Friday, July 31, 2009

Soul food

Yesterday I thought about making chocolate peanut butter chip cookies. I started out with the idea of making plain old chocolate chip cookies but then I discovered that I was out of chocolate chips so I shifted gear to chocolate peanut butter chip.
I didn't end up making the cookies for a number of reasons, the main one being laziness. The supporting reasons were also laziness. I ended up dozing on the on the sofa while Zizza bounced on my stomach and begged me to let her watch more T.V.
Another thing I didn't make yesterday was dinner.
We went to Chipotle. The Mr along with the majority of the male population is possessed of a strong and undying love of the Chipotle burrito. I hope they have those in heaven, other wise he might not go.
I've always liked Chipotle, but it was sort of a "take it or leave it" kind of an appreciation. Then, on Saturday we went and I was feeling a little weird in the tummy so I wanted something I could take home and enjoy later should such be necessary.
My main problem with Chipoltle has always been that the burritos are so huge I can only eat about half without making myself completely sick. Let's be honest here, even half is pushing it a bit. I sometimes go to the trouble of requesting an extra piece of foil so I can take the excess home to enjoy later but that never happens. A burrito, especially one containing copious amounts of guac, as any burrito of mine is bound to be, does not reheat well. Also, it's no good cold.
I've flirted with other menu items a bit. The barbacoa quesadilla is delish, but then you miss out on the rice, and that's really what it's all about for me.
So, anyway, Saturday.
With re-heat-ability in mind I ordered a vegetarian bowl with black beans, corn salsa and no sour cream (I only tolerate the stuff) I went meatless because I'm just not a fan of re-heated meat. The plan was to eat as much as was touching the quac and save the rest, only I could not stop eating. I had stumbled upon the menu item of my soul.
I had it again last night and all I could think was "I never want to stop eating this," and then my bowl was empty and my heart broke.
I gathered the pieces, pasted them together and we did some shopping at Target and went on home. Now, here's the good part; while we were gone somebody left cookies at our door step and,... wait for it... They were chocolate peanut butter chip!
They're good too. The texture is soft and squishy like a marshmallow while still somehow maintaining cookieness. Amazing.
Hopefully they aren't poisoned because I've already eaten most of them. Actually, even if they are poisoned, they're worth it.
Thank you phantom cookie baker. Not even poison could diminish my gratitude.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wake up and play

Today I actually played with my kids. I don't mean sat by them and zoned out waiting for Zizza to tell me what to say ("Mama. Mama. MAMA! Now you say 'Thank you for inviting me to the ball' and then you start to dance") I mean actually taking an active role in the play.
We gathered the toy animals and built a zoo for them to live in. I learned that it is just as bothersome to me as it is to Zizza when Enzo knocks over the block building I'm working on. Enz was a bit torn, delighted with the idea of building homes for the animals but unable to resist resting his feet on top of the structures. He got more into the decorative part of things. Putting green blocks (hay) into the horses pen, giving the monkey something to climb and putting steps on the outside of the fences so the children who would patronize the zoo would be able to see over the edges of the enclosures. Meanwhile Ziz was arranging and re-arranging the odd melange of toy cows we rounded up into a family.
When that was all done we had a tea party. I've apparently never actually played tea party with them before. We took turns pouring out. My turn was last. I asked them if they took cream or sugar and if they'd prefer cake or bread and butter. They were fascinated, the game took on a whole new life.
Zizza preformed perfectly on her next turn. At least if you consider it appropriate to stir the imaginary tea of your guests with a plump pointer finger rather than with a clean imaginary spoon. If that checks out, then her performance was perfect. When it was Enzo's turn he even paused in his ritual of pouring and sipping and pouring and sipping to pour for the rest of us. That's something I tell you.
I should do that again sometime. Play with them, that is. It made for quite an enjoyable morning, and you know? My kids are really great.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Every girl wants him


