Friday, December 23, 2011

Hello, Santa!

Hi there! I realize it's been awhile. Since my mom is probably my only reader (Hi, Mom!) and I pretty much tell her everything in person, I figure this isn't too big a deal. But just in case there IS another person out there who is reading (Hi, Dad!), I figured I'd give an update.

Christmas is here! Well, almost. Sure it's still *only* the 23rd. But I'm already half crazed and have gained 3 pounds which, in my opinion, makes this a holiday. Skyler is about to get a Christmas wish he has wanted since last year- a Harry Potter Lego Hogwarts Castle. I (Santa) am GIDDY over this. I can't wait to see his 5am on Christmas morning (On second thought, I COULD wait...but it won't happen). Alex is anxiously awaiting Santa tomorrow night. Aunt Ashley had "Santa" call Alex last weekend, and Al-B. did a fantastic impersonation of Buddy the Elf (think "SANTA!!!!", and if you don't know what I am talking about you need to go watch Elf. Right NOW).

This year Dusty's family is doing a homemade Christmas. This presents a challenge for me, because for some reason people assume I am crafty. In reality, I am NOT crafty. I am OCD and as a result appear crafty after spending 5 hours on something that would take an *actual* crafty person 20 minutes. Still, regardless of how it happened, I am anxious to share some of the loot I made (and Dusty helped with). Until gifts are unwrapped I can only show one thing, since said gift is for children and I'll assume they aren't reading my blog. The rest, I'll post later. Unless I get distracted- which, unfortunately, could happen.

Here is my idea: Paper Airplane Kits. Sky and Alex are obsessed with paper airplanes. If I take them to work with me, I give it 5 minutes before the recylcling bin is empty and my head is being pelted with flying objects. So I decided to make this worse by giving them tools to make even MORE flying disturbances.

The boxes came from Costco. At less than $20 for 14 boxes, I can afford to make many kits AND organize my cupboards:

To the boxes, I added names and a quote from a B.O.B. song that the kids will probably do an eyeroll at, but I love.

Into the boxes went airplane materials- colorful paper, graph paper, crayons, tape, paper clips, a mini stapler and stickers.

If the kids who get these kids run out of the room yelling "I HATE THIS!", I'll probably retire the idea (and buy them a book on manners instead). But assuming this kit goes over well, I'm thinking perhaps I have an idea for future birthday parties!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Alex the school superstar!

Since I never did get around to updating, I should say that after a few worried nights and lots of little prayers- Alex got in to the same school that Skyler goes to. Which is the school that Grandma Val works it. Which is really cool.

Alex began school just over 2 weeks ago, because Kindergarten kids work on a gradual entry system. Kindergarten is 1/2 day here, with the exception of every other Wednesday. On Wednesday, one group of kids goes all day and the other stays home. Then it rotates. Bad for scheduling childcare, great for the kid excited to eat lunch at school.

Alex woke up early today, bright eyed (Well, he's Alex so I guess he is ALWAYS "bright eyed") and ready to go. He had his bookbag packed. His outfit laid out. His lunchpail on the counter.

The lunchpail was a big deal to Mr. Al B. On his very first day of school, he walked out of the school- stormed out, to be exact- and said "Mommy, I only bwing my lunch pail on Wednesdays. Not evewy day. And all I got fow snack was TWO cookies and one dwink of watew. TWO COOKIES, MOMMY. I am STAWVING."
*Note: I am not really thinking the child was at risk for starvation. He was in class for 2 1/2 hours. And ate right before he went. And as soon as he got home. Against all odds, he survived.

The best part about this lunch obsession was that when I put his backpack on him to go to the bus stop, he was really not loving the fact that it made the backpack weight about as much as he does. Kids. Can't starve 'em, can't make 'em in to pack mules. Sheesh.

Aside from the snack obsession, school has been going great for Alex (and Sky too!). So I knew today was going to be a good day, and it was. He came out of school happy and exhausted- just the way I like him. On the way to school Skyler sat at the front of the bus with his little brother, and as they drove away in a giant Twinkie-On-Wheels together for the first time...I stood on the sidewalk and resisted the urge to break into cheer.

