New Webster's dictionary words (part deux)

"Out of the mouths of babes." - Psalms 8:2

In its traditional meaning, the above quote refers to children saying statements which are prematurely insightful or wise.  For today's post, I'll be using a less than traditional interpretation of the phrase.  Especially since these are words my toddler has regurgitated and I'm finding a way to twist that into something crass, dark and witty.  I'm such an excellent mother.  Anyway, these two little gems popped out of my toddler's mouth the other day.  I was lucky enough to have my phone's notepad ready to record these little verbal diamonds.  Since many words have multiple meanings, I have also provided multiple inappropriate definitions for your amusement. 
I think it's pretty obvious where I am going with this, so don't act all surprised and shocked.

/Tram-pee-uhn/  (noun)
1) A person (non-gender specific) who takes sleeping around to a sport like level; competitions are optional. 
2) An avid trampoline jumper who has advanced their levitating skills to a "champion" like ability.

/Ho-kay-noh/  (noun)
1) A fierce explosion of promiscuity that hits you when you approach a brothel, seedy bar, or randomly at the ice machine of a Super 8 motel. 
2) A dizzy, spinning, inspirationally explosive sensation that overcomes you whilst perusing around your favorite DIY store garden tools section (similar to experiencing a volcanic eruption and a tornado at the same time).  This sensation is usually followed by an intense need to purchase the entire row of garden tools, starting, of course, with the hoe.
3) The overwhelming, uncontrollable onset of explosive gardening tool mouth diarrhea.  Most often, this affliction attacks the overknowledgable employee in the gardening section, with whom you randomly run smack into with your mouth dropped wide open in an "I don't know what I'm looking for?" look on your face.

I should start my own Abbie Nourmel dictionary. 
All the people would buy it. 
I'm not narcissistic, but thanks for putting that thought out there. 
I think I'm onto something here...  :D

Poopy Ice Cream cupcakes

Oh yes, yes I did.  I made these.  I made them specifically to celebrate my little 3 year old going poopy in the potty, but whatever floats your boat.  Hey, you could make them for the same reason.  Why not?  Maybe if I celebrated myself more with poopy cupcakes then I would have more of an enlightened soul.  Chew on that one Ghandi.

Ok, since I've had a few requests now on how to make these, here you go.  It is much, much simpler than you think, and it's very tasty.  I cheated on a few ingredients making my life easier, but not necessarily following the mantra I typically adhere to: organic "real" ingredients... but, whatever.  It tasted really good.

Serves 6-12

- 12 count cupcake baking pan
- 1 pkg of foil cupcake liners

- 1 qt of Ice cream (I used Vanilla, but you can use your favorite flavor)*
(This can be made non-dairy as well using coconut or tofu ice cream)
- 1- 2 containers of Hershey's Shell Topping (or your favorite chocolate melted to room temp)
- 1 pkg of your favorite mini chocolate chips
- 1 pkg of mini marshmallows (I used large ones, lesson learned)
- 1 container of your favorite sprinkles

- Crumbled Graham crackers
- Oreo cookies or Ginger Snap cookies (depending on your flavor vision)
- Candied Ginger pieces
- chopped pretzel pieces (especially yummy mixed with Caramel flavored anything)
- Fresh fruit or fruit preserves (if you are not using the Oreo cookies)
- Snow caps (or even fancier, Non-Pareils for top garnish)
- Whipped cream

How you make it:

Start with 6 cupcake foils, pour enough of the hard shell chocolate sauce into the bottom of the liners (roughly about 1-2 TBLSPN's).  Make sure you tilt the liners and rotate enough so that the chocolate sauce whirls around and up all the sides of the liners.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  You want to make sure there is a substantial bottom to hold the weight of all the layers, and enough on the sides to support it like a cupcake.  If you want to add any cookie crumbles, this is the time to sprinkle that on top of the bottom chocolate layer before chilling.  Place chocolate glazed liners into a cupcake baking pan for support, and into refrigerator for 5 minutes* (if you are using fresh melted chocolate chips instead of the hard shell mix, then place in freezer until hardened).

Take out the ice cream, and scoop out 1-2 large spoonful(s) of ice cream per liner into a bowl (depends on how high you want to make the cupcake).  The ice cream can be hard to manipulate when just out of freezer, so you may want to scoop out a bunch into a bowl then let it soften a little to the point where you can manipulate ingredients into it easily (but not melted!).  This is also a point where you can play with mixed in ingredients - merge fruit or cookies or whatever into the ice cream (honey, caramel, etc.) - but quickly as you don't want the ice cream to get to a melted point.  Next, place it into cupcake liner and gently press into the shell lining up to 1/4" below liner rim.  You can add another layer of chocolate (and cookie crumbles) and hard shell on top if you like making it a parfait type cupcake.  I added a layer of chocolate chip sprinkles.  Yum.  Place both the semi-made cupcakes and bowl of softened ice cream in freezer for 5-10 minutes or until hardened.  Take cupcakes back out, and add another scoop of the bowl hardened ice cream on top, to create a risen cupcake batter height.  Quickly place a mini marshmallow on top for a garnish (or a Snow Cap, or whipped cream - the possibilities are endless!), then drizzle in zigzag pattern more hard shell topping to affix it to ice cream.  Before it hardens dash some sprinkles on it, and throw back into freezer.  VOILA!

