Category Archives: burgh moms

Did Good

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As I mentioned in my last post, I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to participate in Do Good Day on Wednesday. And as awesome as I expected it would be, it turned out to be even better.

I’m a little late in writing this, so by now, you’ve probably already read what she or she or she or she or she or she had to say about it, so it’s pretty much all been said. But hey – that never stopped me before, so damn it, I will talk about it too.

We met up at the Carnegie Science Center, to find that 77 Kids was already there with a cart filled with cool toys and goodies and – best of all on a sweltering day – freeze pops. The kids heading to the Science Center were very excited to see it loaded down with Silly Bandz, along with the other assorted treats. We couldn’t wait to set up and get started spreading some of our own good.

When we were planning the day (77 kids awesomely gave us the means, but left it up to us what we wanted to do), we decided that we didn’t just want to surprise people with a gift or treat, we wanted to do something that would be appreciated by the recipient, but also something that would encourage them to pay it forward and do something nice for someone else.

What we ended up with was colorful backpacks filled with school supplies and other fun stuff. But the best part was that each backpack contained a colorful little envelope with the words “Your Mission” on the outside. Inside the envelope was a mission for the child to do – a good deed that they could do for someone else. Some were given a bag of Silly Bandz and told to make a new friend and share them, others were given an addressed, stamped envelope to send a picture or letter to a nursing home or to a soldier or veteran. I really hope that the kids were inspired to complete their missions.

It was an amazing, fun day. The kids were absolutely thrilled to get something. The parents were a little wary. And don’t get me wrong – I get it. It’s not often that you get something for free. A lot of them probably suspected they’d end up having to pay for something.

In addition to the money 77 Kids gave us to buy our supplies, they also provided each blogger with a box of goodies to give out – stickers, trinkets, candy, coupons and – get this – 77 dollar bills. We clipped each dollar to a coupon, note card and a little paper telling them how they could do a good deed with the dollar (or for free). And I swear there were more than 77 dollars in each of those boxes. We clipped and folded and sorted until, we boiled ourselves in the sun, but they never seemed to end. Ginny, in particular, was feeling the curse of the multiplying dollars and coupons.

But once we were done, we set out to spread some more good. We walked along the river walkway and gave dollar packets to everyone we saw. Or rather we tried to give them to everyone we saw. Unfortunately, we live in an cynical, suspicious society where instead of seeing someone giving you free money as a good thing, it is seen as OMG WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME CRAZY PEOPLE ARRGGH GET AWAY KEEP YOUR MONEY BACK OFF GET AWAY FROM MY CHILDREN HELP!!!!!

I am totally not kidding. We had reaction ranging from the mildly suspicious ignore-and-walk-faster maneuver, to the misogynistic “I don’t take money from women!” to the jackass who needs to prove something “Give it to someone who needs it – not me!” to the downright hostile group of moms that told me that under no circumstances was I to hand out anything to any of the children in their general area. Meanwhile the kids were all WOOOOOOOOO!!!!! YAAAAAAYYYY!!!!!! MORE!!!!

The kids were the best.

But instead of worrying about the cynical society, I am going to try to do my best to keep spreading kindness. If we all do it, maybe someday the cynical society might become less cynical and more like those kids. Everyone now: WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

All in all, it was a great day spent with some really amazing, kind, giving, funny women and some of their awesome kids. The girl always loves spending time with the actual Burgh Baby, and an added bonus this time around was Ginny’s son, who she deemed “cuuuuute” (she tried to charm him with her burping skills – she’s a delicate flower, that one). Despite the heat and the cynicism, we still had a really nice time.

Thanks to 77 Kids and The Motherhood for putting it all together.

Fine print: I am being compensated for participating in Do Good Day, but they were in no way involved in the content of this post. I am entirely serious when I say that 77 Kids is a great company who cares about the community. And if you visit their store, you’ll see how much thought they have put into creating a great shopping experience for moms shopping with kids (also known as “Hell: Living”).

Monday, Already?

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Where the hell did the weekend go? I swear, this weekend was so busy that it flew by.

