Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vintage Sunday

Luke loved to punch his little fist in the air and talk smack to the lion mobile...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Birthday Girl Day Out

It was Ella's birthday on the 19th. We don't do birthday parties for the kids except for ones with family so I told Ella she could invite a friend to do a girly day instead the Weds before Thanksgiving since there was no school. She decided to invite Reagan to come along with us. First stop was the movies where we saw Tangled in 3D. The theater wasn't very full and the girls decided they wanted to sit a few seats away from me. I tried not to cry so loud they couldn't hear the movie. Next stop was playing in the play area of the mall. After that was Sweet and Sassy where they were allowed to pick out one item each and lunch at California Pizza Kitchen where they both dined on the classic, mac and cheese.

Mystery Inc

Here's the Mystery Machine birthday cake I made the kids a couple weeks ago. They thought it was pretty cool but they really wanted me to make little figurines of the gang.

Not gonna happen, kids.

Gobble Gobble and what not

I was able to attend Ella's Thanksgiving Feast at school. What do you feed a bunch of first graders to emphasize the Pilgrims and Native Americans?
Cranberry sauce, corn pancakes, carrots, celery, beans, summer sausage and deer jerky (yup, actual deer jerky) along with milk. For dessert, there was pumpkin pudding (4 boxes of vanilla pudding, 6 cups of milk, a small tub of Cool Whip, and 2 cans of pumpkin all stirred together) with vanilla wafers. They made their own butter, too, by shaking heavy cream and salt together in a mason jar (you might want to think about this for your kid-time library club, Mom).

Here's Ella and her friend, Reagan. What a couple of cuties!

What was Ella thankful for? Her Mom.

Take that, Aron!


The other night some friends and I decided to go and watch an Ohio Roller Girls roller derby bout. See below for the highlights...I'll let you know which features of the derby I enjoyed with a simple "love it" or "didn't love it" Yup...this was it... the location...941 Burrell Ave in Grandview Heights...we weren't sure what we were getting into with an entrance like this one. Felt like I needed some sort of secret knock or something. I wanted to knock but my friends wouldn't let me. Loved it--it added to the charm of the event.
Cathy was definitely a good sport. She braved 70 to travel to the 'bus. Look at her carrying her lawn chair (it was a BYOLawn Chair event, you know. Not kidding. Loved it--made it feel more intimate).
See my awesome Roller Girl stamp? Jealous? Yeah, you are. SUPER LOVED IT. I haven't had a hand stamp this spectacular in years.
This was the ceiling. It was only caving in a little bit...or a lot...Did not love that
See the guy to the left of Krystal? He was awesomely drunk and kept yelling obscenities that I can't write on this blog cause I like to keep it G rated for the kiddies. (yup, loved it. He added some atmosphere and a general feeling of queasiness to my tummy) Yup, we were this close to the action...Loved it

Everyone had their own awesome nicknames. You can see some of them on the backs of their t-shirts. Again, I won't repeat some of their names but I super duper loved it. I sat there the whole night trying to think up an awesome name for myself.

The chick on the far left acting like she didn't know us was Amy, then Krystal (looking super cute, btw), Jeanne, and Cathy. You might know Jeanne from this blog right here and Cathy from this soon to be well known Dayton based candle company that I may have promoted on this blog once or twice.

Here's the whole motley crew starting with me and rotating clockwise: Me, Krystal, Amy, Cathy, and Jeanne.

After the match, we scurried on back to the 'burbs to have some dinner purchased with multiple coupons. We like to live on the wild side.

Is there anything that I really didn't like, you ask? The funky smell. It was some sort of strange combo of popcorn, stale socks, and old urine. How do I know about old urine? You just don't want to know.

Fun night with great friends: LOVED IT!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ella's Birthday 2010

Ella at the Smart Screen board. Seriously cool. It was like a giant computer screen where you could use your hand to touch and move things around on it.
Me and E in the cafeteria. As a side note, they clearly don't make these tables for anyone over 4'8".

Ella's birthday was last Friday. I surprised her by dropping Luke off at Aunt Robin's (Thanks, Aunt Robbie) and joining her for lunch at school.
I also just happened to bring brownies with cream cheese frosting tinted a lovely royal purple color with bright pink E's on them. I went with Ella and her class to the cafeteria where I munched on salad and a PB & Nutella sandwich. The teacher told me to pass out the brownies after all the kids sat down with their packed lunches or had bought their school lunch. Here's the thing, though. Do you know how hard it is to look at ~100 first graders and only hand out brownies to the 18 of them in her class?! Do you understand how hard it is to have 100 pairs of eyes staring you down as you walk around, just wondering if they won the brownie lottery or if Jimmy sitting next to them was going to get it instead. The little girl sitting across from Ella at the lunch table turned to me and said "Psst! Hey! I want a brownie." I tried to rationally explain to her that I did not have enough brownies for everyone and that I was sorry to not be able to give her one. She looked me dead in the eye and said "Lady!! You're killin me. Give me a brownie."
Mama always taught me that if I didn't have enough to share with everyone....something, something, something. I can't remember the end of that but it seemed really important to her at the time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Awesomest People in My Life

