Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jet Settin'

I can't believe I'm flying to Connecticut tomorrow morning to see this gorgeous woman get married. Alone. Well, with my besty, Tina, but we're going without kids. Which means we can talk, sleep, read, veg, drink, whatever. I am so excited. But mostly I'm excited to see this other besty of mine, Aylin, get married. We've been through too much together for me not to be there, and luckily I was in a position to make it happen. Like I said, I am so excited!!! Even if it is just for a whirlwind 48 hours. I already know it will be a getaway to cherish for always.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Second Annual Chili Cook-Off

I'm so happy this has become a tradition. We held our street's Second Annual Chili Cook-Off this past Labor Day. It was bigger and better than last year's in so many ways. There was a homemade lemonade stand.
There were seven, count them, seven pots of chili to judge instead of last year's measly three.
There were lots more people. So many in fact that we decided to hold it on our front lawn instead of our backyard to allow for better flow.
The jumpy tent was the same. But bigger kids meant bigger risk of injury. Ouch.There was a centerpiece designed especially for this event. And there was a fabulous trophy, shown here by Bubs in his big boy underpants . . .
. . . and raised triumphantly here by the winner, Betsy! Her secret? Well, there were lots, but the ones that stuck with me were the cup of chopped black olives and two cups of cheese she threw in at the end. It was some seriously delicious chili, and a very good time. Except for when a few poor souls' chili made an, ahem, second appearance as a result of a cinnamon challenge gone horribly wrong. I'll spare you those photos. Congrats to all!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Puzzler

And just like that, all he wants to do are puzzles. All of the time. Target's Dollar Spot can't spit them out fast enough for him. He's sleeping on top of one right now, as a matter of fact. A little strange, that one.

Charlie the Cat

My kitty cat, Charlie, and I go way back. Almost eleven years to be exact. Before kids. Before marriage. Before the dog. Before moving in together. Before hooking up. The H teases me about how much I used to spoil my cat, and how I used to freak out if he escaped from my apartment. Well, he was my baby and I waited twenty-five years for him. And those soft, white paws and pitchfork on his nose used to kill me. Not so much anymore. These days he's lucky if he gets a ten-second scratch behind the ears once or twice a week, and he freely roams our canyon with all manner of menacing wildlife. I just have nothing left to give, and no warts left to worry. Poor little guy. But rest assured he does get fed every morning. It just takes a little reminding.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Favorite Love Song of Mine

I think I surprised the H a little the other night when I reminded him that Dire Straits is one of my

favorite bands.
This song is one of the reasons why. We're talking infinite repeat back in the day. Soooo beautiful. And all of those other things.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

She's Baaaaack

To school that is. After four long, lazy summer months. That went by in a flash. We had a really wonderful time, but toward the end she started to sound like a broken record, "Mommy, is it my first day of school yet???" Here she is on that long-awaited day, looking the teensiest bit excited. While little brother (and Mom) tried to keep a stiff upper lip.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Let Me See Your Shrimp Roll

This shrimp roll, assembled by the H of course, and homemade chips were just what I was craving on a recent hot, summer night. The lemonade and paper goods added to the fantasy of being on a gourmet picnic, right at our very own dining-room table.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Va Va Voom!

Oh my! These images from Rolling Stone mag's Mad Men photo shoot are all so slick and stunning.I especially love how that cover is saving my blog from G-rated hell.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Best Gift Ever

My brother's girlfriend made this "Adam Touched Me" framed mirror for my mom. It's so great I kind of want one, even though Adam never touched me. At the very least I want to learn how to make them. Personalized mirrors for everyone!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Romancing the Steak

My steak. On an ordinary night not unlike this one.Thank you sweet husband. I love you too.

Rethinking Children

I'm reading this book right now, and it's blowing my mind. Usually I run from parenting how-to books like the plague because this job is hard enough without someone who's never met you or your kids telling you that you're doing everything wrong. But what I'm finding out is even the best of parenting instincts can get seriously mucked up by conventional wisdom, and a lot of conventional wisdom regarding parenting is dead wrong. Such as:

*Think it boosts your kids' self esteem to tell them they're smart? Think again.
*Think teens are sullen and unmotivated because, well, they're teens? Think again.
*Think you're creating color-blind children by avoiding the topic of race? Think again.
*Think you're setting a great example for your kids of always telling the truth? Think again.
*Think siblings learn from each other how to get along with others? Think again.
*Think teens who argue with their parents are disrespectful? Think again.
*Think programs like D.A.R.E. cut down on drug use and Driver's Ed classes reduce accidents? Think again.

And that's not all, and I'm not even done. It's fascinating stuff, even if you're not a parent, and a must-read in my opinion. Have you read it? I would love to know what you think . . .

Summer Leaving

It was touch and go there for a while as to whether we were going to get a decent beach day this summer.But my favorite season finally came. It was wonderful. And now it's almost gone. Sigh.

Painted Ladies

Our caterpillars just arrived! We're super psyched.

Kids Who Lunch

A long time ago, like as soon as I found out I was a having a girl, I picked up an impossible-to-resist Baby Cie Ballerina lunchbox. So Snook is good to go for preschool this year, the first year she's packing her lunch. But if I hadn't had such incredible foresight (read complete lack of self-restraint), I might be picking up one of these reusable lunch sacks that are in all of the shops this year.Aren't they cute? And word is teachers love them because they collapse right into kids' backpacks at the end of the day. Happy back-to-school!