Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas roundup

Well, we managed to visit both Eugene and Seattle, visit ALL of our immediate family members, and have lots of freakin' holiday fun.
In 7 days.
It was a little crazy, well honestly ... a lot crazy, but worth all the driving around.
We started in Eugene two days before Christmas.
We decorated gingerbread houses, Scott went skiing with Rex, we made treats, ate lasagna, refereed kids, and geared up for our big feast on Christmas eve.

The night before Christmas was spent eating an enormous cheese tray, and bon-bons, and sugar cookies; plus we did a little cooking in order to prepare our traditional Mexican spread.
Britney basically orchestrated an incredible meal in my mother's stead, but it wasn't without a little stress and some dragging of the brothers from the x-box to come in the kitchen an help already ... what are we in high school and we can't stop playing mindless video games whilst the women-folk sweat and toil over the stove?
I mean really!?!
Anyway, everything is under control.
The dinner was a success.
And yes, I ate too many chips and salsa and was stuffed to the gills halfway through dinner.
Never mind dessert.
Although I managed to struggle through that as well and try all four pies.
Anyway, we set out treats for Santa, plugged the kids into a movie, and played games.

Christmas morning, was a tornado of wrapping paper because the kids are finally old enough to understand what is happening.
Ezra was gifted a lot of trucks and boy-ish toys (which is great because I feel a little sorry for him when he is walking around on Ryan's princess heels back home).
Ryan was also given a lot of accessories.
And Scott got zhu-zhu pets. I mean he got them for the kids, not himself. Silly me.
We had a great time and really appreciated all of Britney's hard work, and my Dad and Heather's thoughtful gifts.

But it was time to go to Seattle. Like as soon as we opened the presents we dashed out the door for a fun four-hour drive.

We made it just in time for another big dinn-ah. Courtesy of Scott's sister, we enjoyed a Hawaiian turkey wrapped in palm leaves.
Scott's whole fam was there which was fun because it has been at least four years since all five siblings were together under one roof.
So we spent the next four days playing with cousins, visiting China town in Seattle, enjoying the snow, and watching movies.
Plus, I managed a three-hour marathon of Keeping up with the Kardashians while nursing the flu.
All those shenanigans had my children in a sugar-induced, sleep-deprived wreck by the time we headed back home, exactly a week after the celebrations began.
So we are back.
We are still trying to get back on to some sort of schedule.
And my house is badly in need of a good cleaning.
And if you read through this very long-winded post, well than thanks for indulging me.
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Skate World

Sooo, we took our kids roller skating.
Now you may be thinking that roller skating is so '80s, and you would be right.
I think that was the last time I went; which is unfortunate because it is really fun (the '80s and roller skating ... actually I have thought for some time that I really should have been a teenager in the 1980s, with the hair, the clothes, the music ... but I digress, that is a whole other post.)
Anyway, Ryan has been begging to go for months and now that Scott has some serious time off for Christmas we can act like a family and do things together.
And, I have secretly been eying Skate World for even longer.
It was super fun; just as amazing as I remembered it being in grade school.
Ryan and I were the only ones that actually skated.
I am not even sure what would have happened if we had put skates on Ezra.
Most likely a serious head injury.
And Scott manned the camera.
Ryan started off a little shaky but really got the hang of it by the end of our session.
And the "DJ" played some really good music too.

Yes, it looks as if we are pros; maybe not quite to the caliber as the gentleman behind us but you gotta start somewhere.

One of many spills. in fact, about a half hour into our adventure I was starting to worry that I would yank Ryan's arm our of her socket while trying to "save" her from falling. Luckily, she improved and my assistance became unnecessary.

This is what Ezzy was doing while Ryan and I circled the rink. I don't think he knows he isn't actually playing. He also spent a fair amount of time cheering us on at the side of the floor, giving us high-fives and clapping.

He was a good sport about being sorta left out. He just ran around jumping off those carpeted, putting-your-skates-on benches.

And there she is: going solo. She really did improve quite significantly by the end and managed a half-lap on her own. We only had one big fall which resulted in moment of discouragement. Ryan insisted her "buns hurt and she needed a rest." But after a pep talk from Daddy and a small rest of our buns we hit the floor again. I also managed a few laps on my own. Going around with Ryan was really fun, but painfully slow, so I insisted I needed a few laps to myself so I could feel the wind in my short hair. I would post a picture of that as well, but Scott only took a few and, for whatever reason, they were all close-ups of my butt. And no one wants to see that. Not even me.
Anyway, all in all I think our little escapade was a success.
It was definitely the perfect start to our vacation.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just in time for the holidays

