Puppy Conversations | Mom Has a Headache and Puppy Tries to Help

Dear Kid,

A few days ago…

MOM HAS A HEADACHE!!! SHHHH!!! DearKidLoveMom.comPuppy: Mommy?
Me: shhh
Puppy: pssst. Mom?
Me: I have a headache, honey
Puppy: You’re lying on the floor
Me: My head hurts, sweetie. I just need some quiet right now.
Puppy: I can take care of you
Me: That’s very sweet
Puppy: Would you like to snuggle?
Me: That would be nice.
Puppy: OK…(sigh)
Puppy: Mom, I hear something
Me: shhh
Puppy: Really, I hear something
Me: Honey, hush
Puppy: I’ll check it out
Me: Please do it quietly
Puppy: It’s Tal! It’s Tal!
Tal: Hi, Booker
Puppy: Tal! TAL! TAL! I’ll get my new toy! (Squeak)
Me: arrrrrggggh
Puppy: EVERYONE BE QUIET!!! MOMMY HAS A HEADACHE!!!! QUIET! QUIET! QUIET!!
Me: errrrr…
Puppy: Wait!!! I hear something!!! Pi is home!!!
Pi: Hellloooooo
Puppy: SOMEONE IS HERE SOMEONE IS HERE SOMEONE IS HERE
Pi: Stop barking, it’s just me
Puppy: YOU’RE HOME YOU’RE HOME!!
Tal: Silly Booker
Me: mmmffff
Pi: Why are you barking?
Puppy: MOM HAS A HEADACHE!!! EVERYONE BE QUIET!!!
Pi: Then why is Dad crashing dishes in the kitchen
Dad: I’m not crashing dishes. I’m cleaning up
Puppy: And I’m helping Mommy
Me: I could use less help
Puppy: I LOVE YOU I LOVE I LOVE YOU
Me: Come over here and snuggle me. Quietly.
Puppy: I love you
Me: I know
Puppy: Do you feel better?
Me: I will. In just a little while
Puppy: I can take care of you
Me: Just do it quietly, ok?
Puppy: What do you mean? I’m Always quiet. Silly mommy.

Feeling much better today.

Love, Mom

 

Love, Mom

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Babbling Day! Three Cheers for Unexpected Holidays

Dear Kid,

Today may just turn out to be my favorite day ever. (Or at least in the top 100.) It’s – wait for it – Babbling Day. As in The Official Day to Talk and Not Worry About Content or Lack Thereof.

Happy Babbling Day! DearKidLoveMom.comHow wonderful is that!

And I learned a new word: Blatherskite. A “blatherskite” is a person who babbles. Synonym: Mom (beat you to it).

Babies babble. Brooks babble. With babies and brooks, babbling is something to enjoy. Not so much with people. (Well, some of us are more enjoyable than others.)

Apparently, in the telecom industry babbling means a confused mixture of extraneous sounds in a circuit. When you hear people talking that aren’t supposed to be part of your conversation.

Most of us enjoy our own babbling more than the babbling of others (except babies and brooks). It is Most Unfortunate when professors babble because they are paid to be lucid and somewhat on point. Professors almost always enjoy their own babbling more than those forced to listen.

You would expect a blog on babbling to go on forever.

This one stops here. (Just to be unexpected.)

Feel free to call me and babble today. Or any day.

Love, Mom

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In Which We Meet Another Rachel and Say Thank You for the Kindness of Strangers

Dear Kid,

Did you hear about my phone?

I’m sure you heard part of the story, but here is the un-abbreviated version.

Friday evening, I hightailed it out of work. And by “hightailed it” I mean left on time and made a pit stop in the ladies room.

Friday night we (and by “we” I mean the Sycamore Aviators) played football in Hamilton which is not next door. Since dad was away, I had to zip home, walk and feed the puppy, explain to him that I was leaving, explain again that I would be home later, change into football appropriate clothes, and leave.

That was where I made my second mistake.

It had been soooo warm in the office and on the drive home that I decided (without consulting weather.com) that a little shirt, my inherited lacrosse jacket, a scarf, and gloves would be perfect for the evening. Unfortunately, I had not factored in the 90 mile an hour winds which made for a much chillier evening than I’d expected.

As I was driving up to Hamilton (using Option B directions as I-75 was backed up to Florida), I glanced over at my purse (which was riding quite comfortably on the front passenger seat. One little brain cell perked up and said, “Your Phone Isn’t There.” Then it promptly died, having lived a full and useful life. But its message somehow traveled to a couple of other brain cells, and I reached over to prove them wrong. Then I groped through my purse to prove them wrong. Then I dialed dad using the car interface to prove them wrong. The car coughed and tried to explain that my phone was nowhere in the vicinity and perhaps I should try again when I located it.

I taught the car a few new words (not all of which were four letters long) and finished driving up to the game. Once I’d parked (see how safe I was?), I dragged over my purse and went through it. Twice. If you will imagine the contents of my purse, you will realize this was No Easy Task to undertake even once.

