Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Last night, the three oldest boys were having a "sleepover"--that means they all sleep in one room together with sleeping bags on the floor, etc. They had been "asleep" for awhile and when I came upstairs to take a bath I could hear them talking and giggling in Andy's room.
I went down to the basement storage room where we have every conceivable Halloween costume in boxes and I found a really scary werewolf mask. This mask:
So I put it on and got down on my hands and knees and started scratching at Andy's door. I could hear them saying "What is that?" and then Patrick opened the door and I crawled in really fast making weird growling noises.
It totally scared them--for a split second, then they were all laughing hysterically. They loved it! One of them said "Mommy, you need to do that more often!" LOL!
That reminded me me of one of the best April Fool's jokes I have ever played on them: One year, April Fool's Day came during their Spring Break--I think they had a couple of days left on vacation. So they came downstairs and were all having breakfast in their pajamas and I sneaked my cell phone out and called our home number.
I answered our home phone and said stuff like "Really? Why? OK--yes, I understand!" Then I hung up and told the kids it was the school calling to say Spring Break had been cut short and they had to go to school right away. I was like "Come on! Get dressed! Get your backpacks! We have to go!!"
They all started crying and screaming "It's not fair!" Andy threw something across the room.
Then I said "April Fool's" and they thought it was the funniest thing ever!!
I'm so mean! But they really did love it--they love being surprised--even if it's a joke.
Speaking of surprises, I have a super secret plan in the works right now--not a practical joke--but a fun surprise I'm planning. I can't wait to tell you all about it...stay tuned in the next couple of weeks!!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I chose a kitten theme for her party (she loves cats--calls them meow-meows). These are the plates:
Here's the table--but I didn't have all the food out yet. I made my super amazing artichoke dip and some stuffed mushrooms plus some chips, etc. and then later we had pizza.
Also, my "famous" punch!
And the piece de resistance: The Cake. No, I didn't make it and I couldn't if I tried. And, no, it wasn't bacon-flavored!
It's a beauty, right?
Oh, wait a minute--I forgot to show you the birthday girl!
Here's another angle so you so can see her dress better. Pretty!
Here's The Gooser in a cat-hat.
I have lots of pizza-eating Pics: Pickle on her unicorn:
Three big brothers:
And Gooser with his cousin, Drew.
Of course, there were lots of presents! Here is Pickle's present pile--the embarrassing thing is that I used wedding paper and "Baby's First Birthday" paper--what was I thinking??
Pickle opening presents with her brothers' help.
She got LOTS of dolls and purses!
And finally, Pickle in her jammies with her hair sticky from candy, having one more piece of cake before bed!
Happy Birthday Pickle!!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Actually--the one on the left is my doll. I wanted to bring a doll too!-- well,other than Pickle. Believe it or not, this was my absolute favorite doll when I was little--Baby Happy. This isn't my original doll--she's long gone--but I got this "replacement" on eBay. I guess she's kind of scary! She has some kind of lazy eyelid thing going on.
She looks like something from the Twilight Zone that might rise up and kill us all in the night. My sister said she was "Chuckie-esque." But anyway, she was having lunch with us.
The food is very fun here! First, they brought out cinnamon rolls. We ate them like animals and by the time I remembered to take a pic, there was only half a roll left...
Here's Pickle enjoying one. She's using the "two fork" method for extra efficiency!
Then they brought out a platter with fruit, vegetables and some soft pretzels. Very good!
I ordered quiche for an entree which was really interesting because it had dried cranberries in it. I loved it!
Pickle got the "picnic" lunch which included a little hot dog, a tiny hamburger and some macaroni and cheese.
There are lots of pink flowers at the American Girl Place--on the table...
...and on the light fixtures.
Then came the really fun part--the cake!
My doll looks especially creepy there, doesn't she?
Here's a piece of the cake with the cute little flower pot ice cream.
Pickle LOVED the ice cream!
Then came the best part--doll shopping! Actually, we didn't buy any dolls, but I bought Pickle the cutest pair of pajamas and slippers and a matching set for her "Bitty Baby."
Is there anything cuter than little girl/doll matching outfits??
Friday, September 26, 2008
When I brought the two little ones downstairs, I found that my three big boys had gone down early and decorated the house for Pickle! They hung up streamers and balloons and signs:
This was Gooser's contribution LOL:
And Teddy had made her some BACON! Talk about the perfect way to start her birthday!
And they had some little gifts wrapped for her to open. The younger ones found stuff around the house and wrapped it and Andy had bought her a couple of things from his high school bookstore (CUTE!!).
Moments like this make me so proud of my kids!!
Happy Friday and don't forget to join Candid Carrie for some Phreaky Foto Phun!!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
So in honor of her birthday, I made this little video. It makes me tear up--not sure if it will have that effect on other people--but have some Kleenex handy just in case!
Happy Birthday to my sweet Pickle!! Her birthday bash is Saturday, so tune in Sunday for the recap!
P.S. Thanks to my friends Tami and Misty for recommending a site to make the video!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I made the mistake of buying the new fall/Halloween edition. I'm a sucker for both and I was lured in by the cool pumpkin-clock-face on the cover. As expected, I wanted to make everything I saw. A concord grape tart (with the pastry cut out to look like a bunch of grapes!), black light Halloween decorations, marzipan pumpkins, Moroccan lambs shanks...I didn't know where to start!
But then I saw "Stuffed Pumpkin Stew" and I knew I had to make it. Right NOW!! Get this--it's a stew of fall vegetables and chicken and you cook and serve it in a pumpkin! It looked so delicious and fall-like--I couldn't wait to start!
It called for something called a "cheese pumpkin." Sorry, Martha, but I'm not well-versed enough in pumpkins to have a clue what that means. And something tells me if I had set out on a mission to find a cheese pumpkin, I would have come back empty handed. So I got a regular old pumpkin, but kind of a short, wide one so it would hold the stew nicely. Then I had to buy about ten million vegetables. Look at this!
So first you cut the top of the pumpkin off like you would for a jack-o-lantern. Then you take out all the goop and seeds. Then you rub that baby down and bake the pumpkin and the top in the oven for an hour.Then there's all sorts of fancy maneuvers with boiling water and ice water baths. Here are my peas resting in ice water:
Then you have to chop the ten million vegetables and roast them with olive oil.
Meanwhile, you have to prepare the chicken. Oh,and I forgot about sauteing the apples!
When everything is roasted you put it all inside the pumpkin with some chicken stock and bake the whole thing. Check it out:
In Martha Stewart's pic you probably wouldn't see the yucky baking sheet or the pile of text books in the background--but still! Doesn't it look delicious and the perfect thing to serve for a fall dinner??
Here it is on the plate. Martha actually slices the pumpkin and serves it on the plate, but I found that when you scooped out the stew it was easier to just scoop out some pumpkin. And my "generic" pumpkin tasted just fine!
One more thing--a fun blog called The Cutting Edge of Ordinary is having a cool giveaway--a baking book and some other treats. Check it out!