Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Big *F*O*U*R*

It amazes me that Sj graced my life 4 years ago today. OR if you really want to count that is approximately, 48 months, 208 weeks, 1,460 days. So, what did we do for an amazing little 4 year old girl's birthday?

First and most importantly, the *STREAMER FAIRY* arrived to decorate our house, while Sj slept like a baby. This is a tradition we have started with Sj, and it has come to intrigue many 4 year olds, as she details what the streamer fairy does.

We started the day with raspberry chocolate chip pancakes, made by no other than daddy. She watched movies, the exciting new Dora Mermaid movie, while mom and dad prepared for the party. We went to the park. Daddy and the girls braved the mall on Saturday so Sj could exchange her new Belle shoes for a bigger size. She opened presents.

These made the cut this year!













(Poor Mattel, didn't get any of our birthday dollars)













We partied! We ate, sushi, what kind of food do you serve at kids parties? We joked about the 4 years of photos, I prepared as a slide show for entertainment on the tv. We mangled the under the sea cake, it was yummy!

We hung out with old friends. When you choose to live 1,800 miles from your family, you surround yourself with your extended family, our colorado family. We chatted about the good ol' days, namely the last four years. We felt content that Sj has so many fabulous friends to share her day with.

Most of all, we realized how wonderful life is with a four year old daughter named Sj!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Under the Sea Cake!

Well, the big cupcake cake adventure from August started the idea wheel turning. How could I possibly celebrate Sj's 4th birthday with a flat sheet cake? Just like many other girls her age, Sj is incredibly consumed by all things princess. Currently, all things Ariel. I find solace in the Mermaid thing, because I can steer away from the Disney Ariel and more into the fantasy world of mermaids! Coming up with a theme for her birthday, we went with "under the sea". Themes, not so much our thing, but I went with it. Back to the cake.

This is what I started with. A total blank slate. Only an idea in my mind. I have to admit, I was inspired by the cake in Knocked Up, for the older daughter's princess birthday, towards the end of the movie. I know --you don't remember the cake, I guess you have to be a mom with an important birthday looming. I see inspiration in everything these days!




So basically, I thought large rectangle on the bottom blue/green sea feeling with a pink castle on top. Construction 101. Yikes. I know I watch too many episodes of Ace of Cakes (if I could have flown Duff out, I would've in a heartbeat)!!

The Final Result:



So here are the cake details:

1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 box of strawberry cake mix
1 box of vanilla cake mix
9 eggs, 1 cup of canola oil, almost 4 cups of water

I made 1 rectangle, 3 round layer pans, and one loaf pan..Had no idea what shapes I would need.

Frosting: 1 pound of butter, 2 pounds of confectioner's sugar, vanilla, meringue powder, and milk.

I am happy to report that I did not use all of the cake & frosting for the final work of art! It took about 4 hours to complete, after the cakes were baked. Was I delirious at one point, around 1145 pm? ooh yes..I think the sugar was seeping into my pores, and I was inhaling it making the frosting in the Kitchen Aid. HAHA!! Would I do it again?? Yes in a heartbeat!
If you need advice, just ask!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

A Dinner Destination

A Couple of times a year, we make the trek to a local favorite: White Fence Farm . This time it was for a MOMs Club outting, family night out. White Fence Farm, is not just dinner, it's a destination. Their specialty is fried chicken and all the fixins.. Unless your from the UK, then you order the liver and onions, someting I discovered on my latest visit. I'd say, maybe next time, but I don't think liver and onions will ever be an appealing option. How about, maybe next time, I'll try a bite.

To complete the destination feel for the resturaunt, you will find a playground, with an amazing european style tree house (bonus- unless you need to go eat, then you have to coax your child down). Attached to the resturaunt is a barn with live music, old fashioned candy, and tons of Tchotchkes . As you meander through the grounds, you will happen upon animals to pet and buy feed for. The little pink pig is absolutely adorable. Outside the refurbished barn, you can wait for a horse drawn carriage ride, although we've never braved the long line. Another, maybe next time.




If you look very carefully (click on pic to make it bigger), you will see my face in the top hole, GL in the middle, and Sj down below. Yep, close to near impossible to catch. We tried.











