Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dinner & A Show

Last night we went to the big city to go out to dinner with my family and ended up going to Benihana, which turned into quite a treat for the boys. Check it out:

On the way to the restaurant.

A future Benihana chef...

....and the real thing.

Max sat just like this for about ten minutes watching our chef cook on the big grill on our table. He could probably tell you everything he made, and in what order, if you asked him.

Luckily Benihana serves one of Jack's favorite foods: rice.

I think Max and his cousin Chance liked the (not so Japanese) Haagen-Daz chocolate ice cream the best.

Good times.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Is it just me, or were Colorforms the coolest thing ever back in the day? I remember having a Peanuts set and a Sesame Street set, and probably some others I don't remember. I've always wanted to get them for the boys, but the Colorforms sets now are all Dora the Explorer and other cartoon characters I can't stand, so I was happy to find this Orignial Colorforms Set for Max's birthday a couple of years ago. It sparks a lot more creativity than those old sets too since it comes with just basic shapes in primary colors and black and white backgrounds, so kids (and adults who love them like me) have to use their imagination. Check out what Jack came up with:

Getting the creative juices flowing.

A robot with a caterpillar (pronounced callapitter) underneath.

The proud Colorforms artist.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I ♥ Kid's Yoga

I just found out today that my yoga studio is offering a fall session of kid's yoga classes, and I am totally stoked. The kids loved the classes they took last summer, and still do some of the moves. If you're in the area, be sure to check it out.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Broken Hearted Over Briscoe

Today was possibly one of the hardest, most beautiful days of parenting I have yet to experience.

It all started last night when I was woken up to what I thought was a scream from one of the boys. I laid there, half awake, trying to figure out what had just happened, when I heard it again, but realized that it wasn't coming from the boys, but from our cat Briscoe. I thought he was outside and had been hurt by another animal, but when I went to let him in I heard his cries again and realized it was safe and sound in our utility room a.k.a. Bricscoe's room. I went in and found him straining for breath and dragging his hind legs and making an ungodly noise I never knew a cat could make.

I'll save you the trauma and tears that came (mostly from me) afterwards, but after taking Briscoe to an emergency vet we found out he had suffered from the feline equivalent of Deep Vein Thromboisis. Apparently he had had a heart conditon that caused clots in his blood, one of which lodged somewhere and caused paralysis in his hind legs and possibly his lungs. He made it to the vet, and through the night, but in the morning we found that the only option was to put him to sleep.

I've never had to make that decision about a pet, and it broke my heart. But the worst of it was telling the boys this morning after we got the call from the vet. They both cried, of course, but before too long went on to their daily routines. But as Jack and I were lying on the grass talking he brought up that he was sad about Briscoe, and I told him I was too, and then he said "It's like when we die, right?" That hit me like a punch to the stomach. I answered "yes," and he seemed okay with that. It's amazing how losing a pet has made Jack, and me, much more aware of our own mortality.

After that Jack and I went into the kitchen and I made pizza for dinner and Jack drew a picture of Briscoe, added his name, and a broken heart. That about sums how we're all feeling. That and when we were looking at his collar that has a bell on it with the boys before they went to bed tonight and the sound of it brought us all to tears.

We're going to miss you Briscoe, but were so glad you were part of our lives for eight years. I hope you're out there chasing squirrels somewhere, and catching every one of them.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm About To Make Your Day

This clip should come with the following warning:


Thanks to Scott for posting this on Facebook.

It made my day about five times.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


The other day we, amazingly, found ourselves with a Saturday that wasn't filled with plans from sunup to sundown. It was a beautiful day, and we spent most of it in our yard. We had some leftover boxes from our latest IKEA purchases, so we took a little time to create what must be created when you find yourself with over sized cardboard boxes: a fort. But some big boxes stuck together with packing tape just didn't seem to be enough, so we carved Fort (I know, it looks like Furt, but work with me people, I was carving words into a cardboard box with a bread knife), Max, Jack, and for some reason the word cat, in the sides. Here's some photos:

The best part for the boys was hanging out inside with a bunch of blankets.

I ♥ lazy Saturdays.

Here's hoping that we'll have many more to come very soon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some Thoughts On Homemade Ice Cream

When we moved recently, our kids found our ice cream maker, which we recieved for our wedding over 11 years ago and have never used. I've held onto it because I remember how good homemade ice cream was when I had it growing up, so I figured I'd get around to using it. When the boys found it, they went nuts and wanted to make ice cream right away. We finally got around to it the other night, and I used a recipe from The New Best Recipe cookbook, which called for whole vanilla beans, so it was some very expensive ice cream by the time it was done.

