Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Someone is reading this!

And, that someone gave me an award!  I'm not sure why although, I deeply respect her and everything she has to say.  I think she's honest and forgiving and should write a book someday.  I'm seriously honored that she awarded me with the love only a fellow Mommy Blogger can give... an e-award.

I guess I'm supposed to tell you 7 things that you may or may not know about me.  And then pass some awards onto those that I think deserve some blogging love.  Will do.

1)  I have a deep, irrational fear of birds.  Sometimes, it manifests itself onto other winged creatures like butterflies or moths or dragonflies but usually it's just birds and bats.  Anything that flies and can get near me makes my skin crawl.  They make me want to shrink inside myself, scream ear-piercingly loud, thrash my arms wildly, and almost choke myself with fear.  Note the irrational part of this fear.  

2)  As deep as my fear of birds is, my love for green sea turtles is deeper.  I fell in love with them when I was in Hawaii with my fam at the age of 13.  I started sobbing tears of joy when I saw one of these magnificent creatures swimming on the Great Barrier Reef when I was 16.  My heart swelled.  I could not wipe the grin off my face.  They are the purest form of beauty in nature to me and if I had no strings to hold me down, I would devote my life to their sanctuary.  My inner tree-hugger wants to move near a turtle beach and get all Sea Shephardy about saving them.

3)  I used to think ketchup was too spicy.  Now, I like to eat salsa.  Taste buds change as you grow and I will continually offer my kids foods that they turn down just in case one day they like it.

4)  Contrary to the griping I did, I really enjoy being pregnant and I LOVE going through labor.  I would do it again a million times but I just don't think I can handle the newborn stage again.  I don't think I have the immense patience it takes to raise more than two children.  And, my brain does weird stuff when it's on hormones.  If someone wanted to rent out a ute, I'm all yours.

5)  I think my husband is really funny.  I like the banter he gets into when he's around friends and I wish we lived closer to the Yakima peeps cause they are a riot together.

6)  My favorite band is Depeche Mode.  It's not a common favorite band.  I never went through a black leather-wearing, fish net arm sleeves, rebellious, new wave punk phase.  Dave Gahan's voice is so damn sexy and he's not so bad looking either.  Something about their music just gets me.

7)  You know people that are OCD and have to have things a certain way?  I'm the opposite.  I can't stick with anything for any amount of time.  I change my mind frequently, change my interests even more frequently, and could care less if things get done.  I'd rather have little knowledge of tons of things than excel at one specific thing.  I can't get motivated to do anything unless I have either a deadline or an intrinsic need to do it.  I am a typical Aquarius.

So, there you go.  There's seven things about me that you may not have known.  How many did you actually know?

And, here's the people that make me sit on the edge of my seat just waiting for new post.  I love their style and have become a better person just by reading their blogs.  I am a teeny, tiny fish in the big pond of blogs and some of these people are big, huge piranhas.  They still need to know that someone, somewhere appreciates them and likes what they have to say...

Kristin at http://www.mysweetheartmoments.com/

Cassie at    http://adventuresofthelopezs.blogspot.com/     <---  seriously?  That girl takes some amazing pics.

Beth at http://karingforkeegan.blogspot.com/

Emily at   http://emilyweaverbrownphoto.com/blog/    She took my maternity photos and is an AMAZING photographer.  You rock, Emily!

Pass the award onto someone's blog who knocks your socks off!  And, write 7 things about you that we don't know.  Cheers!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

We've created a monster

This is a long one.  Bear with me.

Dustin and I are avid WSU Cougar fans.  We went there, met there, graduated from there, and most of our closest friends are also shameless fans of the Cougs.  For crying out loud, our college slogans are:
Win or lose, we drink more booze.
Our drinking team has a football problem.

Our cheerleading team is kind of a joke.  Every dozen years or so we end up with a good team.  Somewhere in sports.  We look forward to those early season football games against Southern Methodist or NorthEast Michigan United College of the Arts (<--- I made that one up) because we know we might have a shot at winning.  We spend the rest of the football season carefully calculating which teams we think we will beat and usually end up allowing ourselves a 2-10 or 3-9 season.  Optimistically.

