Thursday, May 31, 2007


For those of us that cannot afford the waistline to have ice cream everyday, make a yummy alternative.

Fill your popsicle tray 3/4 of the way with a delicious juice, I've been guzzling this one!

Chop some ripe berries and shove 'em in!

Freeze and slurp!

For another frozen treat:
* A neat hint that I came across in a magazine is to make coffee ice cubes. Use them in your homemade iced coffee drinks and your beverage won't dilute as the ice melts! Tricky 'eh?

TV ban

I would just like to reiterate how much I love the warmer weather. I can't remember the last time we turned the TV on, and all the lunches and dinners at the picnic table are heavenly.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thank Goodness for Starbucks

Alright, I'll explain myself. Officially, being a native Seattlite, I can find a better cup elsewhere, and I'm not too keen on their take-over-the-world business practices. But because they are plentiful, sometimes located directly across the street from one another, you can count on a clean bathroom in just about any small corner of our fair city. Bless them. As E is still in the first year of mastery in the potty department, we have been in a potty emergency more times than I can count. Just such an incident happened today, which prompted me to jot this thought down.

We were exiting the I-5 heading towards home, and her little legs started kicking and the squirming started. "Mama, I hafta go potty, NOW!" My mind did a quick scan of the area, "Alright, there's a Starbucks right over here, hold it, ok?" I navigated the car into their cramped parking lot, slammed it into 'park', scooped her out of her car seat and made a beeline for the back of the store. All the staff smiled, one even opened the door for us, and we were in! Whew! Deep breath, we made it! Thank Goodness for Starbucks.

P.S. Yes, I purchased an iced tea on the way out...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Miss Potter

If you haven't seen this movie, you should (For you Washingtonians, it's now at the Crest, $3). It is sweet, sad, and magical. And for heaven's sake, Ewan McGregor, c'mon!

I felt especially endeared to this film, having owned and been told these tales from a very young age. My mom held a certain reverence for these works. Each tiny hardback was couriered from London to our home in Seattle by my Aunt Sue, a stewardess at the time. Although the covers were mismatched, we soon owned a complete set. And it wasn't even a question as to what we should christen our childhood pet rabbit; Beatrix Potter, of course. And you can bet that these stories now grace Ellanor's shelves.

You can imagine my delight while I was in London a few years back, I was lucky enough to stumble onto a 100 year anniversary display in the Royal Library featuring her works and illustrations. Here is a meager photo, as I owned a used, first generation, digital camera back then.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Wisteria growing along the front side of my house was too beautiful, had to share it with you. Of course these photo's don't do it justice.

(looking up)


I dropped a lot of hints about wanting a birdbath for my garden for Mother's Day. But because Dave and I were apart for the holiday we decided to celebrate at a later time. Today, as E crawled up on her stool to wash her hands after using the potty and before nap, she exclaims "A birdbath is a secret, Mama." "Oh, well, not anymore it isn't," I reply. "Yes, when we get it, it's a secret." she retorted. "Alright," I say beaming. Don't you just love it when your husband actually hears all those hints we drop?

Monday, May 21, 2007


Daddy is finally home for a while. However we've spent most of his time home though, mopping and sterilizing our downstairs bathroom as our plumbing is sketchy and it decides to back-up every 3 months or so.


I did bring E to his show at the Showbox this evening to watch Daddy sing. It's nice to remind her of what he does every night when he's gone on those long tours. Lately she's been asking me "Where does Daddy live?" Knocks the wind out of me. Anyhow, she got to sound check with him and a couple renditions of The A,B,C's were spouted as random tough-guy club workers in tattoo's and multiple piercings melted right along with me.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


E and I went to the Seattle Cheese Festival.


As I opened the suitcase that contained our clothes and various paraphernalia from our trip to Phoenix, the very distinct smell of chlorine hit my face. E and I splashed in Grandma Hilda and Grandpa Benny's backyard pool one last time before I packed our bags to head home. I miss it already. We were ready to come home though, we had spent a week in the heat, ate at all our favorite spots, I stayed up late watching David Letterman, and guiltlessly finished a girly fiction book and 4 magazines. Not to mention reconnecting with family.

D's grandparents have welcomed me into their lively clan with open arms, and of course they adore E, their first great-grandchild. I count it a blessing to have grandparents again, when D and I were married, only my mom's father remained then, and his health was fleeting. Benny and Hilda were married before they turned 20, and started a family right away. They are both hard workers and have a colorful past and I so enjoy listening to them tell their stories. Benny built their home back in the 60's, and a good chunk of their land is dusty ranch, as he was a roper back then. So the air is fragranced with the smell of horses and the earth baking in the scorching sun. Most of Hilda's siblings live right there in Phoenix, and 2 of her 3 children also have rooted there, making these visits somewhat of a family reunion. Our visit was dotted with coffee dates with aunts and uncles, and we even attended church on Mother's Day at the church D's uncle started 12 years ago. Because the weather was so hot, we mostly stayed indoors, venturing out only (armored in 50SPF) to play in their backyard pool, nestled among the palms and a few orange trees,

for a quick trip to the zoo,

bubble blowing,

picking oranges,

and a few mall excursions.