Sj feeding and in return being tickled by the farm animals!










Mom and GL having a blast, waiting for our table! Not so bad waiting for a table at WFF.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Google- Swallowed Plum Pit

This story has to go down in my blog history, it's just that good.

It's lunch time in my house. Our house is brimming with fresh produce from Door To Door Organics . Sj is usually impatient about waiting for lunch to be done, so I give her something to munch on while she is waiting. She requests a plum. Being a mom that encourages healthy eating, I quickly agree.

I call out, "Whole plum or cut up?"
Sj, immediately follows, "Whole!"

My brain instantly whispers, she's 3- cut it up!!! But no, trying to avoid a meltdown, I hand over a whole juicy plum. I go back to the kitchen and continue on with lunch assembly. We're chatting back and forth.

Sj casually throws in this sentence, "Mom, I just swallowed the plum pit. It kinda hurt right there (pointing to her throat)."

Here my brain screams to me, see I told you, whole plum, three years old, really really dumb idea. Then it starts throwing random thoughts out there, peach pits are poisonous, are plum pits? Is Sj going to grow a plum tree in her belly (haha!). Should we head to the emergency room, STAT!

So what is a mom to do in a slightly disconcerning situation?? Run to my computer. First I visit, a medical webpage like webmd. Nothing on plum pits. Then I call upon Dr. Google. Type in Swallowed Plum Pit. Aah, hits galore. I look for a link that has some authority to it, a national news organization or a medical organization. Nope. All Q&A on random pages and then there are blogs! And you would be surprised at the amount of dogs that have injested plum pits.

Finally, I click on a mom's story, from her blog, a plum pit was injested by her two year old and yes it did safely come out the other end, with more graphic detail than I had hoped for. My go-to for medical advice, best friend, encourages me to call the doctor, just to be safe. She reminds me, you know 11pm, can bring about strange and delusional thoughts. I agree. Doctor's office promptly calls back, no problem, it will be passed.

Within 24 hours, it reappeared. So, is it safe to swallow a plum pit? Very luckily in our case, oh yes it is.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Customer Service, HELLO?

I have a random can of soup sitting out on the counter, near the telephone, in my kitchen. The soup is Amy's Organic Alphabet. This particular can of soup is starting to piss me off. Everytime I look at it, I am reminded of the lack of customer service Amy's provides. So you wonder, why don't I just cut my loss, at about $2.49 and throw away the soup? For some reason, I just can't do it. Maybe someday, I'll hear back from Amy's, but at this point, probably not. Here's the story:

In July, Sj had a can of the aforementioned soup. During the course of this lunch, I sampled the soup, and it had an extremely funny after taste to it. I quickly took away the bowl and didn't let her eat anymore. Unfortunately, Sj had eaten almost all of her soup. A day later, Sj came down with a mild, but almost week long stomach ailment. I linked it to the soup. Here enters the can of soup sitting on my counter. I had a second can, and decided to contact the company about it. I was naive in believing maybe they would want the second can back to check to see if it was spoiled.

I emailed the company in July. Handed over the lot #'s and personal info. No reply. About a month later I call Amy's, I get an operator that kindly connects me to the consumer care or whatever the hell they call it. Guess what? voice mail. I leave a message. Guess what? no return call.

So there's the soup. Just sitting on the counter, I am going to call again. I guess three strikes and your out. Problem is I couldn't even go about boycotting Amy's products, because, plain and honest we love them. All I want is to send them back their soup. All I want is for them to care that there could be a problem with one of their products. Bottom line, all I want is customer service from a company, that I thought was rich in values, cared about the environment, and cared about the kids whom consume them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lock the Door & Throw Away the Key

I never thought my blog would be thrown into the world of heated religious debate. Today, I am going there, because I am thrilled Warren Jeffs was found guilty in Utah. If you don't know, Jeffs is the "Self-Proclaimed" prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints or FDLS. He was on trial for accomplice to rape. In a nut shell, he arranged marriages within his community, and a 14 year old girl that was married at Jeffs' hand was raped by her new husband.