So the other day Scott and I were scouring the house over looking frantically for our debit card.
Our only debit card.
You see, we share one in order to curb spending and make it easier to keep tabs on purchases.
And just as we were beginning to panic, thinking we lost it and some stranger was giddily blowing through our meager savings, we found it.
In. The. Toaster.
How, pray tell, did this happen?
Well, I don't know actually.
All I know is that I caught Ezra on the counter trying to retrieve a juice box from the cupboard and the rest, they say, is history.
It turned into a twisted, shriveled ghost of a card.
It was like that shrinky-dink material that withers to half its side.
Needless to say, I ordered another one and we will be getting it in the mail mere days from Christmas, and have we even started our Christmas shopping?
No. The answer is no.

p.s. I took a picture to post but then had a panic attack thinking some very clever thief could somehow decipher the mangled image and then really steal my moola. So I opted to leave it out. Even though I think that blogs without pictures can be kinda boring.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A little ketchup ...

Where to begin?
I have actually been contemplating that question for days.
But then I promptly become overwhelmed and lay down.
After I lay down, I fall asleep.
So therefore the blogging doesn't get done.
Not that I expect this to be a crushing blow to many a reader, but I'd like to think of this as my own little journal of sorts, and quite possibly a small measure of enjoyment for others in my life.
So let's get on with it.
The short, short version.
Here is Thanksgiving; or at least the only picture I bothered to take of my family enjoying the feast we shared with our friends. The spread turned out fabulously. (Ryan made the little hand-turkey place cards).

Oh yeah, we moved too. Right before Thanksgiving. I never promised this post would be in chronological order. In this picture you can see a little of our new pad. Although we obviously have all the same stuff so it might not look that different. But we can definitely feel the difference. It is a town-home style. So we have 2 floors, 3 bedrooms, tons more storage (well pretty much any storage is way more), and more living room space to clutter up with toys. Plus, we pay nothing to live here! I know. Pretty incredible. How is that possible you may say? I say who cares?
Here is our tree. I think it is my best one yet. And it isn't real, which I really like better. I mean you don't have the fragrant woodsy aroma which accompanies an authentic tree but I also vacuum less and we can leave it up while we are gone on vacay without the fear of coming home to a spindly tree trunk surrounded by a huge pile of brown needles. Thank you Tara and Dave. And don't the twigs I added look nice? I think they add a little dimension, a little texture. Scott has told me that he can definitely learn to live with them. Oh brother.

A random shot of our gallery wall; with a few errant decorations. Scott was co-mastermind of this little display. Unless you think it's weird. Then it was definitely all him. Just kidding. We worked on decorating T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R. It is apparently more important to him than I originally assumed.
Playing with play dough in the hallway. I make them take off their clothes because they always get gobs of it stuck to their pants and socks. I made sure to turn the heater up. But it was short-lived anyway because Ezra cries every time his creations are squished, which is sorta inevitable.

And this little pic is a peak at my advent calendar/pocket garland I made to help us count down to the big day. This year I filled it with candy, but as they grow older I think I want to include a small scripture in each pocket as well, in order to emphasize the reason for the season.

A close up. I am not that crafty so I like to show off when I make anything. Up next: Christmas stockings. If they turn out I will include a picture of them as well.

And last but certainly not least, Scott and I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 with friends. I love Harry Potter. I have loved them since I was a child, because I was still a child, or at least a teen when the Potter mania began. Now I know I have professed my undying love for all things Twilight, but my heart still has room for Harry and his friends as well. Anyway, it was amazing. That is all I can think to say.
I. am. tired.
And this post is becoming quite long.
And I am going to recommit to blog more regularly. Mostly so that I don't turn into a rambling fool.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Long story short

We just moved to a new apartment.
It took forever to get settled.
We still don't have internet (I am stealing this connection right now ... sorry Sierra).
We have been kinda busy.
I am going to write an awesome post complete with pictures,
because we WILL have internet.
Or else.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Birthday Girl

Somebody pinch me.
I could swear I just gave birth to a 6 lb. 11 oz., screamin', wiggly, baby girl yesterday.
How could this be?
Ryan is now a headstrong, smarty pants, wiggly four-year-old!
Where did the time go?
We are so proud of her. She is clever, funny, enjoys working on her "preschool" workbook, and very much enjoys being entrusted to do "grownup" tasks. She is very helpful to mommy, and even helps to discipline Ezra. Yeesh.
She is a good big sister and a good minder. She catches on quickly; and is very loving.
She is a night owl, and is great at coming up with excuses as to why it is imperative she get out of bed.
We love this big girl, and couldn't imagine our lives without her in it.