If you aren't going to eat them right away, you may want to transfer them to a freezer safe container or wrap them to avoid freezer burn and/or picking up other freezer smells into the ice cream tastes.Salmon flavored Vanilla ice cream is not really my cup of tea. 

TRUST ME, your kids (or you?) will LOVE THESE.  You just take them out, peel the liner off, and place in a shallow bowl.  The kids got slap happy over this, and I think, will probably want this every time little kid has a poopy.  LOL.

Happy eating!

~ Abbie

The Tao of Mr. Bunny

This wise little bunny rabbit comes to visit me each morning and night, hopping merrily along for hours, right behind my house and along the stretch of my backyard.  Lately, he's been gracing me with his presence in the afternoons too.  I’m especially appreciative of this gesture given the “at home camp” I have become for my children this summer.  AKA: MOMMY CAMP.  In the simplest of terms, I am responsible for one hundred percent of their activity from 6:30 AM until 8:30 PM - every minute, all day, and every day – until summer ends.  I have to be camp counselor, mommy, nurse, friend, play date, story time reader, personal chef, arts and crafts teacher, swim instructor, sometimes a shark, an equestrian ride, most of the time a cheetah, and… well, you get the picture.  Endless bickering, social emotional relationship managing, diffusing blood curdling tantrums (you name it) has left me utterly spent, stressed out, and by three in the afternoon I have absolutely nothing left.  Can you imagine what type of random serendipitous act would have to take place in order to change my thought process?  Here I am drowning in this feeling of being broken down, and then, all of a sudden, this cute little bunny tail makes its way into my backyard.

His appearances are usually just after dawn, perfectly timed I think, in hopes to remind me to quiet my mind and savor the small glimpse of tranquility the earliest bit of morning can bring.  His half drawn eyelids (while sitting peacefully in a spot of sun) tell me to stop and feel the breeze rustling through the trees.  A twitch of his whiskers hints to me that I should smell the fragrance of the freshly cut grass or the nearby pine tree.  By slightly raising his ears he beckons me to listen to the sparrows chirping blessing everyone with their morning song. 

The sun is shining.  Lie still.  Be calm.  Just BE.

This, I believe, is his message to me.  This is what I have come to refer to as, “The Tao of Mr. Bunny”.  Gently he whispers these revelations to me, of which I desperately need to absorb, despite how impossible it seems amongst the constant hectic energy that surrounds me literally every day.  He’s just there exhibiting a cool, calm demeanor all the while completely aware of the calamity that is my children - who are just a stone’s throw away from his reach.  He remains emotionally serene.  Little bunny just eats his clover, minding his own space; meanwhile I sit back admiring his effortless Chi from afar.  He seems to understand the unspoken laws of nature, and the striving for its intangible balance. In this sense, meaning when to sit and savor a moment and when to self preserve. 

I look forward to his cathartic visits, and the subtle reminders he brings me with each one.  Everything in life - no matter how small and insignificant, or big and important - has a purpose.  We all have our paths to choose, and we will eventually choose, but it's important to remember every once in a while it’s so imperative to stop and sit in that sunny patch of grass for a while... off the beaten path, letting the sun warm our skin. 

Life is short, soak it up… all of it.

Today is simply what I choose to make of it, which is basically my perception of my overall experiences.  So for now, I'll just sit on my porch, breathing in the fragrant damp post-rain air, and counting my blessings… until 8:30 PM.   

Thank you, Mr. Bunny.

Tragedy and Resilience

Over the course of the past few days, Boston, Massachusetts has been inundated with back to back, seemingly non-stop tragic news.  Despite my speckled humorous tweets, and various social media statements, it's not gone unnoticed by me.  I was born here, and now I'm currently living back in this great city with my own family (which includes two beautiful children).  Although, I reside in a bucolic suburb of Boston, the city itself still remains a part of my everyday.  Trips with the family to museums in town, maintaining connection with friends and family members in the surrounding immediate suburbs, driving my husband to the airport for business and picking up visitors from afar - these all contribute to my daily life experience, even living in the suburbs.  Boston is a part of my every day life here.

The Boston Marathon tragedy and following (and still unfolding) events have changed our memories of Boston, as we know it, forever.  The echoed heartbroken sentiment seems to be clear: "We just never expected anything like this to happen here."  Things here are surreal, and shock value is at an all time high.  Today, as the majority of Boston is hunkering down in their homes and businesses, the streets are (and I quote from a news report) "almost post apocalyptic".  Just hours ago, what were once bustling and thriving streets, are now barren.  It's like a ghost town.  Residents are wanting to get out, fists up, fighting in any way they can for their city and for their freedom, but are held under lock down as authorities are combing the streets on a manhunt for what has been labeled a "terrorist".  We could never have possibly imagined what these last five days would have manifested into our reality.  News broadcasts in cycles of the same information (with pockets of slightly new data waiting to be confirmed), people sitting on the edge of their chairs in front of their televisions... as we wait to hear whether the party responsible for killing and injuring so many in our hometown has been captured.  It's a stressful, unknowing, and horrible state of emotional imbalance as we all strive to maintain some sense of normalcy outside of the true horror going on around us.