Friday night, I had the Burgh Moms (& dads) dinner, which was tons of fun, as always. Except for the part where we had to wait almost an hour to be seated for our seven o’clock reservation. Now I thought the whole purpose of a reservation system was to avoid waiting for a table. But I’m all wild and crazy like that. I finally went up to complain (probably embarrassing the other Burgh Moms in the process, but they know by now what to expect from me – I own my inner [OK, outer] bitch), and upon asking when in the name of holy blue fuck we’d begetting our table, since we had been waiting 40 minutes, the hostess with the leastest sighed and rolled her eyes at me and said, well, it was a large party request. To which I replied, “exactly. Thus the reservation. Jeez. But once we were finally seated, it was all good times. The food was very good and the beer was awesome. Appropriately, I had a beer called Beelzebub. The company was interesting and fun and funny, of course, and I love them. Even if they are all a part of some vast conspiracy and using a smaller font on their blogs every day. It’s the only explanation for my difficulty reading of late. Because I can not possibly need reading glasses, dammit!!

It wasn’t until 10:15 pm that I set out for the hour-long drive home. But not before I stopped for gas. And then got a call from mr b reminding me that I promised to stop at the store and get home some distilled water for his apnea machine. Needless to say, it was midnight before I got to bed. I didn’t even rink any of the growler I brought home, which should tell you how tired I was.

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Saturday, I had to get up at 5:30 to get ready to go to a makeup event at Macy’s. I had to pick up Hedge and Rapunzel in time to drive to the North Hills and check in before 8:00. It was a fun day, though. They gave us a Panera breakfast and lots of free makeup and perfume goodies. Who doesn’t love that? Then we had a delicious lunch at Aladdin’s before heading home so we could get ready to head back out to Hedge’s son Squidward’s birthday party.

It was a skating party and since, in my mind, I can still do all the things I did when I was 13, I got me some wheels. Did you ever notice how in your head you can do just about everything? I can totally – in my mind, of course – still do back handsprings on the beam, and two and a half reverse pike with a full twist from the 3 meter springboard. In real life, however, I would probably break 14 bones and drown. But by God, I was going to roller-skate!

I actually did pretty well, though. I am steady on my feet wheels, can go pretty fast, etc. I can’t skate backwards anymore, though. I don’t even remember how. But one thing I could do as a kid that I can’t do now is not give a shit if I plow into someone. So when I saw a kid in my peripheral vision careening out of control toward me, I tried to get out of the way so as not to fall on him and perhaps kill him. The good news is that I did not, in fact, smash a child. The bad news is that I was going really fast at the time and I stumbled. Remember physics class?

A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force

Well, consider me that body. The “outside force” would be the skating rink floor. But I didn’t just fall. I went down in a flying, rolling, skidding, America’s Funniest Home Videos extravaganza of a fall. It was spectacular! Seriously. I wish I had a video to post since I have no shame. But I’m sure you can imagine it. It looked pretty much like you would expect a fat, middle-aged lady* flying through the air and rolling 10 feet across a wood floor to look.

But I had fun, even if one part of knee hurts even when my clothes touch it, and another part of my knee has no feeling whatsoever. I’ll try just about anything. I don’t know if that makes me brave or stupid.

*Also – “lady?” HAHAHAHAHAHA

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And then Sunday, we had a birthday p[arty at a neighbor’s house and when walked home, carrying some birthday cake, the wind picked up and MY CAKE BLEW AWAY!

That sucked.

I Don’t Bake

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I went to the Burgh Moms cookie exchange on Saturday, and let me tell you, I spent at least 5 days beforehand bitching and moaning about baking cookies. I told anyone who would listen that I was going because I love the Burgh Moms (and there was even a Burgh Dad), and I just wanted to socialize. I didn’t care about cookies, because I! Hate! Baking!

I am a good cook. A really good cook. But I am a non-recipe cook. I like to throw things together and experiment with new dishes. The upside is that I have come up with some really great meals. One downside is that when people ask me for the recipe, I have none. Now, if you are also a non-recipe cook, I can probably give you an idea of how to make it and you can either duplicate it or improve on it. But if you need a recipe, I am not the girl for you. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have had this conversation with someone who liked a dish I made:

Friend: How much *insert ingredient* do I need?

Me: I don’t know. Some.

Friend: Well, what about the *insert ingredient*?

Me: Whatever it takes.

Friend: How many pounds of *meat/fish/pasta* do you use?

Me: As much as you want.

Friend (getting frustrated): What temperature?

Me: Oh, 350. Or 375. Or 400, whatever.

