Halloween Eve

I left work early yesterday with one of those headaches that have you fighting tears, which makes the headache that much worse. It was awesome. I went home and popped about 2400 mg of ibuprofen (what?) and buried my head under my covers waiting for it to kick in. About 45 minutes later I felt well enough to move and by the time the kids needed retrieving, I felt normal again.

ALL HAIL IBUPROFEN!

I had a million things I needed to do last night, so I sat NikkiZ down at the table with her present from Scout that she hadn’t opened yet. She was very neat and orderly with how she unpackaged the Potato. (That’s what we call Play Doh in our house.) Which impressed me as she was so freakin’ excited to open the box. Seeing her be orderly about her exploration of the toy and play-doh? Shocked me. She didn’t get that patience from me, that’s for sure.

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While she was so brilliantly distracted I decorated the outside of our house for Halloween. I mention every year that we get HUNDREDS of kids on our street for Halloween. There’s a few haunted houses in our neighborhood as well as several Awesomely Decorated houses that attract families from all over town. This is the only place I’ve lived my entire life that does Halloween right and we love it. So, it was very important that I at least get our simple lights up and our pumpkins out so I could join the cook kids.

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After I got that done, NikkiZ was still distracted so I took the chance to sew up the edges of the leghole I cut in AndyZ’s costume. The cotton filling was falling out so I knew I would need to patch up the area I cut before Halloween. I spent about 15 minutes mending that and checked on NikkiZ again. STILL DISTRACTED. I was able to cook dinner and do some laundry before she finally decided she had played with enough Potato for the night. Long story short? Diego Potato Set? BEST GIFT EVER.

After dinner we went to buy our candy supply for tonight. We wait until the last minute because we know we’d eat it all before Halloween if we didn’t. We bought 500+ pieces of candy and I assure you – we’ll use it all. We have yet to actually make it through an entire Halloween night without having to turn off the lights and shut the door because we’ve run out of candy. We try every year, but never succeed. Since it’s a Friday this year and the kids probably aren’t as concerned with staying out late? We have accepted that there’s not a chance we’ll make it all night. But we will stay out until the last piece is handed out.

And then we’ll lock ourselves inside the house and eat all of the candy the kids got trick-or-treating. It’s one of the many joys of parenting. Raiding your kid’s trick-or-treat bags while they sleep.

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Don’t Forget!

Or – Don’t Let ME Forget!

NaBloPoMo starts SATURDAY. That is a crappy day to start National Blog Posting Month, but I heard that Eden’s efforts to change the calendar this year to move November 1st to Monday didn’t work.

(Just kidding! No one tried to change the calendar! I promise!)

If you’re going to participate, set up an account at the above link. I think there are some issues going one with friend-ing and such, but if you want – here’s my profile. I would love to be your NaBloPoMo friend! You don’t have to set up an account to participate, of course. All you have to do is vow to write a blog entry every day in November. EVERY DAY. Last year I upped the challenge to myself by writing 100 entries in November. And I did it. But I will not be pledging that again. I’m not that KRAZEE.

I think I am going to challenge myself to comment more. I’m not sure how I’m going to do it yet, but I’m going to figure out some way that both motivates me to comment on YOUR site while also motivates YOU to comment on MINE. Because I’m a selfish comment whore, of course. I’m also trying to think of some way we can help each other come up with topics every day – I’m open to suggestions if you have any. This is a group effort, I believe. We can’t do it alone.

(Someone is making this awfully dramatic…)

So – are you going to play?

Double Chins Never Looked This Good
AndyZ and his Extra (Cute) Chins Say You SHOULD
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Burrito Casserole

Today is the day! I can finally announce my recipe and you all can go and vote for my recipe: Burrito Casserole. I’m so terribly nervous about this because let me remind you: I have NEVER EVER EVER done ANYTHING like this before. Now, they posted my recipe on the site but I wanted to put it here to, in order to properly document this milestone in my life. I’ve also uploaded the receipt to prove that my ingredients cost less than $20. I put a few pictures throughout of the process but I’m not food photographer so I don’t know how effective they are.

Okay – self-deprecating portion of this entry is NOW DONE. Now, Go Vote! I’ll be harrassing you every day to vote for me since you can do it daily. Voting ends November 23rd, so be patient with me until then. I don’t even mind if you don’t vote for me! Here are the other competitors in case you forgot:
Confessions of An Apron Queen
Livin’ With Me!
Suburban Bliss
My Wooden Spoon

These other woman have amazingly yummy recipes too, so I have a tough competition. And by “tough” I mean – *drooooool*. If you see something you like more, vote for that one. Honestly? I totally voted for this one today because it looks SO DAMN GOOD. Just make sure you vote.

(Hee. I’m totally going to copy and paste that portion of the entry and change the names for November 2nd.)

Without Further Ado – Burrito Casserole

INGREDIENTS:

2 Cans of refried beans
1 5.4oz Bag of Taco/Mexican Style Rice
1 Can of Black Olives
1 Medium tomato diced
1 12 oz Bag of Vegetarian Ground Beef
(Or replace with 1lb of Ground Beef)
8oz Velveeta Mexican Cheese
8 10in Tortilla Shells
1 16oz jar of salsa

Preheat oven to 350.

