Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Day of '06

Admittedly, New Year's Eve is not one of my favorite days of the year. But I am trying to get into into the holiday spirit with my sparkling cider while making my beef tenderloin Crostini for tonight's soiree which I hope finds me still awake at the appointed time. I fell asleep early after another nice party last night, only to combat insomnia from 3-5 by watching infomercials.

I also don't usually do the resolution thing, but this year finds me setting out some goals out of necessity rather than by the turn of the calendar page. I was also rather fond of 2006, so to bid it farewell by cleaning something or giving up a food pleasure is really not apropos. So, I will spare you my entire list of pointless epiphanies, but only record 3 in the blogosphere which should do wonders to bore you all senseless. In no particular order, I have given up my daily allowance of Coca-Cola, decided to reorganize the entire house and to take more pictures. And I also just placed a huge order lining up my reading selections for the next couple of months. Seemingly meaningless, these things will improve my spiritual being tremendously I believe.

Tomorrow, the boys are off to some snack food-inspired Bowl game that lasts most of New Year's Day, so Amy and I are going to begin the de-decorating process and make fondue for dinner.

Wishing you a very wonderful 2007.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

6 Months and 6 pounds

I just returned from the six month check-up. Everything is fine...except I gained a tad more this month than my previous boasts.

In my defense--which I didn't voice to the scale Nazi--my activity/exercise level has been considerably diminished due to the tsunami size contractions that occur whenever I walk more than 5 paces.

I also failed to calculate that last glass of eggnog and plate of German Twists would go on this month's total and not January's thighs.

Damned new math.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I'm dragging this fine Day After. Full Day After fun, family and food. We feasted on all things to excess, and today we make paths through the chaos. Highlights from the day included the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that was my Tickle Me Elmo for 2006, the video iPod for Stevie, and Matty's wrestling game. I received many a pineapple-wrapped package from Williams Sonoma including an entire new set of cookware that cost more than our first house. One 8" saute pan weighs more than our first born. They are so beautiful...

Grandpa and the Aunt and Uncle took in the scene bravely. I was proud that they didn't turn around and leave when they saw our living room after Christmas morning and a new puppy. I fed them prime rib, Yorkshire pudding and German Twists, so that persuaded them to stay much longer than I thought. It was nice. We finished the day like all Christmases should end; full and exhausted in the hot tub under the December stars.

Merry Christmas, all.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Xmas Eve Eve Eve

Yesterday was one of the nicest days I can remember in a long time...

It was the boys' first day off of school, and I had visions of everyone sleeping in late. Unfortunately, we were all up earlier than usual, but the morning was fairly busy so I guess it was ok. Because by the time the afternoon rolled in, I was done with all of my errands and shopping for Christmas. *do victory dance*.

I had a carpet cleaning scheduled (thanks, Jingle) so when the guys showed up, we were knee deep into the gingerbread house made from Graham cracker Witch Project, which is particularly messy. The kiids were all assembled around the table in the midst of gumdrops and sprinkles--even Amy--and Jingle was catching half of the scraps beneath while my pregnant belly was catching the rest. The phone was ringing with good news that my great neice had been born, and the TV was blaring the princesses Christmas on a continuous loop since last Tuesday. Cricket slept through the whole thing.

Oh Observant Stanley Steemer man said, "Boy, you sure have a lot going on here, don't you?"

Ya think?

But after they and their penchant for the obvious left, we curled up on the couch and watched movies, spoke to old friends on the phone, made a big pasta dinner, and I slept more soundly than I had in weeks.

Christmas Eve Eve Eve was pretty great.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Just to prove I am true to my blog word...

Twisting the day away

Well, the first step in the German Twist marathon cookie project is underway. But Trace, what about the baking embargo you promised us? We were happy to hear that you wouldn't be bitching about cookie sheets for at least 2 weeks?! And now we hear that not only are you hovering around the stand mixer, but you are choosing the most challenging and time-consuming culinary wonder as the German Twist? Why, Trace? Why???

I guess you didn't read the escape clause of the embargo which states that if 90 year old grandfather is going to be spending Christmas Day with you for the first time in 15 years like every Christmas Day of your youth, then you may approach the oven again with the oldest family recipe you have that will warm his belly and his heart.

I'll let you know how they come out when they are done on Sunday.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mail call

Regular readers of this blog of idiocy will instantly know everytime they check the mailbox and see the stack of Christmas cards in their mailboxes and the one from our family conspiculously not among them that the reason for this seeming slight is not because I have forgotten you, but because the freaking photo of my children that did not materialize like the ghost of Ansel Adams on the card until, oh, I don't know...say the 15th or so? That means official sponsor of the Divacard--is in a rush mode (I hope) to get it out to me post-haste so I can afix the pre-purchased stamps and enclose the first annual Christmas letter on annoyingly blinding red paper because when you wait until the 19th to buy Christmas stationary, your choices are limited to leftover pumpkins and easter eggs.

