeared that if I took the train, then the bus, it should only take us 53 minutes to get there. “Fabulous!” I thought and left the house around 11 AM with Andy shouting after me that I was crazy.

The first leg of our journey (train) went very well. I entertained Henry by giving him a bottle of Beano to shake. The bus part wasn’t as smooth as I first got lost trying to find the bus depot (it’s across the street) then had stomach distress (I still wasn’t quite recovered) and I ended up missing the first bus out to IKEA. All in all it took us an hour and a half to get there.

Of course, once you decide to take on an epic hour and half journey to IKEA, once you get there you try to make the most of it. Sadly, the children’s play area where you can drop your kids off while you shop (which I was kind of hoping for) doesn’t allow children under 3 (well played IKEA, well played). After doing the entire store and getting my napkins and a last minute decision for a collapsible mesh tube storage thing that I planned to use for Henry’s toys but had the overwhelming desire to wear it over my person and pretend that I was a robot (in red), it was time for lunch.

For all the times I have been to IKEA, I have never had their meatballs. Now I have. I’m not sure what the meatballs are made out of – seemingly salt, lard, meat paste and gravy – but they really are quite tasty. Henry liked them too which upset me only because I got the 10 count and he ate most of mine. I made him eat the cranberry sauce side as punishment though he didn’t seem to take the punishment seriously by constantly asking for more (well played Henry, well played). After lunch I let him play in the little children’s play section in the cafeteria to work off those meatballs. I had to navigate myself out of IKEA so I wasn’t concerned about burning off mine.

To conclude this story about IKEA (that wasn’t going to be about IKEA when I started this), it took me another hour and half to get home because I sat on the wrong side of the fucking street for 20 minutes and actually missed my bus (again!) that was going the right way. I think IKEA puts something in their meatballs besides salt, lard, meat paste and gravy that messed up my brain that day. Probably drugs. Illegal drugs. Smuggled drugs from mules that go “eee-haw, eee-haw” when they go through passport control.

On a somewhat unrelated note to all those Liverpool residents out there – did you know that there are different bus companies that run the same bus line? Like, you can take the 80A from the same stop and you’ll either get a Stagecoach or an Arriva bus. If you decide to get an all day bus pass, make sure you get on the Stagecoach bus when you purchase it. You can use it on either Stagecoach or Arriva but the pass on the Stagecoach is only 3.30 and the Arriva is 3.90. 60p in savings! Yes, I fully expect you to buy me a Toffee Crisp with your savings.

Oh yeah, also saw this at the pub this weekend.   No, I have no idea what it was about.

Also, for Beth, some Liverpool fashion:

21 March 2012

I'm not dead, but I feel like I should be

March sucks.   Well, THIS March sucks.  I'm sick with yet another bug and although it's only 9 PM, I'm going to bed....and this is the latest I've stayed up all week.  Sorry, A,. for not sending your egg yet.  Sorry world, for not giving you a new post.  Sorry, husband, for getting you sick (again).  Sorry, vodka, for not opening you once this week.  Sorry, tea kettle, for over-using you.   Sorry sorry sorry zzzzzzzzzz....eggplant jacuzzi fly!

11 March 2012

My Public Apology to My Husband

So if you read my Henry blog, you will know that we’ve had to deal with a sick baby for the first part of March. It turned out that Henry contracted a bad stomach flu which lead into 5 solid days of very unsolid shits and lots and lots of vomit. I was averaging 4-5 loads of laundry per day which included not only Henry’s clothes, but our clothes that were in direct fire. That doesn’t even include the bed linens and one lovely load of wash where there were 5 stuffed animals with their little faces swimming around the machine. I am glad to report that Henry is indeed on the mend now, but I am sad to say that both Andy and I have caught it. It’s not been a good month thus far.

There's a lot of this going on in this house.

As you can imagine, dealing with a sick baby has its own set of challenges. I will fully admit that I am not the most patient person in the world and I will also admit fully to being easily frustrated when things aren’t going well. If you tack on lack of sleep, you might as well be handling a badger with a ticking bomb inside. This is to say that by day three of the child being ill, I kind of lost my shit.

