Saturday, May 31, 2008

Today was a great day

There is that saying from somewhere that says when you're on your deathbed you'll not turn to your family and say that you wished you'd spent more time in the office. Heard of it?

Well, I think that sometimes in my little family we spend too much time "at the office" and not enough time being a family. That, compiled with the fact that it feels like I've spent the last oh, year of Saturdays at Home Depot, caused us to today, be the family of three that does things.

We slept in (until 7:00 am). I was supposed to work but my online class system crashed, perhaps by divine intervention. We went to the zoo. We went to lunch. We bought a new camera. We chilled at home and put clean sheets on the bed. We made gelato. We ate a tasty dinner. We went for a walk by the lake. We talked to neighbors. We sat on the swing and we watered the plants.

Today was beautiful and I loved it. No projects, no work, no home depot.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Baby Friday: boy oh boy, the mama is going to rant

Two weeks ago, my kid was sleeping through the night, in his own bed, and having 2-3 hour naps. We were in baby-mama heaven. All was well, all were happy.
Then I had meetings. Lots of meetings, babysitters, messed up schedules, three new teeth (grand total: 16), a holiday weekend, super late nights for our dad, more meetings...
This week. Oh my hello-nurse I'm glad it's Friday. The kid has only been sleeping for about an hour each nap (and they are ridiculously early in the morning because he's wiped out), and I've become very familiar with the adjacent town as I drive him to sleep in the afternoons. Bedtime has gone from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm and every single night like clockwork, a certain monkey is waking up around 1:30 am with such an inconsolable blood curdling scream that you'd think someone were in his room to stab him or steal his stuffed puppy.
Ross and I are so exhausted (and I've had an ice pack worthy headache for the last 48 hours) that we give up trying to put him back to sleep and just bring him in our room (A habit I thought we had broken 2 weeks ago) to toss, turn, kick, and head butt until he drifts back to sleep and leaves us in peace.
Sometimes this parenting stuff is a bunch of crap! If only the monkey weren't so cute, adorable, funny, and kind-hearted. And he didn't give me kisses every time I asked for them. Oh, the kisses!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

hold the mayo for crying out loud

I'm in a meeting. In the last week and a half I'm living in meetings. I suppose the best part of an all day meeting would be lunch, right? A free catered meal should be a treat, yes? Better than eating cafeteria food, but not like going to a real restaurant.

I've got a couple issues. Issue one, I don't want to eat a sandwich. Sandwiches are gross and I don't like them. I don't want to make an effort to come to your meeting and eat a sandwich. It's not nice. I can eat a sandwich at home, feed me something good. Issue two, not only do you make me eat a sandwich, but MAYO? Holy freaking cow! In what world does everyone who eats a sandwich want MAYO on it? I don't. I want to be able to choose my own condiment thank you very much.

Mayo is nasty. It makes me throw up a little in my mouth and I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Is it that hard to put it in a little packet in my box lunch instead of slathering it 6 inches thick on the white bread of my white roast beef (yes, I said yuck) and letting it sit on my bread all morning long until I finally get to eat it at Noon?

Like I said, holy freaking cow!
I feel better.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Broken Record

I cannot get this song out of my head. Right now though, that's not such a bad thing.

(The band is Belle and Sebastian. The song is The Blues are Still Blue)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Annie!

So, in addition to today (May 25th) being Argentine Independence Day, it is also Annie's birthday....

Today is a particularly special birthday because Annie is turning 30.

Please wish her a happy birthday.

Annie / Mom - happy birthday & we love you.

- Ross & Elliott

Friday, May 23, 2008

16 months

Hello Mr. Personality, how are you doing? It amazes me every day how happy and entertaining my little monkey is. He is such a charmer that it just melts my heart regularly.

In the past month, this kid has not only turned on the charm, but he's getting so good at being a little boy that I'm not sure what to do. You love to play in the dirt, throw the dirt, and eat the dirt. You've started waving bye-bye to every person and object you find. As the water drains from the bath tub, you wave. You wave at the TV once it's turned off. You wave bye-bye to the remnants of a dirty diaper as it is flushed down the toilet. Such a sentimental little guy you are. You also wave good-bye to people too, and are getting very good at giving hugs and kisses.

