Thursday, April 30, 2009

And I Helped!

My friend, Jaimey and I are similar in many ways, one of which is our shared love for all things remotely "creative hobby" like. We've both been playing around with cakes and fondant recently and have been looking for an opportunity to pool our investigations into this mode of cake decoration. She had a birthday cake to make for this weekend, so I went a-runnin' (well...a drivin') on over this morning to help with the fondant. I had to leave before the cake was covered, but I got to mix up a batch of marshmallow fondant (with strawberry marshmallows!) and roll and cut and shape fondant flowers, circles, leaves and stripes.

Here's what Jaimey, the cake genius did with all that fondant after I left!

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

And please, when putting your child in a shopping bag, don't use a plastic bag from the store. Re-usable is the way to go!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm the Dumbo Here

Jimmy has waxy, waxy ears. So, I've taught him to hold very still while I gently clean around the outside of the openings in his ears with a q-tip. Last night, as I was mopping out said wax, Jimmy moved his head suddenly, and the head of the q-tip went into his ear, causing him to shriek and then cry for a couple of minutes. He stopped crying after awhile, let go of me a few minutes later, and I checked his ear, finding no blood or signs of trauma, and he seemed able to hear okay, so we went ahead with bedtime. I checked him a couple of times in the night, but he slept perfectly, and I thought the whole thing was over. We had a fantastic morning and early afternoon. J was in a sweet and jolly mood, and we laughed and played and chattered like normal. When I went to put him down for his nap though, I noticed some blood on the sleeve of his shirt. Never good. I checked him over for cuts and scratches, then thought to check his ear. Bingo. Quite a bit of blood.

If, perhaps, you were to say that I panicked a little, you'd be correct.

I was going to throw the boy in the car and peel out for the Emergency Room. I mean - there was blood...coming out of my child's EAR. I called the pediatrician's office first though, and they said to bring him in for a quick check in a couple of hours. He slept for an hour, then we went in and saw the doctor.

Who said...

...that his eardrum didn't look damaged, and that the scratch in his ear didn't look like something from the night before, but more like something fresh that he might have done today, sticking his fingernail or something else into his ear. That seems kind of coincidental, but maybe his ear was a little sore or felt weird from the q-tip, and he went digging around in there. I don't know. When I cleaned some of the blood away, I did see a scratch a little ways into his ear canal, and I seriously doubt it was made by cotton.

Nevertheless, the guilt.

Before having a child, someone should have warned me about the guilt. I'd have had him anyway, of course, but perhaps forewarned might have been somewhat more forearmed. I could have steeled myself somehow. Taken a class in "How To Not Care When Your Child's Ear Is Bleeding And It Might Be Your Fault"...or something.

His ear doesn't seem to be hurting him, and he's fast asleep as I write this, so I think he'll be okay. I'm sure it's just one of many minor heart attacks I'll have over him, sweet little dickens that he is.

On another, completely unrelated topic, does anyone else think this season of American Idol is junk? Not so great.

Obviously, I need to go night-night. I'm out!

Sleepy Guys

Jimmy didn't nap as long as he normally does yesterday, so he tuckered out earlier in the evening. He was watching "Sponge Bob" with his daddy, and this is what I saw when I walked in to join them.

Naps are important in this house.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Downtown FG

I love our little town. My car needed an oil change, so Jimmy and I took it to our mechanic today (cheaper and closer than Jiffy Lube - plus, "Jim's Automotive" has a much manlier ring to it, don't you think?) I knew ahead of time it'd take about an hour, so once we'd checked in and given the young'un at the front desk (who was probably just my brother's age, but still...I felt old.) the keys, Jimmy and I went strolling with him in the stroller - defying my stupid back to spasm some more.

We walked the seven or so blocks down to the library, where J got to play in the kiddo section for a little bit while I found some books for him (no photos, as there were other kids there, and I would be creeped out if some stranger was taking pics with my child in's a paranoid world we live in, isn't it?). I got some books too. I have to read before I can sleep at night. It focuses my mind down to one thing, which keeps me from lying awake, thinking of everything at once. I read until I'm just about to pass out and drop my book, then I quickly take off my glasses, turn off the light and hope for the best. :)

Just outside the library is Pacific Avenue, which is a continuation of Highway 8. It's how most people enter our town, and it's a lovely thoroughfare, especially at this time of year when these babies are in bloom.

