Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 New Year's Resolutions

It's a new year. 2010 was a tough year for a lot of people. I'm hoping that 2011 will turn things around in our country, more people get jobs, and there's more peace in the world.

I am very lucky that I have two wonderful, healthy, bright, funny, amazing children and that our family is financially sound in such a turbulent economy. That (hopefully) won't change in 2011, but I do know that 2011 will bring some major challenges to my family. We are undertaking a major (major!) renovation of our home. There is much to be done and decided and suffered through. I'm hoping that once we get to the other side of this reno, we will be stronger and happier in our new home.

Here's my resolutions. I hope that sticking to them will ease the challenges that are to come:

1) Spend more quality time with my husband.
2) Begin a real running routine and eat smaller quantities and healthier food.
3) Work hard to purge and organize my home so that the renovation goes smoothly and everything is cleaner and more organized when we come out on the other side.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Birthday cakes!

Wow, I looked at my last post and realized it's been a whole year since I've posted! (Because my radio station just switched over the all Christmas music all the time last week.)

Anyway, we've just past the kids' birthdays. I now have a 7 year old and a 5 year old. Where does the time go?? Both kids wanted their parties at the Higgins Armory Museum this year. Bonus! That meant that I only had to plan one party. Unfortunately, it also meant that each kid's invite list had to be short so we didn't invite everyone we really, really wanted to, but it still worked out pretty well. So the theme was knights and princesses. I actually made two cakes, managed to stay sane, AND finished them both by 11pm the night before the party. (I think that's a record for me.) I tried to keep the designs simple. As a result, I was able to spend the time to make just the right details look great, but the cakes didn't take huge amounts of time overall.

Here's the results:

Owen's shield and sword cake

Sierra's Princess Tiana cake

Here are photos of them cutting the cakes with a sword.

And here they are being knighted. Sierra is all armor with tiny little arms and legs sticking out!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Music -- Nice Thought, Poorly Implemented

The radio station I listen to the most plays all Christmas music at this time of year. It's kind of nice to have a station to go to to get in the mood, but I have two issues with how they implement this.

First, the music starts shortly after Halloween. Really. Before Thanksgiving, still fall, still thinking about colorful leaves and Thanksgiving bounty, and I'm bombarded with Christmas music. It's just too soon.

Second, what's today, December 27? The third of TWELVE days of Christmas? It's gone. The Christmas music is gone. We're all on vacation for a week, trying to enjoy the holidays, the tree, the new toys, and the music is gone -- back to the regularly scheduled music.

I really just don't get it. Are people really that eager for Christmas to start and then more eager for it to be over? Is Christmas music really just background noise for shopping?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Warning: Girly-Girl Event Posting

Sierra had her birthday party last Sunday. It was an Angelina Ballerina themed party at her ballet studio. Allison, the owner of the studio went above and beyond to create a memorable and beautiful party for the girls. And the girls all came so excited to dance! Here's some photos:

The party room, decorated by the dance studio

The cake with Angelina Ballerina in fondant on top... yes, created by me!

Dancing in a line

Look at that form!

Dancing in a circle

What the boys were doing

Dancing with ribbons

Blowing out candles

Poor Angelina after Sierra and Owen ate her...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Where Did the Years Go?

Yesterday, Owen turned six! Six! This seems like a major milestone to me. Five seems still so little... a toddler almost. Six... that's like a boy. I mentioned this to my dad once and he told me his theory that the major milestone years (particularly for parents) are the sixes.

At six, they're getting on the bus and going to school. They're beginning to establish some independence from their parents. They're making friends at school and doing things you're not even aware of. (You know how hard it is to get a kid to tell you about his day at school?)

At twelve, they're about to become teenagers. They're really really trying to establish more independence. They're old enough to take care of other kids by babysitting. They're starting to think about *gasp* relationships and sex.

At eighteen, well, you know. They're adults. They're leaving home, hopefully, for college. 'Nuff said.

So after that, do the six-year milestones continue? Or do we switch over to the ten-year milestones? Is there anything particularly significant about 24? 30? (Well that one coincides....) 36? 42? (Perhaps 42 is when we become "old".... Yikes! I'm 42!) I would say that a lot of these ages were turning points for me in my life. What about you?

But I digress. Owen. Owen is six. Yesterday we had a fabulous party at the Higgins Armory Museum and ate a giant castle birthday cake that Owen and I got to cut with a sword! (Yes, I did make the cake... of course!)

And the rest of the party was fabulous too. The kids played in the hands-on Quest Gallery:

Owen got knighted:

(Look at that face -- pure happiness!)

And the kids made shields:

We all had a blast!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Owen was peeing tonight before bed and stalled. I went in and asked him if something was wrong or if he needed help. He turned and said, "I have a question. A question about bodies." Since he said this while standing in front of the toilet holding his penis, I asked if he wanted to talk to daddy, at which point Daddy came over, too. Owen asked, "Do girls have balls?" We explained, that, no, they don't. "Girls don't have intesticles?"

"What are testicles for?"

Wow. We weren't quite sure how to answer that, but it was certainly a good question. When we told him it was something he would understand when he's older, he said, "Just explain it to me, I'll understand!" Of course you will, sweetie, of course. We explained something about babies starting from two cells, one from a mommy and one from a daddy and testicles make the cells that come from the daddy for making a baby. He looked at us with a puzzled look and admitted that he didn't really understand. Don't worry, son, you will.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer Tacos

The other day I decided to make tacos for dinner. I was sure that I had all the ingredients I needed, so I defrosted chicken (an nice variation to the ground turkey now and then).

I went to get the taco seasoning packet and discovered I didn't have any. Ok, no biggie, I'm resourceful. I looked up a recipe online for taco seasoning to replicate the seasoning packet and sure enough, the internet did not let me down! I didn't have all the ingredients exactly, but I had enough to wing it and come up with something surprisingly good!

Ok, so then, I had everything basically prepared (and by everything, I mean the few fixings my family will eat: cheese and grated carrots) and I discovered I only had three tortillas. Uh oh! Now here's where the new summer version of tacos recipe comes in! I did have some romaine lettuce. I prepared a plate of separated lettuce leaves and Steve and I used these instead of tortillas! I just put the fixings along the spine of the leaf and wrapped the leaf around lengthwise and voila, a yummy, healthy version of tacos.

(I wish I had taken a photo for you -- it looked very summery and delicious.)