adventures in awesomeness…

Mooseknuckle: Because Camel Toe Has an Ugly Sister

It’s chilly enough today to wear jeans yet the thought of shimming into them makes feel incredibly uncomfortable – like breaking out into a mild sweat while wrestling with the diaper pail. It is official. I am too fat for my jeans. I guess I should do something about it, since my fat jeans are far, far away, sealed away in an air tight bag stashed beneath Columbo’s favorite place to spend the afternoon.

Back to the YMCA! At first glance the NoHo YMCA seems as yucky as the White Rock YMCA and a far cry from the glamorous Toby Wells YMCA in San Diego, but we decide to give it a look. Day care is open until 9pm. They have a slew of elliptical machines, individual shower stalls (for Matt), and a few classes I would enjoy (I disapprove of how Zumba is taking over the aerobic world). It’s pretty much got everything we need and is $18 cheaper too. Niiiice. So lets see if this will help drop those pesky 8.4 pounds so I can comfortably fit my thighs into my pantalones. Heaven forbid I have to give up breakfast….

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Mylo’s Teething Aggressions…

Apparently Mylo has a thing for cool colored, jelly-like objects. Nothing, it seems, is safe from Little Bear.

Mylo can’t wait to smell like man… in the mouth.

So after finding out why it smelled so good in my bedroom, I decided to get the hell out of dodge, pack the boys in the wagon and go to the park, stopping at Starbucks for Iced Coffee and juice boxes.

Instant Stress Relief.

A shot of Mylo worthy of celebrity fame!

The red truck, before it was dismantled and destroyed by Jaxon.

Jaxon shows off his progress with the red truck.

Bottom Line: An afternoon at the park makes everything better, even a bathroom smeared with Old Spice.

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Last week, sick of the same old eggs and toast breakfast (I know, how could you get sick of eggs and toast) I decided to bust out some scones using this just-add-water mix my mom had given me for Christmas. It was incredibly easy. I just added water (and some blueberries), knead 5 or 6 times, shape, bake, and eat! My first bite was nothing like the blueberry scone from Starbucks. So I did a little reading (thank you, Internet) and found that scones are more like biscuits, not hard, odd-shaped cakes. Matt asked if I had enough for him to take to work. I only had 11 (one was snuggled up in my belly at this point). But I was so excited about how tasty my scones turned out, that I decided that I’d make more! Blueberry, orange cranberry, cheese and basil, cinnamon… yum, yum, yum!! And I could try all of them and then send the rest off to hungry game programmers. Win-win.

So after the horror show we had yesterday with Mylo and his teething aggressions, I decided that today would be a wholesome day of baking. I found a basic recipe on-line at

Looks simple enough, and I have all the ingredients!

I added in an extra tablespoon of sugar, a dash of cinnamon, 2% milk, salted butter and about a cup of orange-flavored dried cranberries.

Instant Pudding and Marshmallow Treats should take a tip from these delicious Orange Flavored Cranberries!

I didn’t use a full 3/4 cup of milk and the dough was stickier that the instant scone mix, causing me some nervousness as I cut them up and put them in the oven. Some managed to retain their triangle shape, but others were just little dough blobs.

Sticky but still yummy looking.

The scones went into a 400 degrees oven for 12 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.

Yes, they taste as good as they look!

They were crisp and flaky… a bit salty (I had to eyeball a 1/2 tablespoon of salt) but so yummy with butter, jam, and Tetley. Now if I only had some clotted cream…

Jaxon approved! We have a winner!


Taking a Bite Out of Crime…

A very good reason to keep certain things locked away...


4pm is Pudding Time.

Trader Joe’s, you’ve fooled us yet again.

Last week, we’re at Trader Joe’s looking for bread crumbs when my two-year old son hands me a fancy package. What is this, I mutter out loud. Jaxon says something that I can’t understand, jumps, points, and laughs. It’s Instant Chocolate Pudding.

