Tuesday, December 7
A cute little girl, about 7 or 8 years old, is sitting next to the Christmas tree next to her dog Fluffy. She gazes at the tree adoringly and says "15 days, 22 hours, 10 minutes and 15 seconds until Christmas!"
Next scene....little girl is with parents in the mall somewhere wandering around..."7 days, 10 hours, 30 minutes and 22 seconds until Christmas"
The brat is then somewhere else doing who knows what and is saying "3 days, 4 hours, 24 minutes, and 2 seconds until Christmas.!!!!!
I just thank the sweet baby Jesus that my kids are too freakin young to understand this commercial because by jove, whomever thought of this is the DEVIL! Why yes, I think it would be a great idea, to have an ornament that counts down the days, hours, minutes, and YES, even seconds, until Christmas!!!!!! DO you have any kids????? Don't they do this anyway???!?!?!?!?!
Joe is only 3 years old and wakes up every day and asks "Is it Christmas today?" and he doesn't even really understand the whole thing except that it seems good and there may be presents! UGH. I have a new loathing for Hallmark and will boycott the store at least until Christmas is over!!!!!!
Monday, November 29
Daddy presents the next potential Nelson tree for our appraisal
Why can't you just pick a tree, Mommy??
Thomas is getting so grown up!
Mommy sporting a new haircut
Tata helped put up the many ornaments that we have and despite their being no snow, it was just like being back in Maryland. There were a few mishaps and breaking of glass ornament balls, but nothing too disastrous. Now comes the job of decorating the rest of the house while Ken is gone. I will let you know how that goes......
Look at my tree!
Monday, November 8
Here is a typical morning for us. Today started off earlier than usual so you would think that would help things move smoother. By earlier, I mean that William was up since 5 am and Tom since 4 am. Ken was up with Tom and then poked me awake to join in the fun at 5 am since he had to get ready for work.
Breakfast went better than normal. Only a little bit of crying and minimal oatmeal in Tom's hair. I had forgotten (too tired actually) to make lunches last night so I made lunches, fixed Will's bottles and packed everything up. So far, so good. On to getting dressed. A few discarded t-shirts and the demand for jeans satisfied, we then went to dress William. What a cute outfit! Oh no! Will threw up on it and me. Change the outfit and put on a new one. No time to shower now, so put on some clothes and make face look somewhat decent.
Now, time to try to herd the turtles (a phrase I have borrowed from a favorite website, "Rants from Mommyland"-- check it out, it is really funny!) to the car. This is really the most difficult part as there is much difficulty in achieving this advance to the minivan. Once strapped in, I check that everyone is in and then "we're off!"
I get to school/daycare, unbuckle everyone and plant Joe and Tom on the sidewalk while I get Will out in his carseat along with the 2 bags full to the brim with backpacks/lunches/stuff that I seem to have to lug every day. I drag myself, baby and bags to the door of school with Joe and Tom straggling behind and *hope* that someone else makes it there first so they can hold the door open for the crazy lady with all the kids and bags. I must truly be a sight since most people seem to rush to the door and say "let me help you..." Anyhow...drop everyone off then realize I forgot the thermoses. AGAIN. Like for the third time in a row. UGH! I even have a checklist so I don't forget these things!
All of this happening of course while I have not even started officially working yet. I am only setting up my practice and doing all the legwork for that. Oh, and getting my house in order. Yeah, right. Somehow, 4 pm comes along and all I feel I have accomplished is
1. Pump 2x (on good days)
2. Start laundry
3. Make a few phone calls regarding job and fill out neverending paperwork
4. Check email
5. Eat lunch
6. Shower (sometimes)
That is not a very efficient use of time and it begs the question, "what in the heck am I going to do once I really start working???" Not a pretty thought but one that pops into my head a bit. Well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now though, I have some time during the day to get at least SOME stuff accomplished for work without little dancing monkeys at my side.
