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Monday, February 28

you'd think I was pregnant....

after the day I had today.
I could NOT get out of the kitchen.  Well, 2 or 3 loads of wash went in the
machine today as well.  Kinda sounds a little like nesting.  Anyway, once I got it in my head
to start cooking today I couldn't stop.  And I hit up the grocery store in between to grab
a few items to keep cooking......wierd I tell ya'....wierd.

So everything in the kitchen started with Connor.  I know - sounds odd.  Connor, Mr. Wait Til The Last Minute, had to try three new foods.  By today.  Or tonight actually.  Then he had to write them down and I had to sign it, verifying that yes, in fact, he touched his sensitive, little tongue to food unfamiliar to him.  So the three items were - jicama, pickeld jalepenoes and plantain. 

The jicama - well, I only have eaten them raw.  I either slice them up or dice them and put them in a salad.  SCORE.....because he actually liked it.  Ate more than one piece.  The plantain and pickled jalepenos combo came to me when I was watching one of my favorite cooking shows on the Cooking Channel called Everyday Exotic with this chef named Roger Mooking.  CLICK HERE for the recipe he made this past weekend.  He will probably never eat either again, but he a least tried them....which is huge for him.

Oh, speaking of cooking shows.  With the vast array of cooking shows on tv, not only on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, but others - seriously?  Why would anyone buy another cookbook?  I have cookbooks.  Quite a few of them.  But for me it is all about the pictures.  If there are no pictures, I don't buy it.  And they have to be awesome pictures.  Which is why I am loving the cooking shows.  You can see the stuff as it's being made.  And completely base your decision on whether or not you'll be making something, strictly from how it looks.  Which brought me to the plantain and jalepenos.....

So I got a little ahead of myself. For dinner I planned on making a mushroom barley soup.  It was really great.  Onions, garlic, chopped carrots and celery sauteed in olive oil.  Pre-cooked some barley in a separate pot.  Filled the dutch oven that had the sauteed mirepoix (fancy french name for the above ingredients)
with water and added some beef boullion paste stuff I had in the pantry.  Brought that to a boil and added the barley to further cook, a couple of hours at least.  Sauteed a whole boat load of chopped white mushrooms in my paella pan - that's how many mushrooms I used.......Added those toward the end, before serving.  Call it soup.

Desert was next on my list.  I saw this A.MA.ZING recipe HERE.
Pavlova.
Like, was I nuts or what?  Pavlova - a huge meringue.
I have tried to make small, tiny, cute little yummy meringues for ever.......
I just can't.  I don't know what the hell I am doing wrong, but they never come out.
But this - I wanted to try.  Maybe it was the 40 pounds of whipped cream that gets plopped
on top of it.  I don't know.

I am embarrassed to say - We ate that thing so fast tonight, that I only got a picture of the crumbs that were left.

The recipe stated you could use fresh fruit on top.  I used whipping cream which I added a touch of sugar and grated orange rind from some awesome Cara Cara oranges I had laying around.  I took a couple and diced up some sections to drop on top of the mountain of meringue, topped with the even bigger
mountain of whipped cream.  It was a puff of heaven!!!!!!!!!!!

All I have to say is -
it's a good thing Bill is traveling the next few days.
I can eat cereal.......

Sunday, February 27

The snow is so pretty.........

...when it stays up in the mountains.


Saturday, February 26

ummm.....Connor?

Don't look at me in that tone of voice......

Anyway.  Stop touching my camera when I inadvertently leave it in the car.
And after you take shots like this:

don't come in the house and say "You are gonna be so jealous of me."

Because you are right.
And because you are right,
you're grounded.
Just kidding.
Because you are right I posted your photo on my 365....oh,
and I gave you proper credit.