The sun is hot, it burns all day
but I don't need no bain de soleil
I'm on the sand
girls are tanned, I've got a secret plan
The sun it don't hurt cause I got on a t-shirt

I've got a farmer tan

farmer tan on my neck and arms
farmer tan the secret of my charms
every girl wants a man with a farmer tan.

when I got swimmin with brown young women.
they fallen all over themselves, just to get to me.
two-tone biceps,ivory chest, pink and white legs the best your ever see.

farmer tan on my neck and arms
farmer tan the secret of my charms
every girl wants a man with a farmer tan.

farmer tan on my neck and arms
farmer tan the secret of my charms
every girl wants a man.
(every girl wants him)
every girl wants a man.
(every girl wants him)
every girl wants a man with a farmer tan.

a farmer tan on my neck and arms
farmer tan the secret of my charms
farmer tan, the secret, broad arms
farmer tan, the secret, white chest
farmer tan, the secret, red neck

a farmer tan.
Farmer Tan

I'm not sure who to credit for the lyrics. I've kinda sorta known this song since high school. I patched together what I remember with the lyrics someone typed up and posted after listening to Voice Male's version if it.
Who ever wrote this; Thanks, I 'm a fan.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


One of my favorite things to do as a child of five was to hoist my "husky" baby brother into my arms, spin him around for as long as I could keep hold of him and then watch him fall down as he tried to walk away. He liked the game too, spinning is fun after all. Eventually though, he learned to sit down and wait out the after effects of the spinning before trying to walk. The game lost a lot of it's allure that day.
A package came today. In it were new jammies for the children from their grandma.
Enzo got Lighting McQueens. He has never seen the film "Cars" he does not know who Lightning McQueen is. He does know he loves those jammies.
He carried them around the house until dinner time. After dinner he put them on and admired all of the instances of Lightning McQueen on his sweet new sleep wear, pointing to each one.
First he admired the big one on his tummy, then he admired a Lightning on his knee. I'm not sure how, but next he caught site of the McQueen square on his bottom. He pointed to it and exclaimed "CAR!" with no less enthusiasm than he'd given the first. As he twisted to his right, contorting to get a better view of the hiney car he glimpsed yet another, this one on the back of his left calf, and exclaimed again.

I watched, waiting for him to point to this newly discovered car. With the speed and excitement he'd been putting into this pointing and exclaiming exercise I expected something big. A backward somersault, a teetering fall, a tail chasing situation.
I got none of it.
His sister burst into the room at just that moment, distracted him and he ran off. He didn't even stumble.
I might have taken him for a spin right then and there to get my fix but at two and a half he's too well balanced to tumble down dizzy. If I'd started I'd have been stuck twirling children all night long. None of whom would have fallen hilariously over to reward me for my trouble.
It's a hard knock life, ya know?

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Chillin at g-ma's house, a pair of cousins decide it's high time they each had a robot costume. They beg the closest available mother for a paper bag apiece.
The cousins tackle the project in a manner the mother has never considered. Snipping leg holes in the bottom of the bags and pulling them up trouser style. She would have cut a head holes and donned them tunic-like. The cousins method is working though, and the mother commends their creativity.

The larger cousin finds it impossible to fit his entire torso inside his paper sack. He is disappointed but finally accepts the reality of it and adds computer paper suspenders to his creation.

The girl cousin feels it necessary to include a hairdo in her robot design. What's a little girl robot without a pony tail after all? Accommodations are made, and the girl is happy with the result.

Finally, both robot get-ups are completed, and after posing for a quick snap, the cousins shed their paper costumery and never bother themselves with another thought in it's direction.

