Thursday, June 26, 2008

In No Apparent Order

That is the title of today's post, and also a good descriptor of my house at present. I'd almost forgotten about this stage, In Which Little Boys Become Very Busy. Matteas will NOT HOLD STILL. He cannot rest until he has unloaded every shelf, climbed every chair, picked every crusty treasure off the floor, and literally swept the floor with his own body. He's got a lot on his plate right now, what with all this Discovering of the World Around stuff. Don't think he can't get any cuter. If you do, he will suddenly do something that exceeds the known possible limits of human cuteness and your head, not being prepared, will explode. We spent the weekend in Sequim with our good friends Albert and Anna, and our kids all had a blast. Matteas was a little bummed that I wouldn't turn him loose on the beach, but after his last sand diarrhea episode I was determined not to subject his gut to such torture again. He didn't seem to really mind though, being mostly content to have the house to himself while the kids played outside or to ride around in the backpack with Dad.
Elizabeth takes her comic reading very seriously. We made a few visits to this coffee shop over the weekend; they had divine espresso.
The first morning there, the guys lost no time in acquainting themselves with the hot tub. Mind you, it's 9:30 in the morning. It's never too early for Corona as long as you're on vacation.
Our first dinner we had grilled salmon, baked red potatoes and Greek salad.
On the way home we visited nearby Dungeness Valley Creamery, where Albert and Anna buy their raw milk. It's a small enough operation that when people drop by unannounced they are allowed to walk around unescorted to say hello to the cows. Matteas LOVED the babies and really wanted to get into the pen with them. We had to physically restrain him, as his enthusiasm knew no bounds. I think he felt a connection with the calves; small, fuzzy, large brown eyes, lovers of milk, pitiful when hungry.
This is why my house is never clean; I get one job done and the second I turn my back, someone undoes it for me. That, and cocktail hour.
Speaking of cocktail hour, I found these cool wine goblets at an antique store in Sequim. We are perpetually breaking our wine glasses and have never been able to keep a matched set, so when I saw these cool sturdy blue ones I snatched them up. Aaron isn't wild about them because he thinks they look dated, but I told him to move away from dark wood paneling and towards crisp white table linens and big bouquets of hydrangeas.
One night last week it was WAY too hot to eat inside; our house has little to no insulation, so on a warm day it is easily ten degrees hotter inside by the end of the day than it is outside. I made some margaritaville flank steak(Celebrate the Rain), corn on the cob and a salad of mixed greens, strawberries, blue cheese and balsamic caramel. Damien and Aaron carried our old coffee table outside and laid out pillows and blankets. Jack sounded the Feasting Horn, and it was a good time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Tease

You know it's been a good day when your feet look like this at bath time. Monday was beautiful and sunny, so Briana and I met at the beach. It was actually pretty relaxing, sitting on our blanket while the kids played mostly without incident. Jack and Pippin went head-to-head every now and then, but their clashes were easily resolved.
Jack is doing Kateri's hair. He carefully picked a bunch of leaves and wove them into her critter mane. She looked like a little hippie.
A cooperative moment.
Our place in the sun.
Father's Day. Grandpa Tom, his first born and two grandsons.
Grandpa Tom can't have dairy which makes dessert options pretty limited, but I wanted to make him something special for Father's Day so I made this "fruit cake." I cut rings of watermelon to match rings of pineapple and stacked them together, layered sliced kiwi and strawberries on top then staked the whole thing with toothpicks.
Cutest kid in the whole freakin' world.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Onto More Beautiful Things...

This was one of the most amazing meals I've had in a while. Kayleigh, Alex and I made dinner together Thursday night and it was like a page out of a Williams-Sonoma catalog. Al made this amazing baked pasta dish with chicken sausage and smoked gouda cheese; my contribution was a mixed greens salad with strawberries, apples, red onion, pistachios and goat cheese with a balsamic caramel dressing. The bread was store-bought, but it tasted like it had just come out of the oven. The wine was free-flowing. I laughed until I cried at least three times. I love that we have totally different lives and we don't see each other for six months at a time, but whenever the three of us get together it's as if no time has passed. Good times.

The Real Deal

The other day I was having a hard time, so I took some pictures of the cuter parts of my life to put on my blog. Then Jack took this picture of Matteas and I and I made a different plan; here is what my life looks like when things aren't going well, with no makeup or hairbrush to spruce things up. Jack loves to cook with me, but doesn't always follow directions well. I try to let him participate as much as possible without menacing the outcome of the project, but on this particular morning he was not in the mood to listen. He added too much flour at once and then turned the mixer on too high. It freaked him out. I'm not sure he'll want to make banana bread together for a while. The banana bread fall-out and last night's dinner dishes, which I did not do. I used to have trouble going to bed with dishes in the sink because I HATE waking up to a dirty sink, but I have been falling really behind on the kitchen these days. Matteas has gotten really clingy with all his teething, and now most evenings I'd rather read or watch a mindless movie at the end of day. Just two days before, this entryway was spotless. I moved everything out of it and vacuumed underneath and behind stuff, organized all the shoes, then hand-scrubbed the stairs up and down. 48 hours later, it looked like this. Almost a year after moving in, we're finally remodeling the master bedroom. We've never slept in it, but we did use it for miscellaneous storage. Which is now all sitting in my living room. I'm not sure what the fate of these boxes will be now; truthfully, it's stuff we've been able to live without for almost a year, so keeping it seems pointless. On the other hand, I'm so not motivated lately. This is where I blog. The only thing missing from this picture is a pair of wiggly boys crawling around under the desk doing irritating things to my legs and feet. There were a few bright spots that day. Jack and Matteas spent a good 15 minutes wrestling the vacuum cleaner hose. The rest of the week went better than that day, but I thought an unedited photo shoot of domestic life would be an interesting change of pace. Plus if anyone drops by unexpectedly, they won't be shocked at the state of my house.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Guess Who?

When Aaron gave me a new digital camera for Christmas, I gave Jack our old one. He loves taking pictures, and occasionally he can't wait to find his own camera so he borrows mine. I didn't know about the plant pictures until I was uploading pictures of my own, but I love that you can see his little brown shoes peeking out at the bottom of every frame. It's been really interesting to look at his pictures and realize what captures him. His camera has a different memory card and I have to track down the card reader to get pictures off of it, but sometime I'll put up another post of Jack pictures. He also likes taking pictures of his Mom, and I included one of a good hair day :) They don't happen very often, but now there's proof of at least one.

Holy Canoodle It's June

Jack is surprisingly good at soccer. I say surprisingly because, well, have you ever seen the kid run? His run is almost totally normal now, but he used to look like a dog standing on its hind legs when he ran. It was most unnatural. We often marveled that he got around at all that way, and had concerns that he had inherited his mother's lack of physical coordination. To our relief, he seems quite athletic. Getting his pants on frontwards? Not so much. He prefers being barefoot like his Grandma Julie. My mom went everywhere barefoot until my Dad told her she had to start wearing shoes at places like the post office. Matteas is a major outdoors boy. He doesn't care what we do out there, he just wants to go out. He can roll and army crawl well enough to get anywhere he wants to go, but if you put him outside and sit him in the grass he won't move. He'll sit there for as long as you let him, watching the world around him, eating grass, gagging on grass, finding more grass to eat...he's a great kid for gardening because he'll just sit there and watch me. He has a meditative little soul, I think. Jack reminded me to close the gate to our backyard the other day, "so the armadillos can't get in." Apparently he thought they looked menacing.