The last of the magnolia blooms on the HUUUUUGE tree in the little courtyard off the library.

I have an inexplicable fondness for this sculpture, which is also in the aforementioned courtyard. Isn't he cool?

After the library, we cruised over to Maggie's Buns, this weird little place we like to go eat sometimes. It was lunch time, so I bought half of a roast beef sandwich for J and I to split (he took one pea-sized bite, then turned up his teeny tiny little nose at the rest. Brat. :) ) and some cranberry juice, which he insisted I help him drink right out of the bottle. Nevermind that he watched me pour some into his sippy cup. He loves new experiences, that kid. He did agree to eat a tiny part of the peach muffin top I bought him. Sigh.

Right after we had exited Maggie's, the mechanic's shop called and said they were done with my car, so we boogied back over.

You see so many things when you're walking that you don't see when zipping by in a car. I love stuff like this - it always makes me wonder about the stories and the people and the years, whether there are any, or not.

I love our little town!

PS. I don't really think Jimmy's a brat. :)

Loooovin' Yoooou....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Miracles Do Happen

This wrap contains chicken, black beans, AND corn - AND CORN!!! And he ate it!! I nearly cried with relief. No, not really, but it was pretty cool.

Oh, NO!!

Jimmy was playing happily this morning, talking and chuckling to himself, when I suddenly heard, "Oh no. Oh no. Oh NO!" followed by little feet running to me.

The poor child was cursed with my toenails. They curl up at the ends - murder on socks. Unfortunately, he hates having them clipped and wiggles like a maniac, so it gets procrastinated. I guess we put it off for a little too long this time!! He held up his foot and begged me to "fix it", but alas...I think this one is beyond help.


The weather here snapped from gorgeous to chilly over the course of kiddo's nap yesterday.

The J-bird was not amused.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Did You Ever Know That You're My Heeeeroooo?

I believe I have established that I hate the smell of Play-Doh. Jimmy is fascinated with the stuff though and adores mushing it whenever allowed. Because he knows I have to strictly manage my gag reflex within smelling distance of Play-Doh, James took on mushing duty the other day.

Making some "hair".

He claims to love it, but I don't know...James isn't looking like he's sniffing petunias here.

Jimmy:"Look, Daddy! My finger goes right through this hole!"
James: "Yes, yes son. Daddy's busy making some more hair.

"Oh, crack me up."

"And then, I thought it'd be a great idea to EAT the Play-Doh, but Mama said usual *sigh*. She just doesn't get us guys. Right, Daddy?"

Fraaaaahd Ravioli

There's this restaurant in my home town called the Mad Greek, which is one of my favorite places in all the earth to eat. I don't go there for the Greek food, though that's really good. I go for the Italian. Since I was a kid, my very favorite thing to get there is the fried ravioli. Come's ravioli...and it's fried. Since the Mad Greek is hundreds and hundreds of miles away from where I currently reside, I started making the ravioli myself, learning in the process that it is shockingly, appallingly easy to make. Now, I can't order it there anymore, as I try to get things in restaurants that I can't or won't make at home. It IS messy though.

I start with store bought ravioli. These are chicken and cheese. You can make them yourself, and you will be a much better and more industrious cook than I.

You need some flour.

Some beaten egg with a little water added.

And some bread crumbs. I put some dry stuffing mix in the food processor. That stuff is great for breading.

I set these three things up in order, so I can go one to the other and attempt to minimize the HUMONGOUS mess.

Some very hot oil.

And a place to put the very hot raviolis when they come out of the oil. I like a cooling rack on a cookie sheet with a paper towel underneath.

Dredge the ravioli in the flour

...then the egg...

...then the crumbs.

Don't put them in the oil as you go. These suckers cook fast. Instead, bread several, reserving them on a plate, and then...