Domo arigato little robot girl.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I just got home.
The show was fabulous.
Everything I expected, those tight harmonies make me swoon.
There were some excellent costumes. Glinda's ball gown was glorious. There was also one particular dress among those in Emerald City that caught my attention. It had the most amazing bustle/flounce sort of a deal on the left hip/back. I wish I could do it justice with my words. The truth is, I never got a really good look at it. I was so focused on the action of the show I could only afford cursory glances at the wardrobe of the supporting cast.
For me the best part of the show, all things considered, were the white and navy wing-tip t-strap heels Glinda wore in "Dear Old Shiz." Without the once of blue on the toe and heel, poor Glinda's feet would have blended so completely with the rest of her white ensemble they would have disappeared. She would have seemed to be curtsying on a pair of white stumps. The wing tips changed all of that.
Kudos to Susan Hilferty, the costume designer. After all, "God is in the details."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This is what it looks like...


When you forget to turn the heat down under the rice you're cooking in your prized le creuset dutch oven and then dismiss the burning smell as something stuck on one of the burners until ten minutes later when your husband asks why the kitchen is full of smoke.
What is feels like is sick to your stomach.
I have not lost hope. A little more char scrapes off every time I scrub. With time and a lot of elbow grease, I may get the chance to cook in that dear pot again.

Here kitty

I was driving along, minding my business when a man began to cross the road, his course set to collide with my front bumper. As I prepared myself to slam on my breaks, I spotted an object lying in the road. Another glance at the man confirmed that his goal was the object in the street and not to throw himself beneath my tires.
The thing about it was though, that object was a dead cat and this was not a uniformed road way custodian. He was driving a regular civilian vehicle and he carried no special equipment.
I kept my eye on him in my mirror as I swept past. Once I was safely out of his way he stooped, plucked the cat from the road WITH HIS BARE HANDS and carried it to his truck by it's hind leg. He flung the corpse into the truck bed, climbed in the cab and drove away.
I spent the rest of my drive mulling over the road clearing I'd witnessed and what it said about the man responsible.
Was this a true animal lover unable bear the thought of furry innocents lying decimated in the roadway robbed even of that most basic show of dignity; a proper burial? Is he a citizen of the community with civic pride so fierce as to make the removal of roadkill from the streets of our fair village an immediate and obligating task, in so much that to wait even long enough to fetch a shovel or rubber glove would be an unacceptable delay?
Perhaps it was his own cat. After days of searching far and wide, dear fluffy was found there on the pavement and the emotion was so great as to necessitate the immediate bare handed retrieval of the deceased. I tend to consider this one less likely. After all, he did pluck the carcass from the road by it's hind paw and fling it into the truck bed. If the act had been motivated my the deep and abiding love of a man for his cat I would expect more care to be taken with the remains of the beloved.
It could have been his kid's cat. It r-u-n-n-o-f-t and little Molly just wouldn't accept that it wasn't coming home so he set out to find it and grant the child the closure of funerary service.
My last theory is that maybe he just doesn't think that touching a dead cat is gross. Maybe to him, there's no significant difference between the paws of dead and living cats. Ok, scratch that last one. It's just too far fetched. doesn't think it's gross (scoff) Chalk that ridiculousness up to an over active imagination on my part. It's gross. That's not even debatable.

Monday, July 20, 2009

At Last

One year ago the desire was born within my heart to own a pair of yellow sandals. I looked but didn't find any candidates worth considering as an addition to my wardrobe.

A few months ago I found what I was after. Except for one thing. They weren't on sale. I can't buy things that aren't on sale. I just can't. I am not physically able.

Ten days ago I checked on my beauties and joy of joys, they were at last on sale! Wonder of wonders, mine was the only size available! I ordered them and on Saturday...

They were delivered.