We wear our colors more often, in more places, and for no good reason other than the fact that being stranded 300 miles from a city in the middle of wheat fields tends to bring people together.

We have encouraged the rivalry between WSU and UW in our household since before it was even a household.  And, Dustin and I are- by no means- the most rabid Coug fans we know.  Not even close.  And, yet somehow, by hanging out with these people, the rivalry has rubbed off on Breckin.  He's been around watching football games with us, Bobby, Bull, the girls, and Uncle G since he was born.  He knows that Derek and Kait root for the other team and we should say boo.  But, today's events...... I don't know.  They kinda warmed my heart.  They kinda freaked me out.

On our way to the zoo (yes, I know, what about a lovely blog post recounting the zoo trip?  No.  I can't.  Not after this.) we have to drive past the college campus of the University of Washington.  We start up the slight hill on I-5 North bound, just past Lakeview Blvd., where the top of the U is coming into view.  Breckin sees the office building formerly known as the Safeco Tower.  He sees that it is emblazoned with a giant purple W and the words "University of Washington."  And, then.  This conversation.

Breckin:  Mommy.  I know what I want to be when I grow up.
Me:  Oh, yeah?  What's that?  (we've had a string of these conversations lately so I'm used to it)
Breckin:  I want to be a crane truck driver with a huge wrecking ball on it so I can drive that truck all through that town down there.  See that big tower?  That's the bad W and I want to knock it down and flush it down the toilet.  I will SMASH right into it with my wrecking ball!
Me:  Yeah!  That's awesome buddy!  I mean, NO!  Honey, you can't just knock buildings down.  We don't want anyone to get hurt!  We might be rivals, buddy, but we can't just knock their stuff down.  That would hurt their feelings.

Me, internally:  Wow.  This kid gets it but is already crossing the line.  I can't believe I just cheered him on as my initial response.  I love that he is feeling the rivalry but I have to discourage terrorist behavior before he takes some kid out on the playground for wearing that big purple W.  Foreshadowing?  Maybe.  It does my heart good, however, to hear his passion for the underdogs.

Breckin:  Oh, ok.  But they shouldn't wear that W with that purple.
Me:  Yeah, I know hon.  It only bothers us because they are our rival- they aren't really villains or bad guys.  It's just about the schools and the sports.

Me, internally:  Phew.  Maybe that diverted his energy and redeemed my motherly skills.  Remind me to tell our adult friends to tone it down during the next Apple Cup.  Wait, nah.  Nevermind.  THAT'S not going to happen.

Moving on.  Great day at the zoo.  Kids are fantastic, well behaved, and Breckin made Ella squeal with delight during our lunch break.  Everyone around us groaned with parental approval.  And, on our way out of the Zoomazium play place at the end of the trip......

Breckin (to some poor kid, probably 6 or 7 yrs old, on his way into the play thing):  Hey!  That boy is wearing purple!  Mommy, he's one of THEM!  He has that big W on his shirt.  Hey guy!  I'm going to flush you down the toilet.  Wolves are stinky!  Go Cougs!  (He still thinks wolves and huskies are the same thing.)
Me:  Breckin!  That's not nice to say.  He can cheer for whoever he wants.

Me, internally:  His father has gotten to him.  Dammit, Bobby and Dustin and Clark.  That's enough.  Wait- no- it just needs to be redirected.  He needs the preschool version of cheering for the Cougs.... not the drunk Vegas version.  I'm mortally embarrassed because even though we talk this way amongst our friends, I really don't want my kid taking it to heart like this.  It's just not as cute coming from a five year old.  I promise, we are not creating a terrorist.

The kid's Dad:  Husband a Coug or you?
Me:  Nods sheepishly.  Yeah, we both are.  Sorry 'bout that.
The kid's Dad:  Hey, don't worry about it.  Sounds like your little guy is off to the right start- just for the wrong team.  Grins, grabs his son, and walks away.
Me:  Thanks.  Have a great evening

Me, internally:  Hmmm.  If some kid shouted Go Huskies at Breckin, I'd encourage him to turn around and say Go Cougs right back.  Thank God we had our first Clark moment in the company of someone who appreciates the rivalry and can take it with a grain of salt.