Finally admitting that I’d left my phone at home, I decided to enjoy the game unencumbered by providing you with timely updates.

I did enjoy the game, especially the kick off that went through the uprights (did I mention the 453 mile an hour winds?), and the highly imaginative officiating which fortunately didn’t change the outcome of the game but did give several coaches and parents the opportunity to turn purple with indignation. (And by “purple with indignation” I mean I thought some of them were going to bust a spleen or some other vital organ as they ranted and raged at the official who made most of the creative mistakes.)

Decided to go home and get my phone before picking up Pi at the High School. And this is where it gets weird.

Neither Tal nor Booker knew where my phone was, so I decided to use the house phone to hear the ring and locate it. I call—and Pi answers.

Me: Pi?
Pi: Maybe
Me: What? (phone clicks as Dad tries to call in)
Me: Wait a minute
Pi: Ok.
I fumble with the phone, decide I can’t figure out how to talk to Dad, and go back to Pi.
Me: Wait, who am I talking to?
Pi: This is Rachel and I found your phone in the office building
Me (brilliantly): Wait, what?

The conversation goes on like this for another minute or two.

Finally, I realize that a lovely woman named Rachel (a confusing coincidence) found my phone and rescued it not knowing what Evil Forces might abscond with it. And then she was kind enough to try to find me! And to answer the phone when I called.

I’m pretty sure she called you (what with not having heard from you all weekend, I cannot be positive), she texted with Dad, she posted on Facebook—basically, she did everything except buy a billboard. (I wonder why she didn’t buy a billboard…)

Once I had this all figured out, we agreed to meet Saturday morning so she could give me my phone.

Yes, I said thank you (more than once). Yes, I am bringing her brownies. No, there are none left for me to mail to you. And YES, I believe in the kindness of strangers.

Pay it forward. Do something nice for a stranger today.

Love, Mom

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (vegan) for Breakfast

Dear Kid,

I had fudge for breakfast. This may not seem very important, I know. And it really isn’t. But here’s what happened.

The other night after dinner, Pi said, “I think we should make something yummy.”

Me: Don’t you have homework?
Puppy: I like yummy things
Pi: Just a little
Puppy: I can help! I can help!
Me: You’d best do your homework
Pi: Then can we make something yummy?
Puppy: I really, really love yummy things!
Me: Why don’t you finish your homework and then see what you think you’d like to make and come show me.
Pi: OK
Puppy: Ok! I will think of lots of yummy things. They all sound delicious! I think my head will explode.

About half an hour later, I was presented with a multi-post-it-noted cookbook. Pi took me through the options, with the Puppy explaining why each one was the Best Possible One.

Finally, we decided to make her #1 pick: Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (vegan variety).

Here is how you make Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (vegan variety):

Puppy: I love peanut butter
Me: I know you do
Puppy: Can I have some?
Me: We’ll see
Pi: But no chocolate for you
Puppy: Of course not. Puppies can’t have chocolate. I’ll just have two peanut butters please
Me: We’ll see

First you read the ingredients. When you realize you don’t have all the ingredients you turn your puppy eyes (“My puppy eyes?” “No, Pi’s puppy eyes” “Oh. I thought I was in the story” “You are in the story. Just not this part of the story.” “But later?” “Absolutely.”) you turn your puppy eyes on your daddy and implore him to make a trip to the super market.

Once you have Ingredients, measure 1 ¾ Cups of dairy-free chocolate chips into a cup. You will only need 1 ½ cup, but this way there are plenty for snacking on until you get to that part. Note: You can find dairy-free chocolate chips. It’s just not easy.

Have the child measure 1 cup of vegan margarine and 1 cup of creamy peanut butter into a saucepan. (“And I watch.” “Yes, you watch very carefully.”) Whisk the margarine and the peanut butter over low heat until smooth. (“Still watching!!”)

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge. Delicious. Does not last long! DearKidLoveMom.comMeanwhile, line an 8” pan with foil. Amaze child with the trick of molding it over the bottom so it fits on the inside.

Meanwhile, have the child get out the mixer. In retrospect, I don’t think a mixer is necessary at all, but we were (more or less) following the recipe since it was the first time we’d made it.

Measure 3 Cups of powdered sugar into the mixer bowl.

When the peanut butter and margarine are smooth (it doesn’t take very long), whisk in 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Make a note to add vanilla to the shopping list.

Pour the vanilla-peanut butter-margarine mixture over the powdered sugar. Hand mix until there is little risk of a powdered sugar cloud engulfing the entire kitchen. Then turn on the mixer to finish mixing. If you’re using the mixer. Otherwise, just stir. Press the yumminess into the pan.

Pi: This is really good
Puppy: Do I get to taste? Do I get to taste? What about me?
Me: Maybe later
Puppy: I like now better
Pi: Oops. Dropped a little piece
Puppy: I GOT IT! I GOT IT! YUM!!!

