This is just a little blog of my own as an aside to the websites I manage for my kids. Here I hope to share with friends and post about things I hope aren't too self-indulgent! For more about Tyler and Meggie, check out:

  • Froggy Boy Website
  • and
  • Little Duckie Website
  • Friday, February 19, 2010

    Vegetarian Chicken or Tuna Salad

    Well I came up with this recipe for tuna salad when I discovered that if you heat up one of these Morningstar Farms (my favorite), Garden-burger, or Boca, (NOT Quorn, that stuff has an odd flavor), NON-BREADED vegetarian chicken patty and shred it with a fork, it makes a nice tuna-like consistency.

    For tuna salad I add mayo and dill pickle relish. Combine and put between a couple slices of whole wheat bread for a sandwich. For chicken salad you can add any ingredient you usually add to your chicken salad. I do the mayo, celery, and a little shredded cheese for umph, and eat it on a bed of lettuce with tomato slices.

    I just had to share. Maybe I'm weird, but still, I haven't seen this recipe anywhere else! Morningstar Farms should totally put this on the back of their chicken patty box, or sell a pre-shredded version. Chicken and tuna salad is so . . . well, all-American picnic, you know? It's a no-brainer!

    P.S. Note the tangerine and shamrock Fiestaware plates!

    Friday, January 02, 2009

    Happy New Year!

    New Years went largely unnoticed in the Iglar-Mobley household. I had an idea for a pajama party with the kids in the TV room with a mattress and pillows but that didn't really materialize. Next year, when the kids are older and we aren't so tired, I will advocate for it. The kids were put in bed, Ben fell asleep on the couch at 11:45 (can you believe the timing?), and I got some alone time in the wee hours that is really rare, and was thoroughly enjoyed. It's pretty rare for me to stay awake that long!

    Winter Solstice we celebrated with a special dinner and we hosted Nana and Granpa. I broke out the good china and silver (which isn't really silver per se) and we set a pretty table. Ben made his famous fettucini, a favorite of Tyler's these days and which was a hit all around, and we had warm crusty bread and steamed broccoli, and I made a harvest salad with dried cranberries, brown pears, blue cheese and toasted walnuts w/ a raspberry viniagrette. Yum. We lighted our Solstice candle and celebrated the return of light in the darkest night of the year. We visited the solstice tree for a few early presents.

    Christmas Eve we spent the night at Nana and Granpa's house, and Santa was generous! The feature for Tyler was Thomas the Tank Engine tracks and engines and what they call destinations. It's so cool I want to play with it. He has the "Trackmaster" system (NOT the "Wooden Railway" NOR the "Takealong"--it's very confusing!) It didn't take long for Megan to get the hang of ripping open her presents and happily carrying around new toys and pushing new buttons and dancing to songs they made. I brought a couple pies I thought I'd try from this year's Good Housekeeping magazine--an oatmeal pie with rolled oats, chopped walnuts, coconut, maple syrup, etc, and "pumpkin heaven" layered with cheesecake on the bottom, then pumpkin pie in the middle, and a pecan-brown sugar topping. A highlight was the newly remodelled bathroom Nana and Granpa just got with a huge walk-in shower that includes two shower heads and a bench. Toys were brought in and we made our own water park, and the kids just LOVED it!!!

    The next Saturday Uncle Brian and Aunt Leslye (my brother and sister-in-law) came to exchange presents at Nana and Granpa's house and the kids made havoc of the house once again. Tyler got his very own camera! Megan has an especially good time with her Aunt Leslye and took to her immediately, skipping her usual shy routine--she does this cute thing with her arm over her face with her eyes peeking mischeivously over it--but she just took to Leslye right away.

    Wednesday, November 26, 2008


    Man, I so hated my surgery last Friday. I'm a terrible patient! The doctor I like. And it's good that I felt that I could trust him. The nurses and residents were nice, and good at their jobs, in my unprofessional opinion. The anesthesiologist was terrible at putting in the IV and stuck me three times, and handled it badly. Even tho I've had 3 IVs all in my hand, he preferred the easier wrist. The first one didn't work but he didn't tell me, I made such a fuss writhing around in pain and saying I was going to faint or throw up, he lied and said he's turn it off "for my comfort." But his resident assistant spilled the beans. Their solution was to put me under gas, then do the IV, in the surgery room. I was really freaked out. I felt so out of control, of my body, of my fate, and way out of my comfort level. I've never felt so vulnerable and exposed.

