I don’t know why they call it Hamburger Helper. It tastes just fine by itself!


Good crack-ass-of-dawn morning to you! Yes, it’s Sunday morning, and I’ve been up since 4:54. I’d like to say that it was because I wanted to get in a 5-mile run before dawn or meditate and write in my gratitude journal, but no, it’s because my dog is trying to kill me. Really. The barking–the incessant barking!–it’s all a plot to push an already mentally fragile woman over the edge once and for all. Somehow Teddy has discovered a frequency that only a woman can hear! That’s got to be it, because every night it’s the same thing.

Teddy: Bark! Bark! Bark bark bark bark bark! barrooooARK! Bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark!

Me: (putting the pillow over my head) Okay, I just let him out an hour ago. Maybe he’ll stop barking if I just ignore him.

Teddy: Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark!

Me: (elbowing Husband in the back) Someone else has GOT to hear this. There is no way I’m the only one who’s hearing this. Maybe if I just lay still, someone else will get up and let him out…

Teddy: AaarooooooOOOOOO! Bark! Bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark!

It’s got to be a hormone thing. Testosterone must somehow filter the noise. That’s the only way to explain how the same four males can sleep through that racket every…single…night.

So I’m up! Might as well take advantage of it and surf the net without three kids hovering over me asking me when they can play World of Warcraft. Yes, my three-year-old even has a character on WOW. I’m pretty sure he’s the youngest geek on the Internet. I’m not proud.)

In an effort to bring you enlightening and entertaining content, I’ve been stumbling upon other people’s blogs to see what they’re writing about (or to plagiarize from them, either one). Okay, so I just hit this button to randomly find a blog, and seriously, every other one has to do with FOOD! I had no idea that so many people were completely obsessed with food. And not just eating it and writing about it, but taking pictures of it! They must live a completely different life than I, because I can’t imagine ANYONE wanting to read about my culinary experiences! Here are just a few to check out if you’d like to feel really inadequate:

Cupcakes take the cake—This one is all about, you guessed it, cupcakes! All cupcakes, all the time. Who knew there was so much to discuss about cupcakes? The only thing I can think of to debate is whether the multi-colored paper liners or the silver foil liners are best…

Cupcake bake shop by chockylit—What?! Another blog about cupcakes? I must’ve been living under a rock, but I had no idea cupcakes were so hip and complex! Reading the latest post, I don’t think this chick and I could be friends. The recipe is for “chocolate cupcakes stuffed with strawberry chocolate ganache and frosted with chocolate glaze and buttercream” and the entry says, “This one was for a 2 year old’s birthday party.” Excuse me? This is what you serve at your 2 year old’s party? I thought everybody just went to Wal-Mart like I do and bought Blue’s Clues cupcakes with frosting that stains the kids’ teeth. Isn’t that a rite of passage?

Although I do love my cheese, I don’t think I’d really have THAT much to say about it, but apparently someone does—hence Serious Cheese. I wonder what they think about Velveeta…Okay, I just saw a label called “homemade cheese” and had to check it out. Yeah, we soooo do not live in the same world. Here’s what they say: “But one thing this cheese does have going for it is simplicity. Heat milk to temperature, add culture and rennet, mix well, and leave it until tomorrow. Can’t really get much easier.” Can’t it?? Oh, I beg to differ. I’m pretty sure that throwing a package of Kraft cheese slices into your cart is MUCH easier. I mean, seriously. Where does one even find “culture” and “rennet”? I’m fairly certain I’ve never run across them at my local Fareway store …

Let’s get wokking! is a blog written by a stay-at-home mom who cooks all this food for her family. Wow, do I feel like a loser after reading this one. I don’t stay home, but even if I did, I don’t think I’d ever whip this up for my boys:

Were I to have a food blog, this is pretty much what it would look like every day. All you foodies out there–enjoy!

Aah, another recipe for my fellow gourmet cuisine lovers. This one was not only a treat for the palate, but it also cooperated with our fine dining budget…It was inspired by a leisurely trip to the local market. Armed with my environmentally friendly canvas bag (because it’s very convenient to bring 37 of these bags with me to the store each week), I began scouting out the perfect ingredients for a memorable meal. I was starting to perspire, thinking that maybe I had lost my culinary touch, when I spotted it. Aisle 3. Right between the macaroni & cheese and rice–the answer to my prayers. Hamburger Helper. On sale for 10/$10 (or 1 for $1 for those you who don’t want to do the math). But which to choose? There were so many varieties–all colors, flavors, and sodium quantities. I scanned, squeezed, and smelled. I held them up to the light. I tapped on the boxes to see which were freshest. I even opened a few boxes and sampled a bit when no one was looking. And then I made my choice. Cheesy Hashbrowns (Naturally Flavored). Each serving providing 21% of your daily sodium and 30% of your daily fat. What could be better? I think I may send this recipe to Rachel Ray…

Oh, the buzzing—the infernal buzzing!

