Happy New Year East Coasters!

Snow Flakes

Nope, it's not snowing today. I've been watching the weather, particularly in Detroit, Seattle and South Pasadena (where my brother and sister-in-law live), it's been pretty depressing. Seattle has been hitting the same temps as Detroit with Pasadena looking really nice to me right now.

August went to the Seattle Center House with Kathy and Jonah today to see a break dancing show. Yup, those of you who've watched So You Think You Can Dance- that's you Amy (and me of course)- a group of kids did a whole demonstration of break dancing, they were supposed to have some crunk dancers but they didn't show up.
Hazel and Trey and I took the opportunity to go downtown and eat sushi together. Hazel felt very special being alone with us. I'm pretty sure she ate her weight in salmon and edamame.

We're heading over to the Bazan's house tonight to have a low-key welcoming of the New Year. I'll take a few pictures and post them as the evening wears on.


Cat piss?

So I bought myself some paperwhites because I've never had them
before. They've bloomed and are beautiful but every now and then I
catch a whiff of cat piss. Does anyone else think these fragrant
flowers have a stangely pissy stink?

Happy Birthday Amy!

One of my very best friends was born today (we won't say just how many YEARS ago today...).
Amy and I met in college where we lived together, laughed together, jumped on couches together and became life long friends.
I'm lucky enough to now call her family as she married my brother. They have an amazing marriage that inspires everyone around them. They have 2 smart, funny, crazy kids...
who didn't fall far from the tree.
I love you Amy. I wish we could spend Christmas, your birthday and New Years with you. I'm lucky to know you. Happy Birthday.

ACK! On the eighth and ninth day of vacation

Oh Geez, time sure did get away from me yesterday. So here's the thing about staying home for Christmas vs. going back to Michigan: when we're in Michigan we have grandparents who are willing to hang out with the kids and do fun things that say, I'm a little tired of doing...Or, said grandparents will mention that they'd just been dying to take the kids to a museum for the day...and then Trey and I would get to go to Ann Arbor and walk around...doesn't happen here. Kat did take the kids on Friday, don't get me wrong...everyone involved loved it. I think that's what got me thinking about this. The kids could be entertained by other people...what a thought. They've spent a lot of time in their rooms this break, and I don't feel badly over it...they're spending time playing with new toys or reading new books. They wouldn't be doing that if we were in Michigan. We'd have packed everything up to be mailed home by now...

Yesterday Trey and I took turns at the gym again which meant that we got a bit of a late start to the day. Tank went to a Terrier only playgroup for an hour which ended up helping us toward the end of the day as these things tend to wear him out.
I signed up for the Buca di Beppo email list and was sent a coupon for a free appetizer so we ended up going there for dinner. Love me some Bapa da Deppo (wink...that's for you mom.)

Today, well, I got up early to make apple pancakes for the kids. Then we went to church where I struggled to keep my eyes open. Now Trey is taking Tank to the dog park while the kids watch a movie and I'm going to take a nap. Yep. It's vacation. We're watching many, many movies and taking naps.


On the seventh day of vacation

My sister is doing a huge mitzvah today. She is truly taking one for the team. She's picking the kids up and taking them to see what is most assuredly the WORST movie of the season. She's taking them to see Alvin and the Chipmunks! Poor thing. The kids will have a great day though.

So Joshua's manager emailed me this morning because you guys have been clicking on the link to hear his music and or see his myspace page. THANKS! I mean, I know his manager but it is still pretty cool to hear that people are checking out his music in part because of this blog...here's another link to see pictures from the in-studio show yesterday.


On the sixth day of vacation

Is this getting old? Hearing about our daily activities? Well, I'm committed to it now so I'm gonna keep going:

This morning August and Francis woke up and immediately started playing DS. Hazel woke up shortly after and I fixed everyone some yummy oatmeal with toast and pears. Everyone seemed happy enough. They kept playing for a while until I mentioned starting How the Grinch Stole Christmas (with Jim Carrey). We still have a few Christmas movies we've not gotten through. I figure we've got a few days to plug through them.

