Monday, October 8, 2012

Up Where We Belong

My 30th birthday involved a lot of excitement: a trip across the country, lots of wine, amazing meals and lifetime memories. And because The Fourth likes to, as he says, "take things to the next level," he booked us FIRST CLASS plane tickets.

Now, maybe you're all swanky and this is nothing special. But I'm used to being smushed next to a random stranger who brought an egg sandwich on the 5:30am flight and I can literally hear my stomach flipping over.

But FIRST CLASS is nothing like the dregs of coach. It was glorious walking past all the peons when they called us to board the plane before everyone else. Usually I'm still standing there when they call "Okay, now we'll board Zones 5, 6 and the rest of you who won't have any room for your carry-on bags."

The flight attendant even stopped the line of people boarding so she could bring me some coffee. Those poor schmucks in Zone 8.

And the room to stretch! I'm not very tall. In fact, I'm not tall at all. But there was an obscene amount of room, especially since we were on the bulkhead. Obviously, I had to take a fuzzy picture with our iPad to prove this point:

The Fourth, of course, copied me. His picture is less fuzzy.

And do you know how much food you get in FIRST CLASS? I am one part impressed and 1 part embarrassed at how much I had. I was a little hesitant at first, not wanting to impose. But then I realized that you only turn 30 once, so what the heck.

I had:
4 cups of water {in a real glass, mind you}
2 cups of coffee {yep, in a real ceramic mug}
2 Bloody Marys {I asked for a mimosa, but they said they had no champagne. Geez, air travel really has declined.)
Cinnamon pecan french toast
2 links of turkey sausage
Cooked apples
Buttermilk biscuit with butter and jam
Bowl of fresh fruit
Snack mix {With Sesame sticks! Much better than pretzels}

The Fourth's enormous glass of wine. Cause that's how they do in FIRST CLASS.

Unfortunately, our tickets were not FIRST CLASS on the way home. Can I explain my misery? I felt dirty. I felt cramped. I felt very hungry. I asked the flight attendant for the good snack mix with sesame sticks and she acted like she didn't know what I was talking about. I mumbled some not very nice words, but I realize it was just because I was hungry.

Unfortunately, The Fourth has created a monster and I officially declared that I will never {ever} travel coach again. It might be the most dangerous thing to happen to our bank account.

Eating and Drinking,
Mary Douglass

Friday, September 7, 2012

Cloth Diapering: My Attempt at Being a Hippie

Mimi in her bikini with a cloth diaper bulging underneath. That suit didn't last the whole summer before she completely outgrew it.

I don't recycle. I use an excess amount of paper towels. I leave lights on in the house to make it "bright and cheery." And I've been known to have the AC and gas logs on at the same time {I like a cozy fireplace in the wintertime...even if it's 70 degrees outside!}

But for some reason, my inner hippie came out after I had a baby and I started buying organic and using cloth diapers.

Not many people in Columbia understand cloth diapers. They usually think I have a cute diaper cover on Mimi and that her bulging diaper must be full of something unsavory. But the diapers we use are just bulky and I made sure to pick up some fun colors and prints for the sweet girl's heiney.

People imagine that I'm using white rectangles origami-folded between her legs with a giant diaper pin holding it all together. Not exactly - cloth diapers these days have fancy-schmancy snaps and velcro to hold them together and come in pretty cute patterns and colors. I obviously like to match her diaper to her outfits.

So it's understandable why so many people ask me why I chose to use cloth diapers. I just don't have a very good reason...

Part of it is because I'm cheap. We started using cloth when Mimi was about 7 weeks old {I was not about to go through 12-14 cloth diapers a day on that little newborn who exploded after every feeding}. And we got several diapers as gifts at baby showers. So all in all, we've spent about $50 on diapers, detergent, washing, etc since she was born. {It should be noted that we have probably spent $200 on wipes because both me and The Fourth use an excess of wipes during each changing. The irony is overwhelming.}

Another part of it is because I love hanging the diapers in the sunshine to dry and bleach out and then how she smells so fresh and outside-y.

Notice that my reasons don't include saving the environment {although diapers sit in landfills for a really long time, which is pretty creepy} or saving my baby's bottom from the mutant chemicals in disposable diapers. So I'm really lacking that long wavy hair, long wavy skirt, earth-loving mama vibe.

Gave up on the bikinis and just stuck with the diaper on the beach.
Of course, everyone asks me about the poop. Yes, I wash the poop, but it's really not a big deal {Promise!}. After I had a baby, I discovered that a day didn't go by that I didn't get poop, pee, spit-up, drool and/or snot on me. So for me to throw the poop in the toilet and then wash in the machine hasn't been an issue {for me at least. The Fourth isn't usually first in line to do diaper laundry}.

