Thursday, July 29, 2010

Off with my head ...


Sinus Migraines!!!!!

We have been struck with day after day after DAY of this horrible "pending rainstorm", blanket of humidity and hovering 100 degree weather.

I'm armed with neti pot (out damn snot), sinus migraine meds and a weary countenance. And two little balls of energy that try to make me push through the pain. So I just counted down the hours until Daddio came home. Sigh.
Tomorrow's weather -- more of the same. Meh!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Snapshot:

No Boys Allowed ...

Dig this, Daddy-O!

E's new phrase is "Craaaazy!" I'm trying to get him to add "man!" to it, then we can work on "dig it!". He's the littlest beatnik of the bunch.

Super A. is still working on her finger snaps, but we have the bongo drums and a mix of berets in the house. Just cue the stand up bass and let's get down, Daddy-O!

Speaking of beats .... some favorite inspiration

Dr Suess' & Friends "Hand, Hand, Finger, Thumb" book

Jack's Big Music Show Animal Jamboree game

Awesome little drums and thumb pianos from Africa from Ten Thousand Villages store

DIY shakers, drums and noisemakers from Kids Craft Weekly.

Attending the free weekend workshops and concerts at the National Museum of the American Indian in D.C. Kids love the dancing, costumes and drums.

An Indian Summer Showcase, a summer evening concert series outside on the Welcome Plaza, is presented twice a month from June through August on the 2nd and 4th Fridays at 5:30 p.m. The concert series features Native music from throughout the Americas.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Me! Me! Me!

One of the bonuses of moving to the Eastern Shore/Capital Beltway area is that my best bud makes a lot of business trips to the area. She is perfectly content to hang with the kids (who adore her) but I take the opportunity to hit the town with her to see a different side of Charm City. We moved here with kids so we've never gotten to explore it the way a singleton or DINK would.

This weekend - yummy food at Golden West Cafe, Roller Derby with the Charm City Roller Girls, shopping, laughs, sangria soaked dinner and a great show by Interpol.

I like getting in touch with the weekend ME of old - it's a refreshing recharge so I don't feel like the hamster in the wheel on these hot & sticky dog days of summer.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Skirting the issue

Dear random lady at the grocery store,

Thank you!!

Thank you for calling out to me. And then calling out to me AGAIN (when I ignored your first shout out of "Miss! Miss!"). Thank you for telling me that my skirt had become wedged UP MY ASS when exiting my car. Because it's a lovely layered boho skirt I had somehow not noticed. EEP!

Thank you for looking out for another gal!

And thank you to the lady at the Farmer's Market for telling me that I had a "cool look". Those are the kind of things that can just really make a gal's day. Week. Month.

This post brought to you today by random acts of kindness.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Snapshot:

Beating the heat at the Walters Art Museum

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Feeling Tarty

Tomato Tart

  • Pick some tomatoes from the garden (YUM)
  • Pick some basil, rosemary or other herb garden goodies
  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Drape pie crust over pie dish
  • Slice tomatoes thinly, layer the bottom of the dish with grated cheese (I use Trader Joe's Formaggio blend), lay the tomatoes in a overlapping circle, season & drizzle with olive oil, cut up basil/rosemary on top
  • Fold the edges of the crust over the outer edges of the tomatoes and crimp
  • Bake and enjoy a delicious summer harvest tart - mmmmmmmm

Monday, July 19, 2010

What goes up ... must come down

We have a plethora of building supplies around the house; various blocks sets, the legos and duplos, the magnetic builders, etc. The kiddos love, love, love building and work on it well together.

But soon enough, Super E. reaches the point where the structure has been standing long enough. HE.MUST.STOMP.

I've talked to A. about it so she doesn't get upset. I tell her how much she enjoyed doing the same when she was two. She is insanely patient with him and will usually laugh and tell him "good one" and start to rebuild. I truly don't believe I was as kind with my little brothers.

And when she has had enough she always asks me to tell her a tale of madcap hijinks of my life with not ONE but TWO little tagalong brothers.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Word, YO!

Super A. is on the adventure of learning to read and spell. She likes to write out her friends names or the characters in her favorite books. She'll go through each word and we sound out the letters and she will scribble each letter into one of the many notebooks she has around the house. She loves to sound words out herself. I love watching as she gets so excited with the process.

Both kids are at such an amazing age! E-man's vocabulary is exploding too and he's stringing lots of sentences together. It helps that he has a sister that chatters at him all day long. She also has a "word of the day" she likes to teach him.

Today's word: Boob. Umm ... really, kid? When I made a quizzical face she sighed deeply and said, "Alright, EYEBALL then".

I had to break it to her that he knows both those words well. One from nursing, one from poking me in the EYEBALL. Which reminds me -- E learned another word that day. Starts with an S -- ends with a HIT.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Flounder? Hedgehog? Elephant Man?

The kids and I like to have fun with food. And what could be more fun than pancake shapes?

I've been branching out and attempting some images outside of my usual repertoire of shapes and letters. One of the shows that escapes my media blockade is Max & Ruby (yeah, don't go there, haters).

So, I attempt to make a simple bunny face. I struggle with the outline but it's somewhat discernible.

I think.


Super A : "What is that, Mom?"
Me : "Guess."
Super A : "Hmmm ... is it a flounder?"
Me (squinting): "Nooooooo"
Super A : "A hedgehog?"
Me (mumbling to myself): "It's the Elephant Man"
Super A (with super ears ): "Oooooh, yes. It's an Elephant Man. It's a really good one, mom!"