Kids are adorable. So is quiet.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Giant Cupcakes for dinner! (Or not)

First of all, here is my word to all websites/computer systems/people who control such things: Can y'all stop updating ALL AT ONCE? In one day, I went from being fairly computer literate to barely knowing how to turn the dumb thing on! Facebook, Internet Explorer, Pandora...and now I sign on to blog and I find out that Blogger updated, too? AHH! I am not this good at change. Stop now, or at least get a calendar and schedule once big adjustment at a time, please.

And now, on to the meat of the matter.

Tonight, we had giant cupcakes for dinner. Mmm...I love me some red velvet or strawberries & champagne cupcakes. But tonight, we went a little less traditional. We went with meatloaf.

Yep. You read right.

I have been in a cooking funk lately. Except for learning how to can, which I'll post about this weekend because as it turns out, sealing stuff in mason jars is really super cool. Between school starting and work being a bit draining and fibro attempting to be a royal pain in my, well, everything (for the record, I am winning in THAT particular battle of the wills, thankyouverymuch)- lavish dinners have kind of turned in to crock pot faithfuls and sandwiches. I hate when this happens because when it comes down to it- I love to cook.

I needed inspiration. And I needed dinner made in one hour and twenty minutes in order to get to the school's open house. And I miss my mom. So I thought- what do I love that mom makes? Tacos. I'll make tacos.

Wait. All I have for tacos is ground turkey and beans. Ok, scratch the tacos. Burritos? Oh, need tortillas (obviously Mexican food isn't my forte, because I actually got excited for a minute before remembering this key ingredient). No burritos. Hmm...Well...I DO have ground turkey...MEATLOAF!

By this time I had approximately 40 minutes left. Not much time for making meatloaf. But I DO have a really great giant cupcake pan that I bought to make meatloaf cupcakes in for April Fools Day! Alright. Plan Q. I will make mini meatloafs in the giant cupcake tin.

But it is such a shame to HAVE a giant cupcake tin specifically for tricking your children, and not USE it. Lucky for me, I also had leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge.

35 minutes...

So I throw some parmesean,carrots, cabbage, gluten free bread crumbs, eggs, italian seasoning and ground turkey in the food processor, get it to the icky mixed together stage and stuff it in muffin pans. This is about the time that the boys come in to the kitchen and ask what I'm making. I tell them "We are having meatloaf cupcakes for dinner". And I get the following responses:

Alex: "YAY! CUPCAKES FOR DINNEW!" (I'm thinking Alex missed a key part of my statement.)

Skyler: "Uh...ok" (And then he gives me that look that tells me he thinks I'm crazy, but I've done my job as a parent so he is afraid to say anything to that effect.)

While the meatloaf was cooking I reheated the mashed potatoes and mixed in some all natural blue and green food coloring. In retrospect, blue and green was probably a bad choice, since NOTHING green looks yummy. And "natural" food coloring works just fine...if you are color blind. But, somehow, after the mashed potatoes were applied to the tops of the meatloafs as you'd apply frosting to a cupcake- it fooled the boys.

I set the "cupcakes" down on the dinner table. Reactions:


Skyler: "Uh..." (Skyler had heard the part about them being meatloaf, but really believed that the mashed potatoes were frosting. Which just took me higher on the "crazy mom" scale, I'm sure.)

Dusty was much more quiet than usual, and Skyler was understandably hesitant, so Alex took a hint and waited for someone ELSE to try the cupcakes first. He was disappointed when Skyler bit in to it and said "This Is this potato?". His little sugar filled hopes came crashing down. But he tried it anyhow and decided that it wasn't so bad. And ate all of his kale. And mine, too. So I suppose that means that dinner was a success*?

After a really awesome open house- Skyler showed me his classroom with an enthusiasm that I've never seen from him before, and Alex got to show Daddy the library- they BOTH asked for another "meatloaf cupcake"!

Which means, ladies and gentlemen, that I have my (cooking) groove back!

*Just a note on the cupcakes: If you do this, don't use paper cupcake linings. Trust me.
Also, the coloring looks funny because I really AM a mean mom. Not ONLY do I lie to my kids about eating cake when they are REALLY eating meatloaf- I fill said meatloaf with veggies until it is really "meat-and-whatever-mom-has-in-her-veggie-compartment loaf".

Monday, September 5, 2011


I may have died and gone to heaven.

Before I had two boys, I had visions of tutus. Cheerleading. Pink. Bows.

