FTSF – Epic Diaper Fail: A Babyzilla Story

When the timing is right to jump into something, you know.

Sometimes you just need the right combination of factors to fall into place together to make you say, “OK, it’s time to try this.” I have been reading posts here and there that link up to Finish the Sentence Friday, currently hosted at my friend Kristi’s blog.

I thought it might be a cool thing to do on several occasions, but…I didn’t. But when I read some of the posts from this week’s and saw the topic, I knew I had a trick up my sleeve that would be perfect. Continue reading

TToT – Out There

It’s been a week.

So many things going on here I can’t even sort them out quite right. But it’s good. It’s a good kind of whirlwind to be caught up in.

Let’s get to it because I still have about fifteen things to finish tonight.


First, I have to be pretty happy about the fact that the writing is flowing both here and outside of this space. I got three non-TToT posts in last week. (Honestly, some weeks that’s been the only thing that keeps me afloat here at all.) This week I had words go up four times, I think. And there is more to come.

Continue reading

Friday Five – Why My Cat is an @$$hole

Anyone who says animals do not have personalities has never lived with one.

Anyone who says cats do not do things intentionally for spite has never lived with my cat. You see, Cat One, as he is known here, has an attitude problem.

Let’s get one thing clear straight away: he isn’t overly pampered. None of the Rotten Cats are. They are loved and cared for and petted and snuggled as is appropriate. But they have been informed by The Management here that they are, in fact, cats, and not the supreme rulers of the house and the universe.

Cat One disagrees.

Across the Table

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Guest Post – Eli from Coach Daddy Talks Leftovers

That’s right. Leftovers. Food that was not consumed at some previous meal.

Leftovers are a reality in every kitchen. If you tell me you don’t have any in your fridge right now or that you never eat them, well, I would have a hard time believing you.

Moms love leftovers. At least this mom does. Leftovers give me a bye night in the kitchen. True, I love to cook. But sometimes I just don’t want to think about it. It’s hard to come up with great ideas every. single. night. And I have blog posts and kids’ books to write. When I ask the Hub for input, we often end up playing a down and dirty round of What Do You Want to Do About Dinner. So leftovers get planned intentionally here every now and then. Or every week.


I’m pretty lucky in the leftover food department. My family takes them in stride. Sometimes they give up a little “Huzzah!” when I say “we’re having the leftover ____” from the other night, especially if it’s Zilla’s favorite Swedish meatballs.

Or tacos.

Here to offer the Dad’s perspective on leftovers is my new-ish friend and awesome blogger, Eli from Coach Daddy. Eli’s posts are sometimes funny, sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes poignant. His Go Ask Daddy and 6 Words features are fantastic. Please give him a warm welcome here and then go check him out over at his place. You’ll be glad you did.




Leftovers. I know people who won’t eat them, under any circumstances.

I’ve refereed skirmishes that have broken out over whose leftover China Den is whose.

Leftovers. They’re polarizing.

They’re a cornerstone of human life. Since Ubod the Cro-Magnon failed to finish a side of mammoth in one sitting. (He saved the rest in the back of the cave). Napoleon, Alexander the Great, Redd Foxx and even Mitt Romney partook. Leftovers: Constant as death, taxes, and the raiders missing the playoffs.

In modern family life, leftovers fall into the dwindling domain of a father’s jurisdiction. You’ll find it in the Bylaws of Fatherhood. It’s right there. Next to “exterminator,” “cash dispenser*” and “rule bender.”

*- Not including dads whose finances look less like Mark Cuban’s and more like Argentina’s. You can’t squeeze sweet and sour sauce from an empty packet.

The Rules of Leftovers are unofficial and unwritten, well, until now. Here’s what you need to know about leftovers – from dad’s ornamental throne.

photo credit: wintersoul1 via photopin cc

photo credit: wintersoul1 via photopin cc


Asian calculation: If you want to ensure you eat the maximum sesame chicken out of your entree, don’t leave it to the Fridge Gods. A kid will scavenge your meat and leave you with rice and water chestnuts.


Bring it from the table: Dad will pick up your crayons and crackers, but your box of chow is your responsibility at the restaurant.*

*-Sesame chicken not included in this clause. Dad will hold it.


Corn chips: The worst possible leftover. Your delectable nachos become a soggy sack of limpness. Dig in and finish your chips.


Destructive Intent Waiver: Once a leftover food surpasses the threshold for safe consumption, use it as a weapon of mass destruction. Just don’t tell mom.


Empty container clause: If you eat 17 ravioli and leave two in the bucket, you’re required to eat tuna and crackers for your next meal. Finish the job, son.


Fancy restaurant: If the leftovers come from a swanky place – which includes premium burgers from McDonald’s – original eater gets rights of first refusal, unless you can be sly and stealth about it.




Hit Me Baby One More Time Act: Always – ALWAYS – ask for a refill of whatever drink you ordered. At $2.75 a shot, it’ll take at least four servings to break even. Do it for the team.


Identification advice: If it looks like one menu item, but is the color of another … just pass.


Look the Other Way Agreement: If your leftover box cubic space far outpaces your actual leftover mass, it’s customary to fill the space with a ‘souvenir’ restaurant glass or soup spoon. Don’t tell mom.


Microwave etiquette: If it’s stinky, don’t overdo it. Four minutes on high is way too long for twice-heated noodles and wasabi.


Nincompoop provision: No mercy or sympathy expected for the dolt who: 1) leaves her box of leftovers at the restaurant; or b) leaves his box of leftovers on the roof of the car.


