Don’t mess with my kid when she’s on a creative bend.

It’s business in the front.

And party in the back.


We love Olivia in our house. Buttercup may have been introduced to her on the cartoon but that’s alright. The book is a favorite…mainly because I’m pretty sure that she sees a kindred spirit in the precocious little pig. Because lemme tell ya…I can sure as heck (it’s Saturday and children are present so I have to behave) relate to her mother.


If I hadn’t put it out there in tweets and blog posts, I may have just adding one more day and one more chocolate chip cookie to my deadline.

But I did. So I didn’t.

I have no qualms about admitting that I did enjoy a few too many soft-baked cookies on the way home from my 11 p.m. grocery store trek last night so The Husband couldn’t give me shit when I got home with my clean eating supplies. I’m nothing if not honest, right?

I had bags upon bags upon bags when I walked into the house. Fresh vegetables, fruits, organic and clean pre-made soups, fish fillets and…

“What the hell is that and is it going to eat me?” The Husband was suspiciously eyeing the green onion bunch on miracle grow I had plopped onto the counter for my Paradise Bean Burgers. “Remember the green onions I bought last time thinking they were leeks?”

“I was wrong. These are leeks.”

(Which, of course, reminded me of this little Baby F(Ph)at excerpt. Oh far far I’ve come. )


I check my list again and look at my watch. It’s almost dinner time and I’m nowhere near done. And this, folks, is where it pays to be an over-obsessive compulsive freak of a mom who packs a diaper bag with the works each and every time I leave the house.

“Leeks, M’ijita.” I say, handing her a water bottle and a snack cup filled with all-natural apple chips. We’ve been at the grocery store for 45 minutes and haven’t even gotten out of the produce department yet. I’ve been aware of the fact that staying on the perimeter is the healthiest way to shop for awhile, but never followed an eating plan that actually had me following through. And because this clean eating thing is still pretty new to me, I’m nowhere near confident in my navigation abilities in once familiar territory.
Food isn’t good and bad anymore. It’s clean or not. And “not” means I’m not eating it if it can be helped. Like that venti, iced, unsweetened passion tea from Starbucks a few weeks ago? Totally acceptable. The little pastry I tried scarfing down before The Husband returned from getting us a cart at Target? I threw it away when he pointed out that it was probably as clean as the bottom of my shoe.

“What’s a leek, Mama?” Buttercup asks in between bites. “Do you know?”

“No, baby. Mama is clueless.”

This, of course, is when Buttercup spots the woman who handed her the parsnip. Before I can say a word, Buttercup gets her attention, tells her that Mama is clueless, and returns with a bunch of leeks as the woman walks away laughing.

Turns out leeks is the fancy word for green onions. Awesome. I feel so Fancy Nancy right now.

Update: Turns out green onions are actually scallions and I never got leeks in my Paradise Bean Burger. Whereas I once believed the kind woman walked away laughing because she thought Buttercup was so totally cute, I now realize it’s because she totally played me because I can’t tell a leek from a scallion. And yes, I learned this while bragging about my awesome Fancy Nancy line on twitter. Thank you to @lainasparetime for setting me straight. Pardon me while I go make vegetable flash cards to study before my next visit to the produce department.

** This post originally appeared on Bookieboo!


We bought my sister Pati a refurbished iPod for her 20th birthday last August. And because she uses my Amazon account just because it’s easier and that whole she lives with me thing, I recently began to wonder if she had replaced the now trashed iPod with a new touch model.

To be clear, I wondered for about a half second while in the process of placing my order for my Nook decal sticker thingy that BFF Mel and I spent hours on Skype discussing. I saw the iPod touch accessory in my cart, raised an eyebrow, and saved it for later while finishing up my current order, all in the same breath. And by the time I took the next one, I had already forgotten to ask Pati when she was going to tell me she had decided to spoil herself for her birthday.

“Pati got herself an iPod touch,” The Husband told me today. We were (are) in After Vacation Hell with the unpacking and the cleaning and the signing for the five boxes I had to ship myself from Detroit after barely making it to Detroit from New York at one half pound under the suitcase limit because I had given most of what I scored at BlogHer to the hotel staff before hopping in a car to LaGuardia. Turns out adding a three-year-old, a husband, and my obsessive-compulsive need to over prepare for an airplane apocalypse meant there was no way on God’s green earth that my luck was going to stretch for the last leg of the trip.  So I got to unpacking these boxes while The Husband took Buttercup to the bathroom for a potty break. I tried to ignore the fact that I probably paid more for the shipping than the swag was actually worth.

“Oh yeah!” I said, remembering the mystery item in my Amazon cart. “I was going to ask who was using my account to order accessories.”