*We surprised E with a visit from her dad.

He just happened to be passing through Arizona on his way to LA while we were there. We met up for hugs and kisses, a tour of the very slick tour bus, and some dinner. It wasn't much but it meant so much to all of us.

We really had a nice relaxing time, and Hilda just spoiled us rotten with new clothes, toys, meals out, and just plain old hospitality. It was great to get away, to be with family while D was on tour, and soon we'll all be together again.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Tickets? Check!
Clothes for 105 degree weather? Check!
Sunscreen? Check!
Toenails Painted? Check!
Portable DVD Player for Airplane? Check!
Camera? Check!
House Plants Watered? Check!
Mail Stopped? Check!
E? Check!

We're OUTTA here!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Mama's and the Papa's

This evening E and I made multiple stops around the city. Running errands is one of my least favorite part about my day, but our cheerful conversations usually perk me up, and the time passes quickly. One such conversation started in the parking lot of our local Fred Meyer (kind of like a Target only with actual groceries). On our way out of the store I noticed one of the employee's rounding up the carts near our car, and looking upward into the tree that we had parked next to. As we reached the car it was obvious as to what had captured his attention, a beautiful bird song. There was the most beautiful song coming from the branches, enchanting. It almost sounded fake. I put our bags in the car and brought E over to see if we could spot it. Nope. As I strapped her into her car seat, I told her that I would look again and describe it to her if I found it. As I approached my side of the car I did see it, small like a sparrow and gray with black spots and a pink belly. As I climbed in this is the conversation that ensued:

me "I did see it, it's gray and black with a pink belly, and it's just singing away!"
E "Oh, because she found her mama!"
me "Oh, that's a nice thought, I guess I like to sing when I see my mama too"
E "Yeah"
me "Do you remember who my mama and daddy are?"
E thinking for a bit "Who are they?"
me "Gram and Papa, right? and who are Daddy's mama and daddy?"
E "Who are those guys?"
me "Grandma and Grandpa."
E "Oh, I love all those guys!"

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I LOVE Summer

I have been in Summer mode lately, partly because of the recent weather swing here, and partly in preparation for the trip E and I are taking later this week. We're gonna hop on a plane to Phoenix to visit D's family for a week in the heat. It's supposed to reach 103 on Friday! That's a little too intense for me, but I'll revel in it, and dip my toes in their backyard pool. Here's my anticipatory list for this coming Summer, now if I could just find those sunglasses...


it's light out until 10pm
homemade popsicle's
children smell like sunscreen
tomato's from the garden
cookouts on the BBQ
the garden looks great
walking in my bare feet
the school buses aren't rumbling past my house all day
walks after dinner
outdoor markets
the beach
open windows
Green Lake wadding pool
drying clothes outside on the line
the tv's hardly on
vacations with friends & family
no heating bill
my feet are warm when i get in bed at night
boat rides
ice tea & sangria


hot seat belt buckles
stubbed toes
skimpier clothes = more of your body showing
bee's dive-bombing your BBQ

Monday, May 7, 2007

Spring has Sprung

We finally had this amazingly beautiful and warm day. E and I spent the morning at the zoo. Our original plan was to visit a friend in Poulsbo, but after waiting in the ferry line for an extensive and unusually long time we were informed that there was a bomb threat and they were shutting down for a while. The zoo was uncrowded, and all the animals were out, perfect!

Later, while E napped I was able to get my tomato plants in the garden, and various areas weeded. This evening I invited my parents over to christen the BBQ for the summer with burgers, it was nice.

And, now as I write this at 8:30pm my neighbor is mowing his lawn and the aroma of freshly cut grass is wafting in through my open windows. The warmer weather has finally reached the Northwest, and these days do not go unnoticed. They are relished. I take mental pictures of these long sunny days, and store them up for the winter. When there's only 6 hours of daylight in Winter, we have only 6 hours of darkness in Summer. It is simply heaven to be out in my yard watering the thirsty plants at 10pm and it's barely hit twilight.

Sunday, May 6, 2007


I've been busy this weekend. On Friday I picked up two of E's friends from school so they could spend the weekend with us while their parents flew to a wedding in Chicago. Thankfully the weather looked promising, and I had a few activities planned to keep us going. These kids are like family, so we all know what to expect with one another. They do a great job looking out for E, and she adores them.

I had each of the kids make their own pizza for dinner, hit the park, and we did popcorn and a movie before bed. On the way home from the playground E and I taught the kids our animal guessing game. "I'm thinking of an animal that..." This entertained them for the entirety of every car ride, and gave me some time to zone (or plan my next move).