We made it in the morning and the sound of it grinding was enough to send me over the edge, but I figured it all would be worth it. After about 30 minutes of what sounded like tumbling small boulders, it came out soft serve consistency and we stuck it in the freezer for dinner. By the time we dug into it it was perfectly hardened, but came out with a bit of a grainy consistency I wasn't too pleased with. It did have a very true vanilla flavor, but in the end, I don't think it was worth all the trouble (and definitely not the cost of the vanilla beans). But it sure looked pretty with the Tuscan style cantaloupe I served with it (which, by the way, is totally worth the extra you pay for it. It's the best cantaloupe I've ever had).

I put the ice cream maker away just in case we want to give it a try again, but next time I think I'll save the time, money, and noise pollution and just buy a few pints of Haagen-Daz. In my opinion, it doesn't get any better than that.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Apricot Rosemary Chicken Salad

My new favorite lunch is an Apricot Rosemary Chicken Salad Sandwich.on good whole grain bread. I've been eating them for the past few weeks, and I am in love with this recipe. I'd also love to take the credit for creating it, but I totally stole it from Trader Joe's when I had their version last time I was in California. I've started making a batch of it on the weekend and using it for lunches during the week since it gets better with a couple of days under it's belt.

Apricot Rosemary Chicken Salad
5 cups cubed cooked chicken (I use boneless chicken breasts, but any old chicken would do)
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 medium stalks celery, diced
2 medium scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. honey
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Let chill for at least two hours before serving so flavors can meld. Enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kevin Bacon Was Here

The other day, when driving home from one of my many trips to IKEA, Jack announced that he needed to use the bathroom. While we were doing 80 down the freeway. So, I took the first exit and am happy to report he made it. I was a bit annoyed because we were running late, but then I looked to the right and saw the Lehi Roller Mills, the site of the big dance Kevin Bacon organized that turned the little town he lived in upside down in Footloose way back in the 80's.

How much did I love that movie? How many times did I see it? How cute did I think Kevin Bacon was back in 1984 (well, if I'm honest, I think he's even cuter now)? Let's just say that I played "Let's Hear It For The Boy" so many times on my cassette player that I wore it out. Literally.

But you can't wear out the Internet, so here it is, it all it's glory:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's Official: I'm A Soccer Mom

Well, anyone who knows me knows that I don't like sports. Actually, I really, really don't like sports on many levels. They bore me. I think people put way too much time, energy and (especially) money into them. I think they are used way too often to create a false sense of masculinity and strength. I could go on, but I'll spare you.

But I love Max, and he wanted to play soccer, so here I am. I love to watch him play because he's so sweet. Whenever he has a chance to kick the ball he runs up to it, and then stops to think about how he's going to kick it, and before he can make up his mind, someone else has knocked it down the field. I love that he wants to do it all right, but I hope that soccer will teach him to get a little bit more out of his head (like I'm one to talk). And he gets so excited when his team gets a goal, it's worth all the extra times at games and practice and the time spent sitting in the late summer heat.

What can I say, I love that guy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Être Ou Ne Pas Être

I would like to say right here and now that that I have lost all energy for blogging due to the fact that the little bit of my brain power I had set aside to write every day has been sucked dry by my French 101 class. I hope the blog survives. If it does, it may be spottier than I like.

But hey, the bright side is I can now conjugate the verb être and I found out how to type all the French accent symbols on my keyboard. Well worth the three hours I spend a day in class and doing my homework.

Monday, September 14, 2009

24/7/365 (Well, Almost)

I just realized that my blog celebrated it's 1st birthday on September 11th (don't know why I picked that date). I tried to write every day, I really did, but in the end, I was short a few. I'm chalking it up with too much travel, too much house building stress, and for the past couple of weeks, too much Mad Men.

I've been thinking about what I would write about on my one year anniversary, and I decided I wanted to chose my favorite and least favorite posts of the year.

My favorite? Feeling Feisty. I remember crying as I wrote it, and I still cry when I re-read it. I'm so glad that I captured that moment of feeling everything in sync, because it doesn't happen often enough.