The fact of the matter is, I yelled at my husband. The English use the phrase, “shouty” by the way. It was Sunday morning and we were all upstairs in Henry’s room changing yet another diaper blow-out. Andy and I both had on fresh clothes and Henry had just been put in clean pajamas. As Andy picked Henry up from the changing table, “BLEEEEEEEGH!” puke everywhere, though mainly down Andy’s shirt. I grabbed Henry and began the process of changing him into another pair of clean pajamas. Andy in the meantime was just standing there dazed. I know that dazed look because I had that same look every time Henry had a diaper blow-out. It’s that whole, “I have no idea on where to begin cleaning this.” This didn’t stop me from saying, “Don’t stand there like a dillweed, do something!”

This brings me to the following points:

1. Who the hell uses the word “dillweed”? I mean, I have a complete catalog of colorful phrases and insults and the one I pick out of all of them is “dillweed”?

2. When was the last time “dillweed” was used as an insult before last Sunday? It’s got to be awhile. By my records, the last time it was used as an insult was in 1994 at Chad Banister’s 8th grade basement graduation party and it was used unintentionally ironically. Yes, that can happen.

3. Why is “dillweed” even an insult? I’m going to start calling people “parsleyhead” and see if it catches on.

4. Did you know that Americans eat 9 pounds of pickles per person per year? The internet said so, so you know it’s true.

From harmless herb to 90's insult - what went wrong dill weed?

Due to my frustrations and everything that has happened since last Sunday, I never did apologize to Andy for calling him a dillweed. So here’s my public apology: I’m sorry Andy for calling you a dillweed. Next time you are covered in vomit and you are standing there wondering what to do next, I promise I will not call you a name such as dillweed, turdface, dumbbell, nincompoop, or parsleyhead. However, if I actually remember “ignoramus” I might say that because it’s a funny word to say…but I won’t mean it seriously, promise.

09 March 2012

And the Winner is....

Congrats!  And thanks for everyone for commenting by the way.  I feel all warm and fuzzy inside and that's only somewhat from the stomach flu I caught off of Henry.

UPDATE: I just want to clarify that the voice I use in this video is my "speaking to Henry voice" and not my normal voice.  Coincidentally, this is also my waitress voice when I used to be a server.

*By the way....whomever A. is, please email me at casey4791 at Yahoo (dot) com with your address details on where to send the runner up prize.

05 March 2012

Mom Gail Asks...

So I was a bit surprised when I read a comment from Beth’s mom, Gail, in last week’s post. Not that I was surprised at the content of the comment but rather that I sometimes forget who all knows about and reads this blog. Gail (or as I call her - ‘Mom Gail’- due to the semi-raising she did of me during the very angst ridden 16th year of my life (and with a smile on her face during it no less!)) is one of those incredibly kind, gives the shirt off of her back sort of person. She’s also a great listener and as the comment so shows, also can throw out a good curse and sarcastic remark when the need arises. Because of this, I decided to answer her questions posed in her comment for you…and for her obviously. I’ve also sent a couple Radio Times her way.

Sadly, if there is anything I know about with great detail, its television. Television had a great hand in raising me too. Not only can I count to 10 in Spanish in my sleep, know which this is not like the other, but thanks to Kirk Cameron in that fateful ‘Growing Pains’ episode, I know that cocaine is Bad Business. For the thousands upon thousands of hours of television watching I’ve done in my life time, I think those three things alone are well worth any potential brain damage I might have occurred along the way.

With that said, this post will probably bore anyone who claims to “never watch television” or my personal favorite, “doesn’t even own a television – just watches a few things on the internet” to tears. Those who never watch or don’t have access to a BBC broadcast like BBC America won’t probably be that interested either. No worries. This one is for Mom Gail and for that couch I probably ruined sleeping on it night after night.

Mom Gail Asks….What The Fuck Happened to DR WHO? On BBC America I watched the WHO marathon in FALL and thought it lead to the new season,,,,But Noooo WTF

This is a tough one to respond to because I don’t know how far in the season Mom Gail has watched. Is she on the Matt Smith ones yet? I will assume that she watched the latest season that was broadcast last summer. That’s the thing with many British series. They will have 8-12 episodes in their season then that’s it for the year. Dr. Who, which is a popular show, has gotten a Christmas Special every year since 2005. The Christmas Specials are a tad longer than “regular” episodes with a Christmas theme. Some years they have thrown in an Easter special as well. From the official Dr. Who website, it doesn’t look like they’ll be having another “special” episode before the official season starts again this spring\summer. Basically, if you’ve seen “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe” then you are up to date and I know no more than you do.