I think I'll be encouraging Breckin to keep his NCAA pride contained to football games in the future 'cause you never know if the person on the other end is as forgiving.  

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oh, hello 75 Degrees. There you are!

And, we kick off the 1st of our Thursday afternoons at the beach.  It's a summer Girls Night tradition that started long before we had kids and now it includes them.  The tradition has changed.  It started with spreading out blankets on the grassy spot at Coulon Beach, sitting down in our work clothes, ordering root beer shakes from Kidd Valley, and chatting about what bar we'd be going to that weekend or who Court was dating.  ;) 

Now, it involves pre-packing a tote bag the night before (at least for those with 2 kids) with towels, sunscreen, extra clothes, water bottles, sand pails, bottles, baby food, diapers, and the camera.  Dinner is a little more planned.  And, we are plopped in the sandy, noisy kid area followed by trips to the playground.  Breckin and Natalee are corraled by which ever Auntie is looking.  Ella- since this is her first trip- sits in her carseat happily in the shade. 

Three of us were missing tonight and the operative word there is missing.  I miss them.  Like, almost to the point of tears.  Our group has ebbed and waned as life has changed for each of us.  Beach or not, we'll always be close.  Girls night or not, we'll always be the soul mates that Carrie Bradshaw eloquently pointed out.  We started out with the common ground of watching the Bachelor.  And, let me tell you what, Aaron got stuck in a few of those nights but he still, to this day, does one of the best impersonations of a snarky, bitchy female because of it.  The group grew as more friends graduated and we've gone from the best surprise birthday weekend ever to buying houses. Everyone getting a dog to numerous BBQ parties. Three pregnancies to a fabulous, upcoming 2011 celebration of the next Mr. Girls Night. 

Watching Breckin and Natalee play in the sand is a tribute to how far we've come.  They are entering Kindergarten and we've been friends, Aunties, sisters, and- if you know us well enough, we can say this- brothers for 10 years.  Some of us, even longer.  Every other relationship- whether it be high school classes, spouses, or corporations- throw themselves a huge 10 year bash.  I say we do the same.  Jetta has been pointing out her fabulous girlfriends lately, and I want to do the same.  I love them.  Here's to another 10 years, ladies.  Let's plan a party to celebrate us.   

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Breckin, meet your match

On Tuesday nights, Dustin has bowling league.  So, it's up to me to provide dinner for one carefree adult, one exhausted child, and one relentlessly happy baby.  It's up to me to entertain said group and it's usually up to me to put those three to bed.  Unless, one some occassions, Dustin gets home earlier than bedtime and stirs the sleepy pot with Daddy excitement. 

Last night, this carefree adult, partially exhausted child, and happy baby chose hot dogs and mac N cheese for dinner.  Don't knock it- everyone was fed and pleased.  Then, because the sun appeared, we wanted to play outside.  At the tube slide park.  Up the hill.  Cool.

I didn't want to have an aching back (silly, me) so I thought, hey!  Why don't I stick Ella in the front seat of the double stroller w/o her car seat so she can see where we are going and not get so hot in that thing?  Great!  Bust out the stroller, get Ella set up, Breckin jumps on the back running board and away we go. 

Two houses down.

We invite Kellen and Mikah along with us- the more the merrier at the park, I say.  They play so well together... I'd take them anywhere.  Except, my master plan of alleviating my back gets trashed.  All three of the age 5+ children hopped on the running board together.  Superfun!  Folks, that's 150 lbs + of children.  Plus the 20 lb one up front.  Plus the 20 lb stroller.  Dammit- why didn't I just strap the Ergo on and make Breckin walk?

I don't know but up the hill we go.  Up and up and up the hill.  Breckin says "Yay!  We are finally there!"  Kellen says "I thought we weren't going to make it in time for my bedtime."  Oh, Kellen.  Go play, sweetie.  Mommy's arms are no longer attached and I can't feel my calves.

Play play play.  Everyone had a great time.  We leave at 7:55.  Everyone hopped back on for the ride back- downhill is just fine for an overloaded stroller.  In fact, it's more fun cause it feels like it's out of control.  Whee!

