Party Menu

I ran this menu by Bill who said it was fine. I asked him if he could think of anything else, and he said no. He’s not much help. What do you all think? Some guests may be bringing dishes, too. I’m estimating about 30 adults and 25 kids.

Main dishes:
Mojo Chicken
BBQ Chicken (using a homemade sauce I have leftover from the ribs I recently made)
Grilled Steak Salad (scroll down for the yummy recipe)
Hot dogs (mostly for the kids)

Side Dishes:
Tomato-Basil-Asparagus Pasta Salad (just add Italian dressing)
Texas Caviar with Tortilla Chips (must find recipe…)
Fruit Tray with Marshmallow Fluff/Cream Cheese Dip
probably some other chips

Brownies (3 different kinds)
Margarita Cupcakes (I have to try these, just have to)

Beer (of course, but having difficulty finding a good one, of course)
Various Soft Drinks
Tequila Mojitos (recipe to follow soon)
Margarrritas (thanks, Barb)
And I think I’ll have everything I need to make the Blueberry Pomengranite Margaritas that Kris left a recipe for in the combox.

And when I went to get the link for the Margarrritas, I saw Barb’s Strawberry Margarita Pie. I don’t know how I can’t make that, too.

Is this enough variety or I am way too heavy on the tequila?

My last year without a teenager

Today is Fritz’s 12th birthday. He was born at 3:30 AM after 46 hours labor. Back labor. Prodromal back labor.

He was worth every minute of it. Still is. Most days. I do find myself occasionally telling him to stop acting so twelve.

His favorite food is tacos, and he would have been happy eating them at home or at Taco Bell. Instead, we went on Friday evening to a local Mexican restaurant. Some of us (me) were just not going to eat at Taco Hell. Fritz was very happy with the restaurant. He had…tacos.
For his birthday dessert, he wanted to go to the local ice cream shop for cones. We went after lunch today and took our friends along, too. He had a waffle cone (special treat) with “chocolate fetish” ice cream.

Notice the storm clouds in the background of the photo? A few minutes later, it poured. Then it was sunny. Then it poured. It kept going back and forth like that all day long.

After the ice cream, we went to Target so he could pick out a small present. We got him a new bike a few months ago with the clear understanding that it was an early birthday present. I did, though, promise him a chance to pick something out this month. He selected a flag football set with enough flags for 4 on 4. You might notice 6 boys in that photo above, plus 2 dads and they’re all set.

We also spent some time in the shoe department. 5 of my 6 kids needed shoes. Fritz’s new sneakers are size 8. I realize that may not be that big for a 12 year old boy, but since he’s replacing worn out size 6’s that we bought a few months ago, it’s a big deal to me.

Guess who did not need new shoes? Guess who had no trouble finding plenty of shoes she wanted? We did manage to return them all to the shelves, but guess who was really disappointed when everybody had a shoe box in the car and there was none for her?

I almost caved and bought the pink sparkly ballet flats, but they didn’t have them in my size.

Fritz also received $20 from my parents who were visiting this weekend, and a dollar from my brother, Glenn. I love that my brother assumes that all his nephews and nieces adore him. In most adults, that would be obnoxious, but for a man with Downs Syndrome, it is rather cute.

Fritz chose to not spend his cash on other toys. He’s saving his money. I think he wants to buy a canoe.

His favorite color is blue.

He likes art and geography and history. He does not like Latin or English or math.

He loves baseball.

He talks about getting married and having children in a theoretical way. Practically speaking, though, he could live without girls. Except his mom, of course. And Mary. He dotes on Mary.

This is Fritz. He is twelve.

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.

We recently added a few more bottles to our liquor supply. After my friend, Rachel, made me a margarita when I was visiting her in Kansas, I decided to add tequila and triple sec. And then I saw a recipe for margaritas using cointreau. That’s three more bottles. Our cabinet is pretty full. I’ve been experimenting on the best ratio and flavor combination.

I’m trying to figure out if alcohol goes under “groceries” or “recreation” in our budget. Thoughts?

We’re having a party next weekend, and I’m flipping through the drink section of my favorite cookbook. Must plan food around beverages, right? There’s a recipe for tequila mojitos which looks good, so I will make a batch this weekend to try it out. There’s also one for margarita granitas. It calls for “orange liqueur.” I asked Bill if that was the cointreau.

“There are three orange liqueurs,” he informs me. “We have them all.”

Hm. Maybe that’s excessive? Actually, there are quite a bit more than three, so maybe having only three is fine.

If you’re in the area, come visit. I hope you’re thirsty.

And if you happen to have a tequila based summer-time drink recipe you’d care to share, please do.