Someone told me recently that I present as "not in touch with my emotions" (ehem, you know who you are). To challenge that perception, I will now present you with some people that I am thankful for (in no particular order) and risk exposing myself emotionally:

Aron: I'm thankful that you're so awesome. I hardly mind when you leave an empty box of cereal on the counter even though you walk right by the trash on your way into the living room where you will consume your cinnamon toast crunch while watching Pickers on the History Channel. I hardly mind it...barely even registers that it's happening.

: I'm thankful that you have faithfully watched my kids every Tuesday for 7 years. It's not a big deal that when I get home on Tuesdays you boss me around like I'm 8. Not a biggie that every time you watch an Oprah show or listen to an hour of Delilah on the radio and you come up with some grand solution to my life. I LOVE it when you preface your conversations with me with the phrase "Not to tell you what to do..." and then you proceed to tell me exactly what you think I should do. I'm sure I'm thankful on the inside.

Dad: Let me just **use this post** as my main example of how I appreciate you. I will supplement it with the fact that your idea of "lunch" is a half a loaf of bread toasted in the toaster. Is it because you love toast, Dad? No. It's because after 10 years of retirement that's still all you can make yourself if Mom isn't home. Let no stone go unturned and no slice of bread go untoasted, Dad.

I'm thankful that however awesome you feel you are, I can always bring you back down to earth but pointing out the little quirks that make you you. Quirks like the fact that you throw a ball like a 6 year old girl at her first day of softball practice and your adult drink of choice is an amaretto sour.

Robin: I'm thankful that you started bringing beer to all family functions. The end.

Kevin: I'm thankful that I have you on board with the whole bringing beer to all family functions tradition started by Robin. It's only a problem when you're drinking alone in the kitchen...doing shots by yourself...then drinking coffee after to disguise the smell of rum on your breath. Scratch that. I say it's only a problem if you admit it's a problem.

Annie K: I'm thankful that you keep Kevin around to help me drink.

There are others but Aron has told me that this post is already too long so in lieu of being thanked, you're being voted out of the family. I'd still like a gift from you for Christmas.

Mr Slightly Less Than Average

Luke had his 5 year check up last week with our fave pediatrician. She didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know-he's slightly less than average for height and weight at
42 3/4" (43%) and 40# (42%), respectively. At those percentiles, he very likely be the same size as Aron as a grown up (weird to think about, huh?). He is definitely ready for kindergarten next year and the doctor was impressed with the content level and complexity of his sentences (read into that that he has a lot to tell you and a lot of words to use while telling it--who didn't already know that?!?!). He did not enjoy his kindergarten shots (surprise!!) but was such a tough, big boy about it that we went and got a frosty at Wendy's.

Also, last night we went to a parent teacher conference for Luke. His teacher, Mrs. Lori, had nothing but nice things to say about him: He's wonderful, he's ready for kindergarten, he's well behaved, he's kind to the other kids, blah, blah, blah. I finally had to ask her to stop gushing on and on about him because I was starting to blush.

I think he's a keeper.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Crock it!

I read somewhere that it costs 2 cents an hour to use a crock pot. Not sure how much it costs to use an oven--I tried googling it but the answers seemed to vary quite a bit. In the spirit of (hopefully) saving money, I'll post a crock pot recipe for you.

I'm not a huge fan of meatloaf but Aron and the kids like it so I make it sometimes. Did you know you can cook it in a crock pot (aka slow cooker)? Here's what I used for mine:

Taco Meatloaf
2# ground sirloin
7 T taco seasoning (I buy mine in bulk at a place called Penzey's but this is prob close to 2 packets of seasoning you'd buy at the grocery store)
1 c oat bran
1 egg
1 onion

The ingredients
The ingredients in a mixing bowl

Squirt in enough ketchup so that it is moist enough to mix and still stay together. Maybe 1 cup

Make a foil ring and shape your meatloaf on top of it in the crock pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. You should check it every once in a while to make sure the edges aren't getting too brown. This recipe tastes just like tacos so if you're a fan of them, start making it!

Monday, November 08, 2010


(I promise I'm not making this up)

It was just the kids and me for dinner tonight because Aron had a late meeting. We're eating and talking and as usual, Luke has a lot to say...