I love you,
but don't touch my camera.
Your Mother

Friday, February 25

admit it......

you have a teenage daughter that comes home on, say a Thursday....
and says "I need to dress in all black and red for school tomorrow.".
and of course, because that is just your luck,
she can realistically outfit the entire 8th grade class at her middle school on any given day,
yet has absolutely NOTHING in her closet that is black and/or red.

and you've stopped for a split second and thought to yourself,
that you personally, do not see anything wrong with your teenager borrowing
something out of your own closet, and going to school looking like she has her
overweight mother's clothes on.  then you realize that that teenager would probably
rather eat liver and onions three meals a day for a week, than walk out of the house
and into the waiting, judging hands of her fellow teenage friends.
so you give in and take her shopping specifically for black and red items
which may or very rarely may not include matching shoes.

and as you are shopping, you are totally ravaging the racks to find something that
that teenager is going to wear again and again, because you suddenly question
why up to this point in time, the teen does not have these colors already in their
very expansive wardrobe of ridiculously cute items.  you are staring in disbelief at
the off beat items that teenager is walking around the store carrying.  you argue with
yourself AND your teen when the only footwear that exists in that fashion-minded
brain of hers is a pair of fuzzy boots, that by next week, will be so hot to wear
because we live in the desert and spring is right here, right now.

and you come up with something like this.
admit it.  you've been there....done that.

Wednesday, February 23

ever hear of chlorine poisoning?

The kids spent the entire long weekend swimming preliminaries and finals at a meet,
meaning they swam in the morning, had to qualify to come back are re-swim those same
events starting late afternoon.  They qualified in all events which made for an excruciatingly
long day - each day - 12 hours.

So yesterday morning I called them in "late" to school.  I wanted to let them sleep in.
That completely because I am admittedly a pushover became "not going to school at all".

They were silly ALL DAY.
It didn't even seem like my kids.  Hence my questioning the chlorine levels at the pool
wait a minute.........they swim outdoors.........nevermind

They took advantage of a much needed mental health day!





It didn't stop OUTside of Walmart.

The fun ends this morning.
It's back to school for these two clowns.

Tuesday, February 22

Because we were bored

off subject - that is a brand of t-shirt I am crazy about for the boys -
Because We Were Bored.  Discovered them at Nordstrom.  Pricey there,
but when I've been patient I've found them at Nordstrom Rack for a ridiculously
cheap price - $7.99 for a T.  I admit to not always being patient though....
They are cool and trendy with a slim fit.  Perfect for them.

Anyhoo.

Spent the last few days home with Garrin while the kids swam their asses off.  Literally as well as
figuratively.  One would think I too, would start swimming....hello??  Back on point.
Yesterday Garrin and I spent the entire day playing with his Geo-Trax.  We built the biggest
track ever.  And Garrin was in heaven.......


Back to school today.  Back to the same ol' same ol'.  Get this day rolling.
Time to chug down a cup of coffee....get it?
Chug?

Monday, February 21

I know it's Monday

but I am planning on making it a great day!
I hope you do two.
I mean too.
How could you NOT have a good day, when your toes are this color?

Or the rain has stopped and the skies are once again blue?

And your kids are on their last day of their tiring, long, very eventful
swim meet?

And the only plans you have for the day
because you don't have a car to go anywhere in
is to play with your one kid who refuses to swim.....?


oh...I do have one thing to be blue about?

Only Hannah's 2 percent milk is left in the fridge......
Not too bad though.  Happy Monday!


Sunday, February 20

love this!



Friday, February 18

photo 317 and last nights dinner

So let's start with photo 317.  I've noticed a lot of photographers, both professional and amateur,
doing this thing called photo 365 or something similar.  And what it is, is a commitment to post 1 photograph
each day for a whole year.  Hence the 365.  Well since I am a day late and a dollar short - but I really
really really want to do this - mine is called photo 317 - because that is how many days are left in this year.
So the little tab under my pretty header - well that is what that is for.  I promise here and now that I will try my darnedest to not hit my archives and actually go out everyday to shoot something.  I consider this project, motivation to get me up and out to do this every day.  THAT will be good.

