Clare's Chaotic Cacophony

This is my little piece of cyberspace where I chronicle events in my life. Where I can vent, or dream, or wax poetic… Grab a heavily alcoholic beverage and join me, if you will.

Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

The Old Lady and the Salmon

In my sons third grade reader, we read a story. It told about a little old lady who woke up one morning and found that everything went horribly wrong. After several mishaps, she decided that she must’ve gotten up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. The little old lady is so desperate to change the tone of the day that she seriously changed back into her nightdress and crawled back into bed, this time getting up on the other side. And what do you know…her day improved! This story really amused and stuck with Sean and me. We often reference it when the day is going sour.

Well, today went sour. For a morning that started so well, it ended very poorly. Klutz that I am, I actually injured my foot exercising yesterday, so no workout for me today. Brendan woke up with a sore throat and was miserable. Testosterone attitudes started piling up over things like “Go clean your closet, please.” Sean even got sent to his room for copping a ‘tude and fell asleep where he’d been pouting on the floor. And then, the salmon happened. But to explain the salmon happening, I must first tell the Story of the Salmon…

This week’s meal plans has some tried and true favorites for me (like Breakfast Burritos! 🙂 Ole!) but there are some things that sadly, I’ve never tried before. Some of these are very basic foods too! One of these things is salmon. Salmon is a much beloved dish and as someone who considers herself somewhat of a foodie, it blows my mind that I haven’t tried it yet. This probably has something to do with fish not being my favoritest food in the world.  When I’m pregnant, I won’t touch raw fish with a ten foot poll. The sight and smell alone is enough to make me hurl. I’ll only eat it fried and served up with Tartar Sauce. Delicious, yes. Healthy, NO. Let’s face it, fish smells…fishy. But as I’m not pregnant and there’s no danger of hurling, I figured it’s time to suck it up and broil some fish.

I made a trip to the fresh fish department of the grocery store and stared at the fish for awhile. The guy behind the counter just stared at me staring at the fish, probably thinking I was a bit “off”. First I made sure that the fish I was staring at was indeed salmon, and then I grilled the poor guy about bones. I’ve watched enough Food Network to know that pinbones hide everywhere and require a giant pair of tweezer to painstakingly pull each one out. I don’t own a giant pair of tweezers, nor do I want to spend hours pulling tiny bones out of fish flesh. He assured me that filets are clean, so cringing at the price, I bought a pound. That’s a little less than I needed, but I figured I’d substitute chicken a day or two. The next day I open my neatly wrapped package and stare at the salmon. I have to admit it’s beautiful. I begin to look at this fish as a new culinary challenge! I proceed to google “how to broil salmon” on my trusty iPhone. I find directions, gather my ingredients and get to work. I weigh my portions, rub them with a touch of olive oil and spices and lay them tenderly on the heated broiler rack. I got this. I proudly think with a smirk. It comes out of the broiler even prettier than when it went in. I even achieved the crust that the recipe talked about! I peel the skin off, put them in my lunch containers, and congratulate myself on a fish well cooked.

So all morning I salivated over my beautiful, perfectly cooked salmon. When the day started to turn into a steaming pile, I had sampling my fish in the back on my mind. By lunch time, a headache was starting to bloom from all the morning fun and games. I warmed my lunch, picked a big piece of perfectly flaky fish on my fork and took a bite….

…and hated it. I was incredulous. How could such a prized piece of meat taste so horrible to me? Why was it soooo terribly fishy? The strong fishiness was inescapable, in fact it even permeated my roasted asparagus! I tried another bite. No good. I tried a bite of the inner meat, which was even softer. Worse. By this point the happy little bubble of hope in my head burst. I couldn’t even finish my salmon.

About this time, a sleepy faced Sean wandered over to me with a grin and sheepishly asked “I don’t suppose we could be like the little old lady? Start over from the right side of the bed?” And then he hugged me and apologized for his earlier outburst.