Here she is before her party in her "birthday" shirt. We put this stretchy top on her every year and snap a picture. Should make for a fun collection once she gets older (if she continues cooperating. I wager it might be harder to convince her to play along once she reaches her teens.)

I made owl cupcakes for her friend party. We had 11 little kids over on her actual birthday for a get together. We would have invited more had we been able to fit another little body, but it was chaotic (and fun) as is, so it is just as well.

This is just a taste of the mania that was her party. Oh, just kidding. All the kids were very well-behaved and were good sports about my attempt at a party activity. We made "monster mouths" out of apple slices, peanut butter, and a generous assortment of candy (thanks in large part to our trick-or-treating loot). The kids enjoyed it, hopefully. Thanks for the idea Britney!

And our birthday girl. If the smile looks a little frantic and forced it could be the overload on sweets or the last few days finally catching up to her. We enjoyed a visit from Scott's parents over the previous weekend to start off the festivities. She was treated to Red Robin, flowers, and prezzies. Her favorite being a pillow pet (we finally gave in to her unrelentless begging) pictured behind her in the first photo. Those activities coupled with all the Halloween fun, and it's a wonder she had as much energy as she did. I know I am pooped out. Still.
But she is worth.
Oh is she worth it.
Happy Birthday my baby peanut!
We love you so much!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween and such

Betcha can't guess what we were for Halloween?
Yep. Yoda and The Tooth Fairy.
And yes, the only thing they have in common are that they are both fictional, small, and perhaps magical.
But who needs coordinating costumes anyway?
The important thing is that Ezzy's bald head was toasty in his Yoda hat and Ryan was allowed to wear her tutu in public.
Everyone wins.
Plus, I made (assembled) they costumes myself and that definitely makes up for not carving pumpkins (which I don't really like doing anyway; I mean, what is so fun about it? ... just sayin'.)

Our festivities began by attending a school Halloween Party (thrown by the optometry wives' support group) with dinner, games and a costume contest.
By the end of the event, Yoda looked more like a monk in a brown tunic after shedding 85 percent of his costume and Ryan was wearing only a leotard.
Basically it was a success.
And then the following week we went to our ward's trunk-or-treat bash.
Essentially, everyone in our church congregation shows up in the parking lot of the building we worship in, pops open their trunks (decorated for the occasion), and hands out candy to the "trick-or-treaters."
We like it 'cause it's a safe, friendly atmosphere where you can load up on candy in record time, show off your costume for hundreds to admire and be home an hour later.
We don't mess around at these things.
It is all about efficiency.
And as for the ACTUAL day of Halloween, Scott dressed our kids for the third time, and took them trick-or-treating to a few people we know (namely the sweet old lady that lives in the apartment below us.) Little do they know, that I am handing out the candy they scored at the previously mentioned activities to kids a-knocking at our door. I mean, how much candy to they really need? In my opinion, none. Right moms?
It is the experience that counts anyway.

And after all that partying, it is time for a nap.
When I look at this picture, all I can think is: I wish I were him. He's so content, so cozy, so relaxed, and has an awesome pajama set with army men on them. And who doesn't love an afternoon nap on the sofa with your favorite blankie.

And what we do on a normal, semi-boring day is play outside in our parking lot's largest puddle (which is undoubtedly laced with a ton of gasoline) in the rain. It isn't much, but they like it. And if we waited to go outside only when it was sunny, we would never go out.

Well, my husband just returned from said trick-or-treating without the kids, so I should probably go. Good grief.
Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You know you're a redneck when...

you have a fender in your closet ...

and the rest of a car's innards in the corner. I kid. I do not believe that we are true rednecks, but if I have to spend many more nights tripping over buckets and such on my way to get my beauty sleep I'm going to end up with more than a motor oil-induced high. Here's crossing our fingers that the engine rebuild is finished soon.

And onto other unrelated autumn festivities:

Our kids attended their first costume party. It was a pirate birthday bash thrown for some of their friends. It was really fun to see 20 mini pirates invade our local park but made it hard to keep track of the kids under their buccaneer disguise. (I tried to give Ezra a Captain Hook 'stach, but he ended up looking like a Frenchman. However, he did manage to keep his makeup smudge-free and looked just as debonair when the celebration was over.)

Ryan and I made wax leaves. I got the idea from a friend (thanks Jen) and they turned out very life-like. Super pretty and easy-peasy to boot.

This isn't really autumn related but is just another testament as to why I love the Goodwill. Could this picture frame be any cuter? It is mega heavy too, definitely worth more than the .99 cents I payed for it. It was a steal and I love it with all my heart. Suckas.