Least favorite? Well, too many of those to count. Grasshoppers in November. Totally phoned that one in. And too many others. But I am glad I captured a day while we were living in our rental, because even though it was just a place to live, in the end it felt like home. And I spent a year of my life there, and a year of my kid's and Steve's lives there. It will be good to remember, and way too easy to forget.

So, here's to another year. And I'm really, really going to try to write every day. It really has changed the way I look at my life, even when I miss a few days.

Friday, September 11, 2009

True or Faux

I have been wanting a set of Eames molded plastic chairs for my dining room table for a long time now, and since they are so expensive, I thought it would never happen. But lo and behold, I was on the other day and found out they sold a knock off. I should probably feel bad about not getting the real thing, but since I could buy eight for the same price of 2 of the real thing, I went for it. But I ask you, can you tell the difference? Vote for which one you think is the original and which is the knock off, and I'll add the answer tomorrow.

Option A:

Option B:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Today It Felt Like Fall

When I went to the gym this morning at 7 AM I noticed something peculiar.

I was cold.

Like, really cold.

I was just wearing my running shorts and a t-shirt, but it's the first time in what feels like a VERY LONG TIME that I actually felt cold, so I think that Fall is creeping around the corner. And to that I say IT'S ABOUT TIME!

And one more sure sign of fall is sunflowers, and I loved this one in my neighbor's yard. Hurray! Summer is almost over!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thank You, President Obama

I am happy to report that Max's public elementary school aired the speech by President Obama this week without permission slips or any hoopla. I am also happy to report that when Max got home from school today and I asked him what President Obama talked about, his reply was "He said that sometimes school was hard for him, but he did his best," and I said "What kind of subversive crap is this guy trying to indoctrinate my kids with anyway?"

Actually, I almost cried.

Not only was I proud of him for listening and hearing the message, but I was proud of our President for teaching my son a very important lesson by showing that he, too, is human, but was able to become one of the most powerful people in the world through hard work and humility.

I just wish I could tell President Obama thank you in person. I would thank him for sharing not only his message, but a little bit of himself. And I would thank him for putting up with all the idiots. To me, just one Mom of a six year old, it was heroic.

And as a final thank you, I'm sharing the speech in it's entirety here, just in case you missed it.

And this for the people who made so many kids miss it.

For better and for worse, God bless America.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Something Most People Don't Know About Me

On the first day of my new French 101 class our instructor handed out a little "get to know you" sheet with some questions about us, one of them being "What is something most people don't know about you?" I had to ponder that overnight. Really, I think I am an open book and I don't hide much, so it wasn't an easy question to answer. In the end, I copped out and said that I didn't have children until my mid thirties, which, really, most people know about me. I just thought it might be surprising to our young instructor, and in my community it's certainly and oddity.

So I've kept thinking about it. What is really something that most people don't know about me? Here's a few I came up with:

  • I have a secret desire to become a realtor, which is quite ironic since I loathe most realtors. I just love real estate. I'm fascinated with homes and why people live the way they do. My interest is really more sociological and psychological, but I find it all fascinating.
  • I have ADD (attention deficit disorder). Some of my close friends know this, but I don't share it with everyone because I think there's a stigma about it. I grew up feeling that it made me flawed, but as I learned more about myself, I found it didn't mean I do things wrong, I just do things differently. I've learned to harness the energy behind it, and have used it to accomplish some amazing things. I can truly say that I'm glad it's part of who I am and I wouldn't want it any other way. But if you are dealing with the same issue yourself or with one of your children, talk to me before you opt to medicate. I took ritalin as a child and I'm definitely against it in most cases.
  • I love Queen and Freddie Mercury. Love, love, love Freddie Mercury. I love him so much that I have always wanted to write a musical about his life. And I hate musicals. But I love Queen's music and how theatrical it is, and I think it would be the perfect backdrop to Mercury's life and death. Unfortunately someone already wrote a musical about Queen which I saw the last time I was in the U.K., and it SUCKED. Gotta love the music though.

I know there's more mystery below the surface of me, but that's all I can come up with for this post.

So, now it's your turn.

What's something most people don't know about you?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fish: It's What's For Dinner

I'm not much of a meat eater. In fact, the thought of eating meat on the bone totally turns my stomach. Don't ask me why.

