Monday, March 28, 2011

Facebook 25

While perusing some blogs out there, I came across Fond of the Silliness' post, "Facebook 25," where she copied her list of "25 Things About Me" from Facebook to share with readers.  I thought this was a very fun idea, so I'm posting mine (with a couple of changes, since it's a few years later!). I'd love it if you guys would post a list like this as well, and leave me a link to your list (or just publish a few as a comment).

1. I often walk into a room and have absolutely no idea why I went in there in the first place.

2. I was an English teacher and have studied American grammar in detail, and yet my husband insists on putting apostrophe's in' nearl'y every' wor'd he' write's.

3. I love going on airplanes. From packing- to takeoff- to drinking in the morning, it's my favorite.

4. I often look back at my college years, those that I can remember, and think, no- that couldn't have been me.

5. Sometimes I like to color. In a coloring book. Like a child.

6. The other night I had a dream that Kyle drove us off a cliff, and we were teetering on the edge, facing certain doom. When I woke up I was a little pissed at him.

7. Even though I am eight years older than my sister, I still act like the typical youngest child.

8. I played the title role in my Junior High's production of "Oliver!" Speaking of which, almost every part I have ever played on stage was a little boy.

9. I LOVE going to school- new notebooks and folders give me an intense thrill.

10. I have white roller skates with pink wheels sitting in my closet that I got in my twenties. I've never used them and refuse to give them up.

11. I've never had a cavity.

12. I'm really unsure how I managed to compete on the balance beam for years, and yet I can't walk a straight line for the life of me.

13. I am an emotional basketcase and will often cry at the slightest thing- or nothing at all, depending on my mood.

14. I enjoy watching horror movies or stupid comedies. No dramas for me (see #13).

15. I have wanted to wear high heels since I was in fourth grade. So- yeah they hurt, but I wear them anyway.

16. I love raw food- sushi and anything tar-tar- yum!

17. My dog, Sadie, gets offended when anyone makes rude remarks. She will usually get up and walk into another room.

18. We were so tiny growing up that my friend Katie and I never even got on a riser at chorus concerts. We were "floor girls."

19. I love that Kyle won't go on roller coasters, because he holds our bags while we're riding.

20. I never owned a diamond until my engagement ring.

21. I hope that I won't be one of those overbearing mothers, but I can totally see it happening.

22. Though I've been living with Kyle for seven years, I still don't know anything about the game of football (other than the fact that the quarterbacks are usually cute).

23. I was a total liberal hippie democrat... until I got my first paycheck.

24. I am a very optimistic person. Perhaps it is naive, but it works for me.

25. I love to receive flowers.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Rain: beryl, delicate, in grace
Drops and falls from ashen skies
Cleansing Earth's floor of impurities
That we may start anew

The rain gives way to a violet sky,
Flecked with the powdery clouds that had once seemed so sinister.
Now lovely.
Bringing Promises of origin
Bringing Promises of beginning
Bringing Promises...

Eventually, the citrus sun peaks
Laughter abounds- carried on the warm breezes
The sounds of splashing...
The swinging, the sandcastles

Amber warmth penetrates cool winds;
Copper and crimson leaves crunch underfoot.
Warm apple pie is served to rosy-cheeked guests
And the orange spheres that decorate front porches mimic the glow of the sun
As it moves toward the distant horizon

Nature's crochet work decorates branches.
The chirping has ceased, and all is quiet
It is a time for reflection.

Finally, the silvery orb gravitates
Nearly out of sight


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Couple of Drool-Worthy Food Pics

At the request of some of my spectacular readers, I thought I'd post a couple of yummy pictures of my most recent adventures in my little cucina.

Breaking All the Rules
The other day I faked it. That's right: I faked the chicken parm.

Though the culinary artistes in the crowd may cry out, “But, why?!”
My reply? “Because I can.”

It was a third gone before I remembered to snap a photo.  Whoops!
So, here's how it goes:
  1. Flour, egg, and bread some chicken cutlets (I actually used tenderloins, since it was what we had), then panfry in olive oil until golden on all sides (about 4 minutes total).
  2. Pour your fave jarred marinara in a baking dish (I used Rao's- mmm...).
  3. Place the chicken in the saucy dish, the cover in shredded mozzarella (you can also use sliced fresh mozz if you'd like.
  4. Throw the concoction in the oven until brown and bubbly (about 25 minutes at 400 degrees). The chicken should be cooked through.
  5. Serve with spaghetti. Voila!

