Sunday, March 28, 2010

Alegria and Peeps

Yesterday Stacey and I went to see the Cirque Du Soliel's Alegria. (Or Circus O Lay, as Savannah calls it.) It was so cool. I'm honestly considering running away to join the circus. I have to work on my bendiness and my trapeze abilities. Circus O Lay here I come!

The bummer of the day was that absolutely NO photographs were allowed. And I had bought new batteries and everything. The security lady warned us that if we were caught taking pictures our cameras would be confiscated. DANG! So we only got pictures of ourselves outside by the trailers.

Then, this morning, I finally finished (ok, started and finished) my peeps banner for Easter. It's only going to be able to be displayed for a week, but it turned out really cute. You can find the tutorial here.

A Cartoonist in the House

Last week the kids had "Arts Alive" week at school. The school had several different art activities planned throughout the week, including bringing in a cartoonist one day. The kids were able to learn about cartooning from the artist and came home with little practice drawings. This inspired Savannah to learn more and she, once again, turned to Youtube to find out more. (She's done this with many things that have interested her at school. She can tell me many obscure details about Amelia Earhart and Anne Frank thanks to her internet research. It's impressive for a third grader.)
Anyway, after learning some techniques from Youtube, here are some of her drawings.

I still can't draw this well. Maybe she'll give me some lessons. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Eye on the Prize

A couple of months ago I received an email from Pepperidge Farms telling me that my daughter had entered a contest of theirs and she was a winner! (wait, Savannah has just corrected me. It was clear back in January that we found out she was a winner. She has been waiting for 3 LONG MONTHS!) This may have been the most exciting news she had ever received. Unfortunately, the prize was not shipped overnight. And she has been waiting FOREVER!

Today there was a box on the porch. It was addressed to Savannah.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Respect the Badge

We are now officially trained storm spotters. Tornadoes beware.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm Still Alive ........ Barely

Friday night I had allowed Savannah to ask one of her friends to come over for a sleep over. Myles was allowed to ask a friend over, too, but his friend couldn't come on Friday. So, Saturday was agreed upon.

I had thought it would be fun to take the kids to the High School Play on Friday night and then, depending on how awake the kids were, I would take them to one of the release parties for New Moon. Of course, once I got home from work and picking up the kids, I sat on the couch and there must have been some sort of magnet in the couch because I couldn't get up off of it. And that same magnet was working very hard at pulling down my eyelids. It was terrible. So, Friday's activities were a total bust. Savannah and her friend took this time (having very little supervision from the sleep mom) to take all of Savannah's Barbie Dolls into the bathroom for a "makeover event". After Myles asked me what the girls had been doing in the bathroom for the past hour, I panicked. Knock, knock.
"What are you guys doing in there?"
"We are just giving the barbies a bath."
"Ok. The room isn't flooded, is it?"
Hmmm. When the girls emerged from the bathroom a short time later, they were pretty much soaked. The bathroom didn't seem to be any worse for the wear, so I returned to my couch. The next morning while getting ready to take a shower, I found the barbies all in the shower. They all seemed to be sporting a new, much shorter, bob hairstyle. There were hair covered scissors on the sink and strange clumps of many colors of barbie hair in the trash can.
Oh, well. I guess it was time for Barbie's summer cut. I did learn that Barbie hairs are quite prickly when they are all over the floor.
So, moving on to Saturday, Savannah decided to invite her friend along to see Diary of A Wimpy Kid. I had been looking forward to seeing this movie since I heard it was being made. I may have been more excited about it than the kids were. We've all been asking each other if anyone wants to see our special freckle. "It's got a haaaiiirrr on it." ha ha.
Anyway, off to the movie we go. We have an entire row to ourselves until the previews start. That's when a group of teenagers comes into the theater and decides they need to sit in our row, right up against Myles. I always think this is odd. There were other more open areas to sit in.
MOVIE THEATER RULE #1 -- When there are rows of open seats do not take a seat directly next to a complete stranger.