First of all, I have to apologize to my loyal readers who noticed that an April 30 post was mysteriously missing. The truth is, coming up with blog ideas for TWO WHOLE DAYS IN A ROW just wore me out and I was in bed by 9:30. I did get up early this morning, however, to add a post because I knew your whole day would’ve been thrown into a funk if you didn’t get to start your morning with my little morsels of bloggy goodness. 🙂

At the moment I’m trying hard to channel some creative energy, but I’m finding it difficult because of this annoying techno-buzz coming from my 1-month-old 19″ flat-screen acer monitor. I was sitting here enjoying the quiet that only happens when all of the planets align and my children are all sleeping (in their own beds), my cockatiel is not staring at a bone-dry water cup, and my dog has finally passed out from the exhaustion of endless barking, when—no surprise here—something in my house has to break that undeserved silence. This time it was the monitor. I’m pretty sure the poltergeists are trying to talk to me through the screen.

You might wonder why a monitor that I’ve had for only one month is torturing me with the buzz of despair. Ah, yes, let’s explore that question. It seems that I have some sort of computer curse. Shall we take a stroll down memory lane?

It all started with Laptop #1. A smart and sexy MacBook Pro with a 15-inch screen and a finger pad to die for. Sadly, he met his demise when Husband “accidentally” dropped him all the way down the stairs. Onto the hardwood floor. I suspect he was becoming jealous of the way I stroked his keys and let him sit on my lap.

Laptop #2 isn’t nearly as glamorous as #1, but I couldn’t resist a cheap thrill. Although I believe this Lenovo has taught me, if anything, that you get what you pay for. Despite the fact that he’s terribly awkward with horrible social skills, he still didn’t deserve to be disfigured as he was. First came a near-drowning when Husband spilled a glass of beer all over him, rendering his keys useless. Fortunately, however, the Lenovo customer service rep either didn’t understand or just didn’t care and sent me a new keyboard free of charge. (I’m pretty sure that “bathing in beer” is not covered by the limited warranty!) This bliss was short-lived, though: Boy #3 had discovered the joy of torture. He started picking off the keys, sometimes dragging out the torture, and other times ripping off 3 or 4 letters or punctuation marks as quickly as you’d rip off a Band-Aid. Now all that’s left are F2–F12, 2, 3, 4, 6, and U. Doesn’t leave much left to work with. I can write “2 4 U” (“two for you”) or “U2” (“you too” or Bono), but that’s about the extent of my literary capacity. Fortunately, though, we did splurge for a prosthetic device for #2. Although he can’t really get around like he used to since the external keyboard ties him down, at least we can communicate again.

Enter Laptop #3—a newer version of #1, but this time with a shiny, glossy screen and some upgraded features. She turned a year old in February (yes, this one’s a “she”), and she’s been everything I’ve ever wanted in a laptop. We spent many hours together at the local coffee shop writing show-stopping life insurance copy and dreaming about the future. Then came the horrible accident. Another fall, but this time at the hands of Boy #2. I can still hear the heartbreaking sound of metal on wood followed by the word no mom wants to hear uttered: “Whoops!” I rushed her to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store. Diagnosis? Broken screen. Cost? $1100. Response? Buy separate monitor instead for $150 and join the two like Siamese twins. Is this convenient? No. Doesn’t this union create a dangerous intertwining of cords and connectors? Yes. But up until last weekend this was bearable. That was when, as curse would have it, Dog decided that no computer or computer accessory under this roof should go unpunished, and he proceeded to jump on the table while he was trying to kill my mother-in-law because she wouldn’t let him gorge himself on garbage (which is a whole separate story that I’m too emotionally exhausted to go into) and KNOCK THE MONITOR–you guessed it!–onto the hardwood floor. Long story short (or short story long): I’m pretty sure that’s why my monitor is now buzzing.

Sorry, but I can’t listen to this anymore or I’m going to go “tell-tale-heart-Poe” on everyone. I’m going to bed.

Happy @&?%#ing May Day!


Oh, crap. It’s May Day. Does anyone else think that this holiday was created just to make us frazzled moms feel even guiltier? It happens every year. It’s not that I don’t realize that May 1st comes after April 30; I just always seem to have other things on my mind and it’s not until I come home and find our porch filled with beautifully bedazzled May baskets overflowing with popcorn, candy, and flowers that I give May Day any thought. Then it’s straight to my cupboard to see what I can scrounge up to appease the guilt gods. Let’s see…If you find a sytrofoam cup (YES, I care about the environment, but they’re cheap!) filled with the following items, you’ll know it’s from us:
dried beans
chili powder
stale Peeps left over from Easter
taco seasoning
Canine Carryouts (Beef flavored!)
a slightly bruised apple

Ding-Dong! “Oh, kids, we got a May Basket…I think…”

More than you ever wanted to know about the recorder

Wow–Day 2 as an “official blogger.” I never thought I’d make it this far! No, seriously, I didn’t really think past Day 1, which is why I have been frantically searching the Interweb for something to write about. I can’t bear the thought of letting down my 5 readers! I’ve come across blogs, some interesting, some inane, which I will save for another day. (I’ve really got you hooked now, huh?) Tonight, however, I will subject you to some disorganized thoughts sparked by everyone’s favorite $3 instrument.