Melt 1 ½ Cups of dairy-free chocolate chips (see how nicely that worked out?) and ½ Cup of almond milk (or soy or rice) and whisk over low heat until it’s all melty and smooth. (“And I watch.”)

Remove from heat and mix into 1 ½ Cups of powdered sugar and 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder. The original recipe says to use the mixer to do it. We decided a whisk would work just fine. (“And I watch.”) Decide the mixture needs to be whisked a bit more and hand the job over to the child. While she whisks, offer the measuring cup that had the peanut butter to the puppy. (“I knew it! I knew it! I love this!!!!! I am a good boy!!!”)

Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the peanut butter stuff. If you’re following the recipe, top with ½ Cup of chopped roasted peanuts. If you’re us, don’t.

Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Wonder how you ever lived without this fudge.

Then wonder why on earth you just ate fudge for breakfast.

Decide to ponder once the sugar shock wears off.

Love, Mom

For more puppy conversations see

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Snowball Cookies | Recipe Without Leftovers

Dear Kid,

One of our favorite recipes from the new vegan cookie recipe book is Snowball Cookies. And by “favorite” I mean one of the two recipes we’ve made so far. (The fudge recipe is for tomorrow.)

These are fantastic. You are warned.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put parchment paper on two cookie sheets. Parchment paper may be the best invention modern cooking ever came up with.

Beat ¾ Cup of vegan margarine until it’s fluffy. Margarine fluffy, not Gabriel fluffy. Although if you eat enough of these, you can be both.

Add 1 ½ Cups of flour, half cup of powdered sugar (try not to cough from the powdered sugar cloud that engulfs your kitchen), 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and mix thoroughly. Add 1 Cup of dairy free chocolate chips. Eat a few chips to be sure they are good. Eat a few more to confirm your suspicions that they are quite delicious.

Scoop the dough onto the parchment paper-ed cookie sheets. I used my handy-dandy-ice-cream-scoop-like-cookie-dough-measurer which worked perfectly. You want them to look like little hills of yumminess. Be prepared to fight off people who think eating them pre-baking is a fine idea.

Bake for about 12 minutes. They’ll be a little golden around the edges but you will think they need to bake more. They don’t. They are shortbread-y, so they’ll look uncooked when they are perfect.

Remove from oven and immediately sift powdered sugar over the cookies. Do not make the mistake of forgetting to read the recipe the second time you make them and powdering them before you bake because it really doesn’t work out all that well. Let the cookies cool (again, be prepared to fight off the hordes) and sprinkle with powdered sugar again.

Serve.

Do not worry about how to package leftovers. Because there won’t be leftovers.

Love, Mom

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Candy Corn, Cincinnati, and the Greatest Diet Ever

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, there was no such thing as candy corn. There was candy. There was corn. But the two remained independent.

Then in the 1880s, George Renninger of the Philadelphia, PA-based Wunderle Candy Company got tired of keeping veggies and dessert separate and created candy corn (which of course has everything to do with candy and much less to do with corn).

The history of candy corn, how Cincinnati is involved, and the greatest diet ever. DearKidLoveMom.comGeorge may have been the first, but Gustav Goelitz is the true father of candy corn. He’s the first candy maker to begin commercial production (1898) in – wait for it – Cincinnati, OH. Yep, candy corn’s real life began here in the Queen City.

Back in the Day, candy corn was made by cooking sugar, water, and corn syrup, adding fondant (for texture) and marshmallow (for softness) and then pouring the hot deliciousness into big buckets 45 pounds at a time. The 45 pounds was then applied directly to my hips. No, wait. It just seems that way.

The candy was poured (one color layer at a time) into molds (shaped like corn kernels—sort of), cooled, and sold. Turns out veggie candy was popular and the Goelitz Candy Company made other veggie shapes for a while. Fortunately, they got over that and vegetables went back to being made out of marzipan which is how it is supposed to be.

During WWI, Herman son of Gustav moved to California and formed the creatively named Herman Goelitz Candy Company. Continuing the creative process, Herman made candy corn. Lots and lots of candy corn.

These days over 25 million pounds of candy corn are sold annually. Most bypass retail locations and head directly for my hips. No, wait. It just seems that way.

“Indian corn” is candy corn with a chocolate bottom. This is an approved (by me) version of candy corn.

There are all kinds of imposter-type candy corn (candy corns? candies corn? yark! What’s the protocol here?) including a blackberry cobbler candy corn (in Canada), Christmas “reindeer corn,” Easter “bunny corn,” Valentine’s “cupid corn,” and patriotic “freedom corn.” These are all ridiculous, but probably require much research on my part. Especially the blackberry cobbler corn.

Candy corn has 3.57 calories per kernel. I estimate it takes about 4 calories to chew and digest a single candy corn. Which means this may be the greatest diet ever invented! I just love estimation.

And I love you, too.

Love, Mom

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