So, I glance over at the teenagers. The boy sitting right next to Myles has kicked off his sneakers and is dangling his nasty sock foot right in front of him. And, he's picking his nose. (It may be the teenage Fregley).
"Do you want me to move us down a couple of seats?" I whisper over to Myles.
"No, I'm fine," he says.
"There's lots of open seats on the other side of the girls, Myles. We could move down a little bit."
I learned after the movie that the nasty boy was a senior from his school. I guess it is still cool to sit next to a senior even if the senior is Fregley.
We all did like the movie and I may have laughed louder than anyone else in the theater because I'm a dork like that.
We picked up one of Myles's friends after the movie and went back to our house. After making a batch of chocolate chip cookies and homemade chicken nachos for dinner, we headed out to the High School Play. It was pretty fun. Myles ran into a couple more of his friends and sat with them. Savannah and her friend sat with me and critiqued everyone's performance. The teachers performed the Evolution of Dance, which was the height of hilarity to the kids. :)
Then, Savannah's friend was picked up and a second of Myles's friends came over to stay the night as well. Savannah was now getting a cold and she and I decided to camp out on the couch, while Myles and his friends spent most of the night upstairs. (Thank goodness!) They did come down fairly frequently for pop and almost the entire batch of chocolate chip cookies.
I slept on the couch next to the girl covered in Vic's Vaporub, in a ball. I woke up at 2:30am to the barking of the dogs, boys having the Mother of all Nerf Battles, a stiff neck, backache, and sore throat. GREAT!
I ended up getting up around 8 after a very unrestful night. I checked on the boys to make sure they hadn't killed each other. None of them seemed to have any Nerf projectiles protruding out of their eyes, and all were sleeping. But, not for long. They came downstairs STARVING. So, I whipped up a double batch of pancakes, which they greedily snarfed down before heading outside to play basketball in the lovely spring 30 degree weather.
When the came back in, they were covered in mud. "SHOES OFF!" I frantically hollered at them.
A friend invited them all over to play football, and I gladly sent them off. They went back into the kitchen to put on their shoes and head out. Unfortunately for me, they mistook my kitchen rug for a wipe your muddy shoes rug, and this is what I found when I walked into the kitchen.

Boys. Gotta love 'em.
After I took all the boys home, Savannah and I decided we needed to get out for a little retail therapy. We went to Old Navy to look at some cute little skirts for Savannah and use our Friends and Family discount. We ended up hitting the jackpot there. Savannah got a bunch of really cute things and I found a pair of clearance jeans that FIT! It was a great end to my stressful, yet fun weekend.

Until I got home and realized that the dish washing fairies didn't show up and my kitchen was in the same scary state I left it in. Cooking for a houseful of boys makes a lot of dirty dishes!

Dishpan Hands? I've got them.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring is Here!

Yesterday, being St. Patrick's Day, would normally have been my night for Corned Beef and Cabbage. It's a meal that the rest of my family hates with a passion. So, once a year I am happily fed while happily making the rest of the gang miserable. I believe Myles was maybe 3 years old when he first complained of the aromas created from a crockpot full of corned beef and cabbage. We had been out all day while the crockpot simmered away. When we pulled into the garage, everyone gagged. Everyone but me. "What is that smell?" Myles asked, his nose pinched shut. MMmmmmm. "That's the delicious smell of corned beef and cabbage."

Well, this year I made a pot roast instead of the corned beef and it was not nearly as good. I did boil cabbage and potatoes to go with it, but it just wasn't the same. The boiling cabbage did still produce it's usual lovely aroma. Myles came gagging into the kitchen. "Oh, crap it's corned beef and cabbage night!" He quickly ran for the upstairs, passing his sister and telling her to brace herself for the stink. But, she doesn't mind the smell of cabbage. (That's my girl!)

A short time later, Myles came downstairs wanting to go outside to play. I suspect the upstairs wasn't impervious to the cabbage aromas because this is how he looked when he came down.

After dinner, the kids went out to play. It was our first really spring-like day and the kids were finally able to go outside and play. Up until now, it's either been freezing and 4 feet of snow has been on the ground or it's been warm-ish and the melting snow had transformed our yard into "The Great Mud Trap". And with our first day of sun and warmth came those darn Asian beetles. They weren't getting us down, though.

We'd been indoors for so long, our eyes could hardly stand the brightness of the sun. We feared we had transformed into vampires and could no longer be out in the sun.
It was so nice to be out of the house.
Today was just as nice and I decided to take the dogs for a walk. Thanks to all of the mud in our yard the poor creatures have been confined for quite a while and really needed to stretch their legs. Try as I might, I could not get Boris, our Great Dane, to cooperate with getting his harness on. He had to stay home. Fillmore (the tiny little devil dog), Savannah, and I headed out. Fillmore ran cirlces around us, drug Savannah through yards and across streets, tripped me about 800 times. He stalked Robins, chased leaves, and growled menacingly at the kids playing in the park. He obviously hadn't been out in a while. And I was glad to not be fighting with 2 dogs during our first walk in 5 months. A couple came walking up behind us and I had to shorten the lead on Fillmore's leash. He has the mistaken belief that he is a ferocious beast. He began to flail about and growl, while I was nearly hanging him by his leash, trying to let the couple pass us.
"Oh, is he hoping we'll stop and play with him?" the lady asks.
"Um, I think he's trying to be ferocious," I tell her.
"Well, should we make our faces look really fearful, then?" she laughs.
It's at this exact moment that Fillmore wriggles out of his collar and lunges for her. I don't think she had to fake the fear on her face. Savannah and I both dove for him and he quickly dodged the both of us. He then performed some evasive maneuvers that I had never seen before in his attempt at both freedom and lady mauling. Savannah managed to nab him and I quickly lassoed the collar back over his head. It was tightened up and he was back on the path, running in circles, stalking leaves, and tripping me. I forgot how fun it is to take the dogs out for walks. Next time it's Boris's turn and I may not make it back alive.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Pat's Day

A leprechaun stopped by our house during the night and left these delightful pots of gold for the kids! Our leprechaun's name is Maeve and Savannah has been corresponding with her for quite a while now. (via that pink mailbox in the photo.) Maeve had mentioned that she might be leaving Savannah a surprise on St. Patrick's day and she certainly delivered.

