Tuesday, July 15, 2008

E-Coli, Anyone?!

Count me in!

That’s right, kids: we’re headed to the Lake of the Ozarks for year trois of our annual summertime debauchery. This year, 13 of us will pile into the 5 bedroom house on the water and boat that we've rented for the weekend. We have packed literal carloads of every type of artery-clogging, terrible-for-you food imaginable. And of course, 15 30-packs of beer. Hopefully it'll be enough.

In addition to beer consumption, there will no doubt be an embarrassing admission or two during multiple rounds of "I've Never...," plus all manner of dreadful behavior meant to secure the Coding Out Award. I won't even try to explain its name...all you need to know is that it is bestowed upon the most ridiculous vacationer of the weekend. There really is a trophy, with an engraved plaque and everything. And I'll be damned if a dude gets it this year. Maybe drinking some lake water would guarantee me the win?

Fug that. Of all the disgraceful conduct in which I may engage this weekend, I hereby solemnly swear that it will not include dipping so much as a pinky toe into that nasty cesspool they're still calling a lake. I’m seriously baffled by the assertion that at 12 times what is considered a "healthy standard," Lake Ozark's e-coli level this year is still within safe swimming parameters! Ummmm - no thanks!

Hope everyone's enjoying a nice, bacteria-free weekend :) Catch you next week...


It appears that the dogs took advantage of our less than coherent (ok, comatose) state in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Later that afternoon, after the Advil had started to take effect, we went to kennel the puggles before leaving to run some errands. In Louie’s crate, we discovered the remnants of our midnight McDonald’s feast: a shredded Big Mac box and about 5 ketchup packets. And before anyone scolds us too harshly, I do remember enough to be positive that I polished off that entire Big Mac, thank you very much. Wait, did I seriously just admit that? At any rate, whatever they managed to get away with wasn’t much, and the ketchup packets were luckily unopened.

We’re not sure which one is the culprit or whether they both had a hand-er,paw-in this transgression, since both Louie and Des have a preference for Louie’s crate (we frequently find Desi napping or playing in it instead of his own). However, I personally think that Louie seemed to have the guiltier looking face of the two. You be the judge:

McSneaky from meghan on Vimeo.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jamba Juice It's Not...

but my smoothies aren't too shabby, either.

Honestly, my diet has absolutely sucked this summer. With all of the BBQs we've been going to, I've rekindled my love affair with zero nutrition white flour. Forget the burgers, just give me the buns! And who knows what posessed me to buy the stuff, but I did and now I've been eating Hawaiian sweet bread like it's going out of style and my frugal nature has prevented me from just throwing the damn package away.

For the record, I don't adhere by any means to a strict and obsessive diet - I never have and never could. I mostly like and choose healthy foods, but I eat what I want and follow the "everything in moderation" philosophy because I believe strongly in balance. So every now and again, if I eat some potato salad or fast food, I don't beat myself up.

That said, I've been feeling like a bag of crap lately and I know it's in part because I haven't been eating a balanced diet. I usually do a decent job of incorporating fruits and veggies into my meals, but I decided I needed to recommit myself to that as well as getting plenty of fiber.

So, I bought a bunch of fresh and frozen fruit on Saturday including mango, strawberries, peaches, blueberries and raspberries. I cleaned, washed and chopped the fresh stuff and packed it all into the freezer with the intention of making real fruit smoothies for breakfast the next couple of weeks.

As a hangover cure on Sunday, I pureed together:

1/2 c. mangoes
1/2 c. strawberries
1/2 c. blueberries
1/2 c. nonfat vanilla yogurt
I also added crushed ice, but it was unnecessary since the fruit itself was frozen and to be honest kinda effed things up.

It was a little tart, I think because half of the strawberries I bought weren't super ripe, so maybe I'll add a teaspoon of honey or something for next time.

It was good though and a filling way to pack in the recommended fruit servings for the day!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm a Bridesmaid!

Err, matron? How ugly does that sound? Is that what you really have to call a married bridesmaid?

In any case...yay! I can't wait to be a part of this wedding!!

In true Tricia style, she invited her whole side of the wedding party (including her precious flower girl, Madison) to Cyrano's in Webster for "wedding chit chat."