That was a long-winded way of saying the card is coming, if you want holiday snail mail from moi (again, regular readers will know my French reference is more than a cute colloquialism) then email me your address and you too will receive pictures of my kids Photo-shopped around a yule log.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Nomenclature Alert and Purposely Vague Update

OK, "Vanilla" just had one too many syllables for a puppy's's too linguistically complicated to shout, "Goddammit Vanilla!" every time she squats in a corner. So we changed it to, "Jingle."


It's an exciting day here in Divaland. "But Trace, we know you. It's rarely exciting there and especially on Mondays because we know it's laundry day, and you spend 8 am until midnight washing, drying, folding and putting away so you don't have to do it again for the week." Ordinarily, you'd be right, but today in between loads, I have a conference call. It's not too often I get to use those two words in a sentence next to eachother like that anyway, but it just so happens that this call is with a certain network that is affiliated with a huge media mogul that can catapult literary careers into the stratosphere...

I'm just sayin'.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Well, the puppy finally has a name. It is "Vanilla," which is Latin for "shitbox."

I have never seen a creature defecate so much and often. I just walk behind her with a roll of paper towel and bleach. Cricket, the 14 year old black lab, is laughing at me. She's giggling dog giggles and shaking her head in reproach. "See? No good can come of this. I told you, you stupid, stupid human."

I agree.

This morning was a little prayer service at school. Matty played Jesus, and I was not the only one who wondered at the logic behind choosing the first grade class clown as the Messiah. Tonight is the big Christmas pageant, followed by a dumping of the yuletide scrubbed kids with the babysitter, and the rest of the evening spent at the company Christmas party at the beach. In the next couple of hours, I am going to attempt to paint my toenails red for the occasion.

It's going to take me that long to reach them.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Something I've always wanted to say, but never believed I'd actually have the opportunity:

...Suburban Diva is very popular in Europe right now.

(Don't ask me to explain how or why the above statement is true, because honestly, it baffles me into a speechless stupor, and please don't ask me to quantify 'very' either, because it is probably just one French guy in his Mom's basement that has an American housewife fetish, but I just like to imagine repeating that sentence over a steaming cup of black coffee that has just been poured from a samovar at a bistro table on a sidewalk with a poodle at my high-heeled feet.)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Because we are insane...

...we added this little furry branch to the family tree...

We "saved" her from some unspeakable other loving family torture, I'm sure. It was getting too quiet around here...

Thank you all for coming yesterday and supporting the boy's home once again this year. It was a great party for a great cause, and we really appreciate everything you do for these special boys.

I have to go collapse now.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Cookie Embargo

You all know me cyberly-well enough by now to know that I really do love Christmas. The whole crazy, sparkling, nostalgic, frantic package tied up with tinsel. But if I had to choose--say an anti-Santa was holding a --2 elements of the season that can send me over the edge of sanity, I would choose the Christmas picture and baking cookies as my least favorite yuletide tasks.

I don't know why Amy hates to be photographed, but she does. SHe can be a Lladro statue of beauty one minute, and the minute she hears the chime of the digital camera turn on, she's suing the tabloid papparazzi and pulling a pair of Jackie O. sunglasses from her diaper. Her ten word vocabulary includes, "no comment." But every night I subject us all to getting a photo for the Christmas card. And every night I get 10 blurred curl shots or pictures of the boys being perfect and Amy's leg as she runs out of the frame. I don't know why, but this is something stuck in my maternal craw as the definition of a good or horrendous mother, of which I need no more evidence of the latter.

So I'm giving up baking. Oh, I'll cook. I'll roast. I'll flambe and I'll broil. I'll saute, pan-sear, grill and braise. But if it involves the oven and a can of Crisco, I'm not doing it.

Happy weekend everyone, it's going to be a busy one around here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Doling out gifts

You know how I usually relish my Tuesday Night Out, but lately since I have the stamina of Bob Dole in the 80's, it's not as satisfying as it once was. But Lord help me, I needed last night so badly--sort of like Elizabeth Dole needed prescription insurance in the 90's.

I shopped, (really, I am almost done) and even managed to pick up a little something for myself. A beautiful Christmas CD from Sarah McLachlan, Wintersong. Might I suggest, "Song for a Winter's Night," if you feel like weeping copiously in the Publix parking lot?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

And the list goes on

Well, it's a few days of solo Christmas cheer as Sean is away for baseball meetings or some such thing. So we made him pick out the tree at 9:00 last night and set it up by midnight so as not to fall behind on yuletide preparations. Amy is helping by adding new words like "Rudolph," and "Mickey," the toddler ambassadors of Jesus' birth. Matty is on that Advent calendar like Father Time, while Stevie is adding entry after entry to the social calendar quite generously. If I could get one blessed photo of all 3 of them doing any of these activities, I would be on track.