    I really really want to avoid procedures as much as I can. I'm not sure I will get my wish. I'm sure I'll have tests on my heart soon enuf and as I age. And all my older relatives are getting biopsies and colonoscopies and mammagrams. What I really wonder is, why can't I get experiences like this out of my head? Why were the births of both my children such traumas? Why was this procedure such a trauma? How is it I get so traumatized and how can I let go and move on? Because there are still times when I fall into a funk, remembering Tyler's scary stay in the hospital shortly after he was born, or wishing I could go back and do such-and-such differently during the birth of Megan, and now this surgery which has left me feeling so violated. Is it just my personality? How do I find peace?

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008


    Well, I'm 38 today, and it seems this is the age when I realize my body is falling apart. Great timing: I had an ekg on Monday and it is, of course, irregular. I got a new blood pressure prescription to start on. They say the stress of the high bp may have caused damage to the heart, so to tell I need to take a stress test and get a heart ultrasound thing. Hhhmmm. I must say, I just don't feel well, in general. Basic heart/bp type issues.

    Next Friday I have an "outpatient procedure" which I assume is a phrase I will use increasingly as I age. Okay. But I'm very, very nervous. They will remove a wolffian duct cyst, and that's all I'm gonna say about it. If you know what that is, then you know something very personal about me. After two births, it has grown and must be removed. Fun fun fun.

    I'm trying to catch up to the neglect that I've practised since I've shifted my focus to my kids. I have a series of dentist appointments, and want to see a dermatologist about mole removal, fun fun fun, and my joints ache--is it too soon to develop arthritis? I'm getting some of the super-early menopause type symptoms according to some books. If that's what it is, of course. Who knows.

    I really need to go back to yoga. Bet I'd feel better.


    Friday, October 31, 2008


    I'm taking off work early today to go spend some time with a little pumpkin and a heroic Buzz Lightyear space ranger. And perhaps get high on a little sugar. Halloween is my favorite holiday. Pumpkin is my favorite flavor. Fall is my favorite season, and I'm glad that my birthday is in the Fall too. Candy Corn used to be my favorite candy, and I should probably still say it is even tho I can hardly eat it it's just pure sugar and my teeth feel like they are fossilizing in my mouth whenever I eat any!

    This will be, I hope, if it works out and no trantrums are thrown, Tyler's first time real trick-or-treating. He's been out to neighbors houses a Halloween or two next to his old day-care provider's home, but as he was too young to say "trick or treat" and also since all of his candy had been confiscated as being too young for it, and mind you he didn't care either, I don't think it hardly counts. So, wish me luck today!

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008


    This is what Tyler says when things are crazy. He's imitating Ben, who exclaims "Chaos! Pandemonium!" to be funny.

    I have two friends with kids and they are equally far away. My local friends and work friends are all "child free" as the saying goes. I was chatting with some recently and somehow got caught up in a who's-too-busy competition, I don't know how. I started by saying how envious I was that my friend had time to sew. She was really insistant that she was really really busy and her life was crazy. And I said but you don't have kids. Apparently this did not suffice to convince her.