Hello beautys. I've been waiting for you.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My day

Started out with an evaluation from Early Intervention. The New One refuses to bear weight on her legs. That means, no pulling up by the furniture, no wobbly walking with adult fingers clasped in little fists above her head, not even standing on a lap to play. She simply won't have it.
We decided it's just that. She won't bear weight on her legs. She could if she wanted too, but she apparently doesn't.
Once that was done we went for hair cuts. Ziz, Enz and I did anyway. The New One didn't need a cut this time, she was just along for the ride. Zizza once again asked for hair as short as mine. She explained that even with a pony tail, it gets in her face while she's swimming, so she really would rather just cut it short enough to solve the problem. She was happy with jaw length though. I really do believe in letting children make their own hair style choices but I just don't want to have to dress her in fluffy pinkness every day to keep people from wondering about her gender. Not to mention keeping up with monthly haircuts for myself is challenging enough. Worrying about her looking scruffy along with me is more than I can take.
We stopped at the grocery store on the way home. For some unexplained reason I decided it was a good idea to use the self check out. This was a bad idea for numerous reasons.
To start with, if you have your own reusable grocery bag and you place it in the bagging area so you can put your stuff into it, it's weight registers and the machine thinks you are trying to sneak extra merchandise though and calls you out for shoplifting. And so, I piled my groceries, un-bagged, onto the bagging area until my transaction was complete at which point I was finally able to place them in my own pretty non wildlife strangling bags to take home.
Another problem came in the form of a four year old girl who continued to hand me things from the cart even as I asked her to please stop because I can only scan so many groceries at a time and having food items thrust into my hands while attempting to balance other food items in the dratted bagging area is not so much helpful. Eventually she stopped handing me food and started handing me bags. "Here mom, here's your bag. I think you'll need more than one bag, how are you going to fit all of that into just one bag? I'll get you another bag, Would you like the blue bag or the red bag? I think you should Use the yellow bag."
Also every time I entered in produce it would tell me "place the item in the bagging area or select 'skip bagging," at which point I would place the item in the bagging area only to be informed by the automated voice that an attendant had been summoned to help me. An attendant never did come, but after a brief interval the computer would allow me to continue. I'm not sure what it was about the way I placed my bananas and mangoes in the designated area that was incorrect, but apparently there was something.
So home we went. We ate lunch and got ready for swim lessons. This week Enzo has been taking his daily dump right around 1:00. Which is better than if he was waiting until 1:30 and doing it in the pool, but still rather bothersome when he waits until after the swim diaper is on. We have one more day of lessons and one more swim diap. It's going to be a close one.
I was wary of afternoon swim lessons at first. Sitting out in 114 degree heat while my kids swim is not high on my list of great ways to spend an afternoon. Even considering the heat though, half an hour to chat with other moms is nice, and when we get home the kids are so exhausted from swimming and withstanding the heat when they're not in the pool, they sleep like angels until at least 4:30.
So they slept, and I worked on this week's big project (which is done by the way, Nichole). I'll tell you about it one of these times. Not right now though. After a dinner of frozen pizza and bubble baths all around the kids are back in bed, and I am off to do the 30 day shred and make hot fudge to enjoy with the ice cream I fought so hard to liberate form the store earlier today. Those two things balance each other out right?

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Back in May I placed an order taking advantage of Bee Square fabrics going out of business sale. The package was waiting for me when I returned form my trip.
As pretty as all the new goodies are, the thing that really struck me when I opened the box was how neatly it was all stacked and folded. Like a colorful cotton brick.

I've been enjoying the brick so much in it's current state I haven't even begun to pre-wash and iron it all to put away properly. The stack is on the floor, here behind my sewing chair as brick like as ever. I smile when ever I see it.
I think I may want to invest in one of those folding boards they use for t-shirts so I can stack my whole stash in equally neat piles. Oh, I think I'll color code it too! The thought alone makes me giddy.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Busting my buttons

My Zizza is well on her way. During one of our fabric shopping trips while we were in Utah she picked out the fabrics for this skirt. There was one like it on display in the store and, with only minimal guidance from me, she expertly browsed the fat quarters until she found the ones she liked for a skirt of her own.

The two of us got around to making it today. She watched while I cut the strips, then sat on my lap, lowered the presser foot and helped me guide them through the machine as I pieced them together. She also took the responsibility of clipping the threads. Truly, she would not tolerate my taking up the scissors.

When it was all done she put it right on, hence the mis-matched valentine t-shirt.
She'll be doing it all without me in no time.