My E

My August

My Hazel

In the morning I made pancakes, and hit the coffee shop for some caffeine for me and hot cocoa for the troupe. Our local outdoor market was having their first opening of the season so we perused the veggies, and wares before loading back into van for August's baseball game. What a great time, the girls busied themselves with pens, paper, books and dolls and I made an idiot out of myself cheering and whooping it up for our little guy! He did great, and I was so proud!


A little soft shoe


After the game we made grilled cheese and soup for lunch and then it was quiet time. For everyone. E napped, August played his video game thingy, Hazel did art project after art project, and I cleaned the house. After dinner we hit the playground again and went out for ice cream. August was a little disappointed when I told him I didn't have all the ingredients for decorating cookies, but he chose cookie dough ice cream, and I think it sufficed nicely.

The kids woke up the next morning to warm scones, and then we were off to church. From there I dropped them off at their house and reinforcements were waiting to relieve me. We said our good-byes, and then E and I drove home. Immediately E said, "Mommy, now you can play the animal guess game again, what animal are you thinking of?"

It seemed like a pretty quick visit while they were here, but when I got home I crashed on the couch. I have a whole new respect for mom's that juggle more than one kid, their emotions, quirks, eating habits, bathroom habits, sleeping habits...such mental acrobatics!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Passing them On

So my parents are remodeling their kitchen this Spring and with that goes an enormous amount of work beforehand. Clearing out cupboards, weighing whether or not to keep dwindling amount of spices, chipped plates and napkins from their wedding. Before anything goes in the trash it passes a line of hierarchy among the children. My brother is inheriting some unused maple syrup, and I was offered canning jars. I also timidly accepted a huge pile of aluminium cookie cutters. The ones I used at my grandmothers at Christmastime, the ones I used for play dough growing up. These are treasures to me. As I sifted through them, I became truly nostalgic. My mind was buzzing with the those memories. I remembered holding them in my flour-covered fingers, and carefully decorating each cookie with colored sugar and chocolate chips. They likely go back to when my mom was young, and it prompts me to wonder how much further they'll travel along my family line.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

She's No Sleeping Beauty

So when E arrived Dave and I decided that we wouldn't be the type of family that had the "Family Bed." No judgments on those that do, it works for a lot of families. I just knew I valued my sleep far too much to add a little whimpering bundle to the mix, and I wanted to eliminate any future sleep issues that come along with transferring toddlers into their own bed in their own room. This all holds true today, I am glad that we did what we did, E has had very few sleep issues, was sleeping 8-10 hour stretches at 7 months. And she's a great sleeper still, the kid sleeps well in hotels, friend's houses, and airplanes.

But, when Dave is out of town and the house is making noises I swear aren't there when he's around, I selfishly want her warm little body next to mine. I've tried this a few times. She jumps at the chance to have a slumber party with Mama. We read books, sing songs, the same whole routine. Then I turn out the lights, tell her I love her and that I'll be in after I clean up. If she lasts 20 minutes I'm lucky. Usually she's ducking into the office where I'm catching up on e-mails asking for water or to use the potty. She can't hardly relax. If on the off chance she does nod off, I am plagued with kicking feet, mumbling, and sideways sleeping. By about 2am I scoop her up, lumber into her room, pull her covers up around her, and fling myself into bed alone, and relieved. I wake up sleep deprived of course, so determined that I won't ever do it again, and searching for the nearest coffee mug. I usually end up napping on these afternoons, barely able to hold my eyes open, repeating over and over "What was I thinking, what was I thinking?" But then the sun sets and the house settling gets my mind racing again and there's no other comfort I can think of, and we begin the ridiculous game all over again.

Maybe we need a dog?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Oregon Trip

I needed a little bit of a break so we drove down to Portland, OR early Sunday morning to get away. We love this town, it is full of great places to eat. We love eating. It's also home to the top local coffee roasting company, Stumptown. Upon arrival we drove directly to Elephant Delicatessen, my favorite Portland eatery. We filled our basket with yummy grilled sandwiches, salads, soups, juices and cookies, then went to their patio and feasted like kings in the sunshine! After we checked in to our swanky hotel (that I found for $50, on Priceline!) and dropped our stuff off, we made a beeline for the coffee shop.

We then bought passes for the MAX (bus/train/tram thing) to go to the Portland Zoo. Our year passes for Woodland Park Zoo got us in free!In train tunnelBlack BearsHippoElephants

The weather was beautiful, but we were exhausted (especially D who came down with a bad cold that morning). We went back to the hotel, took short naps, ate some dinner and went out for an evening walk in the city.


The next morning we hit our favorite breakfast place (did I tell you we love to eat in Portland?) the J& M for some eggs and waffles, and then we were off for our next adventure.

Hot cocoa

We hit the road! Our original plan was to visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory, located about 1 1/2 hours out of town, but after a while driving I realized that we had left Bear (E's sleeping buddy) all tangled up in the bedding back at the hotel, so we had to turn around and rescue him. This left us with too little time, and our next destination was calling! Off to Canon Beach!

kite flyingdiggingphoto op's

and, don't even think about touching her ice cream!

It was a great little trip, one of my favorites to date!