(Seriously- isn't that adorable?!?!? You can find it at Made By Meade on Etsy!)

I remember a sense of shock when I found out that Skyler wasn't going to be of the pink variety. What on earth would I DO with a boy?

And then came Alex. Again?!?!? Where am I going to fit the bows in?

Over the years I have adapted. Adaptation, in this case, has taken the form of learning to distinguish 10,000 shades of blue from 20,000 shades of green and holding out hope that someday I can get a pedicure with with my neice. I suppose I should also admit that Georgia, the only other female in this household, wears pink collars. REALLY pink collars. (Dusty shot down the tutu.)

But today, a miracle happened. Perhaps I am being rewarded for being a trooper about this whole girly-girl-gets-2-boys bit.

Skyler likes to shop. He loves football and baseball and golf and wrestling, but he also enjoys an afternoon at the mall with Mom.

Today Skyler and I went school shopping. Since school starts in the morning, I realize this was a bit of a last minute deal. But since I've been in this rodeo before and know how fast kids grow, I put it off until the last minute.

This afternoon Skyler and I started off with lunch at the Spaghetti Factory (did you know that they are awesomely gluten-free friendly?). The Spaghetti Factory is "our special place". I know that it is a chain restaurant, and that it isn't THAT good of food, but I really hope that when Skyler is older and drives past the OSF, he'll think of me and our Mommy/Son dates.

Then we hit the mall- looking, by the way- like mother and son (thanks to hair dye and Converse).

Skyler didn't just want clothes. He wanted the EXPERIENCE. We tried jeans on (and decided on bootcut- YAY!). We looked in mirrors while holding up multiple shirts and deciding which was worth a trip to the dressing room. We got sodas. We got samples at See's (and potentially a Scotchmallow or 3). We people watched. It. Was. Great.

This is what Skyler ended up with after who knows HOW many stores:

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the crown jewel of Sky's Back To School Shopping Adventure:

Yep. My son is in there. I promise.

Tomorrow my "big little" starts the 3rd grade. When I tucked him in tonight, he said "Well, it's back to the real world tomorrow". I am so lucky and so thankful for the beautiful little boys they are. And truthfully- if they hated shopping with a passion and worshipped NASCAR, I'd still think they were adorable. Which makes the fact that Alex secretly loves pink and Skyler loves the mall kind of like the cherry on top, right?

Alex begins kindergarten next week. We don't know where yet. Which means that this post is to be continued...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Our trip through the Columbia River Gorge.

About once a year (usually for our Anniversary), Dusty and I find our happy place at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washinton. Although it is much different than our honeymoon location in Mexico, we feel as if we are reliving those days anytime we take one of these getaways. It's good for the soul, right?

Since I've been loving following Groupon lately, we got to take a ride on the Columbia River Sternwheeler. The sternwheeler is one of those things I've always wanted to try, but have never done. Here was my chance. I was a little nervous, due to a habit of feeling as if I'm going to lose my lunch when on boats. When I booked the trip I honestly never considered the fact that I'd be ON the boat. Days later, when telling someone about it, I had one of those "oh cr*p" moments that clue you in to the fact that you may have done something really stupid.

A few short tips about the Sternwheeler: If you wear a dress, try for something tighter fitting than an A-line. As famous as that picture of Marilyn Monroe is, I personally find that having your dress fly up around you in public is just NOT that glamorous. Also, if you DO get seasick, stay on the top deck. Unless you get blisters from the sun, in which case you're up a creek. Should THAT happen, stay outside on the lower decks and find a spot of paint to stare at with all your might, as if that blue paint drop is heaven and you are on your deathbed. Another tip: look for the smiley face. It's on the wheel of the stern wheeler, and it smiles when it's out of the water. Then it turns to a frown face right before plunging into the depths again. Honestly, it didn't matter how many times I saw it, I laughed every. single. time.

Dusty assumed this position about thirty seconds into the ride:

My haircut is not meant for windy areas. Within 5 minutes of this picture, my shaggy 'do had transformed into something resembling a bird's nest in a hurricane.

This is the wheel, though I was unable to get a shot of the smiley. You'll have to find it on your own! Standing by the wheel got you sprayed in a mist that was lovely on a hot day.