A little after noon we dropped Francis off and did some running around, which included using the Christmas money some of you sent. Lucky was having their half off sale so thank you M and R, you bought me 2 pair of really rad sweat pants and a great sweater. We had to rush back to the car by 3 because Trey was doing a live performance on KEXP with a guy named Joshua Morrison. The kids cheered when his name was announced and Hazel encouraged her daddy by saying, "go daddy go!" over and over. We were able to meet up with Trey a little while later to grab some dinner before he headed out to the show tonight at the Tractor.

Which brings me to tonight. Thursday nights are our date nights and many weeks ago I noticed that there was a show I wanted to go to. Now, honestly, I don't get to many shows as it's really part of Trey's job to go to said shows, but this show happened to be on our date night! A series of events occured and what do you know? Trey's now playing drums at the same show I wanted to see. So. I'm getting ready for my night out. Wearing my new sweater and some tall boots. Feeling good.
August and Hazel are in their rooms. Hazel used a Barns and Noble card, thanks W and C, today to buy the High School Musical 2 sound track so she can learn the words to the songs. She can be heard right now catching a word or two while jumping on her bed. August also used a card thanks to W and C, to buy a Christmas movie (added that one to the must watch list) and a book. So they're enjoying their gifts right now. The babysitter should be here in a half hour at which point Hazel will bolt from her room and jump up into Audrey's arms. August will probably stay in his room until a bit later...you know, he's gotta play it cool with the ladies.


Boxing Day Sleepover

Francis is over for the night. The boys have been on the Wii for far
too long...they are now playing Ben Ten and yelling directions at each
other...good times.

I'm blogging from my new iPhone! Santa was good to me this year.

On the fifth day of vacation

We've been taking it easy today. The kids were up around 10am and immediately started playing with new toys. Hazel is blinging her new rock band she got from Zane and Audrey while August has been putting some bionicles together in he room. Trey and I each took turns going to the gym...Lord knows we need to spend HOURS there to make up for all the fudge, lemon bars, dips, coffees and who knows what else we've devoured these last few days.
Later today we're going to the Nyssen's semi-annual Boxing Day party. We attempted to find a sitter for the kids and actually secured one but she called to say that she woke up rather sick and didn't think she could come after all. So the kids are coming with us. We'll bring a laptop and keep them in Rachel's bedroom so they'll be out of the way.
August and Hazel were given new pajamas on Christmas Eve...it took a long time for August to change out of them on Christmas Day. I'm pretty sure he was in them until we left for the 5:30 movie. It's safe to say that he liked them a bunch.


On the forth day of vacation

Merry Christmas Family and friends!
We've had a wonderful day. The kids were up late last night which gave us a nice late morning. My brother called at 9am and woke us up (!!!) to tell me that his son was up and ready to open presents at 4am(!!!!!?). My kids have never been awake at that time unless they were sick and were rushing for the bathroom.
Once August and Hazel woke up they both ran to the tree and announced that Santa had indeed come...August is sure he heard the sleigh and bells at some point last night. August also has a memory of Santa coming into his room when he was a baby...my boy BELIEVES in Santa.
My sister Kat and her husband Justin arrived around 9:30 and we started passing out the gifts. The kids were blown over with all the great gifts they were given. August got a bunch of books he's been wanting to read and Hazel got some toys and 2 Wii games. I worked with her to get her started on the first one: High School Musical 2 sing-a-long. Oh my goodness people. So Funny. Please, the next time you come over, you've got to play this game with my girl. I'll try to post her singing in the next couple weeks. She also got Catz 2. She's got her kitty all set up. Her cat is named Christmas. Very sweet. I think she was excited to be able to play on the Wii.
After gifts Trey made us all eggs and bacon and heated up some of the blue berry and cream cheese rolls that Chee Chee sends us. We also whipped up some mimosas to wash it all down. The we started playing video games. Kat and Justin were going crazy on one of the games August got. They were swimming and doing all kids of crazy actions in my living room. Good times.
Later in the day we met up with the Nyssen Family to go downtown and see The Water Horse. Hazel was a bit emotional at parts but it was a great Christmas movie.
Merry Christmas. We love and miss you all.


On the third day of vacation

Today is my dad's birthday!
Poor guy has had to compete with Christmas his whole life.
He's the handsome one with the grey beard. I love him very much.