Savannah also spent some time creating this chalkboard masterpiece last night. They have been working on dimension and depth in art class and she drew this magnificent pair of boots in class and then replicated it here. Such talent! (And style. I wouldn't mind having a cute pair of polka dot rain boots myself.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

So Much Excitement!

I have so many things to write about. I'll start with my most shameful and most exciting. It's a story about popovers. I love them. Savannah loves them. Myles loves them. But, I don't own a popover pan. Is there a use for a popover pan other than popovers? I don't believe so. And, in my crazy little kitchen, only things with multiple or regular uses is allowed in. So, my popovers have always been made in my muffin pan. But, instead of popping over, they tend to look more like a cornbread muffin. Very flat, but still very delicious. But, during this past week, I had a craving for popovers. (Usually they are only eaten around Thanksgiving or Christmas, so this was an unusual craving.) I made my first of 3 batches in 3 days and they turned out exactly as expected. Except for one lone popover that actually popped over. Savannah claimed that one immediately. And we all proceeded to polish off the other 11 popovers within the next 12 hours. So, day 2 of the Great Popover Craving resulted in these magnificent beauties. (Do not look too closely at my muffin pan. It has seen many heavy sprays of Pam and I hate scouring.)
I'm not sure what kind of magic happened on day 2, but it was wonderful. My first batch of popping over popovers ever! If you have seen the movie The Fantastic Mr. Fox, we ate those popover much in the same way that the foxes eat anything. Greedily, messily, and with sheer abandon. Day 3 was back to normal, non-popped popovers. And we still snarfed them all down.

In other exciting news, I have discovered the joys of chalkboard paint. I refinished the top of our black coffee table with the chalkboard paint and also repainted my kitchen back splash with it. Here are some before and after shots of the kitchen.
The back splash in my funky kitchen was all white, the hole came from the removal of some outdoor light fixture that used to hang over the sink. It was helpful in illuminating the dirty dishes at night, but it's placement also resulted in your near blindness. Also, it was just ugly. I now hang a cute little shelf over the hole. Cause that's how I fix things. :)
Now, the back splash is black and lovely. I do really like it, plus it is an excellent writing surface for me to remind everyone else to wash the dang dishes! Here is the end result.

And here is how it looks today. This is more normal -- dishes piling up.

And here is the end result of the chalkboard painted coffee table, complete with original artwork. I asked the kids to draw something on the top of the table so that I could take a picture to post on my blog. That way I'm not taking a picture of a plain black table. So, Savannah drew her cute little dog, Biscuit. Myles drew the 2 upside down faces in the top right corner. They're barfing. Thanks Myles.
I also hung a new painting up in my bathroom.

It gives me hope that spring is coming. The snow has melted at my house for the most part. Unfortunately, it has revealed 5 months worth of Great Dane "presents" that were all mostly left in one 10 square foot area. Also known as my patio. It's a very dangerous walk from our back door to the car. Special shoes have been designated for that trek.
Today's mail yielded a very exciting find for me. My Jennifer Weiner autographed book! Sent straight from Jennifer!
Savannah caught me reading it.
Then I caught her.
Little Sneak. Give me back my book!

Monday, March 8, 2010

All Aboard the Old Folks Train

Today I saw several robins while driving in to work. Yipee! So, this is a definite sign that spring is on it's way. I am so ready for it. I think everyone is. This past weekend it had warmed up into the 40's and everyone was out in their spring gear. I saw people everywhere in light spring jackets with their arms crossed across their chests, shivering. I was among them. Winter, you are sooo over! 40 degrees or not, we are wearing our spring duds.

Back to my morning of impending spring cheerfulness. I stopped in Target before going to work to pick up a pop and a snack. After paying for it, a cute guy walked past me and smiled. That's right, folks, I've still got it going on. I've just turned 35 and cute guys are still checking me out. Cloud Nine? I'm on it. So, I smiled back at him as we got closer to passing each other. Then, he said, "How are you doing this morning, Ma'am?"



I hopped off of Cloud Nine and started looking around for my bus back to the old folks home.

Super Fantastic Monday Morning had just been flushed down the toilet.

However, I did spot about 10 more robins as I pulled into work. I'll have to dig out my spring-time orthopedic shoes today.