Sunday, October 31
With the move and unpacking, we did not do our usual decorating of the house, but Ken put out a few tombstones on the lawn and a snake on our doorstep for a bit of Halloween spirit. We had asked Nonni (Ken's mom who along with Pap Pap, Ken's dad, was in town visiting us) to make her mom's famous spaghetti sauce for us. This meant that a lot of the afternoon was spent working on it since it required a lot of prep work. Dinner got pushed back further than I had anticipated so by 6 pm we were eating but saw that the trick or treating had begun.
ARRRRGGHH! Although I had bought all the pieces for Ken's "Bullseye" costume, I had only put together part of it! I had planned to make him ears to go along with the mane and tail I had cut from felt but in the end, the ears were pretty sorry looking. Nonni ended up pinning the ears to the brown skiing hood Ken had produced from God knows where (he sometimes just appears with things that I never knew we had despite this being the 3rd time we have moved and unpacked things together. Funny, isn't it?) The hood worked great in any case and after safety pinning the mane to the hood and the tail to the backside of the brown sweat pants, he was good to go.
Just imagine Thomas in a Buzz lightyear costume....
We managed to keep Joe and Tom walking for our entire jaunt around the neighborhood (which was basically down to the end of the street then back up) but had to take turns carrying the quite heavy Rex. Interestingly, ALL the neighbors seemed to know who we were yet we had not met any of them. Hmmmmmmm. A bit strange...... Despite having no costume, Tom scored lots of candy and both boys had half-filled plastic pumpkins by the end. Of course this was when Joe piped up, "But we have to fill them all the way to the top!" Curse those Little Einsteins and their Halloween special. Those of you who are forced to watch these annoying little children ride around the world on "missions" know what I am talking about. And for those who don't, just call yourselves lucky. On a sidenote, I actually had to ban Mickey Mouse Clubhouse from being an available choice (they get to watch one show a day, usually in the morning while I am feeding Will) when I realized that I had seen the episodes more than once. While I will allow that repetition is good for kids to learn with things like reading "Fix it Duck" a hundred times in a row or doing puzzles, it is definitely not good with cartoons! At least not for the crazed mother who is watching the hot dog dance for the millionth time!
We had fun during our movie date and came home to bliss.....three sleeping children and a clean kitchen. YES! What a nice end to a truly funny and chaotic Halloween. I can only imagine what Joe has in store for me for next year. Not to mention, by then, Thomas will be able to contribute to the madness as well! I am ready for whatever they throw my way! Hoo-wah!
Friday, October 29
We got William into his costume once we got there since the Rex outfit was a bit too bulky for the carseat. He was good to go in his outfit and looked adorable.
Nonni and Pap Pap with a scary Rex!
Yeehaw! Jessie and Rex are ready for action!
In my spare time, I decided to become all "Martha Stewart-like" and make some of our costumes for Halloween. I mean, how hard could it be to make a Woody costume anyway??? (For those who don't know, he is the main character in the Disney movie, "Toy Story", which is Joe's current obsession). The costumes-to-go are not great and cost a pretty penny so I figured, why not??? Famous last words...
Joe had already made costume assignments (Joe -Woody, Thomas - Buzz Lightyear, Will -alternately assigned Rex, the dinosaur and Ham, the piggy bank, Mommy - Jessie the cowgirl, and Daddy - Bullseye. I am not sure why Ken always gets the shaft but well, he is a good sport and goes along with anything so we are pretty lucky!
Ok, so I start by surfing the internet to see if there are any ideas and lo and behold, I found an article on the ehow.com website where an industrious mother made a Woody costume for her son and a Jessie costume for herself. I look at and think, "I can do that!" and then rush off to Hobby Lobby (a Texas version of Michael's or A. C. Moore) to get supplies. I had already found a white dress shirt at Goodwill so I loaded up with the necessary cow print fabric, yellow fabric, some yellow dye, red fabric paint, a vest pattern, thread and other random stuff I think I need. Then I realize that you really should have a sewing machine if you want to sew something. And maybe the knowledge of how to sew would help......BUT NEVER FEAR! Type A personalities like me are never fazed by such details! We had to go to Walmart after we picked Ken and Thomas up from the airport since the airline had sent the luggage to Phoenix (including the car seat) and the car seat they loaned us was just DISGUSTING!!! While there, we picked up a sewing machine because after all, you can't sew a vest without one! Hahaha.