Breckin:  We should have a playdate.  I like playing with Kellen and Mikah.
Kellen:  We don't want to have too much excitement.  When I get exhausted like that, I just fall asleep.

Seriously?  That's pretty wise thinking for a 5 year old.  I don't think Breckin meant right that minute- maybe a later date.  But, it's words like those for why I love Kellen and think he's such a good match for Buddy.  They bust out with some of the funniest things I've heard and they are both comfortable with punching each other in the middle of the back like it's the greatest form of love.  Kellen, I'd take you to the park anyday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ok, this is the 3rd post of the day.

But, wait.  Why did I start blogging so frequently?  To try to remember the milestones as they happen, right?  Cause I'm not doing a traditional baby book.  As much as I love blurting my thoughts about religion and reminiscing about a quieter moment, I do actually have to keep track of stuff.  So, here's the laundry list of growth.  In the past few days, Ella has:
  • Started sitting straight as a tack all on her own for more than 10 minutes.  She can reach for toys at will and not topple over.  Unless, of course, the dog walks by and she needs to wrench her head around like an owl to see where she will go.  Then she tips.
  • Pushed herself up on her hands and knees while pretending to enjoy tummy time.  That girl hates tummy time with a passion after about two point oh minutes.  She got her knees under her while at the cabin and was pretty tickled about that. 
  • Scoots backwards while said knees are under her. 
  • Continued her exploration of all things pureed.  We are into blended foods now. 
  • Grabbed a can of Gerber Puffs off the shelf at the grocery store while I was perusing the formula cans.  So, I figured she knew what she wanted and bought them.  We tried one last night- no gagging or choking.  We tried five more tonight- most of them stuck to her sticky little palms but she managed to eat three.  Food works.
  • Re-read that one above.  Formula.  Ella has self-weaned and I'm okay with that.  My goal was six months and we made it almost seven.  Pretty good for pumping for four of those.  She can rock an eight-ounce bottle in 10 minutes and is much happier than dealing with Mommy's slow method. 
  • Slept 12.25 hours straight- no waking for extra food or ridiculously soggy diapers- the night after we got back from the rafting trip.  Who wants to go again?  Mommy likes sleepy babies.
Ok, there.  I got the necessary stuff taken care of.  Continue on down to the posts below to read some actual thoughts.

My Favorite Part of the Rafting Weekend.

I wanna touch the earth

I wanna break it in my hands
I wanna grow something wild and unruly

I wanna sleep on the hard ground
In the comfort of your arms
On a pillow of blue bonnets
And a blanket made of stars

I wanna be the only one

For miles and miles
Except for maybe you
And your simple smile
Cowboy take me away
Fly this girl as high as you can into the wild blue.
-Dixie Chicks

This place was so pure and simple.  As soon as we drove up the path to the cabin, I heard this song playing in my head.  Ella and I hung out a lot in the fields and forests around the cabin and did absolutely nothing.  She felt the breeze, the ants on her toes, the light grass on her fingers, and did nothing.  No squeaky toys.  No phone ringing.  No radio.  We sat out there for about 2 1/2 hours just listening to each other breathe and she was content.  I am forever indebted to the Zahajkos for bringing me back to appreciating the beautiful sound of silence. 

I like different perspectives

So, I'm pretty comfortable with my version of faith.  It's taken a lot of years and a lot of different churches to put my faith together but I like where it's at.  I'm not going to get into The Christian-ish History of Holly right now but let me just say this:
              Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.

Thanks for that one, Mom.  It's true.  That combined with "I'll call him God but you can call him/her/it Buddha, Muhammed, Brahma, Tao, etc" basically sums up my views.  I'm not monotheistic.  I like what a lot of religions have to say and I think a lot of them are saying the same thing.  It's a damn shame that we let semantics get in the way.

Intense, huh?  I don't mean it to be a heavy subject, per se.  And, I ran across this via a Facebook status of an old friend (yeah, Danny Clark, I just called you old). 

            Christianity Definition: The belief that some cosmic Jewish zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present because some rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

Now, if that doesn't sound funny, I don't know what does.  Can't we all get a little perspective from that one?  Doesn't it sound ridiculous when put that way?