Thanks, friends


We left for Utah at the beginning of June, just 2 days before my birthday. The Mr. returned home at the end of that weekend and found the yard bedecked for in honor of mine anniversaire.
By the time I returned home at the commencement of July all that remained of the display was the sad balloon you see above. Forlornly clinging to it's branch, no doubt lonesome for it's fellows but hanging doggedly on such that I might enjoy some small part of the birthday wishes left me by friends unknown.
Basically what I'm getting at is; Thanks for the decorations whoever you are! They made me happy even though I wasn't here to see them.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Race

You've all bee waiting for this, I know. Well, the time has arrived friends. Without further ado I give you my run down of The 2009 Wasatch Back


Here we are, the van one crowd ready to head out. That's the only picture I've got that includes me. I have a few awkward mid-run shots of my teammates, but I don't know how well they'd like it if I shared those, and the pictures don't add much to my story any way, so lets just stick with the one team shot, and move on. Shall we?
Yes, lets!

See that first big spike on the Course Profile? Right there between 20 and 30 miles. That was my first leg.
Here's a graph of just that leg, It's not quite so intimidating to look at in this format, but I've got to tell you I was still terrified.

All of my training was for this run. I figured as long as I got through this one, the rest would be cake. I was nervous, I mean really nervous. Since the only time I had to train was after my kids were sleeping, I had to stick close to home. We're talking no more than a mile from my house a any point during training runs. There was a lot of looping involved, running up and down every street in my neighborhood. It's an ok system for getting distance in, but my hood's flat as flat folks. I never did find any hills to train on so I was worried.
I started out really strong. I found my pace early, and ran steady, no problem. I was climbing, but there were some down hill stretches now and then to even things out, and I was feeling good.
My team met me at the half way point, and I didn't have the good sense to turn down the water they kept putting in my hands. I had water with me, so I was pretty well hydrated already. I only stopped at the van because I wanted Cocoa Butter for my lips but when the cold water was there in my hand I drank it. I didn't drink alot but it was enough to regret when I started running again. I was uncomfortable for probably half a mile or so until my system absorbed the extra liquid. Then I was back on track.
The team stopped again, I think it was about two miles out from the exchange. I was running fine, on target with my projected pace, according to Neal, the teammate who was keeping track of such things. It was during those last two miles that I fell 15 minutes behind my projected time.
The real climb was starting, I was feeling strong having discovered the exhilaration that comes with besting a tough hill, but the road was complete crap. Big lose rocks that turned under my feet. I was wasting a ridiculous amount of energy trying to run without falling. I should have given in to the walk sooner, but I kept thinking the rocks would clear out so I kept running. Finally I realized how close I was to injuring myself and walked. Once the rocks cleared out I should've been able to run again but the road was narrow, and being that close to the exchange meant the traffic had picked up, so I spent a lot of time dodging cars. By the time the road was clear enough to actually run again I was so beat from the rocks, and the not getting smashed by any vans, not to mention that the climb had been relentless through all of that, I only just managed to run the last quarter mile. It was the shame I would have felt walking in view of the exchange that got me running again. And so, my 7.4 mile "very hard" run was over. I was happy with my performance and ready to relax and enjoy the rest. Compared to what I'd just done I figured I could pretty much sleep though my next two legs.

My second leg was 4.2 miles and categorized as "moderate." Here's the graph of this one.