A closer look at the MRI on my foot by the doctors in podiatry revealed, possibly, a bone chip near the ankle. On Wednesday, they had me come in and do a CT scan, which had them further convinced that there were multiple fragments of bone in my ankle – “like pebbles in your foot,” said one doctor.

They wanted to inject a steroid into the area to see if that eliminated the pain. If it did, they reasoned, it meant the bone fragments were responsible for the pain, and surgery to remove them would be the recommended course of action. Getting the steroid into the right spot is a tricky thing and required an x-ray machine and me lying very still. Despite the local anesthetic, the pressure on my foot was rather uncomfortable and I had to focus on my “happy place” and do some deep breathing to get through it. I also kept reminding myself that it wasn’t as bad as labor. So far, when they ask me to rank pain on a scale from 0 to 10 with 10 being “the worst pain you’ve ever felt,” natural childbirth is my 10.

Wednesday afternoon, the local anesthetic wore off and the pain was in the 3 -4 range. It doesn’t usually hurt that much unless I’m actually running, but I guess it’s pretty traumatic to have a needle shoved into your ankle bone. The doctor had told me not to run for a couple of days (Thursday and Friday). Just walking around yesterday, I felt fine, and was eager to get out today to see how things felt.

And things felt great. Five miles (some of it walking) and no pain, no pressure, nothing. I would not normally be excited at the prospect of surgery, but if it solves the problem, I can’t wait. Two months ago, I truly despaired that I would ever run again. But now, I have a glimmer of hope.


School for today will be a field trip to observe marine life, wave and tide progression, and the effects of sunlight on hair and skin. In other words, we’re going to Hilton Head.

Last weekend, Bill’s work took him away from us to Colorado Springs and the Olympic Village where he met many paralympians. If you ever want to feel like a whiny slacker (oh, my foot hurts, I can’t go running…), spend a few days listening to the stories of these courageous people who overcome significant disabilities to compete in events I couldn’t master even with all my limbs and senses intact.

Among others, he met these inspirational, young men from Cleveland, Ohio.

High school teammates carry on

A few years ago, Bill traveled to Germany with his boss to visit wounded soldiers. He had a hangnail, which we all know can be painful and annoying. But he knew how ridiculous it was to be bothered by something like that when he was surrounded by people who had lost limbs or half their brains. Hopefully that video will put some perspective on whatever ails you right now.

Have a great weekend.

Little Ears, Big Mouths

Bill met me at the hospital where I was to have a needle stuck in my foot. Rather unpleasant experience. He took the kids to get haircuts (the boys) and to buy Mother’s Day presents.

I met him when I was done and we argued discussed the parking over by his office where I had to go for a meeting. His parking lot is tight and there are few free spaces. And my van is big. He wanted me to just pull up behind his car. I whined about how small his lot was, and suggested he drive the van and I would drive his car.

He agreed, although he teased me mercilessly. I believe the term he used was “pathetic.” You see how he loves me?

An hour later, after the meeting, we loaded the kids up and I pulled away. Peter pipes up from the middle row. “Mommy, why were you uncomfortable parking Moby?”

Just when you think their minds are like sieves, they prove how closely they really do listen.

Free Speech is SUPPOSED to make the Government uncomfortable

Spend about 10 minutes reading the news and you’ll find a growing and ominous grumbling about those “radical” Tea Party types. I find it very alarming when the mayor of NYC vocalizes the suspicion that the person responsible for the car bomb in the city was likely “somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill.” Most reasonable Americans might jump to the conclusion that radical Islamists were involved, and, once again, such suspicions would have been correct.

Instead, there seems to be a concerted effort to demonize those who think that the State is getting a bit too big. If Big Brother says it often enough, does that make it true? Americans should be worried when riot police are called out when people peacefully assemble. I don’t have a problem with riot police being placed on alert, or even being brought to the area. But to place them as if ready to battle docile, unarmed citizens singing patriotic songs calmly?

Even more shocking is when an Army officer edits an emergency response exercise to include TEA PARTY protesters as potentially violent. It’s bad enough when the President criticizes those who speak out against the government by saying “it undermines democratic deliberation” and that “it coarsens our culture, and at its worst, it can send signals to the most extreme elements of our society that perhaps violence is a justifiable response.” I would expect him to get his panties all in a bunch over being called a socialist. But when you start to see Army officers buying into the notion that anyone who speaks out against the government is a threat to democracy, we are in big trouble.

In six months, the entire House, a third of the Senate, and 36 governors are up for election. I think we are beyond squabbling about tax rates and gays in the military. We have some serious constitutional issues at stake. I pray we resolve these concerns, specifically the threat to our Bill of Rights, in a peaceful manner.