If I served on the jury in this trial, I would absolutely push for life in prison. I believe the misuse of power, under the veil of religion is one of the greatest injustices of our time. Trust me, I fully understand it's not exclusive to the FDLS, it's happening all over the world. I can only hope a breath of freedom will reach Colorado City and those who are being imprisoned by their family's religious beliefs can run free. In my heart, I know it's not going to happen. Another self proclaimed, ego manaical, MAN will fill his shoes.

My spark of interest on the subject of FDLS was Under The Banner Of Heaven , a book I read a few years back. I read the book as a part of MOMs Club, book club. Turns out the book is pretty graphic and a bit intense for your typical mommy read. We have since vowed to keep it a bit lighter. Even with the intensity in subject matter, I have recommended the book time and time again. I constantly wonder, how in the world is this happening, now in 2007 in the United States of America??

It's time, to set an example, to send a message to those who wish to oppress others for their own benefit. It's time to lock the door and throw away the key on Warren Jeffs.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Good Bye, Summer!!

Summer is officially over. My goodness, how can that be? It seems like just yesterday I was lathering up the girls in sunblock, taking out the hose, and filling up the kiddie pool in our backyard. I swear it was just last week, I was convincing Sj we couldn't go to the park, until after dinner, because the playground equipment was blazing hot. Our walks only took place in early morning hours or after dinner, while the sun was still up, but easing it's way to the western shores. Air conditioned public spaces became our home away from non-airconditioned home. Here's one last hoorah to summer!


Our first experience with Face Painting, after a long wait at the fair, Swans appeared on Sj's face. How cute.













A new experience, GL's first ride in her big sister's MINI Cooper. What a lucky girl!










I am slightly saddened to say good bye to summer, but with autumn around the corner, I can smile. I envision the kitchen brimming with activity, a chance to embrace the oven being on, not curse it. I think I smell a batch of Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies, baking in the oven right now!
Hello, Autumn! We'll miss you, sunshiney summer days.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Moms Night Out

A night out. Even better, a night out with just the girls. No half-caught conversations, while trying to keep the attention of a 4 year old focused, over dinner. Just us. We've known each other for about 3 and a half years now (or darn near close enough). Our commonality- we are moms, we all gave birth around 4 years ago, give or take a month or two.

We see each other on a regular basis, planning outtings with the 4 year olds in mind. Mall play areas, our homes, parks, walks, museums, and everywhere in between. Our children have grown up together and don't give a passing thought to that significance.

And...every few months, we decide we must have a night to ourselves. Yes, it's as you would imagine, all talk about our kids. We sometimes try to steer away from the "kid talk", but it only happens for brief moments through out the night. The bottom line is we love our kids. Our conversations give us the opportunity to grow as a mom, learn new things, pass along "been there" advice. And of course to laugh a little. We all need to laugh a little.

Thanks ladies for the friendship, the mommy shoulder, an occasional grown up night out, and some really great friends for the girls to grow up with.. (we miss you--MH!!)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bumpersticker, Omen?

Three times in 24 hours, this bumper sticker appeared on a car in front of me. Three times! I whole heartedly agree with the message. We need change.

I just feel so torn when I think of the options and wonder what the primaries are going to bring us. Many conversations about the democratic candidates, quickly turn to, is our country ready for -> fill in the blank, we all know what the line is- a woman, an african american?? Why do we feel so secure in choosing someone that is just like the rest, just because that's what history has bred? Right now, all I can think is, let's change history.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Yellow Jersey, Please

The verdict is in. Landis is losing his yellow jersey. Well, there is one more chance, an appeal, if filed within 30 days. The clock is ticking. Landis raised 2 million dollars to save his name, so far the money hasn't done the trick. I propose the Tour Officials save themselves a lot of catch up work and just pencil in the winner's names in the big history book. Simply erase F.Landis and replace it with the newly named winner, O. Pereiro. Poor Floyd, for a fleeting moment his name was written in the stars, and now it's dreadfully associated with being the first person to be stripped of the yellow jersey for doping.