The worst part of it all? The clothes. There are really cute bubbles, rompers and short sets that just don't fit because Mimi's bottom is way too big. So, I tend to stick to dresses {Smocked. Obviously.} to cover her junk-in-her-tiny-trunk. Small price to pay if you ask me.

If you have questions about taking the leap from disposable to cloth, feel free to contact me! Just don't Google it because you will become instantly overwhelmed by the crazy mothers who sew their own diapers and hand wash them in a creek. Look, I want to save money and the environment {kinda}, but I'm not grabbing the washboard anytime soon.

Eating and Drinking,

Mary Douglass

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I'm a genius.

Perhaps "genius" is too strong of a term {I doubt it}, but I am constantly telling The Fourth, "I came up with that first!" every time I see some new sensation. Of course, I have no proof and so I'm not receiving any royalties {yet}. I'm still trying to work that part out.

 Don't believe me?  Here's just a small sampling of some of my greatest ideas:

June 2000, working in the hospital - After seeing those tiny laptops that nurses use, I told my coworkers that I wished I had a small computer that I could easily tote around and had the screen and keyboard all together. That way I could check my email, play Solitaire, and type out my to-do lists on my big electronic "tablet." INVENTION: iPad

Fall of 1998 - Wore my bathrobe backwards in the house because Big Daddy had the air conditioner set on "Artic."  INVENTION: The Snuggie
From As Seen on TV.  But I totally came up with this.

Spring of 2001 - Thought that it would be a great idea to have everyone in college scan in their yearbooks so we could see what people from high school look like now.  INVENTION: Facebook {now I know how those Winklevoss twins feel.}

Sometime in 1992 - I recorded Casey Kasem's Top 40 Countdown to listen to whenever I wanted.  INVENTION: iTunes

1998 - Wished for a razor that had the shaving cream built in around the blade. INVENTION: Schick Intuition Women's Razor.
Sure, I don't know how they get the cream to stick around the razor. But otherwise, I invented this, too.

2005 - Printed out images of websites I liked and put in a notebook for quick reference to find my favorite recipes, home decoration ideas and great ideas. INVENTION: Pinterest

After seeing how much money can be made from a simple idea, I think I need to get to work on developing the rest of my ideas!  Sure, there's a big leap from the idea in my head to the actual product on an infomercial, but come on...The Snuggie really does look like a backwards bathrobe.  Surely I can come up with something like that.

Eating and Drinking,

Mary Douglass

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Own Mini MD

Sometimes I just look at Mimi and think, "Oh, that is absolutely my daughter." Whether it be the way she smiles at The Fourth, or stuffs grits in her face, I think I'm just looking at my own Mini MD.
Some of the more obvious similarities:

She is very loud.
She cries when she's hungry or tired.
She waves. To anyone and everyone. And sometimes inanimate objects.
She is stubborn.
She laughs at her own jokes.
She loves the beach!

 She hangs out topless on the beach. {Just kidding; that's just Mimi!}

She takes at least 15 minutes to properly wake up.
She is bossy.
She says, "Mmmmmm" while eating.
She talks to herself.
She talks while other people are talk.
She talks in her sleep.
She prefers a Blackberry over an iPhone.

She sneezes in threes.
She is always interested in what you're eating. And if you'd like to share.
She prefers a good book to "Wheel of Fortune."

She loves grits.
She finds grits in her hair every time she eats them.

Her belly sticks out after a great meal.
She throws a fit if everyone in the room isn't giving her proper attention.

And those are just the most obvious ones. {Although I think The Fourth could probably come up with some that would embarrass me or Mimi! We'll just ignore those.}

Eating and Drinking,

Mary Douglass

Saturday, August 25, 2012


So I've been away from my blog for several months. And would you like to guess what I've been doing this whole time?

I've been at war. With flies.

 Does "war" seem too harsh of a term to use? Not if you ask the hundreds of flies who have died by my hand in the past several weeks. I don't know if this is true at your house, but the drosopholia melanogaster (aka "Common Fruit Fly") have completely invaded my house and workplace with a vengeance. They have gathered by the multitudes and all seem to have one common mission -- to fly up my nostril.
Drosophilia melanogaster.  My sworn enemy.  Image from Wikipedia.
That picture of the fly is really gross. Here's a picture of my super cute baby to get that one out of your mind:

Okay then.
I have several weapons in my arsenal for my attack.