Gotta love both the munchkins. They cheer me on and tell me what a good job I'm doing even when I'm not.

Good thing they don't know this man exists: Jim's Pancakes

Thursday, July 15, 2010


You know how you can have a really great friend, with so much in common, and you love talking with them - and do, regularly - but then you lose touch with that good friend for months and months because life gets in the way and you feel like you just don't have a minute to dedicate to catching up or commiserating or asking for or offering help but you miss them and think of them often and would really like to talk with them again and you know you just need to set aside some time to catch up because it's so important but so much time has gone by and you start to feel really awkward about picking up the phone or sending an email because all that time has passed so you think about it and think about it and wonder how you would start the conversation after so much time has gone by?

Do you? Yeah, me too.

And then a phone call makes it all better. Thanks, TB!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Snapshot:

My Garden in July

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Come Join the Fiesta ...

So, those that know me or have peeked into the corners of my kitchen will know that I have an obscene amount of Fiestaware. But I haven't fed my passion for several years -- FIVE to be exact!!

For my birthday one year, Sean drove me to the factory grounds of Fiestaware (Homer Laughlin in Newell, West Va). It was maybe less than an hour or so from home. A small blip of a town where the ivy covered factory sits atop a cliff overlooking a river. People from all over the US drive in for their annual warehouse sales (now tent sales) to pay 70-80% off retail in some cases. I returned to the sale time after time, twice a year.

I had never before purchased Fiestaware - the prices were always too much for my post-college budget. I was hooked. I took different groups of friends to obsessively fill up the allowed three milk crates full of goodies. We worked in teams to find the items most coveted and celebrated heartily afterwards. They too became junkies. The savings were addictive, the dishes were gorgeous.

So, it's been years since I've bought a new item. The prices did rise slowly up. The plates (those gorgeous plates) that I bought for a quarter rose up to a dollar (still around $7-$10 each in a store).

I missed this year's sale despite making tentative plans to attend it with a friend. But Geetar Dad turned to me today and said, "Hey, you haven't been to the sale in a while, you should go". After double checking that he wasn't saying that because he broke a favorite platter - I decided I should look at the fall dates for the sale.

Color me dorky. But color me in the new lovely Paprika shade.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rain Check

So, no pool today after all. We're taking a rain check, quite literally, but you won't hear me complaining, because it's the kind of good soaking rain we need to revive our poor tomato plants and herb garden. Plus, the cool air is a relief.

It's been challenging to be inside all day, though. We are just not used to it.

But I'm sticking to our very little-to-no-TV agenda, so with a little redirect here and there the kids are both in the middle of some busy work/fun. A. has some fantastic paper doll shapes from Lakeshore Learning that she is decorating and then creating a wardrobe out of fabric scraps and ribbons. And E. is busy on his lego table and creating a path of various placemats to form a hopping trail throughout the family room and living room.

My rainy-day project is measuring the windows in several rooms for some new curtains I want to make. I also have some thrifted chairs in the garage that I want to paint and create new seat covers. I can't paint on a rainy day but I can sand and prep it.

Our soundtrack for today: a little Belle & Sebastian, some Bob Marley and a Beatles mix.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Shake, Shake, Shake ...

Ice Cream in progress

Ice cream being devoured by young chef

Geetar Dad is great at coming up with fun activities for the kiddos. Mostly it's taking them on adventures out and about in Charm City but he's constantly surprising us around the house too. He likes to mix science into our everyday -- be it music, cooking or outdoor fun.

Tonight he made some ice cream with Kid A. and Super E. We were out of rock salt, so he made it with kosher salt (recipe below). It was declared as "the best ice cream I've ever had" by my little campers. And the YIPPEE part for me -- no clean up. Just a few ziploc bags to rinse out.

~Get out those gallon size ziplocs
~ Get out some pint size ziplocs too
~ Fill a gallon size one with lots of ice (you'll add salt to this soon)
~ In your pint size bag, add 1 cup of milk, 1 TB sugar and your flavoring. Try different ones like vanilla, mint extracts, orange extract, etc. Go light on the extracts at first as they are strong.
~Seal your pint size bag
~add your salt (1/2 cup) to the bag with gallon sized bag of ice. Place your pint sized bag inside and seal.
~use oven mitts - it's going to get c-c-c-cold and take your bag and SHAKE IT, BABY
~ No, seriously, shake it! Shake it for 5-7 minutes until your ice cream begins to get that soft serve consistency.

Enjoy! I know we did!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer Snapshot:

Summer Exploration

Friday, July 2, 2010

I Salute You ...

So, my daughter just started doing this thing where she salutes me and says "Yes, ma'am" when I ask her to do something. I'm not sure where she saw it -- a book? TV?

The charming thing about it though is that she is seriously gung-ho and is doing the little salute as a way of saying "I'm on it, I'm happy to do it". And she really is.

I'm enjoying it now because I know I used to do the same sort of salute to my mom but with different intent when I was being a sarcastic teenager. I do know the teen years are coming with my daughter (and I will laugh/cringe inwardly when she's being sarcastic and dramatic- I deserve the payback).

In the meantime - I'm enjoying my little helpful lass and her cute little salute.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hundreds of Pieces ...

You know what causes my stomach to drop ... when I see the phrase "hundreds of pieces" on a new activity box for my daughter after it's already been opened by GeeTar Dad. Sigh.