How do I react to this? Doping is just a bummer. Americans turn a blind eye to doping in other sports. I don't want to turn a blind eye, but hell these men are still riding 2,000 miles in less than 30 days. No matter what synthetic substance is coursing through their veins, they are on the saddle, rain, heat, melting blacktop, mountain climbs that make a 4 cylinder engine chug-a-lug, bless these crazy athletes. If anything good can come out of this, it should be the exposure of the testing process. It obvioiusly needs a serious overhaul. My personal vote is to throw the testing out the window and just let them race.

The negative press is fodder for every idiot that reads a web news blurb. I fear socializing with a group of people, for I can already here the doping banter before their mouths open. It's just another excuse for football-hockey-baseball loving amercians to dog the Tour. It's not going to change how I feel about it! Every July that my cable company allows me the opportunity, I will be parked in front of my television, cheering on the real athletes of the world, with nervous anticipation. More times than not, that cheering will include this phrase, "Go Georgie-Porgie". George Hincapie is by far my favorite Tour participant, and I still hold out that someday I will see him on "the" podium in Paris.

Long live Le Tour de France!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Race for the Cure

Today I registered for my first official 5K, the 2007 Denver Race for the Cure! WOW! I joined a team of people, that are all participating in the event to show support for a friend battling breast/lung cancer right now. She's a beautiful woman and deserves a huge team to rally around her during her personal battle against cancer.

There are many events that are going on the morning of the race. There is a women's only 5K, co-ed 5-K, family 1 mile walk, as well as a doggie event. I have registered with an intent to run (women's only 5-K) with my faithful saturday morning girlfriends. They have kindly agreed to move at my snail's pace so we can all run together, which makes the day even better for me!

If you are interested in making a donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, through our team the link is below, you can click on my name on the team roster or just donate to our team as a whole!! Westminster MOMS Club/Team Ginny

Stay tuned for my time, I am hoping to be proud to post it. I can guarantee it won't be 23 minutes, like my speedy partners. The beauty of this event is that it's not about the time, but about the experience, the memories, and the support of women!

Comments, please !?!

I am perplexed. For the record, I have comments set to allow anonymous posting. Sometimes, blogger is making it difficult to respond without a blogger/google account, which I find very LAME! So anyway, I just wanted to throw that out there, for I've had about 4 people tell me they didn't comment because you needed an account! If you're up for it and want to anonymously give me a comment, please feel free to do so! You can sign your name (if you choose) in the actual box of text, hit anonymous, then post. Stay tuned, as always, there will be more to come. Maybe with a comment here and there (thanks KM, KS, JH, SG, MH) i'll feel like I am not alone in this venture, and maybe, just maybe I am bringing some folks back for entertainment!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

SPRINKLES *part 2*




Here's the official list of cupcakes that made the airplane trip to Colorado from LA...
*Dark Chocolate
*Lemon
*Milk Chocolate
*Peanut Butter Chip
*Red Velvet
*Vanilla
*Black & White
*Carrot
*Chocolate Coconut
*Cinnamon Sugar
*Vanilla w/Chocolate Frosting


Strangely enough, I feel like I need to go on a diet. Caloric restriction is in my future, for I have indulged myself beyond belief with the Sprinkles arrival. I can honestly say, I did not eat every cupcake entirely, but I did sample every flavor (11 total).

Now, the fun part. For all fairness to the almighty Sprinkles Bakery, the cupcakes were purchased on a Sunday and arrived here on a Monday. So, while they were fresh, they were not, same day fresh. That little tidbit, I believe had an impact on the sampling and the outcome of what would be the winner of the taste test.

I will cut to the chase and give the Lemon cake with Lemon-Vanilla Frosting my gold medal! It just hit the spot. The flavors were outstanding. Coming in a close second was the Vanilla. I feel like the chocolate cupcakes were a bit on the dry side, leaving me to wonder if I indulged on one in LA, would I have liked them better?? The cinnamon sugar was not frosted, so it was very reminiscent of a donut. yum. The carrot cupcake was loaded with walnuts and just the right balance of spices.They truly have the frosting dialed in, beyond my tastebuds wildest dreams. They spare no expense with their ingredients and you will find terms such as Madagascar Vanilla and Belgian Dark Chocolate on their menu, which some how fast tracks your brain into telling your hands and mouth to get a move on it!