Healthy Habits
Perhaps not the most beautiful of meals, but it's healthy and good.  That's got to count for something, right?

So I've finally decided to try my hand at bulgur. This dish called for spinach and basil leaves to be thrown in at the last minute to wilt with the warm wheat. Overall, the recipe was pretty good, but almost too filling. You can follow the recipe here: Real Simple's Chicken with Bulgur Pilaf
Mmmm... bulgur


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lazy Girl

In the past few days I haven't been feeling up to par, so cranking out any kind of writing has been a challenge.  To be honest I've been working on a poem (cue mass eye roll) that has been taking longer then I had anticipated.  Though I would normally not particularly care about leaving the blog for a week while I dealt with illness and/or brain block, I can't tolerate the fact that my last post deals with a date that was so obviously last week.  

Therefore, I have decided to re-post a little something I wrote several months back (how lazy of me, I know).  However, if you haven't read it, I do think it is quite relatable to many and hopefully entertaining to some.  If nothing else, it gives you a little insight into who I am.  Enjoy!

Bizarre, yet Sublime:
What I Had Never Thought

Before an orchestra can inaugurate the sublime beauty of a symphony, one that swells and ebbs through our souls, dances upon our hearts, and fills us with a grand prodigious emotion, it must prepare: tune, warm-up, and practice. The sound that is emanated from the ensemble before the conductor taps his baton on the podium can be rather, um, unharmonious. And, with one dog scrambling in a frenzy over a squirrel outside, the other yapping ceaselessly at a neighbor who (gasp!) dared to walk past the house, the dryer's emphatic banging, and a toddler's joyful squeals, I am reminded of this cacophonous moment. In truth, I never thought I'd be a stay-at-home mom. Although I've been known to don an apron to avoid the inevitable flour spill in the kitchen, I do not vacuum the carpet daily, nor do I iron the bedsheets, and if my husband has been waiting for me to lay out his work suits each day, he's going to be showing up to the office in the nude.

I have always had an image of the stay-at-home mom as a woman who anticipated and tended to every need of her family with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. She wore sensible shoes, oven mitts, and a perfectly coifed bob, and she listened to Tony Bennett while frosting a chocolate cake. This could NEVER be me: uncomfortably high heels, chipped purple fingernail polish, and long hair piled in a wet knot at the back of my head. Led Zeppelin (and, at times, Tony Bennett) roars out of the ipod speakers, and there are no sweet confections displayed lovingly on the countertop. Not exactly the image of June Cleaver, yet here I am. Mom. Everyday. Every minute.

That's not to say that being a stay-at-home mother is not rewarding- it is actually the most gratifying, worthwhile adventure on which I have ever embarked- it's just a situation that I never thought I would experience. Having had jobs from the time I was able, going to college and graduate school, working as a teacher for several years, nothing could prepare me for this anomalous, yet magnificent, journey.

As plans often do, ours had changed at the last possible instant. The map of our lives was to take my requisite maternity leave, and then return to the classroom that I so loved- filled with literature, grammar manuals, posters, and punctuation texts. This plan was thwarted, however, the moment I gazed upon my baby's tiny, purple feet. Skinny and delicate, her diminutive toes were perfectly formed, and her little toenails flawless. These were the feet on which she would stand for the very first time, jump up-and-down in excitement when she got her driver's license, and the feet that would eventually carry her down the aisle. Perhaps I was weak, maybe a trifle selfish, but I could not bear to miss out on some of these extraordinary milestones.

So each day my objective is to absorb as much about my little girl as I can, such as the fact that she discovers countless information about an object by tasting, explores each meal by touching and mashing it with her hands, and listens intently to the wind when she plays outside. She relies so often on senses that we, as adults, have determined are useless in many scenarios. Therefore, short of squishing the spaghetti between my fingers in a restaurant, I have begun to slow down in my daily activities, to immerse myself in the world by truly recognizing it through taste, touch, smell, sight, and listening. Who knew that a one-year old could be such an outstanding teacher? I always suspected she was a genius.