What do you believe?  Can you handle it when others re-word something so sacred into something so trivial?  I can.  I think it's hilarious. 

Leave a comment on this one.  Let's start a grown-ups conversation about it.  I'd like to know what you think whether I've known you forever or just met you via the Mommy Blogger world.  Nothing mean, nothing rude, and for the love of God- don't take anything personally.  Go!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Breckin's version of Two Little Blackbirds

This isn't a long, drawn out story.  It's not really even a story.  It's commentary on how Breckin views life and his version of things.

We were listening to quite possibly the most grating children's album I've ever heard.  On repeat.  One of the songs is the children's classic- Two Little Blackbirds.  You know, two little blackbirds sat on a hill.  One named Jack.  One named Jill.  Fly away Jack.  Fly away Jill.  Blah blah blah.

He sings in his best voice along to this one-
                       Two little fatbirds sat on a hill.  One named Jack.  One named Bill. 
Straight faced.  Looking out the window just singing along as if these are the actual words.

I'm not sure if he heard Bill instead of Jill or if he just thinks it should say Bill.  If maybe the birds are fishing buddies- might have a bit of a beer belly and just hanging out together on the top of a hill.  Or, if Jack and Bill are the modern, same-sex partner version of Jack and Jill.  Either way, I like it.

I cracked up after hearing him sing the entire song with Jack and Bill.  He looked at me and started laughing and said, why are you laughing, mommy?  I told him I thought the song was funny.  Now he wants to hear it OVER and OVER and OVER. 

I liked Bill at the beginning.  Now, if I have to hear about Jack and Bill one more time, I might poke myself in the eyeball with a spoon. 

What else does Breckin misinterpret? 
  • He calls Goodwill-   Goodwhale.
  • He calls Burger King-   King Burgers (and wonders if McDonalds is the Queen).
  • He thinks every car that drives by with a window decal of a Transformer is actually a Transformer and wants me to follow them until they transform.  He saw the axle of a large truck that had a Decepticon sticker and still swears that that was the truck's face tucked down.
  • He seriously thinks McDonald's is Scottish food because that was our code for it when Dustin and I had to talk about it in front of him and now he's caught on.
  • He has no concept that people grow up and leave their parents' house.  He thinks our house is his and someday Dustin and I will leave.  (That might be true if he never actually leaves...  just kidding.)
  • Turquoise = Toysker.  And, I won't correct this one just yet.  I love it.
I'm sure there's more.  Leave a note if you can think of one that I left off....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Breckin loves TBall.

Not playing it.  Reading about it.  Auntie Heidi- I'm lookin at you. 

He just turned 5, right?  What do 5 year olds learn in Kindergarten?  How to write their letters and how to read basic words.  Well, I'm sorry future Kindergarten teacher, Breckin is going to drive you bonkers.  Cause he knows how to do both of those things and now he's reading Berenstain Bears books.  What the what?

Last night, his foolish, ill-planning mother kept him out too late on a week night.  So, he rushed through a very short show, took a super-zippy shower, and jumped in bed.  I told him I would read the first two pages of his book and he could stay up with his flashlight on to "read" the rest on his own.  He usually complains about that and I get suckered into reading a few more pages and/or books with him.  No biggie, right?  Well, last night, he must have drank some "I'm a big kid and know how to be a good boy at night" juice cause I read him the first two pages of Berenstain Bears Play T-Ball and handed it to him to finish.

I wasn't serious.  Finish looking at the pages and maybe talking about what they were doing.  That's all.  I never intended to stand up from the side of the bed and see him:
                              Point his finger at each word "Billy swung the bat.  He hit it hard.  He did not hit the ball.  He hit the tee!" and say them correctly and laugh at the humor.  He continued on like this for the entire book.  He missed a few words here and there but, for the most part, I stood there with my mouth hanging open.

I grabbed him, hugged him, and told him I was very proud of him for reading so well.  I sent Daddy up to hear his new skill but by the time he got up there, he was done reading and almost asleep.  He's had this book for not quite a week and I've only read it to him twice.  He's real deal reading new stuff.  IN-sane, I tell you.  Insane. 