“She had good reason,” he said as he walked out of the bathroom, leaving Buttercup to do her thing on her little Dora potty seat. “I checked hers out and it just stopped working. You should mess with her when she gets home, though. She got Buttercup a night light because she killed her fish while we were away and she eases her guilty conscious with a fucking iPod?”

I snorted while sifting through boxes and decided to take a peek and see if Buttercup was done. “Yeah, exactly. You’d think it would have been the other way arou…”

I cut myself off as I ran for my phone (because unlike the rest of blogdom, I do not possess a real camera or the skills to operate one) and ran back to take a photo before the moment passed me by.

“What were you saying?” The Husband looked up from the couch as I shushed him only to be given away by the tell-tale camera click.

“Mama?” Buttercup heard it, too.

“Shit, shit, shit…” What if I hadn’t moved fast enough to…never mind. I got it.

And The Husband couldn’t stop laughing when I showed him this photo of our little princess holding court on her throne.

“You posting that on Facebook?” He asked when he could talk.

“Already done.”


This is CJ Redwine’s ultrasound.

It’s a girl. And she’s waiting to be brought home from an orphanage in China.

This is important because CJ and her daughter need our help. Here’s her story:

We had three biological boys in four years, and then I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I had a hysterectomy and while I mourned the fact that I couldn’t have any more biological children, I was certain our family wasn’t finished. My husband wasn’t so sure. :) I’d talked about adopting and I always saw us with a little girl from China. He came up with a ton of reasons why now wasn’t the right time to adopt. Then, on Mother’s Day of 2005, he leaned over to me in church and said, “We have a daughter in China. We need to start the adoption proceedings to bring her home.” I adjusted to this unexpected news (we hadn’t discussed adoption for months) in about 15 seconds. :)

The next day, we began researching adoption and we picked out her name: Johanna Faith. Johanna means God’s Gracious Gift and Faith is what it is taking to bring her home. We signed up with Chinese Children Adoption International agency based out of Colorado. We completed our stateside paperwork and homestudy within a few months, sent off our dossier to China with the understanding that it would be a 6-8 month wait, and eagerly planned to bring our daughter home.

Soon, though, we began to hear rumors that the wait time was extending. Then we heard that the government had cracked down on orphanages who were receiving money from the state but who weren’t keeping all of their beds full and the wait slowed to a crawl. Our dreams of having her home for Christmas were dashed. And then our dreams for having her home in time for summer were dashed as well. Before we knew it, another Christmas had passed and we were still waiting. Meanwhile, the Olympics were coming to Beijing, and the word was most adoption processes would stop altogether.

As the wait stretched from 8 months to three years, I struggled with depression. I could hardly bear Christmas, because she wasn’t yet there. I shut the door of her bedroom and left it closed because I couldn’t bear to walk past it in the hall. It hurt to think about having a child out there whom I couldn’t protect. Couldn’t love. Couldn’t save. Three years became four with no real change. Our homestudy expired. Our immigration petition expired. Three times. Our fingerprints expired. Four times. And China raised the orphanage and court fees by thousands while we waited. Suddenly, the cushion of money we’d raised at the start of this process was almost gone, and China was picking up speed in their child match program.

In September, it will be five years since we officially started our adoption process to bring Johanna home. We expect to receive her picture, information, and permission to travel sometime by the middle of September.

I opened her bedroom door for the first time in 3 1/2 years.

And went a little crazy ordering cute little hand-made hats and headbands on Etsy because I still don’t know her size so can’t buy her any clothes.

We’re so excited to be able to travel soon to bring her home! But we still need to raise $8,000 to ransom her life from the orphanage. And that’s where you come in!

The thought behind Skip A Starbucks Day is that if every person who reads this and feels a tug on their heart to be part of Johanna’s journey home would give up a personal indulgence (like a cup of coffee) and donate that money toward our adoption instead, we could raise the money needed to bring her home to her forever family.

CJ and many of her supporting bloggy friends are hosting a variety of giveaways that anyone who donates will be eligible for. Donatoions will  be accepted through Wednesday, August 25. Unfortunately, I only have this blog post, my own personal donation, and high hopes that the kindness of strangers will be enough to help CJ and her family bring the daughter they have never known into their lives. Wanna skip that Starbucks, still get some coffee, and help the Redwines all in one shot? Check this link out and call it a triple play.

Click here to see CJ’s blog for information on how and where to donate to her adoption fund.

Please understand how much this actually means to me. I’m self-centered (unless I’m sleeping), my blog is my personal playground (rarely open to outside opinion or interference), and I’m not getting anything out of this (which takes us back to the self-centered unless I’m sleeping thing). A mother is waiting for her baby. And if you can deny yourself one little indulgence today, perhaps you can help bring that baby home.

So…whaddya say?

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