    I love it when people come in tired from staying up late and complain about it, or say how much trouble their cats are, and the like. If a cat annoys you you can put them outside your bedroom door. You can't do that with a sick child. Yes, I know, cats get sick. Hey, I had a cat with cancer, okay? I KNOW. But now that I have two children--and goodness knows I love them more than life itself (and I mean that)--still I feel that I am on a hamster wheel and I CAN'T GET OFF OF IT. Toilets and sinks go uncleaned for weeks. I only vaccum because my 9-month-old wants to eat anything she can find off the floor! I wear wrinkled clothes out of clean hampers. I don't have time for the dentist or to get my hair cut. I make plans and cancel them if the kids get sick or throw a tantrum or something. I am isolated in a very personal way. We live like wolves and I'm embarrassed to have anyone over. I am on a strict schedule of taking them to daycare and getting to work and rushing around w/ not enuf time and rushing back to pick them up before incurring a dollar-a-minute fee, then it's all about one wants to nurse while the other throws a fit b/c his train set won't click together easily and he's hungry for dinner NOW even tho my husband isn't home yet to eat w/ us and I don't get to pee at all until hours later. Lately I've made an effort to wash dishes after the kids get to sleep at night and first, I am more tired than ever--and I mean it, bone tired, tired on a cellular level, tired and no-you-don't-get-to-take-a-nap tired, tired-every-day-and-you-have-to-keep-going tired--and second, I can't handle new problems. I get a weird call from my car dealership warning that my warrantee will run out if I don't call immediately and I think hey, I paid good money for a 7 year extended warrantee and where did that go? I haven't had a chance to call them about this issue-that-should-not-be-an-issue and days have sped by and one more thing like this and I think I will have a total mental breakdown. I'm already on edge b/c my 401k and the kids' 529 Bright Start accounts are crumbling in the economic crisis. And where did the contractor go who was supposed to be fixing the now opened-up shell of a wall in my front room? And this is NORMAL, all the parents say. They just LOVE to say "welcome to parenthood, ha ha ha." Can I slap them now? Because that is NOT HELPING.

    And I take my work lunch here to blog after not blogging for 9 months and what do I talk about??? Sheesh. And yes, I'm skipping an errand I need to make to buy diapers and pull-ups to stay in a blog. *sigh* My friends say oh take a break and come out with us for dinner. Dinner? Well I have to bring my baby who is still nursing, and who loads up on evenings b/c she hates the bottle, and I'll have to leave early b/c she'll fall asleep at 8:15. And get this--I WANT to bring my baby! I LOVE nursing her, I love holding her and discovering the world through her. And when I try to blend my life as a parent and my otherwise life, I find myself listening tired "they" are since they stayed up late working on a craft project, or how much weight they have lost on their big diet and exercise program, or what wonderful trips they've taken (have I told you about my last wreckage of a trip?) or museums and festivals they've been to. Etc etc etc.

    I don't know. I'm at a loss. I've joined, left, and joined parenting groups. Now I'm in two, one of which I helped to create but can never attend events (which are usually far away), and the other I can't keep up with as it's a list-serve and I never have time for the multiple digest-length e-mails. I joined a mommy-and-me music class for babies that promised in the brochure that I could make friends with other parents and I swear they avoided me. That was when my first was a baby. Now, whenever I do meet parents I must seem too desperate to make friends for playdates, or maybe I put on my stay-away perfume, or they already are in a happy parent clique or something b/c sometimes I feel I am the lonliest parent at the playground and I just don't get it. I don't get how to navigate this part of my life--no, not "part of", but MY LIFE, completely.

    * big sigh *

    Okay, I do have a friend with an equally stressful life, also with kids, and altho she's in another state, it does save my sanity to e-mail back and forth (you know who you are). Even if it's "OMG here's my latest disaster" it's good to not be the only one. So, thank you for that! And of course (or luckily) my husband shares many of these feelings, too. It often feels like it's us against the world, except when it is us against each other! Did I mention parenthood can be stressful? *sigh*

    I'm just feeling frustrated and fed up today.

    Friday, July 06, 2007

    My Cool Grandma
    ***in memory***

    My Grandma was “the cool Grandma”—the one who listened to my angty teenage problems and treated them like big, adult problems, treated my feelings as valid no matter how petty they might have been. Not that she wouldn’t say so if I needed reminding to do the right thing—she was plain spoken in that regard, but gentle enough. And she did this for all of us grandkids. For me, she defined the term unconditional love. I got no disapproval for late birthday cards, weird teenage fashions, or strange new ideas. I got only love and hugs and “lots of sugar.” And no, I don’t mean cookies, she was not a baking Grandma, she would say with apologies. But there were no need for apologies. What she offered was far more valuable.