Again, I apologize to his teacher next year because I've taught Kindergarten.  I know what they are going to teach him and I know he already knows his phonics and his complex sounds like th, sh, ch, and tion/sion.  He's going to be bored and there is nothing worse than a bored student.  His summer school will consist of learning patience and how to entertain himself when everyone else is busy and he's done with his work.  Crap.  I'm not even good at that stuff. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oh, hell. McStuff with no pics.

Yeah, it's Monday again.  Yeah, I had another "1 lb week."  I'm not losing weight (well, technically, I am cause I am throwing old stuff out of the house and that's a bigger weight for me than my body ever will be) but I am losing stuff.  Slowly.  So slowly that the average person couldn't really tell.  But, if I just showed up one Monday with a miraculously clean craft room, this journey of the McStuff Monday would be a joke.  And a mini-series.  I'm going for a 6-season, epic battle with my stuff.  I will win but it's really hard for me. 

I have a hard time getting rid of my stuff.  Mostly, my craft stuff.  What if I need it one day?  It's raw materials and what if Breckin has a craft project for school that requires a small square of neon orange felt?  If I throw that scrap away, I'll kick myself for having to buy another one.  I'm not a hoarder, people, but I'm as close as you can get without the germiness and rotting food and inability to walk through rooms.  I have squiggle scissors that I got when scrapbooking first took off- in 1995.  I have fabric that my Grandma Mary used to have in her stash and have vowed to make a mini-quilt someday with them but haven't found the perfect pattern.  I have 2 oz jars of acrylic paint in every color imagineable cause I've painted with them- even if just a small drop- at some point in the last 10 years.  What do I get rid of? 

Well, this weekend, I got rid of scraps of paper, fabric, and ribbon smaller than my hand.  That was my guideline.  Know what?  I got rid of a large Nordy's bag full of scraps.  If I need them, oh well.  I still have a wall of shelves of other, larger pieces that will have to work.  

I still have those empty bins waiting to be filled and I still can't decide what should go in them.  The table is still cluttered with stuff but one of the boxes is actually just holding empty bins.  My next project is the photos.  I know we have multiples of most photos and I'm ready to pare them down.  They will all go in albums until the day comes that I can scrapbook them.  One of these days, you WILL see a clean room.  And then, season 2 will begin cause it'll take me even longer to tackle another space.  Who knows, I might interject another McStuff room in the middle of this one.... The fridge and pantry are looking mighty McStuffy...

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Letter to No One

Dear Zumba,

I heart you.  I love how nervous I was to start going to your classes but five minutes into the very first one, I remembered the feeling of dancing like this.  Zumba, you bring back my memories of the Valhalla at 12:45 am circa 2001 as well as my memories of The Club Bellevue Solid Gold Dancers way back in 1998.  I'm pretty sure I haven't shook my a$$ like I do in your class without some liquid courage EVER and the fact that I can now do this two times a week, makes me proud.   

The Zumba Gods have given me your best instructor, Jessica.  She is a mom like me and she doesn't show up with a body by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.  She shows up with a real woman's body and can shimmy like no one's business.  We blast Shakira, Black Eyed Peas, random tribal African drum beats, and a myriad of FAST, reggae-inspired, slightly-flamenco-dancerish rhythms that would make Snooki pump her Jersey little fist til she fell down. 

I am literally dripping sweat half way into my Zumba boogies and I LOVE it.  I hate running.  I semi-despise Step aerobics class.  I hate boot camp type stuff.  I want to work out and not know I'm working out.  Zumba, I heart you the most cause I have gone from still wearing maternity clothes in February to wearing a SIZE 6 today.  Size 6.  Last week I was a size 8.  I could give a crap about the weight number behind it cause as long as I feel good in my clothes, I'm happy.  Granted, this size 6 pant is not from Abercrombie or American Eagle for people with no hips or rear end.  This is a mom-cut, natural-waist, roomy in the seat, Cutter & Buck size 6 but I'll take it. 