Now, there are definitely times that I long to go off to my own workplace, to wear some of the suit pants that hang, dejected, in my closet, to come home to my family, who beam because they haven't seen me all day. Unmistakeably, there are several monetary benefits to working outside the home, as well, and communicating with more adults prevents one from replying in goo-goos to the grocery store clerk. Nevertheless, I enjoy where I am right now: jeans-clad, broke, speaking in gibberish to members of the community, happy.

So here I sit, amid the loud, raucous chaos. Barking dogs, buzzing appliances, screeching child- all of these sounds a precursor to the beautiful symphony that comes with the knowledge that this is the life that I have created and am privileged to be a part of every day.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Tomorrow, March 18th, marks my one year bloggaversary (is that how you spell it?  It's always hard to get made-up words correct...), so in honor of this (kinda) special occasion, I thought I'd present to you my first post, written approximately one year ago, with a very different blog in mind.  Here we go.

Trials and Errors- oh, so many errors

Life is a series of trials- I know it is my first go-around. We can make plans: I planned to make all my baby's food from scratch each day, I planned on always working full time, I planned on living a life a little less ordinary... Well, hopefully the last is still on the table (I am, according to some, still young). Without trial, how would I know that purple eye shadow just isn't for me? That making the bed shapes my mood for the entire day? That cooking, though at times frustrating, makes me feel happy; I am providing for my family (even if said family that I am providing for is just me and my husband).

That said, I have been constantly trying new recipes out, in order to keep up the variety (spice it up? Ugh- sorry), accumulate more strategies and recipes in my repertoire, and just hone this craft into a skill that I can be incredibly proud of.

And perhaps blogging about it will give me something to go on the internet for, aside from checking Facebook 85 times a day.

That is all folks- I will see you all in my second year!

p.s.- As a side note, I still "try" purple eyeshadow about once a month, just to be sure.
p.p.s.- Happy St. Patty's.  Have some green beer, and get your celebration under way!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

First Haircut

"Umm,  I don't know about this..."
Notice the single tear streaming down her face.
"I feel pretty, Oh so pretty..."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What? A Dinner Plan? Recipe Links?

I know, I know... It has been, like, FOREVER since I last discussed a dinner plan and gave links for recipes. I thought it was a good time to discuss what has gone on in Kir's Kitchen recently and share some links to a couple of the successes thus far.

Lately, I have been on a healthy kick; incorporating more of the good-for-you stuff into our evening meals. Discovering quinoa was a big part of the dietary change-over. It tastes good (you can do so much with it), keeps you full for a long time (I'm pretty sure that it's expanding in my stomach after I ingest it), and is chock full of protein and fiber (my trainer would be so proud!). If you have yet to try this great side dish, I definitely suggest that you do so. It's worth a try! If you are hesitant to get started on the quinoa journey, here are some basic recipes to try. 

I made this with chicken tenderloins, and it ended up as a great alternative to everyday chicken fingers. Plus, it was simple!

Instead of spaghetti, try a shorter whole-grain pasta. I substituted fusilli for the longer variety. Doing so (a happy accident, because it was all I had in the pantry) was great because the walnuts, kale, and tomatoes were chunky as well as the noodles. It all worked well together.

Easy and delicious, this was a very good recipe choice; however, because of the sugar content in the glaze, the pan was nearly impossible to clean after broiling. Tinfoil next time?

Okay, so that's a few, I hope you enjoy them... bon appetite! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Let's Hop Around Town This Weekend

Exciting news!  I was randomly selected to be the featured blogger in I Heart Maternity's weekend bloghop.  I hope that all you bloggers out there have an opportunity to participate in the fun, gain new friends and followers, and check out some other wonderful sites.  Don't forget to leave me a message if you link up, so I can check you out as well!

Anyway, here is the information:

I’m so excited it’s time for our 2nd Weekend Blog Hop and I’m so happy it’s finally Friday…
We had a great turn out last week considering it was our first we ended up with 48 entries!!
Let's see if we can top that number this week. I would love to see this blog hop just grow.