Friend (totally disgusted): How long do you cook it?

Me: Until it’s done.

It’s not too hard to see that the other downfall of this sort of cooking philosophy is that Gina + Baking = smoke, nasty-ass cookies, throwing of spatulas, second degree burns, tears and oreos. But I sucked it up and made cookies for the cookie swap, hoping that they would only be mildly bad and that I would get home and out of everyone’s scorn distance before anyone discovered just how bad a baker I am. So imagine my surprise when some folks actually liked them and wanted the recipe. I still think they are either 1) having some sort of sugar-induced hysteria or 2) smoking crack, but whatever.

So here is where I fess up that these are the least fancy cookies ever. Seriously. All they are is a basic sugar cookie, plus Gina’s own special brand of I Can’t Control My Compulsion To Dick Around With This Perfectly Good Recipe And See How Badly I Can Screw It Up. Basically, you use your favorite sugar cookie recipe. I don’t have a favorite, so I just grabbed a random one online (I made sure to choose one without milk or cream, since I was afraid of adding lemon to dairy).

First, whip up the sugar cookie dough. Then add (any one or combination of) a few drops of lemon juice, some powdered lemon (true lemon) and some lemon zest. Then mix in some dried sweetened cranberries. Roll into little balls and bake at 350 degrees for about 11 minutes. Normally, with sugar cookies, you would want them a little pale, with just a teeny bit of golden brown on the edge, but taste tests (me, shoving them in my maw) showed that with the lemon flavor they tasted better when I let them brown a little more to get crispier.

OK, now be very careful to pay attention to these precise instructions:

How much lemon juice/zest/powdered lemon? Some. Whatever. To taste (if you’re afraid of raw cookie dough, then I can’t help you. I suck in many ways.) Also – don’t use artificial lemon extract. It’s wrong.

How many cranberries? Lots.

What size balls to roll? Ummm…a little bigger than a superball. Were you not listening when I said I don’t measure????

And that, my friends, is it. Lemon cranberry cookies. I personally like them, but then I am not a big chocolate, nutty, coconutty kind of girl. I tend to like fruity stuff, so these are perfect for me. I also love pie. And pie gives you a little more leeway, so I can actually practice my crazy kitchen witchcraft on pies.

Now, if I could just get the recipe for the concord grape ricotta tart I had at Casbah last week, I’d be a happy woman. Well, I’d be pleased. I’d be happy after I suckered one of you into baking it for me.


Loudmouth Trashy Redneck Cousin

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I had a full weekend planned and came thisclose to not making it to the zoo on Saturday and I am SO GLAD that I decided to go. Because it was an all around awesome day. The kids burned off some steam, the weather was beautiful (contrary to what you might think listening to me bitch about it – bitching is just what I do), the company was awesome, the dippin dots were yummy, and the kids were good. Yo – did you get that last one? The kids? Were good! That’s not something I get to say too often. Usually, it’s the kids drove me crazy, or those kids are killing me, or OMG, if they don’t quit fighting I’m leaving them at the zoo. But Miss Alexis seemed to have some sort of effect on them and they were great.

The boy was mr helpful all day – helping Burgh Baby’s Mom (BBM from here on out, since I am lazy) with her stroller, holding doors, watching over the little ones without even being asked to. I almost forgot that he torments his sister into a meltdown at least once a day. I only had to remind him of our “don’t poke the bear” motto one time all day. And the girl – no screaming, very little whining and a minimum of bossing. Although BBM made it sound like she was very polite about it, I’m not so sure that was the case. Because I have met her. And I know for a fact that she is less “Polite, Helpful, Big Girl” and more “She Who Must Be Obeyed”. But regardless, she was good. Both of my kids adored Alexis, even in the beginning when she refused to acknowledge their (or my) existence. The girl was talking about her all weekend (calling her “my new friend Alexis”) and the boy was telling everyone how cute she was.

Alexis was very shy when we met up for fries and drinks, came around a little for the monkeys, acknowledged us by the time we made it to the bears. By the time we hit the ice cream and the first part of kids kingdom, there was a new friendship budding (which was almost derailed by the “helpfulness” of my no-line cutting child, but we got past it). All was well until the incident. The deer incident.