I shudder. I hate… hate pudding. Want to know what is worse that white, creamy things? Brown creamy things. I won’t go into details but ever since visiting the school bathroom in first grade, I’ve gone off pudding. But Jaxon wants it and it’s like $1.99 and not filled with high fructose glop. So I buy it and into the cupboard it went until today. Jaxon is jumping and dancing around the kitchen like a Broadway performer. Matt looks at what he is pointing at. It’s Instant Chocolate Pudding.

“HOW DOES HE EVEN KNOW WHAT THIS IS?” Matt exclaims. I shrug and blame the old school toy-like packaging. It’s easy enough to  make. 2 cups of milk + pudding mix. Stir. Sets in 5 minutes. “Sholet! Sholet!” Jaxon shouts dancing around with Mylo – whose agenda is to get the mandarin oranges from the fridge by any means necessary. I stir till it starts to thicken. It looks like Ovaltine. I let him lick the whisk which results in an impromptu dance and wiggle. I put the bowl in the fridge and read the package.

“Trader Joe’s Instant Chocolate Pudding is made with Dutched cocoa and is a rich, creamy desert… Your kids will love it and so will the kid in you…”

Hmmm. Where have I heard this before? I am skeptical, but Jaxon is jumping around like he won the lottery so we wait. 5 minutes later, I retrieve the pudding. It’s wiggly and pudding-like. I taste it. Bleck. Taste like pudding. The true test. I scoop a few spoonfuls into a bowl for Jaxon (don’t want to spoil his finicky appetite as it’s 4pm.) He dances and sings all the way to the table. He takes a bite. Stops. Looks down. I wanted to laugh out loud. He takes a few more bites, just to be polite, and then brings me his bowl. “Awl doen.” I’m sure you are, Jaxy my boy. I’m sure you are.

Bottom Line: 25 years later and pudding is still gross. Nice to know I haven’t missed out on much.


I Am a Man, Don’t You See My Moustache?

The most exciting thing that happened to me today was that I found out that “anything involving crystals” is not covered under our new health insurance plan. WTF? How the hell am I supposed to pay Clarice Nightingale for curing my discolored aura? Fuck.

Also, I learned that shaking a can of stain & polyurethane is not the same thing as actually stirring it. Now my oak table top is a walnut color instead of mahogany. While pretty, it doesn’t match anything else in the house. Fun times at the Cox household. And acetone does not remove polyurethane from your fingers. I don’t know what does. Maybe time. Maybe dish water and laundry detergent. Chores suck.


Because Donuts Don’t Wear Alligator Shoes.

If you haven’t seen Black Dynamite, then you need to move it to the top of your Netflix queue, you dig?

So after the extreme heat warning was issued, we decided to hit the beach. The plan was to go to Venice Beach via Santa Monica Blvd. From some way back memory I had many, many moons ago, I thought this would be a quick and easy drive — about 30 minutes and we’d get to pass through some neat areas on the way.


One hour into the drive we pass Beverly Hills and haven’t yet seen a freeway. I am apologizing profusely. At least Mylo passed out in the car. Almost two hours later we arrive at Ocean Avenue. We are not at Venice Beach but at this point, anything with waves and sand will do. And then the real monster rears its ugly head. Parking. $7 / day parking. Waaa?? I knew it would be a bitch to park, but we have to pay too? Damn. After 20 minutes of trying to find a spot in the short-term ($1/hr) parking we bite the bullet and pay $7.

The beach. is. glorious.

My little beach baby!

Mylo was unsure about the waves but found the sand tasty.

Ah… this is the life!

The beach looks good on us.

And by taking the 10 and 405, we got home in 40 minutes… with traffic! Nice.

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Too. Much. Poo.

Warning: The following post is not for the faint of heart. Proceed at your own risk.

I have developed a theory that if my stress levels depreciate below the threshold of 4 out of 10 (10 being maximum stress), then an event will occur to boost my stress back to the threshold level.