I decided to start a blog hop of my own that will run on the weekends. I've connected with tons of mom bloggers and businesses through blog hops, so why not help others do the same. This blog hop will start every Friday and run throughout the weekend.

I Heart Maternity


-You MUST Follow the Host (Me) which I think is only fair
-You MUST Follow this week's Featured Blogger
-Leave Me a Comment so I know to Follow New Followers Back
-Family Friendly Blogs ONLY -I reserve the right to remove any blogs I feel are inappropriate
-I will choose a blog from those that enter to be a featured blogger via
-Have FUN meeting others.

This week’s Featured Blog was Lucky # 27 from last weeks hop:

(Hey that's me!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Name Game

When I saw this question-and-answer post on the blog “In the Loop,” I was interested right away to find out how others felt about names- their meanings, origins, connotations, etc.

I definitely recommend that you check out her page as well as my own to compare, and then consider your own answers (and I'd love to hear about them- leave a comment with some of your own feedback, or write a post of your own and send me a link)!
Pic from here

1. How did your parents decide on your name? 

At first, my parents were gung-ho about the first name Brook, my middle name already decidedly Lynn. It took them quite a while to realize the combination of the two was a region incredibly close to where we were living (who knew that the name “Brooklyn” would skyrocket in popularity in the next couple decades?). They ultimately decided on “Kirsten,” a Swedish name that my paternal grandmother suggested.

2. Do your initials (First, Middle, Last) spell out anything fun/funny? 

Had I kept my maiden name in the mix, I would be KLAM, but since that didn't happen, I have no fun initials to speak of.

3. Did you take your middle name from childhood or did you take your maiden name as your middle name?

As I stated in the above question, I did not. Keeping my maiden name with my new married last name would have resulted in a very long and tedious signature.

4. Are you or will you name your children thematically (ie. same first letter, all of same origin…)

Since my husband's first name also begins with a K, we tried to steer clear of all monikers that begun with the letter, or even the sound. I have enough trouble trying not to confuse the names of the baby, the dogs, and everyone else I come into contact with...

5. Did you decide on baby names as a little girl? Did you stick to them or change your mind?

I can remember absolutely loving the name Samantha, because it was so feminine, but was shortened to Sam, a typical boy's name. It was multidimensional to 8-year-old me, and I was enamored by that fact (plus the fact that it was the name of one of the original American Girl Dolls- bonus!).

6. Does your family have any names that have been passed down through generations?

Not that I can think of. I have no brothers though, and I feel like males have more of an inclination to name their male children after themselves or other relatives. All I know is that I'll never name my child the same as his father. Way too confusing (see # 4, above).

7. Do you look at the meaning of the name or just the name itself?

No, I tend not to look at the meaning. Unless the definition is “evil toddler that cries all the time and doesn't ever sleep”- then I'm inclined to pay more attention to meaning.

8. Do you name pets with human names (Sally, Henry) or with pet names (Fluffy, Mr. Bo Bo)?

Human- the girls are “Sadie” and “Winnie.” I mean, it's not like their names are Peter and Victoria. I think there's definitely a difference between human names that are appropriate for animals and those that are not (although names that are usually completely human- like "Brian" from "Family Guy"- are somehow hilarious to me).

9. Are there any names that you have an affinity or dislike for based on a childhood experience/someone you once knew?

Absolutely. I was a teacher, so there are several names that have been tainted for me. Conversely, there are many monikers that I would be glad to use because of the same fact!

10. What are some of your favorite names? Why?

I love names that truly represent the people that carry them. My sister's name, Maggie, is perfect for her. I can't put my finger on the exact reason, I just know that it's right for her!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Attack of the Dolls!

In our house, stuffed animals- their cuddly and soft bodies, whimsical markings, and adorable little faces- are shoved into the closet, thrown into baskets, and misplaced under the bed, never to be played with. One would think their cozy fluffiness would be perfect for nap time, but Avery only wants dollies.
A select few of the collection

Our house has become overrun with dolls that cry, dolls that eat, and dolls that talk. The dolls represent characters from movies, from television shows, and from popular children's stories. Looking toward the living room, I spy several doll strollers and carriages, doll cribs (not to mention the doll bed- for the “older” of the bunch), a little doll wagon (for the nicer springtime weather), and a dolly highchair.
There must be two dollies in the crib at all times

And though Avery seems to play favorites in one moment, it changes in the next; thus making it impossible to guess which to take for a weekend away.