My primary attack is my vicious swat attack. I have gotten surprisingly good at this. I can swat them on the table and even midair. But this results in a dead smashed bug on my hands {literally}, so I don't relish this.

Then I started using any paper I can find nearby to help in my swatting. Now my student loan companies have dead smashed bugs on my payments. And I don't even feel a little bad about that.

And then I got the suggestion to put leftover wine in a cup with Cling Wrap on top with a few holes poked in top. The end result is to trap the flies inside. There is no leftover wine in our household, so I just used an apple core. And the flies sure enough got trapped in there! Unfortunately, no one told me what to do once the flies were trapped. I made a huge mistake and opened the Cling Wrap and had a "My Girl" swarming situation. I think I pulled dead flies out of my hair for 3 days. On my second try, I decided to drown them with Clorox Clean-Up and that seemed to work. Well, it killed the flies. But ruined my cup.

But despite my best attacks, I'm still losing this battle. The flies nosedive right into my face and I've hit my husband, child and dog all trying to kill one last fly. And I can only imagine how many flies I've swallowed in my sleep.

So I'll keep fighting them until they all die. Or I just give up {which will happen sooner than later, most likely}.

Eating and Drinking,

Mary Douglass

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Completely Obscure Obsessions

For some reason, I've already got several completely random, totally obscure things that I seem to be obsessed with this summer. I find myself gravitating to them over and over again. I wish I could say that "exercising on the EFX" was one of them, but it's just not. 

In no particular order:  

Radishes.  Courtesy of wikipedia.

On a whim a couple weeks ago, I snatched up a bag of these red roots at the produce department and have been devouring them since. Really, the only thing I know to do with them is to slice them up on my salad, but I am eating them by the handful on my almost daily salad (still on that diet....). They have no taste, so I'm not sure what my recent fascination with them is all about. The only thing I can guess is that they have some crucial vitamin I am severely lacking and my body is trying to supplement it.  (That sounds scientific, doesn't it?)  Even the cashier at the grocery store wasn't sure how to ring them up.  I guess I may be the only person in Columbia buying them.

Seersucker shorts
Mother's Day at the Beach.

Another on-a-whim-purchase I picked up that has now become my summer uniform. These shorts are perfect. Not too short -- I am frighteningly close to 30. Not too long -- Bermuda shorts on my frame make me look utterly ridiculous.  Sort of like an Oompa Loompa. They have retained their shape after several hundred washings since the baby seems to have atomic spit up every single time I wear them.  And I have worn them with every color shirt, tank top, and button down in my wardrobe.  Love them, simply love them.

Hardcore Pawn

Remember when I was all uppity that we didn't have cable?  Well, we got it and my brain is quickly turning to mush.  The most ridiculous thing I watch?  Hardcore Pawn on truTV.  A reality show about a pawn shop in Detroit is not really something I could imagine myself becoming obsessed with...But I am. Is it Les' tight curls that draw me in?  Or Seth's inability to run the pawn shop on his own?   I'm not really sure, but it is scheduled on my DVR and I haven't read a book in a month.  I just don't think that is a coincidence. 

Fancy Moroccan Oil

In an effort to take care of my new hair and appear reasonably respectable, I followed my hairdresser's advice and picked up some Moroccan Oil.  Because my hair can't seem to decide if it wants to be curly or straight, it usually remains in a state of total frizz.  Hair serum is a must.  If I forget it in the morning, my hair will be a frizzy halo around my head by the afternoon.  But I tend to be a little heavy-handed with it and can go from shiny to greasy very quickly.  This oil, though, is super light and doesn't seem to get all Crisco-y in my hair.  No matter how many globs I put in.  Maybe I could pass on this advice to Les of Detroit's biggest pawnshop.

Maurice Sendak DVD

I found this DVD at TJ Maxx when I was pregnant and snatched up it because I clearly remembered it from my childhood! (Well, it was just a VHS then.  And we had to wait to rewind it to rewatch it.  I can't believe Mimi will never understand "Rewind.")  Not only does it have "Where The Wild Things Are," but it has my favorite Maurice Sendak book "Pierre."  That silly Pierre didn't even care when he got eaten by a lion!  Watching this DVD with Mimi instantly takes me back to watching (and rewinding and rewatching) the VHS with my cousin Vicki in the summers.  Even right now I have the song "One was Johnny!" in my head.  Although, I had sort of forgotten how weird Maurice Sendak's books are.  Baking a child in a cake?  Leaving a child home alone?  Choreographed dancing alligators?  All very trippy, if you ask me.

Eating and Drinking,

Mary Douglass