    She loved all of us grandkids the same, and we were a rag-tag bunch if ever there were a bunch. Some of us were fat, others model thin. Long hair on boys? No problem. Spikes or dye-colored hair? What of it? Acne was accounted for of course, but that was the least of what we had to offer. By the time she passed, about half of our great number had tattoos, and some had piercings. Two of us were bisexual, and our stories of unrequited love were just as listened-to as any others. Dedicated church-goer or not—she did not judge us. She always made sure there was a vegetarian meal for me amid the meat-centered Southern dishes at family gatherings. One of us grandkids had cerebral palsy, and she was there for him with just as much sugar and an extra dash of hands-on care, while her husband, our Poopop, created hand-made scoot-abouts for him. Some of us went to college and some of us didn’t, some even to graduate school, but it made no difference, she was proud of us just the same. Some of us grandkids had different daddies or divorced parents—again, it made to difference to her love. Half of us weren’t even “blood” grandkids, since she married Poopop when he already had three kids, but her unquestioning love for her stepkids extended naturally and abundantly to us grandkids without hesitation. I never knew any other Grandma, as Nana died when I was born, and she was all the Grandma I needed, she filled the role so completely. Not until I grew up would I realize what an accomplishment that would be.

    A strong Southern woman, I looked up to her for her outspoken nature, her graciousness, and her wry Southern sayings. I especially loved the way she called me “sweetie-pie,” and would pat my leg in a quick staccato that stung and say “ooooh, I just can’t get enough of your sugar!” Then ask me to quit snapping my gum. A whole little tribe of us girl-grandkids were especially attached to her, calling her regularly as one would a mother or a best friend. She brought us together; even in the end when we sorted through myriad photos and created a display of her life for the memorial service. (Yes, we’re responsible for that youthful photo of Grandma in a polka dot bikini perched on a rock amid a waterfall in Jamaica in 1964!) And I for one am not really ready to relinquish that connection.

    She was an accomplished painter, and we have the canvases to prove it. She collected teapots and little bells, and loved to buy new watches. She liked to swim. She’d watch chick movies with us, and let us borrow her car at night. She made friends everywhere she went, of all stripes. She was active and vital and witty. And she blended a great margarita! As she liked to say, “well, it’s five o’clock somewhere!” And I must say she’s the only grandma I’ve heard of to talk a grandchild—me—into “one more drink” and to stay up later. Not that she was a lush, mind you! She knew her mind and she knew how to have fun, whether it was a glass of wine and a game of hearts with family at Thanksgiving, or a lunch out and shopping with granddaughters at Little Five Points in Atlanta.

    The best part of all, and the most recent development, was all the sugar she was getting off of her great-grandkids, who called her “GG.” It was such a pleasure to her to have these new babies around, and she was so good to them. She stayed with me for a week after Tyler was born, and as much as she claimed “that child’s bottom has never touched a mattress” about how much we liked to hold and carry him, I have the pictures to prove how much she loved to sit for hours with that little baby sleeping on her chest and shoulder, reading a book, napping with him, refusing to give him up or get up for anything. She welcomed my cousin and her two children into her home nearly a year while my cousin’s husband served in the Navy, and it was a lucky and precious time for them all to enjoy the love, the family, even the chaos! It is my greatest regret that she will not meet more of the babies we grandkids are making for our GG—the child I now carry, the children my cousins are planning, and weddings in the works. It feels wrong somehow to go on without her, the center of the family, the glue between kids and stepkids and grandkids scattered across the U.S. that always had a place to stay with her in Atlanta, the warm center of family reunions, holidays, and raucous gatherings. Now, as my mother becomes a Nana for the second time, the torch is passed on. As a mother myself, my role changes inexorably in place and time. My childhood family memories will not be my child’s memories, his will be quite different now. For me, the smell of pine needles and Georgia clay after rain; walks in the forest by the house with Grandma and Poopop with his hand-carved walking sticks; the cooing of mourning doves in the mornings out the guest room window; cousins shooting pool in the basement; laughter from aunts and uncles upstairs; sniffing Grandma’s decorative perfume bottles and unmistakable power puff in the bathroom while cousins pound on the door to get in next—not too sweet or flowery, not a stereotypical grandmother smell, but ladylike, sophisticated, and unmistakably Southern. My “cool Grandma.”

    Grandma, me, my brother Brian (with red hair), and cousin Katrina on the trail out by the house in Stone Mountain, GA.

    Katrina cheering in the woods. Note the walking stick in Grandma's hand. I believe Poopop is the photographer. I think that's Aunt Cathy to the right.

    Poopop stopping to bring in the mail.