Zumba, I love you.  Sometimes, when we dance, I feel like Baby when she's walking down that white fence wearing her oh-so-cute denim shorts and doing a dance all by herself.  I find myself humming the Zumba tunes in the shower and washing my hair while salsaing.  I wish each and every one of my girlfriends could meet you and fall in love like I have.  I will forever be grateful to you, Zumba, for giving me back my body and filling me with the confidence that only dancing and sweating-your-face-off exercise can.  I look forward to Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings and only wish I could go more than that.       

Til next time,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mmmmm. Food. (And, a funny conversation)

Although I don't do it as often as I'd like, I really enjoy cooking.  Last night, I made one of my absolute favorite recipes.  It's a Thai Chicken Salad with naan or nann or non or whatever the hell that Indian bread is called.  The salad hails from my much-loved, well-worn, tomato-sauce-splattered cookbooks:  Biggest Loser Family Cookbook.  It requires a lot of chopping and several different measuring spoons (which I can NEVER find cause Breckin thinks they are great as drum sticks/bath tub toys/hot wheel launchers) but you know what?  I'm finding that most mouthwatering recipes are the ones that involve a long grocery list and lots of chopping. 

I'm currently- like just spilled some cilantro on my keyboard- eating the left-overs of this salad and DAMN it's good.  Here's the ingredients:  Ground chicken, EVOO ::Holla Coeur d'A Olive Oil Company!:: , mint, cilantro, honey, garlic, ginger, chili powder, pepper, carrots, onions, cashews, and lettuce.  Combine them in various stages to make a dressing/cooking sauce, bowl o' salad, and hot, ground chicken.  I can't tell you the exact directions cause a) that would violate something and b) I don't have it right now.  A big, huge portion that I can't usually finish is 300 cals.  Yum diddly dum. 

Trust me, it's good.  If you only have room for one more cookbook on your shelf, seriously, go get one of the Biggest Loser books.  Their food is phenom and they really are pretty easy to make.  I pull about three meals a week from those suckers and they are good every.single.time.  For reals.  Tell me when you're coming over and I'll cook you some.  I heart dinner parties and any reason to cook something healthy and delish.  Let's make it a date.  You + The Armstrongs = Dinner time fun. 

Oh, ok.  I promised a conversation, too.  Here's the latest Words from the Mouths of Babes.

Breckin:  Mommy, guess what?  Chase I'll insert a vague name to protect the guilty Charlie's mom, Coach Julie Janie, let him drink lum.

Me:  Lum?  You mean rum?

Breckin:  No.  Llllll um (heavy accent on the L to show me he knows exactly what he's talking about).

Me:  What's lum?

Breckin:  You know, the stuff that pirates hide on deserted islands in treasure boxes.

(wait, when did Breckin see Pirates of the Carribean?  Cause I sure as hell didn't show him.)

Me:  Oh.  That's not really a kid's drink.  You won't be trying lum.

Breckin:  I know.  He said it tastes like the sink pipes.

Alright.  Who can identify the major problem here?  The fact that a 5 year old tried lum?  The fact that he tattled on his mommy to his friends at school and now the whole PTA probably knows?  The fact that my child knows that pirates hide lum on islands?  No.  The fact that the kid related LUM to the SINK PIPES.  Why, on God's green Earth, does a 5 year old know what the sink pipes taste like?  Nevermind.  I don't want to know.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gettin' Itchy

Here's something I realized:  Today, I was bored at work.  And, in the last 12 years, I haven't lived in one place for more than 2 years at a time.  Serioulsy. 

I went off to college in 1998, lived in a different dorm or apartment each year, moved into a different apt after graduating, hopped back home for a while, then to Issaquah from 2005-2007.  We've been in our Maple Valley place since Sept 2007 and this is the longest I've been in the same place since I was a kid.  I lived in the same house from the age of 5 til I left for college... so I should be content to be in one spot for a long time, right?  Nope.  I don't know why but I'm gettin itchy. 

And, not move across town itchy.  Like today, I was looking at property in Scotland.  And, how to apply for a work visa in the UK.  And job openings in Glasgow.  Like, it went that far.  Here's what else I realized.  I don't think I have the drive/guts/ability to sell our place and uproot my kids/husband and actually follow through with it.  For now, I'm content to have window shopped living in Scotland.  It would kill me to move away from all the people I love but dammit, my beautiful mother raised an independent, do-it-if-it-kills-you kind of girl.  I think if the house would sell and Dustin would be on board, I'd follow through.  What does that say? 