Some cookies we decorated with friends during our annual (two years in a row definitely qualifies as an annual event) Halloween get-together. I do not claim to be a decorating expert but I wanted proof that I do creative, fun things with my kids sometimes, hence the semi-boring pictures. And by the way, Ezra has managed to pick off all the candy corns from said cookies behind my back in a sneaky-like fashion.

And last but not least, another shot of the kids for good measure. They insist on being snuggled before they go to sleep. And because I am a genius (and slightly impatient) I showed them that they could snuggle together instead of with me (that way I could catch up on my blogging). Don't worry, I do do most of the snuggling myself but some nights I am snuggled out and need a little down time. I mean, I love these babies, but I love me some Modern Family and ice cream too.

And finally, a little memo:
To the men that own and supervise the management of Parkview apartments: As much as you think you are so clever with your micro-managing and intolerance, I believe that your poor people skills and snobbery with eventually catch up to you. It will translate into unhappy tenants and less money in your pockets. And since money and appearances seem to be all that matters, at the expense of disgruntled employees and unpopular reputations, you will undoubtedly end up with just those things and nothing else. It is disappointing to have to deal with men with limited perspective and little common sense. Why blow something completely out of proportion when all you have to do is simply ask? (Debbie, this certainly does NOT mean you.)
Well, on that happy note, I must push off and head to bed. Nighty-night happy readers!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Family Mugs

So I thought I would play a little game I saw on a few other awesome blogs;
And since this blog is definitely awesome, I figured I would join in.
It goes a little something like this:

I always ... I always am in a perpetual state of growing out my hair, have popcorn for lunch, find something worth buying at the Goodwill (whether or not I am permitted to bring it home), read People Magazine during my popcorn lunch (so I like trash magazines, everyone has a vice), cut my children's hair and nails (like all the time ... like borderline obsessive), look forward to my hubby to COME HOME from school, exercise five days a week, read Farmer Boy every fall (see Little House on the Prairie series).

I sometimes ... I sometimes feel like a productive, patient, energetic mother (mostly I feel like I am hanging on by my fingernails), watch historical documentaries with Scotty (mostly so I can spend time with him, and only a little 'cause I kinda like 'em), understand what Ezra is saying, bite my nails, think I might want one more baby ... someday, get asked by strangers if I am half Asian (really).

I never ... forget to make my bed (remember the obsessive personality I alluded to earlier?), look forward to summer with any kind of zeal (I am sure I have made my hatred for hot weather very clear), get any less than 20 kisses apiece from my babies each day (I am one lucky momma), get tired of scouring design blogs, get embarrassed (I have been seen naked by strangers on more than one occasion, accidentally, plus I am clumsy and trip a lot), spend more than a few hours away from my kids (literally ... I have never even spent a night away from them), forget how blessed I am.

Now on to the mugs:
My handsome baby Ezzy. What a ham. He is getting so big, I can't stand it. Really, Ezra, slow down.

Look at those cheeks, and that curly hair. I may be a little biased but I really do think that Ryan may be the cutest girl ... ever. And this is my blog so there.

My handsome, and dirty husband. That is his new obsession right behind him. I am trying to play the supportive wife, but I ain't gonna lie, the grease that ends up in our house as a result of this new hobby has been giving me anxiety. However, he is really happy and very handy (doing all the automotive work himself) so I try to keep my hyperventilating to a minimum.

And this is me. And yes I chopped my hair. It isn't the first time I have had a pixie, but every time is very freeing. I like it a lot. I believe that a short 'do can be both feminine and young. Right?

Have a great weekend! Up next: Halloween costumes. They are amazing. I am on top of it this year and the kids are all set.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A few thoughts ...

A few errant thoughts for you ...
I want to cut my hair, again.
I am quite shallow and actually put myself to sleep with thoughts of sophisticated, fun haircuts.
So this is what I am thinking:

I definitely think I am going to do it. Soon.
Onto other unrelated news, this little beauty is for sale.
Alas, my sweet, pink hog is getting the 'ole heave-ho.
Not for any reason other than lack of use.
I have kids, a busy husband who spends the majority of his time at school, and no side-car. hehe
So we posted it on Craigslist. No takers yet. Anyone need a scooter named Hope?

And this one we did sell. Today. It only took Scott a few hours to get a bite on this one. The price must have been right. We are saying adios to him tomorrow. A very small man came to purchase him this evening. I am not sure how he will ride this beast of a bike. But I can't say I am sad to see this one go. I will admit I was super scared every time Scott took it out. (Not that I had no confidence in his driving, just other people.)

And all these transactions made this possible:*

Or at least a 1962 Thunderbird that needs a little TLC. It is Scott's "new" car. The supra is falling a-part! So our solution was to get an older car to replace it. But at least it is a car that has attitude. It's cool and the price was good.