This is a shot of the bridge used in one of the first scenes in Twilight. Probably I would have realized LONG ago that it was actually the Bridge Of The Gods, if I didn't have a habit of squeezing my eyes shut and focusing on breathing any time I go over a bridge. I've never really LOOKED at it before.

After the Sternwheeler, Dusty and I crossed over to the Washington side and checked in to heaven on earth. This is the view from our room's window. I offer it as proof of the property's magnificence.

Within 15 minutes we were golfing. We have decided that golfing together is great for our marriage. This is how we golf together.

(What you can't see in this picture is a beer in my left hand and a good book in the right, but I assure you they are there.)

After golfing we headed to dinner, where Dusty had set up a special anniversary dessert- ice cream, caramel sauce, berries and hardened chocolate that spelled out "Happy Anniversary!" and tasted fantastic. After dinner, we hit the hot tub where a very drunk guy insisted that the whale in Free Willy wasn't real (which was funny, considering I actually saw Keiko with my own eyes- and who on earth didn't know the whale was real?).

I woke up at 5:30 the next morning, which ONLY happens (without me cursing it) at Skamania Lodge. I was so excited to see the sunrise. The sky out our window began to turn pink, no children were around to say "Mommy? I had a leak.", and it generally seemed that the morning couldn't get better. Until I noticed a flashing on the glass of a picture in our room, and realized that lightening was lighting up the sky above the ridge of the gorge on the Oregon side. It was an amazing sight- to see a pink sky on one side of the window with dark clouds and white-hot streaks on the right. Once this excitement was over I settled in for breakfast and reading in bed.

After Dusty golfed again (an activity I didn't join him at, because reading about Jamie and Claire Fraser's adventures sounded WAY better than being anywhere but bed at 7am) we set off to explore the area. And by that, I mean find the field where the baseball scene in Twilight was filmed. I mean, we were RIGHT THERE- it is only 15-20 minutes away from Stevenson.

On our search for the baseball field, I realized three things:
1) Dusty is a really good sport when it comes to vampires.
2) I am not cut out for criminal activity.
3) We don't have very good luck.

The field is on private property. It isn't a house, and seems to rarely be used- so basically we decided against our better judgement to check it out anyway and hope for the best. By the time we were at the edge of the field I was both excited to see it and on the verge of a panic attack. We stood there, about to see IT, when we spotted a truck. Then Dusty looked at the grass pattern at realized that the field was being mowed. Right at that moment. I have never been so scared in my whole life. Ok, that's an exaggeration, but still. This foray into the world of trespassing officially ends my criminal career. I'm out.

So, feeling a bit bummed that we came so close and didn't actually see the field (at this point even Dusty was bummed), we headed back over the Bridge Of The Gods and into Oregon.

While we were pretending to be tourists in a place where we aren't really tourists, we decided to check out the Bonneville Dam and fish hatchery. I find Dusty's fascination with fish to be a bit morbid, seeing as it stems from his love of pulling them out of the water on a string and eating them- but whatever. He lets me seach out movie spots, so fish watching is the least I can do.

After Bonneville Dam, I needed nourishment STAT. We had been so busy exploring that I didn't think about food until my stomach threatened to eat itself. We hopped on the scenic highway and stopped at Multnomah Falls. While we were enjoying a mediocre lunch at tourist trap prices (though the setting WAS lovely), Dusty mentioned he hadn't ever BEEN to Multnomah Falls. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I devised a plan to get him to the top of the falls. It began with "Well, you HAVE to see the bridge", then continued to "Well we're already at the bridge, may as well go to the top"...How many times during my childhood did my parents play this trick on me? Now I know why- it works perfectly.

Sometimes things just work out. As we paused on the trail at a lookout point, I realized something: we were looking across the river at the field. We may not have seen it up close, but we DID get to see it from afar (and didn't even have to worry about being arrested in the process). This made me unreasonably happy.

Hlaf way up my trickery backfired. Dusty was ambling along, determined to reach the top, and I was positive that either my legs would fall off or my lungs would burst. But Dusty, realizing he'd been tricked into a hike, was determined to pay me back and drug my little butt up the trail. Finally we made it- right before I faced certain death due to dehydration, I'm sure.