I will definitely give Sprinkles my business the next time i'm in Los Angeles. And if the stars allign, it will be my lucky day, and they will have a fresh Chai cupcake with my name on it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

S P R I N K L E S



Sprinkles Cupcakes claims to be the original cupcake bakery. It's in Beverly Hills. When you see a famous waif munching on a cupcake in an US Magazine or People, more than likely it came from Sprinkles. J has been in Los Angeles for 2 weeks finishing up the movie, working long-long days. He's always darling enough to bring home gifts for us whenever he travels, especially when he travels to a place where the shopping is A-List. You can probably guess where this is headed. Sprinkles of 90210, delicious cupcakes, hubby in LA, wife likes cupcakes, hubby buys gifts..Perfect gift=1 dozen Sprinkles cupcakes. Funny how my requests have turned from Shabby Chic linens to cupcakes. Last year when J traveled to NYC for the movie premiere, guess what I requested? Bread from Balthazar . Hell if it's good enough for Martha Stewart, it damn better be good enough for me. It sure was delicious. So were the cupcakes. I've made my way through half of them. I promise a Sprinkles taste testing post to come by weeks end, photos and all. See Sprinkles part 2.

This is the illegal, "umm, sir, photos aren't allowed inside", picture!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Daddy is Coming Home

Two weeks is nothing short of an eternity for a 4 year old. I think I field no less than a thousand questions from Sj everyday. The topics range from profound & thought provoking to the ever popular "will somebody wipe me, I poo-ooped?!". When J travels, I get the usual question, is daddy coming home today? It's not just once, with a simple answer, it's morning, noon, and night. No matter how thorough my answer is, the question always comes back. With tomorrow being the big day, the day J, really and truly comes home, I feel content.

Time really does fly by, even though in the same sentence I can say, it was a l-o-n-g two weeks. Funny how that works. Funny how I giggled a few nights, during J's absence, when I was laying in bed with my arms and legs spread wide open, taking up the entire bed, all to myself. Funny how, in that same moment I wished J were home and I was curled up next to his warm body, listening to his breath, the only sound that puts me into a gentle lull.

No more counting days, it's down to hours, minutes, seconds, until Daddy comes home.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bjornie

AAh, the Baby Bjorn. Gotta love it, unless you are my back, shoulders, or neck. For me the Bjorn is a necessity, it's the go-to for chores to be completed-finishing up dinner, doing dishes, walks, backyard containment. For GL it's heaven. All I have to do is say, Bjorn, and she starts squealing with excitement, when she sees it the anticipation just builds, arms and legs begin to swing uncontrollably, until she is harnessed in. We like to give things nicknames in our household and we did not exclude the Bjorn. It's turned into the Bjorn-ie! So, while nana and papa were visiting, they both showed interest in trying out the Bjorn. Heck, who am I to deprive grandparents of such a wonderful experience! Haha.. Here they are, giving the Bjornie a test ride, which they both whole heartedly approve with 2 thumbs up!

Friday, September 14, 2007

My Life in Reality TV

Sometimes a typical weekday can blow up like nobody's business. Seriously. I had a pretty normal day today, enjoying a trip to the salon by myself to get a major hair cut, a new look. It's the kind of hair cut that leaves you glancing in the mirror every chance you get, leaving yourself thinking, wow is that me? It's easy for me to be impressed by my new hair because I haven't visited my trusty hairdresser in oh, about 7 months. What a shame really..Gosh, I must be worth a trip to see her every 4 months, I have to convince myself.

Anyway, after a phone call around dinner time, the day took a turn. My neighbor has gone into labor and I offered to take her daughter for the evening while she and her hubby labor the night away. Sounds like no problem right? well their dog, Wilma, is also spending the night and that's where the fun begins. Sj and E (visitor) are in that little girl, bonkers sleep over, bouncing off the walls mode, GL is not interested in going to bed what so ever when there is so much entertainment right in our living room, and a "Daah-AAgg"!