So that is what is happening in our 'hood.
p.s. Sorry that this post is super lame. It is really muggy in our apartment and while that has nothing to do with the "cool" factor of this post, somehow it has everything to do with it. I cannot seem to compose a coherent thought. I am so uncomfortable. It is almost October for crying out loud.

* This is not the actual car sitting outside our apartment. But it is the same model and does look like this without the perfect shiny paint job.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The desk

So with the changing of seasons, I often get a new burst of motivation to tackle some projects that have been sitting on the back-burner (translation: I have finally worn Scott down enough to permit me to overhaul a piece of furniture that was "fine" before).
Case in point: the desk.
It was a nondescript, old-lady, with curly-Q details, shiny, monstrosity.
It was "fine" according to my supportive hubby.
But for those of you who know me well, fine just isn't fine.
If I have to keep it, use it, and/or look at it, it has to be more than fine.
Plus, really, if I get an idea into my head, it will just fester until I bring it to fruition.
Scott is probably exasperatingly nodding his head.
And I got the idea into my head that the desk needed a little spruce.
And was I right or was I right? Just take a look for yourself:

Okay, it may actually look worse than usual because I had already emptied out it's contents and stripped the paint off one of the drawers. But I am sure you can get the idea of how hideous it was. So that was the "before."

This is me taking a picture, again, of myself as I slave over the eye sore at 10:30 p.m. Really this is not optimal painting procedure, seeing as it was super dark outside, but that is virtually the only time I have to really work without the kids running wild all over our parking lot. As you can see, excitement is evident. Right now I am thinking, "When is this going to be done?" and "I really need a shower because it has been a few days." (I become a little single-minded when involved in a project.)

This is the "after." I think it looks TOTALLY different. You may not notice the subtle differences, so allow me to point them all out. The embellishments are gone. The middle drawer has been removed (I think it opens it up, gives it a more contemporary look, and brings up the height). The desk is also two-toned now. I stripped the paint off the top and painted it an almond color, then sanded and painted the remainder of the desk a flat black.

After all that, I painted two coats of polyurethane on the top to protect it from wear. So that is that. It looks much better, to me, and I did it all by my lonesome. Next up: the dresser is getting a makeover as soon as it stops raining.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Things that make me happy

This week has been a good one.
Lots of things went my way.
So therefore, I will proceed to list off things that make me happy,
mostly because I want to show off.
So firstly, roses. Roses make me happy. Not only do fresh flowers add a little somethin' to my table, but they are even better when gifted from my husband FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER! Score.

Secondly, a clean house. This makes me really happy, particularly if it gets done early enough in the day to enjoy it before it gets deflowered by my family. Look at my zombie children watching Reading Rainbow. On cleaning day, they definitely get their fair share of PBS.

Thirdly, this lovely really-nice-indoor-outdoor-fabric-bought-for-super-duper-cheap-on-clearance. I salivate over the beautiful cobalt blue color and fun trellis pattern. And to top it off, I repurposed this once picnic tablecloth into pillows, all by my lonesome! I literally giggle with giddiness every time I walk into my living room. Yes, I am that lame. And no, it apparently doesn't take that much to make me happy.

This requires no explanation.
Although, it must be Lucerne from Safeway because it tastes the least low fat. And I have done extensive research. Swear.

This little face. And the fact that he is sitting with his legs tucked up inside his shirt. So cute, or so sad that I don't dress him in pants while at home and he may actually be cold. Sorry Ezzy.

And this little face too. Ryan is getting funnier and funnier every day. The other day while over dinner, she said, "Daddy, I need to tell you something." Scott replied, "yes?" And Ryan responded, "You're hairy." This was said in all seriousness, and with no prompting whatsoever from me. It almost came as an afterthought, like she'd been saving it all day and just remembered then. YEesh.

Anything related to organization makes me very happy. There is nothing better that emptying out your whole kitchen/desk/closet, throwing half of whatever objects are filling said space, and reorganizing it all. Just me? Alrighty then.

Great design. I love design. Someday I will decorate houses other than mine, and maybe even get paid to do it! I would love to get a Master's in interior design in the future. But until then, I will just keep pawing through every design magazine I can get my hands on, surfing the design blogosphere for far to long in the evening after the kiddies go to bed, and continue experimenting on our home. I love myself a good mixture of textures, prints, neutrals, and something industrial for fun, kinda like this:

So the morale of this post is really that I am happy. Life is hard and sad things happen but everyone has reasons to be happy. I feel blessed every day. Life is to be celebrated.