Friday, February 27, 2009

Top Chef

It's Friday during Lent, so I just served the kids fish sticks and tomato soup.  Not a gourmet meal by ANY stretch of the imagination.  Lauren said "You make the best food all the way to China!"

Thursday, February 26, 2009

For the record...

Soy milk is nasty, nasty, nasty!  Anyone want two half gallons of Silk plain?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Commissioner

I've been thinking about my friend Mark all week, and I could use a laugh, so I wanted to post a funny story.  He was a loan officer at the mortgage company I work for, and also a realtor.  When my brother Chad, a police officer, bought his house a few years ago, Mark was the one to help him.  Before he'd even had a chance to run any numbers he asked my brother how much he wanted to spend on a house.  Chad came up with an astronomical number, way higher than he could have afforded.  Mark and I started laughing, and Mark asked him, "Who do you think you are, the police commissioner?"  Ever since then, whenever I saw Mark, he'd ask me how the Commissioner was doing.  Whenever Chad came to see me in the office we'd even call him that.  It's been a long running joke that never got old.  

There's so many things that I'll never be able to hear or see again without thinking of Mark: Napoleon Dynamite, badonkadonk, and so many more I can't even put on this family friendly blog!  How he used to sit in his office in the dark with his jazz music playing.  Our annual holiday dinners at Morton's, courtesy of the big-hearted man.  Driving to Oakland with him for an A's game.

I've got a message on our home answering machine from Mark that I've saved for years - literally.  It was early 2004 and I was out on maternity leave, waiting for Lauren to arrive, the late little stinker.  Anyway, Mark and our friend Cass were out together one night after work, and they'd had a few drinks.  The message consists of them telling me how much they missed me at work, all the while fighting over who got to hold the phone.  My favorite part of it is when Mark says that Cass is so buzzed he's going to take her out to put a steak in her.  He then interrupts HIMSELF to say not a vampire stake, a real steak - like I would've thought otherwise!

I miss that man.

Ash Wednesday

So I've been trying to think of what to give up for Lent, when the answer was decided for me today.  Long story short, I've been trying to figure out what is up with my stomach troubles lately and this morning was my appointment with a GI doc.  He wants me to go on a dairy free diet for a month to rule out a lactose allergy.  No cheese, that means.  Seriously, I could cry!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Until we meet again

Have you ever had a friend who, no matter how bad of a day you were having, could cheer you up just by walking in the room?  That was my friend Mark Baker.  The man could make you laugh like no one else, and he had the best laugh ever.  He passed away this morning at just 47 years old, the end result of two heart attacks on Friday.  He was so generous and - well, I'll never be able to find the right words to do his life justice.

Mark loved life, and we all loved him.  He will be incredibly missed and never ever forgotten.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tokens + sugar = fun times

This morning we headed over to Chuck E. Cheese to help our friend Paloma celebrate her third birthday.  It was our kids' first time there, and they had a blast.  But neither one of them would go anywhere near Chuck E., surprise surprise.

Playing Mommy's favorite game - ski ball!

Paloma and Lauren in the giant rocking horse.

She loved playing air hockey.  It's one of her 
favorite Wii games, too, now that I think about it!

The toddler version of Whack-A-Mole.

Owen the Builder

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Zoo day

We went to the Folsom Zoo today with some friends and here's a few pictures from our adventure.

Lauren looks like a mama duck watching over her ducklings in this 
picture - that's what you get when you're the oldest one at a play date!

Gorgeous peacock

A bear gnawing on some tree sap

Part of our gang

Sweet siblings

The kids loved this rope ladder

Our men folk for the day

Spinning siblings

Our farewell train ride

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Unseasonably warm

I don't know when roses are supposed to bloom, but I've been hearing with all the warm weather we had here earlier this month and last that it's completely confused all the plants and flowers.  Last week I noticed a lone white rose blooming in the center of my living room picture window looking out onto the backyard.  I've been meaning to take a picture of it and finally got around to it this afternoon.  