On the second day of vacation

I made One Big Mistake.

I thought it would be a great idea to sit the kids down and watch The Nativity Story. Nope. Not a great idea. I think we made it through MAYBE 10 minutes of it before August announced, rather loudly, "I don't think we should watch this mommy!" I glanced at him and saw that his eyes were welling up. At that same moment Hazel exploded. Yes, folks, she EXPLODED in tears. Loud, uncontrolled, did I say LOUD tears.
I looked at my children, then at the TV. The guards were taking a girl from her family because they couldn't pay their taxes. Right before this happened I was explaining why the guards were going into peoples houses and "hurting" the baby boys...not really a family movie at this point in my children's lives. Lesson learned: Always watch the movie before showing the kids.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. We're going to go to the grocery store to pick up a few appetizers for the evening because we're having a few friends over. We're also going to a cocktail party in the afternoon and are planning on attending the candle light service at our church. It'll be a busy day but we're really looking forward to it.



Today...we baked!
Hazel was very interested in helping...for the first 10 minutes. She was excited to mix the dry ingredients and wear her apron.
But then she lost interest and disappeared into her room. August was not willing to help bake but was more than happy to play photographer.
Look how fast those fingers were flying! Almost looks like I know what I'm doing. I used the holiday cookie recipe from the Test Kitchen cookbook. I also made the shortbread and lemon bars from the same book. yum!
The kids have tested the Hazelnut Chocolate Cookies and the Shortbread but are still waiting for the Lemon Bars to cool...I'm thinking that we may not need to eat dinner tonight...ahhh, vacation.

On the first day of vacation

So, I'm going to ATTEMPT to blog a little every day of the kids vacation so that the grandparents can read along and maybe miss the kids a little less this Christmas.

We've established a Christmas routine where we visit Michigan every other year to spend the holidays with our midwest families. This is the year we stay home. This is also our first Christmas in the house. We've been looking forward to this year since we bought the house. We had grand plans to light up the outside but didn't really get around to it. We did enjoy decorating our first fireplace mantle though:
This morning I woke up at 10:00 when Hazel came into our room to ask if she could watch some TV. These last few weeks have been a challenge in the mornings. Both kids need more sleep than they have been getting. August goes to bed a 9 and reads for a half hour and Hazel goes to bed a 8 and looks at books for a half hour. When I go in to wake them up at 8 the next morning it's like pulling teeth. I try to come up with every trick I can think of to get them out of bed and excited for the day. With Hazel this usually means I tell her that she can pick out her own clothes. August is a bit tricky. He could care less about clothes. I think if I let him he'd wear the same clothes everyday, and I'm not talking about wearing the same Kind of clothes like Dave Bazan does...no...August would simply take his clothes off, put them on the floor, wake up the next day and put them on again...all week. The crusty bits and toothpaste spots wouldn't bother him at all. With August- the only thing that works is counting down the days till the weekend...when he can FINALLY play his video games.
And now he's faced with 2 WHOLE WEEKS of vacation. You will find my boy slumped on the couch playing his DS or jumping around in front of the TV playing tennis on the Wii system.
Ahhh, vacation.


Christmas is the Time

To watch your children light up at the thought of going downtown to see the carousel.
To remember being a child. To remember believing.

To enjoy every moment of the season.
To be with good friends.


Happy Birthday Easter Bunny!

Hey Tania,
Happy Birthday...it's time you stop sucking your thumb...it's a hard habit to break but I have faith in you...you can do it:
Miss you and love you,


Thinking of you

Tania made these super cute birds last year. I had forgotten all about them until I unwrapped them...they made me a bit sad to think of Tania so far away. *sigh* My thoughts will drift her way every time the birds catch my eye.
Linda gave us a great box of old ornaments a few years ago. They look so lovely on the tree.
Each year of our marriage Rebecca gives us a new snowman ornament. This will mark the first year they've made it onto the tree. Every other year I set them up some place high enough so I'll not worry about them falling. This year I wanted to see them on the tree and they look perfect.
Hazel and August each have their own special ornaments that have been given to them throughout the years. Hazel took care and placed hers just right so the neighbors could enjoy them.