She treated us to dinner, the best bread pudding in the city (mmmmmmm nom nom nom) and presented each of us with a perfectly wrapped box complete with a tag displaying a cute poem asking us to be her bridesmaids! Our gifts were J.Crew grosgrain flip flops in different colors. What a sweet idea! I'm pretty sure I just called my bridesmaids and said something like, "so you wanna?" This was definitely much better :)

Here are all of the girls, minus one of the Emilys:

Thanks Trish! Can't WAIT for 6.20.09!

Friday, July 11, 2008


So, I’m required to wear suits to work. Really? I mean, most attorneys I know don’t wear suits except to court. I’m not a fan of this policy for obvious reasons, the biggest of which is that I hate buying them. They’re expensive (if you actually want to look put-together), boring and I despise shopping for clothes that can’t “multi-task” if you will. But whatever, c’est la vie.

I happened to be at the mall during my lunch break today and saw that The Limited was having a sale. Normally I don’t shop there because the style isn’t really me, and in my experience their clothes are made for women who tower over the rest of us. However, I am in need of new suits in summer-weight fabrics and decided to give it a try.

I actually hit the jackpot – there were tons of relatively cute suits on sale, in a considerable number of sizes and with pants in the short version, a veritable trophy for a woman of average as opposed to supermodel stature.

I headed to the dressing room with 4 suits in what I assumed was my size. Since I’m not a frequent Limited customer, I knew that I’d probably have some size adjustments to make, but I figured that they’d at least be uniform…like, can I have all of these in a 4 please? How I can fit into a 0, 2, 4 AND 6 in the same store’s clothing is beyond me.

It was enough to frustrate me into leaving with only 2 of my 4 selections. Again...seriously?!

Steak Out

I came home from grocery shopping a couple of weeks ago ready to load up our (very roomy, I might add) freezer and this is what I found:

Apparently, a door to door meat salesman had stopped by and rendered Matt powerless to resist buying $350 worth of frozen steak.

Filets, t-bones, strips, sirloins, ribeyes, flanks, you name it. Oh and he negotiated a hell of a price for the chicken package, so there are a few of those thrown in as well.

Good god!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Our new (canine) “niece” - Tricia and Matt are the proud parents of Abby, an approximately 1.5 year old black lab!!

They adopted her from friends of the original owner, who unexpectedly had to move to New York for a job and leave Abby behind.

As it turns out, she is almost certainly the world’s most perfect dog! She is housebroken, walks like a champ on a leash and obeys all of the basic commands. They had considered getting a puppy until they heard about Abby, and I’m actually pretty jealous that their entry into dog ownership has been so smooth while we are STILL dealing with the pee and poo machine that is Desi. Puppies are cute, but not that cute!

Abby had a brief get-together with her cousins a couple of weeks ago and she did everything from fascinate to arouse to terrify Desmond, while Louie tried to keep up but just…couldn’t…as evidenced by the following photos and video.

A particularly large tree branch had fallen in our yard and we hadn’t yet broken it up into pieces to fit into a yard waste bag. Abby just assumed that it was a giant stick :)

Abby's "tree" from meghan on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

'Ladyhouse' Rocks

Our friend and famed actor, Emily (perhaps more familiar to some as Miz Cheezy E?), recently finished a run of the play ‘Ladyhouse Blues’ by Kevin O’Morrison, with ACT Inc. at the Fontbonne University Fine Arts Theatre.

We were lucky enough to see her perform on its last night, and I’m just saying that she absolutely shone as Terry, the revolutionary sister involved in the union movement.

I’d never heard of this drama before and was captivated by its storyline, set in South St. Louis in 1919. I was surprised to learn that the playwright is a man, as the five characters’ voices achieved an authenticity that I usually find (or expect to find?) absent in female characters penned by men. I know I like this guy based on his quote about writing the play in honor of the women in his own family: "This play is entirely about women trying to survive in a world they never made. 'Ladyhouse Blues' is my valentine to the remarkable women who shaped my life." Special.
Ultimately, though, I think the credit for this success goes to the actors and in particular Emily. Congrats!