You march to the beat of our own drummer - well, not march so much as groove to the beat of your own music. It seems these days that you've got a little soul in every step you take with hip wiggles, shoulder rolls, and jazz hands.
I guess it's a bit flamboyant, but it's pretty cool. You love to sit on the counter top at grandma's house and get your groove on to any song that's playing on the stereo.
You are good at posing for the camera, standing in the bathtub, turning off the lights, and throwing garbage away. You also seem to have a photographic memory. Dad put a ceiling fan in your room about a week ago and not only do you try to show your fan to every person that comes to your house, you also know that grandma has ceiling fans and spent all day pointing at them. At auntie Haley's house yesterday, you immediately remembered that she has a cuckoo clock and just giggled with pure delight when the birdie popped its head out.
You don't talk much, but understand, I think, thousands of words. We may be partial, but you are definitely the smartest little boy all of your family knows. Your vocabulary is starting to grow, little by little, too. To date, these are the words you say regularly, or someone has heard you say it at least once:
lawn mower
drink (dink)
baba (grandpa)
up stairs
down stairs

There are also a lot of words you mimic, but I guess that doesn't really count as talking.

Sometimes, I think you love everyone else more than me, but that's probably not true. Yesterday at the airport though, you didn't want me to even look at you and to get our picture taken, uncle Willie had to hold you, because you wouldn't touch me with a 10 foot poll. Today however, you seem to like me alright, even if I took you to Wal-Fart this morning (sorry about that. it won't happen again).
just pickin'
You've inherited a strange sense of humor from your dad and think picking your nose is Hi-larious! Picking your nose, throwing stuff on the floor, throwing food into the air and catching it in your mouth - the staples of life, right? You also do this strange thing with your dad that I just don't get. The two of you will stare at each other, and dad will slowly blink his eyes. When he opens them again you die laughing. Crazy boy.
helping dad build chairs

As usual, I don't know what I would do with out you. After being stuck in meetings all week, knowing that today was our day to hang out was the only thing keeping me going. You are my best bud, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Peter has been gone for two years. I wasn't in town when he left, but I was for sure going to be at the airport when he got home.

He's been in West Virginia and Virgina on a mission for the LDS Church. He was a good missionary with many people who loved him and his dedication to his mission. He is a good boy and I am so happy to have his skinny little butt back home!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Cake and Frosting Recipie

Red Velvet Cake (courtesy of Food TV)
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp. cocoa
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. canola oil
1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
1 oz (one bottle) red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk

Mix sugar and eggs in large mixing bowl
sift flour soda and cocoa together
mix oil, vinegar, food coloring, and vanilla with the egg and sugar mixture

alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to wet ingredients (start and end with the flour)

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes in two 9 inch round pans (Greased and floured)

White Chocolate Icing
*I started with a real recipesand then I just went wild with my own version of it. The recipe I made was enough icing to be VERY generous on the cake with only a bit left over to eat at the end.
12 oz. white chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3/4 bag of powdered sugar
1/4 to 1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

melt chocolate over the stove (glass bowl over a larger pan with boiling water) and set aside to cool, but not harden (put it in the fridge to speed things up)

mix 2-3 cups powdered sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and salt in a medium to large bowl, until well incorporated but just a bit runny.

add in half of the white chocolate and mix.

play with consistency of the icing by adding more sugar and the rest of the white chocolate, with a bit of extra milk as needed.

consistently taste the icing adding more of whatever ingredient is necessary to make it divine.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Heaven - in cake form

White Chocolate icing, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

I love to bake. I love to bake from scratch. Lately, I've been a bit obsessed with the southern favorite, Red Velvet Cake.

Last night I made one - from scratch. With homemade (I invented the recipie and it's divine, by the way) white chocolate icing.

If only the picture could do the fabulosity justice.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Baby Friday: I like what I like

This kid! This kid is pretty entertaining and has had a really good week. He's been a dancing, taking jabberbox, with a few tempertantrums, screaming fits, and a little too much dirt eating thrown in, but we've had a good week.