There have been a few times in my life when I felt like a full fledged ADULT.
Getting married to Trey was not one of these events. I felt like I was playing dress up. I'm sure the fact that we were hiding our pregnancy had much to do with the feeling of playing pretend, but for the most part, that day was not a truly ADULT moment.
The birth of my children...yes...that had the feelings of ADULTness within it but there were still moments of unpreparedness mixed in with responsibility.
I joined the PTA as the arts chair last year and I'll be honest with you...I felt like an ADULT...until the second meeting...when none of the ladies recognized me...even after our children have attended the same school for 2 years and we've all already met twice...I looked like an outsider...I still feel like one after serving for 2 years (but that's another story).
I've been changing my hair for as long as I've had the freedom to do so...one month it'll be all one length and red, the next it'll have stripes and be layered. Right now it's platinum blonde and medium length. I have resisted growing up. I have resisted looking like a "mom". I have resisted being an ADULT, with responsibilities and ADULT relationships. Let's not talk about the reality of my age and how being in my mid-thirties really does make me...an ADULT.
Trey and I were invited to a Christmas party this evening. The people who invited us were friends of Trey's from high school and college. We've gone out to dinner with them a number of times and really do enjoy their company so when the evite arrived we were quick to respond with a happy "yes". Looking over the list of people attending made us quickly realize that the hosts would be the only people we knew at the party but I was sure there would be plenty of wine...and with wine comes easy conversations for me.
Upon arriving at the party I made a quick stop into the bathroom to check the lipstick and hair. To my surprise, an ADULT was looking back at me. I'm not sure if it was because it was the end of a rather long and trying week, or if my age is indeed catching up to me...but I looked old, weathered even. I paused at my reflection and studied the lines between my eyebrows, the creases on either side of my mouth and the tiredness in my eyes and I thought that maybe it might be time to grow up. To accept my time in life. To realize that it's OK to be a mother and a wife and to go out into this party full of people I don't know and probably won't run into again and talk about my kids, my role in the PTA, my job as a wife and a mother and yes...even my stinking dog. Because, you know what? I'm 35! And yes, I'm an ADULT!


my boy august

Is 9!


Stinkin' Spoons!

I'm sure you've all heard...the spoons worked...it started snowing on Saturday afternoon. we had advanced warning from Aunt Kathleen and our friend Rachel that it had started snowing in their neighborhoods so Hazel and I ran outside to wait. it started with a light dusting:But then it kept on coming:
And coming...and coming.
I'm pretty sure we lost the persimmons again this year....lost em last year too. one of these years I'll get to taste a fresh one.
The snow continued all night and into the next day. August didn't get to play outside because he was suffering through a soar throat and fever.
The kids are more convinced than ever that the spoons are to blame for the snow. While August and I were walking the dog today he suggested that maybe his cousins Zane and Audrey should try sleeping with 15 spoons under their beds because they live in California and it would probably take a few more spoons to get it to snow out there.
Noah and Ezra, you guys should probably steer clear of spoons in your beds...don't think you guys need any help in the snow area!


Baton Rouge. LA

Part of our Thanksgiving trip was spent in Baton Rouge where we had lunch at an old college haunt for Paul and Linda (although they did not visit the Past Time Lounge together as they didn't know each other at the time.) While the food was good, I will have you know that a prompt visit to the restroom was very necessary for me...LA food tends to do a number on my stomach but as noted in previous posts, Trey was in Cajun heaven!
After lunch we went to the LSU stadium. People down there take college football very seriously. EVERYONE was wearing their gold and purple. LSU has a tiger as their mascot and back in 1920 they decided that it would be a great idea to have a real live tiger on campus. Mike the Tiger has been reincarnating ever since.Hazel and August had a great time playing with the statue of one version of Mike the Tiger.
At one point in the day we visited downtown Baton Rouge and found a statue of Christopher Columbus looking rather windblown and stiff. August did a good job impersonating him.

Apparently Chris had some amazing hair which left our ever-so-dramatic Hazel feeling sad because her hair didn't look that good that day.
Later that day we all got dressed up in hot pink and superman blue to get our pictures taken for Linda's 60th birthday. We then went to Chris and Angela's house to celebrate.