As her second birthday approaches, it only scares me that more dolls and their paraphernalia are coming our way.

Perhaps she's trying to tell us something- maybe it's time to get on the ball and give her a sibling “baby” to play with. My biggest concern is that she'll want to play with the new (living and breathing) baby doll too much...

p.s. She likes to undress them all, too.  Is this a normal practice?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Everyday Superpowers

Who hasn't dreamt of at some point attaining some sort of super-power: uncommon strength, invisibility, super-speed?

Sure, these abilities would make everyday tasks slightly more manageable, but the downside is that other people's expectations of you would be far greater.

Sure, you woke up, swept the floors, cleaned the kitchen, made the bed, folded the laundry, and changed the baby in a matter of less than a second, but why couldn't you make some pancakes as well?

Perhaps this is the real reason that those with super-human gifts keep them under wraps.

The reason I bring this up (aside from the fact that I watched 3 taped episodes of “No Ordinary Family” in a row last night), is that it seems the more a person accomplishes, the more that is expected of him or her.
Apparently my frustration level has hit an all-time high...

Those who are naturally a little on the lazy side are said to be “doing everything they can, given their, you know, capabilities,” whereas those who are hard-working individuals taking up the slack for the others are simply given more and more responsibilities to take care of, because “she won't ever crack!”

What happens as a result is that busy people have a need to constantly discuss how swamped they are, in a feeble attempt to prove to everyone else that they are a part of the latter division.

My point is (it's true- there is a point to my ramblings) that this practice is counter-intuitive. Instead of coming across as over-worked and exhausted, it seems that these people are able to manage it all. Why not give them a few extra tasks to handle?

So, take it from the superheros out there. Keep quiet about your ability to do 20 loads of laundry in a single bound. Keep hush-hush that you can complete each of your work tasks while three screaming super-villains, er, children, try to pull you away from the computer. And, for goodness sake, don't tell a soul that dinner can be made in its entirety in a half hour.

We'll call it our little secret.

Monday, March 7, 2011

T.A.D. (Target Attention Deficit)

It has become an absolute impossibility for me to drop in to Target and simply pick up what I came for, give the cashier the 20 bucks, and be on my way in a cool 15 minutes (as I had set out to do).

When I arrive there, I come face-to-face with bags of pretzels, wheat thins, goldfish crackers, and cookies that I (all of a sudden) need to have. Though the toy section (I came in for a birthday present for one of Avery's buddies) is across the store to the right, I make an executive decision to loop around, as not to miss anything.

The grocery aisles remind me that we need more bread, granola bars, oh- and why not grab some raisins too?

Dog biscuits are a must (to keep the puppies happy), we're almost out of laundry detergent, and that's a really cute top!

I peruse the $1 bins- just to see what they contain this week. I pick up some trinkets that will be good for Avery's Easter basket this year.

Finally, I end up at the cards, but on the way to the birthday section, I scope out some holiday greetings that I should purchase for the various relatives and other children in my life.

I walk swiftly over to the toys, trying to avert my gaze from all of the spectacular goodies that line the aisles on the way. Walking up and down with my specific goal in mind, I spy several things that I know would be just perfect for Matt, Nate, Zoe, Thea, and Miles- but I remain focused on my task at hand, repeating the mantra, “birthday present, birthday present, birthday present...” over and over aloud. Avery looks at me as though I'm insane, then looks back down at all the trinkets in the cart and giggles.

I got what I came for, then strolled over toward the children's section. Does Avery need new socks? Yeah, why not? The clearance racks had a couple tees that I had liked at full price, so for $3.88, it was a steal to grab a few.

Taking a deep breath I made the decision that I NEEDED to get to the cashier immediately.

On the way, I grabbed some new make-up and some face lotion. Hey I needed it!
And when I see a great pair of camel-colored wedges on sale (and just my size!), it just felt like kismet.