Dice tomato and black olives and set aside. Cut Velveeta into small cubes and set aside.

Cook the bag of rice according to the instructions. While cooking, heat both cans of refried beans in a pot. Pour about one spoon full of the salsa into the beans to make them a little bit more fluid. Heat the vegetarian ground beef substitute in a frying pan. Pour the taco seasoning in while heating.

After the rice is cook but still warm, and the beans and vegetarian ground beef are also warm, you can start layering.

First, lay 2 tortilla shells along the bottom of your large casserole dish. Then scoop half of the beans onto those shells. Then sprinkle about half of your diced tomatoes and about 1/3rd of your black olives on top of the beans. Spread about half of your vegetarian ground beef and then half of your rice to finish off the layer.

Place 3 tortilla shells and then do the entire layer again: Beans, tomatoes, black olives (another 1/3rd), vegetarian ground beef and rice. Put one final layer of three shells on the top.

Now spread out your cubes of cheese on the top of the tortilla shells. Sprinkle the last bit of black olives over the top as well.

Place casserole in oven and cook for 30 minutes. At 30 minutes, take the casserole dish out of the oven and pour some salsa (to taste) on the top of the now-melted cheese. Put the dish back in the oven for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, take the dish out and serve!

Now – Go vote for my recipe. (If you like it!) And I also have 25+ FREE! Velveeta Coupons to give away if you want to try a recipe, shoot me an email (misszoot@gmail.com) with your address and I’ll drop yours in the mail this weekend! Who can say No to free Velveeta? Sorry! They’ve all been claimed! I hope you’ll still vote!

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Point Taken, AndyZ.

We went all last weekend without a pacifier for AndyZ. I never went out and bought one because I didn’t realize how attached he was to it. I thought he’d just find his thumb (like he does at school) or just not even care to not have it.

WAS I WRONG!

He spent the whole weekend miserable. The fact that I didn’t go buy new pacifiers until late Sunday is something I’m not sure I can even explain in a way that doesn’t say, “Kim’s a MORON.” But I didn’t. And we suffered so. I’m not sure if he’s just teething and wanting it more than usual, or if we underestimated his addiction to it. Either way? He spent the weekend really wishing he had something to suck on.

I went to take a bath late Saturday and I put him in his bassinet. I wheeled the bassinet towards the bathroom so I could see him from the tub. This is the position he put himself in and stayed that way during my ENTIRE BATH. He just sucked and sucked on the edge of that bassinet like it was providing him with mandatory nourishment.

Teething

Let’s just say that when I finally went out to buy more pacifiers? I bought several. And I now have them stashed in various places around the house. I’ve learned my lesson.

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Just This Once…

I know I said I wouldn’t talk politics anywhere but my sidebar, but I just had to share something very interesting with you all. Please be tolerant of this as it is only a small bit of what all I’ve wanted to write about on this site. I’m not confident in my skills as a political writer so I’ve stuck to what I know best: Poop and Boob sweat. But as it gets closer (SIX DAYS) I found myself looking at the various news organizations’ predictions. I found something interesting.

Let me preface by telling you this: I avoid all televised news. It all irritates the hell out of me during an election year. I like to shelter myself beneath the Progressive/Lefty voices on my iPod (Thank You Air America) and in my Google Reader. But – I found the various electoral map predictions FASCINATING.

Below you’ll see today’s map from each of the big networks and one of the more generically popular political sites. (I didn’t include ABC’s map because they didn’t have totals, but you can see their map here.) The images go to the pages I got the maps from – so feel free to click on the maps to jump to the original sites and see the analysis that let that organization to depict the map how they did. You can get more detailed information that way for a better understanding of each prediction.

What I found the most fascinating is how INCREDIBLY DIFFERENT Fox News’ map is. I mean – we all hear and joke about how conservative their reporting is, and many discuss the liberal leanings of the rest of the media, but here you can see it written out in black and white red and blue. I ordered them from the most favorable to Obama to the least. It is hard to believe that these networks all get their data and information from the same place.


Politico.com which factored in ALL electoral votes

MSNBC

CNN

CBS

FOX News

What I found fascinating was first – the difference in the totals between the extreme networks (not including Politico.com b/c they factored in ALL electoral votes). There was a 100 vote difference between MSNBC and FOX. That’s quite a difference of opinion. The other interesting things? The “swing” states on the various maps. Notice that Oregon is an Obama state on every map but the one at Fox. I find that incredibly interesting.

In reality what this does? Is give me – a blue dot in a red state – something to freak out about at night. What if FOX news knows something the rest of them don’t? I can’t rest on my laurels! (And really? Am I 80 now? My laurels? Why am I talking like that?) I just thought putting the maps together was fascinating and I’m putting it here in the hopes that you will as well.

OR – I’ll just realize how big of a political dork I’ve become and I’ll get back to talking about Poop.

(I’m adding a link to this site thanks to Michelle’s reminder because it seems to be the best at logical prediction models according to most of the top pundits. That’s where you’ll go if you want really informed and mathematically substantive predictions.)

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