Do I dare say, Bedtime? Ha! Finally the logistics are worked out, I'll sleep with GL downstairs on the futon, Pops and Wilma will sleep in the guest room, Nana, Sj and E will all sleep upstairs. GL, first down. The girls take a bit longer, but finally crash hard. Grandpa is out like a light. Nana is cooking her second pot of sauce this visit, like a madwoman in the kitchen. Then come the doggie whimpers, followed by a few mellow barks. Shit. I thought the plan was in action, but Wilma was not happy with Pops. She finally settled in with E at the foot of the bed. YIPPEE!! As nana and I sit joking in the living room a loud horn rumbles, it's the gosh darn Choo Choo Train. If there were only some cameras wired in this place, I'd be pitching my reality TV show in LA right now.

I have to admit, sitting at my computer, 7 bodies gently sleeping around me, I am grateful that I am not laboring at Boulder Community Hospital.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"I Can Handle It"...


Napping for Sj is a thing of the past. Maybe once a month, the girls and I will all catch a cat nap together. Bless those moments. We've been going non-stop lately, with pre-school starting, visits with friends, things to do with nana/papa. I was putting GL down for her afternoon nap and Sj was having quiet time with Nana. In an effort to get her to go to possibly take a nap, Nana told Sj she was going to take a nap as well. It didn't work. Sj quickly replied to Nana with, I'm going to go upstairs while you take a nap, "don't worry nana, I can handle it".. Yeah, an-almost 4 year old, can handle the house to herself. I can only imagine what would have come of that free time. Aah, the things she comes up with.. I love it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Polka Dot Shoes



Where do I begin? Being tall has it's ups and downs. I don't need to get into the details of it, generally everyone has their fair share of body issues, and the inescapable clothes fitting strangely, obviously in my case it was the typical, "too short". And shoe shopping, well it can be a challenge. Any shoe that was asthetically appealing to me always has to undergo the sole examination. Years ago, the flatter the sole the better. The cutest, most comfortable shoe, could add an inch to my height and it was a NO GO! Time changes things and that's how I have arrived at my polka dot shoes. Yes, I am 5'11. Yes, I am taller than the average woman. Yes, it bugged the shit out of me when I was a teenager and the boys were, well let's just say shorter. Now, who cares? When I go shoe shopping, J always requests that I slip on some heels. It's always that sexy sneer and a snicker, mid-aisle. Alright, I succumb, look like a goof trotting around in some stilettos. Then, the cutest pair just appeared right before my eyes. They were realistic heels. Heels higher than I have ever owned. I slipped them on and wow they were perfect. J urged, you have to buy them. No, No, I couldn't. We left. The polka dot shoes crossed my mind a few times. Now they are mine. Hopefully, they will make it beyond my front porch, because it really doesn't matter what others think, right???

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the Berries are Juicy & Ripe

When September rolls around, a little voice inside my head whispers to me, the berries are juicy, ripe, and ready for a pickin. It would be a shame to miss a trip to Berry Patch Farms in September. Berry Patch is one of those nostalgic feeling farms, the kind that makes me long to have a farm of my own. It has the quintessential red barn, brimming with freshly picked organic produce. A few barn cats linger around just long enough to tempt Sj into thinking she may actually get a chance to pet their whispy coats, but no such luck. Fresh chiles are roasting outside the barn and the aroma mingles with the air even out into the far reaches of the strawberry patch. A tractor takes you on a bumpy ride through the vegetables, out into the motherload, endless fields of strawberries. As you approach the rows of strawberries, you can see little red gems glistening in the sun. It always turns into a bit of a hunt, pick a few berries from one row, then a simple glance turns into a quest to pick the ripest berry on the plant. Before I know it, I am criss crossing from row to row, picking a half dozen, eating one, picking, eating, picking, eating. I continually remind myself to put more into my basket than I am consuming, or the dreaded "berry belly" will rear it's ugly head. Finally, our baskets are full..we then move onto the raspberry patch, full of more juicy gems, and loads of eager bees. It's amazing how well I can work next to a swarm of bees when I know what sweet treats I am going to be enjoying later that afternoon. I suppose it should come as no surprise that our dinner plates are cleaned with haste, so the strawberry shortcake can be enjoyed not a moment too soon.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Where's the Beach?