That being said, as a mother to children too young to be aware of these events, I feel that the most important lesson in all of this is to try to find a balance, and most importantly, keep living your life to the best of your ability.  Tragedy is a part of our human existence. These events have been horrific, and not one person you meet (including me) would argue otherwise.  But, how does one possibly create balance in such an imbalanced state of affairs?  From my perspective, which admittedly is one that luckily hasn't been touched personally by these tragedies... well, this is my personal feeling....

Self-educate but don't over saturate your mind, keep abreast of the details but don't be afraid to steal away moments to build a fort with your kids, be quiet when updates unfold but laugh even louder at a joke just forwarded, pray for victims but then dance at that fun song with your friend.  If I am unable to do this, in my mind, they have won.  I'm an American, and I am free.  Horror, tragedy, terrible unspoken things, they are all around us... but resilience, resilience is there too.  It's there to pick us up from the ground, dust us off, band us together in the face of terror, uniting us in a way that perhaps wasn't attainable before such an event.  Terrorists you have NOT won.  You have succeeded in making Boston EVEN STRONGER.  We will PREVAIL.  WE WILL FIGHT FOR OUR FREEDOMS.  We WILL NOT lie down and accept this.  You have merely put a scar on our hearts, but NEVER on our spirits. 

From the mouth of this one strong and proud Boston girl, WATCH OUT TERRORISTS.  You just increased the "neighborhood watch" by millions.  We will find you, you will pay for your crimes, and you will one day feel the weight of all the victims pain and the lives that you prematurely stole.  Karma is a bitch, and our Boston is a city of fighters.  So put your boxing gloves on, it's going to get Patriotic up in here.

The Preacher and the Tired Waitress

A friend recently visited me from the west coast, and as I was meeting her boyfriend for the first time, she divulged to him that her long time friend (me) has a twisted and bitterly sarcastic humor she adores.  At least in my narcissistic universe that's how I think she feels about me.  She recants this story, which quite honestly I had forgotten, about a time when I expressed my well known quick nasty wit and thrust its sleep deprivation induced venom upon an innocent preacher one morning.  Luckily the guy had a GREAT sense of humor, and we both had a good laugh at the end of it.  I guarantee it was the most interesting door to door experience he had that morning.

Once upon a time I was a waitress.  This one night I stayed way past my grumpy time working, then didn't get home until the wee hours of the morning.  In that type of working situation, you're not an early riser.  Let's just say that awakening a hibernating Kodiak bear would have been more pleasant than waking me from my slumber given the circumstances.  Groggy eyed Abbie hears a "Knock, Knock", at the door at 7:30 AM.  I ask myself, Who the h*** is knocking at my door at this ungodly hour?  Opening the door, I see this lovely man dressed in spiritual garb and offering a welcome to his new church down the road.  Nice man, seems sweet.  Too bad he knocked on my door, poor guy doesn't know what verbal poo is about to hit him in the jugular.  Understand that I have nothing against spirituality, people of god, or those who want to work as their messengers.  I just like sleep.  A lot.

"Hi, I'm (blah blah blah) and I'm looking for people who are interested in joining my church down the road.  We just opened our doors, and I'm hoping we can interest you in stopping by to see our service.  (I'm nodding, and not really paying attention.)  Let me ask you a question, If you were to walk out your door today, and get hit by a bus, do you think you would go to heaven or to hell?"

Now, I'm one for a good spiritual debate just as anyone else, but on 3 hours of sleep there is no way MY brain is able to function on any level of social appropriateness.  I'm not even able to do that on a full nights sleep... on a good day... when the sun is shining... and even if  I had all those teleprompters in front of me telling me the right things to say like the President.  This being said from a descendant of catholic nuns no less.  I think I mentioned before I have issues... but, I digress... onward with the true story.

"Oh, Pssht!  That's an easy question... (his associate scoffs and replies under his breath, 'Easy?') HEAVEN.  I'm definitely going to Heaven. 

"Well! (LAUGHING) You certainly seem convinced of this answer, are you sure?  If you stand firm with your reply, why, may I ask, do you feel so strongly about that?"

"Well, you see preacher, I've already BEEN to Hell.  So if I *DON'T* go to Heaven, there IS no God."  *Insert-Cheshire-Cat grin-and-sleepy-rub-of-eyes*

At this point he breaks out into laughter, and so does his assistant.  They both agreed that was the best answer they had heard in their entire career of soliciting followers.  We shook hands and he gave me a literature packet so that I could decide later if I wanted to follow his church to make him smile more.  I thought since I subjected him enough to my torture, I would let him go on his way, making others wonder about their own mortality and how quickly their life would end by being hit with a bus at 7:30 AM. 

True story.