On a side note, my all time favorite Dr. Who Christmas Special was “the Runaway Bride” with Tennant as the Doctor and Donna Noble as his sidekick. The bit where the Doctor is waiting for the ATM machine just gets me in stitches…because I SO DO THAT. Well, the annoyed face anyhow. I wish I could get the ATM to spit out free money. (Note: This episode was cut short for the BBC America version to fit in the commercials and the ATM scene was completely cut out.)

"What are you deleting my best scenes for America?"

Mom Gail Asks…Is Graham Norton Big in Liverpool? I think he's a hoot.

I wouldn’t necessarily say Graham Norton is big out here but he certainly pops up in a lot of places…or at least it seems like he does. I haven’t really heard any negative press about him either so I’m assuming he’s pretty well received. The only thing I know of for sure is that his talk show used to be shown on BBC 4 – a channel that is known for taking risks on shows that might not do well with the general public but are usually the most funny and entertaining – and in the last year or so, the show was moved to the more mainstream BBC 1. You might have noticed a slight change in the format with this move. There are usually more guests on now and far less audience participation. I really miss the old format. The only reason why I started watching in the first place (I’m not a big fan of talk shows) was because the audience really got to be involved with the show and the guests. Now, not so much. Andy and I almost threw in the towel in regards to watching the show altogether with that horrible Madonna episode a few weeks back. Sadly, when we see “Graham Norton” recorded on the DVR, it’s no longer “Oh yay! A Graham Norton is recorded!” it’s more of a “there’s nothing else on – want to watch this week old Graham Norton episode?”

"I also do EuroVision, bitches."

Mom Gail Asks…What is the point of Top Gear or is that just shown is in USA?

I am so going to get in trouble for this one. And I want to clarify before I get into trouble; we will be discussing the UK version of “Top Gear” and not that Jell-O flavored remake with Muppets as the hosts “Top Gear” they tried to pull off in the States.

What is the point of ‘Top Gear’? Who knows? It’s an entertainment show about cars. Being a fan of cars though, I really enjoy ‘Top Gear’. Well, I should clarify again. The thing I like best about ‘Top Gear’ is not the Stig. I hate the Stig. I also hate the pointless reviews of super cars I will never in my lifetime be able to afford. I find the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car somewhat amusing. But what I absolutely LOVE about ‘Top Gear’ and the thing that keeps me watching week after week is the stupid challenges. It’s not so much seeing what shitty automobile can actually make it to the destination but more of how each of the hosts tries to fuck each other up with secret car modifications or awkward gifts that they are required to take with them. I still giggle when I think of Richard Hammond taking that 4 foot long replica model of a sailboat on a back of a little motorcycle in Vietnam with the broken mast flying in the wind. Basically, it’s the Top Gear Specials that I really truly enjoy and I would recommend watching them before completely dismissing ‘Top Gear’ altogether.

Oh, and the thing that will get me in trouble? I LIKE Jeremy Clarkson. There, I said it. He’s rude, obnoxious, a terrible dresser, completely unenvironmental, completely non-PC and pisses people off from time to time. I don’t know, he reminds me of my Dad.


Mom Gail Asks…I think An Idiot Abroad gives UK manhood a VERY bad look. It's kinda like our Paris Hilton shows with boobs. Oh wait, she doesn't have any.

You crack me up Mom Gail. Yes, I agree. Karl Pilkington does give UK manhood a very bad rap though I don’t think that’s the intention. I think part of the show’s humor is showing that some people in the UK don’t feel comfortable out of the UK…like Karl Pilkington. I think the show works outside of the UK because there are people everywhere that are like that. I know people in Wisconsin who the farthest they have traveled is to Illinois…once…in 1994. Their whole outlook is, “I’ve got everything here that I want, why go somewhere else?” As “Idiot Abroad” shows, it’s really quite humorous taking someone completely out of their comfort zone and forcing them to experience other cultures. Plus, I think it’s a reality check for those of us who romanticize travel destinations. I know that for myself the IDEA of trekking out to the jungle to see gorillas sounds awesome but as I’m watching Karl Pilkington complain about it the entire way, I realize that I would be complaining right along there with him walking for HOURS only to MAYBE see a gorilla that might just attack you. I think I’ll keep that one off the bucket list. Thanks Karl.

