Saturday, March 29, 2008


I really, really like this picture of Aaron;I think Matteas might have been working on a poop, but he's still so cute.

Easter on Whidbey

We spent Easter weekend with my Aunt Shonagh and Uncle KC at their beach cabin on Whidbey Island, and we had a great time. Matteas enjoyed his very first chicken bone.
Jack was very pleased with his Easter basket.
He excelled in the egg hunt, a concept which was lost on him last year.
We had some crazy weather...
and took some crazy beach walks...
We also had some lovely weather.
This is my new sign. The old one was looking a little tired.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Nordstrom's, Shoes and Makeup

The other day I was cleaning the kitchen and Aaron was working on the laptop when suddenly he announced: "I think you should buy yourself an expensive pair of shoes." Not being an idiot, I stayed calm and said, "Okay." Aaron has rarely commented on my shoes, and I have rarely bought any. The last two pairs of shoes I bought were running shoes, and I recently threw away a pair I bought about six years ago for $5 from Payless. The little re shoes below were $8, also from Payless, also six years old. Last summer I splurged and bought a $20 pair of reef sandals. As a wife I have many flaws, but spending too much money on shoes isn't one of them. So feeling quite giddy, I went to Nordstrom and tried on whatever I wanted. Unfortunately they didn't have my size or the color I wanted in the shoe I wanted, so I ordered them online and they arrived today. I've always gravitated towards chunkier(some would say unfeminine) shoes, but I'm quite in love with my red Mary Jane's. Tragically I ordered one size too small, so I called customer service where I spoke with an extremely competent woman who had a new pair on their way to me in about 90 seconds. While I was out shoe shopping I decided to invest in some big girl makeup. A few weeks ago Jack got into my meager makeup bag and emptied most of the contents which, like my shoes, were about six years old. And from Bartel's. I've never actually purchased makeup from a department store, so I had a good time letting a very pretty gay boy show me different creams and lipsticks. I realized after I got home why I don't wear makeup; I picked up Matteas to kiss him hello and he promptly latched onto my face and gave my chin a good slobbering. Also, I'm allergic to mascara which is some of the funnest makeup to wear anyway. I can get away with wearing it once or twice a year, but it makes my eyes itch after an hour or two. I decided to focus on skin care rather than makeup and bought some really delicious moisturizer, then got a bunch of makeup for free in a cute little polka-dot bag. It was a very girly day for me, but I think I've inherited my mother's aversion to makeup. My daily cosmetic routine consists of applying Cetaphil moisturizer to my face and clear Neutrogena chapstick. Not lip gloss, just chaptsick. I kiss my babies too often to put any pigment on my lips, but my cute little makeup kit will be fun to play with when I have a big date with a handsome contractor :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How I Do Taxes

Nannying being my only career, I've never bothered paying taxes. So every year when tax season roles around, Aaron gets a little stressed and I have no clue what's going on. One of my fears if Aaron ever died(besides losing my husband, my best friend and the father of my children) is that I'd have to figure out how to pay taxes on my own. So Monday night when Aaron asked me to help him with the taxes I did: I made cocktails. I figured we should each focus on our individual specialties. In years past I've assisted with the actual tax paying process by sorting Aaron's files and receipts and doing a lot of adding, activities that Matteas was not terribly excited about letting me do this year. At 12:30 a.m. Matteas decided he wanted to be awake to keep Dad company, so we came out to the kitchen and found Aaron still hard at work over the taxes. I expressed my appreciation and support by making some fabulous buttermilk pancakes from scratch. It was a recipe I've never tried before and they were(to blatantly toot my own horn) fabulous. They were incredibly fluffy but still had a nice chewiness to them, and the tang of the buttermilk was a perfect complement to the dark coffee notes in the real maple syrup. I have recently discovered to my shock that I am a complete sucker for a beautiful package. Actually, that's partially a lie; I've always known that about myself, I've just been indulging it a lot lately. But QFC keeps having sales on Celestial Seasonings, so thus far it's a fairly economical addiction. And I really do drink the tea, I don't just buy it and let it sit there. I drink so much tea that I've had to expand my caffeine-free selection so I'm not tweaking out by the end of the day. Plus Jack really likes to have tea parties together, and the boy does not need stimulants.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Used to Have Good Hair...

This was my Grandpa Ken's last Christmas. It was Christmas Eve dinner at my parents' house and I'd been feeling really nauseated all day and I couldn't figure out why; we'd had some wine with Albert and Anna the night before, but not ridiculous amounts so I didn't think it was a hangover. It came and went and at one point I went into the bathroom to throw up but nothing came out. Our car was broken so we had to take Aaron's work van down to my parents' house, and since it only has one seat in it Jack got the seat and I had to sit on a bucket in the back. There was a lot of rocking and I couldn't see out the windshield, and several times I thought I was going to barf into Aaron's toolbox. I didn't, and once we got to my Mom and Dad's and I had some food I felt much better. As it turns out, I was about five days pregnant with Matteas. Also, my hair looked really good. I'm okay with my short hair for now because it's doing what I wanted it to, mainly not getting pulled by Matteas ALL THE TIME. A lot of it also fell out after he was born and now I have lots of short fuzzy new growth coming in, and the shorter layers camouflage it better than my long hair did. Aaron is pretty sad about the loss though, so I'll probably grow it out again.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It's a Girl!