Dusty, feeling triumphant at having reached the top:

Me, feeling thankful that I didn't pass out along the way because that required much more effort than I remembered:

On the way home, we learned an important lesson: if you are almost out of gas, take I-84, not the scenic highway. We DIDN'T run out of gas, but we both let out a long sigh of relief when we hit a gas station 20 miles and many hills after were seemed to be on empty.

So here we are- back home and resuming normal life. My vacation is over- starting today, it's back to cooking and laundry and preparing for the work week. It was fun while it lasted, though!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our day as movie geeks!

Ahh, vacation- a time to kick back, relax...and be bored?

I am super happy I chose to take vacation before the kids go back to school. I needed some time with the family. That said, I'm not too good at sitting around. It just isn't in me, unless I am child free and have a good book (which, I admit, I've managed to accomplish a bit on this vacation). So when Wednesday looked to be a day with nothing on the schedule I thought- why not drive to the coast?

When I first roped my sister in to a day trip with 2 kids in a Honda Civic, I promised her salt water taffy and Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach. Then I remembered that we were at Cannon Beach in July, and though I love it with all my heart- I get bored easily. So I decided to head to Astoria, because we've never been there and I felt that I could turn in into the kind of educational experience that I rolled my eyes at as a kid but feel compelled to share as an adult. Plus, we've recently been introducing the kids to movies from the 80's (you know, BEFORE children's movies started to suck?), and I thought they'd enjoy checking out some of the sights related to Short Circuit, The Goonies and Free Willy. Well, ok- technically the Free Willy stuff was for Ashley and I. We LOVED that movie!

Wednesday morning came, and off we headed to the mouth of the Columbia River via Highway 30. In St. Helen's we had a hankering for ice cream. Stopping to grab some high calorie heaven gave me time to goof around on my phone, which gave me a chance to realize that we weren't that far from Twilight filming sights. Naturally with my less than stellar sense of navigation, this meant going the wrong way and misreading addresses and generally driving around for WAY too long. But we saw it. We saw the house used as Bella Swan's house in Twilight. I get that being excited about this (and even doing it in the first place) makes me a nerd. At least I own it.

By the time we found Bella's house, the kids were about to come to blows in the back seat over which Adele song we should listen to (Skyler likes "Rollin' In The Deep" and Alex likes "Someone Like You", and they have both decided that they must hate the song the other likes, just to make life fun). Since leaving them on the roadside would most likely be frowned upon, we decided to distract them by moving on.

The drive to Astoria was beautiful. I found that I MUCH prefer it to driving over the huge mountains with sharp curves, cliffs and steep enough hills to make my car whine for an hour straight. The drive in itself was worth the trip! When we pulled in to Astoria, we found a public restroom and made what we thought would be a quick pitstop. We could hear seal-like barking in the distance, but didn't think much of it until a family came by and asked if we'd seen the seals (or sea lions? I'm still not sure what they were). So off we went, Alex jumping with excitment to see his first ever non-zoo seals (or sea lions).

I told Alex when we were camping that this shirt is my favorite shirt of his. That was one week ago. Alex has worn it four days since camping.

Skyler has a 'fro. He is very proud of his hair. I figure an afro is better than tattoos and facial piercings in terms of self expression.

The family who had brought our attention to the sea creatures was also kind enough to point out the Goonies house. This was a REALLY cool thing, because it was about the one time during the whole trip that we wouldn't get lost. The Goonies house was super cool. Though they have a sign asking people not to drive up the private drive, they welcome visitors on foot. When a young man (I say young, but he was likely a year or three younger than me...the kids just have me feeling old) saw us looking, he asked if we'd like to come inside. He gave us a tour and showed us the window that the zipline to the front foor was attached to, explaining that the scene actually ruined the door frame. He showed us the changes to the house since the movie. And THEN, he let us climb up into the attic that is a central part of the movie. As we looked out the skylight to an amazing view, it became clear why this beautiful house was chosen as a filming location. The family does ask for donations towards upkeep on the house via sign, and I felt that throwing a few bucks in was the least we could do to repay them for the excitement on Sky's face.

After the Goonies house we were off to find lunch. We went to Charlie's Chowder House- a bright blue, eclectic and thankfully inexpensive but delicious little establishment in what appears to be an old auto garage. Ashley and I had great chowder, Skyler got a Bison burger (can I just say THANK YOU to Udi's for making gluten free hamburger buns? We travel with them.) and Alex got a bowl of steamer clams. Alex loves seafood.

