Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dirty Bunny

I haven't done a Dr. Hoppy update in awhile...

Point blank--this bunny is just like having a dog or a cat. He wants to be pet constantly (and still purrs a lot). We let him hop around in the family room while we're watching TV in the evenings and he has figured out how to jump up on the sofa with me. If I try to put him down, he'll hop right back up! He's a stalker bunny!

He has also developed the strange habit of nibbling on my hair. He's relentless--I'm going to have to start wearing my hair in a pony tail to keep him away.

The other weird thing he does is sneak into the fireplace and sniff around (when there's no fire going, of course) and now my snowy white bunny is all covered in soot. I don't know how well this will show up in the pics--but he's all dingy and grey and I don't know how to clean him. Can you bathe bunnies? I'm guessing no!Another funny thing is that Don--who was against getting the bunny in the first place--is really into him! I caught him snuggling with Dr. Hoppy the other day and snapped a pic.
Oh, he also likes pretzels. Specifically pretzels from homemade Chex mix! Do I have an unusual bunny on my hands or is this normal bunny behavior??

Saturday, November 29, 2008

May The Hungriest Dog Win!

One of our stranger Thanksgiving traditions is a giblet-eating contest between our three dogs. I think it's the highlight of their year! Once the giblets are cooked, cooled and cut--they are distributed evenly on three plates and then the fun begins!

When the contest is over they stagger to their kennel and spend the rest of Thanksgiving in a triptophan stupor. It's sort of a win-win for everyone involved!

We made a video of the contest this year and Andy did some fun editing on it. He is feeling better by the way--sort of got his appetite back but still has a really bad sore throat. I took him to the doctor and the rapid strep test was negative, but we'll see what the overnight one says.

Anyway, here's the video!


Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Day Recap

Whew! That was a fun Thanksgiving--but I've lost most of the feeling in my legs from standing nearly all day!

I got up bright and early to get the turkeys in--that's turkeyS plural. I do two turkeys so we have one for the dinner and one so we have enough leftovers for a couple of days.

Here's what I've learned from years of turkey-cooking experience--brined turkeys are the best. We have done taste tests with brined an unbrined turkeys and the brined one always wins hands-down. The problem with the brined turkey is that is retains so much moisture that there is literally NO liquid in the pan when the turkey is done so there's nothing to make gravy with. My solution is that I do one brined and one unbrined--so we get the best of both worlds.

Here's a look at one of my birds with Gooser peeking in the background. It's not all fancy-like on a platter because I had just taken it out of the oven.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Before all the turkey fun started we had some pumpkin pie martinis--I got the recipe from Cathy of Noble Pig. They were VERY tasty!! Here I am (right) with my friend Muffin enjoying our pumpkin pies in a glass:
I know I showed you the flowers yesterday, but here they are on the table with a little more of the turquoise/orange color scheme.

Actually, you can't really see the colors in that pic--here's one of the whole table. This pics bugs me though because Teddy rearranged my blue/orange napkin pattern and they are out of sequence. The adults had blue napkins and the kids had orange. You can see how ginormous the table is--I actually had to reconfigure my entire dining room and add and extra table to make enough room!
Here's a close-up of the cute Pilgrim place cards and baby flower arrangement. The plates are my Grandmother's--the design is called "crab apple." I use them every Thanksgiving.
One more table pic...
Unfortunately, I took very few pics of the kids because I got to busy with the food and guests. Also, was super worried and preoccupied because Andy suddenly got really sick--I think he has the flu. Poor thing was totally fine and then it hit him like a ton of bricks--he aches all over and has a fever. And he didn't eat anything--which is unheard of for him--so I know he's really sick. Update--since I started writing this, it appears Andy has the stomach flu...
Here's Teddy and Patrick:
And here's Pickle. I wish I had taken more pics!
The only other pic I have is of my sweet potatoes with marshmallows!
We were going to go away for the next few days, but what with Andy being sick, we'll stick around here.

Stop back over the weekend--I'll have a video of the dogs' turkey-eating contest and the kids' little concert they put on for our guests!

Hope you all had great Thanksgivings!!

Please join Candid Carrie for some post- Thanksgiving Phriday Foto Phun!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Yay it's Thanksgiving!! I have been in my day-before-Thanksgiving-frenzy of baking, brining, flower arranging and table setting all day.

Here's a little preview of what I've got going on over here:

First, the baking. This is my "famous" gingerbread cake. It doesn't look too exciting in this pic--but just wait until it's served with the brandied fruit sauce and whipped cream! And the smell that fills the house when I'm baking this is amazing!!
Next, my orange spice pumpkin pie. This is always a big hit--there's a little orange peel in the crust to give just a hint of oranginess as well as some orange juice in the pie filling. See how I got all creative-like and made little leaves around the crust?
Now the flowers. I go crazy with my flower arranging--it's one of my favorite parts of preparing for Thanksgiving. This year, my color scheme is turquoise and orange which will be more apparent in the pics I'll show tomorrow. Here's the largest arrangement:
Then there's a medium-sized one:
And there are a few baby ones:
One more artsy flowery pic:
Here's Pickle sitting at the table in her pre-Thanksgiving dress!
Silly Pickle!
Tune in tomorrow for pics of the big day!

