pot 'o luck

Did I mention that we live in a brand new house? Well, that brand new house just happens to be in a brand new neighborhood full of brand new people to meet and impress with all of our brand-newie-ness. New people who haven't heard us belch or fart or fight; new people who haven't see us pick our noses; new people who might very well believe we don't belch or fart or fight or pick our noses if we can only keep up the charade. In the little over 9 months that we've been here, we've managed to meet or at least wave to most of the other families on the street, but somehow our paths just haven't crossed often enough to establish ourselves as a vital part of this new community. So you can imagine how thrilled we were when received an invitation to the 1st Annual Street-Where-I-Live Block Party! Psssst... the curtains are working. They still don't know!

On Saturday we anxiously waited for high noon, then headed down the street, party goods in hand. Or, in our case, piled up on our grill since we're one of the few families on the street who a)don't have a built in barbecue grill because b)we still haven't done anything with our backyard. Per invitation instructions, we arrived at the end of the cul-de-sac with our meat for grillin' and a side-dish to share. Plus ketchup, mustard, sliced tomatoes, some slices of cheese and an extra side dish. The fine art of leaving well enough alone is lost on me.

We found a place for our baked-beans and frog-eyed salad on the tables that had already been set up and headed off to join the fun. A few turns in the bouncy house and giant ball pit (I know!) and down the 30-foot inflatable slide (I KNOW!), and we were ready to move on to the food. BG fired up the grill and before too long we were in cheeseburger heaven. I grabbed a couple of plates and scooped up a little bit of this and a touch of that to round out our meal. LG stood nearby, sipping happily from his Cars cup. And all was right in our world.


LG decided that his current mouthful of milk would add a lovely sheen to the top of the baked beans that I had just uncovered.

After I recovered from my initial urge to blow chunks, I was horrified. I sternly set LG down on the sidewalk for a timeout while I assessed the damage. After plopping a big milky spoonful down on our already full plates, I decided that my best course of action would be to get LG situated, then come back and remove the beans from the table. I stirred in the last vestiges of milk (no need to make anyone else sick, right?), took LG over to his father, then returned to the food table to retrieve our plates of food. A quick conversation with Neighbor-Down-the-Street led to another quick conversation with Neighbor-to-the-Left and an introduction to Neighbor-Down-the-Hill's beautiful new baby. At which point BG caught my attention and I remembered that I needed to get back to my starving boys.

LG's lunchtime behavior was less than pleasant, so as soon as he had nibbled enough to keep me out of the negligent parent category, I took him home for a nap. BG followed a bit later with news that our soon-to-be landscaper was on the way to go over his proposal for our backyard. 2 1/2 hours later, LG was up from his nap, STBLandscaper was drawing up the final contract and we were headed back down the street for some more neighborly fun.

The party lasted well into the evening, past LG's bedtime. We got him settled into bed, then BG headed down the street to help with the cleanup. After a tussle or seven to convince him that no, he didn't need another drink of water and yes, blankie was clean, and no, he didn't need to fix his night light and no, Savannah wasn't going to come up the stairs to get him and no, Daddy didn't need to come "look at some stuff" and yes, he did need to stay in bed, LG finally passed out. BG had just come to the door to request some help getting the grill back in the backyard, so I obliged. Then we stepped down the street again to retrieve our last few items so the owners could pack up their tables.

Someone had kindly place the lid for the salad underneath the bowl, so that was simple enough. And the lid for the beans... oh dear Mother of All That is Holy, the beans. There they sat, in all their half-eaten glory.

And now I don't know what to do. Let it go as if it never happened and run the risk of never, ever, ever, ever, EVER having any of the neighbors show up at any event in which we are bringing a dish that wasn't obviously prepared and packaged at the local grocery store because someone saw my little mix-in and determined that my intention was to feed my new neighbors milk-spittle beans when I didn't return to remove the contaminated dish? Or bring it up in conversation the next time I see a neighbor

Heh. You know those beans that we brought to the party? Oh you liked them? Well, funny story about those beans...

The idea of repacking all those boxes is starting to look really good to me.


this post brought to you by the letters k & y

I have an uncanny knack for reaching for the exact same item at the exact same time as a fellow shopper. Grocery store, shoe shop, you name it. If you happen to be on the same aisle as me, chances are good that I'm going to make a grab for "your" box of Easy-Mac. Usually I'll make light of the situation, quip something along the lines of "smart and good-looking" or "hey, that's my favorite, too" and then give the other person the right-of-way. Even if it means they get the very last box.


There is no such thing as light-hearted small talk over a shared preference when the product in question is of an, ahem, intimate and personal nature. Thankfully, the shelves were well stocked and I correctly identified his target before our hands intersected. Making him cry in front of his wife and kid would have just been awkward for all of us.


dear jacq,

RE: Spidy.
Do any of these look familiar?



breezy beach-house retreat or city pool locker room? you decide.

We got industrious this weekend and added some personality to the downstairs bathroom. BG thinks we need to paint the upper portion to mirror the bottom (aka, more blue up top). I say no.