Ok, now to make the costumes. Turns out dyeing the shirt was the easy part because painting the checker pattern onto the shirt took about 4 days (you have to let the lines dry on the front before you cross hatch them, then you have to do the same thing all over again on the back). The shirt looked pretty good after I was done except for some minor paint smudges.
I then began on the vest. I am pretty sure I can read English fairly well after 26 years of schooling however, even though I could read the words on the directions to make the vest, I was not sure what they said. Perhaps this was for people who ACTUALLY KNOW HOW TO SEW??????? ARGH! Too late now. A very optimistic Joe asked me every day, "Is my vest ready yet, Mommy?" Can't let the kid down now! Ok, back to deciphering the hieroglyphics on the pattern directions. I managed to get the pieces cut and somewhat put together. Oops, don't sew the armholes closed! Boy that seam ripper was a really good purchase! In the end, I had to wait until Ken's mom arrived and between the two of us, we put it together. An unfortunate mishap with the needle on the sewing machine (it bent into a weird angle and it was too late to buy a new one) forced us to hand-sew the double bias tape around the edges. I did not even know what double-bias tape was a week ago of course.Anyway, I finished my costume at about 1 am while watching the final episode of Project Runway. I blame Tim Gunn for making me think that I could sew at all! Stay tuned....the Halloween parade at school and trick or treating to come soon!
Wednesday, October 6
Bombas de Crema (Cream puffs)
1 c. boiled water (allowed to cool a bit)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 c. all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 tsp. baking powder
Place boiled water and butter into a medium saucepan. Sift together flour and salt. Bring water and butter to a boil then add flour and salt. Stir rapidly to mix the ingredients well then remove from heat. Let mixture cool. Add eggs one at a time until mixture is creamy and ingredients are well combined. Add baking powder and mix well. Let dough rest for about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Form little balls, about 1 tbsp in size and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 then lower temperature to 400 and bake another 10-20 minutes until puffs are golden brown (time varies depending on your oven). Let cool then make a slit about ¾ of the way across the lower part of the puff. Fill with about a teaspoon of pudding or dulce de leche.
Crema pastelera (Pudding)
1 egg yolks
1 c. sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla
Mix together eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and flour in a medium saucepan. Add milk. Place over medium high heat and stir constantly under mixture thickens. DO NOT LET IT BURN! Remove from heat and cool a bit before adding vanilla.
Wednesday, September 8
Will and Thomas in their jammies
The boys enjoying the fruit basket
Let me have some, Daddy! (I don't think babies are allowed pineapple at 3 months!)
Tuesday, September 7
Sunshine Stuffed Bell Peppers (makes 4 servings)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a pan over medium heat and add about 1 tbsp olive oil. Chop up onions and garlic. Saute onions for a couple of minutes until they soften then add garlic. I tend to burn garlic if I don't add it in later, but you can add them together if you want. Place onion and garlic into food processor along with beans. Pulse until the beans are broken up and everything is mixed well. Place mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add cous cous, cheese, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut tops off of the peppers and scoop out seeds and ribs. Spoon filling into peppers. Sprinkle top of peppers lightly with bread crumbs and drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until brown on top. Enjoy!
Is there a dinosaur in the backyard?
Will is loungin on the deck
Thursday, August 12
Joe loves to roar like a dinosaur!
Eating bronto burgers at lunch
Watch out for T Rex!!Running around the bases at the ball game
Wednesday, August 11
Somewhere in East Texas
First view of the Mountains in West Texas, about 3 hrs from El Paso
Saturday, August 7
We finally made it!! An evening alone...what a new concept!
the swimming gang out on the balcony