Here's the house that I think would be fun.
  Really?  What's so appealing about that?  Is this my mid-life crisis? 

Here's what I THINK is happening.  My momma raised my sister and I to feel totally comfortable on our own.  Went to summer camps for a week by ourselves at 1st grade.  Flew to see grandparents (not on our own) every summer.  Went to Europe with other students in high school.  Flew to see them in Indy in college.  Went to Cambridge University on my own in college.  Took the subway to London and stayed in a hostel in White Chapel late at night by myself.  I'm used to just up and doing stuff.  AND, I LOVED England/Scotland.  LOVED it.  I would live there in a heartbeat. 

I think I'm missing my travelling days and feeling bogged down by life and wish I was able to just go.  Only, this time, I want to bring my family.  I stayed in a house similar to the one above when I was in Cambridge.  I went to Scotland every weekend I could and backpacked across the Highlands.  I MISS it.  I want to show Dustin and my kids the beauty of that place and heck, I'd just stay there.

But, on the same token, I love my house.  I love my neighborhood.  It almost makes me cry when I think about how wonderful and loving and fabulous our neighbors are because I grew up on a street just like ours and I CHERISH my childhood.  They love my kids.  I want to stay where I'm at and raise my kids in the same house for the entirety of their childhood.  I want to give them what my parents gave me.  Freedom and independence and confidence.  I want them to have roots and wings.  For that, I'm just fine with window shopping my other life. 

A brick, drafty, narrow house with the washing machine in the kitchen and no dryer and a small garden in the back with wild guinea pigs and bedrooms too small for a double bed and a toaster built into the oven and tea 8 times a day will have to wait.... 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

McFatty takes a Holiday

I really shouldn't be posting cause today is hectic so I'll keep it brief.

I cleaned some stuff.  I mean, I looked through the piles and resorted them into different piles that made more sense.  I made two bags of stuff disappear- one to the local dump, one to Goodwill.  I found that I have two totally empty storage bins and now I have anxiety over what to put in them- what precious things will get a new, dust-free home?  I have more scrapbook paper than humanly possible and my storage bins are ::this much too small:: to hold 12x12 paper so it's currently filed on the floor.  But, I went in the room and made baby steps of progress.  Consider this week equivalent to a 1 lb loss.... enough to motivate and feel like I'm actually doing it, but not enough to feel successful. 

In other news, and maybe it should have it's own post, so I'll insert a post title here....

Ella says stuff and I grasp at straws to think it was intentional.

When I change Ella's diaper, to keep her from reaching down and grabbing ahold of dirty yuckies, I give her a plush baby doll to hold onto.  I usually hold the doll above her face, say Baby Doll in the most embarrassing, goo goo voice possible, and snuggle the doll into her waiting arms.  She squeals/screams every time she sees the thing cause she gets sooooo excited.  It keeps her occupied and she has some lovely conversations with her Baby Doll.  Mostly, she eats her hat. 

Well, on Saturday, I put Ella on the changing table after she woke up.  She's squirmy and giggly and generally happy about life.  And then.  She babbles.  She says Da Da Da Da repeatedly and waves her arms around like she's trying to flag down a taxi.  Her consonant is very clear.  Da.  I repeat it back to her a few times thinking she's funny and grab her Baby Doll to distract her.  She sees the Doll.  She SCREAMS Da and squeals loud enough to rival any Beatlemania fan.  Did she just say Doll?  Really?  She damn near bites Doll's head off in all of her excitement. 

I didn't mention it to anyone cause I must be crazy to think my 6 mos old tried to talk.  But, I can't stop thinking about it.  She's seen her Doll since then and hasn't said Da Da Da.  What do you think?  Of course, I can't remember when Breckin first spoke.... I mean, I'm a mom and have severe mom brain.  I know his first word was ball... I just don't know when he said it. 

I'll let you know if it happens again.... sheesh.