So on to last nights dinner.
Well I made a honkin' big pot of homemade red sauce/spaghetti sauce/marinara sauce.
What ever you may call it.  I call it sauce.  Period.
And it rocks, by the way.  Each pot I make is better than the last.....usually.
On occasion I have made one that is just horrifying.

So as that was cooking away all day, bubbling and splattering all over the place,
I had this bright idea that I was going to make some type of homemade pasta
to go with it for dinner.  I opted for gnocchi.
So I googled and hit this website/blog called
Fantastic.  I perused the site a little but needed to get busy making the gnocchi.
If you want the exact version and beautiful photos to boot, go to the website.
Otherwise bear with me and check out my crappy photos.
(food is harder to photograph than one would think)

So - baking potatoes, egg yolks and flour.
That's it.
Her recipe was 2, 2, and 2.
I did 4, 4, and 4.

I baked 4 baking potatoes.  The recipe says to prepare the gnocchi with warm
potatoes, as the ingredients come together better.  So I got my pot of boiling water, salted and
ready.  After potatoes were ready, I put them through a ricer into a big bowl.  I then added about
3 1/2 cups flour, saving the last 1/2 cup for adding later or flouring the counter.  I made a little
well, where I added 4 beaten egg yolks.  Then I just got right in there and combined everything.
Burning my hands a little as I went along, because the potatoes were still smokin' hot.
After the dough was formed, I split it up into sections that I could roll out like a snake, flouring the
countertop as I went along.  I kept the unused dough under a warm cloth, while working with
each section.  I took a sharp little paring knife and cut little puffs from my snake.



Seriously, could these little pillows of heaven look any better.  I couldn't wait to cook them.

So into the boiling salted water they went, until they were floating - then I left them for about a minute longer,
scooped them out........

and added a couple of pats of butter.

No lie.  Garrin could have done this.
But I already had sauce covering the whole stove top,
and by the looks of the mess I'd made,
Garrin would have made an even bigger one..........

They were so yummy.  So much so that after Hannah got home from having dinner
with a friend - she had a second dinner....with my gnocchi and sauce.
well - Hannah often has two dinners......nevermind.

Thursday, February 17

no complaints here

no sirree.  That would be yesterday's post.  What?  No post was published yesterday?  oh right
I deleted it.  I was whining yesterday.  About how my fricken knee has really made life
suck for me recently.  But I wrote it, read it, and got over it.  No need to share
feeling sorry for myself.

So on to today.
I was fortunate,
grateful,
thankful,
happy,
thrilled,
ecstatic (are you seeing the shift in attitude here....?)
about walking Garrin to school today.
He was excited himself, because he wanted to ride his bike this morning.
He'd been asking, but there hasn't been enough time these last few mornings.
After all, biking UP THE HILL would probably take a while for such a little guy.

So we headed out.
I know I'd thought back when we lived in Massachusetts,
and he'd ride his bike, that he was growing and he needed a new one.
Well that hasn't happened yet....oh well.
We also need to work on getting those training wheels off.
It's time.
This is a pretty steep hill.  I say this as I trail behind....getting further and further away....

Which,
as I turn around,
brings Connor closer and closer to me.
Yeah...he left home about 5 minutes after we did.
Hi Connor.

Bye Connor.

buh bye....

We make it up the hill finally
and have to wait for the gate to open to the playground and the bike rack.
Connor pretends he has no idea who we are.

So we head into the classroom
where everyone apparently knows Mr. Mom...I mean Bill.
I haven't been around for the other pre-K parents to know
anything other that Bill is a single parent.  It cuts, people.  It cuts me deep.
All the little waves and winks, from the Moms and Dads......
Just kidding....

Anyway.  Garrin settles in and gets straight to work.
They have worksheets they start off with as the rest of the class rolls in.


God he is so much like Connor in the sense that he is completely pleased with himself.

Awesomeness.
Great way to start the day.

Now - to ice that knee of mine.
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, February 15

It's the AFTER-thought that counts, right?

Being distracted and watching Toy Story while addressing your father's Valentine's card,
doesn't mean you don't love him.....right Garrin??