I’m thrilled to hear that she has another show lined up for March, just before she gears up for her May wedding, because I can’t wait to watch her onstage again!

Here is me and Emily (and her studly fiance Anthony) after some cocktails:
P.S. Gah! I want my long hair back right now!! :(

Happy Birthday, Sister!

Here's to you, J...

I love so much about you, like what a spectacular mom you are and your witty sense of humor. But what I love most especially is the fact that you're 6 years ahead of me in the aging process :)

Kidding, kidding...Love!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Yankee Doodle Sweethearts...

The week surrounding July 4th is always a time for celebration in our family. My niece turns 5 today, my nephew turned 2 on June 29th, and their parents celebrated their 11th anniversary on July 5th. So, Matt, Desi, Louie and I hosted a joint birthday party for the little ones on Sunday.

The bash was complete with mountains of food…I think we’ll be eating leftovers for 2 weeks; gifts…Matt said it looked like Christmas on our deck, and he wasn’t kidding; and an octopus sprinkler that only partially inflated! Yeah!!

Lucy, Teddy and their cousins Maddie and Claire having fun with the octopus…

Cupcakes from La Bonne Bouchee!
This was the first time I’ve been here, which is unbelievable since it’s supposed to be the best authentic French patisserie in the area. While I was in line waiting to pick up my order on Sunday morning, the pastries in their front case and the breakfast plates being served were making my stomach growl loudly. The cupcakes themselves were beautiful and delicious – Matt and I aren’t big icing people, and Bonne Bouchee’s is light, fluffy and not too sweet. I would highly recommend them!
Louie got into the spirit:
Teddy kept putting his fingers into his ears in anticipation of fireworks. There weren’t any going off in our backyard or even any that would be occurring within an audible distance from our house, but after a weekend full of fireworks displays, he was prepared…just in case :) I love it! Teddy with his very own Home Depot dump truck and hard hat…the thing even makes a beep noise when it reverses!
So many presents it’s overwhelming…
...Teddy couldn't handle opening the rest and ran off to play instead. His dad asked if he’d come back and let us watch him open some more and Teddy’s response was, “No thank you. But I’ll take my cupcake now.” Awesome.
Here's Tedward with his new Cardinals bat - what a handsome guy he's turning into! I'm totally unbiased.

I can't believe that our sweet, beautiful girl is already 5 years old! I remember being in Barcelona and getting the call from Chicago the day she was born, then celebrating her arrival with tapas and sangria on Las Ramblas :) I love this one of her and Desi:
Just for fun, I scrounged up a picture of Lucy at about 2 months old...isn't she absolutely squeezable?!
Lucy and both of her "cousins": LuLu and LouLou:
The pups were sooooo exhausted after their long day, but we were proud of how perfectly behaved they were!

Us with Lucy Goose:

Happy Birthdays, loves!

Nobody Messes with Louie!

There have been few times during our relationship when I’ve been more attracted to my husband than I was on Friday.

A bit of background: basically, Louie sometimes barks – he’s a dog, not to mention part beagle, so this kind of comes with the territory. Usually he starts up if he sees a cat on his turf, or dogs and their humans walking on “his” sidewalk. In these situations, he quiets down quickly and on his own.

Since it’s been nice outside this year, though, he has also started barking – seemingly unprovoked – at the two boys next door. We have a chain link fence on that one side of the yard, so as soon as they come out to play (they’re 7 and 8, I think) Louie runs up to it and starts howling away.

As soon as it happens, we’re on him, scolding him and apologizing profusely to our neighbors, who usually just roll their eyes at us. Now for those of you who know Louie, you know he’s hardly a menace. He has his flaws, but he really is the sweetest and most obedient dog. Yet he continues the uncalled-for barking at these boys on pretty much a daily basis. I’d started to theorize that they must have done something to elicit such behavior from our lovable little pooch, but had yet to witness anything. That is, until Friday.

Matt had made a Lowe’s run and I desperately needed a shower from a full day of landscaping before our July 4th parties that night, so I left both dogs playing in the yard and went upstairs.

I glanced out the bathroom window as I waited for the water to heat up and the puggles were busy gnawing on bones. I heard the neighbor boys come outside and sure enough, within seconds, Louie was howling his head off. Crap.