This week, he's been talking more - baby, frog sounds, tigger, down stairs, up stairs...that's been good.

He's been brushing his teeth fervently and saying good prayers for lots of things and people. He's given his stuffed animal puppy lots of loves and me, too. Which I'll always accept.

A little too much getting into drawers and finding prizes like scissors and glue, but we're working on it.

Elliott likes headbands as is evidence by this picture. He wears one at some point almost every day. He has more patience for brain squishing than me.
working the headband from the front

I probably shouldn't admit to it on the internets either, but my almost 16 month old is an obsessive tv watcher. We don't watch much tv in our house, so the habit he's developed is a funny one, but the kid is obsessed. He thinks that the televizzle should be on all the time and that he should be standing in front of it at all times.
he really likes tv
He really only watches about an hour a day which I know, is probably too much, but sometimes, I just need him to sit at watch tv. It's good for both of us. Very good. When watching his programs, Elliott reminds me of the dalmation pupply "lucky" from 101. He's just like that silly cartoon dog - right up close and completely consumed by the images. Too funny.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


When I found out I had the bedes there were no more coca cola classics for me. I had to quit cold turkey. It sucked! I occasionally will down one so quickly it isn't even enjoyable and it burns when my numbers drop too low, but it's not really worth it.

Since July 2006 I've been a diet coker. I can't say that I enjoy it at all, but it's what I've got to do.

Since I had a doctor's appointment at the end of March and found out how completely fat I am, I've started exercising 30 minutes a day. It's all I can handle. Exercise and I aren't friends. Loosing weight isn't that big of a deal to me, but trying to not be a diabetic anymore is important. I've seen marked improvement in my overall numbers in the last month and a half.

Anyway - off topic. I only drink one a day, but that DC is important. In the last few weeks I started to realize however that starting the coke was great, but I never got around to finishing it. That's a bummer. So I figured since I am on this new "health kick", That I'd try to get rid of, or at least minimize my two vices. Diet Coke and bread. I only do one coke a day (and like I said, rarely finish it anymore), but bread (whole wheat with chunky things in it - healthy, right?) is my downfall. With peanut butter and honey, or nutella, or butter and garlic, or dipped in balsamic vinegar, I eat a lot of bread.

The bread thing is going okay - the coke thing is not. I am completely dependent on the stuff. I haven't purchased any coke for myself at the store in three weeks. That hasn't stopped me from feeding my habit however. It seems that I just can't break away. I made it a whole three days without one last week, but the headache was miserable (even though it had started to pass), and I just wasn't having any fun. I think it's more of the fizz, and the bubbles that come up to greet me than the caffeine.

Anyway - I've got a big old DC in front of me right now. I made it like, 40 hours.

I'll try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It only took us a year and 6 months...

We did all our own painting when we moved into our house three years ago. Wasn't the best job, but we're slowly fixing it as necessary. In the master bathroom, soon after we moved in, the paint on the ceiling started to bubble, crack and flake off the ceiling. In October 2006, when I was too pregnant to stop him, Ross took a putty knife to the bathroom ceiling and scraped off all the paint and mud leaving an exposed disaster on our hands. We had to shower in the guest bathroom. Thank heavens for a guest bathroom!

We showered in that bathroom from October 2006 until almost 2008. That was when we finally got around to getting a handy man over to our house to fix the ceiling. Once the ceiling was repaired, the goal was to repaint and tile. We got the painting done by Christmas, but not after some "rain outs" if you know what I mean.

Next was the floor. We bought the tile for our bathroom floor, and all the tile supplies in November 2007. Until last week, the tile, backer board, grout, etc. had been sitting in our garage gathering dust, crickets, and everything else that floats around a garage. It just seemed that we weren't going to get around to the project any time soon.

Ross finally decided that the tile needed to be done and we were going to hire someone to do it (thank you "Dubbya" for our economic stimulus money - it stimulated us to finish the bathroom). Ross found an amazing tile guy on Craigslist and Steve had our bathroom tiled in 3 hours and grouted the next day in 30 min.