One-week rule: I’ve read in National Geographic that organized Caucasian families have a color-code system to help keep leftovers from going uneaten. In our house, if it crawls (fast), toss it out.

photo credit: cseeman via photopin cc

photo credit: cseeman via photopin cc


Pizza Commandments: Thou shalt not strip toppings. Thou shalt not take the last slice without daddy’s blessing. Thou shalt not leave only crusts in the box. Thou shalt not leave empty box in the fridge.


Ribeye Rules: No one can eat any leftovers of a steak that costs more than $13 without written consent from the person who ordered it.*

*-Expect an inquisition. Ain’t no kid getting a porterhouse when dad’s footing the bill.


Serving size: There’s no such limit on leftovers. Ain’t no nutrition label. Just eat it – all of it.


Taste-tester: This would be dad. “Hey, is this Cajun turkey breast still fresh? I can’t read the year on the package.” No problem. Dad will bite a chunk. Watch for adverse effects.


Utopian World Order: Kids would eat last night’s chili and Tuesday’s pot roast before they fired up another plate of microwave chicken nuggets and a gargantuan bowl of frosted flakes.


Work fridge: This is the Wild West of Leftover Territory. Nothing’s sacred. Taking a bite out of your day-old Monte Cristo won’t deter a work-fridge hyena. These dudes are hardcore.


Zero-soda Regulations: Dad knows you have water and juice and Kool-aid. Dad knows the level of his Coke Zero at all moments.

So endeth the reading.

Let’s eat.

What’s your family’s leftover story?

leftovers quote

When he’s not fishing and waxing philosophic with one of his kids or trying his damnedest to keep them young, Eli Pacheco writes the blog Coach Daddy. Follow him on Google Plus, Pinterest and Twitter.

Conversations with Kidzilla – How to Have a Happy Marriage

I love having conversations with my Daughter.

For starters, Zilla is a rather skilled conversationalist for a six year-old. The kid knows how to have a discussion. She also has a wicked sense of humor and near-perfect comedic timing and delivery. She often stops me dead in my tracks with a snappy one-liner. But in addition to all that, Zilla often spews forth a few gems of wisdom that are worth taking to heart.

Over the last few weeks, we have been talking off and on about marriage and relationships. She’s filing things away in her brain about husbands and wives, moms and dads, when it’s OK to kiss a boy and when it most assuredly is not.

Like on the playground, for example. Or ever, if you as her Father. Continue reading

1000 Voices Speak for Compassion

In a million years, I never thought I would be part of something like this.

I was never a joiner. I didn’t belong to a whole lot of clubs in school. I didn’t run for student council. I was just sort of quietly part of my one or two things, did them with gusto, stayed out of the limelight and off of the bandwagon.

When my Daughter came along and it was time to do the Mommy thing, I did not hang out with other moms. The word playdate made me cringe. For the preschool classroom parties, I was the napkin mom. I did not bake and I most certainly did not volunteer in the classroom.

But people change. Or maybe we don’t really change so much as figure out who we were really meant to be in the first place. Either way, sometimes we find ourselves face to face with something too good, too right to not take part.

That’s what happened to me. Continue reading

TToT – Running Smoothly

Well, I think we may finally be up and running smoothly for the year.

Even with a snow day Monday and Kidzilla home not feeling well Tuesday, the regular routine seems to be in place once again. And maybe even with some improvements in the works – who knows?

I’m excited to get this list finished and linked, so that’s all the creative intro you get from me this week. Let’s get going… Continue reading

Friday Five – Bet You Didn’t Know…

I’ve been cooking up a few new ideas for the blog.

Now that we’re into the new year, I’m hoping to start incorporating them. Don’t expect a monster blog reveal or a big announcement about stuff. I’m just going to start sliding them in and see how things go. So if you like something, let me know? And if not, well, I guess you should tell me that, too.

For starters, I’m going to return (sort of) to the Friday Favorites I used to do. But not exactly. I’m going to do some kind of Friday Five (I know, how original) but it might be five good recipe links, or five random facts, five good books, or five things I lost at some point that week. I’m going to see how it works.

This week, let’s start with five things about me that you probably didn’t know… Continue reading

Sage Advice

My Grandfather was one of the wisest men I’ve ever known.

He did not boast a wall full of advanced degrees. He was not a world traveler. He did not discover new planets or develop advanced technology.

But he was a man who gained wisdom through experience and in turn, was glad to pass on those lessons so that others might benefit.

On the day we told my Grandparents we were engaged, my Grandfather had this advice for my new fiancé:

“Son,” he said. “If you remember these three things you will have a long and happy marriage: Yes, dear. I’m sorry, dear. You were right, dear.”

My Grandmother piped in, “He’s right.”

It was all said much in jest, but it has proven to be very sage advice. Continue reading

Soup of the Week: Spicy Butternut & Vegetable ‘Stoup’ and Giving Things Another Try

Several years ago, my Mom had a fairly extended period of kitchen experimentation.

In those pre-Pinterest days, Mom would sit with her impressive cookbook collection and look for new meals to prepare for our family. She liked to find new and different ways to prepare fairly standard ingredients. My Mom is a great cook. Most of her efforts were wildly successful. Occasionally, though, there would be one that was…less so.

There is one recipe in particular that always comes up in conversation: the pear clafoutis.

Mom liked to set an elegant table and the night in question was no exception. I’m sure the meal was wonderful, but I couldn’t tell you what we had. Perhaps it was because I was nervous about my now-Husband having dinner with my family for the first time. Perhaps it was because The Clafoutis Incident eclipsed all. Continue reading