So, one hour and an empty wallet later, I traveled back to the car, loaded up my trunk with my new belongings and was on my way.

It wasn't until we pulled into the driveway that I remembered that I hadn't picked up any wrapping paper. I guess I'll just have to stop in again to quickly pick some up...

Friday, March 4, 2011

One of THOSE Days

I know the events that have thus far transpired throughout the course of today may not be the most terrible that have ever occurred, but to one who is currently dealing with such things one after the other, it has just been “one of those days.”

These bothersome aggravations, coupled with the severe mood swings due to, er, hormonal fluctuations, have led me to consume three cans of Diet Dr. Pepper today- a soda habit that I'm trying (rather unsuccessfully, I guess) to break. Since it is only 2:00, I'm hoping the day will turn around. It is Friday, after all...

For the purpose of cleansing my brain to start anew, I am going to divulge some of the day's happenings.

  • This morning I went to the gym. After trying three machines that didn't work for some reason or another (on one of them the TV was broken- how am I supposed to workout without Regis and Kelly's wild antics?), I finally found an elliptical that ran correctly, but the water bottle holder was cracked. Balancing my adorable pink container on top of the machine, I began doing my thing (and watching Josh Groban fill in for the Reg- who knew a classical singer could be so funny?). Anyhoo, the next thing I knew, my water bottle smashed to the ground. I found a place for it on the floor and continued in my run toward, well, nowhere. When I looked down on the floor 10 minutes later, there was water pooled everywhere, being absorbed by my sweatshirt that I had the pleasure of donning, while still soaked, outside in the 30 degree weather. Fun! I had to throw my cracked bottle in the trash, then try to sop up the puddle under my machine with the non-absorbent paper towels that the gym provides, while the janitor gave me nasty looks.

  • When we got home from that little escapade, I put Avery in for her nap. Six minutes later, she was crying. When I went in to check on her, she was standing up in her crib. “No nap,” she proclaimed, then handed me her pacifier and lifted up her arms. “Down.”

  • Trying to get myself together was a treat; when I emerged from the bathroom after swiping on mascara, Avery had somehow completely destroyed the place. Toys and books were EVERYWHERE. As I looked more closely, though, I noticed the dog sniffing then licking up something. Upon closer observation, I distinguished it as some kind of beady goo*. As I looked around the house, I saw that it had collected in clumps all over the living room floor, spread out in the den, and took over the couch. What was this stuff? Immediately, I began looking at all the toys to determine the source. I threw the dogs outside so they'd stop licking what could have been something poisonous. I vacuumed it up as best that I could, but it was just one of those icky substances that refuses to be sucked up.

*I am fairly certain after talking it out that the goo came from the inside of Avery's diaper- like the absorbency beads or something, but since I put her in her crib an hour ago, I'm not going to find out if that's the case until she wakes.

So, in a nutshell, that has been my day...
Please tell me that your has been better. Happy Friday!

So these pics have nothing to do with the post, but they make me happy.


Oma's linzer tarts

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Would You Hold it Against Me?

I have been meaning to bring up Britney Spears' single, “Hold it Against Me” since I first heard it on the radio. Upon first listen, I completely thought it was a joke, a skit for “Funny or Die,” or just some silly radio prank.

“If I said I want your body now,
Would you hold it against me?”

Seriously? When did horrific pick-up lines from the early 90's become fitting song lyrics to the teenage set?

“Cuz you feel like paradise,
And I need a vacation tonight...”
Awww- remember when she was just a little tyke?

Perhaps her next song will include lines such as, “Was your daddy a robber? Because he stole the stars from the skies and put them in your eyes,” “Your legs must be tired, because you've been running through my mind all day,” or the classic “Do you have a quarter? I want to call my mom and tell her I'm in love.”

Not that the kiddos listening to her albums will understand why one would need 25 cents to make a phone call...

In my mind this goes down as one of the cheesiest songs in history (but I know I'm forgetting plenty- so remind me of them in the comments).

And the worst crime of all is that I can't get the stupid song out of my head.

p.s. While we're on the musical lyrics' subject, "If you're too school for cool"?  What, Pink, are you talking about?
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