I’d love to say that the madness ended there, but it didn’t. At one point, I even put on a video for the older boys so I could take a nap with the baby simply to try out the old lady’s technique myself! I woke up hopeful that we’d started over. Then I heard the words that strike terror into every mother’s heart: “Oh eewwww, go tell Mom…you’ve got poop on your legs!”. Apparently the nap wasn’t long enough. Next thing you know, I had pizza ordered. So add “falling off the wagon” to my list of the day’s shortcomings. Luckily we didn’t have any wine around or I could’ve added “polishing off a bottle of wine” to the list as well! 😉 Even the neighborhood kids were in a nasty mood because my kiddos came in knowing a few words that had never graced their ears before. Luckily no one was curious about what “f–k your mother” meant so I was spared that explanation. Things stayed pretty crazy right until bedtime. At the moment, I’m the last one awake. The house is quiet. While catching up on  messages online, it seems that a few of my friends had a rough day as well. Even Jason said his day was crazy at work. So maybe it’s that “moon is in the wrong house” explanation. But here’s hoping that bedtime brings peace and maybe tomorrow we can all wake up like the little old lady, on the right side of the bed, and everything will be right again…just like that. 🙂


By the way, the salmon fight is not over. I’ve been given some suggestions on how to ease the “fishy” flavor and plan on trying them tomorrow. If anyone has any other tips, please leave me a comment and let me know! I’d greatly appreciate it!

Cleaning ADD

I have many times seen jokes made about Cleaning ADD. Well, it’s real, people. It’s a menace that attacks stay at home parents mercilessly and without remorse. You start off with the best of intentions, for example:

“This kitchen is a freaking sty. I’m going to give it a good cleaning!”

And you begin by putting on some music (Peppy rock usually does the trick for me, today’s selection was The Offspring.) and pulling out the disinfectant wipes. You’re dancing and cleaning when it strikes… Your counter-wiping leads you to realize that the bar is a bigger sty than the kitchen counters. Bars look nice in theory, but let’s face it…they’re really catch-alls for crap. Toys, papers, legos, pictures, cables, chargers, bills…

“Ooo where did this bill come from? *sigh* My med insurance strikes again. Idiots don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground…better call on this before I get collection threats.”

You know if you wait, you’ll forget. So off the music goes, and you call. They refer you to a different company. They refer you to your insurance. Your insurance still doesn’t know the difference between holes in various places, so you call the original company to figure things out. While waiting on hold, being transferred from one drooler to the next, and begging for infomation you’ve wiped another counter, soothed a baby, taken a picture of a proud little boy’s pyramid, and then noticed the floor…

By the time it’s all done, you’ve been instructed to print some forms from a website and they’ll get back with you. So still no real resolution. I sometimes think insurance companies enjoy leaving people hanging. I think that deep down, they’re secretly hoping that you’ll forget and then HA! You’re stuck with the bill after all. There are deadlines you know! (Not that they ever call, write, or email to remind you…)

Meanwhile, the kitchen is half done, the floor is partially picked up, and it honest-to-goodness looks like nothing was really accomplished. You fed the baby some Gerber puffs and perhaps you had to fish a few legos out of his mouth, so I guess that’s something.

But seriously, how often does this strike? All. The. Time. You start one thing, and in the midst of doing that thing, you find something else that you just know you’ll forget, so you do that really quickly, which leads to you another thing, etc…etc..etc.. And the vicious cycle continues circling, driving most stay-at-home parents to distraction. Or perhaps to sit on the stairs looking at all of the half accomplished things shaking their head and muttering obscenities. It looks like you’ve done nothing…but you’ve been busting your booty all day!

Cleaning ADD is a serious threat. It’s eroding the sanity of good moms and dads everywhere. Where is the cure? Where will it end?

Perhaps I should take up a collection. I’ll start a new website. It’ll be a non-profit organization that specializes in research. All proceeds and donations will go towards the hiring of a housekeeping professional. The research will be conducted by me…I’ll see if letting someone else do the cleaning eases this evil ailment and restores a touch of sanity.

A girl can dream, right? 😉