This evening I had the pleasure of attending a music concert. What concert, you might ask? Billy Joel? Bon Jovi? Better. I had 4th row seats to watch my son and his fourth grade colleagues rock the house via …the plastic recorder. It was actually a really good concert, and I have to think that God created very special people to be elementary music teachers. The thought of being shut up in a classroom with 27 ten-year-olds armed with recorders makes me want to jump out of a window! Anyway, the concert got me to thinking, is there a future in recorder-playing? I mean, kids spend a year of their lives with these instruments and then just toss them aside the following year when the “real” instruments come into the picture. It’s like, “Hey, Recorder, thanks for breaking Joey in. I couldn’t take all that squeaking and squawking like you can, man. But now that he’s gotten it out of his system, I’ll take it from here.” And Joey lets his three-year-old brother slobber all over the poor selfless recorder as he gets lured away by a trampy trombone with a guilty smile. Where was I going with this?? Oh, right. So anyway, I got to thinking about the recorder and if anyone actually plays this instrument past the age of 10, and I have to say that I was blown away! (Pun intended.) Apparently there are organizations (such as the American Recorder Society) all over the WORLD devoted to people who enjoy playing the recorder for fun! And there are actually professional “recorderists” who, I guess, get paid to play the recorder?! Who knew? Apparently Pete Rose did, as this must have been his back-up career after getting kicked out of baseball. Obviously, parents aren’t buying this $106 recorder so their kids can run around the house with it playing “Hot Cross Buns” either. I just wonder, though, what makes people rediscover the recorder after it’s been lost in the bottom of the toybox for all those years…No matter. After discovering 61 regional organizations on Google Directory dedicated to the recorder and only 7 dedicated to the trombone, I’d say that the recorder has the last laugh.

Hello?? Is anybody there??

Ahem. (*cough*) Is this thing on? (*crickets chirping*) Okay…uh…Hi. Welcome to my first blog entry. If you’ve stumbled upon this blog by mistake, well, I’m sorry. And if you actually meant to read this, I just have to say—Seriously?! You’re reading this on purpose? I’m not sure whether to be flattered or frightened!

It’s 10:30 on a Monday night and I’m sitting at a kitchen table filled with an eclectic mix of the following: an empty Coke can (NO, I don’t mean Diet!), a bottle of Ozark white distilled vinegar, summer camp forms, a can of PerfectDuster air, a nearly gone bowl of Cookie Crisp cereal (I meant to say, ALL BRAN, of course), a hand-written list of the gems I need to collect to complete my Webkinz Crown of Wonder, 6 pretzel sticks, and a bottle of Tobasco sauce. If that’s not a conducive environment for producing an inaugural blog entry, I don’t know what is!

Why start a blog, you may ask? Well, the first reason is because every time I tell my mom a story about my day, which usually involves me being really embarrassed about something one of my boys said or did, she tells me, “You need to put that in your book!” After hearing that now for at least three years, I am convinced that she thinks I really do HAVE a book, and at this point I’m not sure how to break it to her that I don’t. I figure having a blog is the next-best thing to having a book (plus, I don’t really need a story, an agent, or talent), and I think I can retrain her fairly easily to say instead, “You need to put that in your blog!”

The second reason for starting a blog was because I had recently been looking for freelance writing jobs, and I was starting to feel like a big loser because I didn’t have “blog-writing experience,” which was required on nearly every posting! So, yes, I’m basically using you to beef up my resume. I have no shame.

Well, I guess that’s that. If you’re still with me and your eyes haven’t yet burned from reading such drivel, thanks for humoring me! It’s after midnight, and this chick’s gotta go to bed (I mean, I’ve got to go check out that new dance club downtown!)…aw, who am I kidding? No matter how hard I try, I will never live up to my idol’s standards. Britney’s set the “mom” bar WAY too high. (*sigh*)

# Contact info submission
url: boogersandburps.com
site_owner: Paula Reece
address1: 4102 SW Bluegrass Drive
city: Ankeny
state: IA
country: USA
postal_code: 50023
phone_number: 5153148203
display_email: paulareece@msn.com
site_name: Boogers and Burps
site_description: Where one mom finds herself in a life filled with boogers, burps, and all things boy.