He used this stone enhancer stuff that made our Home Depot tile look absolutely amazing.

the tile with and without enhancer

Next step was to put the bathroom back together. Ross got the baseboards on no sweat and when he was re-installing the toiled, he had a mishap. He cracked the whole thing. Just a $150 mistake (once again, thanks Dubbya).

the broken toilet

Finally last night, nearly a week after the tile guy came and went, and almost 2 years after the project was started we have a functioning, really nice bathroom.

We have a new industrial, super tall elongated bowl toilet,

the new throne

and a finished bathroom. Complete with pictures hanging on the wall - the first pictures since we moved in.

the new floor and pictures

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

In lieu of something sappy and overly sentimental, I wanted to share something I recently read in the book Americans at War by Stephen Ambrose. It's funny that a sentiment from 1942 still has as much relevance today as it did then.

Edith and Victor Speert of Cleveland, Ohio, were married in June 1942, just before he went off to the army. She went to work. At the end of the war, before he returned from Europe, she wrote to warn him, "I'm not exactly the same girl you left - I'm twice as independent as I used to be and to top it off, I sometimes think I've become "hard as nails" - hardly anyone can evoke any sympathy from me. I've been living exactly as I want to and I do as I damn please. You are not married to a girl that's interested solely in a home - I shall definitely have to work all my life - I get emotional satisfaction out of working; I don't doubt that many a night you will cook the supper while I'm at a meeting. Also, dearest - I shall never wash and iron - there are laundries for that!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Baby Friday: Moving Fast!

You know that line from Ferris Beuhler, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it?" Well, that sums up our time these days. It is amazing to me how quickly this kid is growing up, learning, and moving on. He is so smart and funny. I just love being his mom.

cute boy

My video camera is broken - I believe broken collectively by me and the monkey. Cameras are not toys for a 1 year old. Oh well, lesson learned. So, I can't share with you a video, but just imagine in your head instead.

Elliott LOVES to dance! He is so good, and has amazing signature moves. He has favorite dancy dance songs which include, "Idlewild" by Outkast, "Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn and John, and "Sound of Settling" by Death Cab for Cutie. His moves run the gamut, but he has a shoulder roll to die for and when he's really feelin' groovy, he opens his hald, palm out and moves it across his face ala John Travolta in any movie he dances in. It's fantastic.

The kid has rhythm, too. All three of us were watching "the office" last night when that new ipod commercial came on - the new one with the silhouette dancing - and while he was sitting next to me on the couch, the E-man (that's his dancing name) started to get his groove on. He couldn't help it. The shoulders were rollin' and the head was a bopin'.

He's awesome.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I surrender! At least for today.

i'm done, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

So, there is this episode of Spongebob Squarepants where Spongebob has to write a paper for his driving class about all the things you aren't supposed to do at a red light. I'm sure you can guess what happens - the lovely yellow sponge wastes all his time, has crazy dreams with fires and snail demons and then he wakes up, frantically writes his paper and runs it to school. Then, unfortunately our friend finds that there is no school that day.

Picture if you will a scene. It's only Wednesday, but has been a crazy non-stop week, thus far and I have the back ache to prove it. This afternoon I sat around the house while it rained cats and dogs outside corraling my crazy kid while a middle-aged Elvis look-alike did a 3 hour absolutely amazing, wonderful, breath-taking job laying tile in my bathroom.

Then after dinner, the dutiful husband has to run some errands and willingly takes the monkey with him so I can get some work done. After pouring over Perez Hilton's site, looking at pretty camera bags at the Crumpler website and checking out some bio-degradable diapers I grabbed my "focus" hoodie from upstairs and got ready to settle down and do some work.

That was 43 minutes ago. I still haven't gotten much done. I'm struggling to find the energy to read about integrated arts curriculum or the amazing world of chemistry.

The strings on my hood keep pulling tighter and tighter. I think I'm about ready to call it a day and put my camera back in the bag.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I am Spartacus!