After lunch we set out to find the Free Willy house (where Jesse lives- remember, fellow 80's/90's children?). Ashley and I were determined, and if you know the women in my family, you know that determination turns to complete and utter stubornness really quick. Which is why I am kind of shocked that despite who knows how long of driving around Astoria, we were unable to find the house. We have an idea where it may be- on a recessed drive at the end of a dead end- but we didn't actually see it. Bummer. Big Bummer.

In an effort to make this educational as well as nerdy and slightly insane, we made our way to the Astoria Column. It provided an amazing view, a sense of Oregon's history, and a chance to test wether or not we were really claustrphoic and/or scared of heights. The answer? Yes, we are. But it was worth it in terms of experience and beauty. Just a note: To walk up the column will cost you no more than a pair of really sore legs the next day, but you do have to pay $1 to park.

With legs shaking so bad it was hard to press the gas pedal, we set off again towards movie locations. At this point we realized that the film obsession would cost us a chance to head to any actual beach, but we were determined/stubborn/whatever you call it. Here are the results of that search:

The house used in Short Circuit:

This school used in Kindergarten Cop. The kids have never seen Kindergarten Cop, and probably never will. But we came across the school while searching (again) for the Free Willy house (nope...still no luck), so I figured it was worth a snap shot.

By the time we found these last few places, we thought it best to leave. We came to this decision with 2 primary motives: Get back to St. Helen's in time to search out more Twilight spots, and get out of Astoria before a neighborhood watch was issued for a white Honda Civic Hybrid seen roaming the neighborhoods for hours. And so we said a temorary goodbye to Astoria (we'll be back to vacation if we can't convince Dusty to move there!) and headed East. Or South. Or both? (Whatever. I'm not too great at geography.)

By the time we were back in St. Helen's, the boys were fully into finding Twilight locations because they had begun to get the concept of "this place was in that movie". So we had less arguing- assuming we played a constant rotation of Adele songs.

Here is the alley where Bella is followed/approached by the creepy guys in Twilight. I have to say that it looked eerily familiar- of all the places we saw, this was the most movie-feeling site for me.

And the parking lot where a beautiful mythical character whips his gorgeous car around to save Bella Swan:

And the restaurant Bella and Edward go to after the encounter with the creepy dudes.

We didn't get a picture of Bella's house because it was our first stop and, truthfully? I hadn't thought to take pictures at that point. And while we did see the dress shop Bella, Jessica and Angela went to, I didn't really bother with a picture of that either. Also, we found the bookstore used in the movie...but didn't realize that was IT until we drove away. Oops!

All in all, it was a really fun day. The boys had fun, Ashley and I had fun, and we all hit our pillows as if reuniting with a long lost friend.

If you have any questions about how to find these places, you can ask! Also, here are the primary websites we used to find 'em all. And for the love of pete, if anyone figures out how to see Jesse's house, PLEASE tell!

Now Dusty and I are off for some grown up time at our happy place- Skamania Lodge. Sweet!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Well, at least he has priorities!

Alex and I had a Big Exciting Trip To Target For A Bookbag today while Skyler is staying a couple days with his dad. On the way home, Alex was in good spirits. But he was wishing he could show off his new bag to his brother. The feeling of missing his best friend brought on this conversation, that I just had to get out!

Alex: Brother gets to go to his dad's house ALL THE TIME, and I hardly get to go there ever.

Me: Well, you live with your Dad and brother doesn't get that.

Alex: Well YEAH, but brother gets to live with a X-Box.

Me: I suppose an X-Box is pretty cool.

Alex: Yeah, but I guess it's more expensive.

Me: Oh I don't know. Daddies are pretty expensive, too.

Alex: But you don't have to BUY a Daddy. You just marry one.

Me: Uh huh. Good point. Someday you'll get married.

Alex: Yeah. I don't really know what that is yet. Will I know when I'm 13?

Me: I suppose you will know what it means to be married by 13.

Alex: Good, because some people get married at 13.

Me: No, honey. Not really.

Alex: Yes they do.

Me: Maybe a really long time ago.

Alex: Yeah. Maybe like in the 80's.

Oh my gosh. When they aren't driving me crazy, my kids sure crack me up!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Well, Harry, it's been a great ride.