Speaking of love..
I am so glad that yet another year has passed and none of my children,
primarily meaning Hannah,
has a Valentine.
You know....a VAL.EN.TINE.
A real one.
Not just the "family" valentine.
and for that, I can wait......

Monday, February 14

Love is the answer...

I love my kids.
I love my husband.
I love my husband for giving me my kids.
Love Love Love all around!!

Happy Day!

Saturday, February 12

Bieber Fever?

After the day Hannah (and Connor) had today at the swim meet,
I would have thought the only fever she would have had would be
Put-My-Head-On-My-Pillow-And-Call-It-A-Night Fever.

But her and Olivia could not wait to make tonight happen.
Never Say Never - the Justin Bieber movie.

On the way home from the meet, we had to go to Hot Topic
where they sold this "must-have" compilation of goodies.
A T-shirt, 3D glasses, and glow stick and a bracelet
all to wear to the movie!!

Here are these two crazy girls.....

oh to be a giddy teenager.

wait....nevermind.
I like being an adult, and just stand back and watch....

Friday, February 11

growing up......fast

This guy has been going through a lot of changes lately.  And he is handling them like a champ.
I will say this brings to Bill and I an easy "time for bed" routine.  He is finally tired
enough to go to bed.....................before  we go to bed.

so

All day preschool.  Has not had a problem since he started.  It has been one full week.
And he loves it.  Gets up.  Gets ready.  Gets out.  Every morning.
For that I am thankful.

At school they "nap" for 30 minutes while the teacher has lunch.
They have a mat to rest on with a sheet and a small blanket.
Now here is a kid that stop napping at 14 or 15 MONTHS old - having to nap.
He comes home everyday and tells us that he closes his eyes and pretends he
is sleeping.  Smart thinking coming from a 5 year old.
He must need it I imagine.  They have very full days.  The go to PE some days.  They
to to Art.  They go to Music.  Just like the bigger kids.  And best of all
they go off to eat lunch in the cafeteria.

So speaking of the cafeteria.  Garrin came home and asked if he could buy
lunch at school.  Now personally, I didn't even realize the preschoolers could buy
lunch.  We have been packing him an adorable little lunch in his adorable -
ok it's not adorable - it's Toy Story.......lunchbox everyday.  So we gave him
some cash for lunch.  And he bought it.  Skettie (spaghetti), chocolate milk and
chocolate pudding.  And he was thrilled.  He asked if he could always buy lunch.
We told him NO because Connor buys like 3 lunches everyday and we are going broke....
We will have to see about that one.

He had his first show and tell yesterday too.
HE and only he, was going to choose the item.  And with careful
consideration....he chose...
a lemon.
Don't ask, because I don't know............
On the way home, he told Bill that he explained to everyone that lemons
have seeds and you can plant them...to get more lemons.
Naturally...Wonder if he told everyone we stole  picked it off our neighbors
tree?  I am guessing yes...he's a pretty honest kid.

And if all this didn't show me what a big boy he is getting to be,
other than the fact that he is so flipping tall now.....
He has two loose teeth.
Two.
WTF????  Is it time for that already?
ugh....that means the start of the Tooth Fairy lies all over again.......

Thursday, February 10

A tutorial

I felt inclined to write this tutorial this morning.  With not only my own family
in mind but possibly many other families.  Millions of others maybe.

So on to the tutorial.

Step one:  Walk into your  master bathroom.  Or any of the others in your house for that matter.


Step two:  Verify that all things are in order.  Like you like them.

 Step three:  Document in writing, since words don't do the trick, how to change the toilet paper.


Step four:  Shake your head in disbelief because this could NOT be any easier.
No little spring loaded thing-a-ma-jigger to hold the toilet paper....It's a handle, that you LIFT UP.


Step five:  Laugh at yourself because you have resorted to actually taking pictures in your bathroom.


Step six:  Sigh with disbelief because the actual writing of this blog post took 5 minutes
compared to the 37 seconds it took to perform the task.

Step seven:  Love your family, just the same.