Luke: It takes too long to poop, Mommy.
Me: Oh yeah?
Luke: Yeah....................somebody needs to invent a super robot that could take your poop from inside your poop place (I'm assuming the word he's looking for would be "colon" or "large intestine" but this must be the age appropriate version of those terms) and then they could go potty and poop it out for you since it takes so long.
Me: Oh yeah? Like you? Is that what you want to be when you grow up? Some sort of poop-for-you robot inventor that makes Mommy so, so proud to have you living in her basement cause no chick is going to marry the guy that invents the Poop-Bot. (Ok, so in all reality I stopped after "Like you?")
Ella: Yeah, they need to invent some sort of bag that hangs out of your back that sucks the poop out of the poop place as its made then you can just dump it in the trash.
Me: Too late, sweetie, someone has already invented that. It's called a colostomy bag. By the way, it's bath time so we're done here.

End scene.

Not getting Mother of the Year for this one, either

Ella wanted to have her friend, Grace, over for a long time so last week I finally said she could come over last week. I picked them both up after school and we all walked home. There were your general antics (think not letting Luke into the room to play with them, stealing Halloween candy and using it for their tea party, plus periodic squeals of girly delight intermixed with a bunch of playing around with dolls and such.

Ella came downstairs to ask me if I knew where her box of makeup was. She has a heart shaped, green box that we got at a garage sale (thankyouverymuchConnieforsellingittoher) that she stores all of her lip glosses in. I had no clue where it was (because although I will raid her stash of cash I draw the line at stealing her vanilla, starfruit, or Dr Pepper flavored Lip Smackers, ok). She asked if she could use mine instead. I felt really bad but had to say no. She thought about it and ran back upstairs to consult with Grace. Back down the stairs she came with her counter offer: nail polish. I felt guilty about telling her she couldn't use my make up so I said ok. Pay attention, folks, because here's where I went wrong...

They decided they wanted to do it by themselves. Again, feeling guilty I said ok. I put a bath towel down on the floor, plopped one child on each end and put the bag of nail polish in between them and walked out of the room. I swear I only walked out of the room for 5 minutes. 5 MINUTES MAX.

In hindsight, this was a gigantic error.

I went back into the room and was nearly knocked on my rear with the horrendous chemical smell painting your nails provides. I turned the corner and looked on the floor to find Ella quietly painting her nails while avoiding eye contact and Grace washing her hands in the sink. She said she was washing them because she got a little too much on her one nail. I looked down and feared the worst. The worst was confirmed. She not only had a smidge too much on her one nail but had managed to get paint over 75% of the hand. No biggie, right? I'll just wipe it off with my nail polish remover and call it a day. Her Mom will be none the wiser. Until, that is, I realized that part of the horrendous smell was my entire bottle of nail polish remover spilled all over the floor. Turns out the girls had tried to DIY the nail polish off Grace's hand before I got there.

So now I had no remover to get the polish off with AND it turns out that before she tried to use the remover to get it off and subsequently wash it off, she had wiped it all over her jeans. When Grace's Mom arrived a short while later, I met her at the door not only with remnant fumes of the incident but profuse apologies for polishing up her kids hand 45 minutes before her first Girl Scout meeting, not removing the hand graffiti, and ruining a pair of jeans. She said it was ok but it appeared that her eyes were burning slightly from the noxious smells emitted from my home. I'm sure the windows had to be rolled down in the car on the way home.

So, let's recap in quiz form. When you let your child come over to my house, they a.) get hopped up on a ton of Halloween candy during a tea party, b.) polish themselves, c.) ruin a pair of jeans, d.) stink like they bathed in a chemical plant or e.) all of the above and more.

You ask where the pictures are? Let's just say I didn't really want evidence and we'll leave it at that, mmmk?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Soccer 2010

Well, my friends, Soccer Season 2010 has come and gone. Ella says she enjoyed it so we might be coming back to it again next year for both her and Luke. We'll see....I can't say it was my favorite sport to watch. I'm very grateful to everyone who came to enjoy the festivities (you know, talk to me while watching a clump of 5-7 y.o. kids chasing a ball around a field for an hour or so)

Ella putting on the shin guards...a necessary requirement for all those flailing kicks from the other children. No paparazzi, please. I'm sitting with my Mom waiting for the game to start.
Luke loved soccer, too. Mostly he liked hanging out with a group of boys who were siblings of some of the kids on Ella's team. Here he is playing ninja with his new little buddy. I think his name is Jason but I'm not 100% sure.

Halloween: 2010 edition

I'll add captions later but in the mean time, here are the highlights...

This would be Aunt Robin who decided to be R2D2
Here are the town teens who decided to try to get some candy despite their advanced age/gender confusion. Rumor on the street is that Uncle Kevin wanted to join them but my Mom was able to hold him back. For that, Aunt Annie was grateful.

Young Luke Skywalker getting ready to take on the Empire in his rebel fighter plane

Young Master Yoda getting some candy from the PD.
The whole troop. Luke (green saber pointed up), Ella behind him as Princess Leia, Myles as Chewbacca (green saber pointed to the side), Aron as Darth Vader, and Chase as Yoda (red saber pointed up).
Darth Vader vs Chewbacca
Good vs evil