I craned my neck to see that side of the yard and literally screamed out loud when I saw the older boy shoving a stick through the fence right into Louie’s nose, then putting his own face up to the fence and barking an angry, ferocious bark to which Louie was obviously responding. The kid then started shaking the fence and yelling various taunts at Louie, one that I heard loud and clear: “you stupid animal!”

I about jumped out of my skin trying to decide what to do. I wrapped myself in a towel and flew downstairs, having decided to call the dogs inside to me first, then worry about putting on clothes and giving the brats a piece of my mind.

Matt drove up right then. After quickly relaying what I had seen and heard to him, he said he’d watch from the back door to see if it continued. Unhappily for the little fiends, they kept it up.

Next, I heard our door slam and Matt’s voice telling our 8 year old neighbor that he was “rude” and asking to speak with his dad. Yes!!! Matt explained to the dad that the last thing we want to be is crabby old neighbors. However, we don’t tolerate Louie’s barking and take care to discipline him consistently, which is unfair when their kids are giving him every reason to continue doing it. Not to mention that poking a stick in his face could seriously hurt him.

The neighbor made no excuses and said he'd take care of it, thank goodness...nothing I hate more than people defending (or worse, ignoring) their kids' bad behavior. Oddly, we haven’t seen them since...did they go on vacation or did they move just to avoid us? I don’t really care either way, as long as they leave Louie alone.

I’ve heard a few dumb excuses, like “boys will be boys.” Uh, sorry, no. Or, “they were just teasing him – they didn’t mean any harm.” Well, there are probably some people who’d say that we care too much about our dogs, but I disagree. Now I can appreciate that a two year old pulling on a dog's ears because he doesn't know any better is a different story. But for 7 and 8 year olds to tease an animal, even if they're not physically hurting it, is intentional and mean. If I saw any kid doing this to any dog and not just my own, I would have intervened. You know what they say about people who mistreat animals as kids, right? Exactly – HUGE marker on the psychopath personality profile!!

Matt commented that these boys remind him of Macaulay Culkin in 'The Good Son'. Now that he mentions it, I have to agree that they both bear a striking resemblance. Shudder...

At first I was worried about what the fact that I was a little turned on by hearing my husband yell at kids says about me, but I got over it. Now I'm feeling secure about our future parenting abilities knowing that at least we won't be raising little thugs!

To avoid making a post sans pictures...

See? Now tell me this dog is anything but sweet:

And here's old Lou on July 4th, 2006 - the first day we brought him home as a puppy. Ugh, I can't take it - pardon me while I go kiss him!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

We are so. effing. mean.

Much to her parents' dismay, Abby the black lab's 4th of July getup didn't fit her, so Louie received his first hand-me-down.
We didn't make him wear it too long - only enough time to snap a couple of pics - but it had a skirt:

We're going to hell...


Anyone out there?

Let me start by saying that I appreciate the concern for my well-being. I have not, in fact, died – but I’m touched that several of you have asked.

To anyone left reading, please accept my sincere apologies for being MIA in the form of the following list, which highlights some of the things that have kept me from spilling my guts via blog for the past month:

- Promotion at work. Not as fun as it sounds.

- Multiple weekends spent assisting the Browers. Every bit as fun as it sounds!

- Constantly cleaning up after my poop-eating puppy and extensively researching the possible causes of such indecorous behavior.

- Planning and executing a kids’ birthday party of epic proportions.

- Landscaping. Landscaping. Landscaping.

- Getting a haircuit that I dubbed “the Minivan,” which made me want to hide for a few weeks until it grew out a little.

- The passing of Matt’s grandmother last week. RIP Rosemary.

I think that pretty much covers the biggies. It’s been all I can do to keep from falling asleep during my commute home lately, much less force myself to squint at a computer screen for any longer than my workday requires! But July promises to be relaxing, relatively speaking…so like it or not, I’m back for awhile :)

Here are a few updated photos of the abovementioned poop-eater and his brother. By the way, the only category he seems to fit into in terms of the reason he’s doing this is "to hide evidence." That’s what the experts say, anyway…