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Down Side Of Being Organized?

Do you think there is such a thing as being too organized and overly prepared?

I have been making an extra effort lately to get things in my house organized. I'm cleaning, giving thing away, throwing things away and so far I'm very pleased! The kids' closets are tidy and I can find their clothes with ease. My refrigerator is sparkling and well-stocked. Even the toys have been sorted with the Legos and Tinker Toys in their proper containers.

A couple of weeks ago it was time to do the online sign-up for the kids' parent/teacher conferences. I logged on bright and early and was able to secure a good conference time, with each meeting perfectly timed so there was no down time in between. I would be like a well-oiled machine moving from teacher to teacher and Don would be home in time so I wouldn't have to worry about babysitters--I thought, "How nice it is to be so organized!"

Fast forward to last night--conference night. Don was home, but shuttling Patrick over to a sleepover and I was preparing to leave the second he came back. I knew I had printed out the conference schedule with the times, teachers and room numbers--which was pretty complicated because I would be meeting with all of Teddy's teachers separately--there were probably over ten meetings in all!

I started looking through my giant pile of papers (I haven't organized this yet) but I couldn't find the schedule. Meanwhile, Don would be home any minute and I would have to leave immediately to get there on time.

I went through the paper pile again...and again--starting to get panicky. After a few searches through the pile, I gave up and tried to get back into the conference maker through the computer--but that wouldn't work.

Then I frantically started searching through my old emails to see if the schedule was on there. I was so frazzled, I couldn't remember the date I had scheduled the conferences and couldn't find the email.

I could hear Don at the door and knew I HAD to leave--I was almost in tears. Then I turned around and noticed that I had neatly tacked the schedule to my bulletin board.

In my eagerness to be organized, I actually ended up being disorganized! If that schedule had been in my giant pile of papers, I would have found it in two seconds!

I know it's better to be organized--but I guess I had a certain method to my madness that was actually working for me! So maybe I should just keep my giant pile of papers? It's ugly and messy-looking--but I know where everything is!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Me Day"

Well, I officially deserve the Bad Mother award because last week I completely forgot about Gooser's "Me Day" at kindergarten. I cut myself a tiny bit of slack because his teacher was out sick the day before--so I didn't get the reminder, but was on my calendar and everything! I HATE it when I do stuff like that!

So the big day rolls around and the teacher calls and says something like "Maybe I didn't communicate this to you clearly enough..." And I was like "What? When? OMG!"

But it turned out okay. The teacher said we would move it to the next day, so Gooser came home and gathered up a bagful of his favorite things to show his classmates. Me Day is sort of a glorified show and tell--each kid gets to be in the spotlight for one day and show off their cool stuff and have their moms come in (or not, if you're me...).

Here's Gooser with his bag o' tricks ready to present:
Let's see what he brought...

A cheapo pumpkin and ghost that we got at the 7-11. I'm not sure how they made the cut!
Surprise!! (NOT!). His Spiderman costume:
Even bigger surprise (NOT)! His Batman costume:
His ancient Snoopy that he sleeps with every night. This was one of Andy's old toys that Gooser has adopted:
Believe it or not--this is a blanket! As you can see, it has been well-loved. This was crocheted by my mother in law and was, once upon a time, multicolored, rectangular-shaped and had tassels. It is very appropriately-named: "Ick." The kids all got a big kick out of it!
Here is Gooser posing with his life-sized portrait that he made. I was very impressed with the detail he put into the guitars on the shirt and the doo-dads on the Crocs!
I tried to redeem my guilty self by having the local bakery whip up a batch of Batman cookies for Gooser to share with his classmates.
They are jostled because, just as I was pulling up in front of school, a crazed dog ran in front of my car and I had to SLAM on the brakes as the cookies flew across the car!

But at least I made it to Me Day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Circus Sticker Shock

It seems Patrick's birthday just won't end! The final phase of the festivities was a trip to the circus with my four boys and two of Patrick's friends. I escorted all six by by myself which was nerve wracking at best. But what really left me reeling was how freaking EXPENSIVE the whole business was.

Going to the circus is like being at the airport--they know you're trapped in there and they can charge whatever crazy-time prices they can dream up.

Let's break down the event:

1. Seven tickets at $50 each--I don't want to add it up--it will depress me!
2. Parking--$20.

3. Program--$15

4.Cotton candy (which included humorous circus hat)--$92. Yes, you read that correctly--spun sugar and some clown hats NINETY TWO DOLLARS!!