"Why did I have to come here?  I already have the picture."

Mom Gail Asks…Does Simon Cowell insult future stars or is he only in America now?

I haven’t seen hide nor hair of him since I left the States. I will cheerfully report that he must have fallen into a well and is currently being eaten by badgers.

Mom Gail Asks…So What is the Telly like after 8pm?

Good use in the word ‘telly’ there! I have sent you two complimentary copies of the Radio Times to answer that. You can use any British slang you might have roaming around in your noggin to do the crossword puzzle in the back. I’ve been here a year and without fail there is always one answer to a clue that was a Britishism that I had no idea about. Last week, it was “remould”. This means to “retread”, as in tires….or, since the Brits don’t think ‘Y’s are used enough, “tyres”.

Thanks Mom Gail for reading!


I have a gigantic chocolate Easter egg sitting on my table waiting to be sent to one lucky winner. Apparently my ploy for comments has failed…or the prize isn’t good enough. Free money if you comment! Free money if you comment! Free money if you comment! And by “money” I mean “lots of heartfelt thanks”.

01 March 2012

Just look the other way...it's for the best

So I’ve been struggling these past two weeks trying to think of an interesting blog post that didn’t involve the kid. Henry has been growing in leaps and bounds recently and I spend most of my time thinking of ways to keep him entertained. Added in all of this is the fact that Andy and I have been trying to save money so we haven’t gone out much at all. I think our biggest trip in the whole of February was driving to Hale (countryside Liverpool) trying to get Henry to nap. We had a pub lunch after he woke up. It was very nice.

Our very mild winter is quickly turning to an early spring. It’s been in the 50’s for the past two weeks so I’ve tried to get myself and the Henbot out in the sun as much as possible. Again, because we are trying to save money this mostly involves going to the park to feed the ducks and have a go on the swings. It’s been very pleasant but not exactly blog material.

I did have this whole post planned called “Why you CAN complain about California’s weather” which involved a lot of rambling. The whole gist of the post was that because California is sunny and lovely all the time you rarely appreciate it; whilst in England (and most of the world really) because the weather is so miserable all winter, once the sun comes out you really make an effort to enjoy it for all it’s worth. Yes, I was going to make a whole post about that. I’m struggling people.

I could tell you that I made a batch of Toll House chocolate chip cookies last week using a precious bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips that I brought back from the States only to fuck them up by not having quite enough flour and just forging through with the recipe anyhow. Are you bored yet?

Oh, the children’s center that I protested to stay open? They’re staying open. Yay.

I need new sandals. I have a pair of Doc’s in sandal form but I can’t walk for very long in them. I was thinking about getting a pair of Clark’s - maybe for my birthday.

When I was back in WI, the lovely Cat at Champion’s taught me how to purl stitch. I did a whole row of purl before Henry lost his grab on the drawer he was pulling out and thwacked his head on the table leg. Much crying ensued. Knitting was hence forgotten.

So yeah, how about those summer Olympics? London…woo.

OK, fuck this shit. Cost be damned, I’ll send one of you one of those gigantic chocolate Easter eggs I’ve been seeing in Tesco since January; all you have to do is leave me a comment and tell me who would win the battle in a poisonous frog vs. Oompa Loompa fight. I’ll put all your names* in a hat and let Henry draw the winner – that is, if I can read it before he put the paper in his mouth and eats it. Comment by March 8, 2012 to enter.

Your egg won't be this big.  Sorry.  I might be able to send a pair of severed hands though if that's what you're into.

In the meantime, I’m going to do some research online to find some shit to do so I never have to give you another post like this one.

*Unless no one else comments, if I am related to you or have known you in real life before this blog existed, I'm going to have to exclude you from the drawing.  However, that is not to say I won't send you a giant chocolate egg in exchange for Trident White gum, Q-tips and Kraft Mac & Cheese.