I will be the first to admit I have landscape envy. Not so much for the manicured lawns, just beautiful organic shaped designs, full of blooming color. Our yard on the other hand, maybe would be best compared to a jungle. Large, overgrown, and not very welcoming. Step by step we are changing that. Today we created a beach in the backyard. Now I just need an umbrella drink and a fresh salty breeze to nourish my longing desire for a glimpse of the Pacific.



The lovely rock pit section of our yard. Say bye-bye!!














The border ready for sand! Here you see some cedar 2x6's, 8 feet by 6 feet total. We chose cedar to avoid rotting and the nasty chemicals associated with pressure treated lumber.















A few hours later, a trip to the Rock & Sand supply place, .75 tons of sand, and here we have it! The beach right here in our back yard. The girls absolutely love it!
Happy Girls=Happy Mom!

Friday, September 7, 2007

PIZZA friday

It's Friday..we never have to give any thought to what's for dinner. It's always pizza. Sometimes the toppings throw us for a loop. Sometimes we order out rather than making it at home. But when Nana is in town..we always make it! Tonight we made our whole wheat crust in the bread machine. Yummy yummy yummy in my tummy. We kept it simple, just homemade sauce and cheese. I was thinking back to some of our more exotic favorites, which hands down is bbq chicken with smoky mozzarella! Sj always gets to make her own pizza and here she is in action. Pizza, Friday, it's just tradition.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

more JUNK from China



Lately, it's a good day, when I don't hear the news flash, Mattel is recalling more toys from China. Every single time the newscaster gives us one of those teaser comments, stay tuned for info on Mattel's new announcement on the Barbie recalls, blah blah after this commercial break (typically full of junk food and junk toys from CHINA) my heart sinks, what is it NOW?? Then you have to wait the entire news cast for some really random segment not addressing the information on the specific toys. Here's a great link to keep an eye on frequently: US Product Safety Committee Toy Hazard List Or I am just going to crawl into a cave. Hopefully the cave doesn't contain too many naturally occuring toxins. I look around my house, I wonder, should I just chuck it all? Plastic this, plastic that, made in China. I can actually hear my voice explaining to Sj, "I have no idea what happened to all of your toys, a plastic eating goblin must have come in the middle of the night with a voracious hunger". It's really not that bad, but overall it's just a huge bummer. It pisses me off to no end that our government protects corporations over our children. Is that too much to ask, put our children first? I am a consumer and thanks to the "summer of recalls" I can now call myself, an informed consumer, that puts Made In China off my to buy list until about Sept 29th- which is the Eve of Sj's 4th Birthday.

Monday, September 3, 2007

it's BEN awhile


It all started in the mid 90's..yeah, I said 90's..A good friend of mine went into labor a couple of weeks early, long story short, had to give up her Ben Harper tickets because she had a baby boy in her arms and was spending the evening recovering at Boulder Community Hospital. So what's a good friend to do? Take those tickets off her hands! It was a hot night, I remember waiting in line outside the Fox Theater on the Hill and the heat coming out of the doors was reminiscent of a freshly open oven door, that hot wave that comes over you, taking away your breath for a moment. The Fox was packed to the gills, sweaty, and loud! I left a changed woman. A decade and a couple of dozen Ben shows later and I still feel giddy when I have some tickets in my hand. Tonight it was Ben at Macky Auditorium. Beautiful venue. Not so many drunks. First night of the Lifeline Tour. Ben was right on, humorous through out the show, engaging the crowd in between songs. Every show is a new and different experience, you never know what's up next, what's around the corner. Towards the end of the night, a beautiful thing happened, Ben sang to the crowd with out the microphone. He pushed it away, put up his hands to silence the crowd, and just belted out Where Could I Go. It just doesn't get anymore raw or pure than that. Me, speechless?? Yes and tears welling up in my eyes.

Have yourself a peeksie! Gosh, what did we do with out youtube or cell phone cameras? We actually had to rely on our memory, fancy that.