Because of this fact, we eat a lot of fish and chicken, and last night we had friends for dinner and I made one of my favorite fish recipes that had somehow gotten out of the rotation and I was reminded of how good and simple it is. My friends wanted the recipe, which I forgot to give them before they left, so I thought I'd put it here for them and anyone else that might be in the market for a great and easy way to make fish for dinner:

Oven-Roasted Sea Bass (or Halibut, or Swordfish) with Ginger and Lime Sauce
Yield: Makes 2 servings; can be doubled

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced shallot
5 teaspoons light or regular olive oil

2 6-ounce sea bass fillets (each about 3/4 inch thick) - I usually substitute halibut since I have a hard time finding sea bass, but I tried this last night with swordfish and it worked well too. You may need to increase cooking time depending of which kind of fish you use.

Preheat oven to 500°F. Mix first 5 ingredients and 3 teaspoons oil in small bowl. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Brush 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish with remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Arrange fish in prepared dish; turn to coat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper; spoon 1/2 tablespoon sauce over each fillet.

Roast fish until just opaque in center, about 12 minutes. Top fish with remaining sauce and serve.

I like to serve this with wild rice, and I actually put all the sauce on the fish while it cooks and then put the warm sauce on the rice. Just a suggestion.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Remote Control Mouse

In our unpacking we found one of Briscoe's old Christmas presents (yes, it's true, we buy Briscoe Christmas presents. Good thing I got married and had kids or I would be a crazy cat lady for sure). It's a little fuzzy mouse that runs from a remote control (shaped like a wedge of cheese, by the way) and it's supposed to drive cats crazy. Briscoe is only mildly interested, but it's the boys' new favorite toy, so I'm starting to think this Christmas I'll be shopping for them at Petco.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm Gonna Let Him Fly

I was reminded the other day of one of my all time favorite albums, Living With Ghosts, by Patty Griffin. I discovered it back in the nineties when I was going through my girl with guitar phase of music appreciation, but this one stood the test of time far better than the rest. The whole album is incredible, but my favorite song on the album is "I'm Gonna Let Him Fly". It reminds me of that moment that you finally realize that man is no good for you and it's time to move on. Unfortunately that was a moment I experienced more than I care to admit in my single days, but I learned my lesson. This is a live version, which is still great, but no where near as good as the original recording.

I do have to report that I was quite disturbed to find out has been covered by The Dixie Chicks, but I'll forgive Patty for letting them record it. I guess you can't hold a good song down. You gotta let it fly.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lunch Date

On Wednesday Jack took his friend, Lovis, out to lunch to celebrate her birthday. She had a super fun party which he had to miss since he was out of town, but lunch was the next best thing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happiness Is...

...worn out sidewalks. I grew up in one of the oldest parts of Salt Lake City, so deteriorating, bumpy sidewalks were all I ever knew. It started to bother me a bit when I had Max and would take him on walks as a newborn and the bumps from the uneven sidewalks would wake him up. But when we moved into our last house in a new neighborhood with wide, smooth sidewalks, I felt a real loss. It felt like walking on plastic. Max didn't wake up, but the sidewalks, along with the lack of people walking down the streets, made me feel like the last person on earth. In fact, we had a crack in our driveway that I never even noticed until the realtor pointed it out and demanded that the seller fix it for us, which they did. I liked it less afterwards, but at least Max got to leave an 18 month old handprint in it before the cement dried.

So, when I was walking home with Max from school the other day and spied the potholes and broken corners of the sidewalks in our new neighborhood, I had to smile. It just makes me think of all the kids who walked home from school on them before us, and all the kids that will walk home from school on them after us.

I love that.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Weather Wishes

I was thinking yesterday while I was walking in the close to 100 degree heat that September is here and enough already. I think when I was a kid, September actually meant that the weather would be cooling down, at least by the time Labor Day was over (okay, so we've got a few days), but I swear, sometimes I think the heat goes on into early October, which makes me particularly cranky. So, I am hoping that all my wishing will actually bring fall on, and I added one of my favorite photos from last fall when we were in Belgium for good luck.

Here's hoping for a long fall (starting tomorrow, preferably) and lasting until the day after Thanksgiving, when it is then allowed to snow until March. And then, if we're weather wishing, let's just say that spring lasts until late May when we will be back from Paris and I'll be able to see the lilacs.

Okay, now that's just being greedy. I'll take that one back, and just wish for the Fall thing.
I don't think it's too much to ask.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


We often have to convince Jack to eat. He's so skinny, so we are always looking for something to convince him that eating is actually a good thing. The only thing we are always sure he will eat is any kind of fruit, so it makes up a huge part of his diet. Maybe he's onto something...