I can't help but think it is a greeting of some sort from my Noni, since this is her house we moved into.  White roses are the symbol of a new beginning and are often used as an expression of remembrance.  Here's more on the meaning of white roses.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Made with love

As is usual weekend tradition here in our house, Adam made us breakfast this morning.  In honor of Valentine's Day, he used red food coloring to dye the pancake batter and eggs.  He even made the kids some special heart pancakes, complete with red sugar crystals.  Happy Valentine's day, Daddy, you're the best!

Easy dinner idea

I made a pretty yummy dinner tonight so I thought I'd share here.  The other day in the doctor's office waiting room I was flipping through a Martha Stewart Living magazine and came across a recipe whose picture looked so good, I asked the receptionist if I could tear it out.  Once she gave me the go ahead, I tucked it in my purse and planned to buy the ingredients soon.  

Cut to today.  I had taken some chicken tenders out of the freezer yesterday and didn't really have a plan for them, other than to use the crock pot and be lazy on Valentine's Day.  This morning I remembered the recipe in my purse, but I hadn't made it to the grocery store yet, so I decided to improvise.  I put the following in the crock pot: 2 cans of stewed tomatoes, a layer of chicken tenders (or breasts, whatever you've got), and a sprinkling of garlic powder.

I turned that on high for a couple hours.  In the meantime, Adam julienned some red, orange, and yellow mini sweet peppers and sliced some celery into bite sized pieces.  We added them to the crock pot along with another can of stewed tomatoes and cooked on high for another hour or so.  I made some israeli couscous to serve with it.  It was so good and I can't wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm ready for a nap - updated!

I had a couple girlfriends over today, one from high school and one from both elementary school and high school.  Between the three of us we had one 4 year old, six 2 year olds, one 1 year old, and one 10 month old.  Julie had an extra one she was babysitting, but her oldest was at school, so it evened out.

These are about the only pictures I got, and somehow didn't manage to get any of Owen or Ally.  Gen took a bunch, and I know she got a good one of us moms, so whenever she gets those up I'll link them.  I can't imagine what takes her so long!  *wink*  Here's her post, check out the second half of it.

Molly and Libby enjoying their snacks.

Perfect rainy day toddler energy drainer!

Brody and Lauren, just hanging out.

Here's Russ, spending some time with Maggie and Illiana - 
two girls who, amazingly, aren't his sisters.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

She's artistic like her daddy

Lauren is sitting at the bar writing her name on Valentine's cards for her preschool friends.  She's adding a smiley face to some of them above her name.  

I handed her a card for her teacher and she wrote her name and handed it back to me.  I returned it to her and told her to put a smiley face on it, since she did it on the rest of them.  She said, "I think I'll just draw a human instead."

Somewhere over the rainbow...

We had some pretty heavy rain this afternoon and this was our aftermath - one of the largest rainbows I've ever seen:

Look at how bold the colors are!

There was even a double rainbow right before it disappeared.  
It's a little hard to see, since it's not as bright as the main one.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Don't be jealous

Do you all know my good friends Robin and her brother JR and his wife Leslie?  If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting them, let me tell you, they are some of the wittiest people I know.  So ravishing, darling!

We used to take baths together when we were little.  

When Owen was first born he looked just like JR and we all had a good laugh about it - even Leslie.

October already?

We were at the bank this morning and as Owen was getting out of the van he stopped short and exclaimed "Look at that lady wearing a tiger costume!"  Adam and I turned around to see an older lady wearing a spotted fur coat.  We started cracking up!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Getting ready for spring

"Stay friends"

Last night I got together with a group of friends - a group of friends from 17 years ago - a group I graduated from 8th grade with!  It was so much fun catching up with everyone, showing off pictures of our kids, and reminiscing.  Some of us went to high school together, but for the most part we hadn't seen each other in over 12 years, even though we all still live in the same city.  And we owe it all to FB for getting us back in touch.

As of 1 October 2007