Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I just looked down at my keyboard and then up at the screen and had the sense that I was looking down the wrong end of a telescope. Now I'm feeling dizzy, and seeing little spots, and it's just the weirdest phenomenon.

There have been times when I've felt like this but they've all been when I was standing up, or getting up to a standing position too quickly.

I hope that it passes.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

When Brussels Sprouts Attack

The Brussels sprouts didn't appreciate getting little x's cut in their bottoms, and conspired with the knife to stab me in my thumb.


Fortunately, it's not deep.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Talking about chores

Muffin Man is nine, and he has the following chores:
  • Feed and otherwise take care of the gerbils (I help with their monthly re-bedding).
  • Set and clear the table, including pouring drinks for the family
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Put away his clothes (I admit to being pretty lax about this).
  • Keep the play room tidy
  • Empty the waste baskets
  • Make his own week-day breakfast (cold cereal and milk).
What chores do you have your kid doing? Is MM getting off easy, or are we too hard on him?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Turns out...

That it's really easy to cook duck. Seared ducks breast with garlic & rosemary roasted potatoes. Yum. And we even have leftovers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The inspiration for my New Year's Resolution

I haven't done much in terms of sending MM with a packed lunch this school year, but last year I sent him with lunch at least three times a week between January and then end of the school year.

Here's a video by Mrs. Q, from Fed Up With Lunch, who ate the school lunch every day for a calendar year, and took pictures.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Random bullets of a busy day

  • talked to SingsLullabyes on the phone. She's in the hospital with pneumonia, nut may be released tomorrow.
  • made a gallon and a quarter of spaghetti sauce.
  • got Muffin Man's hair cut. Picture tomorrow.
  • auction at church. Big turnout.
Makes for a tired Mystery Mommy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: Dunkin Donuts Warm Cinnamon Swirl Muffin

If you go to Dunkin Donuts, you can skip the warm cinnamon swirl muffin. It's crumbly, sticky, and squishy, and the flavor is very fake (leaving a chemical aftertaste).


Monday, November 07, 2011

The worst day of the year.

Tomorrow is election day and so, of course, Muffin Man will be staying overnight tonight with a babysitter so that Mr. Spock and I can be at our volunteer posts at 0530 in the cold, dark morning.

We'll be at our posts all day (with a short break to go to our own polling place to vote), and then we'll go to a watch party and, depending on how long it takes, we'll probably be home after MM's bedtime (his sitter will bring him to our house after his holiday camp's field trip tomorrow, and stay there with him until we get home).

This is the part of being involved in elections I hate. Not seeing my son for two whole days (though I'm volunteering at the sitter's polling place, so I'll actually see him when she comes to vote).

There's no doubt in my mind that what I'm doing is worth it, that this is how a democracy continues, that I'm teaching my son how much I value our system. But I'm not going to lie to you, Monday before an election when there's a chance I may not see that sweet boy until Wednesday morning? It's the worst day of the year.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Anyone have a reliable pedometer for the iPhone?

I can't get the Nike one to calibrate, and Footsteps paused after 2 miles.

In related news, I need better non-sandal walking shoes. 

Friday, November 04, 2011

More cheap, non-crafty costumes: Some purchase required edition

Muffin Man as Captain Feather Sword.
Character copyright Disney

Muffin Man is wearing an official Captain Feather Sword hat, purchased at a Wiggles Concert that I won tickets to (thank you MIX 107.3!!)

He is also wearing a red quilted vest we already had, black pants and white dress shirt we already had, and a Wiggles logo we printed off their website.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

More cheap, non-crafty costumes: grown-up edition

Three years ago, Muffin Man was Anakin Skywalker for Halloween (alas, a purchased costume).

And me, being me? I was a Princess.

Mystery Mommy as Princess Leia Morgana.
Character copyright George Lucas

Ingredients: White poet shirt (bought in, I am not joking, 1989. From Victoria's Secret. I know.) over a white turtleneck and cinched with a black belt. Beige pants, white sneakers. Iconic hairstyle.

I look bulkier than usual because there is a sweatshirt underneath the turtleneck.

Not a perfect match, by any means, but I got the flavor right. Everyone knew immediately who I was supposed to be, and MM loved that I was playing his character's daughter.

The only item purchased new for this costume were the hairpins.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The cheap, non-crafty parent's guide to making costumes.

Muffin Man is nothing if not a stickler for verisimilitude. The boy shaved his head for last year's costume.

I am cheap and, beyond knitting, am not at all crafty.

I do not like buying costumes that will be used once. I especially do not like paying more for a costume than I would pay for real clothes. Particularly since those costumes are severely lacking in verisimilitude.

That being the case, the Miller Household puts our heads together to come up with costumes that incorporate items we already have, or that can be reused in everyday life and that also capture the spirit of the character. I think we're pretty successful! What do you think?

Side-by-side pictures of MM's last two Halloween costumes and their inspirations.

Cone Head Zombie from Plants vs. Zombies. Character copyright PopCap Games.

Aang, the Avatar from the cartoon, The Avatar
(not to be confused with the movie Avatar,
or the character from the movie version, called The Last Airbender).

Both costumes are home-made, (ingredients here and here) and involved no sewing or other crafty skill whatsoever (although MS made a terrific traffic cone, which ended up not getting used in favor of the real much heavier one from Home Depot).

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

There's a zombie on my lawn

Muffin Man as a Cone Head Zombie from Plants vs. Zombies

We didn't know when Muffin Man asked to be the Cone Head Zombie from Plants vs. Zombies this year that it would be so topical!

Road Cone ($8.00) from Home Depot. Ripped jeans (skull on back pocket), bought last year at Target, and worn to shreds. Shirt from Target via my closet. Brown blazer from Target via my closet. Tie from J.C. Penney, came free with a suit two years ago.

Make-up from Ulta. I did a base coat of beige foundation cream. Then I applied a thick top-coat of a matte-green eye-shadow all over his face. Then I accented his eyes with a thick coat of black eye-shadow, and brushed a bit more black and grey eye-shadow here and there for effect.

The inspiration. I think we captured the spirit quite well.

I am sporting a GMU sweatshirt turned inside-out, with pictures of the sunflower and pea-shooter taped onto it. Pictures from worthplaying.com.

(This post inspired by real-life friends of my youth, Eclectic Mom and The Unfocused Life)