Willie competed at the completely disorganized and totally out of control district junior high track meet this afternoon. After a time and location change, we finally made it to see him throw the shot-put - the only 7th grader to make it to district. Let's pretend that it's because he's so good - not just because he's the only 7th grader that throws the shot-put. He set a new all time high for his distance - 26.7 feet. Some 9th grader with cute curly hair threw 45 feet, but Willie will work up to that.

My nervous brother was the last person to throw in the 3rd and final heat. As we were sitting in the grass waiting he said something so typically Willie that I just have to share. He wasn't sure whether or not the guy in charge had called for the 3rd heat yet. He turned to my mom and didn't have to say a word - her look was enough to warrant this response, "So I guess I need to just be assertive and go over there to find out?" The "yes" look from my mom got him off the grass and to the staging area. it made me laugh.

Monday, May 05, 2008

A day and then some

I've never been bored - wasn't allowed to be as a kid and now as an adult, I can always find something to do. Sometimes I'm even lucky enough that the something to do is nothing to do. Today was not one of those days. It was, I guess, a typical "day in the life" but now that it's finished my back and I are ready to call it a night.

Here's the rundown, in case you were curious.

6:00 am - wake up and shower
6:30 am - Elliott awake in time to sit on my lap and watch Elmo's world before the craziness of the day begins
7:00-8:30 am - eat breakfast, get clean, put on clothes, comb hair, do make-up, brush teeth, find sandals
then...pick up toys, to the grocery store, to the ice cream place for Ross' birthday party dessert, pick up toys, 3 loads of laundry (washed, dried, folded and put away thank you very much), clean sheets on the bed, weed eat and mow the lawn, pull weeds, watch Elliott cry because he's afraid of the lawn mower, shower because it was crazy hot outside, pick up toys, vacuum, mop the floor, pick up toys, try to get some work done, pick up some more toys...all this by 3:00 pm this afternoon.

make time for some sporadic meals throughout the day, nap time, work time, and party time this evening and right now, I'm to pooped to poop!

I think that I'm going to go to bed. Yes, I know what time it is. It's still a bit light out and I'm tired.

What was your day like today?

Happy Belated Birthday Ross!

Yesterday was Ross' THIRTY-FIRST birthday. Yup, the big 31, the official move away from all things 20-something.

Ross has seemed a bit sad about getting another year older, but not nearly as sad as he was last year at this time. At some point yesterday he said to me, "If only I was just turning 29". Well, I dare say that life at 31 is even better than life at 29 was and just wait until you turn 40.

Well, I think that 31 is distinguished. You are a good husband, a good dad, a good fantasy baseball player, a good son and son-in-law, a good brother-in-law because you'll play video games with Willie, a good tv watcher, a good kid entertainer and you finally found someone to do the tile in my bathroom. And, you are married to me! The most kind, good-natured, non-nagging adoring wife in the entire world.

What more could you ask for.

Happy Birthday!
Elliott and I love you!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Baby Friday: A playdate, oh yeah!

Little Lucy and her sweet Mama came for a visit this morning. We all four had a great time. Elliott got every toy he owns out to show Lucy and Lucy abliged with smiles and giggles. She didn't once seem bothered by the giant oaf of a boy who was invading her personal space and giving her noisy toys.

I think that these "play dates" are much more theraputic for the mom's than playful for the kids, but I look forward them them as always. Both little monkeys were so tired by the time that we were done with our date that it was all they could to to keep binks in mouth and eyes open.

And, since the last time we took their pictures together last fall, Lucy and Elliott are on a little bit better playing field these days.

We had fun! And, look forward to our next adventure together - maybe to the zoo.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Someone found some BOUNCY BALLS!

It was a struggle to get Elliott downstairs for breakfast this morning. If only I could have communicated with him what was waiting - it would have been much easier. You see, I've borrowed my dad's bag of basketballs and when the little monkey discovered them after breakfast - he's been in heaven since. Screaming with delight and bouncing them all over the house. Oh yes, we are in bouncy ball heaven.

So what if he likes the girls ball, right?

Enjoy some blurry pictures of our very exciting morning.


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