...slide them all into the oil at once. DON'T WALK AWAY. Watch close, and scoop them out before they burn. Mine float when they're done, which takes about two minutes.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Add the sauce of your choice.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Little Behind On My Housework

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I spent most of last week working on stuff for James's birthday yesterday, so...I'm a little behind. Like buried- in- laundry, ucky- cups- sitting- out- everywhere, wet- diapers- not- in- the- diaper- pail behind. Blech. Onward to cleanliness!


There's this amazing consignment sale twice a year here, called the Pass It On sale. It's all children's clothing, equipment, etc... and some gently used maternity stuff from TONS of different consignors. Seriously - anything you could want for a little person, you could find at this sale for some kind of smokin' deal. My friend, Wendee and I went on the first day and got there right at opening. Let me just say, it was a ZOO. It was in a nice, big building, but even so, when you pack that many people into any space, those among us with some claustrophobia start to feel a little itchy. Wendee was shopping for little girl things, and I have a strapping big boy, so we split up. I got in line to pay after about 40 minutes of shopping.

See the line of people ? It goes all along the right side of the photo to the wall, then turns left. After that, it wound around again. This was the front HALF of the line to pay. Wendee and I were communicating via cell phone, and I called her when I got in line, in case she wanted to join me. She was still shopping, so Jimmy and I waited it out - for almost an hour, paid for our stuff (AWESOME stuff for seriously great prices.) , loaded it all into the car, then went back in to find her. She had just gotten in line at that point, a line which had grown dramatically in size. After we left, she waited for something like an hour and a half to pay. Wild.

Is it worth it, you ask? me, it is. I got kid dishes and toddler clothing and books and a wooden puzzle, a little chair, some shoes, some rain boots, some maternity much stuff, and all for less than $100. There's nowhere else around here I could've done that - not even Goodwill, and please believe, I've tried. I don't know if it's all those years of watching Scrooge McDuck with my brother, but I hate paying full price for anything. It's a disease.

Speaking of old Uncle Scrooge though, don't you think that swimming in a giant vat of coins would actually be really painful?

Yes, I realize it was a cartoon.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Share and Share Alike

You know how sometimes, you just click with a group of people? Not CLIQUE, just works and is easy? Almost like family, but different, because you've all chosen each other. Anyway, we have that with these two couples, the D'elias and the Schultzes. We started calling them the "Oregon Family" at some point, which got shortened to "the O.F.", which stuck. James's main birthday wish this year was to have the O.F. come over for the day - a wish they fulfilled for him this last Saturday.

Matt D's birthday is three days after J's, and we learned that he was not having a party this year, so we decided to surprise him and make it his party too :)

The lovely ladies of the O.F. - Kimberly ('Berly) and the incomparable Traci.

Matt's gift - we all went in together (why there's not a giant stack).

He liked it!

Jeremy and James, soaking up the gorgeous weather.

Giant chocolate birthday cake from Papa Haydn's in Portland.

Gluten free, dairy free, egg free brownies for the members of the O.F. with some food allergies. What a fun opportunity to use my new DeMarle silicon bundt mold! The brownies were from a mix I found in the health food aisle at Fred Meyer and were actually pretty tasty!

Jimmy enjoyed the cake and felt that his father should enjoy it too - through the forehead.

After our afternoon of chatter and fun supper (pizza, hot wings and spinach salad, not to mention the humongous cake and some cocktails), some more chatter and Jimmy heading off to bed, we adjourned to the TV room to play some Wii. We just got this funny game called "Raving Rabbids" that uses the Wii Fit - it was so fun!

James, steering with his rear end.

Matt and Jeremy, enjoying the show.

Traci and James, having a dance off. This was prior to James and 'Berly's dance-off in which my husband broke into an 1840's prospector dance, complete with accent.

'Berly. She can dance - off all day, EVERY day.

Matt, doin' the birthday shuffle.

We love these folks. They never hesitate to come together and make one of our number feel loved and special. Spending time with them is as easy as breathing - well, breathing in great gasps between huge gales of laughter. We love you, O.F.!!