See, we were in the kids area – you know – the place for kids?? The one place in the zoo where the little ones can have a chance to get up close with the animals and get their turn to see things without having to be lifted up to see over the heads of all the tall people. And we get into the deer enclosure, where you can pet and get photos with the deer as long as they come to you on the path. Usually, there are a couple, but on Saturday, there was just one, so a nice, orderly line had formed so all the kids could get a chance to have their turn. And just when the folks in front of us had moved on and our three were about to have their turn, three skank ass ho bitches went around us from both sides, screeching about getting a picture and oh he’s so cute and squawk squawk squawk.

For about a half second, I was speechless. But after that half second? Not so much. I said – loud enough for the skanks and their hag mother to hear – “OK, so maybe we can wait in line?”, and they ignored me. The people behind us were shocked as well, so we carried on (OK, mostly it was me talking and them agreeing) a conversation about how it’s amazing how rude people are and how they would cut in front of little kids and who raised these people and wow, I’m amazed at the ignorance of some people, etc. Meanwhile, the skank ass ho bitches and their hag mother were happily squawking and ignoring us and taking eleventeen photos with everyone’s cameras and cell phones and oh, take another, my hair looked bad, and let me stick my boobs out, and does my butt look cute, and OH MY GOD GIVE ME PATIENCE BEFORE I PUNCH SOMEONE IN THE GODDAMNED ZOO!!!

And as if the line-cutting wasn’t rude enough, they would not go away. They just kept squawking and snapping and hair-flipping and eventually, I told the kids we were going to move on because some people are rude and we need to get away from them. But the best part? The very best most awesome part? Was that the skank ass ho bitches and their hag mother had the nerve to complain because other kids were coming up to the deer and ruining their photos. I had already moved away when that part happened, but if I had been closer, I would have put my fat ass in every one of their photos and then laughed and laughed.

Anyway, we moved on and got over it (for a while). We headed to the enclosed playground area so we could sit in the shade while the kids played. Even with the age difference, you can see the similarities between the girl and Alexis – they are both Alpha Chicks. You never know how it is going to go when there are two of them together, but by this time, the girls were fast friends, running around holding hands and having fun. I was sitting at a table keeping an eye on them and BBM and the boy headed to the concession stand for drinks. They were playing on the ropes and the slide, and then they headed over to the animal statues. I was watching them happily climb aboard an elephant when I turned to look at the boy for a split second and when I turned back the girls were no longer on the elephant. But guess who was? Oh yes – the skank ass ho bitches!! They actually came over and crowded on to the thing, effectively scaring out girls away. All while their hag mother took photos!!!

Our girls were unfazed (normally, I would be happy about that, but this time I think I was sort of hoping for a “She Who Must Be Obeyed” sized meltdown, perhaps even with some hitting and/or kicking. At the least some name calling. Because those skanks deserved to be called out by a four year old). They moved on to the climbing tubes, where a few minutes later, the skanks decided to taker their big asses, shoving past many a toddler along the way, yelling to their hag mom to take photos and screaming at each other that they had to pee. It took every last bit of patience and self control I had to not lose my shit in the damned Kids Kingdom. But I managed, since it’s a kids place and I didn’t want to be as bad as the skank ass ho bitches. And also because I really like BBM and since I am already like her loudmouth trashy redneck cousin, I didn’t want to scare her into never wanting to see me again (I probably have that effect on people more than I know).

Second best part? When the hag mother and her hag friend walked by us and said, “that one right there.” Funny because 1) OMG the irony, and 2) they were referring to BBM who hadn’t said a word to them about their deplorable behavior and not me, the actual loudmouth trashy redneck cousin who had plenty to say. I think they looked at her and at me and decided I was the one more likely to inflict pain if I sat on them, so they diverted their hate thusly.

We actually had a good laugh about it, as I snapped more photos, since at that point what can you do. After the kids got done playing, we headed out to the last of the zoo – hitting the reptiles and mole rats and goats. The girls went on the two kiddie rides – the safari jeeps and the log ride and I swear, the funniest thing I saw all day was Alexis getting in the log and sitting backwards. And the teenager running the thing leaving her that way. And then the girl getting in and sitting backwards as well. And the teenager leaving her that way. And then they rode the ride backwards. It was not one of those My Kid Is A Genius moments, but then I told myself that Einstein probably rode the flume ride backwards too.