Endings are sad, aren't they?

Tomorrow we head to the theater to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. This is big. HUGE. Exciting. And sad. While I can't wait to see such a fantastic part of the book brought to life on screen, I can't help feeling- this is it. It's over. There will be no more movies, no more more Hogwarts.

See? There I go, getting all emotional. Skyler is emotional in a different way: Skyler is bouncing off the walls with excitement. By tomorrow noon, I'll probably need to repair some holes in the ceiling. My little wizard can't wait!

In an effort to make this even more special for Skyler (and to indulge my geeky side while blaming it on my child), I decided to make more cake pops. Cake pops are like a bad boyfriend. They make you angry, cause weight gain and emotional outbursts and generally drive you insane. But at the end of the day, you just can't help giving them another try because maybe THIS TIME will be easier. And if it really goes how you want it to, all the hassle will be worth it...

So here there are, folks. My Mad Eye Moody Cake Pops:


Goodbye, Harry. I'll miss you. Hello, sugar high. You're a poor replacement, but I suppose you'll do!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

No person should eat that much in a week. Let alone 2 days.

Well, HELLO 29!


This weekend, I celebrated the start of my last year as a 20-something by stuffing my face. And complaining about the resulting stomach ache. Then repeating the process. I would be terrified to calculate Weight Watcher points, and probably I should just skip sleeping tonight and spend 8 hours running as if a T-Rex were chasing me. But, dang, it was a great weekend.

I had crab ravioli. In cream sauce. With wine. And more chocolates than I care to admit.

Next up came eggs benedict florentine with a mimosa.

In the interest of not exploding, I skipped a meal after the eggs.

The skipping meals thing didn't last long. For dinner, Mom took me to get more pasta- three cheese tortellini with asparagus and chicken. Since at this point I was seriously thinking I needed to attend a WW meeting STAT, I did what any logical person would do. I followed the pasta with cheesecake and wine.

Today, I vowed to get back on the bandwagon. Until Ashley, Alex and I walked in to a restaurant which offered panko coated fish and chips. Really, now- not getting those would have been a tragedy, right? How could I have passed them up? I couldn't have. It just wouldn't have been right.

After an amazing lunch of deep fried goodness, we worked up an appetite by strolling the streets of Hood River. Turns out there was a kiteboarding competition in Hood River today. Since we didn't have a timeline and didn't think we'd get kicked out, the three of us headed to the waterfront to have a look. Because at this point I was feeling very much like a stuffed goose, I think that I may have been trying to guilt myself into not eating more. Which is why I had a beer by the water before stopping for ice cream in Cascade Locks, of course. (Since any sane person MUST get ice cream in Cascade Locks, I just can't count those calories. Those cones aren't fat- they are an Oregon tradition.)

Ash and I had a great laugh today when Alex tried to assert his authority while using a Port A Potty. I kept the door open just a little, and wouldn't let the little dude lock it. I realize that he is 5 and he has (mostly) figured out the basics of taking a pee at this point. However, here is a little known Brianna fact: I have completely unfounded, strange and illogical fears about my children falling in to portable toilets. I know you think I am crazy for this. Chances are, you're right. The beauty of being a parent is that I am allowed to be a bit crazy regarding highly improbable events (and the need to avoid said events).

Anyhow, since Alex is "a big boy" now, he decided to take a stand for his privacy. When I wouldn't let him lock the door from the inside, he marched right out to move me and see if there was a way to lock the door from the outside. Alex was GOING to find a way to keep his toosh behind a closed door. There was, unfortunately for Alex, one small problem with this: LittleHam forgot to pull his pants up before storming the parking lot. Bad news is, Alex didn't ever figure out a way to rid the Port A Potty door of Mommy's control. Good news is that Ashley and I had a fantastic laugh.

When I came home after dinner at my Mom's (where, again, I overate), the house smelled like the beautiful roses Dusty got me for my birthday. The clams he got on the coast this weekend are taunting me. They want to be made into chowder, or just steamed and eaten right away. But I will not give in. Instead, I will be hiding from the clams. I will also hide from the roses, because they are sitting right over a box of chocolates. I feel lucky, loved, and ready to make this a great year. And I have a massive tummy ache.

Tomorrow, I get back on plan. I only hope that my motivation will make the same choice.