Example: The stress of boys playing in area with broken glass – cleaned up, boys need bottles – made, Jaxon needs to potty – done, breakfast needs to be made and eaten – complete, and then it gets quiet. I pour myself a cup of coffee and inhale its aroma like I’m in a Folger’s commercial. I add cream and sweetener and stir slowly. I take a sip. Perfect. I walk into the living room and sit down. Ahhhh. Stress level rapidly drops to 2 (would be 1 except that the living room is strewn with toys and children). Then Jaxon walks out of his room, limping. What’s – I see his foot and gasp. Poop.

NOOOOOOO!!! Stress level 9 of 10.

I scoop Jaxon up and stick him in the tub, then run into the room to see what I have to deal with.

At least it still has its shape, right?

Bottom Line: If your stress level seems unusually low, your kids are up to no good.


The Potty Will Win!

So after many half ass attempts, I have officially, officially, started potty training Jaxon. The last diaper he wore was taken off at 7:30 am this morning and I miss them already so much.

The first accident occurred around 10:30am. We pee-pee’d in the potty before breakfast and then got dressed to go to Lowe’s. I brought the potty with me so Jaxon could go if he needed too. I ask him: Jaxon, do you need to pee-pee? In his high-pitched little voice he replies, “Nooo.”

Okay. Let’s go buy some window hardware. We’re in the aisle forever because I cannot find the hardware I need. After I had given up and started to leave, I notice that Jaxon’s pants are wet. Oh, Jaxon… not fully realizing the enormity of the situtation until I look back and see a pond of pee shimmering in the aisle, complete with koi and decorative greenery. No. No. No. I had brought a change of pants, but forgot about paper towels. (Really, I didn’t think I would ever run into a POND OF PEE.) I do what I can with baby wipes and then rush out of the store so frazzled that I steal something. Sigh. Stress level is at 6 of 10.

So I confess to Matt about my Lowe’s experience and Jaxon pees a bit in the potty. Stress level is reduced to 2 of 10. I make lunch then let the boys play in their room. About 20 minutes later, Mylo comes out holding what I think is a new diaper. Now, how did he get into the diaper drawer? I wonder to myself. And then I see it. Poop. On a clean diaper. Jaxon! I jump up and that is when I  notice that Mylo’s hands are covered in chunky poo. It’s also smeared across his cheek and forehead like he was a commando in the bush. Cccccrrrraaaap!! I run him to the tub, and see Jaxon driving his cars through a GIANT pile of poop, singing the ABCs. FUUUUUUGGGG!! Stress level is 11 of 10. I have to worry about Mylo and his messy hands, Jaxon getting messier, the carpet, where is the dog (who will eat the poop) and then just the whole idea of it. Poop. Everywhere.

I cleaned the boys. I sequestered the dog. I repeated to Jaxon several times that poop is not a toy. I made him help me pick up the poop and told him that poo-poo is for the potty. I made him repeat it back to me.

I almost reached for a diaper. But the poop was gone. The smell was gone.

Stress level 4 of 10. Day one of potty training. The potty will win.


Stop Selling Your Used Stuff for Full Price.

Dear Craigslist Seller (owners, I’m talking specifically to you):

Just because you bought said overpriced piece of furniture for way more than what is worth (because you are dumb and shop at Pottery Barn, West Elm, World Market, or some other wannabe high end store that sells crap at an unbelievable mark-up), does not mean that you can sell the same said overpriced piece of furniture for $30 less than what you paid for it. I don’t care if you only had it for two years, nine months, or three weeks.

It. Is. Used.

sale-kf3gg-1833292599 is practically giving away this piece of crap for only $145.

$145? For that old, faded rug? Really? And I am sure that these people paid $300 (or less) like 4 or 5 years ago and thought to themselves… “$145 is a great price. It’s a bargain! I’m practically giving it away for less than half of what I paid FIVE YEARS AGO.”

I’ve tested the Craigslist markets in Dallas, Los Angeles, SF Bay Area, and San Diego. So far, San Diego has been the worst offender, while SF usually just leaves stuff out with a Curb Alert. It’s not a true random sampling, but that’s okay because I’m always right.