Finally, we headed out, walking through the mister, where my kids mistook “misted” for “soaked” and stood under it until their clothes and hair couldn’t absorb any more water. Alexis was definitely the smart one in this scenario – she ran into the mist, looked at my sopping kids like, “crazy” and ran back out. After a reasonably painless trip to the gift shop, we headed out. All I all it was a great day.

Oh – for those of you who have seen her photo of me – I know I look like I was going to punch someone, but I wasn’t (even though I wanted to). And I am pointing this out not because I don’t want you to think that I would punch someone (you know me), but because I don’t want you to think that I would punch someone with that sissy looking fist. I’m so classy.

Some photos:

Lions
Meerkat & Boy
Elephants (the boy would like me to point the elephant butt)
Polar Bear
Beware the Mist
Skank Ass Ho Bitches who push tiny children out of their way
Hag Mother who raised Skank Ass Ho Bitches who push tiny children out of their way
Inside a bear cage – I should buy one of these for home
Kangaroos (the boy would like me to point out the kangaroo butts)

Here is where the girl and Alexis differ – if there is a camera within 10 feet of my child, she knows it and poses. Alexis, not so much. She doesn’t know I am taking a photo yet:

But then she notices me and goes into lalala, I’m not looking, lalalal mode:

Gratuitous Beaver Shot!!

A weird sucking fish
The boy would like me to point out that it was pooping (are you seeing a theme here?)
Genius!

Fun & New Friends

The Future Mrs. Ginas

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I went to the Burgh mom meet last night and had more fun than I have had in a long time. It was so nice to get together with this group of smart, sweet, funny, crazy sexy women. And I tell you, as soon as polygamous, non-sexual lesbian marriage becomes available here in PA, I am so ready!

We met at a local restaurant/brewery (Dear Beer – Oh how I have missed you – Love, Gina). Here’s how each of our arrivals went:

Hostess (after she talked to her girlfriend for 3 minutes while ignoring customers): “Can I help you?”

Burgh mom: “Yes – I’m meeting a group of people, but I don’t know the name on the reservation.”

Hostess: “Hmmpphh…the person making the reservation should really tell you these things.”

Burgh Mom: (thinking) Bite me.

Happily, we all managed to find each other, despite having never met, not remembering names and only seeing sad little photos on each other’s profiles. Dinner was great and the company was even better. Our waiter, bless his heart [this is where those of you who have ever a) had a grandma, b) met a grandma, or c) are from the south know that something is coming, since you can say anything about a person as long as you preface it with “bless his heart”]. Anyway, our waiter – bless his heart – was an idiot. He spilled every drink he brought to the table. The first being a glass of wine that he actually dropped on the floor, soaking several people in the process. After that, he splashed every drink he set down, forgot things, disappeared for ages, screwed up checks, and actually fell down at one point. Sadly, the latter was done out of our photographic reaches. Because you know that would have totally been my new page header.

It was a great time and I can’t wait to do it again. Everyone was really nice and at least a couple of them didn’t even find me entirely trashy and repulsive. I think – for all I know, they went home and cried themselves to sleep over the horribleness that was me and my big mouth and my bad language and my completely batshit crazy confusions of Japanese and Spanish. Ladies, I swear, I’m not as redneck as that made me sound (“All a them dang foreigners is the same – pass the pork rinds, Bubba”). Really, I’m just stupid.

Here are the Burgh moms (also known as the future Mrs. Ginas):

Here are the Burgh moms with really creepy baby eyes:

Two of my future wives ordered carrot cake and were served scary, giant, freak show sized slabs of it. I didn’t get photos, because who wants a photo of themselves shoveling scary, giant, freak show sized slabs of cake in their face? But I did preserve it in this incredibly lifelike drawing:
The only bad side of the night was when I left and my gas tank was empty so I headed to the GetGo. But what the holy hell – they were closed! Because it makes perfect sense that the convenience store/gas station in the center of one of the most crowded, busiest areas in the city would be closed. On a Friday night. Genius! So I had to head to the next nearest station, which is located in a not-so-great area of town. But hey – I’m a big girl – it’s not a problem. But I pull up and discover that the mini-mart is completely empty and the gas station is now being run out of a trailer. A trailer on blocks.

Then I came home to discover that my previously unmentioned “ant situation” had reached Terror Alert: Orange

Also – the stupid cat spent the next 2 hours refusing to shut his stupid mousehole!

But all in all, it was a great night.