I ran this some time around 9:00 pm. It was just dark when I started which was perfect. I started a little fast. After a bit I decided I'd better pull back to keep from burning out early and that was a good move. It was a really great run. I think it helped that it was right around the same time of night and the same distance as an average training run. There were some hills, which as I've already stated, aren't part of my routine but it was a nice comfortable run and I was happy with it.
I was the second to last runner in our van so once we picked up our last runner we drove ahead to exchange 24 to sleep until we were up again. I laid my sleeping bag out on the lawn, crawled in and after 15 minutes or so to warm up and relax I was out. My teammates were kept up by the noise of the race going on around us, but I grew up in a 12 person household, if there's one thing I can do, it's sleep through noise. It's a skill of mine. I even have it listed on my resume.
I got up a few hours later feeling fantastic and ready to run. One of the runners from our other van was having knee troubles and was afraid she wouldn't be able to finish her up coming 6 mile leg. "No problem," I said. I'd just woken up from some seriously good sleep and felt like I could run all day. "Get it started, and I'll finish it if you can't" My last run was 2.5 miles and ranked as "easy." In the state of mind I was in, that didn't seem like enough. I was almost hoping to be able to do more. Except for how that would mean my friend was hurt, I didn't want that.(Love you Katie!) Here's the graph of that leg.

I started running. I had planned to up my speed a bit since it was a short run on a solid surface with no hills and plenty of room to avoid oncoming traffic. I thought maybe I could make up a little bit of time. Not a lot of time, I am not a fast runner, but a little.
Then I started running.
Suddenly my body remembered the previous 24 hours. I was dead tired and I had to drag my self those 2.5 miles of flat paved road. I walked more than I care to admit. It was awfully embarrassing. Vans from the race would drive by and I'd know that they knew what and easy leg this was and I'd cringe with the shame of my walk but I was just so tired. I pulled myself together for the last quarter mile and ran in to the exchange, I still had some pride.
Lucky for me (and her) Katie's knee held out long enough for her to finish her last leg. I was very relieved that I didn't have to go back out there. Once I discovered how exhausted I was it was really hard to ignore and I dragged through the rest of the day even without additional miles to run.
So that was the race. We made it in 34.22 hours or something. Ok, to be honest I don't remember how many minutes it was but 22 sounds about right so I'm throwing it out there. I got a medal, it's shiny and orange and it doubles as a bottle opener. It also makes security personnel suspicious when they x-ray your baggage.
We had some foster care proceedings this past week and I hadn't cleaned out my purse since the trip. "uh, ma'am? is that a can opener?" the security worker at the courthouse asked, befuddled. It took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about. "Oh, that's just my medal," I explained like it's a normal thing to carry a medal around in your purse. You never know when you'll have need of such a thing. Really, how could I leave home without it?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I appologize

I just don't feel like blogging.
I have posts to write, photos to show and tell, but I just can't focus on it at the moment. I'm too busy being home and all that that entails.
I'll be back soon.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Here we are

Late in the afternoon we arrived. Pulled in to the waiting arms of our garage and felt the loving embrace of home.
What a sight it was! My own sparsely furnished living room. How my heart leaped to see that empty space! My kitchen, bigger than I remembered. Until I looked into the cabinets and was reminded of my over love of kitchen ware. Everything had been cleared of junk by my poor lonely man during his weeks of solitude, and stood waiting for me to shine it up, bestow upon it those finishing touches masculine eyes overlook.
It really is miraculous, the healing power of your own four walls. A trio of little monsters curled up in the beds last night and this morning, from those same beds, tumbled children very much resembling my own. The magic had it's effect on me as well. During the course of the night I was imbued with more patience than I'd ever hoped to feel again.
Remind me, next time I plan a four week trip just how much toll those extended wanderings take.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Out Walking

With the unpredictable weather we've had this month, we thought it best to take umbrellas.
Why would you leave the house wearing anything other than cowboy boots when you've got a pair?

Some walk faster than others. We couldn't keep up with that girl.

After I took this one a neighborhood kid asked me what I was doing taking pictures of everybody's houses.

Apparently, that kid can't tell the front of a camera from the back. I haven't come up with another explanation for how that boy thought I could get a house in the shot with the camera held at arms length facing my baby packing self. Still, I think he has a promising future as a conspiracy theorist.
We didn't end up needing the umbrellas that time. It was sad for the children who longed to wield them against the rain, but happy for my camera, who had nowhere to hide in the case of showers.