5. Hot dogs, french fries and Cokes--$68.
6. Sno-Cones in clown cups--$54!!!!!!!
7. Stuffed elephant for Pickle (who stayed home with Daddy)--$23.

I feel like I have single-handedly helped the state of the U.S. economy with my trip to the circus!

I apologize for the bad picture quality--I took one of the kids' cameras because I didn't want to lug mine. This is the best pic of the show I could get!
But it sort of sums up my state when I finally got out from under the "Big Top"--a little blurry, glittery and confused (and broke!).

ALSO! A fun giveaway for some foodstuffs at Jumpin' In The Jungle--check it out!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Favorite Christmas Songs

I used to not let myself listen to any Christmas music until after Thanksgiving--but this year I have completely broken down and I'm playing the carols pretty much 24/7. I'm also wrapping presents already. I don't even recognize myself!

So here are my top five Christmas songs:

1. O Holy Night--This is my top song and I don't have a particular version that I prefer--I just love this song!

2. All I Want For Christmas Is You (My Chemical Romance version)--I pretend that Gerard is singing it to me!

3. Mary's Boy Child by "Boney M"--This is such a fun song and I don't seem to hear it very often, so I'm always excited when it comes on the radio.

4. Blue Christmas (Elvis version)--I never get sick of this one.

5. Holly Jolly Christmas (Burl Ives)--I've love this song and the Rudolph movie that I've been watching my whole life!

What are your top five?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twisted Favorites!

I found a fun Favorite Things challenge on My Fam Five--list ten of your favorite things--but they all have to begin with the same letter (see, that's the "twisted" part)! Aubrey of Fam Five has issued me an "M" to work with. She had a really tough one--"I"-- and she made that happen, so hopefully I can come up with some good ones too.

My Favorite Things--"M" Edition:

1. My Chemical Romance--Okay that was an easy one! MCR is my all-time favorite band. I could go on and on about how much I love them and how much they have inspired me--but I'll spare you!

2. Marzipan--This is one of may favorite candies. I inherited the marzipan gene from my dad who was a hardcore marzipan fan. For those who haven't heard of it--it's made with almond paste, rose water and sugar and it's extra good covered in chocolate.

3. Monte--He was my sweet, sweet dog--my first Italian greyhound and truly the best dog ever! He lived to be sixteen and I will always miss him.

4. Mochi--These are little Asian treats made of rice flour and sugar. It's my favorite topping on my Pinkberry which is also one of my favorite things but doesn't begin with an M...

5. Movies in the Theater--I LOVE going to movies! Even bad ones in the theater are fun for me. By the way, I just got back from seeing Changeling with Angelina Jolie--what an emotional roller coaster that was!

6. Maki--As in sushi rolls maki. My very favorite is salmon skin roll. That's what I had for lunch today.

7. Mexican Coffee--This is coffee made with brown sugar, cinnamon and orange peel. SO good!!

8. Makeshift--One of my favorite words. I say it all the time.

9. Ma Bar by Lush--This is my favorite thing to take a bubble bath with. Smells kind of like brown sugar and makes lots of bubbles.

10. Month of May--This is such a fun month for me because it has my birthday, my anniversary, Mother's Day, Teddy's birthday and my niece and nephew's birthday. It's always really busy--but in a fun way!

Well there you have it! If anyone wants to do this Twisted Challenge let me know and I'll assign you a letter.

Have a great weekend!


Friday, November 21, 2008

The Continuing Saga of Patrick's Birthday!

I wrote about Patrick's birthday festivities here but there was one more present that arrived a little late--just what we need in the house right after Halloween--a GIANT basket of candy.

Look at this!
Of course, for an eleven year old boy, it's the best thing in the world!
Speaking of candy, we also received the delicious chocolate-covered cookie dough that I ordered from Susie's shop. I can't show you a pic of that though...because we ate it already. It was delicious!!

Please join Candid Carrie and get in on the Phriday Foto Phun!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Birds and Scorpions

Just a little something I wanted to show you...Remember during the summer when I bought that "potato basket" from an art gallery? It looked like this:So I got all artsy on in and covered it with a bunch of feathery birds I happened to have around. Are we liking? Not liking?

Edited to add one more pic of the birds:

I ran out of birds but I think I'll get more and cover the whole thing. I think it would look coolest hanging on the wall--which we don't have room for now. Maybe if we ever get that real estate deal done?? We are still totally in limbo on that by the way.

In other news, Patrick got a lollipop with a REAL scorpion inside!

The ingredients were like sugar, artificial flavoring, scorpion.


But he ate it!
The whole thing--tail and all! I don't know if I would have the guts to eat that--and I like weird food! Would you?

ALSO!! A Wii and Wii Fit Giveaway on Le Petite Chic !!!! I want it!!!

More!! Another giveaway! For these beautiful boots on Classt Chaos:

Check it out here!