So it's not all bad; at least if I style it a little I don't look like a gay boy designer.

Gene Juarez What?

So, yeah. I know he's going to be famous and everything, but I'm thinking that he's not the celebrity who's hairstyle I want. This picture should prove how devoted I am to sharing the reality of my life and not just the edited-and-airbrushed portion; it doesn't help that I have horrible bed-head, but as soon as I saw my haircut I immediately thought of Christian Siriano. I don't think he'd be pleased. For my next post, I will try to look like a girl.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Before and After

Birthday, in Reverse

March 7th was Jack's 3rd birthday, but we waited until last night to have his party. We decided to keep it mellow and just invite Grandma and Grandpa, Tristan, Conrad and Damien. I am now a firm believer that it is just crazy to invite young children to a young child's birthday party; Jack was so wound up that I cannot imagine the chaos had other kids been here. I think he's too easily stimulated to have birthday sugar, presents AND other kids all at once. Divide and conquer...
Jack experienced great difficulty trying to eat his cake. He was too impatient to use his fork, so this happened a lot.
I asked Jack what kind of cake he wanted Mama to make him for his birthday. He said "a round circle with chocolate and panilla(vanilla) ice cream and a cherry on top." I think I delivered pretty well. He did not specify that he wanted chocolate ganache on top, but I figured it was implied.
I've wanted to get a little stove for Jack for a while. His cousin Charlotte has a really beautiful wooden one that was pretty pricey, so we'd been checking craigslist and trying to find something reasonably priced that wasn't pink and purple plastic. I was pretty thrilled when my sister Moira called and said she'd seen a little wooden stove in the donation pile of her thrift store, and that she'd make an offer on it for me if I wanted. Here's the beauty of sisters: there are very few people I'd feel comfortable sending off to buy me something sight unseen for an unspecified price, but Moira has lovely taste and a killer's instinct when it comes to bargaining. We agreed that she'd try to get the stove for under $15, and she called me later to tell me she'd gotten it for $4. It was in really nice condition but very plain, so I painted all the handles silver and added the back-splash. I also added a little row of hooks on the other side that I painted to match, and found the accessories at Target. At which point I also found a really cute kitchen made of wood and painted blue and red complete with an oven and a fridge, but it was $100. Which is a lot more than $4, and it was not made with as much love as this one.
The look of surprise on his face is totally fake. We bought this back in December during after-Christmas sales after reading dozens of rave reviews on Amazon. We meant to save it for his birthday and "hid" it in the garage, but one day while play outside Jack came marching up the driveway announcing happily, "Look Mom, I found my Noah's Ark!" He was devastated when we told him he'd have to wait. It's a really great little Ark, the animals are really cute and incredibly sturdy. Which is good for them, because I have a feeling they're going to take some abuse.
This was perhaps the best moment of the whole evening, which we sadly did not capture on video. Jack's favorite movie is "Cars," and for Christmas Aaron and Conrad both got him several of the cars from the movie. He did not get Sheriff or Luigi for Christmas, so Conrad very thoughtfully got them for his birthday. I've never seen Jack tremble like that before. He opened the bag, removed the tissue paper and shreiked "It's Sherf and Uigi!!!" with a quiver in his voice. He was positively vibrating, and couldn't even speak properly.
Before all the presents and cake mayhem, we made sure to feed Jack a good dinner. We let him pick the menu, and he asked for steak. We also had Caesar salad which Jack informed me "I'm not really groovin' on, Mom." He did however, majorly groove on his steak, cucumbers and celery. I'm very proud of the fact that my son loves vegetables, and will actually have to be encouraged to eat the other things on his plate if he's given anything green and crunchy. He even loves broccoli. But he ain't no sissy vegetarian either; while he's eating broccoli he is a brontosaurus eating trees, but when it's steak time he becomes a T-Rex, efficiently devouring pieces of other, less-fierce dinosaurs. I have no tips or secret recipes for how to get your kids to eat vegetables, Jack just likes them. I'm sure it helps that Aaron and I eat a lot of vegetables and encourage Jack to try new things, but you just can't force a kid to love asparagus and green beans, you can only embrace it when they do.
We started the morning off with some special Birthday Dutch Babies. I asked Jack what he wanted for breakfast and he said "Baby stuff; you know, the yellow kind." I was a little puzzled for a while but figured it out after he clarified: "Duck babies, Mom!" All in all, it was a great birthday.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Two Weeks Later

Kind of whips your ovaries into a frenzy, doesn't she? Ambry and Mattea came over to visit today which was very intrepid of the brand new Mama, I thought. Mattea had a long wakeful period on the couch, very peaceful but super alert. She has the slantiest green kitty-cat eyes and makes the cutest little grunts and whimpers; apparently she is so loud when she eats that she often sends her dad out to the living room in pursuit of sleep. Ambry is a little disgusting, having gained a whopping 3 pounds from her pre-pregnancy weight. Oh well